Sometimes Goodbye Is A Second Chance
After 5 years of rebuilding his life and putting the pieces back together, everything falls apart once again when she comes storming back into his life. Alice/Jasper - AU and AH
Disclaimer: None of the characters belong to me. I am not, will never be and never was Stephenie Meyer. This is an Alice Jasper AU and AH story. And also my first Twilight story.
15. Chapter 15
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CHAPTER 15: Second chance
Sail away with me honey
I put my heart in your hands
Sail away with me honey now, now, now
Sail away with me
What will be will be
I wanna hold you now
- Sail Away by David Gray
I was slowly coming back to my senses, a noise in the background waking me up. I didn’t want to register it, feeling warm and content, but the noise wouldn’t go away; so I opened my eyes. At first I didn’t know where I was, the surroundings weren’t familiar at all. I looked around and noticed the baby monitor on the nightstand. Amber. She was whimpering and I needed to get up and go to her.
I suddenly realized there was someone else besides me in the bed. And things started to come back to me – the confrontation, the fight, the explanations and the sex. I noticed Jasper’s hand gently resting on my hip, my back pressing into him. He was still asleep, so I gently and carefully removed his hand and slowly got up. I missed his warmth immediately. And I was sore, and walking around didn’t really help much. Hopefully, the soreness would go away soon.
I looked back, watching his sleeping form tangled in the sheets. It was quite a sight to behold. But I couldn’t focus on him now; I had to get to my daughter, whose whimpering was turning into crying. I looked around the room for my clothes. I couldn’t find them right away, and it was getting really cold. I finally located them under the bed, on top of Jasper’s book that I had unceremoniously threw at him, and put them on. I picked up the baby monitor and silently returned to my room.
I threw the baby monitor on the bed and quickly went to Amber.
“Hey, peanut, what’s the matter?” I picked her up and gently rocked her back and forth. She stopped crying, but still fussed a bit.
“Are you hungry?” I asked her, not expecting an answer. “Oh, and I see you are wet, too. We’ll have to change that, won’t we, peanut?”
I walked over to the dressing table and gently laid her down on it. While I was changing her, my thoughts drifted back to Jasper. The evening didn’t go at all as I thought it would. But I felt lighter, like a tremendous pressure had been lifted off my shoulders and I could breathe again. I never consciously realized how hard it was to live with Jasper these past months and not talk about our problems. I guess I was way too scared to bring it up. I snorted; I guess cowardice was a constant in my life. I would never have thought so before. But I have been wrong and I had no problem admitting it.
I only wished I had talked to Jasper about it sooner; it would make everything so much easier. Being nervous and tiptoeing around the issue all the time really wasn’t healthy, for either of us. But I think I’ve learned that lesson now.
I put the tiny pajamas back on Amber and picked her up. She rested her head on my shoulder but kept fussing. I knew she was hungry, so I sat down in a chair and fed her.
“Here you go, sweetie,” I said to her. I gently caressed her little head, and played with her hair a bit. She didn’t have much hair yet, but she already had some lovely butterscotch locks.
“You’ll be a heartbreaker when you grow up, you know that?” I said to her and imagined all the boys chasing after her. “But don’t grow up too fast, okay? Just take it slow and easy.” I smiled down at her. I knew how protective Jasper was with me and I wondered how much more he would probably be with Amber.
I tensed. Where did that come from? What was I thinking, considering stuff like that? We might have talked about out past and slept with each other after that, but we still haven’t talked about us; about what would happen now. And I hadn’t even considered what I wanted; what my plans were. I knew immediately after I had thought about this, that it was my defensive mechanism speaking. I didn’t know how Jasper would react and what he wanted, so I protected myself and pretended I didn’t either.
But I knew. The truth was that nothing and no one on this world had ever made me as happy as Jasper has. Even though we had gone through some major problems, and had a somewhat ugly past; I still loved him deeply and would give anything to get him back. I just didn’t know if he could ever forgive me. Screwed up, much?!
I sighed and repositioned Amber, so she could make her little burp. I stood up and started pacing up and down the room. Amber made her burp shortly after I stood up and I whispered ‘good girl’ to her, while stroking her back. She was such a good little baby. I kept walking up and down the room. Motion usually helped Amber fall asleep faster.
I wasn’t sure what the evening meant or how things would change. I was glad I confronted him, although I still wasn’t sure how I could have been so stupid. It would bother me for the rest of my life. I never would have thought Maria could have been so sick and twisted. I guess if I had given Jasper a chance, I would have known. But I didn’t.
Her performance had been so good and persuading, even her best friend, Nettie, didn’t know she lying. And that spoke volumes. I wanted to go visit her, only to yell at her and blame her for my, our, suffering. It wasn’t fair. And it hurt so much. Because we have both been through so much and it has been all my fault. My insecurities were the death for our relationship. I just hoped I could make it up to him and somehow and someday get him back. I would do whatever he wanted. I needed his forgiveness, because I would never have mine.
I noticed Amber had fallen asleep so I gently laid her down into her crib. I covered her with her beautiful green blanket. It was a handmade blanket that Esme had sent over as a gift, when we came home from the hospital.
I went to the bathroom to clean myself up a bit. Hopefully some warm water would help my soreness. When I looked myself in the mirror, I almost didn’t recognize myself. My lips were swollen, my cheeks flushed and my eyes drowsy. My hair was a mess and I grabbed a comb and started working on it. Better.
After I washed myself, I used some of the salve Carlisle gave to me. It had worked wonders before and I immediately felt better. I returned to my room, checking up on Amber one more time. She was still soundly asleep. I could sit there the whole night, just listening to her breathing. It had such a calming effect on me.
I wasn’t sure what to do next. Should I return to Jasper or would it be wiser to just get into my own bed? The sex has been amazing. We never had problems in bed, so that wasn’t a surprise. He always knew exactly which buttons to push to send me over the edge. And I gladly returned the favor. I blushed slightly as I thought back on the lovemaking a couple of hours ago.
I haven’t slept with him in the same bed for years, and I have always tried not to think about it; so I wouldn’t miss him even more. But tonight I had spent some of it in his arms and I already missed him terribly; the wonderful feeling of him and his warmth, with his arms around me. But once again I was a coward and couldn’t decide what to do. So, for the moment, I just kept standing beside Amber’s crib, watching her.
I thought back to how I had panicked, when he left the room earlier. The weight of what I had done fell down on me and when he left the room, I almost passed out. I didn’t know what to do, so I returned to my room and took care of Amber. I had kissed her gently on her forehead and left my room. I sat down on the top of the stairs and waited.
I knew he had left the house, because the doors to outside were open; so he must have left quickly. I also knew I needed to apologize and explain, but I gave him some time to think things over. The reasons for why I left certainly hadn’t been what he thought or even expected. So, I waited patiently until he came back.
For a while I was afraid he wouldn’t return and would leave me just like I left him. I knew the fear was irrational, but it was real and scary anyway. And maybe that was what I deserved, I wouldn’t blame him. But he came back. I heard him enter the living room and close the door behind me. I didn’t even realize that I let out the breath I must have been holding. I gave him a couple more minutes and then stood up and went downstairs.
I immediately noticed his bloody hand and felt a strong pain explode inside me. I knew that was my doing. I went to take out a cloth and ran it in warm water to clean up the wound and try to make it better. I had to. He didn’t protest or acknowledge it.
We then talked about it; I needed to apologize and explain. And although I wanted to do it rationally and soundly, I lost my head in my emotions and started crying and sobbing. I desperately wanted him to understand and to forgive me, although I was convinced I didn’t deserve it at the same time. How can you want and accept something you don’t deserve?
One thing led to another and we finished in his bedroom what we started in the kitchen. And it was wonderful. I had missed his touch so much and it had brought back wonderful memories. Memories I had tried to suppress and forget for so long. I just hoped we could get through this somehow, because I seriously didn’t believe I could go through all that again; losing him after I have just found him.
My hands were trembling, when the door behind me opened slowly. I didn’t turn around, and just waited to see what he would do.
“She woke up, and I had to get her, but she’s back asleep now,” I explained, my back still turned to him.
I heard him come closer. I tensed for a moment, not knowing what to expect; praying that he didn’t regret the night. He might have come to his senses and realized what a mistake I had been all along. But then I felt his arms around me, and I immediately relaxed. His embrace was my personal haven, it was the only place where I felt safe and secure.
“How is baby girl doing?” he asked, arms wrapped around me, looking at Amber.
“She’s fine, was just wet and hungry,” I smiled.
“And how are you?” he asked me.
“I don’t know,” I answered truthfully. No more avoiding, I promised myself.
He turned me around in his arms. “Regrets?” he asked.
“Yes, big ones,” I answered. His face turned darker and he seemed concerned. I wondered why, and then realized he could easily interpret my answer in a different way.
“None about tonight, just about you know, five years ago,” I clarified. I wasn’t sure what he thought of tonight, but him coming here and wrapping me in his arms must be a good sign. Right?
His frown disappeared. “What do we do now?” he asked.
“I have no idea. We move on.” I suggested. “I am just not sure how.” Together, I wanted to suggest. I might not deserve it, but I wanted it so badly.
“Come on, let’s talk about it,” he said and grabbed my hand. He picked up the baby monitor and we returned to his room, leaving Amber sleeping peacefully and undisturbed.
He pulled me down on his bed and sat beside me. I crossed my legs, leaned back against the headboard and turned to him. He was so adorable, sitting next to me. He wouldn’t like the word adorable, because he was a guy and like Emmett once told me, guys were not adorable; but nevertheless, he was cute. I smiled at the memory, remembering well how Esme called Emmett adorable once; when he tried so hard to look manly and strong. And he usually succeeded, at least at school and in public. But at home, he was like a big cuddly bear. I giggled.
“What are you giggling about?” Jasper asked me with a grin on his face.
“Oh, nothing, just remembering something about Emmett.” I answered.
He lifted his brow in question.
“Just how he always tried to look strong and manly,” I elaborated.
“What do you mean ‘tried’,” he laughed. And I joined him.
“Alice,” he started, and my face sobered in a second. This was it. The following conversation would probably define our future or the lack thereof.
When I woke up alone in the bed, my first thought was that she had run. Two seconds later I remembered about Amber and that she had probably just woken up and demanded some attention. I smiled, baby girl had us both wrapped around her little finger.
The evening had ended better than I had thought possible. I had been angry, annoyed and disappointed at first, but was grateful later that the matter had eventually cleared itself up and that we could finally move on now. It had been so long.
I turned around and put my hand on Alice’s pillow. It was still warm. I wondered if she’d come back to bed or stay in her room. Our past was seriously screwed up, but I was glad I finally knew why. And even though I felt distrusted and abandoned, I wasn’t prepared to just let her go now. As I had decided when she gave birth, I would fight for her and get her back; and I still intended to make that happen.
Life might be giving us a second chance, and I wanted to use it. She belonged here with me, they both did and I would do anything in my power to make that happen. It would probably be hard and the past would always be there, but I was prepared to work on it.
I waited for a while and when she didn’t come back, I looked for my pants and put them on. I walked into her room and saw her standing by the crib, looking at Amber. She noticed my entrance, although she didn’t turn around.
“She woke up, and I had to get her; but she is back asleep now,” she explained, looking at Amber.
I moved closer, peeking over her shoulder at the sleeping baby, wrapping my arms securely around Alice. If she had a problem with it, I would know immediately, but she relaxed and leaned back into me. I suddenly felt happier than I had been in years.
“How is baby girl doing?” I asked, arms wrapped around her, looking at Amber.
“She’s fine, was just wet and hungry.” Alice smiled adorable.
“And how are you?” I asked her. I needed to know how she felt after the storm.
“I don’t know,” she answered calmly.
I turned her around. I needed to know whether she regretted this night spent together.
“Regrets?” I asked her.
“Yes, big ones,” she answered. The hope I felt suddenly disappeared, and the emptiness was back.
“None about tonight, just about you know, for five years ago,” she added. I was relieved and a bit angry with myself, jumping to conclusions so quickly. But there were still several issues needing to be resolved.
“What do we do now?” I asked.
“I have no idea. We move on.” she suggested. “I’m just not sure how.”
I took her hand and brought her back to my bedroom. We needed to talk about this and then move on. Life had already taken so much from us; we needed to get it back.
She giggled when she was sitting on the bed next to me, and when she explained about Emmett, I couldn’t help laughing, too.
“Alice,” I said to get her attention. Her smile immediately disappeared from her face. But I didn’t want it gone. She always looked so beautiful when she smiled. I reached over and touched her face. She leaned into my hand.
“I’m sorry,” she said again. She kept apologizing and I knew how much it bothered her.
“Don’t, Ali,” I said. “I know how much you regret it, I do too, but there is nothing we can do about it now. What’s done is done.”
“I know, but I just keep thinking that if I say I’m sorry enough; it will somehow make it better.” She looked so sad. I always had a problem with seeing her like this, when there was no spark in her eyes and she looked so defeated.
“Listen to me. If I could go back and change it, I would. In a heartbeat. But I can’t and neither can you,” I tried to explain. “I know we have both been through hell and I think that is payment enough for our mistakes.”
She wanted to say something, but I didn’t give her a chance. “Just let me explain,” I said, putting up my hand.
“We have both made mistakes and I am angry at both of us. Something like that should never have happened and it pisses me off that it did. And I don’t know where we go from here; all I know is that you are here for a reason. My mom always used to tell me that everything happens for a reason and I believe it.”
Her eyes got watery. “Don’t cry, Alice,” I said.
“I know there is a lot we have to work on. I still feel hurt because you didn’t trust me or trust yourself or whatever, and honestly; it will probably take me a while to get over it, but I am prepared to work on it. I don’t want you to go, Alice. I want to give us another chance.” I laid my heart out bare before her. She needed to hear this and there would be no more avoiding. The lack of communication has already caused us so much trouble and I was determined - no more.
“There was another reason I didn’t tell you,” Alice said, tears threatening to fall.
I was confused. “What?”
“I never thought I was good enough for you,” she whispered.
“Why would you think that,” I asked her baffled. Why would she? If anyone of us wasn’t good enough for the other, it was me and not her.
“I don’t know. Ever since I moved here, you’ve kept an eye over me. And so I thought that maybe you were also only with me because you were overprotective and a really good friend. I’m sorry.”
I smiled, which must have seemed weird to her, because she asked, “Why are you smiling?”
“It’s just funny, because I used to think the same at the beginning when we first started dating. You were so beautiful and pure; I didn’t want to make you dirty.” I laughed.
“Silly.” She finally smiled back and then continued.
“I just didn’t believe anyone could truly love me, you know? My family certainly never did and they were the ones who should have loved me the most, no matter what. They were my family. But they didn’t. I was never good enough for them and I never did anything right. So, I was afraid I would never be good for anyone else, too.” She explained and I understood. Although it was stupid of her to even consider it, I could see why she would think so. All that mistrust and psychological abuse of her family didn’t leave her unaffected.
“Listen to me, Alice,” She looked up. “I understand why you would think so, I really do. But you’re wrong. And I need you to stop thinking like that, because otherwise this will not work.” There was so much emotional baggage her family caused her, I had never really noticed. I thought she was fine, when she obviously wasn’t. We had often been carefree and happy, and even though I always knew not everything was alright regarding her family; I didn’t realize how deep the wounds were.
“I really loved you, Alice, for who you were. You were my sun and my hope, and I need you to know that and accept it. Never doubt it.” She nodded, tears finally spilling. I wiped them off with my hand.
“I need you to trust me, Alice. I would never betray you, I promise you that.” I hoped she got the message.
“I really loved you, too,” began Alice, taking my hand. “And I don’t want you to ever think I left because I didn’t, because I did. So much. And when I arrived in Washington, it was pure hell. I didn’t tell you the whole story before.” I braced myself, because I knew that what she had told me earlier hadn’t been the whole truth before. But I wanted to know now.
“When I arrived, I was broken and empty. I found an apartment, but always felt like a stranger in it. I couldn’t make it my home, no matter how much I wanted to. For a while I didn’t do anything, I just kept watching TV and starring at the wall. Nothing could hold my interest, I was useless. Then I went shopping.”
I smiled. “I tried to keep myself occupied with shopping, but it didn’t help. Can you believe that?” she joked.
“Anyway, I spent most of the money I had saved, so I needed to start working. I worked at a café, but didn’t like it. I couldn’t and wouldn’t interact with people, seeing them happy only made me more miserable. And that was when Lauren showed up. I moved in with her and started working in a night club.”
She looked up at me waiting for my reaction. I hissed. I hated what she had told me, I didn’t like it at all, especially the last part. I wanted to go find Lauren and strangle her.
“I never took all my clothes off and no one ever touched me. I just danced. It just seemed fitting, you know?” she quickly defended herself. “It was a dark place and it felt like I belonged there. I liked the darkness.”
“I’m really sorry you had to go through that, Alice. You didn’t have to, but I do get why you did. I was in the same place, well, mentally. And although it makes me sick thinking of you in that place, I guess I will just have to deal and accept it, as hard as that will be.” I tried to stay calm. Yelling wouldn’t do much good now, especially since I felt responsible for it.
“I just wanted you to know,” she said. “I’m not upset about it anymore, it was something I had to go through and it’s in the past.”
I nodded, because maybe we would have never met again if she hadn’t gone down that road. Although it was really hard to think about the positive side at the moment; all I wanted to do was vent.
“Anyway,” she started cautiously, “if you’re still ready to give us a second chance, I’m all for it. I lost you once and I don’t want to lose you again. Once was more than enough.”
And that suddenly made it better. There was a light in the end of the tunnel and my hope was back.
“Come here,” I said and pulled her closer. “Let’s just take it slow. We’ll both need to learn to forgive and forget, or at least learn from it; but I think we can make it.” She smiled.
I leaned into her and she met me half way. Our lips collided in a gentle, but firm kiss. Her lips were sweet and warm, shifting seductively against mine. She parted her lips and I claimed her mouth. I pulled her closer, stroking her back gently, while at the same time lowering us both on the bed. She was on top, our tongues still wrestling with each other. The kiss was deep and sensual, trying to make up for the lost time.
I rolled us over, trapping her neatly beneath me. Her hands started roaming over my naked back, causing me to shiver with pleasure. Suddenly, her stomach growled and I broke the kiss.
“Hungry?” I asked her smiling at her.
“Definitely,” she answered with a naughty grin.
I kissed her once more and then pulled her up. “Come on, let’s go eat something. We said we’re going to take things slow.”
“I liked the start,” she said seductively and went downstairs. I sighed and followed her. Tease.
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