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.
22. Chapter 22
Rating 5/5 Word Count 4770 Review this Chapter
CHAPTER 22: Need To Know
I love the quiet of the night time
When the sun is drown in a deathly sea
I can feel my heart beating as I speed from
The sense of time catching up with me
As people drift into a dream world
I close my eyes as my hands shake and when I see a new day
Yes, this fears got a hold on me
- Death by White Lies
… Amber …
… Alice ….
… confusion …
… shock …
… love …
… lies …
… hurt …
… betrayal …
… family …
I don’t know how long I’ve been standing outside, various thoughts running through my head. What was possible and what impossible? What was true and what not? What was real and what false? Did it even matter? Yes, of course it did. Because everything could change.
I had never considered that I could be Amber’s father. How could I, when I hadn’t seen Alice in five years? And she told me she got pregnant with some random guy she hooked up with. I was jealous but there was nothing I could have done. What happened happened. Or so I thought.
I could still remember how unsure I was about baby girl, since she wasn’t my child. I loved Alice but I had been concerned that I wouldn’t be able to look at her, to hold her. I had been afraid I’d hate her. But it didn’t turn out that way; she’d stolen my heart the moment I first held her. And now there was the possibility that she was mine. Mine.
I still couldn’t grasp the meaning behind Lauren’s words. She was a liar. And she liked to mess with people’s heads. And I wouldn’t have given this a second thought if she hadn’t mention James. How could she possibly have known James was with me at that time?
James was my agent. We weren’t exactly friends, but we worked together because he was the best there was. He was brutal, fierce and could easily track down every opportunity that existed. I didn’t really care, but he did. Once he set his mind on something, he had to finish it. And so he dragged me from one book signing event to the other, using everything and everyone he could. And it worked too. My book was an instant hit. I often wondered why, since it was depressing and sad; but people seemed to crave that.
I know that at the time Alice became pregnant we were doing a book tour in Washington. But I didn’t remember going to any party. I thought long and hard about it, but nothing. I know James wanted to drag me around, improve my ‘unsocial life’ as he called it, but I was never interested. I always locked myself in my hotel room at night and usually drank myself to sleep.
Most of the time I functioned well, but when I was alone and thoughts and memories came back to me, I fell back into the black hole. Sometimes I wanted to get better, other time I just hope the darkness would consume me already. Maybe going out and having a good time was a good idea, but I had major doubts about the good time part. I’d probably just depress everyone. So, I always declined. And to my knowledge I never went to any party.
But why did Lauren claim James and I came to that fucking party? Ugh, I was going crazy. I stood up from the ground, dusted off my knees that were hurting by now but I didn’t care; my attention was focused on an entirely different pain. I slowly walked towards the house and hoped Alice wasn’t up yet. I’d lost track of time, so I didn’t even know how long I’d been outside. But I was sure Alice hadn’t seen me, otherwise she would come running to check up on me, kneeling in the middle of the driveway.
I quietly opened the door and entered the house. I immediately heard sounds coming from the kitchen. I couldn’t face Alice yet, I didn’t want to share the information with her until I called James. And then I would decide what to do with Alice. Because if it was true, I needed to face another thing – did she know? Was she here because of it?
I walked into the living room. I noticed Amber lying in her bassinette right away, and I couldn’t move. I kept staring at her, thinking about the possibility of her being my daughter. Her locks were butterscotch and although her eyes were blue, they weren’t as clear blue as they had been in the beginning. This was getting frustrating. But then she left out a squeaking sound and brought me back to reality. I was mesmerized by her and didn’t know what to think or how to feel. I just knew I adored her.
But before I could decide what to do, Alice came bustling out of the kitchen.
“There you are! Look Amber, daddy’s here,” she said and gave me a quick peck. A stabbing pain went through me, when she used the word daddy so innocently and unaware, I think I even winced.
“Where have you been? And where is Lauren?” Alice asked confused.
I sighed, “I woke up and saw Lauren walking away from the house.”
Alice gave me an inquiring look. “And so I followed her, because I was suspicious. I caught up with her soon and confronted her.”
“And?” Alice almost jumped with curiosity, her eyes big.
“Well, she mumbled something about having to catch a ride, while clinging to her backpack all the time. So, I took it away from her and discovered she stole some stuff from the house.”
“She did what?” Alice shrieked.
“Calm down,” I chuckled. “We got into a fight and in the end I sent her on her way.”
“With your stuff?” Alice looked at me weirdly.
“Yeah, I threw it back at her and told her I never wanted to see her again.” I admitted. But I didn’t want to share more, at least not yet.
”Oh, Jazz,” Alice stepped back, “I’m so sorry. This wouldn’t have happened, if it wasn’t for me and my stubbornness.”
“It’s ok, don’t worry about it.” I wanted to go upstairs and call James.
“But it isn’t. You warned me and I went ahead with it anyway, knowing full well how what she is like. But I needed to have it my way and I wouldn’t listen to reason, and now she has stole from you. And it’s all my fault.” She was sad and blamed herself, I could see that. She was looking at the floor, contemplating.
I tilted her head up, “It’s ok, Alice, really. Don’t worry about it, she didn’t steal anything important.” And she nodded.
“I made breakfast, do you want some?” she offered nicely, trying to somehow make up for what Lauren did.
“No thanks, I’m not hungry.” I brushed her off and felt guilty, especially since Alice rarely dealt with food, but I couldn’t deal with that right now. I needed to get more information. I think Alice could see there was something wrong with me, but she must have thought it was because of Lauren, so she didn’t press me for more.
“I’m going to take a shower,” I said and went upstairs, her eyes piercing my back.
I went straight into the bedroom and took a deep breath. It was still early and I was already completely shaken by the day’s events. I let out a weak laugh. I had just gotten used to this new life and Lauren’s statements put everything into a different perspective. But I couldn’t think about that now, at least not yet. First I needed to know the truth. I grabbed the phone and went to the bathroom. I turned on the shower and dialed James’ number.
It rang for a while before he picked up.
“Hello?” he asked in with muffled voice.
I must have woken him up. Which wasn’t a surprise, since I haven’t even checked what time it was. “Hey James, Jasper here.”
“Jasper, dude, why are you calling so early? I had a late night, you know how it is …” he said smoothly, but I interrupted him.
“Sorry to wake you up, but I have to ask you something.” I pressed.
“What’s up? Did you finish your next novel?”
”No, it’s not about that. It’s about the Washington tour we did last year.” I didn’t know how to even ask him. For a moment I felt completely ridiculous I was even considering this and wanted to apologize and hang up, but then I changed my mind, because I needed to know for sure.
“That was a big success, wasn’t it? So many copies sold. We should definitely do it again with your next book.” James kept babbling.
“Yeah, yeah. Listen, I need to know - if you remember that is - if we attended any parties.” It sounded stupid, since I obviously didn’t remember. And I would have. Even if I drank, I would at least remember going to a party.
“Uf, that was a long time ago, man.” James said. I waited to see if he would say more, but nothing came out of his mouth.
So, I had to push a bit more. “I know it is, but this is really important, James and I need to know. So, think really hard now.”
There was silence for a few seconds. “Oh yes, I remember now. We went to Laurent’s party. He was my old classmate and I ran into him that day and we went to his party later.”
His words slowly sunk in. It was like he was speaking in slow motion. I couldn’t understand this, how could this be.
“We did? Are you sure I went too?” I asked again. I needed to hear it once more.
“Yeah, man, we had a great time - rocked the night out.” James chuckled, probably remembering the details.
“But how come I don’t remember anything, not the party, not anything that happened?” I asked confused and annoyed.
“Maybe you drank to much, dude. But you were definitely there; I remember you had a great time, although you left sooner than I did.” James boasted.
This still didn’t prove anything. I could have gone to a party; it didn’t mean Alice was there.
“James, can you remember if I ran into someone? An old friend or something like that?” I asked.
“I don’t know. I just know you got laid. And I saw some old friends.” I heard laugh on his side.
“I got what? Are you sure?” I asked loudly this time.
“You seriously can’t remember anything? Man, you must have been drunk.”
“This is annoying, James. It’s like a whole night is missing.” I remember being hung over, but since that happened almost every night; I didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary.
“Wait, you said you met some old friends, who did you meet?” I asked, waiting anxiously what he’d say.
“That chick from high school, what was her name again. Mallory something.” Suddenly, I couldn’t breathe. James just practically confirmed Lauren’s story.
“Lauren.” I whispered.
“Yeah, Lauren. Man, she has some good boobs.”
What she said was true. They were at the party. Which means, there is a possibility I slept with Alice. But I still couldn’t remember anything. It might have been true. Amber might be my daughter. For real. I slid down to the floor and just kept breathing, taking it all in.
… … ….
“Jasper, Jasper,” I heard someone calling.
“Oh, sorry,” I said, realizing James was still on the line.
“Why is this so important? It was just a meaningless party.”
“Because something might have happened and I can’t remember anything.”
“Whatever it is, say you didn’t do it.” I rolled my eyes at his answer. But suddenly something dawned on me; I never wanted to go to any parties. I always said no and hollowed in my room – alone. So how come, I went to this party.
“James, how did you get me to go to this party?” I asked suspiciously.
“I don’t know. You just went.” James said to quickly for my taste.
”James,” I warned him.
“It took a while to persuade you, but in the end, you were all for it.” He said. And I knew this wasn’t the whole story. I knew James and how he thought and functioned.
“Tell me what you did, James. Or I’ll do something you won’t like.” I threatened. I didn’t do that often, but he left me no choice this time.
“Oh, and what will you do?” James spat back.
“I’m going to tell Victoria you cheated on her with Lauren Mallory.” There was silence on the other side. I waited.
“Fine, but you won’t like it. Although let me tell you, I only did it for your good. You never went out, you always kept to yourself, it wasn’t good for you. I wanted to show you that you can live again, that you didn’t have to be miserable all the time.”
“What did you do?” I stopped his ramble.
“I slipped some roofies into your whiskey. Seems now as if I used too much.”
“Roofies? You put roofies in my drink?!? No wonder I can’t remember anything, you idiot.” I hung up. I didn’t want to deal with him now.
I couldn’t believe he used roofies. They were also known as the date rape drug. People usually used them on girls they wanted to have sex with, consensually or not, so they wouldn’t remember anything after and couldn’t press charges.
So, that was the reason I didn’t remember anything. It all made sense now. And somehow, it all made it worse. Because now, I was almost completely sure I ran into Alice that night. They all seem to think so. But what about Alice, why didn’t she say anything? She must have known it was me. Or? Ugh, this was getting crazy. Although this could all still be a crazy mix up and I never ran into Alice after all.
What was I suppose to do now? I needed answers, I needed to know. Amber might be my daughter. How crazy would that be? So much doubts and worries and in the end she might turn out to be mine. The little baby girl might be mine. And I smiled. That would be amazing. I didn’t even grasp the meaning behind the words so far, but now it suddenly dawned on me – she would really be mine. My flesh and blood. Half me, half Alice, our child. She was so beautiful and so perfect and quite possibly mine. And it also meant no one else touched Alice. I laughed out loud; I couldn’t keep it inside anymore.
I needed to call dad. I dialed his number before I could change my mind and chickened out.
“Good morning, son,” dad answered the phone.
“Hey dad,” I said, “listen, I have a favor to ask of you.” I suddenly got nervous.
“What is it?” he asked.
“I need you to perform a paternity test. For Amber,” I said and hoped for the best. But I should have known that parents always ask a million questions before they let you know their answer.
“What brought this on? Did the father contact you?” Carlisle sounded worried.
“Not, not in the way you’d think anyway.” I waited.
“Go on,” dad encouraged me.
“Well, it kind of turns out I might be Amber’s father.” I left out a long breath.
Dad didn’t say anything for a minute, then immediately made up for it with a river of questions. “What? How? What are you talking about?”
“I don’t know. Short cliff version, James just confessed he slipped some roofies in my drink in Washington and we might have ended up at a party, where Alice was too. I don’t know what happened, dad.” I explained.
“I see. And what did Alice say to this?” Dad asked ever so calmly.
“Um, I don’t know, I haven’t said anything to her yet.” I couldn’t lie to him, I never could.
“You have to speak with her, son. You know that, right?”
“Yes, I know and I will. But I want to be sure first. Therefore I am asking you to do the test.”
Dad let out a deep sigh. “I can’t perform the test without the mother’s consent. You have to ask her first.”
I was worried this might happen. “Couldn’t you do it anyway, she is practically family.”
“Do you really want to play it this way, son? You two have been through so much and now that you are finally patching things up, do you really want to go behind her back and do something like this?”
He was right. I knew all along I would need to discuss this with Alice, I was just avoiding it and all the consequences it might bring. “No. Thanks, dad.”
“Anytime. Let me know when you’ll come, I’ll prepare everything,” dad said reassuringly.
I hung up. I knew this moment would come, but I wasn’t ready to go downstairs just yet. I needed to thread this carefully. There might be a chance Alice didn’t know as well and there might be a possibility she knew. But if she knew, why didn’t she say anything. Why did she come to me? If it was like Lauren said, she came because of Amber. But she never said nor implied anything. Did she know I took roofies that night and didn’t remember? Nah, that probably wasn’t possible. Could this be a most weird coincidence or some kind or her master plan?
We never talked about the supposed father before. At least not much. All she said was that it was a random hook up at a party, nothing more. Well, and that she didn’t want to pressure him and destroy his life because of one one-night-stand. And that he looked like me – he looked like me! Was she trying to tell me something with that? Was I too blind to see the whole picture?
I could sit here for hours and think about it. There were countless possibilities. But as dad pointed out, we have been through so much already and we needed to be honest with each other now and tell the truth. This might be our second chance and I’d do everything to make it last. I just hoped she didn’t betray me on this. I wasn’t sure I could handle that.
I took a deep breath and slowly went downstairs.
I was sitting on the couch, playing with Amber, when Jasper came back downstairs, a weird strained look on his face. He has been acting weird all morning, and I thought it was all because of Lauren; but now he’s just standing there, looking weirdly at Amber. He didn’t acknowledge me at all.
This was serious, I could see it immediately. I got up and laid Amber back in her bassinet. She whimpered a little, but remained quiet. It was time for a nap anyway; she has been up for a while. Jasper took an awfully long shower. And his hair wasn’t freshly washed. I shivered.
I knew it was a mistake to let Lauren stay. But I did it anyway, because I needed to make it up to her, to make some closure and finish that chapter of my life. And I thought it would work out fine. I didn’t know she’d steal and screw us over. And I beat myself up about it the whole morning. I thought that was also what bothered Jasper, but it wasn’t. Or it wasn’t only that. There was more.
I grew anxious and got nervous. I somehow knew that this next conversation could be fatal. I sat back down, rocked Amber’s bassinette unconsciously and waited for Jasper to either sit down or start talking. But he stood there, frozen in time and space. I gave him a few more minutes, and then I couldn’t stand it anymore.
“Jasper,” I called him and for the first time since he came down, he looked at me.
“Sorry,” he said and stepped closer. “I need to talk to you about something.”
I just nodded, to nervous to say anything. I was afraid and scared. I knew this was probably something Lauren induced, and I wanted to scream ‘I told you so’ at Jasper. I knew all along she would ruin things. And somehow she managed to do just that.
“I need you to tell me the truth, Alice. I need you to be completely honest with me, ok?” Jasper said slowly, but firmly.
What has she done? How could she make such a change in so little time?
“Of course,” I said immediately.
Jasper nodded, “Good. I want you to tell me about Amber’s father, Alice.”
He looked me in the eyes and waited for my reaction. I was taken aback that he wanted to talk about this now, and wondered what could possibly have brought this up, but went with it anyway. He needed to hear this, why I didn’t know, but I was fully aware this was important to him.
“I’ve already told you I met a guy at a party Lauren dragged me to.” I started.
“I know, but I need more specifics now.”
“Will you tell me what this is about?” I asked him.
“Yes, just answer my question first.” He persisted.
“Ok. Well, before I got pregnant with Amber, I worked in the evenings and after work Lauren, the girls and I would go to several parties. I didn’t want to stay home alone, because then I would think and thinking wasn’t good, so I always went with them. I didn’t hook up with guys; I normally just drank a bit and danced. You know how I love to dance. And when I danced, I didn’t care and was lost in my own world.” I smiled, remembering how I used to dance.
“Well, that evening, something was different.” I paused. “This is probably going to be hard to hear, are you sure you want to know?” I asked him.
He gave me a weird look, one I couldn’t decipher and just nodded.
“Ok. Well, I had a bad day. I don’t even remember what happened anymore, I just know I was pissed and sad and unhappy. We got to this party and I lost Lauren and the girls out of sight a few minutes after we came. I didn’t know what to do with myself; I didn’t know anyone and I didn’t want to dance. So, I went to get myself a drink. And then another and another. I wanted to lose myself, just not in the dance but in the drink. You see, I didn’t normally get drunk; I drank alright, but usually not too much. But that evening I did.”
I sighed. I wasn’t sure into how much detail I should go. I already told him I slept with the guy, because he looked like him, but I never elaborated on it. I never gave him the full description. But something in his look convinced me that I shouldn’t let anything out.
“Something was different that night. The atmosphere, my mind – I don’t know. It just wasn’t as usual. Then this guy showed up. He was partying and having a great time. But his smile never reached his eyes and I was drawn to him. For a while, I just watched him and then it hit me why, he looked a lot like you. I can’t remember the details, I think the hair was different, but there was something in his eyes that reminded me of you.”
I stopped for a second to see his reaction. He stood completely still and was looking me straight in the eye. Why he wanted to know all this I wasn’t sure, but I knew this was important and so far, I must have been doing good, because he hadn’t said anything yet.
“I went closer and we danced a little. I realized I didn’t want to forget and avoid that night, I wanted to remember. I wanted to feel your touch on my skin and I wanted to feel your lips on mine. I wanted you back, and if I couldn’t actually have you, the best next thing would have to do. I wanted that night for myself; I wanted some of what I use to have with you back. So, I seduced him, slept with him. I basically jumped him.”
A tear ran down my cheek. I was slightly embarrassed telling him this now, even if it was in his favor. I remembered the feeling I felt so well, all those years of nothing, of emptiness and darkness, and then the soft touch of his lips and tongue.
“I was pretending it was you and I even called him by your name. I think I scared him away afterwards. He noticed I called him by your name, so he quickly got up and left. A few weeks later I found out I was pregnant, but I didn’t want to find him. I think you know the rest.” I finished my story.
He was still silent, absorbing my words in.
“One more thing. Why did you come to me then?” He asked.
I narrowed my eyes at him. “I’ve already told you that. I had nowhere else to go.”
He started pacing up and down the room. I couldn’t stand it anymore, “Why do you want to know this? What is this all about?”
He didn’t answer immediately; it was like he was contemplating what to do next and what to say, how to answer my question. I wanted to repeat it, when he told me the reason.
“Lauren said something, which changed everything. Since I wasn’t sure if she was telling the truth, I had to dig a little deeper. And since I can’t for the life of me remember anything, I am asking you to explain the thing to me now.”
“You are not making any sense; I still have no idea what you are talking about.” I told him. It was like he was talking in riddles.
“Lauren said Amber was my daughter.” Jasper stopped.
I gasped for air; I didn’t expect an answer like that. Where did she come up with that, crazy loony? As much as I wanted Amber to be Jasper’s daughter, I have accepted the fact that it could never be. The best case scenario was that he adopted her and considered her his own, but to actually be his; that was crazy.
“She did what? And you believed her?” I asked him, still shocked.
“No, not at first. But then she mentioned Washington and I was in Washington at that time. The problem is that I can’t remember anything,” he said, still observing me closely.
“It couldn’t be. I think you’d know if you slept with me. We both would.” I said in defense.
“The thing is that I can’t be sure. Because Lauren hooked up with my agent at that party, which probably means I was there and consequently I could have run into you.”
I didn’t know what to say. That was so much to process. The possibility that Jasper could have been there. But I would have known, wouldn’t I? I drank, that was true. I actually drank a lot and I did connect that guy with Jasper, but he was different – the hair was different.
“I called James earlier and he basically confirmed the story. He slipped roofies in my drink, because I didn’t want to go and made me go to the party. He also confirmed the Lauren part, but he has no idea about you. And I don’t know either, because I can’t fucking remember.”
My head snapped up, James slipped him roofies in his drink? That was bad. And now neither of us was sure what happened. I could see this was eating him alive. As for myself, I didn’t even grasp the meaning of what we were talking about. This was all too much too soon.
“The problem is, Lauren also said you knew all the time I was the father and that you came to me because of it.” Jasper accused me.
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