I squint against the harsh sunlight and use the program in my hand to fan my heated skin. The cap on my head makes me itch. I sigh as the principal drones on about the future and the opportunities that lie ahead. I scan the crowd and smile when I see Edward and Jasper sitting between our parents. When Alice's name is called, we clap and cheer while she makes her away across the football field. The noise causes the lingering hangover I'm nursing to make my head throb, but it doesn't affect my mood. This is the moment we've waited for. Alice and I are finally done with highschool and one step closer to starting the next phase of our lives.
When my name is called, Edward lets out a whistle so loud it echos off the bleachers on the other side of the field. We throw our caps in the air when it's over. Alice and I cry and hug and laugh as our families surround us. My mom cries and my dad's eyes are glistening. They tell me how proud they are and how much they love me. I hug them and try not to let my anxiousness show. I want Edward. I want to hug him and kiss him and feel his arms around me. Even though we've talked almost every day, I've only seen him a handful of times since spring break. It's been too long and I've missed him so much.
"You did it, baby," he whispers against my ear as he hugs me from behind. I sink into his embrace and let my head fall against his chest.
"One step closer to forever."
"I have something special planned tonight."
I turn in his arms and smile. "Oh, yeah?"
He nods and looks around to make sure no one is listening. "Do you remember the stuff Jared gave us over spring break?"
My stomach flips and my heartbeat starts to race as my mind flashes to that night. The night that I felt higher than the highest cloud. When every touch from Edward set my body on fire. I was weightless and free. I was an instrument only he could play, and he did so with expert precision.
His smile is salacious. The desire I feel is reflected in his eyes. "This is better."
"Can we leave now?" I ask. I don't want to wait. I want his hands on me. I want his naked skin pressed against mine. I want to be consumed by him.
He laughs and strokes my cheek. "Soon. Let's play nice with our families first. Your dad wants to talk to me after dinner. I'm sure it's the 'you better take care of Bella' speech where he threatens my life a couple of times, but I'm going to let him get it out of his system because it's the right thing to do."
I pop up on my toes and kiss his cheek. "You're so good to me," I whisper.
He pulls back and looks down at me. His expression is serious and soft. His green eyes tender and true. "Because you're my girl. I'd do anything for you."
My eyes prick. The excitement of the day and my emotional overload gets the best of me. "I know you would. I love you so much."
"I love you too, baby. Now let's get this dinner over with so we can get high as a kite and fuck each other's brains out."
I giggle and thread our fingers as we make our way to the parking lot. "I couldn't agree more."
Dinner passes as expected. Alice sits on one side of me with Edward on the other. We smile and laugh and share secret smile with our eyes. When our parents finally kiss us good night and make us promise to be careful, we are beyond ready to let loose. This is it. We've made it. We're out of school. We're legal adults. We're free to do as we please and there is nothing anyone can do or say to stop us. It's a high all on its own.
We get to the beach around 10:00. A crowd of rowdy teenagers surround a huge fire on the sand. We join the party, passing around beer and liquor lifted from our parents' stash. We reminisce about the fun we had over the years.
When Edward inches his hand up my leg and looks at me in the way that makes my thighs clench, I don't try to downplay my reaction. I've missed him. I want him. And I want the high that I know is waiting for us in his front pocket.
"Take a walk with me?" he asks, pulling me to my feet.
I nod and look over at Alice, who is watching us with a huge smile. She gives me a wink and a thumbs up. I realize she's already on her way to where I want to be. I return her smile and let Edward lead me off into the dark. When we're away from the crowd and the only light we have is the dim glow of the fire, he stops and pulls me behind a large rock to hide us from view.
"I need you," he breathes against my lips as his hands slip under the hem of my shirt.
I moan and raise my hands so he can pull the material over my head. He wastes no time removing my bra and sucking my nipple into his mouth. My pants are around my ankles before I can blink. Fueled by lust, I rip open the buttons of his jeans and wrap my hand around his dick. Frantic and needy, he fucks me against the rocks. My back aches from the bite of the sharp edges of the rock, but nothing in the world could make me ask him to stop.
When it's over, he slips a pill past my lips and kisses me softly. I smile around the bitter taste and hug him close. He pulls up his pants and fixes my clothes. "We should get out of here soon before this kicks in."
"Okay. Let's get Alice and Jasper."
We make our way back to the crowd that had grown since we slipped away. Old friends that Edward hasn't seen in almost two years surround him. One drink turns into two and three to four. The world starts to wave and shimmer. I touch my skin and shiver. The stars are so so pretty and the sound of the ocean is the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. I spin and laugh, and I can't imagine there is any better feeling in the world.
Alice finds me in the sand and falls down beside me. "I love you," she says, reaching over and grabbing my hand.
"I love you too," I say, my smile so big my face hurts.
"This is the beginning of everything."
"Everything," I echo in a daze.
We sit quietly and listen to the sound of the ocean and the laugher of our friends. The cool breeze of the ocean soothes our heated skin. "I'm fucked up," Alice giggles.
"We should get the boys and go. Did you know they got us hotel rooms?"
My eyes widen and I sit up. The world spins spins spins but I'm too caught up in what Alice has said to pay it any mind. "Are you serious?"
"Yup. They've taken care of everything. This night is going to be amazing."
I scramble-stumble to my feet and hold out my hand to Alice. "Let's grab our guys and get out of here before we start making out."
She laughs and accepts my help. "You were starting to look hotter than normal. We need to go have sex with before things get weird."
We find Edward and Jasper surrounded by a group of their friends. They are so fucked up I'm not sure they recognize us at first. I slip my hand into Edward's and try not to sway as I whisper in his ear.
"Are you ready to go?''
He blinks away the haze covering his eyes and smiles. "Fuck yes. Let's go." He takes two steps then falls on the sand, pulling me with him.
"Maybe I should drive," I laugh. I can't drive. I can barely see straight. But as I look at my friends, I can tell they are in worse shape than me. When Edward doesn't argue I know I'm right.
We climb into my dad's car, laughing and having the best time of our lives. This is what it's about. This is how it's supposed to be. We're young, reckless, and fucking invincible. I pull onto the road and Edward messes with the radio.
Alice and Jasper are laughing in the back seat. My heart feels so full and I've never felt so alive. Edward grasps my thigh and watches me as he leans against the headrest. He has the sweetest smile and I just want to forget the world and slip inside him. I want to get lost in the love that I feel for him. The love that he feels for me.
The front of the car jumps and I only see a flash of a deer before we're spinning spinning spinning. Screams fill the car. I can't breathe. Edward's face is frozen with horror and fear. The car bounces and then I can't feel my stomach. My hair is in my face. No, it's covering my face. I'm upside down. My body aches. The sound of shattering glass pierces my ears, a duet to the screeching metal on the asphalt and the screams of my best friends. Warmth rolls down my face and into my eyes as I'm jarred one final time before everything goes black.
I don't know how much time passes. I drift from the sound of moans and the smell of smoke to the blackness of nothing. I feel lighter. Like I'm floating. It's easier here. I want to stay. I don't want to go back to the smoke and sadness. Something pulls at me. I don't want to go, but it's crying, begging.
My eyes flutter. I'm surrounded by flashing red and blue lights. Rain stings my eyes. I want to go back to where I didn't hurt, but I can't. He won't let me. Voices echo. Panicked and angry, they shout and plead. Then I see him. It's only a flash. I'm not sure if it's real or a memory.
"Not her too," he whispers. "Bella, please. God, baby. I can't lose you too. Don't leave me. Don't go. Please. Please. Please."
The word echos over and over again as everything fades to black once more.
You guys have some answers now, but you still have no idea what's going to transpire. There's a lot of story to tell, a lot of secrets to uncover. I hope you'll stick with me. I posted the link to the playlist in my FB group if anyone wants to check it out. I listened to Last Kiss by Pearl Jam on repeat writing this chapter. There are a lof of revelant songs on that playlist. You should check it out.
Thanks to Jill and Abney for giving this a read through. I love those hoors. I love you guys too. Until next time,