Story Title: Castles Made of Sand
Main Characters: Nina Powell (OC), Paul Lahote, Jacob Black
Also featuring: Leah Clearwater, The Uley Pack, John Powell (OC) and other La Push residents, and The Cullens
Genre: Romance, drama, a dash of angst
Author's Note: This is my first Twilight fic! Please enjoy! Also, this first chapter is shorter than the others, since it's just an introduction.
Chapter 1: The Beginning
IT SEEMS LIKE THE FARTHER AWAY FROM SEATTLE THAT GRANDPA JOHN'S OLD '93 RANGER GETS, the heavier the rain falls around them.
Nina Powell lets out a breath she hadn't known she had been holding in. Her warm exhale fogs up against the chilled passenger side window. She absently places her hand on the glass, marveling at the impression left behind.
"We're almost there." Grandpa John announces gruffly. It's the first time either had spoken in nearly two hundred miles. He's a man of few words, which Nina greatly appreciates—especially now. "Would you like to stop in town for lunch?"
"If you're hungry." Nina shrugs, looking out at the grey town moving past them. She feels like if she blinks they'll have already driven past it.
Grandpa John glances at the clock on the dashboard.
"It's about that time. You might get to meet one of my good friends."
Nina nods, not looking forward to socializing.
With the truck parked, Grandpa John walks around the passenger side to open the door for Nina. She thanks him quietly, unused to the gesture. She knows the older, russet-skinned man comes from a different time. Her father had told her stories about growing up on the reservation and having to wait until everyone was at the table before they could eat.
At the thought of her father Nina's chest squeezes painfully. She blinks back the tears as she follows her grandfather into the small diner.
"John!" A man with a mustache calls out. He's seated beside a man in a cowboy hat who is most likely from the reservation based off his copper skin and thick black hair.
"Charlie, Billy. It's good to see you." A smile stretches across her grandfather's features. "This is my grandkid, Nina. She's around Jacob and Isabella's age."
Nina nods in their direction, feeling a hint of panic as the two men invite her and Grandpa John to share their table. She listens as the men talk, the topics ranging from their children (Isabella is Charlie's daughter and Jacob is Billy's son, she learns) to fishing trips and bear attacks.
After finishing eating, or taking two bites of her burger and pushing fries around the plate in Nina's case, Grandpa John completes the drive into La Push.
Grandpa John's place is small, a three bedroom cabin painted white with rust red shutters. It's nothing like the houses she's used to seeing in the suburbs. There's a soul to it.
"Well," Grandpa John clears his throat. "This is home."
This isn't home, Nina thinks. Home is where she took her first steps, where she busted her knee on the sidewalk learning to ride a bike, where she got her period for the first time, where she had her first kiss on the porch—where her parents were murdered and she would have been, too, if she hadn't insisted on going to the movies with her friends.
No, this isn't home.
But she can't go home anymore.
Nina is pulled out of her trance by the sound of tires on gravel. She turns her head to see a beat up green Chevy pull up to the driveway.
The driver gets out and assists Billy Black back into his wheelchair. Nina watches anxiously as Grandpa John jogs up to the visitors.
"Nina!" Grandpa John calls out to her, just as she had feared. "Billy and Jacob have offered to help move you in."
"I'll do most of the heavy lifting." The young man, Jacob, smiles.
"I can't do much but I'm a good supervisor." Billy adds with a laugh.
"I don't have a lot to move." Nina says quietly. "But thank you for helping."
"Don't mention it!" Jacob calls back, two boxes already balanced on his shoulders. She watches him in awe as he unloads the rest of the truck as if her luggage is made out of feathers. His tanned arms are covered in taut muscles but he's strong, like, really strong.
Nina follows her grandfather and Billy into the house after Jacob.
"This is your room. I don't know if you remember but you stayed here whenever you visited as a kid."
"I remember." Nina murmurs, running her hand over the aged wooden headboard.
Jacob brings in the last box, stacking it on top of the others.
"Do you need any help unpacking?" Jacob asks. He wipes his forehead almost only for effect. It doesn't seem like he even broken a sweat.
"No, thank you. It'll give me something to do." Nina tells him honestly as she looks at the boxes that have filled the room. Her entire life (or what remains of it), all in cardboard.
"Well a few of us, my friends on the rez, are going to the beach later if you'd like to come." Jacob offers with a warm smile, and if this was a year ago she would have yes in a heartbeat.
But that was the old Nina.
"No, thank you." She responds a little too quickly. She sees the flash of hurt on Jacob's face (it's something she's used to, the same look she was given as she slowly pushed away all her friends back in Seattle).
"Okay, well, I'll see you around." He rubs the back of his neck awkwardly before joining his dad back in the living room.
"You should give Jacob and other kids a chance, Nina." Her grandfather tells her softly.
She gives him a weary look. She just wants to be alone.
"I know what you're doing, Grandpa John. But I don't want to give anyone a chance. I don't even want to be here." She sighs, sitting back onto her bed covered in a faded quilt her grandmother must have made when she was alive.
He gives her a frown, the lines carved deeply into his aged face.
"I'll leave you to unpack then. I better say goodbye to Billy and Jake." He backs aways, giving her a small nod before disappearing down the hall.
Nina gets up to softly close the door before crawling back into bed. She takes a deep breath and exhales, painful and shuddering. She doesn't hold back the tears, letting the sobs overcome her body and dampen her pillow.
She wants to go home.