Chapter One,

This is my first try with A Sweet Home Alabama story.

Melanie stretched her body in a cat like manner, slowly she opened her eyes, and the happy smile on her face grew wider, when her surroundings came into focus.

It wasn't just a sweet dream.

She felt his steady heartbeat underneath her head and upper body. Or perhaps it was a sweet dream but if it was she never wanted to awake from it.

Lifting her head she drank in his beautiful features. Unfortunately his striking blue eyes were closed at this moment. She felt a rush of love for this man, the feeling was mixed with pride, pride that he had chosen her, pride that he loved her.

Her husband!

She liked the sound of it. Very much. And whispered it out into the air "my husband Jake Perry."

The words made her heart skip a beat and a huge smile filled her beautiful face.

She was so sure she had made the right choice this time, it had been an easy choice as Tabby had pointed out it should be. It had been the only choice.

This man was her past, her present and her future. How could she ever have doubted that?

She had lost her way for a long period of her short life but she had luckily found it again. To think she had dreaded to come home, when all she had really wanted was to be home. A longing she had denied for the longest time.

She had just forgotten that home was in the arms that were holding her right now. Silently she promised herself she would never forget that again, she had already wasted too much time running from him…and herself.

Suddenly scared to awake and find it was just a dream Melanie lifted her body and placed her lips on Jake's, her gesture reminded her of the childhood habit of pinching her arm to know if she was indeed sleeping or awake.

Gently Melanie tasted his lips with her own, they were soft now he was sleeping, they were inviting her to kiss them and feel their softness, and the combination of sleep and toothpaste was irresistible.

Growing bolder she placed small soft kisses in the corners of his mouth. She had misses this. Missed the tastes and smells that were Jake.

That was why it had taken her so long to kiss another man. No! She wouldn't think of that now. Besides that she wasn't able to think of other men when she was near Jake.

Just one small kiss and she would stop, she didn't want to wake him and it couldn't be that long since they had fallen asleep.

Before she could pull away, two strong arms pulled her tighter and deepened the kiss, without thinking she opened her mouth and invited her husband into the warm depths.

Jake released her mouth and locked his sparkling, blue eyes with Melanie's, he had one of his most charming smiles on his face.

"Honey do you realise we have only been sleeping for an hour? Look at the sun, it not a full day yet"

"Jake I love you. I want you to be the last boy I ever kiss" There was pleading in her eyes and voice.

"I know you do Mel and I love you"

"You always have, haven't you Jake?"

Hesitating for only a brief moment he answered "you know I have"

Melanie hated the short glint of pain she saw in his eyes before he covered it.

"I'm so sorry Jake, I was just so confused and pained that I couldn't stay. I needed to get as fast away from myself that I could. I needed a new life."

"I know we did mess things up Mel. It wasn't easy. And I behaved like a boy, a boy who thought I knew how to provide for a wife and a child"

"Sorry Jake, I got so confused and stupid for I while. I must have hurt you badly with Andrew"

"For a while! Mel, you can't hardly call seven years for a while" Jake chuckled, it was their second wedding night and he wanted to enlighten his wife's mood.

His wife! How awful good that sounded. She was his wife now. The wows had been said seven and a half years ago, when they had only been children. Last night the wows had been spoken by their hearts and acknowledged, it had been meaningless to speak them out aloud, the long owed dance had sealed the pact when danced.

It was their second wedding night but in many ways their first, on the first they had slept in separate rooms, he had been too sick from hangovers and she too disappointed to feel any warm feeling for her marital status, A status she hadn't really wanted.

Playfully she slapped his arm and rolled her eyes "That was not what I meant honey"

"Then what did you mean Mel?" he battered back.

"I was stupid for a while with Andrew. Before him I never as much as looked at another man. But I never could figure out why"

"Too busy?" he searched her eyes, now the playing had left his eyes.

"No! My heart was already taken dumb head. Had been since I was ten" she assured him.

"Ah I see, a childhood crush then"

"Yeah, ever had one of your own Jake Perry?"

"Sure I did Mrs. Perry, she was a wild and pretty little thing."

"What happened to her?"

He brought her closer to him, his lips only inches away, "She married her childhood friend twice"

Lips meet lips in pent up hunger , kisses and caresses told better than words about the love between two soul mates finally together again.

The next time Melanie opened her eyes a pair of amazingly blue eyes captured hers.

"Wake up snoring head. We need to pack a few things before we leave"

Betraying his words Jake leaned in and sensually kissed her on her mildly sore lips, he didn't seem to be in a hurry. Had Jake always been this good a kisser?

A fact was that her lips were unused to passionate kissing. She couldn't remember another time when she had been kissed in this fashion, even not in the back of Jake's truck.

"Where did you learn to kiss this way Jake?"

"What way honey?" he winked at her.

"You know perfectly well what way. Was it her…that Starr girl?"

Surprisingly Melanie felt jealous, Starr had been one of the reasons why Mel had gotten so drunk that night. It had been the way Jake had called her honey, his arm that was around her and Starr leaning into his body. When he should have held her, Melanie, in his arm and called her honey.

"Starr" he laughed and kissed her one more time.

"Maybe it's thinking of you that made me a good kisser" he attempted to kiss her again.

"Oh no Jake! How close were you and Starr"

Sighing he gave her a half smile "We went out a few times honey, it was nothing serious. She didn't ask for much of me."

Content with his answer Melanie kissed him back and she would soon have become lost, if it wasn't for the cars driving up to the house. Who could come over on a day like this, a day that belonged to a husband and a wife. All she wanted was to kiss Jake, not that it would be very likely with the sound of more than one care door being closed just outside the window.

It didn't appear like Jake had heard anything he was still kissing her, perhaps she could ignore the visitors and they would go back to wherever they came from.

Her thoughts were followed by heavy knocking on the door, even Jake couldn't ignore the noise.

By now Bryant had decided to join in, eager to show he was capable of protecting his family, there was no way to pretend to be still asleep or not at home, plane and cars were parked outside.

"Seems we have company" Jake smiled "I'll answer the door while you put on some clothes"

He jumped out of the bed and pulled some jeans on, Melanie held her breath when he reached for his white T-shirt, he was gorgeous and this time she was allowed to look all she wanted. Unlike the other time she had seen his naked upper body, not that their marital status had really changed, she had been as much married to him as she was now, but now she didn't have a huge ring on her finger to fool her.

"You like what you see Mrs. Perry?" Jake starred at her.

"Umm…!" Melanie blushed embarrassedly.

"You might want to close your mouth honey or you'll catch some flues. You better get up"

"Get out of here so I can get into my clothes" Melanie started to get out of the bed, it was the same old bed they had shared when she had lived in the house. She was touched by the fact he had kept it.

She wanted to do something about the house but nothing too fancy, she liked the simplicity of life down here in Alabama, here it wasn't about money or show ofr, it was about people. For years she had cared about the opposite, money and status, thinking it would erase her past and make her better than she was. A short time home had taught her better, people mattered not cars and cell phones.

"…just wanted to see how the newly wedded managed" The voice coming into the bedroom belonged to Bobby Ray. Melanie smiled, Bobby Ray was a dear person and she liked how he called her and Jake newly wedded. She could also hear other voices, through the closed door she could detect the voices of her parents, her mother in law and who, she guessed would be Lurlynn. She hadn't heard Jake's answer to Bobby Ray's question but she could imagine the huge smile on Jake's face, cause it was on her as well.

After a quick glance at the mirror she opened the door and stepped into the sitting room, it looked like half the town was here to continue the party from last night, all their friends had come over. At first no one saw her and she could watch all of them in peace.

Stella had always been a second mother to her, in many ways she had been a better guide and supporter than her own mother had, she loved Stella dearly. In the past few days she had gotten a better understanding of her mother, now she understood that her mother had always had had the best intentions in dealing with her daughter. The opinion of what was best had just never been shared by Melanie, they were two opposite personalities, but her mother had wanted a better life for her than she had gotten herself. Sad that her mother felt she had wasted her own life with man and daughter in a small town, but at least she loved her dad.

Her dad had never mingled in the relationship between mother and daughter, in fact he didn't mingle much in other people's affair at all, but she knew he loved her, he just wasn't very good at showing it.

"There you are honey, I was beginning to thing my son had scared you away already" Stella's voice cut through the air.

Melanie looked at Jake "No he's stuck with me it would seem" Jake grinned back with charming sparkling eyes.

"I bet you won't hear him complain honey" Stella answered while she made her way over to Melanie to give her a big hug. "I'm just glad I didn't loose my favourite daughter in law" she said in a lower voice.

"No chance of that now" Melanie assured her.

"Hell I can always arrest her if she tries to escape Jake here" Wade played with his hand cubs.

Melanie took the few steeps over to Jake's side "It might be Jake who tires of me and my fancy Yankee style" she leaned into his body and encircled her arm around his waist.

"Then we will use the dogs on him" Wade assured her "The law doesn't take run away husbands lightly in this town.

"Yeah you can always use Bryant" Jake laughed "He's good at that!"

He pulled Melanie closer and placed a soft kiss on her head.

"You are as stuck with me honey" he whispered in here ear.

"I wouldn't want it any other way" she whispered back.

In the meantime Pearl, Dorthea and Lurlynn had set the table and asked them to take place, the place was very crowed with all the people but it felt good and people enjoyed the closeness and wanted to be with the coupe,