Surprise of a lifetime Chapter 4
Surprise of a Lifetime 4
I pulled my arm quickly back into my lap and turned my head to face forward. I spent the next hour and 47 minutes ignoring the tightness in my pants, and trying my best to behave as a gentleman. I had no idea what had gotten into me. I felt like a damn teenager again. Whitlock get a hold of yourself. I shook my head slightly and laughed quietly to myself. If Peter could see me he would think I had lost my ever-loving mind. Thinking about Peter helped calm me down and before I knew it, the movie was ending and the lights were coming up.
Bella looked at me with a question in her eyes and Jacob asked if I wanted to come with them to the diner for desert. I barked out a short bust of laughter and agreed to hang out with them. They both knew I wouldn’t eat anything, but must have sensed that I didn’t want to go home just yet.
I followed Bella down the stairs leading out of the theater, when she lost her footing and fell backwards. I caught her quickly but couldn’t help what slipped out of my mouth. “Whoa there darlin’ you need to watch your step. If you fall you could do some serious damage.” I pulled her up slowly and looked into her eyes. I could tell she had been worried about the same thing and here I had just said it with no censor at all. “I’m sorry Bella. I know you didn’t mean to fall, that’s just the doctor’s assistant comin out in me. I know you must be worried enough as it is without me going and goofing up like that. I hope you can forgive me.” I put on my best ‘awe shucks’ look and hoped that she wouldn’t bite my head off too badly.
“Don’t beat yourself up too badly there Jasper. I know that my clumsiness is an issue; I acted like a nutcase the first trimester. I was worried about every little bump and bruise. Falling down a flight of steps would have been bad, but I’m lucky to have two faster than human companions. I’m fortunate to be back in Forks where I can surround myself with protectors.” She looked up and gave me a wink. I felt my stomach drop into my shoes. Bella certainly wasn’t the same girl she had been in high school. She had matured and grown into her skin. I felt like I wasn’t walking on solid ground anymore. I thought I knew what I was getting myself into, but clearly I needed to get to know the woman in front of me. I needed to quit thinking I knew Bella Swan, or I might get burned.
“I don’t think someone has paid me such a compliment in a long time. I’d be happy to be considered your protector.” I smirked and let go of her as we continued to the front lobby. I could tell Jacob had heard every word, but his emotions were more brotherly than interested. He felt very concerned and careful more than jealous or angry. I could see that things definitely had changed.
I got lost in my own thoughts as I drove to the diner and got out. They had already gotten a table and were talking about what to order when I walked into the restaurant.
“Jake here thinks you are just hanging out with us to get out of the house. Is that so Jasper?” Bella looked at me inquisitively.
“To be honest that’s part of it, I hate being the fifth wheel around my house at night. I usually end up reading or playing around on my guitar, and I guess I’m just ready to have some friends, although I haven’t had to ‘make’ friends in over 140 years. It’s hard for me to open up, so I hope you two don’t mind my poor attempts at small talk.” I answered a bit more sheepishly than I had originally intended.
“Aw poor Jasper wants us to be his friends, did you hear that Jake?” Bella teased.
“Ha ha. I did hear that, I’m more surprised than anything…I never thought I would see the day a vampire wanted me to be his friend. I thought pigs would fly before this day came.” Jacob looked at me intently as though trying to figure out my intentions.
“Yeah, yeah make fun of the lonely guy. I see how it is. Open yourself up and they put your heart in a blender.” I joked to continue to light mood.
I couldn’t tell how I felt about Jasper’s confession. I could tell he was being honest, I just wondered why he had picked me and Jake to open up to. He must have known other people he could hang out with. The more I thought about it though, the more I realized how isolated he must be. It must be hard to make friends with people when you couldn’t go into direct sunlight ever. He couldn’t ever let anyone touch him either. I hadn’t thought about how hard the past four years must have been on Jasper.
I made up my mind to do my best to include Jasper in things from now on. He deserved someone to talk to. He needed someone he could open up to about everything he had gone through. 140 years was a long time to be so lonely.
“Hey Jasper, I’ve got a birthday coming up next week. Jake and Charlie are throwing me a party at his house and I would love it if you came.” I offered not knowing how he would respond.
“It sounds like it will be fun, you’re turning 23 right? Is there anything I can bring?” He looked eager to please. I had never seen this side of Jasper. He was unsure of himself and a little pitiful. I couldn’t help when my mothering instincts kicked in.
“Yeah, I’ll be 23…getting close to a quarter of a century. You can bring some plastic cups and napkins if you want. I think we have everything else covered. I start work next Monday but classes don’t start until the Monday after my birthday. Did you hear about my job at the high school? I’m going to be teaching English until the Christmas break, and then hopefully next year there will be a permanent position.” It was just a little information, but I was hoping it would help him open up some.
“I hadn’t heard where you would be working. Do you enjoy working with high school aged children? I can’t imagine being around teenagers all of the time…oh, wait I can. I’m glad to be here a while longer as an adult before starting over as a teenager again. School is basically a breeding ground for all sorts of emotions. It can drive one a little crazy.” He rolled his eyes comically and I was reminded of how little I knew Jasper.
“Oh man I hated school the first time through…how do you keep repeating the same crap over and over again?” Jake looked horrified at the thought, and I was glad he was behaving so well. Maybe the three of us were going to be able to manage this.
“It’s not all that bad and every now and then us ‘kids’ take off on our own. I’m glad to be back here as an adult, but we will probably have to leave here for good in another couple of years.” Jasper met my gaze as he said this last part.
“Do you already know where you will go next? Is it hard moving so often?” I realized I was actually very interested in his answer and I didn’t know why.
I looked at his face more closely and noticed his high cheek bones, and strong jaw. He wasn’t beautiful like Edward was. He was truly handsome, like David. He had the look of a warrior or cowboy. That’s what he reminded me of! His little accent and his hair, now that it clicked, I took in his appearance and noticed his well worn jeans and boots. He was wearing a plaid button up shirt and looked like all he needed was a straw hat on his head and a horse to ride.
I needed to remember that he needed a friend, not someone with a crush on him. I knew that’s all it had to be, just a crush, or misplaced feelings. Calm down girl.
“There are a few options, but we haven’t made any decisions yet. I love being with the family, and I love that we move far less than most Vampires, but I hate never having roots anywhere.” He grinned lopsidedly.
“Here are the deserts. Cheesecake and a brownie for the lady, and apple pie for the gentleman. I’m sorry did you want to order something also.” She asked Jasper.
“Oh no, thank you. Bella did you order enough?” He cracked up when he looked over at Jake.
“What? I’m eating for two here, and after spending the past 3 months puking when I even thought about eating, I’m trying to make up for lost time, besides you can kiss my ass. Just because you don’t eat doesn’t mean the rest of us have to suffer.” I looked at him pointedly and blew a raspberry.
“Seriously dude, watch out. Bella is a beast and she will turn Charlie against you if you piss her off too bad…you will end up with more speeding tickets than even your family can afford to pay off.” Jake gave him a friendly punch to the shoulder, and Jasper looked like he wasn’t sure how to react.
“Did you just tell me to kiss your ass? I almost ate you a few years ago and you have no problem teasing me and laughing with me? I feel like I’m in the twilight zone or something.” Jasper looked like he was about to bolt, when I put my hand on his wrist.
“I’m sorry if I offended you. In my mind I forgave you years ago. I told Edward to let you know that I wasn’t mad at you. I can only imagine when you are around that many others feeling that way it makes it harder to resist. I joke around with the pack. They are all like brothers to me so I don’t even think about stuff like that anymore. If you don’t want me to treat you that way just let me know.” I gingerly let his hand fall back to the table and gave him an earnest smile.
He looked incredulous for a moment before regaining his composure, “Well, hell. Edward acted as though you were some sort of delicate flower or something. I had no idea you even cussed, much less that you had no problem shit talking. Darlin keep that up, and I might not be able to help myself.”
“Oh well if you can’t help yourself, how do you expect to be able to help me? Perhaps I should revoke your title of protector.” I gave him a little lip, before digging into my cheesecake with a groan. “Jake you were right, this cheesecake is divine!”
“I told you they had the best cheesecake in 60 miles. You said it was what you wanted. Just call me your own personal yellow pages for the next 6 months.” Jake devoured his pie before I was even halfway through my cheesecake. There was nothing quite as fun as being the only person eating at the table. Both of them were just staring at me.
“What? I know you’ve seen a girl eat before. Stop looking at me like I’m some kind of alien or something.” I continued eating while the silence built around us. The boys began to fidget and grow restless, no wonder cops do this to people while they were interviewing. I liked it! I slowed down once I started on the brownie just to stretch it out to see who would break first.
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