Dislcaimer: I don't own Twilight. You knew that.
A Lesson in Fate: The much anticipated sequel to A Lesson in Release. Jasper has finally won the girl of his dreams and they are beginning a new life together at college. But what happens when Fate intercedes? Will he be able to hold on to her or will fate return her to Edward? This story is most definitely rated M -- there will be lemons of many different varieties.
PLEASE -- Don't go into this story expecting it to be firmly J/B or firmly E/B. Go into it without picking teams and enjoy the ride.
If you, get out in the driving rain, stand in the eye of a hurricane, and never think twice
If you, turn your back on selfishness, and your thoughts are for someone else, cause they've changed your life
When your heart, insists that you give it all, when you no longer feel the fall, and you just let go
When the past, is finally dead and gone, Fate leads you somewhere to the one, that has your soul
No part of you questions, no part of you doubts, you're sure that this is what love's all about
Nothing and no one can stand in your way, or keep you from saying what your heart is dying to say
That's how you know its love, that's how you know it's meant to be
When the span of forever just never seems long enough
That's how you know it's love
~Deana Carter, "That's How You Know It's Love"
Adrian wanted to go to the University of Alabama. Bella wanted to go to The Ohio State University. In the end, it came down to the weather. As it turned out, Columbus has five more days of clouds a year than Tuscaloosa, so the decision was made to attend OSU. Thanks to a most generous donation to University Hospital, Carlisle was able to get the school to overlook the rule requiring students to live in the dorms freshman year. We bought a small tudor house on the outskirts of town for Alice, Adrian, Bella and myself. It was conveniently located adjacent to a large nature preserve and near the football practice fields.
Rosalie and Emmett had decided to forgo college for an extended African vacation. Carlisle and Esme thought it would be nice to give Bella and Adrian 'the full college experience,' which basically meant no parents around, so they were staying in Forks for the time being.
Edward, on the other hand, had decided to come to college with us. Not only that, he decided it was time for another medical degree, so he would be taking most, if not all, of his classes with Bella. Maybe I was paranoid, but it seemed unlikely that it was just a coincidence. Bella was just excited that she would have someone to help her along, so I kept my opinions to myself. The only saving grace was that he had decided to buy his own home a few blocks away from ours, so he wouldn't actually be living with us. Edward said he was looking forward to the peace and quiet of not having others' thoughts invading his head all the time.
I looked over at Bella wistfully. She was looking out the window of the airplane, absentmindedly playing with her ruby necklace. Much to my chagrin, it never left her neck. Bella said she wanted to do anything she could to ease his pain, so she did as he asked and never took it off. She had also insisted that we not be intimate or publicly affectionate whenever Edward was around. Considering that Edward rarely left the house except to hunt, that had pretty much meant that I was only able to show my love to her when we were at Charlie's house. It was another reason why I was glad he wasn't going to be living with us. It was so hard to restrain myself. Whenever I was near Bella, I wanted her in my arms. It was a craving I felt more strongly than any other I had ever felt in my life. I took her hand and gave it a gentle squeeze. Bella turned to me and smiled, mouthing 'I love you" to me before returning to the window. She looked so beautiful as she watched the clouds beneath us.
I looked across the aisle and saw Alice sitting in between Adrian and Edward. Alice and Adrian seemed utterly unaware of Edward's presence, wrapped up as they were in their own little world. They had no such rules regarding public displays of affection, I thought with a scowl. Edward looked over at me, obviously having heard my thoughts, a smile barely curving the edges of his mouth before he quickly returned to his magazine. His emotions, as they have been ever since Bella and I had gotten together ten months ago, revealed nothing but calm. I was convinced that he had somehow learned to suppress his feelings around me; no one was that calm all the time, least of all Edward. It put me on edge.
Alice broke away from her make-out session with Adrian to gaze off into the distance. "Ally-Angel, what do you see? Is everything alright?" Adrian had long since learned the signs of Alice's visions. It warmed my dead heart to see how attentive he was to her. They were perfect together.
"It's a good thing most of our stuff is already at the house. The airline is going to lose Bella's luggage." Bella scowled. "That's alright, I've been meaning to get rid of most of the clothes in there anyway," Alice said in a self-satisfied voice as Bella rolled her eyes at her.
"Alice," I warned with a low growl. She and I had more than one conversation in recent months about her letting Bella make her own decisions about what she wears or how she chooses to do her hair and makeup. Alice had lightened up a lot about guilting Bella to go shopping now that she had such a willing partner in Adrian, but she couldn't resist forcing the occasional makeover on her or complaining about her clothes.
"Ugh," Alice groaned. "You never let me have any fun anymore. Edward always liked it when I dressed Bella up." That evil little pixie! She stuck her tongue out at me.
Edward's head shot up, "Oh no, you don't. I'm not getting in the middle of this. If anything, I agree with Jasper. I should have put a stop to your antics the first time you forced Bella in front of your vanity." Wow, that was unexpected. I looked over at Bella, who was positively beaming with pride in Edward's direction. She must have seen me out of the corner of her eye, because she quickly ducked her head to look back out the window.
I was so glad when the plane finally landed. We gathered our luggage, sans Bella's, filled out the claim check slip with our address in case it turned up, and headed out to find our cars. Alice and Edward had chosen to have the Volvo and Porsche shipped from Forks. I had purchased a new, red Chevy Silverado pickup truck for Bella and me. She had been so sad when her old clunker had finally kicked the bucket. I wanted it to be an early birthday surprise for her, as well as the twin BMW K1200 motorcycles I bought for us that were waiting in our new garage. Adrian teased me that I was just trying to compensate for Christmas, but I didn't care. Bella promised me I could buy her anything I wanted for her birthday, and I was going to take full advantage of it. This was just the beginning of the surprises in store for my Bella.
We had arranged for the moving company to drop all three cars off in the short term parking lot. Bella squealed with delight when she saw the pickup truck parked in between the Volvo and Porsche with a big, red, bow on the windshield. She loved it so much she forgot about her own rule and jumped into my arms, wrapping her arms and legs around me to give me a passionate kiss that I gladly returned. I felt a sharp twinge of jealousy from Edward but no sooner had I felt it than it was gone. It was going to be an interesting year.
A/N: Okay, here you go...what do you think? The Naked Cullen Boys are dying to know!!! The world tour of their Cullendales show has started -- first stop, Sydney!