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Link of Souls

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November 2019

"So, I'm free to attend regular high school?" Amelia asked, staring at her father through narrowed eyes. It was almost too good to be true.

Charlie nodded. "You've done well the past two years, and your therapist recommended it as well. And we're already into your senior year, better now so you can enjoy your last year of high school."

Amelia let out a squeal of excitement and clapped her hands together. "Thank you!" She cried, throwing her arms around the man who for all intents and purposes was her father.

Life had not been easy for 18-year-old Amelia Swan. Her birth parents were abusive and neglected her, not even bothering to enroll her in school. They died in a fire when Amelia was only six years old, making her an orphan with no other known relatives. The Chief of Police of Forks, Charlie Swan, took her in and raised her like she was his own daughter.

And so her life as the daughter of the small-town police chief began. She had to play catch up with school, trying to be better than her peers only to realize she was not where she needed to be (she was now a year behind thanks to her bio parents). It eventually caught up with her during the beginning of her sophomore year when she began to act out and eventually suffered a mental breakdown. The result? Alternative school and seeing a therapist three times a week (now she was down to once a week).

"You won't regret this, I'll be good, I promise," Amelia vowed. And she meant to keep that promise. She wasn't gonna allow her life to spiral out of control like that ever again.

"I'll hold you to it," Charlie said giving her a small smile. "And I have something for you."

"What?" Amelia asked, following her father as he walked out the front door. There in the front yard was a dark red Nissan Altima. Amelia let out a squeal and ran up to it. "You're serious?" She looked at her father, who nodded. "What year is it?" Amelia had learned how to drive a few years ago, and being the daughter of the cop meant that her father had made sure she was quite good at it and that she obeyed all the traffic laws (outside of a bit speeding that is).

"2010, I got it for a good deal. I had it cleaned out, washed, detailed, and the GPS system inside upgraded." He tossed a pair of keys to her. "No drinking and driving, and in the house before 9:30 on school nights, and 10:30 otherwise."

Amelia could deal with that. "When do I start?" She asked. Amelia would need to tell her friends, and prepare for the coming gossip storm. All courtesy of living in a small town like Forks.

"Monday," her father answered. "I have information about all the regular classes, and the times, so you can pick your schedule. It's in a folder on the counter in the house. I think you might want to get started on that first, Lia."

Amelia raced back into the house, snatched the folder off the counter, and pounded up the stairs into her room. She hopped onto her bed and whipped out her bronze Samsung galaxy fold, furiously typing several messages and sending them out, before she opened the folder and began to look at the courses for Forks High School.

It wasn't hard to line up her current courses with the ones offered. It only took about fifteen minutes for her to pick the courses and pick the ones at the times she preferred (fingers crossed that they weren't full).

Her phone vibrated and she looked down to see a text from Aurora. Aurora was one of her closest friends and the only other black girl in the 12th grade. They bonded over that and so much more.

Are you serious? You're out of alternative?

Amelia's fingers danced across the screen as she sent a responding text.

I wouldn't joke about it at all. I'm out. Filling out the form for classes right now.

OMG! Congrats!

Thanks!

Her phone vibrated again, and she looked down to see it was a text from John. She paused and bit her lip. John and her were "complicated", to say the least. They had dated on and off, until just last week when she agreed to get together once more. Especially since she was in a better place in her life. A part of her wondered if she should have left John in the friend category permanently.

That's great! It'll be good to see you during the day.

It'll be good to see you too.

Amelia sent out a few more texts before tossing her phone to the side and signing the forms and taking them back downstairs to her Dad, so he could sign them as well. Charlie looked over her classes and nodded approvingly before scrawling his signature on the papers.

"I'll scan them and send them to Ms. Cope so she can get everything taken care of for Monday," Charlie said, and Amelia gave him a big smile.

"Thanks, Dad," she said before racing back up to her room, nearly bubbling with excitement. Things were finally looking up for her.

Monday came, and Amelia was up at 7:05 and set about getting ready for her first day of Forks High School. Over the weekend, she washed her hair, and went and got a sew-in. Her hair was now long black waves with brown highlights that reached the middle of her back. So it was easy enough to get up and remove the satin bonnet from her head (she needed to remember to get a satin pillow soon), and she went downstairs and fixed herself a bowl of Apple Jacks. Afterward, she hopped in the shower, brushed her teeth, and pranced over to the wardrobe that had most of her clothes.

After fifteen minutes, she picked out a plain white sleeveless top, a cream ankle-length skirt, and a blue jean jacket. After she got dressed, she sprayed oil sheen on her hair, brushed it a bit, did a minimum amount of makeup (foundation, dark brown eyeshadow, and nude lipstick were enough), cleaned her glasses before putting them on, slipped on a pair of worn but comfortable black toms, grabbed her backpack and keys, and headed out the front door.

About five minutes later, she was pulling up in front of Forks High School. She found a parking spot and got out, ignoring the looks and whispers as she made her way into the building. She went to the administrative office, where Ms. Cope handed her the approved schedule and told her she needed to get her teachers to sign off on it for the day. There was also a note to see the school counselor during the Flex period. Hmm.

Her first class was physics, and it took her no time to find the classroom and find a seat near the back and take out her pen and notebook. Students began to join the classroom, some of them giving her curious looks that were easy to ignore.

One student stepped in, and she did a double-take. He was tall, six-three with a medium build, honey blonde hair that fell to just below his chin, pale white skin, and golden eyes that were now staring at her intently. He wore a long-sleeved gray shirt, dark wash jeans, and an open black jacket. She could see the defined muscles underneath his shirt. And those long legs...they looked powerful and strong. A shudder ran down her spine and she forced herself to look away, shaking herself out of her dazed reverie. What was wrong with her?

Amelia pulled out another pen and began to doodle on the margins of her notebook. It was a welcome distraction and prevented her from being tempted to look at the strange boy. And who was he? There were a number of boys she knew, as it was a small town, but she had never seen him before.

The teacher began the lecture, and Amelia began to dutifully take notes, though sometimes she got distracted thinking about the boy whom she was pretty sure was still staring at her. She could feel his presence even from where she sat in the room. At the end of class, she stood up and gathered her things before walking to the front of the room and getting the teacher to sign off her schedule.

"Ms. Swan," Mr. Washington peered at her before signing off on her schedule. "I'm glad to see you doing so well."

Amelia blinked but nodded. "Thanks." She swept from the room and into the halls where she found John waiting for her with a small box of what looked like chocolate covered turtles.

He leaned in and kissed her cheek. "You look good, babe," he said giving her an appreciative glance, before handing her the box of chocolates.

Amelia took the box. She would probably make it through them by the end of the day. "Thanks, John." She said, offering her hand which he took. Her boyfriend was one of the more handsome boys in school. He was about four inches taller than her 5"5, with dark hair, blue eyes, and the lean yet slightly muscled look that basketball players had.

"So I saw we have the next class together."

"British Lit?" Amelia double-checked her schedule. "Mrs. Potts?"

"Yep. Don't look so surprised. I certainly wasn't taking AP." John led her down the hall and around into another hallway. "She's kinda strict so be careful, Lia."

Her eyes narrowed slightly. "Careful?" She repeated. "I don't intend to cause any trouble, John." And his hints otherwise, pissed her off.

"That's not what I meant, Lia," he stuttered out, trying to backtrack.

Amelia watched him carefully, her expression cool. "Okay. Take me to the classroom."

John led her to the door and into the room, where to her surprise, she saw the boy from her first class. And from the look on his face, he saw her, but what was wrong? Amelia didn't know the boy, but she was smart enough to see the absolute burning rage in his eyes. If looks could kill...

She turned to John. "Let's sit over here." She maneuvered around the desks, towards the window which happened to be the furthest from the strange honey blonde boy.

"So, when are you gonna come over my house?" John asked, casually.

"You mean when am I gonna have sex with you?" His distracting question amused her more than anything else. That was until she heard a loud snap and what sounded like an animalistic growl. She looked out the window along with several other students, unnerved. She looked back to her right and there was the boy, his face utterly monstrous which sent her reeling back against her seat. What the hell was his problem?

John noticing her reaction reached over and touched her hand. "Lia?" He questioned. "You okay?"

Okay? She was pissed off and if to be honest, more than a little frightened and unsure about the range of emotions she had been feeling since this morning. She didn't dare look at that boy or even in his direction.

"I don't know a lot of people in here," Amelia said, pointedly ignoring his question. "Start naming names, John."

John laughed. "Oh alright, well that's Angela Weber,..." He listed several people until he finally named the one person she wanted to know the most in the room. "And that's Jasper Hale, you know Rosalie's twin? Not sure why he looks so pissed though..."

Jasper.

Jasper Hale.

She wanted to look at him, but she willed herself not to. The teacher eventually came in, apologizing for their tardiness and quickly getting into the lecture. Amelia took notes, trying not to think about Jasper and his rage or that despite it all, she was very much attracted to him. Like it or not, she felt something about him. And maybe before his all-consuming rage, he felt something about her?

After class, she said goodbye to John and headed towards the counselor's office, where she found herself in front of the school counselor, Ms. Worth.

"Ah, Amelia," Ms. Worth said looking up from the folder she was reading. "I'm glad you could make it."

"What is this about?" Amelia asked, nervous and worried. Were they changing their minds?

"It's about making sure you remain in a good place while you are here and afterward," Ms. Worth said simply. "I've talked with your father, and twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, you will come here for your Spartan Flex period."

Amelia couldn't help the scowl that came over her face, but she eventually nodded. "Okay," she said slowly. "Okay, that's fine."

Ms. Worth nodded. "I know you don't like it, but it's for your own good. You've done so well, we just want to make sure to keep you on the right path. Especially since this is your senior year."

"Alright, so what did you want to ask me?" Having a personal therapist made it somewhat easier for her to get a conversation going with the school counselor.

"How were your first two classes?" Oh shit, anything but that. What could she say? Some strange boy who was the most handsome she had ever seen gave her death glares?

Amelia took a deep breath. "Well, it was a little strange, but I took good notes and one of my friends was in my second class, so that was a big help."

Ms. Worth looked at her before nodding again. "For what it is worth, I think you will adjust finely with your classes. Don't be afraid to ask for help if you need it."

"I won't be, Ms. Worth. I intend to do my very best." And she meant every word of it.

Ms. Worth smiled. "I'm glad to hear it. Now go on to your next class, I'll see you Friday."

Amelia felt a sense of relief when she discovered that Jasper wasn't in her next few classes. When lunch came, she made her way to the cafeteria where she spotted her friends at a table. She waved at them before getting in line for her food. She grabbed the cheesy breadsticks with marinara, broccoli, and sliced pears, and a water bottle before joining her friends at their table.

"Look who's here!" John crowed eliciting a round of laughter from the table.

"Yeah, I'm here and I'm gonna stay," Amelia sang, before biting into a cheese stick. She pulled out her sketchbook and began sketching a piece. She had a Tumblr, which she posted her artwork on, and she also took commissions. This latest one was supposed to be a pseudo fantasy version of a medieval knight. A piece she was charging a good 50 dollars for.

"I'm glad to hear that," Aurora said. Amelia and Aurora had known each other since the 5th grade. Aurora was stunning with her long box braids, perfect brown skin, and black looking eyes. "We have a winter formal coming up, so you know what that means!" Her eyes brimmed with mischievousness.

"Shopping!" Taylor squealed. Taylor had moved to Forks at the beginning of freshmen year from New York. She had long black hair, ivory-colored skin, warm brown eyes with epicanthic folds.

The boys rolled their eyes and laughed. Amelia took a sip from her water. "I look forward to it," she said. "Think of all the pictures I'm gonna get at Winter Formal."

"I don't know why you aren't in Yearbook, Lia," William said. William had the distinction of being the only black boy in their grade. He was tall, with light brown skin, thick arms and legs, and a decent looking face. "That Eric kid could use some help."

"No, I don't think so. I like photography on my time," Amelia said, looking up from her sketch. "Anyways, what are we doing this week?" Now that she had more freedom, she intended to use it.

"How about a movie and dinner?" Josh suggested. Unoriginal, but Amelia didn't have any problems with it.

"I like it," she said, glancing around the table. "Well?" She prompted.

"That new Terminator movie is out," William said, "I've wanted to see it."

"Terminator?" Taylor rolled her eyes. "Typical, but fine, I'm in."

"I'll look up the movie times and then we can see what works best," Aurora volunteered. She looked at Amelia. "What's your curfew, Lia?"

"9:30 on school nights, 10:30 any other time," Amelia answered after swallowing a bite of broccoli. "So make sure the movie ends with enough time for me to get back to Forks." Port Angeles was at least an hour away.

"Are we having dinner in Forks or Port Angeles?" William asked.

"Might as well have it in Port Angeles," Aurora retorted. "There are more options there."

"Okay, well let me know about the times, and we can decide how early dinner needs to be," Amelia said, before taking another sip of water. "So tell me, what have they been saying about me?"

An uncomfortable silence descended upon the table. Amelia raised an eyebrow before shaking her head. "Go on," she encouraged. "Is it the usual suspects?"

"You mean those bitches Jessica Stanley and Lauren Mallory?" Aurora asked, her voice dripping with anger. "Of course it was them."

Amelia wasn't one for violence, but Jessica and Lauren sorely tempted her on that personal rule. "I ought to spread a couple of rumors about them," she murmured before continuing her sketch, trying to work out the shape of the knight's helmet. "If it gets too bad, let me know." Amelia hated to be caught by surprise.

"They'll shut up and move on to the next object of gossip eventually," Taylor said sourly. "I wouldn't worry too much."

Easier said than done. It was bad enough being one of the few Black people in town but to have a trail of gossip behind her? It had her seething some days. "Hmmm," she hummed. "Anyways, did anyone catch Riverdale last night?"

After lunch, her next class was Spanish II, which didn't have Jasper either, but it did have a girl whom she assumed by her stunning good looks, had to be his twin, Rosalie Hale. And from the look on her face, Jasper must have said something about her. Fucking great.

This time, she took a seat at the front of the class, and kept her mind on Spanish the entire time, until class ended. She got her schedule signed and made her way to the last class of the day, which she had all to herself as it was Digital/Web Design/Film. In fact, this was the class she was most excited about as she had decided to take it to help her photography skills.

After school, she headed home and after speaking with her father, placed the orders for the textbooks she needed and finished the homework she could. Afterward, she changed into a grey t-shirt and a pair of comfortable pale blue lounge pants and got to work on her art. She finished up the sketch for the commission and made a note to set it to color, tomorrow after school.

Her father eventually arrived home, and he brought a pizza with him, which she very much appreciated. They sat down at the table, and Amelia began to dig into her food, enjoying the deep dish pepperoni slice.

"How was school?" Charlie asked.

"Fine," Amelia said, making sure to keep her tone even and her face casual. "I talked with the school counselor." She gave her dad a pointed look, turning it back on him.

Charlie grumbled. "Well, you can't blame me. And if all goes well, you won't need the twice a week meetings with the school counselor." So, there was an opportunity for her? Well, far be it from her to ignore it.

"What about my regular therapist?" Amelia asked, after taking a swallow of soda. "I'm going to college next year, so..."

"You are keeping your regular therapist to the end of the school year at least," Charlie said firmly. "If all goes well, then you won't have one starting in the summer."

Amelia said nothing and continued eating her pizza, trying to push down the simmering disappointment. "Am I even allowed to go out of state?"

Her father gave her an offended look. "Of course! I want you to pick the best school for you, Lia. I'm going to give you the chance to have a regular college life. I think you can handle it without going crazy and partying non-stop."

Well, that much was true. "I'm going to Port Angeles with some friends this weekend."

"Oh?" Charlie questioned, before taking a bite of his own pizza.

She nodded. "We're going to dinner and then we're seeing that new Terminator movie."

"I don't have any problems with it, have fun and be home by 10:30."

A thought came to her mind. "By the way, do you know the name Hale?"

Charlie looked at her. "Dr. and Mrs. Cullen's foster kids?"

"Foster?" Now, that was interesting.

Charlie nodded. "Actually, the Hale twins are Mrs. Cullen's niece and nephew that she took in when they were young, the others were adopted."

"Others?" How many were they? And were they all blonde, gorgeous, and angry?

"Edward, Emmett, and Alice Cullen, I believe," Charlies answered. "All of them are good kids, never had any trouble with them." He gave her a suspicious look. "Why?"

"Nothing." Her tone didn't waver and her expression remained casual. She shrugged. "You know that small-town gossip."

Her father scowled. "That family is better than some of the so-called older families in this town. Dr. Cullen could have had a fancy job at any hospital in the country and he chose here."

"They sound nice," Amelia said quietly, though inwardly she felt otherwise. At least when it came to Jasper and Rosalie.

Once she finished eating, she cleared her plate and went back upstairs to her room where she opened her laptop and watched Netflix for the next two hours. She then grabbed her camera and opened her window, before climbing out onto the tree outside. She began taking pictures of the sky, and the dark forest that faced her backyard. She felt a sense of stillness and quietness. Amelia wished she could go into the forest and take a few good pictures, but her father would have a fit, so this would have to do.

Amelia climbed back into her room, went to the bathroom, and brushed her teeth, wrapped her hair up under her bonnet, and getting into her bed. Maybe a night of good night's sleep would give her an idea of how to deal with Jasper Hale, tomorrow morning. Her eyelids began to grow heavy and she drifted off to sleep, with her night being filled with nothing but peaceful dreams.