I stumbled out into the parking lot, my breathing coming in heavy gasps. Holy shit did James get me good I thought as I fumbled with my car keys. As I attempted to place the key into the lock with my trembling hand, all I could think about was how lucky I was that I decided not to take my motorcycle today. That would have been a bitch riding home. After much jabbing and muttered curses, I finally got the damn key into the lock and was able to open the car door. I cautiously pulled myself into the driver's seat and closed the door behind me. I started the car, and just sat there, breathing heavily. I should probably go to the emergency room, I thought. No. Dad would kill me if I went there and he didn't know about it. So instead I gritted my teeth against the searing pain in my side and put my car into gear, and proceeded to drive home.

The drive home was a long and painful one. In order to try and better distract myself from feeling the pain, I turned on my stereo and proceeded to blast heavy metal from my car. I was driving through the middle of Rich-Folk Suburbia, so of course I was getting death glares at every red light I was at. But I didn't give a fuck about what these rich ass snobs thought of me, or my taste in music. I'm never going to see them again, so let them think whatever the hell they want. I pressed on the gas and shot through the intersection, eager to get away from the looks and back to my house.

A couple of minutes later, I finally pulled into my driveway. I grimaced and groaned as I forced my broken and battered body out of the car. I hobbled awkwardly up the porch steps, and pounded on the door, too weak and tired to try to find my house keys. Eventually, the door opened and I was staring into my older brother's dark brown eyes. At first the usual look of irritation crossed his face, but then Edward noticed how I was standing and clutching my side for dear life, and actually treated me like a decent human being.

"Holy shit Jasper, what happened to you?" he asked. I swallowed through the pain and did my best to sound calm.

"Well, uh, I got into a fight at school. I think I may have broken a rib or two. But it's all good. You should see the other guy," I said, trying to make light of the situation. When everything boiled down, I was still Edward's little brother. And even though I absolutely despised living in his shadows, I can honestly say that he's always been there for me when I needed him. This time wasn't any different.

Edward swore under his breath, and gently placed my arm around his shoulder. He was careful not to stretch my body too far, lest he further my injury. He helped me hobble into the house, and half carried, half dragged me to the living room where he helped me lay down on the couch. I let out a huge breath of relief as some of the pain eased upon laying down. Edward ran upstairs to get our father, Carlisle. About thirty seconds later, my dad came rushing into the living room. He knelt by the side of the couch, and gently placed his hand on my heated forehead.

"Jasper? How bad is the pain? Can you walk? Can you breathe ok? Does it hurt when I apply pressure?" he asked, the worry in his voice increasing gradually. I nodded and pushed myself into a sitting position.

"Dad, relax. I'm fine, really. It hurts, of course, but I don't think it's anything serious. Don't worry about me, I'll be fine," I said, in the vain attempt to get him to leave me alone. My dad shook his head furiously.

"Of course you aren't fine. I'm taking you to the emergency room and we're getting you some X-rays right away. It sounds just like you bruised your ribs, but I want to check and make sure that they aren't broken," he said, gesturing quickly to Edward to pull the car around front. I feebly attempted to push my dad's worried hands off of me. If I went to the hospital, I wouldn't be able to smoke for hours.

"Dad, really, I'm…I'm ok," I said, my voice catching in the middle of that statement. My dad looked at me knowingly.

"You can stop trying to put on a brave face, ok? There's nothing wrong with admitting you're in pain," he whispered into my ear. I bit my lip in frustration. So how come I can never come to you with any of my problems? How are you so oblivious? But, like usual, I swallowed the words before they were able to come out of my mouth. Edward popped back into the room to indicate that he was ready to take me to the hospital. My father wasn't able to come because of some business call he had to take later on in the evening. I shrugged as my father tried to help me to my feet.

"Dad, I'm fine. I can walk by myself," I snapped angrily. For just the briefest of seconds, I could see the hurt look in his eyes. But as soon as it came, it was gone. My dad nodded briskly at me and my brother, and walked upstairs, back to his office. I rolled my eyes at his theatrics, and followed Edward to the car.

Edward and I drove to the hospital in absolute silence. He didn't want to take me, and I didn't want to have to sit next to him for the 20 minute drive. In an attempt to break the awkward silence, I reached forward to turn on the radio. Edward grabbed my hand and flung it back into the seat.

"What the fuck is your problem?" I snarled. Edward glanced over at me briefly.

"What the fuck is your problem?" he shot back. I stared at him. He sighed, and continued. "Who the hell did you get into a fight with? Was it James again? Laurent? Both of the them? Jesus Jasper, how many times do I have to fucking tell you to use your goddamn brain? You couldn't have rotted it completely away." I was so tempted to punch in him the face, but if I did that then the car would crash.

"Look, why the hell are you so interested in my life all of a sudden? Why the hell do you care what happens to me? Just leave me the hell alone, ok?" I snapped back, too tired to think of something more hurtful to say to the prick. Edward gripped the steering wheel tightly.

"I don't know what happened to you Jasper. I really don't. You were the star player of the football team just a year ago. You got straight A's. You were widely popular. You had an amazing girlfriend. You had a full football scholarship to the University of Seattle. And you just threw it all away. And for what? A few beers? Some cigarettes? A few blunts? I just don't understand what happened to you," Edward sighed. I stared out the windshield. I didn't even want to humor him with a response. But I did anyway.

"Funny how you never took any interest in my life until I started fucking it up, huh? As soon as that happened, as soon as I became the disappointment I was meant to become, all of a sudden you wanted to be the good older brother. Fuck you Edward. I don't need your help. So you can stop with the fucking charade. You can stop pretending that you care," I spat. Edward slowly pulled the car to stop in front of the hospital. He turned off the car and faced towards me.

"You know full well that I care about you. You're my little brother. How could I not care about you?" he asked. I scoffed at the pretend sincerity.

"Like I said, you can stop the charade. No one's watching." And with that I pulled myself out of the car and dragged myself into the hospital to receive treatment for my physical ailments.

Author's note- So I know it's been a while since I've last updated...I'm so very sorry. But, I hope that this new chapter helps to draw you all back into the story. Review, and let me know what you thought, as well as any plot questions you want me to address later on. Please keep in mind that this is simply a work in progress, as I have not worked out all the kinks yet. Let me know what you thought!