Fate Has Brought Us Here Part 4




Title: Fate Has Brought Us Here

Category: Books » Twilight

Author: cullen818

Language: English, Rating: Rated: MA

Genre: Romance/Drama

Published: 04-09-09, Updated: 10-16-09

Chapters: 34, Words: 93,408

Chapter 18: Chapter 18

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JPOV

Everyone left Bella and Edward in that room. I would have preferred to have faced a thousand newborns biting into my flesh. After all, I knew what that felt like, but leaving her with him felt ten times worse than any venom ever could.

“Do you feel like hunting?” Alice asked

“Sure, but first I’d like to say something to Carlisle and Esme.”

“What is it, Jasper?” Carlisle inquired.

“I’m sorry for any part I may have played in creating such a rift in this family. I didn’t do it on purpose, and I certainly never meant to hurt Alice or Edward. Bella was just as much a surprise to me as it must have been for the two of you to see us together.”

“Jasper, it’s obvious to us that you love her very much, and she clearly returns those feelings. You shouldn’t feel bad that fate has brought the two of you together. We still love you very much.”

“Thanks, Esme. I love you, too.” And I really did. They were the closest thing I had to parents, and I had always felt a strong connection to them.

Carlisle spoke next. “Jasper, while this is very hard for Edward and Alice, you should never feel that you don’t belong here with us. I know it is awkward now, but our kind, we have many years ahead of us to figure this out. You will always be welcome wherever we are, and I will always consider you a Cullen.”

“Thank you, Carlisle. You don’t know how much that means to me.” I could feel the love building in the room, and it wasn’t until that moment that I realized how much I missed my family. Hopefully, someday we could all find a way to coexist. “Alice?” I motioned to the door.

“Let’s go!” She bolted out the door and into the woods. It was wonderful to hunt with another again. I had been alone for so long now, that it was fun to share this experience. Alice was Alice. I thought it might be awkward. But we fell back in to our old routine and before I knew it, we were laughing and competing with one another as if not a day had passed.

After the hunt was over, we climbed a tree. I sat on a thick branch and watched Alice as she walked along the branches, balancing herself on one foot. She was laughing to herself, and I could feel the relief radiating from her. She revealed so much today, and I was sure it was a huge weight lifted from her shoulders. She really was an exquisite creature. I smiled at her flamboyant nature.

“What?” she asked.

“I’m just enjoying you. I’ve missed you.”

“The feeling is mutual.” She came and sat on the branch with me. “I’m happy for you, Jazz.” Her feelings were genuine.

“Obviously, you’ve had some time to prepare.” I tapped on her head.

“If I would have told you, would you have believed me?”

I didn’t answer because I honestly didn’t know.

“I had a hard time believing it, and it was unfolding right before my eyes; literally!”

“I’m sorry for that, Alice; you must have been so conflicted. I knew something wasn’t right that summer leading up to Bella’s birthday disaster, but I thought we would work through it. There was never any doubt in my mind that we wouldn’t make it, but then…”

She interrupted, “I told you I didn’t want you to stay with me. Of course I wanted you, but I knew you weren’t mine to keep. You never were.”

“That’s not true. We had so many wonderful years together. All of those memories will never fade for me and up until you let me go, I thought we would spend eternity together.”

“That would have been nice, but I always knew that there was someone else waiting for you.”

Now what did she mean? How long did she really know? I looked at her questioningly. “What else have you been keeping from me?”

“It was never anything specific that I could pinpoint, but now I know why I couldn’t see your future as clearly as I should have at first. My feelings for you were in the way, never fully allowing me to see you with another. The visions started as far back as our beginning.”

“Of Bella? But how?”

“I didn’t see her face, or else I would have known it was her that first day in the cafeteria when we saw her. In my early visions, it was just someone other than me in your arms and you looked different, like you do now. I would only have them every five years or so, and they really didn’t bother me. The girl in my visions didn’t have a face until the day Edward pushed her out of the path of the van. It was almost as if she was meant to die that day, that’s why I couldn’t see her face, but when Edward saved her, it set your course.”

“Alice, I was going to kill Bella that night in her sleep. Remember? I didn’t want her to expose us.” I was so ashamed to have to even think about what I wanted to do to my Bella.

“But I changed your mind when I told you that I was going to love her someday, but I knew it was you who was going to love her.”

“You lied?”

“No, I do love Bella like a sister, and I know someday we will be very close. I still see her as one of us.”

“Is it still me who turns her.”

“Do you have any doubts?”

“Well, not before today, but now with Edward back in the picture, I’m not sure what will happen.”

“She loves you, Jazz, and she needs you, don’t ever doubt that.”

“What did I do to deserve you?”

“You’re just lucky, I guess?”

“Yes, I am, in more ways than one.”

“Okay, if all of that is settled, can we talk about the ring?”

“Why am I even shocked that you would know about that? Do you approve of it?”

“Are you kidding? It must be like five carats!”

“Six.” I said casually.

“Bella is going to freak when she finds out how much it cost.”

“She won’t find out. Will she?” I asked.

“Not that I’ve seen, and she won’t know how much it cost. She is oblivious to that kind of stuff,” she laughed. “So, you’re going to do it soon.” That wasn’t a question.

“Am I?”

“I see a Christmas tree in the room when you ask her.”

“I had planned to do it in the next few weeks, but now I’m not sure. She may need time to sort through her feelings.”

“Back at the house, Bella said it was one of your conditions. What did that mean?”

“I told Bella I would change her when she made amends with Charlie and Renee. That’s why we were in Forks; she wanted to start with Charlie. I also told her she needed to come to terms with her unresolved feelings over Edward. I never imagined that she would get to do it face to face.” I started to feel a strange vibe, but I knew it wasn’t coming from Alice.

“Jazz, everything will work out for you. I know it.”

I could feel her heart rate increase. She was in pain. I jumped out of the tree and was knocked to my knees. The emotional turmoil was unbearable. “Bella!” I whispered. I had never been able to feel this much from someone so far from me.

Alice was at my side. “Jazz? What is it?”

“She’s in pain, Alice. I can feel it.”

“That’s not possible. We are twenty miles from the house, how could you pick that up?”

“I can feel her. She has kept that anger and hurt over him leaving her for too long. It’s been bottled up and now that she has released it, she can’t handle it!” I winced at her despair. “She is physically hurting now. If he’s hurt her...”

“He would never hurt her on purpose.”

I sprang to my feet and took off. “I have to go to her!” Alice was right by my side.

BPOV

Watching Jasper leave the bedroom was one of the hardest things I had ever had to do. I wanted him to stay with me and hold my hand while I talked to Edward, but I knew that wasn’t possible. I had to do this all by myself, and then when it was over, I would be free to spend eternity with the love of my existence. The only problem was, the vampire who was staring at me believed he was the love of my existence. “Edward, I…”

He waited patiently for me to speak. I tried again. “I think… I mean…” After all of this time, I didn’t even know how to begin.

“Bella, take your time. I’ve got a lot of it,” he smiled.

“Don’t do that.”

“What?”

“Go all sweet on me and try to charm me.” I tried to get into a seated position, but it hurt too much. He was kneeling by the bed in front of me. He was inches from my face and I could smell his wonderful scent. Stop it!

“Don’t move. You’ll hurt yourself, love.”

“I can’t say what I need to say to you while on my back. Please help me sit up.” I extended my hand. He did as I asked, and gently pulled me in to a seated position. “Oh God, that hurts.”

“I’m sorry. Bella, it’s all my fault.”

I swung my legs over, so that I was sitting on the edge of the bed. “Yes, Edward, it is all your fault.” He sat down next to me. I wasn’t comfortable with him being so close.

“Are you frightened?”

“Yes.”

“I won’t hurt you again. It was an accident.”

“Was it an accident when you left me alone in the woods?” I was angry, and he needed to know that.

“About that, I think you need to hear why I did that.”

“I already know why.”

“No, what I told you that afternoon was a lie. I left because I was trying to keep you safe. I wanted to release you, so that you could live a normal life and the only way I could ensure that you would move on, was for me to tell you that I didn’t love you anymore. It was wrong. I never stopped loving you, I thought about you every second of every day. You were always on my mind. Bella, I love you.”

I didn’t say anything. We were silent for a few minutes.

“I know that this must be a shock for you. After all I put you through, but do you understand what I am saying? I never stopped loving you.” He took my hand. “Bella?”

“I know, Edward,” I whispered.

He breathed a sigh of relief. “I knew deep down inside you would have to know that I loved you. All those thousands of times I told you, I knew our connection was too strong. Bella, do you see what this means? We can start again. I’m here now. I don’t care what you have been doing with Jasper. I still want you. I always have.”

I pulled my hand from his. Was he kidding? He didn’t care what I was doing with Jasper? Like I was doing something wrong? “No, Edward, you didn’t let me finish. I really did believe every word you spoke that afternoon in the forest. I believed that you didn’t want me, didn’t love me enough to stay, you would be easily distracted once you were away, and most importantly, I believed you when you said that you would never come back. I went on believing all of those lies for two years. I completely shut down, lost those years. I didn’t talk to my parents, I had no friends, I barely remember graduation, didn’t go to my prom or my senior trip. Is that the normal life you had planned for me?”

“Bella, I didn’t know that my leaving would cause you that much pain. I thought you would move on.”

“Oh, I did move on, eventually. I found a reason to get up in the morning, to smile, to laugh, to share all of my hopes and dreams with. I found someone who isn’t afraid to tell me when I’m wrong, lets me make my own decisions and isn’t afraid to break me.”

He stood up and paced the room. “No, you were lonely and vulnerable, and he took advantage of that.” He kneeled down in front of me. “Bella, he dazzled you.”

“Yes, he did, and it was the most amazing thing that has ever happened to me.” I smiled just thinking about Jasper. I missed him already. “Edward, I love him with all of my heart.”

“No, you said that you knew I lied in the woods. If you really knew how I felt, then how could you fall in love with my brother? Why didn’t you ask Jasper to find me? He knew why I left. “

“I did believe you that day, and that is why my life fell apart. When I ran into Jasper, I still wasn’t over what you did to me. He helped me when I needed him most. Falling in love with him was never about replacing you. Jasper told me why you left, he told me that you always loved me and he would have brought me to you if I asked, but I didn’t want that. I didn’t want you. I let go, just like you wanted.”

“I wanted you to find a human and have a normal, healthy life. Someone who could give you all the things that I couldn’t.”

“Jasper gives me the things you couldn’t.”

He stood up and backed away from me. I slowly got off of the bed and walked toward him. “He’s not afraid to touch me, to kiss me, to give me what I want.”

“Tell me that you are risking your life by being with him,” he paused, and squeezed his eyes shut. “Sleeping with him to get back at me. Please tell me that, so that I can tell you it worked, it hurt me and now you can stop, before he kills you.”

“Get over yourself, Edward Cullen. This has nothing to do with you. I’m not trying to hurt you. I had no idea that I would ever see you again. This is about me and Jasper, and the life we are creating.”

“No!” He moved back again to create some distance between us.

I stepped closer to him. “Would you have ever come back for me?”

“No, but now that I’ve found you again, I can’t let you go.”

“You didn’t find me, Jasper did.” A low growl came from deep within his chest. “You can growl all you want, but it’s the truth.”

He was very angry now. He had that terrifying vampire look again, and I was wishing that I hadn’t gotten so close to him. I started to back away. “Where are you going?” He gripped my arm, “You weren’t so afraid of me a few seconds ago.” He pulled me toward him.

“Let go!”

“Does my brother handle you this way? Is that what you like? Is this what you wanted from me?” He licked his lips.

I tried to pull away, but it was no use. My heart rate picked up and I froze with fear. Did I push him too far? Was he actually going to bite me? He took his free hand and pushed the hair away from my neck. “Edward, please…”

He gently placed his lips by my ear and whispered. “Please what?” He sniffed my hair. “You smell so good, better than I remember.”

He wanted my blood. He was going to lose control, and it was my fault. All I could think about was how Jasper was never going to forgive himself for leaving me alone with him. He tightened his grip on my arm and pulled me as close as he could. He leaned down, putting his face to mine. Our lips were almost touching. “Bella,” he whispered. “I love you.”

Wait a minute? He was trying to kiss me? He wasn’t going to bite me at all. His lips slowly grazed mine and then he licked my bottom lip. I smacked his chest hard. Of course it hurt me more than it hurt him, but he got the message. “Are you out of your frigging mind?” I hit his marble chest again, and I really felt it that time, but I didn’t care. “I tell you that I’ve moved on, and that I’m in love with Jasper and all you can think to do is bully me into a kiss? Are you crazy?” I kept pounding on him. I don’t think that I had ever been that mad.

He backed away from me. “Bella, stop it. You’re going to break your hands.”

I moved with him, as I kept hitting him. I started crying from my anger and the pain I seemed to be inflicting on myself, but I couldn’t stop. “Why, Edward? Why are you doing this to me?” I tried to give him one last punch, but he grabbed my wrists and restrained me. “I’ve finally gotten my life back and you think you can waltz in and claim me?” The tears were streaming down my face. I was finally letting go, crying it out. It was too much for me to handle. All of these bottled up feelings were coming to the surface. “You hurt me when you left. I loved you so much, but you left me standing there, alone and scared. You promised you would never leave me…” I was sobbing uncontrollably, now. I tried to break away from his grasp, but it was no use. “Why, Edward?” I was hysterical. “You didn’t love me enough to stay.”

“Bella, calm down. Please, love, you have to get a hold of yourself.”

I couldn’t catch my breath, my sobs were becoming harder and I was starting to lose control of my legs, but just as I was about to fall, Jasper came bursting through the door.

“Bella? Oh, sweetheart.” He glared at Edward, who immediately released my wrists. “Shh, it’s okay, darlin’, I’m here now.” He pulled me toward him, as I sobbed into his shoulder. He was already working his magic, because I felt much calmer.

“Jasper, I want to go home.” He picked me up and cradled me. “Our home, please.”

“Bella?” I heard Edward say, but he didn’t say anything else, and I’m sure it was because Jasper had a few choice words for only Edward to hear.

Jasper carried me down the staircase and into the car. I didn’t care if I ever came back there again. I wanted to go back to Alaska and continue my life with my one true love.

***Whoa! That was emotional! Hope it met your expectations! I have a feeling Edward isn’t done with Bella yet!

Chapter 19: Chapter 19

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JPOV

We had gotten about half way to the hotel, when her uncontrollable sobbing started again. She was gasping for air in between cries. I pulled over, and reached out to her. “Bella?” I touched her shoulder.

She cried harder. “Jasper, please don’t manipulate these emotions. I need to feel this.”

How could she ask me to sit there and watch her suffer like that? How? Because she knew that there was nothing I wouldn’t do for her. I unbuckled both of our seatbelts, pushed my seat as far back as it would go, and gently placed her in my lap, being careful not to cause her further injury. She put her head on my shoulder and continued to cry for the better part of fifteen minutes. Why was she crying? Was she sad? Angry? Hurt? Did she want Edward? Me? Or both of us? How was I going to figure this out? She stopped crying, and reached up to touch my lips with her finger. “Feel better, gorgeous girl?”

“No.” The tears were still streaming down her face; I twisted the ends of her hair around my fingers and began twirling it.

“Bella, you have to tell me what I can do for you. I’ll do anything.”

She burst into hysterics again, pushing her face into my shoulder. I could feel her hot tears against my shirt. “You’re going to leave me.” More sobs.

“No, no I would never.” When were we going to get past this? “Why would I leave?”

She was scared now, and I had to fight the urge to control her emotions. “Because you are going to step aside and let Edward have me.”

Maybe she had lost her mind along with Edward. “Bella, I’m not that noble.”

“You are exactly that noble,” she sighed. “You’re my southern gentleman.”

“Well, if that were really the case, then I would be challenging Edward to a duel, but instead I want to rip him to pieces.” She didn’t say anything. “Bella, I need you to look at me.” She pulled herself away from my shoulder and stared at me with those beautiful brown eyes, and it made me remember why I would do anything for her. “Darlin’, the only way I could ever step aside and let Edward have you, is if you asked me to. I would never assume to make that decision for you. I’m much too selfish.”

“You’re not giving me back to him?”

“Bella, you’re not a possession to be passed back and forth between Edward and myself. While it is true that I do consider you mine, I would never keep you with me against your will. But, to answer your question, no, I will most certainly not be giving you back to Edward, as you were never his to begin with.” I felt her confusion, and decided it was time to tell her what Alice had shared with me today. She settled into my lap and held my hand as I told her about the early premonitions and faceless visions of Alice’s past. I told her that it was never Edward who turned her, and she was never intended to be with him. She listened so intently, that when I was finished she hardly moved. She was deep in thought. I gave her a few minutes to process this information, and then she spoke.

“It was always you,” she whispered. “I knew it was always supposed to be you.”

“Why don’t we go back to the hotel tonight, so that you can get a good night of rest, and then I promise I will take you back home tomorrow?” She didn’t argue. She dozed off for the remainder of the car ride, and it was the most relaxed I had felt her since this morning in the parking lot, before our horrendous day began. I replayed the events in my head, thinking of all of the things that I could have done differently, starting with me going to the car to get her phone instead. How could I have sent her out alone? My anger started to build when I remembered his hands on her when I found them in the parking lot, and then again in the bedroom. He was restraining her while she was so upset. Her face haunted me. I was being hit with all of her emotions that she had felt throughout the day; pain, fear, anxiety, despair. My Bella didn’t deserve a day like today. It was overwhelming me and filling me with an uncontrollable rage that I knew I needed to deal with. I’d have to find a way to let Bella let me leave her for just an hour so that I could release this frustration, but that would not be an easy task, especially with me feeling so keyed up and full of fury. She should never be near me when I got like this. The scene with Edward today clearly proved what could happen when a vampire was not in control of his senses. I gripped the steering wheel, leaving my finger indentations in the hard leather.

We pulled into the parking lot, as she began to wake. “Bella, we are here. I’ll carry you in and put you to bed.”

“Hmm… okay.” She was exhausted, and that could work to my advantage.

I got her to the bed. “My sweats, I want to get out of these clothes.”

“Okay, I’ll get them and some of the pain medicine that Carlisle gave you.” That could also work to my advantage. If I could get her into a deep enough sleep, then I could slip out into the forest and break something, uproot a large tree or smash a huge boulder. I needed to channel this anger. I quickly got her changed and made her swallow the pills. She crawled into bed and settled in under the covers. She closed her eyes.

“Love you, Jasper,” she mumbled.

I knew I was in trouble when those words didn’t even calm me. “I love you, too. Sleep well.” As I watched her, I became more agitated with myself. How could I have failed to protect her today? Why did I allow her to step in between the two of us when we were growling and baring our teeth? I knew better.

She winced as her breathing began to slow, and I could feel her discomfort. That pissed me off even more. I had to get out of that room. I walked to the door and quietly turned the knob.

“Jasper!” She shot up into a seated position, and I could feel both panic and pain. “Ouch!” She grabbed her side because she clearly sat up too fast.

I was on the bed in an instant. She was crying in agony, and this only intensified my fury. Now I had caused her pain. “Bella, let me ease you back down. You need to sleep.”

“Where were you going?” She held on to my arm. I needed her to let go, she was too close.

“Bella, normally I wouldn’t ask this of you, but if you would sleep, I could leave for a little while. I won’t go far, but I have some issues that I need to work through.”

She tightened her grip on my arm. “Without me?” She was upset.

“This day has been an extremely affecting one, and sometimes that can be very overwhelming for me. It’s hard to have to feel all of those emotions emitting from everyone, and not being able to release them can be very stressful for me.”

“Let me help you.” She was always so sincere.

“I appreciate that, but I need to get this out of my system. And I’m so angry with today’s events that I need to get away from you, so that I can’t hurt you. Do you understand?” I hoped that she would. I tried to lay her back down, but she protested. “Bella, I need this from you.”

“No.” She was picking now to stand her ground? Normally, I might think it was cute, but I wasn’t in the mood for cute. Her defiance only increased my ire, and that was exactly what I was trying to avoid.

I got off the bed to create some distance between us. She struggled to follow me. Why was she doing this? My actions were already not my own, as I picked up the glass on the nightstand and hurled it across the room. It shattered and echoed throughout the bedroom. She gasped, and I could feel her fear. Maybe that was what she needed to let me leave. Why was I not surprised when she continued to walk toward me? As I said, my actions were not that of a rational man, or else I would have bolted for the door. She would have understood, but I wasn’t thinking clearly. “You need to do this for me. I’m not strong enough to leave you even for an hour, but if I stay, you could be hurt.”

“You would never hurt me.” She reached for me, but I backed away, and was on the other side of the room before she had even realized I moved. I picked up the chair next to me and tossed it aside. It broke into several pieces as it hit the floor.

“Edward would never hurt you either, and now you have three fractured ribs. We are different when we are not in control. We are animals by nature. Please.” I balled my fists by my sides. I didn’t want to fling anything else across the room. I started for the door, but somehow she anticipated that because, before I realized, she was standing in front of it and she didn’t even have vampire speed. No, what this girl had was a death wish.

“Bella, please, it might not be a chair next time.” The beast within me wanted out, and I couldn’t hold back.

“I can’t let you leave, and this isn’t about me. I can’t let you go running off to do something you might regret later. Not after you have worked so hard. I will not be the reason you slip up.” She was leaning against the door.

The venom began to pool in my mouth. Silly girl thinks her little body could stop me from getting out of here. It was already too late. I needed to make that exit ten minutes ago, when I felt this tantrum coming on. I slammed my hands against the door on either side of her face. She flinched and began to tremble. Fear, now that was an emotion a vampire could thrive off of. “Do you really think I could go out and hunt a human? Do you think so little of me?” I didn’t even know what I was saying, because my feelings were getting the better of me.

“N-no…I didn’t mean…” She was scared. “I just want to help you. I want to be there for you, the way you are always there for me.” She reached up to touch my face.

How? I must have looked terrifying to her, and yet she was touching me, breaking down my anger, piece by piece. I wanted her to help me, but I couldn’t trust what I would do. I grabbed the hand that was on my face and put it to my lips. Her pulse quickened and I felt a sharp twinge in the pit of my stomach. I ran my tongue along the vein in her wrist, as I felt the blood pulsating there. One quick rip with my teeth, and she would flow right into my mouth. I could almost taste it.

“Jasper, look at me. It’s Bella.” She tried to pull her hand from me.

I shook my head. “You started this. I told you I had to go, so move away from the door now and let me leave.”

“I said no! I won’t let you leave me.” Her heart rate increased, and I could hear it practically beating out of her chest. “You need me as much as I need you.”

Why didn’t she understand that this wasn’t about my need for her? It was about her safety. I stared down at her hand and released it. She let out a breath of relief. I grabbed her shoulders and pulled her to me, so that our foreheads were touching. “You have no idea how truly dangerous I am right now, because if you did, you would have let me walk out of here. I have to release this negativity, this rage that is building inside of me.” It was becoming unbearable for me, almost painful.

I felt another wave of fear from her, but instead of retreating, she lifted her head up and found my lips. She was shaking, but she slowly pressed her lips to mine. She whispered into my mouth, “I love you and will get you through this.” She reached up and ran her fingers through my hair. “Stay with me, Jasper.” She kissed me again. “Please.”

Why did she have to plead? I crushed my lips to hers and kissed her too roughly. She had been through so much today, and now she was being treated so poorly by me as well. But in that kiss, I seemed to calm down slightly. She seemed to be on to something. She took my hand and led me to the bed.

“Let me be your release, Jasper. Let me calm you, the way you always do for me.” She lowered herself onto the mattress, pulling me on top of her. Again, if I were in a rational state of mind, I would know that she was too injured and in too much pain for me to make love to her, but there was no rationalizing for me now. She seemed to have replaced all of that anger with want and desire. I was confused. This was the second time today that she had pulled me from a crazed state of mind. How was she doing it?

I kissed her slowly and softer this time. She deserved tenderness from me. I was no longer enraged. I was in love, and she had brought me back down. Despite her own fears, she stood her ground and challenged me. She won, and in the moment I knew I did, too.

“Bella, I’ll make love to you, but you have to let me be in charge. I can’t risk hurting you.” I would never forgive myself if I brought her anymore pain tonight, or ever for that matter. I already had too many other things I needed absolution for.

“It has been such a long day. Too many sad memories… let’s just end it with Jasper and Bella. Please… I need to feel you inside of me. I need for us to be as close as possible.”

“Thank you for helping me,” I said, as I began gently pulling down her pants.

“Anytime…” She tugged at her panties. “Don’t forget these too,” she smiled.

I slowly slid them down her legs, stopping to kiss her inner thighs, knees and ankles on my way. As usual, I reached into my wallet before I pulled my own pants off. I briefly thought about a day when I’d be able to have her without the barrier of that protection between us, to truly be able to feel her and nothing else. Soon, I told myself. I carefully lowered myself on to her, supporting most of my weight on my forearms.

“Don’t hold back. Do whatever you have to do to get it out of your system,” she whispered.

Obviously there was nothing she wouldn’t do for me either. I bit her bottom lip a little too hard, but she didn’t complain. I ran my tongue over where I had just nipped. “Sorry.” She put her head back, exposing her neck to me. I began licking my way down to her breasts. I took one of her aroused nipples into my mouth, teasing it with my tongue. She tasted so sweet. I worked my way over to her other nipple and did the same. She moaned as I slipped my hand down her stomach and between her legs. She was more than ready for me.

She reached down and forcefully gripped my very erect member in her hand and began to pump back and forth. “Take me anyway you want…Please…”

I wanted to pound into her like the animal that I was. I needed it to be hard, deep and fast so that I could release all of the day’s frustrations, but I wouldn’t do that to her. She needed something from me, too. She needed me to love her tenderly and softly. I could do that for her. I slowly entered her moist, throbbing sex and knew I was home. “Ahh… baby, can you feel how much I want you?” I moved all the way in and then slowly took myself back out. I did it like that for several thrusts, and each time she shuddered as a reentered her. I could feel her warm breath on my neck as she whispered my name over and over again. She was very close and I wanted to see her face when she let go. “Bella, open your eyes.” I picked up the pace, no longer pulling all the way out of her. She twisted her fingers in my hair and looked into my eyes, as she released her warm juices all over me. She was panting as her body convulsed with aftershocks. I thrust one final time and let go, releasing all of my anger, frustration and negativity. She had found a way to calm me and if I had ever had any doubts about the two of us, they were washed away in that moment. I knew that she would always be mine, and that I would always be hers. It was our destiny. I was finally at peace.

I tried to keep her as comfortable as possible throughout the night. I didn’t have to do much, as my body served as her very own personal ice block. I would occasionally shift her position, so that she wouldn’t get too stiff. She opened her eyes much sooner than I expected, as the sun was barely up. “Good morning. Did you sleep well?”

“As well as I could, I guess.” She stretched, and then winced at the result. “It’s Thanksgiving.” She seemed surprised, probably because of the long day she had yesterday.

“How about that?” I had lost track of the days myself, since we had been here.

“I have lots to be thankful for this year,” she smiled.

“So do I.” I kissed her head. “Are you ready to go home?”

“Yes, this has been an exhausting few days, and I can’t wait to sleep in our bed.”

“Why don’t I order you room service, while you take a shower?”

“No,” she panicked.

”What part didn’t you like?”

“In order for me to take a shower, I’ll have to get up and that won’t be very pleasant.”

“I see. Well, I’ll do whatever I can to help.” I got out of bed, and gently pulled her into a seated position.

“Jasper!” she screamed.

“I know, baby.” I wasn’t going to make her walk, not after hearing her scream like that. I scooped her up, carried her into the bathroom and gently placed her on her feet. I turned the water on. “Take a long, relaxing shower and when we get home, you can soak in our tub and I will pamper you all weekend.”

“Promise? All weekend?” She kissed my lips, as she slid her hands underneath my shirt.

“Naughty girl, if you start this, we will never get back to Alaska.”

She pouted as I pointed to the shower. “Fine.”

I left the bathroom, ordered her breakfast, and decided to take my bags out to the car and let the front desk know we were checking out today. It was a damp, cold day and I could sense that it was going to rain very soon. As I placed the bags in the trunk, I could feel some very dark and ominous emotions come over me. I looked around and saw no one, but I knew that I didn’t need to see to know. The parking lot backed up to a few miles of woods, and this is where I had actually wanted to go last night to let out my stress. I didn’t have to walk very deep into the forest, because I had already picked up the scent in the parking lot. For the love of all things holy…

“Come out, I know you’re here.” I said, almost to myself.

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Chapter 20: Chapter 20

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EPOV

I had been in the woods by the hotel all night, waiting for them. I wasn’t going to approach them, because I had already caused her enough pain. I just wanted to make sure she was okay; one last look, I told myself, before I let her go. As long as I existed, I knew I would never be able to get the image of her screaming and hitting me out of my head. She was so upset, and I was the cause of all of that torture. I would never forget what she said:

“You hurt me when you left. I loved you so much, but you left me standing there alone and scared. You promised you would never leave me…” She was sobbing uncontrollably as she tried to break away from my grasp, but it was no use. “Why, Edward?” She was hysterical. “You didn’t love me enough to stay.”

I wanted to tell her that it was because I loved her so much that I left. I wanted to hold her and comfort her and tell her everything was going to be fine, but it wasn’t me that she wanted. I wanted her to forgive me. Could she ever? It didn’t matter; I didn’t deserve her forgiveness.

Jasper came out of the hotel alone, and even seeing him from a distance created so much anger and jealously within me. He was the one who got to hold her and comfort her last night. He loved her so deeply, I could read that in his thoughts, and she returned those feelings. I saw it with my own eyes; the subtle glances, how she blushed when he smiled at her and the way he looked after her and protected her. That should be me…that was me and I let her go. I knew I had to keep my emotions in check, or he would sense me. I should let him come for me, so that we could end this once and for all.

Looks like I was going to get my wish, because Jasper was headed into the woods. “Come out. I know you are here,” he said.

I stepped out from the thick brush I was standing behind. I didn’t say anything.

“Hoping to catch a glimpse, were you?” he asked.

“Not of you.”

“Are you going to stalk her now? Lurk in the shadows? Perhaps sit outside her bedroom window? I wouldn’t advise that, because you might not like what you see.”

He was angry; I didn’t need his power to know that. “I just wanted to make sure she was all right, but I wasn’t going to go to her. I knew you were leaving, and I just wanted to see her again.”

Reasonable. He looked at me, because he knew I heard him. “Should I just talk in my head?”

“If you think it is reasonable, then can I just go and talk to her?” I asked, knowing there wasn’t a chance in hell.

Nice try.

“Thanks,” I said.

He shook his head. “I meant that observing her from afar one last time was reasonable, but I’m not about to escort you to our hotel room to cause her more pain.”

Their hotel room, with the bed they had shared. No, I didn’t want to see that. It was bad enough that I could smell her all over him, as it was. It disgusted me that he couldn’t keep his hands off of her for one night, while she healed from her injuries. I could hardly contain my rage.

What’s that sudden spike of anger for? He wondered.

“Stop gauging my emotions.” I spat.

“Then stay out of my head, if you don’t want to know what I am thinking” Idiot!

I growled.

“Look, Edward, we will be leaving soon and I won’t stop you if you need to see her, but just don’t overstep and approach her, because then we will have a problem.”

“How are you doing this?”

“Not killing you?” Believe me, I want to. He thought. “It’s not easy for me, especially after yesterday, but I’m just as much to blame for that, too. I let her step in between us, and I left her in that bedroom alone with you.”

“If the situations were reversed, I’d have ripped you to pieces by now.”

“I’m older and wiser,” he laughed.

“That may be so, but I just think you know how to hold on to her better.”

“I know her better. I know that if I were to kill you, there would be no coming back from that for me and Bella, but that doesn’t mean I’ll give you a free pass, because if you screw up again, I’ll have no problem throwing your body parts into a fire pit.”

“You would risk losing her?” I asked. Maybe he was just as stupid as I was.

“If you hurt her again, but then, no one would have to know it was me that ended your miserable existence.”

“Alice would know,” I pointed out.

“Yes, I suppose she would.” He grinned at that, but then said more seriously. “Don’t make me do it.”

“Jasper, despite what you think, I never wanted to hurt her. I wish that you could understand that I was trying to save her.”

“I get it. Edward, I do, but just because that is how you saw fit to deal with the situation doesn’t mean that I could walk away from her. She is an essential part of me; she has altered me so completely that I can’t exist without her.”

“Someday you’ll have to, you know; unless…” Was he going to do it?

Of course I’m going to turn her … it’s what she wants. It’s what I want.

“So you have discussed it, then?” Would I have time to stop it? “When?”

“We haven’t set a date, but I will do it when she is ready.” Don’t think about interfering!

It wasn’t right, but selfishly I couldn’t help but think that if Jasper had the courage to do what I couldn’t, then Bella would always be in my world, too. Then I’d have more time to win her back, but this was a thought for another time. I couldn’t believe that I was even going to ask this next question, but it was out of my mouth before I could stop myself. “You can make love to her?” Oh… how I wanted to know that feeling. I knew he picked up on my jealousy.

“Edward? Really?” He, too, was shocked at my question.

“Bella told me that you weren’t afraid to give her all of the things that I couldn’t.”

“She doesn’t want to be treated like a fragile, little girl.”

“But to us, she is a fragile, little girl. One wrong move on your part and she could die.” I felt more anger at the thought of him on top of her. Did he hurt her, make her cry? How could he control that side of himself? More anger!

“I think we better change the subject, now,” he said.

“I’m going to have to see her again at some point, so that we can get past what happened.” I needed to explain to her that I still wanted her. She needed to understand that she still had an option, if she wanted it. “I can’t leave things the way we did.”

“You may have to.” I won’t let you near her again. She is mine.

“If that is true then you have nothing to worry about.”

“I have to get back to her. If she gets out of the shower and I’m not there …”

“Fine. Go to her, but know I will get in touch with her soon.”

“Remember what I said, Edward; if you screw up again…” He was gone before he finished that thought, but I knew he was warning me to stay away from her.

I knew I had to see and talk to her again. I would give her some time to heal, both physically and emotionally, but then I would have to tell her how I felt and just take it from there. If she truly wanted Jasper, then she would have him, but if there was one small crack in that relationship, I would find it and certainly use it to my advantage. For now, I would wait in the shadows until she left the hotel. I needed to see her…

JPOV

There was no doubt in my mind that Edward was going to be a thorn in my side. I knew he could easily be dealt with, but I did have many internal issues with that option. He was my brother and long time friend, despite what we were going through now. Alice needed him, as did Carlisle and Esme. He was a good being, albeit a bit tortured, but still good. And most importantly, Bella did love him, and I knew she would never be able to look me in the eyes again if I destroyed him. That wasn’t something I could risk, and the problem was, Edward knew that. He was banking on it.

When I got back to the room, Bella’s breakfast was waiting for her, but she was blow drying her hair. My phone began to vibrate. The display read: Emmett. Wonderful, just what I needed. I flipped it open.

“Hello, Emmett”

“Jazz, you dog!”

“I take it you spoke to someone at the main house?”

“Hell yeah, but I want all the horny details from you, brother!”

“Really, Emmett.” What was this fixation my brothers had on my recent bedroom activities?

“Bella? Our little Bella? How could you keep that a secret?”

“It wasn’t a secret. I hadn’t spoken to you since I ran into her?”

“What else are you putting into her?”

“Emmett!” I should have hung up.

“No, really a human? What is it like slamming a human, I mean Bella, I have to know. Is she…”

“Emmett…” I could hear Rosalie scream in the background. “Oh, shit, Rose heard me.”

“Give me that phone!” Wonderful. I could feel her fury through the phone.

“Look, Bro, Rose wants to yell at you, but I’m not done with this, so I’ll call you later.”

“Bye, Emmett.” I prepared myself for Rosalie.

“Jasper, you ass! What the hell are you doing? Bella Swan? Have you lost your mind?”

“Happy Thanksgiving to you, too, Rose.”

“Don’t you Happy Thanksgiving me! What are you thinking?”

“Rose, I don’t want to fight with you, so I think it is best if we don’t discuss this subject.”

“Oh my god, you love her,” she groaned.

“Yes, I do and you will have to learn to accept it.”

“Oh, I can accept it, but I don’t have to like it! What is it with that girl and the men in this family? You better keep her away from Emmett.”

Emmett yelled in the background. “Oh, come on Rose, she couldn’t handle me,” he laughed.

“No, she couldn’t baby.”

“Okay then, why don’t I call you guys back later?” I said.

“Jasper, just be careful. She‘s not one of us and I don’t want you to get hurt. And, Esme is really worried about you and Edward. So, don’t kill the idiot, even though he will probably do something to piss you off.”

“I appreciate that, Rose, and I will keep my distance from Edward, but maybe you could make sure he does the same.” I knew she would have no influence over Edward, but it was worth a shot.

“Whatever! Talk to you soon.” She hung up.

Well, that could have been much worse. Rose would probably never accept Bella, but at least we wouldn’t have to deal with her everyday. My phone started to vibrate again. This time it was a text message.

Jazz – I have to know what it is like. Please! Call me later! - Em

Great! Now Emmett would want a play by play of my sex life, and I didn’t think this week could get much worse.

Bella came out of the bathroom. “How are you feeling, darlin’?”

“A little better. Who were you talking to?” She asked.

“Rosalie and Emmett.”

“I guess they heard the big news, huh?”

“It seems so.” I walked to her and gently hugged her. She reached up and kissed me. “Why don’t you eat now, so we can go home?” I kissed her back.

“Okay. “ She felt sad, and that made me feel awful.

“Bella, what is it?” I sat on the chair and pulled her into my lap. She leaned into my chest.

“I know things won’t ever be good with your family, and I don’t expect Rose to ever like me, but…” She was hesitant.

I knew what she was getting at. “You miss Alice.”

“Yes.” She started to cry. “She wouldn’t even look at me, Jasper.”

“Alice will come around. She isn’t mad at you. She, of all people, knows that this was out of our control.” I rubbed her back. “Please don’t cry.”

“I feel really bad for her. I never wanted to hurt her.”

“She knows that, and someday soon, you will get a chance to make peace with her. I promise.”

“I’m sorry for being so emotional.”

“It’s understandable. After what you have been through, I think you are holding up remarkably well. You are so strong, and I won’t forget what you did for me last night.”

“I just wanted you to know that I would do anything for you.”

“But that shouldn’t include risking your life. It was very dangerous for you to be around me when I was like that.” It turns out she helped me more than she knew. If I would have gone into that forest last night and encountered Edward, there was no telling how that would have ended. I shuddered at the thought. “If I would have done anything to you…”

“I know you would never hurt me.” She hugged me.

“I love you, Bella.”

“As much as I love you?” she asked.

“More.” Although after last night, I knew that wasn’t true. She had certainly proven how much she really did love me, and I now knew that the bond we had created was strong enough to handle anything else that came our way.

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Chapter 21: Chapter 21

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BPOV

I woke up in our bed, but I didn’t remember how I got there. So much had happened in the last few days…Charlie, Carlisle, Esme, Alice and Edward. Maybe it was all a dream. Had we even gone to Forks? I rolled on to my side and immediately felt my sore ribs. Yes, we had gone to Forks. I awoke alone, which was very rare. On Jasper’s pillow was a pink rose and a note:

Darlin’,

If you are reading this, then I didn’t get back in time to see you open your beautiful eyes. I am sorry. I went to hunt, and not just for me. I’m at the supermarket.

Love,

Jasper

I smiled as I picked up the rose and inhaled. Was he not the most perfect man? I got up, showered and dressed in a pair of fresh sweats. I was hoping that we could take it easy today. I was still in pain, and yesterday’s long car ride didn’t help much. I was glad to be home and wanted to spend some much needed alone time with Jasper.

When I stepped out of the bathroom, my extremely hot vampire was sitting on the sofa waiting for me with my breakfast tray. I looked at him and then the tray. “I don’t know what I want to taste first.”

He smiled. “Well, I’ve already eaten, so I think it’s only fair that you do the same. Besides, you’ll need your strength, since you won’t be leaving this house all weekend.” He motioned for me to sit next to him.

I did. “You’re holding me prisoner?” I asked in mock horror. Of course, the thought of being his hostage made my insides quiver.

He put his arms around me and buried his lips in my neck. “Oh, and the things I will do to you while I have you captive will make your head spin.” He kept kissing.

It wasn’t just my insides that were quivering now. I could feel the warmth spreading between my legs, and I wanted him to rip my clothes off and bury himself deep within me.

He moved away from my neck. “Bella, the lust I’m getting from you is worse than a locker room full of teenaged boys.”

“I can’t help it, Jasper; you do crazy things to my body.” I blushed.

“Eat your breakfast, naughty girl.”

“I’m naughty? You’re the one making me think about what you are going to do to me.”

“Sorry, I’ll behave while you eat.” He handed me my napkin.

“Thanks for breakfast. It was very sweet of you. Did you put me to bed last night?”

“Of course. You were out like a light. I carried you up, put your pajama’s on, and you never even opened your eyes. You really are a deep sleeper.”

“Only when I’m with you. I feel very secure when we’re together.”

“How are your ribs holding up today?”

“Not as painful, but I am still sore.”

“I wish that part of the trip had never happened.” He looked away.

“It wasn’t your fault. I should have gotten in the car like you asked, but I just couldn’t bring myself to leave you.”

“You are very lucky, as it could have been so much worse. You have no idea how volatile Edward and I could be, especially when we let our emotions rule us. I should have controlled him, before things got out of hand that way, but I was so caught up in protecting you, that I just couldn’t think straight. That will never happen again. I will never let anything hurt you again.”

“I really wish you didn’t feel so guilty about this. I’m fine and it is over now. Do you want to know what happened between Edward and me? Before I freaked out and tried to attack him?”

“Yes, I do, but only if you are ready to discuss it. You don’t have to tell me anything that you feel should stay between the two of you.”

“Despite how our trip to Forks ended, I think it accomplished a few things. I made up with Charlie and I feel really good about that. I faced Edward and, while I did eventually fall apart, I got to say some things that he needed to hear. I may not have been able to tell him everything I needed to, but that’s okay, because I feel that I have resolved so many of my own internal issues.”

“Ah, so you met two of my conditions?” he asked.

“Exactly, and I plan to make amends with Renee next; fulfilling all of your requirements.”

“And then when you are ready, I will hold up my end of the deal. I will make you mine forever, if that is what you still want.” He took my hand and rubbed small circles over it with his thumb, and no matter how many times he did that, it would always feel like that first time he took my hand in the coffee shop.

“Of course that is what I want. The only place I could ever belong is with you, and I know that now more than ever. Seeing Edward made me realize how much you mean to me. I never doubted us, but a piece of me always wondered what would happen if he came back. What would I do?”

“I didn’t realize you were conflicted about that.” He slightly tightened his grip on my hand. “I knew you were afraid that I would leave, but I didn’t think you had any questions about which one of us you would choose.”

“No, never a question, but for two years all I wanted was for him to come back and tell me he was sorry, tell me he didn’t mean it and I would forgive him. We would go back to what we had been, but then you found me and those feelings for Edward slowly started to disappear, and they were replaced with the hope and love I feel for you. But, a part of me was afraid to trust that, because without seeing Edward, I would never fully know who my heart was truly with. Am I making sense?”

He thought for a moment. “You wanted Edward to come back to you for such a long time, and that was all your heart knew. I came along and you started to feel for me, but you had those unresolved feelings for him and it wasn’t until you saw him, that you realized those feelings for him weren’t as strong as you once thought they were.”

“How do you always get it? Anyone else would have been freaking out over what I was trying to say, but you listen and figure it out. You weren’t the slightest bit worried that I was trying to tell you I was still in love with Edward.”

“Bella, I know you love me. I can see it and feel it. If seeing Edward again is what validated it for you, then I am glad we ran into him. Uh, no pun intended.”

“Technically, he ran into me.” I smiled. “Just so we’re clear, I always knew I loved you and wanted you, but seeing him made me understand that, if I were faced with the choice, I know who I would pick. It would always be you, Jasper Whitlock.”

“I’m honored, Isabella Swan, and I plan to show you my gratitude all weekend long.” He slowly kissed my lips; the cool sensation of his tongue caressing mine sent shock waves from my head to my toes. “Did you have enough to eat?”

“Hmmm…” I pulled him back to my lips. He moved away, took the tray from my lap and gently lowered me to the sofa.

“You are the most beautiful creature I have ever laid eyes on, and you deserve to be worshipped.” He unzipped my sweat jacket and slid it off my body. He kissed the inside of my wrist, moving his way up to the crook on my elbow, stopping to press his lips there. I shivered. He continued working upward with his tongue until he reached my collarbone; he softly scraped his teeth against it, as he moved to the base of my throat. “I will worship you always.” He gently nibbled on my neck, as he slid my pants down my legs. I kicked them off and they fell to the floor. He lightly brought his hand back up over my body, briefly tracing over my wet center with his fingertips. He grabbed the bottom of my tank top and swiftly pulled it over my head. A look of shock ran over his face, when he saw that I was wearing nothing underneath. “No bra today?” He traced over my hardened nipples with his fingers.

“It hurts my ribs.” I managed to breathe out.

“Well, we can’t have anything that causes you pain. I’m going to give you nothing but pleasure.” He lowered his mouth to my nipple, while he continued to torture the other with his fingers. He took it between his teeth and gently bit down, moving his tongue back and forth, occasionally applying more pressure with his teeth.

“Jasper…” I moaned as I arched my back, offering him more. He slowly worked his way to my other breast and performed the same torturous act to that one as well. My body was on fire for him and he knew it. As he continued his sensual assault on my nipple, he snaked his hand down between my thighs, pressing his finger against my entrance. I pushed myself into his finger. “Please…”

He worked his lips up to meet mine. “I like when you beg…” He licked my bottom lip, as I shivered with anticipation. I thrust myself into his finger again. “Is this what you want?” He asked, as he slipped two fingers underneath my panties and into my waiting entrance. Jackpot! He began to slowly slide them in and out, but the pace wasn’t fast enough. I grabbed his hand and showed him how I wanted it. That seemed to excite him, because he pushed his erection into my thigh as he moaned my name.

He was so close to me that I was almost intoxicated by his spicy scent, and the sensation he was creating between my legs was fantastic. I released his hand, but he kept up the pace as he slid his fingers even deeper, hitting that spot that always made me scream. “Jasper!” It occurred to me that I was almost completely naked, and he was still fully clothed. I was so lost in my own ecstasy, that I had ignored him. I reached down and began to unbuckle his belt, while he kept busy with his fingers.

He pushed my hand away as he kissed my neck. “No, no, this is all about you.”

“I want to touch you.”

“You will, but not yet.” He licked my throat and then nibbled on my neck. Oh, that felt incredible.

He kept working me with his hand and I was so close, but I still had the urge to touch him. How could he deny me that? I snaked my hand back down to his pants and tried to unbutton them. “Bella,” he warned. “Don’t make me tie you up.”

Oh, the thought of Jasper restraining me while he… It was too much to handle, and a new wave of desire hit me. He felt it. “Really, Bella? Maybe that is something we should consider later?”

“Yes, Jasper! I’m going to… Oh, God, now.” He quickened his pace, and I swear it was that vampire speed that put me over as I poured into his hand. My breathing was ragged. He slowly removed his fingers as he lazily kissed my breasts, working his way down my stomach, stopping to kiss my bruised ribs on his way to the waistband of my panties. I began to quiver again. God, I didn’t think I could take anything other than him being inside of me. He hooked his thumbs into my panties and with one smooth tug, they were off. Now, I was completely naked.

He spread my legs as he ran his tongue over my inner thighs, gently sucking the skin there. “For as long as I exist, I will always savor your taste.”

“Jasper, please… I need you inside of me. Please…” I tried to pull him up to me, but I couldn’t move him. He moved his tongue to my other thigh and began licking and sucking there, too. My legs were shaking. My desire for him was increasing by the second.

“Beg for me,” he whispered.

Was he kidding? I would beg all day, every day, if it got him where I wanted him. “Please Jasper, I need you. I want to cum all over your hard…” And then his lips were on mine. I didn’t even realize he had moved from between my legs. I felt him pulling off his pants and boxers, freeing his remarkable erection. I felt it against my thigh, and that made me moan… he was so close to where I needed him. Before I knew it, the condom was in place, he was seated on the sofa, and I was straddling him. The speed made me a little light headed. He entered me with one forceful thrust, as he grabbed my hips and moved me up and down his shaft. He guided me, setting the pace and then I took over. The feeling of being in control that way gave me a new confidence, and Jasper picked up on that.

“That’s it, sweetheart, let yourself go.” He fastened his mouth to my breast, as he slid his hands up and down my back. I threw my head back as I let myself feel the length of him inside me. My climax was starting to build as I wrapped my legs around his waist and rocked faster. He stood up and walked us over to the bed, never leaving me; he placed me on my back at the end of the mattress, while he stood with my legs still securely wrapped around his hips. A few quick, deep thrusts on his part was all it took, and we both were tumbling over the edge. “Oh, Bella…”

He collapsed on top of me, with his ear to my chest. There were no words to describe what had just taken place between us, so we lay there in silence as he listened to the beating of my heart.

After our third round of love making, I lay there sprawled across Jasper’s stomach. I was breathing very heavily, and his hands were still tangled in my hair.

“Bella, you exhaust me, and that is not an easy thing to do.”

I smiled. “I’ll take that as a compliment.”

“As you should.” He pulled me up, so that I was closer to his face. “Now, I think we should start the relaxing portion of the weekend. Would you like to watch a movie in bed?”

“How much of the movie do you think we will actually watch?”

“Bella, I will not make love to you for the rest of the afternoon.” I pouted. He stroked my back. “It is not that I don’t find you incredibly sexy and extremely hot, it’s just that you’re already not going to be able to walk tomorrow, and you’re supposed to be resting. You took a pretty hard hit the other day.”

“Fine, if you don’t want to…”

“I said the rest of the afternoon. We still have all night to play,” he smiled.

“Oh, well in that case, let’s watch a movie.” I knew he wouldn’t be able to keep his hands off of me for long, and I wasn’t above begging if I had to. “Jasper?”

“Yes, darlin’?”

“When I’m a vampire, we won’t have to take breaks, right?”

“No, I suppose not, but I just hope I can handle you,” he laughed.

I didn’t mean to blurt out my next question, but I was just so happy and content that I couldn’t contain it. “When can we do it?”

“Do you really want to have this discussion now? Are you up to it?”

“I want to know your thoughts on the subject.”

“I really don’t have a specific timetable and I certainly don’t want to rush you, but I would like to do it as soon as you are ready.” My heart rate picked up, but not from fear. I wanted this, and he was ready to do it. “Bella, if you are not ready for another year or two, then I can wait.”

“No, I don’t want to wait that long. I want you to do it right now, but I know that is not a reasonable request.”

“No, it is not, but not because I don’t want to; I just think we need time to prepare, and I would like…” he stopped.

“What would you like?” I asked.

“I, well, I would want you to…” he stopped again and took an unnecessary breath.

If I didn’t know any better, I would have sworn he was nervous. “Jasper, I’ve never seen you struggle for words before.” He was always so calm and collected.

“I’m just being silly.” He hugged me close to him. “You should call your mom and then, if all goes well, we can schedule a visit. Of course, I’ll have to stay indoors for most of that trip.”

He just changed the subject. What was he trying to tell me? If there was something he wanted from me, I would surely give it to him. “Renee, I’ll call her today.” I knew after dealing with Edward, she would be a walk in the park.

“Only if you are up to it. I don’t want to push you.” He seemed distant.

What was he thinking about? What had changed the mood from just a few minutes ago? “Are you upset with me?”

“Of course not. I’m fine and if you want to call Renee today, I think that is a great idea, but let it be because you want to do it, not because you think it will make me change you faster. We have all the time you need. I just want you to put everything in order before we set the date to turn you.”

Wasn’t that what I was trying to do? Maybe he sensed something unintentional from me. I could easily deal with Renee now, and Charlie was good, but Edward wasn’t completely resolved. Could I leave that alone or would he always haunt me? I knew it was Jasper that I wanted, but what if my unresolved issues with Edward carried over into my new life. Would I want that hanging over me for all of eternity?

He got out of bed and walked over to the sofa to retrieve our clothes. He handed me his cell phone. “I’m going to give you some privacy to call your mother. I’ll go pick out some movies and be back in a little while.” He kissed my forehead.

“Thanks, I’ll miss you.”

He leaned down and softly kissed me. My heart skipped a beat. He smiled.

I looked down at the phone in my hand. I would call Renee, but first I saw an opportunity, so I took it. I paged down the contacts in Jasper’s phone until I came across the one I needed. I immediately felt guilty, but I needed to suppress that, or Jasper would be up the steps and by my side in an instant.

I pushed send. Why was I doing this? Because, I needed to fix this for all of us.

“Hello,” the voice said.

“Hi,” I hesitated. “It’s Bella.”

“Bella?” Hesitation. “How nice to hear from you, but is everything okay? How are you healing?”

“I’m still sore, but I’m on the mend. I was wondering if we could talk.”

More hesitation. “Sure, what is it?”

“I was hoping that you could come and see me; if it wouldn’t be too much trouble.”

“No, of course not, but does Jasper…”

I cut off that question. “No, I don’t want to upset him, but I really need to talk to you. Will you come?”

“Yes, I could be in Alaska by Monday morning, if that works for you?”

“Yes, thank you.”

“Okay, then I’ll see you in a few days.”

I flipped the phone shut, as I felt another surge of guilt. I had to pull it together if I was going to do this without Jasper finding out. I would tell him…eventually.

***Oh, Bella what are you doing? You’ll find out in the next chapter.

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Chapter 22: Chapter 22

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JPOV

I reflected on our extremely long week we had just experienced, and was glad it was over. Last Monday we were leaving for Forks, and now so much had happened since then. Some good, some bad, but the important part was that we had gotten through it together, and I knew that we could handle anything that came our way.

Bella and I had spent the entire weekend together and it couldn’t have been more wonderful, well, except when I had almost proposed to her. I was hardly able to stop myself and Bella knew something was off. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to ask her, but more that the timing was wrong. I didn’t envision asking her to marry me while she was sprawled out across my body, naked and sweaty. Not that she wasn’t completely sexy, but still, that just wasn’t the way I had pictured it and I’m sure Alice didn’t see it that way either, or at least I hoped not.

I glanced at my watch and if she didn’t get down here soon we were going to be late, even with me driving. “Bella, baby, are you almost ready?”

She slowly walked down the steps. She wasn’t even dressed for school yet.

“Bella?”

“Jasper, I’m not up to going today. My ribs hurt and I just think I need one more day to rest.” She bit her bottom lip.

I picked up on that strange emotion I had been feeling from her all weekend; guilt or remorse. I wasn’t sure which one, as it switched back and forth. “Okay, well, why don’t you go back to bed and I’ll have our work sent to us.”

“No!” She panicked. “I mean, you have missed enough school. You go and you can pick up my assignments for me. I’ll be fine, and there is no reason for us both to miss.”

What was she up to? “If you’re sure nothing else is wrong.”

She looked down. That was a bad sign. “No, Jasper, I’ll be okay.”

I could give her privacy, she was entitled to that. But why was it so hard for me to leave her, even for just a few hours? Maybe she felt guilty because she just wanted some space. After all, I was always with her. “Call me if you need me and try to relax today.” I walked toward her, gently took her in my arms and kissed her. “I love you, Bella.”

She smiled, and the love and warmth she felt for me hit me so hard that I almost forgot that she was trying to keep something from me. “I love you, too, Jasper.” She kissed my lips. “I’ll miss you.”

BPOV

The guilt, I couldn’t take the guilt anymore. I didn’t want to withhold anything from Jasper, and I didn’t like lying to him either. This was necessary for both of us. I needed to get these questions answered and come to terms with these unresolved feelings. I knew he could help me.

It wasn’t long after Jasper left that I heard the car pull up, and then a quick knock at the door. I felt a slight tinge of anxiety. It was silly; after all, I had called him here. Why was I so nervous? I slowly opened the door.

“Good morning, Bella,” he said.

“Carlisle, thanks for coming. Please come in.” Just seeing him made me feel better.

He walked in, and I noticed he was carrying his bag. “What a lovely home you have here. It is very remote out here. Jasper must like that.”

“Yes, he does. There is lots of area behind the house for him to hunt. It makes it easier for him.”

“He is doing remarkably well with that, isn’t he? I’m very proud of him.”

“Yes, I am, too. He is a strict vegetarian.” I smiled. “Did you come for a house call?” I pointed to his bag.

“Since I came all of this way, I figured I could check on my favorite patient.”

I blushed. “Yes, I always seem to find a way to need your assistance.” We walked into the living room, and I sat on the sofa.

“May I?” He gestured toward my ribs. “Could you lift up your shirt?”

“Sure.” I did as he asked. He gently placed his hands on my ribs and began pressing. I winced.

“Sorry, I’ll try to be gentle, but I guess my hands are cold, too.”

“It’s okay. I kind of expect it.” He was examining my ribs, but then he began running his fingers along all the fresh bruises on my stomach, from my weekend with Jasper. I was embarrassed. “He doesn’t hurt me on purpose.” I said, almost to myself.

“No, I’m sure that he doesn’t. Actually, it’s very impressive the amount of restraint he demonstrates. Not many of our kind could do what Jasper does with you. It takes an enormous amount of control.”

I blushed again. It felt strange to discuss this with Carlisle.

“You are healing rather nicely. Try to take it easy, and take the pain medicine as needed. Call me with any questions or concerns.” He smiled.

“I guess you are wondering why I called you here in the first place.”

“I am curious.”

“About the control you were just talking about with Jasper. Well, he is going to turn me, and I think he may be nervous about that. We were talking about when he would do it the other day, and he got weird about it. I’m not sure what it was, but he didn’t seem himself.”

“It is not something that he can take lightly, especially because he loves you so much. He is probably conflicted over ending your human life.”

“He knows it is what I want. I trust that he can do it, but I wanted to get your opinion on the subject. Is it something that he can do without losing control?”

“Not many of us can successfully turn another without accidentally drinking too much. As you know, once we taste, a frenzy begins and it is extremely difficult for us to stop.”

“But you did with Edward, Esme, Rosalie and Emmett, and someone turned you and Alice and Jasper, so it can be done.”

“Of course it can be done. But more often than not, it is unsuccessful. Now, Jasper is very much in love with you, and because the two of you are so close, he is used to your blood, so I believe that will help him. In addition to that, he wants to make you his mate, so that gives him that extra motivation to make sure you are successfully changed.”

“So, you think he can do it?”

“Yes, I know he can.”

“Will you tell him that? In case he has any doubts or second thoughts?” I asked.

“If you want me too, I would be glad to reassure him. Are you sure immortality is what you want?”

“I want to be with Jasper forever, and I’m ready to do this. I want to be like the rest of you. I want to belong.”

“Bella, you would belong to Jasper, regardless of what you are. He would give you something the rest of us didn’t have; a choice. Use it wisely.”

“I’ve already made up my mind. I want him and that is the only way to guarantee our future.”

“I’m glad you found one another and that he is turning you. I have always considered you one of us, and I can’t wait until it is official.”

“Carlisle, that means so much, especially since I know how close you are to Edward.” I looked down.

“This brings you to the next reason you called me. Poor Bella, so conflicted; your heart belongs to one brother, but you can’t help but grieve for the other brother. The one who can’t have you.”

“Exactly, I love Jasper with all of my heart and I know it is right for us to be together, but I ache for Edward, because I know he still loves me and his heart is breaking. I never wanted to hurt him, but when I fell in love with Jasper, I really thought Edward didn’t want me.”

“And now you know the truth, but it doesn’t matter to you.”

“No, I still want Jasper. I just don’t want Edward to suffer. I realize he left me for my own good, and as wrong as that was, I get why he did it, but in doing that, he left the door open for someone else. I never would have imagined that someone else would be Jasper, but I couldn’t stop fate. Carlisle, is Edward going to be okay?”

“Bella, eventually he will move on, but it could take years, and I don’t believe he will ever stop loving you. Edward was alone for so long, and when he found you, that profoundly changed him. You are not someone that he will get over easily, so you and Jasper may have to allow him a few more mistakes, before he can grasp the concept that you are not coming back to him.”

“You will help him get through this?”

“As much as he will allow me to. He feels really bad about what happened to you; both in the parking lot and at the house. I’m not sure he can leave things unresolved, and I don’t know if you should either. I see that you are getting on with your life, and Edward may need to see that as well.”

“Thank you for hearing me out. I’m worried about both of them.”

“You shouldn’t worry too much; I know my sons. Jasper is strong enough to turn you, and Edward will make his peace with what is meant to be.”

“Carlisle, I hope you get your family back someday.” I really did want that for him.

“Bella, they say I am compassionate, but I’ve got nothing on you.” He looked toward the window, as if he could see something I couldn’t.

“What is it?” I panicked.

“Jasper will be pulling into the driveway in a minute. I can hear his car at the bottom of the road.”

“Oh, I knew he didn’t believe me.” I was worried about what he would think of me asking Carlisle here, and now I was going to find out much sooner than I thought.

“Bella, he was going to know as soon as he got home. He would smell my presence here.”

“I was going to tell him, but now he will see for himself.” I heard the car door slam. I just hoped he would understand.

JPOV

After barely making it through my first class, I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to get through the rest of the morning without her. I stopped at the coffee shop, picked up her latte and headed back home. I would deal with her displeasure over me hovering later. The more time I spent with her, the less I wanted to be away from her. Hunting was even becoming a problem for me. I was finding that I constantly needed her in my presence, and the only thing that was getting me through our brief separations, was knowing that soon she would be my wife and mate for eternity. Well, I knew she wanted the eternity part; I just wasn’t so sure she wanted the marriage part. How silly to think that she would let me turn her into a vampire, but not think that she would fully commit to me first. But, then again, this was Bella and sometimes she wasn’t always the most logical thinker.

I proved my point as I pulled into the driveway and saw Carlisle’s car. Oh, Bella, I knew you were up to something. Why would she call Carlisle here? Then I realized that it might not be Carlisle at all. What if Edward had just taken his car instead? I quickly got out of the car and slammed the door. I took in the air around me and calmed myself, because I had not picked up Edward’s scent at all. I was relieved to find it was just Carlisle. But why?

I walked into the house and to the living room. They were both waiting for me. “Carlisle, what a surprise to see you here.” I shot a look at Bella. She looked down, and I could feel her embarrassment.

“Jasper, it’s nice to see you again so soon.” He took my hand and embraced me with his other. It was nice to see him. “Bella was kind enough to invite me here for some advice.”

Advice? What did she need from Carlisle that she couldn’t get from me? “Really, that’s interesting.”

“Jasper,” she quietly spoke. “I asked Carlisle to come here to discuss you turning me. I wanted his input.” Now she was nervous.

“I see. Well, I hope he answered any questions you may have had about the process.”

“Actually, Jasper, she didn’t have questions about herself, but more about you and what you could expect from the whole experience.”

I looked questioningly at her. She didn’t say anything, but instead looked to Carlisle for help.

“Bella, perhaps you could give Jasper and I some alone time? I’d like to discuss some things with him.”

“Oh, sure.” She looked at me, and I nodded my head in reassurance. I didn’t want to make her anymore uncomfortable than she already was. Besides, there was plenty of time to deal with her later. “Carlisle, thanks for everything. You really did help me put some things into perspective.” She leaned in and kissed him on the cheek.

“It was my pleasure, Bella, and I hope to see you very soon.”

“Jasper, I’ll be upstairs resting.” She smiled.

“Hmm. Right, why don’t you go and take it easy while I talk to Carlisle.” She looked as if she might kiss me, too, but thought better of it and went upstairs.

“Don’t be too hard on her, Jasper. She was going to tell you I was here.”

“I know, but I just want to know what she was thinking. Calling you here and lying to me about it. That’s not like her.”

“She was worried about you, and wanted my help.”

“Why was she worried about me? I have given her no indication that something was wrong.”

“Bella seems to think that you are having second thoughts about turning her. She said, when you were discussing it, you got a little strange about it. She thought maybe you were thinking that you wouldn’t be able to successfully do it.” He looked at me for a few seconds; I guessed waiting for me to comment. “Was she right?”

“Well, the thought has crossed my mind, but that wasn’t what she was picking up on.” Of course Bella would jump to the wrong conclusion. “I wanted to ask her to marry me, but I was waiting for the right time. I want to make her mine officially, before I turn her. That is what she was sensing when I got a little strange during our conversation.” Oh, my silly girl.

“So then you are considering doing this soon?” He asked.

“I’m going to propose in the next week or so, and then after we marry, I will change her.”

“Congratulations, I know you will both be happy together.”

“Thanks. I’ve never been more sure of anything; we belong together.”

“She knows that, too, and that is why she wanted to talk to me. She wanted me to help you if you needed it, and I will, Jasper. I will help you with whatever you need.”

“I know I can do it, Carlisle. I would never hurt her, but sometimes I do worry about momentarily losing control and killing her in the process.”

“After seeing the two of you together, I seriously doubt that will happen. She is not afraid of you, and you will draw from that to get you through it. And, if you would like me to oversee the process, I can be there with you to step in if necessary.”

“I appreciate that, Carlisle, and I will let you know when the time comes.”

“You are very lucky to have found her. Cherish her always.”

“Always.”

After Carlisle left, I went up to talk to Bella. Part of me was still upset that she would think that she would have to lie to me to speak with someone, but a larger part of me knew she was trying to help me. She was lying on the bed, with her back toward me. She knew I was there, because her heart rate increased as soon as I came through the door. I sat down next to her, but she still didn’t turn around. I placed my hand on her hip. “I know why you did it, darlin’.”

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you, but I was afraid that you wouldn’t approve. Are you upset?” She still wouldn’t turn around.

“Bella, I knew you were up to something, because I felt your guilt all weekend. I was trying to give you your space. Am I upset? Yes, but not because you wanted to talk to Carlisle. I’m upset because, after everything we have become to one another, you felt that you couldn’t tell me that you had some concerns. Why, Bella, would you feel that way?”

She was crying now, and it was a good thing her back was to me, because I didn’t think I could handle that. It was bad enough that I could feel her pain, but I didn’t need to see it washed across her face as well. “Jasper, you have given me so much, and I wanted to do something for you. I thought by speaking with Carlisle, I could understand what it is that you have to go through in order to change me. You are always concerned about making everything right for me, but I know it will be very hard for you, too.”

I moved down next to her and cuddled into her back. I whispered in her ear. “Turning you will be extremely difficult for me, but it will also be one of the greatest pleasures I have ever experienced.”

“I’m sorry I went behind your back.” I felt her remorse. “I’ll never do it again.”

“Bella, turn around and look at me.” She did as I asked, and her face looked just as I thought it would. Her eyes were bloodshot from crying, and her cheeks were wet with tears. It broke my heart. I wiped her face with my hands. “No more tears, please. I’m not mad at you, but we can have no secrets. If there is ever anything bothering you, then you must come to me and we will settle it, and if you still need to speak to someone else, I won’t stand in your way.” I kissed the tip of her nose. “Do you understand that secrets will only cause us problems?”

“Yes, I do.” She pushed the hair from my eyes. “I only want to make you happy.”

“And you do, more than you will ever know. Just the fact that you are here, is a dream come true for me. I won’t change my mind, Bella, about making you immortal. You have my word.”

“Your word as a gentleman?” She smiled.

“Is there any other kind?” I kissed her softly. “You will be mine.”

“I already am, but I can’t wait to make it official.”

Did that mean that she wanted to marry me, too? Should I ask her now? Was this the right time?

“Jasper, I need to tell you something else that Carlisle and I discussed. It’s about Edward.”

Okay, so I wouldn’t be proposing tonight. Timing and everything. “What is it, sweetheart?” I tried to calm myself, but it wasn’t working. Strange, my power seemed to work on everyone else.

“The other reason I called Carlisle, was to make sure that Edward was okay. I know that he will never accept us, but I thought Carlisle could help him understand it, and he could move on. I wanted him to resolve his feelings for me and then, maybe one day, we could stand to all be in the same room.”

“That day may not be for fifty or sixty years, Bella.”

“I want you to have your family back.”

“That would be really nice, but I have you and that’s all I really need.” I hugged her. “Did Carlisle put your mind at ease?”

“He said he would try to help Edward, but that it would take him a long time to get over me.”

“Of course it will.”

“How can you be so sure?” She asked.

I knew I shouldn’t answer, but I didn’t want her to misinterpret anything else, so I told her. “Because Edward’s feelings for you are probably just as strong as mine are, and if you were ever to leave me, I would never get over that.”

“Well, that doesn’t make me feel much better.” More tears.

“I didn’t mean to make you cry again, but why exactly are you?”

“I love you and want to be with you, but at the same time, I feel terrible for Edward. I know he left to protect me, but he never stopped feeling for me. I was able to move on and find happiness.”

“And you want the same for him.” She was truly the most sensitive being I had ever encountered.

“Yes. Did I hurt you for expressing those feelings?”

“No, I wouldn’t expect you to feel anything else. You are too caring and forgiving for your own good.”

“I’m glad I got that out in the open.”

“You can tell me anything.” I put her face in my hands and slowly kissed her, washing away any remorse or guilt she still felt and replacing it with the purest love I had. The love I felt for her.

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Chapter 23: Chapter 23

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JPOV

As I walked down the stairs, I knew exactly where she would be, even if I couldn’t sense her. In front of the Christmas tree. She reminded me of a child, standing there looking up at it in total wonderment. She was simply beautiful and most of the time, I didn’t know what I had done in my horrid life to deserve her. It didn’t seem right, but I wasn’t going to question it. In these past few months, she had transformed from a sad, miserable, lonely girl into a happy, radiant woman in love. She was the most spectacular being I had ever encountered. I wanted her mind, body and soul, and would spend the rest of my existence keeping her as blissful as she was in this moment.

“Jasper?” She called. “Baby, you’re just staring at me.”

“It’s because you are so perfect.” She smiled at me. “I knew I’d find you in front of this tree again.”

“It’s the most extraordinary Christmas tree I’ve ever seen. There has to be five thousand lights on this thing. It’s huge.”

“Oh darlin’, don’t you know by now that I don’t do anything on a small scale?”

“No, I guess you don’t, but thank you for doing this for me. Last year I didn’t even go home to Charlie, I sat in my undecorated apartment and ate leftover Chinese food.”

“How appetizing.” I rolled my eyes. “Let’s not think about last year. I’m glad you approve of the tree and I’ll make sure that this year, you have something a little more traditional to eat.” I pulled her into my arms and started kissing her neck. She indulged me for a minute, but then she pulled away. “Bella.”

“You hate it when I do that, but if I let you get started, then I’ll never get to the mall, and because you keep ripping my clothes off, I’m running dangerously low on certain items.” She blushed.

“The mall, huh? On a Saturday in December?” I dreaded the thought of all of those slow humans in the lot, fighting over a parking space, and then having to stand in a long line at every register. It would be excruciating.

“I know, and you don’t have to come with me. I know what I need, so I will be in and out, and then I’ll come home and you can go back to kissing any body part you want.”

I pulled her back into my embrace. “Any body part?” I smiled as her eyes widened and she nodded her head in wild anticipation. “Okay, I’ll let you go without me, but I have two conditions.”

“Oh, you and your conditions. You know that I would be a vampire already, if it weren’t for those.” She seemed slightly annoyed, but it was cute.

“These are much simpler terms. First, you take and use the credit card. Second…” She cut me off.

“Wait, that’s two already; take and use.”

I shook my head. “Second, you go to that pink store and pick something out for me.”

“Hmm, I’m not sure that they have your size,” she giggled.

I picked her up and headed for the stairs. “Unless you agree…”

“Okay, okay, as much as I want to go back to bed with you, I will accept your conditions. I’ll shop with the credit card, and I’ll find something sexy for me to wear for you later. Deal?”

“That’s much better.” I put her back down and kissed her goodbye. “Don’t be long.”

“Less than an hour.” She bolted for the door.

“Be careful.” Silly girl! I missed her already! Pull yourself together, Jasper, she’s only going to the mall for an hour. As I watched her pull out of the driveway, my phone began to vibrate. I glanced at the display screen. This was unexpected.

“Alice?”

“Hey, Jazz, how are you?”

“I’m fine and yourself?”

“I’m great. I’m actually in Alaska and I was wondering if you could meet me. I wanted to talk to you.”

“About?” I was curious. What was she doing here and what did she want to discuss?

“Meet me at the diner right outside of town. Do you know where I mean?”

“Really, Alice, a diner?”

“I feel like having a cup of coffee.” She laughed as only Alice could. She was so light and carefree, but I seemed to sense something else in her voice.

“Cute.” What was she up too?

“Will you come?” She asked.

“Of course Alice, I’ll be there shortly.”

I flipped the phone shut. Something wasn’t right. I’d have to wait until I saw her in person to gauge her emotions. She was an open book, almost as bad as Bella; her feelings would give her away, if she was hiding something. I just hoped that she was okay. She had already been through so much, and I couldn’t stand for her to endure anything else. She deserved to be as happy as I was.

APOV

I hung up the phone. “Happy? He is on his way.” I didn’t want to do this to Jasper, but it was necessary.

“Thanks, Alice, I owe you. He never leaves her alone. If there was another way, I wouldn’t have involved you,” Edward said.

“I didn’t feel right about deceiving him.” He was going to be furious.

“Just give me a head start by keeping your emotions in check, so that he can’t figure this out. I need to tell Bella I’m sorry, and see if there is any chance for us.” He seemed so hopeful. Fool.

“You better go do what you are planning and quickly, because once Jasper finds out what we have done, he’s going to take off like a bat out of hell and head straight for you.”

“Really, Alice? The bat analogy? That is so beneath you.”

“Just shut up and go. And Edward, don’t hurt her, because Jazz will never forgive me if you have another accident.”

“Don’t worry, Alice, this will all work out.” He took off running toward their house. I only hoped he knew what he was doing.

I knew that Edward needed to see Bella and make things right, but I didn’t particularly care for his methods. I had only agreed to help him so that he could get the closure he so desperately needed to move on. Although he didn’t realize he was going for closure, he thought he was going there to win her back. I, of course, just didn’t see that happening.

I went into the diner and took a seat by the window. I needed to calm myself and stay focused. Jasper knew me too well, and he was going to sense that something was up, if I didn’t stay in control. A few minutes later he pulled up, and I felt an incredible surge of guilt. Yeah, like this was going to work!

EPOV

As I ran to their house, I started to think of all of the things I needed to tell her. She needed to know how much I still loved her and needed her. I had to really apologize for leaving her, and make her understand that if she would just give me another chance, I would never abandon her again. But, would she even hear me out? Give me a chance to explain? Of course she would. This was Bella, the most forgiving person I knew. Oh, but the last time she saw me, she was so angry. Did she get over that? And, then there was the time before that when I left her standing in the woods, swearing to her that I didn’t want her. She believed me so easily. What was wrong with her? As if I would ever not want her. How could she have believed me? Because, you idiot, you told her that and unfortunately, she would have trusted anything you said. Hopefully that was still the case, because I had a lot of explaining to do and not a lot of time to do it in.

I got to the house, but she wasn’t there. She would be back soon, I was sure of it, because she never left him for very long. I decided to wait inside for her. If she saw me standing on the porch waiting for her, she might not come in. She’d probably take off.

I walked around the downstairs, admiring their house. While it was very big, it had a cozy feel to it. Esme would be proud. It was extremely neat, but yet it had a lived-in feeling. Jasper’s guitar was leaning in the corner, and the novel Gone with the Wind was on the coffee table. I could picture the two of them, cuddled up on the sofa together, reading that book or Jasper playing something on the guitar for her, as she drifted to sleep. I wanted to be Jasper. He was sharing a life with her, doing things with her that I could only dream of doing.

In the middle of the living room was the most ostentatious tree I had ever seen. I rolled my eyes. Bella must have asked for a tree and Jasper bought the biggest one. Oh, who was I kidding, if she were to ever ask me for something, wouldn’t I do the same? The problem was she never asked me for anything. She didn’t even ask me to stay. She accepted my words, and I just left. How could I have done that?

I found myself upstairs, lingering at their bedroom door. Could I do this? Carlisle told me that it was important to see the life they were creating together, but I wasn’t sure this was what he meant. I opened the door anyway, and was immediately hit with her tempting scent swirling around the room. How could Jasper stand this? Why had he not slipped up?

Her scent was calling to me as if she were here. In all the time we were apart, I had never forgotten how she smelled or how her warm hand felt in mine, or the way she bit her bottom lip, but being here was making it all so real. In a few minutes, it would no longer be a dream, because she would be standing right in front of me, and I would be able to touch her again. Her blue, silky robe was draped over the back of the chair, so I picked it up and inhaled. Pure heaven. Bella, I miss you.

I turned and looked at the bed; their bed. I couldn’t help but imagine what it would be like to wrap my arms around her again and cuddle her while she slept, hum her lullaby and press my lips against her fruity scented hair. Would I ever get to do those things again? Would I ever do more than those things with her? God, I wanted to slip that robe from her shoulders and place gentle kisses all over her body, feel her warm naked skin against mine, have her shiver from my contact and touch her in places…

I heard her truck pull up, and I was suddenly pulled from my fantasy. I went back downstairs and calmly sat in the living room chair and waited for her.

She barreled into the house, arms full of shopping bags, with such excitement on her face. She was glorious. “Jasper!” She called. “I’m back and I spent tons of money, so I know that will make you hap…” She stopped at the entrance of the living room, almost frozen. Her face seemed to lose that light she had only a second ago; the light that was meant for him.

“Edward?” She didn’t move a muscle, and sadly I could smell her fear. I had my work cut out for me.



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