SLASH BACKSLASH ONE-SHOT CONTEST
Story Name: Just Like Chocolate
Pen name: FarDareisMai2
Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyer owns Twilight and the characters. I'm just playing in her sandbox
To see other entries in the "SLASH BACKSLASH" contest, please visit the C2: www. fanfiction c2/74941/3/0/1/
A/N: This is my first Twi fic, and what a way to pop my cherry. I'd like to thank the most fantastic beta a girl could ever have, Gallathea, for her fabulous editing, insight, and for catching the inconsistencies. She is the cheese to my macaroni. I also have to give my undying gratitude to Chicklette, zeewriter, and Zigster, for letting me torment you with the bits and pieces and varying versions of this story. Your support, comments, and unwavering willingness to hold my hand and tell me it will be alright made this possible. And Chicklette, thanks for inspiring me to try my hand at Twi fic. I hope you all like it.
I turn my head to look at his face, and wince slightly, the pain from a night contorted in this position my due. Beautiful.
In sleep he is angelic. His lashes lie long and dark against his cheeks, and his full and lush lips part slightly as he breathes, the tiniest hint of a snore escaping. I close my eyes and revel in the smell of him, faint traces of vanilla and cinnamon and something more that was uniquely his. I inhale deeper, and I'm transported.
Eight Years Earlier
A tiny bell tinkled as I held the door open and waited for Rose to step through. I followed her in, and instantly was greeted by the mouthwatering smell of fresh baked deliciousness: chocolate, cinnamon and vanilla, competing with the unmistakable scent of freshly baking bread. I was pleasantly surprised by the surroundings, expecting a place that specialized in wedding cakes to be dripping with feminine details, flowers, and other frou-frou wedding details. I couldn't have been more mistaken. It was a warm and welcoming café, with cases filled with mouth-watering pastries, muffins, cookies, breads, and cakes. A tiny, black-haired girl behind the counter smiled as we approached.
"Good morning! What can I get you?"
"We have an appointment to look over wedding cakes," Rose replied.
"Oh, Ms. Hale?"
"Just a minute," the girl replied, and stepped through a doorway to the back of the shop. She returned a moment later. "He'll be right with you. Can I get you anything while you wait?"
"Actually darlin', I'd love a cup of coffee and one of those chocolate croissants, please," I replied, while Rose shook her head in the negative.
The girl showed us to a table, brought a photo album with pictures of wedding cakes they'd made, and then brought my coffee and croissant. I broke off a piece with my fingers and popped it in my mouth. It was delicious, and I groaned as I chewed, enjoying the buttery, flaky dough and the bittersweet smoothness of the chocolate.
I looked up to find the small girl smiling at my obvious delight. "I take it you like that?"
"I think that may have been a religious experience of the ecstatic variety."
When she looked at me, confused, I explained, "It was like a mouth-gasm."
"Jasper!" Rose admonished, as the dark-haired girl's eyes went wide.
I heard a chuckle behind me and felt the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. Turning in my seat, I found myself staring at the most beautiful man I'd ever laid eyes on. His auburn hair was wild, and begged to have my hands running through it. His cheeks looked like they were chiseled from marble, and his mouth was full and almost pouty, but his eyes . . . his eyes transfixed me. They were a remarkable shade of hazel, more like topaz flecked with green, and they held my gaze as if they were searching my soul. I licked my lips, hoping there were no stray bits of crumbs, and watched as his eyes darkened. His eyes remained on mine as he said, "Thank you, Alice. Could you please go box the Franklin order?"
When he finally broke eye contact, he turned to Rose and extended his hand, "Ms. Hale? I'm Edward Cullen. It's a pleasure to meet you."
As he and Rose introduced themselves, I took the opportunity to ogle the rest of him. He was wearing a tank top and jeans, topped with an apron emblazoned with Cullen's Creations. His arms were well defined, and I noticed a tattoo peeking out from under his shirt, although I couldn't see enough to make out the design.
He turned to me, catching me staring at him. His eyes hardened, seemingly irritated with being checked out, and he extended his hand to me. "Mr. McCarty?"
I laughed. "No, I'm Jasper, Jasper Hale. Bridezilla's twin brother." Honestly, if we were the same sex, people would think Rose and I were identical twins. Both of us shared our father's wavy blond hair and our mother's blue eyes. We were both tall and slim, although I did inherit my father's broad shoulders, which Rose thankfully did not. Instead, she was willowy and slim, but curvy in the right places. My sister turned heads wherever she went. She was stunning.
He smiled then, a radiant smile that reached all the way to his eyes, and the hardness melted away. When we shook hands, a jolt of pure desire shot through me, and my stomach clenched in anticipation. The man was entirely too hot for his own good. We all sat down, and Rose and Edward began to discuss wedding cakes. I was, frankly, too entranced by him to pay any attention to what they were actually saying. I continued to pick at my croissant as well, but found my eyes constantly making their way back to him—to his face, his shoulders, and his crazy shock of hair.
Before I knew it, Edward and Rose were finishing up and discussing dates for her and Emmett to come and taste some samples in the flavors she had chosen. She excused herself to go call him and confirm his schedule, and suddenly I was alone at the table with Edward. I fished for another piece of croissant, uncharacteristically embarrassed at being left alone with him. I'd been out of the closet for years, and had never had trouble flirting with anyone before, but something about Edward spun me out completely.
I popped the last bite into my mouth, and heard him say, "If you suck the chocolate off your fingers one more time, I won't be held responsible for what I may do to you."
I looked up at him, surprised by his admission, and suddenly feeling much more confident. I stared him in the eyes and very deliberately licked and sucked my fingers clean of the remnants of the croissant, never breaking eye contact with him.
"Fuck," he whispered.
I smiled widely. "Maybe," I replied.
I think he whimpered. "We close at five today, but I'll be here finishing some work," he told me, leaving the ball in my court.
Rose returned to the table at that moment, precluding my reply. They agreed on a date, and before I knew it, Rose was hustling me out of the café, nattering on about making it to another appointment that day.
I finally pried myself away from her just after five, and rushed back to the café, arriving there at about half past. The door was locked, and the lights in front were off, but I could see a faint glow coming from the back. I hoped Edward was still there, and knocked on the door. Nothing. I waited another minute, then knocked once more.
I was getting nervous again. I didn't usually engage in random hook ups, and I realized that I had no idea what Edward's expectations were. I just knew that my attraction to him was stronger than anything I'd ever experienced. I knocked a third time, and was just about to walk away, when I saw him rush through the back doorway. He saw me and that smile lit up his face again. I realized then that whatever Edward's expectations were, I was willing to go along for the ride.
He walked toward the door, and I noticed how he moved with a grace and certainty that was unbearably sexy. He was a man who was completely at ease in his own skin, and that confidence made him even hotter. He unlocked the door and opened it.
"You came," he said while still smiling.
"I heard they make really good chocolate croissants here," I said smirking.
"Oh, well we're out of those, sorry," and he playfully began to shut the door on me.
My hand shot out to stop it. "Of course, I might be persuaded to try something else."
"By all means," he replied as he moved aside to let me in.
As I passed through I brushed against his arm and even that tiniest contact set my blood on fire. I wanted him like I'd never wanted anyone before. It emboldened me. He turned to relock the door, and I stood behind him, not touching but close enough to feel the energy coming off of him. I brought my nose to his neck and inhaled. I was almost overwhelmed by the scent of vanilla, cinnamon, and man. I whispered in his ear, "It smells fantastic in here."
I watched as his hand gripped the keys in the lock tight enough to turn his knuckles white. He turned the key, slowly spun around to face me, and said, "Wait until you taste it." It was his turn to smirk, as he walked past me and headed toward the back.
"Are you coming?" he asked over his shoulder since I hadn't moved yet. "Almost," I muttered to myself as I began to follow him, unable to tear my eyes off his perfect ass, encased in soft, low slung jeans. I felt myself start to get hard at the sight of it.
I followed him back into an industrial kitchen. Music was playing from an iPod in a dock. The walls were white, except for one large area by the door that was painted with chalkboard paint. In addition to a list of pending orders, there were drawings and comments by the employees—like graffiti. The appliances and countertops were all gleaming stainless steel, except for one marble topped table, for working with dough, and one wood topped work table, upon which a partially frosted cake perched on a pedestal. A large bowl sat to the right of the cake. The floor was industrial tile, but in front of each workstation was a rubber mat. I didn't know if it was for catching spills or cushioning the cook's feet.
I took a moment to wander around the kitchen, appreciating the orderly way in which it was set up, giving me a tiny glimpse into who Edward was. Out of the corner of my eye I could see Edward leaning against a counter, his hands resting on the edge, watching me as I surveyed his domain. I turned to face him. "Why baking?"
"What?" I asked.
"No one has ever asked me that before."
"Really? I'd think it would be one of the first things they'd want to know about you."
He snorted. "No. At the clubs they're only interested in the size of . . ." He paused, embarrassed. "Well, and the few guys I let Alice try to set me up with were only worried about whether I could actually support myself 'making cookies,'" he said, enclosing the last with air quotes. "But to answer your question," he continued, "my mom loves to bake, and as a kid I was always helping her in the kitchen. It just made sense to me. It has an order, a certain sense of symmetry—you can't really deviate from the recipe too much, you know? But at the same time, you can be wildly creative and indulgent."
"I'm sorry," I replied.
"Because they should have asked."
He shook his head at me, disbelieving. "Who are you, Jasper Hale?"
"Me? I'm just a slow cowboy from Houston," I teased, letting my drawl come out to play a little. We moved from Texas when Rose and I were fourteen, but I could still play the part when I felt like it.
He laughed. "Something tells me you are anything but slow, Jasper."
Just the way he said my name sent shivers down my spine. "I'm a writer," I said, hoping to skirt the topic.
"What do you write?"
"Uh, historical fiction."
"Really? Like what? I love historical fiction."
I was beginning to get embarrassed. "Oh, mostly Civil War era stuff. So, Edward, how does one go from helping his mom bake cookies to becoming one of Seattle's most sought after wedding cake purveyors?"
Edward walked toward me. "I went to pastry school, and you're changing the subject," he said. "Why?"
"I've just never been comfortable talking about myself, I suppose."
"Never? Or just since you've become J.W. Hale, best-selling author?"
I gaped at him.
"I just put two and two together," he said, laughing. "Jasper Hale, writer of historical fiction—I've read all your books. It wasn't a big leap after that. What does the "W" stand for, anyway?"
"W . . . Whitlock," I stuttered out. "That wasn't fair, Cullen."
Edward shrugged and walked over to the wood table, picked up a spatula looking thing, and began to deftly spread a chocolate mixture over the cake, rotating the pedestal as he worked over it, evenly coating the top. He looked at me. "Would you like to try?" he asked, indicating the cake.
"You want me to frost a cake? What if I screw it up?"
He laughed. "It's only the crumb coating, not the final layer, so you can't really mess it up. C'mon."
He placed me in front of the cake and handed me the spatula, then stood slightly behind me and to my right. With his right hand over mine, we gripped the spatula, dipped it into the bowl and he guided my hand to the cake.
"It's chocolate buttercream," he explained as we began to smooth it along the sides. He stepped closer, placed his left hand on my waist, and continued smoothing the mixture over the sides. His left hip brushed against my backside as he leaned over a bit more, and my breath caught in my throat. Then suddenly he moved away. "Now we have to put it in the refrigerator to harden a bit," he said as he deftly picked up the cake and placed it in one of the large, industrial coolers.
He walked back over and took the spatula from me, dripping some of the buttercream on his hand in the process. He set the implement down on the table.
"You got some on your hand," I said, grabbing it and bringing it to my mouth. I heard his breath hitch as I looked him in the eyes and slowly began to lick the chocolate decadence from his fingertips, twirling my tongue around each one, before slowly sliding them into my mouth, sucking them clean, and then releasing them with a pop. His eyes became dark, almost feral. He stepped closer, dipped his fingers back into the bowl and brought them to my mouth.
"I don't think you got a full appreciation for the texture of the buttercream," he said. My lips parted for him, but instead of placing his fingers in my mouth, he brushed the corner of it, smearing it over my lower lip and onto my chin. "Ooops," he said, "let me get that for you." He leaned forward and flicked out his tongue, swiping up the frosting from my chin all the way to the corner of my mouth. He looked at me for a moment, making sure I was okay with it, before he gently brushed his lips across mine and then suckled my bottom lip, cleaning the chocolate there as well, before deepening it into a real kiss.
His full lips felt exactly like I'd imagined, soft and strong at the same time, demanding and in control. I brought my hand to the back of his neck and pulled him closer to me, opening my mouth to him and letting his tongue explore it, as my fingers worked their way into his hair. I leaned against the work table as Edward leaned against me, his slim hips angling forward, pressing his...
SORRY FOLKS, A VERY SAD, SMALL MINDED PERSON WITH WHAT APPEARS TO BE A VERY EMPTY AND BORING LIFE, HAS TAKEN IT UPON THEMSELVES TO GO AFTER ALL STORIES THEY BELIEVE ARE INAPPROPRIATE FOR THIS SITE AND REPORT, SO THE STORIES WILL BE TAKEN DOWN.
JUST LIKE CHOCOLATE WILL REMAIN HERE ON FFN. I WILL BE EDITING THE CHAPTERS, SO AS NOT TO OFFEND THE THOUGHT POLICE, AND BECAUSE I DO NOT WISH FOR ALL THE LOVELY WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT THAT HAVE BEEN OFFERED HERE OVER THE YEARS TO BE DELETED, BECAUSE THE OWNERS OF THIS SITE REMOVE EVERYTHING WHOLESALE, WITHOUT CHECKING ANYTHING OR WARNING TO THE AUTHORS. AFTER THE CUT THERE WILL BE ELLIPSES ... WHICH WILL INDICATE THAT THE REST OF THE CHAPTER HAS BEEN [EDITED] OUT, BECAUSE I AM NOT GOING TO SECOND GUESS WHAT WILL OFFEND THESE NINNIES ON ANY GIVEN DAY.
HOWEVER, ALL MY STORIES WILL REMAIN IN THEIR FULL, UNCENSORED FORMS ON ARCHIVE OF OUR OWN. SEE MY PROFILE FOR MORE INFORMATION.
...I fisted his hair and groaned at the friction he caused. I broke away from his mouth, trying to catch my breath and muttering a whispered, "Fuck, Edward."
I pulled back a bit and looked at him. "I'm not usually this forward . . . I mean, this isn't like me," I panted.
"Me neither," he replied, "but there's something here, Jasper. Tell me you feel it too."
"Yes," I whispered. "I feel it too." And I did. There was a connection between us. Something I couldn't explain, even with my penchant for words. I was at a loss to describe it, but it was there—palpable, demanding, and inexorable.
His hands gripped my hips, pulling me to him as his mouth continued its assault on my senses, moving down my jaw to my neck, before he ran his tongue back up and around the shell of my ear. Fuck, I wanted him. I tugged at his apron and said, "Off." I felt him smile against my neck before he stepped back.
This time he looked me in the eyes as he slowly removed the apron. I reached forward and gripped the hem of his shirt, tugging upwards. He smiled and raised his arms, allowing me to lift the shirt up and off of him. His body was a vision. Defined, but not overly muscled, with a...
[EDITED] SEE NOTE ABOVE
...He laughed that warm laugh that I was beginning to love and said, "My loft is upstairs, above the café."
"In that case," I replied as I buttoned my pants and held out my hand to him, "I'd be honored."
I slip out of the bed, careful not to wake my sleeping angel, and pad to the kitchen. I start the coffee and then cut the bread to make French toast. The smell of the day old brioche envelops me, a teasing reminder that the only thing Edward has managed to teach me about baking is how to make bread. I'm a complete failure when it comes to cakes and pastries, although the time spent trying is well worth it.
Six years earlier
"No, the butter has to be cold," he admonished before replacing it with a fresh batch from the fridge.
"Remind me why I'm doing this?" I whined.
"Your sister's baby shower," he retorted.
"But why isn't Alice helping you? I'm terrible at this; you know that!"
"I told you already. James is out sick, and I need Alice to mind the shop. Now stop whining and get your pretty ass over here."
"Did you just order my pretty ass over there?"
"I did," he smirked at me.
I stalked over to him, grabbed a handful of flour, and threw it at him. He stood there, stunned for a moment, before grabbing the carton of eggs. "Jasper," he said threateningly, "run." I did, but he was faster, and within minutes we were wrestling on the ground, a sticky mess of flour and eggs.
He was straddled over my waist, flour all over him, his wild hair even wilder with the remnants of an egg in it. He looked down at me. "This makes me want to whip up a batch of buttercream," he said deviously.
[EDITED] SEE NOTE ABOVE
...turned his head and kissed me. "I love you."
"I love you too."
"Marry me," he whispered.
[EDITED] SEE NOTE ABOVE
I finish placing the last pieces of French toast on the griddle and Rose walks in, heavy with the baby inside her.
"All the time," she complains. "I'm as big as a house."
"No you're not. You look beautiful."
And she does. She's as beautiful as she was four years ago. I hug my sister close, and rest my hand on her stomach before bending down and saying, "I'll see you soon, little one."
Four Years Earlier
"Are you serious?" he asked me.
"Rose?" he turned to my sister, his face still registering shock.
"I'm sure, Edward. Nothing would make me happier. Well, except maybe another one of my own someday," she said as she looked at the sleeping toddler on the couch next to her.
Rose agreed to be both an egg donor and surrogate mother for us. We reasoned that as my twin, she had at least some of my genes, and with Edward as the father, the child would be ours in a more meaningful way. Even Emmett supported the idea completely, but then, he supported anything that made Rose happy.
"Thank you, Rose," Edward said as he pulled her into a crushing hug. "You have no idea how happy you've made me, made us," he said as he wiped the tears from his eyes.
Two months later we found out Rose was pregnant.
"We're going to be daddies!" Edward shouted lifting me up and spinning me around the shop wildly before kissing me deeply. I blushed as the smattering of customers began clapping and calling out their congratulations. "I love you so much, Jasper."
"Show me," I whispered against his neck.
And he did.
Edward was always beautiful, and he was always a spectacular lover, whether he was being gentle or fucking me against a wall. But Edward blissfully happy? He was a sight to behold and a force to reckon with. He made love to me with his entire being. Over and over again, he showed me how much he loved me. I felt utterly consumed by him. For the first time, I truly understood the concept of a soul-mate, of someone who was simply the other of half of an indivisible "us." I don't think we had ever been, or ever were after, as complete as we were that night.
The months sped by as we obsessed over all the details of the impending birth of our son. Edward insisted we find out the sex of the baby so we could decorate his bedroom accordingly—the bedroom in the new house we purchased because there was no room for a baby in the loft. Also, Edward wanted me to have an office for my writing because, even though he didn't say so, I think he was a little sick of my papers always being spread across the dining table.
Then there were all the legal implications involved. Even though Edward and I were married in Massachusetts, it was not recognized by the State of Washington. Even if it had been, legal issues regarding surrogacy and adoption of children by gay and lesbian couples had not been resolved in the state. It took months of legal wrangling before all the contracts were in place, and I would still have to adopt our son after he was born. It always amazed me that people would see fit to legislate and control the manner in which people love each other, but give free rein to those who would seek to hate everyone.
But all of the red tape, legal hurdles, and hormonal tirades by Rosalie became worth it the day we first held Masen in our arms. He looked just like Edward, which pissed Rose off to no end. He had auburn hair, and after a few months, the odd grey-blue eye color so many babies are born with was replaced with Edward's unusual hazel.
As a gay man, I'd grown up feeling like marriage and children were something of a fantasy; that I could never have that slice of life that was taken for granted by so many straight couples. I always assumed that Rosalie, with her love of children and desire for a veritable brood, would be the only one to provide my parents with grandchildren. Yet there I was, married to the love of my life and holding my son . . . my son. I was overwhelmed by my emotions and had to hand Masen over to Edward as I broke down in tears.
Masen became the center of our world. Edward's parents lived close by, as did Rose and Emmett, so Masen was always surrounded by a loving family who doted on him. Plus, it meant Edward and I were lucky enough to have willing baby sitters so we could get some private time together. I finally understood all the conversations I'd overheard in the café of women telling their friends how happy they were they were having a "date night" with their husbands.
And while Masen may have made it impossible for me to throw Edward across the dining table during our Sunday brunch so I could drizzle maple syrup on him instead of the French toast, he certainly didn't dampen our passion for each other, or our creativity in finding ways to make love away from the prying eyes of a toddler, including one "date night" that recreated our first night together in the kitchen of Cullen's Creations. The buttercream was even better than I remembered.
Our first Christmas with Masen was a ridiculously extravagant one, with everyone outdoing themselves to spoil Masen rotten, only to find him gleefully playing in an empty box and shredding wrapping paper. But before we joined our families that day, Edward and I had exchanged gifts at home. Edward opened his box and stared at the pile of documents inside, confusion clearly etched on his face, until he read the first paragraph. I had convinced my agent and my publisher to help me make Edward's dream of producing a cookbook a reality. The contract in his hands only needed his signature. Tears gathered in his eyes. "Thank you," he whispered. "Thank you, love." He kissed me tenderly, before wiping his eyes and reaching for a somewhat large, and heavy, package and handing it to me.
I unwrapped the gift and was stunned. Inside were three large, framed photographs. Each picture was a section from one of the Polaroids from our first night together, blown up to an eight by ten image: my hip, my chest, my shoulder, each painted by Edward in his chosen medium. By concentrating on just a section at a time, he'd elevated the pictures to artwork.
"Where did you find them?" I asked.
"When we redid my office at the café last year, I found them in a drawer in my desk. Do you like it?" he asked.
"Like it? I love it! Edward, it's beautiful. I want them displayed here, for everyone to see." Edward grinned at me.
Masen took the opportunity to yawn loudly, so we decided to put him down for an early nap before we had to head over to Edward's parent's house, and then we decided to celebrate Christmas in our own way. I took Edward by the hand and led him to our bedroom.
[EDITED] SEE NOTE ABOVE
"Is Masen still sleeping?" Rose asks.
"Yeah. Christmas always wears him out; between the excitement, the presents, and all the sugar, he was up until way past bed time."
"What about Angela?"
"Same thing. Emmett just checked, but she's still out cold."
"It's so quiet without them running around," I muse.
She snorts. "It won't be for long," she replies, pointing at her stomach.
"True," I laugh into my coffee cup.
"Are Carlisle and Esme coming over?"
"Yeah, they're on the way, and Carlisle said something about Boxing Day. You know his thing with British traditions."
She laughs with me, because although we love them dearly, Edward's parents are definitely unique.
She drains her orange juice and stands up. "I'm going to take a shower."
After she leaves, I pick up our dishes and put them in the sink. Then I set the rest of the food into the warming drawer for the others.
As I rinse Rose's and my dishes and put them in the dishwasher, I think of the baby in her belly.
Six months earlier
Rose and I had taken the kids to visit our parents. My father had been ill, and they'd been unable to make it out for Father's Day, so we decided to surprise them with a visit. Neither Emmett nor Edward could get away, but we went anyway, enjoying some brother-sister bonding time in between chasing after Masen, Angela, and Jake, their youngest.
Rose had just gotten through the first trimester of her pregnancy, carrying a child for Edward and me again. When we raised the possibility of finding another surrogate so she wouldn't have to do it, she flipped out on us. Rose loved being pregnant, which frankly shocked the hell out of me, since she put such stock in how she looked, but there it was.
The trip was nice, but after a week without our respective spouses, both of us were getting snippy. I was so happy to get home, all I wanted to do was fall into bed with Edward and curl up with him for days. So I was rather surprised when upon my arrival, he chose to inform me that the following week we were going away to a resort, just the two of us. He'd already spoken to his parents, and they were going to look after Masen while we were gone.
"But Edward, I just got home," I whined, not really looking forward to packing and traveling again.
"Please, Jas? I need this. I need you. We need this." His voice was desperate, and as usual, I couldn't say no to him.
That night, after he'd read Masen about fifteen stories to make up for the week apart, he made love to me as if he needed me just to breathe.
The following week, we headed out for our long weekend. The resort was beautiful, and we planned on making full use of all the amenities. Our first night there, Edward made love to me in the pool, under the waterfall. In fact, we wound up fucking all over the resort that weekend. Edward was insatiable, both giving and receiving with equal fervor, but overall simply desperate to touch and be touched by me. Our last night there, we took a blanket out to a nearby meadow and made love under the stars.
We drove home the next day in blissed out silence. I was deliciously sore in all the right places, and as I leaned against the window with my eyes closed, I felt a smile play across my lips as I recalled the wantonness of our weekend. If security ever reviewed their surveillance tapes, they were going to have a hell of a show.
"Baby." Edward's voice broke my reverie.
"We need to talk. Before we get home." Edward's voice sounded ominous.
"What's wrong?" I asked.
He took a deep breath, as though steeling himself. "Something happened while you were away."
My eyes closed as, unbidden, images of Edward and a faceless, nameless man tormented me. "Who was it?" I asked.
"What?" He looked at me confused, before understanding dawned on his face. "Oh God, Jas. No! It's not that. God, how can you think that?"
"How can I think that? I don't know. Maybe it's because you're scaring the shit out of me. Maybe it's because I was gone for a week, and as soon as I get back, you're whisking me away for a romantic weekend and trying to fuck us into oblivion!"
He pulled the car over to the shoulder and slammed on the brakes. "I'm sorry, Jas. I didn't think how it would sound, but could you really think that of me?"
I sobbed. "No. I don't know. All I know is that you're scaring me right now, Edward. What is it?"
Emmett walks into the kitchen, and I open the warming drawer to fix him a plate. When he's halfway through, Rose comes in, her face pale. "I think it's time."
Emmett jumps out of his seat and wraps his arm around her shoulder, his other hand caressing her belly as he helps her out of the kitchen.
This is it.
I slowly follow them out and into the living room, where they lean over the bed that was specially set up in there. They straighten up when I enter, and I look at the face of the love of my life, pale and drawn, as he lies against the white sheets.
He hadn't had an affair. He hadn't felt well, so he went to the doctor. The cancer was already stage four by the time they found it. Inoperable, and the prognosis was so poor, they didn't even recommend chemotherapy. They gave him three to six months, and told him to set his affairs in order.
Emmett and Rose each place a kiss on his forehead and leave the room.
Edward's breathing is ragged. I sit next to him on the bed. He opens his eyes and looks at me. Then he smiles my smile, and the ravages of his illness disappear. For a moment, he's just Edward, my Edward. My soulmate. My partner. My husband. The father of my children.
"I love you, Jas."
"I love you too, baby."
"Tell Masen I love him."
"He knows, but I'll tell him every day."
"And tell Bella about me."
Isabella. The name of our unborn daughter. Our little girl who is never going to know the wonderful man who gave her life.
"Of course I will," I say as I lean forward to place my forehead against his. "I'm going to miss you so much."
"Jas," he whispers, and then nothing more.
I watch as his final breath flees his body, and my soul longs to take flight with his, unable to bear the pain of being torn in half. I lie next to him for a while, crying quietly, until the mantle of responsibility descends on me once again.
I stand, kiss him one last time, and cover him with the sheet.
I exit the room, and I'm immediately folded into the warm embrace of my sister and brother-in-law. Edward's parents arrive just then, and Esme and I collapse in a weeping huddle on the floor, our pain without measure. Carlisle finally helps us up, and all of us stand together for a few minutes, mourning our loss, before I make my way upstairs.
I stand in the doorway of Masen's room watching him sleep, as I did just a few hours before when I woke up. I'd fallen asleep reading to him last night. My angel. A tiny, carbon copy of Edward. He opens his sleepy eyes. Eyes so like Edward's that they cut right through my heart. He looks at me and whispers, "Daddy's gone, isn't he?"
I make my way over to him, sit on the bed and pull him into my lap. "Yes, baby. Daddy is in heaven now."
"It feels like chocolate."
When Edward began to be visibly ill, he sat down with Masen and explained everything to him. Masen had been full of questions, and not surprisingly, several were about why God was taking his Daddy away and about how unfair life was.
Edward explained it in the terms they both understood: baking. "It's like the chocolate croissants you and Dad like to eat. The outside is warm, soft, and a little flaky. That's everyday life, and it's really good. But inside? Inside is the chocolate, and that's the best part. Only it's bittersweet. With the sweet always comes a little bitter, but that makes the sweet part so much better."
I hold my son tight to me and kiss the top of his head as I whisper, "Yes, baby, it feels just like chocolate."
A/N: Thank you to AngstGoddess003 and PastichePen for hosting this contest! Don't forget to read, review, and vote!