Title:A Madness Most Discreet
Word count:2,597
Summary: I'm pretty sure Edward Cullen hates my guts. It's the way he looks at me,
the way he stares so intensely.
If that were the extent of the problem
it would be easy to ignore, but it's not.
Because I'm pretty sure I'm in love with him. AH.

I'm pretty sure Edward Cullen hates my guts.

It's the way he looks at me sometimes, the way he stares so intensely. Then other times he ignores me completely.

I'm fairly certain he can't stand me.

It's hard enough that his brother and my sister have been dating for years, and it's awkward when our families spend time together and he won't speak to me or look at me. If that were the extent of the problem it would be easy to ignore, but it's not.

Because I'm pretty sure I'm in love with Edward Cullen.

He sits across the aisle from me in Biology, and I'm so careful not to let him see me looking, but I can't help but watch him out of the corner of my eye. It's so hard to concentrate in this class with him right there beside me, and I'm sure that if we had been allowed to choose our own seating arrangements that he would choose to be as far away from me as possible. It would have been better because it's a wonder I'm passing this class at all with the way he distracts me just by being there.

I watch him as he plays with a pencil in his long pale fingers, twisting it, spinning it on the desk, and then his fingers slow, the pencil stops, and the hair on my forearms rises, tingling. I know it's because he's watching me now, and he's careful not to turn his head, but I can feel his eyes on me.

I wish he didn't hate me.

Mom and Dad have decided to have Emmett's whole family for dinner. They told me I'm welcome to bring a girl―a date―but they know I won't and they are just glad that I'm concentrating on my studies.

The bell rings for the end of class, but I don't get out of my seat quick enough and he catches me by the shoulder in the hall. "Jasper, wait."

I whirl around, defensive, we are face-to-face for maybe the first time ever because before it was always one or the other of us looking away, and I don't think he's ever actually spoken to me before because I would have remembered if he had and I'm reminded of the reason why I've never spoken to him before.

It's because he's so fucking beautiful it hurts to look at him.

"What do you want?" I ask, but I lose my voice halfway through and it comes out sounding like defeat.

He just stares at me for a long time. His hand is still on my shoulder, and I wanna shrug it off because I think I should feel threatened because he hates me, right?

Finally, he speaks. "Are you gonna talk to me on Saturday? I just...we shouldn't ruin it for everyone else, okay?"

I nod, in shock, and where his hand rests on my shoulder—it burns.

I glance at it.

He removes it.

He inhales quickly, turns and walks away.


I try to hide out in my room, but Rose comes up and says I'd better come down and be sociable. Mom and Dad will be pissed if either of us embarrasses them. The Cullen's are the richest family in town, so of course we have to impress them.

So I smile dutifully as Mom extols my grades and the few advanced classes I'm taking, and cringe as Dad bemoans the fact that I don't play any sports, not like their Emmett who is the captain of the football team.

"I don't play sport either," says Edward Cullen suddenly from the corner of the room where he's sitting on a loveseat with his sister, Alice.

Everyone stares, because he's not said a word since the greetings when they arrived, and he blushes, but Alice is grinning at me and I don't know why.

"Jasper tells me you're top of the class in Biology, Edward," my mother says, and the only reason she has this information is because she drilled me before they arrived. But of course Edward doesn't know this, and I'm trying to decipher the look on his face cos I can't decide if it's worried or surprised or...happy?

And Alice is still grinning at me. Edward doesn't answer my mother at first. After the initial surprise or whatever it was he looks embarrassed, and shakes his head and says: "Jasper's lots smarter than me," and even though he's talking about me, saying my name (and it sounds so good the way he says it), he's ignoring me again.

I know Alice even less than I know Edward. She's not in any of my classes. Her opinion of me seems to be the polar opposite of his, because she's always smiling at me, and she keeps seeking me out to talk about school or something. It's the only time she leaves his side.

I can't understand why he insisted I talk to him, because he's doing his best to completely ignore me, and I'm sure it's becoming obvious to everyone here that he can't stand me.

I'm so preoccupied that I miss it at first when Mom asks me to go start clearing up in the kitchen, but when I realise I go thankfully, just to get away from him because even though he's quiet and as far away from me as he can possibly be while still being in the same room, the space seems filled with him.

The kitchen is large and white and cold and empty by contrast. Every scrape of a dish is loud, even the water running is deafening.

Then something changes. The door opens behind me and the sound of voices from the living room flows in and then is cut off again. The room is full, the air thick, and I know he's behind me because I can feel his eyes on the back of my neck.

He doesn't want to be here, he can't stand me.

"My mom told me to come help," he says, and his voice wavers, hesitates, and I turn slowly and I wonder again why he asked me to talk to him when he's standing there like here is the last place he wants to be, but even with the look of...hate or fear or whatever it is on his face, he's still so, so pretty and it hurts so much that he doesn't like me because I wish he did.

As I always do, I arrange my face into a look that is meant to tell him I don't care whether he hates me or not. "You can load the dishwasher," I say, and turn back to the sink. I rinse the dishes and pass them to him in silence. I feel like every gesture is being scrutinised, and I find that that is exactly what I'm doing to him. I'm so careful not to let our hands or fingers touch as plates and bowls pass from me to him, and I realise he's doing the same. The air thickens further, and an emotion passes through me, a fear, or is it anticipation because somehow I know that something is about to happen.

"What is your problem?" he says suddenly, his hands braced on the edge of the counter as I stand stupidly waiting for him to take a plate from my hands. I look at him, and he's staring down at his fingers; his knuckles are white and I wonder what I've done to deserve his outburst.

"What have I ever done to you?" he continues, but his voice has softened, he sounds like he's pleading with me, and he turns his head and looks at me sideways from under those long lashes, the intense green of his eyes makes my breath catch in my throat and I wish it wasn't like this, I wish we were friends (boyfriends), so I could hear that voice in laughter or loving words because it's as beautiful as he is.

"Well? Are you gonna talk to me?" Again, the words are confrontational but his voice begs me to respond.

"You don't like me," I tell him, and I can hear the question, the disbelief in my own voice because why would he want me to speak to him when he can't stand me and clearly doesn't want to know me? So why would he?

His head turns completely to face me, and his eyes are wide, his lips parted in what looks for all the world like shock. Did he think I didn't notice? His lips move, as if he's trying to say something but can't find the words. His brow is furrowed; a tiny crease has appeared between his eyebrows, and he's staring right at me, right into my eyes, and his are the most vivid green I've ever seen.

I'm drinking in the sight, the colour of his eyes, because I never get to do this, never get more than a glimpse before I have to look away so I make the most of it, though this is likely to be the last time he ever speaks to me or even looks at me again. His head starts to shake almost imperceptibly from side to side.

"Do you...want me to?" he stammers, and then drops his eyes to the plate in my hands, still hanging in the air from when I was halfway through handing it to him. He takes it from me, but does nothing with it, leaving it in the same limbo that it's suffered the last two minutes, only clutched in the hand of another. He takes a deep breath and lifts his eyes back to mine, and his face goes pink as he takes quick, gasping breaths. "Because I...I do," he says, and I expect him to say more, but he's finished, because he loads the plate into the dishwasher and acts like nothing has been said at all.

He's waiting for me to pass him something else, but I don't, because I'm still staring at him. He looks up, and he looks afraid, and I can't understand why, because what could I possibly ever do to him?

"Well?" he asks. "Does it change anything?"

I feel stupid, but the truth is that I am mesmerised by his eyes, by the fact that he is staring at me, but not in the way he usually does. It's just as intense as always, more so perhaps, but infinitely softer...and he isn't looking away as soon as I glance at him. His breath catches in his throat, and it almost sounds like a sob, but that can't be right. And his eyes, the edges of his eyes redden, and he looks away again, back down at his hands. "Forget it, let's just―just finish this so you don't have to be around me anymore."

But that's not what I want. I want to look at him, I want him to lift his head towards me again, I want to see the intensity in his eyes again.

And without thinking, I reach out and touch his hand. My fingers are wet as they grip his hand firmly and I can feel the bones beneath his skin. I hear him gasp, and look up into his eyes. They've darkened, his pupils wide and black, a tiny sliver of green surrounding them. His lips are open, and he's taking quick breaths, and I realise I'm doing the same. My fingers tighten on his hand, twisting into his fingers, and I squeeze because suddenly it's apparent that I was wrong. Edward Cullen doesn't hate me. The same feelings I'm having—the need, the want, the tension—he's feeling, and his fingers squeeze back, and my heart leaps, and I lean forward without thinking, and so does he.

His lips are on mine, his mouth crushing mine, and I feel his tongue and open my mouth to him, and it's hurried, and wet and clumsy and it hurts a little when his teeth scrape my lip but I don't care because Edward Cullen is kissing me, I'm kissing him, and our fingers are still entwined and my free hand clutches at his chest, balling the fabric of his shirt in my fist, pulling, needing him to be closer.

He seems to understand, because he turns us so that I am against the counter and he's pushing hard against me as his lips and tongue and teeth devour me. I feel tiny groaning sounds coming from his chest, vibrating against my hand, and I place it flat, rubbing, moving over him until I can feel a hard nipple beneath my palm through his shirt and I can't help but flick my thumbnail over it.

He growls and shoves his hips into me, hard, crushing me against the counter. I feel his cock digging into me, into the hollow beside my hip bone, and it's so hard, and that's for me. I'm hard too, and I want to rub myself against him but I have to be satisfied with the stimulation I get from his movements because I'm pinned to the counter, and he's not thrusting against me so much as rocking, rubbing his dick against my hip and it's leaving me high and dry unless he would only turn a little that way...

I free my hands and grab his ass, pulling him into me and twisting him just that little bit and then oh fuck yes, so good. As his cock rubs against my hip, my cock rubs against his. I dig my fingers into the cheeks of his ass and feel him moan into my mouth.

I am being dry humped by Edward Cullen in my parent's kitchen, and my parents, and my sister, and the entire Cullen family bar the one I'm currently making out with are on the other side of one very thin door that swings inward with only a single push.

I shove him away, off me, gasping, and he stares at me with a hurt (or is he angry?) expression.

"Our families are out there," I say by way of explanation.

"We could go to your bedroom," he whispers, and I think about it, because my Xbox is up there and all I'd have to do is say that we are going to play a game and no one would bat an eyelid.

"We have to do this first." I point at the few dishes still left to rinse and load into the dishwasher.

He nods, so I turn back to the sink, and I can feel his eyes on the back of my neck again, and it feels the same, but it's different because now I know that it's not hate.

I don't know that it's the same as what I feel for him, lust, and love, but it's not hate. He doesn't hate me; he wants me.

I feel his breath on the back of my neck, I feel his body pressed against my back, his hard cock pushed against my ass and it makes me think of the possibilities and I whimper.

"I've wanted you for so long," he murmurs into my ear, "and I thought you couldn't stand me."

"Same here," I stammer, trying to concentrate on rinsing the last few dishes.

He pulls away, taking the dish from my hand and shoving it quickly into the dishwasher. "We were both wrong."

A/N: The title of this piece is a snippet of one of Romeo's lines from Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. Romeo is speaking of the nature of his unrequited love for Rosaline.