Dedication: It seems appropriate to me that I close this story on Thanksgiving Day. Julie, in case I don't tell you enough - I'm ever so thankful we met and that you're in my docs and in my life. I luff you, and I can't wait to meet you for really realz next week!
These days, Edward Cullen was a happy camper.
Like so many mornings, when he woke up that day he'd moved to get out of bed only to be pulled back. Grumbling, Jasper locked him in a vice grip around his waist and, for good measure, hitched his leg over Edward, locking him firmly in place. He made a contented little noise, burying his face at Edward's neck.
Laughing lightly, Edward snuggled back against him. "I have to go to work."
"No." Jasper's voice was a rumble. "You're warm." His breathing evened out almost immediately.
For a few moments, Edward closed his eyes, basking in the feel of Jasper's skin against his. Once upon a time, he took moments like these for granted because he could.
It had been several months since Jasper's memories had sparked his first post-accident 'I love you'. Life wasn't perfect, but then life wasn't meant to be. They had their problems, but they were happy together.
Edward really did need to get to work though.
He tried to untangle himself from Jasper's web. It worked, to an extent. Edward actually got his leg outside the edge of the blanket. But just as he thought he was free and clear, Jasper let out a surprisingly feral sounding snarl and pounced again, this time pinning Edward on his back, towering over him menacingly. Edward was knocked breathless. He looked up, finding himself staring into Jasper's victorious, mischievous eyes.
"Call the boss," Jasper said, leaning down to kiss Edward. "You're going to be late," he rumbled against his lips.
Edward's breath caught on a moan as Jasper was already grinding against him. "I am the boss," he reminded his lover needlessly.
"Well good then." He backed off only to flip Edward again. Edward gasped, but he didn't have any time at all to process what had happened before Jasper's hand was on the curve of his ass, rubbing. His chest was pressed against Edward's back, his breath hot on his ear. "I'm gonna tell you what's going to happen." The scratchy, dark quality of Jasper's voice made Edward shiver in anticipation. "I'm going to get me a little of this," he squeezed Edward's ass roughly, "and then you can go to work, but you're coming home for lunch."
Jasper nipped his ear. "However did you recognize me without my sandals?"
It was obvious Jasper wasn't trying to linger. Even as he nibbled on Edward's earlobe, his hand had snaked between Edward's legs where he rubbed him. "I want you, baby. I want to be up in you so deep right now."
Edward whimpered, thrusting his ass up at Jasper.
Jasper's weight bore down on him full force as he reached for the bottle of lube at the side of the bed. Edward spread his legs helpfully, whining a little when Jasper slid a slick finger inside him. "You ready for me, sugar?"
"Now. Please," Edward groaned. "Jasper."
His lover positioned himself quickly, kissing a line up Edward's back, dragging his teeth over his shoulder before he wrapped his long fingers around Edward's wrists. As Jasper slid inside him, he moved both their hands to the bars of the bed, wrapping Edward's fingers around the posts and his own fingers over his.
Jasper's kisses were fervent, his pace fast, hard, deep.
There were no words between them but the wordless communication between lovers - moans, grunts, sighs. Edward hung on for dear life, letting Jasper claim him, own him.
"I love you," Jasper said between groans. His tone was raw. "I love you, Edward."
"I love you," Edward whispered back.
With a cry, Jasper came, his hips jerking hard against Edward's naked skin.
Rolling onto his back, Jasper hissed a little. Edward flexed his fingers, aching from holding on so tight. He propped himself up on his side, frowning slightly as he watched Jasper wince.
Sometimes he pushed himself harder than his injuries wanted to let him go.
Edward stroked a strand of damp hair away from Jasper's forehead. "Are you okay?"
Jasper chuckled, opening his eyes slowly. "Yeah, babe. Just fine." His smile turned up, and he raised his hand, running it down Edward's cheek. "Now you really have to come home for lunch." He curled a finger around Edward's chin, pulling him forward. Following his direction, Edward bent down so Jasper could kiss him. "You're on the menu, and I'm going to be very hungry."
Snorting, Edward kissed him back, lingering for a moment. "I'll be home for lunch," he promised.
He took a shower, and by the time he was ready for work, Jasper was fast asleep again. Edward smiled to himself, drinking in the soft pout of his lips, the definition of his arms - more muscular than ever since he'd been compensating for the lack of strength in his legs - the way the sun played against his back...
Jasper was beautiful, and Edward was a lucky man.
Edward did come home for lunch. After Jasper reciprocated, bringing Edward to orgasm with his hands and mouth, they lay together, enjoying the peace of the afternoon.
"Edward?" Jasper's head was turned, his lips brushing against Edward's shoulder as he spoke.
Jasper raised his head. His expression was vulnerable, instantly snapping Edward out of his post-orgasm stupor. "Why didn't we..." Jasper swallowed, and tried again. "You kept calling me your husband, but we didn't ever have any kind of ceremony, did we?"
Edward blinked, trying to figure where this was going. "No... um." He laughed. "I don't think... It was kind of a business decision."
"A business decision?" Jasper's brow furrowed.
"We got to a point where we knew we were forever," Edward said quietly, his lips quirking. "We revised our living wills. You added my name as a domestic partner to all your work benefits. I added you as sole benefactor to my life insurance policy." He waved his hand. "Etcétera, etcétera, etcétera."
"But no ceremony? Whose idea was that?"
Edward pursed his lips. "You've already had one wedding, and you were hurting about your parents," he said gently.
Jasper hummed, staring off into space for a long second.
"Sweetheart..." Edward began, stroking his fingers down Jasper's chest.
Jasper caught his hand, something in his eyes shifting, changing. Whatever it was made Edward's heart begin to pound.
Reaching behind him, Jasper pulled something out from under the pillow. He pressed the thing into Edward's hand.
It was a black leather cord - the kind made to last. It was joined at the center by two silver rings running together. In the center of those was an intricate pattern of metal. It took a moment, but Edward could finally make out an E and a J.
"A diamond seemed more ostentatious than you'd like," Jasper said softly.
Edward's head snapped up, his eyes wide, his mouth open though his tongue was tied.
Smiling gently, his expression adoring, Jasper took Edward's hands in his, the necklace tangled between their fingers. "Marry me, Edward. I want more than the paperwork. I want it all. I want the ceremony with everyone we love watching us. I want to tie myself to you. I want... you."
"You have me," Edward whispered, feeling his eyes well with tears - an overflow of the emotion that grew in him.
"Will you be my husband?" Jasper asked.
"Yes." Edward rolled onto his side, kissing Jasper with deliriously happy little kisses. "Of course, yes."
Jasper's arms were tight around him in the next instant, his kisses joyous.
Edward didn't make it back to work that day.
Jasper looked away from where he and Alice had been comparing a pile of dresses to see Bella looking at him with a displeased expression. "What is it, sugar?"
"Do I have to wear a dress?"
Both Jasper and Alice laughed.
"Honey, don't you want to look pretty for Papa's wedding?" Alice asked gently.
Bella screwed up her lips and looked back at Jasper. "Are you going to wear a dress?"
"Um. No," Jasper answered, laughing.
"No, Bella. I don't think either of us likes dresses very well."
"Well I don't like dresses either," she declared, crossing her arms.
Shaking his head, Jasper looked over at Alice. "How can I argue with logic like that?"
"Oh, Jasper. Don't," Alice begged.
"She has a point." Jasper scratched his chin and held his arms out, lifting Bella up onto his lap. "Do you want to wear a suit like me and Daddy?"
Grinning, Bella nodded enthusiastically. "Can it be purple?"
Jasper chuckled and kissed her cheek. "I think that sounds precious." Looking over her head, he smiled apologetically at Alice. "Sorry."
Alice just rolled her eyes. "I'm used to it by now," she sighed. "Well, there's always prom."
"Prom," Jasper muttered.
"It's a long ways off, but I'm holding out hope." Alice ruffled their daughter's hair affectionately.
"You think maybe you and Charlie..." Jasper trailed off, not wanting to put any ideas in Bella's head, but he nodded at her so Alice would know what he meant.
Alice's eyebrows shot up, and she huffed. "Well, you know. The future is always changing. But right now?" She shook her head, perhaps a little sadly. "What about you and Edward?"
Jasper opened his mouth to say no, but then he thought about the words. He thought about the tiny flashes of memory that had come back - of Edward with Bella.
It might be nice to give Bella a sibling.
"Well," he finally said. "You never know what life will bring."
"You invited them, didn't you?"
Jasper put down the small picture frame that sat on the mantle, not turning around to face his sister. It was the only one he had of his parents - a family picture that was taken at his graduation. His mother had her arms wrapped around his waist. His father had his arm draped over Jasper's shoulders. Lucy was standing in front of him, her grin proud and adoring.
He gave a small shrug and attempted a smile. "Dad and Mom weren't very happy when I married Alice either. We were nineteen. They didn't believe it would last." He looked up at her. "Guess they were right about that one."
"But the point is, even though they disapproved, they were here," Lucy filled in.
"It doesn't matter," Jasper said.
"It's really shitty."
"Yeah," he agreed. "But they've lost everything. Me. You. Bella."
"Edward is awesome, too. He'd make a good son-in-law."
Jasper's smile was genuine then. He looked over the other photos, the latest of all of them - Emmett, Rosalie, Lucy, himself, and Edward - in life jackets in a raft. Alice and Bella sat on the shore with Alice's boyfriend - safe on the ground but still part of the group. It had been taken two months previous when they went on their long planned for rafting trip.
All of them had stood by Jasper through a crisis of self not once but twice over. They'd ached for him, with him.
Even if his parents never accepted the choice he'd made and made again, Jasper wasn't lacking for a loving family.
"Are you nervous?" Emmett asked, his expression bemused as he watched Jasper tug restlessly at his tie.
Jasper smiled. "Not really."
"You had a strange look on your face."
"I was just thinking about how close I came to walking away from this." The corner of his lip turned up. "What I could have missed."
Emmett shook his head. "You were never going to walk away."
Jasper's grin was wide then. "Maybe you're right."
Giving his tie one last tug, Jasper stood and took a deep breath. He followed Emmett down the stairs and out into the gardens of the venue.
Benjamin stood at the bottom of the stairs looking quite dapper, but Jasper didn't see him. His eyes went to the man standing there, his hand out, his smile blindingly beautiful.
They paused, and Edward drew Jasper's hand to his lips, pressing a kiss there before he looked back in his eyes.
Together, they walked out to where their family, their friends were gathered. They faced each other, holding hands, and vowed their love and commitment.
To the cheers of all the people who loved them, they turned together to face the rest of their lives.
A/N: I am a very lucky, VERY spoiled woman. My docs are always well attended. Thank you to Naelany, jfka06, barburella, jessypt for making my docs an insightful, hilarious place to be.
And as for all of you, thank you for coming with me on this journey, for all your thoughtful reviews. I wish I could respond to them all, because they mean so much to me.
Kisses and happy Thanksgiving to those who celebrate.