DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN TWILIGHT, ALL CREDIT GOES TO STEPHANIE MEYER. I'M JUST PLAYING IN THE VIRTUAL SANDBOX

(A/n I haven't written any Twilight fiction in a LONG time and then *poof* last night this popped into my head. As for the timeline I have no idea where this fits, obviously it's before Bella is changed but she has some idea of the Volturi... what the hell, if we're taking this much of a departure from the story stop worrying and just enjoy. Anyone for another chapter? *puppy dog eyes* )


Toni Braxton:
How could an angel break my heart? Why didn't he catch my falling star? I wish I didn't wish so hard. Maybe I wished our love apart.


I sat on the floor opposite the sofa watching Jasper sitting with his arms around Alice, folding her into his cold stone body like a mother to a child. Perhaps it was an odd comparison to make between two mates but Alice had always struck me as childlike. Or maybe Jasper was just unbelievably… stern.

Edward was out hunting, which was strange of itself. Usually he ordered his time so he could stay in the house with me while I was there.

I turned my cheek to the wall, feeling its coolness on my frail human skin. I guessed Jasper probably wasn't breathing right now, and he'd do his usual trick of disappearing in around five minutes. He was predictable in this way at least.

Jasper was something of an obsession with me, a thorny problem I wanted to solve, he was like a jigsaw puzzle with a piece missing and I couldn't complete the picture. In a way, he was both the best and the worst of the Cullens. If someone had asked me to think of a vampire before I knew the Cullens Jasper would have fit the bill perfectly- cold, calm, unfeeling. Beautifully deadly. What made him especially fascinating was that I felt his humanity was only a very thin veneer that he painted over himself in order to fit in with the rest of the family, with Alice.

He only marginally succeeded. Of all the Cullens it was Jasper I was most, and least, afraid of. Yes, he could kill me without a second thought but at least he had flaws. It was a bit horrific to constantly be the only person around who could slip up, who could make mistakes. Jasper made me feel a little less alone.

"Bella?" Jasper's cool voice seemed to echo inside my head as I turned with a reassuring smile ready on my lips. No doubt, he had tasted the emotional atmosphere around me.

"I'm fine." My smile felt alien. "Sorry." I added unnecessarily – he could tell I wasn't feeling apologetic.

It was Alice's hot amber eyes that drew me in, sparking with some unknown emotion. Jasper looked like he was seconds away from escaping the room.

"I'm sorry, I need to…" I fled the room with my sentence unfinished, stumbling up the stairs. I tripped a couple of times and ended up running up using both my hands and legs. I stopped halfway, compromising with myself. I wouldn't escape to Edward's room because that was childish, but neither could I sit in that room one second longer. The atmosphere was palpable.

I knew that Jasper and Alice must have heard me stop, probably heard my accelerated heartbeat right now. There were no secrets in the Cullen house. It was almost suffocating.

Not a week ago, Edward had been my air, my very reason for breathing. But he'd been distant from me lately, spending a lot of time with Alice. I'd stopped being upset about that when I'd found them both sitting at the chess table in stony silence, each with chess pieces crumbled to dust in their stone fists. I'd tried to ask what was wrong but Edward had just smiled painfully at me and shook his head.

Every moment Alice wasn't with Edward she was with Jasper. Their relationship had changed, it was like they were gobbling up every precious moment together like something bad was going to happen, something was going to tear them apart.

It scared me. If two superhuman beings were still subject to fate, then what hope did I have?

Carlisle was noticeably absent from the house, spending his hours at the hospital. Esme was around but I wasn't getting the same motherly feeling from her. It was strange; it was like they were all watching me, waiting for me to do something.

I just wished I knew what that something was. It set my heart on edge within my chest.

At least Emmett remained much the same. Rosalie seemed to hate me even more these days. I hadn't even thought that was possible.

I dropped my head onto my knees and finally let the feelings overtake me. Everything I had been hiding for the past week overwhelmed me and I tucked my arms around my middle and dry sobbed – the feelings too much to get out through tears.

"Bella?" Jasper's voice.

I just sniffed. Jasper was not the person I wanted right now. I wanted Edward to be there, with his cool soothing touch. He'd wrap me in his arms and tell me everything was okay.

"I… Bella, your emotions…" I chanced a look up into his face and felt a jab of guilt. His features were twisted with his attempt at control. I wanted to reach out a hand and smooth out all the lines in the perfect marble.

"I'm sorry Jasper." My voice was small but sure. "This is how I feel right now. Everyone's on edge, it scares me." I looked up at him again.

"What is it Jasper? What are Edward and Alice hiding from me? I think you know…"

He stood up quickly and moved to lean against the wall, snarling. I jumped a little in shock – it was unusual for Jasper to show emotion.

"It's better if you don't know Bella. It's better for everyone if you don't know. Alice's visions are subject to change after all. There's still time for this to change…"

He looked overwhelmingly sad. Sad and afraid. Sadness and fear were two emotions I never expected to cross his perfect features.

I felt myself starting to panic.

"It's something bad isn't it? The Volturi? I thought we had more time! If Edward wasn't so stubborn…" I trailed off.

"That's beside the point anyway," I hurried on, "It shouldn't make everyone worry like this. It's a bit sudden and I do wish we had more time, but I'm all for changing me as soon as possible. You know that Jasper. I wouldn't put the family in danger."

I hadn't thought it was possible for his face to show any more tension, but as always, these superhuman beings surprised me.

"Well more fool us Bella!" The anger in his voice scared me. "More fool us…"

I surged up from my sitting position to grab onto his stony arm, forgetting the danger I was putting myself in.

"What is it Jasper? Just tell me, please, I can't fix it if I don't know what's wrong!"

His cool amber eyes regarded me for a few seconds, like a cat in their aloofness. I refused to be scared off, simply tightening my grip.

"Tell me." My voice was firm, brooking no argument. His mouth tilted a little in a smile, but it looked painful and sharp on his face.

"Alice saw us Bella."

I frowned at him. There wasn't anything unusual in that surely? I tried to think of the worst possibility.

"Was it something like my birthday? That's silly Jasper; I mean I trust you…"

He spun away before I could finish my sentence, wrenching my hand from its grip easily. I let it fall to my side, tears beginning to build in my eyes.

"Can't you tell me, Jasper, please?" My hand began to reach out again of its own accord but I snatched it back when he snarled furiously at me.

"Bella, sweet innocent little Bella. You know what they all think? They think I corrupt you in some way. Edward's current theory is that I influence your emotions somehow. Alice is exhausting herself searching for futures where it doesn't happen. There aren't any. This is something even we can't escape."

"Jasper you're speaking in riddles! Whatever it is, surely it can't be that bad? We can get through it together."

"Well that's rather the point." He laughed but there wasn't any humour in it. "We're going to rip this family apart; we're going to betray everything we hold dear…"

He finally looked at me then but I couldn't decipher the whirling emotions in his amber eyes.

"Bella, we're going to fall in love."