I do not own any part of S.M.'s brilliant world of the Twilight saga. This is simply my take on the what could have been.

A.N.

Well, this is my first ever fan fic. I had been meaning to write one for a while now but hadn't fully felt the story come together until a few days ago. I pretty much have it done in my head but sometimes stories can tend to get away from you only to wind up in a completely different place than you were planning to take it. So here's to seeing where this tale takes us. I truly hope you all enjoy!

-N. C.

I have to give a huge thank you to my awesome Beta, Le Crepuscule who has agreed to take the time to sift through my story and pick out all the kinks that I missed. You ROCK Chica!


Jasper's POV

I didn't have it in me to stay any longer. Alice had known for some time that this had been coming, I could see it in her eyes and hear it in her voice whenever she spoke to me, sadness tinting her tone. Above all I felt it; the inexplicable sense of loss and longing emanating from her each time I left the room, as if she knew eventually it would be the last.

We didn't speak of it, knowing that if we did, it would come sooner; my time to move on. She held on to each moment with reverence and it pained me to know that I was the cause of her suffering. I was the cause of everyone's suffering. I had torn apart the lives of everyone I loved, the ones I called family. It had all happened in such a blur it almost seems as if it were all a dream; a horrible nightmare that I would never wake from.

It had been almost two years to the day that I had lost control. It was supposed to have been a happy occasion; Bella's eighteenth birthday. Of course I knew it was going to be a difficult day on my part, having to feel the trepidation and angst radiating in waves off of my brother's all too human girlfriend who looked at this day, as one that would drive her past the point of any semblance of equality to her forever frozen at seventeen boyfriend. I had always since first meeting Bella, felt the sense of self consciousness she gave off whenever she looked at Edward. She felt she was undeserving of his love but I also knew the complete and unbreakable love she had for him.

It had been Bella's deepest wish since finding out what Edward really was, already knowing that she could not live without him in her life, to become one of us. Edward wouldn't hear of it however, stating that her soul was much to high a price to pay. Myself along with most of my family had argued with him that if he loved her he would let her have the choice to decide, but still he refused. I look back on this selfishly, knowing that if he had just given in to her, if he had only taken her wish and made it reality, the events that unfolded that night never would have come to pass.

If only he had given her what she wanted he would still be a part of our family, living under the same roof with the woman he loved beside him. Rosalie and Emmett would not have felt the need to flee the morose atmosphere around them only to move a continent away. Carlisle and Esme would not have had to feel the pain of watching their children disappear from their home one by one, and I would be content to spend my eternity making a life with Alice. All that ended as soon as the paper had sliced through Bella's skin.

One by one we all watched as Bella opened her birthday gifts; though she had told us all that the greatest present we could give her was to ignore this day completely and to simply treat it as just another night. Alice, my unrelenting but well meaning mate would not hear of it. Alice thought of each milestone in a persons life as a cause for celebration, and with that on occasion went a bit overboard.

I felt Bella's aggravation as she plastered on what she must have thought was a sufficient smile as she took the packages, one by one ripping the paper from them and I felt a chuckle rise to my throat; only Bella could become so agitated over receiving gifts.

It was then, before I could fully realize what had happened that the laughter I felt rising in me turned in an instant to an immense burning thirst. I quickly felt the control leaving my body, barely registering the similar emotions emanating from most everyone around me, mixed with their senses of shock and fear. Nothing in that moment felt real or tangible, only the smell, the gloriously rich smell beckoning, urging me to devour its tantalizing fragrance. I could almost taste it from where I stood and as the flames licking through my body threatened to drive me to insanity I knew that only one thing could save me.

I lunged toward the source of my need, longing for it to quench this burning fire that had latched itself to every part of me, creeping its way through my very soul. A second later, before I could reach what I desired I felt the impact crush into me, causing me to fly through the air and then vices locked around my arms and wrists dragging me from my drug. I fought them hard, fiercely shaking trying with everything in me to force myself from their chains as they pulled me further and further away from the thing I knew I needed to survive.

As I tried desperately to fight my way from them I felt myself being pulled into darkness and a cool breeze wash across my face. Slowly I began to feel the longing dissipate, and I felt the loss of it overcome me as reality began to set in. I looked around to see my brother and his wife holding my arms in theirs, their expressions and feelings such a contrast of fear, anger and relief that it shocked me fully into the realization of what I had done.

It was as if I no longer had legs to keep me standing as I sank slowly to the ground. I put my face in my hands and felt the anguish begin to seep through. How could I have lost control so completely? How after all this time and restraint, could I have allowed myself to become so utterly taken?

I felt a sense of love and sadness wash over me and then a soft caress on my cheek as I looked up into the pained eyes of my Alice. She didn't say anything but the look she gave me spoke volumes. I didn't want to see the understanding and comfort she was trying to send to me; I didn't want to feel the love. I wanted her to give me what I deserved. How could she not be disgusted and ashamed by what I had done? I should feel her disappointment, not this overwhelming love; I didn't deserve it and it caused me to plummet further into agony.

I stood slowly from where I had been kneeling in the damp earth and began to walk away. I was expecting someone to stop me but was relieved that no one did. They must have realized that I needed this time to myself, to sort it all out on my own. As I entered the thick growth of trees I began to pick up my pace, and soon I was running faster than I ever had.

My feet hitting the moss covered ground was much lighter than I wanted at this moment. I wanted to feel the earth beating into me as I brushed quickly through the woods. I needed to hear the pounding footfalls to drown out the screams slapping at my mind. I didn't want to feel graceful I wanted to feel human so that I could taste the salty tears that should be streaming from my eyes, to burn with the cuts that should be scrapping into my skin each time I brushed into the sharp undergrowth of the forest. I felt cursed more in that moment than when I awoke from the searing torture of Maria's bite.

I felt another jolt of agony rip through me then, more powerful than anything I had ever felt. It was as if my insides were ripping in two and I realized this new sense of anguish was not my own. I looked behind me then, registering the soft footfalls hitting the earth and quickly gaining on me; Edward, he had come after me. I quickened my pace which seemed almost impossible as I was already pushing my limit. He was faster though and quickly caught up to me, tackling me forcefully to the ground.

I struggled underneath him trying to get away, as far away as I could from the indescribable sorrow and desperation he gave off. I felt a feral snarl rip through him as he yelled for me to stop struggling. I knew then it was no use; his anguish was driving him, and I had no chance of escaping it. I lay still then beneath his glare as I covered my face and let the dry sobs rack through me.

I felt him put his arm around me pulling me up to him as he joined in my sobs, telling me with his voice tearing that he didn't blame me, but I didn't want to hear it. I wanted him to hate me, only he comforted me instead. He said it had been inevitable and that tonight had only loosened him of his insane delusions.

We sat for a long time there as he told me that he was finally ready to let Bella go. I argued with him that he needed her, that she needed him. He shook his head as I pleaded with him to come to his senses. He stood then and looked into the forest and I felt defeat and acceptance come from him; "I have," he had said and then walked away.

Over the following days I watched as Edward dug himself deeper and deeper into despair. He had convinced the family after much arguing and dry tears, that it would be best if we left Forks and gave Bella her life back. The next morning Edward left for school as we packed. He told us that we should go on without him to the Denali's, where we would be staying until we found our new home and that he would catch up; that was the last time I saw him.

He called about a week later to tell us that he needed some time to himself and refused when we begged him to come to us. We wanted to help him through this but didn't argue any further after he promised to keep himself safe. We still worried that he might do something crazy and self destructive, but knew that there was nothing we could do but give him time.

He called every couple of months after that to reassure us that he was alright but that did little to settle the pain that lingered in our home. Esme was distraught from losing her son, and Carlisle went between trying to comfort his wife and immersing himself completely in his medical practice as he tried to cope with the same loss. Rosalie and Emmett had decided a few weeks after making our move to New Hampshire, that they needed some time to themselves and had moved to a small village in Russia. I knew that they, not unlike myself had felt enough sadness and loss for a lifetime and could no longer handle the sorrow.

Alice had tried for the benefit of those around her to be the happy, full of life, and smiles person we had all known she was; However I knew, as I felt her anguish, that it had been almost as hard on her as it had been for me to see her family torn apart. I hated myself for causing this and I knew with each passing day that I had to leave; I had to fix this and I knew that the only way to do that was to first find Bella.