Warning: Contains discussion and flashback of disciplinary spanking of a preteen. If you do not find this acceptable please move along. Thanks.
Disclaimer: All the wonderful Twilight characters that you recognize are property of Stephenie Meyer. I am very grateful that she is kind enough to loan them to us. I promise no loss of limbs or life though pain and angst are a given. Unfamiliar characters are mine, though I'm always willing to share. ;-)
AN: This story is a special request by Jasper1863Hale that was sparked by a woodshed comment from Jasper. I hope it lives up to expectations. This was going to be a one shot, but the flashback made me run it into a two or so shot.
Y'all will get to meet Jasper's biological daddy in this one. I don't know how others see him, but I feel that Jasper had a pretty decent childhood and was loved by his parents. That doesn't mean that Monroe Whitlock is going to be the kind to cuddle him after punishment like Carlisle. I believe Monroe is more of a cause and effect kinda guy. Jazz screwed up, Monroe takes him to task, and then he expects Jasper to get over it on his own. Hope that is accepted with y'all.
Returning from work, Carlisle was greeted by the happy sight of his children gathered in the living room listening to some music channel on the television while they played a game involving drawing and a great deal of guessing. Probably Alice's doing. Even his beloved Esme seemed to have joined in the fun as evident in Emmett teasing his mother about her deciphering abilities.
"Come on, Momma. You really can't figure that out? It's easy. Look at it. What is it?"
"I believe that's what we're all trying to figure out, Emmy," Rosalie commented as she squinted at the scribbled lines on the easel sized pad of paper.
"Babe, don't tell me that you don't know what that it is." Em whined as he scribbled more colored squiggles over his original drawing. "What does it look like?"
"It looks like a mess, that's what," Edward sniped as he smirked at his bear of a brother.
"Eddie, you already know what it is. How can you not see it?"
"I see it, Em, I just can't believe what I'm seeing. Which is why I'm happy to be banned from this game. Believe me; knowing what you are trying to draw makes this so much worse than it should be."
"Well it's covered in red and yellow streamers...," Alice contributed quietly.
Emmett gave his sister a dumbfounded look. "Those aren't streamers. Oh for crying out loud." He threw his hands up in the air before another idea hit him. Quickly he scribbled a narrow vertical rectangle with a bump near the bottom and a blob of red and yellow emanating from the top. "What's that? It's not streamers now, is it? See?" He poked at the colored blob with his pen.
Carlisle grinned at the befuddled expressions on his family's face. While they were all clearly in awe of his son's artistic abilities, it warmed the patriarch's still heart to see them relaxed and enjoying each other's company. This is how a family should be. It's all that I ever wanted and so much more.
Clearing his throat to get their attentions he nodded at the drawing. "I'm not sure about that first part, Em, but I would guess the second picture is a candle flame."
"YES! Fire! See, Pops figured it out."
Esme looked at her mate and held her hand palms up while amused confusion shown in her bright amber eyes. "How did you get a candle out of ..." She shifted her gaze back towards the drawing. "...out of that?"
Carlisle smiled. "Lucky guess."
Emmett clapped his hands together then wrung them as his excitement bubbled forth. "Alright, guys, we have fire. Oh wait. Hold on." He grabbed up the marker and wrote the word FIRE in bold red letters across the top of the page. "Okay, now what's this?" He pointed to the black outline beneath the colorful scribbling.
Edward pinched the bridge of his nose as he looked away from the train wreck that was Emmett's drawing.
"I... I have no idea, Emmy," Alice shook her head while trying to keep her mind somewhat unfocused.
"You all have them. It's not that hard."
"I hate to be the one to say it, Lovebug, but I don't have anything that looks like that," Rose responded while cocking her head to the side hoping that seeing it from a different angle would help the drawing make sense.
"Yes you do, Babe. You WEAR them all the time."
"Are those... oh, Emmy that can't be... are those supposed to be... Oh my God... it's pants." Alice stared blankly at the fashion faux pas drawn by her brother.
"I've got it," Esme called out with glee. "Hot pants!"
Emmett's mouth fell open as he gazed at his mother while Alice and Rosalie turned to her in equal shock.
Esme blinked at their reactions. "What? It's a pair of pants on fire. Doesn't it make sense?"
"Oh GOD! I can't take any more! It's a firefly!" Edward yelled as he covered his eyes to try to block out the vision.
"Oh now wait just a minute. How in the hell is someone supposed to get firefly out of that?" Rose was on the edge of her seat staring intently at the strange inky mess that her mate seemed so very proud of.
"Babe." Emmett gave her his most serious expression as he lowered his voice. "How can you not see it now? See the fire? Where is the fire coming from? The fly. ... Duh. Fire... FLY. I can't believe you all couldn't get that. I thought you guys were good at this game." He shook his head in disbelieve. How his family could be so dense, he would never understand. "Who's next?" He held the marker out towards his mother and siblings.
"Daddy, do you want to join us? It is fun, even if Emmy can't draw and comes up with really weird things," Alice beamed up at Carlisle while Emmett made disgruntled noises about her criticism.
Carlisle chuckled and raised his hand to politely decline. "Maybe later, Princess. I'm going to go take a hot shower and get comfortable. It's been a really long day. I think I need to unwind some before I can really be any fun."
"Aww." She pouted but gave a little nod of understanding.
"Do you want any company, Sweetheart," Esme purred softly.
"Mom, would you please tone it down. There are minors present." Edward groaned at the vision that popped into his head.
"Serves you right, Son." Carlisle chided gently as he crossed over to his wife and gave her a passionate kiss. "As tempting as the offer is, I think I better decline. If I have company, I would be apt to stay in the shower all night."
"You say that like it's a bad thing, Love." She reached up and ran her fingers along his neck and down his chest.
"Mom... DAD! PLEASE!"
"Hold onto that though for a little later. Let me go get cleaned up first."
"No, don't hold onto that thought. Please don't. Well that's it. My existence is scarred forever."
"Edward, if you would give us some privacy as I continually ask you to do, then you wouldn't be in this situation," Carlisle remarked before taking his mate's hand and kissing it gently. "You don't see your siblings getting all worked up. If you controlled your gift, you wouldn't be in such mental anguish."
"Or maybe they don't get worked up because ... well Emmett and Rosalie ... yeah, right. It's not like they care. Look at what we all have to listen to when it comes to them."
"Hey, when you've got it, flaunt it, Bro." Emmett wiggled his eyebrows as a devilish grin crossed his face which caused Edward to roll his eyes.
"Yeah, whatever." Edward rolled his eyes before returning his attention to his father. "And Alice thinks the two of you are cute."
At Edward's run down, Carlisle's brows suddenly knitted. "Where is Jasper?"
Alice looked down at the marker that she now held in her hand. "He didn't feel like playing right now and decided to stay in our room to rest."
"Oh." Carlisle's tone was a bit flat. "I see."
Alice looked back up at her father and gave him her best reassuring smile. "He's okay, Daddy. It was just a long day. You know how it is. He was kinda feeling like you and decided to take a shower and just relax for a bit. I'm sure that he'll be down in a little while. Hopefully, both of you will join us."
The elder gave his daughter a slight nod as he smiled weakly and sighed. "Sounds like fun, Princess. You all keep playing and I'll join you in a little while."
"Alright, Daddy. Enjoy your shower." Alice bounced on her toes as she looked over the card that she had pulled then, turning toward the easel, she began to draw.
Jasper was lying across his bed on his stomach reading through his physics homework when a gentle knock sounded on the door.
"Come in. Door's open."
Carlisle cracked the door open and looked in at his son. "Good evening, Jasper. How are you doing?"
"Just fine, Sir."
"Are you certain? I was a little worried when I found that you weren't downstairs with Alice and the others."
Jasper smirked a little as he motioned his father into the room. "I just didn't feel up to game night; not just yet. I have some homework to do and would rather get that knocked out. I don't do as well as Emmett with that last minute rush in the morning to get everything down. That shi... that kind of stuff just aint my cup of tea, Papa. Last minute like that is for the birds; not to mention you're more apt to screw stuff up and put down the wrong answer. With as many times as I've studied these classes, getting a question wrong just annoys the tar out of me."
Carlisle pulled Jasper's desk chair over towards the bed and sat down next to his son. "Far be it for me to discourage your scholarly pursuits, but are you certain that's the only reason that you decided to stay up here?"
Jasper could see regret reflected in his father's dark topaz eyes. "Papa, you aren't having second thoughts about this morning, are you?"
The elder stared into the youth's eyes but didn't say a word.
"Oh, Carlisle, there is nothing for you to be worrying about." The Texan smiled warmly at the patriarch as he reached out and patted Carlisle's knee. "It's not like I didn't deserve it. Shoot, if I had acted up like that when I was human my Pa would have had me walking sideways with a limp for a month."
Jasper rarely spoke of his human memories beyond his brief time spent in the Confederate Army so Carlisle's ears perked up at the mention of the boy's father.
"So your biological father was harsh with you as well?"
Jasper eased himself onto his side with a slight wince and propped himself up on his elbow as he rolled his eyes. "Papa, you have never been harsh with me. Get that ignorant thought out of your head. It's got no place being there. I was out of sorts this morning and you stepped up and straightened me out. That's your job and I respect that. So my tail is still a bit tender and I'm burping up a soap bubble here and there. That aint nothin'. I shocked myself when I snapped at Momma like that. Esme's got a heart of gold and sure didn't deserve to be putting up with my crap."
"Still, I should have been more understanding and given us both some time to cool off. You're a good man, Jasper; a man who can be reasoned with. Punishment should not have been my first course of action."
Jasper grew serious as he looked at his father's troubled face. "And how do you think I became a good man who can be reasoned with? I wasn't born this way. Trust me, I'm no angel, Papa; never was and I seriously doubt that I ever will be. I've made just as many mistakes and raised just as much hell as the next guy. Being held accountable for my blunders is what turned me into the man that I am today. My Pa started teaching me and then once our paths crossed you took up the mantle and put me back on the right track. That's not a task I envy in the least and I'm grateful that you've never shied away from doing what you thought right."
The boy shifted into a more comfortable position while he tapped into Carlisle's mood. "You've been frettin' on this all day, haven't you?"
The sadness in Carlisle's eyes was answer enough.
Jasper cleared his throat as he shook his head and closed his school book before pushing it aside.
"You think you've been too hard on me. You want to know what you're up against when it comes to me thinking that a punishment is harsh? I ripped limbs off of newborns for minor transgressions and you think I'm going to be overly upset over a sore behind and a soapy aftertaste? Heck, even when blood still ran in my veins I took worse by comparison.
Let me tell you a little story, Papa. I know this will come as quite a shock to you, but I wasn't always the brilliant upstanding student that you see before you. There was a time that you would be much more likely to find me cracking stolen pecans in a neighbor's orchard than you would find me cracking open a book."
The solider gave Carlisle a sly look as he grinned. "And don't think I didn't learn several really hard lessons about that thievery business. My Pa busted my ass a few times because of that, as did the neighbors when they could catch me. The bad part about the neighbors whoopin' me was that once my Pa found out about it, it didn't matter that my butt was already sore; I was headed back to the woodshed with him. Took me a while to understand the meaning of private property, but I had a lot of help with that one.
Anyway, I digress. I was of a mind that book learning was for sissys who didn't know how to hunt and fish or plant a field to care for their family. I had all the skills I needed, so why did I care what happened in history books? I had enough number knowledge to know if a man was cheating me out of money so arithmetic was pointless as well. Learning just wasn't my thing."
Jasper had Carlisle's full attention. A very private individual by nature, Jasper was rarely comfortable enough to share glimpses of his life with anyone other than Alice. Carlisle knew what an honor his son was bestowing upon him by opening up this way and he respectfully clung to the younger man's every word.
"My Pa was a rancher. He was a good hardworking man who would toil from sun up to sun down to take care of his family. Now, my Ma... well Ma was a school teacher before my siblings and I came along, so it goes without saying that she disagreed with my views on schooling. To make matters worse, Pa wanted better for us than what he had which made him take a more progressive view on education."
Jasper ran his hand through his hair and closed his eyes as he shifted through the faulty and faded remains of his human memories.
"One day, I got it into my head that I didn't need to go to school any more. I was a man after all. I could do a man's work. I could put in a full day's work with the stock and I had no problems plowing up a field from sun up to moonrise. I was tired of wasting my time sitting in a classroom doing endless pointless drills so on that day I just decided to up and stop going. Big mistake. HUGE."
"Jasper, where are ya gittin' off to? School is this way and if ya keep goofin' 'round, ya gonna make us all late."
"Ah aint goin' ta school today. Fact, ah aint gonna go no mo'."
The young boy's older brother stopped and gave Jasper a critical look. "And jest why aint ya goin'?"
"Cause ah don't needa. Ah already know what ah needa know."
"Then ya know what'll happen ta ya when Pa finds out."
"Jack, Pa aint gonna find out, less ya tell 'im. Just do me this one favor and don't rat on me. What Pa don't know don't hurt 'im or me."
"But when he does finds out on his own it's likely to hurt me bad."
"Trust me, he won't find out."
Jack opened his mouth to point out the flaws in his brother's logic when he felt a tug at his shirt sleeve.
"Jack, we gotta go. Ah don't need no mo' trouble with Miss Evans. If ah git on her bad side again Pa will wear me out. Ah can't be late."
Jasper nodded to his older brother. "Ya and Nate git. Ah plan on meetin' Zach down by Miller's pond ta do a bit of fishin'. Fresh fish for dinna at the Whitlock homestead tonight all because of your brother, the provider."
As the brothers parted ways, Jasper's heart was giddy and light. It felt good to finally stand up for himself and do what he wanted for a change instead of always bowing to the will of others. The young man was just entering his thirteenth year and was beginning to feel the urge to prove himself. He just knew that he was destined for greatness, but also knew that he would never find his true path as long as he was never allowed to break his own trail. Well, that was all changing today. Now he was his own man. He answered to no one at all.
Jasper took an easy breath as he turned his face towards the sun, enjoying how the warm golden rays caressed his skin. This was the life. The wilderness would be his teacher and the forest his classroom. There was wisdom in the land that he could never learn from books. Oh yeah, this was the life.
With a joyful whoop, he broke into a run that carried him down the gently sloping hill towards the pond and his waiting friend. With the whole wide world opening before him, there was no stopping the honey haired boy now.
"Zachariah Casey, ya get your rump out of that pond right now or I'm a comin' in after ya. Who is that there with ya? Is that Monroe Whitlock's boy? Boy, does your Pa know that you're not at school?"
Jasper paddled toward the deeper end of the pond as he cautiously eyed Zach's father while his friend slogged out of the pond with a stance that appeared completely defeated. Zach's shoulders sagged and his head hung low as he approached his fuming father.
"You do best to get ya behind out of there too, Whitlock."
Jasper shook his head sending water droplets flying from his golden hair. "We was let out of class early for doing so good on our last examination, Mr. Casey. Zach and ah thought that a bit of fishin' would turn out some good eatin' tonight, so we stopped on our ways home. When it started gittin' a might hot, we figured to jump in and cool off before headin' home with our catch. Honest, Sir there was no harm done."
The large imposing man put his hands on his hips as he glared down at his son. "Is that the truth, boy?"
Trembling, Zach glanced at Jasper before turning to his father as he slowly nodded his head.
"Then Miss Evans will be wantin' to get her eyes checked out by the Doc right soon since she told me that she hadn't seen you all day."
The slight red headed boy looked up at his father with eyes wide with fear.
"Oh, yeah, I done talked to her," Mr. Casey said, confirming his son's worst fears. "Miss Evans had asked me to fix a wobbly leg on her desk and ya can imagine my surprise to find my boy's seat empty. Looks as if it will be empty again tomorrow. You'll be a goin', but I doubt that ya'll be in any fit shape to be sittin', Son."
Mr. Casey grabbed his small son by the upper arm and held him tightly as his hard calloused hand delivered several powerful blows to Zach's wet backside. Tears welled up in the boy's eyes as he danced from foot to foot trying to stamp out the fire blazing on his butt.
Releasing his hold on the boy, the man gruffly growled, "Go git yourself home and git to your chores. Once ya done with them, go wait on me back at the barn. I have a couple more deliveries to make and then I'll be home to make one more delivery; my strop to your back end, boy. I'll learn you to cut school and then try to lie to me about it. Go on, now, GIT."
Jasper swallowed nervously as he watched his friend scoop up his clothes and race out of sight, rubbing his stinging behind all the way.
Jasper's attention snapped towards the still seething man.
"Whitlock, I've got half a mind to haul ya out of there and give ya the tannin' ya got comin', but I'm sure ya Pa will be wantin' to take care of that himself soon enough. Git your sorry butt home and be sure to tell ya Pa what you got up to today. Better to come from you, boy than from one of ya brothers or someone else."
Jasper continued to tread water as the man's words echoed in his ears. He knew that Zach's father was right just like he knew that a man was supposed to take responsibility for his actions. He would just have to tell his father that since he was man enough to work, he was man enough to make his own decisions and had decided that he was beyond schooling now. Surely his father would understand that, maybe even help him get hired on somewhere so he could start bring in some real money to help pay his family out. Yep that's exactly what he would do.
Swimming over to the edge of the pond, Jasper hauled himself out of the water and grabbed his clothes. "You're right, Mr. Casey. Ah'll tell my Pa as soon as he gets back from town." Dressing quickly he looked over to see the man slowly turning away and called out, "Mr. Casey, do you know anyone who would be looking to hire a hard worker? Ah was thinkin' about blacksmithin' or maybe workin' the mill."
"What're ya talkin' about, boy?"
"Ah'm done with book learn' and ready to step up and be a man. It's time ah earn my keep."
The grizzled muscular man snorted out a laugh as he looked at the boy standing so straight and proud before him. "Talk to ya, Pa 'bout that and iffin he agrees, I'll see what's available for a fine young lad such as yourself."
Jasper smiled broadly as he reached out his hand to shake Mr. Casey's. "Thank ya, Sir. Much obliged. Ah'll just be headed home now. Please don't be too overly hard on Zach. He is just tryin' to grow up a might too fast; lookin' to hang with the men and all. Still a bit wet behind the ears, but he's a good kid and will make for a fine man one of these days."
Giving a cocky grin, Jasper started off on the path home, leaving behind a highly amused Casey who couldn't help, but laugh at the little man who disappeared around the bend.