Friday, July 16, 2010

Cowboys Have Fangs, Too by Pastiche Pen

Cowboys Have Fangs, Too

Pastiche Pen




When you're a Cullen, you're supposed to be a nice vampire. You're not supposed to want to kill librarians—or drink the drill team—or have a map of scars. And you're certainly not supposed to want to exsanguinate Edward's human. Aw, hell. Canon.


I am beyond thrilled to write a review for one of my favorite authors, Pastiche Pen and her fabulous short fic, ‘Cowboys Have Fangs, Too’. It was originally commissioned as a piece for the last round of FGB and was posted earlier this year. Now, anyone who knows me will tell you that I am a hopeless Edward and Bella shipper. Other couple combinations make me as nervous as a long-tailed cat in room full of rockers. However, there are a handful of brilliant Jasper and Bella fics that I have been able to read without requiring psychiatric intervention or large quantities of alcohol (if you’re reading this, ElleCC, this means you).

I tell you this because, yes, this is a Jasper-centric fic with a heavy dose of Alice. I read this with great enthusiasm despite the pairing because I would read pretty much anything that Pastiche Pen writes. I mean it, anything, grocery lists, third grade poems, whatev. It matters not. She has an easy facility with language, her writing is elegant and intelligent and she excels with her focus on details including many interesting historical and cultural references. Her laser-like attention to detail adds a level of richness to her stories that is not often seen in the fanfic world and gives realism and weight to her characters. They are never caricatures. You will find no pixies here.

This fic is but 4 chapters, full of action from vampire fights to sexy role play games between Jasper and Alice. The narrative weaves back and forth from the distant past to the present in which the events of Twilight are taking place. And to top it all off, it is canon. Edward and Bella’s burgeoning relationship becomes the backdrop for Jasper’s interactions with Alice and the rest of the Cullens. These interactions cross the emotional spectrum from humorous to angst.

Though Jasper didn't realize it at the time, the day that Bella Swan graced Edward's Biology class was the day that Jasper and Emmett's five decades long bet came to an end.

Edward, as fate would have it, was not gay.

Jasper and Emmett had maintained a rather contentious debate on the topic since Jasper had first moved in.

"Gay, dude. So, gay."

"I'm not so sure, Em..." Decades had gone by, and Jasper was still mostly convinced that Edward was as repressed as a boulder.

But what really captivates is Jasper himself. He appears to be the quintessential laconic Southerner, laid-back, and dryly sarcastic. But there is darkness here too, along with a purity of spirit and a deep wellspring of love. He is a deeply complex man, one that any sane person would want to know. He is also someone that you would not want to piss off. He is a scary man to his enemies, and intensely protective of those he cares for. Jasper fights against the darkness for many years with varying success. He has a few slips along the way when bloodlust creeps up and sandbags him. There is an incident on a train when Alice decides to have a little sexy times role play and goes to gather items for said game. Meanwhile an unwitting porter returns to the cabin they are occupying and the results are not pretty and Alice gets a little peeved.

"Thanks," the porter murmured. His eyes were fluttering, fighting against the effects of Jasper's emotional transfer, and then the porter started to sway.

Jasper grabbed him before he could slump back, but then the man's flushed neck was beneath him. Jasper could see the wiggle of his narrow Adam's apple, he could see throbbing from the main artery, and even more, he could feel the man's total, drowsy surrender.

Jasper's mouth flooded with venom; his nostrils flared.

"This won't hurt... too much," he added in a whisper.

He pressed his lips down, almost like a nuzzle—he just wanted to smell... But then his teeth touched and cut and were slicing through the layers of skin and flesh, and the rose of it touched his tongue, and his mind burst open, and it was over: the roll of soothing heat down his throat. The way the beating heart felt against his chest, pumping each gulp into him. The ways it bound his entire body and made him forget everything in the world.

Jasper and Alice’s relationship is very symbiotic. They seem to read each other and know exactly what the other needs at any given time. Of course with their gifts they have it somewhat easier than the average vampire. In fact there was only one area in which they disagreed. Alice wanted to learn to fight and Jasper wasn’t having it; however, Alice had other ideas.

They'd been together for more than a year when Alice sprung from a willow and tackled Jasper.

Because he was hunting, Jasper's reactions took over, and as her heel came for his chest, he grabbed for it while twisting his body out of the line of fire—but then his hand never caught her heel—because Alice's slipper was gone before his fingers gripped, and she was flying up, a slash of lavender among the dark branches overhead, and she had both hands on an overhanging branch and swung in a 360 degree circle before letting go and landing in a neat y-stance, with arms held to the sky and a triumphant smile on her face.

Jasper was no longer in attack mode at that point, but he was pissed as hell. "You could have—I could have—What the fucking hell were you thinking?" he demanded, stalking towards her.

His anger seemed to bounce right off her. "I fought you!" Alice declared with unabashed glee.

There is later contact with some of Jasper’s dangerous past and Alice’s lessons pay off.

And, oh, did I mention sexy times including role play…

"I have another problem, my adorable nurse."

"What's that?" she gave a wry reply.

"You'll have to examine it." He took her hand and guided it beneath his gown, until her fingers were sliding down his prick, and the sensation of it made him shiver and clench.

"Oh." Alice's eyes were wide.

"It's a problem, isn't it?"

"A hard problem," she replied.

Jasper snorted, but then gasped as Alice gripped him firmly. "I'm supposed to be a good nurse," Alice whispered, lifting up so that she could spread her legs on either side of him.

Jasper leaned back to gape at the view. Her legs were just so wide open. There was only creamy white skin and lace beneath the starched cotton of the dress. Therefore, he didn't hesitate. He grabbed the lace material and ripped, sending the tatters over his shoulder, and then Alice's hands were lifting up the material of his gown, and there was nothing in the way.

He aligned them. He pushed in.

Alice gasped. Her head fell back, and her ass clenched against his palm.

"I'll be sure to fill out the patient satisfaction survey," Jasper informed her, and then he started thrusting.

But what really captured my heart was his interaction with Alice after the incident in the dance studio in Phoenix in which she hears the tape and discovers some of her history. She becomes very depressed when she realizes that her family put her away in a mental institution because of her episodes of precognition. In today’s world she’d have her own TV show. She descends into the depths of an old mental hospital and regresses inside herself and appears almost unreachable.

She looked down at him. She was wearing one of the mouth-eaten, white gowns. The straps on the arms drooped on the floor. A red stamp with the number 90-893 marked the cuff.

"This is not you."

Her eyes lowered and then she closed them.

Jasper wanted to grab her and shake her. To make her see sense, but instead he—Jasper grabbed the stamped cuff. He ripped it.

Alice gasped. It was the first bit of emotion. Disbelief.

Then he picked up the straps along the arms of the jacket, and one-by-one he ripped them off. Then he grabbed the sleeves. He ripped those off too. He stuck his nail through the base of the gown—he ripped off a foot and a half of the skirt's length. Then he picked up one of the straps. He looped it around her waist. He tied a bow.

"Alice," he encouraged.

She trembled, and then she fell forward, falling into his arms with something between sobs and hysteric laughs and an eye roll—and he held her, letting her shift among every emotion, taking it in and making it his own.

At some point, she stopped. She pressed her forehead against his. She said, "You made me a dress—out of..."

"You can make anything out of your past."

It is his solid and unwavering belief in people’s ability to be masters of their own fate that shapes the man that he is. I fell in love with this Jasper whole-heartedly and would love to see more of him. *hints heavily to PP*

The fic ends with some very funny interaction between Jasper and Bella while watching the movie, ‘Dracula’ involving a comparison of babies to potato chips and then an interesting invitation to a new game involving plastic fangs from Alice. I highly encourage the reading of this little gem with one of the most delicious Jaspers ever.

I really find Jasper as one of the more fascinating and complete characters in Canon. He is one of the few who we get a real picture of his past and present. I am so thankful that Pastiche Pen took some time to explore the years between meeting Alice and them finding the Cullens.

One of my favorite parts, right at the beginning was Jasper describing his coming into and understanding his empath ability. Pastiche Pen's description is almost lyrical.

Sometimes those descriptions fit. Sometimes they didn't. He'd skipped around at the time, trying to find different ways of categorizing and explaining his world to others. He'd been all about color when they'd conquered Monterrey. When he almost died at the hands of two newborns, he'd taken to describing emotions as the weather, seasons, and climates as if lightning bolts could match the new mess of crackled scars down his neck. At some point, some friend had slid Mendeleev into his hands, and then Jasper had taken to describing emotions in terms of the Periodic Table. Rage, he thought, was the alkalis, dropped in water and crackling and spitting off pieces until nothing else remained. Gold was confidence, heavy, unwavering, and luminescent. Calm was like noble gases—helium or neon—ready to be interrupted or absorbed by anything.

The other thing I love about this Jasper is his lighter, more playful nature in the present.

Normally, Jasper was the weak one. He was the one interested in all of the various ways to guzzle cheerleaders and exsanguinate chess club boys. He was the one with Edward meddling the most in his mind and with Alice most watching his future. He was the one whose hunting Esme kept calendar charts of.

That was until Edward up and fled off to Alaska—because he wanted to drink the new girl.

Jasper had a good laugh over that one.

Until Alice hit him.

This story gives a nice path of Jasper's empty path, falters along the way, and finally him being the emotional strength the love of his life needs. That his family needs.

3.5 out of 5 Naughty Nurse Hats

Before I say anything else, I should tell you that you MUST MUST MUST read our honourary Perv’s Boo & G’s joint review. Seriously its one of the funniest & best things I have read. So read their recc of this fic! So much fun.

Secondly. I have a confession to make. I am actually going to make this confession from a WWII bunker, as I fear for my health. I am not a Jasper fan. I generally do not like him in fics. Maybe its because so many ruddy authors decide that Jasper needs to be with Bella, which I do NOT like.. Me no likey! But I do likey when Jasper is in a slash fic. (So? I’m a slaag? That’s not news or new to you surely?)

Anyways, I was a wee bitty hesitant to read this fic, but Jeanne made the plea to me. Now we all know Jeanne is head honcho of Team Eville. But she does know me well (intimately even!) and she told me she knew I would love it. In spite of my obsession with Edward. :D

Guess what? Jeanne was correctamundo! I do love it! Its a brilliant fic. Its pithy, witty, clever, very well written. AND - wait for it, drum roll please - I LOVE THIS JASPER! :) (Oh & I have a fabulous picture lined up for the Foreign Flavour bit of the blog to honour this Jasper - its delish! :D, so look back later for that!) Righto, back to this story!

Jasper’s inner musings run the gauntlet of emotions from aroused, curious to amused or angered. But each vignette of his thoughts is thoroughly engrossing and entertaining. I left this fic feeling as if I knew Jasper much better than before. Liked him much better than before too. I love his reasoning's for why Rosalie wouldn’t float his boat when Emmett & Jasper are discussing their logic for why they mistakenly thought Edward to be gay.

While Jasper tended to side with Edward on this, Jasper wasn't about to argue with a man about the merits of his wife. Points like, "Then again, she murdered her ex-fiancée in a wedding dress—and she's spent the next twenty weddings with you trying to wash off the grime," or, "She feels the happiest and the angriest when she looks in a mirror," were not the bits you said to Emmett if you wanted to keep your under-gears. Moreover, if Jasper were honest with himself, he would have to admit that part of his reticence with Rosalie came from the ways in which she reminded him of Maria. Rosalie was strong and forthright—which Jasper could admire—but Jasper was tired of strength.

"It's just tough to tell with Edward," Jasper explained. "He wrestles a woody when he plays the piano on occasion—but I was never sure if he was getting off on Bach, God, or Audrey Hepburn."

Emmett's eyes brightened. "Audrey Hepburn is way boyish! Like nothing in the boob department."

"Audrey Hepburn looks like Alice," Jasper muttered with a scowl.

"Duh—man—but Alice is a girl."

Jasper chose not to continue the conversation.

I also love how Jasper responds to the emotions of those around him. Those he cares about - his family he takes delight in his emotions.

Alice, Jasper, Emmett, and Rosalie, despite their we-must-tolerate-the-high-school-children attitude, had never been more scintillated by the happenings in the cafeteria than they were on the day when Edward decided to publicly converse with Bella Swan. Though their lunch trays sat in front of them as props and the grating screech of Lauren Mallory's laugh gave weight to Jasper's contention that certain members of humanity had not earned their right to breathe, the crew of siblings found themselves lost to the scene playing out before their eyes.

Edward was flirting.

With the girl he'd wanted to drain dry no less than two months before.
The Cullens were struck dumb by it—and they were not the only ones.

Despite the roar of laughter and gossip and clatter, students kept casting furtive looks at the pair seated at the back table. Jasper could feel curiosity, jealousy, and confusion snapping like corn in the popper.

Yet Edward and Bella did not seem to notice—or rather—Edward noticed, but for once in his life, it appeared that Edward had forsaken the role of telepathic curmudgeon for that of the blithe Romeo. Jasper felt him as a bright spot in the room: happy. The thoughts of the room hit him and bounced right off, almost as if he was behind a shield.

It gave Jasper pause. He even smiled. Then, his eyes slid to Alice.

She was looking as smug as she felt.

I love how Jasper thinks of Lauren Mallory, that made me do an inner snort! But I loved the happiness he felt for his brother, and the tenderness, affection and gentle amusement that comes across towards his wife. Beautiful! :)

OK dokes! The sexing? Yummy! Fancy role playing Jasper & Alice? Jasper being able to feel lust from Alice, knowing she is plotting and having visions of their antics and all he can do is wait and savour.... Its very erotic and enjoyable for the reader too! But more than anything in this story you get a real sense of *WHO* Jasper is. and that makes it so well done.

Five Naughty Nurse hats out of five from me!

It's time for another confession, though I am sure it may not be much of a surprise for some of you. I am a Jasper fangirl. One of the things that I love about Jasper is that he has a past, and a very distinctly different vampiric experiance than all the other Cullens. He is an entirely different animal.

Oh, Mr. Whitlock is an eliquant, and complicated animal you are. *dreamy look glazes over her eyes* I'm sorry. *clears throat* Where were we? Oh, yes.

Pastiche Pen has an amazing gift to construct a very detailed, and yet not distracting narrative. There are so many subtle bits woven through out the story, that lend credibility not only to the time periods, but to the character voices. The voices is are magnificent, and I am not just speaking of Jaspers, though it is spot on. Her Emmett, and even Edward are flawless that at times I felt like I was reading canon. Honestly, in my mind this is canon. All the history, missing moments and insights are so beautiful written that they are canon in my brain now.

Cowboys Have Fangs, Too is a wonderful story told in a series of drabbly like scenes strung through out Jasper's life. While it skips back and forth through time, I was never really bothered by the pattern, in fact it enhances the reading experience for me. I felt like the pattern of the story was showing us that who we are is the some of the whole, not any one individual moment. This story allows to see all these parts coming together, as Jasper finally settles into who he is in this new life he's chosen to live with his wife.

I feel that only after seeing all these moments, after understanding his journey we can truly appreciate who Jasper is, and what it means to not only be with his mate, but to be part of a family.

I loved Jasper before I read this story, but now, I'm kind of obsessed. I dare you to give it a try.

5 out of 5 Naughty Nurses

It is certainly no secret in the Fandom that I’m an Edward/Bella shipper in the strongest of ways. However, there are not many people who know how much I’m into the Jasper/Alice ship, too. I’ve always loved Jasper’s connection to Alice, and it always feels wrong to me when they are paired up with someone else (Yeah, I’m a real piece of work, but at least I own it).

When this week’s rec came up, I was intrigued. A Jasper-centric story? Bring it on. Well, bring it on as long as Jasper isn’t a caricature of the southern gentleman with a twang who calls every female within a ten mile radius “Darlin’.” I’ve had enough of those Jaspers to last me a lifetime, thank you very much.

Pastiche Pen brings us her Jasper in a series of loosely connected vignettes, a format I hadn’t read before. She warns readers up front that, “This plot is non-linear. It hops all over the place.” She meant it. It took a little adjustment, but eventually, the story settled over me.

When Jasper describes seeing Alice for the first time, he uses the word kinetic. As I read the story, although it features Jasper, its form and function reminded me of the kinetic Alice:  Hopping here and there, flitting in and out, busy, convoluted, unique, special. If canon Alice was a story, she would be “Cowboys Have Fangs, Too.”

To hear the Twilight story from Jasper’s perspective as an empath was fascinating. Sometimes, we forget how much he struggled to keep from harming Bella earlier in the series. I was thrilled when Pastiche used references from Midnight Sun in the story. When you read how cooly he approached the prospect of killing Bella after Edward saves her from Tyler’s van, it sends shivers down your spine:

It was unfortunate, but the girl would have to die.

His early training and combat expertise would lend themselves well to easily resolving the Bella problem, and it’s fascinating to see inside Edward’s head via Jasper’s empathic abilities.

Because I’m an Edward/Bella shipper, I loved seeing Jasper’s amusement when Edward finally falls in love with Bella. No, he isn’t gay after all. Yes, he is attempting to flirt with her. No, he isn’t going to allow Jasper to be within 1000 feet of Bella when she first comes to meet the family. Absolutely, positively, under no circumstances is he ever to be alone in the same room as Bella, which, as we all know, works fine until they’re in Phoenix together and Alice has to start the car. Alone together in the same room, despite wanting her blood, Jasper merely seeks to reassure Bella that she’s wrong about not being worth the trouble. To me, this is Jasper at his best--uncomfortable, tempted, but quietly strong and supportive underneath it all.

My favorite vignette was one where Jasper and Alice are into a role-playing game. Alice dresses up as a nurse, ready to treat her “patient,” Jasper. As a Registered Nurse myself, I might have let out a squee or two imagining Alice in formal RN gear, hat and all:

"What seems to be your ailment, Sir?" Alice walked up to him.

"My heart. It's broken." Jasper fake-coughed as he patted his chest.

Alice almost failed to restrain a smirk before she took on a severe expression. "Do be professional, Sir. I am a professional, and I expect to be treated with every respect." She glared until Jasper acquiesced with a nod. "Well, I'll need to check your vitals," she informed him in a soft voice of authority.

Seriously, how can you not love a Jasper who pretends to have a broken heart that only Alice can mend? When he ends the vignette with the words, “‘I'll be sure to fill out the patient satisfaction survey,’ Jasper informed her, and then he started thrusting,” it made my girlie bits want to sing and dance. After reading “Cowboys Have Fangs, Too,” they signed up for dance lessons. In fact, they decided to run away and join the touring company for “Riverdance.” If you happen to run across them, please tell Pastiche that I need my girlie bits back. Thank you.

4 out of 5 Naughty Nurses hats

Mouse:  H'Lo Kitteh.  We callz truuz kay?  You no eat me, and I no beez uber cute, soz we can work 2gether on reviewz of Pastiche Pen'z story, "Mooboys haz da big teefs, tooz"?

Cat:  Yes mowse, we can make wiff da truuz for to be makin of da reviewz!  I will restrai...reestra....I will haz da controlz an not nomz yoo.  P to the S, I lubz yoo!   

Mouse:  Pee to da Ess bak... I lubz uu, too.  Firss thing I likez iz da teef as da section breakz.  I noze it'z silly thing, but it maykz mowse gigglez.  (Woops!  Iz forgetz to turn on da LOLcat babblefishez so youz can readz dis.  BEEEEP.)  Okay, sorry about that.  Can you hear me now?

First thing.... I have to say, I hate-hate-hate writing story summaries in  They totally suck and it's never enough space to give you a real idea of the story within, but I simply LOVE the summary for this fic:

"When you're a Cullen, you're supposed to be a nice vampire. You're not supposed to want to kill librarians—or drink the drill team—or have a map of scars. And you're certainly not supposed to want to exsanguinate Edward's human. Aw, hell."

I was pwned before I read "chapter 1."

This completed fic has an interesting time-keeping yo-yo quality that I felt was a pretty big distraction, overall.  Personally, I felt this fic would have been better served as drabbles in chronological order.  Apart from the little fangs marking the section breaks, you really had no idea where the story was from one moment to the next.  The individual sections were very cute, though.

Cat:  Yes yes, I loved the little section breaks too!  I did have a hard time with the yo-yo action, to be perfectly truthful, but I did love all of the back story on Jasper and Alice's relationship.

Mouse:  Chapter one had several small sections to it:  Jasper confronting Jenks and being all creepy-guy with him, then back in time to emo Jasper and Maria, then Jasper trying to find descriptions for the emotions of others.  There's a bit in this first chapter that I didn't understand and that's why Jasper felt the need to find other ways to describe emotions.  I mean, if someone is happy, I'd have no problem understanding that.  I don't need it to be described as "rose petals stretched across the face and tickling raindrops", ya know?  Jasper also went through a spell of describing emotions as weather and seasons, and then as things from the periodic table of elements.  I didn't feel any of this was necessary.  It's not like trying to describe Marcus' gift and his ability to "see" relationships.  It takes more energy to describe confidence as "gold" than it does to simply say someone is confident.

I thought it was funny that Emmett and Jasper had a bet going on that Edward was gay.  *giggle*  It stemmed from Emmett's disbelief that Edward never wanted to go after Rosalie.

"Gay, dude. So, gay."

"I'm not so sure, Em..." Decades had gone by, and Jasper was still mostly convinced that Edward was as repressed as a boulder.

"I mean, come on, he could have gone for Rose when she was first changed—and he didn't," Emmett argued.

While Jasper tended to side with Edward on this, Jasper wasn't about to argue with a man about the merits of his wife. Points like, "Then again, she murdered her ex-fiancée in a wedding dress—and she's spent the next twenty weddings with you trying to wash off the grime," or, "She feels the happiest and the angriest when she looks in a mirror," were not the bits you said to Emmett if you wanted to keep your under-gears. Moreover, if Jasper were honest with himself, he would have to admit that part of his reticence with Rosalie came from the ways in which she reminded him of Maria. Rosalie was strong and forthright—which Jasper could admire—but Jasper was tired of strength.

What I really liked the most about Pastiche Pen's Jasper is his INSIGHT into the feelings of others, like above when he notes that "Rose is happiest and angriest when she looks in a mirror."  Sooo telling and appropriate.  It's exactly the kind of insight I would expect someone  to have with a gift like Jasper's.

Cat:  Yes!  I love Rose and I think she's so over played as the bitch.  That statement, as well as the one about murdering her fiancee and trying to wash off the grime, really says that there is so much more to her than her beauty.  That it's her blessing and her curse, IMO.

Mouse:  There there was a lemon with Alice that was cute (they were playing nurse), but somehow I got the feeling it was added in for lemony goodness.  Far be it from me to call the kettle black, because we all know that the way to a readers heart is with a bit of zest, but I would have enjoyed it more, I think, if there had been something more to Jasper and Alice's unique relationship to express the "soul mate" aspect that Stephenie Meyer claims these two characters have.

And then we're back to the time-clock yo-yo, and Jasper is ruminating that he is usually the "weak" one in the family, but this time it is Edward that is fleeing to Alaska to escape the girl in his biology class.  Then there's another jump back in time to Jasper as a newborn, fighting other newborns for Maria, and getting his reward in the form of a human she had, um, er... 'set aside' for him... as a snack.  Then we jump yet again to Edward's return from Alaska and the Cullen family discussion about the events between Edward and Bella.  As before, these insights I feel are the strength of this story... how Jasper sees/feels the emotions of everyone else.

When he entered the dining room, Rosalie was there first. She was fuming, her anger burning like a flame in the corner of the room. It wasn't all that impressive, Jasper considered. If Carlisle said "no," then the flame would go out. "Poof" with a sizzling end. Rosalie saw Carlisle as the leader ... When Alice came in, Jasper expected her to come to his side, but instead her emotions were a blur, lost to some distant focus ... The proceedings began with Edward pulling his usual it's-all-my-fault, which was especially annoying to Jasper, considering he could feel that Edward meant every grain of his apology

But... at least Edward's interest in Bella resolved the bet about whether or not Edward was gay.  giggle.

I really enjoyed Jasper's insights into Edward and Bella's relationship, and being stunned with Edward flirting with Bella and feeling gypped that the woman Edward would fall in love with would be so... ordinary.

Bella Swan was not what Jasper expected. As in, she was not even in the universe of the image that Jasper had conjured for Edward's mate. First of all, there was nothing particularly striking about her, though she was far from ugly. She wasn't fat. She didn't have any odd features, e.g., a puckered scar, a bulbous chin, buggy eyes, or weird moles. It was just that there was nothing distinctive about her at all. After so many years of feeling Edward's maudlin solitude, Jasper realized he'd been expecting someone unearthly to sweep his brother off his feet, a woman reminiscent of Helen of Troy—or Henry of Troy, as he and Emmett had joked—but upon seeing Bella Swan, Jasper couldn't help but feel a touch gypped.

We see more bits of life with Jasper and Alice, including her badgering him to teach her to fight and an almost marriage proposal where they're talking about their last names that was especially cute.  As before, though, I keep coming back to my enjoyment of Jasper's interpretation of what he feels from other's feelings, even if he can't always understand them.

...on third floor, in Edward's room, there was a burst of predation, followed by the sound of feet leaving the floor. The clamor of weight hitting the leather couch. Bella's airborne gasp.

Jasper stilled himself. Alice did, too.

He half-expected to smell-blood.

But he didn't.

Instead, he heard laughter. Bella was mildly annoyed. Edward was happy, playful even.

What the fuck?

In chapter three, we're jumping again.  This time we're in the civil war, and Maria has set Jasper loose on the remains of a battlefield.  And I mean that literally and figuratively.  The battle has ended, and Maria is allowing Jasper to feed from the wounded men.  Where the time bouncing begins to coalesce is when Jasper thinks about his past and applies it to his present:  memories of Maria's advice when using care in creating newborns, for example, and how he applies this the Rosalie's own change after such a traumatic attack.  It seemed to me that the author was starting to see the power of Jasper's POV here, and she uses it again when Jasper's thoughts turn to how Esme was made, and Carlisle's involvement.

Esme, well, Jasper decided that Esme had given herself to God before the last click of her heel left that bluff. She'd said a final prayer and then fallen from the precipice only to be raised by Carlisle, her haloed savior. Jasper was pretty sure that Carlisle more than just a little enjoyed the quiet worship his wife held for him. He, himself, would have been annoyed by the sweetness, except it felt too nice—tickling like a fresh zephyr across the face—so he settled for reminding himself that Carlisle and Esme were run-of-the-mill cute.

It comes up again when Jasper recalls the shifting emotions of the Cullens when he and  Alice joined them, and his sense of "Edward's snooping" in his brain, and Rosalie's territorial vibe that this was her family which made her snub Alice's overtures to get to know her and Esme.

The story continues to ping-pong again, with glimpses into Alice's relationship to Bella, more glimpses into the past with Maria and Alice, and then back to the "future" when Bella ditched Jasper and Alice at the airport, peppered with Jasper's recognition of Alice's immense fondness for Bella and her desperation to keep her friend safe that rivals Edward's love for the very same girl.  It was chapter 4 that really hooked me.  If you can handle the ping-pong with the clock, then you're in for a treat with Jasper's POV of the end of "Twilight."  Bella fleeing the airport, Edward's reaction to this, finding and attacking James, and, finally, Alice's discovery of the tape and James' revelation of knowledge about her vampire beginnings.

Alice watched James's video alone the first time.

When he got to watch it, she sat in the recliner to his left with her knees pulled up to her chest and her eyes barely peeking out over them. Then Jasper realized that she was wearing sweat pants.

That should have been his first clue.

The chapter is chock full of the things I loved the most... JPOV of others, and insights from him about the emotional state of the others.

Back in Forks, Bella was over at the house every day.

Jasper tended to stay away, but then, he couldn't, really. Alice always seemed to be around Bella. She was coaxing her into shopping or doing her hair.

Edward laughed like a fool at the smallest thing Bella did. Bella could eat a taco, and it was like the piñata of Edward's "happy" popped, and that sweet debris was sent flying all over the room, and even if Jasper was intellectually resigned against it, part of him was already down on the floor scooping up the candy and confetti.

And the end nearly killed me ded, when Alice texts Jasper to join her and what he finds just cuts him to the quick.  Alice has found a stash of old hospital supplies, and a straight jacket.  Or, more aptly, her straight jacket, tagged with her patient number.  Jasper finds her wearing it and rips off the cuff that has the number on it.  And he keeps ripping until her past is "something she can wear."  (I'll be sneaky here and not explain, since this part of the review is pretty much a spoiler.)  I will share my favorite line, though, because I love cheesy vampire humor, as some of you will know if you've read my work.

"You've never eaten a baby have you?" she asked him as she stared in horror at the mother screaming on the screen.

Jasper shook his head. "Nah, too small. Like potato chips."

3 out of 5 Naughty Nurses (only cuz time jumps were really confusing)


Serene Eccentric-Shadow said...

Hello Ladiez of PPSS!

I just have a quick question: Do you have a Facebook page or group for PPSS (or for your fanfic alter-ego)? I'v been trying to find all of my favorite blogs on FB and I can't seem to tell if PPSS has one or not..

Get back to me when you can!

My Pennames:
Serene Eccentric-Shadow