This is the story of Alice and Jasper before they met each other and the Cullens. {I have rewritten it slightly to work out some timing issues.}

All the Twilight characters and main plot belong to Stephenie Meyer, I'm just exploring the lives of my two favorite characters.

Rising

1. Decisions (Jasper, 1919*)

"I can't do this anymore." My words came out fast and jumbled though I knew Peter and Charlotte could understand. All day- all week, in fact- I tried to find the perfect time to tell them the decision I'd finally reached- the hardest decision I'd ever made. Finally I'd realized that there was never going to be a good time to tell them, so I'd let the words tumble out of my mouth in the first lull in the conversation.

Peter and Charlotte's beautiful faces stared up at me. Their confusion infected my mind and I had to shake my head to clear it and make sense of my own thoughts. "You can't do what?" Peter asked, looking mildly concerned.

"This," I muttered, gesturing vaguely behind me to where we'd had our last meal. A group of unlucky workers who had simply been in the wrong place at the wrong time. There fear was haunting me still, hours later. "Not only killing," I clarified dully, "but feeling… Feeling their terror, their fear. It tears through me. I can't bear it…. I can't…" By now I was more talking to myself than my companions. They had heard my rant before and told me it was unnatural to feel this way, to pity the prey. But sometimes I felt that they were the unnatural ones, they who could kill so easily, and feel no regret…

Charlottes voice cut across my thoughts. "It's who we are, Jasper," she said gently, as though she were explaining the alphabet for the hundredth time to a young, dull child. "You can't change that. You can't change who you are."

I looked away, staring into the woods. I could still feel the horror and pain. One boy's fear had been particularly acute. He was young, not older than fifteen. He was too young to have died.

I knew Charlotte was right, that this was the only way for us to survive. And yet… It bothered me that she and Peter had no qualms about taking life after life. They never felt the depression I felt. Guilt never pooled deep in their stomach like it did in mine. Was that only because I had this horrible gift? Because I had to die along with those I killed? Because their emotions ripped through me and reminded me of that distant, distant past when I, too, was the prey?

My head whipped back to face Charlotte and Peter. "I have to leave," I whispered.

Charlotte gave a delicate eye roll. They were both exasperated and neither of them took me seriously. "What good would that do?" Peter demanded. "You'll still have to hunt."

"I know… I…" my voice faltered, then started up again, stronger. "I just have to leave."

"You're serious about this," said Peter, sensing the resolute tone of my voice. It wasn't a question but I nodded anyway. He closed his eyes. "We'll miss your company," he said softly. The sadness coming from both of them only increased mine, but my desire, my need, to leave overwhelmed all other emotions. I knew this was the right decision for me.

We stood staring at each other for a while, remembering our shared past, saying a silent goodbye. Then I turned and walked away, through the deep, dark forest, away from the only friends I had ever known in this life. I accelerated to a run before the feelings of loss radiating of off my former companions could draw me back.

When the distance between us was great enough that I could not feel their emotions, I stopped. Suddenly, the gravity of what I had just done hit me. I collapsed onto the soggy forest floor and felt nothing but emptiness. Peter and Charlotte were the closest thing I had to friends or family. They were my coven. They had kept that tiny spark of humanity within me alive.

Without them, I was even more monstrous. Less human. And somehow, more vulnerable.

Slowly, the sun filtering through the trees faded. Night was falling.

I stayed rooted in place for hours. A small, irrational part of me hoped that Peter and Charlotte would search for me. That they would pop out from behind a tree with irritation and force me to stay with them.

But I had made the decision to leave them. And they would not follow me.

I rose to my feet and started to run. The air whipped by me.

My head started to clear.

Peter and Charlotte were not my family. When I thought about it, I am not sure they were even my friends. Vampires could not have friends. Vampires could not trust or love. Hadn't all my years with Maria proved that?

Yes, they had been my coven. But a coven only existed for protection. I didn't need protection- I was the most lethal vampire I knew. If I ever was attacked, Peter and Charlotte would've just held me back.

I was safer on my own. I didn't need friends, or family, or even a coven.

Instead of thinking of the vampires I'd just left and the humans I'd still have to kill, I focused on the sounds of the forest. The soft wind brushing me like a caressing touch. The birds murmuring a gentle goodnight through the trees. The rough moss condensing under my feet.

The next morning arrived suddenly, and with it came my thirst. I had eaten less than 24 hours ago- I could usually go at least 3 or 4 days. But this time the thirst was whipping through my throat, more painful than usual.

I looked around me. I had reached the edge of the forest. On the horizon, I could see a small town. The monster inside me growled, but I pulled back. I couldn't control myself in a town. If I had one, I would have to have them all.

For the rest of the day, I stuck to the perimeter of the forest, skirting the town. I hadn't been close to this many humans in a long time. After I left Maria with Peter and Charlotte, we had stayed far away from large groups of humans, not wanting to get into fights with the vampires who may have claimed the areas as their feeding grounds. I could sense hundreds of emotions pouring from the town. They were far away, faint, but I could still pick out each one individually. There was sorrow, pain, fear, but mostly happiness. No, that wasn't quite the right word. Content.

The emotion was strange, bewildering. I hadn't felt content since my human life. Vampires were never content. We were always thirsty, scheming for more blood. And the humans I encountered had never felt content. Who would be content, when blood-thirsty vampires were draining the life from you?

The nearly dead human part of me hardly remembered content. As a human, I always longed for more of everything. That was what had led me to the army- the quest for more power.

I wanted to go closer to the town, to feel the contentment even stronger. I wouldn't get to close. Not close enough to kill. But as I thought this the monster within me roared at the thought. The thirst within me threatened to tear me apart. I knew if I got any closer, I would slaughter the whole town and there would be no more content.

Shaking slightly with the effort, I retreated into the safety of the woods. The nauseating scent of deer and bears masked the sweet smell of human blood. I stood standing there for awhile, my mind completely blank. It would be so nice to stay this way forever. To never have to feel again. But I knew eventually my thirst would force me to leave. To murder again. For now, however, I would pretend my thirst was unimportant. I would pretend that I would never have to answer to the call of the beast within me again.

Halfheartedly, I wondered how long I could go without blood. A week, two weeks. But not forever. I was not strong enough. Despite all the pain it brought, I needed it. I needed the sweet, warm pleasure it brought. I needed the momentary escape from my thirst.

My throat felt as though it had suddenly caught on fire. My eyes widened with thirst. My insides burned.

A noise. In the distance. Voices.

Humans.

Blood.

I couldn't fight the monster inside me. I gave in. It was easier than fighting with my true nature. I could pretend whatever I wanted, but this was who I am. My last thought before I let the animal within me take over was that I hoped I would be able to stop with just one.

And then the first of the humans came into view. I sunk into a crouch and snarled.

The woman looked back at me with her wide pleasant face. Confusion rolled off of her, but there was no fear. Not yet. She was trusting, this one. And that is her mistake. Trust doesn't exist, not in this world. The small, human part of me that still existed was fighting the monster. It was begging her to run.

Her fear never came, not even when I walked up to her and placed my scarred, deformed hands on her neck. I wanted her to know what I was going to do, so she could punish me with her terror and hatred. So I could feel those emotions that reminded me of the monster I was. But she just felt confusion and, as she looked at my torn clothes, inexplicable pity.

"I don't deserve that," I said out loud. My voice was cold. I tilted my head, my red eyes boring into her dark blue ones. "I am going to kill you now."

"Um," she said in a daze.

And then I snapped her neck.

Sweet, sticky blood poured from her. I sunk my jaws into her soft warm skin and let the pleasure from the taste fill me. She was small. I finished her quickly. Then my eyes narrowed, waiting for the rest of her hiking party to appear. They were calling out to her.

I closed my eyes. I felt their horror before I saw them. They had seen the girl. They had seen the blood on my face. The pain I felt from them was worse than the pain of the thirst. But it was what I deserved.

My red eyes opened. They screamed when they saw the vibrant color. I hoped no one would hear them and come to their aid. Let them come. They will die, but what is a human life worth? All humans are is flesh and blood. Blood. BLOOD.

The monster growled. The monster lunged. The monster feasted on five humans worth of blood, but it was not satisfied. The monster would never be satisfied.

The sun was falling in the sky and night was coming when I was able to think clearly again. I was full to the point of pain. I massaged my still burning throat. The thirst refused to go away.

It wasn't just a thirst for blood. It was a thirst for companionship, for trust, for love, for all the things I could never have because of the monster I had let myself become.

I burned the mild-faced human and her companions.

And then I turned and walked deep into the night.

*In order for the timing of the story to work, I decided to have Jasper leave Peter and Charlotte at the end of 1919, I don't know if the actual time was ever mentioned in the books.

Please let me know what you think! The next chapter will be from Alice's point of view. :)