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"What?" I snapped into the phone. Peter and his phone calls had become annoying. I knew him and Charlotte were just worried about me, but I was a hundred and sixty-seven year old vampire; I didn't want their help and most definitely didn't need their pity.
"Where the fuck are you? You were supposed to be here two days ago." His tone was like that of a father scolding his child. I was on my way to Oregon to visit them, but I couldn't bring myself to stray from my routine, and if Peter thought things would change once I got there, he was mistaken.
"I've been… preoccupied. I'm on my way. I'll be there soon, the morning probably." After I was finished with Caroline, I sat back and let my stomach, full of her sweet blood, settle. I wasn't worried about anyone finding me at the cabin and even if they did I could dispose of them too. I waited, staring at her lifeless body, for an hour before I decided to take her into the woods and let whatever animal found her finish her off. Peter's phone call came in right after I discarded her.
"Ah, I see. How was your last meal?" he asked mockingly. I grimaced at the memory of Caroline. My impatience got the better of me and I settled simply because she had Alice-like features. I could have done better.
"Nothing to write home about," I chuckled. Home. I didn't have one.
"Jasper," he sighed. "You have to stop this. They will find out and come looking for you."
"It would take decades for them to figure it out and even then, they would never know who it was. I'm not the only goddamn human drinker, Peter. Just because I don't choose to feed like you do, doesn't make you any different than me."
"Doesn't it? I take the lives of people who are dying, criminals; people who want death or might as well be dead. You… you're a murderer and you're leaving a messy trail. There is a reason we have laws, Jasper. It doesn't have to be this way. You could come here, stay with us for awhile. We love you and we understand." I growled as soon as the words were out of his mouth. He didn't understand. No one did. He had Charlotte, a home, good friends and was already granted his goddamn happy ending. My world was torn apart all because of another man's obsession. My brother, I scoffed at the thought. I would have done anything for him, any of them, especially Alice and just like I had done with Caroline and the other hundred women of the past, they discarded me.
"I have to go. I will try to be there by morning."
Peter hung up the phone wordlessly. The only time I ever felt any remorse for the things I'd done was while talking to him. Hearing the disappointment in his tone was enough to bring me to my knees. I owed him and Charlotte so much, but what they were asking was impossible. I need the hunt, my kind of hunt, to survive. My prey, their fear and the thrill - it was too good to let go. I was an addict. Maybe Peter was right; maybe the Volturi would find out and come looking for me, but it didn't matter. I was damned the moment Maria chose me to fight in the Southern wars.
After Alice told me not to return to the house until everyone was gone I sat in the field for a few hours, just thinking. During that time I looked back on my years with the Cullens's. Nothing could make me understand how they could force me out so easily. Didn't they love me? I couldn't bring myself to believe that Esme and Carlisle's parental affections were all in vain. I wondered about Alice's vision and why she never told me. Since before Edward and Bella began dating Alice said she saw her as one of us, but was it possible that she hid the details from Edward too? He was adamant about Bella's humanity staying intact, so it didn't surprise me that it wasn't him she saw changing her. My mind was reeling and full of theories. I was angry, but mostly hurt. I would have given my life for Alice… I did give my life for her. There wasn't much about me that didn't change during the first year we were together. I was happy making her happy, so I didn't mind much. In fact I didn't mind it in all the years we were together, at least not until she left me. There were many things I didn't realize were happening until I was alone. For instance, the lack of trust the family put in me. I once thought of it as support, but in reality, they were looking out for their best interest. What shocked me the most was Rosalie and Emmett's departure. Anytime problems arose within the family, with the exception of Bella, they always stayed neutral. We were like real siblings, closer even, so for them to dismiss me so easily was a shock.
I remained in the Forks forest for two days, feeding off of every animal that crossed my path. Alice said I shouldn't return to the house until Edward was gone, but I made the decision to ignore her and go speak with him, to apologize. I had to. It was my fault that he was leaving Bella. The morning of the third day I went back to the house. My clothes were tattered and torn and my body reeked of dry blood. Edward's car was in the driveway with the trunk open and half full. I ran into the house and up the stairs, halting when I came to Edward's room.
"Everyone's really gone?" I asked looking down at the floor.
"Yes. Why aren't you with them?" I picked my head up to see him looking at me curiously. Didn't he know?
"Didn't Alice tell you? She told me not to."
"I thought she was just upset. She said she had a vision of her future and it changed, but…" he trailed off. His was deep in thought with a faraway look on his face. I hoped he would finish the statement, but I didn't push.
"Edward, I need to apologize to you. I would never intentionally hurt Bella." I knew my apology wasn't enough, but he had to know. I loved her because he loved her.
"I know that, Jasper and I don't blame you. What happened was to be expected. You tried and that's all I could, or would ever ask of you. I appreciate you coming to apologize, but it wasn't necessary. There is nothing to forgive. I'm leaving because I think it is the right thing to do for Bella. She deserves to live a happy life and I love her enough to step aside and let that happen." I could feel the sincerity as he spoke. He loved her and he was saddened by the separation, but thought it was for the best. However, I could also feel his disgust and resentment because of what we are. He would never blame me for trying to feed off of her, but he did blame me for his loss. As he went back to packing he started to speak again. "Jas, where will you go?"
"I don't know. Maybe I will go visit Peter and Charlotte for a while," I said with a smile. I wasn't ready to visit them yet, but I had to give him some answer.
"That's fine, just get out of Forks. Okay?" He wasn't really asking and we both knew it. He feared that I would go after Bella and truth be told, if it wasn't for him, I probably would have.
"Sure," I said before heading to the room I once shared with Alice. A while later I heard Edward walking down the hall. I thought he would have stopped to say goodbye, but he didn't. His car roared to life in the drive and before I knew it he was gone. I packed the rest of my stuff and stored it in the garage. There was really nowhere for me to go, so I only carried a duffle bag with a few changes of clothes in it. I decided to just buy as I went.
There was no reason for me to sit around in Forks, so as soon as I was done storing my stuff I got into my car, the only car left in the driveway, and took off. I drove for days, not stopping to hunt. When I finally stopped I was in Raleigh, North Carolina. I had never been on the east coast, so I took my time exploring the land. I would hunt on occasion, but it was never enough to completely soothe the burn in the back of my throat. I spent most of my time thinking about Alice. I was drowning in my own self pity. Eventually, my sadness turned to anger and somewhere along the line I started trying to replace her with different women. Human women meant nothing to me. They were good for one thing, but then one night, everything changed. Sex wasn't enough. Her blood called to me and I couldn't resist. I was disgusted with myself the next day, but satiated. A couple of days later I went out and my plan was, once again, to find someone to give me release, but the moment I entered her I couldn't resist sinking my teeth into her flesh. It started happening more and more frequently after that. Their emotion, in combination with their blood, was my very own anti-depressant. Three years and nine states later I knew that I would never be able to stop.
I was twenty minutes outside of the Oregon border, coming from Nevada, when I started feeling antsy. Peter and Charlotte wouldn't let me hunt in their town and the last thing I wanted was a fight. My mind was screaming at me to turn around, but I made a promise that I intended on keeping. I stopped to fill up on gas in Portland. Peter and Charlotte lived in the next town over and I wanted to be prepared if I needed to make a quick escape. The sun was long gone, but I left my helmet on when I went in to pay so I didn't have to put in those fucking contacts. On my way out I lifted the visor to get a little fresh air when my nostrils were assaulted by a familiar scent. Lilacs and honey.
Bella. Bella. Bella.
Her name ran through my mind like a freight train. Could it be? Excitement replaced every emotion I was feeling. I hopped on my bike and took off, following the direction of the scent. She must have been on foot for her scent to linger in the air with such force. Two minutes was all it took for me to trace the scent to a small brick home, in a quiet subdivision, behind the gas station. There were two cars in the driveway; a silver Volvo, similar to Edward's, and a gold Mercedes. I wasn't sure how to proceed, so I decided to try to get a look inside before proceeding. I hadn't thought about Bella Swan in nearly three years, but that scent was too good to pass up twice.
The front of the house was dark, but the closer I got the more positive I became that there were two people inside and one was definitely her. I had never smelt anything so sweet. The other was a male, but his scent was off. It was laced with something I couldn't place. Some type of drug; it was revolting. There was one steady heart beat and one that was racing. I looped around the house and said a silent thank you to whoever left the one light one. I jumped up on the second story balcony and peeked through open blind. I was glad there was no one around to see my expression. I was a combination of floored and turned on as I watched the girl, sitting with her ass perched on her calves in nothing but a pair of lacy pink panties, take the fully dressed man into her mouth. The girl couldn't have been Bella. She was curvier, with darker hair, and a slight tan. I was mistaken, but still drawn in. There situation seemed odd. He was definitely in control of the situation. His emotions were a mix of lust and mischief, hers were the same, but muted. He reached down and grabbed her breast with force, causing her to moan. The noise was like music to my ears. Peter and Charlotte were going to have to wait. I was fascinated by the couple before me. Why was he dressed? Why wasn't she? There was no like, no love, they were just there and they were content. I felt like a perverted peeping tom, but I couldn't look away.
The man exploded in the girl's mouth and immediately pulled away. He zipped his pants as she rose to her feet. He stroked her cheek before kissing it lightly.
"Thanks for tonight." The guy said.
"Thanks for walking me home." Bella. It had to be. The scent, the voice; it couldn't have been a coincidence.
"One of these days, you'll decide to share more of yourself," he said, slipping his hand in between her legs. I felt a surge of anger rush through me.
She giggled, swatting him away and shaking her head. She had no intention of ever being with him. They walked out of the room, but I stayed rooted, listening to their goodbyes.
"I won't see you for a week," he sighed.
"I know. Have fun in Mexico." She didn't sound like she cared at all.
"Bella, I-" Confirmation.
"It's fine. Really. Go have fun. I'll see when you get back." They were quiet for a few minutes before the man spoke again.
"Okay. I'll call you."
"Goodnight Professor Nicks." The way she said "Professor" led me to believe that he was, in fact, her teacher.
"I'm only your professor in class, Bella. I've told you that. Call me Steve." I could feel her annoyance. She didn't want to call him Steve. It was the Professor that Bella was attracted to.
"Goodnight, Steve," she said sarcastically.
I heard her shut the door and walk quietly back to the bedroom. She was beautiful. Everything about her looked different. Her hips were wider, her breast fuller, her face rounder. She looked like a different person. I didn't see how it was possible.
I had the perfect opportunity to get to her, but I was too fascinated to move. Who the fuck was she? She was still full of lust as she climbed into her bed. She pulled the covers up around her neck and rolled over to turn off the lamp. I could still see her silhouette, but it wasn't enough. I needed more. I had to get closer. I cracked the window open and paused, making sure she hadn't heard me. I heard her let out small moan. She was fucking pleasing herself. I slid the window open with ease and soundlessly climbed through. I ran over to her bed and stood over her. Watching her face and soaking up her emotions. I don't know what came over me, but the next thing I knew I sat down on the bed and stroked exposed chest.
"Steve," she shouted, sitting up and fumbling for the light. I beat her to it. She began to tremble slightly as she took me in.
"Jasper." Was all she said and I could feel her disbelief.
"What's the matter, Sugar? Aren't you happy to see me?"
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