Walking back to the house, most of my anger gone for the moment. I couldn’t guarantee for how long because I could still feel it bubbling just beneath the surface still. As I got closer, I picked up a new scent. Stronger and exactly the same as the one from my new room. If my heart could, it would be racing right now. I hurried to the house, right up to the door before stopping.
I didn’t know who this vampire was, if he was a threat. Peter and Charlotte trusted him, but could I? People change, and certainly so can vampires. Would he still be as good company as they insisted he was from their tales? I was terrified that he would drive my new family away as it had happened before.
I heard Peter tell me that it was okay to come in and I had to learn to trust that he wouldn’t steer me wrong. As I walked in, I looked around, first to my friends then to their’s. Seeing the new face, I pushed down my agitation that was mixed up in a tornado of new feelings. I knew he was the empath they spoke of and I doubted he wanted to deal with another newborn as unstable as I felt emotionally. What would the handsome vampire see in me? I was grateful enough for Peter and Charlotte and that was all I needed for now. Saying my greetings and quickly escaping up the stairs to my room, I let out a breath before my ears picked up on their conversation. I felt guilty for listening, but soon realized that this man knew me. He knew me. And as it progressed, I felt more confused because I realized that he was one of the Cullens that left me. It made me want to hate him, to make Peter throw him out, but I couldn’t. The thought alone made me hurt.
I heard Charlotte speaking and I was a little hurt that should would speak of something I confided in her in but I wanted to see where she was going with it. “She remembered you. Or at least something you said to her. She told me the night that Peter called Alice for the full story. What did you tell her?” Oh, that. Truthfully, I wanted to know who said it. It replayed in my head still, like it was coating me in a protective blanket of warmth and security.
I heard the visitor take in a breath as he answered her as I crept out to the door to listen more clearly. “She was evasive on that trip. She was worried about James hurting one of the family and putting us in danger. I told her she was worth it. Why?”
This handsome stranger was the one to protect me from that nightmare? I could see it, almost. I tried putting his face to what memories I had. It was difficult and my mind fought against it. Shaking my head, I listened in as they continued downstairs. I leaned against the door frame as I sat on the floor, breathing in the the stranger’s scent, letting it calm me.
Charlotte’s voice dropped, something in the tone I couldn’t identify. “She remembers it. She remembers those words,” she said to him. “Let us all take a break and relax. It’s been a long week so far considering everything being thrown at the girl, we need to lay off her. After her revelation about Edward, I honestly can’t say that I think bringing you in so soon is a good idea, but we can’t change that now.”
“I fucking panicked Char! You weren’t here to see her. The only think I could think of that might help that kind of anger is the presence of her fucking mate so I called him!” Peter snapped. At his words, everyone stopped breathing. Even I.
That man, Jasper, was my mate? Then what the hell was Edward? I was never more confused, intrigued, and embarrassed at that moment before I was pissed off. I flew down the stairs and glared at the three of them. Peter looked guilty and apologetic. Char was pissed and nervous. Jasper was terrified. My confusion spiked and I know he noticed it, giving me a small smile and shrug as he looked uncomfortable.
“What did you just say Peaches?” I asked evenly, closing my eyes and praying my vampire memory was tricking me.
He let loose a nervous chuckle. “Uh, well…I would try to lie but the cat is out of the bag. Jasper is your mate, Cupcake. It wasn’t that we were keeping secrets from you. It’s just that well, after everything, we weren’t sure that you wanted to know yet or if you’d be able to handle it until your other feelings were resolved about that family.”
I closed my eyes as I struggled to find patience to deal with him. I completely understood where he was coming from and if I was in position, I’d probably have done the same thing so I couldn’t find it in me to hold it against him. The next question for myself was how I was going to deal with Jasper because to run from him to hide in my room unnerved me, and it was his scent that lingered up there that eased the discomfort.
“I suppose we don’t get a choice in this, do we?” I asked, looking fully at Jasper fully for the first time.
“To an point. The pull would be painful for both of us to be apart for distances, but if all you want is friendship that is fine with me. We don’t have to be anything more than what you want,” he explained, though I could see the flicker of loneliness and disappointment that I felt.
Nodding, I struggled to pull my eyes away from him as he watched me. “I think I need to think about this. I know I need to think, but being friends would be – nice. Get to know each other I guess?”
He nodded, seemingly afraid to use any words as he stared back at me. I met his eyes and was startled at the depth of emotion that filled them and as much as I wanted to run back to my room or out to the pond that I had taken a liking to, I was rooted to the spot where I stood.
I could sense Peter and Char moving slowly. “We’ll just let you two, um, talk. We’ll be back in a few hours. Try not to kill one another!” Charlotte. She needed to go away.
Peter wasn’t so tactful. “Don’t do anything we wouldn’t do! And if you jump in and fully go for that mating bond, do it in your room!”
“Peaches, if you know what the fuck is good for you, leave me alone!” I screamed, stomping my foot. A little petulant for a bad ass vampire, but I was beyond embarrassed already. I didn’t need him compounding on it. “If you don’t run off, I’ll be sure to burn your entire porn collection!”
He glared at me in defiance. “You wouldn’t.”
I smiled mischievously. “I would even mail your homemade video I found with Charlotte to the Volturi. God knows they need a good release from what I remember of those stories!”
Charlotte turned on Peter, who had enough sense to look contrite. “You told me you burned those tapes!”
Jasper looked at me surprised and I couldn’t hold back the smirk. “I’m not surprised that you remember the stories of the Volturi, but porn Bella? I have to admit it’s hard to think of you and porn in the same sentence.”
“Don’t blame me. Blame your friend here for thinking your room was a good hiding place,” I explained and laughed a little at his shudder.
“Dude that’s a major privacy violation there,” he pointed out. As amused as I became with the change of atmosphere, I was hyper aware of his movement to come stand closer to me. My eyes shot back to him as he wordless asked if it was alright. Nodding, I smiled to myself as I turned back to watch Peter and Char battle it out now. Ha! Bella 2, Peter 0.
Jasper turned to me and smiled nervously. I could only look back at him, study him, take him in as I worked to figure out everything in my head. “Want to take a walk because I don’t think they are going to be leaving now. I think there is more that you and I need to discuss,” he asked. I was unable to resist and found myself nodding before he gently took my hand to lead us outside and away from the yelling.
I stared at our joined hands, surprised at the warmth that I felt. For some reason I was expecting unrelenting cold hands. Edward. The name sparked rage but this hand in mine brought peace. He must have felt my conflict as he looked back. “Something wrong Darling?”
“No. I don’t think so. I’m so confused,” I mumbled. I felt torn about everything. My need of him was strong, but at the same time, I wanted to hate him. It troubled me greatly as I worked to process everything.
He nodded. “It’ll clear up in time. I’ll help with what I can and you know Peter and Charlotte will be there for you as well.”
“Are you leaving?” I questioned, feeling panic fill me. He obviously picked up on that and he turned to face me, pulling me into him to hold me close, causing me to freeze.
“No! I couldn’t. Not now. And believe me Bella, I didn’t want to leave the last time either. Emmett and I argued against leaving but we were outvoted,” he said, pressing his lips to my hair. His affection for me so soon filled me with white hot rage as I continued to remain still, glaring up at him until he backed away and finally looked me in the eye.