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Connections

Summary:
The Cullens did not leave Forks after Bella's disastrous birthday; Jasper did. Heading south to once again join ranks with an army he never fathomed still existed, Jasper is thrown into a war against his past...and even against his own family. JasperxAlice with alternating POVs. A mature rating for violence and sexual content. (This story takes place after Bella's birthday but does not follow the events of New Moon.)


Notes:
Disclaimer: All canon characters belong to Stephenie Meyer and are works of her imagination. Plots and original characters are of my creating so please respect both of our writings!


2. Decisions

Rating 0/5   Word Count 1916   Review this Chapter

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Chapter Two: Decisions

Jasper

Colors and pictures moved hurriedly across the television screen, all heads turned to watch the strawberry blonde newscaster inform the general public about the weather but no one was really watching. Rosalie was staring past the television and into nothingness and Carlisle seemed to also have some sort of glazed over look. Where their thoughts were, I could only imagine. Emmett hit the power button as soon as Edward walked through the door. He brought the scent of Bella with him but she was clearly absent. After the whole “Bella almost dying” ordeal, Edward had decided it was best to take Bella home. His eyes immediately fell upon mine.

Russian lullabies I had learned from a superior in the military when I was eighteen. The ancient Greek alphabet but backwards. Multiplication tables towering into the tens of thousands that I had to focus so intently on I thought my mind would explode. Anything. Any number of things I could come up with to occupy my mind. After years of living with Edward, I knew how to keep him out of my head. It seemed hours before Edward shifted his gaze from mine and when he did he was also prepared to break the silence.

“I’m leaving,” Edward announced.

“Alright,” Carlisle responded, “where are you going?”

“I haven’t…properly thought it through. But, I know it’s the right decision.”

Esme stood up suddenly from her seat beside Emmett. “You mean you’re leaving leaving??” She asked rather frantically.

“Yes,” Edward answered soundly, “I plan not to return for some time.”

“What’s the point of that?” Emmett asked.

“That’s a stupid decision, Edward,” Rosalie snapped.

“I can’t protect her,” Edward’s voice cracked. “I can never guarantee that Bella will be fully safe when in the presence of our family. I could tell her to stay away but…” Edward broke his words suddenly as invisible tears were chocked back. “But she wouldn’t. I am the one who has to stay away. If I don’t walk away from her now, I may permanently damage the life she could lead. She could be killed. And that is not what I want for her.”

“There is another option-” Alice began.


“I’m not changing her,” Edward shot back assertively. He was sure, so sure. No one would be changing his mind. That had always been his decision.

“It’s settled then,” Carlisle said as he stood up. A room of confused expressions greeted Carlisle’s response. “We’re leaving Forks.”

“I didn’t say we,” Edward corrected.

“No, but I did,” Carlisle said.

“Carlisle-”

“I’ve already made my decision,” Carlisle responded firmly.


“I’m bored of Forks, anyway,” Emmett chimed in. “I’m more of a Canary Islands kind of guy myself.”

“The Canary Islands get over 300 days of sunshine a year, Emmett. It would never work,” Rosalie said with a roll of her eyes.

“Well fine then. You can move to the Himalayas. I’ll enjoy the sunshine all by myself.“

“Neither of you are moving anywhere,” Edward spoke over the bickering of the family. Carlisle closed the gap between himself and Edward and placed a comforting hand on Edward’s shoulder.

“You are my son, Edward. We are family. In some way, we have all saved one another’s lives…and we owe it to each other to stay together. Bella means everything to you and you mean everything to us. You do what you have to and we will follow. “

Carlisle’s words effectively silenced the room. Edward looked unconvinced but he knew the argument was futile. He couldn’t deny Carlisle, the man who had given him a second life. I stood silent as though I were a ghost lingering with the living and unable to interact. For whatever reason, whether it was out of love or out of the need to spare me from embarrassment, my name was omitted from the conversation. Edward should have said that Jasper was a danger to Bella, that it was me who he couldn’t protect Bella against. But he had blamed himself and our family.; everyone but me. Edward was prepared to give up the love of his life to protect her…from me. I was forcing my family to sacrifice their current lives. Was I really happy? Was this really what I wanted?

Between occupying my mind with war songs, ancient languages, and physics problems I was making a decision. Edward was correct; no one was leaving... except for myself. I would leave and I would leave alone.

X X X

Rain pattered softly against the stained glass window of my bedroom. The sky was that of early morning but the clouds smothered any light. The silvery moon was hidden and the horizon was a muddy orange from the lights that were always awake in the neighboring cities. I shoved random clothing items into a leather bag that Alice had bought me for Christmas. Downstairs, Carlisle and Edward were conversing as Rosalie and Esme stood quiet. Emmett was on “unwanted vampire and angry wolf” patrol and Alice was headed my way. I knew that an attempt to sneak past Alice would fail and I didn’t have it in my heart to leave her with silence anyway. I could hear her footsteps make their way up the stairs even though Alice stepped with the lightness of air. When her petite figure stopped at my door that was ajar, I turned my head to greet the woman I had spent the best years of my life with. She had a satchel around her left shoulder and a bag that was clearly stuffed with clothing hanging from her right hand.

“When are we leaving?” She asked me as though we had planned a vacation together and we were running far away into paradise. She knew. She always knew. I stood still as death itself and all I could utter was her name.

“Alice-”

“I’m coming with you, Jasper. I don’t know where you are going or what you are planning to do but we are going together.”

I didn’t know what I was planning to do either. In fact, I didn’t even know why I was leaving. But I had to go. It was like something had latched on to the very edge of my soul and was pulling me, moment by moment, to go. I wished in that moment that Alice could read minds like Edward. Words would never satisfy the reason for why I was leaving. If only Alice could flip through the pages of my heart and head and understand something that I currently could not.

“I’m going alone. You can’t come with me, Alice.” Her face grew confused as I spoke my words. She shook her head in disagreement.

“But we’ve always done things together. Whatever this is…it’s no different.”

“It is different,” I corrected firmly. “Whatever this is, it’s different. We’ve always trusted each other and now, more than ever, I need you trust me. I have to go alone.”

What was I doing? Why was I pushing her away? I felt like someone else was speaking for me, that it wasn’t me but a monster. She was right and I was wrong.

“But…” Alice dropped the bag to her side and her body posture sunk as she struggled to understand what I was doing. “But that’s not how it’s supposed to be. That day in the diner was the last time either of us ever had to be alone again. It’s why I found you.”

Her words were breaking my heart but the invisible force pulled harder. My decision had already been made despite the fact that it was not my choice.

“You’re not coming,” I repeated.

“Why is that your decision?”

“I’m sorry,” I whispered, “I am. I don’t know why I’m doing this but…but I’ve already made a decision. It’s what best for the family anyway-”

“The family?” Alice interrupted me, her voice cracking with the tone she had taken. “You know as well as I do that this isn’t about our family. What’s most important to our family is staying together. No, this is about you, Jasper.” The pace of her sentences quickened as she spoke but I knew the anger in her voice was actually a feeling of betrayal and pain.

“I should be the one to leave, not the whole family. Not you. And I will be back; you know that I will be back. Maybe this is for me but if you love me the way that I know you do, Alice, then you’ll let me go.” I had hit her where I knew it would hurt. I had questioned her love for me, a love that I would never and still did not truly question. I wanted to tell her some truth that I wasn’t quite sure of and explain to her all the details of what was pulling me away. But I didn’t know and I was angry I wanted to move. I hoped she could read through me as though I were transparent and that she’d let me go knowing that somewhere deep within my heart all I truly wanted was her. I wasn’t sure whether she was convinced or whether she somehow knew about the mystery that was dragging me into the dark but Alice gave me the saddest nod in the entire world. I approached her and she stood her ground as I slid my hand to her cheek and kissed her gently. Alice stood unmoving, her hands dead at her side and her eyes staring off into nothingness. The petite vampire who stood in my arms seemed nothing but a hollow shell. The hurt that I had caused would stay with Alice like a shadow that followed its owner in the sun. I wouldn’t know how to fix it, if it was even fixable.

The large window at the back of the room howled like a pack of wolves as wind found its way through the cracks in the pane. I let my hand fall from Alice’s face as I turned from her and made my way to the window.

“This is where you will always belong, Jasper,” Alice whispered as I slung the leather bag around my shoulder and jumped from the window and into the rain.

The engine of my green SUV roared to life like a wild beast as I jammed my keys into the ignition and thrust the car into reverse. My mind was blank and for once I thought I remembered what it was like to sleep. My hands and feet knew where I was going and somehow a map of my destination was clearly set in front of me. The road was dark and long when I shifted into drive and soon the heavy rain that pelted my window shield would become the soft, hot sands of the dry southern deserts.

X X X