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We Are Broken

Even vampires aren't perfect. They make mistakes. As her anger evaporated, I nodded my head, "I'm sorry Bella." I started, "I wish you would let me explain..." I left my sentence hanging in the air. She began to shake her head violently, her breathing coming in short gasps again. This was the part I had feared the most. The part I knew was inevitable. The part I knew I deserved. I asked the question I wanted so badly to avoid, everything in my body seizing up, waiting for the inevitable, "Do you want me to...leave?" My voice broke on the last word, and my breathing became gasps as I awaited her answer.


5. I Will Suffer With You

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Explosions in my head
That just won’t quit.
A train has crashed into
The wall around my heart.
And left me the old me dead, obliterated.

My breathing in the night
When you’re not there.
The silence ringing through my ears,
And all I want to do is hear your voice.
But you’re not there.

-When Two Become One by Atreyu

This had to be the longest night of my entire existence. I wasn't aware of a single thing that was going on between Jasper and Bella. It's none of my business; I repeated this to myself several times over throughout the night. It was my attempt at talking myself out of going to see for myself what was happening at Bella's right now. He only went to offer her some sort of comfort, Edward. There is absolutely nothing to worry about...unless Bella gets a paper cut or something...oh Dear God. I contemplated. This was a difficult thing for me.

Those same thoughts ran through my mind time and time again before my irrational side won the debate battling inside of me, and I finally made up my mind to go and simply take a 'quick peek' - I told myself - just to assure myself of Bella's safety. I admit, I worried about Bella a lot, but it was only because I loved her so fiercely, and she was so danger prone that it would take all of my might not to worry about her, and even then, I'm not sure I could manage. She is in constant need of a knight in shining armor; a guardian angel. The irony of Bella actually having a knight in shining armor - a dark guardian angel; me - made me smile despite the present technicalities.

I had decided to run to Bella's house; it would be much faster then driving, and I only needed a reassurance. I began to walk towards the front door and just before I pulled it open, Alice called out to me, speaking to me through her thoughts - to assure our privacy I assumed. Edward, wait. She thought. I turned to look at her, bewildered. If she planned on apologizing anymore, I definitely did not want to hear it. Her thoughts, however, suggested otherwise.

She stood a few feet in front of me now, seeming reluctant. I'd never known Alice to be reluctant. On the contrary, from day one she'd been extremely blunt about everything. I knew the reason behind her reluctance now, and though it was out of character for her, I didn't blame her for reacting this way around me. She had no intentions of ever hurting Jasper again, even if it meant self-sacrifice. She'd do anything for him, just as I'd do anything for Bella.

Which brought me to my present need for departure. Alice still hadn't explained herself, so I made an effort, "Yes, Alice?" I tried my hardest to stay out of her own thoughts; to give her some privacy of her own. She was plagues with a deep pain, and I already held enough of my own as it was; her thoughts only added to mine, so I did my best to evade her tormented mind.

At the moment, though, she was speaking directly to me, and those thoughts were a lot harder to ignore, so I listened. I don't know why you are planning on going to Bella's, but you shouldn't, and you don't need to. If you are worried about Bella and Jasper alone together, you have no reason to be; she is fine. She thought matter-of-factly; completely sure of herself. I knew best never to be against Alice, but I needed to see for myself that Bella was all right. The desire was exploding inside of me, in a concealed place, desperate for more room, struggling against the confined area. Claustrophobia was setting in; the desire growing restless.

"Alice, you don't understand." I plead, trying desperately to make her realize, with only those few words, "I have to go. I have to know for sure." I attempted again, panic rising, "I have to see, Alice." I finished. And it wasn't far from the truth. I was extremely anxious being away from Bella; easily thrown into fits of panic. I always had been. I did need to see Bella, even if for but a moment. That was the beauty with Bella. I didn't need Jasper to calm my nerves; when I saw Bella, all of my worries were pushed aside, and I was bathed in complete serenity.

Edward... Alice chose her words wisely, shifting through many before finally settling on the right ones; unfortunately, I knew what words she'd discarded regardless. You know you can't go to Bella's, Edward. They weren't my first choice of words, obviously, but I knew she was right. Your doing this for Bella, Edward, Just remember that. I justified to myself; against my real desires. I wanted so badly to go.

I focused on Alice's thoughts again as she was still speaking to me. And you can just calm down, Edward. I'm worried too, but did you forget that I can see Jasper and Bella? She had a point, and honestly, I had forgotten in my distress. She continued, I have been watching all night, and everything is fine, Edward. Bella is still sleeping - not too well without you there - but Jasper is just sitting there, looking after her. I think that he feels he owes it to her. I think he only wants to offer her comfort when she wakes up. She was very right about that. Very perceptive. I thought.

I looked away from her, and noticed her eyes narrow out of the corner of my own. Realization caught up with her, then. You knew didn't you? She demanded. I reluctantly blinked once, signaling my knowledge on the subject at hand. It was my way of answering yes; she knew that. Why didn't you tell me? She felt a fresh twist of pain; I felt a fresh twist of guilt. "I didn't want to put any more on you then there already was, Alice." I began, attempting to justify myself, "You were so upset earlier..." I let my voice trail off purposefully, hoping she'd accept my answer.

Alice had always been good at understanding me, and even in these hard times, she didn't disappoint me. She nodded. I forgive you, Edward. I understand. She sighed and offered me a forced half-smile, which faded as abruptly as she'd conjured it, and her eyes glazed over. I recognized the expression on her face - she looked as if she were a million miles away; eyes wide, staring through me - and watched the images pass through her mind as she was thrust into a vision.

Jasper was leaning against Bella's bedroom wall; one of his feet pressed up against it. He was staring intently at Bella who was sitting, cross-legged, at the foot of her bed, grasping her pillow tightly in her arms. She resembled that of a girl who had just lost her mother; her face was tear streaked and flushed. She never made eye contact with Jasper, always keeping her eyes down.

"Are you sure you will be all right, while I run home, Bella?" Jasper asked her quietly. Her lip quivered slightly and she nodded once, blinking back fresh tears; her eyes remained on the floor. Jasper hesitated for a moment, then slowly crossed the room towards Bella.

My whole body tensed in anticipation and an unruly anger as I watched the scene in Alice's head unfold. I began shaking and my vision blurred. It took all I had to remain standing where I was and not run to Bella's. I did all I could to focus on Alice's vision.

Jasper paused about a foot away from Bella, and she finally looked up, unsure of what to expect. She looked utterly confused; her eyebrows furrowed. Jasper reached out an grabbed her hand gently, giving it a light reassuring squeeze. She let out a breath, still bewildered. "It will be okay Bella." Jasper began, his voice gentle, "You know, Edward really loves you. I'm sure there is an explanation for all of this, Bella." He paused for a moment, his face thoughtful, then continued, "Bella, you should talk to him...give him a chance to explain himself."

Bella's lip quivered again, and a single tear ran down her cheek. She wiped it away and dropped her gaze quickly back to the floor. Jasper squeezed her hand again, and paced to the window. "I will be back soon." He promised, and jumped out of the window, heading for home.

As Alice and I were released from her vision, I immediately relaxed. That was definitely not what I expected. I could not be more relieved that that was all that happened. I knew Jasper's intentions now and I also knew Bella was safe. This allowed me to clear my head and focus on the images I'd just witnessed. As I thought of all of the images I'd just seen, one of particular jumped out at me.

Did Jasper really just try to help me? I couldn't even begin to fathom why he would do that for me. "Wow." I breathed. I was definitely getting more then I'd ever deserved. I couldn't grasp it. My marveling had caught Alice's attention, and she stared at me critically. She raised an eyebrow, begging me to explain my ranting.

"Jasper, he..." I let out a laugh under my breath. I was completely amazed. "He was helping me. with Bella." I finished, incredulous. Alice realized immediately what I was talking about and a giant grin spread across her face. "Yeah." She sighed, "That's my Jasper. He's such a good guy. A great guy." She paused, thinking of Jasper's kindness, "He's a lot more then I've ever deserved." Alice turned and faced the window, staring up at the cover of grey clouds; longing apparent on her face.

Suddenly her face lit up. "Jasper is coming home!" She squeaked, enthused. She yearned for nothing more then her husbands touch. A grin covered her entire face. I have to go get ready. What to wear? She contemplated that for a minute. Oh! I know! She let out another squeek and bolted up the stairs to her bedroom. She reminded me of a school girl about to go on her first date.

No more then five minutes had passed before Jasper had come strolling through the front door. He was wary - he didn't like Bella being all alone, and here with Alice and I wasn't exactly his idea of peaceful - but he put on his "soldier" face as he walked into the living room. He was carefully composed. He'd even attempted to hide his true thoughts from me by remembering the many battles he'd fought, and won.

I knew he still hadn't forgiven us; he would when he was ready. I heard quick movements from above me, and Alice's panicked thoughts. She was desperate to see Jasper, but she wanted to look perfect for him. SillyAlice. I thought. I was actually shocked by the nonchalance in my 'voice'.

Jasper looked up at me when he picked up on my mixed emotions. "Edward, are you feeling all right?" He cautiously asked me. I wasn't sure how to answer that. I stared at him for a long moment before gathering my bearings. "Uh, Jasper?" I began. He raised an eyebrow, so I continued, "Alice had a vision...Why did you try to help me with Bella?"

"What?" He asked, confused. Wait. Am I missing something? "I thought..." He started. Don't you want to fix things with Bella? I caught on to his thoughts and quickly corrected him. "Oh! Yes! Of course I was to fix things with Bella. More then anything, I do." I told him, "But, why did you help...I mean why did you help me?" I finished. He understood this time.

"Oh...well..." He attempted to form a sentence to explain his actions. "I, uh, well, honestly..." I'm not doing it for you. I'm doing it for Bella. She's a wreck without you, Edward. After staying with her last night, I know that she needs you. I think that she just needs time, but she needs you, Edward. I see that, and I will do what I can to help her, even I'm helping you as well. Don't get me wrong, Edward, you still my brother, but you know I still haven't forgiven you or Alice yet. He looked around. Speaking of Alice, where is she?

He finished his explanation with his thoughts and I listened closely. "Jasper, I don't take offense, you know that, and I also understand your reasoning. And Jasper, thank you, for doing this. For Bella I mean. I don't deserve it, but Bella...she deserves happiness, and you know her emotions better then anyone. Just...thank you, okay? I appreciate it more then you know." Jasper nodded. "And Alice," I looked up, "She is...in your bedroom. I think she's waiting for you." I said to him.

He began to ascend the stairs slowly. He was a bit reluctant to see Alice just yet. "Jasper?" I said. He turned to look at me. "Go easy on her. She hasn't been doing well." He nodded again, and finished walking up the flight of stairs.

I found myself walking towards the sofa and taking a seat there, lost in memories of Bella's infectious smile; the sparkle in her chocolate brown eyes; the beautiful melody of her laugh. I had only been lost in thought for a few moments before I looked up to see Jasper and Alice standing in front of me, staring at me as if I were some kind of foreign creature they'd never seen before. Edward...are you all right? Jasper and Alice questioned at almost the exact same moment.

I nodded once, and stood up, "Just lost in my thoughts, I suppose." I offered. They glanced at each other so I protested further, "Really, I'm okay." Alice furrowed her brows for half a second then relaxed and shrugged, "If you say so." She forced a smile.

I looked from Alice to Jasper. I didn't want to see the state Alice was in. She never ever had to force a smile. since I'd known her. I cleared my mind. Instead of thinking of Alice's pain, I thought of Bella's. It wasn't much better for me, but at least, if I could know that Bella was okay, then I would be that much better. However, if she is suffering then I'd suffer right alone side her, as masochistic as I am; I'd punish myself.

Alice and Jasper were standing in the living room with me, awkwardly silent. This was becoming too much. Emotionally draining. I thought. I'd hate to have Jasper's gift... Then I asked him, "How is Bella?" I kept my eyes focused just below his. I didn't exactly feel worthy of looking directly into his eyes. Edward, look at me. He directed his thoughts to me. Reluctantly, I did so. "Bella could be better." He spoke in a whisper as thoughts of his prior meeting with her ran through his head. I winced but I watched every detail, taking them in; soaking them into my memory like a sponge. I will suffer with you, My Bella. I repeated to myself.

I watched as Jasper remembered climbing through Bella's window and into her bedroom. "The window was open?" I asked, surprised. He nodded. "She opened it again just before she went to sleep." Alice interjected. I saw. She finished her explanation. I nodded ecstatic that Bella still wanted me in her room at night. Maybe I will take advantage of that... I nodded at Jasper to continue his memories of last night, knowing what came next would surely hurt me.

I continued to watch as he observed Bella sleeping restlessly - having another nightmare no doubt - then abruptly wake up screaming. She grasped herself and began to cry. Jasper ran over to her then and Bella jumped and let out a small scream before recognizing it was Jasper. I saw him holding her in his arms for most of the night while she cried, until - finally - she fell asleep and he laid her down and covered her up.

Jasper's thoughts were cut short abruptly, and I found myself standing completely still, apart from the slight tremors running through my body, my fists clenched into tight balls, and my teetch clenched together setting my jaw angrily. "Edward?" Jasper eyed me cautiously. Watching Bella crying in another mans arms - even if that other man was my brother - had set off emotions in me that I wasn't proud of. Worse, seeing Bella crying in Jasper's arms because of me made me all the more angrier. Worse still, Jasper could feel every emotion flaring inside of me right now. I was an inferno.

I focused on my breathing at an attempt to calm myself. It worked as well as I expected it to - which was slim to none - and I directed a question to Jasper through clenched teeth, "I want to see her?" Yes, it was a question. I felt like I needed his approval. He knew how Bella was really feeling. "Uh...Edward." He hesitated then continued, "I wouldn't recommend that right now." He said; I thought there was a small trace of authority behind his words.

Sighing, I managed to relax further and reclaimed my place on the sofa. I didn't need to ask why he didn't think I should see Bella. She was completely distraught; I'm the last person she'd want to see right now. A thought occurred to me, and though I didn't enjoy it all too much, it had to be this way - at least for now - until Charlie returned from his vacation with his new love interest, Anna. He would be away for a few weeks.

I remembered the day Bella first spoke of Anna and Charlie. I had known they were becoming closer. Anna was a transfer to Forks Police Station from Port Angeles. Bella was only too excited to see her father finally getting out more; even more excited to see him dating again. We both agreed that it was a bit early to be taking Anna on a vacation, but it wasn't out place to say otherwise.

Anna and Charlie seemed to enjoy each others company immensely, and their thoughts only proved that theory true. When Charlie mentioned the word 'vacation' to Bella, she immediately refused to tag along and assured him she would be fine alone for a few weeks. She practically had to shove Charlie and Anna out of the front door so that they would leave. "She's an adult now Charlie." Anna reminded him. "That's what I'm afraid of." Charlie said, laughing. However, that made his mind up, and he went almost willingly from there.

I was astounded when I asked Bella why she didn't go along. Her response made me feel as light as a feather. "I couldn't bare to spend even one night without you, Edward." She smirked, "Can you even imagine what state of mind I'd be in being without you for three weeks?" She said dramatically. We both laughed and I held her in my arms, vowing never to let her go.

"Jasper," I looked up at him, "your going back to Bella's right?" His eyebrows furrowed as he felt the intense worry emanating from me. "Edward, she will be safe, I won't hurt her." He said, a tiny bit defensive. I felt guilty now; he'd taken my question and emotions the wrong way. "No, I'm not entirely worried about that, Jasper." I began, explaining myself. "I am actually more worried about her being all alone..." I trailed off, and watched Jasper's expression change into one of understanding. "She seems to accept and trust you Jasper." I finished.

He nodded, his eyebrows still slightly furrowed, "Yes, of course I'm going back." He relaxed his expression, "I promised her I would." He paused, his expression now thoughtful, "I intend on keeping it." He nodded again, then picked up the overnight bag he'd packed a few moments ago. He turned to Alice - whose thoughts were frantic again - and lightly picked her hand up in his, kissing it gently. "Edward." He nodded a farewell to me, then walked out of the front door.

"Wait! Jasper!" Alice called to him, running after him. He stopped on the porch just outside the door and turned to her, his eyebrows raised. "How long will you be gone?" She asked him, her voice laced with desperation; pleading. He felt her desperation and a tiny smile appeared on his face. He grabbed her hand and pulled her closer to him, wrapping his arms protectively around her. "I wont be gone for too long Alice." He whispered to her.

She sighed in relief, leaning closer into him, holding him tightly. "I'll be back before you know it." He kissed her forehead, and pulled her even closer to him. "I'll miss you." She choked out. "And I you." He told her, then without another word, he let her go and took off into the forest towards Bella's house; Alice staring after him until he was out of sight.

I payed close attention to his thoughts to make sure he wasn't thirsty, or unprepared to hand Bella, but the only thing I heard from him was concern for her; love for Alice; and reassurance for me. I was extremely surprised to hear him call to me directly. Edward, I will ask Bella if she will see you. I whispered a thank you to the wind, and closed my eyes, smiling slightly.

All I wanted was to see Bella. Jasper was a far better person then I, myself. This only proved that further. I began to hope, more then anything, that Bella would agree to see me.