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.
4. Chapter 3
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I jumped up. I’d been so wrapped up in my memories, I’d forgotten about Edward coming.
“I’m sorry,” I told him as I quickly sensed his emotions. I was surprised to find no anger there; only anguish and regret.
“Is it true? Those images of Bella? Is that what she looked like? Is that what I did?” he fired the questions off without waiting for an answer, he ran his hands through his hair and sighed.
I nodded and tried to clear my thoughts, but found myself unable to rid my mind of the images of her. Especially memories of our kisses. The way her lips felt so hot against my cold ones. It was intoxicating.
Edward growled and once again I was brought out of my memories. She entranced me to the point that I was unable to think of anything but her. My life had revolved around her for so many months; it was reluctant to stop now.
“Can you attempt to control your thoughts, Jasper? I promised Esme that I would not hurt you, but if you keep replaying that in your mind, I won’t have a choice. You have no idea how much I want to rip you apart right now. The only reason I don’t is because Bella is upstairs calling for you, and I don’t want to do anymore damage,” he said. His jaw was clenched and the muscles in his arm strained against his skin as he struggled to keep control.
“Sorry,” I offered weakly. “I would stop if I could.” It was a lie, but it flowed off my tongue so naturally I was unsure if he would even know. The truth was Bella had bewitched me. Even now, standing in front of my brother, all I could think about was that she had actually called for me! Even after what I’d done, what I’d taken from her, she still wanted me.
“Damn it, Jasper,” Edward growled and tackled me, sending us both flying into one of the nearby trees knocking it down. I did my best to calm him down, but he was able to land one punch in my jaw before he slumped on the ground.
He buried his face in his hands and not even a second later; his body was shaking with dry sobs.
“Why, Jasper? Why Bella? You have Alice – who has loved you since before you even met! Why did you have to take the one thing that made this…existence – my existence – worth anything?” he said, his voice practically a whisper. Somehow this was worse than if he’d screamed the words at me.
“You left her, Edward, you left her broken. All I did was stay behind and tried to fix what I helped mess up.”
“I left because I wanted to protect her, so that she could live a normal human life; not because I didn’t love her. You, of all people, should know my love for her – then and now.”
“Your reason was noble, I’ll give you that, but Edward, you should have known she would not live a normal life. She didn’t live at all, not fully, and even with my power, the pain she felt was nearly unbearable.”
“This isn’t about me, though, is it?” he hissed. “It’s about you, and what you’ve done. Your ability to control yourself has always been lacking; why did you insist on going near her? Was what happened in September not proof enough?”
“Don’t you think I know that? I’m not stupid, Edward. I’m also not perfect,” I said, trying to keep my anger under control. If I didn’t this entire situation could escalate in a dangerous direction.
“Perfect? No, Jasper you are far from perfect. Putting aside the fact that what you did has devastated your wife, you could have killed Bella! You knew the risks. How many conversations have I had with you about the physical boundaries I set up with her? Damn it, how could you be so careless?”
“You think I don’t realize how careless I was? Even if I hadn’t bitten her, I could have easily killed her,” I closed my eyes at the very thought of it. The idea of her not being on this earth was unbearable. “You’re right, as always. I knew the risks, but I was too caught up in the moment. I didn’t plan this, Edward. Not any of it. She was never supposed to see me,” I told him.
“If you didn’t want her to see you, then why the hell were you jumping through her bedroom window?” he growled.
“She has nightmares,” I shuddered as I remembered her blood-curdling screams, the way she sobbed inconsolably, the pitiful way she begged Edward not to leave every single night. “Sometimes I’m able to help her through them. Most times not, but when I am able to, it’s worth it to see her sleep in peace.”
Edward gasped at my memories, and I cursed myself inwardly. I would have to do a better job of keeping these images from him.
“You watch her sleep,” he stated.
I nodded though it wasn’t a question. “I do.”
“How often?” he asked.
“Every night,” I admitted. No reason to lie now, really.
I saw Alice running towards us out of the corner of my eye. I shrugged as if it should be abundantly clear. “It’s simple really…” I was cut off by Alice shrieking.
“Don’t say it, Jasper,” she warned.
I sighed thankful for the distraction. Of course, it was not a good idea to tell Edward I was in love with Bella.
Fury flashed in his eyes and his nostrils flared in anger. “I think you need to leave. Immediately.”
“No!” Alice cried grabbing my hands. “Jasper is staying.”
“Do you have any idea what he just said? What he just admitted to? If you only knew… then you would want him gone,” his voice was strained.
Alice glared at Edward and tapped her head. “Of course I know; I’ve known it for months. That is why I insisted he stay in Forks.”
My mouth fell open. I did not expect that. She’d known? All along? Alice was truly one of a kind. Much more than I ever deserved, but that had always been the case.
“Fine,” Edward said curtly. “I don’t suppose I have a choice in whether you stay or not. Carlisle is much more forgiving than he should be. But if you so much as step foot in that room, I will dismember you myself. Do you understand? I don’t want you near Bella.”
“I don’t think that’s your decision to make,” I said through my teeth, surprised by his audacity.
“Like hell it isn’t,” he growled. “I don’t want you near her.”
“Luckily for me, this isn’t about what you want. It’s about what Bella wants,” I said.
“Bella has no idea what sort of person you are or what you’ve done,” Edward snarled. “Do you think she’ll want to be near you when she realizes what you’ve done to her? You damned her!”
He jumped for me again but Emmett grabbed him. I’d been so caught up in the argument; I hadn’t noticed Emmett and Carlisle come outside.
“Edward,” Carlisle said, placing a hand on his shoulder. “This fighting solves nothing. You know as well as I that she will not blame him; Bella has always been very forgiving. Nor is she damned – no more so than the rest of us which is to say not at all. Come inside with me, you’ve been apart from her for so long; why don’t you go back inside and sit with her?”
He glared at me one last time before turning back to the house. “I’ll be moving her into my room. I don’t want her anywhere near Jasper or his room.”
Carlisle looked at Edward, and I knew they were having a silent conversation because his mood shifted suddenly, and without another word, he returned to the house.
Carlisle turned to me. “So, you’ve decided to stay?” he asked.
I bowed my head, feeling like the problem child that I was. “Yes, if you would allow me to, I will.”
He gave me a small smile. “Of course, Jasper. As I told you before, families do not turn on one another. You are my son, and I am proud of you for making the right decision. It’s not always easy to do the right thing, but I think you’ll find that it is worth it in the end.”
“Thank you, father.” I whispered. After all the years I spent with Alice and the Cullen’s, I never truly felt like I belonged to the family. It was sad that it took this tragedy to make me feel like they were my family as well.
Carlisle’s emotions spoke volumes to me. He was shocked – I’d never called him father before – but he was also proud and even a little happy.
“I’ll give you two some privacy,” he remarked before disappearing into the house.
I sank onto the ground, finally spent from the strain of everyone’s emotions, from my emotions, from the impossibly long day. I felt so weary, so tired. I’d never wanted sleep more than I did right then.
I looked at Alice, her beautiful face. The face of the woman I loved. I did love her, but I also loved Bella. And that love was… frighteningly intense. It was strong; it clouded everything. My reasoning, my thoughts, my life – it overshadowed everything; demanded everything, and I wanted nothing more than to give it what it wanted. To sacrifice everything I had, everything I was, for just the opportunity to love her.
“Alice…” I started but stopped. I took a deep breath and tried again only to come up empty handed. “I don’t know what to say.”
Her eyes were sad and brimmed with tears. “Jasper, I’ve loved you since the moment I woke up to this life. You’ve been through so much; put yourself through so much to be with me. Sometimes I wonder if my visions of you were self-created. Did I see us together because it’s what I wanted or what you wanted? Did you choose me or did you simply go along with the choice I already made? I know that you love me, and you’ve been… happy… with me for these last few decades…” I cut her off.
“Alice, please believe me when I say that I do love you. You are my savoir. You pulled me out of the hellish existence I was in and showed me just how beautiful, how fantastic this world can be. You showed me that my world – my existence – doesn’t have to revolve around blood and power. I chose you, and I don’t regret it, not for one minute,” I stopped, this next part was going to kill me – and her – to say, but I knew I had to. She put one of her small hands over my mouth.
“I understand. You don’t have to say it; I’d rather you not say it. I’ll always love you, Jasper, but I’ve seen the future, and if there is even the smallest possibility for you to be as happy as I see you there, I want you to take it. I won’t say this doesn’t hurt, surely you can feel that, but I won’t be so selfish as to try and keep you when you no longer belong to me.”
“Alice, I don’t know if I can do it. I don’t know how to exist without you. I love you, I do. I just… can’t stop this. It’s like I’m being swept away by a tidal wave, and there’s nothing I can do but try and keep my head above water and not drown,” I said as sobs began to shake me.
“You can exist without me. I’ve seen it. Besides, I’m not leaving. This is my family, you are my family. We just have to redefine our roles,” she pulled my chin until I was looking at her golden eyes. She pressed her lips softly against mine. “I’m going back inside now. You should come in when you feel like you can,” she murmured and then was gone.