Disclaimer: Everything related to the Twilight saga is the property of Stephanie Meyer. Summit Entertainment owns all the rights to the Twi saga films. I only own writing this story, plot lines and all. No copyright infringement intended.

A/N: This is the new/old chapter story I've been working on releasing for a while now. It was a long process of writing, revising, & reorganizing it to make me satisfied enough to bring it to the public, but now I think it'll be as ready as it will ever be.

This is my second attempt at a larger scale story here on FF. Hopefully, you readers are enjoying my first offering, How Did I Fall In Love With You. Don't worry, I didn't abandon it. I'm hard at work on that one simultaneously and new chapter updates are coming together and so that too will updated shortly.

I know I've been away for quite a while, and I apologize. Like I've mentioned, I've been very sick. The fact of the matter was that I got pregnant & experienced the worst first trimester morning sickness any woman could experience-it was in the extreme sense. It incapacitated me beyond belief and reduced me to a bedridden mess. I've finally passed all that now and so I'm anxious to catch up and get back to my routine of writing. Hopefully, y'all stayed with me throughout this ordeal. I am back and hoping to better update my stories and provide you, my readers, some satisfaction once again.

Last note: I always have to give a special thank you to my faithful, loving fic wifey, my beta Cheermom. I missed not being able to give work to edit, but at least she got a very deserving vacation from her beta duties. She knows now that the fun has once again begun. She did a tremendous job on this one and returned it with the utmost speed so that I may post it quickly. I was quite impressed. I guess she missed the good ole' beta work. That's why I love her so much! Not to mention that she was a great support while I was sick.

ENJOY THE STORY!

PLEASE LEAVE ME SOME REVIEWS


Chapter 1

~Bella~

I couldn't idly stand by anymore just letting the latest fight run its course. I had already grown weary of all of this fighting. Every fucking time it was the same old bullshit being spouted over and over again. The same issues were always being rehashed with no fucking solutions in sight. What started out as attempts at simple discussions always ended up turning into screaming matches.

This latest round of playing the blame game was the final straw. Jacob and I constantly trying to figure out our life together was exhausting, and I no longer had any energy left to deal with all the emotional turmoil. It had all become too much.

I had felt cornered, with the walls slowly closing in, for a while. I knew I was suffocating and drowning in this sea of misery I called my life. I had to get away now. I needed time alone to try to sort out this whole mess of a life I had with Jake.

Getting away was the only way I knew to be able to keep a hold of my sanity any longer. I needed to be anywhere but here. I didn't care where or how long I'd be there, I just had to get far away now. Away from Jacob. Away from both of our fathers, whom Jacob had again dragged into our latest bout of fighting. Away from Forks entirely.

I inched closer and closer to the key holder conveniently hanging by our front door. None of the men in the house noticed, they were too engrossed in their own ramblings with one other. I grabbed my purse and my coat from the nearby coat tree, and then the car keys to my new car, feeling that it would serve as a more suitable getaway vehicle over my jalopy of a truck, even though I loved driving that truck. The last thing I needed was for my truck to impede my getaway.

With everything in hand, and making a last minute check to make sure that Jake and our fathers were still shouting at each other and not bothering with me, I bolted out through the front door and hurled myself into the safe haven of my car. The quiet inside was very welcomed. I locked the doors, turned on the headlights, and gunned the engine. I was sure to gain their attention now, but it didn't matter to me anymore, because they wouldn't be able to catch me once I hit the road.

Jacob came busting through the front door, realizing my impending getaway, and began making his way over. I temporarily blinded him with the headlights when I turned the high beams on. Once he got his bearings, we locked eyes, and from that brief moment, I could tell from his darkened expression that he already knew what I was about to do. Without a second thought, I shifted the car into reverse and floored the gas pedal, making a bee-line out of the long driveway.

Jacob ran after me, arms flailing, yelling for me to stop, most likely; however, I kept going. As I made my way onto the main road, I pushed the car into illegal speeds and broke dozens of traffic laws, probably much to my Chief of Police father's chagrin if he ever found out, determined to escape as far as I could before I would have to stop for the night due to fatigue. Furthermore, I didn't want Jacob or my father catching up to me.

In the meantime, the cell phone, which I was surprised I actually had kept in my purse, started ringing and chiming alerts to new text messages incessantly, breaking the silence in the car. No doubt it was Jacob, our fathers, and whomever else they recruited to wage this campaign trying to make contact.

Trying to get me to come to my senses, I'm sure. Hmphh.

I tried to ignore it, however, the incessant ringing and chiming kept continuing. It seemed a constant loop of calls and texts and it was quite distracting and highly annoying. Frankly, it had started to give me a headache because of all the noise. I found solace in the previous silence, it helped me think, hence why I hadn't even bothered to turn on the radio, and I wanted that back.

I reached over to shut the cursed phone off; however, not before Jacob's latest text popped up on the screen.

B, pls. come bk! Don't run away! Just STOP ! Let's cont. 2 talk. Pls!-J

Talk...pfttt..was that what we were doing before I ran off?

That text sent new waves of anger pulsing through me. I pressed the "off" button, with no intention of ever turning it on again in the near future, and forcefully threw it back into my purse. I would have no part in communicating with Jacob, or anyone else for that matter, until I was good and ready, and right now I wasn't in any mood to have them try and talk me out of my impromptu road trip. Jacob and our fathers would realize soon enough that I wasn't planning on returning any time soon.

Admittedly, I didn't exactly know where I was going or when and where I would be stopping. I hadn't really thought that far ahead, just acting upon impulse and reflex. I just knew I had to run away & buy myself a few days of solitude. I needed a reprieve from Jake, our dads, and Forks to process this latest argument and assess my entire life without any interference. I knew the time had come to make some tough decisions regarding my life. Despite everyone back in Forks who screamed otherwise, it was my life. I needed to do what's right for me. Of course, in leaving so hurriedly, I wasn't exactly prepared for such a trip. I only had the clothes on my back, one usable credit card, and the small amount of cash that was left in my wallet.

I needed to refill on gas before boarding the ferry to cross over to Seattle. It seemed like a good time to take a break, stretch my legs a bit, and get some much needed supplies for my road trip, at least what I can get from a gas station convenience store. I didn't know if Seattle was going to be my ultimate destination, it didn't seem far enough away yet from Forks, but it was going to be a good place to rest for the night. When morning light came I'd make more concrete plans.

As I rummaged through my purse, I was thankful to find that I had apparently brought my last paycheck from the Port Angeles bookstore where I used to work. In all the craziness, it must've slipped my mind that I collected it earlier. It was a great discovery since now it would allow me to cash it in the morning and be able to go shopping for better supplies for my road trip which brought a huge smile to my face. Now, the open highway stretched out in front of me, and I could literally go anywhere I decided, my options no longer limited by my haste to escape.

I immediately grabbed a cup of coffee inside the convenience store, a map, a directory for Seattle, and began gathering a few supplies for the night like toiletries and a t-shirt to sleep in. I paid with what little cash I had on hand choosing to save the small limit on the one card I owned for gas and motel costs. I was grateful for my mom and stepfather Phil for giving it to me. I was supposed to use it for a massive shopping trip for myself, but this seemed a decent alternative. I couldn't use any of the other cards I had on hand and risk Charlie being able to track me. Small town Chief of Police or not, he was still a cop and had resources. The last thing I wanted was for him to find out where I was and collect me to take back home.

I had some time before catching the next ferry, and needing to relax a bit, I lingered in the tiny cafe area of the gas station store just decompressing till I had drunk all my coffee and did some research. Using my map and Seattle directory, I was able to find a cheap, hideaway hotel where I decided would be a good place to spend the night, and there was even a convenient 24 hour diner right inside where I could probably have a late night meal and breakfast in the morning.

I knew that I shouldn't let Charlie worry, so I decided to open my phone back up and give him a call. He would have surely gone home by now and be away from Jacob. I'm sure he found a way to placate Jacob for the time being. As soon as I opened the phone it was already ringing and chiming. I rolled my eyes and shut off all the tones. Jacob wasn't done waging his campaign to contact me apparently. I dialed Charlie's home number and he answered on the first ring, probably having some intuition that it was me. I explained the situation and begged him to give me the time I needed. He was understandably worried, but he knew better than to try to talk me out of my plan. I inherited his stubborn streak plus he knew that legally I was an adult and could rightfully make this decision . While he wasn't too happy about my decision to take time away, he respected it, promised not to force return until I was ready, and he would take care of Jacob for me until then. He encouraged me to have a meaningful talk with Jacob, or at least explain to him why I've basically run away, but I certainly wasn't ready yet to have any sort of conversation with my probably soon-to-be-ex fiancée.

Was he going to be my ex fiancée? Was this it? Were we at the precipice of our long, difficult relationship? I hadn't quite decided yet.

I was relieved that everything was straightened out with Charlie. At least, I knew that he wasn't worrying himself to a heart attack and I was going to be left in peace as I figure out my life and future on this journey. I turned my phone off again, as another call was coming through, not bothering to check who was calling nor hear any left voice mails or read through the colossal amount of text messages. I could guess what the content and tone of all those would be. Before I drove off from the gas station, I grabbed a second cup of coffee, used the restroom to make sure I didn't need to make any more stops, and familiarized myself with where I needed to go to get to the hotel.

It was awfully late once I exited the ferry and was driving through the heart of Seattle. A glance at the dashboard clock put the time at half past midnight. It would still be a bit more of driving before I reached the hotel. Fortunately, I had already called ahead to the hotel and reserved a room. They would be expecting me, no matter what time I came in.

I had been driving for a little over three hours, and I knew I would probably be getting tired soon, even with the coffee in my system. I had never driven around for this long, and I was sure to lose some steam at some point as I could already feel the caffeine wearing off, and let's face it, gas station convenience store coffee wasn't the most potent stuff. I was already feeling the fatigue setting in, and having not slept well in a while due to the constant turmoil with Jacob, I was anxious to get that good night's rest that would be afforded to me now. I couldn't wait to get myself to the hotel.

As I began traveling down along a particularly deserted part of road en route to the hideaway hotel, I caught sight of someone walking alongside the road. He was hitchhiking, and obviously not having much luck, especially at this time of night. The area was pretty deserted. There hadn't been any cars ahead of me nor behind me for miles since I'd been driving along this stretch. I doubted the poor fellow would be picked up at this point.

Somehow, I became oddly curious as to why he was out here hitchhiking. I didn't think it was car trouble, since I hadn't seen any cars broken down roadside. So, it really made me wonder what his story was.

As he heard my car approach him, he slowed his walking pace and stuck his thumb out. I slowed down a bit just so I can take a look at him, but continued to drive on knowing that a young woman such as myself, driving alone at this time of night, should not be picking up strangers hitchhiking along a deserted road . It was instilled in me that it was never wise to pick up hitchhikers. I'm sure Charlie would have a heart attack if he found out that I'd even remotely considered it.

As my car proceeded to pass him, he turned to face the road...and me in my car...sidestepping now as he continued his leisurely stride. From the brief illumination my car gave on him as I passed, I could make out a few things about this mysterious stranger. He was definitely tall, between 6'1'' and 6'2''. He also was a young man, looking to be around my age or just slightly older. I couldn't make out any other specific features due to the darkness of the night, but I did notice his hair. I didn't know the exact color, but I knew that it was a bit of an unkempt mess, going wildly about on his head, as if someone...or more likely him...had kept running their hands through it over and over again. He had his free hand raking it through the very moment my car passed by him. It was kind of crazy, but I really thought that hair of his made this man pretty sexy.

Seeing that I wasn't gonna stop and pick him up, he turned himself, again facing the direction of traffic flow and continued his steps. Man, I wonder how long he'd been walking like this already. Admittedly, I suddenly became fascinated with this stranger, alone on the roadside. Where I'd come from, in Forks, seeing a hitchhiker like this was definitely a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence. As I glanced back at him from my rear view mirror, I saw that he walked with his shoulders hunched over now and his head was down gazing at his feet looking truly defeated by the indication of his posture. Then, the skies suddenly opened up and rain began to fall...typical Washington weather. I saw him briefly turn his head up towards the skies, as if to curse up at the heavens, then resume his defeated stance pulling his inadequate leather jacket closer to his body. Well, that did it. I felt like I really needed to stop now and give this stranger a ride. Something about him walking alone in this rain, at this time of night, just tugged at my heart strings, and I had to pull over. I couldn't put my finger on it, but there was just something compelling about him.

I parked the car a considerable ways ahead, then waited with both anticipation and anxiety, as he took notice and proceeded to make his way over. I continued to watch him like a hawk through my rear view mirror. Strangely, something inside me kept telling me that this was right, that it was fate meeting up with this stranger. I couldn't place where all of this intuition was coming from or even begin to understand this feeling. I just went with it.

Once he glanced up and saw my car parked ahead, I saw him crack a huge smile. Boy, he had some smile. He straightened up his posture immediately, and halted his footsteps. It seemed he took just a second to compose himself. Then he began gingerly jogging my way.

As he made his way over, I was mentally giving myself a talking to. I kept repeating in my head that I wasn't just about to set myself up to become a victim. He certainly seemed harmless enough, and I was being a good Samaritan.

Besides, I wasn't any ordinary woman. Charlie insisted that I learned self-defense as soon as I was old enough, and every year as I got older, made certain that I kept up my skills. Also, Jacob and I had taken up some kick boxing at the Forks community center a while back. I was confident that I could handle an attacker like him if he turned out to be one. He was tall yes, but he wasn't overly large all around. As I stared at him, I could gather that he was more on the lean side, but he surely had some muscle tone, too. I quickly ran through all the techniques in my head that I remembered...mentally preparing myself... in case he turned out to be a predator instead of a someone just down on his luck.

I was sincerely hoping he was the latter. I wasn't in need of another fight right now. But, just in case, I grabbed the small can of mace that I kept in my purse, upon Charlie's insistence again, and clutched it to me. Boy, what would Charlie, and for that matter, Jacob, think of me now doing this, giving this hitchhiker a ride? Well, if this stranger did turn out to be a menace, and I'd survived, I'd be eternally grateful for all the skills they both gave me that helped me to defend myself. A tinge of sadness briefly swept over me thinking that if something were to go wrong with this decision that I just made, I had left Jacob and the rest of them during the thralls of an argument. I shook those negative thoughts and the sadness away.

I continued my gawking of this stranger, as he got closer... and closer still to me...hugging his jacket to him whilst clutching the straps of his backpack that I hadn't before noticed that he had. As he made his way around towards the passenger side of the car, I was now able to make out more of his facial features. He was indeed young like I thought. He had a straight nose, and a strong, angular jawline. He had a hint of stubble that didn't deter at all from his looks. Even in this din of night, I could already see that he was a very handsome fellow...very handsome indeed. With his height and lean, muscular toned body, he could pass for a male model, and certainly with his style: leather jacket, tight jeans, a button down plaid shirt slightly opened to reveal a tight t-shirt underneath, he might as well have stepped off a magazine ad onto this roadside. What was such a good-looking man doing hitchhiking like this in the middle of the night? He certainly had my curiosity piqued. Hmmm...this could be very interesting. I couldn't wait to see what color his eyes were, and...oh... lest not forget that amazing sex hair of his.

I kept the doors locked, but lowered the power window a bit once he got around to the passenger side. I was still a little hesitant about giving this man, albeit handsome stranger, a ride. I needed to assess him a bit first. I was ready to bolt and leave him in the dust if he so much rubbed me the wrong way even if he was very good-looking.

As he peered in, I gasped and took pause. With the light in the car now fully illuminating him, I could see that this man was just not handsome...no that wasn't adequate enough..he was positively god-like. His eyes were a brilliant shade of green. His gaze was so deep, I couldn't help but feel a longing to be lost within its depths. His hair was such an unusual color, a toss up of shades between bronze and copper would be a good way of describing it, and the untamed nature of it made this man even more appealing up close. I couldn't help but think to myself that I'd like to run my own fingers through that hair of his.

He cleared his throat and began to speak. I blushed, knowing that I was caught blatantly staring. My manners went somewhere with my rational brain cause I was utterly speechless at the sight of him standing there somewhat drenched, and my focus were on the rain drops that were slowly cascading down his hair and beautiful face. I couldn't help but long to be those droplets of water caressing his skin. I bit my lower lip as I could feel myself getting highly aroused at all the impure thoughts my mind was racing through. This stranger, this man, he was mesmerizing.