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Author's Note: A scene following Bella's birthday party fiasco. Submitted for SillyBella's Twilight Challenge forum for "Running After Jasper"

A Wake-Up Call

Jasper had hunted and fed quickly, angrily. He now shoved the deer's carcass with the toe of his boot sending it further under the leaves. He flicked a lit match to the driest of the tinder.

He had left the house hurriedly, pushing past them all; even Alice. Pushing past all the emotional screaming that had resounded through him as though it was pushing him out.

He had hunted with single mindedness, slipping into his old way of thinking. Focusing on his objective clearly, calmly now, rationally, casting all other thoughts aside. He used to be good at that and it was a small comfort now that he was still good at it.

The deer's blood had eased the roaring in the pit of his stomach but not entirely. The battle still raged in his body. Raged on a cellular level; a perpetual thirst for something human. The scent memory of Bella's blood tried to resurface but he pushed it back.

Then he saw the last person he expected to see making her way through the trees. Rosalie took her time weaving between the waist high ferns, moving at almost human pace. She looked like she didn't really want to be doing this. Like she had picked the shortest straw.

She stopped about ten feet away from him and just looked at him. She kept her face a beautiful blank, seemingly void of emotion. It was a practiced look whenever she was around him but she was less adept at controlling the actual sentiments below that serene surface. He looked away, slightly incredulous at the feeling fanning out from her and annoyed at the same time; he wanted to be alone.

"How can you feel indifferent to all this?" Jasper asked tersely.

"Well, what do we expect, Jasper? Edward brings this child into our midst and acts all indignant when something goes wrong."

Jasper turned back to her and focused his attention a little sharper. He had not quite expected her to say that. He was also sensing something else underlying the obvious emotion that Rosalie was throwing out there. Something she was trying hard to hide. Jealousy. He continued to stay silent, waiting to hear what else she would say.

"I mean, really, you might as well send her to a serial killer's convention."

"Are you comparing me to a serial killer?" Jasper practically snarled, incensed.

"NO! It was just an example…" Rosalie now actually grinned at him.

"You seem to be taking this a bit better than everyone else, Rosalie." Jasper paused, examining her face. "Why?"

She tossed back her head, letting her long blond hair cascade more freely behind her shoulders. "Well, you might think that I don't like Bella. It doesn't really matter at this point whether I like her or not. What really matters is that Edward has risked everything to have his little…" She stopped her rant, seeming to more carefully choose her words. Instead she changed course. "Jasper, I think I know how you feel. Like maybe you don't quite fit into this tidy little family."

"And you feel the same way, don't you?" Jasper answered. It wasn't really a question; he pretty much knew the answer.

She looked at him closely now, her expression hardening into something less beautiful. "I was saved by Carlisle for a reason, you know." She said it softly like she really didn't want him to hear.

Jasper felt the anger now, the disappointment that still lay in the heart of Rosalie. "What reason, Rose?" He used the more familiar name, something more gentle. His emotional instincts guided him.

She made an exaggerated, unnecessary exhale, "I was supposed to be with our precious Edward." She looked back the way she had come and seemed to contemplate what her mission had really been. "Anyway, none of that matters anymore. I found my own destiny. I did it myself."

She paused again, turning back to him. "I guess what I really should say is that you shouldn't beat yourself up about this. Come back; deal with it. Edward needed a wake-up call anyway."

End Note: I originally planned this scene as more Jasper centric but as soon as Rosalie entered she just took over! I'm not sure why but it seemed fitting. Kudos to the amazing Neil Gaiman for the "serial killer convention" reference.