Notes: Chemistry is evil. Mostly because my teacher couldn't teach his way out of a paper bag, and I got distracted by the glory that is Star Trek, and well, yeah, I have no excuse. Sorry about how late this is, I forgot how hectic and crazy school can be; especially when it's your last year of high school. Here is your chapter, and again, I apologize for the delay; I had a bit of writer's block.
Words: 4139 words
Disclaimer: The Twilight series is the property of Stephanie Meyer, who I am definitely not. Anything that isn't recognizable from the original series, though, is mine.
Chapter 4: Old Enemies
I was shaking when Edward returned and my arms were wrapped tightly around myself as I tried to not have a panic attack in the middle of an airport terminal. Edward found me like that, and I knew he was worried when he set the food he'd brought aside, and kneeled in front of me, hands resting lightly on my knees.
"Jasper? What's wrong?"
My voice refused to co-operate, my throat felt dry, and my mouth wouldn't open. Everyone's suspicions had been right, James had been right to warn us that Victoria would attempt vengeance and that I was still in danger from his now largely destroyed coven. Edward hadn't been too worried about Victoria coming back for me or his family for revenge, but he'd still been careful, until right then.
His head suddenly snapped upright, nostrils flaring, and I knew that he'd found Victoria's scent, as faint as it probably was. It left me wondering if just maybe she'd touched something when she'd whispered her threat into my ear. That had to be it, because from what I knew of vampires, distinguishing one scent from the hundreds, or even thousands, of others that would be layered here would confuse everyone but the best trackers.
Edward's eyes were narrowed, his body tense, and waves of murderous intent and malice rolling off of him. He didn't say anything else, but stood up stiffly and pulled out his phone. In moments, he'd dialled a number and pressed the phone to his ear. I could guess that he was calling someone in his family.
"Charlie, there's something that I need... no, Jasper's fine for now... yes, there's a threat to his life... you remember our friend Victoria? ... she's alive, and she's coming after him now... ask James – oh you've already done that, well can you – I see, well, have them stay undercover as much as possible, then. But tell Rose to behave."
The conversation was brief, and I couldn't make out most of it anyway. I was still in shock that Victoria had found me so easily, which wasn't too surprising because the Swans hadn't been putting in too much effort towards covering up my whereabouts. What really scared me was that she could've possibly followed me to Vancouver, and I'd have put Carlisle in danger; if anything happened to him because of me, I wouldn't be able to forgive myself.
I'd already hurt Esme, I didn't want to hurt any other member of my family. That was enough to finally break me out of my body's forced silence.
"Alice had been watching Victoria ever since Esme was turned several months ago, she wasn't watching her too thoroughly, but anything that could have posed a threat to you or any of your family, she would've made note of because that is what she was looking for," Edward explained in a rush.
"So he's safe? And Emmett too?"
"Both of them are safe," Edward took a seat beside me, arms crossed. "Victoria hasn't gone near either of them, and we're going with the assumption that she probably isn't aware of their existence. Well, more like she probably does know, but has no idea of where to find them. It was a precaution that Alice took when this all started; she erased any and all connection you had to them, and she's been routinely making sure that your computer is wiped clean of anything that could lead her to them."
"Vampires hack computers?" I asked, a little skeptically.
"You'd be surprised," Edward replied with an almost smile. I could tell that he was having a little trouble making his lips turn up, probably worried about this newest development.
"I guess you do have to be worried that a bunch of maniacal, egotistical vampires may try and take over the world as we know it," I joked. "After all, they've had years to hone their skills."
"Oh yes, we're definitely to be feared."
I rolled my eyes, "Yeah, right along with Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny among mythical creatures that exist and are attempting world domination. I think you've got your work cut out for you."
We continued along that line for a while, being sarcastic and joking in an effort to lighten the mood a little. I was still exhausted and the last thing I wanted were more long flights, but Edward was anxious to get to London so that he could hide me away for a while as he planted a false trail before we actually made our way to our actual destination.
The flight from New York to London was as long, boring, and tiring as I remembered; the only difference this time being that there wasn't the threat of a childish vampire chasing me down. We still had the homicidal one who was after me for some reason (no one knew why), but I doubted that she'd actually make her move now; not when the entire Swan family was still on alert. I kind of felt like a celebrity, and that Swans were my bodyguards, which cheered me up a bit, but still made me feel a little nauseous.
Or that could have been the lack of sleep finally getting to me; I wasn't too sure at that point.
The good news was that we made it to Heathrow airport just fine, and Edward checked us into a nearby hotel for the night. By the time the taxi pulled up in front, I was dead on my feet and Edward was practically carrying me into the lobby, leaving my side only when he lowered me into one of the arm chairs to check-in and get the room card.
Once that was done, he came back over, picked me up and carried me into the elevator where he propped me up against the wall.
Even though I was exhausted, I still felt my cheeks warm up when he carried me because it was just downright embarrassing. The only good thing about it was that since it was so late, there was hardly anyone around to see it. No one would torment me or laugh at me for my weakness, but the girl at the check-in desk had seemed pretty jealous that I was the one Edward was carrying and not her.
Anyway, the room was small, just a bed with a narrow desk along one wall with a chair, and then a wide flat-screen television mounted to the wall above that. A couch was pushed alongside the bed, separated by a night stand. As for the decor, well, it was very modern and a bit... quirky.
I glared at the hanging lamps, which were composed of black glass balls that had been cut at the bottom, leaving a hole. They were like an accident waiting to happen, I just knew that I'd bash my head into one of them before we left.
I was too tired to do much else, so I just kicked my shoes off and flopped onto the bed. After that everything was sort of blurry and I couldn't remember much of it. I know that Edward had straightened me out on the bed and gotten me under the covers because that's how I woke up the next morning.
The rest of the day was pretty much like the first, and we didn't arrive in Romania until some crazy hour in the morning. I was still exhausted from the long day of travelling before, so I pretty much crashed in the rental car that Edward took out from the airport to get us to the house Carlisle had built. I didn't get to admire the place or anything, because I was still unconscious and not waking up anytime soon when we arrived.
Well, there was always the next day.
.:-o-:. .:-o-:. .:-o-:.
It was late in the evening when I finally woke up and actually felt awake and rested. I'd probably royally screwed up my sleep schedule, but I was fine with that because Edward would have to largely be nocturnal during our stay because of his aversion to sunlight. He'd never said it, but I knew that the sun caused him pain; I'd seen the tightness around his eyes and the tense set of his jaw on the few occasions he'd been exposed to it.
The room I woke up in was clearly the master bedroom of the place. The walls were painted a deep shade of chocolate brown and trimmed with delicately crafted black crown-moulding and trim. The large windows faced out over a cliff which overlooked the forest below; they were framed by dark, almost blood red curtains. The floor was hardwood, but a dark color that was almost black; I guessed that it was ebony.
The bed was huge; it had to be big enough to fit something like four people. The sheets and pillows were covered in a soft black cotton, while a decorative deep red comforter completed the look along with decorative throw pillows in red and gold. I felt like I was in Gryffindor house. I might have to change those colors...
As for the rest of the room, it was furnished in such a way to compliment the color scheme and also seem modern and classic at the same time. I could tell that both Alice and Charlie had had a hand in decorating the place, and I guessed that the rest of house, manor, whatever, looked similar. But I could look around later, at that moment, I wanted a shower, fresh clothes, and something to eat.
Edward wasn't in the room when I woke up, surprisingly, so I assumed that it was safe for me to wander around the house, or at least the master bedroom.
My suitcase was at the end of the bed, so I fished my toothbrush and toothpaste out of the bag, along with my shampoo and a fresh change of clothes. Alice had been placed in charge of my wardrobe for the trip, so I wasn't surprised by the tight clothing that I pulled out of the bag. It was a little cold, so I snatched one of the thin cardigans from the bag too, then made my way to the on suite bathroom.
The bathroom shared a similar color scheme as the bedroom, and was huge; the walls were a shade of lighter chocolate brown, still warm, and floor tiles were a dark slate. The sink was an elegant pedestal which curved up into a basin, and then the facet and taps were also of a similar elegant design. Hell, even the toilet had a refined look to it.
As for the rest of the bathroom, there was a huge jacuzzi style bathtub tucked into one corner that was obviously designed for more then one person. My cheeks warmed up at the idea of just what Edward and I could do with that tub. On the opposite side of the bathroom was an equally large, glass walled shower. The taps and the shower head had the same elegant look to them as on the bathtub and the sink.
The towels were hung on a rack, and there was a small stool near the shower. The towels, and the mats in front of the shower and the bathtub, were the same deep red as the curtains in the other room.
I grabbed one of lovely, big, fluffy towels off the rack and put it on the stool near the shower, within easy reach of the door. Then I stripped, chucking my clothes in the general direction of the hamper, which was tucked into a cupboard across from the toilet and sink.
The hot water was a welcome comfort. I'd been tense and just a little sore from sleeping in uncomfortable airport chairs and airplane ones too. I quickly shampooed my hair and just generally cleaned myself up before leaving the shower, grabbing the towel off the stool and quickly slinging it around my waist.
My clothes had somehow made it into the hamper (Edward had been in the bathroom; that made me blush), so I quickly dried myself off and got dressed in the clothes that I'd grabbed from my suitcase. I'd have to thank Alice later, because she'd organized them into very clear outfits so I knew exactly what I was supposed to wear with what.
Since I had no idea if we'd be staying in for dinner or not, I'd decided to err on the side of caution and I'd picked out something a bit dressier then what I'd usually wear.
Alice had decided that skinny jeans looked extremely good on me, because that was all I could find in my suitcase in terms of bottoms. I'd pulled out a pair of dark wash ones that looked black, along with one of the t-shirts that Alice had packed to go with it. In this case the t-shirt was actually a band t-shirt, which made me happy because it was really hard to get your hands on Nightwish shirts in the US.
Over top of the t-shirt I pulled on the thin, dark grey cardigan, followed by a plain black scarf which I looped around my neck, hiding the bite mark from view. I refused to look in the mirror when it wasn't covered.
I took a little longer then usual to make sure that I was presentable (just in case we did go out), and brushed my teeth, dried and brushed my hair, and then I pulled on my socks. Then I tossed the towel into the hamper on top of my clothes and made my way out of the bathroom.
Edward was waiting for me in the bedroom, sitting in one of the comfortable chairs which were arranged around a low coffee table. He immediately stood up and was standing in front of me the moment I entered the room; a smile on his face.
I guessed that he was as happy to be alone with me as I was.
The smile on his face took a decidedly admiring look to it as his eyes took in my entire body, and when he finally looked back up to meet my eyes, my cheeks felt like they were on fire. Oh, and the blood flow in my body had taken an interest south of the border, which didn't help my blush at all and just made me feel even more uncomfortable.
Could Edward smell my arousal? He probably could, and that realization had me nervously fisting and unfisting my fingers, and I quickly looked away and very pointedly stared at the floor.
That seemed to amuse Edward, because when he tilted my head up and made my eyes meet his. A tiny gasp slipped past my lips, because I could very plainly see the desire and lust in his eyes, and so I knew that he was feeling very similar to how I was feeling.
The moment was broken when my stomach growled.
Edward chuckled, and pressed a chaste kiss to my lips, "Well, I think that we should get some food in your stomach before we do anything... more strenuous."
He stepped away from me, and it wasn't until he was at the door of the bedroom that the meaning of his words caught up with me.
"Wait a minute... did you just say that I have to eat before we have sex?!"
Edward's laugh echoed back to me from the hallway.
.:-o-:. .:-o-:. .:-o-:.
We did wind up venturing out into Bucharest for dinner, and I discovered that Alice had found another way to make sure that Edward's eyes never wandered very far from my lower half.
I hadn't realized that Alice had packed shoes in addition to my clothes until I was at the front door and there was a pair of black leather boots sitting there, with a note taped to toe of one of them. It was addressed to me, and written in Alice's trademark flourish handwriting. Apparently, she was going to do her utmost to make sure that Edward had to resist every temptation not to just bend me over... and yeah, I wasn't going to go there.
I didn't like to think that Alice was interfering in my and Edward's sex life, as non-existent as it was.
But I put the boots on anyway. They were plain black leather, flat soled, and came up to just below my knees. Now it was really obvious, with all the tight clothing that Alice had packed my suitcase with, that I wasn't heavy built and that in fact I did have a slender build. Edward probably had more muscle mass then I did, and that wasn't saying too much because he had a slim build, but was packed with muscles. In fact, I hadn't seen a real heavy-built vampire. Like, muscle-builder built. All of the male vampires I'd seen were slim and compact in terms of muscles; but it had nothing to do with how strong they actually were.
Edward's arms snaked around my waist and pulled me back against him. He pressed his lips to the skin just behind my ear and sighed, "There are some things I'll miss about this."
"About what? Me being human?"
He nodded, "Yes, there will. But when I think about the cost to keep things the way they are... I can't go there."
"That's alright. There'll be things that you'll gain too, right?" Normally I wasn't a very positive thinker, but Edward had basically made me the one who'd have to think positive because he didn't seem to really see anything but the negative.
"I won't have to lose you," Edward murmured. "That, I think, is the greatest driving force behind why I want... this for you."
Unconsciously, he rested his forehead on the crook of my neck, over the place where the scar from Maria was. I felt that familiar feeling of self-loathing that always accompanied any action Edward took around or over the scar. He knew why I hid it, but he hadn't talked about how he felt about it.
"There are others of our kind here." He'd changed the topic.
"Yes," Edward replied. "They're more... traditional in how they view our few customs. I haven't encountered them before, but Charlie's had the 'honor' of meeting them once before; shortly after he spent some time with the Volturi."
"That's a little cliché... vampires in Romania."
"Only because of Bram Stoker and his novel's popularity over the century and a bit that it's been published," he explained. "I... may have to do something about that mark which Maria left."
"Huh? Why? Wait – what do you mean?" I turned around in his arms, pressing my hands against his chest to steady myself as I did so. He kept his head on my shoulder, breathing deep and even. "Edward, what do –"
"I mean that I'll have to replace it," Edward explained in a low voice. "It means that I'll have to bite you, to leave a scar on you, on your neck, of my own to tell them that you really are mine. That I'll turn you one day soon."
"Bella said something about that, but she wasn't very specific about it."
He sighed, "It's an old custom that the Volturi have made sure continues on into this day and age. If a vampire has a human who is their mate, then they'll have a mark. If they don't, it means that the human is fair game to any other vampire who finds any appeal in them."
"Okay..." My voice wasn't as steady as I would've liked it to be, but I was remembering the pain that I'd felt when Maria had bitten me, and it wasn't an experience that I was too keen on experiencing again. I knew that Edward wouldn't actually hurt me if he could avoid it, but he would do whatever it took to make sure that other vampires knew that I was off-limits and that hurting me could quite possibly get them destroyed.
I stopped and took a deep breath, "Does this mean that you're going to be biting me tonight?"
There was silence for a few moments, and then Edward's arms tightened around me, "I don't know. If we go out, then I'd rather take the precaution rather then risk them believing that someone else has claimed you... I don't want to hurt you, though. It's up to you whether you want this or not. If you choose to let me mark you, then there's no going back."
I took a deep breath and let myself think. I'd known for a while that I was in too deep in the whole vampire world so backing out really wasn't an option; one way or another I'd either wind up one of them or I'd wind up dead. If I let Edward 'mark' me, then I probably had a better chance of surviving long enough for him to actually turn me, which was what I wanted. Ever since Esme had been turned I'd been a bit jealous of her, even though she was my own mother and the circumstances of her turning weren't what she would've wanted. But I was scared of what it meant to die, and I loved Edward.
Thinking about it, it would be better to let Edward bite me then to let myself fall prey to another vampire or cause some sort of misunderstanding that could get him killed. That was the last thing that I wanted. I'd made up my mind months ago that I wanted this, but actually being presented with the chance was a lot different then just deciding that it was something that I wanted.
So, I turned myself around in Edward's arms so that I was facing him, and reached up to unwind the scarf from around my neck. I looked him straight in the eye and said, "Do it."
For several long moments, I thought that Edward's determination would waver, that he'd risk my safety, his safety, and our relationship just because he was loathe to inflict something on me that was such an intrinsic part of his nature that he couldn't deny it. Then his eyes hardened and he slowly tilted my head back and to the side, making my neck strain and go taught.
Then he leaned in and pressed his lips to the scar that Maria had left, making me shudder in response. He parted his lips, and I could feel the light prick of his fangs against my skin. His cold breath chilled the skin, raising goose bumps along my arms and the back of my neck. My heart thudded wildly with fear and anticipation.
He whispered, "I'm sorry."
And then he bit down.
.:-o-:. .:-o-:. .:-o-:.
I'm leaving you with an evil cliff-hanger again, and I'm sorry about that. The keyboard on my laptop is on the fritz right now, so I've borrowed my brother's keyboard and plugged it into mine so that I can actually type without having to copy and paste the letters whose keys aren't working on mine. Needless to say, it's really weird to be typing something on your laptop when you're not even actually typing ON it...
Sorry about the long wait for this chapter, I know that I promised it a long time ago, but real life got in the way and now I'm apparently failing Chem, so I really need to do well on it so that I DO NOT FAIL BECAUSE THAT WOULD BE REALLY BAD. It's not completely my fault, though, I didn't exactly get a stellar teacher. Other then that, I've been really sick for a few days, so that affected my ability to type and work too.
I should have the next chapter up soon... I hope. I'll start working on it immediately.