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Almost instantly, when Alice began to do the problems in her book, her mind sort of went into like an automatic re-do mode; She had done all the work in this chapter, in this book period, and half of the chapters in the book for the seniors, back at her old school. But, since they didn't have an honors classes program up here like she was in down south, since there weren't enough teachers to give that option, she was back in the average class for her grade. She didn't mind that, though, since that just meant she knew everything before anyone else and in all honesty the girl couldn't help but feel happy on that fact since it meant she knew enough to truly graduate this year if she really did want to. But, since she actually doesn't want to graduate early, graduating with high marks is just as good in her books. And, as she did her work, her soft smile truly did linger.
Upon the question inquired in her direction, Alice blinked once before glancing over at him with her eyes before looking back to her work. "I moved her from down south, in Phoenix. Kinda hard to believe with me as pale as everyone else around here, huh?" She paused, letting out a soft laugh, "I was born up here, though. And I can't say it's better, since Forks and Phoenix are each great places depending on the weather or climate a person prefers." The female, for a brief instant, would stop speaking to turn a bag in her workbook before going onto the next equation of her assignment. "I haven't been up here in like seven years though, so not since I was about ten. For some reason, I just put my foot down about a month before coming up here for my yearly month long stay with Charlie, and I honestly still have no idea why. I guess... I guess just the literally complete change of surroundings just always made me a little depressed because it kind of always felt like a constant reminder that my parents weren't together or something...." The Swan girl trailed off, nibbling her lip a moment before adding, "Not to mention, my mother Renee got remarried about to years ago to my step father, Phil. He's been trying to get into the minor league to try and make a name for himself in baseball, so he's been traveling a lot. My mom would stay home with me, and I could tell she missed him, so I decided that for a way for us both to be happy could be me coming and spending some real time with my dad, and she getting to enjoy some time with Phil. Though, that plan did back fire a bit since I miss her now too, though I do talk to her almost every night." She smiled meekly, shaking her head a little at herself a bit.
Alice didn't here the comment that the jock gave, she was honestly still just in the nice little happy bubble she always constantly seemed to be in. "So... You're an artist?" She questioned slowly, though quickly added, "Don't worry, not gonna ask to see it. When I was young, I used to draw a bit, and I liked it and honestly always found it irritating whenever someone tried to watch me do it or try to find out what I was making..." The pixie like female rolled her eye, shaking her head a little again before looking back to her work. "I always sucked at drawing, likely horribly so, and yet my mother insists on saving all of the pictures I ever made. Heck, she saved things from everything I did. Ballet, which I failed at. Soft ball, I also failed at.... Oh, who am I kidding? I failed at anything that involves any form of hand-eye coronation. You could put me on the flattest, more stable surface in existence and I'd still find some way to trip." With that, she laughed a bit at herself., though after a moment added. "I do have to admit that I am pretty decent at the violin, at least I think I am. Music was the only extra curricular thing I ever did, and could do well at all, once finding out how bad I was at everything else." She smiled a bit more broadly, before her lips faded back to the soft smile that had graced them earlier.
Jasper allows a small smile to appear on his face. “It’s nice to talk about something intellectual with someone,” he dismisses her embarrassment about her book rant. “Most of the people here just want to talk about parties.”
It was true. Jasper couldn’t help but overhear the plans that seemed to be set every single weekend for bush parties in fields just outside of town, or even house parties that students throw. He’d always just assumed that it was the Forks students’ way of having a little bit of fun in their small town lives. For the first few months after they had moved here, the Cullen siblings had received invitations to every single party. Emmett had always wanted to attend one, but Edward had always talked him out of it, saying that it would be better if they didn’t become close with anyone. That way when they had to leave, it wouldn’t be as hard. When they never showed up to any of the parties, the invitations stopped, and the rumors began about why the Cullen kids were so anti-social.
He’s surprised by her response to his advice. Then again, he had heard her say almost the same thing to Angela in the cafeteria the other day. The girl was definitely something different in this place of gossip and popularity contests. Jasper goes to say something else but grows quiet when she turns to her notebook. His fingers reach to grab his sketching pencil that rests next to his sketch book on his desk. He was getting the sudden urge to draw her, endeared by the faint smile that plays on her lips as she goes about her work.
He adjusts his seat a bit as subtly as he can; turning so he’s facing her ever so slightly. He flips to a blank page and starts his drawing, making faint lines as he copies her features, only pressing darker for the details. He keeps the cover of the book propped up with his hand, making sure that her view of his book is blocked. He only has to glance up a few times, thankful that’s all he needs for accurate details. Any more glances and he fears being caught. “So, where exactly did you move here from? Wherever it was, it has to be better than the constant rain of Forks,” he comments, wanting to break the silence between them.
He’s not used to making small talk with anyone outside of his family, and he grimaces faintly at the pitiful attempt. He focuses on his book, the sketch looking more and more like Alice with each stroke of the pencil. He feels an increase in their classmates’ curiosity as a few eyes try to peak at what he’s doing. “Looks like Hale’s not a robot after all,” a snide voice whispers when the jock spots the drawing.
Jasper ignores it, however, his jaw tenses.
"Believe it or not, along with organizing my room and doing the laundry for me and Charlie, reading is one of my plans for the weekend too." Alice paused briefly, smiling at the thought of the new books her mother had bought her before she left Phoenix that she hadn't had a chance so, for lack of a better term, sink her teeth into due to spending time with her father, catching up on things together, and even watching some sport with him though it wasn't really her thing. "I love 'Wuthering Heights' by Emily Bronte the most out of anything, though 'Pride and Prejudice' by Jane Austin is a close second, while Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare takes up third. I just love all the classics, really. Granted, there are some pretty good books that are from this day and age, but the old books... the true masterpieces of works make up all of my book collection.... Briefly trailing off, she blinked a bit before giving a meek look before saying in a tone that matched her expression, "Ehehe, you can ignore that babble about books if you want to..." Usually, whenever she babbled like that to someone, they'd get really bored, or go and talk to someone else. She did that babble a bit with Angela earlier when she did the interview, and was so thankful the girl hadn't been bored by it.
When even Jasper then mentioned her father's practical addiction to that diner, she couldn't help but giggle a bit more. "It's my first time back in Forks in years, and in my few days here I can already tell that. But, that will change to a weekend thing since, as my father puts it, he isn't afraid to cook the food I make for meals." Once stating that, she couldn't help but giggle more. Her mother was never a good cook, so the Swan girl learned to cook as soon as she was old enough to be allowed to by Renee--she couldn't take fast food, restaurants, and once a month Experiment Meal Day any longer by the time she was ten. She had noticed him glance away, and then when he no longer looked to her, and spoke those 'words of advice,' the short female blinked once and then gently rose an eyebrow. Slowly, she turned her gaze to where the seemingly deathly pale boy next to her had his eyes roam to, notice the four students whispering, and blinked once again before rolling her eyes and shaking her head a bit.
"A word of advice to you as well, Jasper Cullen," She paused, reaching down and grabbing her Algebra 2 book out of her bag and placing it on the table in front of her along with her notebook before continuing, "I don't believe in things anyone says about one another. The only time I believe anything about anyone is when I hear the facts leave their lips." With that, she cast a small smile his way before she flipped open the lid of her book and then flipped through some pages to get to where she needed to be--this pretty much showing him that she would go onto something else and no try and push him to converse any longer unless he decided her wanted to.
Jasper had been seated quietly next to her, not paying much attention to the people around him. He internally grimaced at the aspect of a free period, knowing that he was going to have to listen to his classmates’ gossip to one another, as well as shamelessly flirting. To occupy himself he begins doodling on the blank paper in front of him, a wilting rose slowly forming amongst the lines. He’s aware of Alice next to him, and the sound of her pencil tapping in a bored fashion against her book. Had she known more people in the school, Jasper assumes that she would join in talking with their classmates. He is taken by surprise however when it’s him that she decides to speak with.
He thinks about her question for a brief moment, thinking with a flicker of amusement that he couldn’t tell her his real plans of hunting with Edward and Emmett. “Catching up on my reading is the most likely scenario,” he answers vaguely, not completely lying. He was intending to read this weekend, but the contents would be historical papers from the time he had been human, and not exactly the modern books that she would think.
His lips curl up slightly at the corners of his mouth in a small smile when she mentions her father. He can feel her love for Charlie spike in her emotions as she speaks of him with amusement. “Chief Swan has a reputation for frequenting the diner. I think he’s there more than he’s home,” Jasper says.
A few pairs of eyes turn to look at the two and Jasper feels a sudden increase in curiosity. Of course it doesn’t surprise him that they are being watched. While Emmett has a friendly reputation around the school, Jasper is almost the exact opposite. And though he isn’t rude by any means, Jasper definitely does not go out of his way to hold conversations with people. In the few group projects he’s had to do, he gave short answers in class, and the rest was done by email. It probably shocked the class more than anything else to see the quiet, reclusive Cullen sibling actually conversing with someone that wasn’t in his family.
He turns his gaze to look at a few of the students near the front, who all turn quickly in their seats to avoid getting caught staring. That doesn’t stop them from leaning towards each other to continue whispering about them, however. Jasper’s small grin turns sarcastic. “A word of advice Alice Swan; you’re going to hear a lot of things about me, and my family. I wouldn’t pay them much attention. The people here couldn’t be farther from the truth,” he doesn’t look at her as he speaks.
He picks his pencil back up and returns to his drawing, noticing that the two eyes on his page match those of the girl next to him.
It was later that day, just before the end of lunch, and Alice had her face buried into her backpack as she leaned against a wall in the hallway since she had left lunch earlier for the debate club meeting with a certain glasses-clad girl. Which, by the way, they got out of five minutes ago. "Angela, I swear, I could shoot you and Eric right now. I mean it! All I have to do is go home and get one of my dad's guns!" The short pixie-like girl exclaimed, though in a more embarrassed than threatening tone, so Angela rolled her eyes. One, because Alice wasn't threatening. Two, because even though the Weber female has only known her for a day and a half so far, she could tell she'd never follow through with a threat even a little like that ever.
"We both know you won't." Angela replied simply, sipping on the soda she had as she did so. At this, Alice pouted and removed her face from her bag, "You don't know that! The story is worth getting shot. 'Not only is this Phoenix Flower pale enough to be a certain Disney princess, but is amazing in other ways as well!' What kind of line is that? It makes me sound so girly! I mean, I know I am girly, but not Snow White level girly!" Once finishing exclaiming this, she pouted more and had a light blush tint her cheeks out of frustration since Angela was already laughing at her already pouting expression.
Suddenly though, the Weber girl's words stopped and she looked serious in a way. "Alice.... Did you see the scar that's on Jasper's neck?" Upon being asked this, the girl in question blinked before giving a slow nod as well as questioning in return, "Yeah, I did. What about it?" When this was asked, Angela looked a little uncomfortable and shifted her feet a bit. "Well, it's just that everyone around school says it's because he was tortured by his parents or something before his aunt adopted him, and-" "Angela, if you're telling me you believe in rumors, I will beat you." Alice stated, pouting with a fake serious look and rolled up the school paper she still had in her hand. After a moment of silence, both females blinked once, and then they cracked up laughing.
"No, I don't believe in it," Angela began, pausing to finish calming her giggles, "But it is hard not to wonder on them, you know? I mean, what else could a scar like that be from?" At that inquiry, the short Swan girl nibbled her lip a moment before replying, "Whatever it is from, it's something that's a part of his past, and probably doesn't like to talk about. People can wonder on it, but they shouldn't talk about it. But, I doubt it's from torture. If it was, he'd probably be one of those leather-jacket 'bad boys' or something." Once she finished speaking, the bell rang, and both girls waves a brief goodbye before going off to their separate classes.
Once everyone in the Biology class got there, settled down, and the bell ran the teacher clapped his hands for attention before then beginning to speak. "Alright class; the onions we need for our root experiment haven't arrived for today as planned, so for this period is now an extra free period for you. Enjoy it, do late work, other class work, etc. You can talk if you wish, but keep it down. We'll do the lab on Monday."
As soon as the teacher sat down again, various students throughout the class sort of began to do a mixture of his suggestions. After a minute of tapping her pencil, Alice finally turned her attention over to Jasper. "So, you have anything exciting planned out this weekend with your siblings or something?" She questioned him of this curiously, she doodling idly in her notebook a she did. "My dad talked me into going to that 'Fork in the Road Diner' downtown since he loves it there so much. I think he just doesn't want to feel like he's forcing me to cook since he can only cook fish." The short female giggled a bit, a soft smile gracing her lips as she briefly mentioned her father's obsession with the downtown diner.
“You’re welcome!” Jasper calls back to her as Angela drags her down the hall.
He stands in the same spot for a few minutes, convincing himself that she didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary. Realizing that he may be late and draw unwanted attention to himself, he hurries to his locker and stuffs his bag away, gathering his notebook and textbook for his first period class; US History. It was the only class he had with Rosalie, and it was guaranteed to be as painful as ever with his pissed off sister sitting next to him with her attitude for the entire period. Sure enough, she doesn’t even bother looking up when he enters, despite the fact that he knows she sensed him before he even entered. “Hey Rose,” he tries to be civil, only to feel a spike in both her annoyance and regret.
She goes back to her phone, texting Emmett no doubt while he waits for his chemistry class to begin. All Jasper could hope for was that he doesn’t manage to blow anything up again like he had last month. When the teacher comes in, the phones around the room go away and the students stare at the front, pretending to listen. Jasper glances at Rose out of the corner of his eye. Speaking lowly, he makes sure that only the two of them can hear. “How long are you going to be angry with me?”
Rose purses her lips and for a second, he thinks she won’t answer. “I’m concerned Jasper, there’s a difference.”
She glances his way. “Yes, concerned. This girl could undo you. She could ruin all that we’ve worked for.”
“I won’t let her,” he tries to sound sure of himself, but fails.
He couldn’t shake the strange feeling that had risen in him at their contact in the hallway. She was surely close enough to at least catch sight of at least one of the scars on his neck that his shirt failed to keep hidden – the same scar that had begun the rumor of him being tortured by his real parents before being adopted by Carlisle and Esme. But Alice hadn’t blanched at the sight of it, if she had even spotted it. In fact, she hadn’t acted in any other way but friendly and pleasant. It almost made him want to drop his guard a bit, but he had built up his walls for so long, that he was uncomfortable with the prospect of letting someone close, outside of his family.
"Angela, can you stop dragging me, please? We're gonna end up knocking someone down!" Alice cried with a light yelp to the girl as they narrowly missed tripping over a male student that had knelled down to tie his shoes. Geez, and the short female thought she was the only one who could be this persistent when she wanted things done quickly? A moment later, she was pulled out of her thoughts when Angela replied to her worried statement by simply responding with, "No we won't, Alice. We have to get this done as soon as possible! We could even have the story ready for the school's paper today by lunch!"
Despite the glasses-clad Weber girl's reassurance that they wouldn't hurt anyone, she hadn't reassured that they wouldn't run into anyone at all. The pixie-like female was, of course, about to point that out in another attempt to get Angela to slow in her pace, what she hadn't wanted to occur had; she ended up running into someone. Upon the light collision course, Alice couldn't help but squeak out a bit as she couldn't help but almost fall over backwards; due to her two left feet, she was unable to even herself out on her own. Thankfully though, the blonde male had caught her arm and she was able to keep from falling down.
Once being steadied, and then having her arm release, thankfully for Jasper she hadn't noticed the full intensity of his cold touch. She felt a light after shock of the sensation; so, in all honesty to her, it just felt like he should maybe being to wear loves while outside. "It's fine Jasper; absolutely no worries. And oh! Since I've run into you before Biology," The Swan girl paused, she reached a hand into her bag and rummaging around a moment before pulling out a small stack of papers, holding them out to the blonde male and continuing, "Your notes. I copied them last night, so I don't need them anymore. In all honesty, thank you for letting me use them again." Alice flashed him a soft smile once he took the notes, and then squeaked as Angela suddenly gripped her arm and began to pull her away again as the halls where almost empty and first period was about to start.
"See ya later~!" Alice managed to call over her shoulder, and then Angela proceeded to drag her off and around a corner to the destination of the medium room.
“Knock knock,” Bella grins as she stands in the doorway of Jasper’s room.
He’s seated at his desk, his laptop open with some homework on the screen. He stops working and turns in his seat, motioning for her to come in. “What can I do for you?” he asks, his eyes going back to the computer screen.
“Well, I want to know what happened. You’ve been so secretive all night and Edward won’t tell me a thing. I just want to make sure it went okay for you,” she sits cross-legged in the center of his bed a few feet away.
“It went as well as it could have. No one was killed and I paid my ticket. It was a little…disappointing though,” he frowns as he talks, though his fingers do not stop typing.
“What do you mean disappointing?”
Jasper leans back in his chair, crossing his arms over his chest. He swivels it so he’s looking at her. “I could sense that she was nearby. She was right upstairs. The whole point of me going over there was to prove to myself, and all of you, that I was capable of being around her without losing control. I wanted it to be her that answered the door, but she never even came downstairs. So I made myself look like a fool and probably confused the hell out of the chief.”
Bella rolls her eyes. “Jasper, just the fact that you were able to be in her house, surrounded by things that she’s touched – things that have her scent covering them – is a huge step. You should be proud of yourself. I know we all are.”
“I just don’t want it to have been a waste of time,” he sighs, running a hand through his hair.
“You’ve come a long way since you first joined the family. Edward told me all about how much you struggled and how you fought as hard as you could to overcome it. You haven’t slipped once in over six years. Before, you couldn’t even go more than eight months. That’s got to show for something,” she tries to comfort him.
“Yeah…” he answers though his voice shows he isn’t all that convinced
While they talk, dawn arrives. It was almost a routine that Bella would come in his room and they would have long conversations as the sun rose. It was the only time the two really had a chance to speak to each other without being interrupted by a snide comment from Rosalie, or one of Emmett’s immature jokes. Edward had been a little jealous when they had first started this ritual, but over time he became understanding, allowing the siblings to share a few hours together without being disturbed.
While they talk, Jasper continues writing his report, only stopping every now and then to throw a sarcastic smirk, or a genuine smile over his shoulder at her. As he finishes, she rises from the bed and ruffles his hair as she walks back to the door to start getting ready for school. He prints out his work and tucks it in to his bag, just as rain drops begin to pelt against his window. Any chance of him riding the Ducati to school always went away at the sight of rain. Esme had made it clear that humans don’t ride in such dangerous road conditions, so he wouldn’t be either. He ends up getting a ride with Emmett in the Jeep, which promptly ends up with Rose switching to ride in Edward’s car. Upon arrival, they all split up to head to their respective classes. Jasper is in the process of tucking away his cell phone in to his messenger bag when he enters the busy intersection of hallways – and walks directly in to Alice, who is being dragged by the Angela girl. “My apologies,” Jasper reaches out his hand on reflex, grabbing her arm to steady her as she stumbles back.
Angela stops and lets go of Alice, falling silent as she looks between the two. “Are you alright?” Jasper asks, dropping his hand before the coldness of his skin becomes too noticeable.
The Next Day: At Forks High School - 10 minutes to first period"Alice, hey!" At the exclamation of her name, Alice would blink and look around as she jumped down to the ground from the cab of her truck. Upon spotting who had called out to her, however, the short girl smiled and questioned, "Hey Angela, what's up?" She'd turned, shutting and locking the cab behind herself before then starting to walk off with the girl in a slight skip in all honesty. "Not much, just thought I'd remind you of what I weaseled you into yesterday as you so kindly put it." The taller of the two girls stated with a light smirk, but then blinked at the girl next to her who was practically skipping. With a raised eyebrow, she couldn't help but question; "Wow, are you always this bubbly when it's not your first day at a school?"
"No, I'm not. Just been in a good mood since last night, is all; my dad did dishes." The Swan girl replied, and Angela rolled her eyes with a smile at the response. In all honesty, what she had just stated was a lie. Granted, it was nice he dad had cleaned up, but it was what he followed through on that made her so giddy. The night prior to the current day, Alice had just finished getting ready for bed and was going to go downstairs and say goodnight to her father. When she had been about to open her bedroom door, though, she had halted upon hearing a voice she was shocker, yet then again wasn't shocked, that she recognized as Jasper's. She knew her father would follow through with it, but hearing do so had made her just feel giddy. She hadn't gone down the stairs until Jasper had left so she could do what she had planned on, and then after that she went to bed since she had already finished her school work.
"Oh! I almost forgot; you aren't going to first period today, Alice!" Angela exclaimed suddenly while halting her footsteps, and that caused Alice to blinked and freeze on the spot. "What do you mean I'm not-?" The pixie-like girl had begun to questioned, but was cut off by Angela already replying with, "I'm taking you to the school's media office. You promised to do an interview for the paper, remember? I'm part of the news team, and Eric wants me to take you there. He had our media teacher excuse you from first block, so no worries." Upon taking in the information, Alice rose an eyebrow, but then shook her head with a soft smile and a light sigh. "Alrighty then, lead the way-" Yet again, the female was cut off, but this time by herself giving out a squeak due to being instantly gripped by the wrist and being sort of run off to the media office by being dragged by Angela.
he sun has long since gone down and the moon is high in the night sky by the time Jasper’s motorcycle comes roaring down the Cullen’s driveway towards the house. He can feel a certain anxiety as he approaches the door and he knows that it’s radiating from Esme. He isn’t in the door more than thirty seconds before his adoptive mother has her arms wrapped around him, relief spilling off of her in waves. “You are not to leave like that unless you tell us where you are going, am I understood?” she scolds in his ear.
“Yes Ma’am,” he answers automatically.
It had been a long time since Jasper had felt like he was loved by anyone. Esme had taken it upon herself to remind each of her children that they were deeply cared for, just like they were her own. Feeling her concern, Jasper tries to think back to his own birth mother, but finds his memories of her have faded greatly over time. He merely gives her a soft smile as she lets go, stepping slightly out of her grasp so as to break some of the guilt he feels. “May I speak with you?” he asks, glancing quickly over her shoulder as Bella and Edward stand in the doorway.
The annoyance radiating from upstairs tells him that Rosalie didn’t plan on joining them any time soon. “Of course, dear. Come on, Carlisle’s office is empty, we can talk there,” Esme steers him down the hall and the up the stairs, ignoring the curious glance of Emmett as he exits the living room.
Jasper knows that the privacy is pointless. They wouldn’t be able to go anywhere in the house without his siblings listening in, but he appreciated the gesture nonetheless. “So, Edward told me you had a bit of trouble today. Want to tell me what happened?” Esme closes the door and crosses the room, taking a seat on the couch pressed against the far wall.
Jasper remains standing, his hands clenched behind his back as he thinks about what to say. “Today was…a challenge to say the least. The Chief’s daughter had her first day.”
He chooses his next words carefully. “I’ve never felt so tempted in my life. I don’t know if I can do this, Esme,” he looks to the carpet, shame filling him.
It kills Esme to see her newest son looking so humiliated. Why Jasper had come a long way since when he had first stumbled upon their family, he still struggled more than any of the others. She could sympathize with his temptation, but she can’t allow him to give up. She rises from her seat and tilts his head up. “Jasper, you are a strong man. I have faith that you can get through this. That being said, I won’t let you drop out of school,” she smiles at him.
“If it’s about staying in Forks longer…” he starts to say but she cuts him off.
“It has nothing to do with staying here longer. It has everything to do with us not letting you quit. That, and I won’t look like an unfit mother for letting her son be a dropout,” she winks at him.
Jasper starts pacing the room, running a hand through his hair as he thinks of some way he can convince her. He doesn’t notice the slip of paper fall from his pocket until she picks it up and raises an eyebrow at him. “Jasper Whitlock Hale, what is this?” he recognizes her tone as one she uses when Emmett breaks something.
“It’s just a ticket,” he weakly defends himself.
“You know better than to be careless if you’re going to speed. I want this paid by tomorrow afternoon. You’re lucky I don’t have you go pay it personally right now,” she had noticed that it had been Chief Swan to issue the ticket. While she wasn’t impressed with the carelessness of Jasper’s actions, she wasn’t going to torture him by making him be around the Chief’s daughter any more than he has to.
Jasper feels her stern emotions fade in to her usual gentle, caring mood. “You know we’re all here for you, Jasper. You don’t have to suffer alone. That is why you will be going to school. Here,” she hands his ticket to him.
“And if you get another ticket, I will take that bike from you,” she smirks, ending the discussion.
Jasper tucks the ticket away and follows her from the room, ignoring the looks from Edward and Bella as he passes them in the hallway. Esme’s words spin in his head and Edward offers him a smile. “She’s right Jasper. You’re capable of handling this.”
“I don’t know, Jasper seems pretty set on being selfish right now,” a new voice joins the conversation.
The three on the main floor look up to the balcony overlooking the main living room to see Rosalie standing there with her hands on her hips. “That’s uncalled for, Rose,” Bella frowns.
Jasper can feel the sense of abandonment hidden beneath Rosalie’s anger and annoyance. He knows that it takes her a long time to trust people. When someone breaks that trust, she can become cold and distant. Jasper knew that he was towing the line with her by taking off. After all, he was for all intents and purposes her brother and they had become close. She had probably felt betrayed by his decision to run off so suddenly, and that he wasn’t going to come back. “I’m just trying to keep from making a mistake,” Jasper answers.
He can see her nostrils flaring. “You know, I’ve become proud of you for working hard at being around people every single day. Then one girl comes along and you don’t know if you can handle it? I thought you’d give yourself a little more credit than that. If you can believe in yourself, how can we?” with that, she storms back to her room.
“Don’t listen to her Jasper, she’s just in a mood,” Emmett enters, wanting to see what the commotion was about.
“No, she’s right,” Jasper shakes his head, grabbing his motorcycle keys and heading for the door.
“Where are you going?” Bella moves to follow him but Edward holds her back.
“Are you sure?” he asks, staring at the blonde man.
Jasper nods. “I have to prove to myself that I can’t give in.”
This time he forgoes the helmet and gets right on the bike, shooting down the driveway. He had to prove that he could control himself; that this girl didn’t have some insane hold on him after one day that would make him lose over half a century of progress. He finds his way to the Chief’s house, remembering the path from when he had driven Esme there to give Charlie a congratulatory cake for his promotion to Chief of police.
He can smell Alice’s scent before he even pulls up in front of the house. Needing an excuse for visiting, he digs around in his pocket until he pulls out his ticket, and pulls out the bills from his wallet to pay it. He steels himself and approaches the door, knocking a few times before waiting. His hand trembles slightly as he waits, hoping that he had been smart about this. When Charlie answers the door with a slightly confused expression, Jasper’s hand holds out the ticket and the money. “Jasper, what are you-“ he cuts Charlie off.
“I wanted to apologize for earlier, Sir. I was foolish and I wanted to come down here and admit my mistake face to face. And since I am unable to get to the court house or police station, I wanted to make sure you got the money and that I paid the ticket on time,” Jasper speaks, trying not to look nervous.
Charlie stares at the boy, clearly taken by surprise by his words. “Look, come in, it’s getting cold out and I don’t want to stand in the doorway. I’ll let the heat out.”
Jasper reminds himself to be calm as he enters and Charlie shuts the door behind him, scratching the back of his head.
“This was really unnecessary,” Charlie looks at the money before glancing over Jasper’s shoulder towards the stairs. He had almost mentioned that Alice had talked him in to lowering the fine, but he couldn’t let the boy think that he had gone soft by listening to his daughter over his job. “Besides, I think I was a little harsh.” Jasper notices the slight hesitation before his admission. “And anyways, I haven’t had any trouble from you or your brothers or sisters before so I’ll cut you some slack. Pay the $50 misdemeanor and we’ll call it even. You don’t have to pay the full ticket.”
It was later that day, roughly about seven in the evening or so with the sun having already set and the moon shinning bright, that Charlie Swan would enter his home and smell the scent of a finished meal attack his senses. Due to what he remembered of Renee's cooking skills, the police chief was highly hesitant at first. But, after a few minutes of light begging from his daughter, and she unmercifully using a puppy-eyed look on the man, that he tried the food. After that, the meal was silent since he was eating it so intently; it had been so long since he'd had a real home-cooked meal in the comfort of his home instead of just diner food or fish.
About ten minutes into the dinner, Alice had just finished her plate and Charlie on moved onto his second serving, the Swan girl finally questioned out slowly, "Say Dad.... What do you know about the Cullen family?" For an instant, the police chief would pause, and set his fork down to look at his daughter and talk properly.
"The Cullens are great people. The father, Dr. Carlisle Cullen, is a blessing to this town and all the people around here is talk the entire group of them behind their back. We're lucky to have them, but all the sorry folks around here don't understand that. The kids in this town, they cause trouble almsot every week, but those Cullen kids had never gotten into any sort of commotion. At least until today; I caught that boy Jasper speeding..." Charlie choose to trail off there, and Alice blinked at the last words he spoke.
"Why was he speeding?" The short, pixie-like girl questioned intently. Her father blinked at her interest before he replied, "He said that it had been a rough day." After that, he picked up his fork and put another bite of food into his mouth.... Which, he choked on just a small amount at this daughter's next question of, "Well, did you give him a break?"
"Alice, sweetie, I don't give breaks. You know-" Charlie had begun, but was cut off by the said girl putting in, "Dad, you said that the folks around here talk bad about the Cullens pretty much, right? Just from one day at that high school, without having to hear the adults talk, I know my classmates talk worse. I almost made an enemy out of Jessica Stanley today because of how she spoke of them when I asked, and Jasper seems to be the most talked of at that school. You said they've never cause trouble, can't you cut the guy a break with his first offense?"
There was a long moment of complete silence, a father staring at his daughter as if she had grown a second head. But, from the look on her face, the determination there, Charlie sighed before slowly proclaiming, "If you honestly think that they have it that bad at the school just from one day, then fine; I'll cut him some slack. But it's only this once! I won't cut any of the other of them slack if they speed again or something else. I'll lessen the ticket to a misdemeanor price for speeding which is only a fifth of the usual speeding ticket price, okay? It'll be about $50 then because of how face the kid had been going; that's the best I can do-" Charlie was, yet again, cut off by his daughter but due to her running around the table and throwing her arms around his shoulder and kissing his head. "Thank you~!" She said in a sing song voice, and then left out of the room.
"Let me know when you're done eating so I can put the rest of the food away and do the dishes!" Alice called from the top of the stairs, and then left into her room and shut the door. Charlie stared after her for a few long minutes, and then shook his head as he finished off his meal. "Looks like she's never lost the urge to make people's futures brighter..." He muttered to himself, and then a moment later he gather the dishes, stood, and headed over to the sink. He set them down, staring at them a moment and then at the meal his daughter had cooked from scratch, and sighed before muttering to himself; "Hell, I know how to clean my own dishes. I can't let squirt do everything." With a smile, the male began the dishes and the night ensued on normaly.
By the end of the school day, Jasper could do nothing but wish vampires had the ability to sleep. It had taken everything in him to keep it together until the final bell rang. Just when he thought that he was safe after biology class, he ended up running in to Alice in a few more of his classes. She didn’t always sit next to him but just her presence in the room was enough to drive his thoughts wild. If he had been human, he would have fainted from the sheer force of everything overwhelming him.
He throws his last book in his locker, slinging his messenger bag over his shoulder. “Home free,” he hears Emmett’s voice from behind him.
“Tell Esme that I need to talk to her later. I’m going out for a while,” Jasper throws the words over his shoulder as he walks away.
“What? Jasper, you can’t just go,” Emmett argues, following his brother.
“You don’t understand how hard it is!” Jasper stops abruptly, snapping out of nowhere.
“I was new to this at one time, too, you know,” Emmett replies lowly.
Jasper opens his mouth to reply but instead shakes his head and keeps moving to the door. He sees Edward and Rosalie already by the cars, waiting for their mates. “What’s the rush?” Edward asks Jasper, noticing the tense atmosphere even without the empath’s power.
“Jasper here is apparently leaving somewhere, immediately,” the largest of the three brothers crosses his arms over his chest.
Jasper tries to block his thoughts but Edward has already tuned in. “You can’t just run away from this. It’ll only set you back if you let it get to you,” he says.
Jasper resists the urge to growl out of irritation. “I’m not running away! I just need to get away for a few hours and I’ll be back tonight. I’ll plead my case with Esme, and hopefully she’ll understand.”
Rosalie rolls her eyes and brushes past him to get in the Jeep. “I’m disappointed Jasper. I thought you were stronger than this,” she jabs at him verbally.
Jasper ignores his adopted twin and pulls on his helmet and mounting his bike. He keeps his eyes turned away from the large truck, where he can pick up her presence. He can hear her soft voice muttering and fights the temptation. He waits until the truck exits the lot, backfiring loudly enough to startle other students. With one last look at his siblings, Jasper throws the bike in to gear and peels out of the lot, heading in the opposite direction. The road is empty so he opens up, shifting through the gears more quickly than necessary. They’re right, you need to be stronger. This family has done too much for you to just throw it away. Put them before yourself! he scolds himself mentally.
He’s almost at the town line when he sees the cop car too late. The lights are flashing and the car pulls out on to the road behind him, forcing Jasper to slow down. He pulls off to the side and kills the engine, reminding himself to be calm. His helmet is removed and he stares at the road until the police officer walks up to him. “Son, do you have any idea how fast you were going?”
“No Sir, my apologies. I had a rough day, but I know that’s no excuse,” Jasper answers almost robotically.
“You’re Carlisle’s boy right? Jasper?” Of course, it would be Chief Swan that got him, Jasper thinks bitterly.
“Yes Sir, that’s me,” he nods.
“Sorry Jasper but I’m going to have to write you a ticket. Can’t let one of you get away with speeding when everyone else gets ticketed,” Charlie scribbles on the notepad, filling out the information.
“I understand,” Jasper replies.
“Keep it at the speed limit, would ya?” Charlie hands over the ticket, which Jasper folds and slides in to his jacket pocket.
“Yes, Sir,” with that, the conversation is over and Jasper is able to put his helmet back on.
He pays more attention to his surroundings as he gets back on the road, not stopping until he’s a few hours outside of Forks. At least here in the wilderness, surrounded by trees and animals to feed on, he is away from the temptress that is Alice Swan.
The rest of Alice's day had, in all honesty, been pretty uneventful. Her next class had been rather uneventful; she had three more classes after her class with Jasper, and those had been an instrumental class the school had that was an automatic mixture of orchestra and band students, and she had ended up having that class with only two people she remembered the names of for sure, and that was Eric and Angela. Thankfully, for her comfort, the only open seat left in the class was on the end of a row next to Angela, and a seat away from Eric. Like earlier, she had said Eric was nice, but just a little unnerving since it felt like he was trying to hard.
After that class it had just been two more academic classes and then, of course, the final bell to go home. Once she had gotten to her locker, which Angela had walked to with her since she keeps all her books with her at all times in her bag and didn't need a locker trip, Jessica was there. The blonde girl had, surprisingly, apologized in a way for how she had been at lunch. She had agreed that she shouldn't speak of people like that because she new her parents would scold her or feel ashamed, but that it didn't change her views or beliefs. It was a pretty decent compromise is what to call it, which the Swan female happily accepted since, for some strange reason, she could feel her future here being a rough one if the Stanley girl ever put her onto her enemy list.
Upon walking into the parking lot, the short female paid more attention to her surroundings instead of basically keeping her eyes averted from everyone since, well, she practically knew everyone and the nervousness had died that she had felt earlier. Despite chatting with Angela a little, sine Jessica had gone of to her car, she went silent as her eyes caught site of three specific vehicles in the parking lot. Wow, a Hummer. ...It's an H2, a sport utility from.... 2005? Oh, and the next one is obviously a Volvo... A Volvo s60r I believe? Yeah, that's what it is. And that bike, I have no doubt at all it's Ducati! It's also highly likely an 848 going by it's shape and color. Aw man... I love the truck Charlie got me, it's a classic Ford and I respect that, but I can't help but wish it could go as fast as all of those... She pouted, her thoughts lingering on those vehicles she recognized and labeled in her mind and on how all the cars in this lot are probably faster than hers, before she was pulled from her mind by Angela saying by and heading off to her car.
Alice returned the farewell, and then went off to her own truck. When the red Ford backfired, she winced a little before petting the dash of the vehicle a bit. "There, there girl. I know the cold can hurt a truck...." She muttered off-handily, and once letting the ride heat up a little, did she finally leave the school parking lot.
“Bye,” the word is barely out of his mouth before she is out of her seat and heading towards the door.
Jasper looks down at the small scrap of paper in his hand, reading the message a few more times. He slips the note in to his pocket before gathering his books from the top of the desk. He makes a quick exchange at his locker, grabbing another textbook and a sketchbook for his next class. He has art with Bella for the next hour, and she is already perched behind her easel by the time he arrives. “I’m sorry about earlier,” he murmurs to her as he walks behind her stool to take his seat at the easel next to her.
She merely gives him a small grin, signaling that he’s already been forgiven. Her paint pallet is already prepared with a variety of colours, each one neatly spaced from the others. Jasper sets to work on his own, impatiently dabbing small portions of paint across the thin slab of plastic. Sticks of charcoal and a few sketching pencils rest in the grooves at the bottom of the easel for quick access. Once everyone is in their seats, they listen to the teacher introduce the next assignment. Off the top of their head, they are supposed to sketch out a made up portrait, and then paint it. For Jasper and Bella, they could have had it done in a few short hours. However, the work is supposed to last for at least a week, so they would have to drag out their actions.
More than once Jasper catches himself adding in details that he shouldn’t – like soft, porcelain features. Much like a certain pixie-like girl in their school. When he notices, he scowls and quickly makes the lines more harsh, replacing the soft features with stronger edges. The girl was distracting him far too much and she wasn’t even in the room! He frowns sourly. Art was his best subject, after US History. He had never done a piece that wasn’t fit for an art show. This one however, was becoming rather grotesque. “Nice one, Jazz,” he can hear the smirk in her voice before he even turns to see it.
“I’m having an off day,” he mutters back, his scowl still in place.
He wants to comment on hers; to find some flaw in the sketch, but as expected, it’s almost perfect. They were the only two in the Cullen family that could draw so well. Her, only because he had spent the past ten years teaching her to do so. It was how they had bonded when she joined their family. The little girl in their picture was definitely supposed to be a blend of her and Edward, he could tell. Even without the paint, the girl’s dark eyes and hair are going to reflect a combination of the two. Her features are doll-like and for a split second, he notices the longing in Bella’s face, and the sudden feeling of yearning. “Bella,” he murmurs, almost silently.
She snaps out of it almost instantly, apologizing to him. They both go back to work, the conversation not going any farther. By halfway mark of the class, Jasper’s sketch has been altered to at least look somewhat like a mythical creature. When the teacher comments on it, Jasper merely replies with, “You didn’t specify it had to be human.”
Bella fights back a smirk as the teacher walks away, flushed at having been proved wrong. “Esme warned you about that,” Bella whispers so as not to be heard.
This was true. At their last school, Jasper had gotten flustered over blatantly wrong facts about the Civil War that he had begun correcting the teacher, who hadn’t studied history at all, but was a quick replacement for the school. A complaint was filed against Jasper for humiliating the teacher in front of the class, and Esme had been called. Jasper had been scolded when they got home, mainly just to remind him to keep himself in check at school. He could tell by the smile tugging at her lips that she wasn’t really mad at him. If anything, she was proud when her children were able to outsmart the professionals.
At the light words of comfort Jasper gave, the teen female couldn't help but smile in a mixture of relief and calmness to know that she wasn't the only person who had gotten lost in this school. She was about to continued the conversation, question if any of his other siblings or even him had trouble like that the first day as well, but stopped herself from speaking the instant she heard the teacher address herself and the blonde male next to her from across the room. Her eyes widened, and then got a meek look and scratched the back of her head a little from the same meekness before focusing back onto her work. Thankful she had been able to keep a blush from forming on her face; the last thing she needed to be labeled as was 'The Blusher' on her first day there.
At the surprisingly soft sound of hearing a paper being ripped, Alice blinked, and glanced over towards Jasper direction just in time to see the note being slid over. She read it, first glancing at him with a light raised eyebrow out of pure curiosity before she shrugged and gripped her back pack strap before silently hoisting it onto the table. After rummaging through the bag a few moments, she pulled out the wanted piece of paper, and handed it over to the blonde haired male.
Once seeing him scan over the list of classes, and then rip out another piece of paper and begin to scrawl across it, the Swan girl couldn't help but raise an eyebrow out of pure curiosity again as to what he was doing. A moment later, when he slid the new piece of paper over to her, she picked it up and scanned over all it said slowly. And, as she read further and further down, a soft smile slowly made it's way to her face. She folded the paper with the direction, placing it into her pocket and then gripped the first piece of paper he had slid over to her before placing it in front of herself and taking her pencil to it.
A moment later, she slid the piece of paper back over to him, and on it read just three simple, words:
Thank you, Jasper.
Right after had slid the piece of paper over, the bell for the end of the period rang and Alice blinked once before gathering her things and putting them back into her back pack and then slinging that over her shoulder as she stood up. She looked over to Jasper, flashing a small smile in his direction and giving a light wave before simply saying, "Later."
Once doing that, she simply left out of the class room and was soon grouped in between some girls who decided to get their chance to introduce themselves to the new girl.
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