No Letting Go

Sometimes, he wonders if Edward finds a sadomasochistic pleasure in the thinly veiled games he plays. Or if he's simply trying to remember an elemental brand of humanness when he cradles Bella's frailty in the morning and grips Jasper's solidity at night. Jasper hopes for neither but counts on both, and he's sickened by his own perverse intentions.

There's an old-fashioned splendor in the way Edward loves her that's lost at night, between identical paleness and still hearts. Even so, Jasper takes purposeful breaths of the lonely reassurance that he's no Bella. That Edward finds him time after time because of something he misses in her naive mortality.

Why, they ask themselves when they already know the answer. Why nothing they have for certain is enough and everything they shouldn't have is what they covet senselessly. Always why, but never not again.

There's a density in the way Jasper loves her that's weightless at night, borne quietly away on sighs traded through cold mouths. Edward swallows easily through the relief that he is what Alice can never be. That Jasper waits for him time after time so he can leave the tragic familiarity she's come to represent.

Sometimes, he wonders if Jasper revels in how much it costs to play these games and how much he dares to lose. Or if he's simply trying to forget the heavy monotony, settled unwanted and utterly naked over the days, when he slides roughly against the foreignness of Edward's body in the dark. Edward bets on both but doesn't care about either.