Bella

From the moment my heart started beating, I have been destined to die.

The blood that courses through my body and sustains my life is also what ensures the premature ending of it. I have been told there was a time when humans died of old age, but that time was long before I came into this world. I've lived a total of seventeen years at the Olympic Peninsula Blood Mill, or O. P. B. M., and for that I am lucky. The vampires typically make use of us around our twelfth year of life, when the body has grown large enough to satisfy and the blood is still fresh and innocent.

I am sure it's just a matter of time for me, though. 95% of all humans are drained before they reach twenty.

I gaze around the dull gray room lined with bunk beds that serves as home to me and 299 other girls my age. It is a holding cell where the vampires keep us until our time to live runs out. As I continue my scanning, a few of my companions peer up at me from their beds below. Our eyes meet, and I know we are all thinking the same thing:

How much longer?