Actions

Work Header

What Happy Ever After Feels Like

Work Text:

Jasper POV

Chapter One

“Come on Alice, give me something.” We’re already on the losing end of this. It was going to take every last ounce of my control not to rip the girl apart for running out on me.

My best friend and companion in this life; the mate even my beast loves and adores is hunched over, her grief, fear, anger and worry is blocking the ability to let her gift come naturally. My phone rings and I punch the button. “Info.”

“We’re on the outskirts of Phoenix now. Edward can’t run yet, the sun is still too high.” Carlisle’s voice is calm but I hear the worry. He’d brought Emmett along with them. Rosalie and Esme were trying to get everything out of the house and ready for a move. There is no other recourse. There are only two paths I see out of this; Bella Swan will either be turned or dead. We are now on a save our asses mission with Edward needing proof of life or death.

“There is a huge traffic jam, everything is caught in it. A car accident, it flipped and went into the opposite lane, both sides are closed.They won’t make it in time. Take a right.” Drifting the car up the onramp I continue to floor it.

Up ahead the light turns red and I have just enough room. Two cars collide in the intersection behind me as I follow Alice’s instructions weaving through the subdivision and into the interior of the city. It’s after five so traffic is lighter. The sun is starting to set so Edward will be running soon, but I know it won’t be soon enough.

“Park in the alley, one block ahead. We can use the shadows. You’re faster than me, run. He’s already there and...oh God.” Alice grabs at her head.

I don't wait. I run, weaving through the shadows, up over buildings. What feels like hours is barely minutes before I’m at the back of the building. There is a window open on the top floor and I climb and squeeze through not making a sound. I needed to be on the watch for his mate, she won’t be far away and probably scouting for the rest of us.

The shouts of Bella’s name are mechanical, too high pitched and there is a distinctive whine of metallics and the static of overused speakers. He’s playing with her and using a videotape of her mother’s voice. The whole place is filled with confidence, and then I taste the fear and hear Bella’s calls to her mother and the sound of pounding feet.

I find a spot high, and cling to the walls hating the site of him tormenting her. I haven’t felt fear like this since the war, along with an undertone of resolution. She is prepared and knows she is going to die.

Not on my watch.

For the moment he’s standing too close to her and I have to wait until she is out of the area of danger. The beast inside of me is rising, banging at the cage and for the first time in nearly a hundred years I have no issues with setting him free.

I smell the pepper spray and while I applaud her courage I know it’s time as he sends her flying into a column causing a hard hit to her head and the effervescent bouquet of iron, salt, rust and hunger.

Diving from the balcony I catch him around the waist before he can move another inch towards her. The floor buckles causing a wave of floorboards, it gets him away from Bella which is the most important thing.

“Oh, lookey here. The big bad Major has come to play. Now it’s even more fun. I get to take out a prize, and take out you. A certain king has a mighty high price on your head, I’m looking forward to collecting it.”

Taking my shirt I rip it off, the plethora of scars on my body fully visible in the light of the setting sun. I feel his fear then as his confidence drops. We circle each other and I reach out with my gift and feel another surge of confidence seeping into the picture. The mate has appeared.

Bella screams and I watch from my peripherals as she is pulled standing by her hair and I’m in the middle with two choices. I can take out the tracker and put an end to the existence that will always hunt us for revenge, or I can take out the crazed bitch that has her arms wrapped around Bella and can end her life with a flick.

“Guess the Major isn’t so big and bad if he can’t take on more than one. Pity, I was hoping for a little more fun.” He lunges and I swerve back and he misses me. The move was completely miscalculated and I grab his ponytail as it goes by, using his own momentum and the swiftness of my arms, I have my arms around his locked and seconds away from severing his head.

“Let him go or she dies.” Bella is being held up by her neck, her face rapidly beginning to change colors. The woman has her nails dug deep into Bella’s neck letting fine rivulets of blood trickle down, by the way she is breathing I suspect an already bruised windpipe.

Dark brown eyes meet mine and for the first time everything clicks, then slows as Bella gives the nod of her head that changes everything as I feel that resolve come roaring through her. Like I told her in the hotel room; everything I will do is because she is worth it.

She brings up the pepper spray with a shaky hand and sprays her captor in the face as I make like I’m letting James go. The spray gets in her eyes and she flings Bella away, up and through the balcony where she slams with a boom, along with a crunching as the impact of wood goes through flesh sending a flood of blood as she drops through the railing and back down to the first floor.

Wasting no time I sever his head and she’s coming at me full of rage, hate and the urge to rip me apart. With my foot I kick high, then jump grabbing her fall of hair and slam her into the ground right by the head of her mate, before ripping her own off and letting it fall.

Too stupidly easy; had it been any other fight but to save someone I cared for I would have been greatly disappointed.

I’m at Bella’s side in moments. It’s not good, blood is coming from her mouth, where her lips are already turning blue. One of the balcony posts has impaled itself through her left lung, not counting whatever else may be broken.

“Edward is a hundred yards, Carlisle is down the block. Oh my god. I didn’t see it. There’s so much, Jasper. I can’t. You can do this, go for the wound, seal it.”

“Get out. Go now, Alice.”

“NO!” The scream is loud, guttural and full of pain.” Edward slams to the floor sliding into a sitting position.

Bella’s hand comes up, bloody and touches my face just as Carlisle comes through the door. He takes one look at her and begins praying in Latin. Edward begins growling from the floor and Emmett has to haul him out as Carlisle pulls the post free.

Her eyes are beginning to glaze as I watch Carlisle pull a needle out of the bag and I read the inscription on it. “What the hell?”

“It was decided. Edward does not want her changed, he refuses to damn her soul. This is the only humane way to end her suffering.”

Rage, hot, white and all consuming flares and the demon fully unleashes. Shoving Carlisle away, knowing he won’t fight. “I’m sorry, but I need to save her.” I take his head causing Edward and Emmett both to scream. Within moments I have Edward subdued and Emmett just standing there.

Back at her side I take one look into her eyes and she nods just as her eyes begin to gloss over. “I’ll see you soon, darlin.”

I bite. The jugular thready as I pump as much venom in that bite as possible. Letting the venom fill my mouth I cover the wound to her lungs and let it flow, needing the properties in the venom to begin healing where the blood flow is the worst.

Again and again, I attach my mouth over the wound letting my venom flow into her as the burning begins and the wound begins to seal.

Thank you, Alice, for seeing that bit.

Knowing the change is well on the way and nothing can stop it now, Emmett helps me reattach Carlisle and Edward and Alice comes back in. The stench of blood is still overpowering in the room, but fading as it’s no longer fresh.

“Why? You have damned her. Everything about her is now gone.” Edward looked down at the young woman he’d told us all he loved so much and bends; placing one kiss on her forehead I watch as the anger builds in me.

“I’m so sorry. This never should have happened to you. You were supposed to live or die, not become a monster.” Breath is deep in his chest as he stands, shakes his head. “What a waste.”

“A waste...a waste. Bella’s life is never a waste. You fucking pig.” Alice spits on him and I have to hold her back as she goes to attack.

“Edward made the decision, Alice. It was his to make as the one who brought her into this life. This was not meant to happen, and I’m severely disappointed that you give no regard to his wishes.”

“And what about hers, Carlisle? Was Bella to get no say on whether to live?” I stand over her not liking the tone in the room and Alice comes to my side joining me in protecting Bella.

“She was not yours to turn. You have broken the rules and I’ll see you tried for this.” Edward shoves off of Emmett and stands with Carlisle. Em doesn’t know whether to stand with us, or his sire.

I always knew it would come down to a moment like this. Alice and I were the outsiders, we were not venom kin and unlike the others, my history put me at a position of power in the vampire world, even over Carlisle despite his age and wealth. I had been fine playing the outcast and subservient to the way Carlisle handled his coven, but I know the home Alice and I had with them for over fifty years, was now gone.

“Don’t talk to me about rules, boy. You brought her into our existence, and the rules are clear - turning or death.” My beast that had been resting on the surface is getting agitated again and the blood in the air and the small amount of Bella’s in my system is starting to cause chaos in my control of him. Standing straight to my full height I stand in front of Alice as she picks Bella up.

“She’s my mate which means I get to decide her fate, not you Jasper. You have gotten between mates. I made the decision for her to die if it came to it.” Edward shoves away from Carlisle.

“Dude, then she’s not your mate. Your singer, sure, but not your mate. If she was it would be you cuddling her right now, not Alice. You wouldn’t have hesitated turning her, or running for someone else like Rosalie did for me. Tell him I’m right, Carlisle.” Emmett for the first time since I’ve known him is standing in Carlisle’s face and daring him to say something different. He is angry, confused and hurt that Edward would want Bella to die when he likes her; human or not.

“He is right, Edward. Think son, now that her blood is tainted you have no attraction to her. If we took this to Aro you will lose and the penalty will be severe. I do agree with you, on one point. Jasper, you have gone against my wishes as the head of this coven, and I’m sorry but I will not allow you to stay. You know the rules when we agreed to the terms of this life when you came to us. I cannot allow you to jeopardize us further. Alice, you are more than welcome to stay my dear, I know how much Esme loves you.”

“Are you fucking insane? You kick Jasper out for turning Bella and going against Edward’s wishes, but the times Edward has gone down to South America and laid waste to dozens you say nothing. You’re not a leader, you’re a disgrace. Jasper is my mate, where he goes, I go. I’d rather be a nomad than with a weak leader. I never knew my Sire, but Bella’s got a better chance with Jasper than she ever would have with you. Edward would have us all destroyed before he’d turn her.”

“What? What did you see?” Emmett moves away from us and takes floorboards and begins to build a fire for the bodies left behind. We did need to get out of here soon.

“Oh, just Edward attacking her in the biology lab over a paper cut and massacring the classroom. The Volturi are called and we all wind up dead; except for Jasper. He was the last man standing after Edward killed me because I protected Bella. I take that to the Volturi and allow Aro to read us and we’ll see how far Edward’s demands against his mate go. We’ll take Bella, if anyone can raise a newborn it’s Jasper. We don’t need you. Hell, Carlisle; you needed us. Between Jasper’s protection and my financial acumen you wouldn’t have made it this long with Edward’s issues if it wasn’t for us. The Volturi would have destroyed him long ago, if you didn’t pay off half of Brazil. Might want to start covering your tracks better.”

Never before had I been more proud of my tiny mate as she holds her best friend close to her, all the protectiveness of a Valkyrie in her stance. Damn my mate is hot and fierce and I can’t wait to show her just how much I love her. I send my feelings toward her watching as her face lights up in a huge smile as she looks at me.

Emmett has the fire started and is throwing in the bodies. “Thank you.” I turned to him. Out of all the Cullens I am closest to him, but that was easy with Em. He genuinely cares about everyone, even at school he made sure the bullies got their due “You will always be welcome wherever we are.”

Surprising me he pulls me into a huge hug. “You’re my big brother man, that will never change. Get settled and I’ll talk to Rosie.” Audible cracking of my ribs is in my ears before he lets me go.

Alice has Bella laid down in the car and I get in. Pulling my mate toward me, I kiss her deeply. Emmett has to pull Edward away as I back out of the alley; the flames in the studio beginning to rise. “Thank you for saving her, Jasper. She’s my best friend and now fully my little sister - she’s going to be so beautiful.

I’m heading east to Wyoming and the ranch, we need to get the hell out of the South and the ranch is the nearest place for a newborn.”

“He’s there, and it’s going to be perfect. She left him. Why didn’t he tell us?” Alice looks out the window, her eyes still holding the glaze of vision. “Oh, it’s going to feel so good to be home. Bella is going to love it there.”

“Is that vision talking, or you darlin’.” Taking her hand, I kiss it before holding it over where the beat of my heart once was. I’m starting to think that my mate has known more about this moment than what she has let on. “Mary Alice, how long have you known about all of this?”
Looking at me I can feel her deception along with the apology. Very rarely did Alice ever use her visions to fully try to change the future, unless it was so important that it changed everything.

“How long have I known about you?” She leans over and lays her head against me, wrapping her arms around my waist. She feels freer somewhat as if weight is no longer hanging over her.

“Well, according to you my dearest, I was your first vision in life, so I’d say for about ninety years.” Bringing her hand up I kiss her again, and worry about the too quiet backseat.

“Bella was my second vision. Do you remember when I took that trip to Mississippi, in the sixties - for that school genealogy project.”

“Yes.” We hit the desert and I have the hammer down. At normal speed from here we would hit the ranch in fifteen hours; I intend to make it in half. Alice would see any police before they could clock me.

“Well an interesting name came up in relation to my sister Cynthia Helen, she married Geoffrey Swan and they had Charlie who as you know...” She.moves in the seat and reaches back to move the hair from Bella’s face. Absolute, pure love is pouring out of my mate. This isn’t just about Bella being her sister.

“Bella is your great niece”? Looking at my beloved it all makes sense; especially why she was so adamant about Washington and Forks. She had been biding her time for twenty years to be close to Bella.

“Yes. I kept an eye on Charlie too. He loves her so much, Jasper. I hate that we took her away from him. I honestly think he knows though. He grew up playing on the reservation with all the stories. We have to make a decision there, he’ll put things together with the ballet studio. We have a little time though. Emmet is leaving a note for Renee at her old house and says that she took the car and just needs to get away for a while but she’ll email as soon as she can. They’ll find the car in three weeks with no sign of Bella out of gas in Tennessee. He won’t stop until he finds her and it could get him killed because he starts digging too deep into Carlisle.”

“Let’s get her through her change first and go from there. I don’t like that she’s not moving. It’s too quiet.” Alice climbs over the seat, lifting Bella into her arms,running fingers through her hair.

“Just wait, my love, she’s going to be so beautiful. I love her so much, Jasper.”

“Hey now, those words could start making a man jealous.” Teasing her is easy. If Alice wanted Bella forever - then that is what my mate would get. For all Alice had always done for me since the moment I met her; I would give her anything within my power. Her love for me blasts from the backseat and it is all I will ever need in any life.

“But not my man.” She smiles so brightly and beautifully that even after ninety years it takes my breath away.

“Nope, never yours darlin’. I’m the luckiest sonofabitch in the world to feel your love so completely. I love you, Mary Alice.”

“I love you too, Jasper. I feel more complete than I ever have. Like all the pieces are finally coming together.” Rocking Bella slowly, she kisses her head and I can hear her humming softly in her ear.

“Soon my love. It will all be over soon, I promise.” Alice continues those words of encouragement the entire trip.

Chapter Two

With two stops for gas I’m roaring down the private unmarked hidden lane, it's looks more wild in the forty years since we bought the place and kept adding by buying surrounding properties. Not one acre sat on public land. With nearly 100,000 acres there was plenty of room for a newborn to be away from humans and the mountains were on either side nestling the house that we built slowly.

Ten years ago Alice, Peter and I had installed solar paneling so we weren’t even connected to a power grid and water was all fresh from a well. We’d built the cabin in a valley between the mountains with forest all around. The property had mountains, valleys, prairie, forest and was teeming with wildlife. Peter has been living here off and on for the past ten years and up until two years ago with Charlotte. She could no longer take solitude and wanted to go back to being a nomad.

“You beat your record. How is she?” Peter stands at the top of the porch stairs to the huge glass, metal and log modern cabin that should be out of place but somehow fit. It is home. We’d been building it off and on for years and Peter finished it three years ago. Set on a hill, the back is two story tall windows that look out over the valley and a view Alice often had to tear me away from as I soaked in the sheer peace.

“Still nothing, only a few small whimpers when jostled. I’ve never seen anything like it, except for you.” Before I can open the backdoor, Alice has Bella in her arms and is speeding up to the house.

“And little bit, how is she doing and you? You drove that whole way with blood all over both of you.”

Peter stands at eye level with me, his hair hanging past his shoulders; his once vivid blue eyes now a mixture of ocher and red. From the moment the raiding party had dumped him in front of Maria; bloodied, bruised and still fighting the vampires that had killed his family I’d known he was mine. Peter had been in his mid twenties when I’d changed him, and the fire during his turning had raged with demon fire and Peter absorbed it into his every cell. Awakening he’d attacked me with a vengeance and had he not been overtaken by blood lust I think I would have met my demise that day. He never let up, never backed down. I’d seen him fight like the devil himself ; all while missing an arm.

It took six years before we called a truce, another seven before he was my best friend, and another decade before he was my brother. I’d fought the hounds of hell to give him a chance to escape with the woman he fell in love with; the very woman that had after fifty years taken off to greener climates while cheating with a nomad.

He was my childe, my best friend and my brother and he adored my mate as a cherished little sister. What more could I ask for in my family. “Honestly, it wasn’t that bad. Bella’s a strange one. She stood toe to toe with a vamp and sprayed him in the face with pepper spray and even dangling by her neck helped me with distraction. She’s got a big brass set; you’ll like her.”

“Kinda young isn’t she, doesn't look much past fifteen.” He seems disappointed for some reason.

“She’s eighteen, nineteen in September and mature past her years. No diaper training is necessary.” Slapping him on the back we go inside. “Nice eyes by the way. Any reason?”

“Too much shit to do around here, I’ve only been back for a few months. Was hanging out with Garrett up in the Yukon but I hate Alaska in the winter. It’s easier than running into a town. All I have to do is grab something out the back door; the wildlife around here is insane . She is not going to have any issues feeding that thirst.“

“Her name is Bella and she’s going to run you both ragged and I can’t wait to watch. Now I need the bags from the car, she’s going to need clothes. Peter, do you have your laptop, I need to borrow it and one of you will have to go to town to pick it up. She’s going to go through so many clothes.”

“Jasper, you need to get the hot water going. I need to bathe her and get her into something clean, and us as well. Get on the phone with Emmett and have him ship all of our stuff here, I’ll be damned if we lose our stuff because Edward gets a burr up his ass. Come on boys, there is a lot to do before she wakes up.”

“Damn it’s good to have the team back together again.” Peter laughs as Alice starts ordering us around. He honestly is. “It’s good to have you guys home, I take it this is to stay.”

“It is and it’s been a long fucking time.”

“It’s been too damn long, and yes it’s so good to finally be home.” Alice hops down from the catwalk right on top of Peter’s back and hugs him for all he’s worth. “I’ve missed you so much, Peter. I’m sorry about Charlotte, fucking harpy.” Leaning her head on his shoulder, she literally has her arms and legs wrapped around him.

Reaching up he pulls her forward and blows a raspberry in her neck making her squeal. “I missed you too munchkin. I’m better off. Someday I’ll have what you two do and it will be worth the wait.”

Their love for each other warms me. None of the Cullens ever felt this for each other, except Emmett. I feel no jealousy at all watching my mate and childe fool around, Peter’s love for her is as his beloved little sister, much like what I felt from Emmett for Bella. It’s been so long that we’ve spent significant time with the three of us and damn if it didn’t feel good to be home.

Happily Peter and I complete Alice’s list of things that she wants to take care of before Bella opens her eyes. Alice refuses to leave Bella’s side sitting there and telling her everything about her life that she knows, how much she was loved and just how much she will be loved.

“It will be fantastic. You’ll never feel anything like it. It’s like the sun is shining right on you, warm, bright and so perfect. Every one of your holes inside fills and like all the pieces finally come together and the picture is more beautiful than anything you can ever imagine. Forever you will know right where you belong. You’ll never be lonely, or feel alone in the world cause you know he’s there just waiting for you. He’ll love everything about you; even when you drive him insanely crazy or frustrate him until he’s ready to rip you to pieces. At the end of it though, you’ll never stay mad at him, nor he you; and trust me he’s going to drive you just as crazy but you’ll love him so much. You’ll fill all those empty spaces in him too; and Bella there’s so many holes and so much hurt and heartache. He’s the only person who could ever deserve you, and you him. Trust me, it’s going to be so beautiful and wonderful. I love you, my sweet girl, so very much.”

“Guys, it’s almost time; only about ten more minutes.” Alice opens the window all the way meaning she’s probably going to run for it. Alice has her in a pair of leggings and one of Peter’s t-shirts and button up shirts. The package of clothing was delayed for two more days.

Peter stands at the foot of the bed, his boots planted firm in case she attacks. Not once has she made a peep while turning; like Peter, and we’re ready for a demon breaking lose. Alice comes to the side and takes my hand, then wordlessly turns my head to stare not only at the bed, but at Peter. She is feeling mischievous and so full of love that I can’t help but smile.

The heartbeat starts stuttering, the last of Bella’s human life leaving her. Her hair is even longer, lush and full with streaks of mahogany, her skin the finest porcelain leaves her lips looking like lush berries, she’s filled out in places giving her an hourglass figure and at least two dress sizes leaving the teenage look behind into that of a woman, who now looks older than eighteen. Alice had painted her fingers and toes and brushed her hair till it gleamed. Next to my mate she was probably the prettiest filly I’d ever seen.

The gasp comes with the last thud hanging in the air. Her eyes don’t open right away, but her fingers clench at the bed, causing the ripping of fabric to echo in the silence. In an instant her eyes are open, blaring like sun through rubies and she’s up and standing slightly woozy.

She looks up and sees nothing else. It is the green flash on the ocean just at sunset, the perfect moment of joining and it hits me so hard Alice has to keep me upright. In the house a clock ticks and no one moves then Alice speaks. “Bella, this is Peter Whitlock, Jasper’s sired childe. Peter, meet Isabella Swan.”

“Peter.” The word comes out and she puts a hand up to her throat that must be on fire. My brother doesn’t move, he can’t. His every dream has come true and is staring at him with wide ruby eyes, and a yearning that feels like a cannon blast to my gut.

We wait as the seconds tick and finally he finds his voice. “Miss Isabella, would you allow me to accompany you in your first hunt?” Slowly he moves forward and I understand now why Alice put her in his shirts, the familiarity will help calm her once she fully smells him.

Her smile is dazzling and she takes his outstretched hand. “I’d like that Peter.”

He takes her a few steps to the window. “After you.”

“Will you jump with me? I’ve never...I’m nervous.” She looks at him and is the calmest newborn I’d ever seen. The yin to his yang. Slowly her hand comes up. “All of my pieces … you’re so beautiful.” Her fingers run down over his jaw, seemingly in awe.

“You are the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen in existence. I never could have imagined...” With more tenderness than I’ve ever seen him show anyone he brings his hands up and cups her face. Together they move forward until their heads are touching and they both breathe in as one.

Peter moves first, but only by an infinitesimal amount and the kiss is the stuff of legends. Soft, slow, tender and full of the purest love I’ve ever felt next to the first time I kissed Alice outside that diner.

“Come on darlin’. I have so much to show you.” He pulls away reluctantly, taking her hand. “On three, okay. One, two, three.” They jump together and run off into the twilight.

“Mary Alice Whitlock, how long have you known that Bella was Peter’s mate?” Spinning my mate she is filled with such joy that she lets out a whoop and hops into my arms and I spin her more.

“All part of vision two, my dearest love. Did you see it? Wasn’t that intense? It was absolutely perfect. God, Jasper, I wish I could cry, I’m so happy. There’s only one thing to do and it will all be complete. Do you trust me, my mate.”

“With my existence. What is next in your book of tricks, my love.”

“You’ll see, I’m not about to ruin the surprise. Now I have two phone calls to make, and you need to go get those clothes. You’ll get there ten minutes before they open, if you leave right now. And grab that list off the refrigerator.”

Pulling her to me, I kiss my wife loving her taste and the feel of her so close. Now that everything was almost done I had plans on having my loving wicked way with her soon. “I love you.”

“Love you too, now scoot.”

“Yes, ma’am.”

Chapter Three

“I won’t hurt my dad, I know I won't. I also know you won’t let me do anything to hurt him just in case. Whatever you have to do, even ripping my head off. Don’t let me hurt him.” Bella wraps Peter’s arms around her tighter and buries her nose in his shirt. She did it often whenever she was nervous or scared; his smell always making her feel safe and at ease.

“I won’t do that my love, but I won’t allow you to hurt him either.” He bends and kisses her head and I know he’d have my head off before I could even touch her.

“You’ll be fine. I’ve seen it.”

We all go outside when Charlie pulls up in a rental car. “Bella, thank god.” He drops his bag and comes forward just as she breaks free of Peter’s hold. Alice puts a hand up to hold us back.

“Daddy.” She runs and grabs him, cracking his ribs good as she hugs him and sobs. “I’m so sorry I ran Dad. I thought they had mom and I had to do something, Jasper saved my life and well…”

“You’re a vampire. Kinda figured it was going to happen one point or another. I knew the only way to get anywhere was to give it just enough time that I could start digging into Carlisle and shaking the bushes for snakes. Didn’t have to shake too hard, either.”

“Hello, Charlie. It’s so good to have you home. Alice comes off the porch and hugs Charlie just as much.” He stares a little stumped, then really looks at Alice for the first time in light.

“Woah, there for a minute in the light you look just like my momma used to.” A hand runs through his hair as he looks at Alice with a huge smile on his face. Slowly I feel the connection dawning on it. “No, it’s not possible.”

“Cynthia Helen was my most beloved sister. I’m your aunt, Charlie. We’re actually family. I have been waiting for this moment for so much longer than you know.” She hugs him again and Charlie is beaming and throws his arms around both girls.

Bella goes into the kitchen and begins preparing food for Charlie as Alice sits him in the living room. A fire is going in the huge river rock fireplace and Peter has turned on soft music from somewhere.

Charlie takes a huge drink of his beer when he watches Bella sit in Peter’s lap by the window, running one finger down his cheek before kissing his lips and curling into him.

“So that’s something. Last I knew you ran off with Edward.” Four growls pierce the room and Charlie gulps.

Kissing Alice I stand, looking out the window with my hands behind my back. “I got to her just in time in Phoenix, that pepper spray you gave her actually gave me the opportunity to save her life. Unfortunately it’s a different life than what you would have wanted. Edward refused to change her, so I did.”

“You mean he was going to leave her to die.” He set his food and drink aside and stood, his agitation making him pace the living room as anger began taking root. “When I asked them, they said Bella had run away from you guys to her mother’s house then took the car and ran.”

“Yes, they had to make it look like they had no involvement in what happened to Bella. It's one of the laws of our kind that we do not become publicly known. Edward had claimed Bella was his mate, in doing so according to our laws that gave him choice over her life and death. He believes that we are monsters damned with this existence and he was willing for her to die to maintain that - I was not. Once she began turning it was very apparent that she was not Edward’s mate in the slightest; he had been called to the scent of her blood and nothing more.”

“Good thing too, because I was supposed to be right here. Peter is my mate, dad. His name was even the first thing I said when I woke up.” Bella is looking Peter in the eyes and the emotion of her love begins to overwhelm him forcing him to bury his face in her hair.

“There is nothing I would not do to protect her Sir. I feel the same for her as she does for me and I will love her until the world implodes.”

“This is all great, but what does this have to do with an important matter you said we had to discuss. I know the basics from the legends. Bella won’t grow old...etc. I know after coming here I can’t say a word to anyone or it will not only mean my life but yours and I’ll take it to the grave. As far as this trip goes the station thinks I’m on a hunting trip with a couple old Army Reserve buddies.”

Peter and I both start laughing at the same time. “Well in that you would be correct. I was a Major in the Texas Calvary and Peter was a Yankee Captain under General Sherman and there is more wildlife out here than you could ever cart home.”

“Oooh, that will be perfect. You need to go tomorrow and get a game hunting license.” Alice hops on the couch and I chuckle.

“Not so enthusiastic pet, we’ve already had to replace that couch once this week after that movie marathon between you and Bella. Lesson, darling two vampires having a pillow fight on the sofa leads to a broken sofa.” I catch the pillow she throws at my head and whip it back at her, making her duck. The pillow hits a lamp sending it toward the floor. Bella is the one that races and catches it.

“Hey, it took me four hours to glue it back together after we broke the couch.” She sets it on a different table and picks up the pillow at the last minute as she passes she gently whacks Alice with it who shrieks laughing.

Peter is just sitting in the chair shaking his head, then wraps his arms back around Bella when she sits. “We digressed, Jasper. Get to the other part.”

“What we really brought you here for Charlie is we have a proposition. You know what the rest of your life could be; always living in secret hiding the truth and that you know of us or…”

“Or?” Charlie takes a huge swig of his beer. Nerves raise exponentially and he sits aside the sandwich concentrating only on the beer. Bella leaves again and comes back with another one and a bottle of Jack Daniels along with a shot glass.

“Or you can become one of us.” Charlie cracks open the Jack and doesn’t even bother with the shot glass before taking a huge chug with nary a shudder.

He drinks until he’s drunk asking questions while Peter and I answer everything we can. The next morning after his hangover, he submits his resignation pending immediate retirement citing the loss of his daughter with relocation to another property we own in Minnesota.

Peter goes with Charlie to pack up his house and I watch as Bella paces the house and runs laps around the property, the ache in her chest overwhelming at being away from a new mate for so long. It warms me to the tip of my boots to know that Peter, my cherished and beloved brother and childe is so completely loved - loved as much as Alice loves me.

Charlie decides that July fourth is his Independence Day from being a human. We set off a bunch of fireworks and as the last are dying in the sky I bite through Charlie’s neck to start the change. He takes an extra day and awakens on the eighth and from the moment he opens his eyes Charlie is a beast set on destroy mode. It’s not with hunting, he takes to that easily after so many years of hunting game as a human. It’s his strength; door knobs, clothing, porch railings, steps, glass, remotes, rocks, trees and making him constantly frustrated, which counteracts his control leading to him breaking even more things.

It all changes the day we run across a female wolf caught in the ravine. She’s been chased by a cougar while protecting her pups. She and all but one pup are dead. Charlie is heartbroken listening to the little guy crying for his mother. The pup had survived by being wedged in between two boulders while the cougar had fed on his mother and siblings.

Charlie was terrified that he would hurt him. With some dosed encouragement I watched him very slowly and carefully break apart the boulder taking the utmost care with his strength so he can ease the small guy out; the largest of the litter, up into his arms cradling him close to keep him warm. From that moment, Chief, as he was called, never left Charlie’s side except to curl up in a bed of Charlie’s destroyed clothing that Alice stitched together.

Heavy snow is falling as December rolls in. The girls have decided this year to celebrate in style and have been trimming the house for days but Christmas Day dawns bright and clear as we sit around the Christmas tree Peter carried from the woods and opened presents. Bella had put spiced cider to simmer on the stove just for the smell. It was two in the afternoon when Chief started whimpering and we all heard the sound. An engine turning onto the lane.

“You expecting anyone?” Peter looks at me and Charlie and I follow him to the porch. Alice has a knowing smile on her face that starts beaming as bright as the star on top of the tree.

A huge white Jeep stops feet from the porch and Chief is growling loudly at Charlie’s side. “Shh. Quiet. Sit.” The command is barely a whisper and the massive wolf sits. Charlie takes the moment to rub against his companions ears and the tail thumps happily.

“Merry Christmas!” The huge figure exits from the front seat and I have to hold back and enraged Peter as Bella goes flying down the steps and straight into the figures arms.

“Emmett!” Picking her up he throws her into the air and easily catches her, wrapping his whole form around her. “I’ve missed my big brother so much.”

“As I have missed my little sister. So was this a good surprise.” Ruffling her hair I feel Peter calm, but only slightly.

“Good grief, Em. Move. I’m next.” Rosalie shocks everyone by wrapping Bella in a hug. “I’m so sorry for everything. Please forgive me.”

“Already forgiven.” Bella returns to Peter’s side and he wraps around her a growl still low in his chest and kisses her deeply.

It’s the other person in the car that has gotten out, but not moved as she is met with an overgrown puppy of wolf and it’s master staring down the figure as if she was the most perfect thing to ever step in front of them.

“We’ve never been actually introduced. I’m Charlie Swan, and this is Chief.” A whine comes from beside the woman and she absently reaches out to pet the massive wolf between the ears as she soaks in the eyes in front of her.

“I’m Esme Platt. It’s lovely to meet you, Charlie Swan and Chief.”

Alice buries her whole body into my side and whispers in my ear. “Now we are complete. My third vision. Merry Christmas, Jasper. Thank you for being my mate and helping me bring our whole family together.”

“Always, darlin. Thank you for giving me a family again.”

It was a few years later we ran into Carlisle and Edward at the wedding of Kate Denali to Garrett Revere. Both Cullen men are disgusted to see Bella mated to Peter and Esme to Charlie. Both couples had gotten married last year in the same spot; as Kate so loudly proclaimed and thanked them because it had allowed her and Garrett to meet and to find each other after being alone so long.

Chief had come back with a bloodied rabbit and dropped it in Carlisle’s lap before tottering off to Esme for scratches behind his neck and a very gentle scolding. Edward had growled at the dog and went to attack it and was met with Charlie’s fist, and a wrench of his head that was volleyed to Carlisle.

Irina and Laurent had escorted them both off the property, expressing once again how they were no longer welcome there after Laurent had warned Carlisle about James and Victoria when they’d come to Forks. He’d paid no heed saying it was Edward’s decision to take any action in protecting what was his. It was Peter that struck then but he didn’t stop; and no one even tried as he tore both of them apart and set fire to the pieces for all the pain they’d caused Bella and how Edward’s issues almost led to him never finding his mate.

Alice informed everyone that she knew Carlisle’s accounts and was setting up a fund for nomads and newborns so those without families like the Denali and the Whitlocks never had to worry about money, clothing or a permanent home without stealing and killing to get it. Garrett would teach them ethical hunting practices and how to tap into blood bank resources and Kate would help those wanting an all animal diet. So far a group of newborns that had been changed and left for dead by Victoria and James were the first recipients and doing quite well.

Needing a little space from all the emotion of the wedding, even though joyful was still cloying and overwhelming. I went to the top of the nearest ridge and stared down at my family and friends, never believing when I left Maria that I could ever hope for a life such as this.

“I think this is what happily ever after feels like, Jasper.” Alice wraps around me, her joy is all that I need as I turn in her arms to bend down to kiss her beautiful face.

“This my dearest mate, is exactly what happy ever after feels like.”