Bella never goes to Forks, instead living with Renee and Phil throughout high school. During her 3rd year at NYU, she is studying abroad in Florence, Italy. Her life is forever changed when she is compelled to visit Volterra; stumbling into a world she never dreamed could exist. AU, OOC, MA, Bella/Jasper

A Note from Mae

I am an avid fan of Twilight fanfiction. I've also been a fan of writing my own stories from time to time. So I decided to combine the two and recently started writing my own fanfiction. Feel free to check out my profile on FFn.

This blog is primarily for additional info and pics to accompany my story, Unfathomable Bonds. This is my first multi-chapter fanfiction story and I'm very excited about it.

If this story sounds interesting to you, please check it out. If you do, please feel free to let me know how you like it.

Lots of love, Mae.

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all its affiliated characters; I just like to play with them. I also do not own any of the artwork discussed in any chapter of this fic. I am merely using them in one way or another for the purpose of my story.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

UB Chapter 12 - Reassurance

Jasper POV

The days passed quietly in the castle as I simultaneously kept watch over Bella and waited for Aro to call another meeting regarding the situation in the Americas.  We knew that time was of the essence but, as the saying goes, ‘Forewarned is forearmed’. 

Aro had placed a call to the Cullens requesting that their seer attempt to discover whatever information she could find while the others scout the outlying towns for traces of the newborns expanding their territory.  Carlisle Cullen was due to call this afternoon.

Aro had called a meeting for early this evening after he received the call from the Cullens.  In the meantime, Peter and Charlotte were monitoring the news and filtering through reports from the various representatives and informants throughout the Americas.  Being the American liaisons for the Volturi, they had a number of resources at their disposal and they were utilizing every one in search of any possible advantages.

The meeting this evening would be to report everything we’d learned and to plan the next step.  That next step would be, inevitably, to send us back to the Americas – to either the southwest or the Pacific Northwest, if not both. 

Normally I would be eager for the challenge presented by these newborns, as I had been when originally sent to Vegas, but I’d discovered in the last few days that I was reluctant to go.  The feeling made me uneasy because I knew the reason for why I was hesitant to leave. 

Said reason was currently sitting across the room from me, ensconced in the window seat with a book in her lap.  She was curled up almost out of sight behind the curtain with her feet tucked under her.  If you didn’t know better, you’d think I was alone in the expansive library.  But I’ve learned much about this petite woman in the last few days of guarding her, watching her. 

Bella was a refreshing combination of terms.  She was fierce and protective yet shy and selfless.  When alone, she was often reading or pensive, her emotions a swirling myriad that included anything from love to worry to lust. 

I felt my lips turn up on one side in a smirk as I considered the latter.  Lust.  She tried to hide it, but I knew she was attracted to me.  I am a vampire, after all.  It was natural for our prey to be attracted to us.  But with Bella, that lust was always followed quickly by embarrassment and a very beautiful blush that covered her cheeks, sometimes sweeping down her neck and disappearing into her shirt.  More often than not I found myself wondering what had lain beneath that towel the other day when I’d watched her skin turn pink as she belatedly realized her attire included naught else. 

I nearly groaned aloud as I shifted in the chair and adjusted myself.  Bella was a beautiful woman, there was no doubt, and I could not help my physical reaction to her.  But there was more to her than that.  I knew this from my observations.  More and more I found myself wondering at her thoughts.  What were the reasons behind the emotions I felt from her?  I could guess, but I’ve discovered that assumptions can be wrong.  At this point, I didn’t think there was much more I could discover about this woman through observation and minimal conversations.

Standing, I crossed the room with silent tread and came to a halt a few feet away from her to watch her a moment longer.  Her attention was miles away, it seemed, even while her eyes were fixed on the colored horizon in the distance.  She was barely registering the sunset signaling the closing of the day. 

Her eyes were the warmest, most expressive eyes I’d ever seen.  Sure, she expressed herself in other ways – biting her lip, smiling or frowning, raising her eyebrow – but it was her eyes that I noticed.  Deep, intelligent, mature, soulful eyes. 

I let my own gaze travel to her hair.  It was a deep brown, like the color of dark chocolate, and it looked as soft as silk.  She had gathered her hair and pulled it over one shoulder, where it strayed down one side to cover her left breast.  My fingers itched to touch it on a regular basis.  She fidgeted with her hair a lot, often pulling it up and over one shoulder and then the other, pushing it back, or clipping it up and then taking it down.  It was an endless cycle, as if she could never decide how she wished to wear it. 

I smiled at that quirk as I continued my perusal, taking in the soft, creamy neck that was bared from her most recent  fidgeting.  It was pale, as she was, and I could both see and hear her pulse beating just beneath the skin.  Bloodlust was not an issue with Bella, but lust was.  I felt my mouth fill with venom, watering at the thought of my lips traveling over that exposed neck and then down along the collar of her shirt…

I shook my head from my thoughts, trying to divert both them and my eyes from her body.  She had a luscious, ample chest with breasts that would fit nicely into my hands.  Her waist was slightly narrowed but she had wide hips, which gave her just the right amount of curves.  She wasn’t skin and bones, either.  The trend for modern women was ridiculous, making them have to starve themselves to fit the contemporary vision of ‘beauty’.  But Bella…well, she had just enough meat on her to mesh with the curves given to her and make a man take notice.  And I had definitely noticed.

I cleared my throat just loud enough to draw her attention before my lascivious thoughts could continue.

She jumped slightly, grabbing her book quickly before it fell from her lap, and then grabbed her chest.  I heard her heartbeat skip and then flutter quickly.  “Jasper, you scared me!” she admonished.

“Sorry, princess,” I apologized, giving her a sheepish smile that deepened as I noted her reactionary spike of attraction.  She also seemed pleased.  I had guessed over the last few days that she liked it when I called her ‘princess’.  “May I?” I waved my hand to the open area opposite her on the window seat.

Curiosity sparked through her as she nodded.  “Please.” 

Sitting across from her, I lifted one foot, bending it at the knee, and rested my arm over it as I leaned back and regarded her intently, wondering how to proceed.

Bella watched me for a while as I gathered myself and then leaned back and waited for me to speak.

“Could I ask you something?”

Bella tilted her head at me, a tiny smile playing over her lips.  “Of course, Jasper.”

“So, you’ve decided?” I asked.  She knew what I meant.  Her emotions had been fluxing all afternoon, anxiety tinged with sadness and a touch of hope.  I imagined it was due to her meeting with the Masters that she had asked for me to arrange.  I had informed her that she would see them later this evening after my own meeting with them regarding the newborns.  She had smiled and thanked me, but ever since then she had been a bit of a nervous mess emotionally.  I can’t imagine how it must feel to make this decision.  I was almost grateful for having had no choice in my change.

“Yes.”  She took a deep breath and released it slowly in an attempt to calm herself.

“What have you decided?” I asked as I continued to monitor her both visually and emotionally.

She made a face that would have made me smile were the discussion not so serious.  “There isn’t really much of a decision to make, is there?  I choose to be changed.”

I let out a long, unnecessary breath, not realizing until that moment that I had worried over her choice and the slim chance that she would choose death.  “I’m glad, Bella,”  I told her.  “I think you will come to enjoy life as a vampire.”

“Why do you say that?” she asked, sitting up a little straighter.  I could tell I had piqued her interest.

“While it is difficult to get over the…disadvantages of being one of us, there are a lot of advantages too.  You’re stronger and faster than humans, incredibly so.  Never having to sleep and having near perfect memory recall make us smarter than most humans.  And we live forever, allowing us to watch and experience history unfold around us.  We can pursue any number of interests.  Our options are actually limitless, really.”

“So it doesn’t bother you, the people you kill to survive?” she asked, though her emotions were calm.  She was curious without the typical indignant emotions of a normal human, which was somewhat surprising.

“We all deal with that part of our nature in different ways.  Some just accept it and try not to think about the fact that we need to take life to survive.  Others, those we call vegetarians, refuse to imbibe human blood and feed only off non-human animals.  Personally I don’t see the difference.  At least my food source isn’t imprisoned and forced to breed in order to reproduce and provide more for humans to feed themselves.  We are all part of the food chain.  It’s just that vampires are currently at the top.”  I grinned at that, noting her soft chuckle.

“Yeah, I suppose so.  If you truly think about it, vampires feed in a much more humane way, don’t they?” 

I nodded, my grin still in place.  “Is that part of what was bothering you about being changed?”

“No, not really.  I mean, yeah, it’s a little strange to think about feeding off humans and having to kill.”  She was quiet for a moment as she gathered her thoughts.  “I think what I worry about the most, besides never being able to see my father again, is losing myself.  Will I still be me afterward?  What will my life be like then?  Will I regret never being able to have children of my own?” 

Her voice trailed off and I felt a flash of sorrow from her.  I couldn’t resist the urge to lean forward and reach for her hand, grasping it in my own and giving it a light squeeze.  “I can’t imagine what it would feel like, but I can understand.  In this instance, men have it easy.”  I paused.  “Did you want children?”

Shaking her head, she gave my hand a reciprocal squeeze, ignoring the chill she must have felt with our hands clasped together as they were.  “No…I don’t know.  I mean, I never really thought about it because there were so many other things I wanted to do.  University, work, love…”  Longing poured from her.  “Will I ever have what Sera and Marcus found?  I don’t begrudge them finding each other, but sometimes I envy them.”  She looked at me and gave a sad shrug with her shoulders.  “I am such a girl, aren’t I?”

“Not at all.  You’re human.  Actually, no, you’re a person.  Humans, vampires…almost all of us want that, admitted or not.”  My voice had a strange edge to it, emotion seeping into it in a way that it never before had done.  I moved on quickly.  “Let’s see if I can answer your questions.  Will you still be you afterward?  Yes, most likely.  Many of us bring over memories of our human life and have a very similar personality.  The memories are often fuzzy and some traits may change, become more or less pronounced, but the core of who you are remains the same.  It varies, though.  I’ve heard of some being changed and becoming a ‘blank slate’ so to speak – little to no memory at all and nearly infantile in personality. (1) But it is rare.”

Bella gave a slight shudder at the thought.  “I don’t think I’d like that, though I guess if I didn’t remember anything I wouldn’t know the difference, huh?”

“True.  I’ve heard that you may retain your memories if you go through them during your change.  Think of the important ones and remember them - people, places, events, whatever is important to you.  Visualize it as well as you possibly can.”  She nodded, listening and waiting for me to continue. 

“Your life as a vampire can be almost anything you’d like it to be.  Master Aro has offered you a position within the guard.  If that doesn’t appeal to you then you are welcome to stay or go as you please.  Almost all vampires are or have been nomadic, but there are covens that form – friends and/or mates that stick together.  Some stay hidden away from the human world and interact as little as possible with it.  Others embrace the human world and live within it.  Some even have jobs.”

“Blue collar vampires?”  She chuckled at that.  “You work for the Volturi, right?” she asked, shifting in the window seat so that her legs were pulled up and her free arm was wrapped around her knee, her chin resting on top.  Our hands were still clasped together, but she didn’t pull away and I reveled in her warmth.

“Yes, it is a job, but more than a job truly.  I believe in the laws and values the Volturi practice.  My position is part enforcer and part information gatherer.  It depends on the circumstances, really.  Most of the time it’s the latter.  I filter through the reports sent in from various locations around the world and then advise the Masters, that kind of thing.”

“So how did you get demoted to babysitter?” she teased.

My grin widened.  “I’m not entirely sure, but I can’t say as I mind being yours, princess.”

Bella blushed and ducked her head, tucking some of her hair behind her ear nervously, but I could feel she was pleased by my reply.  I decided not to think about the double entendre one could apply to the phrasing I had used.

She cleared her throat.  “So what are your hours?  Do you even have hours?”

“No, not really.  If we are needed as guard, we often rotate to give us each a break for a while.  Sometimes I get field work.”  I smiled.  “If I’m not here, others pitch in so I can focus on my mission.  Really, we do have a decent amount of free time.  Everyone here believes in the Volturi and are committed to it, but we are pretty laid back most of the time.”

“What do you do with your free time then?”

“Probably a lot of the same things human males do.  I game with my friends, play my guitar, read, surf the net...” I trailed off at her laugh.

“I’m sorry,” she said between giggles.  “It’s just so...normal.”

I shrugged my shoulders but kept my smile, enjoying her laughter.  “You’ll learn that underneath our supernatural existence we are just normal people.”

We sat for a few moments, just watching each other with smiles on our faces.  I could tell she was considering everything I had told her.  She still felt a bit apprehensive and anxious, but the feelings weren’t as strong as before and the hope was starting to take dominance within her. 

“Thank you, Jasper.”  I just inclined my head to her.  “I feel a lot better now.  I know I’ve been like a crazy emo chick lately and it can’t have been pleasant for you…with your ability and all, I mean.”

I shook my head at her.  “Not at all, princess.  I’ve enjoyed being your ‘babysitter’.”

She giggled again, sighing as happiness flushed through her, and she turned her head to the darkening sky out the window.  “Not long now,” she said quietly, more to herself than to me.

“No, not long now.  Did you want me to help you during the meeting?” I asked.  “I won’t if you tell me not to.”

She continued to look out the window for a bit, chewing on her lip as she thought.  “Only if you really think it’s necessary.  I hope it won’t be, though.  I want to do this on my own, you know?”

I nodded again, understanding.  She wanted to be strong and independent.  My admiration for her increased tenfold.

We sat in a comfortable silence, both of us lost in our thoughts.  My own were filled with her, as they often have been of late. 

As I was considering whether or not to ask Marcus what he saw between Bella and me, my phone buzzed, vibrating from its place in my back pocket.  I leaned forward and took it out, noting I had a text from Marcus.

My chambers.  Immediately.  Bring Bella.

A sense of foreboding stole into me as I read it.  Bring Bella?  With this urgency, it couldn’t be good.  I wondered what had happened as I looked over at Bella, hoping nothing had happened to Sera.  It would devastate not only Marcus but Bella as well, and I was loathe to see her unhappy in any way.

“We’ve been summoned, princess,” I informed her.

She turned to me, her eyebrows drawn together in confusion.  “So soon?  But my meeting isn’t for a few hours, isn’t it?”

“Yeah, but Master Marcus wants us to meet him in his chambers ‘immediately’, so...” I trailed off as I stood, keeping hold of her hand and tugging gently for her to follow.

She followed suit and fell into step next to me.  “I wonder what it is…  Nothing bad, I hope.” 

“We won’t know until we get there, princess.” 

I felt her worry increase as we reached the door.  Releasing her hand reluctantly, I held open the door for her to pass through and then fell back into step next to her as we traveled the corridors to Marcus’ chambers.

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