Chapter 51

It was time. We were ready to take that final leap, that last move to solidify our eternity together. Taking a deep breath, I slowly shifted so I was on both knees, my hands moving slowly from her knees to her upper thighs. Looking into her gorgeous brown eyes, I knew there was nothing left to say. We had declared our love for one another, we knew that there would never be anyone else. We would to be together forever. We were meant to be. Nothing had gone unsaid. We had finally covered everything from our past that needed to be discussed and it was time to let it go and live for our future.

Our future. Together.

My hands made their way to her waist, my thumbs moving in their incessant slow circles, a habit I knew I had, but couldn't stop from doing. She slowly lifted her arms to place them on top of mine.

"Is it..."

"Yes, it's time." I answered before she finished her question. Reaching up to lightly brush my lips against hers, I let go of the breath I had been holding. Her body immediately relaxed as my breath washed over her like a lover's caress.

"You are dazzling me, Jasper Whitlock." She smiled as I again brushed my lips against hers.

"Ah, that's where you are wrong. You constantly dazzle me with every little thing that you do." I pushed her hair back off her face, then slowly ran my fingers down her arms until they met up with her delicate hands. Leaning forward again, I lightly teased her lips until she smiled slightly, allowing me to tempt her with a brief flick of my tongue. She immediately pressed forward and responded eagerly.

Slowly backing away from her mouth, I smiled as she immediately pouted in response. I snaked an arm underneath her legs while the other went around her back. With little effort, I picked her up off the edge of the bed and moved her to the middle. She laid back, her rich shiny hair spread out in a fan above her head, causing a wave of her beautiful freesia scent to wash over me. Stopping for a moment to inhale deeply, her heart rate accelerated. She knew she was moments away from her impending human death.

I placed one knee on each side of her body, effectively straddling her as I undid the button of her pants and then slowly lowered the zipper. Each tooth of the mechanism letting go seemed to be as loud as someone shouting in my ear as each click registered in my head. Bella voluntarily raised her hips as I tugged her pants off her legs and placed them on the floor. There was nothing hurried or frantic about any of my movements. I wanted to emit calmness and be as gentle as I possibly could even though I was dying inside. My nerves were as tight as they could possibly be and I thought that I would shatter into a million pieces at any given moment.

I continued to fill the room with gentle serene emotions and then proceeded to lightly touch Bella's bare feet, massaging them gently. She smiled at me and remained silent as I lightly moved my way up to her ankles. Her pale calves were next as I leaned forward and kissed each one individually. One leg automatically bent in response to my touch, which allowed me to kiss along her upper thigh until I reached the top of her leg and worked my way out to her hip.

The moment my lips touched her hipbone, she bucked in response and giggled as I nipped her lightly knowing how sensitive she was in that particular area. My hands walked their way to her waist and grabbed on to the edge of her top, slowly working it up, baring her flat stomach in the process. Now that my body was within reach of her hands, she responded in kind by taking a hold of my shirt and pulling it over my head. I pushed off of her and removed each arm from the confines of the material and dropped it on the growing pile of clothes on the floor. She slowly sat up so that I could then remove her top, leaving her in just her bra and panties.

My breath caught at the beauty before me, the sight of her so willingly giving herself to me, so confident in her decision that I found I was hardly having to manipulate her emotions at all. A lump formed in my throat as I realized, yet again, how lucky I was that she chose me. That she wanted to spend the rest of eternity with me. If it were at all possible for me to cry, I knew I would not be able to fight back the tears that so desperately wanted to form. Was I a fool for thinking I couldn't do this? I wanted nothing more than to have her by my side for the rest of time and the fact that she trusted me not to fail her provided me with all the confidence I needed.

The removal of her top had caused her hair to fall forward around her shoulders, hiding her breasts from my view. I reached around her back and found the clasp of her bra, easily undoing it with a quick gesture. My fingers made their way to her shoulders and took hold of the straps, slowly easing them down her arms until I had completely removed the article from her body. I brushed her hair back off her shoulders so that nothing was hiding her beautiful body from my view.

Without speaking, Bella raised her eyebrows at me and looked down at my pants, which I still wore. I moved off the bed and turned back toward her just as she was reaching over to me. Her hands met the waistband of my jeans as they leisurely undid the button and worked down the zipper in the exact manner as I had just done to hers. She looked up at me from beneath her long lashes, giving her a sultry kittenish appearance, which immediately had my body responding to her in several other ways. She had no idea how sexy she was, which only amplified the fact that she was the sexiest woman I had ever laid eyes on.

No longer being able to help myself, I leaned forward and gently kissed a breast while taking the other in the palm of my hand. I pushed forward causing Bella to lie back on the bed. Not wanting her breast that was encased in my hand to feel neglected, I made my way across her chest and placed several tender kisses on that side as well. Her hands made their way into my hair and pulled me up to her mouth.

We slowly kissed each other for what felt like hours, touching and caressing every inch of bare skin that we could. Each kiss deeper and longer than the next until Bella had to break away and gasp for air. Though I wanted her to become a vampire and be my physical equal more than anything I had ever wanted or desired in my entire existence, I did not want to rush this moment. Each caress, every kiss, sound and movement we made together was like a dance of synchronicity as if we had been lovers for years instead of just for such a short period of time. I burned it into my memory, never wanting to forget this moment, not wanting to rush through it in anxiety or for fear of the task that loomed before me.

Her hands came up and cupped my face as she looked deep into my eyes and I felt a slight tinge of apprehension.

"Will it hurt for..." She tentatively started to ask.

"Long? Yes, but I will do everything I can to help you through it. Will you let me do that? Let me help you?" I asked as I placed my hands over hers, the warmth of which had spread across my face and was now seeping into my hands. She nodded in response to my questions as I weaved my fingers through hers. She had no idea what I had planned in order to get her through the change, but the fact that she gave me permission to help her through it was good enough for now.

I lightly pushed her back on the bed, covering her skin with mine, relishing every inch of her body that touched mine, causing me to immediately warm at every point. I raised her arms and anchored them over her head, causing her back to arch toward me. With my free hand, I brushed my fingers along her arm and down her side to rest my hand on her hip. My head came down to kiss along her jaw line, my lips making their way along her flesh until they finally came to her throat.

"Will you miss..." She started to whisper.

"Your warmth?" I asked as she nodded slightly in response. "While I do love your temperature, I think you will be pleasantly surprised by the feeling of our skin touching one another once you are changed. Giving up your current body temperature is easy compared to what I will be getting in return."

She audibly swallowed in nervousness as I continued across her throat and lightly brushed my lips over her shoulder, releasing her hands and bringing one arm down so that I could continue my travels to her wrist.

"Promise me, you won't.."

"Leave you? Never. I will be here for every second while you go through this and for every second thereafter. You will never be alone again. As long as I exist, I will be by your side, loving you."

She smiled up at me, her free hand again coming to rest against my cheek.

"I want you to know… I'm not..."

"Afraid?" I finished for her as she smiled at how in tune we were. "I know. You are the most courageous woman I've ever met. It is one of the many reasons I love you so completely, so entirely."

I turned my head toward the wrist which was currently resting in front of my face and lowered my lips to her skin. I slowly licked the surface as my lips covered the vein and gently sucked to bring it to the surface. Using my vampire speed, I sunk my teeth into the soft flesh and pulled her blood into my mouth then, pumped venom back into the vein.

Without allowing myself to register the delectable taste of her blood as it coated my mouth and ran down my throat, I moved to the inside of her elbow and repeated the bite at the bend in her arm. Quickly moving across her body, I mirrored the bites on her other arm which I had lowered down from above her head.

"Oh!" She gasped as her mind registered what had just happened as her eyes would barely have been able to track it.

Moving up her body, I arrived at her neck, which she exposed to me by turning her head away from my face. The gesture proving her trust in me was limitless and her faith unwavering as she offered herself to me. Had I been standing, her belief in me would have brought me to my knees. Her willingness to undergo the torture of the next few days and remain at my side for all eternity provided me with every bit of confidence I would ever need. It felt like I could accomplish anything, nothing would ever hold me back from whatever I wanted to achieve. Bella would always have faith in me, she would always be with me to encourage, support and love me no matter what obstacles came our way. Though being a vampire meant that physically there were no limits to what we could achieve, the mental support she would provide, that we would provide one another, would obliterate any negative feelings or obstacles and I knew, I just knew, together, we would be undefeatable. Leaning my forehead against the column of her neck, I braced myself as I began to absorb the pain that had already started to pulse through her veins from my venom she had received from the first few bites.

"It doesn't hurt as much as it did before… with James." She whispered.

"No love, it won't." My jaw clenched as the pain took over every inch of my being. Before it became too much, I knew I had to deliver the final bite.

"Why? Wouldn't your venom be the same?" She murmured as I manipulated her emotional state so she was completely relaxed. I couldn't help smiling to myself as even moments before her human death, her curiosity was insatiable.

"Ssshh." I whispered into her ear. "I'll take care of you as best I can, just close your eyes and go to sleep." I promised as her eyes drifted closed and her breathing began to slow. "I love you, Bella. I will love you forever. When you wake, I will be here, waiting for you." I whispered as I rubbed my thumb along her jugular, bringing it to the surface. At the same time, I manipulated Bella's emotional state to one of complete exhaustion so that she would fall into a deep sleep.

"Mmmm, I love you, Jasper." She responded just as my teeth broke through the skin and the rush of blood filled my mouth. As I drank deeply from her neck, I continued to lull her into a deep sleep, replacing her pain with feelings of overwhelming drowsiness. As her breathing became laboured and deeper, I forced myself to stop drinking and pushed venom into her system. Once I had completed the exchange, I fell back onto the bed, unable to move from the pain I continued to absorb from her and exchange with feelings of contentment so she stayed in her slumber.

Now that the fatal bites had been delivered, I inspected each bite to make sure they had healed over. Only then, did I allow myself a moment to feel Bella's blood flowing through my system.

There are no words to describe how I was feeling at that exact moment. Sure, I'd been exposed to Bella's blood before. When we entered the dance studio in Phoenix, it was all that I could smell, but the rage at what James had done took over every instinct I had. Then, at her wretched birthday party, that life altering moment when she sliced her finger when opening her gifts. Just that one precious drop of blood hit the air and I lost all control. That's when it first really registered with me that I had to have it. Then Edward made the catastrophic mistake of pushing her out of my way, causing her to cut herself badly, and the scent was my undoing. Thinking back at how my family had to restrain me from killing her had me feeling so ashamed. It still hung in the back of my mind… knowing how Bella's touch affected me, would I have killed her then? How ironic was it that now, here I lay beside Bella, whose very blood I had desired so intensely at that particular moment in our past, was now coursing through my system and I didn't feel the slightest bit out of control.

What I felt was pure power, the power of knowing that no matter what, she was going to make it through this. The worst was over, I stopped drawing her blood and I didn't kill her. Now I just had to wait out the change. I felt euphoric. Her blood was coursing through my system as if it were on fire. Closing my eyes, a kaleidoscope of colours burst behind my eyelids as if I were watching my own personal fireworks. Every inch of me felt like the fourth of July. Never before had I ever had such a reaction to someone's blood. I couldn't count the number of humans I had turned during the war and never did anyone's blood make me feel this way. I was high, there was no other way to explain it, a rush of emotions ran through me as the warmth made me feel human again.

I couldn't help but think about Edward and what a fool he was for not wanting to change her, for not wanting to spend the rest of eternity with someone as precious as her. Her love and devotion was a gift, a gift that was to be treasured and worshipped and he threw it away. He was an utter and complete fool. While Bella's blood was like nothing that I had ever encountered before, it did not sing to me in the way that it did to Edward. Now knowing what it was like to taste her, to have her essence completely taking over my body, I could not imagine what it would have been like for Edward. However, those thoughts about Edward were fleeting because it no longer mattered, it was never supposed to be him and it would never be him.

Before I lost myself completely in the amazing feeling of Bella's blood running through my body, I again concentrated on her pain and pulled it into myself. Her blood helped ease the torture and cushion the excruciating torment I was now experiencing. With every bit of willpower I had left in me, I moved my aching body to stretch out behind Bella, pulling her against me so we were touching at every possible point, spooning one another so that I could wrap my arms around her body and hold her close to me.

The constant touch was a reminder to not let go of my control of our emotions, to continue to take on her pain and replace it so she was as comfortable as I could make her during this horrendous process. The warmth of her blood working its way through my system was a continuous reminder that she had my cold poisonous venom coursing through hers and providing me with all the incentive I needed to stay focused and ensure that she made it through the change with as little pain as possible.

She did not know that I was going to do this as I knew her, she would never allow it. I was sure there would be hell to pay once she woke up, but until then, I would lay here, in agony for her and count every second until that moment arrived. I would gladly accept whatever punishment she would dish out as it meant she was through the change, I had kept her from feeling it and she was now with me, forever, as a vampire. Hmmm, perhaps that punishment could be kinky now that we had no boundaries. Focus, Jasper, focus!

I would spend the rest of my days never having to worry about hurting her, never having to fight my urge to do exactly what I just did, bite into her luscious throat and feel her blood warm my entire body. The pain aside, I would never forget the feeling or the taste of Bella and while it was the most amazing thing to have ever touched my taste buds, it was nothing compared to the gift waiting for me at the end of the three days of torture. Bella would wake up and we would begin our eternity together. It didn't matter to me that it wasn't as I had hoped, that we were stuck here for over a decade, serving the Volutri. We would be together and nothing and no one else mattered because finally we had found each other and had healed one another completely.

For a brief moment, panic crept into my thoughts. What if she didn't love me as much once she was turned? I immediately shook that thought from my head. It was ridiculous for me to have any self doubt where Bella was concerned. She agreed to be changed for me, she was going to stay in Italy, while I served my sentence, for me, we were going to leave here and spend the rest of time together. She was now armed with the knowledge that Edward loved her and would always love her and yet she chose me. Me.

We had bared ourselves to each other in every possible way and declared our love for one another. Though my giving her the eternity ring was not a marriage proposal, the words we spoke to one another were as good as vows and that was enough for me. It wouldn't bother me if we never actually married. A piece of paper would not make us married, the words we spoke to one another solidified everything I ever needed to hear and stood for everything a marriage represented. Our souls were forged together as one. Each soul healing the other so intensely and thoroughly that it was hard to determine where wounds previously existed. No paper would ever reflect the deepness of emotion that we felt for one another or would bind us any stronger than how our actions would. Doubting and second guessing had no room here, ever.

Time slowed to a crawl as each shudder that ripped through her body as the venom slowly killed her caused me to push the calming emotions into her and take the pain within myself. My jaw was clenched as tight as I could possibly manage it, each burst of pain causing me to grind my teeth in order to handle the pain without hurting her. By the time her transition was complete, there would be nothing left of my teeth other than nubs due to the friction they were undergoing.

Pulling her even closer, I wrapped one arm under her head while the other snaked around her waist, pulling her back until not even air would have managed to get between us. My hand splayed across her warm stomach and she responded by curling tighter into a ball and held on to me. Knowing that she was somewhat comfortable made the pain I was experiencing almost disappear. I would endure anything for her, anything at all. These next three days would be nothing, not even a blip in the amount of time that we now had to spend together.

A sharp intake of breath from Bella and her hand grasping tighter onto mine let me know that while she was experiencing some discomfort, it was nowhere near what she would have been going through had I not been able to absorb most it for her. I easily substituted her pain with more pleasant feelings. Never had I been more grateful for my powers than in this exact moment.

Her long silky hair had become tangled around my arms, against my chest and over my neck. I leaned forward, closing my eyes and inhaled deeply. Allowing myself to get lost in her scent, which had become even stronger as my venom quickly began to change the chemical balance within her. There was nothing in this world that I loved more than Bella's scent. Closing my senses to everything other than the woman I held tightly in my arms, I remained buried in her hair, continually supplying Bella with comfort while I remained absolutely still, pulling her pain from her and taking it within myself.

As the time slowly passed, each hour crawling as night turned to day and then to night again and again, her pain finally began to dissipate. We had not been disturbed by any of the Volturi and I had no doubt they knew quite well that Bella's quiet and uneventful change had quite a bit to do with my powers. I had spent every moment thinking of how I would cherish every second with her. How I would take her everywhere her heart desired and never have her want for anything. Sure, she'd fight me on most of it as she would never want me to be the sole financial provider in our relationship, but the art of negotiation was one that I'd be glad to teach her and I am sure we would work out some sort of compromise. The thought of some of the deals I'd be able to broker with Bella in exchange for her allowing me to treat her the way I wanted had a smile curling my lips through the minimal amount of pain that still resided.

The moment was nearing where she would wake, we had remained spooned together in the same position throughout the entire change and I managed to keep her from feeling most of it. For the first time since I became a vampire, I actually felt exhausted. Every part of my body felt sore and abused, but it was well worth it. I would go through pain a thousand times more excruciating than what I just experienced if it meant that I would have Bella at the end of it.

I could feel the changes in her body as the venom completed its hostile takeover of her system. The moment was nearing where no longer would I have to be careful with her, I could love her with abandon, make love to her without a moment's worry that I'd hurt her or cause her any pain. God, just thinking about it caused my lower region to stand up and nudge her to see if she had finished the change and was ready to wake up.

Bella was a sensual and sexual being as a human, a characteristic that I know she was surprised to have discovered and I was more than thrilled to be the sole explorer of that uncharted territory. As a vampire, she would no doubt be just as insatiable and, more than likely, more adventurous since we no longer had any physical boundaries to limit us. The anticipation for further discoveries started to erase the remaining soreness I was experiencing and exhilaration began to creep through my body.

Her eyelids began to flutter and the anticipation was almost unbearable as I waited for her to come to full awareness. The calm that spread throughout the room as the pain completely disappeared from both of us was like dawn breaking over the horizon. It was calm, beautiful and serene. Though it was unnecessary, I sucked in a breath and held it as I waited for her to fully awaken and take in her surroundings for the first time as a vampire.

She started to stretch her new body, the changes in which I had not bothered to register as my eyes were locked on her face, waiting for the moment when she would turn around and see me for the first time. Her eyes remained closed as her hand found its way to mine, which still laid across her stomach as it had for the past three days. She weaved her fingers through mine and squeezed, almost painfully. Something I had failed to remember through all the pain… she would be stronger than me for at least a year. The change in her body temperature did not go unnoticed either, however my focus remained on her face. I wanted her eyes to open and to meet mine. Then, and only then, would I be able to relax.

As if I had willed it, she slowly turned in my arms, her free hand feeling its way up to my face where it rested on my cheek, which she cupped before finally opening her eyes. Her red gaze steadily meeting mine and she immediately smiled, melting away all my anxiety while the warmth from her gaze spread throughout my entire body.

"Jasper… My love." She whispered as she reached up and placed a soft kiss on my lips.

"My love." I replied as I kissed her back. The feeling of our first kiss created an explosion of emotions through me. There was no need to be careful. I would not break her and, as if she, heard my thought, she pressed herself to me and pushing me back, rolling on top of me, kissing me with an intensity that I had never experienced from her.

She broke the kiss and pulled back from me, her hands framing both sides of my face as she continued to stare into my eyes. No words needed to be said. I knew from looking into her eyes that never again would darkness be a part of our lives. From here on, it would be nothing but pure and glorious light that our mended souls and our deep love would provide to one another, for all of eternity.