A/N: It's CaptainJezebel's birthday, and I couldn't let it go by without giving her some love. Jezzie, you're a rockstar in my book, and I love ya something fierce. Thank you for everything you do. I hope you enjoy the latteboys.
Thanks to SorceressCirce for prompts and beta'ing, as well as for the lovely banner (you can see it on my blog, link in profile).
As always, I don't own Twilight. It owns me.
"Here you go, sir, one caramel latte, just as you like it."
He smiles up at me, pushing his black plastic glasses back up his nose. "Edward, please."
I grin. "I'm Jasper."
He's come in every day for the past week, ordering the same thing, sitting at the same table for hours, typing away on his laptop.
Curious, I ask, "So what brings you here?"
Running his fingers through his messy auburn hair, he sighs. "They're renovating my house. I come here to work – it's...quieter."
His vibrant green eyes on mine, he smiles shyly. "And I like your coffee."
Every day, we talk a little.
Edward is a writer and is currently working on a new book.
I know he's single, lives alone, enjoys the same music I do, and loves his lattes.
He knows I'm single, working as a barista while studying to be an I.T. Tech.
I know that when he tugs at his hair, he's frustrated; that crease in his brow means he's thinking.
Every chance I have, I observe, learn.
I carefully draw into the foam – every line deliberate.
A quirked brow with that smile means he's surprised.
I smile, blushing. "You're welcome."
Placing his latte and a plate on his table, I mumble, "Happy birthday, Edward."
His eyes flicker between the pound cake and me. "How did you..?"
My cheeks burn as I stutter, "Umm, I googled you?"
Quirking a brow, he grins crookedly. "You googled me?"
I nod, wondering why the hell I'd admitted to that. Curiosity had gotten the best of me, wanting to know if I'd read his work. When I saw it was his birthday today, I was ecstatic.
Now, I wish I'd left well enough alone.
He must think I'm a stalker or something...
"Thank you, Jasper."
A groan, a curse, a soft pleading of "No, no, no, please!"
As I walk over, Edward takes off his glasses, letting them dangle between his fingers as he scrubs his face with both hands.
The light from his screen is reflected in them, and I wince. I know his livelihood is on that laptop, and it looks to have died completely.
I hesitate. I want to help, but the last few days have been awkward.
For me, anyway.
I've become quieter, more reserved. Observing again as I've let my coffee art do the talking instead.
"Edward? Can I help?"
I try every trick I know. Nothing works. I need my computer.
Smiling apologetically at him, I explain, praying he won't think I'm trying to lure him to my place. After the other day, I wouldn't assume me to be trustworthy if I were in his shoes. It's one thing for him to accept help here, in the safety of a crowd - it's quite another to go to the lion's den willingly, so to speak.
His eyes narrow briefly as he studies me. "Can you fix it?"
I nod, relatively certain in my abilities.
"I'd be most grateful."
Opening my door, I step back to allow him entry. I clear my throat, blushing as I see the laundry I didn't get around to putting away, the papers and books strewn over my coffee table, DVD's and CD's that haven't been put in their place.
I glance at him nervously and stammer, "So...this is me...umm...please excuse the mess?"
His eyes roam the space before falling on mine. He nods, a soft smile on his lips.
I point to my desk across the room, housing my most prized possession. "Can I get you anything before we start?"
Edward mutters under his breath as I work. I can't hear the words, but the meaning behind them is obvious in the way his knee bounces as he constantly runs his fingers through his hair, pinching the bridge of his nose before adjusting his glasses.
I try to ignore him - for now, at least - so I can focus on fixing his laptop. It's taking longer than it should, but knowing he's in my home, feet away from my bed, makes it hard to concentrate.
With one final click, his computer comes to life again, and I beam.
Victory is mine.
His eyes are wide; his lower lip disappears between his teeth. I fight the urge to tease it out of its confines with my thumb.
"Everything's saved? I haven't lost anything?"
Clearing my throat, I shake my head, assuring him it's all there.
He's quiet for a moment. I sigh at the thought of him leaving now that his computer's fixed. It sucks, but I'm afraid to say anything.
I look at him. His eyes are darker now - determined.
Before I can wonder, his hands cradle my face as he murmurs, "Thank you," and presses his lips to mine.
It's over before I register what's happening, and I whimper at the loss.
His eyes dance between mine, a brilliant smile lighting up his face, and then his lips are back.
This time, I return his kiss. My fingers tangle in his hair as I hold him to me. I can't believe this is happening, but now that it is, I don't want to stop.
Eventually, we have to. We pull apart, breathing heavily.
He grins, answering my unspoken question. "I've been wanting to do that for a long time now."
I blink. "Really?"
"Yes, really," he says with conviction.
We move to the couch to be comfortable and talk. He confesses his house has long since been finished, but he couldn't bring himself to stop going to The Grind.
It hadn't been the coffee, but me that kept him coming back. The knowledge has me dizzy - flying high enough that I confess my own interest in him.
The smile I get is beautiful. I want to see it again.
He caresses my cheek with the back of his fingers. "I had a feeling you might've been," he teases.
I blush, lowering my gaze, and whisper, "Wish I'd known."
He leans in, kissing me again.
I recline, pulling him with me, never breaking contact. His weight on me grounds me, even as it sends me flying.
He moans softly against my lips as he rolls his hips into mine.
It feels so good. I want more.
When he does it again, I start to panic.
I want him.
In every way.
I don't want to stop, but I've not been out long and haven't been with many guys. The things my body is screaming for, I've only ever seen.
I have to let him know.
"Edward..." I start.
He stills on top of me. Eyes that smoldered before now burn me as I explain.
My cheeks flush, embarrassed by my confession, positive that he won't want me now - that I'm too young, too much effort for him.
When he sits up, I close my eyes, unwilling to let him see the hurt at my perceived rejection.
He pulls me to him, wrapping his arms around me. He whispers, "Let me do this right? Can I take you on a date?"
I look at him in confusion.
Kissing me briefly, he simply says, "Please?"
He wants me?
I rush home after my shift to get ready.
Edward left not long after I agreed to go out with him, though not before we kissed the breath from each other.
He's picking me up, told me to dress nice, but casual.
I'm too nervous to do anything during my shower, and I spend too long finding clothes. Eventually, I settle for khakis and a dark blue button down.
As I roll up my sleeves, there's a knock on my door.
When I open it, the first thing I see is a bouquet of roses: pink, coral, orange, yellow, white.
Tonight has been more than I had ever expected. The flowers, opening doors, holding my chair out...
He's been the perfect gentleman throughout, showing me with every action and every word that he wants me. And not just for sex.
We talk comfortably over dinner, and I learn more about him. He lets me in like no one ever has, and I'm thrilled to know it.
As we share dessert, I wonder again if maybe I'm too young for him. I ask him, needing to be sure.
Offering me a bite of tiramisu, he smiles. "I never notice with you."
He takes me dancing - not to a club, but a dance school.
He asks if I know how and I tell him no. His eyes are fixed on mine as he says, "I'll teach you."
I nod, blushing slightly. Somehow, I feel like he isn't talking only about dancing.
The way he moves us across the dance floor is so graceful, so sure, it's almost effortless as he guides me. I've never done this before, but it doesn't occur to me to feel strange about doing so with a guy. With him, it's the most natural thing in the world.
Movies, dinners, dancing, long walks, quiet nights at home.
In the few weeks that have passed since I fixed his laptop, Edward has shown me time and again that he's serious about doing things right. He tells me that he wants my first time to be special and done out of love, not lust.
He talks about it as if I'm giving him the greatest gift, but I know it's the opposite.
Tonight, I hope to finally get it. I'm ready, and I tell him in the only way I know how.
"I love you, Edward."
He kisses me hard.
As with everything else, he takes his time, letting me know I'm cherished.
I'm both anxious and patient all at once. I want him, and when the last piece of clothing falls away, I almost want to cheer - or cry. I'm not sure which.
He promises to take care of me.
I believe him.
Languid kisses turn heated.
Fingers tease and ply, push and pull, worship and praise.
Capable hands soon have me writhing, panting, begging for more.
His "I love you, Jasper," is punctuated by the invasion of him.
The burn of pain becomes a blazing fire of need.
My hands clamor for a hold on him as he rocks his hips into mine. Each thrust sends me higher onto a plane I never knew existed.
I tangle my fingers in his hair and claim his lips, grounding myself to him. I'm not ready to fly, desperate to cling to this precipice he's put me on.
Words, grunts, moans, silent pleas, cried out want. It all mingles, and I cannot tell them apart.
I don't want to, for now we are one.
A final stroke, a last thrust, and I soar - he follows soon after.
Shaking, I come down.
His forehead presses against mine as we fight to catch our breath. He smiles, kissing me tenderly.
The euphoria is trumped only by the love I see reflected in his eyes.
Slowly, he pulls out, and I whimper. I don't want him gone, even for a second.
As with everything else, he takes his time, making sure I'm okay, cleaning up the mess we made.
I want to help, but it's like my muscles are still trying to weave themselves together.
He slips between the covers, wraps himself around me, and with one final kiss, we both succumb to sleep.
"Here you go, sir, one caramel latte, just as you like it," I say with a grin.
Edward glances up from his laptop, narrowing his eyes a little. Then he smiles at me, pushing his glasses back up his nose. "Sir? I thought we were well past that, Jasper?"
I simply shrug and walk back to my post.
I watch him as he finally looks at his cup.
His eyes widen when he sees the heart in the foam. He turns to look at me, his smile so radiant I can almost feel it.
"I love you, too," he mouths.