A/N: I like Bella and Jasper as friends, so I thought I'd try this. Problem was, I didn't have any ideas. If anyone has any storylines they'd like to volunteer - I'd definitely appreciate the help! Reviews are welcome - good and bad!
I wrapped my arms around Alice, kissing the top of her spiky head. "Love you," I murmured.
She smiled and played with my shirt. "Love you more."
"Doubt it, darlin'."
She squeezed me slightly and nuzzled further into my side. My savior. My wife. My Alice.
We sat like that for a few more minutes, until Bella and Edward's arguing reached new heights. It was like they were yelling in my ear. Why did I have to sense emotions? God. Bella was nearly hysterical and Edward was so angry I was surprised he was so close to her. He was normally more careful.
I thought back to what had caused this monumental row and a lopsided grin broke onto my face. My arm didn't hurt anymore and Ed seemed to have forgotten that I was ever involved.
I sure as heck wasn't gonna remind him.
I raised my head from the book I was skimming as Bella pleaded with Edward.
"Edward, I swear I'm fine. Finish hunting or Emmett will be furious... He already thinks- Well, I'm not going anywhere. No, I'm fine... Yes, okay. Good. Love you, bye."
She sighed as she hung up, and a small smile twisted my mouth. Edward was obviously trying to find an excuse to come home. He was far too protective of her; she could look after herself for a few hours, surely? 'Sides, he needed to hunt. Badly.
"Jasper, I need to leave for work." Carlisle looked down at me with amber eyes. "Will you be okay?"
I nodded. Alice and Rosalie were shopping and Esme was visiting Carmen in Denali, so I would have the house to myself. Except for Bella.
"If it's too much..." Carlisle trailed off, not needing to finish. I shook my head. No need to inconvience anyone. I had already been hunting. I was fine.
He smiled and patted my shoulder before darting out the door. Bella's head snapped to the place Carlisle had been moments ago and frowned. She radiated nervousness.
"Um... Edward told me I was to stay here until he came back," she said in a rush, "But if it bothers you, I can go somewhere - "
I shook my head and closed the book. "No, it's okay."
It was okay. Her blood no longer drove me crazy. Since I had fed yesterday, it didn't bother me at all at the moment - at the most it made my throat ache slightly. But Bella's brown eyes were full of concern.
"Are you sure? I could go and see Jake..."
"Bella," I reasoned, "If it bothered me I would leave the room. I won't put you in danger." Again, I added mentally. I knew what happened when I wasn't in control. She might have forgiven me, my family might have forgiven me, but I would never forgive myself for what I had put everyone through last year. I tried not to think about what might have... I shook my head firmly. No.
Bella frowned. "I don't want to force you out of your home! Besides, what Edward doesn't know won't hurt him," she muttered darkly. I almost laughed - she was actually considering defying my brother? She had guts. But I needed to try and disuade her, or Ed would kill me.
"Bella, I think you know how Edward would react - " I felt her disappointment and misery at having her plan foiled and decided to be reckless. "But if you want to see Jacob, I could drop you off," I offered, ignoring the screaming voice in my head. She was right - what Edward didn't know wouldn't hurt him. Would it?
Bella's face lit up. "Oh, Jasper, would you?" Her face fell slightly and she frowned. "Are you allowed to...?" she trailed off, looking both worried and annoyed. I nodded, knowing what she was asking.
"Yes. Carlisle and Sam have all but binned the treaty. I can come onto their land, as long as I raise the white flag first." I grinned, remembering the conversation between the two leaders.
"Well... I suppose that's good," Bella answered finally. "How do you raise the flag?"
"When you call Jacob just say that I'll be bringing you over," I said, hunting for my keys while Bella dug in her bag for her phone. It took me only seconds to figure out where they were - Emmett never expected me to look in Alice's drawers. Just because Rosalie bit his head off...
"Okay?" I grabbed my jacket, made sure I had my mobile and followed Bella to the garage. She paused by my bike and I grabbed a helmet for her.
"Aren't you going to wear one?" she asked as I swung my leg over and kicked the stand up.
"No," I laughed, "Besides, you need it more than I do, Bella."
She muttered something about smartass vampires as she put her arms around my waist. I noticed that she did so slightly hesitantly and sent her a wave of reasurance. She was safe with me. Absolutely safe.
I pulled out of the drive. As we were whizzing past the trees on either side of the road, Bella tucked her head into my shoulder-blade. I smiled as her arms tightened around me slightly. Edward was right; she didn't like speed - I could feel it.
All too soon we were on the road leading to the reservation and I had to slow down. Half the pack were out at Sam's, standing on the porch. Some were anxious, some were angry, and some just didn't trust me. But they were all watching me. Bella waited until I pulled up in front of the house to hop off. She took off the helmet and blew a strand of hair out of her face.
"I hate helmet hair," she grumbled.
"You look fine," I assured her.
Just then my phone rang. I pulled it out of my pocket, a sense of foreboding in the pit of my stomach. "Hello?" I said, not surprised when the voice that answered was dark and menacing. "Hey, Ed." I saw Bella's head snap to my face and Jacob roll his eyes in my peripheral vision. "What's up?"
"Jasper. Why did Alice just call me to say that Bella had disappeared?"
"Um, because she's... with Jacob?" I replied hesitantly, my eyes darting to the pack.
"Are you with her?"
"Take her home. Now."
Jacob glared at the phone in my hand. Of course, he could hear.
"I think Bella might have different ideas," I muttered skeptically. "Honestly, Ed, she's safe enough with the pack." I rolled my eyes as Edward growled. "If it makes you feel better, I'll stay with her," I said, just trying to get him off my back.
His voice was definitely brighter when he anwered, "Oh, Jaz, would you? Can you? I trust you more than them."
"Yeah, okay. If I don't come home though, it's on your head."
"Thanks. I owe ya one Jaz!" Edward replied before hanging up. I snapped the phone shut and smiled grimly at Bella, who was clinging desperately to Jacob.
"Jasper, please," she begged. "Please let me stay. These guys won't let anything hurt me, you know that."
"Try telling that to Edward," I sighed, beginning to question my sanity. Why had I offered to stay? Why? I didn't even know if my self-control stretched this far.
Jacob stepped forward, ignoring the nervous shifting of his brothers. "Please tell me you were joking - tell me you are not staying."
Too late to go back now. "Yes, I am. Unless you kick me off the reservation." The look on most of the Quileute's faces said that they wished that were possible.
"Jasper." This was Sam who spoke, his deep voice drawing my attention. His wife was standing behind him, studying me slilently. "Are your intentions honourable?"
My reply was filled with sincerity. "Yes."
"Then you may stay."
Leah Clearwater - I presumed, seeing as she was the only female pack member - snarled and ran to the trees, only pausing to glare at Sam, before she shifted. Jacob frowned, but remained silent. Bella looked upset and I fought the urge to go to her. Her emotions were very strong.
The pack began to disperse, the action over, most of them retreating into the house, the sound of cupboard doors already banging. Someone called, "Jeez, Paul, you ate half an hour ago!"
My mouth twitched as I turned to Jacob. Bella smiled at me, trying to look comfortable with this. The smile was a bit too strained though.
Jacob sighed, clearly not at ease. "So, blood-" An elbow jabbed him in the side. "Jasper," he corrected reluctantly, "You're just gonna follow us around?"
"That's the plan."
His reply was to turn his back on me and walk in the opposite direction.
I smiled and followed him.
What a fun day.