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First Impressions

Summary:
Jasper and Rosalie Hale live a simple life in Forks with Carlisle and Esme. Both of their lives are rocked, however, by the appearances of love in their lives. JasperBella, RosalieEmmett.


Notes:


4. Long Drive Home

Rating 3.5/5   Word Count 1715   Review this Chapter

Chapter Four

ISABELLA SWAN

“So, I was thinking that maybe we could skip out on the bonfire,” I said, trying to look in Edward’s eyes. He looked disinterested.

“Why would we do that? Everyone really wants to go, and so do I. Are you feeling sick, or something?” He didn’t look concerned about my health as he said this; he looked more annoyed than anything.

“I just don’t really like parties, that’s all.” I sighed. “But if you really want to go, then we’ll go.”

“Yeah, I do really want to go, and so should you – but that doesn’t mean you have to. Jeez, Bella, would you stop with the whole guilt trip thing? Nobody is forcing you to go. I’ll take you home before I go to the bonfire if you don’t want to go.”

I was shocked into silence. How could he be so cold? “You know what, Edward? Forget it. I think I know someone else who’d rather give me a ride home.” I jerked my hand out of his and jogged to Jasper Hale’s car.

JASPER HALE

I put my car in reverse with remorse. I could see Bella in my rear-view mirror, holding hands with Edward Mason and walking away from me. I ignored them, concentrating on switching gears and driving out of the parking lot without surpassing the speed limit by 150 miles per hour.

I made it to the stop sign by the exit when there was another tap at my window, this time more urgently and loudly. A strange tingling warmed the pit of my stomach, creating an odd blend of nausea and delight; it was Bella again.

When I rolled down the window, I saw she was breathing slightly harder than normal, and her cheeks were flushed. Waves of defiant emotion and triumph were pulsing from her like a heartbeat. She felt alive. “Hey, Jasper,” she said, trying to catch her breath in between words. “Do you think you could give me a ride home?”

“Sure,” I said. “Get in.” After she shut the door and I started to pull out of the parking lot, I asked, “So. What brought all this on?”

Her confidence started to fade after I asked this. “Edward was being, well… he was being a jerk,” she said. “I’m so sick of him, you know? It’s like I’m always there for him, but when I really need him, he’s…”

“Never there for you,” I finished.

“Exactly,” she said. She started to grow uncomfortable as the minutes passed in silence – I could feel it. “I really hope you don’t mind doing this.”

“Believe me,” I said. “The pleasure is all mine.” Her eyes widened and I heard her steady heartbeat increase rapidly.

Again, I was mortified. I’d said it to her in such a suggestive way, what must she think of me? All I thought of her was how beautiful she was when her delicate cheeks reddened, filling the car with the luscious scent of her blood, how alluring the quickened rise and fall of her chest was to me…

“What I meant by that was –“ I started, but Bella interrupted me.

“No, no, I understand.” She was blushing harder now, and looking away from me.

I grimaced. I had been optimistic about the hour-long car drive with Bella – it would have only been a half-hour trip had I been alone, but I didn’t think Bella would approve of the speed – but things were quickly going sour.

“Let’s start over, shall we?” I asked. “Why don’t you tell me about yourself?”

She was confused. “About myself? What do you want to know?”

“Well, I know you are the police chief’s daughter, and that you moved here from Phoenix last year, but that’s about it,” I said.

She was quiet for a moment, twisting her hands in her lap. I sent out calming waves, hoping to loosen her up. It worked; she spoke. “My mother got remarried, so I decided to come here.”

“You decided to come here, or you were sent here?”

She bit her lip; a thrill passed through me. “I sent myself here. I wanted to give my mother and Phil – that’s her new husband – some space.”

“That was very generous of you,” I said. She didn’t respond.

We didn’t speak for a time, and I found myself aching with thirst. She was still somewhat nervous, despite my efforts to calm her, so, with its quickened pace, her heart pumped more blood than usual as the minutes passed, driving me into a near-frenzy. Isabella Swan was going to drive me mad with thirst. I tried to swallow the excess venom in my mouth before it could build up too much.

“Why don’t you tell me about you, now? We talked about me, and now it’s only fair you return the favor.” I was taken aback by her sudden speech.

“Alright,” I said, cautiously. “What do you want to know?”

“Just general stuff. I know you have a twin, Rosalie, and I know your father is Dr. Cullen, down at the hospital, but that’s it. And you’re also adopted, right?” I smiled at her word use, so similar to my own.

“Yes, that’s right. Esme was my mother’s sister. They were very good to take us in, after our parents died. We moved here from Alaska a year before you did.” I delivered the fictitious Cullen bio to her like an actor delivers the lines of a play.

She didn’t look convinced, and something in her was… suspicious. It was subtle, but enough to raise a red flag with me; I would be careful what I said to Isabella Swan. “I see,” she said. “And what else?”

I blinked. “What else is there to know?”

“Well, there are other things,” she said, looking back down at her hands. “Like… why don’t you or Rosalie talk to many people? Other than this,” she said, pointing at ourselves.

I was stumped. I hadn’t gathered from Bella’s conversations with her friends this level of observance; of course, lengthy conversations with Bella and anyone were a rarity. “I don’t know,” I said. “I guess we just feel like outsiders. Forks is a very close-knit community.”

She was looking me in the eye now, as if she were trying to read what untruths laid within their depths. “You’ve been here even longer than me, and I’ve made some friends.”

I didn’t like the way she was looking at me now, prying for information with her eyes. “Maybe you’re just more sociable than us,” I said. “Rosalie talks plenty to people, actually. She was sitting with Jessica Stanley just today,” I said, trying to deflect Bella’s attentions away from me.

“Maybe,” she said. “But today was the first time I’ve ever seen you two apart.” I remained silent, stoic. Bella was far more perceptive than I’d given her credit for; it made me nervous.

We didn’t talk for the rest of the trip, other than the monosyllabic directions Bella gave me to get to her house. When I pulled up to her house, she didn’t get out of the car immediately. “This was… interesting,” she said, unbuckling her seatbelt slowly.

“Thank you, again, for the ride,” she added. I got the sense that she was beating around the bush of what she was trying to say, for whatever reason.

I was leaning slightly toward her now, to wish her farewell. “Goodnight, Bella,” I said, taking care to take in her delicious scent. I believed myself thoroughly under control; I could resist the temptation to bite while enjoying the scent, or so I thought.

As it happened, I had accidentally breathed in her face; because she was a human, the sweet scent must have been entrancing. She leaned closer to my face unwittingly. “Yes,” she said. “Goodnight.” Her words indicated she meant to depart, but she didn’t move.

I didn’t move, either. We were both sitting stock-still in our seats, the tips of our noses almost touching from the closeness. Her hand, on the edge of her seat, was close to touching mine there, as well. She leaned in closer, closing her eyes. I blinked back surprise, willing myself not to go down that road. I didn’t even know if she really wanted to kiss me, or if I was just accidentally transferring my emotions onto her.

The moment stretched strangle in time, and a dull thudding noise deadened in my ears; I realized the source of the problem after a moment. “Breathe, Bella.” She sucked in a large gulp of air and opened her eyes, breaking the tension.

She blushed immediately. “Goodnight!” she said, throwing open the door and letting in a gust of cool air. The air cleared my thoughts. It allowed me to think of things other than the way her full, warm lips might have felt against my cold ones, the way it would have tasted if I bit her lower lip a little and let her hot, sweet blood mingle with our kiss…

She slammed the car door and ran up to her front door. After she disappeared inside, I drove home with only my thoughts of Bella to keep me company.

ROSALIE HALE

“Are you ready?” I said, Emmett’s hand tightly encased in mine.

“I think I am,” he said. “Therefore, I am.” I laughed at the mild joke. He could only smile thinly.

I had brought him a changed of clothes; he looked dashing, now that he was dressed in a civilized manner. “You look handsome,” I whispered in his ear. We were walking up the porch steps to the house. When we had almost reached the front door, Esme opened it, her jaw dropping slightly in surprise.

“Who is this, Rose?” She didn’t blink as she spoke.

“This,” I said, looking at my feet, “is Emmett.”

Comprehension flickered on her face. She smiled warmly. “Well, then, come on in, Emmett.” She led us inside.