I appreciate all of those that read this story and reviewed, followed or favoured it. I hope you stick around and see where it's going.

Thanks again to my Beta sparkles151092

It was late in the afternoon when Bella woke next to the pond in the forest. Confusion clouded her mind as she woke. She had forgotten where she was. And what am I doing here?

Her face felt wet with tears and she wiped the trail marks with her hands until she encountered the moist bumps forever to remain on her cheeks. There was no getting rid of her tears and the reality of her situation unfortunately came back to the forefront of her mind. She was vaguely aware of having passed out from exhaustion due to all the crying she had done. Looking into the pond once again to wipe away her tear trails only to spot something shiny in the reflection of the water. She looked up into the canopy of trees above her to try and pinpoint the object but she could not see it.

Not wanting to spend the rest of her eighteenth birthday out in the forest she got up and left the spot by the pond and with one last look into the trees she headed back towards her house.

The next day was a surprisingly warm one in Forks; a rarity of its kind and Bella awoke to what would have been a glorious sunny day back in Arizona. But this heat was different now. This heat felt different in her skin. Once upon a time she would have woken up to her body in a sheen of sweat under her covers, but now there was no sweat. She felt dry and dehydrated like all the water had evaporated from her body. She needed water. In a rush to retrieve her shoes from under her bed, Bella subconsciously knew that no shower or tap water would give her relief of this kind of heat in her body. And so she ran through the back door and back out into the forest.

Bella pushed her way through the tall forest trees, desperate for water. The hot air was a lot thicker now that she was closed in and surrounded by the trees, the canopy over head trapping in the heat, burning the back of her throat and her lungs as she tried to breathe in the dry air.

She stopped to catch her bearings against a large tree. In her haste to get to water, she lost her way in which direction the little pond with the mushrooms were. With the changes to her body, her senses told her that her best chance of finding water were to her right. She let her senses lead her and along the way, tore off her flannelette pyjama top and through it, not caring where. She soon felt her body getting weaker, using all the energy she could muster just to keep her legs moving.

In her luck, she came across a large spring pond of fresh water. She stood by the edge and removed herself of her remaining clothing, including her bra and underwear. Nothing, not even her undergarments would get in the way of the water her body desperately needed. With all her clothes lying on the edge of the pond, she groaned at the cool sensation as inch by inch she slid her body into the water, fully submerging herself.

Her body cried out with sweet, sweet relief. Never had she ever felt so good, to be so cold. She could feel the water seep into the pores of her body, soaking it up and rehydrate her every cell, one by one. She bobbed up to the surface, her head re-emerging from below the water. She breathed a deep sigh of contentment, letting the serenity of her surroundings calm and sooth her of her previous anxiety. She would have to keep a close watch on the weather, so as not to be unprepared if this happened again. If it did, it would be too soon.

She forgot about the world she lived in. All the people, all the pressure that came with life as an adolescent; forgotten, as she relaxed in this secluded part of her forest. No one would ever find her here. No one had probably ever stepped foot in this little piece of paradise besides her. She lifted her hands to smooth her wet hair back behind her neck and just treaded in the water for some time.

The feeling of being completely unclothed in a pool of water aside from a bath was exhilarating. She had never skinny dipped or swam naked in her life. The feeling was completely freeing as she swam around, letting go of her inhibitions about her body and the way she looked. She could become quite accustomed to the feeling, although she always imagined herself sharing the experience with a significant other. The fantasy of her first love and experiencing that adrenaline that accompanied getting naked in front of someone for the very first time, would feel something like this. Completely free, comfortable and calm. If only she didn't look the way she did, she wouldn't mind the idea of doing that with someone. After all she'd been through; if she ever got her normal body back she would definitely appreciate it a whole lot more.

After a while Bella grew tired, the heat of the sun was getting to its highest coming close to noon and when the sun was at its hottest. There was no way she would survive in this heat without staying in the pool to keep her body hydrated, so she swarm to the far edge away from her clothes and lazed next to a rock that was sticking out of the water. She kept the greater part of her upper body in the water and laid her head and arms over the rock so she wouldn't sink and drown if she fell asleep.

Bella woke in the pond with the afternoon rays of sun glinting through the trees and flickering across the water. It rippled from her movements and made the water dance and sparkle like small diamonds all around her. The sun was setting and she'd never stuck around to find out what kind of predators lurked around after dark. Not wanting to find out, she swam to the edge and got out of the pond.

She felt physically hydrated, like her body was full of fresh water, making her skin plump and smooth. It was the best she'd ever felt. She bent down to pick up her clothes and froze, when she noticed a young man leaning next to a tree not very far from where she stood. He was tall and pale with messy bronze hair. He looked like a god. A marble statue chiselled to perfection. In her confused state she tilted her head and processed the situation.

'What a weird place to put a statue. I'm sure that wasn't there before. Why would there be a statue in the forest? Don't be such an idiot Bella. So that must mean, here I am, standing fully naked in front of a boy. He can't be real though, he isn't moving. No he must be a figment of my imagination; I haven't physically spoken to anyone in a year. With my lack of human interaction I must have created my own perfect imaginary friend… I wonder if I can make him talk. I must be going insane… imaginary friends, please that's for five year olds. No I've finally gone loopy. I'm hallucinating. Yep, I can believe that.'


Bella screamed and ran behind the nearest tree, big enough to shield her hideous naked body from the stranger. She gripped the tree, as if holding it close to herself would shield her from his sight even more so than just standing behind it. She laid her forehead on the bark and closed her eyes.

"This isn't happening, boys don't sparkle." Muttering to herself.

"Focus, I'm hallucinating, he's not really there."

Nobody was supposed to ever find me here. What kind of person comes out into the forest? Especially a boy like him. On a day like this, well of course, of all days. Just my luck isn't it? If I were normal I'd be at a bloody beach not in a fucking forest talking to myself.'

"Please, don't be scared. I'm not going to hurt you." His voice was calm with a hint of humour.

Bella poked her head around the tree to look at the boy. She was still dripping wet from getting out of the water and her clothes were still near the edge where she dropped them when she ran. She looked the boy in the eyes and then glanced down to her clothes. He caught the movement of her eyes and slowly walked to her pile of clothes and picked them up, hesitantly stepping closer to the tree. He extended his arm and held out her clothes to her, his eyes only on her eyes. Bella covered her left breast with her hand and angled her body to reach out for her clothes.

"Thank you."

Bella being naturally shy didn't know whether her blush would come out as normal or not be visible at all. She hadn't had cause to blush for a very long time, if ever. She wasn't sure if it was the situation she found herself in or his intense stare. Like he was just as curious about her, as she was about him.

He stepped back to give her some privacy while she dressed.

When she was decent she walked back around the tree into the open, finally coming to terms that she was not the only being in the forest anymore. She hoped she looked ok; she must look like a slimy mess, with her hair soaked, dripping and her skin shiny from hydration. She didn't know what to say. What do you say to the first person you've come across in the last year? Let alone a very good looking boy…

"Are you alright? I didn't mean to frighten you." He had the sweetest smile on his face. His features were soft, hardly intimidating but the striking beauty of him as a whole person, head to toe, he was a little intimidating.

"Who are you?" She looked him up and down.

She had never seen him before, not even back when she was at school. But that was a whole year ago, she had no idea how much could have changed since then. He was proof of that in fact that she was possibly not the last person to move here and could have become the new spotlight of school gossip. Maybe they had forgotten all about her and focused on this creature in front of her. He didn't look to be any older than she was, though too handsome to be just a boy. Who wouldn't want to be around this guy, he practically had 'heart throb of forks' stamped on his forehead.

"I'm Edward Cullen." He even had a gorgeous name.

"And what are you doing here?"

"I was curious." That did not explain anything. If anything it made her all the more suspicious of his presence showing up out of the blue.

"Curious about what?" She asked as her brow furrowed on instinct. She didn't have this feeling often but she knew in her gut that this whole situation was out of the ordinary. After all this time, this boy just shows up in the woods and is curious. What is there to be curious about in the woods? Unless you expect to find something that you're curious about…

The light of the setting sun glinted off his shoulder as it cut through the breaks between the trees. Her eyes were drawn to the shimmering of his skin and she was all of a sudden remembering a familiar shimmer up above in the canopy just yesterday when she had been in the woods. She looked up at the tree tops as her thoughts lead her to one realization to the next.

Could it be the same? Has he been watching me?

Bella's thoughts continued down to the ground as she remembered kneeling by the pond after waking up from crying in the afternoon. She pointed her gaze back at him, waiting on his answer. She had a good feeling about these things though, an intuition. Did toads have intuition? She didn't know. If she had any when she was in the woods that day with Jessica, she might have guessed eating that mushroom wasn't a good idea and might have never done it in the first place. Pride be damned. But who would really think that something like what was happening to her would ever actually happen.

Edward's gaze never faltered and held hers. "About you."

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TaleTerror x