A/N: Thanks to everyone who favorited, followed, and reviewed to Happily Ever After – Or Not? (Not sure if that's phrased right, though. Lol.) It means a lot to me, and I quite literally do a happy dance every time an alert for a favorite, follow, or review pops up! Thank you for your support, everyone. At the end of the story I plan to express my gratitude in greater detail. (Along with a list of everyone who favorite, followed, and reviewed.) So, enjoy chapter two!
DISCLAIMER: I in no way own anything Twilight related – My name is not Stephanie Meyer! I'm not that imaginative, trust me.
During the next few weeks, Edna Ann (WITHOUT an E, she made sure we knew) DeCuliner made my life a living hell. She was always as sweet as honey around Esme, Carlisle, and Edward, but they weren't around often – Suddenly Esme was busy with her work, meeting people and going over last-minute details, and Carlisle was needed at the hospital more. I had a feeling that they disliked Edna as much as the rest of us, but found different ways of coping as we did. Edward was teaching children piano, and the school decided that he was ready to start teaching the more advanced kids, with lessons ranging from an hour and a half to two hours. (Although how anyone could play piano for two hours straight I have no idea.) Rosalie didn't much like her from the start, but after she ruined Rose's pet card project, which had taken about three hundred decks of cards and three weeks and still wasn't finished, Rosalie loathed her, scheming to find ways of making Edna's life as hard as possible while with us. Alice hated her after Edna had said that she thought Alice's visions were useless, pointless, and needless. . . Then Edna went on to 'accidentally' ruin all Alice's new Gucci. How she did it, I have no idea, but I did hear something about scissors, mud, and cake icing.
Emmett took Rose's cue and loathed her as well, but not just because of the things she did to Rose's card mansion. Edna had stated that she thought video games were silly and pointless, and in his opinion, Edna was a wimp. His phrasing, not mine, although I whole heartedly agreed. Jasper spent more time than usual in his study with the door locked. Not like that would stop a vampire, of course, but at least that way he got privacy. Sometimes I envied him, being able to escape whenever he wanted or needed to. Edna was always treating me the worse, acting as if I was Cinderella and she the stepsister ("Oh, Bella, the living room floor is such a disgrace! Mop it!" or "Bella, be a dear and plug up my computer. NOW!") Worst of all, though, was Edward's blindness. All of us except Esme and Carlisle approached him five days in and begged him to do something about her. Edward declined, saying Edna was a perfectly nice girl, and were we sure we weren't just jealous?
Jasper's private spot didn't last long, though. One day about ten days after Edna arrived I was on my way to return one of Jasper's books that he had lent me, and the door was open, and I could hear Edna. "What a tacky little study! But I simply adore books. Oh, these are all on that trivial Civil War aren't they? What a pity." She simpered. I knew that Edna would be coming out that study door very soon, but the question was, would she be leaving of her own free will, or would Jasper literally kick her out? I made as if I was then walking up to the room, and sure enough, Edna came walking out rather quickly. "Hello, Edna." I greeted her. "Bella. Hello. Do you know, I was just noticing that this house is dreadfully dusty; I want you to have it dusted by tomorrow at noon. I'm having company." She said coldly, after making sure that Edward, Esme, nor Carlisle was around. I sighed, "Yes, Edna." I wasn't going to stoop to her level, and besides, she had already ripped off my thumbs after I refused to do one of her menial tasks.
She smirked then stalked off, and I continued on my way. Just before I got to Jasper's study, Jasper poked his head out. "Bella!" He said warmly. I half-way smiled, too depressed to try and smile for real, as I walked into his room. (We all had such spots – Jasper and Carlisle had studies, Emmett had a shed out back, Esme had her garden, Edward had a music room, Rosalie had a room full of boxes full of cards and her past glued-together creations, Alice had a room full of clothes and a little nook for whatever she did in there (Wedding planning? I know she had an internet business for that. Outfit coordinating? I never figured it out), and I simply had a little cozy room full of books and knickknacks. )
Jasper's study wasn't at all tacky – It was cozy. There was a cherry wood desk with miscellaneous papers and his laptop in the middle, and instead of walls, there were shelves full of books. There was a lot of brown and tan, with some green sprinkled in, and a nice aroma of leather and books when you inhaled. I turned and handed Jasper his book; He'd stayed in the doorway, looking in. "Thanks, it was a great book." I said, noticing his frown. "You're welcome." Jasper replied. Then he sighed. "Bella, I heard what she said to you. Why do you let her talk to you like that? It's not like you. Edna has gotten everyone feeling . . . Off. Don't try to deny it, Bella, you and I both know there's no point." He said firmly. I leaned against the desk in defeat. "I already tried standing up to her – It does no good. She ripped off my thumbs, and then made me mop the living room floor without them." I admitted, hanging my head.
I heard Jasper's sharp intake of breath, felt a breeze, and then his hands were lifting mine, examining the faint scars around my thumbs. He shook his head slowly. "I'm sorry, Bella." Jasper whispered, letting go of my hands. "It's fine, Jazz. Really. It's not like she's going to stay with us forever. . . Right?" I murmured, hoping to whatever higher power there was if there was one that what I had just said was true. "Bella, look at me." Jasper said, pushing my chin up so I was looking up at his face. "Edna is toying with us – With all of us. She's got you too scared and depressed to stand up for yourself, so she can order you around for her own amusement. She has Carlisle wondering if maybe our diet is that unnatural for vampires. She's got Rosalie pissed and reverting to her old ways. She has Emmett scared for his video games and all his shed stuff, and it's not easy to get Emmett scared. She's got Esme dry sobbing practically every day because of the way she treats all of us – And Esme's not even around for the worst of it! She has Alice hiding out in her room almost twenty four seven now to guard her clothes and Edna has me hiding in my study almost too scared to come out or to let anyone in. Everyone's emotions are telling me that you are definitely not happy campers, and Edna . . . Well, I'll count myself lucky if I don't have a mental breakdown. For instance, did you know that Edna's lust levels spike every time she sees a man that is around her age? And Bella, I hate to tell you this, but she has the major hots for your husband." Jasper said, shaking his head and moving his hand. "Yeah, I know she likes Edward. She told me so that first night." I scowled and added almost too low for Jasper to hear, "Understatement of the century."
After that, things worsened. Edna started verbally abusing me, and when I protested and called her names back, she ripped out my tongue. Emmett found me trying to figure out how to reattach it several hours later after I ended up cleaning the entire house, inside and out. Three days after that, two squirrels somehow got in Rosalie's card room and destroyed everything in it. At that little 'gift' from Edna, Rose and Em stayed in their rooms almost all the time. Edward started spending every moment he could with Edna. Jasper left on an extended hunting trip five days after the squirrel incident. I could feel the mating pull between Edward and me breaking down, but Edward never mentioned it. Three days after Jasper left I cornered my husband in desperation and demanded that he send Edna away. "Bella, are you sure you're not jealous?" was Edward's reply. I pushed my shield out from my mind and ran through the memories of everything Edna had said or done to me, and he glared at me. He glared at me! Me! For telling the truth! "Bella, we both know it's possible to lie with your thoughts." He said icily, and then he stormed away; Edward was planning on turning Edna vegetarian and that night was her first hunt our way.
The next room to be destroyed (This time by a raccoon) was mine. After I flung the raccoon out the window, I stood there looking at the mess. Almost all my sentimental knickknacks were broken or ruined. All the books were torn apart or trampled. It was a mess, a big, fat, tear-bringing, mess. I turned and started walking out of the room, dry heaving. "Oh, pull yourself together, bitch. What was in there, anyways? Just some dumb books and stupid junky clutter." Edna sneered. I snapped, and punched her in the nose, and then stood there stupidly. "Why, you fucking bitch!" Edna shrieked. I had a feeling that it was a good thing we were alone – Jasper was supposed to be coming back that day, and Rose, Em, and Alice were hunting. Esme and Carlisle were working. Edna jumped on me and tore off my right arm and my left ear, and probably was going to tear off more, but I grabbed my limbs and ran, dry sobbing from the pain – Both emotional and physical.
I ended up in a barn on an abandoned property about thirty miles west of the house. I curled up in the moldy old hay and continued the vampire version of crying, miserable and hurting. It wasn't just the loss of all my pretty, sentimental things, it was everything else too. All the verbal abuse, all the needless cleaning, all the torture, everything just came to the surface. I wanted Jasper. He never judged me, never said anything bad to me, never did any of that, he was just always there for me, always had a kind word, always knew what to say and do at the right time, was what Edward used to be, what Edward should have been. Jasper always knew if I needed to be comforted, or left to stew in my self-pity for a little while longer, if I wanted help or didn't. I just wanted Jasper, wanted him to hug me and tell me it was alright, wanted him to tell me it was going to be okay, wanted him to rub my back and let me bawl my misery out, then gently help me cheer up a little.
After about fifteen minutes of that, I became aware of someone enter the barn and sit down beside me. I automatically moved towards the familiar scent, and he obligingly moved, letting me put my head on his shoulder, clutch him to me with my one hand, and continue to let out my misery. After thirty more minutes, I wasn't dry crying any more, but I was mentally exhausted, so I didn't move. "You okay now, darlin'?" Jasper asked, breaking the silence. I sat up properly and nodded. "How did you find me?" I asked, and he shrugged. "I felt your sadness first, then heard you. After that, it was easy to find you. Edna again?" He said softly, licking my ear and holding it in place until the venom healed the wound. "Thanks. And yeah, Edna struck again." I said, venom welling up in my eyes as I reattached my arm. "Edna put a raccoon in my room, criticized it, I punched her, and she started tearing things off. I grabbed my arm and ear then ran." I summarized, and Jasper nodded – It was an unspoken rule in the Cullen household: Never criticize other people's rooms, along with never go in other's rooms unless given permission, never break anything in other people's rooms, so on and so forth.
It was right then I felt the last of the mating pull between me and Edward collapse. I gasped as I hunched forward, arms going around my chest. The pain was like being changed into a vampire, but multiply it by ten. It hadn't even hurt that much when Edward had left me. (For those of you who have read the books, I'm referring to the second one, the one Ms. Stephanie Meyer called New Moon) The pain eased slowly away, but I stayed in the same position, panting. "Bella! Are you alright?" I was aware of Jasper gripping my shoulders, worry coloring his tone as he felt everything I did: Shocked, betrayed, and still hurting. "Jasper, I don't know, I just felt the last of the mating pull crumble away." I babbled, still shocked. I looked up at Jasper's face. "Bella, do you mean to say that you had been feeling the mating pull between you and Edward disappear, and you kept this very important fact to yourself!?" Jasper asked, his voice rising. "Yes. . ." I replied with a gulp. Then I realized that I felt a deeper pull, one that was tugging, like it was saying exasperatedly, Hey, dummy, you should listen to this feeling! Not the fake one that messed you up royally! As I looked into Jasper's eyes, I realized that he felt it too, had maybe always felt it. Slowly, we started leaning toward each other. I tilted my head, closed my eyes, and our lips connected.
A/N: Dang, I feel rotten leavin' you with that cliffy and then having to spoil it all with this Author's Note. I'm pretty sure I said that the BellaXJasper (Or my pet name, Belasper) pairing would ge slow, but I couldn't help myself. Please, review and lemme know what you think!