The Twilight Twenty-Five
Prompt #: 6
Pen name: SorceressCirce
Photos for prompts can be found here:
"Here you go, Professor Cullen."
I take my cup of coffee with a nod and a smile. "Thank you, Jessica."
"You're welcome, sir." I ignore the hopeful smile and head for the door, bypassing the condiments station. Jessica's unrequited crush on me lends itself to borderline stalker tendencies, and she's known how I take my coffee since before I ordered from her the first time.
As I walk out the door of the campus coffee shop, a brisk wind blows, sending desiccated leaves skittering across the sidewalk. I pause for a moment, setting my paper cup on the window ledge so I can pull my scarf from the pocket of my corduroy blazer. I automatically clean the lenses of my glasses and then settle the tortoise-shell frames back in place before winding the scarf around my neck.
Coffee in hand once again, I set off at a leisurely pace toward the house I just bought with my partner, Jasper. The thought puts a smile on my face and straightens my shoulders – until I remember the way it looked when I left this morning.
We just moved in over the weekend with plenty of help from our friends, but once the final trucks were unloaded, it was just us…and countless boxes. We were too exhausted last night to do much more than set up the bed, take a shower, order a pizza, and pass out once we were stuffed.
This morning, I had to wind my way through a maze of boxes and search for things like my toothpaste just to get to work. I'd known it was a bad idea to move in the middle of the semester, but there hadn't been a lot of choice when the house we wanted came on the market.
It was perfect for both of us – close enough that I could walk to campus with a huge finished attic where Jasper could set up his studio. After years of struggling, we were finally in a place where he could quit his job at the bookstore and just paint.
We are in our own personal heaven on Earth…or, rather, we would be if we weren't surrounded by all those damn boxes. If we have one weakness, it's that we're both bibliophiles. We'd bonded over books the first time we met, when he'd sat down uninvited at my table at the bookstore to ask me about the novel I was reading. Once I'd gotten over the initial shock – and he'd gotten off work – we'd spent hours sitting right there talking books and drinking coffee.
I smile, taking a sip of my coffee that doesn't warm me nearly as well as my memories. Jasper is exactly the man I'd spent my whole life looking for, and we've been inseparable since that first day. He's a pain in the ass sometimes, especially since he's not nearly as neat as I am – I think he could honestly live in that cave of dusty boxes indefinitely. I know I irritate him with my constant need to clean, which is part of the reason I'm taking my time walking home.
The last thing I want to do is ruin our first full day in our new house by insisting that the entire place be put together now, so I'm trying to get my head in the right place.
Maybe we can go out to dinner…
There's an Italian place he loves, and we haven't been in a while. A movie afterward would be perfect, too. I nod absently to myself, feeling a bit better now that my mind is made up and I know I won't have to sit inactive in the middle of that mess all night.
I let my gaze wander as I walk home, taking in our neighborhood with fresh eyes. I've been teaching here as a full professor for five years now, but it's different living here. I feel a sense of ownership…pride, perhaps…and every familiar sight is new somehow.
Still, dust and precariously stacked boxes worm their way back into my thoughts from time to time, making me sigh as my steps slow. I try to find happier thoughts, and my fingers twitch against the paper sleeve around my cup as I think of another major draw of the house – one of the walls in the living room is covered entirely with built-in floor-to-ceiling mahogany bookshelves that would house most of our collection.
My jaw had literally dropped the first time I saw it, and Jasper had laughed. He'd teased me, saying that I just wanted to pretend I was a real professor.
He chuckled, nibbling at my ear as he slipped behind me. His arms encircled my waist, and he rested his chin on my shoulder as I stood staring at the wooden ladder that matched the shelves. "So am I going to come home to find you in a drinking jacket with Scotch in one hand and a stogie in the other?"
I swatted at his hands, leaning back against him. "You're telling me you don't love that?"
"Of course I do…" he whispered. He let me go and slipped his finger into my belt loop, tugging so I would turn around and face him. "It's one of the main reasons I wanted you to see this place." I could hear the earnest tone in his voice, see it in his eyes, and a smile spread on my lips.
"Thank you," I answered simply. "The attic is fantastic, too. What do you think?"
"I think we should put in an offer, sweetheart. I know the timing sucks, but do you really think we're going to find something we like more?"
My smile was slow and mischievous. "I think I need to figure out where the hell you buy drinking jackets."
I chuckle, unable to stop my smile as I turn the corner onto our street. My books are my pride and joy, but for all of my adult life, they've spent most of their time in boxes. I can't wait to get them all out on display, so I can see and appreciate them.
I wonder if…
I stop myself at once, shaking my head to clear it of the "innocent" suggestion that maybe we could unpack just a few boxes. It's not worth it. I want to spend a happy night with Jasper, celebrating our new home.
My feet are light as I head up the stone walkway to our front door with a jaunty step. I grin at the thought, wondering what Jasper would make of me using a word like "jaunty" to describe myself.
The front door is all glass and wood painted a curious light turquoise shade that I've grown to love. When I first saw it, I thought it needed to be painted, but it fits in with the overall quirky charm of the whole place that – to be honest – describes Jasper perfectly.
My smile fades as soon as I step inside. I stub my toe on the stack of boxes just inside the entryway and muffle my curse. I flip the light switch, only to have nothing happen, and it is then that I remember that we still haven't even installed light bulbs through most of the house.
I close my eyes, taking a deep breath and humming tunelessly to myself before I unwind my scarf and slip it back into my pocket. I hang my coat on the coat rack and run my fingers through my hair as I steel myself for what I might find when I leave the entryway.
Jasper could be upstairs painting if the mood struck.
He could be napping, especially if he stayed up after I left. He is by nature a creature of the night.
He could very well have set up the TV and be sitting on the couch in the middle of the disaster area, eating Cocoa Puffs and watching Judge Judy.
Once I feel like I'm prepared for any of these things, I call out, "Babe? I'm home."
I take a step toward the hallway. "Jasper?"
Maybe he's upstairs…
I head that way, but I've gone only a few steps when I glance into the living room and stop in my tracks. "Holy shit," I breathe.
I am frozen, staring dumbly at the soft light pouring from the antique lamps Jasper's mother gave us last Christmas. We hadn't had room for them in our old apartment, but now they are spread around the room, perched on top of the end tables we just bought. The furniture has been arranged so that the couch faces the TV, but the loveseat is turned toward the fireplace.
But something is missing.
As the absence of boxes filters through my awareness, I take a tentative step toward the room. And then another. Hope and disbelief war in my chest until I walk through the doorway, my head turning automatically toward the bookshelves.
They are gleaming, the wood polished to a high shine that glows warmly in the low light, but even better than that, they are filled – rows upon rows of first editions and rare copies, hard covers and cheap paperbacks. I stand in awe, allowing the beauty of the overall scene to settle into my mind, and then I'm in motion again, stopping only when I stand right in front of the shelves.
I run my fingers along tattered, carefully repaired spines, realizing as I go that Jasper has the books meticulously arranged. They are separated by genre and author, a recognizable order amid the chaos of volumes. I smile as I spot old friends I haven't seen in years – the storybooks my mother read to me as a child before she passed away, the weathered copy of The Hobbit that began my love of Tolkien and fantasy. So many books I'd forgotten, but one glimpse of a particular crease along the title, and memories rush back.
There are many I do not recognize, and I know they must be part of Jasper's collection. A few titles I don't recall having ever heard of before, and I embrace this mystery – this chance to know him better, even after all these years together.
It is fitting, somehow, seeing his books mixed with mine. A warmth seeps through my skin as I pore over the books on the shelves, competing with the growing desire I have to find him and thank him for this – the best surprise he could have given me.
I don't want to shortchange his gift, though, so I spend a few more minutes appreciating his handiwork. He has arranged our two armchairs around a small area rug, creating a little reading nook with a floor lamp in between. I marvel at how…perfect it all is. I'd imagined so many things when I'd first seen this room, but somehow this is all the more special because I know he did it for me.
Finally, I can't take it any longer. I cast one more glance around the room, smiling broadly as I see the paintings he's already hung, the framed pictures of us scattered here and there. My heart is in my throat when I finally leave.
The rest of this house is still a train wreck, so I navigate my way down the hall as best I can, heading for the attic stairs. Before I've gone more than a few steps, though, I hear the muffled sound of water running.
I follow it to our bedroom door, which is standing open. Jasper has made a little progress in our room, but I pay no attention to it as I walk toward the bathroom door. It is closed because Jasper loves scalding hot showers and hates to feel cold when he shuts the water off.
I open the door, closing it quickly behind me as I step into a bank of steam. My glasses fog immediately, so I take them off, putting them on the counter. I can hear Jasper singing softly to himself, see his blurry, moving outline through the shower doors – he hasn't heard me yet.
Without even thinking about it, I strip as silently as possible out of my clothes, for once leaving them in a pile on the floor. I pad to the shower door and open it slowly, trying not to let a draft give me away.
I can't help but stare.
Through the haze, I can see water cascading over his back, running in sudsy rivulets down his spine. My eyes linger on his firm ass before movement draws them back to his shoulder blades. His biceps flex as he reaches up to run his fingers through his hair, sending a fresh deluge over his skin.
"You just gonna stand there looking all day?"
I grin ruefully and step into the shower at last, slipping my arms around his waist to pull him back against me. "You knew I was there?"
"Heard you when you got home," he answers with a mischievous grin, turning to give me a light kiss. I deepen it, parting his lips so our tongues meet. He gives in willingly, humming contently as he laces his fingers through mine.
When our kiss ends, I murmur, "I can't believe the living room…"
His grin brightens. "All for you, baby…you like it?"
"It's amazing," I answer honestly. "How did you do all of that, though?"
He steps away, rinsing beneath the showerhead before pressing his body against mine again. "Started right after you left this morning. I just…" He pauses, shrugging as his hands drift down to cup my ass. His voice is husky and low, harder to hear over the rush of the water when he speaks again. "I love you, Edward. All of this just makes it feel more…permanent, you know?" I smile, unable to resist kissing him hard as he speaks my own thoughts and feelings back to me. He pulls away at last, trailing kisses along my jaw to my ear, where he murmurs, "I just wanted to do something nice for you to show you how happy you make me."
I reach up, taking his face between my hands as I look into his eyes. His lashes are darker than usual, clumped from the water dripping from his nose and chin. His eyes are the brightest I've ever seen them, though – grayish blue shot through like banded agate with darker veins of navy and lightest aquamarine. Standing there looking at him, I can feel the subtle difference between us, the settled, confident feeling that pervades the atmosphere.
"I love you, Jasper," I say simply.
He smiles and kisses me again. This time, it is his lips that are insistent, his tongue brushing against mine as his hands move to grip my hips. I give myself to this moment, to feeling his body pressed against mine, slick and warm from the water rushing over our skin.
His head tilts, his fingers tangling in my dripping hair as our hips align. I feel the way his body is stirring, reacting to mine, and it excites me as always.
Though it is a small gift, not nearly as meaningful as the one he has given me, I kiss my way down his body, lingering on his angular collarbone, tracing the faded scar along his ribs, nibbling at the taut flesh of his abdomen. He sighs softly and shifts, leaning against the shower wall. His fingers in my hair encourage me, and when I glance up, I find his lips parted.
I chuckle at the excitement in his eyes, letting me know just how badly he wants this. The cast iron tub is slick under my knees, the glaze different from the slightly rough acrylic in our old place. I smile, relishing all the subtle changes, thoroughly enjoying exploring my partner's body in our new surroundings.
I duck my head, warm water spraying my face as I tilt it up to lavish attention on Jasper's balls. He spreads his legs wider, letting me take one into my mouth, tracing thick veins with the tip of my tongue before drifting backward, teasing and sucking. When I pull away, he pouts at me, but I just grin.
I reach up, gripping his hips as I take his hardening cock deeply, earning a quiet, "Jesus… fuck, Edward," from above.
His hands cover my ears, and I can feel the way his body curves. I know he is watching me, his head tilting and shifting for the best angle. He loves playing with perspective, loves seeing things in a new way, and the sight of his cock disappearing into my welcoming mouth is one of his favorites.
Between his hands and the rush of water from the shower, I can't hear him, but he makes his pleasure known in the way his hips thrust and his fingers clench. I move, spreading my knees as I settle in, determined to make him lose control.
I lick and suck, massaging his cock with my tongue as I let my teeth scrape lightly along his length. One of his hands falls away, and I open my eyes to find it clenching into a fist at his side. His other hand moves to the back of my head, its weight heavy and aimless as his fingertips dig into my scalp.
I love this – knowing I can do this to him – and my cheeks lift into an unfinished smile as I hum. His hips buck, his voice clear now when he says, "Oh, fuck me…do that again, baby."
He is breathless, panting, and I have to honor his request. I hum once more, flicking the tip of my tongue against his cock. I reach up with my left hand, cupping his balls and pressing between his legs. As my fingers drift backward, he murmurs, "God, you know just what I like…please, Edward…"
At the sound of his husky voice pleading, I am suddenly aware of my own aching cock brushing against my skin as I move. I rub my middle finger back and forth across his entrance, moaning when he shifts down a bit to open himself to me. As I press the tip of my finger into him, I wrap my hand around my cock, squeezing nearly to the point of pain.
I fantasize about being inside him, feeling his ass tighten around me, and my cock twitches, longing to take the place of my finger inside of Jasper. But I don't act on it. I want to be exactly where I am right now.
My lips glide smoothly along his skin as my finger meets resistance. I am slow, gentle, but before long, he is begging for more. I slip another finger inside him, stroking my cock in earnest as my head bobs to the rhythm my hands have set. I rub against that special place that will buckle his knees, and sure enough, his hands fly to the sides, struggling to hold onto the shower wall.
I double my efforts, overcome with the flood of sensations as I drive us both toward bliss. My hand comes up and over the head of my cock, spreading pre-cum and teasing the sensitive flesh as I swallow around Jasper. I feel his spasm, letting me know he's close, and I slow my pace for a moment, wanting to prolong this.
He won't be deterred, though, his hips taking over where I left off. I chuckle as best I can and relax my throat, letting him fuck my mouth. His words have dissolved into grunts and moans and hisses, animalistic noises that make my hand speed along my cock.
I shudder as his knees hit my chest, his thighs tight with exertion. As I taste his salty, bitter stream on the back of my tongue; a twist of my wrist sends me spiraling with him. He grows impossibly thicker in my mouth as his hands fist my hair, holding me so close it's hard to breathe.
I welcome the incoherency, the feeling of nothingness as I float on bliss from the pleasure I just experienced spiced with the want of air. We hang in stasis for a protracted moment, the only movement that of the cooling water cascading over our bodies.
Jasper is the first to move. I hear a grunt and then, "Holy fuck, Edward…" Fingers run tenderly through my hair before moving to my biceps, urging me to stand.
I try to comply, but my knees are aching from being on the hard surface for so long. He chuckles as he helps me move awkwardly to my feet, and the first thing I see when I stand is his beaming smile.
"God…you're amazing," he murmurs. "Come here."
I step toward him, my arms wrapping around his shoulders as his slip around my waist, his hands dipping down to caress the swell of my ass. Our heads tilt as we kiss, languid brushes of lips and tongues as Jasper tastes himself. His body is pressed fully against mine, and I nibble his bottom lip as my fingers slide into his hair.
When we part at last, our lips still touching lightly, I whisper, "So are you. Thank you."
He smiles, the corners of his eyes crinkling. "Anything for you."
A/N: Thank you so much for taking the time to read and review my work – I can't tell you how much I appreciate hearing your thoughts! I swear, some of these will be things other than E/J, but so far, they are the ones babbling.
I do plan to (likely) finish the Twi25, but it won't be on time. I'm having fun with the prompts and want to give them the attention they deserve, which I just can't do in a little over a week.
Please check out the Plot Bunny Contest at http:/plotbunnycontest(dot)blogspot(dot)com/ - you know you want to enter!