A/N: Whew. I bet you thought I'd never get back to this story. Thank you, from the bottom of my dirty little heart, for sticking with me. This is the first chapter that brings this story officially off hiatus. I'll be posting updates on Wednesdays.
I realized while going through and editing this story that I majorly fucked up the flow by having the dual relationships and the way it swaps narration. I had two choices as I saw it – split each storyline into their own fic, or keep it this way. I decided to stay with this since it's easier for everyone (imho). I suspect the story will continue on its current path of one or two chapters for EPOV then one or two chapters in BPOV, and so on. I'm sorry if that bothers you, and I understand just how irritating it is to shift forward in time, then slide back from the other POV. I'm going to do my best not to cover old story ground with the swaps.
Infinite thank yous to my beta, TwilightMundi, who has to tolerate more from me than most, I'm sure. I'm sorry, and I love you, TM. Thank you also to afeistyginger who pre-reads and gives me more than I could ever thank for, in fic, friendship and life. Also, it's her birthday this week, so let me be the first to say HAPPY FUCKING BIRTHDAY, BABY. You're going to make 30 your bitch, I just know it. Also, a huge shout out to the ladies that WC with me. I lessthan 3 you. Mega happy birthday to my very favorite La Hopey, too. I can't believe I'm going to be at CC without ma Hopey. I miss you, friend.
I turned my head, resting it against his chest, and sighed. I cursed the need for a job, for eating, for everything and anything that was going to pull me out of this moment and away from Jasper. I wondered if we were still going to have our date the next day, and what things would be like after this night of firsts between us – first real fight, first real makeup, first … fuck? Love making?
I laughed softly when I heard him begin to snore and took that as my sign to follow him into sleep.
There was a lot of ground to cover once we were awake. Of course, Jasper woke up long before me. By the time I was awake, coffee and breakfast were made. We sat at my kitchen table, warm and easy silence surrounding us, despite the tension from the night before.
"Do you like it?" Jasper asked, adorable in his uncertainty.
"Mhm," I mumbled around my food. "So good. Thank you."
Leaning over, I kissed him and tasted the sweet, sticky maple syrup on his lips. We got a little carried away, our mouths pulling apart and coming together repeatedly. My smile couldn't be contained when we went back to finishing breakfast.
When the French toast was gone and our coffee cups were empty, I took Jasper's hand in mine and brought him to my bathroom. As the water warmed, we touched and kissed. His body was soft and hard in the right places. I took my time getting reacquainted with everything, even though it had been less than ten hours since we'd been naked, pleasuring each other.
Under the spray of water, I pushed him against the side of the shower. I knew the stones would be cold against his skin, the water in front of him hot as it rained down. Lowering myself to my knees, I looked up and maintained eye contact as I loved him thoroughly.
Jasper practically collapsed as he came, knees bending. I was worried for a brief moment that he'd fall, but then he regained his composure. As I stood, he pulled me in for a small kiss.
"You're too good to me," he said quietly. "My turn."
His grin turned wicked and I laughed a little as he wrapped his arms around my body from behind. I rested my head on his shoulder as he began to stroke me. He took his time, building his pace and grip, before he became relentless. It felt so good to have this moment of intimacy with him before starting my hectic day at work.
Once we were clean and dried off, we got dressed. I loaned him some clothes to get through the day so he wouldn't have to go home before work. In the garage, we hit our awkward moment.
"You're still coming over on Saturday, right?" I asked, nervous.
"Yeah, Edward. Of course." He leaned in and kissed me again. "We're gonna to have rough spots. We're going to get into fights, you know."
I laughed. "As long as we can make up like last night, I'm all good."
We shared one last embrace and our time was over for the moment.
Work passed quickly; I found myself really getting into my cases. I was passionate about them, which was the best thing about my job – helping people I genuinely cared about. Of course, it didn't hurt that I traded a few emails back and forth with Jasper throughout the day about our plans that night. I'd also been in touch with Alice, trying to figure out how her day was going. I knew she was weighing her career choices heavily and I wanted to be there to support her.
At six thirty, I got in my car and headed to the brewpub where I was meeting Jasper. He wasn't there yet, so I got us a table and ordered a pint. My nose was stuck deep in the menu when I saw him slide into the seat next to mine.
A smile spread across my face as I looked over at him. "Hi."
"Hey," he said, then leaned a little closer.
My heart sped at the thought he wanted to kiss me, but I really wanted to kiss him, too. Meeting him halfway, I touched my lips to his briefly, and we both shifted back to our original positions. See, I reminded myself, it didn't need to be making out in public; all we shared was one brief touch of lips, but it felt so good. So freeing.
"How was your day?" I asked.
"I'm so damn tired," he said. "No thanks to you, I might add, but the day was … long. Draining. Yours?"
"It was good. It went fast, knowing I'd get to spend some time with you."
Beneath the table, our hands joined and rested together on my leg. The waiter came to take our order and stood between us. My hand reflexively pulled back, but Jasper ran his thumb over my skin, calming and reassuring me. It didn't stop my heart from feeling like it was going to beat right out of my chest again, but the waiter was polite and kind. He even smiled when he saw our joined hands, and I was surprised by that.
In fact, so surprised, that I began to wonder if the world wasn't as I saw it in my head. Maybe I'd been too quick to assume the conservative town I'd grown up in hadn't grown at all.
It was odd and slightly uncomfortable to be in public together after our last argument about it. I decided to try and let go a little more and just relax, as difficult as that was for me. It worked well, though, as we held hands periodically, eating and laughing together. The more I relaxed, the more I realized Alice and Jasper were right; I couldn't live my life in fear.
My train of thought was interrupted by the beer being dropped off for Jasper, and then we dove into talking about our days again. I loved hearing about Jasper's day and the kids he worked with, although it was gut wrenching at times.
As we drank, talked, and ate, we flirted. I wondered if he'd packed a bag to stay at my place again, but doubted he had. It was difficult to keep perspective that we were two adults with responsibilities; all I wanted to do was run away for a few weeks of uninterrupted Jasper time.
Alas, our food came and went. We declined dessert, and had paid the bill. There was just no more stalling.
"No chance you're coming over?" I asked, sheepish smile on my face.
He grimaced and my heart dropped. "Sorry."
"It's okay. We'll have Saturday and Sunday." I grabbed his hand – above the table – from where it rested next to his fork, covering it with mine. "Thank you for a great date."
When we walked to our cars, the sun had set, the chill of autumn in the air and crunchy leaves everywhere. It was beautiful, the perfect night to bundle up and walk hand-in-hand. Even if it was only the fifteen or so feet to our cars, I was grateful for it. Grateful for him.
Against my car, Jasper pushed his body into mine and I was glad I parked in a darker spot in the lot. People could walk by and see, but it's not exactly like we're out under a street lamp, which helped my nerves.
"Thank you," he whispered against my lips.
I smiled and kissed him back hard. "For what?"
"All of it."
My hands moved up through his hair as I held his mouth close to mine. I wanted to kiss him for hours, knowing this was our last contact for a few days. His lips were so soft against mine, and he tasted so good – beer and happiness.
After several minutes, his hands squeezed my hips, having stopped their roaming. Jasper's lips teased at mine for a few more pecks, then he stopped and smiled.
One last kiss and he backed up, turning to walk away.
"Goodnight," I said softly.
The agony of watching him walk away tugged at me. For the rest of the night, I could see his swagger as he left me there, and feel his lips ghosting against mine. The stubble on his chin grazed my skin for hours in my head, the moments stuck on memory replay.
Friday seemed to drag, but I had dinner plans with Alice at my apartment, so I spent the day looking forward to that. I knew she was headed to Bella's after dinner, but I wanted to check in with her and really see how she was doing. After I left work, I stopped by the grocery store and then made my way home.
Alice arrived as I was prepping our dinner. She never knocked, a habit of hers that didn't bother me. We exchanged a smile and she set her bag down, then put an apron on and began helping me.
"How are you, Al?"
Sometimes it seemed like everything was so on the surface with Alice. It was all just right there, words on her skin, etched into her expression. Other times, she was the best person ever at hiding what was going on. I could tell she didn't usually do this around me; or, she didn't try to.
Setting her knife on the counter, she turned to look at me. I kept going, keeping things in motion to try and make her feel safe and comfortable.
"I'm totally falling for her, Edward, and it scares the shit out of me."
Well, it was about time she saw what everyone else had seen.
"Yeah? Which part scares you?"
"All of it," she said. "I don't know how to tell her."
The duality of what she said wasn't lost on me, but I wanted to play dumb on the off chance she didn't mean what I thought she meant.
"That you're falling for her?"
"No, dumbass." She hip-checked me, then walked around to the breakfast bar area. "About him."
It took me a few minutes to respond. Alice's past wasn't something she talked about to a lot of people, especially not romantic interests. We held secrets even our parents didn't know about her. I was always grateful she trusted me enough to tell me.
"Do you think it's time?" I asked.
"I don't know. Maybe?"
For the moment, the conversation died a natural death and we moved on. It was quiet while we waited for dinner to cook. We shared a bottle of wine and watched mindless reality television as we waited. I didn't want to broach the topic again until she brought it up, allowing her to move forward at her own pace.
"We had our first fight," I said quietly.
"Really? What about?"
"It was kind of stupid but kind of important."
I refilled our glasses, wanting more liquid courage to bring the topic out and dissect it with her. Alice was my sounding board, my best friend, and my voice of reason when I sometimes got overly analytical about things.
"He was looking at me," I said. "But, it was in the middle of Starbucks, and I was so uncomfortable. Shit, it's not like we can walk down the street holding hands, you know?"
"Why?" she asked, immediately challenging everything.
Alice was so idealistic, so out and open, expecting everyone to just deal. I knew why, I just wasn't the same.
"Why? Because I don't want to have to live in fear."
"So stop being so fucking fearful, Edward. You act like every gay person walking downtown has a big red X on their forehead. You know, people aren't going to accept us living among them until we liveamong them. Your hiding doesn't do any good for anyone, least of all you."
She was right, I knew, but saying it and doing it were two different things. I wasn't sure if I could ever be quite like her, but maybe she was right.
"I made him so angry, and he feels the same way you do, by the way. The thing that was the worst, though, was that he talked about how he's been so left out of the community. Both gay and straight."
"Huh. How do you feel about that, by the way?"
"Him being bi?" I asked.
"Yeah. I mean, is he bi?"
"I think so. I'm not really sure."
I realized Jasper and I had so much more talking to do than I even thought.
"So does it bother you?" she pressed.
"No. I mean..." I thought about it for a minute, wondering if it did bother me. I hadn't given it too much time in my brain, because I already had feelings for him. It didn't matter what the parts and pieces of Jasper were, he was wonderful and I wanted more. "No, it definitely doesn't. He's amazing."
Alice slid over on the couch, curling herself up against my chest.
I wanted to clear the anxiety in the air and switch to easier topics. "Ready for the party?" I asked.
She went on and on giving me details about the party for what felt like hours, then sat up, stretching. Alice was off to Bella's after a hug, and I was left alone in silence. I went to bed shortly after, done with the day.
Saturday morning, I woke up late and already had a few texts from Jasper. His hesitance made me smile. We hadn't made firm plans of what we were going to do, just that we were going to spend time together before Bella's party.
After I texted him back to say we could grab lunch somewhere, I jumped in the shower. It was quick – utilitarian – and then I was on my way to meet Jasper for food.
When we were done eating, we headed over to the liquor store and mall to get Bella's gifts. We held hands when we both felt like it, and there were a few uncomfortable moments, but overall, it wasn't terrible. As we walked through the crowded shops, Jasper looked at his watch.
"Alice has people coming over in about fifteen minutes," he said, sighing. "Sorry. I wanted to spend much more of the afternoon together, but she is persistent, isn't she?"
If only he knew, I thought.
"I'm surprised she didn't have people coming over starting yesterday," I said. "It's fine, let's go."
Threading our hands together again, we left and drove to his place. Most of the afternoon was spent sneaking glances and stealing kisses where we could.
Rose showed up a few minutes before the party was scheduled to start, and Jasper and I chatted her up for a bit, then got her a drink.
"Excited for brunch tomorrow?" I asked her.
"Ha. Ha. Ha," she said with a roll of her eyes.
Thankfully, Bella and Alice showed up soon after. There was food and gift opening, constant champagne, and great company the entire time. After we sang happy birthday, Alice passed out pieces of the cake. In the corner, I fed Jasper a few bites, licking my lips when he did the same for me. We snuck kisses when no one was looking, and then I wrapped an arm over his shoulder from behind. We talked quietly as the birthday girl enjoyed sharing her cake with Alice, and I smiled at the way the two of them interacted.
Leaving them to their cake, Jasper led me to the living room to sit and talk. We lounged together, quietly discussing brunch the next day after we said goodbye to Rose.
"I've never been home to meet anyone's parents," Jasper confessed.
"Really? Huh. I guess it makes sense, but damn. Are you nervous?"
"Yeah. Of course," he said. "You're amazing, and I'm …"
I turned to face him. "Amazing too."
We were lost in our kissing when Bella cleared her throat next to the couch.
"We're leaving, boys," she said.
Everyone hugged and we walked Bella and Alice to the door, locking it for the night behind them. Instead of taking our place on the couch again, like I thought we'd do, Jasper started to walk toward his bedroom.
"Coming?" he asked, looking over his shoulder.
I chuckled, an eyebrow raised, dirty joke on my tongue. Instead, I caught up to him and slapped his ass. We made our way to his room quickly and undressed even faster. Slowing down, we took our time, we explored and loved, leaving no part of each others' bodies undiscovered.
When I woke up Sunday morning, Jasper was lying next to me, watching me sleep.
"Creepy," I said quietly.
We laughed, then got up and showered together.
I didn't want to be late to brunch at my parents' house, so I made sure we stayed on schedule, arriving a touch early. It was interesting introducing Jasper to my parents and Emmett. Emmett and I had a tumultuous relationship to say the least. As adults, it was better and we sort of understood each other, but there were precarious moments.
Once Jasper hugged my mom and shook my dad's hand, my parents wandered back to the kitchen for more food prep. Emmett, Jasper, and I sat in the living room, chatting.
A few minutes later, the doorbell rang and Emmett got up to answer it. I figured it was Rose, so no big deal, maybe the two of them could get a head start on the matchmaking Alice and Bella had planned. When I heard shouting, Jasper and I exchanged a look and practically ran.
"Are you fucking kidding me?" Rose shouted. "Get away from me you pig!"
"Emmett, what's going on?" I asked.
"He thinks..." Rose stopped, shaking her head. Tears were welling in her eyes.
She turned and walked back to her car, clearly debating leaving.
"Jasper, go talk to Rose," I said. "I'll deal with Emmett."
"What did you say to her? Christ, you just opened the door. How much damage could you have done in thirty seconds?"
Emmett looked appropriately ashamed, but I wasn't sure he was ready to fess up to what he'd done yet. I decided to give him some incentive.
"Mom and Dad are going to come out here any second with all the shouting that's been going on – you better start talking."
"I thought you guys hired her. She's gorgeous. I figured it was for Mom and Dad's benefit."
Oh, fucking hell.
"Emmett, you are so god damn dense. If I were you, I'd go start apologizing. You better hope she accepts, too, because if Dad finds out you thought Alice's new girlfriend's sister was a whore, you're in a world of hurt."
"I know, dude, I just … Fuck!"
Watching Emmett slink away like a kicked puppy was rather amusing. He was huge, the biggest of the Cullen kids, and very imposing. I tried not to laugh as I remembered his assumption, that Rose was basically a hooker there to serve as a stand-in.
Jasper had climbed into Rose's car on the passenger side, and I watched Emmett lean into her closed window. He was pleading with her to open the window and allow him to apologize. Jasper left the car and came back inside. I shut the front door to allow Emmett and Rose privacy, hoping they'd work it out. A deep sigh of relief washed over me when they walked in a few minutes later. Rose still didn't look pleased, but at least she was inside.
Once we were in the living room, Emmett introduced her to our parents, who had reappeared from the kitchen. Jasper and I sat on the couch and Rose picked a spot next to Jasper; I couldn't blame her for wanting to be as far away from Emmett as she could get.
Hannah came in and I introduced her to Jasper and Rose, and she climbed into her daddy's lap. The front door opened and I could hear Alice and Bella as Ali made the introductions. Bella shook Emmett's hand when they got into the living room, then they made their way into the kitchen to help.
Our eyes followed them, and after Alice made a crack about it not being Gawk at the Lesbians Day, some of the tension floated out of the room. We all laughed and went back to our conversations.
We ate soon after that, and although it was awkward, I was grateful that Rose didn't spill the beans about Emmett being a douche to her in front of my parents. We each had our cross to bear, and Emmett had his reasons for being such a jackass, even if I didn't agree with them. The food was delicious and the conversation was non-stop and plentiful.
Brunch ended, and Rose said her goodbyes. After she was gone, Alice reamed Emmett for his cold and distant behavior, which was amusing since she had no idea of the blowout from before. Once she knew about that, it would be another world of hurt for him, poor guy.
When we'd all had our fill of socializing, Bella, Alice, Jasper, and I all said goodbye to my parents and each other. After he picked up his overnight bag and things from my house, Jasper mentioned he'd grabbed some cider from the liquor store after work on Friday, and asked if I wanted to go to his house for a movie. Of course I did, and once we arrived, he built a fire. It was cozy and comfortable as we curled together and watched the movie. Jasper's hands were lazy against my skin, tracing paths of nothing leading to nowhere.
His fingers eventually settled on top of mine, our hands resting on my thigh as we sat next to each other. I was worried we'd never make it through the whole movie, our hormones getting the best of us, but we did. When the movie finished, Jasper put another disc in and opened his legs, beckoning me between them. It wasn't as though either of us was a small guy, so our bodies fit together awkwardly on the couch, but it worked somehow.
About halfway through, his lips carefully touched the side of my neck. The entire rest of the movie, we were touching, kissing, licking, or biting each other. I couldn't tell you how the movie ended; I was content to drown myself in Jasper's attention. I loved lying above him, our bodies together but separated by fabric. It was teasing in the best way, and I was slowly being driven insane.
Sitting up, I pulled him to straddle me. My fingers worked the button of his jeans as my mouth played with his. I needed him, needed to have an orgasm so I could just fucking think again. I had no idea how he drove me so mindlessly crazy.
He stood, pulling his pants off, and I lifted my hips to do the same. Several times our eyes connected and we shared the same excitement-filled grin. I wasn't at all surprised when he reached into the side table to pull out a condom and lube. The little I knew of Jasper informed me enough to know that he probably had a stash in each room, just in case.
A small roll of my eyes later, he was covering me with the condom. I had grabbed the bottle of lube and began to coat my fingers. I watched as he stroked me, pulling up and pushing down with the perfect amount of friction. The noises he let out helped me figure out if I was doing something right with my fingers as they pressed deep inside of him. His legs bent, body going boneless as I worked to prepare his body for mine.
Using my other hand, I pulled at his hip, guiding him to rest on my legs. The other benefit of that was his lips were back within reach, and I leaned forward, reconnecting us in that way. When Jasper scooted down my thighs, closer to my torso, I knew he was ready. His feet planted on either side of my hips and we both stared down as his body sank onto my cock. I closed my eyes and took a deep breath before pushing up with my legs.
We spoke to each other the only way we knew in our new relationship – with our bodies.
I whispered my burgeoning love for him in every touch and kiss. I explored and questioned with each pull back from him, everything I felt sent back to me tenfold when he pushed down onto me. His eyes met mine and he smiled, lazy and loving, entirely surprising. The night before was so full of need and uncertainty – this night was careful and intense in opposite ways.
One of my hands went to his cock, stroking and teasing him in time to my thrusts. He'd reached back to grab the couch and was using that to help him with leverage. We moved together, in tandem, as if we'd been loving each other forever.
When he began to come, the intensity of everything I felt pushed me into my own orgasm. Movement stopped, our heavy breathing hanging between us. My hand rested on Jasper's leg, the liquid warmth from his orgasm dripping from my hand down onto him, and I became aware of the fact that we'd need to move soon.
Tilting my head up, I kissed him again, then whispered my request to get cleaned up. Jasper had to reach a hand out to help me off the couch since one of my hands was still sticky and covered, and we ended up almost falling over, we were both laughing so hard.
After our hands were washed and our clothes were back on, we separated for the night. I didn't want to leave, but I had to work in the morning and it wasn't practical to stay again without more clothes and such. Truthfully, I also wanted a little bit of space and time to think. It had been an intense weekend.
When I got home, I texted Alice to find out what she was up to. She didn't even bother to respond, just called.
"How was your night?" she asked, a lightness in her voice I hadn't heard in years.
"So good. I'm all blissed out."
"It's nice, right?" I asked, smiling. "I'm glad for you, Ali. You deserve to be so happy."
"Mhm, but I am exhausted." She yawned, followed by a little laugh.
"Gross," I said. "Go to bed. We'll talk more tomorrow, yes?"
I didn't want to spoil her night by explaining about Emmett, so I let it go. I'd tell her the next day; maybe we'd talk on the drive to work.
After tossing some laundry into the dryer and texting Jasper to say goodnight, I crawled into bed and closed my eyes. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep with a smile on my face.