I pulled on a pair of Edward’s sweats while he got dressed after our shower. After he left, I went into the kitchen to grab something to drink. I sat down at the table, nursing my glass of orange juice as I let my mind wander. So much had changed for me in the last few days.
Looking back, I realized that the night we kissed in Edward’s car was when things started to click for me. I knew I’d been fighting my feelings, but watching how it hurt him, and knowing that I was the only one who could stop that hurt, made it clear to me that I had to try to get past my own fears. Rose was right. I was worrying about the wrong things. Although I still wasn’t sure about how to tell mom and dad.
I sighed. Rose. I wasn’t sure whether I wanted to throttle her or hug her for the whole condom incident. Though in truth, I suppose I couldn’t be mad at her for doing it. She knows me better than anyone and knew how I felt. As embarrassing as it was at the time, what she did gave me the proverbial push I had needed. And Edward’s reaction to it made me feel safe, loved.
At his home that first night, I was comfortable. Being with him just came so easily, certainly more so than any of the girls I’d been with in the past. Edward had let me know time and again that he was willing to wait for me and take things at a pace I was comfortable with. He said he wouldn’t push me too far or too fast and the truth was evident in both his words and his actions. It made me love him even more.
I smiled at myself because over the past week, this was something that I had begun to realize and accept. I was falling in love with Edward. I was nowhere near ready to say it yet, but to myself I could admit it. Looking back to camp, and over these past weeks, I could see it was something that had always been there, on some level.
Rose had helped me arrive at this conclusion. When I got home the day after I’d first stayed the night with Edward, she and I had had a long talk.
Rose and I were sitting on my bed, side-by-side with our legs outstretched. After I told her off for pulling that stunt at the swimming hall, I had hugged her. She just laughed and hugged me back, saying she’d known I couldn’t be mad about it for long. She then asked how things had gone, and I told her in general terms about the evening. I managed to get through it without blushing, for a change.
She asked me how I felt about him, and I told her that I wasn’t sure how to put into words what I was feeling. She eyed me skeptically for a moment, before asking me another question.
“Do you ever think that maybe you moved with Mom and Dad every time, because you were looking for him? Perhaps not on a conscious level, but still….”
She leaned her head back against the headboard and looked at me. I thought about it for a while, leaning back as well. She spoke again.
“I’ve watched over you your whole life, Jasper. After Brendan, Dad told me that it was my job as a big sister to always be there for you. And I always have been.”
She paused and took my hand in hers.
“I know….” I sighed softly.
She squeezed my hand and continued.
“Do you know that I never stayed behind, because I couldn’t stand the thought of you being alone? Mom and Dad have each other. You had me. I watched, you know. Every time you seemed to find someone. But you were never quite happy. Really, truly happy. And then we’d move again.”
She sighed, eyeing me carefully.
“I think that maybe, deep down, you were trying to find what you stumbled on at camp. I’ve watched you since Edward came back into your life, Jasper, and he’s bringing you to life in a way I’ve never seen before. I’ve never seen you as happy as when you’ve been with him.”
I ducked my head, blushing a little.
“Let me ask you something, Jasper. If Dad were to get another order to move somewhere else, what would you do?”
I scowled at the thought and pulled my hand from hers. I whispered softly.
“I’d stay.” I looked up at her. “I don’t think I could leave, Rose.”
“That’s what I thought.”
She smiled at me as she ruffled my hair.
She had given me a lot to think about that day. Sometimes I thought she knew me better than I knew myself. Talking with her had helped put a few things in perspective for me though.
I’d stayed the night at Edward’s apartment a couple of times since that first night. It felt good to fall asleep in his arms, it felt right. And boy could that man kiss! I chuckled softly. Being with him was something else. His touch almost made my body burn, all the while yearning for more. We’d not gone beyond just getting each other off, and up until this morning it had been something that was in the heat of the moment.
I finished my juice and headed back into the bathroom, took off the sweat pants and turned the shower on. The water was warm again and I stepped under it, thinking back to earlier.
I’d woken up alone in bed, and felt a little disoriented. I’d been dreaming about camp again, something that had happened frequently since first seeing Edward again.
When I heard the shower, I decided to go and join him. I had startled him, but he quickly relaxed as I massaged his scalp. His response to my washing him though, made me feel bold – empowered, even. His moans, the way his body responded to my touch. It tripped something in me, and all I wanted to do was to make him feel good. I knew he didn’t really have time to fool around, but I didn’t care. I wanted to give him release, and to tease him a little.
I quickly washed my hair and body, before grabbing my cock and doing to myself what I had done to Edward. Remembering how he felt under my hand, how he sounded and looked, it wasn’t long before I found my own release. I rinsed off and relaxed my muscles before turning the shower off and toweling myself dry.
I got dressed, picked up my things and decided to go home so I could study. When I got there, I noticed that the house was empty and all the cars were gone. Looks like I’ll have some peace and quiet for a while. Mom had left a note on the fridge to let me and Rose know she’d be out all day. I felt a little guilty for feeling relieved to not have to deal with her right now.
I went to my room and turned on the computer. While I waited for everything to load, I grabbed everything I’d need for my studies. My mind kept wandering to this morning. Focus, Jasper. Study now, so you’re free to spend time with Edward later. I logged onto IM, only to find he wasn’t online. Well, one less distraction, I suppose. I pulled up the website for class and logged on.
I spent the next 4 hours studying, only taking a break to grab something to eat or drink. I was pleased to get a lot done. As much as I missed talking with Edward, I was glad that I’d been able to work through all the homework I’d accumulated. When he finally logged on though, I couldn’t help but feel my spirits lift. I sent him a message straight away, happy to get the chance to talk to him today.
Jazzman: Hey stranger! Busy day, today?
EACullen: Hey, yourself. Yeah, it’s been a little crazy all morning. Just got on my lunch, so figured I’d check in.
Jazzman: 🙂 Sorry to hear you’re having a hard day. How long’s lunch?
EACullen: I actually only have about 20 minutes left, and I haven’t eaten yet. Mom called at the start of lunch…….
I frowned a little, wondering what was wrong. He came across as nervous.
Jazzman: Everything okay? *frowns*
EACullen: In a manner of speaking….. She asked me to come to dinner Saturday after next. Family dinner.
Wonder why he seems nervous about going to dinner with his parents….?
Jazzman: Ah, I see. That’s not so bad, is it?
What’s going on? I waited for him to say something, but when he didn’t reply, I shot him another message.
EACullen: *sigh* Jazz, the invitation was for both of us. How do you feel about meeting my parents?
I blinked and read the last message again. And again. Oh God…. I felt my throat go dry at the thought of meeting his parents, and my stomach clenched. They want to meet me? He wants to introduce me to his parents? I was panicking a little, and Rose chose that time to show up.
She stopped mid-sentence as soon as she saw the look of beginning panic in my eyes.
“What’s wrong, Jazz?”
She walked over to me and placed a hand on my shoulder, watching me carefully. I couldn’t find my voice, so I just pointed at the screen, indicating she should read what Edward had said. She frowned slightly at me, but leaned forward to read the messages.
She stood back up, smirking.
“Ah, I see.”
She squeezed my shoulder, and though I could see amusement dancing in her eyes, I also saw tenderness and concern.
“Jazz, are you freaking out because he wants you to meet his parents, or because you feel you need to bring him home to meet Mom and Dad if you go meet his folks?”
I let out a long breath, and raked my fingers through my hair as I thought over her question. Once again, Rose was astute in her observations. I sighed and looked up at her, feeling a lot calmer now.
“Honestly? The latter. I wouldn’t mind meeting his parents, but I’m not ready for ours to meet him yet.”
“Has he asked you to meet them? Or otherwise made you feel you had to tell them about him, before you’re ready to do so?”
I shook my head. She smiled and squeezed my shoulder again.
“Well then, what are you waiting for?”
She pointed to the screen and chuckled.
“I think he might be freaking out a little on the other end there. You’ve been quiet for a while now. Maybe you should answer him?”
I thought for a moment and decided I needed to tell him directly, and not through an instant message. I grabbed my phone, found his work number and dialed. I held my breath as I waited for him to answer. Rose left my room quietly, leaving me space to do this.
“Cullen Tech; Edward Cullen speaking.”
I took a deep breath before whispering.
I took another steadying breath, trying to find my voice so I could answer him.
“Yes. What time?”
“5 PM. Jazz, are you sure? I don’t want you to feel pressured or anything…”
He stopped abruptly, and I quickly responded.
“Yeah, I’m sure. I just….”
I ran my fingers through my hair, starting to feel nervous again, as well as frustrated about the whole situation. I wish I could just tell them. I want my life to be whole.
“I know, Jasper. Thank you.”
“Sure. Uhm… I’d better let you go. Lunch is almost over, isn’t it?”
“Yeah, it is. I’ll check in on IM when I have a chance, so we can talk more?”
I hung up quickly, not sure I could say more without sounding like an idiot, or making him feel worse. I knew he was just as nervous about asking me to go, as I was in saying yes. I wished he wasn’t at work. More than anything, I wanted to be with him right now.
I got up and walked over to Rose’s room. I knocked once before going in. She was sitting by her window, seemingly lost in thought. She looked up as I walked up to her. She smiled at me.
“Saturday after next. I called him to let him know.”
I sighed and shook my head.
“I can’t believe this is happening, sis.” I grinned at her, lowering my voice a little as I continued. “I’m nervous and excited…..I think he is, too.”
“Probably. His parents have known for a while though, right? And are okay with things?”
“Then I don’t think you’ve got anything to worry about, Jazzie. They’ll love you.”
She grinned and stood up, putting her hand on my shoulder.
“So! I’m going to assume that you won’t be working on your school work anymore today?”
I frowned at her. What is she up to, now?
“You said he was nervous, right? I think you should go over to his place, cook dinner and just hang out tonight. You both could do with some cuddle-time, I think. Plus, you should talk.”
I raised my brows at her. She’s good… She’s very, very good. I chuckled and shook my head a little, pulling her into a hug.
“Rosalie, I don’t know what I’d do without you.”
“Well, for starters, you wouldn’t be going shopping right now. Come on, I’ll drive you. I’m thinking you need something special.”
She hugged back and winked at me as she let go.
A few hours later, we were in Edward’s kitchen, unpacking everything and putting things away. Among other things that weren’t commonly known about her, Rosalie was a killer in the kitchen. I could hold my own, but she could cook circles around me. She offered to help with dinner tonight, and I gladly accepted it. I had sent Edward a text while we were out, to let him know I’d meet him at his place for dinner. I did not tell him we were cooking.
It was fun to cook with Rose. We chatted about various things, ranging from how things were going between her and Emmett, to school, the club. We made dessert first, since the chocolate needed to set over the strawberries. We both sneaked a couple of strawberries as we prepared them.
Once those were done, Rose set me to dice the chicken, onions and mushrooms for the main course, which was to be chicken marsala.
We took our time with making the food, as Edward wouldn’t be leaving the office until 5 PM today. I knew the drive home wouldn’t take him long, so we aimed to get everything as close to done as possible by 5:30 PM.
Rosalie started by adding a bit of olive oil to heat in a frying pan. Once the oil was heated, she quickly sautéed the onions and mushrooms which she removed from the pan and drained. Next she added a bit more olive oil to the pan and seared the chicken. After the chicken was cooked, the mushrooms and onions were returned to the pan. Without any use of measuring spoons, Rose added a variety of spices which I would not remember, but based on experience knew would be perfectly balanced in the dish. Finally, she added half a bottle of dry marsala wine, turned up the heat to medium-high and snapped on a lid.
“Okay, Jazz, just keep your eye on it, to make sure that the wine does not burn off too fast, but other than that, this dish will finish itself. I have set up the pan for the rice pilaf, just put that on to boil at 5 and follow the instructions on the box. The green beans have been trimmed and are ready to be turned on at 5:15 so they will be steamed to al dente perfection at 5:30. Once you drain them, just add a pat of butter to toss them in.”
“Rosie, thank you so much for this suggestion as well as all your help! I really appreciate it,” I said as I gave her a quick hug.
“No problem, Jazz – this is just one of my “weekday” meals. You let me know when you want the boy eating out of your lap and we will pull out all the stops.” She winked as she gave me a mega-watt smile while I just blushed and put my head in my hands.
We set the table, and I opened the bottle of Derbes “Les Pinots” Pinot Noir that Rosalie had insisted I get.
“It’s one of the best wines, Jazzie, and it’ll go great with the marsala. Trust me.”
And with that she’d gone to the cashier and bought the bottle. Where she found all this out, I’ll never know. It was a little after 5 PM now, and Rose was on her way out the door. She hugged me and assured me that everything would be alright, and told me to enjoy the evening.
I was putting the finishing touches on dinner when I felt Edward’s arms wrap around my waist. He planted a small kiss on my neck and I chuckled.
“Something smells good. To what do I owe the honor?”
He let go of me and I had to bite back a moan at the loss of contact. He leaned up against the counter next to me and looked at me, the smile he wore lit up his face.
“Rosalie thought we could use a good meal and some time together tonight. She helped me make dinner, actually.”
I watched him, frowning slightly as I realized that he might not want to have anyone here. He reached a hand to my face and gently ran his fingers over my forehead before he leaned in and kissed me lightly on the lips.
“I’ll have to remember to thank her for that.” His eyes glinted, the corner of his mouth went up in a wicked little grin as he continued. “I’ll be sure to thank you properly, later.”
He winked, kissed me again and then went to go change out of his work clothes. By the time he was done, everything was ready and I was pouring the wine into our glasses.