DISCLAIMER: This work of fiction is a non-profit, amateur effort and is not intended in anyway to infringe on the rights of Stephanie Meyer who created the wonderful Twilight Saga.
Having spoken to many of you via PM I decided to go ahead and write an Epilogue, this is set 'sometime' in Alice and Jasper's future and I won't pin it down further than that. I've tried to tie up all the loose ends and have to say, I'm happy with the ending, I hope you are too. So that's it then. We're done.
This is for Karen H and Debbie B who always wanted a Happy Ever After. For Helen (ItsTimeToBurn) for listening to my waffle. For Christine and Debbie M for their unfailing enthusiasm and support. For Debbie T for giving me encouragement and for sharing stuff. For Terry who helped me through the sexy stuff. For Debbie P who constantly tells me how great my writing is *blushes*. For all my FL friends especially Hirel, Debbie C (yeah another one) and Kirstie and for everyone who's come with us on the journey… THANK YOU.
Oh and Barb? Bananas!
Stop The Merry-Go-Round
Alice's Point of View
They think we, Rosalie and I, don't know about their sacrifices what they did to break me free from my old life, to keep me safe in my new one. They think that, by withholding the knowledge of what really happened that night, of what they really did, that they are protecting us. They're wrong. The pain-fuelled, pain-filled vision, that woke me screaming in the early hours and brought Rose running to my bedside, took care of that.
I was petrified, almost incoherent with fear and that over-rode my normal unwillingness to share that vulnerable part of myself I try so hard, even now, to keep hidden. I told her absolutely everything and in turn we agreed to tell them absolutely nothing.
We cried our crocodile tears when they explained how Jasper had 'fallen off the motorbike' and didn't suggest that it was odd that he was out riding at 2am and that Emmett was following him in the jeep. Neither of us fussed over his unwillingness to go to the hospital and although, when he'd undressed my heart had broken for him, I didn't question why his body was battered yet his clothes weren't even torn.
If they thought it curious, they kept it to themselves.
So now we all have secrets that we guard with a single-mindedness that we should probably find disturbing but we don't and it works… for us.
Emmett was lost for a while, closed off and distant from everyone but from Jasper most of all. Understandably he blamed Jasper for his pain. He is such a good man that what he saw… it changed him. It would change almost anyone. And yes, I know you know what I mean when I say 'almost anyone' but it doesn't matter to me, we each have our flaws, our idiosyncrasies, our weak spots and in spite of his, or maybe because of them, I love Jasper. I love him unconditionally.
Mostly it was the guilt that tormented Emmett I think. Guilt that he had knowingly left another human being in real danger of losing his life. Guilt that he had been forced to choose his friend over his enemy, Jasper over James. Guilt that he had turned and walked away. If James had died I don't know how Emmett would have coped but his relief when Leah contacted me, using the excuse that she had collected all my stuff and would send it on and let it slip that James was still alive, was palpable.
As it was, his shame was a burden that continued to fester away inside of him like a cancerous sore until the man who had once rescued me, was able to rescue him too. Edward. My other saviour. Edward with his ridiculous hair and his cat-green eyes, his beautiful, healthy wife and their adorable daughter burst back into my life with all the subtlety of an exploding bomb and for everything they gave back to us over the summer months, Emmett was by far the most important and I will be forever grateful to them.
Emmett has already forgiven Jasper and now he must learn to forgive himself. I know it will happen given time and he has all of us here supporting him, even if he doesn't exactly know it. Secrets, remember?
And he has his Rosie. She is an amazing woman and if Emmett is our bear then Rosalie is our lioness, the quiet courage she has, the calm strength of character all wrapped up with a bow of perfect, blonde-headed loveliness will be his salvation. Eventually.
The visions don't trouble me anymore, I haven't had one in over two months, not since I found out. Knowing what the future holds for us has made me reflect a lot on my past and I've come to believe that it was all leading to this. That I had to suffer the heartbreak of losing Bella to set me on the path to finding Jasper, the other part of myself, my soul mate. Bella will always be with me and I've made my peace with her now. I know she is watching over us. Bella was… is irreplaceable and so we will call her Isabella or maybe Izzy and when she is old enough I will share my memories with her of her precious aunt and in that small way, Bella will live on in all our hearts.
When he takes me in his strong arms tonight I will share my secret with him, and I smile quietly to myself as my final vision replays itself in my mind.
Jasper holds me gently as though I am a fragile flower whose petals he will crush if he tightens his grip. The gentle warmth of the late fall sun is slowly bringing some colour back to my too pale skin and I breathe deeply, relishing in the freedom of being home from the hospital… finally.
He kisses my head and I turn my face to his, seeking out his lips and he chuckles. It has been too long since we were able to touch one another and I miss his caresses. His eyes are sparkling and I know what he is going to say but I let him tell me anyway, his voice gruff with emotion.
"I love you Ali-cat. More than you will ever know."
Then he watches, in fascinated wonder, as our daughter suckles at my breast, her startling grey green eyes, so like his own, gaze back at him in silent adoration. They are smitten with one another already. He runs his fingers lightly over her downy hair, hair that is as black as the darkest jet, curls that are a finely tangled mess, an exact replica of both his and mine. Together we breathe in her heavenly scent, our saving grace, our angel.
Jasper's Point of View
I will spend the rest of my life trying to make amends for the devastated look on Alice's face when Emmett all but carried me through the door to the apartment that night. I saw the colour leech from her already pale cheeks. Saw her breath catch. Saw the haunted look in her eyes and I know, I know I can never take that back, not from her, not from Rosalie and not from Emmett… but I can fuckin' well try.
Alice and I are rarely apart now and as our bond strengthens so apparently does our 'other' connection and I am able to sense the ebb and flow of her emotions more and more. That's how I know she doesn't believe the bullshit story about my falling off the bike. She never did. And if Alice knows the truth I'd be a fool to bet against her having told Rose and I may be many things but a fool isn't one of them! So we don't mention that night. Ever. In my blacker moments I wonder if that means all our relationships are based on a carefully constructed web of lies with truth as the ugly spider and us as the flies, the bugs stuck in the lines of silk tugging to be free but only succeeding in becoming tangled even further. Would the loosening of one fragile thread cause us to unravel and fall apart? No. I don't believe it would. Each of us knows the truth, whether we choose to say it out-loud or not and that is vastly different from never knowing the truth at all. Lie. Live. Love.
One of the first things that Alice did after Leah returned her things was contact Edward. She had missed him so much and although I had to bite down hard on the jealousy that threatened to mar our first meeting how could ever I truly resent anyone who was so good for Alice?
If he thought it odd that, out of the blue, she suddenly wanted him to be a part of her life again he never mentioned it, not to her nor to me. I often wonder how much of the situation he pieced together for himself but that's all I do… wonder. I never ask and I never will.
It is impossible not to love the softly spoken Esme, even thinking her name makes me smile. She is pretty and petite and has large doleful eyes that hide a will of steel! She is only a few years older than Emmett and I yet she mothers us both, scolding us as easily as she does her adorable daughter, when we cuss too loud or step out of line.
Edward is good for Em' and I too. Over a summertime of barbeques and beer in the beautiful garden of their beautiful home we've become friends and it still amazes me, even now, how much Edward can get you tell him without actually realising what you're saying. Hazards of his job I guess. I swear it's like an informal fuckin' counselling session sometimes. But it helped and, most importantly, it still helps Emmett. He didn't walk away from that night unscathed and sometimes there is a desolate look dimming the light in his eyes, one that I hoped never to have to face in another human being. I know I'm responsible for putting it there and that kills something inside of me but not enough, never enough to make me regret what happened. My only regret is in involving him at all.
He's never said so and I know he never would but I think, for a time, Em' hated me for what happened. I want to tell him that it's okay, that I understand and that he couldn't have hated me more than I hated myself for what I exposed him to. But I won't because we don't talk about it remember? Not. Ever. He told me, back then, that the choice was his, it wasn't. Not really. Not from the second I begged him for his help. Bonds. Bonds of childhood. Bonds of friendship. Bonds… now cemented in blood.
Just when the anguish in his expression is about to force me to break our unspoken pact never to talk about what happened, Rosalie will appear. I don't know how she knows he needs her but she does and it is their love for one another that, given time, will heal them both because she is fighting her own demons.
Aren't we all?
The nightmares still plague me sometimes but not like they did in the early days… before Alice and I found each other. On the grim nights when they do come she is there to ease my fears before they can really take hold, because of her I don't wake up screaming anymore. I know now that the horror will always be there lurking, that some images will never leave me but I am slowly trying to replace them with new memories, banishing the old ones to the deepest recesses of my mind.
Every moment I spend with Alice helps me chase those shadows further away, allows my soul to infuse itself with her light, her goodness. I love her more than anything and it is a love that knows no boundaries, a love that will always trust in her, always be there to protect her. She is my redemption.
I made a promise to her once - that I would give my life for her and if it's ever necessary, I will. There are some fucked up people out there and yeah after what I've done I know the irony of that statement, trust me I do, but this promise is one I will never, ever break and because of that I don't let go of the darkness in me completely. Just incase…
A/N So there you have it. I know I've said it before but… THANK YOU… it's been f*cking awesome, as have you!
Don't usually do this as there are sooooo many great FanFics out there (go and check out my Profile for my favourite 15 to date if you want some good reading) but am going to pimp out xIt's Time To Burnx's story. It's her first one and it's Alice/Jasper, dead good too so have a little read and leave her some love!
http://www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/s/5885373/1/We are broken