Prologue: Edward Masen

Chicago, Illinois: 1918

I remember the first time I met Edward Masen.

It was a chilly Saturday afternoon in January and I had set out to run a quick errand for my father, Charlie Swan. Not that I minded, since there wasn't much to do in Chicago, Illinois on a January afternoon anyway. It didn't help matters that I was new and didn't know anyone yet. The local school was still on holiday break and classes didn't resume for another few days.

I had moved to Chicago from Arizona. I loved my mother, Renee, and already missed her, but I knew I was doing the right thing by moving. Her new husband, Phil, played baseball and he traveled a lot. I knew if I were to stay home, she would also have to stay and would hardly ever see him. Moving to Chicago to bond with Charlie in the mean time didn't sound like a bad idea. In fact, I almost welcomed a change.

This was how I found myself making the short commute to the general store and back to get a newspaper, so that Charlie could find out what was in store for the Chicago Cubs and what was going on in the baseball world. This was a world that I could care less about but if it wasted a half hour, then that was fine by me.

I pulled my coat tighter around myself as I walked from the general store and over the unfamiliar foot bridge, completely immersed in my own thoughts. I should have been paying attention, due to my awful coordination and luck. This would explain why I was completely caught off guard when I suddenly slipped.

My heart jumped into my throat and I tried to physically prepare myself in a second for what I knew was coming. I would probably land flat on my back and break it. Even if my fall turned out not to be that dramatic I would at least hurt something. I was vaguely aware and dismayed as Charlie's newspaper went flying out of my hand.

I closed my eyes tightly, waiting for the dreadful impact. But it never came. Shocked, I opened my eyes and saw that I was in the arms of a complete stranger.

And it was a male. I instantly became breathless and more awkward than usual. I had never had much luck with boys in Arizona, and I expected Chicago wouldn't be that much different.

The stranger gently set me on my feet and handed me the newspaper, which was still in perfect condition. I tried not to gape at him. He was not only quick, having saved both the newspaper and me; he was also beautiful.

He was much taller than I was, with untamed bronze hair and striking green eyes, and he looked about my age. He had a friendly, crooked smile, which he was directing towards me at that very moment.

"Thank you," I muttered, embarrassed, trying to get my act together. I found it difficult to look him in the eye.

He nodded in response. "Ice," he said good-naturedly, "is not especially kind in these parts of Chicago. I haven't seen you around before – are you new?"

I nodded. "I just moved here a week ago." I was surprised at how comfortable I felt with him, although I had only known him for literally thirty seconds.

The stranger stuck his hand out. "I'm Edward Masen."

I shook his warm, strong hand quickly. "Bella Swan."

Edward smiled again. "Well Bella," he said. "Could I walk you home?"

I hesitated. I didn't know this boy and I wasn't exactly social or on the lookout for new friends.

"There might be more ice," he added. "And I'm sure that newspaper has an important destination."

Yes, Charlie's kitchen table. Not seeing any harm, I nodded. I allowed him to walk me the short distance home, as a very light snow began to fall.

That was the very beginning of a long and heart-breaking, yet beautiful, journey. I didn't know at that moment that this Edward was to become my best friend.

And I especially didn't know what he was to become.

A/N: This is basically a re-post of the prologue I posted last night. At the beginning, I had put that the story took place in 1901, when it really should say 1918. I realized this was a major type-o (I wasn't even thinking!) and since I'm technologically challenged and can't figure out how to edit my document and have revised mistakes show up in the already posted story, I decided to just post this again. But other than changing the date, the prologue is exactly the same - nothing has been changed.

But anyway, I had orginally put that although I'm in the middle of writing another fanfic, this idea just came to me and I really wanted to see where I could go with it. I hope it seems realistic because I'm not an expert on the twentieth century. Any feedback is really appreciated =)