Sunny Days are Here to Stay
An unprecedented event occurs in Forks, Washington: five consecutive days of sun. Characters: Jasper Hale, Alice Cullen, the Cullen family
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.
1. Sunny Days are Here to Stay
Rating 0/5 Word Count 3921 Review this Chapter
Title: Sunny Days are Here to Stay
Author: Sarah Clark
Rating: PG-13 for implied sexual situations and a hunting scene.
Characters/Pairings: Jasper, Alice, the Cullen family
Summary: An unprecedented event occurs in Forks, Washington: five consecutive days of sun.
WARNING: Elk abuse. :)
Alice had predicted sun for early Friday afternoon.
As was custom, Carlisle had called the school that morning and given notice that his five children would not be attending. The receptionist, as familiar with his smooth voice as she was with the odd routine, jotted a note on the absentee roster and set it aside to upload into the computer later.
As she hung up with a cheery "Good day," she remarked to herself that it had been a while since the children had missed school. Nearly two months. That was probably some sort of record for them.
She secretly longed for the days when the Cullen children were pulled from their classes by their father-of-sorts. It was a foolish notion; the parents had an obligation to see that their children received a proper education – and to do that required proper attendence. But even so, nothing could make her day like Dr. Cullen's voice softly murmuring her name.
With a sigh, she picked up the roster and turned to the computer.
Saturday dawned bright and clear. Small clouds chased each other across the blue sky. It was early April; the scents of spring filled the Cullen family home. Esme always insisted on opening the windows on cheerful, sunny days such as this one; the fresh air would do them all good. Emmett rolled his eyes at the sentiment, but dutifully helped her push open the windows she couldn't reach.
The cool breeze, combined with the pleasant weather, helped to brighten everyone's mood. Rosalie, Carlisle, and Edward had disappeared into the woods to hunt. Emmett and Alice were in the garden, bantering jovially over which project was more useless - Alice's herbs or Emmett's vegetables. Esme sang a soft tune to herself as she swept dead leaves and pine straw from the back porch.
Only Jasper was content to remain in the shade of his room. He lay on the beige carpet, head pillowed on his arm and a large history text laying open and half forgotten across his chest. His free arm was thrown over his eyes.
He stared up at the black behind his eyelids. He liked it here. It was calm. Relaxing. Yet even wrapped in the darkness, the air around him felt warmer than usual. Heavier, somehow. He could sense the block of sunshine behind his head slowly creeping towards him as the earth rotated, warning him that he would have to move within the hour to stay in the shade.
He tucked his chin to his chest, keeping his arm slung across his face. He didn't feel like moving just yet.
A door opened and closed again. Soft footsteps padded through the kitchen, then turned and made their way up the stairs. He breathed deeply as she drew nearer. He could taste the sent of fresh dirt and sun-warmed cotton, new seedlings and ready-to-harvest mint. The footsteps paused beside his sprawled body.
"'The Art of War'," a musical voice lilted. "Really?" The weight of the book disappeared from his chest; there was a sound of pages fluttering and then the heavy cover of the book snapping shut. Jasper lifted his arm and blinked up at her.
"These books still interest you?" Alice asked, setting the text aside on a nearby chair.
Jasper shrugged half-heartedly. "They pass the time."
Alice stared down at him, red lips sporting a knowing grin. "Oh," she said softly, lifting her left leg to step across Jasper's hips. Lowering herself smoothly, she straddled his waist, knees pressing firmly against his ribs. "Is someone bored?"
A hand reached out to settle against her thigh, thumb pushed up under the hem of her shorts. "Not anymore," he murmured.
She lifted a playful eyebrow, ignoring the hand at her side. "I don't know," she said. "You still look pretty bored to me."
Jasper breathed slowly through his nose, his chest barely moving. "We should remedy that," he offered. "But how?"
Alice smirked. "I'll think of something." She felt the muscles of his stomach clench beneath her as he slowly lifted himself into a sitting position. His hand reached up to cup her jaw; fingers slid beneath her dark hair and curved around the back of her neck. Dry lips grazed her chin.
"We could go wash the dishes." She grinned at the sudden pause in his motions. "You know how Esme hates when the bowls collect dust." Jasper pulled back and stared at her critically, trying to determine if there was any sincerity in her words. "Or we could go finish the yard work and let her do the dishes herself."
Jasper struggled to find the appropriate remark. "We could," he grudgingly assented.
Alice smiled a draped her arms over his shoulders, linking them behind his head. She plucked gently at his golden-brown curls. "We could take a walk," she suggested. "See if there's any ice left down by the Calawah river."
The hand on her thigh tightened as he pulled her folded legs more firmly around his waist. "That's another option," he said.
"We could drive out to Port Angeles and see a movie," she breathed. "It would be dark by the time we got there."
"It would," he agreed. His forehead bumped lightly against hers; his eyes stared pointedly at her mouth.
Alice grinned. "Or -" The hand at her thigh slipped deftly under the fabric of her shorts. Fingers grasped her, held her, pressed her tight against him.
She gasped at his touch. "Or," Jasper murmured, lips brushing against sun-warm skin, "we could just stay right here." Alice hummed her agreement and tilted her head up; he smiled as she pressed her mouth to his.
Arms wrapped around one another, they lay back down.
Alice insisted on taking Jasper hunting Sunday afternoon.
They had been tracking an elk for the past fifteen minutes. Alice knew if they wanted to take it now they could. In fact, if they had wanted to take it ten minutes ago, they could have. But she held back and waited for his signal.
Jasper enjoyed hunting. It was one of the few activities he took pleasure in, and for that she gave him all the time he wanted. He saw the animal as more than just food. It was a target; it was an enemy. And it was his job to conquer it.
She loved to watch Jasper hunt. He examined everything with keen, attentive eyes - the tracks it left in the soft earth, the branches it broke with its impressive girth, the rancid pile of dung it left atop a leafy fern. He studied how it moved, how it behaved, how it breathed.
They had tracked many elk together. Sometimes, when her thirst made her particularly impatient, she would wonder what was so special about this specific animal that made it worth the tiresome effort of cataloguing the hesitance with which it stepped over a rotting log, or noting that it chose this mound of weeds and not that mound of weeds for its final meal. But she kept her thoughts to herself and let Jasper track.
The animal paused. They had come upon a small creek that cut a twisting path through the trees. Slowly, very slowly, the animal lowered its head to drink. The tremendous antlers that sat above its forehead seemed to glow in the soft, filtered sunlight.
Its back was to them. It was distracted by the bubbling sound of rushing water and the taste of a cool liquid on its tongue. Now was the time, if there ever was one. Alice peered over at her partner to find that he was already shooting her a side-long glance. With a grin she dashed away from their cover and zipped towards the animal.
Even with her head start, Jasper managed to reach the elk about the same time she did. The creature bucked wildly at them, crazed brown eyes showing white around the edges. They danced about the doomed animal, ducking hooves and head butts with practiced ease.
With a tremendous leap, Jasper grabbed the animal about the neck and forced it to the ground.
The elk shrieked as Alice caught its legs and held them still. Grasping the smooth antlers in his hands, Jasper twisted it's head back, baring the animal's neck. Two sets of teeth simultaneously converged on the fur-covered flesh. A final, dying cry rose from the elk before it slipped into shock. The entire attack had taken less than five seconds.
When Alice felt the legs go slack under her palms, she released them and threw herself at the elk, allowing the bloodlust to overtake her completely. The smell of the blood was overwhelming. She felt dizzy with need as she pulled in mouthful after mouthful of the red liquid, watching through her hazed vision as it poured from the multiple abrasions and openings that had suddenly appeared across the animal's throat and chest.
Slowly the heady rush began to fade. She pushed herself back, breathing heavily at the effort. The animal had crumpled slightly beneath her hands. In her haste, she had accidently crushed its ribcage.
Jasper was still drinking, mouth suctioned over a gaping wound just below the animal's jaw. His golden eyes flashed wildly; hands clutched at the animal's flesh, tearing it off in chunks as he drank. Blood trickled from the new wounds he created. Alice watched, transfixed. Red crept across his white fingers, seeped under his nails, stained his skin.
Alice pounced on his left hand, pulling it towards her. Her lips wrapped around his index finger, tongue laving at the blood she found there. She moaned at the taste and sucked another finger into her mouth.
With a gasp, Jasper jerked away from the animal, pulling his hand after him. Alice watched him closely, eyeing him the way he had eyed his prey, noting a thousand tiny details before she could properly process them. The flicking of his eyes from the dead animal to the blood on the ground to the red smudge on her chin. The twitching of his fingers as he scrabbled for purchase on the loosely packed soil. The brush of his tongue against blood-stained lips. The tracks of red that dripped down across his throat.
Hands clamped down on his shoulders as lips, teeth, and tongue scraped across his jaw. She felt her name being whispered into her ear. Large, sure hands were everywhere on her, touching, feeling, caressing, everywhere all at once. Pushing her away.
"Stop," he breathed. "Alice. Stop."
She whined as fingers closed around her wrists, stilling her frenzied movements. She remembered thinking the word 'killjoy', but wasn't certain if she had actually said it or not. "Its fine, Jasper," she murmured, loving the way his eyes followed her tongue as it traced the curve of her lips. "I want this."
Swallowing thickly, he closed his eyes to the sight. "You know I don't like doing this after we feed," he stated, his steady voice betraying none of his body's evident desires. "You know that." Alice groaned and leaned in towards him, her lips brushing the curve of his throat. With a supreme effort, Jasper pushed himself to his feet, dragging Alice up with him. "Stop," he pleaded.
"Jasper!" she cried out, frustration mixed with fury.
"You know I can't think straight right after I feed," he stated. "I can't control how I project my emotions on those around me. How do I know it's really you wanting this and not just me wanting you to want this? I refuse to take advantage of you."
Alice's unnecessarily labored breath ceased at the sincerity of his words. Love and lust mingled together, indistinguishable from one another. She pressed the length of her body against his. Her hands shook themselves free of his grasp and reached up for the lapels of his brown jacket. "I know I want you," she breathed as she slipped the jacket from his shoulders. "I saw this before we left." The jacket fell unhindered to the ground. Deft little fingers slid up under the hem of his worn t-shirt. "I saw what we did," she whispered, caressing the tense muscles of his back, "and how many times we did it." Jasper shuddered at her words and Alice felt herself nearly overcome by a wave of emotion at the picture he painted before her.
One hand slid out from under his shirt to grasp his wrist. She directed his palm to her bare leg, then directed it higher, pushing aside her green skirt as it went. She trembled at his touch and leaned into it, silently begging for more. When she was sure he had a firm enough grip on her skin, she released him and busied her free hand with the task of unbuckling his belt.
"I want you," she moaned. "I waited all afternoon while you played with your food, and -" She pulled the belt from his jeans, "- I'm not going to wait any longer."
Jasper let loose a sound that hit somewhere between a growl and a sob. He dipped his head and caught her lips in a passionate kiss. Alice gasped at the welcome turnaround. Her hands reached up to fist themselves in his hair. She drug them down over his face, pulling him closer, devouring him, attacking him more frantically than she had the elk, overcome with how easily he submitted under her touch. Her palms continued their downward trek, griping the fabric of his shirt, tearing it from his body with a flick of her wrist, then down lower still.
"Pick me up," she demanded, eyelids fluttering at the grunt of approval he made when her hands rubbed roughly against the bulge in his jeans. "Closer -"
Gripping her tightly, he slipped his fingers under her thighs and lifted her into the air. She latched her legs around his hips before leaning down to claim his mouth once more.
The force of her movements in his arms sent them reeling. Taking a step backwards, Jasper's heel caught on the curve of the elk's antler. Breaking the kiss, he let out a startled yelp before they tumbled down into a patch of dry leaves and warm sunlight.
Her peals of laughter echoed through the trees.
Monday morning found them still in the forest.
Alice was carefully buttoning up her grey shirt while Jasper was less-than-carefully undoing her work. She smirked at his efforts. "This is rather counter productive."
Jasper's eyes and hands were fully engaged in his task. "I was thinking the same thing," he stated.
Alice giggled at the intensity of his gaze, which was hovering somewhere between her shoulders and her stomach. "We have to get back to the house," she said, batting his hands away from her shirt.
The affronted hands settled themselves against her hips and pulled her towards him. He tilted his head down, lips grazing the tip of her nose. "No we don't," he contradicted.
"Yes, we do," she reiterated, trying and failing to give her voice a commanding edge. She finished buttoning her shirt. Jasper sighed.
"I'd let you help me with my shirt," he murmured into her hair, "but someone ripped it to pieces last night." Alice dipped her head, slightly embarrassed with yesterday's fevered events. Her lips pressed against his bare shoulder.
"I thought I'd already apologized for that," she mumbled.
Jasper smirked. "Wasn't looking for an apology," he admitted.
Alice suddenly wished they could simply stay here, simply stay in this moment, forever. The times when Jasper was relaxed enough with himself and his surroundings to tease and play with her were too few. It was heartbreaking the way he smiled at her, so unguarded, so open and honest. She wanted to preserve this. She wanted it to last for eternity.
The sound of a soft beeping startled Alice from her reverie. The two looked about, heads twisting, trying to pinpoint the faint noise. "It's my watch," Jasper supplied helpfully.
"There," Alice pointed. It had been discarded at some point last night. She didn't remember when exactly.
Stepping away from her, Jasper stooped to pick up the thick black band of his watch. He strapped it to his wrist in one smooth motion then stared down at the faceplate. "Hm," he noted. "We're going to be late for school."
"See?" Alice said, tucking the grey shirt into her rumpled skirt. "I told you we should have headed back -"
Jasper looked up. "What?" he asked, perplexed at the startled expression on her face.
"Oh my God," she whispered.
"Alice, what?" he repeated.
"Oh my God!" she stated.
"What?!" he asked.
She stared at him, shamefaced. "I forgot to tell him."
“Tell who what?”
Twelve miles to the north, Carlisle opened the garage door and frowned down at the block of sunlight that greeted him. Emmett, Rosalie and Edward stood behind him.
"Huh," Edward commented. "Nice day out."
Carlisle stared down at the offending brightness, eyebrows knitted together in confusion. "Alice didn't mention anything yesterday. I assumed the cloud cover would return . . ."
"You know, I'd always heard there was a reason God invented the Weather Channel," Emmett mused. Rosalie stared up at him. "I guess," he deduced, "this would be it."
"Carlisle!" came a shout from across the yard. Four heads turned in unison to see Alice running to meet them. Jasper trailed behind her. "Carlisle!" she called again, pulling to a stop beside him.
"Alice," he began, confusion turning into concern. "What -"
"I'm so sorry," she said. "I was . . ." Jasper stepped up behind her, nodding to his three siblings standing beside the Volvo. Alice looked over her shoulder at him. "We were . . ." She turned back to Carlisle. He stood still, eyes waiting and expectant.
"We were hunting," she finished lamely. "And we got a little carried away. With the hunting."
Carlisle slowly nodded. "Oh," he said. Jasper shoved his hands into his jacket pockets.
Emmett stared at Jasper. "Where's your shirt?" he asked.
Jasper's cool eyes turned to him. "I lost it," he remarked, his voice flat. "Hunting."
Edward stifled his laugh behind a cough. Alice glared in his direction. He dutifully cleared his throat before schooling his face back into an expression of non-expression.
Alice turned away from her brothers and focused on Carlisle. "I'm so sorry," she repeated.
Carlisle smiled affectionately at her. "These things happen," he said, placing a kind hand on her slumped shoulder. "It's alright."
"No, it's not," Rosalie interjected. "I stayed up all night, locked away in my room, finishing my English paper. And for what now?"
"Babe, you would have been up all night anyway," Emmett noted. Rosalie glared pointedly at him. "But . . ." he quickly backpedalled, slinging an arm around her shoulders, "that's not the point. Is it?"
Rosalie huffed and grabbed her purse from the back seat of the Volvo. "I'll be in my room," she stated, “doing nothing.” In a swirl of blond curls she turned and stormed into the house.
'Grouchy,' Emmett mouthed to Alice before following her inside.
"I'd better call the school," Carlisle said as he dropped his arm from Alice's shoulder. Granting her a final understanding smile, he turned and followed his children through the open doorway. Edward fell into step beside him and disappeared behind the door.
Alice glared down at the concrete beneath her feet, furious with herself. A soft, strangled chuckle sounded behind her.
Slowly turning, she fixed Jasper with as cold a stare as she could muster in the bright morning sunlight. He stood still, eyes staring intently at her double-knotted shoelaces. "Well," she said, irritation seeping out of her every word. "Go ahead and laugh so I can tell you to stop laughing."
Jasper bowed his head and laughed.
Alice slapped his arm. "Stop laughing!" she said. "It's not funny."
Jasper nodded, but his quiet chuckles followed her as she stomped into the house.
Alice sat at the bay window and watched the sun rise into the fifth and final cloudless day Forks would see for the next two months.
"Can I sit with you?" a soft voice asked behind her.
"No," Alice answered grumpily. Jasper sat next to her, pressing his shoulder to hers. Alice, despite herself, leaned into the contact.
Jasper took her hand in his and laced their fingers together. They watched the sun climb higher into the sky. "I'm sorry I kept you out so late," he finally offered.
Alice nodded. She had been expecting an apology of some kind. She granted him one in turn. "I'm sorry I ruined your shirt."
Jasper stared down at their entwined hands. "Don't apologize for that," he said. Alice turned her face until the curtain of her hair hid her shy smile. He tugged at her hand, bringing her attention back to him. "What are your plans for today?" he asked.
She smirked. "Feeling a little bored again?" she asked.
Alice stared up at him, golden eyes reflecting the golden light filling the sky. "I'm sure I can think of something for us to do."
Alice sat back on her heels and admired her handiwork. Her new garden, filled with pastel-colored flowers, smiled up at her. Standing, she dusted the loose topsoil from her kneecaps and the heels of her hands.
Scanning the yard, she spotted Jasper with her herbs, dutifully spreading a fresh layer of mulch across the dirt. He looked less than pleased. Smiling, she crossed to his side.
"How's it coming?" she asked.
Jasper sat back and stared up at her. "I'm starting to miss school," he said.
"That bad?" Alice laughed.
Jasper shrugged. He gestured half-heartedly to the garden. "It passes the time."
She stretched out a hand to him. He stared at it a moment before taking it and allowing her to pull him to his feet. She smiled up at him. "Let's go find something else to do."
Nodding his grateful consent, Jasper followed her into the house.
A cloud drifted idly across the sun, covering their home with its dull, grey shadow.