Disclaimer: All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I am in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended. Having read the Twilight books and followed closely the film versions (and becoming an avid fan of the very stunning Kristen Stewart and gorgeous Rob Pattinson in the process), I decided to start writing my own. It is something that I enjoy immensely, and I hope you will enjoy this story, too!

This story is: Alternate Universe setting, Edward and Bella, and all characters are Human. No vamps. Warning for readers: This story contains and will contain in later chapters themes of violence, touch on the issues of mental illness (or more specifically Bipolar Disorder). I wanted to try writing this story as realistically as possible, with real-life situations, although it's probably very unrealistic and hard to understand at times.

Some lemons contain blood play or blood fetishism (Edward has a little fixation with biting and Bella's blood, which will be explained if you delve in deeper to later chapters). Thanks so much for reading, if you do, and again, I really hope you enjoy.

Pale Shelter


To love him was easy.

To leave him, was impossible...

I was sitting in the cafeteria with my two best friends, Alice Brandon and Rosalie Hale, in mid-conversation about the boys they were pining over, Jasper Whitlock and Emmett McCarty of the football team.

Emmett McCarty was a quarterback, a very muscular boy with a deep voice and a booming laugh that would echo slightly off the walls in the school cafeteria and, Jasper Whitlock, he was the quietest of the whole Forks football team. He always seemed on guard, observing his surroundings and looking alarmed whenever Alice would flutter her hands around, trying to get his attention. Alice's warm enthusiasm was a direct contrast to his impassive state and Rose and I would always tease her about it.

Rosalie was one of the most envied girls in the school, the kind that would cause every girl to doubt their body image and plunge them into insecure mode, me included. She had long blond hair that fell just below her shoulders and today she was wearing leather pants, another move in the seduction game to get Emmett's attention; Every time she sat in her seat they would squeak a little.

Whenever Edward Cullen walked into the school cafeteria, it seemed as if time stood still. The whole room went uncharacteristically quiet and the faintest shimmer of laughter from a few freshman year girls would be heard. He was always impassive, cool, concealed of any emotion as he strode over to an empty table, a cigarette hanging level between his lips and a string of smoke trailing behind him.

The truth is, I sort of had this thing for him. There was something about him, something catching; an air of mystery that I couldn't quite seem to place. He just seemed different from other boys.

Rose and Alice never noticed it, but he was always looking at me with a calm possessiveness that honestly bugged me to the core. I knew I wasn't overreacting in the slightest, for I knew he did it all the time. Especially when he thought I wasn't watching, when he presumed I was preoccupied with finishing my Biology essays and English study novels. Today was no different.

Alice was bouncing in her seat, retelling her latest interaction with Jasper for the millionth time. "He looked me straight in the eyes, like directly, and asked if I wanted to go to the mall with him!"

I listened to her half-heartedly, my concentrating fleeting whenever I felt those pair of green eyes watching me from across the cafeteria. I was sincerely happy for her, happy that Alice was finally starting to get some form of attention from the guy she had been lusting over since seventh grade but I was really starting to feel nervous, if yet paranoid.

The only time I had ever brought up Edward Cullen in conversation was when I had expressed to them my concerns over the fact that he seemed to be alone a lot: "Silly Bella," Rosalie had said, running her long red fingernails through her blond hair. "While I admire your endearing compassion, you must know he's a creep in the most perverse meaning of the word. I heard he had this girlfriend and threatened to end his life when she broke up with him by holding a gun to his head..."

I couldn't fathom what she had meant by the word "creep". He didn't seem obnoxious or mean at all. If anything, a little strange perhaps, but nothing that would signal warning bells or red flags. I presumed what she said had been merely some rumour, nothing else... I push the thought aside as we all go into the girl's bathroom, Alice and Rosalie covering the main basin with one of Alice's favorite style magazines, flipping idly through the pages.

I suddenly feel the urgent need to pee. "I think I gotta go," I say, rushing into the tiny, stone tiled stall.

Alice looked disgusted by my announcement, wrinkling her nose. "Yuck, Bella," she gibed. "Too much information!"

I take my time in the stall, peeing, washing my hands with soap, splashing my face with lukewarm water. My reflection in the mirror shows me pale and red-cheeked, a delayed reaction from blushing at nothing other than sheer anxiety. I swing the door open and gasp when I realize Edward Cullen is standing there and he almost falls into the stall. How did he get in here? And, more importantly, why did Alice and Rosalie leave me all alone in the girl's bathroom?

He shuts the bathroom door behind him to stop me from escaping and flicks the lock. "I'm unquestionably considering cannibalism," he says menacingly, looming over me. Well, I had to admit, that certainly wasn't a pick-up line I had heard before. His voice is soft and compelling, like melting butter, something you could fall asleep to... I wondered why I hadn't noticed it before until now.

"W-what are you doing in the girls bathroom?" I ask finally, gathering my wits.


He says nothing, only smirks at me crookedly as he leans against the cold stone wall.

I hesitate. "C-can I, um, help you with anything?" I ask, failing miserably in the attempt of keeping the trembling in my hands away from my voice.

There's more silence, then finally he responds and shows at least some comprehension over what I'm asking. He looks thoughtful. "I don't know," he says, his eyebrows pulling together in confusion. "Hmm. Can you?"

I'm starting to lose my patience. "We have to go to class in a few minutes," I tell him, hoping he'll get the picture and will move out of my way; I have a very strong aversion to being late to class.

"You're right," he agrees, softly.

He continues to stand there, leaning against the wall as if waiting for something to happen, staring at me intently with his green, twinkling eyes; eyes that seem to go all the way through me. There's no denying he is very handsome – beautiful, even – in his own way. But, more than often, he made me very uneasy with the overattentive, meaningful looks he'd constantly dart at me from across the tables in the cafeteria.

"Good heavens, you're blushing," he observes, to my surprise.

I look away from him. "I suppose I am," I mutter, looking up at the mould-infested ceiling. I didn't know how to respond to his observations. What was I supposed to say? I'm sweating, starting to feel very hot and uncomfortable right now.

He takes two steps and then he's standing close to me, so close that I can smell the stench of cigarettes clinging to his clothes. Everything stops and suddenly the stillness of the bathroom is suddenly magnified, apparent, and I come to the unfavourable conclusion that I am completely alone with Edward Cullen now in the stall of the girls' bathroom... There is indeed no way of getting out of this.

He leans over and puts his mouth next to my ear. I'm riveted to the spot, feeling an odd thrill of danger and mixed emotions of desire washing over me. I can't move away from him. "I'll be very gentle," he breathes into my ear, and I shiver at the uncomfortable wintry chill of his breath. "Don't be anxious. You can pretend it's all pretend, if you wish..."

It takes a moment to sink in what he actually means by this; he starts kissing my neck, running his tongue against the sensitive skin of my throat. I shudder and my hands instinctively trace the arc of his broad shoulders, up the nape of his neck and then I am running my fingers through his thick, stiff bronzed hair.

I tense, my fingers locking into the strands of his messy hair. "P-Please don't do this," I plead, my voice shaking. I take a deep breath, trying to collect myself. "I'm not interested in a boyfriend right now," I say firmly, trying to sound confident and assured, hoping he won't see through me.

He doesn't answer. He continues kissing my neck and then proceeds to bite it, gently, scraping his teeth along my skin, his warm breath tickling me and saliva leaving my skin wet. I can feel my chest rising and falling, my heart racing. I unlock one of my hands from his hair; slide my hand under his shirt, running my fingers over his taut stomach, then push against him firmly with my palm, hoping inwardly that this will cause him to stop.

This only gives him all the more reason to continue. He bites my neck harder this time, so hard with the sharp canines of his teeth now that the pain is excruciating. My hand locks even tighter against his hair and before a scream can slip from my mouth, he brings his lips to mine and kisses me, very roughly. I moan against the tight seal of his lips and then our lips finally part, his forehead resting on mine and our faces barely inches away from each other. I realize tears are leaking from my eyes and my neck is aching. I can feel my lip trembling.

Edward is stroking my hair now. He is breathing strenuously. "You have no idea how much I've wanted you," he says, urgently. "I have loved you since the very first moment I clapped eyes on you."

I can't take this anymore. I think wildly of making a run for it and my body turns instinctively toward the door. He catches my arm and pulls me to the stone cold wall, my spine shivering from the crushing impact.

"Say it," he commands.

We look at each other for a long moment, him gauging my reaction. I don't understand what he wants from me exactly, and truthfully, I am too afraid to ask out of fear of being hurt again. He's trying to measure his breathing and I realize there's blood and saliva on his chin. I reach my hand up slowly to my neck and feel the sticky, wet sensation of blood between my fingertips. It starts to make me feel very dizzy. Crap.

I am silent, looking anywhere but at him. I don't want to play this game anymore.

"Say it," he demands again in a steel-hard voice, his hand locking into my hair now and pulling on the strands. I tense and flinch away, more tears leaking at the pain and causing my eyesight to go all blurry. His other hand roams under my shirt, exploring unfamiliar terrain, and cupping one of my breasts in his hand. "Say you love me," he demands at last, and finally I comprehend what the solution is to make the pain go away.

"I... love..." The pain is becoming so unbearable now that the words feel as if they are choking me, "...you..."

Edward finally lets go of my hair, releasing his grip and relief rushes over me. He starts stroking my face with his fingertips, pulling his hand out from under my blouse as he kisses my forehead. Noise is suddenly apparent and the bells for next period begin to toll. Please be over now, I think to myself. Please go away.

"Oh, love," I hear him say softly, almost apologetically, taking my hand now and turning his back on me as he unlocks the door at last. My legs feel numb, as if they are so heavy that running would be an extreme difficulty, and I just let him lead me over to the basin. He inspects my neck closely and I hold my breath, afraid that if I exhale it'll all come out freely, the tears and sobbing.

Edward pulls a piece of toilet paper from the machine and starts daubing at my neck. I look away, knowing that if I see any sign of blood I'd be likely to faint or worse. He wipes the blood off my fingertips and for some unfathomable reason I feel grateful for this, grateful even though he is the very person who is responsible for putting me through the pain and suffering.

"What strange creatures we are," he muses, as he throws the toilet paper in the trash. I wasn't sure if he was talking to me, to himself, or to no one in particular. He runs a forefinger along the bridge of my nose and above my brows. "I didn't mean to hurt you," he says in a tone that makes me sincerely believe him. "Any normal gentleman wouldn't have to fight the urge to ravish you..."

He looks apologetic, frowning, his eyebrows furrowed as he stares down at me intently. Perhaps I was brainwashed or perhaps I was mentally insane, but I actually felt myself sympathizing with him, sympathizing with this clearly insane but handsome, boyish man. I was sympathizing with him. Not the other way around. Edward kisses me one last time, tender and more thoughtful, before dashing out of the girl's bathroom.

It was then that my emotions finally took over.