A/N Hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Lets start the new year with a new chapter.

I'd like to thank my awesome beta Deβra Anne for editing this draft so speedily the woman rocks my world.

Hope you all enjoy.

"Edward!? Edward!? Fucking look at me, boy! You had to let him touch you, didn't ya. Your whoring self just couldn't wait. I told ya before, Edward. No one, and I mean fucking no one, touches you, but me. You are mine. Cause! I! Fucking! Won!"

And before I know it, before I can scream and beg Jasper for help, I'm crudely lifted, crushed possessively to his broad chest and hurriedly rushed to the tiny bathroom and forcefully thrown into the hot, steamy water.

I jump with a startle, my arms and legs wildly furling within the sheets. Soaked to the skin and inwardly screaming, I find I'm unable to free my dampened self from the tangled blankets. I'm deafened by the loud pounding of my heart in my tired ears, as my eyes nervously scan the darkened room. Searching the shadows and corners, my throat stings and contracts anxiously as I wait for something – anything - to go bump in the night.

Swinging my shaky legs to the floor, arms tight at my sides, my trembling hands gripping the mattress for dear life, I once again curse my past and myself for enabling it to still affect me.

Grabbing my robe from the hook on the back of the bedroom door, I head downstairs, wanting to make myself a hot cup of soothing tea. Sitting at the kitchen table, I take a minute to reflect back to the day it all started. Don't get me wrong, it was always there. There was always signs, but I was unable to see them; or if I'm really being honest, I was basically choosing not to. I guess at first I couldn't pinpoint or figure out just what was happening.

Rubbing my temples, sipping slowly on my hot tea, my belly nervously flips, unable to let go and release my dream of Jasper. It was so surreal – lifelike, in fact - I can still smell his sweet, musky scent dance across my fevered skin and his cooling touch play upon its goosebumps. Softly tracing my quivering dry lips with the tips of my fingers, I sigh deeply when I sadly realize my mind not only brought me nightmares, but was also doing its best to play cruel tricks upon my weary heart.

Letting my eyes fall shut, drawing a deep breath into my painful, exhausted lungs, I do my best to push my Jasper fantasy to the furthermost part of my demented brain, instead letting my mind begrudgingly wander back to that very first day, the day I should have taken heed, the day I should have known better and run.

It was subtle at first, little stupid things really, a remark here, a rude comment there. I knew in my heart they were wrong; I knew it wasn't the way you treated or talked to someone you were supposedly in love with. But at first, my mind couldn't comprehend that he would do such a thing, my brain was unable to wrap itself around the fact that he might just be downright cruel and a serious control freak, so I always felt the need to brush them off or make excuses for them.

'I think the first time it got physical was the coffee incident, or should I say the first time I started to take notice of how careless he was with my feelings. It had to be that day, it was such a fucked up day.' Thinking back, remembering harder, I decided, 'Yep! That was the day. That fucking cup of God damn coffee. We were still in high school. I really shouldn't have had him over, but he could be very persuasive at times. Now looking back, I realize he was just a manipulating fuck.

Being two years older than me, and the fact that he had even taken notice in the first place was a complete and utter shock. But day after day, he persuaded me. Day after day, he made it a point to make sure I knew he was interested. And douchebag me fell for it hook, line and sinker. Asshole me was swept off my sissy little school girl God damn feet. James, on the other hand, was not so easily impressed. We fought daily about this guy's intentions. We argued mercilessly regarding his overzealous and influential ways. But love-struck me wouldn't listen. Infatuated me yearned to belong.

I remember it was a school day and we'd skipped, informing James that I was being picked up, so I wouldn't be unable to accompany him to the train. He left, glancing suspiciously over his shoulder, reminding me sternly that no one, and he means no one, especially douchebag, was allowed in our home without supervision. Guiltily diverting my eyes, I sheepishly nod as I crudely push him out the front door, promising and reminding him that I knew the rule and it would never be broken. Hurriedly closing the door with a loud bang as he left, I lean back against the chilling wood, desperately trying to catch my lying sack of shit breath and convince myself that what I'm about to do is right.

Today was the day, you know!? The day!? Yeah that day! We'd discussed it endlessly. Well, if truth be told, he had. He'd finally come to the decision that we needed to move our relationship to the next level, informing me that no one would wait as long as he had. No one would be patient enough to put up with my over-thinking sissy, bull shit ways. So after some thought and a lot of persuading from him, I un-excitedly and wearily agreed.

I hear high insight is half the battle, damn! If I only knew then, what I know now. But of course I was young, naive, and totally fucking stupid, so I'm guessing nothing could have stopped me.

I remember shifting on my socked feet as the chill from the kitchen floor ran through my bones. My body trembling from the pain that surged along my spine, I gently swayed my hips, knowing for damn sure that by this evening, there'll be fingertip bruises tattooed upon them, from his life depending grip.

I cringe when a sharp bolt of discomfort runs between my ass cheeks, My legs are weak, jelly like, almost feeling the need to white-knuckle the old Formica counter-top, as I wait not so patiently for the fucking coffee his lordship ordered, to hurry the hell up and brew.

My head spins in confusion and my chest hurts, due to the anxiety knot swirling in my belly. I'd heard the first time was uncomfortable, and could be somewhat painful, but to categorize the agony I was in at this very moment as 'somewhat,' would be a fucking understatement.

He wouldn't listen. The fucker paid me no mind. He just barreled forward without a care in the God damn world. Don't get me wrong, he had words to encourage me forward, pep talks to cheer me along and kind words to console me when I cried, but I didn't fucking care, and his words didn't mean squat to me. His little beads of wisdom fell upon deaf ears when his actions contradicted each and every sentence he breathed. The bastard was hurting me, and he fucking knew it.

I knew when it was over, I would need a hot bath to soak in, seriously thinking in the back of my mind that I really could use a doctor, but I quickly dismissed that childish thought when the covers were crudely swiped from me and I was ordered to make him some fresh coffee.

I remember looking at him angrily, I felt the vain pulsate in my forehead as his boyish puppy dog eyes pleaded devilishly with me. Utterly outraged, I snorted in frustration, dishearteningly agreeing as I sheepishly swing my legs over the side of the bed and awkwardly pull on my sweats.

So as I stand trembling, in pain and discomfort, listening as his lordship sings at the top of his out of tune lungs under the steamy water of a hot shower, I swear to anything that will hear me that this, whatever this is or was, will never happen a-fucking-gain.

I prepare the cup dutifully, as he had requested. Even though my hands still trembled, something inside still felt the need to please him and keep the peace. And as he entered the kitchen, disgustingly giving the little space a discerning once over, I weakly smile in his direction, already knowing what disapproving thoughts are swirling through his right-side-of-the-tracks mind.

Doing my best to quickly distract him, I sip on my hot tea while I push his cup across the table in the direction of the chair facing me. He sits down with a happy thud, reminding me of a kid in a candy store, or as they say the cat that got the canary. His smile is wide as he adjusts his shirt sleeves, folding them to the elbow just the way he liked them. But the smile never reaches his eyes, and is not long lived once he takes a large gulping mouthful of the hot liquid.

My eyes shut instantly, instinctively holding my breath as the hot fluid covers my entire face. Bile rising at the back of my throat, I gag forcefully when I realize he's just covered me in spit.

"What the fuck! Edward? Are you trying to fucking poison me?" His harsh tone rings in my ears.

Urgently reaching for a napkin, frantically wiping down my drenched face, I question, "What? What did I do wrong?"

"What the fuck did you do wrong, Edward? What do you call this? Cause it sure as hell ain't coffee."

Rushing to my feet, I grab the coffee can from the cupboard and shove it in his direction. Wanting him to know, wanting him to see, that yes, it was, cause it says so on the bright, shiny blue tin.

Pushing back the chair, coming to stand with his fists on the table, he begins to hysterically laugh. I'm looking at him in confusion, all wide-eyed and gaping mouth, cause seriously, I really think he's lost his mind. And within seconds, he's on me. I'm bent back over the sink, his huge hand engulfs my jaw and his fingers pry my lips apart as he crudely proceeds to pour the hot offensive liquid down my throat.

My eyes sting, unable to stop the liquid from finding its way under my lashes. My ears fill as it runs over my cheekbones and into my hair, and I gag, doing my best not to drown in the bitter taste as the hot coffee floods to the back of my mouth. I hear him yell. Between the whooshing sounds and the choking, I can still hear his sarcastic tone ring in the air.

"This is not fucking coffee, Edward! This is dishwater. Only your brother would be the one unintelligent enough to refer to this slop as God damn coffee."

Clawing at his shirt, unable to stay focused, feeling as his buttons give under my grip, I try desperately to open my eyes and silently plead with him for my life. But he doesn't pay me any mind. His face is angry and distorted. He's deafened by his own stupid rage.

"Being a guest in your home, Edward, and after giving you what should have been the fuck of your life, I expected to be treated with a little more respect, boy. Next time, Mister, looks like I have to bring my own fucking coffee, not that I should be surprised. It is up to me to show you Mason boys the finer things in life, now isn't it?"

Pulling back, his eyes glancing at the kitchen counter, he throws me the dish towel and orders me to dry off. I stand dumbfounded, shaking to the core, unable to understand what the fuck just happened, and before I have a minute to think, before I have a second to plead my case, he straightens his shirt, refolds his disheveled sleeves, kisses me on the forehead, and yells back a quick, "Call ya later, babe. Thanks for everything. Gotta run, cause fuck knows I now have to make a detour for some decent coffee just to get home on time."

And with that, he's gone, and I'm left soaked, sticky and trembling in our tiny little kitchen, and have never touched or made another cup of coffee since.

Of course, he called later and apologized. That was something he'd always been good at. He promised me he'd change, even offering to get some help with his temper. And stupid me was always so easily willing to forgive. Stupid me was always so easily able to give him that second chance. And for a while all things would return to normal and he would be his charming, loving self, until he felt himself crossed once more. And with that, the fuckery had begun, and I started to live life in fear of ever crossing him and doing my utmost to keep him happy and pleased.

I startle when I hear the doorbell. Glancing at the kitchen clock, I notice it's only five AM. 'Who the hell could this be? Who the fuck comes to visit at this ungodly hour?' Pulling my robe tighter, I hesitate for a second in the hallway. Turning on the porch light, I pull back the small curtain. My brow furrows in confusion as I watch Jasper peek sheepishly to the side and grin wide at my reflection. Slowly opening the door, I immediately question, "Jasper?"

He bounces on his toes, pushing back the hood of his sweatshirt. Seemingly out of breath, he addresses me, "I'm sorry to bother you, Edward. I'm out for my morning run, and I noticed your kitchen light was on and wanted to make sure all was well with you."

Pulling the door open, gesturing him to enter the hallway, I worriedly inform him, "I had a bad dream is all, needed some soothing tea to calm my nerves. I have extra if you're interested?"

"That would be lovely. Don't mind if I do." Slipping his hoodie over his head, revealing his somewhat dampened tee shirt, he nonchalantly makes his way to the kitchen. I swallow hard as I watch his muscles play beneath the thin fabric. Remembering my dream, I do my best to tug my robe even tighter, immediately trying to hide the reaction my body has to him.

Glancing in my direction, coughing softly, his amber eyes knowingly travel the length of me as he swiftly seats himself at my table. He inquires, "Bad dreams, huh? Anything you feel the need to share? Something I can help you with?"

Pouring him a hot cup of tea, pushing the cream and sugar in his direction, noticing that he doesn't touch it, just pushes the containers back into the center of the table again, I answer, "I doubt it, Jasper. I have way too much past for anyone to help with. Seriously though, I don't think there's anything anyone can do, unless you're any good at exorcising demons?"

Before the cup reaches his mouth, he abruptly places it back on the table then questions, "Demons? Really, Edward? Seriously! It can't be that bad, can it?"

I take another slow sip before I answer, "Nah! Not as bad as demons, but believe me, Jasper, some nights it seems close enough."

We sit in silence for a few, me sipping on another cup of hot tea while Jasper watches. It's weird, but usually I'd feel uncomfortable by now. Usually I'd feel mentally undressed. But I don't. I can't put my finger on it, but his gaze calms me. His presence alone puts me at ease. Then without awkwardness or annoyance, he begins to speak, "Can I ask you something? No need to answer, if it makes you uneasy. I really would like to help, you know, but I'll need some truthful answers."

Placing my cup on the table, folding my shaky fingers around the warm container, I nod.

"Has this got anything to do with the intruder from the other day? Is someone trying to hurt you, Edward? If so, I have the means to help, you know. We could work something out."

I stare at him, seriously unable, or maybe unwilling, to come up with a good enough lie that would sustain him for now. Between him and James and their intruder scenario, and my own suspicions, I really don't know what the hell to think anymore. I'm starting to second guess myself; I'm starting to think that I'm finally losing my mind.

Sighing deeply, taking one more sip, I softly continue. "It's a long story, Jasper, one I don't think you're prepared to hear right now. But between you and my brother, I think I'm starting to put two and two together, and finally not coming up with three."

My eyes dart to his when I feel his cool touch wrap around my fingers, realizing that my fist is clenched and my knuckles are white. "Believe me, Edward, I have all the time in the world, and even if I didn't, I'd make it somehow, right now for you." His amber eyes encourage me to continue, the soft swirl of his thumb across the back of my hand enables me to go on.

In no time at all, feeling spent and weary, I'm taken out of my verbal musing when I hear the birds chirping in the trees surrounding us. I had finally told Jasper Cullen, who up until a few short days ago was just a total stranger, the story of my life. From my parents' deaths, to the boy I first fell in love with, the arguments and fights with James, the accident, to the man I had come to fear.

And the whole time, he sat attentively listening, not moving a muscle, blinking an eye or missing a beat. He never once interrupted. He never once second guessed or questioned. From the time it took me to start to my life's completion, he patiently just held my hand.

Running his fingers through his hair, he sits a little straighter before speaking. "If all you say is true…" Holding his hands in front of him, he takes a surrendering stance. "And don't get me wrong, I believe you, even though your story is at times somewhat fucked up, I wholeheartedly believe you. I've seen a lot of shit in this lifetime, Edward." He huffs aloud and releases a dark, haunted chuckle before continuing. "But this is serious, we can't take this lightly. I need to talk to my family first, of course, but I'm sure there's something we can do to help."

I press my fingers to my temple, trying to ward off my impending headache, cringing inwardly the instant the Cullen family is mentioned. "I can't have you do that, Jasper, if it's who we think it is, I can't have your family put in harm's way. I just couldn't live with myself if something were to happen to yo..your family, because of me."

He leans back in his chair and smiles wide, folds his arms across his strong chest and proceeds to do his best to settle my wretched nerves.

"Don't you worry about my family, Edward, we can be very resourceful when need be. There's a lot you don't know about us, but it will all become clearer in due time, I promise you that. But for now, all I need from you is your trust. Do you trust me? Are you willing and able to put your life," he huffed sarcastically, making me frown a little, then continued, "in my hands? And really, it's not much of a life, Edward, is it? God damn it! If you can do nothing without fear, unable to make a move without having to second guess or look over your shoulder for things that may or may not go bump in the night, then no - it's no life at all. Am I right?"

Leaning forward and resting my head in the palm of my hands, all I can muster is a defeated nod. "You're right, Jasper, absolutely right! I came here to start anew, afresh. But suddenly I feel like I'm falling backwards, once again feeling useless and helpless. This all God damn needs to stop, and it needs to end now. I'm sick and tired of always being afraid. I want to start living again."

Looking at him with what I'm sure is a worn, totally exhausted expression on my tired face, I do my best to give his pitiful gaze a small smile.

Reaching across the table, once more taking my hand in his, he sighs deeply. "Go get dressed, Edward. Time to go pay the rest of the Cullens a visit."

Rising from the the table, glancing over my shoulder, I inquire, "I just don't want to barge in, Jasper. It's still early, you know? Won't they be mad?" Standing and taking our cups to the sink, he answers, "Don't worry, Edward, they won't be. I'm sure by now they're expecting us."

A little confused at his statement, but not willing to question, I head upstairs. Listening as Jasper's cold tea gets flushed down the sink, my mind momentarily flips to my last couple of Cullen visits. But I have to quicken my step and forget my musing when he comically yells after me, "Chop chop, Mr. Mason! Don't wanna keep one Esme Cullen waiting now, do ya?"

Before closing my bedroom door, I chuckle and respond, "Hell no!"

Nervous and apprehensive, I find myself gripping onto the steering wheel for dear life. Amazed at how short a drive it really is from my house to theirs, we'd only made it a few miles down the road, and within seconds, Jasper was directing me to turn into his driveway. I huffed inwardly. 'Cause seriously! We could have walked this shit. It wouldn't have taken us long at all.' But then I found myself gasping in astonishment when it all came into view. The drive might have been a brief one from my house to the entrance of their property, but their driveway went on forever.

It was like entering a fairy tale, a wonderland so to speak. The gravel drive crackling under my tires went on for miles, leading further into the forest. Each side was lined in cherry blossom trees, all thick and heavy, creating a soft, natural arch. The deeper we went, the denser the foliage became. I think what astounded me more was the fact that instead of getting darker like it should have, it only got brighter. Looking more closely, I realized each tree was lit; a thousand twinkling lights adorned every branch, and their sparkle and magnificence drew you in, guiding you though.

Jasper must have sensed my astonishment, cause he chuckled deep and when I gave him a sideways glance as I craned my neck towards the front windshield, doing my best to get a better look. He explained, "It's all Alice's doing." He nonchalantly waves his hand at the landscape. "I swear the girl thinks she's the queen of something, or should belong to grandeur. She tends to forget she's only a doctor's daughter, and sometimes feels the need to show off."

Smiling, but still not turning to acknowledge him, I respond, "But you have to give the girl her due, Jasper. She really does know how to do it up now, doesn't she?"

Laughing heartily, he replies, "Yep! She does, I'll give her kudos for that."

And just when I think there's no end in sight, we finally make it to an opening, and the Cullen residence comes into view. Immediately my past life flashes before me. My pounding, nervous heart stops instantly in my hollow chest and my breath struggles to keep a steady flow. The only thought I can muster is 'Fuck! I am so seriously doomed, cause this is way beyond the better side of the fucking tracks.' Their house is huge, and goes on as far as my eyes could see - wall to wall wood and windows. It's a modern design, yet so easily blends with its natural surroundings. The entryway steps seem to emerge from the dirt beneath them, painstakingly chiseled from the hillside they rested upon. The colors of the aged lumber merge with the forest perfectly, and the seamless windows reflect every shade of plant imaginable. To describe it as a masterpiece would be doing it an injustice and be a hell of an understatement.

Caught up in my daydream, my fingers still sternly folded around the steering wheel, I'm only brought back to reality when I hear my driver's side door open and my skin goose bumps when the chill from the mornings damp air dances upon it. Looking dumbfound, I'm sure, I gaze up bewildered at a proud, beaming Jasper. Reaching out a hand to assist me from my seat, he hurriedly explains, "Please don't let it intimidate you, Edward, it's been in our family for generations. The Cullens may not have always been overly wealthy people. But they always did have good business sense and a mind for investing, this property and some of the surrounding area being the result of it."

And as I straighten from the car, one hand on the door, my other still clasped gently in Jasper's, I nosily scan the surrounding grounds. Its beauty and enchantment captivate me. The rolling green landscape with its very own babbling brook, no less, speckled throughout with a luscious array of flowering color, did everything to my senses imaginable, my sight, hearing and smell feel like they're on a mini vacation, and momentarily had a party in my head.

Having to blink to regain control of myself once more, I'm taken out of my thoughts when Esme's pleasant voice rings out to greet me. "Edward, my boy, how nice of you to finally visit. I'd like to be the first to welcome you to our home." Slowly looking down, viewing our joined hands for the first time, I watch in awe as Jasper does what it seems Jasper does best, calm me with the soft, smooth circles of his cool thumb across my tense knuckles. And only then do I raise my stare and make full eye contact with Esme as she swiftly glides in my direction, followed shortly by the remaining Cullen clan. Each one takes the time to shake my hand or give a quick hug. Looking over an overexcited Alice's shoulder as she proceeds to squeeze the life out of me, I smile shyly when Rose grants me a somewhat pitiful look and a small wave hello from her perch on the porch steps.

Carlisle takes this opportunity to take charge, and swings a strong arm around my shoulders, gently bringing me to his side before commenting, "Come on, Edward, let's get you inside, where it's warm; take some of that chill out of your bones. Can't have you getting sick on us now, can we? Alice was kind enough to light a fire in the living room, expecting your pending arrival." As I feel his fingertips press gently into my shoulders, my mind wonders, 'They were expecting me? They were just waiting? But how the hell could they have known? Did Jasper call ahead?' I was abruptly jarred from my thoughts when Alice dances into view and bounces eagerly before my eyes. "Would you like some tea, Edward? I know how to prepare that." My brow furrows at her statement, but still smiling at her excitement, I answer, "Sure, Alice, that would be lovely, thank you"

I swallow hard as we enter the room - cause seriously, l think their living quarters are bigger than my whole damn house - I scan it quickly, not wanting to be impolite and stare. The furnishings and walls melt as one in a subtle, warm winter white, but the colorful array of oil paintings upon the walls is like a delicate dessert for the eyes, the background lending to their magnificence, enabling you to focus closely on the superb artistry, rather than just a quick glance.

Seating myself gingerly in the large armchair Esme so kindly pointed out to me in front of the roaring fire, I sigh contentedly when the soft warm fabric forms to my chilled legs and hips, straightening abruptly when Alice just haphazardly shoves a hot cup of tea into my nervous grip. Gazing up at her proud as punch smile, I grant her a wary small one of my own, my shaky hands holding on for dear life to the hot cup, not wanting to make a mess or cause a scene.

I watch in awe as they all take what looks like appointed positions around the room. Esme and Carlisle sit side by side on the long couch, and my stare softens when he wraps his arm tenderly around his wife's shoulders, granting her a loving smile as he draws her near. Jasper rounds my chair, and takes up residence on its arm, while Alice plops Indian style on the floor at my feet. Realizing someone is missing, my eyes frantically dart until they come to rest on one not so happy looking Rose, as she leans against the wall at the entrance, arms folded across her chest.

While everyone stares, I slowly sip on the sweet chamomile, and when the warm liquid coats the back of my throat, I hum in delight. My gaze shoots to Alice, as I hear her softly giggle, and when eye contact is made, she casually shrugs and beamingly smiles. Allowing myself to get lost in its flavor for a while, taking just a few more sips, I finally rest my cup and saucer on the small antique-looking table by my side, then leaning back comfortably in my chair, I let myself wallow in its warmth.

I quickly twist my head, staring in his direction when Jasper is the first to break the silence. "As you all know by now, Edward needs our help."

The swift movement at my feet causes me to turn my attention to Alice, watching as she nods knowingly. "Yes, I filled them in on what I saw, Jasper. I think we all have an idea of what we are up against."

Within seconds, Carlisle chimes in, "We really need to keep a watchful eye on this, guys. Within a few days, Edward's brother should be home, and with Rose being assigned as James' caregiver, this will enable us to keep a closer eye on him during the day." Pointing a finger at Jasper, he proceeds, "And you, Jasper, you can take up duty for Edward while at school, maybe even coming and going." His gaze falls on me momentarily. Shyly smiling, he raises a fist to his mouth, forging a cough before continuing. "That includes all other times spent in each other's company, I guess. Right, Jasper?"

Doing my best to keep up, totally confused with their conversation, only hearing bits and pieces, I glance bewildered at Jasper when he answers, "Right! No problem. We just need to figure out a rotation for night watch. I know I said I'd do it on my own, and up until now, it's been working." He gives me a nervous smile when a worried frown plays upon my face. I open my mouth to speak, but I'm shot down when he continues, "But I'm not sure if I can keep up the pace by myself, with James being there and douchebag still on the prowl."

My eyes dart frantically between them all, when Carlisle, Esme and Alice speak in unison. "I'm in!"

My head spins when Rose decides to throw her angry two cents worth into the ring. "More babysitting!? Like really, people?" Everyone glares in her direction when Alice's tone scolds her. "Rose! Please! Jasper!?" Rose stomps her foot like a four-year-old, then huffs disgustedly. Her sad eyes fall upon Jasper before she continues, "I know, I know! Jeez! Jasper, I'm sorry. It just seems a lot of trouble for something that might nev..." My head turns abruptly to him when he cuts her off. "Rose, please! I don't need your advice or opinion right now. But I do need your help. Are you in or not?"

I jump slightly when Alice loudly, but gleefully, announces, "She's in!"

I watch, totally lost, as an even angrier Rose hisses between her teeth, pushes herself off the wall and makes an exit, huffing begrudgingly under her breath as she goes. "Don't know why I even bother. Whatever, people! And fuck you, Alice! Get the hell out of my head!"

My head spinning, I try and give myself a minute to think. Picking up the teacup in my shaky hands, sipping slowly, I'm doing my utmost to wrap my brain around and make sense of what little details I caught during their verbal dueling. My ears ring as I feel the pounding grow behind my lids, as I try to decipher their words. 'Alice with her "What I saw shit," Jasper with his "Night

watch rotation duty crap," Carlisle with his not so subtle innuendo's, Esme wholeheartedly nodding in agreement to it all. And Rose with her...well just Rose thing.'

Jasper must sense my disorientation, cause within seconds, he's kneeling on the floor between my legs, doing his best to rub soothing circles onto my trembling thighs. His concerned look worries me a little. I don't want him to think I'm ungrateful for their help, or for that matter, judging them in any way. But my fears are soon put to rest when he softly speaks, "Edward, I know this is a lot to take, in one morning and with as little sleep as you've had. It's got to be totally confusing right now. I'm sure you have a number of questions and concerns that you need answered or addressed. But how about we do this? Let me take you home. You get yourself something to eat, maybe even take a short afternoon nap. Then later, after the family has discussed a few more details, we'll all come by and explain everything and do our best to make what's going on a little clearer for you."

All I can do is a nod, biting on my bottom lip, trying to ward off the confused tears. I turn slightly and place my now empty teacup back on the saucer where it belongs. I rise gingerly, running my shaky fingers through my hair and re-zipping my coat. After some brief goodbyes, short hugs and promises to see one another later, I find myself seated in my passenger seat as a silent Jasper takes me home.

We pull into my driveway, still not having uttered a word. Don't get me wrong, I've tried. My mouth has opened to do so, then I second guessed myself and quickly stayed mute. But even if I could, I wouldn't. Even if I tried, I couldn't. Cause right now, I can't. Right now, I need time to think and get my thoughts in order. Once again, I'm taken out of my head when the car door opens and the chill plays across my face. Grabbing Jasper's, hand I allow him to pull my heavy, weary body free from the vehicle.

And as we stand on the stoop, I let him unlock the door before turning to face him. His amber eyes are concerned and his small smile shows sadness. But as I turn to enter my home, I'm stopped when I feel his calming touch on the small of my back, requesting my attention.

"Get some sleep, Edward. We'll be back this afternoon, and everything will be explained."

Pushing my door open, granting him a small smile, I hear a distant, "Take care! See you later!" as he takes off down the road on foot.

Closing the door behind me, leaning against it heavily, sighing with exhaustion, I'm deeply relieved and content when I hear it click. I proceed to lock each and every bolt, only satisfied when I pull the door knob and nothing gives. Drowsily stripping myself of my jacket, I lazily throw it over the banister post.

Then with one hand on the rail and a heavy foot on the first step, wanting nothing more than to head to my room, desperately in need of a nap, I suddenly freeze in my tracks, when once again his sour sarcastic tone rolls effortlessly off his sharp tongue and rings deep in my ears.

"Edward!? Edward!? Where the fuck have you been?" My eyes lose focus and my body starts to slowly convulse when I hear a loud creak in the upstairs hallway, and through a blurry, watery, terrified gaze, his broad, looming shadow appears. "Edward!? Why don't you answer me? Boy!"

Thanks for taking the time to read guys. I can't wait to hear your thoughts.