Shattered Independence

Chapter One: Dancing with Danger


I am never late for anything, what is wrong with me? I feel as though I am in a Twilight Zone. I can't seem to keep it together lately. If I leave in the next five minutes, I might make the end of my first class. Why do I let Alice talk me into going out on school nights? Ladies night my ass. It all started innocent enough. I was at a night club with Alice and of course she got to play Bella Barbie. I gave up arguing with her a long time ago. It was so much easier that way. We both knew she would win anyway. The club was just like any other college town club. It was retro with a splash of vintage with a live band and killer lights. The way the lights danced around the room with splashes of purple and red made you feel mysterious and dare I say sexy.

After the third tequila shot I was dizzy from the booze. Alice always teased me of being such a light weight. I couldn't help it. Alice was on her fifth shot, how someone so tiny can consume so much alcohol is beyond me. I staggered to the dance floor. I was glad Alice made me wear this barely there shirt, I was getting hot. Sweat was glistening down my torso suddenly I didn't feel exposed I felt relieved that I wasn't wearing what I wanted to wear which I would have been taken to the emergency room from heat stroke. It is like she was always five steps ahead of me and that is why I love her so much. She always knows what is best for me. As on cue she and Rose slides in to dance with me.

"There you are. We thought we lost you." Alice beamed jumping up and down like we were playing hide and seek and she won. I couldn't help but giggle.

We started to dance and grind. All of a sudden our small circle of three got bigger. I usually hate attention but knowing that it was probably Rose and Alice getting the attention I didn't mind so much. I knew I was safe around them. Who would want me when Rose the super model and Alice the perky cheerleader type was next to plain old Bella. I don't understand how I ended up being best friends with beauty queens. I knew that they were so much more than Barbie Dolls. They are loyal, kind, compassionate, independent and yes even a little bitchy when need be. They were completely honest. I accepted them and they accepted me. We laughed together and we cried together, although the tears rarely came into play. We all hated to seem weak.

All of a sudden I felt warm hands slide across my bare back. "What the Hell" I assumed it was on accident. So I casually moved closer to Alice who was dancing like a pro. She can even make bump and grinding look graceful.

All of a sudden it was like it came out nowhere. I was being grabbed around the waist, spun and fell into the guys' chest. I looked up and I seen the lust filled fury of an unknown face.

I was stunned at first. He started to run his hands across my back and down my hip. I stepped back and he grabbed my loop from my pants and pulled me closer. Okay now I know that wasn't an accident. I cleared my throat. "Excuse, Me?" I stammered.

He grabbed my ass and I slapped him. He grabbed my arm and pulled me closer to whisper in my ear

"Quit teasing me! You know you want me." He licked his bottom lip and growled.

I was like a deer caught in the head lights. I hate showing fear. I hate that he can even scare me.

I squared my shoulders and pulled my arm from his hands. I stared him down like the piece of shit he is.

My eyes were fierce with hate. I don't know what his problem was but I wasn't going to take any more of this. What I did not only surprised him but me as well.

I leaned in as close as I could. I could feel his arousal on my stomach. I wrapped my hands around his neck seductively and whispered "Don't ever fucken touch me again." My hands tangled his hair yanked his hair back bit his shoulder the same time my knee slammed in to his man hood.

"Fuck" he bent down in pain as I smirked, bent down and said " I hope it was as good for you as it was for me." Then I flipped around to see Alice, Rose and some people I don't know frozen with wide eyes that screamed what the fuck just happened. I walked to the back exit needing some space to think.

Alice and Rose came running after me. "What just happened?"

Rose knew I didn't want to talk about it. "Another round of tequila"

'' Thanks," Rose, knew exactly what I needed. I didn't want to feel helpless or scared. I hated to be center of attention above all else.

We went back to our table and started downing some more shots. It was then that Jessica appeared.

"Did I see you dancing with James? OMG he is so fine, "

"I am sure you two would make a great couple" I retorted.

"I think he is interested in you though, I don't know why. But that is James he won't stop until he gets his prey and I guess you are his piece of meat these days."

Excuse me? I must be drunk cause she just didn't make me out to be his play toy what is she thinking? I am not anyone's whore let alone James.

"UGG ….Seriously , Jess, I am not interested in the slightest you can go for him it won't bother me I promise"

"Do you not know who James is?" Jessica was star struck.

"I know he doesn't know what personal space means"

"He is the most wanted man in Chicago, he has looks, money and power"

"Power? What is he batman. Then we started to all sing Batmans theme song."

"Wait, are you talking about James Tracker" Alice eyes glazed over as to think through the fog of our intoxication.

"James Tracker, we have got to go now" Rose ordered.

With that I was more than confused. Rose is never intimidated nor does she ever run from trouble but something about James made her nervous.

"What is going on?"

"I will tell you about it when we get back to your room but we need to go now?"

I knew she was scared and that terrified me. Rose doesn't get scared. People are scared of her not the other way around. I slammed one more shot back and staggered to the car. I barely could keep open my eyes, so tired all of a sudden.

Chapter 2: The Family

James POV

There she was the one that got away from Royce. At least that is what she thinks. Royce never gives up. He always gets what he wants and that blond bomb shell has no clue Royce owns her. I have been stationed to watch her all semester. The life was too much for her and she wanted out. He must of loved her because he let her go. Just because she left the life didn't mean she could leave him. When she started seeing this guy named Mike Newton, Royce found out and it was all over for poor Mikey boy. He was now in a coma at St. Marcus Hospital. It was said he had a motor cycle accident but I know better. When she started to date Tyler, he had enough and paid her a visit. He pointed out that even though she was untouchable that the people she loved weren't. Tyler was a prime example. That finally tamed her. You would think she would crack immediately under his power. I was wrong she was a fire cracker that one. She always had a mouth on her and never showed weakness.

I had never seen the draw until now. Wow, that little girl with the big brown eyes and bitchy brunette was intoxicating. I had to have her. She will submit to me and I will own her. "Shit were did she go?"

James wasn't too worried he knew everything about Rose, who she knows, where she goes. I know where to find her and her bitchy friend. This job gets better and better.

Bella is her name. I kept my eye on her and the pixy chic sense Rose was best friends with them. If she didn't play nice for Royce then there was always the threat to harm one of those pretty helpless little kittens. They are to enticing yet so predictable. They seem fierce but they would self sacrifice themselves to save someone they love. That is weak. That is why my job is so easy. I just take what they want most and they come to me begging me for mercy. Bella will be no different.

Maybe Rose can help me tame my lioness into a sex kitten. She can show her the ropes in our family. How can she really believe you can leave your family? Not only was Royce a major player, The Boss man was her father. His name is, Aro. Not only was Aro the Boss he was one of the most feared man in Chicago. Of course he knew Royce was in love with Rose, he knew everything. He also knew that Rose would be his demise. He said nothing can ruin a man more than a woman. He loved his daughter but also knew that if they continued he would have his best man distracted, killed or wanting out. Power was like air to Aro. He would sacrifice his only daughter happiness to maintain it.

When Rose wanted to leave for college for a "normal" life, Aro supported her. He did however inform me and Jacob to go with her to make sure she is safe. She hated the idea but knew that it was the only way he would let her go. He had enemies, all thou no one was stupid enough to cross him; he wouldn't take any chances with his one and only daughter. Of course no one except the three of us knew about Rose's colorful background. She changed her last name to Hale when she arrived to UW, with being so far away from home no one knew.


"What the Hell Rose?" Bella yelled as I pushed her into the safety of my car.

"I told you I will tell you later, Get in we are leaving." I sneared.

"Fine" she slurred . No doubt she was toasted. I wonder if she will remember what happened. She might not but I know the damn pixy will. I love Alice but there isn't much that gets past her. We were definitely going to have to have a talk. If there is anyone I could trust it would be these two. I love them like my own family. I tried not to. I knew my love was tainted. They wouldn't be safe if I loved them, I pushed them away with my bitchiness and sarcasm to have it thrown back at me. I loved that they didn't take shit from me and could give as good as I gave. We formed a respect for each other and after they helped me go through the Mike and Tyler fiasco I realized I needed them. We formed a sister hood that is unbreakable. I hated to keep secrets from them. I was afraid that if they knew they couldn't deal with it. How do you tell your best friends my dad chops people up and throws them in the river if you cross him. He is lethal, but he loves me and although I hate what he does I love him too. Oh my ex-boyfriend is possessive and I can't love anyone because he would have him killed.

What happened to me I use to be so fearless? Now I feel broken. Broken but not shattered, with that thought I turned to Alice who was tucking Bella into her oversized bed and whispered, "Alice we need to talk."

"I know, let me slip in to my PJ's and I will meet you into the living room in five"

I just nodded and headed to change myself. We shared a house since none of us liked our dorm room mates and decided to get together and rent this house. It was big enough for five but just kept it to three of us. We turned one extra room into a study and the smallest room into a closet.

"Alice?" I asked when I heard noise coming from the kitchen.

"Hey, I'll be in there in just a second." She grabbed the tray of goodies, chocolate strawberries and wine. This is why I love her always knows what to do to cheer me up. I gave her an attentive smile.

I curled up on the couch and started my story.

Alice listened without interruption and after words instead of yelling, running away or giving me the stink eye she just took in a deep breath, and hugged me.

"You are not your father, and did you really think you could get rid of us that easily?"

I just laughed, feeling weightless for the first time in my life.

"Rose, are you going to tell, Bella?"

"I don't know. I want to keep her safe. I know she would never tell her dad or anyone else, but the guilt will eat at her."

Bella's dad was a retired sheriff from Forks Washington. Small time cop my father didn't even blink an eye when he was told who my roommates were. Like he would ever be intimidated by a small town cop.

"We don't have to tell her right away, I will be surprised if she remembers anything, she would die if she knew she was grinding on the dance floor and assaulted the hottest guy there."

"Shit, I almost forgot about James"


"James, he umm works for my father, so does that damn mutt Jacob."

" I don't get it, when, where, how, What!" she speed through all of that at once I knew she was confused and she hated not seeing what was in front of her.

"Jacob, is sort of like a watch out, he watches over me to make sure, I am safe like a damn babysitter. I hate it but my father has enemies and we compromised something my father never does. He had James and Jacob come with me and checks back with my father daily. James is more of an investigator, he knows every ones business. He is just as lethal as Royce and my father, Jacob is more of a lap dog. "

"I seen the way James looked at Bella, tonight. He looked like he wanted to eat her. What will he do to her?" Alice asked as her eyes glistened with unshed tears.

"I don't know, I never seen James like that before. He always gets what he wants. Usually, doesn't even have to ask for it. His smile usually is all he needs to have the girls drop their panties." At that Alice blushed.

"Oh my God, Alice when?"

"Umm… last semester, at Jessica's party."

"Well, James has never been rejected, not only did Bella reject him she racked one of Chicago's most notorious gangster. Only Bella would be able to draw that much danger and not have a clue."

My stomach started to twist in knots knowing what exactly James is capable of. What if he is fixated on Bella, I know he won't let it drop. I think the chase is part of the seduction. He is like a Hunter and Bella is the unknowing doe. He is sick enough to take what he wants, just like that vile Royce. I hate that I loved him. He betrayed me, I loved him flawed and all. We were going to get married, and I wanted to wait to make love until we were wed. He however couldn't wait and I found him in bed with my cousin, Tayna. She was staying the summer with us on my father's estate. He was not even sorry. He just looked at me continued to pound into my cousin. She looked up as she was on all fours and seen my face she smirked. The bitch smirked. I of course was livid. I smiled sweetly and walked out of the room with my head held high. I wasn't going to give either one the satisfaction of seeing me cry.

Instead I walked into Alex's Room. He was the only one that Royce didn't intimidate. I smiled seductively and was rewarded with a gentle touch. His room was quite larger than the "guards". Marcus and Calius were my father's right hand men. They were like brothers and Alex was Marcus's son. We weren't related but it was clear that Alex was untouchable just like me.

We didn't love each other, far from it. He just had away to make me feel numb. He made me feel weightless, safe and I knew that if we slept together there wasn't anything Royce could do about it. The power I felt at that moment was unchartered. It was pure lust, raw and untamed, I needed him to take away the shock of betrayal and he was more than willing. His need was just as much as mine.

I was so numb from the pent up pain Royce and Tayna caused me I didn't even feel Alex break my bearer and plow into me. My teeth locked tight and my mind was detached from my body. I could feel nothing but Alex inside of me. All of a sudden heat flared through my whole body, I began to shake uncontrollably. Alex rubbed a sensitive spot and then grabbed a hold of my hips and dug deeper into me. I screamed in pleasure followed by his single "Fuck" as he spilled into me. That was the only word spoken that night. I smiled back at him and pulled on his robe and exited his bedroom. I walked down the hall to my bedroom. As I opened the door, Royce was sitting on the edge of my bed.

He took one look at me in Alex's robe and locked his jaw took in a deep breath. He didn't look retentive neither did I. I sashayed across the room. Opened up my robe and said as I ran my hand across my body. This is no longer just yours. He pushed himself off of the bed with animal like instinct. He grabbed me by my waist and pressed his hard body against his and ripped the robe off of me. I could have stopped him with one scream and the whole guard would be here with vengeance. I just looked into his deep blue eyes and was lost once again. I hated that he had power over me. I hated that I loved him. "Mine" he growled.

I pushed him to the edge of the bed and crawled into his lap. "I hate you" I whispered. I kissed him passionately with that kiss was my anger, my lust, my insecurities were all laced into that kiss. His arms snaked across my back on to my hips and threw me onto the bed.

I don't know when exactly the memories started to become dreams.

"Rose… Rose…. Damn it Rose wake your sorry ass up!" Bella was staring down at me in panic.

"What" I growled.

"My truck won't start and I am late get your ass up and help me."

Chapter 3


Rose didn't have time to fix "Big Red" my ancient truck instead she just drove me to school and told me to call when I needed a ride back home. I managed to make it to class in time to hand in my paper. Angela said I could copy her notes so that I wouldn't be too far behind. She is so sweet. We made arrangements to meet at the library tonight and then get a bit to eat at Eskimo Joes. I love their bacon cheese fries. Angela and I were walking through campus to our next class when Angela asked if I knew the guy leaning against the tree. I glanced over and seen James staring at me with a smirk across his face. When our eyes met he winked at me as I cringed. There was something about him that made my skin crawl. Sure he was hot. He definitely had that bad boy thing going for him, still it was something in my enter core that was screaming run. Angela noticed me tense up and instead of asking me what was wrong we just walked a little faster. I have always appreciated her ability to not pry and ask questions and she was unbelievably observant most of the time. I didn't even notice James until she mentioned him. Why was he here? Was he waiting on me? No that is silly, I am just paranoid. I could hardly concentrate, the sinking feeling that something bad is about to happen.

It didn't help that I had another dream of a green eyed man with untamable bronze hair. I have never seen him before and in my dream we were soul mates of sorts. He was protecting me yelling at me to run and I wouldn't leave without him. He was then shot in the chest, there was blood everywhere, all I could do was hold him rocking him begging him not to leave me and I would always wake up with a cold sweet yelling don't leave me.

"Bella, are you okay?" Angela leaned over next to me. "You seem distracted. Do you need to talk?"

"I am fine, I just spaced out for a minute, it has been an off day"

As I walked outside toward the community building I decided to call Rose to tell her I would met her at the coffee house across campus in about a half hour. As I walked toward the coffee house I couldn't help but feel I was being followed. I glanced behind me and felt silly and paranoid. I laughed at myself and continued walking. I went inside to order my favorite, a mocha late' with caramel on top. I took a seat and began reading my favorite worn out copy of "Withering Heights" I was engrossed into my book I didn't even hear someone sit beside me until I heard him clear is throat.

I looked up and seen a boy from my math class. He was so obnoxious with his obvious flirting and not able to take a hint.

"Isabella, my home girl, what are you doing here?"

"It's Bella" I cringed and picked up my book trying to let him get the hint I am reading and don't want to be bothered. However this is Mike we were talking about and he doesn't handle subtlety.

"I was wondering what you were doing Friday Night."

Crap, not again how many excuses can a girl come up with.

"I am washing my hair"

"Oh, what about after that?"

You have got to be kidding me. "Umm," I was stuck what do I say now, I wish Rose was here. She is so much better at blunt bitchiness than I am. Sure I can give as good as I get, but he is such a puppy and I don't want to hurt his feelings. I was about to break it to him as gentle as possible and if that didn't work I was going to lie and tell him I am a lesbian.

Then to my surprise I heard a chuckle and raised my eyes to see the most attractive man I have ever seen. A cocky smirk came across his face. When Mike wasn't looking I looked over at the sex on a stick and mouth "Please Help Me" In my best doe like eyes. I was not the hottest chick on the block but no one could resist my pouty face. I bit my lip a habit I formed in High School.

"So, I was thinking that after you wash your hair we could maybe go to the movies or a club, I happen to be a great dancer."

Then the answer to my prayers walked up and placed his arm around me and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Sorry, I am late Honey; I got out of class a little late. Who is your new friend?"

Wow, his lips are soft, and oh my god he smells delicious. I could have swore when he touched me there was a spark and I could still feel the current flowing through us. I knew my body was betraying me again with the blush that was quickly spreading through my checks and down my chest. I think it is getting hot in here.

"This is Mike… Mike this is my boyfriend …"

"Hi Mike my name is Edward nice to meet you." He interrupted at the perfect moment.

" I am so sorry, I didn't realize you were taken." He looked hurt and a little confused, I almost felt sorry for him but then he had to go and open his mouth again.

"Bella, if you ever want a change of scenery? Give me a call." He winked and got up to leave.

"Sorry, Mike but I don't think I will ever get tired of the view, I said as a leaned toward Edward a little to intimately as he grabbed a hold of my waist and nestled into the crease of my neck and inhaled as he winked at Mike and said "I know I won't". He said it so low and seductively that I am not for sure if I was meant to hear it.

After that he stormed out of the Coffee House as we suppressed our laughter.

"Thank You so much, that was close, I thought I was going to have to lie and tell him I was a lesbian or a nun, I owe you one."

"How about you tell me your name? You know mine it is only fair."

"Bella Swan, "I said as I began to blush and look down.

"Beautiful" He whispered. I tilted my head and was wondering if I really heard him correctly. He couldn't think that I am beautiful, I am so plain and not beautiful, classy or unique I am just plain Bella.

"Bella, it means Beautiful doesn't it"

"Umm Yes I believe it is French." Abort, abort what are you doing here Bella, you have got to go before you spill coffee on him or start drooling over him. Right then Rose pulled up and saved me from any more embarrassment.

"That's my ride, it was nice to meet you Edward" I stated as I turned to leave. I practically ran to Rose's car. I can't believe that I flirted with him. Was he flirting back? It doesn't' matter he is so not my type. He is probably a spoiled rich kid who is sleeping his way through campus; don't get your hopes up, Bella. I knew this but still I couldn't stop thinking of his eyes boring into mine and the softness of his lips and STOP you can control yourself your acting like a hormonal teenager.

"Hey, How is the truck coming" I asked trying to slow down my heart beat. I could hear it pounding behind my ears and feel my face blushing. I was not surprised when this didn't get passed Rose.

"What's got you all hot and bothered?" She smirked.

"Nothing, let's go" I mumbled.

"I don't think so. I want to see what got you looking like you had a thrill without the drill."

"Eloquently spoken Rose."

"I am not the Lit major, but I do know tension when I see it. You have I wanna fuck written all over your face. Spill or I am calling Alice and she is a fierce force to be reckoned with. She makes me look like a kitten." She stated as she pealed out onto the highway. Her driving is scarier than Alice with coffee.

"Fine, then can we drop it. I am so not in his league anyway." I said as I sighed at the truth in those words. I know I am no cow, but I am not exactly a Betty either.

"First, that doesn't sound like the Bella, I know. You are confident; don't care what others think of you and crazy loyal. Second He'd be a fool to pass you up. Where did these insecurities come from Bells?" She asked me with genuine care in her eyes.

"Here is the thing Rose, I know guys see me as the girl next door type, especially being roomies with you and Alice, like I don't know what they fantasies about . Seriously, I have been raised by a pack of guys, a single dad; even my best friends were guys up until I moved here. I never got along with girls they were jealous bitches who couldn't see past their own insecurities. I guess I never allowed myself to feel insecure because no one ever appealed to me to where I needed to doubt myself. I know too much of what guys think and what they want. I don't want to be…. I want the guy I am with to respect me. Does that make any sense? I guess I am a little old fashion; I like to call it more self preservation than anything, because nothing can destroy a person like love found and lost. My father has been nursing that wound for decades."

I began to daze off into memories of my mother leaving my father for a younger man and even though she is more like my daughter than my mother I envied her child like freedom.

"You know Bella; you can't always hide your heart away it deserves to be loved. Love is like freedom, you have to fight for it. "

"Okay enough of this Hallmark talk, I think I like it better when you talk dirty to me Rose." I smirked and she laughed. "That's the Bella, I know and Love."

"So, who is this guy who has you all Emo? You ought to know I will find out one way or the other so you might as well tell me now and save yourself the fresh blush"

"Edward I don't believe I caught his last name but he has fucked me hair, and eyes green as emeralds. Oh did I mention he had a panty dropping smile." Did I just say all of that out loud? I guess I did. Where is my mental filter today?