Disclaimer: Please refer to chapter sixteen, then fifteen, then fourteen, then thirteen, then twelve, then eleven, then ten, then nine, then eight, then seven, then six, then five, then four, then three, then two, in which you will then refer to chapter one.

Author: I had an epiphany my dear friends, and this is what it was and how it came about- I was reading over this story, and suddenly realized... bloody flip... I have gone sixteen chapters, and Jasper and Grace haven't even... confronted each other yet! 'What the hell, Ebony?' my mind screamed at me. I realized that I was letting Grace influence me a little too much, and the face that she was DREADING having to speak with Jasper was making me take things so incredibly slow in this story, that it's a wonder anyone is still even reading it. To Grace- shut the hell up- AND GET ON WITH IT!

To Luna- hasssssssiissassethhhhhhhah. Writing now, so cheers!


Chapter Seventeen: If We Kissed

x

-x-Electricity, eye to eye. Hey don't I know you? I can't speak-x-

x

We didn't exit the mall until we had several bags, and my feet were throbbing, along with my arm. Alice had thoughtfully brought along my Vicodin into the building, and gave me a pill that I took. She bought me another water bottle in the process.

Alice carried most of the bags effortlessly, but gave me some to hold as well so it wouldn't be suspicious. I had asked several questions over the course of the day.

Can vampires cry? Why doesn't the sunlight hurt you guys? Do you guys know of any other vampires? Do any of them have powers too? Do you know what it requires to have a power after you are turned into a vampire?

Alice answered them all with the patience of a saint, and I was thankful, and thoughtful, on the long drive back to Forks, which she made surprisingly quickly, by breaking the speed limit the entire way.

When we pulled into the Cullen's massive driveway, her face grew serious, and when she turned off her Porsche, she remained in her seat, looking lost in thought; or that that her just having a vision?

x

-x-The room is spinning out of control, you act as if you didn't notice-x

x

"You should go talk to Jasper."

My good hand wrung nervously in my lap.

"Not to... blatantly refuse what you ask, but I don't know what to.. say," I tried, wincing at how cut up the words seemed. What happened to my flow like speech I had come to know and prefer?

"I'm not going to get mad because you don't want to talk to him," Alice said wryly.

"It's not that I don't want to speak with him, it's that I don't know how to put my thoughts into words properly around him."

"So he flusters you?" Alice asked, sounding amused.

My cheeks felt hot, but I don't think I was perceptibly blushing.

"Go talk to Jasper. By the time you are done, I'll have things ready for your first 'normal teenager' trial, alright?"

x

-x-Stripped my senses on the spot, I've never been this defenseless-x-

x

I nodded miserably, before stepping out of the car, and heading towards the house. The instant I opened the door, I saw Jasper sitting on the couch. The television was on, and he was staring at it, but I don't think he was really listening. The sound was turned so low I could barely hear it.

"Jasper? Could I talk with you, somewhere moderately private?"

He turned, and when he looked at me, my nervousness seemed to wash away.

"I'm sorry, but no where in our house is private, really. It's something we've all come to deal with..."

The room was empty, Alice seemed to have disappeared, so I sat down on the couch next to him, and stared at the television too.

An old war movie was on, Gettysburg. I had seen it once, for educational purposes.

"Were you... there?"

He grinned a little, swiping his blond hair out of his eyes.

"No, I was a vampire by that time. Maybe if I hadn't been changed though," he answered thoughtfully.

"Get on with it!" Someone yelled in the back of the house, causing me to jump, and Jasper's pretty eyes to narrow at the screen.

"I'm sorry about that.. I told you, we lack privacy," he said hurriedly.

"No, it's fine," I replied, even though it really kind of bothered me that there were who knows how many people listening to my conversation with the first guy I had ever started crushing on. I took a deep breath and tried to get out exactly what I wanted to say.

x

-x-I can't even make sense of this, you speak and I can't hear a word-x-

x

"I like you," I said flatly. Getting on with it. Even if I sounded like the fourteen year old girl I was, it had to be said.

"I like you, too," he answered, startling me.

"Honestly?" I said, my voice hitting a higher pitch than usual.

"I thought I made it pretty obvious, when I nearly ripped your arm off." His voice was solemn.

I did my best to comfort the vampire that, admittedly, had almost ripped my arm off.

"I don't blame you for that, unless you did it on purpose."

"I might as well have. I knew going to your house that night was tempting fate, but I did anyway. I knew that climbing in through your window was wrong- but did that stop me?" He said, angrily, and I heard the crunch of the remote in his fist, reminding me a little too much of the crunch of bone.

He sighed. "I didn't mean to scare you."

I wasn't sure if he was talking about that night, only a few nights ago, or at this very moment.

"It's alright," I answered honestly.

"No, it isn't. You're probably going to lose that arm, because of me. I've... crippled you."

"You say the same thing that Alice said. That I'm 'probably' going to lose it. Is there another option?"

He nodded, and he turned in his seat so that he was no longer staring at the television, but directly at me. He looked very intense.

"We could make you one of us. It would make all of your faults disappear, and you would keep your arm." He seemed to be watching my reaction very closely.

"Trade my mortality for my arm?" I asked. He turned back away from me, staring at Gettysburg, before answering in a far away voice;

"A stupid option, I know. Sorry I brought it up."

"I don't think it's stupid- it's an option," I answered. Would I really do that? I loved my arm. But did I love it more than my life?

x

-x-What would happen if we kissed? Would your tongue slip past my lips?-x-

x

You'd live on, a voice in my head said. You'd live on forever. With Jasper, and Alice. All of them.

"Some of us don't want to turn you into a vampire," he said casually. I noticed for the first time that the remains of the remote were on the floor next to his feet. "Edward's against it. So is Rosalie."

"What about you? Are you opposed to idea?" I asked quietly.

He glanced at me through the corners of his eyes. "No."

My heart quickened at this admission, and I think I probably blushed at the honesty in his voice.

"Don't be anxious," he said. "I can't do it. If we ever did change you, Carlisle would have to do it."

"Why is that?"

"The last time I drank your blood, it took nothing short of extreme guilt, and my family members, to stop me. I could.. hurt you," he finished.

"I trust you," I said, realizing in that instant how true that statement was.

"I don't trust me."

"If I did decide to.. become a vampire-" my goodness, how ludicrous would that have sounded to me, only a week or two ago? "-is there a time limit before Carlisle wants to remove my arm?"

"If you decide to stay human, he wants to do it as quickly as possible. He thinks your tissues are already dying, and the longer he leaves your arm alone, the more it could spread, until we have a much bigger problem than a bad wrist."

"Do you think I would have a month?"

He winced. "More like a week."

A week. A week to live, or to have an arm.

"I have a week to choose? How am I suppose to... to make such a decision in a week?" I asked, tearing at my hair with my good hand, while breathing heavily.

A flood of calm rushed over me, and I wasn't as irritated as I might have been with an outside influence directing my emotions.

"I know," he said miserably. "You need to just.. think about the pros and cons."

Being with Jasper. That was a pro.

"Keeping you arm is a pro," he said encouragingly. "But never seeing your mother again, that's a con."

x

-x-Would you run away? Would you stay? Or would I melt into you?-x-

x

My mother. That was possibly the one string that kept me from saying 'change me' right then and there. What would she do, if I just... disappeared? I thought of her admission to me about my father, and her days as a teenager. She already thought that I had tried to run away once, when actually I was doing nothing of the sort. What would she do when a left again, this time for good?

But I was talking as if I had already made up my mind, and I most certainly hadn't. I would be giving up food. Vinegar. I was giving up my human life.

But I would be getting Jasper.

"You don't need to choose now," he said. "You have some time."

"Only a week," I mumbled.

"And that's how many hours of hard thinking?" He asked, and there was some amount of good-natured teasing in his voice.

"Do you really want to know?" I asked, teasing back a little myself (how new was that concept?). He laughed, and turned to stare at me again, with the oddest expression on his face.

Suddenly, Alice was there.

x

-x-Mouth to mouth, lust to lust, spontaneously-combust-x-

x

"Not now, Jasper. Me and Grace have things to do," she said, mumbling something else to him quietly under her breath so I couldn't hear. I tried to respect their privacy. He stood quickly, that odd look leaving his face quickly, and an embarrassed one taking it's place.

"Right, well..." and he left the room, almost a blur.

"Is he alright?" I asked Alice.

"He's a little upset," she replied.

"Was it something I did?"

"No. He's just a little disappointed. He was about to kiss you."

I gasped so suddenly that I began coughing, and Alice actually had to pat my back before I calmed down. I had never felt so ungraceful in all of my life.

"Why'd you stop him?" I blurted out before I could stop myself, effectively making her burst into laughter, which in turn left me feeling so embarrassed that I wished briefly my heart would stop to put me out of my misery.

"Oh, my little Grace, you have much to learn," she said mysteriously, dragging me up from the couch with my good hand.

I just shook my head, whispering as quietly as I could to her, trying to discourage any listening vampires.

"In all seriousness Alice, why...?"

She only laughed again, and I thought I felt a little extra cheerfulness in the air, that hadn't been there before.

x

-x-Would you throw it away, no question. Would I pretend I'm innocent?-x-

x

I was left thinking.. What would have happened if we had kissed? Was it something really bad, like me have a panic attack and do something embarrassing and incredibly ungraceful, or would Jasper have done something that he would have regretted later?

My lips felt hot, though. Like he had kissed them. It would have been my first kiss. With a much older vampire...

I couldn't complain. I let Alice drag me into her bedroom, ignoring her smiling face (she had that look, the look that said she knew too much), and sat down on her bed (unnecessary, but nice) to let her dress me up. We had a deal, after all.

I could just think of Jasper anyway, to let my mind wander.

x

-x-I'm struggling with myself... What would happen if we kissed?-x-

x


Author: I ended it a little lighter, because I'm so glad to finally get everything out there. Phew. By the way, the thirteenth was my birthday. Review as I present to me, please?

The song was "If We Kissed".

-x-Ebony-x-