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worth the pain
Set about 6 months after the fateful 18th Birthday party from New Moon, the Cullens have left. A horrible tragedy strikes the Cullens. Can Bella help the remaining members heal? Bella/Jasper, Rosalie/Emmett.
2. chapter 2
Word Count 1704
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1 week later
I was sitting at the table in the sunny yellow kitchen at my house, when my life changed again. I was fiddling with the laptop that Charlie, Renee, & Phil had given me for graduation. It was hard to believe that in a few short months I would be headed to New Hampshire to attend Dartmouth. It was surreal actually; so much had happened over the past two years. If Alice hadn't been emailing me with updates on their lives, I don't know if I would have survived.
I hadn't had an email from Alice for two weeks and was beginning to wonder if everything was OK. She'd never gone so long without a message before and was not returning my messages, either. So, it was with resignation that I opened up my Gmail account and began to scan my new messages. I had one from Angela (who had already left for school at the University of Washington in Seattle). She was attending summer classes with Ben and I'm sure wanted to update me on campus life. I missed them both like the dickens and couldn't wait to see what she was up to! We had become very close over the last 6 months and I loved her like a sister. Ben was good for her and I loved him, too. Of course, there were about 10 from Renee. My crazy mom, she never did have any patience! I knew I had better address hers first and then I could get back to Ang & Ben. Of course, I also had the usual smattering of junk mail: lose 50 pounds in 2 days, you've won the Nigerian lottery, Come see my sexy XXX pictures. I quickly scrapped those wastes of storage space and scrolled down to see what else was in the inbox. That's when I saw it; a single message from pixiegrrl. With trembling fingers, I clicked the link and began to read:
Sent: 8 JUNE 2007
I need to talk to you in person. I'll be in Forks tomorrow. I can't explain right now, and I know I'm not the one you probably most want to see, but I always cared about you, Bella. If you'll come to the house tomorrow afternoon, I'll explain as best I can. Maybe we can become friends…
I tried to absorb the fact that Rose was emailing me from Alice's account. Then, with a start, I realized that the message was from yesterday! That meant she would be here now and would be waiting for me this afternoon. I glanced at the clock over the stove and saw that it was already 11:45. I catapulted out of my chair and raced up the steps, not tripping one single time and thank you very much, to shower & dress.
I quickly showered, threw on a pair of khaki cargo shorts, a navy blue tank top, & my old reliable blue Chucks, ran a comb through my still damp hair and tossed it up into a messy knot with a clip. A smear of lip-gloss, and I was charging out the front door and slamming the keys into the ignition of my old beat up truck. Silently, I prayed that she would start, and, wonder of wonders, she cranked on the first try.
I pushed her to the limit of speed, a whopping 55 mph, and made my way to the familiar gravel driveway deep in the woods.
As I turned onto the drive, I had a momentary bout of panic. What could be going on? Were they all here? Why had Rose contacted me instead of Alice?
I had long since forgiven them for leaving. I knew that Edward had lied to me that day in the woods and was trying in his own way to keep me safe. I couldn't truly blame his family for going with him. After all, blood is thicker than water, no pun intended.
As all of these thoughts were racing through my head, I saw the house rise up from the mist of the deep green woods ahead. Standing on the front porch was Rosalie.
I was out of the truck so fast she barely had time to brace herself before I launched herself into her arms. I was laughing and crying at the same time; so happy to see her.
"Bella" she sighed. "Come in…we need to talk." I let go and nodded, following her quietly into the house. The atmosphere was heavy with pain when we made our way to the living room. Emmett was standing in the doorway waiting for us and Jasper was sitting still as a statue on the sofa.
I gasped as I took in the emotions that were heavy in the room. Emmett heard me and launched himself over to me scooping me up in his massive arms. "Bells, I missed you!" he cried out. "Em…can't….breathe…please." I wheezed. He swiftly released me and dropped me on the opposite end of the sofa from Jasper. He plopped himself on the loveseat and Rosalie joined him there.
I snuck a quick curious glance at Jasper, who had not moved or even seemed to notice that I was here. His eyes were blank and despair rolled off of him in heavy waves.
"Rose, Emmett, where is everyone? Why did you ask me to come?" I asked with a tremor in my voice. I suspected instinctively that this was not a social visit.
With a sigh, Rosalie leaned forward and took my warm hands in hers. "Bella, how much did Edward tell you about our world? Did he ever tell you about the Volturi?" she began. I numbly shook my head.
When she finished, I was completely still & in shock, trying to decide what to say. I was gripping Rose's hands as tightly as I could.
Finally, after a moment of stunned silence, I exhaled and whispered, "My God, what can I do? How can I help you all?" Rose squeezed my hands gently and asked if I was OK.
I looked at her and quietly stated, "Rosalie, you've just told me that I've lost my second parents, my sister and best friend, and former lover. I'm a damn sight away from OK, but I'm also not the same weak emotional girl you left behind. I can handle this…now what can I do?" Suddenly, she was wracked with violent tearless sobs. I silently rose from the sofa and hugged her fiercely as Emmett circled us both in his arms, shaking, too, with sobs. I was dimly aware that Jasper still hadn't moved.
We stayed locked together for a long time, Emmett, Rosalie, and I. My tears mixed with their sobs. Finally, I felt Rosalie calming and I caught her eye and twitched my head towards the kitchen. She nodded and rose with Emmett to follow me. Before I left the room, I placed a gentle hand on Jasper's knee, trying not to notice as he flinched like I had burned him. "Jasper, we'll be right back, OK? We're not leaving you. We're just going to the kitchen for a second." I murmured to him, praying it would get through to him.
Rose, Emmett, & I made it to the kitchen and I immediately knew they needed me to help with Jasper. He had shut down. "OK, you need to fill me in on Jasper. How long has he been like this and how bad is it?" I demanded.
"Bells, he hasn't said a single word since the day he got home from Oxford and saw what had happened. The last thing he told us was to come back here to Forks. He hunts only when I physically take him to the woods and even you could feel his pain." Emmett said. "To be honest, Rosie and I are a little out of our depth here. We would have depended on Car-Carlisle or Alice to help him…we just don't know what to do for him!" With that, he slammed his massive fist onto the granite countertop causing a jagged crack to race down its surface. Rosalie reached out to him and pulled him to her, stroking his massive shoulders as they shook again with his sobs. She solemnly nodded in agreement with what Emmett had said.
"OK, I'm calling Charlie to let him know where I am. What's our cover story?" I asked.
"We set it up as a tragic fire. There was no issue with having the case closed in New Orleans." Rosalie responded.
"OK, Charlie is on his honeymoon with Sue. They went to Vancouver and won't be back for at least another month. I'll move my things in today. Oh, I had better call Sam, too, and let him know what's happened. We need to make sure the treaty will hold without Carlisle and Edward." I said.
"Bella, remember, Em & I are original members of the treaty, too. It should be fine, but let Sam know that Em & I can meet with the pack, if needed. Please tell him we will not violate the treaty in any way." Rose replied.
"Emmett, can you come with me to my house? I need you to help me pack and bring my things over. Rose, will you be OK here by yourself with him for a little bit? We can be back in an hour." I asked.
"Of course, Bella", they replied immediately.
I returned to the living room. Jasper was now curled into a fetal position on the sofa. His eyes were still blank and unseeing, though they were a warm golden light brown. Whatever he was feeling, I knew I was safe here with him. I kneeled in front of him and gently cupped his cheek with my hand. He didn't flinch this time. "Jasper, honey, I'm going home for a minute. Rose is here with you, so don't worry. Em & I will be back very soon." I murmured softly. There was no flicker of recognition, no hint he had heard me. Jasper had been there for me through many things; I would not give up on my brother now.