A/N: Hi there! We are kimberlycullen10 and SorceressCirce. This is our first joint writing venture, even though we have worked together many times in other ways. We wanted to get together to hopefully put a smile on the face of a dear friend, naelany, who has been having a bit of a rough time. Nae, we love you so much, and we truly hope you enjoy these boys - and that they bring you a little bit of happiness.

Please note that this story is slash - don't read if you aren't interested in that sort of thing. It was based off a picture prompt that can be found here:

http:/i1211(dot)photobucket(dot)com/albums/cc434/shadesoflife-ff/ShadesOfLife_LeapOfFaith(dot)jpg

If you enjoy it, please leave us some love - and consider putting us on alert. You never know when we'll write together again!


space

Every square inch in the van is taken, crammed with duffle bags. All around me, the guys are talking and laughing, carrying on as many different conversations as there are bodies, but my attention is somewhere else.

It's on the rows in front of me – specifically, on the person in the passenger seat.

I can't seem to get him out of my head, seeing black hair and warm brown eyes everywhere I look. And his lips.

God, his lips.

I shift in my seat, trying to forget him. It's useless, though, because the first thing I hear is his name.


question

"Seth, if you hang any further out the fucking window, you're gonna fall out," Emmett chides, in an uncharacteristic display of responsibility. He yanks Seth back inside.

Seth's laughter plays on the breeze, and I revel in the pure joy on his face.

Just then, Embry leans across my lap and punches Jasper.

Instead of Jasper cursing Embry, it is me who says, "Cut it the fuck out!"

"Dude, what's your problem?" he chuckles.

I glace up at Seth, who faces his window again, away from me. The moment is broken, and I am left with this… longing. As usual.


gleam

The sunlight glints off the water as I stand up straight, relieved to be out of the van. I yawn and stretch my arms over my head before a hand claps my back.

I stumble forward a step and turn, ready to lay into Emmett, but the curse dies on my lips when I find Seth grinning at me playfully.

"Awesome, huh?"

"Yeah," I answer, thrown off balance in more ways than one.

His eyes dart to my feet and then trail up my body before he says, "So beautiful up here."

Surely I'm imagining the heat in his eyes.


relax

It only takes a few minutes for us to get settled in the house, but I know it's going to take longer than that to shake the thought of the look in Seth's eyes. I remind myself that he's naturally flirtatious; Seth is one of the most outgoing people I know, and he's been openly gay for years.

Emmett and Jasper assemble the chairs on the deck, and we all sprawl out comfortably.

I take a deep breath and glance at Seth through my sunglasses. I can get through these next few days, I think. I just need to relax


entertain

"You're gonna be a shinin' star with fancy clothes and fancy ca-ars."

Jasper snorts, throwing his head back to laugh as he flops down beside me. We're all watching Seth and Embry, who are doing a loose interpretation of T.I.'s "Live Your Life" on the other side of the bonfire.

My eyes are trained on Seth, belting out Rihanna's lyrics at the top of his horribly out-of-tune voice. I can't help but wince even as I grin at the expression on his face.

Mercifully – and regretfully – their song ends as they strike a ridiculous pose before exchanging a high five.


challenge

"Who's next?" Embry shouts, louder than necessary.

Naturally, his finger points at me.

I groan.

"Edward!" Seth crows, leaning down to grasp my hand. Our eyes lock, and he raises an eyebrow before yanking me to my feet.

Seth swings our hands between us as Emmett calls out, "Sing my favorite!"

I glance at Seth, who gives me his signature lopsided grin.

I need a moment to catch my breath before I join in.

"Can't read my, can't read my, no he can't read my poker face..."

I look at Seth again, who is smiling at me through the lyrics.


calm

The firelight flickers on Seth's face, softening his smile. He's leaning back on his elbows, sprawled out on the sand beside me.

The singing has ended - thank god - and everyone is sitting around talking about our plans for the next few days.

All except Seth and me.

With a groan, he sits up and takes a pull from his beer. Then he turns to face me.

"You got some moves, Cullen," he teases, and I laugh, drinking my own beer to hide my embarrassment. Somehow, Emmett always gets me to do things I swore I never would - like the Dougie.


joke

My cheeks heat at Seth's comment, but I persist. "Emmett taught me everything I know."

Seth barks a laugh and points to Emmett, who is a few feet away doing the sprinkler while Jake beatboxes. "Your moves are from that dumbass?"

I nod. "You've got some… moves yourself," I admit, blushing again.

His smirk becomes positively wicked. "Oh, I've got moves you've never seen, baby."

I literally choke on my beer. As I cough, he pounds my back a couple times and laughs.

Once I catch my breath, I glance at him, and he winks. "You just remember that, Ed."


plan

By the time we finally make our way into the house we're renting, I'm just past buzzed – and beyond exhausted. One glimpse at the pile of duffle bags in the middle of the living room makes me groan. It had seemed like such a good idea at the time, just throwing everything inside and sorting it out later.

Now, I just want to fucking sleep, but I have no idea where I'll end up.

Just as I'm about to say "fuck it" and crash on the couch, Seth's says, "Don't worry. I took care of you, Ed. You're over here."


warm

Since I drank a considerable amount of beer, I decide it's best to replay what he said to make sure I heard him correctly. Before I can do this, however, he grabs my hand and we walk to a bedroom.

There are two beds crammed in the space. He bounces onto the mattress of one, and I collapse onto the other, trying to ignore the tension that hovers in the space between us.

As I doze, slightly disappointed, I feel my bed shift. Seth snuggles up to me, muttering something about body warmth.

I smile, moving happily to accommodate him.


bright

I wake up grumbling at the bright light assaulting my eyelids. I start to roll onto my stomach to bury my face in my pillow, but I'm stopped short.

My eyes open, blinking uncertainly as they try to adjust, and then I realize it's Seth's arm that has me trapped. His warm, strong arm thrown over my hip with his hand dangling over my stomach.

I frown, trying desperately to remember last night before it all comes back to me. Sighing, I slump back onto the pillow as I realize that nothing happened.

And that I really wish it had.


close

I close my eyes, trying not to drown in dismay. I've had feelings for Seth for a long time, but I've never made a move. Things between us during this trip have felt different, though, and as much as I don't want to admit it, I had high expectations.

Seth stirs, his hand rubbing back and forth on my stomach. I bite my lip. Maybe…

He yawns, sitting up and effectively breaking our contact. He smiles and says groggily, "Sorry I sorta took over your bed, dude."

Then he pats my stomach twice, stands, and walks out of the room.


choice

Most everyone is in the kitchen, looking bleary-eyed. Seth is, naturally, wide awake and laughing.

Jacob mutters, "Jesus, Seth. Shut the hell up."

"Can't handle your drink, old man?" Seth taunts.

Jake's head jerks up, and he looks for something to throw at him. Finding nothing but the coffee mug Seth hands him, Jake settles for a glower as he sips it.

I go to pour myself a cup as we discuss our plans. I wait to hear Seth is going kayaking before I say, "Think I'll go swimming with you, Jake."

The look Seth shoots me is frustratingly disappointed.


adrift

Minutes later, Jacob, Embry and I stand on the shoreline, watching everyone else float away in the kayaks. The physical distance between Seth and me parallels the emotional distance he's created on so many levels; I realize too late that I'm wincing.

"What's going on in that head of yours, E?" Jake asks, looking concerned.

Embry lightly pats my shoulder. I know they're following my gaze to the departed kayaks.

I briefly consider confiding in them, but I don't want to bring them down.

Instead, I clear my throat and smile. "Nothing… let's swim. Grab the rope – I'll jump first."


tease

Swinging out over the lake, I hurl myself into the water, crying out at how unexpectedly cold it is. I come up sputtering, and then I laugh out loud at Embry's breathless, "Holy fuck!" when he surfaces beside me.

We turn at the sound of Jake's war cry and catch him doing a spectacular belly flop. Just that quickly, all my worries about Seth are pushed to the side, and we spend the morning racing across the lake and giving each other shit.

I'm sprawled on the sand, soaking up the heat from the sun, when I hear Emmett's voice.


hunger

"Hey, fuckers! Quit making sandcastles and shit and get me some lunch. I'm starving!"

We laugh, squinting into the sunshine. The kayaks are returning, and there's Emmett, standing at the front of one, his arms in the air.

"Is this fucking Titanic?" I shout. Once they reach the shore, he grabs me in a headlock and we stumble back to the house.

We're sprawled out on the porch eating sandwiches in record time.

I chance a glance at Seth, who is laughing at Emmett's most recent joke. I ignore the knot in my stomach and join in on the laughter.


burn

We're lounging on the deck as the sun goes down, enjoying a few beers and hanging out. It's the point of this whole trip, after all – just us guys having fun, no significant others.

Not that that's an issue in my case.

Seth is strangely quiet, leaning against the rail as he watches the lake. I glance at him more than I should, and when he finally turns around, I can't help but notice his strained expression.

"Seth, man… you alright?" I ask without thinking.

"Yeah. Think I burned the shit out of my back."

I wince. "Damn, that sucks."


soothe

Seth nods, his lips pressed tightly together. It's clear he's uncomfortable.

Then something dawns on me.

"You know what? I packed aloe – I'd completely forgotten until now. Want some?" I try my damnedest not to picture rubbing lotion on Seth's naked body–

"I'd love that," he says, effectively popping my thought bubble. I duck my head to hide my red face as he follows me inside.

I grab the bottle, and Seth stretches out on the bed. "Rub it on me? I can't reach."

His muscles flex under the red glow of his skin.

It's suddenly very hard to breathe.


touch

Heat radiates off his skin when I get close. "Jesus, Seth… did you not put any sunscreen on?"

My voice is huskier than I would like, and I cover by squirting aloe lotion into my palm. He starts to answer, but when I touch him, he cries out.

"Fuck, Edward! That shit's cold!"

"Sorry," I mutter, rubbing my hands together to warm it up. I wish I didn't like the way his curse had sounded quite so much.

I begin smoothing the lotion over his skin, and he sighs heavily, relaxing under my touch. "Forgot," he mumbles. "That feels good…"


look

My hands rub gentle circles across the expanse of his back. Every so often he tenses, so I know he's in a fair amount of pain, but he also moans happily in a breathy sort of way that has me squirming.

Once I'm finished, he lifts his head, catching my eye. He winks. "Thanks, E. You're amazing."

I bite my lip as he moves to the other bed. He strips off his shorts, flopping onto his stomach in his boxers.

Minutes later, he's fast asleep. I, however, am wide awake, aching for the man in the bed next to mine.


breathe

Despite falling asleep after Seth, I wake before he does. His quiet snores draw my attention, and I shift onto my side, tucking my arm under my head as I watch him.

Before long, I realize it would be a bad idea to be caught staring at him as he sleeps, so I slip out of bed. The house is quiet, which seems to suit my mood, and I put on a pot of coffee before heading to the deck.

As the sun begins to rise, I inhale deeply and sink back into my chair, letting my eyes drift closed.


interruption

Jasper's voice startles me even though he practically whispers.

"Why you up so early, E?" He hands me a mug of coffee while sipping his own.

I nod in thanks. "Didn't sleep well."

He chuckles, taking a seat next to me. "I hear ya. Emmett's chainsaw impression isn't exactly a sound that promotes restful sleep."

"So what's the plan for today?" I ask, after a few minutes of comfortable silence.

"Embry mentioned wanting to walk down the shoreline and explore a bit."

I know that everyone, including Seth, will want to do this. But I sigh and say, "I'm in."


clear

The day is perfect with only a few thin clouds overhead. The breeze is constant, cooling us as we walk along the shore. The guys are loud, of course, but I keep to myself, trying to let the scenery clear my head.

We've gone over half a mile through the brush when we round a bend and find ourselves on another sandy beach. Jake walks out onto a fallen log, peering into the water below, and everyone takes that as our cue to stop.

We drop our backpacks and strip to our swimming trunks before plunging into the refreshing water.


swim

We swim for hours, like little kids playing in a pool – except that our diving board is the fallen log, and our toys are the loose, low-hanging branches on a nearby tree.

Embry does somersaults in the air. Emmett scoffs at the acrobatics, opting instead for a cannonball of epic proportions. Jasper, Jacob, and I throw each other into the water – two of us make a cradle with our hands while the other steps into it and is tossed into the air.

I am having so much fun that I almost don't realize Seth has been quieter than usual today.


sneaky

I'm treading water and watching Jake try one of Emmett's trademark cannonballs when suddenly Embry just… disappears. One second he's beside me, and the next, he's gone.

I barely have time to acknowledge it before Jasper vanishes, too. Seth surfaces, laughing, and Emmett holds up his hand for a congratulatory high five. When Seth tries to give it to him, Emmett yanks him closer and dunks his head under the water.

Again, Seth comes up laughing, this time spluttering as he says, "Dickhead!"

As Seth coughs and tries to catch his breath, his eyes meet mine.

I can't look away.


resolve

The look in his eyes has me gasping for air. I swallow hard, reminding myself to inhale, exhale, inhale…

We'd all drifted to shallower water after their dunkfest, so I stumble up onto the sand and he follows, biting his lip. We never break eye contact.

As we gaze at each other, I wonder if he can feel the electricity buzzing in the short distance between us.

Seth takes a step forward. "Edward, I…"

My heart is beating so hard it must be audible.

"Fuck it," he mutters.

He strides toward me, leaps into my arms, and kisses me hard.


hassle

I stand there, stunned, as my hands slip under his thighs, holding him up. When I don't respond immediately, he pulls back far enough to whisper, "Either drop me or kiss me."

His hands snake around my neck, making it clear which he's hoping for. A smile ghosts across his lips just before I tilt my head, kissing him hungrily. It's everything I've wanted for so long that I don't even care who's watching.

They, of course, make themselves known very quickly.

"'Bout damn time!" Emmett calls out.

Predictably, someone mutters, "Get a room!"

I pay no attention to them.


reluctant

The feel of Seth's lips moving against mine is so much better than I dreamt it would be. Holding him this close, having him wrapped around me this way… it's heaven.

I never want to stop.

His lips separate from mine for a mere millisecond – just long enough for him to whisper my name – and even then, even for that reason, it is too long to be apart from him.

The guys are still harassing us, throwing good-natured obscenities our way as we continue kissing. But I don't want to stop. Now that I've tasted him, I'll never have enough.


secure

Eventually, we have to stop, of course. I lower him slowly to the ground, and he grins at me, biting his bottom lip. "Sorry," he says.

When I raise an eyebrow, he explains, "For attacking you."

That playful expression in his eyes is the same one I've loved for so long. I throw back my head and laugh, putting my arm around his waist to pull him closer to me. "Don't apologize," I breathe in his ear, making him shiver. "I've wanted to do that so many times…"

"You have?"

I nod, my cheek brushing his. "And so much more."


return

He shivers again and then presses his lips below my ear and whispers, "We have plenty of time for those things. We share a room, you know."

I chuckle, somewhat nervously, as I imagine spending the night with Seth – really spending the night with him. The nerves quickly give way to anticipation, though, and I realize I want to sprint back to the house right this second.

"Care to head back?" His eyes sparkle; he is clearly reading my mind.

"God, yes," I reply eagerly.

As we turn to walk back, we hear Emmett call out.

"Hey! Wait for us!"