DISCLAIMER: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all its characters. This is just my take on a possible alternative…
Change of Scenery
Change of Scenery
Peter was sitting at the kitchen table. He couldn't stand the thought of sleeping on that damn lumpy sofa again. Of course, he could man up and sleep in the bedroom, but the nightmares wouldn't be worth it. He hadn't slept in the bedroom for almost two years. The sofa wasn't comfortable, but at least he didn't wake up sobbing her name, covered in icy sweat.
He hoped he had made the right decision. He just couldn't stay here anymore. It was slowly killing him to live here with the ghost of Charlotte. He saw her everywhere here. She was in the sunny yellow paint on the kitchen walls; the cozy wedding ring quilt on their king sized bed; even the yard reminded him of her. She had loved to coax beauty from the desert landscape outside their door.
Silently, he hit the speed dial and prayed that he would be able to get through this conversation. He was calling the only person that understood his pain. His cousin, brother really, had loved Charlotte, too. This was Peter's last chance to live again. He knew Charlotte would want him to live and be happy again.
Jasper was trying to ignore the irritating ringing that was pulling him from sleep and his cocoon of blankets and Alice. He rolled over to snuggle deeper against her warm back, wrapping his arms around her tiny waist and tucking his head in the crook of her shoulder.
Another irritating ring and Alice mumbled sleepily,
"Jaz, baby, it's your phone."
Huffing in irritation, he pulled himself from the bed and grabbed the offending item from the nightstand.
"This had better be a fuckin' emergency," he growled to whoever was unlucky enough to have called, as he pulled on his sweatpants and padded out to the hallway, shutting the door softly behind him, so Alice could sleep.
"Sorry, Jasper. Were you asleep?" the caller asked with a chuckle.
"Peter? It's fuckin' 3am, man! Is momma OK?" Jasper replied, shaking the sleepy fog away.
"Aunt Carrie's fine, man. Where the hell are you that it's 3am?" Peter replied.
"Me & Ali are in South Carolina visiting her family. The engagement party was last night. What's up, Peter?" Jasper asked, still not sure why his cousin, really his brother, had called so late.
"Listen, man, I am sorry I bothered you. It's not as late here in Santa Fe, you know. I need a big favor, Jaz. I sold the house…just couldn't do it here anymore, man. I have to get out of Santa Fe. I quit my job and I was hoping that invitation to hold down your couch in Denver was still open. I need to start fresh somewhere, man." Peter said, rushing to get out his explanation as if to fend off unwanted questions.
"Sure, man, you know that, anything you need. When are you flying in?" Jasper replied, glad Peter was calling for that reason.
"I'll be in Denver tomorrow. Give me your address, though, and I can just take a cab there since you're out of town." Peter said, not wanting to cause Jasper any problems but unable to delay his trip and stay in Santa Fe for even one more day.
"No way, Peter. Besides, you can't get in the house. We had to change the locks…long story. Listen, give me your flight info and I'll get a friend of ours to pick you up." Jasper explained, grabbing a pen and notepad from the drawer in the darkened kitchen.
He jotted down the info quickly in his sprawling masculine script. He hoped Bella would be home tomorrow. It was Sunday, so she wouldn't be in the studio. He'd call her in a few minutes. She wouldn't be asleep…she was never asleep.
"Alright, Peter. I got the info. Ali and I will be home on Wednesday. Just make yourself at home until then in the guest room, OK?" Jasper asked, confirming the details with his cousin quickly.
"Yeah, man. Thanks, Jasper." Peter replied softly.
"Anytime, Peter. I love you, man." Jasper drawled in response.
"Love you, too, Jaz." Peter said, hanging up.
Jasper checked the time, only 3:45am now. It would be 1:45am at home. Bella would still be up. She had trouble sleeping, so she never got to sleep before 3 or 4am. He quickly hit speed dial and waited for her to answer.
"Jaz?" she asked with concern in her voice due to the late hour.
"Hey, sugar. Sorry to call so late, but something's come up and I need a favor tomorrow," he answered.
"Of course, Jasper. Is everything OK?" she answered immediately; there was nothing he could ask that she wouldn't help with.
"Yeah, Bella, nothing to worry about. Do you remember my cousin, Peter? Well, he's finally had enough and he sold the house in Santa Fe and quit his job. I've been begging him for months to do that and come to Denver. Anyway, seems like he came to the same decision and he's flying into Denver tomorrow. Do you think you could pick him up from the airport?" Jasper replied, knowing she wouldn't mind.
"Sure, Jasper. Give me the info…I had planned on going to the studio later, but I can just do what I needed to do at the home studio instead. It's just some darkroom work." She replied immediately, already rearranging her schedule; after all, Jasper was de facto family, and family always came first for Bella.
She jotted down the flight information quickly in her messy handwriting and hoped she'd be able to read it in the morning. She remembered Peter's story. It was a sad one and she couldn't help but hope that the move to Denver would help him start fresh. She had lived through her fair share of tragedy in her life, but to lose someone the way he had; well, she just didn't know if she could have come through that.
"OK, Jasper, I've got the info and I'll take good care of him for you. Are you and Alice still coming home Wednesday?" she asked.
"Yeah, Bells. We'll be home late Wednesday night. Thanks, Bella, for doing this for me. I was scared that if he had to delay, he wouldn't come at all. He really needs this." Jasper whispered, emotion making his voice husky.
"Oh, Jaz! He's your family and that makes him my family, too. I'll take good care of him. Now, give Ali a kiss for me and enjoy the rest of your time there!" Bella replied, thinking about how good a man Jasper was; she was lucky to have him as a friend, more like a brother really, and Alice couldn't have picked a better lover.
"Love you, Bells," he said, smiling slightly; Bella had been through so much in her life, he was lucky to have her in his life.
"You, too, Jasper." she replied, ending the call.
Jasper closed the phone and made his way back to the bedroom. Alice was curled up on her side, beautiful in the moonlight sneaking past the curtains. He crawled back in the bed, pulling her tight against him. He loved her so much; he couldn't imagine losing her and knew he wouldn't survive if something happened to her.
His thoughts drifted to his late cousin-in-law, Charlotte. She had been so good for Peter. They were like a fairy tale of happily ever after, but their ever after had ended much too soon. Peter had been an empty shell, lost in the world that she no longer existed in. Jasper shuddered as he curled around Alice's sleeping body, kissing her bare shoulder gently.
Maybe a change of scenery and some time with friends and family is what Peter would need to rejoin the world…
AN: This is a bit of a departure from my usual writing, but I had an incredibly vivid dream about this and it wouldn't leave me alone. I'm not quite sure where it's going to lead, but if you like it, let me know.