Author's Note: So, I realized it's been almost a year since I've posted a story, so I went back to some drabbles and beginnings that I had written and re-edited this one to get it ready to post. My goal at this point is to post at least two more chapters to this story, and finish the one I've already started over the next month to two months. We'll see how it goes. Anyway, hope you enjoy and please do leave a little note to let me know how I can improve.

Disclaimer: SM owns all things Twilight, I just like to borrow and play.


"Hey, Jazz, what ya doin'?" Alice Brandon sang as she danced around her boyfriend. It was Friday and the final bell had rang, time for the weekend, and for Alice, that meant time with Jasper.

Jasper Whitlock smiled to himself as he reached around to his other side to grab Alice's hand in an effort to still her movements. "Right now, I'm trying to decide if it's worth it to take my history book home with me over the weekend when half the information in it is wrong. After that, Emmett and I are going to hang out for awhile. Why?" He said the last with a half-smirk that showed his dimple.

"Oh, well, no reason, really." Alice replied with her own smirk. "I just thought that maybe you and I could get together later. That is, if you wanted to?"

Jasper slammed his locker door shut leaving his history book inside and gently moved Alice so that she was boxed between his arms with her back to the lockers. "Now that sounds like an offer I just can't refuse. Just name the time and place."

"About eight, the usual place." she told him as she pushed up on her tiptoes and kissed him lightly on the lips, "Now, I really have to go before I miss the bus." she said as she ducked under one of his arms and danced away into the crowd of students headed for the bus line.

Jasper shook his head to himself as he pushed away from the lockers, and watched his brown-headed pixie disappear.

"Yo, Whitlock! You ready yet?" Emmett McCarty's unmistakable voice boomed from behind him. "We only have two hours to check out the new machine before my shift starts, so, you coming or not?"

"I'm coming," Jasper said with a chuckle. "You driving?"

"Of course. What's the point of being the only guy in school with a hardship license and his own car, if I don't use them?"

"I don't know, you tell me. What's the point of having a best friend who can drive if he never takes me anywhere except the video arcade where he works?"

"Well, if I didn't have that job, then you wouldn't be able to play all the new machines before anyone else." Emmett teased and reached to pull Jasper down into a headlock. The less broad man easily avoided the move and soon Emmett was the one in the headlock as the two guys exited the school and headed for Emmett's jeep.

Alice took her normal seat on the bus, three from the back on the driver's side, just in front of Rosalie Hale, the prettiest girl in school, and someone who Alice only occasionally talked to. Rosalie was always the first one dropped off in the afternoon. Her house was the second largest in town, only out done by her next door neighbors. The name on that house's mailbox said Cullen but Alice had never met them. No one had really ever met the Cullens before. All anyone knew about them was that he was the chief of surgery at Memorial Hospital, and she was a homemaker, and they were both very young and very attractive. Two stops later, after a left hand turn, and a right, Bella Swan was one of three who got off the bus. Bella always sat three rows from the front of the bus on the passenger side, directly across the tiny aisle from Alice. She was the daughter of Charlie Swan, chief of police, and Alice's lab partner in science. Alice was certain that they could have been best friends in another life, but as it was, they didn't talk much outside of class. Another 15 minutes or so passed, five other stops, two more left hand turns, and one more right turn, before Alice and the last seven students were dropped off on the opposite side of town after crossing the railroad tracks. The houses here were much smaller, much older, and much more run down than the ones where Rosalie lived.

"I'm home!" she announced as she walked in the front door of the one story, brick house with the screen door that hung permanently off its hinges. She always announced her arrival even though no one ever really seemed to care.

"Good. You can make dinner," her foster mother, Karen Wilson, called from the living room. Alice peeked into the room as she walked past and saw Karen sitting in a recliner that needed new upholstery, wearing a bathrobe and flipping through a magazine. The TV was on and tuned in to Lifetime, but the volume was muted. That must mean that her foster father, George, wasn't home yet. If he had been, the TV would have been on ESPN, and the volume would have been turned up loud enough for the neighbors to hear. "Sure. What do you want?" Alice asked politely, choosing not to dwell on the permanent misery that made up the atmosphere in her foster house.

"Something good. You can make it happen. You always do."

"Sure." Alice repeated with forced happiness. Her voice never sang at the house like it did at school or when she was with Jasper, but it was never entirely dull either. "Chicken ok?"

"Fine. Just don't undercook it." Karen's voice was snide as she flipped another page in her magazine.

Alice didn't respond to the comment, and instead re-traced her steps until she was back in the kitchen. It didn't take long to prepare the thawed chicken breasts with parmesan cheese, Italian seasoning and corn flake crumbs. She carefully placed the coated breasts in a casserole dish and slid it in the oven, setting a small timer to remind her when it would be time to turn them over so they would be evenly cooked on both sides.

Finally, she was able to make her way to the back of the house and to her bedroom. This was her sanctuary, away from her foster parents. They really weren't that bad. George was a heat and air conditioner repairman and Karen sold Avon, but they didn't love her or even like her. They were just neutral when it came to Alice. In their minds, she existed simply as a means of gaining the extra foster home income and to cook the occasional meal or clean the single bathroom on the weekends. But Alice tolerated them and forced herself to stay happy, after all, this was better than the alternative of living in a group home, and at least the Wilsons weren't abusive, at least not physically.

Alice knew that other kids in foster care weren't nearly as fortunate as she, and so, even when Karen and George came across as neglectful, Alice chose to stay happy and content with her situation. She had a bed at night and enough food and her clothes didn't have too many holes or stains, and the Wilsons really didn't have any rules. She could come and go pretty much as she pleased as long as she was in bed by midnight, but they never checked, so there had been times when she had stayed out all night and not been missed.

Alice opened her homework journal and began working on the chapter end questions for her latest Conflict Resolution class assignment. The Conflict Resolution class was Forks High School's attempt at combining home economics with psychology. Alice didn't really get it, but it fit all the requirements for the State of Washington and would give her the credit she needed if she wanted to go to college, so she dealt with it and stayed happy like she did with everything else in her life.

She knew that after observing her happy disposition even in the most extreme cases, some described her as being oblivious to the rest of the world or even naïve, but to Alice, this was a way of survival. She was simply choosing to be happy no matter what, and she was anything but oblivious. In fact, she saw a lot more than anyone knew, but she didn't let it affect her. Yes, she got angry and sad sometimes, and that was necessary to maintain her health and sanity, but she never let those emotions linger for long. Mary Alice Brandon always chose her own destiny. It started almost as soon as she learned how to talk in sentences. That was when she chose to start going by her middle name. Actually, she had demanded it. "Mawe stupid name. I like Alice." she had declared at the time.

Now, she was choosing another life changing path. Tonight, if Jasper was agreeable, she would take another step on her path to independence. They had been dating for over a year now, and she was ready to take it to the next level. She was ready to have sex. She had done all the research and decided that she didn't want to wait any longer. She loved Jasper and she was ready to have sex with him and only him. She didn't know if they would ever get married or do anything more serious than just date, but she did know that she loved him, and that was enough. So, even if he wasn't the one, she wouldn't regret this decision. She would choose to stay happy with the choice to have sex with Jasper even if nothing more ever came of it.

Dinner that evening came and went without incident. Karen had even managed to talk George into doing the dishes after. Soon the clock read 7:45 and Alice knew that it was time to make her way to meet Jasper at their special spot.

It was really nothing more than a park bench under a tree, across from a street lamp, but it was their park bench, and their tree, and their street lamp. It was here where they had shared their first kiss, and hopefully, it would be the place where they decided to have sex. Well, they wouldn't exactly just do it there on the spot, but it would be where they would talk about it, and then go off together to somewhere more private to actually follow through on the decision they made. Despite everything, she still wanted this to be something special. She was planning to give him her virginity after all. Something like that needed a little more extra planning and preparation. And it may not even happen tonight. It could be weeks before it actually happened, but at least tonight she could tell him how she felt and get some feedback from him on how he felt and hopefully at least decide if they would ever attempt that level of intimacy.

Sliding her feet into a pair of very worn, very dirty tennis shoes, and pulling on a hooded sweater, Alice prepared for the quick jog to the park where she knew Jasper would be waiting for her.

The sun had already set when Alice walked out the front door and started jogging toward the park, but the darkness didn't bother her. In fact, she rather liked it, and there were plenty of lighted street lamps between her house and the park, so she would be able to see if someone was trying to sneak up on her. She saw Jasper casually sitting on the edge of their bench long before he saw her. Slowing her jog to a walk, she approached him casually and easily.

"Hello, Alice." he greeted her kindly, and nodded to the spot on the bench next to him.

"Hey, Jazz. So, how was hanging out with Emmett?" Alice asked as she sat down next to Jasper on the park bench.

"Good. The arcade got in a new game this week. It's a throwback to the classic shoot the pop-up bandit kind of game, but it was fun for a little awhile anyway. How was your afternoon?" He asked in return.

"Good. I made dinner. Got my homework done." Alice leaned her head against Jasper's shoulder as she spoke and took a deep breath to smell his cologne.

"Good." he mumbled as he wrapped his arm tightly around the small girl. "So, was there something you wanted to talk about, or did you just want to sit here and enjoy the night?" he asked seriously.

"A little of both, I guess," Alice admitted. "Do you love me, Jasper? I mean, really love me? Like, love me more than anything or anyone else in the world, that you would do anything for me?"

"Of course. You know I do, darlin'."

"Tell me." Alice insisted.

"I love you, more than anything, I would do anything for you." He said earnestly, somehow meeting her eyes in darkness.

"Then, do you think we're ready for the next step? Do you think we're ready to have sex?" There were no mistaking Alice's words. She was only a little nervous as she asked the question, and her voice was strong and honest.

Jasper inhaled deeply at the question. It was the last thing that he had expected Alice to say. "I…uh…" he started and then stopped to clear his throat. "I, uh, honestly…I….I'm not sure. I mean, I know that it's something that I've thought about, and I think that if the time is right, then I would not be opposed to having sex with you. And I know how that sounds, but let me explain. I love you, and I don't want anything to ruin that. And if we start having sex just to have sex, then it might cheapen what we have. I don't want that. So, if it happens, that's wonderful, and it will be something we can cherish, and it will serve to deepen our relationship. But I'm not ready to start having casual sex with you or with anybody else for that matter. So, I guess what I'm saying is that if you're ready to have sex, then sometime, not tonight, and not tomorrow, but sometime, when it's right, then it's definitely something that we can explore."

Alice laughed slightly at Jasper's stumbling. "So, that's a yes. You're ready for it and you think we're ready for it, or could be ready for it very soon?"

"Yes." He confirmed. "And you're sure that you're ready? It's a big step, and if you're telling me that you're ready, then it's going to change how I approach our relationship. I'm not going to take things slow anymore, or police myself. When the moment's right there's going to be no stopping. This is an all or nothing deal, Alice. So, are you really ready?"

Alice nodded her head slowly. "Yeah, I think that I'm really ready. I'm ready to have sex. I've done all the research. I know all the consequences. I'm ready to have to have sex with you Jasper Whitlock, but if it makes you more comfortable, then I can wait until when the time is right."

"All the consequences, huh? So, you're on the pill?"

"Well, no, but you have condoms, right?"

"Yes, I do. But it's always a good idea to use double protection."

"Fine, then I'll start taking the pill tomorrow. But you know it takes a good month or two for it to start working."

"I know. We've waited this long. Besides, right moments don't come around that often or easily."

"Right. So, you know any doctors that don't require parental consent to prescribe birth control? Because there is no way I'm talking to my foster parents about this."

"I don't, sorry." Jasper looked frustrated for a minute before allowing his expression to return to normal. "But I have a feeling that won't stop you, will it?"

"Nope, won't even slow me down. I still know a few people from the group home and the street. I can get birth control."

"Legitimate, unexpired, affordable, and effective birth control?"

"Yes. I told you, I know people."

"Good. Because this isn't something worth you gettin' hurt over."

"I love you," she said smiling up at him.

"I love you too," he whispered and closed the distance between them to kiss her deeply. The couple spent the next hour and a half snuggled together on the park bench just watching the stars before deciding that it was time to call it a night. After all, tomorrow was another day and they both had to be up early in the morning to get to school on time.