Author's Note – Thanks to Txgal77, missmez & kissa621 for pre-reading and betas jkane180 & WolfGirlAtHeart. Love you guys like whoa.
WARNING: This story contains language, sex and drug use. If this doesn't float your boat, the little red cross in the right hand corner is waiting.
Disclaimer: All recognizable characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.
"Unlike anything else in life, the stoke of surfing is so high that the failures quickly fade from memory."
I didn't want to; I really didn't. But I did it anyway.
I leaned over and took the burning joint from Mak when he offered it to me. I sucked it hard between my lips and filled my lungs with the smoke, holding it in till I couldn't anymore. A few more puffs, and I passed it along.
I reveled in the cloudiness that crept up into my brain – the haze I was so used to seeing through, and breathing through, and living through. It was all too familiar, and I leaned back on the couch and took the joint again for another round - and again and again till it burned out.
The chatter in the room was easy – I really missed this, just hanging out with my friends, talking shit, and laughing.
"So how's Tina, Jake?" Mak asked out of the blue.
My eyes darted to look at Soph. Had she told him about Bella and me, and was he just being a smart ass? Soph shook her head from side to side, answering my silent question.
"Uh, not sure man. Haven't seen her in a while," I replied before promptly changing the subject.
An hour later, I ditched the group and headed to my room. I was so fucking tired, not to mention stoned, and my eyelids were heavy; my eyes stung with the effort of keeping them open.
I pulled my shirt off as I walked down the hallway to my bedroom and then threw it on the huge pile of dirty clothes that littered my room. I shrugged out of my shorts and underwear and crawled into bed.
Bella... I couldn't stop thinking about her.
Her mouth panting in my ear, her hands clutching at my back, and thighs tightening around my hips as she sat on the edge of that fucking table. God, how badly I just wanted to bury myself inside her... fuck!
My hands grasped the sheets by my sides as I lay on my back. I moved one up and skimmed it over my stomach till I reached the thick scars that were etched into my left side. My fingertips traced the marks just as she had done earlier in the garage.
Without even thinking, my hand inched further south till my fingers wrapped tightly around my cock. Jesus, it felt so fucking good - painfully good - and I began pumping as I clenched my eyes shut. I imagined her just as she was in that garage - sitting on the table, back arched, eyes hungry, and hands roving.
I gripped harder and pumped faster as my breath caught in my throat. I groaned, feeling that ache in the pit of my stomach - it was torture. The feel of my hard on pressed against her and the sound of her whimpers repeated over and over in my brain. My mind played out a scenario, and I imagined her hands tearing open my shorts and pushing them down, her palm wrapping around my cock while she grinned with satisfaction and kissed me so hard I couldn't see straight.
I fisted the sheet with my free hand while I saw her perfectly behind my eyelids. I could almost taste her on my tongue, and oh god, I was fucking close. Fire spread through my insides, and I leaned my head back and increased the pace with my hand. So close, so god damn close.
I panted heavily with the need for release - my hand worked faster and my fingers squeezed tighter as her named escaped my mouth, over and over till I exploded on my shaky hand. A wave of lethargy crashed over me, and I could barely open my eyes. I reached over for a towel from the laundry pile and wiped it over myself before turning on my side.
Her words still echoed in my head while I lay there waiting to succumb to sleep.
Give me a chance, Jake. That's all I ask.
A chance... all she wanted was a chance. She didn't need a chance - she already had me. The question was would she want to keep me after she found out the kind of guy I really was?
I drifted off to thoughts of Bella against my chest, the smell of her hair and feel of her skin.
The next morning was frantic as usual. I raced against the clock to get ready for work and ran out the door, making it to the resort without a second to spare.
I wanted to see her so badly, to see her eyes light up and her sunny smile. But I didn't even have a minute to walk into the restaurant I was certain she was having her breakfast at right now. I ran around the back to the beach, not wanting to get busted by Elle. She was always an asshole if I was even a second late.
"Shit!" I realized I had to go get my folder with the appointments for the day.
I walked in through the side door and took the folder without Elle catching sight of me. I flipped it open and quickly scanned over the names for booked lessons and smiled stupidly when I saw Bella Swan booked in for an afternoon lesson.
I sighed with relief, and the thought of seeing her later made me feel lighter.
My first lesson was starting in a few minutes, and the two girls were already waiting on the sand for me.
"Hey. I'm Jake," I yelled over at the bikini clad girls. "You guys are..." I quickly glanced down at the paper on my clip board, "Jessie and Veronica."
"That's us," the blonde one said as she pointed at her friend. "She's Jessie, and I'm Roni."
I nodded and pointed to the garage. "Sweet. I'll just get the boards and be back in a second."
Jessie flipped her red hair over her shoulder as she checked me out from behind her black Gucci sunglasses. I smirked and laughed as they blatantly whispered to each other about me.
That lesson was interesting, to say the least. I think these girls had hit a record for the most number of times I had an ass rub my crotch during a lesson. Not to mention the number of times their boobs accidentally fell out of their bikini tops.
Not even gonna lie – a few weeks ago, I'd be banging the shit outta both of them by the time the day was done. But now, it was more funny than anything else.
I was finishing up early today, so the final lesson came sooner than usual. It was Bella's turn, and I searched through the boards in the garage till I found the longboard I wanted. I grabbed the surf wax and rubbed it against the surface, smiling to myself at the memory of the time I gave Bella a crash course in surf wax.
I looked at my watch, and there were still ten minutes till she was due to arrive, so I flipped through my phone. There were new text messages from Tina – Are you avoiding me? And I need to see you. And Hey stranger, why don't you come over tonight?
I went down the list from newest to oldest and hit delete. She sure was persistent. I didn't think I needed to give her an explanation - we were totally casual, so I assumed my lack of interest would be interpreted as exactly that. But clearly she thought my ignoring her was me playing hard to get or some shit.
My phone vibrated in my hand, and I looked at the name. It was my sister, so I quickly picked up.
"Baby bro! Where the hell have you been?" she asked worriedly.
"Around. Just busy, I guess."
"Well, I just wanted to remind you about Mia's birthday party on Sunday. You remember her, right? Your niece who thinks the sun shines out of Uncle Jake's ass?"
Shit! I almost forgot it was Mia's first birthday. Bec was throwing her a princess party, and my presence was mandatory – not that I'd actually miss the squirt's party for anything.
"Sure, sure. I remember, and yes, I'll be there," I confirmed. "Umm, Bec?"
"Is it… would you mind if I… bring someone?" I asked nervously.
"Excuse me, has hell frozen over? Does my baby brother have a girl?" she asked while laughing her butt off.
In the almost two years I'd lived in Kauai, my sister had never met any girl – well, not officially – she met Zoe, but that was purely accidental when she came over one night and Zoe walked out of my room in her underwear and my t-shirt.
I rubbed my palm over my face and squeezed my eyes shut. "No! Well, kinda… yeah. Maybe… I don't even know, but -"
I stopped speaking abruptly when I heard the door creak behind me. I quickly turned to find Bella standing at the entry with a shy grin on her face and a faint blush on her cheeks.
"Er, Bec, I gotta go. See you on Sunday."
I snapped my phone shut before Bec managed to get another word in and wondered how long Bella had been standing there and how much of the conversation she'd heard.
"Hey," I greeted casually as I peered out the door towards the beach.
"Hi," she replied, following my gaze out the door. "The coast is clear. Don't worry," she added as her smile faded a little.
"I'm not worried," I lied as I stepped closer to her. I slid my arm tentatively around her small waist and leaned down to her. Her breath caught a little, and I smirked in response. I pressed my mouth to hers and watched as her eyelids closed then I felt her hand glide up my stomach to my chest, where it rested.
Fuck, she smelled amazing – I'll never look at a bottle of tanning oil without thinking of her soft skin. Damn.
"You smell so good," I whispered against her lips.
"Well, you can thank The Body Shop for that," she replied teasingly. "You smell like," she began, sniffing at my wrist as my palm cupped her face, "like gum."
"And you can thank sex wax for that," I replied before pulling away. I couldn't even say the word sex to her without my mind wandering to some inappropriately dirty thoughts. I kinda wondered for a second what she was thinking about and silently prayed it was the same thing I was.
"You ready for round two?" I asked, taking the board under my arm.
"I guess so."
To say the next forty-five minutes were sheer torture would be the understatement of the century. Every innocent touch and every purposeful grasp of her leg, ankle, or even her wrist to show her how to maneuver in the surf killed me… in that awesome way that made my insides burn with want.
It was like now that I had let myself go when it came to Bella, I was freefalling and couldn't stop. Not that I even wanted to.
The waves were small, but even still, Bella managed to bite it more times than I could count. She'd jump up out of the water spluttering, and she was still cute as hell. I wrapped my arm under hers as she clung onto me, coughing hard. I smoothed the wet hair from her face that had come loose from her ponytail.
"You okay?" I asked.
She shook her head from side to side and continued coughing and clutching her throat.
I moved to stand in front of her and put my hands on her face. "Hey, hey. Look at me, Bella. Focus on breathing through your nose."
She closed her lips and took small breaths through her nose till she nodded that she was fine.
"My throat hurts," she said huskily.
My hands dropped to her shoulders, and I rubbed the gooseflesh from her arms. "I know. It's the salt water; it just burns on the way down. And on the way up, for that matter."
I lifted my hands from her arms and let them fall by my sides. I didn't want to let go of her but needed to keep my distance publicly for now. Bella unfolded her arms from her chest and dipped them beneath the surface of the water till I felt her fingers lace with mine.
She looked at me with her kind eyes, and I could see she wanted to do more, just like I did. But she respectfully kept her distance too.
"How do you do it?" she asked quietly.
"Get back in the water and actually teach people how to do the thing that nearly…" She cast her eyes down, not continuing with her question. "That was stupid. I'm sorry."
I squeezed her hand in the cold water. "It's okay. I'm not sure why I do it. I guess surfing was the only thing I was ever good at, you know."
"I don't believe that for a second. Maybe you just didn't give anything else a chance because you were so focused on the surfing?"
I shrugged my shoulders. I was good with cars, but fuck, I had zero ambition to be a damn mechanic.
"Regardless, Jake, you're brave."
Jesus, this was the perfect segue to be truthful and tell her I hadn't been able to get into deep water and actually surf. But my chest felt heavy, and the vulnerability crept up into my throat and I couldn't speak.
"I'm a coward," I whispered with a bitter laugh. I was - in more ways than one.
"Bullshit! A normal person would never have stepped foot into the ocean again."
That just made me feel like even more of a coward because I was pretending that I was fine when, in actual fact, I was far from it. And normal… I was even further from that!
"Lesson's over," I announced, looking down at my watch.
"Oh…" she replied with disappointment.
I knelt down, and my chest tightened at the feel of the water climbing up my body. My hands slid down Bella's leg, and she lifted her foot so I could reach the leg rope as she held on to my shoulder.
She was so warm – I mean, not physically because we'd been in the cool water for more than forty-five minutes, but just her presence.
She followed me out of the surf, and I dropped the board and picked up her towel before shaking the sand off and draping it over her shoulders.
"Thanks," she said, looking over her shoulder at me.
This was where I would have spun her around, wrapped my arms around her, and held her till she warmed up, but instead, I stepped back, picked her bag up off the sand and held it out for her.
I walked Bella to the resort gate and stopped when Nash looked over at us from behind the bar. The two girls from my morning lesson, Jessie and Roni, sat on the stools in front of him, laughing animatedly. I waited for him to turn his attention back to the girls, but he didn't. He continued to stare at us, so I told Bella I'd call her and stepped back to turn and leave.
I got changed in the garage and called Lani to rope her into going shopping with me to buy a gift for my niece. Fucked if I knew what a one year old girl would want. We spent a few hours wandering around the mall, and I finally bought Mia a mini wetsuit and some educational toys – apparently moms love that shit.
We grabbed some dinner, and I dropped Lani back off at her place before heading home.
When I pulled up in my driveway, Nash's bike was parked out front. He was home, and nervousness washed over me. Shit!
I walked inside and went right to my room to dump my bags. I stepped out of my board shorts and rashie and threw on some clean clothes before making a mental note to do some laundry.
I heard someone come in through the back door and rummage through the cupboards in the kitchen. I took a deep breath and headed in to talk to Nash.
I stopped at the doorway of the kitchen and noticed Nash filling two glasses with ice.
"Hey, man," I started, not really knowing how else to begin.
"Jake," he replied while pouring scotch over the ice.
"I just… I wanted to talk to you about-" I stopped abruptly when Nash walked over and shoved the scotch in my hand.
"Come on," he said as he turned and walked down the hall.
What the hell was going on? We hadn't even spoken a single word to each other since… well, I could barely remember – and now he was making me a drink like nothing happened?
I followed him as he headed into the lounge, and I sat in the recliner. Nash positioned himself on the edge of the couch and pulled the coffee table closer to him.
"So, I just wanna say that I'm sorry, man. This is fucking stupid, and we're totally acting like some fucking chicks with this bullshit silent treatment."
"Yeah, I mean, I was thinking the exact same thing," I told him, still sorta shocked at his sudden willingness to kiss and make up.
He held his glass out to me, and I lifted mine as he knocked it together. "Cheers!" he said and poured half the contents down his throat.
"Cheers," I replied and took a mouthful, swallowing it down as it burned my throat. The heat instantly filled my empty stomach, and I took another mouthful.
"Now, for the peace offering," Nash grinned and shoved his hand in his pocket.
I looked down at my half empty glass and then back at him, and he pulled a small bag out of his shorts. In it was a bunch of colored pills, and a tiny bag of white powder.
"Nash, there's no need for all this, man." I downed the remaining contents of my glass and set it down on the coffee table with a thud.
His head snapped up, and his eyes narrowed. "Fuck yes, there is. This is my apology for being a dick," he explained as he opened the bag and picked out a random pill. He held it between his fingers and leaned over, holding it out in front of me. I stared at the pill in his hand for the longest time – I had to work tomorrow, and I really didn't want to get wasted. "You're accepting my apology, right, Jake?" he asked. The tone of his voice was off, and I wondered whether the scotch had got to me and if I was imagining things.
Shit! This was bound to turn out to be a huge mistake. I reluctantly raised my hand and opened my palm just as he dropped the pill right into it.
"Of course I accept," I finally replied.
He smirked at me, nodding his head. "You could never resist," he remarked snidely and got up to head back into the kitchen.
I glanced down at my palm and contemplated whether to come clean now or later. The coward in me thought later seemed like a better plan; Nash would be fucked, and maybe he'd take it better.
"So," Nash began as he sat back on the couch. He reached for my glass, filled it to the brim, and then did the same with his own before lifting it up. "A toast: to good friends."
I cringed inwardly and tapped my glass against his before throwing the pill in my mouth and chasing it with the scotch.
"We're hitting the town tonight, Jake."
Jesus. The last thing I wanted to do was go out, but I knew the instant the drugs crept up into my brain it would override any will I had left in me to stay in. Besides, I wanted to make things as right as they could be before I told him about Bella.
I nodded hesitantly and drank some more of my liquid courage.
Nash pulled the bag of powder out and opened it up before pouring a small amount on the coffee table. "A small pick-me-up before we head out," he said as he arranged it into four lines on the wooden surface. He reached for his wallet and grabbed a bill, rolling it up nice and tight as he handed it to me.
I took it from him and cleared my nose. I kneeled down on the floor, held it to my nostril, and starting from one end, I inhaled hard and snorted the line swiftly. It burned my nasal passage – it was so god damn strong – I clenched my eyes shut and repeated with another line in the opposite side.
"Fuck, man! Where did you get this?" I asked, rubbing my nose with the back of my hand.
"It's good shit, right?" he replied before snorting his two lines faster than I had done.
I leaned back against the chair and tilted my head back, waiting for that drip down the back of my throat. It had to be speed – it burned like a bitch, and I felt the fire run down my throat. My head swam with a strange clarity, and my heart began to thump in my chest. I reached for the scotch and took a few sips to wash the taste from my mouth – it was so numb that I could barely swallow.
"Whoa," Nash breathed hard, and his eyes were wide with pharmaceutically induced alertness. "Come on, get ready, and let's get outta here."
I finished the scotch as the agitation set in – my leg twitched, and my jaw became tight – it came on so fast.
"Give me twenty minutes to shower and change."
"No problem, man. I'll call us a cab while you get ready," he told me while pouring more powder on the table.
I got up and headed to my room. My breathing was already fucked, and my heart thumped unsteadily – funnily enough, it felt a little like a panic attack coming on – it made me wonder why the hell I did this shit to try and forget the anxiety. It was all the fucking same, just triggered by different shit. But I guess the end result was a raging high instead of a rock bottom low.
I stepped into the shower and turned the water on. It felt so foreign against my skin. I turned the water to cold, and I could barely feel the change in temperature. My body felt so hot, and the water trickling over my shoulders and torso almost seemed like someone was physically touching me. It was official – I was completely fucked!
I washed quickly before I completely lost my mind. My chest was heavy from my increased heart rate, and my breath came rapidly. I leaned against the tiled wall and tried to pull myself together while chaos spread through my insides. My mind raced with a feeling of elation like a sudden onslaught that I could barely contain. An accompanying smile found its way to my lips, and suddenly, going out tonight and getting fucked up seemed like the best idea ever. I knew it was all 'cause of the drugs, but somehow, my mind tried to tell me otherwise.
I stepped out and dried off, wiping the steam that had accumulated on the mirror. I leaned forward an inch from my reflection and stared into my vacant eyes – my pupils were so fucking huge I could barely tell what color my actual eyes were. I ran my hands over my face and laughed to myself that my skin felt like velvet beneath my fingertips.
Yep, I'd passed the point of no return, and the word no now vanished from my vocabulary. I knew it would not pass my lips tonight.
Authors Note: I wrote and donated a futuretake based on Ride It for Fandom Fights Cancer (Fandom4Cancer on twitter). The O/S is called "Teach Me To Fly" & Jake is a daddy *swoon*
A donation of $5 or more gets you a compilation of stories from an assortment of authors. If you want more info, please go to http:/ fandomfightscancer. blogspot. com/ (remove spaces because FFnet eats links).
Also wishing everyone a VERY Merry Xmas and prosperous New Year (aka my b'day! – yes, it sucks).