What's Love? Ch 14
8 Years Ago
My sixteenth birthday is just around the corner. I have everything set up for the emancipation from the state. I have buyers ready to purchase my selective programs. I am waiting till I am sixteen so can keep everything I make on the deals.
Jasper graduated and is ready to go to college after being accepted to U-Dub. He is going for social work and psychology. I am more than proud of my brother; I personally made a rather big donation in his name so that his tuition will be covered the entire time he attends. He hasn’t figured it out yet, and hopefully he won’t get too upset about it.
“Bella, gorgeous girl, what are you thinking about with that stunning head of yours?” My newest toy begins to play with my hair, running his fingers through it.
I sigh. He’s just another boy wanting me to be their prized possession, but I use them for rides and money. I have my own, yes, but why spend it if I can use theirs. I also like who their parents are and who they are associated with. I need connections soon to begin my networking for my businesses and such. I’m selfish, but this world made me this way and I’m not going to apologize.
“Just wondering if our time together isn’t at its end.” I make my voice firm and sultry, something I have learned boys like. They are such fickle and ignorant things. Jasper is the exception of course, there must be an exception to every rule.
“What?” His voice sounds like he ate gravel. At first it was an attractive quality, what little that I do get attracted to the opposite sex. Now it’s just annoying.
“You’ve been fun, this has been fun, but let’s be honest. You screwing your step mom is not really my thing. I won’t share.” I climb out of his Dodge Charger that his step mom bought him and begin walking away from his stunned face.
I knew for a while that he had been having an affair with his dad’s wife, but I needed him for a few things. It makes for an easy escape, so that I can break it off easily and without many complications.
I continue my walk down Main Street with my bag slung over my shoulder, oozing confidence. I hear a car honk to the left of me; it's unmistakable honk of my loving brother’s car.
“Bella Marie Swan, are you seriously walking down the street at ten at night?” His voice is full of concern and frustration. This isn’t the first time we have had this conversation in the last few months since he graduated. With our birthdays being less than a month away he will be out of the group home and into his dorm, and I will be gone as well. He seems to think I’m going with him.
“Jasper, I just broke up with Tucker and I wanted to get moving. I’m sorry that I didn’t call you to have you pick me up, again. You really need to stop stalking me on that tablet. That is not why I made it for you.” I scold him back as I climb into his gray 1979 Dodge Aspen. He’s still talking with Mike; his fears have gone down but with the new change happening it’s been triggering his nightmares. I have that side of me shut down until I am alone.
Jasper takes off with the engine roaring against his lead foot. “For your information, I deleted that application because Mike thinks, and I agree with him, that it’s hurting me more than helping. I was dropping Angela off at work and saw you on my way back home.”
I lean back in the seat and close my eyes. “Sorry, Jasper, I really did forget to call you to let you know.” My voice is soft with regret. Jasper is the only person in this world that I trust and let see the real me. Not the personas that I have created as a survival technique, but me.
I see him out the corner of my eye nodding his head. “I just worry about you with all the guys you go through. You haven’t told me where you’re going to live when we’re out next month.”
I can feel his eyes penetrating the side of my face. I haven’t decided where I want to go. I can choose between LA, Miami and New York. Maybe even New Orleans. I just know I want to travel.
“You can come with me to Seattle, you know. I’ve been looking at some cheap places near campus, but close to the shelter that I’ll be working at.” This is the angle he’s been working since he found out that I haven’t decided where I want to go. With two bachelor’s degrees and a master's in progress for engineering, and also having started my sociology and psychology degrees as well, I have plenty of options. And I am planning my bar exam here soon.
“I’ll let you know,” I answer him cryptically as we pull up to the group home.
The days is here, Jasper’s eighteenth. I managed a nice dinner for Angela, him and me, the only two people he really wants to be with on his birthday. Even though he and Angela are no longer dating each other, they've remained friends. In society, they proclaim this isn’t a possibility unless they never had feeling for each other while they were together. That is just it, they were only together to stopped being harassed. Of course, this is just my theory based on some events I witnessed between them.
Dinner is just like had it been last year, fun and simple. Angela and Jasper discussed classes from U-dub and what they expect from the rest of the semester. The topic came to me and what I plan to do with myself.
“I’m going to LA first for a few months to get some things done and sold, then I’ll go to Miami before probably settling in New York. That’s just what I’m thinking, anyway.” I don’t meet Jasper's eyes when I announce my plans. But after really thinking about my future, I have some major ideas for a program that helps the foster care system and social workers that also ties into local law enforcement. But I need to test it out, and that’s where LA comes into the plan. They have agreed to do a trial run with it.
Jasper nods his head and continues to talk to Angela. I know he is disappointed but doesn’t want to voice it. Jasper and I have been connected in ways that I will never want to forget, or sever. But I need to leave this area and all the pain that it holds for me.
After the dinner, I change into my sleepwear and begin to work on some stuff when I hear feet shuffling outside my door. Grabbing my bat, I quietly go to my door and open it slowly. Jasper's lanky frame appears in the crack of my door.
“Hey, Bella.” His voice is soft, trying to stay quiet and not wake anyone up.
I grab Jasper’s shirt to yank him in my room. “Jasper, what’s wrong?” I ask with concern. Jasper hasn’t been to my room this late for almost seven months.
“Nothing, I just wanted to see you before you left. Knowing you you’ll be gone the moment the clock strikes midnight on your sixteenth birthday and I’ll be in Seattle.” He sits on my bed leaving me room to sit next to him.
Hugging myself, I sit next to him. I won’t correct his assumption because he’s exactly right. I have a plane ticket for the red eye the day of my birthday.
“I love you, Bella. I hope that we stay in touch, like siblings should, and even visit each other, you know. You are the only family I have.” He chokes up.
I can feel my own eyes begin to tear up. “You’re my only family, too. I will talk to you every day, and we will make arrangements to see each other all the time.” We hug and lay together the rest of the night. In the morning, Jasper gives me one last hug and he’s gone. Then it’s my time to leave.
Two Years Later
“Aw, you are such a charmer.” I used all my sex appeal. It is so fun making men want me, to make them need me, and then to get them to go back to their original ways. Oh, the joy of the game. The mating game. So many men think it's okay to use women. I decided what I needed to do was reverse the process. I used men. I got them to commit to me. With all my human behavior and body language studies, I knew that they would never stay committed, so I used that to my advantage.
Marcus has been interested in me since I arrived in Miami. I went to his office to propose a deal with a program that I wrote; I thought they would be interested and the highest bidder. Not that I really needed the money, at eighteen I am easily a multi-millionaire with contract deals with the government and other companies throughout the U.S.
I was just seventeen when I meet him, though, so he kept his hands to himself and just lavished me with attention and made sure other guys stayed away. But by eighteen, I felt the ring in his pocket. I told him that I wouldn't have sex unless I was married. It was the first test in my game, my con that I came up with in my thesis in psychology a few years ago.
He pulled up to the beach, the sun setting and a breathtaking view in front of us. “I knew that you were one of kind when you took charge of my office with your proposal. I knew then I had to wait, but now I don’t have to. Bella Marie Swan, please marry me and make me the happiest man on the planet to have a wife with not only the looks of a goddess but the brains, too.”
I smiled, but I was annoyed on the inside. Always my looks first, and then the nice thought of my brain. But it's what I wanted, to have step two completed. “Yes, Marcus. Yes, yes, yes!” I lunged at him with a hug like the dopey girls do in those movies and books I've read.
Months later we signed the prenup stating if either one of us cheated I get ten million dollars and he got half of my network. Only ten million, after all, I am not completely greedy, just bored and spiteful. Now just to get hitched today then wait for him to go back to him needing to spread his god-awful oats.