Summary: Bella has had expectations she has to meet, from the day she was born. In a world where very few may touch her, she lives separately to those not deemed worthy of her company. Taking on the large responsibility of a foal at only twelve years old, she requires the help of a lowly stable boy with a chip on his shoulder but the skills she needs. Meeting as children seems so simple, they had no hatred for one another and saw past the prejudices of adults.
A tale of fighting against society, and the expectations of women at the time. Bella has to overcome adversity, cruelty, longing and heartache...but, in their spot, their worlds meet and become one. What a fine world to live in.
A/N PLEASE READ: I suck at summaries guys, but this one really has to be read to be believed. If I give away too much, you'll just hate me for ruining the surprise. I'm not going to sugar-coat it, this story is very dark, very sad, but the feelings are very real. I'm an experienced writer, but this is the first story I've ever finished and I'm posting it all today to just get it out there for you people.
I'm really worried about posting my first full story on here, but I'm confident that it's like nothing you've read before in the Jasper/Bella section (I know, I've read them all!) I'd liken it to Leaves of Grass, which I recommend that you ALL READ because it's SHAMAZING for Jasper/Bella lovers.
Please, let me know of you find it along the way. I'm not the best receiver of flames...so if you could keep it constructive, I'd be really appreciative.
All of my warnings I'll put here (please do not read if you're sensitive to any of these, they're described very deeply):
DISCLAIMER: As always, I do not own any of the characters you recognise in this story. Any characters I have created myself that bear any likeness to someone alive, or dead, is purely coincidental. Also, I just really like the name Mrs Lovett, but this isn't a crossover.
The world around me was fascinating, nothing like the land of the Swan Estate and I couldn't get enough of it. My eyes were wide as we walked through the busy market streets and I heard Mrs Lovett chuckle beside me. I turned to her with a wide grin.
"Like what you see?" She asked, moving that particularly pesky little bit of hair, which would always escape the perfect hairdos the maid's would do for me in the morning, out of my face.
"It's such a wonderful place." I replied, pointing out to the world I had not seen much of before. "Why does Papa hate it so much?" I asked, my curiosity piquing as I took in the landscapes of Texas…I could see nothing to hate.
"He is protective of you, little Miss. Not everything is as beautiful as this." She told me honestly. I was a well educated girl, I knew of what she was speaking…but I needed the clarification from someone who had seen the world I had not seen.
My father had never been keen on letting me out into the streets of Houston, Texas, at the tender age of twelve, but my stand-in Governess had convinced him otherwise…with a little persuasion from myself. Mrs Cove would never have helped me like this.
My father wasn't an overly suspicious man, but he felt that he needed to keep what was left of his family within safe distance of what had caused my mother to leave us so abruptly. She had fallen ill shortly after my fourth birthday and I remember little about her…but paintings all around the Manor ensured that I never forgot her beautiful face.
She had been an exotic beauty from France when my father first met her, as he travelled the world in search of new things to bring to America. That being how he had made his fortune and provided us with the life we were used to living. France, being the pioneers of world trading, under the supervision of England, was just somewhere he had to go. He met my mother and the rest was truly history.
It was not to be, unfortunately, and an illness that the doctors could not identify took her from my father too soon. He was not risking that with the little piece he had left of her with the knowingly diseased parts of the city. His paranoia was legendary among the staff at the Swan Estate, but no one blamed him.
I watched out the window as the countryside flowed past the carriage in a blur. I wondered what could cause such a beautiful world to be soiled like it was in the newspapers…where had all of the dangers and evils come from? I supposed it was that naiveté that allowed children like me to be so carefree and forgiving, and I learned that when I got older.
Amongst the songs of the birds, and the green foliage, I noticed something seemed amiss along the road. I squinted my eyes and furrowed my brow, trying to concentrate exactly on what it was. It sounded…pained. Then, I spotted it.
"Stop the carriage!" I called loudly, pulling the door open and shocking poor Mrs Lovett half to death.
"Miss Bella, get back in here!" She called as I climbed down and out of the still-moving – yet slowing – carriage and fell onto the grass.
With little thought to my pretty blue dress, or the expensive shoes I was wearing, I ran back to where I had spotted what all the fuss was about.
"Miss Bella!" I heard several people call from behind me, catching up. I ignored them as I ran further into the trees. I heard the coachman and Mrs Lovett calling after me frantically, and the branches behind me being moved out of the way.
I was frozen as my eyes fell on the wheezing, painful sounds of a mare lay on the ground. My large brown eyes, innocently took in the sight before me. The mare was struggling to breathe, but watched me with her equally large, interested gaze.
From what I could assume, it was a wild mare. My father had warned me about them, but this one looked no more aggressive than any other animal I had seen, although…she didn't look well.
"I won't hurt you." I said softly as I stepped forwards into the clearing that seemed very natural in its setting. Just then, Mrs Lovett and the coachman arrived, but daren't get as close as I to the wild beast.
"Miss Bella, come back here!" Mrs Lovett snapped in a whisper, her eyes wide as she watched the mare wheeze and pant heavily.
"I just want to see if she's alright." I called back.
"You'll get yourself killed, girl!" The coachman called, stepping further than Mrs Lovett dared.
"She won't hurt me." I said, looking back to him. As they could see, I was only a few feet from her and she only seemed to watch me curiously. Calm in her dazed state.
Looking over her body as I stepped closer, I could see that she was covered with a fine sheen of sweat on her beautiful chestnut coat and she seemed weak. I furrowed my brow as I stepped a little closer, for I could see something.
"She's not long for this world, Miss Bella. Come, let's leave her in peace." Mrs Lovett whispered, stretching her hand out to me.
"I see something…" I said softly just as the mare lifted her head up and whinnied. I jumped backwards and fell on my backside with a huff. Mrs Lovett and the coachman gasped, but I shook my head not to worry as a foal emerged from the safety of her embrace.
Though obviously freshly born, its features were profound and its markings were distinctive…like none I had seen before. It had a diamond on its forehead, under a matting of black mane and only one boot, muddy from the ground below it. From the looks of it, it hadn't taken its first steps yet.
"Oh my…" Mrs Lovett said quietly.
The mare lay her head down next to the foal, her eyes half-lidded as she did so. I felt my heart break a little at the sight before me. She would not make it, even with our help.
"Come away now, Miss Bella." The coachman said and I nodded, getting up off of the ground.
As I stepped away, still watching the mare and the foal, I felt my chest tugging in their direction. Life was cruel sometimes.
"What will happen to the foal?" I asked as I took the coachman's hand.
"Nature will find a way, little Miss. Everything happens for a reason." He comforted me, bringing me in front of him as we moved away.
I could not help but look back at the scene, and I noticed the foal watching us. The mother's eyes closed more and more with each passing second until they weren't in sight anymore.
The journey home was a long, silent one. When I returned home, I went straight to my room and began to paint an image of the scene I had witnessed today. My first vision of the world at it's cruellest. I wondered how many more I would see before the end of my life.
I had not thought to liken the foal to myself at all…for I still had my father and it was alone in the world by now. I wondered if it would survive, if it would be happy, whether it would stay with its mother until it finally passed on itself…these thoughts kept me up the entire night.