Actions

Work Header

Just A Small Town Boy

Work Text:

Jake didn't expect to spend his one day off this week taking his bike to an old airplane hanger.

Nor did he expect to have his hand shaken by a man with longer hair than him, named something like Kai or Cain.

Jacob leant on the wall, arms crossed as he watched some skinny pale guy stretch himself all over his bike. He was glad, on one hand, that the modelling agency had hired out his motorbike to use in the shoot – money was money, after all. What he didn't like was the ridiculous excuses for clothing and sitting positions the guy was using. He bike was looking stupid by association, and it was just embarrassing to watch. It was obvious he was the only person in this room with any basic know-how on vehicles.

“Thanks again for letting us borrow your bike, Jacob.” The blonde woman, who was the girlfriend of a friend of a friend of Jacob's, stood next to him with a professional smile. She might have been the only other person with any basic know-how on vehicles. He grinned back easily.

“No probs, Rosalie.” He said back, and she trotted off to do other things. He sniffed, and turned his attention back to his bike. God, what the hell was the guy doing now?

The photographer, who might be Caleb, or Aaron, encouraged whatever pretzel the guy was attempting to imitate. “Okay, now, Edward, just lift your leg up-”

The model did so accordingly, and Jacob gasped. Shit, shit, shit, shitshitshit-

“Don't put your leg so near the-”Jacob began to shout, but it was too late. The model gasped, eyes wide with pain, before he lost his balance and fell right off the bike.

Jacob was bolting forward before the bike could follow him. His hands gripped the handles, and he put the tipping bike upright before the model could be crushed underneath it.

The model glared at Jacob, his pale cheeks flushed with colour for once. “What the hell was that!?” He demanded, and Jacob was slightly surprised by the tone – he expected something more feminine for a guy in his profession … but his voice was deep enough and very pissed off.

Then Jacob realised the guy's leg was bleeding, and began to sweat nervously. Was he about to get sued? He was too broke to get sued. “What?” Jacob shrugged, trying to play it off, “That little cut?” He glanced at where the model gripped his leg, and had to clear his throat when he saw the blood sweeping through his fingers, but quickly scoffed after, “it's nothing man, really-”

The model limps to his feet, ignoring the swarm of people around him that was putting Jacob on edge, and points at Jacob rudely “What did I cut myself on, idiot?” He hisses. Jacob blinked – how did some stupid little twink get to calling him the idiot? He wasn't the one trying to do acrobatics on a damn motorbike.

It's with a tense tone that barely concealed his anger that Jacob replied, “... What you shouldn't have cut yourself on because I assumed you'd know how to ride a goddamn bike.”

The model looks shocked, and Jacob just rolls his eyes, kneeling at his bike, and running his fingers over the part the model's leg had been. There's a sting of pain that forces Jacob to jerk his hand away, and he glances at the small cut on the tip of his middle finger. The blood wells as he watches, and he scowls. Fucking Paul, messing with his bike … it had to be him, he was the only one that came over yesterday.

“Shit ….” Jacob grumbled, as he got up, side-stepping all the people, and headed to his toolbox.

“Jacob!” Rosalie was storming over in her Docs, “What's going on?” With what little he knew of her, Jacob had the feeling the woman was pissed that there had been any sort of pause in productivity.

“Paul played mechanic and fucked up a little bit of my bike.” Jacob explained, trying to down-play it. He so couldn't afford to be sued. “I can just take it out, it's not a very important bit.” He explained. She nodded, and scribbled something down, but in the meantime, it seemed Jacob was in the clear.

“Okay, good –” she mutters, and Jacob picks up his toolbox, meekly going over to fix his bike. It was a little shaming that he even had to, really, “how badly is he hurt!?” Rosalie yelled.

The photographer looked like he was about to cry – with was frankly off-putting to Jacob, as he grovelled at the model's injured leg, “His leg's been cut open-” The man began, but the model actually put his foot in the man's face to stop him.

Jacob wrinkled his nose as he watched the guy step on the photographer. “I am not an invalid!” The model yelled, as Jacob knelt at his bike, “Everyone – shoo.” The people began to scatter, and Edward, whose leg was cleaned and the cut hidden under a long piece of plaster, looked at Jacob fiercely, “This man needs to fix his goddamn bike, and I'm not moving until he does.” He added with a nasty smile, limping over and leaning his arms against the bike seat, so that he could look down at Jacob. He personally didn't really mind, since if Jacob were to stand he'd be taller then him, but Rosalie steps up with a sigh.

“Edward, don't be difficult,” She began, giving Edward a stern look. He looks reluctant, but starts to back off.

Jacob shrugs though, hefting the bike so it was laying on its side. “No skin off my ass.” He says, nodding to Rosalie. She nods back and walks off, and Edward goes to kneel on the other side of the bike, and watch over Jacob.

Jacob looks for the sharp piece of shit that cut him before, and he hears the photographer with Rosalie, “Shouldn't we press charges? That hooligan-”

Jacob felt eyes on him, and glanced up at Edward, who hadn't looked away from him yet, “He's talking about me, isn't he?” He asked. Edward smirked, and nodded. Jacob sighed, deciding to focus on his task rather then whether or not he'd be going to court.

Suddenly, the man's pale hand is stuck in Jake's face. “Edward Cullen- very gay and very pleased to meet you.” He said, but Jake wasn't sure if he was being mocked or not.

Jake gingerly shook his hand, and said 'likewise'. Edward laughed, and turned back to the bike, reaching out and touching a switch-like knob. “That's this?” He asks, sounding genuinely curious.

Jacob slaps his hand away quickly, “Don't touch it, it'd squirt-”

Suddenly, Edward presses down on it. “I love that word.” He said in a very flirty tone. With that, Jacob's shirt is decorated with the squiggly lines of motor oil.

Growling, and giving a glare to a laughing Edward, he glances down. Damn, this was one of his good shirts – well, Jacob thought while pulling it over his head, not anymore. He still had his hoodie, at least. He flings it at Edward though, who almost falls over trying to dodge it. But he doesn't manage the dodge, and Jacob laughs as the man's bare torso is smeared with the black oil.

Edward makes a noise of disgust, and glares at Jacob. “What?” The biker shrugs, “I was aiming for your face.” He says, making Edward glare harder. Jacob goes back to wiggling out the sharp piece of metal, and lets Edward no doubt fume in silence.

Suddenly there's a thump, and Jacob glances up. Next to Edward is a bottle of motor oil. He glances at the model nervously – was a fight about to break out? Was he going to have to save his jeans from being covered in oil? Then Jacob got to wondering how professional on oil fight with another guy he kind of injured could be classified as. Not very, he decided.

Edward just lifts up the hefty bottle though, “Do you need this?” He asked, looking unsure. Of course he would be, Jacob thought, guy has probably never even ridden a motorbike.

He glances at the bottle. It's a good brand, but he has no use for it now. “... Maybe later.” He says and Edward puts down the bottle. Jacob goes back to his work, and the next time he glances up, Edward had unscrewed the lid and was pouring a small amount of the oil into a paint-tray. Jacob didn't know where the tray had come from, but he was confused when Edward began to dip his fingers into it.

“Why are you playing with motor oil?” Jacob asked slowly. He used to do that back when he was five. Then his father shouted at him to stop messing around and not to touch it again.

“Well,” Edward said leisurely, wiggling his fingers as he spoke, “I thought watching you fix the bike would be interesting, but you being shirtless has no more novelty.” He explained with a long-suffering sigh.

Jake rolled his eyes, but the guy was at least being friendly. “Whatever.”

Edward was looking behind him when Jake glanced up at him, and so worked on ignoring the man as he fixed his bike. It wasn't hard, he wasn't annoying, he was just there. Like the crew that were hurrying to and fro with light fixtures and fabrics. “Hey, teach me what to do.” Edward said.

“Huh?” Jacob looked back up; he was leaning further over his bike, trying to see what Jake was doing with his hands.

“With the bike.” Edward mentioned, and then he stood up and walked over to Jake's side, draping himself across the man's back. “Here – I'm watching.” Edward prompted, putting his sharp chin on Jake's shoulder.

“I can see that.” Jake assured him, shrugging sharply. “Get off.”

“Nope.” Edward replied with a grin. Jake rolled his eyes; but he was sure it would work in his favour if the guy his bike injured got along with him. “What are you doing now?” Edward asked him.

“Trying to get the thing that cut you out of my bike.” Jake replied, trying to pry out a screw with just his fingers. He couldn't though, so he elbowed Edward to back up, which the man did, and Jake stood, grabbed his bike, and carefully laid it down. He nodded that it was alright for Edward to come back and watch, and started unscrewing the bolt again. Edward's returned presence on his back was a little disconcerting, but it wasn't impeding him. Plus it wasn't torture to have a handsome guy looking at him so attentively.

“Won't that make the whole bike fall apart?” Edward asked, looking almost alarmed, and Jake couldn't honestly tell if he was joking or not.

Edward seemed to be waiting for his reply, though, so Jake shook his head. “... No.” He answered finally, trying not to laugh in the man's face. “My friend added it, as a stirrup, see?” He asked, mentioning the fold of leather that Paul probably thought had been a great tipsy-prank. “It's got a sharp bolt in it though.” He added, before huffing a little. “Well, not that sharp, you just seem special enough to cut yourself on it.” He added.

“Shut up.” Edward told him, looking cross as he grabbed onto the stirrup. “This thing – yuck! It's covered in grease!” He yelled, dropping it and rubbing his blackened fingertips together.

Jacob looked at the man's artfully scuffed and worn boots, and streaked jeans. “So are you.” He replied.

Edward rolled his eyes, “Yeah, but that's make-up, wench-monkey.” He snapped, making a face and whining at his dirty hand.

“This is the real-deal ….” Jacob agreed slowly, carefully dipping one finger into the oil, and prodding Edward clean in the middle of his forehead.

“What was that!?” Edward demanded, jerking back and landing hard on his ass. Jake laughed, and stood up, glancing at his filthy hands and the strap on the floor.

“Ah, I'm opening your third eye.” Jake told him, still giggling as the dot of oil started to drip down.

Edward grabbed the shiny paint tray, still discarded, and looked at his reflection in the half that wasn't housing a puddle of oil. “… Well, you have no artistic talent.” The man grouched, wiping his forehead on the back of his hand and leaving a grey smear on his face.

“Says you.” Jake retorts, and thanks a technician that hands him a grey ripped rag, wiping his hands. She nodded, and told him the crew was on break, but they still needed his bike. Jacob nodded, but only now realised that indeed, the place had mostly emptied of people. Even Rosalie had gone, and she was the one that was going to pay him.

The girl walked off to eat her lunch, and Jake turned when Edward cleared his throat behind him. “... It's only right for me to return the favour ….” Edward said solemnly, and for a terrifying moment, Jake is convinced Edward was about to cut his leg open.

But then the man steps up to him, and runs his fingers down the bridge of Jake's nose, before darting back with a grin.

When Jake feels something drop down his cheek, he realises Edward had just painted his face with grease.

“Lovely.” Jake mutters, using the rag to wipe it off. “Thanks, I needed that.” He added sarcastically, but he couldn't help letting out a dumb little laugh. This was much more fun than playing long-distance Xbox with Quil, which was his only other plan for today.

“Thought you might.” Edward hummed, and glanced back at the upturned bike.

“Here, I'll put it upright now.” Jake said, and mentioned for Edward to come with him. They hefted the bike back up, each grabbing one handlebar and pulling.

“What's in your seat?” Edward asked, looking curious as he ran a hand over the leather. Jake grunted as he kicked the stand down and propped it up. “You can take the seat off right? What's inside?” Edward pressed.

Jake glanced down at it and shrugged. “... Some empty beer cans probably, don't ask,” Jake advised, “a helmet, and like, three pairs of gloves.” He admitted, “none of which are the same size.” He added, and Edward chuckled, but glanced down expectantly. Sighing, Jake reached over and propped up the seat. Inside were two crushed cans, his helmet, and the gloves.

“Oh, mine.” Edward declared, pulling out the helmet and inspecting it.

Jake frowned, “What are you …” he trailed off, because Edward just jammed the helmet onto his head. He looked like shirtless young Daft Punk. “That just doesn't suit you.” Jacob said, trying not to snigger. The bulk of the helmet made Edward's neck and shoulders look extraordinarily skinny.

Edward struggled, but managed to raise the visor. “Oh, the hell I don't!” He retorted, face slightly squished in the confines of the helmet and his voice muffled. “I look like a bad-ass.” He corrected sternly.

Jake nodded. “If you say so.” He retorted, and glanced at the hanger, where the crew were starting to trickle back in. “Ready to stop playing now?” He asked, reaching for his helmet back.

No.” Edward sulked, but tipped his head forward and let Jake pull it off of him. He dumped it back inside, closed the seat, and started packing up his toolbox. The photographer came marching to Jasper, and Rosalie kept in persistent time with him.

Jake was nervous as he waited for them to stop in front of him.

“You've fixed it?” The man demanded, and Jake nodded quickly. The photographer turned to Edward. “You don't want to press charges?” He asked quietly; though not quietly enough to escape Jake. Rosalie sighed and rolled her eyes with her arms crossed, but she didn't give Jake any notion that the guy wasn't serious.

Jake cast a worried look to Edward, who looked very annoyed. “No, Caius! He's given me the run-down on what went wrong. I think everyone's ready to start.” Edward said, and side-stepped Caius completely to smile at Jake.

“So, you want to get a beer after this?” Edward offered, looking eager. “I know a really good bar, pretty brown eyes get in for free.” He added with a wink.

Jake liked the idea of blowing off some steam; it was a relief that he wasn't going to get sued, after all. “... I don't usually drink in public,” Jake cautioned, and Edward looked a little downcast. “But alright, that sounds fun.” Jake added, and Edward's bright eyes snapped to his and he grinned.

Great! I'll see if I can rustle up a group.” Edward added, before a few people ushered him back on set.

 

It was five at night when they finally wrapped up.

“Damn, does it usually take this long?” Jake asked, rolling his stiff neck. Not that he did much, except for standing around and waiting. Rosalie promised that it would be two hours, maximum, so Jake had rode his bike to the set and planned on killing time until he could ride it back home. But Jake was almost worried the injury Edward had gotten had set them back.

Edward was changed into regular clothes, which were actually Branded sweat-pants with a matching crop-top that Jake hadn't seen on a man before. He shrugged.

“Depends.” He said with a sigh, before grinning as he yelled goodbye to some of the crew. Jake had moved his bike to the parking lot when everyone had started packing up, to keep it out of the way. Edward made a beeline for it now. “You taking me on your bike?” He asked eagerly.

“I could.” Jake nodded, and Edward grinned, his eyes just as shiny as they were under the giant spotlights. “Where is it?” He asked.

Edward gave him a few vague instructions, and Jake gave him the only helmet. “Can't risk the merch,” Jake teased, reaching out and rubbing his knuckles against Edward's chiselled cheekbone. Edward beamed, and looked slightly less ridiculous wearing the helmet the second time around.

They made it to the bar, with Edward yelling in Jake's ear at every red light, to remind him of the directions.

The parking was free, something that Jake was grateful for in this city, and the bouncer raised an eyebrow as Edward walked up to him.

“Don't even try it, Edward, thirty-five cover charge.” The man said sternly, “Each.” He added. Jake grimaced; he certainly didn't have that type of cash on him.

“Dimitri, my man!” Edward called, grinning charmingly. He reached up and grabbed Jake's chin in his hand, pinching it and dragging him forward a little. “Look at the beautiful boy! Why would you deprive the people? I'll put him right up against the window so everyone will want a piece.” Edward teased, and Jake let out a weird grunt, as Edward finally released him.

The bouncer, Dimitri, shook his head, but waved them both in.

“Such a gentleman,” Edward declared, and grabbed Jake's forearm to lead him inside.

It was a small establishment; with a currently underutilised dance floor and a small group of people that waved Edward over when they walked in. He waved back, and didn't release his grip on Jake's arm until they reached the table.

Edward waved to a tiny East Asian girl with a pixie cut. “This is Alice Brandon, she makes me look gorgeous,” Alice waves cheerfully, and Jake smiles back. “You already met the lighting director, Rose,” Rosalie gave him a wink while draining a pint of beer but doesn't stop swallowing. “Emmett's on rigging,” a large man looked up from a plate of wings with one hanging out of his mouth with confusion, “and Jasper airbrushes my tiny, minuscule flaws.” Edward concluded, waving to the last man that had stuffed himself into a corner. “He has the easiest job.” Edward added airily.

The man inclines his head, and looks down to Edward's legs. “Except I have a bandage that needs to disappear.” He says heavily, but his tone was ultimately amused.

“Sorry,” Jake muttered, feeling a bad swoop in his belly and glancing away.

Edward pushed his shoulder gently, and Jake looked back at him. “Please,” he said heavily, “he's just earning his pay check for once.” Edward explained with a grin, and even Jasper laughed at that. “Coke?” Edward offered. “You said you didn't drink.”

“Yeah,” Jake said, surprised and pleased to get so little resistance. So far most people seemed to take his public temperance as a challenge. “Yeah, thanks. I'll come with you ….” Jake said, and Edward nudges Jake towards the bar, which was relatively empty of people. But one other group were a bunch of loud, squishy twinks in work-out gear, drinking wine. As Edward waved down the bartender, Jake looked at the memorabilia on the walls. Stonewall, Cher and a sign that said 'MADONNA-FREE ZONE: BITCH COULDN'T VOGUE FOR SHIT'. “Is this a gay club?” Jake asked him.

Edward laughed and nodded. He raised his hand, wiggling five fingers to the bartender, who nodded and strode away again.

“Yes, what gave it away?” He asked, sarcastic but not mean. Jacob shrugged, a little self-conscience that it took him so long to notice. “Are you … uncomfortable?” Edward asked quietly.

Jake shrugged slightly. “A little, everyone here looks younger than me.” He said honestly.

Edward shook his head and chuckled, though though he didn't believe him. “How old are you?” He asked.

The bartender came back with a tray with five long glasses and one short one, all filled. Jacob met the man's eyes and said calmly; “Twenty-one.”

The bartender nodded, and so did Edward. “Right,” Edward agreed. Jake offered to carry the tray for him, and balanced it in his larger hands easily. “Really?” Edward hissed as they made their way back to the table.

“Nineteen.” He admitted softly.

What?” Edward reeled back, eyebrows shooting up. “I can't believe I'm enabling underage drinking.” He said, slapping his hand to his forehead for his folly.

“Hey, it's just coke.” Jake argued, putting the tray down and picking up the smallest glass, waving the coke under Edward's nose. Edward grinned and dealt out the vodka lemonade.

“Boys!” Emmett yelled, finished with his food, it seemed, and now very energised. “Bar games! The dart board is free!” He declared, and bolted over to the toy before a skinny man with green hair beat him to it.

The dart board ended up being a huge light-up thing, with sound effects and everything. And a picture of Drump, mid-speech, with little devil horns drawn on. Everyone opted to play, and spent the next few hours throwing darts into his tangerine face, howling with laughter while they did.

Everyone yelled when Jasper's dart landed him square in his slightly open mouth.

“If only this were a voodoo board ….” Alice sighed wistfully before collapsing into drunken giggles.

Edward had propped his elbow against Jake's shoulder a few minutes ago, and Jake just enjoyed the feeling for a moment. It was nice to relax with someone that wasn't Paul or Jared; the three of them had graduated in the same year but they just weren't really close, and sometimes Jake felt like the odd one out.

“Hey, your turn.” Edward said into his ear, and Jake stepped up to line his shot. He threw the dart, and everyone yelled again; this time because Jake made the bullseye.

“He scores!” Emmett yelled, toasting Jake and sloshing his beer a little. Jake gave a mocking bow, and sat back down as Rosalie got ready to throw.

“How did Rosie manage to find you, anyway?” Emmett asked, his hulking form comfortably folded to squeeze between Jasper and Edward to look at Jake.

“She worked with an old friend of mine, Jared, at the same chop-shop.”

Edward seemed to straighten his shoulders at this answer. “And Jared's your friend?” He asked, looking slightly too invested for such a mundane answer.

“Barely,” Jacob replied, looking with some amusement at the drink in Edward's hand, mostly empty. “We've known each other forever.” He waved a hand, and pointed to Edward. “Hey - how old are you?”

Edward looked at Jake slyly and shook his head. “Twenty-four, tell no-one.” He said lightly, though his eyes were grave. Jake didn't think it was particularly old, but he didn't want to pry. Edward smiled and reached out to pinch Jake's chin. “What I wouldn't give to be nineteen again, this face!” Edward cooed, and started shaking Jake's head by the hold on his chin, making him laugh. “It's so pretty.”

“Oh yeah?” Jake preened, soaking up the attention from a handsome man. “Reckon I could be a model too?” He asked jokingly.

“No, you don't have the discipline.” Edward decided firmly, but light-heartedly. Jake 'aww'd loudly and slumped forward. He meant to headbutt Edward's shoulder, but the man accommodated for the angle and easily ended up cradling Jake's head onto his neck. The movement startled Jake, but he didn't mind resting his head on Edward's shoulder, so he didn't move. “How about me?” Edward prompted gently, his pale hand stroking Jake's scalp lightly. “Ready to take me into your biker gang, grease-monkey?” He laughed a little, and Jake could feel him shaking. He felt a little off-kilter with how intimate it felt; and with how much he liked it.

“I don't have a gang.” Jake mumbled. He did, back home, but he hadn't yet made his mark in this big new city. There's a weird roar, and a large hand slaps Jake in the middle of his back.

Shocked, Jake jumps straight up and on instinct he takes a steps forward to dodge another hit. But Edward was still there, which means Jake ends up walking into him; nearly shoving himself into the man's lap. The booming laugh behind Jake, and the way Edward clicks his tongue with annoyance tells him the hand had been Emmett's, and Jake glances back to see the large man grinning. Jake takes a step from Edward, but Edward's hand presses over the slightly-smarting spot Emmett whacked and keeps him in place, standing nearly on top of him.

“You're a menace!” Edward chides Emmett, rubbing Jake's back a little.

Emmett just shrugged. “Well, Jake has a gang now!” He declared.

Alice tottered up to them, her cheeks flushed bright pink. “To the grease-monkey!” She agreed, thrusting her half-empty blue drink into the air. “To new friends!”

“Yeah!”

They all cheers'ed, and drank deeply. Then Jasper dragged Jake to the bar.

“Hey, partner!” Jasper said to the bartender, his Southern accent inexplicitly thicker. “We were wondering if you could slide some extra splashes of bourbon our way.” He said sweetly, making a show of batting his eyelashes.

The bartender, a skinny Asian man with a perfectly styled sweep of hair over his forehead, raised an eyebrow. “Bourbon, really?” He asked, but he didn't seem derisive, just amused.

It did embarrass Jake that Jasper was vying for a few free shots. Jacob was seized with the urge to prove he wasn't a mooch or poor or something. “It's fine, we don't need anything,” Jacob tried nervously, taking a step away from Jasper and towards the table.

But Jasper shook his head, clasping Jacob's shoulder firmly, but not roughly, and keeping him in place. “We do so! It's a true victory; to the getting along of cowboys and indians.” Jasper said with a cheeky smile.

Jake felt a little uncomfortable, and pulled away again. “I don't think-”

“Fine, to the amiability of white trash and this one dude.” Jasper amended quickly, smiling larger. Jake laughed a little, and so did the bartender. At the bartender's laugh, Jasper turned back to him with a smile that was much slyer. “Come on! Look how pretty!” Jasper cooed, waving at Jake like a car salesman. Jacob laughed a little more out of embarrassment, but the bartender made a considering hum.

“I don't know ….” The bartender sighed, walking over with an extra swish in his hips, and looking Jake up and down with a keen eye.

“What are you, straight?” Jasper shot back, and at this they both laughed, along with an older woman with a plaid shirt that walked past them both.

“Alright, alright,” the bartender conceded, and Jasper cheered as the man poured them both a shot of Gentleman's Jack.

Jake wasn't half so pleased. “I don't really drink …” Jacob explained to Jasper quietly, “and he might get in trouble with the manager ….” He added, feeling slightly guilty.

Jasper blinked at him, before beginning to smile. “Oh, Eric, you're too young to own a bar.” Jasper said to the bartender.

Eric pressed a hand to his chest and cooed: “Aw, what a sweetie!”

“What?” Jake asked blankly.

“Honey, this is my place.” Eric said, waving around the room. “I get to choose where a few extra drops go.” He explained with a wink. “And you're just too handsome,” Eric decided. He pushed one shot glass to Jasper, and one to Jake.

“You can take that shot to someone else, and one more for your concern.” Eric added, filling one more shotglass. “But you'll have to give me some sugar for being so nice.” He told him, pouting his lips and leaning forward expectantly.

Jasper broke out into loud laughter, and reached over, as though to shove Eric back. But Jake caught his wrist, and brushed Jasper aside. He felt much more confident knowing he wasn't a server risking getting chewed out.

“Well, you're the boss.” Jake said with a smirk as he leaned forward, and stuck his tongue out, licking up the side of Eric's left cheek.

Eric shrieked, along with two skinny almost-twin twinks waiting for drinks, and Jasper gasped, only to bend in half, coughing as he'd choked on his own spit.

“Naughty!” Eric giggled, pressing a hand against his damp face. “But I liked it.” He added.

“Thought you might.” Jake said with a wink, and carefully plucked up the two shots he'd been given and shuffled back to their table. “Eric gave me two whole shots and Jasper only got one!” Jacob said excitedly, plunking them down to show them off.

Jasper came up behind him and added his own, still full. “This boy is nuts, and I love him.” Jasper told the group seriously, gripping Jake's shoulders and giving him a squeeze before letting go, to convey his sincerity.

“I got that on camera!” Alice teased, waving her phone with a cackle.

Edward looked amused, looking back to the bar. “Is that how you usually kiss your waiter?” He asked Jake, smiling.

“Don't usually kiss waiters.” Jake replied with a cheeky shrug.

“You don't drink, right?” Rosalie asked, pointing at the shots. Jake shook his head. “Dibs!” She yelled, grabbing a glass.

“Oh! Dibs!” Alice chirped up, grabbing the other. Jasper clinked with them and they downed the shots while Emmett whined about needing to pee but not wanting to use the men's.

 

Their gathering winded down after a few more hours, and everyone started to peel off. Emmett took Rosalie home when she declared she was done with the evening, while Alice was mostly carried by Jasper.

“You gonna be okay with her?” Jake asked Jasper, as Alice was mostly dozing against his arm.

Jasper smiled down at her with excruciating fondness. “Oh no, a 100-pound, five-foot-nothing woman might bring me down,” he said with a soft laugh. “Besides, I'm a gentleman.” He added, and with a wink they were off too.

Edward had already paid off what was left, and was wiping his fingers on a napkin. “Shall we be off, dearie?” He asked Jake, who nodded once.

Outside of the club, Edward was leaning heavily on Jake, an arm slung lazily around his middle. Jake liked the contact, but kept his hands in his pockets, not feeling confident enough to reciprocate.

Edward blew out a sigh and scrubbed a hand over his face. “My face is going to be so dry in the morning …” he said with a sigh, but he only sounded pleasantly worn. “Where's the taxi rank?” He muttered, casting a gaze down the street with a small frown.

Jake shook his head. “I can take you home,” he offered, “if you can stay on the bike.”

Edward beamed up at him. “I can! I'd love to see your home.” Edward said, breathing beer into his face and waggling his eyebrows. Somehow, Jake couldn't find it annoying, and just laughed.

He shook his head. “I meant …” Jake began, but the teasing smile slipped off of Edward's face. He looked up at Jake with dark eyes, and raised just one eyebrow slightly. Jake swallowed, and watched as Edward's gaze flicked down to his bobbing adam's apple and back up to his eyes. “Yeah, okay.” He agreed faintly, and Edward smiled just a little.

 

Edward had been too drunk for Jake to do anything serious; the man insisted on blowing him in the shower, and Jake let him borrow his toothbrush. Which was disgusting, in hindsight, but at the time he hadn't seen anything wrong with it.

He all but tucked Edward in, afterwards, tightly under the blankets. The man kept trying to crawl out and grab Jake's crotch.

“I'm not even that drunk! Gimme,” Edward had whined, and Jake only laughed and batted him away. “Oh, boo.” He muttered.

Jake got into bed himself, and Edward managed to convince him to jerk them both off in the same grip, and they fell asleep with their mixed come drying in their bellies.

 

Jake woke up to no Edward and his alarm blaring. He felt fine, since he hadn't drank, a little tired, since they managed to get back at one in the morning. Edward must have wiped him down, since his torso was clean. And it was six now; since that's when Jake set his alarm for work.

He shut off the electric beeping, and stumbled into the living room.

Paul was dozing on the couch, and Jared was eating some blueberries at the kitchen sink.

“Why was there a white guy in here?” Paul slurred sleepily, looking lazily up at Jake for all of two seconds, before dozing again.

Jake shrugged. “Nun ya.” He replied, not really feeling like he could talk about it.

Jared was a little more chill; he gave Jake a smile as he poured him a cup of coffee.

“The whiteman saw Paul when he was leaving, and Paul snapped his teeth at him. Guy almost pissed himself, he looked terrified, it was great.” Jared told him with a grin. Jake shrugged with one shoulder; though he hoped Paul hadn't bothered Edward too much. Paul and Jared were like most people in his high school, they usually ignored whoever Jake went behind closed doors with. Which they saw pretty often; they were in the same year and so they went to the same parties, just with different groups. It had suited Jake fine to come up to the big city with them; he didn't really care if they weren't close, they were from home and it helped their parents trust them all together.

Jared offered some berries to Jake. “How'd that thing with Rosalie go?” He asked.

“Yeah, good, mostly, thanks.” Jake nodded as he munched. “Ended up removing the stirrup on my bike.” He added loudly in the direction of the couch.

Paul flailed a little, and stuck his chin on the arm of the couch to glare over at them. “Hey, I pimped your bike and you just make it basic again!?” He yelled as Jared laughed.

“Shut up, man!” Jake snapped back. “It was so shitty and dangeorus!” He pointed out. He even made Edward change his plaster after their joint shower, and he saw that it was a very long, angry cut.

“Well, you didn't die.” Paul decided, already turning back around to doze a bit before he had to go to work.

Jared was tapping around his phone. “Kim said one of the twins wanted to come up,” Jared said, mentioning his pretty serious long-term girlfriend from back home, and Jake's older sisters. “See how we're doing.” He added with a grin. Jacob rolled his eyes; no doubt his sister would be reporting back to Dad that the three of them hadn't been living in their own filth, or having raging parties every night.

“Wait, which twin?” Paul demanded from the couch. “Please say Rebecca! Rachel is such a bitch!” He yelled, probably because Rachel had made fun of him when she found him buying condoms at the store when he was fifteen, and his father had overheard and had several grandmas come over to give him The Talk.

But Jake grinned. “Ooh, you're in trouble when I tell my sister what you called her!” He mocked in a sing-song voice.

Paul actually leapt off the couch at the half-hearted threat, his eyes wide. “No, she will literally kill me!” Paul seemed to have real panic in his voice, too. “She's all 'I went to Washington and you barely passed senior year!' It's awful!” His imitation of Jake's older sister was much more nasal than reality, but Jake wasn't going to point it out now.

“You won't die.” Jake mocked, and Jared turned the conversation around when he starting throwing blueberries at Paul, who scampered left and right to catch them in his mouth. Jake threw a couple too, and they both ragged on Paul when he missed a few and stomped them into the carpet. For that, Paul's usual short-fuse flared up again, and he stormed into his room and slammed the door behind him.

Jared squatted down with a tissue to pinch the berries out. But it was a fugly dark green carpet that was already heavily used. So Jake just sat down next to him to watch instead of help. “Did he … leave a note, or something?” Jake asked quietly. He was ignoring it mostly; but he kind of hoped Edward would leave his number, or something, that let Jake know it was all good. That he hadn't been too drunk and Jake hadn't taken advantage, or something.

Jared, though, he shook his head. “No, I don't wanna play.” He replied. Jake sighed, and got up to shower.

It wasn't really something that bothered him; he wasn't too close to the other two, so it made sense they wouldn't want to talk about who he bought home. But it was always like that, even with his actual friends; like if Jake didn't bring home a woman, he wasn't allowed to mention anything at all. It sucked, since Jake was an open person by nature, he hated that his love-life was some implied taboo topic.

It wasn't as though he wanted to spill graphic details; but he knew if he'd been able to bring up some past incidents with his friends, he may have seen some red flags sooner. Instead of keeping silent and trying to stick it out.

 

Jake was a little disappointed that the hook-up didn't lead to anything in the next few days; and did his best to push it aside. He didn't try and go to the club again; mostly because the one time he ended up outside, there was a line of white twinks out the door, and Jake got scared and left.

Scenes like that were so foreign to him; he thought moving to the big city would mean he'd find other people to spend time with. Not solely gay guys, or anything. Just people who weren't as unflinchingly heterosexual as his friends and he could talk openly with.

And he tried when he first arrived; a few groups, some meet-ups. But it was all the same; white people with brightly-coloured hair working towards a college degree. They all seemed to be vying for a tragic back story from him or some sort of marginalised validation. Once, a particularly annoying person made a point of telling him they were 'two-spirited' and seemed upset when Jake didn't care. Some older people seemed to expect his entire nation to disavow him, like getting kicked out of home or something.

And sure, maybe it happened to some poor kids, but Jake's life was uneventful; he just wanted to feel like he could bring up his attraction to someone, without them rolling their eyes and ignoring him if the person he mentioned was another man. Like at home. But these people saw nothing wrong with proudly proclaiming their preferences as 'whites only' and then trying to play it off and get him to fuck them.

Edward hadn't been like that; all his friends seemed nice too. But maybe they were just happy to get drunk with a stranger. That was probably all it was; they were all just having too much fun to mean it when they called him their new friend.

Jake was always dreading his day in the shop; why was it that rich asshole's with expensive cars always thought they deserved special treatment?

The worst was a Ferrari that was coming in for a dinged bumper. He was a regular enough client that Jacob had heard exactly why. Apparently; he'd run over a homeless man, and walked away untouched, the court ruled that the man had been jay-walking, right on the side-walk. Slimy guys like that made Jake disgusted and slightly scared.

“He's here, look lively.” Jared muttered, and Jake grunted. The sleek red car pulled up, and Mr Volterro stepped out.

“Aro! How are you?” The boss asked, grinning broadly as he clapped the man's hand.

“It's no matter, now, you'll have this done by 2, yes? I have places to be, friend.” The man said smoothly, smiling without teeth.

Jake bristled; they had a line up of cars that had come in before, someone would have to stay late at half-pay after the boss inevitably bumps Aro up to top priority.

“Of course, of course!” The boss assured him, and a silver Volvo screeches loudly up onto the driveway.

“For me,” Aro explained, and says goodbye in another language. Jake watches sourly as the door of the Volvo opens, and Edward steps out.

Shocked, Jake quickly tried to duck behind a few stacked tired, and ended up bouncing off of the stack with an audible 'boing' that only causes it to wobble barely. Edward glanced up and met his eyes at the noise, and Jake stared.

He felt embarrassed, mostly, but watched as Aro went to Edward, kissed his mouth, and shuffled him off to the passenger side. Edward averted his gaze, and got in quickly, and Aro drove off immediately.

“Ew,” Jared said, his distaste clear. Jake felt cold and a little numb, and glanced over at Jared as he spoke. “No offence, Jake, you know me, I'm fine with gays.” Jared assured him, raising his hands with a light shooing motion, before dropping them back to his sides. “But I know Mr Voterro is married.” He muttered darkly, shaking his head and walking off.

Jake watched him go in a daze, and pushed the incident from his mind, ultimately loosing himself into work. He was quiet that day, most of the guys seemed to pick up on his mood and left him be. He hid out the back at two o'clock, and got docked twenty-minutes pay 'for taking so long to shit'. But the boss was overjoyed when Jake volunteered to finish the other orders that had been pushed down to make room for Mr Volterro's precious douche-mobile.

Jake was alone was he finished his last oil change, and he still had to count the float and close up. There was a hesitant knock on the side of the garage as he pulled himself out from under the car.

Edward stood, shuffling his feet nervously.

“Hey,” Edward said quietly, and Jake grunted in response. He didn't really want to talk to the guy. Especially after today.

“I wanted to talk about today ….” Edward began, and Jake didn't bother trying to hold in his sigh.

“Great ...” Jake muttered sarcastically, and he was almost certain Edward could hear him, but he didn't care. He didn't care, and never had cared, ever, about Edward.

Edward walked in, without invitation, and squared his shoulders. It looked slightly ridiculous; Jake had five inches on him, and was quite a bit broader. “Look, it's complicated.” Edward said, as though that was an entire explanation.

Jake felt out of his depth and deeply unhappy. “It's not my business.” He said with a shrug, walking off to start counting the till.

Edward followed him, but Jake's cool brush off seemed to deflate him. “No, it's not.” Edward agreed in a weak voice.

Jake nodded, not looking at the man. “You're an adult, you know what you're doing.” He continued. “I'm still just a teenager, this is grown-up stuff.” He added, his voice quiet but still cold. He didn't like this situation. He certainly didn't like thinking of Edward messing around with a married man. It made him feel bad. He thought, back home, cheating and adultery was clean-cut; two despicable people hurting an innocent third. But he didn't think Edward was despicable at all.

Edward looked lost, and the crease in his brow made him look as though he might cry. “Jake ….” He said gently.

Jake shrugged, because he refused to let his defences down now. He wasn't going to let the big city change him into thinking this was okay because a pretty man was doing it. “You wanna be some asshole's mistress, that's your choice.” He told Edward.

At that, Edward's mouth pulled down into a harsher frown. “It's not that simple!” He argued.

“What? He forced you?” Jake asked, and it was the desperation, to try and understand, which Jake allowed in his tone that Edward flinched at. Jake had been there; feeling too unsure to say 'no'. But Edward ducked with head, not with shame, but guilt, as he shook his head. It made Jake's chest feel a bit heavier. With jealousy, maybe. “We all have sob stories.” He said bitterly.

Edward took a physical step back, looking hollow. “... I shouldn't have come here, I'm sorry for disturbing you.” He said woodenly.

“Fine.” Jacob agreed mildly, and didn't look up from counting the quarters as Edward ran away.

 

Jake wanted to tell Quil, or Embry, about what had happened, but he had no clue what to say. He felt as though he should have kept his two best friends updated every day to keep them current on his life now. But they'd probably first need to make fun of him for hooking up with a whiteman, and then they'd make fun of him for catching feelings.

 

Jake was fairly certain they probably wouldn't entertain the subject long enough after that for him to actually talk to them about how much Edward's relationship with a married man bothered him. It was kind of how they were; they never talked about relationships, so neither of them minded Jake's preferences. But they only ever mentioned his actions with girls he'd been with; never anyone else. So he moped around the house, went to work, went to pick up whatever take-out the guys wanted. It's not as though he had any way to contact Edward regardless. So he had to just stew, or leave it be.

 

A few days later, Jake came to work to see Jared speaking with Rosalie.

“Hey, Jake,” Rose said, inclining her head towards him. Jake bobbed his head back, and she tossed him a magazine.

Jake glanced down at it after he caught it; some shitty gossip rag. 'From Boy-toy to Rent-boy', there was a picture of Aro and Edward, walking down the street, ripped dramatically in half. And Aro with some small guy with his hand in the other's pocket.

It was gross, and Jake didn't really understand it. “What's this, then?” He asked Rosalie.

She shrugged, looking very carefully bored. “Edward just thought you'd like to know.” She said with a shrug. “You know, we can't even see a dart board without wondering how you're doing. You should come hang out sometime.” She added.

Jake didn't really want to show Jared how pleased it made him; that they hadn't forgotten about him. He nodded quickly, once. “Sure, sounds fun.” He said honestly. And it did; Jared was too much of a homebody to go out often, and Paul nearly always ended up trying to fight several guys at the same time over tiny slights. It wasn't fun going out with them; they were all too different.

Jake flicks the disgusting magazine back to Rosalie, who just shoves it back. “Keep it, it's garbage anyway.” She told him. Jake nudges it off the counter, and it flips to the floor with no one making a move to pick it up. “Listen, Edward's kind of a mess, but he really likes you.” Rosalie explains. “His birthday is this Saturday, come hang out with us there.” She offers.

Jake doesn't want to see Edward. Edward with his great hair and terrible love choices. Choices that don't include even entertain the idea of including Jake. “Can't. Work.” Jake replied gruffly.

Jared waves his hand lazily. “I'll take it; go do something, man.” He says with an easy smile. Jake looks him over suspiciously, but it was likely Jared might have gotten sick of him moping around the communal space.

And Jake did want to see Edward again, he just wasn't happy about it. “... I don't have a present.” He says finally, begrudgingly.

Rosalie grins with smug satisfaction. “You'll be the present.” She cajoles. “Say you'll come.” She advised, her gaze heavy on him.

“Okay.”

 

Jake was nervous, the day of the party. He came on his bike, and pulled up to a painfully chic apartment building.

“Mr Black?” The doorman asked, and Jake nodded uncertainly. “There's a parking spot reserved for Mr Cullen's guests; number 12-1-4.” He added, and handed Jake a little slip of paper with instructions on how to get through the gate.

“Thanks.” Jake said blankly, and climbed back onto his bike.

He followed the instructions, parked, and made it to the underground elevators, for which the paper also had instructions for.

He made it to the door Rosalie texted him, and knocked with one hand, the other drumming his fingers on his leg.

The door swung open, and Alice beamed up at him. “Jake!” She chirped, and waved him in cheerfully. “Guys! It's not the Chinese food, it's Jacob!” She called, and Jake stepped into the very fancy apartment.

Emmett and Jasper looked up from a foosball table game, and Rosalie waved lazily from the couch. No one else could be seen.

“Am I early?” He asked them, uncertain. There were no decorations signifying a party; so Jake wasn't actually sure he was here with the right items.

The boys laugh, but Alice pets Jake's arm excitedly. “No, Edward hates aging.” Alice tells him. “Maybe he'll come out of his room for you!” She says, and runs them over to a door on the side, banging loudly. “Edward! Jake's here!” She yelled at it cheerfully.

“That won't work a fourth time, Alice.” Edward's voice was muffled and very blank-sounding. Jake shuffled his feet a little, as Alice sighs.

“Yeah, we already tried it.” She told him, nodding wisely. She batted at Jake's shoulder. “You say something!” She hissed.

Jake looked at her, and then back across the room. Rosalie was still reading something or other, and Jasper and Emmett were sitting on the couch, drinking beer and watching them. Emmett gave him a thumbs up, and Jasper did the opposite, and they starting having a slappy-fight. He realised no-one else would be of any help. Jacob knocked on the door. “Yeah, Edward, it's, um, me.” Jake called out, feeling a little dumb.

There were several loud thumps, the sound of something ceramic rolling on its axis before settling and a ruffled Edward threw open the door. “Jake! Hi!” He yelled. Jake took a step back from the volume of his voice, and Edward cleared his throat. “Um, how are you?” He asked, a little more composed.

“Alright.” Jake told him, and glanced at Alice, who seemed to consider her job done because she was flouncing over to Jasper. “Happy birthday.” Jake added shyly, nervous in Edward's presence now. He was glad enough the guy still seemed to want to be friends, but Jake still wasn't sure if he liked the idea himself. He might need some serious space to get rid of the lingering crush he still had.

Edward smiled brightly. “Thank you.” He said, and stepped close to Jake, so they were standing chest to chest. But Jake didn't want to, so he stepped quite a bit back and glanced again at the others. No one was paying attention, and Edward cleared his throat again. “Did you want something to eat?” He asks, walking to the kitchen and opening the fridge. “I have …” Edward looked at the lack of contents blankly, “um, nothing. Emmett!” He snapped, turning sharply to glare at the man.

Emmett loped over with a big grin. “Hey! You said you were only going to eat until the day before your birthday, and then you'd kill yourself before you got a day older!” Emmett shouted, jabbing Edward in the chest. Jake was off-put by the extreme words, and glances back over to where Jasper and Alice cuddled on the couch, and Rosalie was still reading.

Edward seemed embarrassed with Emmett's words and Jake's obvious discomfort. “... Right, I forgot.” He muttered, and tried a small smile with Jake. “It was a joke.”

“Couldn't tell. I got you this.” Jake added, hefting the bottle of oil he'd brought in his bike seat.

Edward looked over-joyed, and laughed loudly. “From the shoot! I love it!” He declared, taking it and hefting it up to marvel at. “All these assholes got me was that,” he added lightly, nodding to the foosball table.

“Well, you always make us hang out here to spend time with you,” Jasper reasoned, untangling himself from Alice as he spoke, “so now we'll actually do it willingly.” He added with a grin. Emmett bounds over to coral the other man into a game, and Jake watches them and ignores Edward looking at him.

“Thanks, Jake.” Edward said softly.

“It's whatever.” Jake said with a shrug. The two guys were starting their game, Alice was flicking through the television and Rosalie had her magazine. This was all things Jake could do at his own house; he didn't really have a place here. “I think I should head.” He said, nodding to the front door. He felt disappointed with how much he had looked forward to a party; not that he didn't like a group-hang, but he didn't want to be stuck talking just to Edward while everyone did their own thing; leaving him drowning in his feelings.

He stepped towards the door, but Edward caught his arm and smiled. “No, stay, really. I'm never much fun on my birthdays,” Edward explained gently, “but everyone's glad you're here.” He added, very loudly.

The four of them chorused 'yes!', and Alice waved them over to the couch with her, looking over at him with a bright grin. Emmett didn't look up from the game when he said Jake should play the winner.

Jake looked at Edward's gently deploring look, and bit back a sigh. It actually made him feel better, more included, that the guys had said that, as silly as it seemed. “... Okay.” He agreed. Edward's expression brightened considerably, and he tugged Jake over to the couch, and sat him next to Alice. Alice asked to braid his hair, and Jake declined. Usually, Quil's mom, or Aunty Sue Clearwater would do it for him because they were his family; or else he'd leave it out. He saw Edward slip back into his room, but no one seemed to mind, so Jake made himself react the same way.

Alice nodded, not seeming bothered with the rejection. Instead, she went on to ask to braid Rosalie's hair, who accepted and sat at the foot of the couch for Alice to work.

Jasper won the foosball game, and Jake played him, which resulted in, much to Emmett's delight, Jake being the winner. Then he got his ass kicked by Rosalie, her hair in two French braids. Then Alice played Rosalie, but lost while making her own sound effects of the players.

Jake had a beer with Emmett after his loss, and went to go pee, except Jasper slipped into the bathroom when he was two paces away and Jake groaned loudly.

“Just use the en suite. Edward is just hiding in bed.” Rosalie called out, and nodded to the door to his room. Jake didn't really want to disturb him; but he really needed to go.

Figuring Edward would be napping, probably, Jake nodded and snuck inside.

There was a person-like lump on the bed, that didn't move even when Jake accidentally closed the door louder than he meant to. Jake crept across the room, glancing between the bed and the slightly open sliding door with a tile floor. He assumed that was the bathroom. He found himself correct, and carefully closed it, but didn't dare risk causing a loud sound by locking it. He figured that would be weird; plus sneaking instantly made him need to pee even more than before, so he was in a hurry to make it to the toilet.

Jake wasn't the type to sit to pee, so he hissed when his stream hit the water with a loud sound. But there wasn't much he could do about it. He shook off and washed his hands, before peeking outside.

Edward was on his side, holding his phone to his face; the screen lighting up his sleepy and dull expression.

“Sorry to wake you, Jasper stole the bathroom outside.” Jake said quickly, pointing to the door and starting to head towards it.

“It's no bother,” Edward said, his voice a little raspy. He smiles at Jake, and slips an arm out of the covers, patting the bed. “Come sit,” he called, and Jake hesitated. Because the last time they were in the same bed, it was great, but Jake kind of felt like his heart got stomped on after. But this was a different atmosphere, and Edward didn't seem fun enough to fuck with his friends chilling just the next room over.

All the same, Jake didn't want to be unguarded just yet. He knew himself enough to know he might really like Edward, all wrapped up and sleep-soft. Instead, Jake strolls around the room. It was bare, décor wise. Jake had knick-knacks and momentos and general shit all over his room; but Edward had a bed, night-stand, dresser, one bookcase full of books, and second bookcase full of vinyl records, and a desk with a laptop and a lamp. Jake trailed his fingers over the sleek metallic dresser, ignoring Edward's eyes following him around the room silently. On closer inspection; the glass top of the dresser must be removable; Edward had pictures pinned on the underside. The four people out in the living room were in plenty of them; so was the long-haired photographer from the shoot. Jake looked down at the photo. Jake was vaguely aware of the rustle of the blankets as Edward stood up. One photo had caught his attention. It was Edward, much younger than he was now, smiling as Aro had an arm around his shoulders. It seemed platonic, which was all the weirder to Jake.

Edward came up to his shoulder, smiling softly. “I think you really suit this room ….” Edward told him, before glancing down at what Jake was looking at. His expression instantly closed off. “That's my high school graduation. Aro's an old friend of my father's.” He explained shortly.

For some irrational reason, Jake initially feels duped. Like Edward lied to him; but that wasn't necessarily true. What he really felt was out-of-his-depth, and very off-put. “Gross.” Jacob told him. “I need to leave.” He added, and leave he did; he walked out of the bedroom, and out the front door without saying good-bye to anyone. No one came after him as he made it to and out of the parking lot, for which he was grateful. Until he got home and had a long, hot, shower; Jake was seriously considering punching out the first person that spoke one word to him.

 

Jake usually didn't pick up his phone for numbers he didn't know, except his boss was howling over dropping his phone in the toilet, and he only begrudgingly followed everyone's directions to put it in a cup of rice. If that hadn't worked, then Jake wasn't going to risk missing any impromptu shifts; he had rent to pay, after all.

“Hello?” He asked as he plugged in his headphones; he hated holding his phone to his face. His sister Rebecca grossed him out talking about accumulated bacteria, not that he'd ever admit it.

“Hey Jake! It's me, Emmett!” The cheery man declared. Jake laughed, but he was pretty shocked to get a call from him. “I got your number from Rosie. I need to know if you have any free time today.” The man explained.

“Yeah, I'm free today. Do you need to rent my bike for something?”

“No, but Edward's day-drinking at Eric's bar and he's kind of making everyone worried. But they're all working today. I know it's a lot to ask, but you can get Eric to charge Edward's card for a drink?” Emmett offered hopefully. Jake was apprehensive and a little surprised. What kind of state would Edward be in?

“I don't really know if he wants to hang out with me ….”

“Look, you might have left the party on a sour note,” Emmett amended gently, and Jake was just surprised that he'd even classify it as a party. “But whatever happened, I know Edward would love to make up. He misses you.”

Jake missed Edward too. He wasn't entirely sure it was because Edward was the first person to invite him places in the city. Or because Paul clogged the kitchen sink and had a massive hissy fit yesterday because it was up to him to talk to the landlord about it. “I guess … I mean, if he's at Eric's, I could swing by ….” Jacob said, but he was still quite a bit reluctant.

“Yes!” Emmett cheered. “Thank you so much, no one else could babysit!”

“Babysit?” Jacob repeated, but someone called Emmett's name on the other end, and the man had to apologise and hang up.

Jacob was a little concerned going in, he knew objectively no grown man needed supervision, and Emmett might just want them to mend fences. And truthfully, he kind of did want to get along with Edward again. Regardless of the man's choices, Jake liked him, he was fun and handsome and maybe Jake was a little jealous, too.

Eric looked up at the door, and smiled politely.

“Welcome! You're a bit early for happy hour,” He said, clearly not recognising Jake. Jacob wasn't offended; he just smiled and nodded. He'd already spotted Edward with a glass of red wine curled in a corner of a rather used couch. He was reading, which surprised Jacob a bit, it was hardly the place for it.

“Hey,” Jake said, and smiled nervously as Edward looked up.

Edward blinked, and stood up quickly. “Hi!” Edward exclaimed, looking pleased, and pulled him into a back-slapping hug. “What are you doing here?” Edward asked, soft and perplexed.

“Emmett sent me.” Jake replied. Edward huffed out a laugh, and waved him onto the couch next to him. Jake sat, and an awkward beat of silence past.

“What are you reading?” Jake asked him.

“Um … The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fistfight In Heaven,” Edward replied, looking decidedly embarrassed.

Jake chuckled, and looked around the room to avoid having to look at Edward. “It's a good book, I was supposed to read it for school.” Jake said. “I didn't, I just made up an essay. Got a D for it.” Jake added. He had his elbows rested on his knees as he sat a little on the edge of the couch, for some distance.

Edward smiled softly. “You don't want to talk about the party.” He said, and it seemed he understood why.

But Jake bristled a little at the unneeded tenderness; it made him feel exposed. “I don't know why you keep calling it that; it was just a gathering, if anything.” He said, his tone a bit harsher than warranted. “And it's obvious you want me to keep out of it, so I will.” Jake told him flatly, finally looking at Edward.

Edward looked at Jake like he was about to cry. He looked down at the book and breathed in shakily. Jake almost felt bad, but, ultimately, Edward knew messing with a married man was wrong. “You don't understand how hard it is …” Edward began steadily, tapping his fingers against the book's spine slowly, as though he was counting every word, “all the guys my age just want to hook up and fuck off.” He said gruffly. Jake didn't point out that that was exactly what Edward had done to him. “Aro always made time for me ….”

“Gross.” Jake said bluntly. “Edward, that man's a creep.” Jake pointed out, because it was true. Jake couldn't imagine anyone being happy that their child was getting messed with by a 'friend'. “I don't think your father was happy about it, was he?” Jake asked.

Edward face crumpled a little, and at that, Jake did feel a little bad for him. “No, he was furious …” Edward whispered, “we haven't spoken in months ….” The man was slumped in defeat, and Jake didn't have the heart to press any longer.

But, this wasn't something he could sympathise with, either. “Well, it just … Edward, I can't understand you, I can't.” Jake told him firmly, his hands spread wide. “We all get lonely, but there are better ways to keep company.” Jake said, and this time he even gestures to himself, but Edward doesn't react, and Jake continues, softer. “You're good-looking, and not completely awful on the inside.” At his only slightly teasing words, Edward begins to smile. “You could do so much better.” He added.

“Well, thank you.” Edward told him, his voice a lot lighter. “You know what they say … the good ones are always straight.” He added.

“Okay.” Jake said back, not wanting to snap, but certainly not wanting Edward to continue talking about some straight guy he might like. It was like a little slap in the face; was he talking about the married guy? But Jake didn't know if Aro was married to a woman or a man. But Aro wasn't even a good anything. Who was the straight man Edward was fixated on?

Jake felt kind of like an idiot; he was so invested in the one night they shared, when it wasn't even sex, just mouth and hand stuff.

Edward looked pained at his dismissal, but Jake's pride was smarting just a bit. “... I don't mean to make you uncomfortable, Jake.” He said softly. Edward wasn't a complete ass; Jake was pretty young, he could probably read it on Jake's face, how disappointed he was.

“It's fine,” Jake told him, though it was mostly a lie. It would be fine, in a little bit, even if at the moment it sucked. It's not like he even thought Edward was in love with him, Jake was just kind of hoping a hook up to could lead to something more, but he always reminded himself that it wasn't necessary. “It was just one night, we both know that.” He added honestly, not adding the 'now' on the end.

Edward nodded quite a few times in his earnestness. “Yes, I completely know that.” He said quickly, “I just don't want it to ruin our friendship.”

Jake was a bit surprised. “We're friends?” He asked, certainly not wanting to sound too hopeful. Paul and Jared were who he hung out with here; but at this point, they'd probably never be particularly close.

Edward laughed, not unkindly. “Jake, I'd be very willing to wear you down and force you to be my friend.” He offered lightly.

Jake grinned so hard his cheeks hurt. “You don't have to! We're already friends!” He declared, and rapped on the counter a few times to order them celebratory vodka shots.

They stayed there all afternoon, not drinking so much as chatting; occasionally yelling over each other when they got excited. Edward told him about how he was scouted for modelling work after being discovered on his way to a job interview, to be a university researcher. Jake told him that a vague uncle had offered to pay him in cash if he wanted to move out of home after highschool. They joked around about shoes; since Jake only wore boots or sneakers, and Edward never ever showed his toes.

It was only when Emmett and Rosalie turned up that they realised they'd been there for over four hours.

“Come on, losers, let's get dinner.” Rosalie told them, and they argued over pizza or tacos until they walked into a burger joint. Jake was both surprised and not that Rosalie and Edward both had similar taste in books. Their opinions on those books, though, differed greatly. Emmett and Jake ended up playing napkin football while they passionately and articulately ripped each other's thoughts apart over a plate of French fries. Neither Emmett or Rosalie wanted to go to their apartment; since it would force them to face the mountain of laundry that needed to be done. So the four of them ended up going to Edward's apartment.

Rosalie and Emmett seemed invested in vegging out on the couch, watching television. Jake watched as Emmett's large hands wrapped around Rosalie's feet in his lap; messaging her toes and heels, where her tall shoes had left visible marks. Jake felt a little creepy watching them; but he liked it. He wanted that casual type of touching with someone, too.

Edward tugged at his sleeve, and Jake glanced down at him. He looked nervous. “Jake, it's over between Aro and I.” Edward told him quietly. But the magazine had already told Jake that. “And I hope ….” At this, he made a cutting motion between them. He didn't want any more friction.

Jake certainly didn't want to dwell on the subject any longer, and he shook his head and raised both hands. “It's fine. Edward, it's fine!” Jake said, trying to seem cheery. “Who you date isn't any of my business.” He added, hoping he didn't sound bitter. “Unless he can play darts better than me, I have my pride.” Jake added with a grin.

Edward smiled a little, but his gaze seemed troubled. “Well, I can't say I have the same business –“ Edward shook his head quickly, “I mean, I'd like to know if you were dating someone ….” He says slowly, and seems to try and glance meaningfully at Jake. It takes a moment to catch on – Edward probably wanted to know if he had messed with yet another relationship.

But Jake shook his head. “No, I don't keep any secrets, it's a real problem of mine.” He said honestly. It was why he wanted to make his attraction to dudes more obvious back home, much to his family's continued feigned ignorance.

“I like how open you are, Jake.” Edward said softly, and he reached up and cupped Jake's cheek, and Jake liked the contact too much to point out how cold Edward's fingers were. “Do you want to stay the night?” He asked. Jake nodded with a smile, and leaned down to meet Edward's kiss.

It had been a long time since Jake had had sex; he was humiliated over how fast he came after one round, especially because he was on top. But Edward didn't seem to mind; he just kissed him and asked him if he wanted a facial.

After they were done; which was one extra suck from Edward because he was sure Jake had it in him, Jake wasn't sure if he was expected to leave straight away. He lay on his back with his head cushioned by his palm, and debated whether he should ask to borrow the shower.

Edward dragged a grey hoodie out from the foot of the bed, under the blanket, and wrapped it around himself. He seemed content to tap around on his phone, head two inches away from Jake's armpit. “Um … should I go?” He asked, uncertain. It's not as though he expected cuddling, but Edward also curled into a ball around his phone when he was in bed alone at his party.

Edward looked up at him, and for a moment, it was so casual and intimate Jake's chest throbbed. “No, I asked you to stay the night.” Edward told him, with a light shrug. “I mean, you can if you want, but if you stay I'll make you cinnamon rolls tomorrow.” He wheedled with a grin.

Jake grinned back. “I love those!” He said excitedly. Edward smiled and his eyes dropped back to his phone. Jake watched him for a little, and muttered, “… You didn't stay after the first time ….”

Jake felt a little childish saying it; but it had been bothering him and he slept better getting things out in the open. Edward looked amused, but he did grimace. “I had work. I knew if I woke up to you, I'd want to come in late.” Edward explained, and even gave a wink.

Jake snorted, relaxed and appeased now. “Goody-goody. I was worried Paul scared you.”

“That weirdo that chomped his teeth at me?” Edward asked, wrinkling his nose. “He wasn't very pleasant.”

“He's pretty harmless,” Jake said honestly, by honestly not mentioning the amount of fist-fights Paul thought it took to solve a problem, “he just can't take a joke.”

Edward tilted his head to the side, looking kind, which kind of unnerved Jake. “Long-time friends?”

“In the same grade, hung out with different people, though when there's seventy kids in your year you just kind of know each other.” Jake explained, his heart feeling a little heavier talking about home when he was so far away. “My friends are still back home, but they're all straight.”

“Yeah?” Edward had tucked his phone under his pillow at this point, and while Jake enjoyed the complete attention, he felt a little exposed.

“Mm,” Jake nodded. “I mean, my best friends, Embry and Quil, but we're all scattered now. Quil stayed home, but Embry went to his mother's family to get to know them.” Jake found himself whispering; “I miss them.” He hoped Edward didn't think he was over-sharing.

“I'm sorry.” Edward said, and he seemed genuinely sympathetic.

“It's no big deal.” Jake shrugged, but it felt good to get off his chest. “I don't mean to be boring.”

“I don't think you've accomplished that yet.” Edward told him softly.

 

That morning; Edward makes him giant cinnamon buns, straight from scratch, much to Jake's constant cooing and applause. Edward tells him about how he learnt the recipe from a handwritten notecard left to him by his grandmother. Then, when he was seventeen, he found the exact same recipe written on the box of flour his granny had favoured. Jake had stayed until the late afternoon; and Edward chased him to the elevator to finally get his number. The next few days were pleasant, and Jake spent most of his lunch at work texting Edward memes and being called a 'young pup'. It never got flirtatious, and Jake wasn't sure how to segway into something like that. So he just smouldered with his feelings and enjoyed Edward's company as he could.

 

Edward asked Jake to entertain him at his apartment, and by now Jake was on a friendly 'hey!' and wave-up with all three doormen, he was here so often. But it meant he was much too late to ask for any of their names.

Edward was wearing a really nice pair of jeans, and a shirt with a v-neck that made Jake look twice. Edward brought out the brown liquor, and they played a drinking game that involved Jake running a quarter down his face, and Edward being extremely confused when he wasn't left with a long pencil line. It turned out the quarter that Edward had blackened in advance was somehow back in his wallet. So they gave that up and played the Weeknd's new album, and drank whenever he referenced either drugs or sex. After three songs, Edward was ready to go out. “You should come to Eric's with me.” Edward declared, slamming his hand on the table. “It's Latin night!”

“I don't drink and I can't dance.” Jake replied, flexing his fingers into a fist and back out to try and measure how drunk he was. He could probably drive them there.

“Well, you can watch me do both.” Edward decided with a grin. Jacob crossed his arms and made a show of thinking it over. “Come on,” Edward cajoled, “you know you want to ….” He said, mockingly flirty, and tugged on the sleeve of Jacob's shirt.

“Alright, fine.” Jake laughed, brushing off the electric feeling of Edward's fingers brushing his bicep and shaking his head as he dug around for his phone and wallet. He was pretty excited that Edward wanted to go to a club, just the two of them.

“Can we go on your bike?” Edward asked, looking eager as he followed Jake into the bathroom, where he fished out a hair tie for a ponytail.

Jacob snorted, “You just want me for my hog, huh?” He asked and ignored how Edward rested his hands on his shoulders and watched him in the mirror.

“I guess.” Edward replied, grinning with excitement.

 

Eric's was packed. It was more brown bodies than Jake had seen since he'd been back home. He felt almost irrationally excited not to be the darkest-skinned guy in the club. It took them a while to edge up to the bar and order drinks, and then they scrambled madly when they spotted a free table. They were both laughing and leaning against each other, amused with how fast they'd moved for just a tiny rickety table to stand around. Jacob watched as Edward started with a generous few swings of his beer when a man tapped on Jake's shoulder. He was strawberry blonde and very flushed. “Ah'm Riley, who're you, cutie?” He said, and Jake almost snorted at the strong and almost indecipherable Australian accent.

Edward put a hand on Jake's chest from behind him. “This is Jacob! I'm Edward!” Edward yelled, clapping a hand on Jake's shoulder once, before leaning over and whispering in Riley's ear. Jake was uncomfortable having to look at him being so close with another man, but he just glanced away and waited.

Whatever Edward whispered made Riley laugh, and grab onto Edward's arm. “You wanna dance with me, then?” He yelled, eyebrows raised. Edward smiled and nodded, and flashed Jake a grin as Riley pulled him onto the floor. Jacob gave him a tight smile, and felt a little stupid sitting at a whole table by himself. He migrated to prop up a wall, and watched Edward and Riley awkwardly grind to Shakira, along with several Latino guys who could grind much better. It made Jacob laugh a little, though that didn't last very long, since Riley pretty graphically stuck his tongue down Edward's throat.

Now Jake felt extra stupid just standing around. He shuffled his feet and tried to ignore the giant sink-hole of hurt opening up in his belly. He felt super, extra stupid standing around and watching the guy he was seriously starting to like kiss another man. He was sobering up quickly and all he had was cola.

Jake left the glass on a ledge somewhere and shouldered his way out of the club. He didn't want to see that, he really didn't, because in some stupid part of his mind, he thought that Edward had casually asked him on a date. But it wasn't a date; it was just a night of dancing that barely begun and already seemed it was going to end with Edward going home with someone else.

He slipped walked down to the corner and sat on a bench, feeling lonely and awful. He wanted someone to talk to. Jake pulled out his phone.

“Hello?” A sleepy voice muttered.

“Hey, Quil, it's me.” Jake muttered, slumped over a little and feeling extremely sorry for himself.

“S'up stupid?”

“Were you asleep? It's barely five there, man.”

“Hm, leave me alone.” Quil's tone was slowly waking and amused, though. “How's the big city?”

“Big, fuckin' big …” Jake told him. He needed to talk to someone, he was the worst when it came to bottling things up inside. “Quil, there's a guy I like.” He admitted in a rush.

“Is it the white dude Paul told me about?” Quil asked. “Because Paul told me about him; gross.” The finality in his friend's tone scared him off, like it always did.

“Yeah, I know, it doesn't matter.” Jake said quickly. “How's my dad?”

“The same as ever.” Quil replied, but his tone was tight and careful. “… Did you wanna talk about the whiteman?”

“We don't talk about that stuff.” Jake pointed out, a little sadly. But it was true; that was just a non-issue. As in, Jake wasn't really going to get much help if he did have issues.

“You both ditched me, let's say I've been missing you.” Quil said lightly.

“Yeah, you too.” Jake said, his chest feeling just a little lighter, while his heart ached at the same time. He did miss home; because home was where his family was, and where pretty green-eyes weren't. “It's just, he seems nice, and into me, but he's in the club, kissing someone else.”

“Another whiteman?”

“Yeah.”

“Well, fuck both of them. You should come home!” Quil's last words were cheerfully meant, but Jake almost wanted to do it.

“Quil, I mean, it's different, but I like it here.” Jake explained, and it was true. The entire world wasn't shut down by nine at night. And there was a sense of safety in near-complete anonymity. “You should come down.” He tried.

Quil's voice was hard and raspy. “I can't leave with granddad like this.”

Jake sighed into his phone. Quil wasn't the homebody like, say, Embry was. No doubt a small part of him had wanted to move away with Paul, Jared and Jake and get a taste of somewhere else. “... I know, I'm sorry.” Jake said, scrubbing a hand over his face. But he felt like he had been treated poorly tonight, and he missed his friend. “I don't like being so far apart.” He said aloud, even though he felt like it was supposed to stay secret.

“Sucks.”

“Yeah ….” Jake listened to Quil's breath, and had a feeling he might end up chatting while the man fell right back asleep. Wouldn't be the first time they'd done that. Jake looked around; it was pretty dead out here; only two girls shared a smoke down the street. Then the club doors swung open, and a familiar figure came out, shouting. “Edward?” he asked softly, as the Riley guy from before follows after him. Jake saw Edward push the guy away once, and quickly stood up. “Gotta go, Quil, I'll talk to you later.” He said hurriedly, starting off down the street.

“Oh, his name is Edward?” Quil was cackling when Jake hung up on him.

Edward was snarling when Jake jogged up to them. “I said, fuck off!” He snapped at Riley. “Do you have a concept like this on your criminal-infested, yellow rock?” He demanded.

“Hey, what's going on?” Jake asked, glancing between the two of them. He was willing to punch a guy in the face, of course, he just wanted to make sure he had to.

“Jake, fuck!” Edward's eyes widened when he saw him, and Edward grabbed up his jacket and pulled him toward. “I thought something happened to you!” The man exclaimed, relief evident in his tone.

Riley came up and clapped Edward's shoulder. “He's fine! Leh's go back inside!” He encouraged.

Jake was, again, reminded of why exactly Riley was out here. Because less than two minutes ago, Edward had been having a pretty great time without Jake around. “I should go, home, I think ….” Jake began, taking a step back. Maybe Edward was glad he hadn't lost Jake in the club and would be gladder to know where he was going this time.

Edward nodded decisively. “Yeah, let's head out.” He agreed with a smile, loping his arm through Jake's. Jacob almost shook his off, feeling a flash of irritation. Obviously, he wasn't too keen to spend time with him right now. Jake was annoyed, and embarrassed over his own feelings.

He was about to assure Edward he could make it home by himself, when Riley swung an arm over Edward's neck. He yelled in his heavy accent about going back into the club. Then the other man yanked, and Edward almost toppled backwards. Before Jake could move to help him, Edward managed to right himself, turn around and stabbed him in the chest with his finger. “Okay, one more time, fuck and off, okay?” He asked, his voice heavy with sarcastic sweetness.

Riley looked wrecked and shocked, and then extremely angry. “Well fuck you!” He raged, an ugly snarl on his face. “Ah'm not even gay, faggots are feckin' disgusting anyway!” He spluttered, and stomped straight back into the gay club.

Edward sneered after him, before reattaching himself to Jake's arm. “God, are you sure you're alright?” Edward asked, brow creased in concern. “Why did you go?”

Jake was still processing the outburst, but the man was shorter than him and not particularly strong-looking. It wasn't that he posed a threat, necessarily, that had Jake on-edge. “... You didn't like him?” Jacob said, the realisation dawning with mounting horror. “Oh my god, you were getting harassed and I was gonna leave!” Jake exclaimed, feeling very awful and selfish and guilty.

But, in the face of Jake's dismay, Edward only laughed, beginning to lead them down the road to Jake's bike. “Jake, it's okay!” Edward assured him lightly, “I'm older, I can handle some drunk idiot.” He petted Jake's arm a few times, until Jake nodded, because nothing had come of it anyway. But he heard such stories about the big city, and he never wanted to be that so-called 'friend' that left the victim stranded.

“You should tell me when you want to leave.” Edward told him sternly.

Now, Jake just felt bad for ditching him. “Sorry, I just thought you might want some privacy with that guy.”

“Privacy?” Edward laughed again. “In the middle of the dance-floor? It was a nice kiss, but that's it.” Edward shrugged, and eyed Jake a little bemusedly. “I don't suppose all the gays made you uncomfortable.”

Jake chuckled, and shook his head. He wasn't so fond of labelling his sexuality, but guys that did never bothered him. “No, this is the first time I've been to a club here that wasn't full of white twinks.” Jacob said him honestly. It had been refreshing in there, for a moment. “Not that there's anything wrong – I just feel outnumbered, sometimes.” Jacob amended quickly.

Edward, though, raised an eyebrow. “You've been to other gay clubs?” His incredulous tone made Jake shrug a little self-consciously.

Jacob waved a hand airily, not really wanting to talk about how damn lonely the first few months had been here for him. He, Paul and Jared had had all different shifts, and he kept cooped up alone in the apartment. Jake could never stand being alone. “Well, yeah, a couple when I first got here, but it's kind of hard to meet people ….” He explained. They had dawdled down the street and around the corner, and he could see his bike from the sidewalk.

Edward frowned. “But you're not gay.”

“What?” Jacob asked, thrown for a moment. But it was true; Jake didn't really care about what he was. “I mean, I guess you're right.” He agreed carelessly.

Edward stopped walking, just three feet from the bike, and Jake stopped too, a little confused. Edward was eyeing him cautiously, as if one of them was a skittish deer. “... Wait, are you straight?” Edward checked, sounding very intense over such an inane question.

“No.”

“Since when!?” Edward yelled, looking almost angry.

But it made Jacob chuckle. “Edward, we've had sex before.” He pointed out, but that only seemed to make Edward even more riled up.

“But I thought that was just blowing off steam!”

“It was, right?” Jake asked, becoming very confused. He watched as Edward began to pace, his shoulders tight. “I mean, we're just friends, you said.” Jake reminded him, trying not to sound put-out.

“Because I thought you weren't attracted to men!” Edward actually gripped his hair and almost tugged as he ranted.

“I am!” Jacob yelled, matching Edward's pitch but not his tone. At this point, he was trying not to laugh at Edward's obvious ire. “I had sex with you, didn't I? I've had sex with heaps of guys!” Jake slapped a mouth over his mouth, shaking his head quickly. “Well, not a lot, actually, I'm not-”

Before Jake could assure Edward he wasn't a slut, Edward yanked his hands out of his hair and pressed himself into Jake's space. Their lips smashed together with too much teeth to be extremely pleasant, but Jake thought it was awesome.

When Edward pulled away, he was grinning silly. “Oh, frustrating, frustrating man!” He declared fondly.

Jake had to bite down on his own smile. “You are,” Jake muttered, feeling all together bashful under Edward's gaze. “I said 'likewise'.” He added.

“Excuse me?” Edward asked, comfortably crowding into Jacob's personal space.

Jake grinned. “When you said you were gay and pleased to meet me,” Jake reminded him sowly, “I said likewise.”

“... Yes, you did.” Edward's gaze turned sly, “And we had some very good sex … and you didn't like what I did with Aro, or Riley … you like me.” Edward concluded, his tone smug.

Jake frowned, he didn't like what Edward did with Aro or Riley. “... You said we were just friends.” Jake said, almost pushing Edward away from him.

But Edward took Jake's face in his hands and nearly cooed; “Jake, I just didn't want to fall for another straight man. I keep doing that and it ends up awfully.” Edward looked sad. “You were one person I didn't want to risk loosing.”

Jake nodded, feeling strangely open and fragile. “… I do like you.” He whispers.

“Well good,” Edward grinned with satisfaction, “I've been waiting to hear that since we had an oil fight.”

It jars Jake that Edward doesn't say it back, but he feels immediately childish and tries to laugh along with him. “Yeah, um …” Jacob clears his throat and glances at Edward with some trepidation. “If you don't feel the same way you can tell me.” He admits quietly.

Edward blinked. “If I don't –” he grinned, “I like you, I really like you. I'm not even going to wait for you to turn twenty, come here.” Edward tugs Jake forward by his shirt and Jake sways forwards to meet his heady kiss. “Annoying.” Edward growls, and jumps up on his toes to catch Jake's bottom lip in his teeth, and tug once, sharply. The twinge of pain jolts Jake's dick, and makes him laugh.

“I never said I was straight,” Jake pointed out, still slightly defensive and more than slightly breathless. But he thought being called 'annoying' was a bit harsh.

Edward shakes his head, looking incredibly fond. “I wasn't talking about you.” He replied, and slips his hands around Jake's neck. “Now, take a man to bed. This time I'll stay the night.” Edward tells him, a bright sparkle in his eyes.

Jake nodded eagerly. “This time you can stay forever!” He tells him cheerfully.

Edward laughs, but he looks flushed and happy as they walked side-by-side. Jake had his hands shoved deep in his pockets, because he really wanted to go home quickly with Edward, but he also wanted to play it cool.

But Edward made a fussy almost-grunt, and looped his arms through Jake's before he smiled again. But he didn't seem appeased with just that, and Jake's skin tingled where Edward slipped his hand down his arm, over his wrist, and stuffed his hand in Jake's pocket next to his.

“Yeah, I'm one of those boys who hold hands, get used to it.” Edward told him with a contented sigh.

Jake chuckled, and nodded emphatically. “I will!” He promised cheerfully. He liked walking in this big city with a boy, who was going to ride on the back of his motorbike and come home with him.