I own nothing.
Song that inspired this chapter – Nuno Bettercourt Severed
"How can any man be weak who dares to be at all?"
Henry David Thoreau
Chapter One - Severed
Alice had not seen any of this coming. How in the world had she missed something this life altering for all of us? It made me question every other time we had blindly taken her prophecy as divine will. What other mistakes had been made trusting our life to a future controlled by the unpredictable whims of others.
All of us had gotten too damn reliant on her ability. We deferred important decisions to her depending on her to guide us one way or another keeping us protected and secure. Her visions of the future had always been like the north of a compass directing us through the night. We had complete faith and trust in them often forgetting that the future was nothing if not changeable. That only if nothing was done to alter the course of events her prediction will come true.
More than anyone I alone relied on her to gauge my future. I had become totally depended on her deferring to her visions over trusting my own thoughts and feelings. Almost to the point that I had stopped making decisions and choices simply sitting back and waiting for her to come to me and tell me what it was that I was going to do.
Since the day that I had met her I had put my destiny in her hands believing that it was the right choice. How wrong I had been.
If for one minute I had listened to that little voice in my head that had told me I needed to hunt before Bella's party would I be standing here being assaulted by the hurt and disappointment from my family? I would never know for sure since I had stopped listening to anyone or anything other than Alice. So when she said nothing was going to happen and there was no need to hunt I took her word. I dressed in the clothes that she laid out for me to wear having been unable to dress myself correctly in over fifty years. Really if I could not be trusted to pick out a pair of pants and a shirt than how could I be trusted with the safety of someone that had come to mean so much to everyone in this family?
Yet they had all trusted me as we celebrated Bella's 18th birthday. Happiness and joy radiated off of everyone except for Rosalie and Edward. Rose was disguised that her family was fawning over a human like this. She was also quite jealous that she was not the center of attention. I expected to feel those emotions from her. They were not new or unfamiliar. She would never see what we all saw in Bella.
Edward's emotions were somewhat of a surprise to me. Of course there was the normal amount of fear and caution. He lived in a consist state of those two emotions since he had fallen in love with Bella. Like with Rosalie I had come to expect those emotions from him but I had also come to expect love. Tonight I did not feel that emotion from him. His guilt had taken the place of his love. Of course I still felt a degree of love from him but it was not nearly as strong as his guilt over something. My brain could only start to wonder what it was that he was feeling such guilt over before it all happened.
A paper cut. That was all it took to send me into bloodlust. Every rational thought evaporated from my mind as I hauled myself towards her. She was no longer my brother's love, my wife's best friend, no longer Bella. For me she had become nothing more than my prey.
The monster in me that had been beaten down and caged had finally broken the chains to freedom. He was enraged and hell bent on tasting the sweet nectar that he had been long denied. If any part of me that was Jasper remained in that moment I would have fought to contain him once again but I no longer existed. Only the predator, the vampire, the monster that took what he wanted without thought or remorse remained in the shell that had once housed my soul.
Edward ran full force into me knocking me back. Instantly I was locked in the arms of another trying to stop me from having what was mine. Still I did not stop struggling and snapping desperate to taste the only thing that would sedate the burning fire of venom pooling in my mouth.
I was finally pulled outside but not let go. I would not be allowed tonight or ever again to be near Bella. I could not blame them for that. I was a monster. I was a vile monster. It had nothing to do with being a vampire as I would like to tell myself. All the rest of my vampire family had been right there with me and I was the only one who tried to drain Bella. Hell Carlisle was in there now bandaging up her wounds as if her blood was nothing more than water. No I alone was a monster. I should be put down like a rabid dog for my own sake as well as everyone else's.
"How could you?" Alice demanded seething with anger. All I could do was hang my head in disgrace unable to look into her dark eyes.
"Dude… I mean you tried to eat my little sis," Emmett reminded me as if I had forgotten.
"Jasper…" I heard coming from Esme. My adoptive mother I knew could never hate me nor truly be angry with me but that did not stop her other emotions. Her love for her son was being overshadowed by worry and sorrow. There was also disappointment mixed in there.
Rosalie said nothing but she did not have to say anything for me to know what she was feeling. She was happy. That bitch was actually happy. I knew she did not like Bella but to feel joy over her near death was sick.
Just when I thought that I could not handle feeling anything else I was hit by the most intense wave of anger. I did not need to turn to know that Edward now stood there glaring at me.
"I'm sorry," I whispered in my mind this apology meant alone for my brother. In time I would request forgiveness from each and every one of my family, including Bella.
The second I thought that I was hurled across the forest into a tree. The tree cracked as if it was just a twig under my foot. As did the next one that I was picked up and slammed into. I did not fight back. I let him take his pain and angry out on me. I deserved it. I deserved more than this. He had every right to slowly rip every one of limbs off and set me on fight dancing gleefully around my fiery grave.
"Stay away from her," he hissed venom spraying from his mouth coating my face in it as he continued his verbal assault; "You are a pathetic and weak. You lost all control over one single drop of blood. How could you? Could you not have enough restraint and discipline to curb your bloodlust for one night? Do we have to forever be monitoring your weakness? Making sure that Jasper is not going to go off the handle and kill another defenseless human? I for one am tired of babysitting you."
"Edward…enough. It is not his fault," I heard scream through the somber night. He dropped me instantly and ran over to her surely to protect her from me once again because now every one knew I could not be trusted.
Sitting there I dared to look up knowing from the emotions I felt what I would see…disappointment and anger emitted from my family through glaring eyes. One by one I glanced up and into their eyes seeing for the first time that he was right. Every hate filled word meant to slay me was not just what he felt but in whole felt by my family. From my loving mother to my ever forgiving father right on to my wife they were all disguised by me. Sickened by my lack of control. I was the outsider staring into their circle.
Unable to take all the emotions being hurled at me combined by my own I got up to run. No one tried to stop me in fact I felt the relief spread out as I disappeared deeper into the forest.
My dead heart leaped and my black soul soared as my senses picked up the emotions I had longed to feeling coming from anyone of them…concern and forgiveness. I searched for who the emotions came from looking first to my wife only to be crushed all over again when I felt nothing there. I could not let myself wallow in my own pain and betrayal for long as I realized who had been emitting those emotions towards me…Bella.
I stayed away for three long days and nights gorging myself on every four legged creature that unwittingly came across my path determined to sedate the hunger ripping me apart from the inside out fighting for dominates. My greatest fear like that of my family's was I would never be able to control my bloodlust.
I had become weak. I hated that about myself. I had never been weak before in my life. In my human life I had been confident and commanding in total control. That was what had drawn Maria to me in the first place. She saw the power I could hold over people long before I acquired my talent to tweak people's emotions. Once I became a vampire I had lead, fought, and defeated an army of vampires always in control. Now I had none. The blood of one small girl had brought me to my knees as if I was nothing more than a newborn.
Bella…if there was one human that was a match for a vampire it was her. Never had I known one like her. Not that I had known many humans. Normal, sensible human tended to stay as far away from us as possible. That made life so much easier for me but God Bella was always there now it seemed pushing my will, my crumbling control to the edge of no return.
I had to return though. It was time to go back to my family and beg and plead for forgiveness that I knew I did not deserve. As hard as it would be for me I would go back and take responsibility for the crime that I would have committed if not stopped. I would bear the unset of all the heightened emotions all centered on their disappointment, disillusionment, and dissatisfaction in me.
As I walked into the eerie silent house I knew instantly something was not right. My first thought was that no one was home but that thought was proven wrong as I found them all seated around the table. This could only mean two things, Alice had seen when I would return and they were waiting for me to have a family decision. Though I doubted there would be anything more than them telling me how worthless I was and I would sit and absorb all of it a small price to pay.
"Jasper…" Carlisle spoke his voice strong always in control. Aside from Alice his disenchantment in me hurt the most. Besides for the fact that he had taken me into his family calling me his son I looked up to him. He was everything I strived to be but mostly he was always in control. If one day I ended up half the person he was I would consider my existence worthy. I nodded and sat in my normal spot next to Alice. I waited for her to reach out in some small way to touch me, soothe me as she always had before yet she remained stiffly frozen in her chair unable to even look at me. I focused all my attention on her trying to gauge her current emotions.
In that moment I noticed that I felt nothing. Not just from her but absent were any emotions except for mine which were chaotic. I searched but I found not the slightest hint of anger or disappoint. I also did not find any love or concern either.
"Why are you all controlling you emotions?" I demanded.
"We don't want to overwhelm you," Esme explained to me but I did not quite believe her which scared me. I had never known her to lie. It meant that this was all worse than I could imagine.
"Can we get on with this?" Rosalie demanded her anger and annoyance slipping through if only for a second before it was once again masked behind her golden eyes.
"Much has happened since you have been gone. Edward has come to the difficult decision to end things with Bella. To make that easier on her and us he has requested that we relocate immediately. The sooner that we are gone from her life the quicker she will be able to move on with hers," Carlisle told him of course the one to deliver the news.
"What?" I asked unable to believe what I was hearing. It made no sense at all. There was no way that Edward would ever leave Bella. She was his mate, his reason to smile. I had felt his feelings for her and knew that he would never leave her willing.
"It was a family vote and we agree. We have to support Edward at this most challenging time in his life."
"How could it have been a family vote if I was not here? I know what I did was inexcusable but does that mean I lost the right to be apart of this family?" I demanded wishing that for one moment I had Edward's ability and could read all their minds. There was so much that they were not telling me that I deserved to know.
"Jasper…" Alice whispered finally acknowledging that I was even there. I stared at her trying once again to read her emotions. All I was getting was resolve. Whatever was happening she was resolved to it happening.
"You will always be apart of this family, no matter what but we have also voted and agreed that it was in the best interest of everyone if you take some time away from us," Carlisle again spoke.
I needed to take some time away from the family. That was code for I was being kicked out of the family. They might as well have said, 'It's not you, it's me.'
"Was it unanimous?"
"Yes," Edward told me taking great pleasure in telling me this.
Nothing else left to say or question I sprinted up the stairs and into the room that I had shared with Alice. No… that Alice had allowed me to exist in. Everything in there was hers. It was full of designer clothes that still had the tags on them make-up, shoes, purses, etc…our room nothing more than her oversized closet. Now it was empty. Everything already packed and gone on there way to wherever they planned on starting over minus me. The few things that meant anything to me as well as my clothes were already packed in boxes sitting in the middle of the room.
Guilt and resolve hit me as Alice walked into the room. She lingered in the door unwilling to be too close to me as if she feared I would snap at her too. The thought had crossed my mind.
"It is for the best. I have seen it."
"Isn't that convenient for you to hide behind? Alice had a vision so that makes everything that follows perfectly expectable. Well it isn't. You seem to forget that the future is based on what people decide to do. You have decided to abandon me," I explained to her throwing her damn visions right back in her face.
"I have always known that we would end. From that first day in that diner I knew that you would not be mine to hold onto forever. I have tried to take care of you as best I could. Whether you want to admit it or not we both have felt the decline of our relationship. We have grown apart our futures heading in different directions. You may be able to manipulate and control everyone else's emotions but in the end there is no hiding from your own. Be safe, be happy," she solemnly told me not a hint of her normal energetic nature visible. There was a slight comfort in that fact my damaged soul grasping for straws.
I did not bother to look up as I heard the slamming doors and skidding of tires over gravel as my family escaped in their varies cars. They couldn't leave behind their precious Volvo or Porsche but they had no problem tossing me away like I was nothing. Because I was nothing to them. In the end I was nothing more than a liability to the coven that the Cullen's had formed. The weak link had been severed.