The fine powder whirled about in the wind as I padded across the snowy field. It was deep snow. Over a foot was on the ground. My shoes, mere penny loafers, were now full of the fluffy, white stuff. It was a little awkward feeling as it massed beneath my socks, because it didn't melt. My own body temperature was too low for that. But that very same feature made trekking across the Canadian tundra in a light sweater perfectly comfortable.
The moon gleamed brightly off the stark, white ground. This hazy light on the horizon made it seem almost like it was a cloudy day instead of the middle of the night. At the edge of the field, the towering pines strained under their load. Straight ahead, though, was a frozen expanse as far as the eye could see.
About a mile further on, Jasper laid in the depths of the snow. The path to where he lay was not nearly as discernable as I would have expected. His footprints were light and shallow, as if he had been running over half an inch of the white stuff as opposed to fifteen. He had been moving quite fast. I had slowed to a human pace as I emerged from the forest. I had seen that this field would be his stopping point, and I knew he needed to time to think, so I was going to give it to him.
My human-like trek through the snow was so comical that I wished Jasper would look up from his own little world and see it, as it would surely provide a good chuckle. The snow came up to my knees. With each step, I hoisted my tiny leg up out of the snow and took as large a step as I could. I could have easily plowed through, but the scene was too peaceful to mar with such a violent movement. And so, I ambled across the field to Jasper, who I couldn't see except for an indentation in the flat, snowy expanse.
Jasper lay flat on his back, the snow towering all around him in a perfect outline of his body. Every muscle in his body was clenched tightly, except for his eyes. He stared up at the night sky with troubled, burgundy eyes.
The earlier storm had given way to a crystal clear night, with a myriad of stars twinkling in the sky, unmarred by any artificial light. We were miles and miles away from any civilization, having run for several hours straight. We really didn't need to go quite so far, but Jasper liked to get far away from everything at times like these. As much as I liked the bustle of other people, it was harder for him, and I would never begrudge him this time, far from everything, to make peace with himself. So for a week or two it would just be he and I, the trees and the sky, the snow and the stars. And that was enough.
I cradled Jasper's head on my lap, running my hands into his hair. My fingers threaded into his wavy locks. I drew circles on his scalp with my thumbs, and he sighed softly. Jasper ran his hands along the snow, turning it pink with the last vestiges of caked on blood.
I crunched loudly through the snow as I got closer, not wanting to sneak up on him. His keen senses were duller when he lost himself in thought like this, and I was always very aware of that. Jasper did not acknowledge my presence at his side directly, but he didn't startle either, so I knew he knew that I was there.
I lay our suitcase down, and dug a hole in the snow beside his head for myself. Kneeling on the compacted snow, I kissed my love's forehead, letting my lips linger on his cold skin. Maybe I was just imagining things, but it seemed like his clenched eyes relaxed every so slightly. When I looked again, they were tightly locked once more.
My hands slid under his shoulders, his body yielding its rigor just enough to allow me to lift his torso up and slide my knees beneath. I cradled Jasper's head on my lap, running my hands into his hair. My fingers threaded into his wavy locks. I drew circles on his scalp with my thumbs, and he sighed softly. Jasper ran his hands along the snow, turning it pink with the last vestiges of caked on blood.
I leaned over, kissing each eye in succession. My lips grazed along his smooth cheek. Jasper's now-clean hand came up to rest on my back, and I tipped to the side, resting my head on his shoulder while leaving his head on my thigh. His hand slid into my hair, fingers twisting my wild tufts. I purred softly into the thin cotton of his shirt, running the tips of my fingers along the side of my neck.
He pulled me closer, his lips meeting mine frantically, passionately. He lifted his head up, and I slid my knees out from under him, crawling around to straddle his chest without breaking our kiss. His hands caressed my waist, and suddenly he rolled us over, snow flying as we tumbled into the unmarred build up. I giggled as the white crystals billowed around us. Jasper brushed the snow from my face gently, the corners of his mouth almost curling up into a smile before our lips joined once more.
Nimbly, my fingers undid the buttons down the front of his shirt, and I slid the garment off his cold, marble shoulders. I shrugged out of my sweater, and my blouse was pulled over my head. His hands were all over me, tracing up and down my sides, over my breasts, pushing down my jeans. I cupped him in my hand, and he bucked hard, moaning softly into my mouth.
I kicked his trousers down the length of his legs and pulled him forcefully into me. Our coupling was fiery and intense on the cold, packed snow. Jasper drove faster and faster until I screamed out, grasping handfuls of snow as I arched my back in pleasure. His own release was quiet, keeping with his mood, but I felt the surge of pleasure that he didn't outwardly show.
After a moment, he rolled off of me, pulling my body over with him to lie on his chest.
"Thank you," he whispered, squeezing my shoulder.
I slid my palm up his bare chest, and turned to look up at him. His eyes were closed, but the earlier visible tension was gone. I was glad to help him lose himself, however momentarily.
"Is it ever going to get easier?" Jasper asked, quietly.
The room was dark, with only a sliver of the hazy light from outside peeking through the side of the heavy curtain. Jasper sat on the hardwood floor. His knees were drawn up, and his head leaned back against the door. His eyes were clenched shut, rimmed by pale purple circles, and his hands were balled up into fists as he nearly shook with frustration. Suddenly the smell of newly flowing blood overwhelmed him, and before he could think about it, he was down the stairs, and sinking his teeth into the old lady's neck.
"Hey, little lady." The slimy looking guy barely had the words out of his mouth when Jasper had him up against the wall, held up by one hand. Thirty seconds later, his lifeless body lay on the sidewalk without a drop of blood left. Jasper leaned against the wall, eyes and fists clenched shut.
The deer came charging through the forest, straight towards us, and I thought we were lucky that our hunt was going to be so easy today. Jasper was about to pounce when another scent broke through—that of the bright-orange clad hunter. He changed course in an instant.
Jasper stood tensely beside me as the large boy with the torn jeans shoved the smaller one to the ground. I squeezed his hand tightly, pulling him toward the car. He had just turned to follow me when a swift right hook broke the smaller boy's nose with a sickening crunch. Suddenly, my hand was empty.
We sat in the crowded auditorium, listening to the principal go on and on about planning for college. Students filled every seat. Jasper sat still as a statue. He hadn't taken a breath once in the last hour. His eyes were closed. I was thankful for both of those things as I watched the pudgy girl down the row from us fiddling with a scab on her knee. As the skin gave way, I held my breath, and looked nervously over at Jasper. He remained tense, but showed no sign that he was aware of the cut knee three seats down that was now oozing blood again.
I sat beside Jasper in the lunchroom. My knees were threaded between his. They were muddy from our jaunt in the woods to escape the science wing during blood typing. Half the student body had pricked their fingers in the first half of the school day. My throat burned awfully from the sweet scent of human blood permeating the lunch hall. Jasper wasn't breathing as he fiddled with a bag of chips. I squeezed his knee with mine, and smiled.
"Alice? Alice!" The heel of Jasper's hand rocked back and forth over my arm.
He was now sitting up holding me cradled in his arms. I blinked as my eyes focused back on him and the surrounding snow.
He kissed my forehead. "You were off for a while."
I nodded, my cheek resting on his chest.
"It's not going to get any easier, is it?" He scowled, hanging his head.
I sat up, kissing his cheek and running my fingers into his hair. I wanted desperately to tell him it would, but I refused to lie to Jasper. I closed my eyes.
"I don't know about easier," I began. He sighed as I continued. "But you're going to get better at it."
He looked at me questioningly. "Better?"
"I can't bsee/b if it's actually easier. That's not something I can tell from a vision. But you do learn how to keep the temptation at bay. It's going to take effort, but eventually…"
"I don't even enjoy it. I need it, and I need it, and I need it, and then when I cave I feel awful. I feel everything that they feel, and its awful." He stared out at the vast horizon. After a long silence, he spoke softly. "I'm sorry. I know you liked Minneapolis."
"I'm sure I'll like wherever we go next. I've liked almost everywhere. Other people aren't important, Jasper. I just need you."
His hand slid into my hair. "You wouldn't be happy out here in the middle of nowhere all the time."
"I wouldn't be happy without you." I rest my forehead against his temple.
He turned his head so we were forehead to forehead. "I don't deserve you—" I started to interrupt him, but he continued on. "I don't know what I'd do without you, but I still don't deserve you."
I cupped his cheek, kissing his closed eyes lightly in succession. "I love you."
He opened his eyes now. Several moments passed silently, just staring into each other eyes. "Words are inadequate."