Lessons Unexpected Outtake 1
A/N: Here it is folks! Enjoy!
The gravel crunched loudly under Jasper's boots as he paced restlessly across the hotel roof. Night had descended upon Alaska but the world had barely changed to him. Instead of the sharp colours of day, Jasper saw the muted tones of blues, purples and greys. His eyes scanned the world below him, watching as the human's scurried from building to car or car to building, trying to avoid the cold. He had always thought that they looked rather ridiculous when they were all bundled up like that. Having come from the South where it had rarely snowed, even during the darkest months of winter, he found that the way they waddled when they were so thickly padded was rather entertaining.
But it was a pain in the ass when they layered because it gave him more work when he had to rip the scarf from their neck before he drained them.
Of course, it wasn't really all that hard to do, but Jasper was all about instant gratification these days. Why should he deny his nature? Why deny himself his natural food source, the one thing he craved more than—
He derailed that train of thought and turned to jump off the roof of the hotel. The air whistled by him as he dropped like the stone his skin seemed to be made of before he felt the impact of the ground and bent his knees to absorb it. His senses scanned the area as he casually walked out of the alley way but there had been no human beings around to see that death defying stunt that no human being was capable of. He experienced a brief flash of relief that there would be no needless killing tonight before he squashed it. What purpose did it serve to feel sorry for them? He was willing to bet that they didn't feel sorry for the cow as they dug in to their expensive t-bone. At least, if they did, it wasn't strong enough to stop them from enjoying what came natural to them. He could relate on that level.
He turned left almost without thinking and began meandering slowly in the opposite direction that he knew he should be going in. He should be leaving Alaska, or at least this area, but for some reason he couldn't seem to make himself do it. After four long years of not knowing, he had finally found her.
She had changed a bit, of course, it had been four years and she was human. Her hair was longer than it had been, brushing her waist now. Her body had filled out, the hard and awkward angles of adolescence had turned into the alluring curves and subtlety of a young woman. She had grown a few more inches, putting the top of her head at his chin level but that wasn't the part of her that had shocked him so.
It was her face, the way that had changed. Of course, there were the minute signs of aging—she had the beginnings of laugh lines around her eyes and mouth—but it was more so what she did with that face now. The Bella he had known used to hide herself behind a curtain of curling hair, now she looked you dead in the eye and even sneered at you! Sneered! Bella! If the sight of her laughing and joking with her companions hadn't enraged him so he would have been impressed.
But he couldn't get over those laugh lines. He would never have them, of course. Even if his skin could show signs of repetition, laugh lines would not be what formed on his face. A permanent line from frowning, perhaps, or a thinning of his lips from constantly pressing them together in anger. But laugh lines? Surely not.
He kicked out at a fallen water bottle next to a garbage can as he walked by, sending it flying into the air and halfway down the block but he didn't care. No one was around to see him and even if they were, fuck'em. He was in the right mood to drain some stupid human being who happened to be around at the wrong time. He had been so shocked when he first stumbled across her scent and traced it back to that bar she worked at. For a moment, he had forgotten about everything that had happened in the last four years and he was happy, hoping that she would see him and throw her arms around him in greeting.
But then he remembered that she would probably be terrified of him, and if she wasn't, she would definitely hate him. So he stayed outside of the bar and spied on her—something that he still couldn't explain. Why did he stay? Why did he watch her with sick fascination? He should have left, but he couldn't make himself do it. He wanted to see how she was doing, he wanted...he didn't know what he wanted anymore.
He had hoped that she was doing alright, that she was getting by and surviving after Edward had left her. She certainly seemed to have things in order, she was a student, working, living with other people her age and species, so why was he so shocked and enraged when he heard her witty banter with the other staff that worked in the tiny pub?
He stood outside in the alley way, so that no one noticed him, and listened as she laughed, joked, and chatted away happily with people. How? How could she do this? How could she be so...so...happy? He was so angry that he didn't even recognize that what he was feeling was jealousy until it had already consumed him.
How dare she be happy when he was miserable all because she existed?
Here he had thought that maybe, just maybe, she would understand him, of all people. She, too, had been left by someone that she loved, abandoned like yesterday's news. Or, in Alice's case, yesterday's outfit.
But, clearly, she didn't. She didn't know, she couldn't understand. She was just another human being, she couldn't understand the vast expanse of a vampire's emotions. She just couldn't comprehend that kind of intensity. She had moved on and become happy again.
He knew that he should be happy for her, but he just didn't have it in him. If she hadn't existed, if Edward had never fallen in love with her, Alice would never have left him. It was all her fault and here she was, living her life happily while he wandered the world alone.
He hated her in that moment, hated her with a passion he didn't fully understand.
So even though he knew he shouldn't be, he found himself walking to where she lived with two other human beings. He had already been in there before and so it was not hard for him to find her bedroom window, scale the wall and slide the metal frame up enough to allow his body entrance.
Her room was dark and warm compared to the world outside but she wasn't in there. He turned and closed the window quietly behind him as he let his senses roam the dwelling. He could hear three heartbeats, two of which were farther away than the other. There was a TV on in another room and the sound of shifting bodies. He could smell them, each one of them, including Bella. The male had been in here several times recently and Jasper wondered if they were together. He curled his lip in distaste.
He heard a shower shutting off and the sound of someone clambering awkwardly out of it. He would bet his entire existence's savings that that heartbeat belonged to Bella. She may have learned how to walk in a straight line without tripping but she was still Bella and seemingly prone to clumsiness. He had witnessed her stumble over small things several times since he had arrived. She didn't even seem to notice that she was tripping which spoke to how often it still happened.
He listened as a pair of footsteps, accompanied by a heartbeat, slowly made their way closer to him, reaffirming his idea that it was Bella. He didn't know what he would do when she walked in here though, should he show himself, or hide? Why was he even there? He hadn't decided when the door was pushed open and so he threw himself, soundlessly, into the darkest corner of her room and crouched down. He wasn't sure what he would do if she turned the lights on but he would probably show himself. He wasn't prepared to dive under her bed like some teenager being caught by his girlfriend's father. He had some dignity left, apparently.
He didn't have to worry about it though, because she never turned the lights on. He watched as she stumbled around the room with her poor vision and even poorer memory—shouldn't she remember where she put things? This is her room after all—and put things away. He figured that she would start changing soon because she was still wearing a towel but before he could wonder whether he should close his eyes, she hit her foot on the corner of her desk.
Swearing, she hissed in pain and began to hop on one foot. It was pretty funny actually and Jasper was surprised when he found himself grinning. He shouldn't be laughing at her discomfort but he couldn't help it, Bella had always been clumsy and it had always been entertaining for him. He was shocked, however, when he felt a shift in her emotions. It happened so rapidly, he couldn't understand it; she went from angry—probably about her foot—to wallowing in sorrow. Where was this coming from? He reached out with his gift and what he felt almost made him whimper aloud.
The emotional pain, the deep yawning cavern of her abandonment, the hopelessness, it felt like a punch in the gut and it threatened to swallow him whole. He pulled his gift back abruptly and put his hands over his face. He knew that feeling. He knew it too well. Why...
Do not feel sorry for them. Do not feel sorry for this human being. She ruined everything, who cares if she's depressed? She probably broke up with her roommate boyfriend, or failed a test. Human beings couldn't understand true pain, they didn't have the capacity. He could understand it though; he knew what it was to truly feel abandoned, hopeless, devoid of happiness.
He stepped out of the shadows as her cries slowed and she heaved a deep sigh, he needed to get out of here before her tears could break past his anger and hatred. He hadn't thought that he needed to hate her until the moment he saw her again. She brought everything back, all the memories. Alice.
"Well, it's about time," he said casually.
He watched as she scrambled to her feet and clutched at the towel that barely covered her body, "What the hell do you think you're doing here?" she demanded.
He walked forward so that she could see him and smirked at her, she looked like a drowned rat with her wet hair plastered to her shoulders and back, her eyes red and swollen. She glared at him which only made him feel better. Yes, he could deal with her anger, it fed his.
"What's the matter, Bella? Had a rough day?" he taunted her, knowing that it would throw her deeper into her rage.
"Yeah, I wonder why that is? It wouldn't happen to have anything to do with the sudden reappearance of a certain vampire that I have no pleasure in seeing?" she snapped at him.
"Well, I wasn't going to stay but I have to say, I was curious about you. And then you had to go and challenge me, I can't turn down a challenge," he replied calmly. He reached out with his gift and felt her anger boiling there, just under the surface.
"Challenge? What are you talking about?" she demanded, easing backwards a bit. He grinned. Was Bella the Brave scared of him? What, the girl who had once ran with the vampire family, scared? He nearly chuckled.
"Oh, you mean, besides smacking me across the face?" he asked innocently, quirking an eyebrow at her. He stepped forward, invading her personal space on purpose. She tried to maintain the distance between them but her back hit the wooden door behind her. "That bullshit about Alice? That was a challenge Bella, and we both know it. You tried to rub some salt in my wounds, not thinking that I would retaliate. Trust me, I have plenty of weapons against you in my arsenal. Shall I tell you about how Edward has taken Tanya as his mate? You know, from how I hear it, they're worse than Emmett and Rose with all the fucking. Who would have thought ol' Eddie had it in him?"
He wasn't surprised by the stabbing pain that lanced through her anger but he was surprised by how unsatisfying it was. Her lips trembled as she spoke, "Fuck you Jasper. That wasn't how I meant that comment about Alice and you know it."
Did he? He didn't know anything of the sort. He wasn't a mind reader like her dear Edward, "Do I?"
He took another step forward until he was mere inches away from her body. He wanted her rage back, he didn't want to feel her pain, so he did what he knew would piss her off. He looked her up and down like she was a tasty meal that he'd like to take a bite out of. In truth, it wasn't hard, she had a beautiful body and he'd have to be blind not to see that, but that wasn't how he wanted to view her.
"Well, well, Bella. You've certainly grown into that body of yours, haven't you? I mean," he paused and licked his lips in a derogatory manner, "you're no Tanya Denali so I can see why Edward didn't stick around, but still, I could have some fun with those curves of yours."
He nearly laughed in delight as the rage overwhelmed his senses. She spun around and reached out for the first thing that she could grab, a lamp, and she whipped it at his head. He knew she wanted a reaction from him but he wanted more anger. He felt the lamp hit him in the side of the head but it felt like the whisper of a breeze. He didn't move a muscle as it exploded into pieces around his head. He was sorely tempted to grin when he felt her rage spike.
"Fuck you!" she growled, "You're the reason why I'm here alone, why he left me!"
What? He nearly asked it aloud. What the hell did she think he was, Edward's keeper? He didn't force Edward to do squat. Clearly, she hadn't figured out why the boy had pulled up his tent pegs yet. Well, he wasn't about to inform her.
"Nah, I'm just the convenient excuse, the scapegoat if you will," he said, with a shrug.
"Bullshit! Edward loved me once! You changed that!"
He laughed at that, crossing his arms over his chest. She thought that he had stopped Edward from loving her? That he had influenced the other vampire's emotions? Christ, this girl was clueless. Well, he could use that to his advantage.
"And just how could I do that? Face it Bella, he never loved you. He was curious, you intrigued him. Once the fascination lost its appeal, he stopped caring. It's in our nature, you know."
He nearly growled when he felt the pain surface again. She wasn't supposed to be hurt by his words, she was supposed to get angry. It wasn't like she actually cared about Edward anymore, she had never truly loved him. If she had, she wouldn't have been capable of laughing. You can't, not when you lose your mate. This was her pride they were talking about. She had been left behind and her pride was wounded, not her heart. Where was the rage!
"You manipulate emotions! Of course you could do it! Why? Because I'm human? Not good enough? Is that it?" Bella demanded.
Jasper eyed her as if she were a little touched in the head, "You give me too much credit, Bella. As you saw in your little cafe, I cannot create someone's emotions; I can only influence them with mine. I have to summon that emotion before I project it onto the person. I cannot take someone's emotion away from them, only replace it with my own, and only then if they're weak enough. If I had been making Edward think that he was no longer in love with you, he would be here right now, because I haven't seen Edward, nor any of the Cullens, for almost five years."
There was that pain again. God dammit! What was this? "No. You're lying," she whispered.
He was furious. He wanted her anger! Enough with the pain! It was starting to swallow him. He pushed it back, refusing to acknowledge it, or why it was there. "I think that five years would be sufficient time to come to his senses, to realize he really loves you, don't you think? I mean, I know he's a vampire and we tend to view time differently from you humans, but still, five years is five years."
He threw his gift out at her, searching for her anger, but it was laced with the pain.
"Perhaps your right Jasper, but what I don't understand is why Alice isn't with you," Bella asked, her voice cold and knowing.
Jasper froze, though Bella wouldn't have noticed. He stared at her for a second too long, desperately pushing down the memories of the last time he had seen the woman he loved.
"She's abroad right now. She's not a fan of the colder climates," he lied quickly.
It didn't work. Bella laughed at him, crossing her arms over her towel clad chest. He felt his lip twitch in an effort to bare his teeth. How dare she laugh at him?
"Oh bullshit! She's not with you anymore is she?" Bella asked.
Jasper pulled his gift away from her, curling it around himself; he didn't want to feel her glee as she found his weakness. He wouldn't show it to her. He gritted his teeth in anger but tried to answer her as calmly as possible.
"She's not with me right now, but that doesn't mean that she isn't still my mate, that we're not still together."
He felt the lie tear through him, leaving pain in its wake. It was a giant lie. Alice was gone, she wouldn't ever come back, she was no longer his mate...at least not in her eyes.
Bella laughed, "She left you didn't she? What was it Jasper? She couldn't stand the sight of you anymore, after you attacked her human 'sister'?"
Jasper clenched his fists together. She had no idea what she was talking about. She couldn't know what...he swallowed his rage and forced himself to speak calmly once again.
"Not that I have to explain anything to you, but no," he could hear the growl in his tone but he hoped she wouldn't.
"Is that so?" Bella mocked him, raising a disbelieving eyebrow, "I think you're full of shit, Jasper. You stand there," she gestured to him with one hand, "acting all high and mighty, taunting me about the fact that Edward left me when you're in the exact same boat."
"I am not!" he spat. He clenched his hands together so hard that he could feel his own nails digging into his palm, almost painfully. She couldn't... she didn't... there was no way. How dare she speak of Alice to him? It was all her fault! Everything was her fault!
"You are so!" Bella crowed, "You weren't good enough either! You failed your mate! God, Jasper," she put on a fake tone of concern, "that must hurt so much."
Something snapped in him. The rage boiled over his control and in that instant he hated her more than he had ever hated anyone else. He wanted to kill her; he wanted to rip out her throat. His eyes clouded over with images that he had tried to bury as he heard those haunting words ring through his ears once again.
You're a monster!
He lunged at her, not really seeing Bella, but rather something else. Something faceless, something horrible, something evil. It was his pain, the aching feeling inside of him that never seemed to ease no matter what he did.
"Go to hell!" he growled to it, talking to that pain, those emotions he couldn't escape.
And then he sank his teeth into warm flesh. The skin parted like soft butter in the path of a sharp knife. Hot blood flooded his mouth, washing over his tongue and he nearly groaned with pleasure. He swallowed greedily, sucking hard, pulling as much as he could out of that vein. He pulled and pulled and pulled, not aware of anything other than his pain, his anger, and the hot blood filling his mouth. It wasn't until it started to slow that he realized there was a world around him. He felt fingers in his hair and a limp body in his arms. A body. In his arms. Bella. His mouth, still at her neck. Oh god.
"Ja—Jasp—per," she gasped, her mouth right by his ear. Her voice was so faint. He pulled back and felt her blood dribble down his chin. He looked at her deathly pale face, her neck smeared with blood and a gaping wound still weeping a soft trickle of blood. She swallowed hard, her eyes unfocused, "I'm s-so s-sorry. P-please, for-g-give me?"
Jasper's throat closed up and the world crashed in around him. He had just killed her and she was apologizing to him. What was happening to him? How had he become this?
"Never," she gasped, "meant...t-to...hurt...you...l-loved...yo-you," her hand dropped from his hair, too weak to defy gravity any longer. He closed his eyes as it hit the hard wood floor underneath them with a thud that seemed to reverberate through his body.
The shame washed through him, leaving regret in its wake, "I'm sorry" he whispered.
He opened his eyes to see her staring off into the distance as her heart thudded slowly.
"What have I done?"
It was a rhetorical question. He knew what he had done, he just couldn't figure out why.
But he knew what he needed to do, because he wouldn't let her pay the price of his mistakes.
Quickly, he leaned down and attached his mouth to that ugly wound and, gathering as much of it as he could, he pushed his venom into her veins.