Tiger Stripes

Summary: Separated by hatred, can they overcome the darkness...

Disclaimer: I own two cats, I do not own Twilight SM does.

A massive thank you to the awesome dcurley1, my beta, my educator in all things google, my muse. Without you this wouldn't have happened :D

Chapter One

It was time to leave; and while the thought saddened me, I couldn't see any other option. Picking up my duffle bag, I started shoving clothes into it as quickly as I could. I grabbed only the bare necessities, figuring I could just buy anything I'd forgotten when I got wherever it was I was running to. I grabbed Pride and Prejudice, a few other books I hadn't read yet, my medications, and stuffed in all in the bag on top of my clothes. My medication took up most of the room, but there was no way I could leave that behind.

I can't do this, I thought, staring at the bag, momentarily losing myself in the past. Taking a deep breath, I forced myself to close the bag and continue on.

You can do this, you're stronger than you think, I kept repeating to myself. I want to be that strong, but am I really? I just didn't know anymore. It doesn't really matter, I just have to suck it up and get the hell out of here as fast as I can.

Making my bed, I took one last look around my bedroom- my safe haven, my place of serenity and peace. I don't even know what the future holds for me anymore, but I doubt I'll be back here anytime soon-if ever. Fighting back my tears, upset at having leaving my family and angry at the person who's given me no other choice than to run, I softly closed the door behind me and walked down the stairs.

I grabbed my battered, old leather jacket and glanced down at the bowl of car keys, wondering which car I should borrow, well actually in this case, steal. Peter's truck was out of the question, it was his baby, and while he'd forgive me for almost anything, taking his baby definitely wasn't one of them.

Hidden in the bottom of the bowl, I spotted a familiar set of keys and picked them up gingerly. I knew it was a bad idea, the car's owner would be seriously pissed, and instinct told me he wasn't a man to cross. But, I thought, if I put the car in secure parking and mail the keys to him, is it really stealing? Chuckling to myself, I grabbed the keys and headed out the front door, not bothering to lock it, and walked to the garage.

I pressed down on the accelerator and was surprised at how fast the car shot forward. The speed was exhilarating. Whoa, I thought, giggling to myself, who knew I was a speed freak?

Turning the radio up, I started singing along, willing myself out of my panic and into a better frame of mind. Glancing down at the speedometer, I realized that by the end of the day I would be hundreds of miles away-a thought which brought me both relief and heartache. I would miss Texas, the heat suited me. I loved the sunshine and the clear skies that seemed to go on forever. It was a far cry from the near constant rain and perpetual dampness of Forks. But most of all, I would miss my family; being able to laugh, to love and be loved in return, and the freedom of finally being allowed to just be me.

I only stopped for gas and snacks a few times, paying in cash hoping that people wouldn't remember me. Yeah right , I snorted to myself, you'd have to be deaf and blind not to notice the flashy, glossy-red Dodge.

Five hours into my road trip and I was starting to get a little tired. As I debated the pro's and con's of getting a motel versus just sleeping in the car, my phone rang. I wanted to ignore it, God how I wanted to ignore it, but I knew the caller. And knowing him, the phone would just ring and ring, and I'd get no peace until I spoke to him. Stupidly I didn't even consider turning my phone off. Taking a deep breath, I pulled over to the side of the road and answered the phone.

"Peter" I said nervously

"Where the hell are you? And what the hell are you doing with the Viper? Turn 'round and come home right now Puss." Peter yelled, his worry and frustration made evident by the deepened tone of his usually slight southern drawl."

I shook my head in response, then rolled my eyes when I realized he couldn't see it. "No Pete, I have to go. I can't stay there with him."

I heard a growl come through the phone. "Don't talk like that. Are you really going to throw away three years of work because of him? Come back, finish your studies. If you still want to leave when you graduate, you can go with our blessing. You only have three weeks to go," he implored, the crack in his voice breaking my heart all over again.

I could see the logic in what he was saying, but I didn't think I could spend three weeks with our 'visitor'; hell, I didn't even want to
spend another three minutes with him.

"Peter, I don't think I…"

"Puss, he's only been here twelve hours and you're running," Peter sighed, cutting me off. "I think we have the right to know why, we didn't even know you knew him."

I huffed and sighed, but knew he was right. I'd never told them about him, the memories were too painful. They'd given me a home, looked after me when I needed it, had supported me, loved me, and helped me heal when no one else was there. It would be pretty shitty of me
to leave them like this.

"Ok, ok…I'm coming back now," I muttered, ending the call before Peter could say anything else.

I didn't rush driving back. I made sure I had a nap and grabbed a coffee and a snack before setting off. To be honest, I was dragging my feet deliberately. I knew that I was going to be in trouble, especially with him, and I wasn't ready to face it.

It was close to midnight when I finally pulled to a stop in front of the house. My phone had rung a few times, but I hadn't answered it. I guessed Pete was trying to get me to hurry up; either that or he was making sure that I hadn't changed my mind.

The house was lit up like a Christmas tree. Usually it looked welcoming, but tonight it just seemed ominous. I got out the car and hesitated, wishing I was brave enough to drive away again. I saw the front door fly open and an extremely angry vampire with bright red eyes shot down the steps towards me.

"Don't you ever touch my fuckin' car again darlin' " he snarled, snatching the keys out of my hand.

"Darlin'?" I queried, raising an eyebrow at him. "Your southern charms don't work on me anymore."

"Peter said I had to play nice," he growled out, stepping towards me menacingly in response. "Because believe me darlin', there are other
words I'd much prefer to use for you right now."

"And I'd prefer it if you didn't talk to me at all." I suggested hopefully, somehow resisting the urge to step away from him and stand my ground.

"Well, if I do you can always run away again. You're good at that," he spat back at me, trying to bait me into an argument.

"You know what, I was going to apologize for taking your car... but you can fuck off!" I bit out while spinning round intending to storm into the house. My traitorous feet betrayed me though and to my utter mortification, I tripped and fell flat on my ass.

As he laughed at me, I could feel the elastic band that was holding my temper in check snap. I hauled myself to my feet, picked up my bag and started walking towards the house. Looking over my shoulder at him, still laughing at me, I took a deep breath.

"Fuck you Jasper. Oh wait…I already did that and look where it got me."