Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.

This one has not gone through any betas. *eek* *gulp*

A/N: ***Warning*** Instance of rape. Graphic violence. Character death (not a main character.) Slash.

This is an I Live side shot. However, it should be able to stand alone as the events in it happen many years before the time that I Live takes place. Jasper and Maria have found Peter.

Chapter 48 of I Live should be back from the betas about any time now.

If you're reading here, I've signed up for Project Team Beta's Smut University. Homework assignments will be posted. In fact, the first one has been posted! The title is Smut University 2013. Eagerly (anxiously) awaiting the next homework assignment. They will be posted as additional chapters. I expect each will be a one shot type of thing.

Age 18 and over, please. Thank you.

I will give you

What you're wishin'

I will give you everything

And you'll be so numb

I'll be tying you up

You will never feel a thing.


I will hold you

I will defend you

No more bullets

No more leaks

There is hope here

In the weather

You are mine now

You are free.


And I will come

I will come

I will come

I will comfort you


"I Will Come" by Alpha Rev from the album Bloom.


When you gonna run through the fire

Are you gonna love through the war

When you gonna know I'm a liar

When you gonna want a little more

I Live side shot Jasper and Peter

The sound of a brawl in the alley next to the wood frame building was what drew their attention. From the number of racing heartbeats there were five men involved. The crunch of human fists against human jaws, the slaps and thumps, grunts and curses told them it was a vicious fight.

For humans.

The damage they were inflicting on each other, and the blood they were drawing, would hide that fact that all of the bodies had been drained of the life giving fluid. The two had come to the medium-sized Texas town to find their next meal, and they were lurking in the shadows near the bars and bordellos. A practically perfect opportunity to feed was laid out right in front of them.

Maria and Jasper crept silently over the flat roof of the saloon and peered over the edge into the darkly shadowed alley, breathing in the enticing aroma of fresh blood, sour and musky sweat, and the pungent odor of beer and whiskey.

As they had suspected, there were five men involved; four of them beating each other nine ways from Sunday between the buildings. There was one battered and bloodied man lying unconscious on the trash-littered ground. There were two knives lying beside him. His left leg was twisted at an unnatural angle and his bruised, split lips revealed several teeth had been knocked out. He appeared to be dead, but they could hear the slow thud of his heart. He would be an easy meal. The vampires could leave him until last.

The other men were still fighting, though their punches and kicks were slowing and losing force. It looked as if three were after the one tall, blond human. His back was against the brick wall of the next building. Blood was oozing from a cut in his forehead and seeping into his eyes, but he lunged toward his attacker on the right. The blond grabbed the shorter man's head and slammed it down on his upraised knee. As the attacker's companions staggered back in surprise, the blond tightened his grip on his unconscious assailant and flung the sagging body down the alley.

Being able to feel her emotions, Jasper knew that Maria was impressed with the blond man's strength. He had thrown the limp body about fifteen feet down the alley away from the quiet street.

Maria reached slowly for Jasper and gently brushed a lock of his honey gold hair from his face. "That one." She nodded toward the blond man below them and whispered into Jasper's ear. "Take him for me."

Jasper's thirst-darkened red eyes shifted to Maria's. "Yes, Maria." He knew Maria wanted him to bite the man so she wouldn't get blood on her clothes.

He didn't think they needed any more newborn vampires at the present time—they had a full squad of twenty-five and things had been relatively quiet for the past few months—but the tall one was skilled. He had disarmed and eliminated two of his attackers. He was sizing up the last two as blood dripped from his face and knuckles and seeped into the coarse fabric of his shirt.

The human fought well. That would certainly draw Maria's attention.

That and he had blond hair that reached to the top of his shoulders. It was hard to determine the shade because of the blood matted through it, but it appeared to be lighter than Jasper's own.

Maria had always preferred the blonds. Jasper himself was a perfect example of her predilections. The blond being attacked in the alley looked like he would match Jasper's height of six foot three and had the same build as Jasper—wide shoulders that angled smoothly into slim hips. He was darkly tanned, as if he had spent hours and hours at hard labor in the fields. If he survived—the fight and the transformation into a vampire—he would make a strong soldier.

Jasper wasn't worried. There weren't many who were as strong as he was, and he did have an advantage. His empathic talent allowed him to regulate and manipulate the emotions of others—vampires and humans. He would be able to handle and control the blond just as he had all the other newborns.

Maria flipped her deep brown, waving hair over her shoulder. "He might even be very handsome—if you look beneath the blood and filth on his face." She gripped Jasper's chin and forced his face to hers. "He is nearly as handsome you, my love."

Jasper contained his disgust at Maria's false endearment. He'd learned decades before that she truly did not love him, and she never would. The love he initially thought he had felt for her quickly died with that realization, and her sadistic tortures. He knew his place. It was at her side, but only as her Major—the one who could lead her armies to victory and make her scream in her sexual release.

He was by no means her only lover, but he was her favorite even when he didn't use his gift on her. The gift he had often considered a curse because he could feel what the humans felt as he took their lives from them. He experienced the terror and hopelessness of the humans he and Maria had bitten to change into newborns for her armies. He was stronger than he had been at first and could block most of the pounding emotions from the newborns, but he had to constantly be on guard against it. If he allowed the slightest crack in his defenses, they could overtake him.

After a particularly intense battle, Maria would tempt him with fresh blood and her petite supple body, and he would be trapped in a haze of lustful, brutal sex for days. Her deeply buried hate and resentment would only fuel the sexual lust they both felt after a victory and their blood and venom-slicked bodies would join and tangle together again and again. She wanted him because of his human military experience and his expertise in bed. She reviled him because he could never fill the aching emptiness at the loss of her mate.

Despite that, Maria let him know how much she appreciated his other talents. If nothing else, Maria was cunningly intelligent, strikingly beautiful, and Jasper enjoyed the sex.

The stocky human with the short dark hair spit on the ground. "You're a goddamn cheat and we're takin' that money back."

The tall man let out a pitiful sounding (to the vampires) snarl and bared his teeth at the two who were after him. "That's what those other guys thought, too. I won that hand fair and square."

Maria's appreciation increased. She was pleased that the blond still had his teeth. She preferred them that way. And what was a vampire without teeth?

"Yes," she said breathily in Jasper's ear. "He will make a fine … soldier for me."

Jasper repressed another surge of disgust. Maria should just admit what she really wanted him for. He knew the blond would make a fine addition to her bed.

The man lunged at his foes, his large hands clamping tightly around each of their necks. They both choked and gagged and desperately tried to break his grip, but he slammed their heads together and stumbled back as they dropped bonelessly to the ground.

"Collect him while I feed, my love." She squeezed Jasper's shoulder as she stood, preparing to leap into the dark alley. "He has fought well." She cocked her head as she studied the scene below them. "We won't even have to dispose of the bodies this time."

Jasper rose to his full height and looked down at Maria. "He beat the shit out of them. They're bleedin' like stuck pigs. There may not be much blood left in them."

"There will be enough for the both of us." Maria gestured impatiently toward the man. "Now take him."

Jasper dropped lightly into the alley behind the man, making no sound as his knees bent to cushion his landing. He ignored the burn of the thirst he felt in his throat. There was so much blood splattered around the alley it was nearly impossible to ignore it, but he would have his chance at it soon enough.

The man's chest was heaving with his ragged breaths, and he stumbled to the side away from the two men he had just knocked unconscious. He sagged wearily against the brick wall and lifted his left hand stiffly to push the blood-soaked hair from his face. He was relieved, but he was becoming worried.

Jasper watched him bring a hand to his chest and heard the thick, liquid gurgles deep inside him. The man had broken ribs that must have punctured a lung. Jasper took one step closer and tapped his shoulder before stepping back away from him.

The man spun around more quickly than Jasper expected him to. He was impressed.

Though the bedraggled man was exhausted and swayed back and forth unsteadily, his large hands clenched into fists and drew up; ready to fight again. "I'll kick your ass, too, motherfucker," he rasped out at Jasper. "You a frienda theirs? What the fuck do ya want?" He spit a mouthful of blood on the ground next to Jasper's boots.

The sweet scent of the blond's blood and the sharp scent of whiskey flowed around Jasper. He crossed his arms over his chest and cocked his head at the man as he stared into his bright blue eyes. "You," Jasper answered him in a low voice. He could feel the man's anger shift to puzzlement.

"Me? What?" he asked as he staggered again. He tried to wipe the blood out of his eyes and brought his hand back down into a fist.

"What's your name?" Jasper asked in that same low voice. He normally didn't ask because he didn't care, but he was nearly as impressed as Maria, though for different reasons. Not only had he been thrashed by four men, the human had been cut several times, though the slashes didn't appear to be deep, and Jasper had not seen a human take the punishment this one had and remain standing.

"Uh, Peter," the man answered without thinking. His left leg buckled beneath him and his shoulder slammed into the brick wall of the building next to the saloon. He coughed roughly, spit out more blood, and peered up at Jasper. "Are you one of them fuckin' queers? I ain't no fuckin' queer." He struggled to stand upright against the building, pushing himself away from it with his left hand. Then he started to laugh.

His breath wheezed wetly and Jasper could smell the fresh, hot blood. Peter's lungs were filling with it, and he wouldn't last much longer. Jasper was surprised he was still on his feet.

Peter coughed another harsh laugh, and his right hand went to his ribs as he bent over, gasping for breath. He slowly looked up at Jasper. "You're so goddamn purty, I bet you are one of them fuckin' queers."

Surprised again, Jasper's eyes narrowed at the blond. The man was literally drowning in his own blood—dying as he stood there—and the son of a bitch was taunting him.

Maria dropped soundlessly into the alley several yards behind Peter and spoke quickly so the human wouldn't hear her. "Major, stop toying with him and take him before he dies. Even a human would be able to hear the blood filling his lungs. Hurry, it's nearly dawn."

Jasper's black eyes flicked to Maria and back to Peter's red smeared face. A smirk grew over his lips. "Do you think I'm pretty?" he asked with a purr.

"I said I ain't no fuckin' queer." Peter swung his fist at Jasper.

He was fast for a human that didn't realize he was dead yet, but he wasn't faster than Major Jasper Whitlock.


Jasper stepped into the shack where Peter laid screaming and writhing with the internal fire of the transformation into a vampire. After nearly four days, he would awaken soon.

Like no other that had been changed before him, Peter's rage at being attacked had pounded into Jasper, and it had remained. Even as Jasper had crushed him to his chest and sank his teeth into Peter's throat. Most humans felt sheer terror, but not Peter. He had been pissed off.

Jasper had drunk deeply of Peter's sweet but alcohol-tainted blood, moaning as the bliss of the human nectar coated his tongue, filled his mouth, and soothed his burning throat. As Peter struggled, Jasper had shoved him against the wall and held him there with his own body.

Peter's rage erupted from him and he had tried to fight Jasper off. "I said I ain't no fuckin' faggot!"

He had only succeeded in breaking his own hands against Jasper's hard-as-stone shoulders.

Finally, due to exhaustion or blood loss, Peter had weakened and gone limp. Jasper pressed firmly against his body and began forcing his venom into Peter's veins. When he thought there was enough, he had licked over his bite, sealing in the venom. He had let Peter drop to the ground and turned to the other unconscious humans that Peter had beaten.

After finishing with her two victims, Maria had stood watching him as he drained the last of the mens' blood and rifled through their pockets, finding a small amount of cash. He shoved the money into his own pocket as he straightened from his kneeling position. As usual, there was no blood on Maria's blouse or the tight-fitting dungarees she chose to wear when hunting. There wasn't even any tell-tale blood on her full lips. In contrast, Jasper knew he was covered with it from his face to his boots.

She had handed him a bandana she had filled with the spoils of her search of the men. "They both had gold wedding rings in their pockets along with a small amount of cash." She then pointed angrily at Peter. "Bring him. We must leave quickly before the humans inside decide to look for their companions." She turned and disappeared down the dark alley, expecting Jasper to do exactly what she had commanded of him. He had hesitated for only a moment before bending down to pick up the still-quiet human. He flung him over his shoulder to carry him south to their camp deep in the desert.

It had briefly crossed Jasper's mind to take the human and run in the opposite direction. Peter had been a skilled fighter as a human and that boded well for his being even better as a vampire—after Jasper had trained him—but he only hesitated a moment. Why leave Maria and her constant battles for territory when there were only more vampires out there fighting to claim, keep or expand their own feeding grounds? Any where he would go there would only be more battles, more killing. He fell in line behind Maria as he had for the last seven decades, stopping only once to lay Peter in a shallow, swiftly flowing creek to try and remove some of the blood from him. He hadn't wanted the newborns already in the camp to attack Peter before he awoke.

He shook the memory from his head as he stared down at Peter's straining, trembling body. Instead of pleading for mercy and death, as so many did while they were suffering the agony of the flames, Peter had threatened him over and over again when he had been able to form words through his screams. Even when Jasper hadn't been near the shack he could still hear Peter bellowing, "I'll kill you you cock suckin' bastard!"

Peter's heart sped up, and his body grew rigid. He gritted his teeth and clenched his fists as if he were fighting against his own heart trying to pound its way out of his chest. Jasper knew it was nearly time. Oddly, Peter's emotions had become muffled during his change, as if they were covered by a thick blanket of fog. It was just another of the strange things about Peter besides his almost continuous fury and his intermittent threats.

Jasper quickly stooped down and grabbed him under his arms. He dragged the stiff body out of the little shack and across the dusty ground toward the deep pit and the fire ring; the heels of Peter's boots leaving furrows in the dry ground.

Jasper dropped him at Maria's booted feet and looked up at the darkening sky. He was relieved that it would be dark soon and the unusual cover of clouds would block the stars.

Normally, they left the humans in one of the shacks or the barn. Sometimes they used a cave that was nearby. Maria had hidden Jasper in a cave while he was transforming. They had learned later that it was better if the newborns awoke in an enclosed place. When the new vampires first opened their eyes, the wide open sky often caused them to panic immediately. The newborns felt exposed in addition to their confusion. They wanted to hide and couldn't do that with a wide sky over them.

It wasn't out of concern for them. It was just another way to begin controlling them. It was easier if the newborn didn't leap up off the ground and try to escape right away.

In spite of that, Jasper had dragged Peter out of the shack as a precaution. He expected Peter to try and attack him. He had been quite strong as a human—Jasper didn't want him destroying the shack.

Soon after the newborns woke up, they were ravenously thirsty and looking for their first meal. Occasionally when they awoke, they would see Jasper or catch his scent and be filled with lust. He didn't mind it too much if the females were to his liking. He could send their own lust back to them, and fucking them was better than fighting them.

It was dangerous to let a newborn get her arms around you because of her strength. If there was a particularly attractive female that was more interested in fucking than feeding, he'd throw her face down on the floor or shove her up against the wall, wrap his fingers around her throat, and shove his dick into her from behind. She wouldn't be able to get her arms around him and crush him. It also kept them from biting.

He didn't think he would have to worry about Peter feeling sexual lust for him.

Jasper wasn't sure why Maria wanted to be present for Peter's awakening. Over the last few decades, he almost always handled them without her. She wasn't concerned with the day-to-day training any longer except for punishments. She probably thought that Peter would be as interested in her as she was in him. Jasper had a feeling Maria would be disappointed.

As Peter's heart thudded even faster, Maria's attentiveness increased, along with her arousal. She stepped closer to him.

A few of their newborns had crept from the barn and watched curiously as Jasper had dragged Peter from the small shack. Jasper growled at them, sending them scurrying back to the relative safety of the barn. As curious as they were, they knew they could very easily be thrown into the pit with their newest recruit if Maria decided she wanted to see a competition. Luckily for them, she had already seen Peter in action.

Then again, if Peter attacked Maria, they didn't need the assholes witnessing Peter taking a piece out of her. Though if he did attack, Jasper would be able to subdue him and it would make for a good object lesson for the others. It was just better if they were inside.

Jasper took hold of Maria's arm to stop her from moving any closer to Peter. He didn't care if she got her arms torn off. She would deserve it for being so fucking stupid. She knew better than to get too close to a newborn. He just didn't want to be punished if Peter got his hands on her. Maria could defend herself, and for some reason, he didn't want Maria to kill Peter in a fit of rage if he damaged her.

"Maria, you know how they are. You know this one has been angry. I'm sure you've heard his threats." He let go of her arm. "Even now, this one feels more anger than fear."

Maria turned slowly to look up at him, a calculating gleam in her bright red eyes. "Are you jealous, my love?" She lightly tugged at the unbuttoned placket of the sleeveless blouse she was wearing; opening it further to display more cleavage. Then she put her hands on her hips and looked again at Peter.

Jasper merely raised an eyebrow at her and backed away from the newborn on the ground.

Maria looked over her shoulder at Jasper, glanced again at Peter, and sighed. She turned and walked toward him, swinging the full, calf-length, dark blue skirt she was wearing. She twirled in place beside Jasper, and crossed her arms delicately over her full breasts. "Why are you wearing a long-sleeved shirt?"

"I don't want him to see all those scars yet."

Peter sucked in a breath through his teeth as his heart came to a shuddering stop. The breath eased out as he laid there on the ground. Jasper opened his senses and felt curiosity from Peter. Then Peter inhaled deeply. He was alert and concentrating as he drew more air into his lungs.

Of course, like the rest of them, Peter didn't need to breathe, but Jasper remembered how it was; pulling in the scents, trying to find something that was known, trying to identify them. There had been so many new odors, they had bombarded and filled his mind. It had been beyond disorienting, in addition to all the foreign emotions that had overwhelmed him.

Wariness formed around the curiosity, and Peter inhaled again. Recognition flared from him, and he was on his feet in an instant, crouching with his fists raised. Fury pulsed from him.

His brilliant red eyes snapped back and forth between Jasper and Maria and finally settled on Jasper who was standing as still as a statue.

Maria smiled deviously and propped her hands on her hips. "You are now mine. You will obey me or he," and she glanced up at Jasper, "will tear you apart slowly and light those pieces on fire."

Peter was confused and bewildered. His eyes traveled quickly over Maria and a miniscule sense of appreciation formed just beneath the anger. He quickly dismissed her and turned his eyes back to Jasper.

"Obey? Light me on fire?" Surprised, Peter's hand went to his throat. "What the hell's up with my … What's all that noise? What the fuck are you?" His eyes narrowed as they returned to Maria.

Faster than he could blink, Maria was on him, slicing across his throat with her brilliant white teeth and wrenching his right arm off at his elbow as he raised it to try and defend himself.

He sucked in a breath through his teeth and started to turn toward where Maria had been, but it was too late. She was already behind him and slicing through what was left of his canvas shirt and his muscular shoulders.

As he dropped to his knees in pain, Maria was back beside Jasper and threw Peter's forearm at his feet.

She lifted her chin, striking a haughty pose. She shook her head, flipping her long dark hair to her back. "It is fortunate for you that I am in an agreeable mood today. I am your mistress. It will be me who determines whether you live or die, and you may not last very long here." She flicked her small hand in Jasper's direction. "My Major will deal with you now. Do as he commands or you will suffer the consequences."

She turned on her heel and stalked off to her house at the far side of the camp, her hips swaying, trusting Jasper to keep the newborn from attempting to attack her from behind.

Jasper was astonished that she hadn't completely removed Peter's head. Well, Maria had plenty of sadistic tricks up her sleeve. He'd wait to see what she had planned. Evidently, she didn't want Peter ended yet.

He picked up Peter's forearm and then hit him with a heavy dose of lethargy, causing him to sit back on his heels but not being strong enough to knock him out. Peter needed to be still while Jasper reattached his arm but he needed to be aware enough in order to hold it in place. To ensure there was a thick scar left behind, Jasper spit on the exposed end and spread his venom over the wound, making Peter hiss.

"Be still," Jasper barked at him. He kneeled in front of Peter and grabbed his right bicep. He forced the two ends together and Peter hissed loudly again.

"She likes you." Jasper smirked at him. "Aren't you the lucky one?"

Despite the strength of the lethargy Jasper was holding him with, Peter mumbled, "What the hell does she do if she doesn't like you?"

Ignoring that, Jasper felt the cut across Peter's throat and saw that it had already stopped leaking venom and was sealed. "It's a good day. She didn't take your head off. That hurts worse than losing an arm."

Peter groaned and reached to touch his arm. "That burns like a son of a bitch."

"Because I put some of my venom on it. Yes, venom. We are vampires and we produce venom. It will scar you." Jasper grabbed Peter's left hand and folded his fingers around the wound in his right arm. "Hold that."

Jasper stood and backed away from him. Peter's eyes were still closed and Jasper slowly lessened his hold over him. "You'll heal quickly, but you need to feed."

"Wait a minute! That little Mexican bitch ripped my fuckin' arm off, and you can stick it back on? Vampires? What the fuck are you talkin' about? You can rip my head off and put it back on? Have I gone insane?" Peter growled and it cut off immediately. "What the hell?" His left hand went to his chest as his right still hung stiffly at his side. Then his eyes were on Jasper. "You!" Another deep growl vibrated up through his chest and his left hand formed into claw as he jumped to his feet. "I might be fuckin' crazy, but I remember you. You're that cock suckin' queer!"

He snarled and leapt at Jasper.

Instantaneously, Jasper considered letting Peter hit him, but it was best to let the newborns know who was in charge as quickly as possible. In a blur of lightning fast strikes, he had Peter down on his knees, his arms caught in an iron grip, and a knee in the center of his back. The tension on Peter's arms was so great, if he moved they would both be torn from his body. Jasper had his razor sharp teeth at Peter's throat.

At last, Peter was filled with fear and gasping for breath. His eyes were ringed with white as he tried to get a look at Jasper.

After several minutes of holding him motionless, Jasper lifted his teeth from Peter's skin, lightly licked his neck from his shoulder to his ear then whispered in a deep voice, "I do not suck cock."


Peter had fought him. Like some of the other newborns, he was slow to learn his station, but over the decades, Jasper had devised many ways to break them and bring them around to the correct way of thinking and behaving. Most he had learned at Maria's hand. Or teeth.

Jasper had had enough of Peter's rebellion; stalling and hesitancy at following orders. Being beaten and having his other arm ripped off had not convinced him to knuckle under. It seemed there was only one way to break him.

That day came sooner than expected. Jasper had thirteen of the twenty-six newborns out in the night-chilled, barren desert near a sluggish creek. Even though their camp was surrounded by miles of sand, rocks, and scrub brush, on occasion they caught another coven near a river or stream. It would only be to their advantage to learn to maneuver efficiently in water. An added benefit was it cleaned some of the accumulated dirt and filth from them.

Instead of following orders, Peter and another large male named Miguel kept breaking rank and snarling at each other though they were paired up to spar with others.

Jasper could knock them out, have the other newborns drag them back and throw them both in the pit, and let them try to finish each other, but he decided against it. Peter had been more obstinately determined than the others, but instead of enraging him, it had intrigued Jasper. He knew the newborns spoke amongst themselves while they were in their barn. Peter must have heard that Jasper wouldn't put up with his insolence and seemed to be waiting for Jasper to confront him.

"Miguel! Leila! Take the others and go back to camp." Jasper walked slowly to the edge of the creek. "Peter. Not you. You stay."

Instead of panic at being ordered to stay behind with the Major like any of the others would have felt, Peter projected a sense of angry anticipation.

Most of the other newborns' darkening red eyes flicked rapidly between Jasper and Peter. Clouds of dread and fright rose up from them as they hastily huddled together. Miguel and two other males smirked with malicious amusement as they stared at Peter.

Jasper glared at Miguel, and he raised one hand at the trembling group. They all splashed through the slowly moving creek and were soon gone, heading back to the only home they knew.

Peter stood arrogantly, letting the muddy water flow around his legs as he looked up. It wasn't fear or trepidation; it was rage and a sense of satisfaction that crept from him as he scrutinized Jasper.

Jasper stared down at him silently; no expression showing on his face. It frequently unnerved the newborns, but it had no such effect on Peter. Instead, Peter felt determination, and his hands curled into tight fists.

Jasper didn't know why, but for the first time since he had taken over the duties of training them, he wanted a newborn to continue to exist. "Maria will come for you soon," he said lowly. He had never cared about any of the young vampires enough to ever give them any sort of advantage with Maria, but he knew he had to force Peter into submission. It would be Peter's only chance. "She expects her soldiers to listen and obey instantly no matter what the order. You will learn this or you will die."

Peter sneered at him with hate. "Fuck you and Maria."

That response was expected. Jasper smirked at him and hit him with a dark blast of terror. Peter's entire body seized, and he fell sideways into the muddy current with a loud splash. Jasper leapt in beside him, reached for his shoulders, and heaved Peter's rigid body onto the bank. He slogged through the water and stood over Peter's quaking body.

Jasper sent his awareness out, searching for anyone who might be nearby who might witness what he was about to do. There was no one else near. It was the only mercy he could show Peter. "You won't remember everything I tell you, but you will remember this." Jasper shoved a booted toe under Peter's shoulder and flipped him onto his stomach. He knelt down beside him and yanked his hips from the ground. "You will submit to me. You will take orders." He shoved Peter's worn dungarees down his thighs instead of tearing them from him as he had done with the others.

Another small mercy.

The other males he had fucked into subservience had returned to camp fearful, dazed, naked, and bleeding venom from the gouges Jasper's fingers had left in their hips and necks. Everyone had known what had happened.

Jasper bombarded Peter with a massive, heated wave of lust and let it swirl around himself, making his own dick quickly grow hard as he freed it from his own jeans. Venom flooded his mouth as Peter groaned and began to struggle against him. He spit into his hand, and then slid his venom-slicked fingers down over his stiff cock and placed the head at Peter's tight entrance.

"You will obey," Jasper whispered harshly as he thrust forward. He gasped at the sensations and planted his hands on Peter's hips, holding him tightly as he thrust into him.

As Peter pushed himself up from the dusty ground, Jasper hit him with another blast of lust and a desire to please him, and Peter moaned loudly with the pleasure he couldn't fight against any longer.

"You will submit. You will do as I say … as I command you." Jasper pushed into him again, bent over Peter's arching back, and grabbed his neck. He growled into Peter's ear. "You will listen to me."

Peter's lust built and his pleasure began to filter more fully into Jasper's awareness. Peter was helpless to prevent it, and Jasper could feel him beginning to want his release.

"Yessssss," Jasper hissed as his own need wound higher. "You will follow orders. You want to please me." He brushed his lips over Peter's ear. "You will do what you need to do to exist … to live." Some part of Jasper's mind was shocked at the words he had spoken, but he shoved it aside as he began to thrust more quickly, feeling Peter's orgasm approaching.

Their breaths were coming faster, and Jasper groaned with each gasp he heard from Peter.

Unlike any other, Peter tried one last time to resist. "No, you motherfuckin'—"

Jasper quickly licked his hand and reached around to begin stroking Peter's throbbing dick. "Yes. I will make you obey just like I can make you come."

Peter snarled as he came in Jasper's hand. He tried to raise himself up, but Jasper let go of his hip, grabbed his neck again, and shoved him down as he started come. His own orgasm burst through him, and he poured that sensation over Peter, making him cry out and tremble underneath him.

As the last spasm left him, Jasper couldn't suppress the grunt as he pulled away from Peter and slowly stood up, yanking up his jeans. He grabbed Peter around the waist and flung him back into the creek. Once again, he didn't know why, but it was yet another small, inexplicable favor that he had never offered to any other. The flowing water would wash Jasper's scent—and the scent of his come—from Peter.

Peter gasped and sputtered as he lurched to his feet and glared hatefully at Jasper.

"I will—"

"Silence! You will stay in the water until I allow you to come out." Jasper tucked in his cotton duck shirt and buttoned his jeans as he stalked toward the creek. "You will obey me, or I will fuck you again."


Peter's emotions were a storm of rage, disgust and hate as they walked back to camp. Not long after they arrived, Maria found them and ordered Peter to her small house. Peter shifted the focus of his hatred to Maria but he followed her.

Over the next two weeks, Jasper noticed that all of Peter's disgust and loathing had shifted from him to Maria. When Peter wasn't with his mistress, Jasper sensed his thoughtfulness and eventually a startled awareness blossomed from him. Finally, the day came when after Maria allowed him to leave her bed after one of their sessions, Peter stood and studied Jasper as he observed a small group of newborns sparring and a miniscule sense of admiration and gratitude fluttered briefly around him. Jasper was more than puzzled by those emotions directed at him from Peter. He had raped Peter and threatened to do it again. How could he be feeling any sort of admiration or gratitude? Jasper had been expecting to be ambushed.

In another baffling turn of events, Peter began following him everywhere. He carefully watched every move Jasper made and listened intently to every word he spoke when they were training.

When Peter and another newborn had fought over the last human that had been caught and brought back for them, Jasper had stunned them both with a blast of terror, and he and Miguel had thrown them into the pit.

After only a few minutes, Peter was the only one left in one piece. He had handily torn the other vampire apart. Jasper decided right then and there that of the current crop of newborns they had, he would urge Maria to allow Peter to live.

Jasper had ordered him to throw the other newborn's body parts out of the pit and then carry them to the fire ring. Without having to say a word to them—they knew the procedure—the other newborns gathered in a circle around Jasper, Peter, and the dismembered newborn. They watched silently as Jasper struck the match and threw it into the center of the twitching limbs and torso, setting the defeated vampire ablaze.

Jasper carefully monitored Peter's emotions as the spilled venom quickly caught fire and sweet smelling purple smoke rose up into the clear blue sky.

Peter was horrified, but like before, his emotions were dulled, muffled, and he swiftly suppressed them.

Maria sauntered up behind him and grasped his hand. "You are quite the warrior, Peter. Come with me."

Peter stared at Jasper, a question in his eyes, but Jasper only waved him off. He watched silently as Maria led Peter into her small house again and quietly closed the door.

Knowing that Maria was going to reward Peter in her own special way, Jasper smirked at the remaining newborns and sent them back to the barn when the last of the purple smoke from the destroyed vampire dissipated. He had felt the lust emanating from Maria and the newborns and tried to block it out as none of the females in the current group were especially appealing, though three of the five had indicated they were interested. He growled at them and they ran back to the barn. He knew as soon as Maria was finished with Peter, he would be back in her bed.

As soon as all of the newborns were out of his sight, Jasper decided it would be a good time to take a bath and wash the few clothes he owned. The money he and Maria had taken off the humans that had been with Peter, along with the roll of bills Peter had in his pocket, would buy them quite a few new sets of clothes. He only needed a cloudy day to run to the nearest town with a general store to get them. Of course, along the way, he could steal any clothes that might be hung out to dry for the newborns—if he saw any. Humans were few and far between out where they were.

He darted to the small shack he claimed as his own, gathered his clothes, and raced away to the creek that was only a few miles away.

Two days after that, when Maria finally allowed Peter to leave her house, Jasper led the entire group of thirsty newborns to a small village about one hundred miles to the west, paying particular attention to the fury and revulsion Peter was trying to control. As they topped a small ridge, the newborns could smell the humans and were nearly out of their minds with hunger and thirst, but Jasper held them in thrall as he spoke to them.

"You have done well. Maria is pleased," he said in clipped tones. He looked at each of them in turn, taking note of the hate that glowed in Peter's eyes. "As Maria promised you, when you do well, you will be rewarded." He pointed at the village in the valley below them. "There is your reward. Go."

As the horde of newborns broke over the ridge, Jasper raced to the village with them, capturing three human females to take back to Maria. He struck each of them hard enough to silence their screams before throwing them in a wagon to keep them safe from the bloodthirsty vampires. After draining two humans, he waited for the rest of them to finish, struggling to block their bloodlust and keep it from dragging him under.

Three hours later the sated raiding party was on its way back to camp; the orange glow of the burning village falling farther behind them.


During his patrol around the perimeter, Jasper came across the scent of four strange vampires. He could have easily taken out the group but he thought he would go back and get Peter. It would be a good test for him, and Jasper wanted to speak with him without any witnesses.

Peter was becoming more blatant in his refusal to lower his eyes when Maria bothered to come out and observe their training. The hate and rage Peter focused on her was stronger than any Jasper had felt from any of the newborns and though he shouldn't care, he didn't want Peter to try and kill her. If he succeeded, word would get out eventually that she was gone and despite Jasper's own reputation, he didn't want other vampires and their packs of newborns coming and trying to take over Maria's claim. It was more likely that Maria would dismember Peter and order Jasper to burn him; if she hadn't killed Peter while he was gone. Again, he was astonished to find he didn't want that to happen.

He made his way quickly back to camp and strode into the barn where he and Maria made the newborns stay, flinging the door open hard enough that it slammed into the wall. He rarely ever went inside the barn and all twenty-four of them were dumbfounded at seeing him. Those that had been standing dropped to the floor and they all lowered their eyes.

"Where's Peter?" he asked the cringing newborns.

When none of them answered him, he darted toward a little female whose name was Katherine and lifted her from the straw-covered ground by her neck until her fear darkened eyes were level with his. "Where. Is. Peter?"

A black-haired male of medium height jumped up, but he kept his eyes trained on the floor. "M-Major, M-Maria took him again."

Jasper snarled, dropped the little female, and walked slowly toward the door. He had thought Maria would have grown tired of Peter. Her new lovers had never lasted very long. Of course, none of them could do for her what he did. Perhaps Maria had mistaken Peter's fury and abhorrence for enthusiasm.

He strode toward Maria's little white house, sending his senses ahead. Evidently, Maria was finished with him as he came out of the house as Jasper approached.

"Maria," Jasper called, stopping about five yards in front of the covered porch.

Maria followed Peter through the door and raised a questioning eyebrow at Jasper as she crossed her arms over her chest.

"I scented four vampires in your territory. I'm taking Peter with me to track them."

He couldn't ignore the huge sense of relief that exuded from Peter.

Maria waved a hand dismissively. "Do as you will, my Major. Scatter their ashes and leave pieces of them unburned so that others will be warned about what will happen to them if they cross into my lands."

Jasper nodded and signaled for Peter to follow him. They raced away.

They followed the four vampires' trail to an abandoned mine within Maria's territory, and they watched them from the cover of boulders and scraggly dry brush above the entrance of the mine. They had obviously taken up residence within it.

During the second day hidden in the rocks above the mine, Jasper whispered to Peter, "I know what you've been feeling. Do not attempt to kill Maria."

"Then kill me. Burn me with the rest of them." He gestured with a nod toward the mine. "She wouldn't know. She would think they got me." His eyes dropped to the ground. "I…I don't think I can hold out until my year is up."

Jasper's eyes shot to Peter with alarm. How had he known about that?

Jasper didn't want Peter to die, but he felt his desperation and understood his aversion to her—the aversion to the life they led.

It was if Jasper's warning had opened the floodgates, and Peter began to speak in a rush. "Miguel told me the newborns only last about a year. He's the oldest you got. He told me you got rid of a few right after he woke up." Peter looked up at Jasper with a sardonic smile. "He's a fuckin' idiot, but he's not stupid. He saw you take them out to patrol and not bring 'em back. The moron managed to put two and two together. He's proud he's lasted this long. He thinks he's goin' to make the cut. Apparently, Maria told him a select few were spared now and then. She told me the same thing." Peter shook his head. "Newborns who can't fight don't last long. We've all seen that. But I can fight. He only told me because he thinks I'll be taken out in a couple months when my year is up." He looked at Jasper from the corner of his eye. "He told me about the God of War, too, and that you're her favorite. I'd rather be dead than…" Peter sighed wearily and shuddered. "I know what Maria has done to you. Some of it. She brags about it while she's…" He ran his hand down over his face. "Anyhow, I thought that's why you wanted me to come with ya day before yesterday. I thought you were goin' to kill me, and I was so fuckin' grateful."

Jasper's eyes narrowed at the God of War reference, but chose to ignore it. He focused instead on the thought the Peter would be grateful to him for his death. "Is that why you were so relieved? Because you thought I was goin' to kill you?"

"Yeah. I thought you were bringin' me out here to burn me. All I knew was I wouldn't have to listen to that bitch's stories or fuck that sadistic cunt anymore." His hands curled into fists, and he shuddered again.

"What do you mean you knew?"

"I…I'm not sure. Sometimes I just know. I didn't know what you were really bringin' me out here for, but you're gonna do somethin' to help me, and I don't even care if it's lightin' me on fire. I don't know why the hell I would trust you, but I do. I just know I can." His eyes looked down the barren hillside. "I also know those four vampires'll be no trouble at all. It'll be easy to kill 'em." He looked pleadingly up into Jasper's eyes. "Like right now I know I'm not goin' to kill Maria because you're goin' to help me. I don't know what you're gonna do, but whatever it is will work. I won't get any more of her special attention."

A sliver of hope wormed its way from Peter into Jasper's awareness.

"No, I won't end you." Jasper looked down the side of the hill, his mind racing. After what Jasper had done to him, how could Peter say that he trusted him? How could he feel any kind of hope? Jasper could clearly sense Peter's truthfulness and his yearning. "Let's kill them." He stood and shoved one of the boulders they were hiding behind down the steep slope.

As it bounced and rolled, it smashed and broke loose other rocks and stones. The clattering and rumbling drew the four vampires from the mine—three males and one tiny female.

Just glancing at them, Jasper already knew they would be easy to defeat. At his signal, he leapt and Peter followed him down the hill, bounding behind the boulder he had dislodged.

Jasper landed in front of the little female. She was too shocked by their sudden appearance to move and he grabbed her by her head and wrenched it off, ending her scream of terror. He threw her body aside, spun around and punched the male with the long, straight, black hair in the center of his face, shattering his head into a cloud of sparkling shards.

Another of the black haired males attempted to run, but Peter caught him and threw him back toward Jasper. Then Peter pounced on the fourth male who tried to take a stance against them. The vampire roared and swung his fist at Peter. Peter caught it, crushed it and slammed the male to the ground. He stomped down on the middle of his back and ripped his arms off, flinging them away. He twisted around, reached for the vampire's legs, and tore them off one at a time.

Jasper held the struggling vampire Peter had thrown at him to his chest and hissed in his ear. "This is what happens when you trespass into Maria's territory."

After Peter removed the head from the fourth vampire he turned to Jasper. "We should let that one go. He'll tell others." Peter walked slowly toward them. "The propaganda of war." He grabbed the vampire's fingers and snapped them off, making him scream. His hand clamped around the smaller vampire's throat and pulled him from Jasper's grasp. He turned him to face Jasper. "Remember his face. That's the God of War." Peter's fingers dug into the weakly struggling vampire's neck and he pointed at Jasper. "He defends Maria's land." His eyes flicked up to Jasper's and at Jasper's nod he bit the smaller vampire's jaw and injected his venom.

The captive vampire screamed louder as the sizzling venom worked its way through his veins. When the wails quieted to whimpers, Peter finally pulled his teeth away. "Don't come back."

Jasper grabbed the vampire by his jaw and held him up at his eye level. When Peter released him, Jasper blasted him with terror. "Stay out of Maria's lands or I'll make you watch as I burn you piece by piece." He flung him away and he tumbled over the cracked earth.

The small male scrambled to his feet, clutched his maimed and bleeding hand to his chest and raced to the north.

Jasper and Peter silently gathered the other appendages and headless torsos, making a pile. Jasper handed a box of matches to Peter. As Peter struck a match and tossed it onto the venom-coated bodies, Jasper turned to face him.

"I won't end you," he repeated. "I only know one way to keep Maria away from you," he murmured as he looked back into the spreading blue and orange flames.

"What way?" Peter asked, his head down and staring into the flames.

"Claim you as mine."

"Do it," Peter said, setting his jaw as his deep red eyes darkened to black.

Jasper lowered his head, closed his eyes and drew in a deep breath. He had never hesitated in doing what he needed to do to achieve his objective or maintain control, but in that he hesitated. He hadn't wanted to do that to Peter again.

He saw no other way.

When he opened his eyes and looked up at Peter he pushed a thick cloud of lust at him, giving him time to get away—time to change his mind. Jasper hadn't given him a choice before, but he would that time.

Peter moaned, his head fell back, and his hands drew up to his chest. "Just … just do it."

Jasper was instantly behind him and shoved him down onto his hands and knees, ripping his shirt from his body.

In shock, he stared at the long, thick scars that ran jaggedly down Peter's back and around his sides. He hadn't received them when fighting with the other newborns. Jasper knew Maria had been the one to inflict those wounds.

Those gashes had been opened and reopened; corrupted repeatedly with her foreign venom, making them wider with each slice of her teeth. Jasper could imagine that matching scars plagued Peter's chest and abdomen also.

They resembled scars that she had carved into his own skin many years before.

He had not known. He had not been aware. Somehow, Peter had managed to block the fiery agony of those recurring lacerations and had kept it from him. But, why would he have confided in Jasper? Jasper had abused and mistreated him as badly as the other newborns. Jasper had not given him any reason to trust him.

Then he understood the sentences Peter had not completed—what he had not said.

He suddenly wondered why he cared. He had never given a shit about any of them.

His jaw clenched as he hissed and roughly forced Peter's pants down his thighs, exposing more wide scars. He freed his own hardening dick and pushed more lust into Peter, but tempered it with compassion instead of submission and subservience.

Allowing himself to succumb to the lust, venom welled up in Jasper's mouth, and he coated his right hand with venom before gripping his dick. He slid his left hand over Peter's shoulder and enveloped him with relief and acceptance. Jasper couldn't help the feeling of possessiveness that began to build with the compounding lust. When he felt the tension in Peter's muscles ease the slightest amount he slowly thrust into him, moaning and curling over his back.

He sucked in a ragged breath and guided his left hand down Peter's scarred back, around his waist and up his stomach to his chest, trailing his fingers over the ragged welts left behind by Maria's sadistic games, drawing him upright. Peter was breathing heavily and spread his fingers over Jasper's hand and forearm that was across his chest and holding him.

With his right hand, Jasper brushed the hair away from the left side of Peter's neck and tilted his head to the right. He groaned into his ear, thrusting into him again. Jasper began to growl as his lips trailed down the scarred skin of Peter's neck, and he slowly placed his teeth over the thick muscle at the top of his shoulder. "Peter, you are mine now."


Lyrics from "When You Gonna Run" by Alpha Rev from the album Bloom.