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Always ~ Chapter 4

Always

LILYG

Chapter Four

Even though I sat in the library with a pile of books in front of me, I did very little studying. I felt elated; all I could think about was Edward and I kept repeating his last words to me in my mind. He’d accepted my offer to take him out for a meal and was even willing to call it a date. He’d been buoyant as he bounced down the steps with a wide grin on his beautiful face. I willed my leg to heal itself so we could fix something up as soon as possible.

Edward had reacted angrily to his brother’s intervention, and then within a few minutes, he’d been all coy and excited in his response to me. The sudden change in his demeanor fascinated to me. I was gradually getting to know him and his quirks. My first impression of him was that he was bold, confident and very camp at times. However, I’d seen different facets of his personality over the last few days. He was kind, caring and considerate, that was for certain. But Ellis had suggested that he was also insecure and unsure of himself. I had yet to see this side of him. He stood up to his brother and to Jedd for me unquestioningly. He was definitely not a wimp.

I mulled over Ellis’s words from yesterday, wondering if he was doing his brother a disservice for some reason. Was Edward really a compulsive flirt who latched on to new guys? Ellis said Edward had already taken a shine to me, more so than normal and that made me feel ecstatic inside. But there again, perhaps he would have offered to help anyone who was in need of assistance. That’s just how he was, and not just because he was attracted to me.

By the time Edward came to collect me later in the afternoon, my mind was a whir with uncertainty and I was less jubilant. In fact, I felt more insecure about any possible future relationship with him.

I need not have worried. As soon as Edward saw me, a glorious smile spread across his face and he almost skipped over to where I was sitting in the library.

“Howya doing, sweetie?” he asked straight away, either oblivious or indifferent to the other students sitting nearby. If they didn’t guess he was gay by the way he waltzed over to my table then they certainly did now.

I blushed and said quietly that I’d not accomplished much that afternoon. He gave me a knowing smile as I pointed to my notepad with hardly any writing on it. “Have you had something else on your mind, hun?”

I wished I had the nerve to tell him exactly what I’d been thinking.

And if only he knew what was going through my mind right now.

He stood before me and I couldn’t help but drink in his magnetic persona. I might even have spaced out for a few seconds as I scanned his perfect face and body. He was dressed more casually today, but that only added to his appeal for me. We were almost in matching colors, both of us going for dark jeans and a pale blue t-shirt. Admittedly, Edward’s looked like he’d had bright pink brush stokes dragged across his, while mine had some lame logo and picture printed on it.

Once I managed to draw my eyes away from his hot body and handsome face, I quickly packed away my books and we were soon in Edward’s car heading towards my place. Edward was his normal jovial self, but I felt a little hesitant. I didn’t know how to respond to him as we weren’t officially going out together and I didn’t feel I could treat him as my boyfriend just yet.

“So what work were you trying to do in the library, Jay?” he said casually.

“Oh, just some reading and note taking for an essay.”

“Er… yes, sweetie. I gathered that. What’s the topic or question?” He seemed genuinely interested and for the rest of the car journey I told him about my research into the American Civil War. We chatted like two normal college buddies. We seemed to slip into this role easily and I was beginning to accept that was all he might ever be to me.

Edward dropped me off, saying he would be back in an hour to collect me again.

I gave up trying to do any more studying, promising myself I’d do double the amount of work the following day. I showered quickly, resisting the urge to jerk off to thoughts of Edward, and got ready for the evening.

I knew this wasn’t an official date but was still apprehensive. I kept telling myself we were just buddies and to treat him as such.

And what made matters worse was when Edward arrived his demeanor was different. I’d seen evidence of his sudden mood swings and had accepted this as part of his nature, but he was definitely oozing anger this evening. He tried to cover it up, but I could tell something had happened in the last hour to upset him.

I wondered if he’d spoken to Ellis about our conversation and wished I’d kept my mouth shut. I wanted to ask him what was bothering him, but once again, my nerves got the better of me. As Edward drove, I couldn’t help but study his amazing profile. He kept his eyes directly ahead and his large hands gripped the steering wheel a little too tightly. He gnawed on his bottom lip and his whole body seemed tense. His few words gave very little away about the cause of his anxiety. I was glad the journey was short and relieved when we pulled into his driveway.

As soon as we entered the boys’ house, bad atmosphere hit me hard. All conversation stopped the second we walked through the doorway. Ellis was standing in the kitchen with Ryan next to him. He put down his bottle of beer, and without saying anything, he stormed over to us, paused and glared at me. His face was inches away from mine. There was a cut on his lip and a bruised lump forming on his cheekbone. Then, he carried on out of the front door without saying anything to me, or even looking toward Edward. Ryan rapidly followed him, giving me a thunderous look as he passed by.

Seb was sitting at the kitchen table looking pensive. Jack and Zachary were wrapped up in each other on the long couch trying to ignore the discord in the house. You could cut the air with a knife.

“What happened?” I said quietly to Edward, worried that he’d been in a fight with his brother. I hadn’t noticed any marks on Edward’s face on the journey over here.

Before he could answer, Jack piped up, “Seb’s fist had a disagreement with Ellis’s face.” Both he and Zachary sniggered.

“He had it coming to him,” Seb said seriously. “Ellis had no right to tell you about Edward’s past.”

“So Edward hit him?” I asked.

Seb shook his head.

“No, Edward was just ranting and raving at him for interfering once again. I told him so as well, but Ellis disagreed, saying he was only protecting his younger brother.” Seb’s eyes flitted between Edward and me.

“Seb, you don’t have to stand up for me anymore. I can look after myself,” Edward said firmly but softly. I could tell by their interaction they still obviously had some feelings for each other. “But I agree with you, I should have been the one to tell Jay about my past when I felt the time was right.”

I couldn’t believe Seb had hit Ellis during their argument. And Edward wasn’t happy about it either. Most likely because Edward wasn’t allowed to stand up for himself rather than his brother being hurt and punched in the face by Seb.

I felt very uncomfortable and was about to suggest that Edward take me back to my room, but then his hand pressed on the small of my back, encouraging me to move towards the armchair.

“Jay, you sit here while I heat up a little something for us all to eat. I made a fish pie last week and froze it for emergencies. You do like fish pie, don’t you, sunshine?” he said as he took the crutches from me. I nodded my approval with a smile as well. Our fingers brushed slightly. His smile seemed to say he enjoyed the warmth of our contact as much as I did.

Edward pottered in the kitchen while I chatted to Jack and Zachary about all sorts of things, from sport to television shows. All the time, I was trying to follow the conversation between Edward and Seb in the kitchen. Pangs of jealousy gnawed at me. Seb had kissed Edward before and I wondered what else they had done together. I kept reminding myself they were not together anymore and Seb appeared okay with me being here.

We all sat around the table to eat another one of Edward’s magnificent culinary dishes. Jack and Zachary were on one side of the table and Edward sat between Seb and me on the opposite side. We tucked in and it was quiet for a minute or two.

Our conversation, when it started, avoided all talk of Ellis, much to my relief.

“So what do you have planned for the weekend?” I threw in a general question as a starter.

“Aiden is coming up to visit us or should I say Seb?” Zachary answered first.

I must have looked a little puzzled. That was the first time I’d heard the name.

“He’s from our reservation back home,” Jack responded next. “But he decided to start work rather than carry on his education. We haven’t seen him for a couple of weeks.”

I pondered about the earlier reference to Seb and hoped Aiden would distract Seb away from Edward.

“Aiden’s my boyfriend, Jay,” Seb said, looking at me. “We’ve been together about six months now. It was a difficult choice to leave him, but we are prepared to be apart for a few weeks at a time.”

Edward got up to take some plates to the kitchen, but before he did so, he rested his hands on Seb’s shoulders and bent down to speak into his ear. He didn’t whisper so we all heard what he said. “Poor baby, you’re missing him so much, aren’t you?”

Seb nodded and Edward hugged him from behind. Relief and jealousy mingled together. I was relieved Seb was spoken for but jealous that Edward was still in physical contact with a previous boyfriend.

Jack and Zachary volunteered to clear up the rest of the dishes and the kitchen. Edward excused himself for a bathroom visit, which left Seb and me at the table.

“So, Jay, you seem to be a magnet for trouble. I mean that spat with your ex in the coffee shop and now Ellis.”

“I didn’t mean to cause any trouble!”

“I’m sure you didn’t. Do you think this Jedd guy will come back again for you? I hear he’d been looking for you for a while. It must have been serious between you two at some time.” He looked at me with his piercing dark brown eyes.

I didn’t really want to give him a rundown on my relationship with Jedd, but felt he was due some explanation.

“We were together for over six months. Everything was great at first, but he became very possessive. I wasn’t even allowed to talk to other guys without him blowing a fuse when we were alone. We would always make up, but it became too much when this happened after I just looked at another guy. He became more and more aggressive. Jedd got rough with me although he never actually hit me. I think it would only have been a matter of time, though. We split a few months before I came to college and I did a good job of avoiding him until now. I don’t think he even wants me. He just doesn’t want me to be with anyone else. He’ll get over it, I’m sure.”

“I hope he does, especially if you and Edward get together. I wouldn’t want anything to happen to Edward because of you. I still care for him. You know, that don’t you?”

That much was obvious so I nodded. “Do you think Edward and I have a chance?” I spoke as quietly as I could so Jack and Zachary didn’t hear me.

Seb’s smile spread across his face, “You two are meant to be together. You’re just what Edward needs. In fact, you’re perfect for each other.”

My heart pounded as he said these words, but I managed to smile. “And are you okay with it?” I asked, just to be sure.

“Of course I am, Jay. Go for it.”

And before I could ask him anything else, Edward appeared at the doorway to the living room. He glanced at the table and kitchen area, probably to make sure it was all clean and tidy. Then he unashamedly said, “Right then, hun. Let’s go to my room now.”

The blood rushed to my face as well as my dick at the same time. I tried to act blasé and not appear too eager at his request.

Seb flinched slightly at his words; his eyes and mouth gave him away. I wondered if Seb still secretly held a candle for Edward and whether he wanted to be more than just friends with him. I also wondered once again how intimate they had been in their short relationship. I didn’t like the thought of Edward being affectionate with anyone else and felt twinges of jealousy, despite his words of encouragement a few moments ago.

Zachary looked at the two of us and raised his eyebrows.

Edward rolled his eyes as he helped pass me my crutches. “You have a filthy mind, Zachary. We’re just going to play some tunes on my guitars.”

Zachary raised his hands as if in surrender and shook his head. “I didn’t say a word.”

“No, but your face told me what you were thinking, honey.” He smirked and led the way to his room.

I flopped down on a beanbag in Edward’s room and dumped my crutches to the side of me. Edward picked them up again and placed them neatly in the corner of his bedroom. He took out a guitar from its case and passed it to me. I started to play a little while Edward got himself set up with another guitar. He sat on the edge of his bed facing me and joined in. We drifted into our song almost straight away. The more I heard it, the more I was growing to love that piece of music.

“It’s fantastic!”

Edward smiled as he continued to play. The music was truly beautiful. And he was beautiful, too.

I became engrossed in the way his long fingers plucked and played the strings of the guitar. I studied his gorgeous profile and eventually focused on his very kissable lips. They parted slightly as he concentrated on his music, and every so often, the tip of his tongue peaked out or brushed across the top of his teeth. My urge to be closer to him increased and I adjusted my jeans to shift my hardening flesh away from the zip. In the end, I dragged my focus away from his face and looked at the guitar, I willing my erection to subside.

After a while, he changed the song to something else I recognized. The tune to Dust in the Wind filled the space between us.

“What made you choose that?” I asked when he stopped.

“I heard in on TV last night,” he said. “I watched an old episode of Highlander. Have you ever followed that series?”

I shook my head. “No, I can only recall seeing the films. ‘There can be only one,'” I mimicked the catchphrase in Sean Connery’s Scottish accent.

“You know the Highlander character is immortal, but his human lover was murdered in the episode I saw. They played this song as he reacted to her death and the loneliness that followed. It had me in tears for ages afterward.” Edward was quite subdued and serious as he spoke.

“Yeah, the saddest part of the first film for me was when his lover grew old and then died. Whereas, he was destined to stay the same forever.”

“I always like to think they would be together again one day, if not in body, then some sort of essence or spirit. I hope true soul mates eventually have their souls joined forever.” The way Edward looked at me sent a shiver down my spine. I felt he wasn’t just talking about some random television characters.

“Wow, Edward, that’s a beautiful thought. But a bit heavy, don’t you think?”

He flashed me another one of his glorious sexy smiles. “Sorry, sweetie. I didn’t mean to get too morose. What shall we talk about instead?” And as soon as the words left his mouth, he must have remembered that he’d promised to tell me about his past. His eyes dropped from my gaze and he looked quite nervous as he fiddled with his guitar’s tuning pegs.

“It’s okay, Edward. You don’t have to tell me anything,” I said, but deep down I wished he would confide in me.

“I want to tell you, Jay, I really do.” He twirled the stud in his ear round and round. “It’s just that… I’ve tried to forget that day and Ellis and the other guys keep reminding me of it. I want to go forward and act like it never happened.”

I studied him for a few moments. “Edward, really you don’t have to tell me. But you probably need to accept that it’s had a big effect on you.” I wanted to go over and hug him close to my chest. He looked like he needed some comfort and I wanted to feel his warmth against my body.

I struggled to get up off the beanbag and regretted plonking myself down on it in the first place. I should have gone for the chair by his desk instead. I ended up rolling onto all fours and then shuffled over to Edward on my bended knees. Even before I got to him, he was laughing at my antics.

“Why didn’t you ask me to pass your crutches, sweetheart?” He grinned. “You’ll wear a hole in your jeans doing that.”

He was back to his chirpy self once more. I knelt about a meter before him. Thinking about Seb’s words of encouragement, I felt emboldened. I wanted to let Edward know exactly how I felt about him. I didn’t want to wait until our date in a few days or weeks time.

“Edward, it doesn’t matter to me. You can tell me if and when you want. It won’t make any difference to how I feel about you.” I turned the mood back to serious again. I was poised near to his knees, but as his guitar was still between us, I took hold of it and rested it against the bed. Understanding my intention, Edward hooked one of my belt loops with his nimble fingers and tugged me closer to him.

I realized this was the reverse position of our first pretend kiss. Edward had been standing between my thighs that time.

He was even more breathtakingly beautiful close up like this. Dark, long lashes framed his eyes. His lips were plump and just asking to be claimed by my mouth. Edward placed both hands on my hips and pulled me to him. I bravely placed one hand on his shoulder and the other held his face. I traced circles lightly over his cheek with my thumb and my fingers started to weave into the silky hair at the back of his neck.

Our faces tilted closer; our eyes darted to the other’s lips and back again as we bridged the gap between us. And just before we touched, his eyelids actually fluttered like I’d imagined they had the first time. He was so adorable. I wanted to do so much more that just kiss his succulent mouth.

Our first touch was so delicate it felt like a feather brush, brief but soft. Edward pulled away a little before moving back for more. I opened my mouth to receive him, but a sudden loud banging at his bedroom door jolted us.

We pulled apart instantly, our hands remaining on each other.

“Edward, it’s Ellis,” he bellowed, as if we didn’t know. “Can I have a word with you two downstairs? I think I need to apologize for my behavior.” He didn’t open the door, but I sensed he was waiting for a reply.

Edward and I just looked at each other for a moment. He sighed before replying, “We’ll be down in a minute, Ellis.”

~O~

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