Last two weeks have been a hell for all our family, especially for Emmett. The loss of his girlfriend was tearing my brother apart as well as the rest of the family.
From the beginning, when Bella entered our family no one really wanted to accept her. But in the spun of 10 months she became very important for all of us. For Alice she was the long lost sister, for Edward and me she became a dear sibling and a good friend. Well for Emmett; let's just say that he found his soul mate in her.
With time little Miss Swan started to fill the role of eldest, all knowing, fun loving sibling in our small company. She fit perfectly by Emmett's side and there wasn't a day when they both didn't give us all a hard time about this or that.
When I received the call from Carlisle I lost it. I wanted to throw the phone away and pretend nothing happened. Yea, that wouldn't have been too productive. Although smashing the phone against the wall helped me a little.
Deep inside, I believed that Bella will make it. She was strong willed and knew how the procedure worked, but there always was a place for doubt in all of our minds.
The time we spent waiting for Carlisle in parking lot was heart wrecking. Alice cried like there was no tomorrow and on one point it was the case. Edward just stood there holding Alice upright while looking at Bella not really believing that she might never come back from this. And Emmett just held her, though in the end it looked like he was leaning on Bella's little frame. I in that moment just didn't think. Of course I knew that it could come to this point, but in my mind it never happened this early or sudden. But I guess I was wrong.
After the parting I saw a change in Carlisle's and Esme's behavior as well, they of course were concerned and heartbroken, but I could tell that there was something more. A mute emotion that contrasted with the others. I tried my hardest not to think about their strange behavior, but it was obvious that they felt fear and distrust in Bella's capability of enduring the tasks she would have to take. They loved and cherished her as a part of our family, but they also knew the price of her possible failure. There was a great risk that she could endanger us and it was no good in Carlisle's and Esme's eyes.
Although they weren't our biological parents we still shared a strong bound. They felt an obligation to keep us safe, because of the reasons why we were under their wing in the first place. They kept our life as normal as possible, not really wanting us to know or see the danger that always was hanging over our heads, but in the same time they weren't cherishing an illusion of peaceful future, because when the time would come one of us would have to inherit the obligations that Carlisle and Esme had. We all knew it, but the time hadn't come, so we kept it as a taboo.
The hardest part in this situation was waiting. We all tried to occupy ourselves as good as possible, but the concern found its way in our heads again and again.
The distance between us grew bigger, Edward and Alice searched a comfort in each other, Carlisle and Esme were buried in their work, Emmett wondered around the house not finding a peaceful place to stay, everything reminded him of Bella, it was hard to have a conversation with him. First of all it didn't seem that he even wanted to hold a conversation that was longer than minute and second of all it was hard not to say or do something that would set him off. His spirit was somewhere else, he became a shadow of a man he once was.
And me, well I tried not to be around the house, just to sleep over the nights and take off. It didn't matter where I headed, as long as I was on the road. The situation and the state of my family were like a slow torture for me. I loved them dearly but I couldn't take their heartache doubled with mine.
Today Esme demanded my presence at family dinner. I guess she was just trying to get us through the motions, but unfortunately it was a big fucking failure. The silence around the table was defining. Emmett left the table 10 minutes after he sat down, apparently in his opinion this was a betrayal and life shouldn't go on without Bella there.
I didn't particularly agree with him, but I could see where he was coming from.
The rest of us made an effort and agreed on a movie night with our adoptive parents. It all seemed so fake and stupid that at some point I just wanted to laugh.
We were half way through The Hangovers when we heard the front door bell going off. Edward took the remote and put the movie on hold while Esme rose to get the door.
My eyes followed Esme and I was almost 99,9 % sure that was the case for everyone in this room. It was almost 11 pm so you could probably understand our interest.
When she opened the door her eyes widened and then we heard a strong man's voice coming from outside.
"Hello Mrs. Cullen we got the girl back, she's in the car passed out and someone should come get her." The voice said nonchalantly.
We were all on our feet before the man finished the sentence. I wanted to rush and get Bella, but I halted seeing that the burly stranger was blocking practically all the door.
He looked at us and as if saying to carry on he moved away from the door. In the moment I was just about to go to the car I heard a gruff voice from behind me.
"What's going on?" Almost all of us turned around speechless. It seemed that this situation had made us mute. Everything was almost in slow motion.
"You're Emmett aren't you?" The male still standing by the door asked almost amused.
"Yea? What is it to you?" Emmett answered in a dead voice.
"Nothing I was just wondering. Bella talked a lot about you."
It took Emmett only few seconds to put it all together before he roared out.
"Where is she?"
"In the car."The stranger answered with a small smile tugging at his lips.
That was all it took, Emmett ran towards the door leaving the stranger a little time to get to the side so they wouldn't collide. We were right after him not wanting to lose any time.
The car was parked right in front of the house so the distance was very small. When we got out of the house we saw Emmett cradling Bella in his big arms. Seeing her was a big relief, but when I got a better look at her I was horrified. She looked so small and fragile, but somehow peaceful.
But the thing that mattered the most was that she was alive. She was safe now as were we. I almost could feel the relief of all my family filling me up.
We gave Emmett a moment, he was cradling her close to his body, it almost looked like he was trying to bury her in himself as an assurance that she would never leave again. Alice was sobbing in Edward's chest as Esme stood right beside them rubbing Alice's back in comfort. I couldn't do anything to be honest; I had so many emotions ripping through me that it made me immobile.
The stranger coughed indicating that he was still there. We turned around, the stranger seeing that he got our attention said:
"That was all, I won't interrupt you anymore." He didn't wait for a reply and moved closer to the car. He was about to get in, but stopped.
"Give her a proper goodbye from Felix" he winked and got into the car. I didn't know who Felix was, but I got the message. And with that he was off, leaving us standing there for a while, not knowing what to do next.
My senses were paralyzed. The only sounds around were Alice's cries and Emmett's low whispers. It started to drive me crazy, what the hell is going on, shouted a voice in my head. My frustration level rose as the seconds flew.
I heard steady footsteps coming closer, they were heading at Emmett's direction. It was Esme.
"Now Emmett, let's get her into the house, you don't want her to get ill, it is cold outside." She put her hand on his shoulder in a comforting gesture and gave a reassuring smile. That made Emmett relax a bit, but nevertheless his gaze was seeking for any threat that could possibly appear again. Slowly he started to move towards the door as we followed his tracks.
When we got in Alice ran upstairs to get the bath ready for Bella while Esme went to find some clean clothes. Emmett sat on the couch, Bella never leaving his grip. I could feel guilt dripping from him. It almost looked like he was in physical pain; he looked even more down with her here than when she was gone- if it was possible.
Maybe this particular conclusion wouldn't make sense to me if I wouldn't know my brother as well as I did. He felt even more guilt and pain now because he could actually see the damage. The what if's and maybe's were gone and the cold hard truth was reaching him with lightning speed.
With my eyes I examined Bella's condition. Her blouse was loose and it showed a bit of her back and I could clearly see burn marks. Her arms had bruises all over them, also she had swollen lips and her hair was a mess, it almost looked like they had blood in them. She looked like she had been hit by a car; I tried not to think of the possibilities of what actually happened to her. I looked at the side, so I wouldn't have to see the painful sight and saw Edward- his head bent down, it was obvious that even he had a hard time seeing all of this.
How ironic, I thought to myself. These past weeks our only wish was to get Bella back, but when it finally happened, it was even more painful than loosing her. All of the dreadful waiting and concern was useless now. In all these weeks praying that she would come back none of us never thought about what would come back if it would be the case, of course we knew the scenario, but this was just too much. I stopped my thoughts right in that place. Everything is going to be okay, Bella is going to get well again, I repeated in my head. It had to be like that.
Hope gleamed in my chest.
"Son, the bath is ready, could you help and…" Esme didn't even finish her sentence when Emmett rose up from his seat and headed up. My mind was playing tricks on me because I heard Bella whimper in Emmett's chest, but there still was no movement from her.
Now it was my turn to sit down. I wasn't the dramatic one in the family so I had to get my shit together. Bella won't get better because of my whining. Alice startled me from my thoughts and when my eyes landed on her face I saw something that surprised me. I saw a smile. Her grin grew even bigger because of my confused look.
"Jazz, she's a tough. She'll be okay." Her eyes sparkled with faith, I could tell she really believed her words and funnily enough it calmed me down. She had that kind of effect on me.
"Thank you. You know, I appreciate it very much." I mumbled under my breath. She understood what I was saying thank you for. Alice always had had a way of knowing things; maybe it just was her faith in all that's good and right. But surprisingly she almost always was right.
"That's what I'm here for." She said in a high pitch voice and got up. I knew where she was heading. Edward already had his hands wide open. It made me smile a bit; the love they shared between them was something unique, something I would want to experience myself one day. But for now I was okay of being a loner I am. And a part of me really didn't want to get someone from outside involved in my life, the life of my family. But I knew when the right time would come no guilt or precautions wouldn't halter my actions.
I felt a familiar feeling- exhaustion. This was a long day and there was only one thought left in my head- sleep. I knew that Emmett would be there if Bella would wake up or need something, so I didn't worry about that. My presence was unnecessary.
I got till the third floor where my room was located. I didn't spend time on taking off my clothes so I just fell in my bed and passed out in the moment my head hit the pillow.
The next morning I woke up because I heard voices downstairs. There was laughter and I could clearly hear Alice's laud exclamations. It was weird to hear that kind of emotions in this house again. Two weeks of silence and occasional silent sobs gave the laughter and joyful exclamations an almost alien quality. I got out of the bed and found some clean clothes that I could wear.
After getting ready I hurried down stairs, to the living room and saw Bella sitting on the couch, Emmett right besides her, his arm around her waist. Alice bounced around them while Edward was laughing at her expense. All of them were smiling. The room radiated with warmth and love. And finally the word home regained its true meaning again.
"Bella, I'm so happy to see you again." I said smiling, but still felt concerned about her health and didn't success in hiding that emotion from my voice.
"I'm feeling better and I'll get back on my feet again in no time." She said in a calm voice. Her lips formed a small smile and delivered her understanding of my concern.
"Jasper!" Alice squeaked while still jumping around like a kid on sugar high.
"Yes, Alice" I said in a calm voice.
"Since Bella is back, we need to celebrate it! That means that we'll have a nice dinner in Seattle. " She said it as if someone was after her; sometimes I wonder how can she talk this fast without an effort.
"Okay?" That was all I had to say, because to be honest I was a bit confused. Wasn't it a bit too fast, was Bella alright with it, or she just gave in to my sisters little whim.
"Don't worry Jasper. I fell alright and a little bit of normal wouldn't harm. Besides Charlie is in work and we will be back befog he is home." Bella's reassurance calmed me down a little; still I thought it was totally unnecessary. The fact that Charlie couldn't get off work was understandable. It would look funny if he would run to see his daughter after she visited her mother in Phoenix. This situation was probably eating him alive. If there was one thing he loved in his life it was his daughter and not seeing your daughter after this kind of an event would affect even the strongest men out there.
Alice was talking or rather screaming about her plans for the evening. And everyone was listening to her patiently, or at least pretending to.
I wasn't upset because I didn't get to talk to Bella, because well… I don't blame her. She experienced hell these past weeks and she needed something other on her mind. We needed to get some life in her. And now there was a lot of time for her to tell what happened to her.
With that thought in my head I told everyone that I will meet them in Seattle. They didn't object understanding that I needed some time for myself. I went upstairs to get everything that I needed and headed towards the garage where my shiny black Ducati Streetfighter was waiting for me.
I just stood there looking at the empty place on the wall, where the picture of my grandmother and Carlisle Cullen should be. Million thoughts were running through my head.
Where was the picture now? Why didn't Peter say that he knew Carlisle? He should know him shouldn't he? If Carlisle was my grandmothers friend than it would make sense for Peter to know him, wouldn't it?
Pulling the conversation with Peter about this particular picture from the depths of my mind I noticed his obvious disdain towards the man in the picture. If so, why? There must be a reason, but if there is a good reason why didn't he tell me anything? Is he hiding something from me? No he wouldn't do that. Or would he?
Something about this situation was disturbing me in ways it shouldn't. I knew that it wasn't anything out of ordinary to keep secrets or never mention some things, but there was something more.
Anger, disappointment and many other emotions were coursing through me. The possibility of Peter's betrayal was something I had considered before, but not in this kind of situation. Huh. I couldn't even name this so called situation and I was already going apeshit.
I have to get myself together.
I sat down and after five minutes I was calm enough to start to think about my further actions. My impatience will be my downfall, I knew that well, but I couldn't help myself the need to know what was going on was killing me.
There wasn't much to think about after that conclusion so I found my phone and after finding Peters name in my telephone book I pressed the call key. Never had someone not answering at once bothered me as much as it did now though it took Peter only 30 seconds to answer.
"Hello?" how can a greeting sound rude? Did he always answer the phone with that kind of voice intonation?
"Where are you?" I matched his attitude.
"Did you hit your head honey, I'm in Seattle." His laughter rang loud and clear through the speaker.
"Yea I know, but where exactly are you, I want to meet up with you." Annoyance was very obvious in my voice.
"Did you decide to come to the city?" Peter asked confused.
"Something like that, I need to talk to you that's it." My answer was strong and sure. I really hoped that he was smart enough not to try to change my mind about this.
"Can't it wait few hours till I get home?"
"No it really can't." My grandfather's cluelessness would have been funny in other situations but right now the only way I could look at it was with a critical eye. In my head he was pretending, acting, deceiving.
"Okay? Is everything alright?" Now his voice was laced with concern.
"Yea, where are we meeting up?" Stay cool, stay cool no emotions. Don't show how much you care about his concern.
"Well I'm not far from the center, why don't we meet in a little coffee shop on the main street it called "Lavender". Sounds good?" Peter said kindly, he knew something was up but probably not what. He was walking on egg shells around me now.
"It will do, I'll be there after 3 hours."
I ended the call immediately. Not wanting to delay anymore I went to change and collect my necessities. After exactly 10 minutes I was opening my car doors.
I raced down the high way like a bat from hell, pressing my car to its limits. Of course I should have known that this car was a bit too old to do that and when I noticed the smoke rising from the bonnet a loud curse escaped my lips. I pulled over on the side of the freeway and got out of the car.
My trip would be officially over if I wouldn't figure out what was wrong with the car. So with no further ado I opened bonnet and got to work. After a half an hour my hands were dirty to my elbows and the fact that I really couldn't do anything on spot to fix the car was becoming clearer with every passing situation.
In surrender I slammed the bonnet shut and went o get a cigarette.
After I lighted my cigarette I stood there leaning against the stupid car and trying to think of a good game plan. Calling Peter to come and help me was out of the fucking question. Yes call me tick headed but that was who I am. Maybe I could get a ride to Seattle with the help of the passing cars. I didn't particularly like the idea, because God only knows what kind of loony would be behind the wheel.
So it leaves only one option to call car service and get home as well as call Peter and tell him that I won't make it. Shit this was a very fucked up situation.
I stood there for a while just looking blankly at the distance when I heard the familiar screech of brakes closing in. My head automatically shot in the said direction as an instinct towards a possible treat. When my eyes landed on a black motorcycle I momentarily understood that the brakes weren't going off because of an emergency but on intention.
The bike stopped practically next to me and a man climbed off of it. When he took his helmet off my facial expression changed from wary to shock.
"Need help?" His calm voice danced in the space. He wore a small calm smile that did not indicate to any mockery.
After few minutes of shocked silence I regained my ability to speak.
"There is nothing you can really do here. The engine burned down so without the necessary equipment there is nothing anyone can do." I said as calmly as I could. Come on I was talking to my so called enemy- Jasper Cullen it was hard to reign in my emotions or understand why the hell he stopped to help me if he saw who I was. Probably didn't recognize me at the moment and was just too stupid just to leave after recognizing me.
Jaspers eyes landed on my car in a calculative manner and then they slid back to my face. The words that were spoken next gave me a mini heart attack.
"Need a ride?"