The Forbidden Path by Kitty Cullen-03 & MaitresseSaint

Thank you to madmomof4 for buying Kitty and me in the Fandom Gives Back author auction! This is her o/s and she was kind enough to want to share it with the rest of you. Her donation was more then generous and literally had us in tears.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight

"Happy Birthday, Bella!" my wife squealed as she handed Bella her next birthday present. A CD from Edward-she made him swear to spend no money on her. Bella rolled her eyes, but accepted.

"It better not have cost anything," she warned, glaring at Edward. I smiled a little; she was as furious as a kitten. He gave a throaty chuckle.

"Not a dime," he replied, urging her forward. She pulled on the corner, slowly tearing the paper away.

"Oops…" What hap…


All I could see was red.

And it was wasting away as it dripped on the carpet. I could hear it, each soft plunk, but worst of all, I could smell it. My throat was burning…fire dripped through every pore. I wanted it.

I would have it.

I leapt across the small space; Edward thrust Bella backwards, knocking her into the table and Oh God more blood...waiting for me-all for me. The room was red and her smell was everywhere-it coated me. Consumed me. Begged for me.

Edward thrust me backwards, and I could hear screams, but I didn't care. I snarled and snapped at anyone near me, because I'll be damned if they stop me from this. Two arms locked around my torso, yanking my backwards-How dare you! I was being ripped away, but why? Why deny me this?

Then the air hit me. Oh. Oh.

"Jasper? Are you okay?" Emmett asked. I was frozen. "Jazz?"

"Did I just…" I couldn't make myself say the words. He nodded solemnly. Rosalie was shaking her head. I was afraid to let myself reach out and touch their emotions; I didn't want to know what I'd find. "Is she okay?"

"I don't know. Carlisle was going to fix her up." I nodded.

"Jasper." Alice approached, and I felt…nothing.

"Alice, I'm sorry. It was just so sudden, I couldn't help myself!" I rushed, trying to explain to her once again why I'm so weak, when she held up her hand to stop me.

"No, Jasper. I know. It's your nature. It's always been your nature. If anything, it's my fault-I brought you to this life. I shouldn't have tried to change you. I see that now." I wasn't understanding what she was saying.

"What are you saying? Alice, you're the best thing to happen to me! Don't think that you didn't help me." She was shaking her head.

"I know that, Jasper. I do. But it's not fair to you for me to keep…to keep trying to make you into something you're not. I need some time."

"Time? You want me to leave?" My heart deflated. I always did this. I pushed everyone away because I wasn't strong enough.

"No, I don't want you to leave. You need them. I'm going to leave, just for a while."

"But where will you go?" I whispered. I could feel anger-Edward must be coming. Alice could sense him as well.

"I don't know. Listen, this is for the best. You've got to learn to want this on your own, without me constantly telling you." I couldn't even speak. I just stared at her. She looked behind her, seeing Edward, and then flitted closer to me. She stood on her tip toes, kissed me lightly on the lips, and then took off. She was leaving it to me to tell the family. Edward approached me now and I knew he was reading everything in my head. He didn't feel anything but anger.

"I'm so-" he cut off my apology. His hands were clenched into fists.

"Don't. I'm going to take Bella home, and everybody else is going to go. We're leaving. I can't risk this happening again." How many lives will I ruin tonight? I watched him go back to the house, and I let myself collapse on the ground.

I thought about that day often. It's been a while now, but it seems like it was only yesterday. Alice had not come back; in fact, I haven't even heard from her in about 6 months. I remembered this in particular today because we were packing for another move.

But I remembered Bella every day. I didn't get the chance to see her again after the incident. At first, I was angry at her for causing my family to split up. For making Alice leave me. But the anger morphed into curiosity-what was it about this girl that drew us in? Was her blood so different? I began to think about the way she looked, her mannerisms, things that made her Bella. The blush of her cheeks, the way she pushed her hair behind her ear when she was trying to get out of something…

This quickly morphed into fascination. I wanted to see her again. Needed to see her. I thanked the heavens that Edward left to be on his own for a while, because if he were to see inside my head…

The family worried that I was pining over Alice as I stayed in my room. But that ship had sailed. I was pining over Bella.

"Jasper, why don't you take a break?" It was Esme's motherly voice that rang out, effectively bringing me out of my thoughts. She was leaning against the door frame of my study. I didn't have to be an empath to know that she was worried; it was painted across her features.

"I'm fine," I grumbled, looking at the mere three boxes I had packed over the course of an hour. I turned around to face the books that remained on the shelf, trying to decide what to box next. I knew we would eventually be coming back, so there wasn't really need for me to take them all. I felt Esme closing in on me and tensed as her hand came up to rest on my shoulder.

"We all know that you're upset, and not without reason. We're here to help you, dear. Please don't shut us out. I understand what you are going through. I miss her too. We all do," she said quietly.

While I wanted to be sympathetic, I couldn't find it within myself to do so. They didn't understand. They couldn't because the her she was referring to wasn't the her that I missed, the her that held my every thought.

The her wasn't Bella. I shook Esme's hand off and moved across the room.

"I think I should go hunt. I'll be back in few hours."

"Wait a minute and I will have Emmett go with you."

"No," I said quietly, omitting the previous harshness from my tone. It wasn't that I minded hunting with Emmett, I just couldn't deal with feeling another member of the family's pity. I ran out of the room before Esme had a chance to respond. I flew up the stairs, through the living room, and out of the front door as fast as my legs would allow. I slowed my pace once I hit the forest floor. The Denali National Park, the heaviest mammal populated park in the state, sat in our back yard. I wasn't really thirsty, but figured while I was out there I might as well attempt to soothe the burn that never quite dies.

I ran until I was a few miles out from the Nenana River, stopping when I came across a nice sized grizzly. Immediately I knew he was up for a fight, which was good because so was I. We circled each other for what felt like an eternity, neither one of us making a move. Each time I was ready to go for the kill I was assaulted by a familiar scent. The same scent I have tried to duplicate, imagine in my mind a thousand times. I shook my head furiously trying to clear it of whatever silly notion I had, but as the bear and I rounded our way deeper into the forest I knew I was not mistaken. She had been here, and recently. Suddenly the irritable grizzly before me didn't matter.

I quickly evaded my furry companion and took off into the woods in pursuit of that delectable scents owner. Running through that forest, I was sure I had lost my mind. There would be no reason for her to be here. Surely she's moved on, I thought as I pushed myself to move a little faster. My mind was reeling! I couldn't help but ask myself what she would be doing in Alaska. It didn't take long for me to figure out where the scent was leading me. I was headed straight to the home of the Denali coven. Once I realized that there truly was a possibility that she could be there I stopped. My family has always been close to the Denali's, however, there hadn't been much contact since moving back. The entire family had been torn over the missing members, Edward, Alice, and Bella. We knew we wouldn't be able to stay in Alaska long seeing as we had just relocated a few years before, but Carlisle and Esme thought it would be best, in case either of their children decided to come home.

Bella. Bella could be in Alaska.

The thought of her name alone was all I needed to keep moving forward. I ran the remaining short distance, and halted just inside of the tree line that separated the home and the forest. I tried to reach out and feel something, hear something, but through the thick stone walls it proved to be impossible. I walked towards the house slowly, terrified of what I might have found. I stopped short when I came upon the large living room window.


She was there, sitting at the living room table. Her body was trembling, but I knew it wasn't from fear. The girl in front of me wasn't the same girl that we had left in Forks. She looked sickly, too thin, and too pale. 'Is she sick?' I wondered as I watched Tanya take Bella's hand in hers, trying to give her some kind of solace; it didn't appear to be working.

As I stood there trying to make since of the situation, I hadn't realized that I had been caught. Tanya's eyes were trained on mine, and I knew it would do no good to run. I took a couple of deep breaths, hoping to calm my nerves, before heading to the front door.

Tanya met me on the other side, feelings of pity and confusion marring her emotions. I didn't have eyes for her-all I could see was Bella.

Bella, Bella, Bella.

She turned to look at me with a look of shock, her face streaked with tears. Her hair hung limply past her shoulders and her normally expressive eyes were dead. So many things I wanted to say…but I couldn't force anything out. Bella's emotions assaulted me, and before I knew what was happening I was buried in despair. The force of it knocked me to my knees. Tanya gave a quick glance at Bella and then followed me outside.

"Jasper, what the fuck are you doing here?" she hissed, barely above a whisper.

"I smelled her. I followed the scent, because I was curious. What the fuck is she doing here?" Tanya took a deep breath and motioned for me to follow her further away from the house.

"She came to me. How she found us, I'll never know, but…you saw her, Jasper. She's broken." I nodded, but that didn't answer my question.

"What did she want from you?" If I knew Bella, even a little bit, she wouldn't have come here unless she had nowhere else to go.

"She…she's asked me to change her. She feels as though if she becomes like us, she'll be able to…find Edward. She thinks that if she is a vampire, he'll want her. She won't be such a hazard any longer." I was stunned. Oh, Bella…

"And what did you say? Did you agree?!"

"I haven't decided yet. Honestly, Jasper, the girl is probably better off as one of us. But change her myself? Edward would never forgive me." Of course she would see it that way.

"Let me talk to her." I started to walk towards the house when Tanya caught my arm and spun me around.

"Do you really think that's such a good idea? She's half mad over your family already!"

"Just let me talk to her, Tanya. Please." I hit her with a wave of calm that was almost lethargic, and she reluctantly agreed. I walked slowly into the house and found Bella sitting exactly where she had been before. "Bella," I breathed, more for myself than to get her attention.

"What are you doing here, Jasper? Did he send you here to stop me? Why not come himself? I assume Alice saw this. Well you can go and tell him that it's not going to-" I raised my hand to cut her off.

"No. I haven't spoken to either of them in quite some time. I was hunting nearby and I came across your scent. And then Tanya tells me you're asking her to change her? Bella, you can't want that-not after you've seen what we are."

"Oh, yes the hell I can want that! It's the only way to…to make him love me again! Don't you see? And you of all people aren't going to stop me." She was staring at me like an indignant child; it was almost humorous. I was struck with a sudden inspiration. I wanted to be around her-needed to be around her .

"I don't want to stop you. I want you to let me do it instead." Her jaw dropped. I could spend more time with her this way; it was perfect.

"Okay, I don't want to sound mean or anything, but you almost took my head off over a paper cut. How exactly do you plan on doing that?"

"I'll need some time to prepare. Maybe…some prolonged exposure will help. Alice and I-" I almost choked on the phrase, "have a place near here; you could stay with me. We could take care of all the preparations, and then I can do it myself." Her eyes were narrowed suspiciously.

"And why would you do that?" Good question.

"If you think it will help you get Edward back, then maybe it will help me get Alice back." Lie. "She left me because I couldn't control myself around humans. If I could prove myself with this ultimate act of control, perhaps she would want to come back to me." It was too good. Too easy.

"I'm sorry, Jasper, I didn't know she left you." I just shrugged.

"So you see, this could benefit us both." I could still feel some hesitation. "Are you worried about the rest of the family? Bella, they'll never know. Not until you want them to, that is." The hesitation melted away and was replaced by a small inkling of hope.

"You think it'll work?" Not if I had anything to say about it.

"Yes. Just…let me do it. Please." I blanketed her in trust.

"Okay. Let's do this." She tried to smile weakly, but it ended up as more of a grimace. My guess was that she hasn't had a reason to smile for a long time.

All those months of wanting, and now she was mine. I didn't care if Alice saw this. Let her come. I would worry about that when the time came.

"Excellent. Let me go tell Tanya what's going on, and then we can go. You'll have to let me run with you; I didn't bring a car."

"Super. Just what I wanted." She rolled her eyes. There was the grimace again; but she wasn't fooling me. I could feel her, and Tanya was right-she was broken.

I slowly walked out of the room, trying to figure out a way to tell Tanya that I was taking Bella with me without her getting suspicious. I made my way into the kitchen where Irina, Kate, and Tanya were all waiting for me with skeptical grimaces. I should have known they would be listening. Each one offered up their opinion, or rather, their reasoning as to why I shouldn't leave there with Bella. 'Alice wouldn't agree,' Kate argued. 'Edward would be angry,' Irina said with a hint of arrogance. 'You could lose control,' Tanya insisted.

Nothing they said was going to detour me. She was mine, and she was coming with me. I thanked them for their hospitality towards Bella and promised to be in touch. Tanya's emotions told me that her concern for Bella's safety was genuine and that she would, in fact, make sure that I held true to my word and changed her. Once they realized that I was serious, that they were fighting a losing battle, they joined me in the living room to say their goodbyes.

As we walked out the door, I tried to make sense of what Bella was feeling. She wasn't frightened by me at all, just… distrusting. We walked in silence until we reached the edge of the forest. I got the feeling that she would have continued on if I hadn't stopped her.

"I remember you hated the run, so just keep your eyes closed," I said, trying to sound confident, but my tone betrayed me. She nodded and started to climb onto my back. I turned around, grabbed her by the waist, and lifted her so that her legs were wrapped tightly around my middle.

"Wha-" she began to protest.

"It will make it easier on both of us," I lied. Truth be told, I really just wanted to feel her warm body pressed against mine, to be able to memorize the way curve of her chest molded perfectly into mine.

"Lay your head on my shoulder; it will help keep the wind out of your face. We're not too far, so this shouldn't take very long."

She took my advice and rested her head into the crook of my neck. I heard her take a long shaky breath before I took off running. As we ran through the forest I paid careful attention to every movement, every sound Bella made. I don't know what it was about her that I found so alluring, but I wanted to, had to, know everything about her. When we finally reached the small cottage that Alice and I bought during our first time in Alaska, I reluctantly put Bella down. I reached for the key that we keep hidden above the doorframe.

"This is nice," Bella said, looking down at the ground.

"It's… it will do. I will have to go to the store. I haven't been here in years, so it's not stocked. Sorry."

I pushed the door open and motioned for her to follow me inside. Once we were there, I decided to take care of the dark cloud lingering over our heads. I asked Bella to join me at the dining room table and she quickly agreed.

The moment she sat down across from me I began, "I owe you an apology, Bella."

I was about to continue when she interrupted, "No! I told Alice, I didn't blame you. Please, don't do this right now."

"I don't think you understand. If I hadn't done that, if I hadn't lost control, you would still be with Edward. He wouldn't have made us leave."

"What… what are you talking about, Jasper? Edward left because he didn't want me; he told me!" She grew angrier with each word she spoke.

She thinks I'm lying.

"What reason do I have to lie to you, Bella?" I could feel her recognition. She let out a loud gasp and slapped her hand over her mouth.

"He was trying to protect me," she whispered almost to herself. "How could I have been so fucking stupid?" she yelled.

I was relieved that her anger was no longer directed toward me. Edward was a fool for leaving her. I knew I should have told her that he still loved her, but feared if I had, she wouldn't have wanted to stay. I wanted to defuse the situation, so once again I offered up a quiet apology before changing the subject to things that needed to be done.

"How long will you be gone?" she asked, pacing the floor in front of me.

"Long enough to pick up my car and some groceries. If there's anything you want in particular you need to tell me because once I'm gone we won't have a way to communicate." I could feel her skepticism. Did she really think I wouldn't come back for her?

"Why can't I just come with you? I don't want to be stuck here… in the dark…and… and what if I have to pee? Does this place even have water?"

I chuckled, "Of course it has water. We keep all of the utilities running in our homes." I took a few steps closer to her and reached out to stroke her cheek, "I would take you with me if I could, Bella, but the run is quite further than the one we just made. I'm afraid it wouldn't be very pleasurable for either of us. Please try to make yourself comfortable; my home is your home. I'll be back soon."

I needed to get out of there; I hated lying to her. Digging my keys out of my pocket, I turned around, and headed for the door. My own nerves started to surface as I thought about going back to my family. Would Tanya already have called them?

"Jasper," Bella called after me. "I wouldn't buy too many groceries. I don't plan on being human much longer."

"We can talk about it when I get back."

I ran quickly, coming up with a plan to at least attempt to get Bella's scent masked. I didn't want them to know about her; she was all mine. If I hunted and then stopped in for a change of clothes, that might just do the trick. The scent would be faint; not enough for them to recognize the source.

I took down and Elk about halfway to town, making sure I was messy. The more blood that touched my skin the better. As I hit town I ran by the closest clothing store and ditched the ones I had been wearing in the trash. I approached the house cautiously; was her scent still too strong? Esme was waiting for me with a worried smile.

"Do you feel better, darling?" she asked as I entered. I wasn't feeling any suspicion or surprise from her, so I think my plan worked.

"I do, thank you. So are we ready? When are we moving out?" The further away I could get them, the better. She turned and motioned for Carlisle, who was at her side in an instant.

"We are. Now that you're back, we could leave now." Carlisle called out to the rest of the family. Rosalie came down first, followed by Emmett who was carrying several large boxes.

"About damn time, Emo. Let's get the hell out of here! I'm ready for some city livin'." We were going back to Rosalie's hometown, Rochester, New York. We hadn't been back since she was changed, but she's ready now. I could feel her determination even now. I needed to hurry back to Bella-I would need an excuse to stay behind for just a bit.

"Excellent. Would you mind terribly if I followed behind you? I'd like to run up to Tanya's place…there's something I'd like to talk to her about." I felt confusion filter the room. It wasn't the best lie, but it was all I had.

"Can I ask?" Esme inquired trying to be polite, but I could feel her intense curiosity.

"She's…been alone for a while. I wanted to…talk to her about that, if I could." Tanya would know why I was lying, in the event that they called. I didn't think they would-they trusted me too much. Carlisle smiled in understanding as Esme came and gave me a gentle hug.

"Of course. Take all the time you need. We'll be waiting for you." She kissed my cheek as the family filed out past me. Emmett rolled his eyes. After they left, I grabbed a couple of outfits I planned on leaving and took them with me instead. I headed back towards town-I still had to get groceries for Bella. I grabbed a few days worth of supplies; I had to make her think I was going along with this plan. I was sure that I could delay her, at least for a little bit. As I got close, I could feel her emotions-she was drowning in grief again. What happened to her? I would have to find out why she was so broken.

She looked up at me when I entered, but didn't get up from the couch. She was feeling a little relieved-she was probably worried I wasn't going to come back. "I got you some food and a few essentials. I can take you shopping to get some more stuff whenever you'd like." And I could, now that we weren't in danger of being discovered.

"I guess. I mean, I don't have a lot of money, but I could probably afford to buy some clothes…" I raised my hand up to stop her.

"It's on me. I've got to spend this money somehow. And don't argue. I've got too much money as it is, I might as well spend it." She frowned, but didn't bother arguing with me. I sat down next to her after putting the groceries away, determined to figure out what had made her like this. I could feel her growing suspicion as I moved closer to her. "If I'm going to do this for you, I'm going to need to know why. What happened to you?" It was the easiest way to put it. I heard her take a deep breath.

"You really don't know?"

"I can only assume this has something to do with us, since you're bound and determined to be changed. But as to the details, no-I don't know."

"When…you all left, it broke my heart. I thought that he and I would be together forever. I thought that he loved me. I thought that your family loved me. I knew it was too good to be true-I mean look at me! I'm nothing special. So when he told me he didn't want me that day in the woods, it was perfectly logical. But it didn't make it hurt any less. And the rest of the family didn't even bother to say goodbye…that was almost as bad. Alice, at least-I thought she would love me enough to give me a reason." She was crying now, and it was killing me. "I tried to move on, I really did, but…I just couldn't. All I could think about was him and the rest of the family. So I finally gave up. I thought the biggest problem was the fact that I was human. I was breakable, and I obviously smelled too good." She raised an eyebrow at me. "So I came to the reasoning that if I was changed, then those things wouldn't be a problem anymore and maybe you all could love me again." I closed my eyes. This was bad. Worse than I had expected. I was on the fence-do I tell her what Edward said to us to make us leave? Tell her that he still loves her with every fiber of his being? On the one hand, it would make her desire for this much stronger-she'd stay with me for as long as it took because she would want it that much more. But on the other hand…it would make her want him. I wanted her to want me. In the end, I decided to tell her.

"Bella, there's something you need to know. When Edward came back to the house the night of your birthday, he determined that we were too much of a danger to you-especially me. He requested that we pack up and leave to give you a better shot at a normal human life. So we did. We did it not because we didn't love you, but because we wanted the best for you. And Edward did the same. He told you only what would make you let him go. He wanted you to be safe. But he won't be with you again as a human, you're right about that. He's too afraid of hurting you-he'll never be able to be himself." I could feel her disbelief before she even said anything.

"That's not true." I took her face in my hands.

"Yes, it is. But the benefit is now you know. So once I turn you, you can find him and be with him always."

"What about you, Jasper?" she whispered. Even if I weren't an empath I would have known she was concerned. I let my hands fall from her face, down to my sides.

"What about me?"

"I mean, do you ever think she will come back?"

"Alice?" I asked, shaking my head. "I hope so, but I doubt it." The look of pity adorning her beautiful face had me feeling rather uncomfortable.

"I think she will. She loves you." It was the most confident I heard her sound since finding her with Tanya.

"It's getting late, Bella. I think you should probably get some sleep. There's only one bedroom, but as you know, I don't sleep, so it's all yours," I said dismissively. I saw her face fall and immediately felt terrible, but I just couldn't talk to her about Alice without having to lie.

She nodded, looking down at the ground before picking up her bag and following me to the room that I once shared with Alice.

Bella had been in Alaska three weeks and her mood had improved considerably. We didn't talk much about our past relationships; I think she was afraid to mention Alice's absence again. I learned about her life with her mother Renee, and got a better look at her relationship with her father. I came to the conclusion that Bella's relationship with Edward was more about dependency than actual love, but of course I could never tell her that. He was her first boyfriend, the first person outside of her seemingly dysfunctional family that ever showed her love. It was the feeling she missed, not the boy.

While I didn't really want to, I ended up telling her about my time with Maria. I never felt any fear or disgust coming from her, only familial love and concern. She wanted to know about my human life, so I told her everything I could remember about my family and the time I spent in the Civil War. She always seemed to be hanging on my every word, but then again, it could have just been wishful thinking. I knew when I saw her at Tanya's that I wanted to be near her, get to know her, but spending time together made me certain that there was nothing I wouldn't do for Bella Swan.

My family had called a few times in that three weeks and each time I told them I was getting to know Tanya. Why they believed me I will never know, but because they did I had the opportunity to stay with Bella and that was all that really mattered. Rosalie was not pleased with my excuse and I worried that she might show up. I hoped that if the thought crossed her mind, Emmett, who thought it was great that I was 'getting into the succubus', would stop her. Alice had called my cell phone twice, but each time I would silence the call and leave the voicemail unchecked. I knew she would see, but had no interest in what she had to say; if it were really important she would have been in Alaska.

I was sitting at the table reading a book of Bella's I found sitting on the countertop when I heard her begin to stir. Her first week at the house she had trouble sleeping; she would toss and turn all night. The second week I finally decided to assist her, but never said a word about it. I would stand at her door for as long as she needed me, sending her wave after wave of serenity.

"Good morning, Jasper," She said, bouncing cheerfully into the kitchen.

"Morning," I responded, giving her a friendly nod. "How did you sleep?"

She walked past me in her short cotton pajama shorts, and I couldn't help but to enjoy the view. It wasn't until then that I really noticed how much better she looked. She had gained some weight and the dark circles were gone from under her eyes. Her pale face and regained some of its color; she almost looked like a different person. Like the Bella we had left behind.

"Really good actually, better than I have in years," she said, pulling the refrigerator door open and taking out the carton of orange juice. Her words brought a smile to my face. I was glad there was something I could do for her.

"Good. Would you mind if we talked for a few minutes after you finish your breakfast?"

"Of course we can. Is everything okay?" she asked, worried about what I might have to say.

I nodded my head and continued to watch her as she cooked her meal. I had to know what she wanted to do as far as her change went. We couldn't stay at the cottage forever and with Alice on my tail, I knew it was time to get things moving. She took a seat at the table, eyeing me skeptically. I gave her a small smile and motioned for her to start eating. Once she was finished eating she pushed the plate away and waited for me to begin.

"I was wondering when you would like your change to take place. I made a promise to you, Bella, and I intend on keeping it, but there are… preparations that need to be made." She stared at me with her mouth open wide. I guess that wasn't what she wasn't expecting, but I've never been one to beat around the bush. Originally, this was not what I had planned. I was going to keep her human long enough to change her mind, and then continue from there. But the possibilities from this far outweigh my original idea. If Bella is turned, then she will need a year in seclusion before venturing out to find Edward. She'd be too much of a danger to take on a trip. Therefore, I'd have her all to myself for an entire year-plenty of time to sway her.

"Oh! Ummm…how long would these 'preparations' take?" she asked, radiating shock. I noted a tingling of fear mixed in as well.

"The first thing we'll have to do is fabricate your death. You can't just disappear, or your father will look for you. It has to be final. Your family will get closure." She nodded at me. "Secondly…and this might sound unappealing to you, but I would need to hunt. And not animals." She pulled her head back and frowned.

"Why?" I knew she would have difficulty with this.

"Bella, you remember your last birthday, correct? Can you imagine what would happen if I were to actually bite you if I weren't completely sated? I would kill you. I need human blood to completely quench my thirst; otherwise it would be too dangerous."

"And there's no other way." It was a statement, not a question.

"Not if you want to live." I wasn't happy about it either, but it was necessary. I knew without a doubt I would drain her dry otherwise.

"How…where?" she asked, curious.

"Probably a hunter, out in the wilderness alone. Easier to cover up. I'm sorry about it, Bella, but if you want to be turned…" I said, giving her the option I knew she wouldn't take.

"No, I understand. It's just…ugh. I don't like it. But…it's what I want." I nodded.

"Another thing we need to discuss is after. You have to understand that you can't just wake up and start going places. You're going to have to be in seclusion for a year to become accustomed to your bloodlust."

"What?! A year? That's ridiculous." She was shaking her head, feeling dubious.

"You won't be able to control yourself. If you start heading towards a city, or town, you'll kill. It's an inevitable part of becoming a vampire."

"But you could stop me, couldn't you? I mean, just kind of drag me away?" I chuckled.

"I could, but I didn't sign on for that. It would be a constant struggle, and very uncomfortable for you. A year is nothing to us; it's not like Edward's going anywhere. Just stay with me, and I'll teach you what you need to know." She was still glaring at me, but she seemed to agree.

"So…we could do this whenever I want."

I nodded. "If you'd like, we could take care of the formalities this week-I've fabricated enough death to know exactly what to do."

I was efficient, that much was certain. Bella preferred not to know the details of her death. An animal attack was the easiest route to go; a body wasn't necessary. Enough blood with her clothes should make a fairly convincing scene. She was ready. I was on a hunt now, and it wasn't a hunt I'd been on in a long while. I was perusing the forest, trying to catch the scent of a lone hunter somewhere. It didn't take me long once I'd ventured out to find what I was looking for. I wandered up to an old cabin where a man in his 60's was starting a fire. I let myself take in his scent, relishing the fact that this time, it was mine. I couldn't contain the low growl that began to build as I approached him from behind. I wouldn't make him suffer; he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. I grabbed him by the throat, tilting his head sideways to meet my lips. He didn't even get the chance to utter a single word; his only emotion was shock. I bit quickly, drawing the blood in eagerly over my lips. It hadn't been like this in so long…it flowed down my throat putting out the eternal fire that hadn't felt relief in years. I gulped like a thirsty child-I wanted more. But this wasn't about that-it was about Bella.

I disposed of the body quickly and started making my way back home. She was waiting on the porch for me. She looked to my eyes first, feeling shocked.

"I told you what had to happen, Bella. My eyes will turn back quickly."

"What about…mine?" She said, finding it hard to make eye contact with me.

"Yours will take time. They will be red at first-much darker than mine. But over time, if you stick to our diet, they will turn amber first and then gold." She sighed. "Are you having second thoughts?" I asked.

"No. It's just…a big change. I've never known anything but being human-going beyond that is kind of scary."

"I'll be with you the whole time, Bella. I won't leave your side." I meant it. I didn't want to leave her side. Surprisingly, she smiled.

"I know. And I'm glad." She gulped. "I guess…we can do this. If you're ready?"

"As ready as I'll ever be." She led the way into the house, going straight into the bedroom. She was wearing a white cotton t-shirt and a pair of shorts, thinking that perhaps it would lessen the burn. I didn't have the heart to tell her it wouldn't. She lay down, and the fear rolling off her was unbearable. "Bella, is it alright if I calm you down? You're very frightened; I don't want to lose focus." She nodded. I sent her a wave of lethargy, and I felt better immediately. I sat down next to her and brushed the hair out of her face. She looked at me through the fog of emotions I created, and all I could see was her trust. She trusted me to do this. Me. I wouldn't let her down. I leaned towards her face, letting my lips brush her ear. "Forgive me." I whispered.

I bit her neck first. At once I could see exactly what tempted Edward so much; it was the sweetest blood I'd ever tasted. He truly did miss out. But I wasn't thirsty-the human had done his job. I moved to each of her wrists, the back of her knees, and finally to her ankles before I completed the circuit. Bella's eyes clenched shut, and her first scream let me know that the fire had started.

I kept my promise those three days as I watched Bella burn; I never left her side. Her pain was innumerable. I burned with her. But I stayed. And when, at last, her heart finally gave up, I was there. I held my breath and didn't move. I would do nothing to alarm her. She opened her eyes and looked at me.

"Jasper." Her first word was my name. It hung in the air like a lovely perfume. I would hear it in my head for the rest of eternity. She sat up slowly and turned to face me. Her eyes whirled around the room, taking in all the new sights and smells. "I didn't think you'd stay." She said, turning back to me.

Tentatively, I reached out to stroke her cheek. Her eyes closed. "I don't think you realize just what I'd do for you." I told her.

I was sitting on the front porch thinking about my time with Bella and how I wished that there were a way to freeze time. It had been three months since her change and things were going exceptionally well. To my surprise she had impeccable control over her bloodlust. I was going into town one day to do some shopping for essentials, when she asked me if she could come along. I hated telling her no, and doing it really didn't do much good anyway. We argued for the better part of that day; Bella insisting she wouldn't kill anyone and me arguing the probability of it actually happening. Of course, she won. A pair of contacts and a car ride later we were at the local drug store. She was relieved to finally be out in public again and she was right, she didn't kill anyone. I asked her later how she had done it and all she would say was that her throat ached, but the burning wasn't unbearable. I believed it was just another human characteristic that carried over. Bella had always been so compassionate.

Her first hunt went well, aside from the fact that she got messy, but that was to be expected. She truly was an amazing newborn, beautiful, gifted, and graceful. She was perfect. We had established a friendship and every day I felt her admiration for me grow. I loved our quite nights and playful banter and in my fantasies that's how it would always be, but I knew that once her year was up she would be off to find Edward.

"What are you thinking about?" Bella asks from behind me. I turn my head to the side, looking at her in my peripheral vision.

"I was just thinking about the last three months. It's been nice… here… with you," I said, trying not to let my emotions show. She walks over and takes a seat on my stoop. Slapping my leg playfully she looks up at me and giggles.

"There's no reason to be embarrassed, Jasper. I feel the same way. I've had more fun with you then I've ever had."

"Really?" I ask hesitantly.

"Yup. I think you're great." All playfulness was gone from her tone and her face turned serious, reminding of a conversation we had the week before.

"Would you like to come and read with me, Jasper?" Bella called from the doorway of the bedroom. I had just gotten out of the shower and was looking for something to wear. I stepped out of the closet, with my towel wrapped around waist, and sat on the bed.

"I was actually thinking that maybe we could watch a movie. I've been doing a lot of reading lately and wouldn't mind some visual stimulation." I lay back on my elbows and stared at her, staring at me. She stood there frozen and as she did I could feel the lust rolling off of her in waves. Her emotions were confusing; most people are afraid or even disgusted.

"Bella? A movie?" I chuckled.

"Oh God, Jasper, I'm so sorry. I… I…" she trailed off. She turned around and started heading down the hall, but I got up and went after her. She was cute when she was embarrassed, but I wanted her to know that there was no need to feel that way.

"Wait," I said, grabbing her shoulder. "Why are you embarrassed?" I spun her around to face me. She averted her eyes quickly, looking everywhere but at me.

"I'm so sorry. I didn't know you weren't dressed and I've never-"

"Ah, my lack of clothing is what bothered you," I said, teasing her slightly.

"Well, yeah! I didn't expect my first time seeing a man naked to happen that way." She was annoyed, but at the time it didn't register because all I could think about was the fact that I was the closest she had ever come to seeing a man.

"You mean you've never…" I didn't finish my question as the tables quickly turned and I was the one who was embarrassed.

"No," she whispered.

"Fuck, Bella, I'm sorry. I didn't know. I'm covered up if that counts for anything and besides, look at me. These scars, I'm shocked you didn't turn and run away." The sick thing was is that I like that I was the only man that she had ever seen and I knew that if I ever got the chance I would show her so much more.

"You are beautiful," she stated firmly, emphasizing her words by raising her hand to my chest and letting her fingers graze the cluster of scars left by time with Maria. I felt electricity crackling down my spine at her lingering touch. I wanted to pull her body to mine and crash my lips down on hers. It had been so long since I had been near a woman, especially one that I desired so much.

Bella and I stood in that hallway forever that night, before I finally got dressed so that we could watch a movie. I was confused for the next couple of days, not sure what the lust and her actions meant.

"How great?" I asked, trying to smile. I was really just fishing here, but it was all I had. She still wasn't smiling. She was feeling confused and a bit upset.

"Too great," she replied, in such a whisper that I had to strain to hear her-and that was saying something. I tried, and failed, to quell the deep feeling of hope that had sprung from her words. It was my chance, and I should take it. But rejection flowed around me like a parasite, and I was afraid it would completely consume me if she said no or pushed me away. She looked at me, still ashamed, with her big wide eyes and her perfect mouth, and then I just acted. I leaned forward and pressed my lips to hers-lightly at first, and then with more pressure when she didn't move away. I nipped at her bottom lip, eliciting a gasp from Bella. More pressure this time-I brought my hand and placed it behind her head, pulling her closer to me. Her tiny hands fisted in my shirt. Confusion and lust and joy hung like a cloud above me. But nothing mattered.

I was kissing Bella.

Until she pulled away.

She stared at me, eyes wide, lips swollen, and didn't say a word. I wouldn't apologize. I waited.

"I'm not supposed to feel this," she said, never taking her eyes off me. I'm only supposed to want him." She sniffed, and knew if she was still human she would cry.

"Have you ever thought that, maybe, you weren't meant for him?" I said. She frowned at me, thinking it over.

"No. From the moment he said he loved me, I knew it was supposed to be him. But now…" she turned away. I let my fingers brush the hair from her face just so that I could touch her again.

"But now you're not so sure?" I finished. She nodded, but still wouldn't look at me. I grabbed her chin and turned her to face me. "Bella. I want you. It's as simple as that. I've tried to keep it from you. But I can't. Not anymore. I want you to choose me, not him." I laid it out for her and handed her the silver platter that held my heart. "I would never leave you." Her eyes closed, and she sucked in a deep breath.

"I know." She closed the space between us and kissed me again. This time it was me who pulled away.

"You need to know that I'm serious, Bella. I want this. Us. And I don't want to hide it. You know what that will mean, right?" The family had been questioning me about my extended absence, and thankfully I had been able to throw them off. But it wouldn't work forever.

"We'll have to tell your family." She looked grim.

"And Edward will know. It will destroy him, Bella. He'll likely never speak to me again. He may put up a fight. These are things you have to be ready for. I need you to agree to this. Do you mean it? If you aren't sure, please tell me now. I promise I'll go along with whatever you want. Just…please." She had time to back out; to tell me she wanted Edward instead. I was giving her this chance.

"These past months have been…eye opening. I can see things differently now, and I see just exactly what my relationship with Edward was like. I was a child to him. Now, in my heart I tell myself that I loved him. That he was my everything. But…was he really? I was destroyed when he left, but now-now the hole is gone. I can breathe again, and I feel fine. So was he right? I could have a happy life without him. I can. You found me, and you gave me everything I wanted. You are honest with me. I have never been any less than an equal to you these past few months-even when I was human." She took a deep breath. "So…let's do it. Let's tell your family and Edward as well. I don't want to hurt him, but I can't keep lying to myself. I'm not human anymore, and I'm not a child." She nodded to make her point stronger.

"Okay." I smiled. I pulled her close to me, inhaling the scent that was distinctly Bella. "I'll call them. They've been wondering about me lately, as it is. This will shock them, you know that right?" I could see a small grin form on her face.

"Yes. But I'm not worried. Let's get this over with." I took the phone out of my pocket and dialed the familiar number. It was Carlisle who answered.

"Jasper! So good to hear from you. Are you on your way home?" Always to the point.

"Actually, Carlisle, I have…something to tell you. I've been keeping something from you."

"We had guessed as much. Are you able to elaborate?"

"It's got to do with Bella. Can you tell me who's in the house before I begin?" Here we go. I thought Carlisle would be okay, and Esme, but my siblings? I worried the most about Rosalie's reaction. I didn't want her to offend Bella.

"Esme, Emmett and Rosalie." He didn't say anything further.

"Okay. The thing is…Bella is with me right now." I found myself sounding like a bumbling child, afraid of getting scolded. I heard a sharp intake of breath.

"What's happened?" he asked, a sense of urgency in his voice.

"She…she's like us, Carlisle." I waited.

"How? Is she alright?"

"I'd prefer not to get into the specifics over the phone. And yes, she's fine. She'd like to see you all again."

"Of course. I'll inform the rest and we'll be on our way. Where are you staying?"

"In my house in Alaska."

"We'll be there soon." I heard the phone disconnect.

"They're on the way. I thought it would be best if we informed them of the details in person. Is that okay with you?"

She nodded. "Yes. I think I should tell them-otherwise they might blame you." I chuckled. Always looking out for others.

"I have no doubt in my mind that they will blame me. But what's done is done."

It only took the family a couple of days to arrive. Carlisle had called earlier in the day to say that they would be there by night fall, so Bella and I sat around, each of us feeding our different nervous habits, and waited. We decided it was probably best if we did something to pass the time, so we went for a walk in the woods. When we got back to the cottage Carlisle's black Mercedes was in the gravel drive. I felt a spike in Bella's nerves and put a reassuring hand on her lower back. I wasn't sure how things were going to go, but I knew whatever the outcome, we would come out of it together.

"What do you think they're going to say?" Bella whispered.

"I wish I knew, Darlin'." She snuggled into my side as we walked the remaining distance to the door.

I was about to turn the knob when the door flew open. We split apart just before we come face to face with Rosalie, fuming and resentful. Neither, Bella nor I say anything as we push past her and walk into the small living area where the rest of the family is waiting. Carlisle and Esme stood as we entered the room and Emmett continued to watch whatever show was entertaining him at that moment.

"I hope you don't mind we let ourselves in," Carlisle says, nodding curtly in our direction. He stared at Bella for a minute before narrowing his eyes in my direction. I shift uncomfortable, unsure of what to say. No one has addressed the fact that Bella is now one of us, and I wonder if they were somehow already aware.

"Not at all. I apologize for not being here; we needed some fresh air."

As I was speaking Esme walked over to Bella and took her into her arms. She hugged her like a mother would hug her daughter before turning to me and kissing my cheek lightly. Her presence was refreshing. With Esme there was no judgment being passed and she was usually the voice of reason. Once Esme stepped back and took a seat on the couch, Emmett jumped up and yanked Bella into his arms. He rarely mentioned her because of Rose, but we all knew he missed her. The familial love he had for Bella was some of the strongest I'd ever felt and if nothing else good came out of that meeting, I was glad that he got to see her again. Carlisle had on his business face, so I figured it was time to give them an explanation. Rosalie was standing in the doorway, sneering at me, but I did my best to not pay her any attention. Any conflict would have only made things harder.

I took Bella's hand in mine and lead her to the front of the room. I asked her if she wanted to sit, but she declined. She didn't waste any time, quickly explaining how we ended up together. Everyone, including Rose, felt guilty over what we had done. Leaving Bella the way we had was inexcusable, but it was a lesson learned.

"So, Jasper changed you so you could find Edward?" Carlisle asked skeptically.

"Kind of, I guess. This was my choice, and I was going to have Tanya do it anyway."

"I see. Well, Alice told us that you had become like us, but this… this is just unexpected. What are you going to do now, Bella? No one knows where Edward is. It could take you years, decades, to find him," he retorted, shrugging.

"Actually, I'm not planning on looking for Edward. Jasper and I… uh…" she trailed off. Before she had the opportunity to say anymore, Rosalie jumped in.

"You've got to be kidding!" she yelled, throwing her hands in the air and stomping her way further into the room.

"Rose-" I began, but she cut me off.

"How could you do this to Edward? To Alice?" Her hands were on her hips and her foot was tapping rapidly against the hardwood floor.

"Alice left me." I reminded her.

"Will everyone please calm down? One of you needs to explain what's going on," Carlisle says, keeping his voice calm and even.

"I'm sorry, Carlisle. What Bella was trying to say is that we are now together." I stood proud as the words tumbled from my lips.

"Congratulations. Oh, it is perfect. How could we not have seen it before?" Esme's statement was genuine. She was happy for us.

Carlisle wanted some time to process all the new information, so they were going back to the big house. Bella and I agreed to join them within a few days; we wanted some time to ourselves. I had a feeling they would be split on how to feel about us and I was right. Carlisle and Rosalie were concerned for Edward and Esme and Emmett glad to have Bella back. My hope was that eventually they would all be happy for us, but only time would tell. After the family left Bella and I sat around, both of us relieved to have the conversation over with.

That evening, without an ax hanging over our heads, Bella and I relaxed. She selected a movie, and we sat on the couch to watch it. Completely comfortable and very human. Bella snuggled up to me and I gladly put my arm around her. She tilted her head, leaned forward and brought her lips to mine. It was so innocent, and the emotion behind it was so pure. Her lips lingered there for just a moment before pulling back. A smile lit up her face as she looked into my eyes.

"What was that for?" I asked, bewildered.

"It felt like the right thing to do," she shrugged, but she was feeling coy. I could play this game. I pulled her face to mine and kissed her this time, with a little more pressure. She grinned against my lips, but I didn't let her move away.

"It felt like the right thing to do," I murmured, deepening the kiss. Her hands twisted in my hair, trying to pull me closer. She wasn't smiling anymore. I let my tongue run along her bottom lip, tentatively seeking permission. She let me, twining her tongue with mine. I wrapped my arm around her waist and pulled her onto my lap. In a flash, she twisted to where she was straddling me; the girl was a quick thinker! A low growl escaped my throat at the sudden delicious friction; she whimpered in response. Her fingers left my hair and trailed down the sides of my face, my neck, landing to rest on my chest…

Every bit of her was new to me. My hands worked their way around her torso, feeling the skin and the fabric together, until I could barely stand it. I lifted her shirt, just a fraction, so that I could feel her skin on mine. I felt her hips jerk slightly at my caress. I felt super-charged; like anything I touched would catch fire. Her fingers kneaded my shirt and her body was rocking back and forth. It was as if she didn't know what to do with herself.

Then I remembered she didn't.

I pulled back and looked into her eyes. "Honey, you're going to have to move or I'm not going to be able to stop. You have no idea how fucking bad I want you right now." It came out almost as a hiss.

"I don't want you to fucking stop, Jasper," she growled, and where this confidence came from I have no idea. But I would take it and be grateful. I wasn't Edward-I wouldn't stop. I pulled her shirt from her body in one swift move and tossed it on the floor. She gasped against me-an unnecessary human reaction-and then attempted to do the same to me. Only it ended up tearing my shirt into shreds in the process. She scratched my chest in frustration, and it left a mark. Fuck.

I lifted her up just high enough to slit her pants at the seam and yank them away from her. My pants were presenting a problem-I stood up, briefly, and pulled them down. Now the only barriers were our underwear, and it was maddening. I could feel her, soft and wet, grinding against my painfully hardened cock. I let my hands grasp at her breasts, still cloaked within her bra, her nipples hard and waiting for me. She growled, frustrated, and pushed my hands away as she pulled her bra from her body. I almost laughed at her impatience, but the sight before me quelled any laughter. Immediately my mouth began assaulting her nipples; pulling, sucking, licking-until Bella was practically quavering at my touch. Her back was arched as she straddled me, hissing and moaning and rocking her hips…

I couldn't take another second. It wasn't want anymore, it was need. And I needed to be inside of Bella. I clipped the sides of her white cotton underwear, allowing them to fall to the floor. I wouldn't bother with removing my boxers; I pulled my throbbing cock straight out of them. Her eyes travelled down between us, and if possible, her lust magnified. "Now, Bella. I have to be inside of you now." She only nodded. I lifted her up, positioning her, and pulled her body down to where I was fully sheathed. "Oh…" I couldn't help the sound. Feeling Bella-tight, and wet, and eager-surrounding me was almost too much. And she wanted me too, just as much; she wasted no time riding me into oblivion. I gripped the back of the couch now, unable to focus on anything else, as Bella bounced on top of me. You would never know this was her first time. She raised her arms, fisted her hands in her hair, and let out a long, continuous moan. The pace…oh, God, the pace…it was faster than humanly possible. I somehow managed to work my hand between us, swirling my thumb around her clit.

That did it. I could feel it; this first orgasm of hers. Her walls tightened almost painfully, she slammed down on me one last time, and screamed. I followed immediately, emptying into her and crying a cry of my own. She immediately fell forward and kissed me.

"If it was possible to be tired, I would be," she said, grinning against my lips. "Thank you," she whispered quietly.

"Why are you thanking me?" I mumbled.

"For not putting up a fuss. Trying to be all sensitive about…that." Oh.

"Well, you seemed eager enough, and I knew it wouldn't hurt-you being a vampire and all. And I don't know if I could have stopped." I said truthfully.

"I'm glad. I wanted it to be you, Jasper."

"I'm glad it was me too, Sugar," I said, pulling her into my side.

She curled into me and rested her head on my chest. We stayed that way for the rest of the night. The next morning when the sun came up we decided to get up, get dressed, and go hunt. We both found our meals quickly. Neither of us was ready to go back to the cottage, so we went for a run. The fresh air was exhilarating and I was grateful for the time to think. Things had changed in such a short amount of time. The woman I had longed for, dreamt about, was there with me. She wanted me. It didn't matter if it had been a day, a year, or a decade, it would always be a reality that would be hard for me to comprehend.

When we finished our run, we went back to the cottage. Bella went to get cleaned up while I called Carlisle to find out when they were expecting us. He told me that he would like us to come over that evening and that he felt like there were some things we needed to discuss. I asked him to please be respectful of my relationship with Bella, although, I knew he didn't approve. He agreed, so after we both had our showers and fresh clothes, Bella and I hopped into my Buggati and headed to the Cullen home.

We pulled up to the house and immediately, we both knew something was wrong. Bella had caught onto a scent that was unfamiliar and I had caught onto one that I knew too well. I never thought about vampires smelling different to humans then they would to us, but from the look on her face, she has no clue that it's him.

"Stay here."

"What?" she yelled. "Why?"

"Please, just… trust me," I snapped, getting out of the car and slamming the door. She did as I asked and stayed in the car. I hated keeping anything from her, but I was worried about what would happen when she saw him. Would she leave me?

I walked to the front of the house, feigning confidence. I tried my hardest to think of anything but Bella. I was sure that the family already told him what was going on, but I didn't want to add salt to an open wound. Edward did still love her; that much I was sure of. I only wished I had known how he would handle the news of our new found union. Just as I was about to turn the door knob, the phone in my pocket began to vibrate. I pulled it out and flipped it open. Alice. I groaned in frustration. It had been almost a year since I had talked to her and I really didn't want that to change, but decided that going into this situation blindly probably wasn't the best idea.

"Where have you been, Jasper? I have been trying to call you." She screeched before the phone even hit my ear.

"Hello to you too, Alice."

"Well? I've been calling you for months. I haven't had any visions of you and I've been worried." I hadn't thought of Bella's gift blocking Alice's visions. It was understandable that she would be worried, but not entirely justified.

"Oh. Really? No visions at all?"

"No. Not since you bit Bella," she hissed. It was apparent that she wasn't pleased, but that didn't matter. Alice made the decision to leave, so what I did was no longer any of her concern.

"I'm in the middle of something, Alice. If there is something you would like to say, spit it out," I quipped, trying to keep my voice calm.

"Just go easy on him, Jas," she said. I heard the other end of the phone go dead, leaving me shocked and confused as to why she wouldn't elaborate.

Not wanting to dwell on my phone call with Alice, I slipped the phone back into my pocket and allowed her words to drift to the back of my mind. I have never taken Alice's warnings lightly, but whatever was going to happen with Edward, would just have to happen. I didn't want to go back and forth. I didn't want there to be any question as to who Bella belonged to, who she belonged with.

I think about Alice and our time together as I walk into the house. It is the most believable distraction I could think of; Edward would never suspect that I was covering up my thoughts. I hear music coming from one of the upstairs bedrooms. Assuming that that's where he was, I ran through the house, trying to find Carlisle as quickly as possible. When I don't find him, or anyone else, on the lower level I run up the stairs and head for his study. Before I can get to my destination I hear footsteps and a door open behind me.

"Jasper," Edward calls, coming from behind me. I turn around slowly. He looks genuinely happy to see me, but when I reach out to gauge his emotions, he is confused.

"How are you, Edward?"

"Good. I'm glad to be home." He looked at me for a moment, trying to gather his thoughts. "This may sound… intrusive, but you smell like a woman. I mean, a woman that isn't Alice. Is there someone here with you?"

"I will answer you, but I really need to speak with Carlisle."

"They left shortly after I arrived. They said they needed to hunt, but they were hiding something." He crossed his arms over his chest, and looked at me expectantly. I wanted to shout from the roof top that it was Bella's scent that coated my skin, but no matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get Alice's words out of my head.

"How long have they been gone?" I asked as I began to pace the floor.

"A few hours. Why are you so nervous, Jasper? What the fuck is going on?" My eyes shot up to meet his. That was the first time I had ever heard Edward curse so freely. I tried to recall if there was something I did that would have given him a sign that there was something wrong.

"There's someone I would like you to meet, but I need you to promise me you will remain calm. She means a lot to me, Edward, and I will not let anything happen to her."

He nodded his head in understanding. He was still confused and slightly fearful, but I also felt determination. Edward had never been a patient person, so I was sure he was pleased to be finding out what was going on. "Stay here while I go and tell her what's going on." I was singing Farewell to Arms in my head as I walked away. I judged the distance from the car to where Edward was standing-not far enough. He would hear me. I approached the car and I could tell she was frightened.

"Honey, there's something I have to tell you and we're going to have to act pretty quickly. I know you smelled the male vampire when we drove up-that's why I had you stay back. You may not have recognized the scent, but I did. It's Edward, and he's here. He's waiting for me, and I have no doubt that he can hear every word I'm saying. Are you ready for this? Tell me no and we'll get in the car and drive away right now." Her breathing was coming in short gasps and she was clearly panicked. This wasn't supposed to happen now; not like this. "I need you to make a decision."

Bella got out of the car. I grabbed her hand, and I knew right then that I was going to lose a brother. Bella's grip was too tight, but I wasn't about to tell her that. We approached Edward cautiously; I waited for the realization to sink in. He stared, open mouthed, as he saw her for the first time immortal. Right now, they only had eyes for each other.

"Oh…" his breath came out in a whisper. The crippling grief nearly brought me to my knees. "Bella." He walked forward, slowly, and Bella allowed him the opportunity to brush her face with his hands. He was seeing if she was real.

"Edward." His name…it was poison coming from her lips, because she said it like she loved him still. But it didn't escape me that she hadn't let go of my hand.

"Who did this to you?" he asked, as if keeping her forever was a sin. My sin. His head snapped in my direction. "You did this?!" he asked in disbelief. I closed my eyes and nodded. I heard him raise his hand and pull back his fist; I waited for the blow. I would give him one. But it never came.

I opened my eyes, and Bella had her hand on Edward's outstretched forearm. She was pleading with him in a way only she could. And I couldn't be mad at him; how would I feel in his situation? Everything he feared had come to life in front of him. His soul was broken. I watched for an immeasurable moment as Edward stared into Bella's red eyes.

Then he shuddered and collapsed. At this, Bella let go of my hand and fell with him. She pulled him into her arms and let him sob. I watched as Edward's world collapsed and Bella tried to hold it together. When he looked up, he looked at her.

"Why?" he whispered.

"You." He frowned. "I wanted to find you, and it was the only way I knew how."

"I don't understand."

"Edward. You left me, and it felt like I died. I couldn't move on; I could barely function. So I drove to Alaska and I was going to ask Tanya to do it when Jasper came up." He was starting to feel anger again, but he hadn't looked back in my direction yet.

"What?! Bella, that's…" she held up her hand.

"It is what it is, Edward. Jasper interceded, and offered to do it himself. I left with him, and he explained everything to me. He turned me, Edward."

"And you did all this for me?" Here we go.

"At first, yes. But…now? No." She replied, and bless her-she hadn't taken her eyes off of him yet.

"I don't understand." At this, Bella's eyes touched mine briefly; Edward didn't miss this. I watched as he made the connection; why I smelled like another woman, and what I said before I brought her out to meet him. He was on his feet and had me by the collar before I could tense to defend myself. "Why did you do this? Why didn't you leave her alone?!" he snarled, rage in his eyes.

"I did it because I wanted to. It's as simple as that. She asked me to, and I did it. I gave her everything you wouldn't." I knew I had no right to be angry at him; he was only acted as I expected. But I was very protective of her, and I wouldn't have him mocking our relationship.

"You're relationship? He spat, lifting me off the ground. "What relationship? You bit her." Involuntarily, my mind played over the last several weeks with her. Bella saw his new wave of rage and stepped in.

"Drop him. Now. You need to let me tell my side of the story." He snarled at me one more time but let me drop. "Edward. I only wanted to find you, but I'm glad I found Jasper instead. He lets me make my own decisions. He treated me as an equal-human and immortal. And he loves me."

"Bella. Please. Please tell me this isn't true." He was on his knees now, in front of her like he was praying. And God, she was breaking to pieces, watching him shatter.

"But it is. I love him, Edward, and nothing will change that. You left me broken, and Jasper put me back together." He was shaking his head back and forth, trying to push the words away.

"You don't understand why I left! I left to protect you! Because I loved you, Bella. Did he bother to tell you that?"

"He did. He told me everything. And you know what? He agreed to turn me so that I could find you. And I'm glad it worked out the way that it did. Edward, if you love me-truly love me-you need to let me go." Again, he shook his head.

"I don't know if I can. Not like this."

"If it's what I truly want?" I watched him rise to stare her in the face, and I felt him. I felt him die. He leaned forward, kissed her forehead, and took in her new scent. And then, like the day he left her in the forest, he turned and walked away. Where he would go, I wasn't sure-but a reunion with the family wasn't going to happen today.

"Bella," I rushed to her side, "I'm so sorry. I had no idea. I couldn't properly warn you, or he would have heard. I'm so sorry!" I apologized again. She embraced me, running her hands through my hair.

"Jasper, it's not your fault. I'm glad it's over. Maybe someday we can be friends again." And she kissed my cheek.

I had never been a jealous man, but then again, I never really had anything to be jealous over. The thought of Bella and Edward being friends one day didn't sit well with me, but I knew that if it ever happened that I would have to trust her.

We didn't mention him again until the family returned. Esme and Carlisle were both disappointed by Edwards's departure. They had hoped to be there when the confrontation took place. Since there was nothing anyone could do, we sat around and talked until late in the night. Rosalie finally started to warm up to Bella. I guess she decided to give up the 'I hate you' act since Bella was already a vampire and nothing Rose could say or do could prevent it. I knew that she and Emmett had hoped for a happy reunion between Alice and me, but seeing me with Bella seemed to change their minds. It was the first time that any of them had seen me truly happy.

It was almost morning before Bella and I returned to our house. We knew that we would eventually move in with the family, but we were enjoying the time alone. On the run home I began to feel guilty about not telling Bella that I had talked to Alice. I had yet to tell her that she had been calling and in a way it felt like I was deceiving her. When we got inside I walked over to the couch and took a seat. I expected her to follow, but when I heard the shower turn on I knew it would be a while before we would be able to talk. I sat there and thought about what I would say. How would I explain to her that I never wanted Alice to come back? It wasn't until I asked myself that question that I realized I had also neglected to tell Alice about Bella. Immediately, I pulled out my phone and began to dial.

"Glad to see that you all didn't kill each other." Alice said when she answered and just like every phone call we've made in the last year, I groaned at her lack of hello.

"How did you know that Edward and I were going to have a confrontation if you haven't been able to see me?"

"I saw you arguing, but after I talked to you the vision changed. Then the next time I tried to look it was gone. I can see Edward now at an airport, so everything must have gone well."

"Not exactly," I said, unwilling to elaborate.

"What's wrong, Jasper?"

"He ran again. When he found out about Bella… and me."

"You and Bella? What about you and Bella? Jasper, would you please stop beating around the bush and just tell me what's going on." I could hear the annoyance in her tone and figured that if I was going to tell that it didn't matter the time; I might as well jump in and do it.

"We're together, Al. I love her so much and I never meant to hurt anyone. I just can't-"

"Does she love you?" she asked, interrupting.

"Yes, I think so. She says she does."

"Then that's all that matters, silly. And Jas, I need to be honest with you, too. A couple days after I left I had a vision of me with a man. We were so happy and I tried to ignore it; really I did, but the harder I tried the more I had. I had to find him." Hope began to swell as the thought of Alice finding her mate ran through my mind. She was a good person and deserved to be happy.

"Did you?" I asked with a little too much enthusiasm.

"Yeah. He's great, Jasper. I think you would really like him. I'm sorry I didn't tell you sooner, but I didn't want to hurt you."

"Don't be sorry. I was keeping things from you, too. Let's just forgive and forget. Our time together was great Alice, and I will forever be grateful to you." I let out a deep sigh. I would be able to be friends with Alice and one day hopefully Edward too. Our family would be back together and even though a few things would be different, we would be happy again.

"I know, Jaz. I love you." She said cheerfully.

"I love you too, Ali."

"Fucking great!" I heard Bella yell from behind me. I turned around quickly. It only took me a second to notice the hurt in her eyes. I must have been too into my conversation with Alice to notice her enter the room; not that it would have changed what I said.

"Bella, you misunderstood. Alice and I are clearing things up, but for the sake of our friendship," I said walking towards her. With ever forward step I took, she took one back.

"Alice, I have to go."

"Good luck, Jas. I hope to talk to both of you soon." Alice's words barely registered.

"I called to tell her about us. She told me she's found someone else, and she's happy-what you heard wasn't what you thought." She was still frowning at me, but she had stopped moving away.

"Well then explain." She motioned at me with her hands.

"I love Alice, Bella-but I love her like a sister. And she loves me like a brother. She's happy for us. That's all." I locked eyes with her, conveying with my emotions exactly what I meant. Her face broke into a tentative smile.

"Really?" I smiled in return.

"Yes. She met someone, and she's happy with him. And she's happy for us. She looks forward to talking to us soon." She ran towards me and flung herself into my arms.

"It's all working out, isn't it?!" she cried into my neck. "Everything really is going to be okay. We're going to be okay. And everybody knows! No more secrets!" She began peppering my neck and face with kisses, and in an instant the mood in the room changed. There was joy, and freedom, and lust, and it was too much all of the sudden. The full weight of everything hit me: We were free. We were together. I let out a laugh of relief and immediately scooped Bella up in my arms. I pressed her back against the nearest wall and assaulted her mouth with mine. The emotional climate changed quickly; with each stroke of her tongue I could feel her desire grow.

I groaned into her mouth loudly as I felt my cock spring to life. I moved my arm from behind her back and began to run it up the front of her shirt. The feeling of her marble, yet soft skin on my fingertips sent electricity crackling down my spine.

"Jasper," she moaned, pulling away from my lips. "Bedroom." It was a simple request, but I was enjoying her too much to move just yet. I continued to rub the skin on her abdomen as my mouth attacked her neck, licking and sucking like a hungry savage.

"Bedroom," she growled. My dick jumped at the sound of her demand. I slowly ran my hand back down her abdomen and out of her shirt. I didn't take my hands off of her body as I slid each one in the direction of her ass. Once they reached their destination I lifted her easily. She wrapped her legs around my waist as her mouth found its way back to mine. She was grinding into me before we even made it through the door. My thoughts automatically drifted to the way her hot, waiting pussy would feel. Keep it up and you won't last long enough to find out. I thought to myself just as the front of my knees hit the bed.

I reluctantly pulled my lips away from hers and sat her on the down, missing the way her body felt instantly. She looked up at me; her eyes were pitch black and full of lust. Impatience, lust, desire all swirled through the air, making it hard for me to stay in control. I watched her as she raised her hands to the bottom of my shirt and hurriedly pulled it out of my jeans.

"Take it easy, Sugar." The words weren't out of my mouth before she had my pants undone. She was insatiable; I would no doubt have my hands full; though I didn't really mind. I began to unbutton my shirt while she lay back on the bed and stripped out of her pants, revealing a sexy pair of white thongs. A low growl emitted from my chest as I took in the sight before me. I needed to see her, all of her. I crawled in between her legs and ran my hand up her shirt until I reached her neck. I gripped her collar and ripped the offensive material directly down the middle. I watch with hooded eyes as her bare breast sprang free.

"Take it easy, Cowboy," she joked, throwing my own words back at me. I couldn't find my voice to respond. I sat back on my knees and ran my hands down her smooth body. I hooked my fingers into the thin straps of her panties and slowly ran them down her legs. I inhaled deeply, taking in the rich scent of her arousal. She smelled better than any woman I had ever encountered.

I lowered my body down to hers, placing a single soft kiss on her lips. I ran my tongue down her neck, over her pert breast, and down her stomach, enjoying the way her muscles would spasm each time I'd hit a sensitive spot.

"Jas," she said. Her breathing was labored and I noticed her chest moving up and down rapidly. I looked up at her through my lashes, not ready to remove my lips from her body.

"Please… I need you." I knew how she felt. I needed her too. I kissed the inside of her thigh as I ran my finger over her wet slit. I heard a whimper escape her lips and felt her impatience start to grow. I spread her open slightly, slipping one finger in between her lips. I started at her entrance and ran my finger up and down her waiting pussy, coating her with her own juices. She would moan each time I passed over her clit. I was enjoying playing with her, but it wouldn't be long before my own impatience began to surface. I told myself repeatedly that we had an eternity to enjoy and explore each other.

I rubbed her clit in slow circles, only increasing my speed when she would move against me. Bella may have been shy, but she was learning quickly that she could find pleasure in leading me in the right direction. She reached between us and started stroking me roughly with her palm. It took all that I had not to come undone. I started rubbing her at vampire speed, earning myself husky moans. She began to tremble beneath me and I could feel that she was close. I got close to her ear and let out a heavy breath before I spoke.

"Cum for me, Sugar." That was all it took. She came undone, shaking and withering as hard as she could. I slid my finger inside of her while she came down from her high. I rested my head on her chest and I pumped in and out of wet core.

"I want to feel you inside of me." I heard her whisper. I took my fingers out of her and sat up. I shed my boxers quickly and went back to my spot in between her legs. She swung on leg over my hip and spread the other, exposing herself to me fully. I rubbed my cock up and down her sex, not only teasing her, but myself. I threw my head back and allowed myself to enjoy the feeling of the one place retained her warmth.

"That feels good." She cried in between breaths. Knowing that she liked it I kept it up as long as I could without prematurely reaching my release. I slipped inside of her entrance with a little too much force, causing her to gasp. I forgot she wouldn't be used to the intrusion yet, so I paused once I was fully planted inside of her. She wasn't in pain, just surprised. She began to move against me slowly, giving me the okay. I moved in and out of her at a normal pace. I watched as her breast bounced up and down with each thrust. She was still so tight and her pussy was so fucking wet.

"More," she pleaded. I could feel her need. I pounded into her without fear; her desire continuing to grow. I felt my release coming on and was embarrassed at how quickly it was going to happen. I felt like a human high school boy for a fraction of a second. My own moans were all that I could hear before I felt her walls clamp down on me. I reached out and felt her emotions. She was going to cum. I looked down at her beautiful face as she began to convulse. "Jasper," she said with a sigh as her orgasm raked through her body. I came undone, spilling inside of her at the sound of my name rolling off her tongue. I stayed inside of her until both us caught our breath.

I rolled off of her and brought her into my side. I looked down at her face and almost forgot that she was no longer human. Her eyes were closed and it looked like she was sleeping. I kissed her forehead and shut my eyes, too. I pretended that night that we were human, husband and wife, sleeping in our bed. The thought was nice, but what was even better was the fact that we weren't human- I would have her for eternity. There would be no death, no unhappy ending. She would have me and I would have her. The possibilities of what we could do were endless.

I watched as my beautiful wife ran through out of the house and into the forest with our sisters. There were times that I thought she enjoyed hunting with them more than anything, and then I would remember something that we had shared. I couldn't help but to feel a little resentment at anyone who wanted to spend time with Bella. No matter how much time I spent with her, I would never have enough. It's had been sixty years since I found her in Alaska. A lot had changed since then. We moved back in with the family shortly after our union. Alice and her mate, Damian, did the same. Edward had moved to London, but was back temporarily to decide where he would go next. I knew he still loved her, but he was also accepting of our relationship. They were great friends and even though we had not completely repaired our relationship, we weren't at war. I figured that counted for something. Rosalie and Bella had formed a close relationship; one which I was grateful for. They were sisters in every sense of the word. We were all happy to be together again and it looked like everything was going to work out fine; of course, you never know when you have an eternity for things to change, but one thing I was certain of was that my love for Bella would remain.

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