A Reason to Exist Chapter 5
***Thanks to all of you amazing readers. The response to this story has been crazy. I really thought that once the trilogy was over you really wouldn't be interested in anything else I had to write. I appreciate all of the alerts and reviews.
***As always, thanks beta girls!
When we got back to house, Alice was right; the others were already preparing to leave for their weekend hunting trip.
“Go get ready,” Emmett said. “Carlisle wants us replenished, before we have to deal with Victoria.”
“Alice will be joining you,” I said. “I will be staying behind.”
“Again?” Rosalie said. “What is so important in Forks?”
“I'm sure Jasper has his reasons,” Carlisle said, as he and Esme came down the steps. “I'm just sorry you won't be coming with us.”
“It's probably better,” Esme said. “You can keep Edward company. He's so worried about poor Bella.” I felt how upset she was for Edward. One more thing I had to add to my pile of problems I was causing for my family.
“What's wrong with Bella, anyway?” Emmett said.
“Who knows?” Rose said. “She's probably just angry he won't turn her.”
Emmett laughed. “Or maybe she's pissed he won't f...”
“Emmett, I'm warning you!” Esme said, as she glared at him.
As ridiculous as it seemed, I had a brief moment of jealousy thinking about Bella and Edward being intimate. I knew they hadn't been, but just hearing Emmett say it, upset me. I had it bad.
“I can be ready in five minutes, Carlisle,” Alice said. “Jasper, enjoy your weekend.”
“Thank you,” I said. “You all do the same.”
Carlisle clapped my back, and gave me a small smile. I felt his compassion. He didn't know what was going on, but he knew I was struggling with something. That's what made him so amazing.
“Jasper,” he said. “I'm here when you want to talk.”
I nodded, as they walked out to the garage.
A few minutes later, Alice came floating down the steps. I think she was happy to be getting away from me this weekend.
“Esme called Charlie,” she said. “And she invited Bella to spend the weekend. He thinks the men are off camping, and because he noticed that Bella has been so depressed lately, he thinks it's a good idea for her to stay here.”
“Thanks for giving me the story,” I said. “Have a nice weekend.”
“Jazz,” she said. “I'm sorry I hit you earlier.”
“It's okay, Alice,” I said. “I'm sorry for a lot of things.”
“I know,” she smiled, and I felt her love for me. “It'll all work out. You'll see,”
She ran out of the house before I could question her. I realized that she was going to be just fine. She had years to prepare for us ending. I knew that things hadn't been right with us for so long, but I never expected not to spend my eternity with her. She had saved me from myself, and brought me to my family. If not for Alice, I would have lost myself all of those years ago. I was grateful to Alice, and I always would be, but the feelings I had for Bella couldn't compare. I knew our relationship had developed so fast, but I was an empath, after all, and I knew feelings. I knew how I felt about Bella, and I also knew what she was feeling for me. In all of the months that I had known her, she never felt for Edward what she was feeling for me. And, the more I thought about it, Edward didn't feel as strongly for Bella as I did.
That was strange. I had never really analyzed their relationship before, since it really was none of my business, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized that they didn't have a very deep connection. They weren't drawn to one another the way Esme and Carlisle were, and it wasn't the same as Emmett and Rosalie. Edward and Bella weren't true mates, and now, looking back on my relationship with Alice, it was so clear. We didn't have the link that the others had either. Why had I never realized that before? Now that I had something to compare it to, I saw that Bella and I belonged to one another.
I couldn't stand the fact that our finding one another was bringing her so much pain and guilt. I knew she loved Edward. There was no denying that. He loved her too, just not the way I loved her. But, Edward didn't know that there were different levels of love, he couldn't feel it the way I did. He believed that she was his, and they were going to spend eternity together, but I knew he wasn't planning on turning her. I could feel that.
He was so conflicted about ending her human life. He wanted to do it, because it was what she had wanted. But, deep down inside, he knew he couldn't do it. He wasn't willing to take her soul, and make her one of us. The threat of the Volturi was not what made him agree to turn her. It was the possibility that she would marry him, and become his. That was how Edward saw her. She was a possession, and he might not have been doing it consciously, but he intended on keeping her fragile, weak, and human. I was sure of it.
He had already purchased a house a few miles from Dartmouth. Bella had said that she didn't want to attend there in the fall, but Edward already had them both enrolled there. How did he expect her to attend there, if she was experiencing her newborn phase? He was already thinking of ways to convince her to stay human. I didn't blame him. She was so perfect, and I hated to think of ending her life. I wouldn't turn her down though, if that was what she really wanted from me, I would do it. I would never make that choice for her. I considered her my equal in every sense of the word, and I would love her, whether she wanted to stay human or become like me. I wanted Bella, and I knew she felt the same way about me. I could feel it. I only wished that I could help her realize that she had nothing to be ashamed of. Yes, it would be hard on Edward, but he would eventually learn to accept it. And, maybe by letting him go, he would be free to find his mate.
I was pulled from my thoughts when I heard the Volvo pull up. How was I going to pull this off? Could I watch as the two of them spend the weekend together as boyfriend and girlfriend? Could I keep Edward out of my head? Alice said that the three of us would be fine this weekend, so I had to trust that she was telling the truth. I just hoped that nothing any of us did would change the course of what Alice saw.
Bella and Edward walked into the foyer, hand in hand. Edward had Bella's bag slung over his shoulder.
“You need to have dinner,” he said. “I don't know why we couldn't stop on the way home.”
“I'm not hungry,” her eyes locked with mine, as soon as she realized I was in the house. “Jasper,” she smiled. She was surprised that I was here. Did she honestly think that I would go off for the weekend, without telling her that I was leaving?
“Jazz?” Edward said. “You stayed behind?”
“Yes,” I said. “I thought it was best if Alice went without me.”
“I'm sorry, man,” he said. “I know it must be difficult for you.” He pulled Bella closer to him. “Let me know if you need to talk.”
I felt Bella's guilt over Edward wanting to help me get through my separation with Alice. I sent her a quick calming vibe and smiled at her. “Thanks, Edward. I appreciate that, but it's been a long time coming. Alice and I did the best we could to keep it together, but some things just aren't meant to be.
“I'm glad you stayed with us, Jasper,” Bella said. She was a little too relaxed now. I had my work cut out for me. I had to find just the right balance with her emotions.
“Thanks, Bella,” I said. “You won't even know I'm here.”
“Don't be silly,” Edward said. “We'd love for you to join us. We're going to watch a movie, once I get Bella to eat.”
“I'm not hungry,” she whined. She sounded like a child, but I thought it was cute. Edward was not amused, but he would never let Bella know that.
“Bella,” he said, as he walked her into the family room and sat her on the couch. “You haven't been well all week. You're exhausted and losing weight. You're here this weekend, so that I can take care of you.”
“Edward,” I said. “How about I run to the supermarket, and pick up some things that Bella would like. If she's not feeling well, maybe she just doesn't want to eat that much.”
Edward thought about this for a few moments, and then agreed. “Would you like that, Bella?”
“I don't want to inconvenience you, Jasper,” she said, as she bit her bottom lip. Fuck, she was sexy. Stop it! I glanced at Edward, but he wasn't in my head.
“It's no problem, Bella,” I said. “I'll go get you something to eat and maybe you could go take a relaxing bath while I'm gone?” How else could she stay calm if I wasn't in the house?
“That does sound nice,” she looked at Edward. “Would that be okay?”
“Of course, love,” he smiled, and then leaned in and gave her an affectionate kiss. I stiffened. “Would you like me to draw the bath for you?”
“No,” she quickly said. “I can do it.”
Good girl! I didn't think I could handle him being in the bathroom with her, while she soaked in the tub.
“Okay,” he said. “Go on up, and I'll bring your things up to my room. See, it's a good thing I bought that bed, after all.”
She blushed, and I felt her embarrassment.
“Oh,” Edward said. “Don't be shy in front of Jasper. He doesn't care what we do in my bedroom.”
Oh yes, I did, and he better not have had any ideas about doing anything to Bella in that bedroom. I had to stop this, or it would be a long weekend, that would certainly not end well. I was ready to go and find Victoria myself, to end this once and for all. But, I knew I couldn't do that without the rest of the family, and probably the wolves. I was beginning to think this was going to take way longer than I needed it to. And, I was starting to fear that Bella wasn't emotionally stable enough to hold on much longer.
“I'll be back,” I said. “I need some air.”
“What?” Edward said.
“You know what I mean,” I covered. “I'll be back soon.”
“Jasper,” Bella said. “Thanks for going to the store for me.”
Edward scooped her up, and ran her up the steps. “I would have gone for you, too,” Edward said. “But, I'm glad Jasper is going, because I don't want to leave you.” I heard him say, as he carried her into his room.
I felt her anxiety spike. I sent one last wave of relaxation, before jumping in my car and heading to the store. Well, at least I could make myself useful to Bella.
A few hours later, I sat in the chair in my room and tried to focus on my book. It wasn't working. I couldn't stop thinking about her, wrapped in his arms, sleeping in his bed. I glanced at my empty bed.
Bella finally settled in, and thanks to my super sensitive hearing, I was able to hear when Edward crawled in next to her. They began to whisper, I guess not to disturb me, but that really was a futile effort.
“Did you have a nice evening, love?” Edward asked.
“Yes, I did,” she said. “I felt really calm and at peace.”
“Do you want to talk about what has you so upset? I don't want to push you, but I know something is wrong.”
I focused on Bella's emotions. I knew I couldn't manipulate her all the time, but in these circumstances, I didn't really see how to get around it. The only good thing that was coming from sneaking around was that I was learning how to focus in on one person. Usually, when I controlled the climate, almost everyone was affected, but now I was learning how to just hone in on one person. The only person I really cared about. I would do anything to keep her calm and happy.
“Edward,” she said, and I wondered if she would tell him. “I know I've been down lately. But I'm just not ready to discuss it.”
“Does this have to do with Jasper and Alice?” he asked.
“I'm sure Alice has told you that they have separated.” Edward told her. Oh, she knew all about me and Alice.
“Yes, I know,” I felt her remorse, but I decided to let her feel it. I knew she had to find a way to get through this mess, and it couldn't always be me altering what she felt.
“I know you must be hurting for Alice,” Edward said. “But, she knew it was coming. She's so strong, Bella, and I know she'll be fine.”
“You really think so?” I felt a sliver of hope coming from her.
“Yes,” he said. “It would be much worse if she had no idea it was coming. Don't you agree?”
Oh no! Bella's heart sank, and her nausea washed over me.
“Yes,” she said. “I guess that would be horrible.”
“I just hope that Jasper doesn't fall apart over this.”
“What do you mean?” Now I felt her worry for me.
“Well, he's always been a bit unstable when it comes to our particular diet. If the stress over breaking up with Alice gets to be too overwhelming, I'm afraid he'll slip up.”
Thanks for your confidence, brother. He was wrong. I wouldn't slip up. I had a reason to maintain my lifestyle.
“Jasper wouldn't do that.” I felt her overwhelming confidence in me. It made me feel like I could do anything. “He's so much stronger than you think.”Oh, back off, Bella! I could feel Edward's curiosity bubble to the surface.
“Since when do you know so much about Jasper?” Edward said. “The two of you barely speak to one another.”
“I just know that he wouldn't do that,” she said.
“That's very kind of you Bella,” he said. “Especially after what he tried to do to you last year.”
“He's apologized for that,” she was so determined to make him see. “I never blamed him.”
“I know, love,” he said, and I heard him gently kiss her lips. “That's why you are so special.”
“I'm not that special, Edward,” I felt how disgusted she was with herself. How was I ever going to get her to see herself for who she really was?
“I disagree,” he said. “You are the most special, amazing, incredible creature that I have ever encountered.” He kissed her again, but this time his emotions shifted, and I could feel how much he liked touching her.
“You're so beautiful, Bella,” he said, and I heard them kiss again.
Okay, that's quite enough. I sent Bella a hefty dose of lethargic vibes.
I heard her yawn, and that made me smile. “I'm sorry, Edward, but I'm really tired.”
“Of course you are,” he said, and I heard him adjust their positions. I was sure he had pulled her onto his chest. It's what I would have done.
He began to hum her lullaby, and she drifted into a deep sleep. I was sure he was stroking her hair and staring at her, while she slept. In the past week, being with Bella while she slept had become one of my favorite parts of the day.
With Bella asleep and Edward content with watching her, the next few hours were pretty uneventful. I finished my book, and decided to start another one. I didn't realize how dependent I had gotten on going to her room, and watching her sleep. I could feel how happy Edward was to be able to do it again. He was doing his best to respect Bella, and luckily for me, he wasn't climbing through her window at night.
As I settled back into my chair, after getting another book, I felt a rather strange emotion coming from down the hall. Lust? I focused a little harder, and realized that it was emitting from Bella.
What the hell...
***I know this was a shorter chapter for me, and much of it was filler. It all served a purpose, trust me... I know what I'm doing! (I think?).
***The next chapter may be delayed a few days. I'm working on a o/s for the “I Get Off in Volterra” Contest. I'm doing a Bella/Alec pairing, so if that interests you, please add me to author alert so you'll know when I post.
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