Another little something for all you Jalice fans out there. Set at the end of New Moon, post-Volterra. The idea was sparked from the phone call Alice makes to Jasper on the plane promising him she'll get out, even though she doesn't know if they will. She lied to protect him, and it interested me what the fallout from that would be. Reviews would be super, as always.

Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of Stephenie Meyer. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended

Summary: A betrayal of trust can rock the foundations of even the most solid relationship, but the true strength of a bond is measured by forgiveness. Canon-ish vamp oneshot written for Kimmydonn as part of FGB Eclipse. Rated M.

** Many thanks and much love to the wonderful Kimmydonn for purchasing this as part of FGB Eclipse, and for her patience when I took a while with it. And to tiffanyanne3 for her great beta job. **

*** Also thanks to Alverdine for her love and encouragement, to venis-envy for being the yin to my yang, and to all the WC girls that helped me finish this - you know who you are. ***

Alice and Jasper enter their bedroom, closing the door to have a few moments of peace. The room is spacious and light, with an expansive view of the lush forests that stretch for miles behind the house. He follows her inside, crossing the threshold. Every step is an eternity and his feet are leaden. Alice has seated herself on the bed, her hands clasped and her eyes on the purple silk sheets she only bought last week. She distractedly rolls the fabric between her finger and thumb, as if to admire its amethyst sheen, but her mind is far away.

Jasper stands still, leaning against the door frame with his arms folded as he lets her have a moment to herself. Dark circles lie beneath his eyes, for he has not allowed himself to hunt in the absence of his mate, for fear he would miss a chance to hear news of her.

"It's been quite a day," he remarks, absentmindedly scraping the heel of his boot against the baseboard. Alice raises her eyebrow, and he hastily takes his foot away upon remembering all the time she spends decorating and re-decorating their room. In the past year, she has changed its colour scheme twice – from blue and white to gold with cream tones, but he always humours her.

Jasper passes a hand over his eyes, wishing that he possessed the mortal gift of being able to sleep. He almost feels as if he wants to shower this instant and wash all the dread and fear and stomach-churning anxiety of the last three days away. But he wants to talk to her first. Neither he nor Alice spoke a word for the entire car journey. The silence between them is unbearable, but neither is willing to break it.

The house is unusually quiet, and Jasper suspects that the others are giving them some privacy after what transpired. He takes in the familiar room that he hasn't been able to set foot it in while he waited by the phone, the slow passage of time torturing him. This room is nothing without her – it is a shared history of their love and their journey to finding each other. He allows Alice to furnish it to her own frivolous taste, but he is a presence in this room as much as she is. There's a rosewood guitar in the corner, bluegrass records in a pile and Nietzsche and Kierkegaard tomes in the bookcase.

However, Jasper's greatest treasure is not so overt. Deep in a drawer is a plain cardboard matchbox that is over fifty years old. At first glance, it would appear to be nondescript: a faded, yellowed piece of junk. But Jasper alone knows it came from a dingy Philadelphia diner, the most unlikely place in the world for your entire existence to change. And yet it did. From the moment that small, soft hand slipped into his, his entire world spun on its axis. For the first time, his life had lost its grey tones, giving way to light and colour. Sometimes, when the pain of resisting the tempting humans at school becomes too much, when he grows tired of trying to deny the monster within him, he takes out this box, and he reminds himself that Alice is all he lives for. The fact that he struggles with their lifestyle is a continued source of shame and embarrassment for him, but she never judges him.

Despite that, he is unable to prevent a rush of anger surging through him. Who it's directed at, he isn't sure, but he closes his eyes until the white hot haze passes, trying to get a grip on himself. He wishes he had gone, that he had ignored all direction and crossed oceans to protect his mate. The mere suggestion that Alice was in any kind of danger makes his dead heart clench painfully, as close to beating for her as it could ever get. He now knows that it was far more dangerous for all of them than she ever told him - his brother included. And yet the austere Italian lawmakers have allowed Bella Swan to live. He cannot fathom the complexities of that decision and wonders if he'll ever know Aro's motivations for it. Alice sighs, finally raising her gaze to look upon him. Her eyes are dark with a thirst she would have been unable to sate, and his first thought is that they should hunt. But no. Perhaps later. There are far more pressing things to be dealt with.

He senses her heightened emotions: relief, worry, longing and something else. "You're guilty," he says, the words rolling off his tongue more sharply than he intends. She winces as if he had struck her, and he immediately regrets the hastily-chosen syllables.

"I'm sorry," she whispers, getting to her feet and crossing the room in a few graceful moves to stand by his side. "I've never been in a position where I had to lie to you like that. I know you trust me implicitly, and that it took you a long time to do that. "

"Then tell me," he says brusquely, unfolding his arms to rest his hands on her hips. "How close was it?"

"Aro's hand was held up to give the motion for us to be dispatched," she answers slowly, every word painful to utter, but wanting to be as honest as she possibly can. "If he'd moved his hand one inch, all three of us would have met our demise." Alice's head drops once again, her eyes seeking the midnight blue of the carpet. She is deeply ashamed of the failings of her gift, and feels responsible for the rash action that her brother took. She continues to reflect on what her family has been through in the last few days, borne of the terrible decision her brother made. She came so close to losing the sibling who understands her the best, and that is not an easy burden to bear. The cold sense of dread that she has borne for days is difficult to discard, for she knows how it could have been. Her gift of precognition is both great and terrible, not the blessing that some consider it to be. She has seen a million terrible futures in her mind's eye, each one leaving her family bereft and heartbroken. Believing that she had lost her best friend was bad enough, but that her mistake nearly led her brother to take his own life is more than she can bear.

Jasper winces upon hearing her words, his stomach squeezing in such a way that, were he human, he would end up vomiting. The merest thought of losing Alice literally causes him physical pain, all his muscles tautening with a tension that pricks at every nerve ending in his body. He's unable to suppress it, and Alice suddenly feels the mix of fear and pain and desperate longing that encompassed his emotional state while she was gone. It's raw and it hurts and all she wants in that second is him holding her tight — near, close, now.

"Jasper," she chokes out, her face drawn, "you don't understand. I saw you and Emmett going to your deaths. I couldn't lose you, no matter what the cause, so I was going to do everything in my power to stop you getting on that plane."

She pushes back a lock of golden hair that is covering his face, sweeping her fingers over his temple. Jasper feels Alice's fingertips quiver as they trace his skin, and a sharp breath releases itself from between his lips.

"But if I lost you, I'd have no reason to live another day," he tells her softly, feeling a wave of love for her that's utterly powerful, unchanging and for him, everything that's honest and pure and perfect. Coming from a life dominated by violence, suspicion and fear, the one thing Jasper can trust in is Alice's love — the one constant in an uncertain world. With her, he has always been whole, her presence having mended the broken shards of his heart. She's the piece of him he didn't even know he was missing.

Alice feels it too, in the touch of his hand on her cheek, his lips that are soft against her hair, the palm that's flat against her back and drawing her insistently closer. She knows he's still hurting and angry and disappointed in her for lying, but he loves her, and for now, that's all that matters. In seconds, she's drawn into a kiss that makes her head spin with the sheer force of devotion that's behind it. There are warm arms around her waist, a soft mouth on hers and hot, wet, needy kisses as her fingers twist in his hair. She bites down on his lip and he lets out a low, deep groan into her mouth that makes her tremble.

A door slamming loudly outside the room distracts them, and they hear the petulant shout of "Don't follow me, Emmett!" as it echoes down the hall. Jasper closes his eyes, sighing as he inevitably picks up on the aftermath of an argument to which they were not privy. Rosalie's guilt consumes her, laced with remorse, but above all, a deep, poisonous anger at herself. Jasper recalls how he endlessly tried to reason with his sister while they waited for news, but her acerbic tongue and general anger at everyone and everything around her didn't exactly make things easier.

The entire house is volatile at the minute, and given his gift, Jasper is finding even the most well-meaning members of his family difficult to deal with. His senses have already been assaulted by a myriad of emotions: Emmett's frustration at his wife's mood, Esme and Carlisle's happiness and excitement, Edward's overwhelming relief coupled with the pain at having been away so long, and Bella's continued uncertainty over Edward. Jasper sometimes wonders if their lives would be better had he been allowed to simply remove the girl right from the start, but then, probably not. For reasons he can't quite fathom, Alice adores her without question, and for him, that's enough reason not to. However, he knows that now it's so much more than that. The fate of them all has become inextricably bound to Bella Swan, and he knows that there is no longer any way without her. Not for his brother, and not for any of them. Still, he isn't sure he'll ever spend much time around her, given that his overwhelming instinct is always to simply drain her body of blood.

Passing a hand over his eyes, Jasper blinks wearily, thoroughly exhausted by the climate of the house. The woman standing before him, whose emotions are so in tune with his, is normally his escape from the day-to-day dramas of the rest of the family, but not this time. It's too much, and he's being tugged in so many different directions he can barely concentrate on kissing her, holding her, touching her the way he wants to. He almost lost her, and that wrenching thought is still altogether more real than he wants it to be. His fingers close round her waist, and he looks at her with a longing for reassurance and a need to know she's really here, all his and it'll be okay.

Her small hand covers his own, her thumb presses soothing circles on each knuckle, and he knows that she feels everything that he does. Slight guilt rises to the surface, as he doesn't want to make her miserable too.

"Sorry," he mutters. "I just can't even focus here. There's so much..."

"I know," she tells him in understanding. "Look, why don't we get out of here? We could go to the old place up in Alaska. It's quiet there."

"Can we leave now?" he says weakly, lifting her hand and placing a kiss on it to show her how grateful he is to her for thinking of him.

Alice's expression is sympathetic, but she shakes her head. "Bella will be on her way in a little while. She wants us all to vote on whether Edward should turn her."

Jasper lets out a quiet gasp, but suppresses it when he sees the barely-hidden excitement in his wife's eyes. Yes, their world is certainly ever-changing. He strokes her hair fondly, and for a while, they just stand there together, lost in their own thoughts.


Just hours later, they've reached their former home up in the wilds of Alaska, in no small part due to Jasper's flagrant disregard for the speed limit. Few words were spoken during the drive, the atmosphere in the car tense and fraught with unspoken questions and answers. Their insistence that Bella should join their family, and the anger it caused their brother weighs heavily on their minds. Jasper knows that Alice was pleasantly surprised that he voted "yes", but it doesn't mean his misgivings have gone away overnight. Still, they're here now, and can finally have some peace. He blinks, trying to forget everything they've left back at home as he pulls the key from his pocket.

Unlocking the door, he tentatively steps over the threshold, Alice following behind. It's been nearly three years since their family called this their home, but it feels as if it were only yesterday they lived here. The old house deep in the barren, frozen wasteland appears isolated, lonely, but it is a place where Jasper feels truly safe. Away from the humans that tempt him with their warm blood that rushes beneath their skin; away from the constant shame he feels every day he spends at Forks High. Trying to ignore the constant burn in his throat, the pooling of venom in his mouth has never been more of a struggle. The unfortunate incident that led to all the recent events is proof of that, and yet he would not turn from this life. Difficult as it can be, he would do anything for Alice and the adopted family that have brought so much purpose and peace to his existence, when once he knew only aimless, endless conflict. No, for Jasper this house represents something far from loneliness – it is his sanctuary away from the trials of his world.

Alice winds her fingers around his, silently letting him know she understands what it means to him to be here. Their eyes lock, and she takes in his serene expression, knowing he can pick up on the sudden hopefulness of her mood. As they enter, she gracefully kicks the door shut and he drops her hand. She shrugs her coat off and throws it on the table, noting that the hall seems the same as it ever did. The well-kept hardwood floors are unmarked, if dusty, the light paintings lining the walls still bring warmth and the large staircase at the end of the hall looks just as imposing. Looking round, she spots Jasper standing in the middle of the hallway with his back to her, entirely still. He turns, and in seconds he's closed the distance between them. Alice feels warm lips on hers, fingers twisting in her hair and a hard, lean body pressing her back into the wall so fast that he carelessly knocks the disconnected phone from the hall table. It crashes to the floor with an echoing bang, but they hardly notice as they absorb themselves in one another. She wraps her hands around his upper arms, feeling the strong, powerful muscles ripple under her touch as his mouth captures hers insistently. Their kiss is heated and breathless and fierce in a way that Alice and Jasper only let themselves be when they are entirely alone. More than that, it's borne of missing and needing one another to the point of acute pain.

"You need to hunt," she says in between kisses, noting the deep shadows beneath his eyes and the darkness of his pupils. Jasper shakes his head, and then kisses her in such a way that she knows he is not be trifled with. He cherishes these moments when all he feels is Alice, her hope and love and acceptance of every facet of his being, even the ugly aspects. She never judges him, even when he reveals his darkest thoughts, and as a result, he can allow himself rare moments of vulnerability with her. The barriers come down and he doesn't have to hide how he's feeling – a welcome escape from the clamour of their home, or worse, the constant barrage of hormones from the teenagers at school.

"I need this more," he murmurs, letting his lips come away from hers for a second. His gaze is soulful and intense, and this time there's nothing to distract him when she kisses him fiercely, her fingers linking into his. He pulls her arms upwards, his grip on her hands tightening as he moves them to either side of her body, wanting the control right now. Jasper doesn't quite know why he's doing it, but right now he wants her just like this, lips parted and breathing heavily and pressed into the wall before him.

"I'm trapped," Alice remarks with a trace of amusement, but she has no chance to say more when Jasper pulls her back into a hungry kiss, still pinning her wrists to the wall with his inhuman strength.

"Just the way I want it," he tells her, and his coal-black eyes flash. His lips make a burning trail over her neck, and she releases a quiet moan when his tongue darts out to trace her collarbone. Mouth still against her neck, he frees one hand and runs his palm downwards, over the fabric of this silly, flimsy dress that only Alice would wear in this weather. Right now, though, Jasper thinks it's just about perfect, given that it's paper-thin and he can feel every inch of her body underneath it. He's got a mind to rip it off her, but then decides he might just leave it for now. A warm hand curves round the softness of her breasts, and as he slips it beneath her neckline and under her bra, she leans in to kiss him again.

His mouth's hot as his tongue moves with hers, and her eyelids close as she loses herself in his kiss, his fingers grazing an already taught nipple, the wrist that's still holding her other hand against the wall in an iron grip. They break apart for an instant and she sweeps a lock of already-disheveled blond hair out of his eyes. His expression's lustful, almost predatory as their eyes lock, and Alice thinks that she's never wanted Jasper so much as she does in this moment. She's drowning in his sweet breath against her lips, the planes of his beautiful face, the wonderful things his hand's doing that pulls heat and tension down between her thighs. Needing to be closer, she wriggles out of his grasp and presses her body into his. Tugging at his hair, she focuses on intense dark eyes and the feel of his large hands running over the curves of her body, lower and lower until they reach the hem of her dress that's almost too short to be decent.

"I like this dress," Jasper growls, and thinks to himself he definitely isn't going to allow her to take it off, or even let her move from this spot. Sliding it up around her waist and taking her right up against the paintwork instantly seems like a highly attractive prospect. He wants her open and pressed against the wall, her legs wrapped round him. With every touch and kiss and heated slide of their bodies, he'll remind Alice that she belongs to him, and only him. He'll remind her that he cares, he missed her, and he's still aching inside because she could have died.

"I wore it for you," she replies without missing a beat, and he's dragged from the memory of the despair he's lived over the previous days. Her tone's playful and warm, and he appreciates that more than she could ever know. Alice cares for him more than he imagined anybody could, and even if it tears him apart inside, he knows deep down that she lied to protect him, in her own way. He can't quite bring himself to yet forgive her out loud, though, and so he'll let his body tell her what his lips can't.

Alice notices the corners of his lip turn down and concern flickers across her face, but then it changes. The genuine, happy and sensual smile that spreads across his face at her words near-dazzles her with its beauty. His arousal strains painfully against his jeans and she's instantly hit by a dizzying current of lust that reaches inside her, warmth flaring across her entire body. In these moments, she's grateful to be able to sense Jasper's mood as acutely as he can sense hers, and she loves him for sharing it with her. To her, his ability is never a burden, but a way for him to show her how sincerely he loves her. Even when it sends him into dark moods, she does not complain, for she knows herself what a heavy burden it is to be gifted. To be constantly assaulted by futures that are uncertain is her cross to bear, but his love always keeps her in the present.

He senses the contented tone of her thoughts, and in seconds has pulled her back into a hard, needy kiss as he begins to push the flimsy fabric up her thighs. One slim leg wraps around him, and slowly, she pushes forward, deliberately grinding against his hardness. Jasper's instantly cloaked in a desire that's so all-consuming and passionate he groans loudly, all rational thought escaping him. He yearns to touch her and so he wastes no time in sliding a hand up her inner thigh to disappear under her dress. Brushing fingertips over the satin and lace beneath her skirt, he finds her already wet for him and becomes even more rigid in his jeans, if that's possible.

Grasping the edge of the underwear on her hip, he effortlessly rips it from her body and drops the scraps carelessly to the floor. Pushing the dress up further, he lets his other hand wander up the smoothness of her thigh. Tracing patterns on her skin, he travels up and then back down, always stopping just short of where she wants him the most. A petulant noise escapes her and Jasper smiles, moving in to kiss her just as his thumb brushes against the slickness between her legs. She cries out and jerks into his touch, but is then unable to say any more as the delicious warmth of his mouth is on hers once again, tasting, sucking, biting. As his thumb circles her tightened nub, she whimpers, pulling at his hair so hard she might almost rip it out by the roots. Seconds later, he pulls back, their mouths releasing with a wet sound, and he wastes no time in sliding fingers into her slick heat. He watches her as she throws her head back, hands still wound tightly in his hair, and he thinks that she's never looked more beautiful to him than she does in this moment. Alice's eyes are squeezed shut in pleasure while she bites down upon her lip, so uninhibited and yet so impossibly graceful at the same time.

Pushing his hand away, she shakes her head and he blinks, confused.

"Now," she pleads, untangling her hands from his hair, and Jasper nods in understanding. He hurriedly moves to unbuckle his belt and unbutton the fly of his jeans, not wanting to wait any longer to feel her around him. The cold dread of uncertainty hasn't entirely worn off, and he's still angry, broken, scared and wanting something, anything to take it away.

As if she senses the change in his mood, Alice kisses him gently and whispers in his ear "It's okay." Emotions swirl between them, a heady mix of lust and guilt and a desperate longing to connect. They both know it won't be reverent and careful because they're frustrated and drained and aching for each other so much it hurts, but that's not what either of them need right now. They need something that's rough, fast and uninhibited that will make them forget the pain and anguish and the fact that nothing's quite solved yet.

Her mouth's pliable and opens to his without any hesitation, their tongues moving in a slow, languid kiss that rapidly becomes rougher. Jasper draws back and carelessly pushes down jeans and underwear, not caring to even remove them as they fall to his ankles. A quiet gasp escapes Alice at just how magnificent he looks: hard and proud and beautiful set against taut thigh muscles and angular hips. When he cups her ass in his hands, she doesn't resist, letting him lift her, push her dress higher on her hips and brace her against the wall as her arms wind round his neck. She's thinking how she only wanted to protect him, that she cares, that if he just believes her they'll be okay. Jasper senses the tone of her thoughts and responds with a swift kiss to remind her how much he wants this as she curls her legs about his waist. He guides himself to her as she leans over him and then he's slowly pushing inside with a groan of relief that she echoes with her own not-so-quiet whimper into his ear.

Feeling tension still exuding from her, he sighs in frustration. "Stop thinking," he tells her in a brusque tone, and when he pulls out and sinks back in sharply, she moans wantonly, her eyes rolling back into her head. Taking the opportunity to kiss her neck, he scrapes teeth over it playfully and she unexpectedly slams herself down upon him in a way that knocks the breath from his body – not that he needs to breathe.

Closing her eyes, Alice lets sensation overwhelm her, burying her face in his neck as they move together, no noise but their quiet, rasping breaths and the sound of flesh meeting flesh. His thrusts are torturously slow at first, but then it's harder, deeper as her hips grind into his, no amount of friction ever feeling like it's enough. She digs her fingernails into his upper back, feeling his t-shirt tear under the force of her grip and not even caring. Jasper lets a growl escape him as he loses himself in the delicious tension that's coiling in the pit of his stomach and in every muscle in his body. To him, Alice is softness and perfection and he knows he should probably be slower, more careful than he is, but at this second he just can't bring himself to be. Not when she's making those sounds in his ear, and pulling at his hair and the torn shards of his shirt still clinging to his body.

Keeping one hand locked around her hip, he snakes the other up from her waist to tug the neckline of her dress to the side, exposing her breasts to him. Skimming one hand over her tightened buds, he relishes her moans and heavy breathing in his ear before he pulls back a little, maintaining the pace of his strokes. Her arm shifts from its hold on his back and her fingers tangle into his, gripping hard enough to hurt, but he doesn't complain. Their eyes lock, and it's so completely and utterly erotic to watch each other as their bodies slide together, mouths open in wordless cries of pleasure. Blond waves have fallen into his eye and she shifts forward, brushing her lips against his hair as she whispers, "I'm sorry."

"I know," he manages, his voice barely a grunt, and when she draws back to meet his gaze again, his eyes are softer, something having infinitesimally changed in the tense atmosphere. Seconds later he squeezes her fingers, signaling for her to slow down a little, and he can tell by her shallow breaths that she's as close to losing it as he is. Today, though, neither of them wants it to end so soon. Even if they're teetering on the edge, they still want more, to drag out this sweet torture until they can hardly stand it any longer. Alice's eyes flicker to a spot over his shoulder, and when she mutters "floor," pleadingly, he sees no reason to deny her.

She holds on to his shoulders and he slips hands under her ass, keeping her close so he's still thoroughly buried inside her as he pulls her body from where it rests against the wall. Carefully, Jasper steps backwards, the floorboards creaking under his sneakers, but he has no need to turn round, being able to visualise exactly how much room they have in his crystal-clear mind's eye. He senses a sudden excitement and mischief exuding from her, and sure enough, her lips curve into an amused smile before she sharply pushes him backwards. He's instantly aware of what's happening before he even falls, but chooses not to right himself, letting her slam his body into the ground with the entirety of her supernatural strength. As his hard body hits the floor with her full weight on top of him, they hear a sickening crunch and wince in unison, knowing how much Esme paid for this flooring. Destroying fixtures and furnishings is something they usually leave to a more publicly affectionate couple like Rosalie and Emmett, but today, they just can't help themselves.

Jasper shifts, twisting his head to see a deep crack rent through the wood beneath them. Alice laughs shakily, clapping a hand to her mouth in shock.

"I'll get it fixed," he hastily qualifies, moving them both to the side so as not to make the damage worse. Appraising one another, they notice they're hardly wearing their clothes now and may as well remove them once and for all. Sitting up, he lifts her off him for a second, kissing her reassuringly when she whimpers at the loss of contact. She tears the dress off and he shrugs out of the ripped cotton that used to be a t-shirt before kicking off the shoes, socks and pants that are still around his ankles. He watches her removing a small, pink shoe and smiles. Pausing for a moment, he reaches down and slips the other one off Alice's tiny, delicate foot, noting not for the first time how it's hardly any bigger than his hand.

Straightening up, he pulls her on top of him, the brief interlude coming to a close as she rests open thighs on his bent knees and sinks down upon him once more. His eyes squeeze shut and he matches her gasp with a deep groan that feels as if it's turning him inside out, sliding hands over her back. Marveling at the soft, flawless skin under his fingertips, he thinks how it's nothing like his own, marked with the ugly white scars of his warlike past that he's still repulsed by to this day.

"You're so beautiful," she tells him sincerely, almost as if she knows what he's thinking, and he crushes his mouth to hers in gratitude, remembering it doesn't matter because she loves him for everything he is.

"Not as beautiful as you," he replies, running a hand through her sleek hair that's adorably messy right now, the strands of its elfin cut sticking out every which way. She sighs against his lips and he wraps his arms round her, deepening their embrace as she moves over him, slowly and gently now because they want to make it last. The uncertainty and anger laced with currents of betrayal and fear are finally dissipating, being replaced with a unwavering knowledge of how right this feels. The last few days may have torn them both apart in different ways, but with every second that passes, they're healing each other. She drops her head to his hair, breathing in the scent that's sweet and heady and Jasper, and his lips are suddenly soft against her ear, murmuring endearments that he'd never say in front of anybody but her.

Lifting his head, Jasper meets Alice's eyes and decides that he doesn't quite want it to end here. Maybe it's strange, but catching sight of that large staircase at the back, he immediately wants nothing more than to fuck her on the stairs, her pale skin against the dark mahogany. Pausing his thrusts, he murmurs "stairs" in very much the same way she spoke to him earlier, and she acquiesces to his request with a hot, breathless kiss.

They stand, and in seconds they're by the staircase and he's pushing her back against the wood, his strong hands parting her thighs even as he slides up in between them. The angle's awkward and the wood creaks ominously as his knee slams against it, but when he pushes back into her he doesn't even care, all thoughts lost to the feeling of her around him. Their connection's frantic, longing and almost painfully intense, full of mutual thoughts like oh please and fuck yes and just like that and don't stop. Needing some sort of anchor, he seizes the bannister as his other hand wraps round the back of her neck, drawing her into a messy, needy kiss. He's so close, and when she arches her back and pushes against him, dragging him even deeper, he damn near loses it then and there from the sheer force of her own need that's mixing with his. There's only burning skin on a hard, cool surface, tangled limbs and increasingly desperate gasps and moans and a swiftly unraveling tension that's just seconds from shattering.

"Jasper...oh...I..." Alice mutters incoherently around his lips before she's coming hard, nails clawing at his back as her eyes squeeze shut, body tensing beneath him.

As the full strength of her climax hits him, he gasps, feeling her relief mingled with her all-consuming love for him in a way that's dizzying powerful. With one swift thrust, he's there too, shaking, fingers clutching at the wooden slats as he spills himself inside her with a low, drawn-out cry that wrenches itself from deep within him. Jasper's unable to hold back the torrent of emotion that pours from him in the wake of his release, and Alice's eyelids flutter open as it flares across her body in sparks. Her gaze meets the obsidian of his irises, and she can't help but watch him, beautiful and broken, everything stripped away in this moment of utter vulnerability. He leans in to kiss her, all heated breath and trembling lips and one small whimper he can't suppress. She can feel how completely and passionately he loves her, and with one more shift of his hips against her oversensitive flesh, she's undone once more. Heat surges, nerve endings fire, and then she's gasping into his mouth, quaking and shuddering as she falls over the edge a second time.

Their bodies finally still and she arches to kiss him gently before he carefully withdraws, slumping down on the staircase next to her. It's impossible for Jasper to be physically exhausted, but this is a different kind of exhaustion – mental and emotional. Not that he'd have it any other way, though. Alice meets his eyes and lets out an utterly sated sigh, and he reaches out with what mental strength is left to pick up on her euphoric, carefree mood. It works its way inside him, burning away any lingering resentment towards her, and his face creases into a wide, genuine smile that she returns.

"You're going to have to hire a carpenter, you know," she teases him, breaking the silence, and all at once, he laughs, the deep sound echoing throughout the quiet hallway. Alice joins in, and it's a sign that things are going to be alright.

"Esme would kill us if she knew what we'd done to her floors."

Glancing to the side, Alice smirks. "Or her stairs."

The previous tension has not entirely dissolved, but for now, it has lifted, and they know this isn't the moment to continue their earlier discussion. Presently, they rise and retrieve their items of clothing that are scattered around the hall. Alice slips back into her dress, but Jasper finds his t-shirt unfortunately torn to shreds by her overenthusiastic nails.

"I should have brought something else to wear," he says with a frustrated sigh as he holds up the scraps of ripped cotton.

She rolls her eyes. "Jasper, do you not know me at all? There's three changes of clothing in the car for both of us. I didn't know how long you'd want to be here."

He insistently pulls her towards him and gives her a swift kiss. "Thank you," he tells her honestly. She brushes her lips to his cheek, knowing that it's for so much more than just bringing some clothes.

"I'll go grab a shirt out of the car," he adds, "and then, I was wondering if you'd like to go for a hike?"

"A hike would be good," she replies, nodding calmly. "In that case I'd better change into something a little more appropriate."

"Mmm," he agrees, sounding a little wistful. "You look incredible in that dress, though. Or out of it, for that matter."

Laughing, she shakes her head fondly and then follows him out to the car.


An hour or two later, they've climbed a fair way up Denali mountain, hunting as they go to sate the thirst that was starting to become unbearable. Stopping to gaze down at the tree line below, they breathe in deeply, taking in the pure freshness of the air you only experience this high up. At first, they just talk of general things – their family, Bella's continued role in their lives, and so on – but the conversation inevitably turns back to Volterra.

"Are you ever going to forgive me?" Alice bursts out, her tone anguished. She can feel the mixed emotions that he's unable to stop himself projecting upon her, and she has no idea exactly what he's thinking right now.

"Why are you asking me that?" he replies, dragging the sole of his boot over the fine dusting of snow that covers the soil on the mountainside. "Don't you know I already did?"

"I'm sorry, I just don't know what you're thinking," she admits with a sigh. At times, Jasper's gift can be a struggle to handle, but usually, it's nothing compared to the joy their relationship brings her. Taking a deep breath, she tries to calm her overactive thoughts and listen to what he has to say.

He senses her conflict and immediately feels guilty for upsetting her. With one swift stride, he's beside her, enveloping her in his arms as he leans down, burying his face in her neck.

"I understand," he says after a minute or two, raising his head to meet her gaze. "You were trying to protect me. I just can't bear the thought that you were at risk in any way."

"Always so overprotective," she says with a light smile, letting her fingers trail along his jaw. "Aro wouldn't have killed me, regardless. He desires my abilities too much to destroy me."

"That's the part that worries me," he mutters, and she kisses the corner of his lip, trying to soothe him.

"Edward will change her – I've seen it. Then the Volturi will have little need to bother with us anymore."

"You're right," he replies calmly, feeling the unease and uncertainty lift. "Thank you for...this." He gestures to the view before them of snow-capped peaks, forests and valleys, letting her know how much he appreciates the peace of this setting. Her small hand reaches for his in a reassuring gesture.

"I love you, Alice," he tells her seriously, his pure gold gaze intense. "Whatever you do, I know it's always out of concern for my well-being, however misplaced that might be." She frowns momentarily, but he's smiling that perfect, sunny smile that melts her from the inside out, and as a result, she can't bring herself to pretend to be mad at him.

"I love you for everything that you are," she says simply, stretching up on her toes to kiss him as he pulls her into his arms.

Despite the problems their extra abilities sometimes cause them, they ultimately make Jasper and Alice who they are. The quiet, understated yet passionate love they share is as extraordinary as they are, and in these uncertain times, they are all the other needs.

I enjoy writing these two so much. A bit emo-dark as my stuff tends to be, but in the end, the light shines through. I would love a review with what you thought. Thanks for reading xxx