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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.


4. Torment and Loneliness

Rating 3.7/5   Word Count 1664   Review this Chapter

Jasper’s POV

I needed to get away for a while. Our visit with Bella left me with a lot of unanswered questions that I certainly didn’t want to discuss with the others. From the moment we left the hospital there was an awkward silence with the occasional accusing look from Alice. Obviously, she and Carlisle noticed Bella’s strange reaction to me. I was sure that, given the opportunity, they would have wanted to dissect the meaning of each look. Judging by Alice’s coldness, I could guess what was going through her mind. Splashes of jealousy radiated from her frequently that night. I didn’t understand her. She was the one that wanted the divorce! Now she was jealous because Bella looked at me - not as a brother type, but as a man.

I threw on my boots and left to hunt. Ordinarily, Carlisle would insist that I not go alone, but tonight he didn’t argue the point, another indication that I wasn’t imagining Bella’s odd behavior. Out of consideration for Carlisle’s worrisome nature, I stayed within our usual hunting parameter. I settled on a small clearing in the woods with grazing elk, but the lack of an appetite left me to absent-mindedly watch my prey. I sat with my back against the uneven bark of an oak tree and closed my eyes. Bella’s face was burned into my mind like I’d been stabbed by a hot coal. It felt as if she had branded me like a steer, viciously tattooing her ownership of me. In the time that I have known her, she never once looked at me the way she did that night in the hospital. Her lust and desire tore through me with such unexpected strength; I didn’t stand a chance of concealing my awareness. Though her feelings were a complete shock to me, I was more surprised at my own echoed attraction.

The first time Edward brought Bella to the house, I noticed her unique beauty, but never thought much of it as I had everything I wanted with Alice. Our lives had changed drastically in the past year, and seeing Bella so helpless - my attraction seemed to heighten. Her skin, though badly bruised, begged to be worshiped. And her lips: I wanted to know the sweetest of her kiss. Ugh! Stop this!Thank God, Edward was still out of town. I needed to get my head straight before he came close enough to invade the privacy of my mind. The last thing either of us needed was for him to hear my inappropriate fantasies regarding the woman he once claimed as his reason for living. I was grateful that Edward was unable to hear Bella’s thoughts. It would devastate him to listen to her desires and know that she had no control over them.

Keeping my mind clear would be the hard part. How was I supposed to pretend that my heart didn’t ache for her, that my body didn’t react to her innocence? Leaving town would probably be the best thing I could do for everyone, but I couldn’t bring myself to leave Bella. We were all aware of the despair it caused her when Edward did it, to be left twice would surely kill her. I clenched my teeth when I recalled Alice’s visions of Bella falling deep into a black depression. That should have been enough to convince Edward that his decision to leave Forks was a mistake, but he insisted that we stay away. Even now, with all that has happened to Bella, he still refuses to come back. He told Carlisle that he was fearful of causing Bella even more anguish. In my opinion, he is being a coward: Hiding, rather than facing the consequences of his actions.

Anger took control of my senses, threatening to drive me insane. I crouched beside the tree and lunged at one of the larger elks. It took no time to bring down my prey and even less to rip it to pieces. The anger satiated inside of me, as did my hunger. I gazed down at the unrecognizable remains of the elk and sighed. There had never before been a time when I felt resentment towards any of my family and now, following a little surge of lust from Bella, I was turning on my brother. It was possible that I triggered a memory of her love for Edward that she mistook as feelings for me. My heart ached at the thought of her attraction being misdirected, but sometimes, it’s easier to see what you want to see.

I shook my head clear of Bella and headed back to the house. I managed to get one foot in the door when I was greeted with a potted plant flying directly at my head. I ducked just in time to see it sail over and shatter on the driveway.

“I can’t believe you, Jasper!” Alice started to charge me but Carlisle caught her by the waist.

“What the hell did I do?”

“Nothing yet, but you will!” She was hysterical.

“Alice you can’t punish him for something he hasn’t done yet,” Carlisle stepped in but there was no calming her, she was far beyond furious. I forced a calming wave in her direction and waited for an explanation.

“I hate it when you do that,” she mumbled.

“I’m assuming you had a vision about me that has somehow hurt you?”

“I’m not the one you are going to hurt. Your love life no longer concerns me, but I will be damned if I am going to sit by and watch you destroy our family!”

Ouch! Our recent separation was still a sore subject for me. Apparently, I was the only one suffering the loss. “What did you see?”

“Just stay away from Bella.”

“Bella?” The nerves in my stomach tensed.

“She is going to fall in love with you. It will crush Edward if you allow it to happen.” Alice’s eyes were filled with desperation. Carlisle released her but stayed within easy distance to restrain her again if needed.

“If Bella’s heart has changed in my favor, that is something I can’t control.” I tried to hide my sudden happiness at the idea of Bella falling in love with me but got the feeling that I wasn’t successful. Alice threw her hands up in the air and paced the floor like a mad woman.

“I think, for the time being, you should avoid any romantic attachment to Bella.” Carlisle laid his hand on my shoulder.

“Why? So Edward can come back and break her heart all over again?!”

“No. I’m just asking you to wait until Bella is well enough to make a fair decision regarding her heart. Do you love her enough to give her that much?”

I hung my head in defeat. I knew Carlisle wasn’t picking sides and that he truly did have Bella’s best interest in mind. “I don’t know how I feel about Bella, but I do care enough that I wouldn’t take advantage of her situation.”

Carlisle nodded in approval then disappeared into his study. When he first learned of Bella’s condition he decided to study various methods of triggering lost memories. Although it could be viewed as selfish, there were certain memories that I hoped she would forget… permanently.

“Jasper, can we talk?” Alice’s dark mood lightened and I knew what she wanted to talk about.

“Most of my private business has already been put on display; why not get it all out in the open?” I sat on the front step in silence while I waited for Alice to decide it was safe to join me.

“Look, I’m sorry for the way I acted, but I didn’t have any other choice.” She sat down and dropped her chin into her hands.

“You used to be able to talk to me about anything, without the aid of objects flying in the general direction of my head.”

She laughed that same angelic laugh I had always loved, but when I reached for her hand she pulled away.

“I’m sorry I hurt you, Jasper.”

“I know you are, but that doesn’t make this hurt any less.”

“Would it help if I left for a while?”

My heart was torn. Part of me wanted to say no and beg her to reconsider our separation, but the other thought it might be for the best if she did leave. “Where would you go?”

“Well, Emmet and Rose are still in Paris, I could go visit them. Besides, you know how much I love shopping in France!”

“How long will you be gone?”

“Maybe four or five months. I would like to see Edward while I am in Europe.”

I tried to hide my resentment at the mention of his name. Alice didn’t seem to notice, “Is he still in London?”

“Yes. He hasn’t decided whether or not he is going to come back to Forks anytime soon.”

“Promise me that you will come back.” I couldn’t bear the thought of Alice leaving my life permanently.

“Of course I will come back!” She nudged my side with her elbow and jumped to her feet. I followed her into the house but stopped when she darted up the stairs to our old bedroom. It felt wrong not to be up there with her. The invitation was open for me to ‘hang out’ in HER room, but I never accepted. Seeing the changes she had made to the one place that use to be our private escape would only tear at my wounded heart. Esme had made up a new room for me on the ground level. Per my request, my room was on the opposite side of the house where I could be completely alone whenever I needed it. I lingered a moment longer before retreating to the solace of my own four walls and, turning the light off, mourned the loss of so much happiness.