Title : Looking back

Summary: I left her years ago for her own good so I thought. Now that I know the stakes of getting back I won't take no for answer. Little did I know that the young girl I had left behind would have become such a force to behold.

DISCLAIMER: Twilight and its inclusive material is copyright to Stephenie Meyer. Original creation, including but not limited to plot and characters, is copyright to the respective authors of each story. No copyright infringement is intended.

Jasper

I can't leave without her this time, I left her behind last time and I can't do it again. Emmett and I have tracked her down, and now it is time for me to pay the piper and lay the bed that I made years ago. Emmett parked the car about a block from the coffee shop that Bella visits daily around the same time.

We are sitting in my car when I suddenly see Bella across the street, and I jump out and begin to walk briskly towards her. She looked up as though she knew it was me- even after all this time. As soon as she is close enough to touch, I reached out for her and pulled her into my body, whispering into her hair.

"I spent all these years searching for you and I know now that my timing is shit but I need you to come with me we have to talk." As soon the words leave my mouth, she jerks away from me and slaps me across the that moment, she looked positively wild, I grimaced as I could also here Emmett's laughs from across the way. I reached out for her hand, pulling the palm to my mouth and kissed the red hot skin. I know deserved the slap and most definitely deserve her anger.

"Come on Isabella lets go, we are making a scene."I try to say to her. I dropped her

hand and held my arm out to the silver car idling at the curb.

"I hate you Jasper Whitlock." She grinds out at me before she turns towards the open car door.

She looks the same as she did the night I left; looking back on how I acted then, I could definitely say was an asshole. I know what I am and will always be, but she is mine and I have to have her, I can't leave her behind again. She slides into back of the car and I get in behind her. She doesn't look much different then she did the morning I left her. Long brown hair, big brown eyes, and her body has filled out as she has aged.

"Why are you here? I am getting married Jasper, and now you fucking show up out the blue!" Bella spat out at me with a much harsher tone than she ever did since I saw her last. I am not sure what I expected, seeing as I left her in a shit situation and ran.

"Yeah I know I saw the announcement and I came as soon as I could to get you." I fucked everything up thinking that I was doing what was best for you only for you to walk into a more dangerous situation. I have loved you all these years and I've tried to stay away, but since you can't seem to stay out of trouble, here I am. I need you to go home right now and get what everything have to come home with me. He doesn't love you; you're a smart woman, you know that." I say to her and she sits stiffly staring at me as if I have lost my mind and then turns her body toward the door effectively cutting me off from saying much else. I do the same I will leave it for right this moment because she deserves the time to think.

"I went everywhere, I did everything; I became someone anyone needed me to be. As time went on, I saw everyone except me falling in love with strangers and friends. I spent all this time resenting the longing in my heart for someone like you, and you spent all these years in that horrible place just waiting for me to take you away. I'm sorry I'm late, but I'm here now. I'm sorry I kept you waiting. I know this makes me an asshole, but you know that I am it for you, and you for me. We both knew that years ago, and we both tried and failed to move on." I tell her looking in her direction she has turned her face toward me and her eyes are just narrowed and her fists balled in anger. I knew that she had fire, I was glad to see that it was still there, and the thought of a good fight with her turns me on slightly.

"This shit is all your fault to begin with, and now you want to come in and "save" me?!" Bella shakes her head and blows the end of her air out.

"Go fuck yourself I know exactly who I am marrying and I know what kind of relationship I have. Unlike the relationship that we had, where you got up and left me in a bed naked, just with a measly note saying that I deserved better. The whole reason that Paul came after me was because I had been associated with you; he had his goons take me, and then he murdered my father." She says looking out the window at the city that is passing us by. I can see that her whole body is stiffen she is now used to holding in a lot of what she is feeling and her outbursts toward me have shocked her. She is watching my reaction in the reflection in the glass.

"I don't know what else to say other than I am sorry I was young and dumb. I thought that I was doing the best for you. I know now that I was wrong and I should have been more upfront let you make the choice. If you don't want to be with me that is your choice, but you can't marry him and stay here. I have to get you away from here." I tell her as I reach forward to touch her face.

She looks at me and now her eyes are wet with tears.

"Why after all of this time, you couldn't just leave me be. I can't be happy, I have tried but I am content; finally Paul isn't horrible to me and this is a way for me to protect myself. Why would I trust you? You left me in naked in bed while I was asleep and I didn't hear from you for 5 years. You threw me to the wolves so to speak, Paul came after me and my family because of you, My dad had his throat cut because of you. He was all I had!" Bella was screaming at me with tears running down her face, and I promised myself I will do whatever it takes to make any of the hurt that I have caused her better. I pull her towards me and sit back in the seat with her head tucked against my chest. I lay my head against hers and she sobs.

"I will do whatever it takes to make this better. I never meant to hurt you darlin, and if I could change any of it then I would." I tell her holding on to her as she cries I know how strong she is to have survived in Paul's world as long as she has.

"I am so tired; I wish some days that I had never met you and then none of this would have happened. But then I have dreams about our time together and realize that most people never get to feel the love that I know I felt with you. Take me home, I can't just run I have to get things in order, and if Paul figures out that you're here he will have my head." Bella says to me and her words make my heart clinch because throughout our time apart I have wished the same thing.

"I can't let you stay, Paul will know that I am here soon if he doesn't know already. You need to go home get what you want and we have to go. He has men watching you all the time, you are completely right that he will have your head, and I can't let that happen." I say to her holding her chin so that she can't turn from me.

"Where will you take me? And why again should I trust you again? I have been with Paul for 5 years, he is the beast I know, and I don't know you like I should have, you made sure of that. Just take me home and leave."

"Please, I don't want any of this." She says jerks out of my hand and turns back to the window. We pull up to her house and she goes to jump out of the car when Emmett gets out of the driver's seat and grabs her holds off her futile attempts of hitting his chest to get free until I send her a look that quietens her movements.

"You are coming with me, so let's all go in get your stuff and go. Paul isn't here, but he is on his way, my guys are following him." I say to her and she huffs; she grabs her keys from her purse, and throws the purse in the car. She knows how Paul is, and she knows I am her best option in this situation. Emmett and I follow her into the house she runs up the stairs, and I follow her up to make sure she is okay. She starts packing like a mad person grabbing photos and clothes.

"There is a box in the closet top right corner under a fur blanket, will you grab it for me? I can't leave here without it." Bella asks and I do as she says. We're in the house 10 or so minutes when my phone goes off and I tell Bella we have to go. Emmett has been taking stuff out to the car, so I take Bella's last suit case and we leave the house. After I get her in the car I see Paul's car coming our way. I knock on Emmett's window and he rolls it down.

"Take her to the house, Seth will bring me home. No stops and Bella, please just listen, I will take care of this." I say to Emmett and Bella looking back at her pointedly. She nods and looks out the window; I know that this isn't what she wants. I stand and step back from the car as they pull away. Paul screeches to a stop as I step onto the sidewalk.

"What the fuck are you doing here Whitlock?" Paul says in an even tone as he steps out of his car. The mask that he has donned is calm, but I have known him a long time and I know how angry this makes him for me to be here outside of his house.

"You know why I'm here Paul, you knew that when I found out you were going to try and marry her that I would come for her. She's just your pawn, this is what you really wanted. You knew all along that I would always love her no matter what, which is why when I left not even a year later, you came in and murdered her father and took her away when she had nothing." I tell him pulling a cigarette from my pack and lighting it. He smiles at me nodding with is arms crossed across his chest.

"She was always a beautiful woman, you have good taste, but she has one hell of an attitude; always has. You're right ya know, I did take her because I could. I have to marry a good girl, and she was perfect for that role, never very good in bed though, too disobedient, but I can get any woman for that. You know she won't be with you for long right? I won't allow you or her to embarrass me like that." Paul says in a calm self-assured voice. But I know things he doesn't, and it will stay that way until I need it.

"Whatever you think is fine Paul. You have a nice day." I say as I finish my cigarette and walk toward the car I know Seth is in. But knowing Paul, he always had to get the last word.

"I made sure to tell her everything over the years; she hates you, just so you know!" Paul calls to me as I cross the street, but I don't even give his statement any acknowledgment because I wouldn't have expected anything else. I get in the car and Seth starts off toward the house.

Bella

Jasper showed back up out of nowhere in my life again and I had thought of seeing him again so many times over the years that when I did I wasn't sure how to feel. That hasn't really changed we have been in the same house for a week now and haven't said more than 20 words to one another. I have so much that I want to say and NOTHING that should be said. The years that we have been apart have been okay I went to college and started free-lance editing for authors. I make good money, I get to read, and can do it from wherever. Paul and I had a mutual attraction to one another at first, and it just dissolved, disappeared. It took a while for me to realize that he didn't enjoy me. Sex for us was a chore for a while, and just stopped altogether, which was fine for me, because I thought of Jasper every time. Our relationship became very separate; we lived together in different rooms, had different friends, but appeared together in pubic.

Jasper and I eat together at least once a day but that's really it. He does try to talk to me, but I have nothing to say. I work, run, eat, and sleep: that is my life living with Jasper. It is nice seeing him; I have to say he is nice and not demanding, but I know that if I let him in that will be that for me. I am coming up the front stairs in my running clothes, soaked from the 5 miles I just did, but when I reach for the door it opens before I could grasp it. I come face to face with Jasper who is bare chested, donning running shorts of his own. I look up and he has his to long hair pulled up in a small pony tail, which is actually sexy on him, he also has a few new tattoos since I last saw his naked chest. He has that damn smirk on his face, and as I go to push past him, he wraps his arms around my waist making chill bumps break out across my skin.

"Are you going to ignore me forever? Or at some point are you going to admit to yourself that you want this as much as I do." Jasper says after he pulls my ear bud out. I am looking up at him and I want to say plenty, but the only words that want to come out is I love you and that makes me stupid. I let him do this to me once, but I was young and inexperienced that stupidity on my part had a very steep price.

"I want to be friendly, but that's all I can give. I have spent years pining over you and hating you equally. I won't allow myself anything else with you because you lied to me and then left me for dead. Luckily for me, Paul has an affinity for brunettes so he didn't kill me: he did however put his paws all over me plenty of times, and even tried to share me with his friends. Did you know all that? Did you know that he came into our bed with a couple one night, and tried to make me have sex with the man so he could fuck that man's wife? Is that what you wanted from me why you left me that morning naked in bed? So I could be passed around like some whore even though I had only ever had sex with you!" I end yelling in his face every time I talk to him, I lose my temper, that's what love brings out in you.

"I didn't know those things, and I would have come sooner if I could have. I regret it all Bella, the good too because that night when we met, if I would have just walked away from you, none of this would have happened. But I can't fix that darlin' all I can do is tell you hear and now I am in this with you, for you, until I am in the ground. It is something I should have shown you then, but I didn't and I am here now telling you I will do whatever it takes. What do you need from me? I know you don't trust me so what will it take for me to build that trust?" Jaspers face is serious and I find myself thinking what he can do to make this up to me.

"Tell me why you left and maybe I can give it a chance. Paul had a theory, but I want to hear it from you. Why did you spend all that time on me, make me love you, and leave me before I woke up? Don't bullshit me either I have one hell of a lie detector." I tell him stepping back from him. He doesn't let me step far enough that he has to let go of my hip.

"It's not a complicated answer; I love you and in my line of work that will get you killed, as you very well know. I thought I had hid you well enough from my colleagues that you would be okay, but I could risk your life any further than I had. So I did what I thought was best for you: I left. I had a contract at the time, and work had always been an easy distraction from life before you." He tells me and is looking right in my eyes never even flinching I believe him and it breaks my heart because he has never told me he loved me before right now.

"I know now what you do and maybe if I had known that first night it would have mattered, but by the time you left it didn't matter. You were it for me and now I am it for me. I am the only person I can trust; y- you just burned me so bad. I believe you, but I don't know if I can get past what has happened. I will try hardest to."

Jasper leans toward me and kisses my forehead, and I know that if he pursues me that I will buckle no matter what happened in the past; I love him with all the love I have left. I step back and walk into the house. This could be the most dangerous game I ever play, but I think it's time to play a game to win.

Our first date is perfect really, we go to a laid-back restaurant and we talk about what has been going on in the time that we have been apart. I tell Jasper everything I know about Paul and his run for office, and he tells me about where he has been over the years. I find myself jealous of the people who he hasn't cut out of his life in this time and realize I am bitter about the whole thing.

"How many women have there been since me?" I ask knowing it is a piece of information I need but don't really want. Jasper sets his beer down on the table and leans forward.

"Not many; I tried at first to move on, I really did, but every time I felt anything but lust it was about you. I couldn't do that to anyone it wasn't fair to them. So after a year or so, I just gave up and didn't even talk to women when I went out unless it was for work." Jasper says, and I knew it would make me feel better to know, but knowing that he didn't care about anyone else does feel good. I nod at him and pick up my drink glass and take a solid swig the whiskey warming my bones.

"Why me Jasper? I was so young when we met inexperienced. You could have had any of those women the night we met. I am not fishing for complements I look at myself every day and I have spent years around powerful men who have wagged their tongues at me. But when we met you could see me I know you could." I say to him and it is a question I have had for years. When he first left I thought he had used me taken my innocence and ran like I had heard of men doing over the years. But as time wore on and some of the red hot pain faded I realized that he had felt some of what I had felt as well.

"I did know who you were when I walked in that night you are right. That night was the first night that I had an uncompleted job, and I don't regret that in the least. I saw something in you that I had never seen in a woman you were commanding without raising your voice, you dominated that room and everyone in it with a demure face. It was beautiful to watch and the world was going to crush you. Society has a way of crushing that spirit out of someone and I wanted to bash in it as long as I could. My job is so dark, I just wanted to touch the light." Jasper says and the gravity of his addition hits me like a ton of bricks. I was the job, he was supposed to get rid of me, and instead he loved me. I reach across the table and take his hand, because in this moment I have to touch him. A smile pulls at his lips and I know that he doesn't smile for just anyone.

"Thank you Jasper that is what I need. I am not saying that gaining my trust again will be easy, but I will try. I need your honesty." I tell him we eat our burgers and make small talk.

After our first date we made it habit to have a "date" once a week at least. I am falling in love with him all over again, and I know that I may regret it, but I don't want to regret not trying. Over the next month we spend as much time together as two working adults can spend together. Paul announced his intention to run for the senate, and he even called off our engagement publicly, stating that I "ran off with other man." I am glad that he announced that, and I don't even care that he made me look bad.

"Hey darlin you up?" I hear Jasper say and I am awake.

"Mmmmmm" I say to him not even moving I am warm snuggled down in the bed. I feel the bed dip and I roll over toward him. He pulls the blankets down off my face and I open my eye and look up at his handsome face: he is smiling down at me.

"Don't you look snug and beautiful?" Jasper says pushing my hair off my forehead and kissing me. He can be so sweet with me that it makes me tingle, but this was our problem last time.

"I just came to tell you I have to leave town tonight for my last contract. I should be home in about a week then we should take a trip and celebrate. Emmett is coming with me, but Seth will be here and you can always call me. After this I am done no more contracts no more travel." Jasper says and I have to close my eyes trying to fend of the fear of him leaving and not coming back.

"Sounds ominous. What will you do for work after this?" I ask him trying to fend off the dread.

"Emmett and I have been setting up a security consulting company for a while; I plan to dedicate myself to that, so I can be here with you. I was serious when I said this was it for me. I am completely in this for you." Jasper says smiling at me I don't say anything at first.

"Okay… then I will see you when you get back Jasper, be safe." I tell him sternly.

"I always am; I love you Bella. I will be back in no time. Then we can take the vacation I've always knew you wanted in England. Maybe while we're there, we will go and visit all the literary stops." Jasper says and pecks my lips with his, and gets out of our bed. I turn over onto my back and blow out a breath, knowing that I am in so much trouble with him.

Jasper is gone an entire week and I have to say that I miss his presence in the house. I work a lot and read trashy romance for fun I hear from him some. I pack some for England and even find Seth one day to beg a ride into the city so that I can do some shopping. I need some new things because most of my stuff was left behind at Paul's. Seth refuses my offer to go alone and I know that being with Jasper has a level of risk. I am pretty sure that I know the extent of his business and I can't say that I agree but what is the saying love the man not the suit or whatever.

Shopping for me has always been out of necessity not out of enjoyment. I did shop on occasion while with Paul with his Amex because he had pissed me off, but that was all the enjoyment I got out of it. Paul had been the bane of my existence really but when he realized that he wouldn't break me no matter how hard he tried he ignored me for the most part which worked fine for me. I didn't ever grieve my dad's death, I just moved past it. Paul once in a while would try and use it as a chip but I would remind him that I knew how much he had liked the kinky things that the staff had no knowledge of and that shut him up. His father had been speaker of the house once and Paul wanted to make a presidential run one day so I knew his secrets including my dad's demise and his dealings with Jasper. I was a wild card and now that Jasper was back I was dangerous card.

After a week of being gone Jasper flopping in our bed surprised me enough for me to let out a shriek and when I hear his chuckle I reach out to slap at him.

"

Good to see you too then." He says grabbing my hand and rolling me on to my back and kissing me making me sigh. Damn him and his soft lips for making me swoon like a teenager.

"Don't scare the hell out of me and then laugh at me; then I won't be hitting at you in the dark. What time is it anyway?" I say holding his face back from mine looking at his face in the dimly lit room. I see that his right eye is a little swollen but no worse for the wear.

"A little after 3 am, just let me shower and I will come to bed." Jasper says with a swift peck and he pushes away. I fall asleep again and wake when he pulls me back against him.

"I am glad that you came back." I say sleepily as I snuggle into him and the new spot on my pillow.

"I told you that I would and if it takes the rest of my life to deserve you then I will spend it all right here." Jasper says kissing head and I mean to respond, but I guess that I was too tired because I wake the next morning in bed alone.

I mosey downstairs after a shower and morning rituals to find Jasper busting through the front door red faced and sweating with Emmett coming up the stairs behind him.

"Are you two running from something in particular or is there a bear?" I ask passing them in my journey to the kitchen in search of coffee.

"No just showing Emmett that being a front seat man has lost him some of his speed." Jasper says jumping out of the way why Emmett takes a playful swing at him. I roll my eyes because obviously age does not determine maturity in any man.

Jasper's first day home is relaxing we lounge around with music on and both of us reading. This is the relationship that I had always hoped for two people that just enjoyed being together no need of pomp and circumstance. We plan tentatively a trip to England and I am excited to say the least.

Paul shocks everyone by showing up at Jaspers door a few days later. When Jasper answers the door I hear Paul's angry voice drift through the house.

"Where the hell is she?" Paul says loudly and I stand from where I have been on the couch with my laptop working. I see Emmett come out of the kitchen at the same time that I round the corner.

"You have never been a smart man Paul but this is a new low." Jasper says opening the door wide.

"This is what you wanted isn't that right Isabella. You wanted me coming here because I have no other choice. I know what you took from the house and I want it back. I let you go without a fight so run along upstairs and get my box like a good girl." Paul says trying to walk toward me but Emmett steps in front of him. I shake my head and smile I can't believe it took him this long to look for it. He really is an idiot.

"Why would I give you a box that seals your fate and gives me the power? Did you think that I was a stupid woman? You killed the only parent I had and then treated me like a piece of property for the next 5 years. You always liked to think you had the power, but we both know everything I saw over those years is enough to bury you." I tell Paul and his face is reddening by the second because if we were playing a game of chess I would have him in check. He could go to the press, but the dirt that I have on him is enough to bury any political career he could ever hope for.

"I have never pegged you as dumb Isabella just not as calculating as this. Just know that I may have been indifferent to you, but he will be the death of you so come home anytime. Just don't forget my box." Paul says and strolls out of the still open door with his hands in his pockets.

"You were right Jasper; she's a wild one." Emmett says looking at me and taking to stairs at a jog. I look over at Jasper and he is smirking.

And here I was thinking I was saving you, you were holding all his cards the whole time." Jasper said walking towards me letting the door slam after he let it go. Reaching me and wrapping his arms around my waist.

"I didn't need to be saved; I had an exit plan, but sometimes you have to let someone think they are doing what suits them. I have been saving information on Paul and everyone connected to him since the night he killed my dad. I begged him to take me with him after he told his guys not to touch me I knew that he wouldn't have me killed. But in order to get what I needed for payback I needed him to view me as weak. So I played that for as long as needed and then took no more shit. You taught me to be strong by leaving, and even though it hurt like hell, I learned to fight for myself." I tell Jasper as he looks at me and his mouth is agape a little looking thoroughly shocked. I may be small but I am fierce and I wouldn't be made a fool of.

"That is sexy as fuck and a little scary, but now it begs the question are you doing the same to me?" Jasper says fixing his face and looking at me quizzically. I smile at him as sweetly as possible.

"I guess you will just have to trust that I am here for the right reasons." I say giving him a peck.