Hey guys, so I forgot to give credit to IdreamofEddy for Peter’s gift last chapter. In case you didn’t know, that is where the whole idea of Peter’s most commonly accepted gift originated. Like everyone else, I love the concept of Peter’s gift and decided to stick with it.
Just FYI, this chapter is extremely brief. My chapters don’t normally run this short, but it felt strange trying to tack it on to the end of the last one. Expect long chapters from here on out. I’ve also been experimenting a bit with the POV I use in my stories, trying to figure out which one I like the most. Unfortunately, I completely forgot that I switched between two characters last chap. while I was writing. The rest of this story is written in 3rd person limited, meaning you see everything from just one character’s POV the entire chap. No need to point it out to me, I’m already aware. I may go back and rewrite the first chapter, but for now I’m leaving it.
Just a reminder to everyone, 4padfoot set up a donation link at the top of the grey bar at the bottom of this page. Because of the constant procedures and doctors appointments I have to deal with, I don’t currently have a job. I’m in the process of trying to get disability, but it’s taking much longer than I thought it would. If any of you feel like donating, every little bit helps.
Disclaimer: I own nothing. Twilight belongs to Stephanie Meyers. I’m just a writer who gets her kicks setting up Bella Barbie with G.I. Jasper…
Across the country, in an isolated and picturesque plantation house that the Cullens had claimed as their own, Alice was filling a vase with a fresh arrangement of handpicked freesias. She replaced the flowers with fresh ones on a weekly basis, cloaking the entire house in the delicate fragrance. It’d become somewhat of a tradition for her, a bittersweet ritual she’d started about a week after the family left Forks.
She didn’t know what possessed her to do it the first time, to fill their home with the scent that reminded their family so strongly of Bella, but she knew the others secretly appreciated the gesture. Edward was the only one who objected to her new ritual. In fact, Edward despised her for it, resenting the constant reminder of the lover he’d left behind, but Alice refused to let the floral aroma fade. The scent was soothing to her, bringing a comfort to her that only Bella could provide, and Alice was unwilling to give that up.
A piece of her silent heart had shattered the night Edward forced them to leave Forks. The separation from her human sister hurt so much more than Alice anticipated it would. She honestly felt lost without Bella, like she’d left a part of her very soul behind. They all did. Bella had somehow wormed her way into all of their hearts, claiming a piece of them as hers forever. Even Rosalie and Jasper, who had interacted with Bella the least, were pained by her absence, which was why nobody said a word when Alice began leaving freesias all over the house.
The others were truly grateful for Alice’s new quirk. It made them all feel closer to Bella; if they closed their eyes and focused solely on the floral bouquet, they could almost see her. For that brief moment, they could imagine that Bella had just been there, that she’d just stopped by for a quick visit before heading home to make dinner for Charlie.
They could almost pretend that they hadn’t abandoned her.
It was an illusion they all indulged in, a fragile daydream that fell apart the second the vase slipped from Alice’s fingers, shattering when it hit the floor. Immersed in a vision, she didn’t notice the shocked silence that swept through the house, nor did she notice when the others flew to her side. Her heart clenched in pain as she watched Victoria’s insidious plans unfold, horror making her throat close up. She let out a broken sob, realizing they’d never make it back to Forks in time to stop her.
She was still watching the consequences of Victoria’s decision when Edward let out an agonized shout and bolted from the house. Concerned, Emmett briefly shared a look with Rosalie before he took off after him. Alice already knew they wouldn’t make it in time to save Bella, but Edward was still determined to try.
When the vision finally stopped, she collapsed in a heap on the dining room floor. Jasper was quick to join her. Pulling her into his lap, he tucked his arms carefully around her small frame. She could feel him trembling around her, his body literally shaking under the onslaught of her dark emotions. Alice wanted to push him away, certain the sheer amount of her self-loathing, hatred, guilt, and grief was hurting him, but didn’t bother. She knew he’d refuse to leave her while she was suffering. It was a realization that made her already profound sense of guilt double in intensity. In all the years they’d been together, she’d never once hated herself the way she did now. She was disgusted with herself and poor Jasper was experiencing the brunt of it.
“What have we done?” she choked out, suffocating on her grief. “We’ve given her a fate worse than death.”
The remaining coven members all inhaled sharply at that, dreading whatever Alice was about to reveal. They all knew without asking that she was talking about Bella, the most vulnerable of their family. Edward had convinced them all that they posed the biggest threat to her safety, that they needed to leave in order to protect her from themselves. It never occurred to them that they were leaving her vulnerable. They’d only wanted to save her, instead they’d condemned her to a hell Alice wouldn’t wish upon her worst enemy.
“Alice,” Carlisle said gently, kneeling down next to her and Jasper. His golden eyes were dark with concern as he asked, “What did you see?”
“Victoria,” she whimpered, unaffected by the calm Jasper was so desperately trying to send her. It wasn’t enough. The sheer strength of her grief and guilt were too powerful for Jasper to manipulate. “Jasper was right, Carlisle. James was her mate. She’s making her move as we speak.”
Jasper stiffened beneath her and clarified, “She wants revenge?” Alice made a wounded noise and Jasper tightened his grip on her waist. Confused, he wondered, “What move, Ali? She isn’t comin’ for us?”
His Texan drawl slipped out with his concern and it made the others wince. Jasper’s accent usually only made an appearance when he was emotionally distraught.
“No,” Alice whispered hoarsely, “she’s targeting Bella.” Ignoring the others, she looked up and met Jasper’s dark gaze, the only one who would truly understand the hell Bella was about to suffer through. “She’s found a vampire with a gift to send the living back in time. She’s sending Bella back, Jazz… Back to you and Maria.”
An eerie silence met her revelation, broken only by the sound of Jasper’s breath catching.
“She didn’t… I d-didn’t…” he stammered before he managed to collect himself. Brow creased in concern, he finally voiced, “I have no memories of drainin’ her. With her scent, Bella would’ve stood out.”
“You mean you would’ve singled her out,” Rosalie said bluntly, ignoring Esme’s gasp of dismay. Carlisle frowned disapprovingly at her and she ignored that too. “You would’ve wanted to taste her yourself,” she surmised, raising a knowing eyebrow at him. “Right, Jazz?”
Jasper grunted in agreement, unable to look anyone in the eye. Chances were that he would’ve done more than just desire a taste of someone with such a tempting scent. He likely would’ve insisted upon it. Being the leader of Maria’s forces came with certain perks, after all. Alice had even witnessed some of those rewards through her earliest visions of him. Idly, she wondered whether Bella’s affection for their family, Jasper included, would intrigue him enough to keep him from completely draining her if Jasper marked her as prey. The possibility that it wouldn’t was too overwhelming to consider.
Gazing sadly at him, Alice whispered regretfully, “It hasn’t happened yet. Your memories won’t change until it happens.”
It was part of the vision she saw after Victoria made her decision. Though she didn’t know what he would remember, she knew that Jasper was going to be powerfully affected by it. That was all Alice had managed to glimpse before her vision had cut out, Jasper on his knees. She was desperately hoping a profound memory didn’t necessarily mean a devastating one.
She didn’t know what she would do if Jasper killed her best friend. Her sister in all but blood. How was she supposed to ever look at him the same way again if he remembered feeding from her?
Maybe this was why she never saw them mating. Even when she intentionally decided to let him bite her, she only ever saw them happy together for a couple of decades before everything just… stopped. Somehow, it was like they had never mated in the first place and she could never pinpoint the precise moment everything changed. All she knew was that it would be better if they never took that step.
Sensing her uncertainty and trepidation, Jasper implored, “Ali…”
Alice couldn’t look at him. As often as she stepped in and prevented him from killing the humans he didn’t actually want to, this was something she couldn’t prevent. There was no way to help the Jasper under Maria’s control. Unfortunately, she also knew this was the one human he never wanted to hurt. He’d been crushed by his lapse in control last September and was still recovering from the incident, despite the fact that the family was actually proud of him for having the restraint to allow Emmett and Carlisle to remove him from the party. If he was still responsible for Bella’s death after all that, she was sure it would break him.
It might just break her too.
“If it hasn’t happened yet, perhaps Edward and Emmett will get to her in time,” Carlisle suggested hopefully and Alice gave him a look of pure pity.
“She made the final decision to send Bella back while she was standing just outside her house,” she explained carefully, keenly aware of the impact her words would have. “It’s going to happen any minute now.”
Jasper gently set Alice on the floor and stood up, his body drawn taught like the string of a bow. Clearing his throat roughly, he informed them, “There’s a chance I won’t drain her. I could… I could change her.”
Rosalie stared at him in horror, “Change her to serve in your army?” Esme made a strangled sound. “Shit, Jazz, then I hope you suck her dry!”
Jasper visibly recoiled. Silently fuming, Alice glared at her sister furiously. Though she knew Rose hadn’t meant it, she’d unintentionally made it sound like she thought it was better to die than to have a war veteran in their house.
A war veteran like Jasper.
“Rosalie!” Carlisle barked, his angry voice piercing the blonde like a blade. Their coven leader never grew angry. Visibly forcing himself to calm down, he reassured them, “Bella is strong. If she’s changed, I have no doubt that she will survive somehow and seek one of us out. Eventually, she will find her way back to us.”
Just seconds after he’d spoken the words, Jasper stumbled and dropped to his knees. Startled shock poured out of him, his control over his ability snapping under the assault of the new memories slamming into his mind.
“Jasper?” Carlisle asked worriedly, only to get distracted by Alice collapsing, her back hitting the wooden floor with a loud thunk. “Alice, dear?”
Alice never expected Bella’s journey to the past to impact hers too. As she watched her entire history be rewritten through her new memories, she knew the future would change in irrevocable ways. Ways she couldn’t even begin to predict or imagine.
For once, she could honestly say that she hadn’t seen it coming.