Disclaimer: I don't own anything to do with Twilight, unfortunately. It all belongs to Stephenie Meyer.
A.N. - This is my first fanfiction; so I could do with some constructive criticism – but just no flamers, please? Also, the first chapter is quite boring – it'll get better as the story goes on. By the way, I live in the UK, so there may be some spelling mistakes – i.e, 'colour' or 'realise'. Please review!
I sat in the Cullens' spacious living room, thinking about the upcoming weekend. I didn't blame Jasper for Edward and the rest of the Cullens leaving, and he had a lot more control over his blood lust than Edward gave him credit for – so why was I absolutely petrified of being left alone with him for two days? I didn't have time to ponder further, as Edward was suddenly behind me, his cold arms snaking around my waist.
"We'll be back on Sunday morning, Bella. If you happen to need me at all, for anything, then give me a ring, Jasper will give you his cell, okay?" He was trying to be lighthearted, but his concern for me was plain on his face, and though I didn't want him to leave, his eyes were dangerously dark. I plastered a smile on my face, hoping that my lying skills were getting better.
"I'll be fine, Edward! I trust Jasper, and so does everyone else. We'll have some Jasper-Bella bonding time!" I laughed, though my attempt at sounding relaxed wasn't helped by my suddenly dry throat. He frowned, and I could tell he was pondering staying behind, so I continued, cutting him off. "I'll see you on Sunday morning, then, and I'll tell you all about it, okay? What time will you be back, roughly?" I had been trying to sound convincing, but, anticipating my edginess when he was gone, I would need a schedule, so I could start counting down the hours.
He laughed, and kissed my hair, his lips lingering while he inhaled my scent, as if to remember it while he was gone. Two days, I chanted in my head. Only two, very short days. "Around, 12 o clock, I think. At least, that's when we should be back. Emmett and Rosalie usually hold us up, which is why we usually go on separate hunting trips..." He trailed off, seemingly in a world of his own. We sat in silence for a few minutes, a frown in place while he concentrated. It sometimes worried me that he was so far away when thinking, but I was content to look at him without him distracting me so that I could conjure up his image when I started missing him.
"EDWARD!" Emmett's booming call yanked him from his reverie and his eyes focused on my lips for a brief moment, before he kissed me and whispered that he'd be back in no time. "Get off Bella and get out here! We're all waiting!" Alice was in the doorway, suddenly, and I realized Jasper was hesitating by the bottom of the stairs. She ran to him, gracefully, and hugged him.
"Look after her, Jazz, and ring Edward if you need anything." She added something to him in a lower tone, that I didn't catch, and he seemed to relax a bit. As quick as she came, she had Edward by the arm, pulling him out of the front door and waving.
The door slammed shut, and I stared at it for a few moments, as I heard Emmett's jeep and Edward's Volvo race down the driveway. I became aware, that Jasper was still behind me, when I heard him cough, lightly. I spun around, and he smiled reservedly, though he didn't make a move to come anywhere closer to me.
"They won't be long, Bella." He seemed nervous, too. It clicked, then, that my nervousness was probably having an effect on him. I took a deep breath and smiled, beckoning him over to the couch.
"So then, Jasper, what're we going to do today?" He looked relieved that I was taking charge for a minute, and walked over to the couch at human speed. He sat down at the opposite end, distancing himself from me. "Any plans?" I pressed, shuffling up, trying to close the gap that was between us physically, and hoping to do this when it came to our relationship, too. He was the only one of the Cullens I had spent very little time with, even more so than Rosalie. She kept up her cold persona with me, even when we were on shopping trips with Alice, and I noticed them, even though Alice spoke enough for the both of us.
"Er, well...I don't know..." he began, laughing nervously. "I don't know much about you...so do you want to just, er, talk, for a while? We can watch movies or something in a bit?" He looked down at his watch, and I noted that he wasn't wearing long-sleeves today. His scars weren't visible to me, because they weren't under immediate light. I was glad of this; because his scars reminded me of James' attack on me, and I absentmindedly stroked my own crescent scar. "Are you hungry? Edward said you'd already had lunch but I'm not exactly sure about when you need to be fed again..." I cringed inwardly, at his unintentional quip. He was talking as if I was a rabbit he was looking after for a friend. I realized, hurt, that maybe that's what this was to him. How naïve was I being!? Jasper-Bella bonding time, I scoffed mentally. He was just looking after his brother's pet. I focused, again, and Jasper had moved a bit closer to me, sensing that I felt unwanted, I guess. "I'm not hungry, thanks." I smiled timidly, and he smiled back, relieved.
"Neither am I, Bella." He laughed. I wasn't sure whether he was manipulating my emotions, but I laughed with him, glad of his joke. It had broken into the tangible tension, and we started talking like old friends. At first, it was trivial, but as the seconds ticked by, I felt myself grow comfortable in his presence, as he did in mine, and we were talking about things with more meaning, and I was enthralled by everything he said, dazzled even. He made me laugh with quips about Alice and Edward, and in hysterics when he spoke of Emmett's antics. He was so easy to talk to – though there was something underlying it. Like, he was trying to impress me. I thought about that – trying to impress me? It wasn't rational, and yet the more he pushed for me to be at ease in his presence – without manipulating my emotions, the more I felt that he wanted be to be impressed by him.
Suddenly, Jasper's cell rang, and I jumped three foot in the air, shocked. He laughed, amused by my display.
"It's Alice." I motioned for him to go ahead, and he flipped his cell open, and held it to his ear. "Hello, Al." He covered the mouthpiece. "Actually, it's Edward." My heart skipped a beat at his name, and I looked at him expectantly. "Yes, I did ask her, and no I'm not – I went yesterday, you know that." He paused, listening to Edward's answer. "Just after you left. I am!" There was a hint of annoyance in his tone when he continued. "Why are you ringing so soon, anyway?" He listened to Edward, while I watched his reactions patiently. His eyes widened, and he looked down at his watch. "I'm so sorry, Edward, I will!" All traces of annoyance had gone, I could tell he was genuinely surprised. "We lost track of time, I guess." He paused momentarily. "Talking." I realized, as I looked at the clock that we had indeed lost track of time; we'd been talking for seven and a half hours! I reached over to turn on the light on the side table, as it was getting darker. Light seeped from the lamp, creating a hazy pink color to the room. "I won't forget next time, Edward. Do you want to talk to her?" I looked up, hopefully. He seemed filled with hope, too. Then his eyes darkened and his tone went flat. "Oh, no, not yet. I see." An irritated buzz came from the phone's speaker, and it was obvious Edward was laying into him. "It wasn't my idea! Well, there's no need to be...I'll tell her. Goodbye, Edward. Tell Alice I.." He stopped, abruptly, looking down at his phone. "Must have been, er, cut off." He told me, blatantly lying. I looked down.
"What did he want you to tell me?" I asked, worried. He looked down, swallowed and looked up at me. Before he started speaking, I could tell he was planning his answer.
"He said, to tell you," he paused, obviously searching for an answer. I glared at him, annoyed. He smirked, briefly, thinking that I wouldn't catch it. But I did; and it left me even more confused. What could Edward have said that Jasper didn't want me to know?! And, why would Jasper find it amusing?
"Don't try lying to me Jasper. I'm a big girl, whatever he said can't be that bad if it's making you laugh!" I was lying through my teeth, because the fact that Edward hadn't spoken to me was hurting me already. I knew Jasper felt my hurt, because his expression softened, and he reached out to me instinctively. He touched my arm, and what I felt when his skin touched mine was like an electric shock. I recoiled, as did Jasper. We sat there in silence, staring at each other for what seemed like an eternity, all thoughts of Edward forgotten. The electrical current surged through me, like that day in Biology class where I'd wanted to touch Edward so badly... This couldn't be the same thing with Jasper, though, could it? I knew he had felt it too, though, and noting his hands clenched into fists at his sides, I realized he must feel the need to touch me as I felt the need to touch him.
Jasper broke the silence, wary. "Are you hungry Bella?" I looked at him, caught off guard, thinking he was going to explain whatever I'd just felt. It registered, after Jasper had asked, that I was hungry – though I hadn't noticed before. It was stupid, but I felt embarrassed telling him.
"I can feel your embarrassment." He smiled. "We've got pizza...D'you want me to heat it up?" Now it was my turn to smile, because it was obvious that Jasper, how ever hard he tried to seem at ease when talking about food, had no idea how to cook.
"No, I can do it, thanks Jasper." I got up from the couch, wondering whether Jasper would tell me what Edward wanted to tell me, and why an electrical current shuddered through me when I touched him. I was surprised, when I reached the kitchen to see that there was a large box on the counter; and there was a note on top. I turned to Jasper, who had followed me in.
"I'm sorry..." He looked embarrassed, though I had no idea why. "He was convinced that I'd get you to try it..." He trailed off, so I figured that maybe reading the note would explain his reluctance to tell me.
BELLA! I see you've found my treat!
I recognized the scrawling writing as Emmett's instantly. I smiled, and continued reading the note attached to his 'treat'.
Or, this is Edward...
Please Eddie, don't take away Bella's special treat?
I laughed, and Jasper looked hesitant. I carried on reading, surprised by what I saw.
So, Bell, this is something Jasper and I picked up,
to see if we could actually get drunk.
We can't though – you would think living for eternity
is enough, and then we can't get crazy drunk?
Well, you're my favourite human – so here you go.
Nothing left to say, Bell, cause the idea's already in your head!
LOTS OF LUV, YOUR FAVOURITE EMMETT!
He'd drawn a big smiley face and a bottle next to his closing sentence. I turned to Jasper, amused. He looked up at me hesitantly. "Sorry, Bella. I didn't think he'd really leave it here..." His voice quietened, until I could only hear mutters of "Manipulating you...didn't want to...so insistent...Edward...would kill me..." I laughed, and he looked up, confused. I smiled at him, and he returned it. "I'll move them back to the basement, now, Bella." But Emmett was right. The idea was in my head. I'd only ever had a little bit to drink sensibly – after all, I'd been busy being the parent in Renee's house when she was drinking and socializing, and the only bad run in I'd had with it was when I was looking for an escape when Renee wasn't looking. So the idea was in my head. Drinking sensibly...or not. It was two days, and Emmett's description of 'crazy drunk' meant there was a lot of alcohol in there...enough to last me two days, to blank out Edward's absence?
"No!" I cried, as Jasper picked up the box. "Leave it...I may want to try Emmett's way of thinking later on." I laughed, and Jasper laughed with me. He looked at me meaningfully, then, from under his thick lashes – and a thrill ran through me. Then, as quick as it had come, it was gone, because for the first time that night, I felt him manipulate my emotions. Sensibility ran through me, and I realized I was being somewhat reckless.
"Bella, it'll be your own downfall! Edward could find out...But I won't tell him straight out." He seemed to be really concerned for me. Then, with a mischievous look on his face, he stared at me and stopped manipulating my emotions. I felt my recklessness flood back to me, along with some of the thrill I'd had when Jasper had looked at me, and I knew what I wanted to do. I could be reckless, I could have fun...and if I was just a little under the influence, then spending time with Jasper would be easier, my senses dulled. I dropped the note from Emmett, and walked to the cabinet. By the time I'd turned around, Jasper had the pizza in the oven, and a bottle of vodka in his hand.
"I'm not drinking it neat, Jasper!" I cried, in mock horror. He laughed, and shook his head.
"I'll mix it now, Bella. Do you think I'm that irresponsible? I won't manipulate you!" He winked at me. I realized, Jasper had a fun side – and this was it. As he mixed the alcohol in with some other soft drink, I realized that I wasn't scared of him. In fact, I liked him a bit more than I really should.