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, February 22, 2011

UB Chapter 16 - Arrivals

Bella POV

When the pilot announced we would be landing, I resumed my seat across from Jasper and buckled my seat belt.

Being in Jasper’s arms had been such a comfort.  I knew he hadn’t been using his ability either.  He was just being there for me and I was thankful for it.  My grief was like a constant ache in the vicinity of my heart and I knew it must be difficult for him to feel, but I was selfishly pleased at his presence. 

Shaking my thoughts from my mourning, I thought of the situation here in Washington.  I knew it would be dangerous here – as it is for any human with so many of these newborns on the loose.  I did not particularly want to be near said danger, but I needed to clamp down on my apprehension about it so I could deal with Charlie’s death.  And then I could leave as soon as I was finished.

Thoughts of leaving made me sad and worried for another reason – that reason being the man sitting across from me.  I knew I was attracted to him.  Obviously.  His likeness fair littered one of my sketchbooks.  I’d say it was borderline obsession before I’d met him again.  But the time we’d spent together at the castle had shown me a glimpse of the man he is behind the body I so admired.  The more I learned about him, the more I realized my attraction had less to do about his looks and more to do with the man himself. 

I readily admit – to myself, at least – that I liked him and wanted to continue to learn about him.  His care of me as I dealt with Charlie’s death was only solidifying that desire.  I knew this was a time when I was quite vulnerable, but I knew Jasper’s care was genuine.  I could feel it even without his power to guide me. 

What I wasn’t sure about was the depth of that care.  There were times when I thought he felt as I did, but then I still didn’t know him that well.  He could be so kind with everyone.  I knew it was my fear of rejection speaking - my insecurities - but I couldn’t bring myself to do anything about my attraction. 

To be honest, now didn’t seem the time to be worrying about such things.  I had to deal with my grief and see to Charlie.  I knew thoughts of Jasper were only distracting me from the sadness.  I needed to get through the next few days and say my goodbyes to my father.  While I did that, I would be patient and observe.  Perhaps if I was perceptive enough, I could come up with a solution to my little dilemma.


Jasper’s voice startled me from my thoughts and I blushed.  “Sorry, I was…thinking,” I apologized, unbuckling my belt and taking his proffered hand, only just noticing that the plane had stopped.

He squeezed my hand, his eyes capturing my own.  “You okay?” he asked.  “I’ve been trying not to tamper with your emotions, but if you need help, just say the word.”

I stood and squeezed back with my fingers, rubbing my other hand up his arm.  Trying to ignore the feel of the sculpted muscles beneath his shirt, I answered, “I’m okay for now.  But thanks, Jasper.”

He smiled and turned, releasing my hand.  Grabbing our coats, he handed me mine while putting on his own.  I followed suit.  Then he slung his carry-on over his head, the strap crossing over his chest with the contents behind his back.  He passed me my purse, which I perched on my shoulder, and then took my hand once again.

Exiting the plane, we stepped onto a connected platform and down the stairs to the tarmac.  The weather was cold and it was drizzling, the shock of it after the warm, sunny weather of Italy making me gasp.  I saw my breath when I exhaled and shivered slightly.

Jasper looked over at me with concern.  “We’ll get out of the cold soon, princess.”

I nodded and made my way down the stairs with him, being careful of my footing on the slippery steps.  As we reached the bottom, I saw a man get out of a sleek, black Mercedes.  He smiled in greeting as he rounded the car.  I noted the pale complexion and light blond hair, every strand in its place even in the slight wind of the day.  Vampire.  I wondered if this was Carlisle.

When he reached the other side of the car, he took the hand of a petite young woman with caramel colored hair that also looked untouched and perfectly coiffed.  They walked forward together, hand in hand, with similar smiles of welcome on their faces.  As they grew closer, I gasped again, though not from the cold this time.  I had expected the crimson eyes I’d grown accustomed to, but instead these vampires had pale golden ones.

“Their eyes,” I whispered to Jasper before he could ask, looking up to him for an explanation.

“Ah, yes.  It’s their diet.  Remember I told you about the ‘vegetarian’ vampires?”  I nodded.  “The Cullens are vegetarians.”

“Oh,” I said noncommittally.  I pondered this as the couple reached us.

The man offered his hand out to Jasper, who released mine to shake his.  “Welcome.  I’m Carlisle Cullen,” he said, then stepped back and put his arm around the woman.  “This is my wife and mate, Esme.”

Jasper nodded.  “Jasper Whitlock,” he greeted.  “And this is Bella Swan,” he gestured to me.  “It’s good to meet you finally, Carlisle.  I’ve heard quite a lot about you over the years.” 

Carlisle smiled and nodded.  “Aro is a very good friend.  I do hope he hasn’t told you too much.”  He winked at us and chuckled, making me smile with the light banter.

“Nice to meet you both,” I said, shivering again as I did.

“We are very pleased to see you both,” Esme said in a soft, soothing tone.

“Perhaps we could move this conversation to the car?  It’s a bit cold and wet out here,” Jasper suggested.  I was instantly grateful, shivering again as he turned to smile at me.

“Oh!  Of course, my dear.  Come, let’s get you settled,” Esme said.  Carlisle, put their bags in the trunk.” 

Carlisle just smiled and reached for the bags that I’d just noticed were sitting in a baggage cart next to the stairs.  Esme moved forward and extended her hand to me, which I took, letting her lead me to the car.  She got me settled in the rear driver side seat, then rounded the car and resumed her position in the front, twisting in her seat to look at me.

“Are you warm enough?” she asked as she turned a dial on the console.

The warm air was a relief even after the short time in the cold, wet weather.  “Yes, thank you.  I’d forgotten how harsh the weather can be here.”

She nodded, pausing before speaking again.  “I’m so sorry to meet you like this, Bella.  I met your father a number of times.  He was such a good man.  I’m sorry for your loss.”  Her voice was soft and sincere.

“Thank you, Esme.”  I swallowed and watched as Jasper and Carlisle entered the car.  Jasper slid into the seat next to me and I immediately reached for his hand.  He readily accepted it, concern in his eyes as he felt my sadness at Esme’s words.

Carlisle looked at me through the rearview mirror as he put the car in gear and headed to the exit.  “Please accept my condolences on your father’s passing, Bella.  He will be missed.”

I nodded, a lump forming in my throat, and squeezed Jasper’s hand tighter.

“We’ll be stopping at the funeral home before heading to our house?” he asked.

Jasper answered.  “Yes, head to the funeral home, but I’d like to make a pass through town before we stop there so I can get familiar with it and see what scents we may pick up.”

Carlisle nodded.  “Of course.  Did you need anything before we go?  Food…drink…facilities?  It’s two or three hours to Forks.”

I shook my head and the ride commenced with small talk.  They asked about the flight and my studies, and then Jasper and Carlisle discussed past events with the Volturi from when Carlisle had apparently been a part of the guard for a time.  I listened quietly as I lay my head back and closed my eyes.

Carlisle and Esme were a pleasant couple.  I liked them.  They were very mature and gracious, and they seemed genuinely sympathetic to my loss.  I was glad they didn’t say much about Charlie, though.  I didn’t want to start crying again just yet.

I idly wondered about the other Cullens.  I didn’t know anything about them.  The only name I’d heard before was Carlisle’s, and besides what Aro had told us, I didn’t know anything further.  I didn’t even know how many there were or what their names were. 

I guess I’d find out soon enough, though.  It had been a long flight and this would be a long ride, so I let myself doze in and out during the trip.  At one point, I awoke to find myself curled on my side with my head in Jasper’s lap and my hands curled around his thigh.  I jumped, startled and embarrassed, but he just told me to stay still and rest.  His hand was trailing through my hair and I sighed, content with the soothing feel that I was coming to love too much.

I drifted in and out of consciousness for the rest of the long ride.  Each time I came to, Jasper would be there, his voice and hand quieting me back into slumber. 

When we finally arrived, he shook my shoulder gently.  “Bella, we’re here.”

I opened my eyes, blinking a few times as I sat up, and leaned sleepily against him as I looked around.  Carlisle and Esme were gone and the car was parked on the curb in front of the Forks Funeral Home.  It was a quiet building with sedate landscaping, a long drive, and a parking lot.


My head turned to him and I immediately noticed the change in his eyes.  Instead of the normal red, they were a dark muddy brown like I remembered Marcus’ had been before we knew the truth.  “Jasper, your eyes…”

“Yeah, brown contacts to disguise the red,” he informed me.  “It’s easier to blend in with humans this way.”


He nudged my shoulder gently.  “You ready to do this?” Jasper asked. 

I felt my anxiety spike and shook my head.  “I can’t.  I don’t want to...”  I sniffled and felt tears form and begin to spill as I thought of seeing my father.

“Shh,” Jasper soothed me, taking my face in his hands.  “You can do this, Bella,” he told me.  I shook my head again and he gently wiped the tears from my cheeks.  “Do you want me to help?”

I nodded.  “Just a little, please, so I can get through this.  But you’ll still stay with me, right?”

“I won’t leave you,” he promised and I felt a subtle wave of calm come over me.  I took a deep breath and sniffled again.  Exhaling through my mouth, I looked up at Jasper.  “Thank you.”

“My pleasure, princess.”  His lips twitched in a tiny smile and he smoothed my hair for me.  “Ready?”

“Ready,” I said with another deep breath.  He went to get out and I grabbed his hand, scooting across the seat to exit on his side.  He closed the door behind us and shifted our positions so I was tucked under his left arm while my right hand was held in his.

We crossed the lot and up the few steps to the entrance.  Jasper opened the door and led me through.  Inside, I saw Carlisle and Esme standing with an older gentleman in a dark suit who I vaguely recognized.  He made his way to me when I entered.

“Miss Swan, please accept my most sincere condolences on your loss,” he stated.  “I’m Phillip Yorkie.  My son, Eric, asked me to send his sympathies as well.”

“Thank you, Mr. Yorkie.”

He gave a sympathetic smile before turning to Jasper.  “You must be Mr. Whitlock.  Nice to meet you.”  Mr. Yorkie turned back to me.  “Dr. Cullen says you wished to see your father.  We have everything arranged in the other room.  If you’d like, we could go over some details in my office beforehand?”

I just nodded and let Jasper lead me, Carlisle and Esme opting to wait in the foyer for us.  Jasper and I followed Mr. Yorkie to a small office and we sat in front of his desk on the chairs there. 

“Now, Miss Swan, you don’t need to make any decisions today, but I wanted to go over what I’ve done so far, what information I’ve been provided regarding your father’s wishes, and give you some paperwork for your perusal.  The paperwork will give details on the type of ceremony you might prefer and other such details.”  He sifted through some papers on his desk and pulled out a file, handing it to me. 

Jasper took it for me and held it as Mr. Yorkie continued on, running through the various options for the funeral, filling me in on the plans already set in place, and getting my affirmation for them.  I could only nod, already starting to feel overwhelmed by the entire thing.

As if he knew it was getting to be too much, Mr. Yorkie wrapped up quickly.  “Miss Swan, I know this is a difficult task.  It’s never easy.  If I can be of any assistance, please don’t hesitate to call me.”

“Thank you.  Can I-” I looked up at Mr. Yorkie, “Can I see him now?”

“Of course.”  He stood and led us out of the office and down the hall to another room.  It was a cold, sterile room with a number of steel tables in the center.  Along the sides were equipment, sinks, cabinets and a series of small doors to what I suspected were the freezers where the bodies were kept.

A shiver went down my spine as I entered the room.  Feeling Jasper behind me, I reached out to him, nestling myself against his side as I had before, his arm secure around my shoulders.  I stopped a few feet from the covered body next to which Mr. Yorkie stood, waiting patiently.

“Jasper,” I began.

He moved behind me, his hands on my shoulders as he leaned down.  “Shh, you can do this,” he said softly into my ear and I felt the telltale calm mixed with a bit of confidence enter my system.  It was just the boost I needed to continue forward and nod to Mr. Yorkie, who pulled back the sheet from my father’s  face and shoulders, laying it gently against his chest, before quietly exiting the room and giving me a few moments alone with my father.

Nothing could have prepared me for the sight of my father at that moment.  In my mind, I’d known he was dead and that he’d be lifeless and cold, but I still couldn’t quite grasp the concept that he was truly gone until that moment. 

His skin was a bluish-white, even paler than the vampires I’d met, and there were various smudges of discoloration along his shoulders.  There was a white bandage covering his neck and I knew it must have been damage from the newborn that had attacked him.  Mr. Yorkie must have covered it out of respect.  I shifted my gaze to his face, taking note of the firm and rigid set of his features.  I could barely see the laugh lines next to his eyes and it suddenly struck me how he looked exactly like my father and nothing like him at the same time.

With a heavy lump in my throat, I swallowed and tried to hold back my sobs. 

“Oh, Daddy,” I whispered, letting the tears fall as Jasper stood behind me, rubbing my arms and feeding me a steady stream of calm.  “I’m so sorry.”  I gave a humorless laugh.  “That’s silly isn’t it?  I don’t know why I apologized.”  I reached up to touch his hair, marveling that it was still somewhat soft.  “I wish we’d had more time.  You never know how...precious time is until it’s cut short or gone completely.”  I choked a little but contained the sob, stroking back his hair.  “So, I guess that’s why I’m sorry.  I’m sorry I didn’t spend more of that time with you.  I’d give anything to just see you smile one more time.”  I took a deep breath.  “I will miss you so much, Dad.  You were there for me every time I needed you.  I wish I could have been there for you.”  My voice had dropped to a strangled whisper as I tried to speak through my tears.  “I love you, Dad.”

As I began to break down, I lost my balance, my legs barely able to support me.  Jasper held me up and turned me into his arms, holding me tightly against him.  “It’s okay, Bella.  Just let it out.  Take as long as you need and just let it out.  I’ll be here as long as you want me.”

I continued to cry, thinking how much I hoped that statement was true even while my despair was threatening to overwhelm me.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

UB Chapter 15 - Departures

Jasper POV

Marcus detained me in the throne room, calling out as we were leaving and asking Peter and Charlotte to escort Bella to her room.  With a final squeeze of her hand, I returned to Marcus, who spent a quarter of an hour emphasizing how precious Bella was, not only to him but especially to his mate.  He reiterated multiple times that her safety was of the utmost importance.  I assured him, also multiple times, that I was in complete agreement and would do everything in my power to ensure she returned to Volterra hale and hearty. 

I knew that Marcus was anxious about letting Bella go to Forks and I did my best to put his mind at ease.  Once he was  adequately pacified, I was dismissed, and I made my way back to my own rooms to pack my things.

Placing a final pair of jeans in my bag, I zipped it closed and carried it into my living area, setting it by the door.  I was just placing my laptop in its case when a knock sounded on my door.

“Come in,” I called, gathering the other accessories for the device.

“Jasper,” Charlotte greeted as she entered.

“Hey, Char.  I’ll be ready in a minute,” I told her as I opened a desk drawer and sorted through a few CDs before tossing them into the case with the laptop.

“No rush,” she said, coming to a halt in the center of the room. 

She was silent as she stood there watching me, indecision and hesitation her dominant emotions.  I sighed and paused, looking up at her.  “Spit it out, Char.”

She rolled her eyes at my words but obeyed them nonetheless.  “I like her.”

I raised a brow, not sure exactly where this conversation was going to take me, although I was fairly sure who ‘she’ was.  “Who?” I asked just to taunt her.

She rolled her eyes again.  “Bella, of course.  Peter likes her too.”

“Why are you telling me this?”

“We know you like her, J.”

I hadn’t been hiding my attraction to Bella, so I wasn’t surprised that my closest friends would notice.  “I figured as much.”

“I’m pretty sure she likes you too,” she said with a smirk.

I returned the smirk with one of my own.  “I’m pretty sure she does, too.”

Char grinned and leaned her hip against the desk.  “So, you gonna go for it?”

Leaning back in my chair, I rested my elbows on the arms and steepled my fingers.  “I might.”

She snorted.  Might, my ass.  You will.”

“It’s a delicate situation, Char.  She isn’t in the best frame of mind just now to be starting a relationship.”  My reply was honest, sincere.  Bella was in a fragile state, emotionally, and I didn’t want to exacerbate that delicacy by pushing things too far, too fast.  I was content to just be her friend for now and get to know her, be there for her and help her grieve.  I would be whatever she needed me to be, regardless of how difficult it was becoming to temper my own emotions and responses to her proximity.

“I get it, Jasper.  I do.  Tread carefully, but…” she trailed off.

“But what?” I prompted.

She sat on the arm of the couch, hands on her thighs.  “You don’t know what’s going to happen in the future, J.  I just think if you get a chance, no matter when or how, you should take it.” 

“I don’t know, Char-" I began, but she cut me off before I could protest further.

“This could be your only chance, J.  It’s not like there is a huge vampire dating pool.  And I get she’s human, but fuck, J!  Get your head out of your ass.  You’re how old now?  Have you ever felt this way before?  About anyone?”

I shook my head.  “Never.”

“Then don’t you think it’s worth the chance?  Don’t you want what Peter and I have?  Or do you want to be the eternal bachelor?”

Fuck, she had me there.  And by the look on her face, she knew it too.

“Just think about it, J.”  She rounded the desk and gave me a kiss on the cheek.  “I’m off to find Peter.  I’ll meet you in the garage in twenty?”

I nodded.  “Sure.  I’ll get Bella and meet you there.”

I sat there for a few minutes to gather my focus and consider Char’s words.  She had a point.  In the century and a half since I’d awakened to this life, even within the memories of my years as a human man, I had never felt an attraction such as this.  There had been plenty of women in my past, countless numbers of one night stands and short flings.  But, while they had been beautiful and entertaining women, I had  never been interested in more with them, even with the ones I was, and still am, friends with.  They were diversions.

Bella was different.  Since the moment I saw her months ago in the airport, I had been spellbound.  I’d not been with or even considered being with another woman since seeing her that first time.  I had thought of her more than I should have while I was away.  When I saw her again, swinging the pipe at Laurent, I felt a fierce sense of pride that overshadowed even what I felt for Peter and Char, the two people in this world with whom I was closest. 

I leaned back in my chair, resting my head on the back and staring unseeing at my ceiling as the revelation came to me.  I had tried to deny it and pass it off as a passing interest, but I could no longer pretend that I wasn’t falling for Bella Swan.


The hum of the plane’s engines was a constant source of white noise as we blazed west through the clouds.  I barely paid them any heed as I reclined on the couch in the main room of the private jet.  It was one of the larger planes in the Volturi fleet at the moment.  It needed to be to house the number of vampires – and the human – on this trip. 

While I do occasionally fly commercial airlines, I prefer the luxury of being able to stretch out comfortably on the longer flights.  Trying to stuff my six foot two frame in an airline seat, even in first class, isn’t as comfortable as I would prefer.  Besides, this flight would be longer than usual since we would be stopping first in Vegas to drop off the others before Bella and I continued on to Seattle.

So here I lay, my head propped on one arm of the couch and my booted feet on the other, feet crossed at the ankles.  I had tilted the hat on my head so that it shaded my eyes, allowing me to covertly watch the beautiful brunette sitting curled up in the chair across from me. 

After speaking with Char and finally opening my eyes to what this feeling was that I had for Bella, I couldn’t keep my eyes off of her.  She was dominating my thoughts even more than before.

When we had arrived at the garage to meet the others, I had given Char a quick hug and kiss on the cheek, sending her a burst of gratitude.  She just grinned and winked at me, not saying another word about it.

Bella had spent most of the time from the castle to the airport on the phone.  When I had picked her up from her room, she’d been speaking to a friend of her father’s - a Billy Black, she later told me.  He had been giving his condolences and filling her in on what had happened, as far as he knew anyway.  She had thanked him and told him she would contact him when she got to Forks. 

After speaking with Billy, she’d called her advisor at the university to inform him of her father’s death and subsequent departure from Italy for the rest of the semester.  He had been sufficiently sympathetic and promised to draw up the proper paperwork and forward it to her father’s home in Forks.

She had been quiet as she got in the car.  I’d feel her struggle to keep her composure after her talk with Billy and her advisor.  For a moment, I thought she’d crumble again, but she surprised me with her fortitude and I found my admiration for her grow even more.

At the apartment, she had struggled again as she said goodbye to her roommates.  We had fabricated a story, saying that Sera would be going with Bella to Forks and they would both need to leave school.  The girls had been sad but understood, helping Bella pack both Sera’s and her things as Felix and I took them down to the car.  Bella’s things would come with us while Sera’s would return to the castle.

Bella’s phone had rung as soon as we boarded the plane.  It had been Sera – a very irate Sera.  She had not been happy at having been left behind, but Bella had soothed her as much as possible before ending the call, citing that we were about to take off.

Not long after we took off, I’d noticed how tired Bella was feeling, so I had offered her the couch to rest.  She had given me a grateful smile before curling up on it, eventually drifting off.  I admit I had helped her sleep longer with my gift.  She had started getting dark circles under her eyes from the stress and I didn’t want them to deepen. 

When she woke, she seemed refreshed, if still sad and morose, but that was to be expected.  She had changed seats so she could use the small table by the chair to eat her meal, or at least some of it.  It now sat forgotten before her while she was curled up on the chair.  Her feet were tucked against her, her arms around her legs and her head resting on her knees, as she stared out the small oval window of the plane.  She was wearing a pair of faded blue jeans and a pale yellow top with long sleeves.  Her white sneakers lay on the floor in front of her seat and her bare feet peeked out over the edge of the chair.  I couldn’t see her face very well from my position, only a bit of her profile.  She had left her hair down and it was falling slightly forward, lying against her cheek.

I focused on her emotions – sadness, a touch of depression, loneliness, guilt, grief, love, anxiety.  She was feeling so much, so fast, that it was almost impossible to decipher each one. 

The shifting in altitude of the plane pulled me from my thoughts and I heard the pilot call out that we were starting our descent into Las Vegas. 

Three hours later, we were in the air again and speeding toward Seattle.  Bella had resumed her position in the chair she had taken earlier and I now sat across from her.

“Are you sure about this, Bella?” I asked.

She turned her head and her eyes met mine.  “Yes, Jasper.”  She smiled, but it was small and fleeting.  “I know you don’t want me here.”  There was a tinge of emotional hurt behind her words.

I bit back my retort and sighed.  “Bella, it’s not that I don’t want you with me.  I do.”  Her face pinkened a little at that and I grinned at her before continuing.  “I just hate the thought of you being in danger, and you will be.”

Her little chin lifted and I felt her indignation flare.  “I’m not all that incapable, you know?  Just because I’m a woman-”

My laughter cut her off.  “You’ve got to be kidding me.”  I snorted another laugh.  “Bella, Char is one of our fiercest fighters.  There are few that can match her and even less that can beat her – with or without her power.  I have the utmost respect and faith in her abilities.  But there are two very glaring differences between the two of you.  First, she’s a vampire and infinitely more durable; and second, she’s been trained since her rebirth into this life to be the soldier she is now.”

“Oh,” was her quiet reply and I felt her sheepish embarrassment.  “I’m sorry.  I know that.  I’m just…not myself.”

I caught her eyes again before she could look away from me.  Leaning forward across the small table between us, I held my hand out for hers.  She noticed and reached out to slip her tiny fingers into my waiting grip.  I held her hand firmly and let my thumb rub idly against her skin.

“I understand this is hard for you, Bella.  You’ve been through a lot and I am amazed at how you are dealing with it all.  You are a very strong woman and I admire that.”  I wanted to say more but knew that now was not the time for that.

Her eyes were watering and I used my free hand to grab a tissue and offer it to her.  She mumbled a thank you and sniffled, wiping at the tears that had begun to fall.  I tugged on her hand, opening my arms and pulling her up and into my lap.  She curled up against me with her legs hanging over the arm of the chair and her head on my chest, crying harder now.

“I miss him so much, Jasper,” she cried.

Wrapping her tightly in my embrace, I did my best to soothe her.  One hand gently drifted through her hair, knowing how much she liked that, while the other rested on her hip and held her in place.

“I know, princess,” I whispered to her.  “And he would be so proud of you.  I bet he already was proud of the woman you’ve become.”

Her sobs continued for a few minutes longer as I whispered softly to her.  After a while, the tears subsided to soft sniffles and we were silent for a time, each lost in our thoughts.

“I want to see him,” she stated out of the blue.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

“Can we go to the funeral home?  I’d just like to see him before the…funeral.”  She choked a little on the words, sadness and grief mixing with the burgeoning acceptance she was beginning to feel about Charlie’s death.

“Of course,” I told her.  “I figured you would want to do that.  Carlisle will be there to meet us at the airport and he’s offered to take us first to the funeral home.”  I gave her a squeeze and she sighed, curling deeper into the circle of my arms.

“Thank you, Jasper,” she whispered.

“My pleasure, princess,” I said, my lips pressing into her hair. 

We were silent the rest of the flight, content where we were.  I felt Bella’s emotions calming and was grateful for it.  She was slowly starting to heal, but there was more to come.  I knew seeing her father would be hard on her, as well as the funeral, but it would give her the closure she would need to move past her grief. 

I settled back and just enjoyed the feeling of her in my arms.

UB Extras - Chapter 15

Thought you'd like a visual for the plane discussion.  :)

So, Jasper is openly admitting his attraction for Bella.  Not that he ever hid it, of course.  But he's realizing it's more than just a passing fancy.

Now, many of you want Marcus to just tell Jasper that Bella is his mate.  But I decided against this option.  Yes, he gave Bella a 'push', but she is less likely, especially with everything happening to her, to figure out where his talk was coming from.  I.e. she's not as likely to go to the 'Jasper's my mate' idea immediately.  Jasper definitely would.  He is not stupid.  In fact, he's a brilliant man and knows Marcus' power.  If Marcus had tried the same with Jasper, it would have been obvious and Marcus knows that.  

Besides, Marcus wants them to come to the conclusion on their own.  Remember this part from Chapter 4 Confrontations:
I knew she was my mate, having seen the fine threads that bound us and, of course, I had enjoyed her company these last weeks. But knowing it is not the same as feeling it - and by the Gods, did I feel it now. That vibrant, beautiful woman had stolen her way into my heart and soul in a way I never would have imagined, and there was nothing I would not do to keep her there.
There is knowing and then there is knowing.  Marcus wants them to figure it out on their own so there is no doubt.  There won't be that 'does s/he love me because of me or because of the mating bond' crap.  Remember, Marcus is an old hand at this stuff too.

Bella may take a little more time.  She is just coming to terms with the idea of life as a vampire and now has Charlie's death dumped on her.  There is a lot on her plate right now, but she will get through it and Jasper is helping with that.  Besides, she was headed in the right direction from the beginning, thanks to the hotness that is Jasper Whitlock.  So don't worry.  *winks*

We'll be meeting the Cullens in the next few chapters.  I can't wait to see what y'all think of some of those scenes!  *snickers*

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Not sure if anyone cares, but in case anyone is wondering...

What do I listen to when I write?

Well, sometimes I prefer to write in silence, but that isn't always an option.  Sometimes there is a TV or other music on in another part of the house that can distract me, so I often put on music of my own.

Lately, before I start writing, I listen to Train’s Soul Sister.  It’s a fairly upbeat song and it just speaks to me for my Jasper and Bella for some reason.  It zens me into the place I need to be to write this story.  Don’t be surprised when this song comes up later in the fic…*grins*

Once I actually get writing, I listen to mostly instrumental music that won’t distract my word flow.  At times it will be Adam Hurst, who is an amazing cello player and does a lot of the classical stuff. 

The only thing I’ve listened to that has a lot of lyrics is BarlowGirl.  I love their tone and beat, but I’ve stopped listening to them so much because I get distracted by the songs.  I always want to sing along to them.  *laughs*

But mostly, almost always lately, I listen to Apocalyptica.  There are lyrics, but they don’t distract me as much as I’d think.  They are a group of cello players who play the harder rock (metal) music like Metallica and Rammstein.  I’m not a huge fan of that genre, but the way they do it is just amazing. 

Maybe I have a thing for cello players, but then again, considering how hot they look when they play…*fans self*  You can see why I chose two of them to be Volturi Kings.  Perttu Kivilaakso is the one with long straight black hair (though he went back to his natural dark blonde recently).  He makes me think of a dark Marcus and has inspired another story that’s been brewing in my mind.  The other, Eicca Toppinen, is the one with long, blonde hair with the dark look and personifies Caius for me.  

Anyway, I was introduced to their music early last year and have been a fan ever since.  It’s just amazing and I listen to it a lot, not just to write.

Well, I hope you enjoyed that.  I just felt like sharing.  *grins*


UB Chapter 14 - Grieving

Chapter 14 – Grieving

Bella POV

I dreamt of him.

My father…


They were the kind of dreams that were mixed with real events.  I knew I was in a dream and that, for some reason, I wanted to stay there with Charlie.  But I couldn’t remember why.

As I started to wake, the dreams faded and reality intruded, bringing with it my memories of the night before when Aro had told me about Charlie.  I would never see him again. 

My sobs pulled me fully into wakefulness and I buried my face in the soft, downy pillow under my head.  I wanted to go back to my dream world and find my daddy.  I wanted to hug him and tell him I loved him.  I wanted to tell him all the things I never had before because I’d foolishly thought there would be plenty of time to do so. 

As my tears slipped from beneath my lashes, I felt the bed shift and a pair of strong, hard, cold arms wrapped around me.  It was Jasper.  I don’t know how I knew it was him, but I did.  He didn’t speak; he just lay there and held me until I got a hold of myself. 

When most of my tears were spent, I lay there for a long time just savoring the comfort I was being given.

“I never called him “Dad”.  I wonder if that upset him,” I mused aloud in a soft voice, my throat feeling a little sore from all my crying.

Jasper didn’t reply, but I felt him shift behind me, his hand moving to rub up and down my arm.

“He was the best dad though.  He didn’t hover.  He let me be who I wanted to be, and he was always there when I needed him – even when I didn’t know it.”  I sniffled, and a moment later a box of tissues were placed in front of me on the bed.  “Thanks.” 

I took some of the tissues so I could blow my nose and clean up my face a bit before turning over to face Jasper.  He settled back just a little but kept one arm around my waist.  I was glad for his touch.  It made me feel like I wasn’t so alone.

“He was the worst cook in the world, but he could fry some fish with the best of them.” I laughed as memories of him doing just that filtered through my head.  “He loved to go fishing with the guys.  Fishing and sports…”

Jasper smiled as I did, moving his hand to tuck my hair behind my ear before returning it to my waist.  “I would have liked to have met him.”

“I think he’d have liked you, Jasper.  In a way, you’re both warriors of your times, fighting for the laws and ideals you believe in.  Charlie was like that – unfailingly patriotic, even when he didn’t quite agree.  But he believed in his job and he was proud of it.  So was I.”  A frown marred my lips and more tears fell.  I swiped at them with the tissue, but they continued their descent.  “I’m alone now.”

Jasper frowned as well.  “Aw now, sweetheart,” he said, pulling me closer so that I was pressed against his chest once again.  I briefly noticed he was still in his same clothes from last night before his scent fell over me – sandalwood and leather with a hint of mesquite.  I took a deep breath and closed my eyes, laying my head against his chest as he continued to speak.  “You’re not alone, princess,” he whispered.  “Your human family may be gone, but you can have a new one here with us.  For all our laws and duties, many of us are very close.”

I felt his hand stroke through my hair and down my back.  I sighed, reveling in the comfort of his touch.  “Who are you close to?” I asked. 

“Well, we may not be blood relatives, but I consider Peter and Charlotte my family.  Though you could say Peter and I are blood brothers, in a sense.  Our pasts are tied together and we went through a lot.  It formed a strong bond between us.”

“Will you tell me about it, Jasper?” I asked.

“Someday maybe.  Not today.”  His voice was a bit strained, but I didn’t want to push him.

“It’s okay.”  I patted his arm gently, leaving my hand to lay there.  After another long silence, I spoke up again.  “Thank you.”

Jasper gave me a light squeeze.  “My pleasure, princess.”


I reclined on the couch, curled up under the throw blanket.  My eyes were on the television.  I could hear the droning of the voices from the show that was on, but it didn’t hold my attention.  I couldn’t even tell you what show it was.  My mind was filled with so many things - most of them memories of my parents.  Charlie’s death made me think of Renee and Phil.  At least when they had died, I could take comfort in the fact that I still had my father.  Now that Charlie was gone, I felt incredibly alone.

I sighed at my own thoughts and rolled onto my back, rubbing my hands over my face.  Tears had come and gone all day, especially earlier.  Sera had visited, at which point Jasper had excused himself to give us some privacy.  While I was touched by the thoughtful gesture, a part of me was sad to see him go. 

After hours of Sera alternately comforting me when I cried and distracting me with her clever turns of phrase and stories, I was back to feeling exhausted.  I had to practically throw her out, pleading fatigue, before she would leave. 

I had curled up on the couch as soon as she’d left and stayed there the rest of the afternoon, dozing fitfully with the sound of the television in the background.  Now, hours later, I was glad for the time I’d had alone.  While I appreciated both Jasper and Sera for wanting to comfort me, I needed some time to grieve on my own. 

I was distracted from my thoughts by a knock on the door.  Wondering who it was, I opted against standing and instead called out, “Come in.”  My voice sounded pitiful even to me and I frowned.

The door opened wide to reveal Jasper standing there with a large covered tray balancing on one hand.  He nudged the door closed as he entered, gifting me with a small smile.  “Good evening, princess,” he said, crossing the room to set the tray on the coffee table before me.  “I don’t think you’ve eaten all day, so I thought you might like something.”

I was about to protest that I wasn’t hungry, but then he lifted the lid from the tray.  The smells of the food on the tray wafted over to me, causing my stomach to growl and my blush to make an appearance in my embarrassment. 

He grinned again.  “Mistress Sera gave suggestions for the food selection.  I hope you like it.”

The tray was filled with more food than I could eat in an entire day, much less one meal.  There was a cup of soup that looked to be some sort of vegetable and noodle mixture.  To one side was a plate of crackers and cheeses.  The other side held an assortment of fruits.  In the center was a very large slice of cheesecake with strawberry sauce dribbled liberally over top.  There was even a breakfast plate – scrambled eggs, bacon and toasted bread.

I blinked back tears and looked up at Jasper.  I reached out to him and when he took my hand, I pulled him around the coffee table to sit next to me.  My eyes were filled with tears as I leaned over and kissed his cheek.  “Thank you, Jasper.  For everything.”

Jasper looked down at me, a soft smile on his lips.  He skimmed his fingers along my jaw.  “Like I said before, princess - my pleasure.”

It was an intense moment as we sat staring at each other.  Eventually I cleared my throat and turned to the food.  “This looks great.”  I grabbed a cracker and a piece of cheese, making a little open-faced sandwich out of it before popping it in my mouth.

As I began to eat, digging into the soup next, Jasper spoke.  “Are you feeling better, Bella?” he asked.

I shrugged a little and put the soup down, taking another cracker from the tray.  “Yes and no.  I mean, I guess I am feeling better than before…but still bad, you know?”  He nodded his understanding and I popped a cracker in my mouth.

“It will take time, but you are a strong woman, Bella.  You will get through this.”

“I don’t feel very strong lately.”

“You are, you know?  More than you realize,” he told me.  “Not many could go through what you have been going through for the last week and deal with it so gracefully.  You have such courage.”

I laughed at that.  “I am not courageous.  I’ve been terrified at the twist my life has taken.”

“Courage doesn’t mean you are without fear, princess.  It means that you do what needs to be done and you muddle through in spite of your fears.”

I continued to eat, hardly realizing it, as I considered what he’d said.  It was hard to imagine myself as courageous when my life had spun so far out of my control.  But I didn’t really have any choices.  As much as I would have liked to make my wishes known, it didn’t mean they would have granted me them.  Of course, all of those demands had been as much for Charlie as for me.  I hadn’t wanted him to lose his daughter.  Instead, it was the daughter who lost her father.

I sighed and leaned back, slouching against the back of the couch with the fruit cup and a fork, popping a slice into my mouth. 

Jasper mimicked my movements, slouching next to me and looking over in concern. 

“Do you want to talk about it?”

I shook my head.  “No, but thanks.  I need to do this on my own.  Understand?”  I took his hand and gave it a light squeeze.

He squeezed back.  “Yeah, I understand.”  He put his arm around my shoulders and pulled me closer.  Putting the fruit cup back on the table, I sighed again and leaned into him, grateful for the comfort.

We sat there for a long time, neither of us speaking, the television the only sound in the room.  I had my eyes closed, luxuriating in the peace I felt here at Jasper’s side with his hand gently stroking up and down my back.  I snuggled closer and dozed off and on for I don’t know how long before a knock at the door interrupted us.

“Come in,” I called out softly.  I was half asleep and too content where I was to even move.  I peeked open my eyes to see Felix standing at my door.  His surprised expression turned to a bright smile.  For a moment, my sleepy mind wondered why, but then I remembered I was cuddling up against Jasper.  I blushed profusely and sat up, mumbling an apology to Jasper.

He grabbed my hand, tugging until I looked at him.  He smiled and I felt a wave of contentment.  I smiled back and reached for my drink.

“Hey Felix,” I greeted as I drank my water, finishing off the last of the glass.

“Jasper…Bella,” he said, giving me a knowing little smirk.  “The Masters asked me to summon you to the throne room,” he informed us.  Then he looked at Jasper.  “We leave tonight.”

I felt my heart stop for a moment before it started thudding hard in my chest.  The newborns.  I’d almost forgotten.  And Jasper was going to deal with them.  Fear for him flooded me at the thought.

Jasper gripped my hand tighter and said, “We’ll be there in a minute, Felix.”

“Right, see you there.” Felix waved and went back out the door, closing it behind him.

“What is it?” Jasper asked, taking my shoulders in his hands and turning me to him.  “Why are you so afraid?”

I shook my head, trying to organize my scattered thoughts.  The idea of losing him on the heels of Charlie’s death was more than I wanted to consider.  “I forgot about the newborns,” I whispered.

Jasper stroked my hair back with one hand.  “Oh, sweetheart, you don’t have to worry about them.  You’re safe here.”

“No, Jasper.  Not me.  You.  What if something happens to you?”  I gripped his shirt in my fists and felt tears forming in my eyes, one slipping down my cheek.  I knew I was feeling and behaving irrationally about this, but I couldn’t stop the fear.  I’d already lost Charlie.  I didn’t want to lose anyone else.

Jasper’s face softened as he looked at me, those beautiful crimson eyes drawing me in as they always did.  “Princess, you don’t have to worry about me.  This is what I do, remember?  These newborns are nothing compared to us.  Nothing will happen to me.  I’ll be back before you know it.”

I sniffled, wanting to believe him but still fighting the fear.  I felt a surge of soothing calm and closed my eyes, taking in a deep breath.  He pulled me close and wound his arms around my waist, my own twisting around his neck as I lay my head on his chest.

“I promise, sweetheart.  I will be safe as can be.  I have had extensive training and I’ve done this before.” 

It took a while for him to soothe my fears away and talk me down, but eventually he did.  I couldn’t explain why I felt this way and I was glad he didn’t ask.  I needed to sort out my feelings for him, but with everything else going on, I was a hot mess emotionally. 

Sighing deeply, I pulled back and looked up at him.  “Thank you, again.”

“My pleasure, again.”


After I’d calmed down, Jasper and I made our way to the throne room.  We were the last to arrive.  The Masters were sitting on their thrones with Peter, Demetri and Felix facing them.  To one side were two others - twins that looked in their mid to late teens - who were introduced as Jane and Alec.

Once the pleasantries were seen to, Aro began telling us about another call he’d received from Carlisle informing him that certain members of the local Quileute tribe were able to transform into large wolves. 

Werewolves?  I was in shock. 

“From what Carlisle says they are not werewolves per se,” Aro explained, casting a glance at Caius, who looked furious.  “Werewolves are fully human except for the few days of the full moon each month, at which time they transform into wolves and become almost entirely feral.  These Quileute wolves seem to be able to transform at will, regardless of the moon’s cycles, and retain their human sides when they do.”

My mind reeled.  “Wait… Quileute?  Did he say who?”

“No, he didn’t seem to know them very well.  He did mention that they came across a pack a few months ago, but there has been a treaty between the Cullens and the Quileutes for decades.  Carlisle assures me he spoke with the pack leader to reinforce the treaty.”  Aro looked at me speculatively.  “Do you know them, Bella?”

I shook my head.  “No…well, maybe.  I mean, I know people in La Push.  My father’s best friend is Quileute, so I have met him a few times, and some others a time or two, but I didn’t know anything about wolves.”

“Jasper.”  Caius spoke up and I turned my focus to him.  “You will need to be careful of these wolves.  Find out what you can about them.”

Jasper nodded.  “I understand, Master.  I will make it a priority.”

Aro clapped his hands together once and then rubbed them together in a gesture I was coming to associate with him.  “Excellent.  You and your teams will be leaving shortly, Jasper.”  He turned to the others in the room.  “You are all dismissed.”  As I turned, intending to leave with the others, Aro spoke again.  “Bella, Jasper, please stay.”

I turned back and stood quietly, my gaze glued to the floor as I felt my apprehension rise.  Feeling a dose of calm, I peeked over and smiled at Jasper in gratitude.  He just smiled back before focusing again on Aro.

“Now,” Aro began once everyone else had gone.  “Bella, my dear,” he moved forward, descending the handful of steps until he stood before me, taking my hands in his.  “How are you?”

Giving Aro a sad smile, I answered, “I’m coping, I guess.  Thanks for asking.”

“Of course, my dear.  It must be difficult for you.  And don’t worry about making your decision so soon.  I have discussed the matter with my brothers and you may take as much time as necessary.”

I looked up at Aro, then around him to Marcus and Caius briefly.  Both gave me a slight nod expressing their agreement.  “Thank you, but I don’t need time to make my decision.”  My gaze turned back to Aro, but I noticed Marcus lean forward in his seat from the corner of my eye.

“Are you certain?” Aro asked gently.

I nodded.  “Yes.  I had made it before, and now that my father is…dead…” I choked out the word and swallowed before clearing my throat and taking a breath to steel myself.  “My father was the last of my family.  As for friends…well, Sera is my dearest friend and she is here.  The others, while I do care for them, are not very close to me.”

Aro ducked his head a bit, drawing my eyes from the floor where they had strayed as I considered those friends I’d have to leave behind.  “And what is your decision?” he asked, his tone hopeful.

I smiled.  “I would like to be changed.”

Pulling me close, Aro hugged me.  “I am so happy to hear this, Bella.” 

I hugged Aro back, smiling with him.  As he released me, I saw that Marcus and Caius had moved down the stairs to stand next to him. 

Marcus embraced me with a smile, whispering in my ear even though the others would hear.  “I am happy to hear this, Bella.  I have no wish to lose you, nor does Sera.”

When I stepped back from Marcus, Caius nodded to me and I noted a faint smile on his face.  I nodded back and returned the smile.

“May I make one request before I’m changed?”

“What is it that you would like?” Aro asked.

“I want to go to Forks so I can lay my father to rest and put his affairs in order.” 

As the words left my mouth, I gauged their reactions.  Jasper stood beside me and I could tell he was tense.  His body seemed rigid and his jaw was firm, as if he were clenching it shut.  Marcus and Aro clearly did not like my request, but they didn’t immediately deny me.  They were thoughtful and it gave me hope.  Caius’ expression had returned to the brooding frown he seemed to prefer.

After a long silence, Aro spoke up.  “Bella, at any other time we would gladly grant this request without hesitation.  But this does not seem to be the best time for you to be in Forks,” he began.  “I understand your wishes, truly, but you are aware of the strife taking place in the Pacific Northwest at this time.”

I nodded.  “I know that and I understand.  But you also said they hadn’t reached Forks yet, right?  He’s all I had left.  I just want to tie up all my loose ends before I change.  I won’t be able to do it afterwards.  It could be years until I can be around humans, right?”  Aro reluctantly nodded, glancing at his brothers.  I continued on desperately.  “I need to do this.  Please!”  I felt the tears threatening, but I blinked them back.  “Besides, it is the perfect way for me to leave school without suspicion.”

“We could always fake your death,” Caius suggested.

I tilted my head and looked at him.  “Yes, you could.  But wouldn’t that be suspicious as well?  My father dies and I just happen to die a few days later halfway around the world?”

Caius frowned.  “She does have a point.”

“Besides,” I continued.  “I know some of the Quileutes.  They are sure to be at my father’s funeral and perhaps I could run interference for you or something.”

“No!”  I jumped at Jasper’s roar.  He took my hand and turned me to him as he had earlier.  This time, his movements were forceful.  As I looked into his eyes, I could see something in them.  Worry?  “Bella, don’t do this, please.  It’s far too dangerous, especially with the wolves.  We know nothing about them.”

Reaching my hand up, I cupped his cheek and smiled.  “Jasper, you even told me that this was nothing, right?”

“Nothing to us, not you.  You’re still human.” 

“I need this, Jasper.  I really need it.  I need closure on my old life so I can start my new one.  Can you understand that?”  I stroked his cheek with my thumb and he leaned into it.  “Besides, you’ll be there, right?”  He nodded but didn’t speak, and I felt his jaw clench under my palm.   “Please understand, Jasper.”

I turned my head to see that the brothers had gathered together and were speaking too softly for me to hear.  I prayed they would let me do this. 

Standing straight again, they resumed their former positions.  Aro looked at Marcus and then Caius, each nodding in turn, before returning his gaze to me.  I dropped my hand from Jasper’s cheek and faced them, but Jasper grabbed hold of that same hand with his.

“Under great duress, we will concede to this final request.”  I sighed gratefully.  “But there are stipulations to this agreement.”

“What would they be?”  I asked, curious.

“You are to stay with Jasper at all times unless he deems otherwise.  This is for your safety, you understand?  As such, this would make it necessary for you to stay with the Cullens, which will be a defensible location knowing Carlisle, so you will have the added protection of their coven members.”

I looked at Jasper.  “I can do that.”

“In addition, you must follow Jasper’s orders to the letter.  His experience outweighs most and his word will be law.  Is that understood?”  Aro’s gaze was intense.

I nodded again.  “All right.”

“Anything further to add, Jasper?”  Aro asked him.

Jasper looked down at me, his expression hard.  “You are never to leave my side, Bella, from the moment we leave these walls until you are safely returned to them.  If for some reason I cannot be with you, I will appoint a guard for you.  I know you like your time to yourself, but it may not be possible.”

I pulled my bottom lip between my teeth as I considered this, but I didn’t really have a choice if I wanted to go.  “Got it.  I’ll deal.”

Jasper’s gaze turned to the Masters.  “For the record, I don’t like this.”

Aro clapped Jasper on the shoulder.  “I know, Jasper, but Bella is special to us, and while we can understand her need for closure, there is also the worry of added suspicions about our kind if she doesn’t go.  Just be careful and watch your back.”

He nodded.

“Very well, you may go.  The plane leaves in two hours and you must pack.”

At a sudden thought, I released Jasper’s hand and caught Marcus’ arm before he could leave.  “Marcus?”

He turned back and patted my hand with a smile.  “Bella, please practice the utmost caution in your travels.  I have no wish to inform my mate of your demise.  It would sadden us both.”

“I will.  Don’t worry.  I’ll be back before you know it.”  I grinned.  “Just…maybe don’t tell Sera till I’m gone?”

Marcus raised a brow in question.  “What is the reasoning behind this request of yours?”

“Well, you know Sera.  She will want to come with me,” I stated.

Marcus’ eyes blazed.  “I cannot allow that.  I do not wish for even you to be subject to such dangers.”

“Exactly.  If she knew, she would insist on coming.  I don’t want her to come…or for Jasper to have two to protect.  One will be hard enough, I’m sure.  So, can you just wait to tell her?” 

Marcus nodded.  “I assure you that will not be an issue.  I have much work that will keep me preoccupied this evening and Sera will be resting.  Perhaps you should hurry to gather your belongings and be on your way?”

I smiled and kissed his cheek.  “Thank you, Marcus.  You both have my love.  And thank you for this.”  I gave him a tight hug, which he returned.

As I walked out of the room, I couldn’t fathom the idea of what I was doing.  I was sure I must be crazy, but they were allowing me to go. 

My thoughts turned to my father and the arrangements that would need to be made.  Of course, I hadn’t contacted anyone at home to find out what might have been done already.  I would do that when I returned to my room to pack.

I was going to Forks.