Okay - this is a Twilight / Southern Vampire Mysteries story, which poses the question: what would Bella do if seven years after Edward left, the vampires of the SVM world came out of the coffin?

I originally planned on this being a one-shot, but it was getting a little long (even though this chapter itself is very long!), so I'll split it into a few different chapters. I don't intend on this being a very long story, however. at the moment, anyway!

This is my first time in the Twilight world, but my eighth SVM story.

Hope you enjoy!


"BELLA!"

My housemate, Nicole, was yelling excitedly at me from the living room of the small apartment we shared in downtown Shreveport, Louisiana. I begrudgingly saved my work and closed the lid of my laptop before walking into the room. Nicole was kneeling on the carpet only a few feet in front of the TV and staring intently at the set.

"Oh my god, have you seen this?"

I took a seat on the sofa as Nicole joined me, perching on the edge and turning the TV up even louder. The woman showing on the set had shoulder-length blonde straight hair with sharp features, bright blue eyes and pale skin.

But my eyes were drawn to the bold banner at the bottom of the screen that read 'Vampires are real'. I felt a sense of dread come over me as my throat constricted and the ever-present hole in my chest threatened to engulf me. This could not be happening.

I managed to move my eyes from the words on the screen and take note of the woman. "We at the American Vampire League promise all of mankind that with the invention of synthetic blood we no longer need to feed on humans to survive."

I felt sick and dizzy. Vampires. I had successfully stayed away from all references to them in the seven years since the Cullens left Forks. I didn't watch the endless repeats of Buffy, Angel or The Vampire Diaries, and I stayed away from other books and references in popular culture.

Popular culture was easy to avoid, however. This was reality.

But I didn't understand it. The Cullens had always been so careful to remain in the shadows undetected. And for what I understood, the Volturi kept tight rules about publicity. Why were the vampires announcing themselves on national TV?

"Bells, are you okay?"

I dragged my eyes away from the TV and turned to Nicole who was wearing a concerned expression.

"Fine," I croaked, my voice sounding nothing like it should.

"You don't look fine. In fact you look like you've seen a ghost or something." I felt like I had. "It's kind of cool though? Vampires? Who'd have thought that they were real?" Nicole's face was one of pure glee as she turned back to the TV and carried on listening to what the blonde was saying.

"Vampires are not a danger to humans. It is against our laws to bite a human without their consent and such actions will be severely punished."

"You have your own authorities then?" The scared-looking interviewer asked her.

"We do, but obviously we will correspond with the human authorities. We did not ask to be made vampires and it is believed that we suffer from a virus that made us this way. Investigations are ongoing into the real plight of our condition."

She was obviously gunning for the sympathy vote, but I didn't buy it. The interview continued and it was obviously one of vampire propaganda. She was calm and collected, answering all of the interviewer's questions without any hesitation. At the end of the interview, in an effort to lift the mood the interviewer asked her whether some of the myths and legends were true.

"So Ms Flanagan, I'm sure all of our viewers would like to know whether you do in fact sleep in coffins?"

The vampire gave him a sweet smile as she answered his question. "We prefer not to. But it is necessary when we travel during the day or when we are away from home. We prefer to sleep in beds, as I'm sure you would."

"Of course, thank you. And can I ask if you can turn into bats?"

"Myth, I'm afraid. Though I can see that it would be handy." She gave him a toothy smile.

"Can you be seen in mirrors?"

"Also a myth. In fact, it was a way that we stayed in the shadows for so long. If a vampire could be seen in a mirror, they obviously weren't a vampire!"

The man looked scared by her answer and caught off-guard, but quickly recovered himself and asked her his final question.

"I want to thank you, Ms Flanagan, for coming in today and speaking to us. I'm sure almost all of our viewers will be stunned to realise that we share our world with vampires, and we look forward to learning more and getting to know each other." I had a feeling that the 'getting to know' was more on our side than theirs. "And finally, can I ask if we may see your fangs?"

"Of course," she answered in an obviously scripted move before she opened her mouth and her fangs slid down into place.

Fangs.

The Cullens didn't have fangs. And they didn't sleep in coffins. Or at all, for that matter. And she had blue eyes. Not red, or amber, or black, but blue.

I didn't understand what was happening and I sat dumbstruck staring at the TV as the presenter started to address the camera and talk about the reaction to the news, and what the president had to say on the matter. Not that I was paying much attention to what was being said.

It was all coming back to me. Everything I had worked so hard to bury deep within my mind was coming back as a result of this news. I wanted to forget like Edward told me I would, but I never could. It was suppressed, yes, but always there, even these seven years later. And it never took much to bring back the memory of him or the Cullens.

I'd been a zombie for years after he left. And if it hadn't been for Jacob Black in that first year, I easily wouldn't have survived. However, I managed to attend the University of Washington in Seattle studying sociology despite my somewhat altered mental status, and I sank myself into my studies. I used it as a distraction, working all the hours I could, which was a great many since I became an insomniac.

At the time, I couldn't face being too far away from Forks. I needed to know that if there was any sign of the Cullens returning that I could easily make it back in time. I made Jacob and Sam promise that if there was any sighting or even a scent trail that they would contact me, the wolves knowing full well that they would easily know if the vampires ever returned.

But they never did.

After two years of study in Seattle, I finally started to live again. I made a few friends and I started to leave my room more and meet people. I started to see a psychologist – although I never divulged all the information, as that would probably have gotten me locked up – and with her help, I started to try to put Edward behind me. I had to realise that he wasn't coming back, and living on edge wasn't going to help me.

For that reason, I transferred to Louisiana State University in Shreveport. I chose Shreveport because it was sunny and nowhere near as green and rainy as Washington was. And I knew the Cullens would never be anywhere where it was sunny, sticking to the Northern states where the sunshine hours weren't quite so high.

I became increasingly angry at the Cullens over the years. Angry at them for leaving me, when I had been beginning to think of them all as my family. Angry at then rest of them for letting Edward leave me the way he did. Angry at them all for not even saying goodbye.

My anger helped me, however. It forced me to put it all behind me and I began to see a future ahead of me. One that didn't include Edward. I can't say I liked it, but it was a future nonetheless.

Moving to Louisiana was the main thing that helped me recover and it was probably something I should have done to start with. In Seattle, I still held all the memories and hoped that he would return to me. I went home to Forks often, and never gave myself time away to heal. But once I was two and a half thousand miles away in Louisiana, I began to live again. Not everything reminded me of Edward. I'm not saying that I truly recovered, and I know to my dying day that I will never would forget him or love another in the way I loved him, but I managed to move past it. I buried my emotions and healed a little.

I even started dating the year after I moved to Shreveport. Oliver was great; he was a Fine Arts major in his final year, and was going on to become an art teacher. We met through mutual friends and instantly got on well. He was cute as well; tall and well-built with dark brown hair, blue eyes and a healthy tan from the Louisiana sunshine. His tan alone was enough to make him look nothing like Edward, but he was different in many ways, more outgoing and less prone to brood and sulk like Edward had.

I initially found that I compared almost everything about him to Edward, but as we got to know each other, I got to know him for him, not just his differences to my ex-boyfriend. We took it slowly – which I was very grateful for – and after a few months of casually dating we took it to the next level. He was always great with me, supportive and loving.

And I just hated it that I couldn't love him back in the same way.

In the end after just over three years together, we split up. He wanted marriage and kids, and a wife who could give him what he deserved. I wasn't that woman. He deserved so much more than me, so I left him. I felt bad that I had done exactly the same thing to Oliver that Edward had done to me, but I at least did not disappear into thin air.

I'd never really told Oliver much about Edward or my past, but I did make the effort to explain how broken I was. I had tried to love him, but I didn't realise how much of my heart and soul still belonged to Edward until I tried to move on and give it to another. I came to realise that I would never be able to love anybody else and would probably never marry. Maybe I should have just bought some cats and ended up as a crazy old spinster talking crazy tales about vampires and werewolves.

Except that it wasn't so crazy any more. And seeing the vampire on TV made it all come back to me. Where were the Cullens? Had they always known about these 'other' vampires? Was there more in this world that I didn't know about? Were they safe?

"Bella!"

I was torn out of my thoughts by Nicole whacking me on the arm and thrusting the phone in my direction.

"It's Jacob," she told me before she went to sit back down in front of the TV. I hadn't even heard the phone ring.

"Thanks," I muttered before taking the handset and going into my room, shutting the door tightly behind me and leaning against it.

"Hi Jake."

"Hey Bells. You okay? You watching the TV?"

"Yeah. I just … I don't understand. How?"

"There's a lot in this world we don't know about. Billy reckons that the supernatural world is much larger than we ever thought possible."

"But what, they're a different kind of vampire?"

"Yeap," he said, popping the 'p'. "You have to admit, they're more the Bram Stoker, Anne Rice kind of vampire. Sleeping in coffins, fangs…"

"Wow. I just … I didn't expect this. Do you think …" I didn't need to complete my sentence, Jacob knew what I was asking.

"I don't know, Bella. Those guys were always so secretive. But then so were these vampires since we knew nothing about them. I can try and find out more, see if the tribe elders know anything. I'll let you know."

"How long have you known?" he certainly seemed to know more than I did.

"I only found out yesterday about the announcement. I probably shouldn't be telling you this," his voice lowered to a whisper, "but apparently we're not the only type of wolves either. There are other werewolves, ones that have to change on the full moon. And not only that, there are shifters that turn into other animals such as lynx, panther, fox or tiger. And even those that can turn into any animal they wish."

This was becoming a little too much to take in for one evening. I sat down on my bed and took a deep breath.

"You haven't heard from … them?" It was the same question I always asked whenever I spoke to Jacob.

"No, Bella. You know I would tell you if we did."

"I know." The hole in my chest made itself present for a brief moment as I wondered what Edward and the Cullens were doing; what they made of this announcement and whether they would admit to being vampires. I ran my fingers over the scar on my hand that James had given me as I often did when I thought back to those days. "How are Suzy and the kids?"

"Good. Crazy as ever!"

In the first year that I'd been in Seattle Jacob had met Suzy who was a second cousin of Embry and had lived outside of the tribe. But as soon as she and Jake met, he imprinted on her and they were inseparable from that point on. Jake and Suzy now had two sons and a daughter and he was hugely happy. I couldn't help but feel jealous at times. Not because it was him and I wanted something with him – Jake had always been a close friend of mine – but because I envied what he had with his mate. I wanted to be able to have that.

"Great, tell Suzy I said 'hi'."

"Will do. Are you okay Bells?" he asked with obvious concern in his voice.

"I'm fine. It's just a lot to take in and it's brought back some painful memories. I'll be okay though."

"Think you'll meet any vampires? Shreveport's a large city, there are bound to be vampires in the area."

I hadn't thought of that. "I don't know," I admitted. "I think it may be best if I stay away from vampires for the time being."

"Maybe you should have in the first place," Jake snarked under his breath.

"Jake!" I scolded. We had had that conversation many times.

"Sorry. I just … you know my feelings towards vampires. It really would be best to stay away from them. All varieties, that is."

"I haven't decided yet," I challenged, knowing I was going back on what I'd said only a few seconds before. Sometimes Jake's animosity towards the Cullens did annoy me still.

He let out a loud sigh. "Just be careful, okay? You don't know what these vampires are like. They could be more like James, Victoria or Laurent."

I shuddered thinking of those three and was glad that I'd known the wolves as otherwise I would not have survived the encounters with Victoria and Laurent. It was a fact that the Cullens leaving me had not left me safe at all, and without the help of the Quileute tribe I would have been dead years ago.

"I know. But then I doubt they'd be coming out of the coffin if they were savages like those three. I'll be careful, I promise. I love you, Jake."

"Love you too, Bells."

We both hung up and I threw the phone handset down onto my bed next to me. This really was a lot to take in and I didn't really understand what was happening. It had been strange enough to know of one type of vampire, but two distinctly different types? It seemed completely unreal. Were there others? Were there other creatures in the world that I didn't know of? It seemed increasingly likely that there were.

.

Over the next few weeks the news of the vampires making themselves known remained all over the media. We got to hear of all views. The religious right who condemned them as soulless devils who should be destroyed, to the newly named 'fangbangers' who wanted to have sex with vampires and, ultimately, become vampires themselves. But it became evident that the vampires were picky on who was turned, choosing to simply see the Fangbangers as a free source of food rather than a future companion.

Much despite myself, I found that I was spending hours reading all about them. And the more I read the more I realised how different they were to the vampires I had known in my former life. It seemed that they were not venomous as the Cullens had been, their bite being apparently quite sensuous instead. It was also said that they could hypnotise or 'glamour' a human into doing their bidding or forgetting certain things. I sometimes wondered whether if Edward had had that particular power whether he would have simply glamoured me into forgetting about him. I had a feeling he probably would have done.

Vampire bars started springing up all around the country, one of the first being in Shreveport, which opened the day after the announcement. It was called Fangtasia and became an instant success. I'd heard many stories of what went on there, although quite a few people came back not remembering what they had done. I didn't really want to think about what actually happened.

But it meant that when my equally curious roommate mentioned that she wanted to go to Fangtasia, I couldn't decline.

I knew that I probably should stay away from vampires considering my last run in with one of them. Victoria had been haunting me for weeks by skirting around the edge of where I lived as she played with me, and if it wasn't for the wolves I easily would have been killed. It wasn't amusing at the time, but the funny thing was that she thought killing me would be revenge for the Cullens killing her mate. I doubted Edward would even have known, he certainly didn't come back to try and prevent my death. Obviously Alice no longer had visions of me, or Edward had asked her not to look. I suspected that it was the second of the two reasons.

It was probably more luck than anything else that meant the wolves killed Victoria, and the small mistake she made meant that they were able to trap her and pull her into pieces. And the eight other vampires that she had made to kill me. I would never forget the curses she yelled as the wolves descended. She'd realised at that point that Edward wasn't coming back to save me, and she took great pleasure in reminding me that 'my mate' had left me of his own free will. Didn't I know it.

.

"What are you wearing?" Nicole asked, bouncing into my room and plonking herself down on my queen-sized bed.

"I'm not too sure. Jeans and a t-shirt?"

I peered into my closet to look at my collection of clothes. I wasn't one for going out very much, so I only had a few items that were really special. But I'd be much more comfortable in jeans and tee. I had a feeling that Nicole wasn't going to let it go.

"You are not going wearing that. This is a club, Bella. A vampire club. Most people will be wearing black and leather. Or black leather. I am." I raised an eyebrow at her since she wasn't normally a black leather kind of girl. "So I may have bought it specially!"

"Whatever you say!" I rifled through my closet until I found a red dress I'd once worn out on a date with Oliver. I'd loved it but never really much opportunity to wear it. I pulled it out and stuck the hanger over my head so the dress fell in front of me. "What do you think?"

"Definitely. Yes, you should definitely wear that. You look hot in that dress!"

I gave her a warm smile and hung the dress on the outside of my wardrobe. "You mind if I shower first?"

"Sure, go for it."

I usually ended up taking longer to get ready than Nicole did, as my long brown hair took forever to dry, and Nicole had short, spiky dark brown hair that was very reminiscent of Alice's. It made me really miss my old friend at times.

After spending what felt like hours drying and straightening my hair, I applied a little more make-up than I would normally wear and pulled on the red dress. I had to admit, I really did love that dress even though I still wasn't really a dress or skirt kind of girl. Even for work, I normally wore a pantsuit rather than showing my legs.

It was a Saturday night and we'd been warned to get to Fangtasia early as it normally filled up fairly quickly, so at eight I met Nicole so we could take the taxi ride across town to the bar. Nicole, as promised, was wearing a tight black top and a scandalously short black leather skirt. She looked good but I wouldn't have been caught dead wearing anything like that. I'd paired my knee-length red dress with a simple pair of black heels that I wasn't too bad at walking in.

At least my coordination had improved since I was a teenager.

"You're keeping your hair down?" Nicole asked as we climbed into the taxi.

"Yes. I'd prefer the vampires didn't see lunch when I walk in!"

"Mmmm. Apparently there's a particularly hot blond. He can lunch on me if he wants!"

I rolled my eyes and sat nervously playing with my fingers, as the car got closer to the bar. I was beginning to wonder whether it was a good idea to go near vampires. What if they glamoured me into telling them everything I knew about the Cullens?

"Don't be so nervous," Nicole scolded as we arrived at the club. She paid the driver and we got out to see there was already a long queue forming around the place. Maybe if I was lucky we wouldn't actually get in.

I took a deep breath and let my friend lead me past the front door of the club in the direction of the back of the line; a line that was even longer than I'd expected it to be. There was a tall blonde female at the door acting as the bouncer, and I could tell instantly that she was a vampire. I didn't quite know how, but I could just see that there was something other worldly about her. She was wearing tight black leather pants and a leather corseted top.

And she looked positively bored.

I gave her a quick smile before hurrying past and heading to the back of the line.

"Hey," I heard from behind me. "You two." I grabbed Nicole's hand and turned to look back, the blonde vampire who had been at the door was suddenly right by me. "What's your name?"

She was looking strangely at me, slightly squinting and then scowling at me. "Bella," I eventually answered when I found my voice.

She scowled once more at me before turning to Nicole, a wry smile appearing on her lips. "I'm Nicole Jordan," she announced without the vampire having to ask her. "This is my roommate Isabella Swan."

I turned to scowl at Nicole but it looked like she wasn't quite with it. I wondered whether the vampire had just glamoured her. A cold chill going down my spine when I realised that she probably had.

"You two can come in, but I need to see some ID first. I can't tell human ages anymore."

The vampire's bored tone was back and she led us to the door of the club, much to the annoyance of all the others who were waiting in the queue to get in. We both showed her our identification and then she allowed us entry into the dark club.

I gave Nicole a glance, noticing that the vampire was still watching us as we walked into the club. The room was packed full of people and the bar was crowded. It was decorated – as would be expected – in reds and blacks with a large luminous sign promoting the name of the club on one wall and pictures of famous fictional vampires adorning the walls. It was very cliché and somewhat cheesy, but exactly what one would expect of a vampire club.

Most of the people in the bar were wearing black, the odd red or purple around, and it was easy to spot those who were the tourists – the category that surely Nicole and I fitted into. There were also the fangbangers – who were wearing little more than underwear and were proudly displaying their bite marks – and the vampires themselves, who appeared to glow slightly in their whiteness and generally looked pissed off to be there. I wondered if they were being forced to be there.

"Drink?" Nicole asked.

"Yeah, I could do with a beer."

Nicole queued up to get our drinks while I looked around the club further. There were booths along the walls as well as high tables and stools, and a dance-floor to one side. But in one corner was a raised area where there was what could only be described as a thrown.

And in that thrown was a large, well-built blond vampire who seemed to be staring right at me.

I swallowed audibly as our eyes met momentarily before I looked away. He was obviously a vampire, and considering the position he was sat in I assumed that he held a position of power. I deliberately turned my back to him to avoid his gaze and watched Nicole as she was served by an American-Indian looking vampire. When Nicole went to pay for our drinks, she was told that were on the house.

A feeling of dread settled over me, and I watched the bartended indicate behind me when Nicole asked why our drinks were being paid for. He simply smirked at her and pointed directly behind us. We both spun around to see the large blond vampire stood leaning casually against one of the high tables, the blonde vampire from the door stood next to him with an identical smirk.

"Isabella Swan," he stated as his eyes bore into my skull.

"How do you know my name?" I managed to ask, my voice stronger than I would have expected it to be.

"You're in my vault," the female informed me as she pointed at her temple. Damn vampires and their infinite memories.

The tall male was still staring intently at me, and he took a step closer towards me. It was everything I could do to not step backwards. He suddenly scowled at me and turned to the female, speaking to her in a language I did not recognise. They had a brief conversation and then she was dismissed by him and went to take up position at the door again.

I took a nervous swig from my drink as I watched her leave, my eyes falling back to him. I had to admit that he was incredibly hot. He had shoulder length blond hair, piercing pale blue eyes, perfect pale skin and he was built like a warrior. I was sure that he'd make even Emmett look small with his size as he had to be at least six foot four and was huge with it, his muscles clearly on show with the blank tank he was wearing. Below it, he was wearing well-fitting black jeans and black boots.

"What are you?" he asked me as I swallowed nervously. He took one more step closer to me and sniffed the air around me. I felt like I was a prime steak.

"What?" I didn't understand his questioning.

He took one last step towards me so that he was almost touching me. He leant down so his face was at the level of my neck and took a large sniff. I instantly thought of James and felt paralysed in fear. I understood that these vampires had better control of their blood lust than the ones I had known in my former life, but I still feared for my life.

After far too long a time, the vampire stepped back from me once more and my eyes met his. He again had a look of concentration on his face and then seemed to give up.

"You smell delicious, Miss Swan."

"So I've been told," I muttered under my breath.

"And who would have told you that?" he asked with venom.

"Uh-" I stuttered, not really knowing what to say. "A vampire?" I didn't intend it to come out as a question, but the rise at the end of my comment gave it that indication.

"And what vampires have you met before, you very much look like the virgin to this club. You stick out like a sore thumb."

I was vaguely amused by his turn of phrase, but scared at the same time. I didn't want to tell this vampire about the Cullens. He'd evidently already tried to glamour me and had had little luck, but I was more than aware there were other methods of persuasion he could use if he wanted to get something out of me.

"Come with me, Miss Swan, I think I'd like to talk to you in private."

I could feel my heart pounding in my chest and a feeling of intense fear began to paralyse me. "But my friend…"

"Is more than happy right now."

I turned to see that Nicole was on the dance floor with a seedy looking brown haired male vampire. I didn't like the look of him, but there was little I could do. The blond vampire gently took my upper arm and pulled me away from the bar towards an office, pushing me into the room and closing the door behind me.

"Please don't kill me!" I begged as soon as he turned to face me again.

"I'm not intending on it, but there are things you're not telling me. Want to tell me why my glamour doesn't work on you?"

"I don't know! I'm obviously defective or something. It didn't –" I managed to catch myself before I could complete that sentence, but the vampire had obviously caught that I was not telling him something.

"You will tell me. I may not be able to glamour you, but in my thousand years I have learned a few torture tricks that I would just love to try out on you." Thousand years? That was a long time.

"Please don't," I begged, finally giving into the tears that I'd been fighting. I knew I shouldn't have come. I should have stayed well away from vampires. I should have learnt my lesson on that one.

He slowly walked towards me again and I backed up as far as I could until my legs hit a large black leather sofa and I was forced to sit down. The vampire came and knelt down in front of me.

"I don't like tears, but yours smell delicious."

He ran a cold finger along my cheek to collect some of the tears that had fallen and brought his finger to his mouth, sucking the moisture off and groaning in pleasure.

"You taste even better than you smell. I can only imagine what your blood tastes like."

I had an instant vision of me being drained by this vampire and my heart sunk. I had survived so much since the Cullens left, but this was my own fault. My own stupid curiosity had brought me to this club and now this vampire was going to be the death of me.

My mind instantly thought of Edward and wondered what he would do if he ever found out what had happened. Or whether he even cared for that matter. A few more tears leaked from my eyes and they weren't linked to the situation I was in.

"You are sad," the vampire commented.

"I'm about to be drained dry by a vampire!" I yelled, "What do you expect!"

"No, that is not the reason for your sorrow."

I swallowed loudly as I watched his eyes leave my face, pause briefly on my neck and then run his eyes over my body. I again felt like a piece of meat to be devoured. Until he saw the crescent shaped scar on my hand, that is.

I instantly tried to withdraw my hand and hide the scar, but his grip on my wrist was too strong.

"What is this?" he asked after examining it closely, running a finger over the scar and the surrounding area.

"I was bitten," I admitted, knowing that there was little point in lying to him now. I had never been a good liar anyway.

He got up and sat down next to me on the sofa. "You have met vampires before, only not my kind."

I clenched my eyes shut as I was met with images of Edward leaving me. It was still a regular nightmare even after these seven years, but it was an image I normally managed to keep out of my waking life. Obviously not today.

"Yes," I whispered in confirmation.

"You weren't turned," he stated.

"No." I easily remembered the burning pain that came from James' bite and the sensation of Edward sucking his venom out of me. The scar never had truly healed and always felt a few degrees colder than my body temperature.

"How?"

The vampire's eyes were intense upon me and I swallowed the bile I could feel rising. "It was sucked out."

"Sucked out?"

"Yes."

"By?"

"Another vampire."

"How?"

"I don't know, he just did it."

The blond vampire gave me a quizzical look and settled back into the sofa, his long legs crossed in front of him.

"I have never met a human before that has survived a run-in with a day-walker."

"Day-walker?" I queried.

"It distinguishes us from them. They tend to call us night-stalkers. What's left of them, anyway."

My face fell and a feeling of cold dread settled over me. What did he mean by that comment?

"What do you mean?"

"Well, they can walk in the daylight, do not sleep and have a tendency to sparkle in the sunlight, and we sleep during the hours of daylight."

I got the distinction, but I wasn't referring to that. "I meant when you said 'what's left of them'."

He shrugged his shoulders. "They've mostly been eradicated in the last few years. They are considered a liability to the vampire name by the AVL. Their new-borns are too strong and they are unable to not kill humans unless they plan on turning them. There have been epidemics of them before which we have had to deal with, so they were eliminated for the most part."

The hole in my chest felt like it was imploding on itself as I considered the thought that Edward might be dead. That all of the Cullens might be dead. Edward had once told me that he couldn't live in a world where I wasn't. And the fact was that I felt the same. I may not have heard from him for over seven years since a few days after my fateful eighteenth birthday, but I didn't want to be in a world where he wasn't.

But he hadn't said all of them were eliminated. "But not all of them?" I squeaked.

He gave me a querying look. "No, some were allowed to remain. You know of the Volturi?" I nodded my confirmation. "Well they were eliminated by the Italian vampires and a general rule was put out to kill day-walkers at sight. Only certain covens were allowed to carry on staying un-dead."

I let out the breath I'd been holding. Could the Cullens be one of those covens? I had to ask him for confirmation.

"The ones that don't feed on humans?"

"Yes. But they mostly stick to the northern states or Canada. They are closely monitored."

I felt relief surge through me. I didn't want to ask directly about the Cullens, but I was hopeful that they were one of the covens that had been deemed safe to the vampire name.

"You are a strange being, Isabella Swan."

"It's Bella," I corrected.

He raised an eyebrow at me. "My name is Eric Northman. I am the vampire sheriff of Area 5 in Louisiana. You met my child Pam at the door."

"Child?" I queried.

"I made her. She is of my blood."

"Okay," I said, not quite knowing what to say. There was a pause while we were both quiet, the vampire's eyes on me as I tried not to think about Edward.

"You are concerned about the day-walkers?"

I sank back into the sofa and shut my eyes for a moment. "I knew the Cullens." I admitted to him, figuring there was little point in lying. It was obvious he knew who they were. "I used to date one of them. I was only seventeen but I completely fell in love with him."

"I do not understand your concept of love, but I know their kind mate for life. What happened?" He raised an expectant eyebrow at me and I took a deep breath.

"He left me." I had never actually told anyone about the Cullens. The only person who really spoke about them was Jacob, and he knew it all anyway. "He told me he didn't want me."

"He was a fool." Eric commented as he continued to appraise me, his pale blue eyes studying my face. "I have heard of the Cullens and I understand they are one of the covens deemed safe due to their … unusual diet and restrained nature. I could find them if you wished me to."

I stared at him, slightly taken aback by his offer. Did I want to find them? Over the years I had looked in placed where I thought they might be, but I never even found a trace. At least he was confirming to me that they were alive. Or undead, at least.

"I don't know … I …"

"The offer is open," he told me nonchalantly. He ran a cool finger down my neck and I trembled from the sensation. "You really do smell delicious. I would very much like to taste you."

I was certain that if he could have he would have glamoured me by now, but he leaned forward and pinned me to the sofa, his cold breath on my neck as he inhaled my scent. He moved closer as he lips met my neck and I tried to sink into the sofa to get away from him. He kissed me gently on my pulse point, his cold nose running along my neck as he nuzzled me.

"Bella…" he whispered is a husky voice before placing another kiss on my neck.

"Please don't," I begged, not able to keep the emotion out of my voice.

It was so reminiscent of what Edward used to do, the way his cold lips and breath felt against me neck. But I wanted it to be Edwards lips and I didn't want to replace those memories I had of him.

"Please don't," I begged again and the vampire leaned back away from me.

"You do realise that every human female and a good proportion of the males in this club would beg me to bite them?"

He leaned back and raised an eyebrow as he smirked at me, his long legs crossing at the ankle as he surveyed me.

I gave him a smile. "I'm sure they would. And maybe if…" I stopped myself before I mentioned not meeting the Cullens. I never wanted to think that way.

"I understand. But if you change your mind, you know where to find me."

We were interrupted by a knock at the door, to which Eric called out to enter and Pam walked in. she instantly raised an eyebrow at the situation in front of her. "You haven't even bitten her?" she asked with obvious disdain.

"She asked me not to. I will never force myself on anyone when there are so many more than willing."

She rolled her eyes at his comment. "The hordes are getting restless, Master. The vermin need to be entertained."

"Vermin?" I queried, not quite sure if I heard correctly.

"Pam's name for the humans who come here. It's quite apt." Eric informed me.

"You would consider me vermin?"

He looked thoughtful for a moment. "You are different. You know more than most and you have no desires to sleep with or become a vampire. It makes you different to most that come here. Your friend however…" he trailed off.

"She's just curious. I don't think she wants to be a vampire."

"She wants to sleep with me, though. But most of them do." I rolled my eyes at his arrogance, though I had to admit that it was probably warranted. He stood up and extended a hand to me. "You will come back, Miss Swan? I find that I actually quite enjoy your company. You are different to every other human I have met, and your scent is quite intoxicating."

I had to admit to being surprised by his confession, but in all honesty I quite enjoyed his company as well. I took his hand and he helped me up as Pam led us both back into the bar.

In the presence of other humans he instantly became the cold, arrogant vampire once more, pushing the fangbangers out of his way and resuming his position back on the raised thrown in one corner of the room. Pam caught my attention and gave a dramatic eye roll at his antics.

When I finally found Nicole she was still in the arms of the brown-haired vampire I'd left her with, and while I was concerned about her, she'd specifically told me that she wanted to hook up with a vampire. Personally I thought she was crazy, but then I was hardly one to judge.

Instead I bought myself another beer and went to sit down in an unoccupied booth. It was fun watching the reaction that Eric got from almost every human in the club: they seemed completely in awe of him and were desperate to get some kind of attention, even if it was being glared at or kicked away if they got too close to him. I couldn't help but find it highly amusing, and Eric had caught my eyes a few times to smirk at me.

"May I join you?" Pam asked after a while and came to sit down before I'd had the chance to give my approval. Not that I'd have dared to have denied her. She had a bottle of blood in her hand, which she placed on the table.

"You seem to be very relaxed around vampires," she commented, her eyebrow arched as she regarded me.

"You're not the first vampires I have met." There seemed little point in lying to her when I had already told Eric. "I used to live in the Pacific North-West in Washington. I went to school with a family of vampires."

"You went to school with vampires? Day-walkers, I take it?"

"Yeah. I dated one for a few months." I tried to keep the sadness out of my voice, but I had a feeling that I failed miserably.

"You were lucky to survive."

Didn't I know it. "I had a few run-ins with hostile ones, but the ones I knew wouldn't have hurt me." Not physically, anyway.

"What's that stuff like?" I asked, pointing at the untouched bottle and making an attempt to change the subject away from the Cullens.

"Disgusting."

"Why do you drink it then?" I asked.

"Who said I was drinking it?" Pam responded with a smirk.

"I thought you guys could survive on synthetic blood."

"We can, but that doesn't mean we want to. Why drink that shit when there are so many humans willing to give it to us for free. For that reason, coming out of the coffin was the best thing we did."

"Okay…" I wasn't quite sure what to say to that.

"The vampires you knew, the day-walkers…," she started, bringing our conversation back to the Cullens. "They weren't a threat to you?"

"No," I sighed. "They drank animal blood."

"Fuck! That's disgusting! I'd rather drink this shit than feed from animals."

"They always said predators tasted better. Ed-" I stopped myself, took a deep breath to clear my head and started again. "Edward always preferred mountain lion, his brother preferred grizzly bear."

"Still disgusting."

"They used to joke that they were 'vegetarians'." I told her, feeling a little nostalgic.

"You miss them," she observed.

I smiled ruefully. "It's been seven years since I've seen or heard anything from them. Eric confirmed that he thinks they survived the cull of day-walkers as they're more restrained than others, but they left me and never came back. They obviously don't want to see me."

Pam gave me a look and then stood up, extending her hand to me. "Come, let's dance."

"I don't dance."

"Sure you do. And anyway, everyone will be looking at me."

I reluctantly took her hand and she led me to the dance floor. I had to admit that I had a good time, and Pam was right in saying most eyes were on her. At the end of the night Nicole was nowhere to be seen, but Eric informed me that he'd seen her leave with one of the vampires in his area. He promised that she would be safe with him, and I had no reason not to believe him. Nicole always was braver than me.

Over the following weeks and months I developed a strange relationship with Pam and Eric, and I usually attended Fangtasia at least once a week. My friendship with Pam was an unusual one, but I genuinely liked her and quickly discovered she had a love of shopping almost as voracious as Alice's. It made me miss my old friend at times. And I found it quite remarkable how different she was when she wasn't playing the role of the 'vampire' preferring to dress in pastels and looking like a suburban housewife rather than the leather-clad vampire she was while on duty.

Of course, the vampires I got to know were a world away to the ones I'd known as a teenager, and it seemed appropriate to some extent. The ones I'd known as a teenager seemed innocent, and Edward in particular was quite puritanical in some of his views. I often wondered whether our relationship would ever have got that step further, or whether he'd have demanded marriage first.

The vampires I knew now … well they were sin in vampire form. They were all for sex and blood, and, more often than not, both at the same time. Feeding for them came hand in hand with sex and I was certain it was constantly on their minds.

I also wondered how much of the difference was down to me; that I'd changed significantly in the seven years since the Cullens left Forks. I was a twenty-five year old woman; no longer a girl.

Edward had always been the 17-year-old boy to me, but the fact was that he'd been a vampire for eighty odd years, and even though he repeated high-school and college consistently, he still had the same worldly knowledge that these vampires possessed. And not to mention all the things he'd seen in people's heads. He knew all about sex, he just didn't want that with me.

But Eric, in particular, lived for danger. He enjoyed confrontation and relished being the most powerful being in the area, if not the state. I didn't know much about vampire politics, but I was aware that he was held responsible for certain things and then had to report upwards. In all honesty, I didn't think I wanted to know.

.

"Visitor, Bella."

I peered out over the top of my blankets to see the large form of Eric filling up the doorway. I was fairly sure that he had probably glamoured Nicole into letting him into the house as we had established a 'no vampires' rule.

"Eric, what are you doing here?" I asked, my voice struggling to find any volume. "Did you just glamour Nicole into letting you in here?"

"Yes," he stated with no shame.

I'd been in bed sick for weeks feeling genuinely unwell, feverish and incredibly tired. I'd been sleeping almost eighteen hours a day and just couldn't seem to kick whatever bug I had, in fact over the previous week I'd gotten much worse. Nicole had been hassling me to see a doctor, but my health insurance wasn't that great and I was certain it was just the flu.

"You haven't been by the club for a few weeks. I wanted to know why." It was typical of Eric to be so blunt.

"Sorry, I should have called. I've been feeling like shit for weeks now."

He gave me a look then walked in. "You smell horrid," he told me as he crinkled up his nose.

"Sorry, I've not had the energy to shower for a few days." I was aware that I did pong a little.

"That wasn't what I meant, although you don't smell so great in that department either."

"What did you mean?" I asked feeling confused. I tried to sit up in the bed a little further but struggled to find the energy or strength.

Eric was instantly by my side and pulling me up into a sitting position. "I mean that your blood smells off. You normally smell delicious, much nicer than most humans, but right now you smell rancid."

"Know how to make a girl feel good about herself!" I joked, but Eric didn't even smile.

"You need to see a doctor."

"I don't have very good health…" Eric interrupted me before I could continue.

"That is irrelevant. And the doctor I know is not human. I will call your friend to help you dress and then you will come with me to Fangtasia. It would be better if the doctor did not come here."

"I'm not going to Fangtasia looking like this!" Even after a change of clothes I would hardly be in any fit state to go to Eric's bar.

"It's Monday, the bar is closed." I hadn't realised what day of the week it was.

He walked out of the room and I heard him speaking to Nicole before obviously stepping outside to make a phone call. Nicole came in and smiled at me before pulling some clothes out of my chest of drawers for me to change into. I had a feeling that Eric had yet again glamoured her into doing his bidding. I was going to have words with him.

I reluctantly let Nicole help me out of bed and went to the bathroom, washing quickly and sticking my hair up in a tight knot at the back of my head before getting changed. As I stared in the mirror and brushed my teeth I realised quite how sick I did look. I must have lost about twenty pounds in the three weeks I'd been unwell, and in all honesty I looked similar to the weeks after the Cullens had left.

I spat out the toothpaste, noticing an excess amount of blood in the sink, but dismissed it. I'd been bleeding easily recently but I hadn't thought to think anything of it. I realised that maybe I should have gone to see a doctor earlier, and I was actually grateful for Eric's help on this one even if I did intend to pay him back whenever I could.

When I left my room, Eric was stood in the hallway leaning against the wall as he observed me. "The doctor will meet us at Fangtasia in fifteen minutes so we need to leave now. Let me carry you."

Before I could protest, Eric had scooped me up into his arms and was carrying me at inhuman speed in the direction of his cherry-red corvette. It was evident that vampires of all species' seemed to enjoy driving at stupidly fast speeds, as within ten minutes we'd managed what should be at least a fifteen minute journey.

Almost before the car had stopped, Eric was by my door and carrying me in through the back door of Fangtasia, laying me down on the black leather sofa once we got inside. He kindly found a blanket and draped it over me to keep me warm.

I was surprised by his behaviour towards me. We didn't have a romantic relationship, although he'd asked on more than one occasion that I 'yield' to him, however whenever I declined he never pushed it. But he'd always struck me as being very self-centred and arrogant, so his concern for me was quite surprising. I couldn't help but wonder whether there was something he wanted from me that I didn't know about.

Eric went about some work, pounding tirelessly on the keyboard of his laptop until a knock at the door indicated that arrival of the doctor. I was shocked by her appearance, and despite being no more than three foot tall she had a commanding presence about her. She had grey hair, which was tied in a bun at the back of her head, and small glasses that fitted on the end of her pointy nose.

"This is the human you wish me to see, vampire?"

"Yes." Eric moved to the front of his desk and leaned back on it, his ankles crossed, as the doctor approached me.

"My name is Dr Ludwig," she told me before turning to Eric. "I'm surprised, vampire, that you cannot tell what is wrong with her. Her blood smells putrid."

"I'm quite aware of that," he hissed at her. "I brought you here to fix her."

The doctor turned back to me and placed a hand on my forehead as she studied me. "I need to do some test results, but they will only confirm what I already know."

"Which is?" I whispered.

"You have leukaemia and you probably have no more than a few days to live. There is little conventional medicine can do for you bar prolong your life. I'm sorry."

I let the shock wash over me and felt numb at her words. I had leukaemia and I was dying.

Fuck.

"My blood will heal her," Eric told the doctor as he strode closer to me.

"Your blood will help her, Northman, but it will not cure her. The disease is too far ingrained in her system. Only a complete transfusion of vampire blood will help her," she said, pausing to look up at Eric who was over twice her height. "But then you know what that will do," she told him with a smile.

"I am sorry to give you such bad news. I will get the tests done and let Northman know the results, but it will not show any difference to what I have told you."

With that, the doctor walked out of the room and Eric knelt down in front of me. "I'm sorry, Bella."

"It's not your fault, I should have gone to see a doctor earlier…"

I didn't know what to think or do. There were so many things I had wanted to do, places to see. People to see. As usual, my mind conjured up the image of Edward. What would he think? Would he know? Would he care? I remembered the day of my eighteenth birthday when he told me that he couldn't live without me. That if I died he would go to the Volturi and ask for death. Did that still stand or had the fact that he left me quelled that statement. Not that the Volturi were still around, for that matter.

I hadn't noticed a tear fall down my cheek until Eric's finger wiped it away and popped it into his mouth.

"Even your tears taste disgusting," he told me.

I looked up into his pale blue eyes and could see the concern in them. "Thank you, Eric," I told him. "You've been a good friend."

"I know. But it doesn't have to end here. Let me turn you. I've been considering taking on a new child. My old one causes nothing but trouble." I heard Pam shout a profanity at Eric from somewhere within Fangtasia and Eric chuckled. "I mean it, Bella. You'd make a good vampire."

I stared at him, not quite able to believe what he was telling me. He was really offering to turn me? My mind again flitted to Edward. What would he think? Would he change me if he was here? Would Carlisle? After all, every one of the other Cullens had been dying before Carlisle changed them, how was I any different. Well, except for the fact that Edward wouldn't want me as part of his family.

"I don't know … I …"

"You don't have to decide now, but I would like you to take some of my blood. It will make you feel better."

"I'm sorry, what?" I asked him feeling quite stunned at his suggestion. I didn't like the idea of taking blood from him – wasn't it supposed to be the other way around?

"Take my blood. It has healing properties.

His face was sincere as he knelt down in front of me. "I'm not good with blood. Even the smell of it makes me feel queasy."

"Trust me, you will like mine." His face was smug as he regarded me. "It will help clear your head so you can make a decision. You will feel much better, even if it is only temporary." A little sadness crept into his eyes as he told me that.

I didn't like the idea of it, but I didn't seem to have many other options. "It won't turn me…"

"No, I'd have to drain you for that and you won't need much." He stood up and sat down on the sofa next to me, his long legs wide open. "Come and sit with your back against my chest, it is the most comfortable position."

I wasn't too sure about that, but did as he asked anyway. Leaning back against his cool body was all a little too reminiscent of Edward for my liking, but I tried to push those thoughts away.

Eric placed a soft kiss on my shoulder before he bit his own wrist and held it in front of me. The smell of blood instantly made me feel a little queasy, but it did smell better than human blood at least, less irony and acidic.

"Drink, Bella," he whispered into my ear as he brought his wrist only a few millimetres away from mouth, but still making it my choice.

I tentatively licked his wrist, finding the taste not wholly unpleasant, and I then latched onto the wound, lapping up the blood that had spilled from his wrist before sucking on the wound a few times until the wound closed. Eric pulled his wrist away from me and I became aware that he had been moaning as I drank from him.

I turned to face him, seeing that he was wearing a look of smug satisfaction. "How are you feeling?" he asked.

"How are you feeling?" I shot back at him, seeing the obvious bulge in his jeans. I hadn't realised that it was a turn on for vampires to be drank from, and if I had known I certainly would have insisted on us sitting in a different position.

"I'd be better if you let me fuck you."

I rolled my eyes but gave him a warm smile. "Not going to happen, Eric."

"If I was your Maker I could compel you to fuck me." He leaned back into the sofa and linked his hands behind his head in an obvious show of power.

"You're not making me want to choose that option," I told him honestly. I didn't know whether Carlisle ever had that power over his vampires, but I was certain he would never use it even if he did.

"I promise you I would not make you sleep with me if you didn't want to. But I also promise you that you wouldn't be able to resist me forever."

"You're insufferable," I told him, standing up and feeling much better from the ingestion of his vampire blood. "But I do feel better. Thank you." I took a deep breath and looked around the room. "I have a lot to think about."

"I'll drive you home. Get some rest and think on it. You have a few days, but I could only give you blood once more."

"Why only once more?" I asked with genuine curiosity.

Eric stood up and grabbed his car keys off his desk and led me to the door. "With our kind, once there are three blood exchanges the vampire and human become inexplicably linked. They can feel each other's emotions and need to be near each other. It is very rarely done, and usually only when a vampire falls in love with a human."

I thought once more of Edward as I followed Eric to his car, the familiar hole in my chest threatening to consume me.

"You are sad," he stated.

"How do you know that?"

"I can feel your emotions."

"I thought you said that only happened after three exchanges?"

"For the human to feel a vampire, yes. But once a human ingests vampire blood they can sense the emotions of that human. I would always be able to find you. Not that I expect you to go very far."

"You didn't think to tell me this before?" I was a little pissed off at his high-handedness.

"No. It was not relevant."

I sighed in defeat as Eric pulled up at my apartment. "Thanks for the ride. And the blood, I do feel much better."

"I will send Pam to come and collect you tomorrow evening at first dark." With that he drove off as soon as I was out of the car.

I went straight to my room once back inside the apartment and sank down onto my bed. If Eric hadn't turned up when he did I would probably be dead within a few days, and even with Eric's blood I wasn't going to survive longer than a week.

This was a lot to take in.

Should I accept his offer of turning me? Did I want to become like him? I could give it a go maybe. I was well aware that his kind of vampire was much more breakable than the Cullens, and if I didn't get on with his kind of immortality I could always meet the sun or fall on a sharp, pointy wooden object.

The other option that came into my mind was to contact the Cullens, but I quickly dismissed that thought. Edward had made it clear to me seven years ago that he didn't want me. Why would he be concerned about me now?

So it was death or immortality with Eric as a vampire.

I crawled into bed, feeling suddenly very tired and I slept better than I had done in weeks. The next morning I woke at eleven feeling much more alive than the previous morning. But the fact remained that I wasn't. I was dying.

I needed to think and I had a huge decision to make. I got out of bed and turned on the shower, making it as hot as I could stand before climbing in and letting the water do its work to relax me. After washing and conditioning my hair and drying off I walked into the kitchen to make a breakfast of eggs and bacon.

Was I prepared to give up food? Daylight? At least the Cullens still had that pleasure. But then the other option was death, and I didn't really fancy that either. And what of my family? I hardly spoke to either parent these days.

My mom I hadn't seen for four years. She was living in southern California with Phil and we probably only spoke on the phone a few times a year when she remembered that she had a daughter. She wouldn't really miss me if I was dead or a vampire.

Charlie had married Sue Clearwater three years ago, her husband having died three years before that, and he had his hands full as both Leah and Seth were married with two kids each. Or pups, anyway. Dad had found out about the wolves when Victoria attacked, so was brought crashing into the world of vampires and wolves.

He ultimately also found out about the Cullens, Seth letting it slip once. To say that Charlie was furious with me was an understatement. Luckily, I'd been in Seattle at the time so only had to take his ear-bashing down the phone, but I was called reckless and irresponsible to name but a few of his comments.

It was odd to defend the Cullens against my father, but it drove a wedge between us that never really healed. It was another reason that I chose to move thousands of miles away to Louisiana.

And now he would also know about the night-stalkers, and I supposed that if I was turned I would at least get to stay in some form of contact with him. Although I'd assume he'd still be pissed at me.

I threw my used plate into the sink in frustration. I had no idea what to do. Maybe I needed to know more about what I was letting myself into if I agreed for Eric to turn me. I was aware he was one of the most powerful vampires in the state, but I also had seen first-hand how manipulative and conniving he could be. And he would have ultimate power over me as his child.

But it was either that or death.

I decided to go for a walk to clear my head, the late March weather starting to get warm and the sun finally packing some heat. I figured that I might as well enjoy the sunlight now I was soon not going to see it. Whatever decision I chose.

.

Pam knocked on my door at half seven to pick me up to go back to Fangtasia. I'd chosen to wear a royal blue sweater-dress that I'd bought on a shopping spree with Pam but had never had the guts to wear. Blue was still a colour I chose normally not to wear.

"You look good enough to eat," was Pam's remark as soon as she saw me and led me to her minivan.

"Gee, thanks Pam!" I replied sarcastically.

"You still smell like crap though, so don't worry yourself. Although I would like to point out that I was right about how good you'd look in that dress." She really did sound like Alice at times.

I got into her car and buckled myself in just in time for Pam to drive off at breakneck speed.

"You should know that Eric does not normally give his blood to humans. He is old and his blood is powerful. He hasn't given it to anyone since he made me." I hadn't realise quite what an unusual event it was that Eric had given me his blood, but I was grateful to him even though I could feel its effects wearing off by the hour. I was obviously sicker than the doctor had originally thought.

"How is he," I asked, "as a maker?"

She looked thoughtful for a moment before answering. "I could not imagine a better maker. He is fair but demands respect and obedience when necessary. He will teach you everything you need to know to be a successful vampire. I would not have had it any other way."

"You don't miss your human life?" I had never discussed this with Pam before.

"I was nineteen when I was turned and living in early Victorian London. I no doubt would have been forced to marry a man I didn't care for and have his children. I instantly loved being a vampire – it was my true calling. But it will be different for you. We had to live in secrecy and constantly move around to avoid detection. You will just be a statistic. You can continue to have a relationship with your family, although Eric will probably not allow it for the first few years. You will need to embrace your inner vampire." She gave me a fangy smile as we approached Fangtasia.

I noticed her scowl slightly as she saw someone or something, but she never elaborated. Once we were parked she pulled me quickly towards the back entrance to the club and deposited me in Eric's office as she had some kind of silent dialogue with him. I'd grown used to this, so went to sit down on Eric's sofa and played a game on my iPhone.

"How are you feeling?" Eric asked me once Pam had left and shut the door.

"I felt really good this morning, now not so." There seemed little point in lying to Eric.

He sighed and gave me an almost sympathetic look. "Dr Ludwig called me at first dark to tell me that the tests confirmed the leukaemia, but also that it was progressing at an advanced rate. If you want longer to decide on whether you wish to become vampire, you will need to take more of my blood." He paused for a moment. "Have you made a decision yet?"

I fidgeted in my seat and bit my lip momentarily before meeting Eric's stare. "I think I have. I was talking to Pam on the way in … I would like to accept your offer." As I said the words I knew it was the right decision to make.

Eric gave me a beaming smile. "You've made the right choice, Miss Swan. After we close the club tonight I will take you to my home and turn you. It will take three days, but you will rise a vampire."

"Does it hurt?" I asked, remembering the pain I felt from James' bite.

"No. You will be asleep for the change."

That was a relief to some extent.

"So we're really doing this tonight?" I asked him, the reality hitting me that I had seen daylight for the last time.

But before he could answer me there was a knock at the door and Pam walked in. "Eric, there is a vampire here to see Bella. He is a day-walker."


So what do you think? I'd love to know your comments and views.

Next chapter should be up in a few days.

;)