Hey, I hope you enjoy, please don not read if you do not like rape/cutting fics. This chapter has disturbing events in it.

Thank you to the Beta's over at Project Team Beta and thanks to thedarknessofthemoon! xxx

I do not own.


Chapter 1

I stood in the bathroom, tears streaming down my pale face, holding a knife in my left hand. The light emitted by the dull glow of the bulb above my head bounced off the silver blade, shooting rays of light dancing across the bleak room. My top was on the floor, with cold wet cloths splattered around me. The fresh red cuts stood in stark contrast to the stretched, silver scars and purple and yellow bruises, ever constant reminders of the hell my life had become. She hated me. Well, both of them did. My mother and her boyfriend. I couldn't call her 'mother' though. A mother is supposed to love and cherish you, not beat you up every day. And when he did anything to me, she didn't stop him. All I had to do was speak, and in a second one of them would be attacking me. They pushed me, hit me and scarred me-deeper than what I could do to myself with my own knife.

But the knife helped. It did. Some people might think I'm strange and crazy doing it, but they're wrong. I just try to get away. It takes everything away, it really does. Even if it's just for a second, I know that they aren't there, waiting in the darkness for me. I could escape with the pain this brings.

The knife bit into my arm, just above my elbow and I didn't cry out when it snagged against my skin, putting up a little resistance as the knife pushed deeper in. I was used to the pain now. I smiled when the deep crimson blood began to flow freely out of my new wound. I smiled wider as I felt the rush of the dopamine through my body; raising my heart rate and making me shake with adrenaline.

I wasn't stupid though. I never cut myself below my elbow, never. It was far too dangerous. I didn't want to kill myself, just get away from it all. The satisfaction flowed through me as the blood dripped onto the dull, white flooring, falling into the cracked patterns the tiles were decorated with. I looked at the cut in weird fascination, proud that I was able to control this one thing. This was why I never wore t-shirts; I couldn't leave myself bare to the world, showing them what I truly was. No one must ever know my secret. No one would ever understand.

I couldn't tell anyone even if I had the choice. Bella Marie Swan. The one seventeen year old in the country who didn't have a soul to turn to. I had no one. No friends, no boyfriend, not one loving, caring person who saw me for what I really was: frightened.

Love is a strange thing. It surrounds most of us all the time. You see it when you walk down the street, you see it in your own house. But I didn't. I'm not loved. I've grown up knowing that fact. It didn't hurt as much as it used to but I could still feel the pain, gnawing at the inside of my heart, trying to get out. I had to shut it in. I had to stay blank and empty. It's the only way you can survive if you live a life like mine. I'd wondered what it must feel like, to be loved. I'd read the great love stories and imagined myself in place of the heroines. But it doesn't bring any satisfaction. When I stepped out of the day dream I always realized the same thing. I am alone. I am not loved. I never will be.

I bent down slowly, trying to avoid stretching my back too much. The painful bruise, courtesy of James, took my breath away if I moved too quickly or turned the wrong way. I picked up one of the cool cloths and held it against the flow of my blood. I pressed the other cloth against my bruise, hoping it would ease the ache I felt there with the slightest move.

How long I waited there, I do not know. But after the pain in my back eased and the blood stopped trickling from the small cut, I took the cloths away and washed them out in the sink. The water colored red as the blood that gathered was released down the drain. I put the knife and both my cloths into the secret compartment I had found at the back of the cupboard. I stood up and slipped the top over my head, my skinny arms covered by the long, black sleeves. I re-tied my long brown hair and stood looking at myself in the mirror.

I knew the reasons I had no friends, why no boys ever asked me out, except when they were dared to. You could see that I had no life in me. My eyes never sparkled like everyone else's did. They were just there, pointing out that I was dead inside. But it wasn't me that caused this.

They were the real reason. They'd ruined my life. They terrified me until I was too scared to even ask them something. They thought it was funny. When one hit me, the other would laugh and gloat by their side. Ever since I was 5, when my mother found James, this was what happened. He had changed everything.

The girls in my class thought I had some sort of skin disease because I insisted on getting changed alone, away from the prying eyes and mocking laughs of my schoolmates. I was constantly jumping at the slightest noise. The boys at my school would shoot out at me and try and scare me, just to laugh at how scared it made me. They didn't know what they were driving me to do. My eyes filled with tears as I realised, once again, how worthless everyone thought I was. I looked up at the single light bulb hanging from the ceiling, in an attempt to hold back the tears threatening to spill again. Other people didn't have to go through this. Why me? What had I done that should cause this much pain as revenge? Self pity swallowed me whole. They were right, they always were. I was useless, there wasn't any point in me being here. I blinked fiercely, forcing the tears to stay in my eyes. I had cried enough. I grabbed the sink and squeezed tight. I took a deep breath and managed to gain control of myself somewhat. I looked in the mirror; nobody would know what had just happened.

I wiped away the tears and pressed my ear against the door. There was no noise from behind it. It meant I could safely escape to the freedom of my room. I unlocked the door and ran across the hallway to my room, shutting the door quietly. I turned around and yelped with fright, my body reacting immediately, shaking slightly in fear. My mother was on the bed. This wasn't good.

"What are you doing, Mum?" I hated calling her 'mum', it was a sign of affection. It was wrong to use it. I wished with all my might I was brave enough to call her Victoria, but I knew that would bring a punishment, one I didn't want to face.

"Sitting waiting for you, you little bitch. And don't you dare talk to me like that, it's my house and I'll do what I want, okay? Next time, I won't warn you!" I nodded.

"Why were you waiting?" I whispered. I didn't want to know the answer. Had I done something wrong again? I noticed two large cases on the floor."And why are the suitcases there?" My mind came up blank at this point. Victoria smiled evilly, her smile reaching her scarily, glinting eyes and making me even more terrified.

"I want you to have everything you own packed. You are leaving tomorrow." What? Were they chucking me out onto the street? My eyes widened and Victoria's face lit up at my discomfort.

"Where am I going? Mum, what are you doing?" Even I could hear the terror in my voice. I would get punished later for being so scared of her.

"You're going away." Still the evil, glinting smile. What the hell was happening?

"Mum, tell me where I'm going!" I said, absolutely terrified. She stood up, towering over me and her voice boomed, seeming to echo around the room.

"You're going to a care home, you stupid, ignorant girl! You should be glad we're not throwing you out!" She brought her hand up and swiped at me. Her hand connected with my cheek making a sharp crack and I cried out, falling backwards against the wall besides the door and bringing my arms up to protect myself from anymore hits. Victoria came towards me and swung the door open, to smash into me, the handle sinking straight into my ribs. She slammed the door again and then she was gone.

I walked over to my bed and sank onto it, yet more tears filling my eyes. I curled my knees to my chest, hoping that would keep the hole in my chest together. The information was still sinking in. I knew they had always hated me, but now they didn't want me. I had always assumed this would be my life forever. I had a routine: school, a fight, a cut, probably another fight, bed. It was a horrible routine but it was there. And she had kept me. Maybe I'd been hoping that part of her had wanted me, seeing as she still kept me, seeing that she hadn't given me away. But she was doing that now. No doubt James had given her the idea. Oh god, I was stupid. I was a naïve little cow. To think they might have wanted me. Me! No one could want me. At least I was getting away though. I had that tiny bit of hope that where I went would be good, that I might be loved. That I could finally get away from the abuse.

So I packed. Everything. Everything I had.

And the knife.

Just in case.

I looked at my watch. It was 7 o'clock and I guessed I wasn't getting tea but I went downstairs anyway, just to try. Victoria looked up as I walked in. She pointed to a lump of bread on the counter and I went and took it, nibbling at the edge. It was stale.

"James is coming over tonight so I want you to stay upstairs all evening, do you understand?" I never came downstairs anyway. And I would never come down by choice when he was here. He scared me almost as much as Victoria. I nodded and left the room, going to back up to my room. I ate the bread quickly. Now there was nothing to do. I had no books, they were all packed; books were the one thing that Victoria had allowed me to have.

I got ready for bed and lay down staring at the blank wall across from me, trying to ignore the pain that was pushing at my boundaries. I curled up, wrapping my arms around my body and eventually fell into a restless sleep.

"WHERE THE HELL HAVE YOU BEEN?" I looked bleary eyed at my clock. 3:16 AM. Great, her boyfriend was here. James crashed into something. I heard it hit the floor with a loud thump. He was drunk.

"Calm down, woman! I was just down the pub!" He was slurring his words and I heard another crash as he banged into something else downstairs.

"IT'S 3:16! YOU'VE BEEN THERE ALL NIGHT! I MADE YOU DINNER, YOU UNGRATEFUL COW!"

"WELL, MAYBE YOU SHOULD HAVE ASKED IF I WOULD BE HOME!" Another crash. Then footsteps came storming up the stairs. A door slammed at the other end of the corridor. Maybe now I could get some sleep. James would stay downstairs and sleep in the couch. I closed my eyes again but they shot open when my door creaked open. The room was in almost pitch darkness yet I could just make out a silhouette in the doorway, standing there, watching me. I could smell alcohol in the air. It was James. I trembled slightly in fear, my breath hitching as I inhaled. What was he going to do? If I was lucky I might get away with a couple of bruises. If not, a broken bone looked likely. James was always worse when he was drunk. He staggered through the doorway, shutting the door behind him.

"Belllllllaaa? You awake?" he slurred, creeping eerily through the darkness to my bed. My eyes were adjusting to the darkness now and I could see him stalking across the room. He flung back the covers as I lay shaking in fear. He looked down at me with something foreign in his eyes.

"You know, you're a beautiful girl." No, please no. He couldn't be! He trailed a hand across my cheek and down my body, to the hem of my top. No, no!

"J...James, please! Don't do this!" He growled at me before he heaved himself on top of me.

"I know you want this. All the time, you look at me with need. You're so beautiful. You're always calling to me, every moment of every day." His hand slid under my top and I trembled at his touch.

"Please, don't!" The tears were running down my cheeks. He grabbed the sides of my top and ripped it off me. I whimpered and tried to get away from him but his grip was too tight.

"Don't try to run, Bella. Or I'll make this worse." I cried out and he hit me sharply.

"Do not talk, Bella." So I just lay there while he did it, trying not to think. It seemed to happen in flashes. His mouth was on mine, forcing his tongue down my throat as I tried not to wretch in disgust; his hands were on my breasts, squeezing them hard, making me bite my lip to stop from crying out with pain; he was stripping me down, making me strip him too, with shaking hands. And then he did it. He forced himself into me, causing me to cry out as the pain level grew to the extreme as he invaded my body, thrusting in hard, gripping my hips and forcing me around like a rag doll. I closed my eyes and cried, trying to wish it all away. Somehow, I was watching it from elsewhere. A tiny girl, with a brute of a man on top of her, was crying. The girl was silent though, as if her tears had been drawn on with white crayon. The light zigzagging across her face and the man's animalistic grunts made it seem like a horror scene. I suppose it was. Slowly, I felt myself being drawn back to the girl and when I opened my eyes, I once again could see him on top of me. I let out a strangled cry, as much as I could manage before he clamped a rough hand down over my mouth.

When he finished he collapsed beside me. I tried to get as far away from him as possible but he pulled me closer. I tried to hit him, anything to get away from the disgusting monster in front of me. I was numb, not comprehending what had just happened. I just knew I had to get away from him before he did something else. Suddenly he fell out of the bed and lay on the floor, out cold. Isn't it ironic that my rescue came in the form of alcohol, just like it began? I curled myself in a ball, my fingers scratching at my face, trying to force the pain away. My endurance was over and it wasn't long until I fell into a sleep full of nightmares.

***

I was woken up by the sound of a loud crash. Victoria stood in the doorway, glaring at me with all her might. James was still lying naked on the floor. I wrapped the covers around me tighter, desperate to get a bigger barrier between everyone and me. Never had I thought that he would do that. I knew he was bad and horrible, but what he did was beyond my imagination. My mind flashed through what I remembered of last night and I curled up even further away from the creature on the floor, my mind warped with what he had done.

"You bitch," Victoria said so quietly I almost didn't hear her. Was she being serious! Her boyfriend had just raped me! I started crying, loud, rasping sobs.

"But...b...but he...he...r...raped me!"

"YOU LIAR!" She threw something at me and it hit my head. "YOU FUCKING LIAR! YOU SLEPT WITH HIM! YOU BITCH! YOU'VE TAKEN EVERYTHING FROM ME, YOU FUCKING WORTHLESS PIECE OF SHIT! GET FUCKING DRESSED THEN GET OUT OF MY HOUSE!"

"Please! He raped me!" She just slammed my door. Sobbing uselessly, I got up, stepping over the horrific reminder of last night on the floor. I got dressed quickly, my mind reeling. How could she think I slept with him willingly? Did she not see how distraught I was? Her words bore into me, eating away at me like little flies, desperate to break Bella down to a small shell of a person. They had succeeded.

James stirred on the floor. I backed into the corner, terrified he would do something to me again. My body was sore all over from him and I felt so dirty. I was covered in the stench of him, like a whore. The alcohol mixed with sweat and a faint odour of semen made me gag when I took a breath. My body shook at the memory of him entering me and the pain it brought to me. He looked up at me, smiling wickedly while I crouched in the corner away from him. He pulled on his clothes that lay strewn on the floor from last night. They still smelt of alcohol. He nodded at me to go to the door ahead of him. I sneaked along the wall to the door, not wanting him out of sight for fear he might attack me from behind. I saw him pick up the suitcases and I quickly went down the stairs, my arms wrapped around my body, holding myself together.

You're getting away from here, you're getting away from here.

I kept repeating this in my mind, the thought giving me hope. Victoria didn't say anything to me, just glared, and appeared to be trying not to throw something at me.

"Get to the car," she growled at me. As I went to the door, James swung the suitcases round and they hit me. I fell to the floor, the wind knocked out of me. Victoria stepped over me and went to the car. James, though, he helped me up. He ran his hand along the back of my thigh and over the slit between my legs. I started shaking again. Not again, please not again.

"Please. Don't do it!" He looked at me and I turned and ran to the car. I stepped in, sweating and still shaking after the encounter with James.

You're getting away from here, you're getting away from here.

I repeated my mantra over and over on the drive to the airport. I sat hunched up on the seat. No one spoke a word to me. James shot dirty wink after dirty wink at me through the mirror and I cringed every time and eventually closed my eyes, desperate to get away from them both. But when I closed my eyes, all I could see were flashes from last night. I couldn't get away from it. Everywhere I turned it was there, waiting to terrify me and hurt me.

I looked at the gate we went to. It read Seattle. I was going to Seattle? That was miles away. I lived in Phoenix.

James sat next to me on the plane. I started shaking as soon as I smelt him near me. He rested his hand on my thigh and I whimpered. His dark eyes glared at me and I got the urge to cry out. Someone would hear me and they couldn't do anything about it! James must have seen something in my eyes though. He released me and turned to talk to Victoria. I was left alone for the journey. Left alone with the dark memories, jumping along the edges of my vision, every so often one of them breaking through. My own personal horror movie. I wanted to die. I wanted to die so much then but I wanted something more than that. Just one thing, is that too much to ask for? Please, someone, give me a reason to live.


This chapter is the only one that is so bad. It will get better quite quickly.

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