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The Strength of Fragility


Summer was ending and the air was beginning to cool as autumn set in. Edward sat in the front room, a book perched on his lap, steady in his ever still hands. His eyes zoomed over the words, Oliver Twist by Charles Dickens was a classic, and though it was not Edwards favourite piece of literature, he was enjoying the quiet morning reading. He could hear Alice clucking upstairs over an outfit, and Jasper’s brush strokes as he painted in his room. He could hear everything.

He closed his tawny eyes for a moment, his hearing becoming sharper as he sought to see without his eyes, to hear the sights instead. He heard a leaf as it detached from it’s branch and fluttered down to the ground, he heard a bird ruffle her feathers and coo softly to her young that were leaving the nest. He heard a fox pad softly through the woods, pausing slightly as if it knew it were entering the territory of the world most dangerous predators. Run little fox, while you can before they become hungry..

Edward almost chuckled at his thoughts, only a slight ache burning his throat at the faint smell of the fox’s blood. He wasn’t hungry, it could wait.

And then he heard the smooth motor of the car as it began to descend towards the Cullen household, the engine that become familiar to Edward’s ears as well as the others. Isabel was visiting again. Edward had noticed how she seemed to enjoy simply being around them and often he wondered was she lonely? He meant to ask Jasper, but everytime she was around, Jasper was still and quiet but in a peaceful way. Edward had not missed the gazing Jasper seemed to do towards Izzie and his attempts at always being near her.

Izzie was a lovely girl to have around, bright and cheerful most of the time. Though it frustrated both Edward and Alice to have their powers incapacitated around her. Why did his mind reading not work to it’s full ability around her? How was she different? Why couldn’t Alice see her future? None of it made sense to Edward and it infuriated him.

He stood up as Izzie pulled into the drive, and he heard Jasper pause his painting, sniff the air, the smell that would no doubt drift his way, and continue with only a slight hesitation. He could hear his brothers thoughts, and Edward grinned at the worries of Jasper thinking he would be too forward by running downstairs to greet the girl.

Edward opened the door, and paused at the sound of Izzie’s heart which was beating rather slowly. He could hear her wheezing breaths, and she paused by the bonnet of her car as her body was bent over by a series of hacking coughs that clawed their way through her slender body, and sounded like they tore her throat apart.

When she caught her breath, she turned, almost surprised to see Edward’s eyes upon her. She had become used to their ever knowing attitudes and she smiled at him, patting his arm as she passed, “Just a tickling throat Edward,” she whispered, ignoring the fact that it seemed even an effort for her to speak.

“Where is everyone?” she murmured and Edward gazed at her a moment, wondering why something seemed off.

“Jasper’s painting, Reneesme’s visiting a friend in La Push and Alice and Bella are upstairs.”

Izzie smiled and began to walk upstairs. She had fit in immediately with this family, and sometimes it almost felt like the Cullen home was her home. They were welcoming in so many ways, and gave a sense of relief for Izzie when at times, like today, everything felt like it was crashing down upon her. Bad days came around often but Izzie felt like she could handle them better in the presence of her friends.

She greeted Alice and Bella, Alice who it seemed, was using Bella as a Barbie Doll. Bella didn’t seem impressed but kept her face nonchalant. Izzie gazed upon them for a while, trying not to laugh as Alice had fun fitting a dress on Bella’s thin body. Bella kept absolutely still, almost statue light, and Izzie blinked for a moment when she noticed Bella’s skin seemed to be gleaming in the light coming from the window. Alice noticed as well, moving Bella further into the room, away from the window and the single beam of sunlight. “I think I spilled some of that body shimmer on you,2 she murmured to Bella, who blinked and then realised Izzie was in the room. She rolled her eyes dramatically at Izzie who laughed and then turned away.

Izzie it appeared, was seeking the company of someone she could simply sit with. Someone who she be silent with, someone who always seemed to know what she wanted. Jasper.

She paused at his bedroom, never having been there before, and stood at the doorway for a moment. She could hear him move inside, the rustle of his jeans and something seemed to heat up inside her chest at the thought of him…she knew there was something there, something she knew couldn’t happen, not with everything else going on win her life…

But when she looked at Jasper, sometimes it seemed like he was the only one there, the only person she needed. They had never even had a conversation that lasted more than a car ride but still, she couldn’t stop thinking of him. It didn’t make sense, this spell he had cast on her.

But though her mind screamed no, her heart won out as she knocked slightly at the door which was slightly ajar. It swing open further as Jasper looked around, already knowing of course that she was there. He allowed a nervous smile as she smiled a greeting at him, making sure her eyes stayed upon his and not upon his naked chest which was covered with paint splatters. Her hand grasped the door handle for a moment, and she felt like a silly teenager, entering a friend’s brother’s room…

“Morning Ma’am, “ Jasper tipped his head at her in his southern way and his greeting broke the tension between them as Izzie threw her eyes to the heavens, shaking her hair back so it glistened down her back. Jasper stared at it for a moment, her rose like scent wrapping him in a blanket for a heavenly second. “Oh Jasper, what have I told you about calling me that! You know me now…and besides, that greetings for old ladies, and I know you’re not calling me old.”

Her eyes twinkled as she stared at Jasper and he realised she was flirting with him. If he could blush he would have then, and he tore his eyes away from hers to look at the floor. He didn’t know what to do when it came to Isabel Steele, she intoxicated him.

“I’m joking with you Jasper,” she sighed quietly, kindness in her voice. “You’re very shy.”

Jasper looked at her then, a smile creeping onto his lips, “I prefer the term quiet.”

Izzie laughed, “alright then.”

“You can come in if you want to,” Jasper murmured but she heard him and smiled, walking into the room but leaving the door slightly open.

“I didn’t know you could paint,” she remarked, looking at the canvas which was just started to resemble a figure.

Jasper nodded, “It…gives me time to think, makes me feel free I suppose. Edward has his music, Alice her fashion…I have art.”

He could feel Izzie’s gaze upon his face, but he didn’t look at her. Her blue eyes bore into the side of his cheek, examining him and it took all his will power not to take her in his strong arms then and there and kiss her. He would never bite her, that he never seemed to have a problem with. Another mystery of Izzie, why they didn’t want to drink her blood?

“I know what you mean Jasper,” she whispered, her voice becoming hoarse again, “That’s what I hid behind in Hollywood, my acting. They all thought they were seeing the real Isabel Steele, but no-one knew me really…they didn’t know who I really was, but what they wanted to see.”

She traced around her fingers for a moment, as if remembering something, and Jasper gazed down upon her. She was only slightly smaller than he was, and she was looking down upon her hands, not at him. He willed her to look at him, to see the understanding in his eyes…how he wanted to know who Izzie was, to tell him what she never told them.
He must have been holding too hard onto the paintbrush, because suddenly it snapped, causing it to fall from his hands. Izzie gave a slight ‘oh’ as small flecks of paint sprayed onto her face, but she bet down to retrieve it from the floor and hand it back up to Jasper. She held it out in her hand, at the same time he reached his own hand down to wipe the paint from her face and she didn’t flinch from his cold touch.

His thumb grazed the spot by her cheek, and then down to where a hint of paint had splashed her pale lips. He heard her heart quicken with his touch and unconsciously, he stepped forward, closing the gap between their bodies. Izzie gazed at him, her eyes slightly wide but the paintbrush dropped to the floor as she allowed her hand to close around his arm, willing him closer.

He could feel her heat, and it teased him, willed him to come closer. Her face was inching nearer to his, their lips almost touching, was he making the move or was she? He remembered what it had felt like when her warm lips had touched his cheek, wonderful…and now they would touch his own lips. And how he wanted them to…

She was just closing her eyes, and there was mere millimetres between their lips when the front door slammed and voices erupted in the hall, the quiet of the house broken. Izzie and Jasper sprang apart, feeling guilty for no reason. Izzie’s face was pale rather than red, and she looked rather sick but she managed to walk away from Jasper, and out towards the stair case. He followed her, and she was aware of his body close behind his as they descended the stairs.

A man she had never seen before was in the living room, standing with his arm around Reneesme. His russet skin was in comparison to her pale exterior, and his body was large rippling with muscle. But this was not what stopped Izzie in her tracks as she entered the room, causing Jasper to bump into her, and his arm enclosed around hers. Izzie retched and looked at the others, “What on earth is that smell?”

Bella’s eyes shot up as Alice’s face broke out into a wide grin and Edward, suppressing his own smile asked, “what smell?”

“That smell!” Izzie spoke louder, “it’s like…wet dog or something, can’t you get it…”

Her eyes fell onto the stranger, and she suddenly realised it was him, he was the smell. “God, don’t you wash?”

Jasper couldn’t quite believe lovable Izzie was being so rude towards Jacob Black but it was hilarious all the same. Izzie couldn’t explain it but for some reason, she didn’t like this strange man. He made her feel angry, and defensive.

Jacob shook slightly and growled under his breath. Izzie’s eyebrows shot up, “what, you growl too? Are you actually some kind of mutt?”

Alice’s burst of laughter caused Izzie to come back to reality and she gagged again, backing away from the smelly stranger, “I’m sorry, I have to leave.” And she walked out the door, into fresh, clean air. Jasper followed her, as did Alice.

“I’m sorry for that!” Izzie burst out, looking at Jasper’s whose eyes were dancing in amusement, “He’s…infuriating whoever that is. Who is he? Well, whoever he is, maybe you should buy him some soap, couldn’t you smell that?”

She leaned onto her car in sudden exhaustion and ran her hand through her hair. Jasper took a step towards her but then back as he phone began to ring and she flipped it open, answering it. She rolled her eyes at the person on the phone, and then turned it off. “Sorry, that was my agent. I need to go…I’ll…I’ll see you soon.”

She paused, staring at Jasper, remembering what had almost happened between them and she began to hate the stranger even more for interrupting them. She backed away getting into her car again and driving off quickly.

Alice stood by Jasper as he watched her leave and then she nudged him with her elbow, “I saw it all a minute before it happened. Don’t worry, I’m sure there’ll be a next time. We have to turn her Jazz, she’ll be magnificent.”
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Sorry for the delay guys!!
But yeah,she aint going to like the Jacob man :P haha.
If anyone else wants to make me more banners, by all means go ahead. I can't believe this has eight stars already,you guys rock!!!I'd love at least like...four comments :) That would make my week.
Song for Izzie and Jazz me thinks