Title: Cigarettes and Fingertips
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or any of the characters. No copyright infringement is intended.
Pairing: Edward and Jasper
Rated: M
Summary: Edward is transfixed by Jasper. The way his nimble fingers slide along the fretboard and the way the cigarette smoke unfurls from his perfect lips.
Author's Note: Just a semi-autobiographical one-shot. Thank you for reading.


The smoke draws around his head like a halo as he exhales slowly.

He places the smoldering cigarette between the steel A and D strings at the head of his guitar. His beautiful lips are pursed in thought as he leans his head back, deep in thought. The sun hits his loose golden waves that are settled gently across his face. He looks angelic for a brief moment.

Then, his eyes shoot open and the angel disappears. The fire behind the hazel irises is filled with so much passion, it has to be fueled by something ungodly. With another long drag on the cigarette, his hands go quickly back on the guitar, and a melody is plucked out by his right hand, as his left slides up and down the neck of the guitar. His hand always stops in exactly the right place on the fretboard and his right hand never falters in its rhythm.

Edward groans inwardly, transfixed with Jasper's sensuous assault on the stringed instrument which rests casually in his lap.

Then the piercing hazel eyes look up to meet his.

"How'd that sound?" Jasper's voice is easy, seemingly oblivious to Edward's arousal.

Edward swallows before answering, making sure his voice is steady before he asserting, "That was great! I really like the play on the basic waltz."

One of the things Edward likes best about Jasper's songs are the way he toys with time signatures.

Jasper grins and Edward's heart melts a little. For a moment he thinks there's something to the grin, something more than just appreciation of the compliment. A spark of recognition of something more, but as soon as he tries to place it, it's gone.

"Thanks, man. Hey, why have we never written together?"

Edward wasn't a guitar player. He was a pianist, classically trained, even though he had long since branched out to other genres. Including his current obsession with trying to sound like Thelonius Monk.

Edward shrugs in response.

"Different styles, I guess," he finally offers.

"We should try some fusion sometime, then." Jasper ends the statement with a wink.

Edward doesn't know if it's just a reflex on Jasper's part, but it sends his heart pounding like a tympani and his palms become warm and clammy. He knows that Jasper's is bisexual. For the past two years, ever since he knew that Jasper Whitlock existed, after he moved to Memphis partway through junior year, Edward has heard stories from both sexes of Jasper's conquests. Though they haven't been abnormally high in number, each one has cut through Edward's heart like a dull blade having to saw back and forth through a resisting object.

He realizes that he has paused longer than socially acceptable, still staring at Jasper, and begins to respond, when the door of his apartment is flung open as his obnoxious brother and roommate bursts in.

"Hey Homeslice," Emmett nods at Edward. "Special sauce," he directs toward Jasper.

"Special sauce?" Jasper guffaws.

Emmett shrugs. Then he speaks, "If your fangirls are any indication, then there's something special about your sauce."

Jasper snorts, but thankfully doesn't look over at Edward, who is blushing furiously trying not to think about Jasper's "sauce."

"And fanboys," Jasper smirks at Emmett, beating him to the inevitable punch. Even though, the three boys in the room know that Jasper is uncomfortable with the small amount of fame and notoriety he has gained since he joined a band with a regular gig on Beale Street. The sales of the first album Jasper recorded with them were so strong, Jasper had stopped showing up to school, while Edward finished the last semester of his senior year without the rugged blond around to ogle.

"How was work?" Edward attempts to diffuse the situation from going somewhere he doesn't like. Emmett has suspected Edward's feelings for Jasper for a while now, and likes to tease Edward about it as much as possible. With subtlety not Emmett's strong suit, it hurts Edward a little, to know that Jasper has certainly been able to figure out by now his feelings, yet has done nothing either to encourage or discourage them.

"Same shit different day," Emmett replies, not mincing words. "You have a gig tonight, Jazz?"

"Nope," Jasper starts to add something to his response, but he cuts himself off.

Emmett takes no notice, but Edward files it away in the back of his mind.

"Well, then you boys are coming with me to Millington."

"What's in Millington?" Jasper queries.

"Watching Emmett shove his tongue down Rosalie Hale's throat is what's in Millington," Edward makes no effort to hide his displeasure at the possibility.

Emmett ignores his younger brother's protest. "She's having a bonfire tonight. Alice, Jacob, Bella, and some of the other guys will be there."

"Sure, sounds like fun," Jasper responds. "Ed?" He looks over at Edward and for a moment lets down his guard, giving a silent plea with his expression.

"Yeah, I'm in," Edward responds, his heart rate picking up pace as his stomach begins to tie itself in knots.

"Aight," Emmett cuts in. Edward had forgotten his brother was still in the room. "Let me change and then we'll head out."

~*~*~*~

They sit around a blazing bonfire.

The Southern air is warm in the early October evening, the stifling humidity of summer still lingers in the atmosphere. The fire isn't built for warmth, and the group of friends keep their distance from it. As the sun sinks down below the horizon, their figures become dim to one another. In contrast, their laughter increases in voracity as more beer gets consumed and their inhibitions lowered.

Edward uses the darkness to hide. He's never been one to be in the center of attention, but tonight he feels more like brooding than being social. He wonders how much longer he can handle his unrequited attraction to Jasper before he combusts like the fire before him. He closes his eyes and listens to the crackling and popping sounds it makes, leaning in to feel the unneeded warmth cross his face.

His eyes snap open at the sound of raucous laughter. Emmett is making a fool of himself, as usual, but Edward isn't in the mood to take the bait. Eventually, everyone is sufficiently distracted, and Edward is surprised when a body plunks down into the plastic chair beside him.

It's Jasper.

"Nice night," Jasper greets.

"Yeah, we could never have done this is Chicago this time of year without getting too cold."

"You don't look like you're having a good time," Jasper cuts to the chase. Edward is grateful. There are some people with whom he feels the need to put up a fa├žade. Luckily, Jasper has a way of coaxing his true self out of him.

"Just not feeling it, I guess," Edward shrugs, because he really can't explain why he feels so disconnected.

Before Jasper can respond, a spark leaps out of the fire and laps at Jasper's boot. He grumbles, and Edward suggests they move their chairs back. Without waiting for a response, Edward does so and Jasper follows, settling his own chair down a lot closer to Edward's than it had been previously. In fact, their knees occasionally brush together, and Edward can feel a spark of electricity shoot through his body upon each point of contact. Even as their knees separate, he can still feel the tingling sensation of being so close to Jasper.

Jasper doesn't pry into Edward's emotional state any further, instead trying to change the topic of conversation to draw him out.

"So, how's school going? I haven't heard you talk about it much lately."

"Oh," Edward starts. Jasper finished his G.E.D. this summer, but Edward wonders how much detail he should go into about his classes and the workload when the object of his affection lives such a different lifestyle. "Classes are fine, I think. I'm still trying to adjust to all the work. Sometimes my Calc homework takes me a whole night to finish."

Jasper hums in acknowledgment.

"Still going Pre-Med?"

"For now, I think. I might change my mind once I have to start doing all the lab work."

"I'm just amazed you can do that," Jasper muses quietly. For a second, Edward isn't sure that Jasper is addressing him.

"Do what? It's just school."

"Yeah, I know," Jasper chuckles. "The discipline that it takes. The schedule you have to keep. I couldn't even stay awake to pay attention to classes in high school. I mean, if I didn't have any interest in what was being taught, I just had absolutely no motivation to try."

Edward laughs at the admission, not because it's funny, but he doesn't know how else to respond. School has always come so easy for him, he can't imagine not paying attention in class.

"I guess I just have some innate sense of obligation to go to class and pay attention. I genuinely like learning new things, regardless of the subject."

"I'd love to go to college sometime," Jasper's admission surprises Edward. "For music composition or production or something, but I just don't think I have the attention span for it now. I just- I really admire you for it."

Edward's blush is hidden by the darkness of night, and he modestly pushes the attention away from himself.

"You admire me? You're one of the youngest musicians playing on Beale. You're making a living playing music. I can't even imagine what it feels like to play on the same street as B.B. King. Muddy Waters played where you play," the passion in Edward's voice isn't jealousy but pure awe.

"Sometimes I don't believe it myself," Jasper solemnly replies with a shake of his golden curls.

A silence falls over the two boys as they think about the uncertainty of their futures. This time their knees brush together, but neither makes a move to end the connection. Then Edward feels the hazel gaze upon him, and he turns his head away from where he had been staring at the flickering fire to meet it. His heart leaps like a flame itself when suddenly Jasper's hand is resting on his knee.

"Is this okay?" Jasper whispers, one of the rare times his voice betrays any vulnerability.

"Yes," Edward hisses as he places his own hand over it, lacing their fingers together, perceptive enough not to miss Jasper's contented sigh.

"Dude!" Emmett's voice cuts through the pleasant moment. "There's no way you can jump over the fire."

"Like Hell I can't!" Jacob replies.

Edward groans. He doesn't want to be around their drunken antics or any subsequent trips to the emergency room, but there is no stopping Emmett once he gets an idea in his head. Emmett orders Edward and Jasper to get back, as they are sitting in the landing area of what is sure to be a stupid stunt.

Edward takes the opportunity to take his leave.

"Actually, I have to work tomorrow, I think I'll head home," Edward hopes that his readings of Jasper's body language are correct and that Jasper will follow him.

"Yeah, I need to be up early tomorrow, too. You mind if I get a ride?" Jasper speaks loudly enough for the group to hear his casual tone, but under the flickering light of the fire, Edward can see that his eyes are burning with desire.

"Sure," he squeaks out.

They both thank Rosalie for the get together and wish their friends 'Good night.'

The ride back to Edward's apartment is quiet. Jasper fiddles with Edward's ipod from the passenger seat, finally settling on the wailing guitar of Jimi Hendrix. He fidgets. Two years of acute observation have made Edward adept in the body language of Jasper Whitlock, so he puts Jasper out of his misery.

"I don't care if you smoke in here. Just open the window."

Jasper exhales swiftly and grunts a 'Thank you' to Edward. His body relaxes as he lights up his Parliament. Edward cannot help but glance out of the corner of his eye the way the smoke unfurls from his lips in twisting patterns.

Edward never asks Jasper whether or not he wants to come home with him instead of being dropped off at his own apartment in Midtown, but Jasper never directs him that way. So, Edward holds a private victory dance in his head when he pulls into his apartment complex and Jasper follows him wordlessly up the stairs.

~*~*~*~

Suddenly, he's straddling Jasper's lap on the couch.

Edward wasn't entirely sure how they got into this position. They had settled onto the couch when they arrived, sitting closer than was acceptable between just friends. One of them had made a move and before Edward knew it, those beautiful pouting lips had been on his, and Edward finally learned that Jasper Whitlock tastes like cigarettes and mint. It's delicious and Edward doesn't want to let that taste go.

When the thought of release rears its head and kissing becomes not enough, Edward has changed their positioning, a move against which Jasper was not about to object.

Edward rubs himself shamelessly on Jasper, as the guitar player's strong hands leave their hold in Edward's hair and move to cup his ass. Jasper's fingertips knead Edward's flesh as they aid in pulling him forward with every thrust.

Before he bursts, Edward stops his ministrations and pulls away slightly from the blond. The hazel eyes are smoldering yet again, and Edward's heart catches in his throat. Want is the only thing on his mind as he wordlessly puts his feet on the floor and stands. He stretches his hand out to Jasper who grabs it immediately and allows himself to be pulled up. His strong grip squeezes Edward's hand gently as he trails behind him toward his bedroom.

Then, there are lips and teeth and caresses as clothing is shed in a fury. The pace is soon contrasted by the sorrowful voice of Jeff Buckley permeating the air. The slow, languid beats of the music provide a sensual rhythm as each boy explores the body of the other.

Edward writhes below Jasper, bringing his legs to wrap around the blond's hard body, driving him in deeper with each thrust. They are sweat-slicked and panting, but it's still not enough. Edward gathers the strength to flip them over and he straddles Jasper once again. This time he places a knee on either side of Jasper's hips, and moves to raise and lower his body onto Jasper's hardness. It's only after he wraps his arms around Jasper's neck and their chests press together that he feels their connection is close enough.

They achieve climax in succession.

The explosion of climbing to the apex of pleasure is so strong that both boys have tears streaming down their faces.

Jasper grows unable to hold himself upright and removes himself from Edward's body as he slides down to lie prone. Edward tucks himself in against Jasper's side, resting his head on the blond's shoulder. He sighs contentedly as Jasper ghosts the fingers of his left hand along his back. The calloused fingertips blaze a trail on Edward's bare skin. Years of guitar-playing have left them so rough, Jasper could probably hold a flame to them and have it go unnoticed. Yet, as they trace patterns on Edward's skin, the touch is surprisingly soft and gentle.

Eventually Jasper's arm begins to fall asleep and he has to gently shift their position, causing Edward to pull himself out of his daydreaming.

"You mind if I smoke?" Jasper questions, always polite enough to ask.

"No, no," Edward scrambles off the bed to find something suitable for an ashtray, eventually settling on a coffee mug that had been resting on his desk, having not yet made its way into the dishwasher.

The blond sits upright now, kicking his long legs out as they stretch down the length of the bed. His left arm is bent behind his head cradling it from having to rest against the wall. His right hand holds onto the paper cylinder filled with tobacco. Between drags Jasper rolls the filtered end between his fingers. Edward eyes the cigarette with envy, knowing now how skilled those fingers are.

"I'm leaving tomorrow," Jasper's voice is silky but hushed, but to Edward it is as if the words were shouted, jarring him from the blissful cloud he had been riding, shattering the illusion that this could ever be something more.

"Oh," was all Edward could muster without his voice wavering.

"It's not a long tour. I'll be back before you know it, darlin'," Jasper whispers as if sensing the heartbreak in Edward's short incantation.

Edward doesn't respond. His exhaustion overtakes the crushing feeling in his heart.

They both fall asleep, tangled together.

~*~*~*~

All too soon the sun peaks through the blinds of Edward's room as morning makes its presence known.

No promises are made. No declarations of feelings are given. No admissions of longing or any indication that their joint company will be missed.

Just a simple kiss on the doorstep of Edward's apartment.

Edward suppresses a sigh as the guitar player disappears down the stairs without a look back.

A man like Jasper Whitlock was a man you couldn't capture. Any time you could pin him down, you had to take what you got and enjoy it, because Jasper's talent made him a gift too great for one man to keep himself.

But, Edward knew it would be a long while before he could, if ever, forget the feel of those skillful fingertips against his skin and the way the smoke curled away from those perfect lips.

~*~fin~*~