#Number of Photo: 36
Story Title: 'Can you hear me?'
Story Rating & Warnings: AH, non canon, ratedM for slash

Disclaimer: All characters created and owned by Stephenie Meyer
Story Summary: Jasper is new to Forks, and a certain Cullen is there to show him the ropes.

'Can you hear me?'

Jasper POV

Well this is it. First day at a new school. Time to be stared at, pushed around, prejudged.

With a barely audible sigh, I lowered my feet from the dashboard as my eyes stayed fixed to the rivers of rain on the windscreen. Beyond that, the school building loomed over the parking lot like a threatening monster. I ran a hand through my hair as I watched the students run from their cars and inside to avoid getting too wet.

"Are you going to be ok, Jasper? If you're not ready, son, you don't have to start today."

I turned my eyes to my pa. He was sat in the driver's seat of his aged truck, leaning against the window and watching me. I could see in his eyes the worry of how today would go. He always sat kind of slumped in his seat, the weight of the world on his shoulders. My pa had been through much. But what grieved me the most was that I was responsible for every wrinkle on his too soon aged face. I was responsible for the slight glaze of pain in his eyes. I was responsible for the fact that we only had each other left in the world.

With a glum nod, I turned my eyes back to the students fleeing the rain. A flash of lightning overhead brightened the sky and, for a moment, the school looked more monstrous than ever. But I knew pa had his new job to start today. He had managed to secure work at the dock of Port Angeles on a boat building team. He had always worked well with his hands, and carpentry seemed to be his favoured profession. I wasn't going to burden him more by chickening out and begging to just stay home rather than face the school.

I jumped a little as his hand rested on my shoulder. Looking back to him I see just the briefest of smiles gracing his lips, and then it was gone. He gave my shoulder a squeeze.

'Ok, if you're sure. If it becomes too much or too overwhelming, have them call me to come and get you. They already have my contact details.'

I nodded again and he copied then raised his hand from my shoulder to my hair and gave it a ruffle.

'Alright, son. You better get on inside before the bell goes. Have a good first day.'

He leaned over, moving his hands to adjust the scarf around my neck and then the collar of my coat around the scarf before ruffling my hair again. I smiled weakly and got out of the truck. I grabbed my bag from the floor, slung it over my shoulder and shut the door. Throwing a quick wave I dashed across the lot and into the school to stay as dry as possible. Not really possible in this rain soaked town though.

Pa and I had recently moved to Forks, from Houston, Texas. After his marriage to my mama broke down due to stress and due to me, everything had gone downhill from there. Ever since I was 14 my mama had decided she no longer wanted me as her son. After the incident shortly after my 14th birthday my life had changed completely.

Since then it had just been my pa and me, moving often around the country to anywhere that work was available. After the incident happened we were left with so much debt. Mama moved out taking all her things with her. She filed a divorce and was adamant that I be left with my pa so I didn't burden her the way I burden him now.

Pa had heard of the work at Port Angeles so we uprooted and moved to Forks. It was definitely a massive change to attempt to get used to. The sun was barely out around here, everything stayed wet all year around. Pa had used what little money we had left to rent a small home on the edge of the town. It had just one bedroom which he gave to me. He always slept on the couch now. I'd rather have the roles reversed but he would hear nothing of it. Even after all I've put him through he still treats me like the damned messiah, and tries to give me everything I could possibly need. But what I needed was for him to not worry about me every second of the day. It wasn't doing his health any good.

As the school doors clattered closed behind me I took a deep breath and glanced around these new surroundings. Students were blocking the hallways as they arranged books in their lockers. As predicted their gazes all turned to stare at me. I'd heard that this school had a low student count due to the town size. So naturally being the new kid I was big news around here. I just wondered how much news they'd heard.

Shifting the weight of my bag on my shoulder I worked my way through the crowd. Eyes and bodies turned to follow my movements as I tried to find my way to the office. I felt unnerved under all the scrutinising looks I was receiving. It was almost like static in the air surrounding me, everyone was aware of me. I didn't like it at all.

I found the office further down the hallway and pushed the door open to go inside. It wasn't a very big room; I could likely walk one wall to the other within six strides. Everywhere I looked was awash with yellow and blue banners and posters, all depicting a Spartans head image. Spartans were the mascot of Forks High. Well it was better than my old school where the mascot had been a goat dressed as a tiger, since they couldn't have a real tiger on campus.

An aged lady was sat at the desk towards one end of the room. She raised her head and smiled wide before standing.

'Hello, dear. May I help you?'

I nodded once and fumbled with the pocket of my coat until I managed to get out the note I had written the night before. Stepping up to the desk I offered her the paper that was slightly damp from the rain. She unfolded it carefully and read it.

*My name is Jasper Whitlock.*

She turned her eyes from the paper back to me and smiled.

'Ah, yes! Of course you are, dear. We've been expecting you.'

She passed the note back to me and I refolded it and pushed it back into my pocket. I watched as she shuffled through a stack of papers on her desk until she found what she was seeking and held them out to me.

'Here is your lesson schedule, dear, and a map of the school. Mr. Green has arranged for another student to help show you around and get you anything you need. He should be here soon so why don't you take a seat over there until he arrives?'

She gestured to some uncomfortable looking plastic chairs along one side of the wall. Just like the rest of the room, the chairs alternated blue, yellow, blue, yellow. I looked back to her and smiled a little then turned and crossed to the chairs, choosing a blue one, and sat down.

I dropped my bag to the floor and turned my attention to the two pieces of paper that I had been given. The first was a fairly basic hand sketched map of the building; each room had the class subject written on so I'd know where everything is. To be honest the map looked like it had been drawn with intention for eight year olds to follow in order to find hidden treasure. My thought of this only increased when I saw that someone, likely the lady, had marked each room where I would have a lesson with either a blue or yellow highlighted 'x'.

I put that paper to the bottom and looked to the lesson schedule I had been given. When pa had needed to fill out the paperwork to enroll me in school, he had told me all of the subjects available to choose from. Calculus and English were mandatory, but the others I could choose. I had chosen biology as my science option, preferring it to chemistry or physics. I had also chosen art, history and phys ed. After the incident I had taken to sketching to help me overcome what had happened. As for history and phys ed, I enjoy learning about important moments of the past, and I like to rid myself of built up frustration. This can normally be done fairly easily for me by building up a sweat and not stopping until my muscles ached. It was good to see that I had managed to secure a seat in all of my chosen subjects.

As I stared at the schedule to try to memorize when each subject fell during the day, the door to the office opened, bringing with it a slight breeze. It closed again but I kept my gaze down, avoiding the stare of whoever had come inside, as I knew they were likely staring at me.

'Ah, Edward, there you are. Cutting it a little close, aren't we?'

I rolled my eyes at the lady's attempt at a scolding tone. Clearly she was of a motherly nature and couldn't pull one off.

'I'm sorry, Miss Cope. I had some car trouble on the way in today. I didn't mean to be late.'

'Well that's ok, Edward. Your charge has already arrived. That's him sat over there; Jasper Whitlock, poor dear.'

I fought the urge not to look up and glare at her. The last thing I wanted was pity from anyone. I'd lived this way for the last three years without too much trouble.

'I'm sure he's perfectly fine, Miss Cope. Well I'll show him along to our first class.'

I heard footsteps on the linoleum floor approaching me; I raised my eyes to see this boy that would be burdened with showing the invalid around the school. When I got my first look at him I'm sure my jaw dropped and hit the floor. He stopped in front of me and smiled as he held out his hand.

'Hello, Jasper. I'm Edward Cullen, I've been assigned to be your buddy and show you around.'

I closed my mouth and stood up, taking his hand and shaking. I couldn't help but roam my eyes over his face, his features so perfect. Deep and wise green eyes, full lips, straight nose, all topped with unruly, sticking up, copper coloured hair.

As I released his hand, my eyes dropped to look over the rest of him. He wore a long-sleeved dark blue t shirt and tight fitting black jeans with a belt. It was completely casual, but he made it look as smart as a three piece suit. As opposed to me, wearing baggy and torn faded blue jeans, an old hand me down t shirt, a basic rain coat and my usual scarf.

Edward smiled and held his hand towards the papers I still held and I passed them over to him. He scanned them quickly, his green eyes flicking back and forth, and then smiled contentedly with a nod as he passed the papers back.

'That's good, we're in almost all the same lessons except I have music last period whilst you have gym. I'll show you where the gym is on the way to my music lesson though.'

I nodded a little and pocketed the papers, not needing to carry them around if Edward was going to show me everywhere. I picked up my bag, slinging it over my shoulder, and followed him towards the door.

'Have a good day, dear.'

I glanced back to Miss Cope as Edward opened the door holding it for me. I smiled to her a little and dipped my head politely in thanks. I could almost picture her as being a loveable memaw to someone, somewhere.

Edward closed the door behind us and steered me to the left; I fell in step beside him and glanced around as we walked.

'Ok, so biology first. Mr. Molina is a good teacher, and he's grouped my previous lab partner with another so you can work with me.'

I looked quickly to Edward, meeting his gaze with a frown. I didn't want to be an inconvenience and burden to everyone I ever met, and especially not Edward. He seemed like such a friendly kid and so far he was treating me like any other normal person. Not to mention he was smoking hot. I blushed a little at that thought and looked ahead again as he continued leading me to class.

'Are you ok, Jasper? You don't seem too happy about something…am I going too quickly? Did you want to slow down and look around the school?'

I shook my head somewhat glumly and sighed, turning my attention to the linoleum floor that spread the length of the hallway and squeaked with every step of our wet sneakers. I stopped when I felt such a gentle hand touch my shoulder pulling me to stop walking and turn to him but I kept my gaze down.

'What is it, Jasper? If something's bothering you, you can tell me. Am I bothering you?'

There was a sad tone to his voice but I ignored it as I met his gaze again. Was this kid serious? Clearly he knew about me and he wanted me to just 'tell' him what was bothering me. When I just stood narrowing my eyes at him he seemed to become thoughtful; then he smiled.

'Oh, I forgot to tell you that part. The reason I was asked to escort you around is because I can be a big help to you. I know that you're unable to speak…well I have a younger foster brother, Emmett. He's deaf so all my family learned to speak sign language to communicate with him.'

I frowned still not understanding why he would be chosen to drag me around school just because he had a deaf foster brother. It's not like I'm deaf.

'When your father enrolled you into school I guess he must have mentioned that you can communicate a little with sign language. Mr. Green asked me to help you in classes to communicate so that you have the exact same opportunities as everyone else here.'

Oh. Well I guess that made sense. I had taught myself a little sign language. It had been my pa's idea. He had gotten a library book on the subject so that he could help me feel as normal as I had ever been. So together we had learned to sign. Pa wasn't too good at it so if I needed to talk to him I would attempt to sign, but if he couldn't understand then I would write it down instead.

To test Edward's words I raised a hand and signed 'thank you', and 'sorry to mess up your life'. I had wanted to sign that last one to my pa many times but he wouldn't understand it. Edward chuckled and released my shoulder.

'You're not. I'm always happy to help. Come on, the bell went a few minutes ago; we're already late for class.'

I nodded and followed him as he led the way through the empty hallways and to the science block. He opened a door and went inside; I followed and closed the door behind me, noticing how the room went silent. I risked a glance and every student was watching me. I self consciously looked down and raised a hand to tighten the scarf around my neck.

'Sorry we're late, Mr Molina. This is your new student, Jasper Whitlock.'

'Ah, so this is Jasper. Well welcome to my biology class.'

I looked to the teacher, seeing him to be a middle aged man with a cheery smile and a sparkle in his grayish-blue eyes. He took some books from his desk and offered them to me. I smiled a little, taking the books and Edward put a hand on my shoulder and guided me down the row of tables to an empty one. My stomach clenched and bounced at the feeling of Edward touching me, even in such an innocent gesture. He took the seat nearest the window and I sat on the seat beside him as Mr. Molina continued the lesson.

I looked to Edward as he opened his book to the correct page and I followed suit and began reading. It seemed the class was studying planaria, otherwise known as flatworms. Gross. I opened my bag, taking out a note book and pen and began taking notes on the lesson.

As the lesson drew on, the warmth from the heaters in the room was becoming a little stifling. I briefly put my pen down, unbuttoned my coat and hung it from the back of my seat. I heard a gasp from the next row over; looking up, my eyes met those of a dark haired boy whose eyes dropped to my neck. I became self conscious in an instant and flew my hand to my neck. My scarf had shifted and exposed some of the scar on my throat. I quickly tugged the scarf back into place but the damage was done.

The dark haired boy leaned away from me to his lab partner and whispered in her ear. She looked to me then turned in her seat and whispered to the two students behind her. They in turn looked to me and turned each way to continue whispering. I swallowed hard round the lump building in my throat and looked down as a tremble ran through me.

When the bell for the end of the lesson rang, the bustle in the room was instant. Everyone stood, stuffing books and note pads into their bags. Many of them glanced my way again but then left the room to go to the next lesson. As I put my books away into my bag, the dark haired boy stopped beside my desk and shoved out a hand to me.

'Hi. I'm Eric Yorkie. You're Jasper Whitlock, right?'

I nodded a little and gave his hand a brief shake then resumed packing my bag hoping he would leave.

'So you really can't talk, huh? What happened? What gave you that scar on your neck?'

I stiffened and raised my eyes to meet his, my vision blurring a little as I fought back the tears of hurt prickling my eyes. I jumped when Edward raised his voice from next to me.

'What the fuck, Eric!'

'What? I was just aski…'

'You don't just walk up to a guy and ask him something like that! Would you walk up to a blind man and ask him how many fingers you're holding up?'

I dropped my gaze as Edward ranted it out to this Yorkie guy. I didn't know what to think or feel. I was hurt from the whole class whispering about me. I was hurt with this kid's boldness to walk right up to me and practically point at my damaged throat and question it. But I was grateful for Edward standing up for me and making Eric back off. I didn't look up but I heard him huff then walk away.

Edward's hand touched my shoulder again, but I still didn't look up. I just raised a hand once my bag was packed, and wiped it furiously over my eyes in a demand that the stinging tears stayed within my tear ducts.

'I'm sorry about that, Jasper. Some people just don't know when to not talk.'

I shrugged his hand from my shoulder and pulled my coat back on, buttoning it up tight and making sure the scarf and collar covered my whole neck. I pulled my bag over my shoulders and took the class schedule from my pocket to see what I had next. Calculus. Great. My least favourite subject. I swallowed again and, without looking to him, I just prodded my finger to the paper so he knew I was ready to go to the next lesson.

'Calculus sucks.'

He had that right. I folded the paper, putting it back in my pocket, but when he didn't move to lead me the way I glanced to him with a frown. He smiled when my eyes finally met his. I raised a hand and asked him 'what?' and he smiled again.

'It really sucks. And you look like you need a few minutes to recover. Eric's a jerk, ignore him.'

I sighed and shook my head and signed again.

*It's not just him. It's all of them. They were all staring at me and whispering.*

'All the more reason for you to take a few minutes and a deep breath. Come on.'

He smiled, stepping around me as he slung his bag over his shoulder and walked towards the door. I followed and once in the hallway we took a right and I followed him until he came to the exit door and opened it. I stopped at the door and watched as he stepped out into the rain and down the steps. When he didn't hear me following he looked over his shoulder.

'You coming or not?'

*Where?*

He half turned and pointed to a car in the lot. I looked to where he was pointing, seeing what looked like an almost brand new silver Volvo parked near the wall.

'We'll go to my car. At least it'll be dry there and I can put on some music, maybe it will help you calm down a little.'

He looked back to me, his emerald eyes boring into mine. I felt calm as it was, but I knew he was right. I didn't want to go to calculus and suffer another hour of stares and whispers. I stepped out into the rain, the door clattering closed behind me, and jogged down the steps to him. Edward smiled and turned, jogging along the lot through the rain to his car and I followed. Partway there, he took the keys from his pocket, pressing a button. The lights flashed as the doors unlocked and he quickly got into the driver's side as I hurried into the passenger seat and closed the door.

The rain was falling heavily, leaving us both a bit damp. It hammered on the windows and the roof of the car in a hypnotic sound. It was an almost peaceful sound to me, and I ran a hand over my eyes and through my damp hair.

Edward put the key in the ignition, turning it to the first setting, and turned on the heaters to send warm air towards us. He turned on the stereo, setting the volume low to background music. When a steady stream of classical music came from the speakers he blushed a little, and pressed another button to turn on a radio station with more modern music that teenagers listened to.

'Is this ok?'

I watched him a second then looked to the stereo and leaned forward pressing the button and bringing back the classical music. He looked to me with a raised eyebrow as I leaned back in the seat and unbuttoned my coat. He turned the heat down, enough to dry us but not overpower us with the warmth.

'You like Debussy?'

I frowned and looked back to him.

*Who?*

He pointed to the stereo as the classical music continued to play and I realised that he must mean that the composer of the music was Debussy. I shook my head and signed again.

*Never heard it before, but you like it so we'll listen to it; I don't mind.*

'Are you sure? We can listen to anything you want.'

I shook my head and turned my gaze back to the windscreen, watching the rivers of rain water streaming down the glass. We sat quietly for several minutes, long enough for three pieces of music to play, before he broke the silence.

'So what brought you to Forks? Didn't you come from Texas? I think I'd prefer Texas, at least it's sunny and warm there.'

I turned my gaze back to him knowing he just wanted to make conversation to help take my mind off the cruel whispers from class.

*My parents divorced. Pa couldn't pay the bills. He lost his job but heard about work up here. It's his first day today, boat building in Port Angeles.*

'Oh. I'm sorry to hear your parents divorced. I don't even remember my parents…I'm fostered, the same as Emmett. They're finalising the paperwork to adopt us properly.'

I nodded a little and looked to the windscreen again, then back to him, curiously.

*They must be nice people to adopt someone in need of a family. Even better people to adopt someone who is deaf.*

'Emmett's ok. He can read lips and signs really well. He was born deaf so he's had lots of years to practice.'

I nodded and looked down staring at my hands as I considered it. I couldn't understand why anyone would willingly burden themselves with someone else's child, when that child had a disability. When my ma had heard I'd never talk again, she couldn't wait to disown and dump both me and all the bills onto my pa.

'You weren't mute from birth were you, Jasper? You sign pretty good though. How long have you been signing?'

I kept my head down but moved my hand to answer him.

*I've signed since I was fifteen…I've been mute since I was fourteen.*

From the corner of my eye I saw him nod. He stayed quiet a couple of minutes, and the whole time I saw him rotating from nipping his lip to running a hand through his hair. In the end I sighed and looked back to him.

*Just go ahead and ask, I know you want to.*

'I do, but I don't want you to feel uncomfortable, Jasper. I want to be your friend, not like everyone else demanding to know what happened to you. If you don't want to tell me then that's fine, honestly.'

It was my turn to watch him thoughtfully before smiling a little. It had been a long time since I'd had a friend. It had just been my pa and me for three years now. I'd almost forgotten what it was like to have a friend.

*Well, the long story short, I was attacked by a dog. It savaged my throat, severing my vocal chords; the doctors couldn't fix them.*

His eyes widened in shock. It was the same response that I'd seen many people adopt when my pa had told them what had happened to me. His eyes dropped to the scarf on my neck and subconsciously my hand rose to tug it higher, even though it covered my whole throat. His eyes snapped back up to meet mine.

'That must have been terrible for you; for your parents too.'

*Terrible for my pa. When my mama heard that I would never speak again, she disowned me. She'd had high hopes for my future and they were all ruined now. She blamed my pa because he'd been the one who got the dog from the pound for my 14th birthday. It wasn't his fault though; I begged and begged for a dog. He just wanted me to be happy. That's all he's ever wanted.*

Edward nodded and moved his hand to lightly pat my shoulder in a 'there, there' kind of gesture. I sighed and looked back to him, meeting his eyes.

'It's awful that she abandoned you and your father after something so terrible happened to you.'

I shrugged and looked down again, raising my signing hand to run it through my damp hair then dropped it to my lap. I raised it again to speak to him but found I couldn't finish.

* I just…*

'What, Jasper..?'

I shook my head and looked to the window again, watching the rain hammering the glass and leaving rivers trickling down. I flinched away as Edward's hand rose and touched my cheek. I hadn't even noticed that the tears had slipped from my eyes, until I saw the dampness on Edward's thumb. When I flinched away he moved back too and looked around before pulling a fast food napkin from the glove box and offered it to me. I took it and dabbed at my face, blinking frequently to try and stop more tears from falling.

'It's ok, Jasper. This is good. You shouldn't hold things back. Let it out. You need to talk about it.'

I shook my head in defiance. I didn't want to talk about it. I couldn't physically talk about it anyway; just wave my hand around like an idiot. The thought sent a stab of regretful pain right to my heart and produced more tears that I quickly dabbed away.

'Come on, Jasper. You just what?'

I swallowed the lump forming in my throat as my vision blurred with more approaching tears and I raised a trembling hand.

*I just wish I wasn't so much of a burden to my pa*

'Oh, Jasper. I'm sure that's not true. I'm sure you're not a burden to your father.'

He leaned closer placing a hand to my shoulder and pulled lightly against me. With the force of the tears stinging my eyes I couldn't gather myself to pull away. Instead I leaned in against him as a silent sob wracked my useless throat. He welcomed me into his arms, wrapping them closer around me to give me any form of comfort he could.

*I am a burden to him.*

'No, you're not. I bet he loves you dearly, Jasper.'

*He does but I'm still a burden. He's lost everything because of me.*

'Maybe he's lost a few things but he still has you; that's the main thing.'

*What good is that, Edward? I'm useless. I'm nothing.*

'Hey!'

He pushed forcefully against my shoulder, pushing me back into the seat and moving his hands to my cheeks forcing me to look him in the eyes.

'You listen to me, Jasper Whitlock. Don't you ever berate yourself like that again, do you hear me? You are not useless, and you are something. At least you still have your father. My parents dumped me in a foster home the first chance they got, pretty much the same day I was born. I was born perfectly healthy and they didn't want me. You might not be able to talk but you are still wanted.'

The lump in my throat thickened as the pain in my heart and head increased. I could see shadows of sadness in Edward's emerald eyes. I had done that. I had upset him. I had burdened him. The tears stung my eyes worse and rolled down my cheeks. He moved his thumbs to lightly stroke them away, then pulled me back in close and held me against him.

'I'm sorry. I didn't mean to shout at you.'

He began lightly rocking side to side as he held me and I cried against his shoulder, soaking his shirt worse than the rain had. A gentle rumble began in his throat and it took me a moment to realise he was humming along to the classical music coming from his stereo. He just held me for several minutes until I cried myself dry.

Feeling embarrassed, I raised my hand and wiped at my eyes as I eased my way out of his arms and back into the seat. I had known Edward less than two hours and here I was crying on his shoulder. But what surprised me more was that he didn't object. He had held me until I was done crying. He had comforted me and somehow I knew he was willing to listen, to let me talk everything out, and would be there to help me through.

*I'm sorry, Edward.*

'Don't be. I told you this is good. You've obviously been holding a lot in all this time, you need to let it go.'

*You won't judge me for anything will you? I hardly know you, you hardly know me, but I feel like I can trust you.*

'You can, Jasper. Now, when you feel like you're ready, you can let some more out. Talk to me, tell me anything and everything.'

I nodded and took a deep breath, turning my gaze to the window. The school sat quiet, like a beast ready to pounce on its prey, keeping so quiet so as not to startle it. I knew that, inside those walls, many students wanted to pounce on me and demand information. But only one student would listen. Actually listen to what I had to say, and comfort me through it. He wasn't in the school. He was sat beside me and waiting. I looked back to him with another deep breath and began signing.

*After the dog attacked me, I was in hospital in Houston for three weeks. I had two surgeries and they still couldn't fix me. The medical bills were so high, and the dog was put to sleep, that cost money too. My pa sold everything of value he had to try and pay off the bills, but it wasn't enough. He's still paying them off even now. Then when my mama left he had to pay for the court process for the divorce. She took all she had, leaving us nothing. Pa lost his job and he sold our house so we could move here. Most of the money from the house went to the bills that have piled up over the years. He's still paying off the medical bills a little at a time. He missed other bill payments in the process of dealing with the hospital so he's paying those off too…*

I trailed off as a fresh tear fell from my eye. Edward wiped it away with the pad of his thumb. He'd been quiet all the way through my signing, taking in every hand movement I made as though he was reading a book, taking in every detail.

'I can see why you would think yourself a burden, Jasper. But he is your father and he is doing all he can to ensure it stays that way. Things might seem bad now, but don't look at the material things. Look just at him. He cares about you. He's taken all this on himself because he cares.'

*And I do nothing but make things worse for him.*

'That's not your fault, Jasper. You can't help what happened to you and what happened as a result. You need to stop blaming yourself.'

*It's not just that, Edward. After all the shit he's been through I have to go and fuck things up for him even worse. I don't know why he hasn't thrown me to the streets and disowned me already.*

Edward chuckled and I turned my head a little and peered up to him. He lifted his hand and covered his mouth a bit, but his shoulders shook with his quiet chuckling and I raised an eyebrow.

*Great. I'm pouring my heart out to you and you laugh at me.*

He shook his head and chuckled more, but then lowered his hand and cleared his throat.

'I'm sorry, I'm not laughing at you I just…why would you feel the need to learn how to hand sign 'shit' and 'fuck'?'

His shoulders shook again before a soft laughing escaped his throat but he kept his eyes on mine. I couldn't help but smile in response; his laughter sounded nice, I liked it, and it was infectious.

*Why would you feel the need to learn to read the hand signs for 'shit' and 'fuck'?'*

A burst of laughter ripped out of him and he threw his head back, the car lightly vibrating with how hard he was laughing. I smiled wider at the sound and chuckled myself, but no sound came from me as I did. It was ok though, Edward laughed loud enough for both of us. He caught his breath, looking to me again, and cleared his throat as he calmed.

'Sorry….what were you going to say before I rudely interrupted?'

My smile faltered and I dropped my gaze to my hands again. The burst of humour between us had eased the tension I had been feeling, but now it returned.

*Last year, a few months after my 16th birthday…I broke his heart. I saw it in his eyes; saw the hurt I caused him. We were just sat watching a ball game on TV when he got a phone call from the bank demanding another payment as he was behind. I got upset and he told me it would be ok. One day I would marry a nice girl and raise a family and he'd live in an old RV in the back yard…I don't know why I chose that moment to break his dreams, it just came out.*

'What came out?'

*I did…I came out…*

I kept my gaze down, half expecting my short lived two hour friendship with Edward to be ruined by those five words I had just told him. The car was silent for a very long minute. Then I saw Edward's hand come into view where I was staring at my hands. He lightly touched my signing hand. When I didn't move it away, his hand curled round to hold mine. A silent gasp of air left me and I raised my eyes back to meet his.

'You mean, you're gay, Jasper?'

I raised my free hand, a little clumsier signing with it but I managed to get out a 'yes.' Then Edward's face lit up. His eyes lightened a shade as the smile spread on his face.

'It's ok. So am I…maybe that's why it's been easier for you to open up to me. I admit I had my suspicions the way you were eye fucking me in the office.'

My eyes widened in shock. My hand fumbled to try and speak what my mind was screaming to be said, but I couldn't get the signs to work. He chuckled, moving his free hand to rest over my twitching one.

'Yes, I did notice that. I'm surprised you didn't notice me doing the same.'

I felt my face warm and quickly looked down, hiding the best I could as my limp, damp curls of hair curtained my face. He had been checking me out the same time I had checked him out in the office. I couldn't believe it. The guy who had been sent to show the invalid around the school had turned out to be pretty much the man of my dreams. He was sat here now, holding my hands.

He released his hold on both my hands and I felt his soft touch as his fingertips brushed strands of my hair from my face. They just fell back into place and my blush deepened. I couldn't risk looking up and meeting his eyes.

I felt a slight shift beside me, and then the seat dipped down on my left. I turned my head just enough to see his jean clad knee pressing into the seat. The same sensation happened on my right, again a look, and again another knee. I frowned in confusion and forced myself to look up just as a weight landed on my knees. My jaw dropped as my eyes raked up the body before me.

Edward had moved to join me on the passenger seat; he sat straddling me, his knees on each side of me and his as resting on my legs. As I raised my gaze higher I could see the form of his muscular chest through his shirt. When my eyes met his, a smile came to his lips.

One of his hands rested to the headrest above my shoulder. His free hand rose to continue lightly brushing strands of hair from my face. With my head now tilted up, the hair stayed to where he pushed it and he smiled.

'That's better. You don't have to be embarrassed. You don't have to hide from me.'

I swallowed nervously and raised a hand to sign to him, but he caught my hand and moved it to his chest instead. I could feel the tight muscles beneath my palm and fingers, and with a mind of its own, my hand began to stroke its way down towards his stomach. I could feel each abdominal muscle as my fingers trailed over them. A shiver ran down his spine, and then he moved down closer to me until his lips crashed into mine.

I shifted my hips a little to try and get more comfortable. Understanding, like he always seemed to do, he raised his ass from my lap until I stopped wriggling, then settled down again. His tongue traced along my bottom lip, it was my turn to shiver that time. I opened my lips just enough and his tongue delved in, tracing along my own as the kiss deepened.

I raised my hand back up from his abs to his chest then across to one side. I felt his nipple beneath my thumb, it was already hardening just from the kiss. I rubbed my thumb in circles over the nub. He moaned into the kiss and bucked his hips forward. His moan turned into a hiss of pleasure as our growing erections, tightening our jeans, rubbed together. I bucked my hips up to his, craving more friction. He complied and began rocking his hips into mine.

The sensation felt amazing, my hands moving from his chest to move down and cup his ass cheeks. I pulled and pushed against him helping him set a rhythm. From the sounds he was making I knew it was feeling good for him; I just wished I could make those sounds and let him know I felt it too. Instead I tried to show him with my body. My hands tightened on his ass and pulled him harder against me at the same time that I bucked my hips to his. Our erections collided. It felt so good and already I was feeling so close. I moved a hand from his butt to try and warn him but with his tongue firmly locked with my own in a passionate kiss, he didn't see it anyway.

I was so close and wanted release. I rocked my hips up into his, chasing the orgasm that was on its way; I could feel my balls tightening. I moved my useless hand back to his ass, squeezing his cheeks tight to give him warning and with one more grind from him, my muscles tensed and warm come exploded and filled my briefs.

He moaned as he felt my body tensing and twitching against his. Somehow he knew I was done, I was riding my orgasm. He lightened his grinding against me but didn't stop. I knew he must be close also and was on the chase. I wrapped my tongue round his and sucked upon it. He groaned gutturally and I slipped my hands into the backs of his jeans. Oh fuck. No briefs. He was riding me commando, and if it were possible I'd have blown my load a second time.

Feeling his body trembling against mine, I knew he was almost there. He was keeping himself off my lap knowing I'd be sensitive after that pleasure. I palmed his ass cheeks tightly and pulled him closer. He shuffled closer on his knees complying with my silent request until his jean clad crotch was rubbing against my stomach. I could feel his size and hardness through my shirt. I moaned and shivered as he began to hump himself desperately against my stomach, giving himself friction. With one last hard squeeze of his ass cheeks, he jolted and came with a deep moan as he filled his jeans.

I slowed the kissing down, now becoming languid. I could feel my lips were bruising from the desperate way we'd kissed, and knew his must have been bruised also. When his trembling eased after a minute he began to pull back, breaking the kiss and sitting back on my knees as we both caught our breaths. He smiled contentedly and raised his hand to my face, stroking strands of hair away again.

'So, erm…yeah. Welcome to Forks.'

His smile widened then that infectious laugh burst forward once again. My head dropped back against the headrest, my mouth open but no sound coming out, but my body shook with my silent laughs.

Suddenly there was a knock on the driver's side window. We both froze and turned our heads, looking towards the window. It was hard to make out who was there. The mix of the heater, and our passion fuelled heat, had fogged the windows of the car without us noticing. The knock came again but neither of us moved.

'Mr Cullen! I don't know who you're in there with, but you had better both get out here this minute and explain why you're not in your classes!'

It was the unmistakable voice of Mr Green, the high school principal. We both turned our heads looking to each other, and he spoke the same time as I signed.

'Oh fuck.' *Oh fuck.*