A.N.

Well, I'm back…I know a lot of you are probably pretty pissed at me right now for how long I took on updating this and all I can do is tell you that I'm really, really sorry. RL has been pretty tough on me and my family for the last few months which caused my creative thinking to go straight out the window. I'm still struggling with it a little, especially with my three kids out of school for the summer but I'm hoping that I can keep my updates going a lot faster now that I've got some of my writer's block stomped out. I'm also working on getting these past chapters beta'd which should be a huge help so things should pick up from here on out. Thank you so much to everyone who has decided to stick with this story and haven't given up on me despite my complete brainlessness…lol I love you guys!


Bella's POV

I sat next to Jasper in the middle of the forest, searching his eyes for some hint of what was going on in his head. I knew, from the forlorn look he gave me, that this would not be just a simple "I happened to run into you by chance and here we are…" explanation. I also knew that what he was about to tell me would most likely set me further on edge and I took a deep breath in, attempting to steady my racing nerves as much as I could, which after what happened mere minutes ago, wasn't much I'll admit.

I felt like a complete idiot as I thought about the kiss we had shared. Where the hell had that come from? And why had it felt so incredibly right? It had come completely out of the blue…But what about that spark I had felt earlier at my apartment? This was just so freakin weird…I heard Jasper clear his throat and forced myself to pull away from my thoughts so I could focus on what he had to say. I'd have plenty of time later to go over what had happened.

I watched Jasper's expression turn from one of trepidation into a controlled determination as he twisted his body so that it fully faced mine. He took my good hand into his and squeezed it as if reassuring me before he began.

"Bella, before I tell you anything, I just want to make sure you know that nothing that led to me coming here was in any way your fault, okay?" He said, giving me a pointed but sincere look. Well, this didn't sound good…

I felt my natural need to argue rising to the surface but held back from saying anything and nodded my acceptance. I could at least let him explain to me what wasn't my fault, before I started freaking out and blaming myself, right? He gave me a slightly suspicious look at my uncharacteristic response, but seemed to let it go, and continued.

"Okay, well, I know this is probably gona be hard for you to believe Bella, given everything that's happened, but Edward bringing you into my family's lives was possibly the best thing that had happened to any of us in a very long time" I gave him a look that clearly stated that I thought he was crazy, but let him go on when he shook his head at me.

"It was darlin, you were like a breath of fresh air to us all. Not at first, I'll admit, in the beginning we just saw the danger that could come from your knowledge of us, but after we all got to know you, we just knew that you were meant to be with us. You became a part of our family." I felt my anger spike at his words.

"Family, Jasper? Family doesn't just up and leave when things get tough" I growled out bitterly. I wanted to argue this further but shut my mouth in surprise when I felt the cloud of agonized shame and resentment project from him.

"I know Bella…God! You have no idea how much I hate myself…how much we all hate ourselves for letting that ass hole talk us into leaving you. We tried to stop him, to talk some sense into that hard assed self righteous head of his but he just wouldn't listen…He was too caught up in his own angst and over protectiveness to realize that letting you go was the stupidest thing he could have ever done."

I snorted at the last thing he said and raised my eyebrows as if to say "Ya think?" If Edward had never left, my life would be normal right now…well, as normal as a life can be when you're surrounded by vampires…But he did leave, and now here I am, as far from normal as a person could get. I let out a frustrated breath but let him continue.

"Yes, Bella, my brother was an idiot for leaving you. We all were. But for some stupid reason we attempted to trust his judgment and let him talk us into leaving so that you could move on and live your life without the danger we posed. But then he left us too…and it was just too much to take losing both of you over his stupidity…My family fell apart Bella. They're a mess." Wait…What? He left them too? My fury rose then to spiking proportions and this time I was not about to keep quiet. How dare he?

"That son of a bitch! He took off on you too?" I yelled and stood up as I felt every stupid second I had spent over the last two years mourning Edward, come crashing around me in a shower of bitter anger and disbelief. I had been so stupid! I'd wasted so much pain on him! He was so selfish! Instead of staying to help his family through things, help them to cope, he took off on everyone…and for what? To lick his pretty fucking wounds?

"Ugh! I'm such a moron…How could I have loved him so much? I didn't even know him! Not really…How could he be so self absorbed? What a complete dick head!" I paced back and forth in front of Jasper, wanting really, really badly to hit something, and not paying attention to much else when I felt his arms encircle me and I froze in place.

I looked up at him in surprise and noticed he wore a rather proud looking smile as he gazed back down at me. "My sentiments exactly" He said and then proceeded to give me a crushing hug, knocking the wind out of me, as he let out a small relieved chuckle.

"I'm just so glad I was able to find you again Darlin'. Now you can come back home and we can fix this damn mess he made. Everything will be okay" Okay? hold on just a dang minute there cowboy…I don't think so.

"Ohh, no you don't" I said and pulled myself out of his arms, with great difficulty I might add, I don't think he realized how tightly he held me. "I am NOT going back there!" I spun on my heals and began storming away from him.

This was too much. Just because I put most of the blame on Edward didn't mean that I thought it was fine and dandy that Jasper and the rest of the Cullens' had left as well. He thinks everything could go back to the way it was after that? Were all vampires this stupid?

Jasper's POV

I stood there with my mouth gaping in confusion, as I watched Bella stomp her little feet away from me in a fiery rage, wondering what the hell I'd just missed. I thought the conversation had gone better than expected… I had been so relieved and proud of her when, instead of breaking down in tears, she had put on full hell cat armor and ranted her frustration with Edward for the injustice he had done, not only to her, but the rest of us as well. I had been so sure that she'd understood we needed her, that she'd want to come home and help me to fix this…Damnit! What the hell was I gona do now?

I started to put my foot out in front of me to follow her, hoping to calm her down and get her to see reason, when I felt my pocket vibrating. Shit! Who the hell was calling me now? I looked at the picture on the front screen of my phone and felt my eyes grow wide before I flipped it open in shock. Hadn't heard from him in a while…

"Peter, what…" I began but was interrupted by a loud familiar laugh.

"Well, you've done it now Major!" His gruff voice sounded, laced with amusement. "I love you man but you are one dense fuck!" he laughed

"What the…"

"Listen bro, just give the chick a few minutes to calm down and then take her home and let her sleep it off. Margie'll be there knockin at her door first thing in the morning to sort out this fucked up situation and she's gona need her sleep for what Red's got planned. You go meet up with yer freaky assed man eaters, gorge yourself on that sick shit you call sustenance, and then come back in a few days once this crap is sorted alright?"

"Peter, your yoda shit is creepin me the fuck out…" How the hell does he do that?

"Just shut up and do it Major or shit's gona hit the fan. I'll call you in a few days…Oh and your gona have one hell of a ride with that spit fire on yer hands bro…enjoy!" And with a last laugh, he hung up. What the hell was that? I looked at the blank screen in disbelief before replacing it in my pocket with a frustrated huff. Well, he's never steered me wrong before…I just wish he'd stop with that freaky know-it-all crap.

I walked back to the log and sat down, shaking my head in irritated dismay while I waited for Bella to cool off. After another half an hour or so I heard her walking back and let out a thankful breath when I noted that her footfalls seemed a lot less aggressive than they had been when she left in her rage. She walked slowly up to where I sat and I could feel the forced calm she had placed over her trepidation. We just stayed there looking at one another, silently searching each other's emotions, for what seemed like forever before she spoke.

"I'm not going back Jazz" she said with a soft but challenging voice and then defiantly folded her arms in front of her chest as if expecting me to argue.

"I know Darlin. Let's just get you home alright?" She narrowed her eyes in suspicion, but nodded once, before walking behind me to climb up for the run back to the truck. I steeled myself against the onslaught of feelings that I knew would come once she was again wrapped around me and took a deep breath. Once she was in position and I had somewhat succeeded in forcing myself to relax, I took off at full speed. At least I was prepared this time around.

We made it back to the truck, thankfully with much less angst than the initial run had brought on and after a long silent drive back into town I pulled up in front of Bella's building and got out to open her door for her.

"You go up and get some sleep, okay? I'll see you in a couple of days" I said after helping her down from her seat, and watched as she gave me a small grateful smile in return. I knew then, that Peter had been right. We would both need these next few days apart to think in peace and sort things out. She placed her good arm up on my shoulder and standing up on her tippy toes, planted a light kiss on my cheek.

"Thank you Jazz…" She said and I felt her hand brush my cheek before she turned around and walked away.


A.N.

I hope y'all liked it :o) I love Peter, he's such a good ol' southern bad ass lol. Please leave me a review and let me know what you thought. My insecurities could really use the feedback…