Hello, again. Pretty quick update for me! But I didn't get a chance to reply to your reviews from the last chapter. I'm so sorry! Thank you for letting me know you're out there, and for letting me know what you think of these boys! Two camps have developed amongst you… those of you who think Jasper will leave and those of you who think he will stay. Ah, if it were only that simple. ;-) If you haven't already, let me know to which you belong.

Thank you for being my beta, lovely Nancy! Yes, harrytwifan polished this chapter for us, like always.

Disclaimer – I don't own anything Twilight. This is slash.

Song inspiration - It's Been Awhile by Staind and Heavy in Your Arms by Florence and The Machine.


Ch. 15 - Heavy in Your Arms

Epov

The comfort of darkness consumes me.

Silence is such a relief.

Until far off noises filter in. Murmuring voices and beeping sounds grow increasingly louder, coming closer. Try as I may, I'm unable to focus on any one sound.

I hear, but I can't see. Nor can I move. My body feels so heavy, too tired. Like cement, sinking into an endless abyss.

I can't speak, unable to move my lips or lift my limp tongue. I want to yell at whoever keeps poking and prodding, to beg them to stop.

I'm here! I'm hurting! Please, leave me the fuck alone!

Thankfully, the voices and noises fade away. Nothingness invites me back in.

...

Through the darkness, I hear my father. He's distraught. He's sobbing, and barking orders to the ones who disturb my peace.

Why won't they leave me alone?

I'm so sorry, Dad. I don't want you to hurt. I'll make you happy, again. I promise… I will.

...

Softer cries disturb my nothingness. Bella.

Hush, now... don't cry, Bella. I never meant to hurt you. The last thing I wanted was to cause you any pain.

Still paralyzed in the darkness, I wish I could comfort her, or she could comfort me. But I burn for someone else's presence. Jasper's.

...

I feel him. I hear him, too. He's crying. I've made him weep, like everyone else I care for. Why do I hurt the people I love?

Jasper needs me. I struggle against the icy clutches of the darkness, clawing my way out of the dense fog surrounding me, weighing me down.

The first thing I see when I finally find the strength to open my eyes is his blond wavy hair, then his beautiful, sleeping face. I knew he was still here, though his words and cries subsided some time ago. I felt the comfort of his presence, his aura and his soul still in the room. He holds my hand in his sleep; his warmth flows up my arm, through every cell in my body.

I feel so weary. With great effort, I lift the hand Jasper isn't grasping. I wince at the discomfort the IV causes. For the life of me, I can't remember why I'm in a hospital bed.

How did I get here?

What the fuck happened to me?

What did I do?

Reaching across my aching body, my fingers tangle in Jasper's soft curls. I feel such relief from his nearness, but my eyes still feel too heavy. I fight against the need to give into the darkness that gently invites me back.

"Jasper…" I barely manage to murmur.

His eyes flutter open; I'm met with his mesmerizing, crystal clear blue. We simply stare at one another, overcome by our connection yet again.

Too quickly, though, he's on his feet - asking if I'm okay, attempting to pull away to get the nurse.

"No!" the hoarse sound rips from my throat, channeling energy I didn't know I had.

It takes all the wind from my lungs, all the strength from every inch of my exhausted body. I can barely get my plea to him, but I must...

"Stay. Don't leave me!" I hold on to his hand, yet it slowly slips from my grip.

I witness the battle he wages within; whether to go as he feels he should, or to stay with me. Thankfully, he chooses the latter, nervously glancing toward the door before back to me. His concerned expression softens. He leans over me, kissing my forehead, my cheeks, finally my parched lips. I open my mouth to him, seeking his tongue. I need to feel it against mine, to appease the hunger for him that permanently resides in my belly, in my bones. My soul needs reassured he is actually here and still feels the same for me as I feel for him. A moan escapes me, answering one of his. I deepen our kiss, grasping, tangling my fingers in the ends of his waves at the nape of his neck.

Jasper breaks the kiss, dragging his lips up my cheek until they rest against my forehead. I feel moisture on my face and realize it's his warm tears. Using the little strength I have, I hold his arms in my desperate grasp.

"Edward, baby. Your dad? Bella? They could come in. You have to let me go."

My father…?

Bella...?

Fuck!

My hell comes crashing back, suffocating me all over again.

Nevertheless, I don't relent my hold on him.

"Baby, do you mind if they see us… like this?" he tentatively asks, hope laced within his trembling voice.

Yes.

It's not that I don't want them to see us this way, in one another's arms. So obviously lovers. So obviously…in love. There's nothing I want more.

I just can't.

So I let him go, like I have so many times. As I'll continue to force myself to do. For them.

He stands up straight, backing away from the bed, from me. The pain in his features takes what little breath I have away.

I watch him put his mask in place, visibly hiding away his pain, and replacing it with resignation and anger. He's mad at me, of course. But not for the reasons I'm expecting.

"How could you do this, Edward? Do you know what would've happened if you died? If you stayed dead? It would kill me... it would be the death of us all!"

I shake my head from side to side, denying his accusations. My voice comes out weak and pathetic, all I can muster at the moment.

"What are you talking about?"

"The pills, Edward! Do you remember taking an entire fucking bottle of sleeping pills?"

It all comes rushing back to me, in reverse order. Succumbing to the comforting darkness, finally. Taking a handful of pills with the wine… maybe a couple handfuls? Having sex with Bella, fighting with her after enduring her and my father's sickening happiness. Forcing myself to leave Jasper, in turn splintering my soul, leaving a piece of me with him.

His words sink in. I almost died? That's not possible. That's not what I intended. Is it? I only wished for sleep. Forever, maybe… but I simply needed the comfort of deep sleep.

Jasper waits silently for my answer. Like a statue, unmoving and emotionless, except for his eyes. I see into their depths; I now realize I always have. I see his love for me interlaced with the agony I cause him, swirling together in his gaze.

Still, he waits.

Little inklings of strength return to my body. The lingering haze slowly dissipates, enabling me to think more clearly.

"I just needed to sleep, Jasper… nothing but sleep. No tortured dreams of you, or of her. For once, I just wanted some peace. I need some damned peace every once in a fucking while. Is that too much to ask?"

He flinches at me words; they didn't come out right. I shouldn't have answered in such a way. Reaching out my hand to him, I beg for him with my body and my eyes to please come closer.

"I didn't mean to take so many pills. I promise."

He turns his back on me, looking out the window. Dawn is upon us, barely lighting up the sky. His shoulders sag; he runs his fingers through his hair.

"I need you, Jasper. Please don't shut me out," I whisper.

Continuing his tired stance, facing away from me, his reply sounds so far away. He's too far away from me - in mind, body, and spirit – I fear.

"I need you, too, Edward, but not like this. Look at what my need for you has done! Love is supposed to set us free, not weigh us down and drown us in this hell."

He finally turns around, and something about the look on his face scares me shitless. It's as if he's about to say goodbye. He is. He's going to tell me goodbye and walk out the door, out of my life, and never look back.

"No! Don't say it. Don't you dare…" I attempt to yell, yet it barely comes out a groaning whisper.

"Edward..." he attempts to comfort me with his voice, with some explanation, but all he has to offer is my name, pained and desperate.

"No!" I refuse to hear him.

He looks at the floor and gives in. For now, I think he gives in.

"Just don't do anything rash, Jasper. Give me more time, baby… please?"

Looking up, he claims my gaze once more. "I'm not going anywhere… for now. But Edward, we need to continue this conversation when you're feeling better."

He's not going anywhere… I focus on the words I need to hear. I nod my throbbing head, as my body gives into the exhaustion and the haze. I can barely keep my eyes open all of sudden; I feel myself fading away.

As the darkness closes in, Jasper kisses my forehead and promises he'll be back soon. I want to reach for him, I need to - but my strength is completely spent.

The last thing I see before I lose consciousness is my father arriving. He passes Jasper as he walks through the door, and the way he looks at Jasper before rushing to my side sends chills throughout my numbing body. Thank god, the haze quickly pulls me under completely.


Thanks for reading!

I've entered my J/E fanfic 'Eternal Beloved' in a ghost story contest hosted by the author, Lissa Bryan. It's under the penname Susanna Jameson. There are numerous short and longer ghost stories. Check them out at: ghoststorycontest2013 blogspot com/2013/10/eternal-beloved-by-susanna-jameson html (dots in the spaces). Voting is open. Tissue warning on my 'Eternal Beloved', btw.