Being home, like always had been great. Even better than usual since Jacob and Jasper could come with me. Of course I didn't like the reason behind them coming and some of the incidents had happened had been less than pleasing. Like Alice's phone call, the hidden hostility in the beginning, or my nerves before the ascension. But trip had also had it's upsides; Jake imprinting on Leo, Jazz and Jake both being 'adopted' into the family, the vampire and the werwolf striking the beginnings of a friendship, the family outings, the birthday party. I could continue quite a while listing all the good things that had happened, so all in all the trip had been a huge success.
The birthday party itself had been much better than the one the Cullens had arranged. In the Cullens defense, they were lacking one major detail; my friends and family. But that was not the only thing missing. The Cullens just didn't know me well enough. The cake had been great, but far from my favorite and the presents... they just wasn't me.
At the Danvers party everything had been perfect. Everyone had been there. My favorite cake plus something for everyone else had been made. And none of the presents had been majorly expensive. Well except the car. But one of the reasons why I didn't like people spending money on me were because I had more than enough money to do so myself. And the money came from the family fortune, the car had been a gift from the whole family, so by my reasoning the car was alright. Plus I loved the it. It was like driving a dream. Or like in that science fiction show on TV, what was it called? Star Trek? No, Stargate! Stargate Atlantis where they had these small spaceships they flew with their minds. The car was almost like that. Simply perfect.
It had surprised me to find out that Jasper had helped bake most of the cakes and had had a hand in with the hot food as well. Not that the food wasn't good, it was in fact great. It just had surprised me that a vampire was that efficient in the kitchen. I was also grateful towards him that he had kept my mother company while Seb and I were away. I know how much she probably worried while we were out. We are and always will be her babies. Same with the others when they get older. Even if she is still alive when we turn hundred we will still be her babies and she will worry.
The best part, besides the presents, was when I convinced Jasper to taste my favorite cake. And guess what? He told me it wasn't all that bad! Better than some animals in fact! I knew I had good taste. Even a vampire said so. OK he didn't exactly say that, but he did say it was better than some animals and that had to be something, right? Human food actually better than some blood.
One minor disappointment though had been hearing how Jake spoke to his Alpha. I had seriously thought he was better than that. But sometimes I forget that he is so much younger than me, the same age as Leo and Cade, and unlike them he had a normal childhood. At least I got him to understand things a little bit better and hopefully he decides to follow my 'advice'. If not... let's just say Jake is not going to like it much.
«Sam. I don't see why it's so damn important for you to know every damn detail, but we are leaving today and will arrive in Forks sometime tomorrow. I don't know when. Why do you have to be so damn demanding all the time? I...» I had heard enough and forcefully took the phone away from Jake.
«Sam? This is Bella Swan. I am sorry, but Jacob will have to call you back. This won't take long.» I managed to say politely into the phone before ending the call.
«Jacob Black. Want to tell me what the hell you were doing right now?» I asked with a deadly tone.
«I was just talking to Sam.» Jake defended himself and I could see that he didn't understand what he had done wrong.
«Talking. I sure as hell am glad you've never talk to me like that. So I ask again; what the hell was you doing talking with a tone like that to your Alpha?»
«But Bells,» Jake whined. «He's been calling all week demanding to know where I am and telling me to come back.»
«Telling you to come back.» I repeated, my tone icy. «Are you telling me that you came here without permission?»
«Well Bells... I... I did call...» Jake stuttered, it was obviously he realized he was in deep shit.
«No one answered, so I left a message.» Jake answered hesitantly, knowing that lying or not answering would be bad for him.
«I see.» I said very slowly before apparently changing the subject, «How old is Sam?»
«And how old was he when he first started phasing?»
«He was the first wolf?»
«Yes he was. Bells where are you going with this?» Jacob started to become a little annoyed, but he still had self preservation enough to listen to me.
«I'll get there in time. So since he was the first wolf, did he have anyone to help him? To tell him what was going on and help him phase back?»
«The Elders...» Jake started, but I cut him off.
«How long did he stay as a wolf before the Elders put the clues together?»
«A month.» Jake answered weakly.
«A month.» I repeated. «And how long was he the reservation's sole protector?»
«18 years old and he spent one month as a wolf without the faintest clue what had happened. Then after six months others starts to phase, leaving him in charge. Have I got it correct?» Jake nodded, but still saw that he didn't get what I was trying to tell him.
«Ok, let's try to put it another way. You're just a normal teenager. Wait, Sam didn't even have that, did he? He was on his own. Damn. Ok. A teenager planing his life. Go to college. Get a girlfriend. That kind of stuff. Then suddenly you are thrown into a war you had no idea existed with no training what so ever. No allies that you know off, but an endless ocean of enemy forces that could find you at anytime. Then you are given the responsibility to command kids, still with no training. One day one of those kids leaves a message telling you that they are leaving for somewhere unknown with one of those you consider an enemy.» As I spoke I could see the dawning of realization, but also respect forming on Jake's face. Good, it was time that he started thinking and stopped behaving like a rebellious teenager.
«Bells, I am so sor-» Jake started, but again I didn't let him finish.
«It's not me you need to say that to. Just remember what I've just said and try to use your damn head in the future. You've got one put on top of your shoulders for a reason. Remember, Sam might not be the most joyful person in the world, but I think he has got a damn well reason not to be. Don't you?» I glared at Jake as I dialed the last number called on Jake's phone.
«Uley.» a man I knew to be Sam answered the phone and I barely heard the fear and concern in his voice.
«Sam, this is Bella again. I am so sorry for what's happened. I was under the impression that Jacob had called and gotten permission to come with us. We are currently in the state of Massachusetts. We'll start going home some time today, making our ETA back in Forks some time tomorrow. Again, I can only tell you how sorry I am. If you want I can make him run back, starting now.» I offered and saw Jake's eyes grow big at the same time as Sam tried to suppress a startled laugh.
«Thank you for the offer, but I don't think that will be for the best. Who knows what he'll do to stall for time then. If you don't mind me asking, where in Massachusetts are you and why did you go there in the first place?» Sam asked curiously and I could see this conversation surprised Jacob greatly.
«We're in Ipswich. Charlie and I've got some family here and was planning on going here all along, to celebrate mine and the oldest son in the house's 18 year old birthday. Since the Cullens acted like grade A assholes Jasper was invited along, and Jake being my best friend and all also received an invite. He'll probably try to weasel out of any punishment and calling it fate since he ended up imprinting on the middle sister in the family. She and her twin brother are coming back with us to Forks. Don't worry. Jake didn't say anything. Let's just say that Ipswich is full of old history and the Danvers family is one of it's founders.» I explained, giving away more information than had been asked for. It's my experience that the more you say, the less people tend to ask, so this way I was in control over the info given.
«Old history?» Sam sounded hesitant and weary.
«No werewolves, vampires, unicorns, fairies or anything like that. The knowledge has just been passed down in generations. That's how I knew what you were, but I have to admit that the Cullens' eyes threw me for a loop.» He was silent on the other end for quite a while, probably debating asking more about my last statement, but he wisely ended up letting it go for now.
«So you're going to start driving today?»
«Yes. We only need to pack our luggage and say good bye to the family. Jake will probably go with Charlie, Leo and her twin, while Jazz and I go in the second car.»
«Ok. Thank you for calling and telling me. I appreciate it.»
«No need to thank me. I would have done so earlier if I had known what was going on. Since I have you phone I just want to tell you how much I respect what you're doing and I think you're doing a great job. I don't know if I would have managed a week with all those boys. Well done.» Again there were silence, but this time I assumed it came from surprise.
«I... Thank you.» I could hear all the feelings in his voice. There had probably not been many to praise him.
«No need to thank me. I am just telling the truth. Bye Sam. You'll have you're missing boy back just in time for his punishment. Maybe you can have him building his own dog house?»
«Yeah, maybe. Bye.» Sam chuckled before hanging up.
I leveled my glare at Jacob. «If I ever hear that you've done anything like this again, you better run fast. 'Cause I will be coming after you, and I will be kicking your ass.»
I spun around when I heard someone chuckling behind me. «Same goes for you.» Jazz raised his arms playfully as I pointed at him.
Stealthy I looked over at my vampire companion. He might have been playful back in Ipswich, but there had been something missing. And the closer to Washington we got the darker his mood seemed to get, right now we were at the point where he simply fidgeted and looked depressed. Taking one of his hands in my own I asked him what was going on. The emotions in his eyes when he looked at me was like a punch in the gut.
«There is some stuff about my past you deserve to know. I want you to know that if you no longer want me as your friend after I am finished I'll understand that and you'll never have to see me again.» Jasper's promise left me speechless and he started talking again with his eyes firmly locked on his hands in his lap.
I pulled into the first rest stop I found and silently listened as Jasper first told me about his time in the Civil War, before continuing to how Maria had changed him and what he had done in the Southern Wars. He told me everything. From Maria's first bite to meeting Alice in that cafe. I didn't know what to say when he finished and we ended up just sitting there in an uneasy silence. Sue me, but that was not exactly easy information to process.
«I don't have to say anything. I get it, I am a monster. I'll leave now.» Jasper's voice was so low that I doubted that I would have heard him if I hadn't been a transgenic.
«No!» My loud voice startled Jasper badly, but it achieved the wanted result; he stayed.
«I am sorry Jasper, it's just a lot to take in.» I apologized and saw him nodding slowly, but he still wouldn't look at me.
«Tell me; is my mother a monster?» That got a reaction. He looked up so fast that he would have gotten a whiplash if he'd been human.
«No!» he answered heatedly, with shock and dismay visible in his face. I climbed over the mid-console and into his lap. This way I could both comfort my friend and keep him from leaving.
«My mother was raised as a soldier. She knew nothing else. By the time normal humans start high school she was already out doing mission. Some times assassinations.»
«That's different.» Jasper protested.
«How so? Neither of you knew that there existed any other way to live. You both did what you had been taught to do. And immediately you found out that there were another way you took it and haven't looked back. Sure you're death count is bigger, but how much longer is your life span?» Jasper's arms had encircled my waist, but I could still see that he was struggling with accepting my opinion.
«I can't forgive you for what you've done, because you've done nothing wrong towards me. Neither could Dad forgive Mom. You have to forgive yourself, just like Mom had to do. I won't tell you that it will be easy, 'cause it won't, but I will tell you that I'll be here as long as you want me to. Hell, longer. You can run away, but I'll find you. Mom is no monster and neither are you. Even Jacob, genetically your mortal enemy will agree with me. He has seen you for the man you are; strong, brave, deep, an gentleman that makes those around you feel safe and secure.» I declared as I hugged him tight.
«You are a strong man Jasper Whitlock. You got through something that would have broken a lesser man. You didn't only manage to survive it, you go through and became a better man.» My words apparently broke the restraint Jasper had had on his emotions and he started sobbing into the crook of my neck.
As time went by the sobs became less and less frequent, before eventually stopping. I then pulled out far enough to see his eyes that had lost some of their edges.
«It will be hard. Mom still wakes up from nightmares some nights, but I promise you I will be there, as will the rest of the family if you ever need them.» I promised him and sent him all of my acceptance and love.
«Thank you.» Jasper whispered and hugged me again.
«No thank you Deputy Whitlock. Now, I suggest we get back on the road again before Charlie sends out an APB.» I joked to lighten the mood. Things had been far too serious for too long.
«He so would.» Jasper groaned, but it was followed by the smirk I had been missing for most of the day.
«Don't worry. I'll call him.» I said waving my phone as I got into my own seat again.
«You can't reach him with your... thing.» Jazz finished by pointing to his own head.
«No I can't use my thing.» I laughed. «He is too far out. They drove off a little before us remember? Plus we've spent some time here.»
«Oh.» was the intelligent response I got.
I was still chuckling softly when Charlie answered his phone.
«Bells? Something wrong?»
«No worry Charlie, I am just calling to tell you that we'll be a little late home.»
«Jazz had a story on his own to tell. It... took some time to get it all out.» I answered knowing that it was Jasper's story to tell if he wanted anyone else to know about it.
«Ok. You want me to spare you some dinner or...?» Charlie didn't ask any more questions just like I knew he wouldn't.
«Nah. We'll just stop on the way to get something for me. We might also stop by the Cullens so that Jazz gets his stuff.» When I said the last part I looked over at the empath, telling him with both my eyes and my emotions that we didn't have to it if he didn't want to.
«That's okay Bells. Be safe you two. Bye.»
«We will. Bye.» I put my phone down and reclaimed the hand I had taken before Jasper started telling me about his past. «We'll only go there if you want to Jazz. Or we can get Em to pack for you and bring it over.» My suggestion brought a snort out of him. And I can't say I didn't agree with him; Emmett might not be the best person to do your packing.
«So what do you want to do?» I asked him. He thought about the matter for a couple of minutes, but I knew he needed to be the one to make the choice so I kept quiet.
«The Cullens to get my stuff.» Jasper finally answered, and I noticed that he didn't call them his family any more. Maybe one time in the future they would get that right back, but for now he was a Whitlock and a part of the Danvers family.
«Ok. But first we stop in Seattle so I can get something to eat, one of is part human.» I sent him a quick smile before concentrating on my driving again.
Silence once again fell in the car, but this time it wasn't heave like it had been before we started talking, it was comfortable. Still I noticed the curious glances he would send me from time to time.
«You know you can ask me anything you want, right?» I said as I caught him looking at me for the seventh time. «I can't promise you that I'll answer everything, but there is no harm in asking the questions.»
«What happened?» Jasper eventually asked.
«When I ascended?» I asked for clarification and received a nod in reply. «Sebastian and I went to the meadow beside the old family mansion. We just sat there talking until midnight, but then it was like everything froze for a second. When time started again it... I don't know how to describe it. It was so powerful. The wind blew forcefully around us, yet didn't harm the surrounding vegetation. I was super aware of everything around me; the threes, the grass, the animals and the insects. And the rush... the rush was amazing. I would imagine it could be compared to someone being high while jumping out of a plane. Not that I know how that feels from personal experience or anything!» I quickly added and received a smirk in return.
«After we came down from our adrenaline rush we went into the library where the others waited. And let me tell you this; if you liked our library you'll love the library at the family mansion. It's as big, but filled with books about everything supernatural. Ok I take back my statement; Carlisle would love to move in there, I don't think we'd managed to pry him out after a century. Our master piece is what any Charmed fan would call our 'Book of Shadow'. Kind of a journal containing everything out ancestors learned and thought to be useful. It being spells, important historical events, like the witch hunt and founding of the sons, or mystical creatures. This generation has already added one important fact; animal drinking vampires have golden eyes.
We spent the night going through the book, reading up on anything important or just looking through the less important parts. We'll be doing this each time one of the others ascends so by the end of the years we'll practically be able to recite it word for word. And let's not forget that some of us have always loved to read and have already read the book a few times. It was while going through the book we find the spell to keep Edward and the pack out of Jake's head.
It's basically a shield. Edward can't read any of your thoughts. Alice can only us if it's life or death. If not and we're together with the family we and those we are together with is just blurry. If we are on out own or together with anyone she doesn't know she can't see us at all. Edward won't be able to read Jake's mind and Alice has never been able to see any of them. On the wolfy side of the shield it only protects what is personal; like what I am, normal everyday life, and when Jake and Leo eventually... you know.» I shuddered thinking about my little sister like that. «What it won't block out is what's going on in the surrounding area when in phased, anything that can be seen as a threat to the Pack, like if there had been any doubt in Jake's mind about me, or basically anything else that the Pack should know.»
«Thank you.» Jasper said quietly.
«Huh?» I looked over at him confused, not understanding what he was thanking me for.
«You didn't have to tell me all that, some you probably shouldn't have told anyone, yet you still told me. Thank you for trusting me.»
«I trust you Jazz, with everything I've got. And I've already told you that I'll try to answer every question you ask me as long as it doesn't negatively affect anyone close to me or anyone has asked me to keep it a secret. You're my friend. Trusting you and speaking with you kinda comes with the territory.»
«I am starting to get that.» Jasper mumbled.
«Good. I'll keep reminding you about it until you understand it without a doubt.» I stated forcefully and squeezed his hand. «Now I believe it is time for some human food. Need to go hunting before arriving in Forks? I know of a nice diner a little outside of Seattle with the forest close by.» I suggested, knowing that it was very likely that some of the Cullens tried to corner Jazz when he we came home and he needed to hunt. Fortunately the Pixie's wrecked visions and Edwards inability to read our minds would hopefully throw a wrench in some of their plans.
«It sounds great. Thanks.» Jasper smiled at me gratefully and I knew I had come up with the best suggestion to something that had troubled him a little.
«My pleasure, Deputy.»
Jazz and I shared a grin as I pulled over into parking lot, exited the car and each went to eat our dinner. Mine being lasagne and Jasper's probably being some kind of carnivore since he had confessed to me that they tasted best. After dinner it was time to head into the lion's den aka home to the Cullens. Yay, that would be fun.