Okay, for those of you who were begging me to update…thank you! I love your support, and you guys are constantly keeping me going as inspiration, which is something every author needs more than anything else to keep their stories going strong. But…I'm trying to concentrate mostly on Emmett's part right now, and then when I get that done, I'll be going full speed ahead with Jasper's. I wouldn't have even started Jasper's yet if I hadn't just been writing for fun and come up with something that would fit for this story. That in mind, please be patient you Jasper lovers (I'm one of you, believe me) and give me just a little more time with the teddy bear we all know and love. But, to quench your thirst, hopefully this'll do the job for a little bit more time until I get more.

Jasper's Pov

March 19, 2006

I don't know how long I stared at the offensive little phone. Seconds? Minutes? Hours? Millennia could have passed before I would willingly glance up at the clock. Given that the clock would have been broken by then though, it really wouldn't make all that much of a difference, now would it?

It was funny, how unimportant time was in the end. It was laughable to think that it was actually of the upmost value to the rest of the world at this moment.

It didn't even exist for me.

Not anymore.

My fists clenched tighter, willing my thoughts to go away. Somehow I doubted that that would happen anytime soon though.

Maybe there was a reason life was like this.

Violent, gruesome, and bloody.

Humans seemed to be addicted to those three things. Hate and pain and deceit came naturally to the world, although none of them seemed to be capable of truly admitting the extents of it. None of them seemed to grasp the full amount that the mishaps of the world reached to, all because of their own doings. And yet it was so, so easy, to pity each and every one of them. They were pathetic creatures. They called themselves civilized in their ways, though what I saw did nothing but disgust me.

The sad thing was, vampires were even worse.

So, so much worse.

My teeth clamped further together, the sound vibrating through the empty room in a sick grind. I pulled further at my hair, my grip tightening around it.

It hurt.

That was good.

I needed a distraction.

Desperately.

Licking my lips for about the hundredth time, I unwillingly released one of my hands, moving it to lightly trace the tip of my finger across the black, shiny cover of the cell. It was so small—so trivial. So how could it hold the fate of the world? How could one everyday object have the capabilities of changing the entire flow of the universe and everything in it? If you had asked me a while ago, I would have said that it couldn't.

I would have been wrong. I seemed to be doing that a lot lately; making mistakes. Then again, Alice always used to be around to correct me before I followed through in them.

And she still will, I promised myself, tugging harder at the strands. Just as soon as she gets back from her vacation. She was on a vacation. That was all.

It was the easiest way to think of it. An unexpected and unplanned need for a break that happened to pop up in her schedule. Nothing more.

She'd be back soon.

She promised.

And Alice didn't lie.

I was pulled out of my thoughts and snapped back to reality at the soft knock of my door. Carlisle slipped inside a moment later, not bothering to wait for the response he knew I was all but incapable of giving. He shut it tightly behind him before turning to face me, standing there for a long moment, pained expression becoming even more hurt when he caught sight of me.

I pretended to not notice.

Pain. That's all there was; the only thing anyone seemed to be capable of feeling. It seemed to scorch through my body like a burning dagger, red-hot from just being sharpened.

I didn't like it.

His lips were pulled down into a grimace, the barest hints of his usual smile vanished from them. Eyes smoldered as a deep black, defying the fact that he had hunted only days ago. The thing that really got me about them wasn't their color though: it was their deadness. The empty haunt that shadowed them. Loose strands framed them; his normally neat, pushed back hair a complete mess, sticking up at odd angles in a fashion that looked like he had just emerged from a long and fitful sleep. His clothes were wrinkled beyond repair, the socks he wore as the only covering for his feet soaking wet. He had been outside not long ago.

But his emotions were the thing that scared me. He was supposed to be the calm one. He was supposed to keep us all sane. He wasn't supposed to lose it like he was doing.

That was my job.

Mine and the rest of the world's.

But not his.

Never his.

But there it was; anguish. A small killer in a perfect mind. What was supposed to be a perfect mind, anyway.

Now I wasn't so sure.

His footsteps seemed to echo through the nearly empty room as the soles of his shoes hit the floor, each time bringing him closer to me until he finally collapsed besides where I was situated on the bed. I forced myself to meet his gaze for a required half a second before letting my eyes drop back down.

Remorse.

We were silent for a long moment, absorbing the sounds of Rosalie's unintelligible screaming that was coming from downstairs, Emmett trying with all his being to calm her down. On any other occasion, I would have pitied him for having to go through that. Esme's dry sobs were just an underlying, background noise to it all; they were consistent, unending and impenetrable.

And I didn't like it.

I don't think God much cared anymore.

I don't think God ever really cared.

Moving my arms from my scalp to my stomach, I firmly wrapped them there, trying to ignore the incessant ache. My mind harshly begged it to stop; begged that something—anything—would go right today. If there was an answer though, it fell on deaf ears, because all I could make out was silence. A screaming silence, yes, but a silence nonetheless.

I wanted it all to stop.

He must have noticed how I was ogling the phone, because a long moment later, his next words were dead on in my line of thoughts. "She'll be alright you know. She always is. She'll get out of there perfectly fine. I have no doubts in my mind about that."

Pity.

I was tempted to say 'I appreciate your lying to me' or something of the sort, but settled for biting the inside of my mouth. Instead of answering, I just went back to staring blankly down at it, trying to keep my bitterness to myself. I realized that I was most likely giving much more interest towards the harmless thing than would be considered healthy by experts. Didn't give much of a damn though. They could think what they wanted to. Their opinions wouldn't change anything in my life; change the way the very essence of my being revolved around it like our galaxy did with the sun.

Stupid cell would.

Only this was a hell lot bigger than the Milky Way. This was something important.

This was Alice.

Unblinkingly, I began to silently pray to any god who was willing to listen to make it ring, her beautiful voice on the other line as soon as I picked up. Apparently, no merciful force was willing to assist the demonic, because it didn't even come close to making a sound.

Resentment.

I clamped my teeth further together, trying to hold my wits about me. It didn't make any sense to go completely insane. Not now. Not when there was still so much to hope for. I could lose it all as soon as worst came to worse. Until then though, I refused to give into the temptation of that path.

I refused to disappoint her.

"Staring at it won't make it ring any faster," he said quietly, obviously trying not to ruin the very few good spirits I had left with his words. He just didn't realize that there weren't any there, so it was a wasted effort on his part.

I just hugged my legs closer to my chest, my very heart burning. "I know," I ground out, not wanting to accept truth. "Can't help it though." My voice dropped dangerously low. "Don't really think I want to help it."

Sympathy.

He reached out and gripped my shoulder for a long moment before letting his hand drop back down, intertwining with his other. "I know it's hard, but you have to have faith in them. All three of them." He clenched his eyes shut for a long moment before looking back again at the bed covers. "I know it's hard," he repeated, "but you need to believe in them. None of them are ones to lose fights. They're not about to give up, so neither should you. They need all the support they can get, whether they realizing what they're receiving or not. At least give them your trust."

Agonizing tribulation.

"They have my trust," I murmured, my voice barely a step away from breaking. "I'm just not sure if it'll be enough." I cringed, the idea making me feel more physically ill than I had ever thought was possible. My guts churned, knotting and then unknotting and then knotting again to the point that I felt like I was about to start gagging. I fisted one of my hands, bringing it up to my mouth and biting down hard as yet another sob began to rip its' way through the seams. I felt my teeth sink through my skin, digging into the tendons underneath. All I did was shove them in deeper, venom rapidly dripping. I pulled myself into a tighter ball, no longer caring how pathetic I looked. I didn't have the strength to be brave anymore. I didn't have the strength to keep up my mask.

And I didn't have the strength to give a single damn.

Not anymore.

Heart wrenching agony.

Rosalie's anger flared from down the stairs, cutting against me in waves of bloody torture.

The ancient, early Victorian Era grandmother clock chimed in the hallway, souding like some kind of sick requiem for the situation, ringing through the house. It made everything seem even more dismal than ever before.

Somehow.

"Jasper," he spoke suddenly, his voice nothing more than a quiet, hesitant whisper. "Can I hold you?" My head snapped up in surprise, but he was already trying to explain himself; trying to make me understand. "I would have gone to Emmett. I know that he'd be more willing than you. But he's with Rosalie, and she needs him more than me right now." He looked back up me, his expression pleading. "I just need one of you in my arms. I need to feel one of my sons." He choked for a moment, blinking rapidly. "I need to remember that I have more than him." His voice broke off lamely, immediately going to gnaw at the bottom of his lip.

Regret.

I blinked a few times, trying to make sense of his desperate words; trying to make sense of any of it.

Maybe something clicked for me. Maybe the rush of thoughts made sense somewhere in the back of my mind. Maybe it was the yearning in his emotions that convinced me.

I suppose it could have been a number of things.

But it was the frantic look in his eyes that made me nod, biting down even harder on my knuckles. "Alright."

Relief.

Half a second later, Carlisle's arm was around my waist, pulling me towards him in what seemed like an impulsive movement. His other encircled my shoulder, bringing me to lean against his body. Moving his legs apart, he positioned me so that I sunk in between them, muscles contracting the moment he had me fully in his arms, gripping so tightly that it was impossible for me to move so much as an inch. His hand pulled my own fisted one from my mouth, gently forcing my fingers open and away from the position they had digging into my skin, and guided it to instead lay flat against his shirt, safe from doing any more damage to itself.

I tried to keep down the growl that was building in my throat, not willing to ruin this for him. It seemed to be the one and only thing that I was able to do to help any of them. I wasn't about to destroy that one last shred of a job. Still, my instincts wouldn't stop shrieking at me to pull away and sink into a familiar, distinctive crouch. I wasn't used to it; the close contact. Not with anyone besides Alice. This—the touching—my past told me that it was supposed to feel…wrong. My past told me it was dangerous.

But he wasn't paying attention to my reaction.

A thousand times more gently than what was really necessary, he moved his palm up to my head, pushing it so that it rested against his chest, my temple falling easily into the crook of his neck as he buried his nose into my mop of blond, deeply inhaling the scent. His fingers stroked my cheek, tenderly rubbing his thumb under my eye, over the deep bruise that I was sure rested there. He held me there firmly, not seeming to be willing to release me from his embrace.

I struggled to keep my breathing even, the panting that wanted to escape at bay. It was harder than it sounded. I closed my eyes, trying to concentrate on just the motion of my lungs, the rise and fall of his own body besides mine the only main point of reference I had.

There was another loud bang downstairs.

All he did was cradle me tighter, not seeming to care about what was going on anywhere else, rocking us back and forth slightly in helplessness. His emotions—normally strong and confident—gave way. He began shaking against me, silently crying into my hair as the pressure of his hold around me only continued to increase.

I would've tried to help.

Only I didn't have anything left in me.

"They're going to be alright," he whispered against me, unconsciously pressing my face further into his chest. "He's going to come home safe. He's going to be okay. He's going to make it."

Fierce urgency.

"They're all going to come home. They're going to be safe. We'll be a family again." His body compressed further around mine, binding me further. "Soon."

The venom pooled into my mouth at the fresh sting of his misery being added to mine, my throat clamping, making speech literally impossible. He was panicking. I couldn't handle his panic added onto the rest of ours. He was supposed to be my lifeboat; the one who's emotions I could always turn to for relief, no matter what.

It wasn't supposed to be like this.

It wasn't supposed to be like this at all.

But the phone still sat there, refusing to ring.

My apologies. I know that sucked, but in my defense, I wrote it half asleep and freezing in my basement. That's where my parents lock me. Oh, and I'm presently working on the first chap for Edward, so his adoring fans can be satisfied too. But don't get too antsy about that one, it might take another week or so.

Oh, and just a quick side note: I recently became a member of fictionpress (the sister site of fanfiction, in which all stories are your own original ones). So, for those of you who are insane enough to enjoy my writing, if you ever get unbelievably bored, and it's either reading or chores, I'm presently working on a novel that I'm posting up there, called Discriminating Grace. Anyone who's willing to check it out and review, that'd be awesome!

And thank you again for your patience with this. I'll try and start writing faster!