Contest entry for the May to December Romance Contest
Summary: He's young, good-looking and in town for the summer. She's beautiful, kind and someone's mom. Can records and workouts be the key to their happiness?
Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable characters herein. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Emmett!" I yell up the stairs. "Hurry up, if you still need a ride."
Emmett grumbles as he slowly thumps down each step with his camo backpack slung over one shoulder.
"I've got plans. We need to hurry," I say when his combat boots stop in front of me. He's thirteen and almost my height. His frame is bulkier than mine, but he's not yet cut like I am.
"Gotta hot date?" he asks sarcastically.
I ball up my fist and show it to him.
"Yeah, with your face."
He flips me the bird.
"I'm so scared." Emmett squints one of his green eyes and scrunches his nose. I mirror his look, challenging him to continue acting like a little shit.
I lower my fist. "I'm in a hurry." I grab my keys on the table by the door and walk outside. I yell over my shoulder, "Get in the car, will ya?"
He growls under his breath. "Aren't you supposed to be at work?" he asks.
"You are my work."
A few months ago, Aunt Esme called asking me if I'd be available to hang out with my cousin this summer while they vacationed in Europe with some partners from Carlisle's law firm. I was hesitant at first but agreed when she offered me a hefty amount to help cover my lost wages and enough extra to put into savings. So this summer will be filled with carting Emmett around town and making sure he eats, sleeps and does whatever else a thirteen-year-old needs to do to survive the summer months in Forks. All I remember about being Emmett's age is whacking my meat several times a day and sneaking a porn mag or two from my dad's stash for my spank bank. But that was twelve years ago. Once I was in college and met Tanya, I didn't need my hand as much—until recently.
I drop Emmett off at his friend Jasper's and remind him I'll be back to pick him up at five. He mumbles something unintelligible before slamming the door to my Chevelle Super Sport—my baby.
"Ugh." I cringe when the rubber seal on my door doesn't mask the strength of Emmett's departure. He takes off running toward the house before I can get out and beat his ass. "Fucker." I didn't spend a whole year restoring it to its intended glory for some punk ass kid to disrespect it.
My attention is diverted for a moment when I watch a girl with brunette hair open the front door for Emmett. I take one last look at the immaculate, white two-story house with the wraparound porch before putting my car in gear. Jasper's parents must be loaded because I see a Mercedes SUV in the driveway along with a convertible Porsche Carrera.
My phone rings as I'm pulling away from the curb.
"Hey, what's up?"
"You on your way?"
Sam, my best friend from middle school, still lives in this sleepy little town. I was in eighth grade when Mom and Dad moved us to Seattle, but I kept in contact with a handful of my old friends, Sam being one of them. We played every imaginable sport together growing up, so we were naturally closer.
"I'll be there soon. I just dropped Em off at Jasper's house."
"Yeah, I guess."
"His mom is fucking hot! She comes into the pharmacy on occasion, and I always imagine doing her in aisle three." Sam laughs, making me smile.
"What's so special about aisle three?"
"His and hers lube and condoms."
"Wow, you never cease to amaze me."
"Hey! When have I ever not been amazing?"
I roll my eyes at his remark. "Well, at least Emmett is off my hands until five, so you have about six hours to tell me all about your mom-fantasies when I get there."
I hang up with Sam and then start plotting out how I'm going to make Emmett pay for the nasty attitude he's had since I arrived in Forks. I'm mentally picturing a grueling exercise routine. Running at the crack of dawn seems like a good place to start, followed by calisthenics. It might knock him down a notch or two and put my Masters in Physical Education to good use.
Once I get to Pete's Pizzeria, it only takes about five minutes for Sam to tell me how he'd do Jasper's mom. I have to laugh because while he thinks she is hot as hell, Sam only has a few moves, and I doubt those amateur level maneuvers will help him land a hot MILF.
"Dude that would be like dating your Aunt Kate," I tease.
Sam picks up his straw wrapper and throws it at my head, but I bat it away, hitting him in the chest.
"Shut up. And who said anything about dating? I could just hit it and quit it."
I shake my head in disgust as Sam lifts and rocks his hips suggestively.
"Gross, man. Damn gross."
But it is funny none-the-less to picture Sam with a woman his Aunt Kate's age and I rub that fact in his face while we play some one-on-one basketball at the park.
At five o'clock sharp, I'm honking the horn at Jasper's house, waiting for Emmett. When he doesn't show after a few minutes, I get out of the car to retrieve him myself, which pisses me off.
A gentle, warm breeze blows as I approach the house, and I hear Clapton floating in the air. It sounds like vinyl on a turntable, which excites me, and I wonder who loves the same music I do.
I knock softly on the screen door, and it claps as it hits the wooden frame. I shamefully lean closer, peering inside, looking into the dimly lit living area, and it only takes a few seconds before the girl with the long, brown hair walks my way. She wipes her brow with the back of her hand and smiles.
"Hello?" she greets and then giggles.
My words stick in my throat because one, I've been caught peeping in, and two, I'm suddenly mesmerized by her eyes and the warmth that exudes from their depths. They are a mixture of browns with green undertones; they are welcoming. Her eyes twitch and her smile falls, and it's then I realize I'm staring and need to speak.
I clear my throat, swallowing down embarrassment. "Um, yeah ... I'm here for Emmett?" I stuff my hands in the pockets of my athletic shorts. "I'm Edward Cullen, his cousin."
"Oh, yes. The boys are still playing in the woods. Would you like to come inside?"The smile from a few seconds ago returns. She's friendly, and her voice bubbles with happiness.
"Sure, but I told Emmett to be ready at five. Do you know where in the woods they might be? I could just go and get him."
I'm pissed at Emmett for ignoring what I told him when I dropped him off earlier, but yet, I have a strange need to enter this girl's home. It's warm and inviting, just like her eyes.
The song ends and a new Clapton song begins to play. My head turns to where the music fills the room, and my suspicions are confirmed—a retro-looking, turquoise turntable spins, the vinyl crackling every so often.
"I'm sure the boys will be back soon. They've been out there most of the day, only coming in earlier for a few bottles of water and a snack." She holds the screen door open and motions for me to step inside. "I think they smelled the cookies baking." The corner of her mouth turns up into a half smile, and I hear a puff of air expel from her nose. "Can I get you a drink while you wait? There's lemonade." I feel her eyes on me as I step through the door. She doesn't move to make a clear path, instead making it so I brush up against her arm as I walk inside.
She smells of perfume, and I draw in a deep breath. She catches me and smiles but it falters a little before she folds her arms into her body as she leads me to the kitchen.
"No. I'm fine, thanks."
The aroma of cookies fills the air, and I see them on a metal stand next to a pitcher of lemonade.
"Have a seat. I'm Bella, by the way."
"Nice to meet you."
And it's not a lie.
"I'm in the middle of making dinner. You can keep me company while we wait on Jazz and Em."
Bella opens the fridge, retrieving a bottle of white wine from within. Her flower print sundress swishes as she pivots, turning to the cabinet for a wine glass. Her back is exposed and tan; her shoulder blades move as she pops the cork and pours herself a drink. The slight ridges of her spine are mesmerizing, and my eyes follow the dips and divots until her dress conceals the rest.
It's been awhile since anyone has caught my eye so I clasp my hands together, laying them on the bar, and study her, wishing she had on a more form fitting dress.
"Where are you from, Edward?"
She hasn't turned to me, so I continue to watch her every move. Her head tips back slightly as she takes a sip of her wine. I lick my lips as she sets her glass down on the counter top. Bella opens the door to the refrigerator, putting the bottle back inside and then turns to me.
I reply, "I'm from Seattle."
"What do you do when you're not running around after your cousin?" Her fingers curl around her glass once more, and she walks to the counter where I am sitting and stands in front of me. She smiles and her eyes twinkle in the light.
"I work at a gym back home."
Her eyes fall on my bare arms. The Under Armor tank top I'm wearing doesn't hide the involuntary twitch of my muscled biceps. A lopsided grin tugs at my face when I see her notice, and then her eyes dart to mine like I've caught her doing something wrong.
"Mmmhmm, I see."
I don't take my eyes from hers. "You look fit." I lick my bottom lip and let my eyes drift down her body.
She answers, "We have a home gym."
"We should work out sometime."
She shrugs, making me think she's uninterested.
I'd love to see Jasper's sister in workout clothes. I might not get much accomplished, but it would be well worth the time I would get to spend in the gym with her. This image just might be what wet dreams are made of.
"I don't know." She walks around the counter toward the backdoor. I feel the heat of her stare on my back, and it sends a tingle up and down my spine.
Bella steps outside onto the deck facing the wooded area behind her house. I rock back in the barstool I'm sitting on to see her tugging at a rope attached to a large, loud bell. She stands there, looking off into the distance with her hand shading her eyes. I slide off the barstool and join her on the deck, but she doesn't notice me until I put my thumb and finger in my mouth, whistling loudly, startling her. I cup my hands around my mouth and yell Emmett's name.
I graze Bella's arm with my hand, and she sucks in a breath. I feel bad for sneaking up on her.
"That should get them hauling ass back here."
I feel my heart beating in the tips of my fingers the second I make contact with the skin on Bella's forearm. She's soft, silky and since I haven't touched a girl in a long time, I really don't want to remove my hand, but I do. Adrenaline shoots through my body when I get a whiff of her perfume once again. My dick starts to come alive but just as quickly deflates as I see movement through the trees. I hear the rustling of leaves as the boys run our way. For a second, I almost think of asking her out for a drink or for coffee, but it's too late.
"Hey, Edward," Emmett says. He has the common sense to look halfway apologetic for not being ready like I told him to be.
I shake my head, and when Emmett turns back to see if Jasper is behind him, I adjust my dick. I see Bella's eyes go wide as she catches me, but I'm not the least bit ashamed.
Bella shakes her head and turns in time for Jasper to kiss her on the cheek. "Sorry, we're late, Mom."
My eyes widen at the realization I have been flirting with the mother of my cousin's best friend.
She is fucking hot, just like Sam said.
Bella smiles as she wraps her arms around her son, giving him a hug.
I feel awkward, yet for some reason, I don't care. I just hope her husband hasn't witnessed any of my oogling.
While the boys make plans for the next day, I take the opportunity to feel her out. I'm not down with cheating since Tanya thought it was a grand idea to fuck my frat brother at a party. But this girl, this woman, who doesn't look much older than me, is hot as hell, and I find myself wanting to spend time with her, even if she is married. I now understand Sam's fantasies about Bella, but it pisses me off a little bit too. I want to call dibs on her, but that's high school shit. Besides, she's gotta be off the market.
Bella moves to the gas grill, opens the lid and ignites it like a pro. I've always thought that operating the grill was a man's job. Not to be a chauvinist pig or anything, but I love the sizzle of steaks on the hot grate while I enjoy a cold beer, and I want to offer to cook for her, but I don't.
"Maybe you should see if your husband would like to join us in the gym."
"No husband and …" she squints her eyes at me. "I didn't agree to workout with you."
Cocking my brow and side-eyeing the boys to make sure they aren't listening to our conversation, I close the distance between us. I feel the heat emitting from the grill, or maybe it's the girl.
My mouth nears her ear, and I see her eyelids flutter momentarily as I speak. "Then maybe you should agree, and I can show you a few new things." I run my hand lightly down her back and stop just above the curve of her ass. "We could work on your glutes."I hear her suck in a breath and hold it.
Bella turns her head, so she's looking at me, our noses are almost touching. "My ass is just fine."
I waggle my brows once. "I bet it is."
"You're pretty forward."
"And you like it."
She purses her lips together and shakes her head in disagreement.
"All I'm saying is just give me a try. I could teach you a few things," I say, the suggestion in my voice obvious.
"I highly doubt that."
"Why don't you try me?" We both know I'm not talking about exercise
"I'm not sure that's a good idea." She rubs her lips together and a bashful smile ends up on her pretty face.
I fake a smile. I'm disappointed she's not readily agreeing.
"All right then. I'm here all summer." I straighten my back, towering over Bella by at least ten inches, my six-foot-one frame dwarfing and shading her from the heat of the sun. "Call me if you change your mind," I whisper huskily, giving her a wink.
She nods and smoothes her hands down her dress. I smile at the way her cheeks suddenly turn rosy, and I know it's not from being in the sun for the few minutes we've been on the deck. "I need to get back inside and grab the meat." She smirks before turning to go inside.
I bite my lip and shake my head.
I watch Bella slip inside the back door, and I secretly hope she'll change her mind about needing me.
I tell the boys to wrap up whatever they are doing, and then I peek my head in the door before leaving.
I decide to try again, one last-ditch effort. Maybe I'm too forward, but I can't help myself.
"If you're not down for exercise then I'll take you up on that drink. Soon. I'll pass on the lemonade though." I wink, and her mouth drops open, but before she has a chance to respond, I close the door and leave.
The sun is barely touching the horizon when I wake Emmett to go for a run.
"Come on." I nudge him. "It'll be fun."
"If you really have plans to join the military, you'd better get used to this hour."
He groans, reluctantly rolling out of bed.
I already know our jogging route, planning it out as I lay in bed last night, jerking off. I have officially reopened my spank bank with Bella as my first deposit.
I can't get the fact out of my head that she is the mother of a thirteen-year-old. I keep doing the math, trying to ease my guilt of lusting after a woman so much older than I am.
Eleven years or so? Hell, Ashton and Demi made this shit okay. I wonder how long it will take for me to convince her of that fact. I don't need forever, but a summer of fun sounds pretty goddamned good.
Emmett and I jog by the Whitlock house at five-thirty in the morning, and I hope by all things holy that I'll see a glimpse of Bella, but I don't. I mean, I know it's early, but in my head, I picture a light on in the house and a silhouette of her through the window—something, just like in the movies. And when I drop Emmett off before having lunch with Sam, I don't see Bella at the door. I am acting like a pathetic, love-sick kid instead of a man with a degree and a steady job, working his way to owning his own business.
"So, what's the deal with Jasper's mom?"
"Why do you wanna know?" Sam takes an enormous bite out of his slice of pepperoni pizza, smiling like something's funny.
"Curious is all." I mask my underlying feelings for Bella by stabbing a piece of lettuce from my salad bowl and cramming the bite into my mouth.
Sam swallows. "Well, I could tell you that she's the hottest thing that has lived in Forks in years, but I think you've noticed already."
I pinch my brows together like I don't know what my friend is talking about.
"Don't play dumb with me. Yesterday you don't know who that hot piece of ass is, and today you're playing twenty questions?"
I shrug. "I told you I'm just curious, and besides I've only asked one question."
"I'm sure you'll have nineteen more once I tell you what's been going through the gossip mill at work. You know Jessica Stanley is a wealth of information. Even if you don't care to know anything, she tells you anyway." He wipes his mouth with the back of his hand. "But of course I want to know everything about my future fuck buddy." He chuckles.
I clench my fist under the table and clear my throat. I also wipe the eat-shit-and-die look off my face. What I'm feeling is completely irrational, but I can't help how the anger hits me deep in my gut when Sam talks about Bella in a sexual manner.
My voice is strained. "Are you going to fill me in?"
He nods with a devious grin on his face.
Sam starts from the beginning, when Bella and Jasper moved to town. He says her husband left her for a much younger woman, a model he knocked up and then they took off to Paris with. Apparently, he hasn't seen Jasper since starting his new family. Sam's not leaving anything out, and I'm almost positive that Jessica has embellished quite a few things, but none-the-less, it still pisses me off.
I've lost my appetite, but I continue to eat, giving me something to focus on as Sam tells me all there is to know about Bella.
It's been uncharacteristically warm in Forks the past week, so the boys have been staying inside Jasper's house, playing video games instead of hanging out in the woods. And every evening when I swing by to pick up Emmett, he's been ready and waiting, which gives me no reason to get out of my car and knock on Bella's door. It really pisses me off that Emmett has now decided, of all times, to straighten up and listen to my threats. Since I never gave Bella my phone number, I need a reason to go to the door, so I can see her.
Now if he'll just revert back to acting like the old Emmett, and quit thwarting my only hopes with my fantasy girl, I'll be happy. I only have five more weeks in Forks and then I'm gone, so I need to make a move because the images my mind has conjured up are killing me.
Straight up, I'm sexually frustrated.
When I close my eyes, all I picture are my hands on her body, showing her how to lift weights correctly. Then watching as her tits bounce up and down as she runs on the treadmill or my eyes lingering on her ass as she stretches when her fingertips touch her toes.
Then my mind goes beyond the workouts.
The X-rated thoughts.
Steamy, hot shower scenes.
My hands, slick with soap, as I run them over her tits, washing off the workout I put her through in the gym. They fit perfectly in my hands and my thumbs glide over her hardened nipples. I picture her head tilting back, letting the spray of the water completely consume her as my lips find the soft skin of her neck.
And then my alarm wakes me.
Another day, another boner.
My dreams never progress beyond a certain point, and I'm desperate. If what Sam told me at lunch the other day is true, it makes me angry. Anyone that could leave Bella is fucking nuts because, in my book, she is the perfect ten.
I hear the roar of his engine before I see his car pull up to drop off Emmett. That cousin of his has been on my mind since the first day I met him. I curse him, out loud, for making my body react in ways I didn't think were possible anymore—not since Demetri.
I know I should have moved as he entered my home that first day, but my body wouldn't let me. I am still stunned by the reaction his brushing up against my arm caused.
Whenever I see him, Edward is always casually dressed in his athletic shorts and a t-shirt, his muscles pumped up and on display for my hungry eyes. He usually looks as if he has just played a game of basketball or participated in some other physical activity. It reminds me of the day we met, his cheeks red from the heat and the fringes of burnt copper hair damp from sweat. The memory of his manly smell, sweat with a spritz of cologne, still causes my toes to curl.
I have always been a sucker for a jock, and I know I was probably unsuccessful at covering my moment of weakness when I shamelessly ogled him.
Edward's meadow-green eyes are what drew me in, but his chiseled jaw with five o'clock shadow was my undoing. I wanted to reach out and touch him—feel if the scruff was soft or prickly under my fingertips. I yearned to feel that sensation again, but I scolded myself for thinking about him in that manner and tucked my hands under my arms after he entered.
Emmett only relays that Edward is the boss of him until his parents get back from Europe and it makes me laugh. On several occasions, I suggest he take it easy on Edward and be kind. It can't be very relaxing for a twenty-something with no kids to handle a teen. But Emmett's been a good friend to my son in the year that we've lived here, helping him adjust to a new school and way of life. I owe a lot to that kid for taking Jasper under his wing, so to speak. So he's a winner in my book. Life in Forks is much different than the lifestyle we were accustomed to in California, but thanks to his best friend, Jasper is doing well, considering his dad had been gone for so long.
Thinking back to that first day Edward brought Em over, I remember his irritation with Emmett, but I also remember his body language and flirtatious behavior and determine he definitely wasn't as annoyed as he wanted to be.
After our initial interaction, I couldn't bring myself to face him, afraid my eyes would linger too long in inappropriate places, or that he would be able to read my thoughts as my eyes drifted over his gorgeous physique. I ended up pouring a glass of wine to keep myself busy. The alcohol should have calmed my nerves, but it didn't, and it was all in vain once I finally turned around.
Demetri has been gone three years and never once has anyone else caught my eye.
"Stop, Bella." I chastise myself as I watch from my bedroom window as Edward once again drops off Emmett. I have purposely been hiding upstairs every day this week, looking out over our quaint street knowing that I'll see him. Only after Emmett enters our house and the hot rod rumbles down the street do I go downstairs. I'm protecting both myself and Edward from something I am sure will end badly.
Edward's not-so-subtle hints the other night were flattering and I did get lost in the feeling of being wanted again. Wanted by someone attractive, someone boyish, who had the ability to make me feel ten years younger and more carefree, a man that could help me forget the past few years of hell I've been living—someone to take my mind off the things that sadden me.
But I need to spare us both unwanted drama. This small town is a breeding ground for gossip. In the short time we've been here, a few rumors have made their way back to me via my next-door neighbor, Mrs. Cope. Not one fact has been correct, so I know that starting a relationship with Edward, even just a working one as a personal trainer, will get a few nosey Nellies in this town talking again.
I pull out my cookbook, sit down at my kitchen table overlooking our backyard, and remember the time Garrett, from across the street, knocked on my door offering to shovel snow off our driveway. Apparently the kindness became the subject of gossip, and I, being the seductress that I hear I am, seduced him away from his wife, Kate. The only thing hot and creamy Garrett got from me that day was hot chocolate in a to-go cup. Even if I had been attracted to Garrett, at the time I wasn't ready to date again. Mrs. Cope, thankfully, keeps me apprised of the rumors, and she helps dispel the nastiness around town.
I laugh as I sift through recipes.
As much as this small town appealed to me over a year ago when I was researching new places to move, it has become a pain in the ass. Everyone thinks they know everything about me when in actuality, my previous life is a well-kept secret.
So I keep to myself, with the exception of my friend Bree from the Farmer's Market.
My head snaps up toward the noise at my back door.
My heart halts at the sight.
I'm relieved when I see Edward's face peering in but embarrassed at the high-pitch yelp that escapes my throat. My fingers clutch my t-shirt over my heart, and I struggle to catch a breath.
The door slowly opens.
"I'm sorry I scared you." His voice soothes. "Are you okay?" Edward kneels down in front of me and pries my hand from my shirt. The green in his eyes darkens with worry.
I nod, swallowing down my paranoia. "I'm fine."
The heat of his hand sears my skin.
He doesn't let go, and I'm thankful.
His touch is welcoming and safe.
"Em forgot his swim trunks, so I brought them over." He holds up a pair of blue hibiscus-print board shorts. He tries to smile but worry shines through.
"Oh. Um, yeah. They changed their minds about the pool today."
Edward lowers our hands to my lap but doesn't let go.
"You sure you're all right? You looked terrified."
I shake my head, contradicting what I was going to say. "I'm fine, really."
Edward's fingers tighten around my hand, and I notice his bicep flex. "You can tell me anything, Bella. I'm a good listener."
At that moment, I believe he is trustworthy. His eyes soften, back to the meadow-green shade I remember from our first day, and he looks sympathetic.
All I can do is nod.
Over the next week, Edward makes a habit of coming to the door to pick up Emmett, and I look forward to seeing him each day. I don't hide in my room in the mornings; in fact, I make sure I am dressed and downstairs when Emmett arrives. I secretly hope Emmett will forget a swimsuit or a PS3 game or something that will bring Edward back sooner. Instead, I get about fifteen minutes of Edward at pick up, and then he fills my dreams at night.
His casual winks when he leaves my house each day are titillating. I feel things in places that haven't been in use for quite some time.
On Friday, I finally get the nerve to ask Edward if he'd like to be my personal trainer. I have given it a lot of thought and have decided to screw the rumor mill.
"Change of heart?" He gives me a cocky smile, but it's completely adorable.
"I just figured I could contribute to your gym fund." I feign innocence.
"Really now?" His voice lowers. "That's awfully sweet of you." He cocks one eyebrow at me, and something from within melts, making me feel weak in the knees. The last few days we've both been playful with one another in a good-humored way, teasing one another about various things. He calls me Vinyl because of my love for old vinyl records. And music is a safe topic, for both of us, but the gym is a close second.
"Well, I did some thinking, and if you want that business to become reality, I can help you add to your savings." I tuck my hair behind my ear and try acting nonchalant, but to no avail.
Edward has confided in me about his goal to open a gym. He has a business plan but no capital to jump start his dream. Me hiring him will help get that going and satiate my craving for him to be in my presence for longer than a few minutes a day.
I can't help my smile when his eyes widen and a cute smirk plays on his face. I want to reach out and caress his cheek, but I don't. I still feel my attraction to him is wrong, odd even. I'm older by thirteen years. Hell, I was Edward's age, twenty-five, when I had Jasper.
Edward outstretches his arm, and I take his hand. "You've got yourself a deal, Vinyl," he says, and then we shake on it.
I return his smile.
My stomach bubbles with excitement and the tingling feeling spreads through my body, from the tips of my fingers clear to my toes. This is the first thing I have had to look forward to in a very long time.
"I'm going to take it easy on you the first few days. Get you used to the program." I set my duffel bag on the floor next to the basement steps and retrieve my water bottle.
Bella smirks. "All right, but my endurance level might impress you."
She's across the large, open room that she has designated as her home gym. Bella closes the cabinet door which hides a stereo that she's just turned on and then walks toward my side of the room.
"That smile of yours isn't going to be there once you complete my workout." I take a swig of cool water, trying to mask my smile. I walk to the mats in front of a wall of mirrors and set my water bottle down on the floor. She's standing next to me now and pokes my bicep.
"I thought you were going to take it easy on me, Boss?"
It's crazy, but when she calls me Boss, I want to pick her up and throw her over my shoulder like a Neanderthal. Show her who's in charge, show her how I really want to work her out.
"You've changed my mind with your admission. I'd like to see your endurance." I raise my eyebrow, wondering if she's really up to the work out I'm about to put her through.
Oh, God, how I'd love to see her stamina—bedroom stamina, but at the moment, I need to try and focus on the workout in the basement.
I put my hands on her shoulders and turn her, so she's facing the mirror. I stand behind her, and we're both looking at one another.
"Let's do it then." I give her a quick wink.
She peels off her sweatshirt, tossing it to the side, and I'm pumped that I am now able to see each curve on her body. I take a step back, letting my eyes drift down to her black workout pants which are showing off her perfectly rounded ass.
I adjust my dick.
I step forward after not so subtly checking out her ass and admire the pink tank top hugging her torso so tight that nothing is left to my imagination. My fingers twitch when I see the tops of her tits pushed together and spilling out of the low cut tank, and I imagine holding them. I put my hands on my hips, so I don't reach out and touch her inappropriately. I need to focus on this workout since that's what she's paying me for.
"Let's get you stretched."
And I am determined to act professionally.
After showing Bella the proper way to stretch before each workout, we get down to business. I am surprised that she's able to keep up even though it's obvious she uses her home gym often. Our hour and a half together ends much too quickly, and she does a great job—never complaining, not even once.
I'm impressed, to say the least.
"Good job, Vinyl," I say, throwing her a towel to wipe the sweat off her forehead and neck.
Oh, her neck. I am fixated on the sweat beads trickling down from her hairline to the crevice at her collarbone and then ever so slowly making a path down between her tits.
She's a little winded but asks, "Same time tomorrow?"
I try to act cool. "Yep."
I can't wait.
God, I still feel her skin under my fingers, remembering how I helped show her the correct way to stretch and then lift weights. I am sure our session in the morning can't come soon enough.
Knowing I will be working out with Bella affects me like drinking a Red Bull. It puts me in such a good mood that Emmett is ready to kill me. Apparently, my jovial mood at what he has determined is the ass-crack of dawn doesn't go over well with him. However, we do go on our morning run, which kills time and leaves less time to countdown until I get to see my workout buddy.
On our runs, I begin asking Emmett questions about the Whitlocks, and he unknowingly feeds me with much-wanted tidbits of their former life. I find out they used to live in Beverly Hills and that Jasper went to a private school. They used to have a maid, a pool and went on trips in private jets. But when I ask about Jasper's dad, Emmett shrugs. I'm not sure if he's keeping it a secret, if he honestly doesn't know or if he is out of breath. Either way, I don't pry. I want to find out why Bella is single and if some of the rumors Sam has told me are true. After spending more time with Bella, I know without a shadow of a doubt that she can't be the reason she's single.
She is perfect.
After a glorious few weeks of working out with Bella, she mentions she wants to add an elliptical machine to her gym. She asks my opinion, and I tell her I'll be happy to go with her to check them out. She seems receptive, and I am elated that I'll be going on a little road trip to Port Angeles with her.
"We could go tomorrow after we drop off the boys."
The drive there will be a dream come true—uninterrupted time with her while the boys are attending Boy Scout day camp.
"Yeah, perfect. Whatever works for you." I zip my duffel bag and pull the strap over my shoulder. We are finished with our session for the day, but I really am not ready to leave. We have settled into a comfortable routine every morning as we work out. While she runs on the treadmill, I lift weights, which is my favorite part of the morning. Why? Because I can't help but glance at her in the mirror to see if she is watching me—and her eyes are always fixated on what I'm doing. Plus, I love the way her tits bounce even though they are tucked away in her brightly colored sports bras.
"Should I be nervous?" I tease.
"Only if you are afraid of fast driving and wind in your hair." She ruffles my damp hair, and I smile.
"I'm not afraid of a whole lot. But especially not fast cars and messy hair." I tug at the end of her ponytail.
Laughing, she says, "Then it's a date!" Her eyes widen, and she turns around to retrieve her water bottle. I know exactly what she meant, although, I can't say I'm not disappointed in the fact that it really isn't a date. But, I hope that after some time together, she will see for herself that we are perfect for one another.
Before my alarm buzzes, I'm up and ready for my run. I'm feeling like a nice guy this morning, so I let Emmett sleep in and go without him. I figure he'd throw a bitch-fit if he had to run the few extra miles I've decided to add on today since I have nervous energy to burn. I was wake most of the night, thinking about how, in a few short hours, I'd be spending time with Bella, and my anxiety is through the roof. My run takes longer than expected, and when I get home, I'm rushing to get Emmett ready for camp and myself ready to leave town.
"Here. Take a shower and eat this. We gotta go." I shove a Pop-Tart in Emmett's hand and then run downstairs to the master suite to take my own shower. It doesn't take long to wash and get dressed since I always wear the same thing: a pair of athletic shorts, t-shirt and a baseball hat. But I make sure my facial hair is trimmed perfectly since I've noticed Bella's eyes lingering on my face at times, and then I splash on my favorite cologne.
The drive to Port Angeles is perfect. There's too much road noise to talk with the Carrera top down, so Bella turns up the stereo, letting the Blaupunkt speakers thump as she presses the pedal to the metal. I can tell which songs she likes the most when she smiles and bobs her head to the beat. Occasionally she sings; although, I can't hear her from the excessive wind noise. She does, however, have on a tank top and a flowy, above-the-knee skirt that catches in the wind every now and then, which keeps me more than entertained. And at one point, as her hair swirls around her face, she reaches over to take my hat off my head and puts it on hers. She looks fuck hot in her Ray Bans with the bill of my hat facing backward.
I have to do a discreet dick adjustment.
My big ass smile hasn't fallen from my face once since we left Forks.
"We're here." She pulls into the parking lot where she wants to buy her elliptical and turns off the car.
We unbuckle our seatbelts, and I notice her long dark hair is tangled under my hat and a few strands are stuck to her lip gloss. I reach over, gently swiping the hair from her mouth with my index finger. Bella licks her lips—looking sexy as hell— before reaching for her purse between my legs.
Her arm brushes along the bare skin of my inner thigh.
"Sorry," she says and then opens her door.
I'm not sorry.
Another dick adjustment and I'm out the door, jogging next to her as we head inside.
"How can I help you?" says a voice from the back of the store.
I see a salesman start walking our way.
"Just looking." Bella tells the guy.
He's close enough to us now that I see his name is Riley. He disregards Bella's dismissal and starts talking to her. He doesn't even acknowledge me.
"You don't look like you need any of this equipment." He chuckles, eyeing her body.
Bella makes a nervous noise and rolls her eyes so only I can see and walks to a different machine. I'm a few feet away, tapping my foot. My teeth are sunk into the side of my cheek as Riley follows closely behind her. I quickly follow behind him.
Bella asks my opinion about each machine on display, but Riley butts in each time before I can open my mouth. His tone is flirty, too flirty for a salesman, and I'm fighting to hold my tongue.
"Here's one you might like." Riley motions toward a machine. "This one is on sale but …" he touches the back of her arm. "I can sweeten the deal a little more if ..."
And I lose it.
I close the distance between me and the jackass before he can finish his sentence. "Get your damn hands off her."
Riley puts his hands up in surrender. "Sorry, man. Didn't know she was taken. No ring. No harm."
I push my chest out, and I'm ready to go another round with this asshole except Bella stops me.
"It's okay, Edward," Bella says, brushing her hand against my upper arm.
I point my finger at Riley. "No, it's not. He's a fucking dick."
I'm shaking my head, and my adrenaline is flowing through my veins as I give Riley the death stare.
"Let's go," Bella says, taking a hold of my wrist. I can't even enjoy her touch because I'm ready to punch Riley in his face.
When we get back to the Porsche, I open Bella's door then take a few deep breaths to calm myself as I walk around to my side. Bella has her hand on the key, but she doesn't start the engine. "Hey, thanks for that back there." She gives me a small smile, rubs her hand over my knee. "He was a jerk."
"He should be fired." I squint my eyes wishing I could still pound the asshole into the ground. "But I'm sorry if I embarrassed you."
She shakes her head and smiles bigger. "You didn't. He deserved it."
We end up at Sears where we buy the perfect piece of equipment and set up a delivery time. Bella suggests we walk around the mall and have some fun before heading back to Forks.
I like shopping with Bella. We mostly window shop, but she decides she needs a new pair of shoes, so we end up in a department store. I'm trying to help her make a decision, but she shakes her head at each pair of shoes I pick up.
"Oh, come on, Vinyl, these are perfect to wear grocery shopping."A pair of very sexy, black, six-inch fuck-me-heels dangle from my finger in front of her face.
"Be for real," she laughs and then slaps at my shoulder.
"I'm totally freaking serious. You need these."
I am completely serious, but she thinks I'm joking. I imagine them on Bella's feet, accessorizing a little black piece of lingerie hugging her body. I close my eyes and picture it, her tits bulging out the top and her ass peeking out the bottom.
"Edward?" Bella nudges me with a finger to my arm.
"What? Oh, shit." I look down at my crotch, and Bella giggles, covering her eyes with her hand.
I find a chair close by because the boner in my shorts is out of control. Thankfully, Bella acts like nothing is wrong and takes a seat next to me, motioning for the sales girl.
When we leave the store, I'm carrying a bag with two pairs of flats.
Bella taps the bag in my hand and then tilts her face up to mine. "Now, those I can wear grocery shopping."
Total buzz kill.
My day with Bella is about over, and my mood starts to shift. I tell myself I'll see her in the morning for our workout and then again tomorrow afternoon when the elliptical is delivered. I lean forward to crank up the tunes and then let my head rest against the back of the seat, enjoying the scenery to the left of me: the dark-haired beauty with my hat on her pretty, little head, wiggling to melodic tunes.
Now that's a gorgeous sight.
Emmett and I are in desperate need of food, so we drag ourselves to the grocery store. I'm slacking on the 'keeping the kid nourished' part of the deal since our fridge is almost empty.
We drive the side streets, enjoying the lazy Sunday afternoon and happen to pass the Whitlock house. I won't say it's by accident either. I tend to opt for this route when I can, feeling closer to Bella since we had decided to take the weekends off.
I miss seeing her.
Sunday afternoons in Forks are laid back. Families play Frisbee in their front yards. Couples hold hands while walking on the sidewalks, and impromptu football games are being played in the park. I am caught up in the tranquility of life, remembering how much I enjoyed the homey feel when I lived here. It's a far cry from the hustle and bustle of Seattle. I suddenly have the urge to move back, but part of me says it's not for any of the things I've just mentioned.
We pull into Newton's, and I notice Bella's Porsche at the diner next door. For a second, I get excited, thinking I'll grab a couple of milkshakes so I can bump into her. But then my stomach clenches, and the fine hairs on my neck stand on end. She steps out of the door with a man next to her, and he has his hand on the small of her back. He's wearing a suit, and she's in a sundress, the one she was wearing the first time I met her.
They look friendly, and my emotions are raw. My hands tighten around the steering wheel, anger building at seeing another man touch her. It takes me a few seconds to realize just how stupid I'm acting, so I take a few deep breaths and swallow my wrath.
I park the car and tell Emmett we need to hurry and do the shopping because we have another stop to make before going home.
After dinner, I leave Emmett in front of the TV watching Man vs. Wild. I need to see Bella, but I don't tell him that's where I'm going. I know he'll tell Esme and Carlisle that I have the hots for Jasper's mom or some shit like that. He's already questioned me a couple of times about coming up to the house to pick him up when he's always ready and waiting. He might be smarter than I am giving him credit for, but for now, I'm keeping him in the dark. Since I have scheduled workouts with Bella, it's much easier to skate around Emmett's questioning.
I pull up in front of Bella's house and cut the engine of my Chevelle. Both her cars are in the drive with no extras hanging around, meaning the person I saw her with today probably isn't here.
I jog up the stairs. Another vinyl record is playing, and the thumping in my chest goes crazy. I know she's near, and I'm nervous. I look down at the gift I bought her after Emmett and I finished grocery shopping. The evidence of my nerves shows in the sweaty palm print on the front. Finally I take a deep breath and it does the job I intended, chasing away some of the apprehension. Just as I raise my fist to knock, the door opens.
Words don't describe her beauty.
That same flower print dress teases me. It conceals what I now know hides underneath: delicate curves, tight stomach, an innie belly button that my tongue yearns to explore, toned legs I want wrapped around my waist, and an ass as round as a ripe peach.
"Hi."Bella looks happy yet confused.
I stand there for a second, tapping the gift in my hand, forgetting the words I had planned on saying to her.
"Um, hi." I rock from foot to foot. My nerves once again returning when I see her.
"Are you okay?"
"May I come in?"
She nods and opens the screen door for me to enter. The tunes are slow, and the crackles echo from the record player, reminding me of the reason I came over in the first place. Actually, the reason I concocted in order to see her this evening.
I hand her the album I bought earlier. It's one of my favorites; we talked about a few of the songs on the album when I first started coming around.
She smiles. "Thank you."
She turns the record over, scanning the songs on the back cover. "You didn't have to do this. I was plan…"
"I wanted to."
Bella's eyes dart to mine, and I see something in them for the first time. Something she's hidden from me.
She takes a step back and turns. I take a step forward, gently turning her back around to face me. My arm settles at her waist, pulling her into my chest.
Appeasing a small part of my craving for her.
Her tits rise and fall with quick breaths and one hand pushes on my chest.
"Don't," I say. Covering her hand with mine.
She feels so small in my arms.
"Please, stop fighting this."
Bella knows what I mean; I can see it in her expression. We've had a connection since the first time we met.
She shakes her head and closes her eyes. I see wetness form in their corners, and her lashes become damp. I release the hand on my chest and gently wipe at one eye, and then the other.
I tilt her chin up when I finish.
"Open your eyes, Vinyl."
She's fighting with some kind of demon; maybe it's the age thing—or the husband leaving thing. But I don't give a damn in this second; I need her to know I want her just as much as she seems to want me.
"I can't pretend anymore." My voice pleads.
She shakes her head faster. "It's not even worth trying. One of us will end up hurt."
I lower my head and close the distance between my mouth and her ear. "Who says?"
My lips make contact with the soft skin on her neck. I blindly take the record from her tight hold and toss it as her hands grip the sides of my shirt.
Her knees buckle as she gives in, and I grip her tighter around the waist, pulling her back up.
"I've got you."
"We shouldn't." She protests once more although, this time does not sound as convincing as the first.
My mouth hovers on her neck, breathing her in, and then I start kissing a path to her collarbone. "Is there someone else, Vinyl? Someone you're not telling me about?"
I need to know that the guy from the diner today means nothing to her.
"There's no one else," she whispers.
"Tell me you feel this. Tell me you want me too." My hands are greedy; one falls to her ass cheeks while the other one roams the edges of her backless sundress, dipping inside.
Bella whispers, "Jasper. He's in the other room."
My reply comes out harsher than I intend. "I don't give a shit."
Our lips barely touch, the heat of our breath mingles and a shiver runs up my spine when we stare into one another's eyes. It seems like hours because I'm lost in the depths of her beauty, not believing this moment is real. Bella brings me back to the present as she tips her head forward, initiating the kiss; her lips are like satin, and her tongue is sweet like cotton candy, as I taste her for the first time. The heat of her body penetrates me, soldering more than just a physical connection. It's emotional, and the pang in my heart subsides. My hand skims her back until my fingers are laced in the hair at her nape; my other arm, resting at her waist, pulls her tighter. Our quickening breaths escalate the kiss, and I feel her melt into me. Our tongues tangle and sync, exploring and finally settling into a languid rhythm. Her hands brush a path up the middle of my back and rest between my shoulder blades, her nails biting into my skin.
The urge to take more overcomes me, and I turn us so she's now pressed up against the wall by the front door.
"You're so fucking gorgeous."
We're close, not a wisp of air between us. I'm so fucking hard, and my dick strains at my waistband. She feels all of me and whimpers.
I deepen the kiss and both my hands grip her ass, lifting her up so her legs wrap around my waist and her arms circle my neck.
I can feel the heat from her pussy through our clothing. My dick presses right where I know she wants me.
"You like this?" I tilt my hips forward, applying more pressure between her legs.
Her answer is a strangled moan as it escapes her throat.
"You're killing me. I can't stop thinking about you." I say between hot, wet kisses.
"Edward," she says all breathy, and her hands grip the hair at my scalp. Her hips swivel, and I know she wants more.
"That's it." I coax her. "That feels so fucking good."
She shakes her head. Our mouths are open, and our lips are touching, but we're just breathing each other in, feeling the connection of our bodies for the first time.
My eyes close, and I'm lost.
I'm so fucking lost in this girl that I can't tell if I'm coming or going. She's doesn't realize that she has created a permanent spot inside my heart, residing there and with every beat of my heart, she embeds herself further.
Her hands cup my neck, and her thumbs smooth over the hair on my jaw.
"I've wanted to do this since the day you knocked on my door." And then she gently bites at my jaw and licks a line from my jaw to my chin. It sends chills through my entire body.
Then we hear a loud noise from the other room, and it's over. She untangles her legs from my body and pushes at my chest.
She takes a step to the side and straightens her dress. Her voice is but a whisper. "We can't."
I step in front of her. "You keep saying we can't, but you don't mean it." I shake my head and skim her flushed cheek with my knuckles. "Meet me somewhere. Tonight." It's not a question.
Bella exhales deeply, her chin drops and she chews at her bottom lip. The blood that was violently swooshing through my veins slows. I see something in her eyes, and the hope I had a few seconds ago wanes. My arms fall from her waist, and I start to back away. My hand grips the doorknob and I'm about to turn it when she finally nods and my fucking heart beats once again.
"The park? Text me when you can get away, and I'll meet you there."
I bend down, capturing her lips once more with mine.
"Vinyl." I tip her chin up so she's looking directly into my eyes. "See you soon."
Hours pass slowly, and I start losing hope in the anticipated text message. I mull over the kiss, the touches and the way Bella looked in my arms. The energy of the moment has me gasping to catch a breath.
I rip my t-shirt off and grab for my headphones, so I can go for a run. I need to clear my head, pound the pavement and push the fact that Bella probably isn't going to contact me, out of my mind.
When I leave the house, I contemplate taking the same route as Emmett and I jog in the morning, but I think better of it since it will take me by the Whitlock's. I don't trust myself not to stop and throw pebbles at her bedroom window or knock at her door, beg her to meet me and to give me, us, a chance.
Not even when Tanya and I split did I feel the desperation I'm feeling right now.
The longing to touch Bella is too much, and I ball my fists and pump my arms faster, sprinting, pushing myself harder than I ever have.
I end up at the park.
I pull the headphones off my ears, letting them rest around my neck and walk in the dark over the freshly cut grass, circling the park until my heart rate returns to normal. I'm acting emo and shit, so I need to go home and forget about what could have been.
I'm about to leave when I notice Bella's convertible in the parking lot. I quickly grab for my phone and check for missed calls or texts, but there aren't any. The glow of Bella's phone illuminates her face, and I wonder if she's debating whether or not to contact me?
I take a seat on a bench in a darkly-shadowed area of the park. My view is perfect, but unless Bella's looking for me, she won't notice I'm here. I grip my phone in my hand, willing it to ping or ring and let me know she wants to meet. But the phone does neither, and after five minutes the little shred of hope seeing her here gave me is snuffed out.
I sigh, resigned to the fact that Bella can't or won't take the chance on us becoming something wonderful.
I stand and start to pull my headphones back on my ears when my phone starts playing the song 'Wonderful Tonight', and the photo I secretly snapped of Bella laughing lights up the screen.
"Hi." Her voice is soft and sweet.
"About time, Vinyl." I tease, but neither of us laughs.
I watch as she drags her fingers through the front of her hair.
"I um. I didn't know if I should call."
"You had me worried." My legs feel weak, and I decide to sit back down. "You letting me down easy? Or …" I rub my hand over my face before continuing. "You gonna meet me tonight?"
"I don't know."
"Tell me something." The sound of her taking a deep breath doesn't ease my mind. It puts more doubt out there and my chest tightens. "Why'd you drive to the park if you don't wanna see me?"
Her breath hitches, and she looks around, scanning the desolate grounds. "How'd you know?"
"I went for a run." I stand. "Look straight ahead."
Her head quickly snaps forward, and I lift my hand, unsure if she can see me because she doesn't wave back. Silence lingers, and for a minute, I think she ended our call.
Finally, I hear her suck in a breath and she speaks. "I see you."
"Do you really wanna see me? Or should I go on home?" I can't go toward her car until she answers my question.
"God, yes, I want to see you. I fucking always want to see you. That's the problem."
"That doesn't seem like a problem. It actually sounds pretty fucking good."
"Edward, I'm afraid."
"Afraid of me?"
I see her shake her head, and this time I start walking.
"Yes. I mean, no. I'm afraid of you leaving."
"You will. You're young."
I pick up my pace, jogging until I'm standing just a few feet in front of her car. I deliberately raise my phone and hit end on the call, all without removing my eyes from hers.
The moonlight captures Bella's beauty, holding her in the softness of its illumination. Her eyes sparkle like stars when she tips her head up to greet me, and I see tears making them glisten.
I toss my phone in the car and open her door. I squat down next to her, and she swivels in her seat.
"You have dreams," she says sadly.
My hands cup her face, and I bring her lips close to mine.
"My dream is you, Vinyl. My goddamned dream is you."
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