A/N Well here we go again, a new story hopefully for your reading pleasure.

This is my entry in the Face book group Slash Writer Workshop picture prompt contest, hope you all enjoy.

A big thank you to the awesomeness that is my beta Deβra Anne, without her I'd be lost and unreadable.

Summary: Jasper's addiction has always been his downfall. Can a friend in trouble bring him to his senses? Just how far is Jasper willing to go or for that matter give up to keep Edward?

I pull the collar of my worn denim jacket closer about my neck, listening as the wind howls around my ears and the heavy cold rain beats down upon my head and shoulders. My skin crawls nervously under my dampened t-shirt as I walk hurriedly through the dark dismal streets of this fucked up town.

Wanting to keep to myself, not drawing attention, I do my best to ignore the car alarms and the loud police sirens, only raising my head from time to time to check that the coast is clear. The walk is short, but the night is cold. I've left my truck in a nearby dark alley, convincing myself that I need to keep it close, but hidden, wanting the opportunity to be able to run to it when the time comes.

'Damn him!'

I hear and feel my feet splash in the puddles beneath every long ass death defying stride I take. I'm soaked to the skin, my form trembling under the freezing raindrops and chilling wind. But maybe the weather's effect is just my imagination, and it's really my racked nerves and fear getting the better of me.

Feeling as my heart leaps and pounds in my chest, the pain jolting me, causing me to trip a step and miss my footing. Clutching my jacket tighter, feeling the need to protect myself, I'm positive the heavy pounding is determined to crack or even break a rib.

My breathing is labored - sickly and strained - and my throat hiccups, trying anxiously to pull stagnant damp air deep into my lungs.

And as I fight desperately for control, my heavy eyelids threaten to fall under the strain of an obnoxious drum beat pounding in my brain. It's causing my mind to reel and my head to spin, and I'm finding it hard to hold a thought or even catch a memory.

My whole body aches as muscle spasms twitch within my joints. I'm terrified and unable to contain my fear, as the pressure and thoughts of this fucked up situation take me over.

Damn him! Damn this all to hell!

But I know in my heart that I have to do this! That's the only thing keeping me going right now, knowing for all that I'm worth that I must! Not only does my life and sanity depend on the outcome, but also the life of one Edward Anthony Cullen.

Thinking of him, I let my eyes flutter closed and raise my face to the skies, welcoming the rain to beat down upon my lashes and cheeks. Inhaling a deep, strangled breath, memories from our short-lived past flood me and take me over.

Edward Cullen is my best friend. Fuck! Who are we kidding? He's my only friend, being the only person that has always stood by me, since the first day I set foot in this God forsaken city.

I'm not saying that I understand it, cause really I don't think I ever will. But Edward says he sees something worthwhile in me, and till the death of me, I'll never understand why. So to say I would die for him would be the understatement of the century.

The thought causes me to chuckle darkly. Cause really! I think that just might be what I'll have to do tonight. Die for him! That is!

Damn him!

A muffled breath catches in my throat, causing me to choke back emotions I never knew I had, or for that matter, could feel. The overwhelming realization makes my eyes sting - and my chest hurts even more - the sensation compelling me to squeeze them tightly shut.

Pulling the neck of my jacket even tighter, tucking it under my chin, all thoughts of him invade my nerves and cause havoc in my brain. Fuck! Am I an idiot or what? Can I do this? Can we really get through this fuckery? Together? But most of all, will we - and can we - survive it? But only time will tell, and only God knows the outcome!

I'm tasting the sulfur in my mouth, lapping at the blood with my tongue, as I nervously gnaw hard on my bottom lip the closer I get to my destination. Shoving my hands deeper into my jeans pockets, I pull my shoulders in and my head down. Straining against and forbidding any weakness to show.

There's no other way to do it though, God knows my scheming mind has tried to think of a better solution. And there's diffidently no time to rethink and less time for doubts. I have to go in there big balls to the wall and show somewhat of a backbone.

Now I chuckle sarcastically to myself. Because these are the big ass balls that Edward seems to think I already have. As I sadly think, 'Shit! How little Edward really does know about me!'

But truthfully I'm expecting the worst and hoping for the best. I'll walk in there, look them straight in their evil fucked up eyes and just fucking beg for mercy shamelessly. My only thought being that I need to bring him home, and do my best to get us both out safely and if that's what it takes then so be it.

'I can so do shameless. Fuck! I can do shameless real well'

God knows this is all my fault to begin with anyway.'Fuck! Not like its not my first rodeo.' But Edward wouldn't be in this God damn messed up situation in the first place if it weren't for me. Never having grown up in the streets he's never had to use his fists to get results.

'Damn it! The boy don't know no better.'

Poor sweet unprepared Edward thought he could solve all my problems, that he could just stroll right on in there and talk to them. He assumed he could reason with them man to man, oh how naive my beautiful friend is or was. I've always said his innocence would be the death off him one day.

'I'm just hoping to all that is holy that its not this fucking day.'

Rounding the corner I'm abruptly stopped in my tracks. Sliding up against the brick foundation of some old building, trying desperately not to breath or cry out in fright. Feeling myself needing and wanting to become one with architecture.

Luckily I spot them before they see me, it's two of Volturi's soldiers, I cringe, at the thought of what I'm up against, knowing that he'll probably have an least a half a dozen more inside. Huffing in disgust. Yeah right! Soldiers my ass, more like fucking hoodlums or riffraff if you ask me. They're pacing back and forth guarding the entrance to Aros club. Rolling my eyes sarcastically, at the thought of even using the word club.

The place is the pit of hell drenched in racketeering and reeking of decay. Lost and deprived souls venture in, craving comfort and solace with their own demented kind. But believe me when I say it doesn't take long for you to realize that the alleviation comes with a price and a very fucking hefty one at that.

Its a fucking dump an out right dive if truth be told, you would probably say its the urban equivalent of the bibles den of iniquity. I cough back a dark chuckle, at just the thought of even quoting my holy rolling church going bible thumping Mother.

But really as I think back the memories make me sick to my stomach, The thoughts causing bitter bile to gather in the back of my throat. I swallow nervously mentally kicking myself for having had taken part or even been associated with any of its wrongdoings. But what makes me sicker is the fact that the politicians and cops of this righteous town tend to turn a blind eye.

But as we all know money talks and criminals walk, and God only knows how many freebies Aro grants to our upstanding boys in blue and proud political heads. Enabling the greedy bastards to have their fill and pick of free liquor and whores.

Regretting the day I ever stepped foot in the place. Loathing myself for even needing its existence. But as gambling is my drug of choice there was nothing fucking holding me back or stopping me from crossing its threshold, and of course when I did I was welcomed home like the prodigal son.

I've always been a card guy ever since I was little. I blame it on my Pops something he would never own up to of course. From the minute that first summer, when he sat me down on my Mama's porch and taught me how to play poker just cause he was bored and I was hooked.

Shit! Whenever I could I would play it, always challenging my friends in middle school to beat me. But they never did and I always won. The rush and confidence the wins gave me, filled me with a high and a euphoria I had never known before but which I grew to like.

So by the time I made it to high school I was a card junkie, the addiction to the win always pulling me under and sucking me in. With myself and buddies always having some kind of part time jobs, The pot was sweetened and my new drug was extra money in my pocket.

But my high never lasted and my patience grew thin, not taking long for my addiction to take me over and run my life. When I was winning I was eager when I started to lose I'd get pissed. Over time alienating my best friends having them disown my sorry ass.

So as the years went by and my addiction grew, the less friends I had and the lesser money was in my pocket. Finding myself driving for miles to find a game sometimes ending up with not even the gas money to get my sorry ass home.

My predicament causing me to turn to things I would under normal circumstances not do. But hey I needed the game and I longed for the high. But really I think the night my Father caught me in a stranger's trunk parked in our driveway, after having shamelessly begged for a ride home, with said stranger's dick deep in my throat was the very last straw. Leading to my hastily departure from my parents humble abode.

I choke back my ugly thoughts bringing my shaky denim arm up wiping my damp face hastily. 'Bygones are a bitch and your history can be the death of you if you let it.' But I'm hoping today can be a new day like a new start with a clean slate. If I knew I'd get through this fuckery alive and still have my best-friend Edward by my side. I would swear to God I'd be one lucky fucker.

I face the brick wall hugging it tightly, slowly easing my head around the corner anxiously eying up my competition or competitors so to speak. Recognizing the big guy trying my best to remember his fucking name, The name Felix comes to mind but really I'm not too fucking sure.

All I know is that his size has always intimidated me, the guy is fucking huge! Like Sasquatch huge! And from what I've heard he eagerly does Aros bidding, not blinking an eye when breaking a persons arm or snuffing someone out for that matter. I know I've seen a few of his victims on milk cartons over the years and I have no intentions of becoming one of them.

The other guy I"d recognize in a heartbeat, and even though he might be shorter in stature he's just as fucking dangerous. His name is Demetri and he likes to consider himself Aros right hand man. So I'm sure the fact that he has to stand his noble ass outside in the pouring rain and freezing cold wind waiting for my sorry good for nothing butt to show, with no other than a low life like Felix is really pissing him off right now.

Not so eager to meet with my welcoming party but now willing to get this over with. I straighten my shoulders and run my shaky fingers through my dark wet hair. Drawing one last nervous breath deep into my lungs I put on my cockiest of swaggers and nonchalantly head straight for them.

Demetri spots me first I'm unable to make out what he's saying, but I watch though my soaked bangs as he punches Felix on the right bicep trying to get his attention and points his finger my way. They both turn in my direction the anger and frustration on their faces deepens the closer I get.

I let my adrenaline take over now that I feel my panic set in. My belly's flipping anxiously and my chest tightens as I feel my heart stampede loudly under my soaked shirt and denim jacket. There's a high pitch ringing in my ears drowning out most of the city sounds breathing deep through my nose, I do my best to focus, attempting to direct all my anger and the need to protect what's mine on them.

I'm taken aback and somewhat terror-stricken when I notice Felix's monstrous shit shoveling hands curl into tight fists. His love for the beat down distresses me, how someone can get so much enjoyment from an others pain I will never know or for that matter comprehend. 'There's got to be a fucked up childhood in there somewhere, and I'm sure some life long therapy would help.' But tonight my ass is his and the thought that only one of us might get to tell about it torments the hell out of me even more.

We're now standing a little face to face and toe to toe. Felix to the right of me and Demetri to my left. I make eye contact with Demetri, thinking he's my best bet to deal with first. The guys greed for power will want him to be addressed first and foremost, and if truth be told I might be able to buy myself some time if I make him think his thoughts on this matter are important to me.

I smile cockily as I address my executioners my eyes darting between theirs looking for the first sign that my beat down will begin. "Good evening gentlemen, so sorry to keep you both waiting. I hope you haven't been standing out in these dreadful elements for too long?"

Demetri returns my look with a wide evil grin of his own. "Its all good Jasper, you know Aro can be a very patient man when he sets his mind to it. And the fact that he has such lovely companionship at the moment is making his waiting just that little bit more enjoyable and may I even say sweeter."

I cringe at the thought, Edward being in the same zip code as Aro makes my blood boil never mind being in the same room. Knowing what Aro and his lackies are capable of, I let my lashes brush against my cheek bones as I feel the sting in my eyes and the tears threaten to fall. My chest tightens and I'm finding it hard to draw a single breath into my lungs. But I fight back my fears, not wanting to give them the pleasure of seeing any signs of weakness or concern on my part.

Demetri steps in-front of me first, the bitter smell of his breath on my face, takes me out of my musing causing my eyes to dart to his. I listen as his tone turns harsh and he begins to question.

"Did you bring it? Are you prepared to meet with him? You know how much he appreciates preparation Jasper! I'm hoping for your sake you haven't fucked this up. Again!" With his eyes darting excitedly between mine and my mouth he continues. "Cause really Jasper we wouldn't want anything ghastly to happen to you or your little...Mm-mm friend? Now would we. Son!"

Breathing through my mouth, cause really! If I don't I'm going to hurl all over his sorry sour breathed ass. I now angrily address the second in command. "Thanks for your concern Demetri, I never knew that you cared for my welfare or that of my friends so much. But truthfully this is a matter between Aro and myself so if you could take me to him so we could get this the fuck over with I'd really appreciate it."

The sharp pain in my ass is the first thing to register,secondly being the frowned angry face of a pissed off Demetri as my body hits the concrete before my mind gets the chance to catch up. Looking around stunned I notice Felix's fist outstretched, the fucker hit me! Like really fucking hit me! Without warning. Chuckling darkly to myself, as I rub the side of my head. Thinking sarcastically. 'Would I really expect anything less from the stupid bastard?'

And within seconds I'm pulled to my feet by the hair and collar off my jacket. As Felix holds me in mid air my feet not able to touch the ground. I brace myself and my body tenses as I watch his arm pull back and his fist prepare to fly, and with my eyes tightly shut I wait, and still I wait. I feel and hear nothing 'Did I die? Is it over? Shit that was quick, I never even got the chance to get my dig in.' Wondering what the hell was going on I sheepishly open my one eye.

I'm still floating in mid air, Felix still has me in his grip. But his arm is frozen and his attention is now elsewhere, Demetri is speaking to him in a low harsh tone. "Lets take this inside Felix, we don't want to draw attention to Aro's fine establishment." And without releasing me from his hold and Demetri assisting him with the door we hurriedly make are way into the club.

We enter the dark opening, the heat hitting my face causing goose bumps to dance across my feverish skin. I know where I'm at and I've got my bearings. So I know for a fact that off to my left is an office, Aro's office to be exact. But its dark, and there's no sign of life, but that don't mean shit right now, cause I know in my heart the fucker would never miss a beat down and is sitting smugly behind his desk eagerly watching.

But it's the sound I hear next that catches my attention. It's the sound in the darkness that pulls me in and scares the living shit out of me. Cause its Edward! My Edward! I hear him gasp loudly but I also hear as Aro chastises him sternly. The fucker is not only watching but he intends to have Edward watch this fuckery also. I feel as my blood runs cold, and sense as my will determines to give up and give in.

I feel my body weight being lifted to the ceiling the higher I go the more I tend to struggle. The fuckers holding me by the throat at arms length, and as my breathing becomes slower I desperately kick the air trying my damnedest to drag long heavy breaths into my strangled lungs.

I only feel the first punch cause the rest becomes more of a nightmare that an actual happening. I sense smell and know what's going on, but my body has decided to shut down against the blows I guess its my mind's way of saving me from the insult of his abuse.

The crack of my cheek bone is the loudest, but the slap when his fist meets my face a close second. I feel the skin around my eye start to tighten as his huge knuckles come in-contact with my now blooded face. Breathing is now harder and my heads beginning to spin as I feel pools of blood run over my lips and hit the back of my now constricted throat.

I hear choking and whizzing like an out of body experience I'm hearing it from afar, but as my chest tightens and my lungs struggle for air it doesn't take me long to realize the deathly sounds I'm hearing are of my own making.

I feel myself starting to drift as his brutal pounding continues, I listen as if drowning in a pool of water as the slaps smacks kicks and thumps echo off of each and every wall. I couldn't open my eyes even if I tried, the dizziness is compelling me not to, and the tight taut skin around my sockets is making it impossible to do so.

My mind flashes like an old black and white movie, scenes from my past come back to haunt and torment me. Its jumping back and forth from one age to the next scene after scene. I'm watching the people I have crossed, and the lives I have had part in destroying run rapid in my mind.

Blow job after nasty blow job, wank after dirty sweaty nasty wank plays out behind my eyes. Dark alleys and cheap motel rooms flash in my head and as scene after scene disgusts and threatens desperately to pull me under, I feel as the tears roll down my broken face.

But then I see it and my mind smiles, I see Edward in all his redheaded glory. It's the day after we met in the coffee shop down town, it's the day we went to the park and I tried my best to convince him that I was no good and that he should just walk away. But my friend was either too sweet or too naive cause he wouldn't listen to reason and refused to back down.

I see us sitting by the lake on a bench feeding the ducks, well! Edward was feeding the ducks the tough guy image I was trying to preserve was having no parts of that shit. He was planning out the week ahead and sometimes it sounded like a month. But I had to stop him I couldn't let this continue, so as I flew my hands up in surrender surprising him a little, and proceeded to inform him why this wasn't such a good idea, doing my best to let him know that I was just no good.

Putting the bird-feed to one side he stands turning to me, I still remain seated as he places a hand on each of my shoulders and begins to give me his little speech. "Jasper Hale don't give me your tough guy bull shit, you know you want to be my friend cause I can see it in your eyes, all you need to do now is fess up and own up to it." And as I watch his wide contagious smile beam down on me all I can do in return is nod and smile back.

The light from his smile is blinding me the memories from our meeting sinking in, but as quick as my movie started is as quick as it abruptly ends. Cause the next thing I register is Demetris sour breath and stupid accented voice at my ear,

"Jasper? Oh Jasper? You in there buddy? Cause as much as this spectacle is entertaining to watch. I would advise you to start to fight for what you want. Cause when Felix is done with your sorry ass he's going to get full enjoyment out of having to do the same to your Edward."

And as his hateful words seep in and thoughts of Edward still invade my mind, I feel the surge hit me, like currents of electricity it runs wildly through my bloodstream. 'No one gets to touch fucking Edward! No one gets to lay a finger on one Goddamn hair on his head!' So as I feel the adrenaline run within me and pull a hard and heavy breath out of nowhere into my now failing lungs, I pounce like a lion sight unseen. Feeling as my fingers meet Felix's face digging my nails crazily into his eyes as my still airborne boots come in-contact with the man's unprotected balls.

I've caught him off guard rendering him somewhat useless. listening as his sharp screams roll throughout the room around us. He's on his back, I can see glimpses of him through my swollen eyes and hear his head bounce off the tiled floor with every angry blow I thrust upon him. I'm straddling his mid section my thighs like vices holding him still. The fucker has wasted so much of his energy kicking my sorry ass he has none left to protect his own.

Then I'm brought up short as I hear Aro's stern voice ring out. "ENOUGH!"

I'm pulled off of Felix watching smugly through swollen eyes as he lays on the dirty floor hands to his throat struggling for air. But Demetri keeps me on my knees holding me down by the hair as I sense Aro's approach.

But then shock sets in and I'm taken aback as his sweet smell hits me, and his soft long fingers run through my hair. It's Edward! My Edward! He's by my side and he's comforting me. Leaning into him as I feel his warm breath fan the shell of my ear and his soft voice quietly whisper. "Jasper! Please! I beg of you stay down, don't give them any more reason to continue. Please Jasper promise me you will." I pull a deep breath into my lungs leaning a little harder towards him as I sadly think to myself. 'Oh Edward just how naive you must be, if you think me staying still or being quiet is going to end this thing right now.'

And that's when all the air suddenly gets sucked out of the room and Aro's evil voice rings within its walls. " Oh how sweet are they? Its like a reunion of sorts, wouldn't you say Demetri? They are so loving with each other, I would never have imagined Edward to like dick as much as Jasper."

And as the words hit my ears I feel Edward tense and a loud gasp releases from his heaving chest. And within seconds I feel the chill run down my spine, as I notice Felix has gotten to his feet and pulled Edward away from me abruptly.

Keeping my head down my swollen eyes dart to Edwards, I watch from my knees as disgust and horror floods his smooth handsome features. The pain in my chest tightens even more threatening to steal my very soul, cause I've seen that look before, It's the same look my parents gave me the day they kicked my sorry gay ass out, vowing to never let me cross their humble abodes threshold again.

Aro's words still ring in my ears, and my weary bones feel them vibrate off the clubs walls, as I try desperately to swallow back the clotted lump in my throat and calm my aching heart.

I nervously meet Edwards emerald gaze. My bloodshot eyes stare at him anxiously as I watch his bottom lip sadly quiver. I feel the single tear release and no matter how hard I try I can't stop it, so as it takes its lone journey along my cheeks shattered bone. With sad heavy eyes I plead with Edward and try silently to beg for his forgiveness, and hope that he apprehends that I'm willing to grovel for to keep his friendship.

I'm wanting him to understand, I'm needing him to know. That I always expected to tell him. Always! I swear! Right from that very first day at the coffee shop or even the park. But my own stubbornness and insecurities repeatedly got the better of me, forever getting in the way. Knowing I could never handle his pity or even worse his rejection. But I swear! Really I do! That with all my heart I was going to tell him someday, but that day never came cause the timing just never felt right.

And now Aro's has beat me to it, the fucker has sensed my deepest darkest secret, I should have known he would, the tone of his evil voice should have given him away. My willingness to come fight for my friend has giving Aro the ammunition he needs to try and destroy me and everything I hold dear.

The tone of his voice makes my eyes dart to him. "Have you brought my money dear boy or did you just drop by to save your latest fuck?"

I search for Edward for a split second, but my eyes are swollen and my vision with the tears is now blurred. Yelling at the top of my lungs. "Don't you ever refer to him as my latest fuck Aro. You have no Goddamn rig...!"

I feel my head bounce of the tile floor realizing I've been smacked on the side of the head by Demetris boot, and as I lay shaking on my side Aro's angry voice fills my head. "Don't you ever tell me what I can and cannot do or say Jasper. You are way too much of a fucking loser to order me around. Boy!."

From my tiled bed I can hear Edward crying I'm sure no one else does cause it's barely a whisper. With every tiny sob he makes my heart breaks just a little bit more. This is not his world, he should not be here to witness this. The thought of Edward scared and confused claws at my soul. But then I get a thought, well more like a plan, and as I let it play out in my head before it's even finished the words fall from my chapped dry lips.

"I'll play you for him?"

The room falls silent for a minute. Then I hear Aro's hearty laugh and clapping invade the silence.

His dress shoes click on the tiled floor as he hastily makes his way eagerly to my side. Bending at the waist he gleefully whispers in my ear. "You'll do what Jasper? What was that I heard? You'll play me for him?"

And my only response is to nervously nod.

Straightening he laughs even harder at the thought, mocking me in a way, belittling me if you will. "Jasper that's a very intriguing idea you have there my friend. Let me get this straight in my head, you want me to play you a hand of cards? And if you win you get to leave and take Edward with you? But if I win I get to keep Edward and still hound your good for nothing ass for the money you owe me?"

And as I swallow hard and choke back my subtle tears, all I can manage is a continuous nod.

Keeping my head down and my eyes shut I hear him pace back and forth, he shares a few whispers with Demetri and throws a few harsh commands Felix's way. I sigh in relief as I hear the card table being dragged to the center of the room.

I'm pulled from the floor by my hair and seated in a hard chair, my chest hitting the edge of the table as my body is pushed roughly under it. Trying to straighten myself I place my palms on the wood and take a quick look around. I see Edward over to the side, he's not looking at me and I watch nervously as his body trembles with fear. But the thought of him hating me will have to wait till later, cause my only concern now is to get him out of here safely.

We are now each seated at the table Aro across from me and Demetri off to my right side. Felix is over guarding Edward the thought making me huff and laugh, cause really where's the poor boy going to go? Its not like he's going to try and run or try to leave for that matter.

Demetri coughs bringing my attention back to him, then he barks out the rules. " OK! guys seven card stud is the name of the game, and the person left showing the highest hand is automatically the winner." I watch nervously as Demetri starts to deal.

Aro and I are given two cards each face down and one card face up. I swallow hard when I notice Aro has the queen of spades showing and I have a ten of diamonds. Shakily picking up my face down cards, I feel my form relax a little and my breathing evens out.

But my relaxation is not for long as I watch Demetri deal three more up faced cards. Aro gets an ace of spades and two fives were as I get another ten and a jack of diamonds. I don't even have the chance to get my nerves in check or even catch my breath as Demetri lets the last card fall to the table and I hurriedly pick it up.

I sit and stare at my cards knowing fine rightly I had to make the best possible five carded hand out of the ones I was dealt. Raising my gaze to Aro I watch as he seductively fondles the cards placing them in order. Then the fucker has the nerve to bring his eyes to mine and sarcastically wink.

And as I take my last strangled breath fear and anxiety growing in my chest, my trembling fingers fumble with my cards as an obnoxious overly confident Aro throws his hand to the table. "Full house my man, read em and weep Jasper. Looks like this is just not your night or even your year for that matter. Boy!."

My gaze darts to Edward and his weary eyes meet mine. I watch as he swallows hard and shakes nervously. And as I bring my stare back to the table looking dumbfounded down at Aro's cards lying haphazardly in-front of me, three fives and two fours glare back in my face.

Aro straightens the cuffs of his sleeves pulling the lapels of his jacket, smoothing its front as he proceeds to stand. I'm taking out of my thoughts as I hear the legs of his chair scrape along the tiled floor. Flashing him a look as he grins devilishly down at me I clear my throat before I speak.

"You might have a full house Aro but I think mine is fuller!" Laying each card face up pounding it into the table with every word that I speak. First the ten of diamonds then the ten of spades followed shiftily with the Jack of diamonds the Jack of spades. Thumping the table hard I raise to my shaky feet as I lay face up my last and only card the Jack of hearts.

Every person in the room gasps but I think poor Edwards is the loudest, I watch as the shock of my win drowns out Aro's cocky expression, taking much pleasure in seeing the so called great fucker fall. As I step hurriedly pushing my chair back so quick it topples and hits the floor with a crack. Eagerly grabbing what is now my lucky Jack of hearts, shoving it deep into the breast pocket of my denim jacket I rush to Edward's side.

He eyes me warily and unsure as I reach out my shaky hand for him to take. Silently I plead and beg for him to come and make it quick. I know he wants to talk I know the boy has questions to be answered. But he's got to understand that will come much later, right now we have no time, I'm desperately trying to rely with my swollen eyes the need for us to get the fuck out of here now.

And as I feel his warm touch fold itself in mine, I eagerly pull him to his feet. We turn instantly and are met with Felix and Demetri. Pushing Edward behind me out of the way I speak in a low safe and assured tone. "Boys really! You want to do this right now? You both heard Aro, winner takes all its only fair and square. We wouldn't want it to get out that Aro is not a man of his word now would we?"

They both stare at each-other for a moment then look over their shoulders at the boss as he stands hands clasped at his chest and a condescending look upon his face. With one small defeated nod from him Felix and Demetri part. Glancing around one last time I grab Edward by the wrist and head for the door. We are stopped in our tracks as Aro's harsh and acquiesce voice follows us to the threshold. "You'll be back Jasper! Mark my words you'll return, they always do."

And as I let my arm fold around Edwards waist pulling him to me holding him tight sighing deeply as I feel him relax into my side I yell over my shoulder with my hand on the door knob. "Don't count on it Aro! I think you've just seen the last of me."

As we hit the street we take off running, no looking back no collecting two hundred dollars for passing go. We make in to my truck in record time thanking to all that is holy that our long ass legs could carry us.

Opening the passenger side door I help a shaky chest heaving Edward into his seat, rounding the front nearly sliding across the hood I climb into the drivers side. Grabbing a blanket from the back I hand it to Edward, he eyes we wearily and I do my best to give him a small confident smile. "Take your wet coat off Edward and wrap yourself in this, it will calm your nerves and keep you warm for now." He does as I say as I strip myself of my own jacket and pull my ripped soaked blood stained t-shirt over my head, vigorously wiping my swollen face and damp hair with it.

Starting the engine turning on the heat, I reach for another blanket in the back seat. And as I'm pulling it forward his soft hand reaches for me and his long fingers fold around my wrist. My sad eyes wander to his and my gaze is mirrored in his worried face.

My heart breaks as I hear him try and form the words he so desperately wants me to hear. "Is it true Jasper? Are you gay? Why did I not know this? How come you never told me?"

I look at him pleadingly wanting him to understand as I answer my beautiful friends questions. "Yes Edwards it true I'm gay, have been for as long as I can remember. And I"m sorry if you think I've lied to you, but I never meant to hurt you, you have to understand that. I think I've never told you cause the truth of the matter is I was scared."

He looks at me sternly. "Scared Jasper? Why would you ever be scared of me?"

I pull him closer to me gently taking his hand in mine before continuing. "Not scared of you so to speak, but scared of losing the best thing that has ever come into my life."

I watch as a tear travels down his face making its journey across his upper lip. I stare mesmerized as his pink tongue darts out eagerly to catch its salty essence. But before it can complete the task at hand, I automatically bring the pad of my thumb up wiping it over his soft supple mouth.

I gasp aloud as I feel his tongue glide along the contours of my digit, and sigh contently as he leans into my touch. I can still feel him tremble somewhat, so I let his heavy head fall against my heaving chest bringing him closer to me, enabling me to get the chance to bury my nose in his soft damp hair and inhale his heavenly scent.

Then suddenly I hear it. Its a whisper and a shaky one at that. maybe more like a hush. Its his voice and I know that it's his voice cause I feel his warm breath travel across my naked chest and abs, causing delicious goose bumps to dance upon my overheated skin.

"I love you... Ja..Jas...Jasper. I...I..I always have."

Pulling him back I look at him confused and bewildered. But he's unable to meet my eyes and has momentarily lost his voice. So determined to get to the bottom of his little stuttering outburst I place a few fingers under his chin and bring his stare to mine.

His eyes are damp and his skin is flushed I know some of it is from us running and the heat from my truck, but I'm God damn sure most of it is from the little confession he just made.

"Excuse me Edward? Did I just hear you right?"

His handsome face flushes more and his body begins to quiver slightly under my hold. I pull him tighter as I feel him willingly press himself firmly to me. And as he melts into my side his arm comes up and his hand folds around my neck. My spine tingles slightly as he runs his fingers through my hair.

Then my mind finally catches up with the moment, and I fly upright in my seat. Causing Edward to startle nearly making him jump out of his skin. Pushing him back I look him right in his deep green eyes and excitedly question.

"Hold the fucking phone Edward! What the hell do you mean you've been in love with me? And all this fucking time? What does this mean Edward? Your gay? Since when? Why didn't you tell me?"

Guilt now blankets his handsome face, as his dampened eyes close and he drags deep heavy air into his lungs before answering my hysteria.

"I guess like you, I too was scared. I just didn't know how I would fit into your life if you ever found out. I wanted to be your friend so desperately I was willing to hide that part of me to keep you."

Pulling him to me pressing my lips to his head feeling as his hair tickles my nose, I whisper softly to him.

"Edward lets start over, I don't know how much more off this shit my weary heart can take, no more secrets OK!" He eagerly nods as he listens attentively to my words. " Edward I love you too! I always have, ever since that first day in the coffee shop. And I think it was the fear of having to ever live without you in my life that had kept me silent for so long."

He raises his face to mine his damp green eyes wander between my gaze and lips. And as he brings his mouth to meet me pulling me forward by the neck our lips lock in the most delicious way. I grimace slightly at the contact as the pain shoots through my broken face. Edward tries to pull away saddened apologies written all over his beautiful features.

But if he thinks I'm letting him do that he's got another fucking thing coming. Taking his face in my hands I draw him to me bringing him tighter. My heavy heart beats wildly in my chest as his soft lips part and his tongue glides along mine.

Its not hot and heavy but its warm and needy. And as his hands and fingers play in my dampened hair, I let mine travel slowly up the smooth contours of his back.

With a deep sigh he pulls away, I eye him warily as he straightens himself back into the passenger seat. Wrapping the blanket tightly around him he speaks.

"Looks like we have some catching up to do? Huh?"

I smirk as I notice his nervous eyes and flushed face dart eagerly to mine.

Reaching in my glove compartment I grab my extra work shirt yanking it over my head I spin in his direction before answering him smugly.

"Yes your right looks like we have a lot of catching up to do if you ask me."

But as I lean in for one final kiss I'm taking aback as his fingers touch my mouth. Looking at him somewhat sternly and a little confused I raise an eyebrow in question.

And softy he replies. "The catching up with, I'm excited about Jasper. But first thing tomorrow we find you a new club to join."

Now both my eyebrows shoot up and I'm sure my forehead is frowned in more confusion, and as he notices my concerned look he continues.

"I'm willing to help this work and I'm excited for where it will take us. But I have to learn to trust you Jasper. And if it takes you joining gamblers anonymous then so be it. I'm not going to spend the rest of our lives looking over my shoulder for an Aro or a Felix to come rushing in. I need to have faith in us if nothing else and that will take time. Can you promise me that? Can you grant me this one wish?"

And with a wide smile and a tender kiss on his now pouty moist lips, I make my promise wholeheartedly vowing first thing in the morning to make that call.

And as I drive away with my now new lucky Jack of hearts stuck to my rear-view mirror, watching contentedly as the dark dismal fucked up city disappears. I smile smugly to myself as I feel Edwards warm fingers entwine tightly with mine. Giving his hand one final squeeze as I gleefully think.

'Jasper you son of a bitch! You are definitely one lucky bastard'

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