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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.


23. Home At Last

Rating 4.3/5   Word Count 2366   Review this Chapter

Jasper’s POV

It felt amazing to finally be home with my family and the woman I loved. I was still surprised at Bella’s decision to be with me, especially considering everything I was going through. Knowing that she could love me despite any flaw that I may possess, brought my dark soul back to life and I knew that I could never fully express the immense amount of love I held for her.

I stayed with her until I was certain that she was fast asleep before leaving the room. As I wandered down the hall, I noticed that mine and Bella’s bags were stacked neatly by the front door. Edward and Alice were in the living room with Esme, Alice beaming with happiness to have everyone home again while Edward seemed to be off somewhere in his thoughts. His emotions were all over the place, changing from sadness to frustration and on to a slight sense of bitterness. I knew it was to be expected and could only hope he would get over his wounded heart sooner rather than later.

“How’s Bella?” Carlisle asked as he came out of his study.

“She’s sleeping,” I replied while reaching for the luggage. Carlisle nodded with a smile.

“How are you holding up?”

“I’m fine.”

“If you need to hunt…”

“I hunted yesterday morning.” I understood his concern, but hated the way everyone treated me like I had just conformed to the vegetarian lifestyle. Carlisle didn’t appear to take offense to my sharp tongue, which was a relief. It wasn’t my intention to be rude to my family and thankfully, they all seemed to be very understanding with my behavior.

Alice suddenly jolted forward as her eyes glazed over. A look of confusion clouded her face while she sat frozen, like a marble statue. I felt my nerves tense when Edward quickly looked at Carlisle and rushed to Alice’s side.

“What do you see, Alice?” I set the bags back down and joined them in the living room.

“Victoria…” Alice whispered, crinkling her brow.

“What about Victoria? Has she come back to Forks?”

“I don’t know. It’s very hazy, she keeps changing her mind.”

“Where is she, Alice?” Carlisle asked, sliding his hands over Esme’s shoulders. Alice shook her head as her eyes refocused.

“She’s heading east but…it is so strange. It felt like she was trying to hide something.”

“What do you mean?” Carlisle raised an eyebrow at Alice.

“The way she changed her mind so frequently…I know it sounds crazy, but it was as if she knew I could see her and didn’t want me to know what she was planning to do.”

“Maybe Laurent knows what she is up to,” I said. Everyone looked at each other briefly before lowering their eyes. “Carlisle, what’s going on? Why are you all acting so strange?”

“Laurent is dead…” He glanced at the others, surprised that I was unaware of this news.

“We didn’t have a chance to tell him yet. Things were a little crazy,” Alice confessed.

“Tell me what?”

“Laurent tried to attack Bella. We didn’t know Victoria was with him until after he was dead. Now, she has disappeared again,” Edward said, resting his elbows on his knees while balling his hands into fists in anger.

“What? Why didn’t you tell me about this when it happened?” The thought of Bella being attacked made me feel sick with guilt for not having been around to protect her.

“We had everything under control,” Edward hissed.

“If you had it under control we wouldn’t be worrying about Victoria now, would we?”

“At least we were here to protect Bella! Where were you when Laurent was seconds from taking her life? Oh that’s right…you were off in Alaska feeling sorry for yourself!” Edward jumped to his feet, ready to start another brawl with me.

“What’s done is done! We need to figure out what Victoria is up to and the two of you fighting isn’t exactly helping the situation!” Alice wedged herself between us.

“Did you see anything that might be a clue as to where she is heading?” Carlisle asked as he paced the length of the room. Alice hesitated for a moment.

“I caught a glimpse of her with the Volturi.” Carlisle tensed at the mention of the Volturi and suddenly stopped pacing.

“She wouldn’t!” Esme gasped, covering her mouth in shock.

“What reason would she have to go to them?” I cringed as their distress hit me like tidal waves from every angle. Carlisle stared out the window and then slowly shook his head.

“If they find out about Bella and her knowledge of our world…it will be the end of us,” he explained. The room fell silent as the severity of the situation sank in. My first instinct was to take Bella as far away from Forks as possible, but then I suddenly recalled the plans she and I had made before her memory came back.

“They’ll have no reason to come if she has been changed.” I raised an eyebrow at Carlisle.

“Does she still want to become one of us?” he asked, rubbing his chin while considering my solution.

“I’ll talk to her about it when she wakes up.”

Edward stormed out of the room, still dead set against Bella becoming a vampire, but knowing there was nothing he could do to stop it, if it is what she wanted.

“We’ll discuss this further once we know Bella’s decision,” Carlisle said. I nodded and rushed out of the living room, eager to get back to Bella.

The front door was open, which could only mean that Edward would be gone for the night, undoubtedly taking his aggravation out on the surrounding forestry. I collected mine and Bella’s luggage and returned to my bedroom.

It took a matter of seconds to unpack my things, returning them to their rightful place. I held Bella’s pajamas for a moment before placing them back in the top drawer of my dresser and then sat on the edge of the bed, watching her beautiful face as she slept peacefully. The scent of her blood was still strong, leaving me no choice but to open the window just enough to dilute the alluring smell.

She slept for a few more hours and then started groaning as if she were in pain. I studied her face as each whimper escaped her soft lips.

“Please…Jasper…” she moaned sadly. “Don’t stop loving me.”

I crawled onto the bed, lying next to her as I eased her trembling body into my arms without disturbing her sleep.

“I love you, now and forever,” I whispered into her ear while gently stroking my fingers over her cheek. Her lips pulled up into a smile as she nestled closer to me. “Marry me, Bella.” The words slipped out before I realized that I had spoken my thoughts out loud.

She didn’t respond, forcing me to hope that she hadn’t heard what I said. I knew how fearful she was in regards to the idea of getting married, but couldn’t deny that the thought of having her as my wife made my dead heart feel alive. Her eyes fluttered open, glistening with the reflection of the moonlight. A single tear escaped down her cheek as she slowly stared up at me.

“What did you say?” she asked. I tensed, hating myself for putting her in this awkward position.

“It’s not important,” I sighed.

“No, Jasper, say it again.” I could feel the anxiety roll off her and knew that there was no way out of it now.

“Will you marry me, Isabella Swan?” My voice shook as I asked her again. The tears flowed down her face as she nodded her head.

“Yes, Jasper, I’ll marry you!” I couldn’t believe it, she accepted! She suddenly pressed her lips to mine, drowning me in the scent of her sweet blood. I grasped her shoulders and quickly eased her back as I struggled to maintain my self-control.

“Sorry,” she said, lowering her eyes in embarrassment. I placed my hand under her chin and forced her eyes to meet mine.

“Don’t be. We just have to take this slowly.” I carefully brushed my lips against hers, focusing my thoughts on the sweet taste of her lips rather than the overpowering scent of her blood. Although I wanted nothing more than to make love to her, I knew that I didn’t have enough control to attempt it. I admired her patience and understanding as she contented herself with a single kiss.

“Bella,” I whispered.

“Hmm…”

“Have any of your feelings for me changed?” She draped her arm over my chest, wrapping her fingers around my ribs.

“What do you mean?”

“Do you still want to share my immortality?” I braced myself for the possibility that she might have changed her mind in my absence.

“Of course I do. I want to be with you forever, Jasper.” I took her hand in mine, weaving my fingers through hers.

“I’m so in love with you, Darlin’.” She raised her eyes to mine and gasped.

“Your eyes…”

“What?”

“The black has faded… a lot.” She smiled as she studied my irises.

“You have made me so happy. I’m not surprised that they are changing already.” I brushed a kiss over her forehead and noticed a sudden change in her emotions. The love was still there, but her sadness hit me stronger.

“Jasper,” she said nervously.

“What is it, Darlin’? Why are you sad?” She hesitated for a moment.

“You aren’t strong enough to change me, are you?”

I slowly shook my head, hating the thought that I was letting her down. Changing her would have been a big enough struggle for me before my downward spiral into the darkness that consumed me…now it would be impossible. She knew it, I knew it.

“Carlisle will have to be the one to change you.”

“If we waited a little while, do you think you would be recovered enough to try it?”

“We are already running out of time. Alice had a vision of Victoria going to the Volturi,” I said. Bella sat up quickly and stared at me in disbelief. Obviously she knew the significance of the situation.

“Will Carlisle change me…tonight?” A new-found determination swept over her as she jumped off the bed.

“Bella, you are graduating on Friday, we can afford to wait until then.”

“What if the Volturi get here before then? No, we have to do this now!” She bolted for the door, ready to sacrifice her mortality for the sake of my family, but I couldn’t let her miss out on something as important as her graduation. I rushed up behind her and pressed my hands against the door on either side of her just as she reached for the doorknob.

“Everything will be okay, I promise.” She turned within my reach and looked up at me with an overwhelming sense of helplessness.

“I hate that I have brought so much trouble on your family.” She pressed her forehead into my chest and wrapped her arms around my waist.

“We’ve been more trouble for you than you have been for us.” I rested my chin gently on her head and held her close. “I promise it won’t always be like this.” She nodded her head with a long, drawn-out sigh. I helped her back into bed and took my place beside her. Within seconds, she was out cold.

I watched her sleep and found myself daydreaming about the day that she would be my wife. The shock of her acceptance still lingered in the back of my mind, but I was far too happy to question it. I would let her have complete control over the wedding plans so she could take everything at a pace that she would be comfortable with.

“Jasper,” Alice whispered from the hall, speaking low enough to not disturb Bella.

“Yeah?”

“Can I talk to you for a minute?”

“Sure.” I carefully eased Bella from my arms and went over to the door. Alice smiled up at me as I held the door open.

“I wanted to be the first to congratulate you.” She threw her arms around my neck and placed a kiss on my cheek.

“Oh man! Does everyone know?” I laughed.

“No…just me. Why don’t you want anyone to know that you and Bella are going to get married?”

“I want to let Bella announce the engagement when she is ready.”

“I won’t tell anyone.” She nodded with a wink.

“Can I ask you something?” I glanced over my shoulder to make sure Bella was still asleep and then stepped out into the hallway.

“Sure, what’s on your mind?”

I shoved my hands into my pockets and stared at the floor, trying to find the right words before I dared to open my mouth.

“Was I a bad husband?”

“Of course not! Jasper, I know I didn’t give you much of an explanation for ending our marriage like I did, but please believe me…it had nothing to do with your inability to make me happy. Bella is very lucky to have a man like you.” She grasped my hand and offered a reassuring smile.

“Are you ever going to tell me why you left me?”

“Yes, when the time is right,” she assured me. I nodded and gave her a brief hug.

“I guess I better pay Charlie a visit later,” I laughed, imagining him pulling a shotgun on me for trying to take his daughter at such a young age.

“He’ll say yes. Tell Bella that I will be more than happy to help her with the arrangements!” Her eyes lit up and she suddenly disappeared down the hallway, more than likely off to start making wedding plans. I shook my head with a smile and returned to my bed. Bella nestled her head on my chest as she continued to sleep, unaware of my brief absence. I practiced my speech for Charlie in my head, feeling more anxious by the minute. Once I had his consent, nothing would stop me from doing everything in my power to make her happy.