Justification of Damnation
A look into Jasper's mind as he searches for a reason, any reason to feel self worth. In the end, the reason will find him. I listened to one song over and over while writing this...trust me, it adds to the experience if you listen. You Found Me by The Fray http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=obhdTlImFBo Thank you to Emerald_Rosalie for the lovely banner.
Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. I've merely expanded upon the canon she had set into place. Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you, where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, You found meWhy’d you have to wait
To find me, to find me?
1. Jasper's Journey
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Was it possible for a vampire to develop a headache? Probably not. If it were, I would have one to match the sick empty feeling inside. My lips were dry and cracked despite being wrapped around the most divine flesh I had encountered in a long time. She never saw me coming and I hadn’t thought about the effects her emotions would have on me until the rich, sticky liquid was ghosting over the back of my tongue.
The feelings crashed into my body like tidal waves. Wave after wave I was overcome with the despair the young woman in my arms was emanating. Her eyes, long since closed were a deep blue and her full lips painted a cheerful red hue. My aversion to feeding from humans had led me down this dark path to the end in which the outcome was death. Death to the young woman who had simply been picking up some staples at the local grocer. I had stalked her most of the day, waiting for the sun to sink behind the clouds, leaving a purple streak across the early evening sky.
It wasn’t bloodlust, though I told myself it was. The creature within me rejoiced curling and scratching along the inside of my dead stomach as I stole the remaining life force from my victim. The shame brought me to my knees. In her final minutes she prayed for me. Forgiveness rolled from her and around my head. I pulled and scratched at my face as the realization of what I had done set in.
Texas was no longer my home. I was numb to so many things and full of hate for so long I didn’t realize it was time to move on until it was too late. The deaths of vampires and humans alike weighed on my shoulders and hands, holding me down, choking me. It was too much, the emotions invading my body and mind as if I died each time right along with that person.
I ran that night, leaving the stench of death in an alley I never wanted to visit again. My feet flew, carrying me all the way to Alabama where I finally stopped. The night air was balmy though all I could feel was the encompassing cold, a side effect of what I was. A slow breeze circled around my legs. Off in the distance the bubbling of water called to me, singing my name in perfect cadence. I traveled at a human pace, stripping the tattered clothing from my body until I was a pale shadow under the moon. I stepped into the rushing water, attempting to cleanse my mind of the emotions collected there. It ran smoothly over my rock hard skin though no erosion would occur, emotionally or physically.
The small woods were still and silent aside from the running of the small stream. I sat on the dirt floor, my knees caked with mud. Clothing was futile in my position, no one would dare come near me, or rather find me so deep in the small forest. The moon peeked at me still, around the tops of the trees that swayed rhythmically in the moving air. The scars and battle wounds of many murders I’d been made to commit marked me forever. If I dared believe there was a soul somewhere in my marble tomb of a body I would have damned it to hell many times over.
With the first breaking of dawn I once again entered the stream. My dirty, ripped clothes would have to suffice until I came across a farm or home with laundry hanging to dry on a line. By mid morning the sun was blazing, beating down among the dry fields that were obviously begging for rain. I crouched at the edge of a gathering, where the trees gave a foreboding feeling to anyone considering a stroll alone. The knuckles on my right hand caressed the rough grass as I waited for the darkness to come. My eyelids slid together easily, bringing the black abyss forth. An errant thought of the woman I had made my last supper so to speak, interjected here and there in the nothingness. Her sweet cherry smell that matched her full lips, the way the soft curls of her hair bounced as she maneuvered the sidewalk and lastly, the way her neck bulged with each luscious pump of her healthy heart. A growl built slow and steady within my chest at the thought of fresh blood.
No, I couldn’t. I mustn’t.
At nightfall, I flew from the cover of the trees. I relished the cool night air sifting through my tangled hair as my course veered more toward Tennessee. Lights began to illuminate the scattering of farms in the area and my breath caught as the thin trails of human scents invaded my nose. Nostrils flared, I ran faster determined to escape the temptation. I could feel the muscles tightening in my knees, resembling springs ready to uncoil. It was obvious to me when the ground became uneven and littered with jagged pieces of rock that I had entered a new state. Letting my temper get the best of me, my fist collided with the biggest boulder I could find. It splintered into a thousand tiny pieces, pinging against my face and I cried out for the first time in days.
What was I so angry about? As a predator I should enjoy the hunt and the reward of said hunt, but I didn’t. Instead I was more of an addict, a dirty, slimy drug addict searching for the next fix even though I knew I would feel worthless and self loathing afterward. I kicked at the ground in frustration.
The night was almost gone though I could smell rain in the air. I perched on a rock, my elbows resting on the tops of my knees. I bowed my head. I thought of Peter and Charlotte and how wonderful it would be to have a companion in such a way. Not to say I had never been with a woman, because I had been with many but even with excellent recall my mind brought forth nothing, no details. I could remember, however, the fear or terror that I instilled in every one I crossed. They knew what happened in the dead of night as angry violet smoke rose north, marring the sky in a silent mark of death. They knew my teeth ripped head from neck over and over until the useless ones were but mere pieces in a pile.
It was what she trained me to do, what I am sure she created me to do. She was sick and cruel, but so was I. A General in full command of a vampire army, with power enough to decide who lived and who died. In reality, a creature worthy of the devil playing God.
My head swam with the past as I sat on my rock, staring into the cloudy light of morning. It would definitely rain. I could travel during the day without standing out.
Mid morning brought the usual heat one would look to encounter in the south during the summer months. The sun was tucked safely behind the rain clouds and finding suitable clothes proved to be harder than I thought it would. I imagined women in their wash rooms, hesitant to complete the task only to have their hard work doused with precipitation. I wandered slowly up the main street of a small town I hadn’t bothered or cared to get the name of. My eyes darted around, taking in all my surroundings. The sweet smell of human blood tickled at my nose, causing my nostrils to flare. The demon within stirred.
A tiny girl wandered across the street in front of me and I froze. Our eyes met, immediately I sensed her curiousness and I was puzzled. She squeezed a rag doll to her chest, breathing heavily. My throat went raw as the wind carried her scent right past me. I could not take the child’s life. She stood blinking as I backed away and took off between two buildings, ending up on the backside of a tiny rundown farm house. There I found a pair of beige slacks and a pale blue button down shirt.
A few towns past the first, I found a well worn pair of boots on the back step of a house, left out rather than tracking mud onto the carpet. They were snug on my toes but the idea of a blister or pain was a laughable thought.
Satisfied with my findings I abandoned the small town right away. The image of the little girl gnawed at my throat. She was in the shadow of a monster and yet, curiosity was all that crossed her mind. I suppose if I were ignorant to the ways of the world I would fail to be afraid as well.
Evening closed in yet I continued to travel. Stopping would only allow my mind to wander and my wandering mind would only suggest a meal of emotions I could not, would not enjoy. The question of exactly what I expected to eat was left unanswered at the back of my mind. Short of sucking the sap from a tree, there weren’t many choices beyond something living, breathing and feeling.
I ran. When the rain began to fall from the sky, I ran. It slammed against my face in a way that should have been cleansing. I was disappointed in the realization that it wasn’t. Nothing could strip me of the damning that had been laid upon my head. Perhaps I should return to Texas and plead with Peter to rid the earth of me. No, I was too selfish for that. There was no clear plan on just where I was traveling to and worse yet, what I would nourish myself with but I wanted to keep going North.
I would deal with the details when I got where I was going, wherever that was.
The small bit of Kentucky I encountered proved to be as beautiful as I thought it would be. I was never a man to stop and admire the beauty of anything before. If only I could turn my thoughts away from the darkness that was slowly attacking my mind. Every scent was delicious.
Somewhere before I entered West Virginia I paused at a worn bridge to lean against the wooden railing. The need to lean was habit and frankly I was less concerned about controlling my fine motor skills as the days went on. An owl spoke his soft call from somewhere in the trees. The moon was hidden behind a layer of dark blue clouds. For the first time I yearned for someone to talk to, to carry on a conversation about whatever came to mind. The static in my head would be less maddening with a proper outlet.
Frustrated, I leapt over the rail, gliding toward the river below gracefully. Upon landing, the water splashed upward, leaving drops clinging to the strands of my hair. It was far more shallow than I’d imagined. Soon after I left the water, I lost my mind. I imagined it, floating away with the current, glad to be separated from me.
The hunger set in full force. I had never gone more than a day without feeding. Heartbeats taunted me from every direction until I covered my ears in a desperate attempt to drown them out. Even the pulsing veins of a rabbit that scurried across my path caused venom to pool and coat my tongue. I staggered around in circles, fighting the evil, rising to claim another life. I experienced moments of pure chaos where I wasn’t sure who was in control, the hunger or myself.
It drove me further and further north until the time I’d spent traveling was a blur. I couldn’t remember where I had been or why I had been there. I couldn’t quite pinpoint just why I had left Texas to begin with. All I knew was that I was famished. When I put myself in the right mind I found I was standing amidst a city. Cars were driving here and there, cars filled with people, humans. Their hearts called to me much like the spring had in the small woods of Alabama. I would be ok, things would be ok. I could remember bits and pieces, I was in control.
A strong scent hit me from behind and I froze, my muscles locking into a rigid position. A low rumble built in my chest and rose and I did my best to swallow it back with the venom but it was no use. The woman was marked for certain death the moment her scent met my senses. Her heels clicked in a rhythm against the cemented walkway as she passed, and I followed. It was early afternoon, with a lazy sun resting behind pillows of clouds. The young woman was joyful, which made me joyful.
I had not been so clear minded in a day or more and it was refreshing to complete any thought, even if it was a plan of execution. I would deal with the consequences after the fact. All I cared about right then was gripping her neck with my teeth, feeling the rusty liquid billowing over my lips and down over my tongue.
She was a short, round thing and if she wasn’t meant to be my meal I would have considered a night with her. Her breasts bounced with each step beneath her floral dress, her pink lips pulled into a smile. Her hat was tilted so any human would not be able to pick out the color of her eyes but I could see clearly that they were brown. Her steps never faltered though I was ghosting them from across the street. The woman turned a corner and I was in the process of following when I realized where she had gone. There was a diner on the corner, she was probably meeting someone for lunch. I couldn’t go in, I would massacre the entire place to have her.
Trying to stay calm and wait my meal out I grabbed an abandoned paper from the nearest wastebasket. Philadelphia. I was in Pennsylvania. I tried to concentrate on the words but it was useless, I wanted to seek out my prey. I had deprived myself for too long and reason was mixing with the monster. I could drain the diner, it was only half filled. I would of course, save the round woman for last.
A bell jingled when I stepped through the door. Funny, I didn’t realize I had crossed the street. No one even bothered to turn in my direction and it was a good thing. The scent of human blood barreled into me like a freight train and it took a moment to compose myself before I could take a seat at the counter. The waitress approached me cautiously. I shook my head, my eyes turned down, warning her not to speak and she backed off.
Possible tactics filtered through my mind as I tried to decide how to complete my mission. If I thought of it as a mission the guilt would be lessened after the fact. Of course, that was the monster fooling me into thinking I wouldn’t be crippled with my victim’s emotions.
The tiny bell on the door jingled happily. Then, I smelled her.
Ignoring the humans around me I whipped my head around but she was there waiting for me, her hand outstretched and a look of concern and caring in her topaz eyes. Topaz eyes?
"I’m Alice and I’ve been waiting for you Jasper," she spoke in a tiny voice that fell on my ears sending me straight to heaven.
Without question or a second thought I took the petite female’s hand and stood, towering over her. All thoughts of the round woman were long gone as I followed Alice out onto the street. My dead heart soared as I stared into her eyes, seeing myself and the rest of my eternal life at her side. I would do anything.
"How did you know my name?" I questioned, continuing to stroll with her along the sidewalk.
Alice smiled a dazzling smile and turned her face up to meet my gaze. "We’ll have plenty of time to talk things out. Will you come with me and hunt?"
I frowned, remembering for a moment my abandoned meal back in the diner.
"Everything will be fine Jasper, you’ll see." She placed a tiny hand on my chest.
There were so many things I wanted answers to but I didn’t dare ask the questions. I absorbed the love and adoration from Alice and knew things would be better for me and for her. I knew I would give my life for her without hesitation and I knew I had found my mate. Actually, she found me.
"You found me…" I said.
Alice gripped my hand tighter, smiled at me and said, "I knew I would."