I don't own Twilight, and honestly, I'm rather glad I don't. Not because Twilight isn't great, but simply because it's a lot spotlight, and a lot of pressure. I don't envy Stephanie Meyere all of that.
"I, Isabella, do take you, Jasper…"
"I, Jasper, do take you, Isabella…"
"to be my lawfully wedded husband…"
"to be my lawfully wedded wife…"
"to have and to hold…"
"to have and to hold…"
"from this day forward…"
"from this day forward…"
"for better or worse…"
"for better or worse…"
"for richer, or poorer…"
"for richer, or poorer…"
"in sickness and in health…"
"in sickness and in health…"
"to love and to cherish…"
"to love and to cherish…"
"from this day forward…"
"from this day forward…"
"as long as we both shall live."
"as long as we both shall live."
"You may now kiss the bride."
And he did.
It was a crisp, cool day in Texas in the fall of 1860, and it was my wedding day. We were seventeen, and we had our whole lives ahead of us. We were blissfully in love, and not even the threat of war that constantly loomed over our heads could ruin this day. We stood together, his hand around my waist, as everyone came up to us with congratulations. Occasionally we share glances, and large grins would break across both our faces. We were young and foolish, but we were in love- so it didn't matter.
Eventually, our wedding guests left, and it was just the two of us. He took my hands in his, and pulled me close.
"Hello, Mrs. Whitlock." I smiled.
"Hello, Mr. Whitlock." He smiled, and leaned down, putting his lips close to my ear.
"How are you this evening?" He whispered, before kissing my neck. I resisted a giggle. I do not giggle.
"Quite well, and yourself?"
"Pretty well, thank you m'am." He replied, in his slow southern drawl, before placing another kiss on my neck. "I just got me a wife today."
"Did you now?" I whispered.
"Then what on Earth are you doing here with me, good sir?" He laughed, and I felt tingles travel down my spine.
"Taking my wife to our honeymoon bed." He said, before picking me up and carrying me through our new home. I shrieked with laughter the entire way.
- - -
It was a sunny morning in April of 1861. I stood in our front yard, hanging the linens out to dry. At the sound of horse hooves, I turned my head to the road. I grinned at the sight of my husband, as all newlyweds can't help but do. He smiled back at me, and tipped his hat off. I gave a slight giggle.
"I'll be right back." He called, as he slowed from a trot to a walk. "I just need to put Missy here up."
"Alright." I called back. "I'll have lunch waiting for you."
He grinned at me, and continued towards the barn. I hung up the last piece of laundry, and made my way into the house to prepare Jasper's lunch. By the time he entered the kitchen, I had both our lunches ready. He walked over to me, and pulled me close.
"Hello, Mrs. Whitlock." He whispered. I chuckled.
He pouted, "That's not what you're supposed to say."
I chuckled again, "Darling, haven't you grown tired of this game yet?"
"I don't think I'll ever get over the thrill of knowing that you're my wife." I sighed.
"Well, when you say it that way…Hello, Mr. Whitlock." He grinned, and kissed me.
"Now go eat your lunch," I scolded.
We both sat down, and began to eat.
"So, what was the news from town?" I asked. He sighed, and set down his fork.
"Bad news, Bella."
My stomach sunk, and I set my fork down as well. He turned to me in his chair, and I turned to face him as well. He picked up both my hands in his.
"They've declared war."
"Oh, I knew you were going to say that!" I whined.
"We've all known it was coming."
"Yes," I whispered, "we have." There was silence for a moment. "Go ahead, Jasper." I said softly. "We both know what you're going to say, so just go ahead and say it."
"I enlisted this morning, as soon as I heard the news." He said, turning his gaze away from mine.
Tears prickled in my eyes.
"I knew you would." I paused, "Oh, Jasper!"
He gathered me into his arms.
"Bella, it will be okay. It will, don't worry. This war, it will be over real quick. I just know it."
Tears were streaming down my face now, but that was not my concern.
"Oh really? How do you know, Jasper? Please tell me! Do you see the future now?"
"Oh, Bella…beautiful Bella…" He crooned. "Bella, it's all going to be okay. I'll come back to you, you know I will. When have I ever been able to stay away from you, hm?"
"Exactly. This is no exception. I'll be back before you know it. I'll be back so quickly you'll be sad to see that your alone time is over."
I wiped the tears away from eyes.
"Oh, Jazz. When have I ever not been happy to see you?" He smiled, and nuzzled my hair.
"Never." He whispered.
"And that will never change." I whispered back.
He pulled away.
"Okay, enough of the tears. I'm hungry." I laughed.
"You always know how to make me feel better."
"What can I say?" He said with a smile as he picked up his fork, "it's a gift!"
I smiled, and resumed eating as well.
Jasper left for war a week later.
"Oh, Jasper!" I cried,
"Bella." He crooned into my ear as he held me fiercely. "My beautiful Bella. I'll be back by your side before you know it. I'll be back."
I nodded, and sniffled in an attempt to calm my tears. I pulled back within his grasp so I could look up into his eyes.
"You better. Or I'll make sure you regret it."
He smiled, and gave a small laugh.
"The United Army doesn't scare me, but that look in your eyes sure does. Trust me, I'll come back. I don't want to suffer your wrath."
I smiled, and nodded.
"I love you, Bella. Forever."
"I love you too, Jasper. For as long as we both shall live."
And with one last kiss, he left my embrace and rode off to war.
- - -
Time passes slowly when you're left at home, always waiting to hear the latest on whether or not you're still a wife or merely a widow. I tried my best to live normally, but it was difficult. I had taken up a position as a teacher at the local school. The previous teacher had gone off to war as well. I moved through the days as best as I could, only letting the loneliness and tears overcome me at night.
Finally, I received a letter, the first from my dear Jasper. After that, the letters began to appear every two or three days. It seems as though it takes awhile for the letters to get through the post, but he wrote regularly enough they kept coming.
They were moving daily, and I had no way to know where to send him letters. So I contented myself with writing replies and saving them for him to read when he returned.
One summer day, about two years after he had left, I received my last letter from him. Although, I didn't know it was such at the time.
My dearest Isabella,
I continue to think of you daily, it is the only way I am able to survive. Thoughts of you are what gives me strength, and the will to push on fighting. We both know I really have no position on preserving or abolishing slavery. That is not why I am fighting. I suppose you think it's out of honor, and duty. In many ways it is. We both know that I grew up longing to be a soldier to fight on such principles. You, however, changed that. While I fight out of honor, and duty, mostly, I fight for you, Isabella.
I fight for your safety, for you to have a happy life, and for us to have the ability to have a happy life together. I fight so I can return to you, my beautiful wife. I fight because I want to start a family with you, to be surrounded by a number of beautiful, smart, rambunctious children that are part you, part me. I want forever with you, my Bella. I promised you forever when you agreed to marry me, and again when we were finally married…I have every intention of giving it to you.
We're slowly moving northward, and I anticipate a big battle soon. As a major, my part in this war has become larger than I ever expected. I worried at first that I would find myself in more danger, and I worried for you. I fear that less now. Every day my confidence grows that the South will win this fight. Either way, win or lose, I will return home to you, my Bella. And we will have our forever.
Until next time, your loving husband,
Frequently, reading his letters left me in tears. This letter was no exception. If I had known it would be his last letter, I'm sure the sobs would have been even greater.
I worried, when I didn't receive a letter within two or three days as I usually did. I brushed it off, however, trying to convince myself that they were just in battle, and he couldn't exactly stop to write his wife a letter, now could he? The thought didn't banish the growing lump in my gut; but after two years, a soldier's wife is well used to that. I just continued on, trying my best to ignore the feeling, and hoping for another letter with all my heart. I spent a couple weeks like this, until I finally got the news.
My father was the one to tell me. He knocked at the door one evening, just after supper. I opened the door, surprised to see him, he usually only visited with my mother on Sundays, but quickly invited him in.
"Papa! I wasn't expecting you! I'm sorry." I paused. "I already ate, but I can whip something up for you real quick."
"It's fine, Isabella." He said quietly, putting a hand on my shoulder. "I'm not here to eat. Or to visit really." A feeling of dread became to slosh in my stomach, and rise up into my heart.
"Papa?" I asked quietly.
"Perhaps we ought to go into the living room, Isabella. I think you should sit down first."
I stubbornly shook my head.
"No. No, Papa. Just tell me. Whatever it is, I can handle it."
"Isabella…"he began, but I shook my head.
"Just tell me."
He paused, bit his lip, but nodded.
"Isabella, Jasper has gone missing in action. They found his horse, the saddle was covered in blood." He paused. "They haven't recovered his body, but they're pretty sure he's gone."
I stared for a few good long moments, before the truth hit me. A great sob sounded from my chest, and my knees grew weak. I sank heavily to the floor, and began sobbing. Jasper, my beautiful Jasper…
- - -
I moved through the next couple of weeks as if in another world entirely. I barely ate, and barely spoke. My parents worried for me, and tried to convince me to return home. I couldn't. I couldn't bear to leave the home I shared with Jasper, even though it was for such a short time.
One morning, I decided I fancied a walk in the woods. It was a sunny day, and I thought a walk in the cool forest would be good for me. I stepped through the shadows in silence, thinking thoughts of my beautiful Jasper.
I noticed a sunlit clearing up ahead, and made my way to it. I thought I would lie in the sun's warmth, and let my thoughts take me away. I was surprised to find, however, that I was not alone in the clearing. A young woman, who looked about my age, stood in the clearing as well. She stood with her arms outstretched, and her face uplifted towards the sun. She was beautiful, perhaps the most beautiful woman I had ever seen. And her skin seemed to sparkle like diamonds.
I took a breath, and her head snapped towards mine. She hissed at me, as if simultaneously cursing and trying to scare me away. I gulped, frightened, and suddenly she was running towards me. Yet, she came so fast, I never even had time to think to run away. Suddenly there were teeth, and then pain, and then nothing.
- - -
I awoke again in my cabin. I felt…vibrant, and thirsty. So thirsty. I sat up shakily, and a woman's voice greeted me.
"Oh, good. You're awake."
I turned my head to face her. She looked familiar as if I'd seen her somewhere before…Yet, I couldn't put my finger on it. She approached me, and sat down on the edge of the bed.
"Who…who are you?"
"My name is Lily." The woman said.
"You…you look familiar. I feel like I've seen you somewhere before."
"What's the last thing you remember?" She asked gently.
"I…I was in a clearing, and there was the sun…and this woman…she was sparkling…she was beautiful…"I looked back at the woman, Lily. "Was…was that you?"
"Yes. I…I'm sorry. I didn't mean to attack you, you just frightened me…and you smelled so good."
"I…I don't understand."
"Dear, have you ever heard of vampires?"
"You mean those people who are neither alive nor dead…the ones who drink blood?"
"I…I've heard legends…but it's all nonsense…And what does that matter anyway? What happened to me?"
"Isabella. My name is Isabella." The woman gave a small smile.
"Isabella. I am a vampire." I sucked in my breath, and naturally shifted away from her.
The woman gave a small, sad laugh.
"I'm afraid that you have no reason to be afraid of me. In the woods…you startled me. I'm not sure why I didn't hear you coming, but I didn't. I attacked you, and bit you. My husband came along, and stopped me before I killed you. Because of that, instead of dying…you were changed. You're one of us now."
"A…a vampire? I'm a vampire?"
The woman held out a cup full of a thick red liquid.
I sniffed it, and wafts of sweetness, like a fruit invaded my nostrils. I drank it greedily.
"What is this?" I asked when I was done, "I've never drunk anything like it before."
"No, I imagine you haven't." A man said from the doorway, a smile on his face. "It's blood."
I stared. Maybe the woman wasn't crazy after all.
"My name is Jack." The man said. "I'm Lily's husband."
"Isabella." I replied. I paused. "Is…is it true? Am I really a vampire now?"
"I'm afraid so."
"I'm so sorry, Isabella." Lily cried, "I didn't mean to…it was an accident…I was just taken by such surprise, and we'd just been hunting…I'm just so glad I didn't kill you."
"In a way I wish you had." I mumbled, not expecting her to hear me.
Lily looked shocked.
"What?" My eyes widened, surprised she could hear me.
"Vampires have heightened senses. You probably haven't noticed it much yet, it's all so new…and this is a lot to take in. But if you pay attention…"
And I did. Suddenly I realized that I could hear everything…I could hear every bird chirping, I could hear a snake slithering outside in the grass, I could hear horses trotting towards town a ways down the road, I could hear Missy in the stable, shuffling her feet. And everything was so much clearer; I could see virtually every detail of everything.
"Isabella." Lily said. "What did you mean? Why do you wish you were dead?"
"My husband…he died recently…He was a major in the Confederate army. It's why I was in the woods in the first place; I was trying to clear my head. He's dead, and now I've been damned to eternity without him."
"Isabella. I'm sorry to hear about your husband, although in some way that is a blessing. It will explain why you disappeared."
"You can't stay here." Lily explained, "it will be evident that's something wrong, that you're different. You won't change. You're frozen as you are for eternity. And you'll thirst for human blood. If you stay, you may hurt a loved one…and I'm sure you don't want to spend the rest of eternity with that resting on your conscience."
I shook my head.
"But…where will I go?"
"You can come with us." Jack said. "We can help you adjust to this new life."
"Thank you." I said, "I'd like that."
"Gather anything you wish to bring with you." Lily said, "it's best to travel as lightly as possible. We tend to move a lot by requirement, but I'm sure you want to bring some things with you."
I nodded, before finally standing.
"We'll wait for you downstairs," Lily said.
She and Jack left the room, and I began to pack quickly. I threw several dresses and undergarments into a rucksack, and gathered the few pictures I had of myself and Jasper. I gathered all the letters he had written to me, and all the letters I had written to him. That seemed to be it, really. All that I'd need. I had nothing else that would matter in my new life. How sad, that everything I needed could be found in one small bag.
- - -
Time passed quickly. I spent a year or two with Lily and Jack. They were not typical vampires, they were caring and compassionate. They couldn't stand the thought of harming humans, and instead they hunted animals. They found that it quenched most of the thirst, even though it did not banish it entirely. I followed their lifestyle, especially once I discovered that human blood held little appeal to me. Jack and Lily were amused by this revelation, but pleased. It made our lives much simpler. Apparently newborns typically had an uncontrollable bloodlust, but due to my aversion to humans- I did not suffer such a fate.
I grieved Jasper, but in my new life, I was able to move beyond my catatonic state. Lily and Jack helped; they understood about grief…all their loved ones had died decades ago. They had been changed accidentally, they were meant to be a meal. They had been moving from Pennsylvania to Georgia, and they had chosen to ride through the night instead of stopping at an inn. A vampire stopped their wagon, and had proceeded to attack.
He bit Lily first, but as Jack fruitlessly tried to get him away, he set his sights on Jack. Lily's screams, however, scared him off as he was afraid of being caught. He ran away, and three days later Lily and Jack awoke to find themselves… different. Luckily, they quickly ran into another vampire who explained things to them. The vampire stayed with them for a year or so, but eventually they parted ways. Since then, Lily and Jack had been living a rather nomadic life, spending a year or two here or there before moving again.
They had been changed about sixty years ago, and became "vegetarians" (as they liked to call themselves) a few years later. Lily described the day they realized they no longer needed to kill humans in order to survive as one of the happiest days of her "damned eternal life."
A few years after I joined the couple, we went out one night to hunt. We were caught in a skirmish with a few newborns, and Lily and Jack were killed. Each brought down one of their opponents before they perished, and I was able to take down the third and fourth. I barely managed to escape with my life.
I traveled alone for a couple of years, and eventually made my way to Italy. I met the Volturi, and it was there I discovered my powers. At first we thought I was merely able to shield myself mentally from the powers of others. It was an impressive power, and I worked hard to train my power to the depths of my potential. We discovered I was able to extend the shield to others and protect them as well. We also discovered, however, that I had another power. I was able to hear the thoughts of others upon concentration, and could even send my own thoughts back at them.
Aro often commented on how unfair the matter was, as not only could I prevent anyone from hearing my thoughts but I could hear everyone else's…even his own. No one else could do that, at least that he had met. At first he marveled that I had managed to spend seven years without knowing of any of my powers, but we quickly realized that I had simply not come across anyone with offensive mental powers. I hadn't actually met any vampires with powers at all, and Jack and Lily had never mentioned the possibility. I assumed it was because they themselves didn't know of it.
I spent about twenty years with the Volturi, but I quickly grew restless. I had come close to Aro and many members of the Guard, but I was bored with staying put. Not to mention it was so hard to hunt while staying in Volterra. Finally, I decided I had to leave. I spoke with Aro, but he was reluctant to let me leave. He enjoyed having me around thanks to my powers. Yet, after I promised to come should he require me, and reassured him that the Guard was fully capable of protecting him (a fact he well knew, but often required reassuring of), he allowed me to leave.
I resumed my nomadic life, alone once again. Occasionally, I encountered fellow vampires, but I never spent any significant amount of time with them. Around the turn of the twentieth century, I decided I wanted to be a doctor. I managed to enroll in college, and medical school. With my aversion to human blood, all the time in the world to study and improve, and a decent fortune from working for so long with so few expenses, it made a world of sense. I was able to graduate, and I practiced with the same degree for about ten years, although in a few different hospitals. I changed my name, and started the whole process over again a few times over. College, Medical school, practicing for about ten years. Rinse with a new identity, and repeat for all eternity.
Eventually, around the turn of the twenty-first century, I made my way to a little town called Forks, Washington. The population was small, and everyone was welcoming. I had grown bored of college and medical school, and I decided to try a couple of years as a high school student.
I had been the ripe age of 19 when I was turned. I was frequently thankful for this as it allowed me to play a variety of ages. I could pass for a mature looking high school junior, or I could pass for a very young looking doctor. By the time I should have been mid-thirties, however, I was forced to forgo my identity and gain a new one. I hadn't played a high school student in about forty years, so I was excited. It would definitely be different, and after over a century of being a vampire…that's pretty exciting.
- - -
The problem with playing a high school junior, I thought on my first day at Forks High, was that I was expected to have a guardian. Last time around the time of registration, I had run into a fellow vampire who appeared old enough to be my guardian, and had been more than willing to help. This time, I had to do a more subtle method. I forged records from a school in Arizona, and faxed them to my new school from the school's office. I mailed in the paper work, signing it as a fake guardian I'd created when I'd created my latest identity, and used my last identity (during which I'd been a notary) to notarize the paper work to make it legitimate. It takes a genius, but luckily I am one.
And with all that, I was ready to start my first day of high school in Forks.
"Hello, m'am." I spoke carefully, using a gentle south-western accent. After one's been a vampire as long as me, you pick them up. "My name is Isabella Whitlock. I'm the new student. I'm from Arizona, I think you should have my paperwork."
"Ah, yes, Isabella! Welcome to Forks. I have your schedule right here. And here's a map…And take this slip right here. Get all your teachers to sign it, and bring it back to me at the end of the day." She paused, "That should be it, dear. Do you have any questions?"
I shook my head silently, still playing the part of a meek high school girl nervous about her first day in a new school.
"No, m'am. Thank you very much." I turned, and slipped away.
As I walked away, I concentrated on her thoughts. Well isn't she a dear. So polite. I wish more students would be like her. They tend to be so demanding. I smiled as I walked through the door, another human wooed and fooled. I really was too good at this.
I glanced at my schedule, and the map, looked at my surroundings, back down at the map, and made my way to my first class. As I walked, I thought about my new identity. I'd never used my real name before. I'd used the first name Isabella before, and I once used my maiden name with a different first name, but I had never used my married name, especially with my first name. I had been hesitant at first, but I had decided it was safe. I had "died" over a hundred and fifty years ago, no one would make any connection. There was no one alive who could.
How wrong I was.
Jasper Cullen laid flat on his back staring at his ceiling and thought. He did this every morning. He thought about everything that had happened in his vampire life. He thought about his human life, what little he could remember. But mostly, he thought about his wife; his beautiful, long gone wife. Memories from his human life were foggy, but the ones of his wife were the most clear. He didn't have many full memories, mostly snapshots. Isabella laughing. Isabella crying. Isabella when he proposed. Isabella right before she kissed him. Isabella on their wedding day. Isabella on their wedding night. Isabella hanging clothes on the laundry line. Isabella making him dinner. Isabella kissing him goodbye.
Jasper had a hard time adjusting to his new life. He had been bitter after he had been changed. He had not wanted this life, he had only wanted to fight the war, and return home to his wife. He had stayed for a while with the woman who had changed him, and had helped her raise an army. He had left her after things had gone badly, and lived a nomadic life for a few weeks. Then Alice found him.
He had been baring his teeth at a young human girl, he had her slammed against a brick wall and was about to bite her. He hated this part of being a vampire. He hated the killing, but he had no control over his bloodlust. He couldn't help it.
"You don't want to do that, Jasper." An angel-like voice had said. He had turned his head to stare at her.
"How do you know my name?" He had asked, shocked.
The human girl gave out a loud sob. He turned back to her and hissed, she returned to whimpering.
"Jasper, I know you don't want to hurt her. Let her be."
"I-I can't…" He said, wanting to let go, trying to…but having no control.
"Jasper, you can."
And suddenly he could. He released the girl, and she slid to the ground. She curled into a ball and continued whimpering.
"Run." He whispered, trying to prevent himself from reaching for her again, the girl remained, frightened. "RUN!" He bellowed, and the girl leaped up, and ran.
"I'm proud of you, Jasper. I know that was hard, but you did it. You can control this."
He looked at her again, confusion all over his face.
"Who are you?" She smiled.
"My name is Alice, and we're going to be best friends."
And she was right. She told him how she had awakened, turned, and how she had seen him. She described her visions, and how she wasn't why she had them, only that it wasn't entirely abnormal. Jasper knew some vampires had special powers, he himself had one. He explained what he could to her, and she smiled at the knowledge that she was not alone. She told him that she had seen that they would join a family named the Cullens. The family, she told him, did not spill human blood, but lived off animals. Jasper had never thought of such a possibility, and was curious to see if it would work.
He hated himself for being such a monster. He hated himself for killing. Every time he did, he saw her eyes. His beautiful Isabella's eyes…
They had joined the Cullens, and were welcomed with open arms. Carlisle became like a surrogate father to Jasper, and Esme became a surrogate mother. He felt a keen brotherly love for Edward and a deep sisterly love for Rosalie and Alice. And when Emmett joined them after a few years, after Rosalie found him mauled almost to death by a bear, Carlisle changed him, and Emmett became a Cullen brother as well. The family moved around, and Jasper attended high school and college with his siblings. Emmett and Rosalie gravitated towards each other, as did Edward and Alice. Jasper was happy for his siblings.
He often felt guilt and pity radiating off them, they felt bad for leaving him alone. Yet he wasn't alone, he had four siblings, and he had his memories of Isabella…That was all that he needed, really. They tried to set him up with various vampires they met over the years, but he had no interest in any of them. There was only girl he could ever love, and she had passed away with his heart over a century ago, no doubt.
Jasper often wondered what Isabella had done. He was sure she had assumed he was dead. He knew the army had declared him missing in action but presumed dead. He had looked up his records once, many years ago. He wondered if she had married again and had a family. He knew he could have looked her up in the Country records office in their hometown, but he didn't think he could bear to know. It was easier to hope that she had moved on, knowing that she had would crush his heart.
Jasper sighed, and stood. He reviewed his long life every morning, so he would never forget. Yet, eventually, he had to face the new day. He got ready for school, and joined his family downstairs. The siblings piled into Edward's silver Volvo and rode to school. It was time for another year at Forks High.
- - -
Edward parked the Volvo, and we all piled out. Alice was sending off waves of excitement. I didn't understand how she always got so excited about the first day of school. We had had countless. Although, I did notice she seemed more excited than usual. Odd. I made a note to ask her later. Right now she appeared a bit distracted.
School was always really hard for me. Not because of the academics, they were easy, especially after having repeated the material so many times. The bloodlust was difficult, it seemed as though I'd always have more problems with self-control than the rest of my family, but it was not uncontrollable. The real problem came from my ability to feel the emotions of those around me. Being around so many people with such an ability is difficult enough, but being around so many teenagers with such an ability? All the teen angst is exhausting, not to mention extremely painful. I've grown accustomed to it some, but it is still rather painful.
"Hey, Jasper!" Emmett called,
I shook my head, snapping myself out of my thoughts.
"Edward said there's a new student."
Yippee, I thought, another angst-filled teenager. Just what I wanted. Edward laughed.
"Don't worry, Jasper." Edward said, "it'll all work out."
It was easy for him to say. He just read thoughts. Annoying sometimes yes, especially when people started thinking anything related to Alice, but manageable. It was easier for him to sort out his own thoughts from everyone else's, and block the rest out than it was for me. It takes a lot of inner knowledge to know all your emotions, and while I've improved…it's still hard for me.
"So, Edward." I asked, "what's the new student's name?"
Edward paused, and turned to look at me.
"I'm not sure yet. No one seems to know."
I looked at him, feeling how nervous he was. He was lying. I just didn't know why. Before I could ask, the bell rang for us to make our way to our first period classes. I made my way to class, pushing it out of my mind. I'd figure out what was going soon enough.
I had English first period with Mr. Mason. I made my way to class, and stopped shortly in the doorway, surveying the room. There were desks lined up in pairs in columns. Oh, and great. He was one of those teachers who assigned seats. There were name-cards on all the desks, and I quickly found one with the name "Jasper Hale." I took my seat, flipping my name card over, and glanced at the name-card on the seat directly next to me. The name made my un-beating heart jump into my throat.
Immediately, I began trying to convince myself that the name meant nothing. It had been 150 years since I'd been turned, my wife was long dead. And the name Whitlock was common enough, and the name Isabella wasn't particularly popular…but of course someone else could have that name. Out of all the people in the world, it only made sense. I was crazy for even thinking this girl could be my wife.
The bell rang, and the few students standing up and reminiscing about their summer quickly made their way to their seats. The seat next to me was still empty. Odd. Although, whoever this girl was, this girl who is NOT your wife, I told myself, she must be the new student. The one Edward was talking about. It was reasonable for a new student to be late. She'd probably walk in any minute.
Sure enough, ten minutes into class the door opened. A girl with long brown hair walked into the room. Her hair obscured her face from my view, but that didn't matter. Whatever she looked like, she wouldn't look like the girl I wanted her to look like. She wouldn't look like my Bella, she wouldn't be my wife.
The girl walked up to Mr. Mason, who was giving her a harsh look.
"I'm awfully sorry for being late." The girl said sotto voce, "but it took me awhile to get things squared away in the office, and I had a spot of trouble finding the room."
"Ah, you're the new student then." Mr. Mason said.
"Well then, introduce yourself to the class." He said, as he turned and scribbled on a sheet she had handed him.
The girl paused, and I could tell she was uncomfortable. She began to turn her head, but my phone began vibrating. I pulled it out to look at it under the desk.
Hello, Jasper. How's English going? –Alice
Now that was odd. As I sat reading this though, the girl made her introduction, and I missed it. I looked back up just as Mr. Mason sent her to sit next to me. I glanced up, but her hair was obscuring her face. She made her way over to me, and sat down.
I wanted to turn to her and introduce myself, but Mr. Mason began speaking again.
"Now, I want you all to turn to your neighbor and discuss your favorite piece of literature. Begin." Perfect, I could introduce myself after all.
I turned to her just in time to see her faint. I caught her quickly, preventing her from falling out of her chair and hitting her head.
"Mr. Mason?" I called out, "She just fainted."
Mr. Mason began mumbling under his breath about attention-seeking new students.
"Take her to the office please, Mr. Hale."
I nodded, and picked her up. I paused, and grabbed her bag and my own as well. I began to make my way to the office, but the second I made it out of the building and started towards the main building (where the office was), the girl began moving. I stopped, and sat down on a low brick wall just outside the building.
"Hello?" I asked, "Are you okay?"
The girl sat up.
"I'm fine, I just had to get us out of there…didn't I?"
The girl brushed her hair out of her face, and I stared. She looked at me carefully.
"Good, then I'm not crazy."
I shook my head.
"No, I'm just going insane."
"If you are, I am as well."
I looked at her.
"No offense… but I doubt we're thinking the same thing."
"Really? Because I think you look like my spouse, the one I believe died back in the Civil War."
Okay, maybe we were thinking the same thing. She smiled.
"That's what I thought."
"Isabella…are you…are you really my Bella?"
She smiled, and brushed my bangs away.
She knew my name…it was really her.
I grabbed her to me, and hugged her fiercely. We sat like that for a few moments, neither of us believing, neither of us knowing what to say, before she pulled away and broke the silence.
"Take me to the office. Tell them I don't feel well, and my dad can't come and pick me up. Offer to take me. Assure them your parents wouldn't mind."
"Perfect, that will make it easier."
And she slumped back down in my arms. I laughed. I carried her to the office, and once I walked through the door she gave a small moan.
"M'am?" I asked the secretary. She looked up and me and gave a small "oh my!"
"She doesn't feel well…she just fainted in English. She woke up as we were making our way here, she said this happens sometimes when she's under stress… She doesn't seem to be doing too well."
"Just wanna go home…" Bella moaned pathetically.
"She said her dad couldn't come pick her up, but she clearly ought to go home and rest. I was thinking I could take her."
"What would Dr and Mrs. Cullen say?"
"They wouldn't mind. You know they wouldn't. A friend in need…right?"
The secretary paused.
"Fine, I'll release you. But I want a note from both your parents tomorrow."
"Take her home, and be careful."
I left the office, still carrying Bella in my arms along with both of our bags. I continued carrying her until we got outside and I got into the parking lot.
"Where's your car?" I asked, She pointed.
"The Silver Toyota Corolla." I nodded, and made my way towards the car.
"I'm not letting you drive."
"You're supposed to be sick."
"You don't know where I live."
"You can give me directions." She paused before relenting,
She pulled out her keys from her pocket, still in my arms, and unlocked the car with two presses on the key fob. I lowered her into the passenger seat, before closing the door. I threw our bags in the back seat, and went around to the drivers seat. I had to readjust the seat and the mirrors, which made her grumble, but I ignored her. I backed out, and she began giving me directions.
It took us five minutes to get to her apartment from school, and aside from her directions we didn't talk. When we got to her apartment, she made to get out on her own but I stopped her.
"Hold on and let me get you."
She looked at me as though I was crazy.
"It's a small town, Bella. Everyone talks." She rolled her eyes, but stayed put. I grabbed her, and our bags, and followed her directions to her apartment. I let us in, and closed the door behind me with my foot.
"You can put me down now, Jazz." She said,
"I'd rather not, actually." I said.
She rolled her eyes.
"It's like our wedding night."
I grinned, dropped our bags, and proceeded to carry her to the bedroom. She shrieked the whole way, and I laughed at her. It really was like our wedding night. I tossed her onto the bed, and then flopped down next to her.
I rolled onto my side, and stared at her, drinking in the sight of her. I brought my hand up to her cheek, and stroked it with the pad of my thumb.
"Bella…" I whispered. "Oh, my beautiful Bella…how can you be here? After all this time?"
"How can I be here? You're supposed to be dead." She whispered.
"So should you, sweetheart. It's the twenty-first century. We should both be long gone, yet here we are…"
Suddenly I realized something.
"Your blood." She cocked her head. "I'm not thirsting for it. I always…you're…you're a vampire."
Her eyes widened.
"And so are you."
Suddenly, I snorted…and proceeded to laugh hysterically. She looked at me with wide, confused eyes.
"Jazz?" It took me a moment, but I calmed myself down.
"It's just…surely we should have realized it sooner. We're both alive, and we don't look much older than when we last saw each other. What else could be the reason?"
"I suppose we were just so surprised to see each other."
"I never even thought of the possibility." She breathed, "that you would be…I thought you were dead."
"It never occurred to me you might be changed too." I said, continuing to stroke her face, "What were the chances of that? I assumed you'd go on to live a long happy life…I never though you'd…I never would have wished for this life for you, Bella. I so hoped you'd gone on to have the future we always dreamed of."
"Oh, Jazz…" She breathed, and we hugged each other fiercely. I could never imagine letting her go.
We laid like that for a while, silent and deep in thought. Finally we pulled away, both ready for answers.
"What happened to you, Jazz?"
And I told her my story. She listened, nodding in the appropriate places. I felt the grief rolling off her in waves, the sympathy, the empathy…her emotions were overwhelming, and I knew if vampires could cry, she would. Although, if vampires could cry, we'd both have been crying long before then.
"And your story? What happened to you?"
And she told me. I listened, and marveled at how she'd gone through it all. I couldn't believe that she had spent most of her 150 years alone. She'd always been strong, but it was still amazing to hear. And she was a doctor! Like Carlisle. I'd always known if we'd lived in a different time she could have done some amazing things, clearly I'd been right.
"Oh, Bella…" I whispered.
"Jazz…it's been…it's been so hard, being on my own. I've managed, but I didn't realize, not until I saw you…how…how lonely I've been."
"You'll never be alone again, Bella. You have me now. I'll finally be able to give you the forever I promised you all those years ago."
"Sure you won't get tired of me?"
I looked at her in disbelief.
"After 150 years without you, it'll take me at least 300 to stop marveling at your presence …and even then, I don't think I could possibly be tired of you."
"Good." She whispered, "because I can't see myself getting tired of you either."
I hugged her to me again.
"I love you, Bella."
"I love you, Jazz."
I kissed the side of her neck, and she shivered. I grinned. I made a pathway of kisses up to her earlobe, and nipped at it just like I always used to. She gave a small moan.
"Jasper." She whispered. "Make love to me."
I smiled, and leaned in to whisper.
"Whatever you wish, Mrs. Whitlock."
- - -
Bella and I spent the day in her room reconnecting. We alternated between making love, and talking. Even though we had explained our stories, there was still so much to say. So much to share. Finally, night fell, and I reluctantly stood.
"Jazz, what are you doing?"
"Come, Bella. I want you to meet my family."
She looked at me, a nervous expression on her face.
"What if they don't like me?"
"How could they not like you?"
"But what if-?"
"Bella," I interrupted, "they'll love you. I've been talking about you ever since I joined the family. They'll be delighted to hear we've been reunited. And if they're not…then you and I, we'll leave. We'll go somewhere else, just you and me. I would never let them tear us apart, but don't worry. They won't want to."
She nodded, comforted. She stood up, and dressed. Once she was fully-clothed, I pulled her back to me, kissing her forcefully. She pulled away.
"Nuh-uh. Or else we'll never get out of here."
"I feel like a newly-wed all over again."
She laughed as well.
"And we've been married over 150 years."
"Yet we've only spent about six months together." I pointed out.
"I'd say we have the most pathetic, bizarre marriage in the history of marriages."
"I'd say you're right."
- - -
"Do you want to drive or should I?" I asked Bella as we made our way to her car.
"I suppose it would be easier for you to, since you know the way."
I nodded. We chatted as I drove, still desperate to catch up with one another.
"Won't they…won't they be worried about you? You just disappeared!"
I laughed, and glanced at her quickly.
"Bella, I'm a vampire. How much danger could I be in?"
She looked kind of sheepish.
"Silly Bella." I said, taking her hand in mine. "Whatever will I do with you?"
"Keep me?" She whispered huskily,
I tore my eyes off the road to look at her briefly.
Finally we reached the house, and I parked her car next to Rosalie's Mercedes in the garage. I stepped out of the car, and rushed around to help her out as well. She smiled at me. I pulled her to me, and kissed her softly.
"I'm nervous, Jazz." She whispered.
"Don't be, Mrs. Whitlock. They'll love you."
She giggled, but the relief in her worry was only momentary. I took her hand, and squeezed it, and I felt a little bit of the anxiety begin to melt away.
"Come on." I said, taking her and dragging her along behind me.
We stepped into the kitchen, which was, of course, empty. Vampires don't have much use for kitchens. I paused, trying to sense out where everyone was. Ah, of course, the family room. I pulled Bella along behind me towards the family room.
When we entered, everyone turned around to look at us. Bella stood behind me, trying to subtly hide. I rolled my eyes, and pulled her forward, before pulling her into my side, and wrapping an arm around her.
"Everyone, this is my Bella. Bella, this is everyone."
She rolled her eyes at me. Which I couldn't see, but knew she did anyway.
"Names, Jazz. Names are helpful."
"Ah, right, of course! What have I done without you all these years?"
"Moped." Emmett supplied helpfully. I glared. "What? It's the truth!" Rosalie socked him in the gut. "Ouch! Rosie!"
"Thanks Rosalie." I said. "Right, so that's Rosalie. The big oaf she just punched is Emmett."
"The brunette sitting next to him is Alice." Alice waved. "The boy sitting on her right is Edward." He gave a small smile. "The man by the window is Carlisle, my father. And next to him is his wife, my mother, Esme."
"Hello." Bella said.
I rolled my eyes.
"Isabella here is afraid you all won't like her. I told her such a thought was ridiculous."
"Jasper Andrew Whitlock!" Bella scolded "How dare you!"
"Your middle name is Andrew?" Emmett asked.
"Oh, Isabella! I'm so excited to meet you! We've all heard so much about you, of course. None of us ever dreamed you were a vampire! I was so excited when I saw you, and-"
"You saw her?" Jasper exclaimed, "and you didn't tell me?"
"Well, I wasn't entirely sure it was your Isabella…and I didn't want to disappoint you. Not to mention I didn't want to inform you ahead of time and mess up my vision."
"I'm sorry." Bella said, "I'm afraid I'm a little lost here."
"Ah." Carlisle said, "I take it Jasper forgot to tell you about our Alice's little talent."
"I suppose so."
"I can see the future." Alice said. "It's shaky sometimes, it all depends on what people decide…so it can change at any time, but…it's a very useful skill."
"I can imagine." Bella said quietly.
"You have heard, of course, of some vampires being blessed with certain gifts." Carlisle said. "Correct?"
Bella shook her head, as if clearing her thoughts. My family smiled as they recognized the action, it was a habit of mine, and something I had picked up from Isabella.
"Yes, of course. I…I have special powers. I just…I've never met any vampires with such powers aside from the Volturi."
"Really now?" Carlisle asked, "How intriguing."
"You were with the Volturi?" Rosalie asked.
"What's your power?" I asked her. She looked at me, abashed. I felt guilt radiating off her. "Sorry I didn't tell you earlier…I kind of forgot."
"It's fine…I forgot to tell you about mine."
She looked at me in surprise.
"You have a power."
"What is it?" She asked excitedly.
"I asked you first!" I exclaimed with a laugh.
"Fine." She said, sticking her tongue out petulantly. I gave a loud vibrant laugh. She looked at my family as she answered. "I have a mental shield, I can protect myself against the powers of others that would affect me mentally. I can even extend that shield onto others."
"That's why I can't hear your thoughts!" Edward cried. Everyone turned to look at him, surprised at his outburst. "Sorry," he murmered, looking down. "it was just driving me crazy…" He looked back up, looking Bella in the eye. "You're the first person I've ever met whose thoughts I can't read."
"Yes, it made Aro mad as well. Especially since I can also read thoughts, upon concentration, and even send my thoughts out at certain people."
"Two powers?" Carlisle asked. Bella shrugged.
"Do you have to touch people to read their thoughts?" Bella asked Edward. He shook his head. "I don't either, but Aro does. He doesn't have to try to read thoughts though, I have to think about it. Right now, for instance, I'm not trying to read any of your thoughts, but if I wanted to…I could."
"Lucky you." Edward said. "It's really hard not being able to stop hearing everyone's thoughts sometimes…"
"I might be able to help you." Bella said. "I trained with the Volturi while I stayed in Volterra, I might have learned some things that could help you."
"How long did you stay in Volterra?" Carlisle asked.
"About twenty years. I grew restless, however, and returned to living a nomadic life."
"Carlisle, Bella's a doctor as well."
Everyone looked at Bella in surprise.
"It's hard for me to practice, because I'm so young. I keep having to repeat college and med school, and I can only practice for about ten years before I have to start all over again."
"Why is it you're in high school now?" Esme asked.
"I wanted a change of pace. I've grown tired of repeating college, and medical school. I thought I might enjoy the banality of high school for a while."
"What brought you to Forks of all places?" Rosalie asked.
"The same things that brought y'all, I suppose. It barely ever rains, it's a small town…plenty of forest nearby for hunting."
"Do you hunt animals instead of humans as well?" Carlisle asked, surprised evident in his voice.
"I always have. The people who changed me did, and I adopted the practice as well. I also find I have a slight aversion to human blood, so it makes it much easier. I've never had a slip up. I guess you could call me a true vegetarian."
"I wonder if your aversion has anything to do with your issues with blood as a human." I mused aloud, thinking of that time I got a cut on my leg and she passed out at the sight of all the blood.
"You called yourself a vegetarian." Alice noted.
"The couple who changed me, Lily and Jack, that's what they called themselves. The term amused me, and I've always kept it in my mind."
"That's what we tend to refer to ourselves as well." Edward said.
"Jasper, you didn't tell me what your power was."
"Oh, right!" I exclaimed, "I can feel emotions, and I can send out emotions."
"That makes perfect sense. You always were great at sensing emotions, particularly mine, and you were always wonderful at calming me when I was upset."
I nodded, a smile still on my face.
"Oh, Isabella!" Alice cried, leaping up from the couch, "I'm so glad you're here!" And she threw herself on Bella, hugging her fiercely.
When she finally let go, Esme hugged her as well.
"Welcome to the family, dear." Esme whispered.
"I'm glad you're here."
"So am I." Edward said, a smile on his face.
"I'm real glad you're here to bring Jasper out of his sulk." Emmett chirped.
"Welcome to the family, Isabella." Carlisle said.
Bella smiled, and the anxiety ceased to emanate from her. Instead, feelings of being at ease began to roll off her in waves. I smiled, and tugged her back to my side.
"Welcome home, Mrs. Whitlock." I whispered.
There you have it. It was going to be longer, but I discovered this really shaped up all that I had in mind. It's rather simple, and it's more backstory than anything else...but it's the only plot it had. I think it's rather sweet, however, and a nice little oneshot. Hopefully you agree. It's my first Twilight story, and I think it was a nice little story to get my feet wet with. I'm busy, but I've been working on another story, and if I get further with it...I might publish it as well. We'll see...I'm rather busy.
To all you EdwardBella and AliceJasper fans, I enjoy those stories too. I just also happen to enjoy BellaJasper as well. It's a guilty pleasure.
Please review and give me feedback. Those of you who are authors understand how great it can be, and those of you who aren't can surely understand when you pause to think on it.