Chapter One

I slumped against the seat of my truck, feeling the whole week settling over my shoulders. The rain beat a steady pattern against my windshield, and I lost myself in it for a few minutes. It was musical almost, musical like him.

At the first stabbing in my heart I forced myself out of the door, grabbing my bag and stepping out into the cold, wet rain. It didn't take long for the rain to douse me, and a chill to crawl up my spine. It was therapeutic almost. At the very least it only added to my sense of numbness. It was Friday, and I didn't have nearly enough homework to get me through the weekend, as usual. I sighed and made my way carefully to the front door, grabbing the hidden key and unlocking it.

I slung my bag down on the closest chair, stopping myself before I remembered that it was his chair. That he looked like Adonis sitting there, his ruffled hair and toned chest…"No," I told myself. I grit my teeth against the gaping hole in my chest. "Think about something else."

Charlie had had a hard week, so I figured he could use a good dinner. Pot roast was always one of his favorites. The preparation was easy enough, and I stared out the window as I let the oven heat up. The rain had let up greatly, and a few rays of sunlight were struggling through the clouds. My eyes scanned the forest automatically, looking, but knowing they would find nothing. A sparkle. I snapped my head back to the left and strained my eyes. There it was again. A sparkle, like that of a million rays of sunshine reflecting off the biggest, clearest diamond.

My heart palpitated, and despite my better judgment, hope welled in me. It wasn't possible, there was no way…I closed my eyes and reopened them, staring at the spot once again. It was gone, and with it all my hope. I took a steadying breath and counted to fifty in my head in Spanish. The numbness seeped throughout me once again and I sighed in relief.

It wasn't the first time I had seen that sparkle since, but I seemed to be seeing it more frequently lately. The bell on the oven sounded, alerting me that I could put the roast in. I set the timer, grabbed my bag and hauled it to my room to do some Calculus while I waited. The assignment was short, only ten problems. It was going to be a very long weekend.

Monday morning seemed to come fast enough, or did it? I can't really keep the days straight anymore, they all sort of just blur into one long, continuous day. The only difference is nighttime, where the nightmares return. Last night had been exactly the same; running through the forest, falling down numerous times. But I still ran, still hoped, and woke up sobbing. Charlie's fist slamming down on the table shook me out of my reverie.

He was sending me home? To Renee? "What?" I asked, my face crumpling. I hadn't done anything wrong, I'd been the perfect daughter these past few months. Not a toe out of line, exceptional dinners, good grades. It seemed like everyone wanted to get rid of me. Unconsciously I folded my arms tight around my chest. So this was about my lack of a social life. Well, I could fix that.

"I'm going to watch a movie with Jessica this week," I lied. Well, it would be easy enough to make this the truth. Charlie didn't seem to believe me, and that sparked my long dormant anger. "I'm perfectly fine. We're going to Port Angeles. Friday."

My sudden return of emotion must have shocked Charlie, I guessed, because he let it drop after that. I scrubbed my bowl clean and placed it on the rack to dry off. It was definitely going to be another long week.


Friday came quickly enough. Between my part-time hours at the Newton's' camping store, the drudgery of school, and avoiding Charlie at home, it was almost a relief when Friday came. The ride to Port Angeles was okay. Jessica mostly babbled on, but I had long perfected my skill of making the appropriate affirmations or exclamations at the right time, so she didn't suspect anything.

The movie itself was gruesome. I was surprised that Jessica was even able to stay the whole time. She was sweating by the time we left the theater, and hungry. We decided to walk; everything was much too close to drive. I hadn't noticed Jessica stopped babbling until we were already in the middle of the darkened alley, passing on the opposite side of a bar with some men standing outside.

The lights of the fast food restaurant were shining ahead, and I could tell Jessica was eager to get out of this darkened strip and back to where people could see us.

"Hey girls, can we buy you a drink?" one of the men yelled.

Unconsciously I was doused in fear. This was almost like the last time. Almost. Except this time no one would be around to save me. I opened my mouth to retort; never something you should do in a dark alley with no one around, when I heard it. It was the same as ever, velvety and musical, and so real. "Don't, Bella." I stopped dead in my tracks and looked around, just to make sure. But no one was there besides Jessica and the men outside the bar.

It only took me a minute to analyze why I had heard the voice in the first place, and then I made up my mind.

I moved closer to the men. Sirens were going off in my head, a clear warning, as a sense of déjà vu settled over me. I took another step closer when I heard it again. "Bella, don't. Stay there," he urged. "Run, now!" It was intoxicating, all at once the high I so desperately longed for and yet the breath of fresh air that opened up all my long-closed off emotions. I had to hear it again. I stepped closer. The voice growled in my ear and it was heaven.

"Bella!" I could hear Jessica's frightened voice, inching backwards. She didn't want to be here, but she didn't feel right leaving me either.

"You go, Jess. I'll meet you at the restaurant." Another wave of déjà vu. I had definitely said that before. I was close to them now, close enough to see their grimy faces. Every step closer I took I could hear his voice roar in my ear, trying to convince me to leave. Each step closer also bolstered the men's confidence. They stepped towards me.

"Hey, can I buy you a drink?" His voice wasn't low; it was the strong tenor of a man maybe in his early twenties. These were not the same men from last time. A wave of disappointment crashed through me and I stopped in my tracks. The voice in my head was reduced to a few snarls.

The men took another step forward, closer now, I could smell the alcohol emanating off them, and it all snapped me back into reality. Fear erupted in my heart and I could almost hear his voice sigh with exasperation. I scrutinized the men once more before replying, "Sorry. I guess I don't know you."

I turned to leave then felt a hand shoot out and squeeze my wrist. I gasped in shock or pain, I can't be sure, and then it happened.

The voice in my head roared just as I heard another feral sound rip the silence of the night somewhere from the dark, and then I felt myself fall forward. I braced myself with my hands, feeling a sharp twinge as they absorbed my shock from the fall. I whipped my head around and saw the men behind me double over as if they were punched, and fall to the ground. And for one fleeting moment I saw him.

I noticed his eyes first. Dark gold, fading to black around the edges. My heart leapt to my throat and I was paralyzed from the shock. And then I took in the hair, a dark blond in color, but much too light for his hair. But it wasn't Carlisle either I realized, the name sending little stabs of hurt all throughout me. And then he turned to face me and I let out a little surprised gasp. He looked furious, his eyes boring into mine as he stood, tense, livid. He opened his mouth to say something but then clenched his teeth together. He glanced to his right, hissed, and with one more death glare at me disappeared.

Wait! I wanted to scream. I felt like I'd been sucker punched. I started hyperventilating as sobs began to claw their way out. I heard the distant patter of footsteps and turned to glare at the intruder that had scared my savior away. It was Jessica, and she had a policeman with her. Jessica? I hadn't even noticed when she left. She looked frightened, then relieved that I was still safe. But the look of reproach in her eyes told me I would be in trouble.

The police officer helped me up then looked over at the men. He let out a low whistle, apparently under the impression that I had incapacitated the offenders. But it was all a blur. I couldn't think, I could barely breathe, and my eyes were stinging with tears that were trying to fall. The officer was saying something to us, but I didn't understand, and then Jessica was dragging me away. We skipped getting food and went straight to her car where Jessica angrily slammed her door and turned on her engine, waiting impatiently for me to put on my seatbelt. The ride home was a furious silence, but that was fine, because my mind was replaying the incident over and over again.

I could feel my protective walls break down, feel the numbness fade and all my emotions creep back into me. It was too late now, I realized. I knew I wouldn't be able to build up my defenses again, and I almost didn't want to.

Jessica didn't say a word as I stepped out of her car. Yes, I'd definitely get it on Monday. I opened the door and Charlie called out. "Bella?"

I must have muttered some affirmation, because he turned around again to watch the game on TV. I walked up the stairs to my room, feeling exactly as if I was in a dream. But I couldn't have been dreaming. The snarl of rage had been too real, even when compared to the one I heard in my head, and I had definitely not handled those men all by myself. I could feel myself hyperventilate as I once again began to think about them, all of them. Alice, Emmett, Esme, Carlisle…Edward. I couldn't help it any more, and a sob broke free of me, while I futilely tried to force it back down. Now that I was alone in my room I could feel all the emotions raging free, a hundred times intensified from how long they'd been buried. The hole in my heart ripped open again, and I clutched my hands to my chest to try and hold myself together.

I stumbled over to the window, staring out into the dark night, searching for him. My weak human eyes couldn't see him, or maybe he really wasn't there. No, I knew he was there. "I know you're there," I whispered, knowing he could hear my soft voice over the patter of the rain. "Don't do this to me. Don't hide. Please. Jasper." I held my breath for a few moments, but nothing. I knew I wasn't imagining things; I knew that Jasper had been there, had saved me just like Edward had before. And then the memories all came flooding back to me, and I slumped to the floor, sobs wracking my body.

That night the nightmares were back worse than ever. Except this time, a new character was in them. He looked exactly as he had when he saved me, his eyes so dark gold that they were fading to black. I kept running to him, trying to catch up, but he kept disappearing anytime I came close, only to pop up again, hundreds of feet away from me. Jasper. I woke up screaming his name.


The floodgates were open now, and I could feel every emotion searing through me relentlessly. Each little change of emotion brought a new onslaught of feelings, intensified a million times. My thoughts were possessed. I could only think about his honey hair and dark eyes, the shock, hurt and excitement that burned me every time I did. Jasper. He was here. Of course, that led me to other thoughts, roads that were perhaps better left un-traveled. Thoughts along the lines of "If Jasper is here, then maybe so is Edward."

His name had be gasping for breath, my heart constricting. I had never said his name so much in the four months he had been gone, other than the first week. The first week filled with false hope that he would return, contrite, and tell me he still loved me, that he always had, that it was all a lie. But then the weeks had dragged by, and I hadn't heard the slightest whisper of him, or any of the Cullens. A clean break indeed.

The weekend passed uneventfully, and I was beginning to feel as though I had imagined the whole thing. Jessica's attitude on Monday told me different. She was, to put it bluntly, pissed. The whole day she glared at me, never responding to my attempts to make peace. Angela and Mike were much more responsive to my sudden breath of life, though. Angela hinted towards hanging out soon, and Mike asked me rather callously on a date, but something in my expression must have had them backtracking when I politely told them I had other things to do at home as of the moment.

My thoughts weren't at school in the least. Every moment was spent analyzing the situation that had occurred in Port Angeles. Jasper appearing out of nowhere, the feral snarl that had ripped the air, his dark eyes. And yet, despite it all, he seemed completely in control of himself. But the biggest question that had plagued me was how did he find me? I was beginning to think that all those little sightings of something sparkly, something very akin to Edward's skin in the sunlight, were just that; a vampire's skin. But of course that would mean that Jasper was stalking me.

It was a silly notion, and I tried to shake it from my head. But it made sense. All these months, the past three to be exact, I had always noticed something to be a little off. The numbness I had so easily escaped into, the feeling of not being alone. The drive home was automatic, my mind wrapped up with my new train of thoughts. The other Cullens must not be back. If they were, then it would not have been Jasper who had come to my rescue. I pulled into my parking spot and sat staring at the forest for a moment. I tried to reassemble my thoughts, to try and keep myself together. My hands gripped painfully at my sides, nails digging into the skin. For a moment, I could almost recapture the numbness I'd had all these months. It was blissful, until it brought to light my earlier theories.

Theories. That's what I seemed to live on.

My eyes strained into the forest, but I couldn't make out anything shiny. Depression crashed over me like a wave, and I called out in desperation, "Jasper?" It wasn't loud, but he would have heard it. I was sure that my intense emotions would have been ravaging him right along with me; if he were here that is. "Jasper." Louder this time, not a question. He was there, he had to be. He couldn't simply crash back into my life and then disappear once he had disturbed the shell I had created around myself. It wasn't fair, and I didn't think I could handle being left alone again. My breathing hitched, and I began to hiccup. I didn't think I could handle anyone else leaving me again.

I gripped myself tightly, stumbling on my way into the house, and nearly falling down the stairs as I ran to my room. I collapsed on my bed, my body shaking violently from the sobs that were erupting from my mouth. I lay on my bed for a long while, reveling in my anguish.

I hadn't known I had fallen asleep until I heard the door bang downstairs, alerting me that Charlie was home. I felt around groggily, trying to reach my light, and my blanket slipped off me. Funny, but I didn't remember putting it there. Finally I found the light. It was six 'o clock now; Charlie was home late. And hungry. I leapt out of bed, a bad idea. The room was spinning, and I had to sit back down. Charlie was coming up the stairs now. He peered into my room cautiously.

"Hey, Bells."

"Hi Dad. Sorry, I just woke up. I'll make dinner now." Was it me, or did he seem unnaturally happy?

"Don't worry. I picked up some pizzas. We're downstairs. Maybe you want to clean up?"

I nodded and he left. We? Who else was here? I chanced a look in the mirror, something I had not done for who knows how long, and cringed. The girl before me was exceptionally pale, dark shadows under her eyes, and unhealthily skinny. I grimaced at my swollen, red eyes. That's why Charlie had wanted me to clean up. I went to the bathroom to scrub my face and brush my hair before heading downstairs. I immediately saw what Charlie meant by 'we'.

"Hey Bella!"

"Jake!" I cried, surprising myself. Joy surged through me and for a moment I was breathless. I couldn't rationalize why I was so happy to see Jacob, I didn't know him all that well after all, but seeing him standing there near the bottom of the stairs, his outline almost too big for the frame to accommodate, I was unbelievably happy. I hurried down to greet him, and ended up tripping over my own socks.

Jacob caught me, and I was surprised at how warm he was. Of course, I'd only ever known cold arms. I banished that thought as quickly as it had come. I looked up to smile at Jacob and caught him wrinkling his nose. I was suddenly self-conscious. "What?"

"Bella, are you wearing perfume?" he asked, his nose wrinkled in disgust.

I looked at him perplexed. "No." I could feel the blood rush to my face.

Jake seemed to contemplate for a moment before he shrugged and then crushed me in a hug. It seemed he was just as happy to see me, as I was to see him. I let him lead me to the kitchen, where we both grabbed some pizza and got to talking.

Hanging out with Jacob was like taking a breath of fresh air after being underwater for too long. It was refreshing, enjoyable, and I felt like I needed more. I was sorry to see him and Billy go, but it was a school night after all. Not that Jacob seemed too concerned, he'd be just as happy to spend the night. But it was getting late, and I still hadn't done any of my homework, not like there was much to do; I'd finished my English paper days ago, so Calculus was my only challenge. Applications of Derivatives. I shivered.

Saying goodbye to Jacob was harder than I expected; it felt exactly like the sun disappearing to leave me with the blackness of light. My face, always an open book it seemed, must have betrayed me, because Jake promised he would come visit again soon. I smiled at him as he left, and stood there in the doorway even after they had been gone for a while. I could feel the emotions bubbling under the surface, yearning to break free once again.

"Have fun?" Charlie's voice startled me, and I jumped backwards tripping on one of the shoes left by the door. "Sorry, Bells," Charlie told me as he helped me up.

"It's okay," I mumbled. "Yeah, it was really great to see Jake." Charlie was pleased, I could tell. I felt a little pain on my palm, and I lifted it up to inspect it. There was a thin line of blood blossoming over it, and I looked around to see what I might have gotten cut on. After a moment of deliberation, I settled with the sharp corner of the doorway, and I hauled myself upstairs to clean out the shallow cut. The cut was bleeding a little more now, and it stung when I cleaned it out, first with soap, and then with peroxide. I put a bandage over it (we had a healthy stock in the cabinet), and then reached to grab my toothbrush. I had already put the paste on by the time I looked back up to the mirror, and then I froze. I clenched my eyes shut, trying to control my breathing, and I was thankful that the door leading to the bathroom was shut now.

Jasper stood behind me, tense and worried.

I stumbled back against the sink, my toothbrush clattering to the floor. Jasper held up a hand, his palm facing me, as if to show he meant no harm. I almost laughed at the notion. My knees felt weak and I felt myself sliding down to the floor. My heart was working overtime right now, as we stared at each other. A wave of calm washed over me, and I found my voice to speak.

"Jasper?" It was a dream, a hallucination. Surely I should have already had this mental breakdown by now. But then why was it Jasper and not Edward who had shown up? The vampire standing with his back pressed against the bathroom door nodded. A little, hysterical giggle escaped my lips. I really must have gone crazy. Well, as long as I'd gone crazy…

Jasper did not move as I rinsed off my toothbrush and re-pasted it. I stared at him as I brushed my teeth, and he stared back. He was still as a statue, but looked so very real. The longer I stared at him, the more sure I was becoming that he was real. Then my emotions would flood through me, and I knew it was just another hallucination. I was probably already in my bed, dreaming. I rinsed my mouth and looked back up at the mirror. Jasper was still there, gazing at me with a strange intensity. I turned around to face him.

I should surely be going into shock, but I felt unreasonably calm. Probably Jasper's doing. I bit my bottom lip, unsure what to do. I shook my head, muttering, "Just a hallucination."

Jasper moved from the doorway as I pushed past him to go to my room, and he closed the door behind me. I sat down on my bed and looked at him expectantly, but he didn't seem inclined to say anything. I patted the bed, and Jasper sat down next to me, stiff and regal. I sighed and asked him, "Jasper, can you stop trying to calm me? It's a bit annoying."

I regretted it almost instantly. With one raised eyebrow, Jasper watched as the emotions hit me full on. The first thing I felt was bewilderment. Fear certainly, and apprehension. The dominant emotion was pain, though, and I saw Jasper wince as these emotions swirled around in me. I gasped, clutching my heart once more. The hole that had seemed so small and insignificant when Jacob had been around suddenly ripped open, and a new wave of hurt washed over me. Surely this was unfair, some mean trick played by a vengeful god. Time was supposed to heal your wounds, ease the grief. But the pain was as acute as ever, and I could feel the tears slide down my cheeks as I clenched my jaw against the myriad of feelings.

It was unbearable, and Jasper must have felt it that way too. The moment I ground out, "Calm, please," I felt my emotions ebb away until they were just lingering below the surface, still tangible, but not so potent anymore. I stared at Jasper for a moment then sighed. I still hadn't done my Calculus homework, but now I knew I would never get it done. This was all too dream-like, exactly the way I felt about Edward. I felt that if I looked away from Jasper for more than two seconds he would disappear.

"Bella." It was musical, deep and smooth, satin almost. My heart leapt to my throat, and I was glad, then, that he had me sedated with his calming waves.

Against my better judgment, before I could really realize what I was doing myself, I leaned forward and ran my fingers across his cheek. He was cold, but very much solid. It had been so long since I'd felt the coolness of a vampire, and it seemed to burn my skin, rather than freeze me. I stared into his eyes, a warm light honey now. He'd been hunting. "Jasper?"

He nodded once, and I felt my heart constrict, all other thoughts abandoning me, as I stared at this god-like creature before me. I flung my arms around his neck, squeezing tightly, and felt Jasper stiffen. He smelt delicious, there was no other word for it, and I breathed him in greedily. He really did smell as good as…any of the other Cullens.

It took me a moment to realize that being in such close proximity must be hard for him, and I let him go immediately. I tried to form the questions my mind so desperately screamed, but the words got all jumbled up and died on their way to my mouth. At last I settled on, "Say something, please?"

I needed to hear his voice again, just to make sure I wasn't dreaming. In many ways, my whole time at Forks had begun to seem dream-like, and this meeting was no more real than I felt any of my days with Edward had been. His name brought another round of grief, and I was gasping for air again. "Bella, calm down."

I tried to get a hold of myself, but to no avail. I bit down on my tongue to keep from crying too loudly, I didn't want Charlie to check on me, and stared at his face desperately. "I just-I feel like I'm dreaming. I feel like you're going to disappear," I whispered. The very thought once again wracked me with grief, and I didn't think I could take much more of this. I slumped back against my pillows, covering my eyes with my hand. I'd already cried so much today, and my eyes were stinging at the few tears that were forming once again. "Jasper?" I asked, groping around on the bed until I found something cold. I let out a little sigh. He was still here.

I kept my hand over his, just to make sure that I wasn't dreaming the whole thing, to make sure I wouldn't wake up to find myself even more broken than before. One Cullen was better than none, I thought dryly. Jasper was very tense, I could feel it just from his hand, but I could also feel the tension in the air between us. I didn't say anything for a long while, but soon enough I was getting chilled just from the feel of his hand. Jasper acted before I did, pulling the blanket up over me, and I stared at him in surprise. Realization slowly dawned on me. "You put the blanket on me earlier." It was a statement, not a question, but Jasper nodded anyway.

I half-smiled, but it turned into a grimace. I hadn't smiled in so long, I felt like I had forgotten how. I was suddenly exhausted, and wanted nothing more than to just close my eyes and let the deep blackness consume me. Jasper clicked off the light that was close to him, encouraging me to fall asleep. I grit my teeth and forced my eyes wide. I would not fall asleep. If I fell asleep now, he would be gone in the morning, and I would be worse off than before. "Why are you here?" I asked, trying to keep my heartbeat at an acceptable rate as I waited for his answers. "Where is everyone else?"

Jasper immediately hedged my question. "It's late, you should sleep." I scoffed. Nine o' clock was hardly late, but I could feel my eyelids drooping all the same.

"You didn't answer my questions," I insisted, tightening my grip on his hand, as if that would help. If he wanted to leave, he could break free from my grasp as easily as I could bite through a cracker.

"You didn't do your homework," he replied. I sighed in frustration and he laughed quietly. He was right though, I hadn't. Math was a difficult subject, though, and Mr. Varner kept strict records of our homework. I tried not to think about how Jasper's laugh reminded me of Edward's, and I thought of another thing to say.

"Are you going away again?" I asked timidly, my voice riddled with insecurity. I hadn't been good enough for Edward to stay, so why would Jasper? I meant even less to him than I did to Edward.

Instead, Jasper asked me his own question. "Aren't you…upset with me?" My eyes snapped open, I hadn't realized they had been closed, and I stared up at Jasper's face, shock becoming the dominant expression now.

"Of course not!" I said passionately. It was absurd, why on earth would I be mad at Jasper? He still looked skeptical as the seconds ticked by, and I grew slightly aggravated, if not exasperated. "Why would I-how could I be upset with you?" I asked him, my tone one of incredulity.

Jasper stared at me for a long time, until I felt myself beginning to slip into unconsciousness again. I shook my head to wake myself up. "I just thought, with what happened," he finally muttered. I knew I wouldn't get more out of him on the matter, for now. Before I slipped totally into oblivion, I had to ask, had to know one thing.

"Are you going to be here in the morning?" Desperation colored my tone, and once again I was truly glad that Jasper was able to feel the emotions of those around him. If he could feel the ardor of my plea, perhaps I could convince him to stay. "Please," I begged.

Jasper's eyes tightened, and he set his mouth into a line. "I don't know." Those innocent words sent another round of tumult over me, radiating towards Jasper. A look of pain flashed across his handsome features before he looked back at me again. I could only imagine the look on my face, but it had Jasper backtracking immediately. He seemed resigned now. "All right. Yes."

My heart fluttered a little bit, and another wave of peace washed over me. "Thank you," I breathed, my eyelids suddenly weighing down on me and forcing my eyes shut. I could feel Jasper's cold hand under mine still, and I gripped it more securely in my own, trying to convey how much I needed him to stay.

"Sleep," he told me gently, his voice already sounding far away. I did as I was told.


It was another grey, drizzly morning that I awoke to. My eyes were puffy and sore, and I felt a headache pounding violently, beating my brain against my skull without mercy. I slowly opened my eyes, not wishing to be up, but knowing school was waiting for me. I grimaced and slowly sat up. Something was off, but I couldn't quite figure out what. I glanced at the clock. Six a.m. I wracked my brain to try and figure out what was unusual, and then it hit me. Jasper. He was here, he had been in my room, he had promised to be here in the morning, and…he was nowhere in sight.

Disappointment beat down on me, and I took a few steadying breaths. He wouldn't lie. Jasper really wouldn't do this to me, would he? I worried my lip as I glanced around the room. It was one hundred percent vampire free. I shook my head, willing myself to block out the emotions again. A hot shower would do me good.

The hot water streaming down on me clamed my nerves, and seemed to bring back that old feeling of numbness, and I sighed in gratitude. Nothing seemed out of place when I went down to greet Charlie and eat breakfast. Everything was exactly the same on my drive to school. And the day passed by without incident. Maybe I had been dreaming, I decided. But then Calculus came along, and Mr. Varner asked me for my homework. I flushed and stuttered out a reply, but he still demanded to take a look.

I pulled the paper out of my bag and handed it over to him, eyes downcast. After a moment he set it back down in front of me with a little approving sound, and I stared at the paper. There it was, all the work in my handwriting, and, from the looks of it, all correct answers too. It was all I could do to keep from having a breakdown right there in class.

I raced out of the parking lot after school ended. My mind was racing, my heart only slightly behind. I could barely think straight, and so when I pulled off the main road and towards a house with an adjacent garage, I was just as surprised as Jacob to find myself at his house.


It was the strangest feeling, I determined, the way my world suddenly seemed sunnier, a better place whenever I was around Jacob. And I smiled another real smile. "Hey Jake!" A bone-crushing hug, and I was gasping for air.

"What are you doing here?" Jake asked me, a goofy grin plastered across his face.

"I-I don't know," I admitted.

It didn't faze Jacob in the least. "Well, you're here! I've got to show you the Rabbit. I'm nearly done," he replied, easily grabbing my hand and dragging me towards the garage. It was so easy, so free, and I let him.


"Hey, Bells, where you been?" Charlie asked me the moment I set foot in the door.

"La Push," I replied. I wasn't expecting the big grin he gave me and it threw me off. I smiled back at Charlie cautiously.

"Billy says you and Jake hung out all day," Charlie mentioned, turning his attention back to the TV.

"Yeah. Sorry about dinner." He just waved me off. My good mood was wearing off fast. I still had a new Calculus assignment waiting for me, and the despair that had been so prevalent in my life was returning, no doubt due to the sudden absence of Jacob's presence. I grabbed a Pop-Tart out of the pantry and trudged upstairs. Not the healthiest dinner in the world, but I was too worn out to care. The impending destination of my room seemed to merely bring back what I'd been doing my best to avoid all day. Jasper. Or rather, the lack of him.

The door clicked shut behind me, and I flopped down onto my bed, dreading not only doing my homework, but finishing it, because then I would be left to think, and thinking lead to painful memories. I turned over, willing myself on, and was shocked by the sudden appearance of a blond-haired god staring at me from my rocking chair.

A/N: Well, I couldn't help but try my own Jasper/Bella story. I've gotten a bit into this one, but looking back I'm beginning to dislike it; the characters seem very OOC, etc. So any criticism would be great! Thank you for reading this!