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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:


2. Chapter 2 Introductions

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2286   Review this Chapter

Chapter 2: Introductions

I immediately recognized them all with the exception of one. The slightly older woman with the heart shaped face and billows of caramel hair.

"Hello Jasmine, I'm Esme." She stepped forward and shook my hand. Hers was almost as cold as Dr. Cullen's.

"Hi."

"And I believe you know our children. Emmett, Rosalie, Alice, Jasper, Edward and Bella."

They were all the most beautiful people that I had ever laid eyes on. I wasn't sure what their parents were feeding them, but I wouldn't mind a sample. I remember on my first day I thought it was strange how they barely had any interaction with anyone, now I was officially living under their roof. Emmett grinned at me, looking like a large soft teddy bear. He reminded me of a linebacker. Wonder why he never tried to play football? Rosalie, his girlfriend stood beside him, unblinking, almost...almost scowling at me. She was so beautiful it almost hurt to look at her. Then I noticed another Cullen looking at me with a wide smile. She was a pretty pixie with short black hair and held one of the most beautiful smiles I had ever seen. She seemed to be bouncing with excitement. She bounded towards me, throwing her arms around my neck.

"Hi Jasmine. I'm Alice, we're in the same art class together."

"Yeah, you drew a lake last week, right?"

"Right!" Wow, how much sugar were they giving that girl? The other three were Jasper, Edward and Bella. Jasper was Alice's boyfriend, the tall, blonde dream. I thought he was the most beautiful of them all. Especially when he glares at everyone, he was like a tortured soul.

Edward gave a small laugh. Every pair of eyes in the room flashed to his. Carlisle stepped in. "Everyone, Jasmine is going to be staying with us for a little while. I would like you all to be courteous and polite." His gaze fell on Rosalie as he said this. She huffed and walked into the kitchen. Okay, so much for first impressions. Then again, it was her house so she was entitled to be as much of a bitch as she wanted to. Strangely, I kind of respected that about her.

"Hey Jasmine, you, me, XBOX later!" He called before following after Rosalie.

Alice grabbed my hand and pulled me towards the stairs. "Let me show you your room!"

Carlisle followed behind us with my suitcases while Alice chattered a mile a minute. Before we walked in, she spun around and hurried back down the stairs. The room was done in lilac and cream, my two favorite colors. Inside the room was a large closet the size of a bathroom. And speaking of bathrooms, the other door in my room led to my own private bathroom. It too was done in lilac and cream. There was a large Jacuzzi tub with sliding glass doors around it frame in gold. Was this really supposed to be my room?

Carlisle noticed my shocked expression and smiled. "Esme and Alice spent hours trying to decide what colors you might like."

"No, it's perfect. These are my favorite colors."

"Good," he looked at his watch. "I'm going to head back to the hospital. I should be back around ten. If you need anything all you have to do is ask."

I turned to him not really knowing what to say. Carlisle was practically a stranger to me. I was a stranger to him, yet here he was opening his home to me. Thank you didn't really seem to be a strong enough sentiment.

"Don't worry about anything, Jasmine. This will all workout somehow." He reached out and touched my arm. Somehow, I actually believed him.

Alice knocked on the door and stuck her head in. "Hi, I was wondering if you wanted any help unpacking, Jasmine?"

"Yeah, that would be great." When she stepped further into the room, I could see Bella behind her. Bella had long, wavy dark brown hair and skin so clear it was almost translucent.

Carlisle made a brisk exit before whispering, "call if her scent gets to be too much for you." As low and as fast as he said this, I knew it wasn't meant for my ears. I guess this was a reaction to my condition. I inhaled deeply, pushing that aside for now.

"So do you like to shop? You have really good taste." Alice asked, examining each article of clothing before hanging them in the closet.

"Thanks Alice, I love it actually."

"Really?" She squealed, jumping up and down. She acted as though I gave her the winning lottery numbers.

"Yeah, my mom and I," I winced a little as I thought of my mother. "we used to shop every single Friday, Saturday and whenever there was a sale at the mall. I haven't been since she...it's been a while since I shopped."

Bella's eyes tightened ever so slightly as I let the sadness over my mom's death wash over me. She then did something that shocked, startled and soothed me all at once. She reached out and held my hand. We smiled at each other and continued unpacking.

"My sister Rose and I love to shop." Alice said, regaining her giddiness.

"What about you, Bella? Don't you like to shop?"

"Not at all," she said with a slight shudder. Something by her expression made me think that this little pixie who was practically bouncing up and down beside me was going to show me that she could give both my mom and I a run for our money when it came to shopping.

"We usually have to drag her along. Do you want to go shopping next weekend? We could make it just the four of us."

"What do the guys usually do while you shop?"

"PRAY THEY DON'T DECIDE TO CALL AND SAY WE HAVE TO CARRY THEIR BAGS!" Emmett yelled from downstairs. I laughed to myself. I liked Emmett already. Though I couldn't help but to wonder how he managed to hear what we said.

Alice sighed and rolled her eyes. "So, will you go with us?"

Not wanting to disappoint her, I quickly did a mental tabulation of how much money remained in my accounts. Five hundred in checking, and a little over nine thousand in savings.

"Sure, that sounds good."

"Great!" I turned around and Alice was a few inches from my face. She leaned in and pecked my cheek, the scent of peaches lingering behind her. "We will be good friends. I know it."

Strangely, I knew it too. After I finished setting my computer up on the desk, I sat down on my plush carpet, Alice and Bella in front of me.

"So, can I ask you something personal?" Alice asked. She and Bella both wore devious smiles.

"I guess so."

"Are you dating Trevor Wallace?"

I dropped my eyes to the floor. Of all the embarrassing things she could have asked me, why did it have to be that? I couldn't say anything for a minute. I wanted to date Trevor. I think he wanted to date me too. We were almost there until...

"Jasmine?" Bella said pulling me out of my thoughts before they took that all too familiar dark turn.

"I'm sorry. Um, I really like Trevor and I know that he likes me, but sometimes I get the feeling that he only sees me as his little sister or something. I thought that would all change at the dance."

"I remember that. You.Were.Stunning!" Alice exclaimed. "Trevor could barely take his eyes off you."

I thought back to last Spring's Formal in the gymnasium. I wore this simple, yet beautiful Chiffon Lilac colored dress. I curled the end of my hair slightly and had it pinned behind my left ear so it would rest over my shoulder.

"You're right. The entire night he could not take his eyes off me. He just kept whispering ‘I can't believe how beautiful you are.' When the dance was over he took me home and we walked up to my porch." I stopped right there, letting the memories of that night consume like hot flames burning away at my desires.

"So, did he kiss you?" Bella asked. Both she and Alice were unconsciously inclining towards me.

"Yes," I said shyly. Alice squealed and Bella smiled as though she didn't expect me to say otherwise.

"Then you two are together?"

"No. The next day he met me in the school parking lot and said he made a mistake. He said that he cared too much about our friendship to jeopardize it all for the sake of lust. I guess I just deluded myself into believing that his feelings for me were stronger than the physical attraction."

"Aww, do you want me to let the air out his tires for you?"

"Or we could put sugar in his tank!" Alice said practically bouncing off the floor.

"Vandalism, all right! I want in!" Emmett boomed, throwing himself on the floor between us, bringing the scent of maple syrup into the room with him.

"Emmett, get out! This is girl time!" Alice said nudging him with her elbow.

"Ow! You're a mean little shrimp, Alice, you know that?"

"I can show you mean, Emmett." She warned.

"Guys, it's fine. So Emmett, are you ready to get your butt kicked?"

He bore an amused smile at my confidence. "What's your game of choice?"

"Hmm, how about Smackdown vs. Raw?"

Both Alice and Bella laughed as I said this.

"Jasmine, none of us have ever really beaten Emmett in any game. Especially not fighting games." Alice warned.

"Well, I'm a bit of a novice myself. I think I can handle it. That is, if you're man enough to take a beating from a girl?"

There were collective "oohs" around the house. Emmett narrowed his eyes at me. "I'm going to make you eat those words, Butler."

With that, Emmett rose from the floor and disappeared out of my room. The girls and I were about to follow them when I received a text message from Trevor.

Been tryin 2 call u all day half pint! R u o k?

"Hey guys, I'm-I'm going to go ahead and call him. Give me a minute?"

"Sure." Bella said as she and Alice closed the door to give me some privacy.

I checked the clock and it was a few minutes after six and my minutes were officially free. I found a small empty corner between the bed and the wall. I sunk down and called him back.

"Hello?"

"Hi Trevor."

"Hey, what's going on, half pint? I thought you were going to call me. What did the doctor say?"

I paused. Should I tell him? Should I tell him that I was going blind? That in a few months I would never be able to see his beautiful face again? Tears fell from my eyes, as my mind finally processed what my heart couldn't handle. I would never see Trevor again.

"Jas? Are you there?"

I swallowed hard. "Yeah, I'm here. Um, it's-it's nothing really. Just some stress migraines." I hated lying to him.

"Are you sure? Do you want me to come over tonight?"

"Yeah, about that. I'm not at the house right now."

"Then where are you?"

"I'm staying with Dr. Cullen and his family for a little while."

Trevor turned silent.

"Trevor?"

Silence.

"Trevor?"

More silence.

"Trevor, I know you're still there. I can hear you breathing. Please say something."

"Why are you staying with the Cullen's?" There was stress in his voice. Everyone knew that the Cullen's were a strange bunch. Although no one really had the balls to voice this opinion.

"Because Trev, Carlisle was my dad's friend and he didn't want me staying in the house by myself."

"Yeah, but isn't that sentiment about a couple years too late? Jas, this makes absolutely no sense. There's something you're not telling me."

"Trevor, I just need you to trust me on this. Please."

"Well, what about our nights? Those are all going to change now."

A slight tremor fluttered through me as the thought of not waking up in Trevor's arms after those stormy nights. I leaned back against the wall for support.

"I know. But this isn't permanent."

"I don't like this, Jasmine. I know there's something important you're holding back from me. I just want to help."

"Some things just can't be helped, Trev." I thought more of my parents and the other memory that slowly forced itself to the surface as I said this.

Trevor sighed. "We're going to talk about this some more tomorrow, Jas. I know whatever this is that's really going on, you don't want to tell me, but I..." he stopped right there leaving me clinging for hope.

"You what?"

"I care about you. I wouldn't be able to take it if something happened to you."

"I know. We'll talk about it tomorrow, ok?"

"Yes, we will. If you have trouble sleeping, just call me back. I don't care what time it is. Goodnight, half pint."

"'Night."

"HEY BUTLER, COME DOWN HERE AND GET YOUR ASS KICKED!" Emmett yelled from downstairs.

I laughed as I heard Esme say, "Emmett Cullen," and the subsequent smack that followed.