***This chapter was hard, not just because it's the end, but because it's mostly narrative. We all know I love dialogue, but I felt this was the best way to do this.
***Jasper's Darlin' Kathy and Twi Carol…what can I say? They say that no woman is an island, and I couldn't agree more. The best decision I made in this whole process was getting the two of you to help me. Thank you for wanting to do that! I know I'm not the easiest author.
***A special mention to Kitty Cullen, Jasper's Izzy and NCChris for all of your support on this story!
***I've done an a/n at the end, but there are too many of you to mention here, but thanks to all of you who have offered me some support or kind word throughout this process. I hope that I responded back in a timely manner, and you felt my gratitude over your comments.
Twenty Years later…
I never would have expected that I would have gotten this far. Looking back at my life, I never would have believed that I was anything special. I was created to kill. My beginning was volatile and brutal. I took so many innocent lives. There were times when I killed just for the sheer thrill of it. I realize now that I didn't know any better. What I had done for Maria, I was taught to do. I now knew that every action I had taken in this existence served a purpose. I just didn't know how profound a purpose.
I knew my past was what brought me here today, but my life didn't start until Bella. I may have walked the earth for over a hundred years, but nothing mattered until that morning I found her in that lecture hall in Alaska. I still see it all so clearly…
"Bella," but as soon as I spoke her name, the shock went away and the fear kicked in.
"Wait… what are you doing here?" She stood up and tried to back away.
Of course she was afraid of me, after all, the last time she saw me I was going for her jugular. "Bella, take it easy. I'm not going to hurt you."
"Why… what are you doing here? Are you alone?" She was panicked and trembling now.
"Bella, may I calm you down? I can hear your heart beating so fast."
She didn't say anything, so I sent her a wave of calm and with that, she began to settle down. "Better?" I asked.
"Yes, for now, but you didn't answer my question."
"I moved here to get another degree. I had no idea that you would be here."
Her eyes began to widen, so I sent her another wave of calm. "Okay, Jasper, you can stop doing that now. Eventually I am going to have to feel what I am feeling."
"Sorry, I just don't need you freaking out before I can explain."
"Are you alone?" She quietly asked.
"If you mean am I with the Cullen's, the answer is no. I am here in Alaska alone."
"Then I won't freak out. It was just when I saw you, I thought I would be running into all of you, and that is something I just cannot handle." She looked down.
"Look, the next class is starting to filter in. Could we maybe go some place and talk? If you don't have another class, that is." I felt I owed her an apology for the last time we were together, and now seemed as good a time as any.
"I have a break in between classes. We could go get a latte, well, I could get a latte and you could watch."
I smiled. How nice it was to talk with someone who knew my secret. "That would be fine." We walked to the coffee shop, and sat at a small table by the window. Bella ordered her drink. She kept staring at me, as if she didn't think I was real.
I didn't know it then, but Bella would end up becoming my life. She and Cullen were my world, and I would do anything for them.
Once Mason was born, we lived out the next eighteen years in Seattle. We managed to stay undetected, for the most part. Carlisle continued his job at the hospital as Chief of Staff, and always managed to laugh off the jokes surrounding his family. Most people swore we had all found the "fountain of youth". If they only knew. It helped that Cullen and Mason continued to age, at least to the point of eighteen.
Edward and I eventually had to leave our jobs at the university. It was harder for us to stay unnoticed in a world full of college students. While we thoroughly enjoyed the teaching aspect, the female population never let up on us. I could constantly feel their lust, and Edward always heard what they were thinking. And, the rumors of how we had both found such young, beautiful wives, and gotten them pregnant at such an early age, didn't do much for our reputations. Many students had hoped that we would do the same for them. Again, if they only knew.
It wasn't as if we weren't busy after leaving the university. Training Cullen and Mason was a full time job. Felix and Demetri did the bulk of grooming them for the Guard, but Edward and I had to work on developing their gifts.
Cullen became quite the empath, and even learned how to block out emotions. That was something I had never achieved, no matter how powerful I had become throughout the years, there just seemed to be no way for me to turn it off. Cullen could feel when he needed to, but when it got to be too much, he could remove himself from it. I was a bit envious, but very proud. He was truly amazing. He had grown to be a strong, independent young man.
I was most impressed with his battle skills. He had a knack for fighting, and displayed it at an early age. I knew he had picked it up from me, but what shocked us all was when his second power developed. One day, at the age of ten, Cullen was training in the backyard with Felix and myself. We playfully charged him at the same time, and since he physically couldn't stop both of us, he took a page out of his mother's book, and moved us back with his mind. We were astonished. Not only would he be able to incapacitate with his emotional ability, but he could move objects with his mind as well. He would make quite the soldier. But, a part of me still struggled with that. I wasn't sure that was what kind of life I would want for my son. The only thing that put my mind at ease, was knowing that I would be with him to oversee his future.
Mason did inherit Edward's mind-reading skills. Claudia, Edward and Mason were so in-tuned to one another, and because they could read each other's thoughts, they were extremely close. They only used their gift when all three were in agreement, but for the most part stayed out of one another's heads. That was pretty impressive. Edward and Claudia married shortly after Mason was born, making Claudia a true Cullen. She was just as happy and content as Bella was in her new life. They formed a strong sisterhood, and helped one another in the task of raising crossbreeds in a house full of vampires. Luckily, Esme was with them every step of the way.
As predicted by Alice, Mason did become quite the tracker. He matched Demetri's skills, and that couldn't make Aro happier, because now he would have two remarkable trackers on his team. Of course, Aro always knew this, but watching our family grow and become so powerful was an experience for all of us.
Mason wasn't as strong a fighter as Cullen was, but his mental gifts were very impressive. At a very early age, Mason took to Bella, much in the same way that Cullen had taken to Rose. We all thought it was cute, the way he latched onto her and followed her around the house, and since Cullen was growing up, Bella loved having another baby to snuggle and nurture. Carlisle always felt that there was more to their connection, and he thought about it every chance he got. At first, he thought it was similar to the way Cullen gravitated to Edward. Carlisle felt that since Bella and Edward had such a strong bond, it would only be natural for Mason to feel that way, and I was sure that had something to do with it, but it wasn't until Mason was three, that we figured out what it was.
Bella and Mason were sitting at the kitchen counter coloring, while Claudia made the boys lunch. Cullen, Edward and I were sitting at the table, helping Cullen with the math homework Carlisle had left for him.
I could feel Bella's eyes on us, and felt how much she loved these moments. I knew Cullen felt it too, because he stopped and smiled at his mother every chance he got. Edward threatened on more than one occasion that he would have Bella leave the room, if Cullen and I didn't focus.
"You love them all," Mason told her.
"Of course I do," Bella smiled at him.
"You love me too," Mason said,
"Yes, I do. Haven't I told you today?" she asked.
"Not out loud," he said, as he continued to color.
Edward's head snapped in Mason's direction, and Claudia looked at Edward. I felt her confusion.
"Mason," Edward said. "What do you mean when you say Aunt Bella didn't tell you out loud?" He walked over to his son.
"She told me in her head, but she didn't use words," he said.
"You can hear inside my head?" Bella said.
"Yes," he said. "I hear you all the time. Sometimes you think the craziest things." He laughed. "Especially about Uncle Jasper."
Bella bite her bottom lip because she knew she was caught by a three year old.
"You can hear my Mom?" Cullen asked. "Even Uncle Edward can't do that."
"He can get around Bella's shield," I said. "Bella think something and direct it at Mason."
Bella stared at Mason.
"Of course I can hear you," he said. "And no, I'm not thirsty."
"You asked him if he wanted a drink and he heard you," Claudia said. "That's amazing. Your mind is so quiet to me."
"And me as well." Edward said, and I could feel a bit of jealousy coming from him.
I smiled and hit his back. Now you know how I feel when Cullen can turn off his empath power. You just have to accept that they are going to be more powerful than we are.
Edward smiled. "Well, Bella," he said. "It looks like I've finally found a way around your shield, after all of these years."
"No, Daddy," Mason said, as he jumped into his arms. "Aunt Bella doesn't want you in her head, so I'm not helping you."
"Really?" Edward said. "You'd pick her over me?" he asked playfully.
"She's prettier," Mason whispered.
Bella and Mason were connected because Mason could get passed her shield. That was just one more thing to add to what made Cullen and Mason special.
The boys brought much joy to all of our lives, but unfortunately we all did a really good job of spoiling them. Some of our actions had consequences. When they got older, and understood what we were and what made us different, we tried to put them in school. Carlisle thought it might be a good idea to integrate them into society, before we had to leave for Italy. He wanted them to have some normal experiences. It didn't work out as well as we had all hoped. After being kicked out of the third prep school in Seattle, we decided to continue home schooling them. It wasn't entirely their fault. They were extremely good looking, smart, witty, charismatic, rich and natural jocks. The other kids just flocked to them, because of their uniqueness. It was a lot for them to handle. Carlisle realized that the reason Alice, Edward, Rosalie, Emmett and I could do it, was because we were all older and had been at our vampire lifestyle for many years. Cullen and Mason were really only boys, dealing with unnatural circumstances. They had to deal with our lifestyle, while trying to be normal teenagers. We had several rough years in the Cullen household, especially when Emmett enabled their bad behavior. In one of the prep schools, Rose and Emmett even enrolled with them because we were hoping that would help keep them in line, but that didn't even work. Emmett was just as bad as they were.
Now, here we were in Italy. We had been here for two years, learning the ropes. Actually, Edward and I rather liked taking over for Marcus and Caius. It was very interesting, having access to every vampire out there. We saw things that I never dreamed existed. For the most part, everyone followed the laws, and most stayed under the radar. The more I saw how the rest of the vampire population lived, the more I realized how unique the Cullen's really were.
The transition went smoothly, and in the beginning, there really wasn't much for us to do, but as the months passed, I started to wonder if there was another way. Could other covens learn to be more like the Cullen's? Of course, Edward and Aro were always in my head. That was the hardest part, having the two of them constantly monitoring my thoughts. Aro felt that some of my ideas were intriguing.
"You want to see if we could convert the Guard to an animal diet?" Edward asked. "I like it."
"It will never happen," Aro said.
"Yes," Alice said. "I've seen it."
"What?" Aro said.
"Well," Alice said. "Not the older Guard. You'll never convert Jane, Alec and Demetri, but the newer members could learn."
"If we taught them from the beginning," Edward said. "Cullen and Mason could be the example."
"It has to be brought before the Elders," Aro said.
The Elders were a group of mature vampires who were wise beyond their years, and for good reason. It consisted of Marcus, Caius, Felix, Carlisle, Esme and Aro. I was working on getting Peter here, but he continued to fight me. He told me he was waiting until I stepped into my true destiny, before he would come. I never really gave his words much thought, until today.
Carlisle and Esme enjoyed sitting on the Board of Elders. I knew that Carlisle missed his medical career, but he knew that he had a new purpose. We were all going to be part of something much larger now.
Rosalie and Claudia opened up a boutique just outside the city, and spent most of their time traveling the world, looking for the newest designers. Alice was their biggest customer. They had formed a unique bond through the years, and enjoyed each other's company. They had much in common, and the shop only proved that further. Their knowledge of fashion and their keen business sense helped them to become very successful, too.
The most satisfied I had ever seen Emmett, when he wasn't with Rosalie that was, was when he was fighting alongside the Guard when we defeated Maria. He was at his happiest, and I had always remembered that. He was very involved in training Cullen and Mason throughout the years, and had learned so much technique from me and Felix. So, it was only natural that Emmett's path would be for him to join the Volturi Guard. He finally felt like he had a purpose. It made me happy that his strength and wits could finally help him fulfill his destiny.
Alice fully came into her power several years ago. She and Felix even returned to Italy before the rest of us. She became the official seer of the Volturi. Aro, Marcus, and Caius were very taken by her charm and talent. I felt how much they adored her. She was invaluable to them, and probably the reason the Guard hadn't seen a real battle in years. Alice always saw what was coming, and we were able to send Jane and Alec in, to diffuse any questionable activities.
I knew Alice had gotten around Bella's shield many years ago, but she said that she still couldn't see her true path. Bella always said that she was already living her destiny. She was my wife and Cullen's mother, and she had always been so content with that. I never felt any doubt or regret. The only time I had ever felt Bella's heart break, was when Charlie left this world. It was a sad time for all of us, especially because we had asked to turn him on more than one occasion, but he politely refused. He said that wasn't a life he wanted, and we understood. Aside from Bella, the rest of us were not given a choice, and most of us probably would not have gone into it willingly. Charlie would always hold a special place in all of our hearts. He was the only member of our family that we had lost, and that was very hard for any of us to accept.
I did convince Bella to go back to school. She balked at first, but then changed her mind. Cullen told her that it was time for her to do something for herself, so she enrolled in the local university. She was undecided, but enjoyed taking as many different classes as she could. No matter how old Cullen was, she still took care of him and hovered over him, as much as he would allow. He loved his mother more than anything, and would go to the ends of the earth for her. That was just one more thing my son and I had in common. But, Bella had given herself to me and Cullen so completely. She put her own life on hold, and I wanted her to have the opportunity to do something for her.
Edward and I became extremely close throughout the years, and I considered him my true brother. I would stand with him no matter what, and I knew he would do the same for me. Carlisle couldn't have been happier with our bond, and I knew he was relieved by it. I just hoped that he fully understood that he was the reason for our success. We could not have been the men we were today, without his love and support. He taught us the true meaning of fatherhood and because of that, Cullen and Mason would grow to become well-rounded, respected men.
Edward and I were settling into our positions, and finding ways to modernize the Volturi. We no longer required anyone to wear robes, unless it was a special occasion. As much as Aro wanted us all in the castle, Edward, Claudia, Bella and I decided that we wanted our own places, so Aro agreed to build us our own homes, a half-mile from the castle. It was perfect. Bella and I finally had our own place and we used it wisely, several times a day.
I received a letter from Peter this morning that finally made me realize what it was I was doing in Italy. Aro's words had always stuck with me.
It's not your destiny to take Caius' place.
I just assumed that I would be here to oversee Cullen, and that someone else would step into my place. I realized now that would be happening, but I wasn't going anywhere.
The time has come for me to join you in Italy. You know that I'm not one to go around forcing my gift on people. I still don't fully believe that I have a gift, but since you seem so convinced, I guess it's time for me to start accepting who I am.
We've been through so much together, but that was only the beginning. I've decided to come to you now, because I believe you'll need my wisdom more now than ever. Well, who the fuck am I kidding? I miss you, and I want to be there to experience your greatness.
Char and I will be there in a couple of weeks. Things will be clearer for you then, but in the meantime, think about the things Aro has told you. Focus on what Edward has recently pulled out of his head. You're smart, you'll figure it out. I could tell you, but why make it easy for you?
I shook my head and smiled. Cryptic bastard!
I knew I'd be taking Aro's place. He wanted to step down and oversee the Elders now. He felt it was time. I wasn't sure if I was ready to believe that, but Alice said it was time for me to accept who I was truly meant to be. As of right now, an unnamed third vampire would be joining me and Edward. Aro refused to name this vampire, and Edward tried to pull it from his head, but all he could get was that it was a very powerful vampire, and one we knew well.
At first I thought it was Peter, but after reading his letter, I knew better. I remembered the way Aro had acted, and the things he said and felt. I knew who would be sitting with me and Edward. It made perfect sense. The three of our futures had been mingling before we even realized it. Alice knew from the very beginning, but there was no way for her to fully understand what she was seeing. I remembered that day in Carlisle's study, all of those years ago…
"You knew from the beginning?" Edward asked.
"I told you that they weren't clear; just a glimpse of Bella and Jasper together, but then they would fade out. I figured maybe Jasper had a stray thought about Bella, or that she thought he was cute, and that would explain why their futures were always trying to come to the surface."
"Alice, I never thought of Bella in that way while we were together." I needed her to know that.
"Jazz, I know, but the visions kept getting stronger, even as Edward and Bella grew closer. Then, on the night of her birthday, after what had happened, I thought for sure that would have changed the course, but it didn't." She stopped.
"What did you see, Alice?" Edward asked.
She was hesitant, and I could feel some uncertainty settling in. I sent her a calming vibe.
She smiled at me. "I haven't felt this calm in a long time, thanks."
"Why don't you finish your story, Alice?" Carlisle suggested.
"After Edward took Bella home that night, and we got Jasper under control, I had a vision." She looked at me. "Of you turning Bella."
"Of course you did. He had just tried to go for her neck, a few hours before." Edward said.
"No, in the vision he wasn't attacking her, because Bella was a willing participant. She wanted him to do it."
It was so clear now. "That's why you didn't want me to come with you." I stared at her for a few seconds. "You let me go, knowing that I would end up with Bella."
"I tried to fight it that whole summer, but then I realized I owed it to you, to let your life take its natural course. I had to free you, so that you could eventually find Bella."
"How did you keep that from me?" Edward asked. "Why couldn't I see that in your head?"
"The earlier visions were easy to keep from you, because I didn't think they really meant anything and I didn't think about them. The one of Jasper turning her occurred shortly before we left Forks, and you didn't come with us. The few times that I saw you after that, I was able to block it from my thoughts. And, my later visions of the two of them, well, we know how that ended. You found out this morning."
"Why did you lead me to believe that Bella was for me?"
"Don't you think that I wanted to believe that, too? I was hoping I was wrong, but even after he attacked her, I saw that she was going to want him someday. I saw how happy they were going to be. Edward, she loves him."
Edward may have brought her to me, but he needed to form a connection with her, too. There had always been a reason the three of us stayed together. Yes, I now knew who was going to step into Caius' place, but I wasn't sure I was ready to share with my wife that she was going to sit beside me and Edward, once Aro stepped down.
Edward stood in the doorway, reading my thoughts.
"She's going to freak," he said, "But, it makes perfect sense."
"That's why Aro was so intrigued by the three of us, and why Marcus said he had never seen anything like the three of us."
"It's our fate, Jasper," he said. "We didn't go through all of this, not to have it end up right in the end."
"You're right," I smiled. "Now we just have to convince Bella that she is just as worthy, and as strong as the two of us."
Edward laughed, and I felt how amused he was.
"What?" I asked.
"That's all you, brother. Good luck."
I ran my hands through my hair, "Thanks," I said, and headed home to my beautiful girl. I had a lot of explaining to do.
***Sighs…that was very hard for me to write, but not as hard as hitting complete! When I started this eight months ago, Fate was supposed to be a twenty chapter story, but look how far we've come. I never imagined my imagination could do all of this, but you guys motivated me to spin this tale.
***Thank you all so much for taking this journey with me. Thanks to all of you who have been here from chapter 1 of Fate, to those of you who reviewed as often as possible, thanks to those who joined me after Fate and Love were posted, and for reading straight through to Hope to catch up. I've enjoyed meeting all of you, and I appreciate all of your feedback. I've grown as a writer because of this FF process and all of you. You'll never know what you guys did for me.
***Thanks for letting me "borrow" this family. I know how much you love them, and I really tried to stay true to them. I hope you like what I did.
***For those of you who missed it…I've expanded my o/s A Reason to Exist. You didn't think I could stop, did you? Chapter two is now up.
***Please continue to follow me on my blog for updates, recs and information on my new website. Cullen818 dot blogspot dot com
***Remember…outtakes are open to all of you. PM me and let me know if you'd like to do one. I'll even help you (if you want).
***Trilogy Fix – Keep me on author alert since I'm having a hard time letting go! I've decided to do a series of o/s based off the trilogy. I'll start with Fate and work my way up to the Volturi future. I hope this is something you'll all be interested in reading. If you have something you'd like to see, let me know. Thanks for the idea..TwiCarol
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