Summary: Her life was uneventful until she met a stunning, mysterious, obsessive man with a monstrous hidden past. What happens when the past catches up with him and throws them both into the unknown?
The first chapters are adapted from a story called 'Touch of Sin' which was posted by the brilliant twilightwhore. She unfortunately felt unable to give her story the time and commitment that she wanted to give it and so offered it for me to adopt. I jumped at the chance and I only hope I can do her original story some justice. I plan to take you all on one hell of a journey with this one – you have been warned!
She is currently writing another story but is committed to writing it all before publishing any of it. I've been promised a sneak preview and I will certainly tell you when she starts posting.
So share the love around – send your reviews in as it will make both of us beam with happiness!
Many thanks to Kas90, my Beta – you are truly awesome with your comments and incredibly patient with my incessant ramblings – please check her stories out, they are brilliant.
Big hugs to Lorna – I love it that you put up with my quirky ways and ideas before they get off the ground.
Song for this chapter: Sanctum Sanctorum by The Damned
Chapter 1 – Encounter
My flat, for some reason, had become the bolt hole for getting ready tonight. I had been relaxing on my bed, listening to some calm music, completely unaware of time, when both Alice and Rosalie had interrupted my peaceful moment. I rushed to stop the frantic banging on my door and opened it to be greeted by Rosalie and a furious, ranting Alice. Rosalie screwed her nose up mouthing, 'Don't ask,' at me before she headed into the kitchen to find something to drink.
I'd padded back to my room and threw myself back onto my bed. I tapped my fingers impatiently against my sweatpants, and rolled my eyes, waiting for Alice to follow and start shouting. I could tell she was mad and needed to get whatever it was off her chest. This was seriously ridiculous.
"That was the last time! Stupid girl had better not touch Jasper again, or there will be hell to pay! I could tell what she was thinking from the way she looked at him, and she's knows full well that he is my boyfriend!" she yelled, her tiny form visibly shaking from her rage.
I bit my lip, resisting the urge to giggle. Alice was so cute when she was angry.
"Well," I cut in, "...maybe she just can't resist him because he's such a hunk." I wiggled my eyebrows and chuckled, quoting Alice from the last time she went out with him.
Alice opened her mouth to vigorously retort, her hazel eyes blazing, however, I tuned her out like I had learnt to do whenever she was angry about anything. I tipped my head back and popped a sweet into my mouth, yawning while focusing on following the complex sprawling patterns in my bedroom ceiling. Sometimes it helped not to watch Alice while she ranted.
I couldn't help but be envious whenever I glanced at Alice; she was beautiful and graceful, even when angry. She had gorgeous eyes, thin in the extreme, and short, black hair, cropped in crazy different directions. She, along with my other best friend, Rosalie, were the most beautiful women I had ever met. It always felt weird that I was their best friend because I didn't feel anywhere near as beautiful or as outgoing as they were.
I sat up slightly as my eyes flickered to the doorway to see Rosalie leaning against the frame, her arms folded tempestuously across her chest.
"You have no alcohol in this flat… None at all!" she exclaimed. I almost barked out a laugh as I watched her. Just like Alice, I thought she was gorgeous; statuesque, blond, a perfect body and classic, big, vivid, aquamarine eyes.
I almost rolled my eyes as I ticked off all of the adjectives I could think of for the two of them.
"Alice, what are you doing? Why are you just standing there and screaming?" Rosalie asked sharply, storming into the room and quirking a brow. I flopped back on the bed and held my breath, hoping she wouldn't notice the fact that I still wasn't changed and ready to go out.
"And Bella, why are you not ready?" Rosalie chastised, unfortunately noticing me and yanking me onto my feet. I flushed guiltily and looked down at my grey wool socks. I peeked up through my lashes and saw that Alice had joined forces with her. I cringed and lifted my head towards the sky, said a quick prayer and eyed the two of them.
I knew why they were so impatient and moody with me; we were supposed to be out and meeting some of our friends, including Emmett and Jasper; Rosalie and Alice's respective boyfriends, soon. Two other friends were going to be there and apparently, I was now making us late. I squinted my eyes and tried not to scowl.
"Does this mean we will have to choose an outfit for you, Bella?" Alice asked testily, thrusting her hands out to gesture at my shapeless sweatshirt and tattered sweatpants. It didn't help that I had my hair pulled back into a very sloppy ponytail.
"Because we would have no problem with it." Rosalie grinned.
"You wouldn't have a problem with it even if I did look 'presentable'!" I snapped back sourly. I took a deep breath and shook my hair out of my scrunchy and closed my eyes. "Just do it quickly so it doesn't hurt." I pressed my lips together to bite back a snide comment, hearing their simultaneous giggles at my obvious hate for what they about to do.
I heard insidious teeters from the two of them once they were finished with me. I thanked the stars that they didn't take long because we were supposed to meet the others at the movie theatre over half an hour ago.
"Okay, open your eyes!" Alice said delightedly as her hands clasped my shoulders and she pointed me in the direction of my mirror. I tentatively peeked one eye open, then gasped as I saw my reflection. I had perfect make up on, and I was dressed in tight jeans and a body hugging t- shirt. I remembered blindly putting the clothes on, but not really recognising the items that they had squeezed me into.
I shook my head at their impish and innocent looks and stared at my hair; I almost smiled. Instead of hanging limp and lifeless, it now twirled in loose curls that fell dramatically around my face and across my shoulders. I grinned as I shoved on my converses, ignoring their protests and telling them that I should, at least, be able to wear my choice of shoes.
We rushed out of the door and into the car. I slid on my sunglasses and joined Alice and Rose, wailing along with songs on the radio. I winced when I belted out a lyric just as the song ended, listening to my voice fill the car, followed by an awkward silence. We'd burst into giggles, throwing our heads back in delight and, whilst they were actually amused, I was red with chagrin.
Once at the cinema, we quickly bought our tickets and hustled into the screening room, blindly looking for the others.
I heard a loud "Psst", causing me to snap my head to the left, searching for the source of the sound. I saw a pair of hands fly into the air and wave around crazily, motioning for me. I tugged on Rose and Alice's arms to tell them that I'd seen where the others were.
I always hated dark cinemas. I tripped over people's feet and, just as I was finally finishing my long journey down the row, my legs got tangled into someone else's long legs. Naturally, I fell onto the person's lap.
"Hey!" the person hissed, outraged. I yelped and jerked upright, trying to control my blush and acting like nothing had happened. I was, if not dignified, aristocratic. I tried to hold on to that thought.
Oh, who you trying to kid, Bella?
I was not aristocratic.
I tried to keep myself from tripping on anyone else's lap and finally flopped safely into the chair next to my good friend, Angela.
"Hey, Bella," she whispered, sparing me a glance and then turning her gaze back onto the big screen.
I grinned at my chestnut-colour haired friend, squeezing her hand and looking at the screen. I saw that Jasper and Alice were snuggled up in front of me, while Emmett and Rosalie were most likely making out in a more remote part of the cinema. Thankfully, Angela and her boyfriend, Ben, were intently watching the movie.
I felt my grin slip away from my face as I realized that I was the only one without a date. The only one that didn't have someone to snuggle up with, to give an Eskimo kiss to, or to even say I love you, for that matter. I watched in sour envy at the way Alice and her good-looking, honey-blonde boyfriend stared at each other. It was like watching two people in a Hallmark commercial.
I turned away from them before my thoughts became more opprobrious.
The movie we were watching was called The Proposal, the one with Sandra Bullock. I didn't really care for this movie, and I was certainly in no mood for a romantic comedy, or any type of romance.
I snickered, realizing that Emmett and Jasper must have not wanted to see this particular movie, but wanted to have an excuse to kiss their girlfriends in a public place.
I glanced over my shoulder and caught Emmett and Rosalie in a heavy make out session. Emmett's burly form could be really intimidating, but once you heard him speak, you knew he was a big softy; he was all curly brown hair, smiles and adorable dimples.
Emmett was like my big brother. He was always teasing me in the way that nicer, older brothers did with their younger sisters, and I always thought that he was out to get me, to make me sport a permanent blush on my cheeks. It was like it was his one ambition in life – to torment and embarrass me.
I sighed, smiling slightly.
I tried to distract myself with my thoughts, but I still felt the nagging voice in my head that I was lonely. No one wanted to be with me, not in the way Alice was with Jasper, or in the way Rosalie was with Emmett. No one wanted to date me seriously; the guys who dated me were either on a bet or seriously perverted.
Tired of the feeling that refused to go away, I got up quietly, blinked away the few tears that were burning my eyes, and decided to go somewhere else.
I walked outside into the cool night air of Edinburgh and took a deep breath, clearing my head. It felt good to inhale air that was not caged in a room between sweaty bodies and shifty people. I loved the way it smelled outside, instead of the reek of too much popcorn that constantly made me feel nauseous.
I didn't really know where I was going, and I didn't concentrate on where'd been. I just shuffled up street after street, my hands stuffed into my pockets. I was lost in my melancholy thoughts.
Even though I was 21, I was just at the start of the relationship road. The place where lip-gloss-love ended and you were at that Y turn, where if you went one way, you had flat, easy pathways and everlasting happiness, and if you went the other, you had the rocky and steep slopes of heartbreak; but you had no idea which way was which.
I was the queen of good choices, ruled by niceness and doing the right thing. Good choices meant asking that weird, solitary Patty Hutchins to your birthday party even when you didn't want to. Good choices meant getting your homework in on time. Good choices meant sharing your locker with someone who played the clarinet instead of someone who drank their parents' Scotch. It meant liking math because it made sense, and liking your family even when they didn't make sense. It meant driving carefully and knowing you'd go to college. It meant taking careful steps and being doomed to be someone no one really remembered at your high school reunion.
I seemed hazy and undefined, even to myself. Was I going to be amazing, the best, and most incredible? Win a Nobel Prize for reading a book? Achieve great heights, as Dad would constantly tell me? Or was I going to be someone who would only stumble and flounder, which is what I really felt was happening? Charlie's words sounded as shiny and hollow as Christmas ornaments to me. Maybe I would just be simply ordinary.
I'd like to say that I had been in love before, but it was never love. Love was an easy word, used carelessly. I had only had two boyfriends, much to my chagrin. I'd only had sex a handful of times. The embarrassing thing was that I didn't find sex appealing like other people did. My internal excuse was that maybe I wasn't physically passionate. I had never met a man that gave me the feeling of want and desire, lust and the simplicity of longing. My evil internal twin sister always blamed it on the male species, saying that they were simply boring and weren't desirable enough.
Huh… like you could date a guy with model looks, Bella.
I sighed deeply and peered out in the darkness, noticing I had walked down a long street and managed to stop in front of a bookstore. Fate or what? That perked me up, and I managed a grim smile as I tugged the door open, only stopping when I felt a vibration in my pocket.
I pulled my mobile phone out and flipped it open, seeing the sign that alerted me I had a new text message from Alice.
"Bella! Where the hell did you go? We're all waiting for you. –Alice."
I rolled my eyes and thought about ignoring it, but decided to tap out a response to get her off my back. I typed quickly.
"Gone home. Felt like an early night. See you tomorrow. – Bella."
I switched the phone off and shoved it in my back pocket, not wanting to think about how everyone else seemed to land a date besides yours truly.
A bell rang on the door as I opened it, signalling to employees that someone had entered the store.
It was rather cosy, a small and homely shop. No one was there besides a cashier and me. She was flipping through a magazine in an inattentive manner while smacking her gum around in her mouth. I tried not to sigh loudly.
Eyeing the cashier, I figured she wouldn't mind if I slunk around and let a few tears slip out. In fact, she was studiously ignoring me and had one bud of her trendy iPod stuck in one ear.
I shuffled towards the back of the store, randomly choosing a book and reading the first page.
I started scanning the words but soon stopped. I frowned and looked at the cover, not liking how this already seemed like a romance. That was the last thing I needed. I glanced irritability towards the blonde cashier. She seemed to be the type of girl who gave off the aura 'Don't Talk to Me', just what I needed.
I felt my stomach drop as I watched her kiss a black haired man. I glowered so tightly I felt as if my face would rip off. I turned my black look over to the shelf of books and huffed in frustration.
Buck up, Bella!
I scolded myself, halting the tears that were now threatening to spill from my eyes. I tried to harden my expression, but it was so difficult; it just wasn't me, it wasn't how I reacted. I stared at the two people in front of me and they reminded me, all over again, that I was incredibly lonely and that I would never have anyone to hold like they did.
I was about to stomp out of the store when something caught my eye. Something bronze coloured came into my view from in between the shelves. It was hair, I realised, beautifully mussed and dishevelled hair. The hair belonged to a male, that much was obvious, but his back was facing me. I shuffled a few steps along the narrow row of shelving so that I could get a better look. He was wearing a short sleeved t- shirt and snug fitting black jeans.
My eyebrows shot up as I noticed the muscles even from here, rippling along his back and his arms. Not overdone, but lithe, agile. I felt the need to run my hands up and down his arms, to see if he was real.
Stop it Bella!
I wanted him to turn around.
It was as if he heard my thoughts as he slowly turned in my direction. I gasped and grabbed a book from the shelf I was standing at.
He started to head over to where I was standing, but I could see that he wasn't looking at me. I studied him as much as I dared. I noticed he had strong, manly features; he had such a sharp jaw that I found myself wanting to kiss the edge of. He had beautiful, wide honey-gold eyes that sported a quizzical and grim look, a smooth forehead and straight nose, full lips and perfect eyebrows. He was also incredibly pale, I noted, but he was so gorgeous that it practically knocked the breath out of me.
As he got closer, I also got a better look at his body, which not-so-secretly pleased me. Power radiated from his rippling lithe body. Not the type of muscles that screamed "I live at the gym everyone!", but subtle and very sexy. Ah, washboard abs. He was tall, lean, and handsome.
Everything I want in a man.
His dark expression and brooding eyes made him look mysterious, and incredibly sexy. Not only was he completely gorgeous, but he looked beautifully dangerous.
I felt a tightening in my stomach as I watched him gracefully and swiftly walk over towards where I was ogling him. As he approached, I blushed and turned away, acting like I wasn't at all gawking at him but browsing around.
I felt, rather than heard, him stand next to me; he was so quiet I wouldn't have noticed him had I not been so infatuated with his presence.
I caught the smell of his cologne, which sent my emotions into a frenzy. I already felt a little crazy, but his aroma was intoxicating. I felt another unfamiliar ache in my belly, although this one travelled even further down, causing me to squirm a bit.
I looked at him from the corner of my eye, braving a glance at the irresistible aura of him. He was staring at me, his golden eyes holding my gaze for a few seconds. I flushed and looked away at once, running my finger across the title on the book I'd picked up earlier. I pretended to look at the title of it and not let him know that I knew he was watching me. But it was like trying to ignore a superstar staring at you; you couldn't look away for too long. His gaze was pretty much burning a hole in the side of my face. I shifted my gaze to look at his face, my eyes traced his chiselled features, and I felt another pang of desire.
I should have been lit on fire, staring into his eyes, they seemed so dark and intense. The sensations he was causing were curious, my heart beat picked up, colour flooded my cheeks and I started to quietly pant. His impossibly golden eyes were hauntingly lovely, full of curiosity and… desire?
Before I could lose my nerve, I spoke up.
"Hi," I squeaked, smiling sheepishly.
His face broke out into a smile, dazzling the crap out of me.
"Hello," he said politely, his velvety voice stroked my senses alluringly. I felt another squeeze in the pit of my stomach. He inclined his head at the book I was fingering slightly. "You like books like that? Dark Prince?" His tone was slightly amused.
I looked quickly at the book and flushed even more. I saw that under the title of the book there were words in small print that stated, 'An Erotic Story.' I immediately withdrew my hand and tucked it in my pocket, giggling with chagrin.
"Umm, actually, no," I said quietly, keeping my eyes glued to the floor.
I heard him chuckle, a deep sound that riled up my emotions once again. I looked up at him, once again amazed by his smouldering good looks.
Was it hot in here, or was it just me? I tugged on my collar, feeling a little shifty.
"I'm actually just escaping from my friends," I admitted honestly.
He raised one perfect eyebrow curiously. "Why?" His voice was so smooth.
I bit my lip; I didn't really want to admit that I was a lonely girl; that would seem like I was begging to get laid or something.
Although, I would not be at all opposed to a lay in the sack with you.
I saw his eyebrows rise on his smooth brow and he swallowed hard. I was surprising myself. I usually didn't find men this attractive, and I certainly never hinted to myself that I wanted to sleep with him. Not once did I get aroused from just the sound of the voice from a man. I closed my eyes for a brief moment, saying a few Hail Mary's and smiled at him impishly.
"Shopping," I lied, trying to cover it up with my smile. I prayed to God that he believed me; I was always useless at lying.
"Liar," he said, his voice laced with dark amusement and curiosity. I flushed even more and wondered how he knew. I thought I did pretty well with the lie.
Damn it, Bella.
My eyes kept darting around the room, looking anywhere but at him.
"Hey," he said softly, his voice unintentionally demanding my attention. Oh boy, did he know the effect he had on me? "We didn't even introduce ourselves. My name is Edward Masen." He smiled at me, a crooked smile that made my legs shake.
Shit, Bella. Control yourself.
He held out one long-fingered, pale hand, and I gripped it, shaking it a little too hard, my nervousness showing in a most stupid way. The most curious sensation shot through my hand and up my arm, seemingly to go straight to my heart. It was a shock, like my body was trying to tell me something about him. I wondered whether he'd felt it too as he quickly withdrew his hand and ran it through his already mussed hair.
I licked my lips; I wanted to run my fingers through his hair.
I smiled at him weakly. "I'm Isabella Swan," I murmured, raising an eyebrow. "But everyone calls me Bella."
Many thanks for reading.
Let me know what you think to this Bella and Edward…
Anyone want to guess at what the future holds for them?