Gone Baby Gone

Prologue: Run

Isabella Dwyer died on January 9th at 8:37p.m.

Bella Swan was born one hour, twenty minutes later.


There was no time. She hadn't thought getting away would be a real possibility so she hadn't prepared with any idea of where she might go and what she might need. She darted from her dresser to her closet, reaching out to grab the little bag hidden in the pocket of an old coat. There was some cash in there, not much, but enough to get her out of state; it was wrapped around her passport, which she also grabbed. She doubted she'd be able to leave the country, too dangerous, but she wanted it anyway, just in case.

She stuffed it in her duffel, trying to ignore the little niggling voice that said he had the power to find her anywhere. But in the darkness of the night, the voice was loud.

Into the bag, she added her wallet and her phone. She slipped her keys into her jean's pocket. At the last second, she saw some things on the nightstand. She held the bag open and swept her arm over the surface, dumping all the contents inside.

It was what her life amounted to, she thought bitterly. The duffel wasn't even full.

She pulled on a pair of flat boots, nine hundred dollars, her mind supplied. She'd never wondered why he always had so much money. Working for the senator may have sounded nice, but the paychecks weren't. Of course there was more to it. She shook her head, there wasn't time for this.

She grabbed her coat, flipped the hood up because of the snow, and strode out the door. It slammed behind her and for a second she actually considered turning around and locking it. Instead, she jogged down the steps to hail a cab.


Bella Swan, she thought absently, shifting in her seat. It sounded nice and could have been her real name once upon a time.

The bus wasn't overly cramped, but she felt stiff and exhausted, the last shots of adrenaline draining from her system. She was too afraid to fall asleep, though. To keep herself awake, she went over everything that happened and everything she had yet to do.

She was bad at this. She'd never run away before, as a teenager, she'd never even left the house to see her friends without telling someone. She was voted most likely to succeed, got mostly straight A's, went to any ivy league school, and moved to Washington D.C. to try her hand at investigative journalism, something she was just a little too good at. And just look at me now, she thought, rubbing a hand over her eyes.

He had her by the throat. He'd never touched her in anger before, ever. And now he had her by the throat.

Her heart beat wildly, her mind raced. Fight, it said, do something.

You're better than this, you're stronger.

But nothing came except tears.

He was telling her she was a part of this now and that she wasn't going anywhere.

She was thinking that she should have known, that the vague fear she always had of him wasn't merely invented from nothing. But she was always too curious for her own good, and her suspicions captivated her attention. It was entirely backward; she should have left him, gone somewhere else, or lived in blissful ignorance. She shouldn't have followed him that night.

Too late for that though.

And now she was running.

Author's Note: I thought it might be nice to fight off the winter doldrums with a little political thriller. Multi-chapter, lots of mystery, a tough as nails Bella, and a neuroscientist Edward, any questions? Hope you enjoy :)

Thanks to jedigirlsc and SabLuvsLogan for pre-reading, and thanks to you guys for present-reading.