AN: Alright, so this took forever… I know I'm downright awful… Also, let's forget about what actually occurred in Eclipse a little, ne? I had already most of this written out, but only then did I decide to go back into the book and see what actually went on; nothing was matching, and I feel as though I should retype this all—I changed some to feel better about it—but then hours of writing will go down the tube. So sorry Mrs. Meyer, but, hey, this is FanFiction! Speaking of which…

Disclaimer: Don't own.

Two

Jasper glanced down at the medal, the shine of reflecting light blinding him when he tilted it to the left.

He had been fighting for a year, possibly less, but he had quickly become highly respected and valued amongst the soldiers and generals. He never would have thought it possible that he would become a major—not in all his life—but he accepted the honor with pride.

As he walked along the cadavers, withal, he still felt that wave of sickness, of hurling everything in his stomach though it was still empty. He had not felt like eating. He pushed through, stepping over one fallen soldier.

A young man, close to his age Jasper believes, was shuddering from fear. Today had been his first day in battle and Jasper could sympathize very well. He knelt beside him, placing a hand on a quivering shoulder. The man's head snapped up, apprehension etching his face before it went back to anguish. Able to determine his face, the name 'Aaron' registered into his mind. That was his name.

Jasper continued to sit next to him. "Do you want to see the physician?"

The other lad shook his head solemnly, taking a deep shaky breath. Aaron wrapped his arms closer around him. He looked the way Jasper felt and Jasper gave the shoulder he gripped a light, comforting squeeze.

Aaron glanced up at him, eyes dark. "Does it get easier? Killing people?"

Jasper's mouth frowned into a grim line. "No. It never does."

"I wish it did."

Jasper glanced at him, disturbed but empathetic. "Why?"

"Because I don't like feeling like this…"

Jasper gave the man a look of understanding. "Yet, if that happened, we would be something other than human."

Aaron looked up, surprised; yet he found the strength to smile. "You're right."

And, what seemed like moments ago, he, Aaron, and the rest of their battalion were ambushed by the Union's surprise attack. He remembered the adrenaline beginning to pound, pulling out a knife from his belt when one soldier came too close. When he saw Aaron go down, Jasper forgot himself and had started to rush to the other boy's aid; then a swift blow to the back of his head caused his vision to fade to black, faint shouts in his ears; so he did not hear, or feel, the sudden bullet that burrowed itself into his side.

He had woken up, freezing yet dripping with sweat.

Doctor Winchester had come to patch him up. Jasper sighed slowly, grateful for the good doctor's talent. When he had come in to change the dressings of the wound, Jasper had questioned about Aaron. The doctor had met his gaze and, instantly, Jasper knew that the boy was gone. A solemn feeling began to gnaw into his self again.

However, there was always the feeling ebbing into his soul. What Aaron said bothered him greatly as he lay there in the patients' tent. He, too, would wish he could just forget the faces of the people he killed. The pride which would swell in his chest was becoming just a dull thud.

Suddenly, he had found the strength to move, don some heavy normal wear, take food rations, and limp his way into the greeting stillness and black of the woods.

Jasper decided he did not want to deal with taking lives anymore.

How did he come to be in this situation?

Major Jasper Whitlock—well-respected and revered; practically a military prodigy before the battle of Galveston—was wandering around on a dirt path, dazed and weakened by malnourishment and injuries; he had patched them up, again, but only with amateur methods.

At any other time in the past, he would have laughed at how pathetic the situation would sound.

Coughing roughly, Jasper continued to walk; he was exhausted from fatigue and the food he had taken had long ago been consumed.

In his blurry vision, he looks up. Surprise registers into his mildly numb mind; women! Here? There were no houses around for miles. Even so, he had to see if they could help him.

When he got closer, he was marveled by the paleness of their skin, their eyes fine yet murky with something indescribably malicious. They were, nevertheless, incredibly beautiful. Looks, though, he knew were deceiving and approached with newfound caution.

The tallest one smiled at him pleasantly, and he wondered how anyone could be so lovely yet sadistic simultaneously. He continued to study her fair hair and snow white skin.

"He's speechless." His ears were acute now; the voice was like wind chimes.

Another girl, who was blonder still and just as pale, flitted towards him; she curved her frame against his, and he couldn't believe the heavenly scent she exuded. He barely caught her words, watching a small pale hand rest on his hip. "Mmm," she sighed. "Lovely."

A slender figure emerged from between the others, dark hair framing a winsomely face; she was clearly of Mexican despite the colour of her skin. She gripped the arm of the woman on him, her voice soft and musical.

"Concentrate, Nettie."

The girl's mouth became a pout and withdrew.

Cupping the side of his face, the brunette drew closer till he was drowning in the aroma wafting from her. He vaguely remarked how cold to the touch she was.

"He looks right—young, strong, an officer…" she pauses briefly. "And there's something more... do you sense it?" She asks the two, eyeing them. "He's…compelling."

"Oh, yes," Nettie promptly concurred, leaning towards him again, greed in her eyes.

"Patience, I want to keep this one." The brunette replied in a clipped tone; no room for argument.

Again, Nettie was vexed.

"You better do it, Maria," The blonde spoke then, inspecting her perfect fingernails. "If he's important to you; I kill them twice as often as I keep them."

Kill. Such a familiar word, but it was foreign coming from the woman's tongue. Fear trickled into him, but he fought it down. Women were not dangerous; they were the ones who needed protection. That's what he was brought up to believe. His mother was proof of that.

"Let's hunt!" Nettie shouted enthusiastically, taking hold of the other one's hand. Jasper felt awe inside seeing them run; they appeared to take flight, their white dresses spreading like wings.

Was he finally dead?

"What is your name, soldier?"

Run…

The lilting voice brought him back. He couldn't think, couldn't feel, and stammered, "Major Jasper Whitlock, ma'am."

Run.

"I truly hope you survive, Jasper," she murmured gently, stepping closer; she smiled, inclining her head at a kissing angle. "I have a good feeling about you."

Run!

A piercing sting ran through his neck; he was on fire and screaming and screaming.

In this instant, he knew he was still very much alive.

()

He awoke to a gentle pressure on his mouth.

Slowly, confused, he opens his eyes, and a face is looking down at him with a miniscule smile. She was even more beautiful then when he passed out. Maria leans down again, her lips a hairsbreadth from his.

"Welcome to your new life."

What was she talking about…?

"I knew you would make it," she continued, putting a hand on his face. It was not cold anymore. "You're a strong one."

Jasper did feel different—more capable and sure than he ever felt; his eyes were seeing the world in a whole new clarity—the night had never looked more beautiful or more frightening than tonight and his other senses were sharper than ever: he smelled every mineral in the air, heard every sound mingling together as a symphony; inside, though, everything was tumultuous. He did not understand what she was rambling about. And there was a strange hunger burning…

"He made it?"

He turns to see two blonde women sauntering over to him. Waves crashed into him—hazardous and raging, yet licentious and arousing. The daintier one—Nettie, he remembered from a corner of his mind—kneeled before him, scanning his form; astounded by her bold perusal, Jasper fought to reign in the sudden storm.

"He's even handsomer now than before," she breaths, caressing his chest with a slim digit. "A shame I'll never be able to know how his blood tasted like—he smelled delicious."

The brunette smacks Nettie's hand, glaring hotly. "Do we really need you flirting with this one as well?"

Nettie only smirked and winked at him; Jasper found it odd that he wasn't even blushing lightly, withal, still discomfited.

"Get up." Maria spoke, gaining his attention; she even snapped her fingers.

Something cracked within, and he growled, "I'm not a trained animal." She turned, her eyes wide; Jasper, too, felt mortified by his behaviour towards a woman, but what really perturbed him was the feral animalistic sound he had created from deep in his throat.

Nettie laughed. "He's a feisty one! I like him more and more."

Maria was seriously displeased; he would have to learn the hard way. Still, she was impressed with his temerity; she went on her knees and held his chin with her fingers. In one swift movement, she slapped him.

Nettie quieted; Jasper was incredulous.

"It's rude to speak to a lady crassly," she turned to the other girl. "Lucy, could you go see if there is prey anywhere?"

Lucy nodded and took off.

"Get up," repeated Maria, watching where Lucy had taken off.

Jasper did as he was told without question. He could feel the coquettish eyes of Nettie upon him, and, again, there was intense lust emanating from her, and, somehow, causing him to feel it in turn. These feelings felt like intense electrical waves with all the force of nature's oceans crashing onto him. Unknowingly, from the 'gift' he now possessed, he caused Nettie's lewdness to heighten and it only hit him harder.

What was wrong with him?

He studies his hands; they were white as chalk, as pale as the strange women.

Maria glances at him now. "Have you guessed yet what has occurred to you?"

He shakes his head, unsure of his wits and the world. "What… has happened to me?"

She turns, and in the blink of an eye, was close to his face. "You are what I am now. You are a vampire."

Vampire…

"It can't be…" he murmurs. "You're lying to me! There is no possible way on this earth that vampires exist! You've done something else to me!"

"I assure you Jasper. I am not lying."

The blonde woman reached for his hand, pulling him towards her. "Run with me, I'll show you."

He snatches his hand back, agitated and restless. "No! Tell me what has happened with me!"

"If you run with me, it'll prove everything my sister has said." She glances at Maria, and at the brunette's nod, Nettie reaches out a hand again.

Not taking the proffered hand, Jasper does, albeit, come to her. She takes off in a light jog, but to him, she appeared to be dancing in the brush. He does the same and bewilderment courses through him as he finds it so easy to keep up with her. She picks up the speed, and he follows suit, the forest now a blur of colour. It wasn't just black as it ought to have been: there were clinquant bursts of silver, blue, and green dazzling his vision, and he could see perfectly each dappled object in sight. The sound of every living creature in the wood hit him, now a torrent of different pitches of tone and chords…

Dread catches him, and as the epiphany lays its cold hands on his mind, Jasper abruptly halts, hoping, pleading, that he could find the heartbeat he didn't feel, that he had forgotten he had.

The silence in his torso spoke volumes louder than the world.

The vampire finally found his voice and he screamed in horror.

But even the caterwaul was indistinct to his ears—it should have been ugly like all cries, like all human, but it breached his mind, telling him that it, like he, was inhuman because it sounded too beautiful for a lament of his soul.

"She told you." came the solemn soprano trill of Nettie.

Jasper whirled on her, and the fear he ejected stung her core; consumed by rage, he snarled and pounced on her, gripping her neck tightly with his own hand.

She wasn't choking! Why wasn't she choking?!

He tightened the hold. Still, she was not spluttering; but the terror in her dark eyes was enough. Instinctually, he found himself making the distress circulate in her, and he ravished the inner turmoil. This was her fault. This was their entire fault!

A hand gripped his wrist, and he looked down at Lucy, her mouth a set line.

He was suddenly disgusted with his actions, and relented his hold upon Nettie. What's wrong with him? If he delighted in causing pain, what was he? He wasn't human…

"Come back with me." Lucy uttered softly, tugging him by the sleeve.

Lost in his thoughts, he followed at a slower pace.

He finally reached the designated point, and he found Maria's frigid onyx oculars on him; she moved aside with all the grandeur of a hostess, waving elegantly to a young woman. She was frightened, her breath hitching at seeing his intimidating figure emerging from the gloom.

"Feed." commanded Maria.

The girl's fear peaked tenfold and she scooted a little back. Maria shoved her roughly back in his direction, and the girl gasped in pain. The column of her throat was now exposed; she swallowed and he heard the fresh pumping of her heart, the pulse beneath her jaw beckoning him like a siren's call. He had never felt such a hunger, such a thirst!

But the fear kept crashing on him, and he, too, took a step backwards.

"You are thirsty. Feed." Maria told him again, her voice betraying the simmering of her impatience.

"You…" whispered Jasper, his gaze shifting back and forth to her and the girl, "You can not be serious…"

"Oh, but I am. Lucy went to all the trouble of finding you a delectable morsel for your first time and you are acting very ungrateful about it Jasper."

"Ungrateful!" he cried, his anger surmounting. "This is a life!"

Lucy rolled her eyes. "Oh, they all die at some point—what's the harm in ending it early?"

Jasper growled at her, and Lucy inadvertently stepped back as well. Nettie gripped Lucy's hand, exchanging glances with Maria also. Maria was becoming more and more testy by the minute; curling a fist into the woman's hair, she dragged her over to where Jasper stood and threw her at his feet.

Hitting the ground, it stirred the scent of warm blood into the air, and he drunk it in. Jasper felt overcome in this instant by a beast, and everything moved so quickly; he didn't have time to register his actions before the animal made him dive for the prey.

The scream that came from his prey's throat was deafening, but he heard none of it—he was too absorbed in the texture and taste of the liquid. It was so warm, so sweet and tangy at the same time; he saw nothing but red, a euphoria rose as the beast triumphed in receiving its desire. Jasper suckled the neck miserly, feeling it course down his throat.

There was a thumping, faint and languid; he could not focus on whether it was the girl's or possibly his. As he drank more his fill, he had felt the heat of it trickle into his chest… It must have been his imagination, or a subconscious wanton to hear his own heart again. There was an urge to pretend that there hearts were beating together in a serene rhythm.

How he wanted to hear his heart…

There was a tug on his shirt, and, unwittingly, he pulled back. His eyes widened as he realized it was the woman, scarlet ribbons dribbling on the sides of lips down her cheek. So much horror in those youthful eyes…

They were dulling now, the light of life receding with each second. Soon they were nothing more than light brown pebbles, false replicas of what they once were.

He was still. A little breeze tousled his hair, the only indication that he was not stone.

He never had such raw guilt gnawing him before, and the brunt of it gave him a heavy blow; he was so much worse than any murderer or rapist; he ravaged a life, a soul, ate at it greedily. To himself, he was worse than any cannibal.

He was just a bloodthirsty monster, inhuman and deadly.

Jasper Whitlock was no more.

()

The vampire was killing now, not for himself, but for Maria and the others. Maria wanted an army of newborns vampires. It has now been a little over half a year since he became what he is, and he was excellent at performing duties. Maria loved that about him—his diligent obedience and silent acquiescence. His tasks were clean and precise, as such was the way of a soldier.

She always went with him to help with the selection of their members, looking for assets that she thought would be of worth. Once she picked her choices, she sent him out to do the dirty work. Lucy and Nettie aided of course, but they would become enraptured of the combination of lethality and stealth in his movements; he was a graceful and gorgeous specimen for their kind. Maria, assured that he would not do anything to jeopardize their mission, had stopped coming with them altogether.

"Good," Maria would praise when he'd done marvelously. "You may have your choice."

And the vampire would drink his reward, lapping the corpse till it was drier than a desert.

The ones who made it were taught skills he had learned in his past life, and he took lessons seriously, pushing them hard. Unfortunately, there would be disadvantages to their recruits that Maria found simply unacceptable. There had been a brutal brawl before that had gotten out of hand: two male newborns had both gone after the same prey. It was a fight of yowling and screeching, each trying to tear the other to bits for the same meal.

One had proved to be the better combatant, ripping out the vocal chords of the other and biting through his marbled flesh. Jasper had sensed the frustration and territorial instincts within both, but he had been too far away by vampire standards to have broken it up before there was any serious damage. When he had gotten there, he halted to see a limb inching across the grass. The decapitated head was mouthing unintelligible words, and the older vampire had the uncomfortable sense of nausea crawl inside him for the first time in a very long while.

Maria had arrived on the scene shortly after him and regarded the scene nonchalantly.

"Collect and burn the pieces, Jasper."

"What of the survivor?"

Maria paused, contemplating. Eventually, she said, "Get rid of him too."

He blinked. "Why?"

She sighed and looked at him over her shoulder, bored. "The newborn may be strong, but this is the third time he has gotten into a fight; there is no actual potential if he's just going to continue on in this fashion."

"No punishment this time, Maria?" inquired Lucy.

"Afraid not, sister—he's too much of a risk."

Jasper, which also had the duty of disposing of useless newborns, came up behind the young one softly. In one swiftly harsh twist, he pulled the head and neck off its shoulders, and it slumped, twitching. He gathered the limbs, set a fire of reasonable size—to avoid detection—and tossed them professionally. Each time he had done this, he had felt envy's venomous sting at their freedom, watching their husks turn to a melted ambrosial form of what they were before, finally, shifting to fragrant ashes.

But, too, like an expert, he pushed the emotion down deep, his façade impassive as he resumed his business.

Maria was satisfied with the efforts, but there were times when the musical voice would shift to an exacerbated version of its former glory. She would hit him numerously when they lost a newborn, blaming him and vehemently reciting, "This is your fault! Why didn't you stop it? How can we ever find ways to dominate the other covens if I keep losing my newborns?"

Jasper would be silent, having been trained in the past and now to take it in a patient vigil. He did this mostly to calm her mood; he learned a good time ago that if he had reacted in defense and started raging on her, the ire of Maria would amplify and it would take a great deal of time to control the temper down to a minimum.

When Maria was finally at a sedate level, she would approach him with care and hold his face in-between hers. Crimson oculars would clash with other, and the thought of blood made him thirsty. She would give him a knowing smile, putting her forehead against his. Her expression had changed once—it had been pretentious, aloof. Gradually, it softened, seductive and coy. The feelings were lackadaisical, wrapping over his senses. She gripped the back of his head and captured his lips.

He stiffened in the sudden shock of her mouth on his. The insensateness of his self was slipping, and he shuddered at the cruelty of tender physical contact. He couldn't be sure if this was more pleasurable or worse than the punishments and rewards combined. It was a contrast of itself—it represented him, he vaguely thought, yearning and not for something real, something better than this.

She pulls back, arms round his neck. "Lo siento… Perdóname por favor…"

Like a marionette, he bobs his head, listening to how the words poured off her lips. "I forgive you, Maria."

She smiles genuinely at him for the first time since they met. The ice was gone for now, and he finds a different warmth spreading inside his living shell. He meets her lips again, reveling in the butterfly caress he gives her, which she urgently and vigorously responds to. He felt pain in the empty ribcage, withal let it run its course—it had been so long since he felt anything remotely good.

Theirs is a parasitic relationship; Maria uses Lucy and Nettie for convenience, which he figured out some time ago. But with him and her, it was the formerly mentioned and symbiotic. They needed each other for reasons unspoken, but they both found the words didn't matter—it was a different hunger that could only be satiated like this they decided.

For the first time in a while as well, the animal was dormant, and Jasper was allowed to feel a frozen heart ache, taking predilection in some emotion other than terror and fury. He hated it, and loved it.

()

Translations:

Lo siento | I'm sorry.

Perdóname por favor | Forgive me please.

Crappy cliffhanger and I'm sorry. The next one, I hope, will be better. -nervous laugh-