Disclaimer: SM owns all. Which makes my heart incredibly sad.
Sorry it's taken so long but certain circumstances held me at bay, now I am back with a vengeance and I intend on keeping regular updates. :D
Chapter 4: Reasons Why
I stood in my bedroom holding an overnight bagI knew I didn't need. The laptop bag with all my supplies to figure out a lesson plan for Monday. I sighed deeply, Friday. I loved Fridays. I loved my new job, and I loved the students, but I loved being in the solace of home. It would be better because it would be a weekend with Edward. A much needed vacation away from Charlie and Renee.
"He's here." My mom said softly poking her head in the room.
I stifled a chuckle at how she seemed to read my mind. "Alright, send him in."
I walked to my bathroom contemplating packing a bathroom bag. When I felt his warm arms encircle my waist pulling me to his warm chest. His sweet breath blew across the top of my head, as his lips kissed me gently.
I turned and pressed a chaste kiss to his chest, "Hey."
There were no, words to be said we were in a comfortable silence as we carried out the bags to his car. Charlie and Renee stood on the porch smiling. The look in Charlie's eye made me curious but I didn't think about it, I just went with it.
"Love you guys!" I called standing at the open passenger Volvo door.
"Love you too Kiddo." Charlie called.
"Be careful." Renee sniffled.
Once on the road I let out a breath I didn't realize I had been holding. "So what are our plans Mr. Cullen." I asked in a mock British accent.
He smiled at me but it didn't reach his eyes, "Well we'll talk about it when we get there."
The rest of the ride was silent. We pulled up to the large home and he carried my things upstairs. Once in the room I flung myself into the foamy mattress relishing in it's absolute softness. "Your mom rocks!" I mumbled into the foam.
"Bells, we don't have much time." Edward stated urgently.
I sat up looking at him quizzically, and he continued. "I mean… Okay. I'm going to Seattle with my father this weekend."
The bomb was dropped and I stare at him dumbly, "What do you mean?"
"I wanted you to be able to have a quiet weekend…" He admitted sheepishly.
I felt the frown deepen on my face, "I would rather stay at Charlie and Renee's if you're not going to be here." I told him honestly.
"I know Bells. But if we're serious in considering marriage… Jasper and you used to be such close friends. You both understood the nerdy-ness you seem to share. Please Bella. Please for me just try…"
Although my heart was torn, I knew I couldn't hide from Jasper forever. It would be better to set boundaries with Edward not there anyways.
"Ok." I relented pouting.
Edward leaned forward and kissed me gently, "I'll be home Sunday evening. And we'll cuddle." His words were full of promise and I hated him for it.
I watched through the bedroom window as he left the house and climbed into Carlisle's waiting Mercedes. I turned slowly looking at the clock on the wall. It was barely after 3 and the house seemed so empty and quiet. Even a bit dark, which was unsettling to me. I sighed heavily and began making it a task to unpack my belongings. I wasn't surprised to see that the closet and dresser were already packed with new clothes. It was the Cullen way, I should have known better.
I picked out a pair of comfortable grey sweats and a pink baby Tee and made my way to the in suite bathroom. I set my clothes on the long counter top and undressed. The cool air hitting my warm body felt freeing. I walked to the small closet and smiled at how it was stocked. I pulled out a fluffy pink towel and my favorite strawberry shampoo and conditioner. Along with the lilac body wash I was so fond of.
The hot spray loosened my tense muscles from a long week. Easing the tension from me as the steam fogged the glass. The shower was as refreshing as I had hoped. I stepped out wrapping my body in the plush towel and hummed in appreciation. Money could buy the finest things, and these towels were heavenly. I dressed quickly and returned to my room dressing in more comfortable clothes. I sat unceremoniously on the bed and began to run a comb through my thick mahogany locks.
A weekend with Jasper, the man who still held my shattered heart in his hands. The brother of the man I had committed the past eight years of my life for. My musings were interrupted by the growling in the pit of my stomach and I glanced at the clock.
I placed my brush on the dresser and headed down the stairs to the kitchen. I walked over to the refrigerator and began to rummage inside. Before I knew it I had all the ingredients I needed.
1lb of Chicken
1 can Cream of chicken soup
1 can of Peas
1 can of Carrots
Before I knew it I had a simmering pot of homemade chicken and dumplings prepared. I paused with to rub the flour off of my cheek and entered the half bath to freshen up. I splashed my face with cool water and contemplated checking to see if both Jasper's cars were home. I lost my nerve and returned to the kitchen turning the range off. The smell was good and it dawned on me it was a recipie I hadn't made in a long time. Jasper's favorite.
Before I could ponder my apparent Freudian slip the door that entered the garage door closed loudly. I could hear his footsteps as he walked down the hall and rounded the small corner. He stood there looking better than ever and I found it hard to meet his intense gaze.
"Hello Bella." He greeted cautiously.
"Hello." I mumbled turning back to the stove to stir the contents of the now cooling pot.
"Bella?" He questioned, I could hear the concern in his comforting southern drawl.
I turned slowly and let out a breath I didn't know I was holding, "Edward is right. If him and I…plan on… Well… We'll need to talk." I finished lamely.
Jasper's posture stiffened as his face became an impassive mask. We stood there for minutes of tense silence before his shoulders slumped forward in defeat. "Lets talk."
"Set the table, I made dinner." I told him offhandedly.
If we were going to be having this talk I wasn't doing it on an empty stomach. I needed my strength. I'm not the same fragile girl he left. I need to be strong… Jasper moved to the cabinets and grabbed two bowls and two spoons and headed to the table. He sat down and I brought the pot of food to sit in the middle of the table. His demeanor changed as soon as I began spooning his serving.
"this looks great." He whispered his eyes glassy.
The look on his face made my heart clench painfully in my chest. I had difficulty attempting to speak with the newly formed lump in my throat. Instead I nodded and we began to eat in awkward silence. After a few minutes I decided I needed to take control, I was a strong and independent woman.
"I'm willing to try." I managed to choke.
He arched his perfect brow questioningly, "Try?" He repeated.
I took a deep breath and sighed, "Yes. I willing to try to be your friend. We need to… I can do that for Edward." I told him making sure I met his gaze.
His gaze softened as he inspected my face, the scrutiny as his eyes traveled my face intensified the need to flee. The tension was thick and my heart felt as though it was breaking all over again. The honey locks surrounding his angelic face, a face that frequented my dreams.
"I lied to you, Bella." He said so softly I almost didn't hear him.
I paused completely taken aback trying to decipher what he meant, "What?"
"I was never ashamed of you… Of us… I overheard Edward and Esme talking about you. Edward was convinced he was in love with you and Esme wanted him to go for it… I thought… If they… If they knew… I would lose everything. I would lose another family and I couldn't do that Bella. I needed them." He explained his piercing blue eyes begging me to understand.
My mouth went dry and my palms began to sweat as I realized what this meant. "You thought they would send you away for loving me?" I asked him incredulously.
He nodded sheepishly, but his expression never changed. He was watching me so intently it was almost uncomfortable.
My thoughts turned to the past and I closed my eyes remembering.
After I turned from Jasper the tears began to stream down my face in a torrential downpour that would make the city of Forks proud. I ran to the house and upstairs to Edward's room. I knocked twice and let myself into his room.
"Bella? Whats wrong?" His voice was so comforting I fell apart.
"I had a boyfriend this summer Edward. That's why I was so busy. I'm so.. So.. Sorry." I sobbed.
He pulled me to his chest and held me tightly, "Did he hurt you?"
I pulled back and Edward wiped my tears away carefully. "He said he loved me. I was so stupid. I told him I loved him too… And then… And then… I gave him everything." I cried pitifully, "I don't… I didn't think… Now he doesn't want me. He's going to be a senior this year… And… And… He doesn't want me. It was all a lie, and I can't… I don't…" I blubbered.
His hands were rubbing reassuring circles into the small of my back helping me breathe easier.
"Do you want to ask Jasper for help?"
"NO! I just need my best friend Edward." I mumbled into his chest.
"I'm here, love."
My heart was stuttering in my chest and I timidly looked into his shining emerald eyes, "Can I stay in here with you tonight?"
It was the beginning of a long journey of forgiveness and trust. The beginning of my healing. I was beyond shattered and after that day I don't remember the following six months. All I remember was that a small part of my heart accepted Edward and each year it grew a little. But try as I might I couldn't give him the biggest piece that still belongs to someone else. Now Jasper is sitting here telling me that he lied? I went through all that pain and suffering for nothing? What does that even supposed to mean? Anger welled from inside me and I screamed at him.
"WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST TALK TO ME? That was MY choice to make. Not yours! Not Edwards! MINE. I loved YOU Jazz… You took my choice away."
The anger transformed into a gaping hole in my chest. My arms encircled myself holding myself together. It was a pain I had long since buried.
"I could leave." Jasper suggested sadly, "Give you and Ed a fair chance."
I fixed a hard glare at him, "Edward fixed me, my best friend put me together again when I thought I was broken beyond repair. I've… I fell in love with him. You'll always be the one Jasper. I can't seem to give that part of my heart away, because you have it… Don't leave, that'll make things worse…" My voice cracked the tears streaming down my face, making me feel like a little girl.
"I never stopped loving you Jasper… But I'm with Edward. You leaving would kill him. He's missed you, and I can't shoulder that kind of guilt."
"If you still love me, then you could marry me." His eyes were filled with hope and passion.
I laughed humorlessly, "Really? I can't."
"No, you made your bed Jasper. I made a commitment to Edward, I've been hurt before. I. Will. Not. Hurt. Him." I told him slowly.
"Bella?" He pleaded brokenly.
"I'm sorry." I whispered.
No longer feeling hungry I stood up and raced to my room taking the stairs two at a time. I needed to get away from him.
'You promised to never cry over him again.' my inner voice chastised me.
I flung myself onto the bed burring my head in the pillows and crying as once again I was being torn apart…
I watched her run from me the sense of déjà vu strong. I hated that I was capable of doing this to her. It would be better if I left, but I couldn't. Not when the woman I was in love with was talking about plans of marrying my brother.
I looked at the dirty kitchen and sighed.
I stood in the kitchen and cleaned until it was shiny and new looking. I retired to my bedroom and lay on the bed with my hands above my head. When my cell rang.
"Hello?" I answered.
"Jasper!" My brothers cheerful voice brought me from my thoughts.
"What's up?" I asked trying to sound casual.
"well I told Bella I wouldn't be home until Sunday night but I'll be home much earlier than that. I talked to Rosalie and Bella's friend from Seattle Alice and they're going to come over and help decorate the house… I need to get Bella out of the house at 10, and bring her home by noon." His tone breathless.
"Why?" I asked curiously.
"Can you please Jazz." My brother pleaded.
I sighed grudgingly, "Sure."
After the phone call I was depressed. I would have to find a way to get Bella out of the house with me and do it for Edward. I frowned and decided to call my mom.
"Hello?" she answered pleasantly.
"Oh Jasper, how are things at the house. How is Bella liking it."
"She loves it, she even made dinner." I forced my voice to sound happy.
"I was calling to ask you a favor." I began hesitantly.
"Edward wants me to help him, by getting Bella out of the house…"
"OH! Come over here for breakfast and that way you'll be out of his hair." She chuckled.
"Love you Jazz."
"Love you too mom."
With that burden lifted from my shoulders I decided to take a scalding hot shower. Everything was tense and I was in agony knowing Bella was above me crying her eyes out. It wasn't fair for me to put that on her. She was willing to try, and I ruined everything. I hadn't meant to make her feel so guilty.
After the hot shower I dressed in a pair of comfy boxers and fell across my bed lifting the latest civil war era book and began to read…
Okay… so I know a lot of people don't condone cheating and I'm one of those people. But in order for this story to work it's going to happen. Next chapter will contain a very long lemon. And I hope it makes up for being gone so long. Thanks you Guys. :D