** Stephanie Myers owns Twilight. Sadly, I cannot lay claim to these characters. Nor do I own the Army, although I do love my Army man.

Special thanks to herinfiniteeyes, who kindly agreed to beta for me. She rocks. And she's an incredible writer. **

Prologue

Bella could not remember a time when she had felt so cold. She wore her winter parka, gloves, and a scarf to protect her from the frigid January wind that whipped her hair into a frenzy around her face. However the cold that she was feeling ran so much deeper than a glacial winter morning. It started deep inside, in the pit of her stomach, and iced her veins until it was an effort just to move her arms and legs.

Her warmth was leaving. And he was taking the light and the heat and her heart with him. She hoped he would come back, safe, whole, undamaged, but she wasn't sure if that was entirely possible. He stood before her, straight and tall, handsome in the khaki and green uniform, with his field cap shadowing his eyes. There was sadness there, but worse, there was excitement. She swallowed hard and tried to assure herself again that it was normal for him to be excited to leave.

She watched as he hugged his sister, Alice. He leaned down and whispered something in her ear which was not meant for Bella. Bella looked down and away swiftly as Alice's face crumpled at the words.

She didn't look up again until she saw the toes of his desert boots in front of her. She leaned into his warmth without realizing what she was doing. As it usually did when she was near him, the world outside of their little bubble faded into the background. It took with it the sound of Alice's quiet sobs and the anxious chatter of the others standing a small distance away until there was only his warmth, his smell, and the blue-green expanse of his eyes.

The wind stilled momentarily and he reached up to tuck a strand of her hair behind her ear. Finally closing the distance between them, his lips ghosted lightly over her forehead, down over her closed eyelids and across the tip of her nose until they reached her mouth where they pressed firmly against her. The ice inside her began to melt as her body flooded with need and sorrow and fear. She threw her arms around him and dug her fingers into his shoulders, holding on for dear life.

He leaned back, but kissed her again and then once more.

"Bella," he sighed, running his hands through the ends of her hair and down her back. She hiccupped on a small sob and clung to him. Behind them the call went out to form up.

She clung to him still, trying not to beg him to stay, not to leave her, or even to take her with him. "Just come back," she whispered. "Please, please come back to me."

He leaned down to her again. "Nothing could keep me away. I love you. Remember that."

He looked over her shoulder to Alice, who stepped up to them and wrapped her arm around Bella's waist. He stepped away, running his hands up Bella's arms until he could grasp her wrists, pulling them gently away from his neck. He pressed kisses into her palms before turning and running back into the hangar.

Bella could only watch him go. She didn't realize she was crying until she felt Alice reach up and gently wipe away the tears that had slid silently down her cheeks. She followed Alice to the car, quietly. She waited for her to get in and start the engine. Warm air blasted suddenly through the vents and Bella felt herself crumple inside.

"Edward," she whispered, and then began to sob.

A/N So it starts. This is my first attempt at a fanfic, so please be honest, but gentle. =)