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Summary: Jasper and Alice take a little trip down south to some of Jasper's old stomping grounds.
A Journey with Jasper
The flight from Seattle to San Antonio would take over four hours. Sitting in the plane next to Alice was both a pleasure and a torture. I sat next to the window in first class with Alice to my right. She acted as my physical roadblock to the other passengers and kept up a soothing monologue. Stroking my right arm and knee she murmured encouragement that only I could hear. She gently traced the faint half-moon marks on my forearm as if she wished to erase all those memories. Those memories may be a problem for me on this trip: we were heading back to the heart of Texas where I had started out so long ago.
The torture was from the mix of emotions on the plane that I kept picking up. From the nervous flyer across the isle to the angry couple sitting in front of us. Every so often I unconsciously sent a wave of calm out to these people just so I wouldn't feel it so much. They were making me anxious.
To make matters worse there was the overwhelming amount of humanity in this enclosed space. We had chosen a night flight so it wasn't quite as packed as it could have been. Unfortunately, I still wasn't comfortable being so close to so many people like Alice was. My mind kept slipping into little fantasies of what I could be doing with the flesh and blood on this plane. With a chuckle I thought of that recent movie with the snakes on board a flight. What would Hollywood do with vampires on a plane?
Through the space in the seat backs in front of me I kept glimpsing the smooth neck of the woman in front of me. She kept turning to her companion with another complaint: about the flight, the trip, her life. It was annoying. I wanted to sink my teeth into that neck just to silence her and her emotions. Alice thankfully brought me back to reason. "Jasper dear, tell me again where you're going to take me."
"Haven't you already looked at that?" I quipped with a smile at her. It was difficult to surprise her.
"Well, I keep seeing so many different things. The city, lovely hills, a resort of some type. I hope I've packed the right things," she murmured the last to herself.
I couldn't help but smile again. I had, of course, planned some extra time so Alice could get her shopping in. "If there's anything you need to get you know what to do. There are stores there, you know."
Her musical laugh was soft. "Of course I know what to do. But what will you be doing? I don't want to be dragging you through crowded stores." A pensive look came over her face as she considered that situation. She was always so cautious when it came to my control. When Edward was around they became like a micromanagement team watching my every move. I was glad Edward wasn't with us on this trip. It was liberating not to have him in my head.
Using my best southern gentleman's voice I said, "We'll figure it all out, Miss Alice, I promise. You'll get to do your shopping and I'll keep myself safe and well-behaved."
Her smile lit up her face again and she squeezed her fingers tightly around my knee. "Not too well behaved as long as I'm with you, okay?" She winked at me slyly.
"Of course, dear. Anything to keep you happy." Maybe I wouldn't have to be such a gentleman after all. I paused, considering other things for a moment, "Is the weather still in our favor?"
Her face assumed an angelic blankness; perfectly still. After a short pause she smiled and said, "Yes. Showers, overcast; it will be perfect!" Alice's weather predicting skills were excellent so I was relieved to hear this. Rain was not the usual condition for south Texas this time of year but with the messed up weather patterns we'd been seeing it was becoming more common. Maybe global warming had its advantages.
"Good, that will keep the tourists indoors and out of our way," I answered as I linked my hand to hers on top of my thigh.
Alice suddenly froze, the grip on my hand tightening, "Ohhhh….."
"What is it?" My eyes flashed to her in alarm.
"You're taking me dancing! I can't wait!"