Hi Guys,

I know, I know I said no more until my hobbit fanfic is finished but I've hit such a roadblock and I needed to write again like I need air. I hope you like this. Massive shout out to IAmNotAnIgnoramus for being an awesome beta.

Whispers of Fate: The Girl That Never Was

Summary: Aurelia Dewolfe had read a lot of "Girl falls into the Twilight universe" fanfiction. Usually said girl would fall in love with Edward or Jasper and when she was particularly low on decent stories, sometimes they'd even fall for Carlisle. The idea that she could be one of those girls was entirely possible and that it would happen to her was fanciful and ridiculous. It wasn't something she took seriously, a pipe dream as it were. It wasn't something she'd ever truly wanted. Stories were safe merely because they were fiction and the events within, along with the choices the characters faced, were things you would never have to face in real life. Yet when faced with the situation in reality with a man she never expected, Aurelia's life is flipped upside down as she struggles to make decisions she never before fully understood the difficulty of. Falling into a world you know almost everything about should be easy yet, nothing is as she expected. The butterfly effect has begun and everything seems to be spinning fast out of her control. Can she really change anything or is destiny set? AU Emmett/OC

Chapter 1: When Lightning Strikes Twice

I'm not absolutely certain of my facts, but I rather fancy it's Shakespeare – or, if not, some equally brainy lad – who says that it's always just when a chappie is feeling particularly top-hole, and more than usually braced with things in general that Fate sneaks up behind him with a bit of lead piping. – P.G Wodehouse, My Man Jeeves

Nothing ever happens like you imagine it will. – John Green

Train crashes, magic portals, wise old women, murder, Aurelia had read it all that year. Fanfictions of people dropping into her favourite universes were easy to come by and normally well written, although none ever entirely quenched her thirst for more stories of a similar nature. She'd watched different characters fall in and out of love with Jasper, Edward and sometimes Carlisle a thousand different ways and still she never got bored. There was something about reading a story containing characters she loved and a well thought out plot. It could be written a similar way a million times but still she enjoyed the somewhat predictable events. It was like reading an old favourite all over again yet the suspense of the first reading was present with every new fanfiction she discovered. Aurelia liked the stories of people from her world going to an alternate universe best because it allowed her to fantasise about the possibility of her in their place. She'd ogle wise old woman types, feel nervous getting on a train, run her small hands over the posters on her walls all with a muted excitement half expecting something to happen. Nothing ever did and for a split second she'd feel her stomach roll and disappointment seeping into her entire being. Then a light giggle would escape her lips as she marvelled at her own stupidity and she'd forget all about it, going on with her daily life. For those few moments though, those slightly insane moments, it was as if electricity tingled in the very air around her. Sometimes her golden blonde hair would seem to stand on end as she waited for something to happen, those moments made anticipation worth it. The moments she spent caught up completely in the author's world unable to imagine a scenario where this story wasn't completely cannon made reading worth it. Aurelia loved fanfiction almost as much as the original works, she often contributed to the archives herself. She loved struggling to keep the characters acting the way they should, planning out exactly how her story should go, and attempting to make her own characters as realistic as possible. All of that effort quickly filled her weekends with as much work as she had on her weekdays. Often the original characters changed the plot to Twilight, took it off in a completely different direction. Often they or their family died making their stay in the twilight universe permanent, ensuring the desired happy ending. Even authors who didn't kill off the family or character to account for the change still included a compromise or loop hole, allowing the character to keep the vampire of their dreams and the family they loved. Why wouldn't they? Stephanie Meyer had after all so why shouldn't they? That was the true lure of fanfiction, that was what really drew her in. Predictability. Fanfiction was safe, you knew around what was going to happen and yet you also could still be pleasantly surprised. You knew the girl from the real world could save the day. You knew she'd win in the end because that was how fanfiction worked. Fans were fulfilling their dreams, making a perfect scenario ending with challenges realistic enough to create the suspense which allowed you to wonder if, just for once, the character wouldn't get it all. Her interests had matured somewhat as she'd grown. She knew now at twenty that, unlike she'd thought at fourteen, her characters did need to face realistic struggles. They needed to have weaknesses and fears. They couldn't possibly be loved all the time by everyone but still, the happy ending was always certain, much like the beginning; a train crash, a car crash, death or magic portal. That was how you got from the real world to another, that was how you moved from unpredictable to predictable.

Real life wasn't predictable. Aurelia hated that. She had a good life, loving parents, a mother who doted on her and a father who spoiled her. She was doing well at university and she was completely satisfied with her life as it was, men firmly kept in fiction. The real world, however, was full of problems. Lazy, drug addicted brothers, an estranged older sister, and the mounting pressure of being her father's last hope of a 'successful' child. Arguments erupted over the tiniest things and real people were never as forgiving as the fictional ones. In fiction it was all resolved quickly, that was not so in real life.

Once again Aurelia was pacing the streets after a blowout with her father. Since she was stricken with a bout of the flu a week before a big assignment deadline, Aurelia hadn't done as well as she'd hoped. Her mother had assured her that she was proud of her anyway; it wasn't the best grade, but she passed with a decent score. Her father on the other hand, he was a different story. Kenneth Dewolfe's face had slowly turned a nasty shade of purple before he had yelled at his daughter, ranting and raving about what he expected of her. Aurelia, never having had a particularly firm grasp on her temper, had screamed back at him.

'You're such a disappointment Ray.' Her father's angry words replayed on a loop in her mind as she stomped down the street. She'd told him she hated him as she practically vibrated from head to toe, her day ruined. She knew she'd messed up; it wasn't something she needed reminding about.

A clap of thunder sounded overhead and the heavens opened. Ice cold rain slammed down upon Aurelia, who wasn't quite fast enough with her hood to avoid looking like a drowned rat. "Great." She grumbled, throwing the thick grey fabric up over her already sopping wet hair. "Set the scene, that's just what I need."

As if the powers that be were answering her, another rumble of thunder crashed overhead and lightning flashed through the sky. "In a horror story, this is where I'd be murdered." Aurelia mumbled as she sloshed through the street towards her small home. "One dark and stormy night…" She mocked, imitating the creepy narrators on the old movies and letting a small snort escape her.

A blinding flash accompanied by an ominous snap seemed to light the whole of the street for almost less than half a moment. This caused Aurelia to jump in shock and raise her face to the heavens, dull blue eyes stretched wide.

For a second there I could have sworn… A crease appeared on her delicate pale face and her full lips puckered slightly as she surveyed the area in front of her. She had been almost certain that lightning had just struck somewhere.

She hurried forward, head down against the harsh wind that was beating her thick hair against her face and rubbing her skin red raw. Aurelia tried not to think about the possibility of danger. I just need to get home. She mentally chanted. I just need to get home. A deafening rumble gave way to a second flash-snap that made Aurelia's trembling body stumble backwards. Her heart pounded a fierce war song in her chest and she felt suddenly both hot and cold all at once. That one struck somewhere, she was certain. Desperately shoving her numb fingertips under her armpits Aurelia marched forwards, anxious to get home and out of the danger zone. Adrenaline pumped through her veins and her fear shot sky high. As she rounded the corner she tried to convince herself that since she hadn't seen the lightning strike the ground it probably hadn't actually happened.

After four steps, as another crash of thunder sounded above, she vanished into thin air.

Ray awoke with a start and pain exploded in her right temple as her head ricocheted off a hard, cool surface. The ear-splitting, prolonged noise had cut off suddenly although Ray quickly followed it up with a low groan, rubbing a soft hand over the sore spot on her head.

"You okay there kiddo?" The gruff male voice caused Ray's eyes to snap open. One sweeping glance was enough to determine she had no idea where she was anymore. Pattering and splattering sounds filled the car, interrupted by a squeak every few seconds as the wipers kept the screen clear. Ray stared dumbly at the large man driving. He had curly brown hair and a thick moustache, his face screaming stern while his body language was gawky and awkward. "You've been asleep since we left Forks, then again you probably needed it…" His words tapered off to a mumble.

Ray's focus was entirely on the one word. Forks. She knew that word, she knew that place. It was in America, it was the setting of her favourite novels, the Twilight Series. Her poor heart had barely slowed before it was springing to life again. This wasn't possible. It was the type of situation she read about in fanfiction. It wasn't real. Couldn't possibly be real. Keeping her eyes carefully trained on the male she pinched herself under the arm, causing a grimace to spring to her face and tears to sting her eyes. Focusing in on the man again she studied his appearance. At a best guess, he was Charlie Swan. What he was to her, however, Ray couldn't be sure.

"I-I'm fine." Her voice was croaky, indicating to her that she had indeed been asleep for a while, no matter how absurd that seemed. Charlie's warm, worried brown eyes met hers and a movie reel slammed into Aurelia's brain. She could see herself, at five years old greeting Charlie outside a white panelled house.

"Excited to be here kiddo?" The movie Charlie asked, swinging her up into his arms.

"You bet Uncle Charlie. I even gots a 'merican passport." Movie Ray was missing her two front teeth but her eyes were shining.

"What?!" The movie Charlie had only the beginnings of a moustache and his fake excitement was clear to the older Ray although, not apparently, the younger. "No way? You're not American are you?"

"Yeah I am silly." Ray slapped Charlie playfully on his broad shoulder. "'Coz mummy is so I is too."

Ray watched the images flicker past her eyes, words she spoke over a decade ago sounding clearer than the sound of the rain pelting the car. She tried to keep the look of shock from her features. The memories came so fast she was sure she'd not paid any of them enough attention, even though thinking of Charlie now made her remember summer fishing trips and one particularly nice visit to Disney in California when she looked barely a teenager.

"It just startled me is all." A deep rooted pang in her stomach made Ray want to ease his worry as quickly as possible.

"People in the big towns like their horns." Charlie chuckled quietly. It was a warm sound which made a slight smile stretch across Aurelia's face, despite her utter confusion. "We'll be there soon, Bella should be landing now."

"Right." Pulling her plump bottom lip between her teeth Ray frowned. She knew where and when she was now. This must be the day Bella moved to Forks.

Stephanie Meyer had described Charlie well, he was slightly awkward and most certainly the silent type. It was something that wouldn't usually match so well with Ray's chatty nature. However, considering the circumstances, she was glad there was no need for idle conversation. Having already established she wasn't dreaming, she pondered other possibilities, a slight crinkle between her eyes the only clue to how bewildered she really was.

'Coma perhaps…' Ray thought, shifting uncomfortably in her seat, trying to ease the heavy feeling in her bum caused by numbness. 'Or I have entered an alternate universe.'

It was entirely possible she was in a coma. Lightning storms weren't exactly conducive to good health and general well-being. Clicking her tongue against the roof of her mouth, Ray mentally scrolled through her mental catalogue of twilight fanfiction. Assuming she wasn't here to steal Edward from Bella and she wasn't a Bella replacement, the only fathomable conclusion was that she should change things for the better. Possibly prevent the James scenario maybe. Her eyes crinkled at the edges as she considered that, still rolling her lip between her teeth. If she was to change something and this was an alternate universe the effect could be devastating. Walking up to Edward and explaining his future for example, would likely get her killed and also ruin everything. She could only imagine what Edward would do knowing how it would all turn out. Yet, if this was a coma then it was a perfectly reasonable thing to do, if a little boring.

The safest bet was to see how everything panned out on its own. Making a firm decision to put off a proper decision until the situation called for it, Ray allowed herself to relax. Her number one priority would be getting home, whether that be in another universe or just waking from a coma she didn't know but neither of those things could be achieved whilst sitting in Charlie Swan's police cruiser. The only firm thought in her mind was to keep her situation to herself. She would try not to interfere in the story, she wouldn't tell the Cullen family she knew their secret, she wouldn't tell Bella her secrets, she would keep her mouth shut and let Edward and Bella decide their own fates. Perhaps she would play a part in the James situation, perhaps not; meanwhile searching every piece of information that could possibly be obtained which might help her in getting home.

Charlie parked the car, breaks letting off a high pitched squeak. He cut the engine and unbuckled his seatbelt looking expectantly at Ray. With a soft click, Ray's own seat belt came undone and they meandered into the waiting area at the tiny Port Angeles airport. Jittery, leg tapping against the ground, Ray's cool blue eyes scanned the arrivals waiting for the moment Bella Swan would appear; she needn't have looked so hard.

The brunette who stumbled off the plane was roughly her height with matching pale skin, full lips and a similarly shaped face although Bella's was more heart shaped to Ray's stretched oval. Her doe brown eyes caught sight of her father who had leapt up to meet her and they met in an awkward hug. Clumsy and strangely pretty, looking more like Kristen Stewart than Ray had imagined when she read the books, Bella Swan was, much like Charlie, exactly what she expected.

Charlie hefted Bella's bags easily on his own, leaving her with a small duffle looking considerably more comfortable as she stumbled towards Aurelia, her apparent cousin. Truthfully they could have been related. Bella was perhaps half an inch taller than Ray, a brunette to her blonde, slightly bigger eyes of a warm chocolate brown rather than the dark, clear blue of Ray's own, Bella had a slightly fuller top lip than bottom where the opposite was true for Ray and yet, they were both oddly alike, both soft and slender although Ray had more distinct curves, the swell of her breasts for one, yet they could truly be cousins.

"Ray." Bella's eyes met Aurelia's, a deep compassion and genuine interest shining through.

"How are you doing?" Her face morphed suddenly into the gentle mask used on trauma survivors' as Ray was assaulted with memories of Bella as they grew. From what she could gather, she was older than Bella by seven months and they were very close. With the memories completely filling her senses Ray struggled to find an appropriate reply, nothing she was being shown was giving her a clue as to how to respond.

Ray's heart began to pound frantically against her ribs, her mouth feeling dry as she tried to find an appropriate response. Settling for a quick shrug of the shoulders Ray mumbled. "Been better, been worse." It was her Dad's go to answer when he wasn't truly paying attention to the person asking.

Understanding and sympathy flashed across Bella's face and Ray internally marvelled that Edward Cullen was going to have problems reading her expressions. Clearly her cousin had no good answer for that because she pulled Ray into a rather uneasy one-armed hug.

"How are you doing?" Ray blurted as Bella pulled away, feeling the need to move the conversation on some. "Looking forward to life in Forks?"

A grimace caused Bella's lips to turn downwards. "It'll be an experience." The sarcastic tone she used was not lost on Ray who pressed her own lips together in a conspiratorial grin which Bella quickly returned.

Contented in their reunion, or first meeting from Ray's perspective, the girls hurried towards the police cruiser to meet Charlie.

Ray confused and bewildered as she felt, head still spinning with the influx of new information, was glad to be relegated to the back seat. The genuine excitement she should have felt from riding in the back of a police cruiser was non-existent. Usually her imagination would be running wild, fanciful stories would be weaving together as she transported herself away from the situation at hand to something infinitely more exciting, especially with the lack of real trouble with the law. Ray was the type to be contented letting her mind wander as it pleased, creating something preferable to reality, something exciting and adventurous. Today however calm had finally settled over her overworked heart as her head swam. She rather thought that the fight to keep herself consistent, to somehow wade through the pounding within her mind was the closest one could get to drowning in their own thoughts. Keeping barely an ear on Charlie and Bella, Ray tried to work out what exactly had caused Bella to look at her like a trauma survivor.

I have an English accent. I look the same. I am possibly living with Charlie… Ray's thought swirled, her mind a whirlpool in the middle of a fierce sea storm, as she desperately tried to guide herself to the correct answer. My parents are...

"A crash involving six cars and a lorry today resulted in the death of nine people on the M20 London bound. The air ambulance was called to junction ten at approximately six forty five pm where a thirty year old female was airlifted to hospital. There were no other serious injuries reported, the eight victims are believed to have been killed on impact. The deceased include five males ranging in ages seventeen to forty seven and three females ages twenty two to forty five. Our thoughts are with their families at this terrible time."

Coldness, the likes of which Ray had never known spread through her system, seeping slowly from her heart to her toes and brain. He fingers tingled as she made sense of the crystal clear news report. Twilight is set in 2005; my parents would be forty seven and forty five. Ray thought, checking the mathematics on her fingers twice in a sort of detached panic before she was ready to accept the news. In this universe her parents were dead. The last thing she had said to her father was that she hated him. Her eyes burnt as she struggled to keep them open, threading her pale, shaking hand through her ashy blonde hair. I have to get home.

Ray felt as if she could be shattered with the slightest amount of effort, an ant could likely have toppled her at that point. Firmly, drawing strength from somewhere deep inside, she managed to tune into the conversation about the truck. Bella wasn't pleased with the truck until she saw it if Ray's memory served which, considering it was exceptional, it usually did.

"I like the truck Bella." Ray managed to mumble. "It's sturdy."

Charlie threw her a beaming smile as Bella seemed to contemplate that assessment before thanking her father. Ray had never been more relieved to hear a conversation die out in her life; she drifted into a haze of confusion and sorrow blankly watching the blurs of green forest sweep past the windows, miserably encased in her own emotions until the car stopped outside a faded white panelled house. Bella's exclamation of love for the truck drifted past Ray's ears, barely registering as Ray climbed listlessly from the backseat of the cruiser more than ready to fall into a comfortable bed and hopefully wake up at home in the morning.

Grabbing one of Bella's bags, Ray stomped up the stairs and dropped the bag in the doorway, flopping down onto the single bed with the green sheets and most junk around assuming it to be hers. Bella crying on her arrival in Forks had been something Ray was sure would change with her presence, it didn't. Bella still sobbed, albeit more quietly than she might have in a room entirely her own, as Ray pressed her lips together firmly and desperately tried to ignore the mounting pressure in her chest as she forcibly suppressed her own sobs and tumbled down into a fitful sleep.

A sliver of harsh dawn light, stretched right across Aurelia's eyes the next morning, rousing her from her sleep with a soft groan. Grumbling crossly to herself, Rey rolled over her eyes resolutely squeezed shut as she snuggled further into the soft green quilt, never having been much of a morning person. As her mind began to defog Ray remembered the day in Forks, Bella and Charlie, the airport and the police cruiser all too clearly for it to have been a nightmare. Cracking her eyes, slightly a misty film making the blue seem somewhat lighter in the early morning Ray recognized the shimmering green bed set from the previous night. Blinking the hazy film away made the room swim into focus and Ray could clearly see Bella's form in the bed opposite taking shuddering breaths.

"Fuck it." She mumbled scrubbing a hand through the already tangled mess she called hair, as she practically tripped out of bed. "Shit." Covering her mouth as she caught herself mid-fall and began to yawn Ray found her footing before stretching high reaching for the ceiling. "Bloody hate mornings." She muttered, kicking her way through the cluttered mess surrounding her bed as she glared at the faded yellow lace curtains she was heading towards. The part in the middle hung open slightly causing the sliver of light to fall directly onto Ray's bed. "Must fuckin' clip them shut or some shit." She whispered after a few experimental tugs told her they wouldn't stay closed alone.

The morning in Forks wasn't exactly bright and cheery; a dank grey fog seemed to hang over the town providing a roof for the world. Ray wasn't a stranger to this type of morning having lived in sleepy English seaside towns or villages all her life but it also wasn't the sort of morning that filled her with joy. Bella's going to be in a crappy mood. Ray thought as her eyes swept what little of the view she could see through the fog. What joy. Rolling her tired eyes, Ray dug into the dresser grabbing the day's clothes; a faded pair of blue jeans, a grey tank top, a long sleeved checked shirt in black and grey and underwear before stumbling into the bathroom.

Showers were one thing Ray always took in the evening and a sense of wrongness seemed to settle in her gut at a morning shower. As steam began to emerge from the shower Ray shook her head at the sheer absurdity of caring about a shower routine in her predicament, before preparing for her day. Feeling oddly refreshed from her morning shower rather than exhausted as she usually would, Ray left her hair to dry naturally returning to her room to grab her designated 'school bag' a patterned stripe, stripe pattern slouch backpack which was, to her great delight, already prepared. "Fucking ace." Ray mumbled, grabbing her black biker boots, creeping out of the room and heading downstairs.

Ray collapsed onto the sofa after a quick swig of juice, a morning habit she wasn't willing to break, and tightly laced her boots ready for the day. With an hour and a half to spare, she pondered the situation she found herself in. It could be a coma, it still wasn't something she was ruling out, but most likely she'd switched universes. Nervously she toyed with the ends of her damp hair, the likelihood of finding a way to go home disappearing rapidly in front of her eyes. Promising herself she'd start researching as soon as she had the lay of the land here and was sure everything was as it should be, she moved onto the next issue, Bella. Bella was notoriously inquisitive in the book, prompting Ray to be extremely careful about her extra knowledge, the last thing she needed was a family of angry vampires after her. Ray was pretty certain she was going to have to play dumb around Bella for as long as possible, tugging her lower lip between her teeth she idly wondered whether Edward would be able to hear alternate universe related thoughts and hoped that in this at least, she'd catch a break.

"Mornin'." The deep baritone voice startled Ray so thoroughly her heart almost jumped up her throat, and she pitched upwards on the couch before flopping back down again as soon as her brain registered it was Charlie.

"Mornin' Uncle C." Ray yawned.

"Up early Ray." One of Charlie's eyebrows was raised; Ray rather thought he was suspicious of her. "Couldn't sleep?"

Ray lightly shook her head.

Charlie's forehead crinkled. "You know, they wouldn't want you to feel this way right – I know your father wasn't always, look that's not the point – I guess I'm trying to – your parents, they'd want you to be..."

Ray finished when Charlie seemed unable, his melancholy sort of gaze landing on a picture on the mantel. "Happy, I know." Following his line of sight Ray stared at a picture of her mother, her real mother, arms wrapped around a tomato red Charlie. Studying the picture carefully, Ray realised they really did look like siblings, their colouring, their eyes, the way they stood; everything down to the shape of their lips was eerily similar.

Charlie sniffed once, puffed his chest out slightly with a huff of air, his expressionless façade returning as he glanced over at Ray once more. "Breakfast?"

"Never." Ray shot back a small smile gracing her lips.

Charlie's eyes crinkled and his voice took on a teasing tone. "Come on, most important meal of the day…"

Ray let out an undignified snort. "Please, I've seen your dinners, heart attack waiting to happen you know."

Despite the refusal to eat breakfast, mind whirling as she attempted to dredge up the memories for the knowledge she'd unintentionally called upon, Ray followed Charlie into the kitchen just in time to witness the most awkward breakfast in the history of awkward breakfasts. They really are so alike.

Observing casually Ray watched Bella and Charlie eat in almost complete silence, no conversation really following their morning greetings as they awkwardly stared at the faded yellow cupboards and white lino flooring.

"Well…" Charlie stood, hands on his belt as he surveyed the girls, leg twitching slightly drawing Ray's attention to how truly uncomfortable he must be in their presence. "Good luck at school girls, look out for each other."

"Thanks." Bella's voice was quiet and slightly clipped. Her thanks seemed to hang in the air for a moment before Ray broke the tension.

"Have a good day at work Uncle C." Ray stretched her lips into a tight, yet sincere smile, trying to lighten the mood and show Charlie how truly grateful she was for his kind wishes, her father had rarely wished her luck at anything. "Try not to let any crazy colonials shoot you if you possibly can."

With a last chuckle and a shake of his head Charlie left the house. The only sound came from the clock which seemed to tick in time with Ray's nervous heartbeat. From the books she knew Bella was looking forward to this day about as little as Ray herself but Bella didn't know they were going to face a family of vampires today. Hopefully they'd both come out alive.

Trying fruitlessly to stem the tide of her rising panic Ray's hands fisted in her loose shirt. What if I'm a singer to one of them too? Oh God, oh fuck, oh no.

Bella's eyes swept around Charlie's downstairs, lingering for a while on certain objects, such as her school pictures a flicker of agitation passing quickly over her face. Focus on that Ray. Focus on Bella.

"Don't like the snaps?" Ray managed to stutter.

Bella glanced at her, eyes just about shining with an emotion which Ray took to be annoyance. "Little embarrassing don't you think?"

The blonde shrugged clear blue eyes impassive as she could possibly make them.

"Let's go." Bella said, swiftly swinging her school bag over her shoulder. Ray followed her lead more than willing to get out of the house before she passed out. She could hear the blood pounding in her ears now. Fresh air seemed an appealing alternative to fainting.

Throwing on a black leather jacket and snatching the keys right out of Bella's hand as she passed Ray strode towards the truck, unlocking it quickly before getting in the passenger side as Bella secured the house. Watching Bella rush to the truck Ray was somewhat worried she might slip but for possibly the first time in her life, Bella's balance held out. Once she was safely within the truck perched on the faded tan seats which, in Ray's opinion, gave off a tantalising faint tobacco smell, Bella turned to Ray. "So, do you know where the school is?"

"Haven't got a fuckin' scooby." Ray's head lulled back against the seat her legs stretched as far as they could in front of her.

"A what?"

"Oh, a clue." Ray chuckled slightly, amusement dancing in her eyes. "I don't know Bells." She clarified when Bella's expression remained perplexed.

Bella turned the key and the truck roared to life, Ray, who had been expecting it, jolted shocked at just how loud the roar of the engine was. Bella would have stalled had it been in gear, her head almost hit the roof. "Fantastic." Bella griped as the truck began to trundle down the road, a brief smile flitting across her face when Ray managed to tune the radio and make the heat work.

When the girls found the school, Bella idled outside for a moment seemingly lost in her own world. Ignoring her cousins' temporary foray into her own mind Ray dragged her own eyes across the 'school'. "Looks like a bunch of sheds no wait-" Bella snorted as Ray racked her brains for the correct words. "Like maybe lean-to's or, fuck it." Ray frowned, levelling the school buildings with a harsh stare as she nibbled on her thumb nail. "Outhouses. Do you know what I mean?" She glanced at Bella who looked halfway between laughter and outright shock.

"You swear a lot."

"Bad habit." Flashing each other matching cheeky grins, the girls shared what Ray liked to think of as a bonding moment before they entered the car park of the scattered high-school.

Ray wandered up the small stone path, lined with tiny green hedges good for nothing but tripping over. Bella strode ahead, a purposeful sense to her walk. Ray was not in the same hurry to get the day started that Bella seemed to be, Ray's insides were knotted together; a tangled mess of emotion, confusion and organs she was certain. If anything she felt nauseous rather than nervous.

Catching the swinging door, Ray followed Bella inside. Her insides swirled as the heat of the room hit her, most days it was something Ray expected to be grateful for but today it made her head throb painfully. The office was a mess. Papers were everywhere strewn in baskets which were haphazardly placed behind the counter cutting the tiny room in two. The orange carpet made Ray's head swim, the plastic chairs reminded her of a doctor's office and that irritating clock would not stop ticking. Each resonating tick seemed to strike Ray on the top of the spine and reverberate down to her toes, her teeth clenched and her hands tightened into fists in the pockets of her jacket. The walls had awards covering them and Ray tried to ignore the incessant ticking and make out some of the names, although, without her distance glasses on they were really all blurs.

Bella had begun to speak with the red-haired woman behind the counter who was dressed so casually Ray could hardly believe she worked at a school. Then again, Ray thought, reminding herself the woman wasn't to blame for her exceptionally bad mood today. I am wearing jeans.

Mrs Cope, as she introduced herself was more than happy to welcome Bella to the school. Peering over the rim of her thick rimmed glasses, her eyes shone, a tentative smile stretching across her face as she glanced to Bella and then met Ray's eyes once more. "You must be Aurelia. I'm so sorry for your loss dear."

Ray's heart warmed at the show of sympathy from this complete stranger and a smile slowly stretched across her own face. "I prefer Ray actually."

Mrs Cope beckoned her forwards with a come hither motion as she began to look for the papers she needed. Eventually and miraculously without knocking over the teetering pile of papers she removed two schedules and two maps.

"I have your schedules right here, and a map of the school." Patient and cheerful Mrs Cope went through Bella's junior schedule and Ray's senior schedule explaining the classes and highlighting the easiest routes to each.

Ray felt a fondness for the secretary well up inside her. Although Mrs Cope's foot tapped impatiently she was never more than polite, kind and helpful to the two girls. Ray watched Mrs Cope's foot wondering about the display of excitement, until it clicked that she would be the first to have seen Bella and Ray except Charlie. Ray's chest shook and she folded her lips in on each other. Plenty of gossips in Forks. She reminded herself. Perhaps this is one of the more easily pleased.

When both girls finally held all their paperwork, including slips for each teacher to sign to be returned at the end of the day, Mrs Cope wished them well, hoping they'd enjoy Forks. Bella tried to smile, Ray took it as something that was supposed to look convincing and though Mrs Cope seemed pleased, Ray's eyes danced with mirth. Bella had managed to achieve the look of uncomfortable constipation.

As Bella carefully navigated her way into the student car park, Ray's eyes seemed drawn to the shiny Volvo. The silver car glistened in the early morning light and Ray found herself rapidly aware of her heartbeat again as the organ thumped against her ribs, the sound of the rushing water filled her ears and the smell of the tobacco wafting into her nose was no longer tantalising a faint hint of peppermint Ray's nose hadn't picked up before mixed with the tobacco making her stomach roll. The Cullens were here. The inevitability of the situation didn't make it any easier to face. Ray's chest felt heavy and she struggled to take in a much needed gulp of air, stuffing her papers in her bag and jumping out of the truck as soon as Bella parked.

Leaning against the damp truck, cool moisture seeping into her clothes and cooling her frayed nerves Ray waited for Bella. Soon enough she hopped out too, barely managing to keep her footing, before striding around to the passenger side.

"No one is going to bite me." Bella mumbled under her breath.

Forcing down a derisive snort and sarcastic comment, Ray sauntered over to her cousin lightly bumping her shoulder with Bella's. "Ready to do this?" Ray's voice sounded, to her own ears, confident and clear. A blessing considering the mess she was on the inside.

"Are you?" Bella's eyes were wide and her skin was somewhat paler than usual which was saying something.

Looks like I'm not the only one who's bricking it. "Come on Bells." Ray's breath fogged in front of her. "Let's get this over with."

Bella and Ray ambled into the school, Bella keeping her hood firmly up, a defence mechanism Ray assumed although personally she preferred to have her ears and eyes at full power. A hood not only cut off peripheral vision but it also muffled noises, the last thing Ray wanted at this particular moment. Leaving Bella at the door to her classroom, possibly in the early stages of a panic attack if her tense stance and rapid breathing was anything to go by, Ray strode through the school until she found her first class. History.

Ray had always loved history. She had a talent for stories and if told well enough the events in a history lesson, important dates, facts and all could seep into her brain and remain there. There were periods of history she knew little about but could guess a lot of merely through applying other historical knowledge and a dash of logic. It was no wonder she'd been placed in an advanced class. Calm once again, breathing even, Ray strode purposefully into the room, apologising for her lateness and introduced herself to the teacher, Mr Higgins a moderately young, enthusiastic teacher with a bright smile. She liked him immediately.

He had a shock of light brown hair, a clean shaven, boyish face and immediately threw a question at her about the monarchy. "How many king Edwards since 1066?"

"Eight. If we're including the Prince in the Tower." Ray handed him her slip a small smile gracing her face.

He grinned, yanking the top of a pen off and signing the slip with a flourish. "Who won World War Two?"

"Technically, allied forces consisting of the UK, USA, Russia, British Commonwealth Nations and a host of other European forces." Ray took the slip back meeting his shining green eyes.

"And in your opinion?"

"The British were obviously the driving force."

Mr Higgins let out a loud laugh as the class groaned. "Thank you Miss Dewolfe for helping me prove a valuable lesson to the class on differing opinions between the nations." Ray's grin was so wide it made her eye's crinkle. "Please," The teacher gestured to the back. "Take a seat at the back and welcome to Forks High School I hope your stay is illuminating and engaging."

Ray turned walking in the direction of his gesture and wrestled with her emotions, trying to keep them as light and airy as the soft smile that froze on her face. The blond, god-like creature at the back could only be Jasper. Acting braver than she felt, nerves practically humming, Ray met his eyes as she took her seat, pools of melted gold.

Jasper's face looked like it was chiselled out of stone, he blinked periodically, his shoulders rose and fell although Ray couldn't be certain he was breathing and he seemed completely focused on the lesson. She almost resented him a little before realising that was an emotion and quickly trying to correct herself. Her shoulders were bunched and her posture stiff, her mind went into a complete meltdown as the teachers lecture was blocked like sunlight by the dark, impenetrable cloud of anxiety that floated over her all lesson. When Jasper finally swept out on the ring of the bell, Ray released a breath she didn't realise she'd been holding unable to tell whether she had managed to mask her strange emotions from the empath or not.

Time slipped by with a haste matched only by a racehorse or so it seemed to Ray that morning, names and faces became slightly recognisable but she seemed to be drifting through an oddly unfocused daydream. Her edgy, jittery feeling didn't wear off after her impromptu vampire sighting and she spent the majority of her morning drumming her fingers restlessly on a desk or her leg waiting for the lunch period. It's official, my nerves are shot to shit.

Ray almost ran to lunch, wanting to grab Bella as soon as possible. There was something about this whole thing that put her on edge. She couldn't be sure if it was the uncertainty of how the vampires would react to her presence or just the knowledge that she had sat for an hour next to a living- sort of, possibly breathing creature of the night and lived but something in her gut told her she would feel more comfortable with a familiar face around.

Bella, if her skittish reaction was anything to go by, was reasonably shocked when Ray's slender arm hooked through her own on the way to lunch.

"How's your mornin' gone?" Ray queried, attempting to inject a semblance of normality back into her day.

A high-pitched squeal sounded, scratching at Ray's frayed nerves like nails on a chalkboard.

"What the actual fuck?" She muttered as a tiny girl with dark curly hair that could only be likened to a poodle do in Ray's mind shot out in front of them.

Bella stumbled to a halt, nearly sending both of them splat on their backs. Gripping Bella's arm tightly to her side, Ray managed to steady the duo before turning back to the new face.

"I'm Jessica Stanley. You must be Aurelia." A stretched grin that didn't quite seem to meet the girls' eyes appeared on her face.

Ray nodded. Jessica Stanley from what she could remember was a slightly two-faced gossipy girl, who could have possibly been a good friend if Bella had made a conscious effort. Ray wasn't quite sure whether she was friendship material or whether she was about to make a giant mistake.

Her mother had been a compassionate woman who always tried to see the best in people in both worlds, from what Ray could gather. Taking a leaf from that book and a deep breath, steeling her nerves somewhat she held out a hand. "Nice to meet you."

Jessica shook it with an enthusiasm that couldn't have possibly been faked; Ray wondered for a second whether she'd feel that arm rattling in its socket for days. "You're accent is amazing." Jessica gushed, the corners of her eyes crinkling as she swapped to Ray's other side and ushered them into the lunch room and leading them to a table full of her peers.

Ray contemplated whether this was social suicide or not. She wanted to sit with Bella but not being particularly well-versed in American high-school traditions she didn't know if she should sit with a group of younger students. Honestly what she'd give to be twenty again, in university and free to go with the flow. University students became much less judgy and much more person focused once they'd got fresher's out of their systems.

Missing uni. Ray internally laughed at herself. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Just days ago she couldn't wait to leave university for the Christmas break.

With a quick shrug of her shoulders, Ray placed her tray down on the table with Bella and her year mates. Keeping to herself she unwrapped her sandwich, her eyes roaming every inch of it, a firm focused to her gaze, allowing the conversation to ebb and flow around her.

"Who are they?" Bella's voice cut through Ray's careful inspection. Though her eyes didn't stray from her sandwich her form became rigid and her fingers ceased all movement.

"That's Emmett and Edward Cullen and Jasper Whitlock. The one who left was Alice Cullen; they all live with Dr Cullen and his wife." Jessica spoke in whispered undertones but Ray caught every words. Her blood suddenly felt like fire in her veins.

That isn't right.

"They are… very nice looking." Ray struggled to keep her snort to herself at Bella's drastic understatement, sitting next to Jasper for an hour made Ray more than aware that neither the novels nor the movies did justice to the Cullen clan. The vampires were utterly perfect. Nothing about them could be considered unattractive in even the smallest of ways, works of art, masterpieces, nothing less but perhaps something more.

Ray's thoughts were still deciphering Jessica's speech. "Who's the blonde again?" Ray kept her tone light, her eyes focused on her food.


"No the other…" Ray's eyes finally snapped up to the Cullen table, her brain catching up with her mouth. Three boys. Just three boys. Not a blonde bombshell in sight. Eyes narrowing slightly Ray tugged her bottom lip between her teeth. Where the hell is Rosalie? Edward didn't stir and Ray's tightly wound nerves began to uncoil slightly, he didn't seem to have heard her instinctual thoughts.

"The other who?" Bella's concerned gaze felt hot as it trailed across Ray's cheeks.

Ray shook her head, taking a moment to calm herself before turning to meet Bella's worried brown eyes. "Don't worry about it, I meant Jasper, I just got confused." Bella's lips pressed together and Jessica's eyebrows settled lowly over her eyes. "He's in my history class." It was the only thing she could think of as an explanation.

The brunettes' expressions cleared and Jessica let out a breathy giggle. "And taken. He's dating Alice, which is weird right? I mean they live together."

Bella and Jessica continued to chat about the Cullen family dynamics, while Ray allowed her eyes to roam over the vampires in what she hoped was a natural observing way. Edward was devastatingly handsome; the book had that much right. His tousled bronze hair shined under the unflattering lunch room lighting, he was practically the angelic version of a bad boy. Jasper's honeyed locks hadn't moved even slightly out of place since that morning in history, he looked tense, stiff, thirsty. Ray's hand trembled slightly as she forced herself to take a bite of her sandwich, mouth dry. Emmett was something more than she expected somehow. Whilst aware that he was going to be equally as gorgeous as the others Ray had always thought of Emmett in the big brother type way, because that's how he was written. Never had a character been done such a disservice in literature before. Emmett was flawless. Exceptional, blemish free, chalky pale skin, dark eyes which seemed to glint with mirth from across the lunch room, dark curly hair equally as stunning as his brothers do's and muscles bulging, his chest, hugely broad, it was a miracle anyone believed him to be a teenager at all.

He's built like a brick shithouse. Ray's eyes widened as they drank in his massive frame, he was smiling looking towards Edward, dimpled cheeks making him look equal parts cute, handsome, sexy and utterly terrifying. His frame began to shake as his dark eyes flickered upwards meeting Ray's. She blanched, looking away quickly.

A strange feeling of dread settled in her gut, the heavy weight of it almost making it impossible for her chest to expand as she filled it with air. Edward heard me thinking that. As soon as the thought sparked into her mind a sense that she had never had a truer notion overcame her.

Edward I know what you are. She thought when they didn't react to her thinking about Edward's power. She kept her blue eyes carefully trained on the Cullen men but none of them moved, no one gave anything away. Jasper's pretty hot too, all lean muscle and mysterious sex appeal. Edward's lips moved quickly, Jaspers head shot up. Ray fought to keep her face blank. Interesting. He seemed to hear whatever didn't have to do with anything she knew from her other world. Caution remaining, that information could be quite handy.

Snapping herself back to the present, Ray refocused her gaze on Bella and Jessica not wanting to stare too long, no more unnecessary attention from the Cullen's could only be a positive, although she really did need to find out what happened to Rosalie. Any hitches in Ray's plan could be theoretically disastrous and the non-existence of a major character was something rather disastrous indeed. Ray swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat. One Cullen not existing could change everything.

"That's Edward. He's gorgeous, of course, but don't waste your time. He doesn't date. Apparently none of the girls here are good-looking enough for him." Jessica sniffed, crossing her arms and resting her hard eyes on Edward.

Ray suppressed a smile as she traded a knowing glance with Bella. They seemed in agreement that Edward may have turned Jessica down at some point.

"I have another theory." A blond boy, with ice blue eyes and a killer smile piped up. Mike Newton? Ray speculated. "They're gay."

"Don't be fuckin' stupid." The words were out of her mouth before she'd even thought of how she could explain them. All eyes on the table locked onto Ray's face, a mixture of shocked and amused looks clearly displayed on their faces. Ray timidly tucked an ashy blonde strand of hair behind her ear, hand brushing the cartilage piercing and running over her cool, metal, earring. "I mean, the ging'er maybe, but the huge guy? My gaydar is not registering." Booming laughter exploded from Emmett, Ray couldn't be sure if it was her words or their own conversation but either way Edward did not look pleased. He was stiff and his jaw seemed tight. His fists were clenched on the table, knuckles not far from being pure white if she had to take a guess from the tautness displayed in his arms.

"Ging'er?" Bella questioned Ray's strange pronunciation and Ray's insides turned to ice. She had just used an offensive British term for gingers directed at Edward Cullen, the vampire living with an ex-pat.

"Don't ever repeat that." The words seemed to tumble over each other in her haste to spit them out. "Horrible, offensive British term, I'm sorry for ever using it." Her heart felt like it was once again running a marathon.

"British slang, awesome got anymore?"

The three vampire men rose from their table, dropping their food into the bin and replacing their trays the epitome of grace and poise. Ray let out a trembling breath, quickly settling into the conversation with the American teens feeling comfortable for the first time all day.

Just before the bell finally rang to signal the end of lunch, Angela, the quiet dark haired girl offered to answer any questions Bella and Ray had. Ray had only one as she peered down at her schedule. "What the fuck is Calculus?"

English and Food Tech passed for Ray in much the same way as the rest of the day had, like Sonic the Hedgehog was whizzing her through it. Odd blurs, snatches of conversation and one very burnt batch of cookies were the only things she remembered as she met up with Bella outside building three. Bella walked a slump to her shoulders; head down as the girls made their way towards the office at the end of the day.

"What's up?" Ray used a gentle tone, placing a careful hand on Bella's shoulder, a slight crease in between her eyes both out of genuine concern for Bella's emotional well-being and silent fury that they would have to face Edward again in the office when he had clearly upset Bella so badly.

"I think Edward Cullen hates me." Bella's voice exploded out of her the anger and confusion crackling in her indignant tone and catching Ray by total surprise. "I didn't even speak to him; all he did was glare at me like I smelt funny all through Biology."

Ray tried to keep her voice in check; she stumbled over her words paying careful attention not to sound too sure of herself. "I'm sure it's personal Bella, probably not your issue at all, he can't possibly hate you if he doesn't even know you maybe he's just-"

The door to the office opened and the girls stepped in, Ray mentally cringed making sure to keep her stance as relaxed as possible, arms hanging limply by her side as Edward argued with Mrs Cope about switching Biology. Bella's body seemed to curl in on itself and Ray's whole body flushed with heat as she wrapped a comforting arm around the quiet girl who, a day ago was merely a character in a book to her, and now honestly felt like one of her closest companions. The memories that flooded her mind whenever she looked at Bella filled her with a contentment she had only ever received periodically from her best friend in her original world.

The door opened once more a gust of wind blowing towards the counter, papers ruffling slightly in the wind as a small girl dived in, placed a note in one of the numerous wire baskets and dived out again, all in less than half a second. The effect was immediate. Edward stiffened his muscles tightening, his neck became taut as he turned slowly and fixed Bella with such a hate filled, piercing glare that the tiniest hairs on Aurelia's body stood on end. His dark eyes were malicious and for one split moment Ray forgot everything she knew of Edward and Bella's future, total focus on the current situation. The one in which Edward looked every inch the predator, ready to drain every last drop of blood from Bella's veins.

A quick, hasty, dismissal of the situation slipped from Edward's lips as Ray's eyes remained frozen on his glinting white teeth. Then, as quickly as it had happened, he was gone. Ray took Bella's slip from her quivering hand, returning both Bella's and her own to Mrs Cope, brushed off the red-heads questions on the day with a quick remark on the lovely school and lead Bella from the office. Gently and carefully Ray pried the keys from Bella's vice like grip, huddling her into the passenger side of the truck as she fought the tears welling in her eyes. Ray let out a shuddering breath of her own, convinced the most dangerous part was over for a time, and climbed into the truck, driving both Bella and herself home.

So I hope you all liked it? If you did please drop a review and let me know!

Hope to hear from you all soon,