A Reason to Exist Chapter 10




***Just a quick reminder about Alice's visions...they are subjective and can change at any time. She did see Carlisle taking sides, but only in that instance. She stopped Bella from telling Edward and that caused Jasper to carry Bella downstairs where Carlisle could see them together. This changed the course of the original vision. I hope that helps.

***Thanks to Kathy and Carol for keeping up with me. I told you it wasn't easy! lol

EPOV

Where the hell is she?

I told her to keep her phone with her at all times. How was I supposed to know if she was okay, if she didn't answer the phone?

We had been searching for Victoria all afternoon and we had come up empty. We destroyed a few more newborns, but there was never any sign of her. We finally met up with Jasper. He had been searching with Esme, Rose and Emmett.

“Anything?” I asked.

“We took out another newborn,” Jasper said. “She's setting a trap for us and using these newborns to distract us. They're disposable to her.”

I nodded in agreement. The newborns were carrying something of Victoria's that would have her scent on it, and we were chasing after them. This had been going on for several days now.

“Where are the others?” Alice asked.

“Rosalie and Emmett went for a hunt, and Esme went back to the house,” he said. “I'm headed there now.”

“Why don't you go with him, Alice?” I said. “I need to go check on Bella.”

Jasper's head snapped in my direction. “What's wrong?” he asked. “Why are you so concerned?”

“Bella isn't answering her phone and Alice can't see her,” I said.

“Maybe she's with Jacob,” Alice said.

“No,” I said. “Jake went to meet up with Sam. I saw him on my way here.”

“Something isn't right,” I said. “I have to go.”

“I'll go with you,” Jasper said. “Alice, you should go home and stay with Esme. None of us should be alone. Victoria is too unpredictable, and I'm afraid that we may have figured out too late that she was setting us up.”

“You're right,” I said. “I think we should move Bella in with us, and grant Sam permission to allow a few members of the pack to patrol the property.”

Just as Jasper nodded, my phone began to vibrate. “Maybe this is Bella,” I said, as I pulled it from my pocket. I shook my head when I saw the display screen.

“Who is it?” Alice asked.

“Carlisle,” I answered. “What is it?”

“Edward,” he said. “You have to come home now.”

“What is it?”

Jasper observed me, and I was sure he felt the panic rise within me. I knew something was wrong.

“It's Bella,” Carlisle said. “Victoria has her.”

“What?” I yelled, as I heard a low growl escape Jasper's chest.

“How do you know?” I asked, still not wanting to believe this could be true.

“I left Bella here at the house,” he said. “I told her to wait for Rose and Emmett, but when they got home, they found Bella's truck in the driveway, and the house reeks of Victoria and an unidentified vampire. They have her.”

I growled into the phone and then took off running to the house. Jasper and Alice were right behind me.

What was Bella doing at my house without me?

I ran through the trees and saw her truck in front of the house, just as Carlisle had said.

“Victoria!” Jasper said. “The whole property stinks of her!” I'll kill that bitch and burn the pieces!

“I'll get there first, Jasper,” I pushed open the door and ran to Carlisle's study. I could smell Bella's scent overwhelming the room. This was the last place she had been. Why was she here?

“Edward,” Esme said, as she hugged me.

I looked to Carlisle for his wisdom, but I could only find guilt and worry in his thoughts.

“It's not your fault,” I said.

“I left her here,” he said. “I should have waited until someone came home.”

“How long has it been?” Jasper asked. He was so concerned for her, we all were.

“About two hours from the last time Carlisle saw her,” Rose said. “Emmett called her and told her we would be home shortly.”

“I'm sorry, Edward,” Emmett said. “We should have come right home.”

“It's not your fault,” I said. “We didn't know.”

“I should have seen it,” Alice said. “Why didn't I see it?

“You can't see everything, Alice,” Jasper said. “You've done the best you could, under the circumstances.”

“No, Jazz,” she said. “I haven't. I screwed this up in so many different ways. If I just would have let you be honest when Bella wanted to be, none of this would be happening now.”

“What are you saying?” I asked, but before I could read her thoughts, my phone started to vibrate. “It's from Bella's phone.” I said anxiously.

“Answer it,” Jasper said. Please let it be her.

“Hello,” I said, knowing it wouldn't be Bella.

“Hello, Edward,” Victoria said.

“Where is she?” I asked.

“I haven't killed her, yet,” she laughed.

“What have you done with her?” I asked.

“She's here, but she can't really talk,” she said. “I'm thinking you need to come and help her out. She's so confused.”

Jasper growled again, and I heard the anger and anxiety coming from the others thoughts.

“If you hurt her...” I said, but she cut me off.

“Oh no, silly,” she laughed. “I won't hurt her until you get here.”

“This is between me and you,” I said. “You let her go. She has nothing to do with this.”

“Of course she does,” she said. “A mate for a mate, remember?”

“No,” I said. “That was James' fault. If he would have left Bella alone, we wouldn't have had to go after him. Bella is innocent in this.”

“She tried to tell me that. Actually, she's huddled in the corner, shaking and chanting, he's not my mate, he's not my mate. It would be funny, if she wasn't so sad. She's trying to protect you, but I see right through it.”

“I want her back,” I said. “What do you want in return?”

“Edward,” Carlisle said. “Don't promise her anything.”

I shot a desperate look at Carlisle. I would give Victoria my soul, if it got Bella back safe.

“You should listen to your father,” Victoria said. “There is no way out of this. So, just meet me and you can watch Bella die. I promise I won't lay a hand on her until you get here.”

“Let me talk to her,” I yelled.

“She's in no condition to talk,” she said. “We can't get her to respond to us at all. Maybe I hit her too hard.”

Now it was my turn to growl, “I'm going to kill you,” I hissed.

“You can try, but you won't get very far,” she said. “You will come for her alone. If you bring anyone of your coven, or the wolves, I will kill her before you get to the front door. Do you understand?”

“Where are you?” I demanded.

“We're not quite at our destination,” she said. “I'll call you in an hour. Do you have a message for Bella?”

“Where are you?” I asked again.

“You are not listening. For such an attractive man, you're not very smart. I will call you in an hour. You will come to me alone. Since you have nothing to tell Bella, I'll let you hear what she has to say.”

I heard Victoria move closer to Bella. We heard her heartbeat and Alice gasped. She was alive, but I heard her crying. Jasper picked up the lamp on the desk and hurled it across the room. His eyes were black and he was full of rage. Perhaps my emotions were getting to him?

Bella's breathing got closer and we heard her sobbing. Each one of us in that room felt so completely helpless. We heard her whisper, “he's not my mate...he's not my mate...” as she continued to cry. She was trying to keep me away.

“That's all you're getting for now,” Victoria said. “One hour, I'll call you. You know the terms.”

“No,” I said, but the line went dead. “Damn it!” I yelled, as I paced the room. Never in my existence had I ever felt more helpless. She was scared and alone, and there was nothing I could do about it.

“Edward,” Carlisle said. “I'll call Sam.”

“They can't help us,” I said. “No one can. I have to do as she says or she'll kill Bella.”

He went into the hall and called Sam, despite my feelings.

“She's going to kill her anyway,” Rose said.

“Shut up, Rosalie!” I yelled. “I know you don't like Bella, but even this is low for you.”

“Edward,” Emmett said. “Rose didn't mean it that way. She's just saying that we might as well go together and get Bella back. We could rush in and attack.”

“They'll sense us coming,” Alice said. “The wolves must be involved, because I can't even see where she is.” What is wrong with my gift?

“Alice,” I said. “You can't see anything?”

She shook her head, and I could hear how sorry she was.

Esme came over and took my hand. “We'll figure this out,” I know how much you love her, and what this is doing to you.”

I looked at her and silently thanked her. I really needed my mother at this moment.

Carlisle walked back in and sat at the edge of his desk. “The pack is out searching, but so far they've come up empty. They'll keep in touch with us and proceed how you see fit, Edward.”

“I'm going alone,” I said.

“No, you're not,” Jasper said, as he walked to the center of the room. “I'm going with you.”

“Jazz,” I said. “I really appreciate that, but you heard Victoria. We can't sneak up on her. I'll get Bella back.”

“I'm not letting you go alone,” he said, and he was so determined. I wondered exactly when he had become so fond of Bella.

“Carlisle,” I said. “Please make him understand.”

Carlisle looked at me, and then to Jasper. “You know why she came to see me today, don't you, Jasper?”

“I do,” he said. “She didn't want to hide anymore.”

“What are you talking about? Why would Bella come to see you?” I asked.

“She wanted to tell Carlisle that she has fallen in love with me,” Jasper said.

I heard Esme gasp, “Carlisle?” But, nothing else seemed to make any sense. Alice kept saying that this was all of her fault, in her head. I should have let them tell the truth sooner.

Carlisle held his hand up to stop any further chatter.

Jasper walked toward me. “I'm sorry, Edward,” he said. “But, I can't let you make this decision, because you are not her mate. That's what she's trying to tell Victoria.”

“No,” I shook my head. “I don't believe...” His thoughts were so loud. It was all so clear now, but why hadn't I seen this before? I saw them together...

I saw him in her bedroom, she was kissing his scars and his hands were all over her. They were so intimate, and that wasn't the only time. The way she looked at him... had she ever looked at me that way?

I saw the two of them in my bed, that night I almost lost control. He was holding her closer than he should have been. I saw flashes of him in her bedroom at night, holding her while she slept.

JPOV

I hated to do it this way, in front of everyone, but I couldn't let him go after Bella. Not without me. I calmed him down so that he could focus. I needed him in my head. I only meant to show him glimpses of what I had shared with her, but as soon as I started to think about her, I couldn't control what we were to one another.

He stared into my eyes and I felt his shock and disbelief, but he was furious. He growled.

“Edward,” I said. “I'm sorry.”

“No,” he said. “You manipulated her into feeling that lust. You knew what she wanted from me, and you took advantage of that. Her mind is so fragile, and you took advantage of that.”

“Edward, no,” Carlisle said, and I felt how sorry he was.

“You knew,” Edward said. “And so did you.” He glared at Alice, and I felt how betrayed he was.

“I'm sorry, Edward,” Alice said. “I saw them together in a vision, a couple of months ago. I didn't think that they would act on it. Jasper didn't want to, he tried to fight it, but he was just meant to be with her.”

“Are you saying that Bella and Jasper are sleeping together?” Emmett finally caught on.

“Shut up,” Rose spat, and I felt her disgust.

Esme moved to stand next to Carlisle, and I felt her hurt and shock.

“I'm sorry, Esme,” I said. “I didn't mean for this to happen.”

She nodded, and I felt her understanding, but she was hurting for Edward.

“How long?” Edward asked.

“That's not important,” I said. “Right now, we need to find Bella.”

“How long?!” he yelled.

“Since the night I told her my story. You all went hunting, and I went to Bella's bedroom. I didn't go there to...” Before I could finish, Edward had me by the throat and pinned against the wall. He had his forearm against my windpipe and if I were human, it would have been crushed. I knew I deserved this, but now was not the time.

I pushed him off of me and sent him flying across the room, causing him to hit the opposite wall with a fierce force. He jumped up and lunged for me. I held him back with my hand and was ready to swing, but he read my thoughts. He pushed me back against the wall again and bit down on my shoulder, effectively immobilizing me.

“That's enough!” Carlisle yelled. “Emmett!”

Emmett pulled Edward off of me and I dropped to my knees, the sting from the venom was overwhelming. I put my hand on my shoulder and pressed against the pain. Rose ran over to me and dropped down next to me, placing her hand on my shoulder. “Are you okay?”

I nodded, “It's nothing I'm not used to,” I looked down and realized I would have one more scar to add to my generous supply.

Edward was growling and snapping his teeth, but Emmett wouldn't let him go. I pushed all the calm I could find around the room and stood up. I walked over to him and said, “I know what I have done is wrong, but I won't apologize for loving her. You had to have known that something wasn't right between the two of you.”

“I knew, but I didn't think that she would...” he let out a frustrated breath, and I felt how hurt and betrayed he was. It was crashing into me and I couldn't be mad at him. He didn't do anything.

“Bella and I have a lot of explaining to do to all of you and we will, but first we have to get her back. I'm sorry, Edward, but I can't let you go without me. She belongs with me and she's my responsibility. I know you love her, so can't we find a way to do it together?”

“How could you think that I would do anything with you?” he asked.

“Edward,” Carlisle said. “You have to do this for Bella. She would do anything for you.”

He shook his head and stared at me. I felt the anger and disgust he had for me. “She's literally been going crazy for weeks now, and you stood by and let her continue to lie. Why would you do that?”

“I told them to,” Alice said, and I felt how upset she was with her decisions.

“We didn't have to listen to you,” I said.

“Yes, you did,” Alice said, and she looked at Carlisle. “I'm sorry.”

“I am disappointed, Alice,” he said. “But, I know you had a good enough reason.”

“What reason could there be to jeopardize Bella's sanity?” Edward asked. “I would have been furious, but why would you continue to make her lie?”

“I saw Carlisle die,” Alice admitted.

“What?” Esme said, as she took Carlisle's hand.

“Bella wanted to tell Edward the truth, and she was going to, but I had a vision that the family would take sides and leave us vulnerable. Victoria was going to kill Carlisle.”

“I see,” Carlisle said. “But, now we didn't do anything to protect Bella.”

“Why didn't you see Victoria coming for Bella?” Edward hissed. “Did you want this to happen? Obviously, you would be upset over what Jasper has done.”

“This isn't her fault,” I yelled. “She was doing what she thought was right.”

Alice was sobbing internally, I could feel that, as she fell to the floor she let out a small scream. Emmett scooped her up and held her close. “Shh, Ali, it's not your fault. You couldn't let Carlisle die.” Her pain was overwhelming me.

“It's your fault,” Edward said, as he glared at me. “She wasn't yours to take.”

“She was never yours,” I said. “You knew; you just didn't want to see.”

“Jasper,” Carlisle warned.

“No,” I said. “He has been hurting her since the first day he met her. You control her every move, you left her and she broke down, you came back, but you wouldn't give her what she needed. She tried to make it work. She would have married you, and did whatever you said to do. I know about the house that you bought. You had no intentions of turning her, you never did. You were going to string her along and make her marry you, so that you could keep her, but you didn't account for me.”

“I shouldn't have had to account for you. I didn't think that my brother could betray me like that. And, what about her?” he pointed to Alice. “Did she mean nothing to you?”

“She meant everything to me,” I said. “But, things haven't been right between us for years.”

“It's true, Edward,” Alice said. “Bella belongs with Jasper. I don't know when it shifted, maybe she was always his destiny, but I've seen their future, or at least pieces of it. They can be happy, but that can't happen if Victoria kills her.”

“I won't hand her over to you,” he said. “You can't make her happy.”

“Yes, I can,” I said. “I already do.”

“She's been losing her mind ever since you got together. Doesn't that tell you something?”

“Fuck you,” I growled, as my fist connected with his jaw. I sent him spiraling out the window, and onto the front lawn. I jumped down and waited for him to stand. The others joined us within a second, and Carlisle stood in between us. I felt his disappointment. I knew he was trying to understand, but it was difficult for him.

“Edward,” he said. “I know this is hard and we will sort through this as a family, but right now you need to focus. Bella needs you.”

“No,” he shook his head. “Apparently, she needs him.”

“She needs us both,” I said. “We can get her back together.”

“I agree,” Carlisle said. “Once Victoria gives us the location, we will all go and alert the wolves to where she is. We will stay back and let Edward go in first, once you secure Bella, the rest of us can move in.”

“It could work,” Alice said. “We've taken out most of her newborns. If we move fast and surprise her.”

I thought about it for a few minutes. It was dangerous and Bella could get hurt, but what choice did we have? I had to get her back and Edward was my only option. Help me.

I felt his hurt and betrayal again, but I also felt a sense of honesty in his emotions. He knew that he was never going to be able to give Bella what she wanted. He would never be able to love her the way that I did.

“I do love her, Jasper.” he said.

“I know you do,” I said. You just don't love her the way she needs to be loved.

“Edward?” Carlisle interrupted us. “We need to come up with a plan. Are you able to focus and get Bella back?”

Before he could answer, his phone began to ring. He reached in his pocket and flipped it open.

“What?” he said, and his eyes were darker than I had ever seen them. I couldn't get a read on his emotions either. It was as if he had completely shut down.

I only hoped that he would help us. Bella was at his mercy now.

***If you are following Innocence Lost on Fanfictionfrenzy dot com, chapter 3 is posted!

***We are now accepting entries for Show Us Your Dark Side...check out my profile page for the link.



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