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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.


17. Rebuilding Broken Bonds

Rating 3/5   Word Count 2907   Review this Chapter

Jasper’s POV

My existence was meaningless. Losing Alice was painful enough, but going on without Bella…it was impossible. The look of absolute terror and despair on her face would forever be burned in my memory, a permanent scar to haunt me throughout my eternity.

“No! Why, Jasper, why?”

“Bella, please, Darlin’. Don’t do this.”

That moment played over and over again in my mind. I finally had the answer I had been waiting for; she would never forgive me for my weakness…if she lived.

A loud scream of horror erupted from the house, forcing me to my feet in a panic. Bella’s screams were endless as I ran back into the house with Edward in tow. I froze in the doorway at the sight of Carlisle holding her down on the ground by the wrists.

“Esme, get my bag,” he shouted.

“Carlisle…” Edward whispered, staring in disbelief. Carlisle glared up at us, his eyes still clouded with a black haze.

“Wait outside,” he hissed.

I backed up slowly, unable to take my eyes off Bella as she thrashed around on the floor. Esme rushed past us with Carlisle’s medicine bag and quickly kneeled beside him.

“Hold her still,” he ordered.

“I can’t…” Esme stammered, her heart breaking at the thought of restraining Bella.

“Esme, do it!” He pulled a long needle out of his bag along with a small vile of morphine. Esme reluctantly grasped Bella’s arms and pinned them to the ground, shaking her head with whispers of regret. I cringed as Carlisle forced the needle into Bella’s arm. A small trickle of blood slowly ran down the puncture site, filling the room with her powerful scent. My hunger was strong, but I was determined not to fail her again. Once the needle was removed, Esme fled from the room, leaving Carlisle to tend to Bella alone.

“You guys better wait outside,” Emmet said solemnly as he ushered Alice and Rosalie away from the scent of the blood. Edward went outside, grumbling under his breath as I followed. He returned to his pacing as I leaned against the wall beside the broken window. I could hear Bella’s sobs as the morphine took its toll on her senses.

“Carlisle, I can’t. The pain…please, let me die.”

“I know it hurts, Sweetheart,” Carlisle whispered as his voice broke.

“Please, make the pain stop.”

I gazed through the broken window, feeling my soul shatter when I saw Carlisle holding Bella against his chest, rocking her back and forth. Their emotions hit me steadily, one after another, each one more powerful than the last. Bella’s pain was stronger than anything I had ever felt before and Carlisle’s sadness…I had never known him to be so depressed in all the time that I had been a part of his family.

Once Bella was asleep in his arms, he scooped her up and carried her out of the room. After a few minutes, Carlisle appeared at the front door. He sat down on the front step, emotionally exhausted. Edward and I glanced at each other, unsure of what to say or do. Carlisle stared at the smears of blood on his torn beige shirt.

“What will happen to her?” Edward asked.

“I don’t know. I gave her enough morphine to keep her asleep. I’ll stay with her tonight and monitor her vitals.”

I stared up at the light in Alice’s window. Though it wasn’t a far climb, I felt a world away from Bella. The guilt and shame weighed heavy on my shoulders. I knew that I had to find something to keep myself busy or I would go insane, worrying about her.

“I’ll start cleaning up the mess,” I mumbled, moving towards the front door. Carlisle jumped to his feet and positioned himself in the doorway, blocking my entry.

“I’m sorry. As long as Bella is in this house, the two of you can’t be here.”

“What?” Edward hissed.

“I gave her father my word that I would take care of her in his absence. She could have died tonight because the two of you can’t stop fighting over her.”

“You can’t do this, Carlisle,” I said, daring to take a step closer. Carlisle let out a bone-chilling growl in response to my attempted bravery.

“Bella is like a daughter to me and I will protect her from harm. Right now, the only thing that is hurting her is you and Edward. Until the two of you can get past your differences... you are not welcome here.” It pained him to say the words as much as it pained us to hear them, but I knew he was right. I slowly nodded my head and turned away from my home, my family, and the woman that I would die for.

It was the hardest thing I had ever done, even the struggle with my self control held no comparison to this. I headed out to the woods, not quite sure where I was going. Edward followed after a while, keeping his distance from me.

“This is just perfect! I’m stuck out here with you while my poor Bella is suffering alone,” Edward grumbled as we passed the lake.

“She is not YOUR Bella…and she isn’t alone. Carlisle and the others will be with her,” I growled, pushing further into the depths of the forest.

“Keep telling yourself that, if it makes you feel better.”

“Alright, Edward. Let’s do this you way!” I turned around, crossing my arms over my chest. He paused a short distance from me, smirking behind his narrow eyes.

“And what, exactly, is my way?”

“Verbal attacks, childish tantrums, and a round or two of physical violence. Sound about right?”

“Why don’t you go your way and I’ll go mine. Carlisle will let us back in sooner or later,” Edward said, gritting his teeth.

“No. I am not leaving Bella and the only way I’m going to get back into that house is by settling this shit with you, once and for all.” I planted my feet in the ground as I glared at him. He shook his head and thrust his fist into a nearby tree, sending it toppling down to the ground.

“Well, I guess we can cross the tantrum off the list,” I sighed.

Edward let out a deafening growl as he lunged for me, smashing his shoulder into my stomach with such force that it sent me crashing through two trees. I shook my head clear, crouching down as I scanned the dark forest for him. He, again, charged for me, coming at me from the side this time. I whisked around to face him and grasped his shoulders, flinging him over my head. My initial intention was to go easy on him as I was the more experienced fighter, but something snapped inside of me and I no longer cared about making this a fair fight. I grabbed him by the throat, lifting him into the air before slamming him back down onto the ground. Edward’s hatred, combined with my own, took over my senses, clouding my soul with an evil darkness.

I wrapped my hands around his neck, pinning him against the ground. The bones in his throat began to weaken within my grip, but I couldn’t stop myself, I wanted him dead.

Jasper, stop! This isn’t who you are anymore. Please, let him go. You have to fight the urge. Do it for me, Jasper…do it for us.

Bella’s voice drifted through my head, like an angel’s whisper. I suddenly came to my senses, shuddering as Edward pulled fiercely at my hands. Slowly, I released my grip and backed away from him. Knowing that I nearly killed a member of the family that I had tried so desperately to fit into stung my dead heart. Edward jumped to his feet in fury and with a snarling growl, lunged for me.

“Edward, no!” I shouted as he slammed into me. He sank his teeth into my shoulder like a wild animal attacking its prey. I tossed him aside and, in a daze, stumbled a few steps away from him before falling to my knees.

The injection of his venom sent a blazing fire down my arm and across my chest. It was a pain that I was all too familiar with. I grabbed my shoulder, howling in agony as the crippling pain coursed through my body. Edward approached me with caution, staring in disbelief at what he had done.

“Jasper, are you okay?”

“Damn it….didn’t…see that…one coming,” I groaned, gritting my teeth as I tried to laugh the pain off. It didn’t help. I lowered my head as I slammed my fists into the ground, hoping the burning sensation would fade more quickly than I remembered.

“Shit! I’m sorry, Jasper. Shit! Shit!”

“Calm down, the pain will pass.” I glanced at the throbbing swell on my shoulder. “Another battle wound to add to the collection,” I groaned. Edward sat across from me, watching with guilt as I grunted through the dwindling pain.

“I don’t know what came over me,” he mumbled.

“Your survival instinct kicked in. I didn’t think you had it in you - I’m impressed!” I laughed. The last of the pain finally dissipated, leaving my shoulder sensitive to the touch.

“Guess that takes care of the violence. That just leaves the verbal attacks.” Edward ran his hands through his hair, waiting for me to lash out at him with every hateful thought I could manage.

“I think we can skip that part. We do need to figure this mess out, though,” I sighed, rolling off my knees into a seated position.

Silence lingered for a while, neither of us wanting to be the first to cast off our pride enough to open our heart to the other. My mind wandered to the moment when I realized that I loved Bella. It was an incredible feeling, but also one filled with guilt. I knew it would hurt Edward and I did everything I could to fight it. If only he could understand that I had no choice when it came to my heart.

“I know you love Bella,” Edward said, breaking the silence. “But, I love her too. I can’t imagine my life without her. I tried to walk away from her, but it killed me every second we were apart. I’ve seen your thoughts, Jasper. I know you feel the same way.”

“If I didn’t love her so much…I would let her go. Even though we are not of the same blood, I love you like a brother. I would never do anything to purposely cause you pain…but I can’t walk away from her. I don’t see any way that we can both be happy.”

Edward shook his head as his sadness spilled over me. I knew what he was thinking. We both had to face the fear of losing Bella’s love and the torment that would come from seeing the other retain the happiness of having her forever.

“Was it true?” he asked, staring at the ground.

“What?”

“Back at the house…you told Carlisle that she asked you to change her, was it true?”

“Yes,” I whispered.

“Show me.”

Edward stared at me, his face devout of any emotion. I didn’t want to add to the pain he was already suffering, but I knew he would not take no for an answer. I locked my eyes with his and opened my thoughts to him. Out of respect, I pushed back the memories of the intimacy Bella and I shared before the conversation of her future as a vampire. Edward cringed as he experienced everything through my mind. The words she spoke echoed through my head, breaking my heart with the memories of her absolute devotion to me.

“You love me enough to sacrifice everything?”

“I love you more than that”

Edward closed his eyes and lowered his head. Wanting to spare him any further anguish, I blocked my thoughts.

“One of us is going to have to say goodbye to her, but it doesn’t have to be our choice,” he said, shaking his head.

“What do you mean?”

“When she feels up to it, let her choose who she wants to be with. The other has to let her go.”

I was reluctant to make the agreement, but without seeing any other way to make this work out, I had no choice. Letting Bella decide would take the burden off of us, but it would place it on her shoulders. I hated the idea of making things more stressful for her.

“As we have no other option, I guess I am in. You have to promise me one thing, though.”

“What’s that?” he asked, forking his brow with curiosity.

“We have to make this as easy on her as possible. She’ll feel guilty for hurting one of us. We need to reassure her that we will be fine…even if it is a lie.”

“Of course, I don’t want to ever cause her anymore pain.”

“It won’t be easy for the one she doesn’t choose to be around her when she makes her decision, but leaving will only cause her more grief. You and I can work out some sort of arrangement to make life as easy as possible for her. She needs us to be a strong family.”

“I know. I can assure you that I will never leave again. Even if I lose Bella, I don’t want to be away from her,” Edward said.

“One last thing,” I hesitated.

“I’m listening,” Edward replied, rolling his eyes.

“If she chooses to be with me, you can’t interfere with her decision to become one of us.”

Edward flashed his eyes towards me. I knew he was going to make this part of the agreement a battle but I was not going to give in. I made Bella a promise and I had every intention to keep it. He stared at me for a moment, clenching his jaw as he struggled to control his temper.

“Are you seriously planning on turning her?”

“Yes, I gave her my word that I would do it.”

“You tried to make a meal out of her when she got a little paper cut! How the hell do you plan on changing her?”

“I was weak then, I have been doing very well with my self-restraint,” I said, defending myself even though I knew he was partially right. Changing Bella was going to be difficult and I wasn’t entirely sure that I had enough self-control to be the one to do it. The memory of our first night of intimacy slipped into my mind and before I could force it out, Edward jumped to his feet.

“You have got to be kidding!” he spat, frantically pacing. He saw the moment when I nearly lost control with her a second time and I knew he was going to make life hell for me over it. The fact that I regained control on my own meant nothing to him, he only focused on the image of me hungering for her blood.

“Edward, I never said I would be the one to change her.”

“You are an idiot if you think she’ll want let anyone else do it!”

I recalled a moment when I had thought of asking Edward to do it. He had sucked the venom out of her arm after James bit her. I knew he had enough self-restraint to change her. Surely he wouldn’t say no if Bella agreed to it.

“Don’t even think about it! There is no way in hell I am going to be the one to steal her soul!”

“You are going to let your unfounded beliefs stand in the way of giving her what she wants?” I snapped.

“Jasper, I can agree to all the terms you have set. But, if she chooses you, I will not take part in changing her.”

“That’s fair. I am sure Carlisle will help if Bella asks him.”

“You don’t get it, do you?” he sighed in frustration.

“I get that you are willing to let her die even after she has begged you to give her immortality.”

“I said no because I loved her too much to damn her to an existence like ours. Even if we still have souls, they are blackened with the same evil that drives us to feed on blood.”

I rose to my feet and ran my hands over my head as I took his concerns into consideration. When I fed on human blood in the past, it always felt like there was something dark inside me, pushing me through each kill. After I took on the vegetarian lifestyle, I lost that sense of darkness. Humans slaughter animals all the time for food. The only difference is that they eat the meat for nourishment and we feed off the blood.

“I understand your fears, Edward. However, I did give her my word…I can’t say no to her now. ”

“There is no sense in us arguing about this now. We still don’t know who she is going to choose.” Edward shook his head.

“You’re right. Let’s just hope we haven’t both lost her after everything we put her through.”

I wasn’t sure if I was feeling Edward’s fear or my own, but it didn’t really matter. We were both terrified of the hell we would soon face.