A BRIEF AND SOMEWHAT STANDARD DISCLAIMER: Whilst the plotline and its components are in essence my own, the characters and dynamics belong solely to Ms. Stephenie Meyer.

First things first, here's everything I would have put in my summary if computer programming hadn't included the ability to limit word allowance:

What would happen if one thing changed? If a close-call had been more than close? What if the story suddenly took a different path, and this time there's no going back? After her encounter with Laurent in the meadow Bella is suddenly thrust into the life she once longed for. Now she has to come to terms with her existence and learn to live safely. But without the Cullens there to guide her, who will Bella turn to for help? And what happens when she discovers that the worst hasn't happened yet?

Personally, I don't think it's that bad a summary. Slightly dramatic, but let's face it, nearly everyone who writes "Am crap at summaries, please read anyway!" is just trying to snag some extra hits regardless of a crappy plot. So here goes my story! Starting from half-way through Bella's conversation with Laurent, and rated T so that no one shoots me, this is.... AURORA LIGHTS! Dum dum dum.......

Enjoy ;)

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Chapter 1 - Transformation

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I stared wide-eyed at Laurent, frozen to the spot. I couldn't believe I'd been so stupid as to expose myself like this, on a pointless quest for something that was lost forever. I could barely breathe. In my mind I could hear the velvet voice from my hallucinations, his growls increasing in volume. The sound echoed faintly in my thoughts, and it took me a few seconds to realise Laurent was speaking again.

"Well, you've caught me at a bad time, Bella." He shot a friendly grin at me "I didn't come to this place on Victoria's mission–I was hunting. I'm quite thirsty, and you do smell… simply mouth-watering."

He looked at me with approval, as if he meant it as a compliment.

"Threaten him," the beautiful delusion ordered, his voice distorted with dread.

"He'll know it was you," I whispered obediently. "You won't get away with this."

"And why not?" Laurent's smile widened. He gazed around the small opening in the trees. "The scent will wash away with the next rain. No one will find your body–you'll simply go missing, like so many, many other humans. There's no reason for Edward to think of me, if he cares enough to investigate. This is nothing personal, let me assure you, Bella. Just thirst."

"Beg," my hallucination pleaded.

"Please," I gasped.

Laurent shook his head, his face kind. "Look at it this way, Bella. You're very lucky I was the one to find you."

"Am I?" I mouthed, faltering another step back.

Laurent followed, lithe and graceful."Yes," he assured me. "I'll be very quick. You won't feel a thing, I promise. Oh, I'll lie to Victoria about that later, naturally, just to placate her. But if you knew what she had planned for you, Bella…" He shook his head with a slow movement, almost as if in disgust. "I swear you'd be thanking me for this."

I stared at him in horror.

He sniffed at the breeze that blew threads of my hair in his direction. "Mouthwatering," he repeated, inhaling deeply.

I tensed for the spring, my eyes squinting as I cringed away, and the sound of Edward's furious roar echoed distantly in the back of my head. His name burst through all the walls I'd built to contain it. Edward, Edward, Edward. I was going to die. It shouldn't matter if I thought of him now. Edward, I love you. I shouted it in my head, my last thought. As I squinted through my narrowed eyes Laurent sprang, moving too quick for me to follow, and within a second I felt the searing pain as his teeth pierced my neck, straight over my jugular vein.

The pain was excruciating. I couldn't even scream. I gasped, and my breaths seemed to choke in my throat as I instinctively writhed in agony, desperate to escape somehow. But I knew nothing would break the iron grip of the cold hands that clamped round my neck and arm.

The pain intensified, and I thrashed wildly, feeling my strength begin to ebb. My movements slowed and everything began to blur. When I fell to the ground shock broke through my senses. Was it over already? But the burning didn't diminish in the slightest, and I squinted up through my wet lashes, trying to see if there was more torture to come. What I saw briefly drove the burning from my mind.

I could see Laurent as a pale blur through the tears that clouded my vision, backing slowly away to the other side of the meadow. But, closer than him, were the monstrous forms of several shadowy shapes, taller than horses. One was right next to me, towering above me, but I couldn't find it in myself to be any more afraid. I gazed up into piercing black eyes, trying to focus, before I felt the burning return to the forefront of my mind again. I closed my eyes as the pain rose and spread through my body, in an effort to shut out reality. As I felt it engulf my chest, it grew even hotter, surpassing anything I had ever felt before. I couldn't make sense of it; how much hotter could it get? But to my disbelief it burning continued to rise. It was everywhere now, the feeling that my body was engulfed in flames that ran up and down my veins, scalding me inside and out. I wanted to die. In my head I begged for Laurent to return, for one of those shadowy creatures to tear me apart, anything to end this torture. What could possibly ever be worth this pain? It outweighed my entire world, the universe, everything.

I have no idea how much time passed whilst I lay there, writhing and shrieking in agony, unable to stop the piercing scream issuing from my lips. Time was meaningless. All that existed was pain. I couldn't remember it beginning, and I couldn't envision an ending. The incessant burning raged; my mind lost in its intensity.

Eventually, after however many hours, I began to detect a change. My mind resurfaced from whatever levels of suffering it had been buried under. The pain did not alleviate for one second, if anything increasing its intensity, but I began to think. To notice that time was passing, however slowly, and I sought to concentrate on anything that would distract me from the burning that ravaged my body.

I was aware that I was alone now. I tried to prise my eyes open, but it was too dark to see anything. I couldn't hear anything distinctive nearby, just the wind. I strained my ears to find something that would give me a measurement of the seconds I spent in this hell. I heard nothing except the stream that trickled at the other end of the meadow. I focused on it, hoping that concentration on the sound of cool water would help me to ignore the flames, but if anything it made it worse.

Then it started to rain.

Every drop that hit my body was pure torture, an explosion of pain that was an intensification of that which I already felt. I thrashed and tossed, trying to protect my battered body. My mind fought to stay on top of the new waves of anguish that threatened to engulf it, and my thoughts raged at me as I sought to escape once again.

I focused, expending every ounce of effort to coordinate my abused limbs. I rolled on to my front and began to drag myself toward the cover of the trees, one hand at a time digging into the soil, pulling my useless body forward. Every movement I made was excruciating, and the journey of mere yards seemed to last a lifetime, but eventually I made it to the borders of the meadow. Exhausted and suffering, I crawled forward, inch by inch, until I slid into a sudden ditch covered by an overhanging bush, and lay there like a dead thing, returning to the fiery torture.

More time passed and my thoughts became clearer. It became easier to think around the pain. I felt my memories clouding, becoming distant, paling in comparison to the agony, and I fought to retain them. I clung to memories of the Cullens, of my brief time with Edward. I couldn't risk forgetting him, and it wasn't as if I could be in any more pain than I was now. I focused on those memories that would help me now. I remembered my conversation with Alice nearly a year ago, when I was hiding in a hotel room in Phoenix.

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Alice smiled ominously at me, explaining the natural weapons that all vampires are equipped with in order to hunt their prey. She explained that although vampires are faster, stronger, and have acute senses, they are also venomous, and poison their prey when they bite.

"So… if the venom is left to spread…" I murmured.

"It takes a few days for the transformation to be complete, depending on how much venom is in the bloodstream, how close the venom enters to the heart. As long as the heart keeps beating, the poison spreads, healing, changing the body as it moves through it. Eventually the heart stops, and the conversion is finished. But all that time, every minute of it, a victim would be wishing for death."

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I could believe that easily enough now. A few days. I wondered once again how much time had passed, how much more I would have to endure. I felt ravaged, an empty, burnt-out shell. I couldn't believe that this was healing me in any way. How much more agony could I be in?

I was soon answered. I felt the burning receding from my hands and feet. At first all I felt was relief, but then, as the burning retreated through my body toward my heart, it grew even hotter. I hadn't thought that more heat was possible. I screamed again, but there was no one to hear now.

I felt my heartbeat increase, getting faster and faster. The heat in my chest rose to a new level, and I lost all form of concentration. My pulse sped up further, and then suddenly my heart took off, beating so fast that the sounds merged together into an incessant whir. It strained against my chest and my back arched off the floor. My screams stifled in my throat, and then I collapsed. There was nothing. No fire, no pain, and no pulse. It was over. I opened my eyes.

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So there you have it! Please review, I would actually like to know your opinions and see if you think I should continue with this. Also, I'd quite like some feedback on my writing style, which I know isn't to everyone's taste. I don't bite, honest! Anyways, bye for now!