Once Upon an Unfortunate September
Does time really heal all wounds—dull the ache—or erase the memories? Unfortunately after a decade, those things have yet to occur. My memories were too vivid—forever etched into my subconscious, an ever present and constant reminder that my life would never be a fairy tale. Fate had become my cruel mistress, sinking her dagger repeatedly into my heart—enjoying my misery. When I woke up this morning, I wasn’t expecting the day to head in this direction. Hardly! I predicted the weekend to sail smoothly. It was celebration of marriage—my best friend’s wedding, and I refused to allow anything to ruin their happiness. However, as I stood here and gazed into those cold, tawny eyes, I wondered how I would keep that from happening.—Excerpt from Chapter 5-The Boy I Once Loved. *Note: Stephanie Meyer's vampire and supernatural parameter's will be slightly altered to fit my story—mostly regarding Bella's (eventual) supernatural parameters. I've labeled it NC-17 for lemons, language, and violence. But don't expect too many lemons in my story. I don't want to story to be all about sex. ") This story is told in many points of view, mostly told by Jasper and Bella, but I will also include POV from the following characters: Carlisle, Edward, Alice, Embry, and an OC. Cannon through Twilight and up through E/B's separation in New Moon. From there everything changes - all bets are off. ") All couples are canon. (Eventual E/B HEA)* Beta-Zorradesombra
1. 1-A Chance Encounter:Jasper
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Not all those who wander are lost
J.R.R Tolkien-The Fellowship of the Ring
Chapter 1. A Chance Encounter
Today's weather was like any other day in September—rainy. It was as though the heavens were weeping and their very sorrows blanketed the earth. As the horizon swallowed the remaining light, the glare off the glass reverberated across all that surrounded it.
I braced the palms of my hands against the wall of glass and gazed absent-mindlessly out to the chilly, wet tarmac. I allowed my eyes to wander, drinking in all of my surroundings. My eyes fixated on the man in the reflection, yet, I hardly recognized the face. Deep in my subconscious, I was still that young, human soldier, Jasper Whitlock, dressed to the hilt in an officer's uniform, standing tall and regal. In reality, I was a bloodthirsty predator with eyes of liquid topaz and sickly, cold alabaster skin. All of which were tell-tale signs of a murderous past.
Disgusted by my marked appearance, I turned my head and gazed at Edward who was doing the same. Today, in the dimming light the bruise like shadows under his eyes notably stood out against his pale skin. How long had he denied his body sustenance?
I muttered softly under my breath, "Do you think you ever allow yourself to heal?"
"Are you ever going to quit asking me that?" he said softly. Edward turned towards me and smiled, but the emotion never touched his eyes. They were devoid of emotion, fathomless pools of onyx.
"Well, Edward, I never seem to get a straight answer, so I am probably going to continue to ask until I get a favorable answer, or at least an honest one," I retorted.
"Why do you come year after year? I mean, it's not like I need escorted to the airport. I'm over a century old and can manage quite well," he said sardonically.
"Quite frankly, I was hoping that you will stop running away from your problems. Maybe, some day, I hope you will shake off this incessant brooding and act like a man! Or, at the very least, pull your head out of your sorry ass. Edward, you are not the only one in this family that is hurting. We all are hurting because you forced us to comply with your wishes. Something that, had we listened to our hearts, would have chosen not to do. Carlisle, Esme, and Alice miss you like crazy!"
"Jasper, you could not even begin to comprehend the decision that I made. I re-live it daily and often wonder if I made the correct choice. I not only hurt her, but it seems all of you, as well. It is a terrible burden for anyone to bear, and I am drowning in the misery of it all. I must leave Seattle, because I know if I stay here, I will go looking for her and that is not what's best for Bella. She deserves a life without vampires," he said softly, noticeable sorrow lingering in his eyes.
I did not say anything else and it was obvious neither would he. Of course, I had my reservations and would love nothing more than to voice them aloud, but I could see the pain etched across his face, so I let it go and allowed the fathomless ocean of emotions to consume him.
Over the loud-speaker, a female voice announced that flight 105 to Rio De Janeiro, was boarding shortly. The airport suddenly began to buzz with a cacophony of silent vibrations, unwillingly swallowing me with their intensity. Edward averted his eyes, bent slowly, and retrieved his bag, walking quickly towards the specified boarding door. He handed his ticket off the flight attendant and disappeared through the doorway.
As I watched him disappear, I resolved to end the madness. This would be the last year I allowed Edward to wallow in self-pity. I planned to change the course of our fates—Edward's fate. I would do whatever was necessary to end the turmoil and heal my family. I was certain whatever transpired, or whatever steps I took, however uncomfortable, would be against Edward's wishes. However, I was willing to embrace and accept the additional strife between, if only it were possible to close our wounds.
I was unsure how long I stood overlooking the door, but it was long enough for me to settle peacefully into the emotions around me. Catching the movement in my peripheral vision, I looked over the large expanse of concrete, and my eyes fell upon the retreating airplane. Having no wish to watch the plane leave, I sent my usual goodbye and customary burst of emotion and stepped away from the glass, willing my feet to move toward the airport's exit.
I slithered past travelers, through security, and paused at a shop selling 'genuine' Washington memorabilia. Once inside, I bought Emmett a woodcarving of a bear, just for fun. My brother still harbored a secret vendetta against the large animals. I only hoped the trinket would please the six-foot man-child. His mirth would be a welcome change and would hopefully ease the tension in our troubled hearts and minds.
Continuing on my monotonous trek, my thoughts strayed further and further from my surroundings, and I successfully retreated deep inside my mind. My easy and unencumbered stride was halted by crowd of humans who surrounded the baggage area. They swarmed around the twirling oval like bees to the hive. Their emotions ebbed and pulsed, engulfing me in a myriad of emotions. I wanted nothing more than to get the hell out of this cacophony and leave the day's angst behind me.
When I was about a thousand feet from the front doors, I paused and briefly contemplated dropping the human act. No one would notice, would they? I was mentally exhausted. I truly wished to sprint through the heavily, wooded canopies of the sprawling forest and catch whatever animal crossed my path.
My thoughts were broken by a woman's scream. It was high-pitched and full of panic, bringing me to full alert. I stopped immobile and immediately took notice of her cry.
"Stop that man!" she pleaded. "He's stolen my purse!"
Even though my father had been dead for more than a century, I felt as though I would taint his memory by not offering the woman my assistance. There was a time when men were both cordial and gallant, and I wanted to prove to my father that I was still both. I held dear to those precious few memories of my human life, because as a vampire, those trivial moments were often forgotten.
I resigned myself to help the woman without a second thought.
I listened to the hammering footsteps as they drew closer. Confident with my enhanced abilities, I reached out my hand and snatched the man by the back of the neck, depositing him in a heap on the floor. As he made contact with the floor, the air that escaped his lungs made a dreadful, hissing noise.
Crouching over the man, I leaned mere inches from his face and grabbed the hand that held the woman's purse, squeezing the flesh tightly between my fingertips. The extreme pressure to his skin caused the bones in his arm to splinter, crumbling to pieces.
"If I ever see you here again, I will hunt you down and drain you dry," I hissed.
I did not care that my obvious strength, speed, and threat might invoke strange thoughts from the man. Who would believe him when he rambled about a vampire accosting him in a crowded airport? In broad daylight, to boot.
I watched as a trickle of urine flowed down the man's trousers. He was terrified of the creature before him; the emotion clearly painted across his face. His blue were eyes swimming with salty tears. He cradled his injured hand into his chest and moaned slightly. I smiled widely as I watched him scramble to his feet, leaving the purse lying on the floor, forgotten. He scampered off quickly but not without looking worriedly behind him every few feet.
It pleased me far more than it should to watch the man's face and to feel his pain. I appeared and acted human, but I was far from one. Even the practiced of actors occasionally lost their edge, or in my case, strayed from my new diet. My antics were just a little more Machiavellian than your average human.
Purse held in hand, I stood, spun on my heels, and watched the woman totter towards me on tiny heels. The woman's waist length, auburn curls bounced with every step. Her tiny shoes clicked rhythmically on the tile floor as she made her way closer.
"Oh my goodness! Thank you for saving my purse! I wouldn't have been able to get—" She trailed off mid thought and looked me over with wide eyes. Mid stride, she slid to a stop, and the abrupt shift in momentum caused her to topple backwards, landing directly on her backside.
The excitement of the moment lit a charge in the air, distracting me from the faces of the humans around me. They became faceless balls of emotion. I was so oblivious, in fact, that I was unaware of the woman's identity until she sat at my feet, disheveled on the airport floor.
Bella was no longer the awkward child of eighteen but a lovely woman, mature and slightly more voluptuous. I was overjoyed to see her again. However, when she looked up into my eyes, I had an inkling that she was not as happy to see me as I her.
"Hello, Bella, I see your balance has not improved in my absence,"I said softly, chuckling lightly under my breath. I bent slightly and offered my hand towards her, unsure if she would accept it or not.
"Jasper, I…I didn't think…I'm happy to see you, too," she said softly.
A smile strained the corners of her mouth, and a single tear streamed down her ivory cheek. She reached a hand out hesitantly toward me, and I grasped her tiny hand in both of mine, pulling her to up in one smooth, swift motion. She wavered slightly on her feet.
"I was right, you haven't changed one bit," I said warmly. It was a lie. Everything about her had changed, matured, yet, the most notable and troublesome change was her eyes. Her wide, chocolate orbs were empty and no longer danced with life. The dark circles that bordered those eyes were the same deep, dark shadows that alway plagued Edward's eyes. I wondered if she were just as miserable as he was.
I brushed the single tear away with the pad of my thumb and allowed it to linger. The warmth of her skin stung the pads of my fingers. It had been a very long time since I had touched a human, and the action was both warm and inviting.
She pulled away swiftly, looking extremely uncomfortable. Her heart beat furiously beneath her breasts, and the excess flow of blood tinted her cheeks. Under duress, she nervously shifted from foot-to-foot, anxiously smoothing the wrinkles out of her crimson sun dress. She kept her eyes firmly fixated on the floor.
My senses exploded. The sweet smell of blood invaded my mind, and I suddenly became aware of the life force as it coursed through her veins, causing venom to pool in my mouth. In my memory, I could still smell and taste the metallic rustyness of split blood on that unfortunate September day. The day that I attempted to murder the small, helpless woman who stood before me.
I swallowed deeply and closed my eyes, as the venom slowly coated and scorched the lining of my esophagus. A deep, red haze sprouted under my lids and spattered the darkness with lustrous fire—a crimson inferno, the color of death.
This situation was the primary reason I kept my distance from humans. Even though I had not had the taste of human blood for nearly five decades, I was still just as dangerous as I was then. My alternate food source would never change my nature. I remained a deadly predator—venomous and deadly.
Startled out of my silent reverie, she repeated a question that I had failed to hear the first time. She cleared her throat to recapture my attention, and I was immediately ecstatic for the turn of thought.
"Jasper, where's Alice?" she said softly.
"I'm sorry, Bella. I just dropped her off at the terminal. She's going on business in South America," I said shakily.
Of course, my statement was a blatant lie. Alice was not the person who was dropped off at the terminal. I knew she realized that I was lying, but thankfully, she didn't call me out. I didn't feel the need to sully the moment. If her misery revolved around my brother's absence, mentioning Edward's name might make her even more so.
"I guess I'm glad she's not here," she said sadly."It would be hard to—" she trailed off, pausing for several seconds.
The moment seemed unending. The turmoil that blossomed inside her grew exponentially, peaking my curiosity. She squared her shoulders and confidently glared into my eyes. Her bold and courageous stance filled me with a sense of hope. A much younger and timid Bella would have never stood up to me, and I had to admit, I was delighted by the change.
I raised my eyebrows in an attempt to encourage her to continue, smiling warmly.
"I am actually surprised to see you, and I'm curious to know why Alice didn't see me and warn you to steer clear," she said steely, anger boiling just below the surface.
"Why would she say such a thing?" I said startled. Her question perplexed me and came out of left field.
"Well, let's be frank, Jasper. The Cullen family have always been master manipulators and anyone privy to their circle are likely stabbed in the back,"she scoffed.
That hardly seemed fair. Although, I can see how someone would feel similarly considering all that had transpired.
"Bella…I don't know what to say. No one, absolutely no one, in our family ever wanted to hurt you. I can see how you could...or would think—"
She cut me off. "Jasper, I refuse to stand here and allow you to make excuses for all of your fucking shortcomings! You've been gone for ten years. All of you...gone. I haven't received any letters or phone calls, and I didn't even rate high enough to get a goodbye. If I had never caught Alice off guard, I wouldn't have ever seen any of you again. For whatever reason...here, you stand. Although, I wish you would just go. I'm done. D-o-n-e." She emphasized the last word, a cold, angry edge to her words. "Just leave!"
Bella spun on one heel and furiously stomped off towards the baggage carousel. She rifled through her bag and tossed various items to the floor, muttering various profanities under her breath. Her rage was a stifling presence in the room, overshadowing every other emotion in the room.
I stood dumfounded at my dismissal. This scenario seemed wrong and not at all what I had pictured mere moments ago. I wanted nothing more than to bring her home and end the strife that had splintered our family. Such an appealing thought. Instead, I stood, surrounded by hundreds of people, engulfed in her rage, and I was powerless to stop her as she strode out the door.
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