What would have happened if Jasper had gotten a hold of Bella at her birthday party? **Note: This is co-written with 'sweetishbubble.'
5. Chapter 5
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After leaving the house, I had started to head south. Blocking my thoughts from Edward had been important; I hadn’t really made up my mind of course, otherwise Alice would have seen it clearly, and that would have only drawn out her pain. Anyway, if I hadn’t been careful, Edward probably would have caught on, and if for nothing other than Alice, he would have tried to stop me. Thankfully, he hadn’t been too concerned with my state of mind lately anyway.
Things weren't going quite as I'd planned...honestly, I had expected to feel relief, at least to some extent, for lessening the burden on my family, and from escaping the onslaught of their emotions - I was sure, after I'd left, that they would at least be able to release their true feelings toward me. I had no way of knowing what they were presently feeling, but I knew that I was definitely not feeling relief.
My original plan had been to try and find some old friends, Peter and Charlotte. Not sure where to start, I figured it would be best if I returned to where I had last seen Peter, and try to stir up any information that I could. I wasn't even half way there.
Thoughts of Alice had begun to consume me, as soon as I'd walked out of our home. It was like something was picking at my brain...like something was crawling over my skin, but no matter what I did, it wouldn't go away. The further I went, the more intense it became - it was unsettling.
Surely Alice would have a with a better life without me, after what I'd done. Our connection had always been intense, and never questioned...until I ripped her life apart. As I trudged along the streets, I hung my head, regressing. What had happened that day? I was familiar enough with Bella's scent... I should have fed more; no - I shouldn't have been there at all. As much as everyone had encouraged me, I should have known. Granted, I would never have guessed that she'd end up cutting herself, but nonetheless, I should have prevented myself from even being in that situation.
Sloshing through the rain, Alice's being continued to call to me. I pushed past it, trying to ignore it. I didn't deserve her, not after what I had done. This city was strange to me, but I knew the routine...business men during the day, corrupt drunks out at night. As much as I remembered my own past, I'd learned a thing or two from Edward...if I was going to give into my primal instincts, then the least I could do was find a good candidate. My thirst was overwhelming; I couldn't remember the last time I'd fed...I blocked out any guilt I felt about what I was about to do - what did it matter anymore? I was a monster, my entire family knew as much, so I might as well accept my fate, especially after losing the one thing that had made me change in the first place.
There was a bar across the street. There was limited parking, which instead of seeing as inconvenience, I saw as an opportunity. Hiding in the shadows, I waited. Eventually, a man appeared through the tavern doors, stepping out onto the street. Granted, I didn't have Edward's ability to hear this man’s thoughts, but I could still recognize his feelings. He was dripping with sickness...the kind of sickness that was most disturbing. He was yearning...yearning to find a victim. He hesitated in the alley, looking about. The idea that such people continued to exist, when others were prematurely extinguished from this life, gripped me - especially knowing I had recently added to this, in the worst way possible.
Enough. I'd left all of that behind. The man in the alley attracted my attention again. He appeared to be waiting for someone - his feelings of frustration were increasing. Suddenly, a young woman exited the tavern. As she walked, she began texting on her cell - she was too distracted. She turned towards the alley, most likely to where her car was. As she continued to type into her phone, the man slowly moved towards her, unnoticed - at least by her, anyway. I had already moved across the street, and unbeknownst to him, I was now following his every step, hidden in the shadows. Stopping just inside the alley, I crept into one of the abandoned doorways of an old building, staying out of sight.
He quickly stepped directly into the girl's line of vision, trying to appear natural. She jumped, clearly taken by surprise. "Hey there, honey..." he drifted off, staring intently at her.
"Oh! Hey...yeah, I remember you from the bar, right?" Nervousness was pouring off of her. She was making an effort to come across as calm, unthreatened, but in reality she felt quite the opposite; as she spoke to this man, her adrenaline kicked into high gear - she was obviously knew to be afraid of him.
"Where are you going?" the man questioned, slightly aggressive, moving towards her.
The girl paused, lowering her phone. "I'm going home," she responded, backing up, to what I could only assume was her car. As she neared the sedan, her heel caught on a crack in the asphalt, causing her to stop.
"Hey, what's the hurry? I can take care of you sweetheart, don't you worry..." he trailed off, advancing.
The girl was trying to move away from him, but her heel was still caught in the crack in the pavement, trapping her.
I watched as he moved in closer - he was within touching distance of her now. She was utterly desperate, completely panicked. Stepping out of the shadows, I moved stealthily towards them. The collar of my jacket was curled up around my neck, the front pieces of my hair hanging slightly across my eyes out of habit, trying to stay concealed - it was dusk, and although I knew no one would notice me, old habits die hard...
She reached toward the ground, trying to pry her shoe loose. He took the opportunity to push her over; when she hit the ground, he leaned over her, grasping onto both of her arms so she couldn't move. Men like this shouldn't be allowed to live.
I continued to approach them quietly. She saw me coming, as I was in her line of sight. What was interesting, was that she never let on that she saw me - her emotions stayed the same - fearful...perhaps she realized I was nothing more than a monster as well. My eyes locked briefly with hers, trying to reassure her, to calm her - she would walk away from this.
The man glanced up at me, immediately backing off from her, at least slightly. His feelings were intense - I could only slightly pick out the traces of dismissal - he wanted to ignore me, hoping I would merely pass by. I smiled.
"Excuse me, miss...are you alright?" I questioned, which irritated him. I reached down, effortlessly freeing her shoe. She stared back at me for a moment before shakily accepting my hand, letting me gently pull her to her feet.
"Actually, no. I need to go - um, yeah. I have to go," she uttered, shrugging away from the leech that withheld her...it reminded me oddly of something Bella would say. Before turning to flee to her car, she glanced back at me briefly. "Thanks," she whispered. I smiled, and then she was gone.
I turned my attention back to the man standing next to me, who was now fuming.
"Funny how things work out this way, isn't it?" I was playing with him, but I couldn't help myself.
He hesitated, trying to comprehend what had just happened. He didn't appear to be drunk, which only further infuriated me...how someone could so willingly look to victimize innocent women - it was disgusting.
"What's up, man? What's your problem?" he questioned me angrily.
My eyes narrowed as I shrugged my shoulders, not caring to give him an adequate response.
Rushing forward, I latching onto his throat, shock and fear pulsing through him as he passed. Once he was gone, I leaned back against the alley wall, trying to regain sanity. What was odd, was that I didn't feel any relief from taking this man's life...my thirst was quenched, true, but there was something else...it was the same feeling from before - I was still unsettled, I couldn't calm myself. That was something I would just have to deal with.
Shortly after that, I began to hunt animals again. That last experience...something had resurfaced. I was clearly reminded of my past, when it was the absorption of feelings, from humans, that had disturbed me so...it was too much. At first, when I had left home, I thought I would just let everything go...give into my natural instincts. Now I knew better...it wasn't possible. True, that man had been detestable, but it had also reminded me far too much of what I'd once done to innocent people, especially Bella.
After that night, things continued to get worse. I had originally been hoping to reunite with my old friends, but in truth, I rarely thought of them now. Alice plagued me - the further I was from her, the worse it got. The pull I felt was almost magnetic; I continually fought against this force I felt, trying to pull me back. Her beautiful face was in my mind, every second of every day, pleading for me to come home. I really had nothing without her. No matter where I went, no matter what I did, all I could think of was Alice.
Memories came flooding back to me - of when we first met, our travels, finding the Cullens, our wedding. That memory hurt the most. Standing with her, pledging to spend eternity with me, broke my heart all over again. I'll never forget how beautiful she was that day. It was that memory of her, standing there before me with nothing but love, looking up at me with those beautiful eyes, that made me realize this had been a horrible mistake.
But would Carlisle and Esme allow me back? I left my family in shambles when I walked out the door. It would have been proper of me to at least say goodbye to Esme; I owed that to them, but I knew Esme wouldn't have let me leave. She would have forced herself between the door and me, refusing to budge an inch, trying to work out for me to stay, which would not have happened. However, she was the strength of our family, and I knew I had hurt her immensely when I left without saying goodbye.
Carlisle had wanted me to stay, and I knew he would have tried to find a way to make all of this work as well, but when I had walked out the door, I felt his anger, frustration, and his hurt. And Emmett...how could I leave him to deal with Edward by himself? He was hurting too; he relied on me when Edward got out of control. Rosalie was surely angry with me for leaving Alice. She hadn’t been home when I’d left, but I can only imagine the amount of fury she’d felt upon returning home to see what had happened. It was a mess, and instead of making it better by leaving, I was afraid that perhaps I’d only made things worse...hurt those I loved even more.
Edward was right about something. The need to be with your soul mate was overwhelming. Having never really been away from Alice in this particular way - with her thinking I would never come back - was excruciating. I saw her face in the crowd, I heard her voice in my ear. It was too much to bear. I now understood, I hoped, what Edward was feeling, although his pain must be so much worse - he didn't have the option of simply changing his mind, allowing him to be reunited with his love. However, unlike Edward, I could wrap my arms around my love, and kiss her lips. I still had that chance, as long as I decided to take it. I don't think I could live with the knowledge that I couldn't do that ever again. Quite honestly, I don't know how he's survived this long.
As soon as I accepted the urgency to return to Alice, the trip progressed quite quickly. When I had been traveling away from her, I had felt smothered; every move was difficult. Now that I had turned around, and was heading back to her, it was as if I were moving in fast forward motion.
The plane ride was fairly easy. As a precaution, I selected a fairly empty flight; just the thought of sitting in a crowded, compact plane, with humans on either side of me made me nervous. There were only a handful of people onboard, which allowed me to keep my distance from them, and sit by myself near the back of the plane.
I found my way to the train station and bought a ticket to Port Angeles, which I also was fortunate enough to seclude myself in a compartment away from others. By now, I was sure Alice had seen me coming. My heart was racing as I stepped off the train, and hailed a cab. Not too much longer now. Once inside Forks, my nerves began to build, so I had the driver stop at the local florist, where I selected the most exquisite bouquet of wild flowers, something she rarely admitted she liked. Perhaps I was stalling, but regardless, she had said there was something about their simplicity she loved, which still amazed me - Alice wasn't exactly known for her simplicity.
The driver let me off at the end of my family's long driveway, at my request. I needed to gather my thoughts, and the three mile walk up the driveway would allow just that. My nerves were increasing, my fears resurfacing. I'd felt such an urgency to return, but what if I wasn't welcome anymore? Very slowly, I continued toward the house. Finally, as I found myself looking upon my home, I paused. Wondering if I could really proceed, the front door slowly creaked open before I could finish my thoughts.
There she stood, my beautiful wife. Alice crept into the shadows of the porch, where she stopped, staring at me with warily. My heart broke as I felt her emotions...such sadness, such despair, even sympathy - she’d seen what I’d gone through while I was gone, I was sure. One thing was different from before, though - there was no sense of anger, just horrible, horrible loss. Cautiously, I began to move towards her. She remained still, as if frozen in place. Maybe I had been wrong; maybe this was a horrible mistake.
"Alice? Alice, do you want me to leave?" I called out softly.
That seemed to stir her. At the sound of my voice, she shook her head, as if trying to clear it. She didn't answer aloud, and before I had a chance to move any further, a tiny blur of motion hit me with the force of a hurricane, nearly toppling me over. She flew into my arms, desperately embracing me, clutching onto every bit of me she could.
"Jasper...Whitlock...Hale," she said in between her kisses. "You will never leave me again."
Returning her kisses fiercely, I knew that she was right.