Text Size Large SizeMedium SizeSmall Size    Color Scheme Black SchemeWhite SchemeGrey SchemePaper Scheme        

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.


22. An Offer of Love

Rating 3.8/5   Word Count 3578   Review this Chapter

Bella’s POV

We arrived in Alaska late in the afternoon. Alice and Edward picked up our rental car while debating whether or not we should wait until morning to drop in on Jasper. Getting home before Monday wasn’t an issue as the senior class was released after finals and not due to show up for graduation rehearsal until Friday morning. I was afraid that I would lose the nerve to face Jasper if we waited until morning, so I was relieved when Alice won the argument.

We drove for two hours along an unpaved, icy road. I tried to take a nap but found it impossible with being so nervous and Emmet driving like a maniac.

“There!” Alice announced, pointing cabin that stood alone in a frosted clearing up ahead.

Emmet pulled up to the decaying house and slammed on the brakes, sending the rented SUV fishtailing into the unmarked driveway. My shoulder slammed into the back of the driver’s seat and I clutched my chest as the memories of the car accident flashed through my mind. Alice slapped the back of his head while pushing the shifted luggage back into the hatch. A man with long, black hair stepped out onto the porch, eyeing us curiously for a moment and then smiled, as if he knew who we were and was expecting us. I assumed this was Patrick. He looked to be about the same age as Carlisle and had the same caring appearance. My stomach twisted when I noticed the bright red ring around his black irises.

“His eyes…” I stammered.

“It’s okay, they look like that because he feeds on both human and animal blood,” Alice said, grabbing my hand protectively. We climbed out of the vehicle and huddled close to each other, unsure of what to expect.

“I thought you would show up sooner or later, although I must say, I had hoped Carlisle would be with you,” Patrick said warmly.

“We would like to see Jasper. Is he here?” Alice asked, easing me closer to her side.

“Jasper, there are some people here to see you,” Patrick called into the cabin while stepping away from the door.

My heart raced with anticipation to see Jasper again, but quickly froze cold in my chest when I saw him step out onto the porch. His face was emotionless and his eyes were pitch-black, leaving no trace of the golden color that the others had. He glanced around for a moment, showing no sign of happiness to see us.

“Why are you guys here?” he muttered flatly.

“We’ve come to bring you home.” Alice took a step forward.

“I am home.” Jasper turned to go back into the cabin and I panicked.

“Jasper, wait,” I cried out, stepping out from behind Alice.

“No, Bella! He hasn’t fed in a while,” Edward snapped, jumping in front of me. Jasper slowly turned and tried to look past the others at me.

“He won’t hurt her. The blackness of his eyes is not from a lack of nourishment.” Patrick stared down at me. He reached his hand out and waited patiently for me to find the courage to accept it. I took a deep, nervous breath and, with caution, walked over to him.

“Bella…” Jasper’s voice broke as he watched me move closer. Edward tried to intervene but Emmet was quick to stop the interference.

“Hi, Jasper,” I whispered.

“What are you doing here?”

“I need to talk to you.” His back stiffened when I reached the bottom step of the porch. I stared up at him, feeling uncertain of how to interpret his reaction. He lowered his head and looked away from me while Edward growled threateningly behind me.

“Go home where you belong…with Edward.”

“No, I belong wherever you are, Jasper!” I took another step forward and felt my heart sink when he backed away from me.

“Come, let’s give them some privacy.” Patrick patted Jasper’s shoulder and motioned for the others to join him inside.

“I’m not leaving her alone with him. It’s obvious that he can’t handle the scent of her blood,” Edward hissed.

“Go with them, Edward. I’ll be fine.” I kept my eyes on Jasper, trying to believe my own words. With hesitation, they followed Patrick into the cabin. Jasper jumped over the porch rail and walked up to the SUV, resting his hands on the hood while lowering his head.

“Bella, you shouldn’t have come here,” he said.

I slowly walked over to him, taking each step with extreme caution after seeing his previous reaction to me. My stomach twisted into a knot and my body trembled nervously as I got closer.

“I had to come. I made my decision, Jasper. I choose you.” I barely grazed my fingers over his back when he flinched, as if my touch was acid, eating its way through his shirt and skin.

“I can’t come back with you. I’m sorry, Bella. I hope you and Edward have a happy life together.”

“Don’t you love me anymore?” My heart sank as I dared to utter the painful words. He slowly turned around, staring at me through his dark, emotionless eyes.

“You deserve more than I can give you now. Look at me, I am a monster!”

“No, you aren’t!” I insisted. He shook his head in frustration while forcing his hand through his hair.

“You aren’t safe around me anymore. Even now, I am battling to urge to taste your blood.”

“I can help you through this, like before.” My voice trembled in desperation.

“It won’t work this time, I’m too far gone. Please, Bella…go home!”

I slowly backed away from him, unable to believe that this was happening. I felt dizzy. In a matter of minutes my whole world fell apart, leaving me with no choice but to watch helplessly. Jasper quickly covered his nose as his lips trembled against his teeth.

“Alice,” I cried out, feeling as if my legs were going to give out at any moment. Everyone came running to my side, their initial thought obviously being the fear that Jasper had tried to attack me. Alice stepped in front of me and glared at him with a dull growl echoing through her chest.

“Are you okay, Bella?” Edward asked, ready to attack Jasper if I gave him even the slightest reason.

“Get her out of here!” Jasper hissed, backing away from us while keeping his hand clutched over his nose.

“I want to go home,” I whispered, unable to take my eyes off of Jasper’s wild, animal-like behavior.

“Are you sure?” Alice placed her hands on my shoulders. I nodded silently and followed her to the SUV. Emmet stared at Jasper with immense sadness before climbing behind the steering wheel. Edward grunted in disgust and joined us at the vehicle. Alice started to help me get in the back seat, but I couldn’t leave like this.

“Wait,” I whispered, reaching into my back pocket. My hands trembled as I pulled out Jasper’s letter and slowly raised my eyes to him. “This doesn’t belong to me anymore.” I set it on the ground and looked at him desperately. His eyes met mine, but he quickly looked away.

I lowered my head and climbed into the backseat. Once Alice was settled in the seat beside me, I laid my head in her lap. Not wanting to draw concern or pity, I forced back the urge to cry while my heart died in the cold depths of my chest. Alice hummed softly as she brushed her fingers through my hair, reminding me of the times when I was a little girl and Renee used to do the same thing when I was upset.

Emmet drove us back to the airport, chattering away about random things that he hoped we would find humorous enough to laugh at, but the tension was too thick and no one so much as cracked a smile. Edward stared out the window, glancing over his shoulder at me occasionally. I acknowledged his look of concern the first time, after that, I pretended not to notice. It was cold of me to do, but I didn’t have the energy to worry about giving him any false hope that I was ready to make good on my promise to him.

The ride back seemed to take twice as long and I thought it was just my imagination until I noticed Edward lean over to check the speedometer.

“Why are you driving the speed limit?” he huffed, apparently ready to get home as much as I was. Emmet shrugged his shoulders and slightly increased the acceleration.

I closed my eyes and focused on the images of Jasper’s cold, empty eyes. It didn’t feel real. I was so sure that he would be happy to see us and that we would somehow be able to convince him to come home. How could I have been so naive to believe that it would be that easy? Alice stopped brushing my hair for a moment and then leaned down over me.

“What did you write in the letter?” she asked. I was a little surprised by the question, but didn’t think too much about it.

“I forgive you and can’t wait to start our eternity together,” I whispered, cracking my eyes open just enough to see Edward cringe. Alice went back to stroking my hair, offering no explanation for her unusual question.

The last hour of the drive passed in silence and, before I knew it, we were pulling into the small airport parking lot. Emmet and Edward went inside to arrange our flight home while Alice and I unloaded the pile of luggage in the back of the vehicle. They came back out after a few minutes and helped us gather the bags.

“The pilot will be ready in fifteen minutes, so we have to hurry,” Edward said, grabbing my bags before I could reach for them. I didn’t want to think about how much money they had to spend on the last minute, chartered flights.

“Damn, Alice, did you bring enough stuff?” Emmet groaned as he filled his arms with four of the six matching suitcases that she had lined up beside the SUV.

“Everything I packed was a necessity.” She batted her eyes and grabbed the two remaining pieces of luggage. I couldn’t help but laugh at the sight of Emmet walking to the Jet, his arms filled with pink and grey designer bags. It took my mind off of my sadness, but only for a minute or two.

When our luggage was handed off to the baggage handlers, we boarded the Jet. I sluggishly climbed halfway up the stairs and paused, hoping Jasper might have changed his mind. Alice waited patiently behind me while I scanned the empty airport grounds. With a defeated sigh, I continued up the stairs and collapsed in the first empty seat I walked past. Edward glanced over at me and unbuckled his seat belt.

“Do you mind if I sit with you?” he asked, standing over me. I shook my head wearily and slid over to the window seat. Alice took the empty seat beside Emmet and immediately began thumbing through a magazine.

The pilot’s voice came over the intercom, announcing our departure along with the usual speech of making sure our seat belts were fastened and so on. The engines hummed to life shortly after and the Jet rolled over to the airstrip. I leaned back in my seat and closed my eyes, relieved that Edward didn’t take offense to my silence. He was being very patient and understanding with me and I evaded any thoughts that it was because he won, Jasper no longer wanted me. We slowly started to move forward down the glowing airstrip, gradually picking up speed when Alice suddenly dropped her magazine.

“Stop, we have to stop!” she cried out, her eyes glazed over.

“What do you see?” Emmet grabbed her hand nervously.

“Make them stop the plane!”

“Okay, okay.” Emmet jumped out of his seat and rushed over to the cockpit door. I looked over at Edward and felt anxious from the expression on his face.

“Is something wrong with the plane?” I started to panic as the plane shook from the sudden deceleration.

Edward lowered his eyes and shook his head while Alice scrambled to the main exit. The co-pilot opened the door and lowered the stairs, looking just as confused as Emmet and I were.

“Bella, come on!” Alice squealed, darting down the steps. I quickly unbuckled my seat belt, not sure what was happening, but too afraid to sit around and wait for answers. Edward got up and helped me into the aisle. I gazed up at him fearfully.

“Go ahead, it’s okay.” He forced a smile and gently nudged me towards the stairs. I stepped out and saw Alice bouncing around like a giddy child. When I got to the bottom of the stairs, she grabbed my arm and pointed down the runway. I didn’t see anything and was beginning to question her sanity… or the lack of it.

“What are we looking at?” I asked.

“Keep watching!” She bounced up and down, nearly pulling my arm out of its socket.

I squinted harder, but still didn’t see anything. Just as I was about to give up and get back on the Jet, I noticed a dark spec moving in the distance. My heart raced as I watched it get closer at an alarming speed. The figure of a person evolved from the dark shadow and I suddenly found myself daring to hope.

“Jasper…” I choked back the tears.

“Go, Bella!” Alice released my arm and gave me a soft push.

I didn’t stop to think, I just started running. Jasper’s face became clear as I got closer, motivating me to run even faster. He ran towards me at human speed, not wanting to draw any unnecessary attention for any potential onlookers, which only made it feel like I was never going to reach him. When he was finally close enough I lunged through the air into his open arms. I wrapped my legs around his waist, burying my face in his neck as he grasped the back of my head and held my tight.

“I’m so sorry, Darlin’.” I couldn’t hold it in any longer - the tears fell as I sobbed uncontrollably. “I want to come home,” his voice broke and he started to tremble. I held onto him tighter, afraid that I was going to wake up only to find that this was all a dream.

“Shhh, please don’t cry, Darlin.” He eased me back and stared deep into my tear-filled eyes. My desire was fully ablaze, breathing life back into my broken heart. He brushed his fingers through my hair and quickly pressed his lips against mine.

“See, what did I tell you…love is irrational!” Emmet called out as he rushed over to us. Had it not been for my overwhelming fear, I would have given him a thankful hug but I couldn’t bring myself to let go of Jasper. I pulled my lips away from him, gasping to catch my breath. Jasper set me down on my feet, keeping his arm securely around my waist.

“Got room for one more?” he asked nervously.

“Hell yes! Did you bring your stuff?” Emmet threw his arms around us

“Yeah, I think I dropped my bags somewhere near the gate.”

“I’ll get them.” Edward walked up to us, nodding at Jasper. I mouthed a thank-you and nestled my head against Jasper’s chest while Emmet and Edward took off down the runway.

“I was afraid I wouldn’t make it in time,” Jasper said, staring down at me.

“I thought you gave up.” I looked up at him and noticed bright golden specks in his eyes.

“I did…until I saw what you wrote.” He handed the unfolded letter to me. “I’m ready to start our forever, if you’ll have me.”

“Of course I still want you!” I leaned up on my toes and brushed my lips against his, not expecting him to flinch the way he did.

“Sorry, it’s going to take some time to get used to your scent again.” The look of shame on his face tugged at my heart.

“Jasper, we have all the time in the world. We’ll get through this…together.” He nodded and weaved his fingers through mine.

“Let’s go home, Darlin’. I nodded and walked with him, back to the Jet where Alice was waiting impatiently.

It was all so surreal. Jasper and I were finally reunited and there was nothing standing in the way of our happiness. I watched in admiration as Jasper swung Alice around, both happy to be in each other’s company without the awkwardness you might expect to see in two people that once shared their lives as a married couple. I could only hope that Edward and I would be able to be that close someday. It didn’t seem unreasonable to me, especially since he and I hadn’t been together anywhere near as long as Jasper and Alice were, and yet, they were able to maintain a close bond with each other. I suppose that was one of the many differences between Jasper and Edward that I would have to learn to accept and not allow myself to spend too much time feeling guilty over. Emmet rushed up behind me and lifted me off the ground with one of his notorious bear-hugs that nearly cracked my ribs.

“So, are we going home now or what?” he asked, setting me back down.

“Definitely!” Jasper grinned, reaching his hand out to me, which I was more than happy to accept.

We got back on the Jet and burst into laughter when the pilot asked if we were really ready to leave this time. Jasper and I sat in the back, desperate to have as much privacy as possible under the circumstances. The exhaustion for all the hectic activities of the day was finally catching up to me, but I was determined not to fall asleep. Jasper held me tight against his side, running his cool fingers over my arms.

“I’ve missed you so much,” he said, brushing his lips against my ear.

“I don’t ever want to spend another day away from you,” I sighed.

“I’m sorry I broke my promise…”

“Don’t be, you had no choice, so it doesn’t count as a broken promise.” He kissed the top of my head and continued to caress my skin, making it more difficult for me to battle the overpowering urge to sleep.

Once we cleared the turbulence and were given permission to move around, Jasper pulled me onto his lap and cradled me in his arms. I trembled slightly from the coolness of his skin, which he must have noticed because he removed his jacket and wrapped it around me.

“If the smell of my blood starts to bother you, promise you will tell me,” I whispered. He laughed softly and placed a kiss on my forehead.

“I promise.”

I drifted in and out of awareness for the remainder of the flight. When we finally arrived in Seattle I was beyond the effects of sleep-deprivation, but did my best to pretend that I was fully alert, refusing to go to sleep and waking up from this happy dream.

Alice got into the Volvo with Edward while Jasper and I rode home with Emmet. Words couldn’t describe the immense happiness and relief that I felt when we raced back to Forks. We made it back to the Cullens’ house an hour later, bringing our journey to an end.

Rosalie rushed out to welcome Emmet home, which was immediately followed with a lecture on how rude it was for him not to invite her to come with us. Carlisle and Esme came out right behind Rosalie, both overcome with joy to see Jasper again. Esme threw her arms around Jasper like a mother reunited with her lost child while Carlisle welcomed me back.

“I see you have done the impossible, you changed his mind. Thank you, Bella,” Carlisle said, hugging me tightly.

“You’re wel...” My legs suddenly gave out and everything blurred as my head starting spinning. Luckily, Carlisle kept me from falling flat on my face.

“Bella!” Jasper rushed over and scooped me up into his arms.

“It looks like she is suffering from severe exhaustion. Don’t worry, a little sleep is all she needs,” Carlisle said reassuringly.

I struggled to open my eyes while Jasper carried me into the house. I was embarrassed and disappointed in myself for collapsing in front of everyone. Jasper took me into his room and gently set me on his bed. He sat on the edge after I was nestled beneath the warm, heavy comforter.

“Get some sleep, Darlin’,” he said, rising to his feet. My eyes fluttered open and I quickly reached for his arm.

“Don’t go.”

“I’m not leaving you. I was just going to get my bags so I can unpack while you sleep.” I nodded wearily and dropped back down into the bed.

“Promise me…you’ll…be here…when I wake…up,” I mumbled, half asleep.

“I promise. You will never again wake up alone. I love you, Bella.” He stroked my cheek and brushed a gentle kiss over my lips. With a weary sigh, I fell asleep, breathing in his comforting scent.