In The Dark" Contest

Pen Name: duskwatcher2153
: A Southern Moon
Summary: Jasper, just post Civil-War, makes a discovery in a farmhouse in South Carolina
Word Count: 3558

For Rules and Other Submissions, please visit: http://www(DOT)fanfiction(D0T)net/u/2003775/

Smut, pure PWP. Small warning- doubtful consent in this lemon. I'm already writing a full length Dark Edward story, I needed a break so I went with Darksper!

I need to say a huge thanks to hellacullen who helped mightily with this story and is a great source of support on all things.

Jasper pulled at the reins, and Gremlin, his dappled gelding, pranced to a halt. This part of South Carolina had seen a lot of fighting between Sherman's armies and Major General McLaw's forces, leaving much of the landscape torn to hell. The few homesteads that had made it through the War intact now had to face marauding bands of deserters, renegades and carpetbaggers. People were edgy and suspicious, and the Southern hospitality of earlier, friendlier times had faded to a general attitude of 'Leave us the hell alone.'

Jasper dismounted and, walking toward the farmhouse, tugged at Gremlin's reins. Gremlin was one of the few horses that he'd found that could be conditioned to let a vampire ride him; for most horses, the predatory scent of a vampire made them panic and bolt. But Jasper had been working with Gremlin for a year now, and he'd gradually gotten Gremlin to accept carrying him.

Gremlin's acceptance seemed to do with what Jasper referred to his persuasiveness. Ever since he'd been turned, he'd started to notice the effects he could have on people—effects he could have without even opening his mouth. When he'd been human, he'd often been able to settle a dispute among the work crews, or later, the confederate companies. He'd been promoted on the strength of his ability to lead and inspire men. He'd thought then that it was charisma, or he was just persuasive with his words.

But since he'd been turned into a vampire, he'd started noticing a much stronger phenomenon. It was almost as if he could 'feel' the emotions in a group of people and then influence them. A fortnight ago, he'd turned a peaceful tavern into a full blown brawl, just by silently encouraging the simmering tempers and outrage of a few key players. And then, just as quickly, had brought the angry combatants to a tearful resolution, ending with them hugging each other, calling each other 'brother' and ordering drinks for the house.

His newfound talent was both powerful, and disturbing. Jasper hadn't been turned voluntarily, and although he was too much of a pragmatist to mourn his lost humanity, every step farther away from it made his heart ache just a bit more. He knew now that stories about monsters were sometimes true.

He pulled at Gremlin's reins, and the two of them walked slowly towards the house. He'd found it was best to approach these places on foot; it made the inhabitants just a bit less trigger happy. The house was almost hidden in a dell among the trees, probably the only thing that had saved it from the fires of the War. From the chimney came a thin wisp of smoke, but there was no life in the dirt yard in front of the house that would indicate it was inhabited.

An empty corral and a small, sorely leaning barn seemed to indicate this was just another barren group of survivors, hanging on, trying to gather enough food for what was sure to be a lean and hungry winter. Already there was a bit of chill in the air, but with the empty henhouses and fields picked clean by passing soldiers, what used to be a time of joyous harvest and plenty had become a season of quiet despair for the hard times ahead.

Jasper was almost at the house, when the door creaked open and out stepped an older white-haired woman, dressed in what once was a fine green silk gown but now was torn and stained. It hung lankly off her, attesting to the fact that the wearer had once been a bit plumper and higher in station. Jasper's sharp vampire eyes picked up the grimy, calloused hands, a sign that this woman who, judging by her once elegant dress and the fine calfskin boots she wore, was now working hard with her hands, something a Southern woman of a high station would never admit to.

She pulled the rifle she was carrying up to her shoulder, and peering down the barrel pointed right at him, called, "Best if you stop right there, now."

Jasper wasn't surprised at her suspicion. He was sure it would have been more had he been wearing a uniform. But for this scouting mission, he had been posing as a man of means, and he knew he cut a fine figure dressed in tan pants, a striped waistcoat, and a dark blue woolen coat. The colored silk at his neck might have qualified him as a dandy, if his blonde looks weren't so ruggedly handsome and his eyes so fierce. But he was tall and lean, and projected an air of handsome prosperity, an air that almost all Southerners remembered and longed for once again.

"Don't mean to worry you, Ma'am, I was just hoping for a drink of water for me and my horse," he said, removing his silk hat and holding it in his hands.

"Your eyes is a funny shade, there, son." They always noticed the eyes, he thought. There were so many other signs they ignored, but always the eyes. In times like these, it was easily explained.

"Too close to the cannons, I'm afraid."

She nodded; it seemed a likely enough explanation. Her own eyes narrowed a bit behind the gun, trying to assess the risk. She was white-haired and old enough to remember the antebellum days when hospitality was always offered to strangers. Still, five years of war had poisoned her faith in humanity. Under her suspicion and fear, Jasper could sense the longing for a return to those days and the eagerness to entertain visitors who might have a bit of good news or entertainment; it helped to break up the unending days of hard work and fear. That's what Jasper pushed on, and he sensed when the desire for companionship outshone the fear.

She pulled the gun off her shoulder, and said, "My husband is out hunting and he'll be back any minute now. You're not going to try anything, are you?"

An obvious lie, thought Jasper. He could hear how her heart sped up as she said it. Any able-bodied man had been taken by the armies long ago, and her hands indicated she was doing man-like chores. But he would take it at face value. "Of course, Ma'am, just some water."

"There's a well out back," she motioned with a slight jerk of her head. "You walk around there, and I'll bring a cup."

"Thank you, Ma'am," he replied, bowing his head slightly. "I'm in debt for your kindness."

She slid back into the house as Jasper walked Gremlin around to the back. Not far from the house stood a small stone circle with a roof and a winch with bucket attached.

As Jasper threw the chained bucket down the well and started winching it back up, he heard voices from inside the house. There was another woman in there, a younger one he guessed by the pitch of her voice. Although they spoke softly so there voices wouldn't carry, his sharp ears pricked up to hear the conversation.

"Do you think he's safe?"

"Well, he seems a gentleman. I'll just give him some water and send him on his way."

"Find out what he knows. Perhaps he's seen or heard of John or Travis."

"Oh child, there are so many men out there at loose ends, the chances of that are unlikely in the extreme."

"Perhaps he's been through Charleston. Ask him that. Maybe he's met Aunt Charlotte."

"I'll ask him. You keep watch with the rifle."

"Okay, but take the pistol with you."

The older woman came out with a cup, the faint outline of a pistol in her apron pocket, and handed it to Jasper. He took it and dipped it in, filling it with water, before setting the bucket on the ground for his horse. Gremlin immediately nosed the bucket and started drinking as Jasper pretended to sip at the water.

"Thank you, ma'am," Jasper said between the illusion of sips. "Your kindness is surely appreciated."

Since he had initiated a conversation, she felt encouraged to begin her questioning. "Might you have any news for us, sir? I am afraid we don't get much news of recent events out here."

He spoke solemnly over the edge of the cup, watching her. "The North has gradually been releasing prisoners of war. Most of the captives have been let go and are making their way home."

He sensed her heart rate increase as her excitement grew. "Oh, that is good news!" She exclaimed, pressing her hands against her heart. "We are waiting for word of loved ones anxiously ourselves. Where have you traveled from?"

"I've been traveling from the west, towards Charleston, trying to reestablish some trade lines."

The woman looked towards the house. She was inclined to trust Jasper, and he pressed against that emotion in her. Weighing her options, she looked at the house and then turned back to him. "We'd be honored if you would stay for supper, sir."

Jasper let a smile stretch across his face. "The honor would be mine."

He was right; the other inhabitant of the house was a younger woman, close to eighteen years of age. In earlier happier times, she would have been married by now. Unfortunately, in times of war, happy occasions like marriages had been left far behind as the men went off to fight against Sherman.

She was beautiful, with large, dark, cat-like eyes and hair that hung past her waist like a dark waterfall. Her name was Evelyn, but was addressed as Evie, and her skin was flawless, just lightly blushed by the sun. This was obviously the treasure the woman had been protecting. Evie was slim and high-breasted, and the older woman was right to keep her from the eyes of footloose men passing through. She was almost a twin for Olivia, the girl Jasper had left behind in Galveston; it was a period less than five years ago, but which could be considered a lifetime-Jasper's.

He remembered how he had pledged to return to Olivia. He had gone to her parents' house and given her the news that he could no longer ignore the call for men to fight the Northern aggressors. He'd been riding the family plough horse, a simple pack of belongings on his back, planning on heading out to Houston to sign up. Olivia had been mad at him for some petty slight or another and had at first refused to come out of her locked bedroom. Neither his or her parents' entreaties had served to change her mind, so Jasper had mounted his horse and set out for the enlistment camp with a heavy heart. He'd been two hundred or so yards down the lane, when he heard his name screamed from behind him. Olivia had been racing down the front steps, her feet bare, her long hair flying. Her petticoats had flashed as she ran with her arms pumping furiously, screaming his name, weeping and crying. He'd turned the horse and spurred it towards her, dismounting at a run as the two of them crashed together, him laughing joyously that she'd come, her sobbing with fear that she'd almost missed him.

They murmured apologies and consolations as she had pressed kisses all over his face, and it was only when he had been able to capture her face in his hands that he'd given her the kiss that would have to last him until his return. She had kissed him with such emotion, such passion; it was a true warrior's farewell.

He'd promised he'd return, but now knew he never would. It was much easier for her to think he was one more casualty in the war, rather than try to explain or hide his new existence. It was an unfortunate sacrifice, and he thought of her often. But now he had found her twin, it seemed, in a small farmhouse in Williston. Although no one could ever take the place of Olivia, he couldn't help but feel drawn to this familiar woman in front of him.

Evie was gentle and timid, only contributing to the conversation when asked a direct question by her mother. They served him a meal of thin stew and coarse bread, which he picked at, murmuring about a stomach problem. Now supper was finished and the mother sat in the chair by the fire, as Jasper felt the exhaustion and tiredness in her. He pushed at that in her gently until she had fallen asleep, gently snoring in her chair.

Evie had come and sat by him, and they talked in whispers to avoid waking the sleeping woman. Evie had relaxed, again at Jasper's pushing, and was giggling at his tales of adventures with his cousins back home. Her smile created the most fetching dimples in her face, and Jasper found himself becoming fascinated with her. He had never used his newly discovered power in such a small intimate setting or on such a small audience, and he was beginning to see some possibilities.

She looked up at him with her darkly lashed eyes, and he felt a spark of sexual desire inside of him. Suddenly, he felt it in her too. Curious, he pushed at it in her, and was rewarded by the way her heart sped up, her eyes dilating as she leaned forward to place a hand on his leg.

They both glanced at the sleeping mother, but she was in a deep sleep and still snoring softly.

He looked at her hand on his leg and pressed at her desire again, almost scientifically evaluating the effect it had on her. She got on her knees in front of his seat and placed both hands on his slightly spread knees. From this vantage point, he could see the swell of her breasts in the neckline of the gown she wore. She lightly licked at her lips before saying breathily, "You're not like anyone I've ever met." There was lust blossoming in her eyes but confusion as well. "Tell me more about yourself."

Jasper pushed down the confusion, suffusing her with feelings of well-being and relaxation. Her smell wafted up to him, filling his nose with her thick human scent. He had fed last night, and now other needs rather than thirst were taking precedence. It had been a long time since he'd felt this kind of lust, not since he'd been turned. The bloodlust had always been up front, demanding, but tonight it seemed content to take a back seat, and Jasper felt the stirrings of desire in his groin.

"You're a very fetching woman," he said smoothly, letting his knees spread as she edged herself closer to him.

"You don't know how lonely it has been around here," she rejoined, moving a hand to his chest. He pressed again at the desire he felt in her, and she leaned her head against his heart, closing her eyes.

He wanted her now and badly. His lust rose voraciously with him, ready to consume all of her. He brought his fingers to her chin and delicately lifted her face to his. "We are all lonely," he whispered, before brushing her lips with his own.

She threw her arms around his neck, her breath coming fast and shallow. "Please," she begged him, unsure of what she was pleading for but wanting it all the same.

He swept her into his arms and carried her over to a small bedroom off the main living room. She stared at him with wide eyes, while he pressed her fear down and fanned her lust.

She was passive in his arms as he laid her on the narrow bed, and then removed his jacket. He turned back to her, and she rose up to a seating position to meet him and wrap her arms around him. He kissed her full and deeply, again giving her desire a slight push as she moaned into his mouth.

He began with the buttons on her bodice while she lifted his shirt over his head. Not speaking a word, they stared into each other's eyes, panting quietly. The heat between them started growing of its own accord, Jasper no longer urging it along. It was when she was down to a thin chemise and her bloomers, and he was only in his trousers, that he realized how desperately he wanted to please her. He lay on the bed next to her and stroked her, from shoulder to hip, and she threw her head back and exhaled a sigh filled with pleasure. He gently took her breast in his hand while she let her hand slide along his bulging pants, and Jasper suddenly wanted this woman more than anything he had ever wanted before. Without meaning to, he must have pushed at her emotions, for she closed her eyes and her body tensed. He watched, amazed as her eyelids fluttered and her back arched, and a low moan was followed by a sharp intake of breath.

Her legs shuddered, and Jasper felt her desire peak, followed by a momentary void. He was amazed, the woman had actually climaxed, and he hadn't even gotten her disrobed. His own need became greater, more demanding, and he quickly finished undressing as she writhed lazily in the ending throes of her climax. She pulled her to him when he lied down beside her and threw a leg between his, letting her thigh glide along his now aching erection. He pushed the chemise up and out of the way, cupping a breast in one hand and pulling the nipple on the other gently between his lips, keeping his sharp teeth out of the way. Her breath began coming in short gasps again, and this time he cupped a hand over her pubis as he pushed again, deliberately this time, at her lust. Her breath caught in her throat, and she curled under his hands, the shudders of her body even more pronounced this time. Her thighs quivered, and her hips bucked with the intensity of her spasms. She collapsed limply to the bed, panting heavily, speechless with the impact of the sexual pleasure thrust on her.

Now he had to have her. He pulled off her bloomers, exposing the shadowed vee between her legs and kissed his way up her leg, and she whimpered quietly as waves of pleasure continued to course through her. He stopped to press his lips against her pubis and smell the dark, delicious scent that rose from her. Devilishly, he pressed again on her desire and she rolled to her side, folding her hands between her thighs as she was overcome with yet another orgasm. This time she cried out softly, a long drawn out moan than ended deep in her throat as her eyelids twitched and her face took on that exquisite expression that lay somewhere between pleasure and pain.

If she'd known just how much he was responsible for the waves of ecstasy that rolled relentlessly though her, she would have begged him to stop. Her belly was cramping with the intensity of her orgasms, and her muscles shivered with the pleasure.

He positioned himself above her and pushed himself into her slick wetness, marveling at the sheer heat of her. She was putty beneath him, and he grabbed her hips as the need to rock himself deeper and deeper in her overtook him. His own climax came shortly thereafter as they breathlessly moved in rhythm, and when he came, she did too. This time, she was groaning incoherently, her head thrashing against the pillow, mindless and thoughtless except for the sensations that coursed through her.

But as soon as he had come, he felt a profound switch in him. The human feelings of lust, now satiated, fell dormant as the deep smells of her humanity and the closeness of her heat and skin woke the vampire within him. Unable to help himself, he slid down her body, poised above the apex of her legs and sent one more moaning burst of pleasure through her. Simultaneously, he savagely bit into the femoral artery, pressing a cold hand against her mouth to suppress her final cries.

Her blood was warm and sweet, and he wondered to himself if it would be any comparison to that of Olivia's. He drained her, letting it feed the hunger that had woken in him, sad but accepting at the fatal turn of events. This was his life now.

As he dressed, he debated whether or not to take the body with him to hide, but out of feelings of pity for the sleeping mother, left the daughter in the house so the mother would at least have a corpse to mourn over. He gently dressed the body and lay her on the bed, planting a kiss on her forehead goodbye.

He left the house silently and, in an odd gesture of repayment, left Gremlin there for the woman to use as she saw fit. The southern moon was half-full over the horizon, shining down on his guilt and shame as he began to run among the dark hillsides towards it.

A/N Here's where I ask you to review...