Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight. You knew that. I do, however, own the Lessons storyline and all original characters. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without express written authorization
MANHUNT IS #1!!! It's not only the highest rated contest entry, it's the highest rated story EVER on textnovel!!! THANK YOU!!! I HAVE THE BEST FANS IN THE WHOLE WORLD!!! Haven't checked it out yet? http://www(dot)textnovel(dot)com/stories_list_?story_id=1521 Read, vote, enjoy! Contest ends Nov 1st and there's a few people hot on my trail, so every vote counts! Pimp me out bbs, I'll love you forever for it.
While you're there, check out Hopeful Wager's fabulous original story, 12.21.12, as well as unTwilighted versions of Twice as Long as Yesterday and Everything in conTEXT. Her penname is Killian McRae, and she's on my favs list on my textnovel profile.
Thanks to changedbyEdward for beta'ing this, 'cause my regular beta still refuses to read the alternate ending. I'm thinking there's two, maybe three chapters left.
"Bella?" I breathed a sigh of relief when she smiled at me.
"Jasper?" she sighed, then laughed. "That wasn't so bad!"
"Speak for yourself, darlin'! The last three days have been hell on me!" Realization immediately brought on a wave of regret from her. "No, baby, don't do that. I would take that burn a hundred times over if it meant you could be the only vampire ever to come through the change thinking 'that wasn't so bad.'"
Her crimson eyes went wide. "I'm a vampire! This isn't just a dream, is it? I'm really like you??" I nodded. She jumped up and took me by the hand, dragging me outside – literally. She let go of me to lift her hands up, jumping for joy when she saw herself sparkle in the sunlight. She looked up at me with an expression like Ralphie when he finally got his Red Rider bb gun, then tackled me to the ground, showering me with kisses. I opened my mouth to speak, but she took it as an invitation and invaded my mouth with her tongue – running it along my teeth like she never could before. She was giddy, and it was contagious. "I'm yours! Forever!" she exclaimed between kisses.
"Forever, sweetheart. You're stuck with me now, and good." Her radiant smile at that healed my very soul. I pulled her down into my arms and closed my eyes, holding her tight and just breathing in her new scent, even more tantalizing than before if such a thing were possible. I opened my eyes to find her doing much the same. She opened her eyes and smiled sweetly at me. "Bella? I know you said yes already, but you were human then. I need to hear you say yes again, as a vampire. Will you be my wife? My mate for all of eternity?"
Bella nodded frantically. "Yes, Jasper! A hundred times, yes!"
"Do you still feel the need to wait? I will if that is your wish, but know that I would gladly marry you tomorrow."
Bella put her hand on my cheek and kissed me. "I can't think of any possible reason to wait."
The scent of a deer not too deep in the woods drifted on the breeze. "Bella," I said, pushing her shoulders back a little so I could talk to her. "I don't know about you, but I'm famished." I honestly had not sensed any thirst from her, which made no sense to me, not that I was complaining when she was straddling me, but still.
Bella wrinkled her nose disgustedly. "What is that smell?"
"Breakfast," I replied, shifting her off of me and standing. I turned to her and offered her my hand to help her stand, but she shook her head at me stubbornly.
"I don't think so," she said. "That smells gross!"
I had to chuckle. It wasn't as if I could disagree with her. It wasn't a gourmet meal – more like fast food, I supposed. "It's not so bad once you get used to it. Come on, I'll show you." Bella looked at me suspiciously, but took my hand to stand. I let go and took off after the deer, with her by my side. I had to shush her once because she was making all kinds of indecipherable sounds as she took in her surroundings and abilities.
I quickly caught the deer and tackled it to the ground, pinning it down for her. Bella didn't move.
"Come, Bella. Drink. Do it quickly. You don't want him to suffer." Bella sprung into action, biting his neck and taking a long drink, but pulled back just as quickly, violently spitting it all back up. I broke the deer's neck to put it out of its misery before going to Bella. I pulled her hair back and held it for her while she vomited.
In all my years dealing with newborns, I had never seen anything like it. It went beyond dislike for the flavor, she physically couldn't hold it down.
"Jasper…please…" she groaned, "get me out of here…the smell…it's making me nauseous."
Confused, I nevertheless picked her up and carried her deeper into the woods. The further away we got, the better she felt. Eventually, I put her down so she could run with me and enjoy the sensations of vampire speed.
Suddenly a new scent hit us and I froze in panic. Human. There must be a hunter in the area. I turned to Bella, my muscles tensed, prepared to restrain her if necessary, but instead I found her fighting another wave of nausea. If it were possible for a vampire to be green around the gills, she would have been. I picked her up and sprinted home.
When we got back, I helped her clean up and get settled on the couch, then grabbed my cell phone to call Carlisle, only to find I'd missed several calls. Two from Carlisle. One from the house in Columbus, so either Alice or Adrian. Three from Edward. I was certain he'd heard by now that I'd bitten her. He was bound to be worried, but Carlisle would have to come first.
I was impressed, Carlisle managed to keep his scientific curiosity to a minimum as I explained the situation to him, both about the blood issue and my suspicions about her ability, to which he replied, "If that's the case, it might be best to keep her isolated until we can get to the bottom of it. Especially from Edward."
Shit. I hadn't even thought of that. We'd finally put the drama regarding his feelings for Bella in the past. The last thing I needed was Bella's powers amping up his love for her another notch.
"I don't know if that is going to be possible, though. This is about to get infinitely more complicated, Jasper. After you bit Bella, Alice's visions disappeared, most probably because Adrian was no longer separated from the rest of the family, but I decided not to take any chances and chose to be proactive. I called the Volturi."
Bella, hearing the entire conversation, panicked. I sat down and put my hand on her knee to soothe her, but instead was rewarded with a huge dose of lust. Newborn emotions. I almost forgot how they could change on a dime. I raised an eyebrow at her and she shrugged sheepishly. I turned my attention back to my conversation with Carlisle.
"They are no longer sending emissaries to check on her, however, our presence is requested in Volterra." Requested? Yeah, right. "They want to see her."
"Well then, we need Edward with us. Alice, too."
"Normally, I would agree with you, but if your suspicions are correct, we don't know what might happen."
"We'll have to cross that bridge when we come to it," I replied.
"Maybe we could tell her not to look any men in the eyes," Carlisle hypothesized. Bella rolled her eyes and I couldn't help but laugh.
"Carlisle, we're talking about Bella here, not Medusa."
Carlisle laughed, too. "It was just a thought! I'll inform Edward and Alice and arrange for us to be on the next flight out. You and Medusa should arrange a chartered flight, both for Bella's comfort and for the humans' safety. We don't want hunger pains to suddenly set in at 20,000 feet."
"Agreed," I said, and Bella nodded. No sooner had I hung up from Carlisle when my phone rang again. Edward.
"She's fine," I said by way of greeting.
"I know," he said after a pause. "Alice told me." Another pause. "Her phone is dead, though, it needs charged, and I just…I wanted…Can I speak with her, Jasper?" I looked to Bella, who had her hand out for the phone, a reassuring smile on her face.
"Careful," I warned her. "Don't crush it." I gave her the phone and she took it gingerly. "I'm going to go plug yours in and then go for a quick hunt while you talk, okay?" Bella mouthed 'thank you,' a sentiment echoed by Edward in the background. I smiled at her and headed upstairs.
I heard him ask her if she was okay, and she assured him that she was better than fine. I jumped out the window and headed for the nearest meal I could find. She didn't need me eavesdropping on her conversation, and honestly, I had no desire to. Bella's heart belongs to me, no matter how many men's hearts belong to her.
We tried hunting once more before we left for the airport, with similar results. In fact, just the scent of the pilots on the chartered plane had Bella gagging every time she chanced a breath. As a result, the flight over was spent in comfortable silence. Bella curled herself into my side and pretended to sleep while I looked out the window.
I wanted to strategize, plan for contingencies, but for the first time since I'd met Alice, I was going into a situation completely blind, and it was more than a little disconcerting. We didn't even know at this point if the Volturi were friend or foe.
The rest of the family beat us there and were waiting at the airport. Every one of them, even Adrian, which was mighty brave of Alice, in my opinion, but that boy was stubborn and if there was even the slightest chance that Alice or Bella were in danger, he'd be there, even if his throwing arm muscles and quarterback speed were severely outmatched. I admired him for that.
Esme and Alice practically attacked Bella, pulling her into a group hug, then stepping back to admire her vampire-enhanced beauty. Rosalie was hanging back, happy for Bella but feeling hesitant. I focused my attention on the men in the room. There was a noticeable increase in Carlisle's love, although it still felt purely platonic and familial. Emmett was definitely feeling lusty towards her, but not overwhelmingly so. His primary emotion for her was still brotherly love, as protective of her as ever, as was Adrian.
Then there was Edward. He felt as though his limbic system was completely on the fritz. Love – unending, deep love. Pain. Regret. Awe. Envy. A little anger. Lust. Guilt. They fluttered from one to the other and back again so quickly it was a wonder his eyes were able to focus. I had to force myself to block it out as much as possible before it took over us both. Bella looked over to him with a sad smile and he pulled her into a hug. Comfort. Happiness. Love. Contentment. Peace. I might not have preferred the manner in which these calming emotions washed over me, but I could certainly appreciate the reprieve.
"Well?" Carlisle asked, drawing my attention away from them for the moment. "Can you sense anything different? Are your suspicions correct?" He knew the answer to that question before he even asked it. He could feel it for himself.
"Adrian and Emmett don't seem to be affected, although Emmett needs to quit lusting after my fiancée. Seriously, Emm, you call her little sister – that's just wrong." Carlisle chuckled and Emmett had the good sense to look sheepish. Bella looked over to him with her eyebrow raised, embarrassment rushing through her. Edward's emotions matched my own just then. I missed that beautiful blush.
"You, Edward, and myself, however, have definitely had a spike in our feelings for Bella." Carlisle had a shot of fear and concern as he observed Edward for a moment, who was staring at the back of Bella's head while she reunited with Adrian, trying unsuccessfully to hold back the nausea his scent was causing her.
"I was afraid of that," Carlisle said, "for more reason than one. The Volturi are going to be very interested in keeping her if they know what she can do."
Edward snapped out of his daze then. He obviously was too absorbed in his own thoughts to monitor ours during the conversation. "What who can do? Bella? What can she do?"
"Don't you feel it, Edward?" Carlisle asked gently. "I get the impression that you are a little more in love with Bella than you were yesterday." Bella turned to look at him, worried, and their eyes locked for a moment before he broke the connection.
"More than a little," Edward whispered reluctantly, looking for my reaction. It's okay, Edward, you're fine. It's not your fault our girl's a succubus.
"She's much more powerful than a succubus, Jasper. The Denali sisters have got nothing on Bella."
"Oh Edward…" Bella's voice was strangled with emotion. "I'm sorry." He smiled at her, then took her hand and kissed it.
"No worries, love. It's nothing I can't handle, nothing I would wish to change." He turned to me then, all business. "Jasper, this is a very dangerous development."
"Agreed," Carlisle stated. "Bella, do you have any idea how you are doing this?"
Bella shook her head vehemently. "I would never consciously do that. I don't even sense anything. If it weren't for Jasper, I would have no idea that it was even happening."
Rosalie spoke up, snarky as ever, but correct nonetheless. "Do you all really think the airport is the proper place for a conversation about Bella's love potion?"
"No, I suppose not," Carlisle laughed. "Let's get checked in to the hotel. They are expecting us tomorrow, and there's nothing we can do to prevent them finding out. I'd like to have a family meeting tonight to discuss how to handle things if this goes bad. I couldn't care less about Caius, but Aro and Marcus were good friends to me once upon a time. I don't always agree with their choices, but unless it comes down to us or them, I would prefer to not see them harmed."
Everyone nodded in understanding and headed to the parking lot, where Carlisle had arranged three cars so Bella and I could ride alone, away from everyone else's emotions, for which I was thankful.
"So, tomorrow's going to be interesting, huh?" Bella finally said after a while. That was putting it lightly.
There were way too many cities left for the few chapters in this alternate ending, so I'm compiling a list and will post The Cullendales World Tour: Naked Cullen Boys Gone Wild tour schedule on my profile...as soon as I get off jury duty. :)