Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
"Don't mean to look a gift-horse in the mouth, but what is it that you're expecting out of this?"
I regretted the words almost immediately as they left my stupid mouth. Here he was in all his give-a-fuck God-like glory, ready to help me seek vengeance on my cheating husband, and I was questioning his motives. But how couldn't I? What was he expecting out of me, exactly? He shifted in the living room of the same modest house, a mysteriously dark glint in his eye in reception to my inquiry.
"Nothing yet," he replied slowly, almost innocently. "It's telling me to do this—to help you. I'm going to listen to it in hopes that whatever reason it has to push me in this direction, your direction, it's going to benefit me sooner or later," he said, referring to his gift. It was vague and made me want to question him more, but I bit my tongue. How could I argue with that? So his gift told him to help me.
"Besides, it's been a while since I've fucked," he side commented idly, almost to himself. I couldn't stop the giggle that erupted from me, my shoulders shaking in laughter. Peter? Not having sex on a regular? It sounded almost absurd as me whoring around with Mike Newton and the rest of the boys at school.
"You're joking," I gasped between chuckles. "There's no way you haven't been having sex with some disastrously hot vampire over the past… how old are you, again?"
"Old," he replied, but shrugged at my first comment. "I used to have a companion, but not anymore. Not for a long time."
"Oh?" I asked curiously.
He nodded, but said nothing more. Should I really be prodding at this? Did he have a lover before I came along? Why did that make me jealous? I sighed inwardly.
I plopped onto the slouching couch in the room and we settled into comfortable silence for a few minutes. More minutes passed and the couch suddenly felt warmer and softer on my back. I shifted into a lying position and told myself I was just going to rest my eyes for a second, but I began to nod off, drifting in and out of consciousness.
"Her name was Charlotte," he whispered.
Was I dreaming? Was I awake? I didn't know. My eyes were closed and Peter's dulcet tones drifted into my head, clouding my thoughts with his silky voice. I said nothing, waiting for him to continue.
"She was a strong little sprite, feisty, and compassionate… nothing like me," he breathed, his voice lowering just a few decibels. I could barely hear him now and I strained to listen though my mind was screaming at me to get some rest. I needed it, but I couldn't stop listening to him. What had happened to this Charlotte he spoke so fondly of?
"We were travelling to Texas when she went off for a hunt. My gift hadn't warned me in time. She'd run into a group of strange, unfriendly nomads. They advanced on her… attacked her before I could get here in time. She was ash by the time I'd arrived," he muttered darkly.
"I ripped them all to shreds and watched them burn… but it didn't bring Charlotte back."
I felt the familiar rush of heat rise through my chest and flood my cheeks. Tears pooled into my closed eyes and pit-patted onto the lumpy sofa. I didn't hear Peter shift from his spot, but his hands were suddenly lifting me, carrying me deeper into the house. I didn't open my eyes, but simply leaned into his marble chest. It was cold and my tears soaked through his shirt.
My back hit a soft bed and in the next moment, a warm comforter was draped over me. I kept my eyes shut, not wanting to look at him. It would just make me cry more.
"I'm sorry," I whispered softly.
I heard nothing but the gentle rustling of wind as he shut an open window at vampire speed and flitted back to the edge of the bed. I could feel his intense gaze on me, watching me as sleep started to take my mind.
"Rest, Isabella," he murmured softly before there was another 'whoosh' of air and I knew he was gone.
Peter didn't speak of Charlotte again over the next few days. The small moment of openness he had gifted me was gone now and he was back to his merciless honesty and teasing touches. A part of me wanted to ask him about her, but it just wasn't in my place. I hardly knew the man. It just didn't feel right to try and pry into his past.
You don't know the man and yet you'll gladly fuck him in front of Edward.
I pushed the errant thought away, pulled out my phone, and read the short message Alice sent me just a few seconds ago.
'Open your door.'
I blinked, quirking a curious brow towards the front door.
"They're here," Peter muttered in a blatantly annoyed voice, flitting over to the door and cracking it. I heard a familiar tinkling voice greet him followed by another low whispering hello.
Alice and Jasper stepped inside and I immediately charged the tiny vampire first, throwing myself into her marble arms. She hugged me back just as tightly, nearly cutting off my air supply, but I didn't care. "Hi, Bella," she giggled into my hair, patting my back as we parted.
"I'm glad you're here," was all I could manage through my haze of tears. She nodded, her eyes seeming to mist with venomous tears, too.
"Bella," Jasper greeted. I grinned at him through my watery gaze, quickly pulling him into an embrace. It was so strange. I'd never been this close to Jasper before, but I immediately liked it. I didn't know why we hadn't been closer before—oh wait, never mind, I did. Edward had pushed me so far away from Jasper that I rarely ever saw the empathic immortal. After the birthday incident, Jasper became almost a ghost to me. I barely saw him and more rarely spoke to him. Now that Edward was out of the picture, it seemed that Jasper would be just as close as Alice. I couldn't be happier about it.
"We came as soon as it was clear. Carlisle and the rest of the family was able to pull Edward out of his funk enough to drag him out on a hunt. It gave us enough time to sneak away and visit," Alice explained, "… we need to talk about your plans."
I halted and I knew my face was stony with her announcement. "I'm not backing out of this."
"Bella, you need to consider what you're doing. I know you want revenge for what he's done to you, but this isn't the way. Tanya is our cousin and killing her will lead to a war between our families. Is that what you want for us?" she asked and I nearly pouted with unhappiness.
"Why didn't you ask her about this when she was planning it out?" Alice then demanded of Peter. He had nearly melted into the background, merely a shadow against the dark walls of the house. He shrugged.
"Didn't care. It's not my problem whether you fight them or not. It's not like you won't win if it ever comes to fruition."
Alice gaped at him and I swear I could see steam coming out of her ears. Jasper was silently holding his laughter behind her, but I could see him struggling to hold his expression.
"It's not about winning! It's about peace!" she cried in frustration, turning around to face her husband, "… right Jazz?! Tell him not to do this. He can't kill Tanya."
"I'm sorry, do I detect a hint of false authority in the air?" Peter asked in a deathly quiet voice. I took a step back towards him, shadowing behind him. "Whitlock might have had power when we were with Maria, but he certainly holds none now."
Jasper's expression twisted from amused to a steady gaze on Alice. "You know I can't tell him what to do anymore, Alice. Besides, I don't think this is an entirely bad idea…"
Alice nearly shrieked in anger, crossing her arms and stomping her foot on the ground. I think the tile cracked.
"You know I've never liked them. We could do with some good old extermination," he said with a dark chuckle. Peter grinned beside me, nodding in agreement.
"Just like the good ol' days, ain't that right?" Peter replied with a suddenly strong southern twang. I think I nearly creamed my pants just then. Where the hell did that come from? Jasper chuckled and nodded.
"You've got to be kidding. You're going to help them?" Alice asked in a defeated voice, heaving heavily. Jasper could only nod.
"I love you, but yes, I'm going to help them. Edward doesn't deserve to live, but hell, I'll settle for Tanya if we can't get rid of him. You know the way they look at me, Alice. You've seen the judgmental glares and the not-so-quiet whispering. They all think I'm a monster. So… let's show them what a monster really looks like," he growled.
I was in utter shock at how this had unfolded. Alice was against our plan, but we had gained Jasper—a frighteningly strong, angry Jasper. Jasper and Peter, the duo stood side by side next to me, all three of us eyeing Alice. She slumped, sighing heavily once more. "I won't tell anyone and I'll keep this from Edward… but I won't help you either," she whispered, obviously hurt and angry at his choice.
So she wasn't on our side, but she wouldn't get in the way. At least we didn't have to worry about her interfering, but I couldn't help but feel guilty about splitting them up for the moment.
"Jasper, I'm sorry about this. You don't have to do this, you know. You should be with Alice," I said, gesturing towards the door. He shook his head, frowning.
"No. Alice and I will always be lovers and the closest of friends, but we have very different views on most things. She has always been the peace keeper in our time together. I, on the other hand, have always preferred to take a more aggressive stand."
Wait, what? Closest of friends? I didn't understand.
"I thought you two were in love. You look so happy with her."
"I do love her. I owe her my life, but she has never been the one. She knows it. We simply fill our time in each other's company in waiting for our true mates to reveal themselves. Until then… well, I suppose you could call us 'friends with benefits'," he explained. I was absolutely fucking floored.
"Welcome to 'Team Bella', Whitlock," Peter congratulated with false cheeriness. Jasper chuckled, punching Peter teasingly on the arm.
"I've always been 'Team Bella', ain't that right Darlin'?" he asked. I blinked at that southern twang again. Was I melting in my spot yet?
"Bella?" Jasper asked again, his eyes darkening. "Why are you... uh, never mind," he muttered quickly. If vampires could blush, I'm sure he would be red from head to toe. "I'll find a room," he said in hasty dismissal, vanishing off deeper into the house.
"The hell was that?" Peter asked, but there was a knowing glint in his eye.
"Oh, fuck you," I replied, sticking out my tongue.
"We'll be doin' that soon enough, Sugar. If I'd known you like this accent so much, I would'a done it sooner," he snapped back with a smirk. I flushed, turning my back on him.
"Shut up. I don't like it," I lied. Badly, I might add.
My phone blipped loudly and I fumbled to get it out of my jean pocket, reading the text from Alice.
'The family is going to think Jasper slipped again and needed some time alone to recover. It'll buy you enough time to do what you need to do. Please be careful. –A'
I showed Peter and he chuckled darkly. "Don't worry about being careful, Sugar. You have double protection now that Whitlock's here. And it seems Edward's little soiree with Tanya has spurred some of the old Jasper back. The Major is making a return and I plan to revel in it. It has been so, so long," he grinned. Whatever this meant, he seemed extremely happy about it
"The Major? What is that?" I asked, but I was interrupted by the disturbing feeling of being watched behind me. I turned to find Jasper only inches behind me, a murky expression on his face.
"It's who I was during the Vampire Wars, Bella. It was a persona that I put away for a long time—for Alice, for the Cullen's. But Peter has made it clear that I no longer need to hide that side of me here."
"That side of you? I don't understand. Why would you need to hide it?" I asked, still intrigued.
"Because I was—I am—a killing machine. I took life with little remorse, Bella. It's different now. I have my emotions intact and I understand what I'm doing, but The Major, this piece of me, is starting to reemerge. And I can't say I don't like it," he explained.
"So it's the old you mixing in with the new you?" I asked, trying to simplify what I knew was ridiculously complicated emotions in my head. He nodded.
"In a way, yes."
"Good. I like the new you, Jasper. But I think I'll like the old you, too. I've found that I've been hiding a lot of the real me, too," I replied in a soft voice, shuddering at the realization of how close Jasper and I really were. We had so much in common and I was so sheltered before that I hadn't even realized it.
"I like the real you, Darlin'," he chuckled, brushing a strand of hair out of my flushed face. "Just teasing, Bella. I wouldn't do anything you wouldn't want me to."
What the hell was that supposed to mean?! Was he ok'ing us to do… stuff? What about Peter and me? Was he okay with that? Was I okay with that?! I didn't know, but my body was certainly responding accordingly.
Peter, who had grown silent during our conversation, ran a cool hand up my waist, his calloused fingers tracing circles on my bare skin. I shivered, accidentally backing up into Jasper's tall frame. I felt him lean down and I froze, not knowing what to expect.
I felt his cool lips peck my forehead sweetly, though his hand had joined Peter's on my waist. His touch was surprisingly different from Peter's. It was gentle and almost timid as it traced along the hemline of my pants, skimming over my overheated skin. I felt like I was hyperventilating. Two ridiculously hot vampires were touching me and I felt like I was going to shudder into a puddle at their glorious feet.
"Bella, do you want this?" Jasper asked softly, his amber eyes searching mine. Peter's fingers dipped into my pants, playing with the hem of my panties. My eyes squeezed shut and I gasped when Jasper's gentle touch trailed up, his thumb brushing against the curve of my breasts.
"Y-Yes," I breathed. I wasn't thinking. This wasn't right. I couldn't do this with them. Oh God, what about Alice? She was going to be devastated! I was going to betray my best friend, my sister, and do naughty things with her hot husband. All of these thoughts were racing through my head somewhere deep in the recesses of my thoughts, but I couldn't get past how wonderfully erotic their hands felt against my skin.
I wanted to say sorry. I wanted to scream how sorry I was for doing this, but I couldn't feel sorry. I wasn't allowed to feel sorry. I remembered what Peter said. This was about me. I wanted this, as selfish and wrong as it was. "Yes," I repeated in a low hiss when Jasper's thumb brushed against a taut nipple.
Oh, there's no going back now, Bella. You've lost your mind and your soul to these two devilish vampires. And you don't feel one bit sorry for it, do you?
I didn't feel sorry at all. They were mine now—and I wanted all of it.
A/N: Don't hate me. I love Jasper too much to just leave him out of this. Leave a review and let me know what you think!