A/N: This is my first attempt at writing Twilight fan fiction. I usually just stick to Rory and Logan from Gilmore Girls, but Edward and Bella have quite simply enchanted me over these last few months and this idea has been floating around in my mind for a while. I'm posting this chapter as sort of a tester to see what you think and if you think I should bother continuing or if I should just stick to what I know best. I've been reading tonnes of Twilight fics and felt inspired to write my own. So here it is. Let me know what you think. Your feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks. And to those wondering when I'll be updating my other fics, rest assured, I promise I'll get something done as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. Stephenie Meyer does. I can only dream.
Chapter One: Prince Charming
The logging capital of the world.
The place which sees more rainfall than any other in the United States of America.
A town with an almost constant cover of cloud would be my destination for the next two weeks. And for someone who had spent her formative years living in the gloriously sun-soaked state of Arizona and now resided in the sun-soaked state of California; it was with great trepidation that I made my journey.
Normally, I wouldn't even consider going to such a place to spend my vacation. I would have much preferred to lay on some remote beach somewhere with a good book and my ipod to distract me from life's problems. However, when you promise to be your best friend's Maid of Honour and she has her heart set on having the wedding ceremony in her hometown, its kind of hard to get out of it. Also, as tiny as Alice Cullen-soon-to-be-Whitlock is, I'm pretty sure she could take me if I even considered not attending.
Alice and I had been friends since our freshman year at college. We both attended Berkley and had bonded over our own mutual fears and feelings of terror at being so far away from home. That was also where she met Jasper Whitlock, her husband-to-be. The funny thing was that she had told me the night she met him that he was the man she was going to marry. She was so certain. She told me she just knew it. I often wondered if she was slightly psychic and I toyed with the idea of asking her to give me some clues as to where my Prince Charming might be. As of now, I was yet to meet him. Or maybe I had and he didn't like what he saw.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not one of those self-loathing types who see absolutely no redeeming features in themselves. My hair is dark and shiny enough and I've been told that I have nice eyes. I'm slim, not too tall, and not too short. I'm not pixie-like like Alice and I definitely do not have her grace or her eye for fashion. I'm not stunningly attractive like our other friend Rosalie who could pass for a supermodel. I'm confident in how I look but not overly if you know what I mean. There is definitely room for improvement, but I'm happy. Put it this way, I won't be rushing out to inject myself with any cosmetic enhancers. My vanity does not exceed my fear of needles and sharp implements.
As for my love life, I am currently in a long term relationship of two years, although going by the last few weeks, I would say that we weren't as happy as we used to be. I met Jacob through a mutual friend and we immediately hit it off. He was always so easy to talk to and I had so much fun with him but recently the spark seemed to be wearing off. We weren't really as close as we once were and had spent hardly any time together. He was originally supposed to come with me to Forks but something came up at work and so here I was on my own. The last conversation we had before I left for the airport was tense and full of words unsaid. I truly wasn't sure what I would be going back to after my two weeks here in Forks.
As I stood in the airport, waiting to collect my bags, I sighed heavily. For some reason I just couldn't shift the sadness I felt at my crumbling relationship. However, a small part of me still clung to the hope that a break from each other was exactly what we needed. When I returned home, he would smile my special Jacob smile and embrace me in his always warm, welcoming arms and we would forget all the bad things and just be us again. Bella and Jacob. Happy, content and in love. The cynic in me knew that that happy picture in my head would fade fast and I would most likely be returning home to an empty apartment.
"Bella!" My sadness immediately evaporated as I turned to see my dear friend Alice galloping towards me like a graceful gazelle, with her arms in the air and a huge smile on her face. I always felt better when she was around. She was always so bubbly and positive about things. Sometimes it could be rather annoying but at moments like these, I was truly grateful to have her in my life. The years hadn't strained our friendship, only strengthened it. And as she pulled me in for a bone crunching hug, I smiled.
"You're here! You're here!" She squeezed me tighter and I suddenly found oxygen hard to come by. For a small thing she had some amount of strength in her.
She broke her hold and placed a kiss on my cheek and then beamed up at me. She was like an over-excitable puppy and I couldn't help but laugh.
"Sorry. I'm just so happy you're here. I was starting to panic that you wouldn't be able to make it but now you're here. And I can relax and-"
"Breathe, Alice." I told her. That was another thing about Alice; she could talk forever without having to pause for breath. She was almost inhuman.
"Right." She smiled and took a deep breath before lacing her arm through mine. We made our way through the crowds of people in the busy airport; Alice's constant chattering in my ear relaxing me after a long flight.
She led me to the car where Jasper was standing waiting for us. I smiled as soon as I saw him and wrapped my arms around him. I loved Jasper like a brother. He was one of the best people I knew and his love for Alice was just too sweet for words. He would do anything for her and I loved that he was so smitten with her. They really were the perfect couple.
"Hey Jazz. How are you? Ready for the big day?" I nudged him as he took my bags from me and placed them in the trunk of the car.
"I am." He nodded calmly. I narrowed my eyes as I surveyed his peaceful demeanour. He didn't look like someone who was getting married in little over a week. I sensed no nerves or fear. He was so serene and relaxed. It would have been off putting if I didn't know him so well. Jasper was so laid back in life he was almost horizontal. Nothing got to him. I never once saw him lose his temper in all the time that I'd known him. I think that was why he was such a good match for Alice. She was so hyper all the time, she needed someone to keep her grounded and Jasper was just the man to do that.
"Ohmygod! We have so much to do, Bella. I'm so glad you're here now. We need to pick up the dresses and approve the flowers and the catering. We need to rearrange the seating plan because my cousin Ruby is coming and her and my aunt Louise don't get along at all. And some moron decided to put them at the same table. And then…"
I looked at Jasper and he rolled his eyes with a smile on his face as Alice continued making lists of things for us to do before the wedding. I suddenly felt a strong urge to get back on the plane.
Jasper patted me on the shoulder as he held my door open for me. Alice was already in the car, still rambling on and on not even concerned that no one was listening to her. She had gone into some kind of weird bridezilla trance and nothing and no one could break her out of it.
"It'll all be over soon." Jasper said dryly as I slid into the car. I looked up at him with fear in my eyes and a slight trace of pity.
"Yeah, but I get to go home after the wedding, you have to live with her for the rest of your life."
Jasper's smile was electric as he considered my words. He gazed over at Alice as he climbed into the drivers seat and then grasped her hand in his and said; "I can't wait."
There was so much love in his eyes I actually got a little teary-eyed just watching them. He started up the car and I sat back, taking in my surroundings as we passed through the busy streets of Port Angeles on our way to Forks.
I must have fallen asleep on the way as it felt like the journey had taken all of two minutes. My eyes flew open and I jumped at the sound of the car doors slamming shut. I slowly regained my mental faculties and slid across the seat to the door and let myself out. Jasper was unpacking my bags from the trunk and turned down my offer of help with them. Instead he raised an eyebrow at me and gestured towards the house. I smiled and followed after Alice as she skipped towards what I could only describe as a dream house. It was incredible. It looked old but modern if you know what I mean. There were large windows and white stone walls. I stared up at the house as it towered over me, suddenly feeling very intimidated. I knew Alice's family was fairly well off but in all the time that we had known each other I had never been to her house. I had spent summers in her beach house in Malibu but never here in Forks. It was spectacular.
"Can I get you something to drink or eat or something?" Alice asked as I stood gaping at her home. It was just as breathtaking on the inside as it was outside. I heard Jasper mutter something about taking my bags to my room but I was entranced with the beauty of my surroundings. It was so spacious and decorated in expensive looking furnishings that I knew would be spoiled if I so much as breathed near them. This was not a place where I would be comfortable at all. With all the fancy mod-cons and rare pieces, my clumsiness was sure to break something at some point. I would have to be on guard the whole time I stayed here. Maybe I should check into a hotel or something. There would be fewer valuables to damage.
"Bella?" Alice was looking at me as if I were an alien while holding a bottle of water towards me. I nodded and accepted the bottle, suddenly feeling very thirsty.
"Thanks. Alice, this place is amazing!" I said wondrously with wide eyes. Alice giggled at my reaction and then shrugged.
"Yeah, I guess." Her blasé tone caught my attention and I shook my head.
"I think you should lock me away for the duration of my trip so I don't break anything." I told her in a serious tone. Alice giggled again and then plopped herself down on the sofa.
"Silly Bella," she laughed again and then I slowly made my way over to join her on the sofa, trying not to bump into anything. I checked the back of my pants to make sure I didn't have anything stuck there. I didn't want to ruin her furniture.
"This house is like a palace compared to my apartment."
"I've seen your apartment. Anywhere would look like a palace compared to that pigsty."
"Hey!" I frowned and nudged her as she stifled another giggle. My apartment wasn't that bad. Well, actually it was. I was a bit of a slob sometimes but only because I worked 24/7. And I couldn't afford a maid service unlike some people.
"It's good to see you again, Bella. I missed you." She edged closer to me and laid her head on my shoulder snuggling into my side. I smiled and let my head fall onto hers.
"I missed you too, Alice." I let out a yawn and she moved from her position to look me straight in the eye.
"Where's Jacob? Is he getting a later flight?"
I shifted uncomfortably on the sofa under her unrelenting gaze. I hadn't mentioned to her about the problems Jacob and I had been having. I didn't want to worry her or spoil her big day.
"Um…actually, he's not coming. Something came up at work and…"
"He's not coming?" Alice studied me closely. I could see the concern in her eyes. Before she could ask me what was going on, I let out another yawn and then jumped up from the sofa.
"I'm exhausted. Do you mind if I take a little nap before dinner?" I peered down at her trying to ignore the slight trace of hurt in her eyes at my evasiveness. I told Alice everything about my life and she likewise, but this…I really didn't want to think about right now.
"Sure. You're room is on the second floor, first door to your left." She informed me and I quickly made my way to the staircase. I could feel her worried eyes burning into my back as I climbed the stairs, but I chose just to ignore it. I'd tell her everything at some point. But right now, I just wanted to sleep.
I eventually reached the second floor and mistakenly went to the right instead of the left as Alice had instructed. I heard music coming from a room at the end of the hallway and found myself drifting towards it.
As I walked slowly through the hall, I noticed the pictures hanging on the walls. They were family pictures. There were some portraits and some candid shots mainly of Alice with a scrawny looking young boy, who I assumed was her younger brother Edward. They were pictured with their parents and looked so indescribably happy with life. It broke my heart.
Alice's parents had died in a car crash seven years ago; the summer before Alice's junior year of High School. After their deaths, Alice and her brother, Edward moved in with their aunt and uncle; Esme Cullen and Dr Carlisle. They couldn't have children themselves and soon adopted Alice and Edward as their own.
As you can imagine, losing her parents hit Alice hard and I think that was the main reason why she felt the need to leave Forks behind and go to Berkeley. She was originally planning on attending Washington State, but her plans changed. Forks held too many painful memories for her at the time and she needed to get away.
It's strange how something so traumatic can lead to something so wonderful. If Alice hadn't gone to Berkeley then she never would have met Jasper, or me. Although, I am fairly certain that she would swap her happy life now if she could have her parents back for even a second.
She never really talked much about her family and she never seemed to let her tragic past get to her. My whole life, I have never met anyone more upbeat or positive than Alice Cullen. I have no idea how she does it.
I left the pictures behind and continued being pulled towards the sound of the graceful guitar.
As I reached the room, I peeked inside to see the most beautiful human being I had ever seen in my twenty four years on this planet, strumming on an acoustic guitar. His eyes were closed as the music washed over him. My eyes roamed over the mystery man. His hair was styled to perfection. It was a strange dark, bronze colour. It highlighted his pale skin. His chiselled features were almost statuesque and his long fingers scratched against the strings of his guitar, plucking notes out of thin air, playing the most beautiful, soulful piece of music I had ever heard.
I stood there for what seemed like forever in a trance, imagining that this Adonis-like creature was playing a private show just for me. I closed my eyes and let the haunting melody and his husky tones completely enrapture me until Jasper appeared behind me.
"Hey Bella, you lost?" At the sound of his voice, I jumped and let out a gasp. My eyes flew open in horror as I suddenly realised the bronze-haired Adonis had stopped playing his guitar and was staring straight at me.
"Um…" I couldn't speak. I was pretty sure I was going to pass out as well. Jasper brushed passed me and walked casually into the room perching himself on the edge of the bed like it was no big deal. The mystery man was staring at me with a slight hint of a frown on his face while my whole body was blushing with embarrassment at getting caught red handed watching him.
"Edward, this is Bella. We just picked her up from the airport." Edward. His name was Edward. Alice's younger brother? Edward was still staring at me. Well, actually it was more like a glare.
"I've heard a lot about you." He said in a low, almost threatening voice.
"Thanks." At that point, my brain wasn't functioning properly. I didn't know what I was saying. He looked at me as if I was the biggest moron on the planet and to be honest at that moment, I probably was.
"Edward is Alice's baby brother." Jasper said in that southern drawl of his. I wrenched my gaze away from Edward and looked at Jasper. He had picked up Edwards guitar and was strumming away, oblivious to my mortification or Edward's obvious annoyance at me being there.
"Oh." My brain still wasn't operating at full function and so I continued to sound like a complete moron.
"Less of the baby, Jazz." He swatted Jasper with his hand and then stood up from the bed. My eyes were glued to him now. With him standing I could get a better look at his long, lean frame. He was tall and well defined under his shirt. He was muscular but not too muscular. He wasn't like Emmett, Rosalie's boyfriend, who was almost as big as a house. Edward's muscles were perfectly in proportion with the rest of his body. Or so I assumed. He was quite simply, the most stunningly attractive man I had ever laid eyes on and for a moment I had to remind myself that I still had a boyfriend, not that he would ever be interested in me.
It was strange, I knew Alice had a brother, but I had never met him. He was away at Dartmouth and I guess they weren't so close. Alice would talk about him but not to extremes. I had never seen a recent picture of him and to be quite honest, I'm pretty sad about that fact. Apparently, Alice knew where my Prince Charming was hiding all these years after all.