A/N: Let's give this a shot, shall we? My first romantic one-shot… as of now all my others have been friendship so feel free to chase me with pitchforks if it sucks. This is in Alice's POV after Bella's 18th birthday party. If you've read any of my other stories you can tell I'm into fluff. Enjoy!
I watched with fervent eyes as my beloved husband viciously attacked my best friend. Crying out, I rushed toward him, but my hands could not find his. I could not fathom a way to restrain him. For a horrifying moment I had a vision; Bella's body lying pale and stiff on the floor, her eyes rolled back in her head, Jasper crouching over her like the animal he had just become. I nearly collapsed from the pain the image created. In the second it took to regain control of myself, Emmett and Carlisle had wrapped their stone arms around Jasper's struggling torso. I rushed to their aid, holding my husband's face gently in my hands, whispering soothing words to him.
Then I smelled the blood.
My thoughts whirled into a frenzy at the sweet scent of the pulsing liquid. I had another brief vision, this time showing myself crouching above Bella, her blood splattered on my hands, my family looking aghast at my vehement outburst. Edward dropped to his knees in grief as my vision abruptly ended. I knew I had to control myself or that would surely be the painful consequence.
I watched, but did not comprehend, as Emmett and Rosalie escorted a still-struggling Jasper from the house. Esme exited as well, an apologetic frown on her heart-shaped face. I was left in the decorated, open living room with Edward, Carlisle and a battered Bella. Desperate to be of assistance, I retrieved Carlisle's medical bag and work lamp from his office.
As Carlisle began to stitch, the intoxicating scent of Bella's blood became too great a fight and I surrendered, escaping through the back door. I knew exactly where I had to go, what I had to do. In a third, equally daunting vision, I saw Jasper curled in on himself, huddling on the forest floor some ten miles outside Forks. I could see the pain, the enmity at himself for his actions. Guided solely by instinct, I traced my love's scent through the heavy canopy of evergreens, stopping only when I heard his hushed moans.
I laid my small hand on his back and could feel the trembles of his tearless sobs. I wished I knew what to say to end his self-loathing. For hours into the night, he remained exactly as I had found him. Nothing I could say or do made even a fraction of a difference in his arrangement on the ground. After endless hours of watching his internal battle, he looked me in the eye.
"Tell everyone I'm sorry. Tell them I won't come back," he said, his Texan accent heavy.
At that moment, I lost all control. I screamed and thrashed and begged and pleaded and when my tantrum ended, I was wrapped in his arms. He sat with his back straight, his eyes closed, sobbing tearlessly again.
"Please, Jasper. You can't leave me. You have nowhere else to go," I beseeched him. Another vision enveloped me.
Jasper walked alone, his shirt unbuttoned, revealing his scars. His face was a mask of pain and fear as he wandered across an open desert that I didn't recognize. A thick hazy fog lay in the air, making it nearly impossible for even infallible vampire eyes to see. Suddenly, a break in the choking smoke was in sight and she was there. Maria.
I let out a horrified shriek and clung desperately to Jasper's dark blue button-up. "No, no, no, NO!" I cried into his chest. I had never felt at such a loss for words, so helpless.
"You… please… no… don't do this to me, to yourself! You cannot go back to her. Think of Esme. You'll break her heart! And Carlisle, he'll never cease to mourn your loss. And Edward, and Emmett and, and… think of me! I am nothing without you. Nothing. Please," I finished with a weak whimper.
I knew he could feel my pain; his face revealed that much, but his eyes were not past reason. My desperate outburst did not help him understand at all how much I needed him. I gripped his temples with my skinny fingers and implored him to focus.
The same beg and pity cycle continued into the morning. I made my thoughts clear to Edward: don't look for us right now. Making one last frantic attempt, I laced my fingers into Jasper's honey blond mane and gazed passionately into his onyx eyes.
"Hear me out, one last time. Do not leave this family. We can bunker ourselves in the woods for as long as you see fit, or we can run someplace remote where no one will bother us. But you cannot, will not leave. Do you understand?" I tried to sound as decided as possible.
I knew as soon as he heeded my words, because his entire demeanor changed. His shoulders relaxed and his crinkled brow smoothed. I found myself relaxing with him, taking an unneeded but much appreciated deep breath, and letting it out in a whooshing sigh of relief. I gently laced my arms around his neck and he looked chagrin.
"Alice, I'm so very sorry to have put you through that," he stated, a pained look flashing into his eyes for a brief moment, his brow furrowing again.
I smoothed is brow again with one sweep of my dainty finger, then moved on to trace the deep bruises under his eyes. "You need to hunt," I whispered into the crook of his neck.
"I know, darlin'," he mumbled, his accent heavy still.
I continued down his defined cheek bone with my finger, stopping to trace his lips. I leaned in and placed a quick, affectionate kiss there. Sitting up and leaning against him, I wrapped my arm around his back and he laid his arm across my shoulders. I snuggled into his side comfortably, ready to stay exactly as we were for as long as he needed.
I knew the road to his full recovery would be a long and treacherous one, but I was prepared to walk with him every step of the way. Jasper had taken a huge step in the wrong direction. I was there to guide him back on track.
A/N: I've started a blog for my readers, where I'll post outtakes, teasers and more. The link is on my profile.