005 The Perfect First Dance
"Are we going to have a first dance?" Angela smiled as she fiddled with Jaspers fingers, both of his hands resting on her stomach as she leant against him on the bed in his room. Their trip to her parents' home had been short with so little to do on her first day caring for the place. Once Candice had been properly fed and passed out asleep on the floor, Jasper had picked Angela up and they had slipped away, home to the Cullens by dinner time.
"Of course," she could feel him smiling against her hair, his breath was cold – and for him unnecessary – but she smiled at the rhythm it created behind her back, "What kind of southern gentleman would I be if I didn't have the first dance with my bride?"
"A very poor one, but mine nonetheless," Angela was still playing with his fingers, something she realised suddenly that she did quite a lot as he moved his own hands to entwine them with hers, "any requests? For the song I mean."
The 'hmmmm' sound he made reverberated through his chest and Angela twisted her head up to look at him, hair pooling around the sides of her face until she unlinked a hand to sweep it away, "you like classics right? Why don't we go see if we can't find you some Dean Martin or something in Edward's collection? He is the musical one of the family."
"I was going to say," She said with a small laugh as she twisted her fingers back between his own, "I might like classics but I don't think a recording of "That's why this lady is a Tramp" would make a great first dance."
Jasper hummed again in amusement and Angela settled herself back into him, dreamily humming a few bars of The Lady is a Tramp before laughing softly at herself and turning on her side to lean against Jasper, her ear gently resting above where his heart would be, "I guess nobody has the wedding they imagine though do they? I mean I'm certainly not complaining about the groom, but I would never have imagined I'd marry a vampire."
Jasper was staring at the wall directly opposite the bed, the light mustardy yellow walls surrounding the dark wooden door and the bookshelves off to the sides holding Angela's favourite photo of the two of them; his usual position when she woke and saw him at night. She called it his thinking phase.
"What did you imagine?" Jasper asked quietly, fingertips tracing gentle patterns up and down Angela's arm as he lounged on the bed, one knee swaying back and forward across their vision. She knew the question came from curiosity, but she sensed the something more that always flew beneath with Jasper. She always answered honestly.
"I guess I always imagined the crisp white dress, no lace or anything because I always thought it wouldn't suit me," she linked her fingers with those of his that weren't tracing her upper arm, cradling them against his stomach and letting her eyes travel over the things that both she and Jasper had accumulated over their respective amount of years and of course, their time together, "but you aren't really asking about a wedding are you?"
Her question was quiet and content and Jasper didn't have the heart to deny the claim, knowing she would see through his omission anyway. He wanted to know everything, how she had pictured her life, her career, her marriage. He wanted to know everything about her, rather than just be filled in as they went s he had with Alice; he wanted to be standing right there with her, rather than one step behind.
"I always thought I'd stay in Forks," she continued with the same dreamy, quiet tones as he nodded a yes to her earlier question, closing his eyes so he could see exactly the picture she was painting for him, "have a small house, married and holding down a job; either as a psychologist or an English teacher. And a cat, I wanted a black cat. I was going to call him J. Alfred Prufrock."
Jasper laughed and Angela manoeuvred herself up to look at him, lowering her eyebrows and glaring playfully as she chuckled along through her protests, "It's after that famous poem by T.S Elliot as you very well know. I personally thought it was a very good name for my hypothetical black cat!"
"No, it is! It is!" He smiled down at her as they settled back into place, returning to his seriousness as his fingers resumed their methodical patterns against her arm, "what about other things?"
"I didn't really imagine much," Angela gave a happy sigh against his chest, snuggling against him as he stared at his wall, eyes straying to her favourite picture, one they had taken their first real winter together, Angela laughing and looking at the camera, he looking down at her, happiness obvious, "some things I guess in detail; little moments, you know?"
Jasper smiled without feeling it and wrapped both of his arms around her, turning to look at her briefly, "when I was your age, for the first time of course," he gave a small hum of a humourless laugh that in his mind at least overshadowed Angela's own small hum of amusement. He could hear her heartbeat in his head, in his ears; a steady pa-tum, pa-tum, pa-tum. His vision seemed blurry as he glanced down at her hair and saw her smile tilted up in his direction, "I thought about a wife. Beautiful and talented obviously, smart because I liked the challenge back then in charming someone that wasn't as thick as a post. I was arrogant to say the least, but I always knew what I wanted."
She was still smiling but he could see that her eyes didn't quite mirror it, so he plunged on, determined to get it all out before he smoothed it over, "and I thought that after my long and illustrious career in the war was over, I'd come back to my wife and build up a house. I wanted the best and finest, and I knew any kids I'd have would want the same," his breath hitched a little as Angela squirmed - obviously uncomfortable - under his arm, "but it wasn't to be back then."
"Angela, I found myself the wife I'd always dreamed of," he looked straight down at her, locking his eyes onto her own as she stared up at him in complete adoring honesty, "and I'll marry her soon. I can deliver on everything and anything you and I wanted; the houses, the dogs, the cats, the careers. We can live comfortably into what would be considered a ripe old age and probably beyond. But there is one thing I can never give you and never have myself, and I know you left it out when I asked you just before how you always imagined life would go."
She looked as if she was going to bite her lip, but all she did was nod her head slightly, keeping his gaze as a soft smile graced her features, "I guess you don't think of names for a cat and never ponder the thought of children."
"No ma'am," Jasper answered, tilting his head as his old characteristics came back with his memories, "I don't think you do."
Angela nodded again and looked briefly down at her hands, before gesturing to the wall and settling back onto his chest, wanting him to sit and see what it was she was saying, "I guess I always thought two or three. A boy and a girl definitely, and when I first met Mike Newton and everyone thought we were going out, we named the kids we would have if we ever did get together..."
Jasper nodded as she listed off the Richard and the Mark, smiling as she included her brothers' names, Connor and Aidan, for middle names if she had to. It all had to do with the surname she mentioned, talking about an Anna, a Carrie and a Corrie; but she had always favoured Norah and James for her own kids. He felt a little bit of pride in her as she spoke, and an edge of weariness that crept upon it with hope, love and fear. She was playing him a picture and he could see it in his head, black and white in places and sometimes colour all around. He felt the loss that she hadn't even been witness to yet.
"I have no idea what names would be fit to go with our Angela and Jasper," she whispered steadily as he clung to her, pressing her probably entirely too firmly against his chest, "but they would have been lovely I'm sure."
"I'm sure," he echoed as she raised one had up between them, tracing a small pattern around his collarbone, all with slight difficulty as he continued to hold her close, "but... but you realise, yes?
"I realised a long time ago," she assured him gently, calm as he struggled with the breaks in his voice and the large breaths he had been taking, "Jasper, it will be okay."
A/N: Hey guys, just wanted to say a big thanks to momo16, your support has been wonderful and I would have personally replied to your reviews however I think the site may be having some difficulty in this regard (at least for me!). Thanks to everyone else who may also be following and feedback for this chapter would be great as this is about the fifth attempt and the only one I felt comfortable posting! More soon and much love x
Also The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock by T.S. Elliot can be found on any poetical index website, and I really do encourage everyone to read it, it is a wonderful piece and one of my personal favourites. (I actually intend to name my own black cat that someday, though the poem reminds me of my gorgeous ginger cat over here).