A/N: This is my very first attempt at fanfiction so please be gentle! This is a Jasper/Bella/Peter story but as it's chronological it will be Jasper/Peter for a while since, well, Bella isn't born yet ;) Also note, this is NOT your typical fanfiction Peter. This is MY Peter. He is not snarky, he is submissive and he is the Major's mate, because that's the only way I see Jasper not killing him. He is also gifted but that will come up later. There will be some boy/boy lovin' and it starts right off the bat so if you have a problem with it this story is not for you. James is in this story from the beginning as well- he is a tracker in Maria's army. Any questions, let me know! Hope you enjoy!
Disclaimer: I own nothing but the story line, SM owns the characters I'm just having fun with them.
Texas/Mexico border, along the Rio Grande, 1941
I leaned back against his firm, cool chest, relishing in the feel of his textured scars touching the bare skin of my back. The sun was peeking over the horizon signaling an end to our brief respite from the horrors of war. I focused on my feelings of love, peace, and tranquility to send them to my empathic mate, my small attempt at easing his burden. In this insane world of blood, death, and war, he was my salvation, my whole reason for continuing to exist.
The Major was a hard man, a cruel and unforgiving taskmaster, but with me alone he would sometimes lower his walls enough to let me glimpse the heart of the man he buried deep inside. It took me years to earn his trust, and only the instincts of our mating bond had saved me from destruction at his very hands countless times before. He still had to carry out the punishments our mistress ordered for me in front of the camp from time to time but he would always follow up with tender ministrations when we were alone again. He tried to hide it, but I knew the emotional pain he felt during these times was much worse than anything I was feeling physically. I never held it against him; I knew the rules of our world, and you had to play by the rules if you wanted to survive.
"Peter," he called, drawing me from my distracted musing. "I need to tell you somethin' 'n I've been puttin' it off but I can't wait any longer now."
"Why do I think I'm not gonna like what you're tellin' me Major? You've never had trouble talkin' to me before now." I had a really bad feeling, and his tone of voice wasn't helping me any with that.
"It's Maria," he sighed.
I twisted around to see his face, but he tightened his arms around me and refused to meet my eyes. "What's the devil done now?"
"Peter, I've heard her talkin' to several of the other guards. They've been watchin' for ya to screw up and give her an excuse to kill ya."
Well, that's never good. "I've been doin' the best I can Major. I swear I haven't broken any rules, and I haven't even looked your way when she's out makin' her rounds. What do I need to do?"
"It's past the point of savin' Captain. I can't keep tryin' to watch my back and yours both. I know she's gonna take you from me and then I'll have nothin' left. Nothin' left at all." This time he let me turn and cup his face with my hands. The utter misery in his eyes left me reeling. There had to be something I could do.
"Sir, I will do anythin' to save ya. You know that don't ya? I live only for you. Just please, tell me what to do and I'll do it," I begged him, searching his eyes for some kind of hope. Instead I saw the one thing I have never seen in his bright ruby eyes before- fear.
"I heard her tell James she was gonna come look for us this mornin' before we head back to camp. She wants to ambush us and take you out, make me watch it all. If I thought you would go, I would tell ya to run now and don't look back. But I know ya better than that and so I won't even try to ask ya." Good, no way in hell am I runnin' off and leaving my mate behind. The Major ain't mated to a coward.
"So what's the plan then, sir?" I know he has one. I'm usually his tactical advisor when it comes to battles but since he didn't fill me in on this ahead of time he must have come up with something on his own.
"There's only one thing to do and I have to tell you it scares the shit out of me to even consider it. We have to fight, no matter who she sends, or how many. I know she will probably come herself, to make sure that you get killed and I don't. With James around to track us, there is no runnin' away so we're gonna have to stand and fight." He still had the tight look of fear in his eyes and I didn't understand it. We live for the fight, he's never lost and I've only lost to him in sparring. What was left to be afraid of?
"No offense sir, but why is this fight different? What has you so worried?" I took the chance on questioning him, hoping he wouldn't turn on me and make me regret opening my mouth. The one thing the Major wouldn't tolerate was disrepect and I'd basically called him out on his fear. Mate or not, I wasn't sure how he would react to that.
He took a deep breath, pulling me tight to his chest again, and dipped his head to run his nose along his mark on my neck. I couldn't keep the purr from rising in my chest at the rare show of tender affection.
"Peter, the only way I can see us makin' it out of here and guaranteein' that nobody follows us is if I release my demon. But I honestly don't know what will happen to you if I do that. I don't know if the demon will still recognize you as my mate. I have filled you with my scent and marked ya again fresh this mornin' but I still don't know if it will be enough. My demon runs on instinct but it's got violent instincts, not lovin' ones." With that speech he dropped his head again and I could feel his insecurity and fear leaking out through our bond.
Finally, I knew what he needed from me. And I knew I could give it to him. Because I held the one thing he didn't firm in my grasp- my faith in him. I knew he didn't trust himself, and especially his demon, with good reason. He had destroyed entire towns and armies single-handedly when his demon was out. The Major was a tough soldier but his demon was just other-worldly. I'd never seen it first hand but the stories around camp from when Maria would rile him up and turn him loose were legendary. He thought that I would fear him and not risk being near his demon, but I knew my mate better than he knew himself, and I was sure of my course.
"Jasper, Major, I know you think your demon won't see me as your mate, and I know you think you'll hurt me if I'm near you, but I think your very nature won't allow it. Your demon runs solely on instinct and there is no greater vampire instinct than defendin' your mate." I turned again to cup his cheeks and bring his eyes up to meet mine. "Look at me, sir, I trust you. I have trusted you with my life from the very moment I laid my human eyes on you, and I will trust you until we both are turned to ash. I know your demon won't hurt me, because he is you. And I trust him because I trust you. Whatever you have to do, wherever you have to go, I will be with you. Beside you, or behind you, wherever you need me, I will be there."
He searched my eyes for a long minute and I held my gaze steady and my emotions strong. We both knew by now there was no way I could ever lie to my mate. Somehow in our camp of hundreds I was the only one who had figured that little tidbit of information out. The other officers and Maria were constantly trying to sneak past him, even though he could feel a lie from a mile away. Guess it's like my ma always said, you just can't fix stupid.
He finally let out a ragged breath, letting his sweet scent ghost over my face. I watched his features firm up and his eyes go hard and black. "Best grab your things and get ready. I can feel them about 5 miles out. They're comin' in from all directions so we'll be surrounded soon. Or so they think anyway." His mouth pulled up in a cruel smirk and I couldn't help the rush of desire I felt at seeing my powerful mate in his 'Major Mode.'
I hopped up and buttoned my pants but didn't put my shirt back on. Venom is a bitch to get out of fabric and if the demon is coming out I knew we'd both be drenched in it before too long. I tied my hair back with a leather strap and pulled my satchel across my body. Our two shirts, my father's old pocket watch, and the major's old confederate uniform and books were all that comprised our worldly possessions. I turned to my mate and gave him an expectant look while I stood at attention.
"Captain, I think when my demon is out you best stand right behind me and within arm's reach. Don't take on adversaries unless you see I am completely engaged and you need to watch my back. I don't think I'll take kindly to ya puttin' yourself in harm's way, even if you are the best soldier I've ever trained. Understand?"
"Sir, yes sir. I will stay close to ya 'n follow yer lead." I cut my eyes to his and watched as they began to slowly blacken even further than before. Just before the whites of his eyes were completely coal black I heard him mutter, "Let's do this."