Chapter One


Vampires in Forks.

Vampires in Forks High School.

'What are vampires doing in High School?' But then, I'm in High School, so it shouldn't have been surprising to me. Only, it was, and there were several vampires.

A coven.

A coven of vampires in Forks High School.

I had come to Forks in an attempt to settle for a year or so and to avoid vampires. Yet there is an entire coven of them here.

I sighed; this was going to be a problem... 'unless they didn't know I was a vampire.'

Unless they didn't know I was here at all... was I that lucky? Was I that lucky, to have avoided their notice? It seemed possible; I hadn't hunted yet so there wouldn't be any unexplained dead bodies or missing humans and I always had my shield active, so they wouldn't have smelt nor seen me.

This could work.

I wanted to avoid a certain vampire and what better way to do that than to hide in plain sight? He certainly wouldn't expect me to settle, let allow where there already was a coven of vampires. He would figure that if I was hiding or running from him, I would avoid from any supernatural being – vampires especially.

I was still sitting in my truck, where I had parked it in the Forks High parking lot and had come across the faint scent of the vampires. They hadn't arrived yet, as I couldn't detect them with my keen sense of smell.

Keener than that of a younger vampire.

I checked my eyes in the rear-view mirror and they were black, I was thirsty but if I did hunt there would be no way to explain the crimson red irises.

Black would be a more believable human eye colour than red. I would have to manipulate my scent, make it less 'vampirish'. Vampires identify each other by their unique scent, which is the product of the lack of flowing blood and the presence of multiple scented bloods.

Since vampires consume blood, and blood in itself has a scent that calls to all vampires, the combination of several specimens' blood in one body creates a unique scent.

An illusionary heartbeat and temperature would also be necessary and for added effects perhaps a strong blush would further deter this coven.

Actually... it could be possible for me to not need to change my scent; instead it could be played off as an incredibly alluring blood.

The lack of a heartbeat is the key to telling vampire from human. While each vampires scent is unique, and differing ever so slightly from humans, it is the lack of a beating heart that identifies a vampire.

But having a heartbeat... well, then my natural scent would be enough.

Hunting would become a challenge as I couldn't risk killing any locals, since the increase of missing persons would coincide with my appearance. It would be too suspicious for the resident vampires to not investigate.

And all it would take would be a short history check into Phoenix's high school, the one I'll be telling this school I transferred from, to discover that in actual fact one Isabella Swan never attended there.

I had a human contact forge some appropriate documents for my transferral, but it wouldn't take a genius to dig through the files and discover, prior to 1995, Isabella Swan never existed.


Sighing I stepped out of the truck and made my way to the main office to sign in. This might be a long day considering it was my first day and I was unfamiliar with the workings of a humans 'high school.'

My inhuman beauty was going to be an issue, but I was confident that my heartbeat and red tinted skin would throw off any suspicions.

A vicious wind blew as I walked through the lot towards the main office and I shivered theoretically, mimicking the actions of the humans around me. I noticed a flush on their cheeks and I fixed my illusion to create one for myself.

The theory behind my shield was it messed with the minds surrounding me. I didn't physically have any attributes of a human, such as a beating heart, or flush to my skin, but my power targeted the minds of humans and vampires alike and created a false image in their heads. This could also be used to completely cloak myself from all senses, so I was invisible. Undetectable by sight, smell, sound or touch. Couldn't be sure about the whole taste part, but I imagine that would work like all the other senses, rendered useless by my shield.

But another attribute was it rendered the abilities of others useless as well. I thought of my ability as two parts, two shields.

One that affected the senses and the other that affected others' abilities. The one that... 'blocked' others ability was like the first layer, the primary line of defence. Something that was continuously, and subconsciously, active.

The outer layer, or the part that allowed me to extend and use to manipulate the senses, was under my complete control, but required that I be consciously concentrating on it. If I allowed myself to be too heavily distracted, my thoughts and attentions too solely focussed, the 'illusion' would drop and I would lose control over the senses of those surrounding me.


The day progressed predictably, human's flocked around me, asking the same questions, making the same remarks about my pale skin and being from Phoenix.

One boy, Mike I believe was his name, was awfully persistent in his presence; behaving like a love sick puppy by following me about everywhere I went. I gave him no inclination that I was interested but he persisted and I was tempted to dispatch him; however, that would have ruined my facade in the first day so I suffered his presence in silence.


It wasn't until lunch that I actually saw the coven that resided in Forks. I was seated with some humans I had met through the day, talking with a girl whom I surprisingly liked, Angela. A tall, shy and very pleasant, polite and kind girl.

We had been talking about an English assignment we had been given when I smelt them. Of course I had smelt them all day, but this was fresh and strong. I instinctively looked up at the sound of footsteps and turned to see them walk through the door.

There were four.

The first to enter was tall, statuesque, and blonde, beautiful beyond words but with a nearly hostile look on her face. Undoubtedly the most beautiful vampire I had ever seen in all my years, and she had a demeanour of superiority and self-awareness of her exquisite beauty. Holding her hand was a beast of a vampire, no doubt the strongest of them. He was of gigantic size; I estimated 6'5", a burly muscular build with short curly dark brown hair and his round face and dimples giving him a childish appearance. Behind him was a male with a curious, unique bronze coloured hair. His facial features were attractive, angular and defined; however, his expression marred his looks. It was contorted into one of permanent annoyance, but with a hint of arrogance and supremacy, all knowing. Last was a small, petite girl; so short I nearly missed her as she danced along with the two boys. She was no more than 4'8" with pitch black hair, short and disarrayed, with spikes poking out in every direction.

They were all, classically, inhumanely beautiful, graceful and self-composed as they made their way to an empty table at the far end of the cafeteria. But they had golden eyes, an eye colour I had never seen before and it intrigued me. If it wasn't for their scent and lack of heartbeat I would have doubted they were vampires at all.

"I see the Cullen's have caught you're attention." Angela was smirking at me and I raised an eyebrow in question.

"The Cullen's?"

"Yeah, they moved here about a year ago with Dr. Cullen and his wife. They're adopted; Rosalie is Mrs Cullen's niece. Emmett, the big body-builder type and Edward are siblings, orphans and I'm not sure what Alice's story is, but she's been adopted in as well. Rosalie and Emmett are a couple and naturally it's caused quite the scandal, since they live together and are together. But it's not as if they're actually siblings so I guess that's okay."

I smiled at her; she was kind and accepting, far more open-minded about this than most humans from a small town would be.

"So is the new human scared of the big, bad Cullen's yet?" I heard a booming voice carry over the crowded cafeteria. It wasn't really booming in volume, since the owner to it was merely whispering, but it was the type of voice that would usually boom. In fact it boomed even when he whispered; if that made any sense.

I looked up at them in reflex to hearing my name, or my being mentioned. They weren't looking at me or each other, but were clearly having a conversation. I couldn't actually be sure who had spoken, but I guessed it was Emmett, the big one. Edward shook his head and turned his head to glare at me. I very nearly laughed at him, his face contorted with frustration, confusion and outrage, but I instead 'blushed' and ducked my head in 'embarrassment'.

"What's the matter Edward?" A silvery bell-like voice spoke and I looked up again to see the smallest vampire watching Edward. He was still staring at me but as I met his eyes he looked away.

"I can't read her." he answered, his deep velvety voice laced and tangled with irritation and disbelief.

I smiled inwardly; establishing right then that this particular vampire was a telepath and was obviously discovering for the first time that his ability was blocked.

He wasn't the first telepath I'd ever met. While the last telepath had been more of an aggressive nature.

"Who?" Alice asked and looked at me, "The new girl?"

He nodded as I continued watching the table.

"Yes. Bella."

Alice gave me a quizzical look and I kept my expression passive, disinterested before turning my attention back to the humans at my table.

In accordance with my schedule I had Art next period and so as the bell rang I said 'goodbye' to Angela and made my way to the class after a brief glance at my map, purely for appearances sack of course.

Jessica, one of the girls I had met today and whom had a dislike for something I could only deem to be in relation to Mike, walked with me and apparently shared the class.

Thankfully, though, she already had a partner at her table and I was able to sit on my own. Until, that is, one Alice Cullen strides into the room with the grace and confidence only an immortal could possess. She barely hesitated as she spotted the empty chair beside me and made her way over.

I watched her from my peripheral vision so I faked surprise when she stopped beside my table.

"May I sit here?" She asks softly, as to not scare the human.

I nod quickly and hastily (for a human) removed my bag and books from her side of the table.

I saw the moment she smelt me and my delicious scent. Her breathing cut off and her small frame froze as she braced herself. I watched the topaz darken, reinforcing the fact that she was indeed a vampire, and become engulfed by black as her thirst made itself known. I had expected this, but was surprised when she relaxed, continued breathing and smiled widely at me after a short pause. I was thoroughly impressed by her control as I returned a small smile, and for fun increased the tempo of my heartbeat, plus a little blush on my cheeks. Her eyes darkened finitely before returning to that fascinating and odd bright gold. She reached forwards a small, delicate looking hand.

"Hi, I'm Alice Cullen. It's a pleasure to meet you." Her smile was entrancing and I could see the dazzling she was attempting to do. It was clever and she was talented, but I remained unaffected. I accepted her offered hand and squeezed it, though I doubt she would have felt it at all.

"Bella Swan."

"Bella, it's not short for Isabella by any chance?"

"That it is, but Isabella sounds too old for me." I answered nodding slowly and gave a wry smile.

"I disagree; I think it suits you perfectly."

I blushed at that, unable to resist seeing the darkening of her eyes. It gave me a strange sense of power, that I had a degree of control over her. The vampire side, the side ruled by the instinctual need for blood. They did indeed darken and her breathing stopped momentarily, only restarting once my 'blush' faded.

Oh, this was just too much fun.

"I'm going to go with the clichéd path here and ask how you are finding Forks so far."

I laughed lightly at that, indeed it was rather clichéd by now. It was the standard question for me, but I didn't mind her asking for an inexplicable reason. I laughed lightly again, "That is indeed well and truly a clichéd question by now. I actually like it here; I mean, it's no Phoenix, but I came here for something different and you can't get more different from Phoenix than in Forks."

She laughed, like bells chiming in a melody no mortal could produce on the finest of instruments.

"Yes I can imagine that Forks is quite the contrast to Phoenix, in just about every way. So, if you don't mind my asking, what brings you out here to small town Forks?"

I had known this question would come eventually so I had spent some hours fabricating papers to back up the story that I would be using.

"Uh, well my mum... passed away recently and so I decided to come here to Forks, where my father... used to live." I took long, deliberate pauses and constructed the short sentence carefully, so as to appear grief-stricken but moving on.

Her expression softened and she touched my hand in a gentle, tender and compassionate manner of sorrow for my loss and pain.

"Oh, I'm terribly sorry, Bella."

I shook my head slowly, smiling sadly.

"How could you have known?"

Her expression was unreadable for a brief moment before she nodded and turned to answer the teacher.

We were required to work in silence after that so no more words were exchanged between us, but I found her company agreeable nonetheless and when the bell rang, dismissing us from class, she stood and gave me a cheerful smile.

"I do hope you enjoy the last period of your first day and I will see you tomorrow."

I returned the farewell and we parted ways at the doorway. I had Biology and when I walked in the scent of another Cullen assaulted my nostrils. Looking up I saw Edward Cullen, typically sitting in the last available seat in the classroom, and watched his reaction to my intoxicating scent. It was far less composed as Alice's. His entire body went rigid and as I passed he shot me a look so menacing, had I been human I may have run from the room. As it was I raised a mocking eyebrow and ignored it.

As I sat down beside him his posture changed and he leaned away from me, futilely trying to get his nose as far from me as physical possible... without detaching it from his face. I contained my smile, silently laughing at his dramatics. The boy obviously had never smelt such appetising blood before and didn't know how to handle it. That added to his inability to read my thoughts placed him in a predicament he undoubtedly had never experienced before; and he wasn't dealing with it very well.

I blushed again and in response heard the table crack; he was squeezing it so hard it was giving way. I very nearly laughed, so I covered it up by ducking my head and shifting my hair so it fell like a curtain between us, blocking his vision from my expression.

Biology moved slower than any of my other classes as we sat in silence, listening to Mr. Banner lecture us.

When the bell rang, he moved at a speed faster than a human and was out the door before I had really moved. Sighing, I packed my bag and heard Mike approach.

"Did you stab Cullen with a pencil or something?"

"No. But obviously he's more snobbish than I'd been told."

He laughed and moved to swing his arm over my shoulder, but I nimbly ducked under it. I didn't want him getting any ideas that it was appropriate for him to touch me.

Swinging my bag over my shoulder I left the classroom with him trailing behind; his pride hurt at my wordless rejection.

"See you tomorrow Bella!" He called as he departed and I made my way to the main office to return the slip I had had each teacher sign.

I smelt, and heard, him before I neared the building and slowed down to listen in.

"Mrs Cope?" His velvety voice spoke softly. I snorted silently; the fool was charming the poor human. I felt pity for the unsuspecting woman.

"Oh," She gasped, flustered. I could almost see him leaning forwards, flashing those pearly whites and fluttering his ridiculously long lashes.

"I was wondering if I could move from my biology class to a senior level science? Physics, perhaps?"

At his words I snorted again, and received a strange look from a passing human. Over-dramatic much? The boy must have less self-control than I had credited him with.

"Is there a problem with Mr. Banner, Edward?"

"Not at all, it's just that I've already studied this material..." He replied and I could hear the slight frustration. He desperately wanted out.

"In that accelerated school you all went to in Alaska, right."

''accelerated school' indeed' I laughed.

"Actually, Edward, Physics is pretty much full right now. Mr. Banner hates to have more than twenty-five students in a class–"

His impatience got the best of him as he cut her off, "I wouldn't be any trouble."

"I know that, Edward. But there just aren't enough seats as it is..."

"Could I drop the class then? I could use the period for independent study."

"Drop Biology?" Her disbelief was obvious, "you won't have enough credits to graduate."

As if graduating mattered to him. I was at the door by then and pushed it open. As I had expected he was leaning over the desk, concentrating on the secretary so much he failed to acknowledge my presence as he leaned ever closer and her heart pumped faster.

"I'll catch up next year."

"Maybe you should talk to your parents about that."

I saw the slight clench of his jaw and I leant against the wall, thoroughly entertained by his attempts at persuasion.

"Please, Mrs Cope?" his voice was as smooth and compelling as he could get it. I wondered how it would work on me. If it would at all... "Isn't there some other section I could switch to? I'm sure there has to be an open slot somewhere? Sixth hour biology can't be there only option..."

I was barely containing myself by now. He was basically begging to be removed from me. I was oddly flattered; my 'blood' or scent was so intoxicating for him that he was pleading with a mortal, threatening the chance of more rumours about ' those Cullen's', to e removed from the temptation that I was.

In that second the door opened as a girl slipped into the room, placed a signed tardy slip in the basket by me and escaped.

His posture went stiff. Every muscle tensed as he slowly turned to give me a ferocious glare that normally would have scared me out of my wits. I glared back; with the intensity of a disgruntled and confused human. His black onyx eyes connected with mine for an entire second before he turned back, hastily dismissed the now frightened and confused secretary and glided out of the room; careful not to touch me. I watched him go before smiling warmly at the human and giving her my slip wordlessly.

I walked out to the parking lot and heard a brief conversation between the resident vampires before a shiny, silver Volvo peeled out of the lot, hitting at least forty before it was on the road.

I was the last left in the lot so I let loose the laughter that had been building for the past two hours.

My ancient red Chevy had absolutely no power and it drove me insane to drive it but it had been the only available car in this tiny towns automotive car lot and it wasn't as though I could turn up to school each day without a car and not get questioned for it.

Finally I pulled into my driveway and quickly rushed into my home. It had a large accumulation of dust and spiders so I spent most of the evening cleaning every inch of the place. This weekend I would have to go to Seattle and refurbish my home, it looked empty and lifeless at the moment. In the mean time, I would do some research on these Cullen's and perhaps study up on the material I will be 'learning' this year.