Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable characters herein. No copyright infringement is intended.
"Good evening, Isabella. Did I catch you at a bad time?"
"No, Carlisle. I'm just cleaning up from dinner. It's a great time, actually." He doesn't need to know by 'cleaning up', I mean I'm throwing away my box of take-out Chinese. A woman needs her secrets.
"Oh, good. I'm calling to personally invite you to a party I'm having at my house next weekend."
My shoulders relax, and I'm finally able to exhale since seeing Carlisle's name on my caller ID. I'd been worried he was going to ask me on a date—just the two of us—but I'm relieved to hear that's not the case.
"That sounds great. What time should I be there, and is there a theme?" Most parties here in The Hamptons have some kind of theme or purpose. It's like the people here have to have a reason to get together other than just having fun.
"It's Saturday night, and the dress code is classic sophistication."
I hear the pride in his voice, and I can't help but roll my eyes. Five years in this neighborhood, and I'm still not used to how pretentious some residents here can be. Not that Carlisle is a complete snob. He's actually very nice and charming, when he's not displaying his old-money upbringing, and it doesn't hurt that he's devastatingly handsome.
"Well, that sounds easy enough. Thanks for thinking of me, Carlisle."
"You're the first person I called to invite. I'm hoping after this party you'll be willing to accept my offer to go on an actual date."
Whomp. There it is.
"That's very sweet. I'll certainly think about it."
If Carlisle feels rejected or slighted in any way, he doesn't let on. "Excellent. I look forward to seeing you soon," he says before ending our call.
Carlisle and I have known each other for over a year, but for the last couple of months, we've become more talkative—more flirty—and it sounds like he's ready to take the next step. I'm just not so sure I'm ready.
My one and only committed relationship started with a pregnancy test in college and ended in divorce ten years later when I was thirty years old. Considering we'd only known each other for less than a year when we got married, I think Liam and I did great lasting as long as we did. I truly loved him, but I didn't particularly love being married to a professional golfer. The money was nice, but the months I spent being a single parent while Liam did his tournaments were hard and made me resentful.
I've dated various men over these last eight years, but I've never found anyone with whom I really clicked. Being single allowed me to achieve my dream of becoming an editor, and between that and raising our son Garrett, I was too busy for a social life. When Liam died in a plane crash five years ago, leaving the Hamptons house to me, I decided to relocate and slow down a bit. I'm now working from home and getting Garrett ready to start his first semester at NYU. It seems like a perfect time in my life for a boyfriend, but I'm not sure Carlisle is the one for me.
Maybe his party will be the deciding factor after all.
After an hour of hot Bikram yoga, my friends, Rose and Alice, meet me for lunch. I still can't believe this is my life now. I often find when I'm enjoying myself like this, I start feeling guilty. The truth is, I wouldn't be here if it weren't for Liam dying. For some reason—probably because I'm the mother of his only child—he felt the need to take care of me even though we were no longer married. I owe Liam so much.
"What's that gloomy face for, Bella?"
Lifting my head, I see Rose watching me expectantly. Rose and her husband, Emmett, are my closest friends and neighbors and the couple I've known the longest since moving here. From what Rose has told me, they caused quite the ruckus when they moved to The Hamptons seven years ago. They both come from new money, which isn't so strange, but it's their twenty-five year age difference that really caused tongues to wag. Once people got to know them better, they became the hit of the village with Emmett's loud, boisterous story-telling of his days as a U.S. Congressman and Rose's supermodel looks and keen sense of fashion.
Knowing Rose won't let me ignore her question much longer, I finally answer. "I'm fine, Rose. I was just letting a little guilt seep into my bones. Nothing new."
"Girl, you need to get laid. Just fuck that guilt away!"
That would be Alice.
She's old money, like Carlisle, and has lived here with her husband for only two years. Her parents live in the village of Sag Harbor, so she definitely qualifies as a local. Her knowledge and guidance has saved my uncultured ass more times than I'd care to count.
"Who am I supposed to fuck out here? Everyone knows everyone and everything about them. There's no way I can hook up here and keep it a secret."
Geez, do people even say "hook up" any more?
Alice and Rose both look at each other before turning toward me and saying one name.
Of fucking course.
"I really don't think he's my type. I mean, he's a great guy, but I think I'd end up just embarrassing him more than anything."
"Shut your face, Bella Swan," Rose demands. "You have more class than our friend Alice here has shoes, and we both know she has a lot."
A lot? Try over five hundred pairs. The woman uses a guest room for a shoe closet, for crying out loud. She rarely wears a pair more than once and hardly ever gets rid of any of them.
"Besides," she continues, "Carlisle totally has the hots for you. Even if you don't want something serious, use him for his man-skills for a while; then toss him to the side. How long has it been anyway?"
"How long has what—oh. How long since I last had sex? Well...um, does it count if my partner is battery-operated?"
"Holy shit, Bella!" Alice exclaims. "It must be a long time if you're giving your rabbit top billing."
"I happen to like my rabbit, thank you very much. It gives me what I need, and I don't have to fix it a sandwich or listen to it snore afterward."
"Bella, be like Queen Elsa, and let it go. Go get you some man-meat, and don't worry about people finding out. Swing from the chandeliers! Go crazy for once! This pretentious place needs a good scandal!"
"I don't know, Mom. That apartment we looked at is nice, but I think I want to live in the dorms. At least for my first year at college."
Sometimes I can't believe Garrett is my son. If I was offered the opportunity to live in an apartment paid for by my parents when I started college, I would've jumped at it. I hated living in the dorms. Basic accommodations and little to no privacy drove me crazy. Of course, I went straight from living in the dorms to living with my husband, and with Garrett moving out soon, this will be the first time in my life I've lived by myself.
Is it wrong that a flutter of excitement flows through me every time I think about it?
"The dorms at NYU are great, Garrett, and I think it's wise to stay on campus. I love that you want to immerse yourself in college life. Just don't forget to have some fun, too." I nudge him with my elbow when he rolls his eyes at me, knowing I'm just giving him shit. Garrett really is a well-balanced kid—goofy when he wants to be but absolutely brilliant in ways that hurt my brain. How a golf-pro and a book nerd produced a mathematician, I'll never know.
Why am I so nervous? It's just a party. I go to parties all the time, so this one shouldn't be any different.
Except it is.
I feel like I'm getting ready for my mid-life debutante ball or something. With Garrett spending the weekend at his best friend's house on another part of the island, I have the freedom I've been desiring, but I'm also feeling pressure, knowing Carlisle is expecting this party to make or break our possible dating future.
I've never wanted to jump for joy and throw up at the same time so much.
The valet helps me out of my car, and I take a few deep breaths to settle my nerves before walking up to the front porch. With this being the last party of the summer, I knew it was expected of everyone to wear all white.
Fashion rules are taken very seriously here, you know.
But because deep down, I'm a rebel at heart, I decided to pair my white asymmetrical bell-sleeved dress with a big-ass turquoise necklace and a few chunky bracelets. My hair is loose and wavy, and instead of the typical nude lips here, mine are pink and glossy. I want to fit in but not be a fucking clone.
The party officially started fifteen minutes ago, but inside, guests are already busying themselves with air-kisses and fake laughter. Carlisle's decor is white-on-white, and if it wasn't for the summer-kissed skin on display, it'd be hard to tell the difference between the people and the furniture.
I obviously need a drink before my bitch meter blows up. Why am I so uptight?
Oh, yeah. That's why. Carlisle.
"Darling, you look amazing." He kisses both my cheeks—real pecks, not air—before pulling back and smiling at me. He really is handsome. Tall build, sandy blond hair, and crystal blue eyes that make women all over the island clench their thighs. And he wants to date me.
"I'm so glad you're here. Are you enjoying yourself?"
"Yes, everything is so beautiful. Thanks again for inviting me."
"Nothing here compares to your beauty, Isabella."
Damn, he's laying it on thick.
"Unfortunately, I have other guests to greet. Please, make yourself at home, but remember to save me a dance later." He kisses my cheek again before sauntering over to a couple who just walked in.
The entire back wall of Carlisle's living room is nothing but floor-to-ceiling windows, giving us a perfect view of his incredible pool. I've only been here once before, but I remember the pool being my favorite spot. I let myself out the back door and grab a glass of champagne from a server before making my way to the edge of the decking.
The bright blue water is calm, and for a moment, I'm filled with the desire to jump in, fully clothed, cannonball-style. The mental image I have of what would most likely happen if I did jump into the pool right now causes me to laugh out loud. After finishing my drink, I turn to place it on the table nearby but nearly drop it when a voice I don't recognize speaks.
"You have a great laugh."
"Oh, um, thank you, I guess."
The uncertainty of my response causes the stranger to laugh, and I immediately notice how gorgeous he is. Unruly auburn hair frames a perfectly chiseled face that is softened only by his full lips and kind eyes. His beard is probably a couple of days old, but it does nothing to hide the strong jaw underneath.
Hot damn, he's fine.
And young. Way too young for me.
"I'm sorry, did I disturb you? I can leave you alone, if you'd rather." His offer is polite, and if it was anyone else, I'd probably tell him yes, but for some reason, I don't want him to go.
"No, you're not bothering me. I tend to lose track of time when I'm around the water, so it's probably best you hang around and distract me."
Dear lord, am I trying to flirt?
"I think I can manage a few distractions." His thumb travels across his bottom lip, but his eyes never leave my face.
Holy shit, is he trying to flirt with me?
Before I can dwell on that question any longer, a server comes by with a drink tray. The stranger points to a champagne flute, asking if I'd like it.
"I guess. Too bad they don't have beer or an open bar," I complain before taking a sip.
"You drink beer?"
"Why does that surprise you? I'm not like most of the women here, you know. I'll take a cold beer and a bacon cheeseburger over champagne and caviar any day."
"Will you marry me?"
"What?" My outburst causes a few heads to turn our way, but all my companion does is laugh harder.
"Listen, it's not every day a guy finds a fuckhot woman who knows how to enjoy burgers and beer. I need to snatch you up while I can." His tone is joking, but his eyes—his mesmerizing green eyes—show a hint of seriousness.
It's been a while since I've experienced witty banter with a hot guy, and I'm curious how well he'll hold up.
"You seem like a great guy, but I don't even know your name. That's no way to start a marriage."
He tells me his name is Edward before lifting my hand and kissing it. Tingles travel from the point of contact and collect deep in my belly, making my body hum.
This is so wrong, but I'm starting to care less the longer I stare at this beautiful man… boy… boy-man.
"And you are?"
His question catches me off guard, and for a second I'm not sure how to answer.
Old enough to be your mother… horny and going to hell for wanting to ride your face… The possibilities are endless.
I clear my throat and try to clear my dirty mind before telling him my name is Bella.
"Well, Bella, I've greatly enjoyed meeting you. Looks like you have visitors coming your way, so I'll leave you… for now."
My mouth hangs open as I watch him walk away, because one, that was the weirdest and sexiest encounter I've ever had, and two... damn, he has a fine ass.
Rose snaps twice in front of my face to pull me from my Edward-haze. "What the hell is wrong with you?"
"I just met a guy—"
"You're hooking up with someone at Carlisle's party when he wants to date you, too?"
So, people do still say 'hooking up'. That makes me feel better.
"Alice, I'm not hooking up with anyone. I was saying that I just met a guy—a young guy—and he was very flirty. It was nice."
"Guys flirt with you all the time. You're just too oblivious to notice."
"Whatever. Are you two having any fun tonight?"
Rose begins telling us a very animated story about how Emmett faked having chest pains just to get through the buffet line quicker, and as I half-way listen, I also start scanning the party for Edward.
It doesn't take long to find him, and when I do, he's looking right back at me. There's something predatory in his gaze, and I'm not going to lie. It turns me on.
"Earth to Bella! Come on. We're going inside for a bit." Alice loops her arm through mine, pretty much forcing me to walk with them. When I turn back to look at Edward, though, he's not there anymore.
An hour or so later, the party is in full swing. Music is blaring, drinks are spilling, and no one is caring. I've managed to avoid being alone with Carlisle, while at the same time, engaging in a game of cat and mouse with Edward. We haven't spoken again, but our eyes waste no time finding each other wherever we are. I've become so attuned to him that I can always tell when he's found me. When his gaze is on me, I literally feel it in my bones.
After dancing to a few songs with the girls, I excuse myself to the bathroom to freshen up. When I open the door to leave, I'm not surprised to find Edward standing on the other side. He wastes no time in stepping in the room and locking the door behind him.
Neither one of us makes a sound, but I'm pretty sure the beating of my heart against my ribs would drown out any words we'd say.
I feel as though I'm in another world… in someone else's body. I don't do things like this. I don't meet pretty, young boys in bathrooms. I don't meet pretty, older boys in bathrooms either, for that matter. Maybe this is some kind of joke, like a fraternity prank or something? This guy can't really want to be with me. I mean, we're in a freaking bathroom at a party.
Before I let my mind dwell on doing anything sexual in a bathroom, much less Carlisle's bathroom, Edward moves closer to me. He's so close I can feel his breath on my lips, and I want to taste him so badly.
"Tell me to leave," he whispers.
"No." My voice is sure because, prank or not, I haven't felt this much excitement in years. I want it. I want him; consequences be damned.
His callused thumb is rough against my bottom lip, so I lick it before sucking it into my mouth. The hiss that escapes Edward's mouth makes me bold. I sit on the bathroom counter and wrap my legs around him, pulling him to me. His cock is hard, and it hits my clit perfectly when he bucks into me.
"I'm not fucking you in this bathroom, Bella, but I will make you come. It's all I've thought about since I first laid eyes on you tonight."
Oh. My. God.
His chuckle lets me know I must've said that out loud, but I don't care. I'm too far down the lust-covered rabbit hole to turn back now. I need him to make me come, and I'll be damned if he doesn't let me do the same to him afterward.
Edward wastes no time lifting my dress over my hips and pulling my panties down to dangle off one foot. I watch his face as he touches my pussy, his eyes closing as a whispered 'fuck' falls from his mouth. That right there is enough to make me lose it, but I manage to keep it under control, allowing my body to accept all the pleasure he gives me.
His two fingers pushing inside makes me cry out, and in that moment, I don't care if anyone from the party hears me. I want them to know Edward is making me feel this good—better than I've felt in such a long time.
While his fingers pump in and out, his thumb rubs circles around my clit, causing my hips to thrust against his hand, searching for more friction. The heel of his hand gives me what I need, and too soon, I'm exploding around him. Edward kisses me to swallow my cries, and I almost come again from the feel of his tongue in my mouth. Never have I been kissed like this. Although my body is now calm—mostly, anyway—he's still kissing me like he needs it to live, while caressing my sensitive folds.
Please let this moment never end.
The only thing that would make this better is if I could feel Edward's cock. In my hand, mouth, or pussy—I don't care. I just want it.
I grab his waistband and start undoing the top button of his fly when his hands stop me.
"I told you I wasn't fucking you here."
"Then let me fuck you."
"Oh, I will. Don't worry. Just not here. When I start fucking you, I don't plan on stopping for a very long time. Plus, I need room to… spread out." He accentuates his words by rubbing his straining cock against my hand.
"When? Where?" Fuck, I sound so needy, but I simply don't care.
"As soon as possible," he answers, and it tells me he's just as desperate as I am.
"My house. Come with me to my house. It's just down the road. I'll drive."
Edward helps me off the counter and pulls my panties up for me. He straightens my dress and brushes my hair away from my face with his fingers. I don't know why I let him do this, but I do. It's like he's taking care of me—not just my body but me—and in some strange way, it feels just as good as when he made me come.
Without admitting it, we both know we can't be seen leaving together, so he kisses me gently before hiding behind the bathroom door as I open it and leave. Seeing that Carlisle is busy playing host, I quickly walk outside and give the valet the ticket for my car.
I will not feel guilty about Carlisle. I will not feel guilty about Carlisle. Maybe tomorrow, but not tonight.
Just as I'm snapping in my seat belt, the passenger door opens, and Edward slides inside. His mouth is on mine in an instant, and I briefly entertain the idea of making him fuck me in my car once we get to my house.
Maybe next time.
I know it's foolish to think there will be a next time, but I won't let myself think about this being a one-night stand. I just can't.
Even though his hands and mouth are on various parts of my body the entire drive, we somehow make it to my house in one piece… one big horny piece, in fact. As soon as we're in the front door, I grab Edward's hand and pull him up the stairs to my room. We're all playful kisses and touches until the backs of my knees hit my bed, and then we stop. We're still enveloped in our lustful fog, but we now know that we can take our time and savor this moment.
I remove my jewelry and belt and let them fall to the floor. My dress and undergarments quickly follow, but Edward keeps his eyes on mine.
"You're so beautiful, Bella. The most beautiful woman I've ever seen."
I playfully scoffed when Carlisle told me something similar earlier tonight, but I want to believe Edward when he says it. He makes me feel beautiful just in the way he looks at me and touches me.
"You have too many clothes on," I tell him, going for his pants again while he pulls his shirt over his head. "You're not wearing all white like everyone else at the party." I don't know why I'm just now realizing this because it doesn't matter. I'm just curious. I want to know him just as much as I want to know his body.
"I'm a rebel, don't you know?" It's not the answer I was expecting, but it's all he's giving me right now.
Besides, I'm too busy drooling over his naked form to care about what he just said. He's definitely young; his build is strong but not completely filled out yet. There's not an ounce of fat on him, and my tongue is desperate to trace every line around his abs.
I almost squeal out loud when I see the V at his hips.
He has a V! I haven't seen one of those in ages.
As happy as I am to see the V, I'm even happier to finally have my hand on Edward's cock. The sounds coming from his mouth as I stroke him tell me he's happy to have my hand on him, too.
"I have to be inside you now, Bella."
Yeah, he's young, but damn, I love how he's not afraid to tell me what he wants. Especially when what he wants is me.
My body freezes as I realize I'm about to have sex—real sex—with someone I don't know very well, and I don't have any protection with me. Shit. This part is always so awkward, but it's necessary. Besides, Edward is a young, hot guy. He probably has condoms hanging from his rearview mirror.
"Do you, um, have protection?"
"Dammit, no. I honestly didn't think I'd be sleeping with anyone tonight, so I didn't come prepared. I'm sorry, Bella. You don't have anything?"
"No, I haven't… well, you know… I just… Wait. Let me check somewhere. Don't move."
I run down the hall to Garrett's room and start digging through his drawers and side tables. I can't even believe I'm doing this, and I'm even more disturbed that my happiness at finding a box of condoms is greater than my shock at the fact my baby boy is having sex. I'm not stupid. I would just rather live in denial that my baby is grown up.
"Ta-dah!" I proudly display my find, and when Edward gives me a questioning look, I shake my head at him. "Don't ask."
I tear a condom from its package and climb onto my bed, beckoning him with my finger to join me. When he does, I melt into his kiss as his hands knead my ass. Damn, that feels good.
I pull away from him and nudge him to lie down. I haven't done this in so long, but for some reason, I want to be the one to put the condom on Edward. I'd probably do just about anything if it meant I could keep touching his dick.
When he's completely sheathed, I slide my hand through my slick folds and rub the wetness over the latex.
"That's the sexiest fucking thing I've ever seen. Now get over here."
I straddle his hips before slowly sinking down on him. It takes me a few seconds to adjust to him, but the feeling of being stretched by Edward is glorious.
"I was wrong. That's the sexiest fucking thing I've ever seen." His hands are on my hips, and he's watching where we're joined, lifting me slightly so he can push up into me. I grab his hands and place them on my breasts as I swivel my hips.
"I can't believe I've been ignoring these. Your tits are amazing, Bella."
My laugh comes out as a gasp when Edward sits up, filling me completely. The feel of his tongue on my nipples causes my head to fall back in ecstasy. I feel him everywhere, and yet, it's not enough. I want more—need more—and when I tell him, he gives it to me. I wrap myself around him and hold on tightly, not wanting to let go. I'm afraid when this feeling ends, it'll be gone forever.
"Let go, baby. Let me hear you."
And so I do.
It's like an out-of-body experience when my orgasm rips through me. My body moves on instinct, prolonging the pleasure coursing through it, and I don't recognize the sounds coming from my mouth, but I know it's me. It has to be because it's my name that Edward calls out as he spasms, then stills inside me.
I'm pretty sure I'll never move again, and I'm totally okay with that. I barely register Edward laying me down and throwing away the condom before crawling under the blankets and pulling me to his chest.
Knowing I have things to confront and figure out gnaw at the edges of my brain, but I push them aside and happily succomb to sleep.
That was the best sex dream I've ever had. Scratch that, the best dream I've ever had. It seemed so real I actually feel sore between my legs. My fingers play with the sparse hairs on the chest my head is laying on while I contemplate either going back to sleep or slipping my hand between my legs to relieve the throbbing.
Wait. What? My head is on someone's chest? Someone's hairy chest? Like a man's hairy chest?
My head pops up to see Edward sound asleep underneath me.
Memories from last night flood my brain, making my pussy ache even more.
I had sex with Edward, and it was amazing! And he stayed! Maybe we can have some more amazing sex!
Movement catches my attention, and I look down to see the sheet covering the bottom half of Edward's body twitching. I slowly lift the sheet to sneak a peek and am rewarded with his cock fully erect and leaking.
Yes! How could I have forgotten about morning wood?
I stare at it a few seconds longer before realizing I'm passing up an incredible opportunity. I mean, it's obviously asking for attention. Who am I to ignore the world's most perfect cock, right?
After glancing back at his face to make sure he's still asleep, I scoot down the bed and take his dick in my hand. I don't remember penises being so nice to look at, but Edward's is a work of art… a work of art I'm dying to taste.
I give him a few slow licks before wrapping my lips around the head, groaning at the sensation. I want to draw out his pleasure for as long as I can, so I force myself to move slowly, sliding him as far down my throat as I can manage before pulling back up.
I can tell the moment Edward wakes up. His voice is scratchy when he murmurs, "Holy shit," while his hands slide through my hair, moving it to the side so he can watch. I smile at him while he's still in my mouth, but it's the look in his eyes—lustful, wanting—that causes me to whimper and speed up my movements.
My mouth breaks contact, and I'm disoriented until I realize he has moved my body to where I'm straddling his face.
Oh, my god. I'm really gonna ride his face!
Now that I'm in a more comfortable position, I can take more of him into my mouth, and I'm completely caught off guard when Edward's tongue touches my pussy.
Son of a bitch, this boy can eat a pussy. He's kissing it just like he kissed my mouth last night, his tongue probing, searching, finding, and then fucking dominating every nerve ending between my legs. He only stops once, and it's to warn me he's about to come. Grinding myself on his face is my way of telling him to shut up and keep up the good work because I'm so ready for both of our releases.
He sucks my clit into his mouth, and I'm done for, writhing and shaking above him. My moans and cries cause me to suck him harder, and it doesn't take long for him to follow. I focus on the sounds he makes as I swallow everything he gives me. I'd love to download Edward's sex sounds on to my phone. They'd make the best ringtone ever. Of course, I'd never get anything done because I'd be calling myself all day long, not to mention all the panties I'd ruin, but I'd be willing to give it a shot.
Edward pulls me to him and holds me just like he did last night.
"That's my new favorite way to wake up now."
"Now I know why experts say breakfast is the most important meal of the day."
He barks out a laugh, and it's the cutest thing ever. I want to listen to it all day long too. I ignore the sadness that threatens to creep in when I remember this is a one-time deal. I mean, it has to be, right? Edward has women of all ages throwing themselves at him constantly, I'm sure. I can't compete with that, and I would never pressure him for anything more than he's already given me.
"Hey, what's that look for?"
"What look? I'm fine. I'm better than fine. I'm great." It's only a partially honest answer, but he doesn't need to know that.
"You're incredible," he tells me before cupping my face and kissing the daylights out of me. I can taste both of us on our tongues, and it's oddly erotic.
The sound of his stomach growling takes the seriousness out of our kiss, and we break apart, laughing.
"I think it's time for Second Breakfast." It's a tiny test, and he passes with flying colors when he asks if I'm calling him a Hobbit. The book nerd in me internally squeals with delight.
After we're full on coffee and French toast, he asks if I'd mind taking him back to Carlisle's house.
Oh, fuck me. He left his car at Carlisle's house. Why didn't I think of that before?
Again, he questions my expression and kisses me until I'm able to give him a smile.
"Believe me, I don't want to go, but I told my dad I'd spend time with him today before heading back into the city."
It's in this moment where our age difference hits me full force, and it's like ice water shooting through my veins.
"Oh, of course." I clear my throat. "That makes sense. Just let me grab my purse, and we can go."
Never have I ever felt as though I was doing the walk of shame out of my own house, but I never thought I'd spend the night banging a guy so much younger than I am either. I don't even know how old—or young—he is, but I feel like a complete idiot for thinking there was a possibility for more between us, no matter how fleeting the thought was.
Once we're in the car and driving toward Carlisle's house, Edward asks if I'm okay.
Why am I having such a hard time with this? Oh, that's right. It's because I'm the grown-up here, not him, and with that comes responsibility and guilt. No, fuck that. I refuse to feel guilty for letting go and having some much needed fun. Edward was exactly what I needed last night, and I'll remember our time together forever.
"This is a little awkward for me. I don't usually have one-night stands." I give him a small smile that immediately falls when I see the look on his face. It's a mixture of confusion and maybe sadness, and now I'm totally confused.
Did he—does he—want more? That can't be it.
He quickly recovers and blows off my worries. "It's all good. I understand."
We're both completely silent as I pull into Carlisle's driveway.
Please don't let Carlisle see me.
"Well, thanks for the ride and for… for last night."
I put my hand on his arm, stopping him when he grabs the door handle.
"Thank you. I had an amazing time. You're exactly what I need… needed, I mean. Of course that's what I mean. I mean, what else could I mean?"
For the love of all things chocolate-covered, shut the fuck up, Bella.
His face is hopeful as he leans in to kiss me, still chuckling at my word vomit.
"See ya later, Bella."
He steps out of the car, and when I look around, I don't see any extra cars in the driveway, only Carlisle's garage, which is closed.
I roll down the passenger-side window and call out to Edward. "Where's your car?"
"Oh, it's in the garage," he says, pointing over his shoulder.
Say what, now?
Apparently I said that out loud because he answers me. "My car is inside. I'm spending the day with my dad, remember?"
What. The. Actual. Fuck.
I wrack my brain to try to remember any clues that would signal to me that Edward is Carlisle's son. I knew Carlisle had a son in his early twenties or so, but I never learned his name, and I certainly didn't know he'd be at the party last night.
"Carlisle is your father?" My voice is much louder than I expected, and it surprises both of us.
"Well, yeah. I assumed you knew."
"No, I didn't know! Oh, my god. I can't believe this is happening. How could I have been so stupid?" I cover my face with my hands before slightly banging it on the steering wheel.
"What's the problem, Bella?"
"There's no problem! Not for you, anyway. You get to shuck all responsibilities for a night of sex and return back to the city without any consequences. But not me. No. I have to stay and face the humiliating truth that I was seduced by a close friend's teenaged son!"
"I'm not a teenager. I'm twenty," he defends, but it only causes me to laugh. "And now our amazing night together is humiliating to you just because of my age? Or is it because of my dad?"
"I don't expect you to understand, Edward."
"Right. Because I'm a child. Fuck that, Bella, and fuck you for belittling what I thought we had."
Edward storms off, and I watch as he unlocks the front door and walks inside without looking back. At the far left part of the house, right where Carlisle's breakfast nook is, I see curtains move. And now Carlisle knows, or will soon enough.
My insides are at war with wanting to break down Carlisle's door and apologize to Edward and wanting to speed home to cry my eyes out. The latter wins, so I turn my car around and drive back to my house.
Bang! Bang! Bang!
"Bella, you'd better open up!"
Bang! Bang! Bang!
"Open the door, Bella. We're worried about you!"
I haven't spoken to either of them since the night I met Edward, and that was over a week ago. We've never gone that long without talking since the three of us became friends. I know I need to talk to them about what happened that night and vent my frustrations. If I can't tell my besties, who can I tell? It's a miracle I've held it together for as long as I have.
I open the door to see Rose's fist in the air, aimed and ready to beat on my door again. She drops her hand when she sees me and takes a step back.
"Damn, Bella. What the hell happened to you?"
Okay, so maybe I haven't held it together as well as I thought.
After leading my friends into the kitchen, I watch as Alice opens the bag she was holding and takes out two items.
"We have chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream and vodka. Which am I opening first?"
Three shots later, I'm ready to spill the beans. We've moved the party to my bedroom, where I've spent most of the last week and a half. Thank goodness I had enough sense to wash my bedding yesterday.
"I had a one-night stand." Rip that band-aid right the hell off.
Shouts of "oh, my god" and "when" mixed with a few expletives fill the room, so I calmly wait for Rose and Alice to settle down before continuing my story.
"The night of the party."
"Oooooh, girl! Did you and Carlisle finally get it on?"
"No, his son and I did."
Motherfucking crickets, I tell ya.
Alice's ice cream is about to slide from her spoon onto the pillow she's holding, but eventually Rose is able to demand I explain myself.
"Get to talking, Swan. We need details. Now."
I tell them everything. I tell them how Edward and I started talking out by Carlisle's pool and how he ended up finger-fucking me in the bathroom, earning me a high-five from Rose. I then tell them all about what happened here at my house and the fight we had when I took him back to Carlisle's house.
"What did you do when you got back home?" Alice asks.
"I cried until I threw up. Then, I cried some more."
"And you haven't heard from Edward or Carlisle since?"
"No. Not from Edward, anyway."
"Oh, shit. What did Carlisle say?"
"He gave us his blessing, Rose. What do you think?" I laugh without any humor in my voice. "He told me that if I didn't want to date him, I could've just told him without throwing myself at his son. He also said, all things considered, we shouldn't be friends anymore."
"What an asshole. I'm so sorry, Bella."
I shrug my shoulders. "It is what it is. Live and learn and all that jazz."
"Can I ask you a question?"
"Of course, Alice."
"Why do you think you were so upset after your fight with Edward?"
Ah, the one question I don't want to answer. I should've known better than to let Alice ask me anything.
Not being able to think of any way to stall, I finally answer. "Because I knew I'd never see him again."
"Did you want to see him again?"
"As crazy as it sounds, I did. Besides being incredibly gorgeous with a body that will not stop, he really seemed like a great guy."
"Did he stop being a great guy when you found out who his father is?"
I roll my eyes. "No, but it sure made me question a lot of things. I mean, why did he come on to me in the first place? He could have any woman he wants, and he picked me, someone obviously older than he is. Was he using me? Maybe he knew Carlisle wanted to date me, and he wanted to mess things up for his dad. Or what if Carlisle was testing me? He could've told Edward to seduce me to see if I'd fall for it. I've also thought about it being a fraternity prank, a sympathy fuck, and a number of other pathetic excuses."
Rose reaches over and pats my hand. "Sounds like you've thought of everything… except for what really happened."
"I don't know what to do."
"Talk to him."
Alice makes it sound so simple. Could it be that easy? I guess, whatever he tells me, I'll be able to have closure and know the truth.
"You don't really think we could've started something together, do you? Dating… being boyfriend/girlfriend… things like that?"
"Why not?" Rose challenges.
"There are a million reasons why not!"
"They don't count as long as you have the number one reason you should try: because you want to."
"It's not that simple," I argue.
"You're making it too hard, Bella. You put yourself out there and ended up having the best night of your life. Don't you think it's worth it to put yourself out there just one more time to see if you and Edward have a chance at happiness together?"
It's been officially two weeks since I met Edward, and I still can't stop thinking about him… the way he kissed me, the way he made me feel with his body and with his words, and the way he talked to me. I've tried to think of only malicious reasons he'd been with me, but they don't stick. I just can't make myself believe he's a bad guy.
This means I have some apologizing to do, but first, I have to find him. Asking Carlisle is not an option.
Today, though, is all about getting Garrett settled into his dorm at Founder's Hall. What little furniture that'll fit into his room was moved and set up yesterday. Today is for moving his clothes, toiletries, and necessities, like the alarm clock I'm currently carrying that's made to look like Darth Vader's head.
Once the clock is plugged in, I play around with it to make sure it works correctly, which also causes it to start making the heavy breathing sounds Darth Vader is famous for. After adjusting the volume to a level that doesn't make me jump out of my skin, I'm able to hear Garrett speaking to someone behind me.
I turn to greet Garrett's new friend and freeze in my spot.
It never even occurred to me that he would be a student at NYU. I mean, hasn't the phrase "It's a small Wworld" punched me in the gut enough lately?
"Mom, hey, come over here and meet Edward. He's in the same fraternity I'm pledging."
Of fucking course. This must be the universe's way of forcing me to let Edward go, because there's no way I'm going on a double date to the Fraternity Formal with my son.
Willing myself to not let this get any more awkward that it already is, I plaster a smile on my face and force myself to look at Edward. He's still so damn beautiful, but there's something different about him. He has the same wild hair that I loved to run my fingers through, and his eyes are still piercing green, but there are shadows under them, and his stubble is longer than before. Even though he has a small smile on his face, he looks… sad.
Maybe I'm not the only one who's been miserable these past two weeks.
I give him a little wave and say, "Hi," because I don't know what else to do.
"Edward was just telling me about a back-to-school party tonight at the frat house."
"You should come, too."
Garrett and I both look at Edward like he's lost his mind but for entirely different reasons. I'm still trying to recover from hearing Edward say "come" again when Garrett answers for me. "No she shouldn't."
"I'm going down to the car to make sure we didn't forget anything. You two have fun making plans."
Instead of taking the elevator, I run down the six flights of stairs because I can't get outside quickly enough.
I had no idea it would be that difficult to see him again, and now that Garrett and Edward will be fraternity brothers, chances are I'll see him even more.
I'm leaning against the building's wall where the alley starts when Edward finds me.
"You look terrible."
This makes me laugh, so I tell him, "You're looking pretty rough yourself."
"You're still the most beautiful woman I've ever seen, though."
"Why? Why did you start talking to me that night?"
"Because I wanted to. I saw a gorgeous woman standing alone, so I walked up to her and started talking to her. Why was that wrong?"
"It's not wrong. It just doesn't make sense to me."
"Well, that I can't help. You obviously don't see yourself clearly."
"So, there was no motivation other than you wanting to talk to me?"
"I told you in the bathroom I wanted to fuck you the first time I laid eyes on you."
A shiver runs through me at the memory.
"But Bella, I had no clue how incredible that night would be. Believe me when I say, I was just as affected by it as you were. And for you to just piss on it because of my age the next morning…" He kicks at a rock on the ground and turns away from me briefly. I use the opportunity to wipe the few tears that have spilled down my cheeks.
His back is still facing me, and I can't take it. I have to see his face again, so I speak.
"It wasn't your age. It was the reality of our situation."
This catches his attention, and when he turns around, he takes a few steps closer to me.
"What reality are you talking about?"
"Come on, Edward. Did you really see this working out? I'm old enough to be your mother. My son will be your frat brother for crying out loud! Not to mention all the gossip we'd create on the island."
"I don't give a flying fuck about any of that." He clenches his jaw tightly and glares down at me. "I don't care how old you are. If I did, I would've asked that night at your house. I grew up having to watch my mother deal with that stupid gossip shit, and I hated it. It's one of the reasons why she left my dad. There's no way I'd let you suffer like that, too. As for your Garrett, he's a great guy, and I'll be proud to be his frat brother. But I know he loves you and wants you to be happy. If I'm the one who can do that, why would he have a problem with it?"
His words breathe life into a heart that's been locked away for far too long.
"What about your dad?"
He scoffs. "He can think what he wants."
"He wanted to date me before we met."
"My dad has great taste; that doesn't surprise me. Did you want to date him, too?"
"No. I tried… I tried to want to, but I just couldn't. The reason I was standing by the pool was because I was avoiding him."
For some reason, this revelation amuses him, and he laughs. And laughs. And laughs. Eventually, I give in and laugh with him. I'm not exactly sure what's so funny, but it feels good to let go like this.
It feels good just being with Edward.
The laughter finally fades, and Edward becomes serious again. "Do you remember what you told me right before I got out of your car?"
"That you're exactly what I need." This time, I don't correct myself.
"Do you think it's possible for you to feel that way again?"
My eyes fill with tears again as I admit, "I never stopped."
Edward closes the distance between us and crushes his mouth to mine. I'm caught completely off guard, but thank goodness my body automatically knows to mold itself to his. I have no idea how long we stand there making out, but I really couldn't care less. I can't believe I've denied myself this kind of joy these last couple of weeks. We have a lot of time to make up.
We break away in order to catch our breath, and Edward wipes the remaining moisture from under my eyes. It's been so long since someone has taken care of me… has wanted to take care of me… that his gesture warms me from head to toe.
"So, how are we going to do this?" I ask.
"Well, for starters, I'm going to take you on a date."
"A date, huh? That sounds nice." We link fingers and walk back into Garrett's building. "What did you have in mind for our first date?"
"How'd you like to go to a frat party tonight?" His eyes are alight with mischief, and he just looks so damn happy. I do that for him—me. I can only hope he knows he does the same for me. In fact, I plan on making sure he does.
"No frat parties!"
"Okay, okay, no frat parties. How about I surprise you?"
"Yeah, I think I can handle that." Honestly, I don't care what we do or where we go. I just want to be with him.
"How are we going to tell Garrett?"
"Don't worry about him. Before I knew he was your son, I'd told him about this hot mom I met at a party a couple of weeks ago. Now, we just have to tell him it was his hot mom I was referring to."
Outside of Garrett's room, Edward wraps me in his arms and holds me close. "I was afraid I'd never get the chance to hold you like this again." The words are whispered into my hair, but I hear him loud and clear.
"Me too," I tell him before kissing him gently.
Remembering the conversation I had with Rose and Alice a few weeks ago, I smile knowing I've achieved a couple of the goals they set for me: I found me some man-meat, got laid, went crazy for a while, and most importantly, put myself out there. As I prepare to face an almost certain scandal in my future, I do what I've needed to do for so long.
I let go.
This was Jiff's entry for the May to December Romance Contest.
A HUGE thank you to Nic, Carrie, and their team, for putting on a fabulous contest! We'd also like to thank all of the readers! This has been the biggest contest we've ever had the pleasure of being a part of. We'd love to continue this, but we don't have an exact time frame for that. Keep us on alert! Thanks again!
As always, thanks to our amazing beta, Geekchic12! You rock, bb!