A/N: Okay, so I couldn't wait to get this first chapter up. I hope to update regularly.
There was a knock at the door after an hour. I ran to it, hoping like hell it was Alice. I smiled as I threw it open. The smiled faded as my brain realized who was standing in front of me. It was him, the man in my dream. The one who replaced Edward making love to me, who bit my scar and changed me. In my dream, I belonged to him, not Edward. It can't be! I stared at the figure, frozen with fear.
"Hello, Bella," the soft voice said. His eyes were black and there was something radiating from them, something I couldn't figure out. Blood was trickling down his chin and his shirt was torn. He looked me up and down and licked his lips. I backed up slowly as he started approaching me.
It can't be, I repeated. The figure smiled. It was.
I swallowed hard. He didn't stop until I was against the wall. He slowly reached his hand out and gently brushed my cheek.
"Are you okay?" he asked. I shook my head. "What are you doing here Jasper?"
"I came to get you. We have to go."
I stared at him. "What? Where's Edward? Did Alice ever get in touch with you?" His cool skin felt amazing on my warm cheek, but I was too worried about what happened to notice.
"They're dead, Bella."
My jaw dropped. "No. They can't be! Vampires can't die!" I felt my knees starting to give out on me.
His hand left my cheek and rested at my neck, over my scar. "I guarantee you, we can. And they were killed by Victoria. All of the Cullens were, except for me."
I continued to stare at him, trying desperately to make sense of his words. "Is that why your eyes are black? From battle?"
He nodded and suddenly I felt calm. My head was reeling. Edward was dead. It can't be! It's a trick, Victoria tricked him. "Jasper, you didn't answer my question. What are you doing here?"
My neck was burning, his cool hand was soothing. "I came to check on you, to make sure you were protected. There is nothing left for me. Alice, my wife, is gone. My family is gone. The only thing that matters now is you." He ran his thumb over my scar.
"I have to see." I pushed away from the wall and walked past him. He froze. "What?"
"I have to see, Jasper. I have to make sure. How do you know Victoria killed them?" I made a bee line for the door.
He popped up in front of me. "Because I saw it happen. I saw her rip Edward to shreds. I saw my love's head roll towards me. I managed to escape because I was off hunting when the attack began. I could do nothing."
I looked him up and down. "Why do you have blood on your chin? And why is your shirt torn?"
He placed his hands on my shoulders and looked deep into my eyes. "Because I was attacked too. I was on the outside looking in, but one of her 'friends' was looking for me. I made it to the edge of the meadow when she attacked. She ripped my shirt; the blood was from the deer I killed on the way here. I needed energy after the ambush. I…I'm sorry." He lowered his eyes as he spoke. Those last words were whispered.
My eyes softened. "Sorry? For what?"
"I'm sorry for failing them…and you." He looked into my eyes. I took one of his hands off my shoulder and held it. "It's okay, Jasper. You didn't know. You did your best. Let's just go and look; maybe there's hope."
He smiled. "You're right Bella. I can't believe Edward ever left you. I will make sure I don't." He turned and walked out the door. I tilted my head to the side and tried to make sense of his last comment. He was already in the car waiting for me, so I quickly locked up and joined him.
The drive back to Forks was fast. Jasper broke every speed law to get back. I knew we would only be there in a few hours due to their speed and love of driving fast. Neither Jasper nor I spoke. I was praying that he made a mistake; that he thought they were dead. Edward can't be dead. What will I do? He is my fiancé; the love of my life. He has to be okay.
A few times I sneaked glances over at my chauffeur. He looked tense, like he was concentrating on something. The calm he had placed in my apartment disappeared the moment we were in the car. There was a hum about us, but a nervous hum. What could Jasper be nervous about?
He glanced at me and smiled. Then he reached over and took my hand. He gave it a gentle squeeze and continued to hold it. It was a comforting move, friendly. Why would I think anything else?
I fell asleep during the drive. I really didn't want to, but the silence in the car and the hum of the engine was soothing enough that my eyelids grew heavy. I must have slept for about four hours. I finally came to when I felt Jasper nudge me.
"Bella?" he said softly. "We're here." I shook my head groggily to shake off sleep. I unbuckled my seatbelt and climbed out of the car. "That didn't take much time," I told him.
He smiled sheepishly. "Sorry, Bella." I shrugged. "Where was the battle?" He once again took my hand and started walking to the spot. "Edward was ambushed over here," he said, pointing to a spot about fifty feet away from the car. "You see that toppled tree? That was the vampire that Edward was fighting hitting it."
I swallowed. I could picture it; could picture Edward with his strength throwing another vampire around like it was a rag doll.
We kept walking. Suddenly I smelled smoke and heard crackling. "Jasper?" I asked softly.
The clearing came into view and my jaw dropped. I could not believe the image in front of me. There was a huge fire in the middle of the meadow, our meadow. Bodies and body parts were strewn all over; they were even in the trees. I saw Edward's body and ran right for it, tripping along the way.
"No!" I cried when I reached it. It was decapitated. I knew it was him because of the same clothes he wore when he left my place. Besides, I've spent so much time looking at his body that I would know it with my eyes closed. The tears sprang up and I fell to my knees beside him, sobbing. I hugged his torso tightly. My body was shaking violently as the tears fell; I didn't even try to stop them. My love, my soul.
I glanced up while holding Edward's body and saw what was left of Esme. Every single hair had been pulled out and her head was twisted behind her body. Her neck was broken. It sent a chill down my spine.
I heard a quiet sob and looked to my left. Jasper was holding Alice's head, the only body part not consumed by the fire. He was sitting on the ground and cradling it like a baby. He looked so destroyed, so broken. I knew tears wouldn't fall from his eyes, but he could still sob. I didn't have to worry about any mood control at that moment; I knew he was too devastated to even try to calm me. My heart went out to him. In that moment, he wasn't a dangerous vampire; he was a man in love devastated to lose his wife.
We both sat sobbing for the loss of our lovers for quite some time. Finally I felt a hand land gently on my head. I looked up into Jasper's forlorn face. "We should go," he whispered. "I sense they are coming back, the ones who did this." He wiped the tears from my cheek.
I slowly stood up but lost my balance and fell against Jasper. He got a good whiff of my scent and released me immediately. "I'm sorry," I said. He shrugged. His eyes stayed black.
He put a good amount of distance in front of us on the walk back. I know he was trying to control his bloodlust. He was getting better, but it had to still be hard for him. Especially now.
"Were the others there? I didn't see them."
Jasper glanced at me as he drove off. "Yes. The bodies around us were all my family. The ones we fought were in the fire. For awhile we were winning; there weren't that many. Then Victoria unleashed about fifty more vampires and we were done for."
I raised my eyebrows. "Where did she get them?"
He shrugged. "Anywhere. They looked to be newborns; not others of our kind. We don't like killing our kind. She wouldn't be able to persuade that many to take us down; Carlisle was too respected."
We drove in silence for awhile, until I saw a sign that said "Now Entering Canada." What the…? Why didn't we go back to LA?
As if reading my thoughts, Jasper spoke. "We can't go back to LA; Victoria's on her way there. This is the way to deter her, for a little while at least. We'll return in a few months when she's given up."
"A few months?" I exclaimed.
"I have to keep you safe, Bella. But I can't do it alone. I have friends in Iceland; they will help us. Once everything is secure, we will return to LA so you can tie up loose ends. Then we'll go away, the two of us." He looked over at me; his black eyes filled with an emotion I could not identify. "You are my life now."
My jaw dropped. Edward had said that same thing not long after we had started dating. But Jasper wasn't in love with me, wasn't my lover by any means. Then why did you dream of him making love to you? Why are you having thoughts about his hands all over you? What do you want?
"How did Victoria know where I lived?"
"She tricked Edward into revealing it. He read her mind and saw her coming after you in Forks, returning with Alice. After his rage overtook him, he charged her. He banged her head on the ground several times and shouted to me to get to LA to protect you. Victoria smiled wickedly when he revealed that information. That was when she killed him. And a newborn near me tackled me to the ground. If I hadn't been a Civil War soldier, I don't think I would have been able to take him."
Edward. He loved me and now he was gone. I felt the tears slip down my cheek again and I let them fall. I looked out the window and thought about our time together.
Our first kiss. Our first kiss after he returned. The way the electricity hummed when we touched. How loving he was when we made love. How sorry he was about the scar on my neck. I brought my hand up and ran my fingers over it. How he would do anything for me, except change me. Maybe if he had, this wouldn't have happened.
"You okay?" Jasper asked, breaking me out of my thoughts. I nodded and kept looking out the window. "You're crying." It wasn't a question.
"I'll be okay," I mumbled. I heard him sigh and he pulled the car over. After he turned the engine off, he got out and walked to my side. He opened the door, undid my seatbelt and gently pulled me out. He held me in his arms while I cried, comforting me. He stroked my hair and held me at my waist.
"Cry all you want. You have a right to," he whispered softly. I pulled back and looked up at him. His eyes were sad; he was mourning Alice. He removed his hand from my hair and gently stroked my cheek. "So warm," he said. His eyes mesmerized me; I couldn't look away. In that moment, I felt something shift between us. We became something else, though I couldn't figure out what exactly. All I knew was that looking into his eyes I felt familiarity; I felt home. It was like when I looked into Edward's golden eyes and saw the love radiating from them.
Was that was it was? Love? It can't be; I am like a sister to him. Unless it's THAT type of love.
He felt it too. His grip on my waist tightened as he stared back into my brown eyes. His hand stilled and rested on my cheek. "Bella," he whispered. He lowered his head, never breaking eye contact with me.
I felt his lips press against my forehead. He lingered there for a moment before pulling away. He's comforting me. When he did pull back, the same look was in his eyes, but it was intensified. I swallowed. Maybe not. I moved my hand and stroked his cheek. His eyes closed and he leaned into my touch.
"We have to go." His voice was strangled; he didn't want to stop. He released me and stepped back quickly, so quickly I lost my balance and fell against the car. I leaned against it for a moment trying to get my legs to cooperate with me. He had turned away and started back to the driver's side.
I shook my head and got in. My mind was reeling. As we drove from the destruction, one thought entered my head. What the hell is going on?
A/N: You don't really think the Cullens are dead, do you?
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