Author: FictionFreak95 PM
Sometimes a blast from your past is exactly what you need to ignite your future. AH, BxE.Rated: Fiction M - English - Romance - Edward & Bella - Chapters: 9 - Words: 44,216 - Reviews: 2,045 - Favs: 1,345 - Follows: 1,493 - Updated: 01-31-13 - Published: 12-05-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8767352
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: Thank you, Sue and thank you mama. I love you for the time you take to help make these chapters work.
Song = "Kiss me Slowly" by Parachute
Chapter 7 "Stand"
There's a familiar scene playing out when I get to school this morning. This fifth grader named Mike Reemer or, as his buddies call him, "Buzz" (because he always wears a buzz haircut) is hovering over someone. He looks like an eighth grader. I think he might even have a beard. And he's actually kinda smart book-wise, but not so much in the social aspects of elementary school. He likes to intimidate anyone and everyone who'll let him. He doesn't ever seem to really want anything in particular, he just likes to push people around and take whatever it is he's angry at out on the rest of us.
Today he's picking on this new girl at school. Typically, I wouldn't get involved. I try to avoid Buzz at all costs unless I'm walking with Emmett, which I'm not, but something about the way she's staring up at him like he's an idiot makes me want to go see what's going on exactly.
People don't generally look at Buzz, much less look at him with so much … annoyance.
I find a spot just behind some lockers and watch. So do a few other people. They're just as mesmerized as I am, I guess.
"Wanna tutor me after school sometime?" he's asking her. This confuses me. Not only does Buzz not need tutoring but it's highly unlike him to sound this … nice.
The new girl laughs a little, like he just told her a stupid joke and she's trying to be nice about it.
"I don't tutor, sorry."
She starts to walk past him but he gets in her way. He sounds a little less nice this time. "Well, how about a movie then. You do movies, right?"
"I do movies ... but no thanks."
She tucks some hair behind her ear and tries to keep moving forward. He stops her again.
"What's your problem?"
Ah, now there's the Buzz we all know and don't like very much.
New girl scowls up at him. "I don't have a problem, you're the problem. All I'm doing is trying to get to class."
My eyes go wide and I hear a few ooh's from the hallway. Now there's a small crowd forming.
I swallow and move closer.
"You're a snob, that's what you are. Here I'm trying to be nice and you're being a snobby … little … bitch."
Good one, Buzz.
Gasps and whispers surround them. I don't know why people give him this much attention. He only says stuff like that for shock value.
I roll my eyes and peek over a couple people's shoulders.
New girl's face grows stone cold.
"I am not a snob or a bitch. And I'm still trying to get to class," she tells him, taking another step. But this time, instead of just getting in her way, he pushes her books out of her hand and they fall to the floor. She looks like she wants to scratch his eyes out.
I kinda wish she would.
"Why don't ya pick those up … snob."
I can't take any more. I might be scared of him, but if someone doesn't say something, who knows what he'll do next.
I push past the people who have been blocking me. "Quit it, Buzz!" I yell out, hooking my backpack over my shoulder because I'm nervous as all get out and don't know what else to do. Out of habit, I look around for Emmett but he's not here this year. He's in Middle School.
He always says I should stand up to this guy. I guess now's the time.
People give me some space, or maybe they just don't wanna get in the line of fire as he glares over at me. "What'd you say, Cullen?"
"I said leave her alone, man. She didn't do anything."
New girl is picking up her books and a couple other girls are helping out while whispering something urgent to her.
Buzz walks over to me and I take a step back, but I'm not leaving, not 'til he backs off of the new girl.
"Mind your own business," he tells me with a point at my chest. I'm pretty sure I heard him growl at me too.
He must be hungry. That's never good.
I steel myself.
"I said no. What's you're problem, anyway? Not getting enough attention at home or something? Big brother picking on you so you come here and pick on everyone else? Why can't you just leave everyone alone? Nobody cares what you have to say anyway."
I have no idea why I'm spewing word vomit at this guy. He's twice my size. But I feel like if I can get his attention off of new girl, he'll forget about her and move on.
And he does.
He moves on.
By punching me right in the face.
I fall backwards and hear everyone shouting stuff, but my ears are ringing so I don't know what it is they're saying. I think my head hit the lockers because it hurts right along with the rest of my face, and when I finally sit up again, I see the blood. I can taste it in my mouth and I try to catch most of it in my hands as it drips from my lips.
Luckily someone called a teacher because if Mr. Scalley hadn't walked up when he did, I might have been bleeding a whole lot more before Buzz was done. I might have even gotten a few broken bones for all I know.
A couple of my friends gather around to make sure I'm okay and Mr. Scalley tells them to take me to the nurse as he hauls Buzz toward the office. When I manage to get myself up and I look around for the new girl, she's already halfway down the hallway with those girls that helped her get her books, but she's peeking over at me.
And she's smiling.
Buzz Reemer was kicked out of school that day. It was his fifth assault since the school year began. He wasn't getting any more chances no matter who his father was. I never saw him again after that although rumors spread that he ended up in juvie. Who knows where he went from there.
I'm thinking about another bully as I watch Bella up the speed on her treadmill and begin to run.
I can't help but get lost for a minute or two remembering what she told me after my impromptu confession in her kitchen last night.
"I love you too, EC," she'd said when our kiss ended. She was breathless and smiling. And it was the best feeling when she said it to me. Like life could finally begin.
She spoke the words again after we had quick and dirty sex on one of her kitchen chairs. And then once more after we slowed it down back in her bedroom.
I'd pay good money to hear her say those words for the rest of my life.
I'm going to pay good money to make sure she can say them without worrying about assholes from her past giving her a difficult time. Ever again.
She eyes me, then smiles and takes the earbuds out of her ears.
"You know, when you invited me to use your company's gym this morning, I assumed you'd be working out with me."
I grin and copy the information I've found from my Google search, then I paste it into an email addressed to myself and hit send.
"I much prefer watching you do it."
I type out the address of Bella's father's home here in Boston into another email and send that off to an appraiser I know.
I have no idea if this ex of hers will even attempt to collect funds based on the value of her property here. It would be completely idiotic of him, but you never know. He doesn't sound very smart to begin with.
Besides, it's always good to have all of your ducks in a row. Just in case.
"What are you doing?" Bella asks as she ends her run and steps off of the treadmill. I close my laptop, swing my leg over the bench I've been sitting on for the past hour and stand.
I smile down at her and lean in. I press my lips to hers and they're salty from her sweat, but I truly don't care. It simply makes the kiss sweeter to me.
She hums and smiles against my lips. "I need a shower. Can I use one of these?"
"I have a private shower up in my office that's much nicer," I suggest and when she takes me up on it, I lead her up to the top floor. It's still early, so no one is in the office yet. She should be fine.
When I open the door to the washroom, Bella looks around and her mouth falls open a little when her eyes land on the shower. "That is huge, EC."
I shrug, I didn't see the need for it when the office was built for me, but Dad said an executive office should have a fucking shower, so it's got a fucking shower.
"It's never been used but the cleaning crew cleans it every week anyway." I laugh and Bella starts the water. Then she begins to take her clothes off.
"I'll let you get to it then," I tell her but she takes my hand in hers before I can go.
"Join me?" She smiles and lifts an eyebrow for me.
I grin back at her. "I took a shower this morning already, remember?"
"Edward, this is one of those showers that's just begging for someone to have sex in it. It's your shower; you really shouldn't let it go to waste like you do."
She pushes a little more to try and convince me, but honestly, she had me at "sex".
"How am I supposed to argue with that logic?" I ask her, unable to wipe the smile off of my face.
She shakes her head. "You're not. It would be rude."
I start removing my clothes too because she's right. It would be rude of me. Bella's in the shower before I finish and I make sure I hang everything up before I join her so nothing wrinkles and I look like I slept in my clothes for the remainder of the day.
I open the door and Bella's back is to me. She's letting the water spill over her. It looks to me like she's letting more than just the water wash away as it falls away from her.
I take her in from head to toe. She's fucking gorgeous. She always was, but this woman she's become ... the woman that loves me … I'm swimming in emotions that have been locked away since the day I had to say goodbye to her.
I grab the soap and swirl it between my hands as Bella gets her hair completely wet. She peeks back at me and I see her smile. After I set the soap back down, I push the suds over her shoulders, down her arms, ending at her hands.
Our fingers entwine and she pulls them around to her belly.
She guides me to where she wants me to feel her and I cup her breasts slowly ... meticulously. Her hands fall away to press against the shower's wall. The soap washes away from her skin and I kiss her shoulder, her neck. I pinch, I nibble. I can't get enough of her.
I whisper into her ear, "I love you, BellaBee," and her head falls a little to the side so I can kiss more of her.
"I love you too."
"So much," I murmur, letting my hand slide down in between her legs.
I push a couple of fingers into her and she hums. The sound gives me goosebumps. It also makes me hard and not wanting so much foreplay in our lives right now.
My hips press against her and she twists around, forcing my fingers from her warmth. When she's facing me, she takes a foot and rests it on the shower seat behind me. One hand wraps itself around my dick while the other hooks around my neck and she pulls me into a kiss.
My eyes close as I thrust into her hand. She rubs the tip of me against her and she's wet in a much different way than just having water splashed onto her. I can't do this. I can't wait anymore, so when she does it again, I push into her.
Desperation for more of her escapes in the sound of a groan, and I lift her up a little so I can get as deep as I possibly can inside of her.
I press her against the wall and she uses the seat behind me for leverage while I take her other leg and let it rest over the crook of my elbow.
I push again.
She immerses herself in our kiss.
Her hands are in my hair, grasping and fisting. Her breathing is erratic.
My breathing is erratic.
Bella's hips are shifting now and I know she's close. She moves with purpose and I settle a hand between us, letting my thumb find her clit. I love the sounds she makes when I do find it and it makes me thrust into her all the harder.
When she comes, our lips break apart and she cries out. The sound is vibrating against the walls and it sounds like music to me.
It also causes me to come. It's intense. It makes me want to bite something but I don't, that would fucking hurt her, so I kiss her instead. And as we settle down from the highs, I lower her so she's standing on her own two feet again.
I slow the kisses. I move them to her cheeks, her eyes, her forehead. Then I rest mine against hers and we begin to laugh.
I grow serious after only a few moments and remind her, in case she's forgotten, "I love you."
Bella's breathing slows and she smiles up at me, and then suggests, "You should use this shower more often."
I raise an eyebrow and correct her.
"I should use this shower with you more often."
We're kissing under the falling water one last time when I hear a laugh and then the door to the bathroom swings open and I curse myself for not locking the door.
"Guess who's back, bro!" he says a little louder than he usually might. "Hey, since when you do you shower at work?"
I'm a hundred percent sure he thinks I'm in here alone despite the woman's gym bag sitting on the floor, but I can't open my mouth in time to stop him.
The shower door swings open.
Bella screams while Emmett yells out, "Swirly time!" When he sees the position we're in, he laughs. "Oh shit, sorry dude." Then he realizes who I'm with and a look of confusion washes over his face. "Bella?"
She gives him a wave as she hides behind me. "Hey, Emmett."
He stands there, shocked for a moment, and then comes to his senses. "I'll, um, give you two a minute."
He closes the door and I hear him chuckle to himself as he does it. Then Bella and I laugh as well.
"It's okay, Edward, I'm sure he's seen naked women before."
"Not this particular woman," I tell her as I turn the shower off and retrieve a couple of towels for us.
She giggles again and I try to extinguish the need to kill my brother.
Thirty minutes later, Emmett is in the lobby when I walk Bella to the elevator. He's chatting with Corie who's just arrived to get her day started. I ignore the look of curiosity she gives my and Bella's hands, clasped between us.
I might even squeeze a little tighter.
We walk over to the elevator and I push the button for her. It's ready and waiting and the doors slide open far too soon for me.
"I'll see ya later," Bella tells me with a smirk.
"Have a good day," I mutter as I kiss her goodbye. She tucks some hair behind her ear before waving to Emmett and getting into the elevator.
When the doors close, he backhands me in the arm.
"Good morning, Corie," I say to the woman behind the receptionist's desk and she smiles for me. Blushes even.
"And shut up, Emmett," I tell my brother, and then head back to my office.
He follows me.
"I leave for what, twelve days? I come back to you doing the deed … in your office shower … with BellaBee?"
I point over at him. "I said shut up."
He barks out a loud laugh. "When did all this happen anyway?"
I avoid looking over at him as I clear my throat. "Since the wedding."
He doesn't need to know the details of how Bella seduced me into a supply closet. But he can tell I'm not telling him something.
He waits for more but I don't give him much.
"We've been … catching up."
"Okay, you keep your secrets, little bro," he tells me then pushes me so that I crash into the wall just like he did when we were kids. "I think it's cool."
Now I can look at him. "Yeah?"
"Hell yeah … Rose is gonna get a kick outta this when I tell her."
We stop in front of my office. I ask him what's on his plate for this week and he tells me that, from what he understands via his assistant, there's some major sales clean up he needs to do, but I've suddenly got a better idea.
I shake my head. "Mmm, no, that's not gonna to work out. I need you to take a trip with me."
"Huh? Ed, I just got back. There's shit to do. Where is it we'd need to go?"
He scrunches his face up at me. "Say what? We don't have clients in Phoenix."
"It's not a client."
"Well then why are we going?"
"I'll explain on the way."
He scowls but he's still smiling. "Okay ... Captain Cryptic."
He heads back to his office and I make a call to our company jet. I have about three hours until they're ready for take-off, and before we go, I have a few things to take care of so everything works out perfectly.
I'm also going to need a suit. A very expensive one.
I start the day off by faxing a request over to my attorney for some legal papers I'll need later on.
Then I put another call in to Harry Clearwater and ask him if he's thought about what we discussed over lunch the day before. He says he has. He also says Val-Turi has made a lot of promises that make passing up the opportunity with them a bit hard to ignore.
Instead of telling him Val-Turi is full of shit, I tell him I'm willing to put everything we talked about in writing.
He says he appreciates my passion about dealing with them and that he'll let me know his decision within the next few days. I'm feeling a little defeated after we end the call. Things don't sound promising, but I remind myself of Data Dimension's reputation and that I can't expect my first attempt at changing things around to be successful.
Regardless, I start the process of doing exactly what I just told Clearwater I would do as soon as I'm off the phone with him. I figure it can't hurt. I have Kate put what I've scribbled into a document and ask her to take it to legal herself when she's done. I want a copy by the time I'm back.
She'll handle it. She always does.
The rest of the morning is spent on cleaning up my inbox, and when I receive the fax from my attorney that includes the papers I asked for, I know it's time.
I ping Emmett and tell him we need to go. He waits until we're in the car to ask me anything.
"So … what's going on here, Ed? Some crazy company you wanna acquire out in Phoenix that you found while Googling or something?"
I huff and roll my eyes. My brother may be a smart ass, but he knows me too well.
"They wanna acquire us?"
I eye him. Sometimes it's like he's inside my head. Only just a tad off in left field.
"Then what? You are all riled up today. Spill."
I explain Bella's situation to him and how I'm not about to let some brainless asshole take her last piece of Charlie away from her.
He asks questions. The last being, have I discussed this with her yet? I tell him no. I need to make it happen before she does anything crazy like sell that house, and besides that, I'm not a hundred percent sure she'd let me do it if she knew.
"You're not worried about how she might react to you taking care of her problems for her?"
I won't lie. I'm a little worried. But I'm more concerned about how losing Charlie's house will affect her. If she's angry with me, I'll deal with that when it happens.
Emmett asks a few more questions on the airplane, but for the most part, he's listening to music on his iPhone. I'm reading over the documents I've had drawn up to make sure there's absolutely no way this guy can come back for anything after this is done.
Jay Jenks, my attorney, is the fucking best there is.
"I need you to look scary," I tell Emmett as we stand in the lobby of Bella's ex's law firm.
"Just do it."
"How the hell am I supposed to look scary, Ed?"
I shrug. The ex is walking towards us now. "I don't know … growl at him or something."
I ignore whatever look my brother gives me after that and concentrate on holding the stare of the dickhead coming at me.
"Can I help you gentlemen?" he asks as he approaches us. The first thing he does is check out the Armani suit I'm wearing that I had Kate purchase for me today. It's worth more than the office space he's renting here and he knows it.
Intimidation tactic number one. Check.
I size him up a little. Maybe longer than I should. This is intimidation tactic number two.
Side note, I don't get what Bella saw in this guy.
He nods. "That's me."
I pull out the papers I have and hand them to him.
He looks them over, only he's not really looking them over. Then he sees the check I've attached to the papers and pulls it out from under the paper clip holding it there.
"This is far more than one month's mortgage payment on your home here in Phoenix. It's ten times what Miss Swan paid when she very generously sent a check in to your mortgage company to make sure you didn't miss a payment a couple of years ago."
He's cautious all of a sudden.
"And who are you?"
"We represent Miss Swan."
It's really all he needs to know.
He studies us.
"Mmm hmm … what kind of law firm are you representing exactly?"
He's pompous. I hate pompous. I want to squash pompous like an ant.
He's also made an assumption I was hoping he would.
"The unconventional kind."
His eyes blink and then slide over to look up at Emmett.
My brother stands about two feet above this guy. He doesn't say a word. He just glares at the ex. This is good.
"Maybe I should let my lawyer handle this …" he starts to say with a little bit of hesitation in his voice, but I cut him off.
"Your lawyer will tell you the same thing we told them this morning. That Miss Swan was more than gracious when she sent that check in to make sure your house payments didn't go late. That we have the means to retract that money so that the payment is struck from your records."
His brow dips. He's confused. So I spell it out for him.
"Since there was no reference to any account number on the check she sent in to your mortgage company, there would be no way of proving Miss Swan's intention was to pay your mortgage and not her own in Boston, therefore making you …" I whisper into Emmett's ear for dramatic effect and he nods. Intimidation tactic number three. "Approximately twenty-three months behind on that payment."
I'm betting everything on the fact that he has a deep seeded love for his money and won't want to part with it despite the fact that it won't affect him in terms of the long run.
I'm hoping this goes my way. If it doesn't, I'll need a plan B. I don't have a plan B. I should have thought about a plan B, I think, as he stands there staring at the number on the check I've given him.
He's thinking about it. That's a good thing, but I need make more of an effort with him. It's difficult when all I want to do is deck him, but I push that instinct down.
"I can run the numbers for you if you'd like," I offer politely. "I'm fairly certain the amount you would owe will come to far more than what we're offering you to settle this matter once and for all."
He looks at me with curiosity. Then Emmett again, who indeed growls this time, and I have to bite my tongue to keep from laughing.
The ex looks back to me.
"I trust you have a Notary in the building?" I ask.
He nods and gestures toward his receptionist who joins him when he walks over to a table and chairs meant for visitors. He takes a seat and scans the document I've had written up.
He breathes in long. Thoughtful. Then he lets it out.
And then he signs the papers.
Hot. Fucking. Damn. It worked.
I smirk as he has his receptionist notarizes the paper, but I put it away again before he strides over to Emmett and me.
"I'll need a copy of this," he says.
"Of course," I tell him, calm, cool and collected.
I check the signatures. I fold the papers and slip them into my jacket pocket. Emmett and I turn to go but as we're pulling the door open, Bella's ex stops me.
"I didn't get your name."
I smile for him and it's genuine. He's not getting my name.
"I'm the guy who's reaping the benefits of your epic fuck up."
We leave, and it's not until we're in the elevator and the doors close that I make eye contact with Emmett again.
He's staring at me like I'm crazy. Maybe I am. I really don't give a shit though. Bella's free of this guy. That was my goal.
I let my head fall back against the elevator wall. "He's not that great a lawyer, if ya ask me," I tell the ceiling.
"Did you really talk to his lawyers this morning?"
I shake my head. "I talked to ours. They said it was a long shot but that it was a viable argument."
"You're even better than I thought you were."
"Don't fuck with me when it comes to negotiations."
He holds his hands up. "You mean bluffing."
He shakes his head but he's still looking at me like I'm crazy.
"I didn't think it'd even happen."
"You ... falling head over heels, completely stupid, you'd do anything for her in love."
I let what he's said sink in. He's right. I've never felt like this about anyone. But I tell him straight up, "It's BellaBee, Em."
His smile is proud. "It sure as hell is."
We catch our jet and head back home. I stare out the window at clouds as we speed by them. I think about Bella and how much of a weight it will feel like has lifted off her shoulders when I hand her these papers, knowing the ex won't ever bother her again. She can finally close that chapter and leave it behind.
Regardless of whether or not she's angry with me.
The only thing I have to do now is figure out a way to convince Clearwaters that Data Dimensions is the way to go.
It doesn't look like I'll be thinking for too long though. When we land, the first text I receive is from Kate. Clearwaters has invited me to a board meeting tomorrow morning, at their offices, along with a few executives from Val-Turi.
Harry's made his decision.
A/N: Thanks to the ends of the Earth for reading, ladies & gentlepeople.