A/N Hey guys! I know, I know … I probably shouldn't put up yet another new story, since I am always slightly unreliable with the updates of my other stories. But this one has kept my mind and fingers busy for quite some time now so I thought what the hell, just put it out there.

So here you are: the first chapter.

As long as it isn't otherwise indicated the story will be told in Jasper's POV.


Chapter 1

The monotone landscape of the surrounding desert flew by fast, blurring in its shapes and forms, as I drove my black car down the vacant highway. For all I knew I was somewhere in the southeast of Nevada … my final destination still uncertain for the time being. But since there was no place I needed to be … right now or ever … my exact whereabouts weren't much of importance to me at the moment.

I simply took great pleasure in the opportunity to drive my car at high speed. I only abided by the human traffic laws when need be. But right now wasn't one of those times. Lucky me.

I had my windows rolled down, the warm and dry summer breeze fanning my blond, chin-length hair out of my face. It was a quite pleasant feeling, the warmth on my ice-cold and durable skin … like the gentle and loving touch of a woman. Not that I've ever experienced such a thing in my long lifetime, but I've always imagined it would feel exactly like that.

I shook my head vehemently in order to rid myself of the nice but at the same time disturbing mental picture of me holding a woman in a lovers embrace.

Of course, I've had my fair share of women in my one hundred and fifty plus years but it has always been just sex, nothing more, nothing less. A fleeting, empty pleasure, leaving me more often than not rather unsatisfied, and most of the times the humans completely drained of their life essence. I knew what sexual desire felt like, but love? Not a clue, whatsoever.

And finding love wasn't very high on my list of priorities, because it meant opening up to another person, share all your worries and fears with them. I knew I wasn't ready for that kind of thing. In fact, I was quite certain that I would never have something like that … ever. And why would any woman … human or vampire … be interested in someone like me? One look at my scarred skin would be answer enough, not to mention my invisible yet equally countless mental scars.

There was no need to remind myself once again. The fact was plain and simple, and would always remain the same. I was damaged goods, with nothing much to offer but misery and pain. And who would want something like that?

That's how it was, and how it would always be for me. I've accepted that fact a long time ago, which was why I didn't look for any kind of companionship any longer. Simply put, I've given up hope.

But be that as it may, I still couldn't shake the strange feeling that something was missing in my life. But for the sake of my own sanity, I've decided to simply ignore it. I had two good friends and that was going to be enough. And in my opinion it was all the happiness I deserved, after all the atrocities I've committed. I saw no way to redeem myself anyways, that was why I didn't even try.

I sighed loudly, choosing to refocus on the only important matter at hand … driving. Not that it was necessary though. As a vampire I was able to split my concentration without putting myself in danger of causing an accident, what with the peripheral vision and all that. But for now it seemed healthier to focus on only one thing, in order to keep me sane … and the car intact. Wouldn't be the first time I totaled my car in some temper tantrum, I've managed to work myself into by pondering over things that couldn't be changed … especially not by simple wishful thinking.

It was late, almost midnight according to the clock on the dashboard. Not that time actually mattered to someone like me. I didn't require sleep or rest … at all. This was only one of the perks that came with being a vampire. Inhuman speed and strength, and of course immortality were also neat side effects. Being a vampire was great … for the most part.

But sometimes I truly missed being able to close my eyes and drift off into slumber land. I envied the humans for being able to shut out all the noises. They had no idea what a luxury it actually was to experience complete silence and peace of mind.

And of course I had another very good reason for feeling like that, and for staying on my own.

Some vampires possessed a special gift. And unfortunately, I was one of those lucky bastards. Empathy was my thing. Though one might think it was a cool and handy gift, I begged to differ. Being able to sense everyone's emotions all the time wasn't pleasant, far from it actually. At most times it drove me nuts. Especially the negative emotions like fear, hate, anger, sorrow, shame … the list goes on and on … were hard to handle, even for someone like me. One might think that with my years of existence and experience I should have managed to gain some sort of control, maybe even some sort of mental defense, but I haven't.

My angst was quite reasonable though, considering my not so pleasant past. For almost a century I'd had lived in hell, training, fighting and killing countless newborn vampires. Back then fear and anger were on the daily menu, I was quite literally drowning in it. I was lucky, that Peter came back when he did, to pull my sorry ass out of the pit. Sooner or later would have found a way to end my existence one way or another. I knew I owed Peter more than my life, and I would never be able to repay him for what he did. Not that he asked, but still …

After my escape I've tried to live with Peter and his mate Charlotte for some time, but it didn't work out. I liked them both very much, but I wasn't ready to settle down, especially not with mated vampires as my roommates. Their vibes of lust and desire were equally distressing for me, as were fear and hate back with Maria. Of course Peter tried to convince me to stay, eager to help me get more control of my power, but I declined. I needed to get on the road, always running, always searching … and never finding the one thing that still eluded me … peace.

Sure, from time to time I checked in on them, staying for a couple of weeks, before I was back on the road again. I still had some problems controlling my special gift, even now, after sixty years living in freedom, but at least it had gotten easier being around my friends.

My lack of ability to control my gift was part of the reason why I kept to myself most of times. I tried to avoid large crowds all together. True, I had fairly good control over my bloodlust now, but I still hadn't learned to achieve the same self-control over my empathic gift. I still let the emotions of others get the better of me.

I knew Peter would argue that in order to achieve control I would have to conquer my own fears first. But I saw no real use for putting myself in that position, that's why I hadn't even tried. I didn't want company … any company. I was good on my own.

I was still walking, talking, not breathing … but somehow I was alive. I wasn't suicidal … not anymore. But I was tired. I had no true goals, no reason for being … but I was still here, constantly searching for something unknown, something unattainable.

I wasn't happy. That specific sensation was foreign to me. But I was content … for the most part. I knew Peter would argue with me on that too, but we've come to a silent agreement a long time ago, to never bring that subject up again. Just live and let live … that sort of thing. And it worked.

All of a sudden I was pulled out my little pity party, when the engine began to stutter.

Trut, trut …

A second later I could see steam rising from the hood. More as a reflex action than anything else I immediately pulled my foot of the gas.

"You've gotta be kidding me?" I cursed under my breath, when my car finally came to a complete and final stop at the side of the road. I slammed my hands on the wheel in frustration, carefully minding my strength though. I didn't exactly know how I've managed to accomplish this, but considering I was in the middle of nowhere, I was glad because it wouldn't be wise to damage the car any further than it apparently already was.

Grumpily, I got out of the car, and opened the hood, more steam escaping the confines. Unfortunately, I didn't know anything about cars. When one broke down, I usually just bought a new one, not even thinking once about sending it to the repair shop. And it wasn't like I couldn't afford to do so. I had enough money to buy myself two or three new cars a months, if I'd wished so.

But out here in the middle of nowhere, my choices were rather limited. I closed the hood with a little too much force. I walked back to the driver's side, slumping into the seat. For two minutes I silently considered my options.

Running instead of driving was always an option for someone like me. But crazy as it might sound I preferred driving a car as a means of transport. Don't get me wrong running was fun and exhilarating, but driving was so much better, especially nowadays. But maybe I was just weird that way. Or lazy … but who cared.

Of course I could just leave the car here, and make it to the next town by foot, and just purchase a new vehicle. But oddly, I've grown quite fond of this one. Fortunately, I recalled driving by a gas station a few miles back. So there was a better option.

I would go back there in the hope of finding someone there who could fix whatever was wrong with my car and I could be back on the road as soon as possible.

My mind was made up. I put the gear in drive and then stepped out the vehicle. Thanks to my strength I wasn't a big deal to push my car the whole way.

It took me only five minutes. Behind the gas station was a small motel, and a twenty-four diner, too.

Good, I could use a drink …

I parked my car right in front of the station. A middle-aged man came right outside when he heard the noise and took a quick look at the engine. I didn't pay much attention to the details, but I got the cliff notes. The damage was minimal, easily fixed by noon the next day, which meant I would have to spend the night at the diner or rent a room at the motel.

I paid the man in advance, hoping it would speed up the process, but somehow I doubted that, considering the time and the place. I left the gas station and went over to the small diner.

Suddenly a feeling of déjà-vu came over me. It was nearly fifty years ago …

A/N Well, what do think? Worth continuing?