SLASH BACKSLASH 3.0 CONTEST

Title: Where do we go from here?

Author: cocoalvin

Pairing: Edward and Jasper

Rating, Disclaimer, and appropriate Warnings: Rated M – I don't own and never will. – Do not read if you are under eighteen. Seriously, I mean it!

Word Count: 2500

Summary: When love isn't enough to go on anymore. Do you bother to try? Entry for SlashBackslash 3.0 AH / Rated M / Slash

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


Thank you to bellemeer for beta reading.


"You god damned son-of-a-bitch," I shouted and thumped my closed fist against his face, feeling the knuckles crack against his solid jaw. My brain, clouded with my fury, could process only one thing—he wasn't fighting back. Why the fuck wasn't he fighting back?

"You lying, cheating bastard." My hands grasped onto his shoulders and shook him. "Hit me back you bastard. Don't you dare make me feel guilty for beating the shit out of you."

"No," his defeated voice replied.

"Fuck you!" I screamed and punched him again, this time connecting with his cheek and twisting his head with the force. His green eyes shuttered closed and then open again, meeting mine in a determined stare. His tongue edged out and licked at his bleeding lip, which I only now realized was split.

He was lying on the ground with me straddled over his groin. We'd fallen there after the first two punches I landed; the first to his stomach and the second to his shoulder, followed by a wrestle that only I had participated in. It was our overbalancing that had us where we were now, on the floor of our lounge room.

"I said, 'fuck you'." I was incensed with my rage and wanted him to hurt as much as I was hurting. "Answer me you fucking prick."

"I'm not going to fight you, Jasper," he murmured. "I won't."

It was only when I saw the single tear roll from the corner of his eye that I gave up. Pushing myself off him, I stood and backed away from his prone body. He looked broken—he looked just like I felt—but his wounds would heal. I wasn't sure mine ever would.

-0-

"Do you mind if I join you?"

I heard him enter the room but kept my attention focused on the television in front of me, aimlessly watching something that I doubt I could even name. No, that wasn't quite the truth. All of my attention was on him, and had been since he'd arrived home half an hour ago. I may not have been looking at him, but I knew exactly what he had done, every move he had made, since he'd opened the front door.

As he walked through the room and toward the sofa, I felt my chest constrict at his presence. How could I not have a reaction to him in this way when I wanted so much for everything to be back to where it was? To how it was, only a few short weeks ago. When he sat down on the other end of the sofa, he was too close, yet not close enough. I wanted to scream at him, vilify him for everything he had done to me, but if I continued to hate him so much I would be the only one it would hurt. No, we would both be hurt and we might never recover from it.

I felt the movement of the sofa as his body turned to look at me and then his voice broke the silence. "What are you watching?"

After a deep breath to steady my voice, I replied, "I actually have no idea." I turned to look at him. He was so beautiful, even with the black eye I'd given him. It was fading now, the colors graduating from yellow to purple, but it didn't alter his faultless beauty. His beauty was what had first attracted me to him; it was something I had taken pleasure in every day since.

A loud noise from the television pulled my attention and I turned back to see what it was. Nothing, just another disaster unfolding on the nightly news, some report from Afghanistan that I would rather not watch, especially at the moment when I didn't need any extra anguish in my life. Picking up the remote, I looked to him first, checking to make sure he hadn't become engrossed in the program before I changed the channel. All I found were his eyes locked to mine.

He smiled awkwardly and started to speak, but stopped himself before the words left his mouth. I had no doubt that just like me he didn't know what to say. How do you form the words to make it right, to bring you back to a place where the world is beautiful again? I knew they were words I hadn't been able to find myself and maybe I never would.

I wanted to find them, more than anything else; I wanted to find something nice to say to him, without my words knotting in my gut every time I tried to form them. But they avoided me, like a black plague they avoided me. All I seemed to be able to articulate was vitriol that was dark and poisonous—menacing.

I'd never considered myself to be a person capable of such dark thoughts. It was amazing how events could shape you; give you a new direction. My mind and my heart that had always been so full of love for the man beside me, so eager to tell him how important he was to me, how much every thing he did made my heart pound with love. Lately, all I could come up with was hate and accusation.

I wasn't even sure I was entirely without blame anymore. I think I had my own amount of responsibility for what had happened. Maybe that meant that I should try and fix it. Should I? Did I need to try harder? Or was I prepared to let the cards fall as they may? If I allowed 'time' to heal us would it do its job? Was time all we needed?

No.

Time would only result in a festering sore. It would not fix us. It may lessen the heartache, make the sins easier to forgive, but I would never forget.

I knew that only if we moved forward did we have a chance. We couldn't stay in this limbo any longer, this state of dispassion. We needed to either try harder to make things right or we stopped—now.

I took a deep breath; my voice hitched but I managed to get the words out. "Where do we go, Edward? How do we move forward?"

His face fell at my questions. He was obviously not expecting me to confront this now and I watched, waiting for his answer, as he pushed his hand through his slightly longer than usual hair. How I wanted to do that for him, sooth him like I used to, but I couldn't, it wasn't my place. Not at the moment and maybe never again.

"I love you, Jas. Isn't that enough?" His eyes implored me with their stare.

"Do you really think it's enough?" I wanted to reach out and pull him into my embrace, hold him tight; show him that no matter what, our love would help us survive. "I love you, Edward. You know I love you; I have always loved you, but our love is dying, Ed. It started to die the day you broke my trust; when you deceived me in a way someone in love doesn't do."

"I'm sorry. Oh god, Jas, I'm so sorry. Please forgive me." He moved slightly closer to me and placed his hand on my knee. I didn't want to, but I flinched at his touch, and he pulled away immediately as if I had burnt him.

"Don't you think I want to forgive you?" My voice was lifting slightly in my eagerness to make him understand what he had done to me. "I would give nearly anything in this world to forget what happened so that I could forgive you, Ed, but how do I do that. How can I forget…"

"Can't we just start again… Tonight? I'll never do it again… Oh, Jas, I'm a fool. A stupid fool. I was drunk—"

"Stop. Please don't go there. I've heard it all before. You've given me your excuses already; I'm just not sure whether I can accept them." I looked to the floor, and mirroring his movement, pushed my hand into my hair.

Maybe I had accepted his excuses, his explanations. He was sitting next to me after all. I could have thrown him out on his ass that first day, but I didn't. I wanted to save us; I wanted for us to be right again, to be whole. I didn't want to throw away eight years on one indiscretion, regardless of its severity.

It was just that it hurt so much. It was a knife that was constantly speared into my heart, and every time I looked at him or thought about it, or us, the knife twisted a little bit more. It never seemed to get better; it never seemed to hurt any less.

He moved again, this time to sit right next to me. I could feel the warm pulse of his leg next to mine; it felt so good, so right to have him beside me again without the fists and the words of anger.

"Baby, please. Please look at me."

His hand moved to grasp my face and he pulled me to look at him. I met his eyes; they were imploring me to bridge the gap, to try and move forward. As his thumb rubbed along my jaw, I reveled in the sensation of his sweet touch. Again he moved, this time to turn in toward me and take my face in both his hands, caressing my cheeks now. It felt so good to have him touch me this way. I had craved the connection for so long, making the weeks without it now seem an eternity. Would I be able to survive without it? Did I want to survive without it?

This was it. This was the point to decide. I either needed to try and move forward, or I needed to move on—walk away.

He'd obviously decided that my acceptance of his nearness meant that I was willing to try, because I felt his hot breath as he moved closer to me, pressing whisper soft kisses along the jaw that he had only moments ago had his fingers on. When my eyes shed their first tear he kissed it away, soothing me, and making me feel as if everything might be all right.

"Oh, Jas. I love you so much, baby. Please let me show you." My breath hitched at his words. That knife in my heart loosened a bit but it held fast. It felt so good to be with him like this, to have his hands on my skin and his heart open to me again. I did love him and I needed to try.

Our lips met, timid after such a long absence, but quickly they warmed to create the fire we had always been so capable of. It roared into life, filled with all of the love and the hurt that had consumed us. We were needy, wanton; taking and giving in equal measure.

His hands ripped at my clothes, leaving them discarded on the floor, as mine did the same to his. The connection of our skin was a power pushing us forward, nearing us to our goal, and when the touches and kisses were not enough to sustain us any more he stood, reaching his hand out to mine, in a wordless request that I follow him, and I did—I always had.

Our bed became the stage now, and we used it to act out our desire. We were soft and passionate, yet hard and angry. With so many emotions to bring to the fore, we were ferocious.

I pushed him to lie beneath me, and straddled his legs. My lips went to work on his chest, nipping and sucking at his skin, marking him. He moaned under me and I knew that it wasn't too much, thankful he was accepting, maybe even needing, of my aggression. I moved down his body quickly, unable to slow myself, and when I took his erection into my mouth and sucked it hard and fast, his growl of acquiesce was all I needed.

With one hand on his chest, holding his body firmly under me, I let his cock leave my mouth. I moved to get the lube and a condom, that knife in my heart twisting once again at my need for it, and then shuffled my body down between his legs, opening them with my knees as I went. I looked up at him, meeting his intense green stare.

I pushed up his knees, exposing him, and just watched him for a few moments. I watched the rise and fall of his chest with every ragged breath that he inhaled. My hand squeezed some lube onto my palm and I immediately went to his ass, pressing first one finger and then another into him. I could feel him first tense and then relax around me and knew he was ready. He would take me like this. I needed to feel him, he needed to feel me.

My only moment of pause came when I knelt back to tear open the condom and roll it onto my cock. As our eyes met, the pain of why I was using one, sparked between us, a brief reminder of his indiscretion, but I was too far-gone to turn back now. He would be mine again.

Rubbing the excess lube over my length, I stayed on my knees and hooked my arms under his knees to pull him toward me. With his ass rested on my thighs, I lined myself up with his entrance and slowly pushed in. He growled at the intrusion and I paused, needing for him to tell me it was okay to move again.

"It's okay, baby. God, I need this… Fuck me… Please, fuck me, Jas."

It was all I needed to hear, so I did, I fucked him hard and fast, until we were both screaming out our need for release.

I came, roaring out all of the emotions I had inside me, but it was hollow. I felt empty inside when I should have felt my love for him growing again.

I pulled out of him, that ever-present knife digging deeper into my heart, and I knew that even if I could forgive that I'd never be able to forget, and if I couldn't forget, I couldn't live a life of self torture always wondering.

We were over.