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The More things Change

Summary:
The Cullen family undergoes many changes--some people leave, some people arrive. Marriages, babies, and imprints confuse the issue even more.


Notes:
This is a sequel to "Home"...you don't have to read that to totally understand this, but it would probably help alot! Yeah, I know I sound like I'm begging for reads, but I'm just trying to be helpful! So go read "Home" if you get confused...


11. Chapter 11: Jasper and Sean Argue

Rating 5/5   Word Count 1976   Review this Chapter

Alice POV:

The day passed happily after that, until the early evening. After showing Robyn around the house, I spent the afternoon sitting on the couch next to her. Maria disappeared with Esme…probably to go work on decorating Maria’s bedroom. Part of me wanted to go running off with them, but I decided I should get to know Jasper’s wife better.

Robyn and I talked and laughed like old friends, and all the fear and hesitation I’d had before she came made me feel silly. Robyn was a beautiful, charming girl, and I was so glad that Jasper had her! We had a great time. As the two of us sat talking, Jasper sat to the left of Robyn, and Sean sat to the right of me. And every time I glanced up at them, they were glaring at each other over Robyn’s and my heads. I didn’t need Jasper’s power to tell me something was wrong there—I could see it in their faces as they grimaced and glowered at one another.

Eventually, they both stood, as if on cue, and I thought I heard Jasper mutter, “Let’s take this outside…” That sounded ominous to me, and when I saw them head out the front door, I got nervous…visions of them fighting in the woods drove me nearly frantic. I was about to dash out the door behind them, but Robyn kept talking. I didn’t want to be rude, but I didn’t want my ex husband and my new-found soul mate to kill each other either. Finally, I sent a mental plea to Edward, and he distracted Robyn long enough for me to excuse myself and slip out of the house.

I heard voices a little way inside the woods, and recognizing Jasper’s Southern drawl and Sean’s Irish brogue, I headed that way…as quietly as I could. I didn’t think I’d be able to sneak up on them, but they were so intent on each other that neither heard me. Once they came in sight, I stopped behind a group of trees to watch and listen. They were standing very close together in a small clearing, with looks of sheer anger on both their faces. Jasper’s teeth were bared at Sean, and Sean’s eyes were wide open in rage as he jabbed his finger at Jasper’s chest.

“I cannot believe that you had the unmitigated gall to go off and get married like that! You couldn’t give her a little more time to get used to the idea of losing you? She cried for an hour when she found out! An hour, Jasper!! Didn’t you know what that would do to her??”

“I’m sorry if I hurt Alice! More than you could ever know! Besides, I thought that the two of you would have done the same by now! I couldn’t stand to be apart from Robyn a minute longer, I love her so much, and I figure you must feel the same about Alice! I couldn’t stand to be separate from my other half! So what’s the big deal?”

Sean took a step back, almost like Jasper had punched him. All the anger drained from his face, and he went white. Jasper raised his eyebrows in surprise. Then he narrowed his eyes. “You do love here, don’t you?”

“Well…o-of course I do!” Sean sputtered.

Jasper’s eyes narrowed even more. “And have you told her that?” He asked.

“Um…it’s—well, it’s…um…” Sean’s eyes darted around the forest—everywhere except at Jasper, who shook his head in exasperation. “What is wrong with you?” He asked incredulously. “I can feel the emotions coming off you when you think of Alice...and when you look at her. Pure and unadulterated love! Why in the world haven’t you told her how you really feel? She’s your soul mate, for heaven’s sake!”

”GAH!! What is it with you people? I don’t have any time for all your mystical supernatural mumbo-jumbo baloney!” Sean exploded. “That’s all it is—romantic fantasy! You and Alice used to think you were soul mates—now look at you! After like 60 years together, you’re married to Robyn, and poor Alice is stuck with dysfunctional me! Your whole family is hung up on romance and mush and…and love! And now you’re tying to drag me into it, too!”

Jasper leaned closer to Sean. “Look me in the eye, and tell me you don’t love Alice. Tell me that you could just walk away right now and never see her again!”

I held my breath as Sean looked at Jasper. “I—“ he began, then went silent. After a moment, he looked down. Jasper laughed. “You can’t can you? What was that about my family’s romance and mush?” He chuckled, then sighed. “Look, Sean, I can’t really explain it myself. I’ve had a little time to think about it…all I’ve been able to come up with is that Alice saw me in her vision, way back even in the Sanitarium before she was changed. When we met, I was still confused over leaving my former life of death and killing. When I saw her in that diner, she gave me hope, which was something I’d not had since I became a vampire.

“She was so sure of everything. She said that I would love her, and I did. It was almost like I never had a choice! She said I would become a ‘vegetarian’, and I did. She wasn’t forcing me or anything; it was just the sheer conviction of her visions made me believe it. And I do love her, Sean—just not romantically. In fact…” Jasper stepped closer to Sean and lowered his voice. “If you don’t look after her properly, if you hurt her or don’t make her happy, I’ll kill you.”

Sean frowned. “I believe you might find that a bit more difficult than you think, little boy!” He hissed. Then his look softened again. “I could never do anything to purposefully hurt her,” he said very softly, again looking at the ground. “I’d rather die! The times I’ve hurt her without even realizing it, it felt like I’d been stabbed in the chest, and had all my guts ripped out…I can’t explain it. I-I’ve never felt like this before.”

Jasper patted him on the shoulder. “Welcome to the club”, he said.

I chose that moment to step into the clearing with them. “Well, here you two are! Everyone was wondering where you’d gone!” I spoke lightly, but I think my voice must have betrayed something. Sean went pale when he saw me—paler than he normally looked (which was about as pale as a vampire…I figured he just never went out in the sun much since Maria couldn’t). He gulped. He did that a lot when I was around, and I found it sweetly amusing. Jasper looked from me to Sean and back to me, and then he smiled slightly. I couldn’t take my eyes off Sean—he was so gorgeous standing there, all worried and embarrassed and scared. Jasper chuckled and said, “I think I’ll head back to the house.” He winked at me and walked off. Sean gulped again.

“Did you, um--did you…hear all that?” He asked hesitantly. I nodded, and he gulped again. He collapsed on a fallen tree, and buried his face in his hands. “Oh, why do I keep screwing things up?” he moaned. “I don’t know what to do, or what’s going on with me!

I sat down beside him and gently took his hands in mine. “Sean, look at me.” It took him a while, but he finally did. “I heard you, and I heard Jasper. I know you love me. Yes, I wish you could…deal with it as well as Jasper has, but I love you too much to push you into anything you’re not ready for. Like I said before, I can wait. We do have eternity, after all. Yes, I am a little sad that you can’t even...can’t even tell me how you feel…” My voice caught, and a little sob escaped me.

Sean’s face turned horrified. He’s right, I thought vaguely—he does look like some one just stabbed him. He got on his knees in front of me , took my face in his hands…and kissed me. Hard. Passionately. And I kissed him back with equal intensity, throwing my arms around him and holding him tightly. He held me tightly as well, almost like it was out of some sort of desperation, as if he were afraid of losing me if he let go…a drowning man holding on to a life preserver. I had no idea where that image came from, but it fit. It fit both of us perfectly. Two people drowning in the world. And we were each other’s life preserver.

I’m not sure how long we were there, in that clearing, holding each other and kissing. But it must have been quite a while. The next thing I knew, I heard a soft “ahem.” Sean jerked back, and fell over. Even though I was a little saddened by the suddenness of his jumping away, I still laughed. Then I looked up to see who our visitor was.

Bella stood there, smiling brightly. She winked at me, but spoke lightly, as if she hadn’t seen anything at all….though I knew she had. “Sean, Maria is looking for you. Said she needed to talk to you about getting the rest of your things brought out from Kansas City or something.”

Sean ducked his head, and muttered, “Oh, uh, thank you. Excuse me, ladies,” and hurried from the clearing.

I stood up and Bella ran up to me. We hugged, and she said, “So—did he finally say it?”

I shook my head, my eyes on the path Sean had taken back to the house. “No,” I sighed. “But he told Jasper that he loved me.”

Bella smiled and put her arm around me. “Well, I’d say that kiss was maybe his way of telling you.”

I sighed again. “Yeah, maybe,” I replied wistfully. “I just wish he could say it, you know?” Bella and I turned and followed Sean back to the house. I tried to put Sean’s reluctance to accept the facts out of my mind. The wedding was in a few days, and I needed to concentrate on that. I determined to put Sean out of my mind for the next several days, (as difficult as that might be since I’d be seeing him all the time) and focus on the wedding plans. Bella’s happiness was more important than mine at the moment. There would be plenty of time to figure Sean out, after Edward and Bella were safely married. So until then, I’d let the memory of our time in the clearing sustain me, and ignore Sean as much as I could bear to…which wouldn’t be much probably.

But Sean, whether through embarrassment or some sort of telepathy, solved the problem for me by deciding to go to Seattle for a few days. He said he had some Agency business to attend to, but I knew he was just trying to put a bit of space between us. Maria would stay and help with the wedding details whilst getting her room decorated. She truly was just like the daughter I could never have, and her presence cheered me up a bit despite the prospect of not seeing Sean for a while. Robyn, too, helped a lot with the plans. She and Bella got along great, despite Robyn’s slight problem in dealing with close proximity to humans.

Bella grew more and more nervous as the days sped by, despite our best efforts at trying to distract her and keep her calm) and before any of us knew it (or were ready for it!), it was the “Big Day” (as Emmett had taken to calling it) had arrived…..