Disclaimer: I don't own it; please don't sue me.
A/N – Hello my lovelies and welcome to my first Twilight fan fic. I've previously written only for Harry Potter so this is a new experience. Thanks goes to Ginny Brown Is Here And Now for forcing me to write this, helping me with plot and being my cheerleader. You rock, love! Now…on to the story….review! It makes me write faster.
I walked silently through the woods; even after all this time I still found it all so disconcerting. I never imagined I would be so quiet, so graceful, and so inhumanly beautiful…and not be utterly happy about it. The perpetual twilight of yet another Alaskan winter hovered over me like an oppressive wool blanket and, as usual, it was so very hard to breathe. I wrapped my arms around my torso to hold myself together as the pain that was my constant companion tried once more to rip me to shreds. Once I had thought that changing would make me whole, if possible I was even more broken now than I was when I had been human.
I stood up, gasping in air that was not essential to my existence, forcing myself to move on, searching for something that was. I caught the sent of a heard of moose and threw myself into the hunt – the pain dulled when I was like this. I could breathe when I hunted. I quickly caught up to the herd and, reaching out with one pale hand, grabbed a medium sized one by the antlers and threw him into a tree; it shattered, busting into a million pieces. The rest of them scattered, as I had known they would.
I pulled the animal from the wreckage of the tree and snapped it's neck – I hated causing it to suffer more than it had to. I knelt down and, using my extra sharp teeth, slit its throat and drank slowly and deeply, enjoying the feel of the still hot blood pouring down my throat. I drained the poor animal dry and stood up, wiping my mouth clean with the back of my hand and then licking the blood from it. I left the body lying there – scavengers would get it soon enough – and turned back towards the small house that I called home.
I thought of running, but disliked it now – perhaps I always would. It reminded me so much of him. As I neared home the thought of entering that empty place was maddening enough that I cried out and turned away, walking in a vaguely easterly direction. Becoming a vampire hadn't heightened my sense of direction. I wasn't sure how long I had walked before I caught a vague scent – vampire. I was instantly wary. In the six years since my transformation I had only come across two others of my kind. Victoria I had…disposed of. Caleb I had stayed with for a time, but he wanted what I could not give him and we parted ways. I debated on whether or not to continue on; returning to my home seemed the preferable choice. However, if I had smelled them, then surely they had smelled me by now. I did not want someone following me home uninvited.
The snow whispered beneath my booted feet as I continued on, veering to the north when the scent directed me in such a manner. I discovered soon after my change that the trait I carried over was my perceptiveness – I could instantly sense that this one meant me no harm…yet. There was always that option later. I smoothed my hair and checked my clothing for bloodstains; there was no sense in letting my 'visitor' think I was a bloodthirsty savage.
The scent grew ever stronger and I could see a dim form, hundreds of yard through the trees; I listened hard and could only hear the sound of breathing. As I came closer I could tell it was a man and that he seemed to be standing very still, waiting for me. I sighed, cursing him for coming so close to me, cursing myself for not going home when I should have.
As I came closer a sense of calm washed over me and the pain surged up, rivaling it; I wrapped my arms around myself again, biting my lip to keep from crying out. I had been lucky – Caleb and Victoria had no special talents, nothing about them reminded me of what I had lost. This one however…I sighed and forced my spine to straighten, my arms to loosen. How could a dead heart still hurt so very badly?
I stopped a polite distance away from the man and said, polite yet frosty, "Hello." My voice startled me; I heard it so little. I still imagined it as being the voice of my youth; instead it had changed subtly to take on a slightly more musical quality.
I saw my visitor, whom I refrained from looking at too closely for the sake of my own sanity, stiffen at the sound of my voice. I turned my head to look at him when he said, "Bella?" His voice was utterly shocked and as I heard it I staggered back a step.
It was then that I took in the tall, lean form, the long honey blonde hair. I whispered, "Jasper?"
"Bella, it's you! What…. you're one of us? How did that happen?"
"I think you know how," I said icily – how dare he come here? It's not like I was getting any better but I at least wasn't getting any worse.
"Edward looked for you. He wondered what happened; he went to Charlie's but you were gone…"
The hole in my chest that I had worked so hard to shrink suddenly expanded – I was now just a large gaping wound. My torso exploded and even though I wrapped my arms tightly around myself there was no longer anything to hold together. Edward had gone, the Cullen's had gone, and they had taken so very much of me with them – now here was Jasper, taunting me with his presence, taking the life I had built and grinding it to dust just by being here, by recognizing me, by speaking my name, by speaking his name.
I cried out at his words and sank to the ground, clutching at myself to no avail. I'd rather be dead than go through this. Jasper was suddenly just there, pulling me into his arms, holding me as I sobbed tearlessly.
"It's still so hard for you," he gasped, and I felt a pang on anguish knowing that he was feeling what I was. Then a calm washed over me and I leaned into him. He pulled back and gazed deeply into my eyes. "Bella, what's happened to you?"
I sighed and pulled away – Jasper Hale was the last person in the world I wanted to share the last six years of my existence with.