Let Myself Fall
Act Two of Beautiful Dangerous
A/N: Thanks ~venisenvy for musing, ~tjbaby for her fresh eyes, and ~kblacknightingale for teh grammarz. Thanks for reading, reviewing, and story alerting! And in case it's not completely obvious, I don't own E&J. I do own this story. This chapter amps up the bloodplay a little. Just saying.
O nature, what hadst thou to do in hell
When thou didst bower the spirit of a fiend
In mortal paradise of such sweet flesh?
Was ever book containing such vile matter
So fairly bound?
The whiskey burned my throat. I suppressed a grimace and pushed the glass towards the bartender for another.
The girl raised an eyebrow at me. "You wanna talk about it?"
"This is the last one, okay?" She tipped the bottle, twice, the spout sputtering after the second measure. "So make it last. I can't serve you drunk."
"Yeah." I slid a note across the bar and debated throwing my drink down anyway, but then I would have to go back to my cheap motel room and stare at the walls or watch crappy cable all night.
I'd been one of a handful of patrons when I'd walked in half an hour previous. There were a few more people in now. They'd turned the music up, too. I had no idea what music was popular. The song sounded completely foreign to me, though the genre was right up my alley. Or it would have been a couple of years ago.
The only radio I listened to now was the news stations. The only TV I watched was the news reports. I didn't read novels, just newspapers and reference books. Any time I spent on the internet was taken up with research. Psychological profiles. Mental disorders. Serial killers.
A year ago, I'd had a goal. Find him and avenge Peter's death.
I'd found him. Then I'd walked away, not having the balls to do what I should have done myself. Trusting the police and the F.B.I. to do their fucking jobs for a change.
After I'd left, made the call and headed for the state line, I'd spent the next couple of weeks waiting optimistically for the report that would tell me that I'd succeeded.
It never came.
I'd finally found a tiny caption at the bottom of the third page of one of the newspapers that said the police had received an anonymous tip that the killer was incapacitated inside a house, but when they'd got there they'd found nothing but a little blood on the carpet of the master bedroom. They believed it was a hoax. There wasn't enough blood spilt for the house to have been the scene of a murder, but they'd taken samples, and if a match ever turned up, they would be taken in for questioning.
That was my blood.
I'd spent the last five months back at square one, scouring newspapers and internet sites for some clue that would indicate which path he was taking. Except now, I was aiming to keep out of his way, rather than cross his path. I had no doubt that he'd take any chance to take his revenge, to finish what he started with me. And I was terrified. Not to mention disgusted with myself. I'd planned everything so intricately, so perfectly. Put myself in his way, said all the right words, acted the right way...the way all the others had acted. Then I'd wasted it all. I'd never had the balls in the first place.
I should have opened him up and bled him dry. Left that for the cops to find. I could see it when I closed my eyes, him, spread out naked on that white bed, surrounded in glistening blood, a perfect splash of colour against his pale skin.
I shook myself free of the fantasy and lurched a little on the stool. Yeah, I was drunk. And I needed to pee. I waved at the girl and gestured towards the bathroom, then down at my drink, silently asking her to watch it for me.
I had to grip the bar when I slid from the stool, but I steadied myself and headed for the bathroom.
On the way back, when I thought I caught a glimpse of bronze hair and pale skin I ignored it. I'd been seeing him since I'd walked out the door that night. Paranoid.
I slipped back onto the stool, throwing a smile at the girl in thanks. I was drunk enough now that I could go back to the dingy motel and pass out. That had been my goal all along. I threw back what remained in my glass without looking at it, banged it on the bar, waved at the girl, and carefully pulled myself off the stool.
Only then did I look down at the polished wood, and there, parallel to the edge, lay a single, long stemmed red rose, complete with thorns.
I walked swiftly down the busy street. More paranoid now, I saw tall, auburn haired men everywhere, but I was drunk, everything was blurry...and I was panicked.
I should have stayed in the bar; should have had the girl call the police. But without thinking I'd bolted outside.
What the fuck would I do if he followed me back to the motel? I was fucked.
I'd had a lot to drink, but I didn't think it had been enough to make me feel as lethargic as I did at that moment. The whole world seemed to shift, the sounds of the traffic and the people seemed to swim, I found it hard to see, to concentrate.
I didn't know where I was or where I was going.
I stumbled, and my knees hit the pavement with a jarring blow that seemed not to come from me, but from somewhere very far away. I went down on my hands, not caring about the gravel that dug into my palms, or that I'd fallen in the path of crowds coming the other way. My head swam, and I barely suppressed the urge to vomit.
There were hands on me...a woman's voice, full of concern...other voices...
Then everything went quiet, and all I could hear was that voice...smooth and beautiful, like a wide, slow flowing river on a warm day...my boyfriend...little too much to drink...taking him home...
Strong arms lifted me, helped me to walk. Just a few steps. A car door opened and I fell into a soft leather seat. I let my head fall back as a belt was buckled around me and I could smell him.
How could something so black inside smell so good?
Keys jingled and a door clicked shut. "I've missed you so much, Jasper," the voice said, and I felt cool fingers stroking my face. Then they were gone, the engine started, and I groaned as the car began to move.
I struggled against the fog, against the oblivion. I was completely and utterly fucked.
My head hurt like a motherfucker and my tongue tasted like I'd been licking the pavement. I didn't remember vomiting, but the burn at the back of my throat proved that I had. Regurgitated spirit and bile. I'm never drinking again.
Then I remembered, and I tried—only tried, mind you—to sit bolt upright. The closest I got was my eyes open and another roiling wave of nausea. I had to shut my eyes immediately, because even though the curtains of whatever room I was in were drawn, the bright glow that showed around the edges sent my head spinning and pounding so hard I could barely think.
He'd done something to me, drugged me—because I hadn't drunk enough to be like that—and dragged me off the street and into his car.
That's all I remembered.
"Where are you, fucker?" I croaked, trying to sound more confident than I felt. "And why the fuck aren't I in pieces?"
I heard a soft chuckle, and I cracked one eye open. He sat in an armchair in a far corner of the room. Jesus, it was really him. This was the first look I'd had at him in six months, and my memory had never done him justice, because even with only one eye open just a sliver, and through the blur of my eyelashes, he was so fucking beautiful I wanted to cry.
From what I could see, the room I was in looked like any normal bedroom in any normal apartment. The bed I lay in was on one long wall of the rectangular room. On my right was a wall of windows or doors. I couldn't tell with the curtains drawn. It didn't hurt so much when I looked to the left, at him.
Edward. He'd been looking for me, and he'd found me.
I opened the other eye a little way. That must be the bedroom door beside him, I thought, though it was closed. The wall opposite the bed had another door, but this one was ajar and I could see that it was a bathroom.
I craved water to rinse the foul taste from my mouth.
"It's good to see you." His tone was pleasant, even caring. Of course I'd expected anger. I'd left him trussed naked on a bed for the cops to find. But it was as if none of that had happened, as if we'd gone back in time six months and I was waking in his bed after we'd spent the night together making love.
Except none of that had ever happened between us.
"I'm sorry I had to put something in your drink. If I'd realised how much you must have drunk last night, I'm not sure I would have given you so much. It really was unnecessary." He moved, standing fluidly, and I flinched. "Would you like some water?"
I watched him suspiciously as he moved to the dresser beside the armchair and grasped a clear, blue bottle of water that sat on top. It looked cold, condensation beaded on the outside, and if I hadn't been so dehydrated, I'm sure my mouth would have watered. I waited, but he just stood there expectantly on the other side of the room, the bottle in his hand.
I nodded, and my head pounded.
The smile that spread over his face was so free of any malice or cruelty that it left me dumbfounded, staring in shock as he moved towards me, the bottle held out at arm's length. He stopped and twisted the cap free. The seal broke with a cracking of plastic—I was thankful he wasn't trying to drug me again—and I took it from him, without taking my eyes off his.
"You're welcome," he said with a smirk, then sat down on the bed.
I flinched again, and pulled my legs up away from him. It was then, moving under the sheets like that, that I realised I was completely naked. I shuddered, knowing that he must have undressed me. I didn't want to think about it, his hands on me while I was unconscious. God knows what he did, how he touched me. I only knew I hadn't been penetrated, he could have done anything else and I was too sick from the Jack and the roofie he'd slipped me to know. "So, you like your boys awake when you rape and kill them, then, huh?" I lifted the bottle to my lips and half drained it, all the while watching him.
He waited until I was finished drinking, but he had a saddened, disappointed expression on his face. Then he spoke. "I have never taken anyone against their will, Jasper." He reached out and placed his hand over my ankle.
I twitched it out from under his grip. "Don't touch me."
"I have no intention of hurting you. I love you."
I burst into manic laughter. It hurt my head. "You're a nutcase. That's what you said to all those guys you killed. That's what you said to Peter." I never said his name out loud anymore. It reminded me of how badly I'd fucked up.
Edward shifted up the bed. I scrambled backward until my back hit the headboard and I could go no further. I kept the sheet pulled up to my waist. He ended up sitting beside my legs, and I pulled them into my chest. I felt dizzy, and realised I shouldn't try to hide it any longer. If he thought I was weaker than I was, he might slip and give me a chance to get out of there.
I let myself shake in fear as he touched me, at first placing his hand on my knee, then slowly stroking my thigh. "I've missed you so much," he said, with so much emotion in his voice that I almost believed him. But I could bet that he had a knife on him or somewhere close, and I could bet that he was going to try and fuck me, and when he did it was all over.
I had to get out of there.
"Um, can I take a shower?" I stammered. "I feel pretty gross."
A bright smile spread across his face. "Of course." He stood and went to the bathroom—keeping an eye on me the whole time, though he was smiling—and turned on the water, then went to the dresser and pulled open a drawer. He took a folded garment from it, opened one further down and pulled out another. "You've lost some weight, I think, but these should still fit. Are you eating properly? After you've showered, I'll make you something to eat." He placed a black t-shirt and a pair of sleep pants the same colour on the foot of the bed.
I stared at him.
"See? I remember what you like. I don't think I've ever seen you wear any other colour." Then he sat back down on the edge of the bed.
He was gonna watch me. I wanted to check out whatever it was behind the curtain, to see if there was any way I could get out, but he wasn't going to give me the opportunity.
I pulled the sheet tighter around me, yanking it hard to pull it from the mattress, so I could keep myself covered as I walked to the bathroom. He grinned and shifted obligingly so I could get it out from under him, then I swung my feet around and placed them on the floor.
As soon as I tried to put weight on them, my head swam dizzily. I had to accept the help he offered, as he placed one arm around my waist and I leaned on him as we made our way to the bathroom, then I shrugged him off weakly and leant on the cabinet instead. My stomach felt as though the contents had been stirred around inside me, and I fought the urge to lean over the sink and expel whatever remained. I ran the cold water and thrust my wrists underneath. It grounded me a little.
I realised that Edward's eyes were fixed on the inside of my left wrist, and the jagged scar that ran the width of it. I pulled it out of the water and into my chest, instinctively protecting it from his gaze.
His eyes followed, then flicked up to my face. His breathing was heavy, and his pupils had blown wide open, making his eyes look almost black. I gasped and stumbled backward, but he followed, fluidly tracing my steps as I backed up against the bathroom wall. A towel rail dug into my back, forcing me to arch over it as his face came close to mine and I shrank away.
He persisted, his lips grazing my cheek bone. That tiny touch sent shivers through me, and my lips tingled with a yearning that sickened me. I turned my face away, but his hands on my shoulders meant I couldn't twist out of reach.
Even the attempt sent waves of nausea through me.
"Jasper," he hissed into my ear. I could feel his heart thudding against my naked chest. "I've waited so long to have you in my arms again." His hands slipped from my shoulders and he clasped both of my wrists in his hands, pulling them away from my body as he stepped back. He looked down at the puckered scar, turning my wrist even though I struggled to pull it out of his sight. He kissed it, his eyes drifting slowly closed, and he groaned.
I tugged again, but couldn't pull out of his grip.
He lifted his head and looked into my eyes. "It's beautiful," he said. "Never hide this from me. This is the proof of what you gave me of your own free will."
I swallowed the bile that rose at the back of my throat. "You're deluded. Or don't you remember I had an ulterior motive?"
A smile spread over his face, and he shook his head. "I remember how you left me. I remember how you couldn't finish it. I asked you for something very great, and you couldn't do it. I understand. I've had a long time to think about it, to consider your motives." He pressed his lips against my scar again, and it itched, and I ached to scratch it. Finally he let go, and I thrust it down to my hip and scrubbed it against the bedsheet.
Edward pushed his hands inside the sheet, slipping around my waist and down over my ass. He held one cheek in each hand, kneading softly. The sheet fell away, my reactions too slow to catch it, my hands clutching at nothing. The rail behind me dug into my back and I whimpered, from the pain, the helplessness, and at the disgust I felt when my dick twitched against him.
His teeth scraped along my jaw, down my throat, biting my Adam's apple before he bent his head and took one nipple between his lips and flicked his tongue over it. I started getting hard. "God, fuck, Edward...no. Please." My hips twitched weakly and I groaned. "No, fuck, no."
Much to my surprise, he pulled away, bringing himself back to his full height and placing his hands either side of my face. "Of course. I'm sorry." He stepped back, and held open the shower door for me. "I simply...I find it difficult to control myself with you. You are perfect, my love, and so beautiful. And I understand the difficulties you had, are still having, in giving yourself to me completely. It will come in time, I know it."
As I stared at him in utter shock, he turned and left the room, shutting the door behind him.
My head spun, the hot steamy air making my nausea worse. I managed to reach in and turn the water temperature down until it was barely tepid, then climbed in and sank to the floor of the cubicle, letting the almost cold water flow over me as I hugged my knees to my chest and tried to pretend that it was just water running down my cheeks, and not tears.
The t-shirt was a little loose, not that it mattered. The pants too, but I pulled the drawstring in and tied it tight.
I felt like a whore. Something to be enjoyed and cast aside. Used up, bled dry...
Yeah, that's right, I felt like a helpless victim. I didn't like it, but I didn't know how to get myself up out of that hole. What choice did I have other than to play along? Let him believe what he obviously wanted to believe. Open myself up for him, if that was what he expected. Open my veins...and whatever else he wanted.
I just had to stay alive.
His eyes drank me in when I emerged from the bathroom. His lips parted, his tongue darting out to wet the lower, fuller one.
I wondered where he had the knife stashed. Maybe it was under the mattress. My eyes darted to the bed. He'd stripped it completely and remade it while I was in the shower. And sitting on the foot of it, was a tray filled with food.
My mouth watered.
I looked back at him, then at the tray again. He grinned and nodded his head in the direction of the food. I needed no more invitation. I fell on it, sliding onto the bed carefully so as not to jostle the tall glass of orange juice. It was the first thing I grabbed, and even though the fact that I had just brushed my teeth made it sour, right at that moment it was the most wonderful thing I'd ever tasted.
I drank it too fast, of course, and juice dripped down my chin. I put the empty glass down and wiped at my face with the back of my hand.
Edward made a soft sound of amusement. When I looked up, he was standing beside the dresser, one hand resting on the top. He tipped his head to the side and studied me, and I felt my face burn under his scrutiny. I was a prisoner, scrambling for any scraps he bothered to give me, and he laughed at me in my thirst and hunger.
"Why are you doing this?" I muttered, looking back down at the tray of food. I couldn't resist picking up a bread roll, tearing off a hunk and stuffing it into my mouth. I chewed, swallowed, and looked back up at him. "Why am I still alive?"
He looked puzzled, cocking his head to the side and narrowing his eyes. "Jasper, don't you know?" He took the few steps across the room, sank down beside the bed and he looked up at me. "I can't bear to look at another man, Jasper. Since you left me, there's been no one else. I assumed you knew."
I stared down at him, the chunk of bread I'd just put in my mouth turning to mush. So that's why I couldn't find him. That's why there had been no new murders, though the usual time had passed and I assumed that when he'd missed out on me he'd do it again sooner. I swallowed, and my mouth was dry again and I wished I hadn't drunk the juice all at once.
"Would you like more?" Edward asked, as if he knew what I was thinking.
I nodded mutely, and he rose to his feet and strode out the door.
I scrambled off the bed and immediately went to the still closed curtains, shoving them aside so I could see if there was any means of escape. Bright sunlight blinded me and my head pounded again, but I blinked, lowering my eyes to the floor as I tried the latch on the sliding glass doors.
To my surprise it wasn't locked, so I pulled the door open and stepped out onto the terrace.
My heart sank as I leant on the railing and looked out over the roofs and trees far below. There was no fire escape, no adjacent balcony to climb to. We were many stories up, and there was no sensible means of getting away.
"It's a beautiful view, isn't it, Jasper? I thought you might like it."
I turned slowly. Edward stood just outside the door, looking at me with an easy smile. Not an ounce of suspicion lay on his features, nothing to suggest he knew why I had come out here. In the bright sunlight he looked like an angel. He looked perfect, and good, and beautiful. I knew what he was capable of, and I tried to tell myself that he was cold and dark and twisted inside.
I pushed past him—still a little unsteady on my feet—and went back into the room. I climbed onto the bed, ignoring the food, and sat there, pulling my legs into my chest. I fought the urge to rock, to comfort myself in the only way I knew how.
He followed after pulling the curtains back completely, and slid onto the bed beside me, his feet still on the floor. I flinched when he touched me, brushing still-wet hair away from my face with his long and perfect fingers. "I want to see you, Jasper," he murmured. "These long months, all I've wanted to do is see you."
"I understand how you must be feeling. You don't see what I see in you. That's okay. It's all okay now, because we are together."
I lifted my head, meeting his eyes. God, how could something so beautiful be so fucked? So dangerous? He was the bait, and the trap. I'd known before I ever laid eyes on him, I'd known what he was, and how he used his beauty and his charm to lure guys like me into blood and fear and death.
Yet I could see how easy it must have been for them. I'd felt it back then, back before I'd let that knife slide into the tip of my finger so I would know for sure that all the things he said and did were not just my mind hoping that I'd found him when they hadn't. Because if all he had done when I cut myself was find me a band-aid, I would have believed it all, I would have let myself fall for him.
I saw it happening. When I told him I thought I was falling in love with him, it was all true. Because he was beautiful and charming and perfect, and he smelt so good and every time he touched me I thought I would die if he stopped.
I'd never had to lie to do what I did.
If only I'd been stronger, had been able to separate myself from the role I played, then maybe I would have been able to cut him as he lay on that bed so it wasn't just my blood I left in that room.
His thumb touched my lower lip, and I couldn't help the sigh that left me. I closed my eyes, because I thought that if I couldn't see how beautiful he was then I could remember what he really was.
It didn't work. When his lips touched mine I didn't shrink away. I let him kiss me, I opened my lips to him, I let him unwrap my arms from around my knees and push me back onto the bed.
I heard his shoes hit the floor as he kicked them off, and he slipped a leg between mine. His hands held my wrists firmly, pushing them into the mattress either side of my head, his thumb brushing over the mangled inside of my left wrist as if he cared.
"I love you," he whispered against my lips, and released my left arm, and I was relieved that now he wasn't touching the scar that itched so badly, because his touching had soothed the itch and I didn't feel right that it should have.
He pushed up the t-shirt I wore—not mine, I didn't feel right calling it mine—and his cold hand slipped over my stomach and chest, moving around the side of me, slipping beneath me so he could hold me closer to him.
I could move my left arm if I wanted, and I imagined slipping my fingers into his hair and pulling him off me and dashing his brains against the headboard but instead I slipped my fingers into his hair and clutched hard and pulled him to me. He groaned, and I whimpered, and his hips moved against mine, and I wrapped one leg around his.
We were closer than we'd ever been before, even back then, not counting the fact that he'd taken my blood into his mouth, not counting the fact that I'd stroked his hard cock because I hadn't been able to resist even though I was thinking about cutting his throat.
I could feel even through the heavy denim of his jeans how hard he was, and I remembered how big and hard and thick he'd felt in my hand. I thrust my hips up into him and he groaned into my mouth.
It was me that said it. Me that gave him permission. Take me. Use me. Only make me come first, please.
He stopped moving against me and I let out a strangled cry of loss.
He was breathing hard, panting, and yet he pulled back, rolled off me and pulled me up so he could get my shirt off.
I lay back down, my hands at my sides, my fists clenched because I shouldn't be doing this, shouldn't be allowing this. I should be moving, getting off the bed, running for the door while he was still slowly working the buttons of his shirt through each tiny hole.
But I waited for him. And I watched him, his fingers slowly slipping each button loose, watched his face, his eyes lowered in serious concentration, his lips parted just a little, his breath making his chest rise and fall under his fingers.
He looked wondrous as he let the pristine white shirt slip from his shoulders and pool behind him on the comforter. His tongue darted out to wet his lower lip, and he slid down beside me, lying on his left side, and he touched me, palm down on my chest, moving slowly down over my stomach and slipping beneath the elastic waistband of the pants he'd given me to wear.
I gasped and arched my back as he wrapped his hand around my cock. I turned to face him, clutching his shoulders and as he slowly stroked me I moaned and thrust into his hand.
He whispered to me, his lips moving against my cheek as I buried my face in the space between him and the mattress, breathing in his clean, fresh scent. What he said was only snippets, things I'd heard before from him. Beautiful and perfect and I want to taste you and want to feel you come in my hand and so sweet and love you and want to be inside you.
I screamed, my fingernails surely cutting in and drawing blood as I came. He held me until I stopped shaking, then without shifting from his place, reached for the shirt he had taken off me and used it to clean the mess from my stomach and his hand.
A slow smile spread over his face as he looked at me. "You make the most delicious noises..." He pressed his face into my throat and hummed. "And you smell so good. I can feel your heart beating..."
I finally unclenched my fists from his shoulders and rolled onto my back. The usual thing, the polite thing, was to reciprocate...but this was not usual, nor did I feel the need for politeness. I was disappointed in myself, that I'd allowed him to touch me at all, and that I'd begged him to continue.
Yet I couldn't find the motivation to move away from him as he held himself on his elbow and watched me stare at the ceiling.
Was this what giving up felt like?
He moved. Fast, reaching over me, laying his body over me, and I panicked, whimpering as he covered me and I thought he was holding me down.
But he wasn't. Instead he reached into the drawer of the nightstand, and I flinched. "Please, I'm sorry, I can't..." I said, because I thought what else would he be reaching for but lube to follow through with his whispered promises as I was coming.
"Shhh," he soothed, ignoring my protests, clutching something in his hand as he slid the drawer shut and rolled off me.
"I'm not letting you fuck me," I said, hoping that assertiveness would dissuade him from trying. I didn't know if I could say no if he pressed, but I had to because that's when he killed them.
"I'm not going to," he murmured. I heard a click and caught the flash of steel from the corner of my eye. I looked just in time to see him slip a small, delicate knife from a leather sleeve and it was like all the sound had gone out of the room then rushed back in, overwhelming me. I couldn't think, couldn't breathe, but I could hear myself begging, pleading as I tried to scramble away.
He grabbed me by the wrist, his fingers biting in, and though I yanked in my panic I couldn't get free. "Calm yourself," he said firmly, and he pulled me back.
"Fuck...no...please." I frantically kicked out, trying to shove him back. He growled, he fucking growled, and dropped the knife, quickly with his right hand he grabbed my other wrist, the scarred one, and used his body, his legs, to subdue me.
By the time I ceased my struggles, exhausted and overpowered, he lay on top of me, and I could feel wetness on my face. I had my eyes screwed tightly shut, my head was turned to the side and I gasped for air as his full weight pressed down on me.
He was panting, too, his breath hot on my cheek. I felt his tongue trace the underneath of my eye, wet and warm. "Not quite what I'm after," he breathed. He shifted his weight and lifted both my arms up above my head, securing both my wrists within the cage of one hand, pressing them down hard into the mattress.
I tested him, and I couldn't move. A sob racked my chest and fresh tears escaped.
"Shh." His free hand drifted down my left side, and I felt him shift again, rocking away, then back again before I felt cold steel against the inside of my upper arm.
I started thrashing again.
The knife disappeared. "Jasper, you'll have to keep still, or I'll cut too deep."
My energy was gone anyway, and I collapsed.
"That's good," he murmured, his lips close to my ear. I felt his fingers on my face, wiping away the moisture from my cheeks and stroking my hair. "I just want a little taste," he said. "I won't hurt you, I promise. I love you. I've been waiting for you a long time, Jasper. You're what I needed, what I was searching for, only I didn't know it." I felt the blade again, a sharp tingling as he dragged it lightly across my shoulder and down my chest. It stopped, an inch or so above my nipple and I let out a breath I hadn't realised I'd been holding.
"Here? You want it here?"
"No." My voice was small and weak.
"Oh." He took the blade away again, must have placed it down somewhere, because he returned his hand to me, his palm flat on my chest. "You want to do it for me? Jasper...I...please." Emotion thickened his voice, and I finally opened my eyes and looked at him. "Please," he continued. "Like you did before...please."
I nodded quickly. "Yes." If he would let me up, give me the knife, I could get out of here.
He released my wrists, rolled off me and picked up the knife from where it lay. He flipped it over, holding it between two fingers by the blade and held it out, his face a picture of perfect, innocent trust.
I pulled my arms into my chest, rubbing my aching wrists as I watched him warily. He smiled as I pulled myself into a sitting position, the blade still held out before him.
I took it.
It was cold. The whole thing, from point to butt, was no longer than my hand with fingers outstretched, and the handle and the blade were made of the same piece of steel. "You killed Peter with this knife," I murmured.
Edward cocked his head to the side and gazed at me curiously. "I wish I'd met you first."
Then I'd be dead. I wondered if Peter would have been in my position now. "I should kill you for taking my friend away."
He was quick. Before I'd realised it, he had my wrist in his hand again. The blade of the knife pressed against his throat. "I trust you," he whispered as he released my hand.
I held the knife there for a few moments. A single flick of my wrist would have ended it. My hand shook. I felt the blade scratching against his skin, against the barest hint of stubble. My breath came in shuddering pants, loud in the quiet room.
Slowly, Edward took my wrist and lowered the blade from his throat. I let him. I let him steady my hand as he guided the knife to the inside of my left forearm. "This is what you want," he whispered gently.
A hint of a smile crossed his lips, and he pressed down on my hand. I could have dropped the knife, but I didn't. I let it bite into my skin. I let him drag my arm, drag the blade over my flesh, and I pressed down on the spine until I felt it slide through.
I clenched my teeth and grunted against the pain, and Edward let out an answering gasp. I dropped the knife then, a pale line left in it's wake that quickly darkened as blood welled to the surface.
Edward dropped my wrist and with both hands held my left arm. He stared at the wound, breathing heavily. I watched as a single, heavy drop of blood broke free from the edge of the wound and began a steady descent until it hit his finger and pooled there.
His eyes shot up to mine. His lips were open, and his shoulders rose and fell with slow deliberate breaths. I felt his fingers release my arm and watched with a sick kind of fascination as he lifted his bloody fingers to his lips.
He closed his eyes and groaned as he sucked two fingers into his mouth. When his eyes opened again, they were dark. He let go of my arm with the other hand and wrapped it around my neck, pulling me hard to him, crushing his lips against mine.
I tasted blood, and there was a sticky dampness on his fingers as they threaded into my hair at the back of my head. I cupped my right hand under the warm flow, as if that could stop my life draining from me. But I let him kiss me. Let him crush me against him, let him push me back onto the bed and lift my arm.
He crouched on his knees and locked our gaze as he dragged his tongue up from my elbow, through the thick red that continued to flow. I winced at the sting as he licked the length of the wound. Again and again his tongue moved over me, until my skin was almost clean. The wound had stopped oozing fresh blood. He lowered my arm, and it throbbed.
I was frozen. Maybe it was shock, maybe fear. My fingers tingled, my lips too. It didn't seem real.
Edward slid to my side and kissed me again. I felt his hands at my hip and registered vaguely that he was opening his jeans. "Touch me," he commanded, and without thinking I complied, reaching for him with my right hand, wrapping his thick, hard cock with blood slick fingers.
"Oh, god." I tried to pull back, but he grabbed my wrist and held it there.
He stared at me with an intensity I'd never seen in his eyes before. It was desperate, needy. "Please." He closed his hand over mine and guided my fingers, forcing me to stroke him and smear my own blood over his cock.
He groaned, and the sound made my heart beat faster, harder. He took his hand away, grabbed my head and kissed me hard. He grunted my name against my lips, then: "Fuck."
It was the first time I'd ever heard him curse.
I gasped at his reaction, his loss of control and the composure he displayed at all times. This was because of me, he was begging me to touch him, to give him pleasure and make him come. The power I felt over him aroused me, and I squeezed my fingers harder. He grunted again and started chanting: "Yes...yes...yes..." His cock swelled in my hand and I kept stroking, faster as it began to pulse, as he spewed come in hot streams up my chest and over my fingers.
His head was buried in my neck, and he shuddered intermittently for a long time. I kept touching him, more gently now, but with a renewed ease as his come mingled with my blood and made my fingers slick. When I stopped, his cock still in my hand, he finally lay still.
"Jasper," he whispered. "Perfect, so perfect." He pulled back and looked into my eyes, and even though his lids were heavy and hooded, he looked amazed, disbelieving. "Perfect..."
Reality flooded back and I shuddered.
"You're afraid of me," he said, brushing hair off my face with bloodstained fingers. "Don't be. I'll never need another man, Jasper. No one else could ever take your place. I want this with you, only you. I brought you here to show you that we were fated, love. You only need to accept it, to surrender to it." He pulled my left hand to his lips and kissed it.
I couldn't answer him. All I could do was stare at his lips, still stained dark in the creases.
Edward eventually dragged me into the shower with him. The water ran red, then pink. He helped me to stay upright when all I wanted to do was slump to the floor.
Maybe I was in shock.
He dried me, and helped me dress, cleaned and bandaged the cut on my arm. He changed the bloodstained sheets and pulled me down beside him, wrapping me in his arms.
I woke alone in the dark. The only light came from the hallway. The bedroom door was open.
"Edward?" My voice was hoarse.
No answer. I was frowning as I slipped out from under the sheets and made my way in bare feet—in bare everything—to the dresser. The clothing I'd worn the night before when he'd pulled me off the street was folded neatly on top. They'd been laundered. My boots were on the floor. I gnawed on my lip as I pulled on my clothes, wondering where he was.
Had he gone out, thinking that I would sleep until he got back? I should get the hell out before he returned. That's what I'd wanted when I thought he was going to kill me.
Now I wasn't so sure.
There was a small box on the dresser that hadn't been there before. I switched on the light and had a closer look. There was a post-it note stuck to it.
I'm sorry to leave you. I do it to prove that you need me as much as I need you.
I am the only one who has the number and I will see that the bill is paid.
In the box was a brand new cellphone.
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