Chapter 40: Believe

JPOV

I felt sorry for her, for my girl.

I began wondering if I had prepared her well enough. We all remember the burning thirst, the ever present urge to hunt, to feed, because that is the newborn feeling that lasts longest. But the confusion, which is so overwhelming at first, I had forgotten about that. It's been ages, but now I saw her struggle with this alien world, it all came back to me. How overpowering it all is, when not only everything else is unfamiliar, but even your own being.

"What are you waiting for?" a wave of irritation was sent my way, immediately followed by love and guilt as I looked up into her golden eyes.

I simply smiled and took her hand, leaving the drained animal behind, ready for a new kill.

"I'm sorry," she muttered, and I could feel her aiming her annoyance towards herself now.

I shushed her by placing a soft kiss on her lips and she surprised me by wrapping her arms around my neck and pulling me closer, deepening the kiss.

We lost ourselves for a moment there until we were broken apart by an amused voice.

"Aw, come on, not again! We're hunting here. Hùnt, Bella, focus!"

She broke the kiss as she chuckled, and with her forehead pressed to mine, gazing into my eyes filled with lust, she answered sweetly "sorry teacher Emmet".

He prodded her and the four of us ran into the forest, silent again, hunting.

Bella's feelings were all over the place at any given moment. And so were her feelings towards the Cullens. At first she was estranged and irritated by us all. She hardly recognized any of us and our mothering made her lose her temper a few times. But she also told me that somehow, she knew that she belonged with us, that this was her family, and as soon as they backed off a bit, she relaxed and felt love.

The family had been wonderful. They all recalled being newborns and they weren't too critical, they just let her find her way and were tolerant of her mood swings. Even when she smashed the TV after losing a game on the Wii, or when she ripped the clothes off my body when she suddenly lost control during a romantic movie.

I had been worried about Edward, but the ease at which he accepted her fate had surprised me the most. She wasn't his singer anymore and he was confident that his remaining love for her could be molded into a deep friendship without hurt or regret.

After another few kills, we parted ways with Rose and Emmett and strolled through the forest, hand in hand. I let her emotions in and take me from one extreme into the other, while she slowly calmed down.

I could tell that she was exhausted. When feeling this turmoil day in day out, sleep is a thing that can keep a person sane. She needs to learn to zone out, to feel and think absolutely nothing for a while.

I stopped at a rock with a nice view and we both sat down, no longer bothered by hard surfaces.

I softly started humming a song, and she recognized it immediately. K's Choice. So many memories.

She sang along with me, and we watched the twilight fall over the forest, while the entire album played in our heads. I believe this was the first time her feelings were simply… content. And I could finally relax as well.

When we reached the first song again, we stopped singing and simply sat there, as the night grew dark. Until at last her emotions started rising again, and she drew in a breath to talk.

"I don't know what I would do without you, Jess."

"You wouldn't be a vampire for starters."

"I know but still… How do you manage to understand me so completely, when I don't even understand myself?"

"Because I'm your mate." We had called each other that non stop the last days, and yet, every time that thought crossed my mind, butterflies fluttered in my stomach.

I let her feel my love, to emphasize my words. She turned her face towards me and our eyes locked.

"You're my mate. That simple?"

"That simple."

"I was afraid… I am afraid sometimes… I don't feel like Bella anymore." She looked down again, at her feet.

"You still feel like Bella to me."

"How?" she asked, in a voice that sounded so fragile to me. I reached out to her and softly stroked her hand.

"All the things that made you you are still there. All that you are now is Bella intensified. You were so composed, but deep down, you've always been loving and passionate, about everything you believe in."

"You might be right."

"Of course I'm right," I answered with a smile and I saw that she smiled as well, her eyes locked on my fingers, caressing hers.

"But this… temper, this confusion… I feel like I'm making things hard on us."

"Of course it's hard, we knew that. But we're in this together. We'll get through it."

"How can you be sure?"

"I just am. We've gone through a lot, you and I. Actually, you helped me through a lot. Losing Alice, my… mistakes, the addiction... You believed in me. And now I believe in you. I'm gonna take care of you, like you did as well."

"Forever?"

"Forever…"


"Believe" – K's Choice

Bravely I look further than I see
Knowing things I know I cannot be, not now
I'm so aware of where I am, but I don't know where that is
And there's something right in front of me and I

Touch the fingers of my hand
And I wonder if it's me
Holding on and on to
Theories of prosperity
Someone who can promise me
I believe in me

Tomorrow I was nothing, yesterday I'll be
Time has fooled me into thinking it's a part of me
Nothing in this room but empty space
No me, no world, no mind, no face

Touch the fingers of my hand and tell me if it's me
Holding on and on to Love, what else is real
A religion that appeals to me, oh
I believe in me

Can you turn me off for just a second, please
Turn me into something faceless, weightless, mindless, homeless
Vacuum state of peace

On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
I believe in me
On and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
I believe in me

Wait for me, I'm nothing on my own
I'm willing to go on, but not alone, not now
I'm so aware of everything, but nothing seems for real and
As long as you're in front of me then I'll

I watch the fingers of our hands
And I'm grateful that it's me
Holding on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on and on
I believe in me


The End


Baruka:
For some of you this end will come as a surprise, but I assure you, it has always been intended this way. It was the story of how Jess became friends with Ellie and how they fell in love despite all the hardship. And that story is finished now and I hope you enjoyed it every bit as much as I did.

I want to thank my beautiful friend Kaitsa for living through this story with me. It was an honor to write alongside of you, you're the best. Secondly, I'd like to thank all the readers and especially all our reviewers. You've made this journey worthwile. The third thing I wanted to share with you is that we're considering writing a sequel when the summer's over. So if you'd like that, let us know.

Kaitsa:
Okay... Now I'm tearing up a little...
I agree with everything my wonderful friend Baruka said. We came up with this idea of writing a story together, just as a little bit of fun. I remember us brainstorming about all possible ideas, and then this song came... I couldn't have imagined it would turn out into this, and I can honestly say that I am proud of what we created.

Thank you all for your support, for living this story along with Jess and Ellie...