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The Sunshine Train

Summary:
Create your own banner at mybannermaker.com!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!!


Notes:
Read on and enjoy. Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight, and i never ever ever will :(


22. Hide and Seek

Rating 4.5/5   Word Count 5788   Review this Chapter

"And in their triumph die, like fire and powder,
Which as they kiss consume."

APOV

It was surprisingly easy to escape from the hotel without incident. I'd remembered the fire escape from my sleepy walk to our hotel room when we first arrived, the garishly bright sign making me wince as I stumbled down the dark corridor, half held up by Bella.

I ran to it, pushing open the door, thankful that it had been wedged open by a brick, leading out onto a cold metal staircase, that led down to an alley.

I could see the cabs pulling in outside the entrance to the hotel a few feet from me, and ran down the steps, taking them in twos and threes in my desperation to get to the ground, landing unsteadily on the cold concrete.

I took a deep breath, and ran the last few feet, crossing the road, dodging the cars, throwing myself into the open door of a cab and gasping, “Drive” at the shocked driver.

“Where to?” he asked gruffly, as we pulled out of the road, the hotel fading behind us. As I peered through the window, I caught a glimpse of bronze and brown standing at the front desk.

Edward and Bella.

I rattled off my home address; the church was less than a five minute walk from there, but it would take longer to drive.

“That's in Scottsdale” he complained, glaring at me in the rear-view mirror. I threw a handful of notes onto the seat next to him, “Is that enough?”

“Sure, kid” he said, and sped up slightly.

Which brought me to now; sitting curled up on the scratchy seats of a yellow cab, watching the houses and trees flash by. I couldn't help but be reminded of when I first got to Forks, and smiled.

I closed my eyes, leaning my head against the cool window, and imagined I was with Jasper.

I thought back to the first time we'd met, my memories flashing through, his face standing out vividly.

The anger is his eyes as he sat next to me in English, on that fateful first day. Did he know, then, just how that one simple lesson, had thrown both of our futures into a swirl of confusion and betrayal? Did he expect that me, a simple human girl, could have such a drastic effect on his life? If he had known, at that moment, what would he have done?

The memories and questions continued in my head, like a slide show. A slide show of the most beautiful person in the world.

I remembered the day he'd rescued me from the fire, his cool skin as he'd carried me through the flames. The time I'd returned his bag to him at the lunch table, and unwittingly told his family my life story. The day – I chuckled to myself at the memory – that I'd opened the door half dressed, and he'd been standing on my doorstep, trying to return my jacket. The look on his face, the day I'd driven my car into his, leaving a deep dent in his beautiful Porsche. The worry on his face, how his eyes had been the first thing I'd seen, after my vision, that night in Port Angeles. I remembered our trek through the woods, the day he'd shown me himself in the sun. His skin sparkling like a thousand diamonds in the light. The beauty of the clearing, with the lake, and the jewel bright flowers. I remembered the way he held me, before I'd left.

The feeling of his lips against mine, the desperation as he told me he loved me, as though he was worried he would never see me to tell me again.

I relived everything he'd said to me, any comment that stood out in my mind, spoken in his beautiful voice. The voice with the slightest, fading hint of a southern twang.

“I'm sorry I was so rude last lesson. I didn't get a chance to introduce myself to you, my name is Jasper Hale. You're Alice Brandon.”

“Alice I don’t hate you. You…you don’t know what you’re getting into with me”

“A plague I can handle Miss Brandon. But you…you could kill me in a thousand different ways with a flutter of those beautiful eyes of yours”

"Darlin’ I could give you a blow-by-blow account of the Civil War if you asked me for one”

“Because…well in all honesty, you fascinate me. I’ve never met anyone like you, and believe me, I’ve been searching for a long time.”

“Quileute legends. A bunch of lies bias lies passed down from word-of-mouth, changed by everyone who tells them. There's almost no truth left in their stories”

“Alice darlin’, I’ll spend the rest of my existence, finding you as many pretty flowers as you ever want. But right now, we’re a little pushed for time.”

“You are the most important thing to me, Alice Brandon.
I’ve spent over a century feeling the emotions of others; living through them. Feeling the pain, the hope, the anguish.
But when I met you…I was paralysed, I was feeling emotions I had never experienced for myself before. I’d never felt love before I met you, Alice.”

I imagined that James and Victoria had never gotten to Esme, that everything had been fine, and I'd stayed to meet Jasper at the airport, waiting by Customs for his plane to arrive. I would stand on tiptoes, and curse myself for being vertically challenged, and barely taller than some of the children blocking my view.

I would see him before he saw me, his blonde hair standing out amid the sea of dark coats and suitcases, and I would run too him, throwing myself into his cold arms, and trusting completely that he would catch me.

I wondered where we would have gone, but I didn't really care. My happy place was wherever Jasper was, and we could have been front line in World War One, and it wouldn't have bothered me.

“What's the number?” the cab drivers voice jerked me out of my revere, and I scowled as I answered, Jasper's face fading before my eyes.

We were nearing the house now, and memories of my childhood came flooding back to me, as we drove past my school, the tree I used to climb with my best friends, the park I bought ice creams from in the summer. My house.

I opened the door, raising my face to the cool afternoon air as I stepped from the cab, turning back to the driver, “Thank you” I said, putting as much sincerity as I could into my voice. He really didn't know how significant he had been, playing this part in my final journey. He probably gave hundreds of girls lifts everyday, and he would go back to work like he always did, not paying any more thought to the dark haired girl, that he had unknowingly drove to her death.

Would he care, if he knew? Would he remember me? Or would I be another face, fading into a sea of passengers that he'd driven around.

He nodded to me, smiling as I closed the door, and drove away. A swirl of leaves and dust drifted in the wake of the cab, spinning around my ankles. I sighed, and turned away from my childhood home, away from everything I knew. And I walked.

My footsteps echoed in my ears with every step I took, but my heartbeat, which was erratic and loud at the best of times, was calm. Collected. Surprising. But it didn't shock me, what did was how accepting I was of my decision. I genuinely wasn't scared, even as I saw the shape of a church turret coming into view in front of me.

I wished that Fate had been kinder, that she'd played a bigger part in my life. But in all honesty, I couldn't blame her. Fate had led me to Jasper, and from there I'd made my own choices. As I walked, I remembered a quote from a pirate film I'd watched years ago, just because it had Jonny Depp in it, and wondered how much truth and wisdom there could really be in a Disney film.

All that remains is for them to decide where they make their final stand


I picked my way precariously through the overgrown graves, not caring as my heels sunk into the damp grass, not caring as nettles stung my hands, and long grass whipped at my feet.
I stopped. I didn't mean to, I didn't even notice I had. One minute I was making my way towards the church doors, the next I was frozen, my eyes fixed on a grave.

It was dark black marble, obviously shiny and new, barely a year old, but covered in leaves and plants. It looked abandoned, as though nobody cared for it, as though it covered a member of family that wouldn't be missed, and that broke my heart. Ivy wound it's way around the headstone, covering the dates and the messages, but the name was visible. I dropped to my knees in front of the grave, tears leaking from my eyes.

Cynthia Brandon

“I'm sorry mother” I whispered to the stone, “I'm so so sorry. I wish I'd been a better daughter. I wish I'd appreciated you while I could. I'm sorry I haven't come to visit, and I'm sorry I made you come and pick me up that day” I was choking through the words, tears dripping into the earth at my knees, but I continued, stumbling over the words as I tried to get the out quickly, “I'm sorry for everything. I'm sorry I left, I'm sorry I let father fall to pieces, I'm sorry!”

I dug my nails into the earth, sobbing loudly, my tears dripping into my collar, almost forgetting where I was.

A crow cawed loudly above me, jolting me out of my thoughts.

I stood, new found determination filling me, and backed away from my mother, walking to the church, gaining speed with every step, running the last few feet. I had to save Esme. I wouldn't let Jasper go through what I did, I wouldn't let him lose his mother because of me.

My hand barely hesitated on the cold metal handle of the door, pushing the doors open, throwing the shadows inside the church into sharp relief.

The silence washed over me, as I stood on the steps. The usual feeling of calm that came with the presence of a church was gone, and a feeling of anticipation washed over me. Although I couldn't see James, I could almost feel his excitement. I wondered briefly if I'd been hanging around Jasper too long, and laughed quietly to myself. The sound echoed in the seemingly empty room.

I took a step in, letting the doors swing closed behind me, and my eyes adjust to the dusty gloom of the room, the light streaming through the brightly coloured windows not doing much to chase away the shadows.

“It's nice to see you're in such high spirits Miss Brandon” the silky voice of the hunter seemed to come from every corner of the room, and I couldn't tell where he was. I took another step forward, and spoke in the direction of the altar.

“I'm here James, where's Esme. You need to let her go!” The force of my tone shocked even me, and filled me with new courage. I stepped forwards again.

Lights blazed suddenly, filling every corner of the dark room. I closed my eyes reflexively, squinting slightly. As I adjusted to it, I snorted. It would have been a lot more effective if candles had been used, and somehow simultaneously lit, but instead it was cheap, candle shaped bulbs, fitted in brackets all over the walls.

James – situated behind the alter, seemed to be thinking along the same lines, as his gaze trailed around the walls, before coming to rest on me, “Not as effective as I would have liked, but effective enough.”

“Where is she” I said again, my hands clenching into fists at my sides. He smiled slightly, and gestured upwards, towards a gallery to one side. I could make out two struggling figures, one with blazing orange hair, and one with caramel brown, before the light reached them.

Victoria was clasping Esme's arms behind her back, bending them behind her to the point of pain, one arm wrenching Esme's head to the side, her teeth snapping dangerously close to her neck. Esme let out a whimper, and I was suddenly filled with anger.

“Let her go!” I spat at him, clenching my teeth, trying to hold back from launching myself at him, despite how ineffective it would be, “She's not a part of this!”

“Hmm. I suppose that's true. However, I am so tempted to let her watch this...little show that I have planned. I chose my stage well, don't you think? The house where the mother prayed for hours every Sunday, where she was finally laid to rest. The place where her daughter will meet her end. All I needed was the appropriate audience, and well...” he trailed off with a smile, gesturing again at Esme.

“I promise you Alice. I will not harm her, once I've had my fun with you.” he seemed genuine, like he truly promised it, “Scouts honour” he continued, raising three fingers in a salute, with a smirk.

I nodded. For some reason – some bizarre reason that I didn't quite understand. I trusted him, trusted that he would let Esme go.

“Wonderful” he smiled, turning away from me, doing something that I couldn't quite see. He continued to speak, and although his voice was quiet, it reached me easily, “You're being quite negotiable today. This was really too easy, I'm going to have to make it more enjoyable.” he stepped to the side, showing me what had been behind him.

He'd set up a video camera on a tripod, giving it the perfect view of the whole church, the red light on the front winking cheerfully, as if to say 'I'm on, and recording, now kill her violently!'

“I was wondering what exactly would make your dear Jasper go mad with vengeance, something that would make him seek revenge on me” James smiled, walking slowly towards me, keeping up his friendly tone, “And I decided that filming this would really work to everyone's advantages.”

“Don't!” I hissed, taking an unconscious step back, as he continued to stalk towards me, his steps growing more and more predatorial, “He has nothing to do with this! It's me you want, not him!”
James seemed slightly saddened by my words, “Oh, so I suppose he was all to happy about you meeting me here?”

“No. He doesn't know. I left him a letter, and told him not to come after me.”

“Do you think he will honour your request?”

“I hope so” my voice was nearly a whisper. It was strangely easy to converse with this hunter, the pale man with the stereotypical beautiful face. There was nothing menacing in his eyes, nothing evil about him, as he stopped walking, and stood a few feet in front of me.

“Ah, well then our hopes differ. You see this is all a little too easy for me. I've already said I won't harm the woman, but your mate...I have plans for him. Getting you here wasn't nearly as challenging as I was expecting, it was all a matter of luck. You see, as the woman and the blonde girl stayed in Forks to protect your uncle, it was almost to simple to kidnap one of them I decided on the woman because I was hoping it would bring back some emotional turmoil for you – make the game a little more interesting if the mother was involved.”

I gritted my teeth, trying to silence the slight growl that escaped the back of my throat, but he still heard it. He laughed, a loud, surprised laugh of real humour. I heard Victoria join in, her laugh a tinkling soprano.

“You're growling at me? Little human, you are so much more than I expected!”

His bravado was wearing off, and I sense his little speech was coming to an end. It wasn't meant for me, anyway. It was for the cameras, for Jasper to see. He didn't have anything to gloat about, there was no glory in beating me, a mere human.

Suddenly he was in front of me, having covered a few feet in the time it took me to blink. His hand smashed across my face, knocking me off my feet, sending my sliding down the aisle, coming to a stop by the pews. The pain rang through my head, and my fingers clutched at my face, but I knew it was nothing compared to what was coming.

He walked a few more steps, crouching down in front of me, turning briefly over his shoulder to check the camera could still see us, “Before we begin...” he started, with the air of a primary school teacher, about to begin a story to a class of noisy children, “I'd like to tell you something, about the last prey that escaped me – something you will not do, I'd like to add. You know her, although you weren't born when I met her first – you weren't even a thought. She was a human, and her boyfriend defended her much as yours did you, but she had no family, nothing I could tempt them with” his fist curled in anger around the wood of the seat in front of me, flaking easily into splinters.

“I was very surprised when I saw her in the meadow. I wondered how long it took her boyfriend to overcome his lust for her blood, and turn her. I wonder how they feel now, knowing I have claimed someone they know.”

“Bella” I breathed, and he smiled.

“Yes, your little friend Isabella. It was long ago I met her, did they fail to mention that they knew me?”

I didn't answer, and he shook his head slightly, smiling wider, “Well now they know what would have happened, had they not eluded my clutches last time. Something to be thankful for, once this is over. I must say, the scent of her blood didn't hold a candle to yours”

He leaned down, taking a long, deep breath above my head, before straightening his legs, and standing over me.

He turned his back to me, and I tried desperately to get up, afraid for the first time since I'd decided to come here. I scrambled at the wooden pews, trying to find a foothold, so I could stand.

He was facing me again, leaning down and grasping my arm. He lifted me with one hand, and I dangled like a rag doll from his hand, my legs moving violently. I tried to kick him, I struggled and thrashed, as he held me up, level with his face. His smile had widened into a painful grimace, his teeth shining, glistening in the light.

It was barely a twitch of his wrist that came next, but I was thrown like a helpless toy, across the room, soaring through the air. I felt briefly like I was flying, before I fell. I saw the ground rushing up to meet me, and raised my arms weakly in defence. What I didn't see was the stone pillar behind me, and I smashed into it with full force, the pain crackling down my back, my spine arching against the contact as I slid to the floor.

A terrible scream rang around the room, as I collapsed against the cold ground, and it took me a moment to realise it was coming from me. But even though I knew, and I tried to silence myself, I couldn't help the trembles of fear that overcame me, the whimpering cries that came from my throat.

“Oh this is wonderful” James exclaimed, relaxing against the pillar next to me, the camera in his hand, focused on my face, “This will make for excellent viewing time, when I show it to your dear vegetarian family!”

“No” I managed to choke out, “No Jasper! Don't listen to him!”

James was in front of me immediately, hissing between his teeth, “Now Alice, don't be like that! You want your boyfriend to come and rescue you, don't you? Nod your head for me dear, go on”

His hand went around the back of my neck, moving my head up and down. I was helpless to stop him.

I became aware of another voice, coming from somewhere above me. A beautiful voice, that wasn't twisted with pleasure, at the sight of a girl being tortured. It was moaning, begging, pleading.

“Let her go! Please, stop it! I'll do anything!”

“Esme” I croaked, “Esme it's Ok!”I didn't listen to hear if she replied to me, I couldn't hear anything over the rushing in my ears. He took my arm, the left one to be exact, and held it tightly in his fist. I could feel the skin bruising beneath his fingers, before he twisted it. Backwards.

A sickening snap rang through the room, and I heard it, before I registered the pain, and the fact that it was me.

But then I did, the wrenching agony making me convulse on the floor, dangling at an awkward angle, as he held me half off the floor. I sobbed, every movement twisting my arm further back behind me, every shake of my body sending a jolt of pain through me.

“One...” he said slowly, letting me arm go, letting me drop into a heap on the floor. I cradled my arm to my chest, not once wondering why he was counting. I found out soon enough anyway.

He reached forwards, grabbing my unbroken arm, and fear curled within me, as I realised what he would do, I braced myself, but it didn't help.

“Two” he said with a smile, as another crack filled the room. I let out another agonizing scream, tears streaming down my cheeks, as I flopped helplessly onto the floor. My arms were bent awkwardly across my chest, no position helping the pain that twinged through them with every breath.

He smiled, leaning down to me, his expression changing slightly, “I'm sorry for all the pain I'm causing you Alice, but I need to make sure that your boyfriend will seek out the appropriate revenge!”

His foot bent backwards, and then shot forwards, embedding itself into my stomach, and I curled into the impact, all the breath rushing out of me.

I coughed for air, tasting blood in my mouth, on my tongue. I felt a trickle of blood creep from the corner of my lips, sliding towards to floor. I could barely hear it as it fell to the floor, dripping slowly into the dust, but it was enough to catch James' attention, as his foot moved backwards again, preparing itself for another kick.

He took a deep breath, raising his head, as though praising, or perhaps thanking God, breathing it deeper than I thought possible, his nostrils flaring.
I still couldn't breath clearly, and my head was spinning.

I tried to take a deep breath, but as I did another burst of pain flared out from my chest. I tried to sit up, trying to see what was hurting, and the pain intensified, as something hard broke through my skin.

Something wet was making my shirt stick to my chest, but I couldn't see what it was. With every shallow breath, every movement, the pain burned. My head was spinning faster, the room blurring around me.

Darkness was creeping into the edges of my vision, James' face in front of me blurring, as he advanced, his eyes darkening. I could feel the end coming, and could only hope that unconsciousness would claim me before death could.

The pain was unbearable, and I wondered how on earth I was still alive, how could someone live through this?

A noise was audible over the rushing in my ears, a sobbing, whimpering, moaning cry. Someone was groaning and crying, and screaming all at once. The church was echoing with a cacophony of noises, an orchestra of pain-filled cries. It wasn't a sound I'd heard before, it barely sounded even human.

I fought against the lethargy that was drifting over me, against the blotches spotting across my eyes, to open my mouth, to tell whatever was making the sound to be quiet.

But my mouth was already open, open of it's own accord. And that's when I realised, the sound was coming from me.

JPOV

I'd never moved faster than this before. I'd never been able to outrun Edward, but now he was far behind me. I ran through human civilisation, but they didn't notice. They went about their everyday lives, never noticing the blurs that were four vampires speeding past them.

My thoughts were barely coherent, just one was clear. One i''d been thinking for days, but one that had never meant more at this moment.

Save her

Save her

Save her

I could smell her now, even though the church was barely visible, the smell of her blood surrounding me, stronger than I'd ever smelt it. Rage overcame my desperation, as I caught James' scent, covering Alices.

I reached the church, but didn't stop at the door. I continued, the door falling easily in front of me, splintering as I charged into it, but I barely felt it. I was an animal, a monster. And he was my prey.

I could see him, and he was all I saw. I didn't even see her, crumpled at his feet as he advanced over her. My eyes zeroed in on him, and I slammed into him with the force of one thousand trains.

He flew back across the room, smashing into the columns on the other side, a deep crack running from the point of impact, to the floor, but I was right behind him.

I wrenched him from the floor, slamming him again and again into the marble pillar, the smashing impact of his head hitting the stone echoing around me.

My world had descended into a red haze, and anger was all I could feel. His head collided with the rock again and again, until it was crumbled at my feet, the remains of the pillar swaying with every hit.

I was thrown backwards with a sudden burst of speed and energy, landing on the alter, feeling the wood buckle beneath me, but I was back up on my feet before he could reach me.

James lunged at me, anger in his eyes, and I realised faintly that my emotions were making him stronger, but I was still stronger than him.

I wouldn't let him beat me. I twisted out of the way as he reached me, spinning behind him, my teeth snapping at his arm. I felt a chunk of his flesh tear away, and threw it from my mouth, ignoring his scream of agony.

But it wasn't enough, I couldn't just rip away half his shoulder, and suddenly feel a release of anger. I needed to kill him, so he would know, so he could feel the full extent of my anger.

My arms were locked around my neck, I could feel my nails embedding themselves deep in his rock hard skin, when a flurry of arms, in my peripheral vision caught my attention. Barely.

Emmett and Edward were suddenly there, their teeth bared at James, their arms locking around his, dragging him into the centre of the room, not trying to dislodge me from my position on his back.

I could smell gasoline, and knew what was coming. I could feel a slight edge creeping into his emotions, and knew that he knew it too. I smiled in anticipation.

Edward and Emmett were tearing at the floorboard and the pews, piling the wood in a pyramid, as tall as me.

I loosened myself from his back, growling as his eyes met mine. The monster was overtaking my mind again, and my thoughts faded.

I wrenched at him, tearing his arms from his body, as Edward and Emmett held him in place. I tore stone cold, white limbs from him, one by one, ignoring the shrieks of pain, the sound of boulders screaming against each other, as his flesh tore.

“Jasper”

Edwards voice was quiet, barely registering in the anger that filled my mind.

“Jasper, stop”

I let out a snarl, and leaped on James' back again, my teeth attaching to his neck, wrenching his head from his shoulders, hurling it onto the stack of wood, his body falling limp to the floor.

I stood motionless for a long while, trying to calm myself. I was shaking with anger, unable to stop the snarls of anger that were rippling through my teeth.

His death wasn't enough, he needed to die a thousand times, die a thousand violent deaths, to feel the full extent of my anger, and even that wouldn't be enough. How much would he have to suffer, for me to be satisfied, I wondered. What could I do him, that would equal what he had done to Alice?

Alice

Her name broke through my red haze.

Alice

As my rage dilapidated, I felt something else growing in my mind. A different sort of monster, fuelled by instinct, instead of anger. A monster that dug its claws into my mind, telling me to drink, to feed on the sweet source of the smell that was beginning to permeate my brain.

The sweetest, most satisfying smell was filling my noise, burning on my tongue, stronger that I'd ever felt it before. Every shift in the air sent a new, fresh wave of the scent towards me, until my mouth was dripping with venom.

No, no no no!

I couldn't!

Alice!

I opened my mouth to say something – anything, but all that left my throat was a snarl. The snarl of a monster, the snarl of a demon.

Edward! I screamed in my mind, Edward, stop me!


And I lunged towards the scent, towards the tiny figure of the broken girl I loved, curled on the floor.

I leaped towards her, in a scene that felt oddly familiar, except this time I wasn't trying to save her from evil. This time, I was the evil that she needed protecting from.

I was feet away from her, leaning as close to her as I could get, my teeth snapping at her, the snarl still rippling from my throat, when I slammed against a hard body.

Emmett's arms were around mine, pulling me backwards, and Edward had thrown himself in front of me, his hands on my shoulders, pushing me backwards.

I screamed at him, thrashing to free myself from the steel cage of arms around me, my teeth snapping frantically.

Why were they stopping me? Separating me from the most heavenly scent, the most delectable meal that I would ever have tasted? Why wouldn't they let me quench the burning thirst that taunted me every single day, the curse that I had to live every moment of my existence?

“Jasper!” Edward shouted, but I barely heard him, straining as far around his shoulders as I could get, my gaze fixed on the dark haired girl that was lying, bleeding, behind Carlisle, who was crouched next to her. Her head rolled slightly, her eyes opening, fixing on mine.

Her eyes were a bright blue, startling me for a moment. They were bleary, staring at me in confusion, as though she was trying to place me.

And then something changed in her eyes, something that almost stopped me in my tracks, something that made my movements falter, just for a second.

She smiled, very slightly, her eyes filling with...trust.

Alice!

“Jasper! You need to listen to me!” Carlisle's voice broke through the blood-lust filled haze, and my movements slowed slightly, although I still struggled against Emmett's grasp.

“Jasper, she isn't going to make it!”

She isn't going to make it.

It took a few moments for the words to make sense in my head, to break through the rage that had filled me.

“Jasper, I don't know what to do!”

Carlisle always knew what to do, so why was now any different. He was the leader, the head of the coven. He was the one we always went to, the one with all the answers. How could he not know what to do?

I knew what to do, I knew the only was to stop my petering self-control, to stop the flavours exploding on my tongue. I knew the only thing he could do to stop the one I loved from dying, whether by my hand, or James'.

“Carlisle” I forced out, through gritted teeth, my jaw clenching closed so tightly, it hurt, “Carlisle you have to do it!”

“Jasper, you want me to change her?”

“There's nothing else you can do!”

Every word was painful, every word let more sweet tasting air into my mouth, every word brought on a new bout of thirst and anger, but I had to say them.

“Carlisle I can't let her...die. There's no other option!”

I was slammed hard against a stone pillar, Emmett pushing me backwards, pinning me easily, as Edward disappeared, rushing to Carlisle's side.

I could see strain beginning to show on Emmett's face, that wasn't just from holding me back, and I knew there really was no other option.

“Carlisle...please”

He didn't speak, but I felt the resignation, and acceptance in his emotions, and knew he agreed.

I closed my eyes, concentrating on everything but her taste in the air. I concentrated on the sound of Carlisle, bending closer to her, on her short, jerky breathing, her heartbeat that stuttered, going from frantic, to barely beating, and back again, in a few short minutes.

I concentrated as I heard his lips brush across the skin on her neck, the moment of silence as his teeth sunk into her.

I wished more than anything that I was strong enough, if not to change her, then to be by her side as Carlisle did it, but I wasn't. I had to make do with listening, hearing her gasp of breath, her soundless scream, her movements, as her back arched off the cold floor in pain.

I listened helplessly as the love of my existence became condemned to an eternity of blood lust, became a monster, because I couldn't bare the thought of being in a world where she didn't exist.