"I gave you blood, blood, gallons of the stuff, I gave you all that you can drink and it has never been enough." ~Blood, My Chemical Romance
Chapter 121- Blood
As soon as Jasper and I got back, we noticed the very clear change in Bella's appearance. Color had returned to her cheeks. It was only a little bit, but it was still there. When Jasper and I appeared in the living room, Bella was talking to Carlisle about removing the needles. Her voice was rough, sure, but it was the loudest it'd been all day. Maybe the last two days.
"I'll take them out as soon as I can," Carlisle was promising Bella.
I went to go stand with Jacob. Jasper followed close behind, and buried his face into my neck.
"Honestly, they aren't doing that much good where they are," Carlisle continued. "I think the most that they're doing is making things harder for Alice."
He turned to me for confirmation, and I nodded.
"The blood that's going into her system will soon touch the contaminated magic if we're not careful. Then she'll be right back to where she was."
"So when should we take them out?" Rosalie asked.
"See if she can stomach that," I said, pointing to the cup, "then see if she can stomach real food. If she can do that, then I think it'd be safe to take them out. If she doesn't improve, then they will give her just enough nutrients to be alive, but just barely."
Carlisle nodded and turned back to Bella.
Is he alright, Pixie? Jacob asked, watching Jasper very carefully.
"He drank human blood for a long time," I said, running a hand through Jasper's hair. "He struggles with our diet, and the smell of the blood in that cup is overwhelming for him."
"So what happens when we go to talk?"
"I'll take him upstairs," I said. "If he's in the bedroom, then he'll have things that smell like me. It'll help."
Jasper and I sat on the floor. He pulled me into his lap and held onto me tightly. Jacob sat too.
When Jacob and I went silent, I noticed that he was starting to fall asleep. Bella noticed it too.
"Jake, you look awful," she croaked.
"Look who's talking."
"Seriously—when's the last time you slept?"
"Huh. I'm not actually sure."
"Aw, Jake. Now I'm messing with your health, too. Don't be stupid. Get some rest, there are a few beds upstairs—you're welcome to any of them."
"Thanks, Bells, but I'd rather sleep on the ground. Away from the stench, you know."
Bella's face twisted with annoyance.
Carlisle came back with a fresh cup of blood. Jasper tensed, and held onto me tighter.
"Shh," I murmured against his cheek. "Stay here with me, Jazz. Think of me and Teddy."
Jacob watched as Jasper relaxed and he turned to me.
He's why you guys left, isn't he?
I nodded, but didn't verbally respond.
"Are you doing alright?" I murmured to Jasper.
His eyes were locked on the cup that Bella held, but the second he spoke, his eyes snapped to mine.
"The smell," he murmured. "It's what makes me want it."
I pulled away from him slightly so I could look at him.
"Just keep your focus on me, Major."
Jasper smiled against my neck, but Jacob looked confused.
"It was his title when he was a soldier in the Civil War."
"What about you guys?" Jacob asked. "Did you guys have titles?"
I raised my hand and titled it from side to side.
"My cousin, Bellatrix, was his most loyal follower. She was his second in command."
"What were you?"
"Third. I was his most valuable soldier. Severus was close behind me."
Jacob and I were quiet for a moment. He started to doze off where he sat.
"Jacob, You really should sleep," Edward said. "As Bella said, you're certainly welcome to the accommodations here, though you'd probably be more comfortable outside. Don't worry about anything—I promise I'll find you if there's a need."
"I do," Edward said, answering an unheard thought.
Jacob raised to his feet and turned to me.
"Are you coming, Pixie?"
I turned back to Jasper, and gave him my wedding rings.
"Hold on to these for me?"
Jasper nodded and he pulled me closer. He gave me a quick peck on the lips before he sucked in a large breath of air.
"Get her a blanket or something," Jacob muttered as the two of us headed for the door.
Before we made it outside, there were two sharp howls in the air. Jacob and I turned to each other.
"Dammit," Jacob growled, before the both of us hurried outside and shifted.
What is it? Jacob demanded, as he and I ran through the trees.
Incoming, Seth responded. At least three.
I'm running the line back to Seth at the speed of light. So far, no other point of attack.
Seth, do not challenge them.
Wait for me.
They're slowing. Ugh—it's so off not being able to hear them. I think…
I think they've stopped.
Waiting for the rest of the pack? I asked Jacob.
Shh. Feel that? Seth asked.
Jacob and I were quiet. I felt the same thing in the air that I felt when Jacob had left earlier.
It feels like it, Seth said.
Got your back, bro, Leah said.
They're coming, Seth said. Walking.
Alice and I are almost there
Why exactly is she here? Leah asked.
I was going to talk to Jacob when we heard your howls. Since I'm in no danger, and the three of you have given up so much for us, I figured I'd help.
Thank you, Alice, Seth said.
Don't thank me yet, I said, shaking my head.
Jacob had a million thoughts racing through his head. The most prominent one were about Seth and Leah's safety.
Look who's getting all paternal, Leah thought with a smug voice.
Head in the game, Leah.
Four, Seth decided. Three wolves, one man
Alice, can you even it out? You could take them all at once if they attacked.
You got it.
Jacob and I broke through the clearing then. As soon as we made it, I shifted back, smoothing out my dress.
How is she going to protect us? Leah snapped. She doesn't have her wand.
She doesn't need it, Jacob said. I watched as Seth came up to Jacob's right side, and Leah sulked to his left.
So now I rank under Seth, she grumbled to herself.
First come, first served. 'Sides, you were never an Alpha's Third before. Still an upgrade.
Under my baby brother is not an upgrade.
Shh! Jacob hissed. I don't care where you stand. Shut up and get ready.
They came into view a few seconds later. The human was Jared. He looked at me surprised and put his hands up. Jacob tried figuring out Sam's reason for the people he sent.
A diversion? Leah thought. Do you want me to check? I can run the line and be back in two minutes.
Should I warn the Cullens? Seth wondered.
What if the point was to divide us? Jacob asked. The Cullens know something's up. They're ready.
Sam wouldn't be so stupid…
No, he wouldn't, Jacob thought.
I stood quietly as the wolves pondered Sam's strategy. Jared watched me carefully before turning back to Jacob.
"White flag of truce, Jake. We're here to talk."
Think it's true? Seth asked.
Makes sense, but…
Yeah, Leah agreed. But.
"It would be easier to talk if I could hear you, too."
"That's why I'm here," I said. "I'll translate."
"Alice," Jared greeted, with a small smile at me. "Sam hoped we'd get to see you."
There won't be a need to translate, Alice, Jacob thought to me. They'll talk, we'll listen. Only tell him what I tell you too.
"If that's how you're sure you want to do it," I said. "Remember, I'm just here to help."
"What is it?"
I turned to Jacob.
"Jacob says that he will listen to what you have to say. I'll be here to translate if they have something they want to say. Otherwise, it'll be you doing the talking."
"Okay. I guess I'll just talk, then," Jared said. "Jake, we want you to come back."
One of the wolves behind Jared, who I was almost sure was Quil, let out a low whine.
"You've torn our family apart," Jared continued, "It's not meant to be this way. We know that you feel… strongly about the situation with the Cullens. We know that's a problem. But this is an overreaction."
Overreaction? And attacking our allies without warning isn't?
Seth, have you ever heard of a poker face? Cool it.
Jared looked at me to translate. I turned to Jacob who shook his head.
"Sam is willing to take this slowly, Jacob. He's calmed down, talked to the other Elders. They've decided that immediate action is in no one's best interest at this point."
Translation, Leah thought, they've already lost the element of surprise.
"Billy and Sue agree with you, Jacob, that we can wait for Bella… to be separated from the problem. Killing her is not something any of us feel comfortable with."
Jacob snarled now, and Jared raised his hands again.
"Easy, Jake. You know what I mean. The point is, we're going to wait and reassess the situation. Decide later if there's a problem with the… thing."
"That's what I wanted to talk to Jacob about," I said, shifting my weight. "I started thinking about it, and it won't be much longer until it's time for Bella to deliver. I figured we could deliver the fetus, and Jacob could bring the child to you to destroy it. While he's doing that, I help save Bella, then take her's and Rosalie's memories. They'd think that Bella actually did get sick, and that it almost killed her before Edward and I worked to save her."
"It's a good plan."
Leah gave a bark of laughter.
You don't buy it? Jacob asked.
I think Alice's plan is great, she said slowly. I could tell that it hurt her to compliment me. But I know what they're thinking, Jake. What Sam's thinking. They're betting on Bella dying anyway. And then they figure you'll be so mad…
That I'll lead the attack myself.
"So my idea, you don't think they'll go for it?"
They might, Leah said. But I think they're counting on the idea that you can't save her. You told Jacob that it was possible that you couldn't. They're hoping that if you can't save her, then the Cullens will exile you, and you'll turn on them.
I sucked in a deep breath and nodded.
Alice, I'm going to phase back. Talk to them myself.
"Are you sure?"
I think it'd be easier that way. You're free to go if you want.
"I should stay," I said. "That way I can give a report. Edward will have my head if I don't stay until the end. Don't worry, I have a solution."
I waved a hand and showed Jacob the blindfold.
Leah snickered, and Jacob turned to her.
Leah, make a circuit, just to be sure. I'm going to have to talk to him, and I want to be positive there isn't anything else going on while I'm phased.
Give me a break, Jacob. You can phase in front of me. Despite my best efforts, I've seen you naked before—doesn't do much for me, so no worries.
I'm not trying to protect the innocence of your eyes, I'm trying to protect our backs. Get out of here.
"Alice, what's happening?" Jared asked, as I tied the blindfold around my eyes. "Where is she going?"
"Jacob is going to phase. He says it's easier."
As Leah took off, and Jacob ensured my blindfold was on, he turned back to Jared. I could feel it in the air as he phased back.
"Thanks for talking to me."
"We want you to come back, man."
The wolf from before whined again.
"I don't know if it's that easy, Jared."
"Come home. We can sort this out. You don't belong here. Let Seth and Leah come home, too."
Jacob gave a small laugh.
"Right. Like I haven't been begging them to do that from hour one."
"So, what now, then?"
I could hear the millions of thoughts running through Jacob's head.
Jared didn't speak. He waited.
"I don't know. But I'm not sure things could just go back to normal anyway, Jared. I don't know how it works—it doesn't feel like I can just turn this Alpha thing off and on as the mood strikes. It feels sort of permanent."
"You still belong with us."
"Two Alphas can't belong in the same place, Jared. Remember how close it got last night? The instinct is too competitive."
"So are you all just going to hang out with the parasites for the rest of your lives?" he demanded. I flinched at the harshness of his words. "You don't have a home here. You're already out of clothes. You gonna stay wolf all the time? You know Leah doesn't like eating that way."
"Leah can do whatever she wants when she gets hungry. She's here by her own choice. I'm not telling anyone what to do."
"Sam is sorry about what he did to you."
"I'm not angry anymore."
"But I'm not coming back, not now. We're going to wait and see how it plays out, too. And we're going to watch out for the Cullens for as long as that seems necessary. Because, despite what you think, this isn't just about Bella. We're protecting those who should be protected. And that applies to the Cullens, too. Alice and Jasper have a son that they have to go back home too. We're going to have an already orphaned child lose another set of parents because of a decision they had no part in making?"
"I guess there's nothing I can say to you, then."
"Not now. We'll see how things go."
Jared was quiet for a moment.
"Sue asked me to tell you—no, to beg you—to come home. She's brokenhearted, Seth. All alone. I don't know how you and Leah can do this to her. Abandon her this way, when your dad just barely died—"
I could hear Seth whimpering. Part of me wanted to console the teenager. I knew what it was like to have a parent die. It was hard to live with. It was even harder when people used it against you.
"Ease up, Jared," Jacob snapped.
"Just letting him know how it is."
"Right. Sue's known about this for how many hours now? And most of that time spent with Billy and Old Quil and Sam? Yeah, I'm sure she's just perishing from loneliness. 'Course you're free to go if you want, Seth. You know that."
Alice, Seth called, asking for my attention. I turned in the direction his voice came from. Tell Jacob I'm staying with him. It's the right thing to do.
"What'd he say?"
"He says he's staying. That it's the right thing to do." I paused as Seth and I listened. "Leah's almost back. She'll be here in a second."
I could hear Leah's trotting as she came up on my side. I felt her fur brush across my hand as she passed. I was positive that she was going to Seth.
"Leah says it's all clear," I murmured to Jacob.
"Leah?" Jared asked, speaking over me. I could hear growling. "Leah, you know you don't want to be here."
She snarled at him.
"Sorry. Guess I shouldn't assume. But you don't have any ties to the bloodsuckers"
There was a pause and then Jared said: "So you want to watch out for Seth, I get that. But Jake's not going to let anything happen to him, and he's not afraid to be , please, Leah. We want you back. Sam wants you told me to beg. He told me to literally get down on my knees if I have to. He wants you home, Lee-lee, where you belong."
There was snarling and barking from Leah. I was almost positive that they had started to attack. I threw my hands out in front of me, but Jacob caught my wrists.
They're not attacking, Alice. Lee-lee is Sam's old nickname for Leah when they were together. It kinda strikes a nerve for her.
I returned my hands to my side.
"Sorry about that. Not being able to see makes it difficult. I have to rely on sound instead."
"So take off the blindfold," Jared said.
"No. That's disrespectful to Jacob and to my husband. I trust Jacob enough to guide me through everything until we can get him some clothes."
"Clothes," Jared repeated.
"He's about the same build as Emmett. I can get him some of the clothes Emmett doesn't wear anymore. Use a few charms to get the smell out, and size it to him, and we'll be good to go."
"And Seth and Leah?"
"Seth is closer to Jasper's size. Again, all it will take is a few spells. As for Leah, she's about Esme's size. Maybe Rosalie's. And I heard you mention that Leah isn't fond of hunting in her wolf form. She's more than welcome to use my house-elf. Kreacher would be more than happy to go to make her some food or order some from London."
"You have it all figured out."
"I think that it'd be safe to assume that Leah belongs wherever she wants to be," Jacob interjected, tearing Jared's attention away from me.
"Look, Jared, we're still family, okay? We'll get past the feud, but, until we do, you probably ought to stick to your land. Just so there aren't misunderstandings. Nobody wants a family brawl, right? Sam doesn't want that, either, does he?"
"Of course, not," Jared snapped. "We'll stick to our land. But where is your land, Jacob? Is it vampire land?"
"No, Jared. Homeless at the moment. But don't worry—this isn't going to last forever. There's not that much time… left. Okay? As soon as they can fake Alice's death the Cullens will go, and Seth and Leah will come home."
"So at the latest, May?"
"February," I corrected. "I don't think Jasper and I are welcome there anymore."
"And what about you, Jake?"
"Back to the forest, I think. I can't really stick around La Push. Two Alphas means too much tension. 'Sides, I was headed that way anyway. Before this mess."
"What if we need to talk?" Jared asked.
"Howl—but watch the line, 'kay? Alice has warding up and it won't be a pleasant experience. We'll come to you. And Sam doesn't need to send so many. We aren't looking for a fight."
Jared was quiet for a moment. I could see through Jacob's eyes that he was scowling.
"See you around, Jake. Or not."
"Wait, Jared. Is Embry okay?"
"Embry? Sure, he's fine. Why?"
"Just wondering why Sam sent Collin."
"That's not really your business anymore, Jake."
"Guess not. Just curious."
"I'll let Sam know about your… instructions. Goodbye, Jacob."
"Yeah. Bye, Jared. Hey, tell my dad that I'm okay, will you? And that I'm sorry, and that I love him."
"I'll pass that along."
"C'mon, guys," Jared said.
I could hear a small yelp.
"Yeah, I miss you, too, bro," Jacob was saying."It'll be okay."
There was a whine.
"Tell Embry I miss having you two on my flanks."
So it was Quil.
Leah snorted. I wondered what was happening. Through Seth's eyes this time, I saw Jacob and the chocolate brown wolf with his nose on Jacob's forehead.
Quil raised his head, and looked up behind him.
"Yeah, go home."
Alice, can you hear me? Quil asked.
"Yes, I can hear you."
Can you tell Jacob that I love him? After I go I mean?
"Yeah, I'll tell him."
I felt Quil's fur brush against my hand.
Keep him safe, Alice. Keep all three of them safe.
I patted his head.
"I will. I swear."
Sam said he's going to call you. He wants to talk to you personally.
"Okay. I'll be waiting."
The length of Quil's body ran under my hand. I felt the air shift.
You can open your eyes now, Alice.
I untied the blindfold and looked down.
"Quil asked me to tell you that he loves you."
What did you swear to him?
"That I'd keep the three of you safe."
Thought you were going to make out with him, Leah snickered.
Was that okay? Jacob asked them. I didn't want to assume anything. I didn't want to be like Jared that way. Did I say anything you didn't want me to? Did I not say something I should have?
You did great, Jake! Seth encouraged.
You could have hit Jared, Leah thought. I wouldn't have minded that.
I guess we know why Embry wasn't allowed to come, Seth thought.
Jake, didya see Quil? He's pretty torn up, right? I'd put ten to one that Embry's even more upset. And Embry doesn't have a Claire. There's no way Quil can just pick up and walk away from La Push. Embry might. So Sam's not going to take any chances on him getting convinced to jump ship. He doesn't want our pack any bigger than it is now.
Really? You think? I doubt Embry would mind shredding some Cullens.
As Jacob spoke, I caught the imagery inside his head of the wolves, their pack whole again, fighting me. I flinched, but Jacob and Leah didn't seem to notice. Seth did.
But he's your best friend, Jake. He and Quil would rather stand behind you than face you in a fight.
Well, I'm glad Sam kept him home, then. This pack is big , then. So we're good, for now. Seth, you mind keeping an eye on things for a while? Leah and I both need to crash. This felt on the level, but who knows? Maybe it was a distraction.
"I should head back," I said, my voice barely above a whisper. "Jasper needs me."
Alice, wait! Seth thought. I want to talk to you.
I shook my head.
"Later. Jasper needs me."
Alice! Jacob called.
I watched the three wolves before Disapparating away.
Jasper was still in the living room where I had left him. He was curled up with his face hidden by his knees, which were tucked into his chest.
I crouched down at his side, and pressed my lips against his temple.
"I'm going to get some clothes for the wolves," I said. "Do you mind if I lay some of your clothes out for Seth?"
Jasper looked up to me, and shook his head.
"Is everything okay?"
"They just wanted to talk."
"Are you okay?"
"I'll explain once we're upstairs."
Edward looked up at me, and raised an eyebrow.
"It's nothing regarding Bella," I said. My voice seemed to match the way his voice sounded earlier.
"Are you okay?"
"Fine. Emmett, Esme, can I borrow some of your clothes for the wolves?"
Esme and Emmett both nodded.
"Alice, thank you for making the offer. For the clothes and the food."
"I don't think it'll make much of a difference coming from me. Get Edward to try."
"Jacob is your friend," Edward frowned.
I shook my head.
"I thought so, but I thought wrong. I'm alone here." I looked directly at Bella as I spoke.
Nobody else said anything as I turned on my heel, heading up the stairs.
Jasper followed quickly behind.
"Alice?" he asked, when we were safely behind the sound charms that started at the bedroom doorway. "What is it? What's wrong?"
"Nothing," I said, shaking my head. "Nothing important."
"What was that about downstairs?"
I sucked in a shaky breath.
"I counted on the wrong people to be my friends."
"Stop being cryptic," Jasper snapped, wrapping his hand around my wrist. "Talk to me!"
I didn't face Jasper, and I didn't answer right away. I didn't know how to explain it.
"It's not important," I whispered, shaking him off of me. "The focus should be on Bella."
Jasper gave a snarl of irritation.
"You said you'd tell me when we got up here."
"Then I changed my mind," I said. "The focus should be on Bella. That's what's important. Edward won't be happy that you're distracted."
"I don't give a damn!" Jasper yelled. "I want to know why my wife is upset! That's all I care about!"
"The focus should be on Bella," I repeated, watching the ground. "That's what's important. Edward won't be happy that you're distracted."
Jasper snarled again before stalking out the room. He slammed the door shut behind him.
I left the bedroom not long after to go get clothes for Jacob and Leah. I could hear Jasper talking downstairs.
"I don't know what's wrong!"
"Because she won't talk to me, Edward!" Jasper cried. "She's so worried about you jumping down her throat for taking her attention off of Bella for a fraction of a second that she won't tell me what happened!"
"Bella, were you thinking about something when Alice came in?" Edward asked gently.
"No," Bella said. "Not that I can think of."
"She closed off her mind before she came. I can't hear her. Maybe something happened in the woods."
"Where's Jacob at then?" Jasper asked. "I'll talk to him if I can't get an answer from you."
"I'll talk to Jacob," Edward said. "Maybe he can tell me. He's on his way back."
I hurried into Emmett and Rosalie's room as Emmett asked for Jasper's help with research again. I didn't want to be in the way when Jasper came up here. I hadn't seen him that angry in a long time. I hated that I was on the receiving end of it.
I stopped by Esme and Carlisle's room last, and I slipped out of their half open window. I laid Jacob's clothes closer to the door where I was sure he'd see them. Then I Disapparating away to the attic, where I pulled the blanket over my head.
Almost five minutes had passed when Jacob came through the door.
"Where's Alice?" Jacob asked Edward.
"We don't know where she went after she dropped the clothes off outside."
"Did she leave?"
"We don't know."
"Can you hear her?"
Edward was quiet. I pictured him shaking his head.
"She closed her mind off from me so I couldn't hear her. I was wondering if you could tell me why she's so upset. Jasper tried, but she won't talk to him. She just keeps telling him it's not important."
"It's my fault," Jacob sighed. "I was talking to Seth and Leah about my friend Embry. I had made a remark about how Embry wouldn't have an issue with killing you guys. Despite the pack having a liking for Alice, he still believes that the child shouldn't have been created. I had this image in my head that I had thought of for if we ever fought. We'd all have to come at Alice at once. She saw it. I didn't even realize until Seth said something after she disappeared."
"She said she made a mistake in believing she has friends here."
"Do you really not know where she is?"
There was another silence again.
"Jake, I wouldn't worry about Alice. She'll have her fit and then she'll come around again." Bella said. "You should go get some sleep. You look like you're going to pass on on the floor any second."
Jacob was quiet for a moment.
"You're feeling towards Alice has changed," he stated. "I thought you two were like this."
"Circumstances changed. She wants to kill my baby. She's power hungry."
"Alice? Please, she wouldn't hurt a fly."
Jasper snarled from the room below me.
"He'll always come to her defense," Bella said. "But you'll see. Once something big happens, she'll reappear. If she thinks the baby is coming, she'll be first in line to kill it."
"I think I'll be going to sleep then. If you see her, tell her to come wake me."
"Where's the flood, mutt?" Rosalie asked.
"You know how you drown a blonde, Rosalie?" Jacob asked. "Glue a mirror to the bottom of a pool."
I heard Edward chuckle. The once tense atmosphere downstairs was gone.
"Where are you going?" Bella was asking downstairs.
"There was something I forgot to say to him," Edward said.
Alice, Edward thought. I don't know where you are, or if you can hear me, but I'm going to extend your offer again.
"Let Jacob sleep," Bella said, "it can wait."
"It will only take a moment."
I stood up, letting the blanket fall to the ground. No doubt Jasper heard it drop.
I watched as Edward hurried across the yard to Jacob.
"Jeez, what now?"
"I'm sorry," Edward said quietly. "I'm hoping that by doing what she asks for once, Alice wouldn't be so angry with me."
"She isn't angry with you," Jacob said with a frown.
"Yes, she is. She won't talk to Jasper because she knows I want everyone's focus on Bella."
"Jasper and the Pixie fight?"
"Not often. I don't think they've fought in over a year."
"But they're fighting now?"
"Actually they're not speaking right now."
"Damn it," Jacob groaned. "Okay. What'd Alice send you out here for?"
"When you were speaking to Sam's delegates earlier," he murmured, "I was giving a play-by-play for Carlisle and Esme and the rest. They were concerned—"
"Look, we're not dropping our guard. You don't have to believe Sam like we do. We're keeping our eyes open regardless."
"No, no, Jacob. Not about that. We trust your judgment. Rather, Esme was troubled by the hardships this is putting your pack through. She asked me to speak to you privately about it."
"The homeless part, particularly. She's very upset that you are all so… bereft."
"We're tough. Tell her not to worry."
"She'd still like to do what she can. I got the impression that Leah prefers not to eat in her wolf form?"
"Well, we do have normal human food here, Jacob. Keeping up appearances, and, of course, for Bella and Alice's house-elf, Kreacher. Leah is welcome to anything she'd like. All of you are."
"Alice already offered."
"Yes, but now Alice is under the impression that you're not her friend, so you won't take up the offer because she gave it."
"No, that's not it at all. I like Alice."
"She doesn't know that."
"Is she nearby?"
"Then I'm sure she can hear us."
"Leah hates us."
"So try to pass it along in such a way as to make her consider it, if you don't mind."
"I'll do what I can."
"And then there's the matter of clothes."
"Oh yeah. Tell Alice I said thanks."
"Well, we're easily able to help out with any needs she was growing up with Remus, she didn't get new clothes often, and she had to learn how to make clothes so she wouldn't have to go to school with patched clothes. The worry about things ripping carried with her into this life, so Alice rarely allows us to wear the same thing twice. We've got piles of brand-new clothes that are destined for Goodwill, and I'd imagine that Leah is fairly close to Esme's size. When Alice laid out some clothes for Seth and Leah, she used Esme for Leah and Jasper for Seth."
"Not sure how she'll feel about bloodsucker castoffs. She's not as practical as I am."
"I trust that you can present the offer in the best possible light. As well as the offer for any other physical object you might need, or transportation, or anything else at all. And showers, too, since you prefer to sleep outdoors. Please… don't consider yourselves without the benefits of a home."
"That's, er, nice of you. Tell Esme we appreciate the, uh, thought. But the perimeter cuts through the river in a few places, so we stay pretty clean, thanks."
"If you would pass the offer on, regardless."
From downstairs, I could hear a small cry of pain from Bella, and a small crack.
"Alice!" Edward called running through the house. "Please!"
I sighed, and headed out from the attic.
At the top of the stairs, I paused. The headache was stronger now. I wondered if the strength of the fetus correlated with the strength of the headache. I crouched down onto the floor, and Jacob watched me.
"Not now, Jacob," I groaned, squeezing my temples.
"Alice, please," Edward begged. "I don't care if you don't talk to me for the next hundred years. Just please help me."
I moved slowly down the stairs. The closer I got the stronger the headache got. Suddenly, halfway down the stairs, I felt a numbness. I turned and looked behind me to see Jasper standing there. His face was angry, but the headache wasn't as bad.
"Thank you," I mumbled, standing up.
"Running away isn't the answer, Mary Alice," he said, following me down the stairs. "Do what you have to do here, and then you will talk to me."
"Okay, Jasper," I whispered.
Jasper stood against the wall, while I stepped closer to Bella, grabbing the wand I had left on the coffee table.
I've never heard him call you Mary Alice before. Jacob thought sleepily. Actually, I don't think I've heard anybody call you Mary Alice.
"He only calls me that when he's upset with me," I mumbled to Jacob. "The only people who call me Mary Alice regularly are the centaurs at Hogwarts." I paused to glance at Jasper. "I think upset is an understatement though."
How long do you think he'll stay mad?
"I don't know," I sighed. "But I don't like it."
I pulled up the spell, and studied it carefully. .
"There is a broken rib," I told Carlisle, showing him the imaging. "From the looks of things, it hasn't punctured anything, so I think she's good there."
"Is there any way we can keep the fetus from breaking her ribs?" Edward asked.
"I made a version of Skele-gro for Jacob. To help correct and strengthen the bones. It's what I've been giving Bella when the bones break."
"Thought you said you didn't see the point in continuing it?" Bella said.
"I said that for the bruise paste."
"So why hasn't she been given the Skele-gro?"
"Because nothing's been broken."
I turned to the table where bottles of potions were sitting. After finding the Skele-gro, I poured it into a cup and handed it to Bella.
"Drink this, and it'll be healed within the hour."
"Thank you, Alice."
"I want to get an x-ray while it's still broken," Carlisle said. "For comparison to test the strength of the fetus."
Bella nodded, and Rosalie picked her up. I stepped out of the way as Edward and Rosalie snapped back and forth. Jacob leaned up on the wall beside Jasper and slid down it.
"Can we talk?" Jacob asked me.
"Later. After you get some sleep. Do you want a pillow?"
"No, thank you though."
"That doesn't look comfortable," I said, disapprovingly.
"So why don't you move?"
"You can't keep avoiding me, Mary Alice," Jasper said in a low voice.
"If you'll excuse me," I said slowly to Jacob, "it would appear that I'm in trouble. When my husband is finished chewing me out, do you mind if I come sit next to you? It helps with the headache."
"I guess not," Jacob said. "It stinks anyways…although you don't stink like the others. You smell different. Almost good."
"Thank you," I said with a small laugh.
"So you have a headache?"
He was trying to delay my talk with Jasper. I was thankful for that.
"The fetus is causing it. I can't see it, just like I can't see you. Bella and Rosalie are in the way. Their futures are fuzzy because they chose that thing. "
"Well, I'm happy to be of service," he said.
"Thanks," I smiled. "That's going to be the next best thing since I can't take an aspirin. I'd take a sleeping potion, but I don't want to sleep all day."
"I may need one of those at the rate I'm going," Jacob said.
"Well we'll let you sleep now," Jasper said, closing his hand around my wrist, careful to keep me from disappearing.
Good luck, Pixie.
I headed for the stairs and Jasper followed. We headed straight for the bedroom, and Jasper shut the door once we were inside.
I climbed onto the bed, and rolled onto my stomach, burying my face in Jasper's pillow that I pulled onto my side. Jasper sat on his side of the bed.
"Today was supposed to be a happy day," Jasper murmured.
"And I've ruined it?" I mumbled into the pillow.
"I never said that."
"You thought it."
"I didn't mean it."
He laid down next to me, and rested a hand on my back.
"Can you look at me?"
I knew I was acting like a child, but I couldn't help it.
"It's hard to talk to the side of your head. I want to see my wife's face. Please?"
His voice was quiet, soothing, and very convincing. I wanted to give my angel anything and everything he wanted.
I moved my head to face him, hugging the pillow very close to me.
"There she is," Jasper murmured, stroking my cheek with his thumb.
I closed my eyes. I couldn't look at him.
"I'm sorry," I whispered. "I didn't mean alone."
"I know, baby," he murmured. "I just want to know what's wrong."
I was quiet. I couldn't tell him what was wrong because I didn't know myself. I never had an issue with people not liking me before. Yet it was something about the image in Jacob's head that upset me. Or maybe it was that Bella had compared me to Voldemort, somebody who I never wanted to be.
"Talk to me, baby, please," Jasper though my eyes were closed, I could tell he had moved closer. I could smell his breath, and I could feel it against my lips. "Can you open your eyes?"
I shook my head again.
I scooted closer to him though. As close as I could get.
"I can live with this," he murmured.
"Please don't be angry with me," I whispered. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. I know I'm not alone here. I have you. I think it's the stress of things. I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders. Edward wants me to fix this, and I want to be able to do that for him, but I'm still a person. I still feel things."
"I know," he murmured. "Let me take a little bit of the weight off of your shoulders. Talk to me."
"I don't know if it's the image I saw in Jacob's head that upset me, or if it was the way Bella compared me to Voldemort," I said, repeating my thoughts from earlier. "Voldemort is the one person I never wanted to be like, yet now I can't shake the feeling that expanding my powers was a mistake."
"No," Jasper murmured. "You're nothing like him."
"You didn't know him. Not like I do."
"No, I don't," he agreed. "But I can imagine him."
I sighed, and rolled away from Jasper, pulling the key from around my neck.
"I wanted to believe that the wolves and I were friends. Or at least Seth, Jacob, and Sam. It would have been nice to have someone in my corner."
I unlocked the cabinet, and pulled the pensive.
"The girl who will live forever," I murmured. "Forever seems awfully short these days."
I put my wand to my head, and pulled the memories of Voldemort from it, and dropped it into the pensieve.
"Come look for yourself," I told Jasper, nodding my head.
"Are you coming with me?"
I shook my head.
"No. I'll be here waiting though. I don't want my input to cloud your beliefs."
Jasper sighed, and stuck his head into the pensieve. I returned to the bed, holding his pillow tightly, and pulling one of the blankets that was left on the bed over my head, waiting for Jasper to return.
I couldn't deny that I saw certain similarities between Voldemort and myself. Once I started expanding my powers, I was hungry to expand them further. Hungry to continue learning. I didn't start expanding them for power, but I wondered what I would do when I was at my limits. I hoped that at the end, there would still be room to grow. New discoveries were being made everyday, and if I reached my total capabilities, then what?
When Jasper returned, he came back to the bed, and pulled me into his arms.
"I don't see the similarities that Bella sees," he murmured.
"What do you mean?"
"I'm starting to develop a hunger for power. I didn't notice it before. Not until I was left alone with my thoughts."
"Left alone?" Jasper laughed.
"Left alone, ran away from my problems. See it how you will. You get what I mean."
"No. I don't see what you mean. I don't see a hunger for power, I see a hunger for knowledge."
"What's the difference? Who says I stop at light magic?"
"Mary Alice, I know you. You're not a bad person."
"You don't know what I'm capable of."
"Yes I do," he said. "You've told me, and shown me."
For the first time, I looked up at Jasper, pulling the blanket off of my head.
"You know what I've done. Not what I'm capable of doing."
"Why do you want me to believe that you're a bad person?" Jasper asked, glaring at me. "Are you hoping I'll leave?"
"Maybe you're better off leaving me," I sighed, closing my eyes again. "I won't weigh you down."
"You don't weigh me down," he growled.
"What are you trying to achieve here? What are you going to tell our son about why his father disappeared?"
"I think we made a mistake," I whispered. "I love Teddy, but I wouldn't be a good mother for him."
Jasper rolled off the bed, and headed for the door.
"Where are you going?" I asked.
"To talk to Edward."
Jasper slammed the door again.
Guess the talk didn't go so well, Edward thought from somewhere in the house.
"Edward," Jasper growled, moving downstairs. "A word. Now."
"Jasper?" Bella asked. "What's wrong?"
"Nothing that concerns you," Jasper snapped.
"Jasper, calm down," Edward said. "We can talk about this. Okay? Let's go somewhere, and let's talk."
"I don't want to talk!" Jasper snarled. "I want you to fix what your wife caused!"
"Okay," Edward said quietly.
"What I caused?" Bella asked. "I didn't do anything."
"You got the idea in Alice's head that she's like Voldemort," Jasper snapped. "She wants to leave me and Teddy."
"And you blame me?"
"Yes because if you considered the feelings of anyone other than yourself for once, and look at all that she's done for you, then you wouldn't have crushed her heart."
"What has she done for me?"
"If I remember correctly, the second she saw you jump off that cliff, she came back to make sure you were alive. She then led you back to Edward. If it weren't for her, we wouldn't have come back."
Bella was quiet. Everyone downstairs was quiet.
"I'll go talk to her," Edward whispered after a moment.
Edward moved quickly through the house before knocking on the bedroom door.
"Come in," I mumbled.
The door opened and closed from behind me, and I could hear Edward dragging a chair across the room, and stopping it at my head.
"Hey, you," he murmured.
"I know Jasper sent you up here."
"He wasn't exactly quiet."
"None of you were."
Edward pulled the corner of the blanket down.
"You know, I only see you like this around the anniversary of the war. You're eight months too early."
"You're not funny," I said, opening my eyes.
"Talk to me."
"You're just going to tell me that Bella didn't mean it," I sighed. "You're always going to come to her defense."
"Not on this. Alice, you don't really want Jasper to leave, do you?"
"No," I sighed. "I want him to stay with me forever."
"But I feel like I hold him back. He could do so much more if he wasn't always here with me."
"Alice, he loves you."
"I know he does. But think about everything he could do."
"He could do those things with you. Alice, I'm sorry. Bella crossed a line this time, and I'm going to talk to her about it."
"She was right though," I said, rolling on my back and looking up to the ceiling. "I'm becoming like him, and I didn't notice it."
I sighed, and turned back to him.
"You're just trying to make me feel better."
"No, I really do mean it."
I didn't respond right away.
"I don't understand," Bella was saying from downstairs. "It's just a fit. She'll get over it—"
"Has Edward really told you nothing about her?"
"She told me everything."
"Not everything," Rosalie said.
"When Helen and Tobias first brought Alice back to 1948, the war had just ended. When I had found her, I noticed that the transformation didn't heal her brain."
"Her brain," Bella repeated. "So what are you expecting me to believe? That Alice is depressed?"
"She is," Carlisle said. " It's gotten better over the years. Some days are worse than others."
"We also believe that she may have a form of Shellshock," Rosalie mumbled.
"Don't you understand what you've done?" Jasper hissed. "I had her in a good place. She was happy. We were going to have a son. Now she wants me to leave. She wants to go back on adopting Teddy and disappear because you got into her head."
"That's not what I was trying to do," Bella whispered.
"Why didn't you tell her?" I asked, turning back to Bella.
"Because it's something you don't like to talk about. I figured if you wanted her to know, you'd tell her. Why didn't you tell her?"
"I didn't want her to think I was weak."
"I would have made sure she knew it. You're the strongest person I know."
"I think your opinion of that is going to change."
"When Bella survives this, then you'll tell her she's the strongest person you know."
Edward was quiet. He knew I was right.
"What can I do to make things better?"
"Can you tell Jasper I'm sorry?"
"Why don't you tell him?"
"He doesn't want to talk to me right now." I sighed and shook my head. "Not that I blame him. I was trying to make him leave, go back on adopting Teddy."
"Why did you want to go back on adopting Teddy?"
"I wouldn't be a good mother," I sighed. "Not when I'm like this."
"You're going to be a great mother. Teddy loves you. I don't think he'd care. I think he'd be happy to help."
"Maybe," I said, "but he's a child. He shouldn't have to do this."
"Can I ask you a question?"
"When he's old enough, do you think you'll change Teddy?"
"Definitely not," I said. "Teddy will remain human."
"This isn't a bad life," I said. "I get to spend eternity with Jasper, but with that being said, I don't age. I'm going to spend eternity like this. I'm going to watch my family grow old, and they're going to leave me behind. I don't want Teddy to watch everyone he loves grow old. I want him to get married, have children, live a long and full life. Not an eternal one."
"See? You'll be a great mother."
"Maybe," I sighed.
"I think Jasper really wants to see you," Edward said. "Talk to him. Don't shut him out, or your going to break his heart."
"My angel," I murmured.
"Your angel," Edward agreed. "We don't want to hurt the angel."
I shook my head.
"I'll go get him."
Edward left the room, and returned down the stairs within the next few seconds.
"She wants you, Jazz."
Jasper turned on his heel, and he bolted up the stairs to the bedroom. He laid down on the bed and pulled me into his arms.
"Don't leave me," I mumbled into his neck.
I opened up to Jasper after that. Talking helped. I didn't feel better, not completely anyways, but it did help.
From downstairs, I could hear Bella and Edward talking. For the first time in a very long time, Edward stayed true to his word.
"You crossed a line, Bella," he was telling her. "I've tried telling Alice that you're not in your right mind, but I've been lying. Alice was right. You want to make grown up decisions, like keeping this child, so you're old enough to know that what you say has consequences. Everything you say matters, and I've let you get away with it for too long."
"I'm sorry, Edward," Bella said, with a breaking voice.
"It's not me that you need to apologize too. It's Alice. She's sacrificed so much for us. For almost two years, she's saved you and me more times than I can count. I can't fix this mess, Bella. You have to do it."
"I'm sorry," she repeated.
I turned and looked up at Jasper. He was watching me carefully.
"Finally," I whispered. "He's finally holding her responsible. Maybe there's still hope yet."
"That I still have someone here."
"You still have me," Jasper frowned.
"But you're not here."
"I don't follow."
"You're coming with me, aren't you? To England?"
"Of course," Jasper said, with a slight look of bewilderment on his face. "Why would I?"
"Then you won't be here. You'll be with me and Teddy." I paused and looked up to Jasper. "Can we not tell Teddy that I almost went back on it?"
"If you think that's for the best."
"I don't want him to think there was a moment when I didn't want him. I wanted him, I just didn't think I was good enough for him."
"I know, baby," Jasper murmured against his temple. "Come on. Why don't we go take a nap. I think that'll make you feel better."
I let Jasper pull me to my feet, and back to the makeshift bed in the attic. Not even five minutes later, I was asleep and falling.
Hey guys! Oh I so hoped I would make it in time to upload this today! As of this second, it's 10:03 pm EST on July 31. So I think birthday wishes are in order! Happy 40th Birthday, to Harry Potter, the Boy who Lived! I can't think of any notes on this chapter. A more in depth explanation of what happened with Alice will be explained more in the next chapter, but there is something I do want to address.
I've been trying to keep from giving too many details about the later chapters for the sake of spoilers. However, there seems to be a guest reviewer who is insistent on this matter, and I feel that until I address it, it will continue to be a problem. So the issue at hand is this particular guest doesn't want me to have Jacob imprint on Renesmee. They stated that they, "really don't want Jake to imprint on the child cos when I read that in the books and watched it happen in the movies I thought that it was sick." So here's the issue at hand. So when Renesmee was born, Jacob was sixteen years old. When Alice was born, Remus had just turned sixteen about three months prior. So I can't really penalize the whole Jacob/Renesmee pairing, when I had the same age gap between Alice and Remus. This is where my issue with the hate on the topic stems from. They have the same age gap. Both male characters had known their female companions since birth. Both had a hand in raising their female companion. I can't condone one and penalize the other. So Jacob will still imprint on Renesmee. That will not change. If that makes reading this hard for you then I apologize, but that's the way things are. I am many things, but a hypocrite is not one.
With that being said, I hope you all enjoyed the chapter, and I hope to see you in the next one.
Follow, favorite, and review.