Inception on a Rainy Night
AN: Yes, it has been a ridiculously long time. No, I have no good excuse except that grad school is kicking my ass. According to my lovely beta Bookworm Baby 2580, 'grad school sounds like a protracted hazing process'. I owe her many thanks for hand-holding and cheer leading, not only in the fan fiction world, but in my real life as well. Huge shout out to NixDucky for pre-reading as well as kissing my boo-boos on a daily basis.
He only rumbled in response.
"I'm serious!" though it came out as a gasp. He just pushed more lust at me as he nipped at my collar bone.
"I won't give you head massages for a month if you don't focus on the road!"
At this threat, he finally withdrew, allowing me to pull my shirt down and work on getting my hair back in place.
"You don't fight fair, darling," he complained as he finally steered with both his hands.
"I learnt from the best. And besides, I really would like it if you could focus on driving us home for now."
I took a peek at the speedometer and a light shudder passed through me. Jasper only chuckled at me as he felt my fear ratchet up.
"Don't you trust me to keep you safe? I thought we had established that I can very easily drive, even with my eyes closed."
"My heart might know it, but my brain doesn't! Besides, I'm a cop's daughter, remember? It wouldn't do for Dad to find out that you got a speeding ticket, especially when I am with you. And rest assured, he'll do a background check on you the minute he finds out we're dating."
"About that, remind me again why you still haven't told him about us?"
I blew out a breath.
"Because, he'll take it much better if I am sitting in front of him, instead of me just dropping the bomb over the phone. That Carlisle is the town doctor will certainly help matters."
"Even if he disapproves, he can't keep me away from you," Jasper said with just an edge of threat in his voice.
I laid my hand on his thigh, which he quickly plucked up and brought to his lips, kissing the pulse in my wrist.
"We've gone over this, Jasper. Everything will be fine. As a father, it's his right to not like you, but he'll come around. Besides, I'm an adult, it's not like he can ground me."
"I don't like the thought of someone even trying to keep you away from me," he said darkly.
"You have to understand, Jasper. It's not you. He will disapprove of any man I bring home, and it's his right as a father. Once he gets to know you, I'm sure he'll warm up to you. Besides, shouldn't I be more nervous than you? You'll just be meeting my father, and even though Charlie has a gun, he wouldn't be able to do much damage to you, but I am meeting an entire family of vampires and I'm human!"
I realized my mistake a split second after the words had left my mouth. The steering wheel creaked as Jasper's hands tightened on it, his jaw locked, and the car lurched forward as he depressed the gas pedal further.
Bringing his human mate to meet his vampire family was not a concept Jasper was comfortable with, and he had flat out refused to go once the fear had set in. But Esme's pleading and my begging finally won him over. I was not entirely comfortable with meeting strangers either, but I found myself beyond curious about Jasper's unique family, and felt indebted to them to some extent for the love and affection they had extended to Jasper. Jasper had spoken about Edward, Carlisle, Emmett and Esme in great length; he was particularly vague about Rosalie and Alice. And though I doubted it could do me any good, I was really curious about why he refused to talk much about his sisters.
But more than anything, I was worried about meeting Edward. He was a mind-reader. It felt like I was walking into some kind of messed up version of X-men, with mind-readers and psychics, though as Jasper had explained, Alice was clairvoyant, not psychic. The distinction was not clear to me.
Would they like me or would they hate me? Jasper's refusal to talk about some of his family members made me think that either they did not approve of me, or my relationship with Jasper. In any case, that was not comforting and I was hoping that this little meeting with his family would help break the ice.
The past few days had been difficult for Jasper, which meant they were difficult for me too. I never thought going back to school and regular life would be so difficult after the weekend I spent with Jasper. I followed Carlisle's advice and took thorough showers before I went home to Jasper every day, lest he catch someone's scent on me and go on a wild rampage. I was shocked to find that Carlisle was right about emotional pain translating to physical pain between mates. More than once I found myself rubbing my chest to ward off the pain unconsciously while sitting in classes or at the bar. Duke was adding to my stress at the bar, with his well-meant but misplaced sense of propriety, asking me to break things off with Jasper. There was no way I could explain my situation to him. I had been briefed in detail about the Volturi and vampire laws by Carlisle before he left and there was no way I was putting Duke's life in jeopardy by blabbing.
It was worse for Jasper. Self-imposed prisons are the worst kind, and he was stuck at the mansion, his leave of absence having been granted by the University. Every evening, I'd find him waiting for me at the end of the road turning towards the mansion. Every day, I was carried home in his arms and the evening passed in a blur of loving touches and contented purring. Jasper almost lost it one day when he caught Duke's scent on my jacket, which he had handed to me. While I changed my clothes and took a shower before heading over to his place, I didn't realize that Duke's scent would linger on my jacket when he helped me into it. It took me hours to calm him down that day and the next day, I had to skip classes because I was so sore from our lovemaking that night.
I was brought out from my reverie by the trilling of my phone. I grinned when I saw Jake's face flashing on the screen.
"Baby Bella! How are you and when are you getting home?"
I was suddenly aware that the sound of Jasper's quiet breathing in the car had stopped.
"I'm older than you, Jake. You don't get to call me a baby," I argued, even as I started rubbing small circles on Jasper's thigh to calm him down.
"Charlie said you're going to be late. What's up with that?"
"Yeah, I'll be in late at night. A friend from school is giving me a ride, but we'll be going over to his place before I come home."
"Hold on. You got a boyfriend at school, Bella? I'm wounded, how come you never told me about it?"
"It happened suddenly, I'll tell you when I get home."
"But his family is here? In Forks? Please, dear God, don't tell me you hooked up with Mike Newton," he whined.
"It's not Mike, Jake, and besides, he's a perfectly sweet boy. He took me to prom, remember?"
"Yeah, I remember, and even then I didn't know why you went there with him. You should have taken me with you," he insisted.
"As if you'd have come to the prom with us pale faces."
"Anything for you, Bells. So, who is this guy you're coming home with? Have you told Charlie? If not, can I please be there to see his reaction when you tell him?"
"His family moved here recently, his father works at Forks General Hospital. Dr. Carlisle Cullen, but I doubt you'd know him since you guys don't go to Forks General."
Jacob became suspiciously silent just as Jasper's phone started ringing.
"Alice," I heard him say.
"Jake, you there?"
All I could here was his labored breathing on the other end of the phone.
"What? How?" Jasper asked into the phone, clearly agitated.
"Bella, you need to get out of the car right now. Where are you? I'll come to get you," Jacob urged.
"What do you mean? We've already crossed Port Angeles, we're less than an hour away," I huffed. I couldn't imagine what had gotten into him.
"Well, look more carefully. What do you mean disappeared?" Jasper asked curtly. Obviously his conversation was not going smoothly either.
"Bella! I want you to get out of the car and run. Run, do you understand? Get Cullen to stop the car and get out. Stay away from him!"
"Jake, you're not making any sense and you're freaking me out!"
"He's dangerous, Bella. All the Cullens are dangerous; they're the reason why no one from the reservation will go to the Forks hospital. I'm coming for you, just get as far away from him as possible," he said frantically, as I heard rustling in the background.
Before I could answer, the phone was snatched out of my hands.
"You listen to me, dog. She's not going anywhere, you get that? You can't make her. No rules were broken," Jasper snarled.
He hung up before I could add anything.
"What is going on, Jasper?"
"Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you," he reassured me, as he depressed the gas pedal, the car shooting forward as it's speed climbed over a hundred miles per hour.
"That's exactly what Jake said, but what are you trying to protect me from?"
Without answering me, Jasper got on his phone again.
"Get Carlisle on the highway form Port Angeles to Forks. The Quileutes know, and they are on their way."
He waited as someone on the other end said something.
"I don't know if they're shifting, but if things come to a head, you know my priority will be Bella. If Carlisle cares about the treaty, he needs to get here as soon as he can!"
Putting his phone down once again, he turned to me.
"Put on your seat belt Bella, and you're not to leave the car under any condition, do you hear?"
Now he insists on me wearing a seat belt. He was perfectly fine with nearly ripping the damn thing off when he wanted better access.
"But . . ."
"If we get intercepted, I will get out of the car. I want you to then get into the driver's seat and drive away towards Forks. Someone from the family will get you and take you home. No matter what you see or what is in your path, keep driving and get home. Do you understand?"
"What is happening? What are you no telling me?" I had never seen Jasper in such a panic.
Well, technically, I was panicking, he was stoic, but his words did little to ease my racing heart. Where had things gone so wrong? A friendly telephone call had suddenly morphed into something terrifying.
"Your friend on the phone, he's a Quileute, yes? He's the one who told you the stories about the Cold Ones?"
"Yes, but . . ."
"Good, technically he's the one who broke the treaty, so I won't be in the wrong if I have to kill him."
Kill him? Kill him?
"You can't kill him! What has gotten into you?"
"Think, Bella!" Jasper bellowed. He never used such a tone with me.
"Why do you think he asked you to get out of the car and away from me? He knows what I am, and he's coming to kill me. If he were human, he wouldn't dare, but I assume he has phased and that makes him far more dangerous than a human enemy. I've been telling Carlisle for years not to grow so complacent and trusting of his friends, and now look what happens. They've been phasing under our noses and we have no clue about it."
"Not human? Japser, this is a misunderstanding. Jake is as human as me. I've known him since I was a child!"
But before Jasper could answer, I was distracted by something that caught my peripheral vision.
Something was moving in the forest through which the road passed. Not moving, running; running fast enough to keep up with a car that was going over a hundred miles an hour.
It was dark blur and huge, big enough to be a bear, but I was pretty sure no kind of bear could keep up speeds like this.
My fascination with the shadow was brought to an end when I was thrown against my seatbelt as Jasper braked hard.
In the middle of the road stood a grey wolf, huge and powerful, fur rippling with the bunching of its muscles underneath.
It looked like a wolf, but it was as big as a horse, perhaps bigger.
I was hallucinating. There was no other explanation; it must have been something I ate or even inhaled. I started cataloguing what I had eaten yesterday, but my mind went blank when I saw another wolf, a brown colored one walk out of the tree line. It was clear that this was the blur that had been keeping up with the car.
"Jasper . . ."
"Do you remember what I said?"
"Yes, but . . ."
He was out of the car and on the road in a flash. When I saw Jasper standing between the two huge wolves, my heart stopped.
While I knew he was strong and damn near indestructible, seeing him get dwarfed by such huge beasts made me fear for him.
"Get out of the way. I'll say this only once, the treaty was not broken and you have no right to this land. Let us pass and you'll live to see another day."
I pulled out my phone with trembling hands, doing the only thing I could think of.
He picked up on the first ring.
"Carlisle! Wolves. Huge wolves. On the road. Jasper . . ."
"Bella, be calm. I'm on my way. Alice and Emmett should be there briefly too. Do not worry, they will not harm you."
"But Jasper . . ."
"Please try and prevent them from having a confrontation, Bella. Things will get infinitely worse if the wolves get massacred."
Before I could say anything else, he hung up.
He was more worried about the animals than his own son?
The grey wolf on the road gave a particularly loud growl, and Jasper dropped in to a crouch and snarled back. I decided to take Jasper's advice and unbuckled myself and moved in to the driver's seat. The movement must have caught the attention of the brown wolf, because in a flash he whirled about and headed straight towards me.
But before I could blink, Jasper caught hold of the animal and flung it into the forest. It felt like I was watching a movie as the grey wolf then charged Jasper, huge jaws snapping in anger. Jasper was a blur as he feinted and caught hold of the wolf's middle, flinging it away like he did with the first one. It was obvious he was trying not to hurt the creatures, but why?
The wolves were relentless, the grey one charging at Jasper once more while the brown wolf came to stand by my side of the car and nudged it. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but the entire car shook from the impact. The scream that had so far been lodged in my throat escaped in an unintelligible gurgle.
My scream having distracted Jasper, he turned towards the car when the russet wolf caught hold of him by his shoulder, embedding his teeth into Jasper's hard skin.
I turned on the ignition in the hopes that I could perhaps drive into the wolf, but Jasper was now of the ground, rolling and twisting, trying to get away from the wolf. The brown wolf, seeing that I wouldn't budge turned and started to move towards Jasper. Jasper was having a difficult time with one wolf, if the second one joined in, there'd be no telling what would happen to him.
Working against every instinct I had, I opened the car door and stepped out. That did the trick, the brown wolf once again started moving towards me, when an Audi drove up towards us. In an instant, Jasper punched the grey wolf hard on its muzzle and leapt out of its reach. The wolf while seeming momentarily stunned, but got back up on its feet quickly.
What kind of mutant animals were these?
"What took you so fucking long?" he growled out to the pair getting out of the car.
"Couldn't tame a few puppies, Jas?" asked the biggest man I had ever seen. Huge as he was, his size was exacerbated by the tiny, waif-like girl that stepped out of the car with him. The man must be Emmett, Jasper had talked of his size and strength many times, but the girl, I had no clue who she was.
She had golden eyes, so I knew she was form the Cullen family. I had asked Jasper about the lack of pictures in the family home or even on his phone. He had shrugged and simply said that with perfect recall, pictures lost meaning in vampire lives.
Emmett jumped in the path of the brown wolf and for a moment they seemed to be locked in a parody of an embrace, but the next instant they were back to fighting fiercely. When they weren't a blur, I could tell that both Emmett and Jasper were once again trying to keep from seriously injuring the wolves.
Things came to a grinding halt when a third wolf jumped out of the thick foliage of the forest without warning and let loose a menacing growl. I'd have thought it would join its kind in fighting Jasper and Emmett, but suddenly both the wolves stopped short and seemed to bow, if that were even possible, to the newcomer.
"Get back in the car before Jasper has an aneurism, Bella," instructed the diminutive girl who'd arrived with Emmett.
Nodding, I climbed back in the car, watching the most bizarre event I had ever witnessed.
Just as suddenly as she had appeared next to me, the girl moved to join the men who were still crouching in front of the wolves.
"Oh god, you guys smell!"
She blurred back a few paces as if trying to prevent the smell from clinging to her. I felt offended on behalf of the wolves.
The grey wolf growled and took a step forward before yelping moving back, as if tugged by an invisible leash. The black wolf growled once again, which sent Jasper into a tizzy as he crouched, ready to spring. It was Emmett that took hold of his hands and pulled him back.
Getting the message, he straightened up.
"I'm taking Bella home; she doesn't need to be here. You got this?"
"Of course, brother," Emmett replied, cracking his knuckles and giving a wicked smirk.
As soon as Jasper turned towards me and the car, the black wolf blocked his way and growled again. The uneasy truce was once again broken as it was clear the black wolf would not let Jasper pass.
But before another fight broke out, I saw a familiar red car speeding towards us on the highway. Carlisle stepped out, looking as impeccable as always, though there was a tightness about his eyes that I had never seen before, not even when he had Jasper's teeth snapping inches away from his neck.
"Who among you is the Alpha?" Carlisle asked looking at the three wolves.
The black wolf took a step forward, a low growl rumbling in his throat.
"I take it that you're aware of the treaty?"
The wolf growled louder this time, and it almost sounded as if he was offended by the question.
"Then you know that this land does not fall under your jurisdiction and that no rules have been broken. Bella is a dear guest and will be treated as such."
As soon as my name was uttered, the brown wolf started snarling, it teeth clenched, taking a step forward.
"Bella shall come to no harm from us, this I promise. The treaty will not be broken by us, but you have no right to stop us here, under these circumstances. Please think carefully before taking any actions. Bella will be going home this evening, safe and sound. I'm sure you have ways of confirming that. Now, unless and until you want to break the treaty by attacking us without provocation, you will clear the path for my family."
I had never seen Carlisle speak in a tone like that. I now knew why the whole Cullen family deferred to him. He was calm but no one could deny the authority in his voice.
The black wolf continued to stare for a moment before he took a step back. Jasper was suddenly in the car with me, and shifted the gear to drive.
Not waiting for the others, he tore away from the scene towards Forks.
I wanted to say something. There were a million questions I wanted to ask but I just couldn't bring myself to speak anything. My thoughts were jumbled, one half-formed thought being cut off by another bourgeoning one. I wondered if this was what shock felt like. Jasper remained silent as well, grim and tense.
I didn't even question him when he veered off of the main road onto a narrow bend, straight into the woods. For a while it seemed like we were lost in the woods, when suddenly, the little road opened up into a clearing with the most incredible house I had seen in the middle of it.
"We're here," he said quietly as he zoomed out to open the door for me.
He must have heard my heart pounding in my chest because he asked me if I was okay.
I nodded dumbly, nervousness finally breaking through my state of shock. This was it. I was going to meet Jasper's family. We walked up to the door, which Jasper opened for us, and led me into the living room, his arm firmly around my waist. I could feel his body tense and knew it must be because he was uneasy with the other vampires in the house. A gorgeous lady with caramel locks and a bright smile on her face was waiting for us.
"Jasper, welcome home! Bella, it is wonderful to finally see you."
I noticed she kept her distance, and I was glad. After everything that had happened today, I knew Jasper was not far from his breaking point.
"Esme, it is good to be home," he replied, his body relaxing just a bit.
"You have a wonderful home," complimented her, even as my eyes continued to take in the room, the glass wall that formed the southern face of the house, and the warm undertones of the interior. The house looked like it could have been on the cover of an interior decoration magazine.
"Thank you, Bella dear. Please, come and have a seat, you must be tried after your journey."
At the mention of the journey, Jasper tensed again, but walked with me to the sofa and sat down. Esme must have noticed his discomfort.
"Is everything all right, Jasper? Carlisle called and informed me of the situation."
"It was a close call. Carlisle is still there sorting the matter out with them, but I had to get Bella home. She did not need to witness it all. Where is Edward? I would have though his particular skill set would have come in handy when trying to communicate with those mutts."
"I'm afraid he left to go hunting yesterday evening. He wanted to prepare for our guest," she gave me a hesitant smile.
"I did leave a message on his phone as soon as Carlisle called me, so he should be back soon."
Before I could open my mouth to finally ask about what had happened, I heard the roar of an engine. It didn't sound like a car, but more like a . . . motorcycle!
"Yank took my bike," Jasper grumbled, though a tiny grin stretched across his mouth.
"Told you he's be back soon," Esme said, smiling.
So, it seemed that I would get to meet the mysterious Edward next. I tried to clear my thoughts so as not to give away anything personal to the approaching mind reader, but that meant that suddenly I could think of nothing but potentially embarrassing thoughts.
The sound of the engine cut off outside and I stood up with Jasper to meet his brother.
My breath caught in my chest as I took in the new comer.
Tall like Jasper, he had a leaner build than him, a shock of wild bronze hair covered his head and his mouth was curved into a mischievous crooked smile as he walked in, speaking at the same time.
"Hello Jasper, thought I'd take the bike out for a spin, make sure it was in working condition for you and Bella . . ."
His voice trailed off as he looked at me and then suddenly, I was flying in the air. My breath whooshed out of my chest as my back hit the sofa hard enough to upend it, turning my world upside down. A familiar sickening sound of rock crashing again rock resounded in my ears but the image burned in my brain was that of Edward Cullen with blazing black eyes as his mouth twisted into a grotesque snarl.
The wolves and Edward. Jasper really is at his breaking point, isn't he?