So, everyone: This is the final chapter. I'll be most likely starting another fanfic shortly. By shortly, I mean over the summer. And hopefully I'll be a little more on top of things.
I hope everyone will be pleased with how it works out. I actually debated with the FINAL finale until the very end. It was hard to write, because I love all of the characters and don't want anyone to hurt. But it's a story, after all. It's not even Stephanie Meyer's work, right? Please…please … please no hate mail. Even if you contemplate it, hate it—or think it. I know I have hated endings to a lot of works… (coughbreakingdawncough) but I still respected the author not to put flaming poop on her door step. Right?
Anyway, I really do hope you enjoy reading it as much as it killed me to write it. Perhaps a part of me just really didn't want Pros & Cons to end. It was unfair though. Really was. I'm sorry it took so long.
Thank you everyone.
Muscle Museum -- Muse
Butterflies and Hurricanes – Muse (Edward)
This Aint a Scene – Fall Out Boy (Jasper)
I decided to linger my fingers around the outside of her leg. It was always shocking to feel the warmth radiate off her body, like rays from the sun, coming off in waves. I wanted so much to soak up her body into mine. Her pulse started to quicken under my touch. I knew that she wanted me to keep touching her. I loved how it pleased her. It was hard to get used to, how wrapped up I was, into her—just her.
I never saw it coming.
A searing pain stretched across my chest. Shards of glass spread loosely on the driveway, and crushed glass under my body. I knew I was pinned. I could feel pain like never before. Bella.
She felt the pain I should feel: the weight of the blow and the knife-like nails that scratch my skin. They permeated her body like the lethal blows a human would feel. She was alive, but sick with death. The pain incapacitated her, drenched her. I knew she felt worse than the broken leg James gave her. James teased her. This would have merely killed her.
My body was whipped against a tree. I could see my attacker. I could see my legs dangle over the ground. It looked liked the ground was moving, but it was my body. I couldn't fight back. I should fight back.
Edward let me breathe a second, even though I didn't need to, but I never craved air like I did now. Now that Bella was screaming at me to stop. Stop the unbearable pain she was in. It lingered in her, like it could never linger in me before. I still felt the aches, throbbing inside my body. "B-b-bell-la," I choked, gasping.
"DON'T. SAY. HER. NAME," Edward roared, across the lot. It pierced the sky. Then, he was next to me, his hand on my throat and body thrust against my skin, pinning me. "Don't even think about calming me," his voice was ice. I didn't need to be an empath to understand. He wished for my death. He wanted to do it himself. He wanted it now.
I could barely make out words. Edward's grasp was tight and forceful. Bella's fatal pain was depleting my strength, making me weak and human-like. I never knew how to shut her out. How to diminish her in my subconscious, and I desperately needed to. How could bear to let her feel me die?
At that, Bella screamed. A piercing shrill that echoed in the woods. She reacted to my impending death, to the pain of a vampire death and to a loss she couldn't absorb again. Every dead cell in my body was filled with torment. "Y-you will k-kill her." I forced the words out beyond the deathly grip.
Edward's black eyes met mine. I could see the gold reflection in his black eyes. He must of known I haven't slipped. Not even close. He wouldn't trust my thoughts. He would just assume I was lying.
"Very good, Jasper," He snarled. "I can't believe you would come back here. Why? Just to finish her off. Gain her trust and kill her. You're sick, Jasper." He looked lethal. It was certain he wanted me dead. I was still fighting Bella in my mind. Trying to put her away so I could do what I needed to do—to save us both. Please I begged, to Bella, but would Edward understand. His face didn't change; I knew he was still waiting for my reaction.
Jasper, Bella cried—desperate. I think I can do it. What did she mean? And then I saw. Everything became clear. I reminded myself to not let her purposely hurt herself for my sake again, if I could.
I threw Edward off me in one fluid motion, crashing him against the garage door. It bent inward, but didn't stop him from rebounding. This time however, I was ready.
He was certainly faster, but I was a better fighting. Like humans, having reach on someone only gets you so far. The difference here: I was just trying to overpower him, not kill him.
He wasn't fighting rationally. His body moved like a newborn, bloodthirsty and rabid. I didn't know how to react, how to wind him down; I needed to make him see. He used his fists like a human. They crashed into my skin to the point of human fracture, but I barely felt it. It was even a minor sting. He never bit me.
If vampires could cry, I think he would be. I think he knew. Edward knew he was fighting a lost fight. He knew she loved me.
"NO!" Edward screamed, picking up a small tree and sending it off in my direction. He picked up body by the throat once again, and pinned me to the ground. He stared at me for a second. I didn't know what to think. Could sorry really work in this case?
His hands gripped tighter, and I partially expected it. "Sorry?" He said, repeated my words, "You dare apologize. What I don't understand is, how? You know her feelings, all them. You can talk to her! How did you do it?" He asked.
I tried not to think it. I tried to put away the memory of that moment in time, when we first discovered the connection. "I don't know," I said. "I know I love her."
That did it. He picked me up and projected my body into the forest. This time I was able to steady myself. I barely felt the resistance of the tree he attempted to crash me into. The tree fell beneath me, surrendering. It met with him an instant later.
I was really getting sick of letting him take pot shots. I straightened my shirt and lunged at his throat. I felt the branches around me give way. This time we were fighting. I almost wanted to use the saying, "for keeps." At this I could see Edward smirk. I knew what he meant. Whoever lived was synonymous with the keep. It was obvious.
My teeth clench on him arm, then throat. I knew how the venom stung. I knew very well. With my arms, I picked his body up and threw him with enough force to fracture a vampire arms,
It became a sickening enjoyment. I wanted him to suffer. I decided to play dirty. Every thought of pain she had. I had all those memories in my mine. I let Edward see for the first time what he did to her. All those months she lived like a shell of a human. I reveled in it. I didn't need to hit him, bite him or rip off a limb from his body. Truthfully, I knew he'd welcome it.
I let him watch, and allowed myself to look on his face. The horror cast a shadow on his face. The night she left him, how she almost died of hypothermia in the forest. How she lived, barely human. I used my own powers now. I illuminated every second of sadness, loss and torture she felt while she was with him, and before I came into her life.
Edward gasped, a mercy gasp: "Stop!" His voice was distraught and ragged. I let the memory linger. I used his only weakness in the world to get to him. I underestimated it.
"You left her," I screamed. "You let her wither until she was nothing. Because of you, a part of her soul—that part you tried to preserve—it died. She was vacant Edward. You have no claim to her. Tracking Victoria. Real heroic." I threw my clenched fists into his face.
"And you stole her, while I was trying to kill Victoria. What does that make you?" He said, spitting venom.
"I stole no one. You. Left. Her. Don't you get it? You walked away from Bella, creating a disaster and now you want to blame me. For whatever reason, I don't know." I knew my voice was growing jagged. I was becoming irritated. Earlier I felt guilt for Edward. It shriveled the more we remained in the forest. All I felt was complete and utter contempt for the weak vampire standing across from me.
"Is that it then? You think I'm weak?" Edward retorted. "Weak because Bella's pain affects me?"
I stepped back. "No," I stated. Again, obviously. "Because you blame our love all on me. You think she and I would be together if you never left her?"
We were back to fists and teeth. Our bodies collided with force. It was like an elastic band, how we moved seamlessly between calm and storm. I was on top, continually putting him into submission, just keeping the force of my blows from removing his arms.
And then got me. I was caught between him and the ground. My leg perched as about to snap. Jasper, Bella cried out to me. I had never realized she had woken up from her self-inflicted concussion. Jasper—stop. I was again drenched with the very human pain of feeling something that should be lethal. I was delirious with pain.
Edward continued to inflict any sort of wound on my body. I could barely focus on his body, the ground. It was so sharp, so vivid that I didn't want to focus on anything: fresh bite marks, gashes exposing the dead muscle inside my body, and the venom seeping out of it, before it closes back up. I was very certain Edward was going to kill me this time.
"Yes," he said. "After I destroy you."
I could hear voices. A voice. I felt close to death. I felt like I was under Jane's eyes. Continually dying but never dead. I wanted to die so very much. Bella was in too much agony to be able to throw herself down another flight of stairs. I love you, Bella. I thought. I knew this would kill her. Maybe Alice will protect her after me. Love her like a sister. Maybe Alice will hate her for taking me away. I didn't know.
"Edward!" she called. I knew the voice. There was an ancient charm to it. I couldn't concentrate on it. He has almost detached my leg when he stopped. Completely.
I felt the muscles slowly reattached. The pain decreased in body, but not in mind. I struggled to lift my head and saw what caused Edward to retreat.
Alice stood twenty feet away straight up with Bella in her arms. Bella's body was curled and almost lifeless. Edward began to slowly move toward the two, but Alice clutched Bella's body even tighter and jumped back. "Stay away," she warned—like a best friend, or a mother.
"Bella?" he called. I have never experience the human yearning to vomit, but I could not lie on the forest floor and listen to Edward's pitiful attempts to reach out to Bella. After everything he did, I could not.
I pulled my self up, still slightly unsteady on my feet.
He called to her again. I looked at her and give her what I could. Strength and well-being. It seemed to work, because she climbed out of Alice's grasp. "Edward," she stated. I saw a light in his eyes and he started to walk forward. It made me feel slightly defeated, until she yelled stop.
"You're killing me Edward," she stated.
"No," he pleaded. "I'm fighting for you."
Bella shook her head. "Stop. You knew. I know you did. You knew I felt what Jasper felt, because it's not just a feeling. I understand everything. So much more than you think, Edward. I know everything. I know you came to protect me from Jasper. Thinking he came to kill me. But when you found out he loved me, you wanted to destroy him."
Edward was speechless. Perhaps he was not aware of our connection, or as deep as it is.
"I think that may be true," Bella said aloud. "Edward. Alice. I see, feel and hear all of Jasper's thoughts. All of the time. Not his total thoughts, as if I was him—but rather an imprint, like we imprinted a piece of our souls on each other. It's the best idea I could come up with."
Alice nodded, putting her arm around Bella to support her. I could fury in Edward's eyes. "You accept this, Alice? Jasper is your mate, your lover—you're husband!"
"I have to. I saw it. I love them both. You didn't just destroy Bella when you left, but now you've disheveled my life too, Edward. I know my path. I've seen it."
Edward's fury increased, and he began to take a stride towards me. "You come back here, bring Bella back into the realm of vampires. Take her love from me, and still keep the loyalty of Alice. I try to save her, and I get nothing."
"Edwar—" I started to say, but a clenched first intercepted my jaw. Immediately, Bella howled. I raced towards her and took her small, frail body into my arms.
Bella choked, "you have to leave now, Edward." Tears were rolling down her face. I knew she still loved him very much. Edward was her first love, and possibly her true love. Not true. She told her, slightly amused through the hurt, of her own pun. "The longer you stay in my life, the more you hurt me. You're not good for me, Edward." She used the same words he did. Except, she meant them and I felt that.
He stepped back, turned around and began to run, after a couple second I could smell him anymore. He was gone.
"Alice," I called, as she started to leave the house. Alice turned around. We spent the weekend talking, but the guilt still lingered. Lingered was an understatement. Guilt set up an apartment in the walls of my heart. I wanted Alice to stay. I wanted to throw myself off a cliff. I just felt like I hurt her beyond belief.
She shook her head once and laughed. "I'll be okay, and knowing that, well—I already feel okay. I'm just going to look for someone. I don't know who he is yet. But it'll be okay. I'll be back soon."
"But," I started to qualify, but Alice gave me a look.
"I'm sure Edward is okay. It's not like he's headed to Italy or anything. I would know, right?" she laughed a little, tapping her head. And then she was gone.
* * *
We were alone, for one more day. Esme and Carlisle were returning tomorrow. They weren't disappointed. Oddly, they rarely were. They were also just happy to know I was alive, happy and healthy. In almost all respects I was. I just had one worry, and I didn't mean to think it.
"You're not even 18 yet!" I heard Jasper yell. "I don't bite minors."
I stifled a giggle. Just seduce them.