I Assure You

"Can I sleep..."

The words shot down Bella's spine like ice, encasing it. Edward looked up immediately, his molten eyes hardening into solid gold. He hissed. She looked at him with some reproach as Jasper's voice echoed out in a way that sounded as if it were crippled- as if he needed to sing the words but couldn't bear his family hearing them. She couldn't help it. This year had been... eye opening. And after all that had happened, she stayed with the one she pledged her love to. She couldn't bring herself to leave Edward, although her soul stirred, burning, whenever she made eye contact with the tortured eyes of the man that she thought would always belonged to Alice.

"In you're arms tonight, lady...?"

The first chord struck on the guitar took her breath away. It was never a good sign when Jasper got out his guitar to sing a mournful tune. It meant that it couldn't get anymore pained. That he could only bear to spit out his feelings because it couldn't get worse. She regained her breath as her eyes flicked to the door. Edward's lips had just been at her neck, and now he was looking up at her, gripping her wrists until it hurt. A hairline crack ran up her arm, and resealed itself immediately- but not before Edward see it, and dropped her hands in internally directed disgust.

"It's so cold, lying here, all alone."

Edward got up. Pacing across the floor, at speeds that would've made a human nauseated. Finally, he stopped. His eyes locked with Bella's, and he said one word.

"Go."

"Wh-?" Before she could finish, Edward had something in his hand and threw it across the room. Bella watched her edition of Wuthering Heights land, with a weighty symbolism, on the golden carpet,

"GO!" She obeyed, and was running upstairs, up to Jasper's attic bedroom, while-

"And I have no hold to hold on you..."

drifted up with her- she opened the door and took in Jasper, sitting, shirtless, wearing fraying jeans that had seen better days, his golden curls somewhat disheveled, his scars shining in the moonlight that came through the glass wall. Her breath was, once more, taken, as she took him in. His eyes were kind, despairing, onyx- as they locked with hers, singing the next line with more conviction...

"I assure you, I'll do you no wrong."

She sat down before him, so that they were both crosslegged, facing each other. Her eyes ran down to his hands as they strummed, with an impossible combination of deftness and laziness, and her heart jumped- there was something about a guitarist's... Oh hell, any Texan man's hands... He chuckled softly. She looked up and then ducked her head in horror, realizing that her emotion needed to be kept in check. He sighed.

"Don't know why, but the one I love left me..."

Bella cringed as she remembered what this song was actually about.

"Left me lonely, and cold and so weak..."

"I- I know. A-and seeing you like this..." She tried to reign in her pain, so he wouldn't feel it. One look told her she failed. "Seeing you like this is why I couldn't leave Edward... I'd be no better than..." The name drifted off her tongue, unsaid. "But I wanted to." It was a choked whisper. Jasper nodded at her. Of course he knew. He could sense exactly how hard she'd fallen.

"And I need someone's arms to hold me 'till I'm strong enough to get back on my feet."

"Edward ended it." She said. She said it conversationally, but both read it as what it was. A pledge that said 'I'll be here.'

Jasper broke into the chorus again, pulling up the tempo, so under the despair was something like hope."

"Can I sleep in your arms tonight, lady?
It's so cold lying here all alone...
And I have no hold to hold on you-
I assure you I'll do you no wrong."
His voice was unlike anyone's Bella had ever heard. It was rich, but clear. It was pure, but soulful. And it was capped by a twang which was subtle, almost undetectable. He settled into the next verse.

"I haven't smiled since she left me... Cause a smile some how out of place,"

Bella leaned towards him, fingers ghosting over his stone lips. They were cold, even for a vampire. He hadn't hunted in altogether too long. She wondered if it made the weight of her emotions was a heavier burden because of it, but she couldn't reign them in. Anger. Sadness. Pain. Hope. Lust. Love.

"And I just need two lips to kiss me,"

Bella leaned in, without hesitation, and pressed her lips ardently to his forehead, and the next line came out with the lilt of a chuckle as her hands threaded into his curls, and rested her forehead against his.

"Then I can smile again, and I can show my face."

Bella used her free hand to still his on the strings of the guitar, And gently, not moving her face from his, took it from his grasp. His voice hushed over the chorus as she slid into his arms.

"Can I sleep in your arms tonight, lady?
It's so cold lying here, on the ground..."

But Bella was with him as he lay down, and he held her close- she was very warm.

"And I have no hold to hold on you..."

She smiled at this blatant lie. He had every hold on her.

"I assure you..." His eyes closed as his voice died away, unable to finish, overcome by emotion. Bella kissed him, softly, passionately, and took her cue, whispering against his lips.

"I'll do you no wrong."