Chapter One

I was suspended once in high school. Even that amount of time was kind of shocking, because who would have expected quiet little Bella Swan to do anything that deserved a one day suspension?

Well… we can blame Mother Nature for that one.

It was in my last year of high school and we were learning about the imprinting gene. I was already of the opinion that it was seriously fucked up and this seemed to differ from the opinion of my female peers, who had decided that the idea of falling instantly and irrevocably in love with a total stranger was like a fairy-tale romance.

Yeah. Well, I didn't think so. Goodbye free will, goodbye life choices, hello social pressure and stigma.

Because what self-respecting person would fight their imprint? Imprints were made by genetic causes, designed to help us humans find our perfect mate, our 'soulmates'. And not everyone even had to the imprint gene, so the 35% of the population that did were supposed to be deliriously fucking happy about the fact.

I had the gene. And I was not happy. So unhappy was I, that I punched Lauren Mallory when she told me that I didn't have a choice and that I needed to accept my fate and be happy about it.

An overreaction? I didn't think so.

Let me give you the lowdown on imprinting.

As I said, approximately 35% of the population have the imprinting gene. It was discovered in 1847 by some wacko scientist, Aro Volturi, who discovered that humans with this gene have a condition where their own body seeks out their ideal partner – ideal in that they will create genetically ideal offspring. Their kids are so healthy that the common cold has its ass kicked by their immune systems. These kids are intelligent, attractive, healthy – ideal little spawn. Doesn't that sound delightful? And I guess that to a lot of people it is, but to me?

Well, I saw what happened when an imprint went wrong.

I got the imprint gene from my father, Charlie Swan. He imprinted on Renee Higgenbotham when they were 19 years old. They got married, had me, happily ever after.

Or not.

Because despite the fact that Charlie Swan had imprinted on her, Renee decided that marriage and motherhood wasn't for her after all, so she skipped town and left us to it.

Have you ever seen what happens to an imprinter when his imprint leaves?

The thing is, that special little gene causes you to grow extremely attached to your imprint. You're dependant on them. When they leave, your body becomes deficient and that's what happened to my Dad. The health issues could be fought with vitamins and supplements. The mental issues… to Dad, it was like the one person meant for him in the whole universe had torn out his heart, done a happy little dance on it and then kicked it to the curb as she skipped away.

Renee left when I was 7 years old and there I was – a kid, looking after my own father as he struggled to come to terms with what had happened.

And there I was - a kid, with the imprint gene, seeing just how fucked up life could be.

That was the first reason that made me want to fight my imprint.

A/N: Hello! Welcome to my new story! This plot bunny is killing me and despite the fact that I barely have time to sleep, this fic is going to be written.

Allow me to state now that I have minimal knowledge of genetic codes and DNA. Don't even try to lecture me on the scientific facts because a) I wouldn't understand it anyway and b) it's just a story.

Come tweet with me – Kat097.