Disclaimer- I don't own the Twilight Saga, how sad for me.
A/N: Edited, some chapters will have new scenes (unless you're reading this for the first time then it'll be like nothing changed. You know, 'cuse you never read it before and...yeah.).
OH! And if you are reading this for the first time I encourage you to NOT read the next chapter until it has been edited. You can if you want, I don't think I'll be making any major changes, but you might want to wait.
I still love reviews! Hint, hint.
It was a cool, crisp fall day. The leaves had changed from varying shades of green to orange, red and gold; a soft breeze pulled them from their precarious positions on branches. They made a pleasant crunching sound as she stepped upon them.
She looked upward, the sky was overcast, the sun unable to give its warmth because of the gray, pressing clouds. Pretty, picture perfect houses lined both sides of the street, with picket fences, still green lawns and piles of recently raked leaves. Birds chirped and twittered as she passed their now bare trees and hopped away when she got too close to their pile of abandoned french fries.
Walking home from school was a tiresome thing; why, though, wait for a tow truck when she could get some exercise? Sure it took forty minutes to an hour to get from Forks High to her small home, but it was a fairly nice day and taking some time away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life seemed like a nice change of pace. It was fairly peaceful and she needed a moment of tranquility after learning that her old truck had finally bit-the-dust. That, and there was no way she was going to call Charlie for a ride; she still hadn't lived down her first day at school. She remembered it like it was yesterday...
They'd been on the way to the Forks High School when he'd noticed the speeder, and because he was technically on duty he turned on the lights and pulled them over. As if that hadn't been bad enough they were students on their way to school and they saw Bella in the police cruiser.
But that was in the past and she had since learned her lesson; never ask Charlie for a ride.
Pushing that unpleasant memory aside she instead focused on what had happened earlier that day. She'd gotten to school without any trouble, and there had been no reason to worry throughout the day about it. Once the last bell sounded she'd said goodbye to her classmates and gone to the parking lot. Key in the ignition she had been prepared to leave when the engine...did nothing. No spluttering, no stuttering, just silence. A friend of hers checked things out and had delivered the bad news, her over forty vehicle had lost its will to continue on and was now destined for the junk yard.
She pulled her black, button down coat closer to her body as another, stronger and cooler breeze whipped fallen leaves up around her legs and tangled her long, slightly curled, brown hair. Angling her head so that the only thing her warm, chocolate brown eyes could see was the sidewalk she hoped to protect her face from the sudden onslaught of cold air. She berated herself for not grabbing her scarf on the way out of the house that morning.
As she walked on her mind wandered away from the present, drifting off into the land of daydreams. She allowed her eyes to grow unfocused and stopped seeing the sidewalk beneath her feet; she imagined that she wasn't walking alone, that there was someone else with her. They would hold hands, and when the cold caused her to tremble he'd put his arm around her to keep her warm. It would be so nice to have someone who cared for her that way.
She thought back to her day at school; all around her people were pairing up. As much as she hated to admit any sort of weakness, even to herself, she found the notion of everyone but herself happily engaged in couple-dom frightening. No one had ever given her the time of day and lately she'd been wondering about the possibility of ending up alone while everyone else had a significant other. It seemed that life was already headed in that direction. Well, that wasn't completely true; a few boys had expressed an interest, but at the time she'd had no intention of getting involved in a relationship.
Music blared from a passing car and she fought the urge to cover her ears at the vulgar and offensive lyrics of a popular rap; the sudden noise jarred her from her upsetting thoughts and placed her forcefully into the here and now. A gentle wind had accompanied the car as it flew past her and she once again drew her coat closer as she shuddered and wished for her scarf.
Quite suddenly the hairs at the back of her neck stood on end and she got the unnerving feeling that she was being watched. This time her shivering had nothing to do with the weather. Looking behind over her shoulder she quickly came to the conclusion that there was no one but herself out and about. A sudden *crack* sounded to her left and she whirled around to discover...
"A squirrel," stuffing her hands into her pockets she shook her head at herself and continued on her way with a sigh.
There is no point in allowing myself to wish for what isn't, she thought and decided that it was better to stay in the realm of the achievable; it was safe to hope for what she was sure she could have. Disappointment wasn't a feeling she enjoyed experiencing and if she didn't reach too high then she was sure that she could get what she wanted without having to worry about falling.
"I'm being stupid," she muttered. "Haven't I always told myself to wait it out? I don't need a boyfriend, I don't need to 'fit in'. I'm okay for now; but I won't lie to myself, it'd sure be nice."
So what if she didn't exactly fit the mold? So what if she preferred staying in on a Saturday night reading to getting drunk and not remembering where she'd been? So what if sniffing glue and taking her parents prescription drugs didn't appeal to her?
Why couldn't it be considered cool to be smart? Why wasn't thinking ahead in? Who made up those rules anyway?
"Well, whoever did needs to be shot." She rolled her eyes. "Wonderful, talking to myself as I walk home. First sign of madness? Check. No wonder I can't get a date."
He let out a sigh of relief as the girl turned again and proceeded down the street.
As the tinted window replaced the empty space he put his obviously expensive cell phone to his ear. "Hang back, keep watch, but don't get too close."
The answer of, "Sure boss," was slightly garbled, but the 'boss' heard it well enough.
He sat back in the leather passenger seat and observed the girl as she crossed the street and rounded the corner; a moment later a black Mercedes-Benz pulled away from the curb and followed after her. As he watched he thought back to the time before he'd been decided on his current plan of action.
Their meeting had been pure coincidence, unplanned and unexpected.
"Excuse me, miss?" She'd looked up and upon seeing his face blushed. He'd always wondered what it was she'd been thinking; in truth she hadn't been able to help noticing that he was very nice looking. In fact, she felt that she had never seen someone as handsome as he. "I am very sorry to bother you, but do you happen to know which direction one would take to get to the Bella Italia?"
"Oh, uhh, it's not a bother!" she'd shaken her head quickly. "I don't mind at all! Actually I can do one better than telling, I can show you. I'm headed in that direction anyway."
His heart had skipped a beat at her smile. "Are you really?" he'd asked her, cocking his head to the side.
"Yes, it's this way, come on." She'd started forward and he followed after her.
They'd strolled casually, side by side, past the shops and boutiques in a comfortable silence. He remembered glancing at her often and she had done the same, biting her lip and turning red when she was caught looking.
All too soon they'd reached their destination and parted ways. That one meeting simply hadn't been enough for him. He'd made a point to 'accidentally' bump into her whenever he was in Washington state. The next few incidences were rushed and he never felt that he'd had enough time with her. All the while he'd been growing more and more enamored with the girl, whose name he'd learned was Isabella.
He realized now that he'd thought himself in love with her long before he actually was, but did that matter? He cared for her more than he'd ever cared for anyone or anything. Before her he'd had a fairly apathetic approach to life. He hadn't felt concern for much of anything; people didn't interest him, their problems didn't evoke any feelings of sympathy on his part, and more often than not they annoyed him.
He'd kept to his own life, immersing himself in his work and though there was really no reason for it, worrying about his future finical situation. The idea of finding someone to share those things with had never really occurred to him until it happened.
Now of course he was certain that it would be utterly impossible to continue living without her. It had been over a year since their first meeting and he was growing impatient with fate. It was obvious that they were meant for each other, why keep them apart for such a long time? What was the point?
His love for her was such that he became obsessed. He kept her under near constant surveillance and made a point of having her followed when she went off on her own or did anything unexpected. It was becoming more and more difficult for him to keep from interfering; all the things that happened to and around her, he was in a perpetual sate of vexation. The girl was a magnet for trouble and overly accident prone. What if some sort of harm were to befall her? What would he do if she wasn't alright? How long before something more serious than an accidental fall happened?
He wasn't so indifferent to the world that he completely ignored or was unaware of the things that happened in it. The awful, evil things that befell pretty, innocent little girls....
It was exactly that knowledge and those feelings that had led him to make the extremely rash decision he was now nearly prepared to act upon.
This wasn't something he took lightly. This would be one of his most daring exploits to date; with careful planning and determination, however, he was sure that it was possible. The prize was too great to pass up; the challenge was alluring to say the least. The idea of having the object of his desire to himself, knowing that he could care for her better than anyone else.....he simply couldn't let it go. He felt obligated to do whatever he could to protect his love from the horrors that were the world. The best way to do that was to have her with him where she could be looked after.
Logistics were not a problem. Money was no object. His business, though slightly on the shady side, was very profitable. It wasn't clear what he did, even to those closest to him because dealings were kept under wraps, and documents destroyed. There were nothing but large, scattered bank accounts to allude to the possibly dark transactions taking place.
He was sure that the issue of keeping her whereabouts undercover wouldn't cause any problems, if by some strange turn of events she were to be discovered there were many locations to which she could be sent; that and he had yet to come across a problem that money couldn't fix.
He would be able to give her whatever she desired. Much more than she had now. He would show her love and adoration and he would fill her life with art, music and joy. She would be healthy and happy and would grow to care him as he cared for her.
Of course she might not be able to be objective about her situation in the beginning, he didn't expect that. She may very well greatly dislike or even hate him. Later though, after she had grown accustomed to the new situation, she would understand that what he'd done was for her more than for himself and she would thank him.
Someday she would love him as he loved her.