Disclaimer: S. Meyer owns Twilight Banner by Lady of Spain
A/N: Song, Zinnia by Pierre Michael Fuqua/ hacked to pieces by LOS
. . . . .
Jasper hated what he had become until this moment. The other half of his soul was holding him in her arms. He’d been in love with her since the first time his eyes lit upon that portrait. Alice was already a vampire. He didn’t have to inflict that god-awful misery upon her. It would tear him apart to see her writhing in agony because of his actions.
He’d never been in love before, and the feeling filled him with an energy and lightness that was indescribable. He would go anywhere, do anything, be anything for her. The love she had for him gave Jasper the strength to soldier on.
After kissing the side of his head, she finally pulled away and taking his hands, urged him to stand up. “C’mon, there’s something important we need to do.”
More important than being held in her arms? She had to be joshing.
Her eyebrows rose, and her face was alight with sheer joy, as she said, “We need to get you some new clothes, mister. My treat.”
. . . . .
Crimineeee, but this woman never seemed to slow down. He’d seen just about every clothing and department store in Philadelphia. He had to fess up, though. She had great taste in clothing, and it was sweet of her to want him looking his best for her. So ... he allowed her to drag him from shop to shop, until there wasn’t an inch left inside the car for any additional purchases. She had even bought a couple of suitcases to haul it all in.
As they traveled to and from the different stores, Jasper felt himself more at ease around her, their conversation became more lively.
When they arrived back at the room, Alice squealed, “Oh Jazz, this was a lot more fun than shopping for myself. I can’t wait. You are going to look very handsome in these clothes.”
“I don’t believe I have ever had this many clothes in all my born days. Tarnation, woman, I can truly only wear one suit of clothes at a time.”
Alice stood there laughing at the look on his face. He appeared to be overwhelmed.
He didn’t see what the big deal was, but he liked seeing her so happy. He hoped he could make her this happy every day of her existence.
Jasper tried to pay for some of the items. She finally relented and let him pay for the luggage. He was, by no means short on cash, in fact he hardly spent any of his initial stake, except for necessary hygiene supplies. He didn’t eat or drink, stay in hotels, or buy clothes for himself. It was too easy to help himself to what his latest victim was wearing. If a storm blew his way, he could stay in any abandoned building to avoid it. And if the occasion should arise that his cash got low, he could wire Peter for more. After all, his friend did owe him for the sale of the house and his belongings.
He was used to a soldier’s rough lifestyle, obviously he couldn’t expect his new lady love to do the same. Things would have to change—a change that he welcomed willingly.
The next day they left the hotel, and started on the road to discovery.
. . . . .
Under the cover of rain and clouds, they drove until they reached West Virginia. They got out of the vehicle and walked side by side in the woodlands. Then every day, a roadside motel would serve as a place to relax, talk, shower and change into freshly laundered clothes.
After a couple of weeks, their thirst was getting the better of them, so Alice decided to coax Jasper into drinking from some of the animals in the mountains.
“C’mon, Jazz, I promise it won’t be that terrible.”
He eyed the little pixie and in all seriousness blurted, “It’s gettin’ through all that fur that makes it so all-fired disgustin’. We best buy us some toothpicks to extricate it from between our teeth. I swear, I’ll be pickin’ and a-grinnin’ for days on end.”
Alice’s golden eyes rolled as she responded, “You’ve got to do this, if you want to be with me.”
“I didn’t say I wouldn’t try it, I just had a mind ta let you know how much I’m sacrificin’ for you, darlin’.”
She stared at him with her hands resting at her hips for a moment. Unsuccessfully holding back the smile tugging at her lips, she took off like a streak, with Jasper dutifully trailing behind her.
His voice carried through the trees, calling to her. “Hold up there, gal. Where you goin’ in such a hurry?”
“I see a really large buck up ahead. I don’t want to lose him. He’s all yours,” she yelled back over her shoulder.
Jasper caught the scent as they moved closer. It wasn’t entirely a scent that made his mouth water, but he was desperate for a drink. And if Alice thought this was a way to redeem himself, then so be it. He wanted to stay with her always. It would be a sacrifice, but well worth it.
The buck lifted his head suddenly as they closed in, and began to dart away, but Jasper was too fast for the startled deer. His teeth sunk into the animal’s neck, and he quickly drained it of its life force. He turned to Alice after wiping the last drop of blood from his lips, and dryly said, “I reckon I truly need that toothpick now.”
“We’ll buy some later,” she commented in mock seriousness. Pointing further east, she remarked, “Follow me, there’s another one just over that ridge.”
The couple sprang into action on the trail of the creature. He admired the way she cornered the beast. She anticipated its every move. It was a quite a sight.
When Alice had also slaked her thirst, they returned to their temporary abode, to brush their teeth and buy—toothpicks.
Their routine remained the same for several weeks, but Alice was becoming disheartened with Jasper’s reluctance to become a little more physical. She asked him about it one day.
“Jazz ... there’s something that’s been bothering me.”
“What is it?” As if he didn’t know. This subject was bound to crop up sooner or later.
“Well ... it’s just that, I want you to touch me. Why won’t you touch me? You don’t even hold my hand. It’s been a couple of months since we had that kind of physical contact. I need that ... that contact. Don’t you want me?”
Jasper swallowed hard. He ran a hand through his honey-blonde tresses and sighed. How could he make her understand his reticence? He couldn’t bear to see the hurt in her eyes, so he looked away as he tried to explain. “I’m in love with you, Alice. I ache to touch you, but I don’t want it to be like it was with Ria. You’re an innocent girl, and I’m afraid we might go too far. I couldn’t live with myself if’n I pushed myself on you. Every time you fill my sight, I wonder how you would feel in my arms—how your sweet lips would taste, how your skin would feel brushin’ against mine. Do I want you? Hell, yeah. I want you so much, it’s liketa kill me.”
His now golden eyes glanced her way. Alice couldn’t restrain her emotions any longer; she flung herself into his empty arms. The feeling was mutual, Jasper was conquered. He lifted Alice slightly and scanning her sweet little face, slowly brought his lips to her cheek. They trailed along her jaw and finally to their joy, found her mouth. It was heaven—above and beyond anything he had experienced with Maria. They kissed heatedly for several minutes, then Jasper placed her back on her feet, and said, “We best stop. It’s like I said, I can’t dishonor you in that way.”
“I trust you, Jazz. You won’t ever hurt or dishonor me.”
“I don’t trust myself, leastways, not with you near me.”
She looked up at the lean Texan, and blatantly commented, “I’m not asking you to haul me off to bed. I just want you to hold my hand and kiss me once in a while. I love you. Anyway, I told you I saw our future.”
Jasper took her hand, and for the first time in years, a smile graced his lips. “Lil’ gal, I’m goin’ to marry you some day. And that’s a fact!”
. . . . .
One day while Alice was out shopping, Jasper snuck off to a nearby jewelry store to buy an engagement ring. He’d pop the question when he thought the timing was right. At Alice’s request he walked hand in hand with her, and yes, those kisses were getting more and more frequent and substantially more intense, but he always knew his limits, and stopped when things got too tempting.
Something was weighing heavily on his mind as they continued on their travels. He longed to visit his home and see about his family.
He sat near the window of the most recent motel room they visited, strumming his guitar. “We’re goin’ to Texas, darlin’. I need to see for myself what happened to my home and my kinfolk.”
“What are we waiting for,” she answered.
On the way, as they walked along admiring the scenery, Jasper spotted an old metal horse trough. He sat upon it, and with guitar in hand, sang a song he had worked on whenever Alice was showering or gone into town on her own.
Alice sat down on the dry grass, and Jasper began. “I call it Zinnia.”
His fingers flew over the strings as he sang:
Girl, you’re mine, Girl,
Like a picture from my past,
Pressed flat, built to last
Ohh, Zinnia like
a page out of my past,
the past is passed,
the passed is past.
From this field of flowers,
Far and wide as the eye can see,
Every genus and species,
Can’t you see darlin’,
That I choose thee.
Pretty pretty pretty little zinnia,
You are my little Zinnia,
Like a page out of my past,
Pressed flat, built to last,
The passed is past,
The past is passed.
Now you’re mine.
As his head lifted from the instrument, their eyes met. The look on her face was pure unadulterated love. He could, since day one, sense her feelings of love, and right now, the feeling was so strong as to send him toppling off the horse trough.
She got up, stepped forward, and took the guitar from him, laying it on the ground. “You wrote that for me? It was beautiful.”
“No more than you.”
“My god, I love you Jasper Lamar Whitlock!”
Alice lunged at him, and they both tumbled onto the ground; the trough landing on top of them. Jasper pushed it aside and wrapped his arms around his Little Zinnia. His laughter was set free—a hearty laugh that made her happy clear down to her toes. She joined in, and when it finally faded, he stroked her cheek, and their lips met in a more serious manner.
It started to rain so Alice picked up his guitar, and Jasper hoisted her over his shoulder running with her back to their parked vehicle. She shrieked and giggled all the way.
. . . . .
The day arrived when they reached the Lone Star State of Texas. Jasper directed her straight to his childhood home. It was still standing, but in a deplorable condition of disrepair. His heart sunk lower in his chest as they ambled about in the ruins of his once lovely abode.
“I’m sorry, Jazz. It hurts to see your family go before you do. In our case, we’ll outlive everyone ... but at least we have each other.”
She squeezed his hand firmly. What would he do without her? His life would be unbearable, meaningless. Now that he found her, he would never let her go.
. . . . . . . . .
A/N: Song “Zinnia”— by Pierre Michael Fuqua
Words & Music
The link included below will take you to the performance of the song. I have taken poetic license and changed some of the wording to fit with the story, essentially altering the meaning of the song. Reviews on this would make me reeeeaaally happy!
or search at youtube for: magepageFuqua