Rue: Chapter 4 (Jasper Hale x OC)
Not everyone is excited for a reunion. Especially when expectations are not aligned.
Adeline ran as fast as she could, her chaser right at her heels as she darted into the woods. Rain pelting heavily, the moon hidden behind clouds, the woods seemed darker than usual.
To make matters worse, she was slowing down. She had been starving herself greatly recently, in a self-loathing attempt and now she deeply regretted her foolish decision. As if it wasn’t enough she was having trouble controlling her hunger, now she was being chased down by an unknown assailant, vampire. She ignored the constant tugging at her heart again, begging her to stop, to turn around and just look at her chaser.
It occurred to her then that this person was the same one who was at Whitehorse. Judging from the female vampire that had approached her just now in the bar, someone or some persons were interested in her. It might not even be her father. But bullshit, she wasn’t going to let this unknown stranger get to her. Nor was she going to let them ruin her peace of mind she had fought to safeguard for decades now. She needed a plan, and she needed it fast.
There was a clearing just a few miles south, if she could just make it there…! Pushing her limits, she ducked under a pine and concealed herself into the night, mindful not to tread on anything that might give her away. Circled the perimeter and watched as the man who had been chasing her stopped in the clearing, apparently confused that he had lost her track somehow.
Blood pumping, she darted out and aimed for the jugular. Her hand clasped onto the man’s neck in a death grip and pushed him up into a tree.
“Who are you and what do you want from me?” Adeline hissed. The man, blonde she noted, made no move to subdue or even try to escape her clutches. His face was still partially hidden under his hair, but she was aware of his amber orbs observing her behind his curtain of hair. Neither did she miss the scars, multiple healed bite wounds littered across his porcelain neck and clavicles, screaming danger. Her heart hammering in her chest now, a tidal wave of anxiety washed over her and an eerie sense of foreboding was looming overhead. Her mind was trying to make a connection, something about this man just… But the anxiety got to her again and she tightened her grip over his neck even harder.
It occurred to her then that the man’s companion was also nowhere to be found. Was this a trap after all?
“Answer me.” She growled impatiently. “Who are you? Why are you after me? Where is your companion?!”
Yet he only remained mum. This only further enraged her.
“Speak or I’ll rip your pretty head off of its rightful place.”
“Just like how you ripped my heart out all those years ago?”
Momentarily Adeline was caught confused by the man’s reply, until he looked up and the dim moonlight casted shadows on his smooth marble like face. Adeline gasped, dropping her arm and taking a step back. A chill ran up her spine and grasped painfully onto her heart, tightening; just as her mind roared, losing its usual powers of logics and deduction.
Back at the parking lot, Jasper had suddenly felt a breeze, a sliver of a shadow passing by, and then the strongest urge he had ever had to run after the shadow. Unknowingly, he had let the urge overtook his actions; until he saw Adeline materialising out of thin air, running at top speed a few yards before him did he finally realised what had happened.
He had chased on then, close on her tail.
And now he watched, somewhat in fascination, at the myriad of emotions that ran through Adeline’s eyes in that instant. Shock and disbelief gave way to confusion, then guilt and grief. He’d forgotten just how expressive she can be at times and how he could read her like an open book.
Except it was his Adeline. His sweet Adeline.
There was no mistaking on his part. She had not aged a single day. Her hair was shorter now, but her countenance, and those expressive cornflower eyes they were the same, fresh from his memory. There was no doubt in it. Now that his vision was so much better, he could even notice features on her face that he would have missed as a human. And yes, he could also smell her sweet hybrid scent, so similar to Renesmee’s yet also different in it’s own way. Oh how his cold dead heart felt, ready to burst, he had never felt so alive since his transformation. Perhaps he shouldn’t be too hasty in accepting this hybrid thing, but it would explain so much of her past actions. And it would also explain so well how they were seeing each other right there and now. And more than anything, he was just… feeling all kinds of emotions now that she was here again. Joy and shock at the prospect of reunion, apprehension and nausea at how events would unfold. But mostly he felt a deep inner relief and serenity for the first time in years. One he did not know that he had been missing until beholding her again for the first time in centuries.
She was the missing piece he had been seeking unknowingly all these years.
He had meant to step forward, to embrace her, to touch her, anything, something just to confirm her presence right in front of his eyes. To hold onto her, to make sure that she wouldn’t just disappear again into thin air again.
But even as he pondered on his actions, those haunting orbs were now settling to something between fear and distrust.
Adeline, her hand trembling against her lips, was slowly backing away as she tried to process the events that had transpired; unsettled, she did not even notice that she had backed herself into the trunk of another tree.
“What sick joke is this?” She finally let out a shaky laugh. Her eyes darting everywhere but him.
With a sinking heart, Jasper swallowed harshly, his throat dry. He’d run through this in his head for uncountable times now. A simulation of their reunion, heartfelt exchanges and eager embraces, passionate declarations; or cold-hearted refusals and further blows to his heart. But nothing like this, not this deer-in-the-headlight shakiness, blatant denial, this refusal of even a simple acknowledgement.
“Adeline it’s me. It’s your Jasper.” He finally breathed, closing the distance. Reaching out a finger to twine her stray locks behind her ear, before leaning in to take a whiff of her floral scent.“It’s Jasper.” He repeated like a broken record.
“No… that’s not possible…” She murmured to herself, frozen in place by shock. Until fear flashed in her eyes again and she jerked away as if she had been electrified.
“What power do you possess? Did Father send you to lure me back?” She swallowed in alarm and closed her eyes, her cornflower orbs filled with unshed tears and undisguised fear.
“Please, I’ll go, willingly. Please… just stop what you’re doing, stop messing with my mind will you?” She continued to implore, on the verge of tears. “Stop this. I’ll go mad if you don’t.”
His heart almost broke again at her desperation, her pleads weighing heavily on him.
“No Adeline, darling. It really is me.” He whispered, cupping her face gently to catch her attention.
“No, you died all those years ago. In 1863.” Adeline shook her head furiously, as if every word was a bodily pain inflicted on her part. “I saw the stone, Mrs Whitlock told me so.”
“No, no.” Why couldn’t she just see him for what he was? Why was she so adamant on disproving his entire existence? “I was turned, I was found by a coven of vampires and turned.”
“I don’t believe you.” She finally looked him in the eye and he could see the determination behind, the determination to reject his being altogether as nothing more than a illusion of hers, put into her mind as some cruel joke.
His insides raged then, why couldn’t she see the obvious? He did not come so close to her only to lose her again! Not this time!
“So I will go. I will not shackle you to a life of secrets and miseries. Nor will I bind you to eternal gloom and slaughter your happiness, take your sun and hide your moon.” He recited in a sudden outburst of spite. “Just know that, in another life where I was free of lies and deceit, I would move heaven and earth just to stay alongside you.”
Adeline gasped audibly, her eyes grew big as saucers, and a tear glided down her cheek. Her lips trembled and he could feel the turmoil and shock in her. He could practically hear the whirling of the cogs in her brain moving, as she finally put two and two together. Her eyes darted frantically, as the truth dawned on her.
“This can’t be.” She finally let out a hysterical laugh and muttered weakly, backing up shakily and holding onto a branch for support. “This is impossible.”
“It’s the truth, darling. I-”
“No!” She screamed with all her might. “No.” She mumbled again raking a hand through her curls roughly and shaking her head in denial, even as tears were streaming freely down her face now. “You died… you died…”
“I have to go.” She muttered to no one in particular. “I can’t, I can’t, this can’t happen, this shouldn’t have happened…My fault, my fault. I shouldn’t have… shouldn’t have…”
“Adeline!” He reached for her then, to stop her, to pull her out of her panic.
“Don’t touch me!” She screamed, slapping his hand away. “Don’t…” Adeline chewed on her lips and swallowed nervously, before looking at Jasper, her eyes a sea of emotions and anguish. “Don’t try to find me ever again.”
Without so much as a backward glance, Adeline bolted in the opposite direction with lightning speed and melted into the night.
Left alone in the open, Jasper clenched and unclenched his fists. This was not what he had anticipated, in fact the worst had happened. There was a new agony in his heart, a heaviness weighing on him. Could broken hearts break a second time? If so, his had died a second time today. He could make chase, to corner her, to confront her; but was her blatant rejection not evident enough? Did she need to spell it out in black and white for him?
Letting out a heart-wrenching howl, Jasper dropped to his knees. His eyes were burning like coals but no tears would ever fall out, unlike her. He had lost that ability all those years ago, oh but how he wished he could cry now! To let release any, even the slightest of his unsurmountable grief.
But he could not.
Why couldn’t things stayed the way it had been back in Texas? If she had been a simple dressmaker, if he had never joined the army; they would have married, settled down, had a children or two and grew to see each other old. Buried together in the local cemetery, side by side and that would have been it.
Life was so so cruel.
He punched his fists repeatedly into the ground out of frustration.
Until he felt the strangest sensation.
A pull. There was a strange pull at his heart; tugging at his heartstrings, urging him on in the direction Adeline had just disappeared into.
Jasper stood up slowly, gauging at this new sensation.
It was as if an invisible pathway had just opened for him. There was a new lightness in his heart now. A giddiness at what he had just discovered.
And he thought that finally he understood what this all meant now.
This couldn’t be happening.
It was impossible!
Surely he was an imposter?! Her Jasper! Her Jasper had been dead for more than a hundred years, he couldn’t possibly have came back from the dead? And to become a vampire of all things?
A vampire? God forbid, that would mean that someone had changed him!
But she recalled his topaz eyes that shone eerily in the moonlight, the icy cold skin that had cupped her face so lovingly, that marble smooth and hard skin, the bite marks littered all over his neck. Literally nothing about him screamed human; those were the features of a top predator.
Was this some form of joke the universe was having on her? Her Jasper alive all this time? An immortal not unlike her, but stronger and more lethal?
No! No! No! No! She’d left this hole years ago. She wasn’t going to dig herself into another hole now! It couldn’t have been him! Dead as a door nail he was. She’d seen his grave, she was there.
Though no one ever recovered his body. A treacherous voice whispered in the back of her mind. And anyhow what was that line that he had recited then? It was word for word from the letter she had written to him all those years ago. No one other than himself could have read it.
Her treacherous mind continued to drift into dangerous territory, and though she tried to steer it away, the barriers were all but down now.
She’d rather it had been a stormy night. That thunder and the rain, they would have distracted her from her thoughts. But no.
The moon was a beacon hung against a starless backdrop, and through the half parted curtains, the clear moonlight filtered in, illuminating every feature of his in a white halo. Everything was so calm, so peaceful, in comparison to the raging storm within her.
She’d never stare into those warm brown eyes again, never run her hands through his thick golden curls, never feel his chuckle rumbling deep in his chest or his beating heart on her palm-
“Darlin’?” Jasper’s lashes fluttered, he had sensed her uneasiness somehow and was struggling to rise from his slumber.
“It is nothing darling.” She murmured before pressing a chaste kiss to his lips, relishing in his strong embrace one last time. “It was only a dream.”
He grunted and soon his breathing was even again.
With his handsome face and his wits and charm, he’d be able to rise up in the ranks, and get a fine rich Southern Belle for a wife quick enough.
Father’s threats were still fresh in her mind.
Better this than a mangled body, six inch deep in the ground.
Better leave now when he still loved her, than when he learnt of the truth, the ugly horrible truth.
Every move was another battle. How she withdrew herself from his arms, how she struggled not to sob or to crawl back into bed and confess every little sin she had committed. To stay for another day, for him to tell her that everything would be alright for another day. How her heart broke to leave the ring on the dresser and the heartless note she had written.
One final kiss to his forehead because she couldn’t bear to turn back a second time for she was sure that she would lose her resolve and strength to leave him.
But another day would become another week, another month, another year. What then when Father returned for her? Or when he realised that his wife had not aged a single day since she turned 17?
Better this farewell now. Better to look back with love and fondness and regret, than to let it be corrupted by hate and disgust or worse… blood.
Tomorrow he will wake and she will be gone. And when the time is just right, he will forget her, he will move on, fight the war, get married, grow old. All men do, the world must go on. And only she will be stuck in time, reminiscing the past through rose tinted lenses.
It was alright so long as he lived. She would live with this pain. She would bear this petit mort.
Every. Single. Time.
Until there was nothing more left of her heart.
Was this all for naught then in the end?
Was there no need for to leave him then? Or was his death inevitable regardless of what she did? Was it something that she had done? Something she had miscalculated?
Was he even Jasper to begin with?
She needed to be somewhere, anywhere other than being alone with her thoughts. And as the little house at the end of the lane grew bigger, only then did she realise where her subconscious had lead her to.
Standing at the doorway was her half brother, Anakin, smoking. Jet black hair pulled back into a ponytail, tanned torso bare displaying all his tribal tattoos. His black eyes held surprise as he eyed her carefully.
“I didn’t think I would see the likes of you for the next few years.”
“Change of plans Anakin. Is Father here?”
“It’s only me and the tyke; you know me and the old man can never stay in the same room long before ripping each other throats.” Anakin snorted before flicking his cigarette butt away. “But Ad are you alright? You look awful and you’re shaking so badly; and you’re soaked through and muddy. What happened, Ad?”
“Nothing.” She mumbled. “Just invite me in for a bath will ya.” Though now that he mentioned it, she was feeling kind of faint. Intending to push her way in, Adeline stumbled instead and Anakin was by her side in a flash, supporting her.
“Shit you’re weak. When was the last time you even fed Ad?”
“Addieeeeeeeeeeee.” From within the house, a shrill cry sounded. It was followed by loud footsteps and a young girl of 7 or 8 bounded straight into the foyer; her features were Asian, soft brown eyes and straight dark hair. And a sunny smile on her face. “You came!”
“Hey Loreen.” Adeline tried to smile and felt another wave of nausea.
“Lorie be a good sport and run the bath will you? Addie needs a good bath and rest after her long journey.”
The child straightened her back immediately, sensing the edge in Anakin’s voice and the urgency of the matter. “Alright.” She chirped and turned to go into the bathroom.
“I see you’ve both been well.” Adeline remarked offhandedly, to which Anakin rolled his eyes.
“Bath and get changed. I’ll go get you some blood.” Anakin sighed eyeing his dirty sister. “And take those shoes off, I don’t want you trekking mud into the house. I just cleaned the floor this morning.”
Adeline pulled at his sleeve before he could turn to leave.
The frown line over his faced softened and Anakin smiled a lopsided smile.
“Well what are family for?”
This time she didn’t have a smart comeback.