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CHAPTER NINE: WORTH IT

Edward stood just outside the entrance of the new glass building that sported the letters V&W and he couldn't help but admire it. The building wasn't by any means a skyscraper, but it certainly stood out with the soaring limestone façade. Although not ornate like some of the surrounding buildings, the sleek undulating wall drew the eyes upwards to the soaring peak of the building, which put an emphasis on its height, making it look bigger than what it really was.

Edward checked his watch again, realizing he had been waiting for Alice to fetch him for almost ten minutes, and he was starting to get worried. He had been debating for weeks about how, when and where to approach Jasper and ask for forgiveness. Edward had finally gathered the courage two days ago, and then called Alice, needing her blunt and honest advice to give him the final push to get here.

It hadn't been easy for Edward to swallow his pride and ask for help. Alice had been a God send in disguise. Not only did she help him realize what he did all those months ago was downright cruel, but she also forced him to face the fact he had broken Jasper's heart. But above all, she had opened his eyes to the fact that he needed help.

Professional help.

It was Alice who introduced him to Dr. Heidi Randall. She ran her own private practice here in the city and had been highly recommended by several of his peers that had dealt with difficult family situations. Edward worked with Dr. Heidi for weeks to help him come to terms with a lot of his trust and self-esteem issues, not to mention with the fact that he was a closeted gay man.

It took him a month to officially come out to his family, another month to come out to Peter – who back then had taken to only talk to Edward about business, their friendship pushed to the back burner until he 'got his head out of his ass and make things right', as Peter so eloquently put it the day he came back to the office.

It had been hard, but contrary to what he expected, he had only found acceptance and encouragement. He finally felt free to be who he was.

Then there was the fucking Ice Queen, Rosalie.

That bitch had been giving him hell about his poor daughter. Since she couldn't drag the divorce, she was willing to drag her supposed fight for custody of her daughter. Edward grew tired quickly and almost offered more money just to get rid of her, but just when he was about to make the offer, one of his trusted auditors came to his office with proof that Rosalie was in fact involved in the missing couple of million dollars from his company.

Edward didn't waste any more time and dropped down the axe swiftly. He called Jenks, set up a meeting with Rosalie and her lawyers, and then let his lawyer to the rest.

That was the last time he saw Rosalie.

Good fucking riddance.

"Edward Cullen."

Edward was startled out of his thoughts by a masculine voice calling his name. He turned around and stood face to face with a very handsome man. He was six feet tall and had the clearest sea green eyes he had ever seen. He wore a suit that fit him perfectly and had a letter messenger bag hung from his right shoulder.

Edward searched his memory, but he couldn't remember how or when he had met this man.

"Excuse me, but do I know you?" he asked politely to the man.

"No, but you know my business partner," he said bluntly.

The man then took a card out of his pocket and handed it to him.

As soon as Edward read the card, he knew this was all Alice's doing.

Demetri Yanoz
CEO and Co-founder
V&W Graphic Designs
Seattle, WA.

Edward let out a slow sigh and looked up at the man standing in front of him. "Alice sent you."

Demetri nodded and pursed his lips. "She seems to think that us meeting is a good idea, though I don't really know why."

Edward cocked his head to the side. "You don't know?"

The young man shrugged. "Unless you are looking for a new concept design for your company's publicity, I don't think we have anything else to discuss."

By the young man's stance, Edward could see he knew exactly what he meant. Demetri Yanoz looked like he was ready to punch Edward in the face at the slightest provocation. He looked defensive and also ready to strike.

Edward wondered why Alice had thought meeting Jasper's new partner in business was a good idea, especially now that he was finally in a position to face Jasper.

Edward knew about Jasper's success. He had been following closely his career, feeling proud with each new client that spoke highly of this new up-and-coming graphic design firm. It was something that connected him to the man he felt so deeply for, and it filled him with joy to see him pushing through and moving forward. It gave him hope, hope he wasn't sure he should have let rise, given the stance of the person standing in front of him in this moment.

Edward rubbed his mouth, lost for words. "Look, I have been meaning to call Jas-"

"Don't you fucking dare!"

Startled by the young man's interruption, Edward looked up at him and took a step back when he noticed the balled up fists at Demetri's sides.

Edward raised his hand, palms out. "Let me explain—"

"Like he tried?"

Edward winced at the reminder of his actions all those months back and shame was quick to set a heavy weight on his chest. He crossed his arms across his chest, trying to keep himself together when memories threatened him to consume him.

"I-I… You're right." Edward sighed in defeat, but then shook his head, trying to get rid of those feelings, remembering the words his therapist had been drilling in him for the past months.

Edward squared his shoulder and looked at Demetri in the eye. "I have no business in asking you to let me explain, but last time I checked, you weren't Jasper's keeper. I have worked hard all these months to have this one chance to prove myself to him, to come here and apologize. I know I don't deserve a second chance, I was cruel and without reason. My actions have haunted me for the past months, but I am here, willing to sacrifice what is left of me to make things right."

Demetri relaxed his stance a little. "I don't trust you, and I doubt Jasper will be willing to listen."

"I know that, but I have to try. I lov—" He snapped his mouth shut and took a deep breath. He couldn't believe what he had almost blurted out; those words were meant for Jasper alone, but he had been caught in the moment, the desperation he felt was so palpable and knew he had to calm down before he said something he would regret.

Edward needed to make Dimitri understand that his intentions were sincere and that he was dedicated to make Jasper listen to what he had to offer, which was all of him. He took another calming breath before he continued. "I care deeply for him, Demetri," he said with emotion clear in voice. "He is worth the fight."

Demetri could see the sincerity in Edward's eyes, and the fact he was here and talking to him spoke volumes of his commitment to Jasper. He had caught Edward's little slip, but chose to not bring it up, understanding that those words weren't meant for him to hear them first. With a heavy sigh, Demetri realized that Edward wasn't the monster he had made up in his head. He was a flawed man that made the wrongs choices, but was brave enough to admit he did wrong.

Edward Cullen was a good man.

It was easy to see for someone who wasn't in the middle of the situation, but it was a whole different issue by the parties involved.

Demetri wondered what it would take for Jasper to actually meet with Edward.

"Look, Mr. Cullen… I can see you have made up your mind and that you care for my friend, but I honestly don't know if he will ever even give you five minutes of his time."

"That's where I come in," announced Alice as she slowly waddled up to where Edward and Demetri were standing.

Both men watched her warily; her belly looked so big in her small form.

Alice stood beside Demetri and gently placed her small hand on the man's arm. "I knew that if I had brought Edward here without you knowing, you would have probably stopped us on the way in. I know how protective of my brother you are, but they need to talk. Edward has some things to confess that Jasper needs to hear, and even if they don't end up together, at least this could be the closure they both need."

"So, that's why you set this up?" Edward realized, feeling his stomach churn at the possibility of not being able to be with Jasper.

Alice nodded. "Yes, it was the only way. Demetri needed to see that you weren't going to hurt my brother."

Demetri nodded and extended his hand towards Edward. "Good luck," he said as the older man shook his hand. "You are gonna need it."

"Thank you," Edward responded, breaking the handshake. "I know."

In a group, they made their way inside. While the elevator took them closer to Jasper, Alice tried to give Edward a pep talk, but the woman's words went unheard, for Edward had only one thought in his mind, going around in a loop like a silent prayer.

Jasper, I hope you can forgive me.

As the door of the elevators opened, Edward could feel his heart beat faster and faster, so much that he was afraid people would be able to see it try to beat its way out. He unconsciously rubbed his chest, where the small ache that had been residing for the past six months had been permanently pulsing, but was surprised to find that the ache wasn't there anymore. Instead, a sense of anticipation started to spread and when Jasper's office came into view, he almost gasped at the feel of his body relaxing instantly, like the knowledge that Jasper was just on the other side of that door was enough.

Edward could only hope that Jasper would listen and let him explain. He had a lot of things to tell him, things he had been hiding for many years, things he needed to know, to understand and to see. Even if Jasper tossed him out today, he knew he would never rest until he made things right.

He was ready to fight.

For him.


For some reason, I had the most difficult time writing this chapter. I think I lost count of how many times I began typing and deleting everything I typed shortly after. I just couldn't find the right mood and the right sequence of events for it. I'm still not happy with it, but it's the best I can do.

The next chapter is almost ready; we will pick up where we left off the last chapter. I hope this chapter clears up some of the questions you guys had about Edward, but more answers will come in next chapter. This time, there will be a face off. Blame Edward for not getting it this chapter, he wanted to have his say...

Thank you for reading and for waiting. xo ~Mina