A/N: Huge thanks go out to many of you that have sent me emails/reviews asking that I continue my story. I'm truly sorry it has been so long since I last posted an updated chapter. Well R/L really can get in the way sometimes but I managed to beat it back into submission and I present to you, the next chapter. I hope you all enjoy it!
All my love to my betalicious Mere!
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight; I just dream and write about some of the characters.
Chapter 22: Jamie
I'm cold, so very cold; my limbs feel like they are no longer my own. I'm in a cave of frozen solitude, surrounded by sharp, icy spikes, each one reaching out with their arctic talons, yearning for my heart. I can't move. I don't want to move. If I move, the pain will come.
Slowly, I feel a warming sensation radiating from my fingertips up through my hands. I glance down and notice a cup of steam-filled warmth being placed in my hand. I gradually lift my head and see the face of concern and worry staring back at me.
"Jay? Jay… I'm so sorry!" She pulls me into a hug, wrapping her arms around me. I barely feel her squeezing me; it is as if she is hugging a block of ice.
What happened? Where am I?
"Your co-worker, Paula, called me in a panic. She said that you were unresponsive and all you were doing was sitting there at your desk shaking like you were freezing to death. I came as quickly as I could, picked you up, and brought you back home. It was like you were on autopilot or something."
"Ally?" I manage to whisper.
"Yeah, it's me. You scared me half to death when I saw that hallowed look in your eyes. Then Paula showed me the article on your desk. Oh my fucking God, Jay! How can so much evil be concentrated within a single being and how do they know all that shit about James?"
Don't move or the pain will come.
I just shake my head and take a sip of the beverage still clutched in my hands. The liquid burns my throat as it goes down. The frozen block melts just a little and I take another sip. "Ally…I…I don't know. James…"
He stands before me, dressed in tight-fitting jeans, a wide black belt, dark blue pullover shirt that hugs his chest perfectly, and his hair is spiked in the front. He is dressed for a good night out tonight, but all I want to do is just hold him in my arms. "I don't know Jamie, I really would like to just spend the evening at home, snuggling up on the couch, and watching movies. Can't we go to Rich's another night?"
He looks at me with an exasperated look, "Jasper, you never want to go out and have a good time. You always want to stay locked up in this house. If you loved me, you would do this for me."
Fuck! Why does he always play the 'If you loved me' card? "I just had a long day at work and I wanted to relax and unwind. I promise we can go this weekend. Come sit here on the couch with me and I will make it up to you." I smile at him and wiggle my eyebrows, playfully.
He rolls his eyes and says, "Well, I'm not going to stay home bored, watching some stale movie. I'm going to go dancing, by myself if I have to."
"Okay, Jamie," I sigh. "I hope you have a good evening. Please try to keep your drinking to a minimum and promise me that you will give me a call if you need me to come pick you up?"
"Sure, whatever!" He grabs his coat and heads out the door.
A slow sigh escapes my lips and I wonder if I should follow after him. Maybe he needs some alone time with some of his friends and this will be good. I can make it up to him this weekend; maybe surprise him with dinner out at our favorite sushi restaurant, Ono Sushi.
I must have been really tired from my long day at work because I don't recall much of the movie I was watching. My eyes closed and I drifted off to sleep.
What is that annoying sound?
I slowly climb out of the bizarre dream I was having and realize that my cell phone is ringing. Still in a fog, I look at the clock on the wall; it is 3:30 am. Noting the familiar number, I answer quickly. "Ally, what in the hell are you calling me for at this hour?"
"Jay…" she is sobbing into the phone.
I am immediately awake and full of concern, "Ally, what is it? Are you okay? What is wrong?"
She takes a couple of breaths and says, "James was in an accident. I just got off the phone with Victoria. Jay…" another sob escapes, "He was killed instantly. I'm so, so sorry!" The phone slips out of my hand and hits the floor with a quiet thud. James is dead, my precious Jamie. How in the hell did this happen? I barely hear my sister calling out my name from my phone, "Jay? Jay, are you there? I'm coming over right away! Don't move until I get there!"
How can I move? My muscles refuse to obey my brain at this point. I just sit on the couch wondering if I'm still dreaming.
Don't move or the pain will come.
The next couple of days are a complete blur. When they day of James' funeral arrives, I'm still a wreck. It feels like I haven't stopped crying for more than a brief moment over the past few days. Ally has been there by my side, holding me when the sobs tore through my body, threatening to rip me in two. She helps me get dressed in my black suit and tie and drives me to Balboa Park where the services are being held. Jamie always loved lying out there, basking in the sun, and enjoying the wonderful scenery.
At the end of the service, the pastor asks if anybody would like to offer up any final words. Several people get up and share past experiences with James: how they came to meet him; how often he was considered the life of the party. People naturally gravitated towards his effervescent personality. Then, I feel a gentle squeeze of my hand. I glance down and notice Ally is sitting next to me, holding my hand and leans into me, "I know this is hard, but you really need to go up and say something. It will do you a world of good."
I nod and rise from my seat and head to the podium. I look out into the gathering crowd and see many of our friends and family have come to share in this time of need. I take a deep breath and try and hold myself together. "Thank you all for coming to share your wonderful words and past experiences with James. Jamie and I met right here in this very park, just over four years ago. He was sunbathing, looking like a bronze Adonis. To this day, I have no clue why he looked up when I was passing by. He caught me staring and asked me to sit down with him and we started talking. Even from the very beginning, it was effortless. He had a magnetism that drew people towards him. He always was the person in the center of any conversation, not because he wanted to be, simply because he was so comfortable to talk to. Jamie, you are the love of my life and I don't know how I am going to continue on with the tremendous void you have left in my heart. Jamie, I love…."
I have to stop at this point because I can no longer continue. If I say another word, it will be a broken sob and it takes every ounce of will I can muster to just keep it together. Tears are slowly sliding down my face, and I look up into the gathering, glancing around at many others that are sharing their heart-felt tears along with mine.
My attention is drawn to the one person out there who is not crying; a singular onyx pillar of ice, crested by flames of burnt sienna. Her eyes bore directly into my chest as if she is driving a dagger there with just a simple blink. It is Victoria, James's sister and her expression is filled with such hate and anger that I involuntarily take a step back from the podium. I finally decide that I should return to my seat next to Ally and she places her arm around my shoulder, hugging me close. I feel the hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I know Victoria is still staring at me with those malevolent eyes, full of hatred. I lean into my sister and she pulls me closer, kissing me on the forehead.
As the service comes to a close, Ally grabs my hand, pulling me up out of my chair. My eyes are downcast as we slowly head in the direction of her car. It takes me a moment to realize that we have stopped walking and I look up to see the visage of pure loathing before me. Victoria growls, "Jasper, I want you to know that I will never, EVER forgive you for what you did to my brother. He loved you more than life itself and how did you repay him? You drove him into such an emotional state that he lost control of his car and…and…" She grinds her teeth together before she spits out, "I hope you lie awake at night knowing that he died because you were too damn afraid to tell him that you loved him!"
At this point, Ally drops my hand and takes a step towards Victoria. I can feel her emotions radiating off of her as she says, "Who the FUCK do you think you are? I don't give a SHIT if Jamie is your brother; you have no FUCKING right to blame Jasper for his death! Jamie was an alcoholic and you know it! It was his drunken behavior that got himself killed!" She grabs my hand then pulls me towards her car muttering, "Fucking bitch!"
I glance over my shoulder and see Victoria's baleful stare as she says, "One day, you will live to regret this day, that I promise you!"
"Victoria! It was Victoria that wrote that horrible article, I know it!"
Ally looks at me a bit confused, "Victoria? Why would she have something against you after this long?"
"Do you remember her parting words when we left Jamie's funeral? She said, 'One day, you will live to regret this day, that I promise you!' She must still be holding all that hatred in about Jamie passing and now she is going to try and make my life a living hell."
Ally ponders a moment and then her expression changes to one of anger as she recalls the last time the three of us met. "That fucking bitch! What are you going to do? You need to call Edward and explain everything to him. Let him know all about Jamie, his death, and everything you went through."
I sit there and stare at her with an expression of horror on my face. "What if he doesn't want to deal with all my shit? This could ruin his career and we have only known each other for just under a month. I know this is going to be just too much for him and he is going to say 'Fuck it' and not want to be with someone like me."
Moving closer to me on the couch, Ally places her hand on my left knee. "I honestly don't know how he will react to the news, but don't you think it will be much better coming from you so you have an opportunity to explain the situation? You don't want him reading about it and then making assumptions do you? I know he will understand and he will be willing to work through this with you."
I look up at her, "How do you know that? How can you know that?"
She just smiles and replies, "I just do. I have a feeling that this will be much harder on you than it will be on him. I'm going to call in an order for takeout from The Dumpling Inn and go and pick it up. That will give you enough time to make a phone call to Edward. And don't think I won't check the call record on the phone to make sure that you did indeed call him." She glares at me with a small hint of a smirk forming on her lips.
Ally heads over to grab the hands-free phone, quickly dials the number, and orders, "I would like an order of small steamed pork buns, pot stickers, and curry dumplings. Great, I am on my way now." She then walks towards me, pausing a moment, and then slowly hands me the phone. "Jay, I know this is difficult for you, but you need to let Edward know about everything. Share with him, trust in him."
I take the phone and as I hear the door close, take a deep breath, and finally dial Edward's number.