A Reason to Exist Chapter 7
***Wow...that was a huge response to that last chapter. Thank you...I tried to respond back to all of you, but if I missed you, I did read your review!
***Sorry for the wait...you know I usually don't take this long.
***Thanks Jasper's Darlin' Kathy and TwiCarol for more than just being my betas!
Bella was on the floor, curled in a ball. She wanted me to touch her, didn't she? I smelled her desire and knew what she was dreaming about. I didn't misinterpret that. She initiated the contact, and I just wanted to give her what she wanted; what I wanted.
“Jasper,” I spoke barely above a whisper, but I knew he heard me.
What would he think when he came in here and read my feelings? My throat was burning with an intensity I hadn't felt since that day Bella sat next to me in the biology lab. My desire for her triggered my thirst. I needed to get out of here, but I couldn't leave Bella this way.
Jasper came barging through the door. He only had eyes for Bella. I was sure her frantic emotions were crashing into him. I didn't have time to analyze it.
I got off the bed, picked Bella up and handed her to Jasper. “Help her,” I pleaded.
Jasper had her calm in a second. She looked much more relaxed than she did a minute ago. He didn't even hesitate. It was as if he knew exactly what she needed.
“What happened to her?” Jasper said.
“A misunderstanding,” I said. “It was my fault.”
“No,” Bella said. “I did it.” Was she really trying to blame herself for my stupidity?
“Jasper,” I said. “I have to go out for a bit. Can you stay with Bella?”
“Where are you going?” he asked.
“I know you can feel what I’m feeling for Bella. I’m overwhelmed,” I said.
Jasper nodded and I knew he felt my thirst.
“But, Jasper, if I leave you here with her, and you hurt her,” I shook my head over having to leave Bella alone with him. “I will kill you, before you ever even sense me coming.”
“Did you not seek my assistance?” Jasper said. I knew he was offended, but this was Bella we were talking about, and if there were anyone else in the house, I'd be leaving her with them.
“He would never hurt me, Edward.” Bella said, and I knew she believed that. “Please go and do what you need to do.”
I briefly stared at her. “I’m sorry, Bella. I’ll be back soon.”
I jumped out of the window and took off running. I needed to hunt, needed to clear my head, and push back these dark thoughts. The urges that I was having were like nothing I had ever experienced. I had to fight so hard to suppress that evil beast. I wasn't sure what I wanted more; Bella's body or her blood. I wanted both. I wanted to take her, even when she told me to stop. I couldn't back off. My thoughts were way ahead of me. I knew I wanted to make love to her, but all I kept thinking was how I was going to bite into her and drain her dry.
God! What was wrong with me? I could never hurt her. I loved her.
After I hunted, I was able to regain some control and calm down. I climbed a tree and settled in on the highest branch that would hold me. My thoughts of Bella consumed me. Ever since we had returned from Italy, I tried so hard to do the right things for her. I tried to make right what I had done wrong by leaving. I wanted to ease her abandonment issues, but I knew the intimacy issues were a problem. She had been pulling away from me for weeks, but tonight she wanted to be close and connected to me. I wanted that too, but I knew there was the possibility that my vampire side could take over. Normally, I was the one holding off, and telling her no. I was in control, but tonight when she stopped, I couldn't comprehend that. My body had other ideas, and I wanted to have her in more ways than one.
I needed to go home and check on her. It was wrong for me to leave her that way, especially in her current state of mind, but if anyone could help her, it would be Jasper. I jumped down from the tree and ran back to the house. Bella was asleep. I could tell by her heart beat, and Jasper was still in the room with her. I scaled the wall and climbed through the window. She was curled up in his arms, pressed against his chest. She looked so peaceful and at ease. How could she have gotten so close to him without being afraid? He must have replaced her fears.
I looked at Jasper, and had a brief moment of jealousy. I knew he would sense that, so I quickly shifted my emotions. I was hardly paying attention to anything he was thinking, because I didn't want to see what happened after I left. If Bella broke down, I didn't want to experience it through Jasper's thoughts. I didn't want to know what he thought of me.
“Edward?” Jasper said. “Didn't you read my thoughts just now?”
“No.” I looked at Bella. “I was thinking how natural she looks with you. It's almost like she belongs there.”
“Her emotions were all over the place,” he said. “I thought it would be better if I held her close.”
“You don't have to explain,” I said. “Obviously, I couldn't be there for her. I'm glad you were.” I walked across the room and grabbed the throw from the couch. I put it over Bella's body. “She must be freezing, pressed up against you.”
“I think that she's used to sleeping next to an ice cold vampire,” he reminded me.
I smiled, but not because I was happy. “I've failed her again.”
“Do you want to talk about it? I know I'm not Carlisle, but I can feel what you're experiencing.”
“Didn't she tell you what happened? I thought I was doing what she wanted, but then she changed her mind, and I couldn't stop.”
“That's natural for us,” he said. ”We can't always control our instincts. Remember Bella's birthday?”
I shuddered at the memory. “She shouldn't be in our world. It's wrong.”
“It's her choice,” he said quietly, as he looked down at her. He lifted his hand as if to stroke her cheek, but then he suddenly stopped and dropped it to the bed.
“She's so young, but so stubborn,” I shook my head. “She doesn't fully understand what our kind can be like. We're not the best representation of what a vampire should be.”
“She's encountered James, Laurent, and the Volturi. She knows more than any other human, but I agree she doesn't know enough about us, because you have sheltered her.”
“I was trying to protect her,” I defended my actions. “Lot of good it did me, though. She's losing her mind, isn't she? I'm the cause of that.”
“It's not your fault,” he closed his eyes and shook his head. “I played a part in all of this too.”
“Jasper,” I said. “What happened at her birthday couldn't be helped. You acted on instinct, because that is what we are.”
“Edward,” he said.
“No,” I held up my hand, because I didn't want to know how far gone she was. I didn't want to know how unstable her mind really was. “I have a lot of thinking to do.”
“Jasper,” I said, and I hated to admit this. “I love her, but I've made a huge mistake. I know you feel it in her emotions. She can't handle this life. It's too much for her.” I thought for a moment... Alice.
“Why are you so confused all of a sudden?” He asked, as he monitored my emotions.
“Why hasn't Alice seen what's happening to Bella? Shouldn't she be able to see what's to become of her?”
“Alice has been a bit preoccupied with our break up, and trying to see what Victoria is planning. Maybe what's going on with Bella can be easily resolved.”
“Yes,” I said. “I think I can resolve it.”
“After tonight, she'll have to see that she doesn't belong in our world. I know something has changed for her, but she won't tell me what. When she pulled away tonight, I think she realized that she doesn't want me after all. She may have finally come to her senses, and realized that she doesn't want to spend her life with a vampire.”
“Edward,” Jasper warned. “Don't put words in her mouth.”
“I won't.” I looked at my beautiful Bella, sleeping so comfortably in my brother's arms. “Jasper, she looks content.”
“She is,” he said. “She's in a deep sleep.”
“If it's not too much to ask,” I said. “Will you stay with her? In case she wakes up and needs you to calm her?”
“Of course,” he said. “I'll do whatever she needs.”
“Thank you,” I said. “You've been a huge help tonight and I appreciate it.”
“Edward,” he said, as he looked down at Bella. “Don't thank me.”
I looked at him for a moment, but I didn't have the energy to analyze him. I headed downstairs to my piano and began to play her lullaby. This was all getting to be too much for her, and I intended to put an end to it.
I woke up on my side, and felt him pressed against my back. I didn't remember Jasper leaving and Edward coming back. I dreaded having to look in his eyes and see his hurt over what had happened last night. He knew I was awake, because he wrapped his arms tightly around my body and pressed his lips into my hair.
“I'm sorry about last night,” I whispered.
I rolled over and looked at him in complete shock. “What are you doing in Edward's bed?”
“He asked me to stay with you and keep you calm,” he smiled. “Although, I don't think he had this in mind.” He gently kissed my lips.
I quickly sat up. “Jasper, this is too dangerous.”
“Oh,” he smiled, as he moved next to me. “Now you're concerned about what is dangerous? Deliberately seducing a vampire into rejecting you, was that dangerous?”
“Very,” I admitted. “But, now I know.”
“Hmm,” he rolled his eyes, and tried to kiss me again. I pressed my hand to his chest, and tried to push him away.
“Do you really think that you can move me?”
“No,” I giggled. “But, not here. I don't feel right, especially after what happened last night. I have to tell him.”
“I don't think that's going to be a problem.”
“What do you mean?”
“He knows things aren't right between the two of you, and judging from his emotions, he's trying to figure out a way to end things. He doesn't want to continue to hurt you.”
“It doesn't let us off the hook,” he said. “But it may make things easier, until we get this Victoria issue resolved.”
“What should I do?”
“Let him speak his mind. Don't offer too much information. I need to speak with Alice, and see if she's had any new visions.”
I got up and started to pace the room. I felt so bad about the whole situation. I didn't want Edward to take the blame for this.
Jasper was by my side in a second, rubbing my shoulders. “Bella,” he said. “You have to hold it together for me.”
I immediately felt calmer.
“I'm going to go take a shower. I need some time to think.”
“Edward will probably want to talk to you, when you're finished. I'll go for a quick hunt, but I won't be far.”
“Jasper,” I turned to face him. ”I can do this for us.”
“I know you can,” he kissed my cheek. “I just worry about you.”
I took a quick shower, and realized that I needed to go find Edward and end this the right way. I couldn't let him go on thinking that this was his fault. We weren't meant to be, and I wanted to let him know that he wasn't responsible.
I walked back into his room and found him standing in the corner, by the window, waiting for me. His eyes were so vacant. I recognized that look. It was the same look he had when he left me standing in the forest last September.
I stood outside by the trees that bordered the backyard. I knew that Bella and Edward needed this time to part ways. I also knew it was wrong to let Bella allow Edward to end things without telling him the truth, but it seemed like the best solution for now. I would tell him the truth, as soon as we got rid of Victoria. I came so close last night, but I knew he was in no shape to be reading my thoughts. His only concern was for Bella. At least we had that in common.
I turned and saw her standing behind me. “What are you doing back here?” She was afraid and overflowing with stress.
“Jazz,” she said, and I could tell she had been worrying. She was drained and worn out.
“You had a major vision,” I said. I knew, from years of experience, when Alice had too much going on in her mind.
She smiled. “You know me so well.”
“What is it? It was important enough for you to run back here.”
“Carlisle offered to take me back, but I didn't want to have to explain, so I told him I needed to run to clear my head.”
“That didn't work, though.”
“No, the more I ran, the stronger and more detailed the vision became. We can stop this. We have to stop this. Where are Bella and Edward?”
“Up in his room. Why?”
“Is he ending things with her?” She panicked.
“Yes,” I said. “Is that what the vision was about?”
“We have to stop them.” She headed for the house.
I grabbed her arm, “No! This is what has to happen and you know it.”
She pulled out of my hold. “You don't understand.”
“You said that we couldn't tell Edward about me and Bella, but if Edward ends things, then there would be no reason that it would split the family.”
“She's going to tell him about the two of you. He won't handle it well, and the family will take sides. You're wasting time. I have to stop her.”
“Why?” I demanded. “What happens?”
“Carlisle and Esme stand with Edward. They still love you, but they can't understand how you and Bella could do this.”
It was no surprise that they would side with Edward. “Carlisle would eventually understand.”
“No,” she said. “He's not going to get the chance?” I felt her grief.
“What do you mean?”
“Rose and Emmett will side with you,” she said.
“And where does that leave you?” I asked.
“You are missing the point. With the family divided, we won't all stay in Forks. That will be Victoria's opportunity.”
“Bella?” I asked, as a growl escaped my lips.
“Victoria comes here and she catches Carlisle off guard,” she stopped and shook her head. She was sobbing internally.
“What are you saying?” Her emotions were projecting onto me, and I needed to know what she saw. I was becoming impatient.
“She kills him. He dies alone, Jasper. If we don't stop Bella from confessing to Edward, we're not only going to lose this family, we're going to lose the whole reason we came together in the first place.”
“No!” I said. “I can't let what I have done be the reason Carlisle dies.”
“Then help me stop her,” Alice said. “We can stop this from happening, if we can keep this family intact long enough to destroy Victoria.”
I nodded in agreement, but then I heard Bella scream out in frustration. I felt her pain and anger. It consumed me, and I had this sudden urge to protect her.
I started toward the house.
“Are we too late, Alice?” I asked.
“You better hope not. If she tells him the truth, she sets this whole vision in motion.”
***Edward's going to find out soon. I promise... I just need to build a bit more.
***For those of you who are following “Innocence Lost” on fanfictionfrezy dot com, chapter two is now posted. Thanks for reading that one, too!
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