Sorry for the delay, I got caught up reading the study series for the third time. If you haven't already read those books I highly recommend that you do so immediately. Thank you to everyone who is still reading this story, you are all amazing.
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight
"Bella! Bella! Where are you? What's happening? What's wrong? Bella?" The line went dead.
Deciding to go on a holiday had to be one the best decisions I have made for myself in a long time. I spend so much time focusing on others around me, and making them happy that sometimes I forget to look out for myself, to do what makes me happy.
Alice has just dropped me off at the airport and refused to leave until I forced her to go. As much as I love her, I did not want her to be able to follow me. If she knew where I was going, she would feel the need to follow me and keep watch, making sure I stayed alive.
I needed this time alone, I needed to be away from the family even if it was only for two weeks and sift through my thoughts. I still haven't fully come to terms with the events of the past few weeks and it was time that I did and moved on.
Looking up at the departure board, I located the first plane to leave to a sunny destination and I was not surprised when I found myself boarding the next plane to Arizona, this might be my last chance to see the place I use to call home.
Seeing as how this holiday was for me and the Cullen's told me to enjoy myself and get whatever my heart desired, I now have a first class ticket. Completely unnecessary, but I wanted to spoil myself. The food was beyond divine and I found myself enjoying the infight entertainment.
It was about 30 minutes into my flight when I noticed that the man sitting across from me was staring. He had a look in his eyes, like he could recognise me, but couldn't quite place my face. It continued like this for the next hour before finally he seemed to give in and speak to me. "Excuse me mam, but you seem oddly familiar. Have we met before?"
"Sorry, I do not recognise you. Maybe I resemble someone you once knew." When you see someone familiar you don't stare at them for over an hour and this man was freaking me out. Maybe it was a bad idea to not tell the family where I was heading.
"Do you mind me asking your name?"
Without wanting to seem rude, I replied to him. "It's Bella."
His eyes went wide, and his face radiated shock. "No, it couldn't be." He shook his head and it seemed like I wasn't meant to be listening to his inner dialogue. "She couldn't be." Regaining his composure he then turned back to me. "May I ask what Bella is short for?"
"Isabella?" This was more a question then a statement, what else would Bella be short for?
After he seemed to reassure himself that I was indeed not the person he knew, the rest of the flight passed by with ease. Once I landed in Arizona, I hired a car and checked into the best hotel I could find. I didn't plan on spending much time in here, but the Cullen's wouldn't mind the extra expense.
Driving along with the windows down, I took in everything that was around me. I missed the heat that Arizona offered. I missed being able to drive with a window down and not stutter with cold. The car didn't need to warm before you could drive it in the mornings here and I could wear shorts and it be fine.
This had been my home for many years and it will always have a special place in my heart. Renee and I had been happy. We spent our time trying new adventures and always worked better as best friends then mother and daughter.
I could go and see Renee while I was here, but I wanted my time alone. Seeing Renee would defeat this purpose. She would want to spend every minute with me I were to go and see her.
I found comfort in that no vampire would venture to this part of the country. During the days they would be immobile and I could not picture nomads sitting down waiting for the sun to disappear each day to feed.
After four days in Arizona, I started to sense someone following me. It wasn't just during the night that I felt this presence, but during the day in the middle of clearing full of people too. I tried my hardest to continue on ignoring it. It was most likely just my paranoia and it was nothing.
I spent my time in Arizona travelling, driving from one end of the state to the other. The driving helped to calm me and give me time to think.
Before I left for my trip, Jasper tried to talk with me. To explain to me his past love and how she was apparently still alive, so he couldn't be with Alice anymore. I understood, I understood 100% why it was unfair to stay with Alice when his heart belonged to another. It wasn't fair on Alice, and Jasper deserved to be with the woman that he loved over everything else. What I didn't understand though, was why Jasper felt the need to lie. He hid this person from Alice and in the end it caused more heartbreak then if he had just been honest.
Alice deserved the world, and it was not okay that Jasper took her happiness from her. I knew deep down that I had to eventually forgive Jasper, and I think a small part of me has, but I wanted to let him suffer for a little bit longer before he knew that.
Before I knew it, my time away had come to an end and I found myself heading towards the airport. I waited until well into the afternoon until I left, savouring what time I had left. The feeling of being followed had no yet disappeared and I was starting to become paranoid.
The paranoia was what fuelled my desire to call Alice before I went on the plane to ensure that the family knew that I should be arriving home in a few hours.
It was as I was about to press the call button on the phone when a man appeared before me. At first I thought it was the same man from the plane, except that this man's face was contorted into an ugly snarl. His skin tone was paler, as pale as a Vampire and his eyes were a ruby red. This man did not possess the inhuman beauty that a Vampire had and he seemed different.
While taking a mental note of what I was seeing, I stood frozen. Was he going to kill me? He looked like he wanted too.
After a few moments, I sprang into action and pressed the call button on the phone which was still in my hand. I put the phone to my ear and the man stood still, he didn't react to my movements.
It only took one ring for Alice to answer the phone. "Hello? Bella are you okay?" She was panicked.
"Alice, I need help. Come soon please, I'm in –" The man seemed to not be pleased with my words and took the phone from my hands, throwing it across the room. I didn't get to tell her where I was, I need to make a decision, I needed to let Alice see me. I made the conscious decision to book a trip to Arizona in one month, hoping that Alice would see it, hoping that I would still be alive to travel to Arizona next month. To be safe, I decided I wanted to also see Arizona in 3 years' time.
"Arabella, I have finally found you." What? What is with this name, I now had another reason to hate it.
"I am sorry, but you have the wrong person. My name is Isabella." I thought that him and I had established this on the plane, was he the one who had been following me?
"No, don't lie to me!" He was now outraged. "I can sense your essence, I can see your true face!" My essence? My true face? There was something wrong with this man and I was truly frightened for my life.
"I am sorry, but I don't know what you are talking about."
"You really don't know, well I will just have to take you with me then" Before I could blink, the man had grabbed me and started running from the airport, away from my way home.
As soon as we heard the click of the phone turning off everybody jumped into action. Emmett, Alice and Rosalie had run and jumped straight into Emmett's Jeep and instantly pulled away, I'm assuming heading for the airport. They had no plan of action in there head, there only thoughts right now would be to find Bella. They would visit every sunny state until they found her if needed.
Carlisle and Esme headed towards his Mercedes, and I could hear Carlisle on the phone to a private investigator who didn't mind getting his hands dirty. He was seeking information on where Bella lasted booked a plane ticket too and they too were heading for the airport, however Carlisle's mind had allowed him to have some idea of how to find her.
I didn't run to any of the cars like the family, they would only slow me down. I needed to run, I needed to clear my mind and see things from Bella's perceptive. If I was Bella, where would I go with sun?
I continued running until it hit me like a ton of bricks. Of course, Bella would go to Arizona, she would go to where she had learned to love the sun. She wanted to be alone, so I doubt that she went to see her mother, so Jacksonville isn't an option. She might have gone to Phoenix.
With a plan of action in my mind I called the family while continuing my pace through the dense forest. While I skilfully dodged all the branches and fallen trees on my path, I dialled Alice's number, knowing they needed my help more than Carlisle did.
"Yes Jasper," Alice sounded exasperated. She was getting frustrated with something and instinctively I knew it was her inability on being able to see where Bella was.
I explained to Alice where I thought Bella might be, and also made plans to meet them there. Alice told me how her ability wasn't working properly, something was messing with it. She could see past all this, but only in snippets. She couldn't see anything to do with Bella being in trouble now though and it was making her edgy.
Next I phoned Carlisle, although I had a feeling he would already be on the right path. "Jasper where are you?" There was no time for the warm welcome that he normally greeted me with.
"I think Bella might be in Phoenix, so I'm heading there. The others are on the way to the airport, meet them there and we can meet in Phoenix."
"Yes, I had thought she might be there too. I'm just waiting on my contact to confirm which airport she flew into. I'll see the others soon and I'll call you when I know the airport."
The run to Arizona was too long. I had to stay in the safety of trees and when there was no cover, I had to be careful on how I proceeded, however I did manage to make it without being seen. Once I arrived I suddenly realised that I had no way of tracing Bella. Her scent was long gone, masked by the thousands of people who had come after her.
I had made it before the family, which did not surprise me. With no further plan of action, I decided to wait in impatient silence for them to arrive.
"Jasper!" Alice was the first one I saw. The others came following close behind her. Alice explained to me how a vision finally slipped through, she saw a man with Bella. He looked like us, he had blood red eyes, he was pale and he had an inhuman quality to him. But she explained how something was off, he didn't have the beauty of a vampire, the quality that was in our DNA to draw a human to us he did no possess. His skin was wrinkled with age and he was in a place that Alice did not recognise.
I knew instantly what had Bella, however I wasn't sure who. "Alice, I know what has Bella. I don't know where she is, but I might be able to find out." When I left my past life I cut ties with all my connections. I knew that without a doubt that even after 200 years they would all help me without blinking.
What I didn't understand though, was why they would want Bella. They didn't typically involve themselves in human matters, they steered clear of them and anything involving humans, preferring to stick to their own world.
"What do you mean Jasper? Who do you think has her? How do we find her?" I wasn't fully ready to share my past with the family yet, but I knew that now my hand was being forced. They needed to know what they were going up against in order to help Bella.
"I will explain on the way, but we need to leave now." Needing to hurry, I explained that it would be easier to run. This way we could all stay together while I explained what I think was happening. We were fortunate that it was now dark, we didn't have to worry about the sun as we left the airport and could move freely.
"Okay Jasper, now can you please enlighten us on what you think is happening?" Carlisle waited until we were secured by trees before probing me for information. The family did not falter as they continued following me.
I decided that it was now or never and I had to start at the beginning in order for the family to fully understand everything. "I was changed in 406." Before I could continue any further, there was an outburst of confusion and shock from the family. Everybody had stopped in their tracks and were firing rapid questions at me. "Please, if you have this reaction with everything I tell you then I will never finish."
After I had managed to calm them down enough to convince them to keep moving, I continued my story. "As I was saying, I was changed in 406 so yes I am over 1600 years old. The beginning of my story is similar to Carlisle's. I too had issues with feeding from humans and when I was changed, I hid away in the forest for weeks refusing to eat from any human." Those first few weeks as a vampire had been some of the worst moments of my existence. The thirst in the back of my throat was unbearable, it took all the self-restraint and humanity that I had in me to not find the first human I saw and tare into their throat.
"After four weeks of laying completely still and tormenting myself, an angel appeared to me, or I thought she was an angel anyway. She introduced herself to me as Arabella and told me that she had been watching me and was impressed with my restraint. She explained how she had a theory about another way of life for our kind, and how it might be possible to sustain ourselves off animals. Arabella sat with me and helped me find peace with myself. She helped me to catch my first meal and see that I could live a good life even with being cursed a Vampire. During the time Arabella stayed with me, she explained to me that she was not from our world, she came from a different place where she was the leader. Her species were at war with another world, this war has been going on for thousands of years and there was never any end in sight. I asked Arabella to take me with her, back to her land and she agreed, she normally doesn't take to vampires as they are the offspring of the dark creatures which she is battling with. It didn't take me long to fall in love with Arabella and surprisingly she loved me back. I spent all my time with her and I was content with spending eternity with the other half of my soul." I took in a deep un-needed breath and braced myself for what had to be the worst moment in my life.
"It was about 200 years ago when the enemy realised they could take Arabella and steal her powers, using it against her own people to help the darkness win the war. When Arabella realised that she may be the downfall, she seeked out the elders. They are the oldest of their kind and pride themselves on the wisdom which they possess. She asked them to end her life, so that she could in turn try to save her people. When I found out, I was devastated. She confided in me with everything, but she did not come to me with this burden and I could not stop her from ending her life. When I left that world and returned here, I swore that I would leave that past behind me. That is why I never told you of my past, I was never changed in Maria's army, I willingly joined her in hopes of finding something to pass time, to take my mind off the one I loved. The day that Alice found me, she gave me a purpose to live again. She returned some light into my life. I gave her everything that I had to offer, but unfortunately there wasn't much left as I still belonged to Arabella even in her death. When Alice saw that Arabella had in fact not died that day, I knew that I could no longer be with Alice as my heart still and always will belong to Arabella."
I was surprised with how quietly the family was taking all of this in. We continued to run and the continued to blindly follow me. "The creature Alice described in her vision is a creature of darkness. They are 10 times more powerful than a Vampire and have no humanity in them at all. They kill without a thought and take what they want. The ones who reside on this world are rare. They are typically what you could call mutated, they were born with some compassion and because of that they are exiled her to live out there days. When exiled they tend to transform themselves into a human to blend in and live a normal life however they still have so much darkness in them. The compassion that they are born with will never be strong enough to overthrow the darkness."
"What would they want with Bella?" Rosalie was the first to speak up and ask the question which everybody was thinking.
"My only guess at the moment is that Bella somehow attracted the attention of one and it took a liking to her. It might have taken her as pet, sometimes they do that the human will become essentially what a dog is to a human. If that is what happened, then she may still be alive but in order to get the human to obey and not run, they break down there willpower and pluck at their soul until only a mindless creature remains. We just need to hope that Bella can resist their attempts until we arrive." I couldn't think about this too much or I would work myself up. Bella had to remain strong, I couldn't stand to lose what I considered my best friend. She needed to survive this.
I could feel betrayal coming from every member of the family except Alice. They were all upset that I had lied to them for all this time and that was completely understandable. As well as their betrayal, I could feel all there curiosity, I could practically feel the questions dripping from their mind. I prompted them to go ahead and ask, it was better they all got it off there chest now so that they didn't hold too much ill feelings towards me. I needed to be able to rely on them to get through this.
Emmett wanted to know where we were going and I explained that we were going to Arabella's world. I needed to find an old friend of mine who could possible he, p me track down the location of each exiled creature of the dark. It was there job to keep watch and if I was really lucky he may also be able to tell me which one had taken Bella.
Esme was curious as to what powers Arabella possessed and I explained that she has no limitations on her abilities, she has assess to whatever she desires.
Carlisle wanted to know how I struggled with the animal diet now even though I have been feeding from them for far longer than he has. This was something I was deeply ashamed of and will be truly upset when Arabella discovers my misdeeds. "I did so well at feeding from animals because Arabella was my inspiration, when I thought she passed I lost that inspiration. I know longer cared what happened to anybody else and myself and that caused me to slip, I didn't care much for my self-control. When I had that first taste of human blood it stayed with me and I found it more and more difficult to resist the urge."
"How did Arabella survive and where is she now?" Rosalie was next and this was a question which I was repeatedly asking myself. How did Arabella survive? The Elders don't fail and there was no way she survived if they meant to kill her, which meant that they had their own plans to keep her alive. The next question was where she was now and this too was something I kept asking myself. I couldn't understand where there was where Arabella could be that she couldn't be found. I know her, and I know that there is no way she could stay away for this long. She would itch for action after only a day of inactivity she would force her way back onto the battlefield.
"I don't know Rosalie, but I do plan to find out."
Eventually I led the family to the edge of the forest which we all stood in, before us stood a door. This door was hidden to anybody who did not know the truth about where it led and now that the family knew, they were able to enter through it. They were all uneasy with the idea of stepping through the door, but eventually I coaxed them into trusting me and following me through.
I prepared myself to step back through into a world that I left behind me 200 years ago and when I did I was shocked by what I found. There was fire, there was fire everywhere.
Question: I can't decide between Alice falling for another Vampire or for one of Arabella's advisor's. Thoughts?