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Jasper's hands clench the wheel a little too tightly, and he feels the leather indent under the pressure. If his heart was still beating, he was sure it'd be racing right now. His usually quick wit was suddenly struck stupid, and he can't formulate a sentence that would be even remotely believable. "Goodnight, Alice," he whispers, though it is long after she's disappeared in to her house.
By the time he pulls in to the driveway of the Cullen home, he can feel the mixed emotions radiating from the house. Dropping his keys in the bowl by the door, he climbs the stairs towards the main level. Emmett sits on one of the large leather couches, watching a game of football on the big screen TV. "Where'd you run off to?" he asks, though he barely spares Jasper a second look before turning back to the game.
"Just saw something suspicious, that's all. Then I just drove around to clear my head," he answers with a half-truth. He technically had driven to clear his house, for almost two hours after dropping Alice off.
Shrugging, Emmett pays him little attention. Rolling his eyes, but still immensely grateful that his brother had a small attention span, he climbs the second set of stairs to his bedroom. "You're playing a dangerous game, Jasper," Edward is already waiting on the couch in Jasper's room, a book open on his lap.
"I'm well aware of that, Edward," he replies with a monotone voice.
"You shouldn't have gone off with her," of course, the mind reader had scoured his thoughts the minute his car pulled up.
"I couldn't just let her get assaulted," Jasper sits on the edge of his unused bed.
Edward's face changes to one of sympathy. The men sit in silence for a few moments before Jasper breaks it. "She's getting suspicious, Edward. She's going to come to the conclusion on her own. She's too smart for her own good," his voice is low, but he knows his brother hears him.
"You know we can't let that happen," the implication in Edward's voice makes Jasper's head snap up.
"I'll die before I let someone hurt her," he growls.
"I know you care for her. And if the circumstances were different, then maybe it would be possible. But it's too dangerous for us, Jazz."
"She's not a threat," Jasper argues.
"This is your problem, Jasper. You know what you need to do," Edward closes the book and marches from the room.
Jasper sits in silence, Edward's words mulling over in his head. He couldn't hurt Alice, and he wouldn't let anyone else, either. But, he could make sure she stays away, and understands the danger. He knows she won't expose them; she isn't that type of person. But he also knows she has to do what she can in order to keep herself safe.
Grabbing his eyes, he exits the house and gets back in his car. Before long, he is parked down the street from Alice's house, and walking across the lawn. With ease, he gets in to her room, and soundlessly walks over to kneel beside her bed. "Alice," he murmurs, placing a hand on her arm.
"...Yeah, thankfully." That had been Alice's slow and soft reply after Jasper had finished declaring all he did. After speaking those words, she lulled into utter silence and simply stared out of the window for the rest of the journey.
Her thoughts raced silently, moving this way and that and brief images of different things glanced her mind as she thought of different things to say as the time ticked on to the time of her arrival. That time came, honestly, much quicker than she assumed it would and in the back of her mind she remembered how it was just earlier that night the Cullen boy next to her having claimed he had the car simply for the speed rather than appearance. As soon as the vehicle was fully parked, the Swan girl undid her seat-belt and climbed out.
The pixie-like teen then shut the door behind herself, and after the lightest of hesitations she walked over to the driver's side, tapping on the glass to silently request Jasper to role down the window so she could speak. Once that was accomplished, she inhaled a soft breath, "You've saved my life twice now, so, thank you," There the lightest of pauses as she shifted out of the jacket he had loaned her earlier, draping it over her arm, she then continued, "But, you really need to work on your lying a bit, because I didn't hit my head until after the van stopped and you were suddenly gone. I'm pretty sure I saw your brother Emmet, too."
She would push the jacket in through the window carefully so it would fall into his lap, she having leaned down slightly so she was at a better eye-level due to the fact he was sitting in the car. "I really did just want to know how you did it, nothing more. It's not like I'd tell anyone or anything, if you were worried about that at all. I won't ask again, since you probably wouldn't be lying about it unless it was absolutely vital or you just don't trust me, but know that I'll always want to know. I'll make guesses of my own, honestly have made a few already, but those were ideas from comic books and movies." Alice had said all of this in a soft and honest tone, and as she tacked on that last bit of info she smiled a soft smile at the blonde boy before standing up.
The smile was honest and sincere in the warmth it gave, the kindness induced by it untainted despite the curiosity looming within her as well as a few others emotions caused from having been to blatantly lied to. Turning on her heals, Alice would begin to walk off to her house, calling over her shoulder a casual, "Goodnight, Jasper. See ya at school on Monday." It was with those words she walked up the steps of her home, into her house, entered, and the door shutting behind her with a soft click.
Jasper forces himself to keep his eyes on the road, and not to react too obviously to her question. He had hoped that she would have just left it alone; thank him, and move on without any second thoughts. Granted, that was wishful thinking, and he should have known better, but there wasn't much he could say to her that wouldn't be a blatant lie.
"You must have hit your head pretty hard," he tries to laugh it off. "I was already on my way over to talk to you, when the van lost control. I just kind of started running, and the next thing I knew, I got you out of the way. I used to run track, so I guess my old training just kicked in."
He wanted to kick his own ass for how terrible the lie is. But, it wasn't as if he could just outright say to her that he could run such a distance in under 2 seconds flat, without even trying. "When I got to you, the van just kind of glanced off of your truck, so it didn't really even hit us anywhere. Thankfully, your back fender took the brunt of the hit."
The small brunette would be silent a long moment, worrying her lower lip with her top teeth as she stared down at her lap. Despite having been granted the go ahead to ask whatever she pleased by the blonde male, Alice couldn't help but feel nervous and hesitant about asking what she desired to know.
"I've honestly been waiting a little while to ask this, all things considered," She began, still only looking to her lap and the book there out of nerves, rather than to look at him. The girl then continued, "I kinda don't wanna ask you, though, cause I'm afraid you'll get mad or upset or something, stop talking to me, hate me, etc. And I really don't want any of that to happen because I like being friends with you cause your nice, and you're not over friendly in that almost creepy way that Mike, Eric, Tyler and all the other guys in the school seem to be, and you really are just great to talk to. So—" The Swan girl stopped suddenly, cheeks flaring a deep pink out of embarrassment for babbling the way she just had due to nerves.
Sighing, Alice would look over at the Cullen boy. "I... I really don't like to lie or not be honest unless there's a good reason for it, and I've been lying even though I've never been directly asked on the subject, because the fact you did what you had at all is a good enough reason. But..." The pixie-like teen would pause, biting her lip and glancing down, "How did you save me from that van that day in school, Jasper? How did you even get to me to do what you have when you weren't anywhere near me?" Her voice was soft, questioning, and she'd look to him again hesitantly with questioning brown-eyes.
The bubbly, cheerful aura she had been giving off suddenly became nervous, and shy. Jasper glances at her from the corner of his eye. “Yeah?” he asks when she says his name.
At her second question, he feels himself becoming nervous. Mixed with the tension rolling off of her, it just made everything worse. His hand grips the wheel a little tighter, while his other hand works the gear shift. “Sure. You can ask anything you’d like,” he says in what he hopes to be a neutral, and innocent tone.
While he’s itching to speed the car up, and get her home before she might ask him anything that will be too personal – or revealing – he keeps the car at the speed limit. For the first time ever, he finds himself wishing he had Edward’s mind reading ability. At least then he could know what was going on in her head. Jasper does his best to push her emotions out of his thoughts, so he doesn't miss her question entirely.
When Alice thought she was the only one who thought she looked ridiculous in the jacket she was fine with it, but once Jasper laughed and gave that playful tease she was irritated by how big the piece of clothing was on her. "I am not that tiny! You're just tall." Technically, him being tall and her being short were both true, but even though it didn't really support her claim of not being all that tiny, the brunette used this as her argument, a light pout gracing her lips as she continued to follow the boy with her to wherever his car was.
When the Cullen boy had begun to explain about his car, Alice had to bite her lower lip to force-away a smile at how embarrassed the boy seemed from almost making himself sound like someone who liked to be flashy, but then the words 'copper sports car' hit her eyes and she turned her attention off in the direction he pointed before gasping in surprise. "Wow, a Nissan 350z right? Gosh, it's a great car. I can completely understand the speed-factor in this one. She exclaimed happily, her eyes scanning the car, "You own the bike that's usually in the parking lot at school too, right? The Ducati that, I think anyways going by color and style, was an 800? Gosh, you're lucky. I mean, I love my truck but it's a dinosaur. I can't help but envy the speed you've got, y'know?" She trailed off there, realizing with a faint she was gushing n an intense car-fangirl moment, and promptly decided to shut up before he continued to babble. "I, uh... like cars and vehicles in general.... Okay, now she was shutting up since she gave at least some sort of explanation for her gushing she felt was needed.
Soon enough, they were both in the car and she had free reign of the radio The pixie-like girl was still flipping through the stations when he question what he had, and she responded, "My house, Jasper. Jessica had picked me and Angela both up, so my truck is at home already." Finally, she came to rest on a classical station. To be honest, she had been about to pass the station up but upon hearing the familiar opening notes to a song she paused, listened a moment, and then settled back in her seat with a small smile.
They'd been driving no more than five minutes, comfortable silence Alice found relaxing personally all around them, but finally the brunette girl would glance over at the Cullen boy. "Jasper...?" She questioned slowly to gain his attention, her fingers playing along the edges of her book upon her lap as she did. The Swan girl hesitated a moment, but then slowly continued, "Could... could I ask you something?"
Jasper can’t bite back the laugh that builds in his throat. She looked even tinier somehow, under the leather material of his jacket. “I didn’t realize just how tiny you actually are,” he teases playfully, letting himself relax a bit.
At the mention of his car, he grins proudly, yet there is a hint of embarrassment. “It’s actually kind of flashy, given the standards of Forks. I didn’t buy it because of that though!” he’s quick to correct himself. “I just like the speed of it. It’s the copper coloured sports car over there,” he points out the Nissan from down the street.
He could feel his phone buzzing in his pocket, and he knew that it was probably Rosalie. Emmett no doubt would have told her that he’d wandered off, and now she was assuming he was up to no good. As long as she didn’t show up and interrupt his time with Alice, he couldn’t care less. Keeping his attention on her, he opens the door for her when they finally get to his car.
Inside, he lets her have control of the stereo, giving her free reign to put on her music. “Am I bringing you home, or is your car parked at Angela or Jessica’s?” he asks, pulling away from the curb.
"Well... I wouldn't say it really makes me feel better, but it does add a little relief to know I'm not alone in it." That had been Alice's simply reply with a soft smile, and soon enough time started flying until she finished her dinner, the bill had been paid, and it was time to leave.
When Jasper pulled her chair out for her, a soft smile was gracing her lips as she glanced at him one standing up. That soft smile morphed into a slightly bigger but still soft grin at his first comment on dinner, and then she let out a short laugh at the comment of Charlie possibly sending out a search party. "Nah, he wouldn't do that... Right away. As long as I'm home within thirty minutes past the time I said I should be home, he'll be fine." She reassured this in a light tone, but soon she was blinking in surprise as he held the jacket out towards her. The pixie-like girl would stare at it a moment, but then a lightly warm look graced her face before she took the thing and slid it on.
The jacket was large on her, the length of the sleeves going about four inches past the end of her fingertips, and the length of the jacket went down to her mid-thigh Glancing down at herself, she bit her lip to hold back a laugh at how ridiculously small this jacket made her look and, soon enough, they were on their way outside. After about a minute or two of comfortable silence while walking, the Swan girl would ask, "So what does your car look like, anyways? I didn't think to look at it when you came over for dinner the other night."
Jasper smiles softly in sympathy. “If it makes you feel any better, the only friends I have are my family. We move so frequently that after a while, we just decided there was no point in trying to make new friends. Carlisle transfers hospitals every few years or so, wherever his skills are needed. It was easier to not get attached and then have to leave and start all over again.”
By the time she finishes eating, the restaurant has already begun to empty out, save for a few tables scattered around the dining room. Jasper pays the bill and stands up first to pull her chair out for her. His car wasn’t far from the restaurant, but it would still give them a few minutes to walk. Since Emmett was taking his new vehicle home, there was no point in waiting for him. “Well, at least I have the peace of knowing that you are safe, and got a good meal,” he grins slightly at her. “Now to get you home before your father sends out a search party since it’s getting late.”
The air was cool, and a little damp, but he knew that walking too close to her wouldn’t be good. With his temperature being permanently freezing, he couldn’t very well make the excuse of trying to keep her warm. So, he takes off his light jacket instead, offering it to her.
The two of them had lulled into a short silence, a comfortable one if Alice was to be completely honest, and the soft music in the background over the speakers was even more relaxing as she ate some more of her food. When the waitress had come back, asking Jasper yet again if he was positive about not ordering, the teen girl had raised an eyebrow lightly at the older women's behavior. Talk about being obvious and oblivious...? This wasn't thought rudely as she watched the women leave, but rather in disbelief. Doesn't no still mean no up north like it does down south?
When the question of how she was adjusting to Forks, and a mention of how it was probably used to a faster paced style and more entertainment for weekends and such, it's safe to say it brought the Swan girl up a little short on how to answer. Biting her lip, she'd ponder the best solution to this question. If it was anyone else like Jessica or Mike she'd probably lie, but... even though she knew more about those two, and would more than likely lie in this answer to them—maybe even to Angela too if she asked!—the short brunette just didn't feel compelled to do that with Jasper. Oddly, now that she was thinking on it, she never felt compelled to lie to him once yet. The girl remained in silent pondering a moment more, but then sighed softly.
"Well, I am adjusting just fine. Like I told you before I do love the cold feather of Forks just as much as the warm weather of down-south... Though not seeing the sun everyday is a little unnerving," she'd grin a little playfully, before continuing, "But, as for the life-style? The pace of things? ...To be honest, the pace of things that have been happening up here is more lively than anything I did down in Arizona." The girl would fall silent, wondering to herself if she truly should be truly honest with this boy, and the only response her mind and own senses gave her was; 'Yes. Trust him with the truth!'
So, after that maybe five-second pause she'd speak again, "Remember how I told you that there were kids in my orchestra class who didn't like—pretty much hated me—me down in Phoenix? Well... They weren't the only ones. I sorta didn't have any friends. I mean, I had a couple in elementary school, but even then it was just a few. At the start of middle school I had maybe one or two left, and by the start of freshman year I had none. The only reasoning any of them ever gave was that they thought I was a freak because of how nice I was and how I seemed to like... just 'know' some things." Alice would shrug her shoulders, not really clarifying what she meant by 'knowing' some things. She'd look down to the table with a slightly slumped posture, as if waiting judgement as she took a sip of her drink.
Jasper smiles softly. “Well, as long as I don’t get on the Chief of Police’s bad side, I guess we’ll be okay.”
The restaurant was a quiet, pleasant atmosphere for the most part; something Jasper was grateful for at that moment. Soft classical music plays over the speakers in the background, delicate piano riffs covering the silence between them. He waves off the waitress when she returns to ask him yet again if he wants to order. “How are you adjusting to Forks?” he asks after a few moments. “I’m sure it’s a lot less fast-paced than what you’re used to. I think the only entertainment is the weekly football games.”
His leg bounces nervously under the table, moving quickly up and down. He wants to make a good impression. He wants her to know that he can be her friend, though the realization of his willingness to be so stunned him. Small talk was not exactly his strong suit, especially since his only real contact with other people is when he is with his family. Even then, he’s more likely to sit quietly and listen while the others contributed to the conversation.
The pixie-like teen had honestly only been seconds away from snapped her fingers or throwing a wadded-up napkin at the boy sitting across from her in order to try and gain his attention back from the thoughts he currently seemed so buried into as he, in her opinion, seemed just the slightest bit spaced out... But, then again, wasn't.
"Oh, did he now? Never thought someone as big and intimidating-looking would have to weasel someone into shopping with him so he wouldn't have to on his own. Was he gonna try to make you carry stuff or something? He not as strong as he looks?" This was questioned out playfully, Alice's giggle following in suit after her words. Glancing down at her book briefly the brunette had to drum her fingers twice in a row against her leg in order to resist the urge to begin reading it as she awaited her food and conversed with Jasper. Looking back up she'd blink just in time to see the male with her seemingly glaring off in one direction before, a moment later, someone came bolting from that direction and left outside. She had caught a glimpse of the man's face, looking as if he was about to have a panic attack though a brief glimpse she remembers of him from early had showed him completely calm.
Before she could question if Jasper saw what happened, however, her meal arrived.
Having gotten a few bites in the Swan girl's eyes would widen from light shock at being thanked... again. "Jasper, honestly, you don't have to thank me. I mean, you brought me my homework, and that lovely violin... I had to pay you back in some way. I mean, you're really kind... I felt like I was free-loading or something without returning it somehow." Muttering a bit due to embarrasment her cheeks were flushed a light pink by the time she finished speaking. But, then the question on if her father would might be angry that the boy with her would be bringing her home instead of her friends, the girl ended up humming in thought before speaking, "No, I don't think so. I'll just tell him the parts of the truth he needs to know; I was out with Jess and Ang, they wanted to do more shoping and I wanted to get a book. Then from they're we'll say I ran into you, we lost track of time since you were also escaping from things you don't really enjoy shoping for, and by the time we realized Jessica and Angela had eaten without me. Then, like the gentlemen you are you offered to buy me dinner and then to drive me home." With a light smile she'd flash his direction, Alice would then go back to slowly eating her food.
The brown-eyed female figured that her father didn't need to know what almost happened—last thing she needed was her father setting up man-hunts.
Jasper’s attention was focused on the mention of Jake, and his family. He was all too familiar with the Blacks, and he knew that the young male of the family was acting stupid for Alice’s sake. The treaty was well-known between the Cullens and the Blacks, and it existed for a reason; still, he was grateful that Jake at least played it off as folklore, instead of letting their secret out. He’s drawn out of his thoughts only by realizing the girl was staring at him, waiting for an answer.
“My brother, Emmett, wanted to come in to look at some stuff, and I got roped in to joining. Apparently it’s a good thing I did,” he adds, his eyes locking on to hers.
A spike of lust in the emotions around him draws his attention to a man a few tables over, whose eyes were clearly looking Alice up and down. Narrowing his own golden orbs, Jasper sends a rush of anxiety and fear his way, pleased when the man bolts from his chair and hurries outside, his face pale and beginning to sweat. “I wanted to say thank you again, for inviting me to dinner with you and your father. He’s always entertaining to talk to. Though I’m not sure he was pleased that we were alone in the house together. Then again, most dads wouldn’t be,” he smiles softly.
Her food arrives and he stops talking to allow her time to take a few bites. “Charlie won’t be angry that I’m bringing you home, and not your friends, right? After all, he thinks you’re out with girls right now,” Jasper notes, not wanting her to get in to trouble.
Seconds, mere seconds, and Alice was blinking in confusion as Angela and Jessica were walking off giggling and Jasper was ushering her into the restaurant, "Okay, okay... Mister Bossy--yeesh." Smirking at him in a gently teasing way she'd soon follow him and the hostess to a table and, with a smile, would take her seat he pulled out for her and happily plant herself within it before scooting in. She noticed the way the waitress seemed to be trying to gain Jasper's attention. When none was granted, well... the pixie-like girl couldn't help but smile a little at the light ego boost. Looking to the menu, the brunette would quickly skim it before ordering some cheese ravioli with a side of garlic bread, as well as a Pepsi.
Once the waitress was off, returning only moments later it seemed with a soda before being gone again, Alice would take the book she had been holding upon her lap beneath folded hands and place it upon the table-top. "I mentioned stories earlier--Jacob the old friend I sort of, well, persuaded into telling me lightly against his will with the promise of not telling her told them to me.. He's two years younger than me and I honestly remember his older sister, Rebecca and Rachel, more than him. But, he's good at stories... He didn't believe a word of what he told me though." Rolling her eyes lightly, she'd smile a bit. Why she threw in the fact Jake didn't believe the stories and saw no wrong in letting her know? Alice honestly wasn't sure... She just had a strong feeling that the fact was needed.
"After he told me I spent ages looking up the histories of each the stories and then like some rabid-fan of a celebrity or something and, well.. Tonight happened because of the same curiosity the stories brewed....." Trailing off with a meek expression as she remembered be scolded by the male sitting across from her earlier, she'd shrug a little. After a few moment of silence, the Swan daughter would question curiously, "What brought you to Port Angeles today, Jasper?"
Jasper stands quietly while the three girls talk, but he can feel the curiosity building off of her friends as they look at him. He could also feel Alice’s yearning to eat, and can practically hear her stomach growling. “If you ladies don’t mind, I myself haven’t had dinner yet. If you are on your way home, would you mind if Alice stays to keep me company? We didn’t quite finish our conversation,” he puts on his charming smile.
The two girls let out breathy giggles, both stumbling over their words as they bump into each other while walking down the steps. Even with his enhanced hearing, all Jasper manages to catch is that they will talk to Alice later. Placing his hand on her lower back, he gives her a gentle push forward. “I’m going to get you dinner. I can tell you’re hungry,” he murmurs to her, motioning to the hostess to seat them at a table for two.
Jasper pulls Alice’s chair out for her to take her seat, and then sits himself across from her. He slides the menu across to her, forgoing ordering anything. “Get what you want, it’s on me,” he tells her, not bothering to look at the waitress who seems interested in catching his eye.
He isn’t sure what to make of Alice’s emotions. The anxiety from her encounter was still rattling her slightly, but the feeling was covered by a more curious one. She had mentioned being down in La Push, which was setting him a bit on edge. The only stories that came out of La Push were the tales told by the Black family. But surely, they wouldn’t have betrayed the Cullens, would they?
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