Jasper's hand slid along my back as he came to stand beside where I sat on the corner of the bed. I wrapped my arm around his thigh and laid my head on his stomach. His fingers curled around my shoulder. I closed my eyes, nuzzling into his thin, cotton shirt as his other hand raked through my hair. It had been a long day.

The silver camcorder shook in my hand as James' voice boomed from the tiny speakers. Jasper's hand curled around mine, preventing the device from falling to the thin hotel carpet. He jabbed the pause button with his thumb, and I had to look away from the screen because Bella's face was contorted in fear.

"Would it be easier if you just listened, so you didn't have to see Bella…?"

I nodded into Jasper's chest, and he pressed the play button again.

"Alice?" Jasper's hand closed over mine as I drifted back to the present. "Al, darlin'" He peeled my clenched fingers from his shirt.

I released the fabric and grasped his fingers instead. There was a small hole in the soft jersey where my hand had been.

"I'm sorry," I murmured.

He traced small, soothing circles on my neck. "My shirt is the last thing you should be worried about right now."

My knees were locked around his calf, my arm tight around his thigh. As I nervously twisted the back of his jeans between my thumb and forefinger I was sure I was creating a hole there too. "Where is it?" I asked softly, looking up with my cheek still pressed to the cool cloth on his hip.

He nodded toward the edge of the bed, some two feet away from me. I hadn't noticed him put it there. Jasper bent over, kissing my forehead, and slid his hand beneath me, scooping me up and cradling me to his chest. I let him hold me close and rock back and forth for a bit. If he held me tightly enough I could almost forget that the ominous key to my past lay a few feet away. Neither of us was ready to watch it yet.

The camera sat open on the bedspread. Jasper's strong arm was locked tightly around my torso, crushing me to his chest as my hand hovered over the play button.

"I could watch it first, if you think that might help," he offered quietly, his lips fluttering against my neck.

I shook my head, picking it up. "I need to do this."

"Do you know what we're going to see?" Jasper asked, curious. He loosened his embrace ever so slightly so that he could look down at my face.

"All I can make out is his voice. Not what he's saying."

Long fingers traced circles on my scalp, and I purred into his chest. His sweet, musky scent always helped ground me, but even that wasn't helping much right now. My anxiety was growing stronger by the minute.

"Alice…could I…?" He let the question trail off, but I knew exactly what he was asking.

I truly considered it for a moment. "Not yet," I sighed into his collarbone.

"Just say the word," he whispered, sitting us back down on the bed.

My roller coaster of emotions must have been awful for him, I realized, though he'd never admit it. He thought only of relieving my pain, never his own.

"Thank you."

"What for?" he asked, kissing the top of my head.

"For asking."

He lowered me to rest on his lap, tilting my chin up to face him. "This is important to you, and you deserve to experience it however you want to. I'd never take away that choice."

"I know." I laid my hand on his cheek and leaned up to kiss him gently on the lips, letting my forehead rest against his. "If I change my mind, I'll let you know."

He nodded. "Ready?"

"I think so," I sighed, pulling the camcorder closer, and flicking the screen.

The camera sat open on the bedspread. Jasper's strong arm was locked tightly around my torso, crushing me to his chest as my hand hovered over the play button.

"I could watch it first, if you think that might help," he offered quietly, his lips fluttering against my neck.

I shook my head, picking it up. "I need to do this." My voice was smaller than I'd like it to have been. I lifted the device up in front of us.

The silver camcorder shook in my hand as James' voice boomed from the tiny speakers. Jasper's hand curled around mine, preventing the device from falling to the thin hotel carpet. He jabbed the pause button with his thumb, and I had to look away from the screen because Bella's face was contorted in fear.

"Would it be easier if you just listened, so you didn't have to see Bella…?"

I nodded into Jasper's chest, and he pressed the play button again. I listened as James spoke to Bella, a smooth, suave voice talking about horrible things. When it ended, I heard Jasper close the screen, and put it down. He didn't say anything, waiting for me to speak first. I didn't know what to say. My mind was racing with the information I had just learned.

He held me close, and lay back on the bed. I curled around his side, my head on his chest, and my knee thrown over his hip. Jasper's lips were pursed on the top of my head. One hand was in my hair, the other on my side, and he just held me tightly for a long time.

"I don't know what to make of that," I murmured into his chest, clenching his shirt. "I got a lot of answers, but those raised even more questions…" My voice cracked a bit, as a dull ache formed behind my eyes. "Go ahead. Please."

Jasper pulled me closer, kissing the top of my head over and over. A hazy calm washed over me. My hand relaxed and lay flat on his chest, as he ran the heel of his hand up and down my back. I turned to look up at him.

"Do you wish you didn't know?" he asked softly.

I shrugged. "Kind of."

"You've always wondered why you couldn't remember anything."

I nodded. "I wonder how James met me, if I was locked away…"

Jasper growled softly beneath me, and I patted his chest.

"I always thought I wanted all the answers," I mused. "But even these few…"

"You don't want to know anymore?"

"I don't know," I sighed. "Knowing isn't going to make me remember."

"It might give you closure," he suggested.

Jasper and I stood hand in hand outside a creaky cemetery gate. In the background was the ocean.

"Hmm. Maybe if the opportunity presents itself I'll find out more, but right now…" I stroked the side of his face and smiled.

"But right now?" he asked, curious.

"I have 58 years of amazing memories with you. I don't even like to think about the twenty-eight years that I do remember before that…why should my first 19 years matter?"

Jasper kissed me gently. "Whatever makes you happy."

"You make me happy." I deepened the kiss.