This outtake could feasibly be inserted after Chapter 6: Fusion and before Chapter 7: Chasm. It's not essential to the plot of Fate & Forgotten Secrets, but it fits nicely into the general scheme of the characters.
I don't own it, it owns me. Blame Edward. Or in this case of this outtake, blame Jasper.
Fate & Forgotten Secrets
Outtake 1: Eureka!
I hardly slept last night. I tossed and turned and paced through the early morning hours. Emmett's voice just kept running through my head:
"When are you going to stop being such a pussy and give in to Alice Brandon?"
His question completely caught me off guard. Emmett usually threw jabs at Edward and rarely harassed me about anything. If he ever did bring Alice up, I always successfully avoided having to answer. But this time, standing in his garage with Edward choking on his beer next to me, I somehow knew I would have to answer. I took a few more swigs of my beer and contemplated what I was going to say. Am I going to do something? What am I going to do? Can I continue on in this game we seem to be playing? What do I even feel? Nothing was coming to mind.
"I'm not sure, Em."
"You need to fucking figure that shit out, bro. Alice doesn't deserve to be strung along like this."
I looked to Edward for support, but when my eyes fell on his face, I knew I wasn't going to get any.
"Em's right, Jazz. Alice has been after you for years. She's put herself out there for you so many fucking times. If you don't wake up soon, she'll fucking walk."
This isn't anything new. I've heard both arguments from them before. Except this time, they were laden with force and finality. The weight of their words fell hard upon my heart. I knew better. I knew I had to do something, but what direction to take I still wasn't sure. Do I give in? And what exactly am I giving in to? Or do I walk away? And if I walk away, what am I leaving behind?
I finished my beer then told the guys I was heading out. I was no longer in the mood to discuss cars and proposals or whatever screwed up sexcapade Edward had recently experienced. When I got to my condo I flipped the lights on and threw my keys into the bowl. Strolling to the bar, I grabbed the bottle of 18 Glenlivet Single Malt Scotch and poured it into an Anchor Hocking whiskey glass and tossed it back in one gulp. I sat the glass down while the liquor ran down my throat and warmed me from the inside. I took a deep breath before pouring another glass and walked over to the couch.
I all but threw my body into the leather, being careful not to spill the expensive liquor in the glass. I really didn't need something else to think about at the moment. I stared at the blank television, seeing my own reflection stare back at me. My mind was full of thoughts and none of them were coming together to help me make a decision. Frustrated, I looked down at my glass and realized it was drained. I walked into the kitchen and put the glass in the sink then turned to head down the hallway to my bedroom.
The hours passed by and I feared I was not going to be able to make the right decision. At some point in the night I was able to determine what my heart wanted, but my brain refused to accept it. I threw myself into bed unsure of how to reconcile the two. One thing was sure; Alice deserved better than what I was giving her or not giving her for that matter. But I still wasn't sure I could be the one to fix it.
Waking up the next morning, I scrubbed my hands over my face, trying to recall why I felt like shit. Beer, weed, whiskey, and avoidance. Sounds like a nice cocktail for disaster. Sitting up in bed, I glanced at my hands when my phone went off, alerting me to a text message.
"Good morning, sleepyhead."
Alice. My heart swelled and my breath caught in my throat. I get a good morning text from her everyday, but today something was different. It's at this moment my decision was made. Alice deserved better and I was going to give it to her. I wasn't sure how. I wasn't sure she would still take me, but I was going to try.
I called Edward and let him know I wasn't coming in today. The three of us were equals in Eclipse, but it's just common courtesy to let people know if there is a change in your schedule. Getting off the phone with Edward, I took a shower and got dressed before I made some phone calls that couldn't wait and then sat and thought about what my plan of action would be.
I knew Alice. I've known her for the better part of my life. But I have never been so nervous about anything in my entire existence. The day I met her, I remember being struck by her gumption and charm. I was eight and she was six. It was recess and all of the lower grades were outside on the playground. Edward and I were hanging out with some of the boys by the monkey bars. Some of the them were standing underneath the bars trying to look up the girls' skirts as they played. Edward got into a scuffle with one of the boys and was sent back into the classroom for a time out. I remained by the monkey bars just shaking my head at the vulgarity of the peepers when Alice strode over and kicked one of the boys in the shin. I laughed at the situation and she spun on me. Screaming about standing by idle is just as guilty as being one of the peepers. And then she smiled at me before she glided away. I couldn't believe it, this tiny girl just put me in in my place. She was right; I was just as guilty as those boys sneaking peaks at ruffled panties. I should have known from that point that Alice was always right. But I was eight. What could I possibly know about anything?
When I was in the eighth grade and Alice was in the sixth, she danced across the lunchroom one day and planted a kiss on my cheek, told me she'd wait, and bounced back to her table of girlfriends. I just stared after her, completely befuddled by her actions and her words. The entire table I was sitting with burst into fits of laughter until Edward and I threatened to kick all of their asses. I'm not the violent type, but I don't appreciate being laughed at so I would do what was necessary. And Edward, well he has a temper that he is usually able to control.
That's how it was with Alice from the day I met her to the present. The older we got, the bolder she became. Declaring that we were made for each other and that one day I would see it too. She has just always been so sure, where I have not. To be honest, she kind of scares me. But in an exciting way. There is no doubt that I find her attractive. Alice is beautiful inside and out. Practically perfect. She's kind, graceful, assertive, intelligent, and oh so feminine. The truth is, I like everything about the way she looks. From her chin length, onyx colored hair to her piercing blue-grey eyes and pink lips, down to her tiny little feet and everything in the middle. When she smiles at me, my heart leaps and I'm almost positive it's been that way since the first day I saw her on the playground.
So as I sit here trying to decipher a plan to finally claim Alice as mine, I also have to wonder what the hell has stopped me all this time. In retrospect, I know when my heart started to move forward and left my brain behind. It was Senior year and it was prom. Alice was the only sophomore girl to attend and she did so on the arm of Darren Miles. I seriously hated that guy and to see her with him actually caused me physical pain. I remember getting very drunk and going home after instructing the limo to take my date home. It was hypocritical of me; I had a date. But I wasn't the one who said I would wait. She was. So I assumed her waiting was over. I knew that Alice dated over the years and the rational part of me said she had a right. But the primal side hated the very idea with every fiber of my being. I had no right to that hatred, but I couldn't shake it. Nor could I explain it. Probably because my brain refused to acknowledge what my heart already knew, leaving me in the dark.
But it's not her dating that stopped me. My own issues were the sole cause for my stupidity. Those same issues that caused me to take up a near permanent residence at the Cullen's. My parents. My father's abuse of my mother instilled a fear in me that I cannot even begin to explain. A fear that is so rooted into who I am as a man that it practically guides my every action. Sure, I've been intimate with women. I've dated. I've had short-lived girlfriends, but I have never allowed myself to get close enough to love. My father supposedly loved my mother and he beat her so badly her spirit was broken. She allegedly loved him so much that she let him do those awful things to her. I feared that if I loved, I would break the object of my affection to an unrecognizable shell of a person and I just could not let that happen. Even as I sat there, staring at Alice's text I fought an internal struggle to know I could never and I would never hurt her like that. But the 'what-ifs' still plagued me.
As I looked at the simple text message, a smile formed on my face and I knew for a fact that I loved Alice Brandon. I have loved her since I was eight years old. I silently kicked myself for waiting eighteen years to figure this out, but I knew I would make it up to her.
The drive to Forks was miserable. My palms were sweaty and my body was twitching randomly. I had a few shots of scotch at my condo before I left to try and calm my nerves and it worked initially. But twenty minutes into the drive, my nerves won out and it only got worse the closer I got to Forks. I didn't know what I was going to get when I showed up at Alice's door. I wasn't even sure if she would be home. But I couldn't trust my voice to call her. Plus, I know Alice and I think she'd appreciate the sweeping gesture of spontaneous insanity. I looked over to the passenger's seat to see the pink Dahlia flowers I had to pay to be flown here today. The price gouging on flowers is ridiculous, but I know they are Alice's favorite so the price was worth it.
I pulled into her driveway, put the car in park and waited for a moment while I tried to catch my breath. After I realized I was as calm as I could possibly be, I grabbed the flowers and took a deep breath as I walked towards the door. Alice's Porsche was in the driveway so I knew she was home. And the lights in the windows downstairs were visible through the cracks in the curtains so I knew she was awake. I just hoped she was alone and receptive.
I reached the door and stared at the illuminated button for the doorbell. I raised my hand and lowered it several times, each time my hand was shaking more than the last. Finally, in one quick motion I rang the doorbell and jumped slightly as I heard it ring on the other side of the door. It took a few minutes, but it felt like hours, before I heard footsteps in the house. There were a few clicks on the door as the locks were opened. Then, in agonizingly slow motion, the door swung open. I looked at Alice and she looked at me. God, was she a beauty. She didn't say anything at first and I couldn't trust myself to speak. I mean, what would I say? "Hi, Alice. Sorry I'm a blind idiot." I was starting to think that this was a huge mistake, that coming here was not a good idea. I could feel my muscles start to tighten from the tension.
"I've been waiting for you, Jasper."
Alice's voice broke the silence and the tension in my muscles softened. I smiled at her and she smiled back.
"I know. I'm sorry. I'm here now. If you'll let me, I'd like to take you to dinner?"
"Silly, Jasper. Of course," Alice said with a giggle.
Her mood only served to relax me as she lead me into the kitchen, pulling out a large, crystal vase from the cabinet above the sink. She looked at me as she turned around and the smile on her face was an outward expression of the excitement and happiness that was nearly pouring out of her; the same happiness and excitement I felt. She took the flowers from my hand and started to artfully arrange them in the vase. I marveled at her swift and efficient movements. There were three dozen pink Dahlias and she paid gentle attention to each one, but it took her no time at all. When she was done, she buried her face in the arrangement and inhaled a deep breath.
"These are my favorite, Jasper. Thank you." I nodded because I was alarmed at how much her happiness could affect my own.
She came over to me and grabbed my hand, pulling me towards the hallway. She grabbed her coat from the closet and I assisted her in putting it on. She thanked me and I grabbed her hand, lacing my fingers with hers as we exited her house. Alice was basically skipping down the path to her driveway and I couldn't contain the smile on my face. Reaching the Range Rover, I opened the door and realized that Alice was not going to be able to get in by herself. Not in the skirt she had on combined with the high step.
Grabbing Alice by the waist, I lifted her into the seat as she squealed in excitement. I immediately felt a hardening in my pants at the contact and the sound, but I tried to ignore it. Tonight is not about that. Once she was settled in the seat, I shut the door and ran around to the driver's side to get in. The drive to the restaurant was fairly quiet. Alice hummed along to the music and I kept stealing glances in her direction. She wore a giant smile on her face the whole time.
We arrived at Kappo and if it was even possible, Alice became more excited. I thought for sure she was going to explode with it. I opened the door and hopped out while the valet took my spot and I walked to the other side to meet Alice as another attendant held the door open for her. The glow on her face was beautiful. I had to resist the urge to kiss her. Entering the restaurant, I gave the hostess my name and we were seated immediately. Kappo is one of the busiest restaurants in Seattle, but I was able to call in a favor with the owner to make sure we could have a table this evening.
Reaching our table, I helped her out of her coat and pulled out her chair while she sat down before I shrugged off my own coat and handed them to the hostess. I sat across from Alice and watched as her eyes danced in amusement. When her eyes settled on me, I found myself set into a trance. I never wanted to look away. I hardly noticed the waiter approach our table until he cleared his throat, signaling his arrival.
I ordered a bottle of sake for the table and we elected to order from the Omakase menu to allow the chef the honor of preparing his choices for us. I honestly had no idea what to say to Alice. She had always been the aggressor in our game and I'm not sure if that was because she likes it or if it's because I was too much of a chicken shit to do something about it. I decided I would take the lead now and see where we ended up.
"I'm glad you agreed to come to dinner tonight, Alice."
"Jasper, I told you nine years ago that I would wait."
I reached across the table and pulled her small hand into mine, running circles around her palm.
"I know you did and I kept you waiting for far too long. I wasn't ready," I said, gazing into her eyes.
"Are you ready now?"
"Then that's all I care about," Alice said, appeasing some of my nerves.
From there it was just like talking to Ali, my friend. Except the spark of romance was finally double sided. As we talked, it amazed me how much she knew about me and how much I actually knew about her. I knew Dahlia's were her favorite flower, but I wasn't sure how I knew that. I just did. She knew my preference for muscle cars over tech cars even though she wasn't really into cars at all. I knew how she preferred her coffee, that she liked yoga more than palates, and was secretly harboring a lost love for the band NSYNC. It was like everything just rolled so easily between us. She knew me and I knew her. And yet, despite how much we knew about each other, it wasn't boring. I was thrilled to watch her eyes dance when she talked about the company she is working on starting. The determination in her voice stirring feelings in me I never thought I would experience. My heart warmed as I told her about different bands we were listening to for Eclipse and the fact that she hung on my every word and even asked questions and provided an opinion.
Before I knew it, dinner was over and I was holding Alice's hand as we stood by valet waiting for my car. I slipped my arm around her waist, pulling her closer and she snuggled her head into my side and rested her hand on my chest. I didn't want this night to end. It just felt so perfect. Now that I had come to terms with myself. Now that my heart and my brain were on the same page, I wasn't sure I would be able to part with her. I knew I had to. Alice is a lady and deserves to be treated as such. She was my forever and I would have eternity to show her how much I love her.
The valet returned my Range Rover and I once again lifted Alice into the passenger's seat and then walked back around to the driver's side. Heading away from the restaurant, I heard Alice let out a deep sigh.
"Alice? What's wrong?"
There was a short pause. I looked over and she was fidgeting with her nails. Alice doesn't fidget. Bounce, yes. Fidget, no.
"It's just. I'm having such a good time and I don't want it to end."
"Me neither, darlin'."
"Then let's not end it." I couldn't be one hundred percent sure what she was saying and I wasn't going to assume. This would need to be her call.
"What are you saying?"
"I'm saying, take me home to your place instead of taking me to Forks."
I looked over at her then and I recognized the determined look in her eyes, but I also recognized a look of uncertainty.
"Are you sure, sweetheart? Because I don't want you to feel pressure from me. I would never do that to you. We don't have to sleep in the same room if you're just concerned about the long drive. It is late."
"Yes, Jazz. I'm sure. And the drive isn't the issue. I just want yo be near you. With you. I don't want to let you go."
"Alice, I am and always will be yours. I was just too blinded by my own foolishness to see it. Now that I have you, I can't let you go. But this has to be your choice, darlin'."
"I've made my choice, Jasper. I choose you. It's always been you."
Before you freak out, saying Alice was easy or whatever, understand that Alice & Jasper have been engaged in emotional foreplay for 18 years. That's a long damn time.
Leave Jasper some love!!
Outfits will be on the blog & FFn author page