The Orbiting Meteor


A/N: Hi, if you've opened this story up, that means you're giving it another go or a try. Yay!

The Orbiting Meteor was inspired by Colliding Meteors, which is a Jasper/Bella story. This story was started in June of 2009. It was posted, pulled, posted, pulled, along with Colliding Meteors. It's been reworked many times over. It is incredibly long, and er, still not quite finished, but I'm giving it another go. Thanks for reading. I don't like AN's much so check the profile page for info as I'll most likely keep you updated from there where I am in the process.

This first chapter is preface material. The majority of this story however is 1st person material. I'll let you figure it out.


April 10, 2009

Bella Swan walked through the arched doorway of her light sienna Stamm home in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It was hers, bought and paid for by her mother, Renee. Bella was not having an entirely good day. Things better left in the past were on her mind. It's taken two and a half years of hard work and investment in building a new life for her to finally be able to find some peace and move on from the events in Forks that began almost four years ago. Bella's father, Charlie, had called and given her some news about Jake. Now she was determined to not have the whole day completely turn to shit.

Bella headed down the narrow stone path that ran through the small garden she had created the summer before. Her front yard was covered in desert rocks of all sizes. She had the perfect mix of mulch to keep moisture in for her buffalo grass, various spots of chasma, succulents, and the fragrant sumac she planted last fall. The sun was out, and a slight breeze was blowing in from the southwest. It wasn't the warmest of days, the temperature only reading sixty-five on the little garden gauge as she walked by, but the sun felt warm on her skin.

Bella walked to the mailbox in an oversize Santa Fe Community College sweatshirt. She had on a pair of black sweats that were cut off just below the knees, and she was wearing furry, light blue, flip-flop slippers. She was a little worse for wear in the middle of the afternoon, but she had just woken up. She opened the lid of the mailbox, not noticing her neighbor across the street watching her. Bella wasn't wearing a bra.

Mahogany brown hair flew around her face. Three years ago, when she unexpectedly left Forks, WA, she finally decided to cut it. Her hair had always been thick, and after becoming acclimated to the cold and wet weather of Forks, Santa Fe's weather in the summer made taking care of her hair more of a hindrance. Her tresses were now layered, the length shortened by six inches, hanging just below her breasts. Her hair was more vibrant now, and it accentuated her defined face even more. She'd liked the cut so well, she'd kept the same style ever since she'd had it done.

There was a man watching her from the small patch of trees that ran beside Bella's house. He wasn't human, but he also wasn't her enemy. In fact, he was far from it. He was watching her hair blow around her face, the healthy strands catching the sunlight, and he thought she glowed.

Bella's whole body seemed to go through a metamorphosis of sorts after her first six months of living in Santa Fe. She began to eat more - and eat healthier. She still indulged in cereal bars and Pop Tarts for breakfast, but once she began to cook again, she gained weight in all the right places. Bella was also a walker. At least four days a week she would do eight laps around a small pond, which equaled out to close to two miles. Her legs and arms were lean, strong, and toned. In every sense, she had become a young woman, and nothing about her was plain.

Bella pulled out the contents of her mailbox - the weekly circular with her Wal-Mart and grocery store ads, a cable bill, and a yellow envelope with the Hallmark symbol on the back. She pushed her hair back behind her ear and flipped it over. Of course it was addressed to her, but the return address was what she looked to immediately.

J. Black

140 Main Street,

La Push, WA 98350

At the same moment, a little, red Toyota Prius came barreling around the corner of her street, turning into Bella's driveway. It was Debbie, the closest friend Bella had in Santa Fe. The small woman stepped out with a hanger of clothes covered with white plastic.

During her first summer in Santa Fe, while she was working full-time as a clerk for an insurance company, Bella took a temporary part-time job that paid pretty well with a local warehouse - working in shipping and receiving. That was when they met.

Bella was trying to save up some money for her first year of community college, and Debbie was a workaholic. Debbie was thirty two, and Bella liked her immediately. Debbie wasn't nosy, but she could tell that Bella had been through some difficult times. It showed in Bella's eyes and face, and Debbie was a good judge of character. Debbie was supportive of Bella without prying, and though some of their interests were different, they had a few things in common. Debbie was also not to be messed with, and drop dead gorgeous.

Debbie was the one who got Bella the job at Generations, she had worked at the club for over three years, and knew the bosses quite well. The insurance company that Bella worked for was laying off its employees, and not having any sort of seniority, Bella was on the hit list. She had been at Generations now for just over a year, and though Bella wasn't the cocktail waitress or bartender type, she actually loved it. It was a little rough when she first started working in the club, after a brief stint in the small restaurant also attached to the club. She had to learn how to deal with drunk people, and generally just talk to them in general. She also had to work through her clumsiness. Her bosses actually found it funny the first few times a tray of drinks or food would land on a guest, but after a while they became irritated with all the comps they were dishing out.

Tony - one of the owners - had her come in when they were closed a few times to practice carrying a fully loaded tray around an obstacle course, and after some time she learned the act of balancing and walking. Random acts of clumsiness were now rare. When she first started, she was a hit with Tony, and he was always hitting on her in the most interesting of ways. The handsome, Italian flirt was quite the ladies man, but he always found someone more fascinating. Tony and Vince both felt protective of her when they found out she had no family and not many friends in the Santa Fe area. They were very kind to her and worked with her schedule for school. And in turn, Bella worked hard, and she was there whenever they needed her to cover some hours. Bella also had a knack for bartending.

Generations was the number one hot-spot in Santa Fe and northern New Mexico. It was open everyday, closing only for major holidays that didn't fall on a weekend. Every night the music was different. It was a huge club that had used to be a small warehouse. It had a small restaurant and a sports bar for the sports fanatics, with eight big screens and several flat screens to cover every game and every sport.

Bella knew there was under-the-table betting in the establishment, but the lid was sealed tightly around it, and as long as it didn't involve her, she ignored it. She worked mainly in the nightclub. The small family eatery attached to the club served really great Italian food, and that was where she worked when she first started. There was a large dance floor and one main bar that was situated above the dance floor.

Bella only made $7.00 an hour, but on weekends, her take-home in tips would average out to around a hundred to a hundred and fifty a night. During the week, it was about half. She had every other weekend off, and she always worked the night shift from six to three. Bella would pick up extra hours occasionally for those who were sick or needed a day off, just as long as it didn't interfere with her school schedule. The fact was, Bella liked mostly everyone she worked with and she loved the job. It kept her busy along with school, and she liked keeping busy.

Debbie was dressed in her own downtime clothes - a pair of yoga pants and a red tank top over a white one. Debbie liked anything that enhanced her new cleavage. Three months ago, she finally got up the nerve to do what she'd always wanted. She had her breasts enhanced. It was a hasty decision that was made and she now regretted it. When she finally went to get properly sized for new bras, she had went from an A to a DD. While they didn't look overly large they were quite different, and they affected Debbie's back badly.

Debbie had oversize sunglasses on. Her hair was about medium length, layered and light brown, with blond highlights.

She smiled at Bella and laughed somewhat. "You're really gonna like this shit. Be afraid, Bell. Be very afraid."

Debbie stepped through the garden, hopping over a small aloe vera succulent. She dodged a small tree's blowing branch, making her way over to Bella, who waited on the stone sidewalk.

"Please, tell me it's not that bad." Bella's face held a little side of worry, and her eyes were fixed on the plastic-covered hangers that Debbie was carrying.

Debbie lifted the plastic off the hangers as she talked. "I can't do that. But, I guess that depends on how you compare it to that frilly shit we're wearing now. Take a look."

Under the plastic dry cleaning cover that Debbie pulled off were three hangers carrying three identical outfits. Tony and Vince were going to start providing the girls with a more provocative uniform, and Bella was a little concerned about the choice they would make. This was the first night it would make its debut. Debbie had to pick hers up, so she had grabbed Bella's along the way. She started work an hour earlier than Bella did, and they usually always worked together. Debbie lived six blocks away in a small house her mother had left her when she passed away. They really did have a lot in common.

The new, black, two-piece outfit was made out of polyester and spandex, and it had a sparkle thread woven in to the material. The halter top tied behind the neck and behind the back, and it would expose a lot of cleavage. The cups built in would hold very little breast. The top would be basically, barely there. It split and gathered into a large metal ring that attached the top to the skirt in the front. The skirt would fit low on the waist and had bloomers attached underneath the gathered ruffles.

"You've got to be fucking kidding me." There was no other way for Bella to respond, even though she knew Debbie wasn't joking with her. Bella was just a tad mortified.

"Nope," Debbie popped the 'p' and started laughing at the look on Bella's face. "Hey, at least you don't need to worry about falling out of the shit. I tried mine on at the club, and I need a seven. Vinny ordered all of ours in our old sizes so I've got to put up with half my tits on display for the next two weeks. Besides, Bell, you'll look really cute in this. You've got to admit, in a way it's sort of a step up. At least there's no fucking taffeta involved in this one." Debbie laughed at Bella's face again - she was currently lifting up the ruffled skirt on one of the three outfits to check out the attached underwear.

Bella shook her head slowly and sneered at the outfit. "Yeah, but I can hear Vern already. He'll be giving me shit because I'm too white. 'Black on white, white on black, once you go black you'll never go back'."

Bella's imitation of Vern's voice was very poor, but Debbie laughed anyway. Vern had said that to every one of the girls. He was one of the bouncers, and very, very large. He stood at 6'6", about he was about three hundred and twenty pounds. He was nice, and he knew Bella was a bit shy and liked to keep to herself, so he didn't give her that hard of a time. He always kept his eyes on his ladies and he made sure they always made it to their cars every night after the bar closed. Vern was happily married, with a child on the way. His wife, Beth, was the real estate agent who had sold Bella the house.

"Look, go to the Tan Emporium once a week and get little color if you're that concerned about it. You'll look great. I'm going home. I need another hour or two of sleep before I've got to go in. I'll see you later." Debbie squeezed Bella's hand and threw the hangers over Bella's free arm.

"Thanks for picking them up for me," Bella told her with a smile.

Debbie had already turned around to head back to her idling car. "No problem. Get some sleep." She got in and pulled out, heading east to the corner, and turned left.

Bella sighed out loud, looking at the bag draped over her arm. She took a look around, watching a three year old who was outside with his mom down the street somewhat pulling a dandelion out of the grass. She glanced at her other neighbor, an elderly male across the street but never gave him that much thought because they had never talked. Bella loved the neighborhood she lived in, mainly because it was quiet. Her house was at the end of a short, dead end road, and the front of her house faced the east. South of her house was a thin nature reserve of sorts, filled with palm trees, honey locusts, young poplars, and sycamores. Out of place in the desert but underground runoff kept it nourished. It was just a small line of shade that ran east-to-west to the boulevard two blocks away.

Bella turned back to the house, taking a look at her garden. As she walked to her arched doorway, Bella glanced over at the flat piece of limestone by the white ash tree she'd planted last year. It was a rock that originally came from the house in Arizona where Renee, Phil, and Bella lived. It was her mother's favorite outdoor piece - something she had always brought along whenever they moved. Phil let Bella have it when Renee passed away.

A year and a half ago, Phil and Renee took a short vacation down to Cancun to celebrate Phil's new position as an assistant coach to the Tampa Bay Rays. They were going to move to St. Petersburg as soon as they sold the house in Jacksonville. During their trip, Renee picked up a rare virus that put her in the ICU in Jacksonville with pneumonia. Bella, of course, flew down to stay with her mother because she was not getting better, only steadily worse.

Antibiotics were not killing the infection that was in both of Renee's lungs, and after two weeks, her heart failed from her weakening state. The doctors had warned Phil and Bella that this could occur, but it was still so sudden. Renee, who had been so full of life, so exuberant, did not believe she was going to pull through. It was a side of her mother that Bella had never seen. Renee just seemed to know that she was going to die. She had made Bella promise her to live her life to the fullest, and not dwell on the past.

Of course, Bella promised her mother, and she was doing just that. She knew her mother meant more though; she knew that Renee wanted her to find love again. Bella promised her anyway. But surviving after having her heart ripped from her chest and torn in two once had been hard enough, but suffering the same fate a second time wasn't something that she never expected to recover from, at least when it came to finding love with another. She didn't want it, and she didn't need it. Bella was happy with her life now. Sure, she was alone and didn't have a significant other, but she wasn't complaining. She was happy.

She just had her moments, and today was one of them.

Bella opened her front door, and walked inside. Phil had promised Renee that Bella would be taken care of in case things turned for the worst, and he made good on his promise. Bella took with her the items from their home that Renee would've wanted her to have, and Phil gave her the majority of Renee's life insurance policy as well. With that money, Bella bought the house after she grew tired of living in apartments, wanting more room, privacy, and her own washer and dryer. The only bills she really had were for utilities, insurance, and property taxes. Most of that was covered with her checks from work. The school loans would come later, but Bella kept herself on a strict budget.

The house was paid for, and the black Ford F-150 crew cab pickup that sat in her garage was a gift from the Las Vegas gods when she went on a short vacation with Debbie over a weekend last fall. She took five bucks to a bank of slot machines surrounding the massive vehicle, and after spending a dollar fifty, she put three car symbols on the line. There was five thousand included, which helped take care of the taxes. She sold the little Ford Festiva she'd paid five hundred bucks for to a teenager down the street. Luck was finally on Bella Swan's side. She had a good year, and this one was proving to be good too.

Bella's house was about thirty years old, and the design was Pueblo. It had two bedrooms, one large bath, a small kitchen with a nice sized pantry, and a laundry room. The living room had a kiva fireplace, and hardwood floors ran throughout the house. The entire ceiling was beamed with huge vigas. It wasn't large, but for Bella it was perfect. The living room contained a large, brown leather sofa that faced the southern window. Her mother's favorite blue recliner, two mahogany end tables, and a coffee table that matched also made up pieces in her living room. She had a new 32 inch flat screen TV that Vinny and Tony gave to all of the waitresses last Christmas as a bonus. It was near the east window by the fireplace on a small entertainment center.

Bella walked through the living room, dropping off most of the mail on a long table by the wall. She proceeded to head into the kitchen through another arched doorway, and she made her way to the covered patio outside the back door. Bella's backyard was partially fenced in because her neighbors to the north and to the west both had fenced in yards, and they combined. With the little wooded area on the south side, this was her favorite place in the whole house. Outside was a wicker patio set, along with an outdoor fireplace. Even on the cold days she would often sit out there and read, and the occasional car horn or kids playing out front didn't disrupt the peace she had found in this place.

Bella sat down on the cushion of the rocking chair with the yellow envelope in her hand. She already had a good idea about what it contained. It was a congratulations card because she had received her Associate's Degree in Education. Though she could go to work as a teacher's aide, or as a teacher in early childhood education, Bella opted to keep going to school for her Bachelor's and continue to work at the bar. She really liked it there. She frowned at the card, swallowing hard. She was good at hiding the pain in her chest now.

The man watching her knew what that pain was and everything that had caused it. But it wasn't as strong as it once was.

Her hands were shaking a little, and she opened the card and immediately took out the folded up letter, tossing it into the fireplace. She read the short note congratulating her on the inside, smiled tightly, and put the card back into the envelope. She'd have to pick up a thank you card the next time she was at Wal-Mart.

Bella always thanked Jake and she would always put the same words inside her thank you notes.

Watch over Charlie for me.

If he owed her anything, it was that.

The birthday cards (those were the cruelest), the Christmas cards, or any occasional 'just for the hell of it' cards always contained the same thing: a three or four page letter from Jake reminding her why she left in the first place. She thought she had forgiven him because even though she didn't know what it felt like, she knew it was a part of their lives and there was no stopping it. But Jake couldn't understand that even though she had moved on and put that part of her life behind her, she just couldn't take the reminders.

The first letter she had ever read left her a wreck for days. She told him she understood; she even told him she forgave him. Bella asked him to stop sending the letters, but Jake still wanted her friendship. He wanted her to come home, and he wanted to help heal her heart, even if it wasn't his to heal any longer. Jake was always stubborn, and he didn't want to take no for an answer when she told him she could never return to Forks. Now she would only respond to the card itself that contained both of their names.

For nearly three and a half years, Bella hadn't had to deal with the supernatural and mythological aspects of the life that she'd catapulted herself into when she had moved to Forks, except for when she talked to her stepbrother, Seth. It has become a memory, and some aspects have faded over time. But time had not healed everything. Edward had broken Bella's heart, and Jacob fitted a nice and tight bandage around it. Edward and the Cullen's' departure had turned her into a zombie for months. That horrible night was the only thing that perplexed Bella to this day.

Bella had laid on the cool and wet forest floor for hours, and she would have died there if the man who was now watching her sleep on the porch hadn't have shown up. No one would have found her, and the man already knew what fate had in store for them both. That night was one of the things he had needed to do to bring her to him now. He had picked her up and carried her to the forest's edge, laying her back down on the ground.

Charlie found her two minutes later when he heard her mumbling the same words over and over again. Bella remembered the cool body that had held her close to him, but something had been off. He had smelled like no other vampire she knew. The truth was, he had really had no scent at all. He had felt like no other vampire she knew, and all of this was the only part of that entire matter that left her confused and wondering to this very day.

Jake had pulled her out of her life as a zombie. He had given her a means of escape from her constant self-pity and thoughts about Edward and the Cullen's. Jake became her friend, and although he wanted more, he did not push Bella. He was there for her no matter how hard it was to see her heartbroken over that bloodsucker. He was always her friend first. It took some time, but in the end it was him putting his life on the line for her that finally swayed her to take him as hers, and hers alone. In a way, she thanked Victoria for that. But that was then.

It was during spring break of that year - when Bella had spent the majority of her time in La Push - that the drama concerning Victoria and her quest to kill Bella came to a close. In fact, Sam and Jake really ought to have thanked her for giving them the opportunity. But Jake had been so overcome with her near-death that all he did was yell at her for doing something so foolish. But given the situation, he eventually broke down, and only then did Bella realize the extent of the love Jacob felt for her at the time.

Bella realized that day her efforts to hear Edward's voice were indeed reckless and just plain stupid. But that was the day she chose not to hold onto him any longer, and to move on with the one person who did love her and would take care of her for the rest of her life. Bella had jumped from the cliffs at La Push, nearly killing herself in the process. Both Jake and Sam had gone in after her. Jake pulled her out, and Sam got a hold of the redheaded vampire just as she was making her way towards Bella, who was still in the water.

Once Sam had laid eyes on Victoria, he shifted to his wolf form in the water. Sam caught her - at least that's what they told Bella - and he dragged Victoria to the surface and close to where Jacob had laid Bella on the beach.

During the event, Victoria managed to sever one of Sam's arms. Or, at the time, his front leg. The fight was on when Jacob finally intervened, and after a fierce battle he managed to get his jaws around her torso, ripping her stone flesh and biting her into two pieces. Bella was coughing up water on the beach and watched the entire scene unfold.

Paul, Embry, and Quil had shown up just as Victoria had been ripped in two, and the boys dragged her pieces further back on the shore, burning her right there on First Beach. Watching Jacob lay his life on the line like that, and rescuing her just a short time before, made Bella realize that he needed her as much as she needed him. It was after that, while they were waiting for word on Harry Clearwater back at Jacob's, when it all really sank in for her.

Jacob would always be there for her and understand why part of her would always be broken. Bella told him everything that day - absolutely every thought, care, and reasoning behind why she had committed to the recklessness she would partake in just to hear Edward's voice. She told him that she knew that he would never come back, and that she might not ever get over him. She let go of that last shred of hope. She wanted to be happy, and she would give their relationship everything she had and never would he ever have to worry about who she would choose - because it would always be him. She told Jake she loved him, and she did. Jacob did not hesitate. He understood perfectly well that part of her heart was gone with Edward, and a piece of Jacob's own heart filled that fissure.

Bella just didn't know it was only hers to borrow, and that someday he would take it back.

Their time together helped seal Bella's promise that she would always choose him. Bella loved Jake more than anything. He was her best friend, he was her confidante, and he treated her with respect. Jacob made her feel like a woman. After high school graduation, he became her lover in every way. The passion they shared with each other had sealed the love they had for one another. Bella might not have lived forever, but her whole heart belonged to him for the rest of his life.

Summer went by with Bella and Jacob's relationship growing stronger and more unbreakable by the day. Or, so she thought. It was August, and Bella had decided in July that she would delay college in Seattle for one more semester, as she could not leave Jacob. She became somewhat dependent on him, and the same could be said for Jacob. They could never spend enough time together, and there was neither a spot on First Beach that wasn't christened by Jacob and Bella, nor a fallen tree behind his house, nor her truck that he always kept running.

Quil's birthday party was held at First Beach and they had a bonfire. His cousin came in from out of town and brought along a friend from the reservation they lived on. Bella didn't know it then, but the strong chords of Jacob's love and devotion severed from her heart and tied to another in an unbreakable bond that only his kind could create. Jacob was quiet that night.

Jacob tried to fight it; he wanted to believe that Bella was the only one for him. But he couldn't. The only thing was that he needed to realize that before it came close to the day that changed her life the previous year. In truth, Bella knew something was wrong. Jacob had become distant, but he just passed it off as stress on the job.

Like Edward, though, he made it through her birthday, and five days after that. It was after she got off work one night at Newton's when everything came crashing down. Bella was going to meet him at Sam and Emily's, where they were going to have dinner. When she got there, Jacob was gone. Sam's morose face - and Emily not meeting her eyes - told her something was dreadfully wrong, and Sam told her to go to First Beach where Jacob was waiting for her.

He was sitting along the piece of driftwood that was officially known as their spot. The sinking feeling that Bella felt when she walked down to the beach was also on his face, and Jacob only needed to utter two words for a wound to re-open like it never had before. Bella knew instantly there was no reason to fight it. There was no reason to invest herself into something that just wasn't possible because Jacob had made a decision and he would stick to it. Jacob tried to talk to her, but words meant nothing to her at that point.

There was nothing that could be said that could mend what was just ripped from Bella. She simply turned around and walked away, not paying attention to Jacob who had fallen to his knees for the overwhelming remorse he felt. Bella walked back to her truck, trying to stay on her feet. Leah Clearwater was waiting for her and she picked her up when she finally fell to the ground. Leah drove her home.

In the end, it was Leah who told Bella what she needed to do, because there was really nothing she didn't know about the girl. Bella realized it, too, and nothing would sway her decision to pack her shit and run away from the one place that only seemed capable of causing emotional devastation. Charlie was home, and she lay every thought and emotion she could out for him that ever concerned Edward or Jacob - without divulging the secrets of the mythological world she had uncovered and a part of which she had become.

The only logical explanation she could really give Charlie for Jacob was that their relationship had ended and could never be repaired because Jacob loved another. The scene had been ugly and heart wrenching, and seeing Bella like that broke Charlie's heart. He listened to her pleas for him to understand why she needed to leave. He understood the devastation in her eyes because for a long time he looked that way himself. He even saw that Forks was literally killing her. He helped her pack, and he gave her five thousand dollars out of his savings. She promised to call, and she did - once a week, and on birthdays and holidays. He even visited her in Santa Fe once a year.

Charlie took the leap last year when he finally asked Sue Clearwater to marry him. They lived together in his house, and in two more years Charlie would be retiring from his position when it was time for re-election. They were planning to use some of his retirement money to buy a small motor home and travel around the United States. Sue gave her house in La Push to Leah, who had imprinted on Linae's brother some time before. Linae was now Jacob's wife. Billy Black died six months after Bella left when his kidneys gave out. When Charlie called this morning, he gave her the news of Linae and Jacob's unexpected pregnancy.

When Bella left Forks, she didn't know where to go. She did not want to go to her mother's - she wouldn't be able to stand the pity that was involved, or her constant badgering to move on. All she knew was that she wanted to get far away from Forks. Far away from anything not completely human, because the mythological world broke her heart just one too many times.

It was better to deal with the stress of just worrying about some freak serial killer, assaulter, or maybe a car accident that would end the life of a danger magnet. That was what she could handle now. She drove south into the sun. She kept driving, but it was slow going because that piece of shit truck of hers could only take her fifty-five miles an hour. She stopped to sleep when she reached Santa Fe one night, intending to head east the next morning.

When she woke up, she packed up her bag and grabbed a donut from the continental breakfast room. Once outside, she discovered that same piece of shit truck didn't start. Next door to the motel was a small service station, and one of the servicemen took a look at it for her. He was amazed it had made it that far, since the transmission and clutch were completely shredded. Bella's truck had officially died.

What she didn't know was that her truck had actually been killed by the man who was watching her now, and he knew she had traveled long enough. She was home. He also knew that she would love Santa Fe, as well as the warm sun that would hit her face three hundred twenty days a year on the average.

Bella made her decision when she was going through the want ads trying to find another car. She found a listing for a new sports department store that was hiring workers at eight bucks an hour. She could live on that, find a small apartment, and work to forget her problems while at the same time save a little money for school. She, of course, found the shittiest apartment imaginable, and in the poorest of neighborhoods. He knew she would be safe, but he watched her anyway. At this point, there was nothing left for him to do but just wait and give her time to heal.

On the patio, Bella's eyelids snapped open and she stretched. She needed to eat something before heading in to work. She picked up the card from where it had fallen and walked out to the edge of the patio, sliding her feet out of her furry flip-flops and stepping onto the cool grass.

The man watching her loved it when she did this - it always made him smile. She would always close her eyes and just stand there so quietly, with the sun warming her face, and all the distinct colors of red and brown shining through her hair.

Bella opened her eyes and something flashed out of the left corner of her eye. There was an instant frown and she quickly turned to find the culprit. It was just enough time for her heart to jump, panic was something she felt quick these days. Her garden globe sat to her left in the little miniature garden area she would plant this year with tomatoes and radishes. The sun was reflecting off the green globe, and Bella smiled. She turned around to retrieve her flip-flops, and then walked into the house.

She only had an hour or so before she had to head in, and the man watching her needed to go home and collect his thoughts. He was excited because this was the night when her eyes would truly meet his. He wanted to look good - not that he had to try too hard.

This was the night when fate would finally make itself known to Bella Swan, and he really couldn't wait. He had waited long enough. Part of him dreaded it - only because of her response. But, in time, that would work itself out, so he didn't need to worry. He was thrilled that her eyes would find him, and he really couldn't wait to see her in that outfit.

Bella's life was about to change again, and fate would find its way into her heart - forever. They both just had to put some effort into it.

Little did he know, that fate had changed its plans.

A/N: Thank you all so much for reading.