SLASH BACKSLASH 3.0 CONTEST
Author: Addicted to Edward
Rating, Disclaimer, and appropriate Warnings: M for language and sensuality. Contains slash, obviously. Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight, not me.
Word Count: 4,920
Special thanks to SapphireScribe and jfka06!
Please see all entries at www . fanfiction community / Slash_Backslash_3_0 / 74941 / 14 / 0 / 1 /
The lighting was dim and the music loud inside the club. Peter sat alone at the end of the bar, the shot of whiskey still sitting in front of him. It'd been over two years since he'd been in a bar, since he'd even had a single drink.
Giving up alcohol was the easiest thing he'd done for Jasper. Well, the second easiest. Loving Jasper had been so easy, so natural that it was like Peter had been born to love him. He didn't regret anything he'd done for Jasper. When you love someone, you do whatever's necessary. But that didn't lessen the pain of watching him run into the arms of the very person that had broken him.
When Jasper breaks again, who will be there to pick up the pieces? Could Peter be strong enough to do it again? He could be there from the beginning this time; it'd be easier. Was Jasper worth it?
Yes, Peter thought as he tipped back his shot. Jasper was definitely worth it.
Two guys walked up to the bar next to Peter. The taller one had long dirty-blond hair tied back in a ponytail. He was shirtless underneath his open jacket. The other looked very young, probably underage. His hair was short and so fair it was almost white. Peter did have a thing for blonds, but neither of these had the richness of honey that Jasper's hair did.
"The research is just fascinating," the younger one was saying.
The taller man turned away and ordered a drink from the bartender, completely ignoring his companion. He glanced at Peter and rolled his eyes, tilting his head towards the boy. He tossed back his drink.
The boy didn't seem to notice, or care, that he was being ignored. "I mean, can you imagine the –"
"Look," the other man said, finally looking at him, "the only research you'll be doing tonight is finding out how much of my dick fits down your throat, got it?"
The boy shut his mouth and nodded meekly. Peter thought he saw him shudder slightly, but the lighting wasn't good so he couldn't be sure.
"C'mon. Let's dance."
The boy let himself be pulled to the dance floor, following like a puppy dog. Peter half-expected to see a leash. Should he have stepped in, done something? Other than being rude, dismissive and just generally an asshole, the older man hadn't done anything wrong, however Peter got that weird feeling in the pit of his stomach. He watched the couple weave their way to an opening and begin moving to the beat of the music. The older one had his hands all over the boy, and the boy did seem to be enjoying himself.
Peter turned back to the bar and signaled the bartender. None of my business, he told himself. He ordered a tall draft, something to drink slowly and savor as he contemplated the path his life had taken.
Peter had been there as Jasper battled through depression and helped him emerge from a self-destructive phase. He sat with him in the hospital after Jasper nearly died in a gang brawl. He devoted nine months of his life to supporting Jasper through rehab to overcome his addiction. After surviving all that, Peter had assumed they were life partners. How could anything separate them?
With a sigh, Peter realized that there was only one thing that could have separated them. Something he had never, ever expected would happen.
Edward Cullen had shown up on their doorstop.
Peter was only halfway done with his beer when movement next to him caught his eye. The blond boy was back at the bar, this time alone. He sat down two chairs away from Peter and ordered a glass of water. Peter noticed the band around his wrist when he reached for his glass. He was, in fact, underage. He looked lonely and uncomfortable.
Peter slid over next to the boy. He had no idea what to talk about, but he felt the kid needed a friend. He had to stifle a gasp when he saw the boy's neck covered in red splotches and even a few crescent-shaped bite marks.
He smiled kindly at the boy. "Hey, how's it going?"
The boy glanced around him before realizing Peter was speaking to him. "Oh! Uh…fine."
His shyness was somehow endearing to Peter. "My name's Peter," he said, holding out his hand.
"I'm Mike," the boy replied, smiling for the first time as he shook Peter's hand. "I haven't seen you around here before. Are you new in town?"
"No, I just don't usually go to bars." Peter was surprised by Mike's observation. "You're here often?" He just couldn't picture it, this shy, quiet boy a frequent patron of a loud dance club.
"Oh yeah, my boyfriend takes me here every weekend." He turned around suddenly, scanning the dance floor.
Peter followed his gaze. The older man he'd seen with Mike was dancing with another man with a girl sandwiched between them. Mike turned back, keeping his eyes glued to the bar. He let out a soft sigh.
"So, Mike…" Peter tried to keep his voice cheerful and his change of topic casual. "What do you do?"
"I'm finishing up my second year at Cornell. Biological Engineering."
Peter opened his mouth without thinking. "Cornell, huh? My boy—" He stopped himself and took a breath. "My ex-boyfriend is registered to start night classes there in the fall."
"Ah," Mike said, nodding. "Boy trouble."
"Old news," Peter argued. He took a long drink of his beer. Who was he trying to convince, himself or Mike?
Mike was quiet for a minute. "You want to talk about it?"
"No," Peter replied immediately. He hadn't talk to anyone about Jasper. He didn't have any friends outside of work, and he rarely spoke to his colleagues socially. His life had revolved around Jasper for so long.
"Actually," he said slowly. "I think I do. You don't mind?"
Mike shrugged. "I'm not going anywhere. If it'll help…"
"Well, the short of it is, he left me for his ex. The one who broke his heart several years ago." Peter's fingers tightened against his glass. "The asshole just wormed his way back into Jasper's life and stole him from me."
"I'm sorry." Mike raised his arm as if to touch Peter, but after a glance towards the dance floor, changed his mind. "How long were you together?"
"About four years."
"Wow. That's a long time."
"Not even so much the years, but all that happened in those four years. You could fit a lifetime in them; we went through so much together." He sighed. It actually felt good to talk about Jasper, and Peter found that once he started, he couldn't stop. "I can't believe he fell back under Edward's spell so easily, so quickly. I mean, how many times does Edward have to hurt him before he'll finally say, 'enough is enough?'"
"People have to make their own decisions, you know? There's only so much you can do."
Peter nodded, mulling that over. "Yeah, I suppose. It's just ... I saved Jasper from a gang, from a drug addiction, from himself. But I guess Edward just had his hooks so deep into him that I didn't have a chance." He sighed. "Jasper and I were so good together. I was going to propose to him."
"Sounds like you loved him very much. But at some point, you just gotta let go and move on, otherwise you'll just be stuck where you are." Mike turned back toward the bar, avoiding Peter's eyes as he added softly, "Jasper's loss, not yours." As he drank the rest of his water, Peter could see the hint of a blush on his cheeks.
"Can I buy you a drink?"
Mike held up his wrist and shook the underage bracelet. "I'm not twenty-one."
Now that he was closer, Peter noticed red marks around Mike's wrist, almost as if he'd struggled against handcuffs recently. He couldn't help but wonder if Mike was really into that kind of stuff; it didn't seem like something this shy boy would be into. His eyes flicked to the bites on his neck. He cracked a smile, hoping his voice didn't betray that nagging feeling in his gut. "I'm sure they serve soda and juice."
"Yeah, they do," Mike chuckled, but his smile didn't last long. "You shouldn't. James might get the wrong idea. He can get very jealous."
Peter frowned. It wasn't his business, but Mike had brought it up. "Seems a bit hypocritical, don't you think?"
"I don't mind," Mike replied so quickly that Peter wondered how often he used the line.
"I'm the one he goes home with, after all."
"And that's enough for you?"
Mike shrugged. "I know James loves me. That's what matters."
Peter couldn't stop himself. "James loves having power over you. It's probably all a game to him. Make you jealous so you throw yourself at him. Makes him feel like a big man. It's all about controlling you, Mike."
Mike's eyes narrowed and his teeth clenched as he considered Peter's words.
Oh my god, he's actually going to defend that asshole, Peter thought.
"I could be alone and have no one," Mike said coldly.
Peter flinched at his words. He felt as if he had been punched in the gut. He couldn't speak for a minute.
Mike took a deep breath and rubbed his forehead. "I'm sorry, Peter. That wasn't fair. I'm just tired of all my friends, everyone, putting James down. I'm lucky to have him; no one seems to understand that."
"Maybe he's the one who's lucky to have you." Peter had a feeling his words were falling on deaf ears. He didn't even bother to point out that Mike's friends not liking James might as well have been a flashing neon sign.
"Whatever." Mike sighed. "You probably shouldn't even be talking to me. I don't want to cause any trouble."
Mike looked over his shoulder to the dance floor. James happened to look over in that moment and narrowed his eyes at Peter.
"Shit," Mike muttered.
"I can take care of myself," Peter assured him as James stalked towards them as if they were his prey. Peter watched the hunter's every move intently.
"Is this fucker bothering you, baby?" James asked, putting his hand on Mike's shoulder and squeezing.
"No, not at all."
James took a step closer to Peter. "Stay away from my boy, got it?"
"Sure, I got it. Maybe you should spend some time with 'your boy' instead of every other piece of ass in here."
"Who the fuck do you think you are? You think I don't treat my boy right? Ask him. Don't I treat you right, baby?"
James didn't take his eyes off Peter.
Peter didn't take his eyes off James.
"Of course you do. You're perfect," Mike replied as if on autopiliot.
Peter's fists clenched. How could Mike not see how unhealthy this relationship was?
"Damn straight. Let's go out of here. You can suck my dick and I'll fuck you hard just the way you like it."
"You don't have to go anywhere you don't want to, Mike," Peter said calmly despite the anger coursing through his body.
Everything happened in the blink of an eye. James took another threatening step towards Peter. Peter's self-defense reflexes kicked in. He grabbed James' arm and twisted it behind his back. James gasped in shock or pain. Maybe both.
"Leave him alone," Peter said through gritted teeth as he pinned James' other arm.
Mike looked wide-eyed at James struggling in Peter's grasp. Peter was sure he'd never seen anyone overpower James before. "Get out of here," Peter told him as he twisted James' arm further.
"Walk out of here and it's over," James seethed as he struggled against Peter.
Mike looked back and forth between Peter and James, debating. What could he possibly see in James? Finally, after an eternity, Mike turned and practically ran to the door.
"You fucking pussy!" James called after him. "Don't come crawling back to me!"
Peter slammed his foot down against James' left leg. James cried out as his knees gave way. Peter was the only thing holding him up. They had gone unnoticed until this point, but now the bartender was waving over a bouncer.
Peter whipped James around and punched him in the gut. James crumpled to the ground. "Stay the fuck away from Mike," Peter growled. He kicked James once more for good measure before walking off.
He held his hands up as he walked past the approaching bouncer. "I'm leaving."
Mike was outside, pacing and wringing his hands. "Peter," he said in relief. "You weren't hurt, were you?"
"I told you I could take care of myself. Why are you still here?"
"I came with James. I don't have my own car."
Peter gestured towards his car. "All right, come on."
Mike followed without a word.
As Peter drove the car out of the parking lot, he glanced over and noticed Mike was trembling. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah," Mike said quickly. Too quickly. "Yeah, I'm fine. Just worried he was going to hurt you because of me."
Peter gently placed his hand on Mike's knee. He frowned when Mike nearly jumped out of his skin at the touch. "Has James ever hurt you?"
"No, not really." Again, too quickly. "He does get mean when he's drunk, though."
"Mike, I saw the marks on your neck. And your wrist. I know it's none of my business what you do, but you don't have to do anything you don't want to. You know that, right?"
Mike simply nodded.
Peter sighed. He was genuinely worried about this kid. He turned south onto the highway.
"Cornell is north. I live on campus."
Peter could hear the slight panic in Mike's voice.
"I don't think you should be alone right now. You seem pretty shaken up, and to be honest, I'm worried James will show up at your place before he's calmed down. I'm taking you home with me."
It was a noncommittal "Oh." Peter couldn't tell what Mike was thinking, but he also didn't think Mike was capable of making safe decisions at the moment.
You never let me make my own decisions. You just did what you thought was best for me. You know what? You're not much different than Edward was. Difference is, he knows he was wrong.
Jasper's words echoed in Peter's mind and the truth of them hit him full force. He was doing it again with Mike. Just a minute ago, he told Mike that he didn't have to do anything he didn't want to and yet here he was, telling Mike what to do, not asking.
"He was right," he muttered as he pulled the car over to the side of the road.
"What? Why are we stopping?"
Peter turned to Mike and looked him straight in the eye. "I meant what I said, Mike. You don't have to do anything you don't want to. If you want me to take you home, I will. It's your decision."
Again with the ever-frustrating "Oh."
"There's no rush. I'll take you where you feel safe."
Mike truly smiled for the first time since Peter met him. "Thank you, Peter. It really was Jasper's loss." He reached over and tentatively touched Peter's hand, then wrapped his fingers around Peter's and gave a small squeeze.
Peter looked away. He could feel his cheeks heating. He closed his eyes, relishing the feeling of Mike's warm fingers on his. Such a simple gesture, and yet he couldn't remember the last time someone had held his hand. Not even in the final months with Jasper.
Mike didn't pull his hand away. "I want to go with you," he whispered.
Peter chanced a peek at Mike. His wide blue eyes made Peter's stomach flutter. He pulled his hand from Mike's. The last thing he wanted was for the younger man to feel like he had to pay Peter back sexually.
"Okay." His voice was barely above a whisper.
Peter pulled back onto the road. The atmosphere in the car was awkward now. Peter was concerned with leading Mike on and giving him the wrong impression. Should he say something? What if he was misreading Mike?
They drove in silence for several minutes. Mike left his hand lying on the center console, his palm up and fingers loose. Peter wondered if he'd ever tried the yawn and stretch move on a date. And if it'd ever worked for him.
Mike was young and naive; just how experienced was he? Was James his only lover? Peter's hands gripped the steering wheel tighter. Why was Mike even with James?
Mike deserved someone who truly cared him. Someone gentle and loving. Someone who treated him like a person and not a possession. He couldn't imagine an asshole like James treating Mike with the kindness and respect he deserved. No, James wouldn't lay with Mike in bed and stroke his cheek with affection the way Peter would. James wouldn't appreciate Mike the way Peter would.
Peter suddenly needed a distraction. If he kept going down that line of thinking, he'd not only be holding Mike's hand, he'd be holding Mike in his bed.
"So what does a biological engineer do, anyway?" he asked.
Mike looked confused by the question. "Well," he said slowly after a moment, "biological engineering is all about applying engineering principles to solve problems involving plants, animals, and microbes using machines, processes, and instrumentation."
Peter laughed; he couldn't help it. "Did you memorize that out of the university catalog? What does a biological engineer do? What do you want to do after college? What microbial problems are you going to solve?"
Mike's furrowed brows relaxed and then raised. "You really want to know?"
Mike paused a moment, thinking it over. "I want to specialize in Controlled-Environment Agriculture. It's a way of growing vegetables in a closed environment to be able to provide local, fresh food anywhere, year-round. Plant-based pharmacuticals could also be created that way."
Mike continued, speaking of the recent breakthroughs. He grew animated the more he spoke, using his hands. Peter finally relaxed grip on the steering wheel, no longer needing to hold himself back from accepting Mike's unspoken invitation and interlocking their fingers.
It was obvious that Mike was very intelligent and very passionate about his field of study. Peter enjoyed watching the shy boy come out of his shell and the way his confidence grew once he was talking about a subject he knew well. Mike didn't even notice when Peter pulled into the driveway.
Mike finally stopped talking when he looked over at Peter and saw the amused expression on his face. "What?"
Peter laughed. "We've been sitting in the driveway with the car off for fifteen minutes now."
Mike blushed and ducked his head. "Oh. Sorry. Guess I got a little carried away."
Peter placed his hand on Mike's. "Never apologize for your passion."
Mike looked up and met Peter's gaze. He didn't know what the older man saw in him, but it was refreshing to have someone actually listen and care about what he was saying.
What if what Peter said about James was true? What if it all was just a power game to James? What if…Peter were interested in him? It hardly seemed likely. More likely, Mike was imagining those too-long looks from Peter.
Such as the way Peter was looking at him right then. It made his heart thump. The tip of Peter's tongue was showing between his lips. Mike wanted to kiss him, and he wanted to believe that Peter wanted to kiss him too, but he knew he was being ridiculous.
Peter turned away suddenly, opening his door. Mike hadn't realized he was holding his breath until it all came out in a rush. Shaking his head, he got out of the car and followed Peter into the house.
Peter's house was modest but comfortable. Peter gave a quick tour, pointing out the kitchen, bathroom, living room, bedroom, and office.
"The couch folds out into a bed. I'll get the blankets and a spare pillow."
"Oh, okay," Mike replied, hoping the disappointment didn't show through. He didn't know what else to say. He didn't really expect Peter to invite him into his bed, did he?
"Help yourself to anything in the kitchen," Peter called as he walked down the hallway.
Mike circled the small kitchen, running his fingertips along the counters. Was he was being an idiot to trust some guy he'd met in a bar? He felt safe with Peter. He'd met James in a bar, too, but he felt much safer with Peter than with James. He didn't want to believe there was anything insincere about Peter.
Peter returned with his arms full. They worked together to set up the foldout couch. Mike was acutely aware that his time with Peter would be over soon. Once they went to sleep, morning would come all too quickly.
"Well, you should be all set. Is there anything else you need?" Peter asked.
Mike wished he could come up with a list of small things to extend his time with Peter, but he couldn't think of a single one that wouldn't be an obvious stall tactic. He shook his head but stepped closer to Peter. The closer he stood to him, the harder it was to deny his attraction. Mike inched forward until they stood toe-to-toe. He raised himself up on the balls of his feet just to get that little bit closer to Peter. When he was close enough that his lips brushed Peter's, he whispered, "Thank you, Peter."
Peter didn't back away. If possible, he may have leaned closer to Mike. "Tell me to stop."
"I didn't bring you here for this."
"You don't owe me anything."
Mike's lips fluttered against Peter's. "I want this. I do."
A soft moan escaped Peter's mouth before he covered Mike's lips with his. He was gentle, slow, but somehow the kiss was hungry, wanting more. Mike had never been kissed like this. He felt like an equal the way their lips moved together. It was a give and take for each of them, no crushing of lips, no tongues being shoved down throats.
When Peter's fingers brushed his cheek, it was the breaking of a dam. The hesitant touching now became urgent. Anticipation tingled through his body. Peter wrapped an arm around his waist and pulled him closer. Mike gasped against Peter's lips when his cock pressed against Peter's thigh.
Peter pulled away abruptly and rested his forehead against Mike's as he tried to catch his breath. "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have."
Mike could feel the sting of the tears already and turned away quickly so Peter wouldn't see. He'd known it was too good to be true. Peter was wrong; James was right. Who else would want him? He was lucky James put up with him.
Peter touched Mike's shoulder. "Are you alright?"
Mike took a deep breath and tried to control his voice. "I'd just like to go to bed now. Is that okay?"
Peter squeezed gently. "Of course. I'll see you in the morning. I'm sorry about... uh, well, good night."
Mike didn't move until he heard a door close down the hall. He crawled under the covers of the fold-out and let the tears flow. If he got it all out now, maybe he'd be able to look Peter in the eye in the morning.
Peter tossed and turned, but it made no difference. He couldn't get Mike out his mind, especially the dejected expression he'd gotten a glimpse of before the boy had turned away.
It was his own fault Mike was hurting. If only he'd been able to control himself. But Mike was right there, pushing him.
How could Peter resist those blue eyes? That perfect, smooth skin that didn't even hint at a 5 o'clock shadow despite being late in the eveningthe late hour? Those red lips that moved against his in barely-there touches?
Peter groaned as he rolled over once more. It was no use. His hard-on wasn't going anywhere on its own. He should have been thrilled; this was the first sign of life he'd seen from his dick in six months.
He slipped quietly into the bathroom, forcing himself not to glance towards the dark living room, not that he'd have been able to see Mike anyway.
He set the water cooler than usual – it was a cold shower he needed, after all. Less than a minute later, he wussed out and turned the temperature up. The warm water hitting his skin felt good, as did the soap he lathered over his chest.
But not good enough.
He slid his hands down and spread the suds over a harder, throbbing part of his body.
Now that felt good.
So good that he didn't even protest when his mind provided for his viewing pleasure an image of Mike kneeling before him with his lips around his cock.
He could see the way the shy boy would look up at him with wide eyes, as if asking, "Am I doing this right?"
Oh god, yes!
After an embarrassingly short amount of time, Peter bit his cheek to stifle his cry as he watched wave after wave of cum wash down the drain. It may have taken him longer to come than it did to work himself to orgasm.
He let the water rinse away the remaining soap as he caught his breath. Definitely more satisfying than a cold shower.
He re-dressed into his boxers and t-shirt and slid into bed. He felt much more comfortable and ready to sleep. As he stared at the ceiling, he realized he hadn't thought about Jasper at all since they were at the bar. Mike was right; he could move on. His heart might always ache for Jasper, but there could be room to care for others, too.
At that moment, there was only one person he wanted to care for, and he was grateful he resisted the urge to sleep with Mike.
The next morning, Peter couldn't wait to talk to Mike, but he was still asleep on the foldout when Peter went to the kitchen to make coffee. He tried to give Mike some privacy, but he just couldn't resist peeking over at him. Mike's lips were parted and his breathing was deep and even. He looked so peaceful and innocent.
Peter was pouring his second cup of coffee when he heard movement in the living room. A few minutes later, Mike stood in the doorway of the kitchen. He wore boxers.
And nothing else.
"Hi." His voice was gruff from just waking up.
"Good morning." Peter smiled widely and drank him in, from his ruffled bed head to his smooth, bare chest to his legs, and slowly back up again. The slight blush on Mike's cheeks told Peter his eye-fucking hadn't gone unnoticed, but Peter was too excited about his epiphany to feel embarrassed.
"I can, you know, just call a cab."
"No, no. I don't mind driving you back. Do you like eggs? I could make us some breakfast."
"I – uh, yeah, that sounds great." Mike still hadn't moved from the doorway.
Peter stood up and gestured to the seat across from his. "Have a seat. Make yourself comfortable. Coffee?"
"Yes, please. Thanks."
Peter set the mug on the table along with a carton of milk and jar of sugar. When he handed Mike a spoon, their fingertips brushed each other.
Peter began gathering the ingrediants and pans. "Bacon or sausage?" He glanced over his shoulder. "Aw, hell, why not both?"
"I don't want you to go to all that trouble, really –"
"It's no trouble," he insisted, turning around to face Mike completely. "I'd love to have breakfast with you. You're welcome to stay as long as you want."
Mike's jaw nearly hit the table.
"You're that surprised that I enjoy your company?"
"You're the nicest person I've ever met. And you're gorgeous. I'm... nothing. It's like James says, I was lucky to have him."
Peter walked back to Mike and set both hands on the table. "Fuck James! James was lucky to have you. And you aren't nothing. You're intelligent and kind and adorable and -" Peter drew in his breath.
Mike's eyes widened at his words and he let them sink in. Then he looked down at the table. "But you don't want me."
"You're wrong," Peter said softly. He reached across the table and took Mike's hand.
Mike's eyes met Peter's. "But last night –"
"I want to know you. I don't want to be just a quick lay because you broke up with your boyfriend. I want more than that."
Peter laughed. He'd laughed more in the last twelve hours than he had in the last six months. "Do you know you say that a lot?"
A smile slowly grew on Mike's lips. "I do? Well, what I meant was, 'I want more, too.'"
Peter squeezed Mike's hand. His heart pounded with more excitement than he'd felt in six months. "So how about that breakfast, huh?"