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Tiger Stripes

Summary:
Jasper found his everything in Bella. Bella found nothing she desired in Sam. Being stripped of everything she had Bella finds solace with Peter and Char. Can mates separated by hate overcome their haunted past? AU, Non Canon, Jasper/Bella, M for language/lemons


Notes:


3. Chapter 3

Rating 0/5   Word Count 2882   Review this Chapter

PPOV

Charlotte came out of Bella's room and closed the door quietly. "She's sleeping now; I had to give her some sleeping tablets to help settle her. She hadn't taken her other meds today either."

Jasper looked curious. "What other meds?"

I started to speak but Charlotte got in there first. "That's for her to explain, if and when she is ever ready. I wouldn't hold your breath though."

A quiet growl came from the corner Jasper was standing in. "Why is she angry with me? She's the one that left me!"

I was surprised by his reaction, considering what had happened earlier I thought he'd still be perplexed. I don't know what happened between them in the past and I'm not entirely sure what happened in the stables today, but I am certain that Char and I aren't getting the full story. And that shit is changin' right now.

Bella's well being is our main focus though, and although we'd rather hear both sides of the story, she needs to rest and the less stress on her the better. So, I sighed to myself in aggravation, we'll hear what Jasper has to say now and pray to God that Bella will stay 'round long enough to tell us hers. Gut instinct tells me that they're definitely not singing from the same hymnal, and that we're gonna have to hear both of 'em out to get anywhere near the truth…and even then I'm bettin' that we'll still be missin' pieces.

Charlotte pulled Jasper out to the porch while I grabbed a bottle of Jack and cigarettes. Walking out onto the porch, I noticed that the sun had just about set and the sky was a myriad of different colors. A beautiful backdrop to the conversation I knew was going to be anything but beautiful. I sunk into an old battered rocking chair looking at Char on the swing and Jasper on the floor.

I poured us all a glass of Jack, opened a pack of cigarettes and waited for someone to start talking.

Jasper tilted his head against the house, closed his eyes and finally started to speak. "The first time I saw her it was raining. I was drivin' back to the Cullen's house after a couple of weeks away visiting y'all. She was walking along the side of the road, soaked to the bone."

"I had every intention of driving past her. Maybe even deliberately slowing, giving her hope of a lift and then moving on. You know I can't help myself from actin' like an ass sometimes", he snickered then continued on, his voice softening into something almost tangibly warm. "But something made me stop; call it sympathy for her walking in the rain, call it remembering the manners my Mama taught me, I don't know what made me stop but I did. And despite how I feel about her now, I have no regrets about stoppin'."

"I pulled to a stop right next to her, rolled the passenger-side window down and all of a sudden...I was lost." He said, reaching over and lighting another cigarette.

"I knew who she was of course, everyone knew Isabella. Her daddywas the Chief of Police in Forks. By reputation she was kind, funny,smart, sweet and by all accounts just plain nice to everyone. She had just turned eighteen. All the little boys in town flocked to her like bees to a honeypot, but she swatted them away. I'd seen her around town a few times before and couldn't help but be struck by how lonely she always seemed," he said, smiling wistfully.

"She wouldn't accept my help at first, said her daddy had taught her not to get in the car with strange men. At that point I didn't care what it took - she was getting in my car even if I had to knock her out to do it. I've never had that reaction to anyone before; it was as if this human held the key to my whole existence. I couldn't see a way to live without her, even though we'd just met." He shook his head and quickly closed his eyes again. I could swear I saw venom glistenin' in his eyes but I wasn't gonna say anything to stop him, I needed to know what was goin' on. Besides, you just don't call a man out on somethin' like that.

Wait a cotton pickin' minute, I thought, momentarily stunned…and really fuckin' confused. That sounds an awful lot like a mating pull. Was Jasper mated with Bella? What the fuck! But…but Bella shows no signs of being mated to him; it should be killing her to be apart from him for so long.Goddamn, I was confused! My thoughts kept swirlin' 'round my head, arguin' and bangin' into each other…nothing was making a damn lick of sense.

"I ain't sayin' I fell in love with her the minute I saw her, but hell if I wasn't halfway there already."

I couldn't help but chuckle to myself. She does have that effect on people, I mused. Jasper would be very surprised if he had any idea who else she has wrapped around her little finger

He continued on, nodding to himself. "I wanted to kiss her…to taste her everywhere. No, scratch that - I needed to do those things. She was mine, made for just for me. My endless wandering now seemed worth it as it had brought me to her. Who'd have thought that I'd end up mated to a human? Such a delicate little creature, and yet so dangerous in her own right. Everything about her was just so right;her hair, her eyes…it was like she was made from fantasies I didn't even know I'd had. I wasn't sure if I wanted to kiss her mouth as I watched her nervously chew on her bottom lip, or have her wrap it 'round my... um…nevermind." He groaned, peeking nervously over at Char.

"She was mine and I was hers. I would be whatever she wanted me to be; lover, husband, friend, anything just to be with her. HellI'd even have killed for her if she'd asked. But right then, it seemed that like being a friend was most appropriate seeing as I'd just met her. So I introduced myself as cordially as I could, "Well hi thereMiss, my name is Jasper Hale. Looks like you could use a little help."

Jasper raked his fingers through his hair, stood up and walked to the far end of the porch. He leaned forwards over the railing and was silent for a few minutes. I knew enough not to push him, he'd talk when he was good and ready. I wanted to walk over and pull him in for a hug, but neither of us were the huggin' type. The only thing I could do was listen and be there for him.

As he stood there, silently gazing out into the distance, I ran upstairs and checked on Bella. She was still fast asleep. Char had cleaned up the cut on her forehead and luckily it didn't need stitches. It looked like she'd banged her head as Jasper let go of her. I had to admit I was impressed with his control; we could have so easily ended up with a dead girl on our hands. Her breakdown, well, we'd have to see about that when she woke up. Like Jasper, I wasn't gonna pressure her none about it. She'll talk when she was good and ready.

When I went back outside, I noticed that Jasper was still standing where I'd left him. If it wasn't for his hair blowing in the breeze I'd have thought he was a statue.

"I'm going to shorten a long story Peter; this is uncomfortable for me to talk about." He said, finally breaking his silence.

I just nodded in acknowledgement.

"Over the next few weeks we talked for hours, and I loved just spendin' time with her. She knew what I was and what I was capable of and she wasn't frightened. It was refreshing to spend time with a human who wasn't prey. No, not just a human-Isabella, my Isabella. She was so easy to be around, but something, I don't know what, stopped me from telling the Cullen's about her. I knew they'd be concerned."

"We became lovers after about six weeks. I was her first and she was going to be my last. I would have done anything for her. I was happy and for once, for the very first time in this long life of mine, I felt calm…settled…I was finally complete." He stopped for a moment, his voice cracking a bit before taking a deep breath and continuing on.

"We had several, long conversations about her Daddy. She felt like he was trying to push her towards some pup on the reservation and Isabella didn't want that. She tried to tell her daddy that she was seein' someone else, but he just banned her from seeing me instead of actually listenin' to her. We had to get sneakier and sneakier about seein' each other. We finally just decided that as she was over eighteen, there was very little he could do anyway and that enough was enough."

He stopped again and took another deep breath, his face hardening to stone. "But everything good has to come to an end I guess,"he continued. "We'd been together about for about ten months, she'd just graduated from high school, and we'd spent the night together in some hotel in Seattle…we made love all night. When she fell asleep, I ran out to hunt and…to pick something up. When I came back, she was gone and had left a note for me. I still have the fuckin' thing."

He pulled his wallet out of his back jean pocket, and took out a folded-up piece of paper that had obviously been there for years. As he carefully unfolded it and smoothed it out, I noticed something wrapped up in it but he put it back in his pocket before I could see what it was. I couldn't tell what was written on the paper as it was face down, worn out, and faded.

His voice changed into something cold and dead, like the Jasper I used to know when his demon was out of control. "I don't have to look at it anymore, I have it memorized. It says 'Jazz, I don't want this-you- anymore. Don't contact me, I never want to see you again.'

"She left me Peter. I loved her and she fuckin' left me," his voice was hoarse and cracking with raw emotion. I could feel the pain coming off him in waves and it knocked me to my knees.

"This is what I went to pick up after I hunted that day. I was going toask her to marry me," he croaked out while reaching into his pocket and pulling out a ring. "That girl…that little fuckin' girl…the fuckin' bitch walked out on me, just leaving a note behind. She didn't even have the courtesy to tell me herself, she just left a fuckin' note."

I struggled to my feet and pulled him in for a hug, to hell with this 'men don't hug' bullshit. I just couldn't reconcile his Isabella with my Bella. She wouldn't, no, she couldn't, just do that to someone she'd loved. I knew instinctively that this had to do with the day we'd found her but without her permission, I couldn't just tell Jasper about it. We would have to wait until she woke up and then see if she was ready to talk to him.

"I went to her house to try to see her; to beg her to change her mind. Her daddy's friend, some guy in a wheelchair from the reservation, said she wasn't there and was back on the reservation with the 'Alpha' like she belonged. He told me to get the fuck of the Swan property or he'd shoot me. Jesus Peter, she reduced me to fuckin' begging like a dog," he spat.

Jasper finally looked at me and, goddamn, the pain and rage on his face would fuckin' haunt me forever. "Rosalie caught me leaving her bedroom window early one morning a few days before Isabella left me. She said that I had to stop this, that it was dangerous, that it could bring the wrath of the Volturi on me and by default them."

"She said there was something else, but she was too scared to tell me. I demanded that she did and she finally told me that she'd overheard that Isabella was the imprint of the Alpha of the wolf pack. I accused her of lying, of trying to ruin what Isabella and I had, of being jealous."

He sighed, "I should have listened to her, it would have saved me a broken heart and five years of grief."

"Turns out that Rose was right, she went straight to him. It was immaterial anyway, the next day Alice couldn't see her future anymore. I'd asked her to look to see if we got back couldn't see anything; there was no future to see. All she could see was Chief Swan at a funeral crying. Twenty-four hours later and Isabella was dead. I couldn't see a way to go on. Rose was smothering me in guilt, and the others in shock, disbelief, and pity. I couldn't handle it anymore so I took off as fast as I could and haven't been back since. I've spoken to Rose a couple of times but that's about it." Dear God, my brother, Jasper, the unbeatable warrior that he was…I've never heard him, or any man, sound so exhausted in their entire life. Sweet baby Jesus, what the fuck is goin' on here? My unbeatin' heart was physically achin' for him, but I knew, goddammit I knew, that somethin' wasn't right with this…somethin' was missing.

His voice hardened again and he continued on. "It doesn't really fuckin' help when my brother and his wife refuse to see me for five goddamn years. It can make a man feel just a littleunwanted. I just couldn't take my mind off her Peter. Every time I closed my eyes, I could see her, I could hear her voice, I could smell her, Christ I could feel her."

"I kept the note to try and remind myself that the whore wasn't worth it, but it didn't work, nothin' worked. I tried everything I could think of to erase her but she was like a goddamn tattoo-permantently marked on my mind and in my fuckin' heart."

"I've spent the last five years in hell. First thinking that my mate rejected me and then to be tormented by her death. I decided to just turn up here, figured you wouldn't throw me out if I was on your doorstep, and for fucks sake I needed you. But guess what I found? Ifind her playin' happy fuckin' family with my shithead of a brother and his wife. No wonder you didn't want me here, you've obviously taken sides, and it sure as hell isn't mine."

I tried to speak, I knew immediately where Jasper was coming from, and he'd got it wrong though on so many levels. Butfuck, how the hell can I explain this without breakin' my Puss' heart? So I took the only option I could think of, and like an asshole, stayed silent.

"Why didn't she contact me Peter? Just once to let me know she was okay. The bitch owes me that at least. When she came in to the barn today, I couldn't decide whether I wanted kill her or fuck her. She met the Major for the first time today, and I'm not sorry that it scared her, she deserved it. Fuckin' bitch. She's taken everything from me; my sanity, my family, my heart, my fuckin' life Peter! Why does she deserve to live when I've been dying? To hell with that, I've been dead."

"Jasper, honey...," Charlotte spoke for the first time. "We didn't know about the two of you, she'd never even mentioned your name. And baby, it's not that we didn't want you to visit, we just knew that the Cullen's came from the same town as her and we didn't want the mind reader findin' out that she was alive and lettin' it slip." She paused, and you could tell that she was thinkin' hard about what to say, what she could say next. "It would have caused complications and it would have been dangerous for her. But before you ask, I can'tsay anything else and I am so sorry."

I watched his lips curl back in an angry snarl before he bit out his response. "I don't give a fuck Char, it's not your fault. It's that snake in the grass, bitch, whore upstairs!" And with that, he leapt over the railing and ran into the night.

"Well… that went well," I muttered to Char, trying to process what he'd said. I had no idea how the hell to get us all out of this unholy mess, and for once, it was nothing to do with me.