A New Way to Travel
"I saw Jasper admiring it. Perhaps it's time he discovered a new way to travel." (Eclipse, p. 234) Jasper takes his new toy for a test drive, despite Alice's adamant protests.
THE PASSAGE THAT INSPIRED THE STORY:
I eyed the silver motorcycle doubtfully.
"Don't worry about it," Edward said, and then he laughed lightly. "I saw Jasper admiring it. Perhaps it's time he discovered a new way to travel. After all, Alice has her Porsche now."
(Eclipse, ch.10 "Scent", p. 234)
DISCLAIMER: I don't own any of Twilight.
"Look at it." I couldn't stop the grin from spreading across my face. "And Edward's going to give it to me? You're sure?"
"Heard him with my own ears," Emmett replied, jumping up onto the hood of Edward's Vanquish. "His exact words were 'Perhaps it's time he discovered a new way to travel.'"
"Isn't she a beauty?" I breathed, running my hands over the handlebars. "I wonder how fast she goes…"
"We'll have to find an abandoned stretch of highway somewhere to test it."
"Oh, look at her," I repeated. "How much time do you figure I have before Alice –"
The discontent radiating from the door to the house told me exactly what Alice thought of Edward's yet-to-be-given gift. "No."
"Never mind," I sighed to Emmett, swinging my leg over the bike to mount it. "Oh, it's like she was built for me…" I moaned.
"No, off. Get off," Alice repeated, jumping lightly down to the garage level. "You're not taking it out."
"But Alice…" both Emmett and I pleaded in unison.
"Get off, Jasper. I'm telling you, you are not taking that bike out for a ride. That's Edward's bike."
"Edward's giving it to me," I countered, twisting the clutch and grinning back at Emmett as the bike roared to life. "I'm sure you saw that, though," I added, looking around at her dark frown. "Oh, c'mon, Alice… it's just a motorcycle."
A soft growl escaped her lips, a scowl on her face. "Get. Off. The. Bike. You're not accepting it."
"You going to take that from her?" Emmett asked with a laugh. "Come on, Jasper, she already talked you out of buying that gorgeous Kawasaki in Montana six years ago. I was looking forward to that bike, you know," he added to Alice. "I was so disappointed when he came home with a Caddy." Looking back at me, he continued, "And I mean, this one's already bought. It's such a waste for it to sit in the garage and never be used. I mean, seriously, Edward's already got two cars. What's he going to do with a bike?"
"So you ride it, then," Alice snapped at him.
"But it's Jasper's bike," Emmett replied easily. "Edward said so. Besides, I prefer an off-roader. Now, if Edward would've bought an ATV or an actual dirt bike…"
"It's not Jasper's bike," Alice corrected fiercely. "Edward hasn't offered it to him yet. And Jasper's not going to accept it when he does."
"Edward won't mind if I take it out just once before it's really mine," I said longingly. I could already feel the wind whipping past my face, could already hear the engine's snarls and roars as I went screaming down the highway.
"Are you even listening to me?" Alice demanded. "You're not taking that bike."
"Pleeeeease?" I pleaded teasingly; I wasn't going to listen to her this time anyway, but it would make my life infinitely easier if she agreed to the bike. "Just one ride? Just to see how it drives?"
"Don't be such an Edward, Alice," Emmett added, a booming laugh echoing through the garage as she snarled at him unhappily.
"I take offense to that implication," Edward's voice came from the doorway. "For God's sake, Alice, it's a motorcycle, not a girlfriend. Go with him if you're that worried."
"Shut up, Edward," Alice muttered. "And you can forget about a new car for Bella. That monster is never going to die. Jacob Black fixed it too well."
"Oh, Alice, don't be silly," Emmett laughed. "Bella wouldn't know the difference between a natural death and an… assisted death."
"I might be able to convince her to let me pay Dartmouth," Edward mused. "I think I almost have her convinced…"
"You have to get her to agree to it first," Alice shot back, still clearly miffed about being vastly outnumbered. "And I am never agreeing to that bike, so you might as well get off."
Damn, just when I'd thought she'd forgotten about the bike.
"Come with me," I offered.
Alice growled under her breath again and reluctantly slid onto the seat behind me. "Fine. Just this one ride, though, and then you're giving it back to Edward."
"I don't want it, I'm not going to use it," Edward protested.
"Fine, he's giving it to Emmett then."
"Didn't I just tell you I'm more of an ATV person?" Emmett asked, opening the garage door. "Jasper's the biker."
"FINE!" Alice shrieked angrily. "Then he's auctioning it on Ebay if Carlisle or Rosalie doesn't want it!"
"If Rosalie doesn't want what?"
"Oh, just go, Jasper, before this drags out any longer," Edward groaned.
I felt Alice's arms slide around my middle reluctantly, her fingers closing tightly around my jacket and her cheek nestled deep into my shoulder blades, the frown still set in stone on her face. I could feel it.
I shared one last gleeful grin with my brothers before I threw the bike forward with full force, racing out into the pouring rain. Alice winced against my back.
"Do you mind telling me what it is about motorcycles you object to?" I demanded as we ripped around another corner.
She didn't answer me except for a low growl that I felt rather than heard. Or maybe that was just the bike.
It was like heaven on Earth: the feeling of being wild and free like I had never truly been in my life, of knowing that if I so desired, I could take off and be anywhere I wanted before anybody could catch up to me. And to have my lovely, precious Alice nestled close behind me was the best part – even with the frown on her face and the resentment free-flowing.
But it would be nice, perfect even, if she wasn't mad at me.
"Alice, where are we going?" I asked. "Where do you want to go?"
She was silent for a moment as we went screaming past the town limits. "Louisiana," she finally answered.
"Lissy, even I, with my most reckless driving, can't get you to Louisiana and back by Monday morning."
"It's almost the end of term. We can get back home late," she said petulantly. "I want to go to Louisiana."
"Whatever you want, Alice," I sighed.
We had just reached the outskirts of Salt Lake City, though, when she pleaded, "Jasper, can we stop now?"
"Sure, Alice," I replied, turning into the parking lot of a hotel as I noticed the sun beginning to rise. "I thought you wanted to go to Louisiana."
"I did," Alice sighed, her voice filled with undisguised relief as we stopped. "I changed my mind. Can we just stay here a while? We can go to Louisiana later – after graduation. When everything's a little calmer…"
"Of course, sweetheart," I repeated, reaching into my back pocket to make sure I still had my wallet. "Come on, let's get a room."
I was sure the clerk at the front desk was a little surprised to see the two of us come in with no outerwear, no baggage. But he dutifully and professionally handed us the keys to our room.
No sooner had we entered the room than did she pull me to the bed, fingers unfastening my shirt buttons rapidly. "Please, Jasper," she whispered softly.
I knew exactly what she was begging for. "Alice… calm down," I soothed gently, drawing my hand across her cheek. "I'm right here. I'll always be right here with you."
A brief sob escaped her lips as she pulled off her shirt, reaching up to tug my face down towards her.
Had the bike really upset her that much? Did she really hate the idea of a motorcycle that badly? Was any amount of adrenaline that bike might give me worth this amount of torment?
"Alice…" I comforted her again, kissing her. "Alice, sweetheart, why does it bother you so much?"
She moaned softly as I traced a thumb lightly over her skin, a rush of lustful desire overcoming her. "Jazz…" she whispered again.
"Shhh…" I whispered gently, tugging off her jeans. "Baby, I love you more than anything in this world. That is never going to change, not matter how many centuries go by. My precious, beautiful, perfect –"
"I can't see you," she interrupted shakily.
I stopped with my face mere inches from her smooth stomach, confused. What was she talking about? I was sure that, even with the lights out and curtains pulled, she could see me perfectly well. Nevertheless, I lifted myself up and turned on the table lamp, frowning at her.
"Not that sight, Jasper," she said quietly. "My visions. I can't see you when you get on that bike. It's like… I don't know. Like you forget who you are and you don't know where you're going… and I can't see you anymore. It scares me. I can't see if you come home or not."
"Oh, Alice…" I breathed.
"I know I'm being cruel," she cried. "I know you love that bike more than you've ever loved anything before in our life, and I know, in the deepest part of my being, that you aren't going to leave me. My heart knows, Jasper, but my brain won't listen. My brain won't believe it, because I can't see –"
"Shh, darling, enough," I interrupted her. "Alice, nothing in this world is worth hurting you for. I promise, baby, it's gone the second we get back to Forks. Even sooner, if you want. We can sell it here and fly back. It'll be gone, and you'll never have to go through that again. I promise."
Alice sniffled. "But I liked having you so happy," she whispered. "Even when I couldn't see you, I could feel your excitement. I've never felt exhilaration like that from you."
"It's not worth it," I insisted again. "It's not worth having you cry like this, Lissy."
"You're going to be upset with me if I make you get rid of it," she mumbled.
"No," I reassured her.
"Yes, you will be. You'll pretend not to be, but you're always going to resent me for it."
"Never, darling, never."
"You'd never forgive me," she whispered against my shoulder. "I won't ask you to do it. You can keep the bike – but just promise me you won't ride it all the time? I can't handle this kind of stress on a regular basis…"
"Only when you're going with me," I promised. "Not when I'm on my own. I'll find another car for those trips. You'll always be able to see me with your eyes," I paused to kiss each of her eyelids lightly, "whenever the bike is out. Now calm down, please."
She took a deep breath and relaxed slightly. Her eyes fluttered shut as I pressed my lips against her throat. My pretty Alice was letting me win for once.
And yet, somehow, it didn't feel like a win.
We left at sunset the next evening. Alice was trying not to tense as the bike revved up, and I turned around to face her. "Alice, look at me," I repeated, tilting her chin up. "Open your eyes and look at me." As her eyelids split apart, leaving the abject terror and guilt I had been sensing to become certain knowledge in her eyes, I said firmly, "Listen to me. We are going straight home to Forks. We are not stopping along the way. When we get there, I am auctioning this stupid heap of metal on Ebay."
She shook her head.
"Yes, I am. I've made up my mind. I don't like having you terrified every time we get on this thing. It's not even staying in the garage. If Rosalie wants it, she can take it somewhere else. It's going away, because," I paused to kiss her between words, "you… are… my… life. And everything comes about eleventh to you. You are always going to be my top priorities."
"You don't have to do that, Jasper," she whispered.
"I want to do this," I replied. "Just calm down, my darling."
She gave me one last uncertain glance before a small smile broke across her face. Then she pulled my face back to hers. Sadness, gratitude, fear, lust – the whole range of emotions were mixing together, and it was almost nauseating as well as being incredibly arousing.
"Alice," I murmured against her lips. "Alice, I'm pretty sure it's illegal to slam you against the nearest hard surface and rip your clothes off. Carlisle will not thank us for making him come to Utah and bail us out of jail, and I'm reasonably certain we would probably end up on the Sex Offenders Registry –"
Alice laughed – a sound I hadn't heard in a long time – and kissed my cheek. "Then drive me home, Jasper."