(Jasper demonstrating how to kill newborn vamps)
It was silent for two heartbeats, and then Jasper took a step into the empty space between the vampires and the wolves. It wasn’t hard for me to see him — his skin was as bright against the darkness as the wolves’ eyes. Jasper threw a wary glance toward Edward, who nodded, and then Jasper turned his back to the werewolves. He sighed, clearly uncomfortable.
“Carlisle’s right.” Jasper spoke only to us; he seemed to be trying to ignore the audience behind him.
“They’ll fight like children. The two most important things you’ll need to remember are, first, don’t let them get their arms around you and, second, don’t go for the obvious kill. That’s all they’ll be prepared for. As long as you come at them from the side and keep moving, they’ll be too confused to respond effectively. Emmett?”
Emmett stepped out of the line with a huge smile.
Jasper backed toward the north end of the opening between the allied enemies. He waved Emmett forward.
“Okay, Emmett first. He’s the best example of a newborn attack.”
Emmett’s eyes narrowed. “I’ll try not to break anything,” he muttered.
Jasper grinned. “What I meant is that Emmett relies on his strength. He’s very straightforward about the attack. The newborns won’t be trying anything subtle, either. Just go for the easy kill, Emmett.”
Jasper backed up a few more paces, his body tensing.
“Okay, Emmett — try to catch me.”
And I couldn’t see Jasper anymore — he was a blur as Emmett charged him like a bear, grinning while he snarled. Emmett was impossibly quick, too, but not like Jasper. It looked like Jasper had no more substance than a ghost — any time it seemed Emmett’s big hands had him for sure, Emmett’s fingers clenched around nothing but the air. Beside me, Edward leaned forward intently, his eyes locked on the brawl. Then Emmett froze.
Jasper had him from behind, his teeth an inch from his throat.
There was a muttered rumble of appreciation from the watching wolves.
“Again,” Emmett insisted, his smile gone.
“It’s my turn,” Edward protested. My fingers tensed around his.
“In a minute.” Jasper grinned, stepping back. “I want to show Bella something first.”
I watched with anxious eyes as he waved Alice forward.
“I know you worry about her,” he explained to me as she danced blithely into the ring. “I want to show you why that’s not necessary.”
Though I knew that Jasper would never allow any harm to come to Alice, it was still hard to watch as he sank back into a crouch facing her. Alice stood motionlessly, looking tiny as a doll after Emmett, smiling to herself. Jasper shifted forward, then slinked to her left.
Alice closed her eyes.
My heart thumped unevenly as Jasper stalked toward where Alice stood.
Jasper sprang, disappearing. Suddenly he was on the other side of Alice. She didn’t appear to have moved.
Jasper wheeled and launched himself at her again, only to land in a crouch behind her like the first time; all the while Alice stood smiling with her eyes closed.
I watched Alice more carefully now.
She was moving — I’d just been missing it, distracted by Jasper’s attacks. She took a small step forward at the exact second that Jasper’s body flew through the spot where she’d just been standing.
She took another step, while Jasper’s grasping hands whistled past where her waist had been.
Jasper closed in, and Alice began to move faster. She was dancing — spiraling and twisting and curling in on herself. Jasper was her partner, lunging, reaching through her graceful patterns, never touching her, like every movement was choreographed. Finally, Alice laughed.
Out of nowhere she was perched on Jasper’s back, her lips at his neck.
“Gotcha,” she said, and kissed his throat.
Jasper chuckled, shaking his head. “You truly are one frightening little monster.”
The wolves muttered again. This time the sound was wary.
“It’s good for them to learn some respect,” Edward murmured, amused. Then he spoke louder. “My turn.”
He squeezed my hand before he let it go.
Alice came to take his place beside me. “Cool, huh?” she asked me smugly.
“Very,” I agreed, not looking away from Edward as he glided noiselessly toward Jasper, his movements lithe and watchful as a jungle cat.
“I’ve got my eye on you, Bella,” she whispered suddenly, her voice pitched so low that I could barely hear, though her lips were at my ear.
My gaze flickered to her face and then back to Edward. He was intent on Jasper, both of them feinting as he closed the distance.
Alice’s expression was full of reproach.
“I’ll warn him if your plans get any more defined,” she threatened in the same low murmur. “It doesn’t help anything for you to put yourself in danger. Do you think either of them would give up if you died? They’d still fight, we all would. You can’t change anything, so just be good, okay?”
I grimaced, trying to ignore her.
“I’m watching,” she repeated.
Edward had closed on Jasper now, and this fight was more even than either of the others. Jasper had the century of experience to guide him, and he tried to go on instinct alone as much as he could, but his thoughts always gave him away a fraction of a second before he acted. Edward was slightly faster, but the moves Jasper used were unfamiliar to him. They came at each other again and again, neither one able to gain the advantage, instinctive snarls erupting constantly. It was hard to watch, but harder to look away. They moved too fast for me to really understand what they were doing. Now and then the sharp eyes of the wolves would catch my attention. I had a feeling the wolves were getting more out of this than I was — maybe more than they should.
Eventually, Carlisle cleared his throat.
Jasper laughed, and took a step back. Edward straightened up and grinned at him.
“Back to work,” Jasper consented. “We’ll call it a draw.”
- (no subject)