A/N: This is a written entry for "For the Love of Jasper Contest." Before I proceed, I would like to thank Wen for beta-ing my story. I'm sure I sounded like a banshee these past few weeks and I really appreciate your time to beta.
"For the Love of Jasper" One-Shot Contest
Pen name: MarilagML
Existing work: N/A
Primary Players: Alice and Jasper
Disclaimer:All recognizable characters are property of Stephenie Meyer. The rest belong to me. You may not reproduce this without my expressed written consent.
I did not have time to think of what I was doing. In a matter of seconds, I grabbed my book, slammed my locker and went running with him. We reached his car—a dark blue BMW—and he opened the passenger's door.
"Get in," he shouted.
I was scared of what was happening. All I knew was that we were running away from the men with big guns who were following and shooting at our direction.
Once Jasper got into the driver's side and was speeding down the road, I settled myself comfortably at the passenger's side.
"Would you mind telling me what was going on?" I asked.
"Those men work for Maria's brothers," he said.
"Oh my gosh!" I exclaimed. "What did you do?"
"I broke up with Maria," he said.
"What does that have to do with the gunmen?" I asked.
"I didn't know that she's a mafia princess," he said. "Those were the henchmen she sent to kill me."
"Why would they try to kill you?" I asked.
"They saw me as their potential to be their future leader," he said. "I changed their future plans."
I nodded my head in silence. Jasper was the team captain, the student body president, and the head of student fundraiser. He was indeed a natural born leader. If he would be leading their mafia clan, they would be better off compared to those who did not have him.
It hurts me to think he was only dating her because his parents wanted him to; they only cared about status. His father, a high ranking politician, was adamant that he date her since their marriage had been arranged. He had no voice on the matter. His father did not see him for who he was. All Senator Bailey knew was Jasper Bailey is his son, and that the latter should always obey the former no matter what. But Jasper was more than that. He is a sweet gentleman and would do anything to help others. He may be the "destined mafia leader" but he captured my heart.
"Why did you drag me inside the car anyway?" I asked curiously.
"I can't live without you," he said and became quiet. "I'm running away."
I took his hand as we drove ninety miles per hour on the freeway. He needed my support this time. We had been going out in secret and are afraid that his parents may found out. We knew that we were inviting trouble by following our hearts but we did not realize how much our lives would be at stake.
I heard the regret in his voice knowing that he felt sorry for bringing me into this mess. He did not want me to run away as well. I wanted to follow my dreams. I wanted to be a fashion designer just like my mother but I would give it all up to be with him.
Jasper and I headed to California. We arrived at the state a few minutes before midnight and checked in to a motel, paying with the emergency cash he always carry with him. By the time each of us reached our respective beds we were so tired that we both fell asleep as soon as our heads hit the pillows.
The next morning, I woke up still trying to grasp the reality of our situation. I saw Jasper pacing back and forth, as if he was planning something.
"Alice," he said, "we need to go to create our new identity."
"What for?" I asked.
"So that we'd be able to get a job and go into school. It's really hard to do anything without social security. We can't use our current one for obvious reason," he explained.
I just nodded my head, not saying anything even though I wanted to ask him five hundred questions. Seeing the curiosity on my face, he finally revealed the answer to most important question to me: how did he find the person who would make the identity for us?
"From the newspaper," he said. "It's the smallest at the classified ads though."
Finally, we arrived at the office which was located at an inconspicuous building on Chinatown in San Francisco. Upon reaching the site, Jasper and I went to the elevator and pressed the number 3 button. We waited until the elevator stopped at the third floor and got out of it.
I was intrigued to know that J. Jenks, a lawyer, was in a shady business. I had the stereotypical image that lawyers would not forge documents. Although they twist the law in their favor, forgery is explicitly illegal.
We saw a woman sitting by the desk. Jasper and I both approached her where we were greeted with a smile.
"Welcome to Jenks' office," said the secretary. "How may I help you?"
"Good morning, Gianna," he said, reading the name tag. "We're here for an appointment."
"Jenks is in his room with a client. I'll let him know you're here as soon as he's done. In the mean time, please take a seat," she said, pointing to the couch.
Once we were seated, she got up from her desk and went to us. "Would you like something to drink?" she asked.
"An orange juice would be nice," Jasper said. "What do you want Alice?"
"What drinks do you have?" I asked.
"We have soda, coffee, juice, and everything in between," she said.
"I'll have milk tea," I said.
"Sure," she said and left.
"Milk tea?" he asked.
"Yeah," I said. "She said that she had everything in between. I got curious."
"Okay," he said.
A few minutes later, Gianna came back with our drinks. Then, she back to her seat and continued what she was doing before we walked in.
About thirty minutes later, there were men in business suits who came out of the office. Gianna dialed some number on the telephone.
"Attorney, your client for 9:30 is here," she said.
"Let him in," Jenks said.
"He wants to see you now," said Gianna. "He's on the hallway third door to the right."
Jasper led the way. He navigated the place so easily it looked like he knew the ins and outs of the whole building.
To say that Jenks' room was big was an understatement. It was like stepping into the office of a CEO that has a lot of employees. At the middle of the room was a desk, where a certain middle aged man sat on a chair. He gave us a friendly smile as soon as we stepped into the room. We exchanged pleasantries and settled ourselves at the chairs in front of him.
"Jasper," he said. "To what pleasure do I owe to bring you here?"
"A new identity," Jasper said.
"Sure," Jenks said. "Do you know our protocol?"
"More or less," Jasper said. "Fifty percent down and fifty percent when we got the goods. Here's half of it." Jasper handed Jenks some money.
Jenks counted what he received from Jasper. Satisfied, he continued and said, "I'll take care of it."
"Do you have some names you want to use?" Jenks asked.
"I want to be Jasper Whitlock," Jasper said. "Alice, what name do you want?"
"Alice Brandon," I answered.
"I would need a picture from both of you for your California IDs. I would also give you a new social," he explained.
Jenks shook Jasper's hand and did the same with mine. We exchanged polite farewells before Jasper and I stood up and went to the door. Before we exited, he turned around to Jenks.
"I'll give you the other half once you're done with it," Jasper said. "I would give you extra if you could do it within three days."
"I'll get on to it," he said. "It'll be ready by next week."
As soon as we stepped out of the office, Jasper took my hand and walked the three flights of stairs to our car.
"We'll need to enroll for school once we got our IDs," he said. "It's an investment for our future."
I looked at his worried face, understanding that he was thinking a lot about how we were to survive.
"We also need to work," he continued. "What we have is emergency money that I do not want to touch it unless we're in dire situation. We might need to run away or pay medical treatment with it."
I nodded, admiring Jasper as he planned. I would not be surprised that if he ever went to war, he would take charge and lead his troops to victory.
We received our new identity three days later. We met Jenks at a small Chinese restaurant on the outskirts of San Francisco, where he handed us a manila envelope. Jasper inspected the quality of the contraband. Satisfied, Jasper paid the half as promised and added extra for the job well done.
After meeting with Jenks and receiving our forged I.D's, we looked for an apartment. We found a one bedroom one bathroom one in the middle of a low-income neighborhood. We immediately settled in, carrying the clothes we bought along the way and making ourselves feel comfortable. Although this was a far cry from both our former lives, we decided that we were doing what we could to survive. We also realized how lucky we were to have each other. Even our present situation would not be able to hold us back. I had to believe that our lives would get better and that we needed do our best to live the lives we had always wanted.
We searched for jobs to find a means to sustain us but our options were limited. The recession had made work very hard to find. In addition, managers also did not trust our capabilities. Being high school students gave them the impression that all we knew was to fool around. I knew we that we would prove them wrong because we were forced to grow up. Jasper and I kept on telling each other that we would work harder than their current employees. We finally found a job at McDonald's since it was the only place hiring.
Within the week of receiving our new identity, we enrolled at a public high school. Jasper had to forge our school documents to be able to get in; we could not use our old ones since they would trace it back to us. By the time he was done, not even the experts would recognize that the documents were made up. We chose public school for financial reasons. Although California had the crappiest public schools in America, we couldn't use our money to go to private schools. We would run out of cash before we were knew it. We just decided that we would use outside sources if we were to pass the Advanced Placement exams.
Pretty soon, we had settled down into a routine. Jasper and I went to school and then to work. We spent our spare time studying and quizzing each other. I was reviewing with him literary analysis when he said something out of the ordinary.
"We need to invest our money," Jasper said, handing me ten thousand dollars from the emergency stash. "Do what you can to make it grow."
"I'll take care of it," I said, aware of the trust he had placed me.
I put the five thousand dollars in the stock market. I seemed to have a gift of predicting which stocks would do well and which ones would not. Considering that I had only five thousand dollars at hand, I bought stocks from Wells Fargo when its price went down from acquiring Wachovia. I doubled the amount of money we had by selling my stocks after their quarterly report come out.
We needed to do our best since our emergency cash was depleting. Jasper was right; we needed to replenish it in case we faced another crisis. We still had about thirty thousand dollars from the stash but we never know when we would need it.
…One year later….
We were doing well in school. Since we were both eighteen, we were legally allowed to live on our own. Nobody suspected that we were running away from people that wanted our heads cut off. We mostly got straight A's, as Forks did have a decent set of classes.
Working for McDonald's was something I never wanted to experience again. They did not treat their employees well and our wages did not allow us to live comfortably. Jasper and I have to further reduce our lifestyles to the point where we had to sell his car and took public transportation.
I did not realize that we would live this poorly. It was a far cry from our lives living as the richest people in Forks. Jasper was the star quarterback, the leader of everything and the person that drove the nicest car in our school back then. Now, he did not even have the time to join the football team; he chose to use his time working his butt off and ensuring our survival.
Like Jasper, I was used to living my life in luxury. My car, a yellow Porsche, had rivaled Jasper's. I used to live in a house that had an entire room just to accommodate my love for fashion. Now, I was living in a small apartment and needed to work in order to support myself and my love.
I used the other half of the money Jasper had given me to start a business of my own. I bought a sewing machine and some pattern paper and started advertising around our neighborhood for anybody looking for a seamstress. I handed out flyers and told people that I could make them clothes—as long as they showed me a picture—but they had to provide for the fabric they wanted.
People were reluctant of me. I had been advertising for two weeks now and I still did not have a new customer. I finally got my break on the third week, as I had my very first customer that Friday.
"I would like you to make this," she said. I looked at the dress model she gave me. I studied it and realized it was not that hard since I made a few myself.
"No problem," I said. "I just need to know what type of fabric you want."
"I brought the fabric with me," she said.
"Even better," I said. "I'll have it done to you by next week."
"Thank you," she said. "I'm Marissa by the way."
"Thank you, Marissa," I said, shaking her hand. I took her measurements and exchanged a few words with her. When we were done, I led her toward the exit, making sure that she would get safely to her car.
I wanted to make Marissa happy so that I could start building my reputation. I was glad to finally have a customer even if she was my only one. I made pattern for her clothes that evening. I painstakingly made sure that I followed the measurements from the pattern, so that I would not cut too much that it would not fit the way I wanted it to fit. Day and night, I worked on the clothes. It was not surprising then that three days later, her clothes were made. I called her up the next day.
"Marissa," I said. "I've finished your clothes."
"Thank you," she said. "I'll come by to pick it up."
She came back an hour later. She seemed pleased with it and gave me the amount we discussed in addition to the extra she insisted that I took.
"I'll be honest with you," she said. "I work for a fashion designer and it's my job to discover interns."
"So, it was just a test?" I asked.
"Pretty much," she said. "Plus, I know that you needed money. What do you think of working for Marc Jacobs?"
"That's one of my dreams," I said. "I'd be glad to."
"Be at this address to start working tomorrow afternoon," she said while handing me a business card. "Don't be late."
"Thank you thank you," I said.
"You have a lot going on for you," she said. "Bye."
Jasper came home a few minutes later. Tired from his shift, I came up to him and seated him in the chair. I rubbed his neck knowing that he felt tension there. He was working so hard for both of us that I always made sure to show how much I appreciated him. When he was settled down, I jumped up and down, excited with the news I was about to tell him. I sat down next to him and gave him a hug.
"Wow! Calm down," he said. "Why are you so excited?"
"Remember when I made the flyers to make clothes?" I asked and he nodded. "Well, my first customer turned out to be working for Marc Jacobs, so she just asked me to be an intern."
"That's great, Alice," he said, smiling. "You're finally doing something you want."
"Thanks, Jasper," I said. "It's because of you."
I hugged him. "What do you mean it's because of me?" he asked.
I smiled at him and answered, "If we weren't framed, we'd never have ended up in California and got closer to my dreams."
"You're right about that, I guess," he said. "I just like to know the details of what happened."
"I told you from the beginning what happened," I said. "She was my first customer."
"You mean the lady the other day?" he clarified.
"Yes," I replied. I grabbed a handful of his hair and playfully pulled on it. "So, what have you been up to?"
"You already know that McDonald's employees are overworked and are treated like crap," he commented. "I realized when I was working there that I would like to become a lawyer to fight for the poor."
"That's a good idea," I told him. "And with your overanalyzing mind, we would have a law firm in no time."
"First things first," he said. "Let's find out the requirements on how to become a lawyer. We'll figure out everything later."
"Yeah," I agreed. "If you ever become a lawyer, also try to be a business lawyer since I would certainly need your services."
"Sure." He smiled deviously. "I'd start with finding a good law school."
"You are the best thing that happened in my life," he said after giving me a peck on my cheek.
We went back to do our homework. We helped each other and were finished in no time. Afterwards, Jasper attacked me with kisses and showed me how much he loved me.
I gave up my job at McDonald's as soon as I started my paid internship for Marc Jacobs. At the same time, my business started to pick up. Of course, I asked permission with my boss about continuing my business while working as an intern and he approved. He said that as long as it does not interfere with my work and as long as I do not steal any of his clients, then he would not mind at all. He was quite impressed when I told him I was a high school student and was determined to make everything work. He even agreed to mentor me just to see how I would do in the future.
I knew that my business was still on its first year but I was quite optimistic with it. I researched about how to better handle my business and to improve my designs. Going to the library to research about my business was one of the cheapest investments I did to improve my business. I may not use a lot of money but I was certainly giving up my time.
Learning everything about my business soon paid off. There was a book I found on how some companies thrived during the Great Depression, which helped me plan especially during our current economic conditions. I also stumbled upon the book on marketing, got some tips and applied it accordingly.
Six months thereafter, my business was doing so well that I needed to hire. I posted a help wanted sign around the neighborhood.
Out of thirty applicants, I narrowed them down to three. They were Rosalie Cullen, Rosalie's sister Bella and Angela Weber. I knew that the three could sell anything since they were three very beautiful women. I was also confident that they were trustworthy enough to let them take care of the business but I could never be too sure. Since I would not trust some random people to work for me, I asked Jasper to come to the final interview with me. With his ability to know how to make people do what needed to be done, he would give me a valuable insight about my interviewees. Having him in the interview, I was confident that we would hire the best people. My foresight, along with his ability to read personalities, would let us hire only the best.
We had each of the girls talk to us alone. They seemed confident and fun to be around with. I noticed that Angela and Bella tend to agree with me most of the time. I did not really like that since it would not help me to see the broader picture. I was glad, however, that they were honest enough to tell me what was bothering them. On the other hand, Rosalie tended to tell you what she thinks, sometimes without forethought. As a result, she usually said harsh words without meaning to, which might turn some of the clients away. Once the girls left, I consulted Jasper's opinion.
"I really like the three girls," he said. "They seem like the type of people you would want to work with. The only thing I would be worried about was the salary."
I smiled at his joke. "I don't know about that but I agree with you though. I just think that Rose was harsh at times."
"She would be the perfect balance then," Jasper commented. "The other two girls are nice and are too tactful. Rose would be the person who would give you the brutal honesty you need."
"So, what are you saying?" I asked.
"I say we hire all of them," he answered.
We hired Rosalie, Bella and Angela. I was glad with my decision since they did more than help me sew some fabric. They synergistically improved the company. Bella and Angela brought more people into the business. Rosalie thought realistically about situations and prevented us from making big mistakes.
As I entered college, I ended my paid internship with Marc Jacobs and changed my business into a clothing store. With his blessing, I started designing my own clothing line.
I made the three girls as my partners as I expanded my business. Still remaining the creative head of the business, I let my partners ran the day-to-day operations. I look at the broader picture of things and plan for the future. They would tell me if my goals was reasonable enough and gave their opinions on how we could accomplish them.
I was balancing school while running my business at the same time. We may have opened a new store and added another by the end of freshman year. Since our company was growing, we hired more people. We hired who we thought were the best. Because we now had more than one store, we looked at our books regularly and would visit from store to store to observe our clients as they interacted with our staff.
"What do you think?" Rose asked, as she showed me a flyer that we would use in finally opening our third store.
"I like it but I think it's too pink. Change the color of the paper," I answered.
"I will." She nodded in agreement. "I would help you with everything."
"So, what are the other two girls doing?" I asked.
"Angela and Bella are arranging the store according to plan," Rose answered. "Then Bella showed her sketch and told us that this is how it should look like."
Rose held me the design. I actually liked it and realized that we this was better than my arrangement.
"Rose, this is beautiful," I said.
"I know. Too bad we didn't buy a new building."
"Actually, we could use it for the interior of the mall," I told her.
"I'll tell Bella."
She pulled her cell phone and started tapping on the keys. "Do you want to add anything?" she asked.
"No, I'm good. Just tell them I'll check the store later."
Finally, our mall branch was completed. As I stood in front of it, I thought of what had happened that led us to where we were right now. I finally realized that Jasper followed his heart to be with me even at the cost of his life. The only thing I could do was to show him how much I love and care for him. That was when it occurred to me that I responded to Jasper by not letting anything get in the way of our dreams. He supported me as much as I supported him. I then promised to myself that I would use my energy to improve our lives further.
I headed to the parking lot with a smile on my face. However, when I reached my car, everything went black. I woke up at a warehouse, mouth covered, hands tied. I looked everywhere. It was pretty dark to see what it looked like. The only source of light came from the setting sun shining down on the tiny window. I was shocked to find Maria hovering in front of me.
What were you doing here? I thought.
"I'm glad to see that you're finally awake," Maria said. "It took me forever to find you two."
"You see, I figured Jasper's weakness. I knew how to get him to come back to me," Maria continued.
Sadistic as she was, she held a knife in front of me, caressing its sharp end. Then, she pointed it to my neck. Blood started drizzling, spattering my outfit. She dug the knife deeper, causing more blood to spill.
"All I have to do is to kill you," Maria said. Then, she took off the piece of clothing covering my mouth.
"I told Jasper that I'd kill you if he didn't come here," Maria explained. "He was so distraught that I believe it would only take him about ten minutes to get here. Poor man, he doesn't realize that I'd kill you either way."
I heard a motorcycle came close. It sounded like Jasper's new bike, the Honda I gave him for Christmas. Suddenly, the engine was cut off and I heard a sound of boots clinking metal.
In an instant, I felt panic and fear.
Jasper, I thought, don't come. I want you to live your life you want. I'll always love you.
He should not be here. I would gladly accept dying if it meant that he could escape. He should have just left me alone.
It seemed so strange that a woman like Maria would be here without her bodyguards. But then I realized that she was sadistic enough to inflict harm to anybody who would dare touch her without her permission. I was hoping that she had her henchmen outside just to keep Jasper from reaching me. Unfortunately, they were not and it took Jasper only five minutes to get here.
"Alice," he shouted.
"No, Jasper!" I shouted back. "It's a trap!"
Jasper froze from where he stood. He turned around and found himself surrounded by Maria's goons.
"Hello, Jasper," said Maria.
"Let go of Alice," he said. "This isn't about her at all."
"On contrary. Everything is about her," Maria said. "You broke up with me because of her. We were about to get married and you broke up with me and ran away with her."
"Maria, our marriage would have ended up a disaster," Jasper said. "How could I stay with such a controlling person like you?"
As Jasper talked to Maria, I struggled to free my hands. When I finally freed myself, I acted as if my hands were still tied up by keeping them behind me. I found my cell phone in my pocket, realizing how lucky I was with having a phone case that looked like a business card holder. Slowly, I slid my phone off its case and then sent text a text message to Rose, the last person I called.
As I stood up, I realized that Jasper was so distraught that he could not think straight. I called his attention and gave him encouragement.
"Jasper, everything will be okay," I said. "It will work out so have your faith in us."
Upon realizing what was going on, Jasper gained some of his composure. The situation had gotten worse since Maria's men approached us. He had to fight Maria's goons with all his might since to prevent them from reaching me. I did not really have to worry about him defending himself because he was a walking weapon; he had a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, Karate and Kung Fu. While he was busy, Maria headed for me and took out a small gun. Jasper, upon seeing the gun, jumped in front of me just in time to save me from a bullet at the cost of him being shot in the stomach.
"Jasper!" I shouted. "No!" Jasper felt limp on my hands.
"Alice," he struggled, blood coming out of his mouth. "I just wanted you to know that…I…love…you."
Jasper was fighting for his breath. I put some pressure on the wound to stop it from bleeding.
"We'll get through this," I cried. "We always do."
As tears fell from my eyes, Jasper raised his trembling hand to wipe away my tears.
"Don't cry, Ally," he said. "You'll survive."
I nodded, as I saw his hand fell limply on his side while he closed his eyes.
…Two years later…
I was at the back of the hotel fixing my gown. I had a few minutes before the ceremony. Holding my white veil in place, I turned my neck and checked my hair.
"Alice," Rosalie called, "be down in about an hour, okay?"
I nodded. There were tears on my faces. My hands and feet were cold and my heart was beating fast. I felt like I could not breathe. Rosalie came closer to me when she noticed the sign of my nervousness.
"Are you okay?" she asked.
"No," I said. "What if he's not the one for me? What if I don't turn out to be a good wife? What if I messed it up?"
I was glad that the girls had not put on my makeup yet. I was a mess. My eyes were swollen and red. It would take a miracle worker to make me look beautiful this day.
"Calm down, honey," consoled my maid-of-honor. "We've been through this an hour ago."
"But what if I messed up?" I asked through my tears.
"Sure, you would," Rosalie continued.
Upon her statement, I gawked at her. "You're supposed to console me."
"And it hasn't worked. What I'm trying to say is that you'll work it out," she said. She approached and faced me. "Alice, the man downstairs is crazy about you. I'm pretty sure he'll accept your flaws and imperfections. Are you sure you want to do this?"
"Yes," I said. "I just have cold feet."
"Well, you only have about an hour to thaw your cold feet," Rose joked. "We'll leave you to collect yourself before we head downstairs."
"Okay," I said.
I looked back at what happened two years ago, where everything had ended.
The police had arrived just in time to save me from my own death. As I clung limply into the man in my arms, the police accompanied me to the cruiser. Maria was charged with twenty counts of murder and thirty counts of assault. They proved that she was guilty and they locked her up for a very long time. I was glad, too. She had hurt a lot of people and she had pierced my heart.
I now had a new life. I had become quite a big name at the fashion industry. I was now working with Sarah Jessica Parker, Jessica Simpson, Christina Aguilera and more artists who happened to fill up the "Do list" at Glamour Magazine.
With every success I had, I felt that Jasper was on my side, smiling and giving me support like he always did. It was amazing how much I realized that everything had changed since then. My life had totally changed for the better and yet, I still long for him. Who would have thought that he was the only person that I had been dreaming about?
I told myself to stop reminiscing. I asked my bridesmaids, Angela and Bella, to help me with my makeup. I knew that they would work magic on me. Angela and Bella exchanged a look of amusement.
"Are you calm enough, Alice?" Bella asked.
"Yes," I said.
"I'm glad you are." She placed a sapphire head band on my head. "This is your something blue."
Angela handed me a pearl necklace. "This is from Bella's mother," Angela said. "This would be your something old and borrowed."
"Your gown was bought a few weeks ago," Bella said. "That's definitely something new. Are you ready to go down?"
"Yes," I said. "Call your father to walk me down the aisle."
Bella laughed and went to get her father. I was glad that Carlisle had agreed to walk me to the altar. I did not have any blood relatives in my wedding but it was filled with the people I considered my family—the Webers and the Cullens. I was glad to have Carlisle walk me down the aisle. After all, he was one of the two father figures in my life ever since I ran away with Jasper. The other would be the one to marry me.
When Carlisle knocked on my door, I knew it was time. Moving one foot forward followed by the other, we made our way down the stairs. Finally, at the bottom of the stairs was the most handsome person I had ever met.
We exchanged our vows. He handed me a wedding ring and I did the same thing. We promised together that we would love each other until the day we died. Finally, the wedding was over and the minister told my groom to kiss me.
I felt like I was in heaven kissing him. His warm lips felt like the sun, heating me up for the first time. It was miraculous that I did not drown in the tenderness of the moment. I was not surprised when I realized that I had forgotten to breathe. The man who was now my husband had always made me feel this way.
We faced the Minister Weber. I would never forget his final words:
"Ladies and gentlemen, I now present to you, Mr. and Mrs. Jasper Whitlock."