Disclaimer: I still don't own Twilight or any of its recognizable characters. Although I wish I had thought them up myself. Just sayin'. But I do own this plot ;)
Jasper was bored out of his mind. Bella was at work, and he couldn't go to work. There was nothing to distract him from the pain in his leg and arm. Nothing to keep him from focusing on how absolutely shitty he felt. He'd already been to therapy, both physical and mental, and he still felt unsettled. Twitchy.
Over the course of the past few weeks of being home he'd gotten better about not leaning on Bella so much, not taking advantage of her kindness. But he was altered. He was tired. Most of the time so exhausted that he barely had the energy to love his girl up right, let alone command her the way he normally would have. Never in his life had he felt so useless and weak. He didn't even feel like a real man half of the time.
Only when he was with Bella. Her sweet, submissive, loving ways could bring him out of the deepest of lows. Just the lightest touch could make him forget it all.
But when she was gone all he had time to do was think and dwell. On shit that didn't even matter anymore. And on the things he battled with daily, like physically functioning without getting a monster headache. He still struggled with his speech daily, and sometimes he had trouble remembering the smallest things. He knew it was all a part of the stroke he'd suffered, but he felt helpless.
A huff from the couch reminded him of Chuck's presence. Bella thought they could keep each other company. Chuck still wasn't all that fond of him, but Bella was determined to make her two boys become the best of friends. They split their time between her place and his, but it just wasn't practical in Jasper's mind.
Mainly because his money was running out. Insurance had only paid so much, and he was running out of time on his medical leave from work. There was Maria's life insurance, but the one time he dipped into it, he thought he would throw up. It was too much. Too hard.
A knock at the door had Jasper huffing and puffing his way over to answer it. He almost slammed the door back.
There stood Rosalie, looking like she had something to say and he had a feeling that he knew exactly what. Since he'd begun to act like a normal fucking human being, Rosalie had begun to stare at him with this pity. This sad, pitiful look. He'd hoped to avoid the conversation that he knew was coming, but it didn't look like that was going to happen. Because she was standing there on the verge of tears, holding an apple pie.
"Can I come in?" She asked sweetly.
Rosalie never did anything sweetly.
"Come on in. And spit it out. I know you've got somethin' on your mind, Rose."
She nodded and made her way into the living room, giving Chuck a pat on the head.
"I've held this in for so many years now, and just… I didn't think it would do you any good knowing, but now you're with Bella… and I'm afraid that you'll end up holding onto the memory of Maria so tightly that you'll mess this up with her. And she loves you so damned much."
Jasper waited patiently for her to continue, ignoring the way her hands shook as she placed the pie on the coffee table.
"Maria… she was cheating on you, Jasper. Marcus, from the club? They'd been having an affair and she was going to leave you for him."
Jasper took a deep breathe, his hands shook with the effort it took to stay calm. He wanted to scream and yell. The old Jasper would have. He would have done all of those things and not held back. But Bella's Jasper knew that it wouldn't do anyone any good. So after taking a few deep breaths he met her gaze.
"I know," he answered. "It's why I was drunk that night. She confessed everything. Told me how sorry she was, but that I just couldn't love her the way she needed. That my love wasn't enough."
Silent tears fell down his cheeks as he spoke. It was the first time he'd told anyone. Not even his therapist had a clue. Rose scooted closer to him, wrapping a delicate arm around his shoulders.
"I loved her with my entire soul, Rosie. But I am who I am. I don't understand affection. Until Maria I'd never even been shown any affection. But she was so dutiful. The perfect sub. Only she never told me. Not until she was ready to leave. Not until she didn't love me anymore. So I went out and got drunk off my ass. I passed out in the living room. I was so drunk that by the time I woke my sorry ass up and got to her, that she was gone. But I couldn't just leave her there. Because no matter what she said, I loved her. I did."
He was all out sobbing then, and letting Rose hold him in her arms. That was what Bella found when she came home from work. She didn't ask what had happened, figuring that if he wanted her to know he'd tell her. She only made her way to the couch and curled up against Jasper, offering him every amount of love that she possessed. She made sure he felt it in her touch, the way her hands smoothed through his hair that was still growing back. In the way she pressed herself against him, letting him feel her heart beating and the whispers that it beat for him and him alone.
He took comfort in her embrace, and felt as if a heavy weight had been lifted from his shoulders. For years he hadn't told a soul and now it was out there. No longer did he bear the burden alone. And for the first time since Maria told him that she was leaving him, he felt that maybe, just maybe she had been wrong. That he loved her enough. Maybe it was her that hadn't loved him enough to understand him. Bella had poked and prodded until she had gotten under his skin. Until she knew him so well that no words were needed. She just knew. Maybe it was because he'd opened himself up to her. Or maybe it was just how she was.
Or maybe, just maybe, because she was always meant for him. Maybe because she was the other half of his soul.
A/N: Sorry this took so long, guys. We're still sickly over here, but getting better. Now just to deal with the writer's block that these guys have been giving me. So, this was not planned. When I started writing this chapter I had no idea that Jasper knew, but he was really loud in my head, so this was written and re-written and this was the result. This was what made Jasper pleased. So that's that.
Thank you so much to all my readers, alterters, favoriters, and reviewers! You guys are so freaking awesome and I love you guys hardcore! Not much longer with these guys. They're wrapping things up and getting tired of talking to me. So probably a few more chapters and they will be wrapping things up