Moonlight Becomes Her
She moves through moonbeams slowly.
Jasper knew it was the complete opposite of what they were. That it was a contradiction in terms. Vampires, like humans, had certain speeds they moved at. But as he watched Alice, his beautiful Alice, dancing across the stones making a path from one side of the river to the other, he didn't care. And that knowledge, coupled with the vision in front of him, caused a smile to cross his lips. Just because all of their history said otherwise, that didn't mean that he had to agree.
In fact, he knew it was possible. After all, part of blending in was slowing down.
But as he watched his wife leaping lightly to a stone that would have been an impossible distance away for someone who was alive, he realized that this wasn't blending in. She wasn't merely moving at a slow pace, a mortal pace. No, as he watched her, it was as if she were moving in slow motion.
When they stumbled upon the river earlier that night, Alice had held her hand out to him the same way she had in the diner so many years ago. But this time, he didn't take her hand. This time, he kissed her gently on the forehead before pushing her in the direction of the rocks he knew she was dying to get to. The two didn't need to exchange any words of assurance or love unlike the rest of their family; for them, all it took was a look. One shared glance between the two could say more than a kiss or 'I love you' between Emmett and Rosalie ever could.
She'd always loved doing things like this, and he'd always loved watching her. His wife always invited him to join in her fun, but he'd always refused. Jasper was never more content than when he was watching Alice enjoy herself.
The moment she leaped from the riverbank to the fifth stone (halfway across the rushing water), he sat down on a large boulder to watch her. Settling into the makeshift seat, he'd picked up a smooth, flat stone which he'd absentmindedly turned over in his hands. It was something he did to appear human. And after years of trying to blend in, he found himself being human even when he didn't have to. As the time passed, the thin layer of clouds that had been covering the moon drifted away. It was then, in the full glow of the moon, that he really saw her.
Yes, Jasper had seen her like this before. But it never failed to amaze him. And if his heart were able to beat, the organ would surely have stopped at the sight.
Unable to do anything but watch Alice, Jasper's hands crushed the rock he'd been holding into a fine powder that slipped over his fingers. The absence of the stone would never register in his thoughts.
Across the river, Alice twisted and spun expertly from rock to rock. With each perfect pirouette, her skin sparkled in the moonlight. It wasn't the brash glittering dazzle that came with the sun. Instead, it was a gentle soft glimmer that radiated from her alabaster skin and flowed into the inky water below her. With each spin and leap, the gentle shimmer would chase across the glassy water as if it couldn't bear to part from her.
Jasper understood exactly how that felt.
But unlike the glistening shadow that refused to leave Alice's side, he managed to stay seated.
Her tinkling laughter filled the quiet night, causing a laugh to escape from the man's own throat. Even from across the river, he could feel the emotions flowing through Alice's pixie-like frame. His wife was an intoxicating mixture of joy and amusement. And more importantly, love.
Pure, unyielding, heartbreaking love.
Even when she was in the worst of moods, that precious emotion was always there. For their family. For him.
Jasper Hale would never know what he'd done to deserve Alice Cullen's undying love and loyalty. And after all of their years together, he'd given up trying. With her tiny body in his arms and her emotions flowing through him… It didn't matter. All that mattered was that she was his and he was hers.
When it came down to it, that's all that would ever matter.
As she danced closer, skipped from stone to stone, her emotions began to overwhelm him. They began to drawn him in, to tempt him from his perch on the riverbank. Just like the glimmering shadows that skipped along with his wife, he couldn't stay away from her anymore. Jasper needed to wrap his arms around Alice's glimmering frame.
There were five stones between her and the riverbank. Five small, human steps between himself and Alice. In the space of an instant, Jasper was on his feet, prepared to make the leap from the bank to the middle of the rushing river himself. But just as he prepared to make the jump, his wife turned towards him, her sparkling smile lighting up the warm night. The moon's glow couldn't compete with her radiance. Not only at that moment but ever.
In addition to all of the emotions he felt radiating off of her before, he now felt… anticipation. The new feeling sent a shiver down his back that wracked his spine from the top to the bottom. Whether she'd had a vision of him coming for her while twirling from rock to rock or she knew what he was thinking, he didn't know. Nor did he care.
All Jasper cared about was Alice in his arms.
Once again, her delicate laugh echoed through the night as her rich amber eyes locked on his playfully. She crouched back as if stalking prey before she launched her frame across the river towards her husband. Impossibly graceful, her form glided through the air with all the ease of a prima ballerina. He knew she was moving at normal vampire speed, but the man saw her in slow motion.
The envious moon, loath to give up Alice, shimmered across her perfect, pale skin, caressing her lips and nose as much as it possibly could. Her lips were split into a wide smile, showing each and every one of her perfect teeth. Her chest rose and fell with practiced ease, and the calm of that movement affected Jasper more than anything else. He was prepared to leap from the riverbank to close the gap between them himself, but he was frozen in his spot. All he could do was open his arms and wait for her body to crash into his, marble against marble.
By nature, Alice Cullen was the picture of grace. But sometimes, at moments like this, she embraced her lost humanity, embraced a clumsiness she couldn't remember. As Jasper wrapped his arms around his wife's delicate body, he couldn't stop a sigh of content relief from escaping him. It was silenced a moment later by Alice's soft lips upon his own.
With his wife wrapped tightly in his arms, Jasper felt completely intoxicated by her happiness and love. While he was filled with her emotions, Jasper knew that his own feelings were the same and just as potent.
Even though there was no need to, the man tightened his grip around the woman's tiny waist. Never taking his eyes off of her face, Jasper leapt from stone to stone just as Alice had. Just as skillfully and almost as gracefully.
Before he took the last leap from stone to riverbank, Jasper looked back ever so slightly. Out of the corner of his eye, he noticed that there were now two shimmering trails following them across the inky water. For some reason, the sight surprised him. Like all vampires, he glittered in the sunlight. He never expected that he too would glimmer in the moonlight. That was Alice's job.
Finding Alice's lips once again, he knew how their history regarded their kind and speed. But to him, Alice would always move in slow motion.
Squeeka Cuomo's Notes
- The opening lyrics are from the song 'Love Me Dead' by Ludo.
- My Quack, my beta. Thank you so much. I was really worried about what you'd think of this. I'm so glad that it made you all 'satisfied vampire-y'.
- Reviews are love.