Pagan Angel and a Borrowed Car
A Bella and Jasper Story
She felt the safest here, hiding behind her camera. She could live her life, be a part of every day, see beautiful things, but not have to directly interact with them.
The man was beautiful. He was tall and blond and had an accent that would've brought anyone to their knees. "No, no, no!" Alice, Bella's employer, darted onto the set, going up to the man. She was talking animatedly, sometimes reaching out to touch his arm or biting her lip. To Bella, this was all fake. She knew that Alice had never once bitten her lip in her life. Bella put down her camera, balancing the thing on her hip. Alice was her best friend, but Bella still couldn't bring herself to approve of Alice flirting with a client.
"Um..." Bella cleared her throat, trying to save the poor man from the undeniable charm of Alice. "Um..." She raised her voice, trying to make it a little louder, "Excuse me?" Bella winced imperceptibly when Alice spun, her hands on her hips. The man's eyes looked at her. Bella felt herself meet his eyes, a blush rising to her cheeks. The man smiled, genuinely, as Alice rolled her eyes. She probably thought that Bella was blushing because of having interrupted their discussion.
"What, Bella?" Alice tapped her foot impatiently, her blue eyes burning a hole into Bella's own eyes. "What would you like?"
"Alice..." Bella walked forward, dragging her feet and looking at the floor. She didn't like it when Alice got angry. She was incredibly unpredictable when angry. "Whats the problem? Maybe I can help?" Bella clutched her camera to her chest, wary of irritating Alice further.
The shorter woman, with long black hair, drew her hands to clutch her body. "Come over here, Bella." When Alice turned her back, the man, with green eyes, met Bella's eyes, smiling.
After the photo shoot, Bella left immediately, fairly running from the building. She walked a couple of blocks, taking a right and heading for the nearest coffee shop. Upon entering, she breathed in deeply, feeling her muscles relax. Today had been a far tougher day than any she had had lately. After the shoot, Alice had been livid. She had been mad at Bella for one: interrupting the conversation between Alice and the man she liked and two: going against Alice's wishes. The man had refused, again and again, to take off his shirt. When Alice had pushed for this information, demanding an answer or demanding he leave, the man had not really given her an answer, but tried to compromise with her. Bella remembered urging Alice to get off this poor man's back. That hadn't worked at all.
Bella reached the counter. "Can I have a Columbian roast, please?"
"Make that two." Bella spun, inhaling sharply upon realizing that the man was the model from the shoot. He was wearing a long sleeve black shirt and dark wash jeans, which was pretty standard for a normal person in Seattle. She didn't know why this was astounding to her. Maybe because she expected him, like other models, to wear super fashion forward, expensive looking clothes. As Bella stared, the man placed ten dollars on the counter, smiling at the blushing barista as he told her, with a dashing smile, to keep the change. He placed a gentle hand on the middle of her back, coaxing her to a table in the back. "I'll be right back." He said as the woman behind the counter called out their order.
Bella sat in silence.
"Thanks." Bella brushed hair from her face, smiling down at the large cup of coffee on the table in front of her. The man sank into the chair across from her, taking a long sip from his coffee. The silence between them was comfortable, though Bella had expected a more awkward silence.
"I've been rude." The man said, reaching out a large hand. "My name is Jasper."
"Bella." She placed her smaller hand into his, sighing as she felt the warmth of his hand close around hers. "Look, I'm--."
Jasper smiled an easy smile, relaxing the tense muscles in Bella's shoulder instantly. "Don't worry about it. Alice talked to me after the shoot," Bella nodded. Of course. Alice would have given him her name. "She said that she's been having a hard week." Something about her expression must have tipped him off because he furrowed his eyebrows, leaning across the table. "She broke up with her boyfriend of two years."
Bella opened her mouth, her eyes wide with disbelief. "Oh." She would have said that too. Putting herself on the market at a moment's notice had always been a specialty of Alice's. She had been doing this, regardless of actual relationship status for as many years as Bella had known her. At first, Bella had been appalled, but now, Bella was used to it. The reasoning behind this was actually quite sound. She saw no reason to put herself in a steady relationship if she didn't think it was going anywhere. She wanted to have fun while she still could. Bella looked up, suddenly realizing that she had, quite obviously, left Jasper in doubt about the truth behind Alice's alibi. "Oh! Of course." She blushed, taking a large drink of her coffee.
Jasper nodded, swirling a finger mindlessly around the rim of his coffee.
Bella looked past him, trying as she might, to not let him see that she was staring at him. He didn't look like any other model that Bella had seen. He had Cupid's bow lips and a strong jaw, but his hair was unkempt looking. It glinted prettily in the light, reflecting his green eyes as a vivid emerald. He sat up straight, but Bella could read, in the eyes he kept on his cell phone, that he wasn't pompous or even all that thrilled about his career. As Bella let her eyes wander his frame, finally, she noticed that he had strong fore arms and rough looking hands. His hands, long fingers, led Bella to ask her next question.
"Do you play?" Bella asked, leaning slightly across the table.
Jasper looked up, blinking his green eyes in surprise at her sudden question. "Play what?"
Her immediate reaction was to blush. It became clear, as he blinked up at her, wide eyed, that she had obviously pulled him from his thoughts. She bit her lip, looking down at the table instead of answering his question.
"Hey." Bella looked up as she felt his fingers close briefly around her wrist. "Its okay." He laughed an easy laugh, gesturing at himself. "I'm having one of those days."
Bella smiled hesitantly, pulling the lip she had been chewing from between her teeth.
"I play guitar. And piano." Jasper nodded, looking into her eyes. "How'd you guess?" He tilted his head to the side, drawing Bella's eyes, unconsciously, to the scars on the right side of his neck. She opened her mouth, prepared to ask him where he had gotten them, when he tilted his head back, looking down at the table.
"I'm sorry, I have to go." Bella was so ashamed of herself. Why had she been so rude? Just outright staring at him like that? Bella knew, better than most people, that crap happened. Why should she have been so shocked to see that Jasper, unlike herself, had physical evidence of these misfortunes? She stood abruptly, knocking her bag into the table. "I'm so sorry." Her lips stayed parted, her eyes resting on his clouding face. "I shouldn't--." She shook her head, trying to force her lips into a smile. "Thank you for the coffee and... someone to talk to. I'm sorry." Bella nodded once more at him, striding quickly toward the front of the coffee shop. She didn't bother to turn around as people stared at her form, she didn't want to see that look in his eyes.
A couple of weeks passed. Bella went about her days, sometimes obsessively thinking about Jasper. More and more, she began to wonder how terribly she had hurt him. She had just, in her shame and remorse, picked up her things. She hadn't given him the benefit of a proper goodbye or even a sufficient thank you. He had been nice company, easy to talk to for the most part and easy going, so unlike other people in this field that she had met. Bella's behavior increasingly began to shock even her.
She threw herself into her work, leaving Alice's side for the couple of shoots he had been scheduled to be at, but that didn't mean she didn't hear about him. Alice said they had gone on a couple of dates and hit it off splendidly. Something in her eyes convinced Bella that they must been perfectly content together. This, that he was feeling happier with Alice, lightened the load that rested on Bella's shoulders a little bit. Still not enough to let her forget what had happened though. So when she got home, exactly two weeks and one day,after the incident had happened, Bella was astonished to find a message from him on her answering machine.
"Hey, Bella. This is Jasper." He paused for a moment, and Bella could hear the strands of classical music in the back ground. She recognized it almost immediately as Schubert's Unfinished Symphony. She loved the composition. "I got your number from Alice, in case you were wondering. This makes me seem a little like a creeper, huh?" Bella, reclining against the counter, felt her torso jerk lightly with laughter. "Listen, what happened at the coffee shop..." She could hear some kind of undertone in his voice, not one she could place, but it deepened his voice. "God, maybe we should talk about this in person. Look, if you're downtown tonight, stop by Ivory at about nine. I play there and you could listen." He snorted on the line. "That was presumptuous of me... If you want to talk, see you tonight, Bella."
Still leaning against her counter, Bella was surprised to feel herself responding with eagerness. She wanted to hear him play, she wanted to talk to him. Maybe it was her guilt at feeling like she had alienated him, but she wanted to go to Ivory. With that in mind, she walked over to her fridge, pulling it open to reveal various take out boxes. She ate a quick dinner, showered, and headed downtown at about eight forty five.
"I was looking for you." He sank down into the chair next to her, smiling a broad smile. It had taken him a long time to arrive at Bella's table. She had watched as Jasper, gracious and unable to escape the swarms of people wanting to congratulate him, had shaken hands with almost every person who came up to him. She had heard their compliments and whole heartedly agreed, he had been amazing, his voice deep and rich.
Bella bit her lip. "You were..." She shrugged, not even knowing how to explain how much she liked his voice. "Amazing." She smiled up at him, her mind recalling the moments of the songs when she had loved the intricacy of the piano and his voice, weaving such a pretty story. "Thank you for inviting me."
Jasper nodded, rolling his sweater up past his strong fore arms. He was wearing a black, long sleeved shirt and black slacks. He looked handsome, more like a model than Bella had ever seen. "You're welcome. I'm glad you enjoyed it."
Bella nodded, taking a sip of her water as she looked at the table. The spaces between their words, even though Bella expected this, had turned awkward. She sat in her chair, fidgeting, and recalling when she had so frantically run from the coffee shop. "Jasper?"
He looked at her, green eyes flickering toward her lips when she bit them.
"I'm sorry I ran from the coffee shop." Bella, taking shelter in the loudness that had surrounded them, suddenly heard the club go quiet around her. People had paired off, talking and laughing, but not as loudly as before. "I know theres not an excuse for what I did." Bella looked at the table. "I'm sorry I'm so lousy at this whole... relationship thing." There was a long moment when she worried that Jasper wouldn't accept her apology.
She felt, rather than heard, Jasper slide his hand across the table. Bella looked up, holding his gaze, just as Jasper's fingers met and twined with her own. "Apology accepted."
They had been friends for two months. They spent all the spare time they could together, as they had so much in common. Bella was comfortable with him as she had been with no one else. He knew all of her favorites and all of the things she hated. She knew the same things about him. They had been to art gallery openings and concerts, they had been on walks and gone bicycling. Both of them had great appreciations for all things artistic or beautiful. They also shared the same distaste for the industry they had both ended up in.
Knock. Knock. Knock.
"Coming--." A yawn cut into Bella's words as she walked toward the door.
Jasper was leaning against the wall, looking relaxed and perfectly awake. "Hello, beautiful." He stepped forward, wrapping her in a warm, comforting hug. His chest was muscular where Bella nestled between his biceps. She breathed in deeply, relaxing into his arms as he squeezed her tighter for a second before releasing her.
"Hello, handsome." Bella murmured, her face heating up. No matter how many times they said hello to each other, joking around like this, it was still incredibly weird to call Jasper handsome. It was the truth, but to Bella, he was the boy dating her best friend. He wasn't allowed to become anything more to her. Heck, she shouldn't have ever been thinking about how adorable he looked in his black sweat pants and his tight black shirt.
Feeling her face heat up, he gingerly lifted her chin, placing a sweet kiss on the center of her forehead. "You're beautiful." He leaned in closer, and Bella felt her heart speed up. She couldn't, no, didn't, want to describe the feeling currently speeding like electricity up her spine and causing goosebumps to erupt on her skin. It caused her fingers to clutch more tightly to his arms, her body to press against his. "Don't let anyone tell you otherwise." Bella nodded, relishing the last moment before he stepped back, extending a hand. "Shall we go?" He asked serenely, his green eyes smiling.
She had to collect herself, breathe deeply, center herself back in this world, before she could nod her head in any semblance of a human motion. He had been doing that to her a lot lately with him. Grabbing his hand, she swung her door closed and fell into step beside him as they walked outside of the apartment building and into Jasper's black car.
Sitting in the seat made of comforting leather, Bella couldn't help but think of Alice, sitting right here, thinking some of the same thoughts that she was thinking. All Bella could think about was how much she was looking forward to spending the day with him. Did Alice think this before all of their dates? She thought about how amazingly nice it was to hold his hand between hers, how solid he felt when she wrapped her arms around him. Did Alice think about these things?
Jasper started the car, placing his hand, as he always had, on the center console between them. When Bella just looked down at his fingers, thinking about all of the times that Alice had accepted this same offering, Bella twisted uncomfortably in her seat, trying to hide the discomfort in her eyes by staring out the window.
"You know," spoke Jasper gravelly, his voice so low it made Bella close her eyes. "You're not very good at doing that."
Bella turned to look at him, trying to look every bit as defiant as she felt. She tilted up her neck, watching as his eyes flickered down to her throat as he stopped. Her cheeks flushed. Why was she doing this to herself? Why didn't she just get out of the car? Get out of Alice's relationships? "Not good at what?" She whispered, her heart fluttering.
Jasper didn't look at her as he navigated, strong hands gripping tightly to the steering wheel, into a parking space. He turned the car off, pressing the button with sure fingers, when he turned to look at her, Bella couldn't read him. "Bad at pretending," murmured Jasper, looking out the front of the car.
She blinked up at him, searching the side of his face that was turned more closely to her. His eyes were closed, blond eyelashes resting lightly on his cheeks. His nose was the same slope, straight and aristocratic. His lips were pursed, not parted but sealed. Bella felt herself shake her head. "I'm not pretending anything, Jasper." He turned to look at her, green eyes burning.
Bella took a deep breath. She looked on, almost as if in slow motion, watching herself watch Jasper lean toward her. His body was too close, his hands coming to touch her face. She could smell his scent. One side of her mind reacted as if it had been shocked, but in the most delicious way. Her hands went up, at long last, two months too late, to touch his face. His lips came to her face, resting against the outer edge of her eyebrow, then on her cheek. She felt her body jerk toward his, wanting, more than anything, to kiss him, but knowing that she couldn't. His lips met the side of hers, soft and sweet tasting.
It took her a moment as her throat had curiously closed, but soon Bella put her hand on his cheek. "Don't." It came out too quiet, she was still too focused on the feel of his lips finally on hers. Even though they had just touched the side of her lips. "Jasper..."
He sensed something in her tone maybe, because he pulled away. His frown was so dissatisfied that she nearly pulled him back to her, dragging his lips to hers. He was silent, his hands still touching her cheeks.
"Don't kiss me Jasper." Bella reached behind her, frantically letting her fingers skim the cold inner side of the door. "Don't do this." Bella found the handle and pulled, releasing the door. She slid out from the car, just like the first time. "I have to go."
"Whats wrong with you?!" Alice exclaimed. She yanked her head from the paper she was currently reading, running her fingers over the glossy photos that Bella had taken last week at the shoot with the newer male model. Alice no longer wanted to work with Jasper, because she had been dating him for two months now. Bella, as she sank into the chair across from Alice, didn't like to think about how she must have looked. Her eyes were red rimmed, her lips swollen, her nose running. She was pale and cold and sad. "Bella!" Alice reached across the table, her fingers forming a manacle around Bella's wrist.
She looked up at her friend. She could feel the tears press on the back of her eyes, a foreign pressure, as Bella didn't like to cry in public. Her head fell back down, to avoid Alice's searching gaze. The feeling of sadness that weighed so heavily on her shoulders felt like the world. Bella looked down at the table, studying the wood grain as if it suddenly meant the world to her, although Bella knew Alice would realize that she had never once in her life cared about wood.
"Bella?" Alice's tone softened.
Bella looked up again, holding Alice's gaze. "I'm..." It was hard to look at her best friend and know that, no matter how hard she tried, she would break Alice's heart. She had, no matter what happened, to tell her friend what had happened. Bella had watched Alice fall deeper and deeper into love with this man. Not that Jasper had felt the same, but Alice wanted this to work out so bad. Bella took a deep breath, pulling her wrist from Alice's grip.
"Bella?" Alice sounded alarmed, scared, hesitant. When Bella didn't respond, Alice searched her face for a long moment, drawing her eyes across every pane of the her face. Upon reaching brown eyes, she blinked her own blue ones, returning her attention to her work.
That was when it struck Bella. It hit her in the region of her heart with the force of a wrecking ball. Easy as a three letter word, one sentence, a simple thing if only Bella could gather every ounce of her strength. She looked up at her friend, smiling the saddest smile Bella had ever felt that she had worn. "Alice?" She whispered.
Alice looked up. Her face wore the mask of someone who was foolishly hopeful. She lowered the papers that she held, reaching across the table to hold Bella's hand in her own. "Are you okay?"
"Alice, I'm fine." Bella looked at the table, feeling her cheeks warm at the thought of what she was about to do. "I just had a rough job interview." She heard Alice exhale. Exhale. Which meant that Alice was glad that Bella had failed, yet again, to secure a different job as Bella had been trying to do for so long. She tried not to let that feeling of disappointment, that sadness that her friend would actually be happy about something like that, cloud her mind. If anything, that should strengthen her resolve. "Its okay. I'm okay."
She shook black hair from her face and neck. "Oh gosh. I was so worried." Alice squeezed her hand. "I'm glad you're good."
The thing that resolved Bella to her decision was knowing that Alice really didn't care.
"Bella?" Jasper was on the answering machine. It had been a week since the... thing. The horrible thing that had stayed on Bella's mind for what seemed to be every moment since it had happened. "Bella?" His voice sent the most delicious feeling rippling through her. It made goosebumps raise on her arms and legs and on her back. Bella snuggled farther under her blanket, reliving the time she had spent in the car with Jasper. The kisses. The feelings of his cheeks under her hands, the stubble on his cheek. The way he smelled. "Look, Alice just... asked me something. I'm not... Bella. Pick up the phone." He sighed heavily, and Bella could almost see him rubbing the back of his neck. She got up off the couch, reaching toward the phone just as he murmured her name. "I need you."
"Jasper." Saying his name felt like saying a prayer, felt like eating the one food you weren't allowed to eat on a diet.
"Bella." He said her name like a whisper. "Bella. Bella." He said it like they were sleeping together, like she was on top of him, kissing him senseless.
"Are you okay?" She paced, waiting anxiously for his answer. Something inside of her, since they had been separated for so long, longer than they had been separated since meeting, had changed. She was sure, more sure than anything, that she needed to be more than friends with him.
He breathed deeply, and Bella heard the wind rushing by his phone.
"Where are you?"
Bella hung up the phone, running towards the door. She didn't care that she was currently in her underwear and a T shirt. The only thing on her mind at that moment was Jasper. She ran her hand along the end table, yelling, "Coming!" She ran, faster, her fingers sliding along the ridges of the locks. "Jas--."
Then she was crushed against his shoulder, her hands grabbing at any bit of skin or jacket or whatever she could manage to press her warm hands against. He was cold, he was rigid under her fingers. He walked them into the apartment, closing the door. She felt his hands wrap around her thighs, lifting her. Bella obliged, wrapping her feet around his waist and squeezing him infinitely more tightly.
His fingers were brushing through her hair, running along her neck. "Do you have any idea," his voice was rough and low in her ear. "How much I missed you?"
Bella breathed out softly, hoisting herself higher into his arms. "I think I may have an idea."
He released her waist, pressing her against the wall, his hands going to press her head back, so he could draw his face closer to her. "I can't... stop thinking about you." He leaned his head against hers, dragging his nose down her cheek. "I don't--."
Bella had cupped his face in his hands, successfully silencing his talking. Looking at him, Bella thought about how sad he looked, how big the bags under his eyes were. It made her equally sad to know that Jasper had been suffering at all. His lips were the sweetest rose color. He smelled like coffee and alcohol, a strange combination until Bella remembered that he worked at the piano bar, then was going to meet Alice at the coffee shop. His green eyes bore into hers.
"What are you doing to me, Bella?" He groaned, his eyes closing. She couldn't read him as he had done his usual thing, closed down just when Bella needed the most to get inside of his head. "Why can't I stop thinking about you?"
"I can't stop thinking about you either." It was the first time she had ever given herself permission to touch her lips to anywhere near Jasper's lips. She pressed her lips to his neck, to his throat, to his chin, to his nose, to his cheeks, to his eyelids.
"Let me kiss you." He whispered, just barely letting his fingers tease her lower back. "Let me kiss you, Bella."
"I can't." She struggled from him, her chocolate eyes brimming with tears. A million thoughts raced through her mind. Kiss him, being the most prominent contender.
Her body reacted to him, her nipples pebbled. Her body tilted its head back, inviting him to kiss her. Her body arched into him, letting his fingers glide up the shirt it was wearing to touch her nipples, rolling a nipple between his calloused fingers.
"Stop." Her body rebelling to that word, forcing it to sound more airy than it did in Bella's mind. She waited, for a moment fighting with her body. "Stop, Jasper." It came out louder, more forceful, but he didn't listen, rolling her nipple between her fingers and letting his other hand glide up her side. "Jas--."
"Why not, Bella?" His voice was so low, so extremely sexy when he was turned on like this. How did Bella know that he was turned on? Oh. Bella felt his erection pressing into her center. "Why can't I be with you?"
"Because..." Bella made the mistake of arching back into him as he played her body like a particularly familiar piano. "Don't do this to me." She shook her head, trying to find coherency, trying to find what she knew to be right. There was right and wrong in this situation, Bella knew that, she just didn't know what it currently was.
"I want you, Bella." Those four words, somehow, became Bella's undoing.
She yanked his head to hers, drawing his lips down to hers. When they got close enough, Jasper tried to kiss her, but Bella turned her head. "Don't kiss my lips." For some reason, this act, the kissing of her lips, felt too intimate. She allowed him, with a gasp, to touch his lips to any part of her body he could reach.
"Hey, Jasper. This is Alice." Jasper stopped, the towel around his waist sliding down his waist even as he stopped. "You haven't really said anything since I proposed to you... And, I mean, I need to know the answer. Because if you want to get married, we have to schedule a location and a caterer and..." Jasper zoned her out, walking into his room. He threw the white towel down onto his bed, thinking about Alice.
Their relationship, no matter how embarrassed Jasper was to admit it, had begun to mean little to him. The only thing he valued about his relationship with Alice was the time he got to spend with Bella now. Alice was demanding, demeaning, and cruel at times. She often yelled at him for no reason and often placed other things and other people before him. Jasper, as a musician, strove to have a passionate connection with the woman he was dating. Unfortunately, Jasper felt a more passionate connection to the woman he was friends with. It inspired him to sing and write music, but his relationship with Alice inspired him to do none of that. If anything, it inspired him to want to leave the city.
The only problem with this was that he didn't know how to tell Alice no. Jasper had never placed anyone else's happiness before his own. He didn't know how. He had grown up in a household with one of the most selfish, hateful, brutish men Jasper would ever know. He was unsure of how else to avoid becoming this man than to do everything opposite of him. He ran a hand through his hair. "Damn," murmured Jasper, staring at his reflection. The night had been tough on him. He'd have to find a different method of forgetting.
He was unsure of so many things right now that when Bella called, he didn't answer, instead choosing to lay on his bed and stare at the ceiling. He just needed an answer.
Bella stroked her fingers through Jasper's hair. They were sitting, in the trunk of Bella's truck, camping out for the night on the cliffs in La Push. This had been Jasper's idea. He had been speaking to her, and she had, stupidly, let it slip that her father had taken her camping all the time and she had detested the activity. He, on the other hand, said that his mom had taken him and his sister, Rosalie, a high fashion model currently in Milan, camping once. Jasper and Rosalie had both loved it, but then their mother had died.
"I'm sorry." She murmured, looking down at the silvery path that the cars paved in the night, under the moon. "I'm so sorry, Jasper." Her fingers trailed down his cheeks, still not quite used to being able to call him her boyfriend. She knew that what they were doing wasn't right. It wasn't fair to Alice that Jasper was cheating on her, but Bella also recognized that she was too far in now to back out. She felt too much, wanted him too much when he was gone, to say that this relationship was dispensable. Bella sunk her teeth into her lip.
"Why won't you let me kiss your lips?" Jasper kissed his fingers, pressing it to her lips. Bella smiled, letting her teeth let go of her lip. He looked at her for a long moment, searching her gaze. "Is it because you don't want me?" He had sat up and was currently leaning against the side of her truck bed against one of his pillows.
Bella looked down at her hands. "How can you think that I don't want you?" She whispered. Was he really still having doubts? After everything? "I feel like if you kiss my lips, I won't be able to let you go."
"What do you mean?"
"If you kiss my lips..." Here, she drew a deep breath, steadying herself to deliver the information that had been sitting on her shoulders for so long. "I'm afraid I won't be able to let you marry Alice."
He reached for her.
"I'm afraid that I'll fall in love with you."
They were sitting directly across from one another in the truck bed. In the moonlight, Jasper looked pale and beautiful, ethereal. She knew, from his silence, that she shouldn't have said anything. Now had been the wrong time and the wrong place, they had been having such a great time getting to know each other. Bella liked listening to him talk about his family for he did so on so rare an occasion.
"Bella..." His voice was that same uneven, husky that caused the hair on her neck to stand up and her arms to goose pimple. "You're afraid to fall in love with me?" She nodded, helpless. Then, without second thoughts, he was leaning forward, pressing her into the back of the truck bed. "I'm afraid I love you." He whispered. His lips are so close, she can smell him, taste his air.
Just as his lips first touch hers, sparks exploding inside of their bodies, she whispers, "I am too." More forcibly this time, he lets his mouth cover hers. There is the initial trepidation in his kiss. What does she like? How will she take this? But soon, he feels Bella's hands come to his neck, as his hands urge her into his lap.
He realizes that he is kissing her like he is a drowning man. That he is kissing her like nothing else matters, and in that moment, it doesn't. He just wants to sit here and kiss this beautiful woman.
As she slides farther into his lap, he feels himself harden for her. Her lips are the softest, best tasting... Jasper releases her lips, heaving a breath that his body is frantically insisting it doesn't need. Bella lays her head on his shoulder, her lips discovering her favorite part of his body. She is constantly insisting that his neck is her favorite. Jasper doesn't quite remember the reason right now, as her lips are doing things that should be quite illegal, but has begun to wonder, even when he is with Alice. As Bella bent forward, her lips claiming his again, Jasper caught her face. She looked beautiful, eyes half lidded and lips swollen. He allowed her, smooth lips, to reclaim his lips, not allowing her tounge to delve into his mouth.
This had gotten out of hand, if Jasper was being honest. Whenever, on the unfortunate occasion, Alice decided that they should have sex, it was mostly for appearances with Jasper. When having sex with Alice, physically he was with Alice, but mentally, he was with Bella. He was kissing the smooth valley between Bella's breasts. He was running his fingers down her flat stomach and sliding them into the valley between her legs. He was kissing her softly as he entered her, pushing her body into the blankets. He smiled into the kiss as he realized that he could now imagine Bella kissing him while he kissed Alice.
"What?" Bella whispered, as Jasper slid her shirt over her head, caressing the newly bared skin. He let his lips fall on her collar bone, kissing and nipping at the pale, smooth mounds of her breasts. Even as her hands twisted into his hair, his lips sliding down to capture her left nipple between his lips, Bella is asking about what he meant, moaning out every other word. "Jas--."
"Why is my neck your favorite?" He looks up at her, his mouth leaving her breast but traveling up to her mouth. He can't think of anything but her for the moment. "Bella." Her hands have fumbled with the buttons on his shirt and finally won. She slides it from his shoulders, murmuring something that Jasper can't hear. He doesn't, regardless of the other time they were together, want her to look at his chest for too long, because he worries that she will reject him. She is so beautiful, so perfect, when all he has is a chest marred from abuse and a horrible past.
"Its not my favorite." She whispers, her lips on his as her hands slide across the scars on his chest. She traces each one so carefully, pressing kisses to the ones she can reach as Jasper's head falls back. He tastes like heaven.
Jasper caresses her tiny hips, bringing her all the more closer to him. Her chest heaves against his. "Why?" He captures her lips, so enthralled at finally being able to kiss her, knowing leaving her will be all the more difficult now. He wants her forever, he wants to wake up every morning and kiss her. He wants to go to bed every night and make love to her. He wants to have beautiful children that will have her eyes and hair. He wants to do the right thing with his children, because his father didn't know how to treat him. "Bella."
"Because I think your chest is perfect." She said, looking into his eyes. She was the first person, not even Alice had told him this, to say that to him. It struck a chord so deeply within his heart that Jasper pulled her tiny frame to his chest, laying kisses on the shoulder and side of her neck that was under his mouth. There was this indescribable kind of peace that had settled over him at that statement. "I don't care about what you think..." Her fingers traced the scar that cut straight through his heart both literally and figuratively. Looking at Bella, her lips parted and eyes dark, he remembered the woman he had protected from his father when he had received this scar. Her name was Maria, and she had tried to walk out on him after he tried to, basically, rape her. Jasper remembered standing up for this poor woman, remembers the jagged edge of the bottle of wine that had sliced his chest. "Jasper?" He is just staring at her, eyes wide and feeling so at ease he might as well be in the Bahamas and on the beach.
"Bella." He pulls her face down to his, painting her lips with enough kisses that shes laughing, her breasts goose pebbled and pressed to his chest, her fingers threaded through his hair. He pulls his hair through her perfect brown hair, watching as she shakes it out, curls cascading over her chest. "Why are you hiding?" She blushes, her lips pulled into a smile.
"Because I know I'm not perfect." Where ever this belief has come from within her, why ever she chose to say this, Jasper leans forward, moving the curls from her breasts and neck.
"I think you're wrong." Jasper leans closer to her, lowering his lips back to her chest. "I think you're the most beautiful woman I've ever met." She laughs above him, shaking her head. "Believe me. Please believe me."
She looks down at him, her fingers holding his belt buckle... and with a tilt of her head, she nods. He feels, rather acutely, the shaking of her fingers as she unbuttons his pants. He breathes out raggedly, leaning forward to kiss her lips, to make her forget about the task at hand. The more he can distract her, the longer this can last. He kisses her with everything he is feeling, his body feeling so utterly drained from all of the emotions she makes him feel, but even though his is the truth, it is a content kind of tired. It is the kind of tired he felt whenever his day has gone particularly good and he is going to be, sated and happy. He knows, with this kind of content, that his night will be tainted with the same kind of ethereal glow that a sunset has, that Bella has as she kisses him back.
"Stop distracting me." She laughs, reading him, for opening up has become easy with her, like a book. Her fingers probe where the buttons on his jeans used to be buttoned, and when her slight fingers touch his cock, he feels it strain against his already too tight jeans. She wraps her fingers around him, breathing faster with anticipation and trepidation as Jasper has moved her shorts to the side. She is just wearing one of those pairs of shorts that are made out of sweatpants. The reason, is that Jasper finds her irresistible in these and because this is what she put on after the first time they made love. His fingers go to pull her underwear to the side, but instead probe inside somewhere wet and hot.
"Bella." He growls, his cock begging to be touched. "Where are your underwear?" He strokes her tight, little clit, burning with the need to be inside of her. "Why aren't you wearing any underwear?" His own voice, even to his ears, is nothing like the normal bass that he uses on a daily basis. It is the uneven, rippling tone of stormy water, and as he speaks, he feels Bella shudder in his arms.
"I thought you would like this better." She whispers, while moving his cock from his jeans. He arches his back, helping her slide his jeans off and making her stand to remove her shorts. When she settles back onto his lap, completely, blissfully, naked, Jasper realizes a blanket that his mother knitted is resting over her shoulders, hiding them from the world. This is fitting. When his father used to get particularly bad, his mother would push him under this same blanket and make him hide in his own closet.
"I do," rasps Jasper, his one hand cradling her hip, his other probing along her wet womanhood. "God. I do." In his own mind, they are standing at the alter in a small church, her wearing white and smiling, promising their lives to each other. He finally, with this thought, latches his lips to hers and probes two fingers deep inside of her. She is wet, almost ready for him, Jasper is quick to realize. His cock, in her hand, hardens further if that is possible.
This will be the second time they have been together, and Jasper knows that although this isn't the first time again and it won't feel that way, that awkward first time feel, that this will feel just as good. Being inside of her will be like being home, and they haven't tried this position yet anyway. He has a list, inside of his head, of all of the places he would like to take her. On his piano, in the back room at the club, in his shower, in his bed on the black sheets, against his stove. The most potent of these proves to be his own bed. It sends his thumb to press, with a steady pressure, against her clit, his body jerking at the very thought. He feels her lips sliding up the side of his neck.
"Jasper..." Her voice is breathy and high in his ear, like a soprano voice. He knows, even after only one time with her, that as she tightens around his fingers, now would be the best time to enter her. He meets her eyes, removing his fingers from her slit and bringing them to her lips. She darts her tounge out, so pink and soft, and licks them clean. Jasper leans in, kissing her, as he brings his hand back down and parts her folds, sliding her down slowly on his entire length. Right before she settles against his balls, he has to pull his mouth from hers and gasp, urging her hips faster already. "Jasper." She doesn't move, simply gyrates her hips, bringing one hand down to play with his balls.
They create this perfect rhythm of thrusting and gyrating that has Bella calling out her first orgasm after only a minute or two. Jasper, somewhat more experienced than her, can hold his off, but not by long. Her breasts are perky as they bounce, and his mouth captures one nipple, allowing her to put her hands back on the truck bed to ride him a different way. His other hand cradles her lower back. "Jasper..." She whispers. At this, he pulls her up, trying to see through the haze of coital bliss. When she brings her mouth to his neck, venturing to nip at his ear and kissing the one scar on his cheek, she kisses his lips, then whispers, "I do too."
Those words send him over the edge.
"What is he doing here?" Bella whispered in what she seriously hoped was a nervous but casual tone. Inside, her heart was beating too fast and her breathing had suddenly gotten very shallow. She felt her brain go into overtime trying to come up with excuses as to how she could get out of here, get out of this shoot with this boy.
Alice bit her lip and shook out her hair in response to Bella's question. "Hes our model today, silly."
"No, hes not." Bella frantically ran her fingers down the schedule Alice had given her on the first of the month. "It says Jacob Black, Alice. This is not Jake."
"You're right, Bells. This is Jasper." She shook her head, looking Bella up and down with an unsatisfied look. "Its not as if you haven't met before, so don't give me that look." She clicked her nails on the desk, her manner saying she had better things to do. "Go talk to him. Make nice nice, right now. He'll be naked after all." Then she flounced away, all sunshine and rainbows. Bella watched her walk away, the door slamming after her with the most final sound Bella had ever heard.
He gazed at her for a moment before beginning the long trek toward her. Bella, in her infinite wisdom in these situations, searched for a desk before putting it gingerly on a table and running for the door as if Jasper had herpes or syphilis.
"Don't run from me." His hands pulled her back with much more strength than Bella had, resting her back against his very much the same body. His lips were so dangerously close to her neck. Too close really. Bella couldn't think properly when he did this to her, used his body to make her body over react. Her chest was already heaving, her lips straining to find his.
"You shouldn't be doing this." Her body continued to betray her though, her nipples had pebbled beneath her sweater from Victoria's Secret, and it fell from her shoulder, revealing the black bra set Jasper had bought her. "Jasper--."
His fingers slid under the strap of her bra, pulling her breast up toward him as his fingers slid down, to trace the slope of her breast. "Kiss me." His hands dropped from her chest to her hips, spinning her so fast she was left breathless as he pulled her lips to his.
She gripped him to her desperately, making sure he had no chance to escape her lips. As his tounge entered her mouth, Bella slid her body against his, slipping a hand under the black T shirt he was wearing, and thanking god for boxer briefs. When he released her, she watched his chest heave, the muscles defining themselves. Just as Bella was leaning up to kiss him again, the door opened. They jumped apart, looking away from each other.
"Read--?" Alice stopped for a long moment, staring for what felt like a terribly long time at them. Her eyes looked Bella up and down as she sheepishly looked at the ground and fixed her sweater strap. Jasper smiled at her, holding open his arms. Inviting her, making her stop looking at them, whatever it was, it served to have the strangest effect on Bella. Jealousy coiled hot and like a barb, in her stomach. She turned away, not wanting to watch.
To say that Bella didn't care would have been an understatement. Something inside of her had become prominent, especially since after that shoot. Not only because of the jealousy, but because Bella had come to realize that, regardless of Alice, she loves him. Not just blah, boring love, but love love. Love, I want to spend the rest of my life with you, love. The kind of love that made Bella realize, while she was shooting him laying on this big black bed, so much like his own, that she would get her heart broken. That when he walked down the aisle, as she knew he would even though he hadn't yet said yes to Alice, her heart would break.
She rose slowly from the couch, dropping Jasper's blanket back on the couch as she got up. She treaded the carpet carefully, pulling her sweatshirt around her shoulders more tightly to make up for the cold air that twisted itself around her legs. For some reason she couldn't place as she opened the door, she had a bad feeling about this.
Oh, thats why. "Jasper?"
"I'm engaged." He said, showing her the golden band her wore around his finger.
She knew almost immediately, even as the wrecking ball slammed against her heart, that something wasn't quite right. He smelled like he had bathed in vodka, but his clothes, black sweater and jeans, were too nice for that.
"I'm sorry." He rushed to say, his hands reaching for her. She took a step back from him, attempting to invite him in, like normal, except when he took that step toward her, he lurched. His hands jetted out, searching frantically for purchase as he fell into her house. "I'm drunk." Was the next thing he said.
Bella wrapped her hands around his waist. "We can st--."
He shook his head, leading her and tripping, toward her bedroom. When they got to her bed, Jasper took off his jacket and shoes, falling into her bed with a heavy sounding thud.
She took a seat on the edge of her bed, crossing her legs as she contemplated the torrent of emotions rushing through her body and mind. There was happiness, still so difficult to over ride, for her friend. In any other circumstance, Bella would have been happy for her. There was that profound sense of emptiness somewhere below her heart, in the same region that knew how much she loved him. There was sadness and madness and wanting so badly to go back and do things again.
"What are you thinking?" He asked, opening his eyes. The green was duller somehow to Bella, somehow not as full of life as they had been.
Bella shook her head, biting back tears. She hadn't realized how very sad this would make her feel until she was gasping for breath, her chest feeling like it was trying to split open. She opened her mouth, surprised when a ragged sounding sob split the silence between them. "I-- I'm... I- I... Sorry." She covered her mouth with her hand as she turned her back to him, trying to stifle the sound of her crying. Weak. So, so weak. Too far in over her head, too emotionally charged to make the right decision, too hooked on him to leave, too lonely to want to leave.
"Bella." She felt his hand curve around her hip, as he had held her twice before. "I'm sorry."
"What...? What am--?" Her tears cut across what she was trying to say.
Jasper turned her around to him, sitting against the head board and making sure that Bella was facing him as he lifting his fingers to rub tears from her face. "You're... so important to me." He whispered, releasing her face to grasp the blanket that he was laying on. "I've wished, so many times, that I'd met you before I met Alice. Because if that had happened, I would be with you." He stood up, facing her. "I'll leave, Bella, but I want you to know how much I care about you before I leave."
She lifted her tear stained face. "Don't tell me." In order to live with herself after this, in order to go to the wedding, Bella couldn't know. "I don't want to know, Jasper."
"You look so beautiful." It had been two months since the last time she had seen Jasper. Two months and so many hours and minutes and seconds that when she thought about it, her body reacted in the same curious way it had been ever since that night. Her heart clenched, speeding and hurting and making her gasp out, clutching her chest. She wrapped her arms around her middle. She didn't look beautiful. She looked like hell. Already too skinny, she had dropped ten pounds since Jasper had left and sleep had evaded her like happiness had. She had been taken to the doctor by Alice, who thought she needed medication. The doctor had asked her if she wanted medicine. No, she had replied, I want him back.
Her brother, Emmett, who was dating Jasper's sister Rosalie, had just entered the room. "Did you hear me?" He said, striding over to her and wrapping her in a hug that squashed the breath from her. "God damn! Eat much lately?"
Bella blinked up at him. His happiness made her feel even worse than she thought possible. Not only could she not feel happy for the bride or groom, but her body wanted to curl up and die. "Yeah, Em. I'm great. Alice is my best friend." It came out more mechanical than she imagined it would.
He held her back at arm's length, brushing curls back from her face. She was wearing lip gloss and eyeshadow with a little bit of mascara, and nothing more. Alice had wanted her to cover the bags under her eyes, but Bella didn't want to. It was kind of like revenge, showing Jasper how fucked she'd been since he'd left. "You don't look too good, sis."
"Fuck you." Bella murmured, stepping back from him. She strode towards the door.
There was a long moment of silence, when Bella felt Emmett getting ready to speak. "God. You and Jasper. Its true." "How the hell--?"
"No." Bella crossed her arms around her middle, opening the door. "Its a god damn lie."
Alice looked too beautiful for words as she walked down the aisle. She was a vision in a strapless dress, her long black hair twisted into a beautiful knot, filled with tiny white flowers. Too bad Jasper didn't notice. His eyes were glued to Bella. She looked too thin and too tired and so sad it broke his heart clean in two.
The last two months of his life had easily been the worst. He had gone through the motions, mostly for Alice, but sometimes knew this wasn't going to happen. Some times, he thought about just walking out on her. What would she say? Would she ask Bella what happened between them? It didn't matter to him. He just wanted her back.
"We're gathered here today--."
That was when the first tear fell down Bella's cheek. It had come from the corner of her left eye and cascaded over the slope of her almost hollowed cheek with the silent finality that he was feeling. Jasper clenched his hands into fists.
"To celebrate the wedding of Mr. Jasper Hale and Mrs. Alice Brandon."
That was when she broke, her chest heaving as she turned from him. Alice's face contorted into the annoyed look that she had aimed so frequently at Jasper that he no longer cared. Rosalie, standing behind her, pulled her close, murmuring something as Bella turned one more time to look at him.
"If anyone has any objections to this union, please speak now."
Bella turned back to Alice, holding her shoulder as every single person in the whole church watched her with wide eyes. Some wore expressions of curiosity, some wore expressions that showed just how much they knew. Some looked annoyed at the interruption. One person, himself, probably looked just as broken. "I have to go, Alice." She didn't meet Jasper's eyes, instead turning to the rest of the people in the church. "I'm sorry." She was being too quiet for most people to hear, but her mom and dad rose, her mother opening her arms.
When she stepped off the alter, the priest looked appalled at the interruption. She stopped, grabbing her heels in one hand as she walked down the middle aisle. He could see her hands wrapped around her middle and her beautiful thin body, now looking sickly. He knew he had done that. He could hear her broken sobs. He could feel his heart being ripped from his chest. He had done that too. He could see Rosalie watching her new friend, then glaring at him. He saw Emmett rise to meet his sister. Then, in what seemed to be slow motion, he grabbed the priest's shoulder. "I'm sorry." When he turned to Alice, her jaw was hanging off of her face. "I can't do this, Alice." He handed her the ring, sprinting off the alter.
Bella was half way up the aisle before he could successfully wrap a hand around her waist.
"Don't touch me." She whispered, her eyes red with tears. There was a sudden silence. Emmett had half stopped in the aisle, Rosalie was half down the aisle behind Jasper.
In the church full of people, in front of every single person he had ever known and would ever know, he turned to her. "I can't let you go, Bella." He tried, as hard as he could, to make this moment seem intimate, because there were so many intimate moments he had failed to have with her.
"You have to." He could see the frantic urge hiding in her eyes, the urge to run from him. "You need to go back to Alice." Alice was standing at the alter, her eyes wide and mad.
"Because she loves you." Bella moved her arm from his grasp, putting her hand in the middle of his chest. He could feel his heart speed up. Internally, Bella finished the sentence for herself, finally letting her mind back in on the one thing it had never forgotten. She loved him too. "Go." She urged, gently shoving him.
"I do." He said. He was back in the truck bed, but it was two months too late. "I love you so god damn much, Bella." He grabbed her elbow, moving brown hair from her neck. People around him were turning, watching. "I'm sorry I was too stupid to say it before now. I'm sorry I was too fucked up to just admit--."
Her lips covered his before he could think about what he was doing. He pulled her to him, grabbing at any bit of skin, at any bit of hair he could grab. Her lips were urgent and warm and tasted every bit as he remembered. He hoisted her to him, wrapping her legs around his chest as he took a seat on the edge of pew. Her fingers curled into his hair as he went to pull back. She kissed him once more, her body feeling... better. "I love you too." Just as her face pulled into a smile, he heard someone gasp.
He couldn't, as he walked her toward the doors, find it in himself to care. He was going to take her somewhere, he was going to take her anywhere. All he knew, was that where ever they went, he was going to love her.