A/N: Here's horsejumper127's request! I seriously loved writing this one. Read on!
Disclaimer: Anything you recognize in here is not mine.
A piercing scream broke through the silence of midnight, causing Jasper to immediately jump up and run to Edward's room where Bella was sleeping. He was babysitting her tonight and everything had gone alright . . . that is, until now.
Bella was whimpering in a sweaty heap on the middle of the couch—she refused to use the bed Edward bought her, which amused Jasper highly. She let out another scream when she registered Jasper's form that had flitted to her side.
"Shh, shh, Bella," Jasper quieted her. "It's just me. What's wrong? Are you okay? Is something hurt? Should I get Carlisle? Or Edward?"
"N-no," Bella blushed deeply. "Just . . . just a bad dream. I'll be fine. You can go back to whatever you were doing."
Jasper blinked a couple times, contemplating this idea. He and Bella had never been on proper terms even before her eighteenth birthday. They were just too . . . dangerous together. He could kill her in the blink of an eye with one false move. And Bella didn't seem to feel comfortable around Jasper. He had disputed that when he was asked to "babysit" the human girl.
"Okay . . ." Jasper said slowly, eyeing Bella curiously. Her heart was beating faster than normal still from the scare she had, and that was causing his mouth to fill with venom. He shouldn't be around her this close for too much longer and had to go with Bella's request for him to leave. "Are you sure you'll be fine?"
"Mmm hmm," Bella said, nodding quickly. Jasper raised an eyebrow before sighing and getting up. He walked over to the door and gave Bella one more fleeting glance before heading down the hall.
Before he could reach the staircase, Bella's fear washed over him, causing him to want to run and scream and do anything possible to get to safety. He stopped himself before things were too out of control and quickly ran back to Edward's room.
Bella was holding her fist to her mouth, preventing her from screaming before she noticed Jasper in the doorway. She quickly drew the hand away from her mouth, blushing and sitting straight up.
"Um . . . may I help you?" Her blush felt like it was melting his throat it was so scrumptious . . .
"I, um, you felt, sort of, scared?" Jasper said it like a question, feeling Bella's awkwardness. He also didn't like expressing his emotions aloud. This was tough for him.
Bella looked down at the ground, biting her lip.
"Are you sure you'll be alright all by yourself in this room? Is your nightmare frightening you?" Jasper asked, his eyes showing true sincerity. Bella, being a human, couldn't see his eyes fully in the dark and took offense to the comment.
"No," she snapped harshly at his supposed "teasing". Jasper flinched at the emotion.
"I'm sorry," he murmured quietly. "I didn't mean to offend you. It's okay. Everybody gets scared sometimes . . . even I do."
Bella, who had been refusing to make eye contact with her soon-to-be brother-in-law because she had accidentally hurt him, looked up with curiosity.
"Y-you get scared?" she inquired and Jasper slowly glided over to the couch, sitting on the edge of it.
"I'm only human, Bella," Jasper grinned. "Well, on the inside I am. Not so much the outside."
"What do you get scared of?" Bella asked and suddenly regretted it. She didn't want to ask Jasper deep, invading questions just yet—she'd barely had an actual conversation with him before.
"You," he muttered quietly, tracing his fingers absentmindedly on the couch. Bella stared at him in shock. "I mean, you're a great person Bella, and a wonderful friend to me. I don't mean to say anything bad about you in any way. You of all people don't deserve that. It's just . . . I can't trust myself around you. You're so fragile . . . so tempting to me. And I'm sorry if I frightened you with that statement. I just . . . get scared of hurting you."
"Whoa," Bella murmured and Jasper smiled halfheartedly. "Jasper . . . I didn't know . . . you felt that way."
He smiled gravely before saying, "Bella, if you give Edward so much trouble, imagine what you give to me. I have to live day in and day out feeling longing and desire which only increases my thirst. And I haven't been on the diet for too long, either. It's hard for me . . . and you make it harder, scarier."
"I'm sorry," Bella mumbled, feeling bad about how much she tortured Jasper.
"No!" Jasper said, realizing what he had done. "No, don't be. You're making me stronger by having me tempted and not giving in. And I couldn't thank you more for that. Though it doesn't take away my anxiety. I'm a worried person, Bella, there's nothing to stop me from panicking over one thing or another."
"Oh," Bella said, having nothing else to say.
"Do you think you can sleep now? Or do you want to talk about your dream?" Jasper asked, giving Bella the normal look he had—the one that saw straight to her soul.
Bella bit her lip and looked away, blushing. She felt inclined to tell Jasper the truth but didn't want to. Her dream wasn't something she wanted anyone to hear, especially Jasper.
"Um . . . my dream was, um . . . about . . . y-you," she choked out and Jasper blinked. He was both surprised and not shocked at the same time.
He knew that he scared her—who wouldn't be scared of him?—but he couldn't understand how she could dream of him.
Of course, it had to be a nightmare . . . an inner part of Jasper growled.
"Me?" he questioned, ignoring the voice.
"Y-yes, you," Bella whispered shyly. "It was about that story you told me of your past . . ."
"Oh." He had thought that he had frightened Bella by his story, but had never truly believed it. Guess he was wrong.
"It was . . . um, during the Civil War," she explained and Jasper raised an eyebrow. He had thought she'd be dreaming of the vampire wars not the simple human one. "You were there . . . fighting the Union soldiers on foot . . . I was there as a ghost or something—no one could shoot me . . . One of the Union soldiers was sneaking up behind you . . . I tried to scream at you to tell you to look out . . . but you didn't hear me. So I ran over to you to push you out of the way and . . ."
"You got shot," Jasper murmured, finishing Bella's story for her.
"No," Bella's voice broke and a tear escaped her eye. "I didn't m-make it in t-time."
She couldn't control her emotions then and broke out crying. Jasper didn't think of anything except calming her and he took her in his arms. He felt like crying, too. No one had ever cared (aside from his wife) this much for him before and it warmed his cold, still heart.
"It's okay, Bella," he whispered in her hair, rubbing his hand up and down her back. Jasper didn't even smell her delicious scent at this moment. "It was only a dream. I'm still alive—well, I am dead, but I'm here talking to you. Nothing will happen to me. Don't worry."
Bella pulled away from Jasper, sniffling and blushing.
"I'm sorry," she said, coughing.
"It's okay," Jasper smiled. "I would've cried, too, if I had a dream where you died."
"Thanks, Jasper," Bella smiled as well, giving him a hug. She'd never been this close to him before—aside from his comforting—and she enjoyed it. Jasper's hugs were warm and full of emotion and sentiment.
"Anytime," he sighed as she let go of him. "Now, you need to get some sleep before Edward finds out and kills me. I'll be right here with you, protecting you and me."
"I love you, Jasper," Bella yawned sleepily and snuggled into her blankets.
Jasper sat down on the floor next to the couch, opening and closing his mouth. He couldn't find his voice.
"I love you, too, little sis," Jasper finally managed, ruffling Bella's hair as she drifted off to sleep.
A/N: This might very well be my favorite piece of mine so far. Um, anyone want to give me a review? I'd really appreciate it.