A/N: I'm sorry for the long wait. If I still have any readers out there I hope you accept my heartfelt apology. Real Life has a funny way of kicking you in the ass and preventing you from doing what you want to do. I hope you guys enjoy. This is unbeta'd so any mistakes here are my own.
Disclaimer: I own no part of the Twilight Saga I just like to play with the characters.
Jasper roared and ripped another tree from the otherwise quiet landscape. He'd run far enough from the safe house so that the two humans inside wouldn't notice the destruction he intended to cause. So far, it turned out to be a splendid idea.
He hoisted the hundred-year-old Chinese Oak over his shoulder and chucked it several miles away from him. Before the sound of the crash could reach his extraordinary hearing, he already had his arms around the trunk of another, this time an, already marred, maple tree. He twisted until the roots cracked in a chorus of submission then tossed it aside. It wasn't much work to do so.
His strength could have allowed him to lift trees five times the size of the ones he was destroying and his speed would have given him the time to destroy a whole forest in a matter of seconds. Oddly enough though, he was enjoying the slow burn in his muscles as he controlled his abilities, tuning them as if he were human and his body could only go so far.
The restraint was satisfying when he reached his goal prompting several human memories of his family's old ranch to creep up into his thoughts. He was grateful and smiled into the trunk of his next victim as he pulled and stretched the roots beyond their ability.
It was a welcome distraction from visions of draining Charlie, after having dismembered, him dancing happily in his head. It had been a weak moment for the man. Charlie was stern but Jasper could sense it was merely a corrective measure rather than a need to control Bella. After having carried the burden of keeping them safe and hidden all these years only to find his efforts so easily destroyed he was worn thin emotionally and mentally. Charlie was at the end of his rope and Bella choosing to step out of her carefully created box had knocked him down completely.
He was terrified. But it didn't give him the right to lay into Bella like that. Jasper looked around him to find no more trees within his immediate reach and stalked off, the itch in his throat finally getting the best of him.
He knew it was better that he lose control away from Bella rather than right beside her but his entire body began to ache with each step he took that led him away from the safe house.
"What the hell?" He murmured, slowing down enough to assess the problem. He was a vampire. He didn't get tired, his body didn't ache beyond his control, and he damn sure had no heart to cause him the palpitations he was experiencing. He doubled over feeling as if a great weight had pressed down upon him.
The voice was soft, yet forceful and masculine. When he tried to move again his body was shoved into the dirt. If he were still human his organs would have burst from the strain he was under of which he could only compare to the heel of a hand crushing an egg. Five points of pressure dug into his skin and yet Jasper couldn't smell or sense a single soul nearby. He reached out with his gift in an attempt to pick up on anything closing in and growled when he detected glee and malice.
"The resistance is useless."
Jasper turned his head with great effort and stopped at the short screech his skin made when it was torn. He might as well have been trying to lift a skyscraper with just his head.
"Go ahead, let him decapitate himself, we'll send the great Major back to his mistress in a box," the voice said.
Someone chuckled and Jasper thought he could tell how close he or she was. His gaze shifted left to right across the expansive barren field. His eyesight blurred in thanks for his attempt and he hissed his frustration when the pressure was applied on either side of his eyeballs, as if someone had pinched them between their thumb and forefinger.
His muscles strained against the force that controlled them. Unwillingly his eyes snapped shut and an intense weight on his eyelids kept them that way. He snarled in indignation. His faculties were being cut off one by one and instantly he began to wonder who'd been sent to collect him. It was no one he knew personally or had ever met.
This power was unique and the only match he could think of was Alec of the Volturi. Alec could make a vampire deaf in blind in an instant if he wished. Jasper knew of no one who'd survived to tell how. He calmed himself and focused on his remaining senses.
He sniffed the air and came up with the mixture of earth, fresh water, and freesia accompanied by a wildly beating heart. His muscles reacted, pushing harder against the force holding him down.
Bella couldn't be here. She just couldn't. Not now with Maria or possibly the Volturi afoot. He found himself hoping that if it had to anyone it were the Kings themselves. At least they might offer her the chance to be turned. Maria would torture her before his very eyes to make a point.
As if sensing his horror his puppeteer pulled back his eyelids and allowing him a slowly refocusing view of Bella racing toward him and calling his name. He called back to her, expecting her to turn around. She just stood there, still dressed in her pajamas, trying to find him.
"Bella!" Jasper screamed. She glanced around, her legs bent in a crouch that looked funny considering she was human. Something wasn't right and his fears were confirmed when she took off in a sprint. In the distance a male vampire with long black hair dropped out of a tree and landed softly a few feet from Bella, which sent her running back in his direction.
Jasper's fingers dug deep into the soil and his body strained to go after her as the unknown closed in. Girlish laughter echoed through the clearing. Bella screamed in terror as the vampire wrapped his long arms around her waist and held her tight against his chest.
"Such a pity," he whispered before sinking his teeth into a spot on her shoulder. Bella hissed and screamed in agony. She twisted in his arms while more vampires arrived. Most of them he recognized as members of Maria's Army.
"No!" Jasper growled as each one took a bite forcing a scream from her.
He closed his eyes and shoved forward in an effort to force the earth to give way to his demands for movement. The muck beneath him yielded, slowly but surely, as he tore and clawed himself free of it and began pushing upwards and onto his knees.
Bella, he had to get to Bella.
She was screaming for him to save her now and more than anything he needed to protect her. No one had the right to touch her let alone bite her. His shoulder blades bowed with effort as his back arched so that he could pull his knees underneath him.
Whatever it was, it wasn't able to hold him for long. The pressure was lifting and the ground vibrated against his knees. A piercing scream pile drove through his ear canal creating a ringing sensation. His eyes opened to a haze filled vision that sharpened quickly. His senses came screaming back to him as he sniffed the air and smelled Bella nearby. How badly was she hurt? His gaze darted about the clearing to find the one lone male vampire who was dressed in a grey suit and a red cloak staring down at him in disbelief.
Jasper didn't recognize the long dark hair or the well-kept face, but he did notice that the man carried no marks of ownership or challenge. He couldn't be in Maria's camp. No one left there without a souvenir set of bite marks to remember Maria by—if they escaped at all.
Everything was clear now especially the feel of Bella's hands on his shoulders shaking him. He stood and reached back to paw at her sides to be sure she was really all right and to be sure that she knew to stay behind him. Somehow between the time he'd been down and the time she'd gotten to him, she'd buried her face into the fabric of his shirt. The slight nod of agreement to keep back meant her forehead running up his spine. He breathed deeply when the cascade of arousal tickled his gift.
Jasper had felt lust in this life more times than he cared to count but this was different, so familiar, and powerful that it almost brought him to his knees again. The vampire took a step forward and Jasper growled angrily.
"Who the hell are you?" Jasper snarled.
"That doesn't matter," the man's voice was like silk. His red eyes moved about Jasper and Bella, assessing and searching for an opening. Jasper had seen it done hundreds of times on the battlefield, to himself and his soldiers, and smiled darkly. No one that had ever given him that look survived to speak about their meeting.
"I think its best that we drain the girl and you come with me, Jasper," the man said. Jasper hissed at the words. No one touched her. She was his!
"Mine," Jasper growled and reached back again despite his unparalleled senses being able to tell him she was there. She took his hand.
"What's going on, Jasper?"
"Ah, I see."
"I'm not going to ask you again," Jasper spoke in a low warning tone.
"She has no idea who or what you are, does she? And yet she is your mate."
Jasper could feel her confusion and sent her a dose of confidence and reassurance to stall it. There would be no going back after this for either of them. Once she knew she'd be bound to keep his secret and become like him or die.
"No snappy retort for me?"
"I save those for close acquaintances, of which you aren't. Bella, don't move."
"So, touchy, maybe we should give her a demonstration of your abilities. Hmm?"
"Be my guest, as long as you don't mind ending up a pile of ashes," Jasper replied.
"We'll see if you can move faster than my Nita's power can infect you."
Jasper moved and a shock sped through him the moment he left her hands. The other vamp went high whereas Jasper went low attaching his lips at the hip and grasping the man's thigh with his hands. He removed the leg in one move and relished in the metallic scream his actions caused. With the leg gone his opponent landed on his remaining knee. Jasper sniffed the air, caught the scent of the man's companion, and chucked the leg in her direction. Nita, as she had been called, charged him. Jasper glanced at Bella who stood sputtering in shock.
"What the hell! You just—you—"
"Bella don't move."
"Are you out of your fucking mind? You just tore his leg off!"
"He wants to kill you Bella and take me. It's not like I can sit down for tea in the woods and ask him to spare you and leave me alone."
Bella ran her fingers through her hair and watched the vampire a few feet away hiss and roar in their direction. She gasped but didn't say another word.
"Still, Bella. We're not out of the woods yet."
An enraged shriek broke the calm and Nita came racing into view. Her pale skin and red eyes set off the long black curls that whipped around her face. Jasper hadn't been sure that she'd simply go after him or take out her rage on Bella, as she was the weaker party. Jasper crouched low and followed the path her emotions took. Revenge. Anger. Pity. Jasper turned slightly towards the human girl.
"Jasper." Bella called out as Nita came closer. Jasper smirked but afforded her no answer. Fear started to fill the girl beside him. Nita came closer and glanced at her injured companion before leaping towards Bella.
"Jasper!" Bella screamed and fell back as he leapt before her. His body crashed into Nita's sending them both crashing the ground still struggling as they made a small crater in the dirt. She planted her foot in his chest and rolled, sending him up in the air. It seemed Nita was more experienced than her friend. Once she was on her feet she smiled at him and gravity pulled him back to the terrain—hard.
"Stop! Get away from him!"
"Filthy human." Nita ground out. She glanced over her shoulder to smile sweetly at Bella. Her voice carried a deep southern accent that reminded Jasper too much of home.
"Don't you worry darlin' I'll finish you off in a moment. You'll be the perfect snack to help heal my mate."
"Jasper, you should have known better than to run from your Mistress," Nita said when she turned back to him knowing full well that he couldn't speak, not when it felt like two tons of metal was being ground into his back.
"Hey!" Bella moved forward behind Nita, racing forward foolishly to Jasper's rescue. He felt a mixture of pride and horror fill him up and lodge in his throat as he tried to shout to her to run. Apparently, Maria had a new toy and this Nita was it. She could manipulate his body and mind to see and feel what she wanted.
"I said, get away from him!"
Nita snorted derisively and threw Jasper a backward glance. "Don't go anywhere."
She then turned her back on him and the weight slowly started to lift again. He pushed against it, fighting the intense pressure with all he had. Bella needed him.
A startled screech drew his attention to the scene before him as Nita flew over his head and the weight was lifted completely. Bella was on her knees breathing heavily and clawing at the grass with a feral look in her eyes. Jasper immediately took off after Nita, who'd landed no more than ten feet away, and tore her body limb from limb, leaving her head still attached.
He scattered her parts around them so that they were far apart from each other. Bella seemed to catch her breath and looked up at him with startled eyes when he approached.
"Are you okay?"
"Are you?" Jasper asked kneeling down in front of her. He reached out to her and she shrank back.
"Do you want to tell me what the hell is going on?"
"Do you want to tell me how you're walking or what the hell you just did to Nita?"
"Right. Square one."
"Are they okay?"
"If they can find their limbs, maybe. They may have company soon and I'd rather us not be here when they find them."
Jasper dug around in his pockets and thanked the heavens that the man he'd stolen the pants from smoked. He pulled out silver lighter and held it up.
"Take this and once I've pulled them apart I need you to light it and toss it at them."
"We're going to burn them alive!"
"Bella trust me, that sure as hell beats what they were going to do to you."
"You're asking me to help you murder people," She ground out.
"I'm asking you to help me kill two vampires who would have no problem murdering you and your father to get to me," Jasper said. He reached out again and this time she let his fingertips graze her chin and then allowed him to venture further and cup her cheeks in his hands. He was surprised to see her melt beneath his touch.
"Bella, if we don't do this, we'll be running from them from now on, too. Please let me end them."
He didn't need her permission. They both knew that it was a fact that he could burn them whether she wanted him to or not. For some unknown reason he wanted it though. He wanted her approval before he made another move.
She looked straight at him and he had to admit that she either had one hell of a figurative set of balls or she had no sense of self-preservation. Her eyes widened in realization and her gaze darted about his features as if putting it all together and seeing him anew. She wasn't afraid. Not of him.
She nodded and he stepped back, running to where the man struggled to stand on his remaining leg and tackled him to the ground. Seconds later he had him split up in several parts and placed in a neat pile. He gathered Nita together and brought her to the pile holding her body up so she could watch.
"If I could trust you to deliver the message I'd let you go but this will have to suffice. I can't have you coming after us."
"She'll find you. She's gotten this close. What makes you think she won't come all the way?"
"Because if she were going to do that she'd have done it already instead of sending two peons like you and dumbass over there."
"His name is David." She growled at him and took a snap at him. Jasper nodded at Bella and she lit the lighter and tossed it at David's remains. They went up in smoke instantly. Jasper smiled at Nita who began howling in pain.
"Let me go with him."
"How many came with you?"
"Jasper don't you think this is a bit much?"
"We have to know Bella, if we want any chance of survival against them."
"Bella is it? You'd better hope to God that Maria doesn't find out about her," Nita said in a singsong voice. "Useful or not, that little bitch over there will burn right before your eyes as a living breathing corpse or a drained one. Maybe she'll make her suffer many deaths for the added benefit of showing you that you're hers. Her army will see to that and whatever else she wills."
Venom pooled in Jasper's mouth at the thought. Maria would never have Bella. He'd see to that if it meant his end. Without another word he hurled Nita into the pit of fire, taking care to add her arms and legs to the steadily building flames.
"We have to go, Bella," Jasper said. He looked over to her and watched her eyes glaze over in the flickering light. He reached out, pulled her to him, and backed them away from the fire.
"You're like them, aren't you?"
"I'm one of them. I'm not like them. Not since you came into my life," Jasper answered. She turned around to face him.
"Why are they after you?"
"My sire, Maria, is a very powerful vampire. I abandoned her when her hold slipped on me."
"I caught your scent," he continued sheepishly. "I couldn't stop running until I found you."
"So she's after you to get you back," Bella said. Her face scrunched in distaste. Jasper smiled. She didn't seem to like it any more than he did. Either that or he wasn't the only one feeling attached and protective.
"Just about," Jasper said then broke contact with her. He stepped back and put an uncomfortable amount of distance between them.
"I need you to know how sorry I am for I dragging you into this. It wasn't my intent, I didn't know where I was going and I was drawn, pulled towards you."
Bella shook her head. "How much more trouble can I get in? It feels like death is kind of imminent."
"Not for you. I won't let it," Jasper said.
Bella shook her head. "So, you're a vampire, huh?"
"Can you catch me if I run?"
"Like a leopard can pounce upon a gazelle."
"Okay, what if I try to fight you?"
"I could over power you within seconds. Actually, you'd probably hurt yourself unless you do that thing you did earlier—what was that again?"
"I do, a vampire's memory is unparalleled as are their senses."
"That's how you could sniff me out."
Jasper nodded. "I should probably leave you. Me being so close will only draw more attention from Maria. That and I could potentially eat you in your sleep."
"But you won't?" Bella asked.
"You won't eat me or leave me."
More like couldn't if he tried on both accounts. He moved forward closing the gap and feeling at peace once more. "Your safety is more important than mine."
"What if I don't agree with that?"
"You're stuck with me no matter what."
Bella laughed and the sound was beautiful to him.
"We need to get Charlie and run as far away and as fast as we can."
"You're not going to try and kill him again are you?" Bella asked. Jasper scooped her up in his arms once again feeling that the motion was more right than his need to feed, which he would need to do again soon. He started to run in the direction of the house, cris-crossing through the land of dismantled trees.
"Not unless he hurts you like he earlier. I didn't like the way he spoke to you."
"Charlie's a bit high strung when he's stressed. He didn't mean anything he said. At least I don't think so."
"He didn't. Still doesn't mean I have to like it."
Bella shook her head and inadvertently nuzzled into his neck. He picked up his pace and ran at vampiric speed. Bella held on tighter and looked up at him with wide eyes and an exhilarated smile. It had him thinking that just maybe things would work out. With Bella knowing his secret he could more easily and quickly hide Bella and Charlie from their enemies and his. He could keep them safe. He could her safe. It amazed him how quickly his priorities had changed in the past few days.
In many ways Bella had saved him. If he'd never caught her scent he wouldn't have had any sort of direction to run in after Maria's hold on him had dropped. Maria's possession of him was still a large question mark for him.
To his knowledge Maria wasn't in the slightest bit gifted and generally kept the gifted vampires to a minimum amount in her army. She didn't like anyone being more powerful than her. Jasper had believed that he was an anomaly and that she loved him. That life seemed so foreign to him as he ran with Bella in his arms.
His pull to Bella was indisputable. Leaving her wasn't any more an option than him needing to feed. His throat itched at the thought. He needed blood soon. He slowed down, intending to set Bella down and hunt any sort of animal nearby that would stave off the thirst. Bella reached up to touch him and her wrist ghosted over the skin at his neck. Suddenly, his thirst was virtually non-existent.
"Bella? What did you just do?"
"I—wait it worked?"
Jasper's brow furrowed in question and Bella studied her hands, which now rested in her lap.
" Jasper, it's—"
"I just wanted you to feel better. It's only ever worked on me though."
Jasper set her down and took a step away from her. It was impossible.
"You mean you just willed my thirst away?"
"I didn't think that it would work."
"So, that was how you've been walking on and off."
"It only lasts as long as I concentrate."
Jasper nodded and could feel the thirst slowly start to return. A talented human? Jasper had heard rumors about them but in his life with Maria had never been able to confirm their existence as a fact. The stories told of humans with powers that, when changed, became incredibly more powerful than your average gifted vamp.
If Maria found out about Bella… Jasper cringed at the thought. Bella took hold of his hand, gasping, no doubt, at the hard ice she held.
"Bella is that all you can do?"
"That's all I've ever been able to do. It doesn't go beyond the physical, though. I can't will a situation to work out or change in any way. If I could do that, believe me, we wouldn't be here."
Jasper nodded. "Does Charlie know?"
Bella opened her mouth to speak but Jasper held his hand up to silence her. Her indignant huff prompted his one word explanation.
Jasper sniffed the air and listened carefully to the forest. Birds chirped, Bella's teeth chattered, and men conversed a few hundred meters away. Jasper growled.
"Get on my back and stay quiet."
Bella did as she was asked and they raced forward until they were a hundred meters away from the house a top of an overlooking hill. Jasper dropped down to his knees and stretched out onto his stomach. Bella rolled off of him and mirrored his movements. From the hill they could see the small shack that led to the safe house that was surrounded by men in black suits
"Vampires?" Bella asked. Jasper shook his head. If it were his kind they'd have ripped apart the shack and torn open the hatch that would take them down to Charlie.
The sound of metal jarring against metal rose up to greet them which mean that the men had found the hatch but couldn't figure out how to open it. It sounded like they were taking a jackhammer to it at the moment.
"That was too easy," Jasper said truly surprised that the men hunting them were capable of finding Charlie's carefully hidden safe house after years of him having it built. This meant that they had to have gotten help. Jenks, it just had to be him.
"We've got to go get him out of there," Bella scrambled to her knees. Jasper grabbed her arm and yanked her back down.
"We're not going anywhere."
Bella jerked her hand out of his grasp and shot him a glare.
"May you're not," Bella said. "But I am."
A/N: I hope you enjoyed. Review and tell me what you think!