Summary: Almost three years have passed since Edward left Bella in the forest. Find out the consequences of Edward's actions and how they continue to impact the future. Sometimes fate favors the Dark Horse.
A/N: Please forgive this long author's note. They usually won't be like this.
First, I want to be honest and say this is my first attempt at a Twilight fanfic and my first attempt with a non-canon pairing, but this plot idea would NOT leave me alone.
Second, I want to assure my SVM/TB fanfic readers that I am NOT abandoning any of my stories and they will be updated soon. The first couple of chapters of this story just had to be put down on paper before I could concentrate on anything else.
Next, I want to be clear that I have read TONS of fanfic and I know that my readings have influenced this story. While I haven't read any other story with this plot, I want to thank all the authors who've written before me because they have provided great characterizations for Peter and Charlotte and expanded on the history of Jasper. I'm not intentionally using anyone else's ideas in my story, but I'm aware that all my previous readings may influence my writing at times. If you ever feel like I need to give credit to another fanfic author because of ideas that show up in my story, please leave me a review or send me a PM and I'll give credit where it is due.
Also, I don't have a beta in the Twilight fanfic world yet, so please forgive any errors. If you are interested in betaing for this story, please send me a PM.
Finally, thank you for reading and I hope you'll leave me a review to let me know what you think. Constructive criticism is always welcomed especially since I'm new to the Twilight fanfic world.
Disclaimer: All characters are owned by Mrs. Meyer. I'm only playing with the Universe.
As I reached the crest of another hill, I looked to the West and could easily see the rooftop of Peter and Charlotte's summer home through the surrounding trees. I immediately felt some of the tension leave my body as I realized I was only about five miles away from their Montana hideaway. I wasn't sure if they were home at the moment, but if they weren't, I knew they'd be back soon. They had spent the summer months in this home for the last two decades and I knew they intended to continue the tradition.
For the foreseeable future, I would spend my summer months here too. I was finally going home to my real family.
Unbidden, a small smile formed on my lips. It was probably the first genuine smile to grace my features in almost three years.
As I walked through the woods at a leisurely pace, I embraced my last few moments of the nomadic lifestyle before running enthusiastically into the next chapter of my existence.
The last two years traveling the country by myself was freeing, exhilarating, and enlightening. When I left the Cullen family, I walked out their door with only the clothes on my back. I didn't take my wallet, cell phone, motorcycle, or anything else. I just left and never looked back.
Of course, all my important belongings were stored in different places throughout the country and I had plenty of money in the bank. However, I hadn't felt the need to be anchored to anyone or anything, even if it was only a simple change of clothes. I hadn't contacted anyone during my travels and I had only crossed paths with a few other nomads during the last two years. I was certain at least a couple of the Cullens had probably tried to get in touch with me, but I didn't have any reason to talk to them. As far as my true family was concerned, well, Peter would know that I just needed some time to myself.
Now, however, I was ready to move on. Yes, I had needed the last two years to get my head on straight and make some decisions about my future, but from the moment I stepped foot off of the Cullen's front porch I knew I was going to go back to my true home.
Unable to hold back any longer and finding myself eager to reach my destination, I started running at vampire speed. I was knocking on the front door a minute later.
When a moment passed without the door opening, I knew they were not at home and a small trickle of disappointment passed through me before I shrugged internally. I would simply be a surprise for them to find when they came home.
Before letting myself into the house, I opened my senses and scented the air to determine how long they had been gone.
My entire body went rigid as my remaining senses immediately reached out to verify what my nose had already confirmed.
In my very long life, I have been truly shocked only a handful of times, but this . . .
Before I could complete my thought or recover from the shock of smelling that scent, the front door was slowly opened to reveal a human.
What the fuck?
Forget the fact that Peter and Charlotte never bring humans to their retreat.
Ignore the fact that said human is also at their home alone.
Even look over the obvious evidence that wafted around the house indicating the human came here often.
I could have accepted all of those things without a second thought because Peter has always been a little strange and Charlotte always put up with his shenanigans.
But this human.
Bella fucking Swan.
What the fuck!
All I could do was stare into her chocolate colored eyes while my vampire mind tried to unfuck itself. She stared right back into my eyes without a hint of fear and only a little surprise.
After a couple of minutes staring at each other, during which I was still trying to comprehend what my mind was telling me, Bella decided to break the silence.
Her voice was enough to snap my mind out of lockdown.
"What the fuck are you doing here?" I growled as I took a step towards her.
Damn. She still smelled good.
Rather than taking a step back, Bella placed one hand on her hip and raised an eyebrow. "I live here."
"Bullshit." I growled out before I could stop myself and then I stepped around her into the entrance foyer. "Where are they?"
The door slammed shut behind me. I turned back around to pin her with a furious glare.
She didn't even flinch and her emotions were now a steady stream of annoyance and anger.
"They are not here, obviously." She spat at me before turning on her heel and walking into the left hallway, which I knew headed to the kitchen. I followed her into the room before grabbing her shoulder and turning her around.
"Where. Are. They?"
She fucking rolled her eyes. "They left for Vegas on Monday. They'll be back Friday night."
I allowed her to pull out of my hold and she walked over to the stove. Apparently, I had interrupted her cooking. It smelled foul.
"Why are you here?" I harshly repeated a slightly calmer version of my earlier question.
She didn't turn back around to face me as she continued to stir the food on the stove. Her voice was firm and held finality. "I already told you. I. Live. Here."
My throat was burning with thirst, my mind was still recovering from shock, and her attitude was pissing me off. My patience was coming to an end.
She was saved by the bell.
Or the telephone as the case may be.
She answered the cell phone lying on the counter without looking at the caller ID. "How much do you know?"
"Baby Phoenix, you know me too well." With my vampire hearing, I could hear Peter laughing. "All I know is that my know-it-all brain told me something bad was going to happen if I didn't call our little bird. What's going on?"
"Big brother's home." She deadpanned while she turned to glare at me.
"That mother fucker has the worst timing." His tone was still jovial and didn't hold an ounce of the fear or regret I would expect for the fucked up welcome home surprise I just found. "Over two years since we heard from him and he shows up during our only planned vacation of the summer. Is he with you now?"
"Yeah. He just got here."
"Major, I'm sure you are all kinds of pissed and a mighty bit confused. Bella can fill you in on the details of everything when she feels comfortable and we'll be home on Friday as planned." Peter spoke to me even though Bella continued to hold the phone. His next words sent another wave of shock and fury through me. "Understand this though, Bella is part of this family now and nothing you say or do will change that fact. If you hurt her, there will be hell to pay."
Before I could take the phone and unleash my anger on him, he hung up. Bella tossed the cell phone back on the counter nonchalantly and turned to plate her meal.
I felt like I was on some episode of the freakin' Twilight Zone.
I watched her walk over to the kitchen island and sit on one of the stools to eat her meal. After a couple of bites, she looked up at me and tilted her head to one side slightly. Her eyes narrowed a little and her emotions shifted to determination.
"Your eyes are black. You're obviously pissed off and thirsty. There's plenty of wild life out there. Go hunt."
With a defiant stare, I spoke through my teeth. "I don't feed from animals anymore."
I expected a little fear but this damn human never did what was expected of her. She held up a finger in my direction to signal me to wait as she walked over to open the refrigerator. When she turned around after closing the door back, she raised her hand to show me a bag of blood.
"Emergency stash." She explained with a shrug before setting about getting a glass and warming the blood in the microwave.
After she placed the warmed blood on the counter in front of me, she returned to her food to finish eating. I continued to stare at her while I mindlessly drank my blood.
Hundreds of scenarios were flashing through my mind as I tried to understand how this human girl ended up with Peter and Charlotte. Even if Bella had somehow crossed paths with them by coincidence, how did they end up taking her in as family? I was the only other being they had ever claimed as a relation and that was rooted in venom and a shared fucked-up history.
What could have tied my family to Bella?
On top of all of that, Peter and Charlotte have always been human drinkers and they never played with their food. It's true they had somewhat of a conscious since they only hunted violent criminals, but they certainly had never built a relationship with a human before. They always lived in seclusion from the human population and only interacted with humans when necessary.
I was having trouble comprehending any chain of events that could have lead to this situation.
Not to mention the fact that while part of me was trying to understand how Bella came to be here, the other part of my brain was focused on my anger.
Did they know about Bella's history with the Cullen's and myself? About the events that occurred on her eighteenth birthday? If so, why wouldn't they ask my opinion before declaring her part of the family, which had always been limited to the three of us? And did Peter really threaten me if I were to hurt Bella?
As my brain continued to process the facts and my emotions raged on, Bella finished her meal, cleaned up the kitchen, and started walking to the sliding glass door in the back of the kitchen.
"Where are you going?" I demanded.
Without breaking her stride, she responded over her shoulder as she walked out the door.
Part of me wanted to go shake the infuriating girl, but the smaller part of me that was still sane decided I needed to use the time alone to calm down. I couldn't figure anything out if I didn't start to think rationally.
With a sigh, I decided to go clean up before dealing with anything else surrounding Isabella Swan.
As I turned to walk towards the stairs, I was certain of only one thing; my new path in life wasn't going to be as smooth as I had hoped.
A/N: Please leave me a review and tell me if you think I should continue. It's my first Twilight fanfic and I'm rather nervous. Thanks for reading.