The Sunshine Train
John F. Kennedy said once that the courage of life is often a less dramatic spectacle than the courage of a final moment; but it is no less a magnificent mixture of triumph and tragedy. A man does what he must, in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures, and that is the basis of all morality.
I couldn't agree more.
Courage was the reason I was here. Courage and love. We know Edward and Bellas story during Twilight, but what if it was different? What if Alice was the new girl, and Bella was already a vampire? Would Jaspers self-control hold out when he meets a girl whos blood smells so intoxicating to him? Mostly AxJ, all canon pairings. Thank you so much to MoonSpinner for the amazing banner!!
Read on and enjoy. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, and i never ever ever will :(
18. The Hunt
Rating 4.5/5 Word Count 2925 Review this Chapter
"These violent delights have violent ends"
I could hear them, long before I could see them. I could smell their scent on the unmoving air, travelling towards us, propelled by the force of the speed with which they were running.
I saw them moments later, though they were still too far away for Alice's weak, human eyes to reach. Three of them, running in formation, the two males flanking the female, spaced a dozen metres apart.
I felt Rosalie and Bella shift slightly on either side of me, Carlisle and Emmett standing defensively at the front, their posture protective, but non-threatening.
I never ceased to be amazed by the antics of nomad vampires. Their emotions, spiralling off them were barely human, barely even there. They gave themselves over to their instincts entirely, depending on animalistic tendencies, not trying to blend in with the human world the way we did.
The three figures emerged from a cluster of trees, the two men falling back behind the woman, orienting their movements around her, in a manner that clearly displayed the leader of their pack. Their walk was different, even to the humanised posture of my family, their gait shifting constantly, bordering on a cat-like crouch, their movements fluid, and stealthy.
They walked cautiously towards us, exhibiting their suspicion of meeting a large, unfamiliar group of their own kind, closing ranks with every step.
I could feel their hidden emotions stronger now, their caution and curiosity, the questions burning in their eyes at the sight of this unfamiliar group of golden-eyed predators.
I could feel Alice behind me, the warmth from her hand seeping through the shirt I was wearing, touching my icy skin. I could feel her interest, her amazement, and chuckled internally as she surprised me yet again. Of course she was amazed – only she would be on seeing true, wild vampires for the first time.
They were dressed in the ordinary, casual gear of backpackers – jeans and button down shirts, frayed with wear. They were barefoot, and the womans hair was filled with leaves and debris from the forest.
They stopped a few metres from Carlisle, their eyes flickering between us, pausing on Emmett's large form. I heard, and felt, Alice move behind me, and pictured her peering over my shoulder, straining to get a better look. The dark haired males eyes narrowed on her as she moved, and I growled low in my throat, leaning forwards a fraction.
The woman was easily the most powerful, the leader for all intents and purposes, her crimson eyes, and wild hair contrasting against the white of her skin, her posture distinctly feline and graceful, her eyes shifting constantly between each member of the family, her mouth set in a hard line.
The men hovered unobtrusively behind her, motionless, their posture defensive.
The woman stepped forwards, “We thought we heard a game”
Her voice was the usual, high and beautiful of our kind, but had an undertone of threat, like she was daring us to fight them. She held up her hand, the white of the baseball showing through her fingers, and her wrist flicked out, sending the ball spinning through the air. Carlisle's hand snapped up, and caught it easily, “I am Victoria. This is Laurent, and James” her head tilted to each side, nodding to the respective males as she said their names.
“I'm Carlisle, this is my family. Esme, Rosalie and Emmett, Jasper and Alice, Edward and Bella” He gestured behind him, not drawing attention to any singular people. I felt Alices slight hint of shock as he said her name, probably marvelling at Carlisle fitting it in easily with the rest of the family.
“Do you have room for a few more players?” her tone was light and friendly, but her eyes continued to shift between us.
“Actually we were just about to head home, but we'd certainly be interested another time. Will you be in this area long?”
None of us missed the faint glance that passed between Laurent and James, as Carlisle said the word 'home', and the faint raise of Victoria's eyebrows, but no one commented.
“We were headed north, but curious to see who was in the neighbourhood. We haven't run into any company in a long time.”
“No this region is usually empty, save for us, and the occasional visitor, such as yourselves.”
Edward shifted slightly, such a tiny movement that it went unnoticed by everyone else, but I knew what he meant. I concentrated hard, and gently sent a faint wave of calm towards the nomads, so subtle that they wouldn't consciously notice the change. Edwards head nodded very slightly in approval, and I settled my eyes back on James.
Their defensive stance had loosened, the tense atmosphere subsiding into casual conversation, and I felt Alice tighten her fingers briefly into my shirt, thanking me subconsciously for calming them, I suspected.
“What's your hunting range?” Laurent spoke for the first time, his voice infused with the slightest hint of a fading French accent.
“We keep to the Olympic Range up here, and the Coast Ranges on occasion. There's another permanent settlement, similar to ours, up in Denali.”
“Permanent settlement” Victoria mused, honest curiosity in her voice, and Carlisle nodded.
“Why don't you travel back to our home with us, where we can talk comfortably?”
“Of course” Victoria agreed, after sparing the quickest of glances at the two males, “That sounds interesting. We've been on the hunt all the way down from Ontario, and haven't had a chance to clean up in a while” Her eyes were raking over the Cullens refined appearance as she spoke, lingering on Rosalie, with jealousy in her eyes. I nearly laughed.
“Please don't take offence, but we'd appreciate it if you refrained from hunting in this immediate area. We try to stay inconspicuous” Carlisle added, as they took a step closer to us.
“Of course, we certainly wouldn't want to encroach on your territory. We ate outside of Seattle anyway” Victoria said, with a faint laugh, and Laurent smiled and nodded. James didn't move, his eyes were fixed on Alice over my shoulder. I heard her shiver slightly, and I growled again. I could feel his suspicion of her, he knew. Maybe not that she wasn't human – but you only had to see her eyes to tell that she wasn't a vampire. And my protective stance wasn't helping the matter, but I refused to move.
“Jasper, Alice, why don't you two take the Jeep, with Edward and Bella” Carlisle suggested, “We'll show you the way, if you'd like to run with us” he continued to Victoria, who nodded.
We'd taken perhaps half a step towards the car, and I could feel Alice just beginning to relax, when a slight breeze hit the back of my neck, ruffling my hair forwards, blowing Alices scent towards me.
I tensed, acting immediately, before the scent had even hit James, I had thrown Alice back behind me, and leaped in front of her, a terrible snarl ripping from my throat. James had turned his head sideways, his nostrils flaring as he smelled her, his intentions all to clear as his emotions faded, his instincts taking over.
He took one step towards us, covering a few feet of ground in less than a second, before my snarl grew louder, and I pulled my lips back over my teeth, making it perfectly clear what I would do to him if he dared get any closer. I saw the rest of my family in my peripheral vision, copying my pose, spreading in a half circle around me and Alice.
“What's this?” Victoria hissed, her eyes trained eagerly on me, “A human?”
“She's with us” Carlisle said, his voice firm, directed towards James, more than anyone.
“You bought a snack?” There was humour in James tone, as he shifted forwards slightly, his teeth glistening. I roared, feeling my anger taking over, my thoughts barely coherent; if he moved even another inch, I would tear him to pieces, before he'd even realised what had happened. I could feel real fear behind me, the first time Alice had ever been afraid in my presence, and some corner of my mind, the part that could still think straight, hoped to God that she was afraid of James, and not of me.
“But she's human” Laurent's voice was barely louder than Victoria's had been, his tone incredulous.
“Yes” said Emmett, shifting slightly further in front of me, his body blocking Alice from James view, cutting off her view of what was going on.
I felt her fingers tighten on my shirt again, heard her breathing grow ragged, but I concentrated solely on James. I couldn't let him look at her again, I wouldn't let him even a millimetre closer to her.
“I can see we have a lo to learn about each other” Laurent was saying, his tone less aggressive, more soothing than I expected., “We'd like to take you up on your offer, and of course we will not harm the human girl.”
Alice breathed the faintest sigh of relief, and I closed my mouth, keeping my eyes fixed on James, concentrating hard on Carlisle's next words, “We'd be glad to show you the way. Rosalie, Esme, Emmett?”
They turned away, James turning last, challenge evident in his eyes. It wasn't over yet – I knew his sort, and he would never give up. This was his fight now.
I spun around growling, and seized Alices arm, pulling her after me, hard, as I ran from the field, trying desperately to keep to human speed. I heard Bella and Edward following us, but paid them no heed.
One thought was fixed in my mind.
Get her out of here. Save her.Save her.
We reached the edge of the trees, and I threw Alice onto my back, running for the car as fast as I could, cutting a clear path through the forest. I didn't think about the burning in my throat, about the sweet nectar that was Alices blood, about how I could feel her pulse on my back.
We reached the Jeep, and I leapt into the back seat, dropping Alice in beside me, and strapping her into the seat, as Edward steered us, speeding over the rocks, the jolting and bouncing of the Jeep twice as hard as it had been.
My mind was filled with murderous rage, my only clear thoughts about Alice, wanting to kill him for even looking at her. Wanting to tear him apart slowly, piece by piece, limb by limb, until he would be incapable of looking at anything, ever again.
“Jasper?” Alices voice was quiet, barely even a whisper, but I didn't look at her. I couldn't look at her. I could barely register her voice in my mind.
“Jasper?” her voice was the slightest bit louder, more urgent. My head whipped around before I could stop it, a growl tearing itself free from my throat. Alice was cowering in the corner of the car, radiating evident waves of fear. But this fear wasn't at the situation, she wasn't even scared of James.
She was scared of me.
I closed my eyes momentarily. This was Alice. My Alice. And I loved her. I would do whatever it took to make her safe again.
I reached out a hand, feeling for hers in the darkness of my closed eyes, rubbing my fingers across hers. I felt her shift slightly closer to me, until she was pressed against my side, her head against my arm.
“Jasper, what's wrong?”
“Alice” I said, speaking for the first time since the arrival of the others, “Alice I'm so sorry, I should never have bought you here.” I could barely get the words out, needing her to know exactly what I was thinking. I had never meant for this to happen. Not to her.
“Jasper tell me what's going on!” her voice was slightly hysterical, and she clutched at the front of my shirt, forcing me to look at her.
Edward, help me
“James is a tracker, Alice” Edward said, “We have to take you far away from here – now.”
“I should go back there and tear him to pieces” I snarled, my fingers gripping the seat, tearing holes in the leather.
“He wants you Alice. Tracking is his obsession, and he'll stop and nothing.” Edward said, as I continued to say nothing, but I could feel my anger returning as he spoke my thoughts. My worst fears.
“But” Alice began, worry beginning to overtake her fear, “But Jasper, my Uncle! We have to stop and...do something! If we leave he'll go after my Uncle!”
I froze. I'd been concentrating so hard on trying to protect her, I'd almost forgotten about the brown-haired, kind hearted man that Alice lived with. The only member of her family she was close to. If anything happened to him, I would never forgive myself.
“No, Alice!” Edward all but shouted, but I cut him off, “Let her speak Edward!” My voice rang with a strict authority, “Turn around. Take her home. We can't let him hurt her Uncle. Take her home, and we'll figure out a plan. We'll lead James away somehow.”
“He's no match for us Edward” said Bella, laying an hand on his arm.
“He won't get near her” I growled, “Do you really think I'd let him?”
Edward spun the Jeep around so violently, that Alice flew half way towards me, before the harness locked in place, catching her. I was still breathing heavily, trying to control myself. Rage had always been hard for me to control, almost as hard as my blood lust. Ironic perhaps, that someone who has the power to manipulate others emotions, as such trouble controlling his own.
During my time as a newborn vampire, as one filled with fire and human blood, I had acted solely on instinct, much like James. I would have attacked first and dealt with it later, and there was very little stopping me from doing that now.
“You can tell Isaac you're going away – it doesn't matter where, make something up. The tracker will see, and we'll lead him away from your uncle. We can take you far away – wherever, and deal with him then.”
Bella nodded, agreeing with my suggestion. Edward didn't say anything, but the atmosphere in the car calmed very slightly.
Alice curled my fingers inbetween mine, stroking her thumb over my palm, using her own way to calm me down. It worked, somehow. With every brush of her warm skin against mine, my anger abated somewhat, my thoughts becoming clearer.
Get her away from here, get her safe.
As we drove closer to Alice's home, I spoke, “Ok, here's what we do. Alice, you go inside and tell Isaac whatever you want – something that'll get you out of the city for a few days and won't have him follow you, anything. You have 15 minutes from the moment you leave the car, to pack things and say goodbye. Edward and Bella you can circle the house, make sure the tracker can't even get close enough to smell her, understand? I'll get her car, and we'll leave, head back to the house. Then we're going to take her far away, somewhere he can't find us.”
“Jasper you know you can't come with us.” Bella said quietly, “He'd be expecting that – he'll follow your scent”
No, no, no! I refused to leave her. I didn't want her out of my sight, I didn't want my hand to leave hers. Who knows what could happen if she was alone, if I was alone.
I heard Alice's heart speed up, beating frantically. “No” I growled, “There is no way I am –”
“Jasper listen! Me and Edward will take her South. We'll keep her safe, I promise. We'll take her to Phoenix, or something – somewhere he won't expect. You can lead him off trail, take the roundabout route, and meet us later. When he's been... dealt with.”
Alice shuddered, and I tightened my fingers around hers. I didn't want to leave her – the very opposite. But what Bella was saying made sense. I'd always been tactical, seeing wars from the outside, as simple strategies. It changed a whole lot when someone you love is the cause of it all.
I hated myself for even considering leaving her, how could I do that to her?
But...maybe if I did, I could get James all to myself. Deal with him how I wanted, and show him exactly what happened when he threatened the love of my existence. I knew Carlisle wouldn't be happy – his compassion had always held him back from his instinctual murder and attack, but I knew it was the only option. And I knew that he would know that too.
“Fine” I agreed finally, my face still set in a deep frown, “But if anything, anything at all happens to her, I will hold you two personally responsible”
Bella and Edward nodded, their emotions as sincere as their expressions. I knew they would rather die than let anything happen to her.
So with a regretful nod, and a final squeeze of her hand, leaning down to stare into her huge, violet eyes, I handed the life of my one and only love, into my brother and sisters hands.
- First Sight
- Open Book
- Blood Typing
- Scary Stories
- Port Angeles
- Mind Over Matter
- The Cullens
- The Game
- The Hunt
- Phone Call
- Hide and Seek
- The Angel
- An Impasse
- Epilogue: An Occasion
- Authors Note.
- Alyss In Wonderland
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- 07 Jan 09
- 08 Apr 09