A/N: Today is exactly 2 years since I published 'I Never Dream of Dancing'. So as an anniversary present to you and me I have posted the 1st chapter of my next story early.
It is dedicated to the 6 people who reviewed 'I never Dream of Dancing'. Iloveboyzthatsparkle, sbcorn, Matthias L. Stormcrow, Kochabilka, Kemq & traceybuie. Thank you for your support then and now, how time flies xx Alexis
It's almost time, for another one of our lost souls to reappear, this has been a long time coming. In fact, we thought we'd lost him several times, but at last, he's coming right in here, into this our diner, aptly called 'Fate'. He is War Weary and beyond tired, this afterlife had not been kind to him at all. There are many 'Fates' around the world, in every large city. But this one is situated in downtown Philadelphia, in the state of Pennsylvania, a major city in America.
We'd had great plans for him, he was to be a decorated war hero, then a shot at the legislature, some understated political aspirations and then even a possible Presidential candidate, he's a born leader. That warlord, that conniving vampire, Maria ruined it all, for him and for us! Some have tried to ease his burden over the long dark years, especially these last few. Others now hoped to try in the future, but half-hearted blind attempts and wanting him at your side for protection only, are not what this, our broken soldier needs.
His destiny is still off in the distance, but he now just deserves to be given the tools, to achieve it. Truthful, unvarnished information and laid out in a logical and concise manner, he will do the rest himself, he's not helpless, just a little without hope. His friends sought to shield him from everything, hoping he would eventually recover his former self. This was the wrong path, above all he needs to once more take charge of his life, it will be a long slow process, but he can and will prevail, if anyone knows this, it's us.
This is where we, the 'Fates' come in once again, his venom brother had saved him, just as we planned, but now he needed some more help and a way to rebuild his strength of mind and body. These last few years have only proved to him, he can't go on this way, torturing himself to live. He can calm a human before he strikes, but as soon as he bites, his gift shuts off and his instinct takes over. Thus ramping up their fear, rather than diminish it, which he needs. She, Alice Brandon, was meant to be that help for him, unfortunately, she has decided to help herself instead and this we will not allow!
It was us the 'fates' who gave her the ability to see the future, we gave her visions of a better life and future for them both, but as no more than good friends. She thought to thwart us, to attempt to keep the soldier for herself and thus subvert the future we have, once more laid out for him. Did she really think we would let that happen? Ah, Alice, she still has much to learn and we know just the way to ensure it. No longer will she have unrestricted sight! Now it will become, decision-based, decisions made by others and not by her, never by her again, she has proved she can't be trusted. So she will still stay an animal drinker as planned, but not with the Cullens.
They are already much to easily swayed by material things and a lack of understanding where gifts are concerned. They think gifts equal power and Alice would have made that much more accessible to them. So she will now be heading off to pastures new, where temptation will not rear its ugly head, to her again. They too, the Cullens, need a bit of a wakeup call, this playing of happy families is detrimental to their growth and understanding, vampires must learn, must grow or perish like the dinosaurs. Inactivity is not the way forward in this life at all. No full-grown vampire should be playing the part of a High School child, it's ludicrous and fraught with danger.
The anonymity of college is far more circumspect, where useful, ever-changing education can be sought and used to enhance their lives. So a whispered thought by us, the 'fates', in the ear of the vampire leaders, has set them on a better course, one more ready to accept our soldier, as an equal and a friend in the future. But most of all they needed to learn to participate in the running of their 'Family' come coven, to give back, rather than take blindly like spoiled children, some have already taken to this easily, others fight against it. The need to contribute to the coffers, alongside their leader and his mate, is paramount, no one, not even a vampire should stride through this life as if they were more important than everyone else.
They have the ability and now only need to apply themselves, they cannot expect, to eternally have everything given to them on a platter. At least we hope not! Having no idea, what real hardship is, has done then no good, in this their leader has failed them all, he has been there and seen both sides of vampire life, he should know better. But Carlisle Cullen is blind to the avarice of his children, well two of them and he now needs to take control, before they ruin everything, sometimes we the 'fates' dislike 'free will'. But we persevere with what we're given and hope!
So back to our very soon to be arriving soldier, he comes to this diner unsure of what he's looking for and it is not the diner, Alice expects him to go to. In coming here, it will start off a new chain of events for them all and to our minds a better one. We will show him his path and set him on it, the rest is up to him. He has sixty years to prepare, by the time he's ready to meet the Cullens, twenty will have passed, then eventually his destiny in another forty, he will be a totally different man to the one he is now. More like the human he once was, but with the knowledge, only a vampire can have, gained over many years.
I don't really know what pulled me to this particular diner, I was headin' to one ten blocks over, I'd been there before years ago. But I got a random and strange feelin' that it was not my destiny. I'm so used to the weight other's feelin's, that gettin' such a rock solid one of my own, Well, Hell, I just couldn't ignore it! It's very quiet and peaceful in here, strangely so, Why? Oh, Mercy! I feel nothin', well nothin' but myself! Damn, that's so unusual, but I'm grateful, I only ever feel this way, when I'm miles from civilisation. I suddenly feel absolutely relaxed and calm, it's actually, quite awesome!
Lookin' slowly and carefully around me, I see many different species, humans, vampires, shifters, werewolves and others, I cannot name! But I'm not worried or even concerned by this strange occurrence, it's as if it's to be expected here and only here. So I slide into a booth by myself and just soak up the atmosphere, waitin' for whatever happens next because I know somethin' will, why else am I here! An entity floats towards me and I don't move or flinch, there is no outward sign of danger and I accept that without question, which is most unlike me.
Since leavin' Maria, I see danger everywhere, whether it's there or not. I have become jumpy and distracted lately, it's not a good-feelin' and I'd really like to shake it. It the entity, has no real form, but I hear a voice in my head,
"Welcome to 'Fate', Major Whitlock",
It knows my name and I feel put at my ease. A glass materialises in front of me like a tankard, but half-pint sized and I recognise the smell of blood immediately, but it's not human, though it's actually quite appealin'!
"Animal blood, Jaguar, I believe",
I nod my head, so it, whatever it is, knows I heard them, then I pick up the glass and drink, well it's! Unusual, what humans would call a little gamey, but not unpleasant at all and the burn in my throat has eased a lot. I hadn't realised just how thirsty I'd let myself become.
"I'm a 'fate', Major and that is your future!"
It told me as it slides into the booth beside me, strangely just hoverin' there, over the seat,
"Although animals too have feelings, they are nothing like humans, I don't mean they are any lesser, just differently structured. Therefore you will be able to hunt without torturing yourself, a word to the wise though, the bigger the predator, the better they taste, so I believe!",
I'm actually stunned, it's so damned obvious, why did I never think of that myself? Mind you, where I've lived animals were domesticated and I'm guessin' maybe, they wouldn't be as good. But there is plenty of wilderness left in the world, where large wild animals are abundant. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders, it's a very good feelin'. The 'fate' floats away then and my glass has been replenished.
Time appears to mean little in here, it's almost as if it has stopped for us, I think this because the sun has risen and set through the windows, several times and to me, mere minutes have passed. I don't feel the need to leave and I slowly mingle with the others here in 'Fate', this is like a giant learnin' curve, discussin' and gainin' wisdom from your so-called enemy is extremely liberatin'. Some even know who I am, but seem unbothered.
"You are correct Major, we have set a new destiny in motion for you and because you are immortal, the loss of time will not affect you! Unlike the humans here and some of the others. We took the liberty of telling your brother where you were, after all, he already has a direct link to us. When you leave ten years will have passed and the world will be ready for you once again."
I didn't feel uncomfortable or anythin' as I heard this, well maybe just acceptance. I once more drank what was in my glass and again felt better. Then the 'fate', introduced me to a young man called Geoffrey Swan, who'd had, an unfortunate run-in with a vampire, strange of all the creatures to meet and he had been whisked here to safety.
"I'm only here visiting, well actually a relative died and I was tidying up their affairs. I live in a small logging town in Washington, called 'Forks' of all things" he explained laughin',
I smiled havin' heard many stranger names in my immortal life. Why we were introduced was a mystery, but one I wasn't overly worried about. He eventually disappeared off somewhere else. Many of the faces around me had changed, as to me this one day passed slowly, but I surmised it was much longer since ten years were to come and go for me whilst in here.
"It's almost time Major or should I call you Jasper, you I think would prefer that! You remember the young man I introduced you to?"
I nodded, it was barely a few hours ago, but really I suppose years ago.
"He will have a son called Charlie in 1969, his one and only child. Charlie, in turn, will grow up and have a daughter in 1987 called Isabella, she is who you wait for, your mate, your destiny! But she will be human when you meet, so you will have to be careful. but don't lie to her, be honest!"
I'm shocked, a little scared, a might wary, but overall happy, it's gonna be a while till I meet her but, I can wait and I will be ready when the time comes, I have to be. I once more drink my full glass of blood, it seems to refill by itself.
"So you have a future to look forward to, but you need to wait and grow as a man, not a soldier anymore. We were going to have you meet the Cullens, a coven of animal drinkers, a few years ago but they were not ready. The leader is a compassionate man and a doctor, yes he heals humans!"
Wow, I'm genuinely surprised by this, but maybe they will help me regain some of my lost humanity. Maria stripped me of all I had and now I feel out of my depth when dealin' with humans, especially if they are no longer to be my food, I need to learn.
"I'd wait another ten years before you seek them out, by then hopefully, they will have gained some knowledge and understanding of the world they live in! Unlike you, some of them fight their fate, tooth and nail!"
"At fuckin' last! Char, Suga', he's comin'! The Major's finally back in the land of the undead!" I yelled,
Not that I needed to but it had been a very strange decade, without the Major, somewhere in it. I had needed to talk to him many times and it felt mighty queer, let me tell you! Knowin', I couldn't. Damn, I'd been reduced to runnin' stuff by Charlotte. It's not because she's a woman, well actually it is, they don't think like us! So she don't always see the little subtle variances that men do like he would have done, god damn it I'd missed my brother.
But I hadn't been sittin' around mopin,' with my thumb up my ass! I've been busy, makin' sure he had everythin' he'd need when he returned. He was now a rich man, I'd taken his money and made it grow. We were both extremely wealthy, not that you'd notice, but it was now a cushion we never had before. It just meant we could buy that car or truck, put down a deposit on any house, stuff like that.
I still ran my business of restorin' old cars to their former glory, I started learnin' all about them the minute, they was invented. I knew there would be a future in it for me, I bought up all and any scrapped ones I could, after leavin' Maria and it just grew from there. Char still made jewellery, just more expensive stuff than before, with real gemstones now and more intricate designs, she had orders for a couple of years ahead, unborn children's bracelets, future engagement's and weddin's.
Jasper's horses now had an impressive lineage, I'd followed his notes to the letter, thank fuck he wrote all his plans for the future down! After they stopped five years ago, I just got little nudges when I was unsure! Those damn 'fates' were makin' sure he prospered. So besides money in the bank. we had three flourishin' business' to boot, life was lookin' good from where I stood. I saw him in the far distance, runnin' at a steady pace towards the ranch, I could almost hear his mind cataloguin' the differences, ten years had seen quite a few changes around here.
I knew he could feel my happiness, love and sadness all rolled into one huge feelin' of relief, now that he was finally back. He stopped several feet away and we just stared at each other, for a few seconds before we crashed together in an embrace, not a half-hearted man hug, but two brothers thankful to see the other alive type of embrace. Next to Char this man was the most important in my life, my sire and brother. Char came runnin' then and if she could have cried she most certainly would have bawled like a baby, instead she launched herself into our arms and we held fast to each other for a few minutes.
"Damn Major! What the fuck happened to your eyes?" I said, truly noticin' for the first time they were gold coloured and not red anymore.
" Animal blood! Who'd have guessed that was the answer to my prayers! Oh and Peter, I'm just Jasper Whitlock now, please call me Jasper!" he replied smilin', that was somethin' I hadn't seen very often, but damn it looked good to see on him.
We watched as the next ten years passed in a blur of activity for the Whitlock's, their business' were doing very well, they often went to strange new locations on holiday and although Peter and Charlotte never changed their diet, they went with Jasper hunting in all manner of places. He flourished on this diet of animal blood and always stuck to the higher end of the food chain, like I suggested, thus able to go far longer between feeds.
His empathy was also much easier to control for him, practising with it all the time, enabled him to almost dial it back to a dull hum in the background, when around many humans. It was time now for us to introduce him to other vegetarian vampires. He had still never met anyone else who fed as he did. The few vampires they did run across, didn't know what his eyes meant, but when they found out what his gift was, they said,
"Hell, that makes sense! We've heard some are doing it to save the humans! Or was it to save their humanity? Who knows, sounds bloody weird anyway!"
The year is now 1968, one year before the surprise birth of Charlie Swan, well only a surprise to his parents obviously, we of course already knew it was going to happen. It was also nearly twenty years later than we intended to have Jasper meet the Cullens, but that would have been a disaster all around. They would have never accepted, the red-eyed Major Whitlock, but the golden-eyed Jasper Whitlock was a different man altogether, he was beginnin' to at last be at ease in his own skin once again.
We also had no intention of him living with the family, he didn't need parents, just a mentor of sorts, that would be Carlisle Cullen. The doctor was a good man, a compassionate man who saw beyond the obvious, unlike some of the other members of his 'Family', as he insists on calling his coven. No matter how long we gave them, some refused to learn or grow, while others flourished in this new age.
The invention of electronics was still in the tentative stage for humans, but some vampires were already using it to enhance their lives, one such vampire was Emmett Cullen, he had worked out how to block his brother's mind reading ability, at least when they were at home. Using sound wave damping technology and revamping it to work as a thought wave interrupter, Emmett had now made a working prototype, it's all about frequency's, he told his confused family.
This would herald in a new era for the Cullens, where they could keep their own counsel without condemnation from Edward Cullen whilst in their houses. Not satisfied with this first success Emmett wanted it smaller, better and able to be worn on the body at all times, his mission in life was to keep Edward out of his head. Only because Edward revelled in knowing everyone's secrets and then passing them on!
They all were tired of blocking him by other means and secretly loved Emmett's new invention. But Jasper need have no fear, all Edward would gain from looking into his mind was pain. While the other ran mundane boring thoughts through their heads to block him, Jasper would just think only of the pain of torture, no visual, just the feeling, his empathy would deliver it with no harmful effects on himself. We were ready, Carlisle was teaching in college for a change and his new passion was psychology. Perfect, Jasper was about to become one of his pupils!