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The Healing Process

Summary:
Jasmine Butler, a 17 year old with a very painful secret is left on her own after her parents die tragically in a car crash. Jasmine does well by herself until she has to move in with the Cullens following a drastic decline in her vision. How will the Cullens react to the tempting human living upstairs? Will she bring them closer or will their secret be her death sentence?


Notes:


12. Chapter 12: Cleansed

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2241   Review this Chapter

Chapter 12: Cleansed

~JPOV~

After the girls left that morning, Edward, Emmett and I went hunting. I was beginning to be attuned to Jasmine's appealing scent, but I was in no position to get cocky. I still shudder at what I almost did to Bella at her birthday party and the rift I caused between her and Edward.

"Those days are long gone, Jazz. We forgave you long ago. Let it go," Edward said, with a small smile while burying his mountain lion carcass.

On the other side of the woods, Emmett was finally finishing his grizzly, which he had to wrestle first of course. He was getting better at not letting them shred his clothes, however. I guess Rosalie's constant yelling finally got through to him.

"Not exactly. The last time he came home from hunting with his shirt ripped, she cut him off for two weeks."

"I don't know who's more sex crazed, you or Emmett."

"Look who's talking, major."

Emmett finally caught up to us and we headed back to the house. I hoped Alice would be back soon. I always miss her when she's away. Edward's cell rung-Bella calling from the large smile on his face.

"Hello, love."

"Where are you?"

There was a distinctive panic in her voice that neither of us missed. Oh, man. What if Alice had a vision? I knew I should have gone along anyway.

"Just finishing up hunting with the guys. What's wrong?"

"Jasmine is telling Rosalie."

Emmett and I looked at one another. We tore off through the forest towards the house as Edward told Bella we were on our way.

"What is it? We heard you coming," Carlisle said as he and Esme met us by the garage.

"Bella just called. She said that Jasmine is telling Rosalie," Edward said, jumping into his Volvo.

We all climbed into our respective cars, speeding all the way to Seattle. By the time we got there, Bella and Alice were dry sobbing softly in each other's arms. Edward and I ran to them. I held Alice in my arms, feeling her devastation. Carlisle, Esme and Emmett, itched to run to Rosalie and Jasmine. But Edward stopped them saying that Rosalie said it would be better for Jasmine if we all stayed back.

"Tony wr-he wrapped his hand around my throat and then he pushed...he pushed himself inside me!" Jasmine screamed.

Jasmine's pain was so intense. We all stood there helpless as she recounted that brutal attack. Emmett was torn between his sorrow for Jasmine and his fierce desire to protect Rosalie from her own pain. By the time Jasmine turned to blaming herself for her parents' death, Carlisle decided it was time to take her home.

When we walked into the dressing area, Rosalie was rocking Jasmine back and forth in her arms as she sobbed. Whatever hostility Rosalie originally felt for the girl was now gone. In its place was a fierce bond of shared pain and deep friendship. I had to help Jasmine, she hurt in a way I was unaccustomed to dealing with. I kneeled beside Rosalie holding my hand out.

"May I?"

She stared at me hard for a minute. She was worried that my poor control would endanger Jasmine's life. She was wrong. The burn in my throat was nothing compared to the racking emotions rolling off Jasmine. She nodded finally and I placed my hand on Jasmine's shoulder. She tensed momentarily from the unfamiliar touch. Then when she realized it was me, she placed her arms around my neck. If vampires have defining moments in their existence, this was mine. The instant she embraced me, I knew Jasmine was my sister and I would stop at nothing to ease her pain. I calmed her first, and her sobs diminished into whimpers. I let the calmness ease into lethargy, her breathing slowed, and her heartbeat evened out. She slept softly in my arms as I carried her out of the mall with the rest of the family forming a tight protective circle around us so no one would see. I handed Alice the keys to my car so that I could sit in the back without moving Jasmine. Rosalie refused to leave Jasmine and Emmett refused to leave Rosalie so he ended up riding up front with Alice and Rosalie stayed in the back with me.

None of us spoke on the ride home. We really didn't know what to say. Rosalie hummed softly, stroking Jasmine's hair. Alice held her lips together trying to keep herself from sobbing. Emmett just clenched his teeth, balling his fists up as he stared down the highway. So many emotions in the car. Sadness, anger, helplessness, more anger and then there was nothing from Jasmine except serenity. She stirred a couple times in my arms and Alice turned the heat up as high as it could go. She settled then, bawling her fist around my jacket. A soft sigh escaped her lips and we all turned and looked at her. She smiled contently and even began to drool a little. I laughed and the others finally calmed down.

When we made it back to the house, Carlisle, Esme, Edward and Bella immediately ran to me and Jasmine. They were confused by our expressions at first, but then they caught sight of the smile on Jasmine's face.

"Let's get her inside," Carlisle said softly.

I carried her upstairs to her bedroom, gently placing her in her bed. Rosalie tucked her in and kissed her forehead, closing the door. We convened into the dining room, taking our usual places.

"She's a lot better now. Telling Rosalie, getting it all out really helped her," I said, I could still feel her peacefulness.

"Right now, she's having a dreamless sleep. No nightmares," Edward concluded.

"Rosalie, how are you feeling, honey?" Esme asked.

"I'm sure Jasper can tell you better than I can, but...I'm glad that she told me. It should get a little easier from here."

"Does she really blame herself for her parent's death?" Bella asked in a small voice. She was still very emotional. Edward wrapped his arm around her and nodded.

"She thinks they would still be alive if she hadn't been raped, but she really feels guilty that their deaths resulted in her meeting us."

"She regrets meeting us?" Esme asked heartbroken.

"No, she regrets that they had to die for her to meet us. She already sees us as her family. She's closer to us than she's ever been close to anyone."

"What do we do now?" Esme asked as we all looked toward Carlisle.

"That all depends on Jasmine when she wakes up. I'm sure she will know that we all know. We just have to wait and see what she wants."

I looked to my right and saw the distant, glazed over look in Alice's eyes. "Alice, what is it? What do you see?"

Alice blinked and smiled. "She's going to wake up around seven. She's going to want to look at the clothes we picked out and she's going to want a grilled chicken sandwich, French fries and a strawberry shake."

We all laughed. Jasmine having an appetite was a sure indication that everything would be all right.

~JASPOV~

I awoke that evening yawning and stretching my joints. I had not slept that good in a really long time. I remembered it all as if it happened only a few minutes ago. My confessions to Rosalie, my family listening with sympathetic ears and lastly, Jasper's protective embrace. Whether it was the right time or not, the secret was out and it felt as if the huge anchor of guilt that hung around my neck was finally gone. The only thing left now was, well, hunger.

I got out of the bed and headed down the stairs. I guess this was family fun night because Emmett, Jasper and Bella were playing on the XBOX. Edward and Alice were locked in an intense game of Chess and Carlisle and Esme were paying cards.

They looked up at once. They all wore small smiles. "Guys, I know it must have been difficult and shocking for you to hear about what happened to me, but I want to thank you all for being there for me. Especially Rose, where is she, anyway?"

"Here I am," she said appearing by my side. "I was working on my car, and you don't have to thank us for being there for you today. That's what a family does...sis."

She hugged me and Emmett called a group hug. We all hugged in one big hug. When the group hug was over, I snuck one in with Jasper, whispering my gratitude for him taking care of me.

"Jasmine, I picked up some dinner for you!" Alice said, happily.

"Is that a grilled chicken with cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles and mayo on a Kaiser bun with garlic French fries on the side?"

"Wow, and they say I'm the psychic!" she giggled.

I had my dinner by the couch, watching Emmett, Jasper and Bella battle for the high score. Rosalie sat behind me, tenderly brushing my hair the way my mom used to when I was little. It was nice. Jasper and Bella went to spend time with Alice and Edward, so Emmett and I played. I finally gave Emmett his rematch with Smackdown v. Raw on Legend Level. Just as he said he would, he chose Batista and I chose one of my favorites-John Cena. It was a good match. I believe it lasted for about fifteen minutes. Both players were bloody and I thought I might lose until I locked in the STF. When Batista tapped, I thought Emmett would never stop swearing. After Emmett made me promise to play him again on Mortal Kombat v. DC Universe, I went upstairs, pulling Alice and Bella with me. The guys whined as we laughed.

Inside my bedroom, I played my iPod in my dock and we all changed into our new clothes, checking ourselves in the mirror.

"I still can't believe you guys bought these clothes for me. All you had to do was get my debit card out of my purse."

"Jasmine, it was nothing. I'm already building you a new wardrobe for when you change," Alice said.

"When are you going to let Carlisle change you, by the way?"

"Well, until today I wasn't exactly sure if I was going to let him, but now I know I will. I want to wait until after I graduate, but I don't know if that will be possible."

"That was the original plan for me. Then Edward said that he would do it if I married him so after our honeymoon he changed me. But you'll be blind by the time you graduate."

"I know. We'll figure something out."

"I love this song!" Alice said when Pretty Ricky's "Birthday Sex Remix" began to play.

Alice took my hands and started dancing with me. Bella laughed and joined in. As we danced, I smelled the approaching scents of my brothers. Edward was the only one who didn't look surprised to see us dancing. The girls separated from me to dance with their husbands. I danced with Emmett, who for a really big guy, moved surprisingly well. Edward and Bella disappeared first, then Alice and Jasper. Then Emmett looked at me wistfully.

"Go get her, Em."

"Thanks, sis," he said, kissing my cheek before quickly disappearing from my room. Once they were gone, I decided to work on the survey menu for the upcoming Football Awards Breakfast.

FOOTBALL BREAKFAST SURVEY

Directions: Hey guys, this is just to get a general idea of what everyone would like at the ceremony.

Circle your preference.

  1. WAFFLES or BISCUITS
  2. SCRAMBLED EGGS or GRITS
  3. BACON or HAM
  4. SAUSAGE or PORK ROLL

Select up to TWO

  1. HOT TEA
  2. HOT COCOA
  3. APPLE JUICE
  4. ORANGE JUICE

Please take the time to list ANY food allergies you may have below.

This would really be the last year I did this. Once I printed out the copies, I picked up my cell and called Trevor.

"Hey beautiful," he said. "What are you doing?"

"Besides thinking of you, I just finished printing out the menu surveys so be prepared to take one on Monday."

"I really don't want to go to that thing," he said, with a sigh.

"Why? You know you're getting something."

"Yeah, but they're so boring and everybody's already buzzing about the two new replacements. I swear if it wasn't for that scholarship offer I would quit the team altogether."

"I've never heard you talk about it like that before. What brought this on?"

"I don't know. It's strange."

"What is?"

"The feeling I have. Do you ever feel like everything you believe in, everything you know and love is about to change? That it's about to shift into something horribly unrecognizable?"

"Trevor, you're scaring me a little bit, babe."

"I'm sorry, I don't mean to. Anyway, how was your day?"

"Um, well, it was...cleansing. The girls and I went shopping."

"You sound different."

"Different how?"

"I don't know. You sound...happy."

"I am happy and talking to you makes me happier."

"Do you want to grab some lunch tomorrow? I'll probably wake up around 12."

"That sounds good. I'll see you then. I love you."

"I love you, too."

Nothing sounded more natural to me.