A/N: Welcome to my newest little venture! This was meant to be a brief, random o/s, but the story just kept coming (that's what she said), so it will be a short multi-chapter. It's highly unlikely that future chapters will be as long as this one.
I hope you enjoy the Peter/Bella combo. I made a Peter C2, so if you have any additions, please send me links or author/titles!
This story is not beta'd b/c it's a side project for me, and I'm simply too impatient to wait to post. I apologize for any mistakes you may find.
All recognizable characters, products, and lyrics are the property of their respective owner. I simply enjoy writing Twi-fic & no copyright infringement is intended.
Peter fucking Cox.
I love him, I hate him, I want him, I need to stay away from him.
It's always been that way. It's always been Peter and me, and for almost as long as I've known him, we've been toxic.
It all began in college. When my mom was laid off and Washington put a freeze on all state employees' pay, we could no longer afford the tuition at my fancy, private school. It was impossible to cover the difference in grants and loans, so the second semester of my sophomore year, I transferred to state school. It wasn't as though it was a bad school, it was just different. Bigger campus, larger class sizes, and so many more people, not to mention the city atmosphere instead of school in the 'burbs.
My parents were guilt-stricken, but I did my best to make the most of the change. When Mom learned that there was a chapter of her sorority on campus, she insisted that I join. To be honest, I hadn't been interested in Greek life at my old school. I didn't mind the whole scene, and I had plenty of friends who were Greek, but there was no single group that I felt drawn to. I was content and happy as a GDI. That all changed, though. I attended rush, or recruitment as they now called it, and I got to meet the Kappa Delta girls. As it turned out, I really liked them a lot.
I wasn't surprised when I received their bid. I had gotten along with all the girls I met at their recruitment parties, and it seemed as though they were taken with me as well. Of course, I knew that, as a legacy to their sorority, they couldn't deny me membership if I was interested. It was some crazy Panhellenic rule for daughters and sisters of alumna. In the end, my legacy status didn't really matter. After I joined, a number of sisters assured me that I would have received a bid even if I wasn't a legacy. It made me feel good about my decision and about myself.
That was how I met Alice. She way my year, but she had been a KD since freshman year. She was sweet and charming, and we clicked immediately. Alice would have been difficult not to like. She just had this aura around her that drew people to her. She had more energy than anyone I had ever met, and she was just so damn likable. There really wasn't any other way to put it. She was genuinely kind to everyone, smart, pretty, and a member of practically every club on campus.
Having been "adopted" by Alice, I was introduced to everyone she knew. This included her boyfriend, Jasper. He was a tall drink of fuckhot with honey blond surfer hair and a slight southern accent, and his charm could definitely rival Alice's. They seemed like an odd couple at first glance. Where Alice was bubbly and active, Jasper was laid back and reserved. He wasn't quiet by any means, but in comparison, they were completely different.
As I got to know my new friends, I could see what drew them to one another. When Alice overwhelmed herself with her busy schedule and many obligations, Jasper calmed and centered her. For him, she made sure he didn't take life too seriously.
A few weeks into the semester, I went to a party with Alice and Jasper. It was no secret at my previous school that I was a party girl, but I hadn't let that side of myself show since transferring. I wanted people to get to know me sober first. Sure, it's fun to make friends while you're partying, but that's not how genuine friendships are formed. If they do, it's a rarity, at least in my experience. The last thing I needed at a new school and with a new sorority was a bad reputation. Furthermore, I needed to establish a network of people I could trust before I went and got drunk around a mass of strangers. It's important to look out for each other under those circumstances, and I didn't want to partake if there weren't people I could trust to stick with me.
So I went, and it was a lot of fun. The party was at a large house shared by six guys on the soccer team. They were Jasper's teammates, and damn, did they throw a fun kegger.
The house was packed. People played beer pong in the dining room, flip cup and cards in the bedrooms, and danced in the basement. The common areas were filled with people mingling and talking, each with a blue plastic cup in hand.
Alice and I had taken a trip to the bathroom at some point, and when we returned to the room we had been in, Jasper was gone. We stumbled about, feeling buzzed and silly, trying not to trip in our heeled shoes. We spotted Jasper in the hall and stopped when we met him. As he and Alice embraced, I glanced into an open bedroom, curious to see what everyone in that room was doing.
That's when I first saw him.
Tall, dark hair, strong features... I couldn't see the color of his eyes in the dim lighting, but they were happy eyes. I liked that. And his shoulders... Fuck. Me. They were broad, square, and pure sex. There were no words to describe how attracted I was to his shoulders.
My first instinct, of course, was to go jump on that, but I didn't think it would be good form to mount a stranger, at least not without introducing myself first. When I finally noticed what they were doing in that room, I walked in and placed my hand on his forearm.
"Can I have next?" I asked sweetly, grinning up at him.
"Sure thing, doll," he replied with a wink.
That voice... My panties dissolved, I swear. Smooth, alluring, and perfectly matched to his sexy appearance.
A few moments later, the beer bong was filled, and he held it up, allowing me to slide my thumb into the tube. Once everything was set, I dropped to one knee quickly, swallowing the contents down in a few brief seconds.
"Holy fuck!" a guy yelled from somewhere in the room. Everyone else around us erupted in their own cheers as well.
My eyes were trained on the new object of my obsession as I stood. He held out a hand to help me up, and even though I didn't need it, I slipped my hand into his just to feel him. Our eyes were locked, and I finally saw that his were a deep, bright blue that had me swooning.
"Pretty damn good there," he said with a smile. "That was impressive."
"Yeah?" I asked. "Not bad for a first timer, huh?"
For a moment, I had him. His eyes widened in disbelief, but he quickly caught on to my joke and laughed with me. One of the other guys joined us, demanding that I do it again so they could time me.
"Hey, someone go ask Greenley if he has a stopwatch somewhere."
As the next beer was poured, we stood together watching someone else prepare for their turn.
"Seriously, that was awesome," he complimented me. "Fastest girl I've ever seen."
"Faster than most guys, too," I added proudly.
"I don't doubt that. So what's your name?"
I smiled happily, bringing out my most flirtatious grin. "I'm Bella. You?"
"Shut. Up." I laughed, slapping my hand over my mouth. "Oh my gosh, I'm sorry, but are you serious?"
"Oh, childhood must have been rough."
"Yeah, for a while," he quipped. "Now most people find it pretty entertaining. Gotta love that."
"Wait," I said suddenly, looking at him seriously. "Peter? Like, Jasper's roommate?"
His eyebrows pushed together for a moment before he nodded. "Yeah, you know him?"
"Uh huh, I'm friends with Alice. I've actually heard a lot about you."
"I wish I could say the same," he replied, smiling flirtatiously at me. To my surprise, it didn't feel like a line or some drunken come-on. I truly believed him.
Unfortunately, that was the precise moment that Alice and Jasper noticed my absence and joined me next to Peter. They confirmed that we had met, and the four of us chatted for a few minutes while someone else took over on the beer bong. Everyone in the room took turns being timed, and the fastest drinkers were noted. When my turn came around again, it was confirmed that I was, in fact, the fastest girl. Actually, I was faster than most of the guys as well, with the exception of Jasper and Peter. They were both fractions of a second quicker than me, but we all fell under four seconds.
After four turns on the beer bong, not to mention the few I had consumed earlier in the night, the rest of the party started to blur together. I remember hanging out with Peter, Jasper, and Alice for the rest of the night and having a lot of fun. We stayed in that room until it was time to go home, talking and laughing together about anything and everything.
I had an instant crush on Peter. Had he not been Jasper's roommate, I probably would have attacked him, but I didn't want to create any awkward situations with my friends.
When we decided that it was time to head home, the guys walked us back to our dorm before trekking across campus to theirs.
The next few times I saw Peter were under similar circumstances. There was always drinking, casual time spent together, and some mild flirtation. The attraction was most definitely there between us, but he never made a move. In all honestly, it confused me. I wasn't used to being turned down, and though he wasn't necessarily doing that by his lack of pursuit, the sentiment felt the same to me. With the undeniable chemistry we shared and how well we got along, I couldn't understand why he didn't want to take things further.
Not one to back down from a challenge, I amped up the flirting. I purposely placed myself near him when our friends all hung out at parties. My touches would linger on his arm or back, I would occasionally stroke his face or whisper close to his ear, and I smiled non-stop. The clothes I chose for the nights Peter was around were provocative, but not too revealing. If I showed a hint of cleavage, I made sure to pair it with snug jeans; if I wore a short skirt to show off my legs and ass, my top would be less suggestive. Peter responded to my actions in small ways. I saw the way he lustfully stared at me while I swayed and shimmied on the dance floor with Alice. Whenever I saw his eyes appraising my body or giving me the once-twice-thrice-over, I was filled with smug pride. We spent plenty of time together, and while he did place his hands on me from time to time, it wasn't in the way I desired the most.
After a while, that part became a major blow to my ego. Sure, I could have made the first move, but by that point I needed him to be the one to start something. I had to know that he felt the burning sexual tension that I did enough to lose control and just do something about it. My frustration grew because I had given up countless opportunities for hook-ups or at least some no strings make out at the parties. I wasn't the type to sleep with everything that had a penis, but I liked to have fun, and I wasn't ashamed of that.
My irritation came to a head near mid-semester. I had devoted so much time to getting Peter's attention that I realized I hadn't done more than kiss anyone else since we met. A group of us, including Alice, Jasper, and Peter, went to a party at a fraternity we only visited occasionally, and I quickly ditched my friends, Peter in particular, for a hot guy I knew from one of my classes. He was a member of that frat, so I received premium access to the booze, which I took advantage of happily. Before long, I was grinding on frat boy on the dance floor, allowing him to grope my ass while I rubbed myself against him and sucked on his lips as if there weren't a hundred other people surrounding us.
Later in the night, I found my friends so that I could tell Alice I was going to stay at the house that night. She questioned my decision, but I told her not to worry. I was a big girl who could take care of myself. It wouldn't be the first time I did something like that, and I was well aware of my decision, alcohol running through my veins or not. To my smug satisfaction, Peter pulled me aside after I spoke to Alice.
"Bella, why don't you just come back to campus with us when we leave?" he said, furrowing his brow as he spoke.
I laughed sharply, shaking my head at him. "Because I don't want to go back to campus tonight, Petey. I want to have fun, thanks," I snarked.
When he scowled at my snippy response, I simply winked and returned to Mr. Right Now. Outside, I was cool and confident, but inside I was seething. How dare he try to cockblock me, especially after all the time I'd wasted pursuing him. I didn't dislike Peter, but I was pissed at him - for denying me and for his attempt to make decisions for me.
While I allowed Peter to think I was going to screw the hell out of my new friend that night, things didn't go quite that way. I let him explore my body for hour, enjoying a few orgasms in the process, then I gave him a quick hand job and passed out. Sex just wasn't especially tempting that night.
One week later was the final night before spring break. I headed to Jasper's friends' house with Alice on that Thursday evening, the same place where I had met Peter. I wasn't sure if he would be there, but it was likely. Everyone was celebrating before dealing with the last day of classes they had to endure prior to vacation. I hadn't spoken to Peter since our ill-fated, brief conversation five days earlier, and at that point, I had little interest in him. Of course, there was a part of me that still wanted to see him just because, but my fiery, bitter side hoped to avoid him that night.
Unsurprisingly, it was like Peter was everywhere at the party. If I went into the kitchen to pour a beer, he was close behind. When I walked into a bedroom to socialize or greet people I knew, he always seemed to be in that room already, causing me to turn around and find somewhere else to hang out.
Halfway through the night, I nearly jumped out of my skin when one strong arm wrapped around my waist and the other curved over my shoulder, dangling a bottle of Crown Royal in my face.
"Care to share?" a voice said huskily in my ear, and I recognized him immediately. A knee-weakening shudder coursed through me as his warm breath swept over my neck.
I turned to face him, but he didn't move, forcing us into a near embrace. "Oh, hey Peter...."
"You mad at me?" he asked, pulling me closer. I looked up at him and was met with a sexy line of stubble running over his jaw.
"Why would I be mad at you?" I asked, raising my eyebrows in question. I knew why I was upset with him, but I wanted to find out if he truly understood.
He smiled tightly. "I was a jerk last weekend. I'm sorry," he said, and the look in his eyes was sincere. "I just wanted to make sure you were all right and not just doing something because you were drunk."
"Thank you. Not that it's your business, though."
"But isn't that what friends are for?" he countered.
"Who says we're friends?" I teased.
He dangled the bottle of liquor in my face once more. "That hurts, Bella. I don't share my favorite with people who aren't my friends."
We laughed together, and I felt the tension between us dissolve as he took my hand and led me into one of his friend's bedroom. The door had been closed and no one was inside, surprisingly. He walked behind a homemade bar, flicked on a set of rope lights that lined the bar, and pulled two shot glasses from below. I perched on a barstool on the opposite side, watching as he opened the bottle and poured a shot for each of us without spilling a drop.
"To spring break," he said with a smile, holding his small glass out toward me. I picked mine up as well, clicking it against his before tapping it on the bar and swallowing it quickly. He sipped his beer quickly after drinking the whiskey, then gave me a peculiar look when I didn't do the same.
"What?" I asked.
"No chaser, badass?"
"Nah," I shook my head. "That's my favorite, too. No chaser necessary."
He came around the bar then, sliding onto the other barstool and turning to face me. We sat that way and talked through five more shots. He asked about my spring break plans, which I had none of considering my family's money crunch at the time. He said he was flying San Francisco to see some friends who went to school there.
With each drink, we seemed to get closer to one another. Our stools had long since been turned to face one another, our knees brushing together at first. By the time we took our last shot, we had scooted our stools together, and our legs were zigzagged, our thighs sandwiched in the other's. He placed a hand on my knee, so I mirrored his action. He stared into my eyes, then at my lips. I copied him, licking my lips in the process. I was sure this was our moment. We were alone, touching, so fucking close. Drunk and uninhibited, I wrapped my hand around the back of his neck and pulled him to me until our foreheads met.
"Peter..." I whispered, surprised at how sultry my voice sounded.
"Uh huh?" he stuttered, and I was taken aback by how nervous the sound was.
We were so close. I wanted him. The temptation to push my lips forward and meet his was nearly unbearable, but I just needed him to do it first. After all my flirting and attempts to gain his attention, the moment would be ruined unless it was his choice.
I thought that he was going to do it. All he needed was to close the minute gap between our mouths...but he didn't.
"Bella," he whispered, fanning my lips with his whiskey breath.
My fingers curled at the back of his neck, rubbing encouragingly.
"I can't." Abruptly, he pulled himself away from me and off his stool.
Stunned, I gaped at him, my mouth hanging open slightly as he shoved the heels of his hands into his eyes.
"I'm sorry," he muttered, but I didn't respond. Instead, I pushed myself up, standing on wobbly legs and immediately heading for the door.
I was angry, hurt, and embarrassed. What the fuck was going on between us and what had I done wrong? I wanted to understand, but at the same time, the last thing I wanted to do was think about him anymore. Without saying a word, I moved toward the door, leaving my empty beer cup behind. Just as I had the door open a couple inches, his hand flattened against it over my head, slamming it shut.
"What the..." I began, but my words were cut off when he spun me around forcefully and shoved me against the door.
Before I could think, react, or...anything, he was smashing my face with his. The kiss I'd been dying for was finally happening, but it was not at all like I had imagined. This was harsh, greedy, and needful. His mouth was literally attacking mine, snapping at my lips, tugging them harshly, and forcing his tongue into my mouth. There was nothing I could do but comply. I had wanted this for so long, and I was going to take it however I could.
Moaning against his lips, I placed my hands on the back of his head, pulling his short hair between my fingers. His response was similar as he fisted my hair, using it as reins to guide my face wherever he wanted it.
"Oh...god," I groaned when he sucked hard on the little dip behind my ear, just at the edge of my jaw. The sensation went straight to pants, leaving a wake of goosebumps and pert nipples behind.
"Fuck, Bella," he growled, rubbing the entire length his body against mine, pressing me into the door so hard it was a bit painful, but I didn't care because I was sandwiched between it and him, and that was what I really wanted. It was as though we couldn't get close enough, at least not like that.
We were kissing hard, fast, and hungrily when he pulled away again without warning. My entire body reacted to his absence, reaching out for him to return and finish what he had started.
"I'm sorry," he said, looking down at the floor. "I'm so sorry, Bella."
"Why?" I asked in confusion. Yet again, I wondered what I had done wrong to make him react that way.
"God, I'm such a fucking asshole," he muttered, but I couldn't tell if he was speaking to me or chastising himself with those words.
"Bella, I'm really sorry. Seriously," he said. The pleading tone confused me further. Finally, he met my eyes and spoke again, quickly looking over my head when he was finished. "I can't...I have...there's...I have a girlfriend."
"What?" I exclaimed. "Who? Since when?" I demanded.
He shook his head. "A while. She doesn't go to school here."
Without thinking, I turned again, opening the door as quickly as my shaking hands could manage. He didn't stop me that time, and though I was feigning anger, I was crushed. Somehow, I managed to hold my tears in until I slipped out the backdoor of the house. Once the tepid April air hit me, I fell apart. The entire situation with Peter felt like a monumental mindfuck, and all I wanted to do was get back to my room so I could curl up in my warm blankets and sleep away the terrible cocktail of emotions I was feeling.
I didn't mention the disaster to Alice. Thankfully, we had to leave campus for spring break, and by the time we came back to school, any suspicion she may have had about where I disappeared to and what I was doing that night were gone. I'm sure she and Jasper both saw the way Peter and I flirted, and who knows what Peter may or may not have said about me to his best friend and roommate. I always avoided speaking of Peter in any way that was more than platonic to Alice, but she was intuitive. I think that same sense was what kept her from prying; she knew that it wasn't a topic that was open for discussion.
Break was a wreck. I couldn't help but spend more than half my time thinking of Peter and replaying that last night in my mind. I didn't want to think about him. I was upset that he had kept that from me, even if we weren't really social outside of the party scene at school. If he was going to flirt and play with me, I should have been informed of his status. And why wouldn't Jasper say something about it if he noticed the chemistry between the two of us? As much as I tried to push away thoughts of that hot-as-hell, brief make out session, it was impossible. Peter's gorgeous blue eyes were branded in my mind, along with the lingering sensation of his forceful kisses. I wore my hair down all week long to cover the deep purple mark he had left below my ear. There was no way I could get away from the memories of him.
I hated him for infiltrating my mind and especially for doing so when he wasn't even available.
The week off school passed quickly enough, but I wasn't sure if I was grateful for that or not. Returning would mean inevitably seeing Peter again, and I didn't feel prepared for that encounter. I was dying to know how he would react to me, but I feared more anger or possible awkwardness. I even wondered if he would blame me for tempting him when he was committed to someone else.
Back at school, I did the only thing I could to stay sane - I avoided Peter. I knew that I just needed to cool off for a while. It would be impossible for me to remain friends with Alice, Jasper, and all the other mutual acquaintances I had met and never see Peter, so I needed to find a way to deal with him. Even though nothing actually happened between us until right before break, I felt as if he had led me on. I obviously wasn't mistaken about our mutual attraction, as he had proved, but he should have been up front with me about his girlfriend, or at the very least, not acted on that desire.
After a while, I began to wonder if it was just the liquor. We had both taken a lot of shots in a fairly short period of time, not the mention the beers we had drank as well. Every other interaction we'd had since meeting was at a party, even if we started the evening together sober. Alcohol always fueled and intensified the interaction, riddling it with sexual innuendo. Maybe I had read too much into it. Who knew if we would even get along well outside that party atmosphere?
For most of the latter half of the semester, I kept myself as busy as possible. I started going out with different friends and other girls in my sorority. I frequented other houses, parties, and social scenes. It was what I needed, and when I went out with Alice, I felt appreciated and missed by the people in that crowd. I fluffed Peter off as well as I could manage. To my surprise, the first encounter wasn't as dramatic as I had imagined. I essentially ignored him, saying hello before heading off to another part of the house to play a drinking game. Subsequent run-ins became easier, until I found that we could be around each other again without me freaking out. The fact that I had resumed my occasional enjoyment of the opposite sex may have helped matters. Without all that pent up sexual frustration, being around Peter wasn't quite as bad...even though I was still wildly attract to him.
A few weeks before the semester ended, I ran into Peter in the library. Literally. He was walking through the stacks and I came around the corner and crashed into him. We spoke for a few minutes before I had to return to the study desk I was using to complete some research. He found me a while later and asked if wanted to grab lunch with him. I uneasily agreed, and we walked to one of the dining halls together.
"How've you been?" he asked hesitantly as we walked.
"Not bad," I shrugged. "Classes, sorority, hanging out with friends. The usual."
"How's your girlfriend?"
"Shit, Bella," he groaned, frozen in place as he held the dining hall door open for me. "I'm really sorry, all right? I was out of line. I shouldn't have done that."
"You're missing the point," I said dryly.
"I just...I want to know why," I said, sliding out of the way as a group of students passed us to get inside. "I mean, I don't think...that started that night, you know? I want to know why you didn't just tell me."
He gave me a nervous look, but finally nodded. "Let's go get some food and I'll try to explain, I guess."
A few minutes later, we were seated at a corner table in the crowded dining hall, facing one another.
"Maria and I have been together on and off for a while. Since, like, my senior year of high school," he explained. "She's a year younger, but we kept dating when I started school. It was pretty tough to maintain, so we broke up. Then when I went home for the summer, we ended up back together, broke up again last semester, got back together. I know it probably sounds awful."
"Not my place to judge," I said shrugging. "It basically sounds like you get back together every time you're home on break from school."
He cringed, giving away the truth. "Yeah, something like that, I guess, but we've been together since winter break this time. I'm trying to make it work."
"All right, fine. I appreciate you telling me, but I don't really think I want to hear any more about that," I said. "I just want to know why you played games with me when you're sitting here telling me how you're trying to make a long distance relationship work. It doesn't add up."
I watched him set down his fork, take a deep breath, then sip his Coke. Not through a straw, of course. College guys seemed to have some humorous aversion to straws, like they were feminine or something, but I digress. Peter was hesitant and seemed to be having some internal battle to find what he wanted to say. This left me slightly perplexed because, really, hadn't he had enough time to think about this? That part frustrated me, but I was eager enough for an explanation that I decided to be patient.
Finally, after nervously running his fingers over the edge of his lunch tray, he looked up at me, blue eyes burning into mine. "I never meant to play games with you, Bella, I swear," he began sincerely. I nodded my understanding. "Things with Maria are...complicated. I know that sounds stupid, but she went through some shit a few years ago, and it made us closer. I really care for her, and it's like this constant struggle to figure out what we're doing together and if it's even worth it anymore."
He was talking about her again, and that frustrated me because I was trying to get some answers about this thing between us, but he seemed to need this conversation to process. Shifting uncomfortably in my chair, I stopped eating and paid attention.
"I don't want to get into all the stupid details of our relationship with you."
"I don't know how to put it," he continued. "There was just something there with you, right? We have fun together and you're laid back and a wild girl.... Do I really need to explain this?"
"Yes," I said firmly, waiting for him to continue.
He groaned, scratching the top of his head and sipping his drink again. "All right, so it's like, the flirting, the drinking, it was all so intense. All the time, Bella. I love being around you and I wanted to be your friend, but that night, something else won out." He stopped speaking, shaking his head, not at me, but at himself. "Shit, I just wanted you. Can you blame me? But then I thought about what I was doing and...it wasn't right."
I stared at him, waiting for more as he looked at his discarded food. He picked up a roll and tore it in half, then threw it back down on the plate. "I'm sorry that I upset you, Bella, and I'm even sorrier if what I did hurt you."
Unable to find the words to convey how I was feeling, I just nodded at him and tried to offer a small smile. It was unsuccessful, but I sensed that he understood that. I picked at my food for a few more minutes as the silence between us became awkward.
"I just wish you would have been upfront with me about her," I said quietly, peeking up at him from my food. "I would have toned it down if I'd known." It felt good to get that part off my chest.
"Honestly, I don't even know what's going on with her half the time," he said, sounding tired.
"Then why stay?" I asked in honest curiosity. "What's the point of a relationship where you're not happy, especially with circumstances like these?"
"I care about her, and after all this time, it sort of feels like it would be a waste to just give up without trying."
I couldn't fully understand his rationale. He was twenty years old, not a man who had been married for half his life and had children with the woman. They were young. There were still prospects for many other relationships in the future if he would let go of this one. I never really understood that mentality of severe attachment to your high school sweetheart. Didn't people understand that most relationships that start so young are really just practice? That they rarely last? I had three different boyfriends in high school tell me that they loved me. It may sound harsh, but I told two of them, without question, that they didn't really love me, that it was too soon and they didn't understand what that truly meant. With the third, I eventually shared the sentiment, but it was nearly a year after he had first said it to me. Even then, I understood that we would probably end eventually, and we did. I accepted our young love for what it was, bathed in youth and innocence, and I was able to move on.
As I reminisced and drew comparisons, I realized that Peter never said that he loved Maria, only that he cared about her. It felt odd to me, given the attachment he had to this girl and their relationship. I wondered if he did love her but didn't mention those feelings because it made him feel uncomfortable to admit it to me. Or it could have been that he possibly didn't love her and was dealing with that. Whatever the case, I still didn't want to know the complicated details of whatever it was he needed to come to terms with.
"Peter, I have no idea what Maria is like or what you've been through together, but I think that staying in a relationship out of obligation is the stupidest thing anyone could ever do. I'm not saying that for selfish reasons, I'm just trying to be your friend."
"I know, but..." he began, but I cut him off quickly.
"No, listen. What I'm saying is only based on what you've told and what I know from our interactions. If she makes you happy and you want to stick it out through a long distance relationship you feel is worthwhile, then, by all means, go for it," I explained. "But, Peter, if you're not happy - if talking to her and seeing her don't make you happy - I really think you need to reassess whether this is worthwhile. It sounds like you probably fight, and I'm sorry if I'm just making assumption there, but if it is the case, you seriously need to step back and ask why you put yourself through that. It's just self-inflicted torture and stress, you know?"
He stared at me seriously for a minute, contorting his lips into a thoughtful expression. I hoped I hadn't offended him, but no matter what had or was going on between us, I didn't want him to be stuck in a miserable relationship. No one deserved that. He looked up, glancing over my shoulder to the clock on the wall.
"I need to get going. I have a group presentation in my next class, and we're meeting early to go over some details," he said. "You're right, though, about a lot of things. Not everything, but I don't want to drag you into all the shitty details, okay?"
"I get it," I nodded.
"Are we good then?" he asked as he shouldered his book bag and picked up his tray. I followed suit, carrying my half eaten lunch to the garbage.
I didn't feel like we had resolution, but it was still nice to actually speak to Peter in a neutral location and confront our bullshit from earlier in the semester. What killed me, though, was the way he still managed to control my feelings. Even when I was upset with him or trying to be understanding of his situation, that urge to jump him was ever-present. I rationally understood that our situation just wasn't aligning for anything to happen between us, but I still wanted him. I couldn't push it away. I couldn't escape it.
With great effort, I managed to tone down my reactions to him outwardly. Inside, my mind played an endless loop of friends, friends, friends, but I couldn't deny that I wanted more. It wasn't that I wanted him to date me at that point in time, but I did want his attention, his kiss, and the feel of his body pressed against mine. It was involuntary and inescapable. Nonetheless, I couldn't tell him that, so when our friends all hung out together, I focused on simply enjoying his company as my friend and nothing more. If it was all I could get, I would take it.
So we hung out. We saw each other outside of the weekend parties, usually with other friends, but not always. Everyone was busy with end of the semester projects, but we managed to see each other throughout the week. My understanding of the attraction I felt to him grew through sober eyes.
Peter was incredibly charismatic. There was something so friendly and welcoming about his presence that drew people to him, and I was obviously not immune to those charms. While he wasn't the innocent, angelic type, he also wasn't condescending or rude to others unnecessarily. His personality was an appealing balance of all the things that make a man attractive, inside and out. Killer looks and piercing eyes didn't hurt, either.
What I loved was that we had fun together. He made me smile all the time once we worked our way past the bullshit. At the same time, when we wanted to discuss serious matters, there was a strange comfort and trust there. It was odd for two people who barely knew one another, but it still remained. I liked it, and I quickly grew to feel that he would be one of my closest, favorite friends.
We did well for those last few weeks of school sophomore year. We enjoyed being around one another, and I no longer felt quite as much pressure to try to earn his attention. Instead, I didn't keep myself from spending time with other guys in Peter's presence, and if that bothered him, he didn't say anything about it. He really had no right to anyway. That only lasted so long, though.
On the last big party night of the semester before finals, everyone wanted to celebrate and have a wild, drunken time before summer came. We would soon be consumed with exams, and then the break would separate us for three months.
It was definitely a crazy party. Cheap beer was sucked down quickly by everyone and a number of drinking games were played. Late in the night, Alice and I found our way to the dance floor with several of our sorority sisters, screaming the words to whatever song played as we shook and smiled. Song by song, boyfriends and opportunistic males made their way to us, breaking the group apart into new pairs. A good looking guy with sandy hair and an over confident grin approached me, wrapping his arms around my waist and pulling me against his body. We shouted a few introductions over the music, dancing and grinding to the beats. After several songs, I was surprised by a tug on my arm. I looked in the direction of the pull and saw Peter beckoning. I glanced back at my dance partner - Jeff or something like that - and shrugged, waving him off. I drunkenly stepped into Peter's embrace, resuming my dancing with him.
We didn't say much, but we laughed at the way he spun me around. My coordination was lacking to begin with, but the addition of alcohol only made it worse. His smile told me that he thought it was cute, or at the least, amusing enough to continue. The basement was hot and sticky from all the bodies packed together, enjoying the freedom and finality of the party. Even though I usually came home from parties stinking of cigarettes and beer and feeling dirty from sweating so much, it was a sensation I loved. I could feel the wet trail that ran the length of Peter's spine, dampening his shirt. His hot hands made the small of my back even hotter, and I knew my shirt was just as moist. It didn't really matter, though. We were just having fun.
Eventually, the music slowed, and he held me against him. I only came up to his shoulders in my high heeled shoes, so I nuzzled into him. As we swayed to the melodic song, he leaned into me, dropping his head closer to mine. It felt nice. I wasn't looking forward to saying goodbye to him for the summer.
"Do me a favor," he requested, speaking directly into my ear.
I looked up at him questioningly, waiting for him to speak again.
"No more drinking tonight, okay?"
At first, I felt angry at him for being bossy and controlling, but he squeezed my waist to calm me.
"Hey, I just don't want you to be hung over and useless tomorrow, you know?" he defended. "I won't drink anymore, either. The party's almost over anyway."
Instead of letting my defensive nature take hold, I accepted the way he was showing his concern and kissed the side of his neck before resting my cheek against his shoulder. He shivered slightly, hugging me tightly. I returned the embrace, slightly perplexed about what that was all about but too tipsy to over think it.
When that set of slow songs was over, Alice bounded over to us, tugging Jasper along. "I'm hungry and people are starting to leave. Let's go get some Subway and watch a movie in Jasper and Peter's room!"
"Oh, Alice, I'm not really hungry. I'll probably just pass out anyway."
"No!" she protested. "This is our last night all together, and you are going to come with us!" I couldn't help but smile at the scowl she wore or the petulant way she held her hands on her hips.
"Come on, it'll be fun," Jasper added, indulging her.
I glanced up at Peter, who shrugged with one shoulder and nodded in approval. "Sounds good to me."
I gave in and agreed, following my friends out of the house and to the all-night gas station where Alice could get her food. A pint of Ben & Jerry's tempted me, so I paid for that while they all chose their late night snacks. When we got to their dorm, everyone else changed into pajamas and started eating. I plopped on the love seat with my ice cream while Peter and Jasper sat at their desks and Alice sat in front of their make shift coffee table.
"Bella, do you want to borrow some sweatpants or something?" Jasper asked, pausing halfway through his sandwich.
"No, I'm fine," I said, looking down at my jeans and cotton baby doll tee. I was comfortable enough in what I was wearing.
"That's going to be really uncomfortable to sleep in," Alice added.
I shook my head. "I'm not sleeping here. I'll go home after the movie...or whenever you guys all pass out, ya drunks," I added teasingly.
"You're not leaving."
I whipped my body in Peter's direction, giving him a skeptical look.
"What? You're not?" he said coolly. "There's no way I'd let you walk across campus alone in the middle of the night, and I'm sure as hell not going to haul ass to your dorm now that I'm comfy." His words were firm and final.
Before I could argue, he stood and crumbled his sandwich wrapper, tossing it in the garbage and walking to his closet. He pulled out a pair of dark blue sweatpants with a drawstring waist and a tee shirt I assumed he wore under his other clothes since it would have been snug on him. He walked to the couch, handed me the clothes, and tipped his head toward the bathroom.
"I have some washcloths on the shelf, and there's mouthwash and toothpaste there, too."
Grumbling, I set my ice cream down, only to have it snatched up by Alice immediately. How that girl could eat so much and stay so teensy was beyond me. I took Peter's lounge clothes into the bathroom with me, closing the door with a click of the lock.
Ten minutes later, we were all settling in to watch some action movie I didn't really care all that much about. I sat on one side of the love seat and Peter was on the other side. Jasper was on the floor, back resting against the little sofa, and Alice rested between his legs while his long arms draped around her petite frame.
Halfway through, Alice was nodding off, so Jasper helped her up onto the top bunk to watch from there and fall asleep. When I looked back to Peter, he had stretched his legs out onto the storage chest that sat in front of the love seat, and he had a blanket draped over him.
"Did you want to lie down?" he asked.
"No, not yet."
"Wanna share?" he gestured toward his blanket. The temptation to be close to him, even though we had been completely casual most of the night, was too great to resist, so I scooted over to his side. He held an arm out for me, wrapping it around my shoulder and pulling the blanket over both of us. I leaned into him, curling my body toward his and placing my head on his chest.
He was so comfortable and warm, and I loved how good it felt to be close to him that way. I would miss him.
We watched the movie a little longer in silence, but as I grew bored with it, we started talking, softly whispering to one another. I asked what he had planned for the summer, but he seemed slightly evasive about it. I wasn't sure what that meant, but I didn't press the issue. He basically said that he would be going home to Bellingham and working at the sports bar and restaurant that his uncle owned up there. I thought he would be more excited to have some uninterrupted time with Maria, but he didn't mention her. When he asked me the same thing, I explained that my family lived in the Seattle area, so I would be around most of the summer, except for the two weeks my parents and I would spend in Forks with my grandparents. It was where my parents grew up, so they still had relatives and friends in the Olympic Peninsula area. The drive was a pain, but getting away to the small town and the beach for a while was always nice.
Neither of us noticed when the movie ended until the credits rolled and the DVD returned to the menu. I scooted away from Peter, stretching and yawning before I excused myself to use the bathroom. When I came out, he had music playing in the room. He took his turn to brush his teeth, and while he was gone, I curled up on the love seat with a pillow and the blanket we had shared.
"What are you doing?" he whispered harshly, leaning down over the side of the sofa.
"Umm, going to bed. Did you want to watch another movie or something?"
"No, but do you seriously think I would let you sleep on this cramped little thing? Go get in my bed."
"I'll sleep on the floor."
I sat up, looking at him with an annoyed expression. "I'm not going to take your bed."
It was dark, but I could still see that he was shaking his head at me and crossing his arms. "I'm not going to argue with you about this. It's really not a big deal."
When I didn't move from the love seat, he came around the front and scooped me up off the cushion. I exhaled a surprised squeak, which he shushed as he swatted my butt playfully. Carefully, he lowered me onto the bottom bunk and dropped me on the bed. I giggled, but still squirmed and objected.
"Come on, get under the covers," he insisted.
"This isn't fair," I whined back at him. "I didn't even want to stay."
"But here you are." I could just imagine him rolling his eyes at me, even though I couldn't see him that well. "What do you suppose we do then?"
"Umm," I mumbled. It had been several hours since we stopped drinking, but we had all consumed enough that the lingering effects were still there, lowering my inhibitions and my mental filter all at once. "You could sleep here with me. I mean, it's not like I'm going to molest you in your sleep," I teased, still speaking in muted whispers.
He chuckled at me, muttering something under his breath that I couldn't hear before he playfully shoved me over so he could fit in the bed.
"Comfortable?" he asked as he pulled the blankets around us, settling into a comfortable position. We were face to face and I hummed my approval.
"Wait," I said, turning over. "Okay, how's this?"
"Okay.... Hey, Peter?"
"Why did you turn the music on?"
"Oh, uh..." he stuttered, "sometimes Jasper and Alice wake up in the middle of the night..."
"Exactly," he chuckled softly. "I've gotten used to it, but I figure that if it happens tonight, you might not want to hear...everything."
The thoughts of Alice and Jasper fooling around in the bunk above Peter at any given time set me off into a fit on uncontrollable giggles. I covered my mouth and turned my face into the pillow to muffle the sound, but I couldn't stop my body from shaking with my laughter. Peter attempted to stop me, but it was no use. Finally, he wrapped his arm over me, pulling me against his chest so that I could calm down. He whispered in my ear, telling me to settle, and eventually I did.
Once I was still again, I expected him to release me and slide away, but he didn't. His arm stayed secure over mine, and his hand rested against my forearms.
"Is this all right?" he asked.
God, yes! Please don't let go.
"Yeah, I...it's kinda nice," I whispered inaudibly, a nervous smile playing on my lips. I questioned our position for a moment, but it was completely innocent. We weren't doing anything wrong. We were just two friends enjoying a little snuggle before we fell asleep.
The problem was that I couldn't sleep.
Even after we stopped talking, I could not get my body to settle down and rest. I was hyperaware of everything around me, or to be more specific, everything Peter. I knew I shouldn't have been feeling so keyed up about someone who was only supposed to be my friend and had a girlfriend, but I couldn't help myself. Everything about him appealed to me in some way - his looks, his body, his smile, his sense of humor, and even his protective side, albeit annoying and chauvinistic at times.
Each breath he took heaved against my back, fanning over my hair when he exhaled. His scent was all around me, clean and masculine. The fact that I was wearing his clothes, laying in his bed with his arm around me...it was almost too much. Fearing that I would lose every ounce of self-control I had if I moved, I stayed as still as possible. I thought that Peter's dating status would help him keep his resolve, but he was the one who pulled us closer together, stroking his hand up and down my arms in smooth, light grazes.
I was lost. I couldn't control what was happening, and I couldn't stop him. My mind fought my urges, trying to maintain some shred of sanity, but every cell in my body seemed to be responding to his touch.
It was still fairly innocent, so I didn't try to stop it. I didn't really want to anyway.
My heart was thundering in my chest, and I realized that my breathing had picked up. Slowly, tentatively, silently, his hand wandered into new territory. He touched my hip, spreading his hand across it when I didn't object. With gentle movements, he traced up and down my side, creating fireworks on my skin. In all the times he had touched me, even when dancing earlier, it had never felt this intimate. After several minutes of slowly caressing me that way, he slid his hand down and flattened it over my stomach. I gasped, jumping slightly, though not in surprise. It felt so fucking good to have his hands on me, and I didn't want him to stop. That was the dangerous part.
As he began tickling my belly, he nuzzled his face into my neck, not moving my hair. I could hear him inhaling deeply, and I realized that his breathing had picked up just as much as mine. In a bold move, he carefully lifted the hem of the shirt I was wearing and slipped his hand onto my bare flesh. His touch was so warm and soft, and I immediately felt the effects of it between my legs. He was more eager once we were skin-to-skin, but he was no less gentle. Every touch was petal soft. He drew patterns and pictures on my stomach and ribs with his fingertips, swirling and teasing me into submission.
He made circles around my belly button, first wide, then moving inward with ghosting strokes. It was sensual, causing me to shiver against him. When he felt that, he pressed into my back harder, aligning the rest of our bodies so that we were in a full spoon position. Our ankles tangled together, and I could feel him against my ass.
Whatever he wanted at that point, I was at his mercy. I tried to keep myself from grinding back into him, and for a while, I managed.
After one last rotation around my belly button, he dragged a single finger up the center of my torso, skimming up my sternum and between my breasts. His finger slid over the inner slope of one breast, stopping just before he reached my nipple. Torturously, he resumed his circular pattern, moving around and around and fucking around until I thought I would scream. I fought myself stay silent, but he was making it extremely difficult. Just when I thought he would finally give me what I wanted, he moved his hand to the other breast and repeated that tease. I endured as long as I could manage, finally breaking after the eighth slow rotation.
"Please," I whispered, tilting my head back toward him. I would beg if I had to.
In an abrupt movement, he lifted my upper body enough to slide his other arm beneath me. When he laid me back down, both his hands were beneath my shirt, cupping my breasts and pinching my nipples simultaneously. That time, I couldn't control myself and I gasped loudly. I managed to prevent a loud moan, but it was the best I could do.
After several more minutes of squirming and his wonderful groping, his top hand moved back down my body, tickling my stomach again and placing his fingertips beneath the waist of my sweatpants. He ran his hand back and forth, sliding the slightest bit lower. I knew I should have had the willpower to resist, but I couldn't. I had pushed these feelings and desires away for so long, and I finally snapped. When he tugged on the tie that had secured his large pants around my feminine waist, I didn't object. There was no more hesitation once that line was crossed. His hand went directly beneath my panties, moving needfully between the folds of my sensitive, anxious flesh.
He nuzzled my hair, apparently trying to push it off my neck with his chin. When I realized what he was doing, I reached up and tucked the long strands under my head, exposing my face to him. His mouth pressed against my ear, breathing heavily.
"Tell me to stop," he uttered in the quietest breath. It wasn't a command, that much I understood. It was his way of giving me an out if I wanted it. I didn't, not at all.
As he continued to toy with my body, spreading my wetness with his fingers, I remained silent. He repeated his words, but my resolve didn't change. I wanted him to really touch me. At that point, I absolutely needed it. Finally, he understood the permission behind my lack of a response and pushed a finger inside me. I had hardly noticed that my legs were parted. I had done it naturally for him, inviting Peter to take what he wanted from me. I lifted my top leg and hooked it over his, which pulled his stiff cock against my backside even harder.
He was unbelievable. I was so wet for him that his movements were audible and borderline obscene with other people sleeping in the room, and I found myself especially thankful for the music Peter had put on earlier. Needing more than his hand between my legs and on my chest, I twisted my shoulder and turned my head toward him. He understood, joining our mouths at once as he continued to pump in and out of me.
Kissing was difficult from this angle, but that made it so much more erotic. After a few minutes, I felt another one of his fingers enter me, joining in the stirring motions he was creating down there. I wanted to moan and cry out from what he was doing to me, but I knew I needed to stay as quiet as possible. Instead, I breathed heavily, most of them being forced into his mouth as our tongues struggled to retain contact. Eventually, we gave up on kissing, and I turned my face back toward the pillow. He continued to spread kisses over the expanse of my neck, nipping and sucking between wet, hot affection.
I knew he could feel my climax approaching when he hugged me tighter than ever and moved his fingers furiously inside me. I shoved my face into the pillow as the warm, sharp sensation overtook my body, practically growling at my released. I bucked into his hand a few times before my entire body locked up, frozen in place. As it subsided, he slipped one of his fingers out and stroked me softly and slowly. My body relaxed, shuddering as my orgasm drifted away. He dragged his hand out of my pants, leaving a wet trail as he moved up toward my stomach. He readjusted my clothes, and then settled us into a comfortable, relaxed position. I tried to roll over so that I could continue and offer him the same kind of release, but he held me firmly in place.
"Shh...sleep, Angel," he whispered in my ear.
Sleep was the last thing on my mind in that moment, but it was what my body craved. Submitting to his will, I kept my eyes closed and focused on the warmth and security of his embrace.
E/N: So what do you think of these two? Please don't write Peter off as a dog quite yet...not all is as it seems. We'll hear his POV next, and it will explain a lot. I'm looking forward to your reactions! Thanks for reading =)