A/N: Here it goes, my first piece of fan fiction! Please note that this will be an Emmett/Bella fic with very minimal, very mild Edward bashing (he's strong, he can take it). It's rated T for now...but that will likely change *wink, wink*.
Legal for entire fic: Although I do share the same initials as the author, I do not own Twilight.
I wanted to sleep, my eyes burned from reading and re-reading the text in front of me. I'd planned a weekend long cramming session. I soon realized that, at this point, if I didn't know the material for the exam, only a dose of divine inspiration could save me. I snorted to myself, imagining harps playing in chemistry lab as answers came to me, epiphany after epiphany.
It's official. I'm exhausted. I'm going to sleep.
I grabbed a pair of sweats and a tank top as I headed for the shower. I considered, briefly, buying a nice gown or pajama set; something girly and beautiful to lift my spirits. Alice would be proud.
I sighed heavily. Thinking of the pixie brought tears to my eyes. I let them fall, unable to distinguish my own tears from the warm water of the shower. I missed her terribly, and I wondered, yet again, how she was doing. I knew there was a good reason why she had not contacted me. We were best friends, practically sisters, and in my heart I was confident that she missed me as much as I missed her. I quickly rinsed my hair, making a concerted effort to change my gloomy mood.
Hey, I mentally chided myself as I toweled off, at least I'm not dwelling on Edward.
Then it hit me. Thinking of Edward made me feel like I'd been punched in the gut. I clutched my abdomen, feeling the almost physical reaction to my drifting thoughts. "No," I said aloud as I dressed for bed, "I am NOT going there tonight."
I continued rubbing the towel over my hair as I made my way back to my room. My mood was improving, marginally, and I even had myself halfway convinced that I would do well on my upcoming exam. A cool breeze blew in from the window as I approached my bed, filling my room with a crisp, woodsy scent. I hesitated for a moment, the hair on the back of my neck rising. I slowly dropped the towel on the bed, my eyes never leaving the window before me. When I left, it was closed, as it had been for weeks. Since he left. Since they left. I was sure of it.
My skin was positively jumping with nervous energy and I had the distinct feeling that someone or something was watching me. A predator in Forks? Gee, go figure. I rolled my eyes, quickly dismissing my nerves as I slammed the window shut and locked it for good measure.
"I guess I really do have no sense of self preservation." I briefly wondered if I remembered to lock the door downstairs. Charlie's fishing trips with Billy tended to drag on these days. He likely wouldn't make it back from La Push any time soon, given the long weekend.
I spun on my heel to check the lock, catching my toe on the bed frame. I half hopped, half stumbled as I attempted to cradle my throbbing foot, muttering soft curses.
"Bella," my head jerked up at the sound of my name, "I never knew you had such a potty mouth."
I froze. Well, I froze for at least a full second before I lost my balance. In my defense, I was standing on one leg. I barely registered that I was falling forward until it was too late.
Strong cold hands stopped me before I could land my graceless face plant, bracing my upper arms. I dropped my foot, my pain quickly forgotten.
"Jasper?" I merely breathed his name. "What…I—Jasper?" I quirked my brow, searching his topaz eyes for some clue as to why he was standing in my bedroom. He released his hold on my arms, and I realized that I'd never been this close to him.
"Bella," he started speak, his soft, southern accent changing the sound of my name. He looked pained and worried, even more so than usual for Jasper. "I know you have every reason to—"
I couldn't stand it any longer, I launched myself toward him, engulfing him in my own bear hug. I knew it wouldn't hurt him, and it only made me hug him harder.
He laughed into my hair as he finished his sentence, "—fear me. Or not, apparently. I mean, I only tried to kill you the last time I saw you." I never released my grip on Jasper as he spoke, and I realized that he was hugging me back in earnest.
I pulled back so I could look at him. "I'm sorry Jasper, the whole thing was my fault. If I weren't so—"
"Bella," he held my face in his hands now, but not in a menacing or romantic way, "stop. What happened that day…" he exhaled an unnecessary breath, searching my face for something, "that day was my fault. All of this is my fault. Can you ever forgive me?"
"Jasper," I reached for his hands, holding them in my own. "I was never upset with you. Never."
"If I hadn't attacked you, Edward would never have left." I kept waiting for the phantom hit to land in my gut at the mere mention of Edward's name. It never came.
"Jazz, we both know that Edward would have left for some other reason. We just weren't meant to be." I forced a sad smile as I looked into his eyes, and he mirrored my own expression.
I was only faintly aware of my epiphany, irked that I'd had it now instead of during my chemistry exam. I really needed that extra bit of supernatural help. Still, I felt like I was getting closer and closer to obtaining the closure that I desperately needed. Realizing that Edward would have ended things sooner or later somehow made our break up a tad easier to tolerate. And by a tad, I mean that it only felt like my heart had been cut from my body instead of ripped from my chest. Yeah, it hurt either way, but still….
"You are a remarkable person, my dearest Bella."
I felt the heat rising in my cheeks at Jasper's compliment. My forced smile turned genuine, and I hugged him again with renewed energy.
"I trust you Jazz," I breathed in his scent, squeezing him harder so I could physically express the sincerity of my words. "I trust you with my life, always." I felt his breath catch, and when I pulled back to look at him, I couldn't help but feel like he was going to cry. Well, if he could cry I think he would have, anyways.
"I know you trust me, Bella. You must. You haven't once made the slightest effort to cover your bloody toe." He was smirking at me now, probably inwardly laughing as I stood there with my mouth agape, staring down at my bright red toe.
"I'm so sorry Jazz," I yelled, unnecessarily, as I rushed to the bathroom to wash my toe. "I should have been more careful, I didn't—"
"Bella," he spoke from the bathroom doorway, waiting for me to look at him before he continued. "Stop apologizing." He closed the space between us and offered me a band aid from the box in the medicine cabinet. "What happened, on your birthday, it…" he closed his eyes, searching for his words, "it helped me gain a better level of control. I'm no Carlisle, but I can hold my own in a room with a clumsy human."
"Well, lucky me then. So, Jasper," I took his elbow as we walked to my room, "not that I'm unhappy to see you, but…where's Alice?" I was practically pulsating. Seeing Jasper again was nothing short of fantastic, but I missed Alice so much. I needed to see her. I mentally promised myself that I would never again complain about a marathon shopping session with Alice, if only I could see her again soon.
Jasper walked me to my bed, and I sat on the edge of the mattress as I waited for him to speak. He walked at human speed to the chair across from the bed, sighing dramatically as he lowered himself into the seat. He rubbed his hands over his face, suddenly looking very tired and drained. He placed his elbows on his knees, leaning forward as he prepared to speak to me.
"She's not well, Bella."
I was off the bed and kneeling in front of him in a heartbeat. "Jazz, what's wrong? What can I do?"
He offered a half-smile that did not reach his eyes. I didn't need his special gift to sense his dread. He was worried about Alice, and if he was worried, then I was terrified.
"I know I have no right to ask, but I need your help."
"Anything, Jazz…anything I can do to help, you name it." I looked him in the eye, willing him to tell me what he needed, what I could do for Alice.
"Well," he hedged, looking uncomfortable again.
"Spill it Jazz," I rocked forward on the balls of my feet, chewing my bottom lip in anticipation.
He blew a short, cool breath of air out as he crinkled his brow. "I need your blood Bella."