Chapter One

Beauty

There was a fascinating thing about beauty. Though humans eyes were weak they shouldn't miss the beauty the world had to offer. And in some ways they should.

Jasper couldn't remember his human life well. He was born in 1844 in Texas by parents who weren't a big part of his life and they didn't retain in his mind when he became a vampire, but he could recall that the waters were clearer, the air fresher. Humans should miss that.

Then there was the beauty they overlooked. He didn't need his brother Edward's mind-reading to know that the students of Forks High School missed the true beauty that was Isabella Swan. It wasn't just her oddly deep chocolate eyes or the way her hair was so silky it glowed. It was her concerned feelings, her empathy, her love. It was everything...

Jasper didn't feel her right away and he didn't care to. His only interest was what she would do to his family. He thought about killing her. He wouldn't have been cruel about it, he wouldn't have drunk her blood. It would've been quick and painless. But Edward would have fought him if he tried, and no one could beat him. Despite that, Jasper was the one who calmed discords in their family, he didn't cause them.

He first felt her when Edward brought her home, and he swore he fell in love with her then, but it was from the moment she sat with Edward in Biology class that the family didn't trust her. Not even Edward.

They didn't trust Jasper either. They had founded reasons for it and those reasons were simple: They didn't trust Bella because she was a clumsy human. They didn't trust him because he was an uncontrollable vampire.

His - their family were very careful about keeping them apart. The closest he came to her was hiding her in a hotel room from a vengeful vampire. That was with his sister Alice who kept a constant watch on him foreseeing into their future.

Maybe that's what it was... Not the desire to break rules but to do what felt so good, which for him was to be with her. Bella. His Bella. The one who trusted him even after he snapped at her when she cut her finger. He continued to feel bad about that. No, bad wasn't the right word... Agonizing was good. Many times he pushed it out of his mind of what could have happened if Edward didn't protect her, if their other brother Emmett hadn't grabbed him... He would have killed her. And yet, the guilt wasn't enough to keep him away. She forgave him even when he couldn't forgive himself. She loved him despite it and he knew that love was stronger than it should have been from his brother's girlfriend. His brother's human girlfriend no less. And he thrived upon it, that love. It wasn't able to intensify his own, it was maxed out but it felt good. Too good.

She was a drug, the best kind of addiction. When she was at their house her Freesia scent was intoxicating. He had to leave, had to keep his mind clean in case Edward saw. Alice had already been seeing their future, the havoc it would cause, and he tried to care about that. He couldn't. He loved his family, the family Alice chose for them before they met at that cafe. He loved them but he loved Bella more.

It was steps to her. It was sitting in the edge of the forest looking into the window wall at her in their home. He called back the memory of the one game of chess they played. He involved himself in it, not looking up but it was difficult. She was awful at chess. He would watch her in the forest as she played the bear that was Emmett. She lost to him too.

When Edward was away hunting he would sit in the woods outside of her home looking into her window while she slept. He never went in. He never tempted himself. He sat there and thought about what would happen if he did go inside.

Then they took the ultimate step that was the beginning of them. He knew it would be that final step, the break in his determination to keep his distance from her. She would know for certain how much he cared for her, how much he loved her.

He perched himself in the tree and tapped her window. Timidly she walked up, her hair dripping wet splotches on her ratty shirt, and when she saw that it was him she opened the window and stepped aside for him to jump through, which he did.

He was hit in the gut by the strong aroma of her. It made his mouth fill with venom but he focused on her, her curiosity. She wasn't scared of him. By all rights she should have been. However, she wasn't in danger. He couldn't think of her that way - as a meal - but he was thinking of her in other ways and those ways were depleting the monster that he was.

"I was waiting for you," she said simply but there was the longing radiating from her and it only increased his own.

"I know, I'm sorry."

"What took you so long?"

Edward, you, my own morals for what I'm about to do... "I don't know." I don't know why all of that kept me from seeing you. It wasn't worth it.

"You're here now." She made it sound as if it made up for all the time they could have had. They were talking as if they had talked a thousand times before, as if it weren't their first real conversation. Despite the distance they put between them - that their family put there - he never felt closer to anyone before. It was as if they knew each other forever...

He tried to smile but it faltered. He had to try... "Be still, please?"

She did as he said, she barely breathed. He went up to her and lifted his hand. "May I?"

She nodded mutely swallowing thickly.

He brushed his fingers lightly down her cheeks a spark where they made contact. Her face heated with blood scorching his fingers, and the monster inside of him roared. He closed his eyes against the monster, against her. He moved his fingers down her neck feeling the thin membrane, the tasteful blood moving beneath.

One twitch of the finger... One moment of weakness... He stepped back. For her safety. For his. But he did it. He touched her without killing her. He was in the same small enclosure of her bedroom and he wasn't losing control.

"Breathe Bella," he directed with a smile.

She exhaled and he flinched. "I'm sorry..."

"Sorry for breathing?"

"Sorry for..."

"Is there a name for this?"

"No..."

He agreed and he would be stretching his control, testing himself and risking her in the process, but he was tired (emotionally) of staying away from her. It wasn't worth the tearing of his insides, and so he asked. "Bella, tonight - if only for tonight - may I stay with you?"

Tears brimmed her eyes, guilt raged but she was resolved. She held out her hand and he took it. He took the opportunity to soothe her. It was only on the surface but it was enough to keep her tears from spilling over.

She guided him to her bed and laid down, him with her. He laid on his side as she laid on her back. Their joined hands were between them keeping them linked but the bond that was formed... It was too late to severe that.

He stared into her deep eyes and she stared back into his gold ones. He hunted excessively since she came into his life. Just in case...

"What do we do, Jasper?"

"We wait until we find a way to tell them."

"Alice knows."

He chuckled, "Alice always knows."

"Then Jacob knows..."

Jacob Black, the mongrel that Jasper hated with the only purpose that they were meant to destroy them. However, the treaty that the vampires and werewolves kept was void since last year when he imprinted on Alice. They had only been apart shortly after that when she had been forced to leave with Bella to save Edward's life in Italy. When they came back with the said suicidal vampire, Jacob and Alice were immediately rejoined and they hadn't left each other's sides since.

"Edward will find out," she continued.

"She'll be careful. Don't worry." He observed her tired eyes, the darkness under them. "Sleep, darling."

She did and he watched and listened. He listened to her breathing, and her sweet but enticing heartbeat.

He heard what Edward found so entertaining. She talked, but it was worse for she said Jasper's name. Right there would be the problem because Edward came back the next day, and yet he couldn't find the regret he should have felt for being with her the way he was. It was worth any re-compensation he would have to forfeit.

***

Jasper was beautiful. Tall, lean, strong, empathetic, and guided strongly by his morals of being a vegetarian, no matter how he had trouble monitoring it. It was impossible to feel uncomfortable in his presence, and not directly because of his ability to manipulate emotions. There was the undercurrent of feeling better when he was near. That current was important because it helped her discern what was her feelings and what was his, and her feelings were clear the moment she saw him in the cafeteria.

It wasn't as though she didn't love Edward. Edward, the bronze vampire she compared to Greek god Adonis. He was kind and gentle. He saved her life countless of times. He loved her more than she ever deserved.

That was why guilt weighed a ton in her stomach for feeling the way she did towards Jasper. She tried to be the best girlfriend possible but she couldn't act like a soul mate much longer, to pretend that she felt what he did merely because of repentance. She was living a lie and she was tired of it, not only emotionally but physically. She was afraid to fall asleep, afraid of calling out Jasper's name. She would never be able to explain that. She was a terrible liar and it felt too good for him to go on his hunting trips so she could sleep without fear. He saw her fatigue and blamed it upon her schoolwork, upon the wolves in the reservation.

She couldn't be more happy that her mind was the only one that Edward couldn't read. Like a box in her head she kept mental images of Jasper, they did no justice to actually seeing him but she pulled them out when she needed them most. She would transfix herself on the light scars of his skin, his penetrating and teasing gaze. She would think of the one time they played chess together, his nimble fingers moving the pieces with precision and assertion. The way he leaned against the doorways, the walls, the furniture as if he needed support, and when he didn't he was poised, graceful, and lethal.

She was sure that when Jasper decided to give in, coming into her room that she was dreaming. She thought more than once that he had feelings for her too but she was apt to believe that her mind was playing tricks on her, cruel tricks at that. But at his cold touch she was assured that she was fully awake, and all she could think was, it's about time.

He calmed her fears, her agitation and stayed by her side as she caught her first essential night's sleep. It felt good, his cold body next to hers, his sweet scent of Orchid's and fresh rain.

She would do something she never attempted before: She would try not to be worried about the next morning, about Edward finding out. She would let it all come when it did. Of course the second Jasper left her she would fail but that night was about them together and she hated that she had to sleep through it. It was sinful, that's what it was. She missed 9 hours that she could've had with him, enjoying their time. She didn't know how long she would have with him. Would he leave in the morning? Would she survive the night?

It wasn't surprising that the latter was the least of her worries. Her life would be worth the one night she would have with him.


A/N: Three things I should probably clear up:

1. This story is revolved around the secret romance between Jasper and Bella. Their secret is born of worry and fear of hurting anyone, especially Edward.

2. Jasper and Alice's history is the same, only they never fell in love. They are like brother and sister here.

3. I know that Edward's ability extends for miles, but in this story I limited it.