A Reason To Exist Outtake – Changing Bella
***I know this was a long time in the making, but I couldn't post until now. I've done several "turn" scenes with my various stories, so I needed to come up with something different while keeping true to this particular story. I hope you like it.
***Written for Spencer Bell Legacy – a truly wonderful cause.
***Thanks to TwiCarol and Jasper's Darlin' Kathy for beta reading this.
As I watched her burn and writhe in pain for the past two and half days, my heart broke for her. Hadn't we put her through enough pain and misery over that past couple of years? I held her tight against my chest and tried to absorb as much of the pain as I could.
Edward was sitting in the chair across from the bed and hadn't said anything for the past hour. I could feel how much he hated experiencing Bella's pain, too. The change was almost finished, or at least that was what Carlisle had said the last time he checked on Bella. I knew she wanted to become one of us, but I didn't think it would happen as quickly as it did. The decision was swift and final.
"Aro called," Carlisle said, as I walked into his study. Edward was already in there, gazing out the window when I came in. I could tell by his emotions that something was wrong. Bella and I had recently come back to Forks to visit the family; something we did quite often. We had been married for two years and enjoyed the life we had made in Seattle. Bella attended the university there, while I completed my doctorate.
"Are they coming to observe Bella again?" I asked. "Wasn't three visits enough?" The Volturi didn't think Bella was stable enough to be turned the first two times they observed her. Aro felt it was too soon after her breakdown and traumatic kidnapping to turn her. Initially, I had agreed, but after monitoring her for the past two years, I could feel it; she was ready.
"Jasper," Carlisle smiled, but I could feel his apprehension. "They've given you the go ahead. You can turn her."
"That's great news," I said. "But, why don't the two of you seem happy?" I could feel something wasn't right. "Bella wants this and now we can start preparing her. She can start to make peace with giving up her human life. Now we can set a date."
"They're giving you a deadline," Carlisle informed me.
"What? No! How long?"
"Three days," Edward finally spoke. I felt his disgust. He still didn't want to risk her soul by making her one of us. Plus, he thought that if he could still read her mind, she still wasn't back to her old self.
"Look, I know your feelings on the whole thing, but this is what she wants and I'm going to give it to her. I just don't like the Volturi ultimatum. She has three days to reconcile her human life?"
"No," Carlisle sighed. "I'm afraid not. When they said three days, they meant the entire process."
"What? That means I have to do it tonight? That's not possible."
"Felix, Demetri, Jane and Alec are here in Forks," Edward stated.
"To make sure I do it?"
"But why? They've trusted us this far." I said.
"It's always been on Aro's terms," Carlisle said. "But, now he is determined that it needs to be done. He feels that because we waited and kept her human and in our world, we caused her breakdown. We put her at risk when we allowed Victoria to take her."
"He's right," Edward said. "This is why I left her in the first place."
"Don't start," I warned. "We have a bigger issue. I'll have to turn her here and I have to hope she's ready. It's one thing for her to say she wants it, but when push actually comes to shove."
"The Volturi is forcing our hand," Carlisle reminded me. "If you want to be the one to do it, you have to get her to agree."
"You don't actually think that Aro will order one of the others to do it?" He didn't say anything but, judging from his negative emotions, Aro must have threatened that one of the guard would step in and change Bella.
"I would die before I let that happen," I growled.
"No one has to die," Carlisle assured me.
"Bella does," Edward reminded us.
"Edward," I said. "This is hard enough as it is, if I have to do this here in this house and you want to stay while the change takes place, you better get your shit together. She's always wanted to be one of us."
"You can't throw me out of my own house." He looked to Carlisle for assistance.
"We're not throwing you out," Carlisle sighed. "But, I agree with Jasper, don't make this harder than it has to be on Bella."
"Fine," he said. "But I want to listen to her thoughts when you tell her. I can make sure this is absolutely what she wants."
"I can feel it's what she wants," I reminded him.
"But, you can't hear how she truly feels," he countered.
"It's not a bad idea," Carlisle said. "Maybe we can persuade Aro to give us more time if Edward hears that she's not ready."
"Fine," I said. "I'll be right back with her."
I walked down the hall and found Bella sitting on the bed, reading a magazine.
"Hey." She smiled, and I felt how happy she was to see me.
"Can you come to Carlisle's study with me?" I asked.
"Sure," she said. "Is everything okay?"
"It will be." I smiled, as I took her hand. We walked into the study where Edward and Carlisle were waiting for us. I immediately felt Bella's curiosity.
"What's wrong?" she asked, as she looked at me. "Is it Charlie?"
"No, darlin'," I assured her. "Your father is just fine."
"So, what's the problem?" she demanded. "Why do the three of you look so gloomy?"
"Bella," Carlisle said. "I heard from Aro today. He's approved your change."
"Really? That's great news!" She smiled at me. "This is what we've been waiting for. I can be yours forever."
"And, that's still what you want?" I asked.
"Can't you feel it's what I want?" she inquired.
"I can, but Edward seems to think that your thoughts don't match your emotions," I said.
She turned and looked at him. "Edward, why are you so against this?"
"I'm not, love, but I just want you to be sure," he said, but then he stopped and I knew he was listening to her thoughts.
"And, you're really sure?" he asked.
"Yes," she told him. "You know I am."
"I can feel that, Bella," I said.
"I'm ready today." She smiled, and I felt relieved.
Edward's head snapped in her direction and I felt his shock.
"What is it?" I asked.
Bella smiled and said, "Sometimes I wish that you couldn't read my mind."
"What is it, Bella?" I said. "If you changed your mind, I'll find a way to escape the Volturi."
"She wants this," Edward told me. "She wants to belong to you for all of eternity, but she has a request and doesn't want to hurt your feelings."
"Edward," Bella interrupted. "Let me tell him."
"What is it? You know I would do anything for you," I reminded her.
"I want Edward to be with us when you do it," she said. "He led me to you. He let me go and stayed my friend, even when we betrayed him. I'm in your world because he brought me here."
"And, you think it's only natural that he's there with you?" I said, knowing it made sense, but I didn't love the idea. "You're giving up so much for me, of course I'll grant you any request you want."
So, here I was, sitting in my old bedroom, absorbing as much of Bella's pain as I possibly could, while Edward held her hand and monitored her thoughts.
She continued to thrash and moan out in pain.
"What is she thinking?" I asked, not really sure I wanted to know.
"That she wants this more than anything, but it hurts like hell. She knows we're both here and she appreciates that you're trying to take as much pain from her as you can, but she wants you to stop. You've done enough. She wants to tell you but, every time she opens her mouth, all she can do is scream."
"Bella," I whispered. "You don't have to talk. Just focus on getting through this and we'll both be here when you wake up."
I felt her starting to settle down.
"It's almost over," Edward observed. "Her thoughts are less frantic now."
"I can feel that," I said. "I guess it's a good sign that she can remember us."
"Her mind is wired differently," he said. "It's almost as if she was mentally prepared for this."
"She had over two years to process it," I said. "Maybe it really is her destiny."
"I still have a hard time believing that," he said. "But, I know she loves you. Her thoughts are so happy and honest when she thinks of you. I've never heard someone else's thoughts as intense about another, as hers are for you."
"I know that's not easy for you," I said. "So, thank you for telling me that."
"I can't deny what you mean to her," he said.
"You also mean a great deal to her," I said. "I can feel how much she loves you. That's why I've never fought your friendship. She needs you just as much as she needs me. Just in a different way."
"I don't know what I would have done if I didn't have her in my life," he said. "I still love her as much as I did before, but being in her head and knowing that it's you she wants, makes it easier for me."
"I'm sorry that you have to hear all of that," I said. "If the situation was reversed and I had to feel how much she wanted you, I don't think I could be around her."
"You would, Jasper," he said. "You would do anything to keep her in your existence. Trust me, I know."
"I guess you do." I nodded.
For the next few hours, we sat in silence. I could feel everything Bella was feeling and Edward could hear all of her thoughts. She wasn't in as much pain as she was before and her body was gradually starting to change. I had done what she asked; I had made her just like me.
She was so brave, too. Before we called Edward into the room, we told one another how much we meant to each other and then we slowly connected by making passionate, intimate love. There was no urgency and no rush. I didn't care that the Volturi had given me a deadline. It was always about Bella and when she was ready. I held her while she slept and then after a couple of hours, I drew her a warm bath and sat on the edge of the tub and washed her back, as she told me what she wanted to do after her newborn phase was over. I'd do anything and go anywhere with her. It didn't matter to me.
She started to stir as Edward got up.
"She's waking up," he said.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"You two should be alone when she opens her eyes," he said. "She knows I was here the whole time. I'll come in when she's ready."
"Thank you," I said, as I pulled Bella closer to me.
"No," he smiled. "Thanks for letting me be here to help her through this."
"It's what she needed," I said. He smiled, glanced at Bella and then left us alone. I continued to hold her close to me, whispering soothing words in her ear, trying to coax her back to me.
"Darlin'," I whispered. "Wake up now."
She stretched out her body, but then moved closer to me, wrapping her arms tightly around my neck.
God, she was strong.
"Bella," I said in a calm voice. I knew she could be confused and scared when she woke up, so I continued to keep her tranquil. I pried her arms from my neck and sat her up in my lap. She shook her head back and forth, and I could feel her emotions starting to move into more awareness.
She slowly opened her deep red eyes and stared at me.
"Welcome back." I smiled.
"Jasper," she whispered. Her voice was raspy and raw and I knew, in a matter of minutes, her throat would be on fire.
"I'm here, Bella," I said. "I'll never leave."
"It's done?" she asked. "I'm like you?"
"You are." I laughed. "I hope that's okay."
She suddenly pressed her lips to mine and eagerly kissed me. That I didn't expect, but I went with it. I took her face between my hands and kissed her back with as much force as she was giving me. She was no longer fragile. The possibilities were endless. I could feel how much she loved me, how happy she was to be like me.
She stopped and squeezed her eyes shut, and I could feel her pain.
"Your throat burns," I said. "We can take care of that now."
"Will I know how?" she asked, and I felt her worry.
"It's instinctual." I smiled. "But, I'll help you."
"I love you." She smiled.
"I love you too," I said, as I stood up and walked her to the door.
"Wait!" She yelled, as she pulled me back toward her, slamming me into her shoulder. She was shocked at how loud her voice could get, and how strong she had become.
I turned and looked at her.
"It won't take long for you to get control of all of your new senses and abilities," I said. "But, you are stronger than me now, so you'll need to be careful."
"I'm stronger than you?" She laughed. "You're the fragile one now?"
"Yes." I smiled. "But not forever."
"Well, I'll be just as careful with you as you were with me." She giggled.
"Thank you," I said, as I took her hand and headed for the door, but she didn't move.
"Bella, we have to get you to hunt before it gets too uncomfortable," I warned.
"I know, but I have so many things going on in my mind right now. I can't process it all."
"It'll get easier, I promise."
"I trust you, but before I forget what happened during my change, I wanted to say thank you."
"You don't have to thank me for turning you," I said. "It's what I wanted."
"Not for turning me," she said. "For letting Edward be there with us. I heard the two of you together and it was a huge comfort to know that you were both there for me."
"It's what you wanted." I smiled.
"But, I also heard what you said about me loving him," she said. "You don't know how wonderful it is to know that you know I love him, but not the same way I love you. You're my life, I think you always have been, but I need Edward too."
"I know you do," I said. "And, I would never try to take him from you. I know who your heart belongs to, Mrs. Whitlock."
"It does, it always will." She gently kissed my lips. "Now can we do something about this thirst?"
"Yes." I laughed. "But, now you have a group of anxious vampires downstairs who are dying to meet you."
"Let's go!" She smiled, as she pulled me into the hall, and now I could feel she was filled with excitement and anticipation for the life that was to come.
When I climbed into her bedroom window a few years ago, I was the one who was lost and searching for a reason to exist. I had no idea that someday she would be that reason. I was full of just as much, if not more, expectation as she was. We had an eternity ahead of us.
***Thanks so much for taking yet another J/B journey with me.