a/n This o/s is based in England, hopefully that wont put you off. I originally wrote it for the DTJ contest, but never entered it. It's been hanging around for a while so I thought I might as well get it posted. Huge thanks to TwiWeasel for pre-reading and GemmaH for her awesome beta'ing and help with the title. The 'Slapping balls' are all hers, so to speak. Lol.
Disclaimer: SM owns everything Twilight related.
Telephone Calls and Slapping Balls.
Monday (Aug 1st 2011)
I unlock the door to the office and groan as I walk in and turn on the lights nearest the door. This is my third week working here and it still looks as uninviting as ever. Dull grey carpets beneath boring cream furniture. Even the walls are an uninspiring beige, and the whole ensemble does absolutely nothing to brighten my mood.
I've just finished my second year studying Marine Biology at Bangor University. Yeah I know; what was I thinking? All I can say in my defence is it seemed like a good idea at the time. I've come back up home to Edwinstowe, Nottinghamshire for the summer, and my mum has managed to get me a part-time job to see me through the holidays. I wouldn't normally come home for the summer, since I rent my own place now and I still have to pay for it, but after what happened this year, I just need to get away for a while. A couple of months of my mum's home cooking had sounded very appealing, so I packed a few things and headed home. She'd welcomed me with open arms of course, knowing straight away that something had happened since I was on my own, but not pushing me for answers. I love that about her, and of course the fuck-awesome breakfasts she makes me every morning.
I pause for a moment, lean against the counter and absent-mindedly straighten out the many piles of leaflets that are placed there. My thoughts drift back to back to when things started to go downhill...
November 2010 – Bangor Uni
The academic year had started so well; I'd finally found the courage to accept that I was in fact gay and shouldn't try and hide it any more. My best friend Kate already knew of course, and she was behind me one hundred percent. What I hadn't counted on at the time was that my boyfriend, Riley, was going to act how he did.
We'd been going out since the middle of our first year, and had chosen to keep our relationship secret until now. We shared a flat together, so it was easy enough. I was tired of hiding us from everyone though, and I just wanted things out in the open so we could enjoy each other's company without worrying who saw us. We planned to meet up with our close friends and just come out with it.
I'd honestly thought he was on board with the whole thing. I can't believe I was so fucking stupid.
When we'd arrived at the bar, Riley had been quiet and a little cold towards me. I figured it was just nerves, because I was fucking terrified of what we were about to do. I was pretty sure our friends would be cool with it all, but you just never knew for certain until you came out and said it. I went to grab his hand, wanting some reassurance before we reached the group, but he snatched it away like I was on fire and made some excuse about needing a drink.
I stood there on my own, an uneasy feeling settling in my belly. I shook it off, again putting it down to nerves, and headed over towards my friends. Kate immediately got up and came to give me a hug.
"It'll all be fine. You know that, right?" she whispered so that only I could hear. "Where's Riley?" She asked a little louder.
"Gone to get a drink. I think he's more nervous than me," I replied, managing a small smile.
I followed Kate to the table, sat down beside her and waited for Riley to join us.
Except he never did.
I waited for thirty minutes, chatting with my friends, all the while watching out of the corner of my eye for him to come back from the bar. My leg was now bouncing furiously as I wondered where the fuck he'd got to, worried that something had happened to him. I got up to go look for him, when I felt Kate's hand on my arm.
"Let me go, E," she said. I really didn't like the look on her face.
I nodded my head. Only the feeling of dread creeping up on me kept me from following her. I waited anxiously, no longer able to take part in the conversation around me. Another thirty minutes later and I was almost to the point of tearing my hair out, when I saw Kate returning to our table.
My heart sank and I just knew without her having to say a fucking word. He'd left and wasn't coming back.
"I'm so sorry," she said, slipping back into her seat and taking my hand. "He said he just couldn't do it. He's gone home, but he won't be there when you get back."
"Fuck!" I swore loudly, causing the whole table to fall quiet. I could feel my eyes fill with tears as I realised that he hadn't just left the bar, he'd left me.
Fuck! Fuck! Fuck!
I'd thought we were doing this for us, so that we could be together like any other couple. Now here I sat all alone, about to tell my friends that I was gay, for no good reason whatsoever. I felt a couple of tears spill over and run down my cheeks. It wasn't until I felt Kate's hand squeeze mine that I looked up and saw everybody's eyes on me.
I took several deep breaths to get myself under control as I realised I had a choice to make. I could either forget what I'd intended to do this evening, since it didn't matter any more, or say 'fuck it' and tell them anyway.
I glanced over at Kate, and her smile of encouragement made the decision for me. I squared my shoulders and faced the expectant faces of my friends.
"I've got something to tell you all." I gripped Kate's hand even harder and prepared myself to spill my secret.
There, I'd said it. I sat back, my shoulders slumped a little in relief as I waited for the barrage of inevitable questions and comments.
"Yeah, we kind of guessed when you started dating Riley."
"What?" I asked, not sure I'd heard right.
Turns out they all knew and had done for months. The reason they'd never mentioned anything was because they just thought we wanted some privacy. They rightly assumed we'd tell them when we were ready. Everyone fell back into their previous conversations like it was no big deal.
Well, fuck me!
I'd been panicking for nothing. It was no big deal to them; they already knew and accepted it without a second thought.
I needed to find him and tell him that it was all ok. I grabbed my coat, said my goodbyes and raced out of the bar.
It took me all of five minutes to reach our flat but it felt like hours. I dropped my keys twice before getting them into the lock and opening up the door. I ran up the stairs, shouting his name as I went.
I checked the living room and the kitchen, but both were empty. As I opened the door to our bedroom, I realised I was too late. He'd already gone. I looked around the room, noticing that some of his belongings were gone too. I managed to make it to the bed, before collapsing with my head in my hands.
I never thought he'd just go without talking to me or at least saying goodbye. We'd been together for eight months, didn't that mean anything to him? Obviously fucking not. Exhaustion swept over me and I stretched out, shuffling back until my head hit the pillow. That's when I felt it.
Eight months and all I got was a fucking letter.
With shaking hands I reached under my head and grabbed the offending piece of paper, unsure as to whether or not I actually wanted to read it. Curiosity eventually got the better of me and I opened it up and began to read.
I know this is a shitty fucking way to do this, but it's the only way for me. I can't do this any more. I love you, you know that, but I don't want this life. I've been thinking about this for some time now and I've decided to drop out and take this year off. I'm going to travel round Europe with my sister. I know I should have spoken up earlier, but it was just never the right time. I wouldn't trade these last eight months for anything, but this is it for us, you wont be seeing me again. I'll send someone round to get my things later.
I'm so sorry.
I screwed it up and threw it across the room.
That was the last I heard of Riley. I spent the rest of the year focusing solely on my studies. The break-up still too painful for me to entertain the idea of being with anyone else. When the summer term finished, I decided I needed a break to recharge my batteries and get things in perspective. Thank God for my mum, she welcomed me back with open arms and asked no questions; just telling me she was there for me if I needed to talk.
She'd asked around and got me a job to see me through the summer, and even though I hated it, I was thankful all the same.
So, here I am. Edward Cullen, single and miserable, and unlikely to change that status any time soon. I walk round the office, flicking the rest of the lights on as I go. I'm only on my own for the first hour, then I'm joined by Heidi who thankfully knows what she's doing. I work Monday to Thursday from eight until two and then Friday from two until six, the last hour on my own so I have to close up. I'm helping out in the local Tourist Information Office for the Sherwood Forest area. I get to tell people all about the local attractions, like The Major Oak, where Robin Hood supposedly hid with his band of Merry Men. Well, Heidi actually does the telling and gives directions, I tend to mill around shuffling fliers and maps into neat piles.
I do all the jobs I'm supposed to as the first one in and settle back on my stool behind the front counter, nursing my coffee. It's really too early for any visitors yet so I just sit staring into space until I hear the door open and nearly fall off my stool in shock.
I rub my eyes to make sure they aren't deceiving me and try hard not to stare at him as he walks around the office, inspecting all the information plastered on the walls.
Oh my God!
It's really him. His back is facing me now, so I shamelessly ogle his tight, jean-clad arse. I had the mother-of-all crushes on him in school, but never had the balls to approach him. He didn't date in school.
Even when we were seventeen and eighteen, I never saw him with anyone. We all speculated on his sexuality, and I secretly hoped he was gay, but no-one knew for sure.
I reluctantly tear my gaze from his arse and take a look at the rest of him. His hair is shorter than I remember, but still the same bright blond. He dyed it in school, and by the looks of it he still does. I like it now just as much as I did then, and I still have the urge to run my fingers through it.
He must feel the weight of my stare, because his head turns in my direction and he smirks at me. Yeah, I definitely just got caught checking him out. A few months ago I would have been embarrassed, but now I don't care. I raise my eyebrow at him and he's about to talk to me when the door opens. I groan as the last people I want to see, like ever, walk through the door and ruin all my fun.
Jessica, Angela and Lauren.
I plaster a fake smile on my face and do my best to appear polite.
"Good Morning, ladies." The word ladies almost gets stuck on my tongue. "How can I help you?"
They giggle and whisper amongst themselves like they do every time they come in. I try not to roll my eyes or huff in irritation and just about succeed. They came in on my first day here and have been back with increasing regularity ever since. It seems like it's Angela's turn to ask me out today, because she gives the other two the look, and saunters over.
"Hey, Edward," she says, batting her eyelashes and trying to look seductive. Even if I wasn't immune to her feminine charms, that shit is never going to work at eight thirty in the morning. She has far too much make-up on and not nearly enough clothes. Which is a great shame I think, because without all that crap she'd be really pretty. If you like that sort of thing, obviously.
"Angela," I reply, inclining my head slightly. "What can I help you with today?"
"Well," she smiles and twists her long hair around her fingers. "There's a party on Friday night..."
She let's the sentence hang there and I almost feel sorry for her.
The first time one of them asked me out, I said I already had plans.
The second time, I said I was just busy.
The third time, I simply said no. I thought that would put them off, but clearly not.
I sigh and run my hand over my eyes. It looks like I'm going to have to go with the truth. I check to see what Jasper is doing and I'm pleased to see he's watching the whole thing with curious eyes. I guess it won't hurt to put it out there that I'm totally available if he's that way inclined.
"The thing is, ladies." I look up and include them all in what I'm about to say. "As flattered as I am by all your offers, I'm gay." I wait for them to comprehend and smile when I see the realisation settling in.
"Well that explains it, then." Lauren looks delighted as this obviously means the reason I turned them down is because of me, not them. "Come on, girls," she says, waving her hands at Angela to run along. "We're clearly wasting our time here." She stalks back out the door, and after giving me a wave, Jessica and Angela follow her.
Movement over in the corner snaps my focus back to Jasper as I see him taking a couple of the fliers and putting them in his pocket. I wonder why he's bothering to take them, since he's lived here as long as I have and probably knows the area far better than I do.
Before I get the chance to ask him, he's gone with just a "See you around, Edward," tossed over his shoulder as he closes the door behind him.
I guess that answers whether he's interested or not. I slump back on my chair in defeat and pick up my coffee, which I discover is now cold.
The rest of the day drags on and I manage to avoid thinking about Jasper for all of fifteen minutes, and that's only because I was eating my lunch at the time. I clock-watch for the last half an hour of my shift, and am about to go and grab my things, when the phone rings. I curse, knowing that I'll have to answer it because Heidi is talking with a customer. I pick it up and she shoots me a grateful smile.
"Good afternoon, Edwinstowe Tourist Information Center. How may I help you?" I use my best phone voice since I have company.
"Is that Edward?"
My heart sets off at a gallop as I immediately recognise the voice on the other end.
I hear his soft laughter and quickly check to make sure Heidi and the other lady in here aren't paying me any attention. They're both busy going through hotel lists, so I grab the phone
and move to the back office.
"I didn't think you'd remembered me when I came in this morning," he continues.
"Yeah, I remembered you. You're kind of hard to forget."
"Is that so?"
"Well that's good, because I remember you too. Although I don't remember you being gay," he says sounding a little surprised and I can't tell whether that's good or bad.
"There are some things you just don't want to share with a bunch of judgemental teenagers."
"True," he replies, laughing again.
No-one at school knew I was gay. I hid it well and even went out with the odd girl for appearances sake. It never really went further than kissing, because there's only so much interest you can fake.
"So, what can I do for you, Jasper?" I ask, curious as to why he's calling.
"I wanted to ask you something."
"Are you single?"
My breath catches and I have to take a moment before answering.
"Yes. Why do do you want to know?"
"Because, I don't want to go after someone else's boy."
He wants to 'go after' me? Jesus Christ, did that mean he was gay after all?
"Edward? Are you still there?" I'm still speechless and I can't answer quick enough for him.
"Fuck," he mutters. "Didn't you know I was gay?"
"Um...no," I manage to reply. "I mean, we all speculated because you didn't date anyone, but no, I didn't know for certain that you were gay."
It's his turn to be silent and I briefly wonder if I've offended him by saying that my friends and I used to talk about his sex life.
"I used to watch you all the time in school. Wondering what it would be like to kiss you and touch you."
I swallow thickly, willing him to carry on talking.
"Did you?" I practically squeak.
"Yes." His voice is like velvet; soft and inviting. "All the fucking time. You're the reason why I never dated anyone. No-one else could possibly measure up and if I'd known you were gay I'd have snapped you up in a heartbeat."
Jasper Whitlock used to lust after me at school. Who knew?
"What a fucking shame," I say licking my lips to impart a bit of moisture to them.
"Yes, but I know now, don't I? And next time I wont feel so bad about the things I imagine doing to you."
"Wh...what things?" My voice is hoarse and my jeans become too tight all of a sudden.
"Oh, all kinds of naughty things." I can hear him grinning over the phone, and I close my eyes to picture his face.
"First, I'd like to run my hands all over you, get a feel for what's underneath those jeans of yours. Second, I'd like to kiss you, hard, and slip my tongue in your mouth to taste you. Then, when you were all hot and bothered, I'd like to unbutton your jeans and slip my hands inside, grabbing hold of your thick-"
"Edward?" Heidi shouts, interrupting what could possibly be turning into some seriously hot phone sex.
"Shit! I have to go." I almost wail into the phone.
"Talk to you soon then, Edward." He sounds almost as disappointed as me.
I hang up the phone and walk as quickly as I can, considering the problem I'm now sporting below, and go in search of Heidi.
"You shouted me?" I ask her as I lean against the door to the front office area, trying to hide my obvious bulge behind a rack of leaflets.
"Oh, I was just checking to see if you were still here. That's all." She smiles sweetly and goes back to reading her book. I feel the sudden urge to beat her over the head with it, but somehow I manage to resist, grab my things and race home. To my utter relief, no-one else is home so I slink off to my bathroom to take care of some very urgent business. It's Jasper's face I picture as I scream my release all over the tiled wall.
This is the pattern for the next three nights. He phones, we talk, I rush home to masturbate. We may start off trying to talk about normal everyday stuff, but the calls always end the same.
Thank fuck! It's six o'clock at long last, and I can finally shut up shop and go home for the weekend. I thought this day would never fucking end. It was particularly crap because Jasper didn't call today and I'm wondering what I've done wrong. I've already flipped the Closed sign over on the door, so I lock up the till, turn off the lights in the back office and grab my keys. Just as I'm about to turn off the main lights and head out I hear the door open and sigh loudly. Can't people fucking read? I turn around, trying to come up with a polite way to tell them to fuck off.
"I'm sorry, but we're clo..." I stop mid-sentence as I recognise who has just come in.
"You..." I say. It's one thing to act all confident while I shamelessly flirt on the phone, but now that he's actually here, I'm not sure what to do and nerves get the better of me.
"Yes, me," he grins. "I thought it was about time we did this in person."
I feel my heart rate speed up as I continue to look at him, drinking in his long, lean body, resplendent all in black. He stalks towards me, his big boots surprisingly quiet on the office floor and I swallow thickly, trying desperately to find my voice.
"Wh...what do you want?" I ask, unable to tear my eyes away from him.
"Mmm.." he pauses and taps his chin with his long fingers. "Now there's a question. I've thought about you a lot over the past two years, Edward. Wondering where you'd gone and what you were doing. Who you were doing. "
I stand there, captivated by him. Now I'm getting a better look at him, I realise that my memories haven't done him justice at all. He's so much hotter than I remember. It's hard to believe that the object of my desire throughout the last two years of school, is now standing in front of me, looking like he wants to rip my clothes off. I say a silent prayer of thanks to whoever is watching over me, and hope that I don't fuck this up.
"There are so many things I want when it comes to you," Jasper continues, his gaze now fixed on mine. "But right here, right now, there's just one thing that comes to mind." He rakes his eyes over me from head to toe, lingering over my crotch before returning to my face. I hope like mad that the next words out his mouth involve some sort of sex act.
"I want to turn you around, bend you over the counter and fuck you from behind. How does that sound?"
I'm lost inside my head, the image of what he just described swirling around my brain. I can't talk, my mouth suddenly dry with excitement and anticipation. He walks forward until he's only a few inches in front of me; so close that I can smell his aftershave mixed in with his scent. It's a heavenly concoction that makes me a little light headed and I'm thankful for the support when he rests his hands on my hips and pulls us even closer together.
"Edward?" He rolls his hips against me and I whimper as I feel his hardness pressed up against mine. "Did you hear what I said?"
"Yes." I eventually reply, sounding all girlie and breathless, but I don't care.
"And? Did you like my suggestion?" he asks as he leans forward, his voice a soft purr tickling my ear.
"Oh fuck, yes!" I cry as he pushes his hips further into me. I can feel every inch of him against every inch of me. It feels so good already, I can only imagine what it'll be like when we're naked.
"Take your clothes off, Edward," he says, stepping back and looking me up and down. His eyes drink me in and make me tremble with their intensity. "Do it slow, I want to take my time watching you strip." He licks his lips and leans back on the wall behind him, waiting for me to start.
I take a deep breath and a slow smile stretches across my face. He wants to watch me undress so I'm going to give him something good to look at. I slip my hands under the hem of my t-shirt and begin to lift it slowly up my body and over my head. I toss it gently onto the chair next to me and run my hands over my pecs, pausing over my nipples to play with the small ring there. I'm instantly rewarded with his sharp intake of breath. My eyes snap to his and I keep the contact as my hands continue their way down, sliding firmly over my abs and into the tops of my jeans.
I'm going commando, so when I take my jeans down it will be the big reveal. I'm already straining to get out, but I continue to breathe deeply in a concerted effort to take my time. I run my fingers back and forth along the waistband, my fingers dipping in further with each pass. I let my right hand out and smooth it over my rather impressive erection and chance a glance up as I do.
Heat bursts through me at the lust-filled look on his face, fuelling my confidence. I grab a handful of my package, rubbing my hand slowly over the bulge. He doesn't say a word, but out of the corner of my eye I see his hand slip down and come to rest on his own cock as he palms himself in time with me.
I decide we've teased each other long enough, and I deftly undo my four buttons, hook my fingers in the top of my jeans and pull them down; not so fast as to ruin the moment, but not slow enough to be torturous either. They pool at my feet, I toe off my shoes then step out of my jeans and kick them to the side, standing proud in all my glory.
"Fuck!" Jasper hisses, swallowing audibly. "You are so fucking beautiful." I feel myself grin like a fool at his words, but who wouldn't? "I want you. Right the fuck now."
He quickly moves towards me, slips his hands into my hair and kisses me, long and hard. My arms instinctively wrap around his waist, pulling him to me so there's nothing but Jasper's clothes in between us. We continue to kiss, all hot breath and tongues as we finally realise what we've spent days talking about. I have to break the kiss before I pass out from lack of oxygen, but I keep him close, running my tongue down his neck, nibbling and tasting his firm flesh.
"Turn around." His voice is low and commanding. A shiver runs down my spine, excitement building over what I hope we're about to do. I can barely contain myself as I meet his eyes once more before turning to brace myself over the counter. It's never been so useful before.
"I'm going to make you feel so good," he whispers, and I can hear him shedding his clothes and dropping them onto the floor. In the blink of an eye, he's up behind me and I can feel his naked skin touching me everywhere. I've never done anything like this before and for one awful second I worry that this is just meaningless sex and that he's going to drop me like a hot potato when this is over. As if he can read my mind, he runs his hands up and down my arms soothingly and brings his mouth right next to my ear.
"Relax." His voice is surprisingly soft and gentle. "This is not the last time we'll do this. I won't just use you and throw you away, Edward." He pauses to kiss along the back of my neck, until he reaches my other ear. "We're going to do this again and again. I fucking promise." His hand moves to the center of my back and runs up and down my spine, it's both relaxing and arousing at the same time. "So fucking hot, " he whispers against my skin. "I've thought about doing this since the first time I saw you. I want you to be mine, and only mine. No-one but me should ever see you like this."
Oh God, I think I might come right now with the way he's talking about me.
"So there's no need to worry," his tongue flicks out and licks the shell of my ear and I moan, loudly. "I want you, Edward. All of you. Especially this part right here." he reaches round and grabs hold of my cock, stroking up and down a few times to emphasize his point.
My head falls back on his shoulder and I struggle not to come on his hand, frantically thinking about anything other than what he's doing with his talented fingers.
"Fuck, Jasper," I pant, barely able to catch my breath as I thrust into his palm.
"Do you want me to take you now?" he asks, reaching the head of my cock and squeezing slightly. I nod vigorously, once again losing the power of speech. "I've pictured you in this position,everyday for the past week, bending over this counter like you are now, waiting for me. I don't know whether to take you hard and fast like I want to, or take my time like I know I should."
I hear something being ripped open and suddenly his sheathed cock is rubbing between my ass cheeks. "What do you want, Edward. Slow and sensual or hard and fast?" His voice is barely a whisper, but its loud and clear to me. I know I won't last much longer at this rate and what I really want is him inside me.
"Hard and fast," I say, sounding far too needy, but past the point of caring. "Fuck... please, Jasper"
I hear him laugh softly behind me and I whimper as I feel his lube coated finger circle around my entrance, before delving inside.
"Oh fuck," I cry out.
He works his fingers slowly in and out, and the feeling is exquisite. A heady mixture of pleasure and a little pain as its been so long since I've been with anyone. He adds a second finger and I moan out loud, unable to keep it in any longer.
"That's right," he whispers. "Feel what I'm doing to you."
He adds a third finger and I about leap over the counter.
"Tell me what you need." He continues to work me with his magic touch.
"I need your cock."
"Where?" he teases and it's almost too much.
Before I can start to beg, his fingers are replaced by something much bigger and harder. He eases himself slowly inside of me, and I hold on to the counter edge as he goes further and further. He pauses to let my body adjust to the size of him and I breathe deeply, relaxing enough so that with one final push he is flush up against me.
"Are you ok?" he asks, and I can hear the strain in his voice as he struggles to remain still.
"Yes!" I almost shout as it feels so, so good. "Fuck me...please."
It's all the invitation he needs.
"If you insist."
He starts to really move now; long strokes in and out as he starts to pick up his pace. His hands take a firm hold of my hips as he pumps in and out of me. I can hardly form a coherent thought, and focus on the sound of his harsh breathing and the slapping of our skin.
"You feel so fucking good, I'm not going to last long," he says, sounding almost apologetic. I'm nearly in the same boat, and in an effort not to be left behind, I ease away from the counter slightly and slip my hand down to stroke myself. My rhythm soon matches Jasper's and I can feel everything tightening as I rush head first into the best orgasm of my young life so far.
"Fuck... !" Jasper roars as he starts to tense up. I know I'm close, and when his teeth sink into my shoulder as he starts to come, my climax washes over me and I feel myself release over my hand and over the numerous fliers left on the counter. I don't give a fuck though, and think that mopping up my cum is the best thing I could possibly do with them.
As we try and catch our breath, I feel tender kisses peppered along my overheated skin. Their softness is a stark contrast from what has just transpired between us. I relish the feel of his lips on me and bask in the post-coital afterglow. I don't know how long we stay in that position, but all too soon it seems, Jasper eases back and withdraws, causing me to wince slightly.
"Shit, sorry. Are you sore?" he asks worriedly.
I am a little because Jasper is fucking huge, but it's a good sore and there's no way I'm going to let him start feeling guilty for this.
"A little, but I'm ok. That was... that was just..." I cant finds the words, but luckily as I turn round to face him, he knows what I'm trying to say.
"Yeah... it was." He reaches up and strokes my cheek and I lean into his tender touch, my heart swelling at his gesture. I can't believe this is happening after everything I've been through. The feeling is indescribable.
We get dressed and wash up in the staff bathroom, both of us smiling like idiots, the happiness almost stifling in this small room. He's ready first, and after I clean up the mess we made, he grabs my hand and heads towards the door.
"Come on," he urges, pulling me in for a quick kiss. "Let's go get something to eat. I think we've earned it." He winks at me and I can't help but laugh out loud and follow him out. My life has most definitely turned a corner and all of a sudden this shitty job doesn't seem so shitty any more.
a/n As always, I'd love to know what you thought.