Disclaimer: I do not own anything related to Twilight. Nor do I own any of the lyrics, quotes or any obscure pop culture references in this or any other stories I write. I do, however, own my imagination. All mine. My precious.... Also, this will eventually have lemons in it. You have been warned.
AN: Thanks for AHelm for reading the first chapter or two. This whole concept of making Jasper a bit less perfect has been circling my mind for weeks now. This is my Scarsper to AHelm's Inksper. ;) And my Edward...he isn't quite the usual Edward either. But you'll have to wait for meeting his true self until the second chapter...
So this is Find You Worthy, Chapter 1, hope you like it.
Find You Worthy
In my dreams I was brave. In my dreams I was bold. In my dreams I was beautiful. In my dreams I got the man I wanted and he wanted me back, with passion.
I woke up with a raging, painful hard on and always alone. I got up, walked to my bathroom and took a shower. I jerked off, I brushed my teeth, I put some clothes on and walked to the shop to work.
On the way to the bookstore I occasionally saw someone glancing at me. Their expressions were always different based on which side of my face they saw. When it was my right side, there was awe. I could see them, both women and men, looking at me like I was some Greek statue or an angel like I once heard an old lady whisper as I walked by.
I was an angel on one side, yes. I knew I could have looked perfect. My body was, mostly, just that. But the left side of my face was scarred. I had been in an accident when I was ten and I refused to get plastic surgery. My parents insisted on it but I told him, even at that age, that I'd never talk to them again if they would put me through that in addition to what had happened.
They didn't. So I was scarred for life, both outside and inside. Or so my sister Rosalie says. She's the perfect one. Nothing short of a swimsuit model with her perfect proportions, her long blonde hair and her radiant smile. When she smiles. She doesn't that much.
She used to when we were little. But after the accident she stopped and I know why. See, before the accident we were both lovely. We were the prettiest children anyone could ask, little angels like the ladies from our mom's church group said.
After the accident that she thinks has something to do with her even though it has been proved otherwise by both the police and yours truly, she changed. She would do anything for me. I know that. She says that she hates how the confident little boy I used to be turned in to a shy and awkward man.
I tell her to butt out of my life. I'm twenty-five and I don't need anyone's pity. In the last fifteen years I've had more than plenty. From every possible person. We already work together, Rosie and myself, because we own our bookstore together, and she shares blood with me so that's enough. For me. For her, not so much.
The morning he walked in to my life I opened the door to the shop a few minutes past eight in the morning because I had some stuff to do before we'd open at nine. Our trainee, Leah, would come in at ten but Rosie had a day off. I hoped the day would be quiet. We had some serious business, we made a proper living, both my sister and me, but I wanted the quiet days more than I wanted the busy ones. Especially when Rosie wasn't there and there was the chance I would have to be downstairs to serve customers and with that came the looks. The ones that screamed 'ohmygodwhathappenedtoyou'. Luckily most people didn't ask. I wasn't about to explain.
You would think I had gotten used to it. Maybe they would stare less if I looked plain on the other side? I attract attention for two reasons and there's nothing I can do about it. I don't like either kind of attention. I'd love to spend my time upstairs in the shop alone with my books. They take me away from the shit that some people call life.
I locked the door behind me and went to the little back room on the ground level of the shop to put the coffeemaker on. Then I walked up the stairs to do some accounting and stopped just to go get the coffee. I had gotten an email too, from a guy that collected Shakespeare like I did and whose collection I was going to borrow for a little exhibit we'd have in September for the three-year anniversary of the shop.
I nearly missed the opening time, luckily Mr. Harris, an elderly gentleman who was always on time for the opening ever Wednesday, knocked on the glass and I rushed downstairs to open the door.
"Morning Mr. H." I told him and smiled.
"Good morning to you, Jasper. All alone today? Where's that gorgeous sister of yours?" he asked as he walked in and waited for me to prop the door open.
"Rosie is off today. Leah will come in later. Only me right now. So, what can I do for you?" I asked, going behind the counter.
We had a cash register and a computer-based system that pretty much kept track of the books we had.
"Anything new I'd be interested?" he asked and looked around the shelf where we put the new books for the first three days before moving them to the correct sections of the store.
Our system was pretty odd, I have to admit that, but it worked for us. We had our regulars who wanted certain things and they could get them easily if they happened to come by on the right day. Of course we had lists for several of our clients. They had the first picks on their favorites.
"No, I'm afraid nothing on your list and no new editions of Joyce either." I shook my head.
I pushed the button on my iPod that was docked on the counter. So technically I should have been paying royalties for playing music in the shop but I couldn't bother.
The familiar sound of Cannonball began to play and I heard Mr. H sigh.
"I'll figure out something more upbeat when I feel more upbeat." I told him, just like I always do when he complains about my taste in music.
He chuckled a bit and went to the classics-section of the shop. I began to sort out some stuff downstairs and stayed there until Leah appeared to run the show for me.
She was a great girl. One of the few people who never treated me like there was anything special about my appearance. I even heard her tell some giggly teenaged girls that it was 'none of their damn business' what happened to me when she heard them speak behind my back.
I worked upstairs for the day, when Leah needed something she'd holler and I'd go see what it was about. Usually I just leaned over the railing and answered her questions without actually going downstairs.
It was my lunch time when she called for me again. I had been about to leave the shop in the next five minutes so I had my denim jacket over my white dress shirt and my black leather pants. I like leather pants for some reason.
I had my iPod upstairs and I took it with me. It was my favorite accessory after all. I listened to music, always. I was already humming the next song on my playlist I had paused while walking down the stairs.
There was a new person in the shop, waiting for me to descend the stairs. He stood in front of the counter and Leah was behind it. I took one glance at him, I was walking the stairs so that my right side was to him. He checked me out, I could tell. I could also tell he thought I was good looking. I wanted to see his expression once I was face to face with him.
Never stopping the humming I walked to the end of the counter.
"What's up Lee?" I asked her, glancing at the man who looked at me and blinked.
"Jasper, this is Edward Cullen, he's looking for a book for his father for his birthday. Some old anatomy guide?"
"Gray's Anatomy?" I asked the guy and he nodded, a bit stunned still. "I'm sorry, Leah is new so she doesn't yet know everything by heart." I grinned, knowing that it made the contrast on my face even stronger.
Honestly I don't know where I got the courage. Edward Cullen was pretty stunning. Maybe it was because I was speaking of a book. Something I know more thoroughly than probably most people I knew. I was in my environment, my shop, and even if he was gorgeous I always knew that there was absolutely nobody that would have me.
That took the pressure off these situations for me. I didn't try to date or get to know people. The few friends I had, had been there for me since before the accident and a couple of them were after-accident friends who had stuck around without me making much effort.
Rosie said that was my flaw. I did nothing until I knew people would actually stick around and be there for me even though I treated them like crap. She was probably right.
Edward cleared his throat.
"Y-yes, I was thinking that he has a later edition of it, I think from the fourties. But the earliest possible I could find would be perfect. He is turning fifty so it's a special occasion." he said and looked more sure of himself suddenly.
His tone had started a bit hesitant but what he said ended with some more conviction, he was serious about this which I immediately liked. He had probably thought it a lot, what he would get his father and had come to this conclusion somehow.
"He's a doctor?" I asked while thinking about it.
"Yes, a general surgeon." Edward nodded to me.
"Well I don't think I have any copies around at the moment. No, wait...there's a 1977 edition somewhere but that's too new..." I pondered out loud and I caught his disappointment.
"Oh...okay..." he sighed a bit and ran his fingers through his already messy hair.
"I think I know someone who might be ready to give up his copy from 1859 though..." I said thoughtfully and even though I wasn't looking at Edward directly, I could see his eyes light up.
"Really? Isn't that the first American edition?" he asked, his eyes were sparkling.
"Yes, it is. I've been trying to buy it off this collector friend of mine but since I don't really need it he has refused so far. I'm the only person he's willing to sell it to, so I might be able to strike a deal but it's really an expensive book. We're talking about..." I grabbed a pen and paper from the counter and scribbled down a number. "something like this." I held it out to Edward.
"That's more than I thought because I didn't think I'd actually find that early an edition. But I think my sister Alice would pitch in and dad will only turn fifty once..." he said and the hopeful expression never left his face.
"Okay, give me two days. Come back on Friday evening. We close at five so if you can, be here at quarter to. I'll figure this out for you." I smiled briefly before looking at Leah.
"I'm off to lunch, so hold the fort and call my cell if you need me?" I asked and she nodded.
I put the headphones on but didn't press play because Edward was leaving the shop at the same time.
"You were humming My Funny Valentine." he pointed out as we were walking out of the shop.
"Excuse me?" I raised an eyebrow but then just as he added the words I remembered.
"While you were coming down the stairs. I heard you hum it." he said and smiled a bit.
"Yes, I was. Sorry, I'm a bit slow today." I mumbled and smiled again.
I was officially out of my comfort zone, my shop.
"Why is it called Puzzle?" he asked me, nodding back towards the shop.
"For that exact reason." I chuckled, because for some reason it amused me that he asked.
He frowned, trying to think about it but didn't get it.
"I'll tell you on Friday. I hope it's not too late. I mean when is his birthday?" I asked, managing to get my business-self on before I was turned back in to my usual fumbling mess of a self.
"Oh, next Thursday but I'm already on my fourth week of searching. And I'm making you keep your promise if I don't figure it out before Friday!" he told me just as he pushed the remote on his car keys.
A silver, fancy looking Volvo made that annoying sound. I waved my hand at him, walking to the opposite direction.
"See you then." I told him and he nodded before vanishing to his car.
I walked to my usual lunch spot, a little family owned café a couple of blocks away. They had lovely sandwiches I liked to indulge myself with occasionally.
"The usual?" Sarah, the owner's daughter asked when she saw me stepping in. I blushed slightly and walked to my usual corner booth. After a few minutes Sarah came over with a tall orange juice and two chicken sandwiches.
"Here you go. Coffee and apple pie for dessert?" she asked with a nice, polite smile. I nodded.
That was how I communicated with people outside the shop. At least right now the stuttering hadn't started yet. Probably because I wasn't speaking much. In my shop or when talking about books I was a different person. Or at home or Rosie's place. In the real world I was shy, blushing and stuttering wreck.
There was the daily paper on my table and suddenly some older lady asked me if she could take it, if I was reading it.
"N-no, please, go ahead." I said and turned my head and heard her gasp silently and then she snagged the paper and retreated to her table. Great. Another spooked person.
It wasn't like I could help it at all. I pushed play. On the way my player had gone through it's playlist and was back to Damien. 9 Crimes. I loved the song. I sighed, dug in to my first sandwich and tried to relax.