When In Romania…

Disclaimer/author's note: So, Stephenie Meyer dreamed of the sparkly vampires and made them hers. I'm just going to borrow her character's names and physical descriptions and make them mine for a short time. Unlike SM, I will not make a single penny off of this. The Salvation Army, however, received a generous donation on behalf of the Joplin, MO Tornado Relief from penquincullen, the lucky winning bidder in the recent Junkin' for Joplin Auction held by the FFA Fundraiser team on Facebook. She had the choice of a custom oneshot or an outtake from TSID and went for the oneshot. Continuing her generosity, she gave me permission to share this with the fanfic world rather than keeping it to herself AND pretty much gave me free reign on the creative writing board. My only restrictions: Edward must be a vampire, he must be the main voice of this oneshot and Bella has to have a backbone. I think I can handle that.

So, after getting close to 10k and realizing I was nowhere near done, I decided this little oneshot had the potential to be a short story. I'm thinking daily updates, around 1k each, as I'll have it written before I start posting, but I wanted to go ahead and provide you with the Prologue to whet your appetite. I hope to be finished with the story and ready to start officially posting within the next week or so.

Let's get on with the show, shall we?

Prologue—Twenty years ago…

I studied her from the shadowed corner of the room. Even in the dim light, I could see that her hair was a reddish brown, plaited and twisted into a loose bun at the nape of her neck. Her skin was flawless, creamy with a light dusting of freckles across her nose and cheeks. She wore a simple frock dress which hugged her breasts and flowed loosely over the rest of her, ending at her knees. Her thoughts were simple and appreciative of the beauty around her.

Like a fool, I stepped forward, asking who she was, alerting her to my presence.

My appearance startled her, as well as my blackened irises and she dropped the vase. Her thoughts were a jumbled panic at having broken an antique and her fear at having been caught outside of the allowable viewing areas. Was there also a hint of excitement? She bent quickly and started gathering the shards whispering that her name was Renee.

I knew instantly when she sliced the palm of her hand as the ever present embers at the back of my throat roared into a flaming need to be satiated. Satiate them I did, for once I began and the sweetest nectar that had ever caressed my throat flowed freely from her vein, I could not stop.

In a flash I had moved across the room and gathered her into my arms. I looked upon her and sensed no fear or fright in her thoughts, only amazement. "You're real?" she whispered. I nodded my head. Her soft hand came up, the fine trickle of blood flowing down her palm. I squeezed my eyes, willing to stop myself from what I was about to do.

When she ran her fingertips over my face, starting at my temple, gliding down my cheek until they rested upon my lips, I felt my control slipping. Then she smoothed them across my lips, the scent of her blood invading my nose, my mind.

"I can't…" I whispered.

"It's okay, I forgive you…angel," she whispered back as she let her head fall to the side, offering me her throat. I licked my lips, tasting the sweet nectar she'd left upon them, and all control vanished. I lowered my mouth to her neck and sank my teeth into her buttery flesh as she sighed in acquiescence.

As her pulse faded beneath my lips, my hand moved from her waist to the swell of her breast as I pulled her desperately tighter against me, longing to get every last drop of her precious life force. Her eyes, which had closed as my teeth had broken through the tender skin in the hollow of her neck, fluttered open and locked with mine. As I registered the dampness against my palm, the light faded from her amber orbs and a final sad thought whispered from her mind, Isabella.

With a silent sob, I brought my balled fist against my mouth as I tried to silence the scream that wanted to erupt from me. The monster, so brutally awakened by my actions, clawed at my chest at the sweet scent that coated my hand, demanding to be fully released. With shame, I gave into him and found myself ripping the bodice of her dress open before attacking her leaking buds with my ravenous mouth. I drained her breasts as I'd drained her veins.

Several minutes later I regained some sense of myself and pushed into action to clean up. Having cleaned the traces of her presence from my study, I lifted her limp and lifeless form into my arms, unsure what I was going to do next until I heard a gruff voice drifting up the stairs, calling her name as a baby cried.

Someone was looking for her, finally, and I couldn't let this atrocity be discovered. I leapt from the turret and ran deep into the Carpathian Mountains. I started to leave her remains for the gray wolves but could not bring myself to do it. Instead, I dug a hole deep into the forgiving ground and buried her mangled body along with my sin, as my body purged itself of all I'd just consumed making her death completely in vain. I couldn't bury the guilt weighing upon my damned soul for having taken yet another human life.

Ten years. I stayed hidden for ten years, thriving on the blood of the profuse wildlife that called the Carpathians home, before I felt my guilt assuaged enough to return to my home, my castle.

The locals assumed I was a descendant of the former master of the castle who had disappeared without a trace along with 'that poor woman.' I had to feign interest as once again, the conditions of ownership were presented to me. The first thing I did was have the velvet rope removed and a wrought iron gate constructed and installed at the top of the staircase. I held the only key. There would be no more accidents, no more wayward souls stumbling into my lair.

A/N: Special thanks to my beta, Holly H., as well as my pre-readers: Sammy J (my video queen), Nicole B. (my twin who was separated from me at birth…seriously, our birthdays are only hours apart!), Massy (my opinionated in your face doesn't hold back review queen…she makes sure I keep my s**t straight), kitties1 (the mistress behind Isabella Swan, Submissive), mouse555 (claims to be shy and innocent, but we all know better!) and new to my huddle, Judy F. (twi-sister who looks after my heart)…THANK YOU LADIES!

You know what to do…the button's down below if you want more. :)