AN: Longest chapter yet with a word count of 5755 and the story as a whole as now officially reached 30k. Yay. I've tried to beta read this chapter, but I also wanted to post it as fast as possible so if anyone finds any mistakes please notify me and I'll correct it as fast as possible. I have the plot line for the next chapter ready in my head, but things are a bit hectic for the moment and I am not sure when I'll have time to write it. But I'll do my best to have it done before Christmas.
Settling back in Forks had not gone as smoothly as I had hoped, but neither had it been as bad as I had feared. Most of it was due to Emmett and Rose running interference between us and the Cullens. I assume part of the reason why they are doing it is because they feel guilty over the way they've been treating Jasper over the years and wanting to repent their sins, and part pissed at their 'siblings' and 'parents'. It don't really care about their reasons as long as they are helping Jazz. I can truthfully say that when those two sets their mind on something they don't settle on anything adequate, so fortunately we've only had a few run-ins with them.
The first one was when Jasper and I went to their house to pick up his stuff. Fortunately the magic the boys and I had done had given Alice no premonition of our arrival so she and Edward were out on a hunting trip.
«I don't think this is a good idea.» Carlisle protested. «You should stay here with us. Do you really believe you can live together with two humans?»
«Four.» I barely managed to get out civilly.
«What?» Daddy Vampire looked at me perplexed.
«Leo and Cade, Charlie and me. Five humans if you count Jake. We'll probably see a lot of him around, he has after all imprinted on Leo.» I explained.
«The Wolf lets his imprint live in the same house as a vampire?» Emmett asked incredulously.
«Of course.» I sent Jasper a wave of amusement and mischief. «I did tell you we were becoming close friends while we were away. I would hazard a guess and say that very few werewolves would sleep in the same room as a vampire, not to mention on the same bed. Right Deputy?»
«Not that I know off.» Jasper answered me truthfully. «But then on the other hand I haven't met many Wolves.»
«Back to the matter. Bella. We all know that you can be very careless with your own life, but are you willing to sacrifice Charlie, Leo, Cade or...»
«This is not a choice made lightly, or alone. Charlie knows fully what's going on and this whole dealio was actually his idea. And no, neither Jasper nor I gave away your secret.» I added the last part irritated when I saw the stare Carlisle and Esme, and to some part Rosalie, were sending me.
«Let me tell you two things about Charlie Swan. He has been best friend Billy Black and Harry Clearwater since he moved to Forks as a young man. Billy Black as in Ephraim Black's descendant, and father of Jacob Black, future Alpha of the Pack. Along with Harry Clearwater he is one of the Quileute elders. You might also have missed that Charlie is the Chief of Police here in Forks. I can reassure you that he did not get the position through seniority, bribery or black mail. Charlie is a damn fine investigator and put what I've just told you together with the fact that you know the Quileute don't like you and Billy has been pretty vocal of it in the past plus your inhuman differences. Do you see the picture or do I have to break it down further?» I has been so focused on my rant and the two vampires in front of me that I had completely forgotten about the three other vampires in the house so when Jasper sent me a wave of gratitude, calm and humor it almost made me scream.
Blushing wildly I turned around to see Emmett and Rose look at me with awe and respect on their faces. I could almost swear that I also saw a flash of pride and approval in Rosalie's eyes, but that couldn't be it, could it?
«Jasper dropped out of school because he wanted to become a cop. You didn't like that and gave him an ultimatum; school with the family's support and approval or no support at all. Jazz and I occasionally traded emails and I spoke with Charlie when he came up with his plan; he'll take him in as an civilian apprentice until Jazz here has enough money to go to the Academy, then when he comes back a position will be waiting for him here in Forks.» I gave the four Cullens the cliff notes. «Please don't come looking for him. And since I am kinda pissed on you for making my friend choose between his family and something he wants to do, I don't particularly want to have anything to do with any of you either. The fortuneteller and mind-reader included. Please tell them to stay away or I might have to call in the Wolf Pack, I am sure you've caught that we've struck a friendship with them and I am sure they wouldn't hesitate too much to go after some 'bloodsuckers'. Ready to go?» I grinned at Jasper brightly, the whole ice cold mafioso I had tried to impersonate gone from my body language. I could tell from the shaking shoulders and the amusement he sent me that Jasper found the whole act funny.
Just as we exited the door I poked my head and upper body back in. «Em... See you in a few days, just remember to call first.» I was almost gone again before I remembered something I had forgotten. «And Jazz' name is Whitlock now, not Hale.» I nodded once to myself, satisfied that I had told them everything they needed to know before jogging out of the Cullen house once and for all.
«Damn our little girl has grown up so fast.» I heard Emmett exclaim just before I fired up my old reliable truck. We had left my new car behind in the garage and taken the truck instead so that we would have enough storage space for all of Jasper's stuff.
«How did it go?» I asked Jasper when we was out of hearing range from the mansion.
«None if it had been touched while I was gone. Either none of them thought about it or Em or Carlisle stopped them.» the empath beside me answered even though both of us knew that wasn't what I had been asking about.
«I found the divorce papers waiting for me on the bed we've shared until... I don't know what I was expecting, but... I don't know if she has changed or I've just been blinded all these decades, but I still feel...» I held out my hand in silent comfort and Jasper grasped it gratefully with a sight. «I signed them. And packed my copy. Things are truly over between us now.»
I understood what he was trying to tell me, at least I thought I understood, I had never been in his position so it was hard to say for sure. For centuries he had loved and followed a woman that told him that she was his mate. Then suddenly the curtain falls and his entire world rearranges itself around him. Shape-shifters are friends, not enemies. Humans have been experimenting with human DNA and created super soldiers. Magic exists. His new 'best friends' are upgraded humans and a wolf while his vampire 'family' gives him a pretty cold shoulder. No pun intended. And then to top it all of his 'happily ever after' breaks things off over the phone. Just thinking about it makes my head start to hurt, no wonder Jazz might not be on top of his game.
That had been the first of two encounters with the Cullens that can be put in the category 'not pleasant'. I almost started to look for the seven horsemen and any other sign of the Apocalypse, when the sun every day for over a week after we returned. Jasper caught me staring out the window the other day and practically laughed his ass off when I told him what I was looking for. He mumbled something about watching too much 'Supernatural'. So not true! No rain or clouds for so long is either a miracle or one of the first signs that the world is going to hell.
Either way I counted it as a good thing. The sun meant that there were no Cullens bothering me at school and it gave Jazz time to settle down without fearing any uninvited guests. Not that the mysteriously missing clouds helped much at night. Unfortunately moonlight doesn't have the same effect on vampires as sunlight. We got to experience that one night.
I woke up disoriented, not entirely sure what had woken me up. I knew that it was nothing dangerous. Had there been something or someone that meant me or my family harm, like intruders or a fire, I would have woken up instantaneously instead of being in this state between awake and asleep. So the question was; what had woken me up in the middle of the night?
I let my eyes sweep over my room, everything looked like normal. No, wait. There in the corner. Was that..?
«Jasper? What are you doing sitting there?» I asked as I got out of bed. By now I was fully awake and could see that something as it should be. The big bad vampire should not sit with his leg drawn up to his chin in a dark corner with pain etched into his face.
«Jazz?» I spoke softly when I didn't get any reply from him. Out of the corner of my eyes I caught sight of something that shouldn't be there. Two blurs that could be nothing else than two vampires. If I hadn't been a transgenic I am sure I wouldn't have seen them, but I was and I had and I was sure that the presence of them out there were the reason for Jasper's condition in here. That greatly decreased the number of possibilities and I was certain that the perpetrators name started with A and E.
While sinking down beside my friend on the floor and sending him as much positive feelings as I could, I reached for my phone with one hand as I was busy combing through his blond hair with the other. When the phone-call connected I didn't give the person on the other side time enough to greet me properly.
«Em, I highly suggest you come here and get your siblings before I call the Pack. I know for certain that a few of them won't care much who it is if I call them and tell them that I've got a leech problem. And please try to get them to understand that if I catch them here again I will not call you.»
«Don't worry Deputy, they'll be gone soon. Just concentrate on me.» I hugged Jasper closer to me as I purposely tried to strengthen my emotions. It seemed to be working as the vampire beside me relaxed slightly and the pain seemed to lessen. Then I got an idea that would serve multiple purposes; it would piss off those outside, it would be more comfortable and hopefully it would help Jasper as well.
«Come on Jazz; let's get back to bed.» I grinned down at him as I stood up and pulled him with me over to my bed. I was ecstatic that he trusted me enough to follow my lead even when he was confused and affected by others emotions. I honestly don't think I would have been able to move him without revealing my 'different' nature to anyone outside if he hadn't chosen to do as I said.
I dove under the covers first before tugging Jasper after me. Finally lying down comfortable I pulled Jasper into a full-body hug. At first he was stiff as a statue beside me, but I trusted him and knew that he wouldn't do anything towards me and little by little he relaxed into me.
«What happened?» I asked finally. One hand drawing circles on his back while the other had returned to his hair. The slow motion from both hands seemed to calm him down further and I found it rather relaxing myself.
«They caught me on my way back.» Jasper finally answer after what seemed like hours. «They'd been lurking in the woods trying to catch me as I hunted. Told me to come with them back to the house. That I was too dangerous to stay here with you and the others.» his voice was monotone as he recounted the highlights of what had been going on in the woods and I used my transgenic strength to hold him tighter.
«You do know that everything they said was bullshit, right? And there is no way they'll get you back. The moment you stepped out of the car back home you were adopted into the family. Maybe not legally, but I am sure we can fix that if you'd like. The only reason for going back to them is if you want to do so. Nothing else matters. And sure you can be dangerous. Charlie is dangerous with all his training. A child can be dangerous if he finds a sharp knife and no one is watching him. I can be dangerous. But I know, hell we all know, that you'll never hurt any of us.» I ended my passionate rant with a wide yawn.
«You're welcome. It's all true.» I could feel that Morpheus was fighting to reclaim me now that the crisis was over.
«You know most humans would be freaked out by having a bloodsucking vampire this close to their jugular.» Jasper muttered and I could feel his cold breath blowing over my skin. But you aren't like most people are you?» he answered himself in a lower voice. In answer I made a sound that was supposed to be an agreement, but I don't know if I succeeded. Still I believe Jasper understood what I was trying to tell him since I felt him smile against my throat before I succumbed to sleep.
That had happened on Friday night. Today was Monday. Today I was going to have a serious talk with Edward or Alice if they tried to influence my opinion on Jasper, and try to find out if they were taking my threat seriously. Jacob had been with us over the weekend and after he found out what had happened he had taken it upon himself to stick with Jasper when he went hunting just like in Ipswich. He tried to blow it away saying he just wanted to make sure Jasper kept to his diet and well fed around his imprint, but he didn't fool anyone.
I smirked as I pulled into the parking-lot. I had driven my new car every day since I got back, but it was amusing to see the awe and jealousy on the students' faces every time. The first morning I arrived I practically had everyone drooling and they couldn't fathom that it was boring Isabella Swan that exited the car. Lauren and Jessica's faces had been especially funny. Their attitude still were. Where they before kinda looked down on me, they now tried to worm and weasel their way into my life and inner circle. Amazing how much driving a decent car can do to your reputation.
Out of all my friends only Angela asked me what had happened to my old truck. Not that was a national secret. Leo and Cade used the truck to get to school in La Push the few times Jake didn't take them in his Rabbit. One of the privileges to being a wolf's imprint was that Leo could transfer to La Push and somehow they had managed to get Cade to tag along too. Secretly I was glad they didn't go to school here in Forks when things were so shaky between me and the Cullens. At least in La Push I knew they were safe. Almost everyone thought Leo and Cade were my cousins. If someone found out the truth later I hoped that they wouldn't be offended, because I never told anyone that they were my cousins, only Charlie's niece and nephew. Not my fault if they draw the wrong conclusions.
I almost laughed out loud when I saw the faces to the three remaining Cullens still in high school; Alice, Edward and Emmett. Alice and Edward was understandable since they were acting my age, but I never quite understood why Em deliberate failed his exams when he could have aced them in his sleep (well if he could sleep that is) and why go to school when his mate is at home? No matter why I was grateful for that now, at least I would one friendly Cullen to run interference for me if the two idiots became to intense and intrusive.
«Damn Bells! Jasper sure knows how to spoil you!» Emmett exclaimed in his normal booming way and this time I didn't manage to contain my laughter. «What?» Emmett tried to look intimidating and insulted over my uncontrolled laughter, but we both knew he was enjoying seeing me like this.
«Sorry Em.» I hiccuped, «Jazz didn't buy me this beauty, no sir. It's from the family.» I suddenly I got a wicked idea; why not have some fun with them? «Jasper's gift wasn't as expensive, but more for fun and pleasure. Jazz and I have already had hours of fun and some times Jake and Leo have joined us. Leo more often than not was with Jake, since she is his girlfriend and all that. But often if we're more than two players we change partners. Still, I think it's most fun with just Jasper and I» I made my eyes widen and look around almost wildly as I willed my blush to come forward. Emmett looked at me with astonishment and I could almost swear I heard two sets of growls coming from behind him. I looked down to the ground and bit my lip nervously. Showing anyone who looked nervousness and embarrassment I spoke again, «I probably shouldn't tell you...»
«What?» I so had Emmett on the hook! I bit my lip and looked around again before waving him closer until there were practically nothing separating us. With one last look around I went up on the tip of my toes as Em bend down towards me and whispered into his ear, fully knowing that the other vampires would be able to hear me too. «Jazz gave me a wonderful woodcarver chess-set.»
I quickly pulled back and looked at the astonished and dumbfound expression decorating Emmett's face. Laughing I grabbed Angela that had moved over to us and walked away quickly before Em caught his wits again.
«What was that?» Angela asked me curiously and amused when Emmett's booming laughter penetrated the air.
«You know what guys think about most of the time? It's indisputable now; Emmett Cullen is no exception. I didn't do anything special, I just told him about the beautiful chess-set Jasper gave me for my birthday.» I looked at her with mock innocence and doe eyes.
«Sure you were.» Angela laughed at me. «Just be glad Jessica or Lauren weren't close enough to hear what you said.»
«No need to worry. Only four people heard what I said and no one will tell anyone else that I don't trust about what happened.» As I said it I turned and glared at idiot 1 & 2 hoping that they could hear the masked threat.
«Still mad at them?» Angela asked from beside me.
«I sure am.» I answered. «I think they should have more faith in their brother and let him do what he wants to do. Have faith that he know what he can and can not do and that the choice he makes is the one that is best. For him. If it is going back to the South, moving in with his cousin Peter, becoming an officer of the law here in Forks or going to college and get a degree in something. It's his life and only he can make the choices while his friends and family should be by his side supporting him, not condemning him for not doing what they want him to do.»
«Mhm.» Angela made an agreeing sound in the back of her throat. «I agree with you. What we do with our life is our choice, it's not something anyone else can do for us. Unless we do something criminal, but even that is our own choice.»
«Exactly! I knew these friends once that had this diet they swore to and they wanted all of their friends to follow it and only that one diet. It was an okay diet I guess, but some of them got pissed when one of them once in a blue lagoon ate a bit of chocolate that the others always brought with them but they were forbidden to eat.»
«They got pissed over a piece of chocolate?» Angela asked incredulously used to my quick change of subject, not that I had really changed the subject this time.
«Yes. Even if he just grabbed the chocolate and didn't eat it. They didn't understand why he had so big problems with it. But his friends had been brought up on this diet and never tasted chocolate and while neither of us is chocoholics we can only imagine how hard it'll be to never taste it ever again. Then imagine all your other friends eating chocolate and your other friends on the diet insists that all of you should be carrying a bar of the very thing you can't eat just to prove that you are really committed to your friends.» The face Angela made told me everything I needed to know about my story.
«I'd never do anything like that.»
«Only if there is a medical reason why I can't eat it, or maybe my best friend or boyfriend is allergic to it. But then it would be my choice to do it, I'd do it for them and when they're somewhere else and I am with other friends I might enjoy a treat. If I am the one with the problem I'd be grateful if someone tried to make things easier for me, but I would not be mad at them for doing something I can't do.» I was aware that I had moved away from the topic I was trying to hammer into the eavesdropping vampires' heads, but it wasn't like I could come out and say; 'Humans are vampires natural food source. But there are those that hunts animals instead. Some of them are mad if their newest member slips up and follows his instincts. Let's not forget that he does have an disadvantage to the others since he is an empath and able to feel their blood-lust as well as his own. Don't you agree with me that is wrong Angela?'. Yeah, I was sure that would go over well.
«You're really invested in this aren't you?» Angela looked at me closely.
«I saw the end result. The constant negative treatment made him depressed, and Mom told me that years later when people intervened that he was suicidal and had already tried a few times to end it.» Okay that was not Jasper, but that was very well where things could have gone had nothing changed, if my family had not taken Jasper in with open arms. Out of the side of my vision I could see the Cullens visibly flinch, Emmett more than the others.
«Poor guy. Do you know what happened to him?» Angela asked with sympathy and horror in her voice.
«Last I heard he was doing great. He got away from his old friends and made new friends. One of his new friend's family practically adopted him into the family, not like that was anything unusual. From what I've heard most of the friends of their children were all but legally adopted. At least that's what I've heard.»
«I wished I had friends like that.» Angela sighted wistfully. I most have made a sound because she looked over at me strangely. «You do, don't you?» she looked at me accusingly. I quickly decided that it wouldn't hurt to be honest.
«So do you.» I grinned at her as I watched realization dawn on her. «Charlie's sister is the one that took in that guy I spoke of. Going longer back they practically adopted an entire family. We're in fact four... 'big' families that acts like one gigantic one.»
«That's why you took in Jasper so quickly.» Angela exclaimed as epiphany struck her.
«It made the choice easier for sure. Just as it made it easier for Leo and Cade to come with us back to Forks. But it's not like we let anyone into our family. If anyone of us hadn't believed in Jasper or thought that the Cullens were right in what they were doing...» I trailed of letting Angela and eavesdroppers come to their own conclusions of what I was going to say. «Come on. Class starts soon, and I for one don't want to be late. At lunch I want to hear everything about your date with Ben on Saturday.» Angela and I shared a smile as we parted ways and I was secretly hoping that Edward and Alice would leave me alone and that they had taken what I said to heart.
«Em! Why don't you sit with us?» I asked the big bear when he moved to sit with his siblings.
«Great!» the smile he sent me almost split his face in two. «Wasn't sure how much you wanted to do with me right now.» he added when he was closer and could speak with a lower voice, not knowing he could have whispered from across the room and I still would have heard him.
«I won't judge you for what those... leeches have done. You listened to what I said that night. Both nights actually. And I admire you for that. Just know that I was serious about what I said, both times. You better keep them far away from us. Neither Jake nor the Pack were ecstatic to hear how close 'hostile' vampires had been to a imprint, and I believe there now is a guard around on those few times when Jake is not there with Leo. You might also have found out that Jake sometimes accompanies Jasper when he goes hunting. Not sure what they are doing out there all the time, but my bet is that Jazz is teaching him some 'self-defense'.» I had spoken in such a tone that none of the other humans could hear what I was saying, but now I raised my voice back up to normal levels again. «You're siblings have been warned. More than once now. What they do with the knowledge that has been given to them is up to them. I just want them to know that as long as they keep their attitudes. That means not approaching me at school or anywhere else they might find me. You know some of my friends, I am sure I wouldn't have too much trouble arranging a transfer to La Push.» I smiled sweetly at Emmett, whom just happened to sit in my line of sight of the Cullen table.
«Message received. None were happy of the stunt they pulled. I am babysitting duty here at school, while I share that privilege with the others at home. They are never without supervision. Rose and I managed to convince the others how serious the situation was, but they quickly saw our side when we reminded them that the wolves could defend themselves by claiming that they were only protecting an imprint. And after we had lost two of our own there wouldn't be much we could do about that when the werewolves would greatly outnumber us.» The first part had been spoken in a normal voice in case there were someone that paid any attention to our conversation, that was anyone else than Tweedledee-Dum and Tweedledee-Dumber, the other part on the hand was whispered carefully making sure that no one that should listen heard what was being said.
«As long as everyone understands how serious things is and who has the upper-hand if things escalates. If the wolves isn't enough of a leverage against delusional vigilantes remember that we've got the God of War on our side too.»
Emmett looked at me strangely when I said the last part. «So he has really told you about his past? It's not something he likes to think about.»
«No wonder when he would constantly hear what a monster you all are and him especially. Ever thought that he might have had PTSD? What he went though was certainly traumatic enough and then living with you... I am amazed that Jazz isn't a nutcase already. But yes, I've been told everything about his ex and in return he has met mine.» I rolled my eyes when I head a faint growl. «Seriously?! Do I have to set fire to a certain appendage before he takes the hint?» I asked Emmett with nothing but seriousness in my voice. «I am not interested in the sick stalker. Not now, not ever. At the moment I can't even see us being friends.»
«Hopefully it won't come to that.» Emmett tried to reassure me, but I could see the amusement in his golden eyes.
«I would do it.» I told all three of them. «I never say anything unless I can see it through. Threats falls under 'anything' if you are wondering and has to have it spelled out for you. Experience has told me that some of you... Cold Ones are a little slow in the uptake.» It was no way to imagine it anymore; Emmett was practically shaking by suppressed laughter, probably caused by a one-sided taunting commentary. A guess that was supported by constipated look on Edward's face.
«Bella, what are your plans for this weekend? You want to come to the movies with us?» Mike directed his question to me with a playful eyebrow wiggle. We had quickly come to an agreement after I moved here that there would be nothing more between us than friendship and playful banter. That it happened to infuriate the two witches of Forks at the same time as being fun was just an added bonus.
«Nope, sorry. Already agreed to come down to the reservation this weekend. Maybe I can join you some other time?»
«That's a date then.» Mike smirked at me and I could almost swear that I saw hints of green in Lauren's eyes.
«In your dreams Newton.» I automatically replied.
«I rather be in yours.» Mike shot back immediately accompanied by a wink.
I leaned forward, my head resting in one of my hands. «As a matter of fact...» I trailed of suggestively.
«Yeah?» Mike leaned in closer and I could feel that the two of us had the attention of most of the students in our year.
«I did have a dream the other night where you were one of the main characters. Woke up all sweaty.» I saw Mike's eyes widen visibly while some of the others around the table drew shocked breaths of air. Ops. I forgot that I am not all that bold here in Forks. That's what happens when you spend so much time around people that are in the know and with similar sense of humor as me. No matter, people would get used to the new me, I just needed to tune it down a little for the near future. Let them see the real me gradually. But first I needed to finish my prank on Mike.
I stared him deeply into his eyes before slowly wetting my lips. «Mhm. Woke Charlie up with my screams.» I paused briefly as I watched Mike swallow quickly. «Worst nightmare I can remember having for years.»
It took the people that were listening a few seconds to comprehend what I has said, but when they finally did some of them laughed almost hysterically.
«Good one.» Mike chuckled. He was not offended just as I had known he wouldn't be.
«I thought so.» I grinned back.
«But just you wait Swan, I will get you back.» he mock threatened me.
«Looking forward to it.» I shot back and I truthfully did. One of the reasons why I had first been drawn to Mike had probably been because he reminded me of my boys back home. Same deal with Emmett. They were both loyal and with a wicked sense of humor. I never had to be afraid to say the wrong thing and offend them. «As long as you don't hurt my baby, neither of them. If you do... I'll promise you you'll be sorry.»
«Of course sweetheart. I never in my wildest dreams imagine doing anything like that. Scouts honor.» Mike promised me as he tried to execute the right salute.
«Wrong hand.» I as I watched him change hand mid-salute with sheepish smile.
The school bell cut of any more conversation as it signaled the end of lunch. Next class; gym. Great. A class that would normally be fun if I could go full out, but since the class was filled with humans that was the one thing I couldn't do. It was also the main reason why I played up my clutch moments; if I was a walking danger sign people would most often try to exclude me in sports related activities. That way I got to have all the fun watching the other occasionally make a fool of themselves a the same time as I didn't have to be too worried about overdoing it myself. And it was not like anyone would call Uncle Charlie's training program light weight, quite the opposite as a matter a fact. But now wasn't the time for any of that, that hell would come later, much later. Now there would probably be dodge-ball while Charlie quizzing me on the American Presidents or something similar. Or maybe the Civil War since he has Jasper with him. Oh boy. I'd probably regret introducing them at some point, I groaned to myself, but knew that I wouldn't change anything if I had the chance.
- Current Location:Norway
- Current Mood: sleepy
- Current Music:Rascal Flatts