A/N: Alright guys, this story is pretty different than anything I have written thus far and I want to thank you all in advance for even giving it a chance!

Oh, there's also a link on the profile for the playlist for this story. Every chapter will be a song title and you all are more than welcome to listen to those songs as you read each chapter. This chapter's song is 'Paint it Black' by the Rolling Stones.

Enjoy!


Prologue

The screams were overwhelming. I wanted nothing more than to walk in there to tell them to shut the hell up. But I knew that probably wouldn't go over very well. Given my current status with them.

I tried to block out their yells, leaning my head against the wall and shutting my eyes tight. As I did, I was only able to catch bits and pieces of their conversation.

"With all due respect….should've seen the signs…when someone….the results…"

"..no idea what you're saying….nothing's wrong…perfect, our perfect…"

"…sick...self infliction…hurting…virtually alone…not to mention the guilt and grief…"

"…nonsense…you don't think that we would've seen…"

Think! There has to be something that will tell you…

And then it hit me. Unfolding the piece of paper that I had stuffed in my pocket when I first got here , I reread it again, scanning over a few particular words that I failed to notice before.

"…my sorrow, no tomorrow…If I love no one I am free."

"Oh, Jesus fucking Christ!" I jumped up, a slew of curse words flying out of my mouth as I took the stairs two at a time and out the door into the pouring rain.

And then I ran. Ran to the one place I hadn't even thought of.

The last place someone would think of.

Please God, just this once, don't let me down….


Chapter 1: Paint it Black

I look inside myself and see my heart is black
I see my red door and it has been painted black
Maybe then I'll fade away and not have to face the facts
It's not easy facin' up when your whole world is black
No more will my green sea go turn a deeper blue
I could not foresee this thing happening to you

Monday. The start of a new school year.

Shit.

Normally, this wouldn't be a problem since I had been going to school with the same group of people for the past eleven years. Even in a big city, things never change. I was lucky enough to have the same group of friends all throughout school. I didn't go the pathetic route and abandon my childhood friends when I got to high school. I was one of those guys who were actually intelligent and just never fucking applied myself. I had been with the same girl for three years, hung out with same guys day after day, just screwing around, not really giving a shit.

Life was, for lack of a better term, perfect.

Yea, life was so perfect for you wasn't it? So perfect that you spent the last two years lying to everyone, pretending that everything was alright. Cut the shit Jasper.

But whichever version of my life I choose to think about, it doesn't matter now.

I'm in a completely different state now, living with people who I don't really even now.

I have lived in this small town for a month now. And the friends and girl I left behind who were supposed to call, have yet to do so.

So much for loyalty.

"Jasper?" a soft, motherly voice walked inside my new bedroom and looked over at me, a small smile on her face "Are you just about ready?"

"I guess." I shrugged and forced a smile as I grabbed my things and headed downstairs.

As much as I tried to in the beginning, I knew there could never be a way for me to ever hate Esme.

I still thought she was fucking crazy, though.

I mean, what was I supposed to think? I've only been here for a month and she already treats me like her own kid as opposed to the 'love child' I was.

But, what really killed me was the fact that she still loved her husband just the same. As if she knew all along that I existed.

If I were her, I would've left his sorry ass the moment I found out.

I didn't even know who he was. Some stranger that was mentioned from time to time but never really mentioned by name. It was like he was ghost or something.

But two months ago, everything changed and I was suddenly thrown into this new lifestyle with complete and utter strangers.

I hated it here, to be honest. The city was too small for me. I was just so goddamn bored.

By the time I reached the bottom of the stairs, Edward was already waiting for me at the front door.

"Ready?" he asked, a hint of irritation in his voice. Like it was such a bad thing for me to hitch a ride with him to school.

"Yea, I guess." I answered him indifferently.

The drive to the small high school was silent and tense. In the amount of time I've been here, Edward and I haven't really gotten the chance to talk.

All I know is that Edward is like the damn perfect son. He is an only child and is the shining beacon of this family.

Well, I stand corrected. He was the only child up until two months ago when he and his mother found out about me.

And, as we got out of the car at school, I knew that practically the entire town probably knew about me now. News sure travels fast in this place.

Especially when your newfound father is the great Dr. Carlisle Cullen, resident savior of this town.

Yes, two months ago, I had no idea who this man was. And, come to find out, not only did he exist but he also had an entire family.

"So, if you just go into that building, they'll give you your schedule and tell you where to go. And um, I guess I'll see you after school." Edward called over his shoulder after he pointed out a building.

So for much for helping your own brother out. Oh, well. I didn't need him showing me around. He didn't want to be around me and that was fine by me.

After a million questions from the women in the office, they politely showed me where my first class was. The classes I was taking weren't very difficult. I was surprised that this school even had AP courses. Go figure.

At least now I wouldn't be bored out of my mind here now. School would actually give my brain the much needed stimulation it had been deprived of for a month.

My first four classes went off relatively normal. The only thing that bothered me were all the looks I would get as I walked into each class. But, I had expected this and had just ignored all the glares and the feeble attempts of the girls who tried to flirt with me when I walked by them.

I would barely acknowledge their presence, let alone offer them any type of conversation. I was in no way looking for any type of relationship. Hell, I didn't even want to be in this town. But, again, I didn't really have much of choice.

When lunch rolled around, I opted to just stay clear of the cafeteria. It would be thirty minutes of absolute torture that I didn't feel like enduring at this very moment. So, I went to the only place where I knew I'd be alone: the library.

Yea, that's right. The fucking library. This is what this whole moving situation had forced me to do.

And, much to my prediction, it was virtually empty. Only the mid-age blonde woman who worked at the desk and a few other students scattered here at there. The library wasn't very big but it wasn't too small either. I quickly found a table towards the back by one of the windows and took a seat, pulling out my history book and just mindlessly flipping through the pages.

History was the only thing that kept my attention when it came to reading. As a result, I was a pretty damn good expert in the subject.

I was in the library for about five minutes when I lifted my eyes briefly from the page, letting my eyes take a quick break when I saw her.

So engrossed in her own thoughts, she walked towards exactly where I was. I thought she was going to walk to the table behind me so I just went back to my book. But, about ten seconds later, I heard a bag plop onto the table and then there was a sudden weight change on my legs.

I lowered my book just in time to hear her scream. It wasn't one of those horror movie screams but it was loud enough.

I glanced up and was met with a pair of blue eyes staring back at me. For a moment, I thought this was some really weird way of some girl trying to get my attention. But as I continued to look at her for another second, I could tell that she completely mortified. Apparently to the point that she was frozen in place.

What the fuck?

"Can I help you?" I raised one of my eye brows at her. "Last time I checked, chairs were only meant for one person."

For a split second, she looked like she was going to start crying or some shit. But, whatever it was, it disappeared within seconds.

"Oh, god…I'm so, so sorry." She quickly moved off of me "I just…well, there's never anyone sitting there. Besides me." She tried to explain.

"Are you telling me that this is your spot then?" I eyed her.

"Yes, something along those lines. But, I suppose we can share if you want." She shrugged and took a seat across from me. She pulled a book out of her bag and just started reading it, not bothering to look up at me again. After about twenty minutes, I was beginning to grow anxious.

"What? You're not going to ask me a million questions like everyone else?" I crossed my arms and leaned back. She looked up from her book and tilted her head in confusion.

"Why are people asking you so many questions?" she spoke in a softer tone than before.

She wasn't really serious, was she? Could it be that this girl had no idea who I was? Not to say I was mad, I was just curious. Did she not listen to all the small town gossip?

Just drop it then. Just change the subject!

"I'm the new guy in town." I sighed, betraying my own thoughts "And the entire student body hasn't left me alone since I stepped foot in this place."

"Oh. Is that why you're hiding out in the library?" she smiled slightly "No, I'm kidding. At least people actually…never mind." She shook her head. "Well new boy, do you have a name?"

"Jasper." I outstretched my hand for her to take. "And yourself?" I discreetly flirted with this girl but she didn't seem to have a clue.

After a few seconds, she reached over and shook it.

"Lucinda. But you can just call me Lucy if you want."

I just nodded and dropped her hand.

Not a moment later, the bell rang and she jumped slightly.

Damn, what's with this girl? She's like on nerves end with every noise and movement.

"I'll see you later Jasper." She quickly grabbed her things and headed out of the library rather quickly.

My next class was AP US history. It was going to be a piece of fucking cake. I had no doubts I would ace it.

It passed quickly and before I knew it, it was time for my last class of the day; Art.

Not my best subject. I was lucky that I could draw a tree.

But, my hatred of art faded away a bit when I walked into the class room and saw none other than library girl herself sitting at one of the tables. She had her headphones in her ears again and was looking out the window, that same look on her face that she had earlier.

I grabbed the seat beside her, throwing my books on the table, causing her to jump slightly.

"Ay dios!" she took the headphones out and looked over at me, her hand laying flat against her chest "Well look who it is." She smiled once she had calmed down.

"Were you just speaking in Spanish?" I took the seat beside her.

"Yea. Sorry, it's an um…habit I guess."

I just shrugged. I just wanted to make sure I wasn't hearing things.

Our teacher walked in and the class began a few minutes later.

"Now, this year we're going to try a little bit different. So, get to know the face next you because they are going to be your partner for the remainder of the year. You and your partner will work on several projects together during the year as well as some individual things." She clapped her hands. Some people cheered, others protested.

I just sat there, stunned. This was fucking ridiculous. This is just what I needed.

"Now, for your first assignment, I want you to draw me a sketch or a painting of your new partner. You can start now it's due on Friday." She nodded and walked over to her desk.

"Well" I turned around and looked at Lucy "I hope you're a good artist."

"I suppose so. It's something I've always done." She shrugged indifferently. "You want to start right now?" she looked up at me.

"I guess so. I don't really care."

"I already know how I'm going to sketch you. I'm pretty good with faces." She tapped her forehead quickly. "So, I guess you can spend the rest of the period staring at my face." she joked.

And that's exactly what I did. Making sure to pay careful details to those eyes of her. They seemed to be hiding something.

"I hope I wasn't too boring to sketch." She sighed, stuffing all her things into her bag when there was only a few minutes left in the period.

"No, not at all. I was actually really fascinated with your eyes…" I stopped mid-sentence when I realized how incredibly wrong that sounded. What the hell was I doing?

"Oh." She whispered "Thanks I guess. See you tomorrow." She jumped when the bell rang and was quickly gone from my sight.

Slowly, I gathered all my things and headed out towards the parking lot where Edward was already waiting for me. He was standing there, chatting it up with some girl when I approached them.

"Oh, there you are. Ready?" was all he asked me, not really even paying attention to me.

"Yes." I shrugged and got into car.

"So, can I maybe call you sometime?" I fought the urge to smirk. It was only the first day of school and he was already collecting phone numbers. I heard the girl agree quietly and next thing I knew, the car was starting and we were off. I thought about asking him who she was or even how his day went but, he didn't seem too interested so I just sat in silence until we got back home. He didn't deserve my hospitality anyways.

The house was empty when we arrived. Which, I knew it would be. Carlisle worked at the hospital until six or seven and Esme stayed at her flower shop until about four before coming back home.

Edward and I went to our respective rooms, not really having anything to say to each other. We weren't in any of the same classes, and we sure as hell didn't know the same people.

The only person I knew was Lucinda. Sort of.

I pulled out the sketch I had been working on in class and stared at it for a few moments. I wondered how I was going to go about drawing her. In terms of expression, I thought about having a smile on her face but, it seemed more realistic if I put that look she always had on her face. Easier said than done.

I had no idea how I was supposed to capture that look of…well, I don't even know what it was. When she sat there, looking out the window, it was like no one else existed in the world. It was just her and her thoughts. I really wished I could do that. To just get away whenever I wanted to.

I worked on a few assignments and before I knew it, two hours had passed and I heard Esme come home and immediately start working in the kitchen to make dinner.

These people were on like a damn invisible schedule. They never wavered from it either.

Like clockwork, around six thirty, Esme called me from downstairs to get ready for dinner. I always thought that was such a weird expression. But, the Cullens were the poster children for the American Dream.

Too bad I showed up and threw them all for a loop. No, they didn't say anything but, it was obvious that I had somehow disrupted their daily routines.

"Oh, Jasper there you are." Esme smiled as she was setting the plates on the table. I took the seat that was directly across from Edward with Carlisle on my left and Esme on my right. We sat like this every night, never changing up the seating arrangements. I personally thought that these people needed to spice things up a little bit. I took me awhile to get used to eating in the dining room when I first moved here. I was so used to just sitting wherever and whenever.

"So boys…" Carlisle started up once we were all settled in "How was the first day?"

"Same as usual." Edward shrugged. "Same classes, same people…but, it was nice to see old friends."

"That's nice. What about you Jasper? How was your first day in a new school?" Esme looked at me, hope in her eyes. I thought about telling her how her son had basically deserted me and everyone was talking about me when I walked by them…hearing people bash her husband and calling her 'weak' for just taking me in and acting like it was nothing.

But I didn't have the heart to do it to her. It would probably break her. And, I sure as hell wasn't going to be the one who did that to her.

"It was alright. My AP classes seem like they might be a bit hard but, I like a good challenge." I forced a smile. To which she gladly accepted it.

"Did you meet any new people?" she pressed.

I took a deep breath and looked over at them.

"I did meet this one girl…" I began and everyone's attention soon focused on me.

"A girl? Oh, Jasper…how lovely. Who is she?"

"Her name's Lucinda…" I stopped when I realized that I hadn't even asked her what her last name was. But it didn't matter because the look on everyone's faces when I said her name told me that they knew who she was.

"Lucinda Ramirez?" Edward quirked an eyebrow at me. "Brown hair, blue eyed Lucinda?" he continued.

"You know her?"

"Well, everyone knows of her."

"What the hell is that supposed to mean?"

"Lucinda doesn't really socialize with people. She's very quiet….very peculiar." He stated and I didn't like the way it sounded when he said it.

"Edward, enough." Carlisle shot him a glare "That's nice that you and Lucinda got a chance to meet. I know her father. He's the local pastor here." Carlisle nodded, signifying that was the only information he was going to give me.

"She's come in with her mother a few times into the flower shop. She's a pretty girl." Esme was practically beaming. Maybe she thought that I wasn't able to converse with members of the opposite sex or something.

I just shrugged. I didn't want Esme to get the wrong idea.

The rest of dinner went by so slowly. And, it was extremely awkward too. I wondered if this is how they did it every night. Or, was it only awkward now that I was living here? But, why should I care? I'm not the one who made the decision for me to come and live here with them.

I winced slightly at my own thoughts. Because of the person who did make me come live here.

After thirty five minutes of awkward conversation, I was finally able to get out of there. After quickly thanking Esme for dinner, I retreated to my room, not wanting to have to be forced into their family 'bonding' time. These people weren't my family. And I don't see how they ever would be. They were just the 'wonderful Cullens' who took in troubled and damaged Jasper Hale. Or, at least that's what I heard.

And that was another thing. Since moving here, Carlisle had been desperately trying to get me to change my name to Cullen. Something about how it'll make things more official. Official my ass. I wasn't going to change my name. I would only be living here for another year and a half at the most and then I was out of here. Technically, I could leave when I turned eighteen. But, that would be in the middle of the semester and it would cause too many complications to start attending a new school.

So, for now, I was stuck here with the Cullens. Hopefully they wouldn't drive me insane.

I had just pulled out my art homework when I heard my cell phone vibrating against my nightstand. Frowning, I glanced over to check the caller ID. Much to my surprise, it was Alice. Alice, the girl I left behind in Texas and who, until this moment, hadn't had the decency to call me.

"You're about two months late aren't you?" my voice was anything but friendly when I picked up the phone.

"Hey Jasper. I know, I know. Things have been super busy around here." Her chipper voice was felt even through the phone. "How's life in Washington?" she giggled.

"Miserable." I mumbled "I started school today so at least I won't have to be stuck inside here all day. What about you Al? How are things?" my voice softened a fraction. Alice's laugh was always one of my weaknesses. And I sometimes hated her for that. But, I of course would never tell her that.

Girls can have such fragile egos sometimes. I would know.

"They're really good. Actually, that's why I called you…there's something I think we need to talk about."

Oh, hell. That wasn't a good sign.

"What's wrong Alice?" my defense was suddenly up.

"Well" she paused "You know how much I care about you right? Well, when you left, I thought this would be easier. That I'd be able to call you and not have my heart feel like it was going to shatter. And today, I think I came to the realization that this whole long distance thing isn't going to work for me. I need someone here with me. Face to face."

"So what are you saying?" But, I was fully aware of what was about to come next.

"I'm saying we should break up Jasper. I think it would be the best for both of us. We can still be friends of course."

Friends? Who the fuck did she think I was?

"You know what Alice" I gripped the phone tighter in my hands "You have to be the neediest person I've ever met. I can't believe you're just going to give up on us simply because we cannot see one another face to face. It's not because it's hard for you. You just don't want to have to feel guilty when you're fucking some guy. Which, I'm sure you've already done since you haven't bothered to call me in the time that I've been here. So, you know what? Fine. I don't want to deal with this anymore. You're free Alice." And with that, I snapped the phone shut and threw it across the bed.

"That was a pretty intense phone call." A voice walked into the room and shut the door behind him "I take it someone just got dumped." I looked up and saw Edward sitting on the edge of the bed.

"What do you want?" I snapped at him. He had chosen the wrong time to try and mess with me.

"I just came in here to warn you. But, I couldn't do it front of my parents." He shrugged.

Oh, so it was his parents? Could this guy be any more obvious? He clearly did not see me as part of this family. Not that I wanted anything to do with this asshole.

"Warn me about what?"

"Lucinda." The very mention of her name made me stop and look at him "She may seem all sweet and innocent. But, there is something seriously wrong with that girl." He shook his head.

"Humor me."

"Today she was fine but, the girl has issues Jasper. And you do not want to get involved. Besides that, her dad's the pastor. And he would probably kill you if he knew his perfect little Lucinda was getting involved with you."

"I'm sorry, did I miss the part where my new brother was suddenly made boss and called all the shots around here? And, who said anything about the two of us getting involved. Unlike you, I'm not chasing the girls around every five minutes, in hopes that one of them will eventually sleep with me." I smirked.

But, let's face it, all I would have to do is give a small smile and they'd all be falling at my feet.

"I'm just saying. Being as you're a free man and all now. Don't get me wrong, Lucinda is pretty but, pretty doesn't make up for the fact that she's messed up."

"Why do you keep saying that?" I stood up and went to face him "I thought you said you didn't know her? It's not right to simply make assumptions based on gossip."

"Everyone in this town knows that Lucinda is the town recluse. She hardly ever talks to people. But, for some reason, you've struck her fancy. Maybe she could tell that you were damaged like her…"

Oh, what an idiot. He just struck the wrong chord with me.

"Edward, just get out." I clenched my fists. As much as I wanted to beat his ass, I knew that it wouldn't go over well with Carlisle and Esme. "Now."

"Fine. I'll see you tomorrow brother." The word rolled off his tongue with a hint of sarcasm. Because it was becoming very clear that Edward thought of me as anything but his brother.

And then he was gone. Finally. I could now just focus on my thoughts in peace.

The fact that Alice had just broken up with me was far from my mind now. I didn't really care to be honest. If I wasn't good enough for her then so be it. Let her go out and realize that there aren't going to many people out there willing to deal with her shit.

But now, my thoughts had now gone back to Lucy. They had been on her since dinner and now again after the conversation with Edward. I didn't understand what he was trying to do. It was obvious that he didn't really like me. So, why would he even bother coming in to 'warn' me? If he really hated me, he wouldn't have said anything right? So, why come say that there was something wrong with her?

No, I refused to believe that there was something wrong with her. She seemed perfectly normal to me at school. In fact, she was the only normal person I encountered today. So she stared out the window and was always listening to music. Maybe she just liked to be alone with her thoughts? Maybe she didn't care for the people at school? It didn't mean that she was crazy or anything.

But, then again, was there a reason as to why Edward called her the 'town recluse?' I found it hard to believe. Lucinda was a pretty girl. I would know, she fucking sat on my lap this afternoon, giving me a chance to look at her up close.

She could probably have whatever guy she wanted in that school. Or, you know what they say about the quiet ones? They're temptresses in disguise.

I came to the conclusion that Edward had probably been lying to me. And, even though I knew I didn't have to, I was going to show him that Lucinda was perfectly normal. I was going to prove him wrong.

Why? Just because I could. I suddenly felt very protective of Lucinda. She didn't deserve to be talked about by people who didn't really know her. Well, I didn't really know her all that well. I guess that would have to change. It meant I was going to have to break one of the rules I had made before I even moved here.

Don't fucking get involved with anyone.

And, as I was drifting off to sleep, one of the last things I saw was those blue eyes of Lucinda's. Pretty, yet perhaps holding something behind them. It was that very look that I needed to capture in my sketch of her. And I would succeed.

Partly because I didn't like doing things half ass…but mainly because I knew that if I was able to capture that damn mysterious look, I knew that she would practically fucking swoon.

And that'd be all I need in order for her to start giving me answers.


Your thoughts are crucial for this story! I plan on posting a new chapter every Friday, hopefully. Next chapter you guys will get to meet and see more of Lucinda.

As always, reviews are greatly appreciated!