Disclaimer: Sadly these are not my characters. Sadly, I don't have fans all over the world reading my books and either throwing them in the toilet in disbelief or worshiping them and the characters inside. And even more sadly, I do not own the Cullen men. Trust me, the bragging would never stop if I did.
A Change in Perspective
Jasper. That one simple name. Just a word, yet the overwhelming comfort it sent through me was inexplicable. Everything and nothing at the same time. He would be there, in just a few short hours when the plane landed, a few more hours. I could manage that. These last few days the perspective had changed, Edward thinking he'd lost Bella and everyone nearly losing Edward. I needed to see Jasper. I thought we'd have forever but suddenly it didn't seem as if that was a guarantee.
I barely noticed Bella and Edward's reunion. He was such a fool to think that he could stay away for any length of time, let alone permanently. The glow in his face that had been missing for months now had returned, vivid, as though a missing part of him had come back.
Which, in essence, was exactly what had happened. She had a hesitant sort of smile on her face, almost as if she was in a blindingly wonderful dream, the kind you want never to wake up from. Still she seemed afraid that at any minute she may wake up and find herself back in the safe little town of Forks instead of flying over the Atlantic Ocean. He had hurt her. That much was obvious from her entire demeanor, but she would trust him again, eventually. He had done so with good intentions.
I closed my eyes, giving myself over to a dream of my own. The artificial light at the gate would certainly seem bright to the humans, if anything could penetrate their dull senses, but they'll miss the real majesty. He'll be standing there, anxiously waiting with a pained sort of expression on his face. His features, though still beautiful, will be contorted into a grimace.
How I wish I could smooth his expression. Normally, had I seen this future, I would have laughed and said something about how he worries too much. However, this was not a normal situation, and this time I was just as ready to be encased in his arms once again. I was ready to wrap my arms around him in turn, and feel the muscles in his back relax as I did so. With a deep, unnecessary breathe he'll send out a involuntary wave of calm, only because of the overwhelming feeling he's experiencing at the time.
We'll stay that way for an immeasurable moment then I'll pull back to stare into his deep, gold eyes. He was blind to the beauty in them, not the color, the same color that marked us all for the choice we made, but the love in them when he looked at me. There was a spark I'd seen only when he looked at me. An incredible high would come over me, a double effect from both my reaction and his involuntary emotional release to the bliss that would spread obviously across my face.
I spent the duration of the trip that way, frozen in the future, mutually holding each other close. It was a feeling as though being whole again after the echo of such a feeling has faded to all but nothingness. I could see it come over me, but it was incomplete. Only a ghost. At least that was all it could be for now.
I could feel every shift in the plane's weight as it sank lower and lower until the sudden impact upon landing, though I doubt the humans noticed as much.
I kept at the human charade as we made our way toward the rest of our family, despite the growing impatience I felt to see him. As I rounded the final corner just a little too fast, though the humans were too busy to notice, I got the now expected feeling of déjà vu. He looked pained, at a time he would have been pacing but his patience had grown since then. I smiled and, still walking a little too fast, hurried to meet him.
One look into his eyes was enough to calm me. I unconsciously changed the future so subtly. This was enough. His eyes, one glance. I could live off that forever. He grabbed my hand and smiled a positively brilliant smile.
As the buzz of the airport continued around us it was as though time stopped, just for a moment, just for us. I was forced to let him go when Esme eagerly embraced me, so happy that we had all made it back no worse for wear, but I grabbed his hand once again as soon as I was free to.
Absentmindedly, his hand in mine, we followed Carlisle and Esme as they shooed Edward and Bella in the direction of the other car where Rosalie was waiting to apologize. I could vaguely see the cold stares Edward would be subjecting her to for the next couple of months, but then again that certainly wasn't the area of my focus.
We reached the car and Jasper and I slid in the back, never breaking our hold on each other. Carlisle started the engine and the gentle purr commenced. We sat in silence for the first few moments before Jasper's impatience won out over him.
"What happened in Italy?" he asked bluntly. His voice had in it all contrasts. His tone was laden with the relief of having me close again, but with an underlying tone of worry for what it had taken to get me there. Both rough, as though he hadn't spoken since he heard I left for Italy, and soothing, as only his voice could be.
I sighed dramatically knowing this would take me into a long-winded response. It was obvious from the look in his eyes that his disapproved of the way I had left without letting him come with me. I would hear about that later tonight. "I should start from the beginning," and on that note I began to explain everything from the moment I saw Edward's plan. Hours passed and besides a few hisses and growls, mainly from Jasper while I explained the meeting with Aro, the car remained silent while I finished. Esme and Carlisle were still looking straight ahead at the dark, winding road.
A few moments later, unexpectedly Jasper pulled his hand out from under mine, then wrapped his arm around me and pulled me into his lap. Our faces were a mere inch apart and I wasted no time in bringing my lips to gently press against his.
A small jolt went through my body. No matter how many tender kisses, or light caresses, I always felt the electricity. He and I could never become just mundane, a part of routine. Even the smallest of gestures made a broad smile take control of me and I could feel another unintentional burst of emotion, this time lust.
"Uh…Jasper," Carlisle began. By his disapproving tone it was obvious he'd felt the surge of emotion, and was uncomfortable with the situation. I smiled at the quiet exchange while Jasper's expression became slightly awkward, as though embarrassed about such a loss of control.
I turned my head to the side and rested it against his shoulder, inhaling the unique scent that I had never found a name for. Whatever the components, his scent gave me the most exceptional feeling; it felt so relaxing as though no matter what was happening in the world beyond the two of us we were safe as long as we were together.
I exhaled into the hollow of his neck, letting my breath caress his beautifully scarred skin. I was staring up at his eyes, which he had closed likely in an effort to keep himself from releasing another surge of passion.
I smiled at his concentration and leaned slightly forward to kiss a prominent scar on his jaw. He had been worried initially that his scars would repulse me or frighten me, but he knew better now. I loved his scars. As much as I hated that he had to be hurt like that, if it had been pleasant to thrive in the south, he never would have left. He never would have found me. He was beautiful scars and all, though his eyes were blind to it.
It was almost as if I was asleep, though I didn't remember what sleep was like I couldn't imagine it would be much different from this. I was aware of what was happening, but it was like that took the place of a dream. I was frozen and time passed. It was just a break, a rest. A dream couldn't be better than this. Whatever it was, however you describe it, there was a simpler definition, bliss.
Eventually we arrived at our house. It was neglected, but for the moment I didn't care at all. I grabbed Jasper's hand and no longer bothering with a near human speed dragged him up to what used to be our bedroom. In a few minutes Rosalie and Emmett would get home and I'd be expected to fill in some details Edward had omitted, preoccupied by watching Bella. Carlisle and Esme would have to give them the details; I had some talking of my own to do. I could see that.
We had left all the furniture there; we always found new pieces for new houses, that was Esme's hobby. My closet, the bulk of it at least, I usually took with me. Who knew when we might return to any given place, and how outdated such styles might be.
This time, however, I had left nearly all the clothes there, a fact that really annoyed Edward any time he heard my reasoning behind such actions. Not that I had seen him much since we left here. I had seen that we would be coming back soon, though exactly when I hadn't been sure. I was examining them to make sure the condition was just as I'd left a few months ago.
"Alice." Jasper's voice broke through my dull task. In his voice there was the hushed agony that was barely beginning to fade after the car trip. "Alice, what were you thinking? Volterra? You should have let me come with you." He found my eyes and placed his hand under my chin so I couldn't look away.
"Jasper, you know why I couldn't. If something happened to you, if…" I couldn't even think it. I tried my best to avoid his eyes though he didn't let go of my chin. He was always trying to protect me, couldn't he understand that maybe I was doing the same for him?
"We would have had a better chance together, and do you really think if you didn't come back I wouldn't have ended up there anyway." His voice was angry, but it didn't seem to be real because his body language was so relaxed.
His words were true, but a weight seemed to have been lifted off his shoulders and he couldn't stop himself from feeling the relief. I could see in a few minutes time he would drop the angry façade completely.
"I was only trying to protect you." I countered. Maybe his anger wasn't going to hold up for long but mine certainly would. "Too many of us would have forced Edward into a quick decision. It would have been too late, and if we hadn't made it in time, Jasper, you wouldn't have been able to leave after watching them do that to your brother. There's no way we could win that fight." He let go of my chin and used that hand to gently stroke my cheek before letting it fall to his side. He had noticed the change in my emotions almost immediately, and tried to send out small waves of calm as subtly as possible. I knew him too well not to know that he would try that. "And stop that, I'm serious." He instantly stopped and I was hit with a wave of sorrow. His sorrow. I saw the transformation of his face from the intense anger at my recklessness to the utter grief.
"I'm sorry." He whispered the words, though I could hear them clearly. He sat down on the edge of our bed and looked down at the floor. He hadn't apologized for saying he should have gone with me, but for using his ability. It was clear he was trying to think of a way to make me understand. "Alice, what if you'd been hurt or if they thought you two were rallying against them. You could have been taken from me so easily."
I could see his point. "You're right." I answered slowly as I sat down beside him. "That was a possibility. But what could you have done about it?" For the second time in so many hours he wrapped his arm around me and pulled me on to his lap.
"Alice, I didn't mean to upset you, but you have to understand. I've been going crazy these last few days. You promised me you'd come back, come home, but you went to Volterra. The Volturi don't give second chances, if they thought you were a part of what Edward was planning…" His voice broke then, the possibility seemed too real. He started again, "I would have found some way to save you. I wouldn't have left without you. If they had come back alone while you…" Again, he couldn't bring himself to say it. "Alice, I wouldn't have been able to-" He had probably been planning to finish that sentence but I cut him off, wrapping my arms around his neck and pulling his head down to meet my lips in the middle.
I could feel the emotion rolling off him in waves. The happiness that I seemed to understand just what he was trying to say. The agony at the thought of losing me. And the desire.
After only a moment he pulled away gently. His lips moved from mine trailing a line of kisses up my jawbone to my ear. He slid gently back on the bed and I turned to face him while twisting my hands in his golden blond hair.
I placed a few tender kisses on his collarbone as his hands slid down my back pulling me closer, and I began to bring myself up to make our lips meet again when he found the words he'd been looking for. If I couldn't have his lips I'd settle for his neck. I kissed each of the pale scars I could reach as he started talking.
"Alice, I missed you so much, I was so worried. All I could think about while you were gone was what if you didn't come home, what if you didn't come back. We were supposed to have forever, but you really never know. I wouldn't, I couldn't go on without you. You should see the hotel where we were staying, it was in shambles by the time I'd finished. I took you for granted." His words were so rushed I couldn't make them out anymore, though he was still speaking, albeit more to himself than to me.
I pulled back a little to get a better look at his face, put one finger to his mouth and laughed quietly. "I love you, Jasper Whitlock." He took this as a cue to lie back on the bed and, with his hands still resting on the small of my back, pull me back with him. I swiftly opened the top three buttons on his solid black shirt revealing more scars which I kissed lovingly: then, I placed my hands on his shoulders letting my head fall so that my ear was pressed directly over his silent heart.
"I love you too, Alice Cullen." He whispered the words, as though afraid someone would overhear this amazing declaration meant only for me. I effortlessly pulled myself up to reach his lips with mine.
Unlike the tender, quick kisses we had shared earlier this evening this one was far more passionate. I had lost a little more control, roughly grabbing his hair where my hands were still entwined. He caught on quickly to the change in my mood and began sucking on my lower lip, gently biting it. Pleasure surged through me and I was sure he could feel it too. A human would have had to break away long before we did in their desperate quest for oxygen. We continued for what seemed like a lifetime until we gradually came down from the momentary high and broke away to resume our shallow breaths.
I used my teeth to tug gently on his earlobe and wasn't disappointed when another surge of lust exploded from behind his calm exterior. Then, with just a hint of teasing I asked, "Love, just what do you plan to do now that we've stolen forever back?"