Thirteen

Chapter 1

Thanks for visiting my new story. This is mt first attempt at writing a vamp/human fic, so please be kind.

A great big thank you to my wonderful supa dupa betas, JamesRamsey and Cullen818, who have graciously agreed to go on this journey with me. I know that I will probably ask you two a million questions and submitt a gazillion re-writes before it's all said and done, so I am thanking you guys in advance!

SM owns it!


JPOV

Whoever said that they loved the smell of napalm in the morning, was one fucked up motherfucker. If I were still human I would be retching by now. I could have chosen to stop breathing; it wasn't like the oxygen inflating my dead lungs served the purpose of sustaining my life anyway, but breathing in the stench was a reminder to me of who I was and how far I had come. And actually, the reason for the napalm smell was because we had been fighting for what did sustain our life.

Blood.

Red gold, as some of our kind like to call it.

We had been fighting over territorial rights. It was the same song and dance that I had been hearing about and participating in since the beginning of my non-life nearly a hundred and fifty years ago. It was the reason I was created, and to tell the truth, I was sick to death of it all. I surveyed the flat plain basin of the meadow, ashamed of what I had done and yet thankful that I was able do it, because it meant that we were still alive.

Dead vampire bodies and parts thereof, littered the landscape. Purple plumes of napalm smelling smoke wafted through the air as my adopted mother and sister tended to the funeral pyre, stoking the flames as they added the remains of the fallen.

At my instruction, they purposely fanned the flames-three giant smoke clouds at sixty second intervals-to send out the message: the war was over and we had won. Any half way intelligent undead being would see and smell the smoke, and know to stay the hell out of our reclaimed territory.

My family and I live in the Pacific Northwest in a little town called Forks, Washington. We had all lived in many places before throughout our long lives, but no other place felt like home quite like Forks did. I didn't know what the attraction to the town was, there wasn't shit here, but we loved it like it was fucking Shangri-La or something. And truthfully, it really was our own piece of paradise.

We lived on the edge of the millions of acres of forest that nurtured our food supply. Yes, we were vampires, but no, we did not feed from humans. The patriarch of my adopted family—I didn't like the term coven because we weren't witches, we were fucking vampires—had never been privy to the taste of human blood. I had never heard of a moral vampire until the day that I met him, but Carlisle Cullen was the epitome of goodness and civility.

To him, taking a life to nourish your own was wrong, and simply put, he just didn't get down like that. His wife and mate, Esme, was of the same viewpoint, and so as they lived their lives moving from place to place they assembled a hodgepodge of vampires to call their family, feeding on animals and living inconspicuously among humans.

A female vampire from Seattle with demon blood hair named Victoria believed that it was unnatural for us to live the way we did. She believed that nutrients in animal blood would not be sufficient for us to live off of indefinitely, and that it would be only a matter of time before our natural inclinations took over and demanded that we feed from our indigenous food supply, humans.

Because our family was so large, she felt that our sheer number alone—and my extensive battle knowledge-would be a force to be reckoned with, and that we would drive her out of what she felt was her feeding territory, the greater Seattle area.

Of course, that was the farthest thing from the truth, but there had been no reasoning with her when we had gone to her with an extended olive branch of peace. In response to her own fears, she raised an army of 30 unruly newborn vampires and started planning her attack.

"What now Major?" Peter asked.

There were seven of us that claimed Forks as our home. While Peter and his mate, Charlotte, did not technically live in Forks, they visited often enough to be considered a part of our family, and so they had their own bedroom suite in one wing of our house.

For a lack of a better term, Peter and I 'grew up' together. He was created to assist me in the training of the newborns and was more of a brother to me than my own flesh and blood brother had been.

I stopped my prowling of the meadow and faced my friend, brother and comrade. After a battle it was normal for me to walk the field to clear my senses and to tamp down my inner demon. Peter knew this, and waited eagerly, albeit submissively, to give me a moment to find my normal voice.

"Standard operating procedures Peter. You, Edward and Emmett run a twenty mile zig-zag perimeter check. If there's anything out there larger than a red fox I wanna know about it."

"I think we're finished burning all of the parts," Alice said, lacing her fingers through my own.

With a jerk, I pulled my hand out of hers and ignored the hurt expression on her face. I had learned over the years to dodge the wave of sorrow that hit me every time I rebuffed her advances. Our relationship was complicated—well, I take that back, I had been very clear on where I stood with her, but since she was the one that chose to ignore it, then she was the one who could deal with all of the emotions.

I nodded. "Double check, will ya? The last thing we need is a twitching finger or toe left out here for some poor unsuspecting hiker to find."

She quickly ran off to carry out her duties, eager to please me like a little obedient puppy.

"She's not handling you new relationship status well," Peter said.

"It's not my fault that she can't seem to let go," I said, picking up a chuck of vampire flesh. I turned and with deadly accuracy, threw it across the field to the funeral pyre. The venom hissed and the flesh dissipated into a small plum of purple smoke. "Besides, we broke up ten years ago, so this is not new to her."

"Ten years, ten minutes. It's all the same to us vampires. And when you're still fucking your ex-wife, it tends to complicate things."

"Yeah well, whatever…" I said, not wanting to hear the scolding that usually followed this conversation. A vamp had needs, didn't he? I couldn't help if Alice was more than willing to take care of those needs.

Sam, in human form, strode across the meadow towards me. "If we're finished here, I'm sending Seth, Leah, Quil, Embry and four others back to the Rez through the south, to run our own perimeter checks. Jacob and I will take the northwest route over the mountains to make sure that none of your fellow leeches are hiding out. We'll let you know if we see anything."

Even with our newfound peace alliance, old habits were hard to break. The wolves still called us leeches and we still called them mutts. Neither side took offence; this is just how it was.

Carlisle knew that not only would a full scale vampire war draw unwanted attention to our kind, but possibly obliterate us as a family. Even with all of my military training we were outnumbered.

And so, Carlisle called the Volturi for assistance. What he didn't know, but had suspected all along, was that the Volturi were suspicious of our family as well. They felt that we blended in with humans too much, and the fact that we didn't feed from our natural food source meant that we had too much self control. Was there even such a thing as too much self control?

Apparently to them, too much self control meant that it would be harder for them to manipulate us into doing what they wanted should the need arise.

So when it came down to it, we laid out a plan to fight back. From Alice's visions we knew when the attack was going to happen and that it would be impossible for us to come out alive, but we were determined to not go down without a fight. And then a few days before the attack, salvation came from an unlikely source, Jacob Black.

In our latest jaunt through high school, we had met Jacob and his pack of werewolf friends. Under the best of circumstances we hated each other, but what can you expect from natural enemies?

We were out running patrols one night when Emmett caught the scent of an unknown vampire. He chased the vamp along the treaty line, careful to stay on our side but somehow inadvertently crossed over into Quileute territory and was immediately set upon by one of the wolves.

We hastily explained what we had been doing, and thankfully Jacob had caught scent of the same vamp a few days prior and could verify our story. After telling him about the impending war, and pointing out that a pack of untrained blood crazed newborns descending upon our small sleepy town wouldn't be in the best interest for those who were not immortal, agreed to broach the subject before his Alpha, Sam, and the tribe council.

They agreed to help, sending ten wolves to add to our numbers, and temporarily relaxed the treaty lines in order to train and sort out the logistics of our battle plans. Nineteen of us against thirty-one rouge vampires, and we had come out victorious despite the fact that the Volturi had ignored our pleas for help.

"Sam," Carlisle said, extending his hand. "We can't thank you and your Pack enough. If you hadn't agreed to help us…well, my family and I are truly grateful."

Sam accepted Carlisle's hand in a hearty shake. "I use to think it impossible for our kind to ever see eye-to-eye on anything Carlisle, but I'm glad that I was wrong. I want you to know that I'm planning to speak at the next Tribal Council, and urge them to permanently relax the Treaty Lines."

"That would be wonderful Sam. I would love to be able to share a meal with you, Harry and Billy one day, metaphorically speaking of course," he quickly added.

"I will keep you posted on the outcome."

The two men shook hands once more before Sam and Jacob departed, jogging in human form to the tree line and then disappearing in a fur explosion.

I turned to face my father. "Will you inform the Volturi of how we fared today?"

He nodded, his silver blond hair shining in the dim evening light. "Yes, out of respect for their leadership, I will let them know. I will however, leave out the wolves involvement. It would not be fair to them to expose their secrets."

"Carlisle! Jasper!"

I felt the fear and confusion before I could see the source. It was coming from just beyond the crown canopy of the tree line. My senses told me that there was nothing to fear, but after just being involved in a fight for my life and those of my family, I instinctually reacted.

My demon broke free of its internal confines and roared, loud and long, before charging.

"Stop him, they're human!"

Jasper heard his adoptive mother's scream, but the demon did not. I felt multiple arms encircling my waist and the demon mentally fought with Jasper over control of our body. I distantly heard Carlisle's healing bedside voice in my ear.

"Concentrate, Jasper. Listen to my voice. There is no threat here. Cage the demon Jasper; I know that you can do it. Please son." He turned and spoke over his shoulder. "Restrain them, but keep them away from him!"

I could feel the venom pooling in my mouth and running down my chin as I thrashed about, fighting whoever it was that was holding me down. I didn't know how long Carlisle continued his mantra of pleading with me, but it seemed to work, and eventually I could feel Jasper coming back in control.

I felt weak and my throat burned; I needed to feed, and soon.

When I picked myself up, I saw that there were three of them, two females and a male, sitting on the ground, huddled together and clutching each other in fear. Esme and Char were standing guard over them, and turned in a protective stance as I approached.

I held up my hands, palms out, in a show of peace. Three sweaty humans would not normally seem like a feast, but we were not in a normal situation. I could feel my blood lust spike as I neared them, and took a couple of steps backward for their safety.

I hadn't had a slip up in decades, and I didn't want to ruin all of my hard work with these three trivial humans.

"What's going on here?" I asked my mother and sisters.

"I found them just beyond the tree line there as I was looking for the remaining pieces," Alice explained, pointing toward the trees.

"State your purpose for being here." I told them.

Neither of them spoke, just looked at me with wide, rapidly blinking eyes. I heard their heartbeats flutter in fear.

Carlisle stepped forward. "We won't hurt you, but you must tell us why you are here."

Silence.

"Can any of you speak?" I asked impatiently.

My voice must have come out a bit harsher than I intended because the smell of urine floated through the air. Rose stepped forward and laid a hand on my arm, restraining me.

"Jasper, patience," she reminded me.

That was funny coming from Rose, she hated most humans.

"I…we…please…." The male stuttered.

The female with dark chocolate hair and enormous eyes of the same color spoke up next. "W-we were o-out on a s-science e-expedition. W-we didn't see anything," she added quickly.

It had been my experience that anytime someone said that they didn't see anything, it really meant that they saw everything. I started to respond to her when the wind shifted, and I was suddenly hit with the most tantalizing scent that I had ever smelled.

In the nanosecond it took for her scent to hit me, I felt myself being tackled to the ground for the second time, and then being dragged, kicking and roaring like a caged beast, through the woods.

"What the fuck are you doing Edward?"

"You have to feed!"

"Get the fuck off of me and stay out of my head!"

"You don't have to be a mind reader to feel the blood lust you were throwing off," Emmett said. "You'll regret it if you slaughter them."

"I need to find out who they are," I said, still struggling in the hold that Peter had on me.

"Well you can't very well do that if you drain them dry first. Now drink!" Peter shoved me down in front of a deer that Emmett was holding captive.

My feeding instincts took over and I fell upon the animal, draining it dry within seconds. It took two more large animals, another deer and a moose—nasty stuff that is—to satiate me. When done, I sat back on my haunches and looked at my brothers.

"What I want to know is why didn't we hear them?" I demanded. I turned to Edward, he should have at least been able to hear their thoughts. "Edward?"

He shrugged. "I don't know Jasper, I didn't hear a thing."

"None of us smelled them either," Emmett pointed out. "Not even the wolves."

"This is fucking ridiculous, we're vampires! I didn't even feel them until Alice alerted us to them. How do three humans get this close to a forest full of vampires and none of us know it?"

"I hate to point this out, but none of the newborns saw them either, or else they wouldn't be sitting out there scared to death and pissing themselves," Peter said. "I think we need to ask the brown headed one though."

"Why? Do you know something about her?" I asked.

He shook his head. "No, but I think she's the one that's the least scared of us."

"They know who we are then?" Emmett asked. I knew he was weighing the options, considering the steps we needed to take if our secret had been exposed. Out of all of us, Emmett and Rose loved Forks the most; I knew how disappointed Rose would be to have to leave.

"I don't think so, but I know she's starting to figure it out," Peter said.

"What do we do then?" Edward asked.

We were in an unusual predicament. Out of nine vampires, four of us had extra talents, all of which seemed to be on the fritz. We were literally flying blind and I did not like it. These humans posed more of a threat to us than they knew.

"Let's just talk to them first," I said, moving toward the clearing. "We won't know what to do until we find out what they know anyway."

When we emerged from the thicket of trees and bushes I saw Esme kneeling beside our group of enemies—yes, humans and their closed minded nature were our enemy-motherly compassion pouring off of her. She was passing a canteen of their water back and forth between them, and whispering to them that everything would be okay.

"Jasper, what are you thinking?" Carlisle asked me.

I felt myself slipping back into Major mode, and Sun Tzu's words ran through my mind, 'If your opponent is taking his ease, give him no rest. If his forces are united, separate them'. We needed to separate them and weaken their defenses in order to get answers out of them.

"Divide and conquer," I said, striding forth.

After vampiricly speaking to Esme, she moved away from them, pleading with me to not hurt them. It wasn't my intention to hurt innocent humans, if they were in fact innocent, but at the same time, I wasn't going to let them destroy our lives either.

We didn't just win the war, only to now lose the battle.

I nodded to Peter, and he immediately grabbed the male of the small group, taking him about fifty feet from the two females. I instructed Rosalie to do the same to the blond female, and I crouched down in front of the brown haired one.

I could feel their fear, but something was wrong. Their emotions weren't coming off as a steady stream, but in erratic intervals. I paused before speaking, trying to determine the reason for not being able to feel a consistent flow of… something…anything from them. But there simply was no explanation for it.

I looked at Edward, and then Alice and I could feel their frustration. They both were experiencing the same thing.

I ignored it, and focused on the task at hand.

"What's your name?"

"B-Bella."

I tried to smile at her, but the fact that she recoiled from me suggested that I failed. It was a good thing I didn't have fangs, or she'd be trying to run for the hills by now. "Okay Bella, start from the beginning, and tell me why you're here," I said to my captive.

"Why did t-they t-take you a-away like that?" she asked, looking around at us.

How the hell do I answer a question like that? Oh yeah, I don't have to, because I'm the badass vamp here. I didn't have to explain myself to anyone, especially to two sniveling little girls and a pissy boy.

"Look, I need you to focus and tell me why you're here," I said, a bit more forceful than before.

She swallowed several times before attempting to speak. "I-I t-told you, w-we w-were on a s-science e-expedition."

"This is private property, who or what gave you the right to be here?"

"Don't tell him anything Bella!" the male shouted. "Let her go you son of bitch!"

"Well, well well, look who wants to speak up now." I stood and faced the male. "Pissy boy has something to say, Peter."

"But he didn't ask for permission to speak," Peter said. He grabbed the boy up by the collar, letting his toes barley touch the ground. "I think we need to teach him the rules."

"Shut up Mike and let me handle this!" Bella yelled. "Leave him alone!"

I gestured for Peter to let him down, and then I moved to stand in front of him, getting right up in the boy's face. "I think we can relax the rules this time Peter, besides, I want to hear what Pissy boy has to say. Go ahead Mike, speak," I taunted him.

Mike's adam's apple bobbed up and down, and he opened and closed his mouth several times before stuttering incoherent sounds. "Umm…I uh…but…."

"Yeah, I thought so." I clamped a hand on his shoulder and pushed him down to the ground. "Just sit down and shut up."

"Don't say anything Bella," the blond female said. "They're just gonna kill us anyway."

I turned my attention to her. "Now how do you know what we're going to do?"

"It's okay Jessica," Bella interrupted, before answering my question from before. "We got l-lost in the w-woods. That's all."

"Where is the rest of your group?"

"It's just us!" Jessica shouted. "There is no one else in our group, so please just let us go!"

I could feel her deception. She was lying to protect her other classmates.

"You're lying. How many of you are out there?" I asked, looking between Jessica and Bella.

No answer.

"How long were you out there?"

No answer, Bella just stared at me, blinking.

Her silence was starting to annoy me, and I could feel the demon inside of me scratching at the edge of my reasoning abilities. I took a couple of steps back and tried to push him away. All they needed to do was to answer my questions. Was that too hard?

"What did you see while you were out there?"

Again, she didn't answer, and I snapped, grabbing her arms and lifting her off the ground as I shook her. "Answer me damn you!"

"Jasper, let her go!" Carlisle commanded, clamping a hand on my arm. Her fear, multiplied by that of her friends, slammed into me and I dropped her. The male screamed out to his friend and fought against Peter's hold on him. "Walk away Jasper."

When in Major mode, I listened to no one, and Carlisle knew better than to try to pull rank on me on the battlefield. I snarled at him, he turned and snarled right back, effectively letting me know that in this case, he was the head vamp.

I conceded for the moment, walked twenty feet away and waited.

He turned to Bella, and examined her arms. She flinched from the temperature of his hands on her warm flesh. Seeing that they were not broke, but only starting to turn purple with bruises, he knelt down on the ground beside her.

"Bella, my name is Carlisle. I want to apologize on behalf of my son, he's a bit…passionate about things at times."

She nodded, keeping her eyes locked on me.

I snorted.

He shifted to face her, and Esme came to sit down on the ground beside her. "You met my wife Esme, and what Jasper was trying to ask you is really important to my family."

"So take your time honey, and tell us what we need to know," Esme prompted.

I could hear her heart rate slow down, and she took a couple of calming deep breaths before speaking.

"We're forestry students at UW, and we're doing a study for our internship with The Future of Washington Forest Products."

"Oh that's wonderful; I've heard a lot of good things about that study," Esme said. "But you're quite a bit of distance from the road, what brings you this far into the forest?"

"We got lost from our group when I was trying to find a meadow that I used to camp in as a child," she said. "What are you going to do with us?"

"We wish you no harm," Carlisle said. "But we need to know what you saw."

Bella looked over at her friends. "Please let them go," she whispered, tears forming in her eyes. "It wasn't their fault, I convinced them to go with me."

"Bella, tell us what you saw," Esme said.

"We won't tell anyone, I promise," she cried. "Please don't hurt them."

"It's not that simple dear."

"J-just t-take me. K-kill me instead," she offered.

"Carlisle!" Alice yelled. "They're coming!"

"Who?" I asked.

"The Volturi!" Edward said.


A/N: Okay guys, tell me what you think so far? I've always been intimadated about writing a vamp/human fic, simply because vampire characteristics are so not the same as human characteristics.

I'm still in the middle of writing my first fic, To Keep You Safe, so the updates on this one will be regular, but may not be every week. Please just be patient with me as I work through each story. Reviews help me write through the tough times, so please be generous.