I Don’t Know How
Well… the next chapter will be on a much happier tone.
Tell me what you think, and I hope you enjoy!
Isabella walked to meet Peter in front of his class. She paused as she saw a ballet studio. Something tinkled in her mind and she paused staring at the dancers that jumped and twirled around the room.
“Isabella Marie! You get out there and dance,” Renee said trying her best to get her daughter to get on stage.
“NO!” Bella yelled back crossing her arms over her chest. “I’m not any good.”
Renee kneeled down and looked at her daughter. “You’re the best in your class, all you have to do is go out there and show them why you’re the best.”
“And if they laugh?” Bella asked her voice shaking with fear.
“Then you ignore them because you’re amazing, now go out there and dance. Daddy didn’t fly all the way down here just to see you stand backstage.” Renee said she gave her daughter a small push and sent her out on stage. She watched as a proud mother as her little girl took the spot light role.
Isabella walked into the studio once all the other girls had left. She threw her bag on the ground and looked around before she could help herself she grabbed a pair of Pointe shoes and strapped them on glad that she had decided to wear a pair of leggings and a skirt today. She tied up her hair and tried to recreate the dance she had seen when her and Peter went to a show several months ago.
She had completely lost track of time as she danced around the studio. It wasn’t until the sound of clapping that she turned around spotting an older looking man. “I’m sorry for intruding, I just got caught up in memories. I’ll leave now.” Isabella said moving quickly to grab her things.
“Please don’t,” the man said, “I’m the director of the dance program here, and I’ve never seen a student with your talent before.”
Isabella smiled, “To be quite honest, I don’t know what talent you’re referring to.”
“You’re a very beautiful dancer,” He said with a warm smile. “My name is Michael Williams.”
“Isabella Whitlock,” Isabella said with a curt nod. “Thank you for the compliment, but I should be going.”
“Wait!” He said, “I have yet to fill the spot for lead performer, if you’re interested, I would like to see you audition.”
Isabella smiled politely. “I don’t dance to perform, Mr. Williams. Thank you for the offer, but your lead should be someone who really wants it.” She grabbed her things and made her way out of the building.
She smiled as any positive memory was always welcome, especially something that made her feel more connected to her past. She felt vulnerable only having Jasper to depend on when it came to her past. In two months she had become strongly dependent on him and it started to scare her how strongly she cared about him. There were just things that she as too scared to tell him about, too scared to admit to even herself.
Isabella looked up as she approached Peter. “You want to go to the movie store?”
Peter smiled and draped an arm around her shoulders. “What are you thinking about doing tonight?”
“I don’t know,” Isabella said with a sigh. “We haven’t watched those Harry Potter movies.”
“Marathon?” Peter questioned in amusement. “We can go through all the movies tonight.”
Isabella nodded her eyes glazed over for a moment. “I just want to do something happy before it all starts.”
Peter nodded knowing exactly what she was referring to. “We can go to the movie store and pick them up.”
Isabella nodded with a smile. “Sounds good, I need to stop by and hunt.”
Peter walked beside Isabella as they went to meet up with Jasper. “You always get grouchy if you don’t feed.”
Isabella smiled as she saw Jasper approaching. “It’s going to take forever for him to get here, he’s keeping up with the humans.”
Jasper smirked and as he approached and kissed Isabella lightly. Before moving his arm around her waist. “What plans were you two making?”
Peter shrugged, “Another marathon.”
“There’s a series you haven’t already watched?” Jasper questioned amused as for the last two months they watched several different series of things together.
“Of course there is.” Isabella replied with a smile.
“Yeah, this one is magical.” Peter said with a smirk.
Isabella shook her head with a small laugh. “That was really bad, Pete.”
Jasper stood quietly in the middle of the fourth movie and walked out of the living room. He wasn’t particularly interested in movies, and to be honest they were more Isabella and Peter’s thing. They didn’t notice his departure as they were caught up in an argument over the characters they hadn’t noticed him leave.
Jasper headed up to his room and grabbed the book on his nightstand. He got as comfortable as he could as he began to read through the book. He decided to read at human pace wanting to prolong the experience of the book.
It was hours later when he heard a small knock on the door. He looked up from his book as the door creaked open. “Jay?” Isabella asked as she looked into the room. Jasper wasn’t sure if it was the way her voice sounded, or the fact that she looked physically different that had him worried.
He softly patted the spot next to him on the bed. “Something wrong, Elle?” He watched as she climbed onto the bed and she shook her head before resting it against his chest.
“I don’t want to talk about it. Can I just lay here, Jay?” Isabella asked as she closed her eyes.
“You can stay here as long as you want, Elle.” Jasper responded moving his arm around her and bringing her close to him. Something was wrong, he knew it, but he wouldn’t push her into talking about anything she wasn’t ready to discuss yet. Jasper closed his eyes allowing the peace of having his mate near him wash over him completely.
After a few minutes Jasper opened his eyes startled as he felt Isabella’s shield disappear completely. He made no comment and just focused on her emotions. Contentment, love that was what she was feeling for him, those were the ones he could feel the most. Than as he searched more he began to feel what was strange with her. Pain, grief hurt and anger. Jasper held her tighter he wanted to know what was wrong with her, but he wouldn’t push it she would talk when she was ready.
“What were you reading,” Isabella asked as she grabbed the book on the other side of Jasper.
“Just another history book.” Jasper replied, “I haven’t read this one before, I thought it would be a good change.”
Isabella smiled, “Read some to me?”
Jasper nodded and took the book, “Do you want me to help you go to sleep?”
Isabella thought for a second and nodded, “Do you mind?”
Jasper shook his head, “No, I’ll start off slowly, you’ll be asleep in no time.”
Isabella nodded and closed her eyes letting Jasper’s words and his gift take over her mind. Sooner or later she would speak to him but right now all that mattered was being close to her.
Bella closed her eyes as she heard the familiar creaking to the door of her cage. She took in a deep breath as she knew what was to come, all she didn’t know was who was going to be her torturer today. Bella took let out a breath and opened her eyes feeling a small wave of relief as a head of brown hair entered.
She met his eyes as he entered, he nodded at her before closing the door. “What did she ask for this time?” Bella questioned quietly.
Riley smiled sadly. “The knife. A cut will be enough to please her. She just wants to scare you today.”
Bella looked down, “Are you supposed to do it today as well?”
Riley shook his head, “No. She doesn’t want that today.” He reached to the other side of the room and grabbed the knife he walked back over to Bella and sat down on the cot that was her bed. “She still believes that I took your virginity last week, so she’s satisfied thinking you’re close to breaking.”
Bella nodded, “I didn’t get to properly thank you for not doing it.”
Riley smiled sadly. “I would never rape you, Bella. I don’t even want to be here, anymore. I thought I loved Victoria, but she’s so sadistic now. I don’t know if there’s any way I’ll be able to leave, so the least I can do is make sure you don’t get raped.”
Bella sighed, “At the least there’s one thing that has happened to me during this ongoing torture.”
Riley sighed, “I have to make at least two cuts so she thinks I did my job.”
“I can handle it.” Bella said quietly. “Just be quick about it, please.”
Riley took the knife and dragged it from her shoulder down to her elbow. He watched her twitch around and close her eyes. He let the blood drip down her arm and onto her shirt. “I’m really sorry about this, Bella.”
Bella nodded her head, “I know. But if you don’t do it and she catches on to what you’re doing she’ll kill the both of you.”
Riley sighed, “I never wanted this. I’ll figure out a way out one day.”
“Can you cut my back?” Bella said quietly. “It’s still numb from the whipping Victoria gave me earlier. It won’t hurt.”
“Yeah, okay.” Riley said looking down at the knife in his hands. “Turn over.”
Bella turned around and she could barely feel the blade cut into her skin. She sighed as it was done with and turned back to Riley. “I’m starting to feel less and less. Not just physically, but emotionally, it’s scaring me. I don’t want to forget what is to be human.”
“Sometimes you just have to find something to focus on.” Riley replied as he leaned against the wall. “I’ve been focusing on Hope. The hope that one day I get to escape this horrible place and be free again.”
“I don’t think there’s any hope for me.” Bella said softly as her eyes drifted shut. “I would rather believe there’s some hope for you.”
Jasper approached Peter as he was staring towards Isabella’s direction. “What is she doing?”
“Reliving the past.” Peter responded quietly. “This is the day she was bitten. The anniversary to the three days she spent reliving all her torture. It happens every year, so far this isn’t as bad as the other years. Any other day the memories of her torture, they barely present themselves, but on these days it’s almost mandatory for her mind to keep replaying them. She once said it was like someone kept hitting replay and she couldn’t tell what was real and what wasn’t.”
Jasper nodded his head. “This is why she’s been more vulnerable lately.”
Peter nodded, “Elysia hates it. It’s the only time where she’s truly vulnerable. For the past couple of years I tend to just sit with her. Sometimes she’ll talk about it, let me know what’s going on in her head. Other times she’s like a statue her mind so focused on reliving the memories she can’t move.” Peter placed a hand on her shoulder. “Maybe you can help her. There’s something in her memories, something that’s haunting her and I’ve never been able to get her to talk about it, but I think you can.”
“Peter do you know if they…” Jasper trailed off not being able to say it. Her torture was rarely something they talked about, but now he had some questions. One of them being whether or not they had taken her innocence.
Peter shook his head. “I don’t think so.” He responded quietly. “I asked her once, but she got very defense. If she didn’t love me she would’ve set my ass on fire for asking.”
-INTO ISABELLA’S MIND-
Bella opened her eyes as she heard the door open. A small smile reached her lips as Riley entered with a tray of food. “You could get in trouble.”
Riley nodded, “I know, but you can die without it. I rather not risk it with you.” He set the tray down on the floor beside her bed. “Can you sit up?”
Bella shook her head. “My back is pretty horrible. She took out the whip again, I think it’s her new favorite.” She said as she lay on her side.
Riley nodded he sat down on the bed and pulled her head onto her lap. “Let’s see if we can get a few things in your system. I’ll try to sneak some extra stuff down tomorrow.”
Bella opened her mouth as he pressed the water bottle to her lips. She took in several sips before pulling back. “Thank you.”
Riley pulled something out of his back pocket. “I brought you a little extra something.”
Bella looked at the small pill in his hands. “What is that?”
“It’s a sleeping pill. I know you’re exhausted. This will let you get some sleep and maybe you’ll be able to have a little peace for a while. Dream something happy.” Riley said as he put the pill to her lips.
Bella swallowed the pill and rested her head back on Riley’s lap. “I can’t remember my dreams anymore. I really hate that. I’m scared, Riley.” She said softly closing her eyes. “I don’t even feel human anymore. I feel so empty…”
“Shh…” Riley said running a hand through her hair. “Hold on a bit longer, Bella. I’ll get you out and you can live a happy life.”
Bella cried softly. “I don’t want to live anymore Riley. I just want it all to go away.”
Riley hushed her as he stroked her hair. “I’ve never met someone as strong as you, Bella. Don’t let her take that strength away from you. I’ll get you out of here and one day and you’ll get your revenge. I know you will.”
Bella looked up at Riley. She knew he meant what he said, but she also knew that only one of them would be leaving in his plan. Despite all the torture, the one thing she would never be able to handle is knowing that the one person who was kind to her would die for her. “What has she asked you to do today?”
“IT.” Riley hissed in disgust. “Maria is getting annoyed, she wants you to break already and Victoria doesn’t want that.”
Bella nodded, “What’s the plan?”
“A few grunts and moans and I’ll just have to rub some of your blood on some spots on me.” Riley responded softly. “She’s assured me that no one else will touch you intimately. She’s using you to appease my ‘needs’ so that I don’t ask her to fulfill them. She’s still using me and continues to want me to believe she’s my mate.”
“Because mates will die in order to protect the other.” Bella muttered from memory.
Riley nodded, he kissed her forehead. “I told you, no one would touch you in that way, and I will keep my promise to you.”
“Thank you.” Bella whispered as her mind drifted to sleep.
-OUT OF THE MEMORIES-
Jasper sat down next to Isabella and brushed the hair out of her face. He gave her a warm smile and reached for her hand.
“Peter told you.” She stated quietly as she used her free hand to rub her face.
Jasper nodded. “You know as well as I do that Peter isn’t the best at keeping a secret. Especially from an Empath.”
Isabella nodded she leaned against Jasper. “It’s not the torture that hurts to remember.” She whispered quietly.
Jasper looked at her as she gazed at the sky. “What is it?”
“They never raped me, Jay.” Isabella said quietly. “He wouldn’t let them.”
“And who is he?” Jasper questioned quietly.
“He was my friend.” Isabella said quietly the thunder picking up and the sky darkening. “He wasn’t like the others, he knew me. He knew who I really was, and he wouldn’t purposely hurt me. He protected me as much as he could, Jay.”
Jasper looked down at his hand as he felt the small drop of rain hit his skin. He supposed this was the equivalent to Isabella crying from what her emotions told him.
“He used to sneak me in food or any sort of pain medicine he could get his hands on.” Isabella said quietly. “She’d always require proof that he tortured me, so he would make shallow cuts and then apologize for them. One day, he came in and he was so scared so shaken and this wasn’t his usual behavior. She had ordered him to rape me, she needed that extra step of torture to break me. He couldn’t do it, he didn’t want to, so instead he cut my thigh and let me bleed on the sheets as evidence. She’d order him almost every week to come in and rape me, He’d always just sit there and he talked, he gave me hope, Jay. He kept me human and I…”
Jasper held her as the rain began to pour down onto the both of them. “It’s okay, Elle.” He whispered into her ear. As they both instantly became soaked by the rain. “It’s not your fault.”
Isabella shook her head. “It was him or me. He would never hurt me, Jay.”
Jasper held her tighter as she trembled in his arms. The thunder and lightning was surrounding them and the rain came down harder around them. “What happened, Elle?”
“I killed him.” She whispered her voice breaking as she spoke.
-INTO ISABELLA’S MIND-
Bella lifted her head as she saw the door open to her cage. “Riley?” She questioned surprised as he entered.
“Come, I have to get you out of here.” Riley said holding out his hand to her.
Bella stood. “What are you talking about? Riley, what is happening?”
“There’s been an attack on the camp.” Riley said helping Bella stand. “This is your best chance at escaping.”
Bella followed after him but stopped when she came to the door. “Riley. If I leave, she’ll only come after me. She will never let me leave here alive, we both know that.” She rested a hand on his shoulder. “But you have a chance. Riley, you gave me hope, not for me, but for you. I want you to leave, Riley. Please, I want to know that you get a chance to live again.”
“Bella. I’ve been practicing. I can escape with you.” Riley assured pleading with her silently to agree and go with him.
Bella shook her head water collecting in her eyes. “I have to stay, she won’t stop looking for me, but maybe she won’t look for you. Please, Riley. You have to go, for me. You deserve to have a chance at living again.” Bella placed a hand on her cheek. “Just remember me. I don’t want my memory to die here, I want to know someone will know what happened to me.”
Riley turned his head, “Bella please.” He said tugging her out the door.
Bella shook her head stepping behind the door to her room. “I have high hopes for you, Riley.” Bella closed the door to the room and slowly walked back to the cot she had in her room. She sat down and looked up at the ceiling closing her eyes and for the first time in what felt like forever she prayed. She prayed that Riley would make it out alive.
-Out of Bella’s Mind-
“Elle.” Jasper said warmly in her ear. “You don’t know if you killed him.”
Isabella shook her head. “I killed him, Jay. I told him to run, I should have known Victoria wouldn’t take his betrayal well. She sent out newborns after him, he hadn’t gone far from the camp. They got him, Victoria told everyone, including me. She didn’t know he was protecting me, but she wanted me to know that if I ever tried to escape she’d find me just like she found him.”
Jasper held her tighter feeling the rain stop but the thunder and lightning still roaring in the sky. “Everything that happened, Elle, brought you here. He might have died, but he kept you safe and he wanted you to live. This guilt your feeling over his death is what’s triggering you to relive all these memories. Maybe it’s time you learn to forgive yourself.”
“I…” Isabella moved so she was looking at Jasper, she nodded knowing he had to be right. “Jay, I.” She paused trying to find the words for it all. She leaned against him taking in his comforting warmth. “I never told Peter any of this because I didn’t want him to think any differing of me. I just don’t want to hide anything from you, Jay. I want you to help me, but I need you to know that if I push you away, if I distance myself from you. I don’t want you to let me, please, Jay. I need you, I just hate to admit that I’m so dependent on you now.”
Jasper nodded letting her nuzzle his neck softly kissing it. “I love you, Elle. You couldn’t push me away if you really tried.”
Isabella moved quickly to look into his eyes, her eyes more than wide at his words. “Jay… I.”
Jasper smiled cupping her cheek. “I know, Elle.” He kissed her lightly. “I can feel it. You don’t have to say anything until you’re ready to, I’m a very patient man.”
Isabella gave him a smile. “I will say it, Jay. Just be a little patient with me and I promise I’ll always try to let you in.”
Jasper smiled as he felt her love for him grow. He kissed her temple as she moved to wrap herself around him. He held her close as she spoke about her torture. It hurt him to know that his own mate had gone through such pain, but he for now he was just grateful that she was here with him. He would never let her get hurt as long as he was around.
“Jay.” Isabella said softly. “Do you want to see one of the greatest gifts in the world?”
Jasper looked at her curiously wondering what had brought this up. “What is it?”
Isabella moved and sat on Jasper’s lap, she placed her hand on his shoulders and kept his gaze. She watched as her finger tips went clear and it led up until she knew she was gone. She leaned in knowing Jasper couldn’t see her, but he could feel her, she rested her head on his shoulder. “This is Riley’s gift. He can go invisible, like he never existed.” Isabella reappeared almost instantly. “He wasn’t very strong, but he could go invisible for a few minutes, but then he couldn’t hold it. I think that’s what got him killed in the end, he couldn’t hold it and Victoria got to him. just wanted you to know, it’s the only gift I haven’t shown Peter. It’s just between you and me.”
Isabella moved and looked him in the eyes, her hands running through his hair. “I can’t promise that I won’t push you away, because I know I will. Everything is different with you then it is with anyone else. I don’t know how to be in love, Jay. I’m learning with you and I promise that I’ll always do my best to make you happy. Just don’t give up on me.”
Jasper smiled, “I will never give up on you, Elle. You’re stuck with me forever.”