Chapter Fourteen

Ready For Forever

Pathetically Jasper stood outside of Alice's door. Bella was in there, but he couldn't hear sobbing. He didn't know if that was a good sign. Maybe she was in shock. It was all a lot to take in in one day. Almost being married and a lover coming into the ceremony to break it up.

He knocked once and when he heard her delicate voice say, "come in," he did.

She sat forlorn on the bed in her white dress, her dark hair falling in ringlets over her shoulders. She was astounding as always. He could've stayed there for weeks staring at her, but he broke his trance and sat next to her. He wished to take her hand, give her the comfort he was feeling. He didn't. It wasn't need anyways, she felt oddly in control.

"I felt guilty," he confided. She needed to know, know all of his reasons. "It's not an emotion I'm used to having so please forgive me for not knowing how to deal with it."

"Guilty?"

"Guilty for leaving you. Edward left to protect you and I tried to tell myself that I did the same thing, but you see, that wasn't right. I didn't leave just to protect you, I left you because I felt guilty. I killed a woman in the woods and I knew you would forgive me. You always do. You're too understanding for your own good, Bella. I want better for you. I don't want you to be with an uncontrollable murderer. If it was just about protecting you, I'd have Carlisle change you sooner. But it wasn't just about that. I'm not good enough for you. I'm far from perfect."

She huffed. "I don't want perfect, I want real. And you are real." She slipped her hand with his.

"Even though my heart is still, and I have no blood running through my veins, you think of me as real?"

"You're not a monster, Jasper."

"I killed. I have killed. Even in my human life as a soldier, do you not believe that I haven't pulled a trigger?" All he remembered about his life as a soldier was that he did indeed kill. He wasn't able to recall the faces or what it felt like, but he recalled the shot out of his gun. He recalled the faded blood of his memory. He remembered nothing else, not the feel or the effects. Just that he did do it, he was capable, and in his new life he was worse for he didn't kill for duty but for the blood.

She brought his hand to her lips kissing his knuckles. "I believe that."

"You're worrying me... You're too calm for someone who just had their wedding crashed."

She laughed, rolling her eyes upward. "I guess I am."

"Are you in shock?"

"No... I just... I was hoping you'd come for me. And you did. You're here. I didn't want to marry Edward. I want you, whatever danger that entails, you are the one I want and have always wanted."

"Are you sure about this?"

She nodded. "Yes."

He ran a thumb over one of her burning veins. His mouth watered and he swallowed. He focused on the love that was emitting from her. What were they waiting for?

He pulled her to her feet and smiled at the light in her eyes. He twirled her once and brought her to him kissing her lips. The blood boiled underneath him but it would soon be gone. "It's a pity to let this dress go to waste."

She furrowed her brows but he didn't let her have the chance to brood on it further. He dropped to his knee, her hands captured in his. She gasped, understanding instantaneously.

"Bella..." He never thought it through, he didn't have a ring, or a speech prepared. He had nothing but her there with him, wanting him, flaws and all. He was never going to let her go again, and so he said the only thing that mattered. "Will you marry me?"

She smiled, nodding vigorously, more excited than he ever felt her, love bursting out of her in rays, warming him. "Yes!"

If he had a heartbeat it would've been flying out of his chest. He felt like he could fly. He stood and kissed her, not as careful as he usually was, but gentle enough. "Come with me," he said after releasing her lips.

"Where are we going?"

"It's a shame that your dress will go to waste, the flowers, everything. Why not today?" He tagged her along behind him out into the hall, relishing her wonder.

There were no more heartbeats other than Bella's. Her family and friends were gone. Earlier he had heard Carlisle and Esme promising her parents that they would handle things. If it weren't for what Bella called dazzling they would've never gone.

"Carlisle," Jasper called.

***

One by one the family appeared. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett, Rosalie, Alice, Jacob, and Edward. She held on tight to Jasper. It wasn't that she was afraid, she was worried. How badly had she hurt him? They all must've heard their conversation.

She knew where it was going. Jasper was going to be good by his word. He was going to marry her then and he was going to have Carlisle change her. Right then. Right there. She would no longer be human, but immortal and beautiful. She would truly be apart of the family, tied in every way. She was afraid that she'd start hyperventilating there.

"Jasper," she said gaining his attention. "Can I speak to Edward first?" If she was going to be tied to the family, she had to make amends. There was nothing worse than weak strings.

"Of course."

She left his side to go to Edward, Jacob growling lightly as he motioned for them to go inside of Carlisle's study. He shut the door behind them, not like it mattered. Everyone would hear but at least her friend's rumblings were silenced.

Bella went over to the desk. It was spotless but she ran a hand over the smooth wood. She was hesitant. She didn't know where to start, but what better way than an apology? Get it out of the way.

"I'm sorry," she said. It wasn't good enough. She turned to face him, looked straight into his gold eyes that burned her right down to her very soul. "I am so sorry."

"Bella... When are you ever going to comprehend? All we want is your happiness. You could have told me you wanted him."

"That wouldn't have hurt you?"

He smiled a pained smile and came forward trapping her chin between his fingertips. "Yes. It's killing me. He's more dangerous for you to be with than I am. The idea worries me, but I know, I heard what he has planned. If this is the best for you... As long as you're happy, I will be too. He's what you want, and I saw plenty in his mind for me to be certain that you are what he wants. I can't ask or let you stay with me. You two need each other."

She sighed in relief and hugged him. Her hold would constrict anyone else, knock the air clean out of them, but he held her back, chuckling, kissing the top of her head. Soon, her hold would leave him breathless.

Immediately outside the room, barely taking two steps into the hallway Emmett approached them. He poked her shoulder playfully, winking, and she had a sinking feeling that he was going to say something she didn't want to hear. She was wrong.

"You know, I didn't get my license for nothing."

"What are you talking about?"

"I'm officiating the wedding! Alice wouldn't let me before, something about knowing this would happen," he grinned as though it was his vision. "You two will let me, right?"

She laughed lightly. Emmett officiating her marriage to Jasper... It couldn't have been more perfect.

Jasper brushed her cheek tenderly. "If you want your family back here, we can arrange that."

"No," she said, knowing he was reading the butterflies that were hoarding in her stomach. "I have most of my family here now. I'll give a story to the others later. I didn't want a big wedding to begin with and my dad got his fill of walking me down the aisle. This is only for official purposes."

Alice groaned and shot Edward daggers."You better get married in the next century, Edward! I'm missing out here!"

Edward rolled his eyes as Jacob happily curled his arm around the pixie's waist. He kissed her lips sweetly.

Emmett gave a sharp cough gaining everyone's attention. There, in the hallway of the Cullen home, Emmett married Jasper and Bella, Edward standing next to Jasper, and Alice and Jacob next to Bella.

They never took their eyes off each other as they repeated their vows. Before announcing them as man and wife, the not-so-serious officiator made a "bada-bing" sound, receiving laughs.

Jasper kissed her gently, slowly, letting her feel every bit of it. When they parted for oxygen it occurred to her that would be her first kiss as a wife, and last as a human.

He held her hand as they all moved into the study, where Edward and Carlisle began clearing off the desk, lying several blankets on it.

"Relax here, Bella," Carlisle instructed.

Jasper lifted her with ease on top of it and she lied down. She knew it was going to be painful, she knew it would end the life she knew, not just her heart, and she was ready, but she was scared. She never thought she'd be more scared of the decision she made nearly two years ago. She was less scared of being married, because no matter how much she despised it before, marrying Jasper had been right. It was the easiest thing she'd ever done.

She looked to the man who was the catalyst for her choice and the looked at the one she would spend eternity with, and she grinned. It was worth it. He grasped her hand.

"Don't leave me?"

"Never," Jasper promised. "I'll be here when you wake."

Esme gave her the motherly smile. "We'll all be here, Bella."

Rosalie snorted.

"The rest of us," Jacob corrected, Emmett laughing with him until Rosalie jabbed him in the ribs.

Carlisle bent over her. "Ready Bella?"

She kept her eyes on Jasper, wanting him to be the last one she ever saw. "Yes. I'm ready for forever."

He sunk his teeth into her neck.


A/N: I'm aware that this story is controversial and so I am grateful more than ever that at least some of you enjoyed it. This story was purely about Jasper and Bella keeping a secret in the face of fear and love, nothing more.

Thank you, for being the best readers a writer could hope for!

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