WARNING! VERY LONG ONE SHOT! I should've made it like three chapters, but whatever…
Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight, Alice, or Jasper. I do have a job at a rectory, though...
There he is, thought Alice Brandon, watching wistfully out the window as the blonde boy walked down the street, iPod headphones in ears. His guitar case was slung over his back lazily, and he looked straight ahead, just as he did every week. He never looked in the rectory's direction, except to cross the street to get on the same side. Every week Alice would wish for some freak coincidence so he would have to come inside, like a terrorist attack or gas leak. Nothing like that ever happened. She was doomed to sit in her office chair, staring longingly out the window at the tall, blond haired, blue eyed god that passed her every week.
Alice had been working at Sacred Heart rectory since she started high-school. She had been offered the job due to her active participation in the Sacred Heart Church children's choir, and now in the teen choir. She loved singing and music, and now she was making money for doing it all those years. Now that she approaching the end of her junior year, she was also approaching the year she would be let go to provide available jobs for incoming active freshmen. She could still sing though, and that was all that mattered. She loved singing at mass every Sunday at six with her best friends in the choir band, making it that much more fun. It wasn't like she was a devout Catholic; she still did normal teenage stuff. She usually only paid attention to her faith in Theology class or at Church. She just enjoyed singing. They said singing prayers was like praying twice.
There she is, Jasper thought as he ran across the street, Kenny Chesney playing in his ears. She didn't think he saw her, but he did. Did he ever. Through the tiny rectory window, every week after his guitar lesson, Jasper Whitlock saw the gorgeous girl, working for the church he assumed. He knew her name; Alice. She was very popular around the church, what with her beautiful voice. She sang like an angel, always on pitch and perfectly in time with the accompaniment. She was petite, incredibly so, and her brown eyes were always the most prominent feature on her. They held so much for someone so little. He always went to the evening mass on Sundays, just to hear her sing. Every week, unless he had a family commitment, he would be there. He usually took a spot at the back, always there but never seen.
Jasper never saw Alice looking out the window; he looked down before she could catch him staring. Jasper knew to keep it cool; he didn't want to be caught staring at someone he didn't even know. He always hoped they would somehow come in contact, but it seemed impossible. She was still working when he got out of his guitar lesson at six.
Even though Alice knew logically that it wasn't possible for their paths to cross, she kept faith that they would. She thought that as long as she stayed optimistic, she would meet the mysterious musician. She was correct.
"Alice?" Father Andrew said as he stood in the doorway.
"Yes?" Alice responded, looking up from her book.
"I think I'm going to let you off early today; it's a very slow night," he chuckled, sending Alice's heart into a frenzy. It was about five minutes to six. "Alright. Thank you, Father," Alice responded with a bright smile, trying to keep the hysteria out of her voice. Father Andrew laughed at tiny Alice and retreated to his office. It was finally going to happen. She would meet her mysterious blond-haired man. She packed her things in a timely manner, aiming to leave right when she saw him walk out of the music store door. She packed up all her homework, checked to make sure the windows were all locked, hefted her heavy schoolbag onto her back, and slung her giant purse over her shoulder. It was two minute of when she saw the doors swing open and heard the faint 'ping' that resounded when the door rang the bell. She threw the door open and spun around, pretending to close it carefully. She took a deep, calming breath, and turned around with composure. That is, until she caught a glimpse of the man staring at her.
Jasper couldn't believe his eyes. He had been running across the street when he heard it; the slamming door of the rectory. He had heard it a few times before, people leaving with CCD forms or food vouchers. He glanced up automatically when he had crossed, only to be captured by Alice's chocolate gaze.
Those eyes. Those big blue eyes would be the death of her. They stared into her own with an intensity so strong, Alice thought she was going to collapse. She walked shakily to the steps and grabbed the railing, making sure not to make a fool of herself on her way to her car. Success!
She looked up for a split second, into those eyes again, causing her to loose her usually perfect balance. She wobbled to one side, the one with her giant bag on her arm, but before either her or the bag could topple, she felt two strong arms grip her supportively.
As she leaned to one side, Jasper reacted instinctively. He reached out to catch her. She fit perfectly in his long arms. Her tiny form was braced for the impact the ground would cause, her eyes tightly shut. After her shock wore off, she nearly sent Jasper to his knees with the force of her eyes.
Oh my God, was Alice's only thought as she looked up at the face of the blond boy, which looked equally awed as it stared right into her brown eyes.
"Are you okay?" the boy asked in concern, his eyes a bit glazed over.
That accent. He had the sexiest Southern drawl in the history of Texas. He was wearing a blue and navy gingham flannel shirt and jeans, with worn cowboy boots to complete the rugged outlaw look.
"Yes," Alice breathed, making an attempt to right herself. The boy immediately let her go, and Alice stood up straight. She still had to look up at him, though.
That voice. She had the most beautiful voice, like wind chimes or a perfectly tuned guitar, even when she was whispering. Even if he hadn't known about her amazing singing, anyone could figure it out after listening to her speak.
Why am I so nervous? Alice asked herself, channeling her usual self-confidence. After assuring herself, she looked back at the boy with a pleasant smile plastered on her lips.
"My name is Alice Brandon," she introduced herself with spunk, sticking out her tiny hand.
"Jasper. Jasper Whitlock." He extracted his hand, and when the two met, it was as if lightening had struck the exact spot where they were standing. Alice swore she felt the hairs on the back of her neck rise when they touched. She couldn't help but notice how his giant guitar-strumming hands fit around her tiny ones perfectly.
"It's nice to meet you, Jasper," Alice smiled politely. She felt a thrill shoot through her when she spoke his name. It was exciting to be able to put a name to the face she had watched for so long.
"You too, Alice," he murmured with a small lop-sided smile. She had never seen him smile before, and her heart was now beating like hummingbird wings. Jasper felt a thrill rush through him as her name escaped his lips.
"Here, let me carry that for you," Jasper smirked, motioning towards her bag. Alice smiled timidly before sliding the zebra-striped purse off her shoulder and handing it to him.
"Jeez, what do you have in here?" he laughed, pretending to do curls with it. She must have had bricks in there.
"Um, all the school books that don't fit in my backpack," Alice groaned, thinking of the large amount of homework she had left.
"Which school do you go to?" he asked her.
"Cardinal Dougherty High School," Alice replied with a sigh. "My parents are making me go there. You?"
"Central High School" he answered, rolling his eyes. "Awful school. I'd rather go where you go; education is actually important to me," he said scathingly. No one understood that concept at Central High in Pennsylvania. He was always alone, an outcast by default. Not many music involved kids were involved in grades also.
"Well, I'm sure you know more about this stuff than I do," Alice said, hoping he would offer to tutor her.
"Oh. Well, if you want, I could, um, help you?" He offered shyly, his accent a bit less pronounced. He wanted to help this fragile girl, a protective instinct within him.
"That would be great!" Alice replied with a big toothy smile. "When can you?"
"Right now, if you want," he answered softly, looking towards the ground. Alice thought he was only offering because he felt pressured, and was quick to give him the option.
"If you don't want to, you can always say no," Alice said with a small forgiving smile.
"Oh, of course I want to help you! It's just that I don't know if I'd be any good at teaching," he admitted sheepishly.
"Oh, I'm sure you're a great teacher. If it helps, I've only known you for about five minutes and I already like you better than I like all my teachers," Alice joked, grabbing Jasper's hand boldly and pulling him in the direction of her car. This surprised Jasper; he wasn't used to people having contact with him, never mind physical contact.
Her yellow Porsche was certainly eye-catching, and Alice knew Jasper was impressed when he let out a low whistle.
"Wow. Awesome ride," he muttered in appreciation.
"Thanks, I got it for my sweet sixteen," Alice rolled her eyes at the flashiness of her car. She loved it, but she didn't want Jasper to think she was a spoiled rich teen.
"Awesome," he repeated, standing next to it.
"You can put your guitar in the backseat," Alice directed, unlocking the car with the remote. Jasper pulled open the door and placed his guitar gently on the seat before closing it and standing awkwardly again.
"Here's your purse," he said with a jolt, like he had forgotten he was carrying it.
"Thanks," Alice replied, walking around to the driver's side. "You can jump in the passenger side," she said when Jasper made no move to get in. He shook it head, as if to clear it, and slid into the seat. Alice knitted her eyebrows in confusion for a minute before shrugging her shoulders and hopping in the driver's seat.
"If you want to plug your iPod in, that's fine," Alice suggested as she backed out. Jasper immediately protested, claiming it was her car and he didn't want to intrude.
"Please. As if you would like any of the music I listened to anyways," she muttered sheepishly. She had a rather odd taste in music for a teenage girl her age; everything. She listen to absolutely everything except country.
"Okay," Jasper sighed, plugging it in. Holy shit.
"Okay. Radio time," she announced, pressing the button on the stereo to turn it on.
"What? Why?" Jasper asked confusedly.
"Why are we listening to country?" she asked disgustedly. Jasper just stared at her like she was crazy.
"What? I don't like country," she defended, flipping down the CD holder above her head to show off all her alternative, classical, jazz, classic rock, pop, and everything else there was. Except country.
"What is this?" he laughed in shock, pulling out a Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers album.
"That would be good music. Full Moon Fever album," she elaborated when she caught a glimpse of the cover art.
"I think my mom listens to this," he snickered, turning the CD around in his hands.
"Well, tell your mom she has good taste in music," Alice retorted, snatching the CD back and stuffing it back into it's place.
"How can you not like country? It's filled with emotion, soul, passion," Jasper said unbelievingly.
"I just don't. I listen to like, everything my dad listens to. He was never a fan of country, either," I shrugged.
"Ah. My dad was big into country. Maybe that's why," he chuckled, putting his iPod in his pocket.
"Do you listen to anything other than country?" Alice asked, hoping for a yes.
"Sure. Alternative, rock, mostly everything except classical or hip hop, rap, r and b, stuff like that," he answered. Yes, Alice thought. She loved alternative; this would so work.
Jasper pulled an All Time Low CD from the flap and slid it in the stereo. Weightless blasted from the speakers. Alice sang along quietly, not wanting to brag about her amazing voice. She knew she sang beautifully, having been told so on many occasions. She just didn't want to seem self-centered.
Jasper began to sing along, also with a good voice.
"You have a beautiful singing voice. I feel like I've heard it before," Jasper murmured, looking at Alice, trying to make it seem like he wasn't completely stalking her.
"Well, I sing at that church every week at six," Alice offered, while her confidence was soaring from the compliment.
"That must be it. I don't go often, but I try to make the later masses," he nodded to himself. That seemed feasible.
Alice smiled as an idea popped into her head.
"Hey. You play guitar, right?" Alice pointed out, motioning towards the guitar in the backseat.
"Um, yes," Jasper said slowly, trying to understand her motives.
"Well our guitar player is having trouble making all the masses because he's in college, and I think it would be a good idea if you played," Alice whispered, trailing off as she realized how pushy she sounded.
Jasper, however, thought this was a great idea. He had never really been part of a church or anything, but he was Catholic. He had received First Holy Communion and Confirmation and everything. His face lit up at the prospect of hearing Alice sing every week while she actually knew he was there. That and his love of guitar playing made up his mind for him.
"I would love to," he announced with great satisfaction.
"No, you don't really, I don't know why I just blurted it out like that," Alice stammered, backtracking.
"Alice," Jasper laughed. "I would be honored to play guitar at the six o'clock masses. Unless, of course, you changed your mind…" Oops! Alice thought as Jasper cast his eyes downward.
"Of course not! I just don't want you doing anything you don't want to do," she revised.
"Well, you don't have to worry about that. Now, where do I sign up?"
Alice giggled at his enthusiasm. "Well, it's only Tuesday. If you want, you can come to watch on Sunday to get a feel for what you're up against," she smirked.
"Alright then. Who should I get in contact with?" he asked.
"I feel like I'm taking a call at the rectory," Alice giggled. "You can email Joyce Hart. She's in charge of liturgies and the music department at Sacred Heart. I'm not sure what her email is now… and next week would be no good… I can just call my friend Bella tomorrow when she has her shift," Alice concluded. Bella was Alice's absolute best friend and co-worker. They always had a field day exchanging crazy stories about visitors and phone calls. Bella had been busy lately with her new boyfriend, Edward. They were such sweethearts together, sometimes it made Alice jealous. Alice made a mental note to make plans with Bella so she could gush about Jasper while Bella gushed about Edward.
"Alright," Jasper smiled, excited about this new job.
"Here's my house," Alice cringed as her giant mansion of a house came into view.
"It's amazing," Jasper complimented with wide eyes.
"Thanks," Alice muttered, embarrassed. She didn't like flaunting her money unless it was on her body in the form of a cute outfit.
She parked the Porsche in the four-car garage and hopped out with her zebra bag. She reached back in to grab her backpack, but Jasper had already taken it. What a gentleman, she thought dreamily.
Jasper hauled his guitar and Alice's backpack, trailing behind her while she led him into her house. Mansion was more like it. He suddenly felt very insignificant, like he shouldn't be there. He knew it was ridiculous to feel that way when she obviously wanted him there, but he just felt so poor. He pushed all the negative thoughts away and followed Alice into the house.
Alice was intensely hoping Jasper wouldn't feel uncomfortable. She had experienced the 'oh my gosh you're so rich I'm not worthy,' thing before with other boyfriends and Bella. She wasn't about to let that get in the way of this.
"Alice? Is that you?" Mr. Brandon called from the kitchen.
"Yeah, Dad," she replied, grabbing Jasper's hand -cue electric tingles- and leading him to the kitchen.
"Who's this?" Mr. Brandon asked with a crinkly-eyed smile. He wasn't too strict when it came to boys, he would only lay down the law when it got serious.
"Dad, this is Jasper. He takes guitar lessons at South Shore Music Co., right near Sacred Heart," Alice explained, hoping her father would keep calm.
"Pleasure to meet you, sir," Jasper said politely, his accent showing. He extended his hand to Mr. Brandon and was met with a firm but friendly grip.
"You too, Jasper. Where are you from? With that accent, you can't be local…" Mr. Brandon trailed off.
"I'm originally from Texas, sir. I moved here a few years ago," Jasper explained to both Mr. Brandon and Alice.
"I see. Well, welcome to our home, nonetheless," he smiled again.
"Thank you, sir."
"Jasper's just going to help me with my homework," Alice said quickly, grabbing his hand again and pulling him towards the living room.
"Okay, good luck, Jasper," Mr. Brandon chuckled. Alice shoved her father playfully, causing Mr. Brandon to laugh harder.
"Come on, before my dad makes fun of me anymore," Alice giggled, pushing Jasper towards the couch.
"Your dad seems nice," Jasper grinned. He had never seen such an exchange between father and daughter; it was refreshing to know that kind of relationship still existed.
"Yeah, he is. Unlike most kids my age, I actually love my parents," Alice smirked, plopping down on the couch. She patted the empty spot next to her so Jasper would sit. He threw the backpack on the ground and sat next to her.
"So, what do you have for homework?" Jasper began.
The two of them spent the next three hours with algebra, English, biology, Spanish, and, Jasper's favorite, American History. He was a history geek. Good thing, because Alice knew nothing about it.
"Wow," Alice breathed after they completed all her work. "You're smart."
"Thanks," Jasper blushed, ducking his head.
"Especially in American History," Alice noted.
"It's my favorite subject," he explained. "The Civil War period mostly."
"That's so rare. Everyone I know hates that." Alice rolled her eyes at the predictability of her classmates. The only ones worth talking to were Bella and Edward. Her other friends, Rosalie and Emmett were great too. The five of them were the best of friends, and Alice could easily see Jasper fitting into the group.
"Well, I should probably get going…" Jasper murmured reluctantly.
"Wait!" Alice blurted out, immediately blushing after.
"Yes?" Jasper looked at her with eager eyes.
"Can, um, can I have your number?" Alice asked shyly, looking up at him from under her eyelashes.
"Of course," Jasper smiled lopsidedly, his eyes crinkling at the corners.
They exchanged phones, programming their numbers in.
"Thanks for the help, Jasper," Alice said as they stood in the doorway.
"Um, I actually need a ride home," Jasper said sheepishly.
"Oh! Right! Sorry, I totally forgot how you got here," Alice said, hitting her palm to her forehead. "Let me grab my keys."
Once they were on the road again, Jasper flipped on the radio to a classic rock station. Pink by Aerosmith was playing, one of Alice's favorite songs. Naturally, Alice started singing along with it; Jasper joined hesitantly as the song broke off into two parts. Their voices flitted about the vehicle, counteracting and comingling into a beautiful rendition of Aerosmith's classic song.
Pink, it was love at first sight,
Pink when I turn out the light,
Yeah, pink gets me high as a kite,
And I think everything is going to be alright,
No matter what we do tonight.
"We make a pretty good team, Whitlock," Alice giggled.
"That we do, Brandon," Jasper grinned, thinking about joining the church choir on Sunday.
Jasper didn't have to give Alice directions on the way; her fancy GPS led the way. They made it to his house in a matter of minutes.
"You don't live that far from me," Alice mused, thinking about the fun they could have together sneaking away to see each other.
"No, I don't. I've actually passed by your house quite a few times… and that sounded super stalkerish," Jasper muttered, blushing.
"Yeah, kind of, but I get what you mean," Alice laughed as she pulled into the driveway. His house was cute, much more homely than her home.
"I love your house," Alice smiled.
"Thanks," Jasper said shyly. He still felt insignificant sitting in the canary yellow Porsche. It just didn't look right sitting in the driveway of his Cape style house.
"Well, thanks for the tutoring. I may just have to recruit you again sometime," Alice joked, thinking about all the tests she had coming up.
"I'd be happy to help you, anytime," Jasper reassured, sliding out of the car and grabbing his guitar from the back seat.
"I'll see you soon, Alice," Jasper whispered, leaning in through the open passenger door.
"Yeah, see you," Alice smiled, thinking about how great choir would be from now on.
Can I swing by to drop off music for Sunday? Alice texted Jasper. She had spoken with Mrs. Hart on Thursday and got the OK. Jasper would start this Sunday.
Am I playing this Sunday? Jasper responded, butterflies assaulting him. He was a bit nervous about the whole thing, even though he knew he was a good guitarist.
If you want to, Alice replied, not wanting to pressure him into anything.
I do, Jasper sent with a smile. He couldn't wait.
I'm on my way. Alice actually laughed out loud when she though about where she was headed next.
Sunday had finally come. Jasper had been practicing all weekend for this. He was instructed via text message to come at 4:45 for rehearsal. It was 3:00 now; he had an hour and 45 minutes to get ready. He showered quickly and threw on jeans and a blue shirt with white pinstripes. His usual cowboy boots adorned his feet, and his blond hair fell in waves around his face. He splashed on a bit of aftershave for good measure and tuned his guitar to perfection. He played through each song once, making sure there were absolutely no rough spots.
He glanced at the clock; 4:30. Not wanted to show up late, he lugged his guitar down to his parents' old beat up Chevy and placed it in the passenger seat.
Alice was already on her way. She always showed up a little early to help out Mrs. Hart with the books and music. When she arrived, she heard Edward playing the piano beautifully. Bella was standing next to Edward, singing softly, unconfidently. She had an absloutely beautiful voice, she was just shy about it. Alice smiled as she heard Edward singing along softly, guiding her through the song. Alice was grateful that they had found each other; Edward was so much better at boosting Bella's confidence than Alice had been, what with all the compliments Alice received. Edward was rather shy too, so he could relate, unlike Alice who never doubted her abilities. Alice never really knew what it was like to be unconfident. Not wanting to interrupt their moment, Alice went upstairs to bring down the music sheets for this evening. When she got back down, she found Edward and Bella sitting in the pew together, Edward mercilessly tickling Bella. She could hear Bella's cries of laughter and protest.
"Edward, if you tickle Bella into submission, who will I have to shop with?" Alice laugh-shouted as she made her way around the pews. Edward just laughed harder, giving Bella a chance to escape. She wiggled free and darted to the other end of the pew.
"Ha!" she laughed.
"Aww, baby, don't be like that," Edward used a fake accent and held out his arms. Bella shrugged and launched herself towards him, causing them both to burst out laughing.
"You two are too cute, but we need to get down to business!" Alice demanded.
"To business, I say!" Emmett called.
"Hey, guys," Rosalie greeted.
"Hey Emmett, Rose," Edward shouted towards the back. "Come on and let's get to warming up."
"Guys, I have some great news!" Alice smiled. "I got us a new guitarist!"
"Fresh meat!" Emmett laughed.
"Really? Who?" Edward asked.
"He's really good, and his name's Jasper. He's also super smart," she added, thinking back to when he tutored her.
"How did you meet him?" Bella asked knowingly. She knew her best friend like the back of her hand. Alice liked him.
The little encouragement given by Bella forced Alice into the full-length story of their meeting. By the time it was done, Edward and Emmett had retired to their instruments to warm up. Emmett was adjusting the cymbals and Edward was warming up with scales.
"Sounds like destiny," Bella smiled, winking at Alice. "But come on, we have to warm up."
Little did they know that Jasper was waiting in the foyer, listening to Alice's animated story about their meeting. He had no idea it was as magical for her as it was for him. He smiled hugely before composing himself and striding in.
"Jasper!" Alice called, descending the stairs to the choir loft and running towards him. She gave him a greeting hug and tugged him towards the loft.
"Guys, this is our new guitarist, Jasper," she introduced.
"Sup?" Emmett said, pounding fists with him. Jasper was, to say the least, intimidated by Emmett's vast stature.
"Hi, I'm Rosalie, this is Emmett, Edward, Bella, and you know Alice apparently," Rosalie said pleasantly, pointing everyone out.
"Pleasure to meet all of you," Jasper said modestly.
"Where are you from? You surely don't sound local," Edward asked curiously.
"I'm from Texas; I moved here a few years back," Jasper explained.
"Well, I'm from Tennessee originally. We can use our funny accents together," Emmett laughed, exaggerating his nearly unnoticeable accent.
"Alright, you hicks, time to practice," Rosalie snickered. Emmett whacked her butt with the drumstick playfully, causing Rose to squeal and everyone else to break out into giggles.
"Okay, let's go," Alice commanded, everyone laughing into place. Alice took her spot at the podium, Rose and Jasper on the first step, Bella in the back on the second step, Emmett on the ground seated at the drum set, and Edward at the piano, furthest away.
"Jasper, you practiced?" Emmett asked after the first song.
"Yeah, I didn't want to show up completely unprepared, and Alice brought me the music," he explained shyly.
"You're wicked awesome, man," Emmett said, extending his fist for Jasper to pound again.
"Thanks," he murmured, blushing a bit.
"Great job everyone, just a little faster," Mrs. Hart said as she strode in the doors.
"Hi, Mrs. Hart!" Alice smiled into the microphone.
"Hello, Alice, Bella, Edward, Emmett, Rosalie, and you! Who do we have here? Jasper, is it?" she clarified, shaking his hand.
"Yes ma'am, pleasure to meet you," he said, unconsciously unleashing that Southern charm on her.
"And same to you, Jasper. Now, let's try that psalm," she ordered, getting straight to business. "Alice, I know you can sing this in your sleep, but Jasper needs to get acquainted with it at least once. Would you mind?"
"Oh, not at all!" Alice laughed, grabbing a book and making her way casually to the altar. She was most confident with an audience.
"One, two, three, four," Edward counted, and provided the intro with tinkling beginning notes. Jasper started playing as Alice began singing, and the experience was breathtaking. The two of them were always in time together, even when Emmett started laughing at something in his own head and threw off the beat.
"That was amazing! Welcome to the band, Jasper," Mrs. Hart exclaimed, winking at him. Jasper had a feeling he would be with this band for a long time.