"Don't follow me. I promise, Jasper. One way or another, I'll get out... And I love you." - Alice Cullen, New Moon.
The line disconnected as I sunk to the floor. One way or another, I'll get out, her words echoed in my mind and I clung to them as the outnumbered soldier clung to his gun. As if it made a difference. As if they could save me. But I knew they were a lie. Alice might have promised to get out, but there was no getting out when it came to the Volturi. If they wanted you dead, you'd be dead. It was this betrayal that hurt the most. Alice had never lied to me before. But then, she had also never asked me to stay away.
At this moment, I wished vampires were able to cry. I wished I hadn't spent almost a century controlling my emotions, never letting them get out of hand. I wished I could be angry, devastated, sad. But I couldn't. All I felt was this numb emptiness that was left, knowing my one and only purpose in life had just condemned herself to death.
Go after Emmett and Rosalie and bring them back. Prepare Carlisle, the odds aren't good, I remembered her last requests. My mind was blank, my body numb. I couldn't think straight. But I didn't have to. If there was one thing the army taught me, it was to function even in the direst of situations. And so, my legs started to move. I got up on my feet and jumped out of the window, mindlessly following her orders.
It wasn't long before the jeep appeared before my eyes. A car could never match my speed. One more quick jump and they had no other option but to halt. The doors opened. Rosalie was furious, screaming at me to let them through.
Emmett placed himself next to her, his arms crossed. "Come on Jasper, we have to do something," he argued. They both feared for their brother's life. But I wasn't capable of feeling sympathy. I wasn't able to feel anything.
"Alice asked me to bring you back. There is nothing we can do." My voice was cold, completely drained of all emotions which was an unusual thing for me. Normally, I was like a sponge, soaking up the emotional climate around me. But right now, all I felt was empty. There was an Alice-shaped hole in my chest and nobody but her would ever be able to fill it. I saw Rosalie's lips move as if she wanted to protest. But there was no sound coming out. We all had lived with Alice's visions for long enough to know, that there was no point in trying. She said there was nothing we could do.
Emmett got back into the car and turned it around, but Rosalie stood still as a statue, her angry eyes fixated on me. "How can you stop us! We have to at least try to help him. Help Alice! I thought you loved her, how can you leave her behind?" Her words were cold as ice yet they managed to spark a fire in the darkness inside of me. Suddenly, the emotions returned. For an instant, I could feel her anger, fear, and guilt clear as day. Then they were drowned in the pure anguish and rage flaming up inside of me. And I didn't even bother to try and hold it back.
Rosalie was the one that had told Edward about the vision despite promising she wouldn't. She was the reason why Alice was now running towards certain death. And in a few hours, she would probably be the reason for why I lost the only thing that truly mattered in this godless existence. I watched as she tumbled to the ground and felt disturbingly satisfied to see her crumbling under the agony that slowly seeped from my body into hers.
I turned on my heels and walked back towards the house, past Emmett who had stopped the car when he heard his mate screaming in pain. "What have you done?!" he accused but his voice didn't reach me.
Tanya, Kate, and Eleazar came down the driveway, alarmed by Rosalie's wailing. All of them flinched and backed away, as my dark cloud of emotions washed over them as well. "What's going on? Are you doing this?" the taller of the sisters asked, but I didn't respond. I had fulfilled the first of two tasks Alice had given me. And nobody would keep me from fulfilling the second as well.
Brushing past them, I opened the entrance door and heard Esme's tearless sobbing from the living room. They all had overheard Alice's first words before I left the room and ran upstairs into the guestroom we had shared. "Jazz, he's going to the Volturi. He doesn't want to live without her." I paused for a moment. It took all my self-control to contain the black hole raging in my chest, but I didn't want to make Esme suffer anymore. She had never been anything else but compassionate and loving towards Alice and me. She didn't deserve to share my pain.
Carlisle noticed my entrance and he stood up from where he had been sitting, gently cradling his wife. "How bad is it? What did Alice say?"
I felt the torture that resounded in his voice and it made it even harder to control my own anguish. I longed for the numbness to come back. "Alice and Bella are going after him. She promised to do everything in her power, but you shouldn't get your hopes up. The odds aren't good," I repeated her message, my voice on the brink of breaking.
Esme winced and Carlisle was back at her side immediately. I shivered.
I couldn't be here, I couldn't watch them. Or Rosalie and Emmett. Or Carmen and Eleazar. They all reminded me of what I was missing. So, I ran back upstairs to get the phone I had dropped earlier. If Alice ever called again, I needed to be there.
Emmett and Rosalie entered the house just as I jumped out of the window again. I could hear Emmet's deep voice resonating through the rooms. "He completely lost his mind! You should have seen what he did to Rose." He was undoubtedly angry at me. Probably rightfully so. But I didn't care. It felt good to make her experience what she had done to us. What she had done to me.
I didn't run too far from the house, just far enough that my gift couldn't reach them anymore. I had caused enough pain. As my grip on their feelings started to fade, I finally slowed down and eventually tumbled to my knees. And as the void in my chest exploded, I screamed.
Alice, sitting at the counter in the dim light of the diner we first met. Leading me through the rainy streets of Philadelphia. Climbing onto a rock to reach me, the night we first kissed. Consoling me, as I slipped up again and again. Teaching me how to dance in the small cabin in Alaska, where we spent almost half of our first year together. Meeting Peter and Charlotte. Beaming from joy, when we finally found the Cullens. Playing the piano with Edward. Shopping with Rosalie. Hugging Esme and Carlisle. Racing with Emmett. Walking down the aisle towards me on our wedding day. Standing right by my side, when Maria came to haunt us. Smiling. Laughing. Teasing. Moaning. Pouting. Kissing. But most importantly: never giving up on me.
Maybe, this was what I had to do right now. Perhaps, it was my time to believe in her, even though all my strategic knowledge and experience told me, that there was no way out of this mess. She had promised to come back and I owed it to her not to give up.
Slow and unsteady, I got back to my feet again. My pants were soaked and if she were here, Alice would probably have scolded me for ruining my new pair of shoes. But she wasn't. The realisation stung. But I reminded myself of my previous thought. I couldn't give up on her now.
Walking back towards the house, I tasted the emotional atmosphere. It was expectedly sombre and once I got closer, I could also feel the enormous guilt Rosalie was fighting. With a deep sigh, I let my senses wander and soothed their minds, replacing the hurt, guilt, and apprehension with the one feeling that Alice had gifted me the day we first met: hope.
My intervention didn't go unnoticed and as the door clicked shut behind me, Carlisle appeared. "You don't have to do this Jasper. This situation must be hard enough for you as it is." I shrugged his hand off my shoulder, shaking my head. "I know. But I want to." A small smile appeared on the older vampire's face before he turned and walked back towards the living room where everyone, including the Denali sisters, Carmen and Eleazar, had assembled. They were all waiting for the same thing as I was: For this amazing invention of modern technology to finally ring and tell us, that everything was going to be alright.