"Gotcha." Jasper's voice was playful as his arm curled loosely around Edward's shoulders from behind, pulling the younger vampire back against his chest. Edward's lips twitched into a smile, enjoying the way Jasper's hand slid down to rest over his lifeless heart.

"Where have you been?" Edward asked eventually, his hand covering Jasper's. "Hunting... but you knew that."

The older vampire's voice was unusually light and Edward was sure that if he turned he could see Jasper's eyes sparkle mischievously. "You're in a good mood."

"Hunting alone tends to do that to me... you know, no feelings but my own... it's kinda awesome..." The fell silent for a moment, Edward revelling in the warmth of the older vampire's embrace, not wanting this moment to end anytime soon as Jasper's good mood was something he definitely enjoyed.

Edward absent-mindedly let his fingers trail over the crescent-shaped marks marring the exposed skin of Jasper's forearm, the little bumps like a map beneath his fingertips. Jasper tensed almost immediately, his fingernails digging into Edward's chest.

"Stop doing that." Jasper said curtly, the playful Southern lilt gone, a sharp edge to his usually smooth and rich voice. Edward took hold of his wrist when the older vampire tried to pull away and cover his arm again. "No."

Jasper still tried to wriggle free when Edward's fingers kept tracing the scars, the other hand tight on the other vampire's wrist to keep him from moving. "Edward please... I don't like..."

"What? The scars?"

"They are everywhere as it is, no need for you to give them the extra attention..."

Edward turned to face the older vampire whose lips were twisted into a bitter grimace.

"They're ugly... I don't know what you see in me..."

The younger vampire shook his head before he brought his lips up to meet Jasper's, one hand curling against the older vampire's neck, his fingers raking through the soft strands of hair at the back of his neck.

"I see you... the real you... the struggling man caught in the body of a boy who experienced too much too soon, a man who so desperately wants everyone around him to feel alright that he forgets about his own emotions... those scars are a part of you, Jasper... they made you who you are today, they make you the one holding me close, the one who's making eternity so much more bearable for me."

Jasper's eyes were clouded with emotions Edward couldn't quite identify as the older vampire wordlessly pulled him into a needy kiss that would've stolen his breath, had he needed it. "Thank you Edward."

Jasper pulled away, obviously needing some distance for a moment. He turned to dart back into the forest when Edward's voice stopped him.

"Hey Jazz... what I failed to mention... scars are sexy." A low chuckle ripped from Jasper's throat as he started for a run into the woods, Edward watching him with a smile.

He knew it would take some work to put the broken pieces of the older vampire's soul back together but if he got a laughing and smiling Jasper as a reward, he was more than willing to make the effort.