Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or any of the characters portrayed in this story.


I watched helplessly as Edward walked away from me, his beautiful silhouette disappearing as he blurred through the forest. I wanted to follow him, to make him see that I was only in danger if he left me. That together we could face anything that came our way, just like we had been doing.

I couldn't fathom how the love of my life could proclaim his undying love for me just days before and then dump me like yesterdays trash. How had things gone so terribly wrong? Was I really that weak?

My mind raced from thought to thought as my body buckled and dropped to the forest ground. I curled in on myself, feeling the need to look as small as I felt. My arms wrapped around my knees, clutching them to my suddenly empty and throbbing chest.

I had always been a person who spent more time inside her head; usually over analyzing things, than in the real world and it had never felt like more of a curse than this moment. No matter how hard I tried not to, I couldn't help but reflect on my time with Edward.

My brain refused to take his answer as a possibility without cold hard facts to back it up. Logic was my friend right now and I needed it more than ever. I replayed every encounter Edward and I had, I replayed every conversation, every touch and caress, every glance. It was all factored in and every time I went over it, I was left feeling like an utter fool.

How had I lost myself so utterly and completely in the enigma that was Edward Cullen? How had I allowed myself to give myself over so completely? Granted, I was never exceptionally outgoing or extroverted but I was capable of being alone, I was able to go prolonged amounts of time without thinking of my 'other half' and I could certainly handle my own life.

I'm sure in the recesses of my mind, logic was screaming at me that getting angry and looking for reasons to hate him wasn't a good idea in the slightest but I didn't care.

He left me, he left me alone in the fucking forest. I deserved to be angry. I deserved to feel used and I certainly deserved better than his parting words.

I was torn between feeling an overwhelming surge of anger and being dragged under the tumultuous waves of depression that threatened to drown me. Both seemed appealing but in the end, my body chose for me. Depression quickly descended upon my prone body and wracked it with uncontrollable sobs.

Tears cascaded down my cheeks and pattered onto the dry leaves and dirt below me. I howled like the wounded animal I was and prayed for the pain that was ripping at my chest to pass.

I wanted the ground to swallow me up and end the misery that I knew was going to break me.

Just as my vision started to clear and my tears began to dry, I saw the frightful flash of red blur beside me. My body shivered once before going completely rigid. My body reacted to the threat but my brain had given up; it had screamed to submit to the predator lurking within the woods.

I was sorely tempted to listen to my brain for once and yield to the threat.

I forced my body to relax and awaited the death that would undoubtedly come to me. If I could give Edward one thing, it would be the guilt of my death. I relished the fact that he would forever live with the knowledge that he killed me.

That his selfish actions led to my abysmal death and he would walk the Earth for the rest of eternity knowing I died because of him. The mere thought sent shivers down my spine and a cruel smirk graced my lips.

And as quickly as that smirk landed on my lips, it was wiped away. Through the trees, Victoria emerged, a devilish smile on her face and eyes glistening with the pain that awaited me. I steeled myself and forced my expression to appear defiant, even though I was feeling anything but.

I wanted Edward to feel the pain of my death but that didn't mean I was completely at ease with dying. I knew it was going to be painful but if this was my punishment for being the lamb that foolishly followed the lion, I would accept it.

The beautiful redhead descended upon me, laughing wildly at the fact that I was still curled in the fetal position. Her head tilted to the side as she examined me, her eyes raking over every millimeter of my body.

"Oh my, isn't this a delightful surprise," she mused, a vengeful fire burning behind her blood red eyes. "Little Bella Swan, ripe for the picking." Victoria flashed her razor sharp white teeth, probably hoping it would scare me even more. I don't think she liked my lack of reaction because the next thing I know, she was crouching in front of me, her face shoved in mine.

"I expected this to be a tad more difficult," she paused for a moment and looked around the forest; most likely looking to see if this was an ambush or some part of an elaborate plan. It wasn't.

"Just kill me already," I spat, unwilling to put up with the ridiculous banter and musing these dark vampires tended to do. James had done it and I had no doubt Victoria would do the same. They loved to draw it out and all I wanted was for it to end.

Victoria's hand reached out and cracked my leg, snapping it in the exact same place James had. "I will take however long I choose and you will have no say in the matter," she growled as her nails dug further into my flesh.

I fought the urge to scream out in pain, despite how excruciating the injury was. I could feel the bone pressing into my skin, threatening to break through but I bit down on my lip and refused to vocalize just how much it hurt.

Victoria smirked and pressed down harder, clearly amused with how much resistance I was putting up. As the waves of pain washed over me I wondered if it was smarter to keep biting my tongue or to scream out in pain. Would one option grant me death quicker than the other? Did either really matter when it came to vengeance? If I screamed out in pain it would excite Victoria even more and if I continued to swallow my screams it would only encourage her to inflict more pain and test my tolerance. Either way, she was going to break me. It was just a matter of how long it would take and how much joy she would have doing it.

Silence.

That was all that surrounded us for a few moments and it was almost worse than the pain radiating from my leg.

My teeth ground together in a poor attempt at keeping my cries of pain silent, but what Victoria did next wiped my resolve away completely.

Her face was twisted into a scowl, clearly disappointed with her playthings performance, and leaned her face down so our noses were practically touching. Her breath washed over my face and I had to forcibly resist shivering at the sensation.

"I'm curious as to how your perfect little Edward will react when he finds your corpse scattered across his lawn." Victoria spit out, saying Edwards name like it was a rancid taste in her mouth. But beneath the anger so clearly evident on her face, I could see the unbridled glee that coursed through her at the million ideas flooding through her brain. I could tell she had so much in store for me and it was then that the fear really started to course through my veins.

"Ed-Edward…he isn't here a-an-anymore. H-h-he left…" I hated the stutter that plagued my words but I was determined to say what I had to. To let her know that I was nothing to them anymore, I was just a human pet they had grown tired of having. "They all left." Surprisingly my voice didn't stutter on that one.

Victoria examined my face as I spoke, letting the words sink in as she looked for any telltale signs that I was lying. She must not have found any because the next thing I know, she's letting out this deep and guttural growl.

If it was possible, her features twisted even more and her hands curled into fists as her punches landed on my prone body. The pain…was unbearable.

I could hear the various bones in my body breaking and crumbling beneath the force of her marble skin. Crack! Crunch! The sounds shouldn't have been so loud to my ears but they were. Almost as if she was snapping the bones right next to my ears.

I bit down on my lip so hard that it broke skin but I still refused to cry out in pain. I may have been weak enough to let Edward rule my life and effectively destroy it, but I would be damned if I left this Earth being a miserable, sniffling, weakling. I was Isabella Swan and I was done being weak. It may have taken me a lot of heartbreak and pain but I would no longer let the world trample all over me. I was determined to be someone and while this realization seemed ridiculous, especially during the last few minutes of my life, I was glad I had come to it.

My teeth continued to bite down on my lip and as soon as the scent of my blood hit Victoria's senses she ceased all movement, taking a deep inhale. Her nostrils flared and her eyes slid closed, almost as if she were testing a fine wine's bouquet.

Her eyes fluttered open and her bright red eyes were suddenly pitch black. In a blur her teeth were biting down on my hand, her teeth entering into the same spot James had. If I had the time to think about it, I would have commented on how she kept doing things to me that tied her to James in some way. Breaking my leg in the same way James had, biting me in the same spot he had, she even taunted me like he did.

My analysis, of course, was cut short when her body was ripped from mine and the fire started to burn me from the inside out.

I was vaguely aware of large animals tearing Victoria from me, the large masses ripping her apart and the sudden appearance of a smoke cloud filling the air. My vision went in and out as the venom coursed through my fragile and broken body.

It was like being swallowed by fire, feeling the flames licking at every organ, every ounce of blood, invading and overpowering every cellular structure within me. There was no place the fire didn't touch and while the injuries Victoria dealt were painful, it was nothing compared to the transformation that was occurring.

How could I have wanted this?

Pain.

Pain.

Pain.

Pain.

The words repeated in my head like a mantra, as if the words themselves could reverse the burning that was afflicting my very soul. As if acknowledging the burning pain that flooded my veins could somehow become a balm and reverse the damage being done.

Seconds felt like minutes which felt like hours that turned into days. The pain, while indescribable, only lasted for three days. Logically, I knew that to be fact. Of course, logic doesn't really factor into things when all you can focus on is the blinding pain that has you comatose and writhing in pain.

Three days is how long the transformation from human to vampire takes, but when you're experiencing it, it's nothing close to three days. It's an eternity in Hell. It feels like years are passing by and all you can do is lay there and listen to the world around you, stretching out your senses in hopes of focusing on something other than the feeling of the venom killing off everything that makes you human.

And when you hit that third and final day, when the minutes are ticking by and you realize your heartbeat, which only moments ago was beating soundly, albeit wildly and a bit too quickly but soundly nonetheless, has now slowed down to a mild thump...thump…thump…..thump until eventually, there is no other thump.

It's a moment where I'm torn between elation and pure devastation.

I want to mourn the loss of my family, my life, the friends I've made and the life I've yet to live. I want to celebrate a chance to be who I want to be, a chance to be strong, fierce and independent.

And just as suddenly as those two emotions wash over me, I'm overtaken by a completely new emotion. Anger. Raw and unadulterated anger.

My eyes snap open for the first time since the transformation began and it's like seeing the world for the first time. Everything looks crisp and clear and colors that I've never seen before are splayed out before me.

In the distance I can hear birds chirping and water running, I can even hear the pitter patter of a rabbits feet on the ground. I can smell the moisture of rain in the air and a putrid smell of wet dog and…rotten food?

"She is a leech, we don't make friends with them, we kill them." A deep male voice boomed in the distance.

"We have a treaty with the Cullens why not with her too? She didn't ask for this!" Another voice screams in fury. It sounds like Jacob but I'm not entirely sure. And since when do other people know about vampires let alone the Cullens being vampires?

"Jacob, I know that she was your friend but she isn't any more. We can't allow a newborn vampire to run around these parts. She's a danger to everyone around us, to the people we're sworn to protect!" The stranger said again, his voice suddenly dripping with malice and unrestrained anger.

"I won't let you kill her." The other man (Jacob?) says, his angry footsteps marching towards me.

And suddenly, I don't want to verify if it's Jacob or not because I know that he can't stop the fate that awaits me. I was killed and no longer have a home. Forks has become nothing but a place on a map.

My body leaps into the air and propels me further into the forest, my legs moving with such speed that they're nothing but a blur.

I can hear them screaming for me in the distance, hear the distinct growl of something decidedly not human and I can't bring myself to stop. I keep pushing myself, keep running.

Freedom.

That's what I'm running towards. And somewhere around an hour later the pounding of paws on the Earth no longer reaches my ears but it doesn't stop me from running; from fleeing.

I need to keep going and before I know it, I'm on the other side of the States.

The moon is shining brightly over the city and I've got nowhere to go. The streets are shockingly empty and all I want to do is curl up in bed and sleep. But I can't, not anymore.

My brain is too preoccupied with what I can no longer do to notice that my body is leading me down the street and towards a seemingly empty alleyway.

When the thoughts buzzing around my head finally calm, I finally realize what is about to happen.

My hands are wrapped around a man's shoulders, pressing him aggressively into the brick wall of the alley. His eyes are widened in fear and his breathing is quickening as our bodies get closer. I can hear his heartbeat speeding up and the smell of his blood permeates the air.

Without a second thought, my teeth are descending upon the flesh at his neck. The delicate skin there breaks as if it were tissue paper and the warm liquid beneath is flowing freely into my mouth and down my burning throat.

The burn I hadn't quite noticed before is dulling and eventually, it's disappears almost completely. The man flails uselessly as his body resigns itself to its inevitable fate, knowing full well that there isn't enough blood in his system to function let alone ensure his survival.

When the last viable drop leaves his body, his neck is snapped and disposed of inside a dumpster, but not before all his personal belongings are taken.

A credit card, four hundred and seventy two dollars cash and keys to a rundown car are now the only things in my possession.

I thought that killing someone would make me feel…bad. Maybe that's not the right word. But I certainly thought it would affect me in a much more Earth stopping way.

It didn't.

I killed a man to quench my thirst and I feel nothing.

Actually, now that I'm sated, I feel a little giddy.

Suddenly, I feel like being Isabella Marie Swan, isn't such a bad thing.

That maybe, being the monster Edward tried so valiantly to keep me from being, was just what I needed. That this was always what was meant to be.

And it's like realization has dawned on me, bathing me in its everlasting glow. When I was human, I was the epitome of an introvert, and it got me nothing but heartbreak and an ended life. Maybe being a vampire was a chance to become someone new, someone I could be proud to be. Someone who didn't get her heart broken, who didn't succumb to the wiles of a pretty face, I could be someone who did what she wanted and didn't give a fuck what others thought about it.

Yeah, being a vampire was something I could get used to.

And where better to step into the fold than with the Volturi.