My Little Sister
Summary: He did not think he could control his thirst. She was intimidated by him. But when Jasper helps Bella to study for her history test, he realizes that she means more to him than he ever though she would. She wasn't just a human; she was family. Jasper/Bella friendship. Jasper POV.
Disclaimer: Nope, nothing from the series is mine since I'm not Stephenie Meyer. Just this idea is mine.
A/N: Hey! I'm glad you guys liked "My Greatest Strength." This story was actually inspired from a line from that one. You don't have to read it to understand this one, but they are kinda' partner stories in a respect I guess, lol. And as I said in the summary, this is only a Jasper/Bella friendship. I'm not really too into a romance between them, so it will only remain a friendship. Oh, and brother/sister love I guess, but that's it! I even threw in a little bit of Jasper/Alice toward the end. It takes place in early Eclipse, and I also took some creative liscene with Jasper's human past (just like the book, he will tell her about his vampire past later, but that's not in this story). Enjoy!
I sat alone on the bed in my dark room, the only source of light being the moonlight filtering in through the window. All was quiet except for the gentle, calming melody that was playing on my guitar. The house was empty- Alice and Rosalie had taken a long shopping trip to Port Angeles, Carlisle was working late at the hospital, and Esme had taken Emmett and Edward hunting with her. When I was alone was the only time that I played my guitar since I didn't feel comfortable playing in front of people, even my family, as Edward did on his piano. The only exception to this was Alice since she was always filled with so much joy whenever I played for her.
Well, I should say that the house was almost empty besides me. Bella, the only human member of our family, was sitting downstairs in our living room, busy studying for an important test for one of her classes. However, I wasn't quite certain that I could stay in control around her, especially since Alice or Edward weren't with me, and she still felt slightly intimidated by my presence. We both reluctantly agreed that the farther I stayed away from her, the better off we were, though a part of me wished that things didn't have to be that way.
But then, I immediately stopped playing my guitar as my golden eyes quickly moved to the door. I could feel her strong anxiousness before I heard her heavier footsteps coming up the stairs, and I smiled slightly as her timid knock echoed around me as she feebly called out, "Jasper?"
"You may come in, Bella," I said, setting my guitar down on the bed beside me as I sat up a little more. I was curious about what Bella could possibly want that was making her so anxious.
A moment later, Bella sighed as she pushed open the door, taken by surprise that the lights were out. "Right by the door," I muttered, pointing to where the light switch was so that she could turn on the light.
"Oh." Bella awkwardly reached out and flipped the switch, casing a sudden, bright light into the room. I noticed that she had a thick textbook under one arm and a half-empty glass of milk in her other hand since we kept some food on hand for her since she was here so often. We had to feed her. "Thank you, Jasper…"
"What can I do for you, Bella?" I asked quietly, the corner of my mouth turning up with amusement. She was so nervous…
"Yeah, um…" Bella sighed as she sat down in the chair at the desk across the room from me, setting her milk glass down before looking down at the heavy textbook in her lap. "I was wondering if you… could help me study for my test. It's my worst class, so…"
I raised my eyebrow. That was what she was so anxious about? My smile broadened as I laughed a little. "Sure, of course, Bella," I told her. "What class are you studying for?"
Bella sighed with relief when I agreed as she held up her textbook, and I saw that it was from her American History class, which I had taken when I had been in her grade. "I'm going to need the book to help you to study, Bella," I muttered, though I was an expert on the subject. She had to be closer to me so…
No! I bit my lip slightly to resist the sudden temptation of biting Bella, holding my breath as I tried to ignore her sweet scent. I didn't want to hurt her…
Her anxiety spiked at that moment, and I must have outwardly winced because she suddenly felt… ashamed? "Oh, I'm sorry, Jasper."
"It's all right, Bella," I replied, smiling slightly to reinforce my words. "Just focus on calming down before you come closer to me."
"All… all right…" Bella was unsure of her decision of coming to ask for my help now, her nerves high as her eyes kept anxiously moving to the open door of the room. Right now, her mind was busily going through the flight or fight response, as if she was in some sort of danger.
But then, I sighed when I realized that I was the danger to her. Ever since I had almost killed her at her birthday party, I was a constant threat to her safety. Ever since then, she had been intimidated by me, her fear continuing to be nourished by moments such as these where we were alone. Though I considered her one of us now, I doubted that she considered me a member of the family she was now a part of…
"Can you help me, Jasper?"
I raised my golden eyes to her curiously, surprised that she hadn't fled the room yet. "Help you with what, Bella?" I asked quietly.
Bella seemed embarrassed as her gaze shifted down to her hands. "Calming down," she answered, not meeting my eyes. "I can't seem to… But it's not that I'm afraid of you or anything, Jasper. It's just that I hardly talk to you, and-!"
"It's all right, Bella," I interrupted gently. "I understand why it's difficult for you to be around me." Almost as if she knew what I was talking about, I felt a new emotion come from Bella then. Hurt. She regretted being afraid of me?
"But I will help you to calm down if you really wish me to," I added quickly. When she nodded, I smiled a little. "All right then, Bella. Look at me."
Slowly and unsurely, Bella raised her brown eyes up to my golden ones, and I was startled and even felt some sympathy when I saw that there were tears shining in them. It hurt me to see her cry… But I pushed these feelings aside as I focused on positive emotions to calm myself enough before I could send peaceful waves to my human companion. I started gently so I wouldn't overwhelm her, but slowly intensified them as Bella and I silently looked at each other, waiting for my influence to take effect.
I watched as Bella's tears slowly vanished as a grateful smile appeared on her face. "Thanks, Jasper," she said, getting to her feet with her textbook in her hands. "I think I'm all right now." She walked over to the bed and sat down in front of me, holding out the book for me to take.
But I felt my entire body tense at her sudden closeness, hearing her rhythmic heartbeat echoing in my ears, as I reached out and took the book from her. I was so close to her. I could easily lean forward a little more, and… No. I had no intention of hurting Bella. She was a part of our family- I considered her to be a younger sister to me. And the older brother was supposed to watch over his sister, not hurt her. I sighed as I leaned back against the headboard of the bed, away from Bella. I couldn't let my instincts take over. I had to distract myself… fast.
"What part of history are you studying, Bella?"
"The Civil War. There's a bookmark at the page…" Bella leaned toward me and opened the book that I held tightly in my hands, turning to a marked page about halfway through. "There."
My gaze faltered as I stared at the painting that marked the beginning of the chapter- one of those famous ones that was found in every history textbook that illustrated the bloodshed and horrors war brought. I remembered the particular battle that was depicted well. I had been shot in the shoulder attempting to help another soldier that I knew, and it had been an uncertainty if I would last through the night. Fortunately, though at one point I had thought it to be unfortunate due to what I was to become, I had survived to see the first light of morning.
My mind processed the well-known names and faces that were in more paintings or portraits as I slowly flipped through the first few pages of the chapter. They were men that I had fought alongside, fought against, or merely had seen in passing during my human life- Ulysses S. Grant… Robert E. Lee… "Stonewall" Jackson… even President Abraham Lincoln…
I slowly looked up when I heard the quiet sound of her voice, allowing it to bring me out of my memories. "Yes, Bella?"
"Are you all right?" Bella asked cautiously. I could hear the concern in her voice.
"Yes, I'm fine, Bella," I answered, shutting the textbook and setting it on the bed next to my guitar, much to Bella's surprise. I smiled slightly, almost with regret, as I quickly explained, "I don't need the book to test you on this subject. The Civil War happens to be my area of expertise since it is… a bit more personal to me than the rest of my siblings."
Bella swallowed nervously since she could tell that my knowledge on the subject was vast, but she was also curious about the last statement that I had made, which I probably should not have. It had slipped out since… since I felt strangely comfortable around Bella at this moment.
"Well, all right," Bella muttered, wringing her hands. "Whenever you're ready to start…"
"Don't worry, Bella," I said with an amused smile. "I won't be hard on you at the start. I'll give you something easy to begin with. Why was the Civil War fought?"
"To preserve the Union," Bella answered immediately, even before I had completely finished asking the question. Wow. She must have spent a lot of time reading this chapter.
"Good, Bella," I told her encouragingly. "Most people say that it was fought to end slavery, which it was not. That was not President Lincoln's original intent. Now, how long did the Civil War last?"
"1861 to 1865."
As our study session continued, I discovered that Bella was quick to answer the broader ideas of the war that had left its mark on me, but she was more hesitant when it came to the finer points, such as dates and battle names. We would have to work on that…
But then, just for fun, I asked her what the name of "Stonewall" Jackson's horse was. The expression on Bella's face was completely worth it.
"Does anyone even know that?" she asked incredulously.
I shrugged casually. "Perhaps," I answered allusively. Of course I knew the answer. Jackson had been one of the men that I had gotten to know well and fought alongside during the war before my new life began.
"Jasper, how do you know so much about the Civil War?" Bella suddenly said. "Why is it so personal to you? Did you know someone who fought in it or something?"
This was a question that I had been anticipating. I quickly glanced at the clock on the small table beside the bed, seeing that we still had a little less than an hour until everyone came back home. That would be enough time for an explanation, but I felt slightly nervous. Though I felt comfortable with being around Bella at that point, anything could happen within those long, almost sixty minutes. I could lose my control so easily… I would have to distract myself from the sweet scent of Bella's blood. And at this time, the only way to do that would be to answer Bella's questions.
Sighing, I leaned forward slightly so I could meet Bella's gaze better. I felt no fear coming from her at my closeness, just curiosity. She felt strangely comfortable around me… "I know I have never told you much about my past, Bella, but it is not something that I am particularly proud of," I muttered, hesitating on my words slightly. "I will not go into too much detail, but I was a soldier in the Confederate army during the Civil War when I was human."
Bella stared at me, wide-eyed with shock. "You were a Confederate soldier?" she asked in disbelief.
I nodded in answer. "Yes, Bella. Toward the end of my life, I was Major Jasper Whitlock. Most of the battles you read about in these pages, I was a part of. I almost died in one of them trying to help a close friend. These well-known men you read about, I fought alongside them. In fact, I often made battle plans with generals Lee and Jackson."
"That is… wow," Bella muttered, shaking her head with disbelief as her mind attempted to process all of this information. "Jasper, I had no idea. But, that would explain the Southern accent you have."
"You can hear it?" I admit, I was impressed. She was the only human to ever catch the slight accent in my voice that I always tried to repress.
Bella nodded. "It's very slight, but it comes out when you're emotional." I raised my eyebrow. "Well, what I mean is that it comes out if your emotions are higher, like if you're really happy or upset about something. It typically comes out when you're around Alice." She was blushing slightly due to embarrassment.
"I understand," I said with a slight laugh. What she said was true. My guard was let down completely only when I was around Alice, which was when my accent tended to slip through. "You don't have to be embarrassed, Bella. But is there anything else that you would like to know about the Civil War era that might help you with your test? Otherwise, we can go back to talking about those important dates and battles that you will need to know."
"What was your family like?" Her answer came immediately. She must have really wanted to avoid talking about those dates and battles.
"That… that's not really a part of the Civil War, Bella," I reminded her, feeling slightly on edge. I wasn't sure if I was comfortable exposing my past to her. My human life was only something that I had shared with Alice since I trusted her unconditionally.
Bella crossed her arms in front of her. She was determined. "Well, you were a part of the Civil War, were you not?" There was a note of triumph in her voice.
I surprisingly could not bring myself to argue with her logic. I had fought in the Civil War, but would my family really be a part of that also? My eyes gazed intently into her brown ones as I searched through her emotions, finding nothing but harmless curiosity and… compassion? She cared about me? I had not expected that… But did I really feel comfortable enough around this… fragile human to tell her the human part of my past when the only one I have ever told was my soul mate?
But she wasn't just a human to me anymore…
"Do you really want to know, Bella?" I asked quietly.
Bella nodded enthusiastically, straightening up on the bed with interest. "Yes, please," she answered. "If you don't mind."
"Well, just have some patience with me since I have forgotten most of my human memories," I muttered with a sigh. "But I will tell you all that I remember.
"I was a part of a large but poor family, and we only owned about three or four slaves. I had five siblings. My older brother by two years, whose name was Andrew, was killed in an early battle of the Civil War. My sister, Sarah, was two years younger than me and was the apprentice of the local schoolteacher. There is a lot about you that reminds me of her. My other sister, Lydia, was younger and in her last year of school, and my youngest siblings were seven, twin brothers named Jesse and Justin. My mother stayed at home to take care of all of us and to do the housework while my father was involved with woodworking. I would have had a sixth sibling if I would not have joined the war since my mother was pregnant with her seventh child when I left."
"What about you?" Bella wondered, entranced in my story. "What were you like?"
"Due to our difficult financial situation, I was forced to leave school when I was sixteen," I answered. "Since, at the time, my brother was in the war, I had to work to help provide for my family. I helped my father with his woodworking business and helped work in the fields until Andrew died, and shortly after that, I joined the war myself."
"Your parents didn't try to stop you?"
I laughed a little. "I didn't tell them about my decision, Bella," I told her. "They would never have let me join the war, especially since my brother had already died in it. But I had made up my mind, so I secretly left in the middle of the night. The only problem was, I was too young to join the army, so I had to lie about my age to get in. They somehow believed me. During the war, I was well-liked and respected by the other soldiers, and I moved up to the rank of major before I met the woman who turned me before it was over."
Then, I paused in my story and raised my gaze up to Bella when I felt her mood shift. "You're nervous." It wasn't a question.
Bella blinked with surprise and gave me a small smile. "It's not anything about being around you, Jasper, believe me," she muttered. "I'm just thinking…"
My confusion mirrored hers. "What is that that you're thinking about?" I asked. Maybe I could help her somehow.
Sighing, Bella moved her eyes up to mine. "Jasper, be honest. What is the transformation like?" she wondered quietly.
I sighed as well at the question. My transformation had been one of the worst things I had ever endured, along with the early part of my life as a vampire. But what could I tell her? She wanted me to be honest, but I knew in my case, I couldn't be too honest...
"What you have to keep in mind, Bella, is that my transformation was different than most of my family," I said quietly. "Apart from Alice and I, my siblings were dying when Carlisle changed them, as was Esme. When I was turned by my creator, I was far from dying, and I remember the pain vividly. I will not lie to you, Bella. It was the most excruciating pain that I have ever felt in my life, and I remember myself begging my creator that I would be allowed to die. I was changed due to her desire for power while my siblings were being granted a second chance due to Carlisle's endless mercy. Even Alice was turned so her life would be spared. It was not that way for me. I was changed out of greed, not compassion."
"That's terrible," Bella murmured, looking at me with sympathy.
"It was," I agreed heavily. "Also, unlike my siblings, my early vampire life was even worse. You could say that it was my own personal hell on Earth. The killing raging around me was so intense, and that along with the ability of feeling a person's last emotions while they died when I had to feed caused me to slip into a depression. I was fortunately able to escape form my creator, and after long years of wandering, I met Alice, and my life suddenly had meaning."
Bella smiled at the mention of me meeting Alice, but then she leaned forward a little as she looked at me with pity. "What happened while you were in the South?" she wondered.
"I don't believe that now would be a good time to go into that, Bella," I told her, glancing at the clock. We had about twenty minutes until ten, which was the time that everyone would be arriving home… and the time Bella was supposed to be asleep since she had school, and a big test, tomorrow. "Perhaps another time. But I do believe that Edward will do everything in his power to ensure that your transformation will be somewhat easier to handle should he decide to turn you. He will not allow you to go through what I was forced to endure."
Strong sorrow hit me then, and I quickly looked up, startled to see that there were tears falling from my human companion's eyes. "Bella…"
"Edward won't change me, Jasper," Bella whispered anxiously while she shook her head in protest as she tried to wipe her tears away, but more quickly replaced them. "He won't. He's already told me that he won't…"
"Shh, Bella," I tried to soothe her, sending gentle, comforting waves to her. It truly pained me to watch her cry, which caught me by surprise. I cautiously reached forward and placed my hand delicately on her shoulder, trying to do everything I felt comfortable with to stop her tears.
But then, I tensed when Bella suddenly leaned into me as she wrapped her arms tightly around my waist, continuing to cry into my shoulder. I immediately held my breath at her sudden closeness. She was so close that I could feel her racing heart beating strongly against my chest, taunting me. How easy it would be to just lean down and…
I leaned my head back away from Bella with my eyes shut tightly, grasping the pillow next to me. Though her scent was assaulting me, I ignored the venom that was beginning to pool in the back of my mouth, struggling to resist the almost overwhelming temptation to bite her. I had to remind myself that I did not want to hurt her, that she was my sister as much as Rosalie was. So, forcing those urges aside, I wrapped my arm that had previously been resting on her shoulder around her carefully as I held her close to me in a comforting manner.
"It's all right, Bella," I told her gently. "Just calm down now…"
"It's not fair, Jasper," Bella muttered, her voice muffled by my shirt. "I'm not going to get my happy ending like you got with Alice…"
"Bella, please relax now," I said. "Don't worry. I believe that one day, you will get the happy ending you desire."
After a moment, Bella slowly looked up at me through red, tear-filled eyes. "Really?" she asked uncertainly. "You think so?"
I smiled down at her, carefully wiping her tears away. "Yes," I answered. "It will take some time yet, but I have a feeling that you'll be staying with us for as long as we're here on this earth. You may be human now, Bella, but you are still a part of this family."
Bella looked into my eyes, her brown ones full of hesitance. "That may be, Jasper, but am I a part of your family?"
Am I a part of your family? That question made my own gaze falter momentarily as I looked back at Bella. She was certain that I didn't accept her as part of us? Though she was just a fragile human, I knew she was much more to me than that because of what she had done for Edward by literally stumbling into our lives when she moved to the small, dreary town of Forks. I had been concerned about my brother before she arrived since I could feel his deepening depression with each passing day. He felt separated from the rest of the family since he was the one who was alone- Carlisle had Esme, Emmett had Rosalie, and I had Alice.
But that completely changed when Bella came along, and I had felt so much love and joy within Edward that he was almost a completely different person. I was eternally grateful to this little human for saving my brother and giving him the one thing that he needed to be complete. And I had to admit that I cared about her too.
That thought brought a confident smile to my face as I said, "Yes, Bella. You are a part of my family now."
Bella returned the smile as she slowly sat up from under my arm, wiping the rest of her tears away before she laughed a little, and I could feel her strong relief that she had finally been accepted by me. "So, for instance, if there was someone giving me a hard time at school, hypothetically of course, would you… well, you know…" Her question trailed off, and I could feel that she was slightly embarrassed.
I raised my eyebrow. "Is there someone giving you a hard time at school?"
"A little," Bella admitted with a slight shrug, trying to pass it off as nothing major. "We're not really getting along right now…"
"That Jessica girl?" I suddenly remembered that Alice had told me she and Bella had been arguing the other day over a Physics assignment they had due. "The one that is dating that Newton boy?"
Bella nodded slightly in confirmation, her gaze shifting down to her hands. Clearly, the strain this was putting on their friendship was deeply affecting her.
"Consider it taken care of, Bella."
"Really?" Bella looked up at me with surprise.
I smiled as I laughed a little. "Of course," I replied. "I have to take care of my little sister, don't I?"
Bella's smile mirrored my own as she leaned forward and hugged me again before quickly kissing my cheek. "Thank you, Jasper," she said quietly. "For everything."
Though I was caught off guard by her actions, I couldn't help but smile back at her. "Sure, Bella. You're welcome." I admit that I had enjoyed spending time alone with her and talking to her, though a couple of times, I had almost lost my self-control. But the most important thing was that I hadn't.
Then, I glanced at the clock beside me and saw that there was only five more minutes left until ten. "It's been fun, but I think it's about time that we wrap this up, Bella. You need some sleep," I told her. "Is there anything else that you need to know for your test tomorrow?"
"Well, I need to write a page on a soldier in the war, and they can be from either side," Bella replied. "Do you have any suggestions?"
After a moment's thought, I had a person in mind. "I'm afraid I'm slightly biased due to which side I was on, but I would go with 'Stonewall' Jackson," I said. "From my experiences, he was a lot more personable than any of the other well-known generals. We got along well."
Bella nodded as she picked up her textbook. "All right. I'll use him then," she muttered. Then, her eyes landed on the guitar beside me. "How old were you when you first started playing the guitar?"
I sighed, this question bringing back some of my memories that were somewhat painful to think about. "My mother gave me my first guitar when I was twelve years old, though I'm not sure how she was able to afford it," I answered quietly. "I've been playing ever since, often for my sisters to help them to sleep or to calm my mother when her sickness with her seventh child got too hard to handle. Unfortunately, I had to leave it behind me when I joined the war. Alice gave me this guitar on our one-hundredth year anniversary."
"Will you play me something?" Bella wondered.
My guard was instantly raised. The only person I felt comfortable playing in front of was Alice. Could I bring myself to play in front of Bella too?
"Sure," I finally muttered, gently picking up the guitar and strumming it once to make sure that it was tuned. Bella smiled, setting her textbook on the floor before lying back on the bed, propped up on her arms so she could still watch me. I smiled in return before quietly beginning to play the melody that I had been playing before she had come into the room- one that I had written for Alice decades before.
As the song continued, Bella, who was now exhausted, had moved so that her head somehow ended up resting on my lap. I warily looked down at her as she closed her eyes since she was now so close, but the comfort and peace radiating from her calmed my thirst almost instantly and made my self-control a lot easier to manage. As long as she stayed this way, we would both be all right…
"Yes, Bella?" Her voice was quiet and sounded as though she was already on the verge of sleep.
Without opening her eyes, a small smile spread across Bella's face. "You know that I don't blame you for what happened at my birthday party last year, don't you?" she mumbled. "That was… my fault… You don't have to be angry with yourself… anymore…"
My eyes widened with shock as my fingers continued to run over the frets as if they had been programmed to play the song since I was no longer focusing on it. For an entire year, though Alice had told me that Bella didn't blame me for the incident, I had been assuming that Bella was too afraid to be near me because of what almost happened at her party. Had I truly been wrong? Did Bella truly blame herself for almost being killed by my hand? "Bella…"
"I'm sorry… Jasper…" Then, Bella didn't say anything else as she drifted into a light sleep, her soft breathing comforting to me.
I sat for a few more minutes, playing until I knew for sure that Bella would stay asleep. Once I was certain she would, I slowly stopped the melody and set my guitar aside, merely looking down at the sleeping Bella for another minute.
"You have nothing to apologize for," I whispered to her, though I knew she couldn't hear me. Then, I carefully moved my leg out from under her head and stood up off the bed before bending down and gently lifting Bella into my arms so I wouldn't wake her. I carried her out of the room and down the stairs, setting her down on one of the couches in the living room. I situated one of the pillows under her head so she would be more comfortable before lightly laying a blanket over her. Then, I slowly leaned down and kissed her head.
"Sweet dreams, Bella." I smiled to myself when I saw a small smile appear at the corner of her mouth in her sleep.
I then sat down in a chair close to the couch so I could still keep an eye on her, sighing as I leaned my head back against it and closed my eyes. It was unbelievable to me that after years of feeding on humans, and even now having a difficult time keeping myself under control when they were around, one of them could make such a deep impact on me. It did not seem possible, but yet, it had happened…
Right at ten, the front door opened, and I watched as Edward and Emmett came into the living room first. "Come on, Man! I so got a bigger bear than you did!" Emmett was boasting.
Edward laughed as his gaze landed on me for a split second before his eyes moved to Bella, who was still sleeping peacefully on the couch. He rushed over to her, running his hand through her hair as he checked on her.
"She's fine, Edward," I said quietly so I wouldn't wake Bella. Since she was so peaceful, I felt a sudden sense of peace within me that I hardly ever felt outside of the time I spent with Alice.
My brother turned to me with relief, a small but grateful smile on his face. "Thank you for staying with her, Jasper." I knew that part of the relief he felt was that I had been able to control myself around Bella, something he must have been worrying about during the duration of the hunting trip.
I nodded in silent answer, returning the smile as Edward turned his attention back to Bella. "I think it's time I brought her home."
Before I could agree with him, I jumped slightly when a pair of thin arms suddenly wrapped around my neck. I looked up into the beautiful face of Alice, giving her a smile before I saw the five full bags at her feet. I was almost afraid to find what she had gotten on her shopping expedition this time…
"I'm proud of you, Jazzy," Alice muttered, quiet enough so that only I would be able to hear her before leaning down and planting a kiss on my lips. "You made quite a lot of progress with Bella tonight."
"Yes," I replied just as quietly, wrapping my arms around her waist before pulling her down into my lap and holding her small body to me securely. "She's definitely one special human."
Alice grinned broadly before she hugged me tightly. "Looks like you've grown soft," she teased as she poked my chest, though I could feel her relief and joy that Bella and I had finally been able to connect.
I shrugged casually. "So, she has moved her way into my heart," I murmured as I kissed Alice's throat, smiling against her neck when I felt her content. "All because I helped her study for her Civil War test…"
"You know that's not the entire truth. It goes farther than that," Alice said, her eyes shining as she ran her thin fingers through my blond hair. "But at least now she knows how you feel about her. Your relationship with her since you have now provided her with another older brother will only grow stronger from here."
"That is what I hope to think," I muttered with a sigh.
Alice looked up at me with concern. "Jazz, what's wrong?" she asked, placing her hand on my cheek. "This is a good thing!"
I sighed again as I met my wife's uncertain gaze, taking her hand in mine. "What if he doesn't turn her, Alice?" I whispered. "Now that she has made an impact on all of us, what if he doesn't turn her? She's a human, and her life is so short… What will happen when she's gone?" Now that Bella and I had finally connected, her mortality was something that I did not want to think about. I remembered how shocked, how hurt I had been the year before when Alice had told me she thought she had seen Bella kill herself by jumping off a cliff after Edward had left her. I had not been able to believe that she was gone, and my deep sorrow at that moment was something I had even kept hidden from Alice, though I had the feeling that she still somehow knew…
"Well, all I can say is that is something we hopefully won't have to worry about," Alice told me, hoping to be encouraging as she delicately kissed my forehead. "I have told you that I have seen Bella as one of us, but the final decision lies with Edward. The most we can do is wait and see."
After quickly kissing her, I looked up at Edward, who was now gently picking the still sleeping Bella up into his arms as he prepared to bring her home. Either he or Alice would have to bring her book to school when they went the next morning. Edward, I thought to him. I hope you give her the happy ending she desires.
Edward turned to me, confusion clearly written on his face at what I had thought. But instead of providing an explanation, I slowly shook my head as a slight smile appeared on my face. Never mind. Just bring her home, Edward. Keep her safe.
Though I could still feel his confusion, Edward smiled as he turned away from me and left the house. I listened as he started his car and drove away from the house before I looked back down at Alice when I felt her emotions leave her. A broad smile was on her face when she came back to the present a moment later.
"Bella's going to ace her test tomorrow thanks to you," she told me with excitement, quickly kissing me. "And she'll want to show you her essay. She's going to be so proud of it…"
"The one she will write on Jackson?" I asked.
But Alice only winked up at me. "You'll have to wait and see."
I entered the front door of the house with Rosalie behind me, returning home after the hunting trip I had taken with her. I gave my sister a smile before running up the stairs and heading to the room I shared with Alice. Though my wife wouldn't be home until later that night after she returned from Port Angeles with Esme after getting a certain pair of shoes for both of them, I wouldn't mind the wait. It had been a long day since I had taken a special trip to the school though I had graduated to drop of Bella's American History textbook for her since Alice had conveniently "forgotten" about it and had made a detour to see Jessica as I had promised Bella I would before my hunting trip, and I was greatly looking forward to spend a relaxing night with Alice.
But when I opened the door of our room, I paused with surprise when I saw that Bella was sitting on the bed with a sheet of paper in her hand as though she was waiting for me. She smiled broadly when she saw me, and her happiness swarmed over me and caused me to smile as well.
"Hey, Jasper! I thought I heard you and Rosalie come back."
"Hi, Bella," I replied, looking down at her curiously. "What are you doing here?"
"Oh, yeah," Bella muttered, quickly getting to her feet before she extended her hand with the paper in it out to me. "I wanted to show you this. It's the essay portion of the Civil War test I had today, which I got an A on!"
"Great job, Bella!" I said enthusiastically as I took the paper from her, though Alice had already told me she would do well. At a glance, I noticed that her teacher had praised her on her writing style, and had also admired her originality.
"Just… just let me know what you think." Bella was suddenly nervous now.
I glanced up at her for a second before my eyes moved back down to her essay. It was only one full page on the front with a few lines on the back, so it didn't take me long to read it over. But I was startled when I saw that she hadn't written on "Stonewall" Jackson after all…
"It's wonderful, Bella," I muttered with disbelief, glancing over the words once more. "I love it."
Bella's face lit up hopefully. "Really? You do?"
"Yes, Bella," I answered with a small laugh. "It's very accurate."
"Oh, thank you, Jasper!" I was surprised when Bella's arms suddenly wound around my waist in a tight hug, and I slowly wrapped my arms around her as well. We parted after a moment, and I tried to hand the paper back to her, confused when Bella shook her head.
"No. I want you to keep it."
"Are you sure?" I asked. "This is a well-written essay."
"I'm sure." Bella nodded to reinforce her statement. "Thank you for everything, Jasper."
I smiled back at her, placing the paper down on my bed. "Of course, Bella." I watched as she turned from me and headed for the door, but then I remembered that there was something I probably should have said to her as well. "Bella, wait."
Bella stopped in the doorway and turned back to face me with confusion. "Yeah, Jasper?"
"Thank you." It was simple, but to the point. Hopefully, Bella would catch the full meaning behind those two words.
"You're welcome," Bella told me with a smile. "What are little sisters for?" Then, she left the room and ran down the stairs to wait for Edward to come home.
I smiled as I laughed a little to myself. I was unsure if she had realized the full impact behind my simple words, but right now, it didn't really matter. I slowly sat down on the bed, anxious for Alice to return, and my eyes landed on the sheet of paper still sitting beside me- Bella's essay. My smile broadening, I picked it up as I began to silently look over her neat handwriting again.
"Though not as well-known, Major Jasper Whitlock was a very brave and well-respected soldier who fought on the side of the Confederacy during the Civil War…"
A/N: That's it for this one! Thanks for reading! Your reviews are much appreciated, just no flames please. Thank you!