"I've been thinkin' bout you all day baby…."
The words I've heard so often the last few months ring through the speakers and I can't help but sway and mouth the words as the song goes on.
I knew Jasper Whitlock before all this. I knew Jasper Whitlock before millions of girls (and some men) were screaming his name at full stadiums. I knew Jasper Whitlock when he running around in a pair of overalls, no shirt, stuck in some cowboy boots with his two front teeth missing.
Now, I was here, watching him on this big, bright, loud, stage. His opening song, the one that spoke straight to my heart, filling the ears of his fans, the words that were us.
Fifteen years ago, I met Jasper Whitlock for the first time. My daddy and I had just moved on to my Nana's farm to help her out since she'd gotten so sick recently. When I was ten, I thought my daddy could fix anything so it made sense. Mama had run off for some city life a long time ago. It was just Daddy and me, and that was fine.
Nana was telling Daddy about all the things that needed to be done, when I ran off to explore. I found a tree that I planned to ask Daddy to build a tree house in when I saw a little boy running towards it, and away from four older looking boys.
"Hey!" I'd screamed, running toward the boy, who looked like he needed help. "You leave him alone!"
One of the older boys moved to tackle the boy and I picked up a rock and threw it, knowing they were bigger, stronger and faster than I could ever be. I missed of course and hit the boy I was trying to save. He fell the ground but the bigger boy tripped over his boot spurs and face planted on the ground, earning a broken nose. There was blood everywhere. The other boys scattered after collecting their fallen friend.
When I moved over to the boy, he was laying on his back, his arm lazily laid across his eyes. "Please don't try and help me again, ma'am. I don't mean ta be rude but I don't think I'll survive if you help me."
I was almost insulted but instead, I laughed. A full on belly laugh. I had to bend over and grab my stomach, my pig tails flopping over my shoulders.
"I think my Nana has some popsicles at the house if you wanna have one. And a bag of peas for um, where I hit you in the head."
He jumped up quickly, rubbed his dusty hand on his overalls and gave me a bright smile. I noticed he was missing his two front teeth. His hand extended out toward mine and I heard words that would forever change my life.
"I'm Jasper Whitlock, ma'am."
I easily replied, placing my hand in his, feeling sparks of electricity through our joined hands and chalked it up to the static of his boots. "I'm Bella Swan."
When the chorus came, I could see girls screaming, crying and I couldn't help but laugh. I'd lived those words. They had no idea how much they really meant.
Bout a mile off old mill road
in that spot nobody knows
park the truck and we take off running
hurry up girl, I hear it coming
got a moon and a billion stars
sound of steel and old box cars
the thought of you is driving me insane
come on baby lets go listen to the night train
Jasper and I spent many nights on Old Mill Road. Most people, the older teenagers, came there to make out, hell I heard one girl even got pregnant out here last year, but no matter. Jasper and I came for different reasons. Or so I thought.
"You're a mighty fine looking girl now, Bella." He casually dropped in our conversation while we sipped on sodas and ate Twizzler's.
I'll admit, since hitting puberty, I was awkward. I was too skinny, had no boobs and I was still short but in the last few months, my hips have widened and I was losing the baby fat in my face.
At fifteen, I'd noticed that Jasper was a boy. Hell, Daddy had stopped our sleepovers when he heard me telling my best girl friend, Alice, that one day I was gonna be a Whitlock just like Jasper. It was embarrassing and luckily for me, he never shared the information with Jasper.
Jasper was older than me, by half a year, and he was already driving. He drove his Grandaddy's truck whenever we went out. Mrs. Whitlock said it was to keep me safe, I just thought that even if Jasper hit something, it'd do more damage to what he hit than the truck or us.
"Whatdo'ya mean?" I asked, my face scrunching up.
He didn't say anything for a while and I continued snacking. I gently touched his arm and that seemed to snap him out of whatever funk he was in because he grabbed my hand and pulled me out the driver's side door and started running.
I tried to keep up and luckily Jasper never let go of my hand. When he came to a stop, I ran into his back.
"Do you hear it?" He whispered, even though we were the only one's around. This was a place no one knew about.
I looked all around, hearing nothing, finally my eyes reached the sky and I whispered back, "Jasper, all there is, is the moon and a billion stars."
He shook his head and whispered, "Listen, it's the train. The night train."
I strained my ears to hear and when I finally did, I looked up into his eyes and heard him whisper, "I've been thinking about this all day. And those thoughts have driven me damn near insane."
"Jasp…" I didn't even get his name out before his lips were planted to mine.
That was the first time I kissed Jasper Whitlock, but it was far from the last.
I heard someone call my name and smiled as I saw Emmett and Rosalie coming up beside me. I gave them a smile but never took my eyes off of Jasper.
"You can hear how much he loves you, whenever he sings this song, it's different." Rose had commented when he was recording in the studio.
Emmett offered me a soda but I shook my head in a decline, biting on my lip. It was almost over and even though I'd seen the show every night since this tour began, I hated to see it end. I hated for our story to end there but it didn't. There was always more. Always. The show was just beginning.
Even though the song was over, much too quickly for my liking, I could hear the words reverberating in my head, in my heart. I remember watching Jasper write them. It seemed like so long ago, way before his career started but he'd never been given the chance to explore his own writing styles until he was an established artist.
I've been thinkin' bout you all day baby
waitin' on that sun to go down
whatcha say I pick you up after work
slide over, well slip out to the outskirts of town
got a blanket and a fifth of comfort
a little something to knock off the edge
it's supposed to get a little cool tonight
looks like I'm gonna have to hold you tight... yeah
Jasper always picked me up from work. The Dairy Queen was always busy, especially on nights after a football game but he always stayed. This Friday night though, seemed different. He looked pensive and lost in his own world. I'd seen him from the window, scribbling in his notebook that he didn't think anyone saw him with. He'd never show me but I could also see his fingers drumming on the table.
Smiling to myself, I removed the ridiculous hat I wore and took my hair down from the pony tail, giving it a shake. I walked up behind him and wrapped my arms around his neck, placing a soft kiss below his ear.
"You ready?" He asked, still scribbling.
"I can drive," I offered but was given a scoff in return. Jasper hated when I drove.
We walked to the truck, he opened the passenger door for me and I climbed in and was rewarded with the sight of a blanket and a bottle of liquor on the bench seat.
"Are we celebrating something?" I asked, eyebrow raised as he climbed in the truck, effectively stopping me from grabbing his notebook by sitting on it.
"I got a phone call today. I figured we'd head out to our spot, snuggle up, it's supposed to be cold, and maybe I'll tell you about it." I half expected him to stick his tongue out at me and couldn't stop the laugh that followed that visual.
Jasper had been playing open mic's for weeks, hell months, ever since he was legally allowed into places. He was always playing, always singing, always wonderful. I was, and forever would be, his number one fan.
"Tell me!" I squealed and moved closer to his side, placing sweet kisses to his neck. Ever since that first night, when we'd watched the night train, Jasper and I were inseparable. Sure the girls all tried to get with him but most people knew that Jasper Whitlock was mine when I'd hit him with the rock.
It didn't take long and before I knew it, we were laid out on a blanket, snuggled close as we listened in the quiet night.
"Baby…" I started, running my hands through his hair.
"You're always there when I need someone. Always. I want that. Forever." He took a drink and gave a small shiver, maybe from the liquor, maybe from the chill in the air.
"What…" Again, I didn't know what to say but I looked at him with expectant eyes.
"I got signed. To a real record label. I'm going to do an album and perform for millions of people. I...I'm going to open for Garth."
There was nothing else that could be said. Jasper had made it. All his hard work had paid off.
"Jasper...baby that's…" There were no words. None. I was so proud and I couldn't wait to see what he was going to become.
"I want you with me, Bella. There is no this, if there's no you." His voice was filled with conviction and I had no doubt he meant it.
"I know we're young but really Bella, I think the least you could do was marry me after you hit me in the head with a rock. Probably gave me a concussion, you know."
I gaped at him. Unable to make words form out of my mouth. Had he? Did he mean it?
"COme on, Bella. I even seen your Daddy and he pulled out the shotgun, even though he's known me forever."
In my lap, he placed a small square box. It was black. In the movies they were always blue but I liked this box. I poked it with my finger and watched it move. It was real. Really real.
"It's not gonna bite you, sugar." Jasper took the box and popped it open, revealing a small ring.
"Maybe when I get all famous, I'll replace it." He chuckled and slid the ring on my finger.
"You'll do no such thing." I replied, never taking my eyes off of the ring.
"So that's a yes?" He kissed the ring, now placed securely on my finger.
"It's a hell yes!" He stood and picked me up, hooting and hollering just as the train came by.
I married Jasper three weeks later, just before we moved to Nashville for him to start on his album.
Right before the intermission, I excused myself and made my way to Jasper's dressing room. I was almost there when I heard the announcement for the opening act to entertain for a little while. I barely made it in the door of the dressing room when a pair of arms wrapped around my waist.
"What are you doing?" He asked, nuzzling his face in my neck.
I let out a small laugh. "I had to see you."
"It was Night Train, wasn't it?" He laughed, his hands traveling over my hips to expanding belly.
"I...yes, okay. Yes." I turned and Jasper's hand laid flat against my bump.
"Just be careful with these crowds, please." He stressed and I just nodded before taking a seat on the small couch. Jasper was too pumped up on adrenaline, so he stayed moving but kept drinking water.
"I love you." I whispered but knew he'd heard me.
"I've always loved you, sugar." He gave me a smirk and I wanted to smack it off, like I'd done only once before in our lives.
We'd gotten to Nashville and the producers had taken Jasper for days at a time to do this, that and the other. Finally, after two weeks of only seeing my husband asleep, I decided it was time I did something with myself.
I applied for some online classes and found a job in a small bar where lots of up and comer's came to play. Bar-tending was easy for me and it really helped with my coordination and self esteem. I felt...alive.
I'd always had my Daddy and Jasper but other than them, I felt like I had no idea what the outside world held. Jasper was experiencing that through music and I had to find some way to do it as well.
I had to go a little Coyote Ugly a few times, dancing on the bar, but I made plenty of tips and felt quite proud of myself.
Jasper didn't know about my job for almost two months and it was pure coincidence that he found out. I knew he was recording his first album and he was preparing for the summer tour but I'd hardly seen him and when we saw each other, we were desperately clinging to one another as we made love. He needed me like I needed him.
So when I saw him walk into the bar with a few of his band mates, I let it pass. I didn't go over and I sent a message to his phone, wishing him a good night and got a quick reply of "working late. Don't stay up." That's when I got mad. I gathered a few beers and made my way over to his table. I put on my waitress face and passed the beer's around with a bright smile on my face.
"Hey guys, I'm Bella and I'll be here for anything you might need tonight." I even threw in a wink. It was a bitch move but I had to do something.
"Bella, can I talk to you?" Jasper spoke through gritted teeth, stood and started pulling on my arm.
Before I could protest, he'd pulled me away, towards the bathroom and was laying into me.
"What is this? What are you doing here? I thought you were at home." His hands were waving wildly around him and I wanted to laugh but I knew it wasn't the time or place.
"I got a job, Jasper, two months ago. What's the big deal?" I was being stubborn and didn't care about what he thought. He was doing his thing, what was I supposed to do all day? Wait and see if MAYBE he showed up before the sun came up?
"You...I…" He didn't have anything to say either, so I tried to walk away but he grabbed me again. I pulled my arm away and glared at him.
"Grab me again, I dare you." My voice was low and menacing, well as menacing as I could be. I used it on the grabby patrons of the bar, but this was my husband.
He recoiled like I HAD slapped him and shook his head, walking away and back to his table. Just as he did, my song came on the jukebox. I jumped on the bar and sang along, giving a cute, yet suggestive dance along with it.
Jasper's eyes were on me the whole time and I thought I was turning him on until a regular jumped up on the bar and came up and slapped my ass. I heard him before I saw him and Jasper had the man by his throat, threatening him.
"Jasper, stop!" I yelled.
He stopped and turned on me and spat out, "If my wife wasn't dressed like a common whore, I wouldn't have to beat this guys ass."
That's when I slapped him. Hard. Across the face. I regretted it almost immediately and ran away from him and out of the bar.
Hours later, I finally made my way home. He was waiting for me. It was then that we really talked. Really and truly.
We made sure we had at least three dinners together a week and he told me to come to the studio sometimes. I agreed to give up the bar but he thought I sang really well and joked that maybe one day we'd do a duet.
I was embarrassed about resenting him. I knew how hard Jasper had worked for all of this and I was being bratty about it. I was hardly used to sharing my husband but he playfully reminded me that soon, the whole world would want a piece of Jasper Whitlock.
Boy, was he right. Jasper lit up the charts and won so many awards. He got his own tour before he even had a month in with Garth Brooks. He was amazing. That's why, after three albums, he was finally able to play his music.
When he got the news, I was ecstatic. It was also the first time I ever got to read his notebook.
Jasper came barreling into the kitchen, talking a mile a minute and there was no way I could keep up. Finally I screamed his name and placed my hands on his chest.
"A little slower this time, baby." I teased.
"I...get...to….my..songs…" He panted out and it took a minute to register but then I got it. His new album would be filled with his words. Our words. Our life. The words he wrote about us.
We danced around the kitchen that night and ended up making love right there on the counter. Dinner had been forgotten and burned but we ordered out and laid in the living room, in front of the fire. That's when he pulled it out. His notebook.
He slowly handed it over and to anyone else, none of it would have made sense but it was all so completely Jasper.
I read every word, every thought, felt every emotion behind them and gave him a big grin.
"This will be the best yet." I promised.
And it was. Jasper's success had tripled and everyone wanted him. I heard him call my name and looked up.
"Are you alright? I have to head back out but…" he trailed off and looked at me worriedly.
"I'm fine. We're fine." I rubbed affectionately on my protruding belly. "Go, we'll be here when you're done. I'm going to watch from here. I can't listen to what some of those women are saying about my husband." I gave him a small smile and he kissed my forehead and placed a hand over mine.
"I love you." He spoke before he left.
"Love you.." I replied.
We'd had a hell of a ride. From bullies and rocks, to a stadium filled of people screaming his name. This was us. And our story was starting a brand new chapter. Tonight. But I wouldn't tell Jasper yet.
When Jasper came off the stage for the night. I grabbed his hand and told him we had to go.
"I knew it! Dammit Bella, I woulda stopped the show." He yelled.
"You damn well would not!" I shouted back.
My contractions had been going on for hours and were getting closer and closer.
"Your daughter just wanted to experience the next concert for real." I gave him a weak smile and squeezed his hand.
"Emilyn Marie Whitlock, I…." he started speaking to the baby but had to stop driving because we had hit a railroad block. I couldn't help but laugh into the night.
Of course. The night train.
Ten hours later, Jasper was holding our baby girl. Her barely there blonde hair and my round face present. She stole our hearts and I could see it already.
When he handed Emilyn to me, I watched him grab his notebook, a newer one, but still the same, and he started jotting down. I couldn't help but smile.
A/N: "Night Train" is sung by Jason Aldean. Also, if you can find it there is another song lyric by Jason Aldean present in this one shot.
No infringement meant. Just couldn't stop picturing my country singing Jasper.
One shots help me work out what to do with my WIP's so meh, maybe this helps, maybe it sucks but hey, it's here. Review, or not.
I feel a hell of a lot better than I did a few hours ago.