Stephanie Meyer owns Twilight. I will bring in a few new characters, but only to add to characters in a world she owns. I don't own a Texas Ranger or a Long, Tall, Texan. I am enjoying writing this story.
"Well, I'm a Long, Tall, Texan
I enforce justice for the law (He rides from Texas to enforce the law)
When people look at me, they say
O Lawd, O Lawd, is you the law"
"Long Tall Texan – Henry Strzclecki (Lyle Lovett)"
If I told anyone who knows me, who grew up with me, why I chose UT-Austin, they'd laugh. That was my secret and I have never told anyone. Ever.
I went to Washington State for my undergrad work, to make Mom, Phil, and my dad, Charlie, happy. I didn't want to go to school in Arizona because I knew Mom would want me home; not enough freedom. So I compromised; Washington State was far enough away from Charlie that I could get the benefits of not living at home and was close enough that my folks were happy.
I wouldn't trade that time for anything; it's where I met my closest friends. I insisted on Texas for grad school and though they thought it was odd, they never questioned it. I was more than surprised, happily, when they all decided to join me in Texas. They said it was a chance to live a little before life took over. We all applied and were accepted to UT-Austin. So, Alice Cullen and her brother Edward, brothers Zach and Emmett McCarty, and Sammi Black all packed up their lives to move with me, Bella Swan, to Austin, Texas. Edward and Sammi started dating their freshman year and were going to get married after they finished grad school. Alice and Zach had been dating for about a year, so there was no way she would leave without him, and Emmett was going anywhere we did so he wouldn't miss out on any fun.
Alice and Edward's parents, Esme and Carlisle, bought a house for us to live in when we were juniors, they loved that we were so close and we spent all of our time together anyway. So, when we told them that all of us were moving to Austin, they sold that house and bought one close to the university for us. One of the benefits to being friends with Alice and Edward - when you treat them like family, they return the favor. It took me a lot of getting used to, but now I know better than to argue. All they want is for us to be happy and safe. And they love hugs and thank you's.
The house was huge with six bedrooms, just in case the couples didn't want to stay coupled, they wouldn't have to move back to Forks, or find an apartment. No stress living is what they called it. As it is, we have the two extra rooms set up as study rooms. Esme took care of all the decorating and made sure there was a play room complete with dart board, pool table, and a fully stocked bar. She knew we'd still go out to bars, but this entertainment area would keep us off the roads most of the time. Well, that was her plan at any rate.
I had asked Alice to help me get a nice wardrobe for my days as a grad student. I need my professor's to take me seriously and slacker attire would not cut it. The little shopping fairy was more than happy to lend a hand and Carlisle's credit line. Some of the clothes she slipped in were a little racy for my taste, but she insisted that I'd look 'hot' and serious.
So here I am, my second week of school in one of Alice's Hot and Serious outfits. She gave in on the sandals instead of pumps, thank goodness. I would never make it across campus if I had to hoof it in heels, and even in sandals, I still had trouble. As if on cue, my notebook slipped and fell as I turned the corner. Of course, just as I reached down to pick it up; a gust of wind blew my skirt up to my shoulders. Great! Now the world can see that Alice made me buy cute panties, too. Out of instinct, I squealed, only attracting more attention, I'm sure. As I stood up to straighten my skirt, my notebook was handed to me. Mortified and blushing almost painfully, I followed the arm to its owner. Oh. My. God.
"Thank you" I muttered.
"You're very welcome, ma'am." Adonis' southern drawl said, with a sweet smile "Can I carry your books to your next class?"
"What?" Did he really just ask to carry my books? Is he for real? Blue eyes, curly blond hair... a badge? Oh my, this keeps getting better.
"Sorry, ma'am, you seem a bit flustered and I hoped I could be of assistance." If he hadn't been wearing his silver 'sergeant' badge -a RANGER! - I would have taken longer to agree.
"Oh, okay then, thanks. Again. I'm Bella." I watched the sweet smile broaden as he reached for my books and introduced himself; "Jasper Whitlock, at your service, Miss Bella."
I just left lunch with a friend on campus when I saw the cutest little ass wrapped in a sweet pair of blue boy-shorts. The squeal made me laugh out loud and run to her side. I swear that blush made it all the way from her face to her ass. I picked up and handed her the notebook while she recovered some of her composure. When she turned those brown doe-eyes on me, I was hooked.
"Thank you" she stammered. Not from around here, I thought, but a sweet voice.
So I laid on the drawl "You're very welcome, Ma'am", with a little nod of my head. Too bad I wasn't wearing my hat, or I'd have tipped it for her. That always goes over well, with a little wink. I held off on the wink.
"Can I carry your books to your next class?"
"What?" she looked a bit shocked and I thought I'd messed up – fix it!"
"Sorry ma'am, you seem a bit flustered and I hoped I could be of assistance." She hesitated a moment and glanced at my badge. I was never more proud of that silver star! I hadn't been a Ranger very long and I was damn proud of being one at last, but when she looked back at me and said yes with her eyes so wide, I was walking on air. Being a Ranger definitely had its perks.
"Oh, okay then, thanks. Again. I'm Bella."
Bella… was her name ever an understatement. Aphrodite would have fit her better, but I'll think about that later.
"Jasper Whitlock, at your service, Miss Bella". I drawled the sentence out as long as I could without sounding too much like a hick, and wishing for my hat again. Her blush made her look so sweet, it made me want to protect her. That's and odd feeling. I hope her class is on the other side of campus so I can spend more time with her. I took her books and started following her lead.
"So, how long have you been in Texas, Miss Bella?"
"I didn't know I was that obvious, Jasper." She raised an eyebrow at me. So sexy. "I've been here about three weeks. My friends and I got settled in before the semester started and we've been learning our way around Austin. How long have you been in Texas, Jasper?"
Oh, she's cute and playful. This I like!
"I was born and raised in Midland and have been in Austin for about a month. So I guess we're both getting the lay of the land." She smiled the most beautiful smile I've seen. So genuine, so open, innocent. Is it too forward to ask for her number already, after five minutes?
"So, this is my building" Shit! We were here already. "Thank you so much for walking me here, Jasper. I do appreciate the company, and the help. My friends and I are going to go out on Thursday. Since you're getting to know the area, too, maybe you'd like to join us?"
Holy Shit – did she just ask me out? YES!
"Miss Bella, I'd love to join you and your friends. I'll give you my cell phone number so you can let me know what your plans are. I'd be happy to meet you out, or pick you up, as you please." I gave her my card with my personal cell on the back. I don't have trouble meeting women usually, but not women like her, and this was just too easy.
Was it the badge?
Who cares man, enjoy it!
Yeah, you're right, enjoy it.
"I'll call you Wednesday to let you know our plans, Jasper." And she turned to go into the building. I, however, ran as fast as I could to my truck. I was late getting back to the station.
On the drive back I thought about sweet Bella; that tight little ass wrapped in blue; those beautiful brown eyes; that long brown hair blowing around her heart-shaped face; how she said my name. She asked me out! Damn, I love a confident woman. I only had to wait two days for her call, if she calls. She'll call, right? She asked me… she'll call. I hope nothing comes up at work so I can go out Thursday. I better check my schedule with the Chief.