I was going to burn.
There wasn't any doubt.
I was going to burn...
Without ice water.
Even knowing I was going to burn, I couldn't give a fuck.
I wanted her.
I wanted her so bad it consumed me.
There she was, with a fuck-me-stupid kind of dress that drew way too much attention to her breasts … and long legs. I growled, putting on my most charming grin as I wrapped a possessive arm around her waist, effectively stopping any young men from approaching her.
"Edward ... Hi, umm, hello," she gasped my name in surprise. I was pleased to see a delighted smile spread across her face.
"Isabella," I murmured, my lips twitching upward at the sound of her name on my lips. I smiled, pleased, as I noted the bracelet she had worn, along with her diamond necklace and earrings. I knew my behavior baffled her as I gently caressed the charms that dangled from her arm. The very same piece of jewelry I had sent to her on her nineteenth birthday. Ever since, I've sent her trinkets, tokens of my affections for birthdays, holidays and occasionally just because I could. I had wondered if she still wore them.
"Is my father here?" She asked politely, a hint of hopefulness in her beautiful brown eyes, as they darted hopefully around the ballroom.
"I'm sorry, you just missed him," I informed her, averting my green eyes to the ice sculptor across the room. I wouldn't be the one to tell her about her father's sexual conquests for the night, or about the Barbie doll twins with whom he had departed. "But I've got to admit Isabella, I'm glad you missed him," I smirked lazily, looking her up and down while keeping my facial expression blank, "he would stroke-the-fuck-out if he saw your pretty little ass in that dress."
My shoulders straightened and my eyes narrowed as she rolled her eyes, not at all bothered by my crass words. "Edward, I already have one overprotective father, I don't need another." She said crisply, her eyes flashing with anger. I wanted to take her over my knee and spank her for her attitude as I groaned silently at the mental imagery. It left me hard and wanting.
I chuckled darkly; hurt flashed in her eyes before she twirled away from me, moving to make her thunderous escape.
I felt my control snap as I took note of her sadness. I firmly gripped her upper arm and led her out onto the abandoned fire escape. I slipped my jacket over her thin shoulders and drew her into my arms to protect her from the cool winds, only to find myself intoxicated by the smell of her shampoo and flowery perfume.
"Fuck," I groaned as I drew in a deep breath, pulling her scent into my lungs, "You're gorgeous, baby," I whispered as I pressed my entire body against hers. Her eyes widened, dilated, and she leaned into me, giving me the permission I had been seeking. My mouth crashed down on hers in a searing, soul-branding kiss. "No. I don't want to be your daddy," I remarked, lowly against her ear, as I bit the lobe playfully before pulling back.
I watched the color blossom across her cheeks as my filthy words registered in her mind, the sexual meaning behind them. I ran my hands up her body. "You, my love, you're my greatest sin, and I'm going to burn," I whispered huskily against the shell of her ear as I trailed a line of smoldering kisses down her jaw until my mouth aligned with hers.
Her touch was scorching; I ran my teeth over her bottom lip - nibbling, causing her to let out a sweet sigh, as she melted against me.
Sweet damnation, the pink, glittery, silky softness of her angelic mouth. I pulled back to catch my breath, or maybe my sanity. "Lord have mercy on my soul," I croaked, taking in her stunned, wide, doe-like eyes.
I chuckled softly when she murmured a playful, "heaven help me." Her eyes wandered over me, this was the first time I had seen her since her disappearing act well over two years ago. I had known for weeks of her return to Seattle. Watching Charlie fret and nest for her arrival had been my recent entertainment.
"Precious, you really need to stop looking at me like that," I warned as I struggled with my control. I fought against the urge to toss her over my shoulder, caveman style and make my way up the penthouse. I was a greedy son of a bitch, and now that I've tasted her, I wouldn't stop. I would strip her naked, tear her clothes off if I had to and bury myself between her thighs. I gritted my teeth as I pictured the way her nipples would pucker and feel in my mouth. I was going to burn for I knew I wouldn't stop I would devour her.
Isabella Swan was the ultimate forbidden fruit; she was Charlie's baby girl. Good Ol' Charlie, who had been my best friend for fifteen years, since my freshman year in college. I had been a lonely, sixteen year-old boy that no one dared to talk to, with no parents, nothing but a steady foster home. Charlie took me under his wing the night he saved my scrawny, nerdy ass from a football player who thought I had been flirting with his girl. Charlie taught me how to throw a baseball, introduced me to girls, to life outside of the library. At sixteen, he had been my hero, my mentor, because, at twenty-four, Charlie seemed to have it all. It wasn't until my sophomore year that I learned he was single-handedly raising Isabella on his inheritance while he went back to school full time, so they'd be able to have a brighter future.
I was twenty when I told Charlie about my idea to create a social networking site, My-Clique. Before I was done explaining my vision, he was writing the check, putting up the cash to get it off the ground. It didn't take long for it to take off and for money to start rolling in. Billionaires by thirty, or in Charlie's case, forty. Everything we did, we backed the other. If one of us wanted to flip houses, hotels, redesign run-down neighborhoods, save underfunded schools, raise awareness for whatever cause that struck us, we did.
I kept him together when Renee stormed back into their lives. They had never finalized their divorce from their short-lived marriage; she got alimony and his daughter. Renee moved the then fourteen-year-old Isabella across the country and promptly placed her in one of the country's best, year-round boarding school.
"How am I looking at you?" She asked thickly, voice layered with lust, her eyes running over me. My sweet little Isabella was blatantly eye fucking me, peeling away the layers of my tux with her eyes.
"Like you want me to fuck you right here, right now, on this very stairway." I growled at the imagery. How could one, pretty little face make me want to take the gamble of a lifetime? Fifteen, nearly sixteen years of friendship and brotherhood – all for one little broad?
My eyes snapped to her lips, where her tongue darted out, moistening her bottom pink one. The first thing that sprung to mind was the images of what I wanted her tongue to do to my cock.
I have wanted her since her eighteenth birthday, the night I found her in her father's pool with Jacob Black. That event had made me look up and take notice. Over the course of that summer, I changed how I looked at her, but she was still so much a girl, fresh out of her high school for Christ Sakes. So I had waited, and the next four years passed by quickly. Everything about her had changed since then. Gone was the tomboy bookworm, she's had been replaced by a sophisticated woman.
A coy smile spread across her face, "Well I wouldn't suggest here, too many people with their smartphones." She sighed softly, almost regretfully. I was going to hell. She leaned forward and seized my lips, fiery, sweet, tantalizing hell.
"Isabella," I murmur. "I am a possessive man, a controlling man, I don't share. I do not engage in casual affairs. I am proposing a monogamous relationship, but we will not be traditional nor will it be permanent."
"I can only offer you the summer, eight weeks," Bella whispered calmly, no tears, no disgust, startling me to my core. Hell-fire, she was absolutely hell-fire and damnation and out to burn me, ruin me. "Char –Dad, rented the penthouse across the street at the Carlton for the week. He's insistent that I can't move into my apartment until the decorators are finished." I'm stunned stupid as she placed her key card in my hand and slipped away with a wink. "I hope to see you there, Edward." She giggled, stepping back through the fire exit into the ballroom.
I kicked off my heels as I stepped through the penthouse elevator. I was giddy and on cloud nine. Edward Fucking Cullen had kissed me, not only kissed me but openly admitted to wanting a sexual relationship with me. I giggled, still wrapped up in the warm buzzy feeling from being so close to him.
He wanted me – a relationship with me.
I had flown home a week earlier than previously anticipated. Originally, I had been coming for an entirely different reason … I would finally tell Dad of my illness; the illness that I had successfully kept hidden from him and the media. It was easy being thousands of miles away from him, the center of the storm. I had claimed, school and boys and friends. Charlie was accepting; he never even questioned, or tried to bribe me into coming home. He wanted me to live my life, wherever I was happiest. Even when I'd call him late at night and end up sniffling into the line. He said he knew I would come home when it was right.
My eyes drifted over the few pictures I had unpacked earlier today. Charlie and me, Edward and me, Edward - Charlie and I. Pictures of friends and places I had been in New York. I smiled at the picture of my doctor and me, taken on my way out of the hospital a few days ago.
I let out a shaky breath, as I stared at the results before me. "You mean it Doc?" I asked, biting my lip nervously. "Remission, really?"
Doctor Moore took my hand in his and gave it a gentle squeeze. "Yes," said the middle-aged doctor with a heavy sigh. "For now, you're cancer free."
"Wait – for now?" I asked, eyes drifting to the tabletop, and I knew what that meant; I hadn't won, yet.
"This is just temporary, like last year?"
"I don't know, maybe – possibly not, we can't tell at this time. But this is good news Izzy," Doctor Moore declared giving me nudge with his shoulder. I smiled weakly. "I don't need to see you again for eight weeks, two whole months. We'll do more tests; by then your blood count level will reveal whether or not your remission is looking to be true or just a temporary elevation due to the last blood transfusion."
"Okay," I whispered with tear-filled eyes.
Doctor Moore grinned down at me, but I could see the pain behind his smile. "So, I want you to get out of bed, leave this dreary hospital wing, and stop those college classes you hate. I want you to go out and live. Travel, date and have fun. Do all those things I know your, cute-as-a-button self, desires."
"One last adventure, huh?" I laughed, but I knew my doctor could see all the possibilities flashing behind my eyes. There were so many things I wanted to try, to do, to feel, before ... Sex being the top of my list, love and sex with Edward Cullen if I was daydreaming. If, I knew if, this was only a temporary remission, I probably wouldn't survivor the next round of treatments. Sex and love were something I desperately wanted to experience before my time runs out.
He squeezed my shoulder softly. "Don't think that way Izzy dear; let's pray for that miracle, yeah?"
I shot him a watery smile.
"Miracle. We both know this remission, temporary as it may be, is the real miracle. I want to go a sailing, maybe even - sail a sailor." I giggled; Doctor Moore snickered rolling his eyes heavenward. He had been treating me for nearly two years now, and our relationship was borderline friendly. He knew I was hiding; that I didn't want the world to know, more importantly I didn't want the media to know of my illness. I couldn't confide in my father simply because he'd be honorbound, or some shit to tell my mother. And within twenty minutes of her knowing, she'd have the best news station at her door for the exclusive news.
"I'm going to home to Seattle. Swim in the sea, run through the green hills, put my feet in the mud and feel the drizzle on my face once again. I might even try four-wheeling or dirt biking or, or, skydiving."
"Exactly," he said giving my shoulder another squeeze and forking over my discharge papers. "I have a few prescriptions for you and instructions."
"Hit me Doc," I said nodding somberly with a small smile.
"Take you vitamins, drink at least one protein shake a day, try to put on some muscle and weight, and for heaven sakes, when you decide to fornicate, be safe." I blushed crimson averting my eyes behind him to the awareness poster. "Don't do anything too crazy, okay?"
I was home.
I had seven weeks.
Seven weeks of normalcy before I broke my dad's heart.
I was selfish, so fucking selfish that I wanted these seven weeks just to live. I removed my earrings, tossed them onto the counter, and unclipped my hair, letting it fall around my shoulders in waves. I ran fingers through it, feeling how much thinner it was. But I had been lucky so far; it was rare but not uncommon for people not to lose all their hair.
I smiled as the elevator dinged. I turned around just in time to see Edward step into the living room area. I knew he went after things he wanted with single-minded determination, drive and passion. He never settled for less than the best. It was something I admired about him.
Every bit of intelligence I had failed me, and I smile like a daft fool. He looked cool and aloof as he moved across the room toward me. I met his green eyes; they seemed to glimmer with impatience and desire. "Bella, are you sure?"
His words snapped me out of whatever daze I seemed to be living in. Edward Cullen, my father's best friend. "I am." He leaned forward, and I pushed back against his hard chest. "But, Edward," guilt washed over me as I realized what Edward was risking. I had unconditional love on my side, but he could lose his best friend, his brother. "My father, he can never know Edward," I was quick to explain. "I'm not ashamed of you, but he'd blow a fuse, then he'd come around and expect wedding bells and grandchildren." I touched his face gently, knowing I couldn't offer him either - not that he wanted those things from me. "I know you; you've had to have given this some thought. He still sees me as pigtails with a popsicle stained smile, learning how to ride my first bicycle."
"We'll be discreet; it should be easy enough. Your new apartment is in my building, a floor below mine." Edward said firmly, his lips twitching as his hands reached forward and tugged me against him.
My arms on their own accord wrapped around his neck and pulled him down to my mouth. "We have to be, he's going to need you," I warned against his mouth.
"Shut up and kiss me, Isabella." He ordered softly against my mouth.
Edward is 32
And Charlie 40
A big thank you to SunflowerFran for beta'ing.
Also... I write purely for fun, and let's remember it's free. Anyone wishing for professional standards of writing should go and buy a book. Please, review.