Twentieth Chapter of the Prequel for:

"Where's the Excitement?"

"Where we've been"

Isabella Hunter:

The first time I tasted human blood and the first time I drank human blood, were two totally different experiences. They were under starkly different circumstances, down to the very last detail. The setting, the location, the victim, my mindset, my goal, and the company that surrounded me.

Of course I am only realizing all of this in hindsight, but the differences still haunt me.

The first taste, that I fully remember, barely registered in my mind.

I was so focused on saving Melissa and Stephanie that I did not fully process their blood flowing into my mouth. I did not think about the taste or the flavor, I simply injected my venom and changed them.

The first time I actually drank human blood, I panicked.

I froze in place and stared at the lifeless body in front of me. My entire body was on alert. The guilt was the first thing that registered in my mind as it immediately ripped through me. I had spent so much of my undead life trying to protect the sanctity of human life that I forced myself to stay far away from humans. I never thought the day would come when I would be standing over a dead human, and I would be the one to blame.

I had convinced myself, with Peter's help that I could devote my life to helping humans, and being a human drinker was never something I even considered a possibility for myself. I convinced myself I would save dying people and give them a second chance at life. I didn't think I was doing these things in order to save myself or my soul. I never believed I was damned, and I never believed I lost my soul when I was turned. I just didn't want to be alone, and I did not want someone's life to be taken away from them the way mine was.

However, like most immortals, I struggled to hold onto my humanity.

I tried to focus all of my attention on my daughter, who I thought was the source of all goodness in my world. I let my love for her ground me, and make me feel whole. But when she was taken from me, I lost it. I lost all meaning in my life, and I lost all direction of my life.

And yet, when I think back to that time when I had Nessi…I didn't have a lot of direction even when my daughter was alive. I never had the chance to figure everything out before she was taken from me. I wasn't able to give her a real life before hers ended.

All we had back then was routine and repetition that probably would have slowly driven us mad.

So on days like today, when I realize where my life has taken me, to this goddamn forest filled with stolen children and lost souls, I like to imagine where my life could have gone if my daughter hadn't died.

I imagine the life I could have had…

I imagine Nessi and I would have stayed in Alaska for a long time, just the two of us. I would have finally figured out how to be a mother, and Nessi and I would have been happy together. Maybe at some point we would have gone to stay with Peter and Charlotte to ebb the loneliness. I know they would have loved to spend time with her, and the four of us would have been a happy family.

I imagine after we were with them for a while, Peter would mention Jasper at some point, and the longing I had felt way back then would have blossomed in me once again.

On one of Jasper's calls to Peter, maybe they would schedule a visit. Unlike the times when Jasper called and Peter had to say no because he was taking care of me, or one of my family members because I was mentally unfit at the time. Maybe in this alternate fantasy, Jasper actually did come to visit.

I imagine I would have been incredibly nervous, freaking out the entire time leading up to his arrival. Nessi would have to practically knock me unconscious to get me to calm down. Peter and Char would have been hyping me up, encouraging me, and reassuring me that nothing bad would happen if Jasper came to visit. Peter knew what we were to each other even back then, so he would have been very excited for Jasper to come visit.

Then Jasper would be there.

He'd walk through the front door, mid-day, the sun shining all around him like a halo, the sparkling shimmer entrancing him making him look like an angel coming down from the heavens.

He'd stop short when he sees me. He'd be confused, shocked, amazed, and possibly happy. Then Nessi would come over to me, hold my hand in hers, and introduce herself to Jasper. Jasper would be floored, probably surprised again and intrigued, but hopefully not put off. His curiosity and excitement would grow. Nessi and him could bond over their shared gifts and possibly be friends, maybe more seeing as he was basically her uncle.

I would be shy and sweet at first like he remembers when I was human, but different. I'd be older, stronger, and have way more life experience. I'd probably still be a little broken by the Volturi, but not completely destroyed. He'd see me, the real me, the woman bound in chains just trying to break free, trying to live again. He'd be captivated, and slowly but surely, he would fall for me, not my scars or my pain, but for me.

He would be pissed at Edward for how he treated me, leaving me all alone in the woods, unprotected. He would be proud of me for surviving everything life threw at me. He might even be a little mad at Peter and Charlotte for hiding me away for so long, but I'd say it was my choice.

I'd explain I hadn't been ready, and I wanted to make sure I could handle the whole family when they inevitably came knocking. I wanted to prep Nessi and make sure she was okay with them coming into our lives. I wanted time with him first before I let everyone else in. I wanted time before the drama, and time to explain to him how I felt, to explain my feelings for him.

Then I'd wait. I'd wait for Jasper to realize the connection we share, and for him to realize his own feelings for me. I wouldn't push him or throw myself at him…maybe I would spy on him a little bit by reading his thoughts and emotions. Maybe I would entice him with my body and emotions, or lure him to me during a hunt. I'd try to woo him, or maybe let him court me.

I'd encourage our friendship to grow, sharing my dark secrets with him, opening myself up to him, allowing us to genuinely care for one another…and then, I'd kiss him.

Maybe we'd be out in the woods after a hunt, or on the couch while watching a movie together. It would be perfectly natural. It would practically happen on its own.

Then, he would know. He would feel it coming off me, my love, my devotion, my longing, and then he wouldn't be able to deny it or hide from it.

But he might be scared, because after all, he was just my best friend's husband, or my ex-boyfriend's brother who tried to take a bite out of me on my eighteenth birthday.

He might think there's no way I could want him. Not that way. No, that couldn't be possible. He might think it was crazy, and he would try to fight it, fight the pull he felt toward me. He'd ignore all the signs that were drawing us together, the things we have in common, all of it would be pushed aside, covered by his own unworthiness and doubts.

Even Peter might not be able to make him see the truth, so I would have to take matters into my own hands. I would have to make a stupid grand romantic gesture to show him how serious I was. To show him, I want him and I'd do anything to make him mine.

I might even play a little game with him if nothing else was working. I would draw him out and make the Major come out to play, make him dominate me and claim me. Bring his beast to the forefront because his subconscious would know the truth when it came face to face with me. He would not be able to resist the pull to his true mate if the Major was in control.

And when he came back to himself, he's be wrapped around me, secure and happy, and I'd smile and kiss him. Let him feel the depths of everything I felt for him, and we'd live happily—

"Hey! Maria is looking for you!" Jean's voice abruptly pulled me from my daydream.

I groaned aloud and looked down annoyed at Jean from my perch in one of the tall trees. The beautiful images from my imagination dissipated quickly from my mind as Jean's face stared up at me, leaving me facing the cold hard reality of where I actually was.

I had yet to get any privacy since getting to this stupid camp, but I didn't blame Jean. She was just the messenger, just doing her job since she had been the only older newborn to survive my judgement. I wasn't going to kill this messenger. She was actually starting to grow on me.

"I'm coming." I sighed as I leaped from the branch, and brushed myself off once I was on solid ground again. "Do you know what she wants?" I asked even though it was highly unlikely that Jean knew.

"No, but I'd hurry. You don't want her to get mad." Jean gave me a small smiled and nodded toward the direction of Maria's domain. Like I could forget where that fucking palace was.

"Right." I nodded at Jean, and began my short trek through the woods and up the steps leading to Maria's house.

Before I could knock, the door swung open. I guess she was in a hurry today…

Maria said no words as she walked ahead of me back into the house, expecting me to follow and shut the door behind us. My response to her behavior felt repetitive as I rolled my eyes once her back was turned and followed behind her, doing just as she expected.

Instead of taking me to one of her feeding rooms, her scent led me toward the main hall where we had our first meeting when I arrived here. Her eyes followed my movements as I entered the room and came to stand before her.

"How is training going?" Her voice was casual as she spoke, like she was asking me about the weather. I ignored her attempt to make our interactions pleasant and responded in my usual short retorts.

"Lena shows promise. Leadership potential." I answered honestly. Lena had been very receptive to my guidance and I felt proud of her, but that also meant I felt some sort of attachment to the girl. Something I knew I should not be encouraging or feeling.

"Good," Maria nodded, "and the boy?" She quirked her head slightly as she waited for my response.

I pursed my lips slightly at her question, "Well…he's shy." I said, not exactly knowing how to describe him.

My simple answer only made Maria narrow her eyes at me while I tried to come up with a better answer. Before I could correct myself, she had already assumed she knew what I meant.

"You mean he's weak." Maria said flatly.

I shook my head at her, "No, I wouldn't say that."

She huffed slightly, annoyed with my indecisive responses.

"Well, what would you say?" She asked again.

I tried to think of the right thing to say that would spare his life. Even with a gift, he'd proven to be a difficult soldier to mold. It's not that he was resisting me, but rather that he did not seem to care where he was. I had a feeling if I did not choose my words properly Maria would decide to end him instead of wasting my time on a lost cause. I wasn't exactly sure if he was a lost cause or not, but I did not want to dispose of him simply because he wasn't easy to train.

I thought about Maria's main focuses; the two things she loved most: blood and sex. Blood had not worked to motivate Jason, so that left the latter.

"He's lacking the correct motivation."

I saw the smirk forming on her lips before I'd finished speaking.

She looked at me pointedly with smoldering eyes, "Then motivate him, Isabella. Bring him a treat from your hunt."

I stared at her for a moment, not moving or responding to her. I processed her words, but my mind had focused in on her mention of my hunt and ignored the part about Jason.

"My hunt?" My question made her smirk turn into a wider grin as she nodded at me.

"Yes, mía bella. You and Jean are to leave immediately. I expect you to bring back at least one human to be changed, and you can bring something for the boy as well."

I understood now, my hunt was more of a mission than a trip, but it was still an opportunity to get out of this camp. It had been about a week since the day in the sitting room. Since I'd gotten my orders and had human blood for the first time. Now she was putting her demands into motion.

"I already tried giving him blood." Despite my excitement about getting out of camp, I still had to make her understand blood was not the motivator Jason needed. I was waiting for her to take the hint.

"Hmmm well then you'll just have to find another way to motivate the boy, won't you?" The evil smirk was back on her face as she spoke with obvious innuendo.

I kept my eyes locked with hers and nodded. I didn't bother mentioning the fact that I didn't think I was his type. She wouldn't give a shit about that.

"Good. Go get changed. You look like shit."

With that final comment, she waved me off. I nodded once more and backed out of the room, never turning my back to her. Once I was out of the room, I made a beeline for the front door.

As I opened the door, I saw Jean waiting there for me. She said nothing as she walked ahead of me down the steps and back toward the forest. She took a direct route to the tent that used to house her, Ricardo, and Daniel. The tent was much roomier without the additional cots in here, but I kept that comment to myself.

On the single cot, was a small pile of clean clothes. They didn't exactly look new with tags or anything, but at least they weren't dirty. I didn't stop to question Jean about where she'd obtained these items, I simply looked through the selection quickly.

I selected a pair of dark wash skinny jeans with rips in the knees, and a simple black tank top. I still had my black leather running boots and black leather jacket from when I first arrived, so I was happy to keep wearing those.

I watched Jean choose similar clothes, not like there were a lot of options. Most of the tops were black, and the only choice of pants was jeans. Jean turned away and quickly changed into the clean clothes without looking in my direction as I did the same.

Once we were dressed, I noticed the slight differences in our clothes. Her jeans were a much lighter wash than mine and were looser, and looked more like mom jeans. Her black t-shirt was ripped at the neck and draped off her shoulders revealing some of her scarred pale skin. Her hair was still in the tight long brain, but a few strands had loosened in the front, and framed her face.

She looked so normal, nothing like she had moments ago.

I wondered if this is what she would look like outside of this place. If maybe she was just a regular mom with a husband and some kids in another life. It saddened me to think she would never be that normal everyday woman again, that her life had been stolen away and replaced with carnage and war.

"Are you ready?" Jean asked as she caught my gaze, and pulled me from my observations.

I grabbed the black leather jacket I'd been wearing since I got here and slipped it over my tank top. I looked back at Jean and nodded.

I allowed Jean to exit before me, and as we stepped outside, I called for Lena to inform her that she would be watching over the camp while we were gone. She appeared before us a moment later and looked at us curiously, noticing our changes in appearance.

"Jean and I are going on a hunt. Don't fuck things up while we're gone." I spoke harshly and quickly, not giving Lena any unnecessary information, but I trusted her enough to leave her in charge.

Once she nodded, confirming she understood, Jean and I made our way out of camp.


We ran in silence, from east of El Paso for a while before we veered north and entered New Mexico.

I had to push myself passed the National Parks that were sitting on the border of Texas and New Mexico. The large variety of animals that inhabited the area called to me. I forced myself to ignore them even though I would have much rather been hunting them than humans.

We ran just past Carlsbad Caverns National Park and followed Route 62 to the valley beyond the park, to the city of Carlsbad. Well city was a bit of an overstatement in my opinion, but it would suit our purposes nonetheless. This area just before the National Park served as a gateway to the mountains beyond. If I hadn't been on a mission for Maria, I might have been able to enjoy the trip.

We moved through the grid patterned streets, keeping out of sight until the sun had fully set. We surveyed the surrounding area, identifying the most populated areas and observing the locals. Once I was certain where the best hunting ground would be, I led us back toward a somewhat busy parking lot by an Economy Inn, which was situated next to a small bar and a bowling alley.

I observed the patrons of the bar, most of whom were a bit too old for our purposes. I ignored them and looked for the out of towners who were passing through, and hopefully who were also staying at the Inn next door.

As the night grew darker, I noticed two girls make their way from one of the motel rooms toward the small bar. When I finalized my targets as the two girls, Jean and I casually made our way closer to the Inn to wait for them to return from the bar.

There was a small courtyard at the center of the lodge with a bench that made for a perfect waiting place. The bench was surrounded on all sides by the run down motel. There were a few people hanging around outside their rooms, but I made sure they paid no attention to Jean and me.

We waited on the bench for at least an hour, patiently listening to the sounds coming from the small bar, which was mainly filled with locals. It wouldn't be much longer, most of the places in the area closed around midnight or one in the morning and it was already past eleven.

The two girls eventually stumbled around the corner toward the motel a bit after midnight. I listened to their giggles and whispers as they held onto each other, and made their way toward the parking lot, looking for their room keys. They were barely keeping upright as the moved slowly into the parking lot, and I had a feeling one of them was going to fall soon if I didn't step in.

I nodded to Jean before I stood from the bench and moved toward the girls. I kept my eyes low as I approached them, Jean now out of sight.

I tried my best to put on a friendly smile and spoke in a quiet sweet voice that would encourage them to lean toward me.

"Hey, do you need some help getting to your room?"

My voice startled them both slightly, and when one of the girls looked up, the other lost her footing; she wobbled as she stepped on a misplaced rock. Her breathing hitched and her heart pounded in her chest as she let out a yelp, bracing herself for the impending impact. I took the opportunity to reach out quickly, catching the girl just as her face was about to hit the asphalt.

"Oh my god! Are you okay?" I asked as I helped the girl back to her feet. She was clearly too drunk to notice my cold hands and dark eyes since all she did was smile and thank me.

The other girl kept close as I slowly led them toward the room I knew was theirs. She finally spoke, pointing toward where I was already leading them, and I continued moving maintaining an arm around the girl who tripped. She smiled shyly, grateful for the support. She took full advantage of my help, and gripped my shoulder lightly, keeping herself steady as I helped her to the room.

Once we were at the door, the other girl fished for her room key again, dropping it as she got it out of her bag. She laughed slightly as she reached down to grab it, but I got there first.

I smiled, "Let me help." I said as I lifted the key, and quickly slid it into the lock, knowing it was already open.

I pretended to unlock the door and pushed it open, allowing the girls room to enter before I did, letting the door shut behind me with a loud thud. The room was still shrouded in darkness, so they didn't know anyone else was in the room with us.

Before they could question my presence in their room, I captured their fragile human minds in mine and silenced them. They both responded instantly, sitting quietly on the two twin beds that took up the majority of the room. Jean moved out of the bathroom where she'd been waiting for us, and came further into the room.

"Car keys?" I asked Jean, only loud enough for her to hear, not that the two zombies would hear me anyways. Their minds were silent, empty, on pause as they waited for their next instructions.

Jean had already gone through their things and found the car keys. I took them from her hand, left the motel room, and went to retrieve the vehicle, hoping for something large enough for all of us. I eyed the white pickup truck with Texas plates that lit up as I unlocked it. I quickly made my way over to the truck that was parked a few spots down by the entrance of the motel. I noticed the sticker from the University of Texas Dallas on the back, assuming they were students off on a break; hopefully they would not be missed.

I quietly got in the cab, turned on the truck, and drove it over to the room. I made sure no one was around as I backed the truck up toward the door, so the bed of the truck would be easily accessible. I left the keys in the ignition, got out, and quietly lowered the bed of the truck before I went back into the room.

Jean had prepped the girls to move by packing up all of their belongs, and changing their clothes so they would be more comfortable for the ride. We moved in unison, not speaking a word as we laid blankets in the bed of the truck, and carefully placed the girls on their backs. I pulled out a tarp that had been in the bed, unfolded it, and casually draped it over them, covering their bodies completely. Jean grabbed all of the girls' things and tossed them in the bed as well. Afterwards, I lifted the tail bed and hitched it quietly.

Before climbing into the front, I pushed a large dose of lethargy at the two humans riding in the bed of the truck. I heard their heartrates slow as they passed out. I didn't want any issues on the drive back, and we certainly did not want them to wake up prematurely.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I moved to turn on the radio. It would only take a couple hours to get back to camp, and I intended to enjoy the time with mindless driving and radio singing.


There was no direct road back to camp, so Jean and I each carried one of the humans over our shoulders back toward Maria's house.

I squashed my nerves as I momentarily thought about the dangers of bringing humans back to camp, but this is what Maria had asked me to do, so I continued on.

As we approached the house, Jean led me around the back of the hill instead of up the steps. I followed behind her blindly for a moment before noticing the red barn that sat behind the hill. I made no noise as we walked through one of the open sliding doors, and I took in the sight of the sparsely filled barn. The floor was lightly covered in hay disguising the blood stained floor below, and there were a few barrels of hay lining the walls as well. We made our way toward the barrels and laid the sleeping humans down on the flat surface.

As we stepped back, Maria entered the barn. She came to appraise the girls before turning to me.

"Hmmm very good, mía bella." She looked away from me toward Jean and asked, "I gather there were no issues?" Jean shook her head, keeping her eyes down, focused on the floor below her. Maria excused Jean, leaving just the two of us alone with the unconscious humans.

Once Jean was gone I knew I had little time before I would have to change the girls. Maria wasn't just going to let their bodies lay around. I tried to ready myself to take these two lives, like lambs to the slaughter.

This murder was harder than the feeding, that I could rationalize, but these two, the first of many, they were the line. The hard line I would be crossing over into the hands of Maria. Once I changed them, I would no longer be the woman I tried so hard to be before coming here.

I would be the monster Maria wanted, completely and utterly hers.

She looked back at me, her eyes sparkling with anticipation as she gripped my arm, and pulled me toward the limp bodies.

"It's time mía bella. Do it." Her words cut me like ice.

I hesitated, not moving toward them, and she fumed. Turning on me quickly, Maria back handed me across the face before I could move out of the way.

The loud pang reverberated through the wood barn, bouncing off the walls and slamming back into me. I held myself up, accepting the pain that coursed through me as I felt the crack in my skin begin to knit itself back together only moments after it had formed. Her eyes were hard and cold as she glared at my disobedience, and I didn't blame her.

I was cracking under the pressure, literally.

My hard mask was falling from my face, the fear and the gravity of the situation weighed heavily on me. She would not tolerate this behavior, and I was scared for what she might do next.

"Do not think just because I have been kind to you that you have a choice Isabella. You will do this, and you will do it now." Her words hissed at me.

I swallowed back the venom that rose to my mouth and breathed out a heavy sigh. I nodded once and moved forward. I looked down at the girls, registering their appearances for the first time.

The two girls had similar facial features, with their beautiful cheekbones protruding delicately, defined pouty lips, and arched eyebrows. One of the girls, the one who'd tripped repeatedly had long bouncing blond curls that fell just past her chest. The other girl had long soft brown hair and straight bangs that were falling in front of her eyes. They were also physically similar, the brunette had slightly smaller hips and a smaller chest, but it was obvious that these two girls were beautiful. And now I would be taking away their chances to live normal lives.

I felt the regret bubbling in my chest… I wish I had spoken to them more before I took them. It was completely unfair that their lives were going to be forever altered simply because they happened to be in that place while I was hunting. But then again, if it wasn't these girls, it would be someone else. Their fates were sealed the moment I sensed them, and no matter what, I knew I would forever bear the guilt of what I was about to do.

I just wish I knew their names…

I resisted the urge to swallow the venom that had formed in my mouth once again as I moved forward. I pulled the brunette's wrist toward me, bringing it slowly to my mouth, and biting over the pulse I felt there. I knew this was also my chance to feed, so before I injected my venom I pulled a few pints of blood from the body, allowing it to flow through me, nourishing me. As I felt her heartrate begin to slow, nearing death, I pushed the venom that had been pooling in my mouth into her wrist. I moved to the other wrist and repeated the action, and again at both sides of her neck.

I pulled back and watched as she slowly began to wither in pain. My venom was moving through her body slowly, mixing with the remaining blood and following the paths of her veins.

I looked to the other girl and moved to repeat the process. But I couldn't help myself this time; I cringed slightly when I bit more roughly into the neck of this girl, and pulled her against me. I felt her warm soft body mold to mine as I held her in my arms. I could feel each pull of the blood as it flowed from her artery and into my mouth. I swallowed quickly, pulling faster, feeling the girl's heartrate increase as she felt the pain I was inflicting with my teeth in her neck. I didn't mean to wake her from her unconscious state, but I wasn't thinking clearly anymore. I ignored my negative feelings and crushed her against me. I was consumed by the bloodlust I had worked so hard to avoid. But if I didn't stop soon, she would be dead and I would suffer the consequences. I forced myself to reign in what little control I had left and pulled away from her neck. The small trace of venom that was left behind worked into her bloodstream and caused her to moan in pain.

"Finish the job Isabella." Maria spoke from behind me, bringing me out of my daze.

I realized I was frozen, holding the moaning human against my body as her life slipped away from her. I knew I needed to get more venom into her system soon or she would die from the pain. I quickly pulled her wrist to my mouth, biting roughly once again, the skin ripped against the strength of my teeth. I pushed my venom into her, and did the same to her other wrist.

Satisfied that I had pushed enough of my venom into her to produce the change, I carefully set the writhing body back down on the barrel of hay and stepped away from the girls. My eyes never wavered from their shaking forms.

I could feel Maria's eyes on me, watching me as I watched the girls in front of me. She said nothing as we stood there.

It didn't take long before their matching screams of pain began to fill the barn, surrounding me in guilt. But I knew that was a pointless emotion in the presence of Maria. She didn't care how I felt, this was my duty. I had agreed to do this for her, and this was just the beginning. There would be many more after today, and I had to get comfortable with that or I would be punished, severely.

As I stared at the changing forms in front of me, I saw every other girl I had changed before these two. In their place I saw Melissa, Stephanie, Trisha, and Katherine. But rather than feeling the hope I once felt, or looking forward to joining a new member into my family, I felt like a murderer.

These girls hadn't been in danger nor were they seriously injured or abused. I had chosen these girls on my own. I picked them out from the crowd, and decided their lives would end. The glaring differences between my choice to change these girls and what I had done for my family were obvious and painful to see.

I wanted to run back home and hide. I wanted to feel the safety in familiarity, away from this hellhole. As the reality of the situation sunk in, I could feel the blackness surrounding me, suffocating and threatening to breakthrough, but I didn't know what would happen to me or these girls if I let that happen. I didn't want to leave them to fend for themselves. I couldn't just walk away from what I had done here.

Even though Maria had forced me to change these girls, they were still my children in my eyes. Something about these two, the first two that I changed here, called to me.

As I watched their bodies' begin to change, harden and grow colder, their features becoming more defined, their natural coloring fade from their tanned skin, their hair colors becoming more vibrant and beautiful, and their humanity slipping away…I could feel myself being pulled toward them.

I could also feel the regret and the fear that lay inside of me. I didn't want to feel pulled to them. I knew once I had agreed to change them, they would matter to me. There was no way to avoid that, but the fear that this would happen every time I changed someone frightened me. If I had to feel this way every time I changed someone for Maria, I would be fucked.

Maria made no sound as she moved beside me, placing a hand on my shoulder in comfort, but I knew it was a false gesture, she didn't care about my pain. She wanted me to feel bad because that way she could get me to do anything for her.

"You've done well, mía bella, for your first time." Her words struck me. Because this was my first time. This was the first time I had selected innocents to be slaughtered, and I was struggling with the fact that this was only the first time. She still wanted three more this month, which meant I only had a few weeks to accomplish that task. Not to mention the possible hundreds more that might come after this.

I said nothing in response, and continued to stare at the girls in front of me. I didn't want to think about all the other lives I would have to take for this woman. Or about the pain each of those lives would cost me.

Instead, I thought about what I was fighting for.


If the pain I felt now was anything like the pain he felt when he was in this position, then it would be worth it. I would endure this pain a thousand times over to be worthy of him.

"It will get easier. Soon, you won't feel this way anymore. You may even grow to enjoy it, like I do."

I couldn't look at her as she spoke again. I could feel her pity for me as she spoke, but the callousness in her heart never wavered. She was trying to manipulate me, make me confide in her how I was feeling, but I wasn't going to satisfy her sick need to feel like my mentor.

No, instead I turned to her with a small smirk playing on the edges of my lips.

"Maybe I will."