Author's Note: This one-shot is dedicated to Whiti Shades, because she had a birthday a little while back; because she loves "sport" and balls and boys; and because she's an amazing friend and most loyal supporter. Whiti, I wish you an embarrassingly belated Happy Birthday from your bright orange friend on the other side of the world!

Warning:This story is slash, meaning boy/boy loving-Edward/Emmett, specifically. The characters belong to Stephenie Meyer, but I highly doubt she'll want them back after I'm through with them!


no-man's land: Area of the tennis court between the service line and the baseline, where a player is most vulnerable.




GodDAMMit, E. Your back is about to jackknife on you, and you know it. Call for your trainer.

"Caius Volturi leads four games to one in the fourth set," the umpire calls, as the players round the net posts.

Trainer, goddammit, TRAINER! All my pacing and cursing and urging won't change a thing out there. He's headed for his chair.

Fuck! You stubborn fool! I spit out, grateful, at least, to be alone in this concrete tunnel, where I can watch him without being on display for the rest of the yahoos who call themselves his friends. Leeches, all of them—the coach, his manager, and worst of all, that bimbo who gloms onto his side whenever there's a pap anywhere in the vicinity.

I drop my heavy leather medical bag to the ground and circle my fingertips against my temples. The next change-over isn't for two more games now, so all I can do now is watch. And torture myself with the certainty that his back is about to pop. FUCK!

I force my eyes to his chair, as if by looking, I can absorb his pain. He's hunched forward, towel thrown over his crazy tangle of hair, hiding the grimace he has to be making right now, and it kills me. There probably isn't another soul out here who noticed the twinge after he snapped that last overhead into the net.

This is all my fault. If I hadn't sprouted a—


Edward pushes off the white director's chair and slides the towel down the right side of his head, mopping the sweat from his face one last time. He tosses it back to his ball boy, the tall, blonde kid he picked out back in the quarter finals. Edward's favorite. It's nice to be the top seed. To get your pick of endorsements and signature clothing lines and pretty girls and attentive ball boys. What I wouldn't give to be that kid right now. To stand that close and watch his muscles work with perfect grace and accuracy, to be the one to bounce the balls into his skilled hands, to hold his fucking sweaty towel for him just waiting for the chance to be called into service with the point of a finger…

While I'm stuck here, completely helpless on the sidelines. I grind the heels of my hands into my eyeballs in frustration.

"Rrrrrrahhh!" Edward's familiar grunt accompanies his serve, and it whizzes by Volturi at 132 miles per hour. The crowd cheers the ace, and Edward moves confidently to the ad court, but I see the toll it's taken on his body. He accepts the new ball from his boy, bounces it twice, torques his back, tosses the ball, and, "Rrrrrahhh!" Right into the net. He pulls the second ball from his pocket, repeats the routine, and as he slices the racquet face across the ball to produce the spin that made him famous, his grunt comes out more like a wail of pain. Edward hobbles toward the middle while Caius hits a cross-court backhand winner.

Edward points to his ball boy, who skips close enough to hand him his towel, then waits patiently with arms crossed behind his back until Edward finishes mopping his forehead, his hands, his grip, and tosses back the sweaty white terry cloth. Edward accepts three balls from him, bounces each around a few times, slips one into his pocket, and returns the extra one to Blondie. Foreplay.

I'm beginning to hate the boy. It's not fair of me, and truth be told, he would be just my type—tall and lanky, a bit of a twink, an open, bright expression locked onto his face, or maybe that's just hero worship for Edward. I honestly can't blame the kid. Fuck if I don't look the same way if I'm not careful to control myself in his presence.

It's not as if Edward appreciates the kid's charms, I remind myself with a mixed bag of emotions. If he were gay, I might have a chance. But then again, he might not choose me, and that would be even worse. I think. Deep thoughts for game day, McCarty.

"Rrrreeeeyoooww!" My attention snaps back to the court. Edward is bent over, rubbing his free hand ineffectively along his lower back.

Fucking call for your trainer!


Thank Christ.


I sprint out to the court, bag in hand. "Towel!" I snap my fingers at Blondie and he obeys instantly. I drop to my knees in front of Edward and tent his bent head with the towel to give him—give us—as much privacy as an international broadcast of a Majors final match will afford.

As I'd feared, his breathing is erratic and his face is pinched in agony.

"Talk to me, E." Even before he can answer, my hands move around to his lower back and my fingers read the terrain of his muscles with a familiarity earned by three years of experience.

"OW!" he twists, pulling his upper lip between his teeth.

"Right here?" I press on the knot and he wrenches out of my grip.

"Yes. Fuck!"

Crap. I knew the tape wouldn't be enough today, not after yesterday's grueling five-set match against Shay Whitman.

"Okay, let me work it out."

"Em," he growls.

I drop my hands from his sweaty shirt. "Edward," I state calmly, "you have a three-minute medical timeout. Would you like to spend it arguing with me or would you like to let me do my job so you can win the US Open?"

His pained eyes meet mine and he sizes me up with the efficiency of a world-class tennis player calculating his opponent's next move. His decision is swift.

"Do it."

I nod and rise to my feet. "Can you straighten up?"

"If I have to," he complains, and we both chuckle morosely. I move to his back, ignoring everyone around us—the officials on the court, the 22,000 spectators seated in the stadium, and the TV cameras and telephoto lenses trained on the face of the reigning champion, waiting to catch him flinching. Edward wraps the towel around his neck and holds one end over his face, clenching his jaw and communicating with me in short grunts.

I anchor myself with a wide stance and slip my hands under his shirt. His skin is hot and covered in a thick layer of sweat, and my thumbs easily slide across his back until they locate the problem. He twitches when I press into the muscles, and I hold him firmly against my midsection. We don't have time for him to get prickly right now; I have a job to do.

"Try to relax. It'll help," I remind him.

He sucks in a breath and releases it slowly while I knead the muscles.

"Want me to change your tape?" I ask.

"Fuck the tape. Keep rubbing."

"Time." With the umpire's announcement, Caius comes bounding out of his chair and starts jumping around on the other side of the court.

"What an asshole," I mutter into Edward's ear, making him laugh.

"He is quite the douche bag."

I slip around to Edward's front and hold him by both arms, looking for the truth inside those unreadable green eyes. "Are you okay to play?"

"I'm fine."

"Dammit, E. Don't mess around with your back. This is the kind of injury that—"

"Ends careers. I get it, Em. Thank you. I appreciate it, now get off the court before you cost me the set."

It's not my call, and I know there's almost nothing that will cause him to give up the chance for the Grand Slam title, so I do the only thing I can. I get out of his way, with a heartfelt, "Kick him to the curb!"


Volturi ties up the match taking the fourth set 6-3, as expected, but the fact that Edward is able to hold serve is encouraging. He moves a bit easier after my courtside visit, which leaves me with mixed feelings. On the one hand, I'd love to be the reason he makes it through the match, and if he manages to win, it would be the best thing that ever happened to me professionally, if not personally. On the other hand, I don't want to be the one who propped him up just enough for him to go and really hurt himself.

Edward and Caius both battle fiercely to hold their serves over the first eight games, bringing the score to 4-4 in the fifth set. Edward holds serve for the 5-4 lead, and now it will be up to Caius to hold or lose the match. Edward hasn't shown any signs of fatigue, and his back seems to be holding up, so I'm shocked when he motions for me at the change-over. My heart jumps when I catch his signal and I grab my bag and run to his side. A minute and a half is not much time.

"What's up?" I pant, crouching by his feet and frantically searching him for signs of injury.

The fucker smirks down at me. "You seem a little out of shape there, Em."

I whack him on the leg.

"Ow!" he laughs.

"Ninety seconds, E. What do you need from me?"

He leans over and the smirk evaporates. "Maybe I just needed my best friend to tell me I can do this thing."

It takes me several seconds to process what he's just said to me. And several more to even begin to respond. My jaw has dropped and my breathing has ceased entirely. I stare back into the complex swirl of jade and gold flecks that make up his mesmerizing eyes.

"Give me your leg," I answer.

"Oh-kay? Non-sequitur much?" He smiles, puzzled, but lifts his foot into my hand. I place it on my knee and begin rubbing his calf.

"For the cameras," I mumble.

Edward chuckles and relaxes back into his chair. "Hey, that feels pretty good."

"Lose the smile," I advise him sternly.

"Sorry." He pulls his upper lip down over his teeth.

"Edward," I say.


"You can totally do this thing."


I set his foot back down and grab my bag. Leaving him with a firm squeeze on his shoulder, I jog back into the tunnel to watch my best friend win the US Open, and become the third player ever to win the Grand Slam in men's singles—the Australian, French, Wimbledon, and US Open—all in the same calendar year.

Edward turns toward where he knows I'm standing, just at the entrance to the tunnel. Tears are streaming down my face as I join the rest of the crowd in honoring his accomplishment with a standing ovation. He pulls the trophy to his lips and the cameras click like hungry vultures, each desperate to capture the money shot.

For me, there's no contest; it's the wink he tosses in my direction as he hoists the silver trophy high over his head.


"Edward, we really should talk first."

He considers it for about half a second before rejecting my request. He swipes the dripping hair from his forehead, and there are those damn eyes again. Not to mention the bare chest and matted down trail of brownish-reddish hair leading…aw, fuck. Leading to where his hand is fisting the towel knotted lazily around his hips.

He hops up onto the massage table and flops onto his back, stretching his arms way over his head and groaning in a loud, luxurious yawn. "Talk all you want, Em. I am wiped. I think the interviews were more exhausting than the match. I started fantasizing about the shower about halfway through Jessica Stanley's monologue. Christ, that woman can talk!"

Fantasizing about your shower. So we have something in common, then.

I shake my head, hoping for some clarity. And perhaps, some Divine Guidance. Truth is, I have no idea what to say to him about what happened yesterday. I am crystal clear on where Edward stands; I can't have him that way, I get it.

As much as I lust for him every damn second we're together and most of the time we're apart, I've always tried to keep my feelings for him to myself, ESPECIALLY in the locker room, where I know they can do the most damage to our friendship and our professional relationship. So I settle for being his trainer and his friend, and apparently, he holds me at the top of his list as well, which felt pretty fucking wonderful today on the court.

"Emmett, look, man. It's been a rough couple of days, and I'm starting to tighten up here. Next week is the Davis Cup, and if I have any chance of being ready, I'm gonna need help. Are you in, or should I start looking through the Yellow Pages for a massage therapist to take over this part?"

The thought of anyone else working his body makes my stomach twist, and I know I'll do anything, say anything, to make this right.

I drop my chin to my chest and run my fingers through my hair. "Can we just…?"


Edward's eyes drift closed and I'm afraid I've irritated him, when suddenly, he flips up onto his side and props his head up into his hand. "Sure. Let's talk. You wanna go first, or should I?"

My heart starts racing again. I feel like I have everything to lose. But then again, what might be gained, if…IF.

The thought spurs me on. "I should," I answer bravely.

Edward nods and waits.

I feel guilty. He's had a pretty huge day, the biggest of the guy's life, and here I am about to confess…this? I shake my head as my courage seeps out.

"Maybe I should start?" he asks gently.

I look up cautiously, and see no trace of ridicule in his eyes. "Please," I answer with a loud sigh of relief.

"Okay. Here's my take on things. It's your job to have your hands on people. Most of the people you work on must have pretty well-tuned bodies. And your body seems to be…"

He looks me up and down in a way that makes me feel completely exposed.

"Well, let's just say, you're a specimen."

I can't help smiling, but the worst part is knowing that I'm blushing like a girl. "Where are you going with this?" I ask, impatient.

"I'm just projecting here, but okay, so I'm lying here on the table, right?" He drops back onto the table, arms at his sides.


"And your hands are going all over me?"


"So, it feels good, Emmett."

I cover my face with one hand and clench my other hand into a fist at my side. My palms are sweaty and he's making me dizzy. I think I might have a stroke soon.

"Edward. Would you please get to the damn point already?"

He's so relaxed I want to punch him. Why is it so easy for him and so hard for me? No pun intended, but I do feel that stirring in my sweat pants, and if he doesn't stop talking about how my hands feel good all over him, we're going to have a replay of yesterday's boner very shortly.

"I'm just imagining what must be going through your head while you're working me."

Working him. I whimper inside my head.

"And what might that be?" This ought to be good.

"Well, picturing that it's you stretched out here, getting a rubdown by some beautiful girl."

"PFFFFFFFT! Bwahaha! Oh…my…GOD!" Twenty-four hours of stress all suddenly come to the forefront and combine with Edward's twisted "understanding" of my situation. I grip the side of the massage table so I don't knock myself over. I'm literally doubled over with laughter and my eyes tear up. "Don't quit your day job!" I crack up all over again.

I finally get myself under control and lift my eyes to Edward. He's folded his hands behind his head and he's staring at me with an amused grin. His biceps and pecs are beautifully flexed and his belly is hollowed out against the table. All those crunches and reverse crunches and lateral crunches have really honed his abs, and I shouldn't be looking at that right now and expecting to concentrate.

"Having fun over there?" he asks wryly.

I wipe away the tears with the back of my hand. "Sure."

"Care to share with the class?"

"Yeah, why not? It's my turn anyway. Unless, you have more to share on your theory?" I burst out one more time before settling back down.

"That was basically it."

"Okay, two things. First of all, it's not that I have my hands on 'people'."

I air quote "people" to be clear.

"You may not be aware of this, but ever since you started training for the Australian last fall, I dropped all my other clients. So it's just you."

Understatement of the century.

Now it's Edward's turn to look surprised.

"What? Don't tell me you haven't noticed that I am always available for you? Traveling with you? What other athlete do you know who would put up with a trainer who is slavishly devoted to another player?"

Edward's shocked expression turns to a smug grin. "Slavishly devoted, are you? Hmm, I think I like that."

"Yes, it's especially gratifying when you act like a gigantic dick," I sputter.

"Aw, come on, Em. Don't pout. You know I appreciate you." Hell if his boyish charm doesn't cut right through my irritation. "So what's thing two, Dr. Seuss?"

I push away from the table and fidget a bit. The answer to this will change everything between us, I'm certain of it. I just have no idea how.

"Edward," I drop my voice and let him know I'm serious now. "You really can't guess?"

He shakes his head and lifts his eyebrows expectantly. "You have a thing for ugly girls?"

All I have left right now is a small smile. "No. Definitely not ugly girls."

"Well then—nah, you can't be…are you?" Edward pops up into a sitting position and clutches his towel.

And there it is.

I step back and hold my arms out wide so he knows I'm not about to make a mad grab for his goods. "I am."

"Fuuuck. Me," Edward responds in an awed voice. "How did I miss this?" He shakes his head back and forth, his wet hair bouncing side to side. "Jesus, maybe I am a little self-involved?"

I huff and smile at him. "Not in a bad way," I try.

"Wow." His head continues to shake and he stares glassy-eyed across the room.

I shrug. "I know."

Suddenly, his eyes snap back to my face. "So…yesterday, when you were…" He points a finger toward his chest and twirls it in a little circle. "And you…" He turns the finger toward my crotch and flexes it straight up. "That was…what? For me?"

Moment of truth. He wants to know, Am I gay in general, or am I gay for him? I'm not sure I'm ready for this yet.

"Edward, what it was was unprofessional. And as I said yesterday, it won't happen again."

He scoots toward me on the table and flips his legs over the side. "Oh yeah? How's that gonna work? What's changed since yesterday?"

We're having a stare down, and I'm going to flinch first. Not a thing has changed since yesterday, other than the fact that now he knows. He'll be watching for the bulge in my pants or the look that's just a few beats too long, and he'll find plenty of both.

My stomach sinks. "You're right," I confess. "I can't promise you that. I'm sorry, Edward. You deserve better than this. Especially now. You're at the top of your game…" I start to gesture wildly as the adrenaline pumps through my system. "Hell, you're at the top of the world! You've got Rolex and BMW knocking down your door and A-list actresses and musicians throwing themselves at you…Look, I'll find you someone good."

It's all I have to offer him now. I turn away without meeting his eyes and gather my things as quickly as I can. The tears are burning in my eyes and the last thing he needs now is to worry about my feelings.

Just as I'm grabbing the door handle, his firm voice stops me dead. "You're right, Emmett. I deserve the best."

I nod, not turning back, barely pausing before pulling open the door.


"Where the fuck do you think you're going?" he spits out angrily.

In all the time I've been training him, he's never used this tone with me. If I push too hard, he pushes back, but never in anger, and it's never been personal.

"Edward, I'm leaving. I can't—"

"You're leaving me like this? Now? Jesus Christ, Emmett, do you not care about me at all?"

I let go of the door and it bangs closed. I drop my forehead to the cool metal and attempt to breathe. My voice comes out so small I barely recognize it. "You know I do."

"Then get your ass over here and take care of me, dammit!"

My bag makes a loud thud against the ceramic tile floor, and somehow I manage to shuffle my feet back to the table. Everything is blurry through my tears, and I don't even attempt to hide them.

Without another word, Edward slides back to the table and flips onto his stomach, waiting. I've seen him like this so many times before, too many to count. But this time is so different. This time he knows. And he's not scared of me or of what I'm feeling. My emotions are brimming over but there's no more room for words. I pump the massage oil into my palm and warm it between my hands. I step up to the table and regard Edward. He's turned his face the other direction and his arms are limp and relaxed at his sides.

I drop my hands to his shoulders, and his body yields to my firm motions. His right shoulder bears the brunt of the match, and when I slide both my hands to the sore muscles there, Edward lets out a soft moan that goes straight to my dick.

Please, no.

"Fifteen aces today," Edward says proudly, attempting to bring back some normalcy.

"You nailed it, E, though I don't think your back appreciated it too much." My eyes drift down to the area I worked on the court, and the deep dimples tempt me from just above the towel.

"You've got a whole week to fix my back. It'll be fine," he answers. A warm rush of relief floods my system. I'll still be here in a week, then. This isn't just about getting him loosened up tonight, until he has time to get a new trainer.

"A whole week," I chuckle, finally able to breathe again.

"So how'd you like my drop shot in that last game?"

"A thing of beauty. I swear, you're …what did Jessica call you?...oh yes, a cross between a gazelle and a pit bull."

Edward chuckles and his back shakes under my hands. "Yeah, what the fuck does that mean anyway?"

"Who the hell knows? That chick is out to lunch."

"True, but I'll take her over McEnroe any day."

"No kidding," I say agreeably.

Edward tenses suddenly. "Oh, shit, I'm sorry. I didn't mean that to come out that way."

"What way?"


His stumbling makes me replay the conversation until it hits me what he's so embarrassed about. "Hey, this might take some getting used to, but I'm still me. Okay?"

"Yeah, okay," he answers.

"You know what? Why don't you just be quiet and let me do my job?"

"I'll try," he grunts out as I dig my elbow into the middle of his back.

I work my way down toward his waist, noticing that the earlier knot is back again, and I take my time massaging it out. When my knuckles hit the towel, I straighten it out and fold it conservatively across his back. Edward lifts his head up and says, "Cut the shit, Em. You know what'll happen if you don't work my glutes."

I flatten my palm against his back and lean over so I can see his face. "You sure?"

"I'm sure I don't want to be hobbling around tomorrow like some eighty-year-old man because my trainer decided to act like a pussy."

Game on, Cullen.

I grab the towel and yank it off him, and he gasps as the rush of air breezes over his back side.

I fill my palm with oil once more and drizzle it over his ass. I watch in fascination as the oil trails recklessly into his crack, and there's absolutely no way I can keep my erection from rising and pressing against the side of the table. To hell with it. Edward deserves my best, no matter what I'm feeling, and I take great care to pay attention to every muscle group. My thumbs sweep around the globes of his ass and I try to keep my thoughts pure. But every time I coax those cheeks apart, I can't help but envision myself buried there. And every time he slides along the table, I distract myself from thinking about his cock pressing against the soft, cool leather.

Well, I try, anyway.

Things get a little easier once I move off the glutes and I manage his thighs and calves. In fact, I'm feeling pretty damn proud of myself until I reach his feet. I took a few courses in Reflexology, enough to know the highlights, and Edward has always appreciated this part of his rubdown. Today is no exception, if his low moaning is any indication, only I really wish he'd stop it.

Or maybe I don't, because I seem to be a masochist all of a sudden.

I grab the towel and hold it out over his midsection. "Flip over for me."

Edward groans to let me know it's a real effort for him, and I chuckle, because really? This is the toughest part of your day?

He twists around and sees the waiting towel. I've always covered him, but it seems Edward has something to prove today. Whether it's to me or to himself, I'm really not sure, but he bats the towel away and holds my eye, daring me to say something.

Anything I might say would be decidedly inappropriate.

'What a heartbreakingly beautiful cock you have' comes to mind first, and I wisely hold my tongue.

I'm not giving him a chance to rethink it this time. I am as nonchalant as I can possibly be with the object of my fantasies staring up at me from between Edward Cullen's legs. Though in my fantasies, I have to admit, it was as hard as a net post.

I'm perfectly content to start on Edward's chest, and I bend his elbows and position his hands above his head to get the job done right. Making sure to focus on the right side of his body, I press firmly against the sore muscles that won him the match. His nipples pebble up as I trail my thumbs over them on my way down his chest. His jaw drops open a tiny bit, and my heart skips to imagine he might have felt a twinge of something in response.

My hands have little trouble behaving themselves, but I cannot say the same for my eyes. They fight the constant battle not to dart down the table, or worse, look into his damn brilliant jade bullshit meters.

I work over his hips and joints, the muscles that absorb the endless pounding on the hard surfaces. He tips and rolls with my movements, and his flaccid cock follows along.

Fuck me, I can't help looking.

Needless to say, my own cock is straight as an arrow and pushing painfully against the tight compression shorts I'm wearing under my sweat pants. Compression, my ass. All he'd have to do is take one look and he'd see I've crossed that line once again.

But he doesn't seem to be moving his eyes from my face. I don't know if he's trying to read me or just wants to watch where I'm looking.

I slide my hands down his sides, all the way to his legs and ankles. I massage the shins and flex his knees and knead my way up to the thighs.

And that's when I notice a funny thing start to happen.


At first, it's a twitch so subtle, I'm not entirely sure I haven't imagined it.

I try so hard not to stare, but honestly, the thighs are pretty close to the genital region, and it's pretty damn hard not to take in a cock that is stiffening right before my very delighted eyes. I've been painfully hard for most of the last hour, and it's true what they say about misery loving company.

So maybe I massage just a little bit higher with those thumbs and force open his thighs, so as not to miss a single spot, of course. I don't know if Edward is trying to spare my feelings or his own, but he's now closed his eyes and it's almost as if he's not taking any responsibility for the stirring below, which is pretty great, because I can now stare as much as I want to.

And I want to.

The best part is, I don't feel guilty or conflicted, because I've done my work and he's blissed out and stretched and a guy damn well knows when he's getting hard and he's leaving it out here for me to enjoy. Maybe it's my reward for taking such good care of him today, or for the last three years.

Or maybe he's just a wee bit curious.

I don't know just exactly how curious he might be, but at least one body part is certainly showing some interest.

Edward knows my routine. I never vary the order, though I sometimes spend more time on trouble spots. Point is, he knows this massage is over. So why is he still lying there, all passive and relaxed and …erect?

I try a little experiment. I give his thighs one last squeeze, then lift my hands off him. Dead giveaway.

He doesn't move.

He just stays there, arms curled over his head, legs slightly open. He looks like a very content frog floating on his back. A bit more like a horny toad, actually, I can't help observing.

"You didn't fall asleep on me, did you, buddy?"

He smiles. "No."

What the fuck?

He's waiting.

I'm debating.

This is it, Emmett. You are that player stuck in no-man's land. What's it gonna be now? Scurry back to the comfort of the baseline and hit a few more ground strokes and wait, possibly indefinitely? Or accept this offer to man up and rush the net?

He's still waiting, still smiling, still gloriously aroused.

And I'm done debating.

I place a shaky hand underneath the spout and pump more oil into my hand. As I rub my palms together, Edward's tongue swipes across his lower lip and I have a strong urge to lean in and kiss him. Thankfully, I'm able to resist. One thing at a time.

My hand hovers over his chest, and I tip it ever so slightly, letting a thin stream of oil drizzle onto first one nipple, then the other. He hisses but he doesn't protest. With my other hand, I follow the oil, moving in a way that must feel entirely unfamiliar to Edward. It's not the touch of a masseur, but that of a lover. He stays perfectly frozen and I can't gauge his response.

But he doesn't open his eyes and he doesn't tell me to stop.

I move my hand to his abdomen and trickle oil over his balls in an unmistakable gesture.

I want to warn him.

I want his permission.

I want desperately to kiss him.

I want to take that beautiful cock into my mouth and lavish him with my affection.

I want to bury myself between his ass cheeks and pound into him until he begs me to come inside him.

Instead of all those things, I allow the oil to do my asking. Where I drip, the hands will follow.

I've never been more nervous in my life. Am I crazy for messing with the equilibrium? With our amazing friendship? My chance to be with him as he travels the world? Is it worth risking all that?

My fingers tremble as they near his ball sac, the oil waiting there in open invitation. I get closer, closer, and then…

The whisper-soft touch of a fingertip. Edward's mouth opens slightly and his eyes pinch in agitation.

But he doesn't open his eyes and he doesn't tell me to stop.

A second finger is added. Edward doesn't move, but I notice a flare of his nostrils.

It's taking every ounce of my self control not to palm him right now and just get this over with, one way or the other.

On the third pass, I add my thumb, and I gently roll him around in my hand. He lets out a soft whimper and I have to close my eyes because it's all too much.

I should stop. It's more than I ever would've hoped for; just the fact that he knows about me, and I'm still here, privileged to be close to him, but even more privileged to be entrusted with his care.

But I can't stop now. Not before he knows how amazing I can make him feel. Once more, I fill my palm with oil and I move it to the tip of his penis. As soon as the first drop touches down, he jumps and moans out loud and his cock twitches toward the stream of oil. A clearer signal could not be sent. The oil travels the length of his shaft, every impressive inch of him reaching upward for more, and when the oil stops, Edward knows what comes next.

I wrap my palm around his thick cock and stroke from the tip to the base, and I'm not delicate this time. "Fuuuuuuck!" he whispers, pinching his eyes tightly shut but holding still for me. I'm feeling more confident now, and it's time for a commitment from him. I don't want to be the only one sitting so far out on this limb.

"Is this okay?" My voice startles him, and I place my hand on his chest.

"Yes," he hisses, pushing his hips toward me.

It's all I need to hear.


I don't want Edward's first experience to be some cold "happy ending" any girl in Chinatown could've given him. I lean closer so he can feel me against his side, and I run my other hand up over his chest, stopping to play with his nipples a bit more freely, now that I know he likes it. I am straining so hard against my shorts that I'm afraid there's an unhealthy situation brewing under my sweat pants, and I rub against the table to just relieve a bit of the unbearable pressure.

I'm still working his cock in my hand, but I'm not giving him the friction he needs to work up a full head of steam. Just enough to make him want more. By the looks of him, it's working. He's writhing now and getting louder, his forehead deeply furrowed with tension. And when I let his cock slip out of my hand, his mouth turns down into a pout that has the opposite effect on mine.

Not to worry, my new friend.

I move behind Edward's head and massage his shoulders and neck. He melts under my hands, as always, while his cock bobs insistently, trying to get my attention. As if.

I lean over and run my hands down his chest and nicely-defined abs, grazing my shirt along his chest as I flatten myself over him.

"Mmm," he hums, nestling his face into my chest.

A rush of affection fills me.

"Take this off," he demands, pulling at my shirt with his teeth. My neck cranes back so I can look at his face; he's still playing it cool. Eyes closed, big playful smile.

I push myself up while reaching over my head with one hand. I snag a handful of material and grab the shirt right off my back, tossing it to the floor. Edward's eyes blink open in the harsh fluorescent light as he looks up at me.

"Day-umm! I knew there was something serious under there," Edward says admiringly.

My eyes click down to his cock. "I was thinking the same thing myself."

Edward's warm laughter fills the room and I am so goddamn relieved that this is his response.

Tentatively, he reaches one hand up to my stomach and runs it over my abs. "Wow."

I roll my eyes because he's embarrassing me, and because if he puts his hand any closer to my cock, I'm going to explode.

He props himself up onto his elbows and twists around, his face exactly level with my hips, and far too close for my slipping self-control. His eyes click down my chest while I stand stock still.

"How about getting rid of those?" he requests, eyeing my pants.

"Edward? These are bridges we can't uncross."

"Dude, you just had both hands on my cock."

Leave it to Edward to call a spade a spade. I nod once and give the tie inside my pants a tug. They glide easily over the slippery shorts and I kick off my sneakers and slide off my socks while stepping out of my pants. I hold my breath again while he takes me in.

"Jesus! Is that all for me?"

"No. I'm waiting for the ugly girl to get here."

He tips his head back and laughs, while I stand there, arms at my side, anxious as all hell.

"Could she possibly be any uglier than me?" he teases, sending us both into hysterics.

"I think you'd make one butt ugly girl, now that you mention it."

"Right back at ya, my friend."

We have a good laugh together, but the issue still stands. And it most definitely needs some attention. Edward drops his eyes back to the bulge threatening to burst out of my shorts. "What are we gonna do about this monstrosity?"

"I don't know, Edward. What are …we gonna do?"

"First of all, get rid of those."

"You sure?"

"Sure, I'm sure. I want to see the beast."

"Really fucking romantic, Cullen."

He stares as I peel down my shorts. I watch as his eyes widen and a huge smile comes over his face. "You're really not into steroids."

"No," I chuckle. "I'm all natural."

And I'm painfully hard and need someone to touch me.

"That's a nice looking cock you got there," he comments.

"Thanks," I mumble.

Edward shifts his weight and cups his palm. "Give me a couple squirts of that."

My eyebrows pop but I don't say a word, just turn and grab the oil and pump a few times into his hand, which makes us both look at each other and grin. He holds out his palm to the side and flattens himself onto his back along the table. Once he's settled, he beckons me with his index finger, over to the side of the table. "Well?"

I move around and stand shamelessly in front of his hand. "Closer," he demands, and I step forward until my thighs hit the table. He smiles, lifts the oil over my cock and slowly drizzles it over my tip, with all the skill of a Dairy Queen employee putting the finishing touches on a banana split. I grip the table with both hands and hang on for dear life.

He forms an open fist with his lubed-up hand and lowers it around my shaft. The pleasure is indescribable, a mix of emotions and sensations I never thought I'd be allowed to feel. His eyes locked on mine, he pumps me experimentally, up and down.

"Jesus, Mary, and Joseph," I praise them all in one awed whisper.

His eyelids droop and those dazzling slits of deep green fill with arousal. His smile fades and he licks his lips. "Do you want to kiss me, Emmett?"

His hand keeps stroking, up and down. I'm barely able to stand. "So fucking much," I answer, bending forward over his chest. I have to close my eyes as I get close, and I'm embarrassed by the whimper that leaves me as I get my first taste of him. My head reels and I'd happily dive in for hours, but I need to see if he's okay. With great difficulty, I pull back and open my eyes.

"How's that?" I ask.

His hand is still moving on me, and he's staring at me so intensely I feel like I might start to sizzle. "Come back here," he says, and his eyes move to my lips while he opens for me.

I close my mouth over his without fear, and his other hand cups the back of my neck, holding me close.

The sloshing of his hand around my cock and the moaning coming from both of us is enough to make me dizzy. His tongue presses against mine and I lunge for it like a starved animal. Our chests slide together, skin slick with oil, hard muscles spotted with tufts of soft hair.

Edward plants his feet on the table, bending his knees toward the ceiling and flexing his hips toward my body. I slide my hand down his stomach, scratching gently through his happy trail, and I surround him with my palm.

He lets out a deep groan that vibrates in my mouth and chest, driving me further toward the edge. He breaks off our kiss to breathe and curse, then pulls me back down over his mouth. Our hands pulsate in perfect sync, twisting and pumping and stroking.

I'm so close.

I squeeze him harder and thrust myself into his hand with such force my thighs chafe along the table.

His cock slides through my hand and his tongue invades every part of my mouth, and either would have been enough for me, but it's his hand that destroys me—every callous reminding me that it's him; every twist of his wrist showing me how good he wants me to feel; every last squeeze that brings me to the brink, and then blessedly, blissfully, ecstatically over.

I tip my face away from his so I can suck down some air while he drains me with his hand.

His cock pushes forcefully in my hand and he's started in on incoherent mumbling, "Oh hell yeah …fucking good…oh please yes right there don't stop harder fucking harder holy—"

I angle my head so I can watch him come. I stroke him slower and tighter, just the way I like it, and he completely forgets himself, clutching my neck with the force of a man who can serve a ball 135 miles per hour.


He releases with four spectacular bursts of hot spray along our joined bellies. My upper half rises and falls with his uneven breathing as his orgasm leaves him fighting for oxygen. As self-awareness leaks into his brain, he relaxes his iron-man hold on me and turns his eyes to mine.

I'm not sure what I'll see in his familiar green orbs, but I know if it's self-loathing, I will never forgive myself. He takes one look at me and bursts out laughing. Okay, not what I was hoping for, but better than crying or screaming, I suppose.

He swipes a large ribbon of thick fluid from my ear and holds his finger up to my mouth. "Want this?" he asks, a large satisfied grin on his face.

"Not particularly," I answer with a grimace that turns into a smile when I see his surprised response. "What? You think your cum tastes like the nectar of the gods or some such shit?"

"I don't, but I thought you might."

"Sorry, sweetheart."

He looks so hurt, I have to laugh. I kiss him deeply and prop myself up over his chest. "That doesn't mean I won't gratefully swallow down every drop if and when you let me put my mouth on you, however."

His eyes pop open comically, and I chuckle. "TMI?"

"Nah. Well, maybe. Nah…yeah, I don't know."

"Yeah. Okay." I push myself up off his chest and take one last look at his beautiful body while I grab the towel. He got the lion's share of the mess, but he's still perfect.

"Stop looking at me like it's your last chance."

I toss him the towel when I finish. "Okay?" I dare not get my hopes up. This was amazing, a fantasy come true, and he's already promised me it won't be the end of our working relationship. For now, that is more than enough for me. I twist to pick up my shirt and he grabs my arm.

"Emmett, please."

I stop and give him my full attention, though I'm scared shitless to hear whatever he needs to say.

"I don't know where we are right now, but I do know that I care about you. And not just as a colleague or a friend. And this thing that just happened…"

My heart jumps into my throat.

"…I want you to know, it meant a lot to me. It means a lot to me. And I don't have a clue about…"

He flounders for the words to finish, and I want to reassure him that it's okay, whatever he wants or doesn't want, even though it will hurt like a motherfucker if he doesn't want.

"Ed, stop. You don't have to—"

"I do. I have to. This has been the best fucking day of my life, and you're the one I want to share it with, so that tells me a lot. And this other part… was incredible. You're amazing and generous and I already knew all that, but the fuckhotness piece was news to me. So, is it okay if for now, I just say, I'm interested?"

"I can work with that," I answer, anxiety giving way to relief. I press my lips to his once more and help him off the table.

"You know, Em, if you would've given me a massage like that in London, I might've won the damn gold medal."

"There's always Rio."

Another A/N: Lobs and kisses to Shell Shock for her highly critical pre-read and Robin Just- Robin for her wise advice, some of which I took. xxx ~BOH