DISCLAIMER: I don't own SM, nor her amazing story. I'm just playing.

Special thanks to my twilife kitten, vszoke for pre-reading and giving ideas from the beginning, and to wonderful tiffaninichole for her support and encouraging me to write this story. I love her stories and she is a beta that every writer could dream about. She turned my stumbling words into a real chapter.

Chapter 1

"Love is not love which alters when alteration finds." -Shakespeare


I was sitting on my usual spot on the beach, with a blanket spread under me. I loved it here, the calm and the silence. Okay, not the silence, really. The waves of the ocean were pretty loud and the seagulls' screeching couldn't be described as silence.

But still, this was the silence, the tranquility that I needed.

My thoughts flowed freely here. I didn't have to control my feelings, my reactions, or my facial expressions. I was safe here.

I really didn't know how I hadn't found this place sooner.

I was close to losing myself a few weeks ago. Charlie was the first to mention that something wasn't right with me after he found me washing the same plate for an hour.

That was the first of many signs.

I started to write aimless words into my notebooks. In the beginning it was just normal doodling, but soon that doodling was replaced with words. Words without meaning, unfinished sentences, lines and marks. There was one word which appeared more and more frequently: me.

It was always surrounded by question marks.

I started to lose myself.

I needed some place- any place- to escape to, but there was no exit door for me.

One day, an idea hit me: La Push. First Beach. There, nothing could happen to me. With the wolves guarding me in the surrounding woods, there was no existing threat- natural or supernatural.

No one would challenge the wolves.

Of course it wasn't easy to convince the Cullens to let me go there a few times a week. Unprotected and unmonitored.

Just the idea of it drove them crazy. But they had to allow me to do this because the truth was that I was truly starting to lose myself and they knew that.

Since Edward was mentally unstable, they lived in constant fear that he would do something harmful, like attempting to commit suicide.

They needed my sanity, as if I were a column, holding and supporting the shattering building named Edward Cullen.

It was a relief to realize that this time, it wasn't me who needed them.

Of course one of the Cullens was always waiting for me near the treaty border. Thankfully, it was far enough away that they couldn't hear or spy on me. Only the wolves stayed near, but they promised not to disturb my private space.

Jake tried it a few times, and when he did, it was me who threatened to never come back. We both knew I meant it. He knew that I wanted to leave town, abandon everyone and everything. He begged me to stay and it was nice to hear that someone actually cared- it was a nice change.

The sun was slowly falling over the horizon. I once read somewhere that it took four minutes for it to totally disappear beyond the horizon. Those four minutes were the most precious to me, watching the sun slowly melting into the ocean. I wished it were that easy for me. To be able to melt into the ground, where there was no guilt, no forced smiles, no obligations... it would be wonderful.

I couldn't understand myself.

The love of my life was back and I was reunited with my beloved vampire family. Charlie was great. Renee was understanding.

And yet, I wished that I could just vanish into nothing- where not even traces of sunbeams could penetrate.

I sighed, stood up and threw a stone into the waves before folding my blanket slowly. My time was up- we'd agreed that I'd only stay until sunset.

I sighed and started to make my way back to the border where one of the Cullens awaited me.

Today it was Rose who was my security guard, and it was no secret that she hated every second of it.

She still didn't accept or even like me since she thought that I was throwing away everything that she yearned for. Specifically my ability to have children. She tried to reason with me, tried to make me see what I would be giving up, but she wasn't successful. I'd made up my mind.

I mentally shrugged.

I couldn't live my life for her. At the age of eighteen, I couldn't care less about having children.

Sometimes I wondered where my sensitivity had gone.

I made my way back with a lowered head, watching my steps on the gravel. I was so lost in my thoughts that I nearly bumped into a hard body. I looked up, startled, not prepared to see him. He was so distant, always seeming like an outsider and looking as if he were in pain whenever I entered the room.

He wasn't allowed to speak to me. Edward did his best to avoid my having any interaction with this particular member of the Cullen family.

But there he was, standing in front of me. Staring at his chest, I suddenly realized how tall he was. I slowly lifted my eyes to his face. His muscles were hard and tense under his vintage T-shirt and the wind played with his blond locks.

He was never more beautiful than in that moment. I realized then that I had never really looked at him before.

"What are you doing here?" I asked.

He watched me warily. "I wanted to talk to you."

"But Rose-"

"She helped me arrange this. Tricking the gifted Cullens wasn't so easy." He waved towards the woods. "Your dogs are watching me- the whole pack. If I tried to attack you, they'd kill me in the blink of an eye."

I watched his eyes as they shone like gold in the twilight sky. So similar, yet so different- there wasn't much softness in them. In that moment, I realized that I had no clue who he really was because they kept him a safe distance from me- but somehow he'd convinced Rose to let him come. Somehow he'd persuaded the wolves to keep their distance.

"How did you...?" I moved my hand towards the woods and he smiled.

I'd never seen him smile before.

"I calmed them. Sometimes, I'm grateful for my gift."

"Am I safe?" My fear was beginning to alarm me.

"Do you want to know the truth?" He asked me quietly.

I gulped. "Yes."

"No, you're not safe. I can always stop your wolves. They can't touch me."

"You could kill me." The realization made a cold path run up my spine.

"Yes," he held my gaze. "But I don't want to."

Edward was never so blatant and straightforward with his predatory side. He was never honest like this.

I lifted my chin in mock strength. "So what do you want?"

He stepped closer to me. "You."

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