By Lucine Raven
I launched to my feet after Bella disappeared from above me. Before I could really process the speed at which I moved - it reminded me of my time as a newborn - I took in the state of the surrounding area. The air reeked of the death that littered the forest floor and clung to the pale, lifeless trees. My hand clamped over my nose and I shut off the air flow to my lungs. The odor was beyond nauseating. It was murderous, slinking on top of the air, seeking out any source of life to drain.
"Jasper." It was Bella behind me. My name slipped quietly from her lips.
When I turned, I saw that she was standing alone, her body strained in such a manner that she appeared to be holding herself back. I had assumed upon her disappearance that Grace was the cause and would be with her now.
I starred at Bella for a moment, my eyebrows knitting together. When did her eyes become so vividly green? The irises danced in her face like a liquid vortex of metallic lime, spinning round and round. My core propelled me slowly forward, drawn to Bella and that otherworldly green. It - she - had some hold on me. I needed to be closer to her.
She held her arms open to me and I eagerly stepped into her embrace. When my flesh made contact with hers I sighed and couldn't stop myself from burying my nose into the crook of her neck. My chest rumbled in delight as I inhaled the fresh scent of earth and life mingling with the subtle echo of freesia from her human life. Why did she smell like this? And why did I want it so much?
My tip of my tongue ran up her neck, tasting the flesh that held the source of that delightful smell from me. She shivered from within my grip, her soft arm hair brushing just barley against my skin with each, miniscule movement. The rumbling in my chest grew louder as I peeled back my lips and sunk my teeth into her flesh.
Bella gasped in pain, which soon molded into pleasure in the form of a soft moan as I sucked at the opening I had created. A substance somewhere between liquid and a mist ran into my mouth and exploded against my taste buds. I continued to draw it into me, allowing her essence to course down my throat, as I tried to name the flavor. It was sweet and yet spicy, popping against my tongue like the Peruvian lilies on Isle Esme, their seeds bursting against anything nearby whenever they scattered. Her taste was of a paradise that I just couldn't name.
"Jasper," she whispered again, her moans becoming louder and heavier.
Fingers so small and thin wrapped into my hair, as her arms pressed into my back. Somewhere in my mind, without words or sensations to communicate the desire, I knew what Bella needed. Fueled by the liquid, I was able to summon the necessary calm with little effort. I bathed us in it, allowing her to pull the emotion into herself.
"Thank you." Her gratitude was so hushed, almost strained.
We continued the cycle, pulling the sustenance from one another that we so desperately wanted and needed. It was a never-ending circle that wouldn't reach completion until we broke apart. Neither was able to drain the other, for what was taken was just as easily replenished by what was given. It was a symphony of yearning, of moaning, of purring as we continued to give and take with everything in us.
A gasp pulled us out of the trance we had found ourselves in. I pulled my lips from Bella's neck and she unlaced her fingers from my hair. The wound on her neck stiched back together in second as I cut off the flow of calm.
"I-" someone began.
I looked at the girl to the right of my feet and sampled her emotions. She was so confused and unsure that it was likely she didn't know how to finish her sentence. As I came back to myself, I understood her plight. Even I didn't know how to make sense of what had just happened.
When I turned back to Bella, I willed her to somehow understand that I needed answers for questions I didn't know how to phrase. As I waited, I tried forcing my mask back on, struggling to achieve the level of calm collectedness that I was so used to maintaining. Instead of succeeding, I was assaulted by a memories that were not my own. In them, I watched from someone else's eyes as Victoria beheaded me. But that didn't make sense! I knew from Carlisle's warnings, having discussed it with him on several occasions, that it took over a year for a vampire's head to reattach to the body. Even then, it was uncertain whether the vampire would return to his own consciousness. Thus, it was impossible that I was functioning again this quickly, with my head fully reattached.
I rubbed at my neck as another memory took hold. It came in flashes. Bella was running with my body. She was with the girl, the newborn vampire who I could feel now standing next to me. Then they stopped, trying to fill my body with blood to force the process of healing to speed up, but it was to no avail.
"Jasper, I'm sorry," she began, but I was too deep in another memory to hear the rest.
In this recollection, a power emerged from Bella. It seized the life around it, taking until everything in the surrounding area had died. Finally, it descended into me, stitching my neck back together with grand ease and returning me to consciousness. That explained why I was functioning so normally.
I took a step back from Bella, suddenly afraid of her. The powers this woman possessed were staggering. What couldn't she do? The possibilities ran endlessly through my mind. Would she grow to abuse these abilities? Would she be mentally changed?
Her face dropped, but I ignored it as I was assaulted with another memory. My sister had come to take Bella to the place she called 'A Place Between Dimensions'. There she discussed the plight we now found ourselves in. A group called the Svartálfar would come for me, keen on somehow opening the door between my world and their own through me. In that moment the knowledge of the creation of my kind barley entered my thoughts.
I took a breath I didn't need, in an attempt to settle myself. It didn't help, but I pressed on anyway.
"Where are we, Bell?"
"Somewhere in Canada," she responded quickly, unable to hide a small smile. A flicker of hope danced through her eyes. I assumed she was relieved that I was speaking to her again.
"Then we will stay here for now while I develop a plan of action," I said, my voice hallow. I didn't like being in a situation like this. All options seemed hopeless, but I'd be damned if I didn't find a way to make it out of this alive.
She nodded and I stuck my hand in my pocket, amazed that my cell was still in one piece. I pulled it out and flipped it open. When I dialed an all too familiar number, I was further shocked that the call went through. After several rings, the recipient of my call answered.
"Hello," I said into the receiver.
I flopped over on my bed, staring up at the smooth wood of the ceiling. Smiling, I sank back into the thick layer of soft pillow and curled my body into the thick, down comforter. It wasn't that I hadn't had comfort like this before. The memories were faint, but I could recall having a large bed at my parents home and never wanting for anything. Still, the more vivid memories I had were of Riley's red eyes, of crouching behind trash cans and anything else I could to hide behind when the other newborns took their aggression out on each other and of mostly of pain. Those were the clearest recollections that gripped my mind and refused to let go.
Snuggling further down into the covers, trying to force back my dark train of thought, I stared out at the large, open window. The sun was rising over the mountains, bathing the snow in the many hues of its warm light. The ground from here looked like a valley of daffodil, gold yarrow, california poppy and wallflower admits an ocean of white daisies.
My head turned to a floor mirror several feet from the foot of my bed and I took in my reflection. I was often self-conscious in life, yet I could not deny the beauty of the girl looking back at me. My hair sang with color, tumbling down my back like autumn. It framed the flawless skin of my face, occasionally releasing a strand that flickered against my long lashes and caressed the soft edges of my petite nose.
The corners of my lips rose while my chest sunk down. I might be beautiful, even alluring, but it was all a ruse. Sunlight on snow. Beauty on a monster. Like the morning light covered the cold of the snow, creating a guise of warmth, my seductive yet gentle features concealed the demon beneath. Only the red of my eyes betrayed the truth.
I pushed myself off of the bed, swinging my legs slowly over onto the floor. How I longed to bury my head beneath my sheets to keep myself from seeing my reality. Instead, I forced myself to walk over to the mirror and stare into my reflected eyes. At Bella's insistence, Jasper was training me to be what his kind jokingly called a vegetarian vampire. He was instructing me in how to use the blood of animals to curb my blood lust and satiate my thirst. Part of that training involved the practice I was carrying out now.
My eyes held those of my reflection and forced myself to remember. Though I gazed into my own reflection, it was not myself that I saw. On the contrary, I was outside, only some thirty miles from our home as Jasper did not like journeying too far from Bella. A man, a lone hiker with only his black lab to keep him company, was supported by my grip. My teeth were deep in the flesh of his neck, as I sucked greedily at my own ambrosia, before Jasper came to join me at my side. I paused, preparing to defend my kill, but Jasper did not try to stop me. Instead, he allowed me to drain the human dry, savoring the saccharine elixir, as he used his power to project the man's torment onto me.
I focused my vision on that red and drove the memories on. The pain of the man was my pain. I ingrained it into my body, into every moment I felt the strength from his blood feeding the venom that coursed through my veins. I heard his screams followed by fading pleas, pushing them to echo continuously through my mind. I felt his fear, his torment, his absolute anguish, and his unending sadness as if they were my own. The pain of the man as I robbed him of his life was now mine to bear. I would not forget. I would remember and let it fuel my will to never take another human's life.
When I was finished for the day, the sun told me that it was sometime around noon. I showered, letting the water wash away my self-hate as it spilled over my flesh. Bella, the sunshine to Jasper's ice, insisted that I could not go around loathing myself all the time because fate had delt me an ugly hand. She argued that it was not my fault that I drank human blood before for I hadn't been shown any other way. In her eyes, the potential to be a demon was in everyone and the only real demons were the ones who gave into their dark side without remorse.
'You can't give back what fate has dealt you, Bree. You can only choose how to respond into it,' she had told me with a smile on her face. I appreciated her take and knew that so long as I existed, I would never take another human life.
With my thoughts slightly warmer, I made my way out of my room and down the stairs. When I rounded the corner heading for the living room I found myself in the middle of one of the arguments that had been growing in number ever since Jasper purchased this house three days ago.
"We are not involving them in this, Jas," Bella snapped.
"That is not your call to make, Bell," Jasper said calmly back, though his green eyes were blazing.
She stomped her foot in agitation and I tried my best to remain silent as I turned to exit the scene unnoticed.
"Bree!" Bella called.
I silently cursed my bad luck.
"Good afternoon!" I said forcing cheer into my voice. The formal greeting I had chosen called back a memory of my Mother instructing me in my manners. I remembered her being an extremely polite, poised woman and, as her daughter, she had attempted to instill that demeanor into me. I liked to think that she had succeeded and, in honor of her, would not let her lessons be forgotten.
Jasper looked at me oddly and it took me a moment to realize why. Bella had said that he was an empath, didn't she?
Smiling faintly, I shrugged.
"Just remembering," I said softly, letting the silence fill in the gaps. He seemed to accept that, nodding, as his eyes temporarily glazed over perhaps in his own recollection of the past.
Before either could renter the debate, dragging me into it like two, rabid dogs playing a game of tug-o-war, I brought to their attention my thirst. Of course, I wasn't actually in need of sustenance, but the tiny lie easily beat the alternative. The two simply could no agree over whether or not to contact the Cullens. Jasper wanted to contact the leader of his former family, Carlisle, and ask him for information on the fae. Bella was entirely against the idea, favoring not involving the family. It was the reason she grabbed Jasper's phone and crushed it before he could glean any information from Carlisle.
"Have a good hunt," Bella called as we made out way out the door. She was heading in the opposite direction, making her way outside to undoubtably meditate. She preferred to be outside during the practice as she worked to cloak Jasper and myself.
"Thank you!" I called back as I opened the front door and crashed straight into a hard body.
Large hands wrapped around my shoulders and gently pushed me back. I looked up, embarrassed, into eyes of vibrant honey. They were the very color Jasper told me my eyes would become as I continued to drink the animal blood.
"Pardon me, Miss, but-" the boy in front of me began before his vision fell on Jasper.
The boy's mouth opened and his lips formed the name, "Jasper," without any sound. He looked at Jasper, then at me, pausing on my eyes, and then back at Jasper. One of his eyebrows rose. A breathtakingly gorgeous woman behind the boy pushed him out of the way and threw her arms around Jasper.
"Rose," Jasper said affectionately as she sobbed his name over and over into his shirt. If she could cry, the material would undoubtably be thoroughly soaked by now.
"Bro," a bear of a man shouted, his hand coming down roughly on Jasper's back.
I heard a gasp from Bella and smelled Jasper's scent, leather, oak and the sweetness of our venom, return. It was followed by a slow and deep breath that one might take before entering into a battle. Shortly thereafter, I heard the back door slide open and waited for Bella to appear, surprised at the downtempo of her pace. Finally, she appeared before us causing a wave of gasps rise up around me.
"Bella," the male newcomers said in unison.
The woman, Rose, removed her face from Jasper's chest and looked over at Bella. She barley whispered, "But you were dead."
The boy who had a head of tossled, blond hair had Rose against the wall, his hand around her neck before anyone could react.
"What are you talking about, Rose?" he growled through his teeth.
The mammoth man and Jasper pulled the boy back, forcing him to release his hold on Rose. He struggled against their tight grip, but couldn't break free. He hissed and growled like a wild animal, his fully black eyes the strongest indicator of the monster he had released.
"What the fuck is your problem, Edward?" the giant man growled, shaking the boy in his grasp several times to add emphasis to his words. "Get a hold of yourself, man!"
A wave of calm moved through the air, relaxing all of us and causing Bella to moan. At the sound of the noise, Edward ceased his fight and snapped his head toward Bella. His eyes softened and the men released him.
"Don't ever fucking touch me like that again," Rose growled, cracking his cheek with the palm of her hand.
Edward's eyes remained glued on one thing: Bella. He barely responded to the blow from Rose, too transfixed on the woman of his interest, a look of wonder and shock thick in his eyes when I turned to her. I noticed that she was shifting uncomfortably trying to avoid his gaze.
"How?" Rose asked, finally shattering the silence.
Jasper moved near Bella as she sighed. He put his hand on her shoulder, likely giving her a dose of calm as he eyes flickered gently closed. Edward growled menacingly and headed in Bella's direction as well before the large man stopped him.
"It's a long story, Rosalie," Bella replied when she had found her voice.
Bella turned and moved in the direction of the living room. Jasper ushered the rest of us in that direction and offered everyone a seat. Before Edward could sit down, presumedly near Bella, Jasper swooped in next to her. A look of annoyance crossed Edward's features and he chose to remain standing. Rosalie and the bear-sized man took a couch opposite of Bella's, while I hung off to the side feeling out of place.
"What are you?" Rosalie asked rather candidly in my opinion. No one else acted surprised, however, most likely due to the fact that her bluntness was a predominant facet of her personality.
Jasper grabbed Bella's hand and she said, "Faerie or, more accurately, part-fae. An awakener since Jasper got his head knocked off."
The man to her right chuckled, looking around at all of the raised eyebrows.
"She is being serious," he insisted in a tone that left no room for argument.
"A faerie? Seriously?" The big guy asked, halfway between a chuckle and absolute confusion.
Bella nodded and held her hand up to stop the sudden influx of questions. She explained her turning into a part-fae by a maker she chose not to name. She told them how she and Jasper had come together and killed Victoria. I was mentioned after she described the battle and introductions were made all around. Finally, Bella and Jasper explained the situation they were in due to his Awakened nature.
Edward pulled a cellphone out and dialed the number for the leader of the coven. The one who they called Carlisle answered on the first ring and within moments he was on his way. In the meantime, I showed our guests around the home while we waited.
To Be Continued...
A/N: Sorry it has been so long since the last update. Real life has really been catching up for me. I can't promise that the next update will be soon, but I can assure you that I know where the store is going. When I can update again, I will. In the meantime, please read and review.
~ Lucine Raven