AN: thank you Bellamadonna for her MAD beta skills! You are too good to me! xoxoxoxo


"For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest

Title: I Dreamed Of You

Pen name: Charmie77 and Juliamine (collab)

Existing work: (It Was Only His Baby and All I Need by Juliamine)

(Stranger Than Fiction by Charmie)

Primary Players: Jasper, Bella

"I don't know Bella, I think you're crazy...there's a reason why men and women can't be friends...the sex always gets in the way!" Rosalie chided.

"What if one of you isn't attracted to the other? " I bounced back.

"Ahhh, but that's the ass kicker isn't it? Because no man can be friends with a woman he finds attractive. He always wants to have sex with her."

"What if he finds her unattractive?" I asked piquing my interest.

"No, he pretty much wants to nail her too," Rosalie bounced back.

"Well, what if they don't want to have sex with you?"

"Doesn't matter because the sex thing is already out there so the friendship will ultimately fail - end of discussion!" Rosalie's tone brooked no argument.

"Look at Jasper and me, we are a perfect example that proves that isn't the case...We've been friends forever!" Well, at least that was mostly true. I did go through a period of time where I totally crushed on him. But that was so long ago...and I put it away where it belonged.

****Flashback****

I met Jasper Whitlock back in the 2nd grade. Even at that tender age of 8, I was a loner. It was a rare sunny day in November. I was quietly skipping rope in a corner of the play yard, when Mike Newton and his group of little boy friends eyed me maliciously. Mike had a bad habit of ruining my recess time on a regular basis. Often he would tug on my pigtails or snag the ball I was playing with. This time, he chose to simply push me. I fell to my knees and felt tears prick my eyes not only from the pain in my knee, but the embarrassment from the lingering giggles in my direction.

I was wiping a tear from my eye when a hand appeared in front of me. I looked up and met a pair of piercing blue eyes and a friendly smile.

"Let me help you up," he said as he lowered his hand to mine pulling me to my feet. "I'm Jasper… Jasper Hale."

He was my own personal angel sent from heaven, when so many boys were just plain mean to girls, Jasper was such a gentleman. He exuded southern charm and a kindness unique to him alone.

We were inseparable from that moment on. Shortly after we met, he introduced me to his sister whom I hit it off with immediately. The three of us became a close knit group of friends throughout the years.

Not much changed throughout high school. I was a wallflower who stayed within my small clique of friends and didn't really do anything that rebellious or outrageous. No piercings or tattoos that I had to hide from my parents or green hair to show the man I would not conform.

I didn't really date either, I don't know if no one noticed me because I really was rather plain: Dark brown hair and eyes, pale skin and a little skinnier than everyone else. Let's just say that boy's just weren't interested in me. I didn't exactly put any effort into attracting the opposite sex with makeup or fancy clothing. Nope, jeans and a t-shirt were my uniform.

I didn't crush on anyone either. Well, other than my little crush on Jasper, but it was just so silly. Jasper was football captain, homecoming king and, well we were best friends! He would never see me like that, plus what we had was so amazing, I couldn't risk losing him for what would have been a fling. Girlfriends come and go, but best friends are forever.

****End Flashback****

Suddenly the door flew open and Jasper ploped himself on the couch in between Rosalie and myself and he was visibly upset.

"Jas, what's the matter?" I mused.

"Ugh, I broke up with Tanya," he said with a sigh.

"Oh Jas, I'm so sorry...Tell me what happened?" I really wanted to know, he seemed so upset.

"Oh she just couldn't leave well enough alone! We were having fun and then she had to go and mention a vacation in three months she wants me to go to and it's like WOAH girl...Can't we just see how things go next week...? And that opened a whole mess!"

I sat with him and let him vent about Tanya and their relationship. The truth is he always came over after every date a little upset. He was not really as happy as you should be when you first start a relationship. He wasn't excited about seeing her again but just seemed to be going with the flow and not caring if he saw her again or not. She just wasn't the one, at least that was my opinion. Not that he believed in "The One", He called it sentimental romanticism. But I knew better.

"Jas...I need to tell you something," I said hesitantly. He looked at me with this amused expression on his face like he knew what was coming and just didn't want to hear it.

"Shoot Bells!"

"Well, you've been dating Tanya about three months now. It's not so unreasonable for her to want, or at least ask for some sort of commitment from you. This is just what you do! Anytime something gets more serious, you bail. You find a reason to duck and cover and you're gone."

The truth is the whole reason I knew we would never make it as a couple is because of this. He could never really love someone the way they deserved and that would ruin our friendship. I just couldn't bear that; I wouldn't recover. I would take what I could get from him and save myself the heartbreak!

***

"There you are, I thought you might not make it!" Charlie smiled as he waved us inside.

"Sorry, the traffic was a nightmare, a three car pileup on the side of the road...took us forever to get past it!" Jasper exclaimed, annoyance etched in his voice.

I walked in and noticed my mom was wearing her "Kiss the Chef" apron as I went up to hug her.

"Do you need any help?" I asked and a twinkle lit up in her eye as she glanced over Jasper.

"Dear heart, when are you going to just get it over with?" she whispered, nodding slightly toward Jasper.

"Oh Mom. Not again. I told you we're just friends," I said as I rolled my eyes, exhaling what seemed like the thousandth explanation I had given; as I always had to give whenever Jasper showed up at any family dinner, party, wedding or funeral.

"Uh-huh sure dear," she mused, rolling her eyes back at me. She kissed my cheek before walking over to Jasper to give him a welcoming hug.

"So good to see you again, Jasper."

"Thank you for letting me intrude on your dinner," he said graciously, hugging her in return.

"Oh please...you're family!" She kissed his cheek and slyly winked at me.

We gathered around the dinner table as Mom placed the roast in the center of the table. She glanced at me and smiled before turning toward her seat. Just as she was about to pull out her chair, Dad beat her too it.

"Baby, everything looks amazing, just like you," he cooed as he looked at her. His eyes shone with pride as if he's just seen the sunset for the first time or the man step on the moon right before him. I knew that the same feeling that my parents had for one another was out there for me, and I would never settle for anything less.

Dinner brought some great conversation. Mom asked how my school was going and of course the inevitable "So are you seeing anyone special?" which earned a sign and a forced smiled. She knew damn well I hadn't been seeing anyone, let alone anyone special. Meanwhile, Dad asked Jasper about the Mariner's and who did he think would win. My thoughts gave way and I started wondering.

Is this what it would be like to be married to Jasper and how it would feel to come home for the holidays?

As I did the dishes, I looked over in the living room to see Jasper coming towards me. I chuckled when I out of the corner of my eye I could see my parents making out in front of the TV. How very teenager-ish of them. Wouldn't that be amazing to be married almost thirty years and still love each that much that you can't keep your hands off one another?

"Do you need any help?" Jasper looked at me with hopefullness.

"I know what you're doing," I teased, narrowing my eyes in mock scorn. "You just want to get away from the lovebirds!"

He shrugged his shoulders as he began to laugh. Jasper has the most gregarious laugh I have ever heard, and it just engulfs me. I can't help but smile when I hear it.

"Ha, you caught me," he said, lowering his mouth closer to my ear. "But maybe I just wanted to spend some time with you," he paused a moment, his lips curved into a sly grin. "Alone."

I raised an eyebrow at him. That was new. It's not like he didnt get me alone enough at my apartment, but needed it here too? He lifted an eyebrow at me in response and crossed his eyes causing me to laugh so hard my side hurt. God he was a freak, but I could care less.

We arrived at my apartment about an hour later just exhausted. We flopped on my bed and watched TV and were soon fast asleep. I swear with the amount of time he spent at my apartment he might as well live here. All of a sudden I woke up to the sound of a shrieking cell phone going off on my nightstand.

"Who the fuck is calling at 3:47 AM?" I said groggily as I rubbed the sleep out of my eyes. Jasper reached for my phone and answered it for me. Within moments his face dropped. I tried my best to get the gist of the conversation, but it was impossible as he kept saying things like "Ahhm" "I See" and then finally "We'll be there."

"Who was that?" I asked, concern etched in my voice when I saw the expression on his face.

"Bella...sweetheart...that was the police," he said softly as he pulled me onto his lap and held me. His voice trembled with each syllable, I felt the panic seep into my veins. I had never seen that look in his eyes and it scared the shit out of me.

"Jas, what is it? You're scaring me," I choked out as I tried to swallow but the moisture in my mouth was gone and a lump formed in my throat.

"Bell, it's your parents," he said quietly. "I'm so sorry, Bella. They're gone." Gone? He had to be joking, but he wouldn't joke about something like that. Then he just had to be wrong! My parents couldn't be gone! We had just been with them a few hours ago! I felt the walls closing in on me and I gasped for air, struggling to find some other explanation for what he was saying.

"What do you mean…gone?" My voice was almost angry as I questioned his meaning. "What, like they took a trip or something? What the hell do you mean GONE?"

He took a deep trembling breath as he asserted himself to answer me. "Bella, honey, they were in a car accident," he said in a hushed voice as he ran his fingers through my hair trying to comfort me. "It was fatal."

"What do you... No...we just left them. Remember?" I said between gasps. Jasper looked back at me with such love and compassion.

"Yeah...I know. I'm so sorry sweetie but there was nothing they could do."

How could this be?

I remembered only bits and pieces of the next few days. I remembered Jasper was always there - waking me from my nightmares when I cried out for someone who would never hold me again.

I remembered calling relatives; hearing Rosalie on the phone with the mortuary; people bringing over, of all things, tuna casserole. And I remembered picking out an outfit for my parent's funeral. Even that seemed foreign to me and I wondered would I ever get over the fact that I no longer have parents?

Would I learn to deal with them not being here? Would memories of them fade one day as their scent did from their house? Of course I had known I'd have to bury them one day, but I never thought I'd be 24 years old and burying my both my parents at the same time.

The funeral was filled with people who meant well.

"Oh Bella dear...I am so sorry for your loss." or

"Oh Sweetie, I hope you know how sorry we are."

And my personal favorite

"Bella...I hope you know how much your parents loved you."

It just felt like I was in some kind of dream or something. Like everything was in slow motion and I was on some kind of sedative. I couldn't be in a world without my parents. I'm just too young to have to deal with this. Who was I if not Charlie and Renee's daughter? Their deaths had left a hole in my heart that would never be filled again and at that moment, I would have done anything to make it whole again even if just for a moment.

What seemed to comfort me the most were stories of Dad in boot camp or Mom being crowned at her high school prom or the people that were at their wedding sharing their memories. Ironically enough, I do remember what one person said. It was something my father told him some ten odd years before and it brought me some comfort.

"I suppose it would be nice to be remembered like that...for a little while. I wouldn't want anyone who loved me to grieve for me like that forever...but for a little while it might be nice to be remembered for something good in this world, after all isn't that what we are all here for?"

People seemed to know so much about them that I began to wonder. If I had really known them at all. They had been great parents, but that was only a small part of their life and I felt so empty after this realization.

As the days, weeks and months dragged on, those words were kept on replay in my mind. My parents were gone. Dead. I felt like I had nothing left. The pain I felt just never seem to fade. I just wanted a moment of relief, but it would never come.

Rosalie would call but I just couldn't muster enough strength to fake being okay for her. Not that she would ever ask that of me, but I just couldn't stand the pity I would get from people. I learned to put on this phony 'Bella-is-doing-just-fine' facade. Rose would come over and try to cheer me up. She brought over movies, tried to take me shopping, and we even tried taking a painting class.

I couldn't muster up the strength for school. It just became too hard to concentrate. Some days I was fine but I could never tell what day I could get dressed and move forward from the days where just changing out of my pajama's was a success. I just felt so empty and I didn't know how to stop feeling this way.

I couldn't eat nor could I sleep, as I was plagued with the nightmares of my parents burning in fire. I would wake up and could smell the burning flesh, hear them screaming as they writhed in pain. Jasper would come in and rock me back to sleep. He seemed to be the only comfort I had left in this world. I didn't have to fake anything with Jasper, he knew how I felt. He loved and lost them too.

****Flashback****

It had been about a month since I buried my parents. That seemed such an odd thing to say to be in your early twenties and be an orphan because your parents are dead. The phone would ring but I just couldn't get it.

The nights would turn into days and the days to nights. I couldn't leave the house or go to school. Hell, sometimes I couldn't muster the strength to make myself something to eat. I just didn't want to be in a world without Charlie and Renee Swan. My heart hurt so bad it was hard to breathe, the ache was inconsolable.

Suddenly I heard the door open and someone pound up the steps before my bedroom door came flying open. "That's it! You've had a month! Let's go, Bella, and join the land of the living."

It was Jasper, he had come by several times. I tried with everything I had in me to act like everyone wanted me to act; to accept the fact that my parents were gone and move on with my life. It's what they would have wanted, but I just couldn't do it. The idea that they will never meet my husband, or be at my wedding, or meet their grandchildren or die old in their beds, just made me so sad. Their fate was decided on a highway instead.

"Jasper," I rasped. "Please, not again."

With all the strength I had in me I protested, and yet it was not enough. Fighting me tooth and nail, Jasper moved in and something strange started happening. I found I could get up most days and accomplish something. In those first few days it might have been something small, but it was a task that was outside of my grief. It might have been a shower, a walk in the park, going for a drive, or seeing a movie.

****End Flashback****

Jasper had been living here a few months and I had no clue how I ever got along without him. We cooked for each other, we hung out at a local pub with Rosalie and her newest boyfriend, Emmett. He even helped me do some remodeling in the apartment. It felt like I had some of my life back and I was so greatful for it. And it was all because of Jasper.

I was in my bedroom looking over paperwork I needed to complete to go back to school when I noticed the date on the calendar. The realization of the significance of the day hit me like a ton a bricks. I was suddenly back where I had been all those months before. A floodgate of memories were released in my mind. The date was their wedding anniversary. The sobbing started and I couldn't stop the tears. Solitude is what I needed right now. I didn't want Jasper to come home and see me like this.

My sobs mixed with my moans of agony as I tried to control my volume. Suddenly I heard a soft melody playing from behind my closed door. The music drew me out of my trance, and yet I couldn't seem to stop the tears from flowing down my flushed cheeks. My door opened and the music was even louder, filling my room with its melody.

Jasper glided into my room and slowly danced toward me. He lowered his hand to mine, wrapping his warm fingers around my palm."May I have this dance?" he whispered with a smile; the smile that he knows I can't say no to.

I was reminded of my father and how he would approach my mother as he sought out a dance. I felt a smile sneak its way onto my face. I took the hand he offered as he pulled me to my feet. He slipped his hand around my waist and drew me closer to him. I laid my head on his shoulder, breathing in deeply and releasing a sigh of relief that only he could bring. He rubbed smooth circles on my back as we slowly swayed to the soft melody. I had this amazing feeling of warmth radiating throughout me and I wondered how he knew exactly what I needed.

"Jas," I whispered. "Thank you. I don't know...how—" He placed a finger on my lips halting my speech.

"Bella, you don't ever have to thank me for dancing with you," he said softly as he encircled me with a soothing hug.

A couple of months later I started to notice something different about myself; I felt a new Bella emerge. She wasn't the shy little girl that had everything in life she ever wanted. But she wasn't the withdrawn, unable-to-get-dressed-without-a-reason, Bella either. She was somewhere in the middle. Jasper and I were celebrating his new job so I made his favorite dinner and we were drinking his signature cocktail. He didn't really want to celebrate but I insisted. This is something he had wanted for years, and it's finally happening. I wanted him to know how proud of him I was.

"Jas," I said as I raised my glass in a toast. "Here is to you and your new job. May it be everything you have ever dreamed of." He smiled and winked at me as we sipped wine from our glasses.

A smile covered my face and all I could think about was what would I have done without him and I honestly didn't know. He brought me back to life and I don't know what I would have done without him. It's a scary thought to admit.

Maybe it sounded cliche, but that hole in my heart, while may never be completely healed, it was damn close! I really don't know what I would have done without Jasper's encouragements, stories, laughter, listening-ear, and kindness. I don't know how it happened but he had turned my house into something special. He made it a home. He had become home to me!

"Let's dance," he said with a smile.

"You know I don't dance," I abashedly responded.

"It's my night. And I want a dance. Come on darlin'."

We walked over to the center of the room just as the song changed. He took ahold of my waist and pulled me into him. He looked at me with that grin he knew always made me smile regardless how I was feeling. I just couldn't help but giggle. Suddenly the song started and it was At Last by Etta James, which had always been a favorite of mine.

"Did you plan this?" I asked pointedly.

He smiled and pulled me into him so that the space between us was so close that I could feel his warm, soft breath on my face. I began listening to the lyrics of the old but beautiful standard song.

At Last

my love has come along

my lonely days over

and life is like a song

Ooh, yeah, yeah

At last

the skies above are blue

My heart was wrapped up in clover

the night I looked at you

I found a dream

that I could speak to

A dream that I

can call my own

I found a thrill

to press my cheek to

A thrill that I have never known

Ohh, yeah, yeah

You smile

you smile

Ooh and then the spell was cast

And here we are in heaven

for you mine at last

As the song neared its end, he pulled back and locked his amazing blue eyes with mine. I stared back at him as my breath suddenly caught in my throat. The look on his face is something different, something I've never seen before. My body stiffened instinctively as he slowly drew me closer to him, leaning toward me and placed a sweet soft kiss on my lips. At the first touch of his lips, my body became soft and molded itself to his.

Oh god, his lips were smooth like velvet and feather light. The kiss started off chaste and innocent and caught me off guard. My body trembled as he opened his mouth to me, brushing my lower lip with his tongue. I was lost in the sensation of his lips to mine. When I opened up, he pressed his tongue inside. A soft groan emanated from his throat causing wetness to seep between my legs. Kissing Jasper was electric and I had a fleeting thought that I never wanted to stop. His kisses brought about feelings in me I never dared to hope for like electrical sparks on my arms, my neck and everywhere else he touched me.

He pulled back from my lips to gauge my reaction, his eyes boring into mine. It took me a moment to steady the rush of emotions that raced through my mind. It was like I had two different Bella's fighting for dominance in my mind: One insisting on keeping us just friends, the other saying go for it!

I closed my eyes and released a calming breath. His touch was all I needed to know this was right. I opened my eyes and nodded my head. Nothing more needed to be said.

I tucked my head into the curvature of his neck as he lowered himself enough to place his arms underneath my legs. I gasped as he lifted me up and carred me to my bedroom. We stood in my room, where we had spent many nights together. Sleeping next to Jasper was nothing new. I had done it a million times over but my body was tingling with nervousness and anticipation at that moment. His fingers ghosted along my back and landed on my waist, drawing delicate circles on my clothed flesh.

I could see his chest rise and fall with his heavy breathing as he pulled me flush against his body. He placed one hand on the back of my neck and gingerly guided my lips to his. We kissed until I was dizzy; giddy from the feelings that were coursing through my body. He smiled at me as he reached for the hem of my shirt and slowly, as if he expected me to stop him, pulled it over my head.

I was suddenly overwhelmed with emotion as I felt my eyes well up. I turned my head away from him, hoping to hide the sudden wave of tears. Unable to hide from him, he lightly touched my chin and gently turned my head toward him. The sensitivity in his eyes took my breath away.

"Bella, we can stop right now," he whispered, his eyes intense blue pools. "I don't want to do anything you don't want to do."

"I just... Jasper..." My voice was barely a whisper as I struggled for the strength to speak. "I'm scared," I muttered as I rested my head against his strong chest. My voice cracked as I continued, "You're all I have left. I can't lose you too. I'm not strong enough."

He wrapped his arms around me and held me tightly against him, our chests rose and fell in unison. He pressed a kiss to the top of my head and dropped his cheek to rest where he kissed.

"I could never leave you, Bella," his voice cracked with emotion. "You've told me often how much I mean to you," he stated softly.

I nodded my reply.

"Well, Darling, you mean even more than that to me," he whispered into my hair. "I won't hurt you, Bella. Ever."

His words were said with such conviction I felt guilty for ever thinking otherwise. Without another word, I relieved him of his shirt before laying on the bed in front of him. The vixen in me looked at him through hooded eyelids as I motioned for him to join me. Without hesitation his lips curved into a sexy smile as he lurched on the bed and snuggled his legs between my thighs. I ran my hand up his toned arm as he reached behind my back, unhooking my bra and pulling it down my arms.

I felt so exposed in front of Jasper like this. I lowered my head and my cheeks flushed. I heard a soft chuckle before I felt his index finger prop my chin up.

"You are so beautiful, sweetheart," he cooed, as his eyes looked at me with something akin to worship.

I gasped as I felt his hand caress my breast. He rained kisses along my neck and collarbone, slowly working his way toward the peak of my breast. His tongue gently languished my nipple to a tight knob. His arousal was firm against where I wanted him most.

I moaned as he pressed his hardened cock against my core, the thin layers of clothing quickly becoming an obstacle and yet barely a blockade. His erection was massive against me and I whimpered as he continued to press himself against me.

My hands were trembling with desire as I reached down and flipped open the button of his jeans and pulled down the zipper. He lifted his hips to aid me in my mission to rid him of the last of his clothing. Not to be outdone, he reached between us and removed my pants. He flashed me a sexy smirk as he hitched a finger under the elastic of my panties. My pussy tingled in anticipation as he slowly lowered my panties down my hips, past my thighs and threw them into the expanding pile of clothes on the floor. He lifted his eyes to mine as he pressed his forehead to mine and released a shakey breath.

He began kissing me again as his hand trailed past my hip in a slow almost painful movement until he reached the warmth between my thighs. He began to move along my slit before finding my aching clit, waiting to be touched. His fingers began making slow movements, gently pressing against my tender nub. I felt myself getting warmer and kissing him even more passionately than before. He took one finger and entered me with ease.

"God, Bella... You're so wet." His voice was deep with desire, causing me to get even wetter than before.

I felt that familiar feeling begin to tighten in my stomach as my climax built. I became filled with a passion I had never know before.

"Jasper..." I pleaded for more.

He picked up his pace and would not stop looking at me as I closed my eyes nearing my climax. "No, Bella look at me...I need to see you when you come." and I flipped my eyes open like a light switch and couldn't turn away from Jasper's gaze and I came in fervor and felt as if I were all nerves.

He lowered himself onto me keeping most of the weight on his elbows and I wrapped my legs around him, urging him to continue. Pressing my heels into his backside in an attempt to press him into me. He pressed his open mouth to mine as he positioned his aching cock against my wet folds. With steady pressure, he eased into me very slowly and in several long strokes he was finally fully sheathed inside me. He remained still for a moment, giving me time to stretch to make room for his size. I tightened my legs around him, holding him inside me. Our moans and heavy breathing filled the room as he began to languidly pump his hips against mine.

We worked up to a steady pace of advances and withdrawals, our kissing becoming desperate as we couldn't stop touching one another, kissing one another. The kisses turned to breathing heavily into each others mouths as our pelvises pounded into each other. I groaned with pleasure as I felt my second orgasm build deep inside me. I dug my nails into his back causing him to press harder into me, forcing his cock deeper inside me. Filling me to the hilt, the feeling was beyond pleasure, beyond relief, it felt as if we were made to fit together. I gasped loudly as my orgasm throttled my body into a trembling submission.

"Fuck, Bella," he grunted between thrusts, the sweat a solid sheen along his entire body. "God, your so fucking hot when you cum. But I'm not even close to being done with you."

His words came out as a growl as he pulled out from me and urged me to my side. I wasn't sure what he was doing but the loss of him inside me was torture. He rolled behind me, his chest flush with my back. He reached down and pulled my leg up so he could thrust his cock back into me from behind. His breath was hot and heavy on the back of my neck as he pressed wet kisses along my neck and shoulders. His breathing gave way to moans the harder he thrust. He reached his hand in front of me, pressing down on my clit and slightly pinching it. I threw my head back against his shoulder as the pleasure from his ministrations rocked through my body. The feeling of him thrusting deep inside of me mixed with him rubbing my clit was becoming too much. I felt another climax beginning to build in aching pussy and spread down throughout my toes. Sensing my orgasm, his fingers pressed circles on my clit as he thrust harder and faster inside of me. He came so forcefully that brought about my own final orgasm. I should have been embarassed for the scream that escaped my throat, but I wasn't. This was the single most intense orgasm of my life!

His cock rode out my orgasm and then slowed until the only part of him moving against me was his heaving chest. I had to swallow a few times to wet my severely dry throat, but I didn't care. I was utterly blissed out. Truth be told, in the past when I have had sex, I've not always been able to come; Jasper just made it happen three times! I turned over to face him, his eyes full of adoration as he pulled me close to him. Not wanting to move, I let sleep claim me. I slept more soundly than I had in years.

Everything now seems to good to be true! Jasper and I have been happy with each other for nearly a year now. It seems like we have been together for years, not just the short time that has actually passed. There was never any awkwardness afterwards we just seem to flow from friendship to lovers into a committed relationship. It's so strange to think of how easy everything has been. I always thought that it was going to be hard; well at least much harder than it's been.

****Flashback****

thump....thump....thump

I woke up listening to the most beautiful sounds of Jasper's heart thumping away. Then the memories of last night came flooding back to me in a rush: How we kissed, how I wanted nothing more than to be with him, how I couldn't get enough of him. I felt strong hands stroking my hair all the way down my back with such soothing effects. I turned my head and saw Jasper looking down at me adoringly.

"Hey Sweetheart." Jasper whispered.

"Um...Hi." I muttered. I knew it wasn't right but I was feeling so strange. Were we friends? Were we lovers? Was this a one-time thing? Was he wanting to bolt like he had so many other times with countless other girls?

"I think we should talk sugar..."

"Yeah, that's probably.....a good....ummmm idea." I sat up and pulled the sheet to cover my obvious nakedness. At this Jasper looked confused, or perhaps hurt, and pulled me back towards his chest.

"How are you feeling?" He asked, concern in his voice.

I wasn't sure how to answer this. I knew that last night was the best night of my life and I never felt more alive but I couldn't lose him as my friend. I hated to admit this to anyone but I needed him, not just as my friend or as my lover but I wanted the fairytale - I wanted it all.

"Ummm… well… worried actually."

"Tell me what you're worried about, sweetheart." Jasper whispered as he kissed my forehead. He seemed to take such care with every word, every moment.

"Well, I'm worried that you don't want this." I motioned between us.

"Don't want this?" he murmured as he nuzzled my neck.

"Oh Jas, You're gonna make me say it aren't you?"

Okay, I told myself, here goes. I may lose my best friend but what is life without taking a few risks.

"Jas, do you regret what we did last night?"

Jasper looked back towards me with confusion all over his face. "Bella, Why would you think that? Do you... regret last night?"

As I thought over what he was asking, it dawned on me that he is as much in the dark as I was. I had to take a leap of faith and hope that he would feel the same way. It was then I remembered a conversation I had with my mother about my so called love life and I smiled.

"Mom, how many times do I have to tell you....Jasper and I are just friends."

"Uh....huh sure dear...Just remember this....love is rare, no matter what people say it doesn't come easily and it's even harder to keep it but it's so worth it...just look at your father and I. Just promise me to leap when the moment is right."

As I snapped back into reality staring back into Jasper eyes. "Bella you are killing me here...please...just tell me."

"Ahhh well I'm scared to be honest. I don't want..." Jasper suddenly looked defeated and I realized he thought I didn't want him.

"Jas, I don't want to lose you, but… to answer your question... No... I don't regret it... not one bit!"

Jasper pulled me into his arms and huged me so deeply and it seemed to last an eternity.

"Thank God!" he exclaimed, his relief evident as he drew me even closer. I pulled back a little to look at him, realizing that he had been really worried I would reject him.

"Jas, Do you want..."

"Oh Bella, I'm so stupid! I have wanted this for...God I can't even remember how long." He leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to my mouth before continuing, "Yes. I want you, all of you!" This time he left light kisses on cheek, trailing down my jaw, ending with a brief caress under my right ear.

"I was so scared that after last night you would run away. Oh, Bella, I have loved since we were kids," he pulled back to look in my eyes once more. "I just never thought you'd want me."

Suddenly it dawned on me why it never worked out with all of those other girls. Why Jasper would always come home to me to tell me about his problems with relationships. He didn't think I wanted him as anything other than a friend and I had thought the same about him.

"Oh you are really thick headed! I have loved you since that day on the playground." I gave him a little kiss on the chin. "That day my life changed forever, and I never looked back." I leaned in and kissed him softly and sweetly on the lips and realized I could not ask for more than what Jasper gave me everyday. All of things that I ever wanted, I had found them in him and I realized how right my mother was and how she saw it all way. And in the end Mother did know best.

****End Flashback****

That was a almost year ago and we, of course, have our good days and bad days. Our first fight as a couple made me realize there is no fairytale; real love takes work. We both were screaming at one another over something as silly as the laundry. But the making up was so much fun! What we felt for one another was stronger and more intense than any other relationship I'd ever had before.

So all Jasper told me was he wanted me ready tonight by six o'clock; he had some co-workers he wanted me to meet over dinner. So of course this is the one day I get out of school late. After rushing and racing, I'm ready a few minutes past six. Jasper was frustrated with me and clearly unhappy.

"I'm sorry Jas, I couldn't help it. The lecture went long and I couldn't bail." He simply nodded. He stopped at this park and asked me to get him a coffee at this stand and I was suddenly just as frustrated with him. I informed him that we were running late and this was going to push us further back.

"Bell, I need some caffeine it's been a really long day." I relented and moved to get his coffee.

I got out of the car and started walking towards the stand. The park looked oddly familiar. The trees full of foliage and there was a forest nearby. I continued the inventory of my surroundings as my eyes found purchase on a beautiful oak bench perched in between a cluster of trees.

Someone was sitting on the bench and the familiar golden waves alerted me thatit was Jasper. As I got closer, the smile on my face grew wider when I saw what he had with him: Flowers!

He looked at me with a smile to match my own and waved me to him. Pink tulips and red roses: Oh, god, my favorite!

"Jas, we're gonna be late, what is this?" I asked as I brushed a strand of hair from his eyes.

"Read the card sweetheart," he gestured to the flowers which bore a card encased in a white envelope. I furrowed my brow as I opened the envelope. Inside was a 'Happy Anniversary' card from the florist, and all it said was Mrs. Jasper Whitlock.

I turned to Jasper, completely confused.

My breath halted in my throat as I looked over to him and saw that he was kneeling one knee in front of me. He gently placed a ring box on my lap, never breaking eye contact.

I forced my eyes to break away from his piercing stare to gaze at the open box. Inside was the most beautiful three stone diamond ring imaginable, effectively rendering me completely dumbfounded and speechless. Before he even said a word, happy tears were trailing down my cheeks.

"Bella, I have loved you since before I can remember and since this is the place where my life was forever changed, I thought this should be the place I ask you to be my wife," his voice was shaky with emotion as he held back tears of his own. "You smashed into my life and made me see all kinds of things were possible. You have brought me joy, laughter, passion, and opened my heart to a brand new world." He took hold of my hand and rubbed his thumb tenderly across my skin.

"Isabella Marie Swan, Will you do me the honour of becoming my wife?"

"Oh my god! Yes, I'll marry you!" I cried, the smile on my face set in stone; stuck there for all eternity. He leaned in and softly placed his lips on mine, sweetly laying a closed mouth kiss on me. I had to make the kiss deeper, I just couldn't let it go. He pulled away, smiling wildly as he removed the ring from its resting place, and slowly slipped on to my finger, its new forever home.

"You have made me so happy, Sweetheart." He bent his head to kiss the ring as it adorned my left ring finger. "Bella, you're my life."

We sat there and looked at each other for what seemed like forever when a thought suddenly popped in my head.

"Jas, where are we?" I asked softly, earning a soft chuckle from my love.

"Well, this is where we met 20 years ago." His eyes twinkled as he watched my face closely. "This use to be a playground for our elementary school and they turned it into a public park. I thought it was only right we take the next step of our relationship at the place we met. And if you turn around you'll see something else." I paused for a moment, still almost too overwhelmed to move. I mustered the strength and turned around on the bench and noticed a gold plaque which read:

In Loving Memory

Meeting you was fate

becoming your friend was a choice

but falling in love with you I had no control over

Mr. and Mrs. Charlie and Renee Swan

Oh my god!!!! Jasper must have had this bench dedicated to my parents.

"Jasper... What… How... Who?" I choked, the emotion I felt threatening to consume me, in a good way.

"Well let's just say, you're mom had a lot more faith in us than we did."

"You will never know how much this means to me. I love you more than life itself," the tears were a blanket of wet on my cheeks as I tried in vain to hold them back.

With that Jasper leaned in and kissed me deeply and passionately. This moment, above all others, I knew our life would be filled with hope, faith, love, trust, friendship and passion. Of course we would have our ups and downs as no relationship is perfect and takes a lot of hard work, as my mother was always reminding me. He brought me back to life in more ways than one and somehow we found our way to the other side.