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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:


7. Chapter 7: Monster

Rating 0/5   Word Count 2492   Review this Chapter

I was back in my room, lying on our bed. Alice was stretched out over my stomach and chest, playing idly with my hair.

I thought back to the few, dangerously carefree hours that I had experienced with Emmett. It had given me a welcome reprieve from the memories that fighting Darius and Sebastian had awakened, but even his laid-back personality could not suppress them for long. Somewhere along the line, Emmett had become my friend, something that happened few and far between in my life.

I though back to Sebastian. I had hit on a way that I could protect Alice from Maria without leaving her, but I had not yet decided on a course of action. I knew that Alice would see my choice as soon as I made it, and I would rather not subject her to too much worry before I made up my mind.

My shoulder throbbed gently, and the pain made me think back to one of the worst punishments I had ever faced at the hands of Maria…

Houston, Texas

1873

For the first time I had been in her service, I had failed her.

I watched with wary eyes as Maria approached, flanked by a dozen newborns. I knew that I would have to be punished, regardless of my status in her grisly army.

My suspicions proved correct when Maria stopped in front of me, her eyes blazing with fury.

"Major Jasper Whitlock," she spat.

"Yes, ma'am?" I stood at attention, focusing intently at a space just above her head.

"You failed me. What happened?" Maria snapped.

"The target managed to incapacitate his guards and escape. I was not able to catch up to him before he crossed the border."

A flash of scorn crossed her pale face. She nodded to the newborns. "Secure him!"

Eagerly, the newborns sprang forward and pinned my arms behind my back. I struggled against my urge to fight against them, clenching my teeth so tightly that I thought they might crack. Knowing Maria, struggling would only prolong my punishment.

"Take off his shirt!" Maria ordered.

The newborns froze. "His…shirt, ma'am?" One ventured tentatively.

Like a deadly lightning flash, Maria sprang forward and ripped off the offending newborn's head, disassembling his limbs an instant later. She struck a match and threw it on a pile of tinder, and then tossed the remains of the newborn onto the flames.

"Take it off!" She snarled. Grimly, I smiled internally. I was supremely proud of the thousands of crescent-shaped marks that marred my skin- after all, they did have their uses. Every vampire that I had ever met had been afraid of what the scars meant, and with good reason, too. Because of them, the newborns hated and feared me. They had already seen the scars on my face and neck- they had no desire to see the rest.

But their fear of Maria far surpassed their instinctive fear of my scars. Hurriedly, the remaining newborns tore off my shirt, and my marks were exposed.

The newborns were visibly trembling as they drank in the sight of my mangled body. Some averted their eyes, petrified with fear. I let their terror wash over me, savoring the feeling. However, Maria was an entirely different story. She barely spared my body a glance. Not an iota of fear was to be found in her emotions- instead, derision and contempt pooled in her aura.

Maria stepped forward, and I gritted my teeth as she sunk her teeth into my hand. Venom pooled in her mouth, and she expertly used her tongue to coax it deeper into the wound. If I were human, the feeling would have been similar to having my hand brutally hacked off with a rusty chainsaw covered in acid.

Maria released my hand and addressed the newborns. "Bite him. Make it as painful as possible. I don't mind if you detach a limb or two, but don't kill him. He is still useful to me."

I bit back a cry as the newborns latched their teeth onto my body. One of them viciously twisted his head to the side to get a better grip on my shoulder, and I cried out as my arm was nearly torn out of its socket. My breathing turned ragged.

Maria summoned more newborns, and soon my whole torso was covered in fresh bites. My right arm was dangling uselessly- my legs were shaking, barely able to support my weight. The newborns were eager for my punishment, crowding around me, jostling for their turn. I was the one who had always reprimanded them before, and they were thirsty for revenge.

After what seemed like centuries later, I swayed and nearly fell, blinded with agony. Maria called the newborns off.

"Had enough, Major?" Maria sneered.

I nodded, my chest heaving, unable to speak.

She snapped her fingers, and the newborns dragged me back to the circle of abandoned warehouses that acted as our current base. They dumped me on the floor of the most decrepit warehouse and left.

That night was, without a doubt, the worst I had ever experienced in my life. The enormous amounts of venom that had been injected into my system were burning me alive. It was very nearly as bad as my transformation had been.

If there was a hell, this must surely be it.

My body felt like it had been chopped up into tiny pieces, trampled by about a hundred elephants, and roasted relentlessly inside a blazing furnace I clutched desperately at my mangled shoulder, unsuccessfully attempting to alleviate the pain.

With dawn came a small measure of relief. The most superficial of my injuries had healed somewhat, though I would still need to feed before any of them healed completely.

Maria came for me around mid-afternoon.

"Would you like to feed, Jasper?" she asked, her dulcet tones deceptively sweet. But I was in far too much pain to think of the possible implications of her words.

I nodded docilely. I desperately needed the blood, and soon. Without a proper feeding, my injuries would never heal.

Maria smiled. "And what would you be willing to do to get it?"

What was she up to? Despite my misgivings, I had no choice other than to say what she wanted to hear. "Anything," I rasped.

Her burgundy eyes bored into mine. "Would you do the same for me?"

"Yes," I responded instantly. Inwardly, I cursed. What had I gotten myself into?

Her smile grew wider, teeth glinting in the dim sunlight that filtered through the warehouse's many cracks. "Good," she purred. "Come, Jasper." She walked out of the building, obviously expecting me to follow.

I staggered to my feet, my wounds screaming in protest. I gritted my teeth and tried to ignore the pain. My arm was still completely useless, and I knew that I would not be able to regain full use of it until I had had a few good meals.

Swaying slightly, I dragged myself after Maria. To my surprise, she marched right to her private quarters. No one was invited there. No one. Yet there she stood, gesturing impatiently for me to enter.

The interior of her quarters was nothing like I had imagined it to be. There was a colossal bed dominating most of the space, complete with fluffy blankets and a wrought-iron frame. I gaped. Why on earth would Maria need a bed, of all things, in her room?

My eyes flicked around to assess the rest of the space, and I noticed the unobtrusive staircase in a corner. I could hear several heartbeats emanating from the opening.

Then the smell hit me.

Without stopping to think, I barreled down the stairs. "Take as many as you want," was all I caught from Maria before the bloodlust consumed me.

Large metal cages, containing dozens of humans each, lined the walls of the basement. Launching myself at the closest, I ripped away the solid iron bars like they were made of tissue paper. Screams from the huddled humans met my ears, but they were immediately silenced as I sank my teeth into they deliciously soft throats.

I did not stop until every single heartbeat in the room was forever silenced.

The red haze lifted off my vision, and I was vaguely surprised to discover that I felt great. Blood sloshed heavily in my stomach. Most of my wounds had healed, though the deeper ones continued to throb. I had regained some of the movement in my arm- the crack in my shoulder had been reduced to a thin line.

Maria descended the stairs and raised a delicate eyebrow at the amount of carnage that I had created.

"My, my. You were thirsty, weren't you?" she chuckled. She reached over to grasp my hand and took me back upstairs. She sat down on the lacy bed, pulling me down with her.

"Do you know why I brought you here?" she whispered.

"No, ma'am." I answered.

She nodded understandingly. "Jasper, you are my very best soldier. Yesterday was the only time you have ever failed me, and I think you have learned your lesson from that, hm?" She winked. "You've earned a reward."

"But I've already had my reward," I protested. My eyes flickered back to the staircase.

Maria clucked her tongue. "Tsk, tsk. Darling, it's high time for you to realize that there are other- better- rewards than blood." She smiled seductively. If I had had a heart, it would have been trying to beat its way out of my chest right now.

Darling. She had called me darling. Not Jasper. Not Major. Darling. At that moment, she leaned forward and kissed me full on the lips. Her lust caught me by surprise and overwhelmed me, and I found that I was kissing her back, my stone lips moving in strange and unfamiliar ways in tandem with hers.

Maria was right, as always. This was infinitely better than blood. Pure lust radiated from us both, wrapping us in a private cocoon of desire. I suddenly felt an insane urge to attempt something that I had never before tried with a woman.

We made love for the rest of the day and half of the night.

When Maria finally pulled away, she smiled winningly at me and ghosted out of the room. I was left, dazed, to my own thoughts.

I thought back to the utter bliss I had felt in her embrace, and in that instant, I made myself a vow. Never would I fail her again.

Maria would never have to punish me for my weakness again.

Edward's POV:

Despite his apparent loyalty to Esme, I continued to monitor Jasper's thoughts. He was quite good at keeping me out of his head, but even he occasionally forgot.

I was currently reeling from the strength and horror of his memories. I felt a small amount of sympathy now that I understood a bit more about his past, but I still felt strongly opposed to him joining our coven. Briefly, I wondered if he had ever told Alice about Maria…

Just then, I made my decision. "Alice," I called softly. "Do you want to come for a walk with me?"

Sure, Edward! She thought. I hopped out of the window and circled around the house, waiting for her to come out. I heard her murmur an explanation to Jasper. She vaulted gracefully out of her window- what used to be my window. I gnashed my teeth, and I heard Jasper's soft growl of warning as he sensed my irritation.

Alice and I darted a little ways into the forest, until we were out of earshot to the occupants of the house. When we stopped, she stared deep into my eyes and spoke.

"Edward, I normally wouldn't condone talking about this behind Jasper's back. But I'm worried about him- I'm no mind reader, but I can tell that something's been bothering him. His future's been changing. I think he may be considering going back to his former…coven."

He was going to return to that monster? I was shocked. "Do you know about Maria?"
Her eyes were sad. "He hasn't told me much about her. I know that she was the leader of the army he was part of, but I don't know much else…" She looked at me expectantly.

I told her about Jasper's flashback, not omitting a single detail.

Alice drew in a sharp, shuddering breath. She sank to her knees, sobbing tearlessly. Instinctively, I sought to comfort her, kneeling down and hugging her small body.

"H- he never told me," she whimpered. "I could have helped him…" Her breathing hitched, and she dissolved into tears again. Suddenly, she clenched her tiny fists and pushed away from me. "I hate that evil b*tch," she growled. "She deserves to burn in hell for eternity." To my intense disbelief, she let out a stream of very unladylike profanities. I had to give her credit- she was quite creative in her insults. Who knew she had such a temper?

Once she had calmed down, we started back to the house. Jasper was pacing back and forth on the porch. As soon as he saw Alice, he bounded forward, ignoring me completely as he scooped her up in his arms. I felt flicker of annoyance.

"Jazz!" Alice squealed. I had to admit, she was a good actor. She gave no indication of the recent conversation we had. Yet Jasper suddenly froze and studied her expression.

"Alice? What's wrong?" he asked softly.

"What do you mean?" she asked, her voice saturated with confusion. I almost believed her myself.

"Don't lie to me, Alice," Jasper growled. "What happened?" He shot me a look full of suspicion.

"I-" Alice faltered. "Edward told me about Maria," she confessed. I'm so sorry, Edward! she cried mentally.

Jasper's nostrils flared. His head whipped around to look at me, his expression livid. He gently set Alice back on the ground.

"You told her." He stated, his voice shaking with the force of his suppressed fury. Never had I seen him more dangerous than he looked now. He was literally itching to tear my head off my shoulders. For the first time, I felt a flash of genuine fear in his presence.

"She needed to know," I replied.

Jasper was beyond words now. He snarled, somehow infusing the guttural sound with all the rage and betrayal that I could hear warring in his mind.

"No!" Alice and I shouted together as she saw his decision.

Jasper spun on his heel and bolted at full speed toward the forest. There was only one destination he had in mind.

Edward! Follow him! Alice thought frantically. She knew how fast I was. She also knew that she had no chance of catching up to Jasper before he reached Maria. I was her only hope.

Shaking off my stupor, I whirled around and dashed after him.