Written for the Fandom for Oklahoma.
And the E/N after... is written for everyone who reads this, so please read it.
Dared to Truth
"Truth or dare, Edward?"
Rosalie rubs her hands together and smiles wickedly at her brother. "I dare you to kiss Jasper."
"Get fucked, Rose."
"Believe me, she will," Emmett declares, fist-bumping Jasper across the table and smirking at the death stare Edward gives him.
I backhand Jasper's leg for encouraging him, even though I know Edward really doesn't care too terribly much. "You have a sister, too, remember?"
"She's ten," he answers, as if the years it will be until someone wants to fuck her are a lifetime instead of the, at most, maybe half of a dozen that are more likely.
I shake my head and take a sip of my beer and wait for Rosalie to give Edward a real dare. Because even she couldn't have really wanted to see the one she issued. I know I sure as hell don't. Eew...
And luckily, I'm right and she doesn't. "Okay, fine, I dare you to tell Dad that you let Lauren and Jessica both blow you in the back of his Mercedes. At the same time. Or taking turns or however the hell they did it."
"How the hell do you even know about that?" he asks her, but then gets his answer from Emmett's second fist-bumping-my-boyfriend-accompanied smirk. "You're a fucking asshole, Emmett. She's my SISTER."
"Whatever, dude, then don't do epic needs-to-be-shared shit. Which, seriously...gimme some."
I didn't need it to be shared. And neither did Edward, though he obviously didn't think that when he told him. The him whose fist he leaves hanging now as he responds to his second not-funny dare. "Again, Rose, GET FUCKED."
"Tell him or I will. Unless you want me not to so badly that you keep me quiet with those four hundred dollar boots I want that Dad said I should get a job to pay for myself."
"You mean the ones that if you had them would end up planted spread wide apart against the roof of Emmett's Jeep? That Dad could also be made knowledgeable of?"
"That roof comes out, dude," Emmett returns, and I grab Jasper's fist before he can extend it a third time.
And then watch the sibling stare down.
"You hope I wouldn't."
"Entertaining as this is, guys," Alice interrupts, "I'd like to actually continue with the game. Because I haven't had a turn yet."
"Then take it," Edward says, making it clear that his is over.
"I will. But I want to ask the question."
"So ask it," Rosalie sighs, looking at me and shaking her head. Because neither one of us can stand her. She doesn't even date Jake anymore, so why is she still around, especially when he isn't?
Yeah, like I don't know why...
"Truth or dare? Obviously."
"Truth," I say immediately, because I always do. Especially if Alice is the Truth or Dare dealer.
Because, just like I can't stand her, she can't stand me either. And doesn't hate–again, my boyfriend–Jasper. And if I were to pick dare...
Well, I don't even want to think about what she'd throw at me.
"I knew you were going to say that. And I have just the truth question to teach you that you shouldn't always... Who's a better kisser, Jasper or Edward?"
Two freight trains colliding couldn't be louder than the silence that settles over the room at her question. The question I shouldn't know the answer to, even though I do. And the room in which Jasper and Edward both sit, on either side of me, while we play this stupid game that I no longer want to play.
There's no fist-bumping now...
"What?" I ask her as nonchalantly as I can, though my heart is doing an impression of soldiers marching into battle in my chest. She can't know about that... "How the hell would I know?"
"I'm sure Jasper would love to know the answer to that question, but he'll get his turn. This is mine, and I asked you a different one, so answer it."
"I can't," I say, shooting daggers at her. Much like the ones being shot at me. And at Edward beside me on my left. From my right side, the side that Jasper–his friend long before he was my boyfriend–sits on.
"LIE!" she challenges, shooting me with the truth I never meant to be.
On my life, I never meant it to. It just... happened. One night when Edward took me home because Jasper got too drunk to drive me. So drunk, in fact, that he passed out on Emmett's basement floor after Emmett pinned him to it in a wrestling match. Which started with another dare... or challenge... that Jasper couldn't pin him.
It was a Saturday night, and Emmett's parents were out of town, and basically everyone was shitfaced because they were all just going to crash there.
Everyone except for me. Because my dad isn't stupid. And knew the McCartys were going out of town because Mr. is one of his closest friends.
The McCartys are cool parents, and knew Emmett was planning the party within seconds of them telling him of their weekend plans. And they really didn't care, because they figured everyone would just crash there, no driving, no harm done...
But my dad isn't so cool about those things. My dad the police chief of this small town we live in.
And though he is cool enough not to have been planning to spoil everyone's fun, he isn't cool enough to let me spend the night with my boyfriend having it.
My boyfriend, who again, passed out on the floor an hour before my generous, though firm, curfew.
So, Edward, being the only other person besides me who didn't get completely shitfaced–because he had some family thing the next day that he didn't want to add a hangover to the misery of (Rosalie didn't care)–told me not to worry and that he would take me home so I wouldn't get into trouble. And so my dad wouldn't show up there with his police-chief-father-of-a-daughter brand of.
It was just an innocent ride...
And a sweet...
Until it wasn't quite.
Though that kiss...
Don't, Bella. Seriously... DON'T.
But also seriously... HOW THE FUCK DOES ALICE KNOW ABOUT IT?
"NOT a lie," I finally respond to her accusation. And I do so truthfully because I honestly can't answer what she asked. Not because I don't have the knowledge... but because it isn't that easy. Or that simple.
It's not a question of better. And, though I've kissed Jasper more times than I could count in the year we've been together, and Edward only once... well, I suppose technically it was twice... not one I can answer.
Edward shifts next to me, his movement one of irritation and discomfort at the position we've been put in, but when his leg touches mine during that shift, for the briefest of seconds, it's neither of those things. And I know is something he wanted me to feel. That his innocent touch of sorts wasn't. And, even though possibly blowing up in our faces right now, that our unplanned kiss wasn't, either.
And I know when he fixes his irritated gaze on Alice, that he's going to take responsibility for it. And me, in a sense, and come to my rescue once again. "Your turn, Bella. Since she asked you a question you have no possible way of answering."
"Nice try, Edward." She flashes Jasper a smile and then looks back to Edward with one very different. "But I think you just don't want her to answer. The question I, as you very well do, know she can. Because, though your lips have, in true fact, been on hers, your name won't come out of them."
"How do you know she can?" Jasper asks before Edward or I can say a word.
And she's more than happy to answer him. Because she'd be happy to do anything for him. Or to... "Because I saw them."
"What?" he asks now, as I ask myself how. How could she have?
"I saw them," she repeats. "But to be fair... and completely truthful, unlike either of them have been or are being, I really don't think it was planned. I mean, it did seem to be one of those 'moments'... and she seemed pretty taken aback for a few seconds... when he went in... for the kill–I mean kiss–before she took him. In."
"When? And where?" he asks her, because those are the only details he wants to hear.
And there's only one answer to each of those questions, and I certainly know them, but still not at all how she could, let alone those others that she was dead on about.
Because it happened right in front of my house.
I thanked Edward for the ride, and for saving my ass, and jumped out of his car with a "See you Monday!" because I would at school.
But then he was out of his car, too. And running to catch up with me.
"What?" I asked him once he had, and was right next to me.
"Nothing," he said, "I'm just walking you to your door."
"Edward Cullen, chivalrous?" I returned, and then laughed, because that was funny. You have no idea how funny...
He flashed me a guilty–yet shockingly innocent–crooked smile and shrugged. "Don't tell anybody."
"Certainly not," I told him. "It might soil your reputation."
His eyes were strangely and uncharacteristically serious for a minute as he looked at me, but then the true Edward I knew was back. "It might. And I've worked hard on that, and like it the way it is, so..."
"So, don't worry. I won't out you."
"Good," he said, and held his hand out to me, "I'm going to hold you to that, while I unlock your door for you. Hand over the keys, Press Agent."
I laughed and reached into my purse to find them. "Press Agent... that's cute, but my wallet tells me that either I'm not a very good one, or you're a cheapskate, and blatantly unappreciative of my services."
He snickered a playful "Sorry about that" just as I found my keys and went to drop them into his hand.
But in his hand wasn't where they landed. Because I was looking at his face instead of it. And because I'm clumsy sometimes. Often, actually...
And instead of, they landed at our feet on my front stoop.
I immediately reached down to pick them up, but so did he, and our hands touched, gripping each other's instead of the cold steel we'd each reached for.
And that might have been enough, I suppose, for something that shouldn't have ever happened to...
But our hands weren't the only things that touched. It wasn't a hard or painful collide, but our foreheads bumped, and our noses, and our lips hovered dangerously close.
I could feel his breath on mine. The in and then out whoosh of it.
Of surprise... but not a bad kind, no matter how wrong.
Or how much more wrong it would get...
Because we would let it.
Not that I knew that at that exact moment...
I didn't. Or intend to do anything. Right, wrong, or at all.
And I can't even say that he did. Intend...
But he did something. He didn't let go of my hand. And, instead, gripped it harder. And softer...
Abandoning my keys and any and all conscious or responsible thought with them. And stood...
Pulling me to do the same, but not just with his hand. Because I'd have followed his lead without it. I remember the feeling even now... the pull...
It was magnetic. And strong. And powerful. Much more powerful than I was to stop it. Or pull away from it.
So I gave in. Let myself be pulled. By him and to. Slowly... to his mouth. My lips to his.
And what Alice said was true... I was taken aback. And pulled for a moment...
And nowhere at all near one, because his pull was much too strong. And his kiss too short. And I pulled him back to me for another.
That was different than any I'd ever felt, just like that first was.
Which is why I can't answer her daring me to truth question.
"Well, when was the night Emmett threw that party at his house. When his parents were out of town..." I hear Alice talking, outing us, and soiling our reputations with the truth I know she somehow has...
But it's not what makes my heart beat fast. It beats fast because that pull I felt that night has never let go of me. And sits in all of its–and his–magnetic glory right beside me. And grabs my hand. Again. In front of everyone this time, instead of just the audience of one I now know we had then.
Because that audience is still talking. "And the where was at Bella's house. Right out in front, for all the world to see. Though most of it was sleeping... but unfortunately for her, most didn't include me.
"I was spending the night at Jessica's. Her parents were out of town, too, and we were having our own little party. And I was on my way to the kitchen to whip up another batch of margaritas when I heard car doors outside. Two car doors, which made me curious. Because I'd talked to Lauren just a few minutes before. Because she'd called me to tell me that you had passed out and that Bella left with Edward. And God knows Edward is a drop-the-girl-off-at-the-curb-and-pull-away kind of guy...
"So, again, since I heard two car doors outside, I went to Jessica's living room window to look. And saw him not only walk her to her front door–actually, he was running–but kiss her, and then her kiss him, right in front of it. After an awkward bump of heads and noses, because she is Bella, your treacherous and traitorous girlfriend, though I hope not still after tonight. Finally. Now that the truth has come out."
Well, that clears up the how...
And in doing so, leaves everything else a mess.
Rosalie is staring at me, and asking me silently–and without judgement–how she didn't know about this before. How I could have not told her.
And Emmett is staring at me, too, and at Edward, his eyes moving back and forth and back and forth at our faces until it makes me dizzy and I look away. And down at his fist that isn't moving at all. Because there's nothing he wants to celebrate or praise now. Because this epic shit isn't good. Or cool...
Friends aren't supposed to do that shit to each other. Whatever other lines get blurred, even in the course of drunken, carefree fun, those are clear. And aren't supposed to be crossed.
Of course, Rosalie and Emmett aren't the only ones staring... at me or at us...
Alice is looking rather smug and proud at what she's done. And what she did it for, which I didn't doubt, but which is drawn with a bold, super-sized permanent marker when she gets up from her chair and sits on the arm of the couch beside Jasper and puts hers around his shoulder. "I'm really sorry..."
I'm yet to meet, or even acknowledge, Jasper's stare. And am shocked that I am. And that I'm not offering him any explanations. Or making any excuses. Or ripping Alice's arm from around him, or her apology from her tongue, or even it completely from her mouth...
Or, most of all, declaring my sorrow. Not for me but for him, whose only fault in this if it's even fair to say he has any, is drinking too much. Having too much fun. And trusting me not to betray him just because he did and didn't put the fact that I couldn't have as much first.
Why am I not doing any of those things?
Why am I not fighting?
And why isn't he? Why is he doing, saying, or screaming, nothing at all?
And why is Edward holding my hand? Still? And why am I letting him? Why, when he grabbed it–this time or the first–didn't I pull it away?
Truth or dare, Bella?...
Which is not what I hear when Edward suddenly jumps up, pulling me with him, and behind him, as he addresses the elephant of truth in the room. "I'm not going to bullshit you, Jazz, or lie, or try to deny anything. What Alice said is true. It did happen... but not the way she said it did.
"Bella didn't do anything. Nor did she want anything, but to get home before her dad could go apeshit if she wasn't. Apeshit on you...
"So, be pissed, and hate, and feel betrayed because you were... but don't direct it at her. Any of it. Because she didn't kiss me back. And she didn't pull me into anything. I did it all. I–"
"That's not true!" I yell. Because I hate lies. And have hated living this one.
I always choose truth.
"It's not true at all. I did kiss him back. And pull him so I could again. Because–"
"Because," I repeat, because Edward's reputation won't be soiled by me. And his true attempts at chivalry won't stop me from telling the truth, no matter what it does to mine. "I wanted to. Because I felt something I'd never felt when he kissed me. Before he did, even... when he didn't mean for me to feel anything. And wasn't trying to himself.
"It wasn't planned. And was just one of those 'moments'. For me, at least. I won't speak for him. But can't let him speak for me, either. With words that aren't true."
"Like the ones you've been giving me by not?"
Emmett asks his own question before I can answer Jasper's first to me. "Truth or dare, Jazz?"
And I'm confused... about why he would want to go back to our game, now of all times...
Until Alice laughs. And Jasper's face morphs into one I at first think I've never seen before, but then realize I've been seeing ever since that night. A face wearing a mask of guilt. And lies.
And when it speaks, it's not to Emmett, but to me. "I fucked Alice that night."
"You WHAT?" Edward and Rosalie are the ones to ask the question I don't.
The one that Emmett's face tells me he didn't have to ask, like he did in the first place, but did because it was too epic not to share anymore. And maybe too unfair after our game.
"I fucked Alice," he repeats, but, just like the first time, it's to me, not them. "She was there when I came to. And you weren't. And I just... I don't know, I was still shitfaced..."
"Truth or dare, Jasper." Alice still wants to play, too.
And he doesn't deny her. "And that did have something to do with it... but only in the way that it gave me the courage. To do something I already wanted to do."
"You acted surprised..." I start, "when she..." But then I see what the truth really is for myself. "You didn't know. And you didn't do it to get back at me."
"No," he admits, "I didn't. That night or any of the others since."
"You're still fucking her." I say it as a statement because there's no question in my mind.
"Yes," he says, not even decorating it with an apology.
But that undecorated yes isn't enough for Alice. "My curfew is later than yours. Much later. And every night, after he gets you home in gentlemanly time, he comes to pick me up. To spend not."
I'm shocked, but not sick to my stomach like I should be. And not fighting tears or feeling broken at being betrayed, even though I'm guilty of it, too...
And that shock is what brings my next question. To Alice. "Why didn't you tell him?"
"I didn't have to," she says simply. And smugly.
"After," I clarify. "Why not put it all out there? Don't you want him to yourself?" I know she does.
"YES," she makes sure I do, "but I couldn't resist sharing him for awhile... because you not knowing that you were sharing him... well, that was EPIC."
"Well, he's all yours now," I tell her, and grab my purse and leave the house. Jasper's house. Because his parents left for this weekend this morning. One my dad didn't know about...
And one that I won't spend any way he wouldn't approve of. Now that I know the truth. Was dared to it by choosing it.
The truth that I feel behind me now. Running after me. And pulling me...
Like a magnet. "I'm sorry, Bella."
And that I turn around to face. "For what?"
"What they did to you."
"And you?" I ask him, praying that that truth won't hurt.
"No. I'm not sorry for that. For what I did... to you."
"Good," I tell him. "Because I'm not, either. And I want you to do it again."
He smiles...and my legs nearly buckle at the beauty of it. "I want to," he tells me. His re-hired Press Agent. And star, perhaps, at the same time, that he thinks is in need of her own. Amongst other things. And better. "But not tonight. Because when I do it again, I want to do it better. And right. And with nothing else in the way. Or leading."
"There's already nothing else in the way," I tell him, trying to take that lead, because I want him to know that that's the truth I feel.
"Yes there is," he pushes, pulling me closer while he does. Not in a literal sense, but... well, in a different. Because he is. Different from what everyone thinks. Everyone but me. "It's that lie I've been living. And the one I've wanted to stop living since the moment I walked you to your door. Or chased you."
"How about a compromise, then?" I ask him. "Since you want to...
"I'll wait for you to do it again, and you won't have to chase me to my door. To prove anything. Or show me."
"Can I escort you to it now?" he asks, and not just because he knows I've been left stranded again by someone having too much fun.
And also not for that reason, I say "Yes." And take his hand that doesn't reach for mine this time by accident.
And get into his car so that he can take me home. And to my front door...
That I'll open when we reach...
To invite him inside.
While I wait for him to redefine what that is. Him...
And give it to me in every way he wants to.
Including that better...
That was the answer to that question I was asked.
When I chose truth.
So... as I said up above, this was written for the Fandom for Oklahoma. And, when I started it, was intended to be just that, and just a O/S. BUT... before I even got to the end of it, I saw, and heard (the screaming of) the potential for it to be more than that. And, though I haven't let myself write any more yet (I'm already struggling with my smaller-than-it-once-was-but-still-overflowing plate), I'm kind of dying to.
This would be a little different for me, writing a Bella and Edward so young... yes, they were still teenagers in When You Close Your Eyes, but I don't think they were typical ones. And grew up pretty fast...
And, though in a different way than I did with them, I think I could have a lot of fun with these two. So, I guess the point of this is, I'd like to know what you guys think? Is it something you'd want to read? Did you like this at all? Did where I left it (I think my brain made me leave it there on purpose) leave you wanting any more? Or should I just keep whatever I decide to add to myself? I have other things I've written but never shared... thinking no one else would be interested...
So...? What do you think? I'm going to let you guys decide. Really I am.
And, regardless of your decisions, thanks for reading this. Story, I mean. ;) xo