Rating: Teen for language
Genre: Hurt/Comfort, Romance
Word Count: 3,506
Summary: Alice and Jasper have just joined the Cullen family, but it's not smooth sailing from the start. Jasper isn't confident in the new lifestyle, but he is certain about one thing: he would do anything to protect Alice from any harm.
work is based on characters and situations created and owned by
Stephenie Meyer, various publishers and film makers including but
limited to Little, Brown Books and Summit Entertainment. No money is
being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
Author's Note: Written for Train_Lindz. Special thanks to my beta, Not From Stars.
I raced through the woods, anxious to return to Alice. She didn't need to feed even half as often as I did; no one did. Animal blood didn't quench my thirst for very long. When it had been just the two of us, she'd always gone hunting with me despite her lack of hunger. Since we'd joined the Cullens, she was so excited to be able to actually spend time with the vampires she already considered family. I couldn't bring myself to pull her away from that, so I stopped asking her to accompany me as often. It was hard leaving her behind, though. I worried that when she was out of my sight she might disappear, as if she were a hallucination my depressed mind had invented to protect itself.
Approaching the house, I could feel the emotions of its occupants well before I reached the front door. I still wasn't used to the overwhelming sea of emotions the Cullens existed in. I'd always kept the newborns rather subdued. Dealing with such intense, uncontrollable emotions from so many of them was hard for me. Alice's were the easiest for me to identify; I was the most attuned to her. I often focused on her to keep myself calm. Her hope and cheer always seemed to help balance me. That's why it was so disturbing when I realized that she was the one emoting pain and sadness. Alice was upset!
As I rushed to the stairs, her emotions changed. The sadness lingered, but it was poorly camouflaged with more pleasant feelings. This was something Alice did on the rare occasions that she didn't want her mood affecting me. I knew it was something she did purposefully by trying to focus on better thoughts. She must have seen me coming, and she was trying to shield me from her pain. It only frightened me further.
What could have happened to have Alice so upset? I only had a moment to contemplate it before I was at our room. Opening our door, I was not surprised to find her sitting on our bed with her arms curled protectively around herself. She didn't even glance away from the window she was staring out as I entered. "Alice?" I whispered, my voice full of concern. She didn't respond as I entered and quietly shut the door behind me. "Alice, what's wrong?"
"It's nothing, Jazz," she whispered in a dead tone. "I'm fine."
"Alice," I scolded softly. Surely she knew better than to lie to me; she had to know that I could tell.
Finally she turned to look at me. Her topaz eyes seemed empty. They were missing the sparkle that had been there since the moment I had met her. "I'm being silly," she sighed.
I couldn't imagine that. Alice was always happy. Anything that could upset her like this was not trivial. "Will you tell me what you're being silly about then?" I asked as I sat next to her on our bed.
Her emotions shifted as she lost her concentration. For the first time I felt the true magnitude of her pain. She was . . . distraught. That was the only word for it. I was well accustomed to feeling this way myself, but I had never felt anything like this coming off of Alice. I couldn't bear feeling Alice hurt. Alice wasn't supposed to feel like this; she was supposed to be content and hopeful. I had to do something to make her feel better. I wanted to absorb all of her pain into me, to take it all into my heart and out of hers. I'd gladly accept the misery in her place. Before I had a chance to even think about what I was doing, I sent a burst of calmness to her. Whether she wanted me to or not, I had to ease her pain.
"Thanks," she murmured as my power began to affect her. Given her consent, I began slowly tranquilizing both of us. I pushed some calmness into her, and once her emotions relaxed some, I drew from that, allowing me to soothe both of us more. She closed her eyes and relaxed into my embrace as I protectively wrapped my arms around her. I snuggled her into my lap. Resting my cheek on the top of her head, I made my body completely encompass hers. It was almost like we were folding up into each other, becoming one. My emotions were filling her, and I drew the entirety of her feelings inside me. We sat that way for a long time with me sedating us gradually, bit by bit. Finally she sighed contently. I hadn't pushed happiness into her, but there were traces of it present in her. She was happy to have me there doing this for her.
"I love you," I whispered as I kissed her forehead.
"I know." She smiled. "That helps more than you can know."
I let us rest a while longer. I enjoyed the simple pleasure of holding her in my arms. But, it couldn't last forever. After giving her one last comforting wave of emotions I asked, "Do you think you can tell me what happened now? It's not that scary to tell me, is it?"
"You'll laugh at me," she said with certainty.
"I won't," I promised. She took a breath as she prepared to tell me. That's when I felt it. She was embarrassed. Alice, who knew every single humiliating detail of my past, who knew all of the secret shames I would ever have, was embarrassed to tell me something. It was a ridiculous thought; Alice could never have anything to be ashamed of compared to me. Yet, there the emotion was. "Alice, you can tell me anything," I assured her.
"Well, it's . . . it's Rosalie," she hedged.
"What about Rosalie?" I managed not to growl it; although I knew Alice would recognize the threat in my neutral tone. I pulled my concentration away from Alice long enough to check the emotional climate surrounding my new foster sister. She was happy. There was a current to her emotions that I'd learned to associate with smugness.
"She . . . She made fun of my dress," Alice sobbed silently into my shoulder.
"The pretty blue one you bought yesterday?" I asked with concern. It didn't even occur to me to question that all of this was over a dress. I had felt for myself how ecstatic she had been after purchasing it. It meant a lot to Alice. "The salesman said it was the height of fashion," I commented, remembering how happy she'd been at the man's praise for her taste.
"Rose said I don't have the bosom to pull it off," she said dejectedly. "She said a dress like that needs curves to pull it off. The hourglass figure is really in right now."
I was going to rip the blonde's cold, unbeating heart out with my bare teeth, slowly so she could feel it. I tried not to let the anger truly take hold of me. Alice needed me, and the best way I could help her was by comforting her. Soothing her emotions again, I hugged her tighter.
"And . . . she teased me about my hair." She pulled at the spiky strands as she remembered. "I know it's an odd style, and I don't know why it's like this. I do the best I can with it. It's not like I can make it grow out. I know I'm not as pretty as Rosalie." She sighed. "I just didn't realize how pathetic I do look."
"Alice, you're beautiful," I said fervently. She was the most gorgeous creature I'd ever seen. No matter what petty remarks Rosalie had made, Alice had to know how extraordinarily attractive she was.
"Not like Rosalie," she muttered, shaking her head against my chest where I held her.
Pulling back a little, I raised her chin up to meet my gaze. "You are a million times lovelier than she is. Okay, her hair is longer, but Alice . . . Alice, you have a radiant quality that just shines through every part of your being. Voluminous hair can't compensate for her lack of that."
"Jazz, you're a little biased," she whispered, but there was the faintest hint of a smile at the corners of her lips. Interpreting the strange mix of her emotions was easy. She didn't believe me, but my praise still pleased her. If nothing else, the soul that completed her accepted her as she was. At least, that's how I'd always felt when she appreciated my body despite my scarred and mutilated skin.
"As for your bosom . . ." I began in a slightly teasing tone while I slid my hand from her waist to the area of discussion. She squirmed away, not wanting to be touched while feeling so self-conscious. I ignored her reaction and insisted upon cupping her breast in my hand. "Your breasts are perfect. I should know," I whispered seductively in her ear as I gently fondled her. "In fact, I'm the only one permitted to have an opinion on that issue."
She giggled at how possessive I sounded. I was letting her feel on her own again. The pain was easing some. She was happier, but there were still hints of melancholy emanating from her. "I just don't understand why Rose would say things to hurt me like that. It may be true, but aren't sisters supposed to be nicer to each other than that?"
I sighed. I didn't think that explaining that I considered our sister a conceited bitch would do much to appease her. I did have some inkling what the cause of the trouble might be, though. I had asked Edward about Rosalie's motivation after I noticed her repeatedly flaunting her body in front of both of us, despite the fact that she felt absolutely no attraction to either of us. "Rosalie is used to always being the prettiest. It annoys her that she can't turn my or Edward's heads, even though she's not actually interested in us. She wants me infatuated with her beauty, as if anything she could offer would interest me when I have you." That idea was preposterous, but I was certain that I had identified the cause of Rosalie's sudden malevolence. I had rather bluntly told her that she should stop dressing like such a tramp when I saw her outfit earlier in the day. "I'm afraid she might just be lashing out at me through you."
"That's not very nice," Alice grumbled. I wrapped my arms around her again, tucking her back against my chest. No, it wasn't very nice at all. Our sister would pay dearly for her rudeness, but I would deal with her later. I had something far more important to attend to.
Alice was snuggled tightly into me, but her eyes kept glancing over my shoulder at where her dress was hanging. "It's such a pretty blue," she whispered wistfully. "It's too bad . . ." She sighed. I didn't know what else to say, so I simply held her closer. She intertwined her fingers in mine and squeezed them. After a long while, she finally drew my hand up to her chest again. "You honestly don't think they're too small? The dress really would lie better if they were bigger."
I flooded her with some of the arousal I felt at the very idea of her in that dress. "That's how I feel about seeing that material clinging to your curves. And before you say anything, I am not the only person that feels that way." If only she could feel the way some of the boys at school felt about her. Then, an idea occurred to me. "Put your dress on, Alice. We're going out. I'm going to let you feel exactly how every boy that looks at you feels. I won't fake it. I'll just send to you whatever anyone feels when they look at you. I think you'll be surprised by how many men you turn on."
"Jasper, that doesn't sound like a very good idea," she cautioned.
"Don't worry," I reassured her. "I'm used to fighting off the urge to attack every boy that lusts after you. There are dozens every single day. I don't normally share that knowledge with you, but I think tonight you need to know the effect you have on the male population. Although I may have wanted to murder most of them on previous occasions, they're going to be helpful tonight."
"Jasper!" She smiled broadly, shaking her head in disbelief.
"Put your dress on, Alice," I instructed her. "I'll make sure you experience exactly how seeing you in it makes me feel when I get back." I shifted her to the bed and stood to leave.
"Where are you going?" she asked before closing her eyes to see for herself.
I put my hand on her arm to disrupt her. I didn't want her seeing what I was about to do. "I'll be right back," I promised.
She frowned. "I really shouldn't let you do that."
"Does anything you say stop me?" I asked calmly. I couldn't imagine much that would. She could convince me to stay with her for the moment, but eventually I was going to punish Rosalie for her cruelty. Alice could only hope to delay the inevitable.
She pursed her lips. She didn't approve. "No. I still see you doing it sooner or later."
"Do I get us kicked out?" I paused. That was, perhaps, the one thing that would stop me. Staying with the Cullens meant so much to Alice; getting us exiled would hurt her. I wouldn't do that.
"I don't think so," she emphasized the key word. "I can't know for certain what they'll do until they decide." Her eyes searched the future for another moment. "Carlisle won't approve. Edward is going to explain the situation to him, though."
That was good enough for me. I wouldn't permit someone to hurt Alice like this. I leaned over the bed and kissed her. "Don't watch," I demanded before exiting the room. I didn't want her to see me like this, like the deadly soldier I had once been.
I strode down the hallway with confidence. This sensation was familiar. I was on a mission. I wasn't attacking another clan this time, but I was making the enemy aware of the threat my presence entailed. That wasn't so different from what I was used to. Sometimes a demonstration of power was enough to prevent further assaults. I would do what I had to in order to protect what mattered to me the most. I turned the knob to her door and flung it open.
"Hey!" Rosalie exclaimed. Apparently she was upset at me for not knocking. I ignored her protests as I zeroed in on my intended target. I was inches away from her when she yelled, "Jasper, what the Hell do you think you're . . .?"
The growl emanating from my chest cut her off. Suddenly sensing the danger, she hissed in response. Words weren't necessary to convey my message. I could only imagine how I must have looked in her eyes. She was already terrified. I tilted my head to one side and smiled.
Carefully accounting for any reflexes on her part, I snapped my teeth inches away from her left ear. She growled herself and attempted to push me away. When that failed, she made the most obvious move for me that she could have thought of. I laughed. As I suspected, she'd had no training in fighting. I knew exactly how she was going to move her body. Factoring that in, I pretended to aim for her right shoulder. She continued to try to return my attack, but her responses were as predictable as a newborn's. After a few more near-bites, she was in a total panic. We were both moving quickly, but I was always a second ahead of her. I knew exactly where each part of her body would be, and I was able to bite at the air fractions of an inch from where I knew she would be. Her left wrist, her right hip, the back of her left shoulder, snap after snap I closed my teeth closer and closer to her without ever touching anything. I almost wished that she would do something unexpected so that I could actually sink my teeth into her. She squeaked each time my jaw closed. It was only too easy to intensify the fear building within her. "Emmett!" she screamed.
He was behind me a fraction of a second later, but I didn't stop right away. He hesitated at the door, confused by my little show. It was as I'd hoped. We'd scrimmaged enough together for him to notice the difference. He knew that my aim was always perfectly accurate. Still growling, I backed away from her.
"Emmett, he attacked me! Do something," she demanded.
I did not take my eyes off of her as I spoke to him. "Emmett, please tell your wife that if I was attacking her, she'd already be dead. And, if she ever says something to purposefully hurt Alice again, I'll make her a fine example of what hideous really is." I rolled up the sleeve of my sweater for her for emphasis.
I backed out of the room with my mission accomplished. She knew now that Alice was defended. As expected, Carlisle and Esme were standing at the top of the stairs absolutely horrified. I ignored them and continued to where Edward was standing at the end of the hall. He was . . . amused?
"Well, that's one way to get her to stop," he whispered as I approached. He was fighting a smile.
"Alice says you'll talk to Carlisle for me?" I asked in a serious tone.
"Of course," he confirmed.
I was about to add something else when I caught sight of Alice standing inside our room. She was truly breathtaking, more gorgeous than I could have ever imagined. The moonlight streaming through our window was sparkling off of her glistening skin. I forgot about everything else as I moved to her side. "Beautiful," I whispered in her ear as I hugged her body close to mine. As promised, I shared with her all of the lascivious feelings she and that dress engendered.
"Jazz!" Her eyes rose in shock at the intensity of my emotions.
"You really had no idea you made me feel that way?" I asked.
She shook her head. I stopped influencing her emotions for a moment so that I could read her better. "You know, we don't have to go out. There's plenty we could do right here," she teased.
As tempting as that offer was, tonight was about Alice. I would do what was necessary to fully restore her self-confidence. "No, we're going dancing," I informed her. There would be plenty of people there to admire her beauty.
"Dancing! Really?" she exclaimed. The return of her enthusiasm was heartening. This was how Alice was supposed to feel. It faltered for a second. "Are you sure, Jazz? You never want to go dancing."
I nodded. I would do anything, absolutely anything, to keep her feeling that excited. "I just fed," I reminded her. I wouldn't be in too much danger of slipping. "Besides, I think I'm going to be much too distracted by your perfection to even begin to feel thirst tonight."
"Thank you," she whispered as she hugged me tight.
"Miss Cullen, will you grant me the pleasure of your company tonight?" I asked formally as I offered her my arm. She accepted with a giggle. "Just be sure to inform anyone that inquires that your dance card is full. I do have a jealous streak, and it seems that I may be a little overprotective when it comes to you."
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