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The cry of pure terror, pulled Jasper from his sleep and had him running out of his tent, drawing his sword as he went only to be stopped when he saw that it was his own brother who had struck his Isabella to the floor.
"What is the meaning of this?" Jasper spat, spearing his sword into the sand and gently helping Isabella to her feet.
"So the servant is your whore!" his brother, Prince Emmett, smirked.
"Keep your tongue behind your teeth," Jasper roared, prompting Edward to join the building argument, having surfaced when he heard Jasper's servant's cry.
"Calm, brother," Edward whispered to his friend.
"Do not give yourself such a title, Edward," Emmett spat, turning to look at the bronze haired-man. "I am his brother."
"What are you doing here, Emmett?" Jasper growled, gently passing the trembling Isabella over to Edward's wife, who immediately began to fuss over her.
"I have come to see the lands that you won, brother. Maybe get a new whore or two," Emmett shrugged, walking past Jasper and going into Jasper's tent.
"You speak so crassly in the presence of your own wife," Jasper threw back, his words harsh but his eyes soft and comforting as he looked over at his brother's wife who stood, in the background, her head lowered in either shame or fear; he did not know.
"She's a whore too," Emmett chuckled darkly, grabbing up a smoked turkey leg lying on the table and quickly began to consume it.
"Prince Jasper, I need to tend to Isabella. She is bleeding," Edward's wife, Alice, said softly, breaking through Jasper's anger.
"What?" Jasper muttered, whirling around to look at Isabella where she sat on his bed, the head scarf she is wearing, taken on a red color as the blood began to seep into it.
"Please no!" Isabella pleaded, backing away from Alice as the younger woman reached for her scarf.
"Isabella!" Jasper shouted. "You are bleeding. Let Alice look at your head."
"No, Master! Please, Master, no!" Isabella shook her head, her fear very evident.
"Isabella, come here!" Jasper ordered, walking over and pulling the woman into his lap as he sat down, forcibly restraining her as she continued to struggle in his arms.
Chuckling at him, Emmett stood with a smug smile on his face, quickly walking to the doorway of the tent, pulling Rosalie along with him. "We shouldn't be here for this, Rosie. Jasper's going to train his bitch just like I trained you."
Edward and Alice took it upon themselves to close down the doorway as neither of them could understand why Isabella was reacting so badly to them wanting to tend to her wound.
"Isabella," Jasper tried again. "Why do you know want me to help you? Why can't we attend to your wounds?"
Surprisingly, Isabella began to cry, wrapping herself up in Jasper's arms prompting the stunned prince to pull her closer into him.
"I'm the reason," she sobbed out.
"The reason for what?" Jasper said gently, placing his chin on top of her head.
"Your scars," Isabella whispered in a broken voice, bracing herself for Jasper to push her of him but she surprised when Jasper easily lifted her up and shifted her so that she was straddling him instead.
"Isabella," Jasper said gently, "what are you saying?"
"My father was a good man. His kindness knew no bounds. When he was just a young man, a fire broke out in the temple of the goddess and he ran into the temple to save the priestesses even though the others in the village said that there was no hope for them. He risked his life for them. He managed to save all of them, but he face was burned. No one from the villages wanted their daughters tied to such a man but my father, like you, understood even though they treated him like a leper. The priestess bled for the pain they saw my father going through, but none more than my mother. One night, she turned to the goddesses and asked for their guidance and they appeared to her. They told her that they had chosen her to be his wife….that she was to go to him and pled her case and that they knew he would love her unconditionally maybe more than she loved him.
My mother did just that and as the goddesses said, my father married my mother within days of her going to him. I was the product of that love, but the goddess were not finished with my parents. On the night that I came into the world, the goddesses appeared to my mother and I was blessed with beauty that would surpass all others and as I grew older, my vanity grew as well.
The day you got those scars, you rode in on your horse, to see me, pinned beneath a man who was about to rape me because I had asked my father to turn down his wedding proposal. You stepped in and he attacked you, causing the injuries on your face. I ran away leaving you there. I thought you had died because of my stupidity and from that day, I have hidden my face.
When I heard about the scarred prince, something in my mind told me that I needed to see you and it was days before I joined your service that I saw you. I knew your eyes. I held your head in my lap as you bled. I remembered your eyes, clear blue and kind. You wiped my tears away and told me not to cry as you bled in my lap and when you closed your eyes, I thought you had died.
I hate myself for what happened to you. I hated myself even more when I heard that no one would wed you and that you would not force anyone to wed you," Isabella confessed, stunning Jasper, Edward and Alice into silence.
"Oh beautiful," Jasper muttered, pulling her into his chest. "You were so young. I never blamed you for any of it, sweet girl. I can't imagine the guilt you must have felt."
"It's my fault," she whispered again, her hands forming fist against his chest.
"No, sweet girl," he whispered only for her to hear. "I remember you too. I remember the fear in your eyes, the way you kept looking over at the man, wondering if he would get up to finish what he started. I never regretted what I did. Not then and not now. Now, let me see your face."
Slowly, Isabella lifted her head and with trembling hands, undid her head scarf.
Silence rang through the tent as Jasper, Alice and Edward looked at Isabella for the first time.
Her coffee-colored hair.
Her flawless cream skin.
Her pink lips.
Her sea-green colored eyes.
Only one word could sum up what they saw and it came for Jasper's lips as soft as a prayer. "Perfection"