This is the last chapter, faithful readers. Thank you all for reading and commenting - glad you enjoyed my first vamp fic and I promise not to keep you waiting long for my next story, which is going to be all human.
Nine Years Later
It was three months after what would have been my thirtieth birthday. As usual April was wet and cold - well, cold to anyone who wasn't either a wolf or a vampire. The weather fit the occasion perfectly as I stood there in my best suit, gripping Jasper's hand tightly while the rain washed my tears away.
Dad had finally succumbed to heart disease four days earlier. He had stubbornly refused to give in until Christmas was over and then suddenly he began to get weaker, more breathless, his movements more painful. I spent more and more time with him, helped by Sue Clearwater and Carlisle while Jasper ran the garage almost single-handedly. For those final two weeks we had moved in with Dad to be with him every minute and he had passed peacefully in his sleep on Sunday while I sat at his bedside. Even though I had known he could go at any time, it was still a shock to see his chest fall for the last time. I sat there for maybe ten minutes waiting for him to take another breath, knowing that he wouldn't. He was gone.
Half the Reservation turned out for the funeral, crowds of them standing around and my eyes landed briefly on all of the pack with their families as I gazed about me. Sam and Emily were there with their two children; Leah was married to a guy from Portland where she had moved, although they had come back for the funeral; Jared and his wife, Kim were there with their twin girls; Embry and his new wife Marie; Paul and his girlfriend of three years, Suzanne. Yes, Paul had a girlfriend. Everyone had just about fallen down in shock when he introduced her and she was the least likely woman anyone could have guessed would fall for Paul. She was tiny and timid with pale skin and almost white blonde hair and he treated her like she was made of bone china, opening doors for her, carrying things for her, actually behaving like a gentleman; meanwhile she constantly gazed at him as if the sun shone out of his ass. Quil was still single, mainly because he was too fussy and Seth had flitted from one girl or boy to another during the last few years, but was currently on his own and hoping to find someone to settle down with. Fame and fortune had gone to his head a little after Wolfpack rapidly rose in popularity, touring larger areas of the States and eventually beginning to make records and tour abroad. I had left at the right time. I knew I couldn't have done that. Their schedule was gruelling and put tremendous pressure on them and their relationships, not to mention the fact that they were constantly in the press with lies being printed about them to explain candid photos, but somehow they had made it work.
Collin and Brady had never returned to La Push, at least not to live. They visited their families and the rest of us, but after leaving university that had both found jobs in the cities and settled down there with girls they met later.
I felt out of place now, the face looking back at me from the mirror still that of a twenty-one-year-old when everyone else had aged, developing laughter lines and crows' feet here and there, the odd grey hair sprouting from amidst the black. I felt more comfortable in the Cullens' house than I did in those of my closest friends, all of them looking of a similar age to my own.
Now I watched as Dad's casket was lowered into the sodden earth and Jasper and I each scattered a handful of dirt onto its polished top before we stepped back to let everyone else do the same. We made our way back to Dad's house where Sue and Leah had prepared food for the wake and I pulled myself together for the next couple hours as everyone offered condolences, telling me what Dad had meant to them and how well I had done with my business and in caring for him in his last months.
None of them knew I was leaving. Well, the pack knew. I had asked them not to tell their families until after I left, not wanting a huge farewell get together which would only add to the tears already shed for Dad.
Gradually the house emptied and the pack's wives took the children home, leaving only me, Jasper and the guys. I had already put the house in the hands of an agent and also my own house. There would be no coming back, at least not for the foreseeable future.
"I guess this is it, guys," I said now, yanking my tie loose and stuffing it into my jacket pocket.
"I wish you didn't have to go," Seth said tearfully. "Most people around here know about you anyway."
"On the Reservation, yes, but not in Forks. Most of my customers don't and there was that picture in the newspaper last year," I reminded him. A local photographer had snapped me in a restaurant in Forks with Jasper and written a short article questioning what we could be doing to keep ourselves looking so impossibly young.
Each of them came to me now to give me a farewell hug and promised to keep in touch by email at the very least. They all hugged Jasper too and then came outside to watch as we went to our vehicles. I had long since sold the faithful old Rabbit and now had a classic Corvette along with a new truck. Jasper took the Corvette while I slid behind the wheel of the truck. Its bed was stacked with items wrapped in tarps and a U-Haul trailer was hooked up behind. We were ready to move on to our new life and I took a deep breath, swallowed the lump in my throat and shifted into gear, slowly pulling onto the road behind the Corvette and following it in the direction of Forks.
We slowed as we drew close to the Cullens' long driveway and waited while their vehicles pulled out in front of us in convoy; Carlisle and Esme in their Mercedes, Emmett and Rosalie in a truck with a trailer behind, Alice next in her much loved Porsche which I had serviced and replaced parts on for years because she refused to part with it. Edward and Bella came after her in another truck and trailer and then Jasper and I joined the end of the line of vehicles.
As we passed Forks and headed north, tears filled my eyes again and spilled down my cheeks. Jasper was my life and I was excited about going with him to continue it somewhere else, but at the same time I was leaving everything I knew behind, including Dad, and I couldn't pretend it didn't hurt. I was actually glad not to be travelling in the same vehicle as Jasper, knowing he would have been upset by my sadness and unsure whether to use his ability to help me feel better or not.
Our destination was Prudhoe Bay on the north coast of Alaska, where a coven of vegetarain vampires that the Cullens called their cousins resided. They had been there only a year, having moved from the west coast after their lack of aging became a problem and we were to join them, initially occupying a mansion which Carlisle had purchased. It was over twenty-three hundred miles by road and would take several days of driving. Emmett had initially suggested one of the others drive my truck so that I could sleep rather than break the journey several times, but Carlisle preferred to take his time, allowing stops for me to freshen up, eat and sleep properly in motels and the rest of them to hunt.
It was Tuesday when we arrived and as we drove along the coast road towards our new home, I opened the truck windows to breathe the sea air and noticed the climate wasn't too different from La Push - damp and windy, although the temperature was well below freezing. I knew that one or two degrees was the best that could be hoped for, even in the middle of summer, not that it would affect any of us.
I felt better now, the long drive gradually taking me further and further from home having ceased to be painful by the time we had passed through Canada and instead I felt an eagerness to see my new home and begin settling in. I intended to set up a garage the same as I had in La Push and had previously learned that Prudhoe Bay had a small repair shop which wasn't really adequate for the size of the town. I had already had an offer on my old business and told my agent to accept it and I was making a killing, so I had ample funds to buy a premises and start up again.
As I drove the truck behind the rest of the vehicles I could see our new home from a distance - white-walled, three stories high with a tower to one end, standing on a slight rise close to the cliffs and overlooking the choppy grey sea. It was surrounded by walled gardens and as we turned onto the driveway I noticed fancy iron gates swing inwards as Carlisle's car reached them. We all drove up to the circular parking area in front of the house and immediately two suited men appeared, whom I guessed must be staff as one pulled open Esme's door and helped her out of the car. I parked the truck and jumped out, going to join Jasper as he slid out of my Corvette.
"This looks pretty cool," I said, entwining my fingers with his.
"Yeah, I hope we get a room with a sea view." He turned to look at me and touched my face. "Are you ok? I felt your pain for the first three days, but I kept out of it. It lessened when we left Canada."
"I'm ok, I guess I just had to go through it." I turned my head and kissed his palm. "Have we got rooms allocated or is it the first one to get there?"
"First one to get there, I think," Jasper said with a smirk. "You know I'm faster than the others."
"Well, then get in there and pick," I grinned back.
"Guys, Esme and I will be taking the suite in the tower," Carlisle said, pointing upwards. "The rest of you, sort yourselves out. There are eight ensuite bedrooms..."
Jasper was gone in a flash, Emmett, Rosalie and Alice flying after him. Edward and Bella walked and I could hear him muttering something about 'children' as they stepped through the door. I grinned and followed, knowing Jasper would already have got the best room.
The lobby was huge, like that you would expect to find in a hotel, with a marble floor and a decorative fountain in the middle, chandeliers hanging overhead. I gazed about me, in no hurry to get upstairs, taking in the decorations, glancing through some of the doors which led off the lobby to reveal a dining room, at least two lounges and studies. A curved staircase swept up the side of the lobby to the second floor, carpeted in red and I walked up slowly, peeking into some of the rooms there and finding Edward and Bella choosing one of the suites on that floor. Emmett and Rosalie had another and she was grouching that Emmett hadn't been fast enough to get one of the two rooms on the top floor. Grinning, I climbed the next staircase to find that level occupied by some storage rooms, a music room and an art room and two bedroom suites. Alice was in one - I could see her flitting about through the open door, squealing over the view and the enormous closet and the rich blue carpet.
"Jacob! Hurry up, come and see this!" Jasper called out from another room along the landing and I quickly joined him.
The room was immense, carpeted and curtained in dark green, a king size four-poster bed positioned on one wall. Mahogany dressers and chests stood along the wall either side of the door and a walk-in closet and bathroom opened off one side of the room. Jasper was standing at the window - a huge expanse of glass stretching almost from one side to the other. I went to him and slid my arms around him, pressing myself against his back as we looked out.
Directly below were gardens - neatly trimmed lawns, rose bushes which I knew Esme would love, shrubs and small trees - then beyond the wall was the sea. Even through the glass I could hear waves crashing against the bottom of the cliffs and I could imagine lying in the huge bed with Jasper in my arms, falling asleep to the sound.
"This is awesome!" I said and kissed his neck. "You definitely got the best room. Rosalie is pissed as hell at Emmett for not getting up here."
"I know, I can feel," Jasper grinned. "She's tempted to throw him out of the window." He turned now in the circle of my arms and rested his hands on my chest. "You are happy to be here, aren't you?"
"Of course I am," I said at once. "It was time. I know we couldn't have stayed any longer and my place is with you, wherever that is. I love you, Jas, you're everything to me."
"I love you too," he murmured. "And thank you."
"Whatever for?" I said in surprise.
"Giving me this. Giving me a life again."
I brushed my lips against his. "You know how many times you've said that to me?"
"A few each year, I guess," he smiled. "I'll probably still be saying the same thing a hundred years from now."
"Even after nine years I'm still not used to the fact that we have forever together," I told him. I let go of him and continued looking around the room. A flat screen television with built-in DVD player was mounted on the wall opposite the bed and I grinned as I wondered if we would ever find any use for it.
Jasper moved towards the door and I could tell by his sudden fidgeting that he was growing thirsty. The others had all hunted the previous night, but he had insisted on staying in the motel with me, snuggling against me while I slept.
"I should hunt," he said now and glanced at me slightly apologetically, his eyes slowly blackening.
For once it was me who moved quickly, closing the door and turning the key in the lock before he could step through it.
"Our first evening in our new home, I don't want to let you out of my sight," I said, grasping his hands and pulling him towards the bed. "Lie down with me. We haven't done this since before Dad passed away."
Jasper smiled coyly and drew his hands out of mine, reaching up to begin unfastening my shirt. After undoing the first couple of buttons slowly, he stopped teasing and removed the rest of my clothes and his own in seconds and suddenly we were lying in the middle of the enormous bed, limbs entwined, his lips covering the small wound in my neck, my heart pumping my blood rapidly through my veins to nourish him, my cock stiffening eagerly. We truly belonged to each other, I thought, closing my eyes as he removed his mouth from my neck and placed his warm lips on mine. Forever.