AN: Sorry it's been so long since I've updated. First, there was the writer's block. Then, there was all the RL drama. Then, of course, there were all the other projects to help with the block... *sigh* Thank goodness for holidays and time to write! :D

Also, please know this chapter would not be half what it is without the help of ArianaWhitlock who practically wrote half of it. Really! She should definitely be credited as co-author on this chapter. Thanks, bb girl! :)

Mega thanks to my beautiful betas, Loula & Savannah, without whom I would be utterly lost!

A million thanks to all the wonderful and talented writers who have been rec'ing my little story in their notes. I appreciate each and every one of you so much! ;)

xoxo,

Jack

PS. If you're curious what I'm reading & loving, please check my LiveJournal! (If this link doesn't work, there's another in my profile.) I don't get a ton of time to read, but I've read some amazing stuff lately. Be sure to at least check the one by Bbebar, you'll be glad you did!


Last time on "Too Close":

Before he even made it out of the water, Jasper was standing on the shore watching him wade in. No, not just watching, staring. Why was he staring?

That's when Jacob realized that Jasper wasn't the only one staring as he continued onto the shore toward the vampire's aroused body. Was this real? He should turn back. Or run away. Or phase. Something. But instead, he just kept walking forward.

Jasper's POV

He found himself frozen to the spot as he watched the werewolf slowly emerge from the ocean, salt water rolling down hard, defined russet muscles. What had possessed him to race in front of the fleeing man? He tried to tell himself it was the underlying self-doubt and fragility that made him want to help Jacob, instead of the overwhelming outpouring of lust.

He was still shocked at his own reaction to the wolf while they had been in the water. Jacob had managed to get way too close to Jasper before he noticed his natural enemy was even there. How had he managed to get past his years of well-honed survival instincts without setting off any alarms? And when Jacob had casually leaned back in the water, letting his entire body surface and float with the waves, Jasper had found himself speechless with awe. He'd never found another man's body attractive before, but there was no missing the beauty of his new... friend? Was that the right word? Were they friends now?

"Are we friends?" The thought slipped out as Jacob continued forward, revealing his body to Jasper more and more as he got closer and closer.

Jacob seemed just as mesmerized as he was. Staring at him as he continued forward, not yet speaking or even seeming to register that a question had been asked. He felt an urge to help Jacob with whatever it was that was making him feel so alone.

As a member of a pack, Jacob should never feel alone, but that was exactly what he was putting out. Self-doubt, fragility, and loneliness were the emotions pushing at Jasper from the wolf, those and a whole lot of lust. And then it seemed to click for Jasper. If Jacob was attracted to him, maybe he was attracted to men in general, and just maybe that was what was causing him to feel isolated.

Jasper knew he had two choices. He could let Jacob take another step, get too close, and they could both lose their problems for a short time in each other. That choice was becoming the most likely as Jacob pressed forward, coming to a stop less than a foot in front of Jasper. Those dark brown eyes searched his, but hesitated, waiting for something from Jasper, but what?

What? Jasper was having a very hard time trying to think, overwhelmed as he was with the intensity of Jacob's emotions. There was a second choice. He knew there was, but staring back at the beautiful man in front of him, Jasper could not for the life of him remember what the other one was.

Maybe there was no choice? Maybe they were already too close.

Shoving his doubt to the back of his mind, Jasper's cold, pale hands moved in front of him to tentatively ghost over the sharp cheekbones of the man standing in front of him. Jacob released a sigh at the gesture of acceptance and moved a little closer.

Jasper could taste the other man's breath on his lips and his tongue subconsciously slipped from his mouth to wet his own lips and gather the flavor of Jacob's breath. He was most surprised to notice that he enjoyed the smoky musk he could smell and taste and the only thing he wanted in that moment was more.

When Jacob's lips finally touched his, the heat from those lips felt like wildfire rushing through his veins. Jasper pulled away quickly as the memory of the burning change rushed at him.

"I'm sorry," Jacob whispered.

"It's not you," Jasper managed to whisper as he fought back the imaginary pain.

"I should go." Jacob frowned. "Don't want Alice to see a wolf on Cullen land."

"She can't see us. Well, she can't see you and whoever you're with," Jasper confessed.

"So, she won't know her husband just kissed another man?" Jacob asked, sending a wave of deep brokenness and rejection.

"Wouldn't matter if she did, it wouldn't have stopped me," Jasper responded truthfully.

"What did stop you?" Jacob asked, lacing his fingers in Jasper's hair.

"Uncertainty," he answered, not wanting to explain the burning. "I can't figure out which feelings are mine and which are yours."

Jacob's hand fell to his side with that remark. "I should go."

"You're not going back to the reservation, are you?" Jasper asked, feeling his reluctance, knowing it wasn't just about leaving him.

"No." Jacob sighed heavily.

Jasper frowned and nodded. "I'm not going back there," he indicated the Cullen manor with a nod in that direction, "any time soon."

"You want to travel together?" he asked raising an eyebrow before turning away.

"I don't need facial expressions, Jacob." Jasper frowned, knowing he was trying to disguise his emotions. Jacob turned back with a blush. "You realize I have to hunt?"

"I can hunt, as a wolf I mean. I don't need human food." He shrugged.

"So what I drain, you eat?" Jasper asked, confused.

"We'd make a great team. Besides, it saves you from covering your tracks. Assuming you stick with the appropriate diet," he snapped.

The growl that escaped Jasper was instinctual, but his reaction was calculated. He grabbed Jacob by the hair and exposed his neck, placing his lips on his pulse point to prove who was dominant. "I'm dangerous," he whispered in his ear and though Jacob tried to mask it, Jasper could feel his fear. Their eyes met and the next moment they were nothing but tongues and mutual growls. The passion was strong, overwhelming. Jasper forced himself to break away and before Jacob knew what had happened, Jasper was dressed and handing him his clothes.

"I'm leaving now. It's your choice to follow." He shrugged, walking off in a slow human pace as he tested Jacob's conflicting emotions. He couldn't hold back the smirk as Jacob called for him to wait up. This was going to be interesting.


EN: I'm still not sure how arianawhitlock talked me into it (probably because I flove her so damn much), but I will be subjected to the hot seat on January 15th over at TheRoaster. It's basically a live interview on the forums here at ffn. If you're interested in asking me (or my Jasper and Jacob) any questions, please click on the link in my profile to get your questions in and tune in on Saturday, January 15th at 9pm EST to participate in the interview. I hope lots of people turn out. I'm super nervous, but I'll feel better if lots of my friends come! :D Much love, guys! Thanks for reading!