Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: Oh holy shit! I've actually updated and as some of you may have noticed, the title and summary have changed. I assure you, the content has not. For my lame and pathetic excuse for not posting, look in my profile as it has finally been updated. A big thanks to HeavyInfinity for the suggestions and beta work. She works her tail off with encouragement to back me up on this. And secondly another thank you to TheOneMama for being my pre-reader. I think she squealed just as much as I did after I wrote it. I hope the wait has been worth it and justice will finally be served…
My emotions swirled inside of me as I laid there while Jasper reattached my arm. I silently assessed what happened today. I remember sitting there with Jasper talking about how they had known the whole damn time. They all knew that this was a life I was destined for and was I pissed. I wanted nothing more than to rip each and every one of them apart for keeping that secret from me. I wasn't sure where such a brutal feeling was coming from. I had dismissed it at first, but after tracking Carlisle, it was different. I knew that Jasper was my mate, but something fundamentally had shifted. I was no longer this… newborn; I was someone or something else entirely. Then I lapsed into this state. I don't really know what happened, just that I was laying here while Jasper put me back together. I felt him readjust his position on the bed and curling into me. He begged me to talk to him to tell him what I was thinking. I turned my back to him and settled into his embrace.
"Bella, are ya okay?" he asked. I could hear his words but I couldn't seem to focus. I was so lost in thought, and oddly I felt quite human in that moment.
"Bella?" he asked me again, as he leaned down and kissed the top of my head.
"Hmm…" I responded, snapping back to reality.
"You're all fixed up," he paused, before continuing, "Darlin, where in the world did ya just go?"
I looked at him over my shoulder and closed my eyes, letting out the unneeded breath that I had been holding.
"Jasper, I don't remember what really happened out there. I just..." I couldn't seem to find the right words to express what I had experienced.
"Bella," he sighed. "I don't know either; all I know is that ya went to some place I couldn't bring ya back. I could feel the shift in ya and I could do nothing to stop it." he looked over at Peter. I watched him give a curt nod. "I couldn't control your emotions cause ya had your shield up and I..." he trailed off as he lightly brushed his fingertips over the new scar on my shoulder.
"You what, Jasper?" I asked as I sat up grabbing his hand and lacing his fingers with mine. "Jas, talk to me."
He looked upset about something and it was upsetting me as well. He gazed at me, but it was like he was looking right through me. He squared his shoulders as he cleared his throat.
"I had to go back to when it was easy to make a newborn submit, but ya wouldn't," he finished.
It was easy for me to hear that flow from his lips, but, it no way was in a way relief. My emotions were running in high gear and I knew it was because I was a newborn. I couldn't find the ease that I thought I would find being wrapped in Jasper's arms. His voice was not soothing the mixed emotions that rapidly cycled through my body.
"What happened?" I asked him softly.
"Ya want the truth?" he asked, leaving the question hanging in the air.
I simply nodded. I needed to know.
"Ya tracked and dismembered Carlisle and you nearly took my head off," he stated calmly.
"I WHAT?" I screamed as I let go of his hand and flitted across the room towards Peter and Char.
"Darlin', that's what happened. Do ya want me to sugar coat it for ya?" he asked as he rose from the bed.
"Where is Carlisle? I need to see him," I said, pushing through Peter and Char as if they were a piece of silk and I was the sword.
I was downstairs in a moment's notice, just in time to see Carlisle rising from the couch. I stood there and eyed him up and down waiting for whatever limb I had removed to fall off again.
"Bella," he said, clearing his throat.
My eyes snapped to meets his, and that unknown feeling returned. A low growl escaped my lips and I clamped my hand over my mouth to cover it. He chuckled as my eyes widened. There was that feeling again, boiling deep inside as I stared at Carlisle. The shift had registered, like a puzzle piece slipping into place. I knew that I had to make a show of my newborn stature and smiled beneath my hand.
"Bella, it's quite alright," he said, stepping toward me. "You recognize your family and to you I am a threat to them. It's perfectly alright to feel like that."
I nodded as I looked over my shoulder to find Jasper, Peter, and Char making their way down the stairs. Char smiled gently at me as I took a step back.
"Darlin', why don't ya take a seat and we can explain some of this to ya?" Jasper asked, as he took a seat on the arm of the empty chair.
I shrugged as I distanced myself from them and walked to the window, looking through the glass as though I had missed some minute detail that this new life had given me. I had questioned everything that I remembered from my former life as I listened to Jasper rambling about what happened before my time as a vampire. I shook my head slightly because, quite honestly, I didn't give a fuck what my grandparents had to do with it now. My past was my past and I couldn't change it, but I refused to sit here and wait for my past to catch up with me.
I growled quietly as I took in every scent that swirled around the living room of my former family. They were no longer my family; I was a Whitlock. And the Whitlock's name stood for strength, power, and no mercy. I would show my former family no mercy as I thought back to Edward and his childish games. He drew me into this world and now I had no way of escaping. And then there was Alice; I couldn't wait to get started on that future seeing bitch. I knew why she let Jasper go and it wasn't just about the mate thing either. It was her only alternative considering she knew that I wasn't going to let the Cullens slip out of my life. I shook my head because I didn't want pity for the life I was brought into; after all it was Jasper's venom that was now running through my hardened body, and the Whitlock's were not a family to pity.
I chuckled, ignoring Jasper as he called out to me. I thought of Jasper's other persona, the Major. He was a fucking pansy and he tried to protect me from Edward. I had used the Major well in my plan. The stupid fucks couldn't see deception if it hit them square in the eye. I didn't want protection, I wanted my life back. I didn't want Jasper or the Major as my mate; I wanted the God of fucking War. If I had that stupid, pathetic, emo fuck hanging around, I would never get to my goal. I wanted to destroy everything the Cullens built, everything they stood for. One by one, I would destroy them all, starting with the weakest link, and that was Jasper. I pulled the broken crest out of my pocket and held it up to the window, watching as the sun reflected off of it.
"Strength, power, and no mercy," I whispered as I continued to watch the amulet.
I thought back to the night I had to take Charlie's life and snarled. If Edward hadn't put me in the position with Victoria, I wouldn't have had to make such a brutal choice and take the life of my father. Edward would regret every choice he ever made to gain power over me in my human life.
I felt a hand touch my shoulder and I growled.
"Sug, ya need to relax a bit. Jas is a mess," Peter stated, as I turned around letting my eyes wander past his shoulder to see Jasper pacing back and forth and growling. I rolled my eyes and pushed past Peter, thinking of how stupid these vampires really were. As I thought before, Jasper was showing just how clueless he actually was.
Mates, that should say it all, you would think. If I wanted to get what I knew the Cullens deserved, I would no longer shut myself out from Jasper's empathy. I would fuel it until I had my mate again, my God of War. I smirked as I turned my head slightly to see Carlisle. Brushing my hair behind my ear as I got closer to him, I mouthed the word "pride" at him as I pushed out my anger towards Jasper. His stature became rigid as I heard Jasper snarl.
Walking up to Jasper, I placed my hands on either side of his face, forcing him to stop and look at me. I grinned wide as I looked into his eyes and saw the blackened state of them. It fueled my thoughts of destroying the weakest link in the family. It was way too easy for me to manipulate Jasper's emotions since I was his mate. I stared into his eyes, I losing more of my humanity that I had only felt minutes ago when I was lying on the bed.
"We have to figure out what Victoria is up to," Peter said bringing me out of my state. I nodded and stepped away from Jasper. "The Volturi are waiting in Seattle for word from us."
"Do you have the note?" I asked Peter.
I kept my face blank of any emotions as I watched Char dig the note out of her pocket, open it, and place it on the coffee table. Walking over and scanning my eyes over it, I remembered back to when I had written it, the night I had taken my father's life. I had scrawled it quickly on the paper and made sure that Charlie's blood was on it before shoving it into my back pocket. The variable in this equation was me and these stupid fucks think that it was Victoria. My deception, I thought as I raised my eyes to meet Carlisle's. Yes, she had been there to kill Charlie and she wanted me to suffer for the loss of her mate. But I wanted the Cullens to suffer as I suffered the loss of my humanity. I wanted them to think of how each one of them had stepped on 'human' Bella. I wanted them to suffer as I tore their coven apart piece by piece, starting with Jasper.
For the one crime you have committed, you will bring death upon your beloveds. Each has sinned, yet all in a very different manner, and all their souls shall be punished for eternity.
Carlisle-your coven's ability to overcome our natural food source has caused you to think your coven is on a pedestal-this is Pride.
Esme-you long for things that others have-this is Envy.
Edward-you desire to consume more than what you are destined for-this is Gluttony.
Emmett-you desire the flesh of your mate-this is Lust.
Jasper-your fury hath no end-this is Anger.
Alice-you see the future and change possible outcome for your own ends-this is Greed.
Rosalie-your desire for beauty consumes your thoughts making you idle -this is Sloth.
As for Chief Swan, he paid the ultimate price just for being your blood, my dear sweet Bella. Now, I have taken one of your beloveds…the rest will soon follow.
See you in Hell…
Again, I thought back to when I was human and the little speeches that I gave to each of the family member and the private talk I had with Jasper. I had planned and carefully executed, under the watchful eye of the future seeing bitch, every detail from the time I went to Texas in search of answers about Jasper. Then, I used Victoria as my excuse to kill Charlie, and finally, tangling my secret with Alice's web of lies. I smiled internally at my actions, I was one twisted bitch. I shook the thoughts away as I looked back over to Jasper. Crossing my arms over my chest, I returned my attention back onto the paper and scanned it quickly, stopping at Jasper's name. I bowed my head, using my hair as a curtain to hide my grin. Well, let's see your fury, Jasper. Let's see how far I have to push my mate to destroy the weakest link.
I had omitted Jasper from the speech for a reason. After finding out just who Alice was playing for, I used the lies she told as my ground to stand on, my reason for the private talk with Jasper. I had planted the seed of him returning to Texas and doubting his struggle with The Cullen's way of life. This family had become my chess board, and I was the queen, sitting back and playing the pawns. Bringing my head back up, I quickly scanned the room and stopped at Peter. The look of confusion on his face had me laughing inside.
"Peter, is there something wrong?" I asked him.
"I don't get it," he growled in frustration.
"Get what?" I asked, as I raised my brow.
"The flickerin' of the images in my head," he sighed. "I see you, the Cullens, includin' Jasper, plus myself and Char. I just can't put it together."
I shook my head as I broke my eye contact with Peter. Well, this is new, I thought as I chuckled at towards him.
"So, your brain isn't functioning correctly now?" I laughed, laughed to his forehead.
He took a step forward and growled.
"It was a fucking joke, Peter." I laughed and rolled my eyes. "It was just a fucking joke."
I watched as Char placed her hand gently on Peter's forearm, stopping him from going any further. Shrugging as I turned back to Jasper, I smiled softly and walked over to him to kiss his cheek. I was playing the part of the confused newborn now.
"Jasper, I can't seem to get my thoughts together," I said as I wrapped my arms around his waist. Resting my forehead against his chest, I breathed deeply and sighed. I felt him relax under my embrace and I smiled. The weakest link was back.
I watched as Bella made those taunting remarks to Peter. I thought back to only a few moments ago, when she looked at me the way she did. I was confused with the gleam in her eye, as she mouthed those words to me had me fearful to an extent. She was not the sweet, shy, and eventually strong willed Bella that I remembered. The change had shifted something in her and I had an ominous feeling it wasn't going to be something any one of us would live through. I began to question exactly what had happened during her change and if there was something that she wasn't telling us.
I watched as she became the calm in the raging war inside of Jasper. He no longer projected as much and he seemed settled to an extent. The way they moved together, highlighting the mating bond; they were like one. They were functioning as a single unit and I had never seen something like that. I shook my head and ghosted silently up to my study.
Sitting down behind my desk, I poured over the memories as they focused in my head, flipping faster than I had wanted them too. The revolver, the note, and Victoria all stuck out in my mind, but none of it made sense. I continued to think about Bella's actions downstairs as Jasper was explaining how everything fit together.
"The crest," I whispered, as I slammed my hands down on my desk, hearing it crack underneath the pressure.
Something else was missing from the whole situation though. Standing abruptly, I blurred back downstairs to find Peter and Char talking quietly about the situation.
"Peter," I said, clearing my throat.
He raised his eyes to meet mine.
"Yeah, we were just havin' a bit of a chat about earlier," he said, as he gestured between him and Char.
I nodded as I walked over, settling myself in the chair as I thought very briefly on how to approach the subject.
"Peter, what is happening with your gift?"
"Honestly, I don't know," he said, reaching out and grabbing Char's hand. "Usually I just know shit, like where to go, who to talk to, and the end result so to speak."
"How have they been since Bella's change?" I asked him.
"Awful. It's like a high speed slide show of just images goin' through my head. I just keep gettin' theses flashes of everyone. There is really no significant factor to any of the images though. The only constant is Bella," he sighed, as he rested his head on the back of the couch. "That's all I know, man."
I nodded and looked out the windows towards tree line in the back of the house. Again, something had not been right with Bella. It was nagging at me that something was missing. There was a puzzle piece that didn't quite seem to fit anywhere. I adjusted the unknown piece in my mind as I continued to stare out into the darkness. It was the little edge of the piece that didn't seem to fit.
"She is his calm; he is her war," I whispered.
I turned my head as I heard Peter hiss loudly.
"What did ya just say?" he growled, quickly coming to his feet.
"Your gift, Peter. The constant factor is Bella," I said, as I rose from the chair and made my way over to the windows. "She is his calm; he is her war."
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean, Ol' Man?" he hissed.
"What I mean, Peter," I said as I turned back to him. "Is that we watch our step around, Bella. They are like magnets. She moves, he moves with her. Her change ignited something within Jasper, and I have no idea what it is."
"I don't get what the fuck ya mean," he said, as he turned back and offered his hand to Char, pulling her up. "Explain what the hell this cryptic shit is before I lose it."
I growled at him.
"Sit down, young man. I don't have the patience to deal with childish threats from someone like you."
He laughed and then snarled at me.
"And you think I have the patience for someone who has their head stuck so far up their ass that he forgets he is a vampire? Ya are not a fuckin' human and ya never will be."
I stalked over to him and pointed to the couch.
"If you want to hear me out, Peter," I said, pointing roughly at the couch again, "I suggest you sit the fuck down and listen."
"Fine, I'll listen to your stupidity about puzzles, calm, and war," he huffed as he pulled Char down onto his lap. "But after ya are done, I need to take my mate huntin'."
I sighed, shaking my head, and walked back over to the windows, waiting for Jasper and Bella to reappear out of nowhere.
"I've never seen anyone who is mated move the way they do. While Jasper was sitting there explaining how you had known decades ago; I watched from the sidelines; especially paying attention to Bella. Jasper's movements mirrored hers. Her emotions would rise and so did his. If she remained calm then so would he. You guys were so wrapped up in your story that you were not watching her movements," I turned to him and raised my brow in question. "Did you happen to hear what she said when she was watching the pendant?"
"He's an empath, Ol' Man, or did ya not get the memo?" Peter growled at me. "Of course his emotions are goin' to be affected by hers."
"Did you hear what she said as she was watching the pendant?" I repeated as I ignored his statement.
He shook his head in response.
"She said something about strength, power, and no mercy," I offered. "Do you know what that statement means, Peter?"
"I ain't ever heard of it before. Not even Jas has said something like that to me," he said shrugging his shoulders at me.
"I know Jasper is an empath, Peter," I said walking back over to the chair and sitting down. "That fact has not escaped me. But I think whatever Bella saw in that pendant today shifted something inside her. Which in turn it shifted something inside Jasper. I don't know what it is and I have a feeling we don't want to find out. Those words that she spoke echoed in my head long after she said them. Bella's words were war-like, Peter, the cold, hard, truth of what she really thinks the Whitlock name stands for."
"What about the puzzle pieces that you keep talkin' about?" he said, waving his hand around the room.
"There is something that Bella is not telling us," I said, shaking my head. "At least that is my deduction. There is a piece of the puzzle that doesn't quite fit when it comes to the situation with Victoria. I wonder why Victoria would leave Charlie alive for Bella to find." I stood and made my way over to the coffee table and picked up the note, pointing to the section where Victoria had written about Charlie. "But here in the note, she states that she took Charlie's life. It doesn't make any sense. And furthermore, why would Bella have the revolver if Charlie was already dead when she got there?"
"Okay, so, we need to talk to Bella about what happened with Charlie then," he stated. "And get the truth from her. If she did kill Charlie, then what does it have to do with the note?"
"I don't know, Peter. I haven't a clue what the note has to do with it and why she would tell us that Victoria wrote it."
"No clue, Ol' Man, none at all," he said standing and cradling Char to his chest. "Now that ya have got my wheels turnin', I would like to take my mate for a hunt."
I listened just beyond the tree line as Jasper and I made our way back from the hunt. I shook my head as Jasper tried to pull me out into the open. I pointed to the spot we were standing at and pressed my finger against my lips.
"Bella, we need to get back in there so ya can clear things up with the family," he stated firmly. "And besides, I would like the answers too. I want to know what happened that night with Charlie."
I growled lowly and shook my head.
"Jasper, I didn't have a choice that night. I had to pull the trigger," I whispered. "Charlie would have bled out if I didn't."
"And the note, Bella, what about the note?" he questioned, as his eyes narrowed at me.
"Victoria wrote the note, Jasper. I believe her intention was for me to walk in and find Charlie dead already." I sighed heavily and lowered my head. "But that is not what happened. I walked in and found him bleeding out right there at the kitchen table."
"But when this first started, Bella," he said, as he wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me flush against his body. "Ya said that ya saw him just sittin' there. I just don't get it, Bella. Why would ya hide that from us?"
I buried my emotions deep and pushed a false sense of security at Jasper as he held me. There was truth to the tale that I had spun. I did kill Charlie and I didn't mind them knowing that. The note on the other hand was the key to my success at destroying the Cullens. As I heard the front door shut, I frowned and pulled away from Jasper.
"Jasper, I was scared. I had just killed my father and I knew Victoria was still after me." I sighed dramatically and began to play my part as the memories fluttered across my mind. "She would eventually find me and do the same. I wouldn't be able to beg for mercy at her hands. I had no choice, Jasper."
Pulling him along as I walked through the yard and to the back door, I pushed it open and stared at Carlisle as I continued towards the stairs. He was getting a little too close for comfort about the note. I was going to have to work quickly and get Jasper to return to his roots, his true self. I smirked as I thought of how easy it was for Jasper to fall into my plan. What a poor excuse for an empath; he was weak, I thought.