|Back To You
Author: confettirainfall PM
Separated after a bad breakup, high school sweethearts Bella & Edward have a chance encounter after 14 years apart. Can love be rebuilt from the ruins of their lives? AU/AH Collab between TMOT/ConfettiRainfall. Winner of Sport of Love Contest on TWCSL.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 7 - Words: 56,253 - Reviews: 32 - Favs: 50 - Follows: 62 - Updated: 05-02-11 - Published: 03-20-10 - id: 5830443
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Author's Note: And we're back. In the same room. Which is why you're getting a new chapter. We've said it before...it seems that we write best when together. Airlines, rejoice.
All kidding aside, this latest chapter finds our favorite couple around six weeks down the road. They are progressing nicely, for the most part.
Disclaimer: All things Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. Damn it! The BD pics in the latest EW magazine were lovely, though. Yeah, we don't own that either. Fuck!
Much thanks and love to our respective husbands who let us play when we want to.
On with it.
7. Growing Pains
As the days and weeks passed by, Edward and I fell into a comfortable, relaxed routine. On the days James had practice, Edward usually joined us for dinner, occasionally accompanied by Seth. It warmed my heart to watch them together as an easy friendship began to develop. On the days in between, Edward and I texted each other periodically during the day and spent many an evening chatting away on Google chat or on the phone. Those were some interesting conversations indeed.
On weekends, we spent most of our time together, mostly at my house, to make it easier for Seth. Edward never spent the night.
James had yet to ask me why his football coach spent so much time with us and I was somewhat dreading that conversation. Thankfully, Edward hadn't asked me to clarify our relationship status with my son but I knew it would happen sooner or later.
Before I realized it, Labor Day was fast approaching. I was reminded of the upcoming holiday when James came up to me one day at dinner. We had just gotten home from practice; Edward had been unable to join us because of a coaches' meeting.
"Mom, guess what? Jasper said I could come to his house for a cookout on Sunday and then stay over. Is that okay? Please? There's no school on Monday. Please, Mom?"
James was so excited, he could barely contain himself. I knew he and Jasper had become friends, but I hadn't realized their friendship had extended beyond the football field. James had never asked to go to Emmett and Rosalie's house before, and it broke my heart that I would have to tell him no this time. I was fairly certain that the boys had not cleared their plans with any of us before making them, and while Rose had continued her death glares whenever Edward wasn't looking, at least she hadn't approached me. Still, I didn't think she would appreciate her son befriending mine to the extent of having James over to play.
"I'm not sure that's such a good idea," I replied. James' face fell so I quickly added, "Why don't you invite Jasper to our house?"
"Mom," James whined. "Everybody on the team is coming and Coach Emmett said I could."
I quirked a eyebrow at my son curiously. "Did he now? Let me think about it."
James made a face and I gave him the look that said if he continued I would say no immediately; that stopped his outburst before it even began. I needed to talk with Edward. If several of the boys were attending, I wondered if he was as well. I didn't really want to discuss it while James was around so I sent Edward a text after sending James upstairs to start his bath.
I hear there's a barbeque on Sunday? - B
I set the phone down, but before I was even a few steps away, the phone alerted me to a text from Edward.
Yeah. Team party at Emmett's. You and James are coming, right? - E
I read the message a few times to make sure I wasn't seeing things. Edward must have lost his mind. It was one thing for James to go. I doubted Rose would do anything so mean and hateful as to exclude James, but it was another matter entirely for her to accept me into her house.
Not sure this is a good idea. - B
I watched as the phone sent my text. Edward must have been waiting because it seemed his response was immediate.
James is part of the team. He should be there. Didn't you get the email from Rose? Went to all the parents. - E
I stared at that last message for a moment before I hastily booted up my laptop to check email. I didn't recall one extending a barbeque invitation but maybe I had missed it. Quickly, it became obvious that I hadn't received any email.
No email here. Don't think it was sent to me. - B
Edward's response was fast.
I'm sorry. I'll take care of it. Pls plan on coming. - E
I had a hard time believing that being left off a team email was unintentional but I would let Edward deal with his sister. The fact that she had excluded my kid from the invitation to spite me however sealed the deal for me – I wasn't going to penalize James and would let him attend, but there was no way in hell that I would be there for it.
The last confrontation at the ballpark was enough for me and I wasn't going to give Rosalie an opportunity for a repeat performance. Maybe Edward wouldn't mind taking James for the party.
Unwilling to have this conversation via text messages, I fired off another one asking him to call me after his meeting.
Pls call me when you're done. - B xo
K. ILY - E
I put the phone on the charger and went upstairs to get James ready for bed. Once he was down, I went to my bedroom to take a shower and change into pajamas, before going back downstairs to settle in front of the TV for a while. I had just sat down on the couch when there was a knock on the door.
Edward stood outside, his hair wild and his eyes anxious, pushing me into the house before shutting the door behind him and pulling me into his arms. There was fear in his eyes and I was confused.
"What's the matter, Edward?"
"Jesus, Bella – I called four times but you didn't answer your phone. I was worried..."
"Oh crap, I'm sorry. The battery was low. I didn't expect you to be done so early. Why were you worried? You knew I was home."
He exhaled into my hair. "You can't do that to me. Do you have any idea what I've been thinking?"
I sighed, starting to get slightly irritated. "Yeah, I can imagine. Are we ever going to get past that irrational fear, Edward? What is it going to take for you to believe me that I will not run from you again?"
"Shit, I'm sorry. It's a gut reaction. I know it's irrational but I can't help it." He stepped back and released me.
"I called my sister. She admitted to leaving you off the email list for the party and I about ripped her a new one. I thought...fuck, Bella, I thought that you were mad and had decided that it just wasn't worth it. I know it's bothering you but I don't know what else to do with her."
I led him to the couch and sat him down before crawling into his lap, running my fingers through his hair to smooth it down and calm him. I was a lot angrier than I let on – while I had expected Rosalie to continue her 'get rid of Bella' campaign, she had now fucked with my kid, and that just wasn't going to fly.
"Look," I said gently, struggling and mostly succeeding in keeping my voice low and even. "I know you want your sister to come around, but if you still think that I'm going to leave, even after knowing the whole story, how can you expect her to believe in us? When you obviously don't? What did you think tonight – she intentionally didn't invite my son so I'm gonna pack my shit and leave? I would think that you know better than that by now."
Edward closed his eyes and let his head fall against the back of the couch.
"That's exactly what I thought. Fuck, I know it's stupid."
I nodded. "And we knew this was likely to happen."
"Yeah, well, it's fucking pissing me off. Why can't she just be happy for me?"
I snorted. "Because she hates my guts and she's convinced I'm going to hurt you again. Besides, if you think about it...this is nothing new. She tried this once before, didn't she? The difference is that I now know better and I won't let her chase me away. I'm not that insecure little girl anymore."
He relaxed slightly but his arms tightened around me. His eyes opened and searched my face.
"I need you, Bella."
"I know. You have me. And you can take James to the party, if you like. I'm not going."
"What? Why not?"
I shook my head at him. "Edward, don't be so dense. She obviously doesn't want me there – why else would she have left me off the email? And why should I put myself in that kind of situation?"
"The party is for all the kids and their parents. That includes you."
"Maybe so. And if this was in a neutral location, I might consider it. It's bad enough at the ballfield, with the scathing looks, but I can ignore her there and walk away. It's slightly different to willingly enter the lion's den knowing I'm the prey."
Edward gave me a small smile. "Yeah, I guess I can understand that. I wish she'd get over it though."
"You and me both," I replied lightly. "Let's not worry about it for now, okay?"
"Okay. Can I kiss you now?"
I laughed. "Yes, please."
Neither of us talked much after that, instead spending the next thirty minutes or so getting lost in each other, with languid, wet kisses, soft caresses and happy moans. Too soon, it was time for Edward to leave but not before he promised to come over for dinner the next night.
He must have called his sister again because the two days later I received an email from Rosalie.
As you know, Emmett and I are hosting a labor day team party on Sunday. We are supplying burgers and hotdogs and the boys' parents are bringing various side dishes. Also, Jasper has asked if James could spend the night. Despite our differences, I am not going to hold a grudge against your child. If you're agreeable, he is welcome to stay. Please let me know what you'll bring to the party and if I can expect your son to stay for the night. If so, we will arrange a pick-up after breakfast on Monday.
I wanted to throw my laptop out the window after reading that email. Even though I was glad to see that she had indicated that James wasn't going to be exposed to her Wicked Witch of the West behavior, the greeting alone spoke volumes, but I wasn't going to let that woman stand in the way of my happiness. Edward had repeatedly told me that he wanted me, and I was going to believe that he would not let his sister convince him otherwise.
My heart didn't leave me any other choice.
And I was just about pissed off enough now to attend that party after all. I would show Rosalie Masen McCarty that I while she may have intimidated me into leaving when I was a stupid teenager, I wasn't going to let her chase me out of town again.
Bring it, bitch.
It was high time I grew some balls. I texted Edward to let him know that I would be going to the party, asking him if he would pick up not only my son, but me as well. His response was immediate.
Yes! - E xo
Smiling, I composed a reply to the email.
Thank you for your kind invitation. My son and I will be attending the party. I will make a macaroni salad to bring with us. James would also like to spend the night.
Please note that it will be his first sleepover so if there is any problem, please contact me. My number is 904-555-4587.
I clicked send and shut off my laptop, feeling like a weight had lifted from my mind. Rosalie Masen McCarty could kiss my ass.
Edward picked us up on Sunday morning for breakfast. Afterward, he invited us to his house where he and James played the Wii for a while during which I used his kitchen to make the salad I'd promised. Soon thereafter we headed to his sister's house.
James was chatting excitedly in the backseat, talking with his hands and smiling widely. I held the bowl with the macaroni salad in my lap, drumming my fingers on the metal bowl. Edward laid a hand on my knee and squeezed.
"Calm down, babe. It'll be fine."
When we arrived at the house, James jumped out of the car as soon as Edward opened the door and stepped out. He was running towards the open gate on the side of the house and disappeared into the backyard before I had a chance to get out and stop him.
"James, take your shirt off before jumping in the pool," I shouted after him. I hoped he'd heard me.
Edward laughed. "Little anxious, is he?"
He walked around the car to open the door for me and took the bowl from my hands so I could get out. Holding the bowl with one hand, he pushed the lock pin down and shut the car door, then grabbed my hand and pulled me along the grass to the gate.
It seemed like Edward was going in guns blazing, making a bold statement that we were a couple. I wondered briefly if that was the right approach to his sister and her bitch friends but I trusted his judgment.
I squeezed his hand and he looked at me.
"I love you," I said quietly. His eyes crinkled when he smiled.
"Love you, too." He pecked my lips in a quick kiss. "Come on, let's do this."
We entered the backyard hand in hand, stopping to deposit the bowl on the large table that sat off to the side. One of the other moms, Victoria, was arranging the food. She and I had been chatting on occasion at the ballpark. She didn't seem to be one of Rosalie's friends and had actually been quite cordial to me from the start.
"What yummy food did you guys bring?" She smiled at Edward and me as he handed her the bowl, raising an eyebrow when her eyes fell to our clasped hands.
I smiled in return. "Just some macaroni salad, one of James' favorites. Do you need some help with anything?"
"Thanks but I think I've got it."
Edward let go of my hand and put his arm around my shoulder, pulling me against his hard body. "I guess we'll go mingle."
There were kids everywhere, running around the yard, jumping into the pool. The adults were standing in groups or sitting around the pool area, keeping a watchful eye on the kids. I could see James and Jasper playing on the poolside basketball net.
Edward called out a hello to his brother-in-law who was right smack in the middle of the mayhem with a huge smile on his face.
"Hey," he shouted at us. "Glad you could make it. Find a chair if you can."
I looked around and saw Rosalie step out of the house with a plate full of hamburgers and hot dogs. When she spotted us, the smile on her face changed to a frown and her eyes narrowed as she glared at us. Edward hissed quietly beside me and then tugged me towards the other end of the pool where a few chairs had not yet been claimed.
"Here, sit down, babe. I'll be right back."
"Don't, Edward. It doesn't bother me. I'm fine."
His hand tightened on my shoulder. "Yeah, well, it bothers me. Let me take care of this, alright? I want you to be comfortable here."
I acquiesced. "Okay. Just, please – don't make a scene. Not in front of the kids."
"No worries, I won't." He bent down to kiss my temple and then went in search of his sister.
I watched him go inside the house and then turned my attention to the pool. James waved when he spotted me.
"Hi, Ms. Bella," Jasper shouted.
I smiled at them, happy that my son had found a friend. Jasper seemed like a good kid and James was enjoying himself. They were tossing the ball back and forth, taking turns to slam-dunk it through the hoop that was attached to the side of the pool.
A shadow fell over me and when I looked up, Victoria took the seat next to mine. She winked.
"So, you and Edward, huh? When did that happen?"
I was taken a little aback by the blunt question. We weren't that close and I wondered if there was some kind of ulterior motive behind it.
"Fairly recently," I said simply, forcing a smile on my face. I certainly wasn't going to tell her anything about our history – it was none of her business. I kept my eyes on my son, smiling when I saw the grin that nearly split his face in half.
"Hmm," Victoria mused, "I hope you don't mind me asking but I'm curious. How did you manage to capture the attention of the elusive Edward Masen? In the two years my kid's been playing football on his team, I've never seen him with a woman."
I turned my head and stared at her hard. "Excuse me?"
She giggled. "Oh honey, don't be offended. I was just wondering how you got him to defrost, that's all."
"I'm sure I don't know what you mean."
"Well, let me put it this way...there are a few single moms that have tried to get closer to him but they all failed. He wasn't interested, and here you are, a couple of months after moving to town, snatching him up. I'm just being nosy. Word gets around between the moms, you know?"
She laughed coyly. "Not that I tried, but I've heard the rumors."
"I see," I replied. "Well, truth is I knew him in high school. Him and his sister both. I grew up in Jacksonville."
"Oh, so you're rekindling an old flame?"
I surreptitiously looked around, searching for Edward. I wasn't feeling comfortable with this unexpected interrogation and I also didn't want Victoria to spread any rumors about me or Edward. She seemed like the type that thrived on gossip.
"Something like that," I answered as Edward stepped out of the house. Our eyes connected and his widened as he saw who was sitting next to me. He started to make his way over to me, dodging kids and adults on his path.
"Rose doesn't seem to be too fond of the idea of you hooking up with her brother though," she remarked, with a suddenly snide tone in her voice. "If looks could kill, and all that. Just saying. Seems to me like there's more to this story."
I shrugged as Edward reached us. He glared at the redhead.
"Everything okay, Bella?"
I nodded, unwilling to cause a scene. "Yes, fine."
"Good," he said, running the back of his hand over my cheek. "Food's almost ready. You hungry?"
He completely ignored Victoria who seemingly got the message and with a huff, got up from the chair. "Nice talking to you, Bella. See ya later."
She threw a smirk at Edward before walking off. Edward sat down in the now empty chair.
"I swear, that woman is a goddamn nuisance. What did she want?"
"Just idle gossip," I replied. "She asked me how I managed to snatch you up when all others failed."
Edward groaned. "Ugh, she asked me out the first season her kid played. I told her I wasn't interested."
"None of the others interested you either?"
"Not really, no. Too complicated."
I stared at him. "What's that supposed to mean?"
He leaned closer. "I coach these kids. I'm not gonna complicate that by fucking their mothers."
I sat back, surprised by his bluntness and his language.
Edward sighed and ran his hand through his hair in exasperation. "Look, we talked about this. I wasn't interested in relationships because I still loved you. And a one-night stand with one of the kids' moms would have been really awkward afterward. So no, I shot them all down."
"Well," I said slowly, "that's...good. She's very nosy."
"What did you tell her?"
I shrugged. "Just that I knew you and Rose in high school."
"Just be careful, okay?" he muttered. "Rose told me a few things about that woman. She's one of the worst of the bunch."
"Speaking of Rose..." I said meaningfully.
Edward sighed. "She promised to back off."
I exhaled down my nose. I supposed that was all we could ask for at this point. Time would perhaps prove to Rosalie that I was sincere.
"Food's ready," Emmett's voice boomed across the yard.
"Alright. Shall we eat?"
"Yes," Edward agreed quickly. "I don't know about you, but I'm starving."
I laughed. "Let me just get James out of the pool. He needs to eat, too."
"I got his stuff from the car. His towel is over there." He pointed to an area near the pool.
"Oh, thanks." I turned to my son. "James, time to come out and eat."
After we ate, Emmett and Edward gathered the boys and threw the football with them. I sat off to the side, chatting with a few of the parents and watched as Edward's shirt became dark with sweat. My pulse began to race and I started to squirm a little in my seat.
As usual, Edward caught on quickly, smirking and winking in my direction a few times. Eventually, I couldn't take it anymore. I looked at Edward meaningfully and he grinned before handing the ball to one of the boys and coming over, squatting down beside me.
"Ready to head out?"
"Yes," I nodded. "I would like to talk to Rosalie or Emmett before we leave though. Just making sure about James, okay?"
"Yeah, sure. I'll come with you," he offered.
"No, no," I said, "keep playing. I can talk to Rosalie."
He tilted his head and looked at me questioningly. "You sure?"
"Yep. It's fine."
"Okay, come get me when you're done."
He ran off again, snatching the ball from Emmett as he went. I got up and set off to find his sister. I found her with the mothers she usually hung out with. When she saw me approach, she got up and walked toward me.
"Did you need something, Isabella?" Her demeanor was cold but I was unsurprised.
I forced myself to remain calm. "Yes, Edward and I are getting ready to leave and I wanted to make sure that it's still okay for James to spend the night."
"Yes, he can stay. Anything else?"
"When should I come by to pick him up?"
"Noon should be fine," she replied.
"Okay. You've got my number if he needs anything. His clothes are in his bag out on the patio, pajamas and shorts and a shirt for tomorrow. Thanks, Rosalie, for letting him stay. He's been looking forward to this all weekend."
"Jasper was, too. He likes James."
"Oh, okay. Well, thanks again. I'll see you tomorrow, then."
With that I turned to find my son to let him know I was leaving. As I began to walk away, I heard Rose mutter behind me.
"You break my brother again, I'm gonna kill you."
I whirled around and leveled her with a hard glare. "I won't."
"Yeah, I'll believe that when hell freezes over," she sneered.
"I suggest you start taking skiing lessons, then," I retorted before turning away again and walking off.
I found James and told him that I was heading out. He didn't seem fazed at all and with a quick hug good-bye he ran off again.
"Behave and listen to Mr. Emmett and Ms. Rosalie," I admonished loudly. "I'll pick you up after breakfast tomorrow."
Still a little anxious about leaving him, I folded my arms over my chest as I watched him play and shout with the other boys, my heart warmed by the fact that he had found new friends so quickly. Edward had come up behind me and wrapped his arms around me. I leaned back against him as he nuzzled against my cheek.
"Come on, let's go. I got plans for you."
I giggled. "Oh, really?"
"Yep," he laughed. "Wicked plans that will keep you up all night."
I liked the sound of that. With another look at James, I let Edward drag me to his car.
I couldn't get us home fast enough, eagerly looking forward to spending uninterrupted time with my girl. Bella sat in the passenger seat, her body language tense and a little nervous.
"He'll be fine," I tried to assure her, guessing at what she was anxious about. "He seemed to really enjoy himself and I'm sure that neither Emmett nor my sister will let anything bad happen to him."
"Yeah, I know," she replied. "It's just...this is the first time he's sleeping over at someone's house that is not family."
I glanced at her, fighting down the nausea at that comment and trying to keep calm even though I was fairly convinced she hadn't meant it the way it sounded. "They're my family, Bella. And if all goes according to plan, they'll be yours soon enough."
"That's not what I meant," she replied quickly. "Though I appreciate the sentiment. And I want that, too. I'm just a little worried. Not so much about your sister, really, but about James. He's only ever stayed with Seth or his grand-parents. So this is new to him, and I'm just hoping he'll be alright in the middle of the night. That's all."
I exhaled and chastised myself for immediately jumping to conclusions. "Right. I didn't look at it that way. Sorry. But you gave Rose your cell number, right? So if he does wake up scared, she'd call. And we can go get him, if he wants us to."
"True," Bella agreed. "I'm just being a worried mom, I guess. He's been my whole life for so long..."
"I know, sweetie," I said calmly, "but you are not alone anymore now. I'm here. I want you both in my life, for good."
I watch her chest deflate as she exhaled loudly and the tension slowly seeped out of her. "I know. You don't know how good that feels."
I reached over to squeeze her knee. "So..." I started, "uhm...when do you think you'll be ready to tell him that we're more than friends?"
Her head turned to mine as I pulled into my driveway and then the garage. I stopped the car and looked at her fully. She was quiet for a long moment as I shut off the engine and then she shifted in the seat to turn toward me.
"I hadn't really thought about it, to be honest. He hasn't really questioned why you spend so much time with us and I haven't really said anything to him either. I've been happy to just let things progress naturally."
I scratched my head. "I think it might be better if we told him before he starts to question it. I mean, I'd like us to be proactive about it. And to be honest, I wanna be able to kiss you without having to worry about him catching us and not knowing what's going on."
Bella smiled a little. "Well, considering that you held my hand as we walked into your sister's backyard, in front of all those parents, and put your arm around my shoulder – that sent a pretty clear message, right?"
"I think James was too busy yanking his shirt off and jumping in the pool to notice. But that's not why I held your hand, babe."
"I know that, silly. It made me feel comfortable, actually. It didn't feel weird and it didn't occur to me to worry about James seeing at that moment."
That was encouraging and I pressed her further. "Good. So...will you tell him?"
"Can we go inside? The car is getting hot."
I sighed. "Yeah, okay. But you will answer, right?"
Bella opened the door and grinned at me before getting out. "Maybe."
If she hadn't winked at me, I wouldn't have known she was teasing. Since she did right before slamming the door, I was out of the car in seconds, running after her as she dashed into the house, squealing when I caught her and threw her over my shoulder before depositing her on the couch and crawling on top of her.
And then I kissed her. That was the end of all rational thought before our clothes starting flying and our hands started roaming and when I finally sheathed myself deeply inside her, slamming into her over and over, neither one of us was able to form any sensible words. I claimed her with a ferocity that was echoed and encouraged by the way her heels pressed into my ass to pull me in deeper.
Panting into each others' mouths, we found our releases at the same time, and with a loud grunt, I blew my load as she milked my dick of every drop I had to give. When we returned to earth, we were a sweaty heap of tangled limbs.
I was still panting, trying to hold myself up enough so I wouldn't crush her, still semi-hard inside her, when Bella pushed the wet strands of my hair from my forehead.
"Well," she grinned, "just so you know – even after we tell James, there's no way we do this at my house when he's home."
I chuckled. "Aw, shucks. Really?"
Bella giggled and smacked my arm. "You oaf. Stop it."
I wiggled my eyebrows. "Shower?"
She nodded. "Yes, please. You got me all sweaty."
"It was my pleasure." I grinned widely as I pushed my chest down a little and moved it left to right across her skin. "I know how much that turns you on."
"Ugh," she groaned, "you're such a cocky bastard sometimes. Now get off me and take me to the shower."
I laughed out loud. "Yes, ma'am."
I pulled out slowly, my dick fully flaccid now, and she hissed. Bella jumped off the couch and quickly made her way to the bathroom while I stared at the wet spot for a moment, running my hand through my hair. I hadn't thought of that result but couldn't find it in me to care.
It had been so fucking worth it.
I followed Bella to the bathroom where I found her already under the water. I joined her quickly, squeezing a little shampoo into my hands, and started washing her hair.
Yes, I had stocked up on her favorites in anticipation for when she would stay over.
Fucking sue me.
Bella moaned softly as I massaged her scalp, leaning her back into my chest. I rinsed out the shampoo and applied a generous amount of her shower gel to the loofah and then proceeded to wash her whole body, paying special attention to her tits and the holy land between her legs.
My dick took notice of the sounds she was emitting, rising to the occasion, and she reached between us to wrap her fingers around my swollen cock, pumping rhythmically.
"Yes, please," she panted, her head falling against my chest, "fuck Bella."
I had her pushed against the shower wall in no time flat, with her legs spread and my rigid length buried inside her again. My lips found her neck while my fingers played with her clit and when she tightened around me, I followed right behind her.
Exhausted and with shaking knees, I slid out, catching her as she stumbled against me.
"Holy shit," she croaked.
I chuckled. "Sorry. I just can't seem to get enough of you, babe."
I had so much time to make up for, and none of my previous sexcapades had ever been as good and satisfying as making love to my Bella.
"I'm not complaining," she giggled. "That was..."
"Fantastic? Mind-blowing? Best you ever had?"
She rolled her eyes. "All of the above, of course."
I laughed as the water turned cold and she squealed. "Shit, let's get out of here."
I turned the water off and wrapped her in one of my towels before grabbing my own to dry off. I dressed quickly while she remained in the bathroom with the door open.
"I'll go grab your bag, honey," I offered from the bedroom. "It's still in the car."
"Okay," she replied as I left the room. "I love you."
"Love you, too."
When I came back to the room, she was wearing one of my old college shirts and nothing else. Her back was turned, looking at the pictures on my dresser; the name Masen was prominently displayed on her back. I wasn't gonna lie – it brought out the caveman in me to see my name on her like that.
"Jesus, Bella," I exclaimed when Junior started to stir again. "I'm thirty-three and you have me feeling like a horny teenager. Seeing you in my shirt like that..."
"Well," she drawled as she turned around, a teasing smile on her face. "I couldn't help myself. I hope you don't mind."
I choked on a laugh. "Not at all. Feel free to wear whatever you like. Or nothing at all."
Bella giggled again and came over to take her bag. She walked to the bed, depositing it there and pulled a pair of skimpy panties and a pair of gym shorts out, wiggling her ass as she put on both.
I cleared my throat and willed my dick to shrink. Fucker didn't listen. "Uh...yeah...so...how about a cold beer? We can sit on the porch and maybe...uh...talk some more?"
"Sure," she agreed easily. "That'd be nice. Let me just brush my hair and I'll meet you there."
"Okay," I smiled before heading to the kitchen. I took two bottles out of the fridge, popping the top of one before taking a long draft of the cool liquid, then opened the other and took both out to the back porch. I sat down in one of the chairs, waiting for Bella to join me.
The last few weeks had been incredible. We'd spent a lot of time together, mostly after football practice, having dinner at her house and I'd been working on getting closer to James and Seth as well. Bella and I texted during the day and spoke on the phone almost every night we couldn't be together, and our relationship had become easy and comfortable.
And still, I wasn't completely satisfied with how things were. The kid still didn't know and if I was honest with myself, I wanted her and her son to move in with me. Like, yesterday. And put a fucking ring on her finger and make them both mine for all the world to see.
There were still so many hurdles, though, my sister only being one of them. Bella hadn't been forthcoming about a lot of things, like how she could afford to live in one of Carlisle's properties while only working three days a week. No way in hell was her job paying enough to cover the rent on the townhouse she was living in and all her other expenses.
I worked for the guy. I knew most of his business, and the area Bella lived in was an upscale neighborhood of mostly new townhouses, with only a few being rented. Her monthly payment was likely about two-thirds of what she'd make as a nurse working for a doctor's office.
I wasn't stupid. A part-time job wouldn't pay enough so I deduced that she had additional income or funds available. I wasn't interested in her money, but it only drove home the point that I really didn't know enough about her life after our split.
And part of me wondered if she didn't trust me enough to tell me. The bits and pieces I had gotten out of her about her dead husband and how James came about wasn't really much to go on to get a full picture.
I loved Bella and I wanted her for the rest of my life. I was doing everything I could to prove that to her, but I needed something in return to let me know that my efforts were recognized and appreciated. I'd been open about every aspect of my life after we broke up and before she came back to me.
She hadn't yet afforded me that same courtesy. I needed that to move forward, to let us progress to where I wanted to be. So tonight I was going to ask her some very direct questions, hoping she'd trust me enough to provide some very direct answers.
We would see.
Endnote: Until next time. Please let us know what you thought of this chapter - reviews are much appreciated.