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Forget Me Not

Summary:
The Cullens have left Forks, leaving Bella broken hearted and alone until a near-fatal car accident temporarily erases her memories. What happens when the one person she finds comfort with happens to be the brother of the man she can't remember? Will she regain her memories of Edward or will she find a new love with Jasper?


Notes:
This story starts around the beginning of New Moon. Rated NR-17. B/E and B/J. DISCLAIMER: All characters are the sole property of Stephanie Meyers but the story is my own.


13. The Morning After Pt. 2

Rating 3/5   Word Count 4040   Review this Chapter

Bella’s POV

I watched as Jasper drove away in my truck. A despairing sense of loneliness ripped through my soul. It was the first time, since the accident, that I had been at the Cullen’s house without Jasper.

“Are you okay, Bella?” Emmet asked.

“I’m fine. So, what are we going to do?”

“Whatever you want,” he replied, shrugging his shoulders.

“Can we go…somewhere else?”

“We can go for a walk in the woods if you like. Jasper will kill me if I take you too far from where he left you.”

“Sounds good to me. Can you just … one second,” I stammered and rushed past him into the house.

Alice and Edward were in the living room having, what appeared to be, an intense conversation. Their lips were barely moving and a low hum filled the room. Judging by their facial expressions and stiff posture, I assumed they were arguing. I lowered my eyes when Edward noticed me trying to slip quietly down the hall.

“Bella,” Alice chirped, her facial expression changed dramatically.

“Sorry, I didn’t mean to interrupt.”

“Don’t be silly, you aren’t interrupting anything.” She sashayed over to me, throwing her arms around my shoulders.

It was a relief to see her in such a good mood, especially around me. I was afraid that she would be angry with me for getting involved with Jasper. It was ridiculous for me to have that fear, knowing Alice the way I did. She was, by far, the most kind-hearted person I had ever known. At times I swear Mother Theresa couldn’t hold a candle to Alice’s selfless nature.

“Are you and Emmet doing anything special today?”

“I wouldn’t say it was special. We are just going to take a walk and catch up a bit,” I laughed awkwardly.

“In that case, I won’t keep you. Maybe later you and I can spend some time catching up.”

“That would be great.” I hugged her again and continued on to Jasper’s room.

Having only been in his room once before, I never took the time to notice how much the room echoed his personality, shedding light on who Jasper Hale really was. Civil war memorabilia decorated each of the four hunter green walls. A sword hanging on the far wall behind the desk caught my attention. When I moved closer I noticed a small, gold plate positioned directly below the blade. Major Jasper Whitlock – 1863. I smiled to myself as I imagined Jasper dressed in his uniform, bravely defending his country at such a young age. He was only two years older than me when he served in the military. It was hard to wrap my head around the idea of him working out battle strategies at twenty years old whereas I would consider it a miracle to just make it through my first year of college at that age.

I took a deep breath, filling my lungs with his alluring scent that lingered in the air. It was comforting to be able to smell him even though he wasn’t with me. Jasper’s jacket was draped across the back of the desk chair, reminding me why I was in his room. I pulled it on and, out of habit, stuffed my hands into the pockets. My fingers brushed over some paper, immediately raising my curiosity. I pulled out the folds of paper that were sealed closed with a burgundy seal bearing the Cullen family crest. When I turned it over, my heart nearly stopped. My name was written intricately across the front in Jasper’s handwriting. I turned the letter back over, running my fingers over the raised seal as I debated opening it. In the end, my curiosity won. I gently broke the stamped wax and unfolded the pages.

Bella,

I am writing this letter with the hope of someday finding the courage to give it to you. For now, it merely serves as a release of all the feelings I have bottled up in my heart. I know that there are things that you still can’t remember right now, but the day will come when those memories will return. When they do, I hope that you can find it in your heart to forgive me.

“Bella,” Emmet shouted from the hallway.

“I’m coming.” I quickly folded the letter and tucked it into the back pocket of my jeans.

“Did you get lost in there?” he asked when I joined him in the hallway.

“Sorry, I got distracted.”

“I’m sure you did.” He bounced his eyebrows, insinuating something that I am sure was vulgar.

I shook my head as I followed him to the front door, catching a glimpse of Edward out of the corner of my eye. He was sitting at the piano with blank sheets of paper strewn across the lid and a pencil tucked behind his right ear. He played a few notes at a time before scribbling them down. Each note sent a shockwave through my brain, flashing images that were too fast to see clearly.

“We can hang out later if you would rather stay and watch the great composer create his latest masterpiece,” Emmet snorted, mocking my fascination of Edward’s music.

“And miss the chance to see the softer side of Emmet Cullen…I think not!”

Edward glanced over his shoulder, his eyes fixated on Jasper’s coat. I felt uncomfortable beneath his scrutinizing stare and quickly turned away. He slammed his hands down on the keys out of frustration, startling me enough to make me run out the front door.

Emmet and I headed towards the woods to the left of the house, not really having a destination in mind. Being notorious for his impatience, I was impressed that Emmet was happy to walk at human speed. He rambled on endlessly about his and Rosalie’s latest honeymoon, offering more details than I cared to know about. We trudged through the heavy foliage until we reached the winding trail that lead across the back end of the property. We didn’t get very far when I felt an overwhelming sense of being watched. I glanced to my right, trying to see if anyone was around, but no one was there. When I turned back to the path, I slammed my head into a low-hanging branch. I fell backwards onto the damp ground, clutching my head as it throbbed painfully.

“Oh damn, Bella! Are you okay?” Emmet asked, kneeling beside me. I looked up at him, shaking the blurred vision from my eyes. A mischievous grin crept over his face as he checked my forehead, pushing his fingers against the knot forming on my brow.

“Ouch!” I shouted, pushing his hand away.

“Do you know who I am?” he asked half-serious.

“Of course I know who you are!”

“Good, then you know that you are madly in love with me and want to jump my bones, right?”

My initial thought was to slap him as hard as I could, even though I knew it wouldn’t hurt him in the least bit. But, it suddenly occurred to me that, as I was no match for him physically, I could punish him mentally. I fluttered my eyelashes as lustfully as I could manage, considering it was Emmet.

“Don’t be silly. I could never forget the burning desire I feel for you! I love you Emmet and I want your body so badly. Please, take me…right here…right now!” I moaned. His eyes grew wide as his mouth fell open. I moved onto my knees and slowly crawled towards him, sliding my tongue across my lips.

“Woah, Bella! I was just kidding! You love Jasper, not me!”

“No. I love YOU Emmet.”

I grabbed his shirt and seductively pulled myself into his chest. His eyes were vibrant with distress but quickly changed to relief.

“Jasper, thank God you’re here! She hit her head and thinks that she is in love with me,” he shouted over my shoulder. I spun around and saw Jasper standing with his hands in his pockets and his head cocked to the side. He looked more intrigued than upset at what I was doing. I wasn’t ready to let up on Emmet yet and could only hope that Jasper would figure my game out and play along. I mouthed the words ‘I love you’ and winked at him.

“Damn it, Emmet! Why would she think she was in love with you? What the hell did you say to her?” Jasper hissed, joining in on the fun.

“I may have mentioned something about love but it was a joke! You have to make her stop. Play with her emotions or something.”

“Bella, Darlin’, do you remember me?” Jasper cupped my face in his hands and offered an encouraging wink. I swallowed hard, hating this part of the game.

“I don’t know you.” I focused my thoughts of the love I felt for him as I snapped back around to face Emmet.

“Maybe if I hit her in the head she will forget that she loves me and move on to Carlisle!” Emmet said, grabbing a large branch as he surveyed my head for just the right spot to smash.

“Have you lost your mind, Em?” Jasper stepped between us, snatching the branch out of Emmet’s hands and tossing it into the woods.

“Emmet, I need you. Don’t make me wait any longer than I already have!” I reached around Jasper and ran my fingers down Emmet’s chest.

“Bella!” he shrieked like a girl, apparently feeling violated.

“I can’t believe you did this to her, Em! I leave you alone for less than an hour and you pull a stupid stunt like this! I have had it with your childish behavior. You made this mess, you clean it up!”

“Oh man, Rose is going to kill me!” he whined, hanging his head in devastation. If it weren’t for his inability to cry, I was sure he would be sobbing like a woman at this point. I couldn’t hold it in any longer. The idea of Emmet having to explain a situation like this to Rosalie sent me into a fit of laughter. Jasper laughed along with me as Emmet stood frozen with a dumb-founded look on his face.

“It’s okay, Em. She was just toying with you.” Jasper laughed even harder. Emmet frowned at me as he balled his hands into fists.

“That’s was just flat out wrong, Bella! Have you forgotten how mean my wife can be?”

“Well now, I have to say, it is about time you were the butt of a joke,” Jasper said with a devilish grin as he draped his arm over my shoulder. Emmet pouted as he folded his arms across his chest. I was laughing so hard that my side started to hurt, and yet, I couldn’t stop.

“Fine, you win! You got me good, Bella, but I am going to get you back for this. You are not going to know when or how, but I swear…I will get you!” he said, shaking his head with a smile.

“We’ll see about that!” I snatched his baseball cap and jumped onto Jasper’s back. Without a need for instruction, Jasper bolted for the house with Emmet hot on his heels. We weaved across the yard for a little while, playing cat and mouse. When we started approaching the driveway I gave up and tossed the hat into the air. Emmet caught it mid air and quickly pulled it over his dark hair with a loud ‘humph!’

“I’m going to get you twice as bad for that!” Emmet said to me playfully as I slid off Jasper’s back.

“You’ll have to get past me first,” Jasper grinned, pulling me behind him while taking a protective stance.

Edward came out of the house, glaring at Jasper with so much hatred it made my skin crawl. I was growing tired of this silent battle that Edward was constantly initiating anytime he and Jasper were within an easy distance of each other. Jasper reached his arm back and pulled me into his side. I knew he was trying to protect me but it only angered Edward even more.

“Em, I need to talk to you,” Edward muttered, keeping his eyes on me and Jasper.

“Okay. I’ll see you later, Bella.” Emmet gave me a quick hug and followed Edward out into the woods. I watched as they raced away into the darkness, somewhat curious as to what Edward needed to talk to Emmet about and, at the same time, happy not to know.

“Come on, Bella. Let’s get you something to eat.”

We went into the house and headed straight for the kitchen. Carlisle and Esme were pulling various ingredients out of the pantry and fridge. If I didn’t know any better I would swear they had an alarm set to go off whenever it was time to ‘feed the human’. Carlisle smiled at me as he set a large pot of water on the stove.

“I hope you’re hungry, Bella,” he said, excited to have someone to try his latest recipe. I nodded as Esme rushed over and gave me a firm embrace. She had a habit of forgetting her strength whenever it came to hugging me but I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I could feel my ribs creak beneath her overwhelming grip. So, as always, I grit my teeth with a smile and prayed that my bones would stay intact.

“Need any help?” I asked, knowing full well that they could have an entire feast prepared in the time it would take me to chop up an onion.

“We would love your help,” Carlisle said, handing me an apron. I took my jacket off as Jasper tied the back for me, leaving his hands on my hips when he finished.

“Would you like to dice the tomatoes?” Esme lead me over the counter where a pile of vegetables waited to be chopped and diced.

“Maybe I should do that,” Jasper said, snatching the knife off the countertop. I saw a fear in his eyes that made me feel more nervous than ever. No one said a word as they looked at each other with concern. I assumed their fear of me handling a knife was just a precaution of what could potentially happen considering I was so accident prone. Cutting my fingers around Charlie was one thing, doing it in a house of vampires was completely different.

“Sure, Jasper. I could use Bella’s help with the sauce,” Carlisle said, breaking the silence.

I stood beside Carlisle and carefully followed his instructions of which ingredients to add as he continuously stirred the sauce. Jasper teased Esme as they made a contest out of who could dice the vegetables the fastest, and naturally, Carlisle tried to distract Jasper so Esme could win. It started with jokes and ended up with Carlisle flicking water at them. Jasper retaliated by throwing a mushroom which landed with a messy plop right into the pot, coating me and Carlisle in sauce. Everyone burst into laughter as the food fight started. I was surprised to see Esme join in on the chaos as she constantly fussed over the others making a mess of the house. It was the first time in so many years that I actually felt like I was part of a complete family. Carlisle flung his arm over Jasper’s shoulder as he grabbed a handful of mashed potatoes and smeared them down Jasper’s face. Emmet and Edward came in just in time to catch a shower of flying beets.

“Aw man we almost missed the fun!” Emmet said, sliding across the mashed potato-coated floor to grab a fistful of whatever was left. I quickly scooped up a pile of diced tomatoes and flung them at Emmet, but he ducked and they ended up hitting Edward square in the chest.

“Oh it is so on, Bella!” Edward laughed. It was the first time since he had been back that he actually smiled. I shrieked and tried to run but he grabbed my shoulders and smeared the mushy tomato residue over my head. Rosalie came to see what the commotion was and nearly had a stroke when Emmet slung a dirty puddle of mashed potatoes in her face.

“Emmet, I am going to kill you!” she squealed and stormed back out of the kitchen. Emmet chased her, apologizing profusely for soiling her perfect face. I had to laugh. Edward slipped on the slick floor and pulled me down to the ground with him. I froze on top of him, fearful of this causing a fight just when we were all having so much fun. Edward stared into my eyes, searching. I didn’t have to ask, he was looking for a sign of remembrance where there was none to be found.

“Are you okay, Bella?” Jasper asked as he wrapped his hands around my waist and helped me off the floor.

“Yeah… just lost our footing,” I laughed awkwardly. Edward stood up and started to head out of the kitchen but didn’t make it more than a few steps before Esme grabbed him by the shirt.

“Not so fast! Everyone is going out back to get a spray down… that includes you Emmet!” she shouted at the ceiling. We filed out into the backyard, Emmet coming last with a frown on his face. Rosalie obviously hadn’t forgiven him. Carlisle fell in with the group when Esme grabbed the hose and turned the water on.

“Who’s first?” Esme asked, aiming the nozzle down the line.

“I’ll go first,” Carlisle offered, stepping forward and spreading his arms out to the side. I suddenly remembered the letter in my back pocket and tried to figure out a way to put it somewhere safe until I was finished getting a backyard shower.

“What’s wrong, Darlin’?” Jasper whispered in my ear. There was no escaping it now, I reached into my back pocket and pulled the letter out.

“I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have opened it.”

“We’ll talk about this later,” Jasper said, taking the letter and quickly placing it somewhere in the house. My heart sank at the thought of how I had invaded his privacy and possibly lost his trust. He came back out and stood behind me as the line slowly moved up. Emmet was after Carlisle and decided to take his shirt off. Once he was clean, he followed Carlisle’s example of running circles around the yard to dry off. Edward stepped up next, and, like Emmet, shed his shirt. I lowered my eyes to the ground, not wanting to give Jasper another reason to be mad at me.

“Next!” Esme said as Edward stepped aside. I started to move forward and froze when a loud growl erupted from Edward’s chest.

“I don’t think it is very respectful for Bella to have to do this with everyone watching,” he hissed.

“You’re right, Edward. Bella and I can go last so we can have some privacy,” Esme stepped in, trying to keep the peace. Edward glared at Jasper and then sprinted away to join Emmet. Jasper got cleaned off and, without a word, darted off to the other side of the yard to dry off. I felt numb as Esme and I waited for the guys to finish drying off so we could get cleaned up. All I could think about was how much I wished I never would have found Jasper’s letter. I felt like a jerk for snooping and there was nothing I could do to change what I did.

Jasper was the last one to go into the house and finally, Esme and I got our turn to clean up. Esme went first as she took less time to clean up than I did and wanted to get a towel for me to dry off with when it was my turn.

My mind was blank as the cold water hit my body. I didn’t even realize how much I was trembling as Esme poured the shampoo she had brought out with the towel, into my hair.

“Bella, what’s wrong?” she asked.

“Nothing, I am just a little tired,” I lied. She didn’t say anything else as she rushed to get me clean before I froze to death.

After the last clump of mashed potatoes was washed away, Esme turned the water off and left me to dry off as she ran her laps around the yard. I couldn’t hold the tears back any longer. I broke down and cried as I squeezed the water out of my clothes. My heart was breaking and I didn’t know what to do to make the pain stop.

“Bella, what’s wrong? Why are you crying?” Jasper said, alarmed by my frantic state. I turned around and sobbed harder.

“I’m so sorry, Jasper. I shouldn’t have taken your letter.”

“Is that why you are so upset? Darlin’, I am not mad at you. That is YOUR letter.”

“Why did you act so cold towards me if you aren’t mad at me?” I whimpered. He set my pajamas down on the deck and held the towel up for me so I could get out of my wet clothes.

“I was mad at myself for not taking your privacy into consideration. Can you forgive me for being so inconsiderate?”

“I didn’t stop to think about my privacy either. You have nothing to apologize to me for,” I laughed with relief. Jasper wrapped the towel around me once all of my wet clothes were off and pulled me into his arms.

“I am so in love with you, Bella,” he sighed.

“I love you so much, Jasper.” I leaned up and brushed a kiss over his lips.

“You’re shaking! You better get dressed before you catch a cold.” He ran his fingers over my cheek and then turned his back to me and folded his arms across his chest, watching to make sure that I had complete privacy. I hurried into my pajamas and curled up against Jasper as we went into the house. Esme had already cleaned up the kitchen and was waiting patiently for my wet clothes so she could do a load of laundry. Jasper reached up into the back of one of the cabinets and pulled the letter out. I flushed with embaressment as he handed it to me.

“Did you get a chance to read it?” he asked.

“No. I started to read it, but Emmet interrupted me.”

“Take it with you and read it whenever you choose. It won’t make sense to you right now, but one day…it will.”

I flung my arms around his neck and planted a hard kiss on his icy lips. He groaned beneath my mouth and quickly grabbed my waist.

“You have to remember to go easy on me. I am still a little sensitive to your blood,” he laughed, pressing his lips softly into my forehead. We lingered in the kitchen for a few minutes before heading into the living room with the rest of the family. Alice was sitting on the floor by the couch, pouting at having missed the food fight while Emmet sulked over Rosalie’s tongue lashing. Edward had disappeared into his room for the remainder of the night which was a relief for me. I was tired of tiptoeing around him whenever it came to being affectionate with Jasper. Carlisle came into the living room behind us, carrying a box of pizza.

“Sorry we wasted your first dinner,” he said, setting the box down on the coffee table.

“It’s okay. I got a few samples during the food fight.”

Carlisle chuckled with a nod and then excused himself as he retreated to his study. Jasper and I nestled into the couch together so I could eat while we waited for the laundry. After three slices of pizza, I was full and tired. Jasper tucked me into his arms and promised to wake me up when my clothes were dry, if I fell asleep. I tried to fight it, but in the end, I fell asleep, curled up in the arms of the man I was desperately in love with.