Only Once ch17
A/n: So sorry for the delay on this story. Seriously. Had a monster few months of serious writers block, started a new job and just RL duties in general. But, I'm back now and committed to finishing this fic;)
This is the last real chapter, only the epi remains. I'm hoping to have it out to you within the week.
THANK YOU to my twifey, lvtwilight09 for all of her help, love and awesome beta skills on this fic. You are my rock, babe. I love you so much!
I dedicate this chapter to my loyal fan, Heather.
A Month Later
Edward was checking into rehab today.
He'd been clean and sober for twenty-eight days.
He was healing from his internal injuries but the psychological injuries would take time, maybe years to heal.
But, he was mine.
I sat on the edge of the bed as I watched him slowly pack away some clothes and toiletries that Esme had purchased for him.
He stopped and walked over to sit next to me.
"Will you wait for me?" He asked quietly, not looking at me.
I slowly took his hand off his knee and entwined our fingers while I used my other hand to bring his chin up so that our eyes could meet.
"I will always wait for you." I said as I tried to reassure him as my hand squeezed his.
He finally turned to face me, his eyes held sorrow and fear.
I didn't want him to feel either of those things.
I reached up and pushed some hair away from his eyes before I held his cheek in my palm, "I've waited a lifetime for you, I wouldn't abandon you now. Besides, we know this is only precautionary. It's twenty-eight days apart. That's nothing compared to the lifetime we have before us." I said as his shoulders sagged and he leaned into me.
"I'm a mess, Jasper. You deserve so much better." He whispered as he laid his head upon my shoulder.
I wrapped my arm around his waist and took his hand back into my other one. We sat in the still quiet of the room for a minute.
"I had this dream, Edward. We were on a beach, walking in the sand and we had a dog. I want that dream. And, I want it with you." I said with confidence but trepidation.
What if he doesn't want me when he's out of rehab?
What if he realizes that he doesn't feel the same for me?
My insecurities and doubts would plague my mind until he was better, both mentally and emotionally.
"I had that same dream. When I was locked up in the dungeon… in the dark, I would have that same exact dream." He whispered as he looked up at me.
Yes, I could relax.
And, I did as his lips softly met mine.
I could kiss him for hours, days even.
But, there was a knock on the door that pulled us apart just before Esme opened the door.
"It's time, I'm afraid." She said with a fake smile and warm eyes.
We gathered up the rest of his bags and I walked him to the car where his parents were waiting to drive him to the rehab center.
"I'll write you every day." I said as I pulled his body flush with mine.
"I'll call you when I can." He said as he wrapped his arms around me, too.
"I'll be there on visitor's day." I said into his ear as we held each other one last time.
His grip on my shirt told me just how scared he was to let go of me. I had the same fear, but I knew that I had to let him go, again.
"I love you, Jasper." He whispered into my ear before placing a kiss directly under it.
"I love you, too Edward." I said as I placed my own kiss to his skin.
I don't even know what to say except for thank you.
Thank you for helping me when I didn't deserve it. I treated you so horribly.
But, I hope you understand why.
And, I hope you don't give up on me.
You don't even know me but you worked to free me.
I'll never be able to show you how much that means to me, even if I spent a lifetime trying.
But, I love you.
My beautiful Edward,
I may not know everything about you, but I know the best part of you; your heart.
I've dreamt of a life with you long before our encounter. I knew that if I could only get the chance to show you who I was and how much I care about you that everything else would fall into place.
I want you to be healthy and ready to begin a lifetime of getting to know me.
I'll always wait for you, because by your side is the only place I feel like I belong.
I love you, always,
Our letters went on this way for the first two weeks, before each of us finally opened up and began really talking about our lives, our hopes, our dreams.
Neither of us felt committed to stay in the area.
We wanted to move away from any threat of Emmett's men or their retaliation. Well, the ones that weren't currently sitting in a jail cell, anyways.
Edward's parents understood our need to move and were being extremely supportive in that decision. Alice on the other hand was not happy about it, but once I told her that she'd have a free place to vacation on the beach, she was a little more relaxed about it.
I knew that I would be giving up a lot; my career, my friends and a sense of security that I had my life here. But, Edward was worth it all.
I knew it.
He was the one for me.
We had talked about maybe opening up a center for young men in trouble, sort of like a halfway house or maybe a gay life center or something.
I spent all day with him on Visitors Day and we had a joint counseling session with the therapist. We'd both agreed that due to Edward's past and currently injuries that our physical relationship was going to be minimal at best. I was okay with that, as long as I had him in my arms every night and by my side during the day.
We'd also agreed to move to Florida for the time being. We'd figure out where to land on a permanent basis when we were ready.
It felt like the full twenty-eight days of being apart went by in a flash as I drove my truck towards the rehab center to pick him up.
I pulled into a parking spot and turned off the engine. I sat there for a minute as I tried to take a few deep breaths to relax and calm myself down.
I was bringing my baby home today.
I walked up the few steps and opened the door where I signed in and waited for someone to buzz me in.
There he was, hair a mess, a few days' worth of stubble on his jaws and his gorgeous green eyes filled with happiness as he made his way towards me.
"Hi baby." He whispered into my ear as we hugged.
"Hi love, ready to blow this joint?" He laughed and pulled back before he murmured, "ready to blow something for sure."
I blushed and kissed him softly before I broke away from him.
"What do we need to do to get you released?" I saw Dr. Heather walking towards us as he intertwined our hands and pulled me towards the sitting area where all of his bags sat waiting on him.
"Just need to fill out a few forms and then we can go." He said as we sat down and waited for Dr. Heather to join us.
"Hello Jasper." She said as we shook hands, she sat the folder on the table between us and smiled at the both of us.
Thirty minutes later, we stood, hugged Dr. Heather and made our way, hand in hand out to my truck.
I opened the door for him and waited as he laughed and shook his head at me.
"Jazz, this isn't necessary." He said as he got into the truck and I closed the door behind him.
"It is necessary and you better get used to it, I am a southern gentleman, after all." I said as I started the truck and he scooted over next to me.
As we drove towards my apartment, I knew that we'd be alright. It might be hard but for once, I knew that we'd make it.
Edward was safe, sober and seemed happy.
All was finally right in my world.
A/N: I know what some of you are all waiting for…but really, it was too soon for Edward. But, I promise the epi won't fail you;)
Hang in there, it's coming, soon!
Thanks for sticking with me.