Discalimer: I own nothing but the plot and any original characters therein. No copyright infringement intended.
A/N: What can I say? I have no excuses. Yeah, this is new, but it was demanding to be written. Still working all the others too, so no worries there. Let me know if you like it, yeah? Chapters two and three are already done. Hope it's enjoyable. ~Spudz
P.S. This is a HEA (happily ever after) fic!
Jasper's guardian angel, Haiel:
He serves to confound evil and to be delivered from all those who wish to oppress. This angel protects all those who have need of him; he gives victory and peace; he influences weapons, arsenals, fortresses and all connected with military genius. The person born under this influence will have a lot of energy; he will love the military state and will be distinguished by his bravery, talents and actions.
Bella's guardian angel, Mizrael:
He serves to heal spiritual ills and to be delivered from those who persecute; he rules over illustrious people who are distinguished by their talents and virtues; he influences the fidelity and obeisance of subordinates towards their superiors. The person born under this influence will unite all the fine qualities of body and soul; he will distinguish himself through his virtues, spirit, and agreeable humor and will have a long life.
The guardian angel's mood was pensive as he stared, unseeing, into the majestic landscape. He was usually awed by the dense, green forests and snow-capped mountains but not today. Today, he was worried; worried for the fate of his charge and that of another she was destined to be with.
"Mizrael," the voice of his brother broke through his mood and he turned to greet him.
"Haiel," he said with a nod before looking back out to the trees.
Haiel frowned and moved to stand next to his brother. "What troubles you?"
Mizrael sighed. "The girl and her soul mate, of course," he answered.
"Ah, yes, they are turning out to be a difficult case, aren't they?"
He shot his brother a sardonic look and Haiel had the good sense to look sheepish. "Sorry, stating the obvious, aren't I?"
Mizrael nodded. "Yes, and I'm not sure how we're to fix any of it."
"She's still with the mind-reader, right?"
Haiel watched as Mizrael's expression darkened. "Yes, and the psychic is doing everything she can to keep it that way."
Haiel winced. "Tough break, that."
Mizrael snorted and glanced at his brother. "You could help me out here, you know? After all, her soul mate is your charge."
Haiel scowled. "You know I haven't been able to do much with him since the psychic got her greedy claws in him. Between her and the rest of the family, however well meaning some of them think they've been, they've brow beat him into someone I hardly recognize! He's entirely submissive to them! What am I to do with that?"
Mizrael sighed and rubbed his forehead. "I know brother. Sometimes I wish…I wish we could just start over, you know?"
Haiel nodded while staring out into the distance, his mind racing. "Me too, brother…me too," he muttered thoughtfully.
Jasper sat in his favorite chair in the darkest corner of the living room, reading a book as everyone else in the family scrambled to put the finishing touches on Bella's birthday party.
They all moved around him as if they didn't see him, and that's why he liked this particular chair and its placement. He was fine with being invisible. It was when they did see him that things got uncomfortable.
They didn't trust him, despite the many years he'd adhered to their lifestyle and all his efforts to fit in.
Even Alice, who claimed to love him and he knew, through his gift, that she did in her own way. It was a possessive type of love though; the type one would hold for a beloved pet or a favored possession. He was grateful though because it was more than he ever deserved. He had been and always would be a monster, after all, and was grateful for their tolerance all these years.
Edward walked down the stairs and Jasper observed him from the corner of his eye. "Alice, I'm going to get Bella now." He cut his gaze toward Jasper and back to her as they had one of their silent conversations.
She rolled her eyes. "Don't worry Edward. He'll be fine, but I'll keep a close eye on him, if that makes you feel any better."
Jasper tensed but didn't acknowledge that they were talking about him as Edward smirked. "Marginally, sister. Just keep him on his chain," he muttered while shooting a glare at Jasper.
Rosalie scoffed and Esme tsk'ed. "Edward dear, we'll all keep Bella safe. No need for unkind words toward Jasper. Now go get my newest daughter," she instructed with a smile.
He leaned down and kissed her cheek. "Yes Mother," he said and walked through the kitchen and into the garage.
Esme beamed and Carlisle smiled as he pulled her close. "It's so good to see him so happy," he said as Esme nodded agreement.
"Oh gag," Rosalie muttered while Emmett snickered.
Carlisle frowned at her. "Rosalie, please be civil tonight, and Emmett, I want you to stay close to Jasper, just in case. Doing so will ease Edward's mind, I'm sure."
"Yes, because we all just live to serve Edward and his human toy," Rose grumbled as Em tried to hush her.
"Babe, come on…"
Alice walked over to Jasper. "Jazz, it's time to put your book away and join the rest of us."
He looked up and nodded. Closing the book, he stood. "Alice, I really think I should hunt…"
She rolled her eyes. "I've told you, you have no intention of hurting her Jazz and you just hunted two days ago! Now, I don't want to discuss this with you any further. Go put your book away and come back down. They should be here shortly."
He nodded and made his way up to his study where he slid the book back in its place on the shelf. With a sigh, he peered around the one room that was entirely his space, touching on the few mementos he had of his past life. There weren't many; most were books, some items from his time in the Confederate Army like his officer's saber and a painting or two. Nothing like the extravagant collections of the rest of his 'family', but they were his and he felt a sense of pride at the representations of his history.
Pride… It was only in this room that he dared let himself feel such a thing. Most of the time, it was always guilt and shame at his past; a past his 'family' never let him forget, especially Alice and the mind-reader.
He hung his head and rubbed his eyes. They were right to feel the way they did about him though and he should be nothing but grateful. They'd let him stay, after all, despite all they knew about him.
"Jazz! Stop feeling sorry for yourself and get down here! They'll be here in two minutes!"
He nodded and turned toward the door with a muttered, "Yes, Alice."
After standing where Alice placed him, he watched as Edward ushered Bella into the room. She glanced around with wide eyes at the lavish decorations and cake and smiled a smile that more resembled a grimace. "Hi everyone," she said with a wave.
Esme moved forward and hugged her gently. "Happy Birthday, Bella," she said with a wide smile.
The greeting was echoed by everyone but Jasper who hung back on the fringes, merely observing, as usual.
He watched as a gift—the gift from him and Emmett—was thrust into her hands and she unwrapped it nervously before shaking the seemingly empty box with a bemused frown. Edward chuckled. "It's a stereo for your truck. Emmett's installing it now so you can't take it back."
She smirked and glanced at Jasper before calling out toward the garage, "Thank you Em!"
He bounded into the house and went to stand by Jasper. "No problem Bella."
Next, Alice handed her an envelope. "That's from Carlisle and Esme," she chirped and Bella quirked a brow at them. Esme grinned.
"We thought you could use some color," she said as she urged her to open it.
Sliding a finger under the flap, Bella winced and murmured, "Paper cut" a moment before chaos erupted.
Edward's eyes turned black in an instant, his bloodlust blanketing the room thickly, spiking Jasper's own thirst beyond controllable levels and he lunged with a snarl.
"Jasper, no!" Alice screamed and Emmett grabbed him and hauled him back just as Edward shoved Bella into the cake table where she landed with a crash amongst the fine crystal plates. The scent of her blood was thick now as it gushed from a gash in her arm and Jasper slipped Emmett's hold with a growl, only to be grabbed by Carlisle.
"Emmett, get him out of here!" Carlisle ordered and Emmett clamped his arms around Jasper's snarling form and hauled him outside as Rosalie followed.
Once outside in the fresh air, Jasper ceased his struggles and Emmett dropped him. "Jasper, what the fuck, man? How could you try to kill Bella?!"
"Yes, Jasper," Alice seethed as she joined them, "please explain!"
Jasper sat where he'd been dropped, his head hanging in shame as he tried to fend off the disgust and anger being directed his way, all the while his mind spinning with a new realization; that being Bella is his true mate.
'How did I not notice this before? How had I missed it when she was attacked by James?' The only thing he could think was he'd avoided getting close enough to smell her blood. He'd killed James and built a fire immediately. That combined with the tracker's venom must have been enough to mask the scent.
That hadn't been the case tonight though and there wasn't a doubt in his mind…
Pain shot through him at the thought…
Bella is his mate…
And he had tried to kill her…
With that thought, he ignored the mind reader who was in the middle of screaming at him, jumped up and ran into the woods.
Finding a clearing, he skidded to a halt in the middle, clutched at his hair with both hands and screamed in anguish. 'What kind of a monster tries to kill his own mate?!' his thoughts raged. 'You did,' a cold inner voice answered and he fell to his knees.
"I did," he groaned in misery. "I did," he repeated as he rocked, his eyes clenched tightly shut. "Oh god in heaven, there really is no redemption for me…" and he stilled as ice filled his veins at that thought.
He straightened and stared into the night, his face a chillingly blank mask as he came to a realization; years of hearing he was a monster and weak only serving to seal his decision. 'All these years,' he thought. 'Trying to change, trying be good enough…trying to be what I never was…what I'll never be…'
With cold resolve, he began to gather dry wood and brush which he piled at the outer perimeter of the Cullens yard.
He knew what he had to do…how to solve this for everyone…and in his mind, it was past time to do it.
Inside, the family had gathered as Carlisle stitched Bella's arm in his office. Edward was still livid and sat tensely, waiting for her to emerge. Emmett and Rose lounged together with Emmett shaking his head every so often in disbelief. Alice, meanwhile, paced, muttering to herself about how this could happen and how she hadn't seen it.
"Enough Alice!" Edward barked. "We knew we couldn't trust him. We were stupid enough to allow him in the same room with Bella and now she's injured. I'm just thankful Emmett and Carlisle got to him in time to stop him."
Rose smirked as she studied her nails. "I just hate to point this out Eddie, but you're the one who launched her into a pile of glass. She'd be just fine if you hadn't overreacted."
He spun on her. "Overreacted?!" he asked incredulously. "A bloodthirsty killer was trying to get to her and you say that to me?"
She shrugged. "It's true. He didn't come anywhere near her. If you'd just let her stand there, she wouldn't have gushed blood all over Esme's carpet."
Edward growled but pasted a congenial mask back on when Bella and Carlisle walked back into the room. He held his arms open. "All better now?" he asked and she nodded against him with a smile.
"Yeah, I'm fine." She stepped back and looked around. "Where's Jasper? I'm sure he feels terrible and I'd like to speak to him."
Carlisle frowned as he wrapped his arms around his wife. "Yes, where is Jasper?" He looked at Bella. "I think I need to speak with him before you do, Bella. There are some things I need to make clear to him. He can't be allowed to behave the way he did this evening. It's unacceptable."
Bella blinked. "It wasn't his fault Carlisle. I'm the idiot who managed to cut myself in a room full of vampires."
Edward scoffed. "Don't be ridiculous Bella. It was pure savagery and lack of control on his part, nothing more."
Bella frowned and glanced at Alice, who didn't offer so much as a word in her mate's defense, before turning to face Edward. "That's harsh, don't you think?" She swept them all with a look. "I mean, can any of you really say you didn't thirst for my blood tonight? Even you Carlisle?"
He shook his head while the rest remained silent. "No Bella, I don't believe any of us can claim immunity to such potent blood, but the difference is we didn't act on it. Jasper did."
She nodded. "I'll give you that. He did, but let me make one point and then I'm done." She met all their gazes in turn before continuing. "None of you have to deal with the bloodlust of all the others at once in addition to your own. He does. Think about that the next time you're tempted to feel so self righteous."
They all, with the notable exceptions of Edward and Alice, looked contrite and she felt satisfied by that. It was a small step, but at least it was something.
She'd noticed, over the months, how they'd all treated the quietest one of the family and she was beginning to hate it. He was a gentle soul and she hated to see him abused and belittled.
A sudden gasp from Alice caught everyone's attention and they turned to her, waiting for her to tell them what she'd seen. "Jasper…" she muttered, her face a mask of horror. "Oh god, Jazz, no!"
She zipped outside and the rest of them followed to see a blazing bonfire with Jasper standing beside it.
"Jazz!" Alice screamed. "Don't do it!" she begged as she slowly walked toward him. He held up a hand and she stopped.
"Stay away Alice," his voice flat and cold as he spoke just loud enough for Bella to hear him over the crackle and pop of the burning wood.
Carlisle stepped forward, his hands outstretched at his sides. "Jasper, son, if you're thinking of doing what I think you are, please don't. This isn't the answer son. Come inside with me and we'll sit down and talk about this."
Bella watched, tears in her eyes as Jasper sneered. "Son? You, who holds no love in his heart for me dares call me son?" He shook his head. "Go back inside, all of you and leave me to do this in peace."
Edward glanced at Carlisle before grasping Bella's hand. "I think we should listen to him."
Bella's eyes widened and she yanked her hand from Edward's hold. She glared up at her boyfriend while swiping at the tears on her face. "How could you say such a thing?! How could you be so unfeeling to him? Do I even know you?!"
She turned and met Jasper's gaze. "Please don't do this! Nothing is worth this! Not your past, or the guilt you may feel or the shitty way they treat you…nothing! You're the one that once told me I was worth it. Well, Jasper, you're worth it too damn it! Don't do this!"
His face crumpled and he looked into the flames as they danced, their light playing across his features and making his eyes glitter as he looked back up at her. He looked the most tortured she'd ever seen him. "Bella, you don't understand. Tonight I did something unforgivable." She shook her head and he held up a hand. "Tonight…" emotion choked him and he looked away for a beat before looking back into her eyes. "Tonight, I tried to kill my mate, and I can't forgive myself for that."
With that, he stepped into the fire amidst the gasps and screams of the Cullens and a soul wrenching cry from Bella as she was caught and held back by arms that suddenly felt all wrong.
And as she watched, Jasper stood there, eyes closed, arms outstretched and fists clenched as the flames consumed him.
Remember, this is a HEA
Please review and let me know!
'Till next time, ~Spudz