A/N: This has been half written forever and I'm so glad to have it finished! Just to clarify, this is not a romantic story in any way. I love Jasper and Bella as friends, but there are never any friendship stories about them. This is between New Moon and Eclipse. Please review!
"Edward, I just tripped… I'm fine, Carlisle can take care of me… no, don't come home. Finish your hunting trip first… you're really overreacting; it's just a scratch… yes I'm sure… I love you too, bye." I glanced over at Bella as she hung up the phone. She sat at our dining room table while Carlisle bandaged her hand. She had tripped coming up the driveway and managed to get a fairly deep cut. I sighed and turned my attention back to the television. Silly Bella.
Edward and Emmett were on a hunting trip, Rosalie, Alice and Esme were out shopping for the day and Carlisle was about to leave for work, which left me alone with Bella. It wasn't that I disliked Bella, I just didn't trust myself around humans alone. Alice said I didn't give myself enough credit, but after the incident at Bella's birthday party I couldn't be too careful.
Before Carlisle left he walked over to me and laid a hand on my shoulder. He leaned down and whispered in my ear. "I'm sure Esme would be happy to come home if you're not comfortable being alone with her," he said quietly. I shook my head. There was no need to inconvenience anyone else. Carlisle patted my shoulder before smiling at Bella and walking toward his car, medical bag in hand.
Bella cleared her throat awkwardly and looked around the room. Maybe she was as nervous about this as I was. She carefully climbed out of the chair and walked into the kitchen, grabbed a glass of water and sat down on the couch next to me. I turned the volume up on a history documentary about the Civil War. Bella glanced nervously towards me. I could feel her confusion, her concern that she had done something wrong. I turned the TV back down.
She looked over at me, even more confused than before, and started to feel a little hurt. She took her glass into the kitchen, washed it and placed it back in the cabinet. She sat back down and cleared her throat again. "Uh… hi," she muttered shyly.
I was surprised she spoke. "Hello," I said, matching her shy tone. We sat for a few more moments in silence before she spoke again.
"How… how are you?" she stumbled over her words.
I shrugged. "Good, and you?"
She shrugged also. "Pretty good."
We sat in silence for several minutes.
"This is awkward. Do you want to maybe go for a walk or something?" she asked me.
I smiled, though it may have looked more like a grimace. "Yeah. Yeah, sure."
We walked outside. It was cloudy, drizzling and about 50 degrees. Bella wrapped her arms around herself, compensating for her lack of jacket. I automatically removed mine and handed it to her.
"Oh, you don't have to do that. I'm fine," she said, running her hands through her hair.
"I don't get cold. You're shivering," I pointed out, pushing the jacket closer to her. She sighed and took it, wrapping it around herself. "Thank you," she said quietly. I nodded to her.
As we were walking, I caught the scent of a vampire that was all too familiar to the entire family: Victoria. I grabbed Bella's hand and pulled her behind me. She yelped in surprise.
"Jasper, what's going on?" she said in utter shock and confusion. My only response was a low growl.
"Stay behind me," I forced out between my clenched teeth. I didn't want a fight today; although I doubted that Victoria would manage to beat me.
"Jasper, please tell me what's going on!" Bella said, sounding like she was about to cry.
"It's Victoria. She's somewhere close." I heard her gasp.
Then I saw her emerge from the woods, and everything went very quickly from there. Victoria lunged towards Bella and I pulled her out of the way. Hoping to get her out of harm's way, I pushed her across the clearing. She landed against a tree, looking dazed and frightened. I hoped I hadn't done too much damage.
Victoria took advantage of my inattention then and snapped at me, grazing my arm. It stung, but I swung back with equal force. Our fight continued for several more minutes before she found an opening and sunk her teeth into my rock hard flesh. I cried out, but could not get a grip on her before she escaped. I was surprised that she left Bella unharmed, until I turned around to notice that Bella was not where I had left her. I began to panic.
"Bella? Bella, where are you?" I called out, panic quickly rising on my lips.
She crawled out of the woods then, looking scared. "Jasper!" she cried, leaping up and running to me. I held the bite wound on my arm, trying to think through the pain of the injury.
"Bella, are you hurt?" I asked carefully, reaching out to check her. I didn't smell any blood, but I still wanted to make sure she was uninjured.
She shook her head. "No, I'm just a little dizzy," she said and then staggered as if to support her statement.
"Maybe you should sit down," I suggested, but she shook her head.
"No, no, I'm fine." Then she noticed the fresh bite on my arm. "Oh my gosh, Jasper, she bit you?" she asked, horrified.
"Yes, but I'm fine. Come on, let's get back to the house and I'll call Carlisle," I said and we started walking back to the house.
"You don't need to do that," she muttered to me, embarrassed. I shook my head, laughing a dry, humorless laugh. "What?" she asked, staggering. I caught her arm and gave her a meaningful look, pulling out my phone as I did. Bella finally gave in, allowing me to call Carlisle.
I explained the situation to him and he promised to get home as soon as he could, but also mentioned that it was a busy day at the hospital. When I hung up the phone we were back at the house.
I opened the door for Bella and she blushed, always so shy. I had been watching Bella so closely that I had nearly forgotten about the fresh bite on my arm. Unfortunately, as soon as I thought about it, the piercing burn returned and I gasped out loud. Bella quickly turned to look at me, stepping forward though there was nothing she could do to help.
I regained my composure and we sat together on the couch. "Are you sure you're alright?" I asked, the stress of the day causing my southern accent to peak through at the end.
She smiled faintly. "Yes. I don't know what I would have done if you weren't here today," she said, her voice cracking a little at the end and tears welling in her eyes. I could see the fear that she had been hiding coming through.
I gently wrapped my arm around her. I could feel her shock at this uncharacteristic act, but I knew that physical contact would help my gift calm her faster.
What she did next surprised me. I tensed as she turned her head into my chest and began to sob. I had never seen Bella need anyone like this before. She normally kept her emotions bottled inside her, and even though her emotions hit me like a brick wall, I was strangely happy to have this newfound connection with her. I gently rubbed her back and tried to calm her.
"Shhh, Bella, don't cry. You're safe here," I whispered to her.
When Carlisle came in two hours later, Bella was sleeping peacefully with her head on my chest, my arm around her shoulders. I smiled, feeling at peace with my new little sister.
A/N: I just wanted to let everyone know that I started a blog for my readers! I'll post news, teasers and outtakes there. The link is on my profile.