Begins in an AU of New Moon after Edward leaves; Jasper does not leave with the rest of the Cullens. He is wrecked by the guilt of what he has done, so he stays behind to watch after Bella.
3. Chapter 2
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I clenched my jaw. “No,” I said.
A haughty smile spread on Rosalie’s face. Someone’s in denial.
“I’m not in denial, Rosalie,” I growled. “I just refuse to believe that anyone in this family would allow this to happen.”
“We didn’t allow this to happen,” Rosalie sneered.
I turned to Alice. “Why didn’t you see this? You should have stopped it, or at the very least warned me!”
Alice narrowed her eyes at me. "Don't you dare try to put the blame off on me, Edward Cullen. There is only so much I can do blind. You told me not to look for her future, remember?"
"Fine, you couldn’t see her future, but how could you allow Jasper to do this? Did you actually think I would approve of this?” I fumed.
“Contrary to popular belief, Edward,” Rosalie interjected. “The universe does not bend to your every whim. It is not Alice’s job to keep tabs on your pet and what your rules are for her upkeep.”
“I never suggested that it did.” I started to say.
“Furthermore,” she continued, glaring at me. “Alice has no control over what Jasper does or does not do. If anyone is to be blamed for this it’s Jasper or perhaps you for letting that human into our family and our lives in the first place. If you think for one second any of us ‘allowed’ Jasper to do this, you are seriously deluded.”
“Rose is right, Edward. Alice and I got there as fast as we could, but it was too late. There was no way we could have prevented it because he hasn’t even been with us since we left, remember?” Emmett said, stepping in between us.
Defeated, I sank down onto the bed and pinched the bridge of my nose between my fingers. “Where is Jasper? I refuse to believe that he just happened to pop into her room and change her without provocation.”
“He didn’t go to change her. I would have seen that. I wouldn’t have stopped it, but I would have seen it,” Alice insisted.
“What did you see then?” I sighed.
“I saw them…” she trailed off. Together. She took a deep breath and closed her eyes. I see flashes of brown hair and bare skin. Clothes being pulled off, lips trailing down a heaving chest, hands touching, grabbing.
“No,” I gasped, looking down at Bella. “She wouldn’t do that.”
“Sorry, Edward. I know you don’t want to believe it, but that’s what we saw,” Emmett said.
“No,” I said again. Bella’s beautiful face was contorted in pain, her forehead shimmered with sweat, and her eyes were clenched shut. My eyes inadvertently went to her neck, but I could see no puncture marks. Her skin was unblemished as always. I caressed her cheek; the warmth that once held me to the earth was already fading.
“I don’t know why you are so surprised,” Rosalie said, her face suddenly forlorn. “You left her remember? Surely you did not expect her to remain alone forever.”
“Of course not, Rosalie. I knew she would move on, but I hoped it would be with a human, not my brother. I did not want this for her. How could she have… how could he have…?” I was at a loss for words, my mind desperately trying to understand.
Alice’s eyes glistened with tears. I should have seen it. How could I not have?
“Yes, you should have,” I said tersely through my teeth.
Esme sat down next to me on the bed and squeezed my knee with one of her small hands.
Edward, I understand you are upset, but there is no need for you to blaming Alice. If anything, she could use your support now more than ever. Why don’t you go outside and find Jasper? But promise me that you will try to be open-minded and at least listen to what he has to say. Neither blame nor violence will solve this situation. What’s done is done and all we can do now is move forward, she thought.
I nodded at Esme and after placing a quick kiss on Bella’s forehead, I left the room to find Jasper. It did not take me long. He was sitting against a tree, his blond hair covering his face.
When Bella’s pain became too much to bear, I escaped into the woods surrounding the house I once called home. This was more proof that I was weak, a coward. She called out to me, but I could not bring myself to go to her knowing I was the cause of her pain.
I slumped onto the ground and leaned against a tree trunk. I closed my eyes and wondered how things could have gotten so out of control. At what point had the lines between right and wrong become blurred? I only ever intended to watch over her, to protect her, yet somewhere along the line I began to love her. How could I not? She was warm, beautiful, caring, and so forgiving. Even after what I did in September, she never hesitated in giving forgiveness, though I did not deserve it.
I was the reason Edward left her, yet I knew she did not blame me. She blamed herself; I could sense that when I watched over her night after night. I could hear the whispered words she uttered in her sleep. How could she ever think that she was not enough? It was there that it happened. Somewhere among the endless nights, whispered words, screaming nightmares that I realized I loved her. Every night I watched her, not daring to go to her, but wanting it more than I had ever wanted anything.
I sighed and dropped my face into my hands. I closed my eyes and remembered the feel of her lips on mine, the way her heart raced when I touched her. She seemed to want me as much as I wanted her, but I could not be sure if it was her emotions or my own that I had felt. Not that it mattered now because even if she had wanted me then, there was no way she would want me now. Not after what I’d done, not if Edward was coming back… especially if Edward was coming back. The love they felt for one another was incredible, undeniable. I’d never felt anything like that in all my years.
I could feel the emotions around me change. There was disappointment, sadness, regret, yet also love.
“Alice,” I said without moving my hands from my face.
“Why, Jazz? She’s my sister.”
“I don’t know.”
“I hope for your sake you figure it out soon, Edward will be here any minute,” she said softly and turned to walk back to the house.
“Wait, Alice!” I called out after her.
“Not right now, Jasper. I just can’t. I’ve got to go, Bella needs me.”
“I’m sorry,” I said weakly.
“I know you are, but it doesn’t change what happened. We’ll talk later,” she said and paused allowing the vision to finish. “Yes, that will be all right, we can talk later.”
Alice walked away, and I made no effort to go after her. I wanted to go to Bella, but I didn’t do that either. I allowed my emotions to take control. There was no sense in attempting to rationalize the events of that night, of the last several months – if I were being honest. I wrapped myself in my memories of her.
After the disastrous birthday party, the next time I saw Bella was the day he left her. I was walking through the woods, going to her house. I wanted to apologize, to make amends if I could, before we left. I was careful to block my thoughts because Edward was adamant; he wanted none of us – least of all me – near her. It broke Alice’s heart to not say goodbye to the girl she considered her best friend, her sister, but Edward would not back down. He wanted Bella to have a clean break from us all, but I knew that would not be the case. I knew the depth of her love for him – she would never recover from this.
The moment I stepped into the woods, I felt an overwhelming, all encompassing pain. As I got closer to her house, I began to hear their conversation. Edward was telling her goodbye as he had planned to do. I knew he felt he was doing this for all the right reasons. Being near us was not in her best interest, being near me – ashamed as I was to admit it – was not in her best interest, but he had no reason to be so uncaring, so cruel. I thought the pain that tore through her when he told her that not only did he not want her, but that she was no good for him would rip me apart. I fell to my knees unable to move; the pain holding me captive on the floor of the forest.
My nose was soon filled with the familiar musky scent of werewolves. I forced myself to get up, to move. If I stayed where I was for much longer, the wolf would surely find me, and I did not have the strength for the battle I knew would ensue.
By the time I emerged from the woods near our house, the woods were teeming with people, all searching for Bella. I wished that I was strong enough to find her. Her scent overwhelmed me – even from where I was – and I knew it would only take me minutes to find her, but I didn’t dare go after her. I didn’t trust myself. Just the thought of going near her caused the bloodlust to rise again. It was not long before the bloodlust was replaced by an entirely alien feeling; it was one I had felt before – just not towards Bella before. I waned to protect her, to help her, to alleviate her pain if I could, and I could. I could stay there and use my power to help her.
So that’s what I did. Alice gave me her blessing – to watch out for her, of course – whether she’d seen my developing feelings, I didn’t know. If she did, she never said.
The first week was the hardest. Bella completely shut down. The pain was so heavy, so thick; I couldn’t change it, no matter how hard I tried. I stayed with her, although it did not help. I spent most of my time hiding in her closet, trying in vain to take away her pain. After five days of this, Alice called. Charlie was sending Renee out to take Bella to Florida.
I was panicked. Bella had become my entire life and the thought of her leaving and going to Florida – a place I could not follow – scared me. I wanted to go to her, to make her see that she had to pull herself together before she was sent away from Forks – away from me, but I couldn’t. I still did not dare go near her. I thought I would go crazy from thirst the first day I was there in that small room, her scent saturating everything in it. Even when I went to hunt, her scent clung to me, tempting me, calling me.
I was walking a thin line. Each hour I spent with her, I battled my desire for her blood. I knew I was losing, my strength was beginning to wane, and it would not be long before it overpowered me. When Renee came to get Bella, I was huddled in a ball in her closet, my eyes the darkest they’d ever been though I hunted constantly. My anger erupted when I heard them pulling her clothes out of the drawers. They couldn’t take her; I wouldn’t allow it.
My anger was fueled by Bella who finally snapped out of it when she realized they were taking her away from Forks. She yelled, she screamed, she cried. She threw her clothes around the room, but most importantly – to me – she refused to leave. I thought it would get better after the first week. She went back to school. But things did not get better. I could not take away her pain at all with my power. I should have left when I realized, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave.
I watched helpless as Bella deteriorated before my very eyes. She was no longer the Bella we all knew and loved. She threw out her books, broke all of her CDs, ripped out her stereo with her bare hands. She was an echo of the girl she once was. I watched her knowing it was me that caused her deterioration.
Night after night, I sat in her rocking chair and did what I could to make her pain manageable. I listened as her nightmares caused her to scream herself awake every day. I listened as she sobbed – even in her sleep. I watched as she spent most of her time walking around with her arms wrapped around her in a desperate attempt to keep herself together. Sometime in January, I had a break through. I was finally able to remove some of her pain – not all, not enough by any means, but she was able to function more than she had been.
I was planning on leaving soon – to go back to Alice. Bella would be… well, not completely all right, but she’d be able to move on eventually. Something happened then that I did not expect. Bella began spending an extraordinary amount of time with a boy called Jacob Black. I was filled with rage – with jealousy – I didn’t want Bella spending time with anyone. I wanted her to spend her time with me. I followed her but stopped when I realized she’d got into werewolf territory. The thought of Bella being with anyone other than me – let alone a werewolf – filled me with an indescribable rage. I knew then that I could no longer deny my love.
So, I’d come full circle. Dancing with the fatal temptation of Isabella Swan’s blood once again; the only difference was now that I loved her – more than I ever thought possible, more than she could ever love me. If I had a single bit of common sense, I would have never allowed my lips to touch hers, yet I could not bring myself to regret it. When she chose to go with Edward – and she would, there was no doubt – at least I would have the memories of being with her – even for the moment. I would always remember the way her hands felt as she touched me, the taste of her – not her blood, but her…
“Stop, please, just stop, Jasper,” Edward whispered behind me.
Okay, I had to admit, I was freaking out a little. Well, maybe a lot. But it was completely reasonable. Any sane, normal person would be freaking out after the week I’d had. Well, actually… if I was a sane, normal person I would have had myself committed a long time ago – as soon as I realized I was in love with a vampire to be exact. I winced at the word and wrapped my arms around myself. Stupid Bella. I knew the pain would be here soon – unrelenting as always. Not that I expected anything different. After the conversation with Jake today, I knew it was coming.
So, Jake was a werewolf. I don’t know why it surprised me, really. The only person who could both fall in love with a vampire – wince – and have a werewolf for a best friend would be me, Isabella Swan. Any other person would have a normal life. A normal boyfriend. A normal best friend. But me? I had to surround myself with mythological creatures and then find myself always surprised when the when on their mythical ways.
My eyelids are getting heavy, and I knew that I wouldn’t be able to stay awake for much longer. My body tensed in preparation for the nightmares and the pain that were sure to follow. Tears streamed silently down my cheeks. Should I be worried that I don’t even notice them anymore? I heard a noise at my window and I froze. It’s Victoria, it had to be, but the scent was familiar – unbearably familiar.
I held my breath as the figure jumped into my room and stopped. His amber eyes widened in surprise when he saw me – he seemed to be as surprised to see me as I was to see him. I struggled to form a coherent sentence. Jasper Hale was in my bedroom, in the middle of the night. He had jumped through my window as if he’d done it a million times – as he had done, night after night. The adrenaline began pumping through my body, preparing for the fight or flight to come. My body knew he was dangerous – though my mind seemed to have forgotten that fact. Why was Jasper in my bedroom? And if he was back was he back? I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I quickly pushed that thought out of my head.
Jasper looked at me, his blonde hair falling into his eyes. He looked towards the window, and I knew that he was going to leave and that I should let him. But when have I ever done what I should? I got out of bed with no thought to the consequences and walked towards him. Maybe my hallucinations had taken over my brain. He probably wasn’t even really here. I guess Charlie would be carting me off to the loony-bin in the morning after all. He didn’t move, as I took in his lanky frame. He was different than him. Taller and thinner to be sure, but also something else, he looked almost fragile to me. His honey blonde hair was wet and messy from the rain. I never noticed how beautiful, how graceful he was as well. I’d been so focused on him that I never gave a second thought to anyone else.
I stopped when I was less than a foot in front of him. I closed and opened my eyes sure that he would be gone when I opened them, but he was still there, standing motionlessly.
“I thought you were gone,” I managed to say after a minute. The words a clean break, like I never existed echoed through my mind – promises broken as soon as the words left his mouth.
“I shouldn’t have come,” he murmured, his voice just as velvet as his, but with a slight twang of his long lost Southern accent. “It was wrong of me, I’m sorry. I’ll leave,” he finished. He backed away from me, headed for the window. He was going to leave just like him.
“Wait!” I said, my voice louder than I expected. Charlie would hear me if I wasn’t careful. “Don’t leave,” I pleaded.
I began to walk towards him. I can’t believe I never noticed how beautiful he was. I wasn’t thinking clearly – otherwise I wouldn’t be trying to get closer to the vampire that nearly killed me in September – but I felt drawn to him. I just wanted to touch his face.
“Bella, I don’t think you should come any closer,” he said in a strained voice; his amber eyes darkening in front of me.
I took another step forward. Only a few more step and there would be no space between us.
“Bella, have you completely taken leave of your senses?”Edward’s voice snarled in my head.
I ignored him. Jasper was so close, his full lips pulled into a half-smile. I wondered briefly what it would feel like to touch him, to kiss him. Even the thought of kissing him caused me to blush. I took another step and continued to ignore the snarling and growling in my head. I reached my hand out to touch him. If I felt him, then I could be sure that he was real and not an illusion. He closed his eyes as my hand touched his cold, hard skin.
“Isabella Swan,”Edward growled. “Do not take one more step, do you hear me?”
That only made me smile more. Why should he be the only one with distractions? I stepped again, and now Jasper and I were touching – barely – but I could feel the cold from his body seeping into mine. His scent was sweeter than Edward’s but I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. Honey maybe? I was trying to decipher what it could be when Jasper leaned down and pressed his lips to mine.
“Bella,” Edward warned. “He is dangerous. Please, grasp that.”
I smiled. Hadn’t Edward heard? I liked dangerous things now. Motorcycles, werewolves, why not add another vampire in the mix? A beautiful vampire at that. One who was in my room. One who had come back. Unlike him.
I looked at Jasper then and my desire to kiss him was almost unbearable. I pressed myself against him. His breathing became heavy, but he didn’t pull away like I expected. I reached up to run my fingers through his hair. I wondered if it was soft. Another wave of desire hit me, and I pulled him closer to me and pressed my lips to his. Somewhere in the background of my mind, I remembered that Jasper could manipulate emotions, but I didn’t care. Once his lips were pressed against mine, I didn’t think anymore. Edward’s snarling and growls were drowning out any thoughts I could possibly have.
Kissing Jasper was different than him – deliciously different. Every second that went by, I expected him to pull away, to look at me disapprovingly, to tell me to behave, but he never did. His pressed his lips against mine roughly, hungrily, as if he couldn’t get enough of mine, couldn’t get enough of me. One of his hands was in my hair, the other was gliding further and further down my body until it reached my breast. I gasped against his lips, and he took advantage of the fact they were parted momentarily and slid his tongue between them. If I thought he smelled sweet, it was nothing compared to the way he tasted. I never wanted to stop kissing him, but finally I became so dizzy, I had no choice but to pull away.
I sat on the edge of my bed and tried to calm my breathing. I touched my swollen bruised lips as I looked at Jasper. He would never have kissed me that way. Too dangerous, he would have said. Maybe he just didn’t love me – or want me – enough to kiss me that way. It was never about his ability to hurt me, it was his ability to want me.
“Bella, you are absolutely absurd. How could I not want you? Please, don’t do this,” he pleaded.
I ignored him. Jasper was here, and he wasn’t. Even though he was only a hallucination, surely he realized that.
“Why are you here?” I asked Jasper suddenly. Why had he come back and not him?
He looked at me, his eyes didn’t dazzle me like his – they seduced me. “I don’t know,” he murmured so soft I was unsure of what he said at first. “Do you want me to leave?”
I was torn. I didn’t want him to leave, but I knew that he probably should. I couldn’t decide. I chewed on my tender bottom lip and thought about what I should do.
“Just tell him to go, Bella. Please. You promised me you wouldn’t do anything reckless. This is reckless. Bella, please, understand. Jasper is dangerous…” Edward continued to plead with me.
“No, I don’t,” I whispered.
He was in front of me before I had time to have any doubts. He pushed me back against the bed and lowered himself on top of me. His scent surrounded me, heavy and sweet. Intoxicating. Heroin, a voice whispered in my ear. He pressed his lips against mine and once again slid his tongue in my mouth. In an act of complete lust – or foolishness, I wasn’t sure which – slid my tongue out and met his. In that moment, there was no one else in the entire world but Jasper. I pulled at him, frantically. I wanted to touch him, to feel him, to be with him. His hands touched me as well with the same hunger I felt. There was no hesitancy in his movements, no reluctance like Edward always had – only passion and desire.
I moaned wantonly when his fingers touched my breast again – oblivious to the fact that Charlie was only down the hall. I felt like I was on fire. His lips left mine and trailed down my neck as I gasped for breath. His lips were cold, but all I could feel was the liquid fire that ignited where they touched me. He stopped and my entire body shuddered, the absence of his lips almost too much to bear. I was about to reach out for him, but he pulled my shirt off and looked at me in a way I’d never been looked at before.
I closed my eyes as he lowered his lips back to mine, but I was surprised when his lips touched my breast instead.
“Be still, Bella, please. I love you,” Edward sobbed.
I did try to be still, but when he slipped one of his hands up my thigh as he continued to tease my breast, I couldn’t help it. I needed him to be closer, closer. I pulled at him, desperate to feel him, to touch him.
“Bella, you have to stop,” Edward said, his voice frantic, but it was too late because it was then that I felt Jasper’s teeth sink into my skin and the fire ignited in my veins.