Disclaimer: This is a work of fanfiction. It is not being distributed for profit. Stephenie Meyer owns the copyright to the Twilight Saga. No copyright infringement intended.

A/N You will notice there has been a minor change to the title. There have been no changes to the content, as this was a co-written piece, and I would never do that without the express permission of the other author.

But what I have done is add the original working title to the title of this piece. I have done it simply because I think it will help the reader understand just what's happening to our B & E. Mayhaps it will, mayhaps it won't. And mayhaps I've been reading too much Stephen King.

Chapter One

March 2003


The forest was deathly quiet as I tore through the underbrush – the only sound was the soft padding of my feet as I moved effortlessly around the obstacles in the primeval woods. The air whooshed in and out of my lungs as I ran along the thickly carpeted forest floor, smells drawn deep within me as I discerned each scent with barely a thought. Rabbits, mice, millions of insects, pollen, mold, the smell of a drop of rain as it hit the ground in front of me before shattering to a million crystalline drops of water. I ran through each diamond, feeling them hit my legs as I plunged through the forest, seeking the muskier scent, the pounding heart, the rush of blood through veins drawing me closer and closer to its sweet bliss. Heat scorching my throat as I drew closer, the sweet relief so close as I bunched my legs underneath me and drove myself into the air and

My eyes flew open, gasping for breath, holding my neck, feeling the primal growl try to tear through my mouth as I scrunched my eyes closed and bit my lips to stop my screams of rapture.

What was that? What the hell kind of dream was that? Holy crow, is this part of what living in Forks is going to be like?

I sat up quickly, reached up and scrubbed my face with my hands, trying to remove the remnants of the dream. It was just so real! Or maybe surreal would be a better word for it. I could smell it, feel it, taste it. What kind of screwed up subconscious thing was trying to show itself?

I swung my legs over the side of the bed, taking deep breaths to try to quiet my pounding heart. A glance at the clock showed an hour before school started. My new school. My first day. "Welcome to Forks, Bella," I mumbled to myself. "A good night's sleep might have gone a long way," I growled as I grabbed my stuff and padded off to the bathroom to get ready for purgatory, firmly putting that bizarre dream behind me.

As I drifted down my dark, narrow staircase I tried not to think about the light and heat and dryness of the home I left behind just a few days ago. I loved the arid smell of the desert, the sun on my skin, the soft earth tones of the distant mountains that called to me each morning as I walked out my door. But Renee had remarried, and the last thing a new bride needed was the kid who wandered through life in a haze of literature and school work. I finally decided I cramped her style. Time to spend some time with Charlie. It would help her, it wouldn't harm me – I could bury myself in a new corner in a new school, I can dream in a book in a new corner in a new home. No real sacrifice. Ultimately, one was the same as the other. Ultimately, my life was me, and no one or nothing else.

Thankful that Charlie had taken care of registration, I grabbed my schedule and the school map and headed out the door into the ever-present rain of this god-awful place. Everything smelled wet, musty – it actually smelled green! Shaking my head I trudged to the old red pickup truck Charlie managed to get for me, wrestled the heavy door open, scrambled inside and set off towards the school.

Two more years and I'm out of this place. I can do it.

The good news was, one school is like another. The trick is to avoid eye contact. Look around, look through, look at the floor, show no interest. Blank stares and walking past and finding corners where ever you go. It usually works, although sometimes a bit of drool helps get rid of the persistent. Giggling to myself, I grabbed my latest novel and wandered into the farthest corner of the cafeteria, found an old and inconspicuous table, set myself down, grabbed my sandwich, opened my book and let myself wander away.

And that's when I felt it. A prickling on the back of my neck, a slight increase in my heartbeat, the sense of being stared at so intently it burned. I carefully looked up and was staring right into the eyes of the strangest looking boy I'd ever seen. Soft and unruly bronze hair, skin even paler then my own, features that screamed male and more sculpted than you'd ever see among high school boys. Heavy brows hiding eyes that stared, unblinking, as he ignored the others sitting at his table. Stared at me. Wouldn't stop staring at me.

So I did what I do best – I looked back down at my book and willed myself to be invisible. But this time it was different. This time I could feel heat in my face and my heart pounding in my ears and I hated it. Hiding behind my hair I glanced up and breathed a soft sigh of relief. Head down, reading his book, ignoring the world and thankfully, me. Life goes on as it always did.

But it didn't. I read the same paragraph for the next 45 minutes, mind racing, thinking how out of place he looked and to be honest, how out of place the others at his table looked. Another quick glance through the curtain of my hair and I could see two other boys and two girls, all with the same pale skin, all with the same sculpted beauty, all seeming just a bit too old to be here but at the same time, not too old. It was if they were adults acting as children in a play, makeup just right and mannerisms designed to take years off them. But if you got close enough to see past the stage lighting you'd see them for what they are – not what they appear to be.

"Jesus Bella, get a grip," I quietly scolded myself as I gathered up my books for my trek to my next class. Last night's dream must have affected me more than I realized. Tackling the fantasy genre to move myself out of the literary classics must have sent my imagination into overdrive – first the dream and now this. Plots in every corner. If I didn't pull myself together I'd be wearing a tin foil helmet and screaming about the aliens in the raindrops.

Hugging the walls, making myself small, eyes cast downward I made my way out of the cafeteria and towards my next class, biology. I wanted to learn my routes around school one careful step at a time so that I could navigate without ever having to look up. I quietly walked into the classroom, grabbed my book from the teacher - trying not to make eye contact - and slinked to an open seat in a dark corner. I always take back corners in classrooms. No one could look at me without being obvious, but I could observe them all I liked. That's when I saw him walk in.

The bronze-haired guy came through the door and headed towards a seat in the middle of the class, ignoring everyone as well as I do. I had to admire him, he did it with style, as if he'd had decades of experience. I should watch his moves carefully and learn from him. He didn't look angry but gave off an air that kept eyes away, bodies slanting slightly away as he walked by. Damn this guy is good at it. Definitely need to observe and learn.

The class was as boring as all high school classes are. If I was allowed to start college tomorrow I'd do it. When you live with only yourself there's ample time to move ahead, read the textbooks to the end, try to take peeks at advanced books, round it out a bit with time on the net. It kept me sane in the days outside the classroom. In the days inside the classroom what kept me sane was a well-placed novel folded inside a textbook as I sat in my dark corners. It worked.

And that's when I felt it again, the prickling on the back of my neck and the sudden racing of my heart. I glanced up and he was staring at me, twisted around in his chair, back stick straight, hands clenched, lips pulled into a thin line and if possible, his features looking even more sculpted then they did before, but this time in fury. His nostrils were flaring and for the first time in my 17 years I felt the adrenaline rush of pure terror wash through me. I could feel my pulse in my eardrums…I had never felt fear like this. I tore my eyes away from his, pulled my hair forward, hid my face and tried to control my trembling.

Just as I was starting to hyperventilate the bell rang and he raced out of the classroom. I stumbled out of my seat, and a quick glance out the window showed him running across the parking lot at almost inhuman speed. I'd never seen anyone run so fast. He jumped into a silver Volvo with dark tinted windows, and in no time at all rubber was burning and he was gone.

Truly gone. I never saw him at school again. A week later, the others from his table were gone. I overheard someone say they had moved away. I never even learned their names.

Not that it really mattered, right?

A/N Welcome to our story! We hope you enjoy it. Chapter by chapter playlists can be found in Lilliput's story submission.

Chapters 1-3 will post tonight, chapter 4 tomorrow night, and then chapters 5 and 6 on Thursday and Friday nights. Thereafter, we will be posting a chapter each evening, M-F.

Please review, and thank you for reading!