Word Count: 14,986
Pairing: Edward and Bella
Summary: Edward was content living alone in his cabin in the woods after having a jaded past. That was until he met Bella. Will an instant connection make him change his mind or will she only be a one night stand?
Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable entities herein. No copyright infringement is intended.
It was a rainy spring day as the flashy red BMW raced down an old logging road headed to Forks, WA. The car fishtailed around the last few corners of the gravel road.
"Rosalie, will you please slow down on these roads." Bella gripped the seat in front of her. She was riding in the back while her two college friends rode in the front.
"This is slow compared to how I normally drive." Rose rolled her deep blue eyes as she looked at her timid friend in the review mirror.
"Yes, but this is a logging road. You need to drive slower, because the road is narrower and you never know when you are going to have to compete for space with a logging truck." Bella didn't loosen her death grip on the dark leather seat.
"We're fine and you better not leave fingernail marks in the leather." Rose huffed in annoyance.
"Girls, let's take a deep breath and calm down. This is supposed to be a vay-k, let's not start it by fighting. Rose, she's right, slow down. Bella, stop being a backseat driver." Alice didn't even look up while flipping through her fashion magazine.
Rose rolled her eyes and eased up on the gas pedal. Bella sighed in relief and let go of the seat in front of her. Just as she relaxed into her seat, Rose turned another corner and nearly rear-ended a large red truck carrying a backhoe on a trailer. Rose cursed and slammed on the breaks causing them to squeal. Alice dropped the magazine on her lap and grabbed the handle on the door. Bella tensed and grabbed the seat in front of her, again.
"Why are they going so slow?" Rose impatiently tapped her fingers on the wheel then laid on the horn. Without waiting, she turned on her left blinker and pulled into the opposite lane to pass the truck. She stomped on the gas. Alice's magazine slipped off her lap on to floor, she made no move to retrieve it.
"Rose, this a bad idea." Alice gripped the handle on the door harder until her knuckles were white. Bella shut her eyes tight and started to mumble over and over 'oh my god, we are going to die.' under her breath. Her hands became like a death grip on the seat in front of her again.
Edward and two friends started at the crack of dawn, so they could finish up their job to start an early weekend. All three were exhausted from planting the new tree seedlings. It was grueling work but it was repaying when you saw the new trees grow into towering giants.
Edward had one elbow on the edge of the window and leaned his head into his hand. Jasper was asleep in the middle with his head tipped back and his hat over is eyes. Emmett was singing along with the radio as he drove down the road.
"Em, if you're going to sing could you at least try to sing on key," Edward chuckled.
"Hey, I have a great voice. It's the radio that is off." He only started to sing louder.
"You sound like a donkey being castrated." Jasper snickered, he was apparently awake after all.
"What the hell! He almost hit us. That Yuppie is going to get someone killed driving like that." Emmett complained looking in the side-view mirror. Edward looked in the side-view mirror on his side and spotted a red sports car. What was a car like that doing on this road?
"Is that a BMW?" Jasper was confused as he turned in his seat to get a better look out the back. The horn blared from the car and then it swung over to pass them.
"This guy is crazy. There's no room to pass us here." Emmett complained, Edward thought Emmett would've slowed to let the guy pass them, but he started to speed up instead. Then he started to drag race with the other car.
"Emmett, what the hell, man," Edward sat up straighter in his seat. He looked out the driver's side and his eyebrows furrowed.
"It's a bunch of girls. No way can I let her beat me." Emmett gripped the wheel tighter.
"Yes, you can or you'll be paying for any damages to our equipment that results from this lunacy." Jasper smacked him in the back of the head.
"Fine," Emmett grumbled and let the car pass.
The car swerved in front of them fishtailing. They watched as it hit some loose gravel and lost control before flying off the side, down the embankment and coming to a stopping.
"Shit," Emmett cursed looking guilty. He pulled over ahead of the accident where the road was slightly wider.
The boys hurried out of the truck to see if they could be of any help. By the time they reached the accident, Rose and Alice had climbed out of the car and had made their way back to the road.
"Is everyone alright?" Emmett called out. Rose turned with her eyes flashing and glared at Emmett.
"You! You're the one that caused this." She stormed towards him then poked him hard in the chest.
"My fault! Listen, lady, if it's anyone's fault it's yours. You're the one who was speeding and then tried to pass me." Emmett pushed her hand away from his chest. He crossed his arms in front of him as he stared Rose down.
"Rose, it wasn't his fault." Alice grabbed her friend's elbow and pulled her back so there was space between the two.
"Well, Emmett here wasn't any help. He did instigate the drag race." Jasper stepped up next to Emmett's side.
Edward decided to stay out of the fighting and looked around. He was sure that there were three girls in the car. When he didn't see anyone else he decided to investigate the car to make sure no one was stuck inside hurt.
The leaves were slippery as he slid down. He stooped down and looked through the driver's door. In the backseat was a small trembling form. All he could see was the top of a brunette's head and two pale hands digging into the leather seat leaving marks.
"Miss, are you alright?" he called out softly, hoping not to startle the poor girl.
"I am dead, aren't I?" Bella answered in a shaky voice. She looked up at Edward. His eyes widened when they locked with big brown ones filled with wet tears. Bella looked at the angel before her. She was surprised to see that he was dressed like a logger, in dirty jeans, and a red and black flannel shirt. His green eyes were piercing, like they could see into her soul. His head was covered with a dark knit cap, but she could see strands of reddish brown that reminded her of an old penny. She was tempted to reach out a hand to touch the scruff on his jaw to see if it was rough or soft.
"I told Rose to take the main road, because I knew how she likes to drive fast. But did she listen to me? Noooo. Alice wanted to see the logging road since she'd never been on one. 'Sightseeing' she said. 'This a vacation, we should experience something new,' she said. Then five minutes in, mind you, just five, she has her nose stuck in a fashion magazine. Now we are dead. All I wanted was to wish my father a happy fifty birthday. I was going to come alone, but they wanted to see how exciting Forks was. Like anything exciting ever happens in Forks." Bella just blurted everything she had been holding inside out as tears ran down her cheeks. She wiped them away frantically. "I am sorry, I am not usually a complainer. Forgive me." She took a deep breath to calm herself. "So are you the angel sent here to take me to Heaven?"
"No," Edward was caught guard off by her question. She had to have hit her head hard if she thought he was an angel.
"Oh," Bella was crestfallen and she bit her lip. She had always tried hard to be good. True, she wasn't very religious, but she thought she was still a good person.
"Why?" she asked the emerald-eyed angel.
"Well, I'm pretty sure you're still alive," Edward chuckled lightly and his eyes twinkled with amusement. Bella's faced flushed bright red.
"You must think I'm the craziest person you've ever met." She closed her eyes completely embarrassed that she had made a fool of herself in front of the handsomest man she'd ever seen.
"You aren't crazy. Though I do wonder if you've hit your pretty head, if you think I'm an angel." He smirked and Bella's blushed deepened.
"I'm so embarrassed." She buried her face in her hands.
"Don't be, please," Edward reached out to touch her arm. Both jumped slightly at the sparks that ignited when they touched. "Sorry." Edward pulled his hand back.
"My friends, are they okay?" Bella looked around for them in a slight panic.
He glanced back where the others were still arguing. "They're fine. They're arguing with my friends at the moment about whose fault it was."
"It was mine. I know how Rose drives. I should've talked her out of driving on this road. I'm so sorry. You didn't have any damages did you? I'll cover it, I promise." Bella nervously bit her lip. She was kicking herself for not putting up more of a fight against the other two about the plans
"Don't go blaming yourself, heaven. I can't see how any of this is your fault. Your friend was the one speeding and driving recklessly and mine challenged her to a drag race. So it's both of their faults as far as I'm concerned." Edward was surprised that she was taking the blame.
"What did you call me?" She narrowed her eyes suspiciously at the young man before her. He couldn't be much older than her.
"I called you, heaven." He grinned crookedly at her. Bella only got more aggravated that this man, who she just met, was poking fun at her.
"Are you making fun of me?" she fumed reminding him of a small angry kitten.
"No, heaven, it's just a pet name that suits you. We haven't been properly introduced yet. I am Edward Cullen." He held his hand out to her.
"Bella Swan," She shook his hand. His large, warm hand rough from hard work encompassed her small smooth one. She blushed when she felt the small sparks again. Edward felt his pants tighten and he tried to subtly adjust himself. He brought her hand to his lips and kissed it lightly. His lips were soft and whiskers tickled slightly against her skin.
"Well, Bella, are you planning on staying in there? I promise I won't bite." Edward grinned lowering her hand back down, but not letting go.
"No, I want to get out." Bella shifted forward, inwardly cursing the fact that Rose had a two door car. She reached for the lever and tried to move the seat forward. It wouldn't budge no matter how hard she tried to shove it.
"Here let me," Edward was afraid the beautiful girl was going to hurt herself. Bella moved away and Edward easily moved the seat forward. He held it still while Bella squeezed out. Her foot got caught on the seatbelt and she started to trip. Edward let go of the seat and caught her before she face planted on the ground. He grabbed her by the hips and pulled her so her back was to him to steady her. He groaned inwardly as her ass wiggled against his crotch as she tried to turn herself to face him.
"Thank you. I'm a bit of a klutz." Bella was starting to feel like her face was going to be permanently red around Edward. Although she felt embarrassed she made no move to get out of his arms. She never felt so safe and secure than this moment. She'd spent time in Forks so she had seen loggers around before. She wasn't trying to be judgmental, but the ones she had met were often rude and gruff. Edward appeared to be the opposite. He seemed to tumble off the pages of a romance novel.
"You're welcome, heaven." He smiled down at her. He couldn't get over the feel of her in his arms. It felt so right, like she belonged there. She was petite and he felt the strong need to protect her from the outside world.
"Stop calling me that, you know my name now." Bella rolled her eyes.
"Maybe I call you that, because I figured that you're heaven sent to me." His eyes twinkled with amusement as he teased her, although he was half serious. He'd never met someone as captivating as her. He'd long ago closed off his heart and was content with his current life. At least, he was until he caught a glimpse of what, or should he say who, was missing.
"That has to be the cheesiest pick-up line." Bella laughed. He smiled wider at the sound of her laughter, which was music to his ears.
"Bella, is he bothering you?" Rose broken in, bursting their bubble. Bella and Edward looked up to find that they were being stared at by their friends. None of them had seen Edward or Bella so comfortable with someone of the opposite sex before. Edward let go of Bella and took a step back.
"No, of course not, he was helping me out of the car. The seat was stuck and I couldn't get out." Bella defended Edward, she purposely left out the part that she thought they had died.
"Edward, is a good guy, he wouldn't hurt her. She would never have been stuck if it wasn't for you. You're lucky that it wasn't a logging truck you tried to pass. The accident could've been worse if logs got lose and crushed you in your car like an empty tin can. Leave the logging roads to the loggers," Emmett scolded Rose which only added fuel to her fire.
"I don't see you with logs. What were you doing on logging roads then, smart guy?" Rose countered hands on her hips.
"We actually work in reforestation. We get hired to go in after the logging companies to clean up and plant new seedling once the land is ready. We use the logging roads when we're transporting equipment so we don't slow down traffic on the normal roads." Jasper explained calmly.
"Right now, if we can all stop arguing, we can get you girls back on the road quicker." Edward helped Bella climb up the embankment. She slid on the wet leaves a few times so he held on to her tight. Following her from behind gave him a nice view of her round ass. "Jasper, give Jacob a call over the CB radio to get a tow truck out here."
"Sure thing, Edward." Jasper headed back towards their truck.
"Can I do it? I always wanted to talk over one of those things." Alice skipped up to him.
"I guess so," Jasper shrugged and leaned in to the truck and pulled out the hand held microphone for Alice. She grabbed it looking like an excited kid at Christmas.
"This is going to be a mistake," Bella mumbled softly.
"Why?" Edward whispered back.
"You'll see." Bella shook her head smirking a bit.
"Just hold down the button and talk." Jasper crossed his arms across his chest and waited to see what Alice would do next.
"Breaker, breaker, we got a red 4-wheeler bear bait now a broken crayon shiny side up. We are in need of a hook truck. Do you copy?" Alice announced, her trucker lingo, into the microphone. The boys stared at her slacked-jawed with looks of confusion.
"I am sorry… but…what? Who is this? Is this some sort of a joke?" Someone respond over the line.
"May I?" Jasper had his hand out for the microphone. Alice pouted and handed it back to him. He chuckled before holding the button down. "Jacob, it's Jasper. There is a car over the embankment about four miles up the logging road from Forks. All the passengers are unharmed but we need a tow truck to get their car out." Jasper spoke clearly while looking at Alice with one eyebrow raised. She smiled sheepishly back up at him.
"That would be why?" Bella giggled from beside Edward.
"I've no idea what she just tried to say?" Edward chuckled. He noticed Bella move her hands up and down her arms, like she was cold. She was only wearing a short sleeve shirt and it was drizzling and cold. Her pale arms had small Goosebumps.
"Here," he started to unbutton his flannel shirt to offer it to her
"What about you?" Bella's eyes widened and heart fluttered as she watched him slip the shirt off. He was wearing a white sleeveless shirt that allowed him to show off the well-toned, tanned muscles in his arms.
"Don't worry about me, heaven, I'll be fine. I'm used to working outside in the weather." He winked at her as he held out the shirt to her.
"I thought I asked you to stop calling me that," Bella sighed in resignation. She took the offered shirt, slipped it on and left it unbuttoned. The flannel was soft and also warm from his body heat. Bella inhaled deeply his musky scent, and her lady parts tingled with excitement.
"You're welcome to sit in our truck while we wait. It'll probably take a few minutes for the tow truck to get here." Edward offered and looked over at the other girls.
Alice was now wearing Jasper's hat on her head. "I'm fine." She smiled.
Rose looked at Emmett expectantly to see if he would offer his jacket. He looked back at her blankly. "Why are you looking at me like that?" he asked her suspiciously. She rolled her eyes and flipped her blonde hair over her shoulder.
"Never mind. I'll be fine. Thank you…you're?" she prompted looking at Edward.
"I'm Edward Cullen. These are my friends and business partners Jasper Whitlock and Emmett McCarty." Edward introduced them. The boys nodded in turn.
"Hi, I'm Alice Brandon. That's Rosalie Hale and Bella Swan." Alice introduced the girls waving her hand to indicate who was who.
"Swan… does that make Chief Swan your father?" Edward asked remembering that she'd been talking about seeing her father for his birthday.
"He is. Do you know him?" Bella answered nervously. It wasn't unusual that as soon as she mentioned her father was a police chief that men ran in the opposite direction. She prayed Edward wouldn't be like the others.
"I do. He's a good man. We had to deal with him on couple of occasions." Edward didn't outwardly appear nervous. Chief Swan had always been a fair man, but Edward wouldn't want to be on his bad side.
"Does that mean you boys have been arrested before?" Rose smirked looking amused.
"Not me." Edward shook his head.
"Not me, either," Jasper shook his blonde head. Both men looked pointedly at Emmett. They'd both had been called in the middle of the night to bail out their friend.
"Somehow I knew you would have a record." Rose scoffed and placed one hand on her hip.
"Hey, it wasn't that much, just a few times for being drunk. That's not too bad." Emmett shrugged.
"You forgot about public nudity." Edward shuddered remembering he had been the one that had to bail him out that time. No one warned him to bring clothes for the guy.
"Not my fault. That chick stole my clothes and my car then left me stranded." Emmett defend himself.
"What did you do to her?" Rose accused him. She had her fair share of rotten boyfriends and now was quick to judge men to be the root of all evil.
"Nothing. It was our third date, I didn't even expect to get lucky that night. She was the one who told me she always wanted to do it on the beach. Afterwards, she started talking about marriage and having babies and all I told her that it was too soon. She screamed like a banshee, grabbed my clothes and locked herself in my car. My keys were in my pocket and she drove off in my car leaving me there. She then called the cops to say that some guy was streaking on the beach." Emmett ranted, to this day the event still scarred him. The girls giggled softly at his story.
"He's telling the truth. Once Chief Swan found out it was Jane Aro that called it in, he dropped the charges." Edward backed his friend up.
"Ugh, I remember her. Emmett is more than likely innocent, that girl was nuts." Bella spoke up. She remember Jane from high school. She thought Jane's parents sent her away for help, but apparently she was back.
They all looked up when they heard a rumbling of an engine from the tow truck. When Bella spotted the driver she groaned. She should've known. How many Jacobs could possibly be in Forks?
She and Jacob used to be friends growing up. Whenever she visited her father for the summer, he would bring her to La Push, the local reservation, and she would hang out with Jacob as their fathers fished.
When she was seventeen she moved for her last year and half of high school to live in Forks. That's when the hints really started that the two should hook up. The fathers persisted until the young friends went on a date. Bella had felt slightly awkward the entire date. When he gave her a kiss good-night it felt all sorts of wrong.
Unfortunately, Jacob had felt different about it. That was when the rift started between them. Jacob was persistent at wanting more and Bella got tired of turning him down gently. The last straw came when he tried to force a kiss on her at an end of the school year party, just before puking on her shoes.
After that Bella considered their friendship over. Bella went to college in New York and rarely visited. It was an easy excuse for a while, that she couldn't come home since she was so far away with no money. Last year, she had moved to Seattle and was running out of excuses as to why she couldn't make it to Forks. She finally broke down and told Charlie what had happened. He had promised that if Jacob came around when she visited that he would ask Jacob to keep his distance.
The tow truck backed up as close as it could get to the BMW and stopped. The driver's door opened and Jacob stepped out.
"Izzy, is that you," the tall Native American smiled when he saw her. He still had the same old ponytail but seemed to have grown a foot or more, since she had last saw him.
"Izzy?" Alice giggled amusedly at the nickname.
"Yes, Mary Alice," Bella gave her a pointed look before facing Jacob again. "Hey, Jacob, long time no see." Bella forced a smile. She subconsciously stepped closer to Edward. He sensed her uneasiness right away and stepped slightly in front of her. Alice amused smile fell from her face, not just because she was called by her given name, which she hated, but Bella had once confided in her about Jacob.
"What are you doing out here?" Jacob narrowed his eyes as he took in Edward's protective stance. He didn't miss that Bella was obviously wearing Edward's shirt.
"I was heading to Forks to surprise Charlie for his birthday and to introduce my friends." Bella answered with a tight lip smile.
"Shame you didn't call first. My father and Harry took him away for the weekend on a fishing trip. They aren't expected back until Monday." Bella's smile fell when Jacob told her this piece of news.
"Excuse me. But can I see your certification?" Rosalie walked up to Jacob.
"My certification?" He gave her a bewildered look. She was the first to ask him this, but then most knew him beforehand.
"Yes, I want to know that I can trust you with my car." Rose had her hands on her hips.
"Well, I went to a trade school in Port Angeles. The diploma is somewhere in the shop. But any of these guys can vouch for me." Jacob looked at the guys who all nodded.
"What about you, Bella, since you seemed to know him?" Rose asked since she hadn't missed Bella's reaction to him. It was what sent up red flags to Rose.
Bella paused only briefly. She wasn't going to let her personal background affect Jacob's livelihood. "He's a good mechanic, Rose. You can trust him with your car." She reassured her friend.
"Alright, fine. I want my car to be ready tomorrow before one." She demanded.
"Listen, lady, I can't make any promises until I see what the damage is. I don't keep BMW parts in my shop, I have to order them and it can take a day or more to get here." Jacob explained trying to keep his patience, he wanted to look good in front of Bella.
"Let me introduce myself. I am Rosalie Hale. As in Hale Automotive Part Distribution Center. Get me the list of parts you need to fix it by five today and they will be at the front door of your shop no later than six AM tomorrow at no cost to you. Fix it by one and I will sign a contract that my father's company will give a twenty-five percent discount on all parts, as long as your shop is open for business with you or a family member as owner." Rose offered. She was a bitch, but she was also a very fair business person.
"Are you serious?" Jacob's eyes widened at the prospect.
"Yes, and I am not looking for bodywork or for it to look perfect. I'll have the car detailed and bodywork fixed back in Seattle by BMW themselves. I'm just looking for it run and run safe. Do we have a deal, Mr..." she trailed off not knowing his last name.
"It's Black, and yes, we've got a deal." Jacob shook Rose's hand with a huge smile on his face.
"Great. Then let's get a move on, please." Rose stepped aside for him to get to work.
"Sure thing, Ms. Hale." Jacob nodded. It only took him a few minutes to hook up the car. He took his time to error on the side of caution. "Would you guys mind help guiding it up, so it doesn't hit anything coming back up?" Jacob asked.
"No problem, Jake," Emmett nodded and the three guys slid down the embankment to the car. Bella watching Edward closely as he moved alongside the car. She pulled her bottom lip between her teeth as she watch his muscles ripple with his movements. Though it wasn't raining hard, the light rain had made Edward's undershirt wet enough that it stuck to his well-defined abs. It didn't go unnoticed by Jacob either that she watched Edward the way he wished she would look at him.
They finished loading up the car. It didn't appear to have too much body damage and Rose had already announced she was riding with Jacob to sign any paperwork at the garage.
"I've got room for one more, Izzy?" Jacob looked hopeful at her.
"Oh, can I go? You don't mind, do you, Bella? I've always wanted to ride in a tow truck before. I'm sure the guys would give you a lift to town, right." Alice begged Bella before glancing at the other guys. Bella gave her an incredulous look, before she realized her friend was trying to save her from an uncomfortable car ride.
"Not a problem, of course, we can give Bella a lift." Edward answered right away. He didn't want Bella in that truck any more than she wanted to be in it.
"That would be great. Thank you." Bella smiled in relief. She didn't miss the disappointed look on Jacob's face. He clearly hadn't moved on, like she had hoped.
"Great, we'll meet you at the repair shop." Alice skipped to the truck after handing Jasper back his hat.
Jasper chuckled as he watched her; he was already taken by the small pixie. He jumped over the side and made himself comfortable in the bed of the truck.
"Oh, I don't want to put you out. I could sit back there." Bella felt guilty that he had to ride in the back.
"My ma would tan my hide if I allowed that to happen. Don't worry about me, I work all the time in the rain, I ain't going to melt. I'll be fine…Izzy is it?" Jasper smiled lazily at her.
"It's Bella, please don't ever call me Izzy." With the expression on her face that even Emmett, who was last to pick up on things, realized not to push it.
"Bella it is. I hope you don't mind the middle." Emmett opened the driver's door and got in.
Bella moved to the passenger door that Edward held open for her. She frowned when she saw the big step up. She would almost have to jump to get in the huge cab.
"Here, I'll give you a hand," Edward offered. He placed his hands on her hips and lifted her up into the cab as if she weighed nothing. She sat in the seat and slid over so Edward could get in. Their legs brushed up against each other and neither one made a move to separate them.
"Thank you." She looked at Edward then blushed before looking away. "All of you for all your help."
"No need to thank us. Ed was right, I was partly at fault for that. Even if I wasn't, it wouldn't have been right to leave you girls stranded and not offer to help." Emmett was the one to answer her.
"Since your dad isn't here tonight how about you girls meet us at The Still." Emmett suggested. He wanted to get to know that blonde better.
"The Still?" Bella asked. In her mind she picturing an old fashion whiskey still hidden in the woods and the idea didn't sound all that appealing or safe.
"It's fairly new to the town. The son of the couple that owns The Lodge opened a bar next door to it and called it The Still," Edward explained.
"Oh well, I will have to check with the girls first." Bella didn't want to make any plans without consulting her friends.
"We'll be there most of the night so just pop on by." Emmett grinned before turning into a driveway.
"I hope you don't mind. It would be better if we dropped off our equipment so we aren't driving all through town with it." Edward explained to her. They pulled up to a building with a sign that read MWC Forestry over the door. Emmett backed up to the side lot, Jasper jumped out to unhook the trailer. Emmett parked and turned off the truck. Edward opened his door and jumped down and turned to help Bella.
"I can take you the rest of the way in my truck." He held on to her as she jumped down so she didn't fall.
"Thank you. I hate to trouble you, but is there a bathroom I could use." She blushed slightly.
"Of course, go right in. Our secretary Maggie should still be here. She'll show it to you." Edward nodded.
He watched she walked across the parking lot and was caught off guard when Emmett thumped him on the back.
"Too bad your shirt covers up that sweet ass," Emmett nudged Edward with his shoulder. Edward turned and shoved him away.
"Watch it. Don't talk about her that way." Edward warned him. He was pissed off with how callously Emmett talked about Bella.
"Oooo, looks like I struck a nerve. Does Eddie have a crush?" Emmett teased him. "Do you hear that, Jasper, our little boy has grown up and noticed girls?"
"Emmett, if he tries to slug you, I'm not stopping him." Jasper leaned against the truck with an amused grin.
"Emmett, shut your yap. You don't know what you are talking about?" Edward huffed in annoyance.
"I do know that you had your hands all over her and you've yet to keep your eyes off of her for more than ten seconds." Emmett smirked.
"She started to fall, what was I supposed to do, let her get hurt?" Edward defended himself.
"No, but you did hold on to her much longer than necessary. And you haven't stopped eyeing her." Jasper agreed with Emmett, at least to the point that Edward was showing interest in Bella, when he has never given any notice to a girl previously as long as they had known him.
"So?" Edward gave an exasperated sigh. He glanced at the office to make sure Bella wasn't coming back yet.
"So you never pay attention to girls. She's obviously something special. There's nothing wrong with that." Jasper shrugged.
"I know that I wouldn't mind getting to know her blonde friend better." Emmett wiggled his eyebrows.
"Bro, I think that girl hates you." Jasper snickered.
"Naw, that's just her passion. Imagine what a hell cat that one is in the bedroom." Emmett grinned excitedly.
"If you boys play your cards right, you could each have one of those girls in your beds." Edward wanted to smack the smirk off Emmett's face.
"Not going to happen." Edward shook his head. He couldn't treat Bella that way.
"Don't be such a pansy. There's nothing wrong with a one night stand. It's not like you'll see her again. So why not tap it while you got it?" Edward's temper flared, his fist was clenched at his side. He was about ten seconds from throwing a punch at Emmett. Emmett chuckled and started to walk to the storage shed to check the equipment for their next job.
Jasper grabbed his arm before he could go after Emmett. "Calm down, Edward." He nodded at Bella who was just coming out of the office.
"You can't possibly agree with him." I asked him in surprise.
"I won't lie and say I'm not attracted to Alice. If something happens it happens," Jasper was honest with him. Edward thought of Jasper's words but still was unsure. His attraction to Bella was strong, would it be wrong to test the waters?
"Fine, it's your turn to pick him up if he's arrested." Edward sighed, but smiled as Bella came closer.
"Right," Jasper rolled his eyes. "Bye, Bella, I hope to see you girls later." Jasper gave her a smile and tipped his hat before heading to the office.
"Bye, Jasper," Bella waved back.
"You're expecting Emmett to get arrested tonight?" she asked with eyebrow raised.
"I never rule it out." Edward snickered. "My truck is this way. Fair warning it's nothing fancy."
"No problem. I'm use to not fancy. You should've seen the truck I had when I came here to live with Charlie." Bella followed him across the parking lot. She stopped dead in her tracks when she spotted the truck. Edward paused looking back at her. He ran his hand through his hair sheepishly. He knew that his truck was old and a clunker compared to the BMW she was in earlier.
Bella's face broke out into a wide grin surprising him. "Did you by chance buy this truck from my father?"
"Um, actually I did, when I first moved here." Edward nodded then the realization hit him.
"I do believe that is my old truck." Bella laughed. She hurried forward and ran her hand long the side. "I missed this old thing. I can't believe it's still running."
"It gets me from here to there, that's all that matters." Edward opened the door. "Your chariot await, heaven."
"Please, don't call me that," Bella rolled her eyes half-heartedly. She slid into the seat and took a deep breath. The truck no longer smelt like it used to. Now it smelled deeply of Edward and she found the scent intoxicating.
Edward got inside and started up the truck. He reached in the back and grabbed another flannel shirt, this one grey. He pulled the damp shirt off and tossed it in the back. Bella's eyes trailed over his firm six pack. She heard about a prominent v's on a man, but never saw one until now. She licked her bottom lip and bit it, oblivious to Edward calling her name.
"Are you ready?" he looked at her lips with dark eyes. He buttoned up his shirt. She looked away quickly and nodded, not trusting her voice at the moment. He pulled out into the street and headed for Black's Garage.
The drive was short and they were at the garage in no time. Alice was waiting outside by an old Volkswagen Rabbit. Rose was standing with Jacob by the garage talking with him.
"Thank you for the ride." Bella said softly. With a sudden burst of courage she leaned forward and kissed his cheek. The scruff tickled her lips and she pulled back with a shy smile. The tips of Edward's ears redden and he gazed at her dazed for a moment.
"You're more than welcome." Bella opened the door and started to slide out. Edward reached out and grabbed her hand lightly. "I do hope you'll come tonight," he told her softly, playing with her fingers.
Bella bit her lip and nodded. "I'll do my best to talk them into it." She promised. She was dying to see him again tonight. She had a feeling she wouldn't have a hard time with Alice agreeing, but Rose was always up in the air.
Edward let go of her hand. She got out and closed the door. She was five steps away when she realized that she was still wearing his shirt. Edward was starting to reverse. "Wait," she waved her hand to get him to stop. He braked and rolled down the window. "I still have your shirt." She started to slide it off.
"Keep it. You still don't have a jacket. Now you have an excuse to come tonight, to return it." Edward winked and continued backing up and pulled out on to the street. She stood there and stared at him driving away.
"There you are. I was starting to wonder if you rode off into the sunset with him." Alice bounced up to her giggling. She linked their arms together.
"They needed to drop off their equipment at work before coming here. The guys want us to meet them tonight at the local bar." Bella watched Alice light up like a Christmas tree.
"You said yes, right? Please tell me you said yes." Alice looked excited.
"I told them I had to talk to you two first. But I told him I would try." Bella admitted shyly. She was never one to go after the guys. In fact, her love life was fairly non-existent. Alice tried to set her up multiple times in college. One guy stuck around long enough to take her virginity and then dumped her. After that Bella asked Alice to stop. Since then Alice had backed off, but Alice had seen the sparks between the two of them and what kind of friend would she have been if she didn't encourage it.
"You really like him, don't you?" Alice grinned like a Cheshire cat.
"I do, but isn't it foolish to. He lives here and I'm in Seattle. Maybe I shouldn't bother." Bella started to second guess her feelings.
"Don't you start that. If it's meant to be it will work out. Don't close yourself off just yet." Alice pleaded. She wanted her friend to be happy.
"I won't." Bella agreed.
"I'm so happy for you," Alice squealed and hugged her. Even though she thought Alice was putting the cart before the horse she smiled back.
Later that evening, the girls entered the bar around eight. Most heads turned towards them and gawked, since they stood out among the locals.
"They're over there," Alice spotted the guys across the low-lit room at a table. The girls made their way across the room to the table. The guys all stood up when they spotted the girls making their way to them. Edward smiled having only eyes for Bella.
"You look beautiful." He complimented her pulling out a chair for her. Bella's cheek turned slightly pink. She hadn't dressed up since she figured that the bar would be dress down. She was wearing the same slim jeans as earlier, but changed her shirt for a burgundy V-neck sweater that accented her curves. Her hair was mostly down in waves with the sides pulled back in a clip.
"You look nice, too," she complimented him, noticing right away how the green flannel he wore now brought out the color of his green eyes. His hat was off revealing his bronze hair to be a bit wilder than she originally thought it would be. Her fingers itched to burry themselves into the thick locks.
"Thank you, heaven," he grinned at her. She handed him his shirt from earlier before taking the seat.
"Thank you, again, for the loan." Bella took her seat. Edward draped the shirt over the chair back and sat next to her.
"No need to thank me. Unless you want to like you did earlier," he grinned and tapped his cheek with a finger. Bella giggled and leaned towards him. She pressed her lips lightly to his cheek holding the kiss a little longer this time before pulling back quickly. Edward's smiled crookedly at her. They got lost in each other's eyes before Emmett's voice broke them out of their trance.
"Can I get you a drink, Rose," he offered. The blonde eyed him for a moment skeptically.
"I'm perfectly capable of buying my own drinks, thank you." She answered him. Emmett enjoyed a challenge and didn't back down.
"How about I buy you a drink and you buy me one then," Emmett suggested. Rose pondered it for a moment before agreeing. They both walked up to the bar.
"Can I get you anything, Bella?" Edward offered before downing the rest of his beer.
"Ummm… a Sex on the Beach." Bella blurted out then her eyes widen in embarrassment and her face turned beat red. Edward choked a bit on his beer looking slightly flustered. He gave a quick nod and headed to the bar to get her drink.
"Oh my god, I can't believe that I just said that." Bella moaned and covered her face with her hands.
"Why did you say that?" Alice let loose her giggles that she was holding in.
"I don't know…my mind went blank and it was the first drink I could think of." Bella groaned.
"Are you sure that's where you mind was?" Alice teased her friend.
"Alice," Bella hissed removing her hands from her face to glare at her. Jasper was still sitting right there. To his credit he was doing the best he could to not laugh out loud and embarrass the poor girl further, but his shoulders were shaking from holding it in.
"Ooo, I love this song. Jasper, will you dance with me?" Alice stood up quickly and pulled on the boy's hand. He let her pull him to the dance floor.
"Izzy," Jacob Black appeared in front of her. Bella's eyes tightened slightly.
"Jacob," she nodded in greeting and looked for Edward. He was at the bar waiting his turn still. Jacob followed her gaze and frowned.
"Are you here with him?" He demanded.
"That's not really any of your business. What do you want, Jacob?" She sighed.
"We used to be really good friends, Izzy. I miss that." He took a seat at the table.
"That's your own fault. I've tried to stay friends. You were the one not happy with that." Bella crossed her arms in front of her.
"I was wrong before. I'm fine with just being friends. I don't want to be the reason you don't come to visit Charlie." He said apologetically.
"I don't know, Jacob. I don't think we'll be able to get back to how we were before." Bella answered truthfully. She glanced back over at the bar. Edward was looking at them with a small frown. When his eyes met Bella's his lips lifted slightly into a smile. He clearly wasn't happy to see Jacob at the table.
"Is it because of him?" Jacob demanded. Bella looked back at Jacob, he was angry and looked jealous, proving further that he hadn't changed that much.
"It has nothing to do with Edward. I just met him today. This is all about how I feel and what I want and what I'm comfortable with. I'm sorry, Jacob. You've pushed too hard before and I'm not sure if I can trust you again." Bella said softly but with determination.
"He'll just hurt you. He's a loner that just sits up in his cabin in the woods." Jacob spat not happy about being rejected again.
"Good-bye, Jacob." Bella glared at him.
"Is there a problem," Edward's voice cut in. His voice was cold and his eyes looked dangerous as they glared at Jacob. He wasn't sure what happened but it was clear that Bella was upset by this guy.
"No problem. Jacob was just leaving." Bella answered. "Good-bye, Jacob."
"Sure, sure," Jacob grumbled before standing up and storming away. Edward watched him storm up to the bar and ordered a drink.
"Are you okay?" Edward asked with curiosity.
"I'm fine. Jacob was just being Jacob." Bella sighed and looked up at him with a smile. Edward was still holding both drinks. "Are you going to sit?"
"Yeah. Here is your…ah….your drink?" He chuckled placing the fruity drink in front of her.
"I'm so sorry. I'm not a big drinker and it's the first drink that popped into my mind." Bella groaned.
"Don't worry about it. There are worst names out there." Edward smiled. He watched Bella take a sip before he took one from his new beer.
"So when did you move to Forks." Bella asked playing with the straw of her drink. She was sure she would've remembered him if he had moved here while she still was here.
"Just over five years ago. I met Jasper and Emmett when I was living down in Oregon working as a logger. Emmett was a logger too at the time. We met Jasper, who just came out of school with a degree in Forestry, shortly after and found out that he was interested in reforestation. It wasn't long after that we decided to setup our own business in Forks. We had luck on our side when the business really took off." Edward explained.
"How old are you?" Bella asked curious. She realized he had to be older and wondered how much.
"I'm going to be twenty-eight this June. So tell me about yourself, Bella?" Edward asked using her real name. He reached across the table and took one of her hands in his.
"Well, I'm twenty-three. I lived most of my life with my mother in Phoenix before moving in with Charlie when I was seventeen when she got remarried. I went to Columbia, that's where I met Rose and Alice. I'm now a published author and live in Seattle." Bella said shyly.
"Anything I might have read?" Edward asked with interest.
"I doubt it." Bella shook head.
"Why, is it porn?" he smirked and got a chuckle when she blushed red. He was beginning to love it when he was able to make her blush.
"No," Bella shook her head. "Children's books actually. Alice is my illustrator."
"So books for Emmett or are the words still too big?" his question made Bella tilt her head back and laugh hard. The low lights picked up on some of her red highlights.
"I'm sure that he would be able to handle it." Bella took another sip of her drink. She glanced around for her friends. Alice seemed to be happily dancing with Jasper still. Rose actually was smiling and laughing with Emmett while sitting at the bar.
An hour later, Edward finished his second beer while Bella finished her second drink. The second was a drink the bartender suggested, an Alabama Slammer. It came in a larger glass and didn't taste like there was much alcohol in it, which probably meant there was a lot. They had lost track of time talking about how Edward enjoyed planting the new trees and seeing them grow compared to cutting them down. Bella told him about her children book that was based around a kitten named Violet.
"Would you like to dance?" Edward asked. He wanted an excuse to hold her in his arms.
"You might regret that. I'm a terrible dancer, I'll step all over your feet." Bella bit her lip looking unsure.
"Good thing I have steel tipped boots then." Edward stood and offered his hand to her.
"Alright, but I did warn you." Bella placed her hand in his and laced their finger together.
Edward pulled her to a dark corner so they weren't crowded by the other dancers just as a slow song started. He took the hand that he was holding and placed it around his neck and she brought up her other hand and locked her fingers together behind his neck. He placed his hands on her hips and pulled her so close to that there was barely space between them. Her breasts would brush up against his firm chest when they swayed to the music.
They easily got lost in their own little world as the stared into each other's eyes as they slowly swayed in a circle. The electricity pulsed between them and Edward lowered his mouth to Bella's. The kiss started off slow and grew more heated quickly. The scruff around his face felt slightly scratchy but not in irritating way. Edward flicked out his tongue and brushed against her plump lower lip. Bella opened her mouth to allow his tongue to slip in. Their tongues entwined and danced together as they started to get carried away. Bella breasts started to heave into his chest as she moaned his mouth. He pulled her even closer and his bulge press into her stomach.
The sound of glass breaking made them step back. Bella blushed when she realized that they were in the middle of the bar. They had attracted some stares, in particularly Jacob who was glaring at him. At his feet were broken pieces of a beer mug. The bartender was yelling at him, but he didn't seem to hear. He threw some bills on the counter and left.
"I'm sorry, I shouldn't have let us get so carried away like that." Edward was embarrassed and ashamed that he took advantage of her this way.
"Don't apologize, I could've stopped you." Bella wasn't going to let him take all the blame. She was just as at fault for them getting carried away. She glanced around and noticed her friends were gone. "Where did they all go? Did they leave?" Edward glanced around, not seeing his friends anymore either.
"I think they ditched us. Do you want to get another drink?" Edward offered not wanting the evening to end yet.
"That sounds good. A water too, please." Bella nodded quickly since she didn't want the evening to end either. However, she was afraid that after another drink all of her inhibitions would fly out the window.
"Alright. I will meet you back at the table." He kissed her quickly and headed for the bar. He decided for himself that a water would be the best choice.
Just before Bella reached the table a hand reached out and grabbed her wrist. Bella turned and tried to pull away, but the person only held on tighter.
"Hey, sweet thing, how about you give me a little of that sugar." The man was obviously heavily intoxicated by the looks of his glassy grey eyes. He was taller than her but shorter than Edward. His hair was greasy and pulled into a pony tail. Where Edward made scruff and flannel look good this man looked like a mess.
"I'm not interested." Bella tried to pull her arm free but he squeezed harder, she hissed in pain.
"Uh-uh, I want some of what he was getting out on the dance floor. I want to dip my stick in your honey pot." He swayed as he told her.
"You're disgusting. Let me go, you're hurting me." Bella once again tried to pull free. Another hand came into view as it grabbed the man's forearm.
"Let her go now," Edward snarled with fury burning in his eyes. The man stumbled back letting Bella finally go. She pulled her arm close to her chest and Edward moved in front of her. He had spotted James grabbing Bella when he was at the bar. Seeing the fear in Bella's eyes had made him angrier than he had ever been in his life. He was at their side before he even realized what he was doing.
"Hey, Cullen, I thought you had your fill and I wanted my turn with the slut. Send her to me when you're done." The man hiccupped and swayed.
"Not going to happen. Apologize to her and then get out of here James and take your drunk ass home." Edward narrowed his eyes.
"Don't you tell me what to do." James drunkenly shoved Edward backwards then took a wild swing. Edward avoided the punch, but it caused him to bump into Bella. She tried to step back quickly, slipped and hit the back of her head on the table behind her.
Edward saw red and swung his fist connecting with James' jaw. The force was so great James spun around before falling flat on his face. Edward knelt in front of Bella who had tears streaking down her face.
"My god, heaven, are you alright?" His fingers went to the back of her head. She winced when he touched a tender spot.
"I'm fine." She whispered. Edward glanced at the red marks on her arm and he was starting to see red again. He turned to face the drunk again and the bartender placed a hand on his shoulder to stop him.
"Woah, Edward, take it easy. I already had him kicked out. I think it's best you and the young lady do the same." Garrett suggested in a non-threatening way. "Think about it man. You're only going to scare her if you go after this guy. She looks shaken up enough, I think she needs a calmer atmosphere." He told Edward in a lower voice. Edward took a deep breath and nodded. He helped Bella up from the floor and into a chair.
"I need to settle the bill. Will you be alright here or do you want to come to the bar with me?" he asked not wanting to leave her side, not even for a moment.
"Don't worry about the bill, it's on the house." Garrett took a step back towards the bar.
"Thanks, man. Could we get some ice though, for her arm?" Edward asked.
"Of course. I will send a waitress over with some." Garrett agreed before heading back to the bar.
Ten minutes later they arrived at the hotel. Both of them moved slowly since neither one was prepared to say good-bye to the other. With a heavy sigh Edward turned off the motor.
"Wait for me to get the door for you." He said as he opened his door. It creaked loudly in the quiet night. Bella waited patiently for him to open the door. Her eyes didn't leave him as he walked around the truck and opened the door. She slid out and stood next to him.
"Thank you for the ride and I didn't get a change to thank you for pulling that guy off of me." She whispered. She stood on her tippy-toes and kissed his cheek once and then when she went to kiss him a second time he turned his head so her lips met his. The kiss was slow, intimate and lingering. Neither wanted to be the first to pull away. A backfiring car finally pulled them apart.
"I'll walk you to your door." Edward offered. He slipped his arm around her waist since one hand was busy holding ice to the other arm. Bella wanted to invite him in but she felt it wouldn't be right since she was sharing the room with the other girls. When they got to the door Bella frowned looking at the handle.
"Unbelievable." She muttered fingering the scrunchi. She pulled it and then let it go so it snapped back.
"What's wrong," Edward asked. He was confused why the hair thing upset her so much.
"Apparently, I have been kicked out, so one of my friends could get lucky with one of your friends. So what am I supposed to do now? The hotel is full, that is why we are sharing a room and Charlie actually locked his front door for once." She turned and spotted the loaner car in the lot. She dreaded to have to sleep in it. Whoever took the room was going to get an earful in the morning.
Edward ran his hand though his hair nervously a few times before responding. "You can come home with me." He offered. Part of him was glad to spend more time with her. The other part was nervous that he wouldn't be able to control himself around her.
"Are you sure?" Bella picked up on his hesitancy and didn't want Edward to feel obligated to help any further than he had already.
"I'm sure. I'm definitely not comfortable with leaving you without a place to go. What's the saying 'Mi Casa es Tu Casa'." He smiled determined to make this work.
The car ride to Edward's cabin was slightly tense with the sexual tension between the two. Both were attracted to the other, but both were determined to not do something they would later regret. However, their friends' words sat like the devil on their shoulders enticing them to let their inhibitions go.
"You weren't kidding when you said you were really out in the woods. I didn't even know that anyone lived this far out." Bella looked out the window watching all the trees go by. Edward had turned on to a dirt road about two miles back and she still didn't see an end in sight.
"I like seclusion and to be away from the outside world. I moved out here for privacy and to get away from it all. I'm afraid you'll find that I don't have much technology out here. I have electricity and hot water from solar panels and a generator. But I don't have a television and I get little to no cell service." He forewarned her.
"That's fine. I don't watch much television and I don't use my phone very much." Bella shrugged.
The road finally opened up to a clearing, the full moon shone in the unusually clear night sky lighting the area. Up a small slope a log cabin stood with dark windows. A few feet from the house was a large shed and towards the back of the cabin, a few yards away was another smaller building with a metal pipe on the roof.
"Out of curiosity is that an outhouse?" Bella asked nervously. She could do without television and a phone, but she wasn't so sure about going without a regular toilet. Edward gave her a bewildered look trying to figure out what she was talking about. Bella pointed to the structure in question.
"Oh, that isn't an outhouse, heaven. That's a smokehouse." He chuckled when he noticed how relieved she looked. Deciding to tease her he pointed to the woods. "I find places out that way to take care of business." Bella paled wishing that she had used the bathroom at the bar before they left. Edward started laughing harder. "I am just teasing you. I have a regular bathroom inside. One of the things I couldn't go without is a regular toilet and hot shower."
Bella sighed in relief. "So what's the smokehouse for?" she asked out of curiosity.
"I hunt for food, never for sport. I use the smokehouse to smoke my meat for better storage." Edward explained. "I'll show you the inside in the morning. There isn't any electricity out there."
"I would like that." Bella nodded. She moved to open the truck door. Edward placed his hand over hers.
"Wait for me. We may be out in the woods, but I still know how to be a gentleman." He winked at her before jumping out of the truck. He opened the door and waited for Bella to step out. "The path is a little uneven so I'm going to hold on to you." He chuckled when she gave him a dirty look.
He opened the heavy wood door and pushed it open and flipped on the lights. Bella stepped in and looked around the open room. There was a small kitchen in one corner with a small square table by the window. Close to the back center wall there was a stone fireplace with a couch in front of it. In the opposite corner of the kitchen was a decent sized bed with a wardrobe to the right of it.
"The bathroom is through that door there." Edward pointed it out to her. "Go ahead and use it if you need to. I'm going to start a fire since it's a bit chilly." Edward gave her a shy smile as he ran his hand through his hair nervously a few times. He was feeling slightly self-conscious that she was looking around at his sparse house. He wasn't one for decorating, but he was sure she was used nicer accommodations since she lived in the city.
Bella nodded and took a few steps forward and spun in a small circle. "Did you really build this all by yourself, it's amazing." Bella said in awe.
"Mostly. I did have some help building the cabin from Jasper and Emmett. Also my uncle and grandfather came up from Oregon to help. My grandfather was, or should I say is, a woodsman at heart. He taught me all about hunting and living out in the woods in a cabin. I spent most my summers as a boy with him." Edward explained with fond memory. It was the first Bella heard him speak of any family. She still had yet to hear about his parents. She hadn't brought it up since it seemed like a tense subject.
She walked over to touch the kitchen table. The wood was smooth and silky under her touch. "Did you make this too?" she asked.
"Yup and the bookcases over there." Edward smiled to see her looking at his place with interest rather than disgust.
"Wow, Edward, you have really talented hands." Bella complimented then her eyes grew wide and face burned bright red. She didn't mean for it to come out like it sounded. She turned quickly to toss the almost melted ice out of the bag and into the kitchen sink.
While she had her back turned Edward came up behind her and wrapped his arms around her waist, her back was flush up against him and she could feel his erection against the small of her back. His rough finger tips brushed the hair off her neck and he kissed her neck just under her ear. She closed her eyes and melted into him. He slowly moved her backwards away from the sink. He spun her around in his arms and held her for a minute. She looked so peaceful and angelic in his arms. He cupped her face and kissed her lips softly. Her fingers weaved into his hair. She shivered with desire in his arms as her pulse started to race.
He regretfully pulled away assuming that she was cold. "I'll go start that fire." She opened her warm chocolate eyes to look up at him. He kissed her lips once lightly and released her. She immediately felt the loss of his strong warm arms.
She followed behind him as he knelt in front of the hearth. She took a seat on the couch as she watched him stack logs and light the fire, blowing gently to encourage the flames to grow. Once the fire started to grow he sat back on his heels then stood up. He turned spotting her sitting on the small couch. He sat next to her and wrapped his arm around behind her on the couch. "It should be warmer in a few minutes." He murmured.
"I'm not cold." She reached up brushing the scruff of his chin under her fingers. She leaned in for a kiss and he grabbed her hand to stop her.
"Beautiful, I want to make sure you know that I didn't bring you here for this tonight. I don't go bringing home girls I just met and from what I can tell this isn't something you normally do either. Is it?" Edward asked softly. Bella shook her head. "Just say the word and I will sleep on the couch."
"I'm not going to kick you out of your bed. You're right. I don't normally do this either. But it just feels so right at the same time. At least it does for me." Bella whispered.
"It does." He hesitated for a moment. "I can't promise you anything past tonight." His eyes were full of regret and longing at the same time.
"I understand. But that doesn't change my mind." Bella admitted biting her bottom lip. He let go of her hand and brought his up to her lips where he gently release her lip from her teeth. He leaned in for a kiss that from the start was hungry. Bella felt herself being lifted up and carried across the room without the kiss breaking. He dipped down and placed her on the bed covered in soft blankets. Her hair fanned out behind her on the pillows. Above her she could see stars in the night sky through the skylight. He crawled onto the bed with a feral look in his eyes that reminded her of a lion. He hovered over her body staring into her eyes for a moment before lowering his body down between her legs.
Bella awoke still tired but happier than she had felt for a long time. She stretched and found herself slightly sore. She grinned when she recalled why she was so sore. She never knew that sex could be so good. They went at least two round before falling asleep, only to wake up about two hours later for another round.
Bella felt her human pillow breathing in and out signaling that Edward was awake. She lifted her head to see him. Edward's eyes were opened with his arms behind his head and he was staring out the skylight. "Good morning." She smiled brightly. He shifted his eyes down to see her. He smiled but it didn't reach his eyes.
"Good morning." He answered. "You may have the shower first if you like." He offered keeping his voice monotone.
"We can share," she suggested boldly. She ran her fingers along his chest tracing his pecks.
"Shower is too small." He lied smoothly. "I'll make breakfast while you are in there. Then I'll shower as you eat so that I can bring you back into town afterwards. I have a lot to get done today before our next job."
"Oh, okay," Bella's smile fell slightly. She slid out of the bed feeling slightly awkward naked. She crossed her arms in front of her chest and hurried to the bathroom. She closed the door and turned and faced the mirror. She was bewildered at first by the light pink rash on her pale skin. Then she realized that it had to be from Edward's scruff. The rash was on her chin and on both sides of her neck. It also covered her breasts and her stomach. She had a feeling if she glanced between her legs she would find it there too. She blushed thinking she was going to have to explain this to the girls, but she didn't regret a moment of last night. She briefly wondered if Edward did. She sighed and turned on the shower, noting it didn't look that small to her. She briefly hoped that maybe he just wasn't a morning person and would be in a better mood after he ate or had a cup of coffee.
Edward flinched when the door to the bathroom closed. He groaned and covered his eyes with the heels of his hands. What had he been thinking when he thought that he could just have a one night stand? Making love to Bella didn't get her out of his system. If anything, it had only made it worse.
He started to close himself off to her because it was the only way to make it easier to let her go today. She had her life in the city. His was here and that wasn't going to change anytime soon. When he heard the shower start he slid out bed and put on his jeans. He made a quick breakfast of scrambled eggs and toast. He was placing it on the table when he heard the bathroom door open.
He glanced over to see her standing there in only a towel and his body was quick to respond to her. She looked nervous and unsure standing there. He wanted to swoop over and comfort her, but he held back, knowing if he went to her now he was never going to let go. He had to stay strong and indifferent. He walked past her and went into the bathroom and closed the door. He leaned against the door and hit the back of his head against the door.
Bella stood still a moment after he breezed by her as she fought tears of rejection. She knew he had said he couldn't promise anything more than last night. Apparently he meant literally. She thought they would be on good terms today at least and not be frozen out. Perhaps she should just get out of his way.
She hurried around looking for her clothes. She wanted to be gone before he got out of the shower. She found everything but her sweater, she couldn't figure out where Edward threw it. Giving up she grabbed his shirt from last night. She would just mail it back to him once she got to Seattle. She finished buttoning it up and hurried out the door.
Edward stepped out of the bathroom ready to apology for being so rude. He glanced around and didn't see her. Since it was only one room, there wasn't anywhere for her to hide. The breakfast sat on the table untouched. He threw a shirt on and slipped his boots on without tying them. He stepped outside to see if she was looking around. She seemed interest in the smokehouse, maybe she went to check it out. He grew concerned when he didn't see her. "Bella," he called out. There was no answer. He hurried to check out the smokehouse and shed. There still was no sign of her. "Where is she?" he spoke to himself. "Bella!"
He went to the truck and saw her purse was still sitting inside. He sighed and looked down at the ground. It was still soft from the recent rain. His boot marks were noticeable but so was another pair of smaller sneakers. One path led up to the cabin and another path led down the drive. She had left. "Shit. Doesn't she know that there are hungry bears this time of year?" He ran back to the house for his rifle and then jumped in the truck to go after her.
He let out a breath when he saw her still in one piece walking along the road. He slowed the truck down and leaned over to roll down the passenger window. "Bella, what are you doing?"
"I'm walking back to town and saving you the trouble." She answered not looking up from the ground.
"Don't be ridiculous. Get in the truck, please. There are bears in this area that have just woken up from winter naps looking for a snack. You'll be a very sweet one." He teased her but got no reaction.
"Come on, heaven, please get in. Don't you need this?" he held up her bag.
"Hand it to me." She held her hand through the window, she wasn't in the mood for games. Edward breathed in sharply when he saw that she had obviously been crying.
"Get in, I'm driving you." Edward insisted. She huffed and opened the door, got in and slammed the door. She grabbed the purse out of his hand and placed it on her lap. She crossed her arms and stared out the window.
"Bella, I thought we agreed that last night was a onetime thing." Edward started softly.
"We did. However, what you neglected to tell me was that you were going to be a jerk the next morning and treat me like a 'wham, bam, thank you, ma'am'." Bella snapped at him feeling hurt.
"That's not what you are. Please, never think that. I'm sorry if I've made you feel that way." Edward said regretfully.
Bella nodded not fully trusting her voice anymore. "Could you just bring me back, please?" Her voice was barely above a whisper. Edward nodded frowning. He restarted the truck.
Inside the truck the silence was deafening. Edward pulled into the parking lot and barely had the car in park when Bella had the door open. "Thank you for the ride. I'm sorry about the shirt, I couldn't find mine. I'll send it to you once I get back to Seattle." She got out and started to close the door.
"Bella," he called out. She turned slightly. "Last night was just beyond special. I lack the words to describe it. If I could offer you more I would. But we both know it's impossible."
She shook her head not believing a word he said. "Don't. Please don't say things that you don't honestly mean." She closed the door and walked away with her head held high, barely holding in her tears. She knew once she started crying she wouldn't be able to stop. How could a guy she just met mean so much so fast that it hurt to leave him?
"Fuck, fuck, fuck." Edward pinched the bridge of his nose. He was kicking himself for hurting the best thing that had ever happened to him. He succeeded in pushing her away and it sucked worse than his past had. "Dam it" he punched the steering wheel. He pulled out of the parking lot with the wheels squealing.
A month later Bella was walking down the sidewalk, she was feeling tired, sick and nervous. A week after she returned from the trip she received a letter from her healthcare provider stating that her last birth control shot had been recalled. They informed her that she would have to come in for a new one to be protected.
Now the test in the bag that swung lightly from her side would tell her if that one night left her with more than just a broken heart. She knew Edward didn't use condoms so even if the chances were slim it was still a possibility. She hadn't tried to contact him yet. If this test turned our negative then there would be no need to stir up a hornet's nest. If it was positive, which deep inside her she thought it would be, she would have to tell him. Her fear was that he would accuse her of trying to trap him.
She was about to enter the building when she heard her name being called and turned around. At first she didn't recognize the man standing in front of her. He was well dressed in slacks and a button up shirt with a green tie that matched his eyes. It was his eyes that gave him away since the scruff was gone from his jaw.
"Edward?" she asked confused thinking maybe she was dreaming. He nervously shifted on his feet and held out a small bouquet of roses.
"Hi, heaven. I was hoping you'd have a moment to talk with me." He pleaded with his eyes. He wouldn't blame her if she went in and slammed the door in his face. She looked tired and sad as she stood there just staring at him.
"Sure, I have something to tell you too." She sighed heavily and opened the door to the building. Edward stepped forward to hold it as she went in first. She led the way to her apartment on the third floor. She waited until they were inside her apartment before turning to him again. "Can I get you anything?"
"Maybe some water. These are for you." Edward held out the bunch of colored roses that reminded him of her blush. She took them like he offered her a bomb.
"Thank you, they're beautiful." She commented. She robotically took care of the roses first and then got him his water. She placed it on the coffee table as he looked around at her simple apartment. She had more personal things than in his cabin, like a computer and television, but she didn't seem to have a lot of extra frivolous things cluttering it up.
"May I go first?" Edward asked taking a sip of his water. Bella nodded taking a seat on the opposite end of the couch curling her knees to her chest. "First, I need to apologize for my horrible behavior towards you. You did nothing to deserve it." She raised her eyebrows if to say no kidding. He sighed before leaning back into the couch and angled his body towards her. "I have an explanation for why I acted like I did. It shouldn't excuse my behavior but hopefully it will help you understand. To start my name is Edward Masen." He paused and looked towards her as she became angry.
"You lied to me about your name." she hissed.
"No, not exactly. I am legally Edward Cullen now. No one knows my birth name around here. Not even Jasper and Emmett. Before I lived in Oregon I was from Chicago. I grew up as the son of one the richest, well known lawyers in Chicago. I had the best of everything; best clothes, the most expensive cars, and a hefty bank account. The girls I dated were like models from other wealthy families." He watched the apprehension in her eyes but she remained quiet to allow him to keep going.
"I was expected to follow in his footsteps and become a lawyer just like him. I was pushed through school and graduated law school early at twenty-two. I admit I had a swelled head at the time. I was engaged to a girl named Tanya. My father let me take the lead on a few court cases right away, which is very rare for someone just out of school. I won those cases too.
One day I needed the judge to sign off on paperwork on a case, the same judge I ironically had on all my previous cases. His secretary wasn't at her desk, so I knocked on his chamber door. I thought I heard something so I pushed open the door and poked my head in. I found Tanya bent over his desk.
I confronted her and she told me that my father paid her to do it, to ensure that I would win my cases. I didn't believe her and she pulled out a check from her purse to show me. I proceeded to confront my father and found that it was true; not only that but he had paid off some of my professors as well. I wasn't the prodigy that everyone thought, my father essentially bought my degree. Somehow I managed to pass the bar though.
I was so mad that I denounced him. I sold off everything and moved to Oregon to stay with my Grandfather Cullen on my mother's side. You know about the past few years, but ever since Tanya and my father I don't trust many or let them in. In fact, you're the first girl I have been with since Tanya." Edward finally finished, he glanced at Bella cautiously.
"I am sorry, what they did was terrible." She was pissed off for him and wanted to hunt down this Tanya and rip her hair out.
"Don't be. What I am trying to get at is it wasn't easy for me to let you in. You're beautiful, sweet, caring, smart and you've captured my heart the first moment I looked into your eyes." Bella blushed at his admission as she saw the truth in his eyes. "I panicked about how easy it was, not wanting to admit that I fell hard for you and my reaction was poor to push you away. When I succeeded, I only left a void in my life. So I'm here to beg you for another chance at this. I swear you'll never regret it if you let me in. I will move here to Seattle and make a life here to be close to you. I love you." He declared with love and hope in his eyes.
Bella's eyes grew round then filled with fat tears that poured out of her eyes and down her cheek. "You may change your mind in a minute." She grabbed the letter off the coffee table. She held it out to him with trembling hands, the paper shook. He nervously took it from her and skimmed it. Although he understood it, he failed to understand how this changed anything.
"What am I not getting?" He finally asked putting the letter back on the table.
"We were unprotected that night." Bella whispered so softly he almost missed it. She was now staring at her toes.
"Are you telling me you're pregnant?" Edward asked sliding closer to her. He reached over and wiped some tears away with his thumb. His mind was still trying to register everything.
"I'm not sure yet? I was about to take the test. It's in the bag." Bella figured since the height of her fertility was mid-cycle that if it had been four weeks since that night then the results should be accurate by now. "I swear to god, I wasn't trying to trap you. I honestly didn't know about the bad birth control. I'm not the type that usually…" her tears started to fall again. Edward hushed her and pulled her on to his lap.
"I know you're not, heaven. Don't cry." He kissed her forehead. She calmed down and curled into him. She was relieved that so far he was taking it so well. "I want to know one thing though before you go take that test, because the results will not change anything I want." He rested his head on hers hoping she felt the same way. "Tell me that you love me too, or at least we still have a chance. I want to hear your answer. What do you feel and what do you want? If there is any chance then I'm moving here to Seattle to be here with you."
Bella pulled away from him. "I can't allow you to do that." Edward's face fell. Bella blushed and placed a hand to his cheek. "Wait, don't miss understand me. I fell in love with you too. But the man I fell in love with was a woodsman that wore flannel and had scruff on his face. Don't get me wrong. You're still handsome all dressed up and clean shaven, but there was a spark in your eyes as you talked about your job. I can tell you love what you do. I'm not going to allow you to give that up. If either of us is to move, it should be me. I can write from the cabin. Of course, you'll have to be willing to allow WIFI, so I can contact my editors or Alice." She was cut off when Edward started kissing her.
When he pulled back he was grinning like a fool in love. His heart felt lighter and he hadn't felt this good in a long time. Bella smiled for the first time in weeks, all the anxiety she had been feeling melted away.
"I love you, heaven. Cheesy or not, I do believe you were sent to me for a reason." He kissed her nose.
"I love you, too. Just one thing, grow back the scruff. I miss it." She pouted playfully running her fingers on his cheek. She could already feel some stubble.
"Will do." He smiled lazily. He placed a hand on her stomach. "I also love our baby, just so you know."
"We don't even know if I'm pregnant yet." Bella smiled shyly and placed her hand over his.
"I know it's fast, but I hope you are. And if you're not, hopefully one day soon, because in case I wasn't clear I want it all with you. Marriage, children, growing old together, you name it."
"Should I bother with the test then?" Bella smiled happily. She shifted in his lap and could feel his erection pressing against her ass. He stilled her hips with his hands as his desire grew. He missed her and wanted to make up for lost time.
"Go take it. Then come right back to me, while we wait for the results I can show you how much I missed you. And we can find out whose mattress is better." He nuzzled her neck before kissing it making her breath hitch.
Seven Months later…
Bella sat outside on the wooden swing made for her as a wedding present by her husband, on an early December day. Snow was lightly falling giving the ground a light coating. She watched as her husband split logs for the wood pile for the winter. The sleeves of his flannel were pushed up to his elbows and his muscles rippled as he swung the ax.
She bit her lip and watched with eyes filled with desire. One hand caressed her large bump where a baby fluttered inside making their presence known. She was eight months along and she felt as if she was an oven herself with how hot she was despite it being winter.
Edward glanced up where his wife was sitting watching him. He winked at her and placed down his ax. He tossed the last log on the pile and walked over to her brushing his hands off on his thighs. His eyes never left his wife's as she licked her lip subtly.
"Shouldn't you be inside, heaven, where it is warmer. I don't want you to get sick." He said in concern.
"It feels good to me. I was enjoying the cool air and the view," she grinned. He chuckled as he sat down next to her. He pushed off and the swing rocked back and forth.
She immediately attacked him with her lips and pulled at his clothes. "I am all dirty, heaven. I'm sure I smell bad." He tried to push her back.
"You smell wonderful." She wasn't deterred. His musky scent of woods and sweat was driving her crazy with lust. "I need you." She begged him.
"Jasper and Alice will be here soon." He reminded her. Alice had moved to Forks about the same time as Bella. She and Jasper had really hit it off. They moved in together shortly after Bella and Edward's wedding in October. Edward had let Bella in on a secret that Jasper was going to propose at Christmas.
"We have time." Bella insisted. It was an hour before they were going to show up. "My father is coming too. What about Emmett?"
Bella's father was cynical at first with how fast their relationship was going. He warmed up to Edward after an altercation that Jacob started. Bella had told Edward about Jacob prior to her moving to Forks. So Jacob was not on Edward's favorite list, but with Bella's pleading he took the highroad. That earned him favor with Charlie when Jacob had tried to start a bar fight.
"He's visiting Rose." Edward wiggled his eyebrows at Bella. Their friends visited each other often. They weren't in a relationship, since both were too headstrong to give in to the other. But they still enjoyed each other's company occasionally.
"Please," she traced a finger through the scruff on his cheek.
Without answering, he lifted her up off the swing and carried her into their home and into their bedroom. Their friends and family helped Edward expand the cabin for their family and it now had four bedrooms that they planned to fill.
Four Wheeler: Standard car.
Bear-bait: speeding car.
Broken Crayon, shiny-side up. : Car accident with car still the right side-up
Hook Truck: Tow truck
Copy: Do you hear/understand.
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