Disclaimer: see 1st chapter plus a little of ‘go ask malice’ by RJL.
A/N: Sithspit is helping me beta some new chapters soon!
The next morning Faith still wasn’t sure Jazz wasn’t going to just run as soon as she gave him the chance. She kept looking at him furtively as she gathered up her school things - trying to come up with a plan to keep him in Forks. She wondered idly if the chains in the basement would hold him.
“I will be here when you return.” He said, sensing her misgivings about leaving the house.
“Um, Jazz I don’t know, the Prof was actually being really cool to let you stay last night. She doesn’t have any classes to teach today…”
“I will leave, but I will be here when you arrive home from school.” He assured her. Faith reluctantly left for school
School seemed to drag by, she was glad she only had gym class with Bella this term and no classes with Ed. Finally after another hour of covering Bel’s ass in volleyball, the bell rang. Faith practically sprinted out of the gym to the locker room. She got home and went straight upstairs. Jazz was sitting at her desk holding a book, but it looked to Faith as if he was brooding rather than reading.
“So did you sit around here and brood all day?” she asked as she dropped her back pack on the floor.
Faith stood looking at him, hands on her hips. She raised her eyebrow in disbelief.
“I was not here.”
“So brooding elsewhere. Check.” Faith moved closer, “Any chance you went home?”
He gave her a reproving look. She shrugged. It’s not like she was going to quit trying in less than a day. Even if Bel hadn’t said, she’d have known Ed was worried sick just by looking at him. She grabbed her stuff and went to the bathroom to change. She wasn’t sure where D was, probably went somewhere for more books knowing her.
She put her hair up and changed into her workout clothes and stuck her head in her door, “Alright blondie, come with me.”
Jasper followed her silently downstairs, he had the good grace to look a little impressed by her training set up.
“Come on pretty boy, let’s dance,” Faith grinned as she feinted a punch at Jasper’s head.
They circled each other, slowly at first; Faith threw a couple of lefts which he blocked effortlessly. They began to circle faster, their arms held up in defensive positions. Faith was grinning from ear to ear.
She threw a couple of high kicks which Jazz also blocked easily. She threw a third and before she could get her leg back down at that moment her balance was off just a hair - he grabbed her.
“Are you holding back?” he whispered in her ear, inhaling her scent deeply. Faith had worn her hair piled loosely on top of her head and it suited her. It was also doing things to Jasper’s stomach that he had thought impossible.
She shivered a little, but smiled as she looked over her shoulder, “Are you?”
“Maybe a little.”
She grabbed his arm and flipped him over her onto his back. He leapt up quickly seeming to hardly touch the floor. He came at her again, “I will go all out if you will,” he challenged.
She sidestepped him, “Are you sure?”
Then their punches and blocks came in a flurry. Faith took Jasper’s legs out from under him in a low sweep, but at the last minute he yanked her down with him. They rolled away from each other and were both back up immediately. Faith kicked him square in the chest sending him flying backwards into the basement wall. He lay there holding his chest not moving.
“Jazz!” He still didn’t move.
Faith rushed toward him, “Are you hurt?” As soon as she began to lean over he reached up lightening quick and pulled her down on top of him.
Faith’s mind went reeling back to last night in the woods… Jazz’s legs around hers, the feeling as he thrust his hips into hers. Her gasp of surprise as she realized what he intended. What he had said, ‘Make me forget her, Faith.’
Faith didn’t want this to be about Alice. She fought his grip frantically. He misconstrued her struggles as he chuckled and let her up, “Never let your guard down.” Then his brow furrowed, he had thought for a moment he had felt lust then it was quickly replaced by disappointment. He hoped he hadn’t offended Faith.
Abruptly he changed the subject, “Why do you do it?”
“Do what?” Faith asked baffled.
“Fight for them - the regular humans?”
“It’s the whole Slayer package right? It’s what I do. And I’m damn good at it.”
He smiled, “Yes I am certain you are.” He knew this was Faith’s rote answer she’d give anyone who asked. He wanted to know the real reason.
He asked again, “Faith, why do you really fight?”
Faith opened her mouth to say something glib, then changed her mind and turned away, “What if your whole life everyone told you that you were trash, worthless, and you’d never amount to anything? You’d been waiting your whole life for someone, anyone to tell you different. Then one day someone comes along and says that you aren’t worthless, actually you’re a mystical warrior Chosen to fight the forces of darkness?” she turned to look at him, “What would you do?”
“I see…when were you chosen?” Jasper could hardly believe what Faith had said. It just made him even more impressed with her strength. Her life must not have been very pleasant before.
“Well,” Faith looked unsure of how to answer, “I was called May 12th last year. One of the other Slayers…,” Faith noted the minute flinch Jazz gave when she said the word, “Kendra died.”
“How did it feel? Did you know immediately?”
“I felt different; I panicked, stood up so fast I upended the table. It was like a rush of energy humming through me or like a jolt of adrenaline and electricity. Overwhelming. Prof had me sit down then she got me a glass of water. I crushed my glass accidently – didn’t seem like I hardly put any pressure on it then it was splinters. Sliced my hand wide open, but in a matter of minutes it was starting to heal over. We barely had enough time to pick the glass out of it before it closed up.”
Jasper thought about what Faith had said. He had been given extra abilities as well, but what did he do with it? Nothing. At one point he had used his abilities to fight battles for Maria. Should he be like Faith and Carlisle helping the less fortunate and weak?
Faith left Jazz upstairs while she showered then went down to dinner. She was beginning to have a little trust that he’d stay if he said so. She still made him promise each time she left him alone.
“Port Angeles appears to have a ‘garden variety’ vampire problem,” Professor Dormer said stiffly.
‘So much for small talk,’ Faith thought. ‘Not that I can blame D… I invited a vamp into her house.’
“That’s cool. I could use some action.” Faith wanted this to be okay between her and D, she really liked the old lady. “D, Diana, listen – are we five by five?”
Professor Dormer sighed heavily, “Faith I cannot say I am overjoyed by your choice in companions, but… I trust you.”
“Thanks D, you’re the best!” Faith ran back upstairs, taking the steps three at a time. She started looking around for some clothes to wear. Jasper watched her as she practically skipped around the room in excitement.
“What are you doing?” he asked. Faith muttered something unintelligible, but he was nearly positive he had heard something that sounded like ‘date’.
“You have a what?” he was certain he had not heard correctly.
“A date - some guy I met on the net.” The usual lie rolled off of Faith’s tongue easily. She’d told it many times. Everyone at school already thought she was a slut. So her cover story for Slaying trips out of town and being tired the next day [if she showed at all] was dates with guys she met online in places like Port Angeles or Olympia. Nobody had called her on it yet, not even Bel. She was opening and closing drawers looking for something.
“Really?” Jazz asked. He was not completely convinced that he approved of that idea.
“Oh, right, meow - cat out of bag. Going Slaying. Now where’d I put that shirt?” she said the last to herself as she walked slowly to her closet. He watched as she dug around in her closet then triumphantly pulled out a tiny black t-shirt.
“That fits you?” He looked at her in consternation.
“Got to show off my goodies if I want to make the vamps hungry,” Faith said cheerfully. She left for the bathroom down the hall again with an armful of clothes.
When Faith returned, he had to agree, he indeed felt… hungry when he saw her. She was wearing a very short, black skirt with tall leather boots and the tiny shirt was straining across her breasts. She had her hair up in a high pony tail displaying her delicate ear lobes and succulent neck. Jasper felt quite… well he hadn’t felt like this for a long time. He tried not to stare at her pouting lips and her full luscious… Jasper knew that were it not a physical impossibility he would be blushing at this moment.
Faith had worn her hair up earlier today when they had trained together and it had bothered him, but not as much as it did now. Jasper took in her ensemble and said, “You are not going alone.”
“Oh, I’m not?” Standing there, her hands on her hips in that outfit… she looked utterly delectable. Jasper was of a mind not to let her go anywhere… then he remembered earlier in the training room.
“I will go with you,” He declared.
Faith wasn’t so sure… Jazz would be good in a fight, but she didn’t know about letting a *vampire* watch her back. Maybe he should sit this one out. ‘Garden varieties’ weren’t always stupid either they might sense the more deadly predator on their patch and move on. That would mean that the Prof would have to track them down again. She on the other hand excelled at attracting vamps.
“I’m cool. Thanks though,” Faith started out the door.
Jazz gave her a long suffering look. He did not like this idea one bit. He followed her out the door and to the converted barn where she parked her motorcycle and the Professor kept her SUV.
Faith rolled her eyes, “Do you ever listen?”
“Occasionally,” he inclined his head to her, “I will drive.”
He led the way to his car which was now parked in the converted barn as well. Faith let out an appreciative whistle when she saw Jazz’s car – a white, 2009 Nissan Altima coupe 3.5SE. “So that’s the 270-hp 3.5-liter engine, right?”
“Yes with the 6 speed.” Jasper did not speak ‘car’ like Rosalie, but he did like to drive fast. He had taken her recommendation and had been pleased with the car so far. Faith instantly made herself at home in his car, adjusting the stereo and toying with the moonroof controls, running her hands appreciatively over the charcoal leather interior.
He watched her still slightly bemused by the effect she was having on him. As he studied her he had to wonder what she was planning to fight vampires with. “Faith, did you bring any weapons?”
She looked at him in disbelief. “Do I look stupid?”
She began pulling the stakes and stiletto knives concealed on her person and throwing them in his lap. After a pile had accumulated, she jerked her thumb in the direction of the back seat, “backpack’s full of stakes too.”
Jasper was effectively convinced that she was prepared and impressed that she had managed to secrete that many weapons about her person given the revealing outfit she was wearing.
When they arrived in Port Angeles, Faith suggested they start out in a seedy neighborhood by the docks. She lounged on a convenient bench twisting her hair and listening to her MP3 player. Jasper waited downwind in the shadows of a warehouse. He was very tense, but Faith seemed confident and relaxed. He knew he was close enough to assist her if the fight got out of hand although he did not find that fact very comforting. Not fifteen minutes after he left Faith for his post the vampires began to arrive. Jasper would have found it comical had Faith not been fighting for her life. He was relieved that the creatures were courteous [or stupid] enough to come in ones and twos.
The first two Faith toyed with for quite some time letting them think she believed them to be human teenagers. After a few minutes Jasper began to worry. He could still sense her emotions though and she was amused and confident. “This is fun for her,” he muttered exasperated.
The next attack came from behind and Faith appeared to be playing with that one as well. He was impatient for this to be over. She seemed to enjoy drawing it out; making the foul creature think it had the upper hand in the fight before finally turning it to dust.
Faith took out a total of seven vampires in the area by the shipping yards. After waiting 20 minutes and no new assailants appeared she began to get impatient. She sauntered over to Jasper without a hair out of place. “Let’s try the cemeteries next.” She had a gleam in her eye and Jasper could tell she was eagerly anticipating the next confrontation.
As he drove them to Ocean View Cemetery on 8th Street he could tell something was troubling her. “Faith, what is it?”
“Were you helping?” she asked accusingly.
He looked a bit sheepish. “You know that I can manipulate the emotions of those around me. But I wonder if you realize how the feelings of others affect me? In my time with Carlisle and his family it has become second nature to keep the peace. I did not even think, I just acted to protect you.” Seeing her derisive look he said defensively, “I stayed where you said.”
“So you do listen sometimes.” Faith grinned and Jasper knew he was forgiven. “It’s more fun if I win on my own though.”
“If you let me fight, I will not have as much time to focus on the danger you are in,” he offered.
“Alright, but only if there are more than two.”
The first cemetery yielded only one vampire. Faith was sitting casually on the playground swings in the adjacent park waiting for it. Jasper waited impatiently for her to finish it off trying to focus on how beautiful she looked rather than affecting emotions of the vampire.
The Blue Mountain Cemetery netted two more - one of which Faith had staked before it had fully extracted itself from its grave. Jasper found himself relieved beyond words that this was one aspect of vampirism he had escaped - waking up in a coffin.
His experience with what Faith and Professor Dormer deemed ‘garden variety’ vampires was limited, but from what he had observed tonight he was beginning to think they were not very smart. Yes, Faith made a tempting morsel all alone at night, but that in and of itself would have seemed suspicious to him had he been hunting. He voiced his opinion of the vampires’ intellect to Faith.
“Most of them tonight were newbies. Makes ‘em hungrier I think and less cautious. The smart ones end up being around long enough to become master vamps.” Faith explained.
Jasper snaked his arm around her waist and dipped his head to inhale her scent, “You do look good enough to eat.”
“Man, I’m so hungry I could eat a horse.” She looked up at him with her large brown eyes, “Hey, Bels told me about this Italian place, Bella Italia, over on First Street. She said it was really good.”
Jasper shrugged, he had nothing better to do and he was reluctant to let Faith out of his sight, though she had more than proven today she could take care of herself. At the restaurant she ate so much food Jasper was certain she would pop. He just sat and watched in fascination as she continued to devour plate after plate of pasta.
“What? I’m hungry.” She paused, “Do you ah… need to eat?” she had the good manners to finally sound a bit nervous as she said it causing a smile to slowly form on his lips.
“I may hunt later, but no I am not especially hungry for… food.” He favored her with a ravenous look.