A/N: Good morning from Alaska! Let's finish this out.
This is completely gratuitous fluff… there is no plot in this chapter. Oye.
The closer she got to work, the more shaky Bella felt. This was ridiculous, she tried to tell herself. She was an adult in an adult relationship with adult coworkers. This wasn't going to be like high school.
Steeling herself, she walked in the door with her head held high. Or at least she tried. Emmett was hovering as per usual near the door so he could watch the early dinner crowd trickle in. He spotted her immediately and slung an arm around her shoulders. "Bella. Bella, Bella, Bella." He clucked his tongue. "You don't come out of your shell halfway, girl. You and Edward, huh?"
Bella ducked out from under Emmett's arm and winked at him. "Only because Rose already has you, Em," she called over her shoulder.
She didn't get far before she came face to face with Jessica. "Nothing's going on," she said in a mimicking tone. "You're a lying liar who lies, Bella Swan."
"I can't be held responsible for the fact he asked me out after I told you nothing was going on."
"Uh huh. So spill. Really, how long has this been going on?"
Bella ducked behind the counter, retrieving her apron. "You were there, Jess. Last night was the first date. Edward was a perfect gentleman. There was a kiss at the door."
"Ugh. You suck."
"Not on a first date." Bella smiled sweetly and turned, only to run right into a solid wall of Edward. Surprised, her bravado crumpled, and she couldn't help her shy smile as she looked up at him. "H-hey, boss."
"Hey, kitten." He cupped her around the elbows, and to her everlasting surprise, he kissed her. It wasn't a deep kiss, but it lingered. Bella whimpered into his mouth and relaxed, her hands at his waist.
Probably more seconds than was socially acceptable later, Edward pulled back. He smiled and kissed the tip of her nose before he turned to look at Jessica. "There, you see? I was a perfect gentleman. That's all you're getting tonight. I'm paying you to work, not gossip."
"You got it." Jessica leaned in to say sotto voce to Bella, "Can I at least get a fist bump, because damn, girl." She held her fist out.
Grinning and blushing, Bella bumped.
"I have a question," Edward said when they found themselves alone in his office.
His eyes were riveted, she noted. Focused on her form as she walked toward him. A smile tugged at the corner of her mouth, and she put a sway in her step. He bit his lip, and she sat on the edge of his desk, crossing her legs. "What?"
He looked up at her, blinking. "What?"
It took all of her willpower not to laugh at him. "You have a question."
"I do?" He cleared his throat. "I mean. Yes. I have a question." He recovered his natural charm, breaking out that grin that was pure sex. "About this date."
Aloof, aloof, Swan. "Date, date. Oh, right. I vaguely remember something about a date."
"Uh huh. Here's the thing, kitten. I've thought about it, and I think I deserve the full treatment too."
Bella cocked her head. "What does that mean?"
"You didn't even ask me," he said in a voice ringing with mock-hurt. "I demand to be wooed via proper pick-up line."
Bella snorted, but she swung around so she was facing him . "You know, come to think of it, a customer of mine did tell me a tried-and-true line the other day."
Bella looked at him, letting a cocky grin spread wide as she ran a thumb across her bottom lip. "Hi," she said, her voice husky. "I have a vagina and a pulse." And she winked.
Edward threw his head back when he laughed. "I'm wounded. You really think I'm that easy?"
He chuckled. "This is all make believe, Bella. We're pretending there's a chance I'm not going to say yes, so humor me."
"Okay. Okay." She tapped her lips, dredging up her best material. "Is your name WiFi because I'm really feeling a connection."
Edward rolled his eyes, but his lips were pursed as he tried not to laugh.
"Do you have a band-aid? Because I just scraped my knees falling for you."
"Ooo. If you're looking to scrape your knees…"
Bella pointed at him. "Hey. No fast forwarding."
"Alright, alright. Hit me again."
"Are you a parking ticket? Because you have fine written all over you."
"This is the best you got?"
"Kiss me if I'm wrong, but dinosaurs exist, right?"
"So smooth." He made a bring it motion. "Come in for the kill, baby."
Bella got to her feet. "I'm going to go for a long walk." She offered him her hand. "Will you hold this for me?"
"Damn," Edward said, shaking his head as he stood and took her hand. "Terrible. You're lucky I am easy." He leaned in, and kissed her sweetly. "Yes to the second first date. You've earned it."
When Edward opened the door on the evening of their second date, he found Bella on his stoop with a bouquet of flowers and a small stuffed bear. "See. These warrant a definite hello kiss," he said, leaning in to kiss her.
"Okay. I just want you to remember that this is a broke college kid kind of date," Bella said as she opened the door of her borrowed ride for him.
"What? You're not going to be my sugar momma? I've been misled."
When they turned down the street that could only lead to Disneyland or Downtown Disney, he had to smile. "I don't think I've been here in a decade. No, wait. My mother wanted to go to the Rainforest Cafe a few years ago."
"Out of my league, buddy, but I'll give you a choice between Wetzel's Pretzels, the Taqueria, or Napolini."
"Really, who wouldn't go with the hotdog in a pretzel? It has all the markings of a good time. The sexual innuendo alone makes that a no brainer."
They got out, and Edward offered his hand. Her smile was shy but pleased as she threaded her fingers through his. He tugged her closer, and when she tilted her head up, he kissed her.
In no rush, they meandered through Downtown Disney, stopping to browse through the shops and carts. Edward bought Bella a light-up rose at the cart that sold flashing things. Bella, as promised, bought them Wetzel's Pretzel's, and she ran a thumb over his lips, wiping away a spot of mustard he'd missed.
After dinner, Edward tried to pull her over to one of the musicians playing a nice slow number, but Bella had other ideas. "No time for love, Dr. Jones. We have places to be," she said.
"I didn't know we were on a schedule," Edward said, somewhat disappointed as he let her pull him away. Damn Alice for putting the idea of dancing with Bella in his head.
"We're going to miss the main event."
Bella only stopped long enough to buy them churros and hot chocolate before she led them to the plaza between Disneyland and California Adventures. Edward was mildly curious to find quite a few people had gathered there and were, like Bella, making themselves comfortable on the floor. She tugged on his hand, and he sat beside her, facing the main gates of Disneyland.
It took him a few minutes, but he caught on. "Oh. You can see the fireworks show from here."
She glanced at him, her expression somewhat embarrassed. "Yeah. You can't hear it, but you see everything except what's around the castle, of course. Is it stupid?"
Scooting closer, Edward wrapped an arm around her waist and traced the bridge of her nose with his fingertip. "No. It's not stupid."
And it wasn't. The lights dimmed and fireworks lit the sky. They were beautiful, and the mood of the crowd made for an easy, happy atmosphere. Bella rested her head on his shoulder. He loved that he could feel when she drew in a deep breath at the show.
Just before the finale, though, Bella turned to look at him at the same time he turned to look at her. He could see the happiness and contentment he felt reflected in her eyes, and how could he help but kiss her? Churro flavored kisses. He lapped the cinnamon and sugar from her tongue, his eyes closed, all but oblivious to the constant pop, crack, bang of the fireworks.
Disneyland had nothing on them.
Edward knew exactly what he wanted their third date to be. He had high expectations, and Bella didn't disappoint.
Bella was always gorgeous, but when she answered the door that evening, she was breathtaking. The dress she was wearing was a simple, classy deep blue, and her hair was swept into an updo that was all sleek elegance.
"Wow, kitten. Just wow."
He loved that he could tell she knew just how good she looked. Her cheeks flushed with his compliment, but her head was high, her back straight, and her gait was confident. She was as comfortable in high heels as as she was in sneakers and jeans.
"I'm noticing a trend," Bella said some minutes later as they flew down the freeway. "Why do your dates center around the beach?"
"You're a California girl now. You're supposed to want to be on the beach every second you can. Did you know Jasper almost failed out of college because the surfing was too good on finals day?"
"Hey, man, you have have to have your priorities."
Edward tapped on his steering wheel, belatedly realizing the gravity of his words. In spite of himself, he couldn't help but ask. "Bella?"
"Do you want to stay in California after you graduate?" He tried to make the question come out with an easy nonchalance, but there was weight to his words. So far, they'd been friends and lovers. They were playing a game of pretend now that they were at the very beginning of their relationship, but he felt more for her than a typical third date would account for.
Her smile had tightened, but her expression was gentle as she glanced at him. She took a shaky breath and reached out to take his right hand from the steering wheel. "I've barely had time to breathe in between classes and work. I haven't thought about what happens after graduation." She ran her thumb over his knuckles. "I can't tell the future, but I think I might have some compelling reasons to stay."
He squeezed her hand and quickly changed the subject to lighter things. They were, he thought, at very different points in their lives. No relationship came without its inherent challenges, and this would be one of them.
Bringing her hand to his mouth, he kissed her there gently. A challenge, but not an insurmountable one. They would figure it out.
For the time being, Edward was content to simply enjoy the idea that they were together, that what little free time she had was his, and that he could now do things like this-walk into a fancy restaurant with the most beautiful woman in the room on his arm. It was a good dinner, and when they were both full, he pulled her out onto the terrace and into his arms.
"I didn't even know places like this existed," Bella said as he moved them around the dance floor. "This is kind of a Cinderella moment."
"Are you calling me a prince?" he asked, ducking his head to press a kiss to her neck.
"This isn't a fairytale. Which is a good thing because that means the car won't turn into a pumpkin, and I can be out later than midnight."
He chuckled and wound an arm tighter around her waist. "That's a very good thing. Besides, I've always thought glass slippers were a safety hazard."
Bella wondered if this was what it felt like to wander into a happily ever after in a castle in the clouds. It certainly felt as though she were floating. She closed her eyes, letting the memory of swaying in his arms wash over her.
She didn't want to go home.
She put a hand on his knee and squeezed. "I just figured out I'm a third date kind of girl."
He took his eyes off the road long enough to glance at her and then his lips curved upward in a brilliant grin. "And here I was trying to figure out how to charm my way under your dress."
"Turns out I'm easy when it comes to you. "
"Baby, that makes two of us."
For two people who were anything but unfamiliar with each other's bodies, the mood, as they walked hand in hand to Edward's door, was shy. They kept glancing at each other, both of them smiling but uncertain. It was different. Everything was different.
It was so silly, Bella thought, struggling to keep from biting her lip. It wasn't as though she didn't know what she liked, what he liked. She understood the giddy rush by now. She was in love with him, and he looked at her with unmistakable reverence. She didn't wonder if he loved her. She knew. So why she should be nervous, Bella couldn't figure, but she was. Oh god, she was. Her heartbeat was erratic.
Inside the house, Edward pulled her to face him. "Do you have any idea how lovely you look tonight?" he asked, his eyes tracing the path his fingers took along her cheek.
"I do have a mirror, so I have some idea, yes," she said, unable to resist giving him a little sass. It was true, after all. She'd been the one who had to shop for the perfect dress. Her roommates helped with the hair, and Bella had been stunned by the result. She looked fabulous. The way Edward had sucked in a breath when he saw her was all she needed to feel Angelina Jolie levels of sexiness. "For the record, you clean up nice yourself."
Edward wrapped a hand around her waist and pulled her up against him. His kiss was a controlled burn, fire spreading across the surface of her skin from her mouth down to her toes. Bella kissed him back, matching him for intensity as she ran her fingers down his back.
After a few minutes of this, her nerves had melted away almost entirely. This was Edward. Her Edward. She wrapped his tie around and around her hand, and broke their kiss, fixing him with a wicked grin. He quirked an eyebrow, but let her pull him over to the couch. Hand to the center of his chest, she gave him a light shove. He huffed as he sat, and she was quick to straddle him.
"Hello, kitten," he said, his voice a gravelly whisper, his arms wrapping around her. "What are you up to here?"
"Me? Nothing." She grabbed his tie, using it again to pull him toward her. "You, on the other hand…" She moved over him. "Let's talk a bit and see what comes up."
He hissed, his hips coming up to meet hers. "Talk is cheap, love," he said, leaning in to take her lips in a fevered kiss.
Bella whimpered, cupping his cheek and giving herself over to the urgency of their need for each other. They kissed like this for minutes, mouths moving, tongues mingling, and hips bucking.
His fingers walked up her back, searching even as her fingers fumbled first at his tie, then the buttons of his shirt. He found the tab of the zipper and pulled it down, unhooking her bra as he went. His hands rubbed her bare back and hers felt up the lines of his chest.
"Bella," he murmured, his voice a rumble against her lips. "I need you."
She laughed, a breathy, giddy sound. "That's the point."
With a soft growl, he put his hands to her waist and set her on her feet, yanking her dress the rest of the way to puddle on the floor. He shook his shirt off and reached for her again. Bella yelped as he swept her into his arms.
He smirked but then his expression gentled. He ducked in, kissing her softly as he made his way toward the back of the house and his bedroom. He kept his lips to hers until he set her on the bed, coming to stand in front of her.
Bella looked up at him, her fingers working to unbutton his pants. He cupped her cheek,
staring down at her as though she were precious. The atmosphere around them had shifted to something more tender though no less needy. His fingers brushed a tendril of hair back from her face and went in search of the pins that were holding the rest of it up in that elegant style.
Hair flowing loose down her back now, Bella scooted backward on the bed. Stepping out of his pants, Edward knelt on the bed and skimmed his fingers along her belly. She sucked in a quick breath and lifted her hips so he could slide her panties down.
With his strong arms supporting her, they moved until they were sitting face to face, legs wrapped around each other. Edward reached between them, holding her gaze as he guided himself to her entrance. Her lips found his as they were joined, and their mutual moans were swallowed by each other's mouths.
They started slow, rocking together, saying all the things they hadn't yet said to each other with kisses and touches instead of words. Whatever challenges came their way, they would face them and conquer them together. This was worth it. They were worth it.
Edward broke their kiss with a groan, leaning his forehead against hers as their rhythm began to gain that frantic edge. "Are you mine, Bella?" he asked, his voice a breathless whisper. "Tell me you're mine."
"Yours," she said, beyond eloquent speech. "If you're mine."
He huffed and pushed forward. Bella cried out as she fell backward and he pushed deep inside her. She tightened her legs around him, digging her fingernails into the skin of his shoulders. "Baby, you've had me," he said, rocking into her hard and fast. "Don't you know that by now? You've had me for so long."
"Oh god. Oh hell." Bella gasped as her body tensed, coiled. "Yes, please. Yes. Daddy, please. Oh!'
Bella was only barely aware that Edward had followed her to orgasm, her name tumbling from his lips as he seized inside her. She clung to him as she came down from climax, and he collapsed against her, both of them breathing hard.
For a minute, neither of them bothered to move much. Bella traced lazy circles against his sweat damped back. With a moan, Edward rolled off her, onto his back. He swallowed. "So," he said. "Daddy, huh?"
Bella groaned, slapping a hand over her eyes. "Shit. I did say that, didn't I? I was hoping I hadn't said that out loud."
He chuckled, turning his head to look at her. "Never took you for a daddy kink kind of girl."
"Ugh. No. That's not… I don't see you that way. I swear. It just slipped out. I'm not responsible for the stupid shit I say in the height of passion. That's the unspoken agreement, right?"
Edward rolled onto his side and gathered her into his arms. He kissed her nose, her cheeks, and her lips. "Well, I may not be your daddy, but I'll be whatever you need." He kissed her again. "And you can call me whatever you want."
Bella sighed, content in a way she'd never known was possible. "I want to call you mine."
"That's a given." He took her hand and kissed the tips of her fingers. "I love you, Bella."
"I love you," Bella whispered back.
A/N: This fic would not exist without Capricorn75. And the love of barburella and songster for this chapter.
Okay. Melissa is yelling at me because our tour is leaving in twelve minutes and I'm still typing.
I love you guys!