"For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest

Title: Lone Star

Pen name: SandraLies

Existing work: N/A

Primary Players: Jasper/Bella

Disclaimer: I don't know anything anymore except a broken keychain and a cold cup of coffee. I really don't own Twilight, though sometimes in my dreams I think I do. Or at least I wish I owned Jasper.

To see other entries in the "For the Love of Jasper" contest, please visit the C2:

A/N So excited to finally post something on here! This is just a little something that popped into my head the other day that'd I wanted to share. Thanks for hosting the contest, ladies!

Whenever people asked me what my husband did and I told them he was an astronaut, they were quiet for a few minutes before erupting in disbelieving laughter. It usually took me a few moments to convince them that yes, my husband really was an astronaut, and no, he wasn't headed for the moon. Yet.

He'd come home early one afternoon, grabbing me around the waist and spinning us around the room. Then he set me down on unsteady feet and kissed me harder than he had in awhile.

"They're sending us up!" he panted excitedly when he pried his lips from mine. "Bella, they're sending me. Soon."

My smile was frozen on my face, despite the cold disappointment smothering my heart. I thought he was going to tell me he finally had time off. Stupid me.

"Soon" was actually two weeks, and Jasper was much too busy to spend any real time with me. The team would be passing the moon and studying some stars and other space stuff for roughly a week. The very fact I was referencing part of his trip as "space stuff" shows how little I really knew, or understood, about what he did. I did know, however, that this was huge for Jasper, and I was thrilled for him, but I was going to be a mess the whole time he was gone.

Things hadn't really been the same between us since Jasper ascended rapidly in the program. He'd always been intense and focused, but now he was doubly so. He was quiet but sure about his dreams, and nothing would keep him from the stars.

Not even me, no matter how badly I wanted to.

I often thought about when we were children, and I was chubby-faced and shy and he was nearly always silent and moody.

We were neighbors in a small neighborhood, constantly forced to play together as we grew up. By the time we were 13, Jasper was completely tired of me. He wanted to stay inside and watch the History channel or fiddle around with his telescope. But one boring summer day he was tossed outside by his mom, and I took advantage.

He lay in his backyard, staring up at the sky. He was always staring upwards, and always walking into people.

"What are you doing?" I asked, hoping I sounded more disdainful than curious.

He shut his eyes and took a deep breath, almost like he was praying for patience. "Looking at the sky," he finally responded.

I sat cross-legged next to him and peered up at the clouds, clueless as to why he found this so compelling.

"Why do you like space so much?" I asked after awhile.

He sighed but answered me anyway. "It's like another world. An empty sea. It's just waiting to be found."

I stared, wishing I could crawl inside Jasper's head for a day. And then actually understand what I found when I got there.

Unsure of how to move the conversation along, I decided to tease him. "What's so great about space?"

His eyes, as blue as the sky after it rains, met mine. "What's so great about earth?"

When we turned 16, he found me a bit more tolerable, I guess, because he started hanging around more.

One night he made me sneak out and dragged me out to some empty meadow to watch a meteor shower.

"It's freezing," I complained, running in the wet grass to catch up with him.

He muttered to himself and started taking off his jacket.

"No! I don't want your jacket… I'm just bitching, per usual."

He stopped and turned to look at me. "I meant to bring another blanket," he murmured apologetically. "We could always go back."

I rolled my eyes and moved to his side, clasping his hand in mine. "We made it this far." I let go of his hand, unsure if I liked the tingling warmth that came along with any touch by him. Walking backwards, I grinned and clapped my hands. "Come on. We'll warm up."

Jasper smirked and caught up with me easily, handing me the thermos of hot chocolate he brought along.

We set down the blanket we brought to lay on and then got comfortable. A few minutes later I turned to him with raised eyebrows.

"Now what?"

"We wait," Jasper said, smiling as he opened up the thermos.

I bit my lip and ignored Jasper's amused laugh. He knew I had no patience.

"Jazz… I still don't get it. Why are you so interested in this stuff?"

He drank a little and passed it to me before answering. "I think I like the promise of more, of something greater. I want to discover something. I want to make history."

"So why do I have to come along for the ride?"

Jasper's face softened and the frigid air between us suddenly electrified with sparks brighter than a thousand meteors combined. There had been moments, when teasing or playing around, that a hint of this foreign tension would seep in, but it had never been like this. He moved closer to me and suddenly curved his hand around the side of my face.

"Because you're my own, real life, personal star. My private discovery."

The words sounded a little cheesy to my mom when I mistakenly recited them to her later that week, but to me they were perfect. They were heartfelt, and they were the nicest and most beautiful words ever said to me. Years later I played them over and over again, and smiled at the image of two clueless teenagers, falling in love and sharing a kiss for the first time.

Things weren't always perfect between us after we got married some years later. He worked too hard, and I was probably too needy. Sometimes I felt more like an invisible mass than like a star. But I loved him, and I knew he loved me, and together we'd created something more real and vital to me than anything out in the great unknown of black, cold space.

One night, a few days before his departure, he came to bed early.

I watched as he undressed, surprised. We hadn't been together in a long, long time.

Awkwardly he crawled in next to me and looked at me from the corner of his eye. "I'm sorry I've been so distant," he whispered, his voice as quiet as the moonlight whispering across our bedroom.

Some little patches of moonlight that filtered through our bedroom window caught his glittering blue eyes; others were scattered across his body, resembling a shroud of cut-out stars. The thought depressed me as I thought of how close he'd be to the real thing in a matter of days, and how far he'd be from me.

He saw my sadness, as he always did, and kissed my forehead. "Things will be different when I get back. I promise."

I wrapped my arms around his neck. "Hold me."

His strong hands skimmed down my arms and brushed along my hips. He said nothing as he cocooned me in his warmth and kissed my quivering throat, dampened with my tears.

His touch always soothed me, and this night was no different. I felt myself relaxing and growing increasingly more optimistic. He'd come back from this trip fine, and maybe things really would be different. He'd finally be able to say he'd been to space. He'd finally achieve one of his most important goals.

His kisses distracted me from my thoughts, and I just let myself feel. Slowly he pulled away just enough to slide down my underwear. I inhaled deeply. As I mentioned, it had been a considerable amount of time since we'd had sex. I understood; by the time he made it home, he was either ready to pass out or too frustrated to have any fun.

But now he seemed to want to offer me something, to seal his promise with something tangible. It made me hope all the more.

He quickly got rid of his boxers and slid inside me, groaning as he began to move. I wanted to beg him to stay. I wanted to ask why what we had here, on earth, wasn't enough. But I had his answer from all those years before.

His lips explored my own, reminding me once more that I should just let go and feel. I kissed him back and raised my hips to his, joining him in our physical promise. He moaned as I desperately moved against him, eager to join him in the only other worldly thing I could. Orgasms were magical, tangible and intangible all at once.

"I want us to come together," I panted in his ear.

He let out a choking sound and clutched me tighter to his sweaty body. "I'm close," he cried out, shivering as he moved faster.

Then he thrust forward heavily and deeply, setting my orgasm off and letting it erupt into fiery waves.

"Oh," I whispered into his wet hair.

He whimpered into my neck as he continued to move inside me for a few more pumps until finally he came, his warm rush of release flooding inside me drawing out my own satisfaction.

We lay wrapped up together until dawn. He dressed silently, but he started at my naked body against our filthy sheets and said more with his eyes than he ever could with words.

After he left I stood for a shower and passed by the calendar. We only had two days left together, and that night we had to go to a farewell ball. I replayed the night before as I stood beneath the warm water, wondering where the hell Jasper's sudden intensity came from—could it simply be that he was leaving for a week? Was he afraid he'd never come back? Was it just for my own validation?

When I finished I cleaned the house up a bit, read a little bit of a stupid detective novel Jasper had bought for himself, and worked a bit on my own stuff. The day dragged terribly, and just as I was considering watching a ridiculous episode of True Life on MTV, Jasper drove in the driveway.

I was anxious to see how he'd behave when he came in. It was silly, but I felt shy around him. I didn't know where things stood between us. It wasn't like we were on the brink of separation or divorce before our passionate night, but things had been far from perfect before. We had been distant strangers for quite some time.

If Jasper was nervous when he came in, he didn't show it. Instead he looked me up and down and lifted his eyebrows at my Dunkin Donuts Fuels Me t-shirt.

"I know you hate dressing up but that's not going to fly at the ball," he laughed, nodding at my shirt.

I ran a hand through my knotty hair and groaned. "I guess it's time to get ready."

I finished up in record time, as did Jasper, and we finally made it to the much-anticipated party.

A few of the other wives waved or nodded to me, and I waved and nodded back but stuck close to Jasper. I didn't want to leave his side for a second, as pathetic as it sounded, and I was never all that close with them to start with. Jasper led us over to a table where his team was sitting and everyone greeted each other politely.

The party was fine, but my feet were aching and I was already growing bored of the wives' gossipy chatting. Music started up and Jasper grabbed my arm, asking me to dance.

"Have you lost your mind?" I asked him, even as he dragged me to the middle of the floor. I looked around at the few couples around us and panicked. We would be even more visible now.

He laughed and kissed my lips gently. "You dance splendidly."

"Oh, right," I said flatly. "Have you forgotten my stellar performance at our wedding when I broke two of your father's toes?"

Jasper laughed harder and brought me close as he slowly danced us around. "I wish he was here."

Jasper's relationship with his parents had been strained. Things were rarely sunny over at the Hale's, and I often wondered when I got older if that wasn't part of the reason why Jasper constantly sought out a better world… a better home.

I rubbed his arm. "Me too. Your parents would be so proud, Jazz."

He hugged me and we stayed quiet for the rest of the evening, just content in being close.

We had sex again that night, though we took it much softer this time. Jasper started crying after we finished, completely confusing and frightening me.

"What's the matter, baby?" I ran my hand through his hair and spread kisses across his neck.

He swallowed hard. "I don't know, exactly. I just… I'm going to miss you. I know it won't be for long but… I've missed you for so long already, Bella."

I looked up at him. "I missed you, too."

He ran his hand down my back and around my thigh. "I want… I want to be the center of your universe."

"You are," I whispered. "You're my own, real-life, personal star, too."

He chuckled a bit through his tears. "I love you. I see you in every star. Leaving is going to be so hard."

Tears came to my own eyes. "Then why are you going?"

He pulled back a little to meet my eyes. "I don't know," he said slowly. "I think I'm looking for something."

"Like what?" I sobbed, hating that I wasn't enough.

He leaned forward and I shut my eyes. I cried harder when I felt his soft lips kiss my lids. "I don't know, yet. But I have to look."

He left two days later and I sobbed for the whole week. I sobbed as I did the laundry, I sobbed as I answered emails, and I even sobbed when I went to the grocery store. My eyes were permanently red and wet and there wasn't anything I could do to make me feel better.

Somehow I existed as he floated up in uncontained space, and when he came back after his courageous and famous voyage, I even managed to get the swelling of my eyes down.

I waited with the other wives, for once unified with them in our concern for our husbands. Of course Jasper was the last to come through the big doors and my heart sank when I saw him. Physically he looked all right. He even smiled for a few cameras. But I knew my husband, and I knew he wasn't happy. He scanned the crowd, looking for me anxiously. I could see him growing frustrated, and though I was sure a few times over the week I'd forgotten how to smile, my lips curved up a little bit. Finally his eyes met mine and he hurried to greet me.

"I'm home," he whispered into my hair.

Things were a little weird the next few days, but not necessarily in a bad way. Jasper was more attentive to me than he'd been in a long time. Most tellingly, however, was that he didn't want to speak about his trip at all.

For years I'd begged him to lay off the space talk for a few moments, and now I had to beg him to tell me what the stupid moon looked like up close.

Then one night he broke down in bed and told me everything. He told me about how the moon looked, about how the stars shone, and about how none of it compared to home.

"I just kept thinking about you back here, all alone, and I couldn't think of anything else. None of it mattered." He rubbed my stomach as he thought out his next words. "All my life I've been searching for something that was literally in my own backyard." He smirked a little and met my eyes. "Guess you could call me Dorothy now."

I automatically smiled back, but I didn't really know what he was talking about. "What were you searching for?"

He sighed. "Permanence? Home? Love? Don't get mad—I'm about to get real sentimental and cheesy here. I know you hate that shit."

I smiled and rubbed the back of my hand against his chest in encouragement.

"It's just that I found all that already. Like an idiot I went searching and tearing through the world and through space when all along I had it. You're my real home, Bella, you know? And you always literally were in my backyard, even when I wanted to kill you and bury you in it."

I laughed and bumped my forehead with his.

"I love you," I whispered, imagining with real clarity the hope that stretched ahead of us—the new beginning we were lucky enough to get on the foundation we were even luckier to find.

"You're the only star I see, Bella."