Nyx: So...hi. Again, sorry for the impromptu hiatus but I'm both lazy and out of my mind with anxiety.
Puff: She's a nightmare when it comes to test time.
Nyx: Yes Puff, thank you. So I don't own anything you may recognize, all music and such belongs to their respective owners.
Puff: I need a manicure.
Chapter 18: Hidden Face
"She's not here." I turned around and Lucifer stepped out of the shadows, wearing his customary black tuxedo. "What?" I asked.
"I said she's not here," he repeated. "Aren't you vampires supposed to be smart?"
"I don't know," I replied. "You're the one who created us."
"Hmm...touché," Lucifer mused. "But she's not here."
"Is that a cover story or the truth?"
"I may be the Devil, but it doesn't mean that I lie all the time," he rolled his eyes. I rolled mine as well. That was probably a crock of shit he spouted, but he seemed like he was being legit. "If she's not here, then where is she?" Lucifer shrugged. "How do you not know? She's your right-hand."
"Just because she's my heir, doesn't mean that I'm her keeper," he snorted. "You should know that by now. She does whatever the hell she wants as long as it doesn't get her killed."
"When will she be back?"
"Didn't I just tell you that I'm not her babysitter?" Lucifer snapped. "Get out of my house, I don't have time for your petty love games today."
"I'm not leaving until I get to talk to her," I spoke up defiantly. Lucifer leveled me with an unidentifiable expression.
"You are determined aren't you? If you're going to be hanging around then go somewhere that I don't have to stare at your face indefinitely." He stalked off to go sit somewhere, probably in his emo corner. I walked in the opposite direction and found myself in an unfamiliar part of the Dark palace. Here, the sound of flames was predominant over the screams from the Circles.
"This is my favorite part of the castle," I turned at the sound of an unfamiliar female voice coming from behind me.
It became apparent to me that she was a demon, her eyes were a sickly milk green and thin black veins spidered up her neck and across her cheeks. "It's almost quiet here," she went on, turning her near-white gaze on me.
I could see that her pupils pretty much cut her iris in half and I would have been half-grossed out if I hadn't seen much grislier in my entire existence as a stone-cold war machine.
When I continued to stay silent she continued to talk. "Why do you waste your time?" she asked. This was the question that got the part of my brain that controlled my jaw and vocal chords working. "I don't understand," I replied a bit bewildered as to what she was asking.
"It's typical that you wouldn't understand the question," she rolled her pale eyes. "Love is blind. I should know, it's love that got me turned into this and my family dead." she sighed. "Can't take it back now. And when she leaves you on the side of the road, torn apart and bleeding venom what do you think you'll do?"
I had to assume she was referring to Isabella at this point.
I didn't even bother to open my mouth considering I didn't really have an answer. She had melted into the walls and disappeared and I was nowhere close to finding my fallen angel.
I suppose it should have made sense, judging by the way she used her power to bend my will to hers and thus force me to go home. When she had brought Edward home, obviously having saved his ass from whatever had attacked him, I noticed that I could still feel her.
My next few thoughts are probably spawned from complete and total denial based on how I, Jasper Whitlock, empath and former war machine, am rejecting my feelings.
The way I was able to feel her presence probably came out of the mark I left on the side of her neck.
I couldn't see the scar, even after it had healed.
I had also ingested a bit of her blood making it almost impossible to get rid of this nagging feeling to consume human blood, which explains my fall off the Cullen-Bunch-Bandwagon.
Due to the fact that my empathy was going haywire and I was unable to control how much I projected when I projected it and that I could feel everything, even in the middle of the freaking desert and I knew where the feelings were coming from.
A girl's despair as she had been left on the side of the road raped and dying; a desolate man who had lost his job and was feeling utterly hopeless. It was like they left their mark on the ground they walked on and it all came down to the blood.
It was making me impossibly stronger, stronger than I had been during my years with Maria and my powers were expanding, something that I never thought could happen.
Sitting in a bar filled with mindless admirers with too much makeup and too little clothes I registered that the odd tastes that buzzed off my tongue had nothing to do with the alcohol I was pretending to drink.
Envy; the emotion tasted weird, it was bitter and tasted like how I would imagine weeds on the side of the road would taste like.
Lust; it was surprisingly sharp, it buzzed like foreign spice on the tongue.
To become this poetic inside my head, I would have to feed from a few very masculine men and I smiled darkly to myself in thought of how I came to be here.
All of a sudden I was a nomad, and I was loving every bit of it despite the significant absence of a very bitchy and controversial demon I had fallen in love with.
Albeit it was becoming obvious that I should have probably gone homo a very long time ago, seeing as I had absolutely horrible taste in women, but I probably wouldn't do much better with men.
I did my fair share of experimenting during my slave-to-Mexican-dictator days. And judging from the half-reliable rumor mill the entire Spanish division in the south had been dissolved and Maria was dead along with her tyrannical counterparts.
It was times like these that I came to realize that getting bitten by a fallen angel, especially one that just turned demon leaves a mark on you and with that being said I could instantly tell when one of them walked into a bar.
It was Rochelle, missing her dominatrix heels and disco mini-skirt. She almost looked like a local if it hadn't been for her dark blue hair. I turned back to my drink, knowing that she probably recognized me already. Sure as shit, she spoke behind me: "Nomadic life looks good on you, just like those jeans."
"Good to know," was my lame response. And she knew it was lame, because she snorted.
"You couldn't come up with anything other than that?" she hopped up onto the stool next to me. "Seriously Jasper, you gave me the impression that you were smart. A little stupid, perhaps, but smart. Whiskey, straight, no ice," her last words were directed at the bartender.
"What do you want Rochelle?" I asked.
"Mm, other than a romp with you? A little friendly conversation. David's having private time with Pretty-what's-his-face."
"I take it you don't like Edward very much," I said. Rochelle picked up her glass and slammed back at least half of it.
"Oh, I like him just fine," her dark tone suggested a deeper meaning to that statement but I chose to ignore it. "If anything, I'm starting to get a little lonely. Dave is always spending time with Ed. It's starting to give me the impression that I need to find a Bond of my own."
"If you're offering I'm going to have to decline," I told her.
"Silly Jasper, you're already taken," Rochelle waved me off with a laugh. She turned around on her stool, her back against the bar as she stared off into the crowd, probably looking for her latest victim.
"I recommend the red-head in the corner," I said. She smirked.
"Mm...She would be even more attractive if she didn't smell so odd," Rochelle emphasized this by wrinkling her nose.
"The blonde then?" I asked.
"No, plastic and demons don't mix. Besides silicone smells weird," she said.
"I didn't mean that blonde," I told her. "The one with the scar and the tattoo."
"Do you want my advice or not?" the change in subject almost gave me whiplash and I looked at her sideways.
"I guess it all depends," I said after a pause. She nodded absently.
"I'll tell you anyway," she concluded, taking another sip of her drink. "You helped me find my prey I'll help you find yours." My confusion must have been showing plain on my face because she giggled at me. She set her glass down and slid off the stool before leaning in close and whispering, "Salem."
. . . . . . .
"That's notoriously unhelpful," Peter groaned.
"Your whining is not helping the situation," I said.
"Fuck you Jasper," Peter snarled. "You dragged me into this knowing that we were gonna be running in circles."
"I didn't drag you into this," I retorted.
"Oh that's right, your demon girlfriend did. But then again, who told her about me and Char?" Peter argued. "I can think of only one dickwad who'd do that."
"She wasn't planning on killing you," I returned.
"Yet," Peter added. I shook my head.
"You're being fucking impossible," I muttered.
"If y'all don't stop bickerin', I'm bitin' both of ya!" Char growled coming to stand between us with her hands on her hips. She tossed her blonde head to get her hair out of her face and leveled us both with an intense glare.
"Peter, stop being an argumentative shit. Jasper, snap out of it," she waved her hands in frustration. Peter's eyebrow twitched, I rolled my eyes and Char sighed. "Look, I understand that you wanna talk to her Major and that this is killing you, so I'm proposing a road trip."
"WHAT?" Peter yelped.
"Char...?" I asked, tilting my head to the side. "Are you feelin' alright?" I reached out to feel her forehead and she swatted my hand away.
"I'm feelin' fine you assface," she said. "Now go get packed so we can get this show on the road." we both continued to stand there like idiots. "Git!" she yelled, making me jump and Peter clutch his head and groan.
"I can't believe we're going to do this. Runnin' off to find the demon princess is not a smart fuckin' move!"
"Peter," Char crooned. "Ya wanna make Jasper happy don't cha?"
"Then shut up and get packin'!"
. . . . . . .
"Have I ever told you how much I fuckin' love Wal-Mart?" Peter asked me.
"Fifty-seven times Peter," I nodded.
"You counted?" he asked. "Huh."
"Shut the fuck up," I told him. "Now let's the get fuck outta here before we draw more attention to ourselves."
"We're so overt that it's covert," Peter snorted. I gave him a withering look and jabbed him in the forehead.
"You're wearing a goddamn Angry Birds hat," I said. "What makes you think people are gonna ignore some weirdo in a fucked up hat?"
"A good-lookin' weirdo and it's a funny hat," Peter pouted.
"You're a dumbass," I said. My phone rang and I answered it without a moment's hesitation. "Hello?"
"Hey Jasper," Edward said. It sounded like a party was going on at his end, the pulse of techno music was unmistakable. "Uh...hi Edward?" I said.
"She's here in Virginia," was all he said.
"Wait...huh?" I asked.
"David told me you were looking for her and well...I just saw her hanging out at the park not too long ago."
"Where exactly in Virginia are you Edward? And how the hell did you get my number?"
"Salem and that is irrelevant," Edward said. "Not really lookin' forward to seein' you big bro but maybe you can find out what she's up to." click. I looked at my phone before shoving it back in my pocket.
"Okay Peter we-" trouble is, Peter wasn't anywhere near me. I facepalmed and stomped off to find the immature git I called brother.
The fly on the windowsill continued to struggle and flail as I watched. It was laying on it's back and was unsuccessfully trying to right itself. The fly almost reminded me of myself when I first landed, struggling to get back on my feet and in my right mind, the only part is I succeeded. I managed to stand again, and most importantly I managed to fly.
So when I finally squashed the insect I felt that I had done it a service along with the rest of this blasted town.
I prevented disease and disappointment, how lovely.
Note my notorious sarcasm.
I didn't acknowledge the human boy when he sat down next to me, choosing instead to continue to stare out the window of the college library. His heavy breathing and the sound of his heartbeat was nearly enough to inspire me to feed in the middle of this educational institution.
I was hungry but I didn't bother to turn my head to examine the human specimen sitting next to me. His pheromone levels were obnoxious and the smell of his heavy arousal was spreading like a fog under my sensitive nose. He took a deep breath, and I knew he was going to speak.
"Before you say anything," I said. "You might want to make sure you've considered your girlfriend's feelings first." his mouth snapped closed and he walked away leaving behind a blissful silence.
I closed my eyes and exhaled slowly before standing up and leaving the college library. I walked off the campus, ignoring the light breeze that teased my hair. The sun was beginning to set, casting orangey light across the grass and making the shadows look ten feet long.
I made a long bee-line for the house I currently inhabited. The home of an old woman who could probably pass for my grandma who was a little overdue for her eternal trip upriver.
Needless to say she didn't notice my presence and I didn't care to help her along, then again I didn't care about much these days. I pulled a cigarette from my pocket and lit it, the smoke leaking from my nostrils and my mouth.
The house ahead of me was dark and heading across the street a dog began to bark viciously announcing that something wicked haunted this town, but a snarl, too high pitched for mortal ears quieted the mongrel.
The old woman's wheezing was indeed audible in the too silent house and it made me feel too disgusted to smoke.
I used my lighter to light the candles in the house since the old woman was too nuts to even pay her goddamn electricity bill. She was going to die tonight, her heartbeat was slowing down which meant I would have to move on.
I climbed the stairs to her room, leaning against the door jamb to observe her old wrinkled body that struggled to draw in oxygen. My lack of consideration for the poor state her lungs were in caused me to light up another cigarette and the old woman's demeanor changed. "Death," she croaked. "You've come at last."
"I can assure you miss," I said speaking to her for the first time since staying at this place. "I'm not him, but I'm certain he'll be here soon."
"Well...that's a relief," the old woman said. "The wait has been long and painful, especially since my dear William passed on."
"Your husband, I presume," I said, resisting a deep compulsion to just leave her there to babble at herself.
"More than my husband dear, the love of my life," she told me. "That saying has become so used now...'love of my life'. You youngsters don't know the meaning of love nowadays."
"Believe me miss," I said. "I am no 'youngster' as you call them." my lip quirked at my little joke that would go unnoticed.
"I'm sure you are a fine woman of your age," she drew in a breath that sounded particularly painful before continuing, "You seem like such a nice girl, I'm sure you and my son would have gotten along well." my eyes flicked to the family photo hanging on the wall.
It was a recent one, a mortal probably in his twenties with his arm around a blonde woman, smiling into the camera. He didn't seem like my type, especially since I tended to go for homicidal nomadic vampires nowadays.
Her pulse was slowing down and the subtle shift in atmosphere was undeniable from my standpoint. She was going to die within the hour, and my cig was about to burn out.
It was fucking poetic really, and I felt the urge to just break her neck to get it over with but she hadn't proved to be bothersome...yet.
The dog in the neighbor's yard started barking again and the old woman released a heavy sigh as her heart stopped. I breathed in more of the blackening smoke before releasing it through my nostrils.
The lock on the front door broke and the door swung inward to admit someone into the house.
I put out my cigarette against the flowery wallpaper and tossed it into the small abandoned waste basket in the corner before shoving my hands in my pockets and waiting.
He stopped at the top of the stairs and inhaled. I smirked, an incisor poking into my bottom lip. "I know you're here," he spoke up.
"It's mutual then," I said quietly.
"Why are you in a room with a dead woman?" he asked me.
"I found her here," I said, it wasn't a lie.
"We should go," he diverted the subject. "Someone might notice something is wrong."
"Mm you are right," I told him. "But I think that I will stay. After all it's such a pretty house don't you agree?"
"Look at me," he demanded. I kept my eyes on the opposite side of the room. He stepped into my line of sight but I averted my gaze. He curled his finger under my chin. "Please?" I gave in and saw his eyes were a heavy ruby, almost a beautiful dark purple if not for the highlights around his irises.
"How is life treating you?" I asked. His lips tilted in a beautiful smirk.
"Everyday," he said.
"Good answer," I nodded.
"Can we talk?" he asked.
"If by talk you mean 'fuck' then yes," I squeezed him through his jeans. He swallowed hard and stepped out of my reach.
"No, I mean actually talk," he said.
"Aww, come now Jasper, admit it, you want another round," I teased. He rolled his eyes.
"Of course I do, I ain't gonna lie," he said. "But I also want to sit down and sort out this..." he gestured between us. I raised an eyebrow.
"'This'?" I reiterated, but as a question.
"Yes, this...this clusterfuck that we call 'us'," he said. My eyes flicked to the woman lying on her deathbed.
"Let's move this elsewhere shall we?" I said. "The demons that prey on dead flesh will be drawn here as if we set up a blazing neon sign on the room welcoming them in."
Jasper frowned a little bit, "That sounds...gross," he said.
"Oh please, you suck the blood out of the flesh-covered skeletons," I scoffed. "What makes you think the skin can't be consumed?"
"Well, when you put it that way-"
"Let's get a move on, I have other things to fulfill my time rather than stand around here bantering across a dead woman's carcass." we left the house behind much to the pleasure of the dog that immediately began barking again.
"I hope you understand what I've given up for you," Jasper said.
"It seems to me like you gained because of me," I replied. "Now...I'm in the mood for a milkshake."
"Please don't change the subject," he said.
"Your phone is ringing," I said.
"No it's no-" he began to retort but his phone starting buzzing in his pocket.
Nyx: I was going to add more but I figured that you guys have been waiting for quite a long while. Yes, I'm a lazy little shit but in my defense I just took an AP Test. Still recovering, I think I did pretty awful. On the bright side I get a sandwich and I'm still alive.
Puff: Mmm sandwich.
Nyx: So, review? It'd be much appreciated :)
Puff: And I can do this *wiggles fingers*