AN: I'm not sure how many readers I have left after a year long hiatus (and some change) but I have to say that I am thankful to the readers who sent me PM's and reviewed this story while I was away. The truth is that I was always going to finish this story, because this story, has become something that I love dearly, as well as the people who bother to read this and review it, because let's face it this story is a monster! So thank you my loves for sticking with me, dealing with all the emotion I put into this story, because if reading this story is a roller coaster, imagine how it is to write it! For a while I knew now what was coming in these last two chapters, espescially this one, and I needed to take a break because I wanted to get the emotion right...I'm not sure if it came out exactly how I wanted it, but I can't make you guys wait anymore. Thanks for your patience and support and of course your encouragement. Because of you guys I've been seriously considering trying to get published...not this story, because I wrote this story for ya'll, but something original and different, but of course has all these crazy things going on but is essentially about the characters, love, growth, and friendship. And I would like to dedicate this chapter to Lady Dream Speed because you're review really touched me. You seem really sweet and I hope that you find a good guy, someone who loves you, and is worthy of the awesomeness that you are!
Also, guys this chapter includes violence...and a character death. Dangerous words I know. One more chapter until the end...and the next one won't take a year, hopefully one to two weeks at most. Love, Maddie.
Disclaimer: I own absolutely nothing but Riley Briere.
Chapter 27- Human
Are we done yet?
Fuckin' Hell. How long could we fucking study for this exam? I was beyond ready to grab my shit and go. I swore that we had been in McKeldin for the last four hours talking about the same damn thing in circles. My mind was restless and I was starving like a mofo. I needed food, Edward, and sex, but not necessarily in that order. My stomach twisted at the thought of sex, because whenever I thought about it, it was like an electric shock tore through my body and my brain chastised me for trying to feed that monster.
Sexual gratification should be the last thing on my mind, after all, since spring break Edward's life had turned into a series of bad Days of our Lives episodes. It started with Esme and Carlisle telling him that they weren't his birth parents and that Elizabeth was his mom. And not to mention the whole twin thing. I couldn't imagine growing up thinking Rebecca was my twin sister and then my parents doing the jig and Harlem shake and singing 'Hey Jake we punk'd your ass. And PS you're not even our son! Take that bitch.'
The chastising was effective, my dick was no longer a concern, but it was still poking at my jeans. I sighed and looked down at my jeans. My dick didn't seem to realize that I had move on. No action buddy. My cheeks flushed with warmth as I tried to occupy myself with other thoughts...like the clear blue of Edward's eyes, or the deep emerald green when they changed color. The freckles that clustered like constellations around his nose. And the way he smiled shyly, the smile of a sweet southern boy, who picked peaches down in Georgia, and then came up to Maryland to both love and fix the mess that was me.
I smiled to myself. My furtive smile made the sharp-nosed girl with the beady lazy give me a look. Her breath smelled like garlic bread and sardines and throughout the whole study session any reaction, or lack of reaction had warranted a look from her. Now her unibrow was arched, like a bird flying across her five head, and her crusty upper lip, stained with dried milk...or whatever the fuck it was...was snarled a little bit to show the sexy shade of custard that was her teeth.
I passed her a look, and she looked away. The rest of the study session dragged on with me looking at the clock, tuning everyone out, and thinking about Edward. When everyone got up to leave including custard yellow sardine girl I accepted my fate. I came to McKeldin to study for finals. To improve my grade in a class that I would most likely get a D in, possibly a C at best...and now that D was looking D for definite.
But so what. I was alive. I was fucking alive. I started the semester as a candidate for AA, and I ended the semester with a new thirst for life, it sounded dumb as hell, but it was true. I didn't want to die. I wanted to live. I didn't want to mourn my life away anymore, or be sad, or swallow down my demons until the world became black and barren. I wanted the sun. I wanted air. I wanted to run, and enjoy the time I had. This new perspective, this life that Edward had breathed in to me.
That crazed smile graced my face again and I had to look down from meeting anyone else's eyes. I walked out of McKeldin and took in a huge mouthful of the crisp May air. It was one of those perfect days when the sun was out, the sky was a brilliant shade of blue, and students were everywhere on the lawn. Playing Frisbee, frantically studying for finals, or laying out in the grass. I rubbed Testudo's nose for good luck, smirking at the offerings students had given him for godly assistance in passing their finals. I rubbed the brass turtle not for good luck, because Testudo always gave me F's, but instead, because we would be parting company until sophomore year.
As I got ready to head back towards North Campus I saw a familiar face sitting in the grass, two familiar faces actually. Leah and Paul. I considered continuing on my way, but something stopped me, something pulled me in their direction, and once Leah glanced up, strands of dark hair flying in her eyes I knew it was too late to abort the mission.
Her hair was significantly shorter, she had a Rhianna bob going on, pre the whole dye my hair Ronald McDonald red look. I thought it looked pretty. She smiled at me. Her eyes were careful, but her smile was sincere. I nodded my head in her direction with my hands shoved in my board shorts, and I looked at Paul. He had on a cocky smile, a Jacob 'I still have no idea that you're gay smile' Leah probably hadn't told him yet. Or maybe he knew? I wasn't sure what was going on in his life, or Quil's and Embry's for that matter. This year had made us all strangers in more ways than one.
"How's it going Jake?" Leah asked.
"Pretty chill," I answered lamely.
Paul mimicked me. "I still say you got into a fancy college and turned all proper and forgot about the boys who made you." He playfully punched me in the leg telling me that he was joking, or half joking. "So you and Leah are really done?"
I looked at Leah.
"Yeah," she said tucking her hair behind her ear.
Paul looked down. "That's weird." His eyebrows furrowed and for a second it looked like he was going to say something profound, something well thought out, but then he just burped and said it smelled like salami. Leah looked at him in disgust and I felt a wave of pity.
I wasn't better than him, we were pretty much cut from the same cloth. In fact if Edward hadn't come around the sad thing was I probably would've became Paul. Stuck in Ellicott City on the farm, hating Brent and sometimes Rachel, but stuck under their roof, boozing it up, and wallowing in misery. No matter what Paul said, I knew he didn't want the life he had. Working as a mechanic. Living at his grandma's. Staying behind while his friends moved on to bigger and better cliché things.
Paul snickered to himself and then his eyes fixed on me again. He shielded his eyes from the sun. "You got somewhere else you got to be Black?"
Leah looked away from her book. She was pensive, but the kind of pensive I couldn't read. I was all too tempted to tell Paul that I would hang out with him when I got back to Ellicott City but Leah mouthed for me to 'stay' and so I did.
I sat down. Leah made room for me. My knee brushed against Paul's and he didn't bother to move. "So Paul what are you doing at Maryland? Are you hear to seek revenge for Bells shaving off your eyebrows?" I playfully smoothed down his eyebrows. "You don't look like Whoopi Goldberg anymore...but there is still some Jar Jar Binks in you."
Paul flicked me off. "Suck my dick Black."
I almost responded, "Sorry, there's only one dick I want to swallow...and horribly at that...and he's waiting for me in the dorm," But thankfully Leah cut me off.
"When is the last time we all watched Star Wars?" she asked.
"In fucking ever!" Paul said.
"Remember when Seth and Jake used to dress up to watch the movies...Seth was Anakin and Jake was..." Paul scratched his head. "Jake who the fuck were you?"
I blushed. "I don't remember this nonsense you're speaking of."
"He was Chewbacca!" Leah howled.
I passed her a look and whispered. "I hate you."
She affectionately squeezed my shoulder and her touch felt nice. Just because that touch wasn't laced with the feeling of wanting to shank me and walk away crooked, not run, but walk...because she wanted to see me bleed out for deserting her for Edward.
"I only dressed up because Seth begged me to. Ya'll were evil." I pointed accusingly at them both. "The kid was in tears because no one would play with him."
"Always a sucker for Seth." Paul shook his head with a smile. "Seth's number one fan, even if the kid got away with murder, Jake would be the first to defend him. Loyal as ever to a damn fault."
Leah chewed on her lip. "You guys should catch up sometime." She gestured between Paul and I.
"Yeah," Paul said massaging his forehead with his middle finger. "I hate all that mushy shit, but Jacob Black, I missed making fun of your ass."
"You missed me?" I asked.
"I missed making fun of you." He corrected.
I licked my lips. That was as close as I was ever going to get to Paul admitting that he cared. "Well I missed making fun of you too. Are you still massaging you're grandma's crusty eagle talon toes every night."
Paul grinned. "She pays me good money for that. I'll be able to buy a car...and a real car too with the money she's given me over the years. Better than that Rabbit you got."
I shrugged. "I love my Rabbit."
We sat in silence for a few moments. The sun was beginning to set slowly casting shadows over the mall and on the sidewalks lined with trees and buildings.
"I probably should be heading back home. I promised Seth that we would go out to a fancy restaurant, order something pricey and then run out before paying the tab."
Leah hit him over the head. "Hey don't get my brother arrested idiot."
Paul narrowed his eyes at her, "It will be exciting for Seth but not for me, because I'll pay the tab ahead of time." He smiled and gestured towards me, "Jake and I used to do that all the time, except we didn't pay. Even when he was pretending to be a good boy before the whole..." Paul trailed off and I knew what he was going to say was, 'before the accident'
Paul chewed on his lip and for the second time he looked at me seriously as if there was something else he wanted to say. "So you and Edward are butt buddies?"
"Jesus Christ." Leah snipped.
Paul looked at her, "Yeah. Seth is cute and all. But the kid talks. If you look up verbal diarrhea in the dictionary you'll find his face."
Leah crossed her arms. "Paul, just leave it alone."
"No." He held up his hand and he looked at me. Really looked at me. "First of all I knew Edward was gay from the second I laid eyes on him."
"I am going to go and get some air." Leah closed her book and stood up.
"Okay, or you could just say you don't want to be here for this talk because." Paul gestured around, "There is air all around us."
Leah flicked him off. "I'll be back." She gestured towards her purse. "Don't eat all my Geneva cookies or I'll fuck you up."
Paul reached for her purse, but she snatched it up, and then hit him in the head with it. The purse jingled like there were rocks and bricks in it, and he stared back at her like a wounded puppy. With that Leah the warrior sauntered away, hard as stone on the outside, but soft and understanding on the inside, whenever she decided that it was time to concede.
I licked my lips and cracked my knuckles. My hands were clammy and suddenly shaking. I didn't care what anyone thought of me. I was with Edward and I loved him to death. He was everything to me and if Paul couldn't understand that then he was nothing to me. I defensively rattled off an extensive list of all the things I could say to Paul if he attacked my relationship.
We hadn't talked in a while so I didn't care what he thought. 2.) If I had to choose Edward over him. I'd choose Edward. In a second. 3.) Paul was no better than Rachel. If he really loved me then he wouldn't make me choose. Because I didn't want to have to choose, even if I already knew it wouldn't be him.
Paul swallowed. I watched as his adam's apple bobbed up and down. That smirk on his face receded with the sun behind the trees and he looked somber. I'd never really seen him sad, like the kind of sad, where the only thing left to do was cry. Well with the exception of my mom's funeral. The day came back to me as I studied his face and the shadows and contours underneath his eyes struggling to hide all emotion.
It was cold even though the day before had been warm. I didn't speak much to anyone. I felt as if my heart had been ripped out of my chest. I just walked. Half felt. Half lived. Barely breathed. Didn't even eat. It was like an out of body experience, People talked to me and expressed their condolences but I didn't actually see them or feel them touching me. All I knew was that I was a kid. I was a kid who just the other day was too embarrassed to be hugged by his mom on the football field. A kid who passed up grocery shopping with his mom, and listening to her sing to Jackson 5's, I'll be there, in the car, because his friends were more important.
All I could think about was that she was gone. She was gone and never coming back. I had the rest of my life to live without my mom. And that was the saddest thing ever. At the funeral Paul sat beside me and Rachel, but he didn't focus on her, He put his arm around me. And there was something beautiful about that, because Paul was unemotional, a monster at times, completely insensitive, but when I needed him, he was there, and he looked at me. So sad and so honest. A look that read.
"If I could fix this Jake. I would fix it for you."
Paul's face scrunched up and he slammed his fist into my arm. "For the record Seth didn't just tell me. He would never betray you like that. He told me he saw you and I asked what was up with Mr. College Park." He pointed at me, and smiled again, but it was very sad, and then he looked away. "He didn't want to tell me and that fucking pissed me off. 'Cause you know what, I may be the last person you want to be trapped on an island with, but I think I deserve to know what's going on in my buddy's life even if I give him hell for it."
"Seth blew up at me. He told me that maybe you don't tell me everything because you don't feel like you can talk to me because apparently I'm the king of douches." Paul rolled his eyes. He scowled and then he looked around again. "I practically forced Seth to tell me the truth. I refused to leave until he did. I told him I would camp out in his room like I was waiting for a fucking million dollar check from Publisher's Clearing House to arrive at his door, and then he caved."
"He asked me if I could ever hate you. And I didn't even have to think. No. I couldn't hate you. Not ever. Because you're my fucked up brother, and I'm your fucked up...whatever, neglected cousin from West Virginia." He was speaking so fast, mouthing off, trying to get out all his emotions, before the clock struck midnight and he turned back into a pumpkin that all I could do was listen. "I guessed that you were gay with Edward because of the way Edward looked at you. He looked at you like he loved you like he really..." Paul's lips thinned, "I think it's weird Jake. Honestly..."
"Well..." I croaked.
"I can't wrap my head around you laying with another dude...it's just..."
"Not something you'll ever understand. I'm not going to force you too..."
Paul clenched his jaw, "Before you write me off..."
"I'm not writing you off. I'm just with Edward and I love him and I'm going to choose him..."
Paul's eyebrows furrowed and that somber look came again. "You know Jake, I'm an ass but sometimes so are you." I didn't know what to say. "I was never going to ask you to choose between me and him. I already knew that you would never choose me. Which is why I would never ask, but hearing you say it, just blurt it out..." He moved his mouth to the side. "I was going to say it's weird for me, and maybe I'll never understand why you want to be with a guy...but I love you to death, and I'll try and understand for you...over time."
I swallowed and I looked down guiltily. "Paul my defenses were up, I didn't mean..."
"Put those fucking hackles down." He passed me a weak laugh. "I don't blame you though. It's okay. I know you didn't mean it." Paul chewed on his lip. "Jake there's something I wanted to tell you too."
I rested my hand against my cheek. "You want to date Leah?"
Paul looked at me blankly and then laughed. "What! She's fucking Xena. She'll have me black and blue in the span of a month. She likes control to much...and I couldn't take a girl that aggressive 24/7." He chuckled some more. "No I don't want to date Leah," He reiterated, "But I do want to do something with my life. This year I had a lot of time to think while everyone was away doing something and I was stuck in neutral keeping company with myself. I don't want to be a forty year old nobody who is still living at home with his grandma, unmarried, and pathetic...I want to make someone proud of me. I want to be someone."
Paul wrung his hands. "College isn't for me but..." He moved his mouth to the side. "I think the Army is."
My eyebrows furrowed and I almost laughed in his face, but speaking of inappropriate. He was probably just kidding anyways. Paul in the army, nah, no way. He was too selfish and lazy to be in the army. But the look in his eyes told me he was as serious as Lindsay Lohan's comeback career, well maybe that was a bad comparison. "The army?"
"Hey don't judge me...you jumped ship way before me. From vagina to cock."
"You've always been so eloquent." I tilted my head to the side, "Do you even know what the army does."
"Jacob, I'm an American of course I fucking know what the army does. Blow shit up." He chewed on his lip. "I know I'm not the number one candidate for the army, but it's honorable. I liked GI Joe when I was a kid...and the movie was pretty awesome."
"No, it was pretty horrible. And GI Joe isn't the same thing. In the army you go to war, and you get guns, and you kill things, and things try to kill you..."
Paul seemed to think about it and then he said, "If I died would you miss me?"
"What kind of fucked up question is that?"
Apparently the question was a serious one because he stared hard in the direction of the Financial Aid building. Clearly, my suddenly emotional estranged West Virginia cousin needed me to say yes.
"Paul if you died I would probably cry."
He smiled, but that smile was gone in a second because he had a hetero reputation to upkeep. "Okay Jackie."
I let that one slide, because regardless of the team I was on I could still kick his ass. "You know what I realized..." When he didn't ask me what I continued anyways. "It's true, you really don't miss someone until they're gone. And even if you're a jerk douchebag ass face I don't want you to be gone."
"Now all we need is Oprah and giant spoons with Rocky Road to share." Paul said, betraying his hetero, to smile earnestly again.
"I want mint chocolate chip." Paul rolled his eyes and I patted him on the back. "So are you serious about this whole army thing?"
"I'm serious." Paul said. "You guys are growing up...and eventually I have to grow up too."
I watched as Leah made her way back over to us.
"If you go..." I licked my lips. "Even if after this talk we don't speak for weeks promise me you won't go without at least saying goodbye."
"And another thing...if the army doesn't throw you out on your worthless ass, and for some reason they decide that you're army material...promise me if you ever go to war..." I frowned. "Promise me you won't die on me."
Paul looked up and his eyes closed slightly. He looked sad. I could tell that the army was his last chance for redemption. He was getting left behind and he was aware of that. But in the end...everybody...even the nobody's...wanted to be somebody.
"I probably should be getting back," Emmett said softly as he stared back at the damp and naked boy beside him. He couldn't help but to marvel and smile at the fact that he had spent most of the day with this uniquely strange boy and he hadn't gotten anywhere near giving a blow job, or receiving one, and sex...well they hadn't gotten anywhere near that.
Rosalie said that he had a problem. He didn't know how to receive love so he gave it out frivolously like she charged her platinum cards...in effect saying that his ass was no more than a shopping spree. He never bothered to correct her that usually he was the top and only rarely did he allow his ass...to be plundered for the lack of naughtier words. Emmett sat up slightly and stared at Riley to make sure he'd heard him.
The silvery moon cast swathes of light on Riley's pale skin. His dirty blonde hair hung in his eyes, and somehow he had obtained bubbles and he was blowing them towards the moon, like an enchanted child. Emmett licked his lips and he fell back against the dock, folding his arms behind his head.
"I know I already said this but Austin, my little brother, would love you."
"Did you have fun today?" Riley asked.
Emmett turned his head to Riley and stretched out his hands towards the moon to catch some of his bubbles. "Sometimes you just need to get away."
"On a rocket ship to the moon. High up in the stars and past all the planets. Hey, what's your favorite planet?"
"Jupiter?" Riley guessed.
"No it's too fucking big...and it has all those storms."
Riley smiled. "Venus?"
"Too boring. What's yours."
Emmett smiled softly. "Somehow, I'm not surprised."
"So what happened to you Emmett?" Riley's tone softened.
"What do you mean?" Emmett asked confused.
"You spent the whole day with me, listening to me talk about goblins and planets. It's bit usual that a guy like you would be entertained with what I had to say unless I was sucking you off...and I haven't done that yet."
"Are you offering?" Emmett teased even though he had no intentions of getting head from such an awesomely strange soul.
"You're hot. Like really really hot. But it's not often that I meet a guy who could just listen to me talk in circles for half of the time. I can talk and talk and talk, and I get distracted by...oh look fireflies...and as I was saying. You've been so nice and you have a pretty smile and you asked me about Alabama and listened to my story about trees and Jasper likes you...which makes me love you...because Jasper doesn't keep friends, he's kind of antisocial and Grr...but..."
"Breathe, baby, breathe!" Emmett teased.
Riley stopped speaking and he giggled...he giggled like Edward and Emmett felt his heart lurch. He realized again, something that he had realized before, but hadn't been able to coherently rationalize. Riley reminded him of Edward in an off kind of way. He was patient, and he was kind...and when he looked at you...he really looked at you as if he cared to see who was hiding underneath. Emmett had many faces but he was sure only three people in the world knew who he was, Austin, Rosalie, and Edward, and now, he felt as if Riley could possibly get to know him.
It made him sad, scared, and happy at the same time. Because Emmett was used to being the jerk. It was the easiest role for him to play. But the truth was underneath all the layers of jerk, he was insecure, and maybe a little scared...and when Edward chose Jacob over him, that jerk side of him wanted to emerge more prominently and consume whatever humanity he had left. Because sometimes it hurt too much to just be...human.
"What's your favorite song?" Riley asked.
"My default answer would be Wild Thing but my real favorite song is Name by Goo Goo Dolls."
Riley sat up and he pretended to stroke an imaginary guitar and he sung along to the lyrics. He had a voice like honey that made Emmett drunk with the possibility of a cure. But the second Riley stopped singing Emmett looked away.
"Hey? You didn't take your insulin all day." Emmett remembered.
"Oh?" Riley frowned. "I guess I didn't."
"Take it right now...fuck you should probably check your levels...how do you feel?"
Riley stared at Emmett with blank silver eyes. "I'm okay."
"No, take your insulin, if anything happens to you on my watch then Jasper would kill me, and he's from Alabama...so I know he's good with a gun." When Riley didn't take any initiative to take his insulin Emmett got up and pulled the medication out of the bag. "Alcohol wipes...oh good. Ha, Jasper even though to keep it cool for you, he's like your mother..." Emmett smirked. "Or boyfriend."
"We just look after each other." Riley said. "Like how you're friend Rosalie looks after you."
Emmett stared into Riley's eyes. "Where is the last place you shot up."
Riley smiled. And pointed to a spot on his arm.
"Is here safe?" He touched Riley's arm.
"I think so."
"I need you to know so Riley."
The fireflies danced around them. Emmett lost Riley's attention as Riley reached out his arm to touch the fireflies.
"There is fine." Riley said dreamily.
Emmett cleaned both the needle and then spot on Riley's upper arm. He was careful not to get any air bubbles and he gave Riley his insulin shot. "That was my first time. I hope you live."
Riley looked down at his arm, his long blonde eyelashes tickling his cheek, and then he popped up quickly to plant a kiss on Emmett's cheek.
Emmett's cheeks burned, "Woah, what was that for?"
"I have a million and one post-its all over the place. Riley you cannot eat too much chocolate. Maybe none at all. Riley clean up your room. Riley remember, you always forget, you even forget to remember. Call Jasper because he hasn't called you. Remember, remember, remember, post-it, post-it, because if I don't remember I go into diabetic shock and hypoglycemia is really no fun..." He took in a breath, "And you remembered because I forgot."
Emmett's eyes softened. "When Jasper isn't there...who reminds you?"
Riley smiled but didn't answer.
Emmett bit the inside of his cheek. "You can't mess with diabetes. You..." He paused and he laughed in spite of himself. "Can't you tell I want to be a doctor?"
"Well you have awesome beside manner...well awesome beside eyes."
Emmett moved his mouth to the side. "You're a flirt you know that?"
Riley nodded. "I know." He brought his knees to his chest and stared out at the water. "I'm glad that I could distract you for a little bit. You distracted me too. I had fun."
"Me too," Emmett said rising to his feet.
"I won't forget to take my insulin anymore if you promise..."
Emmett placed his hands on his hips. The fireflies danced off the shimmering water, and the moonlight caught Riley's damp curls as he bent his head back to look up at Emmett.
"Promise me you'll let someone else see what I saw."
Emmett looked around. "And what did you see...besides my fourteen inch cock?"
"Well I'm sure I'm not the only one who's seen that." Riley smiled mischievously and then a certain innocence filled his big silver eyes. "Promise me that you won't hide behind your skin. Promise me that you'll smile...and make someone else see...one of the most beautiful things there is too see. You."
Emmett moved his mouth to the side and an unexplainable feeling of sadness came over him. Riley had said some of the kindest things today to him, in fact, some of the kindest things that anyone had ever said to him. Riley stood and he placed his hand on Emmett's shoulders, and his hand traveled down to his heart.
His touch was warm...and it felt safe. His touch was disarming. Riley leaned away from Emmett and then he leaned in again placing a soft kiss on his chest, right where his heart beat.
Emmett's lips quivered and he looked away because he couldn't believe the feeling of Riley's lips on his skin, right near his chest, touched him so profoundly. And then Riley did something else...clearly he was determined to make Emmett feel something, because he wrapped his arms around Emmett's muscular figure. Riley could barely hold him, but he wrapped him up, and he gave him warmth. Warmth and love.
The kind of love Emmett wanted from Edward, the kind of love he needed underneath it all...a stranger was giving him that. Emmett cleared his mind and he surrendered himself to the moment. He grabbed a fistful of Riley's hair holding him close, and he rested his nose in his hair.
Riley smelled like seawater and chocolate.
"Thank you," Emmett said. And he meant that thank you more than he had ever meant anything else in his life.
She had come so close to death today. She was on the edge of the building and she was prepared to jump. She wanted too...because she was so sure that death was the only way to rid the world of the evil monster she had become.
It almost felt unnatural to Jane to still be standing and breathing in air in the dorm room bathroom. She felt like she was in some alternate reality where she was saved and loved. All the things that she didn't deserve, because the truth was that she had been a horrible person. A person who cut down others, and sold out her friends, treated her brother like shit, and cursed a sweet girl, Alice, because she won the boy, the boy Jane had considered her unworthy redemption, Jasper.
She had done all these horrid things and by some grace of God she was still standing here. Her legs felt like angel hair pasta, and the tears wouldn't stop running. She felt alive and aware, and the sadness was almost unbearable, but it wasn't that unbearable where she felt the need to drive to Baltimore again and jump from the World Trade Center. The saddest thing now was how low she'd gotten today.
She hadn't realized she was that low, well she realized it, but it didn't really register that the end had come so close. Jumping to her death, The quick shot of pain, the unrecognizable remains. What would that do to Alec? He already lost their parents in a fire...her death would devastate him, she'd been so reckless, and irresponsible and wretched.
And sad. A sad little girl who thought the world was out to get her. A sad little girl who bred her misery and mistook it for love. A sad little girl...who wanted to live...who wanted to be human...who wanted to be forgiven...and given the second chance to apologize until she couldn't apologize anymore because she realized something insightful today.
When she was on that building and Alice ran up the stairs and burst through that door, she realized that no matter how awful she was there was someone, one person, in this world who cared despite all her sins, one person who cared even though they didn't have too.
As she stared back at her reflection, eyes circled with deep bags, tasseled blonde hair, and dull lifeless orbs, she saw the bathroom door swing open behind her. They wouldn't allow her to be alone. Even though Alice's parents were in her dorm, Alice still managed to alternate with Jasper to run an effective suicide watch mission. Jane assured them that she wasn't hiding any razors or poison to digest...but they remained on her like white on rice.
She was confused and lost. But their company, even if it was pity company felt nice. Because she felt cold and alone. And honestly she didn't want to die.
Alice took a seat on the edge of the sink.
Jane touched her cheek and met Alice's soft eyes. "I'm sorry."
"But I should because you..."
Alice placed her hand on Jane's shoulder, "Everything that happened in the past is forgotten."
"But you can't just forget like that." Jane looked down and sniffled. "I was a bitch to you, just because I..."
"Tried to kill yourself."
Jane paused and blinked away the tears.
"I would be the monster if I couldn't find it in my heart to forgive you after that." Alice's eyes misted. "Jane, you know about my friend Dylan."
Jane sniffled again and nodded.
"I was too late. He died...and he died horribly and I..." Alice exhaled and looked down. "I never got over that...and I don't think I ever will. But I guess I had to find some kind of peace with it, because if I didn't, it would eat me up alive, until there's nothing left. And when sadness wins..."
Jane wiped furtively at a tear traveling down her cheek. "I..." her eyebrows furrowed. "Something's wrong with me. I'm not right. What I did...the things I've done...I just..."
Alice leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Jane. "I said I forgive you Jane. I forgive you, I forgive you, I FORGIVE you."
Jane allowed Alice to hug her until she felt nothing at all. She had cried so much today that she wasn't sure if she could cry anymore. Now all she wanted to do was collapse into her bed and imagine that all of this was a dream until the sun rose tomorrow. When Alice pulled away she jumped off the sink and reached for Jane's hand.
"You don't have to do this alone anymore." Alice led Jane out of the bathroom. The lights in the hallway were blindingly bright. Jane felt as if she was walking back into the real world. She huddled against Alice...because she didn't want to lose life, she didn't want it to disappear after she had just gotten it back.
Alice squeezed Jane's shoulder and she led Jane towards her dorm room.
"I don't want..." Jane started even though she wasn't sure what it was exactly that she didn't want. Maybe it was people, all those people watching her, and knowing how horrible she was, and even worse that today she tried to kill herself. Jasper and Alice were okay...but everyone...she didn't want everyone to know. She didn't want to see their questioning eyes, and their pity. She still too emotionally fragile.
"It's okay Jane," Alice assured. "We didn't tell anyone. Jasper and I are going to drive you home, but I just need to get him, okay?"
Reluctantly Jane nodded, she eased her hand out of Alice's though, falling back into the black space of near death and shadows. Alice's room was bright and bubbly. There were a lot of people there. The boy Alec liked...Emmett, Jasper, some blonde boy she didn't know, Bella, who was giving her a dirty look, Jacob, and Alice's parents.
Jane huddled into a corner.
"What is she..." Bella started.
"Has anyone heard from Edward?" Alice intercepted.
"I've been calling his phone for the last hour." Jacob said worriedly. His cheeks flushed. "I'll try again? This isn't like him."
"Jake." Bella touched his arm. "Remember he lost his phone and..." Bella gestured towards Alice.
"Fuck," He clenched his jaw. "So how am I supposed to reach him."
Jane studied the twin's parents. They hadn't noticed her at all. The woman was pregnant and about to pop. She looked like she was either on the verge of tears or breaking her water, and the father was patiently worried if there was such a thing. While Jane hoped they found Edward, she was relieved to have something else to worry and think about.
"Maybe he doesn't want to be found." The dad said.
"Esme, since we told him..." Carlisle paused, "He's still angry and confused and I think it's plausible with everything that's going on he isn't ready to talk."
"But we are still his parents." She said on the verge of tears. "No matter how angry he is with us, he wouldn't just leave without telling someone where he's going!"
"Guys," Bella jumped up from her bed. "This isn't Unsolved Mysteries or Roswell I'm sure Edward is fine. Maybe he's studying for finals?"
"I doubt it." Alice said, mirroring a fraction of the same concern as her mom. "He's been like a guard dog since I got attacked. He barely even lets me pee without his shadow trailing behind me."
Jane felt both Bella and Jacob look at her. Alice stepped in front of her blocking their glares. Jane's eyebrows furrowed. Wait. Did they think that she was the one that attacked Alice? A sick feeling permeated throughout her body. Did Alice think the same...
"Maybe he is studying." Jasper volunteered taking a 'be calm' front with Bella.
"Jazz and I will go to McKeldin." Bella volunteered.
"I was just there." Jacob spoke up. "I didn't see him."
"McKeldin is huge Jake, it's not like you can track his scent or you respond to his blood." Bella teased. "He could be there, in one of those little cubicles at the very top. I've seen him up there before, sandwiched in those narrow spaces with all of those old books." Bella said.
"That's a good idea Bella." Carlisle said. "Where else do you think he could be? Um...what about friends."
"You're looking at them." Bella said.
"What about Alec?" Jacob volunteered.
Jane's ears perked at the mention of her brother.
"Ed and that kid had some kind of drama project they were working on." Jacob's voice rose with inflection. "He's probably at his house or something? I can check there."
Alice turned around to look at Jane, "Is that okay?"
"What?" Jane whispered.
"If Jake takes you home?"
Jane nodded, because she didn't want to be anymore of a problem that she had already been. "I'll give you directions." Jane said quietly.
Once again both Bella and Jacob met her with hostile eyes. Clearly they both hated her. Jane looked down.
"Jake, she's on our side." Jasper said as if this was some kind of movie and she had abandoned her allegiance to Nazi Germany in exchange for the good guys. Jacob seemed hesitant to accept Jasper's comment, but when Alice confirmed by saying,
"She's our friend, just please, trust us tonight."
Jacob nodded, but Bella, kept that icy glare.
"Okay so where do you live Jane?" Carlisle asked.
"Finksburg...well, that's where our uncle brought an extra house. Kind of like a vacation stay." Jane licked her dry lips. I'm alive. But death was still cold on her skin.
"We should go." Jacob said very business like.
Jane could tell that he loved Edward. He loved him a lot.
"Em, could you go with him?" Alice asked.
Jacob paused. "I don't need him to go with me."
Emmett shrugged. "I want to find him too...and I don't want to just stand here so Jake I'm coming with you."
Alice walked over to Emmett and whispered something in his ear. Emmet's eyes connected with Jane, and he nodded. Alice tapped his arm and Emmett tilted his head towards the door signaling for Jane to follow after Jacob who had left them both.
"So he hates me." Emmett said.
Jane pinched her arm to force herself to try and respond back. "Why?" she asked flatter than she intended.
"Because I'm a homewrecker. I wanted his boyfriend...and he's all territorial."
Jane managed a weak smile. "My brother was in love with you."
"I wasn't in love with your brother."
Keep talking Jane. She pinched herself again to keep from falling into the coma of shadows and darkness. That purgatory world of the living and dead. She wanted to live. She wanted to live. She pinched herself again. Walk. Talk. Breathe. Smile. Talk. You're Alive. "Why?" Jane asked.
"Hurry up you two!" Jacob barked.
"Anything for you oh master." Emmett called after him with a dimpled smile. But clearly his mind was also elsewhere. He looked down at Jane. "Your brother..." He moved his mouth to the side. "I know you're his twin and all but the truth is that he tries too hard. He tries too hard to be someone he's not...I spent time with him...more time than I care to remember and I don't think he said one honest thing to me."
"He's honest." Jane said.
"I've caught him in lies." Emmett countered. "He's a lot of things but honest he is not."
Jane looked down, "If he lied to you...he didn't mean it. Alec has so much love to give...so much that he doesn't know what to do with."
Emmett didn't respond after that and Jane had to pinch herself again.
Enemy #1 was in the passenger's seat. Where is my fucking eject button. And enemy # 2 was hunched in the back wide eyed and depressed looking like someone just killed her cat. I was feeling a little hostile and on edge. Ever since Enemy # 1 got in my car, he was opening the dashboards and inspecting the car like he was about to do an appraisal and enemy # 2 was just mute. She was acting mousy and sweet, but I remembered how Chucky she was at that coffee shop when she thought I was coming onto Jasper and her head started to spin like Ursula.
The rabbit was too quiet so I turned on the radio. I perpetually kept the music on this old school 80's station, just because 80's music was Edward's dirty secret...and when I listened to this station it reminded me of the good ol' days, when Ed Monkey made his appearance, stoned on weed brownies, and he kissed me in the bathroom.
If I had a list of greatest hits. That night would rank pretty high. Not for the craziness, but for the closeness...a cool crisp night, huddled in Bella's truck, listening to Judy Branchstorm and her epic fail of a trying to be sexy voice, when she just sounded like an old man who smoked too much. If Edward was in the car I would probably mimic her voice right now, but he wasn't here, hopefully he was with Satan's other doppelganger Alec.
"So someone had dick for breakfast." Emmett spoke up out of the blue.
"Yeah, Edward's." I said vindictively. I almost apologized to Jane but then I remembered I didn't like her in the first place.
Emmett whistled. "Yeah Jake could you please remove the forest from your ass."
I gripped the wheel tighter, but didn't respond to idiot Emmett.
"You won okay? Edward chose you. I was never even a possible option. It was always you. Talk about an unfair triangle."
I turned on the radio, but Emmett turned it off.
"Yo, this is my car."
"Yo, I'm talking to you." Emmett said.
Jane might as well not even be in the car right now. I took in a sharp breath. I was on edge. Once again I admitted it. But Emmett didn't help matters.
"I want Edward in my life. I've given up on being with him and besides you're right for him, and he's right for you. I'm not team Jacob but I know that Edward is. He's my friend Jake..." Emmett frowned. "But if you tell him to stop talking to me, I know he'll do it for you."
I glanced sideways at Emmett. "Don't you have Rosalie?"
Emmett snorted. "I'm swallowing all my pride here."
I smirked...that smirk betrayed me. Fuck.
"Bella gave me the cliff notes version of Spring Break because Edward won't talk about it that much to me. He needs friends, and he needs you...and even if I'm not his boyfriend it doesn't mean that I can just flip a switch to make me stop caring."
I turned on the radio and this time Emmett didn't stop me. "Jane, how much longer am I on here?" I asked.
She spoke so quietly that I had to turn down the music. After listening to Take me Home Tonight I turned the radio back down. A few hours ago Paul told me he was enlisting in the army...or he already did...I wasn't clear on that turn of events, and now Emmett was asking me to be friends with my boyfriend who was kind of missing.
Emmett wasn't a threat. And honestly who was I to prevent Edward from being friends with him...all that mattered was that Edward loved me...and I could deal with all the rest. Even if the rest was Emmett.
"We aren't friends Emmett. I doubt we ever will be. But I don't make decisions for Edward. If you're his friend..." I paused. "Then you're his friend and I respect that." Before he could respond I turned back up the music.
Maybe I didn't hate Emmett as much as I thought I did.
Along the way I stopped in Ellicott City for gas because the tank was a minute from being bone dry.
Alice had said, "Please, don't leave her alone."
He drummed his hands on his jeans. Clearly something was wrong with her. He could see it in her eyes. She was far away and spacey. Emmett eyed Jacob in the store talking to the cashier. "I kinda feel like we're on a road trip, don't you?"
She smiled half-heartedly. The smile was broken.
Emmett's eyebrows furrowed and he shifted in his seat. "I know it's none of my business, but are you okay?"
Jane stared at him, right through him, and then she parted her lips. For a few moments her mouth just remained open, as the seconds and minutes blurred by and then she said. "I tried to kill myself today."
Emmett swallowed and all he could manage was an 'Oh,' he wasn't sure what to expect. But that, he wasn't expecting. She smiled somewhat pitifully to herself and then she looked down.
"Is that what Alice told you."
"No," Emmett said lowering his voice a little. "She said not to leave you alone."
Jane's eyes misted and she looked away.
Emmett watched as she pinched her arm. He thought about the doctor shows he used to watch with his dad. The shows were the patient was on the brink of death and the doctor had to think fast to bring them back. In a sense Emmett felt like she was flat lining. He owed nothing to Jane. But he understood what it was like to be so low...that for a moment a quick fix, whether that fix was drugs, sex, or death...felt like the only solution.
"Happiest memory." Emmett blurted out.
"What?" Jane said confused.
"You look anemic. You're zapping the life out of me. Happiest memory dementor, don't think just say it..."
She smiled, "Harry Potter."
"What are you talking about? I haven't read those books." Emmett denied with a smile because he read all seven of the books to Austin and that was one of his happiest memories. When Jane showed no signs of life he snapped his fingers, "C'mon entertain me."
"Oh um...okay." She looked down at her hands over her knees. "Autumn in Long Island before the fire. Hot cider with cinnamon bark, my dad playing guitar horribly, my mom doing something crafty with paints, and Alec...sitting by the pond and flapping his arms like the doves were."
"I love hot cider with cinnamon bark." Emmett said rubbing his stomach.
"No you don't," Jane said looking at him this time and smiling despite herself. "I may be suicidal but I'm not an idiot. You delivered that line with the certainty of a seasoned SyFy movie actor."
Emmett laughed and so did Jane. She laughed for longer than he expected, gripping onto the passenger's seat, and squinting her eyes, as her mouth opened to let the melody flow from deep inside the cage of her chest. And he laughed, just because, he could tell she needed to laugh.
Jacob opened the door and slid back inside. He looked between them and he passed a bag of food to Emmett. "You guys can say I'm mean, but you can't say I starved ya'll."
Emmett ripped open the bag of pork rinds. "Fuck, I'm starved." He crunched loudly and passed the bag to Jane. "Have some Ambrosio."
"No thank you." Jane said.
"Jane," Jacob spoke up.
Emmett stopped eating. He was worried that Jake was going to lay into her.
"Do you think it's possible that Edward is there...at your house I mean."
"You need to hear yes," She spoke clearly now, mustering whatever strength she had left in her tiny body. "So I'm going to tell you what you need to hear. Yes, I think he could be at my house. I think he's okay. He would call you if he had his phone."
Jacob turned over in his seat. "One more thing. What's up with the Jekyll and Hyde act."
"Cracker Jacks!" Emmett exclaimed shaking the box. "I want the toy!"
Jacob cast Emmett a salty look. "The very first time I met you you attacked me. And from what I know...you terrorized Alice Cullen...and I think you were the one that attacked her. Am I right?"
"Jacob." Emmett said.
"Just answer me Jane." Jacob persisted.
Jane reached for the bag of chips in Emmett's hands. "I'll have a huge headache in the morning anyways so why not?" She ate a few pork rinds. "I'm a wicked evil bitch who is so pathetic that I tried to force Jasper to love me." She shoved some more pork rinds into her mouth. "I knew I couldn't compete with Alice Cullen, just like you couldn't compete with Jacob...Emmett...I knew, but Jasper was so..." she ate some more pork rinds and her hands started to shake.
"Sometimes people wish for things out of their reach. Jasper was perfect. He was damaged and perfect and he saw something in me that made me feel special. He opened doors for me and spoke in this pretty southern accent and he said ma'am all the time." Jane laughed as a tear slid down her cheek. "I wanted him to fix me and love me, keep me for a while until I was all new and..." Her voice trailed off. "Alice took my dream. She took it and I wanted her to hurt for that, hurt like I hurt, but I didn't attack her..." Jane looked down. "I'm cruel but I'm not evil."
"I lost my parent's in a fire. They were burned to a crisp. I couldn't even recognize them...so why would I want to inflict physical damage on someone else...why would I want to make her black and blue...it would just remind me of my parents to a lesser degree...in pain and disfigured..."
Heavy again. Emmett rolled down the window.
Jacob reached in the bag and gave Jane a bag of gummy bears.
For some reason that made her cry.
"I'm sorry." Jacob said.
"Why are you saying sorry?" Jane murmured.
"Because I'm sorry I forced you to tell me that." He shifted the car into reverse and backed out of the parking lot.
Jane opened the gummy bears, "I think it's better this way...even though it hurts. To just let it out." She reached forward and asked Emmett to hold out his hand. Jane poured some gummy bears into his palm. "You?" she asked Jacob.
He shook his head. "Can't eat until I find Edward."
"But I said he was okay." Jane reassured hollowly.
"I know." Jacob turned back on the radio. "But I need to kiss him and then I'll know he's okay."
"Alec is home," Jane said as Jacob pulled up by Alec's car.
"Sweet. Hopefully Edward is in there with him." Jacob opened the door.
"Wait," Jane said softly. "I'm going to go in first and tell Alec that you guys are coming in. He hates it when I just invite people over without telling him."
Emmett arched an eyebrow. "What is he your dad or something."
There was an edge of comedy to his voice, but the brief moment of humor they all had shared felt so far away. It took energy to laugh again, and she didn't want to bring anyone else down so she politely asked them to 'wait' and then got out of the car.
Her shoes clanked on the asphalt as she made her way up to the door. The lights were off and the woods surrounding the house was so silent. Too silent. Jane fumbled for her keys and let herself inside. "Alec?" she called.
She dropped her bag down in the direction of the stairs and almost slipped. Jane let out a frightened squeal as she fell down to the ground. "Oww!" she cried. She bit down hard on her cheek to remedy the pain shooting down her legs. That was going to leave a bruise. She steadied herself by holding onto the end table. Once she was back on her feet she called for her twin brother again.
"Alec, this isn't funny? Where are you." With a labored sigh Jane flipped on the light switch. Her eyes adjusted to the light. There was a box in the middle of the floor. A box full of her things. Her artwork. Her old cheerleading uniform from high school. A photo album that she made back when she and Rosalie were best friends.
Before Alec told her that Rosalie spread nasty rumors about her. He said Rosalie called her a psycho and even blamed her for starting the fire that killed their parents. The rumors had hurt so Jane had retaliated in a way that had surprised her. She served Rosalie back the same misery by telling the whole school that during sophomore year Rosalie battled with bulimia...something no one knew except for Jane.
Jane was about to walk over to the box in puzzlement, but the dampness on the floor commanded her attention. The floor was covered with red. Jane gasped and drew back against the door. Puddles of what looked like blood led from the front door to the basement. "Alec!"
With her heart racing she carefully made her way down the stairs, completely forgetting about Emmett and Jacob waiting in the car for her. The basement, a place she didn't go to often was filled with Alec's things. His Edgar Allen Poe books, the cage of the snake he kept as a pet, his collection of his Swiss Army knives. There was junk everywhere. Old Machetes, Gay porn magazines and DVDs, various sexual toys, a chain? What the hell? She placed her hand to her throat apprehensively.
Something was wrong. She knew it. The butterflies were fluttering around in her stomach, and the light blinking on and off at the bottom of the stairs didn't ease her worries. Her mind suddenly took a leap for the worst. What if Alec was in danger? What if someone else was in the house? What if someone was waiting for her at the bottom...no, she was just being crazy.
"Alec?" she called again. There was still no response. Jane paused to pick up a picture on the stairs, a picture of her and Alec with their parents. Alec had his arms wrapped around her, and their cheeks were pressed together, but someone had altered the picture and drew devil horns on her and wrote...FUCKING BITCH over her head. She swallowed hard. Did Alec do that?
The pieces wouldn't fit inside her mind. Probably one of his friends did that. One of the many guys he brought over to the house. Yeah, it wasn't Alec. No. He wouldn't do that. But if he did...it was probably because she was a bitch to him.
Once she got to the bottom step she peered around the corner and what she saw...there was no time to think, no time to scream. All she could do was run. Horror. That's what she felt. Ice cold and threatening. The scream was lodged in her throat as she ran over to him. "Edward!" she murmured.
She had to pinch herself. She was crazy. She was delusional. Maybe Uncle Aro did need to lock her up because this couldn't be real...Edward Cullen couldn't really be beaten black and blue and tied up with rope to a rocking chair. No, no, no. She was losing it, she was going crazy. Jane balled her fist to her mouth. Edward moaned.
The world stopped. She was frightened but she had to see if this was real or not. She had to at least touch him to make sure she wasn't having a psychotic break. Rain started to pound down on the windows, lightning flashed violently against the black night backdrop. Jane reached out with shaking hands and she touched Edward's skin. He made a whimpering noise...and that noise was all she needed to know this was real.
She didn't allow herself to wonder why he was tied up down here. All she knew was that he was hurt. He was beaten badly, he lost a lot of blood...where was Alec? Did he do this...no, no, NO. He wouldn't hurt a fly...well...no. Jane shook her head trying to ignore reason. The reason that told her something was wrong when they were kids.
There was the mockingbird. And the gun he kept in his closet. And the dead rabbits he kept under his bed...but he had always been so sweet to her. He loved her. He was just different. Different but not evil.
The ropes were tied to tight. Edward whimpered again.
Jane stared back at him in horror. The thought of Jacob finding him like this ate away at her soul. He looked like how she imagined Jasper did after his father took out his aggression on him. Jane cried out because she couldn't get the knots out fast enough and an ugly gash on the side of Edward's head was bleeding.
The thunder crackled. That light at the end of the stairs swung back and forth. And the rain it beat down like a flood to end all floods was coming. Jane thought she heard slow and deliberate footsteps behind her but she thought it could just be her nerves.
"Hel..." Edward tried to speak.
"Shh," Jane pleaded. "You're okay, you're okay."
"You fucking traitor." His hands were on her the second he spoke. With brutal force he roughly pushed her out of the way. Jane went crashing into a mirror leaning against the wall. She groaned and her head collided with a bookshelf on her way down to the ground. Blood filled her mouth and a sharp ache of pain traveled throughout her body. She slowly raised her eyes to stare at her twin brother...but his face...it didn't look like him.
His eyes were hard and as lifeless as a zombie's. His mouth formed a thin line and as she stared back at him she couldn't see a brief trace of what made Alec her Alec. He was like a shell...somebody else was inside of his body. Jane's eyes darted between Alec and Edward. Her mind was still desperately trying to find some reason for this madness...but the longer he stared down at her, stoic, and indifferent, the harder it was to convince herself that he wasn't behind this.
"Alec?" her voice was shaking.
"Alec?" He mimicked in the same tone making an ugly face.
Jane's eyes glossed over. "Please don't mimic me."
"I hate you. You fucking dumb ugly stupid bitch."
Jane's eyes widened and she drew back a little. Her lips trembled and for a second she was completely speechless. Why was he talking to her this way. Edward whimpered again. Jane shot her eyes towards Edward and then slowly a paralyzing fear began to take over her. The kind of fear that was much worse than standing on a building...seconds away from taking your life. "Did you..." she swallowed. "Did you do that to him?"
Alec smiled a little and cast a glance at Edward. "You know what I think Jane? I think it's ridiculous how pretty he is. I mean a guy shouldn't be that pretty. No fucking wonder I couldn't compete with him." Alec kicked Edward in the knee. "He's ugly now right?"
Jane sucked in a mouthful of air. "Alec," she spoke measured to hide her alarm.
"You." He pointed at his sister. "You, were going to let him go."
"He needs to go to the hospital." Jane said.
"You need to mind your fucking business."
"What's wrong with you?" Jane stammered.
Alec snickered and he started to pace around. Jane's eyes darted around the place, looking for something. Just in case Alec tried to hurt Edward. She couldn't imagine striking her own brother, but something was wrong with him...whether it was drugs or...she didn't know. But something was wrong. As he paced around the room, Jane spotted a fire poker sitting up against the fireplace.
"What's wrong with me? What do you mean what's wrong with me." Alec stopped walking. And he walked over to her. "You should know the answer to that miss perfect."
Jane stared into his hard eyes.
"It was always your show Jane. Everyone always loved you more than me."
"That's not true...you're..."
Jane swallowed and looked down.
"I'm what!" He yelled suddenly and he slammed his fist into the wall.
Jane screamed. "You're deluded!"
Alec pulled his hand back and licked his raw knuckles. "..With. ME." His eyebrows furrowed and his lips twisted in rage. "So now she tells me how she really feels. I always knew you thought you were better than me you fucking bitch."
"Alec, please." Jane quivered. "Edward..."
"Fuck Edward!" Alec shot up and grabbed Edward by his hair. "Why don't I do us all a favor and slit his fucking throat right now."
"Stop!" Jane cried standing up. "Please."
"Jane?" Emmett called from upstairs.
Alec's eyes shot towards the ceiling. And something registered in his eyes. It looked like pain...but that pain was gone in a phantom second. "Oh look, one of the whore's boyfriend's is looking for him." Alec smirked.
Jane inched towards the fire poker. There was a part of her that still believed this wasn't real...because it was too bizarre, but she was coming down from the cloud. Alec was crazy. The tragedy of admitting what she had always known underneath all the heartbreak was devastating, but she would have to deal with that later. She had to stand up. He was her twin brother. Her problem. Edward and Jacob's life was turned upside down because of them. She had to stop this...give these people back their lives...so she and Alec could get help.
Because they needed help...and now that her eyes were wide awake and open she understood the signs. The reason why her parent's shipped Alec away during the summer and not her, they said he was going to camp, but now all these years later...she wondered what camp really meant.
"We're down here." Alec called calmly.
Jane's eyes widened in horror at the level tone in his voice.
"Jane," He turned around. "What are you doing?"
"I'm stopping you."
"From?" He asked as if irritated.
"Yourself." Jane picked up the fire poker and held it out towards him. "I don't want to hurt you."
He smiled back at her.
Jane blinked. "I don't want to hurt you Alec." She repeated. "Move away from Edward."
Just to test her, Alec placed his hand underneath Edward's chin and tilted his head back. He grinned like the Joker. A dog howled somewhere in the background and the thunder slammed like a car racing full speed into a tree. Jane jumped but she kept her poker level.
"What the fuck..." she heard Jacob say from upstairs.
"We're waiting boys!" Alec called like this was some kind of main attraction at a carnival.
"Alec!" Jane begged. "Move away from him."
When he refused to follow her orders Jane raised the fire poker, but she knew that she couldn't actually hit her brother.
"Jake...no..." Edward breathed. "Please. No."
Alec stepped away from Edward, Jane sighed in relief because she thought that Alec was going to listen to her, but instead of staying in sight he slipped into the bathroom. Her eyes darted from the stairs to the bathroom, the fire poker was shaking uncontrollably in her hands. What was he doing in there?
Jacob came down the stairs first followed by Emmett. Jane stood behind Edward, wide eyed and terrified with the fire poker in her hands. Jacob's expression gutted Jane. His eyes bulged from his head and his mouth dropped open to the floor. He ran towards Edward and dropped down to his knees. He was frantically telling Emmett to call 911. And his eyes were filled with tears, Jake was bawling, and tugging at the ropes. He didn't look at Jane...and all she could do was stand there and watch as Emmett struggled for his phone. Jacob pulled at the ropes and cried and Alec...came out of the bathroom with a rifle and pointed it right at Jacob's head.
Reality was a clock ticking by ever so slowly as she flung herself at her twin brother. She raised the fire poker, as his hand pressed down on the trigger. She screamed and Jacob's head shot towards Alec but it was too late.
Alec whirled the rifle in her direction and the room shook with a fury of sound. The fire poker clattered from her hand and Jane stumbled back into the wall. Pain shot through her stomach...it felt like her stomach was on fire. Tears welled in her eyes as she stared back at her brother...and then looked down at the crimson blood blooming like a flower on her dress. Jane's mouth gapped open and she cried out in pain. Tears fell down freely from her cheeks, dropping like crystals onto the hardwood floor.
She brought her shaking hands to her dress and she removed them, blood coated her fingertips. Jane dropped down to the ground, the pain magnified...blood poured from her body, and all she could do was cry and sob. She felt dizzy and disoriented. She couldn't stop crying. Weakly she gripped onto the floor. With effort she raised her eyes to look at Alec. "You..." she coughed up blood and cried harder. "You shot me."
He stared back at her indifferently and then turned away the second Jacob rose.
"Alec?" she cried hoarsely. "Why...why did you shoot me...why."
He didn't respond.
She was beginning to weaken. Everything was shutting down. The pain, it was too much. Unbearable. But the sadness was worse. "Look at me." Jane cried. "I'm you're sister. I loved you. Why did you hurt me." With the next sob more blood came."
Emmett ran over to Jane, Alec stood back and trained the gun on him, but he didn't shoot him. Jane sobbed uncontrollably. Death was near. She could feel it in the way everything felt so far away. The lights...the storm...the pain...it was all getting so far away. As she sobbed Emmett huddled her in his arms. She could barely feel his touch...but she felt less pain.
"What the FUCK!" Emmett yelled as he cradled Jane's small body to him. "You just fucking shot your sister...you fucking..."
Through weak teary eyes Jane saw Alec point the gun at Emmett.
"She's not my sister. She hasn't been for some time. The truth is that I always hated her. I just used her...to get back at her. And I was the one that set the fire..."
Jane's eyes fluttered open and a choked sob came from her mouth.
"Stay with me Jane. Stay with me..." Emmett pleaded.
His hands squeezed hers.
Jane's weak eyes darted back and forth. "The fire...he set the..."
Emmett wrapped her up tighter. "You're okay, you're okay."
"I don't want die." Jane whispered. "I don't want to die..." she looked up at Emmett. "I'm scared. I'm so scared."
"Long Island." Emmett whispered shakily.
She was too weak to respond.
"Just think about Long Island..." she felt his tears on her cheek. And she wondered why it had to take this...this tragedy for her to realize that she wasn't in this alone...she was never alone. Jasper had always been there for her. Alice. And today she shared a laugh with Jacob and Emmett...and now...as the world was fading to black and everything was so sad...she felt happy...because she was dying...but she was dying in the arms of a friend. Someone who cared, someone who cried for her, someone who saw her as human.
Jane used the last reserve of energy to hold onto Emmett's hand as he talked about colorful autumns, hot cider with cinnamon bark...and she smiled. A warmness took over body. She felt no more pain or sadness. Just this feeling as if everything...everything was going to be okay.
Emmett planted a kiss down on her forehead and she relaxed in his arms to go to sleep. She heard her mom's voice ring in her ears like a gentle lullaby.
Go to sleep angel. Go to sleep my angel. The sun will rise tomorrow. And if it doesn't...you and me will dance together in heaven.
And she fell asleep to the sound of Emmett's heartbeat.