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Twofold Silence

Summary:
This is the first few days of Alice and Jasper after they find each other in Philadelphia. It is told in the first person, from both their points of view. Some content is mature, but I think it is sweet and fluffy not smutty. This is my first fan fic, so I would appreciate constructive criticism. Thanks! :o)


Notes:
Okay, as I said in the summary, this is the first few days of Alice and Jasper after they find each other in Philadelphia and it is told from both their points of view. The title of this story comes from "Silent Noon" a poem by Dante Gabriel Rosetti.


4. Possibilities

Rating 5/5   Word Count 2677   Review this Chapter

APOV

We spent quite a while in the mountains just being together: learning each other over and over again; filling our perfect memories with images of sun and glittering skin and of moonlight and utter intimacy in the cool darkness.

I was so greedy for him and he could not seem to reach his fill of me either. Yet we still did not speak much. We just absorbed each other and each time I thought that I would not be able to feel the thrill of him so completely and each time I discovered that the surety of contentment was not fading and I became certain that each time I took his hand it would be like the very first time I touched him. And through all this I knew that he was winding himself ever more securely through me, becoming a connoisseur of my mood and discovering exactly how to make me feel each new and delicious feeling each time.

I discovered that I loved to hear his voice, husky with desire, whispering words of love to me. Poetry, sometimes centuries old, sometimes brand new, sometimes rich in imagery, sometimes spare and elegant - always beautiful, always enough to make my own voice thready with tears of joy that I was unable to shed but filled him with such inexpressible yearning that we were one without even realising that our bodies were joined so entwined were we in our hearts.

It was after one such time, as we lay together that he finally began to talk about the Southern Wars: both the human war that he fought in for years and the vampire wars that he fought in for decades. He told me about Maria and his changing. He told me about his life with her coven and his eventual escape with Peter and Charlotte. He spoke haltingly of his years of fighting, wishing I think to spare me pain, but I knew that each horrific experience was crystallised perfectly in his memory and the whole time that he talked he re-lived the horror. Although he succeeded in holding most of the agony within himself, such was his gifting that it was inevitable that I too should taste some. I felt burnt by the time he was done, utterly exhausted, but as we slowly dragged ourselves out of the Hell of his memories I forced myself to move, to drape myself over him, attempting to cover him over not only with my body but also wrap him in a blanket of my love for him. Summoning every particle of my strength I pushed toward him all my love and longing, trying my hardest to lift him free of pain and despair.

He wrapped his arms around me as he laughed, soft and rough “You are a hero,” he told me. “ Thank you. I feel better…cleaner.”

“Good.”

In these days we took the first small but steady steps toward his healing. Jasper had travelled a long, hard road by any standards and one made infinitely more difficult because of his gift. I could hardly comprehend how tattered his spirit had become, how heart broken he had been. I marvelled at his strength that he had managed to endure for so long. So I knew that this time together was vitally important but the days passed and his eyes grew darker, other matters began to press upon us.

I was not in such immediate need as I had fed shortly before finding him. But he had been thirsty before he met me and I knew that the venom was all but eating holes in his throat.

“You need to hunt,” I told him, tracing the dark circles under his eyes.

He sighed and turned away from me, closing his eyes in dread.

“I know,” he breathed. “And I don’t think I can bear it,” he seemed embarrassed, as if he was admitting a weakness. “It is just…I cannot stand the kill. I hate it. It feels like I am drowning,” he shuddered.

“I remember,” I said, nodding.

He pulled away from my hand, brow knotting in confusion.

“You remember? How long has it been since you hunted last?”

“Six days,” I replied. “But it was only a little thing, not much to stave off the hunger pangs.”
”Thing?” he whispered, fresh pain twisting his beautiful features. ”You think of them as things? Does that make it easier do you find?”

I could not bear to hear his bitterness, bitterness directed at me. I hurried to explain before he could leap to any more incorrect conclusions.

“Listen, Jasper! Listen to me,” I commanded. ”It was an animal…”

He moaned softly.

“No love, really,” I insisted. “Not human, an animal.”
”What animal?” still disbelieving, even though he could sense my honesty.

I faltered a bit, hating to have to own up. “A cat,” I blurted. “I hate killing cats, they are so beautiful but rats taste putrid…and I knew you were in the city so I could not risk a trip to the mountains to find bigger prey.” I shrugged. “So I had to make the best of what I could find. It didn’t suffer at all. Animals hardly ever realise what is happening.” I assured him.

Once more I felt his gaze rest upon me in confused astonishment. It was as if I had told him the location of Atlantis. I smiled gently up at him curling my hand around his face.

“We don’t have to be monsters, beloved. There is another way. Will you let me show you?”

Wordlessly he once more laid his hand in mine and once more I led him in a new direction.

*~*~*

We found the herd of deer very quickly. I was more thirsty than I realised and drained two before I realised that he was only watching me. He was not hunting for himself at all. I strolled over to stand beside him, careful to keep my eyes cast downwards.

“I can’t feel anything from them at all,” he said wonderingly. “How strange, I’ve never noticed before.”

“Well,” I deliberated. “I think animals do feel emotion. Dogs feel sorrow and elation, wolves too. Wolves might even love…they mate for life don’t they? Cats feel fear. Hunters don’t like to be hunted I think.”

Jasper stopped breathing as I said that. I risked a quick glimpse at his face. His eyes were flat as he stared at the low clouds and I hurried on.

“But deer…deer are just bundles of instinct wrapped in fur. There is no room in their heads for feelings. It is all response to stimuli.”

“Or perhaps I just can’t sense animals,” he said dryly.

“Perhaps,” I let a smile colour my voice.

The herd had scattered by this time but I knew we could catch up with them easily if he wanted to.

“I think I used to like the taste of venison,” he mused.

“Well I don’t know if I would go so far as to say it was tasty…but there is relief. Relief of thirst and relief in a different way too. You will know that you have not taken a human life in order to sustain your own. That kind of makes up for any other lack of satisfaction.” I finished slowly, willing him to understand and hoping that he would find his way through this too.

I lifted my eyes to his, knowing what he would see. As it was he only did a double take.

“Your eyes,” he choked out. “What are you?”

“I guess you could call me a vegetarian,” I grinned.

“A what?”

“It is what humans call a person who doesn’t eat meat.”

“I know what a vegetarian is,” he said disgustedly.

“It is also, very often, a person who has a strong moral objection to indulge in a diet that requires the death of another creature,” I sighed. “I don’t think I can go so far as to eat beans and cabbage. But I know that I can survive on animal blood. I know I don’t have to cut a person’s life short.”

“How long have you lived like this?”

I shrugged. “About twenty years. I only lived like a traditional for a few years after I was changed. It was difficult at first but it gets easier over time. The worst of it is when I had to go into cities as I looked for you. It is still quite hard to be around humans even now…It is just a question of time and being determined not to harm people of course.”

“Of course,” he echoed faintly. He shook his head as if to clear it and then stared at me with greater attention. “You know, you were beautiful when your eyes were black. Now…” he threaded his hands into my hair tipping my face up to his, marvelling. “All that’s best of dark and bright meet in her aspect and her eyes,” he breathed, kissing me. “Now, you are breathtaking.”

His lips pressed gently onto mine his large hands roving over my body, turning my bones to silk. He caught me just as my knees gave way and lay me down on the flower-studded grass. The wind blew softly over our skin and I felt the corded muscles of his back twist under my fingertips. His lips were everywhere, his sensitive hands calling forth small cries of delight from within me. I could hardly contain all that I felt for this man, certain that I would just burn up in the intensity of such feelings. He held me tighter as I cried out his name, crushing me to him as we became one. He was everywhere, everything: the heavens whirling above me; the earth beneath me; he was in the wind caressing my skin; he was water lifting me, carrying me wherever he willed. Sobbing each other’s names, we held together, caught outside of time it felt in an eternal shining moment of ecstasy.

It was full dark by the time we returned to our usual selves, bound so tightly together that it was hard to tell where he ended and I began. It was difficult to leave that and feel the ground beneath us once more.

He stroked my tangled hair away from my face, tracing over my cheekbone with his thumb. He smiled at me; a smile so full of rakish, devil may care charm that I thought I would melt all over again. The flavour of the south was very heavy in his voice when he spoke.

“Those deer will be half way to Canada by now,” he teased. “What else is on the menu?”

We dressed swiftly. Our clothes really were getting a bit worse for wear; something would have to be done. But I scented the air obediently.

“Well,” I said. “I think there is an elk nearby and also a wolverine a bit further off. They can be quite gamey. The predators often are…”

“Then shall we hunt ma’am?” He gestured in a courtly manner, allowing me to go first.

*~*~*

He dropped the furry carcass in utter disgust and wiped his lips shuddering.

“Well, that was plain nasty. Don’t give me wolverine ever again woman.”

I grinned, “What happened to ma’am?”

He shrugged, grinning back at me. “Find me something that tastes better than that and I may recover the manners that my mother raised me in.”

“Elk it is then.” I waved in an easterly direction. “He’s over there. I am sure you don’t need me to hold your hand.”

He was at my side before I could blink, kissing the back of my hand and smiling apologetically. “I’ll always need to hold your hand, honey.”

He brought the bull elk down easily of course and as he drained it I watched in smug satisfaction as he started to understand that maybe this could become his way too. I was strangely touched as he patted the bloodless body before he walked over to sit by me.

“It’s nowhere near the same of course,” he said. “And I’d be lying if I said that I thought I could do this easy.”

“No,” I replied. “It is not easy at all.”

“How did you find out about it?” he asked. “What even made you think about it?”

“Oh, it just came to me over time.”

“Well, I’ve lived longer than you and I never thought about it.”

“I think you did,” I replied. “Didn’t you ever wonder if you could starve yourself to death? Didn’t you ever try not to feed?”

He nodded tightly.

“Then this would have been your next step.” I placed my hand over his now clenched fist. “Don’t be hard on yourself Jasper. You had other burdens to bear and even though you had Peter and Charlotte, they were too wrapped up in each other to be much help to you.”

He gave a slight shake of his head.

“Well,” I said stubbornly. “That’s how it seems to me.”

Jasper just shrugged.

”He was my brother in arms. We went through Hell together and somehow when we came out the other side, he was carrying Charlotte. I understand now what happened to him: he found something, someone more important, more precious to him than even his own life. I don’t blame him for anything. He will always be my brother.”

As he was speaking a vision bloomed in my mind of the three of them sitting comfortably in a large cool white room, three blond heads quite close together. Peter and Charlotte’s eyes were scarlet while I could see that Jasper’s had turned a deep burnished gold. I knew it would work. He would persevere. I was so glad.

So I was a bit distracted when I murmered “You must have looked like family when you travelled together. The three of you have such similar colouring.”

He turned towards me, eyebrows lifting in surprise “I never told you that,” he said. “How could you know that we were all fair?”

“I never said that you were all fair,” I back tracked huffily. ”Peter could be a red head for all I know.”

“But you didn’t say that,” he persisted. “You said similar.”

“Red is similar to blond,” I said defensively.

“No, honey. It isn’t,” he insisted. “Ah c’mon. This isn’t the first time you’ve let something slip. I know you were looking for me. Did you track me? Are you a tracker?”

I shook my head.

“But you are gifted right? I know you know I am. I know you know stuff that you shouldn’t be able to know ordinarily. Tell me,” he urged.

“I didn’t track you,” I said slowly. “I… saw you. I see things sometimes, visions of things that might happen. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don’t. I haven’t figured out why that is yet. But I have always known about you. When I woke up, the first thing I saw was you.” I smiled wistfully at the memory. “I thought that you were real. I was so disappointed to find out that I was alone.”

“How long were you waiting for me?” he asked.

“About twenty years, not long for an immortal but I longed for you every second.”

He pushed his hand into mine. “If I had known, I would have come looking for you.”

“I know that,” I replied gently. “You are here now. That is what matters.”

“And here I’ll stay,” he promised.

“I know that too.”

“Confident little thing aren’t you?”

I shrugged lightly. “Confidence is easy when you have a good idea of what might happen.” I snuggled into his shoulder. “And then there are things that are not maybes. You and I will be together always. You will succeed in this new life of ours and…” I grinned up at him. “I will never, ever make you drink wolverine blood ever again.”

“Well, thank the good Lord for that,” he said fervently.