Hey guys! I'm back! Yeah, I'm a shit-wad for leaving this story the way I did for so long. Sorry. Two weeks 'til Senior Exams, and graduation, kind of stress a girl out. But, I'm working on managing my time better. Honestly, I am. But yeah. Seriously, I'm really sorry. I know how it feels to just be waiting for the author to continue the damn story. Sooo, without futher ado, I give you the newly written chapter.
Dedicated to Charlie, who threatened to take me to prom if I didn't get my shit together [me, prom, make-up and dresses don't mix well, you could say].
Blood, Water, Oil
Chapter 23 - Revelations
We dispersed. Alyssa and Grams needed their rest. Jonah reported that she hadn't gotten much sleep while we were gone - the worry that she felt for her granddaughter over-rode the need for human necessities like food and drink. Only worry, over the safety of one of her own. And me. For some odd reason, whatever it was, she had felt a worry about me. "I know you're an immortal, and seemingly indestructible. But this old heart has enough room for two." Her words were warm and fuzzy. I could feel my heart heating at the simple sentence. They had each retreated into their rooms, the Cullens left to inform Carlisle and Esme, and I was left with Jonah and Jasper. Really, I was left with Jonah. Jasper left to go announce that the battle would be in five days. Thinking about my immortality connected me to that.
Five days. We had five fucking days. Five days for me to learn more about my Magi abilities, five days to be trained in the art of Jasper Kwan Do, and five days to think about my future.
After the battle, I would have no ties. Not here, at least. Grams, Alyssa, Jonah. Surely, they would all come with me. Maybe. I wasn't sure I even wanted them to. I didn't know where the hell I was going. I knew it wouldn't be here.
Jonah and I came upon a crowd of our kind. Several hundred immortals, all gazing watchfully into the eyes of Jasper Whitlock. He was nervous, I could see. His eyes skimmed the large, and still growing, gathering of immortals. I was surprised to see so many. Hundreds of people, all converging upon one spot to hear the words of a man who may or may not have been their reason for being here in the first place. It was a good thing this was private property. Attracting attention wasn't something programmed into us after being bitten. It was a personality thing, one that many vampires carried over into their next life. I wasn't the sort. Most of the time. Depended on my mood. I was still observing Jasper. His eyes shifted slightly to the east, looking down at a red-headed waif with a shirt that she was trying to pass off as a dress. Nikki. Seriously, why didn't I end her when I had the chance? Things would be much easier. I could already hear two girls further away, arguing about how Nikki had fucked their meal. They wanted to fight her. Oh. Too late.
It was like scratching the sharpened nails of a cat against a freshly cleaned chalkboard. It grasped the attention of everyone, even those unable to converge upon the spot. One of the girls was a brunette. She hissed at her slutty rival angrily. Nikki was backed between the two of them, the brunette, and the blond. The blond was being stupid. She was obviously new, and untrained. When someone swept their feet under you, you jumped and tackled them. You didn't stand there and watch. The brunette tackled her, and they rolled. Straight into the blond team-mate. The three of them were some kind of half-vampire, half-girl, one-slut mixture. Jasper growled loudly. Everyone other than Jonah and I jumped. The three girls were still on the ground, pulling hair. Nikki held the upper hand for a quick five seconds as she pulled the hair of the brunette, directing her head to the side and opening her neck, preparing to sink her teeth in. But then Blondie jumped her, and it was back to the ground again.
Jasper strode next to them, reached his hand down, and pulled up an arm. He tossed it to the side. He reached back down and pulled at red hair, which revealed Nikki coming up with it. "Get your ass to my office. Now," he growled. She didn't even protest. Fuck, I wouldn't have either. The look he was emitting could have killed someone. Hell, he might be planning it. She ran, casting one more look at the two girls on the ground. Blondie no longer had an arm. She was screeching in pain. The brunette was being a dumb-ass and explaining the situation. But even I could tell, Jasper was in no mood for explanations at the moment.
"The two of you, get over there," he grunted, pointing to a spot by a tree. They quickly walked over, their eyes no longer meeting his. Blondie still didn't have her arm. She didn't seem to care at the moment. Jasper got back onto the make-shift podium and scanned the crowd. "In five days, the Volturi will be here to battle. We will need to prepare more quickly than ever. I do not want to see petty arguments and fights going on because of something as stupid as a seduced human." He glared at the brunette and Blondie, who looked down ashamedly. "Tomorrow morning will begin sparring competitions. You will fight another, and I will assess your skill. Those of you that pass, will be welcomed to the battle. Those who don't, will be terminated." Murmurs rose from the crowd. Even with the clusterfuck of people surrounding me, I could sense his emotions. Dishonesty. Nervousness. Anger. And something else. Lust?
His eyes met mine. And I couldn't have looked away if I tried. It was like a current of electricity was running between us, spreading a delicious feeling through my very core. You know that feeling you get, when you do something bad, and get away with it? Now heighten that feeling to about ten-thousand volts.
His skin glittered, even with the muted, almost unidentifiable light through the light gray clouds. Blond hair fell to the nape of his neck, strands of light gold and dark yellow glinting. Fiery red-orange eyes burned, staring as they lit a blaze within me. I didn't understand. I had never experienced these feelings before. Not even when I brushed against him. It was strange. "I expect everyone to participate. Sparring begins at dawn. Your goal is elimination. I want everyone here at four."
There was no weak protest. No argument. I was surprised my own smart-mouth stayed shut. Everyone nodded, and the crowd dissipated. Jonah stayed at my side. He didn't comment on the moment between Jasper and I. Hell, I could still feel our connection. It was like the buzzing of an electric fence. I could feel the buzz intensifying. It was spreading from my head to my toes. It was like I had been lit on fire, and the flames were licking at my body. I felt warm, instead of cool. If I could sweat, I would have been drenching my clothes. He finally looked away, breaking the connection as his attention turned to the brunette and blond from the earlier scuffle. "Karolyn, Natalia. Step forward." The blond went first, with the brunette following nervously. At some point during my staring contest, she had re-connected her arm. "I expect better from the both of you. Karolyn, you will assist Jonah in organizing feeding times. Natalia, you will help Lynn." The blond began to speak. "But Major, we were only -" He glared down at her, causing her to shut her mouth. "I do not want to hear your excuses." She looked down. Her face burned with shame. Pussies.
What was it about Jasper that induced these people to carry themselves the way they did around him? It certainly wasn't his demeanor; cold, arrogant, rude. But I was left wondering. Did he always travel across the world to rescue kidnapped women? Or was it Alyssa he felt inclined to save? I didn't understand this man. He was as different as the stars I watched in the night sky. Each twinkled brightly, differently, winking alternately at you. "Dismissed." He was back to being cold again. Did he cut himself off to end his pain? Or was it all an act, something to scare those that threatened him? Maybe I would never understand. But I wanted to try.
Jonah didn't need any words. He smiled at me and disappeared into the trees. He was another odd-ball at my side. I seriously loved that guy. My legs moved forward, each step pushing me closer and closer to my blond mystery. He was crouched in the dirt, his eyes stuck on a blade of grass fluttering in the breeze. I plopped down next to him, striking up a cloud. "If I didn't know any better, I'd say you like the dirt as much as I do." It was the best opener I could come up with. I didn't expect him to answer, or even look at me. So what a surprise when he did. "When I was young, my mother used to lay with me underneath a tree in our backyard, and watch the clouds. When she died, I liked to imagine she was a cloud, becoming all these different shapes just for me. My personal cloud. I always wanted to fly up and hug her. When I got older, I needed an escape. When my father wasn't looking, I would sneak outside and watch the clouds again." My mouth was dry. I didn't have any smart-quips or joking comments. He had bared a piece of his soul to me.
"Why do you do this," he murmured. "Why do you talk to me, despite your hatred for me." Did I hate him? Did I really? I had never questioned my feelings before. I always assumed it was anger. Hatred. With just the smallest amount of lust. I tried to ignore that part most of the time. I stuck to the facts. He had kidnapped me. Humiliated Zak. But recently, surprises had cropped. Rescued me. Prevented me from becoming a pawn in the hands of a misplaced king. Was hate really what I felt for him? His fist clenched. He swiped a hand through his hair.
"It's okay to be nervous, sometimes." It wasn't hard to see that he was. His nervousness was like a cheap cologne. It permeated the air and clung to me. "Reading my emotions?" he snapped. "Did Alyssa teach you that?" ...and that, ladies and gentleman, was some seriously misplaced anger. "No. I don't know how to do that. And besides, it all over your face." Alright, I lied. I could read emotions. Sometimes. His were the easiest to read. I was ignoring the spite in his voice. Everyone had some anger that they couldn't get out. I just hoped it wasn't at me. My intentions were never to make him miserable. I just wanted to make his life difficult - revenge, for kidnapping me. "You haven't explained why you talk with me, yet." He was getting impatient. He could wait.
"Because." Yes, I know, wonderful reasoning. "I don't see the point in leaving you miserable. You look like someone kicked your puppy." He looked up. His eyes were swirling again, the red and orange melding together to create the beautiful orange-red of a sunset. "You're supposed to be the all-powerful Major. They're all counting on you to lead them to victory." This was the first, and only time, I would ever admit he was powerful. "You need your head in the game." I nudged him gently, and he sent me a small nudge back.
"Besides, I don't think being nice to you for a little bit will kill me. You can be very likable. You know, when you're not being narcissistic."
This earned me a smile. Not a smirk, not a twitch of his lips. An actual smile. It was beautiful. He was beautiful. It went without saying, for our kind, but he was so pretty. "You called me powerful. Hah." I knew he would bring that up at some point. I gave a huff of disbelief. "I only said it to make you feel better." He gave a small chuckle this time. His smile widened. And for a quick second, I felt his emotions so strongly, they melded with mine. Happiness. Understanding. Want. Need. Lust. Protectiveness. And then, as quickly as a second, it was gone. The smile, the emotions, everything. His eyes turned blacker than charcoal. "Stop it," he hissed threateningly. Now, if it wasn't for me blocking him with my own abilities, I would have projected as much confusion to him as possible. "What are you talking about?" He looked away, and his jaw tightened. "I don't appreciate you using your abilities on me." Color me shocked. It was the pale white marker in the pack with hints of yellow.
"Jasper?" He didn't respond. "Jasper." Nothing. He was looking at the ground, staring. "Jasper. Look at me." I was feeling my patience thin. "Jasper, look at me!" He looked up. His gaze was hardened, his eyes a burning, black pit of emptiness. "What are you talking about," I repeated, slowly, like speaking to a small child. He growled softly. "I'm feeling things for you that aren't real. They can't be real. You're putting shit in my head."
I couldn't believe this. I had finally seen a glimpse of the man inside, and he had closed up once more to insult me. "You think I would use my abilities to control you? For what reason? What fucking reason would I have to get into your head." I sounded petty and demanding. Fuck it. I didn't care. He had no right to accuse me. "I don't know!" he roared. He stood up jerkily. "You make me feel things that aren't real. You're in my head. You're doing this to me." His voice trembled with anger. Underneath the anger, I was slightly worried.
"So yeah," he growled, his pitch black irises focused on me. "I do think you would use your abilities on me." The moment of peace had evaporated into the air. Jasper was afraid of something. Something I couldn't understand at the moment. "I was trying to make you feel better." He had looked miserable. But right now, he looked down-right angry. And under that, the slightest glimmer of fear.
"I don't need help. I don't want your charity, I don't want your sympathy, and I don't want you."
It felt like my heart was crumbling in on itself. Hell, it still shocked me daily to know that I had one. I didn't know what this pain in my chest was, but I had never experienced anything like it before in my life. No venom could create this. Phil and his beatings were nothing compared to this. That was a light feathery caress. A walk in the park. This was pain. And I had no clue how to deal with it.
"You know what? I forgot. You don't feel. Anything."
He winced, and his hand fell over the left side of his chest. How could he be in pain? He had dealt the blow himself. I didn't stick around to argue more. I wanted him out of my sight, and out of my mind. This close to him, neither were possible. I ran. Everything around me became a brightly colored blur. I jumped on trees and climbed to the highest peak. I could see the leafy green bushels for miles. The dark brown bark looked pretty in contrast to my pale skin. A light breeze washed over me. I felt myself calm.
He was no longer in my sight, but I could not rid him from my mind. His red-orange eyes stared at me, though his face was nowhere near my own. His golden blond hair fluttered slightly in the sunlight, but the only golden object I could see was the sun. His skin glittered, his muscles flexed, his lips puckered. He talked about flying and watching clouds and clean women. God, everything about him was stuck in my head. I was frozen, my mind unable to erase the feelings that stemmed from my contact with Jasper Whitlock. I didn't understand. We had been fine. It was like he had invited me in for milk and cookies.
Then kicked me out. And then, he had slammed the door in my face.
Another breeze blew a familiar scent my way. Chocolate. Fish-sticks. And grizzly bear. Emmett. Then lo-and-behold, the giant was on the branch below me. "Having boy troubles?"
I had to smirk at his hint. "You could say that." Emmett sighed. He climbed a little higher, until he was directly across from me. "He's afraid." Yeah, I'm sure he is. Of what, is the question. "I know that. But I don't know why." To my surprise, he snorted. I gave him a look. "Oh come on, Bells. You can't honestly tell me you don't know why he's afraid." Yes, Emmett, because I can read minds now. Wait. Can I do that? "I really don't. Seriously." He huffed. "He traveled to Italy, risking his life, by the way, and almost killed Phil," he said his name with a low growl, "while the two of you were unconscious in that field."
Ah-hah. Wrong. "He traveled to Italy to save Alyssa. Not me. She has power. Power he needs to win this battle." I was ignoring the Phil thing. I bet Em would have killed him too, if he'd had the chance. Emmett raised an eyebrow at me. "I don't know if you know this, but he has a weak spot for you. Jasper isn't good with emotions. Things like love, hell, things like simply feeling a strong amount of affection for a person make him want to claw his hair out. The man is kind of damaged. He never felt anything for anyone again after his mother." If he just said that, I would understand. I could help. Why wouldn't he let me? Why did he have to play Mr. Macho? "Because he's afraid." I turned to look at him. "He doesn't do well with emotion. He thinks pushing you away will be best for the two of you. He's being self-less for once."
"Self-less?" I snorted. Self-less Jasper should meet Normal Bella. Unfortunately, neither existed. "Emmett, everything he has done so far has had motive. Everything." He nodded. He couldn't deny my words any truth. "Bella, let me put it this way. A month ago, he would rather put you in danger, and drag you to hell with him, than give you up." Fine with me. I heard it was nice and cozy in the winter. I have a membership card for a free spa day. The water boils enough to cook a person. "And now?" He looked away. "Now, he would rather get you as far away from him as possible than make you another pawn in his game." I looked down at the ground below us. It was a long way down. "Think about something. If you were a normal vampire, bitten by him, taught his way, what do you think you would be like?"
Before I could answer, he was gone, falling to the ground and smashing branches as he went. Why would I think about something like that? "You know, if things had been done my way, you would be underneath me in a bed two miles from here." That was why. I closed my eyes. I hadn't heard him. Maybe that was my own fault. "If things had been done your way, you'd have me all to yourself. I wouldn't know how to do anything but depend on you. I wouldn't be a challenge. And you know that." I turned around. It was like looking at the sun. I couldn't stare too long before my eyes began to burn. Nothing had changed from my last encounter with him. Nothing was going to. "I want you to understand something." I caught the underlying tone of his words. He didn't just want me to understand it. He needed me to.
"I'm not like Edward and Emmett. Or even Jonah. I was taught differently, shown another way to live. I'm a product of my environment." He had lost me before he'd even begun. I didn't understand a word coming from his mouth. "I told you on the plane that I wasn't like the Cullens. Because I'm not." Any fool could see that. It was like comparing a cat to a tiger. "I like the kill. I like the feeling as I sink my teeth into the flesh of my meal. I enjoy the taste of the blood rushing into my mouth." He didn't seem ashamed of it. He was proud of being who he was. An admirable trait. "I'm a monster in a man's body. And I'm perfectly okay with it." I'm sure he was. "But monsters don't love. They can't love."
I didn't believe him. "Bullshit." He raised an eyebrow at me. "Don't call on what you don't know." I knew enough. "I know you're afraid to attach yourself to me emotionally. I know you don't love anyone or anything since you mother." His jaw tightened. "You don't get to talk about her. You don't get to analyze me. I came to apologize. That's it." He jumped down and landed on the ground with a thud. No. He wasn't getting away that easy. I jumped after him and propelled myself forward, tackling him to the ground as he began to walk away. "You didn't even really apologize. All you told me was that you were a monster, and that monsters are incapable of love." He stared at me. "You're shit at apologies." I didn't react in time to see his hand hit me square in the chest, knocking me backwards enough for him to get up. "Asshole." I stood and looked at my back. It was coated in dust. Shame. I actually liked this tank. It was blue. My favorite color.
"Idiot." Was he really calling me an idiot? "Heartless bastard." He walked towards me. "Stupid bitch." I gave him as much fire as he threw at me. "I hope you drown in a pool of lava." He cocked an eyebrow. "You should do the world a favor and jump into the fireplace." Please. Without me, shit wouldn't be nearly as interesting. "Funny. I was going to ask if you wanted to do us all a favor and let me feed you to one." He growled at me. His eyes were burning again. And this time I couldn't turn off the heat rising in my body. He was close to me. Too close. The electricity coursing through me could attract a thunderstorm, if I wasn't careful. Before I could react, he slammed me roughly into a tree trunk. His hands gripped tightly on my waist. "Why are you in my head," he growled. I couldn't answer. My smart-ass mouth had shut down. All I could think about was his hand on my skin. My own were sliding along his cheeks, my eyes locked onto his.
His mouth connected to mine. Lips locked, and tongues moved. Fuck, he tasted delicious. My fingers tangled themselves in his hair. I couldn't get enough of him. He tasted like colorfully-striped candy canes and gumdrops and the world's sweetest lemonade. It was like an adrenaline rush. My lips molded to his and his to mine. I felt like I was flying, like nothing in the world could bring me down. The wind was whistling in my ears. I didn't know if I was doing it. I didn't care. His mouth pressed against mine was distracting me.
And then I regained my thought process. I shoved him away. The wind died down. He flew backwards and hit the dirt. I didn't look at him. I didn't speak to him. "Practice what you preach," he called to me. "You can't scold me on how I feel if you run from yours." I didn't respond. There was no need. I ran. I didn't have any other options but to run. Everything whipped through me, leaving my brain running through a haphazard, haywire sort of mess. Everything was muddled. Trying to sort through the thoughts was similar to wading through mush. The emotional tornado wreaking havoc within me was growing. Shit, why had I let him kiss me? Why had I kissed him back? The smell of seawater attracted my attention. I ran to my favorite beach and plopped down in the sand. I flung the wet putty out into the water and screamed silent thoughts in my head as I closed my eyes.
A familiar scent drifted into the air. Jonah approached me. "I think you like him. What do you think?" I wasn't going to answer. "So?" I ignored him, refusing to open my eyes. The calming sounds of the waves soothed me. "You can ignore it for however long you like, but you know the truth, Bella." Still ignoring him. If he was going to quote stupidity at me, I was going to quote silence to him. "Fine. Pretend all you want. But at some point you've got to accept it." I didn't have to accept shit. It wasn't true. "You like him, Bells. The sooner you admit it to yourself, the better." I didn't like him. I didn't want him. The electricity that flowed through me when he was around was my own bodily hormones crying out for a mate. That had to be the answer. I didn't like Jasper. I didn't want Jasper.
What I didn't understand was why I had kissed him.
It had gone from a simple moment. He had explained his theories about love to me. I had called bullshit on it. I had tackled him. And then he had shoved me against a tree, and our lips had connected. I had marveled at the taste of his mouth, his tongue, his skin. And then I had regained consciousness and pushed him back. I didn't want to understand. I didn't need to. I would ignore the situation. Like I was ignoring Jonah. "Don't be a fool, Bella." I was nothing close to a fool. "Talk to me." I opened my eyes. "When he touches me, I feel like an electric current is coursing under my skin. When he looks at me, I feel like the inside of a furnace. And just being near him gums the gears in my brain." Decipher that.
After about three minutes, he responded. "How do you live in denial for so long?" I growled. I wasn't living in denial. It was the truth. I felt nothing for Jasper. Nothing. "You can't keep lying to yourself. The sooner you accept the truth about you and him, the better."
"I don't have to accept anything. We're like water and oil. We don't mix."
At four, the vampires began to swarm. No one was risking Jasper's wrath today. Nikki showed up, and Karolyn and her friend kept their distance. Even the lazy ones, a blond female named Frances and a black-haired man named Ray, showed up. No one was taking any chances today. Jonah stayed next to me, quietly assessing the competition. I followed his lead and began my own scan. Kara, a petite brunette with a thing for bugs. She was in a relationship with Theodore, who had to have the blondest hair I had ever seen - it looked white. The two of them were a good team. She could stun you, paralyze you for a total of one minute. He could make you hallucinate stupid things, like being trapped in a cage. Take them down and I would have one step less to climb.
Jason and Vanessa. I had met Jason the first time I'd met Jasper. He'd been there. His own gift was a form of telepathy. He could push his thoughts into your mind. His mate was the opposite. She could draw your thoughts out from your mind, and make you say them out-loud. Andrew. He had a form of mind-control. It only worked on weaker opponents, but my mental shield was a helpful disadvantage towards him. I was stuck assessing the gifts and potential danger of everyone. And then Jasper walked out of the house. Conversations fell silent. No one met his eyes. The dawn began to spread across the sky and he clapped his hands, like we were a pack of puppies and he needed our attention. "Everyone paired into groups of thirty." We worked quickly. Unfortunately, Nikki got stuck in my group. "You spar with everyone in your group. Two at a time. Everyone not fighting, watch and wait." I turned to face my opponent. She was a tiny little thing, with short blond and green hair and pretty gold eyes.
The fight was over quickly. She swung. I jumped. She repeated. I ducked and punched her in the throat. She bared her teeth at me. I tackled her and pushed my mouth dangerously close to her neck. I won. She left. I plopped down in the dirt and waited.
Alyssa walked over to me from where I was enjoying a silent victory. "Hi," she greeted me, sitting down. I smiled at her. "After this, can we work on your Magi training?" I nodded. My powers were my biggest assets right now. I had to know how to use them, and when I should. Without training, I wouldn't be good enough to wield them. And then we would all die. I knew with Alyssa forfeiting her spot in the fight, Jasper was expecting me to bring the magic. "Isabella!" I looked up. Jasper was staring at us, one eyebrow quirked. I stared silently for a moment, before sticking my tongue out at him. Alyssa giggled. He grinned. I almost fell off of my patch of dirt. Jasper didn't smile. He didn't grin. He didn't laugh. And he didn't explain things to me other than tell me why I was here.
But yesterday he had smiled at me. Laughed with me. Told me things about him I would never have even thought. He was changing. But was it for himself? Or for someone else? "Oh." I looked over at Alyssa. She was frowning. "I have go. I'll see you later." She got up and walked into the house. I would have followed her, but I wasn't sure I was supposed to. Jasper walked over and seated himself next to me. "Having fun?" I nodded, not looking at him. Even if I was deaf and blind, I would have felt his presence. It was intense, yet subtle. Like a brewing storm.
"You shouldn't deny yourself, Isabella." This, of course, caused me to look over at him. He was looking up at the sky. Several immortals, those who did not fight, began to whisper.
"He spends most of his time with her, she must be the new favorite..."
"...seems Nikki has competition..."
"….all fall for him sooner or later."
I clenched my fists and forced myself to count and breathe through my nose. The array of smells would calm me. One. Dampened earth. Two. Squirrel fur. Three. Grilled mushrooms. Four. Shampoo. Five...
I stopped counting. He was still sitting there, oblivious to the whispers about us. He looked down at me, then huffed. "Stop being so sensitive. They're only rumors." Not oblivious. Ignoring. And expecting me to. Well fuck him. "I'm not being sensitive. You're being an asshole." He rolled his eyes. "Pot calling the kettle black." I stood up and sped away. I didn't have to listen to his shit today. One minute I was running, and the next I was flat on my ass. Wait, correction. On my back. And Jasper was on top of me.
I growled and bucked at him, attempting to remove him from me. "Get off of me, you lunatic!" He growled. "No." I flipped us. I was straddling him. His hands were on my hips. My hair fell like a curtain over us. And now he was staring at me. No words. Just staring. Like a blind man that had finally seen the sun. "Mine," he whispered. No. I was not going to be his. Not just like that. My hands found his chest, and I pushed backwards. He flew off of me and fell on his ass. Good. He deserved it. I stood up and brushed the dirt off of my jeans. They were torn a few inches above the cuff. Asshole. "You know you want me. Why don't you just admit it already." Because I'm not an idiot. Because it gave him a power over me that he didn't need. "Because you're an asshole." Yes, I'm aware I've been repeating the same thing. But he is one. He needs to understand that. "You've known that since the day you got here. What's stopping you now?" Oh, I don't know. Maybe a lack of explanation. Or a solid lack of any emotion towards me that he could fluidly show.
"You're not seeing me like a person, Jasper. You're seeing me like another one of your toys." He raised an eyebrow. I raised my one of my own and placed a hand on my hip. That's right, I cocked the bitch-brow. "You're not a person. You're a vampire. Don't confuse yourself." I balled one hand into a fist. He was seriously pissing me off today. "I don't want to be another conquest. The sooner you understand that, the better." He gave an exasperated sigh. "You're not a conquest." Oh, like hell I wasn't. "Yeah, and birds don't fly."
"Some don't." Smart-ass. "If you stopped being such an idiot about this, we would be in a soft bed right now." Is sex all he thinks about? "Is that all that goes through your head these days?" Seriously. "No. There's some other things. Like how sexy you are when you're angry." I'm going to punch him. In the throat. I hope it hurts. "You're an idiot."
"Are we going the petty insults route again? Fine. Go fall in a volcano." Oh, it's on. I snapped my fingers forward, pushing my hand into his throat. He didn't move fast enough, and I got a solid hit in. He glared at me. Before he could tackle my ass into the dirt, I surged forward. My fingers found his chest and I used every once of strength to push him backward. He practically flew. I heard the crash as he hit the tree. He landed on his feet and bared his teeth at me. "Bring it, bitch."
With a flying leap, he tackled me. Before I could fall, he detached himself from me, and I landed on the ground a few feet from where he stood. He was staring at me with a sardonic grin on his smug little face. I got to my feet and growled. He smirked. "Ooh, I'm so scared. Is the big bad kitten going to hurt me?" Taunting obviously wasn't beneath him. I leaped forward, prepared to rip his arm off, when I was slammed back to the ground. For a minute I thought it was him. But he was pinned against a tree, inches from the ground.
"Seriously, you guys have got to stop fighting all the time." I looked up. Alyssa was walking towards us, with Jonah at her side. "I'm more surprised you guys came all the way out here to do it." I glared at Jonah. "What? She found you. Don't give me that look." I stared at Alyssa. "The both of you are acting like spoiled brats." I gave her a look of disbelief. "Oh, come on. The two of you go at like cats and dogs, for no reason other than petty differences." Oh, please. We weren't that bad. Really. Maybe. Okay, we were.
"In my defense, she tackled me." I cocked an eyebrow at him. Did he really just try to fling the blame on me? "He started this shit yesterday. He showed up babbling nonsense about monsters and their inability to love. He claimed he was apologizing, but all I heard was a fountain of bullshit." He snarled at me, and I gave him a growl right back. I wasn't scared of his stubborn ass. "If I let them go, we could sell tickets." Jonah smirked. "I'll get the blood-drenched popcorn." That sounds wrong. Disgusting and wrong. Who in their right mind would soak popcorn in blood? Nasty.
"That is so wrong." She let me up, and I got to my feet and brushed the dirt off of my pants. I aimed a glare at Jasper, who gave another trademark smirk from his place still stuck to the tree. "If you stopped delivering bullshit every few seconds, we might actually get along." I didn't deliver anything. I told him the truth with little regard for his personal feelings. Like he did me. "Pot calling the kettle black."
He rolled his eyes. "You can put me down now." Alyssa shrugged. "Oh, yeah." He dropped to the forest floor, and landed in a crouch. "Thanks." I started walking away. "What, you're just going to leave it like that? I was winning." Psh. In you dreams, cloud-boy. I didn't turn around and give him my smart-assed remark. I ran back to my beach and dived into the water.
The cool water felt good on my skin, and the weight of my clothes made me feel better. The fish avoided me, but I could still see them. If I wanted I could dart out like the land-shark I was and eat them. But I didn't feel like it. Why didn't I just live down here? No Jasper, no war, no expectations of anything. Just waving at dolphins and scaring the hell out of the next pair of fisherman to come this way. I was a sad, unacceptable excuse for a predator, and I was perfectly okay with it.
I swam. I went lower and lower. I felt like The Little Mermaid. That chick wanted to walk so much, hell, she could take my place. But then again, she wanted to be human. I wasn't either. I grabbed the side of an underwater cave, and watched as a shark went in for the kill. He feigned left, then went right and ate seven fish in one gulp. I felt proud, like a mother seeing her child walk for the first time. Didn't know why I did. I was, logically, the most dangerous creature to roam the Earth. By those standards, I should be gobbling people left and right.
Forget land. I'm staying here. The sea is my new home. I'll trade places with Ariel. A palace and a mythical god for a dad couldn't be that bad.
I was still swimming through the ocean. The sun had gone down and the moon was my new best-friend. She made everything white and pretty with her glow. From down here, she was a wavy circle that kept changing shape to an oval and back again. I swam up a little, closer to the surface, and looked at the moon some more. I needed to find a better hobby.
I was pulled out of the water and thrown through the air. A split-second later, I landed in a cloud of sand. Nasty stuff. When it got in your mouth, it tasted worst than dirt. The little grains got everywhere. I was spitting out sand when my favorite asshole showed up. "Damn, do you have any idea how bad you are at sensing people? Seriously. I was able to throw you onto your ass, Isabella." Douche. I was a sad excuse for a vampire. There was room for improvement. But I was better than him.
He held a hand out and looked down at me. "I didn't mean to throw you that hard, though." I put my hand in his and let him pull me up. "That's like saying, I didn't mean to punch you in the nose, I was aiming for your cheek." I understood the sentiment, but that didn't mean I accepted it. I'd rather hear someone say I'm sorry than a metaphor. Better than nothing, though. He quirked a smile. "There is something seriously wrong with us." No kidding. The tension between the two of us was enough to drown a dolphin.
"I'm willing to...compromise," he spit the word out distastefully, as if compromising was beneath him. I rolled my eyes. "Drama-queen." He huffed. "Look, we'll go back to ignoring each other. You'll train with Alyssa and Jonah. The day of the battle, you fight, you win, and then you leave. No questions asked." What? I couldn't believe my ears. I felt like I should pull them off and check them for sand. Or mud. That shit got everywhere. Worst than dirt. "But only if you admit it." Admit what?
"What are you talking about?" He stared at me. "Come on, Isabella. You can't be serious. Admit your feelings for me. You want me. I know you do." And sheep can astral-project. Jackie Chan Adventures taught me that.
"Please. You're the one accusing me of playing with your head. You like me. You want me. Admit it to yourself." He grit his teeth. I had awoken the sleeping bear. Wait, correction, the sleeping tiger. "Fine. You want me to admit it? Here you go. I do want you. I like you. Love is for suckers, but I like you more than I should." Oh, shit. Did not expect that. He wasn't supposed to admit, he was supposed to deny. What kind of guy can't even read subtle womanly signals? Every man in the world. "Now, are you going to say it, or am I going to have to force you to?" And what kind of guy threatened you to say something you didn't mean? This one.
"I'm not going to say something that's not true, Jasper." He let out a burst of laughter. "Bullshit. You say things that aren't true all the damn time." He talked too much. Really. I could have been very neutral, and now I was angry. Again. "Oh, Jasper, I don't like you. Jasper, I don't want you. You practically screamed at me that you wanted nothing to do with me, but at the end of the day, you're the metal to my magnet. You can't help but come back to me."
I hated him for saying it, and I hated him even more for it being true. "You're an asshole."
"But you want me anyway. And I want you." He wasn't going to give up. And I wasn't going to compromise. Why should I? I should be able to take what I want and be done with it. But if I could, so could he. I was no better than he was. "I have an idea. Let's play 20 questions." Games were like cake to me. They brought the peace to two parties. He shook his head. "Let's not and say we did." I was trying to be friendly, and he was ruining it. "I'm trying to be nice here. Would you rather I pretend you don't exist?" I plopped back into the sand. After a moment of silence, he sat down a few inches from me. "Your life would probably be easier, but then mine wouldn't be. I'll play."
I was expecting something basic, like red or black. He surprised me. "Purple."
"Why?" He looked at me. "Isn't it my turn to ask a question?" He had me there. "Go ahead." His gaze returned to the body of water I had just exited. "If you could be any animal, which would you choose and why. " Oh, that was easy. "A mountain lion. I would be agile and strong, and able to hunt my dinner." He snorted. "I would have pegged you for a doe. Big wide eyes and an innocent expression suit you." When I was human, he had no idea.
"It used to be. When I was little, at least. Then one day Renee took me with her and Phil to a shooting range, and I saw the men shooting the targets. They were all shaped like deer, and painted brown. I started crying and asked my mom why they had to shoot them. She said deer were the weakest animals, and that hunting them was a traditional sport. I decided I didn't want to be a deer anymore." Mountain lions were strong. I would have said elephant, but I liked the prospect of being a very big cat. Explaining it to him was easier than avoiding him. Maybe, just maybe, I could see us being friends. After another hundred years.
"Favorite food?" If he was anyone else, he would have looked at me with an expression of befuddlement. He didn't. "When I was human, it was vegetable soup."
"What's your favorite element?" His questions were seemingly random, and didn't have any real rhyme or reason. "Fire." Fire was tough. Fire was uncontrollable. Fire burned everyone and kept them away. Like it should be. "I like water." He was weird, and I liked it. He tasted like sunlight and smelled like lemons. Everything about him was yellow and happy, even though he himself screamed the opposite. I liked it all.
Shit. Did I like him? Fuck.
My new-found revelation had me rushing to my feet. He stayed on the ground and didn't look at me. "Finally figure it out, huh?" Did he have some kind of secret ability no one else knew about? "Do you have some kind of superpower that allows you to read minds?" Maybe Edward rubbed off on him. He shook his head. "I don't have to read minds. It's written all over your face." Note to self: find better poker-face. "That's just wonderful," I mumbled. "So you going to admit it already?" I shook my head. Nope. I would admit when I was ready. Which would probably be never. I didn't need a mate; I already had enough shit to deal with, like a war. I looked up at the moon again. I really needed a better hobby.
Bella? Was there no limit to this mind-talking thing? I felt like I should have a phone built into my head. Yeah? Jasper was staring at me with a weird expression on his face. I need you to come back. We have training to do. And I was having such a good time asking random questions and burying my toes in wet sand. Ah, well. I stood up. On my way now. "Sorry, got to go. We'll do lunch." The expression on his face was priceless. He was staring at me with this look of confusion. It almost made me laugh. Almost.
Like always, I ran before he could say anything else. Back through the trees and dirt, to grass and painted wood. Alyssa was waiting for me outside her house. "Finally figure it out, huh?" Seriously, is my poker face that bad? I huffed. "Let's just do the damn magic already." She smiled. "Alright."
The sun shined down on me and cast little diamonds everywhere. I wiggled my fingers and made the tiny beacons move with me. Even with my cold granite skin, I could feel the warmth that permeated the air. I was once again laying somewhere. I needed a hobby. Something like knitting. My hair was splayed out behind me, mixing with the grass and dirt. I was nowhere near the ranch, and yet Jasper was all I could think about. I think I was able to officially establish I had a problem. Maybe there was a support group somewhere.
"Why deny what you already know?" Alice sat down next to me. She smelled like nail polish and rotten apples. "If you want him, go to him." She made it sound simple, like some fairy-tale waiting to be spun. I hated that shit. Fairy-tales were nothing more than princesses waiting for a prince, and happy endings that never stayed that way. Why did Cinderella wait for her prince to find her? She could have just shown him the damn slipper in the first place. Better yet, why didn't she just leave? What had been keeping her with her step-mother in the first place? Damn. I was reading too much into a children's story. I needed psychological help. "This isn't some fairy-tale. This is real."
She sighed, and I wanted to punch her in the gut. Why was she even involved? I hadn't asked anyone to come out here and find me. My fingers dug through the dirt and made neat little rows. I continued clawing, to distract myself from chopping her in the throat. "It's fairly simple. You like him. He likes you. Just run with it." It wasn't simple, and she didn't understand. She was happy with Edward, the mind-reading pretty boy who drank animal blood and felt compassion for humans. I wanted the serial-killer who bathed in his kills, a murderer compassionate about only spilling blood. We were two separate people, both attracted to almost different species of males.
I was scared. Scared of how fast and hard my feelings for him were coming. I'd dealt with Phil, an upcoming war, and never really had time to think about how fast I was falling. Falling. I was falling, and I couldn't lie to myself anymore. I liked him. A lot. There was no love, none. Just a strong attraction that made me feel helpless and pathetic. I wanted to tear my hair out. Before I could even entertain how that would look, I smelled the fresh scent of lemons. "Take a hike, Alice." She pouted and stood up. "You're no fun." Jasper sat beside me, not too close, but not far either. "We are so fucked up."
"No kidding." We could drown a dolphin with the tension between us. A dolphin, goddammit. They can fucking swim. "It scares me how fast this is going." It was the only truth I would give him. "You kidnapped me, and tried to break me in. You saved me and also admitted that you care about me. It's almost paradoxical. I shouldn't like you, because I have absolutely no reason to. And yet I do. And it scares the shit out of me."
He didn't speak. I gulped in fresh air, allowing myself to swallow the smells of dirt and grass and salt from the nearby sea. "Who was your first kill." It was the oddest damn question, and one I answered without hesitation. "A man named Henry. He was 24, with brown hair and brown eyes. He pissed himself when I grabbed him, and screamed when I bit into his neck. After him, I killed his daughter." He nodded. "My first kill was in a small restaurant. I murdered fifteen people." Whoa, nelly. "Someone chained the doors shut, front and back. The first person I grabbed was a woman with dark brown hair. She had green eyes and a pearl necklace that almost choked her. It made her neck even prettier. After her, the faces blurred. She's the only person I can remember."
"Was she a particularly memorable kill or something?" He turned to look at me, and his onyx black eyes focused intently on my face. "She tasted delicious, and is still the best kill I've ever had." Umm. Alright. "Yay for you?" He growled. I flinched a little, when I blinked. "I asked because I was wondering. I told you mine because if I hadn't, you would have assumed I was holding back." He was right. Dammit.
The light breeze blew the salty scent even closer, and made me want to go swim my frustration away. I was pissed I couldn't decide for myself. Angry I couldn't make my decision, to figure out if I wanted Jasper or not. I wished I could slice his neck and watch him writhe on the ground in blood. Then he would be just another human. Another victim to the imperfection of vampires. He was still staring at me. I was almost tempted to clear my throat. He would probably make fun of how human an action it was. "I've never had a memorable kill."
"Obviously, you haven't killed enough." What kind of...what the hell? "What do you mean, I haven't killed enough?" He shrugged. "Look, everyone has a first kill, their best kill. One where they smelled like heaven and tasted like sin." He had a point. "Or maybe you haven't hunted with the right person."
Was he suggesting what I think he was? I looked at him. His hair was catching the sun and throwing the light back. It was like he was glowing. "Did you forget what happened earlier?" I hadn't. I was still confused as hell. I wanted to scream, to throw out a slew of curses and just grab him. But didn't every action have a consequence? What would I have to pay for this one?
I swear, I was like a scale. My emotions tipped with the slightest breeze. I was going back and forth faster than Roadrunner in Looney Tunes. "Get a hold of yourself. You're going to make me spew bodily fluids in a few minutes." Moment officially ruined.
"Come on. I want to show you something." He pulled me to my feet, and I let him, because I didn't feel like pushing him away. "Climb on." Was he serious? "Seriously. Climb the fuck on, already." I sighed, but leaped onto his back. His arms fastened over my legs, and he took off. Trees blurred, scenery became green pastels, and I found myself standing in front of a cabin. I hopped off his back. "Stop breathing. I want this to be a surprise." No way in hell. It was like cutting off my eyesight. I took a deep whiff just to annoy him. He actually gave me a smile. "Stubborn brat." I smelled blood. Lots of it. Not disgusting animal blood, but the blood of the one thing our kind craved. Human.
I climbed through the open window without hesitation. Forget Jasper. I was hungry.
Three males, all sitting around a pile of cash, looked over at me when I walked straight back. I had followed my nose. And it did not disappoint. One of them was blond, with a sadistic smile on his face. He didn't even flinch when I walked in. The other two, both brunettes, stood up, one positioning a gun in my direction. I wanted to laugh. But, of course, that would ruin the fun I was having. I looked at both males. "You can put that away now." The blond one stood up. "Aren't you a pretty little thing." Was he crooning at me? He was. Idiot.
I could only imagine what he thought I was. A poor, defenseless female, smoking hot and alone with three males. He stepped closer to me and aimed a question at his friends. "Want to have some fun?"
One brunette moved and grabbed me by the arm, pulling me closer. He gave me a sickening grin. And then he focused on my eyes, and I knew the metaphorical jig was up. "What the fuck!" He shoved me away from him, but it was too late. I didn't have time to let them ask questions. I snapped. I grabbed his neck and twisted. I had been aiming for a broken neck, but I twisted too hard. His head came flying off, his body hit the ground, and blood sprayed everywhere. I licked my lips, catching some drops that had flown onto my mouth.
"Tasty." Blondie started screaming. Brunette #2 started firing the gun. I felt the bullets nick me in the forehead, the chest, the stomach, and in one eye. He stared in horrified amazement as I smiled cruelly at him. I grabbed the gun out of his hands, and still smiling, bent the metal barrel. Blondie hadn't even stopped screaming yet. "Sorry, boys. But I'm hungry." I twisted a little gentler this time, managing to actually crack his neck instead of twisting it off. I dropped the body, ran over to Blondie, and grabbed the back of his neck.
"Please. I have money, okay? Just take it, take the damn money, just please don't fucking kill me." I shook my head. "I don't want your damn money." As a human, maybe. As a vampire, I had no real use for it. "What about people? You eat people, right? I can get you more. Other people. I'll even give you my girlfriend, just please don't fucking hurt me." Ass. He would rather give up someone else's life to save his. "No." I snapped his head forward, disconnecting it from his neck and sending it flying to the couch. His body sprayed blood, then dropped. I saw the rather large pool of it being made from the other two combined.
My fingers dipped into the pool, and slipped into my mouth. It tasted delicious. I grabbed the closest body and sank my teeth into the bloody neck. Ah. Sweet crimson relief. My red cough medicine soothed the ache in my throat. I drank and drank, sucking the dismembered body dry. When I finally dropped the body, I looked down at myself. The blood had stained my shirt, my pants, and some was actually in my hair. I could only imagine how ironic it would be to get red highlights. I would probably remark how wonderful they looked, and kill the stylist.
"Guess someone already started without me." I didn't turn around and look at him. I was too busy assessing the other two bodies. Jasper ran in front of me, picking up the first dismembered one and sinking his teeth into it. I grabbed what had previously been the blond, and drank. I was sucking the blood in, soothing the ache in my throat, when I instinctually looked up. Jasper was staring at me, the red liquid still smeared over his mouth.
He moved so fast I wasn't able to process the tall blur, until he was directly in front of me. His eyes were glued to mine. It felt like I was swimming in a pool of fire. Before I could speak, before I could move, his mouth was pressed to my own. I was melting into him. I wanted him so bad it was driving me insane. My fingers clutched at his shirt, and I found myself pulling him closer to me. With a low groan, he grabbed me and pressed me harder to him. I could still taste the blood in his mouth. Hell, I could taste him. Every nerve in my body was electrified.
He stopped kissing long enough to speak. "I want you. Shit, Isabella." His words came out breathily. I couldn't even find the coherency to speak. My mind was a jumbled swirl of thoughts and emotions. But only one really stood out. "How the fuck did we do this?" Guess I found that coherency after all. "Go from angry and confused to kissing over a kill." It was a serious thought to consider. Were we really like water and oil? Or were we just both confused? I sure as hell was.
I didn't get much time to ponder it, because he captured my mouth again, eliciting a moan from me as he cupped my ass. "Does it really fucking matter?" A small part of me wanted his kisses, his touching, and that small part said no. But the bigger part, the part that wanted to figure out our relationship, and where to go from here, said yes. With a small sigh, I pushed him away from me.
He was staring at me. And my mouth. "Yes. It matters. I need to know Jasper. I need to understand." He huffed. "Our relationship doesn't need a label. I'm Jasper and you're Isabella, and that's that." But it wasn't. I wanted to know how to proceed from here, how to handle him.
"That's not all we are. I- I-" I wanted to say I trusted him. But that wouldn't be entirely true. I did, but I didn't. It sounded confusing, because it was. I should just spit it out before I melt my brain. "I trust you, but I don't." The look he gave me was how I felt when I said. Seriously, what the fuck brain? Did you already melt?
"I just-" Where had the confident, no-shit-taking me gone? I felt like a kid again, trying to explain to my parents exactly why I felt the need to slam the door and break the vase. "I don't know. I just-" How the fuck do I explain this?
"Don't. I get it. I don't completely understand, but I get it." He didn't even look at me. His eyes landed on the bloody body and stayed there. "What the fuck was I thinking," he mumbled. He sounded like a surly teenager. And with that, he was gone.
Fuck. I think I might have actually hurt his feelings.
So yeah. Really sorry about the long wait guys. I'll try to do better. Anyways, review for me? Tell me what you thought. Or, yell at me for taking so long. A review is a review, right? ;] Bye, hehe.