Title: Closer
Author: Elisabeth
Characters/Pairings: Jasper/Bella
Rating: T
Summary: Jasper comes a little closer to Bella than he is supposed to be, and makes a discovery. 'Alice gave Jasper hope... But Bella gave him humanity.' Js/B
Disclaimer: Everything belongs to Stephenie Meyer.

C L O S E R

It started out so innocent. He never meant for this to happen. When he said closer, he didn't mean this close.

He couldn't understand how things had gone so horribly wrong. He was only doing his brother a favor, taking care of her. She was easy to be around, with her unpredictability a constant fascination. She always left him wanting more.

He didn't know that at first though. He convinced himself that it was her humanity that intrigued him. No one could lie to Jasper, except for Jasper himself.

It all started with a simple touch, a brush of fingers over her wrist. Her warm, pulsating wrist. Temptation to resist. He should've known at that point where it would lead. But he didn't.

It was a good thing that Jasper was such a convincing liar. Even his brother never suspected anything. He never saw where the innocent touches, the lingering glances, fire and ice clashing, would lead to.

If Alice had seen this happening, she hid it well. Most likely, she never saw even a glimpse of this. After all, it wasn't really a decision. It felt inevitable, like nightfall. It wasn't of course, he knew that. He knew that not making any decision was his biggest error in the matter.

All he had to do was decide to not step closer.

He took one step closer to her, and her feelings pierced trough him. Confusion, excitement, hope, lust. So wrong. He reveled in it.

"Jasper, you don't have to do this." Her warm breath washed away the memories of those other warm bodies. The ones that would grow cold if you weren't fast enough. This one would stay warm, he would make sure of that.

"I know." His answer confused her even more. He reached his finger up to her face, and brushed away the crease between her eyebrows. Her heartbeat picked up, and she bit her lip.

He was standing so close to her now, he could no longer tell whether the lust that he felt tainting the air was hers or his own. When she spoke again, her voice was shaky. He smiled. "Then what are you doing?"

He placed one finger under her chin, and lifted her head, forcing her to look him in the eye. "I don't know, Bella. But if you want me to stop… say it." She swallowed, but remained entirely still.

He made sure to keep his own emotions in check. She wanted this as much as he did. She was as guilty as he was. All she had to do was decide to not let him get closer. He would not take that choice away from her.

When he let go of her chin, she held it up, facing him, daring him.

It was a temptation Jasper couldn't resist. He lowered his lips to hers, slowly, softly. Not because he was afraid to hurt her, but because he had to enjoy this while it lasted. Her warm lips molded willingly to his cold ones. An alien sense of satisfaction sneaked into his mind and momentarily allowed him to hope once more.

He pulled back, but only slightly. Just enough to look into her eyes, and be surprised by their darkness. Despite the softness of their kiss, she was breathing heavily. He inhaled her scent deeply, only once, and felt his own mind being clouded over by a myriad of feelings, of which the only two he recognized were lust and passion.

Jasper took another step forward, pinning her to the counter. Her hands flew up to his chest in surprise, and she looked like a deer caught in the headlights. He had expected to feel her fear or apprehension, and he had expected her timid voice to tell him 'no'.

Instead, her loud emotions were screaming 'please'.

He moved his hand to her neck, enjoying her excitement even more than the pulse under his fingers. His lips were hovering over hers, so close that he could almost feel them, but not quite. He wanted to drag this out, make it last as long as possible, because Jasper knew that this was his only chance. He wouldn't yet admit to himself that he also liked to tease her.

He forced himself to breathe. Bella's reaction to that pleased him more than it should. She was desperate now, almost needy. He moved his lips over her cheek, and then her cheekbone, never quite touching her skin, only breathing against it. He felt chills running down her spine, and when his lips reached her ear, he let his teeth lightly graze the skin there. Bella's hand shot up into his hair.

He hovered his lips over her neck for another moment, before lightly touching them to the sensitive skin under her ear. Her whimper excited a low growl from him.

He couldn't lie to himself now, not anymore. It wasn't so much her humanity that intrigued him, it was his own. The closer he got to the girl, the more he felt subjected to whatever force ruled over him. For the first time in over a century, he felt powerless, and it reminded him of humanity.

He kept his lips on her neck even when he heard tires crunching the gravel of the long driveway. He couldn't move away from her until he really had to.

When he finally did pull away, he immediately missed that feeling of all-consuming passion. He tried hard not to make up his mind, but couldn't help the inevitable.

Next time, he would get even closer to Bella.