AN: I own nothing… Life update; Mom is getting stronger and no longer has to do chemo. I am still in charge of the majority of the housework. School was a hard semester; I so didn't like one of my classes, nor that teacher. Thankfully, that is over. Other classes have started and are going good. I will definitely be done with school in December! SO sorry about the long wait, I am not abandoning this story, and many a nights it's been on my mind as I try to sleep. The boys get to know each other some in this chapter. I hope you enjoy.
As always a BIG thanks must go to my beta harrytwifan and pre-reader DelphiusFanFic! Without them this story would suck.
After Master leaves, I curl up in one of the corners. Not comfortable enough to get on the master's bed, I grab a blanket on my way, hoping he won't mind too much.
Is it truly possible to love and hate something or someone at the same time? I wonder as I practically inhale my mate's scent. Considering that he's a vampire, his scent should be repulsive to me. However, nothing is ever easy with him being my mate, and it's his scent that should be one of the most comforting things I'll ever feel. Well, that and my mate's arms wrapped around me, but I'm not ready for that. With him being a vampire, I'll never get that kind of tenderness or affection. Now I can't even look forward to a master killing me anymore. Vampires are somewhat protective of their mates. They won't let anyone else ever touch them, but they don't have a problem hurting them. I've seen it. With The Trainer and his young mate, The Trainer had no problem showing cruelty to his vampire mate. So why would a vampire have problems harming a shifter mate?
A soft knock on Master's door threatens to make me jump out of my skin. What is my Master doing knocking on his own door? I wonder as I move away from my corner to kneel in the middle of the room.
"Jasper, there's plenty more food in the kitchen. I'm sure you're hungry, but let's start out with this," Master says. He steps inside carrying a huge bowl of something that smells amazing.
"Th…..Thank you," I stutter out, as I realize he has been waiting a few minutes next to the small table he placed the food on.
"Go ahead, sit and eat, Jasper," my mate encourages as I stare at the food.
I hardly even sit before I start inhaling the food, unsure of the game this vampire is playing.
"It's, um, good," I mumble as I notice the vampire is watching me intensely.
We sit in awkward silence as I finish eating. Finally, I am done and just want to curl up and sleep.
"Jasper, I want you to kn….."
"I, um, think I'm gonna…"
We start to speak at the same time, causing my heart rate to accelerate. I can't seem to catch my breath as I wait for whatever punishment I'll receive for speaking without permission, and for interrupting my Master.
"What is it, Jasper?" my Master asks when I start to shake.
I don't answer, and I'm unaware of how much time actually passes before he speaks again.
"One day, I hope you will not be afraid of me," he whispers sadly. "I'll let you get some rest. Feel free to use the shower or anything you need in the bathroom."
I watch him wide-eyed as he walks into the bathroom, only to walk out a few minutes later. "I've placed some clean towels and a new toothbrush on the counter for you, and I'll make sure you have a few pairs of clean clothes before I leave." He doesn't wait for me to say anything as I watch him run around the room at vampire speed. "You don't have to stay in this room, Jasper. I promise you are safe here."
He stares at me another more minute, before leaving, almost as if he wanted me to say something.
A shower sounds like a slice of heaven. Walking into the bathroom, I actually forget how to breathe. I have the sudden urge to pinch myself as I look upon the very bathroom I dreamed about. The one that had been in the dream Edward and I first met in. The room is big without being overly huge. There is a double sink area off to the right, and like the vampire said, there sat a towel and a toothbrush. The bathtub's one of those jet ones, built big enough to be mistaken for a small Jacuzzi, making it the perfect size for two.
Lastly, my gaze goes to the shower. Also big enough for two, it is exactly as I imagined the first time I pulled Edward into my dreams. The shower has multiple heads and jets, something most have only ever seen in movies, but never expect to be able to actually use one. My body aches, as if begging me to allow it to soak in the hot mists of a shower. With a shaking breath, I walk into the shower and turn on one of the heads, being careful only to use the cold water. Master may have told me to use his shower, but I know better than to use his hot water.
Even with cold water, the shower feels amazing. It's strange how much better one can feel after getting cleaned up. Though I wish I could stay in the shower forever, eventually I know I must get out.
I feel almost lonely as I dry off and pull on a pair of sleep pants and a t-shirt, breathing in my mate's scent as I do so. I'd love to be able to have the actual being there, with his arms around me. But I also know that is not ever going to be possible. How can I ever trust a vampire like that?
Curling up on my spot in the corner, I let sleep take me.
The next morning, a knock at the door wakes me. "Jasper?" a strange voice calls out. "Jasper, my name is Seth. I brought you some breakfast."
After a few minutes of listening to Seth's knocking, I realize he's not going to just come in; I will have to go and open the door to him. I stand from my position on the floor in the corner of the room. My hand is shaking as I turn the knob and open the door, praying this is not some sort of trick or test I'm about to fail.
To my shock, a young looking wolf stands there, a big smile on his face.
"Jasper, good to see you're awake. I wasn't sure what you liked to eat; Edward said you're a lion shifter. That's so cool. I've never met any other kinds of shifters. Is there a special diet you guys like to keep? Us wolves will kind of eat everything. I can hardly even get dinner done before they are scarfing down on it. Oh, do you cook? No one else can really cook in the house and a little help would be nice, though if you don't like that, you could always help out with the garage, or you don't have to work either." I listen to Seth ramble as I dig into the breakfast of eggs, bacon, and waffles.
Boy, can this kid talk. What puzzles me the most is how happy he seems. I mean, who can be that happy in this life, with what these creatures have put us through?
"…but for now you need to probably rest and regain your strength."
I must have zoned out somewhere between his ramblings, because the next thing I know, he stops speaking and looks at me expectedly.
"Oh, um, I don't know. I'm not ready to see him or meet any others," I stammer, wishing I could get him out of the room.
"Edward's not here. He went to work, said he'll be back around dinner time," Seth says as he cleans up the dishes before grabbing the tray. "He put some pain medicine in the bathroom if you need any; Edward works as a doctor, so he even has the good stuff."
And just like that, he's gone.
The young wolf shifter intrigues me. How can he be so happy and healthy living as a slave to a vampire? Another question is how much trouble will he get into for bringing me so much food?
Three days pass like this. Seth brings up all my meals, and even a few snacks each day, and talks my head off. Then he leaves, always inviting me to come and meet the others.
I summon the courage to ask about the wolf that Master bought the same day as me. Quil, who according to Seth, is well. The more I learn about my Master, the more questions I have. Who is this man who spends outrageous amounts of money for a slave, to leave him alone to heal, and according to Seth, gain back my strength with the meals he brings each day.
More days pass, and on my ninth day, I get the courage to leave the room. Knowing the master will be gone until evening, I open the bedroom door slowly and peak out like a child disobeying a parent.
I memorize my surroundings as I make my way down a hall and some stairs.
"Oh, the cat's out," a loud voice says to my right, as I step into a room full of wolves.
"Paul, play nice," another says. He stands and slowly approaches me. "Jasper, welcome, I'm Sam. We met briefly when Edward brought you home along with Quil. That loud mouth over there is Paul. He's harmless, I promise. Next to him is, Embry, and you've met, Seth."
I attempt to smile at each of the wolves as Sam introduces us. "Um, it's nice to meet all of you." I say awkwardly. I stand there staring at them, and they star at me. I don't know how much time passes before Seth breaks the silence.
"Glad you felt like coming down today." He continues to cook what smells like an amazing lunch.
"Yeah, um, got tired of staying in one room. Um, Seth, do you..." I struggle to get the words out. "I mean, can I, um… would you like some help?"
"That would be great!" Seth says with one of his childlike, not a care in the world smiles.
Once the food is ready and set up buffet style on the counter, Seth calls lunch for those working at the shop. I'm ready for the stampede of hungry shifters as they all rush in to get their food. The one thing I wasn't ready was for the wolves, even the Alpha, to stop and wait for Seth to get his share first.
"Come on, Jasper, get yours, too," Sam says, as Seth finishes.
I quickly obey the Alpha and am soon sitting down at the table, surrounded by wolves. I stay silent as the pack talks among themselves, seeing for the first time that not only Seth, but all the shifters in this house, are happy.
The day passes fast, as I help Seth clean up after lunch and then start on dinner. We're halfway through dinner preparations, when a car pulls into the driveway. Before I can even move, the vampire is inside. The distinctive sound of a door slamming echoes through the house.
"He's angry," I whisper. My body begins to shake and I back up into a corner.
"Not at us," Seth says, trying to reassure me as Sam comes into the kitchen.
"Seth, we'll handle dinner. Maybe you can go see if there is anything you can do?" Sam's words make a growl form in my throat. How dare he suggest another to look after my mate!
"Jasper, are you ok?" Seth asks, giving me a strange look.
"Um..yeah sure," I say, as I watch Seth walk down the hall. My feet move on their own as I follow Seth, stopping only when I reach the already closed door.
I can't make myself open it as I listen to the hushed voices of Seth and my mate. I should be the one in there comforting my obviously upset mate, but I'm too much of a coward to approach the vampire.
No, not vampire, master. How have I forgotten he's the master? How can I forget he bought me, paid money in order to own me?
Half of me yearns to open that door and be the one to comfort the vampire with soft reassuring words. The other half, my more dominant half, refuses to move, not go in, but not walk away. I am stuck standing in the middle of the hallway.
I am not too surprised to see Seth as he walks into my office, obviously knowing I'm upset.
"Edward, what happened?" Seth whispers, as he sits next to me on the small couch.
"There are some cruel people in the world," I whisper. "David, he was hardly older than you are, Seth. So young, he hadn't had the chance to live, enjoy life, or even become a man. His master brought him in because he was sick. I only said David needed to eat more… I didn't know what he was going to do. There wasn't time to stop him." I pause, feeling the need to cry, but knowing no tears will come. For a vampire can't cry. "The vampire didn't like my suggestion of David needing more food. He moved so fast, Seth, snapped his neck like you would a stick, without a second thought."
By the time I finish my tale, tears are rolling down Seth's face. 'That could have been me. If Edward hadn't found me, I could have been found by a vampire like that.'
Seth's thoughts practically scream at me as we sit there in mostly silence.
"I'm done." I whisper, coming to the conclusion I need to quit working a job like this.
"No." Seth demands, his eyes burning into mine. "You can't quit, you are needed where you are. What would have happened to Sam if you weren't working? And what about that group in California where Paul and Embry were? Didn't even you say those other shifters would have died without help? You are the only reason this many of the pack are together. I would have either still been living in that cave, or caught by now."
We sit staring at each other for what seemed like hours before I find my voice.
"You're right, Seth. I need to keep working," I say with a sigh.
"I'm what?" he asks, a smirk on his face.
"I said you are right. Don't be getting a big head over that one, you brat," I say with a laugh, loving our small amount of banter.
"Jasper came out today." Seth says after a moment. His words surprise me, since Jasper hasn't wanted to step foot outside my room. "He's been helping me in the kitchen all day. Not much of a talker, but I think he's warming up to us some. The pack's accepted him pretty easily."
I try to smile at Seth's words; I should be happy Jasper's no longer holding up in the room. But the selfish part of me hates that he's come out and talked to the wolves, yet won't have anything to do with me.
"I better go finish dinner before Sam burns it." He stands and walks towards the door, pausing a moment to look at me. "You'll be ok now, right?" he asks, sounding like a lost puppy.
It's moments like this I remember how young Seth is. "Yes, Seth, go finish dinner before Sam burns another meal."
Sam does many things well, but cooking isn't one of them.
"Oh, hey, Jasper." I hear Seth say, as he opens the door. Standing there is Jasper, who seems glued to his spot.
"Um, I was just…" Jasper stutters as our eyes lock, and I forget how to breathe. "I have to go."
With that, he runs off in the direction of my room. I'm left standing there, wishing for the hundredth time things were different and we were just two men.
Five more days pass. I go to work, only to get home just as Jasper is shutting himself back into the room. I am happy he is at least socializing with the wolves, but it feels like a knife twisting in my long dead heart every time I arrive home to hear Jasper shutting himself away from me.
"Edward, won't you eat?" Seth asks for the fourth day in a row. Shaking my head, I ignore him as I walk to my office and close myself in. I can't bring myself to sit and enjoy the wolves company when it's my presence that has scared Jasper off, to hide away until tomorrow when I leave for work again.
The night passes slowly as I attempt to occupy my time reading and writing down more theories for experiments. Not soon enough, it is daylight again. I can leave with only one goal in mind, and that is to get out so Jasper may roam the house without worry of seeing me.
I've searched for my mate for over a hundred years, and now that I've found him, he doesn't want me. How ironic is that? I think as I walk into the clinic, noticing even though it opened only ten minutes before my arrival, it's already packed with sick or hurt shifters. My day passes slowly, but finally I'm able to leave for the day.
"At least today was better than some," I say to myself as I drive down the driveway and head inside.
The sight before me makes me freeze. The house is mainly quiet, which is unusual for meal time. The second thing is standing there facing me with his head down. My mate. My Jasper.
"I, um… Well, Seth said that you've… And so I thought… um… Will you eat…With me?" I found his stuttering amusing. Not because he's afraid of me, but because he sounds like a teen asking me out on a first date. I must have taken too long to answer, because the next thing I know, he is talking again. "Um… Seth said you need to eat and I was just thinking um... maybe we could do it together. Um, eat that is. The wolves speak highly of you, and um… I think maybe we should, you know get to know each other or something… I mean, we're mates, I feel the pull at least, I don't know if you do but I feel it. The bed doesn't smell like you anymore and I kind of miss it. For some reason, your scent comforts me."
"Jasper, of course, I will have dinner with you. I feel the pull, too. I've yearned to get to know you, Jasper," I whisper. I step closer, wishing I could touch him, but knowing he's not ready for that.
I follow him to the table, unable to control the smile spreading across my face. Finally, I get to spend time with my mate.
"Dinner smells amazing." I say. We sit, and I see the feast laid before us. If I was human, my palms would be sweating from being so nervous. I feel like a young teenager again, nervous about his first date.
AN: OK, yes, I had to leave it there…. Next chapter will be Jasper pov and will show our boys getting to know each other. Thank you to everyone who reviewed and to all the readers. AND again, sorry about the long wait.