Summary: Being surrounded by death and hate, his heart was hardened so nothing would break him. Or was it? Jasper is haunted by memories of his past as he reflects on the one thing he is afraid to lose. Jasper/Alice. Jasper POV. Takes place in "Eclipse."
Warning: Mild adult themes (not too graphic though… no worries!)
Disclaimer: Like always, nothing belongs to me. I'm just borrowing them for the purpose of this story and for your reading pleasure. Stephenie Meyer is the rightful owner of these characters and always will be.
A/N: Hey! This is the third in a series of oneshots that I've been being inspired to write lately that don't really relate to each other, but there are some common themes in them to connect them together. Basically, you don't have to read each one to understand them, but it would be nice for background, lol. Anyway, I meant to get this one up sooner, but I've been going through a lot of stressful things lately that are finally starting to be getting solved, so that's good. I just haven't had as much time for writing, but hopefully, it'll get better soon! As said, there are some mild adult themes in here, but I could never writing anything too graphic, so no need to worry. There isn't much, but it's pretty much an implication of something that will happen. Anyway, enjoy! Oh, one more thing. The parts that are italicized are Jasper's memories (except for later in the last section, the things in italics are his thoughts, and some song lyrics). Okay, now enjoy!
Her abnormally cold lips gently ran over my neck as her hand landed on my chest, my heart beginning to race with fear. Though she was one of the most beautiful women I had ever laid my eyes on, I felt nothing from her that resembled love in any form. There was just her desire for power… greed… hate… I tried to push her away from me, my mind screaming at me to run, but her arm that had wound around my waist was holding me firmly against her thin body. I had to get away from her…
Suddenly, my eyes widened with shock when her teeth sunk into the tender skin of my throat, and I cried out in pain when what felt like fire began to course through my veins, causing my heart to beat almost painfully in my chest. I felt my legs collapse from beneath me, but I hardly noticed when I hit the ground, writhing. I was in so much pain, a pain that I had never experienced before…
I had to stop it…
I just wanted to die…
"It's all right. I have a good feeling about you," this… demon masquerading as an angle said soothingly as she held my hand tightly in hers, running her fingers through my hair. "Don't worry. The pain will stop soon."
I wanted to believe her, but I couldn't bring myself to as another scream ripped from my throat when the pain intensified, and my sight began to darken…
Hearing a much warmer, more familiar voice, I was slowly brought out of my memories as a gentle hand landed on my shoulder. I slowly turned away from the window I had been staring blankly out of, seeing that Alice was standing against the wall beside me, close to my side. Her eyes were filled with concern as she gazed up at me.
"What is it, Alice?"
"I've said your name four times, now," Alice muttered, her worry only growing at the lack of warmth in my response. "Are you all right, Jazz? What's on your mind?" She slowly raised her hand from my shoulder and delicately ran her thin fingers over my cheek.
Normally, I would have savored the feelings of compassion that were in her every touch as I closed my eyes. But instead, I sighed as I gently took Alice's hand and lowered it, releasing it once it was resting at her side. Her golden eyes faltered as she slowly looked back up at me from her hand, and they were filled with a fear that I had never seen before. "Jasper…"
"I'm sorry, Alice," I muttered, forcing my eyes to leave her confused ones. The pain and worry I felt radiating from her was breaking my still heart. "I didn't mean to worry you… Are you finished playing chess with Edward?"
Alice looked back at me with disbelief shining in her eyes. "Yes, and I won," she told me almost accusingly. "Jasper, what is wrong with you? This isn't like you. You're really starting to scare me…"
"There isn't anything wrong, Alice," I replied quietly. "It-!"
"Don't tell me there isn't anything wrong when I know there is," Alice interrupted me, a note of ferocity in her tone that I had not been expecting. "I want you to talk to me, Jasper. Tell me what's bothering you. Tell me what's bothering you. I can help you through this. That's what I'm here for. Please, Jasper. Just trust me."
I gazed at my wife for a long moment, pushing aside her feelings of concern and fear with difficulty. I hated hurting her, but this was one thing that she could not help me with. This was my own burden to bear. "I'm sorry, Alice," I murmured, feeling her immense sorrow at my statement. "This is something that I have to handle on my own." Then, without another word, I sighed as I stepped past her and headed toward the stairs.
Alice gasped quietly as I left her behind me, but she didn't follow me, she didn't try to stop me, which I was grateful for. I did not want her to suffer through the memories I struggled to repress along with me. But, I did hear a nearly silent, broken sob escape from her, and I hurried my pace as I moved through the living room, her pain driving me. I needed some time alone to sort through the shadows of my past. The threat with Victoria and her newborns was much too personal… It was causing the haunting memories from my past to resurface… I couldn't allow Alice to suffer with me…
As I started up the stairs, I paused and inhaled sharply, almost painfully, when more images flashed into my mind… showing me another part of my life I had hoped to forget.
I cried out in pain as a newborn vampire bit into my neck before I lashed out and mercilessly killed him as I had been trained to do, my red eyes glowing maliciously with bloodlust…
I stumbled a little as I continued up the stairs, leaning heavily on the railing as I pushed myself onward.
I held a young girl's pale, lifeless body in my arms, her blood staining my alabaster hands. A dry sob escaped from me, her last moments of fear and pain still weighing heavily on my heart…
Once I reached the top of the stairs, I leaned back against the wall and closed my eyes, attempting to calm my breathing. The memories were getting worse now…
I sat leaning against the side of the house that the vampires in my group had raided, feeling the emotions of the innocent humans around me. The depression was settling in now… My eyes were dark… I needed to feed… But I could not bring myself to kill again…
Why couldn't she just let me die?
Nearly crying out with frustration but not wanting to alert anyone else in the house, I entered my room and shut the door forcefully behind me before standing in front of the mirror hanging on the wall. Though they were now a light shade of gold and no longer bloody crimson, I knew that the eyes that glared back at me were the eyes of a monster. I thought of all the vampires and humans I had killed in my dark past. These were the last things that they ever saw in life… before I shared their pain as they died…
Snarling angrily, I threw my hand out and slammed my palm into the mirror, watching as the glass shattered and fell to the floor. My eyes flickered as I looked down at the shards of glass. I felt as though I resembled this mirror and was slowly cracking on the inside, and I too would completely shatter eventually. That would be the day I would have to leave the vampires I considered my family… Bella, my human sister… Alice, the most important person in my life, behind me, permanently removing the monster I am from their lives. They didn't deserve to have me hovering around them…
I slowly turned away from the pile of broken glass at my feet, collapsing heavily on the bed I shared with Alice. But as soon as my head hit my pillow, I hissed with pain and put my hand to my head, biting back a cry as another dark memory pierced my mind.
Maria, my creator, pushed me down onto her bed, her lips meeting mine in a kiss, which I did not willingly return. She began to undo the strings of my shirt as her lips moved down to my throat, but I did not return her intensity as I spent the entire night with her…
A dry sob escaped from me when I was finally able to push away the terrible thoughts. Why were these memories suddenly assaulting my mind? It had happened once before shortly after I had met Alice in Philadelphia, but she had stayed by my side the entire time though I did not want her to, helping me through the torrent of my difficult memories merely by her comforting presence. I knew then that I had made a mistake by leaving her behind me this time, but I could not allow her to suffer along with me again. I had to bear this pain alone…
But I did not understand why I wasn't strong enough to handle these memories on my own. In my early vampire life, I was raised by the violence and hate that were my constant companions. I practically lived for death. My heart was hardened so that I would not be affected by the killing that surrounded me, so that I would not be influenced by the strong rage or the sorrow. I was the ideal soldier, completely indestructible.
But then, everything changed when I met Alice. She showed me that there were emotions that existed in life other than hate and greed. She showed me that there were feelings such as happiness… peace… hope… and most importantly, love. She believed in me. And just by staying with me and loving me, my heart melted when I realized that there were things that were much more important than power that one could have, namely someone who you wanted to protect and could not stand to live without. I had that euphoric feeling whenever I gazed into the golden eyes of the one I loved the most, when I kissed her, when I held her close to me in my arms. Whenever I was with Alice, I felt complete and knew that my life was worth living, which was something vital that Maria could never give me.
However, I still had a deep feeling of fear whenever my wife was with me- a fear that I was not strong enough to protect her, the most important person in my life. Even though parts of the soldier that Maria had molded me into were still inside of me, they disappeared completely whenever Alice was beside me, whenever she smiled at me. But even soldiers could fear something, and my one fear was losing the once I loved most because I was not strong enough to protect her.
I was unsure how long I silent lay on my back on the bed without moving, simply staring out the window as I absently watched the sun set on the horizon and be replaced with the gentle glow of the moon. I heard the door of the room quietly open and shut, but I did not respond to the sudden noise or the slight movement of the bed when someone sat beside me. Then, a small hand gently landed on my still chest, and I felt love and peace surround me as whoever had come in sent the positive emotions to me in waves. I slowly turned my head, and I saw that Alice was looking back down at me with a calming smile on her face. But I felt terrible when I saw that smile, guilt tearing at me since I knew I had hurt her by leaving her behind and turning her away when she wanted to help me… when I needed her the most…
"Alice…" I whispered, a dry sob escaping from me that caused a violent tremor to run through my body.
"Shh. I'm here, Jasper," Alice murmured gently. "You're not alone now." Then, she carefully lifted my head and placed it delicately on her lap as she began to rub soothing circles into my temples.
My breathing began to calm at her touch, all of the tension leaving my body as I closed my eyes. We sat that way in silence for a long time as I simply took in the love that was rolling off my wife as she continued to massage my head, allowing the powerful emotion to give me strength. I could feel the shadows of my haunting memories leaving my mind as an actual physical weight seemed to be lifted off my chest, and for the first time since earlier that afternoon, I took an effortless, painless breath. I could see Alice's relieved smile in my mind's eye as I heard her laugh a little.
"There, that's better. That's the Jazz I love."
"Alice, I'm sorry," I muttered, opening my eyes again to look up at her. "I didn't want to hurt you, which is why I thought that if I could handle these memories on my own this time, you wouldn't have to suffer with me…"
"The only way you hurt me, Jasper Hale, is that you caused yourself so much pain, and you didn't come to me when you needed me," Alice replied quietly with a sigh, her thin fingers still working to relieve the stress in my forehead. "I love you, and I promised you that I would be with you always. When something's wrong, I want you to talk to me."
I sighed, closing my eyes again for a moment before keeping them open. She was right, of course. I should have immediately told her what was happening so I could have saved us both from the pain we endured. I wasn't as concerned about myself as I was for Alice... "I'm sorry…" That was all I could bring myself to say at the moment.
Alice smiled down at me. "I'm still here with you, aren't I?" she teased, which was her way of saying that she forgave me as long as I was all right. I couldn't help but smile in return as I took a deep breath. Her happiness and peace were quickly driving away a lot of the dark feelings from the tortured memories I had just gone through as my body grew less and less tense.
But then, Alice's smile vanished. "How bad were they this time?" she asked almost silently. "The memories…"
I sighed as I thought about my response. She remembered as well as I did the last time this had happened, where the shadows of my past had overtaken me, which was shortly after we had met in that fateful diner. "They weren't nearly as powerful as the last time," I finally settled on answering, though it had still been difficult. "That's probably because it has been so long now…"
"Well, that's a good thing," Alice said, trying to be optimistic. "That means that they're getting better and will hopefully stop at some point. But this attack was probably triggered by worrying about Victoria and her newborns, huh?"
"That's what I think," I agreed quietly with a sigh.
Alice sighed sympathetically as she leaned down and kissed my forehead. "Just promise me that you'll let me help you sooner next time, Jazz," she whispered painfully. "I don't want to see you suffer so much again when I'm not allowed to do anything…"
I looked up at my wife sadly, but then a small smile appeared on my face. It was then that I realized that I didn't have to present myself as being indestructible anymore, like the soldier I once was. I had escaped from Maria long ago and left that life far behind me, and now, I had someone who would willingly share my fears, my sorrows, and my pains, even if I did not want her to. I had someone who truly loved me. These thoughts gave me strength, and I knew that I would be able to protect her, the one person I was afraid to lose.
"All right, Alice. I promise," I murmured. "There's just one more thing that's wrong though."
My smile broadened when I felt Alice's confusion. "What's wrong, Jazz?" she asked, slightly worried.
Before Alice could ask what I meant, and before her visions could tell her what was going to happen, I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her down so that she was lying on top of me. Then, seeing what I had in mind, our lips met in an intense kiss as her hand ran down my throat to the top part of my chest, her finger tracing a couple of the scars that were left there. We broke apart after a long moment as Alice's eyes glazed over. She came back to the present almost immediately, a smirk spreading across her face.
"It's a good thing that everyone else has… other plans for tonight that we don't have to be a part of," she muttered mischievously, kissing the tip of my nose. "It will give us plenty of alone time, which in turn will help you forget about your mental scars."
I raised my eyebrow. "Will it?" I wondered quietly, my hand slipping beneath her shirt and resting on the bottom of her back.
"Mm-hmm." Alice then leaned down and left a trail of kisses from beneath my chin to my throat. I closed my eyes as her lips ran over my neck, and a low, quiet growl escaped from me as I immediately turned us over so that I was lying on top of her. My hand lifted her shirt slightly as it rested on her stomach while her legs wrapped around my waist securely. Alice smiled up at me, her body arching into mine as she pulled my lips down to hers again. The kiss was more passionate this time as I attempted to deepen it, and she granted me access. Then, her thin fingers quickly began to undo the buttons of my shirt while my hand slid down to her hip, my fingers running under the elastic of her jeans a little before I began to pull on the zipper…
"Show me what it's like
To be the last one standing
Teach me wrong from right
And I'll show you what I can be
Say it for me, say it to me
And I'll leave this life behind me
Say it if it's worth savin' me…"
"Is it worth it, Alice?"
"Hmm?" Her golden eyes traveled up to me curiously from the page of the book she was reading for the third time for her English class, her head resting comfortably on my lap. I couldn't help but notice how beautiful and perfect she looked in the sun's dim morning rays filtering into the living room in comparison to my ravaged skin. "Is what worth it, Jazz?"
I sighed, running my fingers delicately through her black hair. I felt a slight twinge of pain when I noticed that she was wearing the royal purple, mid-length shirt I had bought for her a couple of years ago with her favorite pair of light blue jeans, though I was unsure why I was having that feeling. Normally, I loved seeing my wife wearing the clothes that I bought for her since it showed that she appreciated my shopping effort, which I didn't do very often.
But not this time. My head was filled with too many dark thoughts to appreciate my wife's choice of outfit…
"Is it worth it to stay with me, Alice?" I muttered, not able to meet her gaze. "Is it worth suffering through so much just to be able to try to help me?"
Alice sighed as she set her book down on the low, wooden table in front of us after making a quick mental note of her page number before sitting up on the couch and glaring at me. "I thought we determined the answer to that question last night," she muttered as she crossed her arms.
I had to admit that she had been correct when she told me that my past would be forgotten last night, but that wasn't exactly what was on my mind now. "Alice, that is not what's bothering me," I told her quietly, remembering my promise to tell her when something was wrong. "I just… I know I'm not the best match for you, Alice. I sometimes feel that I can't do enough for you. There are plenty of other-!"
But, my words were cut off by Alice gently pressing her lips against mine in a quick, tender kiss. "Please, stop it, Jazz," she whispered, and I could feel the pain radiating from her as she spoke. "Yes, I'm sure that there are other vampires out there that look exceptionally pretty or have more ideal pasts, but do you think I care about that? No. I don't want them. I don't care about your scars. I don't care about anything that you have done in your past; you're not a heartless killer. Out of all the vampires that I could have found, my first visions led me to you, Jazz. I want you. And I promise you, it was the best thing that could have ever happened to me."
Even if I wanted to protest, I couldn't have as Alice slowly climbed onto my lap to look me in the eye. "Let me see how I can explain this…" She appeared thoughtful for a moment, but then her eyes sparkled when something came to her mind. "It's like that Cinderella story where the glass slipper only fit Cinderella's foot. It was a perfect fit, only for her."
I raised my eyebrow at her use of analogy. "So… I'm a glass slipper now?" I asked incredulously.
"Yes, if that's how you want to look at it," Alice answered as seriously as she could, though she could not stop the smile from spreading across her face. "What I mean is, Jazz, that like that glass slipper, you are a perfect fit for me. You're the only one for me. There is no one else I would rather have with me. You have saved me far more than you know when I had those visions of you when I first became a vampire, and that is something I can never fully repay you for." She paused for a moment, placing her hand lightly on my cheek. "I love you so much, Jazz. That's why I want you to confide in me whenever something's wrong. Your sorrows are my sorrows, your pains are my pains, and I will help you to bear them."
Who knew that Cinderella's lone glass slipper could mean so much? But a small smile appeared on my face as well as I pulled my wife closer to me. "I love you too," I muttered, kissing her forehead. "I would do anything for you, Alice, you know that. But I sometimes fear that I'm not strong enough to protect you."
A smirk appeared on Alice's face, replacing her beautiful smile. "I sometimes fear that I'm not strong enough to protect you," she returned, much to my surprise. "Granted, I may not be as strong as you are physically, but there are other things that I can protect you from. Your memories, for example. Whenever they surface, though it has only happened twice, I had the same fear both times that I wouldn't be able to pull you back out of them, and they would continue to consume you. I'm just relieved that I've been able to bring you back to me so far. I would do anything for you too, Jazz. If I could take these memories and bear them myself, I would in a human heartbeat."
I shook my head in protest to her last statement as I gently placed my hand on her cheek. "No, Alice. I would never wish that kind of pain on anyone, especially you. You don't deserve it."
"Say what you want, Jazz, but that doesn't change what I said," Alice told me with determination. And for some, unknown reason, it made me laugh a little, a sound which returned the true, beautiful smile to my wife's face.
"You're impossible, you know."
Alice shrugged casually. "You're the one that's stuck with me."
I smiled. "And, I believe you said this yourself, there is no one else I would rather have with me."
"Does that mean that you'll take me shopping after school today?" Alice asked hopefully, hoping to lighten the mood.
A quiet sigh escaped from me. That's right. Alice wanted me to go to Port Angeles with her so I could help her pick out a dress for prom- though she had plenty of dresses to choose from already- since I would be her date even though I already graduated from high school. That, and we also had something that we needed to replace in our room. I owed her this shopping trip. "Sure, Alice. Of course," I answered quietly as I ran my thumb over her hand. "I'm very sorry about breaking that mirror…"
"Do you think I really care about that?" Alice suddenly moved so that her lips were inches away from mine. I had the strong urge to close the gap between us since she was so close, but I could tell that she still wasn't done speaking, so I would have to wait. "I don't care how many mirrors we have to keep buying; they're easy enough to replace. But you mean everything to me, Jazz, and unlike that mirror, I could never replace you."
That was exactly what I needed to hear from her. I smiled slightly, all of the fears that I had previously had about my wife vanishing instantly. "Thank you, Alice," I whispered. Then, I leaned forward, my lips meeting hers in a gentle kiss. She returned it with slightly more intensity as my arm wound around her waist, her arms wrapping tightly around my neck…
The moment ended much too soon, however, when Alice's black backpack suddenly landed on the couch beside us as someone cleared their throat. Alice and I pulled apart reluctantly and looked up to see that Edward was leaning against the couch behind us, smiling as he watched us with what felt to be amusement.
"Come on, Romeo," he said in a teasing way. "Let Juliet go or she'll be late for school. You two can pick up where you left off later."
Alice rolled her eyes at our brother, which made me smirk. But then, her gaze moved back to me, and she kissed my lips again quickly before standing up and pulling her backpack over her shoulder. "You ruin all the fun, Edward," she muttered with feigned disappointment. "But, besides stating that obvious fact, I'll see you when I get home, Jazz. And remember, we're going shopping in Port Angeles tonight."
"I remember," I assured her. "Have a good day, Alice."
"You too, Jazzy."
A smile spread across my face as I watched Alice gracefully turn and almost dance after Edward as he left the house and hurried toward the garage. Once the front door closed, I stood up and went to the window, watching as Edward pulled out in his silver Volvo first and disappeared down our long driveway through the dense trees.
Alice pulled out next in her yellow Porsche that Edward had given her, but she slowed to a stop before she got too far. Her golden eyes traveled up to the window I was watching from, knowing that I would be there, and blew me a kiss before she pulled out of sight.
My smile broadened as I turned away from the window and walked through the living room before going up the stairs and entering my bedroom. I shut the door behind me since I wanted to spend some time alone, and I lay down on the bed and closed my eyes with a sense of peace.
There were no more memories…
I love you, Alice, I thought to myself, almost able to hear the laugh of delight she gave whenever I told her that as I saw her golden eyes gleam in my mind's eye.
Maybe she somehow heard my silent words, or maybe it was just the simple fact that I knew my wife almost better than I knew myself that allowed me to hear her response as if she was truly lying beside me…
I love you too, Jasper.
A/N: All right, that's that one! Thanks for reading, guys! Oh, and the song I used was "Savin' Me," which I don't own since it's owned by Nickelback. And the title was inspired by the song "Indestructible," which is owned by Disturbed. Anyway, thanks! Your reviews are much appreciated, just no flames! Thank you!