November 30, 2010
The things that are tolerated in the name of science – it’s baffling, really. I mean, look at the stuff PETA protests (or don’t look, it’s pretty horrific). Animals being tortured and analyzed and infected with diseases, all so scientists can study the effects of this or that drug, hairspray, or mascara.
Normally I wouldn’t be thinking about this, but today, I’m in the animals’ position – being tortured in the name of science. Only it’s for my own benefit as well as for others, so I can’t really complain (but I still do).
Jasper had been gone for nearly an hour. This time, we didn’t stop when I caught a fuzzy, vague glimpse of him; this time, Edward and Carlisle pushed me farther.
And this time, I made a conscious effort to push my anxiety and rage into a spotlight, focusing all the emotions coursing through me into an almost tangible force that went searching for me, looking for Jasper. I could feel, taste, and hear my emotions, but not Jasper, so we kept going.
The whole idea was to see the wolves in the future, not Jasper in the present, and the mere thought would have broken me if I’d had room for it in my mind at the time – because Edward and Carlisle were sure to keep me in agony until I had a vision of a wolf, rather than a glimpse of Jasper wherever he was.
I hated it, that incessant itching in my mind when I couldn’t see Jasper’s future, and the total lack of control that had me shredding clothes and trying to harm my brother and father, and most of all I hated the part of my mind that was sure something horrible would happen while we were apart.
But that part of my mind was the reason this would work, or at least that was the prevailing theory. As much as it physically and mentally pained me, I couldn’t try to ignore it. I had to actually encourage my fears of Jasper getting hurt … or worse.
“LET GO LET ME GO! LETMEGO! LETMEGONOW!” I screamed at the top of my lungs, thrashing wildly in Carlisle’s restraining arms. My fingers twisted and reached, constantly trying to find purchase against an arm, neck, or throat in a futile attempt to escape. Couldn’t they see that Jasper was in grave danger?! That he was out there in the world, a dangerous, terrifying place full of unknown lurking threats that could attack without a moment’s notice – and that I could only save him if I could see where he was?!
As I screamed, begged, pleaded, moaned, and occasionally foamed at the mouth (probably not, but it felt like it at the time), Carlisle and Edward’s murmured commentary and hypothesizing formed a monotonous background to my suffering – unchanging, unresponsive, and uncaring (again, that’s how it really felt at the time).
Esme hovered outside the office, her normally smiling face frozen in horror as she watched me lose my mind. Several times, she caught her breath and moved forward a millimeter, only to be gently but firmly rebuffed by Edward. Finally, Carlisle suggested that she join Bella and Renesmee at the cottage, out of hearing distance.
I estimate that I had been dully mumbling “no, no, no” to myself in a heap on the floor for at least forty minutes before two things changed. First, and this sounds crazy so I’ll understand your skepticism, but I’ll refer you to Edward as my witness – my mind sort of … tightened. Like your muscles do when you tense to jump. Second, tranquility loosened the tension in my body, so that I was in an almost boneless state of relief.
In my peaceful state, I was hardly even aware of Edward and Carlisle as they eased me into one of the leather chairs, chattering excitedly to each other. They didn’t even try to include me in their conversation, as it was clear that my mind was elsewhere.
And where, you ask? Well, judging by the viewpoint of the wolf guarding Jasper as the two of them leapt off the ledge, they were on the mountainside, high up enough to just barely make out our rooftop. It was so sweet; they had been watching the house the whole time, making sure we were safe, while I worried about Jazz being safe.
Now, it’s true, I didn’t see the wolf. But I saw Jazz in the wolf’s peripheral vision, and I saw where they were, and unless there was someone else guarding Jasper then I had definitely seen a wolf in the future. … For about a hundredth of a second.
Still, it was worth celebrating, especially when Jasper came through the window instead of taking the door and stairs to get to me and I smiled up at him, all traces of stress gone from my mind and body as I breathed him in. Of course he was safe. Of course he was whole. He was Jasper Whitlock, and he could handle anything. More than I could, apparently, since I kept going to pieces when they took him away … but it wouldn’t be forever. Heck, we’d made such great progress today, I’d say we’re almost there!
Yeah … in my dreams. But for now, I wasn’t going to think about it. I had Jasper in my arms, and I hadn’t ruined my shoes (my clothes, unfortunately, were another story), and I had ETW2 to look forward to!
That’s right, revenge is sweet. It’s payback time, dear brother, and this time we’re not holding back! Oh, it might just be me and Jasper, rather than the whole crew we had last time – but Jazz and I are a team to be feared. Between the two of us, we’ll have Edward begging for mercy – and everyone else crying with laughter!
Let the games begin …