A/N: Hi folks! This little tale is dedicated to Mouse555 who writes the best British versions of the Twilight characters (just love the naughty Edward in Enough is Enough) and I was inspired by her writing to write this. She's a Jasper fan so I thought I'd write a little cocky Jasper just for a laugh and for Mouse555! I'd love it if you review and tell your friends about it! And also give Mouse555 a looksee for her stories – they're great!
Disclaimer: I don't own Jasper or any other Twilight characters....though I know someone who wants a cardboard cut-out of him for Xmas just the same! Hehehe
It wasn't fair, really. She had me by the balls, and it was my fault. All because of a stupid dare. All to prove that I had the guts to do anything without hesitating. What the hell was I thinking? Why didn't I just tell the truth and hang the consequences? Now my life as I knew it was over. Gone in the blink of an eye. I closed my eyes and recollected what had happened as I lay in bed, the pain never leaving me as I tried to get some sleep. I knew that she was in my head so much that sleep would be impossible tonight, and probably any other night from now on, she had my heart on a string that much. Tug, tug...tug, tug, tug.
Of all the bars to go into in all the places in the world, she just HAD to walk into mine, and now, I was a goner. Absolute cactus. An idiot, following her around like a damned lap dog, doing whatever she wanted whenever she wanted it. No-one had ever had that sort of power over me before. No-one! Now I had this unbreakable connection to this woman that I couldn't see finishing any time soon. I seriously needed my head read. Seriously.
Stupid thing is, the girl was a huge blip on my radar screen before I even knew it. I later found out that her and her friends had followed me on the little blog and facebook page the band and I made, and had posted hundreds of comments whenever we posted new photos of our adventures. We were trying to break into the music business, and thought the site might help our cause, posting videos of our jam sessions and local gigs on there as well as You Tube. I never dreamed out of all of this that I would have my own personal stalker. Not a stalker in as much as she was a tad obsessed. Just a little. I took as a compliment actually. Well, in the beginning anyway. Now everything's all messed up. Big time. Well, to be more exact, I'm the one that's messed up. All because of her and the power she had over me. I was such a pussy.
When I first noticed her postings on the page, she would always comment on any pictures of me. She posted innocent stuff, really, nothing different from many of the other girls who seemed to follow our every move on our website, which in a little over six months had gained a pretty strong following. Some would even post links to risqué pictures of themselves, just to get noticed by us. Nothing like free porn! I've never been able to work out why these girls think it's not going to come back to haunt them when they post pictures of themselves like that, their naked bodies forever trapped in cyberspace. Maybe they want something to reminisce about when they're old and sagging. Who knows what half of these crazies think? All the other guys in the band took it as a compliment. I mean, what else do 22 year old guys think of every minute of every day, anyway?
As time went on, though, she seemed to post things as if she actually knew me. Personal things. Things that not even my family or friends knew. It was as if she was inside my head. She knew about my strained relationship with my father, to which she would reply that she couldn't remember her parents. She also knew about where I went to school and how I came to leave there and would write comments to encourage me to follow my heart and stop listening to my family. Then, she began to ask me if we could meet, as she wanted to make sure that I was okay and get to know me better. I stopped reading the blog after that, and didn't post any more photos on the facebook page. Things just got too....weird. I mean really.....who was to say that she wasn't an axe murderer? I knew one thing. She'd make a great private investigator. I started getting paranoid after that, feeling that I was being watched, but never really seeing anything out of the ordinary. I got nothing but grief from the other band members, who thought it was some big compliment that she was so interested in me. I knew better. She knew things about me that NO-ONE else knew, but I wasn't about to tell the others that. I had run away from life before. That's how I came to be here.
After deciding to leave the States a year ago and leave behind a life that was far from ideal, I came to Australia hoping to start a new life and extricate myself from my family. I was one step away from living out of a cardboard box back then, after my family kicked me to the curb for failing them. I had a bad habit of doing that, and it was only a matter of time before there were dire consequences to my actions.
Sooner or later, I knew I was going to be a disappointment to my family. I was always a rebel, much like my father. He, however, was the only rooster in the place we called home, and no-one, but no-one, challenged him. To live with that man you'd either have to be a female, or a goddamn eunuch. I was neither. I was just like him, and I hated that about myself. If anyone ever told me how much I was like him, I'd take it as an insult. A proverbial slap in the face. A goddamn travesty.
He was a high flying businessman, who believed from balls to bones that the world revolved around him and no-one else, while he sat in his high-rise office in New York City and made a kajillion dollars a year working in arbitrage. He was a selfish bastard, and uprooted us from our home in Texas to move to the Upper West Side of New York, just because he got an offer to work on Wall Street. He only did one thing better than do good business. Ignore his children. That is, he ignored them until they did something wrong. What an asshole! I'll never understand why Mom didn't divorce him or kill him years ago. They say love is blind, but it must be deaf, dumb and stupid as well. Go figure.
After leaving school and spending months trying to find a life for myself and stop taking cash from the old man, I decided that moving cities wasn't enough and thought that moving countries would be a better idea. That way, I'd be less tempted to let him buy my affections. I'd been studying music at Juilliard but couldn't wrap my head around classical guitar. It wasn't what I wanted. It wasn't as if I didn't have talent. Far from it. I had it in abundance and because of that, I found the curriculum there tedious. And, as far as my singing went, well it didn't while I was there. I wasn't exactly given the opportunity to sing, my low gravelly voice not exactly in keeping with the music I was forced to play, day after boring day. Though that music had stood the test of time, it was dead and buried like the people who composed it, and I saw it as nothing but pointless to mimic someone else's work. I mean, isn't the whole point of being a musician being able to express yourself through your own creativity? I needed more of an outlet than I was allowed there, and being forced to churn out the same old compositions was just not satisfying me in any way. I was forever getting in trouble with the teachers when I'd add my own heavy edge to something to make it uniquely mine. So, I kicked myself out of that place just before they did it for me, and left the States to come to Australia after I had an offer from a friend to go with him for a working holiday. Things were going along pretty well, and though I wasn't unhappy, things could have been better.
I was working behind the bar at the Rock Garden, a cool new establishment in an inner Sydney suburb where you have to be a damned millionaire to buy a one bedroom apartment, when fate decided to come a-calling. All kinds of people came here, from lovers of rock, to businessmen who brought clients here to schmooze. Everything in between also came here, and on Thursdays you'd get a mixture of ages from cougars to the young all mixing in well together. This place had quite an atmosphere, that's for sure. Though my job paid the rent, it wasn't exactly the career path that I wanted to pursue forever. My days as being just a bartender were numbered, and that was something that I knew without fail. There's nothing wrong with pouring drinks for people, but it didn't really require singing or writing songs on my part, and that's all I wanted to do whenever I wasn't sleeping. About three months in to working there was when things began to change for me.
When I saw the band after they auditioned to play a gig here, I knew they created the music that I could really get in to. I watched them play when I worked nights, and liked what I heard. Their songs were great, pure rock, but something was missing. Their lead singer really couldn't cut it. It was his voice. It just didn't go with the music. He didn't have much chance what with being the drummer and all, because everyone knows that drummers don't make good lead singers. Never have, never will. Then, one night before a gig, I noticed that the singer slash drummer was having a few 'artistic differences' with the rest of the band. It didn't help that they really weren't drawing much interest, and the boss was just about to give them the flick before I saved the day, on two counts as I recall.
The drummer was getting a little miffed that the others weren't as fond of his feathery, high pitched voice as he obviously was. He was a goddamn soprano. Vienna Boys Choir, eat your heart out! I was sure his testicles hadn't dropped yet. He just didn't suit their style at all, and the music they played needed a low, heavy voice. One with a bit of guts. One filled with more than a little pain and an added measure of angst. Mine fit the bill perfectly on all fronts. Once I pointed out their major flaw and volunteered to step in, the drummer picked up his sticks and left that very same day. Being sans one drummer, I also knew who could take his place. I immediately called my roommate Emmett, who was in between jobs but sometimes busked in the city, playing on cans or anything he could get his hands on. He was a New Yorker who I met at Juilliard and though he graduated, he couldn't really work out what he wanted to do, so, on a whim he came here with me. He had an Aunt here in Australia and we stayed with her till we got our own place together.
And so, the band was born. And when I say the band, I literally mean the band. We could never decide on a title for the band, so one day I just looked up the translation for the words 'the band' and ended up choosing the translation into Spanish, giving our band a name. La Banda was a mixture of rock and a little metal. I even had some songs that I'd already written that blended perfectly with their style. I played a little guitar, but mainly stuck to what I loved. Singing and writing. Oh, and supplementing the income by doing the occasional shift behind the bar. We became a staple at this place and started to become pretty well known around Sydney, gathering a local following like you wouldn't believe. The original members, Edward who played keyboards and percussion as well as sang backups, and Carlisle who played bass guitar as well as Jake who played lead guitar, welcomed the fresh change that Emmett and I brought to the band. We clicked straight away, and have never looked back, becoming fast friends in no time. We were playing gigs at the Rock Garden as well as a few more in other bars around the city, and life was, well, great.
That's when she walked into my life, and turned my world into all ways of wrong.
I was working one Thursday night, mixing up some cocktails for a few single girls who had decided to camp themselves in front of the bar and show me their goods. They had the usual Thursday-night-singles-who-wanna-pick-up-the-irresistible-bartender thing going. They never stopped flirting with me from the minute they sat down at the bar, practically throwing themselves at me when they realised who I was. Ah, yes, some of our faithful fans. It was weird how they would say my name as if they knew me. I just couldn't quite get used to it. Every time it happened, it felt nothing but surreal.
"Hey, you're that Jasper Hale who's the lead singer of La Banda, aren't you?" one of them asked, giggling as she spoke. She was thin with blonde hair that had black roots which made her look ridiculous. Why didn't girls just go with the natural colour that they were born with? Her skin was way too sallow to carry off the bottled blonde look, and the dark colour of her roots would have brought out her eyes. And, why all the heavy makeup? Her lips were blood red and she looked like a damned clown!
"What are you doing behind the bar? Shouldn't you be up there singing?" the darker haired one asked as she leaned forward, trying to let her fake boobs spill out over the bar. I never understood what the appeal was with breast implants either. I swear if I met a girl who would just make it a little more challenging to pursue her, and have all of her original body parts, I'd probably give her the time of day. I was always throwing these types to the other guys in the band. They always had their fun with them too. Never heard any complaints from them, anyways.
"Yeh, and where's that hunky keyboardist Edward Cullen? He could tickle my ivories any day of the week!" the blonde added in a high pitched squeak. Looks like there could be another one I could throw the insatiable Edward's way, his Brit accent making all the girls swoon. Personally, I couldn't see the appeal, but what did I know?
"Our set starts in a few hours, ladies," I said charmingly. After all, they were paying customers, spending twelve bucks a pop on their cosmopolitans, and twenty on the cover charge. That was such a stupid thing when I thought about it. After all the overheads were taken out of the cover charge, we'd be worth less per head that a goddamn pina colada! I'd make better bucks being a man-whore! And let's face it, that's what it felt like sometimes, with the way the females would pay good money to sit at a bar and ogle me. I wasn't full of myself. It was just a fact. I was a cocky, confident bastard, compliments of my father, and had the gift of being able to make people see things my way. That was one trait I didn't mind possessing in abundance, come to think of it. It sure came in handy at times. I knew that it's what got me in the band, among other things. My accent made my ability to manipulate people even easier, with my southern drawl oozing so much sex appeal that it charmed the panties right off any girl I wanted. Not that I was interested in any of the girls that walked into this club, or their panties for that matter. That was, until I met HER.
Just after the pushy girls got up to powder their whatevers, SHE walked in and hesitated at the doorway, crossing the room slowly, her head moving from side to side as she searched for somewhere to sit, but also seemed to be looking for someone as she stared at the stage and then back towards the bar. I had never seen such a perfect specimen in my life! The way she moved.....it was like music, like poetry. There, dancing towards me, was a thousand songs, the notes and words flying through my head as she walked. She was so graceful that she looked like a freaking ballerina. I was half expecting her to pirouette across the room! Her eyes darted everywhere, but all the tables were taken. Lucky me! I finally noticed that she had a few friends that followed behind her, and the three of them approached the bar. The two friends behind her pushed her forward and guided her to the barstool nearest to me. She sat herself down and glared at her friends, then turned towards me.
"Well, now, what can I get you ladies?" I asked smoothly, glancing at the other two quickly before fixing my eyes on her and only her. Her friends were pretty enough. One was petite with long reddish-brown hair and brown eyes, and the other had blonde hair and wore a pair of trendy yellow glasses and a huge scowl on her face, looking like a goddamned Amazon from where I stood. She was something else, that one. A little scary. Hmmm...Emmett would sure go for her and he wouldn't look like a midget next to her either. And the cute redhead? More Edward's type. He loved them petite just like me, but also liked them young. I could already picture us doubling together, and Edward sucking her face right off. But, I was getting ahead of myself. Cocky through and through. I smiled to myself as I checked out the girl that caught my eye like no other had.
As I took in everything about her, I realised that she had it all. Petite, flawless alabaster skin and dark flowing hair that sat around her face all jagged and sexy, and shone like a silver dollar. And those pretty, dark eyes! I could just lose myself in those forever. She had a little makeup on, I'll admit, but it wasn't all caked on like most of the other girls did who walked in here. She wore a natural colour on her full lips with just a bit of gloss. She smelled of roses, which had just become my new favourite flower.
If I thought she was something to look at, I was even more taken with her when she spoke. "Well it's my best friend's birthday, so what would you suggest?" she asked, her voice resonating through the room like a tinkling bell. I took in a small gasp, shocked at how she was making me feel, high on her smell.
"Well, honey, I would suggest a birthday cocktail on the house," I said, smiling, trying to charm her by offering favours. And, anything else she was interested in. I mean, I was ready to give her ANYTHING she wanted.
"Sure, why not?" she said. "Bella, what do you want?"
"Oh, maybe a cosmopolitan," she replied.
I made the cocktail up quickly and poured it for her and said, winking, "Happy Birthday, Bella. Now what can I get you.....err?" I asked, turning my attention to the blonde. I stared at her quizzically, silently asking her name. Took her a while to catch on.
"Rosalie," she replied, the scowl never leaving her face, which would be pretty if she smiled. "And I'm the designated driver so I'll have a water," she snapped. And she was the one who needed to loosen up more than the other two. Pity, really.
"And you......honey?" I asked, ramping up the charm to full throttle.
"Alice. It's Alice. Just a beer," she replied, her smile so hypnotic that I thought I'd died and gone to hell. And what was with her scent? She was mouth watering without a doubt, my little rose, my rose who'd hopefully be getting lucky with one very cocky Texan any time now.
"Well now, a no fuss beer drinker, just like me. I like a woman with simple tastes," I said, twisting the top off the beer and handing it to her.
She took the bottle in her hand and smiled, winking at me as she took a small sip. "Mmmm thanks. So, what's your name, then?"
It was the first time a female in this place had asked my name for about three months. I stared at her in surprise and answered, "You don't know? Well that's a new approach!" Cocky as all get out, I figured she was feeding me a line. It was nearly like she could read my mind, my little minx, with the way she looked at me. She was staring at me as if she thought I was an asshole, and who was I to disagree? I was the first to admit I was a monumentally huge one.
"Huh, don't know what you're talking about," she retorted.
"Oh, you don't? Sorry, Alice. It's just that I play in the band here, and well, we're pretty well-known around Sydney," I boasted. "I thought you were using a line on me, that's all," I said.
"Oh," she said. "You're pretty cocky for a barman who plays in some second rate band, aren't you?" she snapped as she stared at me up and down with a little indignation.
"Yup, sure am," I replied automatically, trying to ignore the fact that she seemed unimpressed with me. And let's face it, I was cocky. Without a doubt. And though this particular girl seemed to be more immune to my charms than I was used to and didn't seem impressed with me one little bit, it just made me more determined. It made me want to win her over even more. I'd have to pull out all stops and lay the charm on thick. I wasn't used to having to make such an effort. "And the name's Jasper, ma'am," I said politely as I tipped in invisible hat towards her.
The other two giggled. Well, at least Bella did. Rosalie snorted and rolled her eyes as I poured her an ice water and sat it on the bar in front of her. She was a laugh a minute, that one. I was tempted to lace the water with a little vodka, just to see if I could get her to smile. Hell, I'd even settle for a blank, disinterested look!
"You staying for the set, darlin?" I drawled seductively.
"Depends," she answered, casually shrugging her shoulders. She seemed to be trying to figure me out, as she watched and waited for me to speak.
"On what?" I asked boldly.
"On if I follow through with my dare or not," she answered coyly, taking another small sip of beer.
This woman was intriguing! I had to know more. "What dare?" I asked putting my elbow on the bar and leaning into her to catch her eye, the rose smell nearly making me faint with delirium. My eyes shut for a second as I listened to her sweet voice and inhaled her. She must've thought I was crazy, and by all rights, I was.
"The dare that my friends here made me do," she said as she put the beer on the bar and pointed to either side of herself with her thumbs, still not really revealing anything further.
"Uh-huh....." I said, nodding my head, waiting for her to clue me in, leaning in closer.
"Well......I can't say more than that unless......" she teased, sighing deeply and closing her eyes for a moment. That did it. I could have grabbed her and had her on the bar, then and there.
"Unless?" I repeated, cocking my eyebrow and reaching out to touch her hand, which she quickly moved below the bar before I got there as her eyes snapped open.
"Unless you want to play too. It won't really work unless you play too," she said cryptically. "It's part of my dare, you see," she explained. Who the hell WAS this woman? And how could she be involving me in her dare if I'd just laid eyes on her? This WAS intriguing! And, more than a little unsettling.
"Do you mind telling me how it's possible that I'm involved in your dare, since we've only just met?" I asked, revealing exactly what I was thinking.
"Nope!" she snapped, a half smile crossing those pouty lips as I leaned in closer, her eyes nearly black in the light of the club. God I wanted to kiss her. What the hell was wrong with me? I was the classic loner and rebel, not needing anyone in my life except the occasional one night stand when things got desperate. Other than that, I hung out with Emmett, played music and generally did my own thing. Life was good. What the hell was I doing thinking about how many ways I could kiss her? Or if I would see her again? I was already gone over her, and didn't realise how far I actually was, and how far worse it was gonna get.
"So, then how's this gonna work if you won't tell me anything?" I asked, still wanting to keep talking to her.
"Well, we could play truth or dare and you could find out. What do you say?" she dared, her eyes as big as saucers as she waited for me to answer, her smile absolutely wicked.
I sighed heavily, as my eyes darted to her friends and back to her face, wondering what I was letting myself in for. How would truth or dare work anyway? I could just select to tell the truth and say any random thing. She didn't know me from Adam, so I could get away with that so easily. But, who was I kidding? I loved the gauntlet being thrown down, and the fact that the challenge came from this gorgeous creature made it all the more appealing.
She sensed that I was about to back out and said something that had my mind made up, leaning in closer to whisper in my ear. "What if I was to say that I'd like to take you home with me to play out the dare? Would you be game to do that? Or, would you rather be a coward and reveal some secret that, let's face it, you could make up because I supposedly don't know you...." she murmured. Then, she sat back and glared at me, her eyes narrowing in challenge.
"Err...well I have to play the set, and....and...." No-one in HISTORY had made me stumble over my words the way this woman did. I shook my head, trying to regain some sort of self-control and coherency. What the hell sort of power did this woman have anyway? Was she some sort of witch?
"Well, I think I can wait," she said, whispering into Bella's ear something that made her laugh. Bella looked me up and down and nodded in agreement.
"Something funny?" I asked.
"Not anything you need to worry about, Jazzy," she said, covering her mouth as she spoke as if she'd slipped up.
I gasped again. Jazzy was what my little sister called me, and no-one else DARED do it. She died of leukaemia two years ago, which was when my life started to fall apart. My father wasn't even with her when she passed, the bastard. The funeral was simple, and my father ended things on a great note when he had to leave the wake early to go to some meaningless business meeting. He didn't even take a day off to bury his own child!
"Sorry Jasper," she said quickly. "So. Can I meet with you after work?" she asked. I stared at her with a sense of suspicion, trying to figure out what her angle was.
"I...don't know," I said, trying to make a rational decision. What was this girl's deal anyway? I was so curious about her, but felt uneasy at the same time, my gut telling me to run in the other direction. Maybe I was reading too much into the situation. Maybe her calling me Jazzy was a coincidence. Then, again, maybe I was letting the little general rule all my decisions right now.
Alice laughed loudly, throwing her pretty head back as she did. My mouth gaped. It was as if she could read my mind. "Did I say that out loud?" I muttered to myself.
She immediately stopped her laughter, and stared at me with a serious face. "So, are you a man or a mouse?" she challenged. I bristled in response. I had never backed down from a challenge my entire life, and wasn't about to start now.
"Oh, why the hell not?" I sighed, breaking into a wide smile. I thought if nothing else tonight, I'd be having me some wicked fun!
"Good!" she shrieked. "So, truth or dare?" she asked. "You have to tell me now, or forget it."
"Dare!" I replied.
She took out a pen and paper and wrote an address and number on it, then handed it to me. "Meet me here at two," she said. "It's a little all-night cafe I like to go to." I stared at her with a look of confusion on my face. I thought she was taking me home, not out for coffee.
"You want to go for coffee?" I asked, wondering why all the pretence when she'd offered to take me to her place earlier.
"Yes, if that's alright. You see, I need to decide about you before I complete the dare, so I want to get to know you a little more, that's all," she explained. Funnily enough, I couldn't wait to get to know her either. It just wasn't like me at all.
"Fair enough," I answered, as I heard Edward's voice chime in as he and Emmett walked through the door.
"Well, ladies, are we having a nice evening?" Edward asked as he approached the bar. Then, he stopped in his tracks as Bella turned her stool to face him. I was so good. I knew he'd like this girl. "Um, well, I'm Edward. Edward Cullen," he stammered, his charms though not working as well, still did the trick on this girl. Bella smiled in return, the smile of a woman already gone over a man as she extended her hand to shake his. He grasped her hand and turned it over to kiss the back of it. I wanted to gag, but instead Emmett saved the day and smirked.
"Emmett, Edward, this is Bella, Rosalie and Alice," I said, making the introductions.
"Well, hello blondie!" Emmett said as he stared at Rosalie and moved to stand nearer to her. She actually smiled at him in response. Two out of two. I was on a roll. Three out of three would be even better, and I'd be working on making that little statistic becoming a fact real soon. They all started chatting among themselves while Alice and I waited in silence, not taking our eyes off one another. She was, without a doubt, reeling me in already. I could feel it. My heart on a string, being tugged towards her. Tug....tug.
"Okay guys, you'd better go get us set up. I'll be there when Jess arrives to relieve me, so get to it roadies!" I ordered.
They reluctantly left the girls behind and walked backstage to set up. Jess walked in at the same moment and walked behind the bar to relieve me. "Hey beautiful," I said. "Looking good tonight honey," I added.
"Well Jasper, seems like you've been busy tonight," she said as she stared at the three women sitting at the bar. Alice and Bella burst out laughing, and even Rosalie cracked another smile.
"You know, you're a piece of work Jasper," Alice said as she stared at Jess. "You might like to it dial down a little bit," she added, smiling at me.
I laughed at her and gave her a big surprise when I jumped over the bar, not bothering to use the door. I stood right next to her as she sat on the stool and leaned in once again, the roses hitting me once more as she breathed heavily. "You know I can't do that," I whispered. "It's just who I am, darlin. Jess, drinks for these ladies are on me tonight," I said as I turned and walked away from her, feeling her eyes bore into me as I walked. I smiled. I still had it.
The set was extra great tonight, and every now and again, I'd glance towards the bar to make sure she was there. She was. She sat there and moved her body to every song we played, the smile never leaving her face. She clapped and whistled louder than anyone else between songs, and even mouthed a few words to some of them. Every time I'd catch her doing that, she'd stop and look down as if I'd busted her. I realised that she was a fan and did know me. Minx.
On the second last song, she disappeared, leaving her friends there to hook up with Edward and Emmett I guessed, and probably was headed for the cafe that she spoke of. As we finished to a great round of applause and whistles, I picked up my phone and send a text to the number she gave saying simply 'On my way'. There was an immediate reply with just the two letters, 'ok' written. I was on my way to meet the girl that somehow had gotten under my skin more than anyone else had. I walked out into the cool night air and hailed a cab. Tonight was going to be special. I knew it just as sure as I knew how to breathe. I jumped into the cab and sped off to the unknown.
A/N: This was going to be a one-shot, but I think another chapter is in order. So, let me know if you want to see the conclusion! REVIEW PLEASE! Possible lemons in next chapter (though I haven't decided yet), so be warned!