Jasper crouched lower against the slanted metal roof to better mask his silhouette as he watched an old beat up blue pickup rattling up the deserted street. Venom, born out of sweet anticipation, pooled in his mouth and oozed passed his lips while his unsuspecting prey drew ever closer. Now that the man was within his sight, the boy's vampire nature was beginning to come to the forefront. If anyone had been around they would witness the change coming over him. There was a savagery reflected in his black eyes that was usually kept safely hidden even from himself; a ruthlessness that forced away all pretense of the tamed monster facade that he was obliged to hide behind.
A viciousness stirred deep within demanding a total annihilation of this foe who advanced towards him so blindly in the darkness. The sweet siren song of hot human blood continued to fall on deaf ears, but the desire to grant an easy death was swiftly fading.
Jasper wanted to see this man suffer as his life was slowly and ruthlessly extinguished. He wanted to hear his screams and pleas for mercy; a mercy that would never be granted as long as he clung to his pitiful life. The only mercy the vampire's victim would find would come in the merciful nothingness of death, the thought of which caused a growl of pleasure to roll in Jasper's chest.
Beneath the scents of oil, grease and gas, the solider detected the stench of the human he sought which caused him to quiver with delight. Soon the vile thing would be within his grasps; soon it would know the meaning of justice and retribution for its heinous deeds.
The pickup truck pulled off of the road and slowly rolled towards the garage, it's occupant completely ignorant of the growing danger. Jasper's cruel smile grew with the knowledge that he had chosen the perfect perch from which to launch his attack. Had there still been a merciful thought in the vampire's head, death would have come on swift wings and the human would part from this life before he hit the ground. Unfortunately for Franklin Hayford the idea of such kindness was nothing more than a faded memory lost to the recesses of Jasper's mind. Backing up ever so slightly, his muscles compressed like a coiled spring as he prepared to pounce on his prey.
All of Jasper's attention locked on the driver's side of the truck as he willed the occupant to exit and face his final fate. A deep rumbling growl settled in his throat and his cool breath ceased to flow. The vampire waited as motionlessly as a decorative gargoyle poised on an ancient cathedral ready for its chance to do battle with a force of evil far greater than himself.
The rusty metal hinge of the door protested as Franklin Hayford shoved the heavy door open and stepped out of the confining cabin into the chilly night air. A shiver ran through him though he would be hard pressed to explain the reason why.
Shifting his weight to the balls of his feet, Jasper leaned forward and waited as his opponent closed off his only potential escape route by shutting the door. The heavy stench of the man's sweat and the slow loud thundering of his heart inflamed the vampire's rage to greater heights.
A guttural yowl shattered the calm silence of the night as Jasper kicked off from the roof, but his flight was cut short as powerful hands gripped his ankle firmly and pulled him backward to crash down onto the tin surface. The vampire tried to yank his trapped limb clear of the vise like grip, but the hold on him only grew firmer. Turning to face his assailant, the boy snarled viciously before kicking out with his free leg. The heel of his heavy boot glanced off his attacker's temple, but collided forcibly with his jaw while Jasper continued to struggle to free himself.
The painful blow stunned Carlisle momentarily giving his son enough time to break free. Black eyes narrowed and lips curled back exposing his teeth as Jasper growled out a warning to the intruder. This kill was his alone and he would tolerate no interference.
Rubbing his quickly mending jaw, the elder tried to reach the boy trapped within the single minded monster.
"Jasper, it's me. I demand that you calm yourself down. This is not you. This isn't who you are now. Think about what you are doing. You know that killing Amanda's father is not the right thing to do. Don't you think that she is going to suffer greatly at the loss of a parent? You don't want to be responsible for causing that kind of pain in that innocent sweet little girl. Think about it, Son. Think before you act."
"GO, AWAY! THIS IS MINE!" With a deafening roar, Jasper charged his father and leaped upon Carlisle with teeth gnashing. The combatants violently collided and rolled around on the tin roof; Jasper trying to damage Carlisle while the elder only went on the defensive.
"I don't want to hurt you, Son. Don't make me," Carlisle whispered just before the boy's teeth locked down on his forearm racking the doctor's body with searing pain. With a roar, Carlisle lost his balance on the rain slicked roof and tumbled to the ground behind the garage dragging his spitting and snarling son with him.
"What the fuck!" Startled by the sounds of a ferocious animal fight near his garage, Franklin Hayford tore open his truck door, dug under his seat and withdrew a handgun before charging toward the disturbance. The man had only taken a few steps before a heavy blow to the back of his head caused him to lose consciousness as he crumbled to the ground.
"Oh that's just fantastic. Emmett, you were just supposed to hit him hard enough to knock him out, not give him a concussion."
"Chill, Eddie. It's not like there isn't a doctor or two in the house." He grinned at his beautiful mate as she stepped out of the shadows. "I didn't break his neck or anything like that. He'll just have one killer headache once he comes to."
"Yeah, but that's more trouble that we didn't need right now. I mean, what in the hell are we going to do with him? We're going to have to make this look like a mugging or something of that nature."
A disgusted look flittered across Emmett's boyish face. "I don't want to mug him. Dad would tack my hide to the wall over something like that and the last thing I want is to be on his bad side. From the sounds of things, he's not going to be too happy anytime soon."
"Well maybe you should have thought about that before you hit him so hard. Do you really think Dad isn't going to be pissed anyway since you hurt this fool? They are rather fragile, you know."
"Edward, will you stop arguing with Em," Rose hissed in annoyance. "Neither one of you is helping right now. Go see what you can do to get Jasper under control. I'll figure out something to do with this guy." When the two boys were slow to move, Rose glared at them and snarled a low "Go" before seeing to the man's well being.
Not willing to risk the wrath of Rosalie, Emmett and Edward swiftly complied. Rounding the garage, they witnessed their brother madly clawing at their father as his infuriated unearthly howls filled the night.
Moving quickly, Emmett made to grab Jasper just as the solider kicked out catching the bruin in the chest and sending him flying.
At the sight of Edward steadily coming up behind Jasper, Carlisle called out a deep loud, "NO! Get Back! I Have Him. You and Emmett keep clear."
Reluctantly, Edward backed a safe distance while watching his father continued to struggle with his snarling snapping brother.
Carlisle's arm felt as if it were on fire and a sharp pain in his side told the doctor that one of his ribs had snapped, but through it all he held on tightly trying to gain a better purchase on the boy. "Jasper. Listen to me Son. You have to stop."
The patriarch spat blood tinged venom onto the ground as a wild punch caught him below the jaw causing him to bite his tongue.
With a savage growl, Carlisle slammed his solider boy down onto the ground on his back as he snarled in the boy's face. Jasper's struggles flipped him over on his hands and knees beneath his enraged father. The vampire clawed at the damp earth for purchase while he tried to secure his freedom, but his father's knee landed hard between his shoulder blades impeding his progress. Leaning forward, the elder snaked his left arm around the boy's neck while his venom infused right encircled the youth's head in a death hold.
"Stad as sin anois! éist liom. You will obey me and stop this foolishness now! Géilleadh! An dtuigeann tú?"
Jasper stilled for a moment as the sound of the strange words registered in his mind and sparked a memory. What confused the vampire began to calm the boy hidden within. The familiarity of his father's tongue gave Jasper something to focus on while he worked diligently to regain control over the darkness that had consumed him. Even as he pulled against the arm around his neck, his will to fight was diminishing by the minute.
"That's it, Son. Stad. Stop now. Stop fighting me, Jasper. Hush, a bhuachaill, hush. Sh. Go bog anois, lig do scíth seal, a ghrá."
After a few more minutes of resistance, Jasper went limp as his breath escaped in an explosive gust.
Reluctant to release his son too soon, Carlisle softly whispered the boy's name and received a slight nod in return. "Are you aware of your surroundings? Do you know me?"
Another nod followed by a nearly inaudible "yes, Sah" and Carlisle loosened his grip on the boy.
The elder scooted to the side of his prone son and sat down. He released his breath slowly as he tipped his head back and closed his eyes sending a silent prayer of thanks out to the universe for returning his son to him. Opening his eyes, Carlisle glanced down at Jasper who had rolled over onto his back, but continued to lay motionless, quietly staring up at him with pitch black eyes.
Inhaling deeply, the elder shook his head than shifted his gaze to his hulking son. "Emmett, I need you to go get my car and bring it here. Be quick about it and please ask Rosalie to come here before you leave."
"I'm on it, Pops," Emmett replied in a much more subdued voice than normal. It appeared that the seriousness of the situation had even affected Carlisle's jokester boy as he took his father's keys and slumped off to get Rose in a stunned silence.
"Edward, once Emmett comes back I want the three of you to go home. Esme and Alice are going to be worried. I need you to let them know that things are alright here. I know Alice will have already seen the outcome, but it will help to hear it from you and the others."
Edward nodded in agreement.
I would also ask that you do me a tremendous favor and go out and find some substance for Jasper. He is going to need fresh blood to help him calm and recover. After I see to Mr. Hayford, Jasper needs to feed, but I can't risk allowing him to hunt on his own right now."
"Yes, I'm sure that both Alice and Esme will welcome the news," Edward answered as his eyes remained locked on his father's.
"I think he's going to be fine, but it would be best if he was kept under observation for the night," Rose commented as she walked over to her father. "I constricted his carotid a bit to keep him out. Not sure that it was necessary though. Emmy clocked him a good one. While I hate to admit it, it would appear that Edward was right. Your human friend does seem to have a mild concussion."
Carlisle sighed as he surveyed the area as best as his limited visual path would allow. "Is that tree near to where he fell?"
Edward looked over his shoulder and nodded. "Very close actually."
"Good. Son, I would like you to pull down that split branch. It is feasible that it could have given away and struck Mr. Hayford. It's large enough that at the right angle it could have caused the damage he has sustained."
Carlisle got to his feet as Edward targeted the tree. The doctor looked down at his still frozen son. With a soft sigh he extended his hand to assist the boy to his feet. "Come, Jasper. We have some work to accomplish. We will discuss what transpired here after I've had some time to think it all through."
With the branch on the ground and the sound of Carlisle's car approaching, the patriarch looked to his first born. Be quick, please, Edward. Jasper and I are going to go on to the hospital to see to the new patient before we head home. I would prefer that he feed first.
Like a ghost, Edward swiftly and soundlessly disappeared into the surrounding forest.
Parking the car, Emmett hopped out and joined his family, easily draping his arm over Rosalie's shoulder.
Carlisle looked at the pair and smiled slightly. "Thank you for all your help, Kitty. And, Em, thank you for retrieving my car. It would have been rather difficult to explain how I showed up here without it."
"No sweat, Pops. Is there anything else that we can do?"
"Just go home. Jasper and I will make sure that Mr. Hayford makes it to the hospital. We'll be along shortly after that. Edward is on a little mission for me, but he should be right behind you."
Seeing the stress of the evening etched on her father's face, Rose left her mate and offered her father a heartfelt hug which he gladly accepted. "I'm sure it will work out," she whispered in his ear. "These things tend to, but it can take a little time."
"I agree completely." He tightened his embrace once more before reluctantly letting go. "Now, you two get going. It wouldn't do to have a crowd."
Without another word, Carlisle's children drifted off into the night leaving him and Jasper to finish cleaning up the boy's mess.
"Do you feel that you are in control of your instincts enough to be allowed near this man?" Carlisle spoke softly without looking at his boy.
Jasper shoved his hands deep in his pockets and nodded his head before studying the ground with great interest.
"Then come on, Jasper. Let's get this taken care of so we can help the Hayfords and then get you home."
With his boy in tow, Carlisle walked up to the door and rang the bell, rousing Sara Hayford from her slumber with news of her husband's injuries.
"Thank God you came by when you did, Doctor Cullen. I had no idea that Frank had even left the house and then to find out…" The woman allowed her words to fade as tears came to her eyes.
"After the altercation at the hospital, I felt the need to stop and let your husband know that he was welcomed back in the morning. I had hoped to have Amanda released by noon, so Chief Swan's time line was a bit hasty and excessive; I thought that your husband deserved to know that. When my son and I arrived to find Mr. Hayford unconscious I have to admit that I had feared the worst. My first thought was heart failure, but when I saw the limb near his head it all became clear."
"I have been on him about cutting that branch for months. I told him that it was dangerous and now look at what happened. That man is just about as stubborn as they come."
Carlisle smiled as he jotted a couple of notes down in Franklin's chart. "Oh, I can think of someone who is more than a match for your husband." Stealing a glance towards his son, the doctor was met with a bit of light laughter from Sara. For his part, Jasper kept his head low and remained silent as fear and shame overwhelmed him.
Taking a deep breath Carlisle continued. "Your husband's vital signs all look excellent and he has regained consciousness. I just want to keep him over night as a precaution. Why don't you go home and get whatever sleep you still can? Tomorrow I'll be sending both patients home with you so you really do need all the rest that you can get."
"Thank you again, Doctor Cullen. My family owes you so much already. I don't think money is enough to repay you for your kindness."
"I'm just happy that I was able to help." Closing the chart, he gave the woman a reassuring smile. "Good night, Mrs. Hayford. I'll see you in the morning."
With a nod to his recalcitrant son, Carlisle headed towards the nurse's station with the boy following mutely behind.
"Jackie, I'm going to head home. Please tell Doctor Pierce that I'll be coming in a little later than usual tomorrow. Today was just a little too long for me. I am completely exhausted."
"Of course, Doctor. Go home and get some sleep. It's really no wonder that you're tired. We've got everything under control here."
"Should you need anything, I'm still just a phone call away."
"You may be the best around, but you are not the only doctor on call. You can't do anyone any good if you're too tired to think straight. Not to mention, Gloria would have my head if she thought that I let you overwork yourself so get on home, Doctor Cullen." The Quileute nurse smiled at the doctor before shooing him and his son out the nearest door.
As they crossed the parking lot in silence, Jasper hung several steps behind Carlisle trying to make himself invisible.
Looking straight ahead, Carlisle spoke softly. "Jasper, do you want to hunt a little more before we go home? I'll be happy to join you."
"No, Sah," he muttered hoarsely as he opened the door and eased into the seat.
Slipping in behind the steering wheel Carlisle brought the engine to life. "Very well, as long as you're sure. Somehow I doubt that a single deer is enough to satisfy you, but I won't force you to feed unless this pattern of behavior continues, which it will not."
Jasper gave a small nod before allowing his head to droop miserably.
Carlisle knew his son was suffering horribly. The anguish rolling off of Jasper filled the enclosed space and put the elder on edge. While Carlisle tried his best to temper his disappointment so as not to cause Jasper greater discomfort, his boy appeared unaware of how his mood was affecting his father. Thrice Carlisle began to draw his son's attention to the problem, but each time he stopped himself fearing that he would only make the boy feel worse. Ultimately, the patriarch simply resigned himself to endure the debilitating emotion for the extent of the ride home. When the house came into view, Carlisle sighed inwardly with relief.
Once the car was carefully parked, Jasper swallowed hard before finally looking up at his father as he waited for the man's instructions.
Placing a hand on the boy's shoulder Carlisle spoke softly. "Jasper, I need some time to think. Go on, mo mhac. Go in the house. Alice must be completely beside herself and I know Esme will be no better."
Carlisle shook his head. "I haven't decided what I'm going to do. Go spend time with your family. I don't want you to isolate yourself. I'll come find you once I've come to a decision."
With a nod, Jasper slowly got out of the car and trudged into the house appearing absolutely dejected, the sight of which broke Carlisle's heart. His son should not be made to suffer so, but it was his own actions that brought this all about. The elder wished for an easy solution to their predicament all the while knowing that no such thing existed. As the family patriarch, there were times that he was forced to make hard decisions for the good of the group; it appeared that this was to be one of those times.
Leaning his head back he groaned. "Why, Jasper? Why couldn't you just listen to me? This is not where either of us ever wanted to be."
Carlisle started up the car's engine and backed out of the garage before fishing his phone from his pocket. He quickly dialed and felt his heart lighten slightly at the sound of his mate's voice. In the background he could hear his petite daughter giving her mate a severe tongue lashing which caused Carlisle to smile in spite of himself. You tell him, Alice. He does deserve that much at the very least and it will do him some good to know that he is being held accountable.
"Esme, I am going to take a little drive. I need some time to myself."
"Are you sure that you wouldn't rather have some company, love?"
"I'm not sure of anything at the moment, but I don't think I would be much fun to have around. While I would love for you to be with me, I really think that I need to be alone with my thoughts. A little ride out to the beach will help me put things into perspective."
"I can understand that, but you know that I'm here if you need me." Carlisle detected a bit of disappointment in his mate's tone. He was fully aware of how much she desired to help him, but this really was something that he had to do on his own. Since his usual methods of discipline had failed this time with Jasper, Carlisle would have to come up with a new way to get through to his boy and he feared that his mate would not approve of the ideas he was currently entertaining.
"I'll call you and let you know when I'm heading back. Please keep an eye on Jasper. I know that he's feeling miserable right now and I'm certain that Alice's dressing down, while completely deserved, isn't helping to improve his mood. I believe he could do with a little maternal love and understanding."
"Mmm, well he got a maternal cuff to the back of the head, but he also received a hug before Alice cut him from the herd."
Carlisle chuckled as he visualized his wife's interaction with their son. "Tough love. Just what the doctor ordered."
"I think he is being much tougher on himself than I was on him."
"That usually is the case when it comes to Jasper." Carlisle stated then sighed sadly. "I have the feeling that I'm going to have to be extremely hard on him to resolve this issue and finally put it behind us."
Esme was silent for a few moments. "That sounds rather ominous, sweetheart. What are you considering?"
"I rather not say at the moment. That's why I need this time to myself. It won't be an easy decision for me regardless of what path I take with our son and I have to make sure that I do what is in his best interest instead of what is easiest for me to bear."
Again there was silence over the line before his mate softly offered, "I'm always here if you need someone to talk to. We are partners, Carlisle. This doesn't have to fall on you alone."
"I realize that, a chuisle mo chroí, but I fear that where I'm going is not a proper place for your gentle heart. This may end up straining my relationship with Jasper and I can't help but believe that it would be better for all involved if he had you to look to for comfort; you and Alice, of course. I don't want him to see you as his disciplinarian, a thaisce. I would prefer that this be my cross to bear."
"If you think that is best."
"I do, mo chroí. Now, I should let you go to take care of our boy. I will be home soon. Is tú mo ghrá."
"And I you, sweetheart. And I you."
Shutting off his phone, Carlisle continued on towards the coastline as he focused on the problem at hand. An idea had already formed. It was an logical move, but he fought hard to dismiss it and find another solution. He simply had to find another course of action. There had to be something else that he could do to get through to his son.
Pulling into a parking bay, he stepped out of his car to walk along the beach in the pale moonlight. The sounds of the wind and surf reconnected him to the fragile rhythm of life and helped him concentrate. If he implemented the punishment that he was contemplating, would he have the strength to see it through? He could already imagine how his mate would respond and it was not something that he was looking forward to trying to explain. She would want to support him, but her instincts would make that nearly impossible, and then there was Alice to consider. How was he going to explain it to his little princess?
What would he do if they suddenly turned their backs on him? Was correcting his son worth the potential risk to the stability of his relationship with his family? How much was he willing to gamble in an attempt to save his boy from his current path of self-destruction?
With the salt spray from the ocean drifting over him, Carlisle withdrew his phone from his pocket and keyed in the number with a heavy heart.
"Hello, Eleazar. It's Carlisle. I'm sorry to disturb you at this time of the morning, but I have a problem and I'm hoping that you can help me with it."
AN: Jazzy will be taking a little trip and I will be be trying to play with some more seriously underdeveloped characters. o.O Sometimes I really do wonder why I set myself like is, well, desperate times call for desperate measures.
Selling Alice on this idea could prove extremely problematic, but I have to get her on board for it to work toward Jasper's redemption. That Momma bear is not going to be overjoyed either. I have faith in Carlisle's ability to reason with Esme though and this is all for Jasper's own good after all. Have to get him back into the fold somehow.
Never meant my stories to intertwine, but hey look, that Gaelic of Carlisle's proved useful. Speaking of which...
Translations for today...
Stad as sin anois! ... "Stop this now!" Géilleadh!..."Surrender" or Obey (an uncommon word in Irish Gaelic *snicker*)
An dtuigeann tú?... "Do you understand?" éist liom... "listen to me" Go bog anois, lig do scíth seal, a ghrá..."Relax, Calm down"
A chuisle mo chroí ... "Pulse of my heart" A thaisce... "My treasure" Is tú mo ghrá. ... "I love you." mo mhac... "My son"
Thank you all for all the words of encouragement. Y'all are just all kinds of awesome and the support for the last chapter really blew me away. It's really humbling to have my oddness accepted. LOL
Thanks to my wonderful beta Splinter. Again, she gets a chapter in the wee hours of the morning. She just never knows what lurks in her email when she wakes up. ;-)
Alrighty. I'm going to take a little step back and see what's going on back at the house, before I allow Carlisle to drop this bomb on my stressed little Cullens. Again, thank you all for hanging around and stay tuned for more to come.