Twilight Post Secret Challenge

Number of Secret Chosen: #16

Pen-name: XXX

Title: When I Stop Loving You

Word Count: 2,036

Beta: XXX

Rating: M (cause I'd rather be safe than sorry)

Pairing: Bella

Summary: I would wear Edward's ring today, but I would wear Jasper's heart forever

Disclaimer: I don't own, Even though Jasper's really fun to play with.


When I Stop Loving You

I would wear Edward's ring today, but I would wear Jasper's heart forever. It was my penance for what I had done... for what I was doing. Maybe if I would have had a little more faith in Jasper back then, it would have been a very different ending today. He wouldn't be standing next to his best friend, the picture perfect and model best man, watching Edward take me away, and no one but he and I would know that he should have been the groom today instead.

I will never know how I was able to make it through the ceremony. It was a battle to keep my eyes on the priest or Edward when all I wanted to do was to glance just a little behind him and look at the man who held my heart. I knew I couldn't though.

Before I knew it, the ceremony was over, and I had been whisked away to the reception. That is where I now find myself, seated at the head of the table, as I watched from across the room as Jasper's eyes never left mine as he danced with Alice, mingled with family and friends, and even stood to give the toast. I let my mind wander back to the events that happened to get us all to this day.

It had been my fault that we had to break up. I didn't know how we would ever make it work with him on the road all the time and me at home waiting for him to come home. He was willing to give it a try, and I wasn't. It was one of the only things Jasper and I had ever fought about. I didn't want him to have to choose between me or his music, so I made the choice for him. I had wanted more from him than just his love and words; I wanted to have all of Jasper. I wanted things he wasn't able to give me then. Looking at the man he was now however, I can see that I already had all of Jasper. If only I had realized then, what I do now.

My last goodbye with Jasper would come at the bus stop on the day he was set to leave for yet another tour. He was going to be gone for six months this time, and as much as I didn't want to, I knew I couldn't let him leave without seeing me one last time. I stood on the curb watching as the band packed up all of their stuff and made their rounds to say goodbye to all their family and friends. I had fat, angry tears pricking at my eyes when Jasper came to say his goodbye to me. He held me in his arms for longer than needed, kissing my hair and saying goodbye. I didn't try to stop my tears then as I watched him climb the steps of the bus and leave me.

Who would have thought our last goodbye would ever lead me here; married to another but loving him. That's when I met Edward, Jasper's best friend from college, who had also come to say goodbye to him and the rest of the guys. He saw me crying and offered me a comforting hug. Then after I had calmed down, I sputtered out my apology and tried brushing off his now wet shirt as he introduced himself to me. I had heard of him but never met him until now. Over coffee he insisted I let him get for me, he explained to me how he had just relocated here for work and was a doctor just finishing up his residency. We became friends, bonding over our stories of Jasper, and eventually, we started dating.

I'm still not sure when our time together turned into more, but it did. Edward filled some of the void of Jasper's absence in my life. Edward provided a constant and safety I had craved so much from Jasper. I allowed myself to fall into the warmth and happiness Edward felt for me. It was nothing like Jasper, but I told myself it was enough.

We had only been dating a few months when Edward asked me to marry him. Knowing Edward was everything Jasper couldn't give me, I said yes. I still hate that I didn't tell him myself. Edward told him since Jasper and I hadn't talked to each other since he left. I still remember the call I got afterwards. The pain I heard in his voice from learning I had moved on and not with just anyone, but with his best friend was heartwrenching. I would never forgive myself for doing that to Jasper.

I was so close to calling it off. If he had asked me to, I know I would have. Instead he asked is I was happy, if Edward made me happy, and did I love him. I couldn't lie. Even if it wasn't close to what we had had, I told him I did love Edward and was happy. After that, he said he understood and gave me his blessing because that's all he wanted, my happiness. He ended our call by telling me he would always love me, and he would try to be back in time for the wedding. I wasn't sure what to feel as I hung up the phone; a small part of me was hurt he hadn't tried to fight harder for me, the other part of me understanding why he hadn't. Even if it hurt to think about.

Bringing me back into the moment, I feel Edward place his hand softly on my shoulder and gently guide us to the dance floor.

"I wish you'd look at me the way you are him, . People will start to wonder."

"Huh?What?" I looked into Edward's eyes then, seeing only his love for me.

"Jasper. You're staring at him. Have been all night. If I didn't already have you as my wife, I might have to be jealous." He teased. I tried to laugh with along with him, but it just felt forced and fake. I smiled at him instead, kissing his cheek.

"Oh, sorry. I just want him to be happy ya know. I worry about him...What do you think of Alice?"

"I think this is your wedding day, Bella, and you need to stop worrying about Jasper...and Alice and enjoy it."

"You're right. I'm sorry. I'm going to enjoy it. Now dip me, ." Smiling up at him again as he twirled me through the crowd, my eyes every so often still landing on Jasper wherever he was at that moment.

The night was slowly coming to an end, and I had danced with almost everyone there but one person, the one person I wanted to dance with the most...Jasper. Carrying my shoes, and a bit of my courage with me, I walked over to him. He was still talking softly to Alice; one of his hands was placed on the small of her back, the other holding the garter he had caught earlier that night. Remembering the look on his face and watching him whip it around in the air after he caught it made me smile. I touched his shoulder, waiting for him to turn around to look my way.

"Hey, you. Congratulations, ."

"You're the only one I haven't danced with yet. Dance with me, Jasper?"

"Sure Darlin', I would love to...I'll see you in a bit, Alice?" She nodded yes as he leaned down to kiss her cheek and turned back to me, taking me in his arms. As we made our way around to the dance floor, it felt so different in his arms than when in Edward's. Where as Edward held me as if I would break, Jasper held me firmly to his chest, as if afraid to let me go. Where Jasper's arms would always be home, Edward's were just safe.

"You look really beautiful tonight, Bella."

"You're not so bad your self, Jasper."

"Why thank you, my dear." he replied, stepping back to take a bow before taking me back into his arms.

"So Alice, huh?"

"She's nice." I nodded in agreement as he spun me away from him and then back again.

"She's pretty."

"She is."

"Do you like her?"

"I like her company."

"You two look really good together."

"You and Edward look good together too."

"Thanks." I blushed.

We continued dancing as the song ended and another one started up, just getting lost in the moment and each other. I never wanted to leave his arms, to have to say goodbye to him again, to have to close the chapter on us for good. I knew I would have to eventually as we danced through song after song out there on the dance floor.

"I love you, Jasper."

"I love you too, Bella."

"Tell me again that it wouldn't have worked out...you and me. Tell me how wrong we were for each other. That we were young and foolish back then, that we did the right thing, that I'm doing the right thing now. Tell me that, please."

"I wish I could tell you that, but I can't though. We'll never know what would have been, or what we would have been. But Bella, I don't live in the world of 'what if's' or the 'should haves', and neither should you. I got to have you, I got to love you, that's all that matters. And now I have to let you go. I'll always love you, Bella, so very much. I do love you, please remember that."

"Jasper, I'm so sorry...for everything."

"I'm not." He paused to wipe a few falling tears from my face, and looking into my eyes I saw it, his final goodbye to me. This would be it, he was letting me go even if I didn't want him to. He was giving me to Edward, I was to be his now, no longer Jasper's. With a final brush of his thumb, he kissed my cheek, and whispered in my ear.

"Now Bella, we don't want to ruin our make-up with sad tears. You should be happy. It's your wedding day. I just want you to be happy, Bella."

"What if they are happy tears?"I sniffed out.

"Are they?"

"No. They're not."

"Then they don't belong here today."

"Look, just enjoy what time you have left with me. I'm here, right now, with you in my arms, and I love you. Don't waste our time now with 'I'm sorries' or 'what ifs'. Dance with me, remember this...you and me, just like we are now. Then tell me goodbye and let me go. Enjoy your life with Edward. Let it be as it should be. Do it for me."

"Yeah. You're right. Ok. For you."

"Good girl."

"And what about you?"

"What about me, Darlin'?"

"What are you gonna do once this ends...this night...this moment? Are you gonna be ok?"

"Don't worry about me, Bella. Go live your life. I'm fine, and I'll be fine."

"You sure?"

"I'm positive."

I wasn't sure what I wanted to see as I looked into his eyes, if I wanted to see his love or his hurt. I didn't know what seeing either one reflected back would do to me, or if I would be able to leave. Jasper had been right, there was no way to know what would have or could have happened, maybe we weren't supposed to know. They say everything happens for a reason. I couldn't live in the past anymore. I had made my choice. I did love Edward, but I would always love Jasper more.

Looking down at my hand that held my new life, I looked up to say my final goodbye to Jasper, only to see his back getting smaller as he walked away from me...again.


A/N:

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