Title: This Is Who I am, This Is What You Are.

Penname(s): "Sparabella" (Collaboration between Clurrabella and Sparagus)

Summary: "Edward finds more than he was looking for on Halloween."

Rating: M

Submitted for 'Haunted Twilight Challenge'

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I had no idea how I was going to make it through this night, how I was going to make it through my first human meal if I couldn't even sink my teeth into her neck. Her heart pounded wildly, which caused her veins to pulsate under my touch; it practically cried out to me for take her, to feed from her, but I couldn't.

She is afraid, idiot. Just do it.

It would have helped both of us if I had known what the hell I was doing. Quite literally decades of time had passed as I denied my baser vampire instinct. Not once in my existence had I feasted upon human blood, and I knew it had left me without technique or experience.

She was a college girl who had wandered away from her friends. They'd been celebrating the evening, Halloween, and she was dressed rather provocatively in a short, fluffy nurse's costume. Her blood smelled off, tainted, probably due to alcohol.

Human blood always smelled sweeter than the horrific animal blood I'd been taught—brainwashed—to consume. For the many years of my macabre existence, I had pushed the disgust aside and denied myself the sweet nectar of human blood. Yet even with this girl in my arms, my inner monster struggled to take hold, to grab onto my instincts and feed like the revolting creature that I was.

My lips were close to her neck, and I swallowed back the venom pooling in my mouth. It didn't help me that this girl's thoughts were adding to the war I was waging with myself.

"Oh, God, he's going to kill me. Why doesn't he just get it over with? Of course this would happen to me. Being killed on the same night that I got engaged...Josh was right. I should have waited for him to leave with me..."

I growled angrily and pushed her away from me, my emotions boiling within. I knew my hands had probably bruised her shoulder as I pushed her rather forcefully to the ground. Her wide, blue eyes stared at mine in shock.


I screamed at her.

She tripped and stumbled as she ran from me on the darkened New Orleans sidewalk. I paced much like a caged tiger itching to break free from my confines. I huffed, though I needed no air, and a low growl welled deep within my being. I knew it was a symbol of the monster in me, and I listened as it begged for me to feed it, to let it free.

I wanted to. God, I wanted to.

I tried to ignore the rambunctious children and young adults that ran wild, dressed as monsters they didn't think truly existed. Instead, I opted for hurrying into the shadows. As I walked for what seemed like an endless amount of time, I finally wandered into a small, isolated park just off the river. The nearly full moon reflected rainbows of light off of the Mississippi River and added to the eerie stillness of the night as I stalked beneath the trees.

Why the hell is it so hard to let go?

In that moment I hated who I was; I hated the one who had created me, who had forced me to live such an unnatural existence. My hate teamed with confusion.

Why couldn't I just get it right? It was supposed to be instinct, supposed to be easy. It was anything but easy.

I squatted near the ground, picking up a pebble from the bank, studying the plethora of colors existing within it. To a human eye, the pebble would probably appear a grayish blue, especially in the dark and beneath the light of the moon. To my hyper-sensitive sight, however, the rock was millions of shades of blues, grays, blacks, and greens. Growing bored with the stone, I tossed it to the water, watching as it ricocheted across the water before sinking into the river's depths. I sighed, throwing myself onto the ground and hugging my knees. I'd been here for three days. I'd stormed away from the only friends I had ever known, and I'd holed myself up in this pit of a city for three days—for three days I tried to unlock the monster within me and failed over and over again.

My musings were interrupted by a noise so wondrous, so precious that it took me off guard. The moment after I heard it, my body was almost paralyzed with the most delicious and intoxicating scent I had ever experienced. My body knew what to do as my instincts finally came to life, answering the call for which they were made. Venom flooded into my mouth for the second time that evening, and my body demanded that I follow the luscious aroma that spilled from whatever hapless soul was near me.

My eyes quickly darted around the area, searching with a wild determination. I scanned the riverside, the benches, the grass across the parkway—until my sight fell upon her. I had been looking with such a fevered passion and vigor that I had almost missed her, almost looked past her petite frame. She was on the walkway by the river, a mere few feet ahead of me. She held a stack of books in her hands. Her face was illuminated by the moon's romantic glow, and I was overcome with emotion. She was simply perfection.

It seems there shall be a hunt this evening after all.

In that moment it became clear to me that she was the reason for my being. This girl, and her blood that sang the most delicious of songs, was made for me. I had failed so many times, and it was because she was my destiny. Fate had intervened, and I had waited for her, waited for her blood. I needed her, and tonight, I would have her.

"Such a beautiful night tonight. Sort of a strange and eerie calm despite the noise and the date..."

Her mental voice brought me out of my thoughts, and I was struck by how beautiful and delicate her inner sound was. Of course, such an angelic face could only speak such sweetness, but both of those things were dwarfed by her intoxicating scent.

I have to have her. She will be my first...

"Hello," I said, as I fell into step with her.

Her sharp intake of air told me she'd thought she was alone, but I would work to not frighten her. The fearful thoughts of my previous endeavors had been much of my downfall, my distraction. No, I wanted this one happy, wanted her dazzled, comfortable, and completely oblivious to the fact that I was going to end her life.

"Goodness, Bella, way to pay attention. Where did I leave my pepper spray? He doesn't look like he'd hurt me. He's beautiful..."

I smiled, humored by her inner monologue and inability to recognize what stood beside her—danger incarnate.

"I'm Edward. Can I help you with those?" I nodded toward her armful of books.

"Where did he come from? He wants to carry my books? He's really beautiful....Why does he want to have anything to do with me?"

The self-deprecation in her mental voice nearly distracted me. The very idea shocked me. Had I not been so unequivocally interested in her blood, I was certain that as a man, I definitely would have been distracted by other certain basic needs. She was beautiful, and her disposition seemed rather sweet and endearing.

It was a shame she had to die.

But she doesn't have to die tonight, jackass. She could live. I could leave her now, and she could make it home safely and live her life to its fullest. This doesn't have to be her end.

"I'm Bella," her voice broke into my thoughts.

"Bella," I repeated with a smile. "Bella, is short for...?"

She smiled a shy, innocent smile. "Isabella."

"Beautiful," I said, willing my voice to remain low and friendly.

She blushed, and the monster growled within me as the sound of her blood rushed through her veins and her heart. Oh, how her sweet heart pulsated and thumped within her chest. It taunted me, cried to me, begged to be consumed as it flushed under her skin in a delicious shade of crimson.

"What are you doing out here all alone on a night like tonight, beautiful Bella?"

Oh, God. Another tempting blush. Patience, Edward. Go slowly. Work your way into it. Enjoy it. You've waited so long for this moment, and she's too delicious to rush through.

"I was just on my way home from class," her voice danced in the air around us, and I smiled at her.

"Do you like coffee, Bella?"

She smiled, and the beauty of it distracted me for a moment.

"I do."

"Would you care to join me for some? I know of a great little shop nearby."

As if I cared anything about where the nearest coffee shop was, but she seemed to buy the lie. I grinned as I took note of her small, demure smile.

"Sure, Edward. Coffee sounds wonderful."

"...another vampire this far into the city? God, that smells fucking tasty. Maybe worth fighting for..."

I fought hard to control the growl that threatened to erupt from me. I didn't want to scare away my delectable prey, but it was clear that another vampire was close and moving toward us with speed.

Before I had time to react, the invader stood before us on the path. My eyes quickly assessed him. He was lean, but well-built, and I was immediately on guard. This vampire screamed danger with his scarred skin and red eyes. A lazy smile played on his face, as blond curls fell across his forehead. I couldn't help but be entranced as he started talking. His tone was calm and cool and didn't harbor any of the passion that floated in his mind when I'd first heard him approach.

"Now, now, little lady, what are you doin' with a stranger on a night like this?"

His voice was silken honey and covered in southern drawl, and I couldn't help but be drawn in. A calm surrounded me as Bella's eyes darted toward my face. I smiled at her, remaining calm on the outside, but angry and tense within upon having my first glorious meal interrupted. Again, I felt oddly calm, and I stared at him in disbelief.

His eyes met mine, twinkling with amusement.

"It's dangerous out here at night, darlin'."

He continued to talk to Bella, but didn't remove his eyes from mine. Finally he glanced at her and threw her a casual, lop-sided smile. Bella seemed to be rather taken back as her eyes darted from him to me, thoughts fuzzy and not distinctive.

"Huh. Loafers. Is he gay? Maybe he'd have better luck with male humans...by the smell of him, he sure as hell hasn't fed from a human for awhile..."

I slipped on my control and emitted a low growl, one quiet enough not to be detected by Bella's less-sensitive ears, but warning enough for him.

"I'm not gay," I growled again, sounding defensive even in my own ears.

Bella gasped. "What?"

I forced a charming smile.

"I'll pay," I said with confidence. "For the coffee..."

She smiled, and the other vampire's thoughts swirled in questions.

"Did I just say that out loud? No...I'm sure I didn't..."

He glanced up at me.

"Fuck. You can hear my thoughts?"

I nodded slightly.

He smirked lazily, and my anger rose yet again. I wasn't about to have him swiping away the first human that I wanted so badly. He would not rob her from me. I shifted uneasily, again looking at his scars, and knew that it wouldn't be wise of me to fight him for her either. I measured him, and he did the same with me. All the while we smiled and charmed Bella.

"Listen, pretty boy, if we play nice, we can both get a little enjoyment from this sweet little thing."

I cringed at her being referred to as a 'thing', but pushed it back, because I knew that was exactly what I should see her as, a thing. I should see her as she would see a hamburger, a thing to be consumed and enjoyed, not meant to last forever.

I contemplated for a brief moment before I nodded in agreement. He smiled.

"Follow my lead, lover boy."

He grabbed Bella's hand and she gasped.

"Wow, he's so cold."

"Name's Jasper Whitlock, sweetheart," he drawled.

She flushed that beautiful shade of crimson again, and a growl rumbled deep within me. His eyes shot toward mine.

"Easy, cowboy. We need to take our time with this one. We are long lost friends, mi amigo. Introduce the girl to me."

I gazed at him cautiously, but something deep within me called at me to give him whatever he asked for, and I needlessly cleared my throat.

"Jasper," I began, forcing a friendly grin, "look at this beauty that I found. This is Isabella."

She glanced at me.

"You know him, Edward?"

Before I could respond, Jasper lifted her hand to his lips and kissed her skin ever-so-gently. Something twitched within my stomach at the sight of his lips touching her flesh, but I pushed the thought aside.

"Edward and I are," Jasper glanced at me, and stood up from his strange gentlemanly bow before her, and smirked, "old friends."

Bella flushed and smiled, and I wanted her desperately.

"Seriously, hold off. We will bide our time with her; you'll get what you want."

It wasn't a request but a command, and though it should have heightened my instincts to fight him, his tone only added to the gravitational weight of fascination I had for him. I nodded again to Jasper as Bella's beautiful brown eyes darted back and forth between my own and his. Eventually she smirked at us.

She was a brave little one, I would give her that.

"So, how'd you get the red eye effect?" she turned to me. "Although, yours are golden...are you guys wearing contacts or something?"

Jasper chuckled, which regained her attention.

"Yeah, darlin'. Contacts. It's Halloween, you know."

She smirked at him once again, although I was focused on Jasper as he spoke to me with his mind. It hadn't taken him long to pick up on the fact that I could hear his thoughts, and I was man enough to admit I was slightly threatened by him as I became aware I didn't necessarily have the upper hand as I was used to. My ability was a gift, and if he knew about it, chances were he could figure out a way to block his thoughts from me. He seemed smart, and I wasn't about to put myself in danger.

"Relax, Edward. Play along with me, and soon we will both be tasting this beauty."

I would have sworn that he was able to feel my relief when he again offered to share. Perhaps he'd been serious about doing so. Fighting him was the last thing that I wanted from the evening. His crescent shaped scars, covering so much of his skin told me that he was a fighter, a warrior, one that was not easily matched in battle. Though they served as a warning of his experience, the scars were alluring in an odd way. They fell across his jawline and neck, and while others may have found them unpleasant, I found them, for better lack of a word, attractive.

Jasper smirked at me, and God, at that look, if I had been human, I was sure I would have blushed a deep shade of crimson.

I hadn't meant to ogle him so openly. What the hell was I thinking? I hadn't meant to ogle him at all.

"You guys are missing the majority of your costumes, aren't you? Like...fangs and cloaks lined in red?"

Jasper and I laughed together as we each took a step closer to her, acting on our instincts to claim her as our own. Bella flushed a brilliant shade of magenta, and I caught Jasper's eye. His once red eyes had turned a darker shade of midnight black, and I was taken aback by the intensity of his gaze. He was magnificent, and as I spoke to Bella, I failed to take my eyes off of Jasper.

"I suppose we dropped the ball on the costumes, beautiful Bella. Nothing escapes your attention."

I was taken aback by my own voice, it had never done that before, never sounded so smooth, and I briefly wondered if it was part of the game, part of the allure while enticing young and beautiful prey.

"Well, that's alright. Halloween is overrated," she replied with a smile.

"I agree whole-heartedly," I grinned.

Jasper and I each took one final step, so that we were now each on either side of her before we closed the distance between the three of us.

"How about that coffee, Bella?" I asked. "Should we invite Jasper to join us?"


Jasper glanced at me with another cocky smirk. We strolled linked together, one of Bella's arms through mine and her other through Jasper's. He led us off the sidewalk and into the surrounding trees and earthen dirt of the woodland.

"Dinner time, my friend," Jasper thought, his southern drawl thick and heavy.

"What in the world is he doing? Maybe this wasn't the best idea... "

Bella's thoughts faded, their tone full of fear and anxiety. Bella's mind began to swirl in panic, and I slid my hand to the small of her back. I felt a chill rise through her body as I leaned down to her ear. My throat burned at the near proximity of her warmth and the blood that pulsated just below the surface of her pale skin.

"Easy, Edward. Stay focused."

"I think Jasper wants to get us away from the crowds and have his way with us," I teased her.

I tried to keep my voice light, though something about the actual words affected me in a way that I'd never experienced before. I shook off the new, strange feeling and focused on the two beautiful creatures near me.

Jasper chuckled darkly, and his intense, black eyes met mine.

"How'd you know?"

Bella gasped, her head darted toward his.

"He can't be serious," her thoughts were a shocked awe, "They...why would they want to do something like that with me, of all people?"

That strange lack of self-worth swirled in her mind again. I couldn't fathom how someone like her could think she wasn't beautiful, wasn't attractive, wasn't desirable. She was all of the above and more, so much more in ways that she could never possibly imagine.

We walked into the woods in silent agreement. Jasper's thoughts were of his next move, his next step to lure Bella in for the kill. It appealed to me the way his mind focused on the stragey and the ability to complete the challenge he had set for himself; I had never seen a mind so organized before, and I was impressed.

Bella's thoughts, however, were spiraling out of control. They transformed from fear and pepper spray to excitement, and just as quickly, onto thoughts of a more sexual flavor—thoughts that made my dead nerves dance in arousal.

Jasper took several steps away from us and then turned to face us in the moonlight. The soft glow bathed him, and I was stunned for a moment. The lust built within me as Bella's thoughts collided with my own. Jasper looked truly spectacular in moonlight.

Like an angel of death.

The thought took me off guard.

I couldn't possibly be attracted to him, could I? He is, in essence, a very attractive man...

"Come here, darlin'."

The small, steady sound of Bella's heartbeat picked up in pace, and she placed her hands in his.

"He's so cold," she thought again for the second time in mere minutes.

I found it interesting that she chose not to voice her thoughts and that they weren't laced with fear or apprehension like they should have been. I wasn't sure if it was because she was extremely naive and had no self-preservation instincts or if she was brave. Either way, I found her reaction extremely appealing. Her acceptance called to me, lured me into the situation in a way I never would have imagined possible.

Jasper wrapped his arms around her, but kept her several inches from him so he could look into her eyes.

"You're quite beautiful, Bella. Do you know that?" he purred.

His mind had already played through his strategy, and he was in for the kill—the intensity of his thoughts pulled me in, dazzled me. My reaction to him confused me, but I couldn't focus on it for long—I was too entranced at the scene playing out before me. I refused to look away from Jasper's hypnotic glance. He leaned forward, and I found myself mimicking his actions. It was as though he had completely trapped me under his will, and as he kissed her lips softly and her heart sped wildly, I found my own lust build.

Her mind was focused solely on his face, on the feel of his lips, on the pulse which throbbed between her legs, and I could feel myself trapped against the restraints of my pants. It was incredibly sensual and sexual, and nothing in that moment could have pulled my attention away from my voyeuristic focus on the two of them.

His tongue slid across her neck, and she moaned against his skin. My cock twitched in anticipation. Jasper moaned in reply, and his eyes met mine as the intensity of his lust hit me full force.

"She tastes amazing, Edward. And can you smell her? The sweet smell of her delicious blood mixed with the incredible smell of arousal?"

He spoke this aloud, his voice low, full of want, of need. It captured me in its intensity. I stifled my own moan at his deep and sultry tone. The words coming from him were barely spoken, closer to growled, and I couldn't reply to his question. I watched on as his hands roamed over her waist, her hips, and as they slid underneath the hem of her top. Bella's mind focused on the small touches, on his words, his voice and how she had never role-played before—of course she thought the vampire talk was a sexual carry-over from our 'costumes', but Jasper and I, of course, knew otherwise.

Jasper's actions and movements echoed in his mind, and I listened as half of his mind was focused purely on the sexuality of the encounter, while the other half focused on the hunt, on how to capture his prey and claim it as his own. He was smooth and suave, and he looked in her eyes with such passion, such want. Even with an inside look at his mind, I wasn't sure if he was more attracted to her body or the blood, but of course, the blood would win in the end. It always did.

I'd never seen a vampire hunt a human. My sole experience of fellow vampires had been my coven—I'd only seen those of my kind feed on disgusting animals with fur and fleas and stink. This was an experience entirely different. Bella was beautiful, sexual, and even without the wondrous smell of her blood, her feminine scent intoxicated me. It enamored me and was altogether pleasurable. With that realization, it dawned on me that this was what the hunt was supposed to be about. Of course it was a fulfillment of needs, but it was also a dance. It was a sensual, basic sustaining of needs.

She is what prey was supposed to be, delicate, fragile, beautiful...willing.

Jasper's lips worked across every inch of her skin and were now at her neck as he whispered against her skin.

"God, Bella, I can't help myself. I have to taste you."

He turned to me and grinned.

"They taste better when they're aroused, you know. The blood is warmer, flowing faster, tastes sweeter, though," he smirked as his eyes fell to Bella's for a long moment before returning to my own. "this one isn't going to need help in the sugar department."

"Oh God, bite me, Jasper," Bella begged in her mind.

The thought alone almost tipped me over the edge. Never in all my years had I considered that she would want this, would want to be taken, but her voice pleaded over and over for him to bite her. It was incredible.

Jasper winked at her and leaned in, softly kissing her jaw.

I was so entranced by the scene before me, that I stepped forward without thinking the action through. A low warning growl erupted from Jasper's chest, and I immediately stepped back again. I didn't want him to feel threatened by my close proximity. I watched like the voyeur that I was. Jasper removed his lips from her neck, sliding them up to right beneath her ear, and spoke to her in a low, dangerous purr of a whisper.

"Do you want me to bite you, Bella?"

Her only response was a slight nod and a delicious moan, and my eyes caught the movement of his hand beneath her shirt. I watched the outline of his long fingers trail down her stomach beneath the red material and quickly and efficiently unfasten her jeans. They played nimbly at the line of her panties, and my cock twitched at the sight combined with each of their thoughts.

"Call me a sick bastard, but I love to play with my food," he thought seductively.

I pushed back the moan that wanted to escape from me. God, it was the most erotic experience of my life, and I wasn't even part of the transpiring events.

"Get out of my head, fucking pansy ass. I wasn't talking to you."

That took me by surprise at first. My eyes met his, and I realized in that moment he must have some special ability to sense my feelings. He knew I was aroused by the situation. He was angry at me for reacting to his previous inner thoughts. Embarrassment flooded my being, and I dropped my gaze to the ground, feeling oddly disheartened. I had no idea what was going on with my emotions, but the situation was beginning to overwhelm me. He turned his attention back to her, and I let my eyes raise from the ground just enough to see them under my lashes. His face was intense, dominant, and he focused everything on Bella.

"I didn't hear you, Isabella," his deep voice filled the silent air around us once more, "Do you want me to bite you?"

"Oh, God, he's so powerful, so sexy so..."

Bella interrupted her own thoughts by speaking a whimpered, "yes."

Jasper's mind swirled in a strange and focused lust for the girl and her blood.

"What else do you want me to do?"

His southern accent was thick, unbridled, and the low growl in which he spoke made something within my dead veins dance. His thoughts came into a clear focus just as Bella's did.

"Why does he want me? God he's amazing; I want him to take me here and now...but does that make me slutty? Who cares...he's beautiful. They're both beautiful."

Her thoughts were fast and unsteady as she looked into his black eyes while his own thoughts were focused on her emotions. That alone confirmed my theory that he could, indeed, sense the feelings and emotions of others. His mind was a mix of lustful thoughts, centered only on his eventual intent to drain her.

"More lust and desire. A little uncertainty and apprehension. Miss Snow White seems a little shy..."

His large hands slid across the skin of her body, slowly, sensually, as the smell of her arousal filled the air around the three of us.

He mentally growled, "Answer me, Isabella."

Aloud he said, "I won't ask you again, Isabella."

The growl of her full, beautiful name on his lips again caused my erection to throb in need. Something within that fierce sound of his voice made my eyes fall away from them. I focused on the ground by my feet, wanting something I couldn't define—something I'd never had before, something I needed.

"Do you like that pretty boy?"

He addressed me, but I couldn't bring myself to look at him in that moment. Something about his voice, his confidence brought to life a new hunger in me, and it was nothing related to the sweet and amazing blood of the girl in the woods with us.

"Thought so," his smug reaction immediately responded.

I had no idea what had come over me. I should battle the instinct to fight him, to take the girl and run and drink her delicious blood, but my eyes remained on the ground as I focused on both of their thoughts once more, painfully turned on.

"I swear to God, Isabella, if you don't cooperate with me, this experience will not be pleasant for you—"

This time it was his thoughts that were interrupted as Bella finally spoke.

"I—I want you to bite me."

Apparently he needed no further prompting. Bella moaned as his perfect, white teeth sank into her skin. Pain clouded her thoughts, but it was quickly eclipsed with desire and more want. It amazed me—she wanted more, and it caused my cock to twitch in delight and need.

The aroma of her blood filled the air more acutely as Jasper drank from her. She moaned once more, and her arousal was still in the forefront of her mind. Bella didn't understand what had happened, and she never would. She would be gone before she felt any pain, before she knew she was about to die, before she knew that the men who had seduced her were killers who fed on her life force for their own gratification.

As the scent of her fresh blood filled the air, my body instinctively tightened with tension, my fists balled at my sides, and I stopped breathing. I forced my mind on anything else than what was happening mere yards from me, the smells, the thoughts running through Jasper's mind of how delicious her nectar tasted.

My stomach clenched, and I worked harder to steel myself against it. I was so foolish to think that I could do this, so foolish to think that I could be what I was supposed to be. She smelled too good, and the monster within me roared, screamed at me to take her from him, to finish her off, to revel in the experience. The other half of me pushed against the monster and denied him and hated him. It was the half of me hating my inner demon that won out, and I remained where I stood.

Jasper's thoughts broke through my struggle. It was firm and commanding.

"Look at me."

I did as he asked, focusing on his eyes only, willing myself not to see the blood on his lips, the blood on her neck. His face was full of confusion and almost appeared concerned.

"This is what you are, Edward. Don't fight it, embrace it. You will watch me while I feed."

A strange thrill ran through me at his command. He did not invite me to watch; he demanded that I watch, and I kept my eyes locked on him, fighting with myself.

"Not me, watch her...watch as the blood trickles down her throat, watch as she begs under her breath for more."

Bella was, indeed, begging for more. She grew weak from blood loss, but her lidded eyes reflected the desire that her thoughts held. She wanted more of him, and she wanted me as well. My inner battle grew in intensity, and I couldn't make myself watch anymore. I dropped my gaze once more, and felt so torn, so inadequate in the situation.

Annoyance tinged Jaspers next thought.

"What, you don't drink from humans? What do you drink from, fucking animals?"

My stomach turned, and a growl fell from my lips.

"You think?" I snapped at him.

"You're shitting me right? Like...animals. You eat animals?"

I nodded, feeling disgusted with myself. I felt disgust for my desire for Bella's blood; I felt disgust for having denied who I was all of these years; I felt disgust for this whole damned situation.

"Trust me. You have to try this; she's so sweet, so pure, her blood is fucking perfection, Edward. Come, I'll show you. It's okay."

Again, Jasper took control, and his command was so soft and gentle, as though he understood. My resolve wore thin. I wanted to trust him, wanted to do as he commanded me to do, although I didn't understand why.

"Come here."

I wanted to, I did. But I couldn't. I couldn't make my body move, and I felt torn in half: good versus evil, vampire versus...whatever the hell I had been pretending to be all of these years.

"I can't," I forced out, past whatever clogged my throat.

"If I have to ask you again, Edward, you will be sorry."

Again, I fought against my instincts. They should have kicked in with his thoughts, but they didn't. I glanced at him and forced myself to move toward them. I found it odd that I could deny even the sweetest scent of blood I'd ever smelled, but I couldn't deny him. I pushed that away, not wanting to consider it.

"That's more like it. Touch her."

His inner voice was so soft, so gentle, and it began to take hold in my brain. I tried to play through that command over and over again as my hand moved of its own accord. My fingers swept over Bella's forehead, pushing her brown locks back from her face. I wasn't sure what to do as the venom pooled in my mouth. My body was paralyzed with fear.

"It's really been that long?"

I frowned, glancing at him. I was embarrassed to admit the truth to this strong and secure vampire who wasn't ashamed of what he was. I swallowed a mouthful of venom.

"I was raised on animal blood. It's all that I've had from the beginning. Carlisle moved me away from humans until I could control my thirst. I've never..."

His thoughts were a mess of confusion and awe for a moment before clarity took hold, and I watched his mind as it played through a memory. It was his first hunt. In his memory, he was a lust-filled newborn, but he remembered that first meal with wonder and his brain still remembered exactly what his first victim tasted like. He hadn't been nearly as smooth and in control then as he had been tonight with Bella, but he'd been just as beautiful. When his memory fell to the taste of that girl's blood as if on replay, I gasped in my struggle to keep my mouth away from Bella's neck.

"Is it really that good, Jasper?"

"Better. You'll remember this moment for the rest of your existence. It'll come second to none."

I wanted her. God, I wanted her. I didn't know...I wasn't sure what to do with her. I took a couple of tentative steps forward.

"If you drink from higher up the neck, the artery is thicker, and has a stronger pulse which is more satisfying."

His guidance gave me a strange sense of rightness in this situation. Without another thought, my arms swept beneath her, and I took her full weight against myself. My arms brushed against Jasper's, and a jolt of electricity passed between us. I briefly wondered why, but couldn't focus on it as Bella's bloody neck was just mere inches from me now.

"Edward you have to eat before it goes cold."

I kept my eyes on Bella. She was unconscious now, but still completely beautiful. Her scent filled the air, and I wanted to taste her. Somehow, knowing I wasn't alone gave me a strange confidence. I waited for him to instruct me, instinctively knowing that he would. I had been right. One of his large, perfect stone hands pressed very gently against the side of Bella's head, turning it away from me and granting me access to her glorious, silky neck. A strange thrill ran through me as his other hand gently cupped my neck and softly pushed me toward her.

"If you turn and bite to the side, you'll take in more of the blood."

If Jasper said anything after that, either out loud or within, I missed it. I followed his advice, turning my head and biting right over the artery in her neck, right below the bite that Jasper had delivered. My mouth immediately filled with her sweet nectar, and I moaned loudly against her skin, completely overwhelmed by the sensations flowing through my body. She tasted so much better than I could have ever imagined.

Warmth filled my empty veins, and my arms pulled her body closer to my own. I sucked at her neck as I moaned and groaned with the taste as every single other thing in this world faded away. It was completely satisfying and beyond miraculous; her blood warmed by body, and as it flowed through me, I felt stronger; I felt more alert; I felt whole for the first time in my entire existence.


I had never shared a meal before and conflict raged within me. I still wasn't entirely set on the idea of sharing, but then again, I wasn't exactly set on the idea of a fight either. A fight against a vampire who could read my mind and know my every move before I made it was not something I had come up against in all my years of combat. I was a damn good fighter and an even better leader, but something told me instinct and experience didn't mean shit when he could read your fucking mind. I decided to take my chances, take what blood I could and be on my way before I had a chance to test my theory.

I tried to keep my wits about me in case pretty boy decided he wasn't in the mood to share either. I let out another defensive growl to alert him I was in no mood to play and that it would be in his best interest to keep his fucking distance while I fed. I might not have wanted to instigate a fight, but I sure as hell didn't mind finishing one. The wave of fear emanated from him told me he got the message loud and clear.

Good, just you keep back and play nice and I'll give you what you want.

"Do want me to bite you, Bella?" I whispered seductively into her ear.

She nodded, and as my hand slipped under her simple sweater, she released a whimper at my touch.

Perfect. She was just where I wanted her to be, and I knew she would beg for me soon, just like all the others. My fingers trailed across her mid section, and as I darted lower toward her panty line, I could smell her arousal as it soaked into the air around us. God, she was ready, and I knew she was ready but it didn't stop me.

Call me a sick bastard, but I love to play with my food.

I was suddenly overwhelmed by a wave of lust, and my eyes darted up instinctively to Edward. He stood away and maintained his distance from me, but as I caught his gaze, I saw his eyes were darkened, hooded and I knew that look. It was fucking lust.

Get out of my head, fucking pansy ass. I wasn't talking to you.

He dropped his gaze to his feet immediately, and I felt his embarrassment wash over me. My own curiosity at his reaction peaked, and I admired his gesture somewhat. It wasn't often that I found someone who reacted in such a way. Sure Bella welcomed my advances, but it wasn't honest; it wasn't real. For her, it was role playing, and she was pretending. Edward however, had nothing to gain. I forced that thought aside and refocused on the girl in my arms.

"I didn't hear you, Isabella," I whispered again. "Do you want me to bite you?"

"Yes," she whimpered.

"What else do you want me to do?" I asked, my southern accent thick.

More lust and desire. A little uncertainty and apprehension. Miss Snow White seems a little shy...

My hands continued to roam freely across her body as I teased and weaved across her warm soft skin. I could practically taste her arousal, but my irritation arose at her unwillingness to give me what I wanted.

"I won't ask you again, Isabella."

My voice was dangerously low, and a trickle of fear washed around me. I knew I could use my gift to calm her nerves. Hell, I could fill her with lust and desire if I wanted. I'd even been know to fuck about with my gift of empathy for my own amusement and bring simultaneous vampires to orgasm at one time.

Another wave of lust crashed around me, and my eyes glanced up to Edward once again. He still still stood a short distance away, staring at his feet. That somehow pleased me.

Do you like that pretty boy?

Wave after wave of lush crashed around me, and I smirked at his reaction.

Thought so.

Edward seemed more interesting the longer I spent in his company, and I grew tired of Bella's reluctance to describe to me her desires. Edward's desires, however, seemed much more amusing.

Bella's soft, sweet voice broke my thoughts as she whispered her last words.

"I—I want you to bite me."

I placed a single kiss on her delectable skin before I plunged my teeth into her neck. Her body buckled under me as the initial pain of my teeth shredded through her delicate skin. I sent a small dose of calm mixed with some lust in a bid to stop her from moving. It echoed through her body and my intent was satisfied. In an instant she was docile and manageable. I wasn't enough of an asshole as to cause my victims pain unnecessarily. This girl had given me what I had wanted. Well, not completely, but she offered herself to me, and that was enough to grant her a painless death.

The sweet taste of her blood danced on my tongue as it pulsed through her veins and into my mouth. Her scent now permeated the night's air, and I took in each pull, relishing in the taste.

Where the fuck is Edward?

I knew Edward could smell the incredible taste of blood, too. I knew his basic instincts would scream at him to take her from me, and as her open wound oozed with the bittersweet taste of her blood, and I decided that maybe this hadn't been such a wise idea.

I expected him to attack on instinct at the intoxicating smell of her blood. I'd had a lot of fucking blood in my long existence, and even I had to admit, hers was better than most. Yet, as I continued to gauge Edward's emotional climate I was intrigued to find that his overpowering was not bloodlust; it was denial, fierce denial that struck against me powerfully.

I looked up and forgot about Bella, who remained in my hands, and instead opted to watch as Edward stood and refused to look away from the ground, his fists were balled tight and I could see his reluctance to move.

He has amazing control.

Once again, Edward had not done as I had expected, but rather than irritation or anger at his choice of response, I was entirely curious. I watched as he battled against his blood lust and was surprised, but not shocked, to see guilt mingled with his odd collection of emotions. He really wasn't like any other vampire I had ever crossed, and I briefly wondered if his golden eyes had anything to do with his mess of emotions about feeding.

Why is he denying himself? Why is he so conflicted, so torn? You are a vampire right?

Edward didn't respond to my question, but I wasn't entirely surprised by that. His emotions were powerful, and he was struggling against them. They flowed from him freely, and as I delved further into them, I could see he held undercurrents of self-loathing, anger and pity hidden beneath the more dominant bloodlust and even stronger denial. To say I was fucking confused was an understatement, but I was more curious at his behavior. He wanted the blood; I could feel his desire for it. I sent strong burst of his more dominant bloodlust back to him and hoped that it would help him make up his fucking mind. I wasn't sure why I suddenly wanted him to feed from Bella, but I did.

I wanted his attention and made my mental voice stern and commanding to break through his crashing emotions.

"Look at me."

I watched with fascination as Edward lifted his eyes to mine. His expression mirrored his emotions—he was torn.

"This is what you are, Edward. Don't fight it, embrace it. You will watch me while I feed."

My voice was strong, confidant, self-assured, and I was pleased when I watched as he lifted his gaze to mine.

"Not me, watch her...watch as as the blood trickles down her throat, watch as she begs under her breath for more."

He lowered his head and projected his guilt upon me.

"What, you don't drink from humans? What do you drink from, fucking animals?"

"You think?" he replied sarcastically.

I had never been one to shock easily. I could tell by his abrupt tone and irritation that he wasn't fucking around, but I had to check. I mean, it was fucking Halloween; the guy could be shitting me for all I knew.

"You're shitting me right? Like...animals. You eat animals?"

He nodded his head.

I was overwhelmed with pity for him. I just couldn't imagine an existence without blood, having never tasted blood or worst, resisting blood.

"Trust me. You have to try this; she's so sweet, so pure, her blood is fucking perfection, Edward. Come on. I'll show you. It'll be okay."

Something, somewhere deep within me roared to life at the prospect of Edward feeding. The darker, more dominant creature within me relished his submissive ways, and I knew that I had been right when I thought this would be a meal to remember. My motives and interest changed from sweet little Bella to Edward as my curiosity finally found what it had searched for.

"Come here."

"I can't," he choked out.

The pity party he threw for himself had tested my patience, and the monster within me roared to life. I wasn't adverse to a challenge, and if Edward needed a more disciplined approach to feeding, then I would damn well take one.

"If I have to ask you again, Edward, you will be sorry."

Edward moved forward slowly, and I could see that it was a struggle. Something within me rejoiced that he was unable to come forward to Bella, but that he was willing to do so for me.

"I want you to touch her."

Once again, my voice oozed with honey. It was the voice that I used with my prey and with my women when I needed to get what I wanted. I could tell by his reaction that he wasn't dumb enough to fall for that shit, but I didn't take my eyes of him. I watched as Edward's hand brushed away the hair that had stuck to the wet blood which stained her neck and admired how gentle and tender his actions were. He was nervous, and I couldn't help but be shocked.

"It's really been that long?"

He frowned while he took a moment to gather his thoughts before he answered.

"I was raised on animal blood. It's all that I've had from the beginning. Carlisle moved me away from humans until I could control my thirst. I've never..." His words fell away.

I couldn't believe it. Edward had never fed from a human, and yet there he was, standing before me. The very idea overwhelmed me with emotion as I thought back to my first feeding experience and the ecstasy that I had felt after drinking the blood. Images of my first human flooded my mind, and I knew Edward would watch as the memories fluttered to life with perfect recollection. It was an incredible experience to share with someone, and I felt honored that he had chosen me. The way that I was able to share my experience with him paled in comparison.

"Is it really that good, Jasper?" Edward whispered in awe.

"Better. You'll remember this moment for the rest of your existence. It'll come second to none."

Edward's determination solidified as he decided that he did, indeed, want to do this. I selfishly wanted to guide him, to teach him and comfort him through his first meal and silently begged him not to back out on me now that we were so close to living out that experience. Edward moved closer to her neck, although rather hesitant in his movement. It was obvious he wasn't sure what to do, and I wanted to take control of the situation.

"If you drink from higher up the neck, the artery is thicker, and has a stronger pulse which is more satisfying."

I could feel Edward's confidence and lust rise at the tone of my voice. I wasn't really surprised; I had sired and raised many a newborn vampires in my time, and each and every vampire had succumbed to my toxic tone. In my human days, I was told I was charismatic, but when I awoke as a vampire, it had become a weapon. My gift always had the same effect, much to my own pleasure.

Edward supported the full weight of Bella's body in his arms as he eased her from my own embrace. His arms brushed against my own, and I felt a sudden surge of electricity pass through me as skin connected. My hand almost darted away from him, and I was surprised that I had been caught off guard by the sudden spark that ignited between us. I forced myself to remain steady. It took more than a pretty face to catch me off guard, and sure, it was normal for my students to fall prey to my seduction, but it was rare that I ever reciprocated those feelings—and certainly not to another man. I denied my actions were my own, telling myself that my body had simply betrayed me in the intense moment.

"Edward you have to eat before it goes cold."

I looked down to meet Edward's eyes to found out if he had felt the spark as well, but I was pleased to see that only his determination for Bella, for her delicious blood, shone in his beautiful topaz eyes. He silently waited me to tell him what to do next, and a warm feeling emerged from deep within. I knew then and there that I wanted this to be the best possible meal for him—as it had rapidly turned into my very best meal.

My hand rested against the side of Bella's head. Her eyes had closed, and her heart was slowing. I pushed her head gently to the side, giving Edward better access to her wondrous neck. With as much gentle control as I had used with Bella, I cupped Edward's neck and brought him forward to Bella. I fought back the sudden urge to run my hand through his perfect tousled red hair and pushed aside the thought of why I wanted to find out for myself if it was as soft was it looked.

"If you turn and bite to the side, you'll take in more of the blood."

I instructed in a mental whisper so as not to distract him. I tried to suppress the lust that coursed through me at the sight of Edward and the intense gaze with which he looked at Bella. Instead, I focused on his actions as I watched his teeth sink into her neck.

I had never been so close to another vampire while hunting, and my senses were overcome with the scent of fresh blood as it flooded the air. The bloodlust teased and tormented me, but a fierce wave of my own lust washed over me. I couldn't help but admire Edward as he drank; he was fucking beautiful. I didn't know if you could call another guy that, but he was. He was flawless, the complete opposite of my marred body, and I took in his boyish features while he drank.

Pride resonated from my being and Edward glanced up at me as he removed his teeth from Bella's neck. Her blood dripped from his lips and his eyes slowly morphed into a strange reddish orange that were oddly alluring.

"God," he said breathlessly.

His emotions had calmed somewhat, and I was pleased that there was very little guilt coming from him. He was satisfied, proud, feeling stronger and more confident. He was feeling happy and elated and that somehow made me happy and elated.

I smirked at him.

"Better than a rabbit, right?"

Edward's lips twitched, his amusement leaking from him, but didn't comment for a moment. His eyes drifted toward Bella's now cold and limp body, and guilt momentarily filled him.

I was nearly as proud of this strange vampire as he had been of himself just moments ago, and I put a hand on his shoulder.

"Don't," I said strongly, knowing it was the only thing that would break through the self-loathing. "You have nothing to feel guilty over. It's who you are, and you did nothing wrong, Edward."

I allowed a cocky smile to play on my lips as his eyes met mine.

"She died very happy. I felt that much."

He nodded, quietly thinking for a moment before a small smile tugged at his full lips.

"She was so much better than I could have ever imagined it to be, Jasper."

I grinned.

"I told you she would be; she's one of the best I've ever had myself, and I have had many tasty gals," I said with a wink.

His eyes widened as I felt his awe. I could feel that he was overwhelmed, so I simply offered another softer smile and ripped my blood splattered tee shirt away from my body, which in turn, caused his lust to spike once more.

Edward bit his lower lip, his eyes traveling over my chest, and I contemplated the feeling that was welling up in me from watching his mouth, from watching him watch me. It was strange, certainly. I'd never felt drawn to anyone in this way—at least not another male, but he was different. I almost liked the new feeling, and I'd be damned, but I was actually finding myself attracted to those pretty boy features.

I wetted the tip of the material from my now ruined shirt and held his eyes with my own, slowly reaching out to him, wiping the blood from his lips and bringing it back to my own lips. I moaned against the fabric at the taste. Bella's blood had gone cold, but it was still amazing, and coupled with Edward's taste...I wanted more.

I absorbed his lust and pushed it back at him combined with my own. His eyes, still on mine, widened as he leaned toward me.

This was quickly turning into one of the more erotic and strange nights of my existence...and I'd seen some fairly fucked up shit in my day. I was attracted by Edward's submission. I was attracted by his timidity and his gentility, his willingness to please me; it all pleasured me.

I took control before our lips even met, sliding my hand behind his neck and pulling him toward me. My lips crashed to his, and I reveled in the differences I found there. I'd kissed many women over the years, the rough, the delicate, the timid and the brazen, but there was no denying that Edward's lips were fully set apart from any of theirs. They lacked the plump softness of a woman's lips, but the thinner, less-soft lines of his mouth were incredible to me in their own new way.

His moan encouraged me all the more, and I pressed toward him, only to trap the lifeless body of our prey between us. I nearly growled in frustration, pulling myself away from him, my disappointment immediately coupled with his.

I smiled wryly at him.

"Do you dispose of your animal carcasses, Edward?" I asked, keeping my voice low and nonthreatening, not wanting him uncomfortable.

Poor Edward. His emotions were running out of control again. He was still swirling in a fog of lust and confusion. Those stronger emotions were teamed with guilt and sadness, self-loathing and a spark of amusement, which I could only guess had been brought on from my question.

He smiled, and I couldn't understand why I was so damned happy to see that.

"Uh, yeah, we bury the bodies."

I grinned.

"Alright, well, why don't we take care of her?"

The guilt flooded over to me from him once again.

"Edward," I said sternly, causing his downcast eyes to meet mine again. "There's nothing to be ashamed of. This is our food source, Edward." I scoffed. "Our natural food source."

He nodded, a small twinge of acceptance filling his emotions. I couldn't help the strange satisfaction that came over me when he nodded and quietly succumbed with an, "okay."

Want me to take her?

I didn't want to push him, didn't want him to be laden with the guilt that would only be natural from one who felt that killing humans was wrong, but Edward's resolve solidified the moment the words fluttered across my mind. He pulled her body closer to him, and wordlessly we ran together through the forest for miles, and upon finding a nice and secluded area far from any human, we buried her body.

Edward's conflicted feelings raged within him, and once we'd covered our tracks, he ran. Concern for him washed over my being, and I followed him at a pace that wouldn't threaten the predator within him. I found him on the bank of the river, his fucking pretty boy clothes mussed and soiled from disposing of the remains of our meal and his face tortured.

"Edward, may I join you?"

A very small nod bobbed from his head, his turmoil nearly buckling me.

We sat in silence for a moment, as I tried to keep my mind clear of thoughts, so as not to add to his jumble of emotion. I glanced over at him to see that blood had dried on his rugged jaw and neck. Wordlessly I stood, offering my hand to him, and though he didn't need it, he took it anyway. I wasn't exactly sure what I was doing, but didn't let it stop me. I was determined.

"Edward, I have a cabin not far from here. It's in the woods, away from everything. It's quiet, and we can get cleaned up if you'd like."

His eyes met mine, and I sent him a wave of calm. Something about his tortured features, his tormented mind, disturbed me, made me want to take away his guilt and remorse and help him to see the beautiful creature that he was.

"Okay," he said quietly.

We ran again, Edward trailing me by only mere feet. I slowed as we neared the clearing near the cabin and felt him stop not far behind me.

I glanced back at him and smirked.

"It definitely ain't the Ritz, or anything, but..."

He scowled with a low grumble emitting from his chest.

Calm down, Edward.

I was so pleased when he did so immediately. Edward was still tortured, however, and I was desperate to make him relax, to have him embrace who he was. I smiled gently, leading him through the door and into the rustic place that I called home.

"Come on, pretty boy." I said quietly, leading him down a hallway and into the bathroom, where I started the shower.

The temperature mattered little to our kind, but after the hunt, hot water cascading down frozen marble skin was relaxing. Edward hesitated, and I could feel his apprehension and fear rise above all of his other tormented emotions.

Look at me, I commanded softly.

He immediately did so, and I smiled at him.

"Edward, I felt what you were feeling tonight."

Shame flooded him.

"I know."

I reached for him, resting a hand on his shoulder. "I felt it, too, you know."

His eyes were reflective of the shock he felt. His eyes glanced to the shower and back to my eyes again.

"I...I've never, I mean, I..."

"It's okay," I interrupted his rambling. "I just want to clean you...to take care of you. I'm going to look after you, okay?"

This situation was already so far out of the norm for me. When I wanted something, I damn well took it. When I wanted someone, I would charm her into wanting me. It was different with Edward. I had never wanted a man—had never been with a man, and I sure as hell had never taken the time to something as intimate as a shower with any other creature living or undead. Yet there was something about Edward's meek countenance, his submissive demeanor that demanded something within me to take care of him, to make sure that he was alright after his life-altering experience earlier in the evening.

I watched him, gauging his emotions, willing myself not to interfere with them as I would normally.

Finally, he nodded.


I slowly shed my clothing and was met with a gasp and a powerful wave of lust as my pants hit the floor. I smirked at him and took a slow step forward, testing his reaction. My close proximity only increased his lust, so I reached out to brush his arm, letting my fingers slide over the buttons of his Oxford shirt, nimbly slipping each out of its hole. A trickle of hesitation pooled around me, and I warned Edward I wouldn't stand for it.

"You agreed, Edward. You said I could take care of you. Are you having doubts?"

My tone was sharp and curt. Why I had to know, I had no idea. I just did.

Edward's eyes remained downcast and the hesitation was soon replaced with a familiar desire and determination as he worked through his thoughts.

"Good boy, now come with me."

I took Edward by the hand and led him through to the bathroom. The shower had warmed enough to create a misty haze throughout the small room, and as I caught Edward's form in the reflection of the fogging mirror, I couldn't help but turn and pull him toward me.

I tugged my hands through his hair and pulled his face to mine with passion. Our lips crashed together with as fierce intensity, and Edward took a moment before he caught up. His lips moved against my own in perfect harmony as he let out a low moan. My hands slid across his shoulders, pushing the shirt away from his body, letting it fall to the floor before my hands explored his bare chest. I imagined him bent over the white tiled bathroom counter, his legs parted as I thrust into him deeply, and I let our a feral growl.

I pulled away immediately and apologized to Edward in my mind. I had no idea what had come over me, and I knew it was no way to treat him. I had promised to show him love and affection.


I shook the thought away from my mind as I refocused on the task at hand. Edward still had blood stains down the side of his own neck, and I stopped myself from licking it away. Instead, I unbuttoned his trousers and undressed him fully before taking him by the hand and leading him into the shower, trying to push back the many scenarios that his naked being caused within my mind.

We stood together under the warm water. Edward remained quiet, contemplating the evening's events as his emotions cooled and settled. I grabbed the clean washcloth from the edge, soaping it, and working it across his lean shoulders and back as I focused on washing away his guilt and sorrow. I left him to his thoughts and he to mine as we both savored the silence.

After several moments, I took Edward by his waist and motioned for him to turn; he did so with ease, and I continued to wash away the last of the blood as I appreciated his body. I stole a look at his face, and his eyes were closed. His emotions had calm, and he looked the picture of ease. His lips turned upwards into a small gentle smile before he spoke, although his eyes remained closed.

"Thank you," he whispered.

"For what?"

"For, everything, for teaching me, guiding me. I couldn't have done it without you."

Edward's hands roamed over my own, and he gave them a gentle squeeze. His expression changed and concern flooded his eyes and his emotions as he looked me dead in the eye.

What's wrong?

He took a moment to answer as he collected his thoughts, his eyes looked down and away from me, and I worried what I had done wrong.

Did he not want this? Us? Whatever the fuck this is...

Edward's voice calmed me when he finally answered all my questions and more.

"I don't—I don't think I can do it without you."

So don't.

Our eyes met and understanding passed between us.

Stay, I asked, a soft invitation rather than a command.

He tentatively took my hand in his and nodded. An incredible meaning filled the air between us. We both felt it. It was a beginning, and though neither of us was sure what it was the beginning of, we knew we had all the time in the world to figure it out.

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