"For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest

Title: Caught Up in the Silence

Pen name: RAEcouter

Existing work: N/A

Primary Players: Jasper and Alice

Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. No infringement intended.

To see other entries in the "For the Love of Jasper" contest, please visit the C2: www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/community/For_the_Love_of_Jasper_Contest/72564/


A/N: Endless praise and thanks goes to lovesfool87, my brilliant beta and wonderful friend – your observations inspire my best, darling! And Vi0lentSerenity for sharing her Jasper love, reading this over and over and investing in me - and what I'm creating - every day! I love my little, random penguin!

Summary: A mute, a mystery, a mania; he was incapable of leaving her silence unanswered any longer. "For the Love of Jasper" O.S. Contest Entry. J/A; AU/AH/Slightly OOC; M for a Not-So-Hushed Hello.


"… But I swear, it was a penguin, and it attacked me right underneath the stop light on Main Street!"

"Why were you in the middle of the street at three in the morning, douche bag? And no effing way did you see a penguin …"

From my truly inane placement in the cafeteria table hierarchy, I watched as she accidentally stabbed her thumb with a standard issue plastic fork. Wincing in sympathy, I wondered if even the tiniest sound had escaped while she experienced such obvious, skin piercing pain. I was too far away to know for sure, but if history was the determining platform, Alice Brandon hadn't made a peep.

The dark-haired mystery, who so frequently captured every inch of my attention, never created noise in any form or fashion – ever. Not a single clattering footfall could be caught echoing from her shoes meeting linoleum, no startled scream or enthusiastic squeal slipped involuntarily when surprised in the hallway, hell I doubt she'd ever so much as coughed publicly. Words themselves lost any meaning, it seemed, when she was near. As far as mutes went, Alice was a pro.

Rumors flew, theories were tested and failed; she wasn't a freak show or ignored. Alice just was. Silently.

Slowly the pained digit was drawn upwards into the safe haven of warmth between her pink lips, soothing what I'd imagine was a miniature, dull bladed cut. Since Alice herself was fairly "miniature," perhaps it could be considered a normal sized wound, but whatever … I didn't like the fact that she was hurt. I also thought seriously about stabbing my own finger just so I might seek refuge in her welcoming, quiet mouth as well.

Before I could fully get lost in that daydream sequence a distant bell rang, and I automatically followed the herd in crumpling up my brown bag and slumping off towards fifth period. Wishing I had worn a belt, as I stuffed my hands deeper into my worn jean's pockets and simultaneously clutched both fists over my hipbones so I didn't lose them, I moved through the corridor leisurely. Losing my buddies as I patiently dawdled, I worked to balance not breathing down her neck and coming as close as possible to Alice's narrow shoulders and side slung messenger bag, while she too moved in the direction of our shared class.

Seeking her out like this was a random habit of mine - random only by way of painstaking self-control. I'd hover nearby every single moment if it wouldn't get me saddled with a restraining order. Sadly, only every once and a while could I hope to get within Alice's personal space like this, ears trained, just … listening; possibly smelling as well, but that I couldn't explain away to myself in the name of research or the quenching of curiosity. Sniffing this puzzling girl and inhaling what had to be warm cinnamon was just plain weird, creepy even.

Jasper Whitlock was no creeper, but I was dying to hear something – anything; only then would it be satiated, my wonder over this enigmatic girl.

Like she heard my inner excuses, or intuited my purposeful presence in the cram-packed hallway, Alice's expressive eyes trailed up from their natural level at my chest, past my shoulders and locked with my own disbelieving gaze. They weren't exactly what I'd call "windows to her soul," but looking at Alice and having her return said attention was new. It was also quite unnerving, but I didn't want it to end; though it did and far too quickly.

All within a single breath she'd dropped our stare, but not before I realized what she'd observed on the descent: my pants, ridiculously slung and falling in such a way not even the hem of my shirt met the lazy belt loops. At the onrush of embarrassment for being such a slob, and having my first actual interaction with the owner of my every fascination undoubtedly cheapened by it, I quickened my pace.

Once stoically seated – having gathered nothing but my own blush from that foray into stalker territory – I let any learning and lesson that filled the boring classroom slip in one ear and out the other. Trying to get a grip and quell the same old inquiries riddling my mind - as well as the newly acquired questions that actually capturing her nonexistent attention brought about - left me wishing I could just turn around and look at her.

I'd always been able to let it go in the past. Sitting pretty much alone in the crowd of "Triple Threat" goons at lunch had always left me with plenty of thinking time, and until I noticed her it'd been a fairly sane stream of consciousness. Now all that filtered through anymore were questions like: Does she talk to anyone? Does she actually discourage interaction or have things been silent for so long everyone assumes that's how she prefers it? What does her voice sound like? Is it high and breathy or low and full? Does she hum to herself when no one is listening? …

Originally, I'd found myself plagued by the "should I/shouldn't I" dance. Should I watch her as she eats her lunch or give her privacy? Should I hope she sees or get fucking realistic? Should I be so enamored by the moment in the future when I might hear her speak or accept that it will never, ever happen? Each of those became irrelevant questions the moment they were conceived, though, as I'd almost immediately lost the will to help myself, to preserve any dignity or rational. So now, day in and day out, my gaze would inevitably wander over and I'd challenge her to look up, welcoming the thrill of imagining what her first words to me would be and just how they'd sound in my ears.

Currently, though I shared the same class space with Alice, I would have to look behind me to actually see her and after the encounter we'd just shared - no matter how minute - I was going mad over the possibility of her eyes opening to mine again. Would the edges crinkle if I could get her to smile? Would she touch my arm? Would that be enough of a 'hello' for me?

And it always came back to this, the most important question of all: If I talked to her would she talk back? I couldn't help but wonder how I'd react to such disappointing resistance if she didn't.

At the bell, I moved to return my borrowed textbook to the cupboard in the back. As I went, my eyes sifted through the shuffling students and landed on Alice's empty desk. I remembered how she'd arrived just after me and stayed throughout the period, reinforcing that she had indeed been here just a moment ago, and quickly looked back towards the doorway hoping to see her before she successfully escaped. Instead of finding her caught up in the flock of exiting students, I observed Alice from behind as she engaged with a chattering Mrs. Tenklay. Dropping the book on a pile, I tried unsuccessfully to move quickly through the last vestiges of Health Studies. Before I could reach her, though, Alice ended the conversation and became just another in the rush to move on. Struck by complete disbelief, my mind tried to process what it had just seen, but all I was left with after my infatuated hour of waiting was another fucking question: Did I really just see Alice Brandon say goodbye to a teacher but was five feet short of actually hearing the words?


I'd been peering at only the lunch room clock for the last eight minutes telling myself it was possible to refrain from watching her; that her silent sandwich noshing and effervescent gazes out into the green, wet day wouldn't bring me closer to her no matter how intently I scrutinized. So I willed myself to refuse even one cursory glance around the large, fluorescently lit room because I was fully aware of just how weak a man I was. I'd even attempted to bullshit with the guys, but when what felt like ten minutes turned out to be an impossibly long two, my eyes didn't seem to function without monitoring my progress first hand. Thus the clock staring and what could only be described as "new realms of pathetic."

At that final straw in my show of strength – what was now a rapidly approaching display of total avoidance fail – the seal on her home packed chips opening would've been a welcomed noise. With such a desperate thought I knew I'd lost my mind completely, so I released my vision from the confines of "self control" and tore towards her, hands brushing my stray blond hair out of the way along with all fear.

Yet with each fallible step, my limbs began to ring with disbelief over my intended destination. In less than twenty seconds I'd be sitting across from those gray eyes I couldn't stop fantasizing about. As a matter of fact, I'd soon have to look her in the eyes instead of openly gaping at the tight white t-shirt, which she only unzipped to expose during lunch and would now be on full display, tightly stretching places. Worst of all, I knew the entire time I'd be fucking dying for her to just … say … something. And if she did, I could be free of all this craziness. If I wanted to be, that is.

Though more anxieties formed, I had no time to process them, because without warning my steps were clapping sharply one second and halting the next. My inner blur of anticipation and nerves froze along with my body, and I swung purposefully onto the bench directly in front of hers. Instead of those eyes peering up at me, however, I was left looking at Alice's profile as she continued to focus her attention outside.

Horror struck, I realized that not once had I ever considered what I'd say if ever I found myself in this situation. Never. Every thought had been focused on her; will she, won't she, volume, pitch, vocabulary. Somewhere along the way I'd forgotten myself, which might have been a positive attribute if I'd just realized I was royally plan-less, move-less, fucking word-less before being stuck like this. An idiot.

No, I though, shaking my head slightly, deflecting the cowardly panic and remembering I was a leader. I fucking led things all the time, talked to groups of people. Crowds didn't scare me; strategic planning and perseverance towards a goal were permanently programmed inside my asinine seventeen-year-old wiring. I was a dude fully capable, but this single girl, fragile and mirthfully unassuming, had me beat. Now it was all about what I'd do or say.

That was so not supposed to be the focus here.

At the root of everything, I knew I wanted to understand this beautiful girl, solve her mystery, get my mind and motives back. Move on. The alternatives listed failure – never actually speaking to her - or possibly an unstable friendship – something I didn't know if I could settle for anyway. Sitting before her indifference now helped me see that what I'd been after would have to be gifted to me, entrusted even, and probably only after a show of good faith on my part. So, I gave; previous focus be damned.

"Hey, Alice, isn't it?" She twisted a sapphire ring that circled her pointer finger, transfixed by it; almost as if I hadn't sat down, exactly as if no greeting had been spoken.

"We've been in classes together forever but never really met …" And nothing. Just silence, which was nothing new specifically. Never the less, the panic was creeping back in. Not because I was worried about attracting a crowd, truthfully everyone lived pretty self-absorbed lives around here as far as I could always tell; no, I was freaking out just below the surface of my skin because I couldn't screw this up. I mean, how many first introductions can a person make? Yeah, that would be exactly one, and if she didn't respond did that mean I should return tomorrow? How gay did that make me? How embarrassingly obsessive would I be then?

So, after waiting and searching every inch of her for any indication that she knew I was even alive, I leaned in toward her relaxed frame and heard my voice drop out of involuntary need; "My name is Jasper, by the way."

A bit of time passed, but I didn't sit back. I refused to drop my eyes. Almost too fascinated by how tiny her ears were, I might have missed the turn of her gaze if it weren't for the amazing length of her eyelashes, 'cause yeah, that shit captivated me as well. The feathery lashes fluttered and then there were her eyes - those eyes – looking straight on, challenging my own.

I panted out, as she smoothed her lips and the slight smack resounded like an epic Shakespearean monologue in my ears. Almost better than words that tiny noise was, because it was wet and her tongue had darted out slightly and there had been the faintest bit of licking. As I memorized her lips, my peripherals took in her reaction and I'd swear on the motherfucking three months of time spent waiting for this moment it was positive. No annoyance, no disgust or revulsion present whatsoever.

So, though she'd gone back to business as usual just a second later, I returned the next day. And the day after. I kept right on talking, and she seemed perfectly content to simply watch as I yammered on. I found myself just thankful she was no longer looking away.

On day five she smiled; on day nine she moaned into the chocolate dessert I'd brought and insisted she try. Faint and low and over so quickly I thought it was perhaps a borrowed sound bite right out of one of my fantasies; I offered her more cake but that initial response had been unique. Or phantom.

Away from Alice I inquired where I could, and decided she was most certainly capable of conversing. Apart from the day I saw her with Mrs. Tenklay, I knew she had a cell phone. I'd seen it pressed to her ear. Who answers calls but doesn't talk to the person on the other end? Texts - totally void of speaking; calls - not so much. Plus, she wasn't deaf; no one signed to her or for her in any of the classes we shared. I was also absolutely positive Alice understood what I was saying when we spent time together each day, because the smiles had become more frequent; after that first little grin I'd stepped up the funny. Really, the whole concept was killing me though, because if she could speak why wouldn't she? None of it made any sense to me, and with each passing day I was so concerned with screwing it all up that my gnawing desire to learn every emotional detail about her was getting harder to suppress. The instinct to jump over the plywood barrier between us and investigate the physical details, however, was no longer being concealed well at all.

Presently, it had been two full weeks since I first sat opposite Alice Brandon, willing her to say hello back. I still hadn't received one word in response to my gentlemanly company, but I had been given assurances. I truly believed Alice enjoyed my companionship. Sometimes she'd bring me baked treats and just the day before I'd unwrapped a gift box containing a deep blue, handmade scarf. My response had been, "It is getting cold out," and she'd nodded along, circling her feet around mine. As our body heat coursed between us, it dawned on me that every single time there might have been an opportunity for Alice to interject or respond I'd completed the thought for her. Instead of asking her if she made it before thanking her and mentioning the cold I just stole all that needed to be said, dying for her to get on with the interactive portion of the hour.

Never asking questions or pressuring her had begun as the right thing to do, in my mind; after all, I was the intruder at this lunch table. Now, however, I was doing it out of fear that the touches and sweet smiles meant only for me would vanish; that the only bit of herself that she'd willingly shared would be ripped away. I didn't want to, but I needed to get on with it if we were ever going to be better than this. Yesterday had been my limit, I knew, and today would need to be the mark of a fresh tactic.

As I took my spot across from her, grinning while she watched my body settle into the seat, I knew I needed to get my mind wrapped around what should have been accomplished here fourteen days ago. Alice didn't deserve to be coddled. She was anything but shy, that much I knew. How I'd gotten so far off the mark of needing to hear her was understandable. After escaping into our little lunchtime ritual for two, with her eyes and ears drinking down everything I had to offer, she'd become real; she'd stepped outside the bounds of the object of my obsession and truly transformed.

Alice was radiant and so electrically sexy it was no wonder I'd gotten this off track. In the face of her honey lips and smoky eyes, long neck and petite shoulders I only wanted to blather on while taking in the skin at the very point of her v-neck shirt. I wanted to ruminate on whether her leg brushing mine under the table was intended to keep me there, since she'd yet to actually ask me to stay. I was willing to forfeit all else for one silly enough statement that would make her lips part wide and have those white teeth gleaming happily back at me.

Instead of stumbling into my own traps again, I nervously reached a hand out beneath the cover of our table and let just my fingertips graze along the hollow of her jeans-clad knee; the one she'd purposefully pressed into mine the instant I'd sat down. A small mewl sprung from her as her leg shook slightly under the faint pressure of my hand. In her responsiveness, I was sure I'd found heaven.

"Hello, Ali." Waiting two beats past our normal starting place I pressed forward, gulping down the lump in my throat that was purely a result of her quaking body and had nothing to do with the fact that I was chancing everything we'd established for the uncertain pursuit of more.

"I have a question for you," I started, carefully but with hushed purpose, "when will you say 'Hello' back to me?"

Besides blinking rapidly, Alice remained as she was without added expression. If she was contemplating my words, I had no idea, but she definitely unfolded her legs closer to mine. I took that as a damn good sign. Calmly, she turned and rummaged in her bag for what I realized was a pen the moment she uncapped it and reached for my arm. With intent, Alice's fingers held my wrist, unbuttoning my shirtsleeve, and touching my skin as much as she probably fucking could, rolled it to the elbow.

She was writing and then she was handing me back the arm that I had no intention of accepting; it looked better in her hands than beside my body anyway. It dawned on me that this was actual progress; she'd written to me actual words … "What exactly do you want me to say?"

Though I was generally a pretty selfish bastard, in this one thing I had very low expectations. What I wanted and what I was willing to accept were located in different stratospheres, so instead of pushing my luck I went for basic.

"Just a 'Hello,' Alice."

Her head cocked as she expressed her equivalent to "That's all?"

"I'll take whatever I can get, really. 'Hey' or 'Hi;' I'm rather partial to 'Howdy' myself."

Her eyes burned instead of dancing with mirth, as I attempted to be playful but failed completely. My hand refused to cooperate and keep things light; instead it crept higher on her leg at the same pace my voice drew lower and softer. I had no idea what the hell was happening to me, but it was obvious to both of us how important I found this. Just a simple fucking word hung my damn moon, apparently. But we were talking about an action from her mouth, using her voice … my attention got away from me as I spiraled farther into everything Alice.

I realized she'd left the table, heading for the exit, only a second late and didn't even think before following.

Obviously I'd gone too far. Maybe she really couldn't speak, maybe it hurt or upset her, or it just wasn't apart of who she was. Though it was a strange concept, I just prayed she didn't feel insulted. That was the last thing I wanted, but really, how's a guy supposed to know? There aren't many people in the world who spend life so noiselessly.

So, I just followed her as she twisted through the empty halls, not concerned with where she was headed but how to recant successfully. Throwing open our fifth period classroom door, walking past the half completed projects for the Wellness Fair we were holding in a week, she stopped so suddenly I nearly toppled into her. I didn't have a chance to begin apologizing before she spun around, rose to her tiptoes, and yanked me down closer to her height by the tails of the scarf she'd given me.

As close as our mouths were, I was sure that if inhaling were a possibility I'd have been able to taste the sweetness of her breath on my tongue. As it was, I didn't need to even imagine such things for long.

"Hello, Jasper," she breathed, while slightly brushing her lips with mine and giving even more than I'd dare hope for. Elation, concern, uncertainty and wonder pulsed through the look she coupled with her greeting. My brain short circuited, hardly understanding what she said next in an even shallower tone; "I've been waiting for you."

Perhaps she really cared for me that much or maybe she'd been waiting for me to grow a pair and make the first step, either way I felt a little ashamed and bowed my head even closer to hers. Ridding me of all guilt and replacing it with elated surprise, Alice pressed into me completely; legs, pelvis, chest, lips.

Needy limbs tangled quickly, because I wanted her closer, longer, deeper. Her tiny waist was coiled up in my arms, hands splaying up her back and as near as I dared over the curve of her ass. She tugged on my hair and tickled down my neck with her little rounded nails, bringing out my confidence as I opened up completely to her. What begun as lips became tongue and wet descending onto jawbones and neck columns. We weren't rushed, but I felt starved for more as I picked her tiny frame up and placed her on the bookshelf counter behind us.

"You have no idea, Alice. You are all I think about. Your thoughts and words and body consume me," I whispered into the very v-neck I'd ogled countless times as she tortured me by encircling her legs around my hips. Being completely aligned with her in this way did scary things to my already interested cock, which she had to feel. There was no missing the effect my quiet girl had on me, especially when being cradled against her own radiating juncture.

I kept replaying Alice's greeting and confession over and over. Warm. Her voice had this intensely warm quality that surged through my veins and scorched my lips against her every patch of exposed skin. It had been the best gift, worth any waiting, but she was who she was. I'd take her anyway I could get her. "You don't have to say anything ever again if you don't want to, Alice. Just as you are," I promised. "That's how I want you."

Soft hands had begun to creep under my button up, gliding over the bareness there, before I'd spoken again and dammit if my voice didn't quiver at the sensation. I cursed the limiting fabric, wanting it gone, along with our pants, and Fuck It All if only we were at my house, in my bed. I could do very little of what I wanted to here in the Health classroom. In the less engorged recesses of my mind, I was thankful to the public restraints though; my nerves had already been fried enough today as it was without tempting fate with the exploration of her body.

And, as if I were on the bad side of karma instead of in the winner's circle like moments before, the bell rang out signaling that soon this dark room would be alight and full of kids fresh out of lunch and other random studies. Interrupting cocksuckers.

Pulling back, breathing erratically from our clandestine touches and my plans going so flawlessly awry, I felt completely right. We were right. No matter she'd only ever spoken seven words to me. In the blissful moment between righting ourselves, flipping the light on, and finding our assigned desks, it finally sunk in how much better it was to be beyond words with someone than to have exchanged a million meaningless mouthfuls.

Alice's tender smile was slightly swollen, her eyes large and downcast in thought. Enjoying the fact that I could stare openly, I was fully turned around in my seat wishing class would end before even beginning. Time passed, the classroom grew fuller, but I found myself turning continually never the less. No matter how many stolen glances I seemed to cram into the next sixty minutes, though, not once did Alice lift her head and look back. Her lips had flat lined as well.

I had no idea how I'd thought at one point that I'd hear her speak and then be willing to let her go, that her words were more important than the peaceful tornado caught up inside, than of the girl herself.

I let her leave before me, without me, just like always. I'd hoped for a parting look, but maybe that was asking for too much, especially after all I'd received. Rubbing my thumb across the pen markings on my palm, I made a mental note to stop being such a high maintenance ass. Quickly I secured the last of my Fair project cut outs to their designated spot on the poster board and flew high all the way to English.


I'd endured an entire week of not knowing where Alice was taking her lunch, scared out of my mind about approaching her in public since I'd never done so outside of our cafeteria table, and eventually grew pretty pissed that she was avoiding me.

Every moment not consumed by worry and separation anxiety was pretty much spent cataloging every single thing about her I knew, over and over, and in heady detail. After being with Alice against that counter, feeling her peaceful countenance shift slightly into a needy frenzy, my desire to show her things, to bring her excitement - possibly even encourage her to try letting loose - was ignited. Getting her to open fully to me I guess would be the root thought there, but I'd already told her she didn't need to say anything more; I'd removed all pressure. At least, that's what I'd meant to do.

As a result of her absence, the space around me had become a monotonous mortuary. Roll blindly out of bed, suds up, rinse, dry, clothes, Is it a hat day?, gun Annabelle's engine and suffer my way through school had pretty much become my routine for handling life since last Friday. After our kiss, I'd antagonized over how I could possibly make it through the whole weekend without her, but when Monday hit and my "I'm gonna see Ali" thrill balloon imploded, I knew that Saturday and Sunday's anticipatory reverie had actually been a high point.

Unfortunately, I was staring down that same double barrel again, being that it was now six o'clock on Friday evening and after tonight's lame Health Fair thing there wouldn't even be passing Alice in the hall or trying to magically discover where she was fucking hiding during our time. Over the next two days, I would only have myself, pajama pants, a box of tissues and a head full of the person I'd rather be with. Oh, and maybe a bottle of lotion.

Feeling a new low set in, I stood stock still as parents and teachers, students and siblings meandered through projects; nutritional, physical, oral, mental, familial, natural and medicinal wellness all being represented in a sub-standard high school forum. If it weren't for the lame ass event schedule awaiting me at home I'd have cut out early; well, that and the fact that my display corner sat flush with Alice's. Her back was to mine and mine to hers, regrettably.

So I answered the mundane questions and tried in earnest to catch her sent wafting by as hordes of irrelevant people churned the air. More over, presentations were beginning – each one spread out in five minute intervals – and I'd begun to hear distant and probably imagined sounds as I strained to catch the voice I'd only yet experienced limited intimacy with. Would she actually present? It was fifty percent of the final grade, but that still didn't make it seem likely. People would undoubtedly flock if she did; Alice speaking publicly would probably make it in the yearbook under Epic Events of '09. I wasn't even sure of her topic. Though, I didn't care about her fucking topic. I just missed her so terribly.

If I turn around, will she ignore me even then, so blatantly? It almost escaped my notice that Alice's words and voice had become irrelevant to me; she truly had wedged herself so far inside no matter what she did or didn't have to give additionally was pointless unless she was available. As I talked myself in circles I knew I could no longer let her come to me, leave the pressure off. I was slipping away, but wanting her this badly gave me a much-needed measure of desperation and a surge of confidence.

Maneuvering around my own tri-fold Otolaryngology exhibit, covered in highly detailed charting and x-ray diagrams, I heard Alice's calm soprano before my brain registered the recording device being propped up on the edge of her table.

"Psychological and behavioral disorders run the full gamut in today's society. One commonality these innumerable disorders share is the essentiality for a diagnosis - an informed, accurate and definitive process that can determine the nature and condition patients are experiencing. Symptoms are assessed and catalogued, causes are researched and tested, percentages develop, classifications emerge as studies find successful ways of calibrating extremities and treatments are proved either negative or positive. So, what happens when there is no feasible explanation, when the data and symptoms do not match up precisely with past examples and test cases?

Medicine is an ever-changing conglomeration of variables, but a question's answer requires history, an already acquired understanding, a successfully proved deduction. What then happens when doctors and psychiatrists have no definitive category to assign a specific condition? Throw medications at the problem? Begin a diagnosis guessing game to initialize some form of treatment? What occurs then, as patients suffering from an uncategorized or puzzling disorder begin a process designed for a disease or condition not their own? What possible ramification does disorder misdiagnosis inflict on already struggling individuals, children and teenagers? And finally, what can we do to protect ourselves from such backtracking and rabbit holing?

Some of the most frequently misdiagnosed psychological and behavioral disorders are ..."

Stunned by her obvious brilliance and familiarity with the topic at hand, Alice's superior presentation was blowing my fucking mind. I turned fully to face her and, subsequently, the small crowd that had gathered listening raptly. A small smile caressed her sweet lips as she looked straight ahead, without meeting anyone's eyes - as they watched her as well - or feigning a shyness she didn't honestly posses.

Though I didn't understand her continual silence during all the years I'd known of her, or the evolved meaning I was sure existed in the most recent bought of avoidance, Alice did have it in her to speak. She'd given me that gift. Her lips had been on mine while forming the most beautiful words I'd ever heard or felt; "I've been waiting for you." She'd chosen me, in a way, after I'd chosen her. I had been the one she'd been waiting for and in return promised not to need anything more from her than she'd already given. I'd meant it. And from that moment on she'd been absent.

Listening to her now - her synthesized voice breaking slightly with emotion - describing the horrible affects a misdiagnosed disorder could have on an innocent child, resonated deeply. This presentation was feeling less and less each second like the research project that had been assigned and was quickly unraveling into something similar to an admission straight from the soul of a survivor.

The digital recorder clicked off, giving finality to her closing hypothetical story about a young girl. This child had been told she was behaviorally challenged, defiant and withdrawn. Ultimately, the context of this evaluation had been determined completely misdirected, but, initially, instead of receiving the treatment she needed for her multilayered developmental and anxiety disorders she was treated for something which her symptoms didn't align with nearly at all. A commonly attributed disorder was the impatient physician's solution instead. Misdiagnosis led the girl deeper into herself, amplifying what already existed and had her turning the world away. Psychiatrists recently commented in this case that the road to recovery would have been a more equalized path to travel down had doctors been more cautious in her diagnosis, listened more closely to her parent's resistance and considered a broader dynamic when limiting what was effecting her to a single disorder.

The last line echoed within the cavern of my lungs, restricting my already speedy breaths. "Perhaps the young girl would have found strength in the invariable noise of the world sooner had her words been requested even once, her boundaries tested and pushed by those entrusted with her care beyond what might have been comfortable but was inevitably needed to ride out the anxiety of tomorrow."

She wanted to be encouraged to reach out, just as she'd wanted others to reach out to her. Her entire life people had expected nothing from her, basically condoning her silence because they misunderstood or didn't care. The young girl was Alice, of that I was completely positive, and the enormity of those few words she'd entrusted to me made me see how little I'd asked of her. I'd ended up being no one different.

I'd given Alice reason to doubt me, and she hadn't been honest with what she needed. But when it was all broken down, I'd approached her; this had all been initiated by me. That seemed just about right. I'd wanted things, received every single one of them, and still failed.

People had moved on, but I hadn't. I really couldn't since my own project was about two feet away. Ali's arm was in my hand then, each of my fingers carefully gripping and caressing and enjoying the physical proximity.

"I want to hear everything you have to share, Alice Brandon." I corrected lowly, hoping to draw zero attention to this interlude. "I was foolish, an imposter posing as a selfless fuck. I want so much more than I confessed."

"Please, Ali." Her eyes shot up with absolute acknowledgement, boring into mine as I finished pleading, attempting to convey that I really was that different guy she'd hoped I'd been, and finishing with a promise to find her on Monday.

I'd pressured her, told her my needs and confessed my asinine fuckdom, and in return she'd said nothing. But since it was Alice I knew that meant I still had a chance.


Sleep pants on and a stupid, shrunken Sex Pistols t-shirt - emphasizing how low pajamas sat while going commando - barely kept my upper half warm, but what the hell did I care? Monday was still forty-eight hours away.

That one simple touch I'd shared with Alice, not more than three hours ago, still had my hand tingling. I'd probably fucking put it to work soon, and that idea left me feeling completely unsatisfied.

Mom shouted her late farewell from downstairs having already given me the expectant eyes when I'd gotten back from school. She was traveling for business; I was going to keep shit clean and proper while she was gone. The door slammed and I wandered into the bathroom to drench my face in cold water. I seriously needed to cool down. Accidently soaking the pink lettering on my grey shirt, I pulled the damp fabric up and away, deserting it in the hamper.

As I headed back to bed, palms digging into my eye sockets, I relished the stars that dotted my vision until what materialized before my clearing line of sight had to be a hallucination. Perched quietly – which was what caused my first concern, since these fantasies were generally louder – was Alice, still as can be, peering up from beneath her lashes. She looked coy and delicious and completely real sitting on my king, silhouetted by faint lamplight.

"Are you actually here right now?" I whispered in astonishment. Her answer was a giggle, thinly trilling at my expense, shoulders shaking and crossed legs gripping each other tightly as they fought to remain coiled under such movement.

"How were you able to get inside? You haven't been here the whole time have you?" My head darted every which way, physically attempting to find a reasonable explanation. Not so much due to the shaking, I suddenly remembered my mother's recent departure and the pieces clicked. She'd have let Alice in no problem, and I found myself speculating over what Alice had said to her in passing.

Immediately, I cursed my inclination to be such a repetitive moron. Words were nothing anymore; couldn't I remember that? Alice fucking Brandon was on my bed, waving me closer with her tiny fingers and all my mind wanted to do was live in the past.

This crazy situation, however, was just as present as my thrumming heartbeat and the sheen of sweat breaking out along my hairline.

"I know you said Monday," real, honest to goodness Alice said quickly, pressing her previously beckoning fingers to my cheek the second I sat within her reach. "It's already been a week; a horribly long and confusing week." Though the sheer volume of words she just bombarded me with was flabbergasting, it also felt perfectly normal. How it was possible something absolutely foreign could feel like an understood lifetime must just have been Ali's way; she made everything stop making sense in my world the second her silence swallowed me whole. She rewrote natural. Alice defied sound.

"I missed you," I breathed out, not meaning to interrupt if she'd meant to continue but unable to sustain the weight of meaning that reality had presented any longer.

"And I missed you, Jasper."

Lying back slowly, her hands remained gently attached to my face and jaw drawing me down as well. I hovered, not sure where exactly to place my hands first.

"You should hold me while I explain a couple things."

I could do that.

Resting on my side, I cradled her head safely to my bare chest; the skin there felt her warm breath circulating, in and out, preparing to come clean. Honestly I was in no fucking rush to cloud this moment; she could pant on me forever.

"I need to know if what you said tonight was true; you want everything I have to give? No matter if who I am aloud is different than the girl you've talked at and watched for all this time?"

This question should have been rhetorical; if Alice had been inside my mind at the moment those words finished processing, the maniacal laughter would have sent her running. Not only did she question my devotion to her, but she'd also know the entire time I was visually stalking her. Great. I decided to skip the freak show response and instead just answer.

"Alice, when I told you before you didn't need to say or be anything more, I thought I was just keeping the pressure off. I was so unbelievably afraid of scaring you away; I always felt right on the edge of pushing too hard. I didn't want to bend what we had and break it clean through. It wasn't really a lie, and this might be hard to hear, but I just want you, no matter the form-"

"But you don't really know me, Jasper Whitlock." I doubted she was completely convinced of this; I had to know something about her. Alice resounded inside me, near or far; we were connected.

"I feel like I do; it's almost as if I can feel what you're feeling, all of the time. I know that's absurd, but tell me that if I'd pressured you early on you wouldn't have closed off completely. Am I wrong in believing that?"

"You're not wrong. I don't handle pressure or anxiety well. Your calm persistence relaxed me; I have never experienced that with anyone outside my family … with the exception of my therapist." No longer lingering on my face, Ali's fingers traced my torso, always ending up at the precipice of my exposed skin meeting the waistband of my pants. I imagined the exhilaration I'd feel if the elastic shifted and her fingertips wandered below – yep, half massed was totally visible in this thin of fabric. Fuck.

Redirecting my focus to a sorrow that would certainly dampen my sudden – aka semi-constant – mood. "So why pull a Houdini all week? It killed me, Alice. You had to see that."

"I did- see that. I was trying to be cautious." Her neck now rested on my bicep as her eyes confirmed the sincerity of the first admission and the perplexity of the second. I had no idea why "cautious" meant completely cutting me off, or why it was necessary at all. My grip tightened around her as I shifted lower, bringing her eyes level with mine.

"Are you done being cautious now?" I thought about the wasted time and what color her panties were and if I was going to get to kiss her lovely, open mouth soon.

"Only if you don't mind me being where you are … a lot. You know I'm different, which makes you and me - us together - different." Eyes darting, as if she'd confessed her deepest secret, Alice's gaze seemed like it would be the first of many ways she could pull away in that instant.

"Don't look away from me; you're not freaking me out." I had Alice crushed to me now, perhaps going a bit far as I attempted to convince her verbally, physically; my need for her must have been scorching. "I want this – god, I want this …"

"They say I'll be clingy."

"They?" And then I remembered the only people in her life were her parents and the professional.

"I'm not necessarily the same person when my walls aren't up." My girl without walls sounded too good to be true. How could I have settled for anything less? 'Cause she may have needed it to be that way, I reminded myself.

Now I knew for certain, she was willing to give me everything.

"I honestly can't wait to learn more about you; I already can't get enough of your voice and I was fucking hooked before that ever remotely entered the picture."

"Are you sure?" Hoping that would be the last time she'd ever ask, I answered impatiently.

"Yes-" And before I could continue convincing her, my back hit the mattress, halting my words. Slightly disoriented, I only had seconds to gather my bearings as Alice adjusted over me. Legs straddling my torso, little hands pinning my forearms; she had me caught.

Damn, I liked it.

"Aggressive doesn't come to mind when I think of you, Alice," my voice trembled, incapable of accepting that the quiet sweetheart of my every adoration was so vehemently taking control.

"Maybe you will tomorrow when you remember tonight." Gah.

"And just what will I be remembering, darlin'?" I felt playful, light; freely hers.

"I think you need to take a page from my book, Jazz. Less words, equals more kissing." Her tongue twisted with mine then, pulling me in, accepting, wanting, taking. And I took back, giving as I went; our tug of war never making any progress as we both equalized the other.

"I've imagined this moment for years; you have no idea." All this talk of making memories and epic moments was beginning to send my mind reeling. Where exactly are we headed here?

"Alice, please – wait," I moaned, running my hands down her now shirtless, silky back. "This is fast - very fast. I don't want to hurt you here, accidently." Dammit she's soft.

"Maybe you didn't hear me, Jasper. I've been waiting and dreaming of you, now, being with me completely. If they say I am going to cling to you and refuse to let go, thank god you're amazing and why the hell should I go slow? My life has been stuck at a dead end long enough."

"Fuck." Okay.

I'd yet to say anything definitive out loud, and she waited patiently, hands mid-tuck down the elastic at either side of my hips. My imagination had shamefully underestimated this experience.

And I had overestimated my resolve.

"Green means go, beautiful." And away my flannel went, leaving me completely naked and irrationally needing to see her breasts immediately.

Unclasping her purple lace bra, that delicately matched her now abandoned panties, I sought out her eyes and found them distracted - wide as saucers; "Beautiful," slipped out as she peeked at my lap before climbing up.

Nipples calling me back, my lips honed in, enveloping the sensitive bud and tugging a bit less gently than my more careful mind would have allowed.

Her whine promised enjoyment, and I was suddenly on top of the world, with a beautiful woman splayed back, wanton and unfurled. Her hot, ready center slid against my erection, driving me insane. The generous cleavage staring up taunted me to dive in tongue first, tasting her inbetween places. My hands couldn't stop finding more hills and valleys all along her back and thighs, hips and ass. Her ankles deserved to be caressed, worshiped. Every inch of Alice was unfathomable, and I absolutely needed to be inside her. I honestly felt that if I didn't take her now, all would be lost. I'd certainly evaporate into a completely deranged man if she weren't gripped around me within the next minute.

"I need you; I need you; I need you." My breath caught repeatedly; my mind not doing much better.

She ripped the corner to the protection we probably didn't need if she was on the pill, but would certainly use – I had promised not to accidentally hurt her in anyway. Slipping it on and sliding on down, my pelvis met the apex of her spread thighs.

"You are" – gasp –"divine, Ali - god. May I move?"

"Please," came a groaning assent from the direction where her head was tossed back.

So I lifted her, over and over, my head hunched and pressing just above her chest, watching our union; her hands reigned in my hair. Shifting to my knees I laid her back fully, wrapping one of her limber legs high around my waist; wanting to hit her in all the right spots, needing to feel my head hitting everything it could inside.

Her soft whimpers met my timely grunts as I drove harder, taking long, languid strokes. I felt her clenching around me, and could not imagine vacating her hold willingly. Building to an erratic pace I kissed her hard, mirroring my motions below.

"Let go, Jazz. I want to see it …"

"No, – I – can – hold – out!" This may or may not have been a lie. Most importantly, I desperately wanted to mean it.

"Jasper, you're so huge inside me. I've wanted this - fuck - I've wanted you between my legs for longer than you know. I thought of us just like this when I'd press the seam of my jeans into the lunch table bench; when I touch myself at night. Please, cum, baby ..."

And I couldn't stop it, the rampaging release. Her words - eloquent, filthy, honest … spoken - inundated my senses. I was up and over the edge, whirling and tumbling and gasping down her arousing scent; I didn't want to be done.

Composing myself somewhat, I pulled her near and ravaged her mouth. Wildly breathless, I felt near tearful laughter; I'd never known such pleasure.

Ignoring my instincts to roll onto my stomach and pass out, I crept down sucking on Ali's stomach and hipbones and nuzzled my nose where I'd just gratified myself. Now was for her, and I refused to stop working over, around and within her until she screamed my name, coating my tongue over and over so I'd never forget the taste of her, deep inside.

As I eased her spent body into my waiting arms, I knew our first night officially together would be more than a memory the next day; my hazy mind reveling in the multitude of way we'd join in the future as my Ali-girl drifted to sleep.

Because, I would be talking and taciturn, manic and mute with Alice every single day, no matter which took president as time wore on. I'd also never forget to be thankful for admitting my fixation with the unspoken girl, alone at a cafeteria table, or for the day I finally sought relief from the silence and emerged, instead, caught up.


A/N: I dream of the day this one shot becomes a two shot; including a separate chapter from Alice's POV. Soon, perhaps – hopefully. Thank you so much for reading, RAE

-Triple Threat refers to a person gifted in three prominent areas (i.e. school sports, music and government.)

-Otolaryngology or ENT (ear, nose and throat) is the branch of medicine that specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of ear, nose, throat, and head and neck disorders.