This is a oneshot that was originally written for Fandom for Texas Wildfires at the end of 2011. I thought I'd share it with you.

This story is AU/OOC.

All characters belong to Stephanie Meyer. No copyright infringement intended.

Mature readers 18+ only.

Victoria's POV

In the distance, I could hear the boy breaking up with her. No, breaking her. His words were cruel, scathing, and meant to shatter and destroy.

"Bella, I don't want you to come with me."

"You don't want me?" she asked.

"No."

After that, he continued with the destruction of her soul,"Don't worry...your memory is no more than a sieve...time heals all wounds for your kind."

"And your memories?" she questioned.

"My kind...we're easily distracted," he replied with a smirk in his voice.

Then, he left her. I could hear her following him. "Edward! Edward!" she called in desperation, until her voice became hoarse. But he was long gone.

I scented her out and trailed her. She fell in a puddle, but got back up to look for him. She was forlorn and desperate. She was heartbroken. She was broken.

She was broken by a boy who was not her mate. And, it dawned upon me, that I, too, was broken by a man that was not my mate. My thirst for revenge disappeared the moment I heard the boy break up with her in his callous way. He was like James. Oh, so similar to him, except James never hid the fact that he was evil. This made him a better man. The boy, Edward, presented himself in a pretty package, but he was just as cruel and even more destructive because he hid behind his polite demeanor. Underneath that pretty exterior was a monster. A monster just like James was.

I found the girl lying on the forest floor, not far from the puddle. I picked her up and held her in my arms. I heard wolves howling in the vicinity. I ran with the girl, still in my arms. I ran for hours until I was far enough away from the predators.

I had no idea where I was or even if I was still in the country, I just knew that the girl was safe. Safe from harm. That was, until I felt her body. She was cold. Colder than a human should be. And her heartbeat was slow. Much slower than a human heart should be beating. So, I saved her, the only way I knew how. I bit her. I gave her my venom. My venom would heal her. I wasn't going to let her die because the monster broke her. I wouldn't let him win. The girl would become my friend, and we would heal together. Because I needed her just as much as she needed me. If she died, then both of our monsters would win, and that just wasn't an option.

I picked the screaming girl up and ran with her once again. I ran until I found an empty cabin. It looked like it was a hunter's cabin, sparsely furnished, but fully functional. I removed the girl's clothes and bathed her, painstakingly washing her hair and body with the soap and shampoo left in the cabin, to remove all of the dirt and grime from her; to remove the stench of her monster from her. After, she was free of the monster's scent and dry, I wrapped her up in a sheet and placed her on the bed so that she could complete her transformation in comfort.

Once I knew that she was secure, I left the screaming girl on the bed, then slipped into the tub myself. I scrubbed the remainder of James's scent off of me. I wanted no reminders of that monster. I hadn't bathed since he died, hoping that if I kept his scent on me, he would come back. But now, I was ready to let go. I didn't want the monster's scent on me. I wanted to be clean, I wanted to be free of him, I wanted no part of the monster staying with me.

I toured the cabin and found a washing machine and dryer. I threw our clothes inside with some laundry detergent and ran it. The girl and I would start clean and fresh. Yes, that's what we would do. I searched inside the cabin for anything of value, I lucked out when I found some cash stashed on the inside pocket of a hunting jacket. Five hundred dollars. It would be enough to provide us with necessities for awhile. New clothes when ours became worn, or a shower at a truck stop so we could bathe once in a while. We would stay here for the time being, though. We'd only leave when the hunter returned.

The girl continued screaming so I went to her.

"Don't let the monster win, Bella. Please don't. You're better than he is. We'll get through this together, I promise. You are strong. I am strong. They can't hurt us anymore. We're better than they are." This became my mantra until she woke up.

When her heart finally stopped beating, she let out an ear piercing scream, then crouched in the corner of the room. She was shivering in the corner, frightened and confused. I approached her slowly, and looked into her eyes, then repeated my mantra to her, "Don't let the monster win, Bella. Please don't. You're better than he is. We'll get through this together, I promise. You are strong. I am strong. They can't hurt us anymore..."

"We're better than they are," she finished for me, then dropped her head into my chest and I held her. I held her for the longest time because for the first time in my long existence as a vampire, I had a friend.

Peter's POV

"Stop moping, fucker!" I growled. "You're the Major. You're better than that sorry ass excuse of a wife you had. You're stronger, than she is. Don't let her win."

Jasper was currently sitting in the corner, bawling his eyes out in the fetal position. Fucker's been that way for three days straight. Ever since the letter arrived. He arrived five days ago on foot, having run all the way from Forks, after nearly slipping and killing a human girl that apparently meant something to the family. "I don't see how this can be my Ali's fault."

"My Ali...my Ali...grow some cojones Major because your Ali doesn't want your sorry ass anymore. She's done with you. She used you, manipulated you, took away your self worth, spit you out, and now she's throwing you away like yesterday's newspaper. You don't need a cunt like her in your life!"

"It's...it's...my fault...I almost s...s...slipped. I...I...almost k...k...killed Bella."

"But you didn't. You didn't kill her. Though what that pussy boy was doing dangling a human around in front of vampires, I have no idea."

"I'm a fuck up!"

Whack! I slammed my fist into Jasper's face and grabbed the letter that his bitch wife sent to him and read it out loud.

Dear Jasper,

By the time, this letter arrives, the family and I will be gone from Forks. We are asking that you not come to Alaska with us. Your most recent slip was the last straw. I loved Bella like a sister, and to know that you've destroyed such a beautiful life, is something that I could never forgive you for.

I'm sure the moving van with your possessions has already arrived at Peter's house. I didn't want you to go without your things. There's a new wardrobe in there for you, too—handpicked by me as my final act as your wife. I will contact you again in about a month, after you've settled down and learned to cope without me, to finalize things.

Ali

"Why are you reading the letter to me? Why? You know how it hurts me, Peter."

"Fucker, I'm reading this to you so you can read between the lines. In the letter, the whore bag wrote as if the human was dead, but you told me yourself that you didn't even get close enough to touch her!"

"Give me the fucking letter! It's mine!" He took it from me, folded it gently, then replaced it in the envelope. He was about to put it back on the coffee table when he stared perplexedly at the front of the envelope.

"Aaaarrrrgggghhhh!" he roared. "The bitch played me, Peter. She played me! Look at the postmark, it says, 'September 12th.' Bella's birthday was on September 13th!"

He opened up the letter and re-read it again, then he turned to me with a malicious smile on his face. "Get your passport, Peter. We're going on a trip."

"Okay, but maybe you should consider showering first because you look like shit, and you smell even worse."

He punched me in the nose. The Major was back. I smiled.

He showered, got dressed, dug through his files, grabbed a few things, and the two of us were off. First stop, the bank.

"I'd like to withdraw all but one dollar from my account please. Transfer the rest into Peter Whitlock's account," Jasper ordered.

"Um, bro, you do realize what an extra twenty million is going to do to my taxes, don't you?"

"You'll live. Besides, it won't be in there long. Just until I settle a few things."

After that, we went to a real estate attorney's office where Jasper sold his homes in Texas, New York, and London to me for a dollar each. It, too, was only temporary, he assured me. I told him that I'd have to sell his property back to him for two bucks each because I needed to make a profit somewhere.

We made our way to the airport next, and twelve hours later, we were at our bank in Zurich, Switzerland. Jasper did a little something different here. He left a total of one hundred dollars in his account, which was well under the minimum balance allowed, but he managed after he greased the palm of the teller with a hundred grand. Then, he transferred the rest of his money, over three hundred billion, into my Swiss bank account. I felt like the poorest rich guy on earth. I only had like fifty billion in my account prior to the money transfer.

After that, the two of us flew to Amsterdam and partied like the wild boys that we were. Jasper went back to feeding from humans, and he was as free as a bird.

We returned to my house in Boston, a day before the divorce papers from Alice arrived. In her infinite kindness, she sent Jasper new identification bearing his real name, Jasper Whitlock, plus fifty thousand dollars in cash. The divorce papers stated that all of Jasper Hale's assets would be transferred to Mary Alice Brandon. Jasper brought the papers to a human divorce attorney and gladly signed everything away. A week later, an irate Alice called asking Jasper what happened to all of his assets.

"I'm sorry. I was so upset that I lost everything playing poker. I wasn't expecting you to divorce me."

"Well, what the hell did you expect? I gave you time to get over your shit because I saw that you needed time and I cared about you. Now you really were a fucking waste of my time, you worthless piece of shit! And I want the fifty grand that I sent to you back, too!"

"It's gone already!"

"Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! You worthless, pathetic asshole! This is how you repay me after all that I've done for you! I never want to see your fucking ass again!" she raged.

"Wasn't planning on it. Goodbye, Alice." Jasper smirked and we high-fived each other. We grabbed our belongings and made one final stop in Seattle, Washington.

We arrived at the seedy office of Jason Jenks and scared the shit out of him.

"If anyone inquires about me or seeks information on me or any Whitlock, I want to know about it. Did you really think you'd get away with drawing up such skewed divorce papers between me and Alice Cullen?"

"N...N...No...M...M...Mr. Jasper...S...S...She said that you were in complete agreement with the divorce."

"Rule number one, Jenks. Don't believe a word that comes out of that bitch's mouth. Now, what else have you done for her?"

"N...N...Nothing. Just an inquiry about a girl named Isabella Marie Swan."

"And what did you find?"

He handed Jasper a file. In it were some articles stating that the girl was missing; then a week ago, an article stating that her mauled body was found in the forest in Forks, Washington; and, finally, an obituary. I took a look at the photograph, the girl was only eighteen years old and simply stunning for a human. Jasper took the file and dropped some cash on Jenks's desk. He informed him that any inquiries from any of the Cullens, aside from the standard ID transaction, needed to be run by him first, then left.

"She was beautiful, Jasper," I stated.

"She was too young and innocent to die."

"Yeah, she was."

I couldn't help, but think that this human girl meant a lot more to Jasper than he was admitting.

Eighteen years later...

Bella's POV

I adjusted easily to my new life as a vampire. Vicky was there every step of the way and the two of us somehow managed to build some sort of life for ourselves. For the first five years, we were nomads and pretty much lived in the wild. We showered at truck stops or abandoned homes and cabins.

Unlike the Cullens, I fed from humans. Because of this, I didn't have to feed as often and my bloodlust was minimal. I only had to feed once a month. I remembered the Cullens having to feed at least once a week. I refused to feed off of random humans so we fed off of hard criminals, rapists, murderers, drug pushers, and the like. After we fed from them, we would take any valuables they had and live off of that. We lucked out thirteen years ago in California when a drug deal went sour because we arrived on the scene. We had been watching a couple of the guys for a few weeks. They pushed drugs to middle schoolers and it was simply something that neither Vicky nor I could abide by. We trailed them one night when they were making an exchange. The assholes turned their guns on us, then on each other. Seeing that all five of the fuckers were bleeding profusely with life threatening injuries, we finished the job and drained them all.

We took all of the cash that they had on them, and some pieces of gold jewelry that we'd be able to sell. After that, we quickly scanned the two vehicles they came in. One vehicle was loaded with drugs and weapons. The other vehicle had four briefcases and a Duran Duran CD in it. We took the briefcases, and Vicky took the CD, and we made a run for it. When we were deep in the forest, we opened up the briefcases, and found that each one contained a million dollars. Four million dollars in non-sequential bills. We could finally get an apartment or even a small house.

The problem was that neither of us had any identification so we couldn't even get a hotel room. Then, I had a thought.

"Vicky, remember that guy Laurent with the dreadlocks?"

"Yeah."

"Are you still in touch with him?"

"Not really. Why?"

"I think that he might be able to help us. This was five years ago, but he went to Alaska to a family called Denali. They're supposedly cousins of the Cullens. Maybe if we approached him, and explained that the only thing that we want are IDs, they'd put us in contact with the right people. I mean, there has to be a reason why the Cullen's could own all of this property, have jobs, attend school, and whatnot, right?"

"Yeah, but if we do this, I want you to stay hidden, Bella. I don't want the Cullens having even an inkling that you're alive."

"Okay, whatever you say. How about if I wait for you in a nearby town or something?"

"We have to find them first. Let's go to the library and see if we can find a map of Alaska on the computer."

"Okay." We stuffed all of our cash in the large, hiking backpacks that each of us had, and buried the briefcases deep under the soil. We made our way to the library and found that there was an actual place called Denali National Park. There was a Motel 6 in Fairbanks that didn't ask for any identification when we asked for a room so we paid the guy for two nights and I waited with our backpacks.

It felt so surreal. I hadn't watched TV in ages. All of the shows had changed. Plus, I got to actually take a bath. That, in itself was a luxury. Twenty-fours hours later, Victoria showed up with the name of a lawyer in Seattle and twenty boxes of contact lenses. She told me that she found Laurent hunting in the forest with his mate, Irina. They were shocked to see her and crouched to attack, so she put her hands up, got down on her knees, and explained that all she needed was the name of a person that could provide her with identification so that she could make a life for herself. They invited her back to the house where she was introduced to two other females, Kate and Carmen; and a male named Eleazar. They let her bathe. The bitch got to bathe in a fucking jacuzzi, damn it! And they gave her new clothes to wear. They invited Vicky to stay with them, but she explained that she had her own plans that she wanted to see come to fruition, and they understood completely. After they hooked her up with the name and number of the lawyer and the contact lenses, she ran back to Fairbanks to where I was waiting.

Our next stop was Seattle, Washington. We contacted a lawyer by the name of Jason Jenks. As soon as he saw us, he contracted in fear.

"Are you okay, sir?"

"I'm f...f...fine. How can I help you, Miss...?

"Higginbotham," I finished for him, and extended my hand for him to shake. Vicky and I settled on using my mother's maiden name because Swan was out of the question and Vicky had no idea what her last name was.

"We are in need of a standard set of documents," Vicky stated.

"Certainly, may I ask who sent you?"

"Mr. Eleazar Denali."

"Ah, of course. I can help you. What do you need to use the new identities for?"

"Frankly sir, we need to find work, and without identification, we can't even work at McDonalds."

He seemed taken aback by my answer, and he was kind to us after that. Maybe he was just used to dealing with really rich vampires instead of honest ones that were desperate to find work.

We negotiated a fee, gave the lawyer our information, and left his office. A week later, we were reborn as Victoria Anne Higginbotham, age twenty-three, and Isabella Marie Higginbotham, age twenty-one. The man hooked us up with birth certificates, passports, social security numbers, and driver's licenses.

We ended up staying in Washington for ten years until we needed new documentation. Vicky and I spent the first six months earning our GEDs because we quickly found that work wasn't easy to find without high school diplomas.

We returned to Jenks ten years later, and, this time, requested new documentation with addresses in New York State. We had gone to New York City and liked it so much that we decided to make that our next home. This time, we had learned the ropes of forged identities and were a little more prepared. We had gotten a post office box in Manhattan, and that was the address used on our driver's licenses. He kept our social security numbers and birthdays the same, and just updated the year of birth.

And this is where we were now, New York City. Queens to be exact. We've been here for three years. We found a tiny, rundown two bedroom house on 167th Street for only a hundred-eighty five thousand dollars. It was a bargain for the area, but the house needed a lot of TLC. The neighborhood that we lived in was a fairly safe, working class neighborhood with lots of families. Most of the people here were from South Asia, from countries like India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

During the day, Vicky and I worked on the house, and by night, we both worked as cocktail waitresses at an upscale nightclub in Manhattan frequented by celebrities. The hours were perfect for us, the tips were great, and it was a non-threatening environment. We worked at a bar in Seattle for a year once, in which we were constantly harassed by management and customers alike. We ate very well that year, though.

I thought back to my very first hunt, Vicky had tried to get me to go after some random hikers. I just couldn't do it, no matter what. I explained to her that these humans deserved to have a life instead of being abruptly killed, simply for having a good time. So, my first meal was actually a bear, but my bloodlust wouldn't tamper down at all. Then, Vicky suggested something that piqued my interest, "What if we hunt monsters? Human monsters. Those that would hurt innocent humans who deserve to live."

It was an idea that I could live with, plus we were doing a public service by getting rid of the cretins of society. And that's how we started to hunt humans.

For the first year, Vicky and I got to know each other. She was an old vampire, super old. She was older than Carlisle Cullen even. Throughout her entire vampire existence, she had been used and manipulated by men. It made me feel kind of stupid for letting Edward bring me down so much. I did a lot of thinking, then. I realized that Edward's way of being in a relationship was to take away his partner's sense of self. He made me feel worthless and rejected. And he had Alice, the vision seeing pixie bitch as his partner in crime. There was absolutely no privacy because she was able to see everything. And the possibility of making a decision on my own was also taken out of the equation because if he or she didn't like the decision that I made, they would manipulate it until they were happy. It dawned upon me, that I was actually lucky that Edward broke up with me. I would have been a walking puppet of Edward and Alice had I not been dumped.

It made me feel horrible for Jasper. The poor guy was a walking marionette. Alice would see whatever decisions that he made and Edward would read his mind and twist his thoughts. He didn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being himself. Carlisle and Esme were also the same way. Those two actually consulted with Alice and Edward before making a decision, and I mean every decision, from what stocks to invest in down to which socks they should wear. How fucked up was that?

Vicky was someone that I trusted from the beginning. You see, while I was changing, she sat there and told me about her entire relationship with James and how cruel he was. She said that she had been broken and torn apart by his abusive words, but, for some reason, she kept going back for more and more. She was actually out to kill me when she was in the woods, but then she heard Edward breaking up with me. It was then that she realized how he was tearing me apart with his brand of verbal abuse, and she decided to befriend me instead. Unfortunately, she heard werewolves coming after us so she ran away from Forks with me and changed me because I was practically frozen and my heart rate was too slow. By the time I woke up, I already knew that she was someone that I could trust, and for the first time ever, I had a true friend.

About a year after my transformation, I went to the library and searched the internet for any information on me. It turned out that I was deemed a missing person immediately, and that Edward Cullen was deemed a person of interest because, supposedly, I had left a note for my dad stating that I was going for a walk in the woods with him. About three weeks afterwards, I was declared dead because my body had been found in the woods, mauled by a bear.

A couple of years later, I found a wedding announcement stating that my father was marrying a woman named Sue Clearwater from the reservation in La Push. Then, there was nothing for many years until a month ago, there was an announcement stating that Police Chief Charles Swan would be retiring from the force at the end of the year so he could spend time fishing. It brought a smile to my lips to know that he was still living his life, despite me being gone.

"Bella, can you give me a hand here!" I heard Vicky call from outside.

I went to open the front door and my jaw dropped. Vicky was holding a huge, glass, sparkling chandelier.

"Do you like it?"

"What the fuck are we going to do with a chandelier?"

"We're going to hang it in the living room, of course."

"Yeah, but that thing is almost as wide as our living room."

"I know, but it makes me happy."

"But...where did you get it?"

"There was an antique shop going out of business in the Village so I popped inside. The chandelier immediately caught my eye, but he wanted two thousand bucks for it. Apparently, the original price was like eighty thousand dollars, but he wanted to make a quick sale. I told him, no thank you, and left. Then a minute before closing time, I walked into the store again. The guy saw me and asked if I still wanted the chandelier. Anyway, he told me to give him whatever cash I had on me because it was going in the trash otherwise. So, I gave him twenty-six bucks and fifty-four cents, and I carried it home on the subway because the only thing that I had left was my metro card."

"You carried that on the subway?" I screamed out incredulously.

"Yep, lucky it wasn't rush hour." She had a huge grin on her face.

"But that thing is about as wide as you are in height!"

"Yeah, I know, it was really bulky."

I rolled my eyes at her. "Don't you think that the humans were a bit suspicious?"

"Meh, who gives a fuck. Now, let's get this dusted off so we can replace our light fixture."

I didn't want the chandelier up, but then I realized that the only way for the thing to be out of the way was for it to be hanging from the ceiling, so I helped her. It took us a few hours, but between the two of us, we managed to install the thing. Of course, now our living room was so bright that it looked like a fucking homing beacon for alien spaceships, but it was kind of pretty.

The design of our house was kind of eclectic anyway. It was decorated with stuff we bought whenever we went on vacation. We usually did a vacation within the United States or Canada, once a year, and a trip to a foreign country every other year. We both made pretty decent money, and, because we didn't eat, our expenses were pretty low. Our house was completely paid for so all we had to pay for were property insurance and taxes, the light bill, internet, cell phones, cable, plus our metro cards. We needed clothes and whatnot, too, but neither of us were extravagant or outrageous like Alice Cullen was. We got our hair done at Astor Place hair for fourteen bucks, and our manicures and pedicures were paid for by the nightclub that we worked for because they were required. We didn't own a car because we usually walked or took the subway and we still had close to four million dollars hidden under the floorboards of the house. We needed that to last for eternity, after all. All in all, we had pretty decent lives. The only thing that neither of us had were men, but they were the furthest thing from our minds. We were having so much fun together.

Jasper's POV

It's been eighteen years since I've been free of my personal satan, Alice, and it's been a glorious eighteen at that. I haven't heard from any of the Cullens, I know for a fact that Rose and Emmett have tried to find me through Jenks, but I told him that my whereabouts were to remain hidden. As much as I liked them, they were a part of my past that I didn't care to associate with. I was happy, simply living with Peter.

The only part of my past that I couldn't seem to shake was Bella Swan. She was so serene and beautiful, and the thought of her being mauled to death by a bear shattered my heart. I couldn't help, but think that Alice knew that she was going to be killed, but sent her off to her death anyway. Why else would she have requested information on her?

We stayed in Boston until this year, and now we were living in my penthouse in Manhattan. We've been here for roughly three months now, and so far, we were having a grand ol' time. Neither of us really associated with other vampires. We were really just happy, traveling and doing our own thing. About five years ago, Peter and I decided to learn how to forge our own documents and identification so we no longer had to go through Jenks. I mean, the guy is mortal, and he's gonna die eventually. We found a guy in New York City who was top notch in his field and he showed us the ropes. We paid him, of course, but for a million dollars, plus a fuckton of trust pumped into him by me, he treated us like gold and taught us everything he knew. Now, we could forge our own stuff and it was a hell of a lot easier than having to fly to Seattle and wait a week for new papers.

We were just seated at a nightclub called the Marquee in Manhattan where every night was like VIP night. You couldn't get in unless you had cash, looks, and connections, or be a vampire and have the ability to dazzle in lieu of the connections. A minute later, our waitress appeared at the table.

"Hi, my name is Vicky. I'll be your server today. What can I start you off with this evening?"

I looked up and was floored. It was Victoria from the baseball field, and by the looks of it, she was just as shocked to see us.

"Listen, we don't want any trouble. We're just here working and trying to make a living," she whispered at vampire speed.

"No harm, no foul, sugar," I replied. "My buddy and I are just here having some drinks."

"Thank you. Now, what can I get for you?"

"We'll take a bottle of Gentleman's Jack."

"Do you have a credit card so that I can start a tab?"

I handed my black card to her. "I'll be back with your whiskey."

"Who was that?" Peter asked. "I've never seen a more beautiful woman in my life."

"Do you remember the three nomads that I told you about that were in the baseball field in Forks?"

"Yeah."

"She was the female companion of the fucker that I killed. She's cleaned herself up quite a bit. She was a walking disaster when I first met her."

"Did you check out her ass in that uniform? Do you think that I can bend her over and fuck her doggie style?"

"Pete, leave her alone. She obviously doesn't want any trouble. I could sense nothing, but honesty from her."

Ten minutes later, she was back with our drinks. I watched her, she was busy as all hell, but she worked hard. And she didn't seem to mind the hard work.

Thirty minutes later, she was back. "How are you boys doing? Can I get you another bottle?" She wiped our table down and put fresh cocktail napkins down on our table for us.

"That'd be great," Pete said. He put on his best non-lovesick friendly smile, and he actually managed to get a smile out of Victoria before she walked away. This may turn out to be a good night after all, at least for once. Oops, spoke too soon. What the fuck are they doing here?

"Jasper!" Esme stated, excitedly. "What a surprise to see you here! I missed you so much, son."

I didn't really return the sentiment. She really wasn't a mother to me. I wasn't comfortable with that.

"Son, it's so good to see you. Alice didn't say anything about you being here. Did you see anything Alice?"

"No, Dad, I didn't see a thing," she replied with a scowl. She still was bitter about me. Good.

They were seated in a seating area across from us. Fortunately, Peter and I had a table for two. The coven hadn't changed really. There were Carlisle and Esme, Emmett and Rose, and Edward and Alice who both seemed to have found mates. Edward was with Tanya Denali and Alice was with some guy who looked like he had a log shoved up his ass.

"Jasper, why don't you and Peter come and sit with us," Carlisle prompted.

"No, thank you, we're good where we are," I said flatly.

Carlisle just nodded his head in acceptance, then said, "Well, let me just catch you up, then. Edward and Tanya finally realized that they were mates and this is Alice's mate, Sheldon Dexter. Sheldon, this is Jasper Hale and Peter Whitlock."

"Whitlock, not Hale," I corrected, as I extended my hand. I saw Rose visibly flinch when I said that.

Suddenly, I smelled the most intoxicating scent in the world, and by the looks of it, so did everyone else. I looked up to see the Cullen's cocktail waitress standing in front of their table, and she was...she was...

"Hi, my name is Isabella. I'll be your server today. What can I get for you today?"

"Bella?" everyone, including me, blurted.

"Well, isn't today my lucky day. I don't have all day, may I take your drink order please?"

"Bella? What happened? Daughter, we thought you had died," Esme stated.

"Listen to me, and listen to me good. I'm not here to play catch up with you. I have eight other parties to attend to, not just you folks. Contrary to what you believe, the world doesn't revolve around you. Now, what would you like to drink?"

The stunned Cullens placed their orders just as Victoria returned with our bottle of Gentleman Jack.

"You changed her?" Edward shouted.

Victoria turned to Bella, "Boy, did you fucking draw the short stick today, or what Bella?"

"I know right," Bella chuckled.

The Cullens delved deep into discussions about what may have happened. Alice swore to God that she had seen her dead in her visions. I could feel the deception coming off of her in waves.

"What should we do now, Alice?" Carlisle asked.

"I've seen that we take them both in," she said.

"Quit fucking lying, Alice. You haven't seen jack shit!" I growled from my table. "Now leave those two ladies alone."

"Jasper, we're only concerned about our daughter, Bella."

"Esme, how the fuck can you call me your daughter? I haven't seen you in eighteen years, and I'm happier for it," Bella said as she placed the Cullen's orders on the table. "I had a mother, her name was Renee. She was beautiful, vibrant, nutty, and she would have done anything for me. I also had a father, his name was Charlie. Though he was quiet, he loved me with all of his might. There was never any false sense of security or love coming from him, it was always true and from his heart. My parents, also had the uncanny ability to make decisions on their own without consulting with a twisted eight ball or an intrusive mind-reading prude. Now, I'm going to ask you again to leave me alone. I'm in a really good place, and I'm happy."

"How could you be happy? You're only a cocktail waitress?" Edward asked.

"I don't mind hard work, Edward. It builds character. Something that you do not have."

"Well, Bella, Alice has seen both you and Victoria living with us again," Carlisle said.

Bella put her tray down and rubbed her temples, mimicking Alice, "I'm not living with you fuckers, ever. I've seen it!"

With that, she picked up her tray and took off, leaving Peter and I chuckling in her wake, and the Cullens stunned as all hell at her mockery of Alice.

Alice rubbed her temples. "Carlisle, it's best that we leave Bella and Victoria to themselves. My vision has changed. They'll no longer be a part of our family."

"Are you sure, Alice?"

"Oh, yeah, she's sure," I piped in from my table. "She was being honest this time."

"Well, I, for one, am glad," Tanya stated. "Those two women are vulgar and gauche. I could tell just by looking at them. Edward, how could you have dated that girl?" All I could feel from her was jealousy, more jealousy, then more jealousy.

"I don't know what I was thinking, love. You're right, she is rather low class."

Fucking asshole. He always thought he was above everyone.

"And she feeds from humans, we've made the mistake of taking in a human feeding vampire before," Alice reminded them of me, not so subtly. They all turned to stare at me. I wagged my eyebrows and snapped my teeth at them in response.

The Cullens left after only having two drinks each, declaring that they had an early morning flight to Beijing the next day. I saw Emmett slyly slip in a cash tip of about a thousand dollars into the folder that Carlisle placed the signed credit card receipt in. I felt nothing, but sorrow, remorse, and anguish coming from him, and, surprisingly, Rosalie.

"Keep in touch, Jasper," Rose stated with venom soaked eyes. She slipped her cell phone number to me. Emmett, on the other hand, kept his eyes trained on Bella as if it would be the last time that he would see her. He really did love her tremendously in Forks. That much, I do remember.

"Phew, I'm glad they're gone," Bella sighed in relief when she returned to pick up the check. She cleared their table off and the next party was seated about a minute later.

Peter and I had absolutely no intention of leaving. I wanted to hear more of Bella's story, then I wanted to lick her. Vampire Bella was mouthwatering. She was still about the same height, but her body had filled out, and she had curves in all the right places. She stood with her back straight, and she carried herself with an air of confidence that couldn't be missed from anywhere. She was friendly, too, and I could tell that she was making a killing in tip money. I felt an incredible pull to go to her, and just protect her.

Vicky returned to our table and we ordered another Gentleman's Jack.

"You know, normally, I'm not supposed to put it through for you because this would be your fourth bottle, and I'm supposed to be wary of irresponsible drinking, but I'll do it for you."

"Now, Sugar, you know that this feels more like our second drink."

"I'm aware of that," she giggled. "Why the heck do you think I'm letting you get away with this?"

Peter suddenly stood up. "I didn't get a chance to properly introduce myself. My name is Peter Whitlock. I'm Jasper's brother."

"Well, nice to meet you, Peter. My name is Victoria Higginbotham. I'm Bella's sister. You can call me, Vicky. Now, let me get your Gentleman's Jack for you."

Vicky walked away, calling out to Bella, "They're not gay, Bells! He's his brother."

"Gay?" we both questioned, incredulously.

After we finished off the bottle and found out that Vicky and Bella worked on Tuesdays through Saturdays, the two of us paid our tab, left an overly generous tip, and left the club. We needed to hunt.

Emmett's POV

I missed her. I missed Bella like you wouldn't believe. She was fun, vivacious, and effervescent as a human and now, as a vampire, even more so. She had grown a backbone and become confident. She was able to singlehandedly tell my family to shove it up their asses. I know I've wanted to for a long time now, but I didn't quite know how to.

When we left the club, all Alice, Edward, and Tanya could do was bitch about Bella.

"I can't believe how white trash she is. She's a cocktail waitress for God's sake. Ugh!" Alice bitched.

"I still can't believe that you used to date the whore. Disgusting," Tanya stated.

"Bella Swan is a mistake that I want to forget about," Edward added.

"Well, it's a good thing you're not with that piece of trailer trash anymore, darling."

"Yeah, and she feeds from innocent humans. She'll never be redeemed, I've seen it," Alice said.

"She was quite beautiful, though," Sheldon stated innocently.

"I can't believe you said that when you have me, Sheldon. Me! Look at me, Sheldon! Only me!"

Well, fuck, if I were with Alice, I'd be looking anywhere, but at the bitch. He was only stating the truth. Bella was gorgeous and gave Rosie a run for her money.

"Alice, dear, I wasn't saying that I wanted the girl. As if I would even consider allowing someone of such a low stature to be with me. She's not even good enough for my shoes to step on."

That's it. I've had it with this fucker. I had him shoved up against a building with my hand around his neck in an instant.

"Emmett! Unhand your brother!"

"Fuck no!" I yelled at Esme. "You know something, Sheldon. You and Tanya don't know Bella at all, and here you are talking about her behind her back. That makes you about as low class as they come. Then there are you two assholes. Yeah, I mean you, Alice and Edward. Up until the point she told you off, you were so devastated because you thought she had died. Now that you've found her alive and she didn't quite turn out the way you had hoped, you start lambasting her in front of us! In front of me! I care about Bella and I still consider her a friend—a sister. But no one is worse than Carlisle and Esme. You let them get away with this shit constantly because of their gifts. Do you suck on their assholes, too?"

I released Sheldon and he slumped to the ground. "Sheldy, your suit!" Alice screeched in horror.

"I'm done," I stated with finality to my wife. "I can't stay with these people anymore. They're not my family and I just don't feel comfortable with them any longer. You can choose to stay with them, but I, for one, am leaving with or without you, Rose."

"Emmett, you're being ridiculous, son. You're leaving just because your brothers and sisters were having some friendly banter about Bella Swan?" Carlisle asked.

"I don't think it's ridiculous, Carlisle. And that wasn't friendly banter, that was just downright cruel," my mate finally spoke. "What he's saying is true. You're so busy following Alice and Edward's mandates that you've lost your ability to even figure out what's right and wrong."

"Rose?"

"I'm sorry, but Emmett is my mate. I go where he goes. We won't be going to Beijing with you. That's where I'm going to start. He and I will discuss our plans, as a couple, while you're gone and decide our next move from there."

"Alice, what do you see?"

"Okay, we're leaving. We don't need to see what Alice sees in her vision. Good luck." I took Rosie's hand and left the Cullens standing there, stunned, on a Manhattan street.

As I left, I could hear Esme whimpering that she was losing her children. The fact was that she had lost her one and only child, long ago, when she was human. Who she had really lost was herself and I doubted that she would ever come back to herself unless Alice and Edward left the family.

"Em, I'm proud of you."

"You're not mad, Rosie?"

"No, how can I be angry at you when all you did was stand up for your beliefs? I love you."

"I love you, too, Rosie."

We walked hand in hand, silently around Manhattan, neither one of us wishing to return to the hotel that we were staying at, lest we run into the Cullens. At a little past four am, Rose and I found ourselves across the street from the Marquee Nightclub again. It looked like the employees were all leaving. We caught sight of Bella and Victoria and trailed them silently from a distance. The girls were apparently going to feed.

As soon as they reached an area that was clear of humans, the two started running at vampire speed. We followed. They arrived in the crime ridden Bushwick area of Brooklyn. Suddenly, a female voice screaming in agony rent the air. The two girls sped towards it. A woman was being gang raped in an abandoned building by five men.

Jasper's POV

Peter and I were scoping out the Bushwick area of Brooklyn when we suddenly heard the voice of a woman shrieking desperately. "Please! Kill me!" she screamed.

We got there a second after Bella and Vicky arrived. They quickly took down two of the men. We were mesmerized by the sight. Bella snapped one guy's neck and immediately latched onto his artery. When two of the guys tried to attack her, she took them both out, each with single blows to the head while she was still feeding. It was a gorgeous sight, and my dick got hard watching her feed.

I was about to grab one of the creeps and feed from him when Emmett appeared out of nowhere and started feeding. What the fuck? I took the second guy that was slumped by Bella's feet, while Pete grabbed the coward trying to escape. When all was said and done, I pinned Bella up against the wall and started kissing her for some reason. The blood from her feed mingled with her delicious taste sent me over the edge. Instinct had taken over and I was in a lust filled frenzy and so was she. We were abruptly pulled out of our uncontrolled state when we heard the victim of the rapist begging for someone to take her life. She was an innocent, though, and no one seemed willing to grant her wish.

Rosalie came onto the scene and gently cradled the victim in her arms. "Close your eyes, it'll all end soon," she cooed, and with a look of resolve, Rosalie Lillian Hale fed from her very first human in an act of mercy.

As soon as she was done feeding, Rosalie carried the victim outside, and laid her down gently on the steps of a church across the street. The rest of us took the bodies of the scum, threw them all into a dumpster outside and incinerated them with a lighter and our venom. Bella and Victoria started running from us without acknowledging us, Pete and I followed, of course, and I'm assuming that Rose and Em were following us. We watched from a distance as Bella and Vicky entered a small house in a working class neighborhood in Queens. We heard the showers go off a minute after they entered the house.

"What should we do?" Peter asked me.

"We knock and see if they invite us in."

The two of us waited until ten minutes after the showers stopped. Then, we made our move and knocked on their door.

"Who is it?" Bella called.

"It's Jasper Whitlock," I replied.

She opened the door immediately. "Stalking me?"

"No, no, I mean we were following you, but..." Shit. I'm at a loss for words. I tried again. "We were hunting in the same area as you were when we heard the woman screaming. We didn't mean to encroach upon your feed."

"No harm done. Vicky and I wouldn't have been able to finish off the rest of them anyway. We would have just snapped their necks."

"Oh, well, I suppose it's good that we came across you, then," I said, at a loss for words.

"Would you and your friend like to come inside?"

"Sure."

She held the door open for us. "Vicky! Visitors!" she yelled as she closed the door behind me and Peter. "Make yourselves at home. Have a seat. It's not much, but..."

"It's home," I finished for her.

I looked up at the ceiling and so did Pete. "Do you know that you have a giant chandelier in your living room?" he asked.

"Oh, that," Bella chuckled. "Vicky brought it home yesterday. She carried it on the subway all the way from the Village."

"Um, it's a little big. It looks like it belongs in a ballroom."

"I know, isn't it cool?" Vicky asked, walking inside. "Bella, did you meet Peter Whitlock yet?"

"Not formally. I'm Isabella Higginbotham," she said.

"What happened to Swan?" I questioned.

"I couldn't really use it. My parents are both alive and well, and my death was well publicized. Plus, if you can recall, my father is a police chief so if he came across my name, it wouldn't have boded well for me. I needed a new identity so I chose my mother's maiden name."

"Ah, I can see..." I was interrupted by the sound of the doorbell ringing.

"Who is it?" Vicky called.

"Excuse me, my name is Emmett McCarty. I'm looking for Bella Swan."

Bella went to open the door. A disheveled and forlorn looking Emmett and Rose were standing on the doorstep. Emmett was a bloody mess and Rose wasn't looking much better. "Get inside before the neighbors see you." Bella closed the door.

"I'm sorry," Emmett said. "We didn't have anywhere else that we could go to so we followed you."

"Aren't you supposed to be going to Beijing?"

"We were. We sort of left the Cullens."

"Why?" Bella asked with incredulity, then rethought her question. "Okay, I understand why, but why now?"

"I couldn't take it anymore, Bells! I just...do you know that there's a gigantic chandelier hanging from your living room ceiling?"

"Yes."

"Just so you know...why?"

"We can talk about that later. Why did you leave the Cullens?"

"We left because of you, Bella. Well, not because of you, but because we ran into you. We couldn't handle Edward and Alice controlling every aspect of our lives anymore. There was absolutely no privacy, and we weren't able to make any decisions on our own without those two butting in. Carlisle and Esme are lost causes. I mean, right after we told Carlisle that we were leaving, the first thing he did was consult with Alice and ask her what she saw."

"Then, they were saying stuff about you, Bella. Mean and nasty stuff," Rose added. "Even Tanya and Sheldon joined in. Carlisle and Esme did nothing to defend you, but Emmett did. He couldn't take it anymore. Hell, I couldn't take it anymore! I hate them so much!"

"Our house is small, but you're welcome to stay here for the time being," Victoria offered, graciously. "You're actually the first vampires that we've encountered in eighteen years."

"That's not true, Vic, what about those people in Alaska that gave you the name of the lawyer for our new identities."

"Oh, yeah, I forgot about them."

"Are you talking about the Denali's?" Emmett asked.

"Yes, that was their last name. I wanted to see if maybe Laurent could help us, you see. I met three women, Irina, Kate, and Carmen; and a man named Eleazar."

"They're very nice people. When did you see them?"

"Oh, I would say about thirteen years ago."

"We haven't seen them in seventeen years. They cut ties with the Cullens about a year after Edward married Tanya. They couldn't handle Alice and Edward's intrusiveness."

"Boy, they're just making enemies left and right, aren't they?" Bella turned to Rose. "Would you like to bathe? You can use either of our bathrooms. You're covered in blood, right now."

"Yes, I would. Thank you."

"I'll get you something of mine to wear. I think Bella's a bit too short for you."

"If you want, Emmett, you can bathe in the other bathroom. I'll throw your clothes in the washer for you. I'm afraid we don't have any clothes that fit you, but you can wrap a blanket around you while you wait."

"That would be great. Thanks, Bells."

The girls showed Emmett and Rose to two separate bathrooms. Vicky came back out to the living room first; then, after she started the washing machine, Bella returned.

"So, do you guys live in New York or are you just visiting?" Vicky asked.

"We live in Jasper's penthouse in Manhattan."

"Ooh, that must be nice. Queens is great too, but our commute is a half an hour on the subway. After work, we usually just run home, though. It only takes five minutes at vampire speed."

"Have you two always lived in New York?"

"God, no. We just moved here three years ago. We were on vacation in New York City, and we liked it so much that we decided to make this our next stop. When did you move to New York City?"

"About three months ago. We lived in Boston until then."

"Bella and I have been to Boston. It's really nice there. We went on one of those Duck Boat tours"

"Oh, yeah, that was fun," Bella agreed. "We also took a bus down to Plymouth, Massachusetts and toured Plymouth Plantation, the Mayflower, and the whole waterfront area there. That's where we got our end table." She pointed to the end table next to Pete and I realized that it was actually a wooden lobster trap propped on it's side. It totally didn't go with the giant chandelier in the living room, and neither of them went with the colorful tapestry hanging from the wall.

I couldn't help, but ask. "Where did you get that tapestry?"

"Oh, we bought that in India, it's actually sari fabric. We thought it would look cool hanging from the wall."

"It does look cool. Do you and Vicky travel a lot."

"Not that often. Every year, we go somewhere new in the United States and every other year we go to a foreign country. We work the rest of the year. With homeownership comes bills so they have to be covered."

I felt like such a lazy fucker hearing that. All Pete and I have been doing is jetsetting around the world and partying at home. These two girls actually went out and earned a living so they could reward themselves for their hard work once a year with a vacation.

Emmett came out of the shower with a big comforter wrapped around him. "That has to have been the most refreshing shower I've ever had. I feel like I just washed the Cullens away."

"Um, Emmett, you do realize that you just fed off of a human, don't you?" I asked.

"Yep, and it's about fucking time. Animals are rank."

"Oh, I know. When I first woke up, I tried feeding off of a bear and it just didn't work for me. I was so thirsty, but I just couldn't bring myself to feed off of an innocent human."

"I remember that," Victoria said. "After Bella woke up, I took her to feed. We ran into some hikers and I urged her to go ahead and dive in. She fixed me with a steely expression and said, 'No, how would you feel if you went on a hike and someone ate you?' Mind you, she hadn't had a drop of blood since she woke up at that point."

"Are you shitting me?" Peter asked. "Didn't you feel any bloodlust?"

"Of course I did, but I didn't want to eat an innocent human being. So, Vicky told me to try animals. I did for about three days and I was constantly thirsty so she made a deal with me. She and I would find a really violent criminal that had no chance of redemption and eat him. So, that's what we've been doing ever since then. I do eat a turkey once a year on Thanksgiving, though. That's just to keep with tradition and all."

I couldn't help, but laugh. So did everyone else. She eats a turkey every Thanksgiving? That's just too funny.

Rosalie came out of the bathroom giggling. It was the first time that I've ever seen her so completely relaxed. She didn't look perfect and all made up either. She looked like the eighteen year old girl that she actually was.

"So, when were you changed Bella?" she asked.

"Oh, three days after my birthday after Edward broke up with me in the forest."

"He broke up with you in the forest?" Rose was seething and so was everyone else.

"Yeah, he did. I overheard the entire fucked up conversation. The kid didn't just break up with her he was so cruel and scathing with his words. He told her that he was sick and tired of pretending to be human, told her he never loved her, told her that her human memory was like a sieve and she would soon forget him, then he actually had the nerve to imply that she was only a distraction. What kind of a sick fuck breaks up with someone like that? Then, the turd took off at vampire speed and left her standing there. She chased him for hours in the pouring rain. I trailed her so that she would stay safe. I mean, there are werewolves in that forest, did you know that?"

"Yeah, they're actually shapeshifters from the Quileute Reservation. They have one purpose and one purpose only. To kill human feeding vampires. Apparently, they have some sort of a gene that activates when there are vampires living in the area. So, they aren't there all of the time. What were you doing there in the first place?"

"Oh, I was there to kill Bella because James was murdered, but after hearing the pussy break up with her I realized that my revenge was misplaced and that James and Edward were one in the same. Anyway, I was about to pick her up and take her home, but I heard the werewolves howling so I ran with her instead. She was passed out in the rain, you see. I ran as far as I could until we were well out of the state. When I finally stopped, her body temperature was as close to ours and her heart rate was really slow so I changed her. I didn't want that monster, Edward, to win, you see. She deserved to live."

"I'm glad you changed her," Rose said, surprisingly. "The fucker lied! He said that Bella broke up with him because she wanted to remain human, and that she wanted nothing to do with any of us anymore. That's what we believed these eighteen years, Emmett was devastated. Anyway, about a month or so after that, Alice got a vision and told us that you were mauled by a bear. We were all heartbroken. Then, less than a month later, Edward and Tanya Denali were married. Things got worse for me and Emmett after that. With Jasper gone, we had no one, but each other. The Denalis broke all ties with the Cullens a year after that so we had nowhere that we could go to. They refuse to talk to Tanya even."

"Wait, Jasper, why were you gone?"

"You know, I think it's time we put our stories together because obviously some underhanded shit went down at your birthday party," Peter stated.

We all nodded our heads in agreement.

Emmett started the conversation, "So, Bella gets a paper cut at her forced birthday party. Jasper smells the blood and his bloodlust immediately starts to churn. Edward hurls Bella into a table full of glass plates and she cuts herself and starts bleeding profusely. Jasper asks us to apologize to Bella, then he runs."

"Can I just interject here?" Bella interrupted. Emmett nodded his head. "Jasper, you're an empath, you felt everyone's bloodlust. I don't think a single paper cut would have made you lunge at me. I don't even think that me bleeding profusely would have made you attack. I think you were overwhelmed with everyone's bloodlust. You all had poor control anyway because you were forcing yourselves to feed from animals, and they're just not satisfying. Vicky and I only have to feed once a month and we work in a packed nightclub filled with sweaty humans."

"Fuck me, you're right. Edward's bloodlust was the worst, and Alice's was a close second. Thanks for giving me a new perspective on that, Bella."

"You're welcome."

Rosalie continued their story next, "Okay, so after Jasper ran, and Carlisle stitched Bella up, Edward dropped her off at home. When he got back, there was a family meeting called and Alice declared that we had to move within three days to Denali because Bella was going to break up with Edward. Emmett wanted to at least say goodbye to her, but he was told that she wanted nothing to do with him. Alice, apparently, saw it in a vision. I, on the other hand, didn't want to leave because Jasper would come home to an empty house. That's when a vote was taken and you were voted out of the family by everyone, but me and Emmett. It was so fucked up, Carlisle and Esme actually asked Alice how they should vote. Can you believe that shit?"

Peter took over next, "So, Jasper ran to my house in Boston where he brooded for a few days. We received a letter from Alice just two days after he arrived asking him not to come to Alaska because Bella was dead. Three days after the letter arrived, Jasper looked at the postmark and realized that it was mailed on September 12th, a full day before Bella's birthday. So, Jasper put his balls back into place and immediately made plans to hit Alice where it hurts the most. He transferred all of his money and property into my name temporarily, then a month later, when divorce papers arrived, he signed them and sent them back to her."

"You see, Alice, in her infinite selfishness, decided that she wanted all of my assets in the divorce. I made sure that she got what she deserved."

"A hundred one dollars," Emmett chuckled. "We heard her tyrannical rant on the telephone. Did she really send you fifty grand in cash?"

"Yep, I donated that to a shelter for abused women in Boston because I didn't want to touch that. And that's the end of my story. We've heard Bella and Victoria's so I would say that the evil bitch and her cohort Fuckward planned all of this."

"Yeah, I'd say so. But why?" Vicky asked.

"I have no idea, but I do know that Bella hasn't cropped up in her visions once since Edward broke up with her. And come to think of it, when you went to visit the Denalis, you weren't in her visions either Victoria. You see, Alice has been keeping track of all of the Denalis even though they cut us out of their lives. She's been trying to keep up with Jasper and Peter, too, but you two have been avoiding making any concrete decisions so she hasn't been able to keep up with you two at all," Rose stated. "She's raged more than once about how selfish the two of you are."

"How the fuck can they be selfish if all they want to do is keep their thoughts to themselves? Thank God, that at least my thoughts were private from Edward, I would have gone nuts having both of them on my case."

Thoughts private. Thoughts private. "Sweet Jesus, Mary, and Joseph! Bella! You're a shield! You're a fucking shield! You're the sweetest, most beautiful, damned shield ever in existence. Ha ha! Bella is a shield! Bella is a shield!" I started jumping up and down for joy and started dancing around the living room, hooting and hollering.

"You done Jasper? Because you're freaking everyone out," Peter said.

"Can't you see? Alice can't see her. Edward can't hear her. And the reason why is because she's a shield. When we were at the nightclub, Alice lied about every vision she had of Bella and Victoria joining the Cullens. I felt the deception radiating off of her."

"And Edward mentioned not being able to hear Victoria's thoughts after we left the club," Rose informed us.

"That's probably because Bella has her covered at all times, that's why Alice couldn't see her when she went to the Denalis."

Just then, Rose's cell phone rang. "Oh, shit. It's Carlisle, everyone stay quiet." She answered her phone.

"Rose, it's Carlisle. I'm so happy that you answered the phone. Alice has been so worried about you, she hasn't been able to see you in her visions all night."

"That's because Emmett and I still haven't made any concrete decisions."

"You're probably right. Are you still being ridiculous and not joining us for our tour of Asia all because of Bella Swan? Bear in mind that the girl hurt Edward enormously when she broke up with him."

"Yes."

"Well, then, we'll see you in two months, then. That should give you enough time to simmer down. Alice assured us that it will."

"Goodbye Carlisle. Have a nice trip."

"Goodbye Rose. We'll see you when you rejoin the family in two months. Alice has seen that neither of you will leave."

Geez, can Carlisle even utter a sentence without either Alice or Edward cropping up in the sentence?

Three months later...

Vicky's POV

Rose and Emmett ended up going to their hotel room to check out, then subsequently returning to the Cullen home in Minnesota to retrieve their belongings. Both of them were careful not to make any decisions so they could evade Alice's visions like Peter and Jasper have been doing. The two of them moved to New York City a week later, and were now living in an apartment in Brooklyn. Rose found a job working as an auto mechanic at Sears Auto Center in Brooklyn, New York. She was loving it. For the first time in her life, she was earning her own money and it gave her a sense of financial freedom.

Emmett, on the other hand, started his own plumbing business. It was booming because he was quick, efficient, and kept his costs low. Apparently, he went to plumbing school once while he was living with the Cullens and loved it. When he told Carlisle that he wanted to be a plumber, he was told by him that Alice didn't see him being successful in a blue collar job and that the family had an image to uphold.

Speaking of the Cullens, last month, Rose and Emmett received a phone call from them asking them why they weren't in Minnesota anymore. After Rose and Emmett told them that they were happy with their lives now, and that Rose was an auto mechanic and Emmett was a plumber; they were told that they were no longer invited to move to Montana with them unless they changed careers. Edward even went so far as to tell Emmett that it was shameful that he allowed his wife to work. In the end, they were told to enjoy their lives in Seattle, Washington, which was hilarious because the only false decision that Rose and Emmett kept in their brain was that they were moving to Seattle.

Meanwhile, Bella and I have had changes in our lives too. A few days after that fateful night, Peter knocked on my door to ask me out on a date. I, of course, accepted. He was handsome, charming, and so unlike any man I had ever been with. I was pretty sure that he was my mate. I talked to Rose and she told me about the pull and the overwhelming need to feel close to your mate, and the signs were all there. I even felt the tingle of electricity whenever he touched me.

Bella was now dating Jasper. He was so adorable. He would show up at the oddest times just to see how we were doing. I knew he liked her a lot. He couldn't seem to take his eyes off of her. He finally asked her out on a date about a month after they showed up at the nightclub. He took her to the theatre, then out for drinks. She came home stating that he was so different from her last boyfriend, who was, none other than, Edward Cullen. Jasper didn't try to manipulate her words, he was attentive, and he listened to her.

Both of us were taking our new relationships slow, though. We'd both been hurt in the past so caution was the name of the game.

Right now, Bella was standing on the roof of our house armed with a running hose. We noticed a drip in the hallway, and we were trying to pinpoint where it was coming from.

"Not there, Bella. Try moving to the right a little," I called. "Not that right, the other right."

"How the fuck can there be two rights?"

"Just move to the left. A little more..."

"Hey, Sugar, whatcha doin'?" Peter snuck up on me from behind.

"Oh, our roof is leaking. We have to try to repair it before it starts snowing in three days. Stop, Bella. Right there. Holy fuck, the water is just gushing in."

"What do you think is causing it?" she asked from the roof.

"I don't know, let me get the bible."

"Sugar, I don't think the Bible is going to tell you how to patch up a roof," Peter said.

"Not the Bible, our official Home Depot Do-It-Yourself Home Repair Manual."

"Ah, that kind of bible."

"You just have a few shingles that are damaged. I can replace it for you in no time," Jasper called down to us. "We just need to pick up some shingles, roofing nails, and some asphalt roof cement. It's an easy fix."

"You heard the man, it's an easy fix. No need to look through your bible." Pete pulled me in for a quick kiss.

"I guess not."

Things were so easy with him. He was so kind and sensitive compared to James. I told him all about my past, and he shared his with me, too. He had a companion named Charlotte once, but she was killed in a freak accident when the gas line at a neighbor's house exploded and took out his house along with theirs. Unfortunately for Charlotte, she was in the house at the time, and since vampires are highly flammable, she died on impact.

By three pm, Jasper and Peter had the roof all patched up and ready to go. It was Sunday, Bella and I both had the day off and I was spending the evening alone with Peter at home. Bella made herself scarce. Jasper went with her.

"So, we've been together for three months now, Sugar," Peter drawled..

"Yeah, we have."

"I've already told you how I feel about ya."

"Yes, you have, many times, in fact. I'm just not sure if I'm ready to move in with you yet. And I don't want to just abandon Bella. It's just been the two of us for eighteen years."

"You won't be abandoning Bella. I would never make you leave her. It's just...it's...Vicky, you're my mate, but I think you already know that. I want to know you. I mean, really know you. And I want to make love to you and feel that connection with you. But you've got to let me in, Sugar. You've got to let me in so I can prove to you that I'm not out to hurt you, because I'm not. The only thing that matters to me is your happiness, nothing else. I love you, Victoria. I just need you to love me back."

Oh my God. He thinks that I don't love him, but I do—desperately.

"How can you think that I don't love you? I do Peter. I love you. I love you with everything that I have in me."

"Then prove it to me."

As I ripped Peter's clothes off, the last thing I remembered as I succumbed to my vampiric instincts, was wondering if Bella was having a similar conversation with Jasper? But, then again, unlike me, she wore her feelings on her sleeve. Hmm...

Bella's POV

I was sitting on the sofa in Jasper's apartment. I had promised Vicky that I'd make myself scarce so she and Peter could have some alone time together, but now I was stuck in close proximity, in an empty apartment with Jasper. Now, normally, that wouldn't be a problem, but lately I've been really...how should I say this? Horny?

Now being horny wouldn't, in any normal situation, be a problem, but in my case it was. Why? There was the little issue of me having been alive for thirty-six years in the body of an eighteen year old virgin. I've never even masturbated before in my life.

Then, you have Jasper who's about as experienced as they come. He's probably been with tons of women who have had way more experience than me in the sack. I mean, for God's sake, when Jasper shoved me up against the wall and kissed me abruptly during that hunt that everyone seemed to come across, it was the very first time that I'd ever French kissed anyone. Embarrassing, I know.

"Bella, what has you so antsy?"

"Antsy? I'm not antsy."

"You've been strumming your fingers on your knee for the last ten minutes."

Damn it! I guess I have. Well, that just stinks.

"I'm not antsy. I'm just thinking."

"About what?"

"Nothing."

"How can you be thinking about nothing when you just admitted that you were thinking about something?"

"Do you always ask this many questions?"

"Do you always answer a question with a question? I can feel you, Bella."

"What do you feel from me, Jasper?"

We stared at each other intently in the eyes. Jasper's eyes turned from red to pitch black as he took in the sight of me, then he ripped our clothes off of us and pounced. As his lips met mine, I couldn't help but think about my many conversations with Victoria about sex. One piece of advice resonated in my brain, "When you're sure the time is right, Bella, don't think. Let your instincts take over. We're vampires, not human. Sex for us is raw, animalistic, purely instinctual, and above all, wonderful." She also explained that Jasper's post hunt kiss was him letting his vampiric instincts take over, and that he probably would have taken me right then and there if we weren't jogged out of our lust by the girl screaming.

Jasper was licking me, quite literally, licking me. I had no idea that licking could be so much fun. His velvet tongue grazed my neck and collarbone while his nimble fingers flicked my nipples. Um, how am I supposed to respond to this? Am I supposed to moan or something? It feels good. In fact, it feels wonderful, but what if I make a mistake? What if I turn him off because I'm so bad at this?

Jasper suddenly stood up, picked me up, lifted me over his head, and dove into my pussy with his tongue. I had no idea that circus acrobatics were part of vampire sex. Oh...my...dear...oh...this feels...

"Stop thinking, Bella," Jasper whispered.

And so I did, I slithered down from his face and kissed those beautiful lips of his. Jasper carried me into his bedroom and laid me down onto his bed. I, suddenly, became insecure again. How many women has he had on this bed?

Jasper continued kissing me. "I said, stop thinking," he growled.

Oh, sure, you're a sex god with over a hundred years of experience under your belt and I'm just a thirty-six year old virgin. Four more years and they could make a movie about me.

"Just feel me, Bella," he cooed.

He kissed his way down my body, stopping at my navel. He drew circles around my belly button with his tongue, then slid off of the bed and started kissing my toes and working his way up my legs. By the time he reached the apex of my thighs, my arousal was already pooling and when he slipped his tongue in for a taste, I started moaning in ecstasy.

"That's it baby, show me how much you like it," he purred.

I was panting, moaning, trying to gasp for air that I didn't need. I soon found Jasper hovering over me, his rock hard member positioned at my entrance, should I tell him that I'm a virgin?

Oh, ooh... "Ouch," I yelped as he pushed his length inside of me.

"Bella?" He looked into my eyes, horrified. "Are you a virgin?"

"Um, I'm guessing that I was up until a moment ago."

"Shit, I'm sorry. I just got so caught up in you. Just...shh...take deep breaths."

"We don't breathe."

"Just do it, it's calming."

I breathed in through my nose and expelled air out through my mouth, slowly. I did this a few times. Jasper didn't move, he stayed sheathed inside of me, never taking his eyes off of me. He suddenly started moving, slowly—in and out. It didn't hurt so much anymore, but it was still a little uncomfortable.

I pulled my legs up and wrapped them around his torso. It actually felt more comfortable.

"Fuck...Bella...so tight...so good," he moaned.

I couldn't help, but purr in response.

"That's it baby, let it out. Express how you feel. Do you want more?"

I nodded my head and purred again, indicating that I did. Jasper sped up his ministrations. His hands explored my body, then suddenly, my world exploded. I found myself screaming, "Yes! Yes! Yes!" as I felt my walls contract onto his cock.

"Cum all over my cock my Bella," Jasper urged, then thrust himself harder, deeper, faster until he shouted my name out. He brushed my hair away from my neck, then sunk his teeth in, pumping his venom into me. I hissed at the pain.

"Shh...just give it a second, my mate." And then, I felt euphoria, like Jasper was becoming a part of me. "Now, you're mine," he whispered, placing his hand on my heart.

Jasper's POV

"Yours," she cooed, into my chest. That was twelve years ago. The day that I realized that Isabella Marie Swan was the light of my life. Next week, we were moving to London. Pete, Vicky, Emmett, and Rose were, of course, moving with us. I don't know why it took me so long to figure out that she was my mate because, in hindsight, all of the signs were there from the beginning. And by beginning, I mean, from the time that she was human.

When I first caught sight of her in the cafeteria at Forks High School, I had an overwhelming urge to go to her, but I was too caught up in Alice back then, and my vampiric instincts were so suppressed that I didn't even realize that she was meant for me. Fast forward to the day that I found out that she had died in Jenks's office. My heart ripped into shreds that day. I thought that a beautiful life was taken before she even hit her prime and I was positive that Alice was in some way responsible. When I saw her again in New York as a vampire, my heart instantly put itself back together, and I wanted to just hold her and never let her go. Of course, according to Peter, I'm slow in the head when it comes to women so it took me up until I actually claimed her to realize that she was my mate.

As for the Cullens, wow is there an interesting story to tell there. We never saw them again, but we did run into the Denalis two years ago while they were visiting New York City. They stopped in at the nightclub that Bella and Vicky worked in. Rose, Emmett, Pete, and I happened to be there having drinks that night. To say that they were shocked to see us was an understatement, then they caught sight of their vampire cocktail waitress and they were even more stunned. We met up with them after Bella and Vicky's shift at my penthouse. We found out the real reason why they estranged themselves from the Cullens.

Apparently, Carmen and Eleazar overheard Alice and Tanya talking about Bella about a year after Tanya's wedding to Edward, while they were hunting in Denali. The two of them were laughing about their success in keeping me away from my true mate. Alice didn't want me to be with anyone after her, and Tanya didn't want Bella alive.

"Thank God, I had that vision about Victoria killing her three days after her birthday. Edward breaking up with her right there in the forest worked out perfectly. She's good and gone now," Alice had said.

"He still wishes that it was him that got to do the deed, though, because, apparently, the girl's blood sang to her," had been Tanya's response.

Carmen and Eleazar were appalled at what they heard. They told Kate, Irina, and Laurent about it and the five of them cut all ties with the Cullens stating that Alice and Edward were just too intrusive for their liking.

About five years ago, the Denalis and the Cullens were all summoned to Volterra for a royal wedding because Marcus Volturi had finally found a companion that made him happy. She didn't replace his mate, but she was someone that he could live out eternity happily with. Aro had asked Carmen for a dance and he extracted the conversation that she had overheard and was outraged.

The Cullens were called before the court in front of the Volturi and several vampire witnesses including the Denalis, the Romanians, and the Egyptians. Aro read all of their memories to confirm facts. Alice, Tanya, and Edward tried to deny everything. In desperation, Alice and Edward offered to serve on the Volturi Guard, but they wanted nothing to do with the two cretins even with their tremendous gifts. Alice, Edward, and Tanya were executed by Marcus Volturi for knowingly keeping a vampire from his mate. Alice's mate, Sheldon, tried to valiantly save her, but got killed in the process by Felix. Then, there were Carlisle and Esme. Caius Volturi felt strongly that the two were so unable to think for themselves, and dependent on Alice and Edward, that they shouldn't be allowed to exist. So, he executed them for being idiots.

We still keep in touch with the Denalis. They were actually very nice people, and I had always gotten along with them. Kate's mate, Garrett, was a friend of Peter's and mine. They had found each other about a year after the Cullens met their demise.

With the Cullens gone, we were all living free. We didn't have to worry about Alice ever seeing us in her visions again. Of course, Bella's shield had kept us covered this whole time so we really had nothing to worry about. Eleazar confirmed that Bella was in fact a shield, and with Kate's help, we discovered that she was a physical shield as well.

Right now, we were packing up the house that Bella and Victoria purchased together. It had just been sold and we had three days to vacate it.

"Vicky, what are you doing?" I asked.

"I'm trying to take down my chandelier. It's not included in the sale," she humphed.

"Well, where on earth do you plan on storing the chandelier?"

"In your penthouse, where else did you think I was going to put it?"

"You aren't hanging that in my penthouse. No way, no how."

"I didn't say I was going to hang it, I said that I was going to store it there."

"Fine," I growled, then looked down to find Bella on her hands and knees trying to pry up some floorboards. "Bells? What are you doing?"

"Oh, I'm withdrawing Vicky's and my savings."

"Here, let me help you there, sweetheart," Peter said, and helped her yank up a few floorboards. "What in ever loving hell is this shit?"

I looked down to where Pete was staring on the ground. There must have been hundreds of ziploc bags filled with hundred dollar bills in bundles.

"Our rainy day fund," Vicky yelled from atop my shoulders. "Can someone please help me grab the chandelier, it's really bulky.

Peter grabbed the chandelier from her and placed it down on the floor. "Why isn't this shit in a bank earning interest?" he yelled.

"We don't have a bank account, you know that."

"Yeah, but where the fuck did this rainy day fund come from? And don't tell me that you both earned the money working cause there's no way in hell that you could have earned that much over twenty-five years of working."

"So, we might have dabbled in some petty larceny while we were nomads," Bella said nonchalantly.

"Okay, you two sit and explain."

"There's nothing to tell, really. Do you remember how you two said that you had to steal off of your victims when you were nomads?"

"Yeah, of course I do. That's how most nomads survive."

"Well, that's how Vicky and I survived. We just happened to come across some well endowed criminals at one point."

"Bella, even well endowed criminals don't carry around this amount of cash unless they were drug dealers or something."

"Exactly, Vicky and I walked right into a drug deal and it went bad because we were hungry. They had four briefcases filled with cash so we took those with us and left the drugs for the cops to find. When we got into the woods to take a look, each briefcase had a million dollars in it, so we buried the briefcases and kept the cash. Otherwise, the two of us would have still been nomads to this day and we would have never met the two of you."

"Okay, I'm satisfied with the explanation. How about you, Pete?"

"I'm fine with it, but maybe you two should consider banking the money and earning some interest on it instead of burying it underground."

"Probably, it was a pain in the ass to have to cash our paychecks at the supermarket every payday anyway," Bella said as she reached into the freezer and grabbed some more cash. Vicky threw her a couple of boxes of tampons from the bathroom, they were also filled with cash. Pete and I stared at our mates incredulously as they reached into various hiding spots in their house and unearthed more and more cash.

"Where did you get that cash?"

"Oh, those are just left over tip money."

"Geez!" I found a big box and started piling the money from the floor in. Pete found another box and started gathering up their stashed cash.

Vicky came out to the living room, rolling out two huge coolers.

"Let me guess? You hijacked a bank?"

"No, the red one has our emergency home repair fund in it, and the blue one is our vacation savings account."

"Of course." I slapped my palm on my forehead.

"That's it, we're counting the cash now and putting it in the bank. There's no way in hell that we'll be able to move this amount of cash overseas," Pete said.

"Oh, you don't have to count it," Vicky said. "We know exactly how much we have."

"How much is that?"

"Six million, seven-hundred ninety-one thousand, three hundred sixty-five dollars, and eighty-eight cents," they both said simultaneously.

"How did you accumulate that much? I thought you found four million dollars."

"Savings. We both made between two to three thousand dollars in tips each week. It was a really high end club that we worked at."

"Okay, why don't we put the money in either Jasper's or my account for now and we'll help you open up an account when we get to London?" Pete suggested.

"Excuse us," Vicky stated, and yanked Bella outside. They did this all the time, we were used to it. The two were extremely close and often discussed big topics together.

"You know, Jasper, I don't even fucking understand why they still pay their own way for everything. They're our mates. Shouldn't we be taking care of them?"

"I know, but they're stubborn as all hell. You've got to admit that they were resourceful through the years."

"Jasper, we've been with them for twelve years."

"I know."

"Shouldn't we marry them or something?"

"I know."

"Is that all you can say fucker?" Peter yelled.

Bella and Victoria walked back inside the house. Vicky spoke, "We have decided that we will split the money in half, and put half in Jasper's account and half in Peter's account."

"Fine, and I've decided to put your name on all of my accounts and assets, Vicky," Peter stated.

"That's like a really big step, isn't it? We've only been together for twelve years."

"Woman, you're my mate! We're going to be together for eternity. In fact, we should be married by now."

Her eyes widened and she yanked Bella back outside. "Excuse us again!"

They returned a few minutes later, Victoria looked at Peter and said, "That will be fine."

"What will be fine? The assets or marriage?"

"Both."

"Well fine, we'll get a ring when we get to England."

"Fine and thank you."

"You're welcome."

That had to be the weirdest proposal in the history of proposals. I don't even think that counted as a proposal. What the hell was that anyway?

xoxo

A week later, we were all in the rural village of Ston Easton about fourteen miles from Bath, England settled into our manor. This time, all three couples were living together and equally sharing in expenses. The manor was old; I had won it in a poker game over a hundred years ago from a drunken nomad named Alistair. Emmett was re-doing all of the plumbing and the six of us were working on renovating it and bringing it up to date together.

Bella was finally going to be attending college. It was something that she had always wanted to do but never quite had the time to do. I convinced her to go by telling her that she needed a break. She had been living and working to survive for so many years that she had no idea how to relax and take it easy. I asked her to let me take care of her for a few years, and after I told her that I'd even attend school with her, she finally relented.

Today, the two of us were out on a date. We had toured the Roman baths that gave Bath, England its name earlier in the day and were now spending the night at the Royal Crescent Hotel. I had arranged for private use of the bath house for two hours and was fully taking advantage of our time alone.

"Bella?" I called, to get her attention.

"Hmm?"

"I love you."

"I love you."

"No, I mean, I really love you."

"And I really love you."

"Oh, man, I'm doing this all wrong. Hang on." I took a calming breath and trained my eyes on her. "Bella, I love you and...and...we've been together for twelve years...and..."

"Yes, I'll marry you," she finished for me.

"Really?"

"Really, Jasper. I feel so at peace with you, and I feel so loved, wanted, and needed with you. And I need you, want you, and love you too. You're my other half, Jasper. I couldn't exist in this world without you by my side."

"You took the words right out of my mouth, Bella," I said as I placed her engagement ring on her left ring finger.

"I love you, Jasper."

"And I love you Bella, forever and ever and ever and evermore." And that was a promise that I intended on keeping forever and ever and ever and evermore.

I hope you liked my one shot. I'd love to hear your thoughts. Let me know in a review and I'll be sure to get back to you.

P.S. For those of you looking for updates, they are coming. I've hit a wall with one of my stories, but I think I've worked through it. I'm on my fourth rewrite of it, but I'd rather not rush through it because then we'll all be unhappy.