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.
16. Chapter 16
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CHAPTER 16: Going Forward
Hold my head inside your hands,
I need someone who understands.
I need someone, someone who hears,
For you, I've waited all these years.
For you, I'd wait 'til kingdom come.
Until my day, my day is done.
- Till Kingdom Come by Coldplay
I haven’t felt this good in years. I had everything I ever wanted by my side. I looked at Alice munching on a sandwich, the baby monitor beside her. It was early morning and the sunbeams were already starting to come through the kitchen window. She looked lovely bathed in the morning light.
“We should go shopping soon, you’re running out of things,” she suggested, while smiling tenderly at me; probably realizing I’ve been staring.
“We can go later today, if you want,” I suggested, knowing she would probably love to go into the city. We haven’t gone in a while; the last time was for Amber’s checkup.
“Ok. Amber’s first real big trip into the city.” She brightened up and took a sip of her tea. Apparently checkups didn’t count as real trips.
“I’m sure she’ll love it.” And she probably would. She was a very curious little girl, always looking around, observing things. And I was sure Alice would love it just the same.
She was happy, I could see it. And seeing her smile, seeing the light back in her eyes was overwhelming. I wanted to keep it there forever. I had never liked to see her sad before, but these last couple of months; she seemed so lifeless and broken. It had gotten better after Amber has been born, but it had never been back as much as it was at that moment.
She was licking her fingers, when I couldn’t hold back anymore, and moved to her, took her face in my hands and kissed her. She was a little surprised at first, but adapted quickly and opened her mouth to give me access. It was a slow and lingering kiss, but no less passionate than our last. I think we needed to make up for the lost time and now that I had her back I didn’t want to waste another minute. The feeling of her tongue dancing with mine was so erotic and when she let out those little moans, it almost made things unbearable.
I slowly pulled back silently cursing the need to breathe. Alice just smiled at me and asked, “What was this for?”
“I have no idea, I just needed to kiss you all of a sudden,” I said breathlessly. “I’m feeling like a teenager.”
We both chuckled.
“I know what you mean,” Alice answered and gave me another quick, but gentle kiss. When she got up and moved toward the living room, I just wanted to grab her and pull her back to me.
I groaned. I was usually more in control, but around Alice I was completely lost. I wanted to forget about the rest of the world and just spend time with her, preferably in bed.
I put the dishes in the sink and followed her to the living room. I sat down on the couch next to her. She was looking at the guitar I left beside it.
“Can I ask you something?” she asked and looked at me seriously.
“Sure,” I answered, knowing well where this might go.
“Why have you stopped playing?” She looked at me curiously. “You’ve told me you stopped after I left, but why? I mean, I get why, but I don’t really understand; music has always meant so much to you. Why give it up completely?”
I took a deep breath and started to explain. “It was just that when you left, you took that part with me. I suddenly had no desire to play anything anymore. And music has always kind of been connected to you. So, I just stopped. I mean, I still listened to it, but I couldn’t take my guitar in my hands anymore, so I just put it away.” I didn’t mention that I replaced it with Jack Daniels.
She just nodded, absorbed in thoughts.
“What about your book? Why did you have it put away?” She inquired.
“About that - you’ve been snooping around, haven’t you?” I asked her bemused.
She blushed and explained, “In my defense, I went in there by mistake.”
“Aha,” I leaned my head to the side and urged her to continue. “And you just happened to trip over the box?”
I could hardly refrain from laughing; she looked so ashamed and adorable. I wasn’t angry, I might have been last night, but I wasn’t today. And besides, she used to do that all the time. She had to know everything, and if you didn’t tell her, she would find out on her own.
“Kind of,” she said with a mischievous glint in her eyes.
“Right,” I just commented.
“Anyway, back to my question,” She probed.
“Well, if you looked into those boxes a bit more thoroughly, you would have probably noticed that all the stuff in those boxes – guitar, books, clothes and other objects were connected to you. The guitar I played with and for you, the book I wrote about you, the clothes you bought me and the stuff that was ours.” Although I started the sentence in a chiding flirty way, I ended it very sober.
“Oh,” she said surprised. “Oh. I didn’t notice.” She sighed.
“Alice, you have to understand that when you left I had nothing to hold on to. I didn’t want anything, I just wanted to wallow in my misery and those things only reminded me off you and I didn’t need or want that.”
She scooted closer and sat on my lap.
“I’m so sorry, Jazz,” she said and gently kissed me. She hadn’t called me Jazz once since she came here and she used to do it all the time. She was truly back. I knew it in my head, but in my heart I was still afraid I’d lose her any minute. “If I could go back and change things, I would, but I can’t. And I will have to live with the mistake I made all my life, I will never be able to forget it and I have no idea how to make it better; how to make it up to you.”
I leaned back and pulled her with me. We’ve been through so much and have both suffered severely, and I didn’t want the sadness anymore. It’s been a part of me for so long; I almost didn’t know how to let it go. But it was time to do so. The separation has been punishment enough. “You might try to kiss it better,” I suggested.
“Well, if it’s going to help,” she smiled and closed the distance between us.
It felt amazing to have her so close, to taste her and enjoy her touch. With every lick, I became more aroused and she knew it. She wiggled her hips to tease me, and moved up and down first gently and then more firmly on top of me. But I gladly returned the favor. I slowly pushed her top up, and let my hands roam over her back. She shivered slightly as I traced her back with my fingers. Soft moans were caught by my mouth, when my hands changed course and started to undress her. Her hands moved down to my pants, her lips never leaving mine.
I rolled us over, when the baby monitor suddenly sprang to life. As much as I wanted to ignore it, I couldn’t, because this was Amber. So, we pulled apart.
“Taking things slow, huh?” Alice smiled at me.
“Oh, believe me, this is slow,” I chuckled.
I slowly got up and when Alice started to follow me, I stopped her. “Just stay here, I’ll bring her down.”
I jumped the stairs two at the time and was in Alice’s room in less than a minute. I slowed my pace, so I wouldn’t startle Amber. She was whimpering in her basket, but calmed down when she saw me and started kicking with her legs. She knew well I would take her in my arms.
“Hey there, baby girl.” I greeted her and took her in my arms. She rested her head on my shoulder.
“Today is going to be a big day for you, you know. We’re going to the city.” I laid her down on her changing table and started to wash and change her.
She kept playing with her fingers and toes, while I changed her diaper. “You’ll see mommy shopping today. That is a sight to behold, you know.”
I moved over to the closet and picked out an outfit for today. As a man I normally wouldn’t have any great color coordinating, but having two women in my life that have been obsessed with clothes and fashion, I learned the hard way. I think we all did. Whenever we dressed ‘wrong’, we had to change. Emmett and Bella rebelled the longest, before they gave in and started listening to them. Edward and I were smarter. I pulled out a yellow overall and some sweet little white baby slippers.
Amber was still lying on her back, preoccupied with her fingers. She gurgled a little, when I put the overall on her. I tickled her a little and she gave me a smile in return. I couldn’t believe she was smiling already. It seemed like it was only yesterday that she was born, but she was 3 months already.
“Come on, baby girl; let’s see what mommy is doing.” I picked her up, while she gurgled happily and grabbed a couple of toys.
When we arrived downstairs, there was no sound coming from anywhere. We moved towards the couch, where we found Alice sleeping peacefully.
“Looks like mommy fell asleep,” Amber cooed like she agreed with me and wanted to tell me so.
“Let’s get you a bottle then, we don’t want to wake mommy up,” I smiled at Amber and took her to the kitchen. Fortunately Alice was always prepared. I took a full bottle from the fridge and warmed it up to the right temperature.
“Here you go, Amber,” I said and fed her the bottle. She was a hungry baby and was always up for food. She reminded me of Jack in that way. Ella was more like Rose, but Jack was very much Emmett. He had always gulped down his bottle and then usually threw up a little. Emmett, of course being Emmett, was proud.
After Amber was done, I took out a blanket and laid it on the living room floor. I laid Amber on it, where she could kick and play as much as she liked. I sat down next to her and played with her for a while. She was an adorable baby, proudly making eye contact and smiling all the time. She had clear blue eyes, just like her mommy.
Everything we have been through, all the mistakes we both made; Amber somehow made it all better. Whereas it didn’t make sense of why all that happened, now mom’s favorite saying that everything happened for a reason finally had a ring of truth in it. Maybe Amber was the reason and if so, it was all worth it.
I played with Amber for a while, and then took her outside into the soft spring sun for some time; while Alice caught up on some of the much needed sleep.
A couple of hours later we were all ready to go into town. I brought the car out of the garage, while Alice prepared Amber.
I fastened Amber into her car seat and made room for Alice to sit next to her and look after her. I smiled at her, and moved behind the wheel. I put on some rock ballads. Amber was asleep in 5 minutes, the rocking of the car and the soft tunes must have done the trick.
We arrived at the mall about 40 minutes later and since Amber was still asleep, I just took out her stroller and Alice gently laid her into it and covered her with a blanket.
“She’ll probably be asleep for a while longer,” Alice said.
“Doesn’t matter, just let her sleep. She’ll wake up when she’s ready to,” I added and we started waking towards the shops.
“So, which shops first?” I asked Alice, knowing well groceries weren’t the only thing we came here for.
“Clothes?” Alice suggested excited. I just nodded and smiled.
This was a completely different shopping trip than the last one. I remembered Alice’s little break down well, as if it happened yesterday; but this time I knew why it happened and how awful she must have felt. And even though she continued shopping afterwards and enjoyed it, it was nothing compared to this. This time, the old Alice was back, dragging me and Amber from one store to another; buying this and that. It was such a joy seeing her like her old self again. I had missed her.
A little while later Amber woke up and I took her out of her stroller into my arms. She cuddled closer, being a bit shy with all the strangers around her. She wasn’t used to people. I reassuringly patted her back, while she took in the surroundings. She didn’t cry at all, she rather looked around with a sheepish curiosity. Just like her mommy. I noticed she had stopped crying randomly lately and started doing it for more apparent reasons.
“Look at mommy, Amber. This is your mommy shopping. I bet in no time she will teach you all there is to know about shopping, and since you are your mommy’s girl; I am already terrified,” I explained to Amber, who was just looking at me and touching my nose.
Alice noticed Amber was up and came to us in a minute, with new bags filled with clothes in her hands.
”Hey, peanut, you awake?” she smiled and kissed Amber on the cheek. Amber gooed and touched Alice’s cheek quickly.
Alice looked at me. “I’m all done here. I still need to pick some products for Amber, if you don’t mind?”
“Sure,” I said. “We’re content to just walk beside you as long as it takes, or at least until you buy the whole stores,” I said teasingly.
Alice punched me in the arm, and smiled. “Yeah, yeah.” Then she sobered up a little and added, “I will pay you back, you know.”
“Alice,” I sighed. “I don’t care about the money. So stop thinking about it.”
She smiled thankfully, gave me a quick peck on the lips and disappeared into the next store. Amber was looking at me. “Your mommy,” I said and went after her.
After we were done with grocery shopping, we took everything back to the car. I haven’t felt this good in years. Having the two people that mattered most next to me, doing what I really loved.
Amber was slowly starting to fuss; this was all new to her. Plus, she was hungry. Luckily, I had a bottle prepared in her bag.
“Let’s go get something to eat,” Jasper suggested. “I’m starving and it seems Amber is, too.” He chuckled, putting all the bought stuff into the car.
“Where should we go? I have no idea,” I said and handed him Amber, so I could take her baby bag.
“I know a place. It’s been open for a couple of years now and they have great hamburgers.” He took my arm and we went across the street and a little bit further down.
The place was lovely, and seemed so comfy. We sat down at our table, and I took Amber and started to feed her. Jasper was looking at the menu, deciding what to have.
“What do you want?” he asked me. I scanned the menu.
“The garden burger and a salad,” I said, “I haven’t had one of these in years.”
When the waiter came over, we ordered drinks and food. By the time he brought the food, Amber was all done, lying in her stroller; gently kicking with her legs and playing with a toy nicely distracted.
“The food here is delicious,” I said to Jasper. “I hadn’t eaten such a good burger in forever.”
He chuckled. “I told you so.”
For a couple of minutes neither of spoke, but then I remembered something I wanted to ask, but never got the chance too. “Hey, Jazz,” I began and he looked at me immediately. “How was Rose and Emmett’s wedding?”
Talking about the wedding hasn’t been my favorite topic in the past few years, because I always thought I’d be happily married by now. Or at least in a happy relationship.
“It was very Rose-like,” Jasper began.
I chuckled and remembered how we always talked about weddings, when we were younger. Rose always wanted a big wedding, I, a smaller, more private one and Bella didn’t want one at all.
“It was big and grand. Mom and Rose prepared everything, bought the most beautiful flowers, hired the best wedding band, reserved the most wanted chapel and so on and so forth.” Jasper explained.
“Tell me more about the day,” I asked.
“It was pretty hectic. Rose didn’t want anything to go wrong, you know her; she wanted the perfect wedding. But things always go wrong and Rose knew that. So, she was nervous the whole morning, not about marrying Emmett but about something going wrong. But it didn’t, at least nothing major. So, when it was time, the violins started to play the wedding march and Rose entered the chapel on dad’s arm, wearing a beautiful long white wedding dress. Emmett, who was cracking jokes the whole morning suddenly looked sober and entranced by Rose. After the wedding, we held a reception at a hotel. It was nice and big, just like Rosalie wanted it,” Jasper said.
I could picture it all. She must have looked like a princess, or more suitable, like a queen. I wanted to be there so much. We always planned and talked about it and it pained me a lot that I had to miss it, all because I had been so stupid.
“They do have it taped, you know, so you can watch it whenever you like,” Jasper said.
“Really? Oh, I would love to,” I exclaimed. I wanted to see it so much.
We talked about it some more, and then paid for the meal. When we got up to leave, a waitress came in through the front door, apologizing.
“I’m sorry I’m late, I promise not to be again,” she said, hurrying into the back to change.
I just stood there, not moving. Jasper looked at me oddly, missing the whole thing entirely. “Alice, what is it?” he asked concerned.
I just stood there, silent and unmoving, waiting for the waitress to come back out. And she did. Her eyes locked with me immediately and she, too, froze. Jasper followed my gaze and muttered something I couldn’t understand.
The waitress came closer, and all I could say was, “Cynthia.”
“Alice,” she answered and awkwardly gave me a quick hug. I wanted to hold her longer, but she was out of my arms in a second.
“How are you, Alice?” she said politely.
“I’m fine,” I stuttered. I haven’t seen her in five years, and she had grown up so much. She was not a little girl anymore, before me stood a young lady.
She didn’t look away, and was standing there awkwardly. Jasper interrupted us. “Alice, do you want me to wait outside?”
I looked at him for the first time since I saw Cynthia enter the restaurant. “No, it’s ok, you can stay,” I said and we all sat back down.
Cynthia looked away from me for the first time and glanced at Jasper and nodded a little taken aback. She was surprised he was there with me, but didn’t say anything. Then she looked in the stroller.
I took Amber out of it and introduced her to Cynthia. “This is your niece, Amber Rose,” I said and saw the shock on Cynthia’s face.
There was pain in her look and regret flashing in her eyes. She looked up at me and apologized, “I’m so sorry, Alice,” She swallowed and continued, “You have a lovely daughter.” Then she turned away and left quickly, with tears in her eyes.
I just starred after her and then looked at Jasper. He took Amber from me, and said, “I think you should go after her. We’ll wait for you by the car.”
I thanked him for understanding and hurried after Cynthia. The waiter looked sharply at me but I couldn’t be bothered by it and follow Cynthia into the back.
“Cynthia,” I called.
She was sitting at the floor, her back to her changing locker. She had unshed tears in her eyes, her look haunted.
“I am so sorry, Alice,” She looked up at me. “We should have taken you back in, but they said no. I wanted to do something, but I couldn’t. And I had to respect their wishes.”
I kneeled down in front of her, my emotions choking me. She was my little sister, and even though we didn’t always get along well, we were sisters.
“I can’t imagine what you must have gone through,” Cynthia continued. “At first when you went away, I didn’t really care,” she sobbed. “I was even happy that I could have the whole room for myself, and that maybe out parents would stop fighting.”
“You know, I always blamed you, because I thought you must have done something to always upset them. I even thought something was wrong with you.” She said sardonically.
I had to interrupt her. “It’s ok, Cynthia. I know you did what you thought best and I’m fine. Seriously, I’m ok. I haven’t always been, but now I am.” I knew it wasn’t her fault. Not really, she was just a child when I left and when I returned, my parents influence must have been severe.
“How are things at home?” I asked cautiously.
“After you were gone, it was like you never existed. No one was allowed to talk about you and as far as mom and dad were concerned, you were dead to them.” Cynthia looked at me and I inhaled sharply. I knew things weren’t well, but I didn’t expect that.
“And when you called and asked if you could come back home, it was crazy. Their answer was no, but they were really upset by your call.”
“I don’t care,” I said. “They aren’t my parents anymore,” I explained. “They never wanted me anyway, so why should I even try?”
“I know that now. I found out the whole story when you called to come back home and I finally realized how unfair and badly they have treated you. I finally opened my eyes and realized how hard they have been on you. And I’m sorry.”
“It’s not your fault, Cynthia. What happened happened, there is nothing we can do about it now. How have you been?” I asked her, wanting to know more about her.
“I’m ok,” she said. “I finished high school a year back and am thinking of going to college, but the idea isn’t sitting well with my parents. They aren’t letting me go, so I have been working here to earn some money.”
My hatred deepened with every word Cynthia uttered. “Where do you want to go to college?” I asked her.
“To Seattle,” she said. “And I could get in too, I’m just not allowed to go. Mom and dad got old since you left; they are not the same people anymore. They need my help. And I love them, you know; they’re my parents.”
I understood. But I didn’t love them anymore, and I would help her if she wanted me to.
“Cynthia,” someone yelled. “We do not pay you for sitting around!”
“I’m coming,” she yelled back and then turned to me. “I’m sorry, I have to go.”
I took out a pen and scribbled my number down on paper and gave it to her. “Here is my number. You can call me anytime you want, ok?” I said to her. “And don’t worry, we’ll figure something out.”
I gave her a quick hug and then slowly returned to the car. I saw Jasper gently pushing the stroller up and down in front of the car, trying to get Amber to fall asleep.
I neared and he turned around and looked at me. He took Amber out of the stroller and put her in the car.
I came closer and he took me into his arms immediately.
“How are you?” he asked.
“Tired,” I answered. “I don’t know what to think or what to do.”
“Come on, let’s go home.”
Once we were in the car, he asked me what happened.
“She’s different than she was when I left. But then she was just a kid then. I think she has grown up a lot since I left.” I proceeded to tell him all about her college ambitions and how mom and dad won’t let her go.
“What about your parents?” Jasper asked.
I tensed. “As far as they are concerned, I am dead to them,” I said. Jasper hissed, but didn’t say anything and we finished driving home in silence.
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