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Sweet scent of Home

By Stefanie Jansen

Romance / Fantasy

Chapter 1

twilight does not belong to me. I just liked to play with the characters.

Jaspers POV

It was the middle of March, though looking at the weather it might as well have been winter anywhere else but in Forks/Washington, rainy, cold and the weather forecast predicted snow and ice for the next few days.

I was bored. Even more bored than usually. The new girl in school had been the topic of every conversation that morning, no matter how much I tried to tune out and not listen to the chatter around me. Briefly I wondered what it must be like for Edward, who would not only have to deal with the talk but also with everybody's thoughts about her. However, I still didn't get what was so interesting about the fact that a new student was coming to Forks High School, but that was probably due to the fact that human concerns didn't really interest me anyway.

At least school was a time when I did not have to deal with Alice's silent reproach. I was her failed project, and she was not used to failing. Whenever she had looked at me recently, I could see it in her eyes. I didn't even need my special gift to get her mood. "Failure. Why did I ever bother with him? All the others think so too." Of course I knew that Carlisle would never give me up, but how much of that was due to his undying optimism, and how much was real trust in me, I couldn't really gauge. I had become careful about projecting my feelings lately, not wanting everyone in the house to suffer my depression and anger, but I wasn't sure for how much longer I could keep that up – and if it was worth it anyway.

Alright, lunch. I always felt we were putting on a show for the rest of the school there, sitting apart at our usual table, pretending to eat human food when what we actually craved was the humans around us. Oh no, Edward's trying to pick my brain about how thirsty I am just because I thought about that girl over there. Don't worry, brother, I'm harmless. A harmless, vegetarian vampire. I hate the way, Alice keeps up a front of being in love with me still. Well, maybe today the new girl will be the attraction for once.

Ah, there she is, chatting to that vapour-headed Jessica, good grief. Not bad looking though, long brown hair, clear skin.

"So, is the new girl afraid of us yet?" Emmett asked Edward who was staring at the table she was sitting at intently.

"What? Oh, no, Jessica is dishing the dirt on us."

He seemed preoccupied, confused even.

"What's she saying to that?" Rosalie was curious and in a gossipy mood.

"That she has no time to bother with us", Edward answered and got up. "I've got to go and get my book from the locker." He was gone rather fast.

"I wonder what got into him", Emmett grumbled. "The way he is he needs to go hunting soon."

I smiled. For once it was not me they were worrying about. Alice and Rosalie weren't listening any longer. They had started to talk about the new fashion sales in New York they were going to visit next week, thankfully. A whole week without Alice. Strange how that prospect could be so elating to me, when a few months ago I couldn't imagine spending any time away from her. Looks like everything has its time, I thought melancholically.

When I looked up from my ruminating, the others were at the door already, waiting for me to catch up. I shook myself out of my thoughts and went to join them.

When I passed the table of the new girl, someone opened the door and a gust of wind brought her scent to my nostrils. I staggered, but caught myself just in time and joined the others to go to Spanish class.

I did not catch a lot of what the teacher was saying, still stunned by the girl's scent and the images that had been able to create in my head: vistas of dry red earth, clear mountain air, strange rock formations and the herbs and flowers hardy enough to withstand the climate of the Southwest – home. What the hell was that? I had to get closer to her again to find out what had happened.

However, when I finally reached the parking lot after the last lesson, I was just in time to watch Edward seeing her off at her truck. I decided to block my thoughts to him on the way back and find out what he was doing by checking on his feelings. For once I was in tune with my brother and sisters who were already waiting for him at the car, frowning at one of us getting so close to a human.

As soon as the doors were closed questions were flying at Edward from every direction.

"What's with you and the new girl?"

"What do you think you're doing?"

"You can't be serious!" Alice. At once everybody's eyes were on her. She huffed. "He wants to be her friend, and", she frowned in distaste, "it's going to work."

"You're out of your mind!" Emmett summed up our feelings.

Edward shrugged. I wasn't sure what I was getting from him. Was he about to fall off the wagon? No, I couldn't sense any hunger from him. Turned on? Hey, had someone finally managed to get through to the 107-year old virgin? That could be amusing. No, far too calm and cool for that, though there was some excitement. Mm, I would definitely have to listen in for more here.

"What? Just because I talk to the new girl in school, trying to blend in as we're supposed to do, you all gang up on me? She's the Chief's daughter by the way. We have biology together and a question came up during the lesson, which we wanted to discuss further, That's all."

Ah, definitely defensive now.

"So you're not planning on seeing her again?" Alice asked in a highly ironic tone.

"I'm not 'planning' on seeing her again, I'll see her again. She sits next to me in biology. So, yes, for the next four days I'll see her again."

He was looking forward to that. So Alice was right. We'd have to watch this, before he got us into trouble. If a high-strung person like Edward let down his guard and started giving in to impulses, we could be in serious danger of being exposed.

When we arrived at the house, Edward held me back. "Don't look at me like I'm a time bomb, ok?"

I shrugged. "You aren't?"

"No, I'm fully in control."

"So Alice is wrong?"

"No, but it's not dangerous. As I said, Carlisle wants us to blend in, and for once I'm going to do him the favour." He stomped away and spent the rest of the evening at the piano, thus making sure no one talked to him.


Bella's diary

Wow! Talk about having no expectations and finding yourself pleasantly surprised! Today was my first day at Forks High School. I was almost scared to death of coming somewhere new, in the middle of semester, and then in such a small place where everybody would be ganging up on me with their curiosity, but it turned out fine. People are really quite nice here, they don't get into your personal space and actually want to help. Before lunch alone I met four other students who were almost falling over themselves to make me feel welcome. Jessica, a gossipy, girly girl, Angela, who is really nice and almost as shy as I am, Eric, who looks a bit nerdy and Mike, an all-round nice guy who helped me out in gym later – ugh: gym every day here, there will be casualties! I will be careful though, I have no intention of being completely roped in to small town America concerns and ending up staying here married right after school like Mum did. Before she left with me that is, leaving Charlie longing for her and living in the past. But it was really nice to be sitting with a whole group of other students on my first day instead of being lonely new girl.

Anyway, at lunch I saw him. Edward, the most beautiful boy I've ever seen: gloriously messed up reddish hair, a face like it had been chiselled in Renaissance Italy. He was sitting at a table with his brothers and sisters (Emmett, Rosalie and Jasper are seniors, Edward and Alice – who looks like a pixie – are juniors like me), only they are not his real siblings. Jessica told me they are all adopted, and living with their doctor parents. They were all quite good-looking, the girls were to die for and the other two boys looked handsome enough to be models, all were very pale though. Even in that crowd Edward stuck out. Sigh! Jessica said they moved here from Alaska two years ago, and that they stick to themselves mostly – apparently everyone apart from Edward is with someone else. Must be weird in a family, though. Jessica sounded as if she had made a pass at Edward and been rebuffed, I could hear quite a bit of spite in her description.

So, when it turned out that the only free place in my Biology lesson was the one next to Edward, I braced myself for an encounter with arrogance and bad temper. However, it didn't happen. Edward was as polite and nice as you could possibly imagine, the perfect gentleman. He likes Biology too, and is very knowledgeable about it, so having him as my lab-partner is great, it could even make up for not being in an AP class here. Mr Banner seemed pleased about our cooperation as well and talked about giving us extra projects to keep us occupied. One thing though could definitely interfere with getting ahead there: it is hard to concentrate with someone so totally gorgeous next to you. At least he seemed not completely put off by my plain self, and when I got out of gym – disaster! – he was there again, walked me to my truck and we talked some more. Could the most beautiful guy at school really be interested in me? Maybe I shouldn't get my hopes up, he's probably well-raised, and would be polite and nice to anyone who seemed as clumsy and mentally impaired as me. Still – looking forward to tomorrow!

Ok, got to stop now to go shopping for groceries. A quick expedition in the kitchen showed that Charlie must have been either eating out or starving himself. I better do something about that before we all die of scurvy around here and get cooking… and dream some more about my … no, be serious!

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