One Month Later
Bella followed the realtor into the house with Brian close behind her. They had spent a lot of time together in the last month mostly looking for a house for her. This had been the reason she had come back to Wolf Lake. Before she went blind she wanted to get settled in her house and learn the layout. The realtor had taken them to many houses but when she stepped through the door she had a feeling that this was the one.
The house was a cute bungalow that was set back in the woods. It had three bedrooms and two baths with a good-sized kitchen. "What do you think?" She turned to Brian trying to get his opinion.
"It's nice. We could throw some good parties here," he joked. He grabbed her hand and pulled her into the backyard with him. "Look at this yard. My niece or nephew will love playing here."
She pulled away from him and sat down on the step. "Do you remember Ms. Colleen? She used to live next door to you when we were younger."
He sat down beside her and she leaned her head on his shoulder. "Yeah, I remember."
"She used to hate us playing in her yard."
"Jase and I were playing football in our backyard and I threw it too hard. It landed right on her prized roses. I never saw that football again." He smiled looking down at her.
"I remember her having all these cats and thinking she was a crazy cat lady. No one wanted to live with her except those cats. Do you think that is going to be me?" She looked into his eyes trying to find comfort from his presence. She had never thought of living alone before even the years she had been in New York the thought had never crossed her mind.
"You have about two weeks left. It's time you told Jase the truth."
"How do I start that conversation?" She had tried coming up with ways to tell him but each time she could see him walking out on her. He had every right to be mad at her. She had lied to him more then once. Bella had stood in front of her mirror for hours rehearsing what she would say but it never came out right. "Jase, I'm sorry I left you but I was afraid to tell you that I am going blind. So leave Chelsea and marry me."
"That sounds good to me."
"I didn't come back for Jase and I especially did not come back to break up a wedding."
He pulled her hair back from where it fell onto her face. "I know you didn't but it's what you are going to have to do. If he wasn't with Chelsea you could have all the time you need but you don't. He is miserable without you and he is too loyal to break the engagement off with Chelsea if he has no reason to. You told him that you don't want him. Now you are going to tell the truth."
The realtor came out onto the back porch and stood over them. "Have you made your decision?"
"I'll take it," she said.
"Good. I'm sure you two love birds will be very happy." The realtor walked away and they busted out laughing.
Jase sat on his deck hearing the bachelor party in full swing behind him. All of his friends had shown up and were at this minute drinking themselves into a stupor. He had been enjoying the party but it never took very long for thoughts of Bella to come back. Over the past month he had watched his brother spend time with her and get closer to her. The two were always together spending most of their evenings at Brian's apartment. The only way he had known that she was there was because he had to drive past his apartment on the way home. He had been really upset about it but his brother kept telling him that nothing was going on between the two of them. He wasn't so sure though.
Many evenings Brian and Bella were at Alley Nine hanging out with friends and he had noticed the way his brother looked at her. There had been a change in Brian since Bella came back as if he wanted to take care of her. One night at the club they were standing off by themselves when Bella whispered something in his ear he picked her up and carried her out of the club. He hadn't been showing off or wanting attention. It seemed as if something had been wrong.
"Hey brother. The party is in there." Brian sat down beside him. "What's going on?"
"Nothing. I just needed a little space." He looked at Brian trying to remember the guy he used to be. In high school they seemed as different as night and day but Brain had calmed down since then.
"I'm falling for her," Brian whispered drawing Jase's attention back to him. "I need you to decide what you are going to do."
"How could you do this to me?" Jase got up walking away from Brian.
"Do what to you? I haven't done anything." Brian stood up and followed him.
"You have been hanging out with her this whole time. It's like you planned this."
"I have been hanging out with her because I was trying to get her to talk to you."
Jase stopped and swung around to face him. "Are you saying you did this for me because I'm pretty sure you were doing it for you. Maybe you were just trying to get laid again."
"You would think that but I promise you that if she had to choose right now she would pick you."
Jase smirked at Brian feeling as if he had already won. How could his brother be talking about falling in love with his mate? "She's a smart girl."
Brain sighed running his hand through his hair. "Dang it, Jase. What do you expect from her? You're getting married soon. Or better yet, what do you expect from me?"
He got in Brian's face," I was hoping you could act like my brother but I never expect to much from you."
Jase was pushed back by Brain and he stumbled a few feet before attacking his brother. He flew at him in full speed sending them both to the ground. He got off a few punches before Brian started hitting him back. They weren't fighting long before two of their friends came outside to stop the fight.
"We're cool," Brian said shrugging off his restraints. The two guys gave them a warning look before heading back inside.
"A lot has happened in four years. I can't decide the rest of my life in two months. I gave Chelsea a ring and told her I would marry her." Jase wiped away the blood that was dripping from his mouth. "Just, take her. Do whatever you want."
"I would love to tell her how I feel but I'm scared."
Jase turned towards him brother noticing the pained expression on his face. "What do you have to be scared of?"
"I'm scared that every time I'm with her she is wishing it was you."
Bella was in bed when she heard Brian make his way into the bedroom. "We need to talk," he jumped in not waiting for her to say hello.
"It's not a good morning," she said trying to find her way around the room. She had woken up not being able to see this morning. It had happened two days in a row and she was starting to get sick of it.
"Time's up. I have given you all the time I can now I insist you tell my brother what is going on."
Despite not being able to see she could feel his eyes on her. "I can't even see to get out of this room. How am I going to be able to get to him now?"
"I guess I can take care of that." She felt his arms go around her picking her up.
"Put me down. I don't want to tell him." She kicked her legs and moved hoping he would drop her but he didn't. He brought her downstairs and out to his car where he deposited her on the seat. "I'm not doing this. You can't make me."
"That's funny. It seems like I already have."
Jase was working on a Ford Mustang when he heard his brother's truck pull up. His brother walked into the shop carrying Bella like he had that night at the club. When he was a few feet away he let her down walking closer to Jase. "Tell him Bella," he said over his shoulder to her.
"Tell me what? What is going on?" He watched his brother who was staring down Bella.
"Tell him now."
"No, I won't do it."
"Okay Bella. Then tell me; what color shirt is Jase wearing today?"
Jase was confused by what was happening before him. His brother looked very angry with the woman he had claimed to love last night. Bella, on the other hand, was not looking Brian in the eye. It was if she was shy. She stood there quietly not moving and his brother turned to him. "She's blind Jase. She didn't leave you because she didn't want to be with you she left because she didn't want to burden you. Right now it comes and goes but eventually it will become permanent."
"Stop it," Bella said from behind Brian. Jase noticed that she was crying.
He walked over to her and cupped her face in his hands bringing her face up so that he could look in her eyes. Her eyes were dead and he knew she wasn't registering anything. "Why didn't you tell me?"
"I didn't want you to have to live with this."
"What am I going to do now Bella? I can't break it off with Chelsea two days before our wedding." He let her face go and walked over to the Mustang leaning on it for support. "Why did you even bother to tell me?"
"I didn't want to but Brian thought it would change your mind. I'm so sorry."
"Sorry isn't going to cut it this time Bella. These are people's lives you messed with. Not just mine but Chelsea's. How can I break her heart when I see no reason to not get married? You made your choice the minute you left for New York."
"I wanted to see more of the world than Wolf Lake before I can't see anything."
He walked back over to her, feeling his anger boil over. "In two days I am going to marry Chelsea. This just tells me that I made the right decision. If I can't trust you to tell me the truth now how could I trust you if we got married?"
Jase walked away turning his back on her. Brian walked up behind him and he could feel the anger radiating off of him. "If I had known you were going to be rude to her I wouldn't have brought her here. It took a lot of courage to come here and face you but you just had to kick her when she was down. If anyone doesn't deserve someone here, you don't deserve her. She went to New York so that you would have time to move on. She wanted you to have the normal life she didn't think she could give you."
His brother walked over to Bella who had sunk to the floor and picked her up. She was still crying as she wrapped her arms around his neck. His brother held her like a small child trying to soothe her. Like usual he could feel her agony inside of him. Their connection taunted him reminding him that no matter what happened in two days the two of them would always be connected. Brian walked past him and out of the garage scowling.
Three months later
Bella was busy putting up curtains in her new house trying to get ready for Brian to come over. The lace caused her to stop and think back on all that had happened in the last three months. On August 15th, Jase and Chelsea Stevenson had walked down the aisle as husband and wife for the first time. Brian told her it had been a beautiful wedding and despite the heartache she knew she would feel for a while she felt happy that things had turned out exactly as they were meant to be.
Exactly one month after the wedding, Bella signed the papers for her new house; which was the one her and Brian had looked at with the great backyard. Brian had eventually told her that he loved her and had asked her to marry him. There had been no hesitation when she said yes.
Not long after that Bella lost her sight for good. It had been a normal afternoon with Brian when her sight had finally dimmed for the last time. He had been very caring and patient with her while she got used to her new life. She had felt a little sad knowing that if she had just told Jase the truth from the beginning he probably would have taken it as well as Brian. Either way she was happy. Somewhere amidst all the confusion when she returned to Wolf Lake she had fallen for Brian as much as he had fallen for her.
There was a knock at the door taking Bella from her thoughts. She opened the door and noticed Jase's scent coming from her doorstep. He took her hand and put something heavy in it. "It's a house warming gift. Chelsea bought it."
"Thank you. Would you like to come in?"
He said," yes," and she stepped back allowing him to walk in. "It's nice Bella."
"Well, I still have a lot to do on it." She stood there waiting for him to say something feeling his nervous energy fill the room. "After the wedding we will have to have you and Chelsea over for dinner."
Jase smiled," Only if you make the dinner. Brian is not a good cook no matter what he tells you."
"I know. I got to try some of his burnt pancakes yesterday." She smiled wishing she could see his face. "I'm really happy for you Jase. Things are going to be alright."
"Yeah, my brother is going to take good care of you for me."
Just then she heard a scuffle and was lifted into strong arms. She kissed Brian loving the feel of his arms around her. "Woman, do you just kiss any man who picks you up? What if it wasn't me," he asked with a hint of laughter in his voice.
"I guess I'm just lucky that it was you, huh?"
"Brother, I am going to have to punish her for this and I can't have any witnesses."
She heard Jase laugh," I understand. I'll see you two later."
Bella smiled to herself knowing that what she had said to Jase was true. Everything was going to be all right.
Sorry it took a few more days than usual. I was contemplating three different endings to this story. This ending was hard to write. I really wanted to end the story with Bella being with Jase but the more I thought about it, it just didn't make sense. I wrote Jase to be a loyal character and I couldn't see him breaking off the wedding with Chelsea. I would love to hear what you think of the ending. Do you think she should have ended up with Jase? How would you have changed this story?
As always Thanks for reading!