Summary: Bella and Edward meet at a bus station. They both feel a spark, but believe they will never see each other again. So what happens when the bus crashes and fate intervenes? All human, cannon couples*, rated M for safety.
*With the exception of Jacob and Leah. Renesmee just didn't fit into this story.
Regarding the M rating: I'm erring on the safe side, since there will be some borderline T/M parts and occasional swearing. It is possible that the M rating will be necessary for later chapters, but if you're looking for lots of smut, you should probably look elsewhere.
Lastly, a disclaimer: I am not Stephenie Meyer and I do not own Twilight or these characters. But I still have plenty of fun with them! :)
Getting Arrested (Bella's POV)
I glanced impatiently at my watch for the tenth time in as many minutes. It took about an hour to get to Port Angeles and my bus was leaving in an hour and fifteen minutes. Jacob was supposed to be here fifteen minutes ago. I was getting annoyed. Generally, he was fairly prompt, so I couldn't figure out why he wasn't here. I'd already tried calling him, but he didn't pick up.
It didn't help that it was insanely early. My bus was leaving from Port Angeles at 6:00 AM. Which meant I had been up since 4:00 AM, packing and making my dad breakfast, since he had insisted on getting up to say goodbye.
"Just let me give you a ride, Bells," Charlie pleaded from his seat at the breakfast table. It was the first time he had spoken in nearly ten minutes. He'd been stuffing himself with the eggs and french toast that I made. I often wonder how my father survives when I'm not here. He can't cook anything. Even simple meals like pasta or pancakes are beyond him.
"Dad, Jake said he would take me. Besides, I would really prefer not to show up at the bus station in your cruiser again." I grimaced. The last time Charlie took me to the bus station, he felt the need to put his lights on (I swear he's an attention-lover at heart). Several people seemed to think I was a criminal, being let loose (it didn't help that Charlie stuck me in the back since the passenger seat was covered in police equipment). The other passengers gave me looks all the way to Seattle, which made for quite an unpleasant bus ride.
I immediately felt bad when Charlie looked hurt by my statement. I knew he hated seeing me only every few months. I had lived with him for two years in high school, but I moved back to Arizona for college and stayed there afterwards. Washington (but especially Forks) was too cold, too green, and too rainy. I didn't mind coming to visit--or even staying for the summer--but I preferred the wide open spaces, the warm desert wind, and the sun.
As I began daydreaming about the Phoenix heat, the phone rang. I sighed. "That better be Jacob," I growled. I'm always a bit of a grouch in the early morning.
I grabbed the telephone half way through its second ring. "Hello?"
"Bella!" Jacob sounded breathless.
"Jake, where are you, you dolt? You said you'd pick me up twenty minutes—"
"I'm at the hospital."
I drew in a large breath of air. "What happened? Are you okay? Is Leah—?"
"She started having contractions. We were worried…she's only five months along…" he sounded so distraught.
"Oh, Jake…are she and the baby okay?" My voice was high and anxious.
"Yeah. They stopped the contractions. The doctors think she'll need to stay on bed rest for a while, but I guess...god!...I mean...they think everything looks all right. They're going to keep her here tonight to monitor her though."
Charlie looked up from his food, his face questioning. He must have heard how worried I sounded. I held up a hand, gesturing for him to hold on.
"That's good…I hope everything stays stable," I said.
"Yeah, me too…look, Bells, I've got to get back to Leah, but can Charlie get you to the bus station? I don't think I can make it back in time."
"Of course. You should stay with Leah. Charlie's been begging me to take a ride in the Dream Machine anyway." Jake and I used to invent nicknames for the cruiser back in high school. "Dream Machine" was just one of many. I smirked at Charlie, who was looking simultaneously outraged (he hated when I bashed his cruiser), confused, and concerned.
Jacob just laughed. "Yeah, have fun getting arrested."
I rolled my eyes. I knew I shouldn't have told him about last time. "You're the one who should be arrested, you delinquent."
"Mmhmm, just keep telling yourself that, kid. The law will catch up with you one day."
"Well, let's just hope they don't catch you first. Things will get expensive once your kid arrives. You'll be too poor to bail yourself out of jail."
"Hey, you're the starving artist. I'm a successful mechanic."
"I'm a journalist, thank you very much."
Jacob laughed. "And a damn good one."
I heard voices in the background and someone saying "Mr. Black?" Jacob's response was muffled and I could tell he had covered the phone to speak to someone.
He came back on the line, sounding harried. "I've got to go--the doctor needs to speak to me--but it's good talking to you, Bells."
"You too. You and Leah stay safe. Look after her and the baby. And call me tomorrow with an update."
"You know I will."
"See ya later, you criminal." He was still laughing as he hung up the phone. I shook my head, but couldn't help grinning. I missed hanging out with my best friend.
I turned to Charlie, who still looked confused. I grinned as I said, "Well, Dad, it's your lucky day! You better get out those rusty old handcuffs. You get to arrest me after all!"
The drive to the Port Angeles bus station was unusual. Most of the time, car rides with Charlie were rather quiet, but I had to fill him in on Jake's phone call. That, coupled with my teasing about his girlfriend Sue, took up most of the cruiser ride. Luckily, Charlie's cruiser was much cleaner than last time, so I got to ride shotgun.
We got to the bus station with 10 minutes to spare. I sighed with relief. I was afraid, with Charlie's fervent belief in driving 5 miles below the speed limit at all times, that I would miss the bus and be stuck at the station overnight. Granted, I was no speed demon, but I saw no problem with going 60 in a 55 mph zone when I was in a hurry. Charlie, small town police chief that he was, did.
It also helped that it wasn't raining, for the first time in days. Forks had been getting even more rain that usual. Apparently there was even flooding in some parts of Washington because of all the rain. It certainly wasn't sunny today, but I'd take an overcast sky over rain any day.
Luckily, Charlie left the cruiser lights off this time as he pulled smoothly up the curb. He grabbed my suitcase from the back and set it down next to me on the sidewalk. He pulled me into a tight hug. I stepped back first, so I wouldn't start crying. I hated saying goodbye to him.
"Bye Dad. It was good to see you and Sue." My voice warbled slightly as I held back my tears.
Charlie cleared his throat uncomfortably, but gently placed a hand on my shoulder. "Good to see you too, Bells. Don't be a stranger."
"I won't. I'm coming back on April 1st, remember?" Most of the time, I only saw my dad two times a year. I'd made it up this weekend because I'd had a long weekend. But I was coming to Seattle on March 30th for an advertising conference with my boss. I'd managed to schedule in a day trip to Forks, as well.
"You sure you want to be around Jake on April Fools Day?" Charlie asked.
I rolled my eyes and snorted. "Probably not, but maybe Leah will keep him in line this year."
"You can only hope." Charlie said seriously but a smile tugged at his lips. He must be remembering last year, when Jacob had rigged the faucet to spray water at my face, replaced my deodorant with cream cheese, and convinced me that I had wrecked the Dream Machine, all in one day. I nearly throttled him, but Leah got to him first. We bonded that day over our mutual hatred of Jacob's pranks. Jacob claimed that was his intention all along.
Leah used to resent me because Jacob had a crush on me during high school. I was oblivious to that fact until the end of senior year, when he asked me out. I told him I thought of him as a brother, not a boyfriend. That was a fun conversation. Jacob was crushed and I felt terrible. We didn't speak during my first two years of college. Then, the summer before my junior year, I was back in Washington—doing an internship in Port Angeles for the summer—and we became friends again.
Around that same time, he met Leah. Our renewed friendship did not go over well with her. It wasn't until last year that our relationship improved. I learned that despite having a jealous streak, Leah was loyal, funny (in a sarcastic way), and wise. She was a wonderful person—and perfect for Jacob. They got married on May Day—a month after the April Fools incident—and Leah was pregnant a few months later. They were both so excited about the baby. I hoped desperately the rest of the pregnancy would go smoothly, both for their sakes and for Billy—who was eagerly anticipating his new grandchild.
Unfortunately for Charlie, he wouldn't be getting any grandchildren, at least if my luck with the male species was any indication. As I waved him off at the station, I felt a little sorry for him—I knew he was a bit jealous of Billy. Of course, if Charlie married Sue, he and Billy could share a grandchild, since Leah is Sue's daughter. I smirked. I wonder how Billy would feel about that.
Finally, the bus pulled up to the station and I stepped—or, more accurately, tripped—up the stairs onto the bus, behind the other passengers. I went all the way to the back of the bus. It was my favorite place, for some reason, and I always sat in the last row of seats if I could.
As I settled into my seat, I wrinkled my nose in distaste. I'm not generally a picky person, but I hate buses. Yet, I always ride the one up to visit Charlie. Don't ask me why. I suppose I'm a creature of habit. Jacob always wonders why I don't take a train or a plane, but in my book that isn't much better (and it's more expensive). The bottom line is that I dislike public transportation, but unfortunately my truck isn't up for the journey. I don't even want to think about how much gas it would eat up going from Phoenix to Forks and back. It would probably die half-way through California anyway.
After shifting around uncomfortably for a few minutes—thoroughly annoying the uptight businessman who sat beside me—I drifted off to sleep. It had been an early morning. When I woke up, we were getting close to Seattle...and the business man had moved to another seat. I hope I hadn't been sleep talking again. That would be horribly embarrassing.
I looked out the window as the bus rumbled along. It was a long trip back. The first main stop was Seattle, then onto Portland. I was planning to meet up with Alice for dinner there before I continued on towards Arizona.
Alice was my college roommate and best girl friend (Jacob filled the male best friend role). She was bouncy and pushy, but also extremely cheerful and caring. What she lacked in height, she made up for in enthusiasm. She literally ate up life. She spent a lot of time vibrating in place.
I often wondered how we became best friends. We were so different. I had a talent for fading into the woodwork...and I liked it that way. She, despite her short stature, had a talent for making herself known. She was fast becoming the most successful events planner in Portland, which didn't surprise me a bit. People were drawn to her and seemed to known instinctively that they were in good hands when she was in charge.
I loved Alice to death, but I had to admit I was more than a little jealous of her. She was successful at everything, it seemed, and I just...well...failed. My career, while it hadn't flopped, was not a great success. I was a junior editor for the advertising section of the Phoenix Tribune. Don't ask me how I ended up in that position. I hated advertising. But, apparently, even advertisements needed to be proofread. It was the best offer I had, so I took the position with the promise that I would be moved to a better position in a different department when a position opened up.
My first relationship hadn't gone much better. Mike was a decent guy, but there was no spark between us. He got more clingy and more puppy-dog-like every day. After a month, I broke it off, and a week later another girl had caught his eye. Alice, on the other hand, had met Jasper our senior year of college and they had been together ever since. Jasper was a wonderful man and he and Alice--polar opposites though they were--worked perfectly together. He was the calm lake to her maelstrom. They shared an apartment in Portland and I knew it was only a matter of time before he proposed.
I wanted to find someone like that. Who could be the missing piece to my puzzle. I wanted someone to make my world brighter. It wasn't that I wasn't happy--I was, mostly. But not the way Alice was. She absolutely glowed when Jasper was around.
Suddenly, the bus screeched to a halt, pulling me out of my musings. I realized we were at the Seattle station. There was a layover here in Seattle, so I had time to get out and use the bathroom. Of course, in typical Bella fashion, my bag got stuck under my seat and I had to struggle with it for a minute before it came loose. I hurried to get off the bus.
The first leg of my journey back to Phoenix was complete. So far the trip back was nothing out of the ordinary...until I saw him.
Author's note: I hope you enjoyed this chapter. I know it's just the beginning and things might feel a little slow, but they will get much more exciting, if you give it a chance!
Please review, even if it's just to say "Keep writing!" or "This is great/okay/terrible." I'm up for positive and negative feedback. I would love to hear from you and to know if you would like me to continue. This is my first fanfic, so a little guidance would be much appreciated! I promise that if you review, I will respond.