Authors Note: As the summary says, this is a Jasper/Bella story. It's pretty much like Twilight, but with my spin on it. I suppose that all Twi-Fics are like this, so I don't feel so bad, but still…I wish the idea were mine. If I had it my way, Jasper and Bella would be together because it makes for a more thrilling plot, plus, Edward and Alice are perfect for each other. This is my first story ever, so I really appreciate you reading. Anyway, on with the story then.
Chapter 1: It Had To Be You
My name is Bella Swan, and this is the story of how my life changed forever.
It was summertime in Forks, Washington. My first summer as a resident here, well, for a really long time anyway. I'd hoped that I would get to travel to Jacksonville to visit my Mother for the summer, but she and Phil were travelling. I smiled, knowing that Mom was happy, she loved to travel. Charlie was working overtime at the station. With me at home and not having anything to do he kept himself scarce because nothing was more awkward than Charlie and I alone in the house all day. I was very grateful.
I worked part time at the Newton's outdoors store, but only worked a few hours a week. I made enough for gas, and the occasional movie with friends, but that was the extent of it. The first week or so after school let out I'd tried to busy myself with cleaning up the house, doing laundry, and reading books over and over. Needless to say, that got old quickly. So, I decided to take up hiking. Not such a good idea for me, but it was really the only thing Forks had to offer. I hiked with Jake mostly, when he had the time. Lately though, he'd become obsessed with a girl from the Reservation and I'd seen less and less of him. We still talked every day, but most of his time was spent with her. It didn't hurt my feelings or anything, I was genuinely happy for him.
The morning started off like any other; I'd made breakfast for Dad and myself, saw him off to work then got dressed. I hadn't planned on hiking but the weather hadn't called for rain so I took the opportunity and ran with it. Since I was going it alone, I chose a trail that Jacob and I frequented, something familiar. The farther I got though, the duller it became. I decided to veer off course in hopes that it would liven things up a bit. I took out my knife and marked some trees for me to follow back later, with my poor sense of direction, this was a necessity. The forest became thicker, and I had to mark quite a few trees, but eventually I found a trail. It was faint, barely noticeable even, it clearly hadn't been used in quite some time. As I made my way through, I kicked the plants away from it, making it more visible so I'd be able to follow it back.
I'd probably hiked about three miles when I heard the sound of water in the distance. I'd been staring at the ground mostly, not wanting to lose my balance and break my ankle with no one around, but when I looked up I noticed a clearing in the trees about 300 yards ahead. Curious, I walked a little faster wondering if I'd found some sort of brook. When I emerged from the forest I almost lost my balance and fell from the surprise. It hadn't been a brook, it was a pond. Very small, and surrounded by huge rocks and boulders and from some unseen source, there was water pouring down over them into the pond creating the most beautiful waterfalls I'd ever seen. I knew my mouth was gaping at the scenery as I looked around for signs that anybody had been here and from what I could tell, no one had. I'd discovered my own piece of heaven.
I walked closer to the water, a bit of mist from the waterfall danced across my cheeks and I shuddered at the pleasurable sensation. I found a rock near the bank and crawled up onto it, opening the zip lock bag that contained my lunch. I couldn't wait to tell Jake about this place, I'd never encountered anything so beautiful, except maybe the Cullen family. I narrowed my eyes, wondering what had even made me think of them. The Cullen's were a family that lived in Forks, I'd gone to school with their adopted children. I'd never talked to them really, or more appropriately, they had never bothered to talk to me or anyone else for that matter. They were all devastatingly beautiful people, like models, though they were in desperate need of some sun and a good night's sleep. They were all pretty wrapped up in each other, in the most literal sense, all coupled and from what I could tell, madly in love, except Jasper Hale…who always seemed a little sad and distant, like he didn't fit in with the rest emotionally.
I was brought out of my thoughts when a low rumble of thunder in the distance caught my attention.
I gathered my belongings and headed back to the trail, taking one last longing look at my paradise. I couldn't wait to come back. Jacob would have to see this.
The minute I got back to the house I dialed Jake's number.
"Hey Bella," he chimed into the phone.
"Oh my God, Jake, you have to come hiking with me when the weather gets nice again. I found the coolest place in the world. I mean, it's unreal!"
"What? You went by yourself?" His voice was alarmed.
"Well…yeah, but you're completely missing the point, I found heaven Jacob, I'm serious." I heard him let out a long sigh.
"Alright Bells, when do you want to go?" he conceded.
"Hold on," I reached for my laptop and quickly opened my home page clicking on the weather forecast for Forks. "It says it's going to rain all day tomorrow but there's only an 8% chance the next day. So is Friday good?"
"Yeah, I'll see you then okay?"
"Alright…bye Jake! Say hi to Alyssa for me." I hung up the phone.
As predicted, it rained all night, and half of Thursday. I was starting to worry that the notorious cloud that constantly hung over Forks might not let up, but at around 7pm Thursday night it stopped, easing my concern. I cheerfully started going around the house, collecting my hiking gear revved up for mine and Jake's trip.
"Hiking?" Charlie guessed as I made my way through the living room picking up random stuff.
"Yeah, I found- I mean- Jake and I found this really awesome spot the other day."
"Cool," he said returning his attention back to the television.
I finished packing what I could, saving the rest for tomorrow morning. I could barely sleep that night, I felt like a 5 year old who knew they were going to Disney Land the next day.
When I woke up I didn't even have to hit the snooze button. I jumped out of bed and threw on my hiking clothes. Charlie had gone already, on Fridays he always went in earlier so he could come home sooner. I raced downstairs and ate a bowl of cereal, then prepared myself a couple sandwiches for lunch. I made a few extra, knowing Jake would be hungry, he was always hungry. Afterwards, I picked up my cell phone and called him, giddy with excitement. I couldn't wait to show him what I'd found.
"Hey, it's me. Okay, so do you want me to come pick you up or would you rather just meet at our usual spot?" I was practically squealing through the phone.
"Yeah…about that. Listen Bells, I don't think I'm going to be able to go with you today," Jake responded. My heart sank.
"Come on, I'm sure Alyssa can make it one day without you," I assured him.
"No it's not Alyssa, I just- I have stuff to do today is all, important stuff."
"Is everything alright?" I asked. There was something off about his tone.
"Yeah, everything is fine, I just- I can't make it today, I'm sorry."
"Fine…but you owe me one buster," I gave in, disappointed that I wouldn't have anyone to share my new spot with.
"Yeah, I'll see you later, okay?"
I put my cell away and leaned against the countertop. Well, I wasn't going to let Jake spoil my day. I'd gone there once by myself, and nothing was stopping me from doing it again. I picked up my backpack and headed for the truck.
It took me a lot longer to get to the pond, the rain had soaked the forest and made the ground quite slippery. I'd nearly fallen a couple times before I decided to take it a bit slower. Eventually though, I was looking at my waterfall and I danced over to the rock I'd sat on yesterday. I wasn't hungry yet, so instead I laid my jacket out on the damp stone and rested my body across it. It was actually quite comfortable. I listened to the symphony that the waterfall was making as I drifted off to sleep.
I probably only slept about thirty minutes, which is good, because if I'd slept until dark I'd be screwed. I sat up and grabbed a sandwich out of my bag, sighing contently. I could stay here forever. I imagined a tiny cabin off to the side of the pond, just big enough for two. Who the other person would be was far from me, but I imagined it anyway. We would wake up every morning to the sound of the lake, and the gorgeous forest surrounding us, making it our own little universe. I closed my eyes to see it clearly and listened to the rustling of the trees behind me…Wait, rustling trees? There wasn't any wind.
I jumped off my rock and turned around to face the noise, sure enough there was movement from beyond the greenery. I started backing up, terrified at what could be causing the commotion. A bear maybe, a bobcat, or some other terrifying animal that I couldn't even think of. I was alone, completely, no weapons besides a silly old knife that was only sharp enough to mark a tree, not that I'd be able to defend myself with it anyway. My heart started pounding as my blood turned to ice, whatever it was, it was getting closer, only a few feet away from showing itself. If I ran would it catch me? My mind raced as I decided what to do, should I stand completely still? I was pretty sure that's what you were supposed to do in a situation like this…or maybe around unfamiliar dogs? I mentally slapped myself and decided I'd be better off making a run for it, but it was too late. Whatever it was, it was about to emerge from the forest. I shut my eyes tightly not wanting to see what was about to kill me.
"Bella?" a deep voice called out across the clearing. I opened one eye only to see Jasper Hale standing at the edge of the forest, looking just about as startled as I was. I nearly doubled over in relief; I had to support my body on the rock.
"Jesus, you scared the shit out of me," I yelled to him.
"What the hell are you doing out here?" he asked, walking towards me.
"Hiking?" Duh. "What are you doing out here?"
"The same," he answered although it didn't sound like he meant it. I looked up at him, his face as beautiful as ever, he was closer now, though he was still several feet away from me. As I processed him, I noticed a red stain across the sleeve of his shirt.
"Jasper, are you hurt?" I pointed to the stain. He looked down and immediately covered it with his hand.
"No…it's just a stain," he said quickly. I looked at it again, it was clinging to the skin.
"It's still wet," I pointed out, "I can take a look at it if you'd like. I have some first aid stuff in my backpack." A must-have for me, I left out.
"It's blood, but, honestly I'm fine. It isn't mine," he rambled then immediately regretted it, his face wincing. What the hell was he doing out here? Killing people and hiding the bodies? "What I mean is…it's no big deal. I found a fallen bird and I tried to see if there was anything I could do for it, some of its blood got on my shirt, that's all."
"O-k-a-y," I drew out the word, wondering what was up with him.
"Do you normally hike alone?" he questioned, scanning the area for a sign of anyone else.
"No," I replied, "but my friend cancelled on me and I wanted to come to this place, so I decided to go it alone."
"That's not very bright of you." I raised my eyebrows, slightly offended.
"Well, you're out here by yourself."
"Touché" was all he said.
As mentioned before, I'd never talked to any of the Cullen's, so this whole ordeal was swiftly becoming awkward.
"You're the last person I'd ever expect to see out here," I broke the silence.
"I could say the same about you. Honestly, I wouldn't expect to see anyone out here. You gave me quite a fright," he chuckled.
"I gave you a fright?"
"You startled me."
"I know what it means," I said, "Do you come here often?" I asked only half sarcastically.
"Yes, I come here after," he stopped abruptly, rethinking what he was about to say, "I come here after I hike, it helps me wind down before heading home."
"I like it here, I thought I'd discovered it," I shared, my disappointment evident. Jasper took a few more steps back.
"It is beautiful, but it's dangerous to be out here by yourself. You're lucky I wasn't a wild animal, I could've seriously hurt you," he said the last bit really weird, like there may be a double meaning to his statement. I just stared at him, trying to figure him out.
"Do you hike a lot?" I interrogated.
"I hike as often as I possibly can," again, there was that hint of a double meaning.
"Well, for someone who hikes quite a bit, you don't look very prepared," I declared.
"For one, you don't have any gear. No backpack, no water, no food, nothing." He looked over his body, then back at me. His eyes looked annoyed, and I could see that I was striking a nerve in him. Before he could answer, a low rumble of thunder resounded nearby.
"That's twice that that's happened to me here," I whined, hating Forks more and more by the second.
"Perhaps I should walk you back to your vehicle?" he asked, sounding pleased.
"No thanks," I hopped off my rock. I wasn't sure what he was up to out here, but I knew I didn't want to be in on it. I don't care how gorgeous he is.
"Please, I insist. If we go our separate ways I'm just going to worry about your safety," he pressed. I narrowed my eyes at him, wondering why he cared.
"You aren't going to kill me are you?" I was joking, of course, but still…he was acting rather odd, even more odd than a Cullen would normally act. His expression was truly startled, his golden eyes nearly bugging out of their sockets.
"Are you always this insane?" he asked.
"Insane? I'm not the one hiking without gear," I reminded him.
"I like to call it extreme hiking, gives me a rush," he responded sarcastically.
We journeyed down the path that I'd marked. Jasper was impressed with my know-how. I didn't feel the need to tell him I'd learned most of it from Jacob, though I wasn't sure why I kept it from him. When we finally arrived at my truck, Jasper seemed restless, like it had taken us centuries to get there instead of an hour or two.
"Well, drive safely Bella."
"I will, but, how will you get back home? Aren't we far away from wherever you started from?"
"Don't worry about me," he assured, "Extreme hiker, remember?"
I laughed as I got into my truck, revving up the engine. I watched Jasper disappear slowly in my rearview mirror. Our chance encounter had changed my opinion about him, in fact, it changed entirely. I found it difficult to think of anything else.
Extra Note: That's it for chapter one. Hope you liked it. Also, I'm not sure how good my descriptions are, so if you need a visual for the pond theres a link on my page, it's a lovely photo.