Thursday, December 2, 2010

Chapter Four: Masen Residence

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BELLA

It was the early morning hours and still dark outside by the time Alice and Bella finished loading all of their belongings into Bella's truck. They were soon following behind Emmett's hummer as they made the long and tedious drive from Forks Washington to Seattle.

The sun was barely peeking up over the horizon as Bella marveled at its beauty. Still keeping an eye on the road, she observed as the sky morphed from a dark navy to a blended assortment of bright blushes and corals; the image made her smile. Even through all of the heartache and rough times, in that moment, she knew that there were still some things in the world that were beautiful; some things that were still worth living for – fighting for, and her sister was one of them.

She turned her head slightly to check on Alice, who had fallen back to sleep shortly after leaving Forks. She watched the rise and fall of her younger sister's chest as she breathed, noting how peaceful she looked in slumber. Bella was glad to see that Alice seemed content, as she hadn't gotten much sleep the night before. She knew that Alice usually tried to put on a brave face for her in the past, but between the new move, and still wondering if their mother ever really loved them, her facade slipped, and she cried on Bella's shoulder almost the entire night.

As the trees on the right side of the highway became fewer and fewer, Bella imagined that they were getting closer to their destination. They'd been driving for almost four hours and she was ready to finally be out of the truck, and stretch her tired limbs. Just as the thought occurred to her, Emmett flipped on his left blinker, signaling for them to turn off from the highway.

Bella followed dutifully behind Emmett on a gravel road that was surrounded by nothing but plush, green forestry on either side of them. After a short drive, they finally reached a break in the trees where a small but beautiful home rested just inside the clearing. The house was white with cinnamon shutters, and a light coffee-colored door. Orchids, lilacs, and tulips lined the walkway, stopping just at the stairs that lead up to the house. Surely this wasn't where they were supposed to live. Carlisle had said that he'd provide them with an apartment, but this... this was a house.

Bella parked her car alongside Emmett’s and shook Alice's shoulder, trying to rouse her. “Alice, wake up.” Rubbing the sleep from her eyes, Alice yawned, asking Bella where they were.

“I'm not sure yet,” she shrugged. “Let's ask Emmett.” Both girls removed themselves from the cab of the truck to question Emmett. He stood beside the driver's side door of his massive vehicle, arms and ankles crossed as he slowly let a chestier grin spread across his face.

“Where are we?” Bella questioned. Emmett lifted his arms, making a sweeping motion for them to observe what was right in front of them.

“I know Carlisle said an apartment... but this is much better, don't ya' think?” Alice and Bella's mouths dropped open simultaneously as they both observed the scenery. This was where they were going to live? They couldn't believe it. With a glimmer in his eye and a smile still on his face, Emmett announced. “Welcome home, girls. Welcome home.”

Home. Such a foreign word on their tongues, as neither of them had felt at home since Charlie died. But this was a new beginning, a new start into the next chapter of their lives, and Bella was committed. Short of selling her body for money, she would do anything required of her to keep Alice and herself fed and clothed, to get Alice into a decent college, and of course... an endless supply of milk.

After getting over the initial shock of their new home, the three of them began to unload all of the girls' belongings into the house. They didn't own much, so the trips back and forth were few, but by the time they were finished, their bodies were tired.

After explaining to Bella how to get to Esme's house from the directions Carlisle's had given her, it was time for Emmett to head back to Forks. He paused, his hand still resting on the door knob before he turned back around to face the girls. “Oh, I almost forgot.” Reaching into his pocket, Emmett pulled out two one hundred dollar bills. “Carlisle wanted you to have this, baby girl.” At the start of Bella's protests he continued. “It's not for charity, just think of this as a bonus. I'm sure you'll earn every penny of it in due time.”

Even though Emmett had said it wasn't for charity, Bella couldn't help but think that it was. She hated things given to her out of pity, and Carlisle was a good man. Surely this was pity. However, with their current situation, she decided that she had no room to be picky. They had no food in the house and they were hungry after moving and driving all day. With a sigh, Bella held out her hand. “Thank you, Emmett.”

“Don't forget, you start tomorrow at nine o'clock. Have a good night, ladies,” Emmett winked, shutting the door behind him.

Nothing but silence ensued after the click of the front door signaled it had been closed, leaving Bella and Alice alone to stare at one another soundlessly. No emotion could be seen in either of their features as their primary focus was solely on the other one's face, but it didn't take long for both of them to break.

“Ohmygod, Ohmygod, Ohmygod,” Alice screamed as she jumped up and down.

“Can you believe this?” Bella yelled at the same time, grabbing Alice's hands and twirling them both in a circle, equally as ecstatic about their new home as her younger sister.

“What do you want to eat tonight?” Bella asked, mouth slightly watering at the mention of food.

“Mmm,” Alice moaned, licking her lips. “Oh... can we have quarter-pounders? I can't even remember the last time we had a big and disgusting greasy burger.” Bella giggled, nodding her head excitedly in consent.

After navigating their way through town, Bella stumbled upon their destination... McDonald’s. The girls went inside, placed their orders, and seated themselves immediately.

“I swear to God this is the best food I've ever eaten,” Bella mumbled around large bites of unchewed food. Alice hummed incoherently as she frantically stuffed fries into her open mouth.

The two deathly thin girls were aware that they were probably making somewhat of a spectacle of themselves, but both were too hungry to care about something as trivial as manners.

There was a sudden snicker of apparent giggles to the right of their table. Bella, still concentrating on her dinner, didn't hear a thing, but Alice did. She abruptly turned her head to the side, staring daggers directly at the stranger who was unabashedly laughing at them.

“Hungry?” The unfamiliar boy asked, one side of his mouth raised in a smile. There was no malice to his face, just pure amusement. Alice immediately softened her features upon noticing how gorgeous and carefree he seemed. He had light sandy blond hair that fell just to his ears in easy waves. And his eyes, she thought. They're so blue.

Bella finally looked up from her almost finished meal to see that Alice was openly staring at a boy about her age across the table, mouth slightly agape. The boy look vaguely familiar to Bella, but she couldn't quite place where she'd seen him before. Without dwelling much further, she tried to subtly tap her sister's leg with her foot to break the spell she seemed to be under, but ended up accidentally kicking her instead. Hard.

“Ow, Bella. What the hell?” Bella narrowed her eyes and pursed her lips, inconspicuously trying to tell Alice that she was staring. Alice's eyebrows were still quirked in question, clearly not understanding what her sister was trying to tell her.

Trying to save Alice from further embarrassment, Bella held out her hand for the boy to take. “I'm Bella,” she smiled. The boy grinned, holding out his hand.

“Jasper,” he nodded. Jasper, she thought. Why does that name sound so familiar?

“And this is my sister, Alice,” she continued. Jasper released Bella's hand to reach for Alice's. Instead of shaking her hand as he had done to Bella, he gently pressed his lips to her knuckles.

“It's a pleasure,” he winked. Alice slightly blushed, a trait she clearly got from her sister, and folded her hands neatly in her lap. “I haven't seen you two before. Are you new around here?”

“We are actually,” Bella said. “Just moved here today.” The boy, Jasper, wasn't looking at Bella as she explained herself, instead he was watching Alice, eyes glazed over as if he were deep in thought. Deciding to play match maker, Bella continued. “Alice starts school tomorrow.”

“Oh yeah?” Jasper asked, eyes still locked on Alice. “Which school?”

Alice, finally finding the nerve to speak, answered. “Uh, Whitman High School.”

“What a small world. That's where I go. Maybe I can show you around a little tomorrow.”

“That'd be great.”

“Well, I should probably get going. Nice to meet you, Bella. See ya tomorrow, Alice.” Jasper waved and started for the door, but he didn't get far before Alice yelled out.

“Hey, Jasper?” He turned around, brows lifted in question. “What's your last name?” Jasper's grin was infectious, and Bella couldn't help but smile at the younger boy as he answered.

“Masen.”



~*~
~OO~OO~OO~
~*~


“Alice come on you're going to be late for school,” Bella yelled from the bottom of the staircase. She had made sure they got up thirty minutes earlier than they normally would have, and still they were running behind. It was seven thirty and she was supposed to register Alice in school and still get to work by nine o'clock. She wanted to make a good impression on Esme, and being late on her first day wouldn't help that.

“I'm coming, I'm coming,” Alice hollered back as she tromped down the stairs, book bag in hand.

“We'll have plenty of food by the time you get home today, I promise.” Bella felt bad for not having any breakfast for Alice this morning, but after eating dinner last night, they were both too exhausted to go to the store. Bella did, however, give Alice lunch money so that she'd have something to eat at school.

“It's no biggie, I'm too nervous to eat anyway,” Alice replied. I wonder why, Bella thought, smiling affectionately at her sister.

“Could it have anything to do with a certain blond-haired blue-eyed boy?”

“Maybe,” Alice shrugged, grinning impishly.

Jasper Masen, Bella thought to herself. Now that she was thinking about it, the Jasper she had seen last night did hold a striking resemblance to the good doctor. She thought back to the packet of information and photos that Doctor Cullen had showed her just a few days ago, and wondered how she could have forgotten his face. She was supposed to gather information about, not only him, but the rest of his family as well, and she didn't even recognize him at first. It wasn't until Jasper had told them his last name that recognition struck her. She felt stupid.

“Come on, we've got to go.” Bella and Alice headed out of the door, locking the house up behind them. The school wasn't very far from the house and neither was Esme's according to Emmett's directions, so Bella knew she would make it to both places on time.

After parking and walking across the lot with Alice, the girls made their way inside the large brick building to the office. Alice wasn't made to stay in the room with Bella while registration took place. Instead, Mrs. Cope, the secretary, told Alice that there was a request from a student to show the new girl around today. The secretary pushed a few buttons, and within moments was asking the teacher over a loud speaker to send Jasper Masen to the office. Alice could not hide the smile that etched her face.

The registration didn't take a long time. It was actually fairly easy as the secretary told her that a Carlisle Cullen had already called in advance and had Alice's school transcripts transferred. I wonder how he knew I'd take the offer, Bella thought. Too caught up in her own nervousness with starting her new job, Bella didn't ponder the question for long.

Twenty minutes later, she was pulling up to the driveway of a rather lavish two-story home. Everything on the outside was meticulous and beautifully built. Carlisle's family seemed to be doing very well.

She secretly wondered how Carlisle came to be out of his family's lives. What had happened to make him leave, and why did he not seem to know much about how they were living? I wonder how long he's been gone, Bella questioned herself. He doesn't even know where his oldest son is.

Shaking herself out of her thoughts, Bella held a slightly shaking fist to the door and knocked timidly. Within moments, the door was opened and the most beautiful woman she'd ever seen politely greeted her. “You must be Bella,” the woman smiled. “I'm Esme. Please, come in.”

“You'll have to forgive me,” Esme continued. “My son, Jasper, just left for school and I'm still running a bit behind today. I'll go over things with you shortly if you just make yourself at home while I finish getting my things together.” Bella seated herself comfortably on the couch that was centered in the den as she waited for Esme to return.

Bella was nervous. She'd never had a job outside of babysitting before, and she was afraid that she wouldn't be qualified. Did she already have the job, or would Esme be the one to actually allow her the opportunity to work in her home? Carlisle was the one who originally offered the job to her, but did Esme know that? What was she allowed to say? Should she say anything at all about Carlisle? Bella suddenly wished she would have asked Carlisle all of these questions before starting, but she was too excited about the prospect of being able to finally support Alice and herself, to have given the details much thought.

The phone rang loudly, startling Bella out of her thoughts. “Could you get that for me, dear?” Esme asked.

“Sure,” Bella acknowledged, standing to grab the phone.

“Hello,” she answered. “Masen residence.” Nothing but silence and a bit of static could be heard on the other end. “Hello?” Bella asked again, hoping that whoever was on the line was still there.

“Uhh,” the voice of a man spoke quietly, shattering the silence. “Is Jasper there?”

“I'm sorry, sir...,” Bella replied, remembering that Esme had just told her that her son had already left for school. “...but he's left for school already. Can I take a message?”

“Could you just...,” he started quietly, dropping his voice to barely above a whisper. “Tell him that I called.” He sounded so dejected, sad.

“Will he know who this is, sir? You didn't leave your name.”

“I'm not sure if he'll know it was me that called. Just please, let him know that I did.”

An idea of who was really on the phone clicked in Bella's mind. She had a pretty good idea of who was calling, simply because they were so reluctant to answer her question about who they were. Without conscious thought to what she was about to say, Bella asked something that would later prove to be detrimental to both of them.

“Edward?”

~8~o~8~o

A/N Chapter four is brought to us by Delandora. She has written six pieces for the Twilight fandom. Please check out her page http://www.fanfiction.net/u/1987926/Delandora


1 comments:

jujubakiller said...

Good to see another chapter of this. I was starting to wonder if you gals weren't planing to keep writing it.

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