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Beta services provided by Nuttyginger, hammondgirl and RaindropSoup of Project Team Beta.
A/N: Gosh, if you leave a review, and you're not signed in, or you have disabled the private message (PM) feature, I can't properly thank you.
Happy Thanksgiving here in the good ol' US of A. Chapter 15 has been sent to the betas, but it is a holiday.
I saw "Breaking Dawn Part 2" on Monday! Wow. Just wow.
"I Live" is posted on TwiWrite, FanFiction, and A Different Forest.
Age 18 and over, please. Thank you.
In the Stacks by wonderwoundedhearers on FFn (this one – whoa)
Little Red by wiblywoblytimeywimey on FFn (and this one - whoa, again.)
Chapter 14, I Hunt
I stared blankly at Emmett as he shifted his weight from his right foot to his left, and crossed his arms over his massive chest.
Realization at what I had done, and hadn't done, broke over me, and I groaned inwardly. I should have taken her to hunt! Instead I was …
… I was a dog in heat.
I had been as distracted as a newborn — worse than — and there was absolutely no excuse for that. I was supposed to know what the hell I was doing. Instead I … I had been letting my dick lead me around like I was fuckin' hormonal teenager.
It wasn't even like I could say, "Well, she started it," because I was the one who was supposed to be in charge. I was the one with all the experience with newborns. I was supposed to be able to handle them, control them, and contain them. Instead, Bella was so distracting, all I had to do was touch her, smell her, and my dick was so hard it hurt, and my brain turned to goddamn mush. I was a flaming asshole.
"Well?" Emmett raised an eyebrow at me and cocked his head to the side. "Have you taken her to hunt?"
"No, I haven't," I answered as I straightened out of my defensive crouch. Bella was huddled up against my back and growling softly. She had one hand at my right hip and the other on my left arm. She peeked cautiously around my arm.
"Emmett?" she asked.
Emmett smiled without showing his teeth and uncrossed his arms, bringing them to his sides. "Hey, Bells. Yeah, it's me. Rose is right here, too."
Rose stepped out from behind Emmett and stood beside him. "Hi, Bella," she said as she smiled and raised her hand in a little wave.
Bella's reaction was instantaneous. Jealousy and possessiveness erupted from her, and she stepped to the side to get around me. As she started to leap I spun, catching her around the waist with my right arm, and I threw her to ground.
"Bella, stop!" I stood in front of her, poised to catch her again.
She rolled over the pine needles in a blur and sprang to her feet. Her legs were spread apart, feet planted solidly on the ground, and her arms were held out from her sides, her fingers curled into claws. Her chest was heaving with her rapid breaths.
She was glorious!
Her right hand sliced through the air. "Dammit, Jasper, get out of my way! That woman —" She surged forward.
I lunged to capture her again, but she veered to her left and leaped.
I caught her by her right ankle and dropped her face down on the ground. I scrambled to fall on her, to hold her down with my weight. Grabbing her wrists, I straightened out her arms so she couldn't get her hands underneath her. As before, I shoved my legs between her knees and forced her legs apart.
She was pissed off. I could still feel her jealousy and possessiveness and tried to block it, though I was strangely gratified by it. Bella was feeling possessive over me? I had been feeling the same way over her practically since I found her at the crash site, and it had only increased since she awoke. I wanted her to be mine.
She growled and tried to jerk her hands free. It was taking all of my strength to hold her down. She continued to struggle to get away and, once again, her ass was pushing and shoving against my groin.
I bit my lip and sighed. "Darlin', like I told you before, it's not that I don't enjoy this rough housin' an' all, but you gotta be still."
She instantly stopped moving. Humiliation poured out of her, and she huffed into the dirt.
"But Jasper, that woman there … I … I don't want her near you," she mumbled into the dirt. "I don't know why, I just don't. It's just …weird. I don't know what's wrong with me."
I didn't know how, but her embarrassment and discomfiture increased.
"Darlin', that woman is Rosalie. Do you remember Rosalie? She's Emmett's mate, and she'll stay right over there until we say so, alright?"
I heard Emmett begin to chuckle.
"Wow! That's Rosalie? My God, she's gorgeous!"
Rosalie started to laugh.
My lips moved to her ear and I whispered, "Yes, she is, but she has nothing on you."
Where did that come from? Not only had I lost control of my cock, I'd lost control of my mouth. Not that it wasn't true.
How she could possibly be even more embarrassed was beyond me, but at least she wasn't still pissed off.
Bella was on the ground, beneath me, my body covering hers, and every little movement, no matter how slight, was another form of torture. I was beginning to feel the strain of trying to maintain my composure. "I'll let you up if you promise not to try and attack Rosalie. Do you promise?"
"I promise. I just didn't realize that was her. She … uh, is a female and, uh … looks different to me. It's hard to remember … but I remember her, and Emmett, too. Everything looks different to me. There are all these sounds … everything feels so … there's just so much …" she stuttered, feeling overwhelmed.
"I know. It won't be like this forever. You'll get used to it." She snorted. "You will get used to it. I'm going to get up now. No running away. No attacking. Right?"
I let go of her left wrist and braced my hand against the ground to push myself up. I hovered over her as she moved to get up in case she decided to run again. As I stood, I held on to her right hand to keep her near me. "See? Rose and Emmett haven't moved." I gestured toward them. "Everything's fine. They just want to say hi."
"Rosalie, I'm sorry! I didn't realize that was you and …" She dropped her eyes to the ground, ashamed.
Rosalie laughed again. "That's okay, Bella. Honestly. I remember waking up and being so confused. Well, mostly I was angry, but I was still extremely confused. I understand. And, Bella, family calls me 'Rose' you know."
"Yes, okay. Thanks, Rose." Bella glanced at Rosalie, nodded her head and lowered her eyes. "Hi, Emmett. I'm sorry I tried to attack Rosalie." Bella continued to stare at the ground, and was poking at the pine needles with her toes.
"Bells, I know you didn't mean it. I remember how it was, too. Except when I woke up, I saw my Angel, and I wanted to jump her bones, not rip her apart." Emmett hugged Rose to his side, chuckling, and kissed her temple.
Bella rolled her eyes at him and shook her head.
I gently squeezed Bella's hand and pulled her toward me. "Bella, do you realize you said 'dammit'?"
Her eyes grew wide and flashed up to mine. Her free hand flew to her mouth. "Oh shit, I did?"
Her eyes got even bigger, and I had to laugh.
"Yes, but I think we can excuse it." I winked at her. "This time."
"I knew you had it in you!" Emmett said with a laugh.
Unbelievably, she was embarrassed again. But it was such a Bella thing to do. I'd never seen a vampire become embarrassed as often as Bella, and if she were human she would have blushed thirty shades of red in just the last few minutes. "Bella, it's okay." I pulled her into my arms and hugged her to me, resting my cheek on top of her head. Feeling her against me was simultaneously exciting and soothing. When she snuggled into my chest, I never wanted to let her go. But, I had responsibilities to take care of — we had to get her fed.
I grasped her arms, held her away from me, and looked into her darkening eyes. "Are you thirsty?"
She squeezed her eyes shut, and her hand went to her throat. "Yes, I think I am. Now that you mention it, there's a burning in my throat. I didn't know what it was." She looked up at me, worried. "I don't know how to hunt."
"It's instinctive. You'll do fine. But since we were rather noisy here, and scared off all the big game, we'll have to move farther out to find something besides those chipmunks over there."
"Chipmunks?" Bella turned to find them.
Emmett laughed again. "Yeah, they're brazen little bastards. Can't hardly chase them off."
I pointed toward an old moss covered fallen tree about thirty feet away. Perched on top of it was a little striped chipmunk busily gnawing at some nut or seed he had found.
Bella smiled at seeing him. "He's so cute!"
Emmett snorted. "But hardly even an appetizer. The stupid things will spot you and make all kinds of noise to warn off the other animals."
"Appetizer? Ew." She turned back to me. "You don't really eat them, do you?"
"No." I chuckled. "They're too small. Emmett, quit complaining. If you didn't play with your food, you wouldn't have to worry about chipmunks blowing your cover." I smiled at Bella. "That one came back because our scent isn't blowing toward him. Besides, we don't have to worry about them, we're the fastest things out here." I glanced up the ridge. "We'll follow the ridge north for a while until we hear or smell something bigger." I looked back into her eyes. "Do you want to hunt animals?"
She blinked, seemingly confused for a moment. "Yes. I don't want to hurt any people." She looked worried. "Will you help me?"
"I think we'll all help you with that." I gently squeezed her hand. "We can run, if you like."
Bella smiled up at me, suddenly eager to get started. I kept her hand in mine, and we turned together to head north, running silently over the moist earth.
She was so graceful. Running as a vampire was freeing, and running beside her, holding her hand, was nearly perfect. I felt her delight and basked in it. I had often felt the same way.
I heard Rose and Emmett behind us, though they kept their distance. If we ran across prey, and Bella went for it, it wouldn't be a good idea for any of us to be too close to her. Newborns were notoriously protective over their kills.
After about another mile, I scented elk and tugged on Bella's hand to stop her.
She turned to me, a question in her eyes. "What is it?"
I held my hand up to stop Rose and Emmett, and whispered to Bella. "I smell something you could eat. Can you smell it?"
She closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. "I think I smell everything. There are so many scents, how do I know which is which?"
"You'll learn. It's a process of elimination. Move this way, behind these trees." I nudged her over behind yet another large fir. "We're not that far from the prey. We don't want them to see us. They won't smell us yet — we're downwind of them. Do you smell the trees?"
Eyes still closed, Bella thought for a moment and nodded her head.
"You know the smell of the pines and dirt? You've had your face in it enough today." I smirked at her.
Her eyes flew open. "Jasper! That's not funny!"
"Shhh. They'll hear you, and it is funny. Now, what else do you smell?"
She closed her eyes again and turned her head slightly. "Leaves. Rain. I think I even smell the rocks."
I could tell when she caught the elks' scent flowing down from the ridge. She was on alert, and turned her nose right to where the scent was coming from.
"What do you smell?" I asked. I let go of her hand.
"It's weird but it smells warm and … musky. For my first meal, it doesn't smell so great." She frowned.
"I know. That's them. Now, listen for them. Can you hear their heartbeats?"
"I think I can! Four or five? What are they?" Her body turned completely to face the scent.
"There are four elk beyond those boulders up there — three large ones and a smaller one. We can't see them yet, there are too many trees." I stepped back away from her. "You go ahead. Keep listening and keep smelling. When you spot them, go for it."
She turned back to me. "Aren't you coming with me? When I see them, what do I do?"
"I'll be behind you, Bella. I won't be far. Newborns are usually very protective of their kills and can be very aggressive. When you see the elk, do whatever comes naturally. Don't be nervous, they can't hurt you."
"But I can't help being nervous. Why aren't you helping me with that?" She turned toward me and I felt her anxiety.
"The more you feel your emotions as they are, the sooner you'll be able to control them yourself. I'll only try to influence you if I think I need to. Or if you think I need to. Listen, you can hear them moving to the right. Now go." I waved her along. She needed to do this.
I squatted down as she moved off, bracing my hand against one of the pines. I turned to locate Emmett and Rosalie and saw that they had also stopped and crouched down about fifty feet behind us. I raised my hand and signaled to them, wanting Emmett to go toward the northeast, Rose to go northwest, while I would follow directly behind Bella. I didn't want her to feel surrounded, she might get defensive and attack, but we needed to be near just in case. We were deep into the Olympic National forest, but you never knew where or when a human might show up.
Emmett crept to the right, as Rose disappeared through the trees to the left. I saw Bella moving ahead cautiously, crouching down before stalking silently forward. She was nearly to the large rocks. I followed soundlessly behind her.
Beyond her and to the right, I saw the elk — three cows and one small calf. I knew when Bella spotted them. She stiffened momentarily then broke into a sprint. She was a blur as she raced toward them and pounced, her arms outstretched, her hair flying out behind her.
Snarling, she tackled one of the cows around the neck and bowled it over, both of them crashing to the ground with a heavy thud. Bella must have snapped its neck when she slammed into it because it didn't struggle to escape. Probably a lucky hit. Once again, not pretty, but very effective.
Bella scrambled to her knees, snagging the elk's neck in both hands. She jerked it toward her, slicing through the thick hide and flesh with her razor-like teeth. Deep red blood spurted out, splashing across her face and chest. Another snarl ripped from her throat and she crushed her lips to the gaping wound.
As Bella had tackled that cow, the calf and the other two cows scattered — a cow to the left, the other cow and the calf to the right. They were bellowing and snorting, their hooves carving jagged furrows through the ground. The calf was clumsy and struggling to keep up. It must have been a newborn itself.
I crept closer to Bella, riveted by her muffled growls and sinuous movements as she took deep pulls from the elk's neck. She was feral, wild, and ferociously intent on her kill. I couldn't take my eyes from her. When there was no more blood to be had from the elk, Bella dropped the limp neck she had been clutching to her chest. In a flash she was standing over her kill, taking in deep breaths. She slowly turned toward me.
I was staggered by her primal, savage beauty, and I braced my left hand against the rough bark of the fir I was next to. A slight breeze from the ridge lifted her hair and it flowed around her, curling over her shoulders and around her arms. There were streaks of blood across her face and chest. She raised her right hand to the shining wet blood on her lips, and drew the back of her hand across them, smearing the deep red across her cheek.
As I gradually stood, the breeze swirled again, bringing her beguiling aroma and the scent of fresh blood to me. I inhaled deeply, her scent filling me, permeating my mind. It coiled around me, binding me, and I instantly desired her. My body hummed with wanting her.
"Bella," I whispered, and her crimson eyes snapped to mine.
Alice had never allowed me to be near her when she hunted. She had often seemed embarrassed about feeling the need to hunt, and she never came to me, wanting me, afterwards. For me, after hunting and satiating one kind of hunger, there was the other kind. When I would catch up to her later, she would always insist, at the very least, I change my clothes before attempting to make love to her. I hadn't always been successful in that attempt.
Then there was Bella. She felt elated, victorious, and powerful. It was extremely seductive, and I burned with want for her. I wanted to taste that blood, kiss it from her lips, lick it from her face and her throat. Without thinking, I began to stalk her, inching closer, hunting my fierce huntress. Then I stopped, frozen in place, feeling unsure and self-conscious. Bella may not want me near her. The scars across my body may frighten her, despite her feelings of pride and admiration earlier. The disparaging emotions were at war within me. Because I was … sexually stimulated by watching her hunt and taking down an animal that weighed so much more than she did, it didn't mean she would react the same way. Seeing the fresh blood on her lips, I ached with wanting her, but I couldn't just stalk her. I couldn't approach her and take her, as badly I wanted to.
Her eyes widened as they traveled from my mine, down my body, and slowly back up. The brilliant crimson darkened to near black, and her blood-stained lips curved up at the corners. She stepped over the fallen elk toward me. My breath caught in my throat as she made another slow step forward.
I was enthralled by her, and I whispered, "My Bella." Without conscious thought, my right hand reached out toward her. My own lust and desire steadily grew, but I contained it with an iron grip, stopping it from projecting toward her. I would not influence her with my own need, no matter how badly I wanted her, and I wanted her so fucking bad my hands began to shake.
Bella took one measured step, and then another, and I saw her muscles bunch, preparing to leap. Springing toward me, Bella crossed twenty feet in a single leap, crashing into my arms. She attacked my mouth with hers as her hands firmly gripped either side of my head, holding me to her. I couldn't have broken her hold if I wanted to, and I didn't want to. Her lust flowed over me, hot and demanding, as she wrapped her legs securely around my waist.
My left hand went to the back of her neck and my fingers wove through her hair, tightening in those thick locks, and I held her lips to mine. My right hand went to the small of her back and slid down over the curve of her ass, crushing her body against me.
I urgently licked the blood from her soft lips and groaned. Tasting my Bella, and the blood from her first kill, sent a fiery, sensuous jolt through me, and I staggered back and dropped to my knees. Lowering her to the ground, I covered her body with mine, my left arm beneath her head. I slid my thigh between her legs, and she hissed. I shifted my hips to press my screaming hard dick against her thigh. A growl started low and rippled up through my chest.
I licked the blood from her chin, tracing a broad line with my tongue across her jaw and to her neck. She moaned, captured my tongue with her own, and drew it into her mouth. She shoved her pelvis against me, and I very nearly lost control. I ached to be inside her, thrusting into her, tasting the blood, tasting her.
She growled, a deep throaty sound, and with her newborn strength she flipped me onto my back, her legs straddling my hips. She planted her hands against my chest and sat up, her eyes closed, her blood splattered face lifted toward the grey sky. I froze again, drinking in her fierce beauty.
Her long tangled hair framed her face, falling below her shoulders. Streaks of scarlet painted her throat and trailed down to her shirt, dyed deep red from the blood of the elk. I grabbed her hips and ground into her. Her eyes snapped open and she bent her head toward me, her hair falling over her shoulders and tickling my arms. Her hands slid down my chest and her eyes followed their progress, her fingers tracing over my scars.
"You are so beautiful," she whispered and a trace of a smile formed on her lips.
Her longing, and need washed over me and I gasped. Never before had anyone had that reaction or felt those emotions after seeing my scars. They had always been a symbol of warning, a beacon of danger to anyone who saw them. Hundreds of females had desired or lusted after me over the last century and a half, until they saw those silvery crescents and slashes. They had cringed away in fear, instinctively knowing those scars meant I was deadly, dangerous — a threat. I had ways to distract them, but the initial reactions had always been negative. But Bella saw them and felt desire, and want, and … and yearning. I was in awe of this magnificent being.
Her eyes grew wide and her head jerked to her right. She inhaled and snarled in anger and warning, baring her teeth. I instantly sat up to scan the area and did not see any threat. I tested the air, but all I could smell was the spicy scent of her arousal mixed with the blood of the elk. My mind was saturated with it. Rage and possessiveness pushed aside her want and lust. Her rumbling growl grew louder and her hands clamped onto my shoulders. She yanked me against her, and her razor sharp teeth sank into the curve of the left side of my neck!
It hurt so fucking good, my body jerked at the sharp pain and I grabbed her upper arms, forcing her body to mine, and I spun away from whatever had set her off that time.
She threw out her arm, halting our descent away from the ridge, placing herself on top of me again, but her teeth didn't let go. Her growl continued to rumble through her chest, and her lust burst over me again. She ground her sex along the length of my throbbing cock, thrusting against me, and I came.
Oh my fucking God. The acute pain of her claiming bite, the sting of her venom, her throaty growls, the sensual grinding pressure — I came so hard there were bursts of light behind my eyes.
I growled and groaned as my hips strained up against her, my heels digging into the earth, my venom erupting through my throbbing dick. I completely lost control over the all-consuming sensations of my pounding orgasm, and poured it into her.
She snatched her teeth from my shoulder, flung her head back and howled as she squirmed against me. Her hands tightened on the outer curve of my shoulders and her fingers dug into my skin. I could feel my granite hard skin cracking under the pressure of her grip but there was nothing I could do — I was trapped in the throes of her pulsating orgasm. She ground her throbbing sex against me and curled forward, her forehead thudding against my chest. I clutched her desperately to me, one hand at the middle of her back, the other on her ass, pressing her against me. My body quaked with another shuddering release, and I clung helplessly to her. Each of our orgasms flowed into the other and echoed back, amplified — exquisite torture.
She shuddered and collapsed against my chest. I dropped back to the ground, feeling completely spent. I hadn't even realized I had nearly sat up.
We were both panting so heavily I didn't hear Rosalie's and Emmett's approach.
"Well, that looked like it was the most fun you could have with most of your clothes on," Rosalie commented airily.
I glanced to the left toward Rosalie standing up the ridge a ways, hands on her hips, a smirk on her face.
A slight cough to my right, and there was Emmett below us, arms crossed over his chest, eye brows raised, shaking his head. He was amused — and a little angry. "Some mud or a little jello would've made that a bit more interesting. Well, at least now you have a matching set of bites." He sighed heavily and rolled his eyes. "Do you two think you could knock this shit off for a minute?"
Bella gasped and was immediately mortified, covering her face with her hands. "I can't believe I did that," she whispered. "I don't know what the hell happened. I … I don't know what came over me …" she trailed off.
Maybe it was because those were two of the best, most intense, painfully delicious orgasms I'd ever had, or maybe it was because I was utterly spent and completely, brainlessly addled, but I had to laugh. I just couldn't resist. I whispered in her ear, "Essentially, we came all over each other, Darlin'. I just wish you weren't tryin' to kill me while you were doin' it."