Disclaimer: S. Myer owns all, but what I wouldn't give for a Jasper of my very own-sigh.

A/N- Interesting story about this one-shot. Domward's Mistress and I were talking and she told me about this idea she had. She wanted a fic where Edward was a bit obsessed with Jasper. Then she said "go write it for me."

What did I do? I wrote it for her. I took her obsessed Edward and ran with him.

Warning: Dark themes

Massive thanks to Christie for her awesomely quick turn around on this bad boy.

"**~~**"

Edward pov

Nude.

He always slept in the nude.

On his stomach in the nude.

His sleeping arrangements varied only depending on the weather. On colder nights, he slept peacefully under a navy blue down blanket with each square puffed to the maximum with feathers. On warmer nights, like last night, he slept with only a sheet.

I loved the way it twisted around his lean form.

Both arms folded under his white pillow, his head turned to his left, his hair fell over his eyes and cheeks, partially obstructing the view of his face. As his back rose with each sleepy breath, his lips curled into a small smile as the daylight coaxed him out of the slumber he was in. His tan skin looked even darker in the dim early morning light, the muscles in his back occasionally twitching as his mind traveled through the remnants of his dream.

The sheet always seemed to gather around his hips no matter how much or how little he had tossed throughout the night. Bunches of white Egyptian material hid his ass, the swell of it teasingly just under the sheet begging to be groped and fucked. Long legs with a light coating of blond hair and well developed calves led to his bare feet that usually stuck out from the bottom of the sheet.

Before Jasper's eyes even opened, his body stretched, pushing away the drowsiness and gradually becoming more alert. Jasper was never one to bound out of bed within seconds of waking; he always took a few minutes to acquaint himself with the new day. Though, he never once used an alarm, his body seemingly had an internal one that allowed him to wake up at almost the same time every day. There was no snooze button to hit, instead, Jasper would gradually open his eyes and grace his lover with a smile.

Once he had woken, he rolled onto his side, leaned in and kissed his lover. Not deep, not passionate, just a sweet, chaste kiss. He mumbled 'good morning' before flopping onto his back and arching, stretching one more time from his fingertips to his toes. It was in this position that his morning erection was easily seen pressing against the sheet. Some days when neither one was required to be anywhere, Jasper's erection would be sucked until it erupted in long bursts of his hot milky cum, filling his lover's mouth. Really lazy mornings would end with one writhing under the other, their tongues tasting each other, drops of sweat rolling down Jasper's shoulders as he pushed into his lover with a deep grunt of satisfaction. Moans and terms of endearment spoken in husky voices filled the quiet room as climaxes neared. Hips thrusting, hands stroking, lips kissing and sucking and licking as his lover's fingers gently pushed dampened locks of hair out of Jasper's face.

Piercing blue eyes were hooded with lust laden lids as Jasper sucked his bottom lip in between his teeth, telling his lover his was close to coming. The non-rhythmic bucking of Jasper's hips was closely followed by a groan as he came, pushing and grunting as his orgasm traveled throughout his body. His stomach muscles clenching with each wave before Jasper's entire body shuddered and he fell onto his lover, panting heavily. His lover planted tender kisses on his shoulder as he continued to thrust his hips up, seeking the friction necessary to reach his own climax. Realizing this, Jasper pushed up onto his knees, still deep inside his lover as he removed his lover's hand and replaced it with his own as he whispered dirty words of desire.

"Come for me, baby. You like it when I fuck you hard like that, don't you?"

Jasper's lover smiled and replied with a 'fuck yeah' as the sensation started building in his balls and quickly spread throughout him until his cock was pulsing in Jasper's tight grip. With his head thrown back, his lover came, crying out Jasper's name as his fluid jettisoned from his throbbing cock.

After a few minutes of cuddling, Jasper swung his legs over the side of the bed. His bare feet padded across the hardwood floor as he walked to his bathroom and started the hot water in his shower. Under the spray, he washed his hair first, letting the shampoo sit while he used bodywash and lathered up his body. Sometimes his lover would watch from the doorway, leaning against it naked as Jasper's hands traveled over his own body, making it soapy and slick. Often this sight aroused his lover so much that he would find himself opening the shower door and joining Jasper in the steamy enclosure.

When he was done rinsing the soap and shampoo, he got out and dried off with a fluffy towel. He always started with his face, then continued over his shoulders, down his arms before moving onto his chest, legs, and finally, his back. Bringing the towel up to his head, he rubbed his hair quickly, gathering the excess moisture from the blond waves.

Naked, he brushed his teeth, always with his green toothbrush kept in the black holder on the left side of his sink. As he looked in the mirror, he moved the brush around his mouth several times before he spit the mint toothpaste into the white porcelain sink. Grabbing the black cup off the marble counter, he filled it with water and rinsed his mouth out. He shaved next, dragging the razor along the scruff with clean precise strokes before banging it against the sink's edge and dipping it under the water.

Drying his face off with a small towel, he turned and headed back into the bedroom where he wrapped his arms around his lover, pulling him back and kissing the nape of his neck. Laughs broke out as the lover pulled away, claiming he was going to be late for work. Jasper sighed and went to his drawer to pull out a pair of C-in2, his favorite underwear, before going to his closet and picking out his suit for the day.

The navy suit was his favorite, his lover always saying how it brought out the aqua in Jasper's eyes. He reached for the charcoal gray one, tossed it on his bed and then grabbed a white dress shirt and silky tie with thin black lines on it. Slipping his arms through the sleeves, he buttoned the shirt and put the pants on, tucking in the shirt before doing them up. His lover finished dressing and offered to go get the coffee started, knowing Jasper wanted his caffeine fix before heading for work. Jasper tossed the tie over his neck, his nimble fingers quickly slipping it into a knot. He grabbed a pair of thin gray socks, put them on and pushed his feet into his black loafers by the door. Pulling the suit jacket off the hanger, he put it on and with one last look in the mirror over the maple dresser, he headed to the kitchen where he found his lover leaning against the counter with a bagel in his hand.

On the table sat the daily newspaper next to a warmed muffin and steaming mug of coffee. Jasper gave him a quick kiss of thanks before sitting down and scanning the paper while he sipped the coffee. His lover sat next to him and they chatted about the upcoming day and their plans for that night.

It was a special day.

It was Jasper's birthday.

With one final glance at the time, Jasper grabbed his briefcase and thermos full of the coffee his lover had made for him. The door opened and Jasper stepped out into the daylight, the sun beaming down on him, his curls becoming a halo of angelic warmth around his head. A hand reached for his shoulder and spun him around. Grinning, Jasper turned and willingly entered the open arms of his lover, Jasper's mouth already opening as their lips met in their goodbye. Strong hands weaved through the thick curls, fisting at the back of Jasper's head to keep him fused to him as they continued their public display of affection. Pulling away, their lips met briefly a few times before Jasper murmured he was going to be late and he would see him later at dinner.

Turning away, I doubled over, the nausea hit me hard and fast just like it did every morning. Using the tree's thick trunk for support, I dry heaved, my stomach forcing its non-existent contents back up. I had learned weeks ago to not eat breakfast because I was tired of throwing up eggs and bacon all over the grass outside of Jasper's house.

I barely had enough time to duck out of sight just as Jasper's Mercedes drove past me. Gasping for breath, I leaned back, resting my head against the bark while I waited for the feeling to pass.

I hadn't actually seen what had happened inside the quaint two story cottage, but I didn't need to see it.

I had already lived it.

I already knew every detail.

A year ago, it was me that Jasper smiled at when he woke up, that writhed under him as he thrust into my ass, that watched him shower, that made him breakfast…that kissed him goodbye and wished him a happy birthday.

It should still be me.

His life had seeped into mine-his laugh, his smile, his breath-slowly weaving itself around every part of my being. Since I had first laid eyes on him, breathed him in, he became my forever love.

As the nausea finally began to ease, I stood and with one last look at Jasper's house, and headed for my car around the corner. I smiled at the group of kids that were walking to school, laughing and gossiping with each other. I stopped to say hello to Aro, Jasper's elderly neighbor. We chatted about the heat wave we were having as he trimmed his rosebush. He asked why the extra big smile that day, I told him it was Jasper's birthday, and about our plans that night. With a sparkle in his eye, he told me to have a good time and wish Jasper a happy birthday for him.

Around the corner, I climbed into my Volvo and started it up as I grabbed my cell phone from my pocket. Pulling out of the space, I dialed the florist to confirm the flower arrangement delivery to Jasper's office later that morning at 10:17am.

Exactly the time Jasper was born twenty four years ago.

Once I was assured by the florist that the delivery would in fact be on time, I hung up and called the jewelry store to make sure Jasper's gift was ready to go as well. I wanted the day to be perfect, he deserved the best. After a final stop at the art supply store, I finally pulled into my driveway with the entire day ahead of me to prepare for Jasper's birthday dinner.

I locked the car and headed up the walkway to my house, unlocked the door and headed inside. The house was spacious, an open loft concept with sparse furnishings. Honestly, I needed nothing more than a bed, couch, stereo and my most prized possession.

My piano.

Sitting grand and proud in the center of my living room, it overlooked the sliding door that led out onto my patio. When I sat at it, I could watch the snow fall, the rain run off the roof or the sun reflect off the patio chairs. I had been known to sit there playing and writing and staring out that window from morning until night.

I remembered the first time I had told Jasper that, he questioned how I could spend a week day at the piano, and asked: 'what about work?'. I gave him a crooked smile and replied with 'what work.' That prompted a difficult discussion on my parents and their deaths.

It had happened right before my tenth birthday. My father was a well respected head of pediatrics at Seattle Grace. There had been a celebration party for the new wing that had been built and my mother and father had gone to the black tie affair. All night they had danced, celebrated and shook hands with colleagues. About midnight, my dad had led my mother to their black Mercedes, his hand on her lower back as she laughed a corny joke he had told her. They climbed in the car, held hands over the center console and began the thirty minute ride home.

Home to me.

But they never made it.

About ten minutes after getting onto the highway, they were hit head on by a drunk driver. He had had a fight with his wife and had gone to a local bar. After drowning his woes in whiskey and tequila, he had called his wife and said he was sorry and was coming home.

He never made it home either.

He ended up on the pavement after being thrown through the windshield of his car, landing twenty feet away, brain matter leaking from the large crack in his skull.

The next morning I had woken up to the crying of my nanny. I had climbed out of bed and found her in the living room, her hands in her hair as she rocked back and forth on the couch repeating the same phrase.

"The poor boy, the poor boy, the poor boy…."

Over and over the words spilled from her.

When I yawned, she had heard me and looked up. It was then that I knew something was horribly wrong. The tears streaked her face, her eyes were swollen from hours of crying. Immediately, she opened her arms, inviting me in. As she clutched me to her, her hand patting my hair, she told me my parents were gone.

I didn't understand the magnitude of what had happened. At least not until my things were packed and I was shipped off to Chicago to live with my aunt and uncle. They were nice enough, but they weren't my parents. They didn't understand the nightmares, the fear of being left alone again.

Of not being loved.

Of those you love being taken away from you.

After high school, I found out my parents had left me everything. As soon as I turned eighteen, I had inherited their house and several life insurance polices, more than enough for me to live comfortably without ever having to work. So I moved back to my parent's house in Washington. I attended college and got my degree in music.

Jasper consoled me that night, his arms wrapped tightly around me as I wept into his shirt, inhaling his scent with each gasp of my breath. When I felt his lips against my neck in a kiss of support and sympathy, I turned my head slightly, returning his kiss with one of my own along his jaw until I reached his mouth. That was the first night we had spent together. Fully clothed, he slept in my bed behind me, his body fitting perfectly with mine as I fell asleep safe in his warm embrace.

I tossed my keys on the table by the door and walked to the kitchen to grab a bottle of water before working more on my project. Gathering the sketches that lay on top of my piano, I walked over to the wall by the fireplace. Using the pile of pushpins already on the mantel, I chose the top paper from the stack and placed it in the empty space below where I had left off yesterday.

It was one of my favorite sketches. Jasper lying on his stomach on his bed with his sheet twisted around his waist.

I moved to the next spot and took the next picture to hang.

Another favorite. Jasper walking into his office. I admired the way the cut of his suit flattered his tall body.

Beside that one I hung the one of him jogging last Sunday morning. It had been cold that day, but he was still dressed in shorts, long legs striding down the sidewalk as he kept a five minute mile pace.

On top of that one, I placed one that made me sigh. Jasper was out by his pool, dressed in nothing but a bathing suit. He was smiling.

He has such a beautiful smile.

I hung the remaining three sketches. One for each day that week.

Stepping back, I admired my work. Looked damn good, if I did say so myself. There was no doubt I had a talent. I had often been encouraged to major in art, and had taken several classes at college.

Although, I hadn't needed them. It was a natural skill that let me capture the beauty of my love. Every night, I sat in bed and sketched Jasper. Graphite pencils were my favorite, but I had explored other mediums as well. I even had a few oil paintings of him on the walls in my bedroom. I never lacked inspiration, for he was my muse. Even his smallest movements were full of grace and elegance and spoke to me in ways nothing else ever had.

His movements told me to capture them, those fleeting moments that might not happen again. You never know when it will be taken from you.

When these moments struck me, I would be forced to grab my pencils and paper. Sitting in the middle of my bed, I would be curled over the pad in my lap as my hand moved furiously over the textured paper, sometimes simply not fast enough for my liking as I tried to transfer the image in my head down onto the paper. For hours on end I would draw, stopping only to push my wild hair out of my eyes so I could see him more clearly. Glancing occasionally at the pictures of Jasper on my walls before deciding what needed changing.

More details on his hair.

Smudging his lips.

Shading the skin of his neck.

Each piece got the respect and attention to detail they deserved.

Jasper deserved nothing less.

When a piece was done, it was added to my pile and I moved on to the next. I averaged about one a night and had almost accomplished my goal of covering ever inch of every wall in my house with his likeness.

There had never been a more beautiful decoration.

After hanging the drawings, I sat at the piano, filling the air with all of Jasper's favorites. The low, dense notes of Moonlight Sonata floated around me. As my fingers moved over the keys, I could practically feel Jasper's hands on my shoulders while I played, his breath grazing my ear as he expressed his awe at my talent. Closing my eyes, my fingers guided themselves over the ivory keys and with each note I felt the ache in my chest lighten a bit. With each note, I felt his presence a bit more.

No longer behind me, he had moved to sit next to me, his hand on my thigh as he watched my hands in amazement.

My body swayed back and forth as I seamlessly merged into Fur Elise.

I remembered the first night he had come up to my place after a date and saw the piano. Curious, he asked if I played. Shyly, I had answered yes and he asked me to play something for him. Sitting on the couch watching me, I think he had expected a novice, someone that just played for fun at holiday parties.

What he heard made his jaw drop as he moved to the edge of the couch and leaned forward. His eyes never left my hands.

As I played Moonlight Sonata for him for the first time, I concentrated on the keys before me, closing out everything around me as I so often did when I played, nothing else existed; it was just me and the music. No memories of my parent's death, no ghosts of my lost childhood haunting me. Only when he stood and walked over the piano, leaning a hip against it while he watched me, did I remember he was there.

After I had finished, I hesitated before looking at him. Apprehensively, I bit my lip and glanced up. One tear rolled down his face as he exhaled before speaking. "That was the most beautiful thing I've ever heard."

He had proceeded to tell me how brilliant and talented I was, certainly a prodigy or genius. Scarlet colored my cheeks as I looked away. Embarrassed at his compliment, I laughed and denied I was a prodigy, it was just an inherited talent and many hours of practice.

He had sat down next to me, and with pleading eyes, asked me to play more. 'More Beethoven?' I had asked. He replied with 'whatever you want.'

When the airy, flowing notes of Fur Elise started, he smiled, recognizing the piece right away. Proudly, he stated he knew the piece and I just smiled, letting my finger strokes on the keys speak for me. After that day it became a ritual, every time he was over for dinner, he would sit on the couch and listen to me play various pieces. Some nights I played the more somber pieces of Mozart and Beethoven, other nights were filled with lighter, current music.

He was awed by them all. For hours, he would watch me, sometimes moving to join me on the bench. Afterward in bed, he would tell me what it was like to watch me play. How lost in the music I got, how my face looked with my brows creased, my lips pursed in concentration. All things I never would have realized if he hadn't seen them.

I loved how I looked through his eyes.

Realizing it must be getting late, I checked the time and smiled when I saw it was 10:25am. Jasper should have received his flowers. Grabbing my phone, I hit the speed dial for Jasper and waited anxiously for him to answer, but was disappointed when his voicemail picked up. I was momentarily distracted by his voice, hearing his own name flow from him in velvety syllables. Quickly, I thought of a message to leave and cleared my throat before speaking.

"Hello, Jasper. I just wanted to see if you got the flowers. I ordered all your favorites. I hope your birthday is all you deserve and more. I love you. Call me."

Satisfied with how everything was proceeding, I decided to have a little something to eat, although I wanted to save my appetite for dinner that night. In my kitchen, I opened and closed several cupboards full of food.

It was difficult decision. I wanted something that would satisfy the palate, yet not fill me up. Scanning the contents of my kitchen I saw cans and packages, all things Jasper preferred to eat. Not quite feeling hungry enough for something heavy, I opened my refrigerator and spotted the package of strawberries.

I had never been a fan of strawberries as a child, they were a bit too sweet for my liking. However, on my fifth date with Jasper, we had stopped at the market after dinner to pick up a desert to have at his place. Standing next to him in the produce isle as he looked over the options, I tentatively reached out and took his hand in mine, weaving my fingers with his. It was our first public display of affection and I had no idea how he would react, if he would welcome it or balk and pull away.

When I felt his grip tighten around mine, my heart skipped a beat and I couldn't help but grin. Even though he was still studying the fruit before us, he had acknowledged my affection. Holding hands, we wandered up and down the isles. I never wanted the feeling to end. I loved showing the world the beautiful man beside me was mine.

"Strawberries!" he finally exclaimed. Picking out a package with ripe berries, he then grabbed some chocolate morsels to melt. After checking out, we headed back to his house, holding hands the entire time. At his place, he melted the chocolate to a smooth brown and then dipped the strawberries gently into it.

While we waited for them to chill, we sat on his couch telling stories of our youth. When the chocolate had hardened, he brought the tray over to us. Long fingers held the strawberry to my mouth. My eyes never leaving his, I took a bite and moaned at the decadent taste.

"Can I have a taste too?" he had asked. I nodded and he leaned in, his lips meeting mine. An hour later, the strawberries long forgotten, our shirts were shed and his lips were no longer on mine.

They were around my cock as his head bobbed up and down it.

Sighing at the memory seeing strawberries never failed to bring back to me; I pulled them out and turned on a pan for melting chocolate. As soon as the chocolate was melted, I dipped a handful of strawberries and set them to cool while I went back to the piano.

After finishing the sonata for the third time, I opened my leather journal and marked my place with a pencil. Reading the notes already written there, I played until I reached the end, then I paused before jotting down a few more and playing those. Within an hour, I had added three more lines to the original piece.

I had originally hoped to have it completed for his birthday, but I had fallen behind and was only about half done.

Perhaps it would suffice as a Christmas present.

Once the strawberries were cool enough, I sat on the couch and savored the sweetness of each one. By the time I reached the last one, I could almost feel Jasper sitting next to me enjoying them along with me.

When I looked up and saw the sun getting lower on the horizon, I checked the time and realized it was time to get ready for dinner. Eagerly, I went to my bedroom and stripped off my clothes. Naked, I went to my closet and picked out Jasper's favorite suit. He loved the gray pinstripe on me, and had told me it was beautiful against my copper hair. I pulled out a solid gray shirt and tie to match before going to my dresser for socks and briefs and laying them all on my bed. Satisfied at my choice, I headed for the bathroom and turned on the shower. As steam began to fill the room, I stepped inside and wet my hair. Squeezing Jasper's favorite honey shampoo into my hand, I lathered my hair. After rinsing, I grabbed his favorite body wash scented with vanilla and proceeded to wash my body. With deep breaths, I inhaled his scent around me. Not his earthly, unique Jasper scent, but the perfumed mask he wore every day for those around him. Honey and vanilla floated around me, the steam intensifying the scents as it carried them on the droplets of water.

Turning off the water, I grabbed a towel from the rack and went to the vanity to shave, using a shaving cream that he recommended. After shaving, I brushed my teeth and slapped Tom Ford's Black Orchid on. It was Jasper's favorite because he loved the masculine, sexy, but not overpowering, scent of it.

Back in my bedroom, I started getting dressed, my heart beating with excitement. Taking care with each item, I made sure everything was in place and perfect before grabbing my wallet and keys. I left with time to spare.

The jeweler had Jasper's gift boxed and ready to go, but of course I requested to view it and make sure it was exactly as I had ordered. Proudly, I examined it before letting him box it again. After paying with my credit card, I headed for my car with the final destination of dinner at the Canlis Restaurant.

The entire way there, my heart raced with the thought of seeing Jasper again. It had been far too long since I had talked to him in person. He had been so busy with work that it left him little time for calls or dates with me. Briefly, I wondered what suit he would be wearing, and hoped he had remembered to wear my favorite color.

Pulling up in front of the restaurant, the valet opened my door and took my car. When I entered the restaurant, I was greeted and immediately felt the warmth from the stone fireplace near the door, its flames reflected in the glass encased artwork spread throughout the lobby. The entire place exuded a perfect blend of casual elegance. I acknowledged the matre' d and gave him my reservation for two. He showed me to my table, handed me a menu and laid the other on the table for my guest. As I sat, I checked my watch. I wasn't late, but I was surprised that Jasper hadn't arrived yet.

Then I heard it.

A laughter above all else. Joyous, full, and warm.

Looking around the room, I quickly found the owner and was instantly mesmerized.

He had worn the suit.

The navy Armani that flattered him so well.

Sitting at a table a short distance away, I could make out every feature, every detail that I knew so well. The suit was cut to fit his form perfectly and I chuckled when I saw my rebel had forgone a tie and instead had the top two buttons of his white shirt undone. He had always hated wearing a tie to work, it was always the first thing he did when he got home –take it off and tossed it anywhere but around his neck. His jacket was undone, the smooth material easily gliding over his wide shoulders and tapering a bit at his trim waist. It was harder to see his pants when he was sitting, but I knew them enough to know they showed off the delicious curves of his ass in an amazing way.

After I let my eyes roam down his body, I settled my gaze back on his face and sighed.

It truly was the face of an angel.

His blond hair was a perfect mixture of honey, wheat and caramel, each shade complimenting the other. Soft waves fell just below his ear and even though I was sure he had used product that morning, it was long gone and the waves had begun to have a mind of their own. A few times, he would have to push a few strands behind his ear or shake his head to remove them from his view. One of my favorite things to do had been to reach out and push those errant wisps from his face, allowing me to see him more clearly.

Some might have considered his skin pale, especially for a Texas-born boy, but compared to my alabaster color, he was tanned. The candlelit atmosphere gave his skin a deeper glow, with small facets almost sparkling in the glow. There was not one mar on him, each inch of that skin that I had tasted with my tongue and studied with my eyes was as perfect as the next.

Happily, I let my eyes settle on his lips. Both were full, but the bottom was a bit more plump than the top, not quite pouty, but he could work the pout when he needed to and whoever was on the receiving end of it was a sure goner. I could tell his mood entirely by his lips alone. Pursed meant he was upset, closed meant he was concentrating, slightly parted was relaxed and calm, the corners twitching meant he was trying to suppress a smile-usually at something foolish I had done-and then there was his smile.

It lit up the entire fucking world.

Wide and full and exposing brilliant white teeth, it led to deep dimples - which were usually accompanied by a blush when complimented on. His blush was one of my favorite things to witness. Often I would say things to him just to get that reaction from him. The faint pink covering his sculptured cheekbones gradually spread and deepened the longer I continued with the compliments. When this happened, he would often close his eyes and turn his head away from me, embarrassed.

His long, strong nose had never seen a fight. Jasper was a lover, not a fighter. Actually, that was a bit false. He had had his fair share of fights, as all gays did when they came out as teenagers, but Jasper's clever remarks and speed had usually had allowed him to get the jump on his opponent and he had rarely been hit.

Finally, I reached his eyes. Wide set with perfectly arched brows over them, they were the color of a stormy ocean. A dark ring of blue surrounded an aqua green iris with triangles of darker blue right around his pupil. On a sunny day, you might even be able to spot a few rare flecks of brown. They were bright and honest and true and never had there been a more beautiful pair. Framed in long, thick lashes that lay across his cheeks when his lids were closed, I think his eyes were truly the windows to his soul. While I could read his moods from his lips, I could hear his ideas by gazing into his eyes.

They told me so much more than his mood. It was like reading his thoughts before he expressed them to me. It had been those eyes that had told me something was horribly wrong that day he had come home early from work.

Shaking my head, I pushed the bad memories aside and forced myself to focus on the positive, the new beginning that was happening that night. It was his birthday and a reunion for us.

"Sir?"

I looked up at the person standing before me in his white shirt and bow tie, partially blocking the view of my angel.

"Yes?" I answered, unable to hide the annoyance in my voice.

"I asked if I could get you anything to drink while you are waiting for your guest?"

What did he mean? My guest had already arrived and was already sipping his red wine.

"I'll have whatever he is drinking," I replied, pointing to Jasper.

"Pinot Noir. A bottle or glass, sir?" He looked at me expectantly. I considered his question. A glass was more than enough for me, as I was driving, however Jasper was celebrating and he might want to indulge.

"Bottle, please." My mind jumped to the ways I might be able to take advantage of an intoxicated Jasper.

"Very well, sir," he finished before heading off to the bar. As soon as my view was clear again, my eyes fell back on Jasper. He was setting his glass on the table and tossing his head back in laughter again. As he fingered the stem of the wine glass, he looked across the table. Impatiently I checked my watch, wondering when he was going be joining me.

The waiter returned with my bottle of wine, and I leaned forward to look around him as he opened the bottle and poured a taste for me. Absently, I picked up the glass and took a sip, letting it coat my palate before swallowing. When I nodded my approval, he continued to pour my glass and left the bottle the table.

"Please let me know if there is anything else I can get you," he smiled before walking off. Peeling my eyes from Jasper, I finally attempted to study the menu before me, but I kept sneaking glances at Jasper.

His smile.

His brightly lit eyes.

I had always been intimidated by his beauty, as his looks far surpassed mine. I had certainly had my share of admirers of both sexes, and was often complimented on my eyes and hair, two outstanding features. But while I had two features that were unique, Jasper had many, each outstanding in their own right but working together to make up an image of pure heaven.

Frowning, I watched as he continued to smile and laugh and talk. Frustrated when his waiter blocked my view, I took one last gulp of my wine and stood. Making sure his present was still in my pocket, I walked toward him. As each step brought me closer, his magical aura reached out and grabbed me, practically yanking me to his side. As I neared, and saw him more clearly, my heart skipped a beat.

He was so close.

I could smell his cologne.

I could smell his honey shampoo and vanilla body wash.

I could hear the vague drawl in his husky voice.

I could see those stormy eyes.

Suddenly, they were staring at me as I approached, watching me intently, curiously.

"Hello, Jasper," I smiled, completely enraptured by him as he looked up at me.

"Edward," he greeted with pleasant smile. "How have you been?"

"Very well, thank you." Things were going wonderfully. He glanced away from me, probably to get the waiter's attention to have our wine moved from the other table to our new one. He had already ordered us an appetizer, a small dish of Dungeness Crab Cake sat in front of him.

He motioned across our table with his hand. "Edward, this is my boyfriend, Jake. Jake, this is my friend Edward."

"I wanted to wish you a happy birthday," I kept my eyes on his, even when he blushed slightly and looked away. When I saw the frown on his face, I began to worry. What had I done wrong?

Quickly, I reached into my jacket, but Jasper stood up.

Perhaps he was joining me at the other table. Perhaps there had been confusion with the reservations.

Putting his napkin down on the table, he placed a hand on my arm, and I felt the heat of it through my jacket. " Let's go outside, shall we?"

With one last apologetic glance toward the other chair, he was leading me outside, his hand on my lower back to guide me, as if I would not willingly go with him. To be so close to him once again was literally taking my breath away, and I inhaled deeply as he pushed the door open for me and we stepped outside into the night air.

Immediately, he swung me around, a bit more forcefully than I remembered him being. "Edward, what the hell are you doing here?"

What did he mean what was I doing there?

Confused, I repeated myself. "It's your birthday."

He was so close to me.

Dropping his hand from my arm, he glanced nervously up and down the sidewalk, ensuring we were alone in our private conversation, other than uninterested valet workers gathered at the corner. I wanted to tell him that we needed to get back inside to finish the food he had ordered, but he seemed anxious and I wanted to calm him first.

"Did you receive the flowers I sent?" I grinned, hoping he would have noticed the exact time of their arrival.

"Yes, I did, they were beautiful, thank you. It was nice of you to remember, Edward. But what are you doing here at Canlis? Are you here with someone?"

Had he gotten hit on the head earlier in the day?

"I'm here for you." How could he not know that already?

He took a deep breath and out of the corner of my eye, I saw his hands flex a few times before he spoke again. "Edward, I'm here on a date."

With me.

"A date?" I asked completely confused.

"Yes, with my boyfriend…Jake."

Jake? Who the fuck was Jake?

"Now if you will excuse me, I am going to go back inside and finish my dinner." He began to walk around me, but I grabbed his hand.

"Wait," I had to stop him from leaving. "I wanted to give you this." I took the box out of my pocket and shoved it into his hand, the tears gathering in my eyes. "Happy birthday."

I waited patiently for him to open it but he just stared at it with a concerned look. "Edward-" he began but I cut him off.

"Please, open it."

"I need-"

"Please," I begged just as I felt the first tear fall down my cheek. He glanced uncertainly down at the blue box in his hand. When he looked back at me, his eyes had softened and held an emotion I hadn't witnessed in them before. Slowly, he opened the box and his eyes widened when he saw what was inside.

Inside the box nestled in gray velvet was a Movado Museum watch.

"It has a lizard skin band, gold plated stainless steal case, and Swiss automatic movement," I rattled off the features just in case he wasn't aware of the quality of a Movado.

I watched as his fingers reached out and felt the black band and traced the gold around the face. He seemed a bit shocked. "Edward, it's beautiful, but I can't accep-"

"Turn it over," I requested.

Looking up at me through his eyelashes, he considered for a second before pulling the watch from the box and turning it over.

My heart is yours forever and always

~Love, Edward

His lips pursed and my heart clenched.

I shifted back and forth before him as his thumb ran over the engraving and he bit his lip. Finally, he looked up at me with his beautiful eyes.

"It really is beautiful, Edward. And thank you, very much, but you need to go now." I started shaking my head, my thoughts all fighting to get out at once, so I spit out the first thing that occurred to me.

"I have wine inside, I need to pay," I argued.

"I will take care of your tab," he offered and before I could protest, he spoke again, "I'll call you tomorrow."

"Promise?" I asked, reaching for his hand again, flinching when he pulled it away before I touched him.

"Yes, I promise."

And with that one word, I had hope that he would come to his senses.

"I need to get back to my date. Thank you for the gift, Edward," he gave me a smile. It was small, and no dimples, but it was all for me. I wanted to feel his lips on mine, I wanted a birthday kiss but out on the street in front of the restaurant, I knew it was too much to ask. I had to be happy with what I had got.

He tucked the watch back into the box and turned around. As the doorman opened the door, Jasper glanced over his shoulder at me one more time, and his smile faded. I stood on the sidewalk watching his retreating form until he was swallowed by a sea of patrons and waiters. Once he was finally out of my sight, I walked over the window and looked inside, hoping the new angle would offer me a better view.

It didn't.

I turned around, shrugging off the sadness and replacing it with hope. He was going to call me. Motioning to the valet service, I gave them my name and they retrieved my car. Suddenly, I couldn't wait to get home. I weaved the Volvo down the streets of Seattle in far above legal speed, having confidence that if I had been pulled over, I was sure the officer would understand my need to get home quickly.

I had a sketch to do.

Bursting though my door, I tossed my keys down on the table and practically ran to my couch, not even taking off my jacket before I sat and grabbed my pencils and sketchpad. My hand moved frenziedly over the paper in such a pace it was almost a blur. Within minutes, the outline began to look like Jasper, his wavy hair and deep eyes already measured out as I began to add the details and shading.

Two hours later, I leaned back against the couch and stretched. My hands covered in lead from smudging and shading.

It was completed.

I smiled softly at the image I had drawn of my beautiful Jasper.

His head was thrown back in laughter, his dimples evident and his eyes excited.

It was one of my favorites yet.

Standing, I placed it gently on top of the piano to be hung the next day and headed into my bedroom to change. As I took the suit off, I carefully placed the jacket and pants back on the hanger and tossed the rest into my hamper. The cool breeze from my open window hit my naked heated skin and aroused me. Looking over at my bed, my eyes fell on the pillow next to mine and I immediately became partially erect.

With a grin on my face, I crawled up my bed to the pillow and turned it before leaning my face into it and inhaling deeply.

It smelled just like him.

Turning my face, I nuzzled the side of the pillow as I breathed the scent in deeply. The cotton of the tee shirt over the pillow was soft against my cheek and I closed my eyes and felt his hands tangling themselves in my hair. Moaning, I reached between my legs and stroked myself a few times. As soon as I had breathed in his scent, I had become hard as a rock. Lowering my hips a bit, I hissed when my cock came into contact with the abrasive material of his jeans. The friction felt delicious and I slowly rubbed myself against him. Letting go of my cock, I reached down and slid my hand up under his tee shirt and over the muscles of his abdomen. Feeling him tremble beneath me, I whispered into his ear.

"You like that, love? Like feeling me against you, wanting you?" I placed a kiss below his ear and then kissed my way along to his mouth where I let my tongue out to trace his succulent lips. I could still taste the wine from his dinner on them. Continuing to pull his shirt up, I exposed his nipples and kissed my way down to them before taking one in my mouth, sucking while I circled my tongue around it. I dropped my hips onto his and ground into him, his jeans scratching my sensitive skin. When I felt his hands slide down myback and heard his murmurs of desire, I smiled against his chest, and sat back on my heels. Tugging his tee shirt, I slid it over the top of him and began to unbutton his jeans as he squirmed eagerly below me.

"You want me to touch you?" He shook his head no, he wanted more… he wanted to fuck. "Mmm, yeah."

His jeans undone, I slipped my hand inside and palmed his cock, moving up and down at a teasing pace. More, he groaned, pushing up into me. I happily complied and pulled his pants down, tossing them to the floor. Watching him under me, I kneeled before him and stroked myself, hanging my head back and licking my lips. All the moves I knew that drove him wild with need. He needed me, he told me, and he needed to fuck me.

"I'm all yours, love," I rolled off him and onto my back, my arms reaching out and pulling him on top of me. Without his jeans, he felt soft against my bare skin and my hips bucked up into him. Reaching next to me, I grabbed the lube and coated his cock with it as he watched with passion in his eyes. Fuck, that felt good, he told me. Spreading my legs wide, he knelt between them. My lubed fingers readied myself, tracing my hole before I inserted a slick finger, slowly stretching myself. He watched, amazed, stroking his own cock as I added another finger to my first. Confident I was ready for his cock, I nodded up at him. "Fuck me, Jasper," I whispered. His breathing increased and dragged a finger over my balls to my hole, sliding it in and out a few times quickly before removing it and rubbing the head of his cock around my entrance. "Please," I moaned, "take me."

Reaching down between us, I grabbed him and guided him slowly into me. He felt a bit cold as I slid him in more before stopping to let my body adjust to the intrusion. The initial pain was only momentary before the burn eased and the pleasure took over as I continued to push him deeper until he was fully seated in me. With a loud groan, he collapsed on me, his scent once again surrounding me. Instinctively, my hips bucked up to meet his as he thrust in and out. Pressing my head back against the pillow, I moaned as his movement filled me, almost a vibration as his body shuddered with ecstasy.

Running my hands down his back, I whispered into his ear, "You feel so fucking good." I felt his smile as his lips took in the tender skin on my neck and sucked. When my hands reached his ass, I groped him and pressed him into me, feeling my cock throb between us. "Ugh…."

He felt so fucking incredible. Pushing up to him, he countered my movement with sensuous circles of his own, pulsing slick and hot inside me. My hand remained between us, sliding him in and out in a constant motion. Neglected, my cock seeped precum from its slit, the motion of us both spreading it over me, making my cock wet and slippery. He told me he was close, that he was going to fill me with his hot load. "Give it to me," I begged, "Cum for me." His rhythm no longer consistent, his hips began to thrust wildly as he neared his climax. As his teeth bit down on my shoulder, I reached next to me and grabbed his tee shirt, laying it over my face as I took deep breaths.

His scent filled my lungs while his cock filled my ass.

"Yeah, fuck me, love, fuck me hard," I groaned breathlessly as he furiously pounded into me. As my hips meet his, I pressed on his ass, and grinding up into him, my cock captured between our abdomens. Aching, I felt my balls tighten and the burn begin. "Oh fuck, Jasper, I'm coming," I cried out as my cock erupted between us. With a final grunt, he came in me, his cock shooting his cum deep inside me as my hole's spasms around him encouraged every last drop. Together, we rode the high of our orgasms, each of us moaning and sporadically twitching as our awareness gradually returned.

I exhaled and pushed his shirt off my face so I could look into the eyes of my lover. His cheek lay on my shoulder, a grin of utter satisfaction on his face as he chuckled and asked if it was good for me. "Fucking yes it was," I returned his chuckle. He rolled off me and lay still next to me, my cum still spread over his perfect skin. "Let's shower in the morning," I suggested and he nodded his agreement, ready for sleep. I grabbed a few tissues and wiped his stomach off, giggling as his body jumped when I hit his ticklish spots. Once he was clean, I gave him a long deep kiss, my tongue dragging across his lips before entering his mouth. Before I forgot, I leaned over to my table and checked the alarm times on my clock and cell phone. I also made sure it was on loud so I wouldn't miss any important phone calls in the early morning hours. Satisfied, I turned over and slid Jasper's back against me, my lips finding the back his neck as he spooned against me. I felt the soft cotton of his tee shirt again and realized he must have put it back on while I was checking the alarms. With my hand on his hip and my nose buried in his hair, I let sleep embrace me.

I woke the next morning to sunshine pouring in through my open shades as I stretched and adjusted the sheet that had wrapped itself around my hips. I panicked briefly before checking the time and realizing it was only six. I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw no missed calls on my cell or answering machine.

I hadn't missed Jasper's call. Deciding I better shower quickly, I jumped out of bed and bolted to the shower, grabbing my cell phone on the way. Not even taking the time to indulge in my usual ritual, I rushed through my shower and was out standing by the vanity checking my phone in less than ten minutes.

Still no call.

Relieved I hadn't missed his call, I shaved and brushed my teeth before heading back to my bedroom with my phone in hand. Deciding on clothes proved to be a difficult decision. If Jasper called and wanted to meet for coffee or lunch, I wanted to be able to leave at a moments notice and not have to change. But where would we go? Somewhere fancy or casual?

After scanning the contents of my drawers, I settled on a pair of khakis and polo shirt, figuring I could change into a dress shirt if I needed to. I laid one out on the bed just in case. I ate a bowl of cereal and melon for breakfast, something Jasper had gotten me hooked on, the bran of the cereal blended so well with the sweetness of the melon that no added sugar was necessary. I had definitely started eating better since we had begun dating. Glancing at my phone a few times while I ate, I checked to make sure I hadn't missed anything.

Emails, texts, calls.

It was only a bit after seven and knowing Jasper, he was barely up and in his shower. When I was done eating, I went to the piano and sat on the bench, my cell phone sitting on top of my journal. As soon as my fingers hit the first keys for Moonlight Sonata, the sound resonated through my place and I stopped.

It was awfully loud.

What if I was playing and couldn't hear the phone? Jasper had spoke of how lost in the music I tended to get, what if I was distracted by Beethoven too much to hear the phone ring? Deciding against playing, I closed the cover and headed for the couch. Plopping down on it, I put my feet up on my coffee table and grabbed the television remote.

But what if it the television was too loud?

I clicked a few buttons on the remote and flipped through a few channels, finally settling on the cooking channel as Jasper was always up for trying new foods. As the dialogue began to scroll across the bottom of the screen, I smiled at my ingeniousness…and then thanked the person that created Closed Caption.

Noon. Still no call. I had religiously checked every fifteen minutes just to be sure, and had even made a few test calls to be sure my phones were working correctly. When my stomach growled, I headed into the kitchen for lunch.

By three in the afternoon and a dozen new recipes later, I had changed from the cooking to the Travel Channel, figuring it would be a great idea to have a weekend getaway with Jasper soon. I watched an episode on bed and breakfast inns and jotted down a few possibilities, one being in Texas. Jasper would love to go back home again for a visit.

I stared at my phone for a minute before deciding to dive into the deep end and hitting a speed dial button.

"Whitlock Industries, how may I help you?" a pleasant voice greeted.

Clearing my throat, I asked, "Is Jasper Whitlock in today?"

"Yes he is, sir, he is in a meeting right now, would you like his voicemail?"

"No, thank you."

I hung up.

My stomach churned.

At five o'clock, I got up and stretched, moving around the house a bit. Keeping my phone in my pocket, I even ventured out onto my patio for a few minutes to soak up the sun but soon became anxious and went back inside. I did leave the door open to enjoy the warm breeze though.

Seven. Sighing as I watched the sun gradually set, I slowly ambled to the kitchen to get something for dinner, but as soon as I opened the refrigerator and saw the leftover chocolate strawberries, I felt nauseous and immediately closed it. With a hand over my mouth, I darted for my bathroom and knelt before my toilet just in time for my lunch to reappear. Heaving my stomach's contents, I felt my eyes tear up as my breathing became ragged. Finally, I leaned back against my tub and wiped my mouth with my hand while I caught my breath. Even though I had thrown up, my stomach still tossed with an anxiety I hadn't experienced in a long time.

Since the day….

I pushed my palms against my clenched eyes, forcing the bad memories away. It was different this time. We were different.

Weren't we?

I wasn't sure how long I sat there when I realized I had left my phone in the kitchen. Scrambling, I pulled myself up and ran to the kitchen, grabbing my phone off the counter.

No calls.

No texts.

Closing my eyes, I did something I rarely do.

I prayed.

Silently, I prayed for Jasper's safety, hoping nothing had happened to him. Back at my couch, I opened my laptop and checked the local news website to check for reported accidents during the rush hour commute. There were none. Closing the laptop, I leaned back against the couch and closed my eyes attempting tranquility to keep my heart from racing and my breath from quickening. If I didn't get control of myself soon, I would soon be in a full blown anxiety attack…and it would not have been my first.

I had had them occasionally since my parent's death, usually once or twice a year at most. As I grew older, and got a better handle on my nervousness, they became fewer and farther between. However, I had had a bad one about a month after Jasper and I had started dating.

Things had been going smoothly, we had been seeing each other at least three or four times a week and had even progressed to spending the night at each other's places on a few weekends. One weekend, we had made dinner reservations, and then the movies and dessert, which was hopefully my dick in Jasper's mouth back at his place.

After the movie, Jasper was driving us back to his place, his hand running up and down my thigh as he directed the car along the winding road. When he grazed my growing erection, I grabbed his hand, pressing it down on me harder and moaned loudly. Taking his attention off the road for a split second, he glanced over at me, his eyes falling right to my parted lips as I bucked my hips up into his hand. Without warning, headlights appeared directly in front of us, in our lane coming right at Jasper's car. I saw them and screamed, unable to even yell out a warning. Jasper's head whipped around and he grabbed the wheel with both hands, swerving and running us off the road onto a patch of grass.

We had almost been hit.

Killed.

Just like my parents.

As we sat there, Jasper shook his head and exhaled a few times before he looked over at me.

"You okay, Edward?" his voice was high and shaky.

I couldn't tell him no. I couldn't shake my head. I couldn't move any part of me. I was paralyzed with fear, only able to move my eyes and feel my chest heaving with each panting breath. His hand was on my shoulder shaking me as he kept calling my name.

I don't know how he knew but suddenly his panicked voice quieted and became soothing. Calmly, he spoke to me, repeating my name, instructing me to take deep breaths, and that we were okay.

Gradually, my heart slowed and my breathing returned to normal as I slowly regained control of my body and was able to turn my head toward him. The moonlight filled the car, the blue hue giving Jasper an ethereal quality. My angel was so beautiful.

He gave me a smile. "There's my boy. You okay, baby? You with me?"

Yes.

Not quite able to speak, I blinked a few times and nodded to let him know I could hear him. I realized he was holding my hand, his fingers clenching mine as his other hand cupped my cheek.

"You scared me, Edward," he leaned and brushed his lips across mine. "Let's go home," he released me and pulled back out onto the road.

With both hands on the wheel.

As I sat on the couch I felt my heart tighten, the beginnings of an attack squeezing every fiber and muscle. Before I reached the paralyzing fear, I closed my eyes and saw Jasper's face bathed in the blue glow of the moonlight, his soothing voice in my ear telling me everything was okay as his thumb stroked my cheek.

I exhaled deeply and felt my heart beat slow, but still solidly pounding in my chest. Opening my eyes, I saw the last rays of the sunlight out the window.

Ten.

I hadn't moved from the couch, the anxiety had continued to build but instead of threatening to take my breath away, I felt a sick pit in my stomach, waves of nausea constantly hitting me. The phone in my hand, I checked my voicemails and text messages.

Nothing.

Midnight. The day was officially over, it had come and gone with no phone call from Jasper. Wearily, I made my way to my bed and fell into it, not even bothering to brush my teeth or take my clothes off. Pushing the pillows off the other side of my bed, I curled up on my side and wrapped my arms around my stomach as the tears started to fall. My body convulsed with the sobs that attacked it, my shallow breath came in gasps as I tried to ward off the bad thoughts crawling their way into my mind.

"…this is my boyfriend, Jake…"

"Yes, my boyfriend, Jake…"

Boyfriend.

The word turned over and over in my mind like a cancer eating each cell and metastasizing until it was all consuming. The depression settled around me like a cloud of black ash, falling heavily over every inch. Suffocating, thick and black…darkening my world with each piece that covered my weeping soul.

He had a boyfriend.

And it wasn't me.

I don't remember falling asleep, or if I slept one hour or three days but I eventually woke up and saw daylight. Rolling over, I closed my eyes again, willing sleep to come again because at least while when I was sleeping, the pain was kept at bay. After tossing and turning for hours, I gave up and headed for my bathroom for help. Scouring through my medicine chest, I came across some pills a doctor had prescribed for me about six months prior to help me sleep after….

Popping off the cap, I took two and put them in my mouth as I grabbed a glass and filled it with water. I watched myself in the mirror as I swallowed the pills. My greasy hair, unshaven jaw, bloodshot eyes hovering over dark circles. The pills would make me feel better, take away the pain, the ache in my chest. Heal the hole gouged out by Jasper.

But the pills would only be a temporary salve on the open wound. Sure they might help me sleep, but eventually, I would wake up again and have to face yet another day of his rejection. But if I….

Opening the pills again, I poured the remaining ones into the palm of my hand, tossing them all into my mouth at once before taking one huge gulp of water to wash them down.

It would be worth it.

I was nothing without him.

There was no sense living.

Stumbling back to my room, I swayed in the hallway already beginning to feel a slight relaxation effect of the drugs. Barely making it back to my bed, I fell onto it and rolled onto my back. As I lay there for awhile and began to feel groggier, I realized I needed to hear him one last time. Blindly, I reached over to my table for my cell phone and attempted to focus enough to block my number before dialing his phone.

"Hello," his singsong voice answered.

"Jasper…." I sighed, my eyes drifting closed. "I'm…."

"Edward?" he asked, his voice beginning to sound a bit urgent.

I nodded, it was too difficult to speak, my mind to hazy to form coherent words. Forcing a momentary clarity, I barely whispered, "I'm sorry for everything…."

"Edward, what's wrong?"

"Save me, Jasper…." I dropped the phone as my eyes closed for the final time. As darkness settled around me, I welcomed it, thanked it for taking me away.

Banging. It was faint, but there was definite banging.

Voice. Louder than the banging, closer, but unintelligible.

"In here."

"Jesus, Felix, did you see those pictures?"

"BP sixty over forty. Pulse -."

"I'm calling it in. Twenty-five year old male, approximately one hundred eighty pounds, OD of unknown amount of Quazepam. BP sixty over forty, pulse thirty-five. Responsive to pain, pupils nonreactive, no evidence of vomiting."

I couldn't tell if there was one voice or two. There seemed to be cotton stuffed in my mouth and it made it very difficult to move my lips to attempt to speak. My head flopped to the side, and I swear I felt drool on my chin. Hands were on my arm, disconnecting it, then a dull pain down by my hand. Tugging on my other arm, pressure around it, squeezing it.

There were tearing me apart limb by limb.

It was not the rest I had been seeking.

I had thought Heaven would have been my final resting place, but the wrongs I had done had apparently led me to Hell. Mustering all my strength, I called out for the one person that could save me…my angel.

"Jasper…."

"Mr. Cullen?" I felt hands on my face.

Oh God, my head was next.

"Mr. Cullen, stay with us, we're taking you in. Mr. Cullen, can you hear me?"

More pulling and prodding. Why could my end not be a swift one?

It was an odd sensation, the floating. I had gone from darkness to light. Perhaps Jasper had heard me and was coming to guide me to the light.

Shaking, tilting, more floating. Static. Roaring.

"Mr. Cullen?"

Blackness.

"**~~**"

They were heavy. So fucking heavy. It seemed forever I tried to open them.

"Covering the entire house?"

"Yes, sir. Almost every wall. Sketches, pictures, paintings…all of the same person."

"Mr. Whitlock?"

"We think so."

"Violent?"

"Just the opposite, they were done with great care."

"He doesn't appear to pose a threat to Mr. Whitlock, but let's speak to him later. Perhaps he will have some insight to the patient."

Blackness.

My fingers twitched. I felt them. They were still attached. Hell hadn't taken my limbs after all. The light was much brighter.

I had made it to Heaven.

Slowly, I opened my eyes, afraid of what I might find. My entire body felt heavy and weak and a bit numb, but as my eyes focused, I saw my angel.

He was there. He had come.

Sitting in a spread of sunlight, his hair framed his face, his concerned, stormy eyes steadily fixed on me. I wanted to see him smile, see those dimples, but instead I saw a slight frown with furrowed brows. Leaning forward in the chair, his elbows on his knees with his hands clasped. He was wearing my favorite color.

When I concentrated and focused on his eyes, I saw the redness and dark circles. He was tired.

Gradually, I head noises around me.

Beeping. Doors closing, chattering, orders given.

Tearing my eyes from Jasper, I saw the ecru walls, the white blanket wrapped around me and the IV stand next to the bed I was in.

Slowly my mind began to make the connections.

EMS workers.

Ambulance.

Doctors.

Hospital.

Jasper had called them.

Weakly, I smiled at him, his response was somber, even a bit sad.

"I knew you'd save me. You are my guardian angel." It seemed to take me forever to speak the words, my voice low and gravely.

Shaking his head, he sighed,"I'm no angel."

"But-"

"Why Edward?" he looked sharply up at me.

"Why what?" I asked confused. He stood and walked over to me. It took me a few seconds to refocus on him as he neared me.

"You need help, Edward."

But he helped me.

"I need you." He was all the help I needed. He stared at my face for a minute before I saw his eyes travel down my body and stop at my hands. With effort, I followed his gaze.

That's when I saw them. Tan leather straps with buckles around my wrist. Worriedly, I looked at my other hand. It too was strapped in.

Sadness gripped me while pity gripped Jasper.

"Please for me, Edward, get help." There was a quality to his voice I hadn't heard since….

"I'm fine," I argued. It was obviously a mistake that I was bound.

His eyes shot back to mine, his voice suddenly angry. "You tried to commit suicide, how exactly is that fine? There is nothing fine about that."

I couldn't meet his eyes anymore and I turned away. "I needed to stop the pain." I felt the bed shift as it adjusted to his weight. His hand was on my arm.

"Edward…." he began before stopping and looking around, finally settling on looking out the window. "Can I ask you something?"

"Of course, my love," I whispered. The heat from his touch spread throughout my body, awakening the cells that had been drowsy for so long. No drug could clear my system as well as his touch.

He licked his bottom lip before taking between his teeth. He was thinking, uncertain. "Why did you do it?"

"I did it for us."

"There is no us anymore, Edward. There hasn't been for months." Stormy eyes turned back to me, tears gathering in the corners of both. He was hurting. He thought I didn't want him anymore.

"You're wrong, there will always be an us," I assured him. Wanting nothing more than to touch him, to hold his hand, I instinctively reached for him only to be held back by the straps. My entire body strained against them, I murmured under my breath. "Fuck."

He watched my struggle with pity. "Please get help, Edward."

Frustrated, I let my head fall back against the pillow and I looked away. Didn't he realize he was the only one that could wake me up inside? Help was as simple as having him in my life. Honestly, it was all the help I needed, but for some reason, he felt I needed more, and he knew me better than anyone.

I thought back to the past six months. The hours spent in front of his house. The hours spent outside his office. The hours spent playing his music at my piano. The hours spent sketching his image.

The hours spent fucking alone.

I didn't want to be alone anymore and if getting therapy meant keeping Jasper in my life, I would do it.

The tears were freely flowing by the time I turned to face him again. I saw his own damp cheeks as the corners of his mouth curled up in a small meek smile.

"Will you help me?" I asked with hope.

I don't think he was expecting me to agree, or at least not so easily. My heart leapt at the sudden brightness in his eyes, the weariness fading a bit.

"Yes, of course."

It was all I needed to hear.

His smile became larger and my fingers ached to touch him. Silently, I pleaded with him. He glanced toward the door before turning and quickly undoing one of the buckles, freeing my hand. Before he could move away, I grabbed his hand in mine. He returned my grip, placing his other hand over mine.

We sat like that for awhile, the commotion of the hospital going on only a few feet away but we were in our own world again.

Just like it should be.

We were mostly silent, occasionally Jasper would speak quietly about the day or tell me a stupid story but for the most part, he just held my hand.

And I let him.

As daylight merged into dusk, he looked at my sympathetically. "I need to go, Edward. Ja-" he paused. "I need to get home."

"Will you come tomorrow?"

Nodding, he let go of my hand and stood up. "I'm sorry," he apologized as he placed my wrist back in the strap and buckled it back up. "I will be back tomorrow," he promised, placing a hand on my chest, he leaned down toward me. His lips met my forehead and he pushed my hair back off my face. "Get some rest, Edward."

I inhaled his scent deeply, letting his pure essence flow through me.

He turned and headed for the door, but stopped as he reached for the handle. Not turning around, he spoke quietly. "I'm sorry I never called."

And with that, he was gone.

"**~~**"

I shifted uncomfortably in the stiff high back, black leather armchair. Weren't these offices supposed to have couches to lay on while the shrink dissected your dreams before diagnosing you with mother issues?

Weren't shrinks supposed to be old men with wire rimmed glasses and receding hairlines?

Miss Swan definitely did not fit that stereotype.

She was attractive for a woman. Petite with a nice figure but her best asset was her long dark hair that she wore down over her shoulders. Every time she moved her head, it would swing and bounce happily around her face.

Tall windows let in large amounts of daylight and cast long shadows along the carpeted floor. On the dark walls, nestled between Monet paintings were her various degrees from Dartmouth.

She was obviously a bright girl.

There was a large oak desk with a computer on top of it but she didn't sit behind it. Instead, she sat across from me, in a similar chair with her bare legs crossed. Her gray skirt was modest and her pale pink sweater screamed feminine. As she had invited me into the office, she apologized for her bare legs, claiming it was just 'too hot for hose'.

Under the intensity of her gaze, I felt naked and vulnerable.

I hated both feelings.

Nervously, I ran my hands along my thighs. It had taken me hours to figure out what to wear to my first appointment. What if I chose the wrong thing? Would I be deemed crazy if I wore jeans instead of khakis? After researching it a bit on line, I finally decided on jeans, a polo shirt and a sweater.

Hopefully, I was giving a sane impression.

"Edward, don't be so nervous," she said in a calm voice, one I'm sure she practiced on all her patients. How could she expect me to not be nervous?

My future was in her hands.

"Sorry," I mumbled an apology as I glanced around the room for the hundredth time, looking anywhere but directly at her. I had been in there less than ten minutes and I was already sweating. I wiped my brow with my hand.

"Relax, we're just here to talk."

Exactly what I was worried about.

"Do you mind if I ask you a few questions to get us started?" she smiled as she grabbed a pad of paper and pen from the table next to her chair. I shook my head and clasped my hands in my lap, my fingers constantly rubbing each other.

I had expected the first question to be 'tell me about yourself, and had already planned a short description of myself, so when she spoke, her words caught me off guard.

"Why are you here?" She looked at me curiously, focused completely on me and me alone.

My first reaction was to tell her I was there because Jasper had told me I needed help, but honestly, over the past few weeks, I had wondered if he wasn't right.

I had stayed in the hospital for a mandatory forty-eight hour observation, but after speaking with an in-house psychiatrist that deemed me safe to others and myself, I was released from the bindings. Even though I had denied that my overdose was a suicide attempt, they kept me on an anti-depressant during my stay.

What helped me recover were Jasper's visits. He had been to see me three times while I was there, even bringing up a cheeseburger and fries one time. While I ate, he watched my every movement, including the way I licked the ketchup off my lip.

"Aren't you going to eat?" I asked, pointing to his food. He smiled and began to unwrap it. As he took his first bite, he spoke around his burger.

"So I was thinking," he began. I raised my eyebrows in question as my mouth was full of fries. "I spoke with a friend of mine, she's a psychologist and I think she would be a great one for you to talk to."

Swallowing, I wiped my mouth with my napkin. "Did you tell her about me?"

He shrugged and took another bite. "I mentioned you, not by name of course, but what had happened. She said she'd love to meet you."

I looked away, embarrassed.

"She's very nice, Edward, I think you would really like her," he offered encouragingly. I picked through my fries, pushing them around the paper napkin they were spread on. Suddenly his hand was on mine, gripping it tenderly. "Please talk to her, Edward. For me."

For him.

I gave him a small smile and nodded. "Great, I will give you her number before I leave. Do you need a ride home tomorrow after they release you?"

I shook my head. The last thing I needed Jasper to see was my decorations. I wasn't sure how he would react to his likeness being all over my walls.

"You sure?" he asked, and again I nodded. "Okay," he conceded, "but call me if you need anything." I promised I would.

I had been home two days before I had worked up the courage to call the psychologist. Speaking in a hushed tone, as if someone could overhear me in my own house, I gave them my information and set up an initial appointment.

After driving around the block of the building where the office was four times, each time willing myself to pull into the parking lot, I had finally pulled in and parked with less than ten minutes to my scheduled time.

"Edward?" she reminded, tilting her head a bit.

I looked up at her and reeled off my answer. "I honestly don't know."

"Can you explain?" she wrote something down before looking up at me.

Part of me wanted to rebel, to stand up and say there was nothing fucking wrong with me.

But Jasper thought there was.

And if in order to get him back I needed to fix what was wrong, then I would do it. The problem was I didn't know what was wrong. I was kind of hoping she would tell me.

"A friend recommended I talk to you because I attempted suicide," I blurted out before I could stop myself.

"Yes, Jasper is very concerned about you. Did you try to commit suicide Edward?"

I was sure she already knew, I was pretty sure she probably had my hospital records. "No, I just wanted the pain to stop."

And so it began. My first of many hours sitting in that uncomfortable leather chair while Bella sat across for me, always calm and collected and friendly. I never felt threatened by her, and gradually began to open up, even volunteering the information of my parents' deaths after a few weeks of sessions.

Three times a week I met with her and I felt different. Three weeks after my first appointment, I picked up my phone to call Jasper, just to hear his voicemail… and hung up before even dialing.

A month into our sessions, I went to the grocery store for the first time. As I wandered up and down the aisles, I picked foods I hadn't eaten in close to a year. When I got home, I cleaned out my cupboards, donating all the non-perishables, and emptied my refrigerator, restocking it with all my favorites.

Six weeks of therapy and I stood in my living room with a small container in my hand, pulling pushpins from my wall, letting the images of Jasper fall to my floor. Once they were all off one wall, I gathered them up with care and placed in them into a large bin.

Two weeks later, my living room walls were empty, and I smiled.

Three months and Jasper called me for the first time. He wanted to meet for coffee.

I declined.

I told him that I was busy that day, but perhaps in a few weeks. Of course, he said, call anytime. After the call, I went into my bathroom and cleaned out my medicine chest, and shower, removing anything that I had never used before meeting Jasper.

A week later, I called him. He accepted my offer for coffee and we met at a small shop near his work. Anxiously, I waited for him, worried he would not show up and sighed a breath of relief when I saw the mop of blond hair as he walked hurriedly into the store. Waving, I called him over and he grinned wide when he saw me. As he approached, I stood and welcomed his embrace.

"So good to see you, Edward," he whispered in my ear as we hugged. I pulled away first, inviting him to sit and asked if I could get him anything.

"Tea would be great," he said as he took off his jacket and hung it over the chair. After I returned with his tea, I sat and he smiled at me again.

"You look wonderful. Well rested," he complimented and I blushed. Our conversation flowed easily. We avoided topics of therapy and his boyfriend, instead focusing on his work. Long after our drinks had grown cold, we were still laughing and joking about the upcoming holiday season. Finally, he glanced at his watch and realized he was due back at work. I walked him to his car and he hugged me goodbye.

"Call me soon," he said as he got into his car. I promised I would.

Four months and I took the paintings down from my bedroom walls. Delicately, I placed them in my closet, still close to me but hidden from my daily view.

Six months and I was able to sit at the piano and play something other than Moonlight Sonata, Fur Elise or my original piece. I beamed as the notes of Yiruma danced around me. That night, I removed the clothing from my pillow and put them in my dresser.

During my seventh month of therapy, I was sitting in Bella's office, in my usual chair as she gathered up a few things off her desk to join me. As she sat down, I saw a look of apprehension on her face and I grew concerned. "Edward, I think it's time we discuss the reason Jasper and you broke up."

We had been discussing my relationship with Jasper since about six weeks into my therapy, Bella letting me set the pace on how much was disclosed and when. Rarely did she push me for more information than I cared to offer, but occasionally, she hit a sore spot and prodded for details.

Our break up, or rather the reason behind it, was something that was still sensitive to me, and a topic I avoided.

Until then.

"Do we have to?" I mumbled, looking down at my hands. As my heart began to pound in my chest, I put her relaxation techniques to use and began to meditate. Patiently, she waited while I calmed myself and then smiled at me when I opened my eyes again.

"Yes, I think it's time," she finally replied.

Biting my lip, I looked away and then back at her, the tears already starting to gather in my eyes. Concentrating on looking out the window behind her, I began in a quiet voice.

"We had been dating for about eight months and we were doing great, even considering moving in together. We had celebrated Jasper's birthday and we were planning a vacation together later that summer. I was excited at the idea and began to plan the trip. We had decided a cruise to the Geek Isles would be perfect. For a week, I poured over websites and brochures. Each time I discovered something, or decided on something, I called him to let him know." I stopped when my heart began to pound in my chest.

"Continue when you're ready," Bella offered. After a few minutes of meditating, I was calmer and continued.

"We had had the occasional argument, our worst one being when Jasper had to stay late one night when we were supposed to go out. He cancelled dinner with me for a meeting at work. I wanted to surprise him, so I made a few of his favorite things and brought them to his office. When I found his office empty, I walked down the dark halls to the meeting room and heard voices. I heard Jasper talking, but I couldn't understand what he was saying. Then I heard laughing. Curious, I opened the door and found them sitting there. Jasper's tie was off, his shirt untucked and rumpled. Across from him was another guy, dressed the same way. They were alone and laughing…and eating Chinese food. It was intimate."

I wiped the tears from my cheeks and looked up at Bella. She nodded. "You can do it."

"I dropped the food, and ran. Even though I heard him calling for me, I kept running until I reached my car. He came to my house later that night to explain, but I had seen enough. He said it really was just a meeting, that the guy was a colleague from another company, nothing more. I believed him, I had no reason not too, but after that night I became more possessive of our time together. I wanted to be the center of his attention, not his work. Well one day about a month later, I was excited about a special side trip I was able to make while we were in Greece, and I wanted to share my news with Jasper, knowing he would be just as excited. When I called, I got his voicemail. After a few times of getting his voicemail, and he hadn't returned my messages, I decided to go to his office during his lunch. With my stack of papers, I marched up to his office, ignoring his assistant as she told me he was in a meeting. I burst into the meeting room and began to blurt out all the information I had to Jasper. He stood there, shocked, as I rambled on and on. When he never responded, I finally looked around the room and saw a table full of about twenty people, all eyes on me, chins on the table. Embarrassed, I looked back at Jasper and began to apologize. He nodded and said we could talk later when he got home." I sighed and felt my voice quiver with my next words, "I had outed him to all those people. But…"

"But what?"

I looked up at her. "I was just excited…."

"What happened when Jasper got home?"

"Can we talk about that another time?" I practically begged.

"Edward, you've taken a huge step today, I have confidence you can continue."

She was right. I was not that man from before, I was different. With a new resolve, I began to willingly pour salt on my newly reopened wound.

"I was home, waiting for him. He came home early and as soon as he walked into the house, I knew it wasn't good. Although I never expected…." I sniffled and squeezed my eyes for a minute as I could clearly see Jasper before me, still dressed in his suit with sadness in his eyes and his hair mussed from running his hands through it. I took a deep breath and with my eyes closed, continued, "he said we needed to talk, and sat me on the couch. He sat next to me and held my hand. In a quiet voice he told me he needed some…space and… some time." My words became as broken as I relived the pain from that day again. "He suggested that we postpone the trip for awhile and perhaps not see each other for a few weeks. I knew he would never return, that it was over. And it was…"

"What?"

"It was my fault."

"Did he come back?"

I shook my head, studying a spot on the floor by the foot of her chair. "No. He stopped calling, didn't return my calls. Sent a friend over to get his things from my place. Basically, stopped all contact for about three months."

"Then what happened?" she inquired, constantly writing things down on her paper.

"I ran into him at the grocery store. He was there to pick up some things for dinner and…he wasn't alone."

"He had a date?"

"Yes. I don't remember him very well, I was too shocked. I mean, it had only been three months since we had broken up."

"How did it make you feel?"

"Like I wanted to die."

Her head snapped up and she looked at me, concentrating on reading me. "And now?"

"Now, I'm better."

She smiled brightly and nodded. "Yes, Edward, you are."

The next week, Jasper called and invited me to lunch. I accepted and we made plans. Sitting across from me at the pub dressed in a pale green polo shirt and jeans, he looked more beautiful than ever, and happy and relaxed. When I told him, he smiled, showing off those dimples, and said he could say the same about me.

"I am happy," I smiled at him. "For the first time in a long time, I am happy." He reached across the table and covered my hand with his.

"I'm thrilled to hear that. You deserve it, Edward. A little happiness in your life," he picked up a slice of pizza and took a bite.

"Thank you. If it wasn't for you, I might not be here right now," I admitted honestly.

He shrugged off his role in my life, "No need to thank me. I did what any friend would have done."

Friend.

I suddenly loved the sound of that word.

We were no longer exes, we had moved forward, taking a huge step in our relationship, in my recovery. We finished our pizza while Jasper told me of the latest gossip at his office, and his plans for his upcoming vacation. Politely he never asked about therapy, and I usually avoided the topic, but I occasionally mentioned something Bella and I had discussed. Jasper would often nod thoughtfully, or even laugh at my description of Bella, telling me I was more accurate than I knew. Apparently, they had gone to college together, Bella had dated Jasper's roommate, and they had become friends, and remained friends even after the couple had broken up. A few hours and a few beers later, we headed to our cars, and was surprised when Jasper walked toward my car with me.

"Where are you parked?" I asked looking around for his Mercedes.

"Right here," he pointed to the car, well truck actually, next to me. An old red one.

"Did you get a new car?" I looked it over, thinking it didn't seem very Jasper-like. Perhaps I wasn't the only one changing.

He hesitated, shifting his weight back and forth. "Umm, no. Mine's in the shop for some work. I borrowed this from…"

I nodded, stopping him from saying his name. I wasn't quite ready for that yet. "Well, thank you for lunch, it was great to see you."

He smile and opened his arms to me, inviting me in. I stepped into his hold and felt his hands run lightly up and down my back. Turning his head, his mouth next to my ear, he spoke, "Thank you for meeting me, I had a wonderful time."

I clenched my eyes at his soft words as I turned my head toward him. Releasing the breath that I had been holding when he had put his arms around me, I finally allowed myself to inhale his scent, my heart skipping a beat as I did so.

It was as beautiful and intense and incredible as I remembered.

I pulled back, putting some distance between us, his arms still around me. "Call me soon?" I asked hopefully.

"Definitely," he grinned before releasing me.

I went home and completed the original piece before putting my leather journal in a drawer before I on my laptop and registered at an online dating service.

When I told Bella of my progress at our next meeting, she hugged me, her excitement clear in her voice.

"I'm so proud of you, Edward," she smiled at me, holding my hands as she released me from the hug. Blushing, I looked away. As we sat down, I gave her more news.

"I also registered at an online dating service yesterday," I admitted shyly.

Her eyes grew wide and her smile even wider. "Congratulations, that's wonderful. Are you ready for responses you might get?"

Shrugging, I looked away. "I don't know. I think so. I mean, it's not like I will get a huge response anyway."

She actually snorted,"Don't be so sure about that." I looked at her questioningly. "Have you looked in a mirror?"

Again, I blushed and immediately changed the subject. Our relationship, while still professional and confidential, had become close. I had confided things to her that I had told no one else, including Jasper. Fears, worries, behaviors.

She knew about the music. She knew about the sketches. She knew about the food. Yet, she sat with me every session, talking me through it all, encouraging honesty and truth. I felt safe with her.

"So, what do you want to talk about today?" she asked, pulling out her paper and pen.

I began to tell her a story about my childhood, and camping with my parents. It was a sweet memory.

Eight months. Jasper called on a Thursday and asked me to dinner for the following night. I checked my calendar and agreed. He offered to pick me up and I accepted. We had seen each other every three weeks or so, usually meeting for lunch or coffee. On the weeks we didn't see each other, usually an email or phone call was exchanged at least once.

The night of our dinner, I tidied up the house, no longer worried about inviting him inside. After my shower, I picked some comfortable clothes and hopped on my laptop while I waited, surfing through the dating service responses I had recently received.

When I heard the knock on the door, I closed the laptop and grabbed my coat. Upon opening the door, I was greeted by a beautiful Jasper in a sweater and jeans. After we exchanged a hug, he led me to his car and we headed for the restaurant.

After being seated and our orders taken, Jasper folded his hands on the table and looked at me seriously.

"Edward, I want to tell you something."

Normally, my heart would have raced at those words, but with my new confidence, I lifted my chin a bit and challenged his words head on.

"About?"

My hands were on the table, on either side of my plate and he reached over and put one of his hands on top of mine.

"I've been meaning to tell you this for awhile but it never seemed the right time," he began. When I saw his eyes water, I closed my own and willed the tears away. I could do it. "I want to tell you how incredibly proud of you I am."

He was proud of me.

"You've taken such strides, and have really turned yourself around. You've grown and developed such a confidence. It's really beautiful, what you've done."

I couldn't help but grin, even as I felt the heat crawl over my cheeks, I felt a warmth inside as well.

"Thank you," I replied before pulling my hand from his to begin eating. "You're right, I have made changes. I've even...."

"What?"

Embarrassed, I looked down. "I even joined an online dating service."

"Really?" There was no hiding the shock in his voice. With my mouth full, I nodded.

"Yes, although I haven't actually gone on date yet, I've been exchanging emails with a few interested men. I might try to set up a date for next weekend."

He grew quiet, his eyes downcast. "That's great," he murmured as he cut into his food. Sensing a shift in his mood, I changed the subject.

"How is it that you're free on a Friday night? Jake doesn't mind you going out with me?" I was proud of myself. All the progress I had made had finally led me to a point where I could say his name, even admit to his being Jasper's partner without feeling distressed. While he never dominated a conversation, Jasper and I had spoken about Jake a few times in the recent past.

Swallowing, he wiped his mouth with his napkin. "Actually, he is away this weekend. His father has been ill, so he has been traveling home almost every weekend to visit with him," he explained.

"Oh, I'm sorry to hear that. Is it serious?"

"Unfortunately, yes. Although, they are keeping him as comfortable as possible. But his father is old school, he doesn't want any outside medical services, so they are doing it all within the tribe."

"Like a medicine doctor?" I half joked.

"Actually, yes a bit. One of his nephews has a medical degree, so he is treating him."

"And how is Jake taking it?" I asked, honestly curious. I knew the sadness that went along with losing a parent, but unlike Jake, I didn't have to watch mine suffer slowly.

"He's stressed of course, but doing okay. Driving up there so many weekends has been difficult as well. Taking time away from –"he stopped short and looked up at me quickly. "I'm sorry, that was insensitive of me."

I shook my head. "No, not at all. I think we are at a place where we can discuss these things."

He smiled. "I think so too."

"So, does he know you are out with me tonight?"

He grinned wickedly at me, his aqua eyes sparkling. "No sense worrying the poor guy now, is there?" he chuckled.

"But he knows you've been seeing me, right?" I asked, concerned. I did not want to be some dirty little secret.

"Of course, he's known about all of it…until this dinner. He's got enough on his plate, but I will tell him when he returns. He won't mind."

"How are your parents?" I asked, taking a bite of my lasagna.

"Wonderful, my dad is as crazy as always-" Stopping he tilted his head and stared at me. Hesitantly, he reached across the table and dragged a finger along my bottom lip before wiping off some sauce that had gathered at the corner of my lips.

Talking about Jake didn't make my heart race. Talking about me dating didn't make my heart race.

His touch on my face made my heart race.

Closing my eyes, I relished in the brief brush of his finger. "Sorry, you got a little sauce right there," he apologized in a husky whisper. His finger rested on me a bit longer than necessary and I felt cold when he pulled away, instantly missing it.

Exhaling, I gathered my composure and smiled my thanks. As he took a bite and chewed, my eyes fell to his lips.

How often I had sketched those very lips. I knew every line, every small detail burned in my memory forever. When the tip of his tongue darted out to lick his top lip, my heart didn't just race, it skipped a beat.

We continued eating, sipping some wine and chatting about his parents and work. When the conversation had finally been exhausted, we paid our bill and headed for Jasper's car. The cool night air was refreshing as we walked the short distance in silence. Climbing in, he started the car and the radio played.

We both looked at each other and smiled. It was our song.

It had been our third date and he had taken me to a gay club. It was my first time, so I had been nervous, not only about my lack of dancing skills, but what others might think. It turned out to be the most fun I had had in years. The first slow song that played Jasper pulled me to him, wrapping his arms around my waist while I slung mine over his shoulders. We swayed our hips to the deep bass, his hands keeping my hips tightly to him as he ground into me, letting me feel his excitement. My breath gasped as he lowered his head and kissed me for the first time.

Disco lights flashed around us, music pounded through the speakers, arousal surged through me at an alarming rate as his tongue parted my lips and explored my mouth. When his lips left mine, they traveled along my jaw to my earlobe. Before taking it into his mouth, he whispered, "Fuck Edward, you make me so hard."

I was surprised to hear those words from him, he had seemed so quiet and reserved. His dirty words had sent a shiver of excitement down my spine. He felt it and I heard him chuckle near my ear as his hot breath washed over me, his tongue tracing my ear. "I can't wait to fuck you, baby," he groaned.

It was almost my undoing, just as I was about to grab his hand, toss him over my shoulder cave man style and take him home, the music changed and shirtless men started bouncing around us. Pulling away, he looked at me and winked before reaching for the hem of my shirt and yanking it over my head in one quick motion. It was barely off my body and his hands were running up and down my bare chest and stomach. When I went to reach for his shirt to even out the playing field, he beat me to it and pulled it over his head. I stepped back, putting some space between us, but he reached for me and pulled me close again, our hips grinding as he spun us around.

After closing the place down, we left and drove back to my place, barely making it inside the door before I was pushed up against it. After kissing me and palming my cock through my jeans, he began kissing his way down my chest until he was on his knees before me. With one last look up through his lashes for approval, he undid my jeans and slid them down my thighs, freeing my erection.

When his mouth was around me, I bucked into him and felt his hands on my hips, pressing me to the door as his head bobbed up and down my cock. Embarrassingly, it was only a few minutes later before I was tugging on his hair in warning.

"Gonna come," I moaned. Not releasing me, he sucked harder and deeper. When the head of my cock hit the back of his throat, there was no delaying and I my cock erupted in his mouth.

"This is-"

"Our song," I finished. "Do you remember that night?"

He looked over at me in the dim light of the car. "Of course. Damn, that was so… erotic, wasn't it?"

Learning my head back against the seat, I sighed, "Hell yeah it was."

It was the first time we had talked about us. No work, no family, no boyfriend or dating service, no therapy. Just us and our past.

He pulled out of the parking lot, and drove me home, a smile on his face the entire way. We pulled up to my house and he shut the car off, offering to walk me to the door. I unlocked my door and turned to say good night.

"What?" I asked, wondering what the look was on his face. His stormy eyes were churning as the emotions ebbed in them. Cupping my face, he leaned in and brushed his lips over mine.

I didn't resist.

And I didn't kiss him back.

He pulled back and put his forehead to mine. "Thanks for tonight, Edward."

Before I could even reply, he was inside his car and pulling away. I entered my house with hope bursting in my heart.

After much thought, I realized there was nothing sexual about the kiss at all. It had been sweet, and chaste, but not sexual or romantic. There was no tongue, not even any parting of lips. It was simply a goodbye kiss and nothing more. Our friendship was solid, and comfortable.

Nine months in and I was experiencing a freedom I hadn't felt in a long time. One spring weekend, I packed a small bag and hopped in the Volvo and just drove. I found myself driving north along Route 101 through the Olympic National Park, stopping to take pictures of the most beautiful mountains, their peaks still snow covered. One time I pulled the car over in a remote area and got out. Sitting on the hood, I took in the view and soaked in the warm sun. With my eyes closed, I felt the warm breeze caress my face and whisper through the trees.

I was happy.

A feeling so foreign I had almost forgotten what it felt like, the swelling of my heart, the tranquility in my mind, things that had been replaced by anxiety, fear and perhaps obsession. Smiling, I tilted my head up toward the sun, basking in the warmth on my skin and I reached a new level of contentment mentally. Recovery had been long, it had been hard, there had been a lot of tears, a lot of anger and resentment of time lost, but at that moment, I realized it had all been worth it.

I was a new, better man.

I was ready to move on, to strive to reach an even higher level.

I spent the weekend on the coast, finding a small bed and breakfast. I ate alone, I walked the streets alone, popping into small shops, and I went to bed alone.

And I was happy.

Ten months. Bella felt confident enough to cut our sessions back to once a week. I agreed, and joined a gym, doing a spin class during what would have normally been my therapy time. I spoke to Jasper at least twice a week on the phone, and we met for dinner almost every Friday that Jake was visiting his dad. Jasper had never tried to kiss me since that first night.

Eleven months. My therapy was going great, I was proud of myself for the progress I had made. I had decided to treat myself and planned another weekend getaway up north. Driving along the coast, I enjoyed the view, stopping often to take in the scenery. I decided to save the money and not stay at the bed and breakfast but instead, I camped out, using an old tent I had found in my basement, and cooking over an open fire. It was quiet and peaceful.

I slept under the dark open skies to the sounds of nature around me.

As I was just outside Seattle on my way home the next day, my cell phone rang. I smiled when I saw it was Jasper.

"Hey," I answered lightly.

I heard sobs, gasps for breath. "Jasper? Is everything okay? Are you alright?" I automatically stepped on the gas, pushing the car toward ninety.

"He's gone," he wailed.

"What?" I almost yelled back, confused. Perhaps Jake's dad had passed and was affecting Jasper more than he had expected. "Jasper, are you okay?"

"No, I'm not," he said with an eerie calm. "Jake's gone."

Jake had left him. The bastard.

"I'll be there in twenty minutes," I promised, pushing the car even faster. I didn't care what kind of fine I might get, Jasper needed me and I was going to be there. "Stay there, I'll be right there, love," I let the endearment slip. More sobbing and sniffling.

"Please, Edward…." he cried.

"Hang on, I'm coming." I kept the line open but could only hear some movement and his constant crying. The tires screeched as I pressed on the brakes when I pulled into his driveway doing about thirty. Slamming the door as I got out, I ran to his front door and banged on it. I heard the shuffling of feet and then it swung open.

He fell into my arms, his tear streaked face on my shoulder as he gasped for breath and repeated "He's gone, I can't believe he's gone." I wrapped my arms around him tightly.

"Ssshh, it's going to be okay, love, I'm here now."

"**~~**"

The wooden chairs were small and uncomfortable. I glanced around, my eyes watering up when I saw Jake's dad, now confined to a wheelchair, trying to be strong even as the tears flowed down his dark-skinned cheeks. Beside him stood a man a few years older than Jake, dressed in a simple suit, patting Jake's dad's shoulder in support. Sitting behind me were three other young men, all dressed similarly in shirts and ties. They were quiet, only whispering to each other occasionally.

To my right sat a woman alone in a gray dress. When the breeze blew her long, shiny hair off her face, I saw a long scar running from her forehead to her chin. Quickly I turned way before she had caught me staring.

To my left sat Jasper.

He had asked me to come, and there was no way I would have refused him. I had barely left his side since he had fallen into my arms after opening the door two days before. Once I had gotten inside his house, he had pulled away enough for me to study his face, his pain written all over it. I had never seen him so disheveled. I led him to the couch and sat him down; he curled up around me and laid his head on my chest.

"Jake's dead," he had told me.

What was left of Jake's body had been recovered, and the tribe had decided to spread his ashes into the ocean at First Beach and held a memorial service in his honor. I felt Jasper entwining his fingers with mine as everyone went to their seats and the Chief began to speak. He spoke of Jake's family, his father and their strong bond with the tribe. He spoke of Jake's childhood full of inquisitiveness and getting into trouble with the boys. I heard chuckling behind me and realized they must be 'the boys.' The Chief continued with talk of devotion, love and loyalty.

All things I was very familiar with.

After telling a short story, he invited the older boy, Sam, to speak. Sam went to the front and hugged the Chief before turning to us and beginning. Telling us a story about growing up with Jake to some small laughter and soft crying, he finished by hoping Jake was at peace and forever watching over them.

One by one each member of the tribe spoke to us, each unique in the presentation and stories. With each one I felt like I knew Jake a bit better and could see why Jasper had been attracted to him and why they had been together for so long. I felt a weight against my shoulder and I turned my head.

Jasper' rested his cheek against my shoulder as he listened to Jake's friends speak about him. I gripped his hand tighter and gave him a small smile of strength. In my past, I had often compared Jasper to an angel, he had certainly saved me a few times. But sitting there, he looked more angelic than ever. As grief-stricken as he was, there was a certain serenity about him that resonated through me as well. It was as if he projected a calmness around him, soothing the broken hearts of Jake's family and friends. Stormy eyes were peaceful after days of waves of sadness.

After everyone had spoken, the Chief stood up and said a prayer. A spiritual one of rest and halcyon. Everyone stood and shook hands, blessing those around them before heading to their cars to go to Sam's house for some food. After everyone had left, Jasper and I sat there. His head on my shoulder, my hand in his.

He just stared at the small headstone.

For hours, he just stared.

For hours, I sat by his side and let him say goodbye.

As the sun began to set over the Pacific, sending its long rays of last light toward us, Jasper stood up and held out his hand.

"I think I'm ready to go," his voice was weak.

"Are you sure?" He nodded. "Do you want to go to Sam's?" I offered, but he shook his head.

"No, just take me home please."

Hand in hand we walked to the Volvo.

"**~~**"

Sheer exhaustion had lulled Jasper into a deep sleep shortly after we headed for home. The car was warm and quiet, the radio played soft classical music while I kept the car at a steady pace. I feared once we got to Jasper's home that he would wake up and not rest again for days. As it was, he had already been up for over forty-eight hours straight. Wanting him to get as much rest as possible, I decided to take him down the coast and find a place for us to stay for the night. The sun was setting over the ocean as I drove along the two lane highway, occasionally glancing out to admire the tangled web of warm colors in the sky.

As I drove around a sharp curve around a cliff, I felt my stomach clench a bit, my knuckles turned white from my grip on the steering wheel as my heart pounded in my chest. I felt the blood rushing through me, like those shells where you can hear the ocean. Sweat broke out on my forehead, and my breathing became shallow.

All the signs of an anxiety attack. Worried about having one while driving, I decided to pull over and meditate for a few minutes. Assured Jasper was soundly asleep, I slowed and pulled to the shoulder of the road. Stopping, I leaned my forehead on the steering wheel and closed my eyes, focusing on gathering myself. Inhaling and exhaling rhythmically, I returned my breathing to normal and had begun to slow my heart rate. Finally, I raised my head and opened my eyes.

That's when I saw it.

It was a huge redwood.

It wasn't the tree alone that caught my eye, but the large spot of missing bark on its trunk. Glancing over at Jasper to make sure he was still asleep, I quietly opened my door and got out, curious about what had caused that kind of damage to the tree. The headlights lit my way as walked over to it, realizing it wasn't only missing bark but there were also scorch marks around the edges of the remaining bark.

Almost like it had been on fire.

I inspected the area around the tree and found obvious tire tracks along with some flattened bushes. It started to feel very familiar, so familiar that I could practically imagine the truck as it burned, even feel the heat from the flames.

Then I realized why.

I gasped and turned back to my car. Jasper was still sleeping in the passenger seat. Part of me wanted to run to him, wake him and show him where we were. But a calmer part of me quenched that desire, and instead, kept me rooted there as the memories came flooding back.

Hours spent on a laptop at the coffee shop, sitting in a comfortable chair as I surfed maintenance sites for Chevy pickup trucks, the same truck I had seen in the parking lot after lunch one day. I learned everything about upkeep, and what might happen should your truck not be in proper running order.

Brake failure was an unfortunate event for leaking break fluid.

I wrote a few a notes down, diagrams mostly. And I had studied them every night.

Two weekend trips north along this very stretch of road. One spent at a beautiful inn, shopping in the small town, meeting some locals and making a good impression. First impressions were always the most important. It was amazing what people could be convinced to do with just crooked smile and flutter of the eyelashes. People remembered me. I was a pleasant young man, polite and well mannered.

Locals were so full of information.

I was also on a mission. A reconnaissance mission of sorts. I had stopped at this remote spot and taken pictures.

I had studied them later at the inn. Then I deleted them and threw the memory card in the Pacific. I knew the route to La Push as well as he did. Every curve, ever bump.

I had registered for an online dating service, never knowing when an alibi might be necessary. It was a preventative measure.

I had driven around Seattle, followed the truck home, knew what time it left for La Push and what time it was expected back. Never once did I vomit when I saw them kiss goodbye. I had come so far.

It had been dark the night I crawled under his truck as it sat in their driveway. I wasn't even able to use a flashlight, so I was thankful of my knowledge of the undercarriage assembly. Practically blind, I was able to maneuver my way around, the pavement cool and abrasive against my black sweatshirt as I fiddled through the wires until I found the one I needed. It wouldn't take much, just a small pinhole, and the pressure from the brakes being pressed would be enough to squirt fluid out. By the time he hit the highway, he was almost completely out.

Going sixty miles an hour and no way to stop.

As I stood there, I remembered my camping trip just a few days prior. The one that I had been on when Jasper had called me to save him. Sleeping under the dark sky instead of the inn, eating over a fire instead of at a restaurant, avoiding public places and keeping to myself.

I remembered following the truck.

It had been approximately half a mile in front of me when I saw it begin to swerve. He had gotten out of work late and was rushing. Shortly before he had left, the sun had set and dusk was settling in. He stood in the driveway, his fingers through the loops of his lover's pants as they kissed and said their goodbyes. Once he threaded through the traffic of the city, he hit the highway and began to speed. His father expected him by eight and he was late.

He loved cooking dinner for his dad, usually some fish his dad had been given by a friend.

When the truck swerved, he tried to correct it, but made the mistake of turning too hard and began to lose control. From my car I saw the brake lights go on and off as he slammed, tapped, and pushed them to the floor trying to slow down. Careening around the sharp corners, his back end fishtailed and he finally lost all control and went off the road.

Into a large redwood.

I had slowed and turned my lights off as I got closer. Finally pulling over, making sure I was on a clean part of pavement so I wouldn't leave any tire tracks, I came to a complete stop. After watching for movement for a minute, I opened my door and got out. With booties over my shoes and gloves on my hands, I walked toward the truck.

Or rather, what was left of it.

The front end was almost in two pieces on both sides of the tree, one tire was flattened and the windshield had been completely shattered. It was an older truck, one he had rebuilt himself, and long before airbags were required.

Even seat belted, his head had hit the windshield. Shards of glass protruded from the wounds on his face, the gash in his cheek was deep. The one on his neck was even deeper. Blood poured from a cut on his forehead and his jet black hair was already beginning to clump from seeping crimson fluid. A stream of red trickled from the corner of his mouth and when I looked closely, I could see it had started to dribble from his ear.

Listening for signs of life, I stood there and glanced in both directions. Just as I was about to reach in and feel for a pulse, I heard a faint moan and a shallow breath as his head fell toward me. One eye was swollen shut, the other opened a little and attempted to focus on me.

"Please help me," his voice was barely audible. Smirking, I shook my head. I had waited too long for this. I had worked too hard. "Please…." his eye closed again and his pained breath slowed even more. I watched in satisfaction as his crushed lungs struggled to take in air.

Then I smelled something.

Sniffing the air, I looked down at the ground and saw the pavement darkening with fluid.

Gasoline.

Spinning, I sprinted back to my car and got in, throwing it into reverse, I backed up and waited with my car running.

The explosion was huge. A fireball mushroomed into the sky, brilliant orange and reds lighting up the pitch blackness. The truck was completely engulfed.

And I watched.

Slowly, I picked up a cell phone I had bought with cash at a store weeks ago and had activated earlier that day and attached the voice changer I had bought at the same time.

"Nine-one-one, what is your emergency?"

"I'm on Redwood Highway, there's a car that's gone off the road and hit a tree. It's on fire.

"Sir, do you know what mile marker you are near?"

A few miles off wouldn't hurt much. It's not like they were going to be able to save him.

"I think the last one I past was eighty."

"Is anyone still in the car?"

"I don't know, I was driving and saw the flames and when I turned the corner, I saw it. If they are in there, there is no way they survived."

"Sir, stay there, we are on the way."

"Hurry, please," I begged. Clicking the end button, I put the car into drive and pulled away.

I got back into the car and looked over at Jasper sleeping. Reaching over, I pushed his curls off his face and behind his ear. I put the car back into drive and headed for the inn.

Less than half an hour later, I pulled into the parking lot and went inside to rent a room. Mr. Masen, how wonderful to see you again. Would you like the same room?" The friendly clerk offered.

"That'd be great, thanks." I pulled out a wad of cash and handed her some bills. "Please make sure I am not disturbed." I signed the papers and went back to the car to wake Jasper. He was groggy, but walked to the room, and smiled thoughtfully at me as I led him to the bed, telling him he needed rest. He sat on the edge and I knelt before him and took off his shoes.

"You always took such good care of me, Edward," he sighed.

"And I always will, Jasper." Once they were off, I helped him with the rest of his clothes and then tucked him into bed wearing only his underwear. When I went to go the bathroom, he grabbed my hand.

"Stay with me, please?" his eyes were so full of need, I almost cried.

"Of course, love, just let me go change." I patted his hand and went to the bathroom and stripped off all my clothes. After splashing some water on my face, I looked in the mirror and remembered that day that I had taken the pills.

It would be a year in two days.

The next day was Jasper's birthday.

10:17 am.

I went to the bed and climbed under the blanket, wrapping my arms around Jasper, I pulled him to me, his back flush with my chest. His fingers weaved with mine and he pulled my hand to his lips, kissing it before holding it over his heart. My lips kissed the nape of his neck through his honey smelling hair. The warmth from his body radiated around me, my body recalling his familiar scent and touch. Willing my erection away, I concentrated on offering the comfort he needed.

I could give him everything he needed. I would be there for him every day from then on. Through his grief and his recovery, and when he was ready to move on, I would be there.

His friend.

The room was completely silent except for the sound of a clock on the dresser. I glanced over at it, watching as the minute hand moved over and over again until midnight.

"Happy birthday, Jasper," I whispered.

"**~~**"

Epilogue

"Hurry up," he called from the car.

"I'm coming, I'm coming," I yelled back, dragging the suitcase behind me. "Ya know, if you hadn't packed everything we own, Jasper, we would have been out of here by now." I heaved the bag into the open trunk and then slammed it closed. Jasper already had the convertible top down, the sun reflecting off his golden halo.

As I got into the car, he looked over at me and grinned. "Sorry baby, was the kitchen sink heavy?"

I rolled my eyes at his lame joke. "Yes, as a matter of fact, it was. I think we need a lighter one," I joked.

"Oh, I don't know, I love watching your body work those heavy things," he chuckled wiggling his eyebrows. "Aw, hell, I just love watching you," he grinned and I blushed. I went to look away, but his hand grabbed my chin and pulled me toward him, our lips meeting tenderly. Gliding his tongue along my lips, he moaned, begging for entrance. Frustrated when I wouldn't grant it, he pulled away. "Well, aren't you all business today?"

I raised an eyebrow. "Because I know where it would lead, love, and we don't have time. We're already late because of the long fuck in the shower this morning."

As he put the car into drive, he turned to me laughing. "But you have to admit it was totally worth it."

"Fuck yes," I agreed.

It had been a long year. There had been many nights of tears, screams, and nightmares. I held him through it all. Gradually, those many nights had turned to few, replaced by ones of slight smiles and even a quiet laugh or two. Those quiet laughs eventually had worked into grins and jokes.

Just as his sadness became lighter, our friendship became deeper. Supportive hugs and hand holding became spending almost every night together. These nights were innocent until about eight months after Jake had left. We had eaten dinner and watched a movie and I was just about to head back to my house and Jasper stopped me by placing a hand on my arm and spinning me around. Without warning, I was pushed against the door, much like I had been the night we had gone to the club. After kissing me, his hands fisted in my hair while mine clutched his shirt, he asked me to stay the night with him.

"Not as my friend, but as my lover," he whispered as he took my hand and led me to his bedroom.

Standing in the dark of his room, barely able to make out his features, I nervously shifted back and forth.

"What's wrong?" he asked as his hands ran down my shirt to the hem. As he slid it up and pulled it off, I bit my lip. "Edward?" He peeled off his own shirt before settling his hands on my pants. Nimble fingers slid my zipper down and I grasped his wrists with my hands. He looked at me with rejection tinged with sadness. "Don't you want this?"

I nodded enthusiastically. "More than you know, but…"

"But?"

"Are you sure it's not too soon for you?" I blurted out. It had been my fear of rushing things, pushing him to do more than he was ready for, he needed the proper grieving time and I would wait as long as he needed. Certainly, I didn't want him to make love with me because he thought it was what I wanted.

"This is right, Edward." He touched his lips to mine, dragging his tongue along them before nibbling his way along my jaw to my ear. "You and me…us…we're right," he whispered in my ear before taking my lobe between his lips. Releasing it, he moved to my neck, suckling the sensitive skin there. "Don't you think?"

I wanted to scream yes, or at least make a coherent thought about just how perfect we were, but his lips were fucking distracting. To say nothing of the hand he had slipped inside my jeans to palm my cock. "God, yes, so right." I mumbled. Decision made, I pulled my pants and underwear off and guided him back onto his bed. Following him, I lay atop him as I undid his jeans and shoved my hand inside. Moaning, I reached between my legs and stroked myself a few times. Lowering my hips a bit, I hissed when my cock came into contact with the abrasive material of his jeans. The friction felt delicious and I slowly rubbed myself against him.

"You like that, love? Like feeling me against you, wanting you?" I placed a kiss below his ear and then kissed my way along to his mouth where I let my tongue out to trace his succulent lips.

I kissed my way down to his nipples before taking one in my mouth, sucking while I circled my tongue around it. I dropped my hips onto his and ground into him, his jeans scratching my tender skin.

Sliding his hands down my back, nails raking my flesh, he writhed. "Feels so fucking good, baby."

I smiled against his chest, sat back on my heels as he squirmed eagerly below me.

"You want me to touch you?" I asked with raised brows.

Shaking his head, his breathing getting heavier, "No, I want more…I want to fuck."

"Mmm, fuck yeah." I stroked him through his briefs.

"More," he groaned.

I happily complied and pulled his pants down, tossing them to the ground. Watching him under me, I sat before him and stroked myself, hanging my head back and licking my lips. All the moves I knew drove him wild with need.

"I need you, Edward, I need to fuck you, please," he moaned.

"I'm all yours, love," I rolled off him and onto my back, my arms reaching out and pulling him on top of me, my hips bucking up into him. Reaching over me, he grabbed some lube and a condom from his nightstand. Handing the condom to me, I ripped it open and slid it on his erection before slathering it with lube.

"Fuck, that feels good," he whispered, never taking his eyes off mine. Spreading my legs wide, he knelt between them. My lubed fingers readied myself, tracing my hole before I inserted a slick finger, slowly stretching myself. He watched, amazed, stroking his own cock as I added another finger to my first.

Confident I was ready for his cock, I nodded up at him. "Fuck me, Jasper," I whispered. His breathing increased and he dragged a finger over my balls to my hole, sliding it in and out a few times quickly before removing it and rubbing the head of his cock around my entrance. "Please," I moaned, "take me."

Reaching down between us, I grabbed him and guided him slowly into me before stopping to let my body adjust to the intrusion. The initial pain was only momentary before the burn eased and the pleasure took over as I continued to push him deeper until he was fully seated in me.

With a loud groan, he collapsed on me, his fresh scent surrounding me. Instinctively, my hips lifted up to meet his as he thrust in and out. Pressing my head back against the bed, I moaned as his movement filled me and his body shuddered with ecstasy.

Running my hands down his back, whispered into his ear, "You feel so fucking good." When my hands reached his ass, I groped him and pressed him into me, feeling my cock throb between us. "Ugh…."

He felt so fucking incredible. Pushing up into him, he countered my movement with sensuous circles of his own, pulsing slick and hot inside me. My hand remained between us, stroking my cock in a constant motion, my cock seeping precum from its slit, the motion of us both spreading it over me making my cock wet and slippery.

"So close," he grunted. "Gonna to fill you with my hot load, baby."

"Give it to me," I begged, "Cum for me." His rhythm no longer consistent, his hips began to thrust wildly as he neared his climax and his teeth bit down on my shoulder. Turning my head, I took a deep breath of his hair.

His scent filled my lungs while his cock filled my ass.

"Yeah, fuck me, love, fuck me hard," I groaned breathlessly as he furiously pounded into me. As my hips meet his, I pressed on his ass, and ground up into him, my cock captured between our abdomens. Aching, I felt my balls tighten and the burn begin. "Oh fuck, Jasper, I'm coming," I cried out as my cock erupted between us. With a final grunt, he came in me, his cock shooting his cum deep inside as my spasms around him encouraged every last drop. Together, we rode the high of our orgasms, each of us moaning and sporadically twitching as our awareness gradually returned.

I looked into the eyes of my lover. His cheek lay on my shoulder, a grin of utter satisfaction on his face. Chuckling, he asked, "Was it good for you?"

"Fucking yes it was," I returned his chuckle. He rolled off me and lay still next to me, my cum still spread over his perfect skin. "Let's shower in the morning," I suggested and he nodded his agreement, ready for sleep. I grabbed a few tissues and wiped his stomach off, giggling as his body jumped as I hit his ticklish spots. Once he was clean, I gave him a long deep kiss, my tongue dragging across his lips before entering his mouth. I slid Jasper's back against me, my lips finding the back of his neck as I spooned him. With my hand on his hip, and my nose buried in his hair, I let sleep embrace me.

He moved into my place two weeks later.

As we merged onto the highway, Jasper humming along with the radio, the top down as the wind to caressed us. Life was pretty fucking perfect. I had everything I had ever wanted. When I looked down at the car's clock, I saw the time and smirked.

10:17am.

"Hey Jasper?" I pulled my sunglasses down over my eyes and leaned my head back against the seat.

"Yeah?"

"Happy birthday."

"**~~**"

Thanks for reading~

Well, Crazyward needed his HEA!