"For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest
Title: Blood is Thicker Than Water
Pen name: Dawn ofthe Dead
Existing work: N/A
Primary Players: Jasper, Bella
Disclaimer: Don't own 'em, but you should know that already.
I'm the furthest thing you can get from a straight-laced, LDS mom of three.
To see other entries in the "For the Love of Jasper" contest, please visit the C2:
"Open this door right now. You're causing a scene." I knocked again and whispered only loudly enough for vampiric ears, "And you know that's the last thing we need right now."
He shuffled around inside for a moment and finally opened the door. Blood was dried across his mouth and underneath his fingernails. He wouldn't look at me and only opened the cheap pressed wood door wide enough to let me slip through. The plain room was full of air tainted by cold blood and the stench that accompanied human death. Red was everywhere. It dotted the walls and cream lampshade, and the bedspread was soaked in it, drying to a stiff crust around the limp form.
I immediately held my breath.
The blue and white plaid shirt he had put on today was ruined completely, covered in carnage. Blood had spattered across the TV screen and the drawn curtains. The only rooms unaffected were the bathroom and the alcove that housed the sink and mirror. Clean up was going to be a pain.
"Wow." Alice had warned me to be prepared, but I had seen him hunt hundreds of times and, frankly, my first kill as a newborn wasn't as macabre as this.
He sighed, taking a seat in the bloody, beige chair next to the dresser. Tired, golden eyes, muddied by streaks of scarlet, never left the unmoving mass on the bed while he rubbed his temples. "I couldn't stop. I wanted it all. I needed it, but I could feel ...everything; her pain and surprise." His voice was quiet and calm. He could have been reciting a passage from a textbook for all the emotion he was showing. "She was alive for most of it."
I moved closer to the bed and stared down at the corpse. It was, at one time, a cute girl, maybe seventeen with blond hair, but dark outgrowth, and unseeing brown eyes that were fixated on the ceiling. The tatters of a white top hung on her arms. From her collarbones to her navel was a only a gaping hole of gore and cracked bones.
"You pulled her heart out?"
Unblinking, he nodded.
"Brutal," I murmured.
He nodded again.
"How'd you get her to come with you?"
He shook his head and gave a sort of grim chuckle. "I just kept on talkin' and she just kept on followin'."
At times, Jasper's accent was so light you could barely hear it, but in moments of agitation or stress, the Southern inflection became as clear as day.
"All right then," I nodded. She followed because that was how nature intended it. He lead her because that was how he was built, how I was built. It was easy to romanticize it. Creatures, pure of heart, struggling against the cruelty that was evolution and fate, but it was an utter lie. We were killers. Cold, calculating murderers. Perhaps murderers with a conscious, but the fact remains that we want to eat humans. It was a deep and ancient drive that my family and I fought against everyday.
"Go get a shower. Alice sent you new clothes." I toed the remains of the girl's heart on the floor with my sneaker. "We've got to be quick, though. This is going to take forever."
Jasper pushed his hair behind his ears with blood crusted hands. "It'd be so much easier if we could just set the place on fire."
Sounded wonderful to me. Torch the place and be home in time to watch my daughter beat the daylights out of her father on the Wii before bedtime. Two years as a vampire had done a lot to help me let go of pesky human traits, like an aversion to arson.
I shrugged. "Why can't we?"
"You know Carlisle. Loss of human life and all that." He frowned up at me. "Anyway, the police will investigate a fire with a lot more gusto than they will the disappearance of one young girl."
"Shoot." He was right and we could clean the room by the next morning, but it was going to be a giant pain.
The corner of Jasper's lips turned up. "You're handlin' this pretty well. I was almost afraid to call you."
"Alice wanted Edward to come with me, but you were pretty insistent that it was only me."
His arms crossed over his chest and began shaking his head as I spoke. "I don't know that I could stand dealing with Edward right now."
"Hey, now." I took a step forward. Jasper was my brother and I loved him. Nothing could have stopped me from being here for him, but I'd be damned if he was going to talk about my husband in that tone.
"Look what I did!" He pointed at the bed with both hands, as if I didn't know there was a corpse on it. As if I wasn't struggling to not see the blood still pooled in the cavity that used to be her chest. Like the smell of it hadn't been running through me ever since my breath ran out from talking to him. "You think I want to deal with your holier-than-thou husband right now?"
I scowled and tossed the bag Alice sent on the counter, by the sink. "Don't take your pissy attitude out on Edward. He's not even here to defend himself and he's stood by you more times than I can count. I get that this is hard for you, but it's fucking hard for me, too. So, how about you drop the poor pitiful me routine. I have enough to deal with at this precise moment." Even after so much time and practice, it was hard to keep my emotions under control sometimes. My fingers curled in an effort to restrain myself.
Jasper bolted upright from his seat, towering over me. Bitter eyes, turning redder by the moment, sparkled with disgust and rage as he sneered at me. "Don't you start with me, girl. You honestly got the gall to stand there and call me self-deprecating when you're married to the biggest fuckin' wannabe martyr on the face of God's green earth?"
And that did it. I drew back and cracked him hard across the face. "Say one more thing, Jasper, and I swear I'll make Alice a widow."
The words had barely left my mouth when he rocked me with a blow of his own. "You might be stronger than me at this particular moment, Isabella, but I was fightin' newborns before your mother was born."
I rubbed my jaw as he advanced on me.
"Come on! You were all piss and vinegar a minute ago." Jasper shoved at my shoulders and I backed away.
My body wanted oxygen. My nostrils flared with the effort I was making to not inhale the tainted air that filled this room. It would only exacerbate things. We had to stop fighting, it would do us no good in the long run. I remembered Alice's pleas for me to bring Edward with me, and wished I had listened.
"Stop it, Jasper. We don't have time for this."
He reached out to push me again. I slapped his hand away, moving back some more.
"I said stop it!" My back hit the wall and he kept advancing. His thin fingers curled around my throat.
"Listen to me, little girl. I have had a long and tiring day. It will only get worse from here, so I do not have the will or energy to deal with your insipid, little newborn outrages."
I nodded. I needed to calm him down. If we kept making noise, some one would come knocking for sure and then what would we have done?
Jasper smirked and loosened his grip around my neck, caressing it lightly. "Human blood is so different from animal blood, Bella." The change in his demeanor was sudden and brash, more like a new vampire than a seasoned killer. "Animals can keep us alive, but blood from the warm, throbbing vein of a human can give you feelings like you've never known." To prove his point, Jasper ground his hips in to mine and I could feel him, hard and thick in his stained jeans. "Right now, for instance, I feel powerful and god-like." His hand moved from my neck to cover a breast. "I feel uncontrollable."
"Jasper, Jasper, stop. Think about Alice and let me go." This was building to a bad place quickly. I wanted to push him away and pull him closer all at once. He looked so damn good covered in blood, with that wild look to him. The blood tinged air, his hands on me, the carnage all around me; it was shaping up to be too overwhelming. When he reached down and began pulling my sundress over my head, I could only watch his face. My entire body was frozen by lust and shock, until the fabric was pulled over my head, obstructing my view for a moment. His eyes were entirely a deep red now, a carnelian iris surrounding the large black pupil. Dark blond eyebrows were furrowed over these blood eyes and lent his face a sinister glean. One side of his mouth was still turned up in to a wicked grin.
He left my dress in a heap on the ground before peeling his shirt slowly away, the pearl button snaps popping as they opened. His chest was still caked in blood and I wanted to lick it away from his skin.
My precarious hold on sanity was slipping.
"Please, stop." Even as I spoke, my fingers trailed over the muscles of his shoulders and I bent my head to taste the blood at his neck.
"You see me now, a veteran of a thousand psychic wars.
I've been living on the edge so long,
Where the winds of limbo roar
And I'm young enough to look at,
And far too old to see
All the scars are on the inside.
I'm not sure that there's anything left to me."
Blue Oyster Cult seemed to set the world to rights. Jasper gasped twice against my neck and groaned before letting me go. I scrambled to put my dress on while he answered his phone. The burn in my throat wasn't as bad I thought it would be as I panted, my adrenaline still stinging through me.
"Thank you. I'm so sorry. I just... Yes. Okay, but... okay. I love you, too." He flicked the phone closed and tossed next to the corpse's feet.
I slumped down on the floor with my head in my hands. If I could have cried, I would have been sobbing. "Oh, god. Oh, god."
"It's okay, Bella. I can feel you freaking out over there." Jasper sat back in the beige chair, gripping his hair in both hands.
"It's okay?" I screeched before he shushed me. We listened for a moment, but heard nothing out of the ordinary.
"It is anything besides okay," I continued. Guilt pinched and tore at me. If I had not had a psychic for a sister, Jasper and I could have just ruined our whole family.
"Yes," he sighed. "It's okay. No one's angry. They understand." He tried to give me a comforting smile and a half-hearted wave of peace rolled through the room.
I snorted into my palms. "I think that makes it worse."
When I looked up, Jasper was watching the form on the bed again. "I know exactly what you mean."
I dreaded my first human kill. In two years, with careful monitoring, I'd been very lucky, but that couldn't last forever. One day I would make that mistake. I tried to imagine looking Edward in the eyes, only mine would be a brilliant red like Jasper's and his would remain a perfect, shining gold. A small part of me understood what Jasper had been trying to say earlier.
"I'm sorry I provoked you." Visions of Rosalie sneering over a bloody mouthed me filled my head and I prayed who ever was sent to clean up my first mess handled this better than I had.
"I know. But, honestly, it was to be expected. Crazy newborns..." He shot me a sideways smile and I laughed a little. "That little episode was entirely my fault. The blood went to my head, I guess."
"Yeah. I mean, it's over. Let's not talk about it." He nodded. "Just, uh, just take a shower and we'll set the room on fire, if you want. We can probably keep it contained and if not... then just screw it. I want to go home." There really wasn't a way to contain the fire, but I couldn't find it in me to care just then. My heart longed for the comfort of Edward's company, his gentle touches and soft words. "So, how do you want to do this thing," I asked Jasper while connecting the flecks of blood on the the TV screen with my eyes so I wouldn't have to look at him.
"Electrical fire would probably be best, but that'll probably get put out before it engulfs the whole room. I think we've got to go just full out arson. And we've got to ditch this body. What did Alice send with you?"
"I didn't look in the bag."
He rifled through the duffel bag she sent and turned back to me. "There's only clothes and a box of garbage bags in here."
My stomach did a bit of a flip. "I think we're supposed to dismember it, uh, manually." I chanced a look up at him as he realized what I was saying. Jasper's face was surprisingly calm. Pulling apart a young girl must have paled in comparison to watching hundreds of newborns viciously torture and attack each other.
"It'll be quick. Come on, let's get to it." He tossed me a few garbage bags and we took up places on either side of the body. I forced all the air from my lungs and stopped breathing. Grabbing one of her cold, slim arms, I gave a tug and it separated from her body. Luckily most of her blood was already covering the room, so there was no splatter, just a crack, a rip, and few small, red drips. I stuffed the arm in to one of the bags and moved on.
We had it bagged up and finished in a matter of seconds.
While I showered, I tried not to remember how the girl's limbs came apart so easily from her body. When I was mortal, I pushed and pushed Edward for more physical contact. I ached to have him grip my arm tightly, or kiss me with real passion. Now, after having dismembered a girl, who could have been me if not for my husband's insane self-control, I realized how foolish I had actually been. A thousand times at least I had apologized to Edward for how I acted as a human, but when I got home I would wrap myself around him and make it a thousand and one.
A little while later we were dressed and swiftly carting the bags out to my car under the cover of nightfall. Even vampires have a hard time trying to fit six bags of parts in to the trunk of an old Barracuda.
Back inside the room Jasper tossed our old clothes on the bed and set them on fire with a lighter he produced from his pocket.
He snickered a little bit, but shrugged. "You never know when you'll need it."
We watched the scraps of blood soaked cotton and leather burn for a minute before Jasper began moving around the room, setting small fires. The pillows, the night stand, the curtains, the towels. My brain screamed at me to run and I shied away from the flames. The bed was engulfed in moments and I was morbidly entranced with the colors. They danced and grew, twirling with each other in yellows and oranges and reds. Even as enthralled as I was, something old inside me still warned against the heat. It was my only natural enemy.
I could hear the fire alarm going off, but it wasn't until Jasper grabbed my arm and pulled me to the door that I could break from the rising heat on the bed.
"We gotta move, come on!"
Thankfully, Edward had been right when he said joining the ranks of the undead would unearth my love for speed. After about a year as a vampire, I fell in love with a 1968 dark blue Plymouth Barracuda Super Sport. She had a hemi V8 that could reach 130 miles per hour in just over ten seconds and I took full advantage of that as we sped from the parking lot, leaving our destruction behind us.
We buried the body deep in the woods and made it home just after dawn, dirt covered and quiet. Jasper and I had hardly spoken since we left the hotel. It was time to face the music, for both of us. Jasper may have gone with his true nature and killed that girl, but neither of us could blame instinct or nature for setting that hotel on fire.
I parked my Barracuda in the driveway and killed the engine. We sat quietly for a moment before I took my brother's hand. Jasper twisted to rest his forehead on my shoulder.
"Thank you," he said softly.
Despite our fight and emotions that ran a little too high, Jasper was still my brother, a close friend and a confidant.
"I would do anything for you."
He nodded against me and I kissed the top of his head chastely. "When it happens to me, can I call you?"
"I hope you do."
We could smell them approaching and parted when Edward opened my door to pull me out.
The rest of the day was filled with awkward talks and even more awkward silences, but every now and again, I would catch Jasper's eye and we would smile.
A girl died last night. An innocent girl with hopes and dreams, with parents and friends. She was in the wrong place at the wrong time and if there was any kind of a god, Jasper and I would burn in hell for what we did, but neither of us would change any of it. Through her suffering and death, we found the true strength of our kinship. The phrase 'blood is thicker than water' had never been so true.