|A Madness Most Discreet
Author: vampireisthenewblack PM
I'm pretty sure Edward Cullen hates my guts. It's the way he looks at me, the way he stares so intensely. If that were the extent of the problem it would be easy to ignore, but it's not. Because I'm pretty sure I'm in love with him. AH E/J Slash NC-17Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Jasper & Edward - Chapters: 19 - Words: 52,231 - Reviews: 868 - Favs: 441 - Follows: 536 - Updated: 01-25-12 - Published: 10-01-10 - id: 6367008
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A Madness Most Discreet - Chapter 6
A/N: Unbeta'd... no one to blame but myself... etc etc. Thanks for reading!
Rose's voice hollers at me up the stairs, telling me to hurry or we'll be late for school. I grimace and glance at my watch. There's still fifteen minutes before we usually leave the house. I'm ready to go, but I'm sitting on my bed with a notebook and a pen. The page is blank, and I've been chewing on the end of the pen trying to decide if I should really be writing any of it down at all.
What if someone were to find it?
"Hurry up, Jas," she yells again.
I stuff the notebook under my mattress and the pen into my bag and I go downstairs. I can't bring myself to look at her, in fact I wish I could have avoided her completely. I know she knows. She must suspect, at least, and I'm afraid that if the subject of Edward comes up at all that the answer will show clearly on my face.
Even though I don't look directly at her, I still notice that she looks at me hard while I head for the door.
I'm already in the car when she comes outside. I stare straight ahead and say nothing, make no mention of the fact that we'll be early. She starts the car and we're both silent for the entire five minutes it takes us to get to school.
There are only a few other cars in the lot. I reach for the door.
"Hang on, Jas."
I freeze, my hand on the latch, but say nothing.
"Can we talk?"
"We couldn't have done that at home?"
"Not with Mom still there, no."
I finally look at her, and I'm aware that my expression is accusing, defensive, something. Rose looks nervous. In my mind, I beg her not to ask the question I'm dreading.
"How well do you know Edward?"
That's not the one I was expecting. I stare at her, confused. "We'd barely spoken before Saturday. You know that."
She sighs. "I know him pretty well, Jas. I know you thought he didn't like you before Saturday, and I didn't know for sure because he never talked about it, but it didn't seem like him. I think I know why he might have acted like that, but I'm not sure if you do. And if you don't, I can't say, because it's not my place to say it."
I know what she's talking about, but to admit that I do would be to admit everything. "Either cut the cryptic or let me out of the car, Rose."
"Dammit." She runs her fingers through her hair. It's something she does when she's frustrated with our parents. "He likes you, Jas. I mean, he really likes you."
A shiver runs through me, tingling my skin all over. I can't help the smile that twitches my lips and I hide it too late. She's seen it.
"Shit. I'm right, aren't I?"
I play dumb. "About what?"
She gives me that look, a withering look that tells me to cut the bullshit. "Why didn't you tell me?"
I don't give in. "I have no idea what you're talking about, Rose." I open the door and grab my school bag but she grabs it by the strap before I can climb out of the car.
"I don't care, Jas. If you are. And you could do a hell of a lot worse than Edward. But you're only sixteen. I'm not going to Emmett's after school today. I'll be at home, and if Edward comes over, that's fine, but your bedroom door will be open, same as mine when I was a sophomore and Emmett was there."
I stare at her in horror, my mouth opening and closing.
"Don't worry. I'm not gonna say anything to Mom and Dad."
I can't get any words out. Eventually I close my mouth, tear my bag from her grip, shove open the door and get out of the car. I can't get away fast enough.
Where are you?
I press send on my phone and wait for a response. It's a few minutes before it comes through.
Just got out of the car. You?
Inside. Rose knows. She fucking knows everything.
Did you tell her?
No! Need to talk to you.
I wait by the main door for him. I don't think about the fact that Rose would have waited for Emmett, but she is with them. I meet her eyes, then look pointedly at Edward, turn and walk away. I head straight for my first class, and when I peek in the door the room is already half full of students. I stand outside.
He finds me. There's no sign of Emmett or Rose or Alice. "What's wrong?" he asks.
"She fucking told me that if you're at home we have to leave the fucking door open," I hiss, low enough so that anyone passing in the hall will not be able to hear.
Edward grins. "I got the same talk from Dad last night," he tells me.
I stare, incredulous. "Everyone knows now?"
"My family and Rose. I didn't say anything, I swear. I didn't even confirm it. But they know how to read me."
"It's all happening too fast," I say. "I can't deal with it." I note the worried look on his face, but I walk away from him anyway.
I can't help hoping that he'll text me during class, or that he'll wait for me after. He doesn't. I'm not angry at him, I have no right to be, and I regret leaving him like that, but I'm scared. At lunch I avoid the cafeteria altogether, skip lunch for the second day in a row and head straight for the school newspaper office. Eric finds me there after he's eaten, and he wonders why I didn't meet him at the caf like I always do.
I give him some bullshit about wanting to get an early start on this months issue, but in the twenty minutes I've been in the room and staring at the computer screen I've done exactly nothing.
I wish I could use the paper as an excuse to skip Biology, but I've tried it before and it's never worked well. So I go to class, slipping into my seat when everyone else is already seated. Edward looks over at me with a concerned expression on his face. I frown and shake my head minutely, hoping that he will understand that I can't deal with it yet.
At the end of the hour, I slip out of class ahead of him again. He doesn't catch me up. At the end of the day, I don't pass through the parking lot. I start home on foot.
It takes me half an hour to walk home. I need the time to think. All I see in my mind is his face when I turned away from him, when I told him I couldn't, it was too much. I wish I had his confidence. I wish I had the support he does.
I'm lying on my bed with my music up loud when Rose gets home. I don't hear her get in. The first I know that she is home is when she bursts through the door.
I raise an eyebrow at her. One thing we maintain here is our privacy. I'm surprised that she didn't knock first.
"You could have let someone know you were getting home on your own," she says. "We waited for you."
I look up at her without saying a word.
"He's worried about you."
"Whatever. He's not. Just so you know."
I close my eyes and concentrate on the music being pumped directly into my ears. I'm trying hard not to think about his face and the way it looked.
"Turn your phone back on, Jas."
I roll my eyes and sigh. "Will you go away if I do?"
She nods, and so I reach for the schoolbag on the floor beside the bed. My phone is in the side pocket, and I pull it out, press and hold the power switch. It gives off a series of tones. "Happy?"
She nods and slips out of the room, pulling the door closed behind her. I put the phone on my nightstand and ignore the rattle as it dances across the polished wood again and again.
I can't deal with it right now.
I can't sleep. I wonder what he's doing right now. Is he lying in his bed awake like I am? Is he okay? Is he as conflicted as I am?
Normally when I can't sleep, I reach for the cardboard box under my bed and find some release while I think of him, but that won't work now. For a start, I haven't replaced it yet. But I'm not thinking about sex, or that kind of release at all. I try to, remembering his lips around me, but even though I find myself aroused I can't bring myself to wrap my hand around my cock. I want to lay here, hard and unresolved, while I think of the hurt expression he wore when I looked at him last.
It's a kind of penance, a punishment that I deserve.
My phone still sits on the nightstand, blinking its message alert into the darkness. It occurs to me that if I was to shut it off and still the flashing I could sleep, but I don't do it. I don't deserve to rest.
I made him come. I made him come in my hand, and I made him come in my mouth. I felt powerful then; I could make him feel good. I felt good because he wanted me. Now I just feel wrong because of that look I put on his face.
I can't handle this, I can't deal with this.
It's not a conscious decision to reach out and take the phone, but I find it in my hand. It's not a conscious decision to open each and every one of the four messages he has left since I walked into class yesterday morning, but I read each of them.
He doesn't accuse me of anything. He understands. He felt it too, still feels it when away from the safe embrace of his family. He wants to be able to shout to the world what he feels, but can't. He hopes I'm okay. He wants me to call him.
I can't call him. It's three in the morning. So I text.
He replies almost immediately. It's okay, he says. I get it, he tells me. You don't have to apologise.
I lie back in my pillows, relaxing for the first time since I got off the phone to him the night before. Good night, I say, and he says it back. I go to sleep.
I'm brave. I nod when Rosalie asks if I'm okay as we climb into her car. "A little tired."
"Have trouble sleeping last night?"
"Did you talk to him?"
I nod again, and I look directly into her eyes. I'm brave. It's so hard to do, because with that unwavering gaze, I'm confirming what she already knows. It's hard, but I do it because he's what I want. He's what I've wanted for so long I can't remember not wanting it, and the only way I can have him in any way possible is to be honest.
At least where I can be honest. Here, in this car, with my sister, I can be honest.
Rose nods back at me. She understands. "Be careful," she says as she pulls out onto the street.
I don't really know what she means. There are lots of things she could mean, but I'm not sure which one it is. "I will."
Rose leaps out of the car, leaving me to lock my own door as I collect my things. She's gone, and so is Emmett and Alice when I climb out, and it's only Edward here. He leans against the back passenger door, and I don't look at him until I've closed the door, but when I do, I stare. I remind myself how lucky I am to be able to look into his face, something I couldn't do mere days ago.
"I told you, don't." He smiles, softening the comment that my paranoid mind could have twisted so badly.
"What I said... about not being ready. I want to be. I don't know how."
"The thing I'm not ready to do... it's not this, you know." I make a vague, quick gesture, twisting my fingers in the air between us.
The smile that splits his face is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. His eyes crinkle just a little at the corners. It hurts to look at him.
"I wanna kiss you," I breathe.
His eyes grow wide and his smile falls away and his mouth opens and he starts to breathe in deep, slow breaths. "Oh god."
My lips are burning.
"You can't. Not here."
The bell rings as we stare at each other. He closes his eyes and stabilises his breathing, then he opens them. "We should get to class." He pushes off the side of the car and brushes by me. The back of his hand sweeps past my thigh. A shock goes through me. I catch up to him and we walk side by side toward the nearest building.
Edward grins at me across the crowded cafeteria and jerks his head back, inviting me to sit with him. I look around his table. Alice is there, and a crowd of other kids that I know by name and reputation but I don't really know them.
They are the popular kids, and I'm sitting here with just my closest friend. Not unpopular, per se, but there's a difference.
I roll my eyes back toward Eric. He is oblivious to the exchange, staring down at his sandwich, chewing and talking about the editorial with his mouth full.
Edward mouths 'bring him' and beckons with his hand.
I give Edward what must be a severely pained expression and he rolls his eyes. Alice notices our exchange and stands, pulling Edward to his feet, and without checking to see that he's following, lifts her tray and begins to weave past the students in her way.
I look right past her as he follows her across the room.
Eric looks up mid-chew and mid-word as Alice slides into a seat beside him. He stares. His eyes flick to me, then to Edward as he sits between Alice and myself, then Eric's eyes flick back to me again. He makes a sound that clearly means 'huh?'
"Eric, right?" Alice says. "I hope we're not interrupting, but Jasper was telling us all the other night about how you're really the brains behind the school paper—you know our brother and his sister are together, right? Our families hang out, you know—and I thought it sounded really interesting and I was talking to my friend Angela, do you know Angela? She's into photography, and I was telling her she should be on the paper because it would be good practice for her, but she's too shy to say anything, you know?"
I could kiss Alice.