When I had originally thought to do a second chapter of this for Jasper, I was thinking of it being when Nessie was 12-14ish…but then this came out, lol.
"Ready to dance again, Jazz?" The rap pounding through the room hadn't finished drawing to a close, but I knew better than to doubt Alice. The next song, clearly, was one she liked. And I was about to say yes, more than happy at the thought of having her in my arms out on the floor again. Just then, though, the waves of vague unhappiness drifting from Nessie hit a high, and my plans changed.
"Alice…" But of course, my words couldn't be as fast as her visions. She looked hurt for maybe a half second, then smiled.
"She'll like that, Jasper. Good thinking." She raised up as far as she could reach, and I felt her lips brush a kiss against my shoulder. "I'll see you on the next dance."
I squeezed her hand one last time before she dashed away, finding Edward and clinging to his arm. I could hear her from here informing him that he was going to dance with her, and I chuckled softly. She never really had to ask for anything.
Nessie stood near the back of the gym, and even in her dark corner she was earning no small amount of not so well concealed glances. Normally, they wouldn't have dared. Every boy in this school had learned to not even so much as look her way when Jacob was nearby. That was, however, exactly the problem. Knowing how much prom here in Forks would mean to her, he wouldn't have missed it for anything less important than what had happened tonight, but he had really had no choice. The new pack in La Push had picked up the scent of an intruder, a nomad, probably. Alone, but still dangerous to the pack. Though we had assured them our range was well known and only an ignorant fool would hunt inside it, they had headed out on patrol. And, of course, they had asked for Jacob's help, his expertise.
Renesmee knew all of that, of course. She understood. She had told her husband as much before he left, and she had been sincere. But that didn't mean this didn't hurt, and I couldn't bear to see her moping any longer. I stepped up behind her, carefully brushed her bronze curls away from her face. "You know in my day, it was a crime to leave a beautiful lady without a dance partner."
"Uncle Jasper." I could feel a slight warmth in her when she said my name, though it vanished quickly. She turned to face me, the same smile plastered on her face that she had worn all evening. It wasn't her, and it didn't look right.
"Nessie." I said it slowly, made sure she heard the reproach in my voice. Gently, I took her hand and kissed it quickly, an action truly more suited to the time of birth than to hers. I could feel a flicker of an apology in her thoughts. "You know better than to try to lie to me like that."
She sighed, let go of the false smile. That was better, more accurate. I hated seeing people try to fake things that couldn't be faked. Especially one of my own family. "I'm sorry, Jazz."
"You know Jacob wanted to be here, don't you? It hurt him more than he said to miss this, I promise you."
She sighed again, her eyes downcast. "I know, really I do. Which is what makes it so much worse, because I shouldn't be feeling like this." Her voice dropped to a whisper, a fresh wave of sadness radiating from her. "But I wish he was here. And I don't like the way Ryan keeps staring at me. He's been after me for ages, and without Jake here…"
I almost snarled, her words sparking the urge to protect. I could look the other way when I knew Jacob wanted her. He was, after all, her husband, her mate. It was only right. In my mind, she was still my little girl, but I could let that go, in his presence. But not for anyone else. There was so much lust in the room in general and no way for me to pick up what was aimed at who, but now that I had a name, I could find him. There. Yes, it was practically flowing off of him. I could feel the growl rumbling in my chest, and I felt Nessie step closer, press her fingers to my arm. I could feel her warning, a reminder of what I could and couldn't do in public. No, I couldn't attack him as I so dearly wished. But neither would I let him continue to think of my niece that way. It was disgusting.
"It's fine, honey. I know what I'm doing." I could hear the running current of tension in my own words, but I hoped they were subdued enough that she wouldn't be thinking she'd have to stop me. "I can take care of this for you without violence. Watch." I smirked as the thought hit me and I focused all of my energy on the task at hand, channeling all of my strength into effecting only him. His emotions changed very smoothly, so much that I could barely notice the slight difference in the feel of them. What had been furtive glances toward our corner, however, turned into an adoring stare in a completely different direction. I chuckled darkly, pleased with my work. "See, Nessie? He thinks he's in love with that guy, now." I shrugged easily in the direction of the balding geography teacher, one of the chaperones for the dance. "Problem solved."
Nessie giggled, and I could feel her mood lift. "Jazz, that was terrible." She paused, giggled again. "You're amazing, you know that?"
I grinned back at her, edged both our happiness up a little farther. "I've known it for years. Alice-"
"She's staring at you, Jasper. And I think she's planning your death. That's the look she gives me before we go shopping."
I looked, and winced. Yes, she was right. Alice had that 'oh-I'm-going-to-get-you' look. Ah well. She could never stay mad at me. Even when I didn't ah…help her along. "Ah, it's alright. My life is safe in her hands." That would probably buy me another couple points too, and I knew she could hear it. I resisted the urge to look back and see if the glare had edged down to 'stun', instead, I held my hand out to Nessie. "So, Renesmee, could I have this next dance?"
She smiled widely, stepped forward to take my hand. "Absolutely."
We moved fluidly onto the floor, blending in perfectly to the music, even though I led her in steps more fitting for a ballroom. We were halfway through the song when I felt a spike in both her happiness and her gratitude, her head coming to rest lightly on my shoulder. Her hand shifted, brushed against my skin. I could feel it there as well. She felt better, out here with me. She had been dwelling on his absence far too much, alone. And, as much as she had sworn not to have any without him, this was fun.
I let my love for her expand, travel just far enough away from me to touch only her, to let her feel the force, the warmth of it. We, both of us, had far more effective means of communication. Nothing else needed to be said.
Shorter than I originally thought, but I like it like this.