Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. I just take her characters out for walkies.
Warnings: Adult, non-graphic content
This plot-bunny originated from a tweet by einfach_mich on Twitter—and from a jpg-prompt on Twitter by Sessahhh. Of course, then it took off and ran wild, as is tha way with plot-bunnies. So no negative thoughts should fall upon those lovely ladies, it's all my fault.
Thanks to my prereader, bmango, who laughs in all the right places, and gives encouragement when needed. Often. Huge thanks to my beta-extraordinaire, forthelongestday, who kills insects daily, and resurrects semicolons with magic potions and a smile. She also does a mean twitter dance. In between making incredible banners and writing the most amazing stories herself, she takes time to beta mine. Flove you, Frr. You rock my world.
~~~~Permission to Research—Come Watch From Over Here~~~~
I'm reading my morning paper at the local Starbucks. I know I shouldn't come here. Their coffee is weak, overpriced and too damn hot. But it's a sweet place, and I can see everything from my corner seat; nobody ever sees me.
All the crazy morning-crowd people come in, and stare at the barista; they even get angry with him in case he doesn't remember their usual order. As if they were so memorable, remarkable even? They are quite forgettable, really. Their orders are even more so. A double macchiato this, a triple latte that, and caramel, not cinnamon, and low fat here, and no fat there. Oh, it is all so preposterously pretentious. Endlessly boring.
These people are like the wind, here one day, and gone the next. Annoying, just like a gust blowing in from over the lakes. I wish that wind would take with it all the pretentious coffee places. I need an espresso. An honest-to-God, good old-fashioned Italian espresso. Not a frappuccino (whatever that is) or a latte (don't these people know that just means "milk" in Italian?) And don't get me started on the Iced Mochas. It's just overpriced, weak coffee.
The Starbucks espresso is fine, however. If you make it clear that you need it really, really Italian. And ristretto. Then it's actually enjoyable. I am enjoying one right now, from my spot at the corner table, where I can see the whole world go by. On a clear day I can see forever, and that's a mighty long time, as the princely poet said.
Like right now, when I see this young god walk in the doors.
He is not like the other patrons. Not at all. He is different. Very different. He shines with difference, sparkles in his own kind of special. He enters the room, takes immediate control, and it is as if he really doesn't need to come here, he doesn't need this coffee, does he? Like me, he just comes here for the show, but unlike me, he is both interested and interesting. I am just someone sitting on the outside looking in. He is actively watching. He is here to truly see.
What I do, is watch him. And it makes my day just to see him come in and order a coffee.
Ah, today the seats are mostly taken. Will he find his way to my table, or just hang by the window and do his sightseeing from there? I know his game. I see him watching.
You can come watch from over here if you want to, I say to myself. I have the perfect angle; from here you can see the whole coffee shop.
It is uncanny how he suddenly looks straight at me, as if he heard my thoughts. He starts moving toward my table. There is only one free chair left, and he raises an eyebrow when he looks at me.
"Of course you can. Hang on, I'll move some of my stuff a bit," I say, to show that the seat isn't taken, and that I understand his silent question.
"Sorry to bother you, but it's crowded this morning," he says in a low, musical voice, and sets down his coffee on the table.
I can't believe my eyes; he is drinking a normal coffee. Like in a white, porcelain cup—not a tall glass-mug-fancy-pants-thingie, or a take-away paper-cuppie-thingie. No, like a regular, diner-cup-of-coffee. I haven't seen one of those in years.
A plus+, young man. A plus+. Top marks.
"No worries, I'm just spreading out a bit, laptop and books, you know—like, how much life can you stuff in a bag, and all that? But I'd love some company. I'm Leah; you?"
"Oh, I'm Jasper," he says with a wide smile, and I don't know why that name fits him so well. It's not like it's a modern name in any way. I mean, last time I heard of anyone called Jasper, it must have been in North and South—and not the remake, people, but the one with Swayze, from 1985. But it fits him and his smile. He's got both style, and brilliant eyes. There isn't much not to like, there, and the name fits him like a glove.
"I've seen you here a couple of mornings in a row now," he says, "and you're always hiding here in the corner. Why?"
"Hiding? No, no, this is where all the action is," I answer easily. "I can watch people, ponder, and reflect. All while staying far from the maddening crowds. And if there is no show going on in here, I can work without anyone spilling their coffee on my laptop. All in all, it's a win-win," I say, laughing. "What about you? You're new to these parts, aren't you?"
"Just passing through; we're on tour. Hey, I like your way of thinking, people watching. It sounds like a good plan for life," he answers, "but what about when you want to interact with the people around you? Or don't you even want to? Do you ever talk to anyone here? Would you?"
"Oh, absolutely! I love cool people. Just not too crazy about the crazies, you know what I mean? So, interacting, huh? Well, you are here, aren't you?" I say with a grin. Raising my two hands in the air, I lock eyes with him, and say, "I rest my case."
I receive a huge grin in return.
That is a mighty fine smile you have there, young man. I hope you won't ever lose it.
Jasper sits back for a moment, his chair tipping back up against the wall on my right side. I look at him from under my long hair, as I continue tapping away on my computer. He is settling in, and seems content, happy, calm. There is a good feeling all around him, as if he were emanating some really cool mental drug. I like it. I down my espresso, and consider what my next step might be for the chapter I'm currently trying to finish writing up. And there I go, I'm off in my head, intense concentration on this short story I'm writing.
I am trying to understand why it seems like there always has to be love and happily ever after in all the novels and short stories I've been reading lately. Then I realize that it's not only lately, it has almost always been like this. I'm trying to understand why this is, and how it might work just meeting people, without always falling in love. Don't people in books ever just fall in Lust? I know I do. So, as they say, write what you know.
I have a feeling my writing will be offensive for some people. We have all been fed the story-lines of meet-love-marriage since we were toddlers, and potential one-night encounter stories are few and far between. When they do exist, they are either in the male form, or perhaps just plain porn where it is almost mandatory to have no plot, no love, just sexing. But normal women having sex, just for the fun of it, without falling in love all the time? Not so often. It just doesn't seem acceptable today. Intriguing.
Last time I saw a convincing one-night hook-up, was in Thelma & Louise, for crying out loud.
So this is what I'm trying to do—I'm trying to write something different, to see if I can make a convincing female character who actually just goes out and has fun. That would be so refreshing, wouldn't it? To just be able to go out and do it, for fun, for the hell of it, and just because you feel like it.
A story where you don't have to fall in love, work on all your issues, and then work on all of his issues, and then get a house, get married and have kids. What the hell happened to plain old sex? Did it go out of fashion? I do not believe so. I just think that suddenly, times have changed, and it is no longer politically correct for women to go do what they want to. Well, to hell with that. We can take that back, and if we can't, then at least I will have had a lot of fun writing about it.
Women's liberation is frowned upon today, but the freedom we do have today was won through the hardships of our mothers. For a very, very short lapse of time, we were more free than ever before. Free to explore our sexuality, our bodies, our life. Some say our freedom lasted all the fabulous years between the invention of the Pill and the arrival of AIDS. For a few years, a decade perhaps, we were slowly teaching ourselves that we could experiment without being thrown away afterward. That we could be strong, take what we wanted and be on our way again, without being branded as whores; we did not have to stay angels to be considered good women. Sometimes I pity the younger girls of today.
It's easy to write about sex and sensuality with this kind of inspirational imagery in front of me. My words flow—this young man is really very handsome. You don't see this kind of beauty in men very often, certainly not in the morning and most definitely not where I live. Usually, these kinds of looks are to be found in magazines, airbrushed and corrected images of perfection, where they are used to publicize one new product or another. But in real life? Not very often at all. His looks are quite inspirational. Who cares if I am probably his senior by some easy twenty years?
We talk for a long while. He has been so many places, seen so many things. I have seen most of the world too, and we're comparing, discussing, laughing. It is truly inspiring, he brings a lot of experience to the table, and I feel his interest in the world is true and real. I also feel that his interest in me is real. Amazing.
After a little while, I go back to my writing, and he turns to reading my newspaper. It's like I've known him for years; we sit in companionable silence, reading and writing.
"Do you believe in magic? And fate? And stuff?" Jasper's low voice cuts through my momentarily reduced capacity of comprehension. It's probably work related, I get stupid when I'm totally immersed in my writing. It's like I suffer from mental tunnel-vision. Makes for mad concentration skills, but it's hell on the conversation.
"What was that? Sorry, come again?" I answer brilliantly, while trying to focus on anything that isn't his eyes. They are suddenly burning holes in my head, they are so intense. "I'm sorry, I was miles away, and didn't quite get what you were saying?"
I'm playing for time, hoping it isn't too bloody obvious that I kind of lose my bearings around him. I fold up my laptop, deciding I should perhaps concentrate on Jasper for a while. I mean, how often do you have a beauty like this sitting at your table? I can always write later. Time for research, perhaps?
"I asked if you believe in magic and fate and such things," Jasper repeats.
"Oh. Well, yeah, in a way. I think that many things just happen to happen right smack bang when you need them to happen. It can't just be luck every, single time, can it? I don't know if it's fate or magic, though, perhaps it's just the universe which is sometimes on our side, instead of blowing everything up in our faces all the time."
My answer is both truthful and convinced. I truly believe that things eventually come to those who wait and plan for them.
I am a fervent believer in fate and magic, I just don't know if I should come right out with it in a first conversation like this. I'd rather hang back a bit and see where this is coming from, as I especially want to know where he is going with this.
"What about you?" I ask him. "Do you believe in magic?"
"Oh, it should be obvious I do, or I wouldn't have asked, but yes, I do, actually. Since this morning. I decided when I left my hotel room that I would do anything to sit down and talk to you today. Looks like the cards played right into my hands, now, doesn't it?" Jasper says, smiling his shy smile again.
"Did you now?" I answer, feeling my shit-eating grin flash all over my face. I am so obvious sometimes it's almost corny. "That's a compliment I don't get very often—I usually don't have that kind of effect on young, gorgeous men," I laugh and sip my coffee, feeling happy but a bit nervous.
"You're kidding, why the hell not?" Jasper asks me. "You're like, well, you've got to be like, in the top ten of this town, right?" And he's serious. God, he really thinks so, and he's really wondering why young men do not fall into my lap every morning.
"Yeah, well, look at me? Ok, now take a good, long look at you. See the difference?" I ask him.
"Not really," he answers, still smiling, "you're selling yourself awfully short there, aren't you, Leah?"
"Yeah, right, no, not really," I say, and then I continue, "experience is a bitch you know, and, let's see here, how many times has this happened before... Hang on, let me count... Oh, yeah, right. None."
I sound happy and fun, but somewhere inside I cringe, because I realize that this answer is closer to the bone than I am really happy with. Beautiful boys do not go out in the morning expressly seeking my company, ever. My answer also gives away more about me than I am really willing to part with. I am more lonely than most people think—a lot more lonely than I am willing to admit even to myself.
"Yeah, right," he answers. "I'm sure you have people hanging on your every word."
"Oh, well, you see, that's why I have Twitter! That's why I like hanging there. People listen. And if they don't listen, you don't even notice, so you don't get sad. Nobody gets boring in 140 characters, or, at least, it's difficult. Some manage even there."
Deflecting, my tirade is inspired. I do love that shit. I have a lot of fun there. But right now, I need to focus on real life. And on Real Life Mega-Hottie at my table. I can always tweet about it later. Shit, I might need a deck after all. All this in 140 characters is going to be tricky.
"You're on Twitter? What's your account, so I can find you there?" Jasper asks, and my answer is sharp, quick, and definitive.
"No, no, I don't think so. That's where I fool around, where I dance around my timeline and make an ass of myself. I need that to be completely off limits from everybody in my normal life."
He looks sad, like I kicked his dog or something.
"Hey! This is the real me, sitting right here, and honestly? This me is far better than the tweet-punk who runs all over the internet screaming bloody murder. Trust me."
"Okay." Jasper fiddles a bit with his spoon. And then he looks up, (god! those eyes), and blurts out, "But you sound like so much fun! What if I need to find you? Where do I look? I'm leaving town again in two days, you know. I'm on the road, with the band."
He keeps talking, like his life depends on it and I wonder where the fuck did that come from? What does he mean with 'What if I need to find you?' And traveling? So he's a musician? What band? Oh, well, never mind. It's not important. Let's see, what is important right now? Right: this young man. Is important. To me. Right now. Is he Mr Right? Hell no. No, he's Mr Right Now. Good enough.
I react instinctively to his question about where to find me, however, and I reach up to put my hand on his cheek, just to calm him down; he looks so spooked.
I had no idea the world would shift ever so slightly on its axis just by touching him. I promise, I would never have touched him, if I had known. But I didn't know, and now I do. And so does Jasper, he is looking fragile, sweet, anxious, and hopeful, all at once. There is also a healthy dose of sexy in the look he gives me.
So I lean over toward him and ask, "What do you want from me? What do you need?"
He looks a little bit flustered, as he says "I honestly don't know. I just feel there should be more between you and me. But I only just saw you yesterday, and met you today. Right? How can I feel so many things in such a short time? And what if I do feel things, I'm leaving again the day after tomorrow. How can this be any good at all?"
I have absolutely no words. He is expressing my own feelings, and I see the confusion I am feeling etched in his face.
"Let's not get all overexcited here," I say, while trying to collect my wits. "There is nothing that says that this needs to be anything special at all—it is just a very strange feeling. All I know is that I would very much like to see you again. Take a break now, and meet up later?"
My fear is that this, whatever this is, will have passed in the evening. So, to see if it's real or not, I need a break. Maybe it's just lust, reaching out? Hmm, I know that feeling. Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I realize that I am falling in lust. The way our modern society brings us up, we are supposed to translate, and confuse this with love.
But it isn't. This is not love. This is attraction, electricity, lust and maybe giving myself permission to give in to a good feeling. It is a fantastic thing. But we need a break. I need a break.
I push my laptop into my bag, and get up off the chair in one, swift movement. I am so not playing games right now. Maybe later, but right now I have stuff to do, places to be. It's too close to the bone. It's like my novel is stepping out of my Mac and taking a big, chunking bite out of my ass. It's screaming 'Research! Research this shit! Right-The-Fuck-Now! Look at him! Research him!' in my face. Oh, the poor young man has no idea what he might be getting into. Or maybe he does.
"Listen, I just have to go now, I'm sorry," I blurt out, leaving the coffee shop altogether.
Jasper is still sitting on his chair at the corner table when I rush past the huge window. He looks lost, and so, so sad. It is as if sorrow was a word made up eons ago, waiting through the ages for a chance to come and take up residence on his face. A word made expressly to describe the look he is wearing right now. He is probably far too pretty to be used to women disappearing on him like this. It must be confusing for him.
I walk home at a brisk pace. I escape. I need a good book; I need to dive deeply into some silly story that can transport me far away from all the things I am currently feeling, because if I sit down and try to dissect what is happening in my brain I will most certainly go crazy. I just want to escape life for a couple of hours. I think a fantasy story would be best. Magic, swords, high priestesses, and sacred objects. A quest or two. Yes, that's it.
After just one short morning of talking to a sweet, sweet young man, I realize I am interested in him. Big time. The way he looked at me. The way his voice was all soft, when speaking of his life. The way he would seek my approval for many of the ideas he had. This past morning I have been feeling his acceptance of all that which makes me who I am—as if he just likes whatever it is that makes me me.
It is entrancing, empowering. It makes me feel attractive, beautiful, sensual. It makes me feel a lot of things that I do not feel on a daily basis. Hell, not even on a monthly basis. It seduces me. It makes me want. It makes a lot of things within me tingle with anticipation. Do you know what I notice in a man? The very fact that he notices me. If more men knew about this, they would get laid more often. Just sayin'.
I want. I need. I don't want to want him, to need him, but I think I do. Yes, I most definitely need to see him again.
Later that same evening, I go back to Starbucks. I've never been there at night before, and it is a totally different crowd, like it is not the same place. I feel lost, not at home, not in my element at all. So I ask for a cup to go, and start toward the exit, thinking I'll drink my coffee at home instead. The door doesn't even have time to close behind me, before it swings open again. And a soft voice says, "Leah? Wait up, please?"
He falls into step beside me, and for a while we just walk. I feel his eyes on me; he is trying to get a feeling for where I am, mentally. He is good at that stuff, I realize. How many men would just step up and walk with you, without a word? He seems to understand my wish for silence, and he doesn't fill the air with chatter, like most airheads. I like that. He is young, but mature in all the ways that count.
After a block or two, I turn toward him and ask, "Will you come home with me?"
"Yes. That is why I am here."
So we keep going, up the stairs of my brownstone, and walk together in through the door. Home, at last. This is where life is easy and laid back and sometimes even cool. It depends on the day, and on my current workload.
Jasper shakes out of his jacket, and pulls his boots off. I like this young man. He looks really cool as he saunters into my living room, jeans hung low on his slim hips. He is in my space, and he takes charge of it, this place where I do everything worth doing in my life; I like to see him here. He sits at one end of the couch. That leaves the armchair or the other end of the couch for me. He's left me the choice of seating, showing me he is interested in case I am too. Intriguing. I wonder how old he is, really, as he is such a smooth operator. Perhaps mid-to-late-twenties? It's a good age. Not as good as being in your forties, but still good.
I decide for the couch as well, and curl up in the other corner, feet tucked in under me. This is an interesting situation, I don't remember the last time I had a man over who sits nicely in his corner, waiting for my cue. I like it.
"So, Jasper, what are we doing here?" I ask, without a smile or frown, keeping my facial expression completely level. Because I don't want to give him any leads, I want Jasper to do whatever it is he wants to do. He's the one who followed me out from Starbucks.
Yeah, and I'm the one who went there to see if he was there, says a small voice in the back of my head.
Jasper looks at me, and smiles his dimpled smile.
"Do you really not know why I am here, sweetheart?" he asks, looking like he knows exactly what I'm thinking, and that he knows that I went to Starbucks to look for him. Just as he went there looking for me.
"Not really," I deflect. "You're kind of being a bit cryptic."
"Oh, well, let's change that right away, then," he says. "Come over here."
His hand reaches halfway across the couch, and he is waiting for me to take it. He doesn't pull me over to him, and he doesn't move over to me, invading my space. He is just holding his hand out, waiting, with a smile. He knows the draw he has on me.
Is it even possible to resist that? I think not. I get up on my knees, unfolding my legs to turn and softly fall over onto Jasper's side of the couch. My back slowly leans against him, and as I fold into him, his arms come down gently all around me. His hands find mine, sliding their way underneath, around, within. When his chin comes to rest on top of my head, I feel secure, safe, surrounded.
I let out a sigh, and curl in closer. There is something so special about holding another human being close to you. I can feel Jasper's smiling face behind me; a deep sigh of contentment leaves his lungs, while his hands slowly start caressing my bare forearms. Upper arms. Shoulders. Neck and hair. With his fingers scratching my scalp lightly, he whispers in my ear, but I don't understand what he's saying.
"I beg your pardon?" I say, and turn a bit in his arms to look into his eyes. The whole world moves within those eyes. They are incredible. There is the magic we spoke about that very morning, there is the ignition. The flame that burns within those eyes, is transferred to me, no, it's extended to me. We share it. I pull in a rapid breath, and close my eyes, sinking down into his embrace.
"Oh, nothing, sweetheart," his voice is low, and his breath tickles my ear. I look up, and find his slate colored eyes burning into mine. "I just have this overwhelming desire to cuddle with you, to whisper sweet nothings in your ear. Then fuck you. Then cuddle. And then fuck you again. Would that be a problem?"
All I manage to do is shake my head. No. It wouldn't. Not at all.
"Well, let's get started on that right away, then, shall we?" he says, and turns me around completely in his arms. I am lying on top of him, feeling every curve and line of his body. It is a thing of beauty, this body of his. I rest my chin on my hands, and my elbows on Jasper's chest, and I smile a big smile. I smile for the good feeling that is coming off him, I smile for the happiness I am feeling inside. I smile for the feeling of sexy he surrounds me with. I smile because I want this, I want him. So much. And I smile because I can clearly see that he does too. I can feel that he does too.
And then my grin widens, as I also smile for the possibility that this man actually knows what he's talking about, and can do something about it. It's been so long since I was proficiently fucked by someone other than myself or specific appliances. I have a degree in the noble art of self satisfaction, but this diploma is ready for a change of course and a master's.
Jasper is indeed a cuddler, and as he slowly sits up and grabs me, his face is buried in my hair; when he nips playfully at my neck, I melt in his hands. As I straddle him, I feel his mouth on me. Dry, sweet kisses—oh, how I hate sloppy slobbering on my skin. I love how his lips are skimming my collarbone, moving lower. A slow lick, here and there, and I am reveling in his easy touch; slow hands go to work over my body, unhurried, powerful. Clothes come off, skin is revealed, feelings of burning emotion; stirring moments of mutual worship. He is everywhere at once. His knowledge of the female body is exact, perfect, and inspired.
I notice some beautiful ink, but I don't have time to investigate more, I just lick it. Nibble it. Feel him respond in all the right ways. In all the ways I need him to respond. He is strong, and I am not used to men being so much bigger than me, as I am quite tall myself. But he pulls me up, towering over me, and crushes me to his chest. As he swings us around, I am up in the air, back against the wall, and I am so overwhelmed with feelings that I don't know what to do, how to move. I feel small, sexy, desirable, because of how he looks at me, because of how he frantically touches me. I feel like I don't have to move, I don't have to do a thing. This is all being done to me. That is good, I don't want to move a finger, right now.
Not that I can move, Jasper has got me pinned against the wall, with both my hands held in one of his, above my head, and I give in to the feeling. I surrender. I give in. I give him me. It is fabulous to not be in charge. And he wants to command, there is no doubt about that.
He feels so right under me, around me, in me, that everyday life disappears for a while. All that matters is Jasper here, with me. Now. I stop thinking and over-thinking things. I concentrate on Jasper. He concentrates on me.
I feel equal, empowered, electric and sensual. His eyes are smiling at me, as he slowly whispers, "That's it, Leah... That's it, let it go, come catch me, let it go, girl, come on, you know you want to... Come with me, I want to see that light in your eyes, let it all out, sweetness, come on..." And I soar, and soar. And he is right there with me, screaming out his pleasure, happiness, power, want, need. He is roaring into my mouth, just as I am screaming his name.
When we come back down again, he whispers "Oh, sweet thing, this is your white magic. Don't ever let anyone take that away from you. Come closer. I need to feel you close, let's take five minutes to just be, together, with us, around us, in us."
I melt in his arms, I feel whole, I feel wanted, and I feel sexy. Sated. Caring and cared for. We giggle and laugh. We go on an expedition for food in my kitchen. We feed each other fruit and chocolate. We end up back in bed, after showering the chocolate away – it got stuck in funny places... The night is still young.
When he leaves, hours later in the early morning light, there is nothing more to say, nothing more to do. We are perfect. Sated. Happy. He kisses me softly, and smiles in my mouth a bit, and I laugh. This is so right. This is so us. Fabulous. Perfect.
This is so just a one-nighter, and that makes it so much better. We both know it.
I giggle a little, and say "Well, cowboy, you can come park your boots under my bed anytime. Whenever you're in town again, you come see me."
"Sweetheart, I might just take you up on that, you know. You are one sweet ride, and awesome in all the right places." Jasper smiles, as he's getting dressed again. "You realize there'll be a song or two about your fine self in a couple of days, so keep your eyes and ears open. Hell, come to one of our concerts, if you want to. I'd love to sing to you."
Yeah, I'd love that too, but I think this is good. This is enough. This is where it starts and stops.
Jasper leaves, and I retreat into my normal life, morning is followed by afternoon and night, and still the happiness Jasper instilled in me remains. Late at night, I hang around Twitter and chat for a while with the girls, and then end my session with my usual
'And on that note, I'm off to sleep. This has been a lot of fun, let's do it all again tomorrow.'
I close the computer, stand and pick up the bundle of newly printed papers from the blinking printer in the corner of my office.
I sit back down in my armchair, papers in my lap, musing. Oh yes. A deep, contented sigh escapes me. This is a great chapter. It's going to be a best seller. Again. Thanks, Jasper. You're a star. Bright and shining.
Life is just that little more happy and satisfying with a Jasper in it, wouldn't you agree?
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