"For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest

Title: Mi Morena

Pen name: Chel88

Existing work: the Fragile, Here We Go Again

Primary Players: Jasper & Maria

Disclaimer: All Twilight Characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.

To see other entries in the "For the Love of Jasper" contest, please visit the C2:
www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/community/For_the_Love_of_Jasper_Contest/72564/

For over a century, I have led this life; A life of pain and turmoil.

At the same time however, it has been a life filled with hope, love and acceptance.

Those words do not fit with each other I know but, such is the way of the world sometimes. Things don't always have to make sense to those around you. If it makes sense to you, then that's all that matters at the end of the day.

It's been so long that even with my impeccable memory, the day that everything changed, physically and mentally, has faded with each passing year. Why? It's simple really. There's no real need to remember that night. Why would I? There is no one to tell about it. The one person who I spend most of time with was there when it happened. In fact, she was the one who brought me in to this life.

It is a life that I neither love nor hate. It's just life, plain and simple.

The way I see it, I was chosen rather than cursed; chosen because someone saw something in me that had the potential to be great.

No, it was more than just someone who brought me in to this life. Rather, a woman who was able to see things in me that I never would have seen in myself if she hadn't come around.

A woman; such a word doesn't seem to be adequate to define her. Goddess seems to be more appropriate though she would never agree. Seductress, inhumanly perfect…all adjectives to describe her but at the end of the day, she is just my Maria. A name so common yet, it fits her so perfectly.

Maria, mi morena.

All my young life, I was taught to respect, obey and serve my country when the time called for it. And that is exactly what I did when I was old enough; ranking high when both my charisma and skills pushed me to the front of the line, to the top slot.

Maria says that it was fate that brought us together that day. That I would just so happen to be traveling on the same ground at the very moment that she was passing through.

I admit, when I first laid eyes on Maria, I was terrified of her. Never in my life had I ever seen such a beautiful woman; a beautiful woman with blood red eyes. Like any Southern gentleman, I offered her help immediately. Help that she took but never really needed in the first place.

It was her voice, smell, and the way she looked at me that had me hooked in an instant. I never stood a chance. But, isn't that what life's about, fate and chances?

When she changed me, I was petrified. I never knew that such a pain could ever exist. I also didn't know that such a beautiful woman could even be capable of inflicting such pain. But, Maria's beauty, as I have come to learn, is not for the faint of heart. She is a wicked woman who will do what it takes to get what wants, when she wants it.

I used to think that she felt that way about me; that she had changed me for her own selfish pleasure and agenda. Which, at first, perhaps this was the case but, as time went on and we spent more time with one another, things began to change.

One night however, it all changed.

It was dark, as it always was when it was time to get to work. I had been doing this same routine for over the past two years and I never strayed from it.

Maria and I would settle in an area, surveying the land before we planned our attack. We were a team, even back then. Maria would lure in the men, getting them right she wanted them before I would take over. We would spread venom through them, creating armies of newborn vampires to help her. When we longer needed them, it was my job to get rid of them completely. It wasn't an easy task by any means and in two short years, it had left me with numerous scars all over my body, permanent reminders of my service to Maria.

This night was different though. We had set up camp a few miles outside a tiny town in Southern Texas for tonight's activities. We waited until the men would begin to trickle out of the small tavern, so intoxicated that they barely could walk straight. I waited for Maria to pick them out, her eyes quickly scanning over them. Usually, she picked three or four each time. Like me, she had to see some sort of potential in them. That very thought made it seem as though I wasn't that special, just another pawn in her game but that night, it all changed.

"Just those three in the front, Jasper." She spoke quickly and quietly as we continued to watch. We waited until those three men separated themselves from the group before she put her plan into action.

"Evening gentlemen" her silky, sultry voice never failed to get the attention of any man, including myself. "I was wondering if you could help me, I've seem to have gotten lost."

"Well sure thing ma'am." The youngest of the group spoke first, stepping towards Maria, a huge smile on his face. "Where is it you need to go?"

"Oh, well" she stepped forward, my cue to close in on them as well "not too far from here. You know young man" she ran her hand across his cheek "you are incredibly handsome, quite possibly the handsomest young solider I've ever seen." With her hand still on his cheek and before he would say anything, she quickly maneuvered herself so that her lips where at his neck, sinking in to him a second later as he let out an agonizing scream.

Maria was skilled, quick and never made one wrong move in her actions. While she finished that young man, I advanced on the other unsuspecting man. He had been completely shell shocked by the vision in front of him that he didn't even see me. That's how it always happened; the others would always be too shocked, scared to even think about running until it was too late.

I bit him quickly, my venom spreading through him within a few minutes. Maria and I turned towards the other man at the same time but this time, it was the two of us who were in for a surprise when we saw him standing there, hands folded across his chest, his golden eyes twinkling, silently challenging us.

"One of us?" Maria asked incredulous, shaking her head.

"One of you? Never." He spat at Maria, the ultimate disrespect to a woman "I do not take pleasure in killing human beings. Unlike you, I respect life." He eyed the two of us "but being as you two are already dead, I will have no problem destroying you, ridding the world of your evil." He quickly advanced towards Maria, thinking that since she was a woman, she'd be easier but he was wrong. Even though I knew she could hold her own and probably destroy him herself, a swell of protective fury filled every fiber in my body, especially when I began picking up his feelings of lust towards her.

I didn't think twice before leaping towards him, taking him down in a blink of an eye. It wasn't easy but not impossible and within ten minutes, I had him torn limb by limp as Maria started a fire to get rid of the pieces. When it was all said and done, we headed back to our hiding spot, with our two newest 'recruits.' After securing them, we retreated back outside.

Like most other nights, I sat in the grass and looked up at the stars, just letting my thoughts drift away. This night was different though. Normally, Maria didn't join me. This night though, she did. Coming up in front of me, she was suddenly on her knees in front of me, watching me with her crimson eyes as her hair flowed loosely around her shoulders.

"You're hurt." Her voice was soft, feminine as she tentatively reached her hand out, pressing it over my right eye brow. "It'll be a new scar, Jasper." She sighed and then she said something that she had never said to me before "I'm so sorry."

I moved my hand, placing it on top of hers "Why are you sorry? You didn't attack me."

"No, but I brought you into this life, forcing you to do all this for me and for what? Just so you can get hurt over and over again?"

"You never forced me to do anything, Maria. Yes, you brought me into this life but I don't regret a single moment that I spend with you. I don't mind the new scar, as long as you're safe, that's all that matters to me."

"But, I.."

"No" I pressed a finger against her lips "you're all that matters to me in this life, Maria." I removed my hand, pushing back some of her hair so I could see her better.

"Do you know why I chose you Jasper?" she had never actually told me. Shaking my head, I wanted to know. "Because mi amor" she came closer to me "I saw something great in you, a true warrior and I knew that you wouldn't let me down. But more than that, something inside of me told me that you were the one who I had been searching for. Not just for a partner in this never ending quest for conquest but the one who would be there for me always."

"I will never leave you, Maria and you know that." I had reminded her of this on countless occasions in the past.

"Well, I would sure hope not." She laughed lightly "because I need you, Jasper and without you? This life wouldn't have much of a purpose anymore. You are my friend, my partner but more than that…" she paused, something she never did "I need you because I love you."

Her statement threw me for a loop "you what?" I narrowed my eyes at her, a part of me not wanting to believe what she had just said. Maria had always been known for her cruel sense of humor but it was my hope that she wasn't joking now.

"Ay, Jasper did you not hear me? I love you. I have loved you from the moment I saw you. I have just been too self absorbed to see it. I know I like to be in control of things but the truth is, I would be nothing without you. Without you, I wouldn't have been able to do any of this. I just…I…" she stammered. I saved her the trouble of continuing to talk by pressing my lips to hers, something I had wanted to do for so long.

It was a quick kiss but I knew at that moment, I would forever want more of her cinnamon filled scent. Brushing my lips across her cheek, they ultimately reached her ear.

"Te amo, mi morena." I whispered softly to her, hoping that what little Spanish I knew would pay off. She grabbed my face with her hand, turning it gently towards me, giving me perhaps the truest, softest smile I had ever seen grace her lips.

Thought she looked utterly breathtaking at that very moment, her beauty being reflected by the moonlight, there was also something about her that seemed absolutely vulnerable; and it was that vulnerability, something I had never seen in Maria, that made me believe that she had said was true and that she trusted me completely.

She raised her head slightly to meet half way, our lips meeting once again. She gave in easily to the kiss, her emotions reflecting both lust and longing. Her arms wrapped around my neck as she pulled me down onto the grass with her, never breaking the kiss. Since there was no need for air, we were like this way for hours, relishing in each other's touches and kisses.

Her taste was intoxicating, drug like and I was immediately addicted.

While we didn't give in to the most intimate of desires that night, everything changed in a matter of one evening. For the first time, and from that night forward, I knew that I wasn't just another one of Maria's 'men' whom was trained and ultimately gotten rid of. No, I was so much more than that.

I was hers just as much as she was mine. We were equal, each of us needing the other for emotional, mental and physical support and comfort. After that night, Maria began letting me in more and more in to her life, her telling me things about her human life and eventually about the very night that she was changed. Like myself, she never resented it but rather, she embraced it.

But perhaps the most important thing that Maria would tell me was about how before I came into her life, she was broken and scared. She had been on her own for quite awhile after being abandoned by the person who had brought her into this life. She said that when she saw me and changed me, she vowed to never leave my side. More than that, before I came along, she was fearful of never falling in love. Being changed at such a young age, she had never experienced true love. To be honest, neither had I and it would soon be something that we would both learn to love and appreciate.

"Jasper, amor, what are you thinking about?" all memories from that night quickly became just that as I was brought back to reality, to today. I looked down at the beauty walking beside me, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and kissing her forehead quickly.

"You." Our pace didn't falter as we continued to walk. We had been traveling non-stop the past year or so, there never being any real reason to stop. Maria's desire to control land and people had long since faded into the background and we had spent most of our time being nomads, never calling one place home as we explored new locations, meeting others like ourselves along the way.

At this very moment, we were walking through a lush forest in the Northwestern part of the states, just seeing what was here before heading on to our new destination (which, who knew where that would be).

"Oh, and what about me?"

"About that night when you told me you loved me." I paused for a moment, awaiting her reaction. Maria and I may have come a long ways from how we were in the beginning but there's still that part of her, buried deep inside, who still likes to be in control; be demanding and relentless.

"You've been thinking about that night a lot lately, Jasper." Her perfectly arched eyebrow lifted slightly as she came around and stood before me. Even though she wasn't the tallest by any means, her stance and attitude would always the capability of bringing any man down to her knees, including me. "Tell me, Jasper, do you question the love I have for you?" her voice was both serious and amused as she watched me.

I knew that while part of her was merely playing with me, there was another part of her that was being completely serious. That side was the self conscious and scared Maria that didn't come out as much but occasionally showed up. I didn't answer her right away, I just shrugged and turned to walk the other way, playing right along with her game.

I felt her behind me instantly, quickly turning me around to face her as she backed up against the nearest tree, fire burning in her eyes. I didn't break the gaze nor did I say anything. Rather, I just continued to look at her, a playful smirk on my lips as I watched her.

"If that's how you want to play" she stepped closer, hands running up my chest "then maybe you just need some gentle reminding." She purred slyly before her arms wound their way around my neck, pulling me down quickly towards her. In the midst of her lips traveling around my face, behind my ear I was able to work my own hands down her body and wrap her legs around me tightly. With her clinging to me, she had unknowingly given me the upper hand, allowing me to literally turn the tables on her. When she was the one against the tree, she was now at my mercy, my lips simply having my way with her.

"I love you, mi morena." I breathed huskily into her ear, her eyes sliding shut at the very sound of my voice as she nodded her head quickly "and that love extends for all eternity." I nipped the spot right below her ear before continuing downward, lips trailing over her jaw line, down her neck and eventually to that spot on her collarbone that drove her absolutely crazy. The amazing thing about being with Maria was that, even after all this time, the same things still had the same effect on her. Her feelings of desire skyrocketed as my lips alternated between kissing and biting her skin gently. Though it wasn't hard enough to leave anything permanent on her, I still loved knowing the fact that I would be the only man who would ever be able to mark her in this way; in fact, she did have some physical reminders, markings from nights of love making or from nights where we had just been seeking the pleasure of knowing that we would forever only belong to one another.

When we finally broke away from one another, lust filled eyes locked with one another as we remained in the same position as we tried to regain the breath that we didn't actually need. Feelings of love and desire flowed between the two us. Maria's hands touched my face gently, sliding down against my neck, her fingers skimming over the various scars there but one in particular was the one that she adored the most; the scar that she had given to me. Both on the night she changed me and on the night that we were first intimate with one another. She bit me in the same place out of sheer coincidence and every time I see that crescent shaped scar on my neck, I only think of her and how far we've come.

"Oh how I love this scar." She leaned forward, brushing her lips against it gently.

"Maria" I groaned when she pulled away "you overestimate my willpower. You keep doing things like that and I'm very liable to take you here and now."

"I have no objections, Jasper." She smiled, her voice hoarse and sultry as she gazed up at me "like I told you countless times, I belong to only you." She took one of my hands, sliding it up and behind her neck, over the very spot where I had marked her years ago. Her hand guiding my own over the jagged, raised skin was highly sensual to me and I couldn't wait for us to get out of this forest and be somewhere more private where I could enjoy the beauty of this woman for hours, days even if time allowed.

"And I to you." I reminded her as well. We stayed like this for a few more minutes before I could sense other emotions floating around in the air. Protectiveness quickly swelled in me again as I gently set Maria down, taking her hand in mine whispering "we're not alone" just as a group of people began to emerge from the other side of the forest. Right away, we knew they were like us, pale skin, inhumanly beautiful; the perfect lure for any human.

It was a rather large group, about seven of them. However, as they came closer, I could tell that one of them were human; the scent of her blood washing over both Maria and I like a tidal wave. Venom immediately pooled in my mouth but I was quickly able to control it. I wouldn't hurt this girl; she was too innocent for her life to be taken away.

"They won't hurt us." Maria squeezed my hand. As much as I felt the need to protect her, she felt the same way about me. The group came closer to us, spreading out in a line as each one of them took us in. The feelings they were emitting ranged from curious to disgusted, friendly to suspicious.

"We aren't here to cause trouble" I spoke first "we were just passing through."

The man who stood in the middle watched me with his golden, wise eyes no doubt trying to see if I was telling the truth. The gold reflected in his as well as the rest of his family's eyes told me that they were different. They were not your typical vampires, the ones who took the lives of humans in order to stay alive.

"I'm Jasper and this" I wrapped my arm around Maria in a protective gesture "is Maria." She smiled at them, murmuring a hello as well.

"I'm Carlisle and this is my family." He nodded towards the group with him "this is our home."

"Well, you live in a very beautiful and lush location. Maria and I were just walking through the forest, taking in all the natural beauty."

"Is that all you were doing?" he asked, still trying to get a read on us.

"Yes sir, I assure you."

"If we were out looking for food, you think that little girl would still be standing?" Maria playfully looked over at the brown eyed girl whose eyes suddenly turned wide as saucers before the entire family took a protective stance around the girl. Instinct made me do the exact thing, my first thought being that they would have to destroy me before I let them even think about touching Maria.

"I was only joking" Maria pouted, looking over at me "please know that. Don't let our eyes fool you. Jasper and I do not take the lives of innocent people like her." I nodded along with her statement, thinking about the countless criminals we had taken off the streets around the world.

"They're telling the truth." Another one of family members loosened his stance and soon the rest of them did as well.

"If you don't mind" I stood back up straight as well "we'll just be on our way. We are sorry if anything was misunderstood." I apologized, Maria and I beginning to walk away from them.

"Good luck, wherever it is you may be going!" one of them yelled as we walked. We didn't turn back to acknowledge them, we just continued walking. When we far enough away from them, where I could no longer sense their emotions, I finally slowed my pace, coming to stop. I walked back and forth while Maria stood there and watched me. Even lost in my own thoughts, I could feel her frustration along with some amusement.

"Can you believe them?" she scoffed. "I tell you, some people just can't take a joke." When I didn't respond, she stopped talking and looked over at me "Jasper, what's wrong?" she approached me "look at me, Jasper please." She touched my cheek gently.

"Are we monsters Maria?" I looked down at her "The way we live, is it…wrong?"

"Nonsense!" She shook her head furiously, her other hand coming up so that I was looking straight at her "you listen to me Jasper Whitlock. We are not monsters. This is how we were made, how we were designed. Neither of us asked for this life but this is what we are now, there's nothing we can do about it."

"But those people…"

"They are no better than us Jasper, I assure you." She kissed my lips briefly "they just lead different lifestyles. They do good by not taking the lives of any humans just how we do good by not killing innocent people. We are the same." Her voice held such conviction that I couldn't help but believe her.

"But, we've killed innocent people before, Maria."

Her smile faltered a bit as she looked down and away for a moment "I know, Jasper. It's something that I can't take back now. I just hope that you don't hate me for making you do all those things so long ago?" she looked up at me through her eyelashes, awaiting my response.

"I could never hate you, you know that."

"I never claimed to be perfect…"

"I'm not perfect either. You're right, what happened in the past, we cannot change it. All we can do is look at the now and the future." And just like that, all my confidence had returned. It was something that Maria and I were very good at; being able to bring out the best in one another when we were feeling our worst.

"So mi amor, no regrets?" she asked hopefully.

"No regrets" I embraced her tightly "mi morena."

"Shall we?" she held out her hand towards me once we pulled away and I took it silently, feeling completely at ease with her hand in mine as we once again continued our journey to places unknown.

As we walked, I thought about everything we had been through, all the obstacles we had encountered and mistakes we made. She was right, neither of us was perfect. In fact, I doubt we ever would be.

However, all we could do was live in the now and be imperfectly perfect with each other.

We weren't cursed, we weren't monsters.

We were just us; Jasper and Maria. And this was our life, the way it would remain for all eternity and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way. I would never love another and never want to live another life.

No matter how the world saw or thought about us, we only lived for each other. And that was all that mattered.

All it took was one night a century ago that led me into this life of forever. I would never age, never die but rather remain the same man, physically, as I had been all those years ago. However, with Maria by my side, nothing else really mattered. She brought me into this life and we had both unofficially vowed to never leave one another. The love was too strong to ever break, the friendship too important to ever betray and more importantly, the connection we had could never be abandoned for anything or anyone else.

She is my everything; the air I need not to breathe, the water I need not to drink and the constant dream which doesn't require any sleep.

Mi morena…she's all I'll ever need.