Title: Shadows of Another Life
Characters/Pairing: Edward/Bella, some Rosalie/Emmett, some Alice/Jasper
Rating: M for Mature Audiences, just in case
Category: Romance, General
Spoilers: If you haven't read the books, you might not get some of it. This is and Alternate Universe and is All Human.
Summary: Bella has just ended a long relationship with Jake. She has decided to start over in Cottonwood, Ca where her family, dad, Charlie, sister, Rosalie, and twin brother, Jasper have made home the past year without her. Can she settle in to the new town, her new career, and a new romance all while dealing with the tragic events that lead to the move?
Disclaimer: I own nothing. I'm not SM. I'm just LJ, but most days I wish I was SM.
Chapter 1New Beginnings
"Bella, get your bony ass down here! You're going to be late."
My sister was so elegant. Even the tone of her voice yelling at me was in a perfect melodious pitch.
I came traipsing down the back kitchen stairs in my heavy work boots, old blue jeans, and faded gray t-shirt.
"You're not wearing that?" Rose had never gotten used to the fact that our views in fashion fall at two very different ends of the spectrum.
"I don't look that bad, do I Jas?" I turned to the kitchen table where my brother, Jasper, was sipping his coffee and reading the paper trying to stay out of it.
"You look beautiful as always." His blue eyes looked up from his paper and smiled at me.
"Thank you." I stuck my tongue out at Rose as I went to pour myself a cup of coffee.
My twin brother, Jasper, always seemed to be able to make me feel better. He had some sort of calming presence that was easily distributed to the rest of the household. I didn't really understand it, but I was grateful for it whenever Rose was torturing me.
Jas and I were as different looking as night and day. Me with my dark brown hair and eyes, his blonde hair and blue eyes. If I hadn't seen the video of our delivery, I wouldn't have believed we were twins at all. We had always been very close. Strange being so much closer to a brother than a sister. Jas and I were just two odd pieces that just seemed to fit together somehow.
"You're going out to the Cullen's place today. You could at least look a minutely professional."
Rose brought me out of my Jasper inner monologue. I grabbed my black lab coat with my newly embroidered credentials on the chest, Dr. Bella Swan, DVM. I slipped it over my shoulders. "Better?"
"Not much, but we have to work with what we've got." Rose started primping my hair with her fingers, like I was a little girl.
Rose had always blamed herself for my lack of fashion sense. She had taken on the role of mother hen ever since our mother died when I was eight. Only being two years older than Jasper and I didn't stop her from trying to tell me what to do or how to live almost everyday of my life. She actually seemed happy when I told her I was leaving Jake and coming to Cottonwood. Her life as a head chef in the sleepy little town wasn't enough for her I guess.
"Rosalie! Stop messing with me. My hair is fine." I sat next to Jasper, exasperated. "Where's dad anyway?"
"He went in about an hour ago. One of his deputies is out sick again." Rose took Jasper's now empty cup and washed it out in the sink.
"Will either of you be home for dinner?" Rose turned to Jasper, then me. We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders. "Just at least let me know so I can bring something home from the restaurant. I haven't had time to go shopping this week."
"I can do it, Rose. I need to start earning my keep around here. I don't know how long it will take at the Cullen's, but I can swing by home and get cleaned up then go shopping." A smile crept across her brilliantly beautiful lips.
"That'd be wonderful. I'll leave you a list on the fridge." She took a pad of paper and pen and started jotting a few things down. "I still feel weird that you're meeting the Cullen's this way. I wish we could of have had dinner or something, but since Emmett got back from France, he's been so busy."
"Ya, Alice has been in overdrive. They have a whole new marketing campaign that they're about to launch at the wine fest next month." Jasper put his paper down and joined the conversation.
"How big is this vineyard anyways?" I had never been to Cullen Fields so I had no idea how big their vineyard was.
"Fifty acres I think. OOo, maybe Edward will be there. Emmett said he's supposed to be back today."
"Rose, I'm so not ready for a setup. Isn't the fact that both of you are dating Cullen's enough. Two out of three?"
"But he's really cute and really single. I don't remember him every mentioning any girlfriends. Do you, Jasper?"
"I can't think of any."
"Just be nice. They might be family someday." Rose gave me that ever present pout.
"I'll be good." I stared over at the clock on the stove. "I gotta go. I'm meeting Emmett at the stables in twenty minutes."
"You sure you know how to get there? I could follow you," Jasper offered.
"I'll be fine, but thanks." I lied. I wasn't sure how to get there, but that's what my On Star was for. I kissed Jasper on the forehead before making it out the kitchen door to my awaiting new truck.
I still hadn't gotten used to the fact that I owned a new truck. I had my old one for so long and it was three times older than me in the first place. I never thought I'd like that new car smell, but I found myself taking in a large breath every time I got in.
Cullen Fields was actually not as hard to find as I thought it was. There were strategically placed signs throughout the route. I pulled the truck in by the stables and got out. I grabbed my bag from the back of the truck ready to access a few of the Cullen's horses. Before I could even get the strap over my shoulder, I saw a broad figure running towards me.
"Thank god you're here."
"I guess you must be Emmett." I recognized the burly figure from the wall of pictures in Rose's room.
"Yes, sorry. It's just our mare is having some trouble. It's been awhile since I've delivered a foal, but I think somethings wrong."
"Get me to her." I followed Emmett into the stables to the stall where the mare was lying in the hay. She looked to be in a tremendous amount of pain. Only one hoof protruding out of her. It was then I noticed the bronze mane of the man stroking her on the neck.
"She's been in labor for hours, but this is as far as she's gotten." Emmett said as I dug through my bag.
I stripped off my lab coat and knelt down next to the man who was stroking her. "What's her name?"
"Arcadia." The man said as I placed my hand on her chest. "It's Greek. I think it means Paradise."
I began stroking her mane while my eyes were drawn to his. I'd never seen that color of hair on a man before, but it completely suited him. His emerald green eyes met my gaze. He looked so concerned. "It's alright. I've done this hundreds of times."
"Just hate seeing her this way."
Wow, a handsome man with a compassionate love for horses. I didn't even know his name and I was already intrigued.
I went to investigate the foal's lack of progress further. One hoof seemed to be stuck. "You might want to step back." The man joined Emmett in the corner of the stall.
I carefully placed my hand inside, feeling for the other hoof. I got a hold of it and slowly pulled it out. It's release caused the mare to deliver the missing hoof and the foal's head. I stepped back as the mare took control of the rest.
Within a few minutes, the foal was completely out. I removed the remaining milky white sack that had surrounded it. The foal was perfect as Arcadia went to welcome her new son.
"It never seems to be any less amazing no matter how many times I see it." I took a towel and started wiping the foal off.
"Thanks so much. I don't know what I would have done if something had happened." The man turned to me, his eyes sparkling with gratitude. I felt a soothing tug at my heartstrings.
"It's official. You are our new vet." Emmett said proudly.
"Thanks Wait until Rose hears what we did the first time we met."
"So you must be the sister Rosalie is always raving about." The man threw me a new towel to wipe my hands off with.
"Where's my manners. Yes, this is Bella, my Rosalie's little sister." He turned from me to the man. "And this is my little brother, Edward."
This was Edward? Rose just said he was cute not amazingly gorgeous.
I had wiped my hands clean, so I took the offer of his hand. At his touch, I felt an unfamiliar pang surge throughout my body.
"I think the least I can do is get you some lunch."
"What?" I was slowly coming out of my stupor.
"For saving my horse. I've had Arcadia since she was a foal."
"It's just my job. I'm sure my bill will suffice."
"I'll call Rose. I'm sure she can fit us in." Emmett picked up his cell phone and began dialing.
"I'm not really attired for dinning out."
"I'll take you to the kitchen. I'm sure I can whip something up." A sweet smile crept upon Edward's face.
"I'm kind of covered in ick. Do you have someplace I could get cleaned up first?"
"Just follow me."