Fate Has Brought Us Here Chapters 24-28




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 24: Chapter 24

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JPOV

I pulled into the parking lot and went inside to meet Alice. Something was screaming at me that this wasn’t where I was supposed to be. Maybe it was just my anxiety over not being with Bella. I knew that wasn’t healthy, so I suppressed that feeling. I was very curious to see what Alice had to say, though. She was seated at a booth by the window, waving me over as the waitress was setting down two sodas. I wasn’t drinking that. I slid into the seat across from her.

“Alice.”

“Jazz, it’s so nice to see you.” I felt a controlled spike of anxiety. She was trying to keep her emotions to herself, but it wasn’t going to work.

“So, what brings you to my neck of the woods?”

“Would you believe I missed you?” She smiled.

“No.” She was working too hard to mask the guilt she was feeling. “Is something wrong?”

“No, why can’t I just visit with you?”

“Because, if you really wanted to visit with me, you would have called ahead and come to my house. Not insist that I meet you in a restaurant full of humans.” I heard that voice screaming at me again to just go home. Something wasn’t quite right with this picture.

“Well, I would love to see your house, but I didn’t want to make things awkward for Bella. How is she?” I could feel how much Alice missed her.

“She’s fine. She misses you, too.”

“Maybe you would let me see her sometime?” I could feel her excitement.

“She would really like that, so why don’t we go now? We could surprise her. She would be thrilled.”

She started playing with the straw, moving it up and down in her cup. She was trying to think happy thoughts to shield what she was really feeling. My power was too strong to be fooled by that.

“Fidgeting doesn’t really become you, Alice.” I imitated her with my own straw to show her how ridiculous she looked.

“I don’t know what you mean.” She let go of the straw.

“Edward is at my house right now, isn’t he?” I didn’t need her answer because I already knew. I could feel the betrayal.

She nodded, and I immediately felt her remorse. It didn’t make me feel better. “Why, Alice?” I got up. “Is that why we’re in a public place, so I couldn’t freak out?”

“No, Jazz, wait!” She grabbed my arm, and I tried to suppress a growl. “Please let me explain.” My anger was building, and I was so furious with her, that I couldn’t stay there. I was going to lose it.

I looked down at her hand on my arm. “Let go of me, Alice.”

“No, I can’t let you leave here.” She was desperate.

“Why, because you’re too loyal to your nut case of a brother? Screw you.” I pulled myself from her hold and stormed out of the diner. Of course she followed, and what was worse, I could feel how hurt she was. I had never spoken to Alice that way.

“Jasper, please let me explain!”

“Alice, I don’t want to hurt you, but if you don’t back off, I’ll be forced to do something that we will both regret later.” I tried to get into the car. She grabbed my arm and pulled me to her. “Damn it, Alice.” With my free hand, I slammed my fist into the driver side window, shattering the glass. I’d really be pissed about that later.

“Jazz, control yourself.” I growled at her. “Stop it, and listen to what I have to say.”

“How could you do this to me? I thought you were over this, and that you had accepted my relationship with Bella. Why would you help him gain access to her?” I leaned against the car for some stability. I was trying to make sense of this, but it wasn’t working. I knew I had to get to Bella, but I had to calm down because, after the last time, I swore that I would never put her in the middle of another confrontation between Edward and me.

She put her hands on my shoulders and looked me in the eyes. “Edward wanted to talk to her, and he knew you would never let him be alone with her after what happened in Forks.”

“He was right. I came here because I thought you needed me. How could you do this to me, after everything we were to each other?”

She closed her eyes. “Everything we still are to one another.” I could feel her remorse again, and that seemed to soften me a bit.

“If he hurts her again, Alice, I’ll never forgive you.”

“Jazz, do you think I would have let him go if I couldn’t see the outcome? I agreed to this because Edward needs to tell Bella how he feels, lay it all on the line and see how she reacts.”

“And what if she can’t handle her own reaction? What if she loses it again and goes after him, and he snaps. You can’t be certain of the outcome if he makes a rash decision and kidnaps her or, even worse, bites her.”

“He wouldn’t do that and if this involved anyone else but Bella, you would see that about Edward.”

I shook my head. She couldn’t be sure and although I had never bet against Alice, I couldn’t take any chances with Bella.

“He won’t hurt her. Please let them have this time to sort it all out. It will only help you in the long run. If the situation was reversed, wouldn’t you want a chance to make things right with her?”

I knew logically, Alice was right. Bella and Edward needed to resolve this once and for all, but I should be there to help her get through it. She was going to have to make him understand, in no uncertain terms, that it was me she wanted. My irrational side was screaming at me to go and rescue her. “She’s all I have. I need her and if he takes her from me, harms her in any way, there will be no coming back from that, for any of us.”

“I’m sorry I did this, but it is the right thing to do. I promise it will all work out.”

“For who?” Alice’s visions were subjective, and one tiny change could affect the outcome. What if Edward could persuade Bella to give him another chance? No, she wouldn’t do that to me. I needed to have faith in her, in us. As I was lost in my own thoughts, Alice seemed to be engrossed in a vision. I knew better than to interrupt, so I just waited it out, plus it gave me the much needed time to settle down.

“Jazz,” she smiled.

“What did you see, Alice? Is she okay?”

“You, and you looked so handsome. You were wearing a perfectly tailored tuxedo with a soft pink rose in your lapel. I’ve never seen you happier.”

“What was I doing?”

“Waiting for Bella to come to you. She was exquisite. She was wearing a designer gown, satin, an ivory color with a tinge of pink. It looked so nice with her skin.” She could hardly contain herself. “I must have had something to do with it.” She smiled.

“What makes you think so?”

“Because when you say your vows, I’ll be standing right next to Bella.” She clapped. “I have so much work to do!”

“You saw us getting married?”

“Ah, yeah, so don’t you think you need to put that giant rock on her finger? What are you waiting for?”

“You have no idea.”

“Jasper Whitlock, are you afraid she will say no?”

“Well…maybe.”

“Oh, like any woman could resist you and all that southern charm. Where’s your confidence?”

“Bella scares me.” I had to admit.

She burst into hysterics. “Little Bella scares you? You’re a terrifying vampire!” She continued to laugh.

“Alice, I’m still mad at you for this stunt you pulled, so if you don’t want me to throw your body parts into the fire along with Edward’s, I’d stop laughing.”

“Oh, come on, Jazz. I just told you that you were going to marry her. I saw the whole thing. Edward is not going to do anything to ruin it. Allow him this last screw up, for me. I’m the one who let you go, so that you could have Bella. You owe me.”

“You really don’t fight fair.”

“You can’t win that way.” She kissed my cheek. “Come on, let’s go get Edward.”

“You’re having this fixed.” I pointed to my shattered window.

EPOV

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

I slowly got out of the chair. “Bella.” I didn’t want to scare her. I glanced down at the shopping bags, and then out the window to her truck. “Jasper can buy you things.”

“Jasper doesn’t take his presents back,” she said quietly.

“I guess I deserved that, but by leaving you with the CD, would that have helped?”

“Did you come all this way to talk about CD’s and presents?”

“No,” I smiled and started toward her. “Your home is…” She interrupted me.

“Stop! I-I don’t want you to come near me.” She dropped her bags, and put her hands up to stop me.

“I won’t hurt you, love, but I’ll keep my distance until you’re ready.” I motioned to the living room. “Why don’t we sit in here?” I went in first and took a seat on the sofa. She followed, but walked to the opposite side of the room and didn’t sit. She was very uncomfortable.

“Where’s Jasper?” I could see the panic in her eyes. Did she seriously think I would hurt him? “If he comes home and finds you here, it won’t end well for any of us.”

“Jasper is with Alice, and probably on his way back by now, so I don’t have much time to say what I’ve come to say. Will you let me?”

She thought about that for a few seconds. “Fine.” She ran her hand through her hair, causing the room to fill with her delicious scent. I had to stay focused.

“I need to apologize for what happened in Forks a few weeks ago. It was a major shock for me to see you, especially with Jasper, and I behaved rather badly. I hope you can forgive me.”

“I know it must have been hard for you, finding out about us like that. I didn’t exactly behave that mature in the bedroom either.”

Here I was trying to apologize, and she was blaming herself. “In any case, I didn’t mean for our first reunion after so long to go so poorly.”

“Well, I guess not, since you were never planning on having a reunion in the first place.” Her eyes were so distant. Where did her spark go?

“No, initially I wasn’t, but now that I have seen you again, I’ve realized that I’ve made a really big mistake. It was wrong for me to do what I did. I was trying to protect you, but it wasn’t my place to make that choice for you. It is something I’ll regret my entire existence. Bella, can you ever forgive me?” I knew that question wasn’t fair, because it was just in her nature to forgive, even if she wasn’t ready to express it.

She walked over and sat on the sofa with me. Progress. “For a long time, I wanted you to come back. I had hallucinations of you, and I would dream of you constantly. It hurt so bad, that I couldn’t even catch my breath sometimes. I would wake up screaming your name, and hope that you would be sitting in the rocking chair, but you never were. I used to imagine your arms around me, singing me to sleep, but then it all got to be too much, so I stopped thinking of you, saying your name, and allowing others to say your name around me. You broke me.”

What had I done to this beautiful girl, my beautiful girl? “Bella.”

“No.” She motioned for me to stop. “I need to finish. This went on for two long years. The loneliness, the desperation, the emptiness, the not knowing if I could carry on one more day, and then it stopped. I waited for you everyday to just come back, but you never did. And then, when I finally thought I wouldn’t be able to take it anymore, Jasper appeared, and as we grew closer, I realized that it wasn’t you I was waiting for at all. It was always going to be Jasper. So, I don’t have to forgive you, Edward. I should be thanking you.”

“No, you don’t know what you’re saying. If I had never left you, then there would be no way for you to know how you would feel about Jasper.”

“I don’t believe that. You can’t fight fate. My feelings would have surfaced for him at some point.”

“You’re right, love, you can’t fight fate. It’s me you are destined to be with, and Jasper is just standing in my place. Your blood called to me, not him. I pulled you out of the path of that van. I was the one meant to be with you.”

“I don’t want to hurt you. I’ve let go, and now you need to do the same. Please don’t make this any harder than it has to be.”

I took her hands in mine. More progress. I felt a sudden spark of electricity course through my body at the warmth, and I realized I hadn’t felt anything in so long. She didn’t pull away, so maybe there was hope. “I know you are confused. I can see that Jasper is really good to you, but you owe it to us to continue what we started.”

“You finished what we started when you left. If you are looking for absolution, the only way to get it is to accept this.”

“Are you honestly saying that you don’t feel anything for me? That what we had meant nothing?”

The tears were seeping out of the corners of her eyes. Finally, an emotion I could work with. I wiped her cheeks with my fingertips and moved closer to her. I could feel her breath on my face. “Edward, please just let me go.”

“I can’t.” I whispered. “I can’t do it again, Bella. I love you.” She closed her eyes, and more tears streamed down her face. I pulled her into my chest. I needed to feel her and have her feel me. “Just remember how good it feels to be close to me. I’ll always be here. I’ll never leave you again.” I began stroking her hair. “Bella, I need to hear you say that you love me. I know you do.”

“Edward, I…” She pulled away from me and got up. I followed her. She turned around and locked her gaze in mine. She was so beautiful. “Please, I want you to leave.”

“Why? Am I too close to the truth?” I kept moving toward her and she kept retreating, but unfortunately for her, I was a predator by nature and I had her right where I wanted her; she was cornered. I placed my hands on the wall on either side of her face. She was so close to me, and I realized that I might never have this opportunity again. I leaned forward and took in her luscious scent. I brushed my cool lips against her cheek, and rubbed my fingers across her collarbone.

She gasped. “Edward, don’t.”

“Why, love? Is it too much for you?” Come on, Bella, work with me! I knew she still felt it; I just had to remind her how much she still wanted me. I moved my lips over her jaw as she began to tremble. I was being unfair, but I needed to use this power over her. After all, she was just a human, unable to resist me. I needed every advantage I could get.

“What are you doing to me?” She asked breathlessly. “Why can’t I move?”

“Because you don’t want to.” I pressed my lips to hers.

“No,” she whimpered against my flesh.

“If you love him so much, prove it. Kiss me, and then if you still don’t want me, I’ll leave.” I licked her bottom lip. “I will take full responsibility for this kiss. He won’t blame you.”

I wrapped my arms around her body, pulling her to me and effectively closing the gap between us. I crushed my lips to hers, as she sighed into my mouth. I slipped my tongue between her lips and deepened the kiss. Why had I never kissed her like this before? She felt amazing, but I had to maintain control, because I found that my body had other ideas for her. She was gasping for air, as she tried to break away. I slowly broke the kiss, but lingered at her lips. She was still shaking. “Well, Bella?”

She took a deep breath to center herself. “Yes, Edward, I do love you.”

My angel still loved me. “Oh, Bella, I knew it…”

She put her fingers to my lips. “Shh… I do love you, a part of me always will, but I love Jasper more.” Silence, complete and utter silence filled the room. What else was left to say? The tears started sliding down her face again. “I don’t want to hurt you. My heart breaks for you.” She was crying harder now. “Please accept my decision.”

“Oh, love, I do.” I wiped her face with my fingers. “Please don’t cry, Bella, I won’t hurt you anymore.” My body physically ached, if that were even possible. I wouldn’t do anything else to cause her anymore pain. As much as it was going to kill me, I owed her this. “Jasper is very lucky.”

“I’m sorry,” she sobbed out.

“Then you make it up to me by being happy. But, if he screws this up, I will be there waiting for you, even if you just need me to be your friend.” I didn’t think I could do that yet, but I would try.

“I want you to be my friend now. Is that selfish?”

Selfish? I would do anything for her, even if it meant releasing her to Jasper. “Of course not.” I pushed the hair out of her face. “Whenever you need me, Bella, I will be here. I’ll never disappear from your life again.” That was me being selfish, because I knew that I would never be able to stay away from her. But this was more excruciating than leaving, because I knew I would have to watch her with Jasper for the rest of eternity. Maybe that was my penance for leaving in the first place.

I heard two cars pull into the driveway. “Jazz and Alice are here.”

“Oh, how mad will he be?”

“It depends on how well Alice worked her magic on him. You need to stay inside though, because Carlisle will kill us if you get in the middle again.”

“Please don’t provoke him, or I can’t guarantee that I won’t come out.”

“Remember, Bella, whenever you need me, I will be here.” I quickly kissed her forehead, and ran out the door. I’d rather face Jasper than spend one more second looking into those sad eyes, that seemed to be grieving for me.

Chapter 25: Chapter 25

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EPOV

Bella made her choice, and I was going to have to find a way to deal with it. After all, forever was a long time. Jasper and Alice were standing in the driveway, waiting for me. I knew I told Bella I wouldn’t provoke him, but I had this incredible surge of anger. He took her from me? Where was the loyalty in that? He had betrayed me in the worst way, and after hearing Bella say she loved him more, I couldn’t control myself. The beast within me wanted to take over, and I was more than willing to let it. What did I have to lose?

I walked toward them and by my facial expression, he could tell I was twisted. He glanced toward the window, where Bella was watching us. For only me to hear, he spoke. I’m willing to let this go. Control yourself. Was he kidding me? He didn’t want to let this go, he just couldn’t do it in front of Bella. He didn’t want to show his true colors.

I got in his face, as a growl emitted from deep in my chest.

“Edward, don’t,” Alice yelled.

“Stay out of it! This is between us.” I pushed him.

“You don’t want to do this. I feel your pain, and I’m sorry,” he said.

Was that supposed to make me feel better? The empath could feel my pain? “It was so easy to get to her, Jazz. If you keep that up, I’ll be able to have her anytime I want.”

He crouched down and growled back. All I had to do was provoke him a little more, and she would see what he was. “She smells so good, Jasper; but she tastes even better.” I grinned. “I know you can smell her all over me.”

But before I even had the statement out of my mouth, he slammed into me, knocking me into a thick tree. It shook as I made contact and if I had been human, the sheer force of the impact would have broken my back.

Bella came screaming out of the house, just as he was coming for me. “Jasper, please don’t.” He was enraged. He grabbed by throat, pinning me to the tree.

“Bella, get in the house!” I’m going to kill you. He spoke for only me.

I laughed. “By all means, show her exactly what you are.”

She started down the steps. “Bella, don’t!” Alice yelled, as she moved to block her from coming to us.

He glared at her, as he yelled. “Bella, don’t make me say it again.” She cringed and put her hands over her ears. She had probably never heard him raise his voice.

“Do what Jasper says.” I told her, and she retreated back to the house. At least we wouldn’t physically hurt her now.

I pushed Jasper back, and he went flying into his car, leaving a massive dent. That seemed to agitate him more. Score for me. He headed back toward me.

“Would you two animals stop it now?” Alice screamed? “You’ve proved your point.”

He punched my jaw and, to my surprise, it stung. He was mad. The second punch actually hurt. I had no desire to fight back. I heard her words over and over again in my head; I love Jasper more…I love Jasper more… I love Jasper more… Jasper kept hitting me, and I heard Alice yell in the background. “That’s enough, Jazz!”

He stopped, and his facial expression changed from rage to something else. He looked like I felt. He said in his head; Edward, oh, I see now. Your pain is overwhelming. Was that supposed to make me feel better? He felt pain through me, that he would never experience for himself? He would never know what it was like to lose her.

“Congratulations,” I said. “It looks like the better man won.”

“It was never a competition for me. It has always been about her.” He glanced at the window.

“Whatever.” I headed to the car. “Come on, Alice.”

“Edward, wait. I never wanted for you to be hurt. You are my brother and I do love you, and I know you don’t feel that way about me now, but someday, I’m hoping that we will at least be able to be civil to one another.”

“You will be,” Alice chirped with a huge smile.

I rolled my eyes.

“What, Edward? I can’t help what I see,” she said.

“Oh, now you want to tell us what you see.” I hissed. “If you had just done that from the beginning, we wouldn’t be standing here now.” I shook my head, but Alice was already distracted by Bella looking out at us. Bella smiled and Alice waved.

“Alice,” Jasper said. “If I let you go in there, do you think you can keep your earlier vision of today to yourself?”

Alice started jumping up and down. “Yes!”

“Then go in and see her,” he said.

“Thank you, Jazzy!” She fluttered up the steps, as only Alice could, and into the house.

“That was very nice of you. Alice misses her, too,” I said.

“Yes, well, you and I need to talk.”

Wonderful! Hadn’t I been through enough for one day? “What do you want?”

“Are you really asking me that? I should still be kicking your ass all over this yard, for what you and Alice pulled today.” He was still angry.

“Excuse me, Jasper, but in case you haven’t noticed, the outcome has worked in your favor.” What else could he want from me?

“Obviously, Edward, but your misery is so strong that I feel like dropping to my knees, so maybe I don’t have to physically hurt you, but in any case, you came here with the intent of taking her from me, and that is just not acceptable.”

“She chose you. There wasn’t even a question in her mind, not that I could read it, or even see it. I didn’t want to see it. I had to try, Jazz.”

“I know, and I would have done the same thing. I don’t ever want to experience first hand what you are going through, but there are no more allowances for you. Do you understand that she has made her decision? You have to leave her alone now. You can’t torment her over this. You’ve done enough to her, and I can’t let her go into the next phase of her existence carrying your grief on her shoulders.”

He did love her. “Do you understand how crazy this is for me? Two years ago, you couldn’t be in the same room with her without having to constantly control the urge to drain her, and now you share a house and a bed? I don’t get it.”

“You don’t have to get it. That’s just the way it is. I learned to control my blood lust, the same as you, Alice and the rest have. Why is that so hard to believe? Yes, I was the weakest link and it took me longer to adjust, but I did it. And, now I’m controlled enough to be with her. She wants me, Edward, and I won’t question that.”

“When?” He knew what I meant.

“Soon. I wanted to have her finish college first, give her as many human experiences as possible, but she won’t wait another two years, and I’m inclined to give her what she wants. I’m going to take her to see Renee; I’ve insisted on that much.”

“You’re sure it’s what she wants? You’ve explained the sacrifices? How painful the process will be, and what she will be like that first year or two?” I knew Bella could handle all of it.

“She doesn’t care about any of that. She wants this.”

“She wants you, and she’ll do anything to make sure she stays with you.”

“She knows I want her, either way. It’s her choice, and it will be up until the end.”

“Jazz, don’t screw this up.”

“I don’t plan to, but you have got to lay off of her now.”

“I won’t bother you anymore, but I will always be there for her, so you have to let me be a part of her life.”

How big of a part? He sighed.

“As much as she will let me have.”

Whatever she wants. He turned and looked at his car. Crap!

“Oh, come on, it’s time for a new one anyway.” I hit his back and laughed.

“Why couldn’t you have slammed me into the Volvo?”

“I’m not stupid.”

“You don’t think so?” He pushed my shoulder. Things might not ever go back to normal between us, but at least they could go up from here.

Is that hope I feel? He thought.

BPOV

I ran back into the house. I could feel the warm stream of tears flowing down my cheeks. Jasper was so angry, and he had never yelled at me like that before. I dropped to the floor in the foyer. I couldn’t watch the two of them rip each other apart. I couldn’t bear to lose either one of them. It was too much. I sat silently on the floor for a few minutes. I heard someone hit something hard and I cringed; the noise was deafening and then Alice screamed “Would you two animals stop it now!” A few more seconds passed, and then the fighting seemed to stop. I got up and went back to the window.

I couldn’t believe it. Jasper and Edward were now standing face to face, talking calmly to one another. Maybe Jasper came to his senses and controlled the climate. Wait, Alice was headed for the door. Was she coming in?

“Bella?” She called. “Can I come in?”

“I … I’m in here, Alice.” She was actually speaking to me. I started to shake. What could I possible say to her? I didn’t think ‘Oh, I’m sorry, Alice, I didn’t mean to steal the love of you life’ was going to work. She appeared in the doorway. She was smiling, and swaying back and forth. She had not a care in the world. She was Alice. At that moment, I realized just how much I had missed her and needed her.

“Hi, Bella.” She was so casual.

“Alice.” I ran to her. She held out her hands and embraced me. I started to cry again.

“Bella, it’s okay. He is rather charming, our Jazz, I don’t blame you.”

“Oh…Al…Al…ice.” I couldn’t stop crying.

“Bella, you have to stop, or Jasper will come storming in here and never let me near you again.” She wiped my face. “Sit down.” She pointed to the sofa.

She pulled me to sit, as she plopped down next to me, scrunching her knees into her chest. I couldn’t stop staring at her. She was really here. “I’ve missed you.”

“I know.”

“Of course you do.”

“I missed you, too. Well, that is when I wasn’t watching you fall head over heels in love with Jasper.”

“I’m sorry about that. I didn’t, well, it sort of just happened. I never meant to hurt you.”

“I know, Bella. It was just meant to be. I’m coming to terms with it, especially after seeing how happy and at peace he is. I did the right thing by letting him find you. He’s not tortured or conflicted. He loves you so much.”

“I would do anything for him.”

“Just love him. He’s a good man, but he has been through so much, and suffered more than anyone ever should. He deserves to be happy now, and I know you are the best thing that could have happened to him.”

“That’s very nice of you. More than I deserve.” I looked down.

“Bella, I won’t lie and say this is easy for me, but you didn’t steal him from me. I let him go. He took such good care of me for so many years, that I owed him the chance to experience what I saw in my visions.”

She was being so kind, too kind. This day was too emotional, and I was so drained. “Will you and Edward be okay? Can you see that?”

“We’ll be fine. I haven’t seen anything in our futures to indicate otherwise.”

“Will you find love?” I wanted that for both of them.

“Oh, neither of us is ready for that, and until we are, I probably won’t see it coming.”

“That’s sad.” I wanted them to be just as happy as Jasper and I were.

“Bella, if our mates are out there we will find them, but that’s not for you to worry about. Right now you need to focus on Jasper, and begin to prepare yourself for what is to come. You are sure you want to become like us?”

“Yes, Alice, more than anything. I want to do that for him.”

“And for you?” she asked.

“Of course. That’s the only future I envision.”

“Well, I happen to envision a lot of futures, and I know that one will work out.”

“Do you still want me as a sister?” I knew technically I wouldn’t be her sister, but once I was turned, I would be more a part of the family.

“Bella, I’ve always considered you my sister.” She hugged me, and I could feel her love. “Okay, I think that’s enough of a reunion for one day. I better get Edward out of here, before he does something to really piss Jazz off.”

“What else could he possibly do? He’s already dented the car?”

“Hmm… and that’s not all, judging from the way you smell.”

“I… well, he…” I was flustered, and embarrassed that she knew Edward had kissed me.

“Like I said, I better get him out of here before Jasper realizes.” She got up to leave.

“Alice?” I followed her. “Will you call me and visit, too”

“Are you kidding me? We are going to be so busy in the next few months, that you will be sick of me.”

“Busy? Shopping?” I did kind of miss that.

She pointed to the bags in the foyer, from my earlier trip to the mall. “Looks like you are doing just fine in that department.”

I walked Alice outside, but hesitated when I got close to Jasper. I wasn’t sure why, but I felt uneasy, maybe because he had yelled at me earlier. I know he was trying to keep me from getting in the middle of a fight, but still it scared me. I felt like I should go back inside like the coward that I was, but then he looked at me with those gorgeous golden eyes, and I forgot my own name.

JPOV

She didn’t want to come near me. Was I not the biggest jerk? I didn’t mean to yell at her, and now she was afraid. I smiled reassuringly at her, and I would apologize for my behavior later. I motioned her over with my finger, and to my delight, there was no hesitation. She walked right over and took my hand. As soon as she got close to me, I smelled him. I shot him a look. Consider that kiss a freebie. I thought, as I glowered at him.

Edward gave me that crooked smile. Smug bastard!

“Okay, I hate to break up your private conversation, but we have to go now, Edward. We have a long ride back. It was so nice seeing you guys,” Alice smiled.

“Thanks, Alice, but next time, call before you leave Forks,” I said. “We don’t all have your gift of foresight.” She stuck her tongue out at me.

“Bella,” Edward said. “I’m glad we worked this out.”

“Yeah, me too.” I could feel her sorrow for him. I squeezed her hand.

“Jazz, take care of her.” He was trying to be sincere, so I just nodded.

Alice leaned in and kissed my cheek, and then she whispered in my ear. “The tree in the living room is perfect, just like in my vision with the six carat rock. Just do it!”

I smiled. “Goodbye, Alice.”

“I’ll be in touch very soon, Bella.” And then, thankfully, they got in the car and left. I scooped her up and carried her into the house.

“What are you doing?” she giggled.

“We had plans for this afternoon, remember?” I set her down in the foyer, and ran my hand through my hair. “Did you buy all of this stuff?” I was shocked at the number of bags.

“Yes, and I had a ton of fun doing it. I think you may like some of it, too.” She blushed.

“Right, about our plans?” Hopefully, she remembered.

She walked toward me, and put her arms around my waist. “Something about you kissing any body parts you wanted.”

“As tempting as you are, darlin’, you reek of my brother, and I don’t find that very enticing.” I felt a spike of nerves. “Bella, it’s okay.”

“I kissed Edward.” She blurted out.

“Yes, I can smell him all over you.” And, I didn’t like it.

“I’m sorry. I’m not sure how it happened. It’s a poor excuse, but I couldn’t seem to move.”

“Silly girl, don’t you know when you’re being dazzled?”

“What? That’s why I let him do it?”

“Yes, Bella, he didn’t play fair.” Her nerves seemed to be replaced with anger.

“Of all the rotten things he could have pulled. What a jerk.”

“If I were in his place, I would have done the same thing.”

“Still, it wasn’t very nice.” She was embarrassed.

“Let’s forget today even happened. Why don’t you go upstairs, shower, and put something new on for me.” I glanced at the bags. She smiled.

“I’ll be back soon.” She grabbed her bags, and ran up the stairs.

I went into my study and retrieved the small blue box from my desk drawer, and slipped it into my pocket. I walked into the living room, and stared at the tree. Tonight, I thought, the timing was finally right.

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Chapter 26: Chapter 26

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***Okay…we are back to our love story!***

JPOV

Tonight would be as good a night as any, to ask her to marry me. Alice was right, I was being absurd. Why would Bella turn me down? She had already agreed to spend forever with me, so why shouldn’t we make it official? It wasn’t as if I needed a piece of paper to know where I belonged, but I wanted her to have as many human experiences as possible, before she let me change her. She was already giving up her parents, and as much as she acted as if that really didn’t matter, there would come a time when it would matter. Maybe not in the beginning, but forever is a long time and eventually she would miss certain things; her family, being out in the sunlight in public, the warmth of human contact, the feeling of a baby growing inside of her… Okay, what was I doing? What about all of the things that I could give her? We could still be a part of the Cullen coven in some capacity and that was as good as any family, if not better. I could give her my unconditional and undying love and devotion, and now that she was beginning to like the shopping thing, I could certainly provide her with unlimited credit. Wasn’t that every woman’s dream?

I placed my hand over my pocket and took an unnecessary breath to center myself. Again, why did my power work on everyone else but me? I heard her quietly come down the stairs and stand in the doorway behind me. The entire room was illuminated by the tree lights and nothing else, except for the glow of the fireplace. I slowly turned around, and if my dead heart could beat, it would have stopped in that moment. She was a vision of pure and utter perfection, leaning against the door jam in a short, silky black nightgown that left little to the imagination. The thin straps left her shoulders and back exposed, while the bodice dipped over the swell of her breasts and the hem of the gown hung seductively high over her upper thighs. While her face still appeared as innocent and youthful as ever, her body screamed something else. After seeing her like this, I would have to concentrate really hard just to get my question out. Maybe I should ask her after we… no, Jasper, there would be plenty of time for that later.

She smiled and whispered “Do you like?” I felt her insecurities as she stood there, seeking my approval.

I walked over to where she was standing and took her hand in mine. “You look spectacular.” I ran my fingertips around her neck and down her spine. She shivered, and I knew I wouldn’t be able to keep my hands off of her. I softly kissed her lips and then walked her over to the sofa, pulling her into my lap. I wanted to be as close to her as possible. I took her face in my hands and kissed her a little deeper this time, running my tongue along the inside of her bottom lip, savoring her taste. She moaned into my mouth, and I could feel her arousal getting stronger. I pulled away. “Bella…” She kissed me again. “I have…” another kiss. “to ask you...” She started moving her lips down my neck. Oh, that felt good. Her fingers quickly found the buttons of my shirt. My little vixen. As much as I hated to do it, I grabbed her hands. “Wait.”

“You don’t want to do this?” I felt her shock.

“Oh no, sweetheart, we will do this, but first I need to ask you something.” Nothing was going to stop me tonight, not even my incredibly gorgeous half naked girl trying to take my clothes off.

A wave of worry came over her. “Is this about my kiss with Edward?”

“No, it most certainly is not; although you do smell much better.” I smiled. She relaxed a bit. “I wanted you to know that these past few months have been the most extraordinary time of my life, and that is saying a lot, since I’ve had an extremely long one.”

“It’s been really wonderful for me, too. I didn’t think I would ever find happiness again, and then I found it where I least expected it.” She placed her hand on my cheek; I turned my lips toward it and kissed her palm.

I took her hand in mine again. “Bella, it’s no secret that I’ve done some pretty awful things in my time, but you have helped me come to terms with my past. You always believe in me, and it has made me somehow better. When I’m with you, I’m not a killer or a monster. I’m not even a vampire. I’m just a man in love with a tremendously astonishing woman.”

She looked down, and I could feel her embarrassment. I tilted her chin up, and looked in her eyes, I could see everything I needed to see. There were no doubts, no anxieties and no misconceptions. She loved me as much as I loved her. I knew I should get down on my knee, but I couldn’t bring myself to remove her from my lap, and I wanted to be able to stare into those warm and tender brown eyes, feel her breath on my face and be as close to her heart as I could be. I reached into my pocket, pulled out the box and held it between us. “My Bella?” I flipped open the lid. Her eyes widened as she put her hand over her mouth. “Will you do me the honor of becoming my wife?” I took the ring from the box and gently placed it on her tiny, trembling finger. A perfect fit.

She looked down at it, and I could see the tears sliding down her cheeks. “Jasper, it’s the most beautiful ring I’ve ever seen.” She held her hand up in front of her face.

“Um, Bella you didn’t answer my question.” She was stunned, but I needed to hear the words.

“Oh, I’m just so shocked. I mean I never expected you to actually ask me. I just thought that since we would be spending eternity together as mates and all, that it would just be assumed that we were married. I didn’t think you were the type of person who needed a piece of paper or jewelry to symbolize our love.”

“Bella, do you want to get married?” Now I was scared.

“Oh, God, yes Jasper, more than anything!” I crushed my lips to hers, twisting my fingers through her silky hair. I could feel her warm tears transferring onto my face, and I thought that was ironic because if I could cry, it would have been at this moment.

I pulled away from her, and wiped her cheeks with my hand. “You don’t know how relieved I am. I wasn’t sure how you would react.”

“I’ve already pledged my eternal love to you. Why would you think I wouldn’t want to make it official?” She looked down at her ring again. “You have amazing taste.”

“I know, I picked you, didn’t I?”

“I love you.” She kissed me softly.

“I love you too, darlin’. So, when would you like to become Mrs. Whitlock?”

“As soon as possible. When can we do it?” She was very eager. That was good.

“Well, I would do it tomorrow, but your wedding planner would kill me.”

“Alice?” She smiled.

“Yes, apparently all you and I will have to do is show up, because I’m sure she already has the whole thing planned.” I twirled a strand of her hair around my fingers. “You can call her in the morning.”

“Thank you for being the man of my dreams.” She kissed me.

“Oh, baby, I have so many things planned for us. Once you are past the newborn stage, I’m going to take you places and show you things that you never knew existed. We will go anywhere and do anything you want.”

“As long as I’m with you, I don’t care where we go.”

I began running my lips along her jaw line, as I worked my hands up the sides of her body. She was still cradled in my lap; I shifted her so that she was straddling me. I ran my palms over her breasts as I felt her nipples straining against them. I began kissing and sucking them through the thin material of her gown. She freed me of my shirt and began to unbuckle my belt. I could feel how eager she was. I slid her off of me as we both stood, so that I could rid myself of my pants. I reached up under her teddy and slid her panties down. “I want you to leave this on.” I tugged at her new piece of lingerie.

“Whatever you want.” She bit my bottom lip as I lowered us to the floor beneath the Christmas tree. I pulled her on top of me, and slipped the foil packet into her hand. Her heart fluttered a bit, but she didn’t hesitate. I wanted her to have the control tonight.

She leaned down and began kissing the center of my chest, working her way down my stomach. Her pace was excruciatingly slow, but it only heightened the experience. She took my erection in her hand as she swirled her tongue around the tip, and I thought I would lose it from the sensation the heat of her mouth was creating. She moved her tongue up and down the back of my shaft. She was teasing me. The vixen. “Bella…” I grabbed her hair in my hands and gently pulled her head back. “I won’t be able to last if you keep that up.” She gave me a wicked grin as she ripped the wrapper open with her teeth and gently rolled the condom onto my extremely hard member, taking me into her tiny hand and squeezing me when she was finished.

I placed my hands on either side of her hips and lowered her onto me. Just the thought of her riding me was enough to send me over the edge. She moaned as she slid her hot, throbbing heat around me and started thrusting downward, as I met each with a hard upward thrust. She was so beautiful, all caught up in her own ecstasy. She ran her hands through her hair, and then slowly moved them down over her own body. What was she doing? I couldn’t take my eyes off of her as she slipped her hands up under her gown and began touching her breasts. If that wasn’t the hottest thing I had ever seen…no wait, it could be hotter. “Bella, take that thing off and do that again. I need to see.” She licked her lips as she lifted the gown over her head and tossed it aside. She slowly moved her hands back up over her body, placing them on her breasts again. Yes, absolutely hotter. I pushed into her harder as she screamed my name. As her hands moved over her nipples, I could see my ring sparkling on her finger. With the glow of the Christmas lights twinkling behind her, she looked like an angel; an angel doing some pretty naughty things, but an angel nonetheless. She was so close, as I felt her walls tightening around me.

“Oh…Jasper…it feels so good…I’m going to…” She let herself go as I felt her warm juices dripping down me. I knew she had exhausted herself, so I quickly reversed our positions, being careful not to place all of my weight on her, as I began slamming into her. “Jasper…”

I couldn’t believe it, but she was climaxing again. My girl was insatiable. “Oh, Bella. … you bad girl.”

“Harder, Jasper. I need it harder.” She screamed, and of course I always gave her what she wanted. I couldn’t hold out any longer, and with a few more deep, quick plunges, I emptied hard and it was by far the most intense orgasm I had ever experienced. And in the seconds that followed, I had never felt more relaxed or at peace than I did right then.

I was still on top of her with my face buried in her neck. I began sucking on the skin over her pulsing vein.

She giggled. “What are you doing?”

“Marking my territory.” I made a small red mark there.

“Is that where you’ll bite me? Right here?” She ran her fingers over her new red spot.

“Yes, among other places, but that is the crucial spot.” I brought my lips to meet hers. “And, Bella, I’d like to do it while we’re making love.”

“Really?” She was surprised.

“Unless you object, but that’s when we are at our closest, and since biting you will be rather intimate for us both, what better time than when we are like this?” I had given the details of her conversion much thought, and this seemed to make the most sense. She was always so relaxed after our time together and her mind would be otherwise occupied, hopefully too occupied to be afraid of what would come next.

“Jasper?” She asked. “Any chance you’ll do it right now?”

Maybe she wouldn’t be afraid after all. “Nice try, sweetheart, but you’ve still got one more thing to do.”

“Right,” she sighed. “Will you take me to see Renee? I’d like her to meet my fiancé.”

Fiancé. That sounded nice. “Whenever you are ready to go.” I would go anywhere with this girl; even sunny Florida.

BPOV

I was trying hard to fight my sleep, but my eyes were beginning to flutter. I was snuggled into his chest, as we lay on the floor under the tree. I hated falling asleep and losing this time with him. I couldn’t wait for the day when I wouldn’t have to fall asleep, and we could spend our time doing other things. I held my hand up, so that I could take in that gorgeous ring. It was by far the biggest diamond I had ever seen. It sat high off of my finger in a platinum setting, with several additional diamonds making their way all around the band. The fact that it was an eternity band was not lost on me.

“Do you like it?” he asked. “We can pick something else out, if you don’t.”

Did he really think I couldn’t love this ring? “Are you crazy?”

“I don’t think so,” he said, matter-of-factly.

“Jasper, the ring is perfect. Of course, if I had picked it out, I wouldn’t have gone with such a big diamond, but I’m glad you did.” I couldn’t even think about the price of something so magnificent, and I’m sure I would never find out.

“Darlin’, remember I don’t do anything on the small scale.” He pointed to the massive tree we were nestled under.

“I’m going to make you really happy, I promise.”

“You already do.” He hugged me tighter. I yawned. “Why don’t I take you up to bed now?”

“No, I want to stay here a little longer, please.” My eyes began to close.

He kissed my head. “Okay, sweetheart. I’ll take you up in a little while. Enjoy your tree.”

“I just love being here with you. I love you, Jasper Whitlock.” I was drifting off, but not before I heard him.

“I love you, too, soon-to-be Mrs. Whitlock.”

I slept really well that night, delighting in the fact that nothing could ever take me away from him.

**

Chapter 27: Chapter 27

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*

BPOV

The next few weeks were a whirlwind. First, Alice came to visit, armed with lists, bridal magazines and color swatches. I had no idea that there were so many variations of ivory. During our session, Jasper was no where to be found; coward. Finally, after about three hours of nonstop wedding planning, I told Alice she could have full reign from everything to the music, all the way up to the dress I would be wearing. Who was she kidding; she had already seen everything in her vision, so this would be easy for her. All Jasper and I had to do was pick the date; which at this point was still undecided.

Next, we went back to visit Charlie over Christmas break, to tell him our big news. He took it really well, and I could swear that he was just as happy to see Jasper as he was to see me; if not more. In any case, I was glad I got to have another successful visit with him, because I knew that there probably wouldn’t be many more of those in our future. We told him that we would be taking the next semester off, to travel abroad. He didn’t love the idea of me being so far away, but Jasper felt that was the best explanation we could offer him now. I wasn’t ready to have him believe that I had died in some horrible accident, and at least this way, we could communicate through e-mails and text messages. Jasper suggested that in a year, we could just tell him that we enjoyed our travels so much, that we decided to live out of the country for awhile. It wasn’t a long term solution, but it was the only one I could live with for now.

Then there was our visit to Florida. Luckily for Jasper, it rained for two whole days, so he was actually able to get around in the daylight hours. Renee was, well, Renee. Still as youthful and carefree as always, and she seemed so happy and content. It was obvious that she was still very much in love with Phil. And, I think that was why she took the news of my recent engagement so well. Jasper won her over in minutes, and she was thrilled that he could provide me the opportunity to travel the world. On the second night we were there, Renee and I got some alone time. Jasper had offered to leave me several times before that, but I hadn’t been ready. Phil and Jasper went to pick up Chinese take out, and I had cringed at the thought of poor Jasper choking it down. He whispered that I would owe him big time for this, as he walked out the door.

“Bella,” Renee said, as she came and sat next to me on the couch. “I’m so glad you decided to visit.”

“Yeah, me too. But, I have to be honest, it was Jasper’s idea.”

“He seems to be very good for you. I can see how much he loves you.”

“I love him so much. He has done things for me that I’ll never be able to repay.” Like the fact that I was sitting in her living room.

“He’s not looking for paybacks. I’ve never seen a man look at a woman, the way he looks at you. It’s hard to describe, but he is so protective of you, but not in a overbearing way, and he seems to let you make your own decisions. But I can tell that he always knows that you are going to do exactly what he wants you to do. He is such a gentleman, and very wise beyond his years.”

I laughed. “You have no idea.” How wise should a hundred and sixty-five year old vampire be? I thought.

“You are happy then? You want to travel around the world with him, and become his wife?”

“I’ve never been more sure about anything in my entire life. Words just can’t do justice for the way I feel about him. He is my whole reason for existing.”

She hesitated for a second, and then said. “But, Bella isn’t that the way you felt about Edward, too?”

Okay, well, she had me there. I did think that Edward was my life, and I knew where she was coming from. I fell apart when he left, and probably wouldn’t have carried on much longer, if it weren’t for Jasper. “Yes, I thought that I felt that way about Edward. I did love him, a part of me still does and I guess always will, but he was my first love and that was a necessary love, because it lead me to the person I was supposed to be with. There will never be anyone else for me.”

“I trust you,” she smiled.

“You do? After everything that happened between us? The way I acted and treated you, during that dark time in my life?”

“You did what you had to do to survive, and I’m so glad that you did. I could have been better for you. I was the adult, but our roles had been reversed for so long, that when you fell apart, I didn’t know how to respond to that. It was wrong, and I’m sorry for allowing us to lose two years of our lives. We can’t get that time back, but we have the rest of our lives to make up for it. I love you, Bella.”

I started to cry. We didn’t have any more time, but she couldn’t have known that. She hugged me. “I’m sorry, Mom.”

“It’s okay. Everything will be fine, now.”

“I love you, Mom.” And at least now she would know that, and this was one more thing that I owed Jasper.

“Bella? Baby, what’s wrong. Why are you crying?” I heard his voice pull me from the last memory I would have of my mother. I wiped my cheeks, and smiled at him.

“Thank you.”

“For?” He asked.

“For insisting that I make things right with my parents, before you turned me. I would never have forgiven myself, if I didn’t reconcile with them. You were right, but then again, you always are.”

“It is a huge burden to carry; always being right,” he smiled.

“Seriously, Jasper, how did you know that I needed to do that?”

“Many years of experience, darlin’.” His facial expression seemed to change, and there was pain in his eyes. “So many of my human memories have faded,” he said softly. “But, I will always remember my parents and the love that I felt for them, and while I went into this next life on good terms with them, I know that my mother was heartbroken when I went off and joined the war at such a young age. Eventually, she accepted my decision, but it was not something that she would have chosen for me, and if she could have stopped me, she would have. She must have been devastated, when she thought I was lost in battle. It is something that has haunted me for all of these years.”

“Jasper, I’m sorry. I had no idea.” I had only ever known him as a vampire, but of course he would have human memories and feelings. It just never occurred to me to ask him about them. “Did you ever try to see them again? I mean, I know that you couldn’t just walk up to them in your new body, but did you ever check on them?”

He shook his head. “No, Bella, I was in no condition to do that. I wasn’t like Carlisle and Edward. When I was changed, it was for a purpose, and that purpose was to kill and protect and create more soldiers to carry out Maria’s work. If I came in contact with a human, the outcome was never good.” He looked away from me. He seemed so tortured, like the Jasper I had remembered when we first met.

“Oh…” Then I realized that I was soon going to be a newborn, capable of killing any human that crossed my path. I felt an anxiety attack coming on, and Jasper knew it. He placed his hands on my shoulders, and quickly calmed me down. “Am I going to be a killer, too?”

“No!” He seemed almost angry. “I would never let you do anything that you would regret. I will get you through that first year, and if I have to stay by your side the entire time, I will do it. Bella, I have always taken care of you in your human life, so please trust that I will do it when you are immortal, too. I would never turn you, and then be so irresponsible with you, that I would let you hurt someone else. You are never going to live with that guilt.”

“I trust you with my life; both my mortal and immortal one.” I kissed him softly on the lips. “And I am sorry about the pain you carry about your mother, but I know she loved you. How could she not? You are such an amazing being, and I’m sure you were a very special son. Do you want to talk about it?”

He hugged me. “No, but I appreciate your sentiment.”

“I’ll always be here for you, too, so if you ever want to discuss anything at all, I’ll listen.”

“Thank you. And, I am glad your visit with Renee went well, but I knew it would.”

“She was very pleased with you. She said you were well mannered, polite and incredibly hot.” I rolled my eyes.

“She forgot my most important character trait.”

“What’s that?” I asked, suspiciously.

“That I am hopelessly in love with you.” He kissed me again.

“The feeling is very mutual.”

“Oh yes, before I forget, Alice called today.”

“Ugh…” I groaned.

“That’s not nice. She is working very hard on this wedding. She had another vision of the nuptials, and this time, she noticed that Charlie and Renee were missing from the ceremony. Is that something that you are aware of at this point?”

“Yes, I wanted to talk to you about that. I’m so happy that things are right with my parents, and we had successful visits with both of them, but I don’t want them at the wedding. It would be too hard for me. We told them that we were taking the semester off to travel, so let’s just leave it at that.”

“Are you sure?” He searched my eyes for some doubt, but he wasn’t going to find any. I didn’t want them there, knowing that after the wedding, I would never be able to see them again. I was afraid that their presence would always leave a sad memory, of what was supposed to be a very happy day.

“I’ve given this a lot of thought, and I just want a small wedding, well, as small as Alice will allow. I would like it to just be us, and whoever else you want.” I knew Alice would be there, but I wasn’t sure how he felt about the rest of the family.

“Well, I don’t really have a long guest list, but I would like for the Cullen’s to be there, and I was thinking that Peter and Charlotte could attend. Peter could officiate, if that is okay with you.”

“Can they be around me? Would it be too hard for them?”

He smiled. “No, they are quite civilized. You would be surprised. The only difference between the two of them and the Cullen’s is their choice in diets, but they will not harm you.”

“I want whatever makes you happy, and if that is your old friends, then please invite them. I’d love to meet them.” That part of Jasper’s past intrigued me, and I would like to see them for myself.

“So, then it is settled. A small ceremony for us to pledge our eternal love?”

A sudden spike of fear coursed through my body.

“Bella, I felt that. What?” He asked, as he calmed me yet again.

“Which one of us is going to tell Alice?”

“Oh, that is all you, sweetheart,” he grinned.

“Great, just throw me to the wolves, why don’t you?”

“Oh, I would never do that,” he laughed.

“Fine, I’ll call her now, but I’m sure she already saw it in her vision, and besides, now she doesn’t have to worry about the menu, since I will be the only human in attendance.”

JPOV

As I watched her run up the stairs to call Alice, my own phone beeped with a text. I looked down at the display screen. Wonderful! It was from Emmett.

Hey bro, I just heard the big wedding news. Congrats! Did you knock Bella up?

Could he be any more vulgar? The answer was probably yes, as this was Emmett after all. I knew I couldn’t ignore him, or he would probably just text Bella with some inappropriate question. I called him back.

“Emmett, how are you?”

“Great. How’s our little Bella doing?”

“She is fine, and Rose?”

“Well, you know; she is Rose, and lucky for you, she isn’t here now, because she is not happy about the wedding. She thinks it is pretty self indulgent of you, to tie up Valentine’s Day like that.”

“What are you talking about?”

“Oh, come on, man, I’ve heard of men forgetting their anniversary, but never their actual wedding day.”

“Valentine’s Day?”

“Yeah, you know, February 14th.”

“Yes, Emmett, I know, but we haven’t set a date yet.”

“Oh yes, you have, but since Alice told me, you probably just don’t know it yet.”

“Alice, right. That explains it.”

“Anyway, I can’t wait to see you and Bella. We are planning on coming a few days before the ceremony.”

“That’s great, as I was hoping the two of you could make it.”

“Are you kidding? Seeing you marry a human, I mean Bella, well, that is the most exciting thing that has happened to us in a long time. Well, maybe not for you, since you get to…”

“Emmett!”

“Oh, fine, but make sure you get all that sex in before the eve of the wedding, because I am planning your bachelor party, and dude, it’s going to be wild!”

“I’ll take that into consideration. So, I guess we will see you next month?”

“Yeah, you will. Hey, kiss Bella for me…with your tongue,” he laughed.

“Goodbye, Emmett.”

I snapped the phone shut, and chuckled. I couldn’t help it, but then I had to wonder what vampires did at a bachelor party.

Valentine’s Day? Well, I figured that was as good a day as any. Actually, I kind of liked the fact that it was so soon. Since Alice had the wedding under control, I needed to handle the honeymoon. I wanted to find a location that was remote enough to keep Bella, while she transitioned into her new life; a place where she could feel secure and comfortable, but most of all happy. I wanted the start of our new life to be a memorable and pleasant experience for her.

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Chapter 28: Chapter 28

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***This chapter brings us some Cullen goodness … enjoy!

BPOV

The next few weeks seemed to really get away from me, and before I knew it, we were back in Forks and the wedding was a few days away. Alice decided that, since we were having such a small, intimate wedding, it should be held at the Cullen mansion. I was fine with that, and I knew it made Jasper happy. Lucky for me, she was so caught up in the details of the ceremony, that she didn’t have time to make me nervous. I was actually enjoying all of the free time I seemed to be having. All of the Cullen’s were back at the house, except for Edward, who I assumed would not be joining us, but I didn’t feel that it was appropriate for me to inquire.

“Bella,” Jasper said. “Come on, I’ll walk you down to the kitchen. Esme has prepared lunch for you.” He held his hand out for me, which I gladly accepted. If it were up to me, I’d always be touching him in some way. He kissed my lips, almost too gently.

“I won’t break.”

“Remember Alice’s rules?” he asked. “I am not to leave any bruises or red blotches anywhere on your body, and most importantly, no swollen lips.” He shook his head.

“No sex,” I giggled. Alice didn’t want me to look anything less then perfect on my big day, so she banned Jasper and me from any rigorous physical activities.

“I’m surprised she doesn’t make you sleep with the door open.” He led me down the stairs, and to the kitchen. I stopped just before we could enter. “Bella, why the sudden surge of anxiety?” He sent me a calming vibe.

“Rosalie is in the kitchen, too.” I could hear her voice.

“Yes, does that bother you?”

“She wasn’t exactly thrilled to see me yesterday. I know she is your sister, but I don’t feel very comfortable around her.”

“Most of us don’t, but we are just used to her. Do you want me to ask her to leave the kitchen while you eat?”

“God, no! That would really piss her off.”

“I was going to go up and speak with Carlisle, but if it makes you feel better, I’ll stay with you.”

As much as I wanted him to stay with me, I knew eventually I would have to face Rosalie on my own. “No, I’ll be fine.” I squeezed his hand as we walked into the kitchen where Alice, Esme and Rosalie were waiting for us.

“Good Afternoon, Bella.” Esme came over and kissed my cheek. “How is our blushing bride today?”

“I’m good, Esme. Thank you for making my stay such a pleasant one.”

She smiled. “Please come sit down and eat.” Jasper walked me over to the table, and pulled my chair out for me. I stared at him for a few seconds, but was interrupted in my pleasant thought.

“Oh, please.” Rosalie said. “You two are practically joined at the hip. Let go of her hand, Jasper, I won’t bite her.”

“Funny, Rosalie, very funny.” Jasper snarled at her. “Don’t ruin this day for Bella.”

She rolled her eyes at him.

“Jasper, I’ll be fine. You go see Carlisle.”

“I’ll be back soon, and then you and I are going out. I have something special planned for you.”

“Oh no, you don’t,” Alice chimed in.

“Alice, I’m taking Bella out for some alone time, before things get too crazy here tomorrow.”

“I swear, if she has bruises up and down her arms on her wedding day, because you couldn’t keep your pants zipped for forty-eight more hours.”

“Alice!” I blushed, as I looked at Esme who was trying to suppress a smirk.

“Bella, I’ll be back soon.” He kissed the top of my head and shot Rosalie a warning glance, before leaving the room.

“Lunch looks lovely.” I said to Esme. “I’m sorry you guys can’t join me.”

“It’s okay, Bella,” Alice said. “Pretty soon, you’ll be able to join us.”

“Think you’ll have the stomach for that, Bella?” Rosalie asked. Obviously she was not going to heed Jasper’s warning.

“Bella,” Esme interrupted. “I wanted to give you something.” She handed me a black, velvet box. “These were my mother’s and I want you to have them. Alice thinks they will compliment your dress.”

I opened the box, and inside was a delicate strand of pearls and a set of matching diamond earrings, with a pearl drop hanging from the stud. “Oh, Esme, they are gorgeous.” I got up and hugged her. “Thank you. This really means so much to me.”

Rosalie let out an exaggerated sigh, as I sat back down. She was really testing my patience, but I didn’t want to fight with her, especially not in front of Esme. “Alice, how are all of the preparations going? “ I asked.

“Everything is right on schedule, as long as you and Jasper don’t get in my way.” She smiled. “Rose, I needed to speak to you about the music for the ceremony, since you will be playing the piano.”

She gave Alice an exasperated look. “Are you kidding me?” She spat.

“Well, I can’t exactly ask Edward to do it, now can I?” She snapped back.

“Why not, Alice?” She looked at me. “Oh, right, because you were technically supposed to marry him, but somehow you ended up with Jasper. I guess you were destined to be a Cullen, one way or another.”

“Rosalie!” Esme shouted. “That is certainly enough.”

Before I could stop myself, I spoke. “No, Esme, it’s okay. I know you don’t like me, Rosalie, and that’s fine because I don’t like you either. I find you rude, self-centered and mean, but out of respect for Jasper, I’m willing to tolerate you. But, I will not sit here and have you insult me all day.” I got up from the table. “I’m sorry, Esme.” I turned to walk out of the room.

“Wait!” Rosalie got up, and breezed by me with vampire speed. She stood in front of the door, effectively blocking my dramatic exit. “You’re right, Bella, I don’t like you, and I don’t know if I ever will, but you are in good company, since there are many that I don’t like.”

“That’s true.” Alice offered. Rosalie ignored her.

“What you did just now; standing up to me, well, that took guts, and while it is true that you have everyone in the entire house backing you, including Emmett, it still was pretty impressive.”

“I’m not afraid of you, Rose; I just don’t understand what it is about me that offends you so.”

“You’re not one of us,” she simply said.

“Jasper is going to change that very soon,” I whispered.

“Yes, well, that opens a whole other can of worms for me, but we can save that for another time.” She moved away from the door, and motioned for me to sit back down. “Why don’t we go over the musical arrangements that you would like me to play during the ceremony?”

Wow, was she trying to be nice?

“No,” Alice piped in. “I’ve already made the selections. You just need to play them when I say to.”

“You know,” Rose said. “For someone so tiny, you are awfully annoying.”

“See, Bella? She does it to all of us,” Alice said.

We all laughed; even Rosalie.

JPOV

I left the kitchen, and headed up to Carlisle’s study. I felt bad about leaving Bella to deal with Rose, but I knew she could hold her own. Hopefully that extra dose of courage I sent her way before leaving the room would come in handy. Those were the times when I most enjoyed controlling the climate, especially if it helped Bella.

I wanted to speak with Carlisle about my honeymoon plans. I knocked at the door.

“Come in, Jasper,” he said.

Emmett was sprawled out across the couch. “Hey, bro! What’s up?” One of the things I loved about Emmett was he was always so happy, and with my power, happy was always a welcomed emotion.

“I’m good, Emmett. I just left Bella downstairs with the girls.”

He scrunched his face. “Oh, man, you left her with Rose? Poor girl.”

“I’m sure she will be fine. Esme is with her, too.”

“Although,” he said. “A little cat fight might be hot.” He smiled sheepishly. “Hmm… I think I need to go find Rose, now.”

I wasn’t getting the happy vibe from him anymore. Yuck! “Please just leave, so I don’t have to feel what you are feeling right now. Besides, I need to talk to Carlisle.”

“Oh, right. Are you going to have the big before-the-wedding-night talk?”

Carlisle laughed.

“Something like that,” I said.

“Okay, but remember our big hunting trip tomorrow at Goat Rocks Wilderness. I’m planning on bagging me a big old bear! We are leaving tomorrow afternoon, because you have to be back early on Saturday. I got strict orders from Alice not to be late, and I am not pissing off that little pixie. No way, the last time I did that, she hit me on the head with a crystal vase.” He rubbed the back of his head.

“Yes, and if I remember correctly, Esme wasn’t too pleased with that either, as it did more damage to the vase then your hard head,” Carlisle said.

“Fine, just be back from your little excursion with Bella on time, so we can leave as scheduled.” He left to go find Rose.

I was extremely relieved that my bachelor party would only be consisting of Carlisle, Emmett and myself, taking an overnight hunting trip in the mountains. It would be nice to hunt bears and mountain lions for a change.

“What can I do for you, Jasper?” Carlisle asked. “Wedding jitters?”

“No,” I laughed. “I just wanted to let you know of my plans concerning Bella. I know you said that you would oversee the change, but I don’t think that will be necessary.”

“I didn’t think that it would be,” he smiled. “When will you do it?”

“Bella wants it done as soon as possible, so I’ve decided once we reach our destination, I will do it.”

“I see, and where will you be doing this?”

“I’ve found a secluded villa in the Southern Greek islands, right off the coast. It is extremely isolated. There aren’t any humans around for many miles, so we will be able to go out in the sunlight without being exposed, and because of the remote location, I won’t have too worry about Bella and the human blood temptation. And, apparently the jackal population is quite abundant.”

“That’s a nice, small predator for her to start out with. It sounds like you have thought this through. I take it you will be staying there for a while?”

“Just until she feels comfortable enough to integrate with humans, and then I thought we could travel, before deciding where we would like to settle down.”

“I trust you will visit us often,” he said hopefully.

“As much as you would like us to. I think it is important for Bella to have some type of family unit, especially in those early years when she will be feeling out of sorts. I’ll do all that I can to help her transition, but as you know it can be a lonely and desperate time.” I remembered back to my newborn days, and immediately felt the confusion and depressed emotions that were always a part of my existence. Of course, I was turned under different circumstances, but some part of me feared for Bella nonetheless.

“Jasper, she is going to be fine. She has you, and if you need me to, I will come to Greece and assist you in any way that I can.”

“You know for a vampire that doesn’t have an active power, you are pretty perceptive.”

“That comes with centuries of experience. But, I will come to help you.”

“I was hoping that you would say that. I think it will be good for Bella to see you and Esme during that first year, when she is trying to adjust.”

“It is all going to work out. You deserve this; never doubt that.”

I could feel the compassion emanating from him. It did wonders for me. “Thank you, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have your presence in my life.”

“I’ll continue to be here throughout your existence, and I look forward to having Bella with us as well.”

I felt better after my talk with Carlisle. He was the closest thing I had to a father figure, and I knew that he would help me resolve the anxiety I was feeling over turning Bella. I wanted to change her, but I still couldn’t help feeling like it was the selfish thing to do. I wanted her forever, but I knew that being immortal wasn’t always the best life. But, this was something that Bella wanted, and I wouldn’t take that from her. I would, however let her know that she still had a choice, and that I would want her either way.

I walked into our room, and was immediately taken by her beauty. She was gazing out the window, lost in some thought; she didn’t even know I was there. I could watch her for hours, because she truly intrigued me. She was absent-mindedly twirling her hair around her finger, while she chewed on her bottom lip. I could feel how at peace and content she was in that moment. There wasn’t a negative or sad emotion coming from her. I came up behind her, and wrapped my arms around her tiny waist.

“Hey, my gorgeous girl, what are you thinking about?”

She smiled and rested her head against my chest. God, I loved her.

“You, of course,” she responded.

“What about me, specifically?” I asked, as I kissed the back of her neck.

She sighed. “How lucky I am to have you, how I miss you like crazy when we’re not together, and how much I want to be your wife.”

“Soon, darlin’, very soon.” I squeezed her close to me. “Are you ready for your surprise?”

“The one that Alice is all upset about?”

“Exactly, so let’s get out of here, before she puts a stop to it.” I turned her around, and kissed her softly on the lips. The warmth of her filled me completely. She started to walk away. “Where are you going?”

“To the car, you said we were going out.” She looked confused.

I smiled. “We are, but for this trip, you’ll have to hop on my back.”

“You’re running us there? We can’t take the car?” she asked.

“Well, we could, but it’s not that far, and this may be the last time we travel like this.” I pulled her to me.

“Why? Won’t you always want to carry me on your back?”

“Yes, actually I would, but soon you will be just as fast as me, and you will probably want to run on your own.” That kind of made me sad that she wouldn’t always rely on me for everything anymore. She wouldn’t have to, because physically, she would be my equal.

She was sad, too. “Jasper, what if I don’t want to run on my own?”

“Then you won’t have to, sweetheart. I will always take care of you.” And then I realized that she would always need me, as much as I needed her. “Okay, hop on little one.”

She hesitated. “Don’t you think we should go downstairs and outside first?”

“Bella, we are going out this way.” I pointed to the window and grinned at her.

“Wh…what? Why?” She panicked.

“Because it is very exhilarating, and I think you will enjoy it.” I grabbed her and pulled her on to my back.

“Wait! Shouldn’t we tell Alice when we’ll be back?” She was stalling.

“She already knows we’ll be back in the morning.” I headed for the window.

“The morning? But I don’t have a change of clothes or a toothbrush!”

“It has all been taken care of. Now, hold on tight.” I leaped out the window and down to the ground. I immediately took off running. All the while Bella kept screaming and giggling in delight. I knew she would like this.

***I think she might like what Jasper has planned for her, too!



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