Sleeves Chapter 17
The sound of his bare feet on the hardwood floors was soothing beyond compare and I'm not quite sure how I managed to live without it for so long. Approaching me from behind, I pretended not to notice when he stopped behind where I was sitting on the couch. I kept my eyes firmly on the text in front of me. Soft kisses and tiny, tickling nips were placed across the back of my neck and warm hands slipped downward under the collar of my t-shirt from behind to trail over my chest. A low moan fought its way out of my throat before I could stop it and Jasper chuckled heartily above me.
"Time to take a break, baby?" His mouth was by my ear, his breath fanning across my cheek as his blunt fingernails dragged tortuously slow over my chest, catching my nipples and making me hiss.
I nodded my assent. Tilting my head backwards, I rested it against the back of the couch and encouraged his lips to mine. Warm, wet flesh slid over mine, teasing and tickling. When Jasper's tongue licked slowly at my top lip, I opened my mouth, allowing him access to my tongue and teeth.
"Stand up." The command in his tone was obvious and it shot a bolt of excitement through my whole body. Taking a deep breath, I stood on shaky legs, stretching out my back and neck with my arms raised high over my shoulders.
His strong hands were tight on my hips as soon as I'd moved away from the couch, guiding me forward until I was stood a few feet from the huge glass window-wall that took up one whole side of my apartment. My body and mind were lost to anticipation; my cock was already hard from our teasing kisses and Jasper's dominating commands, my mind was racing with what he could do to me, what he might want me to do to him.
Jasper aligned his whole body with mine, his bare feet sliding to the outside of mine, his thighs strong against the backs of mine, his groin pressed closely against my ass and his chest firm against my back. My breaths were coming out in tiny pants and I was so fucking aware of every single movement of his. His hands slid from my hips, kneading up my back before squeezing my biceps gently on their way down my arms. When has hands clasped with mine my fingers slid gratefully into his. I felt so at peace.
Walking me forward until I stood a foot from the window, Jasper lifted our hands, stretching them out before us. I could feel the heat of his breath on my neck and goosebumps broke out over my skin. He untangled our fingers and pressed my hands against the glass before me, pulling my hips back against his groin and pressing himself against me.
"Don't. Move." His whisper, dark and husky and warm against my ear, made me shudder. I loved seeing this side of Jasper. Confidant and cocky. Gone was the easy going guy I was used to and in his place was a darker, grittier man. He was so sexy and he didn't have a fucking clue.
The room was thrust into darkness seconds after Jasper moved away from me. My body missed his immediately, my skin tingled for the touch of his fingers, the press of his lips, the trail of his tongue. My arms were shaking, trembling under my weight as I braced myself on the panes in front of me. The city below me was very much alive. Even eighty stories up I could see the throbbing of life below us. The buildings around us held snapshots of families, the lovers and the lonely, through their own windows and the thought that any of of the people surrounding us could look up and see the shadows of Jasper and I moving together had my cock full and aching in seconds.
I felt Jasper coming back to me, moving slowly and determinedly closer, before I ever heard him or saw him. My whole body ached for his. When his arms snaked around me and his diligent fingers worked the button of my jeans through it's hole, my whole body slumped ever so slightly in relief. The denim of my jeans dragged deliciously over my hard dick and down my thighs, pooling at my feet, followed shortly by my boxers. My t-shirt was pulled up by steady hands that grazed my nipples before easing it over my head.
As I stood naked before the whole fucking city below me, around me, I felt as though everybody was watching us. The only light in the room was coming from the street hundreds of feet below us but I felt as though a spot light was trained on me. It turned me on more than I ever fucking thought possible and my cock was already dripping with precum.
"I'm going to fuck you in front of the whole of New York City, baby." Jasper's voice was husky, his breath tickling my shoulder.
"You like that? You like knowing that anyone could look up here and see us? The whole city will know you're mine."
A moan, low and hungry, ripped out of my chest and Jasper took that as confirmation, gripping my cock in his fist and pumping me with sure, steady strokes. Within seconds his fingers were coated with my precum and his hand was flying over my dick. Lips on skin. Tongue and teeth. It's all I could feel, all I could taste and hear and see.
Jasper was so powerful, so beautiful. He had me at his mercy and I relished the control he exerted over me. He could fucking rule the world with his hands tied behind his back and at times like this, I think he allowed himself to know it. To have confidence in himself and believe in himself. The thought made me moan while lust for this man pounded through my veins.
"God damnit, Edward," he moaned, pressing his body against mine. He was naked. And hard. His cock slid between my ass cheeks as he rocked his hips against me, teasing me and enjoying me. Loving me.
Jasper let go off my dick just as I began thrusting my hips in time with his strokes and I moaned, disgruntled, at the loss. I could barely see his reflection in the glass. The room behind us was ink black and in shadow, but I watched his silhouette as he dropped to his knees behind me and crawled to kneel at the side of me.
His knees were spread widely and my eyes couldn't have stayed away from the sight below me if they'd tried. Jasper's dick was straining, pink and glistening and ready for me. Taking my own cock in hand he pumped me with his right hand, slower now and with long, smooth strokes, while his left hand slid nimble fingers between my cheeks to tease my entrance.
I was ready for him in seconds, it seemed. My body moved forward, pushing my cock into his hand, and backward, onto his probing fingers, without any conscious command. My balls were tingling, fucking aching, and when Jasper released me and moved to stand behind me, my dick twitched in anticipation.
Feeling Jasper push inside of me was the best thing I'd ever experienced. The intimacy, even when I hadn't seen his face for minutes, overwhelmed me, and the absolute lust flooding my veins almost brought me to my knees. I felt complete, at unequivocal peace, when his hips shifted and my body accepted the last few inches of him.
My eyes squeezed tightly shut against the extra stimuli of the city view. Knowing Jasper was taking me in front of thousands of people was enough to make me bite my lip to keep from cumming. Everything else was magnified; the sounds of his harsh breathing, the air filling his lungs deeply in long, raspy breaths, the smell of our sex already thick in the air and the feeling of him all around me were taking over me.
Jasper gave me a minute to get used to his length before he started moving. He was relentless in his thrusts, pulling out and slamming back in. Again and again. Large hands were covering my body, splayed out over my stomach and gripping tightly onto my shoulder as his cock hit my prostate with every deep thrust.
"Fuck. You feel so good. I love you so much." His words were pants, gasps and pleas and murmurs of adoration against the sweat-slicked skin of my back. I hadn't even touched my cock and I was there, ready to fucking cum within minutes.
I held back, gritting my teeth against the bursts of pleasure Jasper was giving me and waiting for him to be there with me.
"I'm so close, baby. Are you gonna cum for me?"
Nodding furiously, I felt my fingertips desperately trying to grip onto the glass as I came with a roar of his name all over the window before me, feeling Jasper pump into my steadily as he rode out his own orgasm. He crashed against me.
We came down slowly, pulling away from each other, away from the window and the city as we caught our breath and blinked open our eyes. Catching my lips in a searing kiss, Jasper licked softly at my bottom lip before stumbling blindly to the bathroom to clean himself up. By the time he came back, looking satisfied and sexy in his soft cotton shirt and flannel pyjama pants, I'd pulled on my boxers and cleaned up a bit and was leaning with my forearm pressed against the window, enjoying the twinkling lights of the buildings around us.
"That was amazing." He sighed quietly, contentedly, as he wrapped his arms around me and leaned his head gently on my shoulder. "I've wanted to do that since I first saw this place."
The soft rumble of his chuckle made me smile, a lazy grin pulling at my lips as I laughed along with him. I'd never felt so complete before as I snuggled closer into his arms, covering myself in his warmth and strength and love. I felt at home. "I can't believe you live here." I breathed, maybe to Jasper. Maybe to myself; it didn't feel real.
When Jasper asked me to move in with him I was so fucking happy. I wrapped my arms around him and crushed his body to mine, nodding into his wet hair and soapy skin and feeling unbreakable. Our good moods hadn't dissipated for days, as we grinned each time we caught each other's eye and giggled in the darkness of night as we spoke about our future. Even work hadn't dampened our spirits.
But when I met Jasper at his apartment one day and he opened his door with an unsure look on his face and fidgeting fingers I couldn't help but wonder what had caused the change.
"What's going on, love?" I asked as soon as the door was closed behind me. I tugged off my jacket and tie and threw them over the arm of the chair as we moved into the living room.
Jasper slid to stand before me, opening the top two buttons of my shirt and keeping his gaze firmly on my lips. I couldn't stand it. I was secure enough in the knowledge of his feelings for me to know this wasn't about us or about second thoughts or uncertainties but I worried that he was keeping something from me.
"Hey," I started, lifting his chin to meet his eyes. Beautiful. Sparkling. Exited. "What is it?"
A pink blush spread over his cheeks and piqued my curiosity. He looked so sweet. And shy. Fuck, he looked incredible.
"I, uh, I hope you don't mind but I cancelled the lease on my apartment." My heart sank, irrational as it was, at the thought that maybe he had changed his mind. He didn't let me dwell for long. "Your place would be better for us, don't you think?"
His face split into a brilliant smile. He dazzled me and it took me seconds to realize that he was waiting for confirmation. For some kind of answer.
"Yeah. Fuck. Yes, that would work." The moment I said it, I could see us. Lounging on the sofa on Saturday afternoons. Cooking in my kitchen when we both got home from work. Making love in the early hours of the morning in my bed. Our bed. "It'd be perfect."
"I'd save more money that way. I mean, you own the apartment, right?" I nodded. "I'll pay for food and utilities and anything else that might come along but to not have rent would make such a difference to me. I can draw in your spare room and your place would fit my stuff easier than mine would fit yours."
"We could make the room into a studio for you." The excitement was building, the plans for our future shaping and becoming solid things. My smile was huge, my cheeks aching with the strain of it. "Maybe you could cut back at the bar a bit and work more from home?"
"Yeah?" It was a sealed deal.
Jasper had started moving his stuff into my place that same evening and as I watched his boxes pile high around my apartment, marked 'art crap' and 'kitchen stuff', I couldn't keep the smile off my face or my hands off his body. We moved together on the floor of my apartment, grinding and pushing and pulling amongst the boxes of our new lives and it hit me. This wasn't my apartment any more. It was ours. Our home.
A few weeks had passed and Jasper's belongings had found their own spaces around the place. His clothes hung in the wardrobe next to mine, his socks in the drawer, indistinguishable from my own. His studio had been painted a warm, rich teal and the carpets had been stripped to allow him the freedom to spill and crumble and drop and not care. His guitar leaned against the back of my couch and his old, worn-down sofa had found itself in my office, the relaxed leather bringing something meaningful to my room. Jasper's beat up truck sat proudly in it's new space beside the Aston and I smiled every time I came home to see it parked there, telling me my love, my life, was waiting for me upstairs.
I let Jasper pay his way like he'd suggested. I understood that he needed his independence and wanted him to feel an equal in our home. We'd both learned things about each other that we hadn't noticed before, like how Jasper always left the hall light on no matter what time of day or night it was and how I always forgot to pull the bath plug out after I'd finished in the tub. It was interesting. And annoying. And fun and exciting. And just fucking perfect.
"Let's go to bed."
A warm kiss, soft and soothing was placed against the edge of my jaw and my hand slid into Jasper's easily, breaking me from my reverie and tearing my eyes away from the city. He led me down the hall, stopping so I could grumble good-naturedly about switching the light off, and pulled me into bed after him.
Lying on my back, I opened my arms and closed my eyes as Jasper slid into them and made himself comfortable against my chest. Our feet found each other, tangling our legs and rubbing softly for a second. I whispered that I loved him and tiredly, lazily, pressed a kiss into his soft curls before sleep took me.
We woke up in the same position, stretching and yawning and de-tangling ourselves to swipe at the alarm clock. The morning was still dark, the world outside of the window looking cold and quiet, and I fucking wished I could go back to sleep.
Tugging on my comfiest pair of scrubs, I watched out the corner of my eye as Jasper slid from bed looking rumpled and gorgeous, and wrapped his arms around my waist. He smelled like sleep and comfort and I squeezed him tightly, savoring the feeling to carry with me for the next 12 hours.
"What are you doing today?" I questioned into the crook of his neck.
"Just going to work in the studio until I have to go to the bar. I've been really inspired lately; this place is good for me."
I mumbled in approval and squeezed him tighter still.
"I'm going to miss you, love." The thought of not seeing Jasper properly for days tugged at my heart and made my throat thicken.
We'd been lucky with my shift patterns since he moved in but the next few days were going to be hard. I was working 12 hour days and Jasper was working evenings and late nights so we'd only see each other for a few minutes each morning. It wasn't enough.
"I know. Me too."
My lips found his then, mint breath meeting morning, soft lips and dry flesh and the taste of longing. I swallowed his quiet sighs and brought my hands up to run through his hair. I hoped my lips tasted like his forever.
Work was long and gruelling and I was fast asleep by the time Jasper came home and climbed into bed behind me. I was exhausted and barely even registered his arms wrapping around my chest, his warm fingers splayed over my heart and his near-silent I love you in my ear. We shared a shower and coffee the next morning before the routine cycled again and the longing and missing became stronger day after day.
I hadn't spent more than 30 minutes with Jasper in days and my mood fucking reflected it. My eyes were burning with lack of sleep; I'd tried to stay up until Jasper got home from work last night but woke to the feeling of his gentle touch pulling me from sleep and guiding me to bed.
My mouth was dry and I desperately needed a fucking coffee and if the phone rang or I was paged one more time I was going to lose my mind.
A knocking on my office door, heavy and direct, had my eyes screwing shut and my teeth gritting in annoyance. I had to get more sleep tonight, I didn't want to be like this. I loved my job; I just loved Jasper more.
"Yeah?" I took a deep breath before answering, trying to garner patience from somewhere. Anywhere.
"Dr Cullen?" A voice, amused and light and fucking perfect, perked my ears up and had me rising from my seat and rushing to the door.
Jasper came at me, kicking the door shut behind him and pushing his hard body against mine, breathing me in. He pulled back, a silly smile on his face, as he stepped back from me. Appraising.
"Jesus Christ, Edward." He leered, looking at me from head to toe and burning a path of fire over my body with his eyes alone. I could feel them on me. All over me. Blazing.
"What?" I could feel myself blushing under his scrutiny, remembering my glasses, the stethoscope around my neck and my white lab coat.
Jasper was against me in seconds, swirling his hips slowly against mine. Letting me feel him.
"That's what." He drawled, his hard cock pressing into my hip and coaxing my own to life.
"We can't." I tried to sound sincere. It came out as desperation and I rolled my hips lazily, rubbing myself against him.
With a quick peck to my lips, he chuckled, and pulled back from me. I couldn't help but smile at him. He'd made my whole fucking day just by being here. Jasper's eyes were wide as he wandered around my office, taking in as much as he could. He beamed as he lifted a photo frame from my desk and looked at it more closely. It was a picture of us Bella had taken at the bar one night. We looked ridiculously happy and so fucking in love.
I let my eyes follow him around the room, until he came to sit at my desk in my chair. It fit him.
"I'm just here for a quick visit. I'm not interrupting your work or anything, am I?" He looked uncertain for the first time since he'd arrived as he noticed the paperwork spread out before him. I shook my head, leaning back to rest my weight on the filing cabinets along one wall of the room. "I was having lunch with Esme and she wouldn't talk to me any more until I spoke to you. Said I was miserable."
I laughed out loud, gaining a raised eyebrow from across the room.
"That makes two of us." He smiled.
"Esme's just visiting with Carlisle, then we're heading out to see a studio that might be interested in showing my work." His eyes belied his excitement, his anticipation. They sparkled, ocean blue and brilliant.
"That's great. I'm so proud of you." I went to him, sitting on my desk before him, leaning down to kiss him softly for a second.
"I haven't done anything yet."
"You're letting her help you." He nodded. He understood.
I didn't see Jasper again until he cuddled into my chest late that night but the time in between was more bearable now. I woke up, groggy and disoriented for a minute until my sleep-clouded brain caught up and I moaned softly in appreciation of his skin on mine, his fingers tracing my ink and his lips on my throat.
Leaning down, I nudged his cheek until he turned to me and kissed him soundly. I needed it and felt better as soon as I tasted him.
"How did it go?" I whispered, not wanting to disturb the peace of the night, of the moment.
"They said they wanted to show my work." His voice was measured, quiet, unsure. I thought this was what he wanted?
"That's amazing, love." I squeezed him tighter to my chest for a moment, not having the energy for anything more.
"It wasn't right." His voice was so soft; even in the still night I struggled to hear him. "The place wasn't right for me. For my work. I knew it from the second I walked in there. It just wasn't right."
"There will be plenty more though."
"I don't want to disappoint Esme. She's been so great and I don't want her to think I don't appreciate her help. I do. It was just a feeling I got."
"Then you need to follow your heart. You'll know when it's right and just because Esme is helping you doesn't mean you should settle for anything less. She wouldn't want that for you, Jasper." I could tell he needed reassurance, support and guidance, but I couldn't tell him what to do here. He had to make up his own mind. He seemed to simply need to talk it through. I would listen. I would gladly listen to anything he had to say.
"I don't want to miss an opportunity. What if I never get anther shot?" Sleep was slurring his whispered words and his body was growing heavier on my chest as his tiredness overtook him.
"You'll get another shot, love." I whispered it into his hair as he breathed deeply above me. "You deserve perfection."
Work was hard the next day. I had a few days off after today and Jasper was only working one shift at Al's during my time off, so I was excited to see him and spend time with him. It made the day fucking drag like nothing else. When I had about three hours left and was starting to wind down and get prepared to hand over my patients' care for my days off, my beeper screamed at me, alerting me that one of my patients was in cardiac arrest.
Elaine was only 32 and had the most beautiful little girl who visited her every day, bringing shiny red apples, while she recovered from her last surgery. I prayed to fucking God that I could save her. She died after 3 hours of surgery and I had to tell her husband that she hadn't made it. It broke me.
When Jasper got home that night, I was still awake. Lying red-eyed and in pieces on our bed. I don't know how he knew, maybe he'd spoken to Carlisle, maybe he just sensed it, but he didn't even take his clothes off before he slid in next to me and held me tightly while I cried into his chest.
"I'm sorry, baby." He whispered into my ear, kissing my temple softly. I wasn't ready to speak. And he knew better than to tell me everything would be OK. For Elaine's husband and child, it would never be OK again. I failed them. "You're good. You're a good man, Edward."
The echo of words from our beginning, words of acceptance and hope and love and comfort, helped me build myself back up. Piece by piece. In his arms. In our home.
I'm so sorry for the delay with this chapter, I hope it was worth the wait!
Thanks to everyone who reviewed the last one, and who added Sleeves to their alerts and favourites. It means so much to me.
The Slash Awards nominations are up and I can't believe how many categories Sleeves is up for. Thank you thank you thank you to anyone who nominated! It's unbelievable. Voting is open now for TSAs and for The Sunflower Awards so check out my profile for details and get voting.
And last but not least, a gigantic thank you to my incredible beta, harrytwifan (I'm still sucking up...) who abandoned 3, yes 3, story alerts to beta this baby for you last night! That sounds like the work of the world's best beta to me; head over to The Sunflower Awards and vote for her if you think so too! She deserves it!
See you next week.