Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.
AN: Happy 2020!
WARNING: I do understand my story isn't for everyone, so if you were turned off by the last chapter's opening, PLEASE DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER. I have thought long and hard before posting this chapter and I am sorry but I have decided to continue my story.
Read and review. I read all reviews. Please be kind.
She felt her body grow limp just as Edward's arms pulled her up and cradled her. Carlisle's voice went on "You are a little mystery that needs to be solved. How are you here and why? Who are you?"
For as long as she could remember, she had been shackled to that pole. It could have been just a few hours but in the dark it seemed to her she'd been there for days, a week? two? Her arms hurt from being stretched by the cuffs holding her up. Her armpits burned, she could feel every muscle of her arms as if someone had stuck needles in each and every pore of her skin. She couldn't see much beyond the space she occupied. Nor did she want to. She knew the disposition of the room by heart. No need to see. A table filled with his torture devices, a tripod and a camera, seats for when he had friends over. Swords propped up on a display case by the wall. A fireplace that was lit whenever he wanted to burn her.
She could hear the party going on above. In the living room she hadn't seen for… how long? how long have I been here?… She couldn't tell. He kept her sedated whenever he went away, whenever he was upstairs with his friends, living the life of a respectable businessman. Why was she awake? Had he forgotten to drug her? She tried to pull her body up, to find a comfortable position. She tiptoed to the cuffs. She knew better than to pull on them, sometimes she thought he dipped them in acid, they burned her skin. She just needed to find a comfortable position, then she could endure his fun for hours without screaming. He didn't like that. He always liked to hear her scream, to hear her cry out for help.
"Yes! Scream all you want. No one's coming for you… They don't even know you're here."
She took a deep breath. He hadn't cleaned the room yet. She could still sense the metallic taste of her own blood. The ashes of the last fire he'd lit. His dagger carving at her back in circular motion as if he'd been looking for something. That time she screamed, she begged for him to kill her at last, at least in death she might find some peace.
"Oh, no! Honey… you'll live a long long life." He'd laughed. His goons had laughed with him. He'd struck her face with the hilt of his dagger. "Show me what you are made of." Then, everything went dark.
Now she was alone and dreading the end of the party she heard upstairs. He'd come down in a fowl mood. She'd learned that a long time ago. The louder the party, the worst his mood, the worst he'd carve at her. Tonight was going to be brutal by the sounds of people talking, laughing, drinking, dancing… She tiptoed closer to her shackles, she needed to find a position to rest. She needed to rest before he came down. She stretched her legs and feet as much as she could. Suddenly the pin clicked all on its own, and her right hand fell… She fell to the rubber floor. Her heart raced. Her body hurt but she knew she needed to act fast, She crawled to the door, avoiding the camera, dragging the cuff on her left hand. She pushed on the door but it wouldn't budge. It was shut tight. She wasn't strong enough to push it and her hands burned as soon as she touched it. She heard the party winding down upstairs. Her breath faltered as she crawled back to the post, rearranged the chain around it and stood up. In the dark, her mind raced. He had never forgotten to drug her before, why didn't he… maybe he thought hitting her on the head had been enough… but he had knocked her out before… she peered over at the table where he kept his evil instrumentation. In the dark only his favourite dagger seemed to gleam with silver light. She moved quickly as she heard the lock on the door start to twist and turn, snatching the dagger and standing behind the post. Light filtered from the hallway and he flicked on the switch but the light burst.
"Damn it!" His voice slurred and he stumbled into the room. He was drunk and alone. Bella heard her heart drumming in her ears. Something in the dark made him trip. Bella made her move, she sprinted for the open door but he grabbed her ankle, without thinking she swung the chain still attached to her left wrist as she fell on top of him. He was breathing heavily but he didn't say a word. As she got up she felt the blade stuck on something. He groaned. She smelled fresh blood, her hands were thick with it. She stumbled back.
"I'm going to make you…" he groaned. But she didn't listen, she ran as fast as she could, out the door, out the hallway, up the stairs to his room… she grabbed the robe from his private bathroom to cover herself, and then forced open the secret drawer under his bed, grabbed two of his manilla envelopes, the ones he used to keep his dirty payouts… and then she ran again, out of his room, downstairs, out the service door, out the alley, out the street, she kept running, naked but for his robe, scarred, hurt, bloody. She ran until her bare feet gave out from under her and she fell on to a garbage can.
Edward gulped down yet another shot of whiskey. The liquid burned his throat but gave him some relief from the murderous thoughts that assaulted his mind. It had been one thing to hear Bella tell her story when they were back at his house, and another altogether to see the images the old man had conjured up from her mind. Her memories were a real nightmare. One Alice was glad to swallow as soon as the old man allowed, so that Bella could be spared instantly after reliving them.
Edward poured himself another drink. Being in that basement with Bella, seeing the face of the man that had broken her. He wanted nothing more than to tear this man's head from his living body. Slowly… slow enough for the man to feel his life being ripped away from him… for him to suffer.
Edward gulped the umpteenth shot of whiskey. His lungs burned with the need to kill. He let his anger flow freely around him. At home, where the magic was stronger, it was easy to let lose his bloodlust.
"Easy there, boss!" Jasper pulled a stool from the bar and sat next to him.
"I thought I told you to leave!" Edward said through his gritted teeth.
"You know I can't leave, Edward. I can't leave unless she orders me to leave." Jasper poured himself a shot.
Edward couldn't even look Jasper in the eye. His jealousy burned deep in his heart. The wolf biting at the edges of his brain. The monster wanted to come out. Punch Jasper over and over. Rip the spine of the body the demon inhabited. He knew he wouldn't have a chance if they were in Jasper's home world but here, having traveled the shattered Bifrost, Jasper was partly cut off from the essence that animated him... His powers were limited and Edward wanted nothing more than to send him to Hel. As if reading his thoughts, Jasper only chuckled.
"Why is that, demon? You arrive here months ago… asking me to be close to the stones, asking for our protection on this side of Bifrost. I have taken you in, given you an alias, a place to stay, a purpose while you are seemingly waiting for Ragnarok, like the rest of us… But you aren't, are you? You are not here to help us stop Ragnarok. You are a demon, you are a child of fire and chaos… so maybe you are just here to help things along… the end of all things… and now, you tell me, Bella has to somehow will you away… When she can't.. when she…"
"She is drawn to me." Jasper completed his sentence. "Just as I am drawn to her, Edward. Neither of us can help it. There is nothing you could have done to prevent this."
"You could have prevented the invasion of her mind with your perverted dream of the four of us, that day at your place."
"I didn't know, Edward."
"You didn't know? Was it a big joke for you? To rape someone?"
"I'm confused by your human morals, human women, human men, all of them want sex, need sex. I was just doing what is expected of me, all the damned time I have to spend in this world. Men, women, you all want me to do it, dream you a nice little dream of erotica."
"I want to punch you so bad. Jasper, no one is asking you for…"
"Yes, you are. You want me to manipulate all those people back in that little town into believing their little world is a safe place… that is how I can do it, that is the only way I know how to do it.
"You said you didn't know… what, Jasper?"
"I didn't know. I wasn't paying attention. When I met her, I was drunk at that party, and then your sister… She manipulated me, my feelings, my powers, I couldn't…"
"You couldn't what?" Edward barked. "What could you possibly…"
"Gods! Edward, shut up and listen! For once, listen! Yes, you are the alpha, here in this situation, protecting your Midgard from a breach in the restraints keeping this world safe. That is your purpose. I won't interfere with that. I can't! Not when I am cut off from my own magic. My powers are limited here, I get that! I need to conform to your way, I understand! When I met Bella at the party and then at the house or diner or… Your sister was dazzling me, I can't breathe in this blue atmosphere. Not really. Your skies limit me. I didn't know who Bella was." Edward snarled. He threw his shot glass at the wall in front of him.
"Hit me and get it over with, boss." He taunted in his southern drawl. Edward hated it. The way the demon manipulated and faked his way into human company. Edward balled his fist and punched the bar. Standing, he pulled on Jasper's leather jacket collar, pulling him closer. The sickening scent of wildflowers invaded his lungs... And somethings else, fire, sulfur, smoke... And a hint of chocolate and peaches. Bella.
Edward swung the demon back. Jasper's body crashed against the wall. His family knew better than to come in but he still heard them rushing around the house.
Edward grabbed Jasper by the neck and shook him.
"Who do you think you are, demon? I won't let you place her in danger. I won't let you take her away from me!"
"I won't, Edward. There are other things at play here…. Things you and your father don't understand." Jasper pushed Edward with such force their bodies crashed out the window into a tree trunk.
"So why don't you tell me, hell spawn!" Edward spat. Storm clouds rolled in.
"Nice little trick." Jasper scoffed. He heaved and his eyes became black voids. "But you can't fool me, wolf." He laughed. Pushed harder. His chest pressed against Edward's. "You're just upset because you liked it, Edward. You liked it last night… You liked it back at the house… you need this…. but you are to afraid to accept it." Jasper pressed his face against Edward's cheek. "Why are the children of Midgard so stubborn." He whispered seductively, Edward growled and pushed back, their bodies spiralling through the forest. Jasper laughed.
"Fight me all you want, this isn't a werewolf pack, Edward. I have no interest in wrestling authority from you. I have no Interest in hurting you… why are you fighting this? You need this. You need Bella. You need me. I need you. What's more, I want you. And I know…"
"The fuck did you just say?" Edward kicked Jasper and they both fell to the ground. On top of Jasper, Edward started to pull up but his chest hurt, he couldn't breathe. A howl erupted from deep inside him, and as he lost himself in it he felt Jasper pull him down as both men heaved. Jasper's skin was warm, and flushed. Edward felt the pull, just as he had the night before. He needed to accept Jasper, Bella needed him to accept Jasper.
"What is happening?" He cried.
"What needs to happen." Jasper laced his fingers behind Edward's neck and pulled. "Don't fight this. " He whispered before he brushed his lips on Edward's- Edward pulled free and punched Jasper once, twice, three times.
"Don't you ever… do that again…."
"You can't fight this." Jasper laughed as Edward kept hitting him. He bled and healed continuously as the sheriff let lose his anger… Edward couldn't stop crying and he couldn't stop hitting Jasper. The demon gasped for air amidst all the blood spluttering from his mouth. The scent of chocolate and peaches made Edward stop crying and assault Jasper's mouth, kissing him urgently. Jasper moaned, Edward growled and tried to push away from his deputy. "What game are you playing at, demon?"
"I'm not sharing Bella. I. AM. NOT. SHARING. HER." Edward snapped through gritted teeth. His whole body trembled, struggling with the need to fight. Something inside him held him on the brink. You shouldn't hurt Jasper anymore. He heard Bella inside his mind. Just as the wolf howled. Bella had accepted their bond but she had somehow brought Jasper along for the ride. Jasper smiled and inched closer. Their chests pressed together. Both men seemed to breathe in unison.
"You don't understand… Bella needs this. She needs you." Jasper laughed but his face was awash with pain. "Don't you get it?" Jasper breathed into his mouth. Edward felt the heat emanating from Jasper's body. His body involuntarily reacting to the demon's own arousal. "You're not sharing her..." Jasper heaved he pressed his forehead against Edward's. "She's sharing you."
"What the fuck? I am this close to killing you." Edward hurled the demon away, horrified at the thought.
"Don't pretend like you didn't like it, Edward." Jasper laughed standing up and dusting himself off. "Don't pretend like you don't feel anything." He took a step closer, bared his neck. "You are the alpha. You're the hero of this story... The prophecy of the end of worlds... It is coming and you are the chosen one... Still... There are other things at work here."
"Other things?" Edward pushed Jasper against a tree bark. "You better talk, Demon!"
"Don't you ever wonder where the cracks into this world come from, Edward?" Jasper inched closer to Edward and lowered his voice. "Sure, if they were clever enough, some creatures could always bypass the binds on Bifrost, but… the quantity of things crawling around these parts… the magic needed to do that… It's really just another story... A legend of sorts... The real reason why I'm here. Why I crossed over."
"Talk!" Edward barked.
"Oh! You'll like this song... But then, you will hate it so much more, son of Midgard. I wonder if Odin knew it when he chose you... Maybe it was all a joke to him." Jasper projected a dream into Edward's brain. Naked bodies in the meadow. Kissing, caressing, sweating, thrusting. Hands everywhere, legs entwined, suckling, needing. Ecstasy. Edward stifled a moan. Bella kissed him. Jasper held them both.
"Stop it!" Edward snarled.
"I can't." Jasper's voice turned from mocking to melancholy. "I can't stop it. Edward, I didn't intend for this to happen but the only way to stop is when Bella choses for it to stop... And she won't."
"Tell me what the hell is going on, Jasper." Edward fought the urge to press his lips on the demon's.
"You people think... " he laughed again. "You're stuck on the old stories. Odin and Loki and Ragnarok... And protecting worlds and humans and whatnot. But did you or your family stop to think what it's really like out there... All the worlds that you've never been to..."
"And you have been there, demon?" Edward pushed Jasper again. "You've travelled the worlds?"
"Just listen Edward." Jasper whispered and inched his face closer to Edward. "The magic binding the worlds is fading. It has been fading for a long time. Maybe it was easier for us because we are beings fashioned of fire and magic. We are already fashioned out of chaos and nightmare, so what is a little madness to us? And so we could navigate the river Dream and find others who were also fashioned from the same fire... It is not so easy for others… Long ago, at least by midgardian conception of time, a King from Alfheim was said to have created a portal fishing out stones from the very depths of Dream and placing them in a circle inside a meadow particularly ripe with elven fire. He traveled the nine worlds, binding the worlds through the stones, collecting knowledge and treasure from all of them. He was a foolish old elf, who dreamt of ways to defeat Loki and Odin alike. You have to understand... To us, demons, elves, dwarves and giants alike, the Gods Midgard's children once worshiped are nothing more than vain and jealous creatures that crippled Yggradsil and cut us off from the magic that has been the source of life for eons before Ragnarok." Jasper's voice was thick with sadness. Edward's anger somewhat defused by the images Jasper was conjuring in his mind.
"With the restraints on travel placed by Odin, our population has dwindled, mostly faded away. New births or spawnings became rare and cherished, but they were not enough to stop the slow extinction of our species. While the old elven king was away, his court decayed and suffered. His queen died of grief. His oldest son travelled out to the wolds to convince the old king to come back and rule over his domain. The meadow became corrupted, maybe by the stones, maybe by Odin's binding, maybe because Loki's hordes tried to use them to escape the void. When son and father went back to Alfheim, the son took over ruling and the father was locked away in the highest spire of his palace. There's a tradeoff to using the stones too frequently, after all they are from Dream. Madness and Nightmare. The meadow was guarded and only used in extreme necessity. But the damage was done, for a thousand years no child graced the wombs of elven maidens. It was the same in every other plane... No light elven children, no dark elven births, no demon spawn, no giant toddlers, no dwarven fledgelings... A thousand years later, the still young king was ready to listen to his father's wild ravings that the only way to save their species was to mingle their magics. Interspecies couples were common when Bifrost was open to all, but had been nearly impossible during the Aesir's rule and the following destruction of the bridge between worlds." Edward's grip on Jasper faltered and he took a step back, he turned his back but the Demon's arms, snaked around his chest and pulled him back. Jasper's lips brushed his neck so softly that Edward though he only imagined it. His mind filled with the memory of finding Jasper naked in the meadow dark wings dead on arrival, as if they already sensed there would be no fire, no chaos, no demonic magic in this world. But something was off in this memory... Pain, hunger, thirst, need. He felt all those things with an intensity he couldn't control. And Edward realised, this wasn't his memory, this was Jasper's. And in it he saw himself through Jasper's eyes for the first time. Amidst all the pain Jasper felt upon arrival in this dry world, the new sounds and lights assaulting his senses, the death of his wings, Jasper saw a a tall shining warrior whose anger did not diminish his compassion and drive to help. Edward saw himself through the demon's eyes.
"Please stop." Edward's voice was small and strangled as he knew what came next in that memory. Jasper tightened his grip on on Edward's chest, Jasper lay his head across the sheriff's shoulder and weeped.
"I can't..." Then Edward felt an intense pain on his back and in his mind saw himself bend down over Jasper with his hunting knife and start to hack away the dead dark wings. The pain Edward felt was Jasper's pain at losing his own limbs. In this vision, blood and mud covered them both as Jasper had tried to free himself from the torture. Edward kicked back and both men fell to the ground. He tried to pull himself free of Jasper's embrace.
"Jasper…" Behind them, Bella weeped. "Edward…" Turning, both men saw her bare feet, a silk dark blue nighty that made her pale skin seem even paler, almost translucid, shaking like a leaf in the wind. Tiny lighting sparking at her fingers… "Please… please stop it… stop fighting." She begged. "I want to go home. I… this place… you, your family, both of you… I want to go home. I need to get away from here, this is madness. I can't.. I can't even breathe here…" She took a step closer to them as soon as they stood. Placing one hand on Edward's chest, she smiled sadly at him. "I… didn't mean for this to happen." She apologised. Edward pulled her closer and kissed her lips softly.
"I know, love." He whispered into her mouth. As soon as he kissed her, he felt it, the chain reattaching their hearts, making him whole again. Their hearts beating as one. Jasper took a step back but Bella grabbed his hand.
"Let me go, darling." Jasper whispered. "This is torture, beloved."
"Jasper…" Bella tried to pull him closer but he stood his ground. "Who am I to you?"
Jasper's eyes turned into his demonic black voids. "You see Edward, what we have done is mingle our species through the ruling houses, I am half demon, half dark elf. An outcast in Muspelheim, a prince in Svartalfheim, much like you, Bella, are half light elf, and an outcast in Midgard, and a princess in Alfheim. The old man in your dreams… He's your father."
"How do you know about my dreams?"
Jasper sank to his knees. "Your dreams are not dreams, they are memories. And I… I… I'm sorry I couldn't find you before, but you are the reason I am here. I'm sorry I didn't recognise you in time… Alice and her damned mind control!" He spoke through gritted teeth. He was in pain and ashamed of his own incompetence. "I'm sorry I couldn't tell you anything once you were bound to Edward. You see, I crossed over to find you, my betrothed."
"You said I am half light elf, that means I am half human, my mother…" She couldn't wrap her head around the notion Carlisle had placed there… That somehow, Renee wasn't her mother.
"You are a rare gem, Bella. But, I'm sorry, there is no part of you that is human. You have been lost to us since you were a child… I thought I was never going to find you." He wept in silence. Exposed his neck in submission to Edward. Bella knew why, there was no wildfire on earth, he was lost and cut off. He was at the mercy of this strange family. Much like she'd been at Phil's mercy. Her heart broke a little. She let herself fall to the ground beside him, made him straighten and look up at Edward's face. Edward groaned but he nodded understanding what he needed to do. He got on his knees and held both their hands in his. Neither spoke as lighting sparked from Bella's hands and somehow linked their fates.
"Please, let's just go home." She begged.