SM owns her stuff, not me.

Domestic violence causes far more pain than the visible marks of bruises and scars. It is devastating to be abused by someone that you love and think loves you in return - Dianne Feinstein

Chapter One

BELLA'S POV

Over my life I had been given many opportunities to think about how I would die.

First and foremost there was my own stupid clumsiness. There were too many times to count when I had injured myself in some form or another. I could fall down sitting. It was a miracle that I had lived as long as I had.

That though was all before I met my vampire husband and the real danger to my breathing life started.

Then there was a van that almost crushed me to death, the gang of drunken rapists in Port Angeles, the psychotic James, the Volturi in Italy, Victoria and her merry army of vampire newborns, or even my own brother-in-law at my birthday party, all of which Edward had saved me from.

I would never have imagined in the end my death would be at the hands of the one who had protected me against all others who had tried to harm me.

I never dreamed the one who had claimed I was his life would be ending mine.

I could smell the blood, my blood hanging heavy in the air. I could feel it sticky and thick trickling down my head pooling on the hardwood floor of our house, a home which had become not only my prison, but also a war zone.

Once I would have been panicked over the thought of my spilled blood for fear of the temptation to my husband, but I had painfully learned that he was more desensitized to my blood then I could ever imagine.

I never thought that I would become one of those girls. Maybe that was because I never would have imagined for one second that Edward would ever be one of those men. Not my sweet, sensitive, Edward.

I could hear him moving around behind me, but it was faint, as if he was far away. Or maybe it was me who that was getting farther and farther away.

I had thought that he had gone for medical supplies to patch me back up after he had broken me as he had so many times before, but it was becoming alarmingly clear that this was not the case this time.

It seemed this time he had no intention of fixing me again.

As sad as it sounded I was almost relieved. I could not take the pain anymore. I was more mentally tired then physically tired. My body kept on healing, but my mind was on the verge of no repair.

I could not believe this was how it was going to end. I thought that I was going to live forever with this perfect man. I would have done anything for him, given up anything for him, and I had.

I had married him to make him happy though I never had any desire to marry. I gave up friends and family for him. I moved across the country for him. But nothing was ever enough for him. I was never enough for him.

Things after the wedding had been amazing in the beginning. We moved to New Hampshire and enrolled in Dartmouth even though all I wanted was to be changed and start that life with him. I didn't need to experience college life, but I did it because it was important for him.

I would admit though that once I was there I really began to enjoy it. I took classes like The Nineteenth-Century English Novel and Creative Writing: Fiction. I was learning about thinks I loved, not worrying about a career and how I was going to support myself.

That was in large part to the fact that now that we were married there was no convincing Edward that I needed to earn my own money, though I tried.

'Bella, really, why must you bring this up again? You know money is not an issue to me. We are here for you to experience college life, not to work some pathetic job for minimal wage.'

'Edward it isn't so much about the money. I like working and it is only part time. This is the perfect job for me at the bookshop.'

'No. I want you with me as much as possible. I already lose eight hours a night that you are sleeping and then classes.'

'Well if you would just change me then that would not be a problem.'

'We have talked about this and now is not the right time. In a year or two we will reassess the situation.'

'It is not the right time for you. I was ready a long time ago. As far as a year or two, there is no way I am waiting that long. I agreed to six months.'

'It is not about what you agreed to. When I am ready it will happen and not a second before it.'

'Edward…'

"End of discussion. No job. No change. Now if you want something to focus your attention on try being a good wife.'

That was the first taste I got of the Edward I would come to not only fear, but loath.

I always knew two things about Edward. One, was he was very old fashion in his beliefs. Those beliefs included marriage and no sex until you were married. It also included a man supported by his wife. I would soon learn that it also meant to him that his wife was his property to do what he wanted with. This went hand in hand with the second thing I always knew about Edward, his need for control. Not just control over himself, but control over everything else, including me.

The first time that Edward ever hurt me, intentionally, it was a month after classes started. Some people in my creative writing class were going out for coffee to discuss an upcoming project for class. At first I was hesitant to go, but as much as I loved Edward I was craving some conversation with real people that didn't know vampires existed; who was worried only about getting a good grade or hooking up with some random person at some random party.

My cell phone started ringing as soon as my class ended. Of course it was Edward. It was the only person who called me because it was the only person who had this number. All the Cullen's and even Charlie and Renee had Edward's number. If I talked to any of them it was only after Edward approved it.

I wasn't ready to go home so I ignored his call and his call after that and all his calls after that. I drank coffee and laughed about our crazy professor and I discussed my favorite books and then I declined an invitation to go to some party and I went home.

Before I was even out of the car, Edward was on the porch waiting for me. He didn't have to say anything. The look on his face was deadly. I had never seen him that angry before, at least at me.

'Where have you been?' he demanded grabbing me by the arm hurling me inside slamming the door behind me.

'That hurts,' I whimpered. I knew I was going to have bruises. If he pressed any harder bruises were going to be the least of my worries. He was about to crush my arm.

'I asked you where you were,' he hissed in my face, his eyes had never been so black before.

'I was having coffee with some people after class.'

'I called you, ten times.'

'I must have forgotten to turn it back on after class,' I lied afraid to tell him that I just didn't answer his calls. I never feared Edward before, but in that moment I feared him.

'Why would you do that? Why wouldn't you call me to see if it was okay? Didn't you think I would be here waiting, worrying about you, expecting you to be home right after class?'

'I didn't really think that it was that big of a deal.'

'You were not thinking at all. You know I expect for you to come straight home after class. There is no reason for you to be going out with random strangers. Remember you are married.'

'Of course I remember I am married,' I told him, not knowing what going out for coffee with some people had to do with be married.

'Well act like it instead of some slut looking to hook up.'

'It was just coffee.'

'This is about so much more then coffee. This is about you disrespecting me. This is about your continued willfulness. This is about you not caring about how I feel or what I want. This will not happen again,' he demanded, his teeth clenched together. 'Will it?" he asked pressing harder.

'No, Edward.'

'Good.'

The next day when Edward saw the bruises he had caused, he apologized over and over and promised me it would never happen again. Of course I forgave him because I would forgive him anything and because I believed him. How could I not, when from the moment that I met him he had done nothing but try to protect me.

But our relationship continued to erode away after that, becoming more of a dictatorship then a real relationship.

It started out as concern.

Edward threw out all the food in the kitchen claiming that it was unhealthy. He then filled it will nothing but fruit and vegetables, insisting that I to become a vegetarian.

'I have no desire to be a vegetarian. I like meat and I like pop-tarts. You don't even eat food so why does it matter what I choose to eat?'

That comment got me more bruises and some bruised ribs. It also got me more apologies and a new IPOD already preloaded with Edward's approved choices of music.

Then he insisted that I go to the doctor, once the bruises healed, and get a complete physical from head to toe, inside and out. It was only his concern for my health he told me once again. He just wanted to know that I was okay, that there was nothing wrong with me.

'It won't matter once you change me.'

That one deemed more bruises and a broken arm and more apologies and a new laptop.

After that was the dentist, for cleaning and whitening, but mostly to fix the chipped tooth caused by him.

It was my clothes next. I came home from class one day to find all of my clothes donated and my closet refilled with appropriate articles of clothing for someone of my status and position as a wife of a Cullen.

That was enough for me and I stormed out of the house, getting in my car and driving to anywhere other then where I had been. It was not the first time I thought about leaving him, but it was the first time that I ever made it farther then the front door.

I might have kept running but I had no money, no credit cards. Edward gave me no more then a few dollars at a time and didn't allow me to have a bank card or credit card of my own.

'Anything that you need, just let me know and I will purchase it for you.'

'If I had a job of my own like I wanted I could just buy what I wanted myself.'

Seven stitches in my leg falling onto the coffee table was the result of that statement. You would have thought that I would have learned to keep my thoughts to myself, but I was never that good at being a living doll and that was what he was trying to turn me into.

Too soon the gas in the car headed towards empty and with me not having no means to refill it, I had no choice but to head back home.

The moment I walked into the house I was met by the back of Edward's hand. I crumpled to the floor, blood dripping from my mouth and my nose. He could have killed me with that one blow, but that was not his intention. It never was. He was in complete control. He only wanted to hurt me, punish me, make sure I knew he was in control of whether I lived or died.

He didn't apologize to me this time. He just cleaned my wounds and told me, 'You will never leave me again.'

I had bruises on my face for two weeks after that. I couldn't go to class which Edward loved because now I was there twenty-four-seven and he had complete control over me. He liked it so much that he insisted that I drop out of school.

'What happened to me experiencing college life?'

'I think that you have experienced enough. College has become too much about sex and drugs and little to do with education. None of those things are things you need to worry about experiencing. You just need to focus on me and being a wife. I was thinking that it would be a good time to relocate. I like the idea of going to medical school again and you can decorate our house and chair some charities.'

'What happened to changing me?'

'I told you not to bring that up again. It is my decision and I am not going to do it any time soon.'

'That is okay. I've decided that I don't want to spend forever with you anymore.'

That was the words that had gotten me in this predicament. He hit me so hard that I flew across the room, hitting the wall and the mirror. I was not sure if it was from the glass alone that I was bleeding, but I knew I was bleeding in more then one place. I wondered if he had broken my back because I could not feel my legs.

So this was it. Edward was not going to save me again. He was finally going to let me die. He was going to let me die rather than change me, which I was sure was the only thing that was going to save me this time.