Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight. I just like playing with the characters. Especially Jasper!

Valentine's Day 2013

Chapter 2 – Staying, Together

I felt a breeze from an open window and I shivered. Glancing around the room, I saw that the glass door to the balcony was open. Just as this registered, Jasper Whitlock stepped in from outside, wearing a tuxedo!

Smiling at me, he walked towards me. "Surprised?" he asked.

I nodded. Dumbfounded would be a better word.

"I just couldn't let you go…" he said softly.

"Um, hi. Well, this is amazing…but…I don't understand," I said, backing up slightly as he approached.

He stepped closer. "It's Valentine's Day. What is there to understand?" he said softly.

"I would have thought you had a date. You don't usually seem to be alone…"

He laughed in response to this. The sound was so velvety, so rich, it gave me goose bumps.

"Those…roses? Why so many?" I asked, still nervous.

"Actually, there are as many bouquets as the number of days since I met you on the quad last fall. 167, to be exact," he said, almost casually.

167 days? I remembered our accidental meeting on the quadrangle back on September 1st, but that he would remember…and know how many days ago it was? Wow.

Seeming to give up on any verbal response from me to his statement, Jasper gestured towards the tiny table in my kitchenette, which was set and had a pair of white tapers burning at the center. I hadn't noticed it initially, as I was focused on all those roses. Now I was staring at the table.

Someone had made amazing use had been made of my mismatched china. One of the white plates had been used like a charger, with a smaller floral plate on top of it. There was a white napkin next to it, which on closer inspection, turned out to be one of my dishcloths, elegantly folded.

Shaking my head to clear it from the frankly befuddling romantic gesture, I raised a practical question, one that I really needed him to answer. "How did you get in?" I asked.

"Your balcony was unlatched. I wanted to surprise you with some roses. I take it I succeeded?" he asked, reaching for my hand, and pulling me towards him, then switching it to the middle of my back as he guided me to the chair.

"Please, have a seat," he said, pulling out the chair for me.

I dutifully sat down, still in a daze, not only from the surroundings, but from how close he was. I had wanted him for so long, yet now that he was within reach...well, it was happening too fast. It just didn't seem natural.

"There's only one place setting. How about you?" I asked, as he gracefully slid into the chair across from me.

"I want to watch you eat," he replied, pulling the lid off of a covered dish on a chafing dish and stirring the contents with a serving spoon.

"How did you know what time I would get here?" I pushed, still trying to get past the uneasy feeling I had at not only finding him in my apartment, but having made himself at home so thoroughly.

"You always come home at this time, I noticed," he said, spooning some pasta onto my plate. "Mushroom ravioli. It's what you like, correct?"

"Wait. How did you even know where I live? You've been watching me? This is getting too weird. I need some answers," I said, starting to stand up.

He was behind me instantly, standing very close. Putting his hands on my shoulders, pushing me gently but firmly back into the chair, I could feel long his hair brush the top of my head as he bent to whisper in my ear. "Please, sit back down," he said, his cool breath coming from behind my ear.

His breath was sweet and intoxicating. I felt my will crumbling, and I sat.

He took his seat across from me, and opened a bottle of wine, and poured it into a fluted glass. Now that glass definitely wasn't one of mine. I didn't have wine glasses. I had water glasses, and just poured wine into them, filling the glass half full.

I picked up a forkful of the pasta, and started to put it in my mouth, but then set it back down. "I can't eat, not if you're not going to eat," I said glumly.

"We won't be dining at the same table, not tonight, as I have…different nutritional requirements than you do right now," he said. "But you should eat. Theses mushroom sacrificed their life for you. Are you going to let that go to waste?"

"I never thought of it that way. Sounds…creepy," I replied, shuddering.

"Not creepy, just part of a cycle," he said with a sigh. "The living feed on the living in order to survive, as predator on prey. It's how life is sustained."

"Now I really can't eat," I said dejectedly. "I've caused the slaughter of innocent mushrooms! I can hear their little mushroom screams…"

I stopped speaking as he stood up, unbuttoned his tuxedo jacket, and reached around to his back underneath it.

I started back in my chair, frightened at this movement. Was he pulling a gun? But he was only untying his cummerbund. He placed it on the table and with slow, precise motions, carefully folded it into a strip about one inch wide.

"There's another way to approach this," he said, coming behind me. He leaned over me, smiling as he looked into my eyes, before sliding the cummerbund, now a black blindfold, over them. Its velvet touch caressed my skin as he tied it behind my head.

"Too tight?" he asked.

"No, but this is silly," I replied, reaching up to remove it.

His hands grabbed mine in a surprisingly strong and cold grasp. "Shall I have to tie these, too?" he whispered in my ear.

"No," I said in a small voice.

I heard the sound of a chair being moved. He kept one hand of my hands in his, holding it gently.

"Open up, here is a bite of ravioli," I heard him say from what felt like the other side of the wall of black velvet.

I opened my mouth, and a warm bite of ravioli was slipped inside.

"Good?" I heard.

"Yes," I said softly, chewing. It was good, much better than the usual ravioli we could get around campus. The cafeteria occasionally served it on meatless Fridays, but that was just…well, it was institutional cooking. This was obviously fresh pasta, and the filling had a smoky flavor, as if a bit of Gouda cheese had been put in with the Portobello filling. .

"So, back to what I was saying," Jasper continued, obviously satisfied that I was eating. "It's all a cycle. One being sustains another. Those other girls…they just kept me going until I could be with you. Open wide."

Another bite of the pasta was put to my lips. I parted my lips, and another piece of the warm, soft pasta was pushed inside.

"You could have just asked me out," I said, after I finished chewing this new biteful, savoring the flavor.

"No, I couldn't have," he replied simply. "I couldn't risk anyone seeing us together. I had to establish a persona, and a taste in women for that persona. Those girls just served a purpose."

"Did you kill them?" I asked suddenly.

There was a moment's silence, followed by a low, husky laugh. "No, that would have been too obvious, and actually the reverse was almost true. A few of them nearly bored me to death."

He fed me a few more bites, dabbing at my lips with a napkin as I chewed. Apparently I was a messy eater when fed.

"Next course," he said in a husky voice.

I shivered in my chair, partly in anticipation, and more than a little in fear. But the thrill of this experience was winning out.

"Don't you want to know what it is?" he called, from a slight distance away.

"Surprise me," I said, as I heard the refrigerator door open, the sound of plastic rustling followed by the sound of the door being closed.

Light footsteps came back towards the table. Still no answer. I started to raise my hands to my blindfold, and they were instantly grabbed.

"I thought we were past this," he said sternly. "I'm not sure you deserve desert…but here it is."

I heard a chair being pulled up next to me again. "This has chocolate on the outside," he told me, "and you get to guess what it's covering. You'll have to bite it in half, as it's too large for a single bite."

I felt something at the front of my mouth, and my tongue explored it before taking it in completely. There was a cool hard shell, with a cylindrical shape. I bit, and felt something cold explode into my mouth.

Starting to choke, I raised my hands to my mouth.

"That was just a chocolate-covered strawberry," he said, gently taking my hands in his. "Have a drink of water."

Now that I knew what it was, eating the other half was easy. "Where's the stem?" I asked though.

"I pulled it off."

I ate the rest, and he gently tapped at my mouth with the napkin again.

"Full?" he asked.

"Yes, very. Thank you," I replied.

"Good," he said, right behind me again. He pulled me up, out of the chair and close to him, and then brushed his lips gently against mine.

"I've been waiting a very long time for you, Miss Swan. I was so glad when you stumbled across the quad last fall. Somehow had told me to enroll, and wait, and you would come. But I'll have to admit to getting nervous."

"Blindfold?" I asked shyly.

"You're going to behave?" he said.

I nodded, not sure what that was going to entail, because right now, up against him, my body was responding intensely to his presence. And I could feel his response to me as well.

He turned me in his arms so I my back was pressed against his chest, and he finally pulled off the blindfold. I blinked at the light, and saw that we were both looking off the balcony. "Beautiful, isn't it?" he murmured. "Twilight. The sun has gone down, but night hasn't fully arrived. The night is just beginning…things are stirring in the darkness."

He pulled me to his side and we walked to the sofa. Leaving me standing at one end of the sofa, he leaned over it, giving me a chance to check out his body again, as he moved the two boxed rose arrangements that were on the center cushions onto the floor, clearing a space. He sat down, and then reached out for me, pulling me onto his lap.

I felt very awkward in that position, and he smiled, sensing it.

Looking around, I asked, "This must have taken a lot of planning."

"A lot of rushed planning," he replied, as he stroked my hair. "We got a few dozen flowers from every florist in the city. After all, I only found out you were leaving this morning when you told Professor Higgins."

"But…how?" I asked. "He told you?"

He shook his head, slowing moving his hand from my hair down my neck and onto my shoulder. "I heard you tell him," he said in a soft, intense voice.

"You were sitting in the back of the auditorium with your usual posse. I saw you there," I stated flatly.

"I have excellent hearing. We all do, in fact," he remarked casually.

"All who?"

"Everyone like me," he said, pulling my hand to his mouth and starting to cover it with kisses, one finger at a time, never taking his gaze off of my eyes.

I squirmed a bit on his lap, uncomfortable with both my growing desire and how creepy he was being. His smile grew.

He put one hand on the back of my head and held me in place as he leaned forward for a kiss. First gently brushing my lips as before, then pushing harder, demanding.

I opened my mouth, and let his tongue in, while I reached out with my own to taste him. He held me with one arm, while the other slid from my shoulder down my side to my hips, and ended its exploration by moving my thighs so I was facing him on his lap, my knees on either side of his hips. I moved a little, grinding into him, surprised at my own boldness, and he instantly flipped us over, so that I was on my back, and he was hovering on top of me, pulling at my sweater. I tugged at his t-shirt at the same time, and he had it off so quickly I barely saw the movement.

I gasped a little at the speed, and he replied, "Sorry to startle you, shhhh…" and he went back to kissing me, starting to work his way over my chin, lingering on the side of my neck, softly licking at it, before moving down to my breasts.

I felt him starting to unfasten my bra behind my back, so I arched it to help him.

Xxxx

"You're so beautiful," he said, and the look in his eyes seemed to say he was telling the truth.

"You're too beautiful," I replied.

He looked over at me, narrowing his eyes, puzzled.

"I mean, what does it mean that you're here? I'm not like those other…" I began, trying to put my feelings into words, when suddenly he was on top of me, his face almost fierce, but relaxing when I gasped in fear.

"Don't ever compare yourself to those bimbos," he growled. "They were all just trash. They were expendable, and all had multiple partners before me. I wasn't with anyone who hadn't been with someone else. That was one reason to hang out with the jocks – they fed me a steady supply of willing, experienced partners. From city and campus."

His cold statement wasn't reassuring, and I stiffened.

His face relaxed, and he bent down to nuzzle the side of my neck again. His touch was so…cold.

As if guessing my feelings, he suddenly said, "We all have a lower body temperature. Runs…in the family, you might say. But back to you, to us. I've been waiting for you for a long time."

He put his mouth back on mine, and I decided whatever else happened, this beautiful boy was mine for the evening, so I would get the most out of the experience. I twined my fingers in his soft hair, holding his head to me, and started to wrap one leg around his waist.

He made a low noise in his throat that sounded like a growl, and slid one hand slowly down between us, reaching my waist. He paused, stroking the skin above my jeans, and then slid his hands down the outside of my jeans, stopping when his fingers were between my legs. He stroked me softly, and I moaned and arched against his hand, struggling for more. He pushed harder, right between my legs, until I was panting, and could barely gasp out my "Please."

That seemed to be what he wanted to hear, as he pulled off first my jeans then his, leaving us skin to skin, with only my underwear separating us, our bodies exposed to one another's gaze.

I blushed, and he said, "How does this thing work?" asking about the sofa bed. He pulled me off of the sofa, holding me with one hand while I showed him how to operate the sofabed. He quickly pulled it open, sliding it into its usual place in the middle of the living room while I stood by awkwardly. I had left the sheets and blankets on as usual, in case I was too tired to drive home after class, and of course I had my Little Mermaid sheets on it this week.

But once it was open, Little Mermaid was going to have to close her eyes, because with the new space afforded by the small bed, we could stretch out, as opposed to worrying about falling off of the lumpy sofa with the springs sticking up in weird places.

So we began to explore one another, gently at first, touching, caressing, and kissing. I lost my shyness as I gave way to the heat building inside, stoked by his kisses. Soon he was hovering over me again, moving gently above me, stroking my thighs with his own.

xxx

Afterwards, he pulled us both onto our sides, so we were lying next to one another, and he stroked my hair and kissed me, nuzzling me frequently under my chin on my neck with his nose, his soft hair tickling me.

After a few minutes of gazing at one another, he got up and pulled his jeans on. I leaned on one elbow, watching him. As he looked around, his eyes landed on my boxes stacked in the corner by the door. "Those are your boxes, with everything packed?'

I froze. He was leaving?

"Are those boxes all that you are moving? Are you taking any of the furniture?" he asked, gingerly placing his hand on the rickety table, watching it rock at his touch.

"Why?" I demanded, disappointed that he was leaving so quickly. I had given in too easily, which I suppose was something he must be used to.

"I've got a friend who's going to help us get your truck packed," he said casually.

I sat up, shaking my head as I felt I was starting to come out of his spell. "What?" I asked.

He looked at me, his head cocked to one side. "Is something wrong?"

"Let's see," I said, starting to count off my points on my fingers. "You just showed up here after we had only met once on the quad, months ago. You broke in, and now you tell me that you've arranged for your friend to come help move my stuff out of my apartment?"

He leaned against the doorway. "Well, when you put it that way…yes, I did. Didn't you like dinner?"

I blushed, thinking of dinner and what came after.

He smiled, and came back to lean over the bed, kissing me gently on the mouth. Pulling back, he stroked my hair, and then said, "We're leaving together, that's all,"

"We are?" I asked. He just wasn't making sense.

"Of course. I've been waiting for the right moment, and this is perfect. Are you planning to leave those books and papers by the sofa in the apartment? If not, I'll put them in this box." With that, he leaned over and began collecting the few things I had left to the last minute to pack, including my class materials for the day, and some college information, and placed them into one of the empty cartons I had on the kitchen counter.

"No, wait. You're coming with me?" I asked again, dumbfounded. "Why would you leave school mid-term?"

"I only enrolled here to be here when you arrived. Now that you're leaving, there's no reason for me to stay," he said, as if that were the most natural thing in the world.

And at some level, I did understand, and I did believe him.

But my rational, pedestrian brain kept barking at me, telling me that these things don't happen in the real world. And I'm in the real world, not some story world where anything is possible, right?

I stood up, draping the sheet around me, looking for my clothes.

"You ready to leave? We're not quite done. I need to pack up these roses, for one thing," he said, smiling. "How about the bathroom, anything like a toothbrush you want to bring?"

I pulled my jeans on under the sheet, and yanked my t-shirt back over my head. Now I felt more like I could face him. Suddenly I felt like crying, but I held back my tears. He was making fun of me. Maybe he was some sick guy who seduced plain girls like me all the time like this…and I wasn't one of the trophy girls he would walk across the quad with. I was one of the ones he didn't want to be seen with.

Deep inside, I had felt a connection to him, and knew what he was saying was true, but my rational mind, the one that told me to withdraw from school to take care of my family, wasn't buying any of this.

Jasper froze, staring at me appraisingly. He took a few steps toward me, but I put up my hands to stop him.

"Don't, I can't think when you're…touching me," I said.

"That's mutual, love. There's so much I want to tell you, so much you need to know. But first, we need to wrap up the practical things. Like getting the apartment packed and then getting on the road. Come on. Whatever else is going to happen, you were planning to move tonight, right? And I'm helping you pack your truck."

With that, he picked up three boxes, carried them to the door, and opened it. I was stunned to see a huge man, with black curly hair and a friendly smile, standing outside on the landing, waiting to take them. Jasper came back in, picked up a few more boxes, and by the time he got to the door, the big man was back, holding out his hands for the new set of boxes

Looking out the window, I saw the three original boxes neatly placed in the bed of my rusty orange pickup.

"How..?" I began, flabbergasted.

"I'm handy when it comes to moving things such as boxes," the big guy said. "Be right back!"

OK, there was something strange going on. When I looked out the window, he was at the truck. He couldn't have had time to get down the stairs!

I turned to look at Jasper, but he had moved right behind me when I wasn't looking. He wrapped his arms around my waist, and put his head on my shoulder. I could swear he was sniffing my neck, but I'm sure he was only nuzzling it.

"Just trust me," he whispered. "Please, trust me. I've been waiting so long for you…and now I can't wait another hour to spend an eternity with you. Let's get your things from the bathroom so we can leave."

Almost in a daze, I let him walk me to the tiny closet-sized bathroom, which barely had room for both of us. He found the cosmetics bag hanging from the back of the door, and quickly put everything I hadn't packed yet into it. He was thorough, checking the medicine and shower stall carefully.

I heard clinking noises in the next room while he was packing my toiletries, and when we left the bathroom, the big guy was carrying an armful of vases filled with roses down the stairs. How had he collected the167 vases so fast? And how could he carry roses like that, just bundled in his arms, hugged next to his chest? The thorns should be tearing holes in his skin and clothes! Yet he didn't seem to be noticing any pain.

I was getting confused. None of this was making sense. Was this all a dream? I hoped not, but reality just wasn't making much sense tonight, as far as I was concerned.

As if sensing my confusion, Jasper softly whispered to me, "Don't over think things. Just follow your heart."

So I did. Letting him lead me by my hand out the door and down the stairs…and into my truck. And from there…to forever.

….

According to the newspapers the following week, they found my truck at the bottom of a cliff, broken nearly in two, on some rocks by the ocean. Skid marks indicated that I lost control in the fog, and the old pickup had skidded out and slid over the edge.

The police reluctantly called off the search for my body after four days, assuming I was thrown from the cab in the fall and washed out to sea. And they won't find it, because I'm with him now, for all eternity…waking up to my new life with him three days after we left campus, having left my mortal life behind. We now an eternity to explore our love, and I'm not sure that will be long enough.

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!

PLEASE LEAVE ME A REVIEW. LET ME KNOW WHAT YOU THINK.

(Ummm…yes, he did change her. But it's Valentine's Day, and I didn't want to dwell on the pain of the bite and change. So that got glossed over, in order to focus on the fact she gave in to her feelings and left with him.)