'Love Actually' Contest
Title: Love Waits
Characters: Alice and Jasper
Disclaimer: As usual, Stephenie Meyer owns all the vampires and werewolves, and a few humans too but love is free and should be played with often.
Image that inspired you: Prompt 4
"Do you remember when I gave this to you?" I asked Jasper, twirling the ring he wore on a chain around his neck between my fingers.
"How could I ever forget?" he smiled, taking my hand in his, pressing it to his chest while I snuggled closer in his arms. It was the weekend, which meant no need to leave our bed to go to Forks High School and pretend to be adopted siblings. No, it was Saturday and here in our bed, in our house, we were Alice and Jasper, husband and wife.
I snuggled my head into his neck and he placed a soft kiss on my forehead, both of us enjoying post-coital bliss.
For twenty-eight years I walked alone as a vampire, guided only by my visions of Carlisle and his family and of Jasper. I knew nothing of my past but my future was certain and that future was as Japer's mate for eternity. When he walked into the Melrose Diner in Philadelphia almost sixty years ago it was everything I could do not to pounce on him right there out of pure joy that he had finally found me. However, I knew his life was very different from the one I saw in our future and I knew he would be confused and prepared to fight. I had to remain calm, to convince him as much as I was convinced that we belonged together.
"From the moment I woke into my new life I saw you," I said with a sigh of contentment as he pulled me closer against him. "But in Philadelphia, when I could feel that you were close I just had to get the ring."
Two days before Jasper walked into that diner I knew it was certain that he would be there so I headed to Sansom Street, carefully negotiating the brick paved street in my high heels. As I was walking down the street, I saw a sign hanging in front of a door that said 'Sydney Rosen Jewelers'. I skipped to that side of the street and opened the door, going up a narrow staircase where the jeweler had a small office and showcase. The moment I lay eyes on the white gold wedding band I knew I had to have it.
'I'll take that one, please," I told him as I removed my white gloves and pointed to it through the glass case. "And I would like to have 'Love Waits' engraved on the outside of the band."
"Are you sure you don't need time to think about ma'am?" he questioned me, eyeing me from behind glasses that held his jeweler's magnifier.
"I'm positive," I smiled as he opened the case and pulled it for me to inspect. "Can you do it while I wait?"
"Of course," she answered, moving to a worktable with a bright light and engraver.
"Love waits," he whispered against my ear. "You waited for me."
"You were worth the wait," I whispered back, placing a soft kiss on his lips.
It was time. July 14th was the day Jasper Whitlock would walk into my world. I looked through the wardrobe in my room at the Bellevue-Stratford Hotel and laid a couple of outfits out on the bed. I was trying to decide between the green linen skirt with a matching jacket top or a simple white dress with an empire waist.
I decided on the green. It was a smart outfit and the white just clashed with my skin. Besides, it was a rainy day in the city and white was probably not the best choice. The green dress had a matching hat as well which was perfect for a rainy day.
I buttoned the two oversized buttons on the top and looked in the mirror, smoothing out my skirt and twirling. It was the perfect outfit. He would love it. All I had to do was finish it off. I picked up a pair of black patent leather shoes and matching handbag and slipped on white linen gloves. A lady always covered her hands. One more peek in the mirror and I knew it was time to go meet my destiny.
"Can I hail a cab for you ma'am?" The doorman asked as I stepped out the doors to the sidewalk in front of 'Philadelpia's Hotel'. I had been there for a couple of weeks, choosing it because it was a glorious hotel with Tiffany lamps and lights designed by Thomas Edison, magnificent iron staircases and a glorious ballroom. However, I didn't really get to spend time in the Ballroom. The Democratic National Convention was in town and that room was packed with men. Women weren't exactly welcomed to attend such an 'important' gathering. It didn't matter to me though. I could have cared less about politics. All I cared about was Jasper. The rest of the world didn't exist to me.
"Yes, please," I answered, opening my umbrella. "I'm headed to the Melrose Diner."
The doorman stepped to the curb and a cab was there almost immediately, splashing water form a puddle onto the sidewalk. The doorman stepped back just in time to avoid it.
"Be safe ma'am," the doorman said as he opened the cab door for me before telling the driver where to go.
It was a short cab ride before I saw the neon lights reflecting off the chrome exterior of the Melrose Diner. I was so nervous to finally see Jasper in person but I had to calm down. I didn't want to scare him away.
I walked in to the diner and took a seat at counter, ordering a cup of coffee and a BLT sandwich. It was easy enough to pick apart and slip into my handbag so they thought I was eating. After all, who walks into a diner and doesn't eat?
I was scanning the newspaper when I heard the door chime go off. I turned to see the man of my dreams, my visions, enter.
I watched as Jasper, soaking wet from head to toe, walked to a booth in the corner of the diner. He ordered a coffee and kept an eye on me the entire time. He smelled me the moment I walked in, as I did him. There was confusion and anxiety in his eyes. I continued to remain calm. I needed him to know I was not a threat like the other vampires he had known. I was the love of his life.
I slipped my gloves into my handbag, picked up the bag and my hat, and made my way to him.
As I got close to him, he stood up to greet me but there was trepidation in his eyes.
"You've kept me waiting a long time," I said, smiling. His eyes were pitch-black and I knew he was hungry. He had no idea there was a different way to exist, without human blood so I was certain it was difficult for him inside a diner full of them.
He looked at me with his eyes lowered. "I'm sorry ma'am."
I held out my hand and he took it easily, as if he knew my hand belonged in his. When I felt his skin touch mine, I knew my future, our future, had begun.
"Love waits," I smiled. He smiled as well but I could tell he was confused by everything that was happening. However, his fear had subsided somewhat. He seemed to know I meant him no harm.
"Is there…is there somewhere we can go, to talk?" he asked in a slow southern drawl that made me weak in the knees.
I squeezed his hand to offer him further comfort and reassurance. "Yes there is," I said softly. "I have a hotel room nearby. We can walk."
"But what about the rain?" he asked, opening the front door of the diner for us to leave.
"I have an umbrella," I smiled, reaching for it from the dry spot next to the door I had left it when I came in. "I'll share."
I hooked my arm through Jasper's and we walked hand in hand while he held the umbrella over us until we arrived back at the hotel.
Men in three-piece suits were pouring in and out of the hotel and the bars that surrounded it. Having so many humans so close had to be very trying for Jasper but I wasn't worried.
"There are so many…people," he said hesitantly.
"It's okay," I re-assured him. "You won't hurt them."
"My manners have failed me," he apologized. "I'm Jasper Whitlock."
I giggled. "I know that. I have seen you coming for twenty-eight years."
"Seen me coming?" he asked as we entered the grand lobby of the hotel, his eyes scanning the crowds.
"I have…'visions'…of the future and from the day I woke up into this world, I saw you with me," I explained. "By the way, I'm Alice."
"It's a pleasure to meet you, Alice," he smiled, drawing out his words like pulled taffy.
"What floor?" the liftman asked as the elevator doors opened.
"Nine please," I said as we were stepping into the elevator.
Jasper swallowed deep, surely very aware of the human blood pulsing through the liftman's body. Dinner was so close, yet so far away from him. I knew I would have to take him hunting soon.
The doors opened to our floor and I slipped a dollar bill to the man as a tip.
"Have a nice day," he offered as Jasper and I stepped off the elevator and turned towards my room.
I turned my key into the lock of room 914 and opened the door for Jasper who placed his hand against it to hold it open, motioning for me to go first.
"Thank you," I said.
I went straight to the vanity and unpinned my hat, laying it and my gloves on top of the chest of drawers. I then stepped out of my high heels and sat down on the bed.
"I'm sure you have a million questions," I gushed, anxious to find out all about his past, since I had only seen the future.
"Yes, yes, I do," he grinned, pulling on his wet clothes. "But I am soaking wet and would like to get out of these clothes and hop in the shower. Is there a robe I can wear while my clothes drip dry? I don't have change with me."
"Of course you do, silly," I said, stepping off the bed and opening the bathroom door where I held out a fresh change of clothes I had purchased for him when I knew he was arriving.
"How do you do that?" he asked, scrunching his eyebrows together.
"I told you, I have visions. I knew you would need things," I shrugged.
Jasper walked towards me and took the clothes from me. "Thank you, darlin'," he smiled and I was once again weak in my knees. "When I get out of this shower I want to hear all about these visions and all about you and everything you have seen and done."
"We have an eternity to get to know each other," I smiled widely as he stepped into the bathroom, shutting the door behind him.
I took my dress off, placed it back on its hanger, slipped on a white satin nightgown with thin shoulder straps, and tied a red and white polka-dot bandana around my hair to keep it in place.
I lay back on the bed, propping feather pillows up behind me. I could hear the water running and I imagined what his body looked like under the wet clothes. However, I would wait. I had to take my time and not frighten him.
His shower was very fast and he stepped from the bathroom in brand new pajama pants and a tank-t-shirt. He had scars all over him but he was still so beautiful.
He seemed conscience of my eyes on him and crossed his arms in front of his chest to hide some of the scars on his arms.
"It's okay," I said softly, reaching my hand out for him. "I won't hurt you. I will never hurt you."
"It's just…I haven't had the easiest life since my change," he mumbled. "I have a lot of scars."
I didn't say anything as he lay down on the bed beside me. I just reached my hand out and rubbed his arm, comforting him. I then leaned forward and placed soft kissed on the scars that peeked out from beneath his undershirt and the bigger scars from his biceps to his hands. He closed his eyes and moaned quietly.
"I still can't believe that you are real, that you are here," I said, turning sideways on the bed to face him. I took his hand in mine and I did not intend to ever let go.
Jasper turned to face me and placed his other hand on my cheek. "I am here and I am not going anywhere without you. You are where I am meant to be. I have no doubt," he said. "But how did you know I was coming? How do your visions work?"
I hesitated, looking down at my hands. I had always felt out of place, outside the norm because of my visions, on top of the fact that I was a vampire all alone. My mood suddenly changed and I felt peace, contentment and love.
"I don't remember one thing about my human life," I sighed. "My first memory was waking up into this life, seeing visions of you and visions of our future, together, with a family called the Cullens."
"Visions?" he asked, perplexed by what I meant.
I was quiet, hesitant to elaborate. It wasn't something I shared.
"I…see…things," I stammered, raising only my eyes to see what Jasper's reaction was.
"Well, that must be your gift, darlin'," he grinned, squeezing my hand.
"Yes, many of us have gifts or abilities," he began. "I am an empath. I feel the emotions and feelings of those around me and I can control theirs. You don't know any other vampires with abilities?"
I lifted my face from the pillow and propped myself on an elbow. I was intrigued by this information. "I don't know any other vampires."
"My visions help me a lot. They told me you were coming and that we would find the Cullens. They tell me when danger is near so I can avoid it and they have helped me with the stock market, which is how I have money. But I have never encountered another vampire. The visions of the Cullens guided me and taught me how to be a 'vegetarian' vampire and how to survive."
"Who are these Cullens?" he asked with trepidation, tensing up a bit.
"They hunt animals, not humans and they live together as a family. I see us as a part of that family."
"A family? Not a coven?"
I giggled. I had to admit to myself this was a very strange conversation to be having.
"Yes, it's a coven in the technical sense but they are a family," I said, smiling widely at him, to re-assure him they were good vampires. "But there is a father, a mother, two boys and a girl."
"And they don't feed on humans?" he asked, raising an eyebrow. The thought appeared so foreign to me.
"No," I smiled. "We will go to them and we will become part of the family. I have seen it."
He was quiet for a moment, contemplating his next question. I waited patiently, ready to tell him anything.
"How do you manage to be around all of these people – in the diner, the hotel, the streets?" he asked softly.
"It doesn't bother me," I said confidently. "I have never fed on a human. Ever since I saw the Cullens in my visions and how they hunted on animals I learned to live that way as well and I will teach you."
"Are you strong? Animal blood is enough to keep you full?" he asked, seemingly surprised.
"I could take you any day," I laughed. "I am very strong and yes, it is enough. You will do fine. I've seen it.
He smiled in amusement before changing the mood and tone. Suddenly I felt a tingling sensation, a need to be closer to him.
"I hope it's not inappropriate to say, but you're the most beautiful woman I've ever laid eyes on," he said with such conviction I was certain it was filled with honesty.
I moved a little closer to him and touched his cheek with my hand. I felt so close to him. He was finally with me, right in front of me and I couldn't get enough of him.
"It isn't inappropriate at all," I purred. "I have waited on you for a very long time. I would have been sorely disappointed if I didn't dazzle you."
As I moved closer, Jasper instinctively grasped my thigh and pulled me even closer. He looked deep into my eyes and his tongue peeked out from his mouth to wet his lip as he moved his hand up my thigh to my waist, the satin sliding easily against my skin. We looked deep into each other's eyes and we saw everything we ever wanted in each other. I was content and I could feel that he was as well. I moved my hands down his cheeks, to his jaw and pulled him to me, parting his lips with my tongue.
"Oh my," he moaned.
His hands slid up my back and he pulled me closer to him. I wanted him so badly and my emotions were swinging wildly between intense, unbridled passion and pure bliss, replacing the fear and depression I had detected from Jasper when he first came into the diner. The more I responded to him and the feelings of need and longing I could feel him physically pull away and I would relax, only to soon find myself tugging at his hair, pulling him back towards me, towards my center.
I had never felt these emotions. I felt love. I was in love with Jasper, the man I had envisioned for so long, who I had just met hours earlier. The harder I kissed him I could feel an erection growing, pushing at the pajama pants. I could tell he was trying to avoid me discovering that as he moved and adjusted his hips away from me.
"It's okay, Jasper," I muttered, trying to reassure him.
He reached up and grabbed my face, kissing me hard, his fingers tugging at the bandana in my hair. His hand moved down my neck, his fingertips brushing gently against my skin as he moved to slip my nightgown from my shoulders. I reached for his hips and pulled him closer still, only to have him pull his lips from mine. He moved his hand slowly back up my shoulder and pressed a finger against my mouth. He closed his eyes, took a deep breath then opened his eyes again, looking at me.
I was utterly confused.
"I want you darlin'," he admitted. "Believe me, I want you and I will have you but according to your visions and the emotions that are overwhelming me right now I know we will be together forever. That makes me want to do this right and do right by you. Let's get to know each other first. I want you to be certain."
"I have never been more certain of anything – ever," I said, pushing my finger from his lips, offering him a chaste peck on the cheek.
Jasper scooted back on the bed and sat up, crossing his legs Indian style. I sat up as well and turned my legs to the side as I looked at him with such respect. I wanted him and he wanted me but he was remaining strong and courteous about the whole situation.
"Tell me about you, Alice," he urged.
"There isn't much to tell," I frowned, picking at the blanket with her fingers. "Twenty-eight years ago I woke up in Baltimore, alone, with a serious thirst for blood. Over time, I discovered what I was, but I still don't know who I was before that. However, none of that matters. Every single day for almost three decades, I have seen my life with you and the Cullens and it gave me hope. That has been my entire focus."
He adjusted himself a little more on the bed, facing me straight on, taking both of my hands in his.
"But what about since then? What have you done since then? How do you manage alone?"
"I have wandered – Baltimore, New York City, Philadelphia, Montreal and everywhere in between," I began to rattle off the details of the past three decades. "I worked in a factory during the war -."
"Like Rosie the Riveter?" he chuckled.
"Exactly like that," I giggled. "I didn't need the money but I wanted to do my part and all the other girls were doing it. It was pretty cool. Super human strength comes in handy."
"I would have liked to have seen that," he said, raising an eyebrow.
"Oh, I have pictures," I said, jumping from the bed, running to a suitcase I had sitting on a luggage rack. I reached inside, to the satin pocket inside the lid and pulled out a stack of pictures. I leapt back onto the bed and plopped down across from him, dropping the pictures in between us.
Jasper flipped through them and I told him stories behind each. I smiled widely when he found the picture of me in my blue coveralls and bright red lipstick, with a riveter in my hand. It was a shame the colors were black and white and couldn't see how bright the lipstick was against my porcelain skin. There were pictures of me at Niagara Falls and in Times Square on New Year's Eve along with casual pictures of me mocking pin-up girls with LOOK! Magazine in my hands.
I loved watching his face as he saw each picture of me in places he had never laid eyes before. This was all so new to him. I knew these things would happen, but Jasper didn't.
"So tell me about the whole stock market thing and your money," he pleaded.
"Well, during the Great Depression so many people lost their jobs, houses, businesses and family because of the stock market. I focused and I could see the future of businesses and started to invest money I had made at odd jobs, and, well, I did really well."
"What an amazing gift," he responded, reaching out to touch my fingers with his. He seemed to need to touch me as much as I needed to touch him.
"Not all the time," I sighed. "Sometimes I wish I didn't see things and could turn them off." I closed my eyes, shook my head and re-opened my eyes with a new focus. "Now tell me about you."
"You mean you don't know?" he asked in confusion.
"I only saw you coming," I explained. "I see the future. Not the past."
"Where do you want me to start?" I asked.
"From the beginning," she smiled. "From your beginning."
"When I was seventeen years old I lived in Houston, Texas," he began. "It was 1861 and the Civil War was just beginning. I lied to the recruiters and told them I was twenty so I could join the Confederate Army…"
He went on to tell me everything. He told me about his swift rise through the ranks of the Texas Cavalry and how he became the youngest Major ever by the time the Battle of Galveston broke out three years later. Then he told me about Maria, Nettie, Lucie and his brother Peter and his mate Charlotte and how he entered the world of immortality. He told me about the battles and the fighting and I understood completely the extent of his scars – they went far deeper than the scars I could see.
He talked for what seemed like hours, but before we knew it, the sun had come up and set again. I never moved. His story fascinated me and listened intently, running my fingers over his scars, wishing I could make him forget all of his suffering.
"I promise you, Jasper Whitlock, that you will never have to live that way again," I said, leaning forward to kiss his lips. "Your days of suffering are over."
"Do you remember the day I finally gave you the ring?" I teased, running my fingertips down his chest towards his bellybutton.
"That was the day when Alice Smith became Mrs. Jasper Whitlock," he purred, nibbling on my ear lobes, running his hands up my thighs.
"Yes," I laughed. "You made me wait twenty-eight years for you to come into my life, and then you made me wait another week before we could consummate our relationship."
"Love waits, darlin'," he reminded me. "Love waits."
July 21, 1948 Tannersville, Pennsylvania
Jasper and I had the most fantastic week with one another. For two days, we stayed in the hotel room at the Bellevue-Sheraton and talked. Now nothing about each other that we did not know. It was as if I had always known Jasper, even before my visions. My years of wandering alone, worried about whether my visions were accurate or not evaporated almost immediately when I laid eyes on him.
When we finally left the hotel, we ran together to the Pocono Mountains where we hunted together. I taught Jasper how to hunt, taking down a black bear on my own, which seemed to impress him greatly.
He hadn't touched me intimately since we met. He actually got down on his knee after we fed together for the first time and asked me, insisted, that I marry him first. It was semantics since we were vampires and religious ceremonies held no real value for us. However, he was a southern gentleman through and through and told me I was the truest lady he had ever met. He said I deserved that type of commitment from him, a guarantee of forever. He told me I deserved the dress and the ring, but there were many things he couldn't give me. He couldn't marry me in a church or offer me an official piece of paper. However, he could promise me that he would never leave my side.
The moonlight reflected off the lake just below Mt. Pocono. Through the trees I could see him standing nervously by the water's edge looking towards the trees, waiting for me. He was in a white short-sleeved dress shirt and khaki pants that I had purchased for the occasion. I was so excited to step onto the sandy beach and let him see me.
The trees rustled around me as I stepped from them, catching Jasper's attention. It was late at night and we were all alone.
I purchased my casual wedding gown before we left Philadelphia, having seen this night in my visions. It was a knee-length taffeta champagne-colored dress that peaked in the front, exposing layers of white crinoline from underneath. I walked barefoot in the sand, carrying high heels in one hand that matched my dress and a small bouquet of calla lilies in the other. I glided towards Jasper who had his eyes fixed on me, a wide-grin on his lips. That was my wedding night. After becoming a vampire, I was never sure I would have that human experience, but thanks to Jasper's chivalry, I was experiencing it. I never ever wanted to forget the way he looked as he stood there, waiting for me to become his wife.
He swallowed hard as I stepped in front of him, the water lapping at my toes. I dropped the shoes to the ground and reached out for his hand.
"Hello, darlin'," he smiled wildly, taking my hand in his, rubbing the back of my hand with his thumb. "You kept me waiting."
"Not as long as you kept me waiting," I teased.
"You are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in all of my years," he said, running his other hand down my elbow-length sleeves.
"And you are the most handsome man I have ever met," I said. "But I knew that a long time ago."
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a piece of paper, shaking nervously.
"Alice Smith, the day I walked into that diner and saw you I knew you were my forever. The millions of miles I have walked over the past eighty years have led me here, to you. I promise to love you for eternity and never leave you. Your days of walking this world alone are over. There is not one journey I want to make without you by my side. Thank you for seeing me, for believing in me - in us and for waiting patiently for me. I will never make you wait for me ever again. Would you be my wife?"
I lowered my eyes, a sense of peace and love washing over me. I took a deep breath and opened them slowly, smiling at Jasper, squeezing his hand.
"I will," I promised as he slipped a simple white gold wedding band on me with the words 'you are my forever' engraved on the inside. "Jasper Whitlock, I have been waiting forever to be your wife. You are my everything and always have been. Every single step I have taken since I woke into this life has brought me to you. The day you walked into that diner my forever began. I promise to love you passionately and fiercely from this day forward. I will never leave your side. Every journey from now on will be one we will take together." I released his hand and untied a satin bow at the bottom of my bouquet that held a ring I slipped onto my ring finger. 'Love Waits' it said.
He wrapped his arms around my waist and pulled me hard against him, kissing me with every ounce of passion he had been holding back.
"I love you," he whispered.
"And I love you," I whispered back.