Chapter 9: The Wait Is Over
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. . . . .
Jasper felt the urgency in the air. After nearly losing Alice today, he wondered why he had waited this long to tie the knot with her. He found a nice motel quickly so they could shower and change clothes.
As Alice stepped into the room wrapped in a towel, Jasper very nearly groaned. He looked away, composing himself, and said, “Darlin’, put your Sunday best on, we’re goin’ out tonight. I’ve made reservations at Chez Fuqua while you were showerin’. Now don’t you be a-lookin’ at me that way. I’m not fixin’ ta eat there, but don’t you worry your pretty lil’ head none. Just take me at my word. You can go on ahead and dress, while I clean up.”
Alice was stunned. His little pixie had never heard him string more than a couple of sentences together in all the months she’d known him. She bustled about in the closet as he left the room.
Jasper finished showering. Good lord, he gasped as he entered the room, on beholding his sweetheart looking like a pinup girl. Dressing at vampire speed, he was eager to be on his way, but took the time to comment, “You look beautiful this evening, Alice. And you’re beautiful inside and out, not like that wampus cat that beguiled me.”
. . . . .
Chez Fuqua was a very elegant French restaurant. It was a romantic atmosphere, and even with her vampire senses, it was difficult to take it all in. The hostess led them to a secluded table, to give them some privacy. Jasper pulled the chair out to seat her, then leaned down and kissed her cheek.
He sat across from her, just staring. Alice looked down; his penetrating gaze would have made her blush a lifetime ago. His little surprise was foreseen by her, but she didn’t want to ruin the moment for him. Could he feel her excitement?
The waiter came by with the menus, and left them to decide. Jasper put his menu down, and dropped a hundred dollar bill on the table. “That should sweeten the pot, after we’ve left without eatin’.”
Jasper grinned at her, stood and began walking toward his lady love. He pulled her chair around to face him. She looked up at the tall, lanky Texan; anticipation making a funny fluttering in her un-beating heart.
“Alice, you know I’ve been sweet on you since that day in the diner. I can’t abide livin’ apart from you any longer. I don’t rightly know how I might could hold back these feelin's. Every time I set my eyes on you, they’re liketa burst outta my chest. I’m god- almighty in love with you, darlin’.”
Fingering the ring case in his jacket pocket, he pulled it out suddenly and knelt before her on one knee. “Mary Alice Brandon, I’m only a dumb ex-soldier from the Lone Star State, but could you find it in your heart to heal me of my misery and do me the honor of becomin’ my wife?”
She almost knocked him over as she flew into his arms. “Yes, yes, yes.”
He slipped the ring on her finger, and kissed her hand. There was a rash of applause that broke out among the other guests, that only got louder as Alice and Jasper stood, still embraced. His lips were busy with hers, ignoring the audience.
After separating, Jasper uttered, “I reckon we can be on our way then. I was aimin’ to propose, and since you agreed to marry me, we can go directly and get ourselves hitched. Whaddya think?”
“You mean right now—right this minute?”
“It’s as good a time as any. I don’t want to wait. I’ve wasted three long years wandering aimlessly, searching for you. Now that I’ve found you, I want you to be mine forever, from this day on. I’m ready to start my new life—and that life includes you.”
. . . . .
He took her to a nearby jewelry store to pick out wedding rings. Alice, being clairvoyant, singled out the very one she had seen in her vision. Her fiancée paid for them in cash, and they were on their way to City Hall.
The paperwork was filled out speedily, and soon they were reciting their vows in front of a JP and two witnesses.
“I, Jasper Lamar Whitlock, take thee, Mary Alice Brandon, to be my wedded wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, to love and to cherish, till death do us part.”
Alice looked at him knowingly—they would be married for all eternity—for they would never die, but she repeated the vows.
After signing the license, Jasper carried her out to the car, amid her shrieks and laughter. They raced back to the motel, eager to consummate their union.
With his new bride cradled in his arms, Jasper walked with her up to the room entrance and kicked the door open with the toe of his shoe. He set her back on her feet, his heel shutting the door behind him. Pulling Alice toward him, he brushed his lips over her cheek and throat. She backed up slightly, and with a light in her eyes, smiled sweetly at him. She fiddled with his necktie, loosening and removing it from around the shirt collar. The groom took off his jacket and unzipped her dress.
As she unbuttoned his shirt, he covered her hands with his own. “Darlin, I’ve only been with one other woman, and I reckon I’m a might nervous, seein’ as you’re an innocent ‘lil gal and all. I’m afraid that I might hurt you.”
Her arms found their way around his neck, as she gazed up at him. “I love you, Jazz.”
Jasper finally relaxed at her words of assurance.
She was just as beautiful as he imagined, lying beside him on the mattress. Taking his time, he traveled the length of her form with his lips and tongue. Then, loving her with his whole body and soul, he heard the moans coming from her throat, convincing him at last that he successfully initiated his new bride into womanhood.
. . . . .
They lay together, embraced snugly, with Alice’s head on his shoulder. “I told you. See, you were wonderful.”
“Only because it was you. I can’t ever leave you now. Crimineeee, woman, I’m a prisoner of your love.”
His smile faded and he suddenly became very somber. “If Ria had killed you this day, I tell you what; it woulda liketa killed me too. Or I mighta gone mad. You saved me, Alice—from a life of perpetual hell. I’ve never been happier.”
With his fingers, he tilted her head back so he could gaze into her eyes. “Say that you’ll stay with me forever.”
“I promise. Anyway, every vision I have of you—I see myself at your side.”
Jasper squeezed her tighter to his chest. “Lord, almighty, I love you so. You’ve got such a hold on me, that even with my strength, I might could never break. I reckon I don’t rightly want to, neither.”
They held each other quietly for a few minutes, then Alice broke the silence.
“I think it’s time to buy ourselves a permanent home. I’ve seen it—up in the mountains of New Mexico. Can we go tomorrow?”
“Now that’s a whole nuther thing … Don’t you want to go on a honeymoon?”
“Sure I do, but we can honeymoon on the way. We can see San Antonio, and the Alamo, the Carlsbad Caverns …”
He winked at her, flirtatiously. “I don’t rightly think that’s the kind of honeymoon I had in mind.”
A small delicate finger traced the rippled muscles of his abdomen, making him quiver. “Well yeah, I’d like to do some more exploring of that kind too.”
Alice was flipped over in a flash, and Jasper was once again, tickling her fancy.
. . . . .
“We have to go, Jazz. I’ve just seen it. There’s a doctor in Forks, Washington, with a family of our kind. We’ll be part of that family.”
“If that’s what you want, darlin’. You know I’ll go anywhere with you.”
“No, it’s not just what I want. I see you happy there too.”
“All right then. I’ll throw a calf rope on that one, and see ’bout sellin’ this place directly. Let’s git a-movin’ to Forks.”
. . . . .
They pulled up to spacious home of the Cullens, and two people greeted them, the mother, Esme, and her son, Edward.
The son looked them over, puzzled. To Esme, he explained, “This is Jasper and Alice. They want to live with us, and share our way of life.”
Alice and Jasper turned to each other; it was now their turn to be puzzled. How did he know that? Did he read their minds?
Sweet Esme bade them enter the abode, and introduced them to Emmett and Rosalie. Carlisle, she told them he was at the hospital working, but there was no question in her mind that he would welcome them warmly.
Jasper continued to quench his thirst on animal blood, but there was still a constant battle inside of him. The scent of any human that got too close would always be a temptation.
. . . . .
The road to his ultimate destiny was a long and dusty one, but his sweetheart, Alice, showed him that even the most despicable of monsters could be redeemed by the strongest power in the world—the power of love. And, Jasper Lamar Whitlock Hale, major, undertaker, wanderer, and lover, surrendered unconditionally. He was at peace—he was home.
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