Chapter 1

Vanessa

"Bye, Jake! Love you!"
I climbed in the car, revved the engine, and pulled away, still smiling. My smile faded as I approached school. Even six hours away from Jake was too much. I was so grateful he had turned down college acceptances to stay and wait for me to finish high school. Besides, he'd have plenty of time to complete college later, when I was finished with high school for the first time. A life like I was told my mom and dad had had, moving on from place to place.

I sighed as I pulled into the school parking lot. I made my way through the hallways, being careful not to touch anyone. Was this the kind of life my mom would have had? Living high school over and over again, the monotony made bearable by the fact that she was with her soul mate? Jake and I had fled before they killed her. I was grateful I wasn't stuck with those memories for all of eternity. And of course my dad, who had probably graduated high school twenty times before he met the core of his existence. Five years ago, the Volturi, because of me, had killed my parents. I had millennia to convince myself it wasn't my fault. Still I knew it would never happen. I would forever know that were it not for me, my parents would be alive. But I wouldn't be. This was the price I had to pay for my life.

And then there was the thing about never fitting in anywhere. I was half-human, half-vampire, in love with a werewolf. Never truly belonging to a coven, a pack, or a family. What if I had children? One-fourth vampire, one-fourth human, one-half werewolf. I might not have the supercharged mind of a vampire, but I could do that math. They'd never be part of anything either. There weren't any vampires at my school, so I was the only member of the supernatural. If I touched you, you'd know what I was thinking. One flinch could give away the secret of our existence, and then I'd be condemned to the same fate as my parents. So I didn't really have friends. It was too risky. Jake was my life. That was it.

AP Spanish, AP Biology, AP Trigonometry, Lunch. My day dragged on. It all seemed pointless. I wished for the billionth time my parents were alive. I could have eaten (or rather, not eaten) lunch with Mom, Dad, and my aunts and uncles. They'd probably be in some of my classes. I could be their cousin, or something like that. Jake always referred to Alice as the better sister, but he had an aversion to blondes (Rosalie!). He'd liked Emmett and Jasper equally. It would have been so much more fun…

Of course, these kinds of thoughts crossed my mind daily. I ate lunch alone, sat in the back of the room for all my classes. Finally, the last bell rang. I dashed to my car (only normal speed) and sped home. As I opened the door, a smile spread across my face. It quickly turned to a look of confusion. Sitting at the dining room table were two people, but I knew instantly they weren't people. Their skin was chalk-white, their eyes liquid topaz. One was a boy, one was a girl. The boy had short mahogany hair, the girl had waist-length auburn hair. I knew immediately they were vampires.

"Renesmee," the girl crooned in a musical voice. "I'm Bella Cullen."