Bella's Point Of View

The handle of the ballet studio's front door was freezing despite the warm air outside that surrounded it. It was rare to find anything below a boiling temperature in Phoenix, besides myself. I always assumed I was the coldest thing in the state. I pushed the unlocked door open, stepping into the large room that I thought would remain only in my memories.

It looked the same as it had the last time I saw it. The same familiar arch in the structure, the hardwood floors. Countless mirrors polluting the open space for learning dancers to gawk in amazement as their bodies were pushed to the limits. As a child, I was one of those learning dancers. Forced into ballet classes by my erratic mother who insisted I would be a rock star, artistic, lawyer-ballerina. Today, the simple memory was going to be my grave.

The sound of my mothers voice rang through my mind, remembering the very threatening and eerie conversation I had with James over the phone. He had fallen directly into our trap, ignoring Charlie and instead following vampires wearing my clothing. It was unfortunate that his many years of wisdom allowed him to catch on before we had a chance to warn my mother, to protect her in some way. My instincts as a daughter forced me to betray both Alice and Jasper, and make my way to the studio alone.

The voice I assumed was a flashback continued on, pushing my body into a run at the realization it was in fact in the very room I stood present in. My mother was calling to me, despite the terror she must be feeling. My body stopped, staring up at a tall set of double doors I had known to be the closet, mentally cursing the vampire for holding my mother inside of it. She was far too beautiful, far too amazing to be held hostage in such a confined space. Tearing the doors open, my eyes set sight on a television playing a video tape from my childhood. My mother pretending to have lost me, all in good humor. He didn't have her.

I don't know why I felt so shocked to have been lied to by someone who planned to murder me. Perhaps because I had not been lied to directly in my few short years of life. Not by family, friends... Not even by Edward. A thousand things ran through my mind, one of the being that perhaps James was unaware of my presence, that perhaps I still had time to escape before he'd know I was here. My body turned to flee out of the studio, only to catch multiple reflections of him in the mirrors around me.

The illusion that he was everywhere at once made me uneasy. I was uncertain where he actually stood, demolishing my chances to escape past him. They also forced me to realize that he really was everywhere at once, his body would easily catch mine before I too half a step. I stood, frozen as I glanced from one image of him to the next. Unsure of what to do.

"You don't have my mother..." My words were more of a question than a statement. I knew the answer, yet felt the need to get validation from the animal standing around me. I couldn't risk him hiding her elsewhere, waiting to feast on her after he devoured me.

"No, I just couldn't pass up a chance to get you alone. Your friends make it very hard for me with their cleaver minds and dirty tricks." His voice echoed around me, my ears unable to find the exact location much like the images of him painted across the mirrors. I took a step forward, only to hear a growl far too close to my right ear. In the time it took to move, he was beside me. Breathing against my skin, ready to force me back should I take so much as another step away from him. I remained perfectly still, contemplating all of the tricks I had learned from television over the past few years. When attacked by a bear, you are supposed to run in a zig-zag pattern, to confuse and throw the bear off your track.

An ice cold feeling, followed by the pain of too much pressure located my arm. His hand tightening against it enough to make me loose focus on escaping and instead zone in on the power he had over me. Irregardless of my plans and instincts, I was going to die tonight. Perhaps if I put up no fight, he would do it quickly.

"You know, it would be better for me if you screamed. It really sets the mood, you know?" His hand released my throbbing arm, running his index finger along my bottom lip. I refused to let it tremble in fear of the foreign touch, instead I continued to stand still, assessing the situation as best as I could. Perhaps it would have helped if I had of read more vampire fiction as a child, or focused on horror movies more when I was a younger teenager. His nose grazed against my exposed neck, taking in my scent before allowing his tongue to trail against my bare skin causing me to cringe. "Mm, you don't like that? That's too bad..."

My feet left the ground far too quickly for me to comprehend what was happening. Within that same instant, I found myself on the other side of the room, the breath knocked out of me after colliding back-first with the wall. I gasped for my vanishing breaths, my body attempting to force my lungs to work again. It took a few moments but the first breath did arrive, blood coughing its way out of my throat soon after. The force of the hit had clearly injured something inside of me. I didn't want to risk damaging it further, so instead I lay frozen on the floor.

James walked to me, shaking his head in disappointment at my lack of participation. I was certain all of his other victims threw their pride out the window and begged for their lives. I knew that didn't work, for if it had they would have all been alive. I wasn't going to waste my time playing the role of the stereotypical meal.

"Perhaps I didn't make myself clear over there..." He knelt before me, a small hunting knife in his hand. "If you don't want to humor me, it's just going to make this process less thrilling. This being less thrilling means I ventured here, went through all of this trouble for nothing. Should that be the case, I'll be sure to hunt down each of your friends and kill them just as shamelessly as I kill you."

He ran the sharp knife along my leg, before settling against my stomach. The fear induced trembles I tried to hold back were now overpowering me, my head nodding in agreement. I would do anything to keep my new family safe. It was my fault they were dragged into this mess...

He stood the knife up on my stomach, tip against flesh. Pressing it down enough to break through both my t-shirt and my skin. A little further, I winced in pain. I could still taste the blood from my internal damage on top of the blood I could now feel seeping down my sides. With a sadistic smirk, James thrust the entire length of the small knife into my abdomen, finally electing the scream he craved from me before withdrawing the knife and licking it clean of my blood.

"Very good... Now for your second lesson."