Prologue

My life was over; my body just didn't know it yet. Soon, I promised myself. The end was near, and it couldn't come quick enough.

I had come to Italy knowing that I would have to break the law. Although I'd hoped the vampires that ruled our world would be willing to kill me, they had refused. If I wanted to die by their hands, I was going to have to force the matter. I had spent hours plotting the best ways to break their laws, considering everything from tearing their castle apart to simply going on a killing spree. I'd weighed the many options, but found myself incapable of acting on any of them. Finally, I'd decided that the only law I was actually willing to break was also the simplest. Exposure. If I showed myself to the humans, I would not be allowed to live.

Today was Saint Marcus Day, a day that was celebrated with the destruction of a vampire. The cloth and plaster puppet would be draped in red and paraded through the streets to the square in front of the clock tower, where it would be burned while the humans danced. The holiday commemorated the day when Saint Marcus had driven the last vampire out of the city - or so the humans thought.

If my plan worked, and I saw no reason why it should not, then there would be a real vampire burning on this day: me.

I stood in the shadows of the corridor beneath the clock tower, waiting for the bell to toll the hour. My eyes closed as I grieved for the human girl whose life I had destroyed. It didn't matter that I hadn't seen her in months, that I was on a different continent when she died. I had killed her as surely as if I had drunk her blood myself. There was no fighting against fate, and I had been the monster chosen by fate to end her life. I had resisted with all of my might, but, puppet that I was, I had acted as fate had decreed.

It was Bella's destiny to die, and it was mine to be the cause of her death.

I didn't bother to dwell on my last seven months of misery; they were no longer important. Instead, I brought to mind the summer I had spent with my Bella. As I waited where I couldn't be seen, I relived every second I had spent in her presence, a demon who'd been graced with the love of an angel. Her scent had been captivating, better than the sweetest flower, more tempting than water to a man in the desert, and more necessary to my life than air to a human. Just to hear her breathe had given meaning to my existence.

Now my beloved was dead. I had killed her. All that was left was for me to follow, but I held no hopes to be reunited with her. I was a vampire, a killer, a soulless monster, and my angel was surely in Heaven. I had no chance of Heaven myself. No, the best I could hope for was oblivion. When my body was torn limb from limb and set on fire, I would cease to exist. My suffering would end in one brief moment of pain. It had to. The agony I had lived in for months – and worse, what I was suffering now, knowing that she was dead – made the thought of the fire that would end my life seem a welcome release.

I unbuttoned my shirt and felt it slip off of my shoulders, letting it fall to the ground at my feet. I took a deep breath, imagining her face once again, her chocolate eyes, her silken hair, the taste of her lips. Her presence in that moment was so real, I could hear her call my name, the crowd's noise meaningless next to the sound of her voice, calling my name, calling me home.

"Edward!" her voice called, and the sweetness of the sound brought a smile to my lips. "Edward!"

The bell on the clock tolled, announcing the hour. It was noon and the bright sun was directly overhead.

I took a step out of the darkness and into the sunlight. I raised my face and the light flared against my eyes as I spread my arms and embraced my death.


Author's Note

Standard disclaimer: Alas, I am not Stephenie Meyer. The Twilight Saga belongs to her, under her copyright, and not to me. I am merely grateful to be allowed to play in the universe which she has created.

This, of course, is New Moon, told from Edward's point of view. Eclipse is fully posted, and I am currently writing Dawn. I'd like to invite you to read my prequel, which explores his transformation and rebellion, as well as the development of his close relationship with Carlisle and Esme.

Like all writers, I love feedback. Please take a moment to tell me what you think. Criticism is welcome. Unlike Edward, I won't bite ;)

Happy reading!

~L

PS... I'm not sure why this got posted again! I did a little editing, cleaning up a few things, but wasn't expecting it to show up as updated. That doesn't usually happen. I did delete the last "chapter" since it was just a note, not a chapter. Maybe that's what did it? idk lol. Oh well :)