yep, still no change about that: twilight still doesn't belong to me, but it was certainly fun to play around with.
don't forget to leave your thoughts, ideas, opinions – it's been nice hearing from you!
before I forget: if you start experiencing withdrawal syndromes for my writing, there is a solution at fictionpress under the same penname, book 1 is almost completely on there as well as an appetiser for book 2; as soon as I get some feedback I'll update – promise!
10 years later
Not even once in the past ten years did I regret what led me to Bella. Not once did I want anyone else. With her I have found my peace of mind after such a long time. I have to admit I had been scared about changing her, selfishly, because of the effect her scent had on me, but ultimately there was no way I would give up keeping her forever.
The last ten years have been good to us, and if that is any indication about the future, I hope forever will be as good. We've had to move away from the Arizona house after a while to keep up appearances, but we always enjoy staying there on out way to Texas and visiting Peter and Charlotte. They have since managed to track down the remnants of Maria's army and disbanded it. Carlisle and Esme went along a few times, and predictably ended up with a very young newborn to take care of. I was sceptic at first, but I have to admit that Bree really is a darling girl, who probably has a better life with us than she ever had before. They don't grieve about Edward anymore either – I think in a way Bree was the solution to their grief.
Rosalie and Emmett have been going back and forth between us and Washington State to keep an eye on Seth, who proved to be a model son to Rosalie as well as his real mother. Rosalie insisted on putting him through College, and he compromised by starting out that way and getting a scholarship in the first year. Needless to say, the college he picked for grad school is WestPoint, and of course he got in. Naturally we'll be there when he graduates in a year, and I'm sure Rosalie is going to spontaneously combust when he's getting married right after to his girlfriend of the last eight years.
Lately Graham has been joining them on their trips to visit Seth, and yesterday he confessed that he has been courting Seth's sister for the last two years – no success yet, but he is very determined.
For us these visits have provided some glimpses into how Bella's father was doing, and finally things are looking up in that respect as well. After Harry Clearwater passed away three years ago, he has been spending a lot of time with his widow, and Rosalie snickered that Seth would have to go to another wedding before getting married himself.
Bella has been secretive lately, I know she's planning something for our tenth anniversary, but I will have to wait for the day itself, because no one is blabbing, no matter how much trust I throw at them. Even Peter managed to keep his mouth shut, he only told me that I was going to like it, and that it was not dangerous for Bella or me. Hmpf!
On the day in question I was still grumbling slightly about my inability to sniff out the secret, but Bella's smile compensated me of course. She looked so eager to get going that I could not refuse her anything, not even the blindfold she put over my eyes.
After a three hour drive she stopped the car and removed the fabric from my eyes. I swallowed. I knew this place, or better, I had known it more than a century ago. She had brought me to the farm of my family. Much had been modernised, a wing added to the old house, obviously, but it was still a fully working farm, and I could see there was another rocking chair on the porch. I was so shocked by what I saw in front of me, that Bella had to shake me. "Jasper? Please, don't contradict me in anything I say, ok?" I nodded, still dumbstruck when I got out of the car.
The day was overcast – a good thing, on a sunny Texas day we would have been in trouble – and when we walked toward the house we saw a tall lean man getting up from the rocking chair. "Y'all must be the people from the historical somethin' or other that my daughter told me about. Come in and rest your legs." He looked about eighty at least, but held himself upright with the pride of someone who was content with his lot in life. He led the way to the kitchen where we met a young woman with her blond hair in one long braid down her back, who had just finished preparing ice-tea. She shook our hands and introduced herself as Charlene Fawcett. "And this here is my granddad, John Mellor, who can tell you everything you need to know about the farm's history."
The old man shook our hands, and I thought I could detect a slightly quizzical look when his eyes met mine. Then he shook his head and started telling us about the Whitlock Farm as it was still known around the county.
"Why Whitlock if you're called Mellor?" Bella asked smiling sweetly.
"Well, it was the Whitlock farm for more than seventy years when the first Mellor took over. The Whitlocks had lost their only son in the War Between the States – the youngest Major in the Texas Cavalry he was – and my great-grandfather married their oldest girl, a real beauty." He motioned to his granddaughter who obliged him at once and got an old photo album from the Welsh dresser. He opened it with practised hands and showed us a wedding picture of my sister. I cleared my throat, laying eyes on my family for the first time again after more than 150 years.
The old man went on about the history of the farm and took us on a rollercoaster of a ride through the fortunes of American farming in the twentieth century. Bella asked pertinent questions – I could tell she had done her research – while I leafed through the pages of the album to look at pictures of my family through the ages, finding similarities of my sisters, my parents and myself in every face I saw.
When he took a breath, I cut in: "What happened to the other girl?"
Mr Mellor had to think back for a while, then he looked up. "Oh, she married one of those passin' pioneers. They were off to Oregon or Washington State or somewhere. Swan, I think his name was, which my grandma always thought kind of funny as he was so black haired and all…" He laughed at the old family joke, and Bella squeezed my hand. I had to concentrate really hard to keep my emotions in check, or I would be projecting all over the place, joy mostly, wonder and gratefulness for all I had been given today.
Yet there still was one thing that bothered me. "And that brother, the young Major, did you hear anymore about him?" Bella looked at me confused, but I sent some reassurance to her.
Suddenly the granddaughter snickered. "Come on, granddad; tell 'em about the family ghost!"
"Now, Charlene, that ain't a fit way to be talkin' about your ancestors, is it?"
"Oh, but we'd be very interested, the association is always looking for colourful anecdotes from the past…" Bella fluttered her eyelashes at the old man and he melted.
"Oh well", he sighed. "Mind you, that's all some old ghost story my grandma used to tell us kids when we were bein' naughty. She said when she was a young girl, the Major came to the house one night, lookin' just like he had when he had gone off to war, even though it was now more than ten years later. He brought a beautiful woman with him, who then turned out to be some kind of a banshee, turning all strange and impolite. The legend goes she told him to kill his family or she would let him starve. They were all quite scared at first, grandma said, but then, as she told it, they suddenly became all calm and happy, and the Major bundled up the woman and left with her. When the family went a-lookin' for them, they found no tracks or horses or wagons, which they must have had to be gone that fast. Later they checked back if there had been a mistake about the Major's death, but were told that Jasper Whitlock had died at the siege of Galveston in 1863. They blamed it on the weather, back then. I blame it on moonshine, but grandma always insisted that her mother had seen her brother sittin' in that there chair as clearly as I see you. There, you got your ghost story." He ended with a flourish, but looked a bit exhausted by now.
His granddaughter gave us a signal, so Bella made a show of looking at her watch, and we got up and made our good-byes to let him get some rest.
When we got to the car, my hands were still shaking, and Bella got in the driver's seat at once. She drove us some distance, and then stopped the car. "Jasper, are you alright? I thought it would be good for you to find out what had happened to them. And about the Swan connection." She smiled mischievously.
"Yes, you're right." I paused, not sure how to tell her what was on my mind. "Bella, you have no idea how much that meant to me. I…" I swallowed. "I thought I had killed them that night. Maria always told me I had, and it was just one more indication of the kind of monster I had become…" Whenever I was on withdrawal or thirsty beyond control the pictures that Maria had planted in my brain about that night had resurfaced – one and a half centuries' worth of nightmare with no basis to begin with.
"No, Jasper, it was just an indication of the monster she was. You could never have done that, love." She looked into my eyes lovingly.
I pulled her into my lap and revelled in her scent, which had become even more potent with the change. "You have brought me home, Bella, finally. Thank you, darlin'."
A/N: OK, that was it. I've got another idea for a fanfic, it came to me in a dream, and obviously while dreaming it was absolutely logical. It has to be reviewed in the cold light of day though, i think… so: watch my profile, I'll keep you posted.