Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, I own the plot

This is/was actually an OUTTAKE to my other Fan Fiction story Starting Over that revolves around Edward and Bella, but it took on a life of its own and is now an individual story. I am posting it as a separate, but parallel story to Starting Over. You can read one without having read the other.

DAZZLED EYES22 - This story wouldn't be the same without you. I have said that throughout 14 chapters and it is more true than ever. I want to thank you for taking a chance on this wayward and for some outrageous story. Without your advice, guidance, comments and grammar help – this story wouldn't be worth the computer it was written on. THANK YOU! You are worth your weight in gold.

Another shout out goes to those of you who commented, added me to your alerts and in general just took the time of day to read this. This will be the final chapter and there will be no more. However, you will still be able follow Alice and Jasper's story from STARTING OVER, but only as supporting characters.

The event featured below is also covered in STARTING OVER chapter 23(22).

Thank you once more for reading and I hope to see a comment below when you finish. Nuff said and I'll shut up now.

oooooOOOOooooo

Epilogue

The great thing about New York was that Connecticut was nearby and they allowed same sex marriages. This leads us back to the great state of New York. Sure, they didn't allow them, but they recognized them. That was the main reason we scoured the countryside and found a small charming Inn in Connecticut where we could exchange our vows. All my bullshit about marrying Alice and it not being legal didn't have any merit now. We got to have it all.

The day was here. The day was finally here. Emotions were stretched thin. I was hardly the only one that was a blubbering heap of nerves. However, these were good nerves. I was excited. This was the best and most awaited day of my life. I got to marry my girl today.

I tried to be as discrete as possible and not snort too loudly when listening to her beautiful words. My eyes were only on Alice. She was beautiful and here she was giving herself to me. I knew people were watching, but I didn't care. I just kept watching the love of my life. How gratifying it was to finally have made it this far past all the obstacles. Her vows to me brought me to tears.

"I admire you for teaching me who I truly am. Without you, I would still be floundering about and pretending to be someone that I am not.

"I admire you for your strength because I have never in my life witnessed anyone fight as hard as you have to reclaim what was yours after you lost it.

"I admire you for your perseverance because you refuse to let someone put you down. I cannot wait until you put Emmett in his place and leave him in the dust with your horrible ugly running shoes.

"I admire you for your ability of loving with your whole heart. To be so lucky to find someone like you, someone willing to leave her heart defenselessly in my hands is astounding. I can't believe that you dare to trust me that much.

"I admire you for the kindness in your heart. I know you can only have learned that from one place and that is from your family. I am extremely honored to consider myself a part of your family and to be shrouded by your love the day that my life takes a bad turn. You are my safety net and a gift that I do not take for granted.

"But most of all, I love you for you because you are beautiful and complete just the way you are. I love you for that."

I knew it was now my time to speak. I looked at my dad tearing up and smiled. He was the one marrying us. "My beautiful Alice." I whispered my throat was already closing with emotions. This was going to be hard to get through. I had memorized what to say, but it was still hard to get it out there.

"When I asked you to marry me, I said 'sometimes I fear that I will wake up from this wonderful dream, but every day I do wake up and you are right next to me with your unfaltering determination.' Today, I can say almost the same. 'Every day I am glad to wake up from my nightmares because I know every time that I do wake up you are right next to me with your unfaltering love.' People say that marriage is for better and for worse, but it isn't only marriage that is like that. Life is. You haven't been mine for a lifetime, but we have seen a little of the better and a lot of the worse. When we can stand together now having been through the worse, I am very much looking forward to be by your side for the better. You are my life. You have my heart. I know we share the same soul. I never dreamed that I would have someone as warm and loving as you and be so lucky to call you mine and to say that I am yours. No one in the world compares to you. Thank you for being beside me every day. The sun will never shine brightly enough to outshine how much I treasure you and there aren't enough words in the world to express how much I love you."

I wiped a few of tears from her damp cheeks after ending my vows to her. I hardly paid attention to my father's words as he went through the rest of the ritual. I just kept my eyes on Alice. All the things that we had been through seemed to come together in this entrancing feeling of being completely content.

Alice slipped the cool ring down my finger and I reciprocated the gesture. I loved how it felt to wear this thin gold band as a symbol of our love. I gazed down at the shiny metal finally understanding the weight of its importance. Everyone could see now that I was loved and loved someone back.

We kissed gently when my father allowed and never in my life had I felt closer to her. Not getting to know her, not kissing her for the first time and not making love with her, but it was now that I really felt us, the epitome of us. We were one because we wanted to be and chose to be.

"I love you," I whispered when our lips parted.

"Right back at you," Alice giggled and nuzzled into my neck for a hug. I wrapped my arms around her, closing my eyes wallowing in the content feeling of the moment.

Standing hand in hand, it was time for the meet and greet. Alice had a strong hold on my hand knowing this was one of the harder parts of the night for me. People touching and hugging, but I was determined to get through it without letting it get to me. People glided past. I knew everyone. It wasn't that many guests, basically my entire family and our closest friends.

Emmett refused to acknowledge my trepidation and pulled me into a bear hug. "God, I hope Pixie can stand your ass until forever, because the chick is seriously growing on me. I would hate not having her to push around," he laughed. "You did good, sis."

"Wow. Thank you, Emmett." Alice mock scolded. "Who knew you could be so charming?" She smiled too sweetly at him and he threw his arms around her. He hugged her fiercely. I worried for a second that he might break her fragile little bones. She was so tiny compared to him.

"Get out of the way, Emmett." Bella laughed and gently pushed him aside. "My turn to congratulate the happy couple. I am so happy for you," she gushed. Her hair was partly pinned back and she was wearing a floor length satin dress. I imagined that was all Alice's doing. Bella hugged her warmly and kissed her cheek. "It makes me happy to see you so happy. I am so jealous."

"I'm not sure you have to be anymore," Alice whispered back. I glanced at Bella clueless until I spotted the man behind her. I had met him shortly once and that hadn't panned out very well for me. Embarrassing was the term that I would use. Right now, he stood quietly behind Bella with a lovely smile on his face. For a man, he was quite attractive, elegant and graceful. Elizabeth was out cold balanced on his arm. They looked so much alike. No one told me that he was coming.

Bella blushed and mouthed "thanks" to Alice. She turned her gentle brown eyes to me and very carefully gave me a hug. "Seeing you come this far is such a joy to me. I am grateful that you are my friend and I wish you all the happiness in the world, Jasper. You deserve it." Bella stepped back and flushed deeper. "Er… I am sure you remember, Edward," she almost whispered when she introduced him.

Alice and I nodded in unison, completely speechless like a pair of synchronized swimmers. Last time I saw him, I had screamed at his face. "Congratulations," he said politely in a warm voice and held out his hand. Alice took it first and looked at him in a strange unreadable way. I pulled in a rattled breath and controlled my fear when I let him touch my hand. I wasn't used to this. Today, I just had to get over it.

After what seemed like an endless round of best wishes, I was relieved that I didn't panic at all, but I was still rattled to the bone. I was sure Alice knew that when she pulled me through throng of people, passing my father along the way and telling him we needed a moment. Back at the room where I had dressed, I sat down on the bed and relished the moment of silence. Alice sat down beside me, while stroking my arm and shushing me. Her fingers ran into my hair and I felt calm rush through me when I leaned my head on her shoulder. Only my wife had the ability to relax me like this. It didn't take long anymore, just a few minutes. I promised myself that would be the only time she needed to do that today.

My dad's speech for us would stick to my mind forever. How fortunate I was to have parents like that.

First of all, I want to say congratulations. This is a big day for you two and I am sure no one missed that fact.

The moment you become a father all obstacles and problems that comes with having children are suddenly painted on a wall in black and white. For boys and girls, the first few years are filled with the same anxious anticipation. Their first day of kindergarten, then their first day of school, their friends, all their teenage drama and so on, but when you have a daughter, something changes compared to having a son. It is the time you basically fear the most… dating and boys. I would lay awake nights thinking, worrying how any boy was ever going to be good enough for my daughter. How wrong was I? Jasper never did bring home any boys and she never dated. At least, my wife and I thought so.

Another big day in your daughter's life is when you have to give her away. Jasper, when you were a young girl, I was so saddened by those words and that one day I would have to give you away. However, I didn't have to give you away today, but instead I was blessed with another daughter. Welcome to the family, Alice. My wife and I hope that you know we love you dearly. Congratulations again to the two of you.

oooooOOOOooooo

After dinner, people started dancing and having a good time. The lights were dimmed and music dominated the room. Emmett had chosen most of it, but he promised to ignore his initial need to torture us all with his eclectic taste of disco drums. So far, he had done a great job. Laughter could be heard sporadically from people sitting at the tables or dancing. Happy smiling faces were everywhere, including mine.

The wind was chilly, but it didn't bother me. I snuck out here to silently enjoy the view for a while. The small Inn really did create the perfect setting for this day. The lights hung from the trees reflecting in the quiet surface of the lake were breathtaking. This place was a bit rustic, but absolutely charming. I was so glad that we had decided to make it a weekend celebration. Nothing needed to be rushed.

I wiggled my toes in my shoes. Well, the main reason for my escape was to avoid another dance with my uncle, who spent more time stepping on my toes than the floor. Also I needed to gather myself enough not to let the guests and the dancing, touching and festivities get to me.

"Just for the record, I thought you should know that your thirteen year old cousin just groped your wife's ass." Alice laughed and stepped out of the door. I snickered.

"I can't say that I blame him." I let my eyes rake almost rudely down her body. She sashayed around the low patio wall that I was sitting on and sat down on my lap, while encircling me in her arms. "It's the heels, baby." I leaned in and kissed her just below the ear. I loved the tiny shudder of pleasure that always brought on.

Alice glanced down and stretched out a foot, evaluating the shoe. "Yeah, they had a nice effect on you the last time I wore them. I got you to ask me to marry you. Though, I don't really condone wearing used shoes at my own wedding, but they count as something old, so I allowed it." I laughed at her slightly adjusted version of 'old'.

"Leave it to you to put them to good use." I wrapped one hand around her waist and gently stroked her bare thigh for a little warmth with friction. I watched the trickle of tiny hairs dance in the frigid breeze for a moment. Her hair was done up in soft large curls. Her make-up was understated and very natural. "You're so gorgeous. My beautiful Alice," I mused.

She hummed and leaned into my arms. "Yes, yours." She trembled slightly when another glacial breeze threw it cold arms across the small lake. "Let's go dance."

"Let's," I agreed and smiled.

The lights were dim and multiple candles on the tables supplied most of the illumination across the room. At the edge of the dance floor, Alice locked her arms around my neck and began setting a slow pace to the quiet rhythm of the song playing. We turned slightly and I watched my dad dance with my mom. He kissed her hair gently, while his hand at her back kept running placid circles between her shoulder blades. Alice turned and watched them too.

"You know, never once did I see my dad watch my mom with any kind of adoration, or my mom look at my dad with affection like she loved him," Alice said sadly. Her parents were the only ones missing today. I wasn't exactly sad about it because they couldn't accept her for who she was and I didn't really feel the need for them to celebrate this day with us. I was just sad that they cut her out of their lives completely. She didn't deserve their animosity.

"I guess I am lucky," I sighed and watched my dad's warm smile light up his face when my mom spoke. "He always did adore my mom. All my life he had this way of looking at her when he thought we weren't watching." I gazed back at Alice. She smiled softly.

"Jasper, do you realize that you look at me that exact same way?"

"I do?" I blurted surprised.

"You do. That is one of the ways I can tell that you love me. The way you look at me. You always did it like that. Your eyes are so alive."

"I do love you." Her returning gaze was bright, clear and dancing with love. She didn't need to use words to say that she loved me. I pulled her lips to mine and kissed her deeply. Frankly, I didn't care who watched. This was our day.

"Stop being obscene, Jasper. I am stealing Pixie. Move your ass over and stop crowding ass fondling girl." Oh no, Emmett.

I groaned and hugged my arms tighter around her waist. "She's mine." I growled playfully while Alice made a snide face at Emmett.

"You may think that I am above manhandling the both of you at the same time, but honestly I'm not. Give it up, Jasper."

"Be good to her." I laughed and moved back to the chairs. Alice squealed when Emmett less than delicately threw her over his shoulder, like a caveman and dragged her onto the dance floor. He sat her down in the middle of the crowd. He had no shame.

I took a slow sip of my less than cool white wine that had been left on the table for a while. I pulled up a chair and put my feet up, enjoying the rest. "That is an awesome idea." Nettie mirrored my gesture and threw her feet over mine when she sat down beside me.

"Yeah, there was a time I could run across New York in these things and now one night in heels and my feet are killing me."

Nettie laughed. "Want some?" she offered and held out her glass to me. "Lucy ordered it and basically it tastes like lighter fluid."

"No thanks, now that you make it sound so appealing." I laughed and held up my glass of lukewarm white wine. "I prefer this."

"Awe, she is so cute." Nettie gushed. Peering through the crowded dance floor, I found Elizabeth's tiny feet and her small body wiggling clumsily to the beat of the music. During the past weeks, she had been charging through the apartment and really getting her bearings. I laughed at her jerky movements and her trying to capture the beat while clapping her dimpled hands. Just behind her Edward was standing over her and smiling. He held out a finger, which she took, and he twirled her gently. "They are like two drops of water. I didn't know Elizabeth's father was in her life."

"She looks a lot like Bella too. It's a pretty resent development seeing Edward around."

"Yeah. Are you and Alice ever going to have kids?" Nettie asked without further ado.

I shrugged. "I don't know. We never had that conversation. It's not impossible, but I am so happy just to have Alice right now. Though, it is a blessing to have Elizabeth in our lives. Who knows what the future will hold?" I glanced at Nettie. "What about you and love?"

"I gave up looking." She paused. "Today isn't about me, but I'm going to make it a little bit anyway. I stopped looking for love, but went for something else that I want." I stared confused at her when she fished her phone out of her purse. She showed me a picture of a fragile looking girl curled up in a huge hospital bed. "I got cleared to be a foster parent and this is Lola. I am taking her home sometime next week, when she is well enough."

"What happened to her?" I asked befuddled. The girl seemed so broken.

"What didn't happen to her! To make a long story short. Dad's dead and her mom's a junkie and a prostitute who went missing a few weeks ago. Lola was found dehydrated and starving in a shitty apartment and needs someone to love her. She's four years old, really bright and very sweet. So instead of looking for someone to love me, I am putting my love somewhere it is dearly needed."

I blinked the moisture in my eyes back. She was so selfless. "You really are something. Good for you, Nettie." She smiled humbly and shrugged it off.

"Back to you and your day. You look incredible, you know that?"

"Thanks." I muttered shyly.

A heartbreaking baby scream rippled through the room, towering above the music and Edward bent down and picked up Elizabeth who was screaming her lungs out. In the middle of her adorable dancing, she had face-planted right at Edward's feet. Quickly, he cradled her in his arms, hugging her and trying to hush her. Bella was all over her daughter like a rash, but Edward refused her taking over and warded her off, clearly wanting to do this on his own. I smiled.

"Good luck with the foster parent thing. I think it will be good for you." I offered when I pulled my attention back to Nettie.

"Thanks. The only thing I am going to miss by giving up on finding true love is having a sex life. A girl needs to get laid, you know." Her eyes widened in horror as she started babbling incoherent apologies. "Shit… I didn't mean anything…" Her soft eyes brimmed with worry. She was my friend and had been nothing but supportive. Besides, it felt strangely good not to be treated as a fragile piece of glass and just be viewed like a normal and sane person. This was our old bar banter.

"Don't worry about it, Nettie." I laughed gently. "You can talk about it. I won't break down and cry… anymore." I joked. "Hell, I hardly remember what it's like to have sex, then again I am married." I joked, shrugged innocently and smirked.

She grinned and shook her head gently. "You amaze us all, Jasper. No one can hold a candle to you. Remember that." She paused, her face changing serious. "How are you coping with it?"

"Fairly good I hope. It gets easier every day. Peter has been a big help. Please don't hesitate to recommend him, if there is ever a need. I can't thank you enough for getting me in touch with him."

"You're welcome." She paused. "So you and Alice…" She didn't need to finish that sentence.

"No we don't. At least not yet," I answered quietly. She peered around the room, taking in the guests and the event. This was a wedding and she didn't have to say it. What happened on a wedding night was prowling around in the back of my mind like a hunting lion. Tonight was expected to be the embodiment of a marriage. I pushed that thought back immediately. It was getting easier to let my guard down, but like I said to Nettie. I wasn't all the way there yet.

Nettie patted my thigh a few times before she got up. "I can't believe you wore those." She disapproved, but she was laughing. I glanced down at my attire.

"Thank my wife!" I called back and raised my glass once more in salute. I watched Nettie set her drink down and accept a dance from my toe-killing uncle.

The music was getting louder and so was the laughing and chatting. I avoided a dance with Emmett for as long as I could, until I feared I was about an inch away from being manhandled. He already threatened to do that. For about three minutes, Emmett behaved himself and danced with me like a gentleman. That was impressive.

I kept meeting Alice's eyes when she danced, first with my dad and then with Edward. She was so happy and smiling a mega-watt smile from ear to ear most of the time. She was so stunning.

After another round of dancing, I sat back quietly and watched it all play out. Emmett began torturing Nettie on the dance floor, who was trying to keep up with his antics. She squealed loudly when he dipped her dramatically backwards. In the corner, Maria was laughing loudly at Lucy, who was entertaining a few of my parents' friends. In the shadows almost hidden in the dim light, I spotted Bella. I felt a little mushy watching her sway slowly, hardly dancing, and gazing up at Edward who had his arms around her. He was a good bit taller than her, but he was leaning over her with a wistful look splayed over his face. Bella had been sad for so long and missing him. Now he was here and looking at her so tenderly that it could make a grown man burst into tears. I could sense they were talking privately and completely lost to the world around them. I watched as Edward softly brushed his fingers over her cheek, like he feared she was a mirage of smoke that would vanish, if he wasn't careful. Bella closed her eyes for a brief moment, looking so happy.

I sat still and savored it all. This was my family and friends. This was my life.

Beside me, a childish cry sounded, but it was shrouded by the increasingly loud music. Mom sat down next to me and balanced a crying Elizabeth on her lap. Instantly, the baby reached for me. Tears ran down her distorted face.

"She's getting tired," Mom excused and handed her to me. Elizabeth nuzzled against my chest and her cry softened to whimpers. "Why are you sitting here all alone looking so sad?" she asked.

"I'm not sad, mom. I'm happy. Very happy. I got to have my girl today… and my feet are killing me."

Mom laughed. "That you did, sweetheart. Congratulations again." She stroked my cheek with a tenderness that only a mother could.

"Thanks," I said as I rocked Elizabeth to get her to calm down. There was no way that I was interrupting Bella right now. She and Edward were still absorbed in each other at the far end of the dance floor. I wanted to leave them alone. I was fine sitting with the sweet girl in my arms for a while. I dried the tears from her cheeks and straightened the ruffles on her ivory dress that was stained with chocolate from either cake or ice cream. She looked so pretty in her bridesmaid dress. Elizabeth started squirming around on my lap, getting impatient and grumpy. I hugged her to my chest and started humming to soothe her.

Her chubby arms hugged around my neck and she sobbed tiredly. "Let me get her," Emmett said and held out his arms for her. "I'll put her down with me for the night. I already got her bag from Bella's room."

"You'll make a wonderful father someday," I said softly. I stared as Emmett actually blushed a little shyly. "You don't want to wait for Bella?"

Emmett glanced over his shoulder and rolled his eyes. "Not really. Bella's room is so rated NC-17 tonight, besides there's no action for me. Every chick in here is either married or a lesbian, so I am not even going to bother trying to get me some. Why not take the girl that snores the most and make sure she doesn't wake up to a carnal show?" He laughed and patted Elizabeth's back. "Want Uncle Emmett to read to you?" he cooed at her.

"Emmett," I groaned and he laughed, content with his taunting when he left to put Elizabeth down for the night.

oooooOOOOooooo

"Care to dance with your old man?" Dad asked out of nowhere.. I took his offered hand and let him lead me to the dance floor. I leaned my head to his chest as he guided us through the quiet music. He was no Fred Astaire on the polished floor, but it felt incredibly to be in his arms and feel safe.

"Emmett seems to be fond of your blond friend. I can't seem to remember her name."

"Nettie." I inserted. I caught a fleeting glance at Emmett once more hauling a whining Nettie out onto the dance floor. I looked at my dad's hopeful eyes and cocked at brow at him, then laughed gently.

"Oh," he breathed. "She wouldn't be dating Emmett, would she?"

"No dad. She wouldn't."

He kept his melancholic eyes on me. "I can't believe you and Emmett are all grown up. I still remember having to tie your shoelaces and wipe your noses. I kind of miss it."

"I wear heels, dad. I don't need my laces tied."

"No, you definitely don't. Not anymore." He paused teary eyed and tugged at his tie. "I could never be prouder of you than I am today. You kids are the pride and joy of my life, and now I basically have one more daughter." Gently, he kissed my forehead. "I think someone else wants a dance with my girl."

I felt Alice familiar hands encircle my waist from behind and her mouth pressed to the crook of my neck. "Gotcha, baby," she whispered seductively as soon as my dad was out of hearing range.

"Yeah, you do," I whispered, laying my hands over hers.

The night were passing, but the night was hardly coming to an end just yet.. I feared what kind of expectations that Alice would have for later. No matter how well I was doing, I was having a hard time dealing with that kind of stress right now. We hadn't talked about it at all. I hadn't figured out how to bring up the subject. I didn't want to disappoint her, but I knew I couldn't be with her tonight while feeling the pressure of a night like this.

The music changed, but it was still the same mellow tone that filled the room. Infinite sadness washed over me and I hid my face at the base of her neck. I pulled her body flush to mine. Sure, over the past weeks after she got back from L.A., we had moved forward some, just not all the way yet. What if she expected that tonight? It wasn't unreasonable at all. I sort of anticipated it.

"Just tell me, Jasper," she whispered suddenly. I shook my head against the base of her neck, refusing to answer. It felt like too much to decline her tonight. Her soft fingers played with the tiny hairs behind my ears, nuzzling me. She kissed my neck sweetly. It felt nice. "Talk to me, sweetheart. I know something is bothering you." I still couldn't answer her. I couldn't fail her.

Her breath was quite close to my ear as she stroked my cheek with hers. I closed my eyes relishing her soft skin meeting mine. "I am going to stop pretending that I don't know what is on your mind and make the decision for us. I know you worry about making love tonight," she breathed while pulling back and leaning her forehead to mine. "I am taking it off the table, so I'm saying nothing will happen tonight. I don't have any expectations. We don't need to talk about. It is just a night like any other. Okay?" I bit the inside of my cheek hard. "Please don't think about it, because frankly I haven't. I just want to enjoy the night with my wife, so please don't spoil it with unnecessary fear about something that hasn't even crossed my mind."

"You're lying," I said softly, calling her out with a smile. That was why I loved her so much. She had so much compassion and an ability to see right through my bullshit. She rolled her eyes at me.

"Okay, it crossed my mind, but only because I knew it would worry you. Just be happy and don't over think it. Please do that for me."

I drew a slow calming breath and pushed my fear back. Nothing was going to happen. I was off the hook. "Okay." I agreed. I met her lips gently, feeling grateful Alice handled that impediment for me when I couldn't.

We kept dancing for a while. The only thing I thought about was Alice, my wife and my life. I was relieved, happy and overwhelmed, but most of all insanely in love with the girl in my arms.

Later we left the banquet without saying goodnight to anyone. We just slipped out without anyone noticing.

Opening the door to our room, rich golden light filtered out and a soft scent of candles dominated the space. Alice stared at me wide eyed. "I had nothing to do with this."

I glanced around, smiling and feeling touched that they cared enough to do this for us. "I think we both know who did… Emmett and Bella," I mouthed. "It's beautiful." Alice evaluated me for a long tense moment, just reading me. "I'm not going to panic. Just another night with a month's salary worth of candles." I laughed. I stepped to the window and picked up the bottle. "And bubbly. Want some?"

"Please," she answered sweetly and stepped out of her heels. She sat down on the edge of the bed bouncing on the mattress testing the comfort. I popped the cork without spilling a drop and poured a glass. I handed it to Alice. She took it gingerly and let the sparkling fluid run into her mouth. "You're not having some?"

I nodded and took the glass back from her. "I wanted to share yours." I watched Alice's playful smirk and I took a sip of the cool champagne. It strangely felt more intimate to drink from her glass. I couldn't go all the way with her right now, but I wanted us to have all the closeness that I was able to offer.

I took another swig of the drink and stepped out of my heels. God that felt good. I opened the top button of my jeans. Yeah, I got married wearing my freaking jeans. I had no choice because Alice insisted. She was in her classic skintight short dress looking cute and adorable as always, just today the dress was white.

"Want some more?" I offered. She nodded and her eyes sparkled entertained. "Lean your head back," I ordered. When she tilted her head back, I let a small amount of bubbly float from the glass into her open waiting mouth. She swallowed noisily and smiled. She raked her hands up my thighs to my hips. Feeling my body.

"You're incredible, Jasper," she mused and looked up at me with adoring eyes. I could see her desire clearly underneath all the tenderness. She wanted me. She wanted to make love. No matter how many ways she would deny it, I knew the truth.

"I wish I could, Alice?" I suddenly said somberly, completely ruining the playful mood. Through the weeks, I had learned that I needed to take things at my pace.

"Don't, Jasper. We talked about it and it is what it is. Don't sweat it." She took the glass of me and finished it. "Take your shower, relax and I'll wait right here for you."

Stepping out of the bathroom and pretending this was any other night like Alice said it was, I was wearing my PJ bottoms and a top. Alice was changing into a short satin nightgown. Looking at her clad in her usual, but barely there panties, my desire was clearly present in my stomach. It was boiling, unfurling and heating. She turned slowly, while watching me watching her. She held up the pink flowing gown and ran her tongue over her teeth, reading me. "You want me to put this on?"

"No." I answered hoarsely as my mouth went dry. It was so conflicting wanting all of it, knowing I couldn't reach out and get it. I climbed into bed and Alice followed. I stayed behind her and folded my body around her, locking her to me. She smelled incredible, feminine and soft. I burrowed my face in her hair, savoring her intoxicating scent. "I love you."

She hummed lightly in response and scurried her body even closer to mine. I listened to her breathing. It was deepening slowly, before it went quiet and she was close to sleeping.

After a while captivated by sleep, she rolled and halfway coiled over my body. Her right hand fell heavily over my chest and ring on her finger threw back the dim light from the two candles she had left burning. I ran my finger over her wedding ring repeatedly wondering why the hell I thought that I couldn't make love with my wife. She had given me everything, she trusted me, she understood me, she completed me, and she had stood by me through thick and thin. So, why the hell couldn't I?

I brushed my fingers down her spine, all the way over her backside. Pushing her hair out of her face, her lips were slight parted, plump and looking so soft. I twirled her ring around her finger, suddenly realizing I wouldn't lose her, not ever. She would never hurt me. If I did give myself to her now, I knew she would treat it like the greatest treasure ever received. She wouldn't take anything for granted. I could trust her not to harm me because I was worthy of her. I loved her as much as she loved me. We could have each other back if I wanted. There was no pressure. I was just delusional and imagining it all because I was so used to feeling fear. Was I scared? No, I wasn't. I was just hanging on what I was so used to feeling. It was time to let it go. I knew I wanted her. My body told me so. I could even touch myself without fear and if I could do that, so could Alice. I trusted her more than I trusted myself.

"Alice," I called softly. I splayed my fingers into her tangled her. It was stiff from hairspray. "Baby, wake up." I traced my thumb over her lips.

Sleepily, she opened her eyes and stared at me, confused. "What is it?" she croaked.

I searched her lips and started kissing her slowly. She rolled off me and I followed her, while letting my body meet hers. I didn't want the distance. "Make love to me," I whispered. "I am ready."

She pulled back, while trying to read me and understand me. She didn't answer, just kissed me back moments later. I sat up on the bed and pulled my shirt off. I moved the sheet from her body, then gently tugging her panties down, leaving her naked. I laid back down next to her and let her take me in. She leaned over me and gently pulled my PJ bottoms down. I lifted my hips up with a soft smile on my lip inviting her to remove my panties. It sizzled in my stomach with raw anticipation. I suddenly wanted this even more now that I knew I could have it. Everything was okay.

"You are so beautiful, baby. So strong," she murmured. "How much you've had to overcome to be able to do this again. I want to cherish every single curve of you, because you are worth it. You deserve to feel how much I love you." Her voice was hushed, but filled with awe. She took her time gazing down at me, drinking me in. She softly ran her fingers over the rise of flesh on my pelvis. She smiled mildly. "You shaved." My skin was smooth and clean. It wasn't something that I had done for a while, mainly because I wasn't trusted with a razor. She smiled appreciatively and I knew why. It was mostly because she knew that it was how I liked to keep myself in the old days.

"I thought it was about time." I answered quietly. She leaned over me and gently kissed the smooth, shaven skin once, then locked her hands into mine.

Slowly, we kissed treasuring this long lost inseparability because that was what we were. Inseparable. No one would ever come between us. Our passion grew as our bodies merged so intimately. She worshipped every inch of my skin. She kissed every single one of my scars lovingly. I was rolled to my front where she kissed my back from the nape of my neck, down my spine and running her tongue over my behind, down to caressing my feet. She adored and cherished me. I never tensed or grew nervous with her all over me. I only welcomed her mouth and hands and returned her gestures wherever it was possible. We were all arms and legs, chests and backs, mouths and tongues that fused together so seamlessly. Perhaps, the fact that we had been apart drove us to this intense connection. Our bodies were so warm, languid and in tune with each other as we made love.

Dawn broke through the darkness signaling a new day was rising. We were sticky with sweat and the taste of Alice's sweet female flesh clung to my mouth. I was sated, breathing calmly and so was she. I twirled the ring around her slim finger already falling into that habit, when she kept running her hand gently over my naked chest. We didn't really need to say anything. What just transpired between us, said it all. There were no more words and no more insecurity. It was just us, as healthy as we could be and complete.

"Breakfast is in less than an hour," she mouthed.

I glanced at the clock. I hadn't slept at all during the night. "You wanna skip it?"

She yawned. "Nah, I want to see my family," she answered sweetly. I smiled. It was our family now.

The end

oooooOOOOooooo

I can't believe I actually managed to finish a multi-chaptered story and feel good about it. I experienced a lot of fun and a good amount of pain writing this, but it was worth it.

Dear reader, take care and be good to yourself. Don't forget to check out STARTING OVER.

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