This is a random little bit of Edward/Jasper vampy, slashy fun. Well, by fun, I mean my usual brand of angsty smut. It was originally written for The Twinklings blog.

If you're not following them, you should be: thetwinklings . blogspot . com

As always, Stephenie Meyer owns (but probably wouldn't admit to it if given the opportunity). Hope you enjoy!

There was greater torture in the world. The glittering of scars against my skin was all the reminder that I needed of that. Still, sometimes, it was easy to forget.

He was always beautiful, of course, but there in the sun, his hair a riot of red and gold against the bright blue sky, his bare flesh gleaming, he was almost too beautiful to look at.

Fortunate, that.

Because every time I glanced at him, he sensed it. My admiration of his form. My wanting.

As he ran along the beach with Carlisle and Emmett, a rare laugh falling from his lips, his emotions were content. But on those few occasions when I slipped, my gaze drawn inexorably toward the supple planes of his chest, I could feel his discomfort.

We both played a good game of hiding it – I my lust and he his revulsion.

I downplayed my revulsion with myself.

Putting down my book, I looked back to the beach house we were renting and to the empty spot in the driveway beside it. Alice had dragged Esme and Rosalie on some sort of errand this morning, and as my mate had left, her feelings had been guarded, her eyes averted. I hadn't pressed.

Things had been uneasy between us these past few days. It was almost a relief to have her gone.

"Cheater!" Emmett cried.

I turned toward the beach to see the way my brother had been pressed into the sand, his great bulk held beneath Edward's meager weight, and I chuckled at the sight. It was a wry sound.

How I wanted to be the one to feel that weight.

Edward's golden eyes flashed up to mine. Our gazes held for a moment, and for all that I had not eaten in a century, I could feel a memory of bile churning. Of the most profound unease.

My distance made Alice unhappy. My presence made Edward roil.

And I wondered why I even bothered to stay.

I'd no more than thought it than Edward and I were both on our feet, staring at each other from a dozen yards away.


He so rarely said my name.

Emmett picked himself up off the ground, oblivious to the tension, but Carlisle seemed to sense the delicacy of the unspoken conversation hanging in the air. He placed a hand on Emmett's shoulder and looked at him meaningfully. Gesturing toward the house, he said, "Let's get you cleaned up."

Emmett glanced back toward the ocean, confusion radiating from him. "Can't we – "

Carlisle interrupted. "Come on."

The two of them disappeared, leaving only Edward and me. His conflict and my hidden, unrequited need.

Even in the house, I could feel Emmett's curiosity. I could hear Carlisle's voice, imploring him to stay away. To let Edward and I work it out.

I didn't think I would ever be able to work this tension or this desire from my bones.

At that thought, Edward grimaced, shielding his eyes from the sun before beckoning me to join him on the sand. I hesitated, but he pushed some level of openness toward me. Some invitation that I hadn't been expecting.

I strode toward him with my gaze uncertain, wanting to take in the shape of him. The hair above the button to his swim trunks. The rare glimpse of muscled legs.

I could taste my own bitterness as I forced myself to gaze at sand instead.

A flash of wistfulness froze me.

In and amongst the lonely anger and the disgust, I could feel that Edward wanted something, too. Something that he couldn't have.

"It's wrong. What I want."

I wanted to tell him to stay out of my head, but we knew each other far too well. Alone amongst our coven, he and Alice shared the burden of always having to receive with me.

"That's why she left."

I looked up to see his eyes gazing in anguish at me. "Alice?"

"Of course." He heard my silent question, and he answered me. "She saw something she didn't want to see."

For the first time in all our decades of existing, I felt Edward's aura flare with desire.

With need.

"Are you so surprised?" he asked quietly, stepping closer.

My eyes widened, and I stared at him uncomprehendingly as he leaned in to graze his lips against my ear, his voice so slight a breath that even the vampires in the house would hear nothing as he whispered, "Am I not a man?"

His body brushed mine, giving me all the evidence that I might need. Despite the heat of the sun on my stone skin, I shivered, before replying just as lowly, sending out my lust, "You are."

"Isn't that the problem, though? Two men..."

"Not for me."

Unbidden, thoughts of all my other problems swirled around me. Images of Alice and of Edward's own disgusted face. The flavor of his lack of interest on my tongue.

"Never lack of interest," he breathed, shuddering. "Lack of faith."

With the word, 'faith,' I felt the same mix of conflicting emotions radiating off of him that I'd sensed so many times before. There was fear and disgust, but in the center of it all I felt the heart of his conflict. I felt his want.

"So much," he agreed.

He backed up just enough so I could see his face, and for once I stared at it unabashedly. At the soft curves of his lips and the dart of his tongue, imagining how it would feel against my flesh. At the angle of his jaw and the line of his neck.

But then I watched his eyes dilate, his head jerking to the side. I followed his eyes to the road and to the car that had pulled into the spot that Alice and the other women had vacated.

But it wasn't Alice's car.

It wasn't Alice's scent. It was richer. Deeper. Copper salt and life all surging through such fragile veins.

"Go," Edward hissed, his body moving to the house.

The last place I wanted to go was inside.

"No." I grabbed his wrist and watched him turn to me, confused. His gaze darted instinctively toward the sun and then back to the brilliance of our skin.

And then to the humans.

Toward the sing-song scent of their pounding blood.

"We have to – " he insisted.

"We don't."

I looked up at the people disembarking, still blind to our presence. I looked to the sea.

His wrist twisted in my palm, his fingers reaching out to wrap around my own reciprocally, his uncertainty screaming at me. My desire was just as loud, and I spelled it out for him. I gave him images of bodies.

And I told him with my thoughts that it was all right. I took his doubt and all the loathing I had never understood and answered it with what I had.

With want. With love.

I slipped my hand down his skin until our fingers intertwined, warning him of every motion in my thoughts. Still, he let me.

I turned toward the ocean, moving fast across the sand until its warmth lapped at my feet.

And then I pulled him under with me.

Swimming hard against the tide, we reached open water within seconds. Far beyond the reach of human eyes, our bodies became just two more points of light amidst a dazzling, brilliant sea. By silent agreement, though, we stayed submerged.

In a blue world, we circled, eschewing the breaths we didn't need. Eschewing a world that didn't always see.

Immortal, we transcended its rules – both for life and for morality.

We didn't need air to kiss. To love or to touch.

Magnified beneath the water, the groaning sound inside his throat was as loud as the lust inside his aura. With his gifts, I didn't need my breath to tell him what I wanted to do.

With mine, I didn't need to hear him to know that he wanted me, too.

We both kept our eyes open as our hands released, palms moving to bare chests and hips, and yet still we lingered, just inches away from each other in the water. There's no going back, I thought, searching the tumble of desire and fear inside of him for any hint of regret. Finding none, I pulled myself closer until our bodies grazed each other, our noses touching.

The first taste of his mouth was that of saltwater and sweetness, marble-smooth against my own stone lips. After half a century of wanting it, the soft pressure of his kiss moved through my body as brightly as our shining skin would in the sun. It made me just as warm.

The vibrations of my moan ripped through the water, and I'd no more thought it than he answered, giving me the broad swipe of his tongue against my own and pressing his hips against my abdomen so I could feel that he was hard. With my hands on his backside, I drew him closer still, letting my own desire push against his thigh as I explored him.

He was a landscape and a seascape, valleys and planes, dips of muscle moving like water beneath my fingertips. Fluid and grace, he flowed against my body.

Have you ever?

He shook his head and showed me all his longing. I sent mine out to him, too.

For a man who'd never been taught to kiss, he certainly seemed to understand the elements of a good one. Maybe he plucked the requirements from my thoughts. Maybe he just knew.

He laughed inside my arms at the thought and pulled his lips from my mouth down to the corner of my jaw and then lower, along my neck. As his body slid along the length of mine, the conflict in his emotions seemed to subside, an innate curiosity emerging.

I'll show you whatever you want.

With the way his hands tugged at my suit, I knew he wanted everything. The fabric drifted off with the current, leaving me naked against his body. Soon enough, he was bare beside me, too.

So many times, members of our coven had thought him a prude. It seemed nothing could be further from the truth. Sinuous and sensual, he kissed his way along my flesh, learning the taste and shape of me, fingertips grazing the hardened length of my need.

Like that. Just like that.

I groaned when his lips caressed me, and I looked down to see his eyes on mine as his tongue flicked out against the tip. My hands went to his hair, stroking and threading. With my thoughts, I begged him to and told him that he didn't have to. Just the same, he took me in.

The force of my cry resounded through the water, my grip tightening against his scalp as I reveled in the tight enclosure of his mouth. I was surprised to find his pleasure at the feeling to be a match for my own, but then I felt his pride. His satisfaction in the act of touching. Tasting.

I've wanted this for so long.

He groaned around my length and took me deeply in his throat, staggering me with the sensation of that muscle opening for me. For a moment, my pleasure threatened to spill over. Reaching for him, I begged him, Please, come here.

I pulled his hair and met his eyes. He didn't want to stop, and I shuddered to think he wanted my release against his tongue. But I wanted more.

He rose to meet my demands. Above the taste of salt and lust, my body's scent clung to his mouth as I kissed it, pressing my tongue between his lips and reaching down to touch him. In my hand, he was cool and long, a phantom pulse beating inside of his flesh.

With an intensity I could never have expected, his entire body jerked, a ragged noise exploding from his lungs. Virgin flesh tightened and swelled.

I screamed too when his teeth embedded themselves into my neck.

Slick against my palm, his come immediately began to wash away, but still I slid my hand along him. I could feel both his satiation and his need. Once awakened, a vampire's lust was almost impossible to quell.

My own had scarcely begun to peak.

Kicking with purpose at the water, I pushed our bodies down, descending into a dim blue. When his spine hit rock, I held him there and made my way toward his hip, licking and sucking and scratching teeth over flesh. This time, it was his hands in my hair, his fingertips scratching at my scalp as I laved over him, learning that the sweetness of his mouth continued everywhere.

I learned the shape of him, the flare of the head of his cock and the tang of the come that still clung to him. Wanting nothing less than to hurt him with my ardor, I only let my tongue take a few long strokes over that straining flesh before sweeping down.

When I pressed the tip to the tight circle of his opening, the wave of shame and pleasure erupting from him nearly crippled me. Still, I pressed on.

Let me make you feel good. Let me show you what your body can do.

The very nature of our immortal forms made the act of tasting him this way less dirty, but there was still an illicit nature to it as I probed him. Pressing slick venom into him along with my tongue, I coaxed his body into opening, holding his thighs to the rock that was just as unyielding as he was.

And yet both of them gave in.

Relaxing into my touch, his emotions bent only to the pleasure now, he sank back against the floor. Neither of us cared about the way the stone shifted and cracked beneath his weight. After all, we longed to shatter just the same.

Desire crowded in on me, mine and his mixing, and before long I couldn't wait. I kissed my way along the juncture of his thighs, sliding his cock between my lips and deeply into my throat just once before returning to lie atop him, our hips and chests aligned. With both thoughts and feelings, I spoke to him of love.

In response to the silent question posed by my body's weight and the press of my aching cock, he closed his eyes and clutched at me, nodding.

So, so slowly, I pushed into him. I gasped against the water in my lungs, chocking on the sea and on the power of the feelings that he gave me. Tight velvet and parting flesh surrounded me. Unlike my transformation, the grip of his body didn't hurt me. But I was reborn all the same.

Any pain that Edward felt, I pulled away from him, calming him and reminding him over and over that I treasured him. Masochist that he was, whatever part of this hurt him combined with his pleasure, and his lust skyrocketed with every thrust as I took him. Claimed him.

It was as it always should have been.

He shuddered at my thoughts and at my movements, pulling my mouth back down for a kiss that spoke just as clearly as his aura did of a century of unmet need. I didn't know the specifics of all those lonely years, but I tried to soothe them all the same, giving him everything I could of touch and sex and all that he'd been missing. Still, the longing in his soul sang out for me.

Always, my emotions breathed.

Let me be this for you always.

With a forceful grunt, he pulled me still deeper, and I knew that the passion was upon me. Determined to take him with me, I fed him everything I felt with a hundred times the intensity, reeling with power and desire as he bucked up into me and seized. His body tightened as I gave myself over, surrendering to pleasure and filling him, and even through the water, I could feel the tremor of his release.

And then, for a moment, we were still.

It didn't last, though. Mostly recovered, all I had time to do was lift my head and to stare down at eyes that echoed the same unending need his feelings screamed at me before we rolled, tumbling into even deeper waters, grappling and clutching at naked skin, kissing with a fervor that set the ocean to boil.

That afternoon, far beneath the waves, I learned the press of his own eager erection into my body, the pain of giving and the impossible ecstasy of allowing myself to be consumed that way. I discovered how it felt to swallow the slickness of his come and to erupt inside his throat.

Over and over again, we mated.

And in so doing, I learned about what a mate truly was.

Only when the darkness above the sea matched that below it did we pause. My lungs screamed with the strain of a full day of love-making and with the pressure of an ocean of feeling. Still, I didn't want to let go. I didn't want to trade the unnatural heaviness of water for the world of stifling air.

I couldn't bear to lose what we had found here.

Edward's arms surrounded me as surely as the ocean's had, clinging to me tightly as we surfaced. The first words I'd heard in hours were simply, "We won't."

How I wanted to believe him.

We swam to the shore in silence before wading naked onto sand, our hands still entwined. My eyes went immediately to the house. It was full of light, and I could hear the sounds of laughter within.

Only they quieted as soon as we emerged.


At Edward's behest, I turned my eyes toward the driveway. I registered its emptiness at the same time that the loss of one, sole voice from within assailed me.

"No," Edward corrected me. "Look there."

And then I stared at the sand and at the writing that appeared there.

You'll have a beautiful eternity.

I turned to him dumbstruck, guilt rising so painfully inside of me. Alice had been so sweet. So loving, even when I'd had nothing left to give.

"She'll be back," he assured me. "She's seen as much."

My eyes widened. "You knew."

"It was never certain. But with the way I feel... With what you wanted..."

Love came and love ebbed, but its circle was as everlasting as the tide.

Before us, the water rose to lap at the words scrawled deeply in the sand.

"Eternity?" I asked, gripping his hand and facing him.


Edward stared at me with his features so open. For the first time in all these years, his emotions were as clear as the air. They were as unchanging as the sea.

There, together on land, we swam.

A/N: In case you haven't heard, Slash Backslash is revving up for its third round of slashy goodness, and I'll be judging. Entries will be accepted from August 1 through September 5. For more details, head to www . fanfiction . net/u/2110516/Slash_Backslash or follow the contest Twitter, [at]SlashBackslash3

I'm looking forward to reading your entries!