"Fuck a duck! Sorry. I... uh. Ow!"

This last exclamation was due to the fact I was trying to get the hell out of my room - my room- with my eyes closed. Which really was a futile effort because... well...

What is seen cannot be unseen.

And they were so distracted, I had seen everything.

Because, of course, I'd frozen like a deer in headlights. Or, ya know, whatever it is you call guys' balls.

Not that I'd seen his balls. Fuck no. Jasper's head had been in the way of all that.

Well, not all of it. There was plenty of it to be -

"Fuck," I muttered out loud, rubbing my eyes as if I could rub the mental images away. Not that it bothered me that dudes did that kind of thing, I just didn't want to see my roomie's lips wrapped around someone else's cock.

My stomach hurt, and I kind of felt like punching things.

"Get a grip," I muttered to myself, rubbing my eyes again.

The door opened, and Jasper peered out. His hair was all disheveled - of course, that guy had been gripping it all tight - and his glasses were missing.

I opened my mouth because g'damn there were about a thousand great jokes that should have been on the tip of my tongue and laughing about this would have been a lot better than the awful awkwardness I felt then, but my words kind of tangled up in my throat. The only noise that came out was a little whining noise made of of vowels.

Jasper rubbed the back of his head, looking self-conscious. "Sorry about that, man. Didn't hear ya."

"Obviously," I scoffed. "Whatever. You weren't on my bed." I shrugged, looking down at my feet.

There was a pause before he spoke again. "Are you pissed off?" he asked, sounding affronted.

"No," I said quickly, though when I heard my own voice, I guess I sounded kinda pissed. I tried to cover it with a laugh, but it sounded weird. "You should be pissed at me, right? I interrupted. That's never fun. It's rude to leave a guest with blue balls, or so I'd wager. My mother taught me to be polite, but she didn't cover that one."

I shut my mouth, my teeth clicking together audibly. Why in the ever loving hell was I babbling like an idiot?

"Okay," Jasper muttered.

When I looked up, another face had appeared at his shoulder. The guy was about Jasper's height with brown hair that wasn't as long, but was thick. It was the kind of hair girls loved to run their fingers through. I wasn't one of those guys that I couldn't admit he was handsome.

Jasper stepped back, and I saw his hand curl around the other guy's arm. "Emmett, this is Peter. Peter, Emmett," he introduced.

I tried to smile as I stuck my hand out. Peter's smile was kind of cheeky, almost challenging, and I felt suddenly defensive as his eyes raked me over from head to toe. "It's nice to meet you, Emmett," he said in a voice that was more light than I was used to hearing. He was a strong guy - muscular, cut almost as well as Jake was. I expected his voice to be... gruffer. "Jasper talks so much about you. It's nice to put a face to the name."

His handshake was a little harder than firm, which was fine because I was putting a little bit more muscle than was entirely necessary into it as well. "And it's such a handsome face, too," I quipped. "Lucky you."

He gave a little laugh, dropping his hand to the side and leaning against the door jamb, all Calvin Klein model-style.

Whatever, like I couldn't rock the model look. I knew I was hot and I probably looked better in my underwear.

I shook my head, wondering where the hell that thought had come from. Random much? My brain was on the fritz. It must have been the shock of coming in the door and seeing what I saw.

Honestly, my reaction bothered me a bit. It wasn't as if I hadn't gotten a look at other guys' junk before. Not a lot of guys who frequented the gym were shy, really. And it wasn't like I didn't get the concept. I liked making my partners feel good. Why wouldn't Jasper feel the same?

Peter just chuckled, and that made me angrier. I half wondered how pretty his face would look all bruised up.

I took a step back because my thoughts were making me uncomfortable. "Well, listen, I just stopped in for... something. I don't even remember." I tried to laugh it off. "Oh, well," I shrugged. "I'm going to go meet Jake." That Jake wasn't aware of this fact yet wasn't something either of them needed to know. "You two have, er... fun."


That weekend was bringing a lot of novel, new situations for me.

Going to sleep that night with my back pressed up against firm muscle - it was a tiny bed, after all - was nice.

Waking up to hands roaming my bare chest and lips at the back of my head was better.

Peter must have realized that my sleepy little moans meant I was awake because he kissed my ear right along the shell, making me shiver. "Do you know... I have to say, I love your arms," he murmured, tracing his fingers over the definition that was barely there. "It's nice to find a geek with arm muscles - a definite bonus."

I snorted. "Those aren't anything. It's like Rhode Island compared to your Texas," I rumbled, still half asleep.

"They're nice," Peter insisted, squeezing my arm. His hand slipped around to my chest, brushing my nipples - which I was sure he did on purpose. "And this is nice, too."

My breath was getting all stuttery. "Emmett's been helping me work out." I stiffened under Peter's touch, my eyes flying open. "Emmett!"

"He's not here," Peter whispered, and sure enough, though I couldn't see clearly without my glasses, I recognized that there was no Emmett-shaped lump in the bed across the room. "He never came home last night."

I frowned because that was weird. Even when he was out with Jake or Rosalie, he typically ended up at home eventually. I blinked, taking in the darkness of the room. Well, it wasn't morning yet. He still had time to stumble in, I guessed.

And anyway, I was quickly distracted from that line of thought when Peter moved his hands lower still, brushing his fingers over my stomach. I shivered again and shifted. I was suddenly aware of his body against mine, most particularly, his cock poking at me through the material of both our pajama bottom pants.

It made me nervous.

It turned me on.

Maybe it was an inappropriate observation under the circumstances, but though the heat that made my blood feel scalding hot beneath my skin was nothing but a mature emotion, I also felt as curious as a little kid. My nerves had eased quite a bit with all that Peter and I had been through together the evening before, and I was more at ease. Peter was so patient, letting me touch him as slow or aggressively as I pleased.

It took some maneuvering - seriously, the bed was tiny - but I managed to roll over so I was facing him. I really did like kissing him, and I loved how intensely erotic it felt to feel his length up against mine, even though we were still clothed.

Better than nice.

More than just the physical pleasure though, it was nice to feel so right about what I was doing. Going against the norm, the standard - what everyone naturally assumed was going to happen - was confusing to say the least. Who knew? Maybe I thought I might be attracted to guys, but could I actually be with one?

But the more I touched Peter - his very male body with his stubble covered chin, his muscular build that was bigger, physically stronger than any female I'd known, and, of course, his pretty cock - and the more he touched me, the better I felt. I mean, beyond it just feeling good, it was like all my perspectives realigning, clicking snugly into place.

There was no doubt about it - I likedguys.

One of the mysteries of the universe solved.

Feeling so sure of myself - in this one way at least - made me bold. I shifted on the bed until Peter was pinned under me. This was nice too - how our bodies were roughly the same size. My body would have completely engulfed Alice, for instance, and that wasn't what I wanted.

I thrust my hips against his, seeking that pleasurable slip, slide, and pressure - the stimulation of nerve endings I'd thought I'd been well acquainted with since I began the life-long relationship with my right hand as a teenager. It was so much better when it was him touching me, or his heat against mine. Even my moans were different when they were smothered against his lips. What a sweet vibration that was.

Peter kicked the blankets away so he could maneuver better, hooking his leg over mine, and even that was an amazing feeling. All my life, I'd heard how nice it was to kiss girls, to have them wriggling against you with their silky soft skin. Those guys didn't know what they were missing. Give me hairy legs and thick calves any day.

There was a roughness to his hands as he skimmed his palms over my shoulders, splaying his fingers wide across my back. I shivered as he kneaded the skin along my sides, his hands slipping down, slipping into my pants to cup my ass.

And then I broke our kiss with a gasp when he pressed the pad of one finger against my entrance. I pulled back so fast I fell right out of bed, landing on my ass on the floor, looking up at him all startled.

He tried not to, but how could he help but laugh? I must have looked like such an idiot, my mouth gaping open in surprise. Peter started chortling so hard, he had to roll over, smothering his face in the pillow just to keep the noise down. Even though he couldn't see me, I scowled at him anyway.

Rolling over onto his side again, Peter looked at me, and even in the darkness of the room in the breaking light of dawn, I could see the mirth in his eyes. He extended a hand toward me. "Come on back here, sugar. I promise I'll be good."

"You weren't bad," I grumbled, feeling foolish now. "I just..."

"There's no need to explain," he murmured, pulling me back against him. "If you're uncomfortable -"

"It wasn't discomfort," I interrupted. I really did enjoy this about Peter. Rather than make me feel like an idiot, the way he opened his arms to me made me feel at ease enough to cuddle up and talk about this even though we were both still hard and flushed. That was antithesis of discomfort. "It was good. I mean. I was just shocked because... yeah, it was like a lightning bolt down my spine."

"That's a good thing, right?" Peter asked.

I nodded and shyly kissed the underside of his chin. "It's good. Intense, but good."

He ran the back of his hand down my cheek, adding the warm and fuzzies to what I was already feeling. My desire for him, my cheeks that were flushed with a low level of embarrassment, and now this warmth? I was discovering that being with someone physically was all levels of heat.

Peter smiled, his eyes mischievous. "I guess you didn't experiment much as a kid then, huh?"

I snorted and rolled my eyes, rolling back on top of him. "I was terrified, if you want to know the truth."


"Come on. Any time you hear a story about some guy sticking something up his ass, it gets stuck there."

Peter laughed, and I loved the way his body moved underneath mine as he did. He traced the outline of my lips with the pad of his finger. "Well, here's my advice. Don't stick hamsters, light bulbs, or candles up there."

"Mmm," I hummed my acknowledgement, opening my mouth slightly, taking in his finger and sucking on it gently. I didn't have a clue what the hell I was doing, but it seemed to be what he wanted. It seemed natural enough.

He shifted underneath me, spreading his legs wider so I sunk down against him. With the hand that didn't have a finger in my mouth, he started to stroke my back again.

"You see," he began as he took his finger from my mouth and relocated it to my entrance. I jumped a little this time, but his hand against my back kept me in place. "The reason this is so nice is that there are so many nerve endings back here," he spoke in an even, almost rhythmic tone as his finger circled my little hole. He slipped in, just a bit, and back out.

And God, how right he was. My shoulders arched up even as my lower body pressed harder against him. Mewling. He was making me mewl, is what he was doing. It was all so new, the intensity was more than I knew what to do with. I was helpless to do anything but ride the wave, letting these sensations rock my body.

He knew what he was doing - he knew exactly. He started to work his finger in and out of me even as he rocked his hips, thrusting against me.

Yeah, once again, I was screwed as far as staying power went. He had me on the verge of orgasm in the space of a schoolboy's wink.

Well, fuck. That was a whole lot of nerve endings all at once, between my cock and my ass. I had no idea - purely none.

And since I was all sticky, and he was still hard, when I was able to move again, I grabbed him and dragged him into the shower - thank God we weren't in the communal showers anymore. I pressed him up against the tile and jerked him off under the hot spray.

Afterward, we climbed back into my little bed in only our towels - I was kinda glad again that Emmett was acting so weird - and I sighed, feeling really content. Peter smelled like Irish Spring soap and man. It was... yeah. Good.

Sleepy after all that, I settled with my head on his shoulder. "You're such a nice guy, Peter," I muttered. "Thank you for doing this for me."

He laughed. "Oh, honey. You make it sound like I'm doing this just out of the goodness of my heart."

That caught me off guard, and I woke up a bit, lifting my head to look at him. "Well, aren't you?"

He pursed his lips long enough to make me feel awkward. The last thing I wanted to do was lead someone on. I'd thought -

"Whoa. Hey. Come back here. Settle," he said, his hands firm on my shoulders, keeping me cuddled up against him. I hadn't realized I'd started to pull away.

He chuckled again. "Let me be clear. I already told you, I know what this is for you. I'm safe, and that's good. I want to be your safety while you figure some things out."

I relaxed against him again. Safety meant that he wasn't going to take what we were doing out of context.

"That being said," he continued, "you are a someday kind of guy."

"Someday?" I echoed.

"As in... Now isn't our time. You're where you're at with your life, your journey. My life is in an entirely different place. If. If," he leaned heavily on the word, "we were to try something right now, our odds would be slim to none, and I'm smart enough to realize that."

He smiled and stroked my cheek the way he had earlier, making me feel once again warm and fuzzy inside. "But you never know what the future holds," he said quietly. "You never know who you'll be tomorrow. So someday, if our time comes... well, all's the better for me."

I was quiet as I thought about that. He was right in a lot of ways. My head was not in a relationship space. There was so much I still had to work out, so much lingering on my shoulders. Not even thinking about the whole liking guys thing, I wasn't stupid enough to believe that everything with Lucy hadn't left its mark. There was a lot I had to deal with before I thought about twining my life with someone else's.

But... someday?

Well, I could get behind someday. It wasn't a promise. Maybe it would happen, maybe it wouldn't.

"Hey," Peter murmured, breaking me out of my thoughts.


"What are the odds you can scare up a car today?"

I tilted my head, looking at him. "What did you have in mind?"

"Well, as much as I'd love to spend the entire day in bed with you," he waggled his eyebrows, making me blush, "it does seem a little silly to come halfway across the country and not see anything."

"You want to go to Seattle?" I asked, feeling like a bad host.

"They have stuff in Seattle?" he asked, his tone teasing.

"That's what they tell me. It's an hour away, but I've only been there a couple times myself," I said thoughtfully.

Peter rolled his eyes so hard they near about fell out of his head. "You have essentially lived here for over a year and you haven't explored?"

I shrugged.

He shook his head and looked at me curiously. "What would you say if I wanted to hold your hand and kiss you at the top of the Space Needle?"

It took me a minute to figure out why he was asking. Right. The Space Needle was a public place. I'd noticed - and appreciated - that he kept his distance when we were walking around campus the day before.

I grinned at him with more bravado than I actually felt. Nothing like diving into the deep end of the pool. "I'd say, let's go ask Alice if we can borrow her car because that's one request I can definitely grant."


We had a good day that day. We traipsed around Seattle, holding hands, and while I was hyper aware of the people who stared - and glared - it also wasn't bad.

And yes, kissing Peter at the top of the Space Needle ranked among my top favorite moments of life so far.

When we got home, I didn't think much about Emmett not being there - again. I was too busy with Peter, making out, more concerned with getting to taste him one more time or have his lips wrapped around my cock again. He was flying out the following afternoon.

But when I woke up in the middle of the night and looked over, seeing that Emmett's bed was again empty, I wasn't even annoyed; I was concerned.

Was something really wrong?

I unwound myself from Peter's grip, fumbling for my phone and my glasses. I was already dialing when I slipped out of the room.

Startled, I almost dropped the phone.

Emmett was home after all. He was sitting on the couch, staring off into space, looking like the subject of a country song. I mean, the boy was as forlorn looking as a droopy-jowled dog.

"Emmett?" I asked, setting my phone down. He didn't answer right away. I noticed he was kind of swaying and frowned. "Emmett?"

He turned to me then and smiled. At least, he tried to smile. His dimples were there, but the expression on his face was twisted somehow. It made my heart hurt. "Hey!" he said in his booming voice.

"What are you doing out here? It's really late. You should be in bed," I muttered, knowing I sounded like his mother but... Well, I was concerned. There was something so off about him.

"I dunno," he admitted. "I didn't wanna..." He swung his hand in a sloppy circle.

"Are you drunk?" I asked, scrutinizing him.

"Uh... Yeah. Maybe," he muttered almost conversationally.

I'd seen Emmett drunk. He was a happy drunk. He was a happy person in general, I guess, but he was not happy now. "Did something happen, Em? With Rose? Or..."

He laughed, and that too sounded twisted. "Oh, man. Rose." He took a deep breath and looked at me, attempting another smile. "No, nothin' happened. Jus' had too many drinks with Jake is all."

Not knowing what else to do, I sat next to him. "Okay... So what are you doing out here?" I asked again. He didn't answer. "Emmett... if this is about Peter..."

"No!" he protested loudly. He giggled, the sound somewhat maniacal, and surprised the hell out of me by laying his head on my shoulder.

"Dude, I don't know what the fuck... I mean. He's good to you, I think. And thas' good because if someone messes with ma boy, I'd have to... ya know. Crack some skulls." He rolled his head so he was staring up at me, and he looked so childlike and lost right then it made my heart twist. "I'd do it, y'know," he muttered. "If some fucker hurt you. I'd bust his face in."

I didn't know whether I should laugh or what. I mean... I didn't doubt Emmett's loyalty at all, but this was weird, even for him. Especially for him. "I... I know, Em," I finally stammered, patting his head.

He had such soft curls.

He sighed, his breath hot on my shoulder, and turned his head a little. "I'm really tired," he mumbled, barely intelligible.

"Well... you should get in bed then," I suggested lightly.

"Okay. Yeah," he said but didn't move.

Wrapping an arm around him, I stood, trying to pull him up with me. He swayed a bit but let me support him, and we walked to the room together.

Just before we got in the door he leaned forward, pressing me up against the door jamb. For a minute, the air around us seemed to crackle. He looked down at me, his eyes reflecting some emotion I couldn't decipher. for some reason, all I could think about was when he'd kissed me last year.

He'd been drunk then, too.

He raised his hand, and I think he meant to cup my cheek, but he just ended up kind of pawing it. He closed his eyes then, giving a little groan as he lurched, stumbling toward his bed.

I shook off the heaviness of the moment, my mind feeling kind of muddled, and kept my arm around him as I helped him under his covers.

"Night, Jazz," he muttered, closing his eyes.

"Night, Em," I mumbled back.

For a long minute after he drifted straight to sleep, I stood in the center of the room, looking back and forth between my roommate and Peter in my bed.

A/N: Thanks to barburella and jadedandboring! Much love.

Fair warning ... angst incoming soon.