"I have lost, and I have loved
Sleep has stolen far too much
Close your eyes, but not just yet"

"C-can you turn around?" I squeak, words just barely breaking through my lips. Jade's eyebrows dip, but she tugs the comforter over her face nonetheless.

Gawking at her blanketed form, I heave a deep breath and drag the waistband of my boxers in the direction of my ankles. There's a chill in the air, and my fingers scramble in front of my crotch. I swear I can see Jade's piercing green eyes from across the room. Catching my bottom lip between my teeth, I stumble across the room and haphazardly pull the covers up just enough. My movements may have lack even the vaguest sense of grace, bit at least I'm under the covers now. Under the covers with Jade. Time ticks by, and I lay in bed paralysed in fear. I'm not entirely sure how long the silence lasts, but it feels like an eternity before Jade shifts beside me. From the edge of my eye, I see Jade smirking at me. There's a crinkle at the edges of her eyes, and she looks highly amused by the terror pumping through my veins.

"So uh, Shapiro…why exactly are you naked?" Though Jade shakes her head, I'm pleased to note she doesn't sound entirely distraught. As the final word leaks through her lips, my bones go rigid. I have to actually explain this? I can already feel stuttering words, and quaking sentences building on my tongue.

"It's not because I want sex, I swear!" I blurt out. The stream of words flies through my lips so quickly that they're already reached Jade's ears by the time I've realized what I've said. My cheeks burn with what's probably a deeply unflattering shade of crimson. Cringing, I wind my arms tightly to my body with embarrassment.

"Yeah, I figured." Jade comments dryly, seemingly unperturbed by my inappropriateness. It's a more mild response than I'd been expecting, and it's enough for me to dredge up the courage to glance away from the roof. Twisting my body, Jade comes into my line of vision. She's peering at me, eyes all wide and sparkling with questions. Her lips remain still though, and I guess it's my cue to press on.

"I er…you're naked." I say gracelessly. Screwing my eyes shut, I want to reach up and slap myself. The inclination is so strong that I swear I can feel a hand batting my cheek. Daring to slide my eyelids open, I realise Jade's extended an arm over to me. Her lips have twisted upwards, and she still looks amused. It's almost like she finds my complete lack of social co-ordination endearing sometimes.

"Yes Shapiro, good boy." Jade crows, nodding her head slowly. It's patronizing, yes. But it's not biting in the slightest. I lift one side of my mouth and prepare myself for another attempt at speaking to Jade about the subject of my nudity. Third time's the charm and all that, right?

"I didn't…Oh fu-butternuts. I meant to say…y-you've been sleeping naked beside me all week. It's just, I know I'm not much to look at and you're beautiful, but…this is me. All of me. I'm just, I don't know. You're not good with words, and I'm worse. This seemed like a good idea at the time…" I ramble, barely linking my words together with any sense of coherence. Jade's silent again, so I'm not sure that she'd even heard me. It had been such an effort to drag those words out that volume hadn't even come into my calculations. It's not until I feel her fingers slipping between mine, that I realize Jade has been listening to me intently.

"Oh, I don't know Shapiro. You're kind of hot in a Saturday Night Live kind of way." Jade intones, smirking casually and skirting the meat of what I'd mentioned. Rolling my eyes, I know exactly she's referencing. I don't think I'll ever step out of that particular shadow. Not without an extra strong pair of shears, or an industrial strength hair straightener. I'm so deeply embedded into that particular thought that when Jade flops over and rolls onto my chest, it just about gives me a cardiac episode. Midnight waves spill over my chest, and my body tightens. She's close, far too close. I can feel the heat of her thigh against my side, and the swell of her breasts against my chest. It's maddening.

"Thanks Elvira." I reply belatedly, suppressing the horrible urge that I have to curl into the foetal position. Idly, I wonder if some kind of special task force is going to burst through the door at any moment. Somebody like me being this close to somebody like Jade has to be a violation of some unwritten universal law. The lines in her face, they're like a fine piece of art. If she's a Picasso, then I'm the frenzied scribbling of a three year old.

"I really don't get you sometimes." Jade murmurs, peering up at me through her eyelashes. She's not wearing any makeup, but they're still impossibly long. They draw thin spidery shadows along her cheeks, and my heart skips a beat.

"Why?" I squawk, with charm bleeding through my words. Jade readjusts herself, and electricity crackles between us. I'm kind of amazed that my lungs are still working, to be honest.

"Sometimes you're just so…you. Then other times, I don't know…you're not. It almost feels like an accident that we're laying here like this…" Jade's voice jangles uncertainly between us, and I study her face. There's a slight flush staining Jade's cheeks, and for once, she looks the slightest bit nervous. There's a tiny crease forming between her eyebrows, and it takes me over a minute to form words of any kind. Here's this beautiful girl, and through some ridiculous series of events, she's here with me.

"Yeah, I know what you mean." I say, trying to sink into the bed beneath me. From the corner of my eyes, I see a pile of my clothes across the room. The sight rips through me, and my courage fails me. The overwhelming urge to retrieve them takes hold of me. Lurching into action, I begin to disentangle myself from Jade. I'm beginning to swing my leg off the bed when Jade's fingers push down on my chest. When I freeze, Jade's grip loosens. The flash of Jade's teeth is almost fluorescent against the pitch black of the room, and question begins to form on my lips.

"I didn't say I didn't like it." Jade says, leaning onto my shoulder whispering into my ear. Strands of inky black hair tickle my neck, and a shiver runs up my spine. When my breath seizes up again, Jade lets out a breathy laugh and melts against me.

"I feel like now would be a good time for me to kiss you." I blurt out, words flying up my throat and into the air, before I have the chance to fully realize how ludicrous they are. Jade lets go of whatever restraint she'd had, and her lips split into a wide grin.

"Jesus Shapiro, you know I hate it when people ask fir-"

Lurching forwards, I sweep Jade up in my lips. It's every bit as satisfying as I remember. Her lips are soft and wet. Not moist though, definitely not. Jade had refused to kiss me for all of about 26 hours when I'd referred to them in such a way. I'm so lost in our embrace that I barely notice when the rest of me surges forward to meet Jade as well. It's only when I feel Jade's lips breaking into a slow blooming smile against mine that I begin to wonder what she's finding so amusing.

Jade's laughter breaks through the silence, and all of the self-confidence drains away from me. Scrambling backwards, I cup the protruding part of me, and retreat to the edge of my bed. It's not like Jade hasn't conjured this kind of reaction in me before. It's just that said reaction has never jabbed her right in the stomach before, either. I can feel Jade's hand on my face again, and I'm certain that my cheek is sizzling against her palm.

"Well, well, what do we have here?" Jade purrs, fingers beginning to roam away from my face. I choke on the breath in my throat when Jade's hand brushes over my hip. She doesn't even bat an eyelid when I begin to splutter. Abruptly, my voice catches in my throat when Jade's fingers curl around my manhood. She gives a tug to punctuate her statement, and my lungs empty.

"J-Jade?" The broken word teeters on my lips for a moment, before falling feebly into the air. Only by biting down on the inside of my cheek, do I contain the hail of expletives that threaten to fly through my lips when Jade's fingers run up and down my length again.

"Shut up and I might let you return the favour." Jade purrs, leaning in close to me again. The warm caress of her breath sweeps across my skin, and my mind dissolves. Bolts of electricity shoot through me as Jade's hand drags me towards ecstasy. Through the haze of the pleasure sweeping over my eyes, I'm vaguely aware of a grin on Jade's lips.

A few minutes later, it all goes white.

"S-sorry." I mumble, finally beginning to come back down. Jade's amused face floods back into focus, and she's smirking at me. Content my mind is intact, Jade casts a wary glance at her hand. It's stained with my release, but Jade barely gives it a second thought at she scrubs it away. I'm half expecting her to scowl, but it anything, Jade just looks amused. It's probably the way that my shoulders have frozen in a rather unfortunate kind of a way.

"What for? You're the one that's sleeping in the wet spot." Jade informs me, rolling onto her back. Gaping at her, I rearrange my face into the most incredulous expression that I can muster. Dragging my hands through my hair, I pull myself up onto my elbow.

"What do you think you're doing?" Jade demands, watching me adjust my position. A smirk crawls over my lips, and I rock forward to catch Jade in a another kiss. Her lips remain frozen in question for a moment, but when I run my tongue along then, Jade melts into my embrace.

"H-hopefully something good…" I reply, breaking away from her. Jade's eyebrows fly towards her hairline with my statement. Between the shock on Jade's face, a devilish smile begins to build on her lips.

"Oh, I see. Very well then Mr Shapiro." Jade smirks, rocking upright, and onto her elbows. The blanket that she'd been cloaked in tumbles away in waves, around her. Porcelain spills into view, and I chew on my lip hesitantly. Jade's eyebrows begin to sink, and that's what spurs me into action.

"Okay, ow. Not like that Shapiro. This isn't a race." Jade grumbles, pulling me away from her sensitive flesh. Meeting her gaze, a sheepish smile fumbles it's way onto my face. Jade rolls her eyes, but her slender fingers guide my hand to her soft breast as she drags me into her lips. I follow her demands as best I can, and slowly Jade's groans of irritation begin to curl into moans of appreciation. When her hips begin to strain against me, suddenly I don't feel so useless.

"N-no way…" When I pepper Jade's jawline with kisses, she almost sounds incredulous that I'm not totally screwing everything up. Her thighs part for me, and my fingers begin to stray between her legs. Jade's entire body breaks into shivers, and it's totally exhilarating to realize that she's reacting this way to me. I've got no idea what I'm doing, but when my fingers brush against her folds, Jade seems happy enough.

When my fingers slip inside of her, Jade begins to come apart at the seams. She's all rattling words and ragged breaths. It's beautiful really. It's even more beautiful when porcelain hips buckle against my hand. When the distraction freezes me momentarily, Jade pulls away from my lips. The scowl that's suddenly carved its way across her face hurls me back into action, and her back into rapture. My index finger curls inside of Jade, and her eyes roll into the back of her head. As Jade arcs her back, the rest of the blanket falls away from her alabaster skin. My mind detaches itself from my body, and I'm just following Jade's curves as she rises towards a crescendo. Green eyes seal shut, and seconds later a high pitched shriek tears through the still air.

Waves come crashing down.

"Not bad, not bad." Jade says, loosening her grip on my shoulders and falling back against the pillows beneath her. I kiss her again, and it's enough for Jade's arm to wind possessively around my back. I lean in against her, allowing the moment to overtake me. Rolling toward Jade, I find that her green eyes are already fixed on me. Her face is half buried in the pillows, and her hair is tousled, but she's never looked better. I know I'm grinning like an idiot, but Jade doesn't say anything about it for once. Instead, her eyes study my expression. I'm not sure what she's looking for, but I hope she finds it. Anything to let me hold onto this moment for a little longer.

"Hey Shapiro…" Jade mumbles, cutting through the silence again. I bite down on my lip, trying to prevent anything stupid from spilling out. It's awkward, really awkward when I remain silent. Jade huffs, opting to jab me in the collarbone. A sharp pain rips through me, and I jerk into action.

"Yeah?" Not the most original response, I'll give me that. Jade's emerald orbs circle toward the sky, but she doesn't lash out in frustration. My lips arc into a wide, probably dorky, grin. Jade doesn't scowl. Instead, she fidgets. Nerves work their way into her expression, and I wonder what's possibly stressing her out so much. She'd looked less perturbed by being naked beside me.

"Ask me again."

"Will you be my girlfriend? Can we date?" I squeak, careening into action. Jade remains silent, eyes dragging over my body. Her wandering gaze jars something loose inside of me, and I reach down and yank the comforter towards my chin. The longer Jade remains silent, the more persistent my throat becomes with it's threats of closing entirely. I shouldn't really be surprised at Jade's behaviour though. Peculiar behaviour isn't uncommon for her.

"Hang on." Jade says dispassionately. When she pulls away from me, my eyebrows slam together in confusion. Watching as Jade disappears over the edge of the bed, I wonder what exactly she's doing. Stubborn strands of Jade's ebony hair stick to her back, and I bite down on my bottom lip until the taste of copper stings my tongue. With each moment that Jade's face it out of sight, I feel like there's a wire winding around tighter and tighter inside of me. By the time Jade turns back to me, it's strangling my heart to the breaking point.

"Three…two…one…" Jade states, calmly slipping back into place beside me. By the time the last number crawls through Jade's lips, I feel like my lungs are going to collapse in on themselves. I'm gaping incredulously at Jade when my phone blares into life from somewhere in my crumpled heap of clothing. Jade jangles her head in it's direction, raised eyebrows implying that it's something important. Narrowing my eyes, I clamber over the edge of the bed and grope blindly for my phone. Wrapping my fingers around it, I look over my shoulder at Jade. Cracks have begun to form in her ice-cold façade. Feeling slightly uneasy, I push myself on onto my back and peer at the screen of my phone

"Notification Alert for your profile on The Slap:

Jade West has requested to add you as her Boyfriend.

Accept: Yes/No"

I'm shaking, and my lungs just won't fill with air. I suppose not hearing the words coming from Jade's lips should be anticlimactic, in a way. It's not though, because the words I'm reading are Jade freaking west asking me to date her. Time slips away from me as I memorize those beautiful, automated words. I almost forget that there's a girl beside me, whose eyes are growing increasingly frantic. Laughing obliviously, I turn to Jade and pull her into a kiss. Something twitches across Jade's lips, and it's not a smile like I'm used to.

"Y-y'know, you don't have to answer right now." Jade tells me, eyes failing to meet mine. Her words are small and tight, barely scratching the air. It's an undeniably human moment for a girl that seems all too bereft of them. Reaching down, I clasp Jade's hand in my own. Bringing our fingers towards my phone, I press down on it, lighting up the screen with a blinking 'accepted' message. The doubt slides off Jade's face, and her chin rocks with a slow nod. Her arms slink behind my neck, and it's so tight I think I might choke. Burrowing into the crook of Jade's neck, and pepper her skin with kisses. Thankfully, it's enough to loosen her grip a little.

"Like you even thought about pressing the other one." Jade says, trying to look haughty. I lean toward her, hoping to snag another kiss. Apparently I'm not fast enough though, because Jade's lips collide with mine first. She presses her lips against mine until the corners of the room start to spin. When Jade slinks down onto my shoulder, my heart is still rumbling in my ears. I think of Jade and where we've come from. It seems impossible that we're together, but we are. We're lying in bed like a regular couple. I'm not just some shard of normalcy that Jade's clinging to.

I'm actually a real part of her life.

Alright, now here comes the fun part. If you have an idea for the final chapter of this fic, or any questions you want answered, leave it in review. I'll take my favorite and turn it into Chapter 20. Hell, maybe they'll be inspiring enough to wring a few more chapters out of this :)

Anyway, hope you guys enjoyed this chapter. G'bye.