A/N: well here it is, my entry for the May to December Romance Contest. This story won the 'Most Forbidden Romance' award and made me very proud, as I've never won anything before! :) thank you to all of you who voted for this story, it means the world to me! I'm busy working on the continuation and it will be posted soon. As always this was Beta'd by the lovely Fran ;) all remaining errors are mine.
The sun was setting after a blisteringly hot day in Miami.
Golden sand glistened beneath my feet as I chased the small figure ahead of me. Seashells dotted the wet sand and also hung intertwined in the strands of her hair. She had woven them skillfully into the length of waving mahogany brown, which tumbled down her slender back.
She resembled a mermaid.
It had been a day of sun, sand, sea and Bella.
But it was also a day for revelations.
This was the first day I'd realized that Isabella Swan was flirting with me.
It was also the day I knew I would be going to hell for my inappropriate thoughts and lustful desires.
She was a temptress.
She was made up of everything a man could possibly want; wanton auburn curls which fell to her tiny waist, sun-kissed curves and a coltish grace, her lips a perfect pout. She was perfect inside and out, feisty and tough. Everything I admired and wanted, wrapped up into the small package that was Isabella Swan.
She was absolute perfection.
And she was just fifteen years old.
Fifteen fucking years old!
Especially to me.
I was her father's best friend and most trusted advisor. We had grown up together and now we worked together. Our friendship was casual and easy. From the day Isabella was born, she had been the apple of Charlie's eye, his baby girl, his angel. The times we'd spent together had been memorable Good, so it was inevitable that as she grew I had become her favorite person, next to her father.
The emotions she aroused had crept up on me, slowly and insidiously, until it couldn't be ignored any longer. Even though Bella was a teenager, she still treated me with the casual familiarity that we'd always had between us. I had seen nothing wrong with that behavior until recently.
But today, for the first time, I'd realized that Bella was no longer physically a child. She had breasts and hips and although she still had the long slender arms and legs of a teen, she was all woman in other ways.
Her wide, liquid brown eyes were inviting and filled with laughter as she dodged a missile made of wet sand that I'd hurtled at her fleeing figure moments before.
Her plump lips were stretched wide into an alluring grin of happiness. I watched her with detached, yet avid pleasure of an art lover watching something beautiful, wild and untamed.
"Edward!" She yelled, sprinting towards me easily. The wind whipped our hair wildly and carrying her words to me. "Catch me!"
Her giggle was contagious and I found myself laughing just as hard as she was as I tried to catch the young nymph ahead of me. Her shorts barely skimmed her ass and provided a very enticing view as she ran, her long, tanned, shapely legs moving furiously in her effort to stay ahead of me. Her taut midriff was bare below her navy blue t-shirt, which she had tied into a knot beneath her breasts. They were young, firm and succulent. Perfectly shaped, they needed no bra to stand so proudly. I could clearly see that she wasn't wearing one.
My body and my mind reacted automatically to the beauty before me, but I pulled myself up short as I found my mind wondering down forbidden pathways. About what could happen, fuck, should never happen!
I tagged her and stopped running abruptly. Not tackling her onto the sand as I normally would have. Bella stopped, stared at me, off balance, and unsure, her gaze questioning.
"Are you okay, Uncle Ed?" She only called me this occasionally, usually opting for the full version of my name, another sign that she wasn't a little girl anymore.
I nodded and wiped my brow with the back of my hand before gesturing to the turquoise water, which ran along the beach. "I need to cool down. You coming for a swim?" She smiled and shook her head at me. "No, thanks. You could never keep up with me! I thought I'd give you a break since I don't want you to lose face."
"You wish, little girl! I can whip your butt blindfolded." I joked more out of habit than anything else. Throwing off my t-shirt, I ran into the surf clad in my white board shorts and dove in as soon as it was deep enough.
Fifteen minutes later, I came out dripping wet and tired from my mind-cleansing swim. I found Isabella sitting on the golden sand looking more sensual than any, almost-sixteen-year-old had a right to look. I decided that acting normally was the best course of action, so I went to sit beside her just as I usually would.
"Was the water cold?" She asked smiling softly at me.
"It was freezing," I said as I used my discarded white t-shirt to dry my hair. "Much too cold for you."
I grinned at her, avoiding her eyes.
"Are you coming to my party next week Uncle Edward?"
"I might, Bella. If I have time off."
Her brilliant smile faded as she stared at me, a small frown creasing her smooth forehead. "Why can't you just come? It's only for dinner at Leonardo's; you know it's my favorite restaurant. Just come. Please?"
"I'll try Bella. I promise. How old will you be?" I ask as if I don't know.
"Sixteen, Uncle Ed. I'm a woman now."
I grinned at her through the hair that fell over my forehead. "Not quite Cricket." I baited her, using the pet name I'd used when she was about five. She hated it now. "In another four years you will definitely be a woman; until then you'll just be my little Bella."
She frowned at me before glancing away at the tumbling waves and swirling surf, her lower lip caught between her teeth, a single finger twirling a thick lock of hair around its self. "I hate being so young." She whispered at last. "I want to be grown up ... I want to be a woman."
I stood up and held out my hand for hers.
Her slender fingers intertwined with mine as she stood, looking up at me imploringly.
"Grown up enough for what exactly? Why would you want to waste your childhood, Bella? This is the best time of your life." I said, doing my best not to look at her braless breasts and highly glossed parted lips.
"So everyone keeps telling me. But it's not Edward. I don't want people to see me as a child ... I don't want you to see me as a child."
Realization dawned on me slowly. I should have seen it, but I hadn't.
The attraction I felt for her wasn't as one sided as I'd previously thought.
Bella felt something for me, too.
Not that it mattered.
She wasn't touchable.
"Bella, you will always be my best bud and my favorite little girl. I don't think I will ever be able to see you as an adult." I joked, trying to lighten the situation and defuse the desire I felt for her.
I was thirty-three for fuck sake. Not sixteen. I shouldn't be having indecent thoughts about a fifteen-year-old temptress, no matter how beautiful she might be.
"Really? Is that how you see me, Edward? A child?"
I nodded slowly, looking out to the sea over her head; anything else but her sweet face and tumbled, sun-kissed curls.
"You are a child, Cricket, no matter how much you might wish you weren't. Don't rush things."
"But I love you," Bella said in a rush, her young voice squeaking slightly as she forced the forbidden words out, her eyes searching mine desperately. "I want to be good enough for you."
I had to defuse this situation once and for all.
"I know you do and I love you, too, Bella - as the daughter I've never had. You know how close I am to your dad..."
"Edward! That's not what I mean..."
She squirmed from one bare foot to another uncomfortably. Not wanting to hear what I knew was coming, I watched her perfectly manicured, bright coral toenails dig into the sand as I focused on the silver anklet I'd bought her last week at a market; its sea creatures dangling against her olive skin. "I want you to see me as more than just a child. I want you ... I want you to hold me and to ... To k, k kiss me."
Shock rocked through my system at her words and flung my gaze upwards to meet her shy and fearful eyes. I hadn't realized that girls Bella's age thought of such things yet. Especially about someone so much older, someone she'd known all her life.
"Bella, I can't ever kiss you, not like that. I'm your uncle; there can never be anything between us."
Her face fell and her wide eyes shimmered with unshed tears. "But - you're not my real Uncle, Edward, I thought that maybe you felt it too ... It feels so good being with you ... It's the best thing in the world ... I love you..." She whispered.
I hated that I'd been the one to hurt her, but there really was no way around it.
"You're confused, Bella. The love, you feel for me, isn't romantic love, it's just the love you've always had for me, your Uncle Ed." I ruffled her hair playfully, trying to make light of the weighty conversation we were having. I was dying to fucking ignore the whole thing. It was one thing for me to be silently fascinated by her but another thing entirely for her to feel the same way about me.
This was a dangerous and slippery path.
I bent down and pressed an innocently chaste kiss onto her forehead. Her eyes slid shut and big fat tears rolled out from under her ridiculously long eyelashes as she leaned into me.
Warning bells went off in my head as she wrapped her arms around my waist. As wrong as it was, my body responded automatically to the press of her lithe body against my starved one. I pushed her away far faster than I should have, not wanting the evidence of my arousal to touch her.
Her eyes flew open and she stared at me in shock.
"I'm sorry. Let's go back. I will try and see you on your birthday, okay?"
"I'm sorry too, Edward," she sniffed. "I didn't mean to make you feel uncomfortable. I don't want you to go away and never come back." I saw more tears pursue the first ones as she walked away from me.
"Bella, you haven't chased me away. I won't go. I just need you to understand that there can never be anything between us, besides friendship."
My heart ached for her as I realized that she was scared I would leave her just the way her mother had years ago. Rene had been a flighty, easily bored woman several years Charlie's junior, who had suddenly and without warning disappeared when Bella had been four years old. It had devastated the small child and left her scarred emotionally.
"Let's go back now," I suggested as I slung my arm across her shoulders, super casual and fatherly - I hoped. Bella's face lightened and she smiled as she wiped at her damp face to get rid of the last sign of her tears.
"Okay, let's go home."
I dropped her off at Charlie's house and headed straight for my own home for a cold shower and a large glass of whiskey.
Despite my almost fatherly attitude towards her, my body was clamoring for release. I wasn't sure why Bella was affecting me so strongly, I only knew that she was driving me literally insane with want.
It was wrong and evil and I hated myself - but I still wanted to fuck her senseless. Every part if me rebelled against the very notion of taking her as I wanted to. I was a criminal lawyer for fucks sake, I put away men who did what I was contemplating.
And yet it did feel the same to me, not really. Between Bella and I everything felt right.
The truth was that I was no longer safe to be around her. I didn't know how long my self-control would last if put to the test as it had been today.
Therefore, I knew that the only option was to stay away.
Bella wanted me to go to her birthday dinner. So I would, it would be my final act as her uncle. Despite my promise to her that I wouldn't leave her, to stay would hurt her more, I decided. My heart was curiously heavy as I made that decision.
Bella was one of the best things in my life. With my high-octane lifestyle, she was my relaxation, my recreation. I adored the time I spent with her, surfing, cycling, running and swimming. She was and always had been as sporty as I was. As a top-notch criminal attorney, times, when I wasn't thinking about my cases, was a rare and precious commodity, and Bella had always been at the center of that for me.
I didn't want to examine too closely, why she was so important to me when she was only a friend's child. I'd even opted out with my steady 'girlfriends' many times just to spend quality time with my best friend's daughter. The reason why I'd never found anyone else I liked spending time with as much as I loved spending time with Bella disturbed me now as it took on a sinister edge I'd never noticed before.
I refused to think about it anymore.
I showered and drank another whiskey and it carried me to blessed oblivion.
Charlie had called me earlier in the day and re-invited me to Bella's sixteenth birthday dinner, which had changed venue and was now being held at Charlie's house.
I'd said I would be there.
Of course, I would. I wouldn't disappoint Bella.
I arrived a bit late and greeted Charlie and several other close business associates who were also friends of ours. Their sons and daughters mingled with Bella. Of course, my eyes were drawn to her like a goddamn magnet.
She stood in the center of their circle, like the princess she was, holding court for her admirers. She wore a short red mini dress. It's bodice somewhat demure and fully suited to someone her age. The showstopper was the long length of sleek tanned leg on display below the short hemline. Her feet were encased in high-heeled, black platform pumps. Tumbled dark brown waves hung to her waist in artful profusion, tempting my hands to knot themselves in those sinful tresses. I had, on several occasions done so in playful jest while walking that fine line which easily could have spelled disaster.
Outwardly I was calm and invested in the conversation I was having when inwardly all my senses were focused on her.
Each laugh, each toss of her head and each time her eyes strayed in my direction, I saw it all.
The more I thought about it, the more I realized that it had been like this between us for a while now. I couldn't remember the exact moment it had begun; it was entirely natural and not premeditated. However, that didn't make it any less wrong.
Charlie was distant and preoccupied tonight. I put it down to the global merger we were dealing with at the moment along with the numerous high profile cases we were handling as a firm. He had good reason to be thoughtful, although he always spared a hug and a kiss for his Bella each time he passed her.
After the dinner and the cake-cutting were over, I saw my opening and left the room and made my way up to Charlie's study to get a shot of whiskey, fuck knows I needed it.
Guilt was a heavy burden to bear.
Nothing could come of our mutual attraction.
It was as deadly as it was foolish.
Charlie would never forgive me, fuck I would never forgive myself.
I had to remove myself from temptation for good and limit my visits to purely family-centered gatherings.
My phone rang and I answered immediately, possible leads on cases always uppermost in my mind.
But this time it was Charlie.
'Where are you?'
"In your study as a matter of fact, sampling your superlative whiskey. Care to join me?"
Charlie , thanks. I'm needed at the office to finalize a deal. Please take over here until I get back, and for fucks sake, make sure you keep an eye on the teenagers, I don't want some munchkin feeling up my daughter. I'll be back in a couple of hours.
I grimaced at his request and massaged the bridge of my nose in frustration before raking an unsteady hand through my usually messy hair. 'Uh, Charlie I'd love to help but I was about to take off ... Can't Jacob do it?'
Jacob was a promising young lawyer Charlie had been grooming for the last few years to become a partner in our firm, "No, he can't. You know as well as I do Bella hates him, she'd have my guts for garters if I leave him in charge. Just give me an hour, okay? Look, Edward, I trust you with my shit, whereas I don't trust easily."
I sighed in defeat. "Okay, don't be too late ... Leaving me here with these teenagers is pure torture."
"Bella will make you feel better about it. I know how much you two like spending time together. So go and see her while you play nanny."
My stomach leaped at his shrewd analysis of our relationship.
"Yeah okay. See you soon."
'Oh, and Edward?'
'Leave me some of my own fucking whiskey.'
I laughed as I cut the call. Fat chance of that happening. I took another deep mouthful and then drained the glass.
The older people had moved into the den while the teenagers were outside by the pool. Party lights hung in gentle arches across the water and swayed in the light breeze coming off the ocean beyond our puddle of light. Its rhythmic sound could be heard in the distance above the music and chattering voices.
I looked for Bella and couldn't find her, but I could guess where she was. I wandered across the lawn and past the groups of teens towards the small forgotten pathway that led to the beach beyond. It was narrow and almost submerged in shrubbery. Insects sang their songs loudly right beside me until the toes of my Italian leather loafers touched the still warm sand. I kicked my shoes off as well as my socks. Ambling slowly towards the sound of the waves, drink still in hand, I spotted the small figure I knew would be there, dancing in the waves.
Shoes forgotten like mine, she stood ankle deep in the rolling surf, a flute of champagne clutched in her slender fingers. The moon was bright tonight, illuminating each detail in crisp, flawless clarity.
Warning bells went off in my head and this time I ignored them. What harm could come of talking to her? I wanted to give her my gift.
I just mustn't touch any part of her.
At least I could have this small amount of time with her before I walked away.
I walked until I reached her slight figure and stopped a foot behind.
"It's so lonely out here and yet I love it. It makes me feel happy and sad all at once." She said without greeting.
"It's nice." I agreed. "Free. But you should be careful; it could be dangerous out here all alone."
"Are you going to preach to me Edward, and tell me how foolish I am to tempt fate? Will you tell me I'm too young to know what's good for me and order me back inside?" Bella laughed then and turned to face me.
I shook my head slowly as my hungry eyes drank in every detail of the sublime face before me.
"I didn't get a chance to give you your gift. Happy birthday Bella."
Bella cocked her head to one side playfully as she waited. Reaching into my jacket pocket, I withdrew a small box made of silver cardboard. I knew she hated gold, as a rule; she liked the way silver contrasted with her dark hair.
I held out the box to her and watched as she opened it and lifted out my offering with eager fingers. It was a toe ring; intricate, delicate designs decorated the thick band with tribal inscriptions. It looked silver, but was, in fact, white gold.
"A toe ring? I love it, Edward. Thank you." Bending over, she pushed it on to the second toe of her right foot. It was beautifully showcased against her tanned skin and coral nails.
It suited her; my beach girl.
She grinned at me and then, with one of those lightning-fast mood changes she had she turned away from me to gaze out across the ocean. Her profile was pensive and sad.
"Daddy is sending me away, you know. Did he tell you? To France. I've always wanted to go there, to travel But not so much now."
Shock and then relief rushed through me at the thought of her absence in my life. No matter my earlier noble thoughts of self-exile from her, it had been taken out of my hands and it was now real and permanent.
I was addicted to her company and I would have failed eventually, had she been here, I was sure.
"He hadn't told me, but it's what you should do, go out and explore. It's going to be so great for you, you'll see, Cricket."
A small smile lifted the corners of her full mouth and I watched enraptured, aroused, hopelessly fascinated. She watched me too, melted chocolate orbs, filled with mischief and laughter.
"I guess." She shrugged. "Will you miss me, Edward? Or will you be glad I'm gone?"
"Of course I will miss you Cricket. Who else will eat all the pancakes before I've even sat down to breakfast or race me on the beach until her sides hurt?"
"I'll miss you, Edward. Dreadfully. Terribly. Will you do one thing for me, please, as a farewell present?"
I grinned at her even as my eyes trickled across each fine feature of her face. I knew what she would ask and that I would deny her. But there was pleasure in the asking.
I was a fucking addict, I realized.
She was my heroin.
Each flicker of her eyelashes bewitched me.
Every inner working of her mind, which was far from childish or immature, cast a spell over me.
If she were older, I would grab her and fuck her until she couldn't walk. I would brand every inch of that creamy flesh with my tongue and revel in her screaming my name, repeatedly. If she were anyone but Charlie's daughter, she wouldn't escape at all.
"What is it?" I asked, tempting the very fucking devil.
She moved towards me and I actually felt gravity shift beneath our feet.
The wind whipped her hair around her face; strands caught and clung to the glossy curve of her lips as she grinned up at me.
"I want you to be the first one to kiss me." She said softly, shyly.
"I don't want some frat boy to be my first. I want it to be you. I know you're about to lecture me on all the reasons why it can't be you. Or why it shouldn't be. But I don't want to hear it, Edward. I know I can't have you, all I want, is a kiss ... Please. You know - deep down inside -that it should be you."
My insides actually goddamn quivered as her words soaked into my brain and her eyes pulled me in deeper.
"I can't Bella," I whispered my eyes never leaving hers.
Disappointment flooded her and reflected on her face.
"You can't kiss me or you don't want to?" She asked softly.
I sighed and broke our intense gaze, watching the waves crash behind us.
Should I give her this? A small victory. Something to remember?
"I can't," I repeated.
Knowledge filled her eyes with joy, need, want.
"So, you want to? What's stopping you then? My age?"
"Among other things - Bella, I've watched you grow up and I've been your 'uncle' for so long. To feel anything else for you seems wrong. It is wrong. In addition, you're just so young. You don't even understand what you're asking for."
"I do know. I know I love you. I know I want you to kiss me and touch me. I want to be yours."
"Fuck, you can't say things like that to me. Bella, it's wrong, this is wrong. I can't give you anything, ever. I could kiss you, I could touch you, I could even fuck you. Do you even know what that means? However, that's all we could be and you deserve so much more. than that. You deserve the best of everything, Bella."
I tried to calm myself as I turned away from her. I couldn't look at her any longer. I hadn't meant to swear in front of her that way the words had just come.
I walked away as fast as I could towards the house. Towards bright lights, sanity and the blood cooling reality of whom this girl truly was.
"Edward! Stop! I'm sorry!" She cried as she ran up to me, her footfalls silent on the soft sand. I didn't turn to face her I simply stopped walking. Suddenly, the most erotic sensation I could ever remember experiencing fully clothed in my entire life overtook me; two slender arms slid around my waist from behind and then soft curves pressed into my back. I shut my eyes so tightly they hurt, in an effort to drown out the feeling of Bella.
My skin fucking tingled where her hands touched me and my cock was instantly hard. I hated myself for wanting her so badly and yet I couldn't stop the driving need she brought to life inside me.
I failed to bring to mind all the images I'd stored in my brain for just such times, of Bella as a toddler, a sweet child, and a naïve tween. Those images usually had the desired effect to kill any desire I felt for her. But tonight they wouldn't come. All, I could see, was a young woman who drove me insane with want and need.
"I'm sorry." She whispered again against my shirt, her lips pressed into me. "I won't ask again. Okay? I can't lose you, Edward, so please don't leave. I'll be good. I promise. I can't handle your anger; you mean everything to me."
How much could it hurt to kiss her once? The devil's own voice whispered on the wind as it ruffled my hair and hers.
I knew it wasn't right and I can't blame anything or anyone for what I knew I was about to do. I was about to cross a huge fucking line. But she'd be gone soon, and boyfriends and parties, the teenage stuff she deserved to experience would sweep any memory of me away. Would it really matter so much to claim one moment with her, my Lolita, my temptation? Shit, even trying to rationalize it felt wrong and yet nothing felt as right as her body pressed to mine as it was now.
I pushed every rational thought out of my mind and turned within the fierce cage of her arms. I drank the last of the whiskey and threw the glass onto the sand at our feet.
"Bella?" I said, but she refused to look at me. "Bella, look at me," I commanded my voice rough.
Slowly her face rose up to mine and I was shocked at how lustful her eyes were as they gazed at me. They were also scared and determined at the same time, they were so Bella.
Brave and foolish.
Mature and innocent.
Without thought, I cupped her face with my hands and reveled in her sharp intake of air. Fire danced along my fingertips as they caressed her petal soft skin. Her arms unlocked from my waist and with an inborn knowledge all women seemed to possess, they crept up my chest until they rested around my neck.
We didn't speak.
We didn't have to.
She knew that something had shifted within me. This shit was as natural as fucking breathing, gravity pulled us together and then I kissed her.
At first, it was entirely innocent, our lips were closed and it was still the most sublime thing I'd ever experienced in my vast experience with women. Bella's lips were magical. They sent pulses of electricity through my body and made me rock hard.
It was going well I thought, an innocent kiss, harmless, almost normal. And then she whimpered against my mouth and I couldn't control the primal urge to crush her mouth open beneath mine.
Bella's lips parted with a soft sigh and I filled her mouth with my tongue. Timidly, her tongue joined mine in exploration, and like everything else we did together, this flowed just as well. Her taste was like nothing before; it was vanilla, orchids, and every delicious taste and scent I'd ever experienced wrapped up into her.
She was forbidden fruit.
My hands moved from framing her face to fisting great handfuls of silken hair and holding her face to mine more forcefully. Bella melted into me, giving herself to me completely with nothing held back.
More forbidden thoughts came then, of her naked and entangled with me on the bed of sand at our feet. I wondered how freely she would love me. There was no shame or hesitancy in her now. Her youth and innocence a perfect match for my experience.
Her curved hips arched into mine, asking, pleading for the friction she didn't know she needed and still we kissed. Time ceased to be and had no meaning as our mouths moved in perfectly synchronized desire.
Smooth as satin.
Red velvet and sweet candy.
She was standing on her tiptoes now, leaning into me, falling into me just as much as I was falling into her.
I had to stop this now, or I wouldn't be able to stop at all.
I broke the kiss and stroked her wildly tangled hair back from her face. "Bella we must stop. Let's get back before we're missed."
Her hands stroked my face lovingly and tangled in my hair, caressing and then pulling. "I don't want to stop. Edward, I want you to take me..."
Her swollen lips uttered the words and I recoiled in shock. What could she possibly know of such things? "Bella you're asking for what you don't even understand. You've had your kiss. It's enough."
"Is it enough? Have you had enough? Because I could never get enough of you! I want you and yes, I know what it means. I want ... I want you to ... to ... f ... fuck me, take me, take what you want, because it's what I want, too. I want you, Edward, you, only yo..."
I watched horrified and painfully aroused as those succulent, innocent lips formed those dirty words and all I wanted to do was throw her down onto the sand and show her exactly how much I wanted her. Every fucking inch of her sublime body and beautiful face.
But I couldn't do that to her.
I couldn't defile the beauty that was Bella.
The kiss was bad enough.
"Bella you're a child and you don't know what you're asking. I can't do this. I can't betray Charlie like that and I won't betray you. I'm sorry. Let's go back inside." I said with just the right amount of condescending adult bullshit I knew she hated.
She pulled back from me in disgust her eyes filled with pain.
"You won't be with me?" She whispered. "Daddy's sending me away next week Edward and I'll never see you again. Please don't do this..."
I ignored my painful arousal and moved away entirely. "Bella this has to stop."
She followed me and then walked past me, I could feel the anger radiating off her skin.
"Bella, wait..." I found myself saying against my better judgment.
She stopped but didn't turn to face me, her slender neck turned slightly, but she didn't look at me directly.
"No, I will leave now and act like everything is okay, but only because you asked it of me. I will go to France and I will do everything I have to do just so I can be good enough for you. I want you Edward and that will never change. Remember me..."
I let her go.
Her words trailed off and then she was gone. Her figure disappearing up the narrow, overgrown pathway with ease and agility. My cock ached with supreme need and curiously, my heart ached too.
Nearly five years had passed since that fateful night in Miami. I'd spent them on the continent studying and growing. I'd proven myself, and now I felt as if I were ready, ready to come home and ready to see Edward again.
Nothing had removed Edward from my heart and mind, not the years of attentive frat boys or the Parisian lifestyle of endless parties and handsome boys.
No one could compare to Edward.
He was in a league of his own.
Some would say that he was too old for me and that he would corrupt me completely.
I could only wish that he would.
From my earliest memories, he is there, reddish-brown hair, messy and perfect, green eyes intense and ever watchful. He was my Uncle Ed and then one day out of nowhere he simply became Edward.
He was the stuff that every young girl dreamed about; he certainly filled all my dreams.
I loved him as much as I could possibly love anyone with the exception of my father, but that is an entirely different kind of love.
That single kiss we shared nearly five years ago had been the fuel for my lonely fantasies every night I'd spent in Paris. My first kiss had been all I'd imagined and more. It felt so right to let Edward kiss me and he had made me weak with desire for more, more, so much more.
I had felt his reservations about that kiss and yet his passion for me overcame all else and I was so glad it had.
I was no longer physically innocent.
I'd taken care of that.
I didn't want my virginity to be the reason he turned me down again. Some boy named Stuart, who'd liked me had obliged and taken my innocence. I hadn't liked him at all apart from friendship, he'd simply been convenient.
I'd hated his hands on me and I'd hated having him so close. But it had been a necessary evil. At least Edward couldn't turn me away this time. I was fully-grown and I wasn't an innocent young girl anymore.
I'd followed his career closely from Paris. Every newspaper article about him I'd cut out and saved. I was proud of all his accomplishments. His name had been linked several times with women. It hurt far more than I cared to admit seeing his handsome face staring back at me from the covers of countless magazines and gossip rags. Edward wasn't a movie star, but he was undoubtedly famous. He was now the top criminal lawyer in the country.
Women vied for his attention and I hated them all for whatever piece of him they may have gotten. I loved him, and I was certain he loved me too.
Home was the same as it had always been. My father welcomed me with open arms, I'd missed him so, the short visits to me at school hadn't been nearly enough. The servants all greeted me with the love I remembered from my rather- troubled childhood. It was a true homecoming.
I unpacked in the room that had always been mine. It seemed smaller somehow and more restrictive. The pink, four-poster bed was still there as well as the shaggy white carpet. I wouldn't bother changing any of it because I intended on finding my own apartment as soon as I could.
I had returned just in time to celebrate my twenty-first birthday with my family and friends. I'd planned it this way deliberately, as a memento of the night of my sixteenth birthday.
I'd missed my home dreadfully. The sea views, the fresh breezes, pale arches and marble floors. Eagerly I undressed and shimmied into a bikini. It was a bikini disguised as a one-piece, the top and bottom halves joined by a golden circle which came to above my belly button. I was still thin, but my curves had matured and I was pleased with them. My hair was even longer than it had been; now touching the cleft of my buttocks. I left it hanging and raced down the curved staircase with a fluffy towel draped over one shoulder. I couldn't wait to be submerged in the cool clear water.
I threw my towel onto the wicker chair and dove, mid-run into the turquoise water. It was everything I'd hoped it would be.
I touched the bottom of the pool and twisted onto my back staring up at the distorted clouds overhead. I stayed until my lungs began to burn in their quest for air, and then I allowed myself to float to the surface. I swam to the side, not really paying attention to anything.
A shadow falling across my face alerted me to a presence by the pool.
Shielding my eyes, I let them travel up the tall and elegantly powerful figure before me. My heartbeat leaped and I gasped audibly as my eyes met a startling, seaweed green gaze.
"Edward." The name fell from my lips so easily; it felt like coming home all over again. A symphony of emotions rushing through me at the sight of his handsome face, stealing my very breath and leaving me a shivering mess.
I hadn't seen him since that night nearly five years ago. I'd deliberately opted out when holidays came, not wanting to get home and see him only to have to say goodbye once again.
"Hi, Cricket." He drawled, that annoying nickname slipping effortlessly from his lips with honeyed smoothness.
Without thought, I pulled myself out of the pool and stood up with ease. My arms found their way around his neck and I hugged him with a mix of old familiarity and a total lack of manners. I wet the front if his shirt and still he didn't remove my arms; he simply returned the hug until, with startling abruptness, he pulled away.
"Must you call me that? How about just calling me Bella?" I said cheekily, smiling up at him.
"I like the name Cricket. It reminds me of you with pigtails and a dirty mouth from eating chocolate ice cream."
"Now that's the problem, Edward, because I'm not that little girl anymore."
A small grin lifted one side of that sinfully sexy mouth as he continued to stare at me with an unfathomable expression, which I longed to decipher.
"No, you aren't, are you." He stated as he pushed me away and surveyed my scantily clad curves.
I stared back at him, determined not to cave into being the same shy girl I had been. He was just the same as I remembered, his face, somewhat more mature, but the red-brown hair, which had always been messy, was as sexy as ever. His body was hard and fit just as it had always been.
Edward Cullen was still absolute perfection.
"You're just the same." I managed at last. "Better even."
Edward smirked at me, and when it came, his voice was like warm honey. "So are you."
I moved away from him and grabbed my towel, drying myself while watching him. It had always been the same; I'd never been able to keep my eyes off Edward.
The electric energy that surged off him reached towards me, drawing me in and stealing my powers of speech. I struggled to find something to say under the scrutiny of his electric green gaze.
"Shall we go for a run? It's early still; we could do our sunset beach run." I suggested, my heart hammering wildly in my chest waiting for his answer.
Raking a hand through his hair, he watched me, the other hand hung casually in a trousers pocket. "That's why I came here, actually, to invite you to a run your Dad me you'd be back today.."
I grinned up at him, feeling ad light a feather. He'd come to see me. "So I'll see you at our usual spot in an hour?"
Surprise crossed his face as he realized I would drive myself. "Yes, that's fine. See you then - Cricket."
I made a face at him as he turned to leave.
He smiled slightly and threw over his shoulder; "It's good to have you back - Bella."
I stared after his retreating figure, finally allowing my expression to melt into the longing that racked my body and plagued my soul.
I raced to get dressed, throwing on my shortest gym shorts and a skintight crop top. They both matched in shades of blues and greens. I tied my hair into a ponytail and threw on my trainers with invisible socks. Leaving my iPod, which I would have usually taken, I decided that conversation with Edward was vastly preferable to my usual music.
I searched for the keys to one of my Dad's cars and found that the Saleen was there. Climbing in I drove towards the beach feeling edgy and unnerved.
I parked beside Edward's Mercedes and swallowed the nerves, which had suddenly begun to choke me.
This was Edward, I reminded myself.
Why was I so nervous?
I went towards the sand dune we'd always started from and drank in the sight before me.
Edward was wonderfully casual in running shorts and a Reebok T-shirt, which was the same shade of green as his eyes. His eyes flared with an untold emotion at the sight of me and I felt pure white heat settle in my stomach. I ached all over and felt almost feverish.
"Hey." I greeted him with a tiny smile and butterflies in my stomach.
"Hey." He returned squinting at me slightly in the bright afternoon sunlight. Small lines now showed around those mesmerizing eyes, making them even more beautiful to me. Time had not lessened Edward's perfection, it had only magnified it. My stomach did a full summersault as I forced myself to return his gaze.
Something had changed between us, the attraction hadn't grown less, it had changed into something more. Something undeniable and dangerously loaded.
I watched as his eyes slid over my running outfit lingering, hungry and yet still controlled.
"Shall we?" I asked, arching a brow at him playfully before I took off running with any warning.
It was exhilarating moving over the sparkling sand, hot beneath my feet. The wind rushed over my face and body, cleansing away five years of absence. I heard Edward chasing me and I pushed myself harder still until my legs were moving faster than ever before.
We ran for what felt like ages, neck, and neck until we fell onto the sand exhausted and covered in sweat.
Edward had let me win, I knew, just as he always had. "I've missed this," I said as my breath returned to normal.
I've missed you, I said in my mind. But the words floated unspoken between us.
"I have too, I never found anyone else who could replace you. Not that anyone can." Edward grinned at me before becoming thoughtful. "What are you doing tonight?"
My heart stopped abruptly and then raced towards a dangerous edge.
"Not much. Dad is working on a case and I'm just at home. Why?"
"How about having dinner with me?"
Joy exploded through me as Edward offered me the opening I'd been looking for.
"That's sounds ... Wonderful. Does this mean that I finally qualify as an adult to get invited to dinner?" I asked heart pounding and mouth dry.
"It means that I've missed your company Cricket, nothing more and nothing less. Don't read anything into it, okay? I have a girlfriend and to me you're still untouchable."
Pain pooled in my chest at the mention of a girlfriend.
I swallowed the needy response, which hovered on my lips and smiled at him as I asked the dreaded question. "Who is she?"
"Her name is Charlotte Delany and she is a lawyer at our firm. She joined early this year."
"I've missed you Cricket and I just wanted to take you for dinner for old times' sake. Is that okay with you?"
I forced myself to nod and I hid the hurt I felt deep down inside my heart. It ached with the pressure, but I was determined to hide how much this news had hurt me.
I stood up and pulled off my shoes and socks. Without warning, I lifted my tank top up and off my damp body. It left just a tiny bikini top and my shorts.
"Are you coming?" I asked gesturing towards the churning water, ignoring his question. "The water looks so good I can't resist."
Edward gazed up at me, his seaweed green eyes unfathomable.
As much as he tried to hide the attraction he felt for me, I knew that it was still there, boiling below the surface. Every nerve ending in my body told me that it was. I would just have to get him to admit it to me.
I'd pull the tiger's tail if I had to, hell, I'd go to any length to get him to notice me.
Girlfriend or no, Edward Cullen would be mine, just as he was always meant to be.
He jumped to his feet with the ease if an athlete. Pulling his t-shirt off in one smooth motion, he met my eyes through his thick bronze lashes.
I couldn't help it; I stared at his beautiful body. It was lightly tanned and perfectly sculptured, like a statue I'd seen once of a Greek god. He wasn't overly muscular; his was the body of a runner, a fighter. I felt a heat building inside me and a surge of wetness between my thighs. I wanted to touch him so badly that my fingers ached with the effort to remain calm and casual.
Instead, I smiled at him before running backward into the surf.
"Can you still keep up?" I teased, allowing my natural attitude with Edward to guide me. "I can't give you your head start if you'd like."
Edward smirked at me before giving chase, grabbing me and throwing me over his shoulder. It was something he would have done in the old days and my heart leaped with joy even as I hung upside down along his back.
Every inch of my skin that touched his felt as if it was alive with sensation. I wanted to wrap my legs around his hips and rub myself against his washboard abs and the hardness I knew would be waiting below.
Dirty thoughts were ripped from my mind as I was tossed into the sea with no warning. I came up spluttering and coughing only to find Edward gone. He resurfaced moments later right next to me. Waves pushed and pulled at us as we floated in the cool water.
I hit the water with my hand sending an enormous geyser straight into his smug face.
I dove out of the way of dangerous reprisal and swam to shore.
I wanted to get home now and get ready for my dinner with Edward.
We air-dried and then dressed, before walking back towards our cars.
Conversation was stilted, but an unnamed emotion continued to burn its way through me, leaving a bundle of nerves and longing in its wake.
"I'll fetch you at seven." It was a command and not a question. I loved it when Edward became dominating with me, as he often had been over the years. In the early years, I'd just taken it as a fatherly attitude, now I wasn't so sure. Some part of me relished the male domination that seemed to be a part of his nature and I wasn't sure why.
I didn't argue. "That's fine, Edward, I'll see you then." I had walked away before he did, fiercely aware of his lingering gaze. "Don't be late." I teased shooting a smile his way.
He smirked as he leaned against his flashy car looking super cool and casual. "I never am."
I forced myself to get into the car. The sooner I left the sooner I would get to spend all night with him. I drove away with a madly beating heart and a silly grin on my face.
Nervous excitement pounded through me as I dressed for dinner. I took extra care with my shower, rubbing moisturizing wild berry and vanilla body wash into every centimeter of my flesh before washing my hair with the same scent shampoo. I shaved everywhere until every inch of me was silky smooth.
With a mild glimmer of hope, I put on a set of lacy, dark blue underwear. It set off my tanned skin nicely and brought out my dark coloring. Then I chose a mini dress of the same color, so dark a blue that it was almost black. Simple makeup and carefully dried hair completed my look. I left my hair loose, flowing down my back almost to my hemline.
I slipped on black stilettos and surveyed my image for a second before walking out of the room.
Edward was as usual perfectly on time.
I was waiting for him outside the back door right next to the driveway.
I fingered the beads on my tiny clutch purse as Edward's sleek SLK Mercedes crawled up the curved driveway beneath the shadowy palm trees that were lit from below by strategically placed spotlights. The lights reflected off the expensive silver paint job of his car.
Sliding out of the driver's side, he looked every Inch the dazzlingly, handsome socialite I'd seen in the magazines, and my heart did a curious lurch at the sight of that perfectly handsome face. His eyes were on my face as always, and I shivered in anticipation as a dreadful longing filled me.
God, I wanted him to take me.
Make me his in every way imaginable.
Edward sauntered to my side and reached down to press an entirely innocent kiss on my cheek.
The effect of his lips on my skin, so close to my mouth, however, was far from innocent. His scent was powerful; all man, it taunted my senses and made me want to pull him into me, as close as he would go.
"Hey," I replied, my voice sounded curiously husky even to my own ears.
"Shall we go?" He asked nodding towards his car, a single hand on the small of my back underneath my hair.
I nodded and followed where I was guided, sliding onto the cool leather interior as I adjusted my short skirt and pulled my hair over one shoulder as Edward closed the door.
As quick as lightning, he was there in the driver's seat and the door was closed leaving us encased in the close confines of the vehicle. I was made up entirely of jumbled nerves and heated desire. I watched him and he watched me, unspoken, palpable lust pulsing between us.
The drive was fairly short and when Edward parked, I realized we are at New Moon, one of Miami's trendiest new clubs. I had heard that it was upmarket, a mixture of restaurant and nightclub. It was right on the beach; the distant waves crashing along the shore echoed my thundering heartbeat.
Edward guided me again with his hand on my lower back and I was awash with trembling sensation. People glanced at us as we passed, our age difference was apparent and yet I couldn't bring myself to care what they thought. Women eyed Edward with longing glances and I saw several men watching me and I shivered, this time from distaste.
We were ushered into a private dining room overlooking the ocean; its balcony was open and the gentle sea breeze cooled my hot face. The view was sublime and I loved it immediately.
We took our seats and ordered; I wasn't paying attention because I was so absorbed in watching every thought and emotion that crossed his face. Candles were lit by the server, and for a moment I thought that he would tell them not to bother because this wasn't a date, but he kept silent and smiled at me before he sipped from his glass of what looked like whiskey.
Our conversation was stilted again and I was happy to leave it that way. I wanted to absorb each of these moments in Edward's company - I'd missed him so much.
We discussed my father's firm and the case Edward was working on at the moment. I was proud of his success and questioned him in depth about everything. He humored me and answered what he could.
Edward asked me about Europe and laughed at my answers. I skirted around the partying I had done and the one boy I had allowed close to me.
We ate and teased each other as if I was still fourteen and that kiss five years ago had never happened. It annoyed me slightly and I wanted to push him a little. The champagne I consumed had given me courage, and I could feel the shift between us as I smiled seductively at him through my lashes.
"Can we go to your place?" I asked as I drained the last of my champagne.
He shook his head slowly while his eyes held mine captive. "I don't think that's a good idea, Cricket."
That name really irritated me this time. I was not a little girl any longer and it was about time he realized that.
"My name is Bella," I stated dryly. "Try it, it won't hurt."
Edward shifted in his chair and leaned towards me across the table. "I think it might." He joked. "Let me take you home, Bella." He emphasized my name and it came out sounding positively sinful - like an invitation I very much wanted to accept.
"I don't want to go home yet ... Please? Daddy won't be home yet and I don't want to be alone."
Resignation flits across his face and something else I couldn't name. If I didn't know better, I would have thought it was eagerness.
Did he want to spend more time with me, too?
"Where should we go then if your place is off limits? There was a time when you welcomed me there." I said pointedly, pouting.
Edward didn't reply. He took one look at my face and stood, taking my arm none too gently as he escorted me out of the club and back towards his car.
Once there, he turned to look at me, his face a curious mix of exasperation and desire. "Bella I can't do this with you. I won't go down that road the way we did once before. There can't be anything between us ... Ever. Your father is my best friend and I won't betray him like that. Please stop with the seductive tricks and the goddamn clothes. Give me some peace."
I stared at him in shock and anger. "I'm not a child anymore Edward. I've done as you wanted, I left and I've lived, I've partied and I got laid. Just so you would want me. But you still won't admit that what we have between us is real." I sobbed.
Shock now darkened his face along with another emotion I recognized all too well; fury.
"You got laid so that I would want you? What the fuck, Bella? What kind of sick and twisted logic is that?" His fingers dug into my shoulders as he shook me, my hair fell into my face wildly with the fierceness of his actions.
"I thought you wouldn't ... Be with me ... If you thought I was a virgin. So I took care of it. It was nothing ... One time. I'd didn't even like him."
Edward's eyes positively glowered with anger at my casual description of my deflowering.
"It was not 'nothing' Bella it should have been amazing ... With...The right person. Fuck, what have you done?"
"I'm sorry. I just want you and you don't want me ... You never have. I thought you did. But you don't do you?" Hot angry tears escaped and trickled down my face as I tried to pull away from his iron grip.
Edward released my arms to stand before me vibrating with barely controlled emotions, one hand raked through his hair in a move that was characteristically him. He shoved the other hand into his pocket as if he was trying to stop himself from doing something. His eyes slid over my face, examining each inch of my face. I feared that my eyes were an open book, each emotion clearly defined for him to see.
"Let's go." He said abruptly, as he opened the door for me and waited for me to stumble inside.
I didn't ask where he was taking me since it was all too clear that it would be home.
Miserable and feeling way out of my depth, I realized the mistake of letting him know just how centered around him my actions were. It should have remained a secret, but now there was no hiding it.
The SLK sped through the warm night; Edward handled the car like a professional racecar driver as he maneuvered the car through the traffic. Silent, I watched his sleek and yet powerful hands gripping the steering wheel and then the gear stick with single-minded fascination. Edward drove the same way he did everything else; powerfully and aggressively and I loved watching him.
I shivered even though it was a warm night; tension getting the better of me. Edward rested his hand on the gear stick for a while, the passing lights glinting off his Rolex watch.
"I'm sorry Edward," I tried at last, my voice small. "Please don't be angry with me. It's the one thing I can't handle."
I glanced at him nervously and saw a change in his expression. His perfect profile remained harsh, but his lips softened a little. I noticed then that we hadn't gone back to my house; the car was now crawling along the beach. Dark and yet lit by the moonlight, it was our place, our sanctuary.
Hope blossomed in my heart and I suddenly felt light.
Obviously something had changed because Edward had brought me here, where we were completely alone and unrestricted.
Wordlessly Edward parked and got out, coming around to my side slowly, almost as if he were prolonging the inevitable. My senses were going wild, my pulse points throbbed with excitement and a hint of fear as he opened the door and I stared up into his handsome face.
He offered me his hand and I accepted it, sliding my fingers along his before I stood before him.
Suddenly I felt dwarfed by his size and more nervous than ever before. I knew something had changed; a decision made...
We walked silently along the pathway, our hands still loosely joined. As we reached the sand, I bent down and removed my stilettos, the toe ring Edward had given me for my sixteenth birthday glinting on my second toe.
The sand was still warm from the heat of the day and it caressed my feet sensually as we continued our slow walk. I felt like I was floating above the ground, just because he was holding my hand.
As the shadows deepened and the artificial light disappeared entirely, Edward tightened his grip on my hand and suddenly I was swung around onto his chest.
There were no words between us.
None were needed.
Electricity crackled between us and I saw the small explosions of blue light behind my eyelids as his mouth swooped down and captured mine.
It was as good as it was the first time, even better because he held nothing back. As soon as his mouth touched mine, my lips parted and I swiped my tongue along the closed line of his lips. With a groan, Edward deepened the kiss. His taste was so good I wanted to devour him, his tongue slid inside and I whimpered into his mouth as I desperately clung to him, my body curved into every inch of his hard flesh. His hands framed my face, holding me captive as he took everything I had to give in that single kiss.
Edward stole my very soul from between my lips, but then I'd been sure that he had already owned it my whole life.
I shook from head to toe.
My body sliding up against his as my arms crept around his neck. My hungry fingers tangled in that mess of reddish-brown I loved so much, and I was home.
Nothing could compare to this feeling.
Edward was my whole world.
He always had been.
Electric pulses shot across my skin and my nipples tightened against the bodice of my dress, a surge of wet warmth between my legs made me kiss him harder still.
There was nothing tender about this kiss of ours; it was hard and hungry, all tongue teeth and ravenous lips. Edward's fingers tangled in my hair as he fisted it roughly in his large hands, holding me to him. A small sliver of pain tingled along my senses and I welcomed it. We swayed drunkenly as lust shook our equilibrium.
Edward's hands released my hair and trailed down my body until they reached my ass and then my thighs. He lifted me as easily as if I weighed nothing at all and spread me wide to accommodate him. I eagerly wrapped my legs around his body, drawing him in, as close as he could go. The feel of that steel-like flesh beneath his trousers pressed against my core was delicious torture and I cried out loudly.
He pulled back and watched me, eyes intense and questioning. "I can't stay away from you any longer. I've tried and I've failed. This is all we can have, Bella. Is this what you want?"
My heart ached as his words filtered into my lust-riddled mind; we only had this. This passion, this love, behind closed doors.
But he was all I needed - all I wanted- I would take what I could get.
I nodded even as I lifted my mouth to his once more.
"Yes." I whispered against his mouth. "Oh yes. Take me, Edward Make me yours."
With a groan of defeat, he kissed me senseless. Tasting every inch of me, licking at my lips with a hungry tongue.
"Oh Bella, fuck, Bella ... I want to devour you whole. Every. Fucking. Inch." He fell to the sand with me cradled against his chest, the sand was our bed and the night sky our light. My legs remained locked around his waist as we fell and I straddled him easily once we hit the ground, just as I'd wanted to do countless times before.
His eyes were fierce and looked torn as if it hurt to admit it; "I want to hurt you for letting anyone else touch you ... Bella, how could you? You're mine. Say it."
I stared at him star-struck, and slightly fearful at his tone. This was the side of him, I'd known, was there but never seen, it was overwhelming.
"Say it." He demanded roughly, his hands gripping my face.
"I'm yours," I said my voice quivering. "Only yours. God Edward, you're all I want."
I ground my core against that tempting hot hardness beneath me and watched, enraptured, as Edward's eyes glittered with pleasure and unspeakable lust.
Poisonous and deadly,
Decadent and lovely;
It was what held us together and pulled us apart.
"Fuck, Bella, I don't want to hurt you, but I want to defile you in every way imaginable." He ground out as his hands gripped my hips, sliding me along his erection. I thrilled at this change in the man I knew so well. This was the side of him I'd always longed to see. I'd wanted him to let go with me and now that he was, this was my favorite dirty fantasy come to life and I was delirious with need and want.
He rolled and pinned me to the cooling sand as he hovered over me; strength, power, and manly beauty holding me down. My heart fluttered uncontrollably and I was gasping for air as he lowered his hands onto my arms before sliding them onto my breasts.
I ached to feel his mouth on me, all over. I started to undo my dress only to hear a loud ripping sound as he tore my dress down the middle. His intensely focused expression made my panties even wetter than they had been before. His green gaze lingered on every curve as he pulled aside the cups of my bra and flicked the closest nipple to him with his warm tongue. I had no shame; I'd waited too long for this. For him. I arched into his mouth and cried out as his mouth closed fully over my nipple. He sucked, and tingles raced through me deliciously. He grazed the hardened nub with his teeth and flicked it with his tongue and I felt a coil begin to tighten within me.
Sensation washed over me with each touch of his hands and mouth. I was lost and I never wanted to be found.
Edward cupped both my breasts and lifted them to his face, feasting on my flesh like a starving man. It was almost too much, but then it was also not enough. The ache between my thighs had grown and I longed for him to touch me, take me, and finally have me.
His face was a picture of hunger as he slowly slid my panties down, and then off my legs. I was totally naked now, yet strangely, I felt no shame as Edward's glittering gaze took in my most secret place. My fingers stroked his face and then his hair as I watched him watch me. His large hands trailed slowly downward across the sensitive skin of my thighs until, with sensuous slowness, he spread my legs wide.
My face flamed because it was the first time I'd been so exposed before any man. But this was my Edward and I trusted him. He slid down my body kissing and licking every inch of available skin, I could feel my muscles twitch beneath his passionate mouth.
I watched as Edward's messy hair trailed across my stomach before his heated mouth descended onto my wet core. His fingers moved; parting, caressing, teasing me. I felt my hips arch upwards into him of their own volition, asking for more.
When his mouth finally touched me, I jerked and whimpered clutching his hair with desperate fingers. He licked and sucked my delicate flesh expertly; eating me out and making my whole body tense and coil tighter and tighter. I was floating higher and higher racing towards what felt like the end of the earth.
And then I was free falling.
Shuddering violently as a surge of wetness exited my body, I glanced down to see Edward's eyes staring at my face, watching me come undone. I couldn't look away even if I'd wanted to.
He consumed every drop of my ecstasy before sliding upwards along my body to claim my mouth.
He tasted of me and somehow the flavor wasn't a turnoff as I'd thought it might be. My hungry fingers pulled at his shirt, undoing the buttons eagerly. I wanted all that hardness against me.
A soft chuckle escaped him as he moved, lifting me with him as he stood. "Not in the sand, Bella. It would hurt in ways that aren't good."
I clung to Edward as he walked us towards his car again. The beach was deserted this time of night so I felt safe like this, instead of naked and vulnerable.
Arousal still pulsed through me and I occasionally shook against Edward's chest. A few steps more and my ass touched cold metal as I was placed on the hood of Edward's sleek silver SLK. Self-consciousness reasserted itself as he withdrew from me for a moment and I wrapped my arms around my chest defensively. But that all disappeared a second later as I watched Edward remove his own shirt, button by button. The wind blew softly and my hair fluttered around me, tickling my skin. But my gaze was glued to the sight of a half-naked Edward with burning green eyes directed solely at me.
His hair fell into his eyes slightly and I longed to push it out of the way. Edward shrugged off the offending piece of white fabric and it floated to the sand forgotten.
He came towards me then, magnificent as he unbuckled and parted his trousers.
His hand slipped between my legs brazenly, unashamed, as he slipped two fingers deep inside of me, thrusting in a sinful rhythm.
My gasp of surprise turned into a quiet moan as my hands grabbed at his upper arms, my fingers curling tightly around hard muscle.
Edward looked down at me with dark, angry eyes, as if he was angry at us both for needing this so much, for needing each other so desperately. But a second later his face shifted and a crooked smirk briefly lifted his lips.
It all happened fast and I was nothing but a wild, furious heartbeat, pulsing desire and beautifully muddled thoughts. He grabbed my ass and lifted me sharply onto the edge of the car.
My heart decided at that moment to beat far harder and more erratically than it ever had before in my entire life.
He stepped between my legs, pushing my knees wide apart. He looked down between us and I held my breath.
Then he thrust forward, rough and sudden, deep inside me. I didn't even have time to cry out before he thrust again, so hard that he was now all the way inside me.
The car moved slightly with the force; it was rough and passionate and I love every moment of it.
"Oh, God," I moaned as my head fell forward to rest against his chest. My fingers twisted into his hair desperately as my body adjusted to the sudden intrusion into my most secret place.
But one of his hands were already in my hair and he pulled my head back almost painfully, his lips at my ear. "Does that feel good, Bella?" he whispered, deceptively quiet and gentle as he pulls backonly to thrust into me again.
The car shook again, harder this time.
"Yes," I whispered into his skin. "Oh yes, Edward, don't stop...oh god..."
He slammed into me repeatedly and I whimpered and then cried out each time. I felt nothing but him.
Full, hard, sweaty and so fucking good.
He whispered dirty words into my ear, my skin and my hair.
He told me to come for him, his voice commanding.
I surprised myself when I did.
And when the shaking within me had almost stopped, I kissed his neck. He grabbed my ass, lifting me until I wasn't even on the car anymore. He pushed deeper into me and then stilled, as he moaned curses into my neck. I felt him shake violently and I smiled into his skin before I reached up and kissed him.
I felt like he was mine now, just as I've always wanted him to be.
It had been everything I'd always imagined and more.
We lay on the hood of the car, Edward's legs still on the ground, supporting us. His cock is still deep inside me and I loved the connection. I've never felt this close to him and it was all I imagined it to be.
I feel complete; bonelessly sated.
We made love, over and over again throughout the night, on every available surface of his car. We finally fell asleep on the back seat, I was dressed in his shirt and he wore only his trousers. I slept on his chest and I'd never been happier in my life.
Early morning sunlight woke us and my heart leaped as I stared into dark fathomless green. The lines around his eyes made them beautiful to me and I wanted him again, even though I knew that I must get home.
I stroked his hair with shaking fingers as we communicated without words, our eyes saying it all. There was no regret in us and yet I suspected that Edward would try to avoid a repeat performance due to his sense of morality and his genuine friendship with my father.
His hands raked through my hair, combing the tangles out with sensuous, loving fingers. I pulled his face to mine and I kissed him with every ounce of love I had thundering through my heart and my entire being.
He returned the kiss; it was bittersweet and so filled with despair.
I felt my heart ache and tears prickle my eyelids.
Edward drove me home slowly, our fingers intertwined on his thigh. When we got there, I said goodbye with one last kiss and a brief hug before sneaking into the house via a side door. I reached my room safely, my heart still sore and achy.
My body was filled with elation as much as my heart was filled with dread.
However, deep down inside my heart, I can't shake the feeling that some things are meant to be.
I had done it.
I'd taken Bella's innocence and betrayed my best friend and yet I couldn't find the necessary guilt or shame. Some part of me refused to believe that she wasn't already mine to begin with.
After leaving Bella at home, I'd gone to my house, showered, dressed and left for the office; my mind focused on Bella when it should have been on work.
Every sigh and moan had been branded into my mind in crystal clear, high-definition, surround sound. The way her rich, buttercream, chocolate eyes became unfocused just before she came or how she said my name, throaty and filled with suppressed emotion.
She consumed me.
She was nearly twenty-one now, I kept telling myself.
All, I'd done wrong, was take the daughter of a very good friend. I had not intended to let it get that far last night, but the thought of her with anyone else had driven me to claim her and brand her with myself. I chastised myself for being so rough with her But all my control had been gone once I'd touched her skin.
I braced myself to face Charlie this morning.
He seemed a bit off, but I was so focused on my own worries I chose to ignore it and concentrate on work instead.
However, every goddamn time I looked at something, it held a memory of Bella.
I shook my head in frustration and slammed my laptop shut after an hour of staring at the screen and accomplishing nothing, massaging the bridge between my eyes roughly.
"Hard night?" Charlie inquired from the doorway, where he leaned, super casual and wonderfully familiar
I jumped visibly and eyed him with a fair amount of irritation. "Yes, I had a late night last night. My mind just isn't in the game this morning." I confessed.
Charlie chuckled as he entered and went to stand by the wide windows overlooking the coastline.
"Funny, Bella went out last night too, and she was also out of it this morning. You two are so much alike even after five years apart." He eyed me with humor. "Have you gone to see her yet?"
I watched him warily searching for some clue as to whether he knew something or not. "Actually, I saw her briefly yesterday at your house. Paris did her good, it seems."
"Yes, it did. However, I think she missed home. She is so much happier since she got back. Dreamy even. I haven't seen her this way before."
I cleared my throat and turned back to my laptop, opening it once again.
"I'm glad shes so happy. She deserves nothing but the best."
Charlie went to leave but stopped at the door, his face a curious mixture of harshness and contentment.
"Be good to her."
His words floored me.
"I always knew it would be you. It took me a long time to acceot at first, but then I realised that there was no one she could be safer with. Just don't hide things from me; you know how that fucks me off. I'll tell Bella to invite you over to dinner tonight, the first time in your new capacity, and all. I'm sure it will thrill her."
I stared at him.
Charlie gave me a condescending look as he opened the door and prepared to leave.
"Edward, for Bella there has only ever been you. I knew it from the time she was twelve years old. You're the best man for her, I won't object now that she's grown. In life, some things are meant to be, and you two are one of them."
I was fucking speechless.
All this time and all that worrying had been pointless.
He'd known all along.
"Charlie ... I'm sorry. I didn't plan it. You have to know that."
"Oh, I know that, Edward. You're my best friend and I know that you're a good man - the best. I told you before - I trust you with my shit, and - apparently - my daughter." He laughed. "Just don't break her heart."
"I never could. She means everything to me." I told him.
And I meant it.
Charlie nodded at me as he left.
"See you tonight."
A genuine smile spread across my face.
No shadows or closed doors for us; this love we shared was meant to be.