Despite my extremely long absence, all references to Twilight Saga are still property of Stephanie Meyer.

Thank you for reading. This chapter is unbeta'ed and all errors are mine

I hope you all like the conclusion


Talk Ain't Cheap

Chapter 8

I could feel the warm sun pouring into the window onto my face. The light was bright behind my eyes and yet felt radiant as it spread over me. Distinctively my arms squeezed what I thought was the pillow so warmly pressed against my chest. But this pillow was firm and smelled of mint. It was then that he moved closer into my arms, pushing out a warm breath that tickled the skin on my chest.

My eyes opened slowly and I could feel the smile spread across my face as I was full of remembrance of the night before. Edward still lay clenched in my arms as our legs tangled. The exhaustion of the words we shared drove us to fall into bed partially dressed, atop of the blankets. Our shirt and shoes discarded somewhere across the room. Our jean clad legs wrapped around each other like a knot.

Slowly I opened my eyes, rewarded with a beautiful fair skin, copper hair and a faint smile playing across Edward's lips. My hand rubbed the skin of his side. I recalled Edward's words of how my touch made him feel and I couldn't help but smile, touching him more. I would never let him ago again if he allowed me. I hoped our night of revelation meant something between us had finally given way to our feelings. We would be together again. I needed that more than anything.

Edward began to stir, pulling closer into my chest, his hands finding their way to the hair that fell into my face.

"Good morning," he said hoarsely.

"Mornin', suga."

Suddenly, I was wishing he had returned to sleep. I didn't want to come out of the moment we shared. But there was no way to move forward if I held onto him in this bed for forever. We would have many more days and night here, but the part of us that was goin' to move forward in life awaited us outside Edward's bedroom.

It all started with now.

"Sleep, okay?" I asked.

We had been up so long, talking and crying in our gazebo. When we made it to his place we were in no hurry. We reassured each other with intimate kisses and touches, but nothing more. It seemed we felt the same way; we needed the touch of one another, but more than that we needed the acclimation that we were together again. We didn't make love that night, but we seemed to be closer than we ever could have been. The hours of looking into each other's eyes seemed to pass slowly, but the lateness of the night was not lost on either of us. We couldn't have been sleep long before we were awoken by the morning sun, but I felt far from tired. I was more rested than I had been in weeks.

"Yeah, I feel pretty good. You?"

I lowered my lips down to Edward's. I softly kissed him, no urgency and no need other than wanting to feel his skin close to mine again.

"Never better," I said as I opened my eyes to look upon his face.

The smile on Edward's lips was as beautiful as the blush on his face.

"Jasper, there is something I need to tell you," Edward said. The look in his eyes was serious and intense. "Emmett did come here to ask me out last night."

I didn't know how to respond. A part of me had already knew that, I told Edward as much, but to hear it confirmed sent a chilling feeling down my spine. I closed my eyes trying to relish in the fact that it was me Edward was with now.

"He brought me that flower," he continued.

My eyes dashed to the dark red rose that sat on top of Edward's dresser. I was mad to see the object had made its way to Edward's room. I wondered what that meant. Surely Emmett hadn't been in here, right? But oddly it made me feel better: it proved Emmett didn't know Edward the way I did. Edward didn't do flowers. Though a part of me took pleasure and knowing Edward hadn't shared who he really was to Emmett, I was still pained to see the evidence of Emmett's advances.

I wondered if Edward would object to throwing it away.

"I never thought that he liked me. We were just friends; talked during class a little after you and I . . . separated." The words hung heavy in the air, fresh mention of the past that was only just hours rectified. "I told him no; I told him I didn't want to see anyone else."

Edward moved closer, tangling his hands between our bodies. Edward tucked his head under my chin, rubbing my chest with his thumb. I hadn't been so complete, so warm in the inside for so long. It proved it was Edward that I was truly missing.

"Jasper," he called me, "I told him that I didn't want to be with anyone, but you."

My heart skipped at his words. He did think about me during this ugly mess. He did want me all along. We let our own fears and anger keep us apart.

"I've missed you so much," I said looking into his deep green eyes. "I need you to know that I really love you and I will spend the rest of my life showing you with every touch and kiss."

"I love you too, Jasper."

The electricity buzzed around us as he slowly leaned into my body with a searing kiss. My body wanted more of Edward and the feel of him being pressed into my leg told me he wanted more of me too.

My eyes closed at the contact, as my free hand fell to his hip. As my arm lay across his body my fingers rubbed against the skin over the small of his back, dipping just below the waist band of his briefs. Quickly the passion between us escaladed as our tongues danced for dominance. Edward moaned as I devoured his Adam's apple. I pulled his hard body closer to mine, no longer gently scratching his back but taking the globes of his ass into my hands. Letting go of his hand, I wrapped him in my arms to feel how much I wanted and needed him. Edward gasped as he rubbed against each other, over and over again. Our full body separated by nothing more than two pairs of jeans. I took advantage of his parted lips to bite and taste his now swollen flesh. I needed to feel him, skin to skin.

My hands made quick work of his jeans as he worked over mine. Rolling Edward onto his back, I kissed my way down his hard chest, and nuzzling into the soft red hair that trailed down his body into my destination. I pulled his pants away from his legs; his boxers with them. I looked down at his fully naked body. Edward was a perfect sculpture of a man. Hard and needing me as much as I needed him.

Edward stood to his knees, slowly taking my face in his hand as he kissed me softly. I felt so protected and loved as his hands trailed from my cheeks, down my neck and shoulders, and resting on my waist. He slowly slid my pants away until my position on my knees forced them to stop. I lay onto the bed to remove the obstruction. Edward lay at my side, taking me in his hand as he softly bit into the skin at my side. I could feel the warm trail of his kiss and licks as he moved around my body. The sensation of Edward's mouth and hand sent me into a utopia I had only dreamed about for so many weeks. My hands instinctively went to Edward's hair when I felt him swallow me down his throats. I was in paradise as Edward worked me over just to the brink of release before he stopped.

Edward climbed into my lap, moving closer, touching more and desires consuming us. For a moment I was lost in all of Edward's sensation as his hands buried in my hair. Edward grinded his hard cock onto mine. My hands went to his hips silently begging him pause; in fear I would come too soon.

Our lips danced again as I calmed, wanting to love his perfect body as long as possible. My hand squeezed between our bodies, taking him into my grip. He was so hard and soft as I used the trails of his pre-cum to smooth the friction between our skins. Edward's head fell back in passion and I placed my lips at his throat nibbling at his spot. I could hear Edward's moans as well as feel them in his chest as he growled my name.

"Please, Jasper," Edward whispered as he looked into my eyes with a want I had not seen in so long.

It took my breath away.

I reached into the draw beside the bed for our lube. Edward nibbled at my jaw and ear as I rubbed the warming liquid in my hands before taking us both in my hold.

"Oh . . . Jasper . . . yes!" Edward moaned as I glided my full hands over us.

"Love, I need you, please," Edward begged.

I rolled Edward onto his back, holding him tightly in one arm as I gradually stretched him, preparing his body with my fingers and more lube.

"Not as much as I need you, Edward. I can't breathe when we are apart. You are everything to me and I don't want to spend another minute without you by my side."

Connecting with Edward again, being so close to him, filling him, consumed by the passion he fed into me with each thrust of our bodies, took my breath away.

"I love you, Edward."

"I love you too, Jasper."

~TAC~

My body was exhausted in the best possible way and for the best possible reason. Edward lay tucked under my side, drawing circles on my chest with his finger. I buried my face in his hair smelling the mix of his scent and me all in one. My entire body hummed with peace and tranquility. The silence was welcomed and added to the peace of the room.

I jumped at the sound of my phone vibrating and blaring the sounds of "God Bless Saturdays" by Kid Rock.

The sound of work calling my name.

Edward sat up from his place in my arms. My stomach felt like it dropped in the absence of his weight. I reached for the phone that sat on the night stand; thinking angry thoughts of the device that interrupted Edward and mine's morning. I lay back on to the pillow; my hand went to the small of Edward's back, just needing to feel him.

I looked at the collar ID and back at Edward. The look in his eyes went from love to pain. He knew who was calling me. He sat back against his pillow, moving my hand from his back. I watched as he ran his hands through his hair; crossing his arms at his chest. The realization hit me with a startling shock: He was expecting me to leave. He didn't yet believe anything had changed.

The phone stopped ringing while I sat and watched Edward. I tried to move closer to him only for him to move away. So soon we had made up and already he thought I was going to leave him. The phone rang again and this time I didn't hesitate to answer.

"Hello?" I said never taking my eyes off Edward.

He refused to look at me.

I watched as he quickly ran his hand across his cheek. I was already making him cry.

"Short staffed? . . . . You need me to come in? . . . . Sorry Megan, I can't make it in today."

Edward turned to look at me, his eyes already red from the tears he had tried to hide.

"I know Megan, sorry to hear Corey is sick, but I just can't make it." I turned to look away from Edward as if I didn't know my words meant something important to him.

"Yup, I'll be there tomorrow at noon . . . Okay, talk to you then . . . Bye."

I ended the call, casually disabling the screen as I placed the phone on Edward's night stand. When I sat back from my slump position, over the side of the bed, I found Edward sitting much closer. He played with the edge of the sheet.

I wrapped my arm around his shoulder, not saying a word, looking straight ahead . . . waiting on him to say something.

"Why didn't you go into work?"

"I have something else to do today."

"Oh," Edward said, sounding unsure.

The damage of our past was evident. I had work to do to show Edward that not only did I love him, but he meant more to me than a job, or money. I didn't want this distrust between us.

I continued to watch Edward, wishing I had his talent of perception; needing to know what he was thinking. All I could do was pull him closer, reassure him that I was here and that I was going to stay there.

"Edward, I am not going anywhere."

"Yeah?"

"Talk to me, Edward. I'm not as good at reading you as you are at reading me."

Edward looked at me and I couldn't help but see the sadness, fear, and shame in his eyes. But as quickly as I saw it, he moved from me, hiding it as he always did.

"I guess I am still waiting on you to run off. Leave me, alone," Edward said brushing aside another lone tear. "I know you won't always be with me and I know I am being stupid," he ranted.

"You aren't being stupid," I interrupted.

"Yes, I am! It's completely irrational to think you're going to stay. You have to work, you have to have a life away from me or we'll get on each other's nerves and start resenting each other."

"That may be true, but things will be different this time."

I pulled Edward back into my lap. The closer we were the better I felt and the more it reassured Edward that this was not a dream; we were real.

"How? How do you know? Edward asked.

I could see the panic behind his eyes.

"Because, I know all too well what it is like to be without you. I don't ever want to feel that way ever again. I'm not afraid anymore."

~TAC~

~One Year Later~

"I thought I was supposed to be spending the morning after graduation getting over a hangover," Carlisle groaned as he pushed one of the larger boxes towards the gate of my truck.

"I wouldn't know anything about that," I replied as I drug another box off the bed to place on the ground.

"You will. This next year is going to speed by."

The school had only reinstated half of the amount of each student's academic scholarship, leaving me with fifty percent of the bill. My financial aid officer tried to convince me to take out a student loan, but I refused. I had made it through eight semesters without barrowing money, and I wanted to finish that way. The down side was that I had to tack on an entire year to my expected graduation. Talk about shit that sucked. It also meant I was left without a roommate since Carlisle was both graduating and headed back to Maine to continue through his Masters.

And that's how I ended up moving in with Edward.

"I mean, yeah it sucks to have to wait another year, but how great is it going to be rooming with Edward?" Carlisle bounced his eyebrows annoyingly.

I was going to miss this asshole. He always did know how to lighten the mood.

I smiled thinking about how I was going to wake up every morning wrapped up in Edward's arms and legs, and seeing his gorgeous green eyes. We can end every night the way we did the night before: hot, sweaty, sticky, and exhausted. This shit was going to be awesome. . . I hoped.

"Yeah, this is pretty cool."

It was one of the best moments in my life when Edward showed me my closet space and the places for all my things; all before I even realized that I was going to need a new roommate. He had already thought about what was going to happen when Carlisle graduated. I wasn't completely naive. I knew every day with Edward wasn't going to be all smiles, but I was willing to see what happened.

I loved him more each day, in ways I still didn't understand.

Carlisle and I pushed two of the larger boxes to collect with the others in the bedroom. We only a few smaller boxes left.

"So how are you and Esme holding up?"

"Man, this long distance is going to be crazy hard, but we are determined to make it work."

Esme was headed to New York to Master architect and design. I was rooting for Carlisle and Esme to make it. Nobody belong together like those two . . . well, except Edward and me.

I couldn't yet imagine what it would be like to be so far from Edward.

"We are going to drive and see each other every other weekend, taking turns on who drives. I'm going to try my damnedest to get to her conferences." Carlisle paused leaning against the box he was moving. "It's going to be totally worth it thought."

Carlisle and I finished moving everything. In exchange for him helping me, I helped him pack up the trailer he would be driving across the country. It was bitter sweet to slam the door on that U-Hall. We had been sharing a too small space, from dorm room to one bedroom apartment, for four years. I hoped that our friendship could withstand the distance as well.

I finished off the day putting away all my things as neat and clutter free as possible. I was determined to be done before Edward returned. He had started his internship with The Press, a local newspaper. Edward's new position had him very excited and only made me think Edward had no intentions of returning to Chicago. He was making Washington home. Edward was my life so that meant I was making Washington home too.

Edward and mine's past and future ran through my mind as I showered, dressed and paid the pizza guy for our would-be dinner. I had just sat down on the couch when the door swung back open.

Despite it only being a full day since I had seen Edward, my heart had leapt at the sight of him; so happy to see him home. He looked a little more ruffled than he did when he left me that morning, but smiling all the same.

"Hey babe, how was day one?" I asked cracking open the soda I had pulled out of the fridge for myself, but instead handing it to him.

"Confusing, busy, hard, long." Edward took a long drink from the bottle before continuing, "It was the best day ever!"

I could hear the excitement in his voice. I could only laugh at his energetic attitude. I stood up and pulled him into a long gentle kiss, holding him close and tight. One hand around his waist and the other touching his beautiful face, I felt whole again.

"Go get cleaned up and then you can tell me all about it. Pizza is waiting."

"No! I don't wanna wait."

Edward pulled me behind him, and I happily followed, listening as he filled me in on his day. I had never been so interested to hear about job duties, responsibilities, work stations, co-workers and future employment possibilities. From the bedroom to shower and back around to the living room, I just listened and smiled, absorbing his enthusiasm and energy. It flowed from him so freely I could feel it as if it was me.

"I really think I can be there permanently," Edward concluded as we found ourselves back on the couch, consuming reheated pizza.

Our first night as roommates continued that way. We sat together, Edward lying in my lap, and watched some corny vampire movie Edward wanted to see. We ignored phone calls and every once in a while Edward would think of something else to tell me about his new job.

It was easy and comfortable.

And when we finally decided to call it a night we drugged each other to bed, falling back onto each other's arm.

I laid awake a better part of the night only thinking of how things may have been had Edward and I had not found our way back to each other a year ago. What seemed small in the beginning became monstrous for us and almost was our end. But we got passed it and now we were stronger; proven by the way Edward wrapped his arms around me and sighed in contentment.


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