Author: justginger PM
Bella Swan has been alone for most of her life, she is young and she is scared, but now she has another life to protect. She is heading for a new country - a new life and then she ends up in HOPE SPRINGS. Will she run, or will she allow the people inRated: Fiction M - English - Drama/Family - Bella & Edward - Chapters: 40 - Words: 437,054 - Reviews: 2,257 - Favs: 922 - Follows: 934 - Updated: 12-24-12 - Published: 12-17-11 - id: 7643750
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Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot of the Twilight Saga are the property of Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement is intended. The storyline of Hope Springs is mine.
Author's Note: Before we begin this story, I would just like to say a few things. As far as I am aware, there is no town called Hope Springs in Vermont, but we all know the type of town that I am writing about. I have to admit though that I sort of fashioned it on the fictional town of Stars Hollow, from the Gilmour Girls – one of my all time favorite shows! I will give you a list of characters, ages and their position in the small community and relationship to the Cullen's.
I hope that you enjoy my new story. Now there won't be any BDSM (sorry!) in this story, but you all know me – lots of loving, and sexing, it is rated M for a very good reason. So yeah, we will get down and dirty – I promise you!
Love and hugs,
"Where would you go if you are trying to start a new life but you had nowhere to go and no one to care? Bella Swan has been alone for most of her life, she is young and she is scared, but now she has another life to protect. She is heading for a new country - a new life and then she ends up in HOPE SPRINGS. Her life intertwines with all the eccentric characters in this little piece of heaven in Vermont and just like that - she will never be the same. She meets the Sherriff, the truck driver, the semi-retired doctor, the lawyer, the farmer, and the new best friends, but it is the new young doctor in town that turns her life upside down. Is he as stuck up as he seems or does he have a wild side? Is Bella as tough and as jaded as she seems? Will she run, or will she allow the people in this town to teach her to hope, to dream, and to love?"
CHAPTER 1 – MEET BELLA 'VAN'
"What the fuck?" The dark haired girl growled as she swung the smoking and battered Beatle into the truck stop and slammed the brakes, causing dust to billow out around the rust mottled faded yellow car.
She climbed out of her car and slammed the door and then she hopped out of the way so that it didn't swing back as it bounced off the frame and flew back at her.
Bella looked up at the sky before she stared at the black smoke coming out of the back of the car. "Fuck you! Fuck this shit!" She could feel angry, frustrated tears burning her eyes and she stared at the ground for a long moment, she was not going to cry like some fucking baby! Grow the fuck up Bella and act like a fucking adult, for once in your fucked up life!
She ignored the tiny voice that told her that she wasn't an adult – not really and that she should be going to school, eating breakfast with her mother and father, having fun with her friends.
But there was no school; there was no home, no parents and no friends. Bella Swan was alone – just as she had been since she had become a ward of the State of Arizona at the age of four.
She shook her head and kicked the tire of the only thing that her father had ever given her.
Six months before Bella turned eighteen, about two weeks before Christmas, a social worker had come to see her to tell her that her late father, Police Chief Charles Basil Swan had left her an 'inheritance' and she was eligible to receive it on her eighteenth birthday. She also told Bella that she would no longer be a ward of the State of Arizona and that she would need to 'find her own way in life'.
What a fucking joke! Bella had been 'finding her own way' since she was four fucking years old!
At the age of ten, she had learnt how to fight her foster father, off as he tried to shove his hand down her pants. Once she had stabbed him with a pencil in his hand when he had put it over her mouth as she slept. His other hand had pushed inside her small, dry vagina and his hand smothered her screams. After she stabbed him, he stayed away from her, but he always watched her. Bella smirked at her foster father, Simon that evening over the dinner table, until his 'wife' Kate had shouted at her to keep her 'fucking, whore-mongering eyes' to herself.
Yeah, they were a real nice pair. Simon had overheard the conversation where the social worker had told her that she would be able to leave this fucking hell hole very soon, and that night, Simon had broken the lock on Bella's door and had tried to rape her. It wasn't the first time, but it was the most violent.
Bella had screamed at him to stop, but he had wrapped his fingers around her throat and if it wasn't for another foster kid, Tyler, she would definitely have lost her 'virginity' that night. As it was she and Tyler had run away that night.
Bella and Tyler had lived on the streets for six months until Bella had received her 'inheritance'.
Tyler had been hoping that she was his meal ticket out of the gutter and he was angry and disappointed when she had come bouncing down the alley that they had been sleeping in with her inheritance. A 1971, Volkswagen Beetle, an old photograph of a man with a toddler in his arms, two hundred dollars and a police shield.
Tyler was so angry with her that he had taken the only thing of value that she had.
Bella had lost her virginity to Tyler in the backseat of the Beetle and eight weeks later, when she told him that she was pregnant, he had left her alone on the streets, but only after he had stolen the little bit of money that they had scrounged together from working odd jobs.
Now Bella felt the two hundred dollars inside the tiny pocket that she had stitched into a small pouch that she had made inside the front of her jeans.
She had used one of those free sowing packs that came in novelty give packets. She had received one together with a brush, comb, a new toothbrush, some dental floss, a face cloth, two bars of soap, a small hand towel and a new pair of panties from a mission that she and Tyler used to go to for a hot meal every second day. That year they were lucky and had been accepted for Christmas lunch.
That parcel was one of only three Christmas presents that Bella had ever received.
She did not know what had made her keep the money a secret from Tyler, but something had prevented her from telling him about the money in an envelope that had her name written on the front. Inside was the money together with the old photo and the badge.
"Fuck!" She said again as she gingerly opened the back 'hood' and she stared at the oil blackened engine. "What the fuck ever!" She threw her hands up in disgust before she ran her hands through the black hair.
She had no idea what was wrong with her car or how to fix it, all that she knew was that she had to get to Canada. She needed to start over. Her hand moved to cover her still flat stomach; she had a life growing inside her that needed to be protected.
She wiped her hands on her broken black skinny jeans before she pulled the grey vest straight. Her wrists jingled with the assortment of bangles on her wrists. Bella reached for the ever present black elastic that she kept around her wrist and pulled her dyed almost black hair into an untidy bun.
At first she had dyed it so that no one would find her. But she didn't have money to waste on dye. What a joke! People had to know that you were alive to look for you!
She didn't know if anyone was looking for her. After what had happened the night after Taylor had abandoned her, she couldn't stay in Flagstaff and wait for the cops to find her. She didn't even know if the man was alive or dead…
The temporary dye was one of those ones that washed out after four or five washes, but then again, you had to have a bath or a shower for that to happen, and for the past eight months, Bella had washed in garage wash rooms, and other public rest rooms.
It didn't matter anymore. She had to keep moving. She had to find a place that she would be safe. A place that the baby growing inside of her would be safe – she couldn't think about that night now!
Bella stuck her hands into her back pockets and scuffed her broken second-hand converse sneakers in the dust, "What the fuck is 'at lace'?" She said to herself as she glared up at the old neon sign.
Her thin frame was scantily clad body caused quite a stir in the slightly run down truck stop, simply known to all the regulars as 'Pat's Place'. The broken neon sign however announced it as "at' lace'".
Billy Black sat in his usual seat near the serving hutch as he ate his breakfast and he chatted with his old friend Pat O'Malley. He often stopped here on his 'home' leg. He cast an eye to his truck with the six cars on the back. His son, Jacob ran a garage/second hand dealer business back home which was doing really well in spite of the economic climate. Jacob's talent as a master mechanic was widely known and his reputation for rebuilding and restores vintage cars and trucks was spreading further than the surrounding area. Jacob received cars from all over the State. Jacob had purchased this latest shipment from an auction in Charleston and fortunately Billy's back haul was empty from a drop off that he had done.
Billy had been a trucker from when he was a young man, just out of high school. His wife, Sue had found it difficult at first to only have a 'part-time' husband but over the past almost thirty five years, their marriage had remained strong. This was Billy's last year of trucking and each trip was bitter-sweet. Sue had promised him that they would buy an RV and they would travel so that he could show her the country that he had driven across more times than he cared to remember.
"Hey Pat, there's fresh meat out there!" Came a shout from one of the younger long haul drivers, James.
Billy shook his head, James and his 'posse' were in the truck stop every week and Pat often lamented their lack of brains to Billy.
The tone in James's voice caused Billy and Pat to look through the window. Billy cursed silently, what the dickens was a young girl doing out in the middle of nowhere, looking like that?
He quickly rose to his feet just as James and the slimy character that he drove with, Laurent slid to their feet.
"Hold it there, boy," Billy said with quiet authority, "you boys sit yourselves right back down and finish your breakfast."
James glared at Billy but he knew better than to try and defy the older man. He had seen two men jump Billy one night and Billy had put them both in the hospital with his bare hands.
Pat walked out from around the counter and he nodded to Billy, "I'll keep your breakfast warm, Billy." He said as he crossed his large arms over each other and leaned against the counter as he smiled grimly at James and Laurent.
Billy stepped out into the cool morning air. He knew that the temperature would rise steadily in the next few hours and he wanted to get a start before it got too hot. He could see the young girl was a little older than he had first thought and by the amount of cussing that she was doing, she was not happy.
He cleared his throat and Bella swung around with a speed that surprised him. The hard, half scared and angry glint in her eyes surprised him even more. He recognized that look. It was the look of someone who had lived on the streets long enough to know that danger lurked in every shadow.
Billy didn't smile, but he held up his hands to show that he was no threat to her, "You look like you could use some help, Miss." He said quietly.
Bella bit her lip as she scowled at him with open hostility. The man was tall and everything about him said 'authority'. He didn't stand too close to her and Bella didn't see anything in his face or body language that said 'danger.'
She paused for a moment to realize that she didn't feel threatened by the middle aged man. He wasn't looking at her with anything but kind concern.
Bella took a deep breath; it had been so long since anyone had not spoken to her with ulterior motives that she had almost forgotten what it was like to be courteous to someone.
"Um, yeah, thanks." She flicked her hand at the car, which sat encased in the haze of smoke.
"I'm um, not sure what's wrong with the stupid thing – I put oil into it a while ago, and it seemed okay then! Stupid fucking piece of shit!" Bella added as she took a step aside.
Billy smiled at her as he took a rag from the back pocket of his jeans, "Well, I'm no mechanic that would be my son Jacob, but I know a little bit from what he has taught me… here let me see."
"Do you know if your car has a catalytic converter?" Billy asked as he stooped down to look into the dirty engine.
Bella stared at him as if he had just told her that the earth had been invaded by aliens. "Huh? A cat-what?"
What the fuck was that?
Billy just chuckled and used his rag to wipe some of the oil off the dirty engine.
"What gas did you put in it?"
Bella shrugged, "The cheapest one, I think. Why?"
Billy shook his head, "I think that this engine takes leaded and you probably put unleaded into it, so the sensors are blocked up. That's what a catalytic converter does – it converts the engine so that it will run on unleaded fuel."
Bella looked at him as if he was speaking in another language, "Huh. So what the fuck does that mean to me?" she asked him.
He straightened up and looked at her, "You aren't going to be going far on this unless you can spend some money, I'm afraid."
"FUCK!" Bella wrapped her thin arms around her waist as she shouted and she kicked the tire again.
"I can't fucking stay here! I can't! This sucks balls, man!"
Bill slowly straightened up, "Are you in trouble, Miss? Is someone after you?"
Bella shook her head and barked out a harsh laugh, "Nope, nothing like that, I mean I'm not wanted by the law or anyone, but I – well I'm on my way to, well, I've got to get the fuck out of this place, you know. Where the fuck are we anyway?" She looked down at her broken shoe and she was alarmed for find that her eyes were burning and her throat felt tight.
"We are on the outskirts of Joplin, Missouri, Miss. Where are you headed?" Billy asked quietly.
Bella half shrugged before she sighed and stared hard at the horizon before she answered, "I don't know, um, Canada?"
Just when Billy was about to speak Bella's stomach rumbled loudly. Bella rubbed her stomach and groaned slightly, she was so fucking hungry!
Billy sighed, he wasn't sure what it was about the young woman, but he felt very – protective of her.
He wiped his hand hands on the clean rag and stuck it back in his pocket before he held his hand out, "My name is William Black, but my friends call me Billy."
Bella stared at him for a minute and Billy was reminded of a stray kitten that Jake had brought home when he was a kid. The poor thing was the same and they had all had scratches on their arms and legs to prove it for about a week, before Two Socks realized that no one was going to hurt her. Billy smiled to himself. Two Socks the Third was now pregnant with the next generation of Socks. Each litter had heralded a black cat with two white 'socks' – and so they were called the Socks. After a moment of staring at Billy in an almost unnerving way, the young, very rumpled young woman gave a ghost of a genuine smile for the first time in what felt like forever and she tentatively put her small hand into his, "I'm Isabella, but you can call me Bella".
Bella had grown up without being touched unnecessarily and so she wasn't used to being touched affectionately or otherwise. Kate had occasionally let loose on the foster kids with her hand or a shoe or whatever else was handy, but Bella had learned to dodge the punishment if she could. Unless Kate singled her out for a beating, and then she had just turned her back and waited for it to be over.
Even with Tyler, a fuck was just that - a fuck – in – out – done. There had been no fireworks or music.
There had been extreme pain, some grunting, and bruises on her tits the next day. Every time after that, which was only twice, she had bit her lip until it bled to keep from screaming in pain.
Tyler had told her it was like fucking the dead the day that he left.
Billy looked down at the young girl who didn't look a day over sixteen. Was she a runaway? Her hand is so cold, he thought.
She realized that Billy was watching her expectantly, "I'm sorry did you say something?"
"I asked you if you would like to join me for breakfast."
Bella turned to look at the building, she scrunched up her nose as she thought quickly, "Do they need someone to do their dishes or sweep the floors or maybe clean their toilets… I can…"
Billy held out his hand, "Whoa, look, Bella, I'm asking you to join me for breakfast – my treat. Now what do you say?"
Bella bit her lip – she hated taking charity but this was hot food that was being offered to her!
She was so tempted, but still she was suspicious. "What do you want from me?"
Billy wasn't offended by her harsh question. Every bit of her body was screaming out 'Don't hurt me!'.
"Nothing, Bella. I don't want anything from you. I am a happily married man, who has a son and a grandson at home and I just feel like you could use a break. Now what do you say?"
She found herself walking next to the tall man with the black ponytail and olive skin.
Billy noticed that James and Laurent were nowhere to be seen as he motioned for Bella to take a seat in the booth by the window.
Pat walked over with a menu and a pot of coffee, "Good morning. I'm Pat."
Bella looked at him for a moment before she began to chuckle, "Now I get it – Pat's Place! Not at's lace!"
Billy and Pat laughed before Billy introduced Bella to him, "Pat, my young friend here needs some breakfast."
Bella watched as Pat was about to pour coffee into the thick white mug and she quickly shook her head. The one lament of her pregnancy is that she could no longer stand the smell of coffee.
Pat frowned; his coffee was good – "No?" Bella shook her head, "No, um, thanks."
"Something else? Tea?"
Bella nodded, "Tea sounds really good."
Pat smiled, "How hungry are you?"
Bella grinned, "Starving!"
"Order whatever you like, Bella. Whatever you can't eat now, you can take with you." Billy said. His eyes told his friend to make sure that he packed plenty extra for the young woman.
Bella looked at the menu and her stomach growled again. She blushed as the men laughed, "Um, can I have the 'full house stack' please?"
Pat and Billy's eyes shot up, "Impressive!" was all that Billy said.
"You like your eggs over easy or sunny side up?"
Bella licked her lips as the mention of eggs – she had been craving eggs for weeks! "Sunnyside please; white bread, apple juice, blueberry pancakes and bacon, not sausage." Bella said quickly.
Pat nodded in approval, "It'll be ready in five. You want the usual Billy?"
Billy nodded, "Sure Pat thanks."
Bella and Billy sat in silence until Billy spoke up, "So I know that you are headed for Canada, but where are you from, Bella?"
Bella's eyes suddenly looked weary and they darted around the room. Billy knew that she was going to lie to him, so he only half listened as she stuttered, "Vegas".
She was a terrible liar and she knew it. Shit! Bella could feel her cheeks heat up and she cursed whichever parent had left her the legacy of blushing.
Billy stared at her for a moment before he leaned forward, "Bella, look –"
"Where are you from?" Bella asked quickly.
"Hope Springs, Vermont. It's a small town in the south east. The good news is that the state of Vermont is right on the boarder of Quebec, Canada." He said with a small smile.
Just then Pat interrupted them as he set down a pot of tea with a jug of milk and a huge stack of blueberry pancakes, clotted cream and syrup.
Pat smiled apologetically at Billy as he left to finish their breakfast.
At Billy's bidding Bella put half of the pancakes onto her plate and drowned them in syrup and cream. Billy watched as she ate. He could see that she hadn't had a proper meal in a long time. She looked far too thin and emasculated. Her cheeks were sunken and the dark shadows under her eyes told him that wherever she slept – she didn't sleep easy.
For some reason this girl was working her way into his heart. He wasn't sure if it was her large chocolate brown eyes, or the air of frailty that seemed to surround her, in spite of her aggressive, street-wise air.
Billy and Bella ate in silence for several minutes. Bella felt her stomach fill up and she tried to force herself to finish what was on her plate, but her stomach had shrunk in the months since she had been on the streets. She wondered if her baby was okay. Instinctively she put her hand over her stomach and rubbed it gently. I'm so sorry, baby. What kind of life am I making you live in? I don't even have a bed or a place for you to sleep.
Billy watched the look of intense sadness wash over Bella's features as she touched her stomach, almost protectively.
He frowned slightly, is she pregnant? Ill?
He cleared his throat and Bella looked up at him, quickly taking her hand away from her stomach.
"I can get Pat to put that in a takeout container for you, if you like?"
Bella bit her lip and nodded once before she finished her cup of tea. She didn't know when she would have her next meal so any free food was welcome.
"Do you speak French Bella?" Billy asked.
Bella frowned, "What kind of question is that?"
"Well, if you go to Quebec, you should know how to speak French because that is their first language."
Bella nodded before she cocked an eyebrow, "Do you? Speak French?"
Billy smiled, "Of course. But that's because I travel over the boarder sometimes."
Bella nodded, "Oh. Can you take it as a subject in school in Vermont?"
Billy nodded, "Sure, I think Jake took it as an elective subject."
Once the table was cleared and the takeout cartons sat between them, Billy began to speak.
"Bella, I have an idea. My son, Jacob? Well he is the best mechanic this side of the ocean. He restores old cars and rebuilds engines. My truck," he pointed his truck out to her, "Has some place on it for your car. I can take you back with me and I'm sure that Jake can fix your car. It might take a while, but if you still want to leave then at least you will know that your car is safe again. What do you say?"
Bella sat back and stared at the man who she had only known her for about an hour. Hundreds of questions flooded her mind. Was he on the level? Was this a set up? Could she trust him when she had never trusted any man before? Where would she sleep while she waited for her car to be fixed? How would she pay for the repairs? How would she eat?
"Hope Springs is a small town, but I have lived there my entire life and my father before me. I have lots of friends there, people that can be trusted. I happen to know that one of our very good friends, Esme Cullen, who owns Blue Bonnet Orchard, with her husband, Doc Cullen. Well, she is looking to hire produce pickers, because it's getting to that time of year. She would pay you and you can get your car fixed before you move on. Now what do you say?"
Bella ran her hand through her bangs and realized that her hand was shaking so she quickly put it into her lap and made a fist, "Why would she? This woman, why would she want to take me in? I'm not some stray fucking dog, you know? I'm not some fucking charity case!"
Bella felt a burning anger at the thought that these men pitied her. She wasn't some toy that rich people could pick up and put down when they got tired of her! She didn't need anybody!
Pat had been listening to their exchange and when Bella spoke, he walked up to their table, "Hold on there, young lady. We don't use that kind of language around here. Billy is just trying to give you a way out of your predicament, so you should hear him out." Pat spoke with quiet authority and Bella struggled to get her temper under control.
For a moment both men thought that Bella was going to explode. Her face was scarlet and her brown eyes were shooting sparks of fury from them. It was clear that she didn't take chastisement well.
But after a minute, Bella slowly unclenched her fists and her eyes dropped to the table, "Sorry", she muttered but then she looked up at Billy, "Billy – I don't know what to say here. I'm not, um, shit! Are you for real?"
Billy sat back and folded his arms, "Hey Pat? Can we use your phone?" He said.
Pat walked behind the counter and brought the cordless phone over to the table, "Here you go, Billy."
Billy nodded to the phone which lay on the table between them, "Bella, why don't you phone enquires and ask for the phone number for the police station in Hope Springs, Vermont. The sheriff's name is Jasper. Ask to speak with him and you can ask Sherriff Jasper about me."
Bella stared at him for another two minutes before she just thought to hell with it and picked up the phone.
Could he be trusted? She wondered nervously.
Pat leaned on his counter and watched the young girl dial a number without taking her eyes off Billy. He had heard some of their conversation and he grinned at the girl's 'moxy'. She reminded him of his own daughter.
As soon as Bella had the number for the police station, she dialed the number without hesitation.
"Hope Springs Police Station, How can we assist you?" A nasally voice rang out so loudly, that Bella moved the phone away from her ear.
"Hello, can I speak to Sherriff Jasper, please?"
"Sure Hon, hang on a sec.'" Bella frowned as she heard the woman on the other side shouting for 'Jasper' to pick up.
She looked across at Billy who was chuckling to himself, "That's Darla. She's a little odd, but harmless." He explained.
Bella snorted, "Is she deaf too?"
Bella listened as the line was picked up suddenly.
"This is Jasper" A deep voice said quietly.
"Um, hi, look, you don't know me but my name is-" she began only to be interrupted by the voice, "Hang on, Miss – hey Darla, put that damn phone down! I can hear you breathing on the other side!"
Bella pulled the phone away and stared at it while Billy laughed harder. The woman sounded like a lunatic.
"Hello? Hello, Miss? Damn…"
Bella quickly put the phone to her ear, "I'm here!"
"Oh thank goodness. Now what can I do for you, Miss…"
Bella didn't want to give her details out, not after what had happened back in Phoenix, she looked outside, and her eyes fell on a small delivery truck that had just pulled in – Vans Bakery - "Van! My name is Bella Van. I was wondering if you know a Mr. William Black?" She swallowed and prayed that she wasn't caught in her lies.
There was silence for a few moments before the voice spoke quietly, "Yes I do know Mr. Black, Miss Van. Billy and his wife Sue live on the outskirts of town. Why do you want to know? Has something happened to Billy?"
"No! No, nothing like that! It's just that he had offered to give me a lift to his son's garage and I have never met him, so…" she let the rest of her sentence die.
There was a clearing of a throat, "Oh I see! Well, Miss Van, I can assure you that Mr. Black has never had so much as a parking ticket and you should be quite safe. Could I speak to Billy, please?"
Bella nodded, "Um, Okay. Well, thank you, Sherriff Jasper." She held the phone out to Billy, "He wants to talk to you."
Billy smiled and stood up as he took the phone, he walked over to the far side of the restaurant and lowered his voice, but Bella could see that he was arguing with the sheriff.
Her eyes met Pat's across the room, and she sneered at him, "Sounds like the good sheriff is worried that I'm a physical threat to Billy."
Pat stared at her somberly for a moment, "Are you?"
Bella felt her jaw drop, "What? No! Of course not! What the fu," she had the grace to pause, "I mean what the hell kind of a question is that?" She could feel her anger rising. It didn't take much for her to get angry nowadays.
Pat nodded, "Billy is very well respected and loved, young lady, and you could do a lot worse than be stuck with him. Billy will keep you quite safe."
Bella stopped sneering at Pat's serious tone, "He is a good man, Bella."
Bella thought for a minute before she answered him, "That sounds like a paradox. I've never met 'a good man', Pat." She said quietly and for a split second, Pat saw the scared, lonely young girl that Bella was, before she blinked and it was gone. Her eyes dared him to say anything about her slip.
Pat nodded, "That is regrettable, but you have now. You know, there are good people in this world, people that just want to help, without asking for anything in return – Billy Black is one of those people."
Billy walked back to Pat and handed him the phone along with several bills.
Pat shook his head, "Not necessary." He walked from behind the counter and pulled something out of a drawer and handed Bella the items, "Here is a phone card, and this is a card with my number. I have also written down the number of the Highway Patrol. Call me when you get to Hope Springs, you can reverse the charges, if you like."
Bella didn't say anything. She could see what Pat was saying, he was telling her that she had choices. No one had ever given her a choice before. She could make her own decisions but that he cared enough to have her call him. She wasn't powerless.
She slid the cards into the back pocket of her jeans and nodded to Pat.
Billy looked at her, "Well, have you made a decision?"
Bella bit her lip and took a deep breath, "Um, yeah, it looks like I'm going to Hope Springs." She said in a hurried voice.
A/N: And there it is – Chapter 1 (with chapter names!) what did you all think? So next chapter is going to be posted in a few days – a Christmas treat from me. In this story Bella is eighteen and Edward is twenty-eight – for no other reason than that's how they played out to me. I hope that you liked it, and I know that you are going to tell me if it is good, bad' or indifferent.
Next chapter 'Meet the Cullens'!
Let me know