A/N: Okay, it sucks. I know. I felt really guilty for not updating, and got over my aversion to this story, and wrote the chapter, to get it out of the way, so I can start on the real story. This is more of a filler chapter. I hope the dinner lives up to your expectations! Love you, Pigeon.
Alice Point Of View
We sat down at the table for two, Jasper sitting on a mismatching chair. The table was beside a large screen door, leading out to a small backyard absolutely full with greenery. I tried to imagine what it would look like in the summer, when the trees were bearing fruit, and the flowers were in full bloom, but it was so beautiful already, I couldn't picture how it look better.
We had dished out the Mexican food in the kitchen, and grabbed a variety of juice from the kitchen. None of the dishes matched, but they all fit together perfectly. It was all so different from the formal dinners I had at my house, Esme forcing me to sit at the long dining table, and eat a three course dinner even when we were the only ones home.
My quesadilla had only cheese and green onions in it, in comparison to the chicken at red peppers added to Jasper and Loretta's food. Jasper had whispered to his mother than I was a vegetarian, and she didn't put any on mine. I wondered if I had said that in Psychology, but I couldn't remember a time when we talked about eating habits. He then told her a few minutes later that I was allergic to red peppers. I had no idea how he knew that. I had most certainly never told anyone outside my family, except for Bella, about my allergies.
I pretended to not notice, vowing to myself to ask him about that later.
Loretta chattered on about her day, recounting her troubles and her victories in such a comedic way, that I couldn't help but giggle. Jasper laughed at all the right moments, somehow finished eating each bite by the time allotted for laughter. I was always caught off guard, laughing spasmodically, with my mouth full of gooey cheese, or sour lemonade.
Loretta finished telling us about her annoying kleptomaniac employee, who continually stole the stapler from her till, which was terrible when she had to staple together receipts, and how she retaliated today, taking his apron, and hiding it behind the cans of marmalade, made by a woman who lived down the street.
She turned to Jasper, who's face was still twisted into an appropriate smile, as I choked on a tortilla chip. "How was your day, sweetie?"
He contemplated the question for a moment, before answering, "It was decent. I got my lucky coin back, Alice had stolen it." He pointed at me, and I turned red.
"I didn't mean to! I didn't know it was yours!" I cried, swallowing my food quickly. Loretta started to laugh, and Jasper smiled.
"I know, don't worry." He said, and I immediately felt embarrassed. "I also had spaghetti for lunch, and Alice and I got a good head start on our project."
Loretta nodded approvingly, and then turned to me, with the same inquisitive expression. "How was your day, Alice?"
"It was fine," I immediately responded, as I did whenever my mother asked the same question.
"And…" she asked, prodding me for more information. I thought about it for a while.
"I suppose it was pretty good. I had ice cream and carrots for lunch." I said, recounting. Loretta's eyes sparkled, unlike the disapproving look my mother would have given me.
"That sounds delicious. No wonder you were so hungry," she said, gesturing to my now empty plate. I blushed again, cursing myself. I never blushed, but I was continually turning red today.
"It was very good," I said, severely understating the dinner.
Jasper finished the last bit of food on his plate, and agreed, "Yeah, it was great, Mom."
Loretta looked down at her half full plate, and laughed at herself. "I guess I was talking so much, I forgot to eat. Well, no use having you guys watch me eat. Jasper, please put the dishes in the sink, and pull the pie out of the oven."
He nodded, standing up, and grabbing my plate and cup before I could protest. "Oh no, let me help," I said to his retreating back, as he walked through the arch that lead to the kitchen.
"Stay here with me," Loretta said, "Guests don't have to do dishes."
She leaned forward conspiratorially, "Just so you know, you are the first person Jasper has brought home since we moved here from Texas." She told me, looking at me with one eyebrow raised. "In fact I wouldn't be surprised if you were the first person he's talked to, besides me, for the last two years."
Surprised, I thought back to Jasper at school. It was true that he was always alone when I saw him, but I never thought he only spoke at home. I couldn't imagine life without talking to the people in my life.
She continued, leaning back into her chair. "We moved here for my job, and because Jasper had a cousin here, but he never seemed to reach out the way I hoped he would. Do you know Rosalie Hale?" She asked.
"Yes," I said. Rosalie was one of the chosen ones, the popular people that I tried to never pay attention to, but could never go through a day without hearing a new piece of information about her. She was dating the resident jock, a boy who was bigger than most of the teachers in the school, never mind the students.
"She's Jasper's cousin. I had hoped they would reconnect, but Jasper has never told me anything about her from school." I was surprised. Besides blond hair, and the willowy stature, they had almost nothing in common. Rosalie was worshipped, Jasper was unknown.
I must have displayed my shock on my face, but she moved on. "I'm just happy he's found a friend in you, Alice. I really hope that you guys don't grow apart after this project is over. I don't want to see Jasper alone."
At that, Jasper entered the room again, bearing three plates, three saucers, and a golden apple pie. He sat it down in the center of the table, the overwhelmingly good smell of the baked apples filling my nose. He placed down the mismatched plates, and noticed his mother's untouched food.
"What were you talking about?" He accused her quickly. She shrugged, opening her kohl rimmed blue eyes wide.
"Nothing, really," She said, a little too innocently. He glared at her for a moment, and then took her plate away from her. "Hey!" She called after him, but he was gone.
She looked at me sheepishly, before he returned, bearing three mugs of a steaming beverage. I quickly spread out the plates, and the saucers, and he carefully set down the drinks on the corresponding saucers.
He sat down at his seat, and glared once more at his mother, before saying, "That is a vanilla cappuccino, laced with extra sugar, topped with cinnamon and the blood of a pigeon."
Loretta looked at me quickly. "He's kidding. He has a weird sense of humor." I carefully took a sip and was amazed at how good it tasted.
"Yum," I said cheerfully, looking up at his face. He was watching me, his blue eyes intense, in a way I had never seen before. I smiled at him, and he closed his eyes and shook his head slightly, before returning the smile.
Loretta coughed conspicuously, and then reached in between us to cut the pie. "Thanks to you, Jasper, this is all I get for dinner now." She said, breaking the silence.
"It's your own fault," he said, holding out his plate to get the first piece. But Loretta put it on my plate instead. She then cut another piece, and served it to herself. She put the knife down, and began to eat. Jasper pouted playfully, catching my eye, and making my heart soar. I felt a giggle try to escape, and looked down shyly, taking a bite out the pie.
It was so good. Everyone ate silently, even Loretta, finding the pie better than even conversation. I looked up, chewing on a bite of pie, to see Jasper staring at me intently, as if he was trying to figure something out. I met his gaze, but he didn't look away. Neither did I. Trapped in a conversation of eyes, I tried to decode what he meant by his stare.
Again, Loretta noticed, and broke the silence. "This pie is really quite good. I have to thank you Jasper, for taking away my dinner, because now I have enough room to eat another piece."
He looked at her, and smiled fondly, and I looked down at my plate again, as Loretta cut herself another slice. I thought about Jasper as I ate. If I really was the first person he had talked to since moving here, what could that mean? I promised myself to become friends with Jasper, instead of focusing on turning what he had into a relationship. It would be much better for Jasper to have someone to count on, than someone to impress.
I would sacrifice my own feelings for him, hiding them for as long as I could.
I looked up at him again, catching him looking at his mother with sparkling eyes. He had never looked like this at school, his emotions always hidden, his face always beautiful, but empty.
He looked at me, happiness coloring his face, a smile gracing his lips, and I felt a pang in my chest. I wanted to be the reason for Jasper's happiness, I wanted to be the one person he could fully be himself with.
He took a bite of apple pie, as his mother hypocritically chided him for having a second piece, laughter etched in the atmosphere, causing everything to seem like harmless teasing. I took a sip of the hot coffee and Jasper caught my eye. He grinned like we were keeping a secret, as Loretta continued her lecture on healthy eating, reaching for another piece, and I grinned back. I saw no reason why we could not become, at the very least, friends. For now.
Jasper had given me a ride home, driving in his mother's old, beat up van. Lip gloss, blotting tissues and empty packages of nicotine gum were scattered on the ground, the only thing that seemed Jasper-y was the music being played loudly through the crappy speakers.
Check yes Juliet
Kill the limbo
I'll keep tossing rocks at your window
There's no turning back for us tonight.
I joined in for the chorus, singing lightly to the window, unable to help myself. Whenever I played this song in my room at home, I would jump on my bed, and scream it loud, pretending to be a part of the band, for at least a few seconds.
Lace up your shoes
Ay oh, ay ohh
Here's how we do:
Run baby, run.
Don't ever look back
They'll tear us apart
If you give them the cha-
Jasper looked over at me, and I broke off. His expression was incredulous.
"You know this band?" He asked, his blue eyes open wide with almost shock.
I nodded. "Yeah, they are one of my favorites." He turned to face to road again, the song continuing to play.
"Me too." He said quietly, his face clouded.
Forever will be
You and me
You and me
You and me.
We reached my house, and he slowed to a stop at the edge of the driveway. He took off his seatbelt, and walked around to open my door. I had finally undone my seatbelt with clumsy fingers before that point, saving myself from embarrassment, if he had to wait for me to get off my seatbelt while standing with the door open.
I stepped out, attempting to be graceful, and we walked up the short path to my house, much larger and more formal than Jasper's was. We stopped at the door, and I reached for the handle.
"Thank you very much for letting me stay for dinner, Jasper." I said formally, my previous ease with him completely dissipated.
He smiled, and I saw a hint of the Jasper I had seen at the dinner table. "You are indubitably welcome, Alice." He said, mocking my prim tone. I smiled shyly up at him.
"I'll see you tomorrow?" I asked, my hand enclosing the door knob.
He looked at me for a moment, seeming to hesitate before answering. He took a deep breath. "Yeah, I'll see you then."
Then he turned and started to jog away. I opened the door, and closed it behind me, hearing the roar of the van come to life, and the music start to play again, starting a new song.
It's our time to shine through the down
Glorified by what is ours
We've fallen in love
We've fallen in love
It was the best idea I ever had
Esme came into the room, as I placed down my bag. She took in my confused expression, and walked up to me tenderly.
"How was it?" She asked, smiling softly. I gave her a quick hug before responding.
"It was fine." She seemed content with that answer, and started to hover away, probably going to the kitchen to look up some obscure recipe.
"Jasper's mom is a very good cook." I called to her retreating form. "She might even give you a run for your money."
Esme turned around, and I continued. "Their house is very pretty. The garden is small, but full of all the types of plants you can imagine. Jasper's mother is named Loretta, and she's very nice, and likes to tell stories."
Esme smiled fondly at me, and said "That's nice," before going back to the kitchen.
I sighed, and went up two flights of stairs, to my sister's bedroom. I knocked on the door, and there was no reply. I opened it, to see an explosion of yellow, teal and clothing. My sister wasn't there as usual, most likely out with friends instead.
I crept into my bedroom, and grabbed my navy and silver phone, dialing Bella's number from memory.
She picked up before Charlie did, and cheerfully chirped into the phone, "Hello Alice!"
"How did you know it was me?" I asked suspiciously.
"Oh, I didn't. If it was someone else, I would have just hung up anyways."
"Wonderful," I said.
"What's wrong?" She asked, picking up on my tone.
"Just… I don't understand Jasper. He sometimes acts like he really likes me, and other times he doesn't. He just ran away from me just now."
"Hmm." She pondered. "He's being Hot 'N Cold!" She said excitedly.
I sat silently for a few seconds. "What?" I asked.
"You know, like that song from the girl that likes to kiss other girls."
Again, I was silent for a few seconds.
"Come on! You have to know this!' Bella cried, "Like: You're hot and you're cold, you're up and you're down, you're wrong when I'm right, you're black and I'm white…" She trailed off uncertainly.
"What?" I asked again.
"Maybe those aren't the right lyrics," She said after a few more seconds.
"Okay." I said.
"Well, he's a love bipolar." She conceded, her tone suggesting that she had infinite knowledge.
"Okay." I said.
"Oooh, Ali, guess what happened to me after school!" She said, happiness coloring her tone.
Without waiting for me to respond, she prattled on about Edward, and how he was pulled over for speeding by her father, and how his father phoned their house, protesting the rules under which the giving of the ticket had been instigated, his father repeating lines said by Edward who was behind him, unbeknownst to the fact that the phone was picking up his voice too.
She then continued to talk about how she ran into him at her locker, and also after school, until it began to seem that one of them must have been stalking the other, for them to run into each other so many times.
I let her voice tune out, until it was just a background noise, leaving me alone, again, with my thoughts of Jasper.
A/N: The songs that I used are Check Yes Juliet by We The Kings, and A Box Full Of Sharp Objects by The Used. Epic songs, you should check them out. This story has been nominated for the best all human for the Twilighter Awards. The link's on my profile. Go vote for me! And I posted a new story called Finding Freedom, go check it out if you haven't already :)