Entry #65 - AH

Truly Anonymous Twilight O/S PP Contest

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Title: Lonely Chance

Picture Prompt Number: 27

Pairing: Jasper/Edward

Rating: M

Word Count (minus A/N and Header): 7187

Summary (250 characters or less, including spaces and punctuation): Angry and alone, Jasper drives through the night, hoping to find answers, or at least peace. When he picks up a stranger on the side of the road he begins to wonder if he might have found both. AH, slash, Jasper/Edward.

Warnings and Disclaimer: This is slash (M/M pairing) with some definite frottage. I do not own Twilight. All characters belong to Stephenie Meyer.

I scrub my hand across my face and shake my head, trying to clear it, trying to stay awake. I have no idea where I am now. Somewhere far from the city I started in. The road is an endless striped grey framed by flashes of trees in the headlights. Miles and miles of nothing but me, the growling engine, and the fading radio.

Alone.

Alone with my fears and my sadness.

I slam my hand on the steering wheel and will the emotions back. He is not worth a second of my tears. He couldn't handle my schedule or my visibility, just like every single one before him. They all knew what I was beforehand, but then suddenly they don't want to be part of my public image or the attention I get everywhere.

Well, then they don't want a part of me.

Because it's all me. It's my voice, and my music, and my life. If he can't accept those parts of me, he cannot accept me.

In the dark of the car, my phone suddenly flashes and pings - another text from my manager or a band mate. I don't even look. It'll be the same as the last twenty messages.

Come back. You can't leave in the middle of a tour. We need you here.

The other option is that it's him texting, and there's no way in fucking hell I'm answering that one. He was pretty fucking clear when he said he couldn't be with me any more. He wouldn't.

I slam my fist on the wheel again, remembering what he actually said. When I had been so ecstatic to see him after six long weeks, he only said that there was someone else. Someone closer. Someone not as 'out there'.

Fuck out there.

I need another distraction. I scan the radio, finding nothing but static and the occasional talk station. I look up as my tires hit the dirt shoulder, and jerk the wheel to the left, skidding slightly but making it back on the road in one piece.

Jesus, that was close.

I shake my head again. I have got to start paying attention out here or some deer is going to jump out in front of me, and it'll be bye-bye Jasper.

I've just about got my heart under control when a tall figure appears in my headlights on the side of the road. Still a little jumpy, I slow down just enough to recognize it's not a deer. It's actually a guy with his arm out and his thumb up, which is doubly strange at this hour and this far from town.

I fly past him, but then, without questioning my split-second decision, I slow down. I may regret this later, but right now, small talk with some stranger who doesn't know anything about anything might be just the break I need. I watch him in the side mirror and the light of the brakes as he jogs to catch up. I press the button for the locks and the one for the window, lowering the passenger side only a few inches. You can never be too careful.

When he catches up to the car, his breath creates small puffs of vapor in the cool night air. He bends over for a moment and adjusts the bag on his shoulder, before sticking his head by the opening in the window.

He seems about my age, but with darker, messier hair, paler skin, and brighter eyes. He runs his hand over his neck and up through his hair in a nervous gesture. Not the type that is used to hitching then.

"Hey, man. Can I get a ride?"

"Where you going?" I'm not exactly sure why I ask. I have no idea where I am or where this road goes.

He chuckles then, and steps back from the car. When he steps back it's with a wry grin on his face and a faint hopelessness in his eyes. "You know, I actually have no idea. You're the first to stop."

I look down the road and back at him, trying to make a decision on whether to trust him or not, whether or not to follow through on my spontaneous move and allow this stranger into my safe little bubble.

His fingers curl over the top of the glass, his nails short but clean. His eyes look straight into mine, his pure innocence exuding out of every pore. "I promise I don't want any trouble. Just a ride."

I believe him and take a chance, clicking 'unlock' with a push of my finger. He backs up and opens the door, throwing his bag in the backseat before sliding into the front. He closes the door and then runs his hands over the leather of the seat before pulling on his seat belt.

"Wow. Nice car."

I shrug. I know it's nice. One of the few things I've splurged on with my growing fame. But right now, it was just a means of escape.

"It does the job."

He looks up at me, his head tilted to the side, and then he shrugs. "Well, thanks for the ride. I'm Edward by the way."

I look at him, seeing the strong set of his jaw, the day's growth of stubble just perfect for nipping at. Jesus, Jasper. Get a fucking hold of yourself. I look back at the road. "I'm Jasper."

"Nice to meet you, Jasper."

I don't answer. He looks around the car a little, tapping his foot and rubbing his hands on his jeans. I don't know why he's so nervous, but I'm not going to be the one to break the silence.

Finally, he can't take it anymore. "Where are you headed tonight?"

"Actually, I'm not entirely sure."

"Just driving around then?"

I look at him and can see the naked curiosity on his face. Fine, he wants to know, then he'll know. I take a deep breath and plunge forward. "My boyfriend broke up with me tonight by telling me he met someone else. So I left my band in whatever city we were just playing in and started driving. I would imagine I'll end up back there, but not just yet."

I glance over and see that his mouth is forming a perfect little 'o' and his eyes are wide. Perhaps he didn't want the full story.

"Your boyfriend? You mean, you're gay?"

My fingers tighten on the steering wheel at the tone of his voice. Of all the fucking people I have to pick up, he's a homophobic prick? Fuck my life. "Yeah. I'm gay. Got a problem with it?"

He puts his hands out toward me in a placating gesture. "No! Not at all, man. Not at all."

"Okay then." I take a deep breath and let the tension slip out of me. To deflect a little attention off me, I decide to ask him some questions. "So, why are you hitching? Car trouble?"

His face heats, and he looks away. "Not exactly."

"Girl trouble?"

He shakes his head. "Definitely not."

"Are you going to make me guess all night? Come on, Edward. I shared my sad story," I say, baiting him, but almost enjoying watching him squirm a little.

He exhales sharply, and his shoulders curve inwards. "True. You did share. I guess it's only fair."

When he lifts his head, his eyes are shiny, and the hurt there is almost palpable. I am reconsidering my request as he squeezes his eyes shut tight - his pain is so raw, so obviously deeper than mine.

"I'm sorry. You don't need to tell-"

"You know, I think I do." He cuts me off with his words and a stubborn jut of his chin. "I'm hitching because my dad threw me out of my house. Seems Big Ed can't have a "faggot" for a son, and won't stand a "cocksucker" living under his roof or eating off his table."

My breath catches in my throat as I watch him use his fingers as quotation marks. Perhaps I haven't found a lover that was quite happy with my chosen lifestyle, including the band's tour schedule and constant media attention, but Mama has been nothing but supportive and proud of me. Edward turns his head to the window, but I can still see his pained expression in the reflection and the way his shoulders shake.

Without hesitation, I pull the car onto the shoulder and throw the gearshift into park. I draw him into my arms, and he resists for a moment before finally sinking into me, his back pressed against my chest as his entire body shaking with sobs. We sit there for long minutes, me trying to soothe him with my quiet words and strong grip, and him trying to stifle his crying. I remember my mama singing to me when I was little, and I start to hum under my breath before the words come to me.

As soon as I start singing, he immediately stills in my arms, not even breathing. I stop when he freezes, but his hand closes over my arm and squeezes, and he tilts his head ever so slightly.

"Please keep going. You have an amazing voice."

I smile into his hair and then continue, my voice getting stronger as the words I used to hear as a child fill my head. After long minutes he is relaxed against me, and although I don't mind giving this comfort to someone who has been so hurt, the gearshift and console are digging painfully into my skin. I shift experimentally, but that only drives the metal belt buckle into my side.

"Not that I want to move," I whisper, hoping to not break this comfortable calm that has settled between us. "But perhaps we can go somewhere more comfortable? To talk?"

He nods and shifts away from me, and I resettle into the driver's seat. But then I realize I have no idea where to go. "Actually, I don't know where to go but back to my hotel room, which I definitely want to avoid right now. Any suggestions? Coffee shop? Diner?"

He wipes his sleeve across his face and nods. "Yeah," he says, his voice rough with emotion still. He clears his throat and starts again. "There's a 24-hour diner a town further, right on this road. You can't miss it."

Pulling back onto the dark, empty road, we're soon cruising along again, but I am painfully aware of the silent man sitting next to me. Just as the speed limit drops and there are signs welcoming us to Grandville, there is a small diner with a bright, flashing sign announcing breakfast any time of day.

"This looks like my kind of place," I say as I pull into the dirt lot. The paint may be faded on the siding, but you can tell Lucy's Diner is a well cared for, Mom-and-Pop type restaurant.

"It's a great place to hang out," Edward says as he opens the door and steps out of the car. He gives me a shy smile. "And they make a killer milkshake."

I give him a broad smile in return, hoping to see his mood improve again. "Oh, well now this I have to try."

We enter the diner and choose a table with booths. He passes me a menu sitting on the table, and I take the opportunity to look at Edward, really look at him. Now there's no traffic or confessions or dashboard lighting, and he's definitely worth the study.

There's just him, bending over the table, his reddish brown hair falling into his face and his long fingers wrapped around the edges of the menu. He looks up, his startling green eyes widening and his cheeks flushing as he notices me watching him. He looks back at his menu quickly, but I don't miss the small smile.

As I'm wrapped up in watching him, in appreciating the beauty sitting across from me and possibly thinking of wicked things to do to his mouth, another dangerous thought occurs to me. I remember that he said he lived with his parents. "Edward," I begin, and he looks up expectantly. "I don't mean to be forward, but perhaps we are past that already. But how old are you?"

"Oh, well, yeah. So, I'm 23, which I know is too old to be living with my mom and all, but I'm in graduate school, and the stipend really isn't a lot... And why are you smiling?"

That just makes my smile even larger. "Just amazingly happy that you're not some extremely mature-looking 16-year-old."

We both chuckle, and then he runs his hand over the back of his neck. "Yeah, that would be awkward."

I lean forward, keeping eye contact and placing my hand on his outstretched arm. "You have no idea."

He pulls back slowly, but I don't miss the way his tongue flicks out to wet his lips or the way his gaze flits over my face.

Just then, the waitress arrives at our table and asks for our orders. Edward gets french fries and a chocolate shake, and I order just a cookies-and-cream shake.

After she leaves and Edward's attention is back on me, I lean forward again. "I may steal a fry or two, if that's okay?"

He shrugs, and I lean back, stretching my legs out in front of me and not-so-accidentally making sure my calf brushes against his. At that moment, he is bringing his glass to his mouth, and his hand shakes a bit, almost spilling the water.

"Careful. Wouldn't want to make a mess now," I admonish as I grab my own glass.

He looks up, and I wink, just so he's sure I'm kidding. His answering smile is slow but transforms into a little smirk as his leg rubs against mine, and I spill water on the table.

"Yeah, 'cause messes are so... messy."

He giggles a little, and I laugh out loud, loving how ridiculous we both are in our not-so-subtle flirting and our general playfulness. Soon we are both laughing air-clearing, mood-changing laughter. I haven't felt this free in a long, long time.

As our laughter quiets, I wipe the tears from my eyes. "Thanks. God, I seriously needed that."

His face falls, I assume as memories of his night creep in. "I think we both did."

We're interrupted by the waitress delivering our food, but she quickly scurries away while mumbling something.

I watch Edward stir his shake for a moment before I decide to plunge in. "Want to tell me what happened tonight?"

He looks up at me, his eyes wide, but then he takes a shaky breath in. "No, not really."

I shrug. "It's okay. We don't have to. I just thought you might." I take a long pull on my milkshake and just watch him. I can almost see his mind racing. He sips his milkshake and eats a few fries, and the entire time I just watch. I know he needs to talk, I can feel it, but he won't until he's ready.

After a few minutes, he takes a deep breath to begin, but his eyes don't leave the table. His voice is so quiet, I lean forward so I don't miss a word.

"I'd finished up my classes for the day and headed home early, exhausted after a long week of research and exams." He sighs and eats another fry. "My study partner, and sometimes boyfriend, came home with me."

He looks up and I nod, trying to be encouraging without pushing.

"I've never done anything with him in my house, even when I knew my parents weren't home. Although my dad has never said anything outright, there's always been these small comments, and I always suspected he wouldn't be too happy if I came out."

He takes a deep breath and looks up at me, a small amount of apprehension in his eyes as if fearing my judgement. "But it's not like I wanted to stay in the closet forever. I had a plan. Finish grad school, move out, get a stable job, then mention it."

"Everyone's situation is different, Edward. I'm in no place to say what's right or wrong. I had little choice of when or how I came out." I shrug. What happened happened, and I discovered a long time ago that fighting against my fame and the pressure society puts on celebrities was futile and pointless.

"Yeah, well, same here. Alec decides to get a little too frisky while we're getting snacks in the kitchen, and my dad decides to leave early on a Friday, and well..." He spreads his arms, indicating his environment. "Here I am."

"Here you are." I lean back again, my gaze intent on his face. "Question is: what are you going to do now?"

"I have no fucking idea. I've got nothing."

I look at him, and well, yes, he's being a bit dramatic, but the guy truly isn't seeing the entire situation. I decide he could use a little push now. "You've got your grad school which pays you, right? And you must have a friend or two."

"Well, yeah, but-"

"So, you could ask if someone can let you crash for a bit while you figure things out. You've got to stay in school, but maybe you have to get a second job. It might be a different order than you had in your initial plan, but you're out of your parents' house and you've come out," I say, ticking the points off on my fingers. "Now you just need to finish school and get a job."

The entire time I'm talking he's nodding his head, but I'm not sure it's really sinking in until the last. His face changes then, a glimmer of hope in his eyes and a firmer set to his jaw.

"Yeah. I could do that. And Alec totally owes me."

I chuckle. "I would say so. Study partner or not, he should've been a little more cautious."

"It's not like he was the only one," Edward says, rubbing his neck in that way I now know means he's uncomfortable. "But, yeah, I think he could lend me his couch for a little while."

Suddenly there's a commotion behind me, squealing and whispering, and I don't even want to look because I suspect I know what's going to happen next. Edward is completely distracted by the noise, and his eyes widen as high-heeled footsteps approach our table.

This is not how I wanted this to happen.

Another waitress is standing at the end of our table, bouncing on her toes. I try to ignore her, but then she finally gets up the courage to ask. "Are you him?"

I look up to find a young, pretty - if you're into that kind of thing - dark-haired girl staring at me. "I am a him, yes."

She rolls her eyes. "No, I mean. Are you Jasper Whitlock?"

I'm so not in the mood for this, and I can feel Edward's confusion from here. "Yeah, that's me."

She squeals that type of high-pitched shriek that only the crazy girls can make. "My friend said it was you, but we didn't believe her."

"Yeah, well, if you want something signed, I can do that. But I'd really like to finish my milkshake and my discussion with my friend here."

Her eyes are suddenly riveted on Edward who blushes and looks at the table. "Oh! Is he your boyfriend or something? The tabloids have been saying that Peter was cheating on you."

I close my eyes wishing this whole situation away, but that has never worked in the past so why should it work now?

"Really, miss," Edward says politely, and my eyes fly open. "We're having a private conversation here. If you want an autograph, he said he'd give you one. If not, do you mind leaving us alone?"

I am shocked. From her face, so is the waitress.

She brings out her order book and a pen, and I sign "To Amber" and then she's gone. Just like that, she's gone.

Well, I never.

"So, you're famous?" he asks shakily, the calm confidence he demonstrated mere moments ago already dissipated.

"Yeah, actually." I bow the best I can while sitting in the booth. "Jasper Whitlock, singer and guitar player for the Whistling Pixies, at your service."

His mouth gapes, and I'm hoping against hope that this revelation doesn't change anything, doesn't change our easy exchange, doesn't make him just another crazy fan. I hold my breath as he looks down at his hands clasped on the table, and then back up at me.

His face flushes as he catches me staring. "I, um, like your music. You guys had a concert tonight near by, right?"

I almost sigh in relief that he's not going crazy yet. "Yeah."

He glances over to where the waitresses are huddled together. "Is what she said true? Your boyfriend didn't just leave you but cheated as well?

I nod, still trying to maintain that this is all for the best, and that Peter and I breaking up was inevitable, but the way he put it is another sharp pain in my chest. "Well, I'm told that dating a guy who's with a band and on the road all the time is not the easiest."

His hand is suddenly on my arm. "No, you don't. You are not taking the blame for this. No matter what is wrong in a relationship, you don't cheat first and leave next. Doesn't matter who you are, that's just the cowardly and dickhead way to go about it."

His fingers are slowly tracing along my skin, leaving a burning path having nothing to do with his body temperature.

"It's just not easy to meet people, you know?" I explain and then add silently. Or to meet the right person.

"In fact, I do, although I don't have the famous bit to contend with. How do you know someone isn't just using you?"

I smile. The guy really does pick up on everything in my head somehow. "Yeah, that's been a problem. Also, the time I need to spend with my band and my music is a big hurdle. Unfortunately, my love life is often a distant second or third."

"Well, that's got to be difficult on you and whoever you're dating. Perhaps you need to decide what's the most important. If it's your music right now, then having a boyfriend may just continue to be more trouble than it's worth. If your priority is finding the right guy, then perhaps you need a little break from the grueling schedule you follow."

I frown, because maybe he's got a point. Or two.

"But I just can't give up my music or my band. They're my life." I take a deep breath, never having voiced these things before. "I just don't want to be alone."

He chuckles, and I'm momentarily offended until I see his gaze is directed over my shoulder, most likely at the gossiping waitresses. "I'm sure you could find someone to take away the loneliness."

I smile back. "I'm not exactly looking for a string of one-night stands."

"Fair enough." He tilts his head, and his gaze bores into mine, almost as if he can see straight into my head, my soul. I desperately fight the urge to squirm in my seat. "But maybe it's what you need right now. A life without as many commitments or problems."

I want to respond immediately, deny that Peter was a problem, that he most likely kept me a little saner the last few months. In fact, he was so easy - easy to fall into when I was home and easy to forget when I wasn't. Which was honestly why he was perfect for me and my life. And, now that I think about it, probably why he left.

I slouch against the booth and tilt my head back, staring at the tiled ceiling. "Yeah," I say, feeling a weight lifting off my shoulders. "Maybe you're right."

"I mean, you're young and you should be enjoying your band and your life on the road. Why are you trying to tie yourself down?"

And just like that he nails the crux of it. I'm 25 but I've never really had a home since Maria - I refuse to call her Mom - left me on Aunt Kate's door step when I was seven. And even though my aunt will always be my mama, I've never felt as secure in her house and with her family. With Peter or Garrett or any other "steady" boyfriend waiting for me, it was almost like having a real home. Having a place to hang my hat, as it were.

"For me, it's always been about having a home. Some place to return to," I say to the ceiling, not able to meet his eyes just yet.

"I can see that. I mean, we're kind of both in the same boat now. But at least you still have your band and the people on tour. You still have a place to stay, people who accept you."

I raise my head then to look at him, and he has this little boy lost expression. Here I am complaining, and he is someone who truly has no home. "You're right, and I'm lucky to have them."

"I have no idea what to do," he says, his voice small. He hunches his shoulders, basically curling in on himself.

"Well, if it's not too much to offer, you could crash at mine tonight. The hotel room is certainly big enough for two."

"You won't care what people think?" he asks slowly, a small flicker of hope in his eyes.

"Nope. Never have, why start now?"

He smiles and nods. "Sure then. If it's not too much trouble."

"Not at all. Now let's get out of here." I throw some cash on the table, even at Edward's protests, and follow him out of the diner. I watch his shoulders shift as he slides into his leather jacket again, and I have to resist placing my hand on his back as we walk outside.

We ride in companionable silence along the dark highway, quickly approaching the city from which I ran. When we get to the hotel, I pull up to the valet and hand over my keys as I exit the car. I circle the car quickly and collect a nervously frozen Edward from the other side fidgeting with his bag.

I'd forgotten about the fans camped outside.

With the background screams getting louder, I lean and inhale his warm scent before whispering in his ear. "Come on. Just ignore them."

He doesn't move, so I grab his hand and pull him with me, fully aware of the stares and whispers that follow us. He doesn't relax until the elevator doors shut, and then he slowly turns to face me.

"How do you do it?"

"What? Walk past fans?"

"No, I mean just to be out... And everybody knows, like it's no big deal. Don't people give you a hard time?"

"I could hide away, but then I wouldn't be me. It wasn't the most pleasant experience coming out as publicly as I did, and yeah, I still get hate mail, but it's the way I have to be. To me, it would be the same as denying my blue eyes or my white skin. It's just me."

"I wish I could be like you."

"Gorgeous and famous?" I ask with a wink, trying to lighten the situation a little.

He smiles and then blushes. "No, I mean just... well, out. And not caring who knows."

"Well, it's not like I announce it when I enter a room, but I don't think it's something to hide from either. Besides, you've already cleared the hardest hurdle. The rest will be easier."

"Yeah?"

I squeeze his hand again, and his smile widens. "Yeah."

For some reason, my manager had booked a whole suite for me with two separate bedrooms and a sitting room. I thought it a bit excessive at the time, even with Peter flying in to stay with me, but now it seems perfect with my nervous guest standing awkwardly in the doorway.

"Yeah, so there are two rooms. You can crash in there if you'd like," I say as I point to the unused bedroom.

His face falls a little, and I can't tell if it's with relief or disappointment, but he quickly recovers. "Thanks, man. That's great." He shuffles a little from foot-to-foot and throws his bag over his shoulder. "I'll just go put my stuff in there then."

He turns abruptly and goes into the smaller room. I take a moment to sit on the couch, toe off my boots and just breathe. This night hasn't turned out anything like I'd planned or hoped, thinking that Peter would be with me tonight. I look up just as Edward walks out of the room, a sheepish smile on his lips but his eyes bright and inviting.

Nope. Nothing like I'd planned.

But definitely not a total loss.

"Would you like a beer or something?" I offer, standing and walking to the minibar.

"Yeah, a beer would be great."

I set a couple beers on the coffee table, and he sits on the couch, pulling off his Chucks. I'm about to join him when a brilliant idea occurs to me.

"Hold on a second, let me grab Alice. She has a way of making everyone feel better."

This time his face looks nothing but disappointed, but I know he'll be happier once he meets her. I race off to the bedroom and grab her, bringing her back into the sitting room to meet Edward. Instantly his face breaks into a wide smile, and I join him on the couch, cradling Alice on my lap.

"Edward, let me introduce you to Alice, the girl that makes all of this possible."

He leans over and strokes his hand along her body, and then I pluck a couple strings and tune her quickly before my nerves get the best of me. Performing in front of hundreds on a stage is one thing; a thing I enjoy immensely. But playing my guitar for Edward alone has my heart thumping erratically in my chest.

I strum some nonsense, and then I feel him shift closer, the warm line of his body inches from mine. He leans close, almost touching my right arm. "Play me something?" he whispers.

"That's the idea, sugar," I whisper back. As if his closeness and his words calm my nerves, my left fingers find the frets and my right begin to find the tune. I play wordlessly for a few bars and then my voice finds the words.

"Love can be your home when you've nowhere to go. Love can let you down when it's all that you know."

Edward's fingers graze my arm, and I stumble a little on the next chord, but continue, inspiration and our night together driving my song.

"But strength can be found along the way, picked up like a stranger on the side of the road. It may not be perfect, or everything you dreamed of, but it will always be yours to hold."

I play a few more bars, but the words stopped as soon as Edward's hand tightened around my arm. The imagery from our night seemed so poignant - our journeys, while different, still led us to that same place on the same road.

Turning to him, I find his eyes shining in the light. "Do you like it?"

He nods slowly, as if lost in thought, and keeps a strong grip on me. "I know all of your band's songs, and I've never heard that before."

I shrug, still trying to judge his reaction. "Yeah, well, that was something new."

"How new?"

"Right now. Tonight."

He eyes widen. "You think we're on the same road?"

"At least heading in the same direction." I shrug again, dying to really know what he thought of it.

"I loved it. I think you have one part wrong, though." He licks his lips and slides a little closer.

"What's that?" I ask, my heart thudding in my throat.

"I think strength might be the stranger that picked me up."

Then he kisses me.

My whole world focuses on the feel of his warm lips on mine, the softness pressed against my mouth. I try to remember why I hadn't kissed him yet, why I was trying to be comforting rather than jumping him. Then he traces his hand up my jaw to run it into my hair, and I forget everything.

A soft groan escapes me, and I try shift closer, but can't with Alice still on my lap. I break our kiss for a moment to set her aside, and launch myself at him, pinning him against the back of the couch. Holding his face in my hands, my mouth finds his again, and now there is no soft or gentle.

There is only need.

I swallow his whimper as he parts his lips, and his tongue swipes across my lips. Opening my mouth, I feel his fingers grab the fabric at my waist when I finally taste him. I press my entire chest against his as I straddle him, and he pulls me closer still, rubbing our groins together. Our mouths explore lips and jaws and necks, kissing and tasting every inch of bare skin.

"Please," he moans into my ear as I nip his neck. "More."

I sit back slightly, taking in his swollen lips and disheveled hair, and know he has no need to beg for more. "Let's move this to the bedroom, yes?"

Standing, I pull him with me until his body is flush with mine once again, and I only have to duck slightly to press another kiss to his tender mouth. I lace my fingers with his and begin walking to the bedroom, but stop before I pull him with me.

This must be his choice, too.

He steps ahead of me then, a large smile on his face as we cross the room to the larger bedroom. I flip on the light and we're confronted with the mess from my anger before I decided to drive. The duvet and sheets are off the bed, the mattress is half on the floor, my clothes, my shoes, my everything are scattered all over the room.

With my free hand, I rub the back of my neck, embarrassed by the obvious physical evidence of my temper tantrum. "Yeah, um.."

"I've heard that throwing or breaking things can make you feel better. I've always been more the brooding type, but I can almost see how this would be therapeutic." He continues to survey the wreckage, and then he laughs, a full-body, happy laugh. And I laugh with him, knowing my behavior was a little over the top, but glad he seems okay with it.

"How about my room?" he suggests as he pulls my hand and me out the door and in the opposite direction.

I follow willingly, eagerly, watching his body shift under his clothes when he pushes open the other door and steps in. Turning on the light reveals a completely different scene. Clean and unused, the bed is a puffy white paradise, and there is nothing but his duffel bag to even know someone has been in here.

"Come on," he says, continuing to pull me toward the bed. He releases my hand and begins unbuttoning his shirt from the top and then just pulls it over his head.

I am suddenly faced with so much skin that I can touch and kiss and taste, and I spread my hands over his ribs, feeling each ridge as I move them up to his rapidly hardening nipples. He pulls at my shirt, trying to lift it over my head while I continue to assault his skin.

"This off," he says, tugging harder.

I finally relent and he quickly discards my shirt on the floor and bends, placing kisses along my shoulders and chest. His fingers are rapidly working on my belt, and I shift to start removing his but then his teeth pull on my nipple. Involuntarily, my back arches and I moan, getting louder as he sucks on one while tugging the other with his long fingers, belt forgotten.

He turns me then and pushes lightly until I fall back on the bed. Crawling over me, all I see is lithe muscles, glinting eyes, and a predatory smile.

I pull his arm once he's closer to me, trying to drag him up my body. "Come here," I beckon, wanting his mouth on mine again.

"Not yet," he says with a wicked smirk, and bends down to graze his nose along my hip bone. I feel my belt finally loosen, and he steps back to drag my jeans and boxers down and off my legs. I am naked before him and I watch him intently as his gaze travels over me.

"Fuck, you're so fucking hot." He kneels next to the bed and his hands wrap around my ankles. He slowly inches them higher, his mouth and body following in a hot trail up my legs, hips, torso. Then his mouth is on mine again and I wrap my arms around him, holding him to me.

He sits back, gripping my shoulder and ass as he pulls me with him. I grind down on his jean-clad length and he groans, but doesn't stop attacking my mouth.

I use my leg for leverage and flip us sideways until I'm on top of him. He tries to sit up, but I put a hand on his chest and keep him down. "My turn."

"I was giving you your turn."

"Not yet." I reach for his jeans and unbutton them quickly. I have this need to see him now, to be skin to skin. After I remove his clothing, I crawl up him in much the same manner as he did, admiring his toned legs, the v of his abs, his smooth white skin, and the obvious evidence that he is enjoying himself.

I draw my fingers up his legs, much like he did, but I slowly inch my way to his straining cock. There's a bead of pre-come collecting at the tip, and I slide my finger over it to bring it to my mouth. Licking my finger clean, I close my eyes to savor the taste, and open them to find Edward staring at me with blatant lust.

He pulls my arm and I fall onto him, but he wraps his arms around me and kisses me for all I'm worth, our tongues sliding against each other as he moans into my mouth. He grabs my ass and thrusts his hips up, causing our lengths to press together in a delicious way. His mouth never stops as I reach between us and grab both our lengths, providing even more friction, more heat.

Embarrassingly quickly, I can feel the tension pooling in my groin, my orgasm already on the brink after a few minutes of our near desperate grinding. I try to slow our rhythm, to hold off a little longer, but Edward just grabs me tighter.

"No, please don't stop. I'm almost there."

The strain in his voice is obvious, so I continue my relentless thrusting and stare into his beautiful face as he comes, sticky and hot between us. The feeling of his cock pulsing in my hand and against my erection is surprisingly enough to send me over the edge, too.

I collapse onto him, panting as he wraps his arms around me and breathes against my neck.

After a few moments, he places a soft kiss on my cheek. "That was amazing."

"Yeah?" I shift so I can look at his face, wondering if he expected more, wanted more. His eyes are half-closed, and he has a dreamy smile on his lips, but I need to know. "You're not disappointed?"

He laughs and pulls me back close. "How could I be?" He places a hand on either side of my face and kisses me full on the mouth. "That was perfect." Yawning, he wraps his arms back around me. "So perfect."

I relish in his warmth and soft sighs for a few moments. I know we have to move and clean ourselves before we both pass out, but letting go of him is proving harder than I think. Eventually, I push myself up through many complaints from Edward, and then try to pull him with me. He grabs my wrist and holds tight, not letting me go.

"Come on, darling. You don't need to move, but I need to clean us up."

He finally relents, and I hurry to the bathroom, cleaning myself off quickly and grabbing a washcloth to clean Edward as well. Luckily when I return, he hasn't moved from where I left him. I use the warm cloth to clean his abdomen and then toss it on the floor. I crawl in the bed next to him and admire him for a moment before I hit the light and pull the duvet over both of us.

He is still lying completely on his back, so I turn onto my side, hooking a knee over his thigh and wrapping an arm over his stomach. He shifts slightly and holds my arm with both of his hands.

Safe and warm and happy, I fall asleep.

At some point in the middle of the night, I wake to find Edward snoring gently, his head completely buried under the duvet and his right arm and both legs tangled with mine. I turn slowly and pull him closer, trying not to disturb him too much. I quickly drift off again, cozy and content.

The next time I wake, there is light streaming through the windows, and I blink slowly in the brightness. I reach over, a smile on my lips, but I only find an empty bed.

And a note.

Jasper,

After everything, I am happy I was stranded on that road when you came driving by. Thank you for showing me that I have potential to survive, even if my life doesn't follow my plan. I hope you can find your balance, or what is right for you in this moment. If you're ever in town again, I'll be here for a few more years, and you'll always have a place to stay with me, if you'd like.

Until next time,

Edward Masen

Future graduate of City University

I smile, although with a little less happiness, and know that he and I will find each other again. But, for this one perfect night, chance and loneliness brought us together, and it was everything we both needed.