A/N: Welcome, everyone to my new venture. If you are one of my regular readers, then thanks so much for sticking with me. If you are a new reader, then thanks for taking interest in this story.:) I hope everyone enjoys this! This story contains violence and murder, so be warned.:) Thanks to my beautiful and talented beta, AydenMorgen. Read her fic Empty Panes & Pretty Things-it's brilliant! Love to all my Twitter ladies, and my readers! Please review-I love them!

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Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or its characters, but the storyline is mine.:)


The knife whipped through the air, tearing at the flesh of the young woman in its path. Shock and horror overtook her expression as the blade was buried in her back. Her body convulsed at the sudden impact, and her wide eyes stung with fresh tears.

There had been no warning of anyone else in the apartment, no noise. Just the quiet sound of her own breathing in the bedroom. Then she felt the pain. Blinding pain that brought her to her knees. She tried to scream but could not gather any air into her lungs.

The knife was yanked out of her body. It struck again, this time plunging into her neck. Her body gave up the last of its strength, and she sunk closer and closer to the floor. Her coral cheek was already losing its lush color when it hit the ugly pink carpet. She went limp. As the blood from her wounds created a pool beneath her, she could feel herself fading.

She heard the muffled footsteps as the intruder walked away from her and out of the room. Her vision was becoming blurry, and suddenly she felt nothing. The pain disappeared in a flash. She knew she was close. The numbness throughout her entire body was a welcomed relief from the agony she had just experienced.

As the remaining glint of life left her, a sob registered in her ears that she knew didn't come from her. Couldn't have come from her. Before she could determine its origin, she was gone.

*~*~*The Next Day*~*~*

EPOV

The crime scene was perfect. Perfect from a criminal's perspective anyway. There were no signs of a struggle or intrusion, and the victim was free of any defensive wounds that would possibly yield any useful evidence. The blood splatter had been kept to a minimum as it seemed the killer only struck two times, once in the back and once in the neck. But the victim's black dress was visibly soaked with blood, and a coagulated jelly-like pool had formed underneath her body. The most blood seemed to have come from the wound in her neck, which most likely had stuck an artery and would have bled out quite rapidly. The other wound in her back also bled significantly. The point of entry was apparent by a jagged tear in the fabric of her dress.

Her long blonde hair was caked with dried blood and was spread wildly across her face, obstructing any view of her features. Black stiletto heels adorned her feet, and a small red leather purse lay about a foot away from her hip. She looked to be in her early twenties perhaps. A black handled knife sat on the floor near the victim's head. The blade looked to be painted red, and blood was splayed around it, indicating that it had been dropped carelessly.

"What's the victim's name?" I inquired of my partner, Mike Newton, who was also an asshole.

"Lauren Mallory."

"Age?" I asked, my eyes still focused on the dead girl.

"21," he responded.

"What do we know so far?" I took my eyes off the body and scanned the room around me. The room was dark, with deep colored wood paneled walls and ugly ass pink carpet on the floor. The bed was small with a cheap purple comforter laid out across it, and a simple aged white dresser sat on the opposite side of the room next to what appeared to be a large antique wood armoire. It was a cheap apartment, the cheapest place you could find in Forks, Washington. The police were accustomed to being called to that particular complex, but rarely did we detectives have to be brought in.

"First cops on the scene arrived after she didn't show up to work today, and the landlord was called by her boss when she wasn't answering her phone," Newton began. "He came with the keys, but the door was already unlocked. He walked through the apartment, found her, then ran the hell out and called the police."

"Alright. What about neighbors?" I asked, while walking slowly around the small room.

"They didn't hear shit," he said with a shake of his head. "I'm figuring this to have went down last night based on the look of the blood. This didn't just happen."

I nodded. "I agree. We need to find her friends, family. See if there's anyone out there who'd want to hurt her. We can't do shit here until the crime lab is done anyway."

He smirked at me and chuckled. "Well, Cullen, you're just as much a rookie at this work as I am. What's your opinion of the crime scene?"

The prick was mocking me as he always did. He was right; we were both rookies at the job, but his need to compete with me did nothing but piss me the hell off. At the age of twenty-four, we were both in our first year as full blown homicide detectives. I had been paired with his arrogant ass when I arrived to Forks after graduating from the academy in Seattle, and his need to one-up me was annoying right away. I didn't care to give him my opinion. All I cared to do when he smirked at me that way was shove my black shiny shoe right up his ass.

"My opinion doesn't matter, but what it looks like is someone knew her or was watching her. Then they surprised her when they entered. Hell, the door could've been unlocked, giving them easy access."

He smirked again, spiking my annoyance to the maximum. "Good observation. Obvious, but good."

I rolled my eyes and flipped him the bird with a snicker, then proceeded to head toward the hallway off the bedroom.

Before my foot passed the threshold, the sound of movement behind me in the bedroom startled me. I swung around to look at Newton, and his expression of bewilderment must have mirrored mine.

"What the hell was that?" I asked, almost in a whisper.

He slowly shook his head, silently telling me he was just as clueless as I was.

The noise sounded again. It was some kind of scuffling as if a large mouse had been let loose in the room. We glanced at each other knowingly and nodded, unclasping our holsters which housed our firearms, preparing to pull them at a second's notice. We stealthily stepped back into the room, and the quiet scuffling resonated in our ears again.

I knew by the third time where it was coming from, and I pointed to the antique armoire. Newton nodded in agreement, and we crept to it carefully. We knew not to make a sound since it was always possible that the person inside could have a weapon ready if they were alerted to our presence.

We reached the armoire, and Newton hung back, his hand firmly on his weapon. With swift action, I grabbed the tiny handle and forced the door open.

And my eyes fell on a girl. I couldn't see her face, for her head was buried into her long white dress. Her scraggly brown hair was in a lose ponytail with pieces falling and laying against her cheeks. She was shaking, and her pale skin was covered with goose bumps.

Her fragileness and apparent fear made me concerned. Questions instantly flooded my mind as to why she was in this armoire, and how long had she been there. I knew whatever she had witnessed must have made her wracked with horror, so I approached her cautiously.

"Hello?" I asked softly. She shrieked and finally lifted her head to look at me. Terror was evident in her eyes, and the flesh around them was purple and sunk in. Her form was frail and wiry.

"I'm Detective Edward Cullen." I continued to speak softly, but her expression remained frightened. Her breathing was rapid, and her body still quaked. "It's ok. You're safe." I glanced at Newton then back at the girl. "We're cops."

Understanding seemed to cross her face somewhat, and she let out a heavy sigh.

"Can you come out of there, please?" I asked, lifting my hand and offering it her.

She stared at my hand for a moment, obviously confused and still scared, but she eventually reached her hand up tentatively and took mine. I pulled her out slowly, and barely audible whimpers escaped her mouth as she stood erect.

"That's better," I told her. As if she were unable to control herself, she leaned into me and placed her head gently against my chest. I was unsure of how to react to her gesture, but compassion overtook me, and I placed my hands lightly on her small back. "What's your name, Miss?"

In a shaky and raspy voice, she replied, "Bella."


Leave me a review and let me read your thoughts. :-) Up next is gonna be some Bella POV!