Turns out these boys have some more to say. Thank you for reading.

Thank you to my wonderful beta, Discordia81, and prereader, AbstractSong101, for wrangling my words and crazy.

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight.

Warnings: There will be slash.


Chapter 2

Carlisle's buzzer rings just before seven the next evening. He's quick to walk to the door, but hesitates for a moment before pressing the intercom button.

"Hello?"

"Hey, doc." The sound of Edward's tinny voice through the speaker makes him smile.

"I'm on the third floor," he says, hitting the button to unlock the front door.

As much as he looks forward to this dinner, Carlisle's nerves are unsettled. Inviting Edward into his home yesterday felt right. His heart warms as he remembers the young man's smile and the way his eyes shone as they talked beside the food truck. It has been a long time, however, since Carlisle has let someone this far into his life; for all his conviction, he feels off balance. The walls he built around himself after Jasper left are still very much in place. It will take time to rid himself of his ghosts. Whether Edward is willing to stick around long enough for that to happen, he cannot tell.

Carlisle answers when Edward knocks, opening the door to find him holding a bottle of wine and a white paper bag. He's dressed in jeans and a short-sleeved shirt instead of his Forchette uniform, and wearing a ball cap despite the summer heat. Edward's grin is warm, but his grey eyes seem weary, and Carlisle longs to smooth away the line between his brows.

"Come in," he says, rubbing the young man's arm gently as he steps over the threshold. They embrace and Edward presses a soft kiss to his cheek, and as he does, something loosens inside Carlisle's chest.

"I brought some blackberries and crème fraiche from the market near my house." Edward pulls away, licking his lips nervously as he hands the bag and bottle to the other man. "Vouvray goes well with crepes… I thought that maybe it would be okay with pancakes, too. Or we could make coffee instead-"

"Edward, stop." Carlisle grins and eyes the bottle's label as he closes the door. "I've never had wine and pancakes before. You realize they're just begging to be burned now."

"Hey, I'm a professional," Edward teases, following Carlisle into the apartment. "Consider me back up for all your kitchen needs."

"Let me open this and then I'll show you around the place. Can I get you a glass now?"

"Sure, thanks."

Carlisle busies himself opening the bottle and finding glasses while they chat about the workday. When he turns around, his eyes widen in surprise. The young man stands quietly before him, holding his ball cap, and Carlisle holds quite still, a wine glass in each hand, looking him over. Edward's uncovered head is almost bare, his brown hair shaved down to a quarter-inch of soft-looking fuzz.

"Holy shit." Carlisle's voice is hushed.

Without his unruly mop of hair, Edward's cheekbones and strong jaw line are even more sharply defined, and his eyes appear very large. He runs a hand over his head as the silence lengthens, and Carlisle realizes that the scruff on his chin and cheeks isn't much shorter than what is left on his head.

"You cut your hair," Carlisle says stupidly.

Edward's mouth lifts up on one side as he reaches to run his fingers over the tattooed swirls on his skin. He looks very young and unsure, somehow, and achingly lovely.

"I cut it last week. You didn't notice yesterday because I had the bandana on."

"What… what prompted this?"

"Emmett and I got pretty drunk and shaved each other's heads."

Carlisle blinks. "Why?"

Edward arches an eyebrow. "Doesn't the 'pretty drunk' part go a ways toward explaining why?"

"Well, not exactly…" Carlisle shakes his head, stumbling over his words. "Why shave your heads?"

"I was talking about getting another tattoo, apparently -"

"Apparently? Don't you know?"

Edward's ears redden as he steps forward to take one of the glasses from Carlisle.

"I don't know, actually. We were drinking tequila and that evening... goes in and out a bit. Emmett wasn't about to let me near a tattoo studio, so he somehow talked me into cutting off my hair."

Carlisle swallows in an effort to keep his voice neutral. "And why did Emmett shave his head?"

"I dared him to." Edward shrugs, and sips from his glass. "That I remember. I didn't think he would take me up on it, but when he was finished with mine, he handed me the clippers and told me to go ahead.

"Brady was pretty pissed at us both. He's the one that cleaned up all the hair and then had to go back to fix the spots we missed the next morning." Edward rubs at the fuzz again with his free hand, smiling faintly. "He didn't have a whole lot of sympathy for our state of epic hangover."

"I can imagine."

"He got over it. Especially because Em looks pretty good, I think. The short hair works for him."

Carlisle takes another step closer, reaching carefully for Edward's hairline, smiling as he runs his fingertips over the fine bristles.

"Oh! So soft." His smile widens when Edward grimaces. "It's sort of cute."

The young man snorts. "I look like a baby bird."

"No, you don't," Carlisle insists gently, moving a hand to cup his cheek. "You look beautiful."

His smile fades when Edward meets his gaze with uncertain grey eyes. The young man hesitates for a moment before lifting a hand to cover Carlisle's as it rests on his face.

Carlisle leans in, so slowly, to brush his lips against Edward's. His heart thuds almost painfully when he feels the warmth of the other man's hand on the small of his back. His eyelids flutter and close, desire rippling through him as the kiss deepens.

Edward steps closer, humming softly when Carlisle's tongue slips into his mouth. Their breaths come faster as their lips move together, reconnecting them through touch and taste. When Edward breaks the kiss, he leans to press his forehead against Carlisle's, his hand fisting the other man's shirt.

"I missed you," he murmurs, his sweet breath ghosting over Carlisle's lips.

"I missed you back." Carlisle moves to pull Edward into his arms, remembering the glass in his hand when a little wine sloshes over his knuckles and splashes onto the floor.

His eyes pop open and Edward's gentle laugh fills the air.

"Shit."

"We should make dinner before we wreck your kitchen," the young man says lightly, pressing a kiss to Carlisle's cheek. "I don't have a change of clothes, either, so keep your wine in your glass, doc."

OoOoO

Despite his doubts, Carlisle turns out several stacks of perfect pancakes. Edward cooks the bacon as he had promised, sneaking bites and the occasional blackberry as he works, and humming along to Carlisle's Beatles playlist.

Carlisle's eyes widen as Edward deftly layers pancakes with slices of meat, buttering each cake and drizzling the stacks with just the right amount of syrup.

"Goddamn it, Edward. I can feel my arteries hardening just looking at these... things."

The young man smiles proudly at his handiwork. "Is that your way of saying that you're not eating?"

"Don't be ridiculous," Carlisle replies as he takes the plates to the table. "You'd have to sedate me to keep from eating this bit of evil genius."

"Oh, I see how it is. You'll eat my bacon but won't even show me around your apartment."

Carlisle grimaces in apology as they sit down. "I blame you. You scrambled my brain with that haircut. And the kissing."

"Hey, you kissed me, doc."

"You're right, I did."

"Feel free to do it again."

Carlisle leans to press his mouth to the other man's, savoring the tastes of salt and wine and berries on his lips.

"I'll show you around as soon as we finish eating," he says after a long moment. Without thinking, he reaches to push the hair back from Edward's forehead, pulling back in surprise when his fingers meet fuzz.

"Fuck," Edward mutters. His cheeks redden as he turns back to his food. "I could kill Emmett for digging out those clippers."

A tense silence falls over the table as they eat. Carlisle frowns, watching the unhappy expression and downcast eyes of the man at his side.

"Edward, did you get drunk and shave your head because of what happened at Jake and Paul's party?"

Edward's eyes are guarded when he looks up.

"No. I got drunk because you broke up with me; the head shaving was what happened after the booze was gone.

"I don't know what happened at the party, Carlisle. Only that when I came back from the kitchen, you were gone, physically and otherwise. You just... checked out."

Carlisle's chest aches at his carefully controlled expression. "I owe you an apology. I'm so sorry about the way I acted that night."

He holds up his hand with a small smile when Edward opens his mouth to speak.

"Let me finish. I know you didn't ask, but you deserve to know what happened, and I think it'll be good for me to get it out.

"Jasper was at the party." He nods at Edward's frown. "He was there with his boyfriend – my former friend. We spoke, they recognized you when I told them who you are... and words were exchanged."

A warm hand covers Carlisle's at once. That comforting, familiar weight and the empathy in Edward's eyes make his throat tighten.

"Jesus, Carlisle. Why didn't you say anything?"

"I was rattled, obviously. I was disappointed, too."

"Disappointed how?"

"With Jasper for just taking Peter's shit. And more so with myself. It's been years since Jasper left, Edward, and all it took was a few words to make me freak out. Again. I shouldn't have let them affect me that way. Shouldn't have let Peter affect me that way. And I should never have walked out the way I did, or said those things to you."

"Why did you?" Edward asks quietly, his brows drawing together.

"I was scared. I am scared," Carlisle admits.

"Of what?"

Carlisle rubs his free hand roughly over his face with a sigh.

"You're a lot younger than I am, and we're at very different places in our lives. My work schedule can make it hard to find time for parties or nightclubs. Sometimes, I'm just too tired to go out. I enjoy the things you and I have been doing together, but I can't help wondering if they are enough for you."

Edward is silent for a moment, his touch reassuring against Carlisle's fingers.

"Carlisle, if I wanted to do something different with you or go out to a club, I'd tell you."

The man squeezes Edward's fingers in return and gives him an apologetic smile. "I know. Jasper and I used to argue about my schedule interfering with our social lives. It has become habit to not let that happen again."

After a long pause, the young man gives Carlisle a small smile and nods at their plates, encouraging him to continue eating before pulling his hand away.

Carlisle digs into the stack again, letting the sweet and salty flavors roll over his tongue as Edward tells him about some changes he is making to the Forchette menu. This is the first time Carlisle has had an appetite since the Pride party and the food and wine are good. Still, his attention lingers on the expression and movements of the man beside him. The line between Edward's brows is back, and he nibbles the corner of his lips in between bites of food. Carlisle's stomach sinks as he realizes Edward is keeping something from him.

They're nearly finished eating when he reaches out to brush his hand against the side of Edward's neck, his heart throbbing when the young man ducks his head to kiss his knuckles tenderly.

"What's wrong?" He frowns when Edward's eyes fall closed.

Edward draws a long breath in before opening his eyes and then, instead of answering, moves to gather the plates.

"Let me get the fruit -"

"Wait." Carlisle moves quickly, placing his hands on the other man's wrists to stop him from moving. "Edward. What aren't you saying to me?"

The young man's eyes are somber when he raises his eyes.

"Don't you trust me at all?"

"Yes, I do." Carlisle sighs at Edward's doubtful expression. "I know I've said this before, but I am the problem, not you. I misjudged Jasper and Peter so badly. Knowing that makes it hard to judge for myself what is best and what will work in my own life."

"Forgive me, Carlisle, but it is me, at least in part." Edward's eyes are almost angry, though his voice is measured. "I know we haven't been seeing each other for very long, but I'm part of this, too. You can't take all of the blame onto yourself."

"I won't let you take any of it, Edward. You've been… perfect, actually." Carlisle shakes his head firmly when the other man shifts uncomfortably. "For me, I mean, and to me.

"I'm... damaged. I know this and I'm trying to fix it." He swallows, rubbing Edward's wrists with his fingers as he struggles to find his words. "But for the first time since Jasper left, I feel like myself again. I feel good, and that's because of you."

Edward flips his hands to catch hold of Carlisle's with a firm, reassuring grip. His touch quiets Carlisle's jumbled thoughts, and he draws a long breath and blows it out under Edward's steady gaze.

The young man leans forward to meet Carlisle's lips, the kiss sweet and warm and perfect.

"I'm not Jasper," he says, his lips ghosting against the other man's. "I'm not going anywhere."

"Okay," Carlisle says, at once. He believes Edward's earnest words and eyes. What's more, he wants badly to erase the hurt on his lovely face. "I don't want to be anywhere else, either, Edward."

"Well, good." Edward leans to press his face against Carlisle's throat. "I'd like to get used to seeing you around again, if that's okay?"

OoOoO

After dinner, Carlisle makes good on his promise to show Edward around the apartment. Seeing the bland walls and furniture with new eyes, he realizes that the six rooms are sorely lacking in personal touches; it's a dwelling, rather than a home. Carlisle's pleasure is genuine, however, when he opens the door of the small balcony, and the men step out into the warm summer night.

"Nice place." Edward curls an arm around his waist with a smile. "Very neat and tidy, no fuss. It suits you."

"You just called me boring, didn't you?" He chuckles when Edward rolls his eyes. "It's a nice place. I like the neighborhood and it's close to the hospital. Being able to come out here is definitely my favorite thing about it."

They sit under the stars, talking and holding hands. Carlisle finds himself telling Edward that his life wasn't always so spartan; there was a time when he enjoyed collecting things. After Jasper left, however, Carlisle felt overwhelmed by the prospect of dealing with material possessions amassed over sixteen years. A strange compulsion to start from scratch had seized him, pushing him to unload the things he identified with his former life. He sold and donated as much as he could, moving only a few items in a storage unit west of the city before moving into this apartment.

"My sister and a couple of friends helped me, taking me shopping and helping me set this place up to be livable. I didn't have much energy for anything complicated, especially in the beginning. I suppose I wanted everything to be very simple and easy, and just different from what I had become accustomed to. That was my biggest motivation for moving into the city again."

Edward eyes him curiously. "And now? Do you miss living in the suburbs?"

"No. I've always liked the city and living here makes commuting to work easy. We moved to the 'burbs because Jasper wanted a dog and a yard… and the big house. He liked being able to show something for our hard work. Once we were out there, though, he realized our friends weren't going to follow us. That's when he started complaining about living too far from all of the interesting places to go out.

"We took trips in for the weekend and Jasper would... stay with friends here now and then when I was working night shifts. That way he could still go out and have a good time when I wasn't around."

Carlisle's smile is tight, though he no longer feels the same degree of bitterness he once did.

"We tried to make it work. Jasper still seemed... I don't know, discontent. Restless. I didn't realize things were that bad, though… bad enough that he would look for someone else. Sure, I knew things weren't perfect, but it caught me by surprise when everything blew up."

Edward squeezes Carlisle's hand and licks his lips before speaking. "I'm sorry that he hurt you."

The kindness in Edward's eyes warms Carlisle's entire body. He raises his hands to frame the other man's face, and draws him close.

"Thank you," he breathes before leaning toward Edward for a kiss.

Their mouths move slowly at first, and Carlisle sighs when their tongues meet. He moves forward in his chair when Edward's hands curl around his waist, and slips one knee between the young man's. His hands move over Edward's neck, fingers dipping beneath his shirt collar to touch his skin.

Carlisle moves without thought, easing out of his seat and pushing Edward back to settle in his lap. Fire races through him when Edward utters a low moan. They wind their arms around each other tightly, straining to get close, as if each could crawl inside the other. Carlisle is so, so hard already, and he can feel Edward's body responding beneath him. He shudders when the other man rocks against him, and pulls away to catch his breath.

"Come back inside with me, Edward."

"Oh, fuck," the young man groans. He presses his forehead into Carlisle's shoulder with a ragged exhalation. "I can't. I should really get going."

Carlisle frowns in confusion. "Why?"

"Emmett's picking up at my place early tomorrow morning to drive up to Portland. We're meeting with a guy who's interested in joining the team."

"But... why isn't the Portland guy coming to you?"

Edward raises his head to look at Carlisle, drawing circles over his back with his warm hands.

"This guy wants to join the team from Portland. He owns a food truck already and thinks he'd do well there selling my food. He's pretty sure we'd make a good team."

Carlisle blinks in surprise. "You mean you'd expand Forchette into Portland? That's fantastic, Edward."

The young man grins and raises a hand to smooth Carlisle's hair. "Nothing's been decided yet. Em and I are meeting the truck owner tomorrow to hear his pitch and take a look around Portland, but that's as far as we've gone right now. It's interesting, and sounds good on paper… I'm just not sure I want to go in that direction.

"I wish I could cancel, but the meeting was set up earlier this week-"

"Stop," Carlisle scolds before kissing Edward gently. "Don't apologize. Let me call for a cab. Of course I want you here, but I know how important Forchette is to you."

He moves to stand but falls back with a chuckle when Edward's arms lock around him. The young man buries his face in Carlisle's chest, humming when he nuzzles the short hairs on the crown of his head with his lips.

"This is important to me, too, Carlisle. Right here, right now."

OoOoO

Carlisle lies in bed with kiss swollen lips, not thinking of the empty space beside him. He had pushed Edward against the wall as they waited for the cab, and the memory of his gasp as they ground against each other makes Carlisle's stomach flutter and his dick stiffen.

His groan is strained when he wraps his fingers around himself. He imagines Edward above him, settling between his legs while their cocks slide together. He thinks of the young man pushing inside him, and the way their breaths mix when their mouths meet. Pleasure rolls through him, making his hips buck and his cock thrust into his fist, his bones turning liquid as he pumps himself. He grunts, his mouth falling open, and come pulses over his hand and belly.

OoOoO

Carlisle's phone starts buzzing early the next morning with messages from Edward, including photos of his road trip with Emmett to Portland.

I am out of coffee. This is a serious problem.

Jesus, Emmett woke up on the wrong side of the futon.

Traaaaaffiiiic, OMG.

Carlisle's heart thuds pleasantly as he looks at a photo of Edward, his face crinkled with laughter as he makes a grab for the phone. The messages make him smile, even when he doesn't have time to reply. He missed these quirky trains of thought flashing across his screen, even more than he realized.

OoOoO

"You're going to sprain something smiling like that," Carlisle says dryly.

He and Esme are standing in the long line at the Forchette food truck, each pretending to ignore the other until Carlisle sighs.

"Just out with it already, Esme. You've got the worst case of perm-a-grin I have ever seen. I can tell you're dying to ask."

"Have a nice time at dinner last night?" Esme's smile is evident in her voice.

"I did, thank you. With Edward's help, I even managed not to burn anything."

Her eyes are warm when Carlisle looks at her. "I'm glad."

"Me, too," Carlisle replies with a grin. "It felt good to spend time with Edward again. I... I got used to having him in my life."

Esme's expression sobers and he can see that she is weighing her words carefully.

"I think you already know this, but Edward took it hard when you broke up with him."

He remembers the flickers of doubt that passed over the young man's face throughout their evening. His smile fades as he thinks of Edward's shorn head and he remembers the things Edward had said, sometimes tentatively.

"I missed you."

"I don't have plans to go anywhere."

"This is important to me, too."

Carlisle runs his hand roughly over his hair. "I'll make it up to him."

Esme opens her mouth to continue but stops when their turn at the food truck window comes up. They place their orders and argue gently about whose turn it is to pay. They're on their way back to the doctor's lounge with the bag when she speaks up again.

"What's bothering you, Carlisle?"

"I'm not sure. We had a good time last night and we talked a lot. I just feel as though..."

"Don't you trust me at all?" Edward's voice asks quietly.

Carlisle shakes his head. "Edward seems… spooked, somehow. Hesitant."

They sit at a table and unpack the bag of food, sharing containers of tempura meatballs and butternut squash ravioli in sage butter sauce. Neither mentions the absence of pignoli cookies or sweet-silly notes written on parchment paper; even without the trip to Portland, Edward would be cooking across town today.

Esme sips her water thoughtfully and gives her friend a searching look. "Has Edward told you how he lost his parents and came to live with us?"

"He said they were killed in an auto accident when he was twelve."

"Yes. He was staying over at a schoolmate's house while his parents had dinner with friends. When he woke up, they were gone."

Carlisle's heart aches anew for Edward's loss. They have talked about his parents on several occasions, but only once about the accident that killed them.

Esme runs her thumb thoughtfully over her lips, her eyes on her food. "Edward doesn't have any other relatives; both of his parents were only children and their parents had passed on. He lived in a few foster homes for the first several months before he was placed with a family in Seattle who were looking to adopt an older child.

"Things went well and paperwork to formalize the adoption was initialized. Before it could be filed, the husband's company moved him to an office overseas, in London. Edward went back into foster care."

"And the family that wanted to adopt him?"

Esme shrugs sadly. "He never heard from them again. He's never said so, but I think that it took him some time to give up on them. After losing his parents, he really wanted to belong somewhere. It was hard when that chance didn't pan out."

Carlisle swallows, trying to push away the ghostly image of that homeless, orphaned boy.

"But then he met your family," he says.

"Yeah, he did." Esme smiles, rolling a meatball in marinara sauce before popping it in her mouth and chewing.

"And that placement worked out well."

She nods. "My parents fell in love with Edward almost as soon as they met him. Hell, I did, too, and I was a misanthropic fifteen-year-old girl. It was hard not to love him, even though he was so reserved."

Carlisle's brows climb his forehead and Esme nods at his obvious surprise.

"Edward was very shy back then. He was quiet and careful... sad, of course, though he tried to hide it. It took him a while to feel comfortable enough to really let my parents in. He held back a lot of himself, and my mom thought that he was afraid to take a chance and have our family reject him too. He'd already lost so much."

"The poor kid," Carlisle mutters.

"A lot happened to him in a really short time," Esme agrees. "Some people turn inward after experiences like his. Edward... once he allowed himself to let people in, he became one of the most loving people I've ever met. My parents were happy with the family they had, but we all know how much our lives changed for the better when he became a part of it, too."

A frown works its way across her pretty face. "Losing people is difficult for him, even now. He's only had a few serious relationships and he's still friendly with nearly every man he has ever dated. He doesn't like to lose touch with the people in his life. It unnerves him when friendships just evaporate."

Carlisle blows out a long breath, the pieces of the puzzle falling together easily.

"Edward is... very attached to you, Carlisle." Esme's voice and expression are kind. "He was hurting after your split, and he may still worry that you're going to go cold on him again."

The man's assurances that he will do no such thing are interrupted when his beeper shrills, followed immediately by Esme's. Any discussion of Edward's frame of mind disappears in the dash toward the ER.

It's nearly four in the afternoon before Carlisle has the time to collect his thoughts again. He makes two coffees in the lounge, and hands one to Esme just as his phone buzzes with another text from Edward.

Em's died and gone to clam chowder heaven. Idk how one person eats so much.

Carlisle hands Esme his coffee cup so his fingers can move over the screen to reply.

Have dinner with me tonight?

His friend is smiling curiously when Carlisle looks up, and he feels his face heat.

"Esme, can you help me figure out how to cook something besides pancakes?"

OoOoO

Fatigue from his trip shows in Edward's eyes when Carlisle lets him in, but his face lights up with a smile.

"Hey, doc."

"Hey, yourself," Carlisle replies, running his fingertips over Edward's buzzed head. He steps into the other man's arms, careful to avoid the paper bag in his hand as they exchange kisses. "What have you got there?"

"Cheese Danish," Edward says with a leer, handing over the bag. "We found the best bakery just before we got in the car to leave; I'm pretty sure Em ate his weight in cookies. These had just come out of the oven and I thought you might like them for breakfast-"

"There is no way in hell these will make it to breakfast, Edward," Carlisle says, peering into the bag while the other man laughs.

They talk and sip wine as Carlisle slices roasted chicken and arranges a salad of spinach and the most luscious red strawberries he could find in the market. Edward describes the road trip to Portland, and the little details in his stories make Carlisle smile. He talks of the meeting with the food truck owner, and his persuasive pitch to join forces with Edward.

"Afterward, Em and I walked around the city all afternoon, getting a feel for the place," he explains as they sit at the table on the balcony. "It's really nice and the food scene is good; we stopped a few times to try things. I can picture a Forchette truck doing well there."

"But…?" Carlisle prompts, his eyes on Edward's thoughtful expression.

"But... it just didn't feel right." Edward runs his fingers over the tattoos in his sleeve absently, seeming to draw comfort from the sensation of skin on skin. "It doesn't seem like the right time, just now."

"You appear to be okay with the decision."

"I am." He smiles when he catches Carlisle's searching look. "It's an exciting idea, but I have a good thing going on with the trucks here, in my own city. I don't want to jeopardize anything by stretching too far, too fast. Things in this business are risky enough as it is."

They eat quietly for a minute, and Carlisle grins when Edward stops to examine his food, his eyes narrowing suspiciously.

"My sister coached you," he states rather than asks, licking his lips carefully, tasting. "This is her salad recipe."

"Maybe."

"Definitely. I know Mae's salad dressing when I taste it. Sesame, poppy seeds, white wine vinegar… she even told you to buy the same brand of paprika she uses, didn't she?"

Carlisle laughs loudly, enjoying the mischievous look on the other man's face.

"Jesus Christ, Edward. You're a little scary right now, you know."

"Hah, this is nothing. You haven't seen scary until you've had a meal with my staff and their culinary school geek friends; they freak me out on a regular basis."

"What, you're worried I couldn't handle it?"

"Oh, I'm sure you could." He rolls his eyes at Carlisle's smile. "I'm making them dinner next week, actually. Will you come?"

Edward's voice is light but his cheeks flush pink, betraying his nervousness over the invitation. Carlisle reaches slowly to run one thumb over the apple of the young man's cheek, waiting until Edward's eyes meet his before he answers.

"I'd like that very much."

OoOoO

The men move back inside the apartment after dinner, settling on Carlisle's sofa with more wine and the pastries Edward brought. They take turns feeding the sweets to each other, laughing and teasing, and exchanging slow, sticky kisses. Edward's eagerness is obvious, and his hands are more confident as they move over the other man's shoulders and back. He is climbing onto Carlisle lap when a distinctive ringtone fills the air.

"Shit, I'm sorry." Carlisle kisses Edward quickly before sitting forward and reaching for his phone on the table. "That's my dad."

Edward's smile is brilliant as he sinks back into his seat. "Your dad's ringtone is Devil in Disguise?"

Carlisle snorts as he gets to his feet. "Dad likes The King. Feel free to put a movie on or whatever. This shouldn't take long."

Carlisle's father is in a talkative mood, however. The family is busy planning a dinner later that month to celebrate the Cullens' forty-fifth wedding anniversary, and there are many little details to discuss.

Forty minutes pass before Carlisle makes his way back to the living room to find a baseball game playing on TV and Edward dozing in his seat. He sits down carefully, easing his body in beside the sleeping man. Edward shifts as the cushion dips under Carlisle's weight, but does not wake, and leans in with a soft grunt as one cheek comes to rest on the other man's shoulder.

Carlisle lets his eyes move over Edward's face, taking in the tiny freckles on his suntanned nose and cheeks, and the way his pink lips pout in his sleep. He resists the urge to run his fingers over the long, dark lashes that lay against Edward's cheeks or the silky skin of his forehead. Instead, he sits quietly, dividing his attention between the young man and the game, savoring the warmth and weight of the lean body fitted against his side.

Edward stirs midway through the eleven o'clock news, coming slowly back to the surface with a groan.

"Damn, I didn't mean to fall asleep," he says, his voice rough. "You should have woken me. Sorry, doc."

"Don't be. You look really tired." He traces the faint circles under Edward's eyes with one finger and frowns.

"My sleep's been shit lately. I guess it's finally catching up with me." He smothers a yawn as Carlisle's lips meet his temple. "I should probably go."

"You don't have to, you know. It's late, Edward, you're welcome to stay here."

Edward pulls back slightly, blinking sleepily at Carlisle. A shadow crosses his eyes before he speaks. "You don't mind?"

"You being here is the last thing I'd mind, Edward," Carlisle says, gently throwing the young man's own words back at him. He leans in for a soft kiss before murmuring against his lips. "Stay with me. Please."

He sighs when long hands frame his face, the other man's slim fingers moving easily over his skin. Edward kisses him deeply, making Carlisle's heart pound, his blood rush, and his cock harden.

They push and pull against one another's bodies until Carlisle is lying on his back with Edward between his legs. Carlisle can't stop his moan when their groins connect, and thinks his heart may actually stutter when Edward rocks into him. He bucks against the body above him, soaking in the heat and hardness, and his hands roam over Edward's back and ass as their bodies find a rhythm.

Eager hands slip under shirts, stroking the skin on ribs and arms and bellies. Edward wrenches his mouth away with a low hiss before burying his face in the other man's neck, his deep, wet kisses quickly driving Carlisle to distraction.

"Oh, fuck." His skin blazes as they rock together, the sound of ragged breaths and muttered curses filling the air while the young man presses so, so hard against him.

Edward pulls up onto his knees, bending to unbuckle Carlisle's belt, making the other man's breath hitch. In a flash, his trousers are open and a warm hand is sliding beneath the waistband of his boxers. They watch each other for a long, breathless moment before Edward's fingers wrap around Carlisle's cock. The man shudders, letting out a helpless noise of hunger.

His head spins with lust and emotion when Edward kisses him again. His hands move without thought, reaching for the other man's belt with shaking fingers. Always perceptive, Edward pulls away, glancing first at Carlisle's hands and then back to his face with questioning eyes.

"Shit, sorry, I'm all thumbs," Carlisle chuckles breathlessly. "I want to touch you," he says, groaning when Edward runs his own thumb over the head of Carlisle's cock. "Oh, God… that feels really fucking good."

"Mmm," the young man agrees. "I missed this. I missed kissing you, touching you. I missed the way your voice sounds when we're like this. You're so sexy, Carlisle."

"I missed it, too. I need to feel you." Carlisle bites back a moan when the other man leans in to kiss him again, his mouth hot and ferocious.

Eventually, they climb off the couch and move quickly through the little flat, kissing and pulling at one another's clothes. They're by the foot of the bed when Carlisle finally manages to unbuckle Edward's belt. His fingers are quick to open the button fly and slip inside the young man's boxer briefs, and he gasps when Edward's face crumples with desire.

Edward's neck and chest are flushed, begging to be kissed and sucked. Carlisle works his way over the overheated skin, lapping at the swirling black tattoos on the other man's skin. The moan that Edward utters when Carlisle's tongue flicks over his nipple is long and low, and goes straight through the other man's body.

He guides Edward to sit on the edge of the bed before stripping off the last of his clothes before sinking down to the floor. Carlisle draws the other man's jeans over his legs, leaning to kiss his pale, perfect skin he uncovers, and sighs when Edward's hands move to his hair. He works his way lower, pressing his lips to Edward's cock and grinning when the body beneath him jolts.

"Oh, fuck, Carlisle."

The fire burning inside Carlisle leaps higher when he takes Edward in his mouth. Low, broken words fill the air when Carlisle swallows around him, the mix of curses and pleading making them both impossibly harder. Carlisle drops a hand to touch himself and groans at the shift in pressure, the vibrations in his throat making the other man cry out.

"Ah, goddamnit," Edward mutters. "So good, so good."

Trembling hands guide Carlisle up and away from the hot flesh in his mouth, and Edward muffles his whine of protest with a searing kiss. They fall together onto the bed, Edward pushing the other man onto his back before reaching to stroke him with sure fingers. Now Carlisle is the one writhing, even as he tries to kiss whatever skin he can reach.

The young man rolls Carlisle's balls between his fingers and licks the other man's lips. "Want you so much."

"Yes." Carlisle's low voice wavers. "Need you inside me."

Carlisle closes his eyes when Edward rolls away, working to control his panting breaths. He pulls himself blindly along the mattress, falling onto the pillows as he hears the scrape of the nightstand drawer and the sound of foil tearing. The click of the lube bottle makes him moan, and his dick throbs when Edward gives a low hiss as he rolls a condom on.

The mattress beside Carlisle dips as cool, slick hands move between his legs, one on his cock and the other trailing up the cleft of his ass. His breath stops when a finger pushes inside, followed by a second, and he lets himself fall away into sensation. He squirms under Edward's teasing fingers and hungry mouth, and struggles to keep his eyes open to watch the beautiful man beside him.

"Fuck me, please, Edward," he rasps, grasping at the sweat-slicked skin on the other man's shoulders and arms until he climbs between Carlisle's legs.

Edward presses him into the sheets, kissing him as their bodies align. His eyes clench closed, however, when Carlisle's hands run over his ass and trace the skin behind his balls.

"You're gonna make me come, Carlisle," he warns breathlessly, opening his eyes and smiling when the man beneath him chuckles. "Fuck, don't laugh, I'm so wound up."

"I'm not laughing, babe." Carlisle sighs when Edward's eyes widen in wonder at his words. "I want to make you feel good."

He groans when the young man's dick lurches in his hand. Pushing him back gently, Carlisle gives himself room to turn over onto his hands and knees. Long hands are on him immediately, and both men moan when Edward's cock brushes against his ass.

Carlisle's head drops forward when Edward slides slowly inside, making him burn and stretch in delicious ways.

"Christ," Edward says hoarsely.

Carlisle hears his own breathless murmurs as he presses backward, Edward's hands rubbing circles into his skin and turning his muscles to mush. He bends forward when Edward begins to move, resting his head between his hands and fisting the sheets when the other man swears softly. Edward curls over Carlisle's back, wrapping one arm around the man's shoulders and the other around his waist, kissing his back and shoulders as they move together.

Carlisle reaches back blindly, using Edward's lean legs to anchor himself to the bed. The aching tingle in his belly spreads through his body, making his hands shake and his toes curl. He turns his face into the mattress, mumbling nonsensically when the young man's hand drops to fist him.

"Oh, God. More. Fuck, more, please, please."

Edward heeds his pleas, driving faster and harder, grunting with each thrust and the hand around Carlisle's cock pumps and strokes until he's soaring.

"Coming," he says brokenly. His dick lurches, come pulsing over Edward's fist and smearing the sheets, while Carlisle's eyes roll in his head and he rides the high.

He groans when Edward pulls away, and then again when strong hands flip his boneless body and the other man climbs back between his legs. Edward's strokes are deeper and slower when he slides back inside, like the kisses he presses against Carlisle's lips.

Carlisle's senses come back together. He twines his arms and legs around the young man's body, driving him deeper, pressing their bodies tightly together as Edward murmurs in his ear.

"Fucking good, Carlisle. So tight and hot."

"Come inside me, babe," Carlisle says, holding the other man when his back arches and his mouth opens in a low cry. "Let me feel you, Edward."

The young man's thrusting rhythm stutters. Edward's body flexes, a dark flush staining his chest before he buries his face in Carlisle's neck and comes. He leans onto one trembling arm, trying to keep his weight off the man beneath him, until Carlisle pulls him down onto the bed to press kisses into his skin.

OoOoO

Carlisle lies awake late into the night again, this time listening to the breaths of the man curled beside him. Edward's arm is warm around his waist, his hand splayed on his skin, and their legs are twined together beneath the sheets. Carlisle wonders what he dreams of when his eyelids tremble and his breaths change. From time to time, Carlisle drops his head, allowing his lips to brush against Edward's baby fine bristles, and breathes in the smell of soap and skin and man.

It's deep in the night when Edward stirs and wakes, inhaling slowly through his nose. His big eyes blink sleepily, taking a moment to focus on the man beside him, before his pink lips curl in a small smile.

"Hey, doc," he whispers, humming when Carlisle cups his cheek with one hand. "What are you doing up? You okay?"

"I'm glad you're here," Carlisle tells him simply. His heart squeezes when the young man's eyes shine.

"You're not just saying that so I make you breakfast tomorrow, are you?"

"No. We can go to the diner in Chinatown for breakfast, if that's what you want. I'm just happy that you're here."

"So'm I," Edward whispers. Slowly, slowly he closes the space between them, and captures the other man's lips with his own.


A/N

Aw. I flove them. Hope you enjoyed ;)

Jasper has been talking to me, too, in case you were curious. I can't promise a regular update schedule - I'm a terribly slow writer - so thanks for hanging in there with me, if you do. Discordia81 and I are working on an entry for the Public Lovin' Contest - I'll post info on my profile when we're ready. ;)

Note: Devil in Disguise is a song released in 1963 by Elvis Presley.