Disclaimer: All copyrights and recognizable characters herein belong to their respective owners. No copyright infringement is intended. The plot herein is mine. No copying or reproduction of this story is permitted without written authorization by me, the author. Plagiarism will not be tolerated.
This story contains mature themes and is suitable for those eighteen and over.
In this tale, Bella has never met the Cullens and knows nothing about vampires or shifters. The only mythical creatures she's aware of, are those in the fairytales she read as a child. Jasper was with Alice, however, they parted ways years before. Jasper is back with Peter and Charlotte.
Chapter one: Merely Human
"Seriously, Jake, you need to stop worrying." He scoffed and rolled his eyes at me, but I went on, "I'm fine. I will be fine, it's just three nights."
My friend was being a royal pain in the ass, because he was deeply worried about me staying in the Cullen mansion by myself for three nights as a gift from an anonymous person. An envelope had arrived in the mail, formally inviting me to stay three nights in the Cullen Mansion; one of the most mysterious houses in all of Forks.
The glassed mansion had opened its doors to those who wanted to tour it about six months ago and business was booming. Different people came into town wanting to view and even those privileged enough to, stay in the prestigious house. I was now one of those persons.
"I don't want you going to that place," Jake growled in disdain. "There is something wrong with that house, Bells."
"Jake," I whispered in hopes of keeping my overbearing friend calm. "It's the last thing on my bucket list. We'd done everything else. Don't you want me to complete the list you helped me put together?"
"That's a low blow, Bells." He sighed sadly. "Just because I don't want you to stay in an overpriced, crusty mansion, doesn't mean I don't want you to complete your list." Jake looked so grave, as he turned away from me trying to hide his tears. "You mean the world to me, Bells." His voice croaked with his grief. "And I don't know what I'm going to do without you."
I didn't answer. Sometimes, it hurt me to be reminded of all I'd leave behind.
I was born with a hole in my heart. My parents – despite their divorce – came together and stuck by me through my countless treatments. They did their very best to rectify the condition, but they were warned by my doctors that perhaps later in life, it would only worsen. There was no cure, and a chance at a long life was minimal.
So I made the best of it. I excelled in school, and every day, everything I did was so that my parents would have something to remember me by. And just when the boy I liked, told me he liked me back, my condition worsened.
I was seventeen years old when we started the rigorous treatments and long hospital stays again, and I was twenty years old when the doctor told us they could no longer help me. My heart had weakened significantly and it was no longer able to support my body. I would be dying from a broken heart, if it wasn't so serious, I would have laughed.
Jake's broad smile brought me out of my thoughts. "Bells, why don't you forget that place and we could just spend the three nights together down at the reservation? It'll be me, Leah, you and everyone. What do you say?"
"Nice try, Jake." He scowled at my answer. "But I'm going to do this. That house has intrigued me since I came back to Forks last year. It has held some really cool tours and it's been raved about on the town's website. I can't travel, so the Cullen Mansion and its secrets is the next best thing for me."
"I don't like it."
"Too bad." I smiled. "I do. Jake, it's a glassed mansion probably filled with historic relics and it is being housed under the roof of a beautifully made architectural piece. Also! It's in the middle of the forest. And I, Bella Swan, will be staying there thanks to an anonymous sponsor," I said happily.
Jake was silent but I knew his counterattack was coming. His brows were knitted and his face screwed up in concentration. He would saying something negative any second now.
But I was mistaken.
Jake turned away from me, setting his sight on the woods behind Charlie's house. "Jake, what is it?"
He didn't answer. Instead he growled, which was weird because my friend kind of sounded like a dog, and said through clenched teeth. "Don't go to that mansion, Bella."
"Jake, what's wrong with you?" His moods swings were giving me a whiplash I had no time for. "I told you, Jake, I'm going." Charlie came out the house then carrying my bag. He looked between us with a sad smile and then headed over to the patrol car, throwing my bag in the back. He would be dropping me off at the house since I wasn't allowed to drive anymore. It was too dangerous. I could black out at the wheel.
Jake continued to stare into the woods. "And I'm telling you, don't." He spun around to face me; his eyes blazing with anger. "It's not safe, Bells."
"Are you worried about my heart?" He didn't answer. Actually, he looked like he was dying to say something to me; something he couldn't say. What was he hiding? Jake and I never kept secrets from each other. "Jake, what's wrong? Please tell me what the big deal is?" Jake turned away from me again, peering out into the woods.
I smirked as the dog turned his attention to me. I could hear his growls while his human friend pleaded with him to tell her what was wrong.
"I'm what's wrong with him, honey." I thought with a wide smile as I took in his sweet smelling friend. God! She was divine. So tempting, so beautiful, with long, flowing mahogany hair down her gorgeous back. She had the sweetest little voice I have ever heard and a glorious heart shaped face. So long I have wanted my dead heart to impossibly beat in the presence of the one who would make my pained existence worth living, and here my chance was before me, in a girl who smelt of death. She had something. Her time wasn't far off. Soon, this divine creature who made my cold heart seemingly thump would be no more.
Her mangy little friend didn't look or feel pleased with that fact; I could sympathize because her death would prevent me from getting to know the little darlin'.
Or would it?
Her friend was worried about her staying at the Cullen mansion. My former home. Was this opportunity knocking? Because I was surely about to answer.
The dog growled, and for a minute, I wished that Edward was here to tell me what he was thinking, but I quickly dashed that thought. I wanted nothing to do with the prissy little bitch that stole my companion.
Yes, Alice and I were not mates. But that didn't mean she wasn't any fun. I mean the sweet little darlin' was quite a fun ride.
However, I loved Alice for more than that. She and I balanced each other. She knew me. She understood me. But Edward fucked that up when the two of them discovered that they were mates. Suddenly, I was too dangerous. Fucker.
Nonetheless, I took it with a smile and left. I was tired of pretending to be something I wasn't anyways. I wanted to be free and Alice had found her mate; the one who completed her.
I needed to find mine.
As I watched the new development unfolding before me, it intrigued me. This girl…this Bella looked promising. A part of me just wanted me to put her out of her misery, and the other side wanted me to get close to her; to find a way to help this alluring human.
What was this girl doing to me?
"Jake, are you going to talk to me or not?" I was getting angry at him for blatantly ignoring me while I was trying to see what the hell was wrong with him. "Jake!"
"Bella, I heard every word you said," he said through gritted teeth, still not meeting my eyes. "But I'm still asking you…no, I'm begging you, not to go to that damn house!"
I walked around him, wanting him to look in my eyes as I said this. "Jake, I won't always be here. I don't have the time I wished I did. I wished there was a cure. I wished I had all the time in the world. I wished I didn't have to worry if there would be a tomorrow. I wished I had what you did. I wished there was someone to love me the way you love Leah. I wished I didn't have to say goodbye to you, to my dad, to my mom."
"No! I might not be able to control what happens to me, but I can control this." I told him, tears welling up in my eyes. "Let me complete my list, and then say goodbye to all of you, properly."
"I don't want to lose you, Bells." He looked off into the woods as he said this. "I want to be selfish. I want you to stay." He glanced at me and then back at the woods again. "I don't care what you'd be. Just to know that you were still here would be enough for me." I didn't understand what Jake meant by that or why he wouldn't look me in the eye as he said it.
What was so damn fascinating about the woods behind me?
Well this was something new. I thought the Quileute wanted to preserve human life, not let a vampire end it. Was this dog saying what I think he was? I had to laugh. Maybe Peter was right. This trip back to Forks would be very interesting. The Cullens weren't allowed to hunt any humans in the area because of the treaty they held with one, Ephraim Black. But then again, I wasn't a Cullen, was I?
I smiled at that thought.
Tonight will be very exciting. If this…Jake was saying what I think he was; if he was asking me to change his friend, who was I to deny that request?
Charlie drove me to the house after I told Jake goodbye. After getting in the car, I watched Jake stomp off toward the woods. But, with a sigh, I smiled at my dad, deciding to focus on him as we fell into a relatively comfortable silence during our drive.
While Dad drove, I thought about all I knew about the Cullen mansion.
It was built when a doctor and his architect wife came to live in Forks over twenty something years ago. From what I had come to learn, Dr. Carlisle Cullen and his wife, Esme, along with their adopted teenagers were the talk of the town when they moved here. The good doctor had adopted fully grown teenagers according to Dad. Three sons and two daughters. Dad didn't know that much about them while they were at his school, citing that they mostly stuck to themselves at school.
Some said that Carlisle was a kindhearted physician who had an incredible bedside manner that patients used to rave about. His wife, Esme, was a gentle, beautiful lady who was always courteous on her very rare visits to town. But as to why these wonderful people left Forks, remained a mystery. Dad only said, "It was like one day, the town woke up, and they were gone."
There were peculiar things about the tale of the Cullens that interest me. Dad said that Dr. Cullen used to look too young to be a doctor. He looked like he had just turned twenty. Another thing was the adopted kids. Even though they were adopted and held no relation to Mr. and Mrs. Cullen, they all had the same color eyes, Dad said. He told me that Mr. Cullen had passed it off as a rare blood disorder they all happened to have.
I shook my head free of the thought as Dad pulled up in front of the house.
"Are you sure you want to do this, Bells?" he asked with concern.
"Yes, Dad." I smiled genuinely. "I'll be fine."
Dad still looked worried. "I get you touring the house, but why do you want to stay here for three nights?"
I didn't have the answer myself, but when that anonymous offer came, I just jumped at the chance; happy that I'd finally be able to see the inside of this vast home.
"Just because…" I laughed. "I want to do this, Dad. I'm okay to. I have my pain meds and I'll call if I think I can't handle it."
"I'm very worried about this, but you're a grown woman and I want you to have these experiences." We hugged and I got out of the car.
Waiting on the steps in front of the entrance to the house, was an energetic, spiky, ravened haired girl. She was almost bouncing on the spot as I turned to wave at my dad, telling him to go. He drove off and then I turned my attention to the girl.
"Hi!" The ball of energy said, making her way down the steps to me.
"You must be Bella," she said cheerily.
"Well, Bella," She took my bag, and huffed out an excited sigh. "Follow me." She almost sang that. I swear.
Miss Eccentric introduced herself as Alice Brandon and then led me on a tour of Cullen Mansion. On the inside, it was everything I ever dreamed it would be. Lavish rooms; open and beautiful. Alice explained about each art piece and every bit of furniture I saw. It was as if she lived here! She knew everything there was to know about the house. I guess that was why the owners paid her to lead these tours.
Alice told me that she was aware of my grave condition and that she was sorry. I had gotten so used to sympathy that I merely smiled and thanked her. "You're so beautiful," she said in admiration, but her next words were strange. "Both inside and out, Bella. I'm glad to have met you. I hope we'll see each other again, Bella."
What she said threw me a bit. What did she mean?
I didn't bother to question her. Instead, I thanked her for her kind wish, while knowing it wasn't possible. My doctors had already confirmed that it would be any day now. I would die. There was nothing else they could do for me. Their cure for my heart condition was to go home and say goodbye to the ones I loved.
When our tour ended, Alice bid me farewell. She asked for a hug, and I could have sworn that she said something about me smelling good, but I think it was just me being tired and starting to hear things. Another strange occurrence was the fact that I swore Alice had the same golden eyes my dad told me about; the same color eyes the Cullens had.
Again, it was just me needing rest.
I retired to the bedroom Alice showed me earlier and I was out as soon as my head hit the pillow. The next time I opened my eyes, it was nightfall, and I felt a little hungry so I pulled myself out of bed. After grabbing my cell phone and the small bag that held my pain meds, I made my way downstairs.
Were the lights on before I went to sleep or was there some system that made them automatically come on when night fell? Because since I arrived in the day, I knew they were off.
But shaking the weird thought away, I walked into the kitchen in awe. It was fantastic; a chef's wet dream with its stainless steel modern décor coupled with granite counter tops, and hardwood cupboards. My stomach grumbles, and I quickly open up the fridge only to laugh as Alice's words came back to me. The kitchen was well stocked indeed. Someone had gone through the trouble of actually preparing dishes and placing them in microwavable containers for the guest. This was unbelievable. What a tour!
I grabbed the first thing I saw – a container with chicken, green salad and mashed potatoes – placing it in the microwave. I took a bottle of water, intent on taking my pains meds and waited for my food to heat up. I could hardly contain my excitement as I thought about the tour I wanted to take of the Cullen library. I had heard it was filled with so many books, you would think it was a public library.
The microwave beeped and I went for my dinner.
While eating, I contemplated over what Jake had said. I didn't mean to. It just came to me. He had claimed he was selfish and that he wanted me to stay. But what did he mean that he didn't care what I would become? His words were so cryptic, and I would have loved to figure it out, but the sadness in his voice made it too unbearable to ask. I didn't want him to explain at the time, because I feared anything Jake had to say would have made me break down.
I didn't want to leave him behind either. Jake has been my best friend my whole life. I loved him like a brother. Though, we had lived apart – with my mom and me in Seattle and then Port Angeles to be nearer to Dad, and Jake, here in Forks – Jake and I never lost touch. Throughout the years, our friendship had remained just as strong as it was since we were kids.
After eating, I shook away my sadness and decided that it was time for my tour. I had come here to enjoy this house, and that was what I was going to do. So after texting Dad and Jake, telling them that I was okay, I went about my business to read at my heart's delight.
The house was permeated with her scent, and while Alice was a little surprised to see me, it wasn't my fault that I was here. Bella had a pull on me that I couldn't resist. Besides, it was Esme and Alice's fault for granting me this opportunity. They were the nostalgic ones; unwilling to let go of this house and this rainy little town. Esme was so sad to have left because of Edward's little mishap all those years ago. But that was for another time.
I was here to meet the fearless girl the dog wanted me to save.
Bella intrigued me. In all my years, not one human or vampire has ever affected me the way she had, and I have not even met her face-to-face yet.
Jacob Black had made it perfectly clear to me that he wanted me to save his friend. He wanted me to do what he couldn't. Now, usually, I wasn't the type to act as savior, but something in me was screaming that this girl was worth it.
He walked over to me as Bella's father pulled away with her on their way to my former home.
"What do you want, Leech?" he growled.
"The question is, what do you want, Dog?"
He was silent. "I don't know what you're talking about." So he wanted to play stubborn.
"You want to save her, don't you?"
"I don't want you near her, Leech!"
"But you do, Jake, you do." I smiled knowingly at him.
"I didn't say…" He started as a growl left him. I cut him off, but I could feel that my arrogance was pissing him off. I could have sent him a calming wave but I had no intention to. It would be nice if I made him phase, I hadn't had a challenging fight in a while.
But teasing Jacob Black wouldn't get me any closer to what interested me. Bella. So I said what he could not. "You want Bella to live. You want her here. It doesn't matter what she is, all you care about is that she doesn't die."
He didn't even need much persuading. "Yes." He resigned.
"Then all you have to do is ask."
He met my eyes as a state of utter sadness washed over him, drowning me in his sorrow as he said, "Would you please save my friend?"
This was more than I ever imagined. It was beyond my wildest dreams. The sheer magnificence of the library was spectacular. There were countless rows of books lining each shelf. It would take decades to read this many books. My finger ran along the spine of a few. I stopped in front of a couple of them, deciding to just close my eyes and choose one.
"You should go down some more, about two more books and you'll get to Pride and Prejudice." My breath stopped and my heart palpitated. I flashed my head around to him, snapping my eyes to his smiling ones. He was this statuesque blond haired guy, dressed in all black right down to his cowboy boots. He smiled at me, his teeth impossibly white and gleaming in the light as he leaned up against the door. "You look like a 'Pride and Prejudice' kind of girl."
Not wanting to show my shock at someone else being here, I quickly covered. "How did you know that?"
"Call it a lucky guess, darlin'," he answered immediately while staring at me. It was like he was studying me; watching my every move.
"I wasn't aware that I wouldn't be alone." I breathed as nervousness tightened its grip on my failing heart. I grabbed up my chest and he followed the movement. I couldn't breathe. The doctors had warned me that the slightly bit of surprise could cause a heart attack.
Sliding to the floor, I closed my eyes, trying to catch a few quick breaths. He was in my ear then. "I'm sorry I scared you."
Opening my eyes, I glanced up at him and gave him a tight smile as more pain shot up my chest. I could hear my heart in my own ears, slamming against my ribcage.
"You're sick." He stated.
"Yes, heart failure." I whispered.
"That's heartbreaking. You seem like a lovely girl."
"Well…" I moved to get up and he helped me. "It was nice to meet you and to know that someone else is here with me. Will you be staying the three nights too?"
He smirked as a sudden feeling of calm overtook me making the pain go away. "Hmm, yes. Yes, I think I will be."
"Okay then," I said, still wanting to go upstairs and lie down.
"Would you like to go lie down?" he asked with concern.
"Yes." He took my hand and escorted me out of the room. My hand tingled as his long fingers wrapped around mine, swallowing it in his cool grasp while I tried to ignore the strange and sudden feelings this stranger had awakened in me. "I didn't get your name."
"It's nice to meet you, Jasper. I'm Bella. Bella Swan."
"It's nice to meet you, Bella." The way he said my name in that smooth southern tone that danced on the tip of his tongue with every word he uttered, made a pleasurable shiver run up my spine.
Jasper didn't stop at the bottom of the stairs. He followed me upstairs, and the whole way there, I couldn't help but wonder which room he was staying in. I didn't bother to ask. It was already unnerving that a super hot guy would staying in the same house as me for three nights.
When we stopped outside my door, he handed me Pride and Prejudice. I looked up at him incredulously, and he smiled, "I told you, you seem like the type. Good night, Bella. If you need anything, I'll be here."
"Good night, Jasper."
Day two was a rainy one and Jasper and I spent it indoors. We spent the better part of the morning skating around each other until we started to talk. He and I walked the lengths of the house, exploring it as the rain poured outside. Although, it seemed like Jasper was more interested in me than the house. In fact, he hardly showed any interest in the mansion at all.
"Isn't this beautiful?" I had said, staring up at a painting of three gentlemen seated in high chairs with others around them. The painting as well as the man seated in the middle was eerie. There was a blond haired gentleman standing off in the corner. Of everyone in the piece, his face was the kindest.
"It could be," Jasper commented. He came to stand beside me, looking up at the painting. My body went into overdrive at his close proximity. Jasper was a very desirable guy; girls must fall at his feet willing to do anything wherever he went.
"What do you mean?" He glanced down at me with a wicked grin; it was like he knew something I didn't.
"They look…evil, except for him." He pointed at the guy in the corner; the one I had noticed too.
"Yeah, but why do you think the Cullens would have wanted a painting like this?"
He didn't meet my eyes. He gazed up at the painting as if lost in thought. "To remind themselves that out here is far better than any other life they could have had."
I laughed and Jasper chuckled, gazing down at me this time, making me blush. "You look really cute when you do that."
"Yes." He affirmed with a smirk. "It's very sexy."
"A blush?" I asked incredulously. How could a simple blush be sexy?
He leaned in close, his breath fanning my ear and sending my body in a frenzy of hungered desire. "Because you make it sexy, Bella."
My mind ran through so many scenarios of how I could grab him, kiss him and not care where things led. But that wasn't possible. My heart couldn't take it. Even in the perfect world, if Jasper were mine, I still couldn't have sex with him. The doctors had warned against it. So I decided to clear the air of the tension that had been slapping around the room.
Looking back at the painting, I decide to mess around. "Okay. You seem to know everything, and have quite the imagination, so let's play."
"What have you got?" He smiled.
"Who are these guys?" I pointed at the three men seated.
Jasper glared at them. "The Volturi. They are…in a way the government of the vampiric world."
"Vampiric?" I chuckled. "As in vampires?"
His eyes met mine and I want to ask him why they were golden like Alice's. "Yes. Since we're playing, let's go for vampires and any other mythical creature we can come with."
"Okay." I laughed. "So what about the guy in the back? Who is he?"
Jasper chuckled before answering. His face practically lit up as he said, "That's Carlisle."
"Dr. Cullen?" I said with a wide grin. "But if he's a vampire, how can he work as a doctor? I mean, did he feed on some of his patients? And if he didn't, then how did he resist the call for their blood?"
"Carlisle doesn't drink human blood," Jasper said as if he believed the story he was making up.
"Wow! So what does he drink?"
"Animal blood, and I, myself, have surprisingly found it to be quite satisfying." So he was involving himself in this little story to pass time while we get to know each other.
"You and Carlisle, Dr. Cullen, are vampire vegans," I said, wanting to laugh my ass off. Jasper was so good at this.
"I find your disbelief in all this comforting." He smirked.
"How can that comfort you?"
He laughed. "You'll see…soon."
"Fine. Let's play some more."
"Okay." We left the painting and went on a little walk around the house while thunder rolled outside.
"Who are you?" I asked.
"Truthfully or your little game?" he asked with a wicked grin that made my panties wet.
"I'm Jasper Whitlock. I'm from Houston, Texas and I was changed into a vampire in the 1800s." I believed the part about him being from Texas. The rest, oh well. "I was turned by a vicious female vampire who wanted to take over the territories in the South, but she needed an army."
"And you provided her with that?"
"I trained her newborns," he said like he believed it.
"Newborns?" I smiled. He glanced down at me, rolling up his long sleeves, and revealing the faded bitemarks that were there. Did a dog bite him? "What bit you?"
"Newborns can be hard to train, but these are mostly from the many battles I have been in." Okay, he didn't want to talk about it.
"So you obviously escaped her, why did you leave?" If we were going to play this game, I should partake more.
"I got tired of that life, so I followed the two newborns that I'd help escape and started over. But it was hard. When I found Alice…" Oh, he must have met Alice. "She was a salvation from the dark, but as life would have she found the one for her some years back and they are together now so I'm back with Peter and Char."
"I'm guessing they are the newborns you helped escape?"
Jasper leaned back against the wall opposite me and smiled. "Yes. I went back to them after I left the Cullens."
The Cullens? "The Cullens?"
"Yes, the Cullens," he said with a dark chuckle. "They are vampires, Bella." God, Jasper must be a fantasy author.
"Okay, if you say so," I said. "But why did they leave?"
Jasper laughed. "I still think Edward wants to blame me for that one, but they left because he started to have feelings for the Reverend's daughter, Angela Weber." Wow, the reverend's daughter that died in a car accident. Dad had said it was tragic and that the old reverend nearly died when his only daughter perished in a crash coming home from Port Angeles.
I didn't bother to say this to Jasper. I let him talk. "Edward liked her, and she liked him. But the fucker wasn't as in control of his bloodlust as he claimed and one little cut led Edward to draining his love, then they blamed it on a car accident."
"I'm good at making up stories?" He assumed with a sexy smirk that made my stomach do flip flops.
We spoke a little more after that. But Jasper didn't share that much about himself. Instead, he opted to talk about me. He wanted to know everything he could about me; my illness and my life. I felt so relaxed while talking to him, though his eyes still left me feeling a little suspicious. With what Dad had said about the Cullens ringing in my ear, it fueled my curiosity and made me ask, "So what's wrong with your eyes?"
"What do you mean?" he asked with a smile.
"I mean, they look golden. What's up with that?"
"Do you really want to know?" He smirked at me, making me take note of his plump lips. I wanted to kiss him. He was making me feel desire; something I desperately wanted to forget about.
"Hmm…your friend was right. You are very interesting." His voice was so sexy. It was like something out of my deepest fantasy.
"You know Jake?" I asked, snapping back at the mention of my best friend.
"We've met." He smiled at his own answer as if there was some sort of inside joke.
"You've met Jake?" I enquired with a cocked brow. When did he meet my friend?
"Yes," Jasper said. "But I want to know something."
"What?" I couldn't take my eyes off of him. He was ethereally beautiful. It was like staring in the face of an angel.
"Why don't you fear death?" I didn't answer, and he went on, "I've being watching you; listening for tears, but nothing. Why have you accepted it so easily?"
"Because there is nothing else I can do." I told him truthfully. "The doctors can't do anything for me anymore. This is the end."
"And if it wasn't?" His question stunned me in a way. Didn't Jasper live in the same world as me? We lived, we died. It was as simple as that. This wasn't one of those fantasy stories he probably wrote if he was an author.
"What do you mean?"
He drew closer, taking my hand in his cool one and sitting us on the floor before the warm fireplace, the flames from it flickering, while the glow made Jasper look even more gorgeous. He was breathtaking. "What if?"
"What if what?" I chuckled. Why was I even entertaining this? There was nothing that could be done for me now.
"What if I gave you the chance of becoming something more?"
I scoffed at him, and got up, shaking my head. Maybe the little game we played earlier on was getting to him. But I was through with this. It was now nightfall, and even though the rain had stopped, I couldn't go outside. I couldn't run the risk of catching a cold. That would be disastrous for me. I had a huge lunch and since I wasn't hungry yet, I opted to go lie down.
Getting up, I made my way to the stairs, ready to climb them and head up to my room. But I didn't want to be rude so I turned back to Jasper, wanting to tell him 'good night'.
However, what Jasper did next, nearly made my heart stop.
He moved at the speed of light and was beside me at the bottom of the steps before I could blink. "As I said, Bella, what if I could give you more?"
I couldn't answer. My heart was surely stopping. I could feel myself falling, but his arms were around me before I could hit the floor. "Bella…" He sounded so panicked. "Breathe for me please, Bella. Please, Bella, breathe." I was placed on the sofa and while my heart pounded ferociously, I watched Jasper move around me at lightning speed.
No. No. No. This couldn't be happening. Bella would not die on me. Not without giving me the chance to save her; to change her.
I wanted Bella Swan in my life. Yes, I would change her for her dog friend, if she wanted me to. But aside from that, I wanted Bella for myself.
With what Peter had said, though I wasn't totally sold on the fact that Bella was my mate, I wanted this girl around me. She was funny, smart and beautiful. Her humor was like mine. Her mind was a clever world on its own. She didn't like bullshit, but she adored a fine story.
Bella was my dream girl.
After she had fallen asleep last night, Peter had called me.
"Changed her yet?" The bastard asked. I wasn't there in Colorado with him, but I could almost hear the smile in his voice.
"What do you know?" I demanded. This had obviously been a trap.
"Beside the fact that Bella is your mate, not much."
"You knew that, and didn't tell me!"
"Of course, I knew," Peter said calmly with a deep chuckle. "Why do you think you're there? Don't fuck it up, Major. I'm gonna like her."
With that, he had hung up and this morning I was thankfully for the heavy rains as it gave us the time we needed to get to know each other. Though Bella didn't believe half of what I had said, it was nice nonetheless.
When I had finally got around to questioning her about herself, the more I learned, the more I wanted her. The more I liked her. The more I needed her around.
She would be mine.
I ran around grabbing her meds, water and just about anything I could find. Esme was far better at this than I was and I wished she were here to take care of Bella.
I quickly scratched that thought. Bella was mine; my responsibility, and it was my fault she was hurting. What I had done was too much for Bella so I hit her with a dose of lethargy. Watching her pass out, I sighed in relief when her breath evened out, because to me, it was far better than having her die without giving me the chance to grant her the gift of eternal life.
Jacob came barging in as soon as she was out. "What do you do to her, Leech?" He growled.
"Control your temper, pup." I hissed. "She was just overwhelmed."
Jacob began to pace the room, stopping only to look down at his dying friend's sleeping form. "I'm being selfish. But I can't lose her." Then he turned his inquisitive eyes on me. "She got to you, didn't she?"
"What?" I didn't want to admit my feelings for Bella to him. "I don't know what you're talking about. You made a request that I intend to fulfill. That's it."
"That's not it. You have that look." Jacob chuckled.
"What look?" I asked defensively, even though he was right. Bella was making me happy; an emotion I hadn't been privileged to in a while.
"The one people get when Bella worms her way into their hearts," He glanced down at my chest and back. "Even a dead one." I didn't answer. I couldn't. He looked down at her again, his love for radiating. He sounded so small as he enquired, "Can you protect her once you change her?"
"I used to train newborns." I said smugly.
But Jake ignored me as he went on, "I don't want her feeding off humans; Bella won't be able to live with that."
"It'll be her choice, not mine." Jacob nodded and then sat with his friend.
By the time Bella woke up, we were alone again. At least on the inside of the house. The dog wasn't far off and Alice had joined him. I could only assume that the rest of the Cullens knew that I was in Forks by now.
Her quizzical yet pretty eyes met mine as she sat up and asked, "How did you move that fast?"
I should lie. But why bother? "Ask the right question, Bella." I sighed, taking a seat beside her on the sofa; delighting in the fact that she didn't scream and run away. Not that she could get away from me.
Her heavy breathing filled the quiet air, and I ran a hand down her soft cheek. "What are you?"
"What is more?" she asked.
"Beyond death. A life like you have never known; one where you don't sleep, you never get tired, you don't feel sick and you see the world as you never have before."
"Why would I want that?"
"Because it's the only way we can be together."
"Why would I want to be with you?" she questioned; although her heart skipped a beat when I said it. I mean something to her. My dead heart rejoiced.
"Because I know how you feel." I smiled, cupping her blushing cheek. "Bella, I feel everything. Darlin', I know you want me as much as I want you. We may have been dancing around it, but the feelings are there, strong and gripping." I hadn't been able to read Bella's emotions really well, but sometimes, for a few flitting moments, I felt her; her growing love, her desire. I felt it all.
"Jasper, it's impossible." She sighed as tears gathered in her eyes. I could feel her sorrow. Her emotions were open to me and I could feel everything. It was all crashing down around me like a tidal wave, rendering me helpless. "I don't need another reason to be angry that I'm dying. I wish…I really wish we had the time to get to know each other, but we don't."
"Yes, we do." I told her, moving off the couch, and falling to my knees before her. "I can give you that time."
"Jasper, it's impossible."
I had to prove it. "Just say yes."
"No." My dead heart broke. "Bella, I have been alive for a very long time. I have seen many things. You may think I'm delusional, but I'm telling you that I'm not ready to let you go. I just found you. You are everything I've been longing for my whole existence, and I will not let you go."
The tears in her eyes spilled over. She leaned forward then, brushing her soft lips against mine. I gently held her to me, our tongues dancing over each other until I groaned and begrudgingly pulled away from her sweetness. The taste of her warm mouth had set me ablaze, and I wanted so much more; more than her weakened body could give me at the moment.
"You're everything I wished I had known." Bella sobbed. "You're everything I wished I could stay for. I could have loved you."
"I'm falling for you." I finally admitted; even to myself.
She smiled. "But we just met."
"Time doesn't matter to me, Bella." I explained. "I know how I feel, and I'm happy I came back here, I'm glad I met you. I want to spend the rest of my existence getting to know you; loving you."
Bella's heart skipped a beat. I could hear it. "Bella?" She didn't answer, her eyes merely rolled over in her head and she fell back against the couch.
Jacob and Alice burst through the door. "Bite her!" Alice demanded. "She's dying, Jasper! Bite her!"
Lifting her chest up to my mouth, I listened to her heart's weak beats as I eyed her friend.
"It's okay," he said solemnly. "Bite her."
Biting into the warm flesh above her heart, I let her sweet blood flow into my waiting mouth. I bit her neck, the insides of her arms, her wrists, her legs and her ankles. I wanted as much as my venom pumping through her as fast as possible.
It would be the longest three days of my life.
Sounds. So many of them. Light. So beautiful. I could touch it. I wanted to touch it. Voices; they ranged from excited to nervous, to expectant and even a tinkering one. The questions they asked, angered me. They shouldn't be questioning Jasper.
He was here. He was waiting. He wanted to love me and he was waiting.
"I wanted to," he said to the accusing voice with a hint of annoyance. "She means a lot to me."
"You don't know what love means," the voice accused before a woman silenced the man or boy, I wasn't sure. All I knew was that I wanted to rip him apart for attacking my Jasper with such venomous words.
"She can hear you, you know." Another said and his voice I liked. He sounded protective, but there was a sort of playfulness in his tone.
A heartbeat. Strong. So strong. My throat…burning. I wanted it. I had to have it. I was up before I knew it. I was out the door and down the stairs before any of them could stop me. They all screamed at him, but Jake, he stood still; smiling at me.
Dog. Wet dog. What was that disgusting smell? "Jake, you smell awful." It was coming from him. It was coming from my best friend.
"You don't smell too good yourself." He laughed.
"Who are they?" I asked Jake. The room was filled with them. Others who looked like my savior. My Jasper. Mine. He was mine.
"The Cullens." He smiled. "You…ummm…will probably be staying with them now."
"No," I said defiantly. "What about Charlie?" I whispered as I heard a growl only to discover that it was coming from me. But then I felt calm all of a sudden. Why?
I looked around questioningly, stopping on Jasper's smiling face. "You."
"Me." He laughed.
"How do you do that?"
"He's an Empath." Alice said cheerily as I looked at her with new eyes, cocking my head to the side curiously. What was an Empath? "He can affect and control the emotions of others." She explained.
"I can't have you attacking your friend," Jasper conveyed. "You wouldn't forgive yourself."
"But Charlie?" I tried to plead.
"Has already seen your body," Jake said. "The doc here…" He pointed to a blond haired man who was standing behind a caramel haired woman, both of them smiling at me warmly. "…took care of it. Charlie thinks you died in your sleep. Your funeral is next week."
"Only you know that I'm alive?" I asked Jake.
"And Leah and Seth." He went on then mumbled, "For now, at least." What did Jake mean?
"You're what, Jake?" He had to be something. I didn't think a mere human smelt that rancid.
"I'm a part of the Quileute legend. A wolf." Jake explained.
"I thought those were just stories!" My voice bounced off the walls. I didn't even sound like me. I sounded…sexy. It was strong yet soft and appealing to even my own ears. What the hell?
"There is a lot to teach you," Jasper said as I looked around curiously. Everything felt so new.
"And you're apart of those stories now," Jake said. "I shift in the present of vampires. Something you are now. Jasper will help you understand. He'll teach you how to live." He looked Jasper dead in the eye as he continued, "He'll ensure that nothing ever happens to you."
I was before Jake before I knew it and he laughed. "I'm sorry." I moved just like Jasper!
"It's fine," he whispered as I wrapped him in a hug only to have him groan under the pressure while telling me hoarsely that I was holding him too tight. Jasper was in front of us in a second.
"Too tight, Bella," he said warmly, gently pulling my hands away from Jake as I softly growled at him for doing so. "Ease up a little; give him some space to breathe."
I did as Jasper said and hugged Jacob lightly…telling him goodbye.
I was introduced to the Cullens, and when Jasper and I were finally alone, he took me into his arms, smiling down at me before kissing me softly on the lips. "So what now?" I asked.
"We live happily ever after."