Chapter One

Bonita, Louisiana – Morehouse Parish

1943

Merde, it's six oh three p.m. and I'm running late. I can feel the sweat trickle between my breasts as I quickly stir the roux bubbling on the stove. I rush across the kitchen to where my cutting board is set up and I begin chopping vegetables as fast as I can. Carrots, celery, potatoes, just keep concentrating; I glance at the clock again, six oh six. Robert will be home at six thirty, if his dinner is not on the table when he walks through the door…carrots, celery, potatoes.

"Momma! Momma! I got the plates!" I hear my daughter squeal. I look up to see her rushing across the room with a proud smile on her face when she trips on her own feet, sending the stack of plates crashing to the floor. Merde, I'm going to pay for that later. I look from the floor to Abigail's face, her chin trembling, trying to fight tears. "Don't move, bebe, you don't want to cut your feet."

I step gingerly around the broken pieces of glass, and reach my arms out for her. "Viens ici ma 'tite fille, don't cry," I whisper, lifting her in my arms and setting her at the table. Moving quickly, I turn off the stove so dinner doesn't burn, and then get the broom and dustpan from the cupboard to clean up the mess.

Dumping the last of the broken dishes in the trash, I get to work setting the table, setting out bowls, spoons, glasses of milk for Abigail and my self, and a beer for Robert. I heard the screen door open and snap shut just as I'm ladling stew into bowls.

"Isabella, I'm home," he calls on his way to the kitchen. I look up as he swings the door open. Standing at 6'3" Robert is a very intimidating man, with straight black hair that often tumbles down into his dark brown eyes. His nose is straight and proud, and he's rather handsome with his strong jaw line, angled cheek bones, and dark tanned skin that clashed with white teeth when he smiles. Many women pine after him, and hope to get into his bed, swooning from his roughish charm. I knew better.

"Dinner smells good, Isabella," he said, going to wash his hands in the sink. "Thank you," I murmured, sitting beside our daughter. "And how is ma petite fleur?" he asks Abigail.

"I'm okay," she answered.

"What's wrong with my girls today?"

"She's upset because I dropped a stack of plates right before you got home, and she almost cut her feet," I lied, covering for my daughter.

I saw his shoulders stiffen, before he turned to the table, glaring at me with angry eyes. "Damn it Isabella! What the hell is the matter with you?" he yelled, before sitting at the table muttering as he dug into his food. "Bon a rien, tu, 'tit souris"

I ate quietly, eyes on my food, and endured his muttering. It wasn't anything I wasn't used to.

When we were finished eating, I lifted Abigail out of her seat, "Come on bebe lets get you a bath."

I filled the claw-footed bathtub with warm water and bubbles before setting her down in the middle. "I love bubbles Momma!" she giggled. I merely smiled at my daughter as she played and splashed. The smile faded from my face as I thought of what likely awaited me downstairs.

"Are you going to be okay Momma?" my daughter asked quietly. I snapped out of my daze, "Of course 'tite belle, now lean your head back so I can wash your hair." She immediately complied and I sat about washing her long black hair. It was the only thing she inherited from her father.

After her hair was rinsed, I lifted her out of the bathtub and wrapped her in a towel, carrying her to her bedroom down the hall. I sat her on her bed, and went to the chest of drawers, removing a long nightgown. After drying her off, I slipped it over her head, and pulled back the covers.

She smiled up at me as she snuggled in, "Good night, Momma," she whispered.

"Good night cher," I whispered back, rubbing our noses together.

I made sure her bedroom door was closed, before heading back downstairs to the kitchen to clean up dinner.

I cleared the table, scraping the remnants of dinner into the trash, then dumping the dishes into the scalding water in the sink. I scrubbed them quickly, setting them out on the drying board, then turned to wipe down the counters.

I heard him push the kitchen door open and lean against the jam watching me.

"Isabella, ma 'tite chatte," he said calmly.

I immediately stiffen, most would be frightened by screaming and yelling, but it's that voice that haunts my dreams. I hear his boots scuff against the floor as he walks toward me, leaning down to whisper in my ear, "Come on, mon coeur, turn around."

I slowly turn to face him, and he's standing so close that our fronts touch, my chest pressed against his stomach.

"When will you learn Isabella?" he said in that voice, "What do I have to do especes do tete dure?"

"Please, I'm sorry," I pleaded.

Even though I knew it was coming, I was still caught off-guard when the back of his hand connected with my left cheek, knocking me to the floor. He stood over me breathing hard, his arms hanging at his sides as I lay there clutching my cheek.

"Get the rest of this mess cleaned up then come upstairs to bed," he muttered turning around, and going back through the door. I heard his feet on the stairs, and our bedroom door opening and closing.

My breath coming in short gasps, I picked my self up off the floor and got some ice from the freezer, wrapping it in a dish towel, and pressed it against my face to keep down the swelling.

After a few minutes I finished the kitchen, and headed slowly up the stairs.

I opened the door quietly, stepping inside, and pushed it shut behind me. I kept my eyes averted from the bed as I slowly undressed.

"Come here, cher," Robert said once I was naked.

I walked toward the bed like a prisoner to the gallows. Once I was close enough Robert grabbed me around the waist, pulling me roughly onto the bed underneath him. He ducked his head to kiss the scar above my left breast, lower to kiss the one on my stomach, then kissing the new wound on my cheek.

"I don't know why you make me do these things, cher," he murmured in my ear, "when will you learn to be more careful?"

I squeezed my eyes shut and turned my head to the side as he entered me roughly.

"When will you learn that you are mine?" he grunted out between thrusts. I kept my eyes shut tight, and prayed for the blackness to overtake me.

Jasper's P.O.V.

"Why in the hell are we moving to Louisiana?" Edward asked for the tenth time.

"To help Jasper adjust, he's used to the South, and we want to make his transition to our life style as easy as possible," Carlisle replied, calmly.

"I think it will be interesting," Esme said.

"Whatever," Edward mumbled, turning to look out the window of the train.

I had asked Carlisle to move to Louisiana a month ago, giving the excuse he just spouted out to Edward. In all reality I have no idea why I want to move there, and to the

Morehouse Parish, specifically. I just had this pull, it felt like a rope was tied around my chest and it was tugging me forward, and the closer we got the tugging lightened gradually.

Alice knew my secret of course, and we were both struggling to block our thoughts from Edward, who had taken to glaring at us suspiciously.

I heard the squeal of the brakes as the train slowed to a stop. Gathering our luggage, we stepped off the train into the warm night air, and the tugging was almost completely non-existent.

We had arrived.

A/N: Well, there's the first chapter, review and let me know what you think.

Glossary of Cajun French:

Merde- shit

bebe- baby

viens ici- come here

ma 'tite fille- my little girl

ma petite fleur- my little flower

bon a rien, tu, 'tit souris- good for nothing, you, little mouse

'tite belle- little sweetheart

cher- term of endearment

ma 'tite chatte- my little cat

mon coeur- my heart

especes de tete dure- you hard headed thing