All recognisable characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. x

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The carriage creaked as it swayed from side to side; the gaudy tassels on the drapes over the windows repeatedly hit her in face. Isabella kept her gaze focused on the outside world as it in all of its blackness flew past her. Her father sat beside her and nervously wrung his hands, a horrible feeling burned in his gut, his palms were sweating.

Isabella was dressed to the nines; her new dress was a stunning sapphire blue duchess satin with a delicate Chantilly lace trim on the square neckline of the bodice and on the long sleeves. The bodice was tight and uncomfortable. This was a parting gift from Madame Hale; she wanted all of her girls to look like ladies. Isabella didn't dislike the dress just preferred it if it wasn t so tight.

The carriage halted to a stop, Isabella let out a sigh and climbed out of the carriage. Before the Swans stood Mr Blacks house, it was in Isabella's opinion, a grey bricked fortress. She detested it. Charles was reluctant to admit it but even to him the house was a foreboding and unwelcoming.

"Well I suppose we had better go in." her father suggested trailing off; Isabella just huffed and entered the house as a maid held the large door open.

Waiting in the gaudy gilded expanse of the hallway was Mr Jacob black. He stood in all his peacock glory wearing a well-made suit of gaudy brown velvet that matched his homes decor in tackiness. Isabella took in Mr Black's wide vulture like grin, those brown greedy eyes of his watched with eager anticipation as she and her father made their way towards him. Isabella tried in vain to stop from shivering.

Mr Swan and darling Isabella. How glad I am to see you both. He greeted grandly, he grabbed hold of Isabella's hand and placed a cold kiss on her knuckles. A sickly trail of goose bumps awakened on her arm.

"Now let us dine!" Mr Black announced. The group entered the dining room; maids and servants scurried past them and stood by the wall of the grand room in case they are needed. Isabella felt that familiar wave of uncomforting dread come over her, she felt this way every time she was in the presence of Jacob black even more so when she is in his house.

Being in his house was like being under some unofficial imprisonment, like a caged bird whose bars were golden.
Jacob Black liked to show off and Isabella was disgusted by it. She was disgusted by him.

After the initial sitting down and bringing out of the food the inevitable interrogation started courtesy of Jacob black.
"So Isabella how did you find Madame Hales school for young ladies?" Mr Black asked curiously from across the table, the undercurrent of pride and arrogance that usually accompanied the string of words that left Jacobs mouth was too evident to ignore.

Isabella scrapped at her food to delay the moment she would have to answer. "It was very nice Mr Black, thank you for asking." She said sweetly, he smiled broadly at her answer.

"I am glad to hear Isabella. You were made for places such as that. You are a fine specimen of a lady, you were born for the assembly rooms of bath my dear." He proclaimed before taking a long gulp from his champagne glass.

Charles coughed uneasily, "Thank you sir for you gracious gift of sending my daughter to school, I do not know how to possibly repay you." Her father gushed shifting anxiously in his chair; Isabella sent him an incredulous look.

Jacob let out a bark of a laugh, "I assure you Mr Swan I have my ideas." The way he said it made Isabella s spine jar and tinkle unpleasantly, there was a promise in Mr Black's words, and it was plain for all to hear.

Dinner carried on like an arduous round of torture with not a second of reprieve. The small awkward group then moved to the sitting room and listened to Mr Black as he spun tales that were supposed to be truths. Isabella dutifully listened and kept up the pretence of a grateful protegee.

Isabella zoned in and out of the pointless one sided conversation or dictation as it were, she offered a politer nod of the head and smile every now and again.

"This house, my father built it when he died I just added to it. The whole west wing boasts nine bedrooms a study and a nursery." Mr Black prattled on, Isabella choked on nothing when his eyes landed squarely on her and smirked. Not long after a sick feeling settled in her gut.

Her father shifted uncomfortably in his seat, she sent him a look for help he just shook his swan was completely and helplessly unable to save his daughter from Jacob Black s intentions, and he hated himself for it.

"Excuse me for a moment." Isabella said abruptly and rose form her chair, before leaving the room she cast her father a look.
She went to the only place she knew Jacob Black would not pursue her: the kitchen.

Gripping the edge of the magnificent porcelain sink Isabella took deep calming breaths, her mind raged on like an angry tempest. She was disgusted with Jacob black and angry with her father for not speaking up to help her and she was disappointed with herself for not being able to tell Mr black straight that she will not be what he wants her to be.

"Isabella?" her father asked worriedly from the door, she turned to him and was surprised to find a look of defeat on his tired face. It was at that moment that she felt her stomach sank; she did not need to ask what had transpired between her father and Mr Black.

"Just say it father." She sighed; he walked forward his head bowed. He reached for his daughters hands and held them tightly in his.

"I'm sorry Isabella; you know I can't do anything to stop him." Her father's voice was weak and tired.

Her heart broke into jagged pieces, "I know papa I know." She said resigned.

"I wish things were different, if only-"

"No papa, there is no point wanting something that will never happen." Her voice rang with finality.

"When am I to marry him?" she questioned emotionlessly.

"Two weeks from now."

"Oh." Panic sizzled through her bones leaving her breathless and light headed. So soon she thourght.

Pulling away from her farther she rushed to the back door, swinging it open desperately she fled into the garden, the cold nights hair stung her warm cheeks.

"Bella where are you going?" he shouted as his daughter ran away from the house "Bella, it's too cold! Come back!" She ran, not knowing which was she was going she entered into the midnight curtain of the forest. Ducking out of the way of shadowed branches her feet took her further and further into the thickness of trees.

The forest seamed to shrink back as the young woman flew through the trees, her warm breath forming misty clouds in front of her in frantic puffs. Her whole inside screamed at her to stop this madness and turn back now before it s too late before this pull took her far far away. But with every step the pulling at her chest grew stronger and more impatient anxious for her to keep moving to run faster and faster.

Nigh time animals watched from their various hiding places, a distinct feeling of nostalgia clung to the atmosphere as they looked on at the girl as she ran with surprising grace through the jiggered natural path past along but only once long ago ..

Isabella s feet slowed on their own accord as the trees dispersed to reveal, a wind swept through the forest behind her pushing her towards the castle, her gown and hair swirled around her as if she were in her own personal tornado.

A gravelled path crunched and pinched at her cold feet through her ruined satin slippers, wincing with every step she made her way towards the large imposing oak door. Its appearance was dishevelled with sporadic patched of flacking paint, its once great knocker hung haphazardly from its place swinging sadly in the wind.

Isabella took a look upwards and gasped at the sight. This once great building lay in ruins, large windows were smashed and claw like vines grew over the ruins of walls. But none of this subsided the painful pull in her chest.

With tired feet she stumbled up the crumbling steps to the door, her hand rose involuntary as if she were a puppet and pushed open the all too willing door.

In her trance like state she entered the castle and was soon enveloped into a cold hollow shell. It was silent in the darkness, dead.

Even the sound of her rapid stuttered breathing was void from this cavern. Slivers of silver moonlight shone onto a large wooden star case. With cautious steps she ascended the steps one at a time, she expected bats to come down in swarms from the cobwebbed corners but nothing happened, everything was still. Her chest tightened in fear, she did not know what she was doing.

Suddenly she felt stone constrict around her waist, trapping her, killing her. Ice skimmed her neck blowing cold air, goose bumps rose over her body painfully as frosty air consumed her. Her eyes flitted around the space frantically searching for light, but there was none. A scream bubbled in her through but fear snatched it away.

She struggled against her confines but to avail, they wouldn't move. Panic unfroze Isabella from her fear induced state. "Help!" she screamed, the helpless sounded echoed off of the walls.

A dark chuckle soon followed it. The young woman stiffened, "W-who is there?" she stammered, the words rolling out of her mouth in shuddered syllables.

"Shush." Someone soothed, the sound was like a snake charmer it cast a spell over her.

The stone confines were arms, she felt his hands press firmly against her torso and they swept up her body, her breath was cut off when they reached her chest, icy coldness seeped through her bodice. Goosebumps erupted through her.

"Who are you?" she whispered trying to reinforce her words with strength. "You do not need to know who I am." The voice replied masculinity embossed in his voice.

Suddenly she felt her feat lift from the ground, she then felt herself being cradled by her stone captor. They were moving, she struggled some more but had the same success, every time she did the granite like arms tightened around her accompanied by a growl. She silenced her efforts.

The moonlight creped through a crack in the celling, the stranger hissed and stepped back she looked up at his face fearing what she would see. After all aren't all villainous kidnappers hideous creatures?

But if she looked past the marble skin, haunting red eyes and the deep painful bruises that shadowed them, he was a man. A beautiful man.

"Do not look upon me!" he snapped the young woman quickly overrated her gaze; the familiar sickening feeling of fear struck her. The unsteady frantic rhythm of her heart echoed off of the dark walls. The man chuckled again, its deep sound vibrated through her leaving tingles of anticipation in their wake.

The young woman and her capture were once again in the shadows.

Ice cold lips danced across the alabaster skin of her out stretched neck, they moved like the crimson wings of a butterfly, hovering less than measurements from the flesh and the blood beneath it.

Isabella sucked in a breath, her eyes fluttering shut she lost her faltering grip on consciousness.

Wow, I tend to stay out of dark empty seemingly haunted castles... I might just change that, its not too late to make new year's resolutions is it? Lol hope you all enjoyed it. The review button is just dying to be pressed please. xxxxxxxx