Author's Notes/Disclaimer: I really need some reviews and critique on this story. I was frustrated with the whole beta process, so I decided to just post the story and hope that ya'll will tell me where I've messed it up. I didn't know what to call it either. So yeah. ANYWAY. The disclaimer part: My name is April, not Stephenie. So I obviously don't own Twilight. Don't sue.

He had left me…bruised and broken and utterly alone in the dark, dank woods behind Charlie's house. I should have hated him for what he'd done. Any normal girl would have hated him…for a while anyway. Then that normal girl would have moved on with her life. I had never been a normal girl.

It was easier to remember here – or harder to forget – as I walked among the trees of the forest so similar to the one that he had abandoned me in. He didn't love me. But I had never stopped loving him. I had tried to be brave…once I had moved beyond being catatonic…but I dreaded going to bed at night where I would dream of him and wake up screaming. I dreaded each new day because it meant that I was one day older in a world where he remained frozen in his 17-year-old perfection. Jacob had helped for a time – he couldn't rid me of the pain, but he had worn down the sharp edges of that cavernous space in my chest to a dull, but constant, ache. And then Jacob abandoned me too, and I just couldn't handle it anymore. Every memory I had there was tainted; he…Edward…existed in every corner of that world. So I made a decision. Even if he didn't want me to be a part of his life, I didn't want any life – even an afterlife – where he didn't exist.

I hadn't left a note for Charlie, or said goodbye to any of my friends. The latter had probably never even noticed my absence – I had been so far gone to begin with. Charlie…well…he had probably been beside himself with worry, and I felt bad for not being able to provide him with any kind of closure – but it was infinitely more bearable than the alternative of trying to go through the motions of my average and ordinary life pretending that the extraordinary didn't exist.

So I had gotten on a plane to the only place in the world where I knew I could find the help that I needed.


It had proved to be a prudent choice. I had only been in Italy for 2 days when I saw her. She wore a tight red vinyl top with long sleeves and a high neck. Her impossibly long legs were encased in dark tights which she wore under a very short mini-skirt. Her dark hair was the same shade of mahogany as my own and it shone in a way that mine definitely did not. I had spent enough time with vampires to know her immediately for what she was, despite the odd violet color of her eyes. Her gaze found mine, I felt my throat harden into a lump, and for a moment all I could do was stare.

I'd walked to her with my head held high in spite of my racing heart. I'd known what I wanted and wasn't one to let a little thing like fear get in my way. I swallowed the lump in my throat and surprised myself with a very steady voice.

"I know what you are. I want what you have."

She had stared at me for a long while without speaking. I didn't lower my eyes from hers; I didn't dare even blink for fear that if I did, she'd be gone. Finally…just when I couldn't stand it any longer and thought I would have to blink or have my eyeballs turn to dust…she nodded.

I'd followed her – she seemed content with walking a human pace – through the streets of Volterra until I was positive that she had no idea where she was going. But eventually I discovered that my good fortune at having found a vampire so quickly was even better than I could have guessed; eventually she led me to Aro.

Aro, of course, had been delighted by me. Marcus and Caius, as well as most of the Volturi guard welcomed me warmly as well. They were every bit as eager to have me changed as he…as Edward had been to keep me human. I'd felt a twinge of guilt at that thought, but shoved it aside. He'd left me and therefore negated any right he had to influence my decisions. Besides, it still hurt too much to think about him. The pain of the transformation was hopeless. It was like the physical manifestation of a pain that was already too much for me to bear. The only scars that were left by the physical pain were granite skin and an un-beating heart. I wish I could say that being changed had healed the gaping hole that remained where his love for me had once resided, but even now I'm a terrible liar.

I stayed with the Volturi for nearly 15 years. Aro was like a father to me, Marcus and Caius like favorite uncles, perhaps, and the members of the guard were my friends. It had been hard to leave them, but like the teenager that I was, I wanted my independence. They had thrown me one hell of a going away party. I grinned at the memory. eidi had outdone herself fishing for the occasion. It had been the last time that I had tasted human blood. I think subconsciously I knew that it wasn't only my independence that I was seeking. I was tempting fate by giving myself the opportunity – albeit the chance was minute – to see them all again. I wasn't going to seek them out – they had all decided not to keep me – but if I stumbled across them, I wanted my eyes to be golden.

So after my sort of…graduation…party, I had gorged myself on animal blood until my irises had lightened from their deep, rich burgundy to a light burning butterscotch. For the last 3 years I had been living the life of a nomad, never content to stay in one place for very long, only because no place felt like home.

A sudden rustle in the leaves nearby brought me out of my reverie. I crouched low, prepared to strike. I wasn't thirsty, but I certainly wasn't going to pass up an easy meal if it so willing wandered across my path. The snarl that ripped through the silence brought me straight back to my feet in shock. It had been 18 years since I had heard that growl, but I would have known it anywhere.

I sensed the movement behind me before I heard the light footsteps. I didn't need to turn around to know who would be standing behind me. I raised my hands in a universal show of peacefulness before slowly turning around. Lowering my hands to my sides I stared into the eyes that were currently closer to black than they were amber.

My once-upon-a-time pixie of a best friend was staring back at me wearing a look of total shock.