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Soundtrack: Where It Ends – 16 Frames

Chapter 5: Stormy Night


I gulped quietly as they continued to stare at me. I suddenly wished the Earth would open up and swallow me whole.

Emmett was the first to break the awkwardness. He sighed and dropped onto the couch behind him running his large hands over his face; probably trying to prepare himself for the hell that was about to follow.

Rose was frowning with a faraway look on her face and I couldn't even bring myself to look at Jasper, so I stared down at my feet.

I glanced back up at Rosalie to see she was glaring at me, but there was a hint of curiosity behind that, and I knew we'd be okay...eventually anyway. I braced myself and looked at my brother. Jazz wasn't even looking at me, but he was gritting his teeth and growling at the wall slightly to my left.

Emmett, again, was the first to try to end the silence, "Who?" he asked and I could hear the silent 'I'll kill the bastard' in his voice.

"No one you would know," I whispered turning slightly away. My senses were screaming at me to just run away while I could.

"Well just tell us who anyway," Jasper snarled acidly causing me to shudder involuntarily.

"It doesn't matter anymore," I said softly, hoping he would stop being mean.

"The hell it doesn't!" he screamed, "He fucking touched you in...in...untouchable places!"

"Jasper calm down," I argued.

"I will NOT calm down! I will continue to scream until I can't even whisper anymore because my voice is that sore!"

"What is wrong with you?!" I screamed back, "I get it, I had sex and the brother in you wants to kill, but you have NO right to tell me how to live my life," I said, tears brimming in my eyes; I hate it when he's mad. "Stop making me feel so shitty about it! News flash Jasper, I wasn't always gonna be little innocent Bella!" I sniffled, my damn nose already clogging up from the tears.

These memories were painful enough without all the shit being thrown at me about it. I mean, I knew they would make a big deal about it, but I didn't think Jasper would get this upset.

"I have a right to be this upset! You're my baby sister! I fed you you're first piece of cake, I always picked you up when you fell down, and I have kept you safe for all these years, you can't just do this!" Jasper yelled at me, "What if you got an STD? What if he hurt you? What if?"

I felt a sob coming on and dug my nails into my sides from where they were wrapped around my torso.

"Look at me dammit!" There was a strange hostility in his voice and Emmett must have heard it too because he stood up immediately.

He stuck his hand in front of Jasper. "Man, maybe you should go outside and cool down for a bit before you do something you'll regret," Emmett said all this calmly, but you could hear his own threat hidden in his voice. Jasper looked up at him livid, his midnight blue eyes completely iced over. I knew Jasper would never hurt me, but that didn't mean he wouldn't shout and yell until I couldn't think straight and felt absolutely horrible about myself, perhaps to the point of depression. I also knew that most of this was the alcohol talking, and he would never get this upset sober.

With one last glare at Emmett, he turned and sprinted away. After we heard the back door slam, Rosalie frowned deeply at me, and followed Jasper; probably to make sure he didn't hurt himself. As soon as I heard the door open and close it felt like my heart was being ripped open, like all the walls I'd built up had been torn down with just a few harsh, shouted words.

I started sobbing hysterically and I heard Emmett shifting awkwardly and I just knew he would leave; run after Rose, the love of his life, or Jasper, his best friend. Right when my knees felt like they were about to give out and I couldn't even see through my tears I felt someone pick me up off my feet and sit me down.

After what felt like hours of crying and trying in vain to keep the painful memories at bay I looked up. The lights reflected and shined tiny rainbows from the tears surrounding my vision. Using the heel of my hand I scrubbed furiously at my face to remove the liquid. When I could see clearly I looked around and saw I had been crying on Emmett's shoulder.

"I'm sorry," I said softly, my hoarse voice cracking in a way that reminded me of nails on a chalkboard.

"It's okay," he smiled softly, just barely showing his dimples, but this wasn't a happy Emmett smile it was too sad. "Look Bella...Jasper had no right to talk to you like that..and Rose had no reason to judge you either."

"Why didn't you go after them?" I asked quietly, "Rosalie is gonna be pissed at you and so is Jasper."

"You needed me more, and quite frankly...you're in the right. They had no right to get upset; I would have done the same thing, you must have been terrified to tell us..." he trailed.

"I just didn't want anyone to get mad," I sniffled fighting yet again not to cry.

"Bella you were my first real friend," Emmett said softly. "I actually didn't have any friends back home believe it or not. You were the first person to really talk to me like I was a real person, like a friend; being nice to me. Rosie may be the love of my life, and I'm really close to Jasper, but you're closer than a sister to me and you were in pain and needed me the most; the choice was simple."

I sniffled and let out a chuckle, but it sounded like a hiccup. This caused him to laugh and he hugged me.

"You're like another brother to me, too." I sniffled into Emmett's chest and I peaked up and saw his grinning from ear to ear.

"I've always wanted a sister," Emmett chuckled wistfully.

"Well you have me now," I said.

It was quiet for a moment, and I didn't need silence it gave me time to think and that would be too painful. I couldn't think right now it was too much and I couldn't cry in front of Emmett again.

He seemed to know what I was thinking however and clicked on the TV, and wrapped his arm around my shoulder like he was shielding me from the world. I smiled lightly at the effort and relaxed when he started rubbing soothing circles on my shoulder.

He found something good to watch, something that wouldn't upset me; Whose Line Is It Anyway? My favorites were Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie, they were so funny. After about fifteen minutes, I was finally starting to calm down and had secured the protective walls in my mind again.

A flash of lightning shown outside, lighting up the sky. Five seconds later the thunder followed echoing dimly around the large house. It felt empty, really empty.

"They shouldn't be out in the storm," I whispered, as another peal of thunder sounded. Five miles away I counted off in my head.

"They'll come back in, in a moment," Emmett said distracted by the TV.

Sure enough just when I was about to brave the storm by myself to go find them the door opened and I heard two people come in, and just as the door closed the rain started; what good timing. There were sounds of shuffling and then a silence like they didn't know what to do now.

Finally Rosalie came into the room, looking solemn and upset, but that didn't take away from her grace as she walked quietly towards me.

She stopped right in front of me just slightly to the side so she wasn't blocking my view of Colin making an idiot of himself on the green screen.

"Bella can we," she paused and took a deep breath, "can we...talk?" Her voice sounded so vulnerable and that hurt me. I felt like I was the one causing her pain and I didn't like that feeling one bit!

I sighed quietly to myself but I think she saw me, "Sure."

Rose gestured towards the stairs indicating she wanted to talk privately. So I just nodded and went to follow her. Emmett grabbed my arm softly and gave me a look asking if I would be okay. I nodded slightly so only he would see and he gave me a good luck smile.

I trudged up the steps behind Rosalie and we ended up in her room. She closed the door and leaned against her cream walls. I sat down on the couch, and squirmed in the awkward silence. I wasn't going to be the first to speak, however, since she was the one who wanted to talk, so she could say what she wanted first.

"Look I...." she stopped. I pulled my knees to my chest and turned my gaze towards her, my back against the arm rest.

She shifted and started playing with the hem of her shirt, looking down. "I know I didn't really say anything.....but I still treated you badly," she sighed. "I need to apologize...I should have stuck up for you like a best friend should....not just have walked out." She looked up at me then, meeting my eyes. "So I'm really sorry Bells! I don't know how to make it up to you; I deserted you when you needed me most."

I picked up the pillow lying near my feet and hugged it close to me as I weighed my words carefully. "Rose...I knew you'd be pissed. That's why I didn't tell you at first. You were hurt by my actions, and as far as I'm concerned you're already forgiven."

Her blue eyes got bigger and she climbed onto the bed behind me and laid down so that our heads were on the same level. She placed her head on her folded arms and looked at me earnestly. "Bella that's just the thing; I'm not mad because you did it...I'm mad because you didn't tell me. I had this scenario planned in my head since freshman year; how you would come to me one day and tell me you were ready and ask my opinions and then ask for advice," she snorted, "if I'd even have any." I laughed with her at that. Rosalie was far from a prude, but there was something she needed before she finally had sex with Emmett, she said it wasn't the right time. Honestly, I think she was waiting for everything to be perfect and was simply worrying about it too much.

"Then after he'd fallen asleep, you'd call me from where you'd locked yourself in the bathroom, and we would talk in hushed tones. I could practically see you blushing and I'd be prying like the nosy bitch I am," she smirked and winked at me. "I would have already met him of course and fully approved. Jasper and Em would give him a totally awkward talk, threatening to kill him. I would tell him if he ever broke your heart I would rip his nuts off." At that I couldn't help but smile and let the tears pool in my eyes, cause in a twisted sense it all sounded so nice.

"Eventually," she added with a glint in her eyes, "I would give you advice on how to break up with him because he would become unbearably clingy and a jerk; of course he would have always been totally and completely unworthy of you...like every guy will be." I actually started crying, they were happy tears but for some reason this sounded perfect. Some people would call me crazy and ask how the hell this was perfect, but this was Rose and me, and it just was for us. This was how we were and always will be.

"That actually sounds really fun." I laughed through my tears and I could see she was having exactly the same reaction; that just made me laugh and cry harder.

"How's it supposed to be with you and Em?" I asked.

She sighed wistfully. "Well we've already begun that one. First I'd start telling you the second I even considered sex. Then not actually sleep with Emmett until two or three years later." I giggled as I watched her face light up with happiness. "Then I would plan it all because Emmett doesn't want to feel like he's pushing me, and of course I'd get you to help me," she winked. "Then the second it was over I'd call you, while still lying next to Em." I laughed rather loudly at this. "Well hey, he already knows how close we are, he'd understand; hell he'd probably hand me the phone..... I might even text you while we were still–"

"Yeah I got you," I said quickly. She laughed at me.

"Anyway...then when Jasper finally figured it all out he'd make a lame attempt at protectiveness, something like 'Yo Emmett, you break it, you buy it.'" I burst out laughing again at this. "Of course I would live happily ever after with my Emmy-bear and we'd have tons of great sex, and I'd be constantly giving you juicy details, which you wouldn't want to hear.... You'll eventually start tuning me out and just pretend to listen; just making the right listening noises at the right times." That sounded just like me and I was forced to smile because it was just so realistic.

This was one of the things I loved most about Rosalie, she could always make me laugh and forget about my worries for a while; she would just start talking and not stop until I laughed and then just keep going. Emmett was sort of like this too, he could just smile at me and I'd feel happier and if he hugged me I'd feel like I belonged somewhere...like even through everything else my friends still loved me. Jasper, however, could manipulate emotions pretty easily, make me genuinely feel better; not just forget for a while but feel better! Though, sometimes, he would manipulate my emotions so I would feel worse, like when we were fighting; I would feel so guilty and just horrible.

I cleared my throat, "Well it seems as though yours will come true."

"Yeah..." she trailed sadly. "Yours won't though."

"That's okay...I'll be fine."

"I know...you really are the strongest person I know." Rose smiled softly.

"How?" I asked bewildered. I wasn't strong, especially not physically; emotionally I suppose I could handle some, but I think I'm slightly sheltered from most mental stress.

"Bella, look I know you well enough to know something's been wrong for a while...and well this is it right?" She said all this in a strangely motherly tone I hadn't heard in some time; it was very comforting. I nodded, confirming her suspicions. "I also know you well enough to know you must have had strong feelings for this guy...did you love him?"

I was about to answer when I stopped, unsure what to say. "I thought I did, but sometimes I do wonder...maybe I was mistaken."

She was quiet for some time, contemplating this. "What happened?" She finally whispered.

I sighed and stared at the rain patting against the window over her bed. "I really don't think I can talk about this right now," I whispered back.

It was strangely dark in the room, there were only two lamps giving light off; it seemed to be reflecting my mood, dark. She was giving me a curious look. "It's just that I've already said this much...I don't think I can handle any more pain right now..."

She nodded, "Whenever you're ready I'm here."

It was quiet for a while and I listened to the hell going on outside. There were branches beating against the window, thunder, and hard rain. This would be dangerous to drive through.

"You aren't mad at Emmett are you?" I asked worried I'd come between them.

"No!" she said shocked. "Why would I be?"

"Because he didn't follow you."

She laughed lovingly, "I would be mad if he did. His life doesn't revolve around me," she snorted. "I don't expect him to do everything I do, he has his own mind and I love the fact he sticks up for what he thinks is right...even if it might cause a fight." She smiled ruefully, "It's damn sexy!"

I burst out laughing at that one; I just could never see Emmett as sexy. I mean sure he was attractive but he was too much like a brother.

Rose started laughing with me, and then the phone rang, crisp and clear. When Rose made no move to get it I raised my eyebrows at her.

"What?" She giggled. "It's not anyone important because I have everyone important to me here in this house."

"Aw.." I said and could feel the happy tears coming again. Rose hardly showed her soft loving side like this and I just felt so loved tonight.

She grinned and winked at me. Then the answering machine made a loud beep and I heard Rose's sultry voice, "Hey this is Rosalie, if you're Emmett, Bella, or Jasper I'm sorry I missed your call, and I will see you later. If not just leave a brief message and tell me what the hell you want. Depending on who you are I'm sorry I missed your call...and I might love you." I snorted at her and she grinned largely; I'd never heard this before since I usually just called her cell instead of her land line.

There was another beep, then I heard Lauren's nasally voice and almost gagged. "Rose I think you forgot me," then she started laughing strangely, honestly I think she was chocking. "Anyway I was just calling to let you know that there's new news about that new kid...." Rose made a motion so it looked like she was throwing up; causing me to laugh; we all knew her feelings about Lauren. "So it's now been confirmed, it's a girl and she'll be here Wednesday... The storm has delayed it all, apparently it's worse than it seems. Well away from here anyway, like in Seattle it's just a hell of storm...so...yeah." Then she hung up.

"She is so weird," Rose laughed.

"I agree...I didn't think the storm was that bad though," I said looking out the window again.

"Yeah it's probably because we're kinda isolated out here in Forks."

"True." I nodded laughing. There was another pause. "So...how mad is Jasper at me?"

"He'll get over it."

"So pretty mad?"

"But he'll get over it, trust me, you'll be fine in a couple days... I think it's just a shock for him is all."

"He had to know this was coming though, right?" I asked.

"Well yeah, but I don't think he thought it would be this soon, plus you guys are almost always together."

"Hmm..." I mumbled.

"Carrie would be proud of you." She laughed. Carrie Whitlock was Jasper's mother. See Jazz and I were half siblings.

The story is kinda complicated but basically Charlie and Renee had been best friends their whole lives, but he fell for Carrie Whitlock with the big blue eyes and blond hair first when they were all eighteen. They'd been dating for six months when she mysteriously disappeared, leaving Renee to pick up the pieces.

So one thing led to another and a couple weeks later they started dating, and two weeks later I was growing. Anyway, about a two weeks before I was born Carrie showed up with a newborn baby, Jasper. She had to work for her career and couldn't keep up with him...of course even though Renee hates Carrie (mostly jealousy, though even now it still runs both ways) she couldn't turn away a baby. So Renee raised us both till we were about five when she left for a sunnier happier place known as Phoenix, Arizona.

I didn't blame my mom for leaving though because honestly I don't think she was ever happy with Charlie; I think he blew that when he took a chance with Carrie. See he loved (and I think still loves) both of them, but he never did know which he'd rather have. So I think when he got together with Carrie Renee's feelings for him soured a bit, jealousy is a petty emotion.

It is actually very funny to see Renee, Carrie, and Charlie together in one room. It was like the women were competing for him even though they both had no lingering romantic feelings for him. Dad was always really uncomfortable in those situations because he knew they didn't love him anymore, but they were like two high school girls fighting over a crush.

My mom had gotten remarried to a younger man named Phil Dwyer and Jasper's mom had a new boyfriend every week it seemed. She was one of those people that never seemed to slow down, she had gone from a nobody in Forks to a major somebody with their own photography company. She didn't show emotions very easily though so she stuck to trying to buy love from Jasper and for some reason me. She bought my car and Jasper's motorcycle and she was going to pay for college; it was very sweet. My mother preferred to actually show us her love.

No matter how different they were they seemed to regard us both as theirs and it was pretty much vice-versa. It was great growing up with both of them; it was easier to call up Carrie and talk about something bothering you if you didn't want the mother-judging-you feeling because Carrie has always been really cool. On the other hand Renee was very loving and comforting.

I smirked at Rosalie, "I suppose she would be proud of me wouldn't she?"

"Yeah you should call and tell her all about it." She winked.

"Oh don't think I won't," I warned.

She giggled and she sighed, "You gonna be okay at the party tomorrow?"

"I should be....Jasper would never let Charlie know we're fighting; he hates it when we do..."

"Good...you know this thing, it'll blow over fast and then just be a slight blip in your past."

"Thanks Rose...a lot," I said sincerely.

"No problem that's what I'm here for!" She gave me a huge grin and a hug, making me feel loved again; my friends were so amazing...but this didn't take away from the horrible feelings I could feel emitting to me from Jasper somewhere downstairs.

AN: Sorry this took so long, school is a major bitch! Oh by the way if you haven't voted on the poll yet please do so soon because I will be CLOSING it in a couple days!

I have a SERIOUS question that NEEDS to be answered!! How many of you would stop reading if I changed the rating from T to M?

To the first anonymous reviewer for this story, Christa, thanks and I'm sorry, school was really hectic!

And to my second anonymous reviewer briana, thanks so much!

Thanks bunches to An End Has A Start!

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