Here's the story of how Edward and Jasper first meet. Edward's POV.
One Plus One Equals
A drop of condensation slides slowly down my beer bottle. I watch as it glides seductively down along its neck, then absorbs into the label. Once upon a time, that drop of water was my fingertip that trailed its slow, deliberate path down Kate's neck to the curve of the top of her breast. I can still hear the sound she made that first time I touched her naked skin; the way she bit her lip; the way I made her breath quicken.
I bring my bottle to my lips and tip it back, swallowing the cold contents to drown out the stifling memory. She's gone now, and just like the beer, she's left a bitter taste in my mouth.
"Can I get you another?"
I look up at the bartender and shake my head. "I'm done," I reply, not even slightly referring to the copious amount of alcohol I had consumed in the past couple of hours. He grabs the tip I left on the counter for him and mutters something I fail to make out.
A hand clamps down roughly on my left shoulder before I have the chance to turn at the sound of my name. When I do, I find the owner of the hand belongs to someone on my ever-growing shit list: Joe, my supervisor at the warehouse I work at. Or "Dickhead", as I prefer calling him. Dickhead actually used to hold the top rank on my list until Kate and the prick she left me for obtained the crowning positions.
I glare at his hand on my shoulder for a beat, then lift my gaze up to his face, hoping my expression conveys my thoughts: Take your hand off me or you're going to lose some digits.
Miraculously, he removes his hand and drops it into the pocket of his coat. He lifts out a ring of keys and irritatingly shakes them an inch in front of my face. "Do you know what these are?" he barks at me.
The gesture is meant to annoy me. It does, but I don't let it show. I don't even so much as flinch. I let Dickhead shake the keys to his hearts content until he gets tired of it. I just stare into his eyes feeling my blood boil and seriously begin to reconsider his demotion from my shit list.
"Well? You gonna just sit there and stare at me like a dumb mute? They're keys! You know, the things you use to lock up a warehouse with?"
I look away from him and take another swig from my beer. "I did lock up," I answer apathetically.
"The fuck you did, you drunk idiot! The outer gate was hanging wide open!" Joe shouts at me. His breath is hot on the side of my face. "You can't do anything right, can you? A simple padlock is too complicated for your puny brain to handle, am I right? You're lucky as fuck that I happened to drive by to see your stupid mistake before the place got emptied!"
Yeah, so I had flat out lied to him. The truth is, no, I didn't lock up. I was the last one to leave and I purposely left the gate open because I don't give two fucks if the place would get robbed. In fact, I prayed it would happen. Dickhead deserves it. It's just more of my fucking bad luck that he discovered my gift to potential thieves before they did. Fuck my life.
I blink slowly, savoring the taste of my rage that kept growing with every syllable Dickhead uttered. It takes every ounce of my restraint not to bash his head in. I set my empty bottle on the counter before I convince myself to hit him with it, and turn on my stool to face him. "I'm off the clock, Joe," I say, my teeth gnashed together. "You don't pay me to be polite after I've punched out. So, why don't you take your rank breath out of my personal space before I break your face."
Dickhead is shocked into silence. He's never experienced me talking back to him this way.
My heartbeat kicks up a notch when I realize what I'd just said but I keep my gaze steeled with Dickhead's. I lost count of how many drinks I had but if telling this ball-buster what I think of him is what comes of it then it was just the right amount. I needed some cheering up, anyway.
Dickhead abruptly laughs once then squeezes my shoulder and cocks his head. He puts his face directly in front of mine, as if it wasn't close enough before, and says, "Watch yourself, son."
This time I don't hold myself back as I introduce my forehead to the bridge of his nose. I don't feel any pain. Not a damn bit. Dickhead goes down hard to the floor and I follow on top, letting my fists fly. Blood is gushing from my knuckles from where his teeth must have cut them. The sight makes me euphoric.
Sooner than I like, I feel a pair of hands grab me and haul me roughly up off him.
"Alright, get out of here!" Someone shouts at me. Security I imagine. Lucky for Dickhead. Two more swings and his face would have been pulp.
I'm being pushed toward the exit and I can just barely make out Dickhead's shouts through swollen lips and missing teeth. Something that sounds like, "you're fired".
I suddenly can't stop laughing. The whole situation is fucking ridiculous. Twenty-four hours ago I was fucking my girlfriend. Twenty-three hours ago she told me there was someone else and she was leaving me for him. Four seconds ago I had a job. Three seconds ago I lost that too.
I tighten my fist causing the skin to break and spill fresh blood, and all I can do is keep laughing like a maniac. "Fuck you!" I shout, at nothing, at everything.
Security shoves me one last time for good measure, making sure I don't miss the front door.
"Okay, I'm going, I'm going!" I say, hands up at my sides in mock surrender.
As I round the corner toward the exit, my shoulder catches the edge of the wall, making me spin back around. Only when I look I notice it wasn't a wall I hit at all. The guy I bumped into steadies me, his hand on my forearm. He eyes my bloody hands for a moment then looks at my face and smiles at me like he knows something I don't. His black eyes are a harsh contrast to his blond hair.
I feel a sudden inexplicable kinship toward this stranger, like I already know him. It weirds me out and I manage to push the feeling away. I mumble an insincere apology for bumping into him and pull my arm from his grasp. His smile only grows and I automatically assume he wants to fuck me. I frown and turn away to sever our shared gaze. I'm not in the mood to tell this guy I don't play for his team.
Pushing the door open, I'm assaulted by a bitter cold wind. I duck my head down and pull my coat closed, then walk around the building to escape the onslaught. The cold is sobering and it's not long before I feel the pounding in my head where I was introduced to Dickhead's nose. My knuckles are throbbing and I feel like passing out. I don't make it three feet before I fall over beside the dumpster behind the bar. I sit in the snow propped up against the wall and look around, grateful nobody was around to see me bail.
The heaviness in my chest finally gets the better of me and I seriously contemplate just spending the rest of the night – or my life– out in the cold. It's not like my shitty basement apartment holds more appeal than the dumpster I'm sitting next to.
I close my eyes, hoping to freeze to death. The cold feels so nice and numbing.
"You are way too pretty to be looking so depressed."
The voice makes my eyes snap back open. It's the guy I bumped into on the way out of the bar and he's standing right above me.
"Not interested," I say, looking up at him.
"I can't let you sit out here and wallow in your pity."
"Fuck off!" The kinship I felt has completely vanished. Now he's just starting to piss me off.
I look at him like he's a deranged lunatic.
He smiles at me. "Thank you. Your anger tastes a lot better than your self-pity. Keep it coming."
Yup. He is a deranged lunatic. "Keep moving, asshole. Take your crazy somewhere else."
"Get up," he repeats.
"Are you serious?! Look, man, I already kicked one guy's ass in there and you're going to be next if you don't—"
"Prove it," he goads.
Oh, fuck this shit.
The rage I thought I felt just minutes ago inside the bar doesn't compare to the fury I sense at this moment. I want to tear this guy apart. Ignoring the pain in my head and hands I shoot upwards and knock my body against his, ready to push him down, only it feels like I ran into a wall again. Before I know what's going on he spins me around and has his chest pressed against my back. He pulls the collar of my coat away from my neck. I can't move.
"They always taste so much better when they get worked up," he whispers in my ear. Then the fucker leans in and bites into my neck.
And now I feel pain. So much pain. There's fire and ice in my veins.
It goes dark.
(Part 2 coming soon!)