Chapter Three. We Are Young

It has been two weeks. Every single day, at least in Jasper's mind, is harder than the last day. He goes to school and sees Emmett and wants to be near him, constantly. There is something inside of his body that begs for Emmett. He goes to the football games to support Emmett and watches the way that Emmett's body moves in those pants, nearly coming undone on the bleachers next to Edward. Emmett and Jasper go for runs at night, moving through the late fall darkness with near silent, sure steps, and Jasper wants to reach out and drag Emmett onto the ground. There are even times when Emmett has come to study with him at his house. Regardless of his father being one floor below them, probably poring over a Biblical passage, Jasper has kissed Emmett up against the door and taken Emmett into his hands on his bed.

It is not easy for him to lie to his parents, but he can see no other way. The rightness that he feels when he touches and is with Emmett is not something that he can put into words. It just is. How can doing what comes naturally possibly be sinning? Didn't God create everyone in his image? Even Jasper? How can loving someone else be unnatural?

Tonight, the preacher and his wife are at a parish dinner. They are the leaders in an Episcopalian church and many people in the congregation come from a lower social class than they do. Jasper's father claims that he wants to help, but Jasper thinks he wants to look good when the end of the year comes around, so the church can get more money from the board of directors.

Jasper is sprawled on his bed, anxiously awaiting the arrival of his boyfriend when the doorbell rings. He takes off down the stairs. Along the way, he pulls his sweater down, silently checking the way his skinny jeans hug his rear end in the hall mirror. Satisfied, he opens the door.

"Hey." Emmett says. His hair is wet, fresh from the shower. "Can I-?"

"Oh, yeah." Sometimes, Jasper gets so caught up in looking at him that he forgets that other people exist or that other things need to be done. He closes the door behind Emmett, grinning when Emmett pushes him back against the door.

The quarterback's lips glide over the skin of his neck, nipping lightly. When he gets to Jasper's pulse, he bites harder, feeling Jasper's knees buckle. This is his favorite part. His boyfriend at his mercy, begging for more, begging to be unwound. "Hey, sexy."

Jasper laughs, low and husky, forgetting for a time that he is in the foyer of his house, "Hey yourself." He slides his hands into Emmett's back pockets. His nails rake over Emmett's butt. There is nothing in his mind but Emmett, the feel of him, the smell of him."What's got you in such a good mood?"

"I'm pumped," here, Emmett rocks his pelvis into Jasper's, eliciting a moan from both men. "for the game. The scout told me I had a really good chance of getting that scholarship."

Jasper, beyond feeling the pang of nervousness that accompanies the thought of Emmett going away, feels so excited for his boyfriend. He wraps his arms around Emmett's neck, hauling him forward for a deep kiss. "Congrats."

"Thank you." Emmett whispers, resting his forehead against Jasper's. "Are we going to study?"

Jasper tries and fails to hide his lazy smile. There is nothing he wants more in this moment than to be close to Emmett, no one he cares about more. He feels perfectly content here in Emmett's arms. Why would he want to leave? "I am studying." He murmurs, running his fingers down the bigger man's chest. "Here are your pecs... And your abs..." He slips his hand under Emmett's shirt, raking his nails across the defined ridges of Emmett's abs. "And your cock." Jasper slips his fingers under the waist band of Emmett's jeans, moving his fingers over the warm skin of Emmett's swelling appreciation. "Approximately seven inches."

Emmett's uneven breathing ripples through the air in the foyer.

Jasper stops suddenly, hearing the revving of an engine outside. He turns around. "Emmett." He gently shoves Emmett toward the stairs, prodding him. "You gotta go into my room." His mom is walking toward right where the football player is standing, harder than a rock, his manhood thrust into Jasper's palm. "Come on, Em."

"Jazz..." When he says Jasper's name like this, Jasper finds it hard to think. "I-."

"Emmett. I promise I will help you with that. In my room." They move together, advancing up the stairs. For the track star, he allows Emmett to blatantly ogle his butt, so long as Emmett is moving up the stairs. Nothing is going through his head. There is a white noise. He can't quit thinking about what would have happened if his mom had seen, if he had been caught giving his boyfriend a hand job in the middle of the foyer.

When they reach his room, Emmett goes to the bed, laying back and exhaling, "I'm so hard right now."

"Shh." Jasper commands, the air hissing from between his lips. He needs to be able to hear his parents going about their normal tasks downstairs. After waiting, not breathing, trying not to hear Emmett's pants, Jasper hears his mom open a cabinet, closely followed by the bass rumble of his father's voice.

Turning around, he locks the door, directing his attention back to Emmett. "Stop that." He murmurs, removing Emmett's own hand from his manhood.

Groaning, Emmett pulls himself free from his pants, "Stop standing so far away from me."

Jasper, completely engrossed in the way that Emmett's body responds to his, leans up on Emmett's chest, kissing Emmett. Meanwhile, his hands make quick work of Emmett's erection. Firm rubbing, fondling, gentle squeezing, and caressing have the quarterback calling out an orgasm in five minutes, only to have Jasper swallow it in a kiss.

"I have to go talk to them." Jasper whispers, not wanting to move from Emmett's chest. "After that we can study."

Emmett looks at the wall for a long moment before he meets Jasper's eyes, "Do they even know I'm here?"

Floundering for an answer, the track star avoids looking at him boyfriend. He can't tell his parents. He can't. "I have to talk to them." He whispers.

"Do you- like me? Or am I just-?" Emmett's voice has cracked in a strange place, and his eyes are wide and honest, a look that Emmett is not so used to wearing. He is staring hard at the ceiling. Like it might give him the right answer.

Jasper climbs on top of Emmett. "Emmett. How can you ask that?" He feels a little bit better when Emmett's hands wrap around his waist, anchoring them together. "You know I can't... My dad..."

The football star looks up at him. Then he murmurs, "I don't want to be your dirty secret."

It feels like someone has swung a sledge hammer into his chest and stomach. His heart feels like it is splitting down the middle, and his stomach turns, making him feel like he is going to be sick on Emmett. "Can we talk about this later?" Jasper whispers.

Emmett shakes his head. "I've got to go home, Jazz." He sits up, taking Jasper with him on his lap, until they are face to face. As Emmett reaches up, taking the blond boy's face between his hands, he murmurs, "We've got to tell them." With that, he gives Jasper a soft kiss, full of fragility and fright and a sense of not knowing what is going to happen.

Jasper climbs off of his lap, watching him stand and fix his clothes. "See you later then."

They walk down the stairs together. Parting ways at the door, Jasper heads for the kitchen, while Emmett closes the door to he Hale household behind him quietly like he is a prisoner escaping. Jasper walks silently into the kitchen.
He can't believe, as he sinks onto a bar stool next to him dad, what has just transpired between him and Emmett. He understands that Emmett doesn't want to be his dirty little secret. He would feel the same way, but he can't comprehend Emmett asking him to take such a huge leap. Especially when Emmett knows that Jasper can't safely make the leap. Not in this house. Not with this family.

"Honey?" His mom is cutting carrots with purposeful downward motions of the knife. "What's bothering you?"

Jasper shakes his head, "Nothing. I'm just exhausted."

"Well..." His mom trails off, looking at him for a long second. He can tell, in the way that she can tell that he is not feeling right, that she does not believe him, but she does not pry. She merely smiles at him, mouthing the words, "I love you" as his father begins to speak.

"Son? Your mother and I have some incredible news." His father is an older man. The graying hair at his temples makes him look dignified, and his blue eyes are alluring or so his mother says. He is tall and strong, built like the champion runner that he was. "We got you a spot in the seminary."

Just like that, sitting in the chair at his house in the kitchen, trying to breathe deeply, he feels the world drop out from under him. "You.. did what?" He is frantically glancing at him mom, hoping that she will laugh and kiss his forehead, tell him about the funny joke.

"The seminary, son. So you can follow in your old man's footsteps." His father hits his shoulder too hard, laughing too loudly while smiling too broadly. "This is what we've always wanted-."

Jasper rises, his heart beating in his ears.

His mom reaches out, "Honey-."

"I don't want it." He says evenly. "I don't want to be a minister. I've never been as involved in the church as you have, father. How could you believe that I'd want this?"

"I'm giving you the best life you can have!" His father makes a grand sweeping gesture at their house, at their things. "I'm giving you every happiness!"

"I don't want to be indebted to you." Jasper says. "Mom-."

"I just want you to be happy." His mother is five feet tall and petite, her name is Esme. She places her hands on his chest, shaking her head when she feels the frantic beating of his suddenly choked heart. "I just want you to have every chance at happiness."

"I can't believe you let him do this!" Jasper yells. His father's betrayal does not sting as much as his mother's does. His father has never really known him, never taken time to get to know the scared, frightened, gay boy hiding beneath the good grades and track awards. His mother, though. They'd had enough deep talks, had enough trust between them. "I'm leaving." Jasper said, turning away from his mother's hands just as she grasped at him.
"Where are you going?" His mother called, running after him as he ran towards the door. "Jasper-."

With his hand on the door and his heart in his throat, he thought about confessing to her. Confessing who he really was. "How could you?" His voice broke.

"Honey, I love you so much. If you don't want this, then I'm willing to help you look for a college." She was grasping at his arm too tightly, her nails biting into his skin. "I'll be there for you-."

"I need time to think, mom." He yanked open the door, throwing himself down the steps.

"Jay!" His mom called after him. She was doing it on purpose, using the nickname that they shared between them. Just the two of them. "Jay, come home!" She yelled.

He didn't turn around. Not then. Not when she called out how much she loved him. And not when she fell to the floor inside the door of the house holding her heart like she was dying. Not even when he heard her jagged sobs.

When he gets to Emmett's house, he opens the front door and walks immediately back to Emmett's room, not pausing to say hello to Emmett's mom, not pausing to take into account the new man on the sofa.

He angrily opens the door to Emmett' s room, not expecting to find him boyfriend wrapped in a towel slung low on his waist, hair wet from a shower. "Em-."

"Hey." His smile is weak. "What are you doing here?"

"They got me a spot at seminary school." Jasper whispers. He doesn't care so much about himself in this moment.

His heart is breaking for Emmett. "What's wrong, Em?" He asks. He kneels on the plush carpet between Emmett's legs, careful not to turn the situation sexual. He wants to talk.

"My mom has a new guy. It's just hard." Emmett murmurs, running a hand through Jasper's golden hair. "I just.. I've had a bad day, you know?"

Jasper leans up, kissing Emmett with everything he feels. The towel fell away between them, and the boy with golden hair is pulled up into the v between the dark haired boy's legs, panting for breath but knowing that he had nothing else to give the dark haired boy. No other way to save him.

"I'm right here, Em. If you need to talk."

Emmett shakes his head, looking so sad it tears at Jasper's heart. "Thanks, Jazz."

They tumble back onto the bed together. When Emmett touches Jasper, he feels like he is being stained. He feels like Emmett is writing all of these emotions that he is feeling, all of the unthinkable things they are doing onto his skin, branding him. Making it obvious to his parents. But he doesn't care. He needs to be there for Emmett.

Crawling back up Emmett's chest, placing a kiss on his heart, Jasper leans up to Emmett's ear as the dark haired boy trails anguished, needing, hungry kisses down his neck, "We need to tell them."