CHAPTER 1
Fairytales – Bella's POV


There will be alternating POVs, but not within each chapter. To tell the story the way I want to, I need to do this. Characters may be a little OOC, but not so much so that it's far-fetched. Lastly, I'm a very musically driven individual. You'll notice that each chapter is named after a song. The songs I choose are meant to relay the mood for the particular chapter. (I just hope it works. LOL)

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

Author's Note: This chapter is a revision of the original. It was originally beta'ed by DDofEve and ahelm over at Twilighted. Now, Project Team Beta has accepted me as one of their authors and this is the end result. Thank you to all of my betas.


Once upon a time in a faraway kingdom
Man made up a story said that I should believe him
Go and tell your white knight that he's handsome in hindsight
But I don't want the next best thing
So I sing and hold my head down and I break these walls round me
Can't take no more of your fairytale love

- "Fairytales" by Sara Bareilles


It had been six months.

Six months since I had practically thrown it all away.

Jacob Black and I had been friends since infancy. He and his father, Billy, were Quileute Indians who lived on the La Push reservation about fifteen minutes outside of my hometown of Forks, Washington. Billy and my father, Charlie Swan, had met when my dad was just a deputy in the sheriff's department, busting teenage vandals who were terrorizing the forests outside of La Push. They became fast friends. I think they've secretly (at least they thinks it's a secret) hoped that one day Jacob and I would get married and make beautiful little babies together.

For a time, I had thought that that scenario was in my foreseeable future. After having completed my Master's degree in Developmental Psychology (I already had a Bachelor's degree in Education with Teaching Accreditations), my mother called me, distraught with the shocking news that my father had shot himself in the leg while cleaning his rifle. He would need reconstructive surgery on his tibia and would be out of work for at least six to eight weeks. But he also needed someone to look after him.

My mother, Renee, had volunteered to temporarily relocate to Forks again, but I couldn't do that to my father. Don't get me wrong, I love my mother to death, but she's a space cadet. She's flighty and irresponsible. My father would have gone mad if Renee was his Florence Nightingale for almost two months. Really, Mom would have had a devastatingly hard time pulling herself away from her second husband, Minor League Baseball player Phil Dwyer, and home in Jacksonville, Florida. So I did what any loving and responsible daughter would do. I packed up my little studio apartment, outside of the university in Seattle, and trudged back to Forks.

Going home to care for Dad wasn't as big of a deal as he made it out to be. I had yet to find a permanent "real world" job after finishing graduate school. I was still trying to figure out exactly what it was I wanted to do. So I was working at a temp agency, filling in as a secretary at several large Seattle-based companies whenever needed. When I told my boss, Clara, what had happened, she hugged me and told me to keep in touch. I hadn't been back in Forks for a week before I shed my Seattle skin and fell into my old Forks routines.

Since my father was now the Chief of the Forks Police Department, it was having a hard time with its fearless leader incapacitated. As a favor to my dad, I took a position as an administrative assistant to his second-in-command, a stout man named Arthur McMurphy. My main duties were to act as his secretary and relay information back and forth between him and my father. Since Forks is such a small town, with only a little over three thousand residents, there wasn't much excitement to be seen, therefore very little work to do at the police department. I ended up spending most of my days reading a book or thinking up some new recipe I could try out on Charlie at dinnertime.

Before I knew it, Christmas was right around the corner and my father was setting aside his crutches and walking on his own again. Soon, I wouldn't be needed anymore. I would head back to Seattle after the holidays and face finding my first post-graduate degree job. But, as excited as I was to be getting ready to return to my own world, I couldn't help but feel that something was holding me back, keeping me rooted to Forks.

Shortly after my return to what seemed like the rainiest town in the country, Jacob and his father starting joining my father and I for dinner. Billy still lived in the same house onthe reservation, but Jacob now had an apartment just outside of Forks and close to an Indian history museum where he worked as a guide and curator. Both Jacob and I knew that our fathers were trying to get us together, as they had done when we were in high school. For the sake of our sanity, we went along with it. But it wasn't a difficult thing to do. Jacob and I picked up our friendship right where we had left it before I had to move to Seattle to start college six years ago.

During our free time, we did what all the swinging singles in Forks did. We went to the movies, to dinner, took walks through the woods on the reservation, and just lazed about and talked. After awhile, Jacob and I began to feel the mutual attraction our fathers had been praying for all these years. It progressed slowly at first; a brush of hands, a quick smile, and a slight blush. Within a month, we were holding hands and, as my mother would put it, "snorkeling" in the back row at the movie theater. I started to spend a lot of time over at his place, cooking him dinner or just sitting talking. From time to time, we would get a little frisky and physical, but we both had decided that sex wasn't a good idea so soon. If, for some reason, the relationship did fall apart, we didn't want our friendship to be destroyed with it.

But I honestly couldn't picture a wrecking ball crashing through our lives. When he held me in his arms, I felt safe. When I breathed in the scent of his smooth, russet-colored skin, I could smell the forest and couldn't help but smile. When I ran my fingers through his long, black hair, I could feel a cool breeze envelope me. And when he looked down at me and smiled, I felt like I was home.

I think it goes without saying that I didn't skip my way back to Seattle after Christmas. Instead, I took up a position as a teacher's aide at my old high school for the remainder of the school year. The job paid well enough that, while I stayed with my father, I could save up for a place of my own, and left me with plenty of free time that I could spend with Jacob. Which was exactly what I was doing the fateful night that my prefect little world unraveled.

Jacob and I were curled up on his sofa one night, watching one of those late-night talk shows. I had spent my day grading biology mid-terms and could barely feel my right hand anymore. He had been chasing around a bunch of second-graders who had come to the museum on a field trip. We were both exhausted, but neither of us wanted to move, knowing that when one did, I would be going home for the night. Instead we sat there, staring at the television, not really seeing or hearing it, but concentrating on one another's presence. I could feel his finger twirling loose strands of my hair round and round. I snuggled closer, tucking my feet underneath me and pulling his arm tight around my shoulders and sighing at the feel of his body warming mine.

"So," Jacob said, pulling me out of my revelry.

"So," I answered back. He pulled away slightly and looked down at me, a look of determination and seriousness clouding his face. "What's wrong?"

Jacob smirked. "Why do you think something is wrong?"

"Well you have this look on your face right now that screams, 'There's something I want to say but I don't know how to say it.'" He hung his head for a moment, which told me that I had hit my mark. "So...out with it."

Jacob removed his arm from my shoulders and turned so that we were facing each other. He took both of my hands in his and said, "I love you, you know that, right?" He looked somewhat scared so I nodded reassuringly. "I've been thinking..."

I thought I knew where he was going with this, so I said the first thing I could think of. "Jacob, we're not going to sit here and discuss a timetable for sex, are we?" A look of pure shock flashed across his face.

"No, Bella, sex is the last on my mind right now." I was sure I looked shocked at that moment. After all, we had been together for almost six months. School would be letting out in a few days and we had already planned our first vacation together as a couple. Instead of trying to say something, I just let him continue.

"Not that I wouldn't be thrilled to make love to you, Bella. I would, but there's actually something a little more important I wanted to talk to you about. Or, rather, I should say, something I wanted to ask you, so here it goes...Bella, would you move in with me?"

I inhaled sharply. The way he had been talking, I was almost expecting him to propose. When I realized he had just asked me to become his live-in girlfriend, I let out a soft chuckle. "What?" he asked confused.

"Nothing, it's just the way you were talking, I thought you were going to ask me to marry you." I smiled, the restriction I had felt building in my chest subsiding.

"One day, Bella, honey, but not today." Jacob smiled down at me and brushed my cheek with his hand. "One day at a time. I want to make you my wife, but for now, I just want to go to bed every night knowing that your beautiful face will be the first thing I see each morning." He leaned down to kiss me before noticing how still I was.

My mind had been racing only moments ago, but had frozen when I heard the word "wife." Jacob wanted me to one day be his wife. That meant he wanted to spend forever with me; to have children and grandchildren together, to grow old and die together. In a normal woman, these thoughts would have produced elation. But in me, they only produced fear. I could see myself ten years from now, a bored housewife with three young children running around her, screaming about this and that, while Jacob went off to work. My heart began to race and my palms became clammy. I knew he noticed when he dropped my hands into my lap.

"Bella, you want that one day, don't you? To be married and have a life together?" Jacob's forehead was furrowed with anxiety and frustration at my lack of a physical or verbal response to his words. I didn't know what to do. But I knew that whatever I was about to do was going to destroy the last six months we had built together.

"I...love you," I managed to force myself to say. It was true, wasn't it? "It's getting late, Jacob. I'd better get going." I stood and stretched, giving him a quick peck on the lips before grabbing my keys and cell phone off the end table and slipping silently out of the door. I felt horrible just leaving him there, especially after what he had just asked me. But I didn't know what I could say or do without completely destroying him. So I just left.

I tossed and turned all night. Why couldn't I just tell Jacob that I wanted to have my own place for the first time in my life? Because he just professed his undying love and wish to marry you, a little voice whispered in my head. He told you he wants to give you his world, but you can't give yours in return, can you? I felt horrible that, despite caring so deeply for him, I had to discover that my love for Jacob was built upon a friendship and desire for companionship rather than eternity at his heart's expense. I truly loved him, romantically, with all of my heart. But I did not love him with all of my soul. I just couldn't bring myself to face him or his tender words. So I did what any coward would do. The next morning, I packed my belongings, kissed my father goodbye, and drove to Portland, Oregon, where I knew my oldest and closest friend, Angela Weber, would have a sofa bed waiting with my name all over it.

It had been over two years since I had last seen Angela. She had moved to Oregon after completing her Bachelor's degree, needing a change of scenery. Her high school sweetheart, Ben Cheney, had followed. We kept in touch, talking about graduate school, what we thought we wanted to do, and of course, our love lives. Halfway through our second year of grad school, Angela and Ben had gotten married. I was unfortunately unable to attend since Portland and Seattle's school didn't keep the same exam schedule.

So now when I had showed up on her and Ben's doorstep crying, she enveloped me in a tight hug and simply said, "It'll be alright."

For the next few weeks, I slept on the Cheney family air mattress in the spare room while reacquainting myself with old friends. Angela was still several inches taller than both Ben and I, despite my irrational hope that she had somehow shrunk over the last few years. She and Ben had both completed their graduate degrees at the same time I did and now worked together at a local youth center. Angela was a counselor working with troubled youth while Ben put his Public Administration degree to good use behind the scenes, helping to restructure the organization and get them more grant money and donations for expansion. I even found out that both Mike Newton and Jessica Stanley had moved to Portland last year, having hooked back up after so many years at a hospital charity auction in Port Angeles, Washington. They were now both nurses at the hospital nearby.

It seemed like everyone's life had come together, except mine. No, I had just torn down my tower of stability. But luckily no one judged me for it. Angela didn't call me silly or foolish, as my mother had. She didn't tell me that I had just thrown away my greatest chance at a healthy and fulfilling life. Instead, she helped my find a job as a tenth grade English teacher. She also helped me locate an apartment that was reasonably priced and close to hers.

For the first few months, I fell into a routine. Wake up, got to work, go home, call Angela, grade papers, go to bed, and repeat. But Jessica soon intervened, saying that I was in desperate need of a little fun. Apparently, she didn't think getting down with Shakespeare and fifteen-year-olds was fun.

That's how I found myself here tonight, climbing out of my SUV in front of "The Lion's Den," and knowing that Angela, Ben, Jessica, and Mike were waiting for me inside. I should have been home, reviewing tomorrow's lesson plans on iambic pentameter, but I hadn't been out in over a week and Jessica was threatening to kidnap me if I didn't join them this evening.

I got out of my car, looking behind me as I locked the doors. My poor truck had finally bit the dust just after I got to Portland, forcing me to go out and find a conventional yet comfortable, vehicle. I had settled on a twilight blue Ford Contour, a nice, uncomplicated mid-sized vehicle with four wheels and a sturdy engine. Plus it was pretty. Call me cheesy.

"The Lion's Den" was a old-fashioned little Irish pub set back in a quieter section of downtown Portland. It looked like any old stereotypical bar from the outside but inside housed a warm and cozy atmosphere perfect for helping its patrons unwind after a stressful day at work. There was a bar, of course, which spanned the entire length of one side of the building and small tables. There were also booths set back in the darker corners of the pub, which is where my friends and I always sat. All of the furniture was done is dark cherry and oak woods, polished to a beautiful shine. You didn't come to "The Lion's Den" to party; you came here to relax.

The little pub didn't seem too crowded, from the outside anyway, as it was a Monday evening. A few people lingered outside, smoking and talking and flirting. I walked past them, holding my breath, and pushed the heavy wooden door open, stepping into the dim light. The atmosphere was perfect tonight. It matched my mood, somewhat dark and sullen, curious but not truly adventurous. I craned my neck, looking around for my friends.

Spotting them in the back corner, I gave a wave and nodded to the bar, letting them know I wanted to get a drink first. Jessica gave me the thumbs up, a huge satisfied grin on her face. I was willing to bet my week's pay that she had just won a bet with Mike about whether I would show up or not.

I made my way to the bar, hoping that my favorite bartender, Henry, would be working. He was a middle-aged man who always had a smile and a funny story for me. Pleased to see that he was working, I sat down on a stool and waited for him to finish making someone else's martini. That's when I saw him at the other end of the bar.

To say this man was gorgeous would have been an understatement. The club was dark, but I could see the light reflecting off his pale ivory skin. His features were chiseled, but not too sharply defined. A sculpted jaw line gave way to soft, full lips. A deep brow hid his eyes, whose color was indiscernible from this distance, and high cheekbones gave him the look of a Renaissance statue. But my undoing was the mop of brown hair atop his perfect head. It seemed almost bronze as the lights reflected off of it, the color of leaves, newly fallen in the autumn sun. Sex hair, Angela had once told me it was called. Suddenly, he ran one perfect hand through that hair and a small sigh escaped from my lips.

I heard a chuckle of laughter behind me. Turning, I saw Henry smirking down at me. "If ya'd like," he said, "I can introduce ya."

I looked down at the bar and started fiddling with a napkin. "Are you trying to play matchmaker now, Henry? I would have thought that beneath you."

"I work at a bar, sweetheart, ain't nothin' beneath me!" Henry left out a jovial laugh that caught the attention of a few of the patrons. I couldn't help but smile.

"I think I'm gonna lay off men for a while, but thanks for the offer," I smiled graciously, accepting the strawberry margarita he had just set before me.

Grinning like the Cheshire cat, Henry told me, "Anytime doll."

I grabbed my drink and trudged over to greet my friends, but not without talking one last look at the bronze-haired Adonis. Sure, he was probably out of my league, even if I was looking, which I wasn't, I reminded myself. But a girl could fantasize, right?

Reaching the table, I plopped down in a chair between Angela and Jessica. They were talking about throwing a Halloween party in a few weeks. I sat back and listened to them discuss couples costume ideas. For the first time since I had run away from Forks, I felt like everything in my life had finally repaired itself. Sighing, I allowed myself to just enjoy my drink, my friends' company, and the vibrant atmosphere around me.


End Note: Thank you for reading! If you would please be so kind as to leave me a little note telling me what you thought I would greatly appreaciate it!