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[i Fingers crossed?] Alice wondered at Jacob's words, momentarily confused by his comment until her father walked in moments later.
The news that she'd be allowed to go home were an absolute blessing to her mind, but then some slightly overwhelming back and forth went on. She didn't want to be selfish and keep Charlie from his job just because she was a little chilly and waste a day of pay on her, and the same reason of not wanting to be selfish for some pointless reason lead to the reasoning of not wnating Jake to need to waste an entire day on her either.
The petite brunette opened her mouth a little un-surly, about to stutter through a response, but was saved from needing to choose immediately by the appearance of another element.
[#ff597a "Or if you two were thinking a bit more sensibly, you'd in the least have a girl—whose only a handful of months older than her I might add—be the one to help Alice get dressed."] A recognizable voice piped up from the doorway, and turning to look would indeed reveal it to be none other than Leah poking her head in. Under her arm, Seth had poked his head in as well. A bright smile on his young face as he even gave a little wave.
At the site of them, the sense of calm that Jacob alone had brought... almost felt increased. In fact, she managed a smile that was her biggest so far. No sight of sadness within it.
[b "...I'll be fine with all three of them, dad. Jake will be the muscle, Leah will try to stop trouble, and Seth will help me make sure that Jacob and Leah don't break anything while wrestling for dominance over who should be in charge."] Alice spoke softly, her hoarse voice coming from her damage throat . Regardless of the painful sound of her voice, when one looked at her, they would see a little warmth back in her face that no amount of heating pads could cause on their own.
When the three of them would look at her, they'd see part of the Alice they knew, rather than the unconscious mess she'd been when carried out of the woods, or the almost dead-eyed look of disinterest in the world that Charlie and Jacob had gotten to see.
It wasn't long until the man and the two teenager boys were ushered from the hospital room. Charlie would need to leave right away, having told the doctors the permission given to the other teenagers and that one of them was legally an adult for potential unexpected situations.
It be ten minutes before Leah would appear, one arm wrapped firmly around Alice to help her walk. [#ff597a "Well, you walking tree,"] Leah began, moving towards him with the Swan girl, [#ff597a "We both know she won't stand a wheelchair to leave the hospital, so if you will do the honors of carrying her....?"] Leah trailed off, arching an eyebrow at Jacob.
Her answer didn't do much to quell his anger, but at least it hadn't been physical damage. He would be there to help her with her mental and emotional pain, but physical would be a different story. [b "Well...at least I don't have to track him down and break him in half,"] Jake tries to joke, but feels guilty when it only serves to make her frown more.
[b "I know it sucks to be in here, but it's for the best for now. We all want to make sure you're one hundred percent before we take you home. You're in better hands here than you would be with us. We're all hopeless at first aid. I remember last year, your dad sliced his thumb open and wrapped it in duct tape instead of using a bandaid,"] he grins.
Speaking of Charlie, Jake heard the officer's voice getting closer. [b "Fingers crossed for good news?"] he murmurs to her, glancing towards the door as her dad walks in.
[i "Well, they're getting the discharge papers ready. You're on absolute bed rest for the next few days, and we're supposed to pump you full of tea and chicken noodle soup to keep you warm. The doctor said you could have some lingering shakes, but it should go away in a few days,"] Charlie informs her, trying to smile but clearly still agitated by his daughter's condition. No father likes to see his child hurt.
[b "I can help her get ready, if you want to sign the discharge papers. I'm sure you have to get back to work,"] Jake offers. [b "I can stay with her at home until your shift is over."]
Charlie looks torn, but with everything that's been going on around Forks, he knows that Alice would be in good hands while he helped patrol. [i "Would you be okay with that? I don't want you to tell me to go if you really need me at home,"] he looks to his daughter.
The minute he took her hand she clung onto his, and she let out another small sob of emotion at the sensation of just how warm Jacob was. She still felt utterly freezing, but she felt like just from talking to and now having some physical contact with one of her oldest friends was finally allowing some warmth to seep into her veins. The warmth the doctors had been trying to seep into her because she had been in the grasp of hypothermia, yet the chill had still lingered... until now.
At first she only nodded her head along with his words, still the slightest bit dazed as her breathing calmed down from the fit of nearly hysterical crying she had almost dissolved down into. As he nudged her shoulder, mentioning a motorcycle and teaching [i her], the person who could trip on the world's flattest surface, to ride it? The smallest of smiles twitched her lips and she let out a soft puff of a laugh. The slight bit of joy melted away, however, at the question in reference to Jas-... Him. She couldn't think his name without the cold returning fully. She didn't like the cold. It was colder than anything she ever touched or had been touched by.
[b "....No. He didn't hurt me."] Alice finally whispered after a few long moments of silence. Then, with a slightly bitter-sweet upward twitch of lips she added, [b "Well, n-not physically anyway."] Her expression shifted to sorrowfulness once more, she looking up at Jacob with eyes that still had far too much of a formerly natural sparkle having been lost from them. [b "I want to go home. I don't wanna be in the hospital anymore; observation twisted wrist, ankle, and post-hypothermia be damned. I don't wanna be here."] The girl ranted slightly, and if it was any other instant it be comical but, in all honesty, it sounded almost heart-brokenly desperate despite the way the words had been spoken. The way her smaller hand tightened on his larger one—a stark contrast of rust and snow—further added to the barely audible desperation.
Then, looking up at him and giving a hesitant smile that was only slightly forced she added, [b "Charlie went to ask if I can just go home, but if the doctors say no you'll help me bust out, right?"] Slightly playful, but a faint underlying tone of genuineness once more proved how antsy the hospital was making a poor girl who had gone through too much in such a short time.
Seeing her tear up only made him more furious. The Hale kid was lucky to be out of town, otherwise Jake was sure that he wouldn't be able to stop himself from attacking Jasper. He takes her hand and gives it a light squeeze. [b "Yeah, it's me. I came as soon as I heard. Charlie's been frantic out there."]
If anything, Charlie looked more ready to murder Jasper than Jacob does. One thing he knows is that you never mistreat a father's daughter. Especially when that father is a police officer with access to many guns. [b "I'm not going to ask what happened right now, but I hope you know you can talk to me whenever you need to. I'm still your friend."]
He'd be there for her in a heartbeat, even though it kills him to just be her friend. But, he knows he can't push the boundaries. Alice deserves better than that. For now, he can be content with helping her overcome her emotions.
[b "You're going to have to get out of here soon and check out my new bike,"] he nudges her with a smile, wanting to cheer her up. [b "It has quite a bit of speed. Maybe I'll teach you to ride, if you want. Nothing more badass than a girl on a motorcycle, ready to raise some hell."]
[i Don't bring up Jasper,] he tells himself. Jake can feel the question on his lips. [i Did he hurt you?] Stupid question, he thinks. If she wasn't hurt, she wouldn't be in a damn hospital.
[b "He didn't...do anything, did he?"] he hears himself blurt out before he can stop himself. [b "I'm sorry, you don't have to answer. It's none of my business."] He breaks eye contact and shakes his head. [b "Just know that you have all of us supporting you. We all care about you."]
Her face had remained buried against the hospital pillow, even with the sting of the IV in the back of her hand from how tightly she was clenching at the cottony fabric. She was feeling numb in multiple ways and the world around her was... fuzzed.
She didn't feel like she was feeling anything at all, and to any who saw her they'd be able to say they, well, couldn't "feel" anything from her either. Alice Swan as an enigma subconsciously acknowledged by all who knew her; she radiated light, warmth, and happiness. She was like a black-hole that sucked you while simultaneously supernovaing and making you bask in the pure, enchanting, loving brightness that was her personality.
But now, there was nothing. It was as if it had all disappeared for those who saw her, and for her own self. She felt so cold and desolate.
So thus, she hadn't heard the two knocks on her door. She was lost in herself like minutes earlier, when her father had needed to use her birth-given first name just to get her attention.
However the sound of a very familiar voice, even if it belonged to someone she hadn't seen in months, made her stir. She raised her head, blinking owlishly with eyes that had no traces of the usual sparkling, enchanting, natural twinkle that was all but trademarked to her. She was bruised and covered in scabbed-over scratches from her run through the forest. Dehydrated, post-hypothermic, she baring a sprained ankle and an equally sprained wrist . She also hadn't spoken at all since being found and brought into the hospital.
Yet... and yet....
The Swan girl blinked slowly, owlishly at the Quileute teen who she remembered being much shorter, slimmer, and longer-haired the last she saw him. Much younger looking. Then again he was only just two years younger than her, so probably due a growth spurt. She looked at him, and some of that cold she felt went away. Slowly, a little of that sparkle went back to her eyes even if it was far from the natural happiness and warm-goodness she had radiated constantly before that moment.
[b [i "Jacob."]] Alice gasped out his name, voice hoarse and strained from hours of crying, screaming, and being without water. A dry sob passed the short female lips, her eyes welling with tears as she reached out to the boy who had been her friend for years even if they had only recently re-connected after almost a decade away from one another.
Jacob revved the motorcycle's throttle in a desperate attempt to make it go faster. Already pushing the limit of what the bike could do, he didn't even think about the consequences of being caught by the cops. Alice was in the hospital. The girl he'd been pining after for longer than he'd care to admit. At the moment, he could have the military behind him and he wouldn't stop until he saw her.
That freak had done it. The Hale jackass had gone and broken the best girl he could have ever asked for. Jake knew that it was going to happen sooner or later, but he'd nearly punched through his wall when Billy had informed him what happened. He wanted to find Jasper and tear him to pieces. But, Alice was more important.
When he pulled the bike up outside of the hospital, he'd nearly forgotten to take his keys with him when he ran inside. [b "Alice Swann, please,"] he's breathing heavily but not from being winded.
With the room number rolling in his head, he slams his palm against the button for the elevator. [b "Hurry up,"] he hisses under his breath.
It takes far too long before it chimes and he's let off on her floor, hunting the door with her number. He only pauses when he's outside with his fist raised to knock. Steeling himself, he gently taps twice. [b "Hello?"]
Stepping inside, he tries to force himself to smile. [b "Hey you,"] he keeps his voice gentle though the sight of her makes him want to kill Jasper more.
[b "Gave everyone quite the scare,"] he tries to keep things light, pulling a chair closer to her bedside. [b "How are you feeling?"]
He just needs her to say one word against the vampire. Just one word about how much he'd hurt her, and Jake swears that he would ride all night to find him and rip his head off.
[#6fa617 "Sam was doing it again, Leah."]
The girl mentioned glanced in the rear-view mirror at her younger brother in the backseat, eyebrow raised in silent question.
Seth met his sisters eyes in her reflection, sighing before clarifying, [#6fa617 "He was doing that staring-thing at me and Jake again! I swear, it's like he's expecting us to go bounding up to him like a pair of puppies or something."] While the boy's words heard by an outsider of the conversation might think it was a young teen being petulant about his sister's jerky ex-boyfriend, but in reality the words were said with traces of unease and even fear. Disgruntled, sure, but not the main reason behind the words at all.
[#ff597a "It may have taken me a while to realize it, Seth, but we all know how much of a bastard Sam Uley is. Me especially so,"] Leah huffed a sigh before turning in the passenger seat of the 1968 Volkswagon Rabbit. [#ff597a "Just ignore him and he'll eventually leave you alone. Whatever little gang he's got going on can start and end with Paul and Jared."]
Seth's expression was still unsure so the older of the two Clearwater children smiled playfully, hoping to lighten her brother's mood away from the worried thoughts over the.... weirdo that Sam has become. So, Leah spoke once more, [#ff597a "Besides, if he ever did kidnap you or something, Mom would go all monster on him. No ones gonna get one of those tattoos on her 14-year old and live to talk about."]
That earned a smile from Seth, the emotions of the car temporarily elevated despite the topic choice, but then the reason they were driving so late into the night to a hospital reemerged and the solemn, yet, thankful heaviness settled once more.
[size18 [center - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = - = -]]
The hospital room was silent beyond exhausted, tired breathing, the beeping of a heart monitor, and the steady dripping of an IV line.
[#216bb5 "Als.... Ally.... Alice? ...[i Mary.]"] The use of her legal first name startled her from her slumber, and Alice blinked tiredly a few times before her brown eyes were able to focus on the equally exhausted, yet relieved, face of her father. Charlie smiled at his daughter, moving a hand to slow run through her hair, [#216bb5 "I need to go talk to the doctor. They want to keep you overnight, and for the day for observation tomorrow, but I'll see if it's possible to go home. Alright, squirt? I'll be back."] The man's voice for once was not filled with awkwardness at being so sentimental and gently spoken. The past several hours had been too much of a scared to let any awkwardness come forward.
Alice was silent, swallowed once, nodded, and then proceeded to bury her face into her hospital pillow to escape the outside world once more.
Charlie sighed, brushing his hand through her hair once more before tucking the blankets in around the Swan girl and leaving the room to go find the doctor.
[i Last post as Jasper, and then I'll switch to Jacob when I get back!]
The Cullens hadn't even passed the Forks town-line and Jasper's misery was already suffocating. Esme had refused to let him drive alone, given his mental state, and had opted to ride with him instead of Carlisle. The rest of the vehicles were going to be shipped to the family once they were settled. Behind the wheel of the car, she looks over to her newest son and wishes there was something she could do to comfort him. [i "It's okay to be angry, Jasper. You're hurting. But please don't shut us out. We want to help."]
The blonde male doesn't pull his gaze from the window. His jaw tenses and Esme can hear the grinding of his teeth. [i "Take some kind of solace in the knowledge that you didn't hurt her. Alice doesn't hate you, and she's safe in Forks. You're punishing yourself too much."]
He gives a faint shake of his head. [b "I'm not punishing myself enough. Rose was right, and I should have listened. I got distracted and caught up in something that I shouldn't have wanted. I knew the dangers, but I did it anyway, and look at what happened. Maybe I didn't hurt her, but I almost did. That's just as bad."]
[i "I'm not saying that it's okay what happened, but it was out of your control. You did your best,"] she tries to soothe him.
[b "And my best wasn't good enough. Decades later, and I'm still weaker than any of you. None of you have come even close to slipping. One little paper cut and I'm back at square one. What does that say about me?"] Jasper finally turns his head to look at her with empty eyes.
Esme lays a hand over his and gives it a faint squeeze. [i "It means you're human, and you make mistakes. There's nothing wrong with that. We're not expecting perfection."]
He laughs bitterly and pulls his hand away. [b "No, it means I'm a monster. I haven't been human for a long time."] Without another word, he turns his attention to the passing scenery.
The fact the Cullens had left town near immediately after Jasper had made it home that afternoon was mere chance. They had been intending to wait until that evening like they knew he had told Alice they wouldn't be leaving until, hoping that he could maybe calm and change his mind, but seeing his emotional state they all packed up their necessities, got into their favored vehicles, and left.
If they had waited until that evening, until after the stars had filled the sky, there is a chance they might of stayed. For it would have been just a little after sunset that Charlie Swan would have begun calling their home-phone multiple times, panicked, because he couldn't find his daughter.
They would have been their for those phone calls, if they had waited until nightfall. But that appeared to not be fate. It appeared the Cullens' fates had been to leave Forks.
But they had been gone for hours, and it be a few hours more—in fact, less than an hour until sunrise—that the police chief's daughter would have been found.
[#216bb5 "I'm gonna try the Cullens' place again."] Charlie stated to the ones surrounding the hood of his cruiser where he was, in frustration, once more overlooking a map of the forest system that spanned behind his home; miles, and miles, and miles of trees, ledges, small cliff faces, rivers, and so much more.
Billy looked up from where he was shining his flashlight on the map, [#229e00 "Charlie, the Cullens left town. The medic who are waiting with the ambulance said that Carlisle Cullen turned in his resignation this morning."]
Harry Clearwater shook his head from the other side of the now confused, even more worried father. [#001e9e "Good riddance to them, if you ask me."]
From the other side of the cruiser's hood, Leah Clearwater rolled her eyes, [#ff597a "Dad. It's [i not] "good riddance" if we can't get ahold of them. Not if one of their sons is the only one who might know where Alice is!"] Seth, a recently turned 14-year old and high school freshmen, nodded his head in agreement with his 18-year old sister's words as he, the same mentioned sister, and a 16-year old Jacob Black all stubbornly looked over their own map with Sharpies and flashlights of their own.
The trio had stubbornly refused to go home. Alice's friends from school had been there until a few hours ago until their parents forced them home, but the Quileute teenagers had stubbornly ignored their duo of father's words and remained. They may not be allowed into the forest, but they were doing all they could to help coordinate the over a hundred people searching.
Seth would glance up and over the grown mens' shoulders, and would tense up with relief yet worry, all at once, due to the sight of seeing the intimidating Sam Uley carrying the small Alice Swan. [#7bd900 "Charlie!"] And the small group would look to him, see where he was looking, and the police chief would spin around before gasping and sprinting forward.
[#cc0092 "She's alright enough!"] Sam called to the panicked father, and once the older man was close enough her carefully transferred the almost unconscious girl into her father's arms. [#cc0092 "One of her feet and one of her ankles seem injured, she's got scrapes, probably a few bruises, and I think she's hyperthermic. You need to get her to a hospital, but otherwise she should be fine."] Charlie nodded, taking a moment to rest his head against his daughter's head as he cradled her protectively in his arms and all but whispered in thankfulness, [#216bb5 [i "Thank you,] Sam."]
The next few minutes would be a flurry of actions. Search-party leaders would walkie-talkie and phone call those they'd been put in charge of to let them know the Swan girl had been found, Charlie would be in the passenger seat of an ambulance speeding off to the hospital with the male EMT driving, while the female EMT in the back would be stripping his daughter and putting her in heating blankets, on fluids, and heating packs to try and regulate her body temperature.
And of course, before either Billy Black or Harry Clearwater had even finished a brief conversation with Sam Uley, the trio of teenagers who had stubbornly refused to go home had hoped into a certain reservation-chief's son's old car to zoom off to the hospital after the ambulance.
Jasper could feel the range of emotions flaring from his home before he even finishes the walk to the house. Anger, depression, bitterness. All radiating from his family - the others that he had hurt with his mistakes.
Trudging through the door, he stands in the foyer for a moment before climbing the stairs. The Cullens sit in the den, all with somber expressions. Esme is the first to rise from her seat, reaching for her adopted son. [i "Honey, you're being too hard on yourself. We don't have to do this."]
Instinctively, he steps back. He can feel her hurt at this move, but he refuses to crumble in front of them. [b "I deserve to feel all of this. This should never have happened. It was a mistake."]
[i "You don't mean that,"] Edward interjects.
[b "What the hell do you know, Edward?"] Jasper spits. [b "You didn't almost kill Bella, did you? You should hate me for what I did. I could have hurt the only blood family that Bella has left."]
The husband and wife look to each other silently, but don't say anything more. [b "This is the only way. We need to leave. We've overstayed our welcome in Forks."]
As he steps forward to move past towards his room, Rosalie grabs his arm gently. [i "Jasper."]
The blonde male wrenches his arm back and gives her an expression of pure disgust. [b "Here you go, Rose. You got what you wanted. Alice is out of my life. Are you fucking happy now? You won."]
He ignores their calls as he storms to his room and slams the door, making it come right off its hinges. Moving in robotic form, he starts gathering his things in to his suitcases so he could get as far as he can from this place. He doesn't even try to hide the angry sobs wracking his body until he feels Esme's presence, and collapses like a child in to her arms.
As he kissed her forehead, said his goodbyes.... she didn't respond verbally any longer. Her eyes fluttered and her heart cracked more as another of his infinite promises were broken. [i Lies. Everything was always lies. Just lies.] And with that last thought would be how Alice slipped into the forced bought of sleep. Tears still upon her cheeks trailing off her face and dripping to the forest ground beneath her as Jasper lowered her down.
An hour or two would pass before the chilling air that came with the closer to got to sunset. She barely stirred at first, but then with a jolt she sat up straight and glanced around wildly. What happened came crashing back down, and her face fell in the purest pain. The sky had changed color so she knew it had been well over an hour.... Charlie would be home not too long from then. He was always home by sunset.
The Swan girl knew all of this, but... found she didn't care. The pain. The numbness that had settled and the fuzziness she felt from her very soul all overrode everything else. [b [i "Jasper."]] She whispered his name. A call she knew he wasn't near to hear... and likely wouldn't be again.
And it was with an agility and grace that she had never found skill for before that she was upon her feet, scrambling, and bolted into the depths of the woods. In the direction away from her home and the rest of civilisation. Away from her truck that still housed her jacket. Running without protection into the frigid air, in a quaint town, in a state far up north. Air that would get colder than it always was to her unprotected form.
She didn't care. All she did was keep running.
[h3 Saturday, September 21st at 3:29am]
Twelve hours. It had been nearly a full twelve hours since anyone in town had seen or heard from Alice Swan. All that had been left was a note on the cork-board in the kitchen that said she had apparently gone on a walk with Jasper in the woods... and she didn't come back.
A majority of Forks' and the Quileute Reservation's capable adult males had rounded up and began coming the the vast forest in a search party at behalf of the desperate-and-beloved police chief of the area.
The short young-woman was unaware of the panic she was causing. And if she was... the usually loving, always compassionate, empathetic girl likely wouldn't care. Not then. Not in that moment.
She had been running for hours. Every inch of her bare skin were numb, and even the covered parts of her limbs were much the same state. She couldn't really feel them as she moved any longer and her run had slowed to a stuttering pace, but she still kept walking deeper and deeper.
Her tear tracks had lightly frozen into white flecks upon her face, eyes still bloodshot. Naturally ivory-colored skin a now unhealthy pale besides for where it flushed an unhealthy read from Washington's chilly autumn air.
Alice's breaths were softly gasping every few minutes or so with a painfully tearless sob. It wouldn't be too much longer before she released her first proper sound in her hours of running from [i everything]; that sound was a scream as she tripped and tumbled down a stiff incline in the forest. Crying out in pain as she tumbled over branches and pebbles and rocks and plants. By the time she reached the bottom her ankle was throbbing—as was a wrist—and had a few dozen bloody scratches here and there upon her visible skin.
She laid there, blinking slowly as if in a daze, and then with a hitching breath the girl let out a wail before curling into a ball. The physical pain having been what finally broken the true damn holding her emotions.
Within a matter of seconds she was crying her heart out to the forest where nothing but the animals and nature could hear her pain.
Those who had become her safeplace, and [i he] who had become her rock, wouldn't come to her rescue.
Her tears fell harder at the realization.
She cried and screamed until her voice was hoarse and her face was red with grief just as much so as cold.
Jasper doesn't know if he can take the waves of anguish washing over her, almost drowning him. His eyes close briefly, trying to regain his composure and steady decision. He hates himself for this. [b "You'll understand,"] his voice breaks slightly, [b "That this is the best possible thing for you. There'll be no danger. You can live your life without the risk of me."]
He wants to reach out and pull her in to his arms, to comfort her from every little ounce of pain rushing through her. Unfortunately, it'll only make things worse for both of them. [b "You may hate me for the rest of your life, or you may forgive me. I'll have to live with either one you choose. But I'll live knowing that you have a chance to live a happy life without me. You survived seventeen years without me, and you'll have many more ahead of you. It'll be like I was never here."]
Finally allowing himself to breakdown slightly, he steps forward. He can practically feel her shivering with sobs. As lightly as he can, Jasper presses his lips to her forehead in farewell. [b "You will always be my only love, Alice Swann. I promise you that."]
Once more, he does something he had sworn to himself never to do. Gradually, he covers her with a drowsy weight, slowly adding more until she's falling forward towards him in a slumber. Gently lowering her to the ground below, Jasper ensures that her head is pillowed comfortably, brushing a lock of hair away from her forehead. [b "Goodbye, Alice."]
He doesn't give himself a chance to hesitate before he darts off in the direction of home. If he could cry, he knows that tears would be pouring from his eyes. A guttural sob is desperate to escape, but he won't let it. He deserves to feel this pain. He deserves to feel it for the rest of his existence.
She felt like she'd been stung with his response. With his moving away. [b "I... I-I wasn't making a joke, Jasper. I was being genuine—my mom's been doing that with a lot of gifts since I was a kid. Or just not wrapping them at all—I'm accident prone. You know that."] She replied hesitantly, offering up a meek smile that fell near instantly as she curled her hand against her chest. Having felt a pain in her heart from him having jerking away. Rejecting her from touching him. As she really upset him that much with what she'd just said?
That feeling of cold dread she was subconsciously ignoring since the moment she'd hopped out of her truck and saw him? It suddenly forced itself to the forefront of her mind as he spoke. Growing in intensity but despite the power and the pain it caused her mind and soul, it didn't affect her physically like it had months prior before James, Laurent, and Victoria had come into the baseball field. It froze and burnt her all at once, but she stood stone-still as his words branded into her in multiple ways.
[i He doesn't want to keep me... doesn't want me anywhere [u near] him. He's [u leaving], and the others—Bella and Edward—had to have known. That's why they didn't answer. That's why they've all left you hanging and anxiety-ridden over the loss of contact from them all week....!] Her thoughts continued in that endless cycle with a variety of variations of these thoughts. They all led to the same thing... but if she properly thought of it with her conscious mind it all but break her. She was broken enough in this moment.
She had remained frozen, that feeling of dread filling her to a point of intensity that it should have her not breathing. Have her crumple to the ground. But it didn't it.... it grew and grew more until, suddenly, it stopped dead and just sat. Heavy and waiting.
Her emotions fuzzed. They'd always been a bit fuzzy, but now they fuzzed in a way that was near akin to how Edward described the way Bella's unreadable mind was for him.
It would be easy to mistake this loss of emotions from the otherwise emotive girl as she being in a form of shock. It be expected . There'd be no reason for Jasper to assume other causes.
Alice continued to stand there, now having both hands curled against her chest. She was silent. She was still. The only thing visible of her was her was her shoulders moving in breathing thanks to her head being bowed to hide her face behind chocolate-brown hair.
[b "...Oh."] The Swan girl whispered, voice soft. And that was all she said. She didn't look at him. Didn't do anything. Just kept standing there.
What else was there to say in a situation like this?
She didn't know, and she didn't have the energy to try and imagine similar scenarios.
She didn't even have that of dread.
She... didn't even know exactly how she was feeling in that moment.
It would all crash down on her from the inside out soon enough, no doubt, but as of now she felt... nothing.
A girl of near love and kindness incarnate wasn't able to feel anything. And for the time being she wasn't scared of that fact. The now was still consuming her.
Jasper was [i leaving] her. The Cullens—her biological aunt and her married uncle—were [i leaving her] too, no doubt.
[i What did I do wrong?] Was the only thing that broke the otherwise repetitive lines of thoughts.
Jasper lets out an involuntary gasp and jerks out of her reach. His eyes clench shut as he tries to focus on what he's come here to do. [b "I just...I don't think you understand, Alice. This isn't a joke."]
He can't look at her. If he does, he'll crumble. He hates himself for the fact that he's about to hurt her in an unforgiveable way. Alice. The girl who is nothing but sweet and caring towards anyone. He was going to hurt her and there was nothing she could do to stop him. He's a danger to her, and he's going to make it clear that he doesn't intend to keep her in that situation.
[b "I should have listened to Rosalie. She was right,"] he chokes on the words. [b "This was never going to work. Don't you see? I couldn't even control myself over a paper cut. What would happen if something worse would have gone down, and none of them were around to stop me?"]
The thought alone makes him shiver. [b "I can't do this anymore. I can't be selfish and keep you around when I could lose control like that again. I'm sorry."]
Taking a step back, he finally raises his eyes to meet hers and he puts on the stoniest expression he can manage. [b "I'm ending this, Alice. We're over. It's best that you don't come around me, and I intend on making sure that you don't. As of tonight, I'm leaving Forks. You can hate me, and move on with someone new, but I have to accept that reality. It's for the best."]
If it was possible, he could feel his heart clenching in his chest. He will never forgive himself for this. He will hate his existence for the rest of time. He has done the exact thing he promised her he would never do, and that was break her heart. In time she will learn, Jasper convinces himself, that he wants what is best for her.
The fact she expected him there and had longed for the sound of his voice over the past several days didn't change the fact that she jumped with the slightest of squeaks at the call of her name.
And there he was. Her soldier-boy.
It was at this point that she noticed the cold feeling coming back... on a certain level. In the back of her mind. Her conscious mind ignored it on a near frighteningly level of intensity, for how could Jasper of all being give her that cold feeling? It had to be a fluke.
Him walking a bit into the wood behind her house didn't strike her as odd for they had gone outside to chat and spend time together before whenever Charlie got a little to 'Police Chief Daddy' as they spent time in the living room. The fact Jasper wasn't saying anything did strike her as a little odd, but she ignored the oddity even as it caused that unacknowledged cold feeling to grow more and more as the seconds ticked on.
By the time five minutes had passed they had already walked quite a ways from the house. It was still visible, sure, but it was at least a half-mile back.
The Whitlock male's words caused her confusion a moment, but then her face filled with empathy that gently flared from her. [b "Oh, Jazz,"] She walked closer towards him whilst using one of various nicknames she had personalized for him, [b "None of us could have known that would happen. Next time I have a party you all should just wrap the presents in plastic—no paper cuts."] Her voice was gentle, no tone of teasing beyond her comforting words.
Now that she stood beside him she reached out, intending to place her hand upon his forearm to struck her thumb at the skin of his wrist. It had become a comforting gesture between them both ever since she received her second scar from James, the one of her wrist, months ago. It near perfectly mirrored one of Jasper's own scars and it became a focal point of their first comforting touches towards one another if either needed it.
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