After Jazz successfully dislodged the ladyfinger from his esophagus he gaped at me. Fucking gaped. This is exactly why I didn’t tell him a fucking thing. And because I knew Jazz so well, I knew he wouldn’t say shit to Brandon about it, but I couldn’t sit there and be fucking gaped at. So I stood up.
Brandon didn’t notice anything going on around her. She was too nervous to even focus on breathing right, so I walked out. I walked out and left Jazz there, and prayed that Brandon would distract him long enough for me to prepare myself for the fucked up conversation we were going to have.
I debated with myself in Bio if I should tell Bella what was going on. I didn’t see any reason why I should or shouldn’t, and when the bell rang I still hadn’t come to any conclusion, so I just let her walk out. I figured I could relay the whole fucked up story to her tonight, when we were alone.
But, because Jazz knew my last class, he was standing there beside the door, fucking waiting for me. And the look of pure curiosity on his face when he saw me walking towards him was really unacceptable. It made me uncomfortable. I could feel him scrutinizing me, and I didn’t fucking like it. I walked up to him, keeping my same bored mask I always used in this fucking dump.
Jazz quirked an eyebrow. “I think we need to ditch today.” He said simply. Like he wasn’t giving me an option. I almost snorted at him. Standing there in another pair of holey jeans and another grubby band shirt acting like I fucking owed him something.
But I knew better. If it were Jazz, he’d fucking tell me. And that thought made me feel kind of shitty. I was being a shitty friend. And I’d have to get the conversation over with eventually. Better sooner than later. So I nodded and started towards the parking lot while he followed, sprinting to keep up with me.
Once we made it to the car and were both inside, the silence was heavy, and thick, and I wasn’t going to be the first one to fucking break it. So I put my key in the ignition, and drove towards home.
I could feel his eyes on me the whole way. Boring holes into my head. But he didn’t say anything. I don’t know what the fuck he was waiting for. It’s not like I was Brandon or some shit. But he just kept his mouth shut the whole way to my house. I pulled in and got out, really fucking ready to just be in that house, and wishing it was ten already, and my girl was waiting for me on that couch.
He followed me into the house without a word. Never saying a thing, just fucking staring still. No one was home, so I went to the living room, and flopped heavily onto the couch. Jasper just stood there in front of me, never sitting down.
“Okay…” Jazz started slowly, narrowing his eyes at me. “What the fuck are you doing with the crazy girl?” He asked. And that shit pissed me off for the final time.
“She’s. Not. Fucking. Crazy.” I growled through clenched teeth, glowering at him. “Her name is Bella.” I snapped, glad that I could finally tell him that since I had been waiting to since day one. His eyes grew wide, and he looked stunned. To think that I would defend Bella Swan. After the initial shock from that comment wore off, he slid into the chair he was closest to.
“Okay. Not crazy. I get it.” He said, looking rather fucking apologetic. Jazz knows me well enough to know that I rarely defend people. “So, what’s going on with you and Bella.” He emphasized her name, like he deserved a gold fucking star or some shit.
I huffed, and it was probably a little fucking childish to do so, but I huffed nonetheless. Because this was one long fucking story, and there was no way out of it. “Remember that shitty party you skipped?” I asked defeated. Jazz furrowed his brows and nodded, so I continued. “Well, she came with Brandon.” He looked surprised to hear this, of course. “But, Newton was fucking with her, so she ran upstairs to hide from him, and she just so fucking happened to choose my room to run into.” He pursed his lips, thoughtful. Then nodded for me to continue.
I let out a deep breath and sank into the couch. Then I told him everything. I told him about the first meeting, about her not sleeping, about my not sleeping. I left out the parts private for Bella. I wouldn’t fuck my girl over like that. Her story is hers to tell. Jazz understood. I told him about the gazebo, and the fucking delicious cookies she’d bring me. I’d tell him how we’d talk because we were both so fucked up and just clicked. I told him about my cold, and about how my girl took care of me, and I told him about Thanksgiving. And Thanksgiving night.
“Wait.” He held his hand up after I got to the part about her touching me. “So, she can touch you, but no one else?” He asked incredulous.
I let out a frustrated sigh. “Yes, okay. Now shut the fuck up. Save your questions for the end.” I snapped. He was going to read too fucking much into this as it was. I could already see it on his face.
So I told him about how we slept together all night. And yes. Of course, his jaw hit the fucking floor, because he was getting it all wrong. But I just kept going. I told him about how we kept doing it. The dinners. The holding. I left out some things. The humming for instance, no fucking way would he let me live that shit down. I left out the pajamas, and tried with everything in me to make it seem a whole hell of a lot less intimate than it actually fucking was.
By the end of the whole story, he was back to fucking gaping at me. So I sat, picked at my nails a little bit, just waited for him to soak it in.
“So.” He cleared his throat, got up and started walking around inspecting the pictures on the walls of the living room with his thumbs locked into his belt loops. “Let me see if I understand this…” He furrowed his brows and cocked his head to the side. “You and Bella Swan sleep together.” I nodded. It was true. “But you don’t… sleep together?”
I narrowed my eyes. “That’s why we keep our fucking mouths shut. You know Jazz, contrary to popular belief; it is possible to have a female in your bed without fucking her.” I spat. Because I saw it coming.
He eyed me skeptically, but eventually took it for what is was worth. Just fucking sleep. I never told him about the kiss. No reason to fuel the fire.
“Brandon…” He trailed off, turning to face me, looking cautious. “Will fucking kill you.” He said simply. Like it was a fact. And it probably was.
“Yeah, no shit.” I scoffed. “That’s why you’re going to keep your fucking mouth shut too.” I raised my eyebrows at him. I knew him better than to think he wouldn’t, but I had to get the words out there anyways. He nodded at me at flopped back into the chair.
We were silent a while. The whole house was as a matter of a fact. School was probably already out, but it was a practice day, and Em wouldn’t be home until Carlisle was.
“Can I meet her?” Jazz asked form the chair.
I snapped my head up to meet his gaze. “Absolutely fucking not.” I said as calmly as possible narrowing my eyes. My girl was not some novelty to be fucking gaped at.
He quirked an eyebrow. “Why is that?” he asked. Because you’re a prick.
I let out a deep sigh and slumped further into the couch, propping one of my boots on the coffee table in front of me. “Because, I fucking told you, she doesn’t like guys.” Then after a pause. “And because you’re a prick.” I smirked. Because he was. He knew it. He tried to look all fucking mock offended, but we both knew it was true.
We were silent again for a while before something pretty fucking important occurred to me.
“What happened with Brandon?” I asked, genuinely curious. I was praying that they just went into the janitor closet and humped each other for an hour. Brandon didn’t exactly strike me as the prude type, after all.
Jazz got that fucking goofy grin on his face again. “She’s coming to the party.” He snickered. And I rolled my fucking eyes, because of course Brandon was coming to the party. Then he tilted his head and pursed his lips. “She told me her cousin was coming, too.” He said with a raised eyebrow.
I snorted. “She’ll probably just spend the whole fucking night hiding in my room.” I smirked shaking my head. My girl wasn’t a party person. Jazz looked pretty fucking taken aback at my casual talk of having a girl waiting for me in my room at night. And so I had to roll my eyes again, because no one would ever understand it just wasn’t fucking like that.
Yes, Bella and I had a great kiss. I wasn’t lying when I told her she was better than Stanley. I liked it. Possibly more than I should. Definitely more than I should. It was more important than ever that I keep that fucking flip switched off, because it would be too easy to fuck it up. She had been through more shit in the last year than anyone should ever have to experience. She was delicate. Fragile.
In some ways she was very maternal; taking care of me all the time. But in so many other ways my girl was so lost and child-like. I couldn’t bear to be that asshole. To risk wanting to treat my girl the same way assholes like Newton did. And it would be so fucking easy to do it with her warm little body pressed against mine every night. But I was where she felt safe from assholes like that. There’s no fucking way I would let her loose that comfort. And I knew that fucking switch was the only thing keeping me from acting like the hormonal teenage mothefucker I was, and losing it all. And I couldn’t lose the routine. I couldn’t lose my girl.
He did it. Jasper actually talked to Alice. And now I was barricaded in her room listening to her go a million miles a minute and scrutinizing every last detail of the exchange.
“The hair…” Alice sighed dreamily while sitting on the floor against her bedroom door. She had come in and closed it and slid back against it, and she hadn’t moved for an entire hour. She had a look of victory on her face ever since lunch. “It was like…” She breathed with a wide smile on her face. “No.” She shook her head, bouncing her black spiky hair all over the place. “No words. No words for that hair.” She giggled. And I giggled right along with her as I lay on her bed, because I knew exactly how she felt.
“Oh!” She squealed, clapping her hands together. “And he loved your cookies.” She winked and rubbed her hands together. “They were kind of my secret weapon.” She snickered. And I chuckled at her, because they were my secret weapon too. Of course I didn’t have black leather pants.
She heaved another dreamy sigh and rested her head back against the door, closing her eyes, and still grinning like an idiot. “Two more days.” She said with a victorious nod, then lifted her head up and looked at me with a determined expression. “Two more days… and Jasper Hale will be mine.” She smirked. And I had to giggle at her, because, she didn’t know it yet, but he already was.
I had been mildly concerned all day about Edward’s dream the previous night. It was the first time either of us had a dream at all while we were sleeping together. And honestly, it scared me. Because if his dreams came back, I would be useless. I could still bring him food and talk to him, and I’d stay awake with him all night if he’d let me just to keep him company, but I couldn’t loose the one thing I had over anyone else. The ability to make him sleep. It was the only hold I had on him at all.
So when I packed up his dinner that night and got ready to leave, I reasoned with myself not to bring it up. I’d lived in the land of denial where Edward was concerned long enough to add one more thing to that list.
Edward seemed different tonight when he came to the door. And I was scared because I was thinking the dream was worse than I thought. But what he said as he pulled the hood off my head shocked me.
“Jazz knows everything.” He muttered, and then took his seat on the bed with a heavy flop, relaying the events of his afternoon to me. I stood stunned, battling with the part of myself that was happy that someone else knew, and the other part that was scared Edward wasn’t.
I began unloading his meal, glancing at him warily, wondering if this changed anything, and praying it didn’t. He didn’t seem any more distant than he usually was.
“Don’t worry; Jazz will keep his fucking mouth shut. No one will ever know.” Edward shrugged after I got settled on the sofa. I frowned at him. I suppose a part of me was hoping that it would all come out, and we wouldn’t have to hide anymore. Would it really be the worst thing ever? I grimaced and dropped my head down.
Edward sighed heavily and raked his fingers through his hair, staring into the container. “Don’t fucking look at me like that, Bella.” He sighed, and then looked up to meet my eyes when I lifted my head. “I’m not fucking ashamed of you. I just don’t want everybody getting the wrong fucking impression.” He plunged the fork into his mouth and began chewing while staring at me. I don’t know what I looked like. Maybe a little hurt. Possibly a little skeptical.
He rolled his eyes. “Do you have any idea what your cousin would do to me if she found out about this.” He chewed, motioning at the bed he was sitting on. And I cringed. Because the thought of all the screeching Alice would do when she found out I was sleeping next to Edward Cullen every night was horrifying.
Edward chuckled. “See?” he asked, eating his food with a smirk. “She’ll cut my fucking balls off.” He snickered. And I cringed again because it was rather likely her real reaction wouldn’t be far from it. She would never believe that Edward wasn’t somehow taking advantage of me in ways that didn’t involve sleep. Not that he ever would. My mind echoed bitterly. I mentally slapped myself for the bitterness. Take what you can get, Bella.
I nodded at Edward in understanding, and watched him eat the rest of his meal in silence, plugging the iPod ear buds into my ears while listening to his usual moans and hums. When he was done, he put the containers away and told me how good the meal was, which made me smile. Then he got out his sketchbook and started drawing, so I walked over to the bookcase to select the book I had been reading and relaxed on the sofa. It was silent for a long while, just Edward and I enjoying each other’s presence like we always did.
“Fuck.” Edward’s low curse alerted me to the bed. “Here.” He mumbled, reaching over to his bed side table to get something while his sketchbook was still in his lap. He slid something off the table and into his palm. “Before I forget.” He added turning back towards me.
He held his hand out over the mattress and I furrowed my brows, closing my book and getting off the sofa. I walked closer to the bed to inspect the contents of his palm. A key. I raised an eyebrow at him questioningly.
“To the room.” He shrugged, holding it out further so I would take it. Slowly, I lifted my hand and plucked the key from his palm, staring at it with a confused expression. Edward was giving me the key to his room? I grinned a little despite myself, and still quirked an eyebrow at him, wondering why I would need it.
He rolled his eyes. “I assume Brandon is dragging you to this party on Friday?” he raised his eyebrows. I nodded with a grimace. I already agreed, pre-Jasper committal, and she’d never let me get out of it. “And I assume you don’t want to stay down there with all those fucking drunk guys?” I nodded again. I had planned to come up to Edward’s room to read and talk to him again. Like the last party. I grinned again despite myself.
“Well, I’m locking the room up. I’m going to be hanging with Jazz while he’s here.” He continued sketching. My grin turned into a frown.
“You’re going to the party?” I asked quietly, still standing in front of his bed holding the key. He looked up from his sketch with a cautious expression and nodded at me once. I bit my lip and looked back down at the key. I was a little disappointed that I wouldn’t be spending the party with Edward, but after staring at the key for a moment, I realized I’d be here waiting here for him when Jasper left. And I couldn’t really feel upset that he wanted to spend time with his friend. I closed my fist around the key and slipped it into my pocket, looking up and giving Edward a smile to show him it was okay. He sent me a little half smile back and continued sketching.
We got ready for bed not long after that. Changing into our pajamas and sliding under the covers comfortably.
Once the light was off, he turned towards me and wrapped me protectively in his arms with a sigh. I returned the gesture, resting my head on his chest and bringing my arm up to stroke his hair like always. I started humming quietly, praying he wouldn’t have another dream tonight, while he tightened his grip on my waist.
It was the first morning I was glad to wake up to that stupid alarm clock. I was glad it woke me up and not Edward. He didn’t dream last night. I smiled into his chest and gave him my usual squeeze. Yesterday he squeezed me back, but this morning he pulled away with his usual groan.
I let out a sleepy sigh and rolled out of the bed while he fumbled with the screeching clock sleepily. I drowsily stumbled my way through the dark to the sofa to get my bag, snatching it up and heading into the bathroom. I flicked on the light and hissed at the intrusion, squinting my eyes and glaring at my reflection. My hair looked awful.
I began removing my pajamas, which always smelled like Edward in the mornings. I folded them neatly and slid them into my bag, removing my day clothes and hoodie and putting them on. I stood in front of the mirror for a moment, grimacing at the hay stack hair I was sporting before I pulled it up into a ponytail to wash my face. When I was done, I reached into my bag and produced my toothbrush, attacking my morning breath with vigor. While I was brushing, I took a glance at the toothbrush holder on Edward’s counter. He had a green toothbrush. I kept brushing, cocking my head to the side at it. It was just sitting there in that holder all alone.
I spit into the sink and rinsed out my mouth before running the water over my toothbrush. I went to put it back in my bag like always, but I stopped. Slowly, I straightened up and glanced at the toothbrush holder. I looked at it and back to the toothbrush in my hand a few times. Hesitantly, I lifted the brush and slid it into the hole beside Edward’s.
I stood back and cocked my head to the side staring at it curiously, biting my lip. I mean, it’s only practical. I never brush my teeth at home. I always do it Edward’s every night and every morning. Surely it only makes sense to keep it here. I was ignoring the little voice in my head that was squealing over the fact there was some evidence of me in his room at all. Usually I would be careful not to leave anything, packing it all away diligently. But I was going to leave the toothbrush. It looked right next to Edward’s. Green and blue.
With a nod, and a triumphant smile at the toothbrush holder, I walked back into Edward’s room and packed up the rest of my things. I knew he was still awake because he was running his fingers through his hair like always. Otherwise his eyes were closed. Drawing up my hood and slinging the bag onto my back, I produced the bag of cookies I had made the night before and deposited them on his bed side table. Victorious Vanilla Vixens. Made in tribute to Alice and her leather pants. She would love them.
I sent a smile and a small wave to Edward’s grumbling sleepy form, wrapped up in the blankets, and walked out the door. A little victorious myself.
Reviews rock like green toothbrushes.