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Doubt

Summary:
"I would put up with this twisted, corrupt lifestyle for Alice. Only for Alice." In 1950, Jasper and Alice finally find the Cullens. Alice fits right in, but Jasper has a hard time adapting. This the story of how Jasper came to think of the Cullens as family. Canon. Mostly in Jasper's POV. DIsclaimer: All the original characters and plots belong to Stephenie Meyer. However, the new content in my stories belong to me.


Notes:


3. Chapter 3: Secrets

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Chapter 3: Secrets

Five days had passed since we had joined the Cullens.

I spent most of the time in my room, away from the rest of the coven. To pass the time, I had borrowed several books from Carlisle's extensive collection. Occasionally, Alice joined me, but she spent most of her time getting to know her new family. By now, I knew for sure that the Cullens were not going to hurt her anytime soon, so I let her roam free.

A knock sounded on the door to my room. "Come in," I called, setting down the book I had been reading.

Esme stepped in and I immediately stood up, bowing politely. "Ma'am."

"Jasper, how many times have I told you not to call me that?" she scolded playfully. Esme had been extremely kind to me; she had been the one who had introduced me to Carlisle's library when I had admitted my love for reading. I had grown to like her the most out of all the Cullens, though I was still slightly wary of her friendly advances.

"I'm sorry, ma- Esme," I corrected hastily.

"That's alright, Jasper," she said with a small smile. "However, I wanted to ask you if you would like to come hunting with us. Alice has mentioned that you are used to feeding much more frequently than we do, and I don't want you to be feeling uncomfortable."

Indeed, my thirst had become somewhat of a distraction for me. I felt the burn in my throat more clearly now that she mentioned hunting. "I would like that very much, ma- Esme. Thank you."

"No need to thank me, Jasper. The thirst is part of who we are," Esme said with a laugh.

I followed her down to the living room. The other members of the family were already waiting for us at the door. Alice skipped over to me and slipped her hand into mine, looking into my eyes with a glowing expression. I let her feel my own happiness at being reunited, and she laughed her tinkling laugh.

Together, we ventured into the forest, Alice and I holding hands the whole time. Once again, we slowed when we were deep within the imposing depths of the woods. I took a deep breath and caught the scent of a mountain lion somewhere to the east. I tugged Alice along with me as I followed its scent, the other Cullens having separated from us to find other prey.

As we drew near, I dropped into my hunting crouch, Alice letting go of my hand and doing the same. I inhaled again to pinpoint the location of the lion and froze.

A new scent permeated my senses, unbearably sweet and tempting. I tore away from Alice, who cried out after me as I rocketed toward the tantalizing smell. I paid her no heed. There was nothing I was aware of but the delicious aroma of human blood.

I flew into the clearing, heading directly toward the source of the scent. I heard someone scream, but I was immediately lost in the overwhelming ecstasy of the blood. When the human had been sucked dry, I claimed the rest, craving the fragrant blood like and alcoholic craves his booze. I didn't stop until not a single drop of blood was left inside them.

Only then did the red haze of the bloodlust lift from my eyes. I found myself in a small glade, surrounded by the drained bodies of six humans. My first emotion was a crushing guilt at the thought of Alice's disappointed expression.

Then the dying emotions of the humans rushed up to meet me, and I fell to the ground, clawing at my face. Overwhelming fear, pain, and regret consumed my mind. I heard a high-pitched keening, and realized that I was the one making the sound. I buried my fingers in my hair, rocking back and forth, trying to dispel the horrible emotions that were devouring me.

Terror.

Agony.

There was nothing but the pain.

~

Edward's POV:

Edward! A mental shout, filled with anguish, broke my concentration. I immediately recognized it as Alice. I started, straightening up from my crouch. Jasper's in trouble! We were hunting this mountain lion, and he caught the scent of some humans, and… Her thoughts were no longer coherent.

"Jasper," I growled to Carlisle.

Alarmed, my father turned to me. "What happened, Edward?"

"He's in trouble. Alice thinks that he may have slipped." I muttered. I always knew that Jasper was dangerous. Rosalie and Emmett turned around, their thoughts horrified. Esme put her hand over her mouth, her eyes wide. "We'd better go help."

Carlisle nodded, and we set off toward our newest family members. We found Alice within minutes, wringing her hands in despair. "He's this way," she whispered, dashing off in the direction of her mate.

I picked up Jasper's mental voice when we were within a few miles of him. His normally subtle mind was now oddly loud, but strangely, I could not decipher any intelligible thoughts. But from what I could understand, he was feeling immense pain, more pain that I could ever know or comprehend in all my years of life- or death, as it were.

That was when I felt it. Horrible, overpowering despair, doubled because I could hear it in Jasper's thoughts as well. With an inarticulate cry, I dropped to my knees, somehow noticing in the back of my mind that my family had stumbled to a stop around me as well. Judging from their horrorstruck expressions, they were feeling the same unreasonable agony that I was.

"Edward!" Carlisle cried out, both mentally and out loud.

"Jasper," I groaned. "We're feeling his pain."

Realization suddenly dawned on Carlisle's perfect features. "He's an empath," he whispered.

Several things suddenly became clear to me. I had always wondered why the mysterious blond vampire had decided to follow our diet. Originally, I had assumed that he was only adhering to our way of life because of Alice. Feeling your prey's every emotion while you fed would have been depressing at the very least. It was a miracle that Jasper had survived for so long in the South with his mind intact. I remembered how I always felt unusually calm in his presence; now, I realized that he had been the one creating the serene atmosphere.

We staggered into the clearing and stopped in our tracks. Now that we were so much closer to Jasper, the emotions that he was projecting to us had increased tenfold. It took all my concentration to stay upright. I forced myself to look at Jasper, to see what had caused him this terrible pain.

Six humans lay dead around him, completely drained of their blood. Jasper was lying in a fetal position, his hands tearing into his hair as he emitted a tortured moan. Memories of past killings swept through his mind, and my knees nearly buckled.

"Jasper!" Alice yelled. She sprinted to his prone form and shook him. "Jasper, stop it! You're hurting us!"

For a second, his crimson, pain- filled eyes connected with hers. Alice, I heard in his mind. Then, with an enormous amount of effort, he got his feelings back under control. I breathed a sigh of relief as the devastating blanket of emotion lifted.

"Alice," he whispered brokenly. "Oh, Alice, I'm so sorry." I had never seen a vampire look so vulnerable in my life.

"It's okay, Jazz," she answered soothingly. "No one blames you. Everyone slips once in a while."

Carlisle stepped forward. "Jasper, are you ready to go back?" he said gently.

"Yes," Jasper whispered. Slowly, he got up. Alice hovered nearby, ready to help him if he collapsed.

"Come on, Jasper, let's get you back home," Emmett muttered, moving over to help. Rosalie stood her ground, looking on with wide, disbelieving eyes. If Esme could have cried, she would have burst into tears right there and then.

We slowly processed back to the house, keeping to Jasper's pace as he drifted slowly through the woods. When we reached the porch, Jasper cast us all a grateful look as he entered the house. Alice led him upstairs, into their room where he could recover.

Emmett, Rosalie, Carlisle, Esme, and I gathered in the living room. Unnecessarily, Carlisle cleared his throat and began the discussion. "It appears that there is more to Jasper than meets the eye." Much, much more…

"He kept his abilities from us," Rosalie said flatly. "Who knows what else he's keeping a secret?"

"He still doesn't trust us, Rosalie," Carlisle said softly. "He's not going to give us the story of his life if we don't show him some trust first."

"You can see from his scars that he's a soldier, and a damn good one at that," I pointed out. "He had to be if he was to survive in the South. It's natural that he would keep his talents from us- it would give him an advantage over a potential enemy."

"With his gift, it must have been like hell for him," Emmett commented. "Feeling the emotions of everyone he ever killed and not being able to forget about it because of his vampire memory…" Emmett shook his head. Poor guy.

Rosalie grunted and turned away. It still doesn't change the fact that he killed six humans. Six! How are we supposed to cover up for that?

"Rosalie," I muttered. "We've all slipped before, apart from Carlisle and yourself. Jasper's still fairly new to our diet- it's harder for him to control himself than for us."

"Whatever," Rosalie grumbled.

"I'm going to go clean up the evidence," Carlisle said quietly. He took Esme's hand, and they ghosted out the front door.

Rosalie sighed dramatically. "I'm going to my room. Emmett, want to come?"

Emmett's usual happy grin spread across his face. "Sure, baby. Bring on the love!" he crooned. I cringed.

"I'll go check on Alice and Jasper," I said quickly, rising from my place on the couch.

Emmett and Rosalie rushed into their room and closed the door. I immediately blocked their thoughts from my mind and headed toward Alice and Jasper's room.

"Jasper?" I called softly. Jasper opened the door, his calm, unassuming mask back in place.

"Yes?"

"I just wanted to see if you were okay." I explained.

"I'm fine, thank you," Jasper answered curtly.

"You didn't seem like you were okay a little while ago," I snapped.

"I don't need your help, mind reader," he hissed back. He started to close the door.

"Who's Maria?" I asked abruptly. It was a name that I had heard several times in his mind before, when he had forgotten to shield his thoughts from me.

The door opened, and I suddenly found myself pinned to the wall by my throat.

"If you value your life, you will never mention that name again. Understood?" Jasper snarled, his scarlet eyes giving him an even more frightening appearance than usual. Afraid to anger him more, I nodded, and he let go of my neck. He stalked back to his room, then paused and turned back to me. "You want to know who Maria is?"

"Yes," I answered warily.

"Be glad that you don't. And never will." With that, he stormed back to his room and slammed the door behind him.