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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.


19. Losing Control

Rating 3/5   Word Count 2985   Review this Chapter

Jasper’s POV

The weekend was finally over. Bella stayed in Alice’s room for the remainder of her stay with us, only coming out long enough to tend to her basic, human needs. I kept to my room while I fought to gain control over the emotions I absorbed from her. It took longer than I had anticipated, not fully aware of the extent of her emotional torment. I was amazed by how well she battled the pain. My tolerance was a lot stronger than hers and even I struggled with the immense amount of grief and anguish.

Alice sat with me for a while after Bella left for school. She was determined to try and help me find some kind of happiness out of these dark times, but there was none to be found. I was devoid of all joy and pleasure, left with a blackness that was quickly devouring my soul. When Bella came to me, wanting to talk to about what I had done for her, I had hoped to feel her love for me. It was despairing disappointment to feel nothing but pity and guilt radiate from her. I didn’t intend to be so cold, to treat her like she was nothing to me. It was almost as if I were a puppet on strings that I had no control over. My heart had turned to ice, matching the rest of my anatomy. Though it may be the push she needed to send her running back into Edward’s arms, I would never regret my decision to relieve her anguish.

“How are you feeling?” Edward came into my room, staying close to the door.

“Better than yesterday.” I leaned against my desk, watching as he tensed under my cold stare.

“Alice said she wasn’t able to help you regain your strength…”

“Shouldn’t you be at school?” I snapped.

“Alice and I seem to have caught quite a nasty flu. Carlisle thought it would be best for us to stay home considering everything that is going on. Believe it or not, we are all worried about you.”

“I’m fine.” I folded my arms over my chest, keeping my eyes on him.

“You aren’t fine, Jasper!” Edward said, raising his voice in aggravation. I released a dull growl as my eyes narrowed.

“I’m afraid I have to agree with Edward.” Carlisle entered the room, his eyes fixed on me, his face clouded with concern. I could feel the anger growing stronger as the two of them moved closer, cautious with each step.

“I said I am fine. Drop it!” I hissed.

“Jasper, when you helped Bella, how much did you have to sacrifice?” Carlisle stopped a short distance from me. I stared at him, feeling my lip slowly pull up over my teeth.

“Everything.”

“I was afraid of that.”

“Afraid of what?”

“Son, I see the darkness in your eyes. Your moods are just as black…”

“What, I am not entitled to have a bad day once in a while?” I growled louder. Carlisle lowered his eyes and shook his head in sadness.

“This is not just a bad day,” Edward said, moving to Carlisle’s side.

“I don’t have to listen to this!” I pushed past them and threw the door open.

Emmet stood at the far end of the hallway with Alice. Judging by the look of their faces, I knew Carlisle had already expressed his concern to them, probably to the entire family. I balled my hands into fists and started walking towards them. Emmet took a step forward, blocking the end of the hallway.

“Get out of my way, Em,” I snarled. He crossed his arms and remained still, challenging me to try to get past him. Alice stepped around him, a look of despair tainting her angelic features.

“Jasper, please…” She placed her hand on my chest.

Something inside of me snapped and I quickly snatched her by the throat, hissing and snarling inches from her face. Emmet lunged for me while Edward and Carlisle came at me from behind. The force of their impact on my body sent me falling to the ground, trapping Alice beneath me. I couldn’t stop myself. I squeezed my hand tighter around her throat, unaffected by the terror in her eyes. Emmet wrapped his arm around my throat and tried desperately to pull me off of her while Edward pried my fingers loose from her neck. Unable to maintain my grip, Emmet jerked me back and slammed me into the hardwood floor. Alice pulled herself away from us, clutching her throat as she stared at me with wide, terrified eyes. Her fear washed over me, bringing me to my senses and the harsh realization of what I had just done. I stopped struggling with Emmet and closed my eyes in shame.

“Alice…I’m so sorry.” My voice broke as I struggled to speak.

“I forgive you, Jasper.” She moved closer, placing her trembling hand on my cheek and turned my face to hers. I opened my eyes to see the hurt and sadness in hers.

“Jasper, I have spoken to an old friend of mine in Alaska. He thinks he can help you regain your strength and self-control,” Carlisle said solemnly. I didn’t need to ask, I knew he was asking me to leave. Without my self-restraint I was a danger to not only humans, but my family as well. The one thing I had feared the most had come true; I was, once again, the dark monster from my past.

“I’ll pack my things. I’m sorry, Carlisle.”

“You don’t need to apologize. You aren’t yourself right now and we can’t risk being exposed, please understand.”

“I do understand. Thank you for trying to fit me into your family…I wish it could have worked out.” I rose to my feet as Emmet released his grip on me.

“Jasper, this is your home…you are my son. You don’t have to leave permanently. We just want you to get better.”

“Don’t even think about staying away. I would hate to have to hunt you down and drag you back,” Emmet added, forcing a laugh that was far from genuine. I turned to Alice and lowered my eyes in shame. She placed her hand under my chin and forced me to look at her.

“Everyone makes mistakes. It takes more strength and courage to face them than to run away in shame. You, Jasper Whitlock Hale, are the strongest, most courageous man that I have ever known. You will beat this and when you do, we will be right here, waiting to welcome you back home,” she whispered, her voice filled with pain. I brushed my fingers over her cheek and then turned to go back to my room.

“I’ll let Bella know that you had urgent business to tend to out of town,” Carlisle offered.

“No. She deserves to know the truth and I will be the one to tell her.”

“I don’t think…” Edward started to object.

“He’ll be fine. I will drive you to the airport when you get back.” Carlisle smiled and gave me a brief hug before disappearing into his study. The others followed his example, Alice being the last and holding on the longest.

Once I was alone, I retreated to my room to pack my belongings. Esme and Rosalie came in after a few minutes. They were nervous and sad but felt the need to say goodbye to me. Seeing my family’s anxiety in my presence made me feel even worse. Rosalie tried to maintain her uncaring attitude but I felt her true emotions pour out. Esme threw her arms around my neck, shaking with grief at the thought of losing one of her sons. I didn’t know how to comfort her and was thankful when Rosalie pulled her back, insisting that this was no different than the times when Alice and I had gone away on vacation. It was a nice gesture, but we all knew that this was nothing as pleasant as a getaway. With a final, sad look, they left.

I rushed to get my belongings packed, pausing when I opened the drawer that contained Bella’s pajamas. I ran my fingers over the soft, cotton material and flinched at the aching of my dead heart. With me out of the picture, she would surely rediscover her love for Edward and I would have no choice but to let her go. I tucked the clothing under my arm and shoved the last few items into my bags. Once I finished, I glanced around the room one last time before heading over to Bella’s house. I stared at the plaque on the wall that held my sword and was reminded of the days when I was proud of who I was. I shook my head sadly and ducked out the window.

I ran as fast as I could through the woods, anxious to make this goodbye as quick and painless as possible. When I got the tree outside her bedroom window, I felt my nerve slip. There was a good chance that she wouldn’t want to see me, much less give me the opportunity to explain the reason for my sudden departure. I slowly scaled the tree until I was high enough to see into the window.

Her sadness drifted over me as she lay motionless on her bed with her back to the window. I wanted to run away and avoid this painful moment but Alice’s words lingered in my mind. Without a second thought, I jumped over to the window and gently lifted it open. Bella didn’t move a muscle as I slipped into the room. Her sniffles tore at my soul while I reluctantly approached her bed.

“Bella, Darlin,” I whispered, reaching my hand out to her. She slowly rolled over to face me, her eyes puffy and red from what was obviously hours of crying. She didn’t say a word as she stared at her pajamas in my hand. Instead, she closed her eyes and started to sob.

“I’m sorry, Bella. I have to go away for a while.”

She shook her head and threw her hands over her ears. Her pain mirrored my own, making it even more difficult to leave. I gently grabbed her wrists and pulled her into my arms, wishing I could find even the slightest amount of happiness from the touch of her skin.

“No! You promised, Jasper! You promised.”

“I know I did, Darlin’. I am so sorry.”

“Please, you can give me back all the pain, just don’t go.” She threw her arms around my neck, holding on as tight as she could manage.

“It doesn’t work like that.”

“Why do you have to leave?”

I closed my eyes and tried to think of an easy way to explain the situation to her but I knew that there was no easy way around it.

“Bella, I attacked Alice. My self-control is gone and without it, I am a danger to everyone.” I eased her out of my arms as the scent of her blood began to tease my appetite.

“How long will you be gone?”

“I don’t know, as long as it takes for me to regain control.” I moved to the window, desperate to free myself of the sweet smell of her blood.

“When?” she whimpered.

“Carlisle is waiting to drive me to the airport as we speak.”

“Can’t you stay, just for tonight?” she pleaded, wiping the flow of tears from her eyes. The urge to feed on her blood was growing rapidly with each passing second and I knew I was running out of time.

“I’m sorry, Bella. I have to leave right away.” I set her pajamas on the edge of the bed and turned to leave. She jumped to her feet and quickly grabbed my arm. I turned to face her, gritting my teeth as I fought my increasing hunger.

“Take them with you.” She handed the clothing back to me and leaned up to place a kiss on my cheek.

“Goodbye, Bella.” I rushed over to the window and jumped out into the night.

“I love you, Jasper,” she whispered, her words chasing me in the darkness. I ran hard, stopping long enough to feed on a deer before returning to the house. When I got back, Carlisle was sitting in his Mercedes, waiting for me. I hopped into the passenger’s side, feeling sick with grief as we drove away from Forks. Carlisle filled me in on the details of his friend in Alaska while he sped down the long, empty road to Seattle.

“Patrick Fowler and I have been friends nearly as long as we have been vampires. We spent quite of a bit of time studying medicine together, but his tolerance of blood was never enough to allow him to be a practicing physician. I did everything I could to help him learn self-control and showed him how to survive off the blood of animals. He made the effort for a few years but he liked the taste of human blood too much to ever give it up entirely, making it impossible for us to remain in each other’s company. So, we went our separate ways. I lost contact with him for a number of years, unaware of his situation or lifestyle. It wasn’t until I went to Europe during World War One to assist with the medical care of the soldiers that I happened upon him. We were in France, situated at a small camp by the Seine River. I had gone for a fresh supply of water one afternoon when I noticed movement in the brush on the other side of the embankment. When I was certain that no one was watching; I crossed the river to investigate. I was attacked by someone I couldn’t see and it wasn’t until I was on my back that I found myself looking up into the eyes of my old friend.

Once he recognized me, he quickly apologized for the assault. We made arrangements to meet up later that night to catch up as I had my hands full with the care of the wounded soldiers that flooded into the camp by the hour. I had hoped throughout the years that Patrick was able to conform to the vegetarian lifestyle but, the glowing red specs in his eyes betrayed that hope. When I was able to break away from the camp, I found him sheltered in the thick of the forest. We talked for hours, sharing the details of our lives since we last saw each other and it was then that he told me about his newly discovered lifestyle. He had somehow learned to harness his self-restraint in such a way that he could drink the blood of a human without experiencing the urge to completely drain them.”

I glanced at Carlisle, not quite sure of what to make of this tale.

“Wouldn’t that mean he was creating vampires?” I asked curiously.

“No. Patrick never physically bit his victims. As it was explained to me, he would prick the skin of the human, creating enough of a blood flow to drink from but not enough to kill them from a major blood loss. He offered to teach me his ability to sample human blood but I knew that it would conflict with the beliefs that I had come to know as my way of life.”

“So how, exactly, is he planning on helping me?”

“He can teach you many things that I can’t. If it weren’t for the sacrifice you made for Bella, this wouldn’t be necessary. When you learned to use your gift, I thought your happiness only affected your ability to manipulate emotions. I had no idea at the time that it also helped you to survive on our diet. I suppose it works that way with all of us. Patrick believes that he can help you harness enough self-restraint to counteract this darkness of your emotions that is making it difficult for you to be around us,” he said, scratching his head.

“Has he ever met anyone with my gift before?”

“No. I know it is a gamble but we have to try something.”

“I hope it works,” I muttered.

We pulled into the airport parking garage which was fairly empty. I jumped out and grabbed my bags out of the trunk, feeling unsure about this trip.

“I arranged for a private jet to take you to Alaska. Patrick will be waiting for you when you land,” Carlisle said, walking with me to the side doors. I could feel his nervousness and glanced over at him.

“What’s wrong?”

“I know it has been difficult for you to accept our lifestyle, Jasper. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t worried about Patrick having an influence on your diet.”

The thought of tasting the sweetness of human blood again was tempting, but I was fully aware of the consequences that came with that type of lifestyle and knew that I never wanted to live that way again.

“I won’t fail you, Carlisle.” I gave him a firm hug and, after a moment of unspoken goodbyes, rushed over to the waiting jet.

My sadness overwhelmed me as I settled into my seat, feeling less than eager to start this journey. If there was even the slightest chance of regaining my self-control at home, I would have gotten off the plane, but I knew that my emotions were too dark to be able to remain with my family. Even if Patrick was able to help me, my reason for existing was already slipping away from me. I was determined to get through this experiment as quickly as possible, before I lost Bella forever. Hopefully, she would forgive me for leaving her, breaking the one promise that meant the most to her.