Jasper lay on the grass in the clearing, staring up into the dark sky dotted with millions of bright stars. He'd started counting them twice that night already but first Alice had come looking for him and then clouds had darkened the sky for a few minutes.

He didn't react when he heard approaching footsteps and he just kept staring up into the sky when Edward's head came to rest beside his, golden eyes wandering over his face. They lay together silently, neither willing to say something. "190644111780."

Jasper eventually broke their silence, turning his head to look at the younger vampire. "What...?"

"Stars. 190644111780 stars."


"Do you know what stars are? They're just balls of fire burning up the black sky... No sparkling, no shine, just fire. And if you get too close you get burned. They're not that different from us."

Jasper looked up into the sky again, eyes darting from star to star, searching for the one he knew reminded him the most of the younger vampire. "Betelgeuse."

The older vampire pointed up into the sky to one particularly bright star that had a distant red glow to it. Edward's eyes followed the direction of Jasper's finger. "What about it?"

"It's Orion's right shoulder. He was a hunter. The tallest and most handsome of men. The light of heaven. That star reminds me of you."

"Jazz..." Jasper lightly shook his head.

"He died through the scorpion's..." The older vampire pointed into the opposite direction. "... sting. Poison. Slowly and painful. Because he thought he was invincible and could have everything."

Edward closed his eyes at the words. "I'm sor..."

"And yet he's the most splendid of constellations. When Orion rises, night feigns the brightness of day and folds its dusky wings."

Edward was listening intently to Jasper, not missing the innuendo of his words, but still he couldn't bring himself to meet the older vampire's eyes.

"I love her."

Jasper closed his eyes, for a moment wishing he was mortal again, so he could either slip into a dreamless sleep or just let the emotions run free, something he'd never done in over 150 years. He took a deep breath, his eyes opening again to look back up into the stars.

"I know. That's what makes it even worse."