Solitary Ground

AN: I own nothing… BIG thanks to my beta harrytwifan and pre-reader DelphiusFanFic!

SUMMARY: After years of living at odds with each other, the vampires got organized and decided that shifters should serve them - or die. They attacked shifter territories without warning, also killing any and all humans who were living within the shifter territories. Most shifters didn't stand a chance. Since most had only ever dealt with one or two nomad vampires at a time, they could not stand against a full army. Only a small group of wolf shifters were able to get away. And there's now talk that cat shifters have banded together. Most of them were able to stay hidden away from the vampires, as they had lived for years in small groups of less than five. Now a new war is beginning… Edward vamp / Jasper cat shifter Fic...

Honoring a Treaty

Sam POV-

The floor is cold and stained with blood as I sit here unmoving. I can't take my eyes off my fallen pack mate. As Alpha, it is my job to protect my pack, yet I had to watch helplessly as our master killed Brady, one of our youngest. I had to stare at Brady's pleading eyes as I'd fought my restraints to get to him, to somehow protect him, but I was unsuccessful. Even my wolf has abandoned me, preventing me from shifting. The leeches have done something to me, to us shifters; I just wasn't sure how they took away our ability to shift. How they stripped us of half of who we are. That was what angered me the most, the confusion and empty feeling of not being able to feel something that's been a part of me for over five years.

I'm not even sure that there is a pack anymore. We've been captured and sold as slaves to the vampires, who are hell bent on either destroying or breaking us. So far, I wasn't sure which they had done to me. As Alpha, it has destroyed me to be taken from my pack, to watch Brady be tortured. It has broken me to be helpless; I wasn't meant to feel that way.

The pain I felt from the death of my brother outweighed that of my arm, which was bent at a strange angle. It was the first punishment he had tried, in an attempt to make me submit to him. I tried to get myself just to bend to his will and protect my brother; I just couldn't get my wolf to do it. No matter what, there was nothing I could've done to submit. I don't sleep as I watch the sun rise from the small window, bringing with it a new day.

"Be at peace my brother," I whisper into the room, hoping his soul will see the light and find the peace he well deserves.

"Hear that Caius?" my master's voice says, right before the door swings open. "He thinks there is peace for them beyond here. The stupid pup has much to learn still."

I do my best to ignore his evil laugh as he walks towards me and unchains me from the wall. Finally, I'm free of the wall and able to move, but I am stopped short from going to my brother. Not even allowed to say goodbye to him, I refuse to look away as I'm pulled out of the room by a leash attached to my collar, just like the animal he treats me as.

"No, you worthless piece of crap, you are coming with me. Since you allowed yourself to get damaged, I have to take you to a vet." I give my brother one last look as Master pulls me out of the room, crawling the best I can with one useless hand. It is my fault Brady was killed - if I had just swallowed my pride and listened, Master wouldn't have killed Brady. I have to believe he's at peace; it's the only thing keeping me sane right now.

"Get in!" Master yells, as he pulls me closer towards his car. I didn't even notice we had left the mansion and was in open air. Trying my best not to hit my hand, I climb in, kneeling on the floor of the car as Master gets in.

My heart begins to pound as I wonder what the vet will be like. I've heard stories from other shifters who were taken to the vet, and raped in order to pay for their visit. Master has done plenty to me and my body, but has yet to do that. Thankfully, he prefers a woman's touch.

I don't know how long it takes us, but all too soon we are parked and I am ordered to get out, my nerves unraveling more as I notice the name of the Veterinarian's office: E. Cullen… That name is so familiar, but I can't place it, as I'm led inside by that damn leash. At least this time he allows me to walk.

"Now you be good and stay quiet, I don't need you to be talking." Master sneers as the door opens.

Edward POV-

I run my hand through my hair for the hundredth time today as I watch the incoming and outgoing shifters, all in bad shape. I can't save them all, and unless their masters offer to sell them, there is nothing I can do to help them.

"Sir, there is a Mr. Aro here demanding that you see him," one of my office assistants, Angela, says over my intercom, interrupting my thoughts.

"Thank you. Please show him into room two," I say, before standing from my desk. It's disgusting what my kind can do to others, I hated having to see it every day. However being here means that I'm able to do some amount of good... that I can make up for being a monster.

"Aro, what seems to be the problem?" I ask as I walk into the room, grabbing a clip board with Aro's information on it.

"My pet here hurt himself, the useless creature." He practically yells the last bit as he kicks the shifter kneeling at his feet.

With a quick look, I notice the wolf is doing his best not to put any pressure on his left hand. By the way the bones are practically sticking out I know Aro had to have done it himself. He just won't take responsibility for his own actions.

"Yes, I see that, Aro," I say, trying to stay calm. "This may take a while. Why don't you go into our visiting area and let me deal with this?"

"Good, I have a few things to do anyway. I'll just come back later. I assume you have kennels; just put him in one of those once you are done with him." I do my best to ignore his thoughts of what I can do with his "pet".

I breathe a sigh of relief as he leaves. The wolf doesn't even move as I approach him. Reaching out to his mind, I see he is in shock from the death of a pack mate. Wolf shifters are so connected through their pack bound that even in human form they can physically feel it when a brother is lost.

"Sam?" I gently call out as I kneel before him, waiting for him to look at me. Since shifters were taken as slaves, my family and I have been searching for the Quileute pack. Our treaty with them states that one day our alliance will be the meaning between life and death. It was Ephraim's young wife at the time who convinced him to sign a treaty with us, explaining a vision she had seen. Val, Ephraim's wife, even shared her vision with Alice. After that, we have kept our eyes out for the time the treaty would need to be honored. We've never met this pack, but know each of their names from information their elders have sent us every time a new wolf joined the pack. It is that information that will help us find them.

When we received news of vampires capturing shifters, Carlisle and Esme went to the council and tried to rebel against it. Not even Alice saw it coming. All we got back from them was ash. They were killed for trying to stop this blood bath the vampires were making of shifters. By the time the rest of us made it to Washington, the entire tribe had either been wiped out or scattered into the nearby town of Forks and the shifters gone. Alice and her mate Riley ended up buying half of the land and I bought the other half, knowing we would look for the wolves. Now, here one sat right in front of me. After months of us searching, the alpha and oldest of the pack practically falls right into my lap.

Why is he trying to talk to me? Sam's thoughts asked, as he nervously shifted from knee to knee. With a heavy sigh, I stand and walk over to the cabinets to get everything I need to give him a thorough check-up. It's been five months since they were taken. Looking at Sam, I can tell those five months have threatened to break him. All I want is my hand to be healed. I'm already going to die; I know he'll kill me eventually. I just need to take Aro down with me, to avenge my brother. Sam's sudden thoughts surprise me and I almost drop the rag I have grabbed. Though I need to first figure out how they are stopping me from shifting. Once I can shift, I can take Aro on.

Maybe he's not as broken as I originally thought...I think to myself, before turning towards Sam with my supplies. I know exactly how the shifters are being controlled. Jane, the little devil, came up with a small chip, almost like those that humans designed for animals; only hers prevents a shifter from phasing, instead of holding information. With just a small drop of the shifter's human blood added into it, and it must be blood from that shifter and no other, it prevents them from shifting. It does not even allow them to feel their other halves, or heal as they would if they were able to change. I had taken months studying this chip, and come up with one of my own. As vampires, we are able to smell the small amount of blood inside the chip implanted into the shifter's shoulder. My invention will use animal blood it will fool others of my kind into thinking the shifter can't phase, when in reality he will be able to.

"Sam, please stand and take a seat on the exam table so that I can get a closer look at your arm," I say, trying to stay calm. He has shown no signs of knowing me, so I must be careful not to shock or scare him, in his already fragile state.

Slowly, I watch him stand and do as I ask. It is almost painful to watch an Alpha look so broken. Not once has he looked up towards me; not once has he attempted to do anything other than what I've asked.

I am quiet as I gently look over his hand. Softly, I poke and prod, realizing the bone has not just been broken, but shattered. This is what has stopped it from healing correctly. Unfortunately, there isn't much I can do, not here. There is no way to make it perfect again, and to fix it to where it is usable again is way too painful to put Sam through without his consent.

I attempt to stay calm as I put my supplies away. There is nothing I can do at this time to help.

"I'm sorry about your hand, Sam," I whisper to him, as I lead him to our holding room.

Why is he apologizing, and how does he know my name? His thoughts ring through my mind.

"I'm going to try to help you," I whisper, before locking him into a kennel. "Please think, Sam, try to remember. My name is Edward Cullen. I'm going to try to help you, I promise."

Sam POV-

Edward Cullen…. Edward Cullen… Edward Cullen…

His name rolls around and around in my mind after he leaves.

The name is so familiar. It pulls at my memories, but I can't go there; I can't remember a time when my people were free. The pain of it is just too raw.

Edward Cullen… Edward Cullen… Edward Cullen…

I sit there in a kennel for what seems like hours. Waiting to see what will happen. Master will be furious to learn my hand will remain useless; maybe he'll even kill me. That's what I want, isn't it?

Edward Cullen… Edward Cullen… Edward Cullen…

Suddenly, it hits me like water flowing over a dam.

Cullen is the surname of the so-called friendly vampire family the last Alpha, Ephraim Black, made a pact with.

Edward Cullen made a treaty with my ancestors, I suddenly realize. Was it possible that Ephraim had been correct and maybe this Cullen will be willing to help?

I attempt to calm my rapidly beating heart as Edward Cullen walks back into the room.

"Please kill me?" I beg, looking up into his eyes, the light golden color surprising me.

"I'm going to try to help you, Sam," he whispers to me with a smile, before leading me out of the kennel.

I want to believe him; his golden eyes look so kind. But how can I even think to believe a vampire? They did this to us! They've got it in their minds that they are better than the rest of us. They were the ones to attack us when we didn't expect it; they weren't even kind enough to kill us. No, they had to enslave us. I cannot, nor will I, believe this Edward Cullen. I'll just wait out my time and strike when Aro least expects it. I will get my revenge for what he did to my brother, for what they did to all of us.

"Well, Mr. Cullen, is he useless then?" my master sneers, probably noticing a lack of anything on my arm.

"Mr. Aro, why don't we sit and discuss this?" I obediently kneel at Aro's feet as I wait to see what will happen now. I just want to get going. I want my revenge.

Edward POV-

I do my best to ignore Sam's thoughts as I explain to Aro that Sam's injury is untreatable; there is no way to repair the shattered bone completely. He will have either none or limited use for the rest of his life.

"Keep the piece of trash…" Aro practically yells, as he stands, kicks Sam, and starts to storm out. "Not that anyone will want something so broken."

I rack my brain for something to say, needing Aro to sign over Sam's papers.

"I'm in need of a test subject for one of my personal experiments; I'd be willing to take him off of your hands," I say, as soon as the idea hits me.

The smile Aro gives me almost makes me shiver with disgust. "That sounds like a perfect idea."

It takes no time to write out a sale agreement. I can practically feel the bile rise in my throat as I write out a check, hating that I was buying someone who should by all rights be free.

Not soon enough, Aro is gone and Sam and I are alone again. Sam hasn't moved, but his thoughts are full of worry. A part of him wants to trust what I have said, but another part of him won't allow him to believe my kind words.

I can't allow myself to worry about anything right now. Now it is time to clean up and head home. Once safe inside my house, Sam and I will be able to talk freely.

"OK, Sam, let's go home," I finally say, as I lead him out the back door and straight to my car, wincing when I notice he is crawling like all slaves are taught to do. This makes me feel even more anxious to get home. I am unsure of how the talk we need to have will go, and worried about what he'll do if I give him back his ability to shift before he fully knows and trusts me.

The moment he's in the car, I jump into the driver's seat, my mind already deciding that I can't afford to blindly trust a shifter who is full of so much anger. Anger that he has every right to feel towards my kind after what happened, but a fight between me and an angry shifter would be a toss-up. No, I will need to gain Sam's trust before I try to give back his ability to shift.

The drive is agonizingly slow as we sit in silence; even Sam's thoughts are quiet. As his worries fill the back of the car, worries of what will happen to him, his imagination works overtime trying to think of what kind of tests I will be using him for. I want to calm his fears; an Alpha should never be as afraid as he is, instead I choose not to say anything. No need to make our drive any more stressful by having any kind of serious talk while crammed into a car.

AN: Please let me know what you think…

The song Solitary Ground is by Epica… "In me there's still a place that fulfills me, A sanctity here that I call home and run to when winter descends. If I try can I find solid ground…"

Side note about this fic. My vampires will be slightly different from twilight. Rose and Emmett are not vampires or part of the Cullen family, though they may come into the story later on.