SLASH BACKSLASH 3.0 CONTEST

Title: As I Am
Author: Dragonfly336
Pairing: Edward & Jasper
Rating: M
Disclaimer:
I do not own Twilight
Warnings:
Underage drinking, drug use, m/m sexual situations and language, including derogatory remarks that I do not condone.
Word Count: 7,664

Please see all entries at .net/community/Slash_Backslash_3_0/74941/14/0/1/

A/N: This is my first attempt at slash and I want to thank Les16, Obsmama and Jaydogrut for prereading and hand-holding and JaimeArkin for being my lovely beta.


It's late August of '93. I'm heading into my senior year of high school. This will be the last year of my life in the small town of Forks before I make my way to The Art Institute of Portland. To say that I'm excited would be an extreme understatement.

This is also the year that would change everything.

I'm sitting on my bed working on a new sketch when the phone rings. I pick it up mumbling a hello.

"Hey E," Alice says.

Alice is my best friend. She moved here from Portland during my freshman year and is in most of my art classes. What started as casual discussions about assignments evolved into a tight knit friendship. We understand each other and our passion for art spurs us along. We're different from the other kids at school. My pierced eyebrow and black Docs are a staple in my wardrobe. Alice's hair is dyed black and shaved in the back with it longer in the front. Her lip is pierced and she has a wide assortment of Docs that she wears with fishnets and short skirts.

Some people scoff at our weirdness and others secretly want to be us. It isn't that we're outcasts, but we aren't brought into any social circles with open arms either.

"So are we headed to La Push tonight?" Alice asks. I groan, not feeling particularly social especially since I'm working on something new.

"Come on Edward. I think Demetri is gonna be there," she whines.

"Seriously Al? Whining? It really doesn't suit you."

"I know, I just figured I'd try. OK, here are the reasons we should go to La Push. It's the last weekend before school starts. Alcohol. Oh and Demetri is going to be there," she informs me.

Every year on Labor Day weekend, there's a big bonfire down at La Push beach. It's our last big hurrah before the start of the school year. Alice has a huge crush on Demetri, this guy that's from Port Angeles. She doesn't get to see him much, so I guess I'd be a dick if I don't go with her. I think I'll let her beg a little before I agree.

"I don't know Alice. I'm really into this piece."

"Come on! Last big party, Edward. I think Demetri said that Maggie might come too." Even though I've decided that I'm already going, that name piques my interest a little.

We've fooled around before when Alice and I have gone to Port Angeles. She's a cool girl. She doesn't fawn all over me, she's not clingy and she lives far enough away that I don't have to see her every day.

"Hmm…is that so? Alright, who's driving?" I ask her, already knowing the answer.

"Do you mind?"

"Nah, I'll pick you up around eight."

"Thanks E." We hang up and I resume working on my sketch.

The next time I glance at the clock it's ten to eight.

"Fuck!" I throw my sketchpad on my bed, wondering if I can get away with not taking a shower. I look at my hands, groaning when I see they're black from the charcoal. Shit, Alice is going to be pissed. She's so laid back about everything except punctuality. I guess I can understand, having grown up with constant let-downs from her parents.

I run to the bathroom and take the world's fastest shower, scrubbing my hands furiously. I jump out and literally dry myself off while running back in my room, grabbing my clothes from my bed. I throw on my jeans and pull a Dead Kennedy's t-shirt over my head. I run some gel through my hair and look in the mirror, knowing it will dry into a crazy mess anyway. Fuck it, I think, it's not like I'm trying to impress anyone. I check the clock and it's five after. Not too bad.

I run downstairs and start putting on my boots.

"Are you going to eat anything, Edward?" my mom asks as I open the door.

I hang my head. "I was supposed to be at Alice's five minutes ago."

"Well, here," she says, handing me a burger. "Eat that on the way."

"Thanks Mom," I say with sincerity; I haven't eaten since lunch. "See ya," I say, giving her a kiss on the cheek.

"Don't be too late and be careful!" she yells after me.

"Kay!"

I check the clock as I turn into Alice's driveway. Eight-twenty. Crap.

I pull up and find her sulking on the porch. I cringe when she glares at me and starts walking to the car. As soon as she opens the door, I start to apologize.

"Stop E, it's okay. I just thought you might've changed your mind and I really need to let off some steam tonight."

"You know I'd never blow you off, Alice."

"I know," she responds with a half-smile. "Let's go have some fun."

When we pull up to the beach, the party is already in full swing. This party always draws a lot of people from Forks, the reservation and even from Port Angeles. Most of the kids end up camping, which is fine with the adults. They'd rather have us camp than drive after we've been drinking. It's one of a few occasions that they turn their cheeks.

We find the keg quickly and make a bee-line to it. As I'm pouring my beer, someone slaps my shoulder.

"Edward! Hey man!" I turn around and give Alec a half-hug.

"Good to see you Alec. What's up?"

"Ah, you know...the usual. I'll come see you later, yeah?"

Alec and I used to be best friends. We were completely inseparable when we were young. As we grew older, though, our interests changed and by the time high school started, we'd become only mere acquaintances. He's a star basketball player and most of his friends are into sports. I, on the other hand, only play the sports in gym that are required; I just have no interest.

The one thing that we do have in common is our taste in weed. At parties, we'll get together and smoke, reminiscing about all the trouble we got into as kids. He has to be careful, because if he gets caught, they'll kick him off the team and he knows I'll keep my mouth shut.

We've been here for awhile and I'm sitting by the fire, well into my sixth beer. I'm listening to Rose's story of her Seattle escapades from the summer. Alice is snuggled up with Demetri on the other side of me, laughing at some story he's telling her. I smile seeing her so happy with him. I look up and Alec catches my eye, tilting his head down the beach. I nod and he starts walking away.

"Excuse me Rose. I'll be right back. Tell Alice if she wonders, kay?"

"Sure, E."

I casually walk in the direction Alec does and when I am out of eyesight, start to jog to catch up to him. We talk about our summers as we continue to walk. "Right here looks good," he says.

We sit on the sand, looking out at the ocean. Alec lights up the joint and we pass it back and forth for awhile. He starts in on a story from when we were young and we got caught setting off bottle rockets.

I'm laughing at the story, feeling pretty damn good and lay on my back to look at the stars. It's a rare, clear night and there are millions of stars in the sky. I can make out the layers, some burning so bright while others are tiny and dim. It's perfect.

I pass the joint back to Alec; he takes one more hit before he tosses the rest in the sand. He turns on his side and reaches over me to grab his beer. As he pulls back, his hand gently brushes over my dick. I catch my breath just as he spits out, "Dude, I'm so sorry."

He snaps his head back to mine and looks in my eyes, like he's searching for something. My breathing picks up and I can feel myself getting hard. I panic and look down toward my dick, quickly bringing my eyes back to his. I don't want to him to find out how that affected me. Why is this affecting me?

It's too late though, he catches my eye movement. Keeping my eyes locked with his, I see his arm move again. I feel his hand rest near the base of my cock and move upward, almost as if he's seeing if I really am hard. As I feel his hand move up my shaft, I let out a shaky breath. He wraps his hand around my cock, applying more pressure and moves back down. I close my eyes and moan at the sensation. I can feel him as he hovers over me, stroking my cock in an increasing rhythm. My eyes widen and suddenly his lips crash onto mine. I open my mouth to him and his tongue slides in, greedily. He rolls over so he's half laying on me. As we're kissing, I feel him grind into me and realize that his dick is hard as well. His hands are suddenly at my zipper, frantically trying to unbutton my pants. I swat his hand away and quickly undo my button and zipper, lifting my hips as he yanks my pants down and pulls my dick out.

"Fuck," I moan as his hands wrap back around my now bare cock. I grab his hair and pull him back to my face, kissing him with fervor. My mind's racing and my heart's almost pounding out of my chest. I feel a strange, new sensation in the pit of my stomach. I start moving my hips with the motion of his hand. All too soon, I feel my orgasm coming on. My body stills and I groan when I come on his hand and my shirt. Alec keeps stroking me, now slick with my release.

He kisses along my jaw and whispers in my ear, "Will you suck me off?"

"Uhhh.."

I have no idea what to say or how to answer his question. I'm totally out of my element and I have no clue what to do. But I know, deep in my soul, that this is something I'm willing to do. Hell, I might even enjoy it. I give him a quick nod and he rolls off of me onto his back. He starts to undo his pants and I nervously look back toward the bonfire.

"Don't worry E, no one's around," he whispers as he pulls his dick out. I look down at him and then back up to his eyes. "Please?"

I nod again. Grabbing his dick, I begin to stroke him, tentatively at first. When he moans, the sound spurs me on. Alec's eyes are closed and he licks his lips, thrusting his dick into my hand. His panting goes straight to my dick and when he looks at me with desire, my nervousness seems to fade away. I lean over and lick the tip of his cock. He jerks his hips slightly at the feeling of my tongue. I think that this isn't so bad and continue, licking his dick from the base to the tip, tasting every inch. I use a technique from the few blow jobs I've received and swirl my tongue around the end of his dick. He jerks his hips and I realize that his reactions excite me. I want to bring him pleasure. I'm actually enjoying the feel of his cock under my tongue. I get bold and wrap my lips around him, lowering my mouth as far as I dare. As I slide back up, his hand rests on my head. I begin to pick up the pace. "Fuck, that feels good," Alec groans. I can feel myself start to get hard again. My mind starts screaming at me that this is wrong, but it's obvious that my body disagrees. I push the thoughts out of my head and focus on what I'm doing. I moan around his cock and he hisses in return. Just as I find a good rhythm, he thrusts his hips, pushing my head down at the same time. I gag and sputter, pulling away from him quickly.

"Shit E, I'm sorry. Please? I'm almost there," he pleads, removing his hand from my head. I nod again and lower my mouth back down to his cock. I hold his hips down this time, and resume my previous pace. After a few minutes, I can tell he's getting close, feeling . My mind begins to race again at the options at hand. Should I stop and jerk him off? Should I let him cum in my mouth? Should I swallow or spit? Why the fuck am I even in this position to have these questions? Before I can contemplate further, I feel him pulse and the first bit of cum, shoots in my mouth. I move off him quickly and spit it in the sand. Well, that answers that question. I grab my beer and take a swig to get the bitter taste out of my mouth and then look back at Alec as he finishes. He actually looks beautiful laying there in the sand, all satisfied. I have a strange feeling of pride that I did that to him.

Unfortunately, that feeling doesn't last long. His opens his eyes, glancing over at me with a panicked look on his face. Frantically, he starts to shove himself in his pants. Once they're fastened, he gets to his feet. My eyes are trained on the ground and I feel a knot form in the pit of my stomach.

I slowly look up and find him glaring at me. What the fuck?

"I knew it," Alec seethes. A look of disbelief crosses my face.

"Knew what?"

He stands there, shaking his head. He mumbles under his breath and his eyes are trained on the ground.

"Knew what, exactly?" I raise my voice in frustration, getting to my feet.

Nothing.

"Alec, please!" I yell.

"I always knew that you were a fucking faggot," he says in an eerily calm voice.

I can't speak for a moment; I am so stunned. I feel like I got punched in the gut, and I struggle to breathe. "What the hell are you talking about?" My throat closes up. I'm just so damned confused.

He stalks toward me and I flinch, positive that he's going to hit me.

"You breathe a fucking word of this to anyone and I will make your life a living hell!" he yells in my face.

I can't catch my breath; I just look at him stupidly. I don't get it, quickly replaying things in my head. It wasn't me that instigated this; he wanted it to.

"Do you fucking understand me?" he fumes, breaking me out of my inner turmoil.

"Alec, please don't..."

"Shut up! Do you understand?"

I nod my head quickly.

"Good...and I don't know you anymore," he tells me as he turns to walk away.

"What?" I croak. There's no fucking way he's saying what I think he is.

"Stay the fuck away from me, Edward," he spats with disgust.

I watch him as he walks away from me. When he's almost out of sight, I sink down to my knees. Bending over, I try to catch my breath, feeling the coolness of the sand on my forehead. A sob escapes. I hold my breath, determined not to cry and start to punch the ground instead, letting all of my frustration out.

I eventually sit up and take a deep, shuddering breath. I gaze out into the deep black of the ocean, wondering what the fuck just happened. Maybe we were too drunk, too high...we didn't know what was happening. I'm desperately trying to justify this in my head. My mind flashes to his cock in my mouth. "Fuck!" I shake my head, trying to get the image out.

"Edward?" I jump up and spin around.

"Shit, Alice! You scared me."

"You've been gone for over an hour. I got worried and Rose said you walked this way." She looks up at me and I can't even look at her face. I feel so ashamed and guilty, like she knows what I just did. I'm being ridiculous, I know I am, but my mind still can't comprehend what just happened. "Edward…is everything okay?"

"Yeah…why?"

"Well for starters, you've been sitting here all by yourself for god knows how long, you look like shit, and you're acting weird," Alice replies.

"Thanks a lot, Al. I just drank and smoked a little too much. I needed to get away from all the commotion. That's all, really."

"Okay," she says, not entirely convinced, but she keeps her mouth shut. Yet another thing I love about her. She turns to walk back to the party and when I don't follow, she turns around. "Are you coming?"

"Yeah." I start to walk after her. We're almost back to the party when she speaks again.

"So, Demetri brought his tent and a bunch of are going to camp. He asked if you'd want to."

"Uh, I don't think so. I think I'd just rather be alone tonight."

She looks at me, studying me for a minute. "Are you sure you're okay?"

"Yeah. Do you need me to pick you back up tomorrow?" I ask to change the subject, trying to push Alec from my mind.

"Let me check."

We walk over to where our friends are. "Hey Edward, you gonna camp?" Demetri asks.

"Nah, not tonight, but thanks for asking. I'm actually gonna take off. Do you need me to come back for Alice tomorrow?"

"Naw, I'll take her home. Talk to ya soon, E."

I nod back to him, and hear people telling me good night. Alice pulls me to the side. "You're okay to drive right?"

"I'm good. I haven't had anything in awhile," I assure her, giving her a slight smile. I kinda feel like shit for leaving her, but I need to get out of here.

"Alright, I'll call as soon as I get home tomorrow. Love ya, E," she says as she hugs me goodbye.

"You too. Be careful, Al."

"Always."

As I'm walking toward my car, I catch a couple making out in the corner of my eye. I turn my head quickly to give them privacy, but it's not quick enough and I catch a glimpse of the side of Alec's face. I suck in a sharp breath and immediately wonder why I feel like I'm going to be sick.

I get in my car and my hand is shaking as I try to put the key in the ignition. "Fuck!" I yell and hit the steering wheel. Closing my eyes, I breathe out slowly, trying to calm myself down. I start the car and turn the stereo volume up so I can drown out my thoughts and make it home.

When I pull in the driveway, I notice the light on in the living room. I roll my eyes, not intent on the idea of small talk right now. Especially when I know that it's most likely my dad sitting there reading. I try to be quiet when I walk in so I can avoid him, but of course he hears me.

"Edward, is that you?" he calls.

I walk across the kitchen. "Yeah Dad."

I walk into the room and he looks up at me from his book. "How was the party? I'm surprised you didn't stay and camp."

"It was fine. I just didn't feel like barely sleeping on the hard ground is all. Actually, I'm pretty beat so I'm gonna head up."

"Okay. Night Edward."

"Night Dad."

The first thing I do when I get upstairs is to head for the bathroom. I start the shower and throw my clothes in the hamper. I get in and immediately start scrubbing my body. My mind wanders back to the beach. How good it felt when I was with Alec, but then the hatred and disgust I saw in his eyes comes into my mind. Fuck. What the hell is wrong with me? I should feel disgusted by what went down. I must be out of my mind but it felt natural being with Alec like that. I shake my head to rid it of those thoughts.

As I get out of the shower, I tell myself that I must've been more fucked up than I thought. That I would've never reacted to Alec that way if I was sober and I decide to just try and forget that it ever happened.

~aIa~

The first week of school is pretty uneventful. I never see Alec, but we don't travel in the same circles and I spend most of my free time in the art room. I'm even getting away with avoiding the cafeteria, but Alice is onto me.

We're driving home after school on Friday when she brings it up.

"So who are you avoiding?"

I look at her, trying to look shocked that she could even suggest such a thing and failing miserably, as is evidenced by the eyebrow she cocks at me.

"No one. It's not a big deal. I've just really been into my work." And I'm babbling. From the way she continues to look at me, I know I can't keep fooling her much longer.

"You know you can talk to me, right? You just seem off lately," she says.

"Yeah, I know. I'm good though."

"So, do you want to go to Port Angeles tomorrow? Demetri invited us to a house party. I think Maggie is going to be there." I drive in silence for a minute and think to myself about Maggie. Maybe this is just what I need to prove that what happened with Alec was just a fluke. I'm so tired of thinking about him; I just want to forget.

"Sure, let's go."

"Great! I'll call him tonight and let him know we're coming."

~aIa~

I pull up to Alice's at six o'clock. I hear yelling from inside the house and I sigh.

Shit. This doesn't bode well for the rest of the night.

I hear the door slam and look up just as Alice screams fuck you into the house. She runs to the car and gets in.

"Just go," she says to me.

I pull the car out and drive in silence for a good while; Alice's occasional sniffling is the only sound. I know to just leave her alone in these situations and eventually she leans over to put some music on. She presses play on the tape deck and Massive Attack fills the air.

We pull up to the house and as I turn the car off, Alice grabs my hand. I turn to her and give her a hug.

"Sorry," she whispers in my ear. I shake my head.

"Shh, let's go have some fun and get drunk. Sound good?"

"Yeah." She gives me a genuine smile and I hope she'll enjoy herself. Her parents are such pricks.

We've been at Demetri's for awhile and I'm feeling pretty good. We're in the middle of a game of Asshole, so I've had a few beers to say the least. When the blunt that is traveling around the room gets to me, I graciously accept it. Maggie is sitting next to me and we burst out laughing at some of Marcus's antics. She scoots even closer to me, our thighs touching and she steals a glance at me. I give her a lazy smile in return. The card game seems to be winding down and she leans into my side and wraps her hand around my shoulder, pulling me closer. She whispers in my ear, "Wanna go someplace where we can be alone?"

"Sure."

We stand up and she grabs my hand, leading me downstairs to the basement rec room. Turning around, she pulls me down to her lips. We stand there and make out for a bit when I start walking her back to the couch. We sit down and she climbs on my lap, straddling me. We continue to make out, but something's wrong. I can't figure it out and when she starts moving on my lap, it comes to me. I'm not hard and I'm not getting hard. I start to kiss her with more fervor, grinding my hips and willing myself to get excited about this beautiful girl in my lap. After a few more minutes, I start to get frustrated and pull my head away, leaning it against the back of the couch. She must sense my sudden change in behavior and she stops what she's doing, too. I lift my head slightly to look at her. I'm sure the embarrassment I feel is written on my face.

"What's wrong?" she asks and rightfully so. I have no idea what's wrong. Maybe I drank too much? Maybe I'm tired? I grasping at something to explain what the hell is going on with me.

"Fuck Maggie. I'm sorry. I just...I got a lot of shit on my mind."

"Oh...okay." Damn. The sound of her voice makes me feel like such a prick.

She stands up and asks if I'm coming.

"I just need to be alone for a minute. I'll be right up," I tell her, not wanting to face anyone right now.

She looks a little hurt and dejected, and I feel even worse.

"Hey Maggie, it's not you." I cringe at the words that leave my mouth and officially feel like the biggest dick.

"Hey, it's okay. I understand." And with that, she leaves. I bend over, with my elbows on my knees and tug at my hair.

"Fuck."

I don't know how long I'm down there for, when I hear steps on the stairs. I feel someone sit on the couch and then a hand rubbing my back.

"E, what's wrong?" Alice asks.

I look at her and nod. "I think I had too much to drink."

"So, we're crashing then?"

I nod again in response. "I'll just pass out here. Come get me in the morning?"

"Sure."

"Have fun Al." She gives me a small smile, turns around and leaves. I feel horrible about causing Alice to worry about me. I realize that all I have been doing lately is wallowing in my own head. I make a decision to suck it up and try to enjoy my senior year.

~aIa~

On Monday morning, I'm full of resolve to not be a hermit anymore. The morning is fine. I'm in a pretty decent mood when lunch comes around, but that quickly changes. I walk into the cafeteria and right in front of me is Alec, with a bunch of his friends. I'm about to say hi, when he glares at me and shakes his head. I look at the floor and my stomach is instantly in knots. I start to walk to my table.

Fuck, he's serious. I've known him my whole life and he doesn't want to talk to me anymore.

I'm so lost in my thoughts that I don't even notice the two extra people sitting at our table.

"Edward?" My head snaps up and I look at Alice.

"I...uhh...wanted to introduce you to Kate and Jasper. They just moved here," she says as she gives me a concerned look.

"Oh. Sorry." I look next to Rose and spot the new girl. I give her a lame wave. "Hi, I'm Edward."

She gives me a genuine smile and tells me she's Kate. My eyes shift and land on what I assume is her brother. Everything seems to fade away as I get lost in his eyes that are a blue so pale and vivid that they are almost translucent. I don't know how long I stare before I feel Alice kick my leg under the table.

"Huh?" I say stupidly.

"I said, I'm Jasper, nice to meet ya."

"Oh, shit. Sorry man. It's been a weird day," I reply, hoping to explain my sudden lack of brain function.

He laughs and says, "Totally understand."

"I'm Edward," I say and reach across the table to shake his hand. He grips my hand firmly and as I sit back down, I feel my face get hot. I quickly look down at my food.

What the fuck is going on with me?

I try to eat my food, but really end up picking it apart. I'm lost in my thoughts, but catch little pieces of their conversation. Jasper and Kate moved here from Vermont. Their father got transferred to Port Angeles, but they settled here because they were used to small town life. At one point, I glance up and find Jasper staring at me. We hold each other's gaze for a moment and my dick twitches. Frightened by my response to him, I quickly grab what's left of my food and excuse myself, telling them it was nice to meet them.

My mind is going a hundred miles an hour and I need to get away. I quickly make my way to the art room and grab a new canvas. As I'm preparing the oils, Alice comes in and sits next to me.

"What's going on with you Edward?" she asks quietly, her voice full of concern.

I shake my head and open my mouth to answer her, but I know that my standard response of 'I'm fine' isn't going to work anymore.

"I just...I just need to sort something out, Al." It's all I can give her right now, because even I don't know how to explain what the hell is going on with me.

"Please talk to me when you figure it out?" she asks me.

"Yeah, sure."

She gives me a pointed look and I nod, letting her know that I'm not bullshitting her.

I pick up my brush and push everything out of my mind, getting lost in my painting.

As soon as I get home, I go straight to my room and sit on my bed. I'm determined to understand what's going on with me. Why did I react to Jasper that way? I mean I fucking blushed! Fuck! I think about Jasper then. While I stared at him in the cafeteria, I took in everything about him. His hair's dark brown, shaved along the sides and back and the long part on top was pulled into a pony tail. His lips were...Shit! Why am I thinking about his lips?

The words that Alec spat at me on the beach flash through my head. I always knew...

Could it be possible?

Nothing in my childhood stands out and screams 'He's gay!'

I never played with dolls.

I loved playing "boyish" games like capture the flag and kick the can.

I never harbored secret "inappropriate" feelings for my best friend. Well, until I was sucking him off on the beach, that is.

I was never disgusted with the female body. In fact, I thought it was aesthetically pleasing, but maybe that's just the artist in me.

I've even kissed girls at times, touched them; they touched me. Hell, I've even got a little head once or twice. And again, not disgusted, but not completely turned on by it either. Perhaps I wasn't as enthusiastic about it as some of my male counterparts were. And I was most likely drinking when said head occurred. I've had a crush on a girl and I'm not was dying to lose my virginity. I've always put it off as me not finding the 'right girl.' I figure those feelings will surface sooner or later. But maybe I'm wrong. Maybe a girl isn't what I'm looking for.

~aIa~

I take avoidance to a whole new level at school, spending more time in the art room until Alice calls me out and I have to make an appearance at the cafeteria to keep her from questioning me again. Alice, Rose and Kate have become inseparable, which means Jasper is always around too. Whenever he tries to engage me in conversation, I give him short answers and am pretty much an asshole to him. Most people would have given up even talking to me at this point, but not him, which I'm secretly pleased with. I keep waiting for something to surface about him that will change the way I feel. But the more I learn about him, the more I like him. I know that I'm acting like a total basket case, but I can't help it. My body and mind are pulling me in different directions with this whole revelation I had.

A few weeks pass by this way. I'm walking through the halls, over thinking everything as usual, when I bump into someone. All of the sudden, I'm being pushed into the lockers.

"What the fuck, Edward?" Alec yells into my face. "Watch where the fuck you're going!"

I'm stunned and just stand there looking at him. He shoves me again, the look of disgust apparent on his face. I drop my head in defeat as he walks away, laughing with his friends.

"Edward?" I look up at Alice and I know I must look pretty pathetic. She grabs my hand and pulls me into an empty classroom.

"What was that with Alec?"

I shake my head and just as I'm about to say nothing, she holds up her hand.

"Don't...just don't okay? I know that something is going on with you. You haven't been yourself at all since school started. Please Edward, tell me what's up," she pleads with me.

"Fuck Alice...I'm so fucking confused and I'm just scared that you won't see me the same way. I can't lose you too." I feel like I am going to cry and swallow that down.

"I love you Edward, no matter what you tell me."

And that's all it takes. I tell her about Alec and the party, how hurt I was that he could dismiss me out of his life like that after we've been friends for so long. How I pushed it out of my mind and blamed it on the beer and the weed. I tell her how I've been avoiding him since the beginning of the year, about Maggie. Finally...I tell her about Jasper.

I look at her, right in the eyes, and say, "I think I'm gay." I hold my breath, waiting for her to walk out of this room and out of my life.

In a million years, I never expected the bright smile to light up her face. I'm immediately engulfed in a huge hug, letting out the breath I'm holding.

"Well, that explains this gloomy attitude you've had. Shit, Edward...I thought you were going to tell me you were dying or something!" She playfully smacks my arm and I feel as though the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

"I'm going to fucking kill Alec though. What a bastard!"

"Just leave it alone, please Alice? I don't need any more drama in my life right now."

She gives me a sigh of resignation, "Okay, but know that I really want to beat his ass."

I laugh at that visual. "You and me both."

"So, what now?" I give her a quizzical look. "About Jasper?"

"Oh! What about him?" I try to feign indifference, wondering if it works.

"Are you going to do anything about your crush?" Well, that answers that question.

"Fuck no Alice! I don't even know what the hell I'm doing! He probably isn't even gay."

"What if he is?" she asks. I can't even think about that possibility right now.

"No, I just don't want to take a chance. I don't want anyone else to know this, not Kate and not even Rose. Please Alice, I just want this between us," I beg her. I won't be able to endure the rest of the year, if people know about me. I can just picture all the derogatory remarks that will be thrown my way.

"Of course I won't Edward. You've always held onto my secrets." She gives me a small smile. "What about your parents? Are you going to tell them?" she asks, her voice filled with nothing but concern.

"No, not yet. Shit, I just admitted this to myself. It may be a long time before I let them in."

"I understand that one." She looks me in the eyes. "How do you feel?"

"Honestly, I feel a hundred times better. It's been killing me not to tell you, but I was so nervous."

"Come on, you know me better than that." I smile at her and give her one last hug before we walk back out into the real world.

~aIa~

I actually make an effort to be normal around Jasper and because of that, we become close. I'd hoped that maybe my crush would dissipate if we got to be good friends, but if anything, I like him more. He's so laid back and easygoing, and I can't find any fault in him. Plus, his killer smile does peculiar things to me.

Alice's final project in photography is a study on people and capturing emotions, so she always has her camera with her. We're at my house picking out pieces for the portfolio one day and after she leaves I go back up to my room. Lying on my bed is a photo. I think she forgot it and pick it up, ready to run back down and catch her.

When I notice what the picture is of, though, I know she left it on purpose. It's black and white. We're at a party the previous week and I'm in the foreground laughing with Rose and we're a little out of focus. Jasper sits in the background and it's clear to me that he's the subject of the study. He's looking at me and has such an intense expression on his face. I run my fingers over his image and close my eyes, allowing myself to revel in the what ifs.

I can't allow myself to go there though. He was probably just thinking of something else while looking in my direction. He's my friend now and there's no way I'm going to go there and lose someone else in my life. I sigh and put the picture in my desk.

The week after, I find myself over at Jasper and Kate's house. Their parents are out of town, so they decided to have a small gathering. I can't stop thinking about that damn picture. Whenever I look at Jasper, I silently curse Alice for even showing it to me. I need to clear my mind so I go outside to have a cigarette.

"Edward."

I start at the sound of my name. I'm so lost in my head that I don't even hear anyone approach.

"Sorry, didn't mean to startle you." Jasper. "Can I talk to you?" He sounds nervous and I'm curious to see what he has to say.

I shrug my shoulders, feigning nonchalance and nod. He turns back to the house and I follow. He leads me upstairs to his room. As soon as we're inside, he locks the door and tells me to sit. I look around the room and discover that his bed's the only option. I let out a deep breath and sit down. My hands are suddenly very interesting and I try to calm the anxiousness that I feel. I can see Jasper pacing and I look up at him. I silently take him in; his hair's down, which is rare, and he's running his hand through it. He looks over to me and his gaze is so intense, I blush and look away. The anxiousness is back in my stomach, wondering what he is going to say, but as I take him in, all I can think about is how hot he is. I sound like a damn girl, I chastise myself. I force that thought out of my head and Jasper clears his throat, finally gaining the resolve to say what he has to.

"So, Edward...I have something I want to tell you," he begins, his voice wavering a little.

"Yeah?"

"Well...shit this is harder than I thought. Okay...I'm gay," Jasper says in a rush.

"Okay...why are you telling me?" I ask him, trying to act like that revelation doesn't mean anything to me, but inside I'm thrilled to have it confirmed.

"Well, I...fuck...Edward. I'm really into you," he blurts out. I freeze for a second and allow myself a moment of happiness, before shaking it off.

"Oh. Okay...well," I stand up, getting ready to leave. "Thanks for that." I go to walk to the door and Jasper grabs my arm.

"That's it? That's all you have to say?" He sounds hurt from my brush off and I shrug again.

"Well, what do you want me to say Jasper?"

"I want you to tell me you're into me too," he replies with more confidence.

"How do you even know I like guys?" I inquire and now the tables have turned. I sound unsure, even to myself.

"Fuck Edward. I've seen the way you look at me. Guys who don't like other guys, don't look at them that way," he states. I blush and the floor seems very fascinating. I feel his hand touch my face and I flinch. He drops his hand and raises my head to look at him again. "And, that. You have no idea what that blush does to me." His voice is low and it trembles. It turns me on like nothing before.

He takes a tentative step toward me. My heart's pounding and my hands are sweaty. I watch, expectant, as he takes another step. We're staring at each other; his eyes seem to be searching for something in mine. One more step and he's right in front of me. I swallow, so nervous. He reaches his hand out again and places it on my face. I close my eyes, and I can't help but slightly lean into his touch. His lips cautiously meet mine. My breathing picks up and he lightly kisses me again. I open my eyes and he's so close to me, waiting for me to react to his kiss, to his admission to me. At that moment, as I look into his eyes, I decide to stop denying this obvious attraction that I have to him. I decide to just go with what feel right in my heart. I lean toward him and return his kiss. Softly at first, but when he tilts his head, I can't hold back anymore. I open my mouth to him and we're making out. He tastes like the whiskey that he, no doubt had to give him courage. A shiver runs through my body, and all thoughts leave my head except him. Hands in hair, tugging, pulling bodies closer, I need to feel him against me. Moaning sounds fill the room as I feel his cock rub against me. Frantic hands under shirts, he tugs mine over my head. Greedy lips return, hands roaming over my chest. Suddenly my legs hit the bed and I'm sitting down. He takes his shirt off and my eyes roam over his body. He moves toward the bed, placing his hands down on either side of me. He buries his head in my neck, gently sucking, moaning. I wrap my arms around him, pulling him down, loving the feel of his skin on mine. His mouth is back on mine and we're grinding into each other. My hands move down with purpose, undoing his jeans. I grab his cock and he groans into my mouth. I don't think I've ever been more turned on. My fingers wrap around him and I start to jerk him off.

"Fuck, that feels so good," he rasps and shifts his head into the crook of my neck. His breathing picks up and I can feel each pant against my skin as I work my hand over his dick. I move my hips up, searching for friction and he grabs me through my jeans. It doesn't take long for his movements to become erratic and I let him fuck my hand. He lifts his head back to me and kisses me hard as he comes.

Pulling away, he smirks at me as he undoes the button on my jeans, then slowly pulls down the zipper. I lift my hips so he can pull them down and he moves down my body. My dick twitches in anticipation for what he's about to do. I sit up and rest on my elbows watching ...waiting until all of a sudden his lips are around my cock. I moan loudly as he starts moving his head. I'm lost in the sensation of Jasper sucking me off and I know that I'm not going to last long. I can't form a coherent thought except that this is the best damn blow job I've ever gotten. He moves his hand and he grabs my balls. "Shit, Jasper, I'm gonna cum," I warn him. He moans and the vibration is all it takes to push me over. He doesn't heed my warning and swallows.

He smirks and I fall back on the bed. He moves back over me and kisses me one last time, then lays down next to me. We are both looking at the ceiling and then I turn towards him.

"Jasper?"

He twists his body so he is looking at me too. He smiles and says, "Yeah?"

"I'm pretty into you too."