Chapters 12 & 13 by ifellhard
Chapter 12 – Time
Chapter 13 – Newborn
Alice tells Bella that she will be throwing a graduation party. She also tells Bella that she loves her gift – that Bella has yet to get. Bella then realizes that graduation is just one week away and she begins to freak out over saying goodbye to Charlie, Renee, and Jacob. Bella confesses her worries about saying goodbye to Edward and he tells her that she’s not ready. She lies and argues with him. He tells her that she’s not going to go through with it because of the threat of Victoria or the Volturi hanging over her head. She then asks what she was getting Alice for graduation and he tells her that it looked like she was getting both Edward and Alice concert tickets. Bella musters up the courage to ask him why he doesn’t want her to be a vampire. He tells her that it feels criminal and selfish on his part to change her. She confides her worry that he won’t want her because she’ll be different. He tells her that there will be things he’ll miss – her blush and the sound of her heart. He then asks her why she doesn’t want to be his wife. She explains that she’s not “that girl” who gets married right out of high school and how she’s worried about what people would think. Edward turns the tables and tells her that he was “that boy” who would have married her at eighteen in his day because he was already a man in that world. As Edward tells her his feelings, she imagines herself on a porch swing with Edward in a suit and her in a Victorian period skirt and blouse. Edward doesn’t push her to give him an answer, but lets her know that his condition is still in effect if she wants him to change her.
Time passes to graduation day and Bella notices the front page story in the newspaper talking about Seattle being terrorized by the unsolved slayings – the count of homicides and disappearances up to 39. It took several tries for Bella to finish reading the article because of her shaking hands. Edward and Bella discuss the latest news and he tells her that Alice can’t see anything. Alice is starting to lose confidence in her abilities because she feels like she’s missing too much. They decide to skip class to go talk to Jasper. They head to the Cullen house and discuss the situation in Seattle with the family. Jasper asks Bella how much she knows about him. She tells him that she doesn’t know much and then Jasper rolls up the sleeve of his sweater to show Bella his scars. Bella asks what happened to him.
Jasper explains that he was bitten like she was, only repeated a thousand times. He tells her that venom is the only thing that leaves a scar. He then tells her his story of how he became a vampire and what his life was like before meeting Alice and then the Cullens. He tells her about the covens in the South and how they are much less civilized than the covens in the North. There has been constant war in the South for centuries without a moment of truce. He tells her of a vampire named Benito who created an army of newborn vampires. The Volturi cleaned things up for almost a year, leaving Mexico free of vampires for a while. Once the Volturi left, the covens staked their claims again. He then recounts his time serving as a Major in the Confederate Army, having lied about his age – claiming that he was 20 instead of 17. He tells of a night when he was helping to evacuate Galveston and he came across three pale-skinned girls – Maria, Lettie, and Lucy. Maria changed him and he learned that she was putting together an army of vampires. Jasper’s military expertise and charismatic way of sensing emotions was instrumental in her endeavor. He was with Maria for several decades when his friend Peter snuck back to help him escape. They traveled together with Peter’s mate, Charlotte, for several years before he went off on his own. The story shifts to when he met Alice in a diner in Philadelphia and how she was waiting there for him. Alice told Jasper about her vision of the Cullens and they went to find them. Edward chimes in saying how they scared the hell out of them because Alice already knew all their names, wanting to know which room she could move into.
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“Amazing,” Edward muttered. “How can someone so tiny be so annoying?” – Edward, page 268
This simple knowledge, today’s date – which was so obvious that I must have been subconsciously repressing it – made the deadline I’d been impatiently counting down toward feel like a date with the firing squad. – Bella, page 269
“I was that boy, who would have – as soon as I discovered that you were what I was looking for – gotten down on one knee and endeavored to secure your hand. I would have wanted you for eternity, even when the word didn’t have quite the same connotations.” – Edward, page 277
“Jasper, what happened to you?” – Bella, page 286
“You’ve kept me waiting a long time.” – Alice, page 301
“You held out your hand, and I took it without stopping to make sense of what I was doing. For the first time in almost a century, I felt hope.” – Jasper, page 301
Were you surprised by the fact that graduation had snuck up on Bella the way that it did? What did you make of her reaction to her realization?
Do you think that Bella is overreacting to the prospect of marriage just because things didn’t work out between her own parents?
What did you think of Jasper’s story of the covens in the South and what his existence was like before Alice found him?
Edward thinks the Volturi are behind the newborns in Seattle while Jasper and Carlisle do not. What do you think?