1943 – Jasper

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I took a big bite out of the pastry and chewed slowly. The sour of the apples and the spicy cinnamon balanced out the sweetness of the sugar. The smell reminded me so much of my mother's kitchen. I smiled when a particular memory came to my mind. It happened a few weeks before I left for the war.

"All right Jasper, here is the list. Go over to Mrs. Johnson for the apples, and then Mr. Wesley for the wine. Hurry up if you will. Our guests are coming in two hours and I still have to bake the pie, and let it cool. Oh and you need to fix yourself with that suit we bought, the Hendricks' are bringing Patricia."

"Mother, calm down, I'll be back within half the hour."

"All right, just hurry."

I said my goodbye and went to the stables for the carriage. Mr. Wesley's store was located in town and Mrs. Johnson's apple orchard was just a few miles down the road.

Mother always got like this when we were having guests over, especially with the Hendricks, and if they were bringing Patricia. Mother would like to see us married someday. I didn't. She was a nice girl, but nothing about her made me curious as to whom she really was. I didn't think that would a good base for marriage. She didn't think so either. She told me on one of our forced walks together that she was actually in love with someone else.

My trip for the groceries didn't take too long, and like I promised I was back within a half hour. After giving my mother her requests she ushered me out of the kitchen and ordered me to do something useful. I read a bit and prepared myself for our guests. I was just in time to get the door.

Dinner went smoothly. The conversation took mostly place between the men. Patricia's father talked about the war and praised me for fulfilling my duty.

When it was time for dessert and my mother asked me to come with her to the kitchen to help her carry it.

I reached for the plates as she went to take the pie down from the window ledge.

"Oh my god!" I heard my mother exclaim just as I sat the plates on the counter.

"What is it?" I asked. She had her hand slapped across her mouth and she looked white as a sheet.

"I forgot the crust!" She whispered frantically. I looked down at the baking tin in her hands, and indeed, she forgot the crust. I couldn't help but laugh a little.

"This is not funny Jasper! Oh my, what are they going to think of us!"

"Calm down," I said as I took the tin from her hands. "We'll just say it's some fancy dessert from Europe."

"As if they are going to believe that." My mother wasn't convinced.

"Why wouldn't they?"

"For starters, you call this fancy?" She pointed at the pile of mushy apples.

"We'll just fix it up with some cream."

We decorated the plates and in the end it looked relatively decent. With a red face, my mother convinced the Hendricks it was some fancy desert people ate on the west side of the continent. I gave Patricia a conspirital wink and dug in.

"And?" Bella's voice pulled me out of the memory.
"Absolutely delicious." I smiled at her.
"Good." She grinned. "I'm leaving this one here, I'll make another one next week."

"I'm certainly not opposed to that idea."

Suddenly we heard movement close by. Bella's smile faded and her whole body tensed.

I dropped the plate I was holding and grabbed for my knife.

We heard twigs crack and rustling of leaves. They were coming closer to our hiding spot. The rock that closed the entrance of the cave moved and a silhouette became visible.

"Bella?" the voice spoke the code word next and I saw Bella's body relaxing with a sigh.

"Jacob." She answered.

They had a few whispered words and then Jacob entered the cave followed by someone else. A man not much older than me.

"My name is Bella. I'll be taking care of you until you are fit enough to cross over." She told the man as he sat down.

A look of confusing crossed his face as he looked at her.

"I'm Edward." He held out his hand to her. She grabbed it.

"Welcome to the underground party, would you like some apple pie?"

"Uhh.."

"It's delicious." I told him.

He looked at me for the first time.

"Jasper." I told him my name.

He held out his hand again, "Edward."

Bella handed him some apple pie which he took. He looked at it like I had when Bella first gave me a slice.

"I'm leaving you alone now," Bella said as she started to get up. "It's passed curfew. I'll be back in two days. Jasper will show you where we keep the food and water." She climbed out of the cave and left with Jacob.

Edward watched them go and then moved his gaze back to me.

"Texas?" He asked.

I nodded. "You?"

"Chicago." He answered. "So, uh… apple pie?"

"It's apple season." I grinned.

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