A/N: Happy Birthday, Stolenxsanity! I wanted to do something special for you to celebrate your day. I know times haven't been easy for you, so I hope these two will at least bring a smile to your face.
Lot's of love to you, sweets.
Thanks to MsKathy, for beta'ing.
As ever, I don't own Twilight, it owns me.
With a sigh, I straighten up my desk and log off. I'm just putting my files in the drawer when Peter stops by my cubicle.
"Hey, Jay, you set for this weekend?"
Stifling a groan, I try to compose myself. Our boss thought it a good idea to take everyone out on a three day retreat, since it's a holiday weekend. To build up inter-company relations or some shit.
Theoretically, it's a nice thought.
In reality, it means three days of being couped up with Peter. Not a bad thing, except that I've had a crush on him for months.
Taking off my glasses to clean them, I buy myself a few precious moments to gather my thoughts before answering. Part of me is looking forward to spending time outside the office with Peter, while the sensible side of me reminds me that I can't have him.
Work and love don't mix.
I still bear the scars of that lesson, after all.
And yet... I glance up at him after putting my glasses back on, only to find him watching me intently.
A grin forms on his lips.
"Yeah, I suppose. Not much to take care of, since Mike's paying."
We head out at the same time. The elevator's crowded, but I make sure to put space between us. I can't handle being too close to him. I can feel his eyes on me though, as we make our way down to the parking garage.
Loosening my tie, I fight the urge to gasp for air - it's stifling, the weight of desire I feel, both for and from him, is too much.
How on earth am I going to survive a whole weekend of being around him?
Chancing a glance, I gulp at the sight of him licking his lips.
By the time I pull up to the resort, it's twilight. The sky's a beautiful mix of reds, purples, and greys, and I take a moment to just enjoy this simple wonder.
I'm startled out of my quiet reverie by a hand clasping my shoulder, and a chipper, "Glad you made it, Jay."
I turn around, my smile automatic as I take in his. "Hey, Pete. Yeah, traffic was kinda bad - accident," I explain.
He nods and grabs my bag before I can protest and walks toward the cabins.
I gape at him.
"You comin'? You're with me, that cool?"
You're fucking kidding me?
This is not good. Not good. At. All. Bad enough that I'm stuck here all weekend, unable to get away from the guy that's graced my every fantasy these past months, but I have to sleep in the same room as him?
Yeah, that'll be awkward.
Scrubbing my face, I idly realize that I forgot to shave before leaving. I mutter my irritation, as if clinging to this one inconsequential thing.
Apparently, I'm so lost in thought that Peter's return takes me by surprise. He leans in, whispering, "I think it's sexy, if you ask me."
Mike stops at our table, standing between me and Peter - things just keep getting better. Or worse, depending on your point of view, I suppose.
Mike claps me on the shoulder, grinning from ear to ear. "Just think of this as a mini-vacation on my dime. It'll be good to get to know one another, right?"
Everyone nods, muttering under their breaths.
I chance a glance at Peter and catch him watching me intently. A grin forms on his lips when he realizes he's been caught.
The look in his eyes throws me completely.
What is he up to?
Mike continues to go on and on about what his expectations are from this little get away. I try to pay attention, if for no other reason than to disengage my brain from thinking about Peter.
That all comes to naught, however, when I feel Peter's calf brush against mine - and it stays there.
I swallow hard, closing my eyes, refusing to give into temptation and look at him. The sound of Mike's voice is background noise now, and I can only hope I'm not missing anything important.
Oh God... not good, not good, not good! What's Peter doing?
I excuse myself as quickly as I'm able, claiming I'm tired. When I get to the cabin I'm sharing with Peter, I hurry through my evening routine, worried that he'll catch me otherwise. Though a small part of me hopes for exactly that.
Luck is with me, however, and I'm under my covers, reading, by the time he gets in.
Peter is quiet as he changes into his pajamas, respectful of my projected desire for peace.
I try not to look.
Why didn't he just go into the bathroom?
I flip the page in an attempt to hide my stifled groan.
Almost as soon as Peter's in bed, I put my book away and mumble, "Good night," as I turn off my lamp.
Peter grins. "Good night, Jasper. Sweet dreams."
With that, he turns off his lamp as well. The moonlight filters in, basking everything in a soft glow.
Peter turns to his side, facing away from me and before long I can hear soft snores coming from him.
I lie in silence, staring at the steady rise and fall of his muscles in concordance with his breathing.
Sleep eludes me for hours.
When I finally dream, it is of him.
I wake with a start when Peter shakes my shoulder. His smile's bemused, his eyebrows raised. He murmurs, "Mornin', Sunshine. I'm going for a run; wanna join me?"
I blink, his words taking too long to sink in, but when they do I notice he's already in running gear. Burrowing deeper under the covers, I shake my head. "Nah, I'm good."
"Alright, suit yourself."
I stare as Peter does a few stretches, his eyes continually seeking me out. The reason for my declining his invitation becomes more insistent, and I have to curl on my side to avoid him noticing.
As soon as the door closes behind Peter, I'm out of bed, not wasting any time. I don't know how long he takes for his runs, and I have no desire to get caught with my pants down, so to speak.
My shower is quick, and as efficient as I can get while still rubbing one off to images of Peter in his running gear.
God, how am I supposed to get through this day if I can't even start off without jacking off to him?
I'm just putting on my socks when he walks in looking sweaty and delicious.
I make a quick escape as Peter gets ready. I don't think I could handle it if I were to see him undress now, and I'm determined not to succumb.
I just can't.
As I make my way over to the main building, I try to regain my focus, repeating my mantra.
Work and sex don't mix.
After grabbing some breakfast, I sit down on the deck, watching a group of kids play in the sand. I envy them their innocence.
Leaning back in my chair, I take a sip of juice.
"Life was so simple back then," I murmur.
A plate appears next to mine. I jump as Peter says, "Why can't it be that way now?" and sits down.
He seems focused on his food, but I catch his eyes as they flicker to me briefly. I'm too shocked to answer him - long since forgotten the question, even. He's wearing a long sleeved henley with the buttons open. Letting my eyes drift, a quiet groan escapes me when they land on tight fitting jeans.
I've never seen him like this, and it's definitely not helping my resolve.
When my gaze meets his again, he quirks his brow quizzically.
I'm spared having to answer by Mike calling for us. It's time to "get together and do some 'get to know you'- activities," as he calls them.
The ten of us, Mike included, sit in a circle, playing some stupid game involving a ball. Who ever catches it, has to share something about themselves that isn't related to work and isn't common knowledge in the office.
Peter's answer is a cheeky, "My favorite pastime is snuggling up to watch a movie."
Several of the women giggle and blush.
My heart both aches and longs at his words.
Peter tosses the ball.
Somehow, I survive the two hour ordeal of Mike's games. It isn't too bad, really, and it's nice to see another side to my colleagues.
After lunch, Mike signed us up for surf lessons. Part of me's excited - I've always wanted to learn.
But then there's Peter.
Peter, who looks amazing in a wetsuit - and even better with it being only partially on, the top part hanging loose around his hips.
He gives me an appreciative, knowing look and grins.
He walks up to me, zips up my front and whispers, "Don't worry, I won't let you drown."
Turns out Peter's good at surfing, and used to teach it while he was in college. He ends up helping the instructor, though mostly with me.
He uses any excuse to make sure we're connected in some way, and I'm not sure how much more I can handle. I'm already so high-strung that I feel I could snap at any moment. Still, I crave every touch and find myself needing more.
My mantra, so strong at first, fades over the course of the afternoon.
When class is over, everyone chats excitedly except for me. I can't keep my eyes off Peter.
Peter decides to catch a few waves before dinner. The way his eyes linger on me as he says it, has me wondering if it's for my benefit.
I watch him while everyone else disappears to shower and change.
A breeze sends a shiver down my spine, pulling me out of the haze I have found myself in.
I run back to the cabin. My heart beats wildly as I speed through another shower and get dressed. If he were to walk in now there's no telling what would happen.
Peter's just walking up to the cabin as I rush out.
Dinner's pleasant enough. The food is excellent, the music relaxing, the company... Well, it's okay, I suppose. I try to ignore the looks Peter's giving me, instead opting to talk with Angela from accounts receivable.
Someone suggests having drinks at the bar after, since there's a local band playing, and I readily agree. Anything to avoid being alone with Peter.
I order margaritas for Angela and myself.
And another after that.
Eventually, people start dancing.
Angela pulls me onto the floor, and I manage to forget my worries for a while.
Peter buys the next round of drinks.
My eyes are locked on his lips as they wrap around the straw. I can feel his eyes on me as he takes a long pull.
It's late, and most of our colleagues have retired to their cabins already. Angela pats my arm, giggling softly as she bids us both a good night. A few paces away, she turns and calls over her shoulder, "Don't do anything I wouldn't do, Jasper," and winks at me.
I blush, my eyes snapping to her at her words.
Peter chuckles softly, shaking his head.
Folding my arms on the bar, I hide my face.
I halfheartedly mutter my mantra under my breath - more out of habit at this point than conviction. Denying my attraction to Peter is of no use anymore, and I'm beginning to think that I'm in a world of trouble.
Because I don't want to deny his advances anymore.
My breath catches as Peter places a gentle hand on my shoulder and leans in just enough so I can hear without him shouting. "Hey, are you alright?"
The heat from our point of contact seems to spread out slowly across my body.
I shiver and lift my head.
He narrows his eyes speculatively, then takes one last sip of his drink before holding his hand out to me. Tilting his head toward the door, he says, "Come?"
Frowning, I sit up straight but he just rolls his eyes and adds, "For a walk, Jasper. Clear your head a little so we can talk. Less noisy, too."
Swallowing hard, I stand up and head outside, acutely aware of the hand that now rests lightly on my lower back.
Peter sets an easy pace, remaining quiet for long minutes as he gazes at the night sky.
"You sure you're okay, Jasper?"
I sigh, nodding even as my fingers run through my hair.
He guides us to a secluded area and pulls me down to sit next to him. He leans back on his arms, one of which is angled close to my back - almost, but not quite, touching.
I pull my knees up, wrapping my arms around them.
Peter nudges me gently. "Look, Jazz... I'm sorry if I made you uncomfortable. That was never my intention. I just thought..."
I huff, shaking my head, not needing him to finish his sentence to know what he means. "No, you're right... I do."
He quirks a brow in question.
I stare out at the sea, unable to look at him as I explain myself. I tell him about James, how he and I held the same position within the company I'd worked for at the time. How he'd pursued me; the months of dating, eventually moving in together.
"When it came time for our eval's, he started to show his true colors. I'd been helping him on a few accounts, without anyone knowing. Then when there was a slot for promotion..."
I shrug, letting the sentence trail off. Peter can figure it out for himself, I'm sure.
For long minutes, the only sound is that of the waves lapping at the sand.
I chance a glance at Peter to find him watching me with understanding, and a tenderness that surprises me.
Clearing my throat, I look back at the sea. "Things got bad, so I left. James. The company. The state, even, after a few months. James' shadow kept following me there, and I just couldn't take it anymore."
"That's how you ended up here? Working for Mike?" he asks quietly.
I nod. "Yeah, I heard about an opening from a friend of mine and went for it."
Peter shifts slightly so his side is pressed against mine in a would-be casual manner. "I get it, Jasper. I do. You have to understand, though, that I don't normally mix work and relationships either."
He moves again, this time sitting up straight and cupping my cheek, turning my face to his which is much closer than I'd thought.
I gasp softly.
"There's just something about you that I haven't been able to shake," he murmurs, smiling.
My heart's hammering in my chest. "I'm scared to cross that line again, Pete."
His thumb brushes tenderly along my cheek.
He inches closer, murmuring, "I'm not James."
"I know," I breathe.
"We'll figure it out," he promises softly.
His lips meet mine, sealing my consent between us. I close my eyes, tilting my head to deepen the kiss, reluctant to stop now that we've started. My fingers tangle in his hair, holding him to me, and I realize...
This is different.
Cocky as Pete can be, he's being so tender and... loving... that I can feel it - deep inside.
He opens up to me, body, heart, and soul.
Asking me to follow.
I can't do anything but.