A/N: When I posted this story last year I got lot of requests wanting to read more about Edward and Jasper, to know how their date went, etc. I began to form ideas in my head for their future, but never seemed to find time for them in the writing schedule. As Valentine's Day again approached I thought today would be the perfect day to post the rest of their story. :)

If it's been a while since you've read ch. 1 I suggest re-reading, just to refresh your memory. There are some references in ch. 2 that make more sense if you remember ch. 1. :)

Also please forgive any mistakes, I've done my best, but it's been a rush to write and edit because I really wanted to post today. I'll be re-reading later to try and catch anything I missed.

Typical disclaimer: All Twilight characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, etc. etc.

Happy Valentine Day everyone!

~~ * V * ~~


My nerves were so shot, my whole body jumped at the noise, even though I was expecting it. I stared at myself in the mirror as I tried in vain one last time to tame my crazy hair. There was already so much gel in it, any more and I was going to look like one of the greasers in the Outsiders. Breathe, Edward, breathe. I couldn't believe I was doing this. I was going out. On a date. On Valentine's day.

Jasper had completely dazzled me at work with the hand-made Valentine and his message. "I know you feel this too," he said as his thumb stroked slow circles on my skin. "Let me give you the Valentine's Day you deserve, Edward…." I found myself saying yes amidst a wonderfully warm glow in my chest.

But that was four hours ago. Once I got home and the warm glow left, I started regretting what I'd agreed to. I wanted to go out with Jasper, but this wasn't the best of days for me.


Shit! I jumped again and raced to the door, pulling myself up straight at the last second and taking one more deep breath. Here goes nothing.

"Hey Edward."

And there he stood, the complete opposite of me and my jangly nerves. He looked completely calm and collected, neatly dressed in a perfectly fitted black button-down shirt with sleeves rolled up, and dark rinse jeans that hugged him very well in all the right places. But the best thing he wore was that smile, that smile that erupted across his face the minute he saw me, that smile that just radiated warmth and sunshine.

No wonder the warm glow was now back in my chest. And my breathing had slowed back down to normal.

"Hi Jasper," I felt my own facial muscles stretch into a very wide grin.

Jasper's eyes flicked down my body quickly, trying to be a gentleman and check me out before I noticed.

"You look . . . spectacular." His eyes were back on mine now. "Ready to go?"

I grabbed a jacket and made sure I had my wallet and my phone, then closed the door behind me and followed him down the outside walkway.

"Are you sure you want to do this? I mean all the restaurants are going to be packed and full at this late notice, there'll be long lines . . . I mean if we have to hit drive-thru or something that's okay with me, I promise."

"A drive-thru? On Valentine's Day?" Jasper grimaced. "No worries, I made reservations. We're good." He winked at me and I smiled back.

By the time I was in his car and buckled up, my brain caught up to his words. "But wait, even reservations at the last minute would be impossible to get on Valentine's Day."

Jasper paused as he was putting the key in the ignition, and for once his casual demeanor faltered. He turned to me with this sheepish look on his face. "Well . . . I might have made the reservations at the beginning of the week."

My heart plummeted and I leaned back into the seat, my hand already reaching to my seatbelt latch. "Oh. So what, your original date cancelled on you and at the last minute you thought, well what the heck, maybe Edward can fill in?"

Jasper's eyes widened. "Edward! Oh God no! Why would you . . . well I guess I did . . . Aw crap!" He turned and placed his hand on mine to stop me from unhitching my seatbelt and bolting from the car. "I'm sorry, Edward, I did ask you last minute, that was my fault. I just thought the whole valentine thing would be cute. But I promise you were always the only one those reservations were meant for. Actually, I've been wanting to ask you out for weeks." He was smiling tensely, waiting on my reaction.

I was still processing the fact that he'd made the reservations so far in advance. For a date with me.

"What if I'd said no?" I whispered.

His smile got bigger. "Well, then some other lucky sap would have gotten my cancelled reservation and I would have been home on the couch eating Chinese takeout alone, watching some stupid TV show. Or some sappy Hallmark Valentine's Day movie, making me feel even more depressed that the hottest, sweetest guy in town turned me down."

Oh there was that cheesy grin plastered on my face again.

"Well, we'd better hurry then. We don't want to let that lucky sap get your reservations after all because we were late."

He grinned and straightened up in his seat and started the car. "Hell yeah!"


About twenty minutes later I was amazed as Jasper pulled up in front of my favorite Italian restaurant.

"Italian okay?" Jasper asked with a mischievous smile.

I tilted my head at him. "From my favorite restaurant, yeah I think it will be okay. How did you know?"

"We had that discussion a few weeks ago about our favorite restaurants, remember?" He winked at me again. "I listen well."

As we walked into the restaurant and followed the hostess to our table I just couldn't believe it. I was afraid I was walking in a dream and any moment I would wake up. Jasper had listened to me and picked this restaurant specifically because I liked it. Even when I was with Garrett, we always seemed to end up at places he liked.

"So what's good here?" Jasper asked as he opened his menu. I didn't even bother with mine, I knew what I wanted, so I easily rattled off several recommendations to Jasper.

After the waitress had walked away from taking our order, that nervy tingling feeling in my stomach came back. Jasper and I had shared many conversations and many meals together. But those were conversations as friends and colleagues, and those meals were lunches in the drab teachers' lounge, sitting across from each other at an old scratched up wooden table. Tonight we sat across from each other at a table covered with an elegant tablecloth and shiny silverware in a dimly lit restaurant with romantic music playing softly in the background. Tonight we were on a date—trying to turn our friendship into something more. And I hadn't had much luck in my life so far, with something more.

Jasper looked so calm and unflappable, he acted as if nothing was wrong, as if this was just another meal in the teachers' lounge.

"So did you have enough red paper for all of your students to make their valentines?"

I let out a breath of relief, thinking about how calmly the valentines project with the kids had gone this year. "Yes, thank God! Every one of them seemed quite satisfied. Not a peep out of them. How did your bulletin board decorating go?"

Jasper made the most awful face. "Yellow and green. Those little munchkins gave me hell! Over my freaking room decorations! That I did for them! 'Mr. Whitlock, you made the hearts wrong! Why are they yellow and green? Mr. Whitlock, hearts are s'pposed to be RED!'"

Jasper was shaking his head in exasperation and I was nearly doubled over, I was laughing so hard. "I told you," I finally gasped out between my fits of laughter.

"I know, but geez these kids are merciless! I finally just told them the truth."

"The truth?"

"I told them it was Mr. Cullen's fault, that he told me hearts were yellow and green."

I stopped laughing and just looked at him. "And?"

"Oh, they completely understood then and I had them back on my side again. They rolled their eyes and put their heads in their hands and told me in very overdramatic fashion to never listen to Mr. Cullen." Jasper burst out laughing now and I was the one rolling my eyes. Most of the kids in his fourth-grade class were my former second-graders and clearly they had a memory like a steel-trap.

"I told you, those kids are vicious!"

Conversation with Jasper was so easy, I don't know why I worried. The rest of the meal passed by perfectly, he loved the food and he really seemed to be enjoying being with me as much as I was enjoying being with him.

We had just finished dinner and were waiting on dessert and coffee, when I noticed Jasper was distracted. He was even beginning to look a little disgusted. My heart skipped a beat, and the nerves came back again. Had I said something? Was Jasper regretting our date?

"Jasper, is everything okay?"

"No, it's not!"

My gut twisted and I almost thought I might throw my whole dinner up right there.

He leaned in over the table. "Have you noticed the lady with the roses has approached every single couple here tonight except us?"

I blinked as my stomach unclenched. He was mad at the lady with the roses? All evening one of the waitresses had been walking around the tables with a tray of roses, trying to entice the men to buy one for their female dinner companions. I had noticed her walking by on several occasions but hadn't given her much thought beyond that.

"Well . . . ." I searched for words as I was still puzzled at his reaction. "She . . . probably didn't see any reason to stop at our table."

"No she clearly didn't but maybe I had reason for her to stop!"

She was across from us, just finishing up at another table, when Jasper made a very obvious wave to get her attention. She came over, smiling, but Jasper spoke before she could say anything.

"Excuse me miss, but I would like to buy one of those beautiful roses. For my date." He gestured toward me.

Her smile left and she immediately looked contrite, although she did glance briefly back and forth between the two of us. I could feel my skin getting hot and knew I was blushing at the fuss he was making.

"Of course sir," she murmured, quickly handing Jasper a rose, accepting his money and then slipping away with a quiet, "Have a nice evening."

After she was gone, Jasper fingered the stem of the rose and looked over at me. All the tension had drained from his face and his gentle, happy smile was back. He presented the rose to me.

"Happy Valentine's Day, Edward. Thank you for taking a chance on me."

I couldn't believe he was thanking me for taking a chance on him. It should be me thanking him for taking a chance on me.

I reached for the rose and just smiled back in wonder.


We stayed, talking for hours until the restaurant closed. As Jasper drove me back home, the nerves started again. I wasn't sure what to do, what Jasper was expecting. Do I invite him in? Would he take that as an invitation for . . . sex? We had barely touched so far, and we hadn't even kissed yet. I didn't deny I was fiercely attracted to Jasper and if he did come in, and things got . . . heated, I knew I would give in without much persuading. Flashes of my early dates with Garrett crept through my brain. How fast we had moved, how quickly I had given myself to him . . . and how horrible it had all ended.

My heart sunk a little. I knew I couldn't do that again. And if that was what Jasper was expecting . . . well, I decided I'd better enjoy these last few moments with him because this night—this one perfect night—might be all I got with him.

All too soon we were at my house. Jasper walked me up to my door, and then we both stopped. He turned to face me and I couldn't breathe, fearful of what would come next.

He gazed at me intently. "Edward, did you have a good time tonight?" he whispered into the dark.

That was an easy question to answer. "I had a wonderful time, Jasper. This has been the best Valentine's Day I've ever had."

He broke out into a slow, gentle smile and then leaned in and brushed his lips ever so lightly against mine. I could feel a warm tingle over my whole body, just from that delicate touch of his lips.

He pulled away just enough so he could speak. "Me, too," he breathed, the warm air ghosting across my lips.

He straightened up and pulled back farther. "Good night Edward, sweet dreams."

And then he turned and walked back toward his car. I was so dumbfounded and relieved and tingly-happy, I just stood and watched until he drove off.


The next morning I woke slowly. I cracked opened one eye and the first thing I saw was the red rose still laying on my nightstand from the night before. All of the memories of last night came flooding back and I felt myself grinning stupidly into the pillow. It hadn't been a dream.

I was just coming out of the shower when my phone buzzed. It was a text from Jasper.

Just wanted to say good morning, beautiful. Can't stop thinking about our date. J

Later in the afternoon he called and asked if I wanted to go out again next weekend. And I spent the rest of the weekend spontaneously grinning and feeling the warm flush in my chest.

Until, I started getting ready for bed Sunday night. Suddenly I began to worry about seeing Jasper the next day. At work. In front of our colleagues, in front of the kids. I didn't know how to react. I was afraid my feelings for him would be too obvious to everyone. I mean, what should I do when I saw him? If I smile at him when we say hello will it give people ideas? I knew some of these thoughts were just crazy overreaction, but I couldn't help it.

I didn't sleep well that night and the blaring of the alarm came early. So in my sleepless fog, I wasn't paying enough attention when I turned down one of the school hallways and saw Jasper heading my direction. We were both surrounded by kids chattering away and heading to their classrooms. There was really no route of escape; I was trapped. Somehow I kept moving as he headed my direction.

My breath hitched the closer he got, but I ended up having nothing to worry about. As Jasper passed by me, he simply nodded his head toward me, smiled briefly and spoke a quick greeting: "Good morning Mr. Cullen."

"Good morning, Mr. Whitlock." I answered back, though he was already past me. It all happened so fast no one else even paid us any attention and if they had they wouldn't have seen anything more than two work colleagues saying hello. I let a breath out. Okay. This would be okay.

I put everything out of my mind for the morning as I concentrated on my kids and their lessons. Once I'd walked them to the lunchroom and was headed to the lounge for my own lunch, I started tensing again. Would I be able to get through an entire lunch break sitting with him like nothing had changed?

When I got to the teachers' lounge, he wasn't even there yet. As usual it was pretty quiet except for the snooty Tanya-Irina-Kate trifecta sitting at their table across the room. I sat down at our usual table and started into my lunch. The door opened and I forced myself not to look up, I kept facing forward. Soon I saw his body in front of me as he pulled out the chair across from me to sit down.

Our eyes met at the same time. His flicked down briefly to my lips and then back up to look me in the eye again.

"Hi," he said softly.

"Hi," I answered back with a small smile.

It felt like the space between us was crackling with this intense electricity, a combination of our feelings for each other and the knowledge that we had a special secret only between ourselves.

The moment passed quickly and Jasper finally looked away and started chattering away about classes. And just like that things were back to normal, to anyone who might have been watching.


The next couple of weeks flew by in a haze. Jasper and I talked on the phone a lot and went on three more dates. Simple things—movies, the art museum, dinners. Gentle touches grew to holding hands, which lead to heated goodnight kisses and frantic making out in the car. Jasper was taking things so slow, I was both amazed and thrilled.

Then for our fourth date Jasper invited me over to his place. He'd make dinner and we could just hang out and watch the basketball game. A little shiver crept up my spine, but of course I said yes. This would be the first time we would be spending any length of time in either of each other's homes. It would be very easy for things to get out of control very quickly and I . . . I didn't know how I felt about that just yet.

But as always, my fears got ahead of me. When Jasper opened his door I was greeted with an enthusiastic full body hug and a quick kiss before he moved aside to let me in.

He was finishing up dinner in the kitchen—homemade pizzas and salad—and told me to feel welcome to look around, make myself at home.

Jasper just lived in a small apartment and it was very much him—casual, simple, not cluttered and very comfortable. Just the essentials.

The game was already on and when the pizzas were ready we ate casually on the floor in the living room. After dinner we finished watching the game while curled up on the couch. Honestly, I'm not a huge basketball fan so between feeling full from the wonderful food and the two glasses of wine I'd had, and being wrapped up in Jasper's warm arms, I started to doze off somewhere during the last quarter of the game.

I awoke to warm breath and soft lips against my neck, slowly moving their way up to nibble on my earlobe. I smiled as I opened my eyes and craned to look at Jasper.

"Ah, he wakes!"

"Sorry." I stifled a yawn. "It must have been the wine."

"Well, I'm glad you're not down for the count, we haven't had dessert yet."


Jasper's eyes got darker and he had this mischievous grin on his face. He shifted me so I was half laying on the couch, my back against the arm rest. He leaned over me and before I could take a breath, his lips were on mine, caressing them and molding softly to them. I closed my eyes as the heat flowed from my lips and through my body. God, he tasted so good and I just couldn't get enough. I felt that warning tingle in the back of me somewhere but I gave myself over to the moment, just wanting to be kissed by Jasper, just wanting to feel his hands on me.

The kiss grew more heated as our lips parted and our tongues tangled with each other. Jasper finally broke away, hurriedly tugged at my sweater, lifting it over my head in a flash and tossing it somewhere to the floor. I groaned loudly as he kissed and licked down my chest, my mind lost in the haze of sensation. He had slowly been palming my cock through my jeans and it had been so long since anyone else had touched me like this, even through clothing, that I was afraid I was going to explode right there.

When his mouth reached the barrier of my jeans he made fast work of unbuttoning and unzipping me, shoving my jeans and boxers down forcefully.

"Umm, Christ, Edward, you've been holding out on me."

I opened my eyes to see him staring lustfully at my hard cock, now pointing straight up against my stomach. Then his eyes looked up at mine with a pleading, predatory look.

"Please tell me I can touch you, Edward," He whispered.

Fuck, he wanted me to speak? Words? Luckily parts of my brain worked on autopilot.

"Yes . . . please, Jasper . . . ARRRRghghgh Fuck!" All Jasper had needed was that first yes and he had dove in, stroking me in his hand, licking up the length of my cock and then swallowing me in his mouth. I could feel his lips gliding up and down over my cock, sucking me in deeper. God, his mouth felt like heaven and all I could do was groan incoherently and fist his hair in my hand. I wanted it to last forever, but it had been so long since I had been with someone—since Garrett—I was just lucky I had lasted this long.

"Jasper . . . I can't . . . oh God, I'm gonna . . . ."

Suddenly his mouth let go of my cock with a pop. I looked up and he was ripping his shirt off and fumbling with his own jeans. He let out a big sigh as he pushed his jeans down his thighs and freed himself. Holy hell. Jasper's cock was just as perfect and beautiful as he was, long and thick. He reached down and stroked himself a few times and I groaned out loud, all the heat in my body heading southward at the sight of him.

Jasper smirked at me. He leaned over to cover me with his body, nestling between my open legs. "Sorry, I was about to come in my pants and I couldn't let that happen. You're so wild, Edward, when you let go."

He lowered his hips at that moment so that our cocks slid together and I was gone. I writhed and arched under him and moaned for more. Our hands were everywhere, all over each other, just wanting to touch as much skin as we could. Our hips ground together, and unfortunately it only took a couple of thrusts before my cock jerked and I was coming and coming—I swore I had never come so hard and so fast in my life. Well, not since high school anyway.

"Edward, fuck . . . !" Suddenly Jasper let out a loud growl and I felt him pulse against me, spilling more warm wetness between us.

We both lay there for a few minutes, our chests vibrating against each other as our breathing came back to normal. And as my head began to clear again, I realized what we'd just done and—although I was feeling very happy and satisfied—my nerves were starting to rear their head again.

Jasper shifted up on his elbow and stared down at me with a sparkle in his eye. His face was still flushed and a little thrill went through me at the thought that I'd made him that happy. His finger lightly traced a path down my chest and down toward my thigh. "Wow," he breathed. "Sorry that was so . . . quick, but I think we both needed that." His finger kept traveling, lower, beneath my balls. He leaned his face in closer to me. "But we've got lots of time for slow, later." At that same moment I felt his finger circle my entrance. His touch was feather light and he wasn't being forceful at all. But my body and my brain reacted on instinct.

I immediately closed my legs and squirmed up to a sitting position. This caused Jasper to shift, falling backward so his butt hit the couch. I could feel his gaze on me, but I couldn't look up to face him.

"Edward, are you okay? Did I do something wrong?"

My head was a mess and I didn't know what to do so I just sat there silently. Part of me was yelling at myself to get up and leave, to run away. I was so embarrassed. But the other part of me that was so drawn to Jasper, wouldn't let me move.

And Jasper wouldn't let me move either. He brought washcloths from the bathroom so we could clean ourselves and then we put our clothes back on. Once we were dressed and sitting apart from each other on the couch, he made me tell him everything. He already knew that Garrett had cheated on me, but I told him everything else. How we met, how hot and fast it had been between us, how I had let myself get swept up in him. I guess there was still some fear in me, I didn't want to make that mistake again. I didn't want to ruin things with Jasper.

Jasper reached over stroked gently along my jaw. "Edward, look at me. I'm sorry he treated you that way. He's a complete fool to throw someone like you away like that." His blue eyes bore into mine intently as he spoke, as if we were the only two people on the planet. "But I am not Garrett and I never will be. I don't cheat and I don't lie and I appreciate what's mine. And there's absolutely no rush, Edward, we've got all the time in the world. We go at your pace, whatever your comfortable with, okay? I promise I'm not going anywhere."

I don't know what I did to have Cupid bestow Jasper to me, but somehow I had apparently won the love lottery. Jasper meant every last word he said to me that day. We continued dating for several weeks, and while there were a few times we both went home aching and frustrated, there were also many other times we managed to satisfy ourselves with touching and fondling and hand jobs and blow jobs, and well, just about everything else besides actual sex. Jasper never pushed and never complained though there were a few times I could see he was fighting the urge to just flip me over and fuck me. But he always kissed me lovingly afterward and never said a word.

Frankly, the more and more we were together, the more I wanted to be with him too. I just had this mental barrier that I couldn't get over. He and I would be together, in the heat of the moment and I would think to myself, yes, now! And as soon as I thought those words I would get a cold shiver all over and I would break out into a sweat. I was beginning to feel like a freak. What red-blooded man has an even hotter red-blooded man as his boyfriend and doesn't want to have sex with him? Damn you Garrett.

One Saturday night we decided to go out for a light dinner and then dancing at one of the local gay clubs we both liked. Neither one of us had been there in a long time and definitely not since we had started dating each other.

I was never big on the whole gay bar scene, but I liked to go once in a while. And I was always more comfortable when I already had a hot man to dance with and didn't have to participate in the whole "meat market" aspect that is a gay bar.

When we walked in, there was already a large crowd of men packing the place—writhing and sweaty on the dance floor, lining the bar and the areas around the edge of the dance floor, and of course, streaming steadily in and out of the back room.

Jasper and I headed straight for the bar to get a drink. He held my hand the entire time, so it was obvious we were together. But that didn't stop all the other men from staring at Jasper with blatant looks of lust. I was waiting for Jasper to flirt or smile or acknowledge these men and these looks in some way. But he seemed oblivious to them. His only smile or flirty look was directed at me when he handed me my drink.

"Hey sexy, come here often?" He spoke directly in my ear to be heard over the pounding "thumpa-thumpa" dance music. "I bet you look so hot shakin' your ass out on the dance floor, stud."

I slowly turned my head to look at him, wondering if they had given him pure grain alcohol in his drink. He winked at me, then slowly let his eyes travel up and down my body, ending with an exaggerated eyebrow waggle as he smirked at me. I shook my head as I burst out laughing. Jasper was crazy sometimes but that's why he was good for me. He didn't take things too seriously. And he wanted me to have fun.

A few songs (and a couple more drinks later) we finally ventured on to the dance floor. Once amidst the throngs of horny dancing men, Jasper pulled me close to him. Our bodies were pressed so tightly together I could feel him growing harder the more we danced. His hands slid down to cup my ass and grind me into him. I threw my head back and let out a groan, knowing no one could hear me over the music. I'd never been one for dancing much at these places but I was having a great time tonight dancing with Jasper. I loved being in his arms.

And then the magical moment was broken. This big hulk of a guy in a tight T-shirt comes right up behind Jasper and starts grinding up against his ass. He put his big meaty paws on Jasper's hips and tried to pull him away from me. Jasper turned around and not so gently pushed the man's hands away and says something to him. Jasper turned back towards me and reached his arms out to grab me again, when this skinny little bare-chested twink suddenly sneaks in between us and starts rubbing his hands all over Jasper's chest. Jasper's face contorts and he yells something at the twink as he pushes him away. He has a disgusted look on his face as he grabbed my hand and nodded his head toward the bar.

"Man, I forgot how ruthless these guys are. No respect when they see two guys dancing together. You want to just get out of here?"

I nodded, but indicated I needed to hit the bathroom first. Jasper opted to wait for me by the bar. When I came back I saw Jasper being accosted again—this time by a very attractive, dark-haired guy. The guy had his arm around Jasper and was being very friendly with him. My stomach flipped a little and I hung back a bit to see what Jasper would do. Jasper shook him off but not quite as roughly as those other guys from the dance floor. And the two of them still continued talking. Then Jasper saw me, and he smiled and waved me over. Once I reached them, Jasper immediately put his arm tightly around my waist.

"Peter," he said, "this is my boyfriend, Edward. Edward, this is my ex, Peter." The word ex, reverberated in my brain for a minute but was soon overpowered by another word—boyfriend. I didn't have time to process that word because the first word—the ex—was speaking to us.

Peter gave me the eyeball, from top to bottom. "Hmm, Jasper. Very nice. So glad you've found the 'domestic bliss' you always wanted." Then he lightly touched my face before snuggling up to Jasper with his arm around him again. "Are you sure you boys wouldn't be up for a little fun? A little 'sharing' perhaps, for the evening? You know how hot we are together J." That last sentence was whispered in Jasper's ear but I still heard it all.

Jasper frowned at him, and physically lifted Peter's arm off of him. "Peter, we're over, you know that. No playing, no 'old times' sake' and definitely no sharing! I'm sure though, that you will have no shortage of other boys to 'play' with tonight, Peter. You never did."

Jasper, arm still around me, tugged on my waist. "Come on, Edward. Let's go."

Peter just rolled his eyes and sighed. "Fine, fine. Have a good evening boys."

"You too, Peter," Jasper called out over his shoulder as we headed toward the door.

Jasper was quiet the entire way back to the car. Once we got in, he just sat there staring at the steering wheel, making no move to put the key in. Finally he turned to me. "Edward, I'm sorry this evening didn't turn out so great."

"What do you mean, it was great fun watching you get mauled by horny men and seeing you beat them off with a stick." I tried to bring some levity and make Jasper smile. He did, but just barely.

"And Peter?" I asked quietly. I had told him all about Garrett. Whether I wanted to hear it or not, I suppose I deserved to hear about this Peter.

"Peter." Jasper snorted and rolled his eyes. "Peter was my last ex but we broke up a long time before I met you. As if you couldn't tell, Peter's not really into monogamy. He wanted an open relationship and I tried that for a while—we were always absolutely safe about everything, by the way—but I just wanted more. Once I find someone I'm interested in, I don't need to be with other guys. I don't want to be with other guys. Isn't that the whole point of being with someone?"

We were both kind of quiet as Jasper drove me home. Jasper's words kept running through my head. What he'd told me when I told him about Garrett—"I don't cheat and I don't lie and I appreciate what's mine." That made sense after his experience with Peter. "Once I find someone I'm interested in, I don't need to be with other guys. I don't want to be with other guys."

And then there was— "This is my boyfriend, Edward." Boyfriend, he'd called me his boyfriend. My whole body internally jumped for joy at that. I mean, he and I had never really discussed what we were. But we were dating exclusively. So I guess that would make us . . . boyfriends. Still, it was nice to hear Jasper refer to us as such.

When we got to my place I started to get out of the car before I realized Jasper was sitting inside, the car still running. I poked my head back in the car. "Aren't you coming inside?"

There was hope in Jasper's eyes but I could see he was trying to restrain it. "Are you sure?"


As soon as we were inside, Jasper was apologizing again. "Edward I'm sorry about running into Peter, I wasn't expecting to see him there . . . ."

I cut him off. "You introduced me as your boyfriend. Did you mean that?"

Jasper looked at me with surprise. "Well, of course, Edward."

He meant it. He really meant it.

I crushed my lips to his, my force knocking him back against the door. He moaned at the intensity of the kiss. "I take it you liked that hmm?" he breathed, chuckling.

"Mmm . . . ." I opened my eyes to meet his. "Hell yes."

Jasper let out a growl as he wrapped his arms around me and claimed my lips with his, biting my lower lip and causing me to moan loudly. I clutched his shoulders, and gripped his hair. My blood was boiling and I just couldn't get enough of him. I needed to feel him, to feel his skin against mine, to feel his whole body against mine. And that still didn't feel like enough. I could feel Jasper's hard cock through his jeans pressing against mine, and fire raged through my lower body. I wanted to feel him inside me. I suddenly realized that for the first time, there was no nervous anticipation cock blocking me. I had no fear that Jasper was going to go anywhere, no fear that we were moving too fast, no fear that my heart was going to get broken. Jasper's actions and his words tonight had chased all of those away. He wanted me and I wanted him, oh how I wanted him. Now.

Jasper was fumbling with my buttons while trying to walk me backwards towards the couch.

"Wait, stop."

Jasper, the perfect gentleman as always, ceased all motion and let out a heaving breath. I knew he was as revved up as I was and was probably expecting me to send him home alone again. Instead I pulled on his belt loops and started leading him down the hall.

His eyes grew wide. "Edward . . . ."

I let my smile be my answer as we continued on through the doorway of my bedroom.

"Edward . . . !" His tone was lower this time and his breathing was picking up.

I still said nothing, slowly undoing each button of his shirt.

"Edward . . . !" This time there was just a hint of a threat in his voice. I had reached the last button on his shirt, and it fell open to reveal his bare chest. His hands moved up to cover mine, stopping me before I could move any lower. "Are you sure?" he spoke quietly.

I stepped closer so that our bodies were touching. "Yes," I whispered in his ear. "I'm sure, Jasper. I'm ready. I want you." My hands unbuttoned and unzipped his jeans, and I reached in and wrapped my hand around his warm, hard cock. Jasper's head leaned back and he let out a long, low moan. I pushed his jeans and briefs down and then kneeled to the floor. I stroked him twice before slowly enveloping him in my mouth, licking and sucking and worshipping him. Jasper gripped my hair and before long was begging me to stop. As I pulled off and looked up at him, he groaned again.

"Fuck, you look so hot right now. I fully appreciate what you're doin' down there baby, but I'm not going to last long enough to fuck you if you keep it up."

He pulled me up so fast I stumbled and fell back on the bed, which was right where I wanted to be. We became a tangle of limbs and hands, ripping clothing off, touching and stroking any bare area of skin we could reach. By the time we were naked we were already hot and sweaty. Jasper lay on top of me, our bodies entwined and as we paused to catch our breath, our urgency changed into something different, something still primal but more sacred. My body felt like it was alive for the first time in a very long time and I never wanted it to end, I wanted to stay like this with Jasper forever.

Jasper lovingly stroked every inch of my body, tracing patterns up and down my arms and my chest. His touch was both tender and electric at the same time.

Finally Jasper looked down at me. "Last chance. Are you ready, baby?"

I was already certain in my choice, but if I weren't, the love shining out of Jasper's eyes would have sealed my decision.

"I'm more than ready Jasper, I want to feel you and me . . . together."

He gave me a tender, slow-burning kiss before shifting above me. He lifted my legs and soon I felt his slick fingers teasing me, working into me slowly. Jasper was patient and took his time. I literally bucked and moaned when he hit that spot. I almost came right there. It had been so long for me, but oh it felt so good. It wasn't long before I was begging.

"Please, oh please Jasper . . . ."

I watched as he put the condom on and stroked himself a few times with lube, before he gently moved over me. There was the usual bit of pain and stretching as he slowly entered me. My body arched involuntarily and I tried to remember to breathe. Oh God, I felt so full. But I remembered it was Jasper, my Jasper and my whole body just relaxed. I opened my eyes to see his face inches from mine.

"Are you okay?" his voice was rough as his jaw clenched around his words.

I brushed my fingertips across his cheek "Wonderful," I answered quietly.

"God, baby, you feel so good."

I shifted my hips and he groaned. And then he was moving inside me and I was lost. Electric shocks took over my body every time he went deeper and deeper. Desperate, I wrapped my legs tighter around him, I clutched at his shoulders to hold him to me. I wanted to crawl inside him. I was burning and he was water. Our moans and cries echoed off the walls and surrounded us.

Finally I couldn't take any more, my chest was about to burst. Jasper started to shake above me, both of us ready to shatter apart. He reached down and stroked my cock, barely getting a hold of it before I was coming all over my chest. And then I heard him call out my name as he shuddered and pulsed inside of me.

He collapsed on top of me and neither of us moved for what felt like hours, not wanting to get up and not having the energy. Eventually we got up just enough to clean up. We didn't speak a word, just grinned at each other like fools. Then we climbed into bed, Jasper spooning around me. "Thank you, Edward," I heard him whisper just as he dropped off to sleep. No, thank you, Jasper, I thought, as I closed my eyes, safe and warm and happier than I'd been in a very long time.

The next morning I woke slowly, stretching and feeling sore muscles that hadn't been used in a while. I smiled as I remembered why they were sore. I turned over, my head burrowing into my pillow, as I finally opened my eyes. Jasper was already awake and staring at me, a lazy smile on his face.

"Morning, sleepyhead." His voice was still rough from sleep so I knew he couldn't have been awake very long.

"Good morning, Mr. Whitlock." He chuckled at my formal greeting, as his fingers ran up and down my arm.

"Last night was amazing, Edward. I love you so much, you know that right?"

Okay, now I was awake. I think my heart just pounded up into my throat. "I do now," I croaked.

"I just needed to say that." His eyes moved down my body. He was still smiling, he was so relaxed, it was obvious he wasn't expecting or requiring to hear the words back. He just really wanted me to know.



"I love you too."

He glanced up at me then, his smile growing wider and I thought I would never see anything more beautiful again.

~~ * V * ~~

** Three years later **

I checked myself in the mirror one last time as I straightened my tie. I got distracted by the mess I saw behind me in the mirror. "Jasper! You left your wet towel on the floor again!" Getting no response I just shook my head. Jasper and I had been living together for almost three years now, and I was used to his lackadaisical attitude about things—at least that's what I chose to call it, it sounded so much better than calling your lover "sloppy."

After that night at the club that had changed our relationship, it only took a few months until we moved in together—well, Jasper moved in with me, since I already had a house and he just had an apartment. We'd redecorated it though, I wanted to make sure the house reflected Jasper too and not just me—that it became our house, our home.

We were currently getting ready to go out to dinner—for Valentine's Day. God, how I used to hate that day with a fiery passion. It had always been so unlucky for me. Until the year Jasper had walked into my life. He'd managed to get me to agree to go out on a date on Valentine's Day! I was so scared it was a bad idea, a bad day (for me, anyway) to start a relationship on. But it ended up being one of the best dates of my life.

My opinion on the holiday changed so much, that I now tended to go a bit overboard on all the stuff I hated before. Right now there was a large pink and red heart balloon bouquet (for Jasper, of course) sitting on the kitchen counter. Along with a large mushy Valentine card, a heart-shaped box of chocolates and a bouquet of roses. Jasper always just shook his head and indulged me.

I knew it was silly, but one of the reasons I always hated Valentine's Day before was because I was always alone. And now that I had someone to shower with love and gifts, well . . . I couldn't resist. I knew how special it was to be in love.

Jasper went the complete opposite route from my outlandish displays and I never ever wanted him to change. His valentine to me was the same every year, the same as it had been that very first year we met. It was a simple heart cut out of red paper, with a brief message and a piece of chocolate taped to the inside.

I finished with my tie and turned the light off, heading into the living room. I could see the large balloons from all the way down the hall. Okay, so I may have gone a little more overboard than usual this year. Jasper had been acting so strange for the past two weeks. He'd be his normal self and then all of a sudden he'd get this weird faraway look in his eye. Usually that meant he had something on his mind. He'd been quieter too, lately. It was getting to be so frequent I could admit to being a little worried about whatever was going on with him. So somehow I thought big red puffy balloons would make things all better.

Jasper was standing with his back to me, looking out the window. He kept shuffling form one foot to the other.

"Ready to go, babe?"

I started for the front door, when he called out behind me.

"Wait, Edward."

When I turned around he was sitting on the couch, his head down. My stomach flip-flopped and a sudden chill hit me so bad my whole body felt like ice. Oh God, Jasper looked awful. This wasn't going to be good. He'd been so distracted lately, withdrawn. I remembered after Garrett, how I'd looked back on the last months of our relationship and found he had been acting the same way. He'd already checked out from the relationship and I had just failed to notice. Oh God, no, I couldn't do this again. He was going to tell me his feelings had changed. Or he'd found someone else.

I walked slowly over to the couch. As I did I passed my ridiculous grouping of Valentine's day paraphernalia and realized Jasper hadn't given me his paper heart yet. That was when I really almost lost it. It was a sign. We were over.

He glanced up at me and patted the couch next to him. "Have a seat, Edward. I need to say something."

My gut was twisting and I was going numb.

"I was going to do this at the restaurant, but, well . . . I've been thinking and planning it for so long now, I just can't wait any longer." He cleared his throat and reached behind him, under one of the couch pillows and pulled out a plain red paper heart.

Oh God, he was going to break it off with our special valentine? That was just downright cruel.

My hands shook as I reached for it and forced myself to open it and read the words he'd written.


Happy Valentine's my love. Many years ago I asked you if you would be my Valentine. And now you are, and I couldn't be happier. So I guess it's time to ask for something else.

Edward, will you promise to be my Valentine forever? Will you marry me?

Love always, Jasper.

P.S. Please say yes.

And there at the bottom, instead of a piece of chocolate, was taped a real platinum ring.

A ring. Marry me. I blinked as I just stared at it. Finally I found my voice. "This . . . this is why you've been so quiet lately? You were planning . . . this?"

Jasper smiled tentatively. "Yes, I was nervous, trying to make sure it all went perfectly and then making sure I got the ring in time."

I couldn't help myself, I burst out laughing. Jasper got a pained look on his face, I knew I'd better explain myself quickly. "I . . . I thought you were breaking up with me!"

His brows furrowed. "Breaking up with you? Why would you . . . ? I'm sorry Edward, I was keeping a little bit of a distance on purpose, because I was afraid I was going to spill the secret."

I couldn't believe I had thought, even for those brief few minutes, that Jasper was going to leave me.

Jasper cleared his throat again. "Um, Edward? You haven't given me an answer?"

Another uncontrollable laugh came out of me. I could feel the ear-splitting smile on my face as I turned to look at him.

"Oh Jasper . . . yes, of course, I'll marry you."

~~ * V * ~~

** Ten Years Later **

"Hey there kiddo, you need some help?"

I looked down at the adorable boy with blond curls just like his dad's. I swear my heart squeezed every time. Jasper and I had been so shocked and thrilled when his sister had offered to be a surrogate for us. We'd been poring through the mounds of paperwork for the adoption agency, frustrated because it seemed like it was going to be such a long waiting process. And then Rose had been over for Thanksgiving and saw the pile of papers and just matter-of-factly offered. As if it was no big deal. So with Rose's egg and my sperm we'd ended up with a child that was truly biologically made up of both Jasper and I. Modern science was so amazing sometimes.

The last seven years had flown by. It seemed like yesterday we were bringing him home from the hospital and now he was sitting at the dining room table trying to write his valentines for his class party tomorrow. Trying being the operative word. Right now he was biting his lip like he did when he was working something out in that little brain of his. There were only three sitting off to the side in envelopes with names on the outside. The rest of the valentines were spread out in a large pile in front of him.

"Riley?" I prodded. I sat down and rifled through the pile of valentines.

"I'm trying to decide which one to send to Victoria."

Oh dear, if he was picking a specific card for each kid we were going to be here for a while. Suddenly his face lit up and he swiped one and started writing on the back of it.

"Ah, did you find the right one?"

"Yep, I gave her the Superman one. It's my favorite."

"Wow, your favorite huh? That sounds pretty special." Uh oh, there was the biting lip again.



"You and Papa like each other right?"

"Yes," I answered slowly, unsure where this conversation was going.

"And your both boys, right?"


"Did you ever like a girl?"

I was still puzzled by all the questions and scared where his little mind was going. "Um, well, I had lots of friends who were girls."

His voice got really small. "I like Victoria."

My eyebrows rose. Oh. So that's where we were going. "Okay son, well, that's great. Is that why you wanted to pick out a special valentine for her?"

He shook his little head up and down really fast. "Is that okay?" he asked slowly.

Aww . . . my little man. There was the heart squeeze again. "Of course that's okay, Riley. You can like whomever you want to like, boys or girls. It doesn't matter to me or Papa or anyone else, only you."

He smiled.

"Do you want me to help you? I could put them in the envelopes for you as you write them?"


Cool. I smiled down at our little guy. As he handed the one for Victoria over to me, I couldn't help but peek at what he'd written on hers before I stuffed it into the envelope. "XOXO Love, Riley" Yep, God help him, but he was definitely my son.

I was laying in bed reading when I heard the front door. Soon Jasper was collapsing on the bed next to me, clothes and all. About five years ago, Jasper had finally moved on to teach at a local college. And he loved every minute of it, except for the occasional night class he was required to teach.

I reached over and ran my fingers through his hair, massaging his scalp a gently as I went.

"Ummm, that feels so good." His voice was muffled by the pillow

I smiled. "Rough night?"

He sighed. "Nah, not more than usual. Just long. I hate these fucking night classes."

"Really?" I smirked.

He opened one eye to look at me. "Don't you smirk at me," he warned.

Actually I hated those fucking night classes too, I missed him when he wasn't home.

He stood up and went into the bathroom. I heard the water run as he got ready for bed. He came out and started taking his clothes off.

"So what I'd miss tonight?"

"Oh, not much. Our son is straight."

His head whipped around to look at me with an amused look on his face.

"And how did this topic come up?"

"Valentines for the class party tomorrow. He wrote a special one for Victoria."

Jasper nodded his head in understanding. Then suddenly he straightened up. "Wait, he likes girls already? He's only seven! Wasn't it just last week all girls had cooties?"

I chuckled. "Yep. Next week he'll be asking for the car keys to take her out parking."

Jasper groaned. "Ugh. I don't even want to think about it. I'm leaving the sex talk up to you."

"Oh gee, thanks!"

"Well hell, I don't know anything about sex with girls."

"Like I do? I'm sure Rose would always let us borrow Emmett to come talk to him."

"Oh God, no, that's even scarier!"

I laughed out loud again. "Well, I think we've got at least a couple of weeks yet before we have to worry about it, we'll come up with something."

Jasper pulled back the covers on his side to get into bed when he saw something red on the pillow.

"Hmm . . . and what is this?"

He sat against the headboard and flipped over the red paper heart. Glued to the front was a small Superman valentine.

He raised his eyebrows as he looked at me. "Edward, you did not steal a valentine from our son did you?"

I rolled my eyes. "It was one of the leftovers." I didn't tell him I might have hid it on the bottom of the pile so it was sure to be a leftover.

He opened the small card and read the writing.


You have always been my own personal superhero. Please be my valentine?

Love, Edward


Jasper smiled and leaned over to give me a kiss. "Aww . . . Always baby, always."


As I lay curled up in Jasper's arms I couldn't help reflecting over the evening. Helping Riley with the valentines brought back the memories of my class valentines when I was little. I wondered what Bobby Bukowski was doing now . . . ?

Whatever he was doing, I was certain he couldn't be as happy as I was. All those years I was so miserable every February. The turn of the calendar page no longer made me cringe. I had my own personal Valentine now. For always.

~~ * V * ~~