A/N: Just a little oneshot for you J/B lovers! :) And I know this scenario has been recreated a bunch of times, this is just my take on it!
Holding On - Jasper/Bella
I never thought it could be so hard to lose something I never really had.
But as I walk out into the cool night air to escape the joyous celebration inside, I grasp my chest, heaving for the breath I did not need. Heaving for any salvation, something to hold onto in my suffering. I realize now that it is the hardest possible thing to watch the one you love, love someone else.
It was their wedding day, the day we had all anticipated since the moment she had met my brother. I had watched her dance in her billowing, white dress clutching onto her new husband until I could watch no longer. I could not think of the word 'husband' without the overpowering sensation of loss fill me deeply. She had smiled at him with the loving, longing look I only wished for her to share with me.
Edward had placed a kiss on the very corner of her lips as she blushed deeply, glowing brightly with the love that seeped out of her every crevice. That was when I had left. It would be soon that Edward would hear my thoughts, Alice would notice my distant, apathetic gaze and my goal to keep her unknowing would be worthless. The very thing I had tried to keep Bella from all this time would be revealed and everything would be destroyed.
I was walking a fine line, dangerous and stupid. But I could not bring myself to step down onto the sturdy pavement. She was the only thing in my sight, the only thing to keep me walking.
The wind was mild, soothing. I closed my eyes and leaned against the wall, steadying myself, reeling in my thoughts. I had trouble with control, but it was necessary that I control myself tonight. If I slipped, everything would be ruined.
There were unsure footsteps heading my way. I heard with perfect clarity the swish of her dress against the floor as she walked. I knew it was her, but I did not open my eyes. I may just lose my control if I had to look into her eyes again.
Her breathing relaxed as she caught sight of me and she pulled her dress through the door outside, closing it behind her.
"There you are, Jasper."
Her voice made me stiff. The genuineness of it killed me. Couldn't she just not care?
I forced my eyes open, feigning indifference as I looked at her flushed face, her wide eyes.
Her brow furrowed at my cold tone and she stepped closer to me, placing a small hand gently on my arm. I almost cringed, wanting to put space between us. If I could barely stand to be near her in the large crowd of her wedding reception, how could I bear being this close with just the two of us?
"What is it, Jasper? Are you alright?"
Of course not.
Her fingers were warm through the fabric of my suit jacket. I could not have her so close to me, I could not think straight. I stepped back from her quickly, turning my back as I did so. I tried in vain to clear my thoughts.
"Jasper?" She asked quietly, hurt shining in her words.
My throat constricted. She thought I was mad at her. I could feel the confusion, the hurt rolling off her in waves.
"It's nothing, Bella. I'm fine." I replied tightly. I clenched my jaw and ground my teeth, willing her to go away. Self-control was not something I excelled in.
Her dress was swishing again; she was beside me.
"It doesn't sound like you're 'fine'. I've noticed it all night. There is something bothering you."
All night. My breath hitched. Could she have seen my jealous, painful gazes? I turned to look at her, trying to paste a convincing smile on my face.
"No. It's just...there are so many humans in there. It's a little hard." I almost flinched at how easy it was to lie to her innocent face. Her eyes widened in surprise and then melted in understanding.
"Oh, I'm so sorry, Jasper. I should have realized." She smiled sympathetically. "Take as much time as you need."
I nodded and then turned my head to look into the night sky and breathed through my mouth, using my sharp eyes to scout every star and shape in the darkness. Bella stayed standing beside me, watching as well. I had expected her to leave, to rejoin her party, but she stood quietly with me, in my awkward presence.
"Bella," I inquired quietly, "Why did you come looking for me?"
"Oh," She gasped. I could see her cheeks redden under the moonlight and I looked at her puzzled. "Well, um. I was just...oh, never mind. It's stupid."
I almost placed my hand on her bare arm to comfort her, but thought better of the action. I shoved my hands in my pockets and balled them into fists.
"I'm sure it's not. Tell me." I radiated calm to overcome her nervousness and she visibly relaxed. Her shoulders slumped lightly as she turned to face me.
"I've danced with Edward, Charlie, Emmett and Carlisle. You're the only one who hasn't asked me."
Bella's eyebrows pulled together, frustrated, then she sadly hugged her arms. I kept my hands in fists to keep them from shaking.
"You wanted...to dance?" I hoped my voice wasn't as broken as it felt.
"Of course, Jasper. I wouldn't follow you out here for nothing." Her brown hair blew lightly into her eyes with the wind. I automatically reached a hand out and brushed it away from her face. She caught my fingers and brought them to her side, entwining her own fingers between them. I stared down at her.
Shakily, I asked. "Would you like to dance with me, Bella?"
Her eyes filled with eagerness. "More than anything."
Torture. Utter torture, and I knew it. Yet still, I placed my free hand upon her waist and pulled her close to me, closer than I would if we had an audience, and began to lead us in a simple step. Bella leaned in towards me and ducked her head against my neck. There was no music, only the sound of her heart to keep us in time. We revolved, never breaking stride, never missing a step.
For a minute, I pretended she was mine. I smiled ruefully into her hair.
"You're a wonderful dancer, Jasper." She sighed admiringly. I shrugged modestly.
Bella pulled her head back up and halted her step. I dropped my hand from her waist immediately and pulled my other out of her grasp but she held on, her fingers still tangled with mine. She smiled up at me.
"Come back inside, Jasper. I'm sure their wondering where we are."
I nodded, already knowing this. "Of course."
She leaned up and pecked me on the cheek before pulling my hand back to the door. I followed her slowly. My head spun.
I wondered why, even on the night of her wedding and with my own wife waiting, I could not let myself forget her. Why, even with any chances diminished, I could not let myself let her go.
Her hair gleamed in the approaching lights as she lead us back to the party, still holding my hand. I watched her as a grim realization came to me.
To let her go, I'd have to stop holding on. And holding on to her, despite the pain, was my only choice, my only chance. I could not let go of her. I would hold on through the hurt.
I curled my fingers around hers more tightly than before and followed her back to my personal hell.