"Uncle Jazzy?" I asked later, when he had returned.
"Yes, Nessie?" He replied easily. He wasn't upset anymore, I realized. I hugged him happily. I hated when he felt bad. It just wasn't right. "What was that for?" He asked, chuckling.
I giggled in reply. "You're better. You're happy again."
"Oh." Uncle Jasper said. "I didn't mean to worry you. I'm sorry, Nessie." He was more solemn now, but still pretty happy. He was usually pretty happy here with us.
"It's okay." I told him. "I just don't like seeing you upset." I waited a few seconds, then, "So." I said.
He raised an eyebrow, wary. "So?" He returned.
"Will you take me for a walk?" I asked sweetly.
"Certainly." He agreed, and led me outside, where we would have some privacy. "Well?" he asked when we finally stopped.
"Auntie Alice said I could ask you something." His good mood faded.
"Yes?" He asked softly.
"She said I could ask you about your past." I explained. "So, what about your past, Uncle Jazzy?"
"It's a long story, Nessie." He replied. "And not a very nice one either."
"That's what Auntie Alice said. I want to hear it." I insisted.
"Very well." He said, taking a deep breath. "You have just as much right to know as the others." He was silent for a minute, thinking. Like the time he was telling me about the Civil War for history class.
"You know that as a human I served during the Civil War in the Confederate Army. I was Major Jasper Whitlock, twenty years old, though I had claimed I was older, when I was bitten. When I met her." He paused, and I knew better than to interrupt. He was remembering all this, from long ago.
He continued after a few seconds. "I had been chosen by a vampire name Maria. I had been chosen for my military experience. I was chosen to help train the Newborns that made up a large part of our coven, our army. We were fighting other covens, fighting for control of the land and the people on it. So I would train the Newborns to fight, and when they had outgrown their usefulness, I would destroy them. They would fight, they would try to defend themselves, try to kill me first, but in the end they would all die. That is where the scars came from, Nessie."
He hated the scars, I knew. Personally, I kind of liked them. They told me he could fight, and would, if any of us needed protecting. That we were safe with him here.
"I spent the first part of my existence as a vampire this way. I lived in an atmosphere of constant hatred, violence, and bloodlust. We-I fed on the blood of humans. I killed so many humans during that time. And even after I left Maria's coven, I still fed on human blood. I didn't know there was another way.
"I wandered, often alone, without reason, without any meaning to my life. I was depressed, I had been so for most of that existence. I often wished I were dead." He fell silent, lost in his memories.
"Then you met Auntie Alice?" I broke the silence, unable to bear the thought of him so sad.
"Then I met Alice." He agreed with a smile. "And you've heard that story. Often." It was one of my favorites. It had been a bedtime story when I was still little, many times the only one that would get me in bed.
"I love it." I replied brightly, glad he was happy again. Aunt Alice made him happy.
He studied me for a moment. "So, does this have anything to do with what happened yesterday? He asked.
"Aunt Alice said you were mad at yourself." I admitted.
He smiled. "Not exactly. Just frustrated. I came so close to losing control today. I haven't been that close in a long time."
"But why were you upset?" I demanded. "We can't help it if it smells good."
"Because," he replied patiently, "after all this time, it's still so hard for me to resist, Nessie. Because it's harder for me than for the rest of the family, and I don't think that's ever going to change. Because it would be so easy to slip, and because it has been that easy."
"But you fight harder." I argued. "That makes you want it more." He stared at me.
"What?" I asked nervously.
"You may be right." He said softly.
"Sure I am." I agreed. "And you are getting better, aren't you?"
He grinned. "I suppose I am. When your mom-" He broke off abruptly.
"Aw, come on." I pleaded. "When Mom what, Uncle Jazzy? When Mom what? Please?" I knew that out of all my relatives, Uncle Jasper was one of the two most likely to give in, three if you counted Jacob. But Jacob was a given, he couldn't refuse me. Uncle Jasper and Grandpa, on the other hand, were almost as bad. There wasn't much either would refuse me.
Uncle Jasper sighed and gave in. "When your mom was still human, Alice decided to throw her a birthday party. It was amazing. You know how Alice is." I nodded. Extravagant. He continued. "We got her presents, of course. Emmett and Rosalie and I got her a stereo for her truck; Emmett installed it while she unwrapped the empty box so she couldn't return it. She hated being given things." The smile faded. "Then she gave herself a paper cut opening the one from Alice and Edward. She was so clumsy as a human. Anyway, I lost it. Edward was between us, or I would have attacked her then and there. I tried anyway. It turned into this huge fiasco."
I stared at him in shock. "You tried to eat my Mom?" I asked.
"Yeah." He replied. "It used to be that bad for me. One drop of blood, and I went mad. I had no control. But you're right, Nessie. It has gotten easier." His good mood was back again as he thought about that.
I smiled at him happily. "Thanks for telling me this." I said.
Uncle Jasper shrugged. "Well, you got the edited version, sorry to say, but Edward's going to kill me for this as it is. He doesn't need any extra fuel."
I was disappointed, a little, though I knew he was right about Dad. "When do I get the whole story, then?" I asked.
He looked surprised. "Alice and Carlisle are the only other ones who have heard it. Do you really want it?" I nodded firmly. He studied me for a moment, perhaps testing my resolve. "Okay then." He said at last. "After you're married. That was Jacob can kill me. It'll probably be less painful."
I blinked, then frowned. "You know about that, huh?" He knew about me and Jacob then.
He laughed. "Of course." Was all he said. "Ask me then." He said, serious again.
"Okay." I said.
I would, too.
Diclaimer: Twilight does not belong to me, nor am I under the delusion that it does.