A/N: This story picks up from the beginning of Eclipse, right after Edward purchased his bed. From that point, my plot takes a hard left turn. I'll try to post at least one chapter per week, though I can't make any promises until I've finished writing my current novel. But if my muse has her way, I won't leave you hanging for very long.
Thank you for taking the time the read Double Temptation.
*Disclaimer: No copyright infringement intended. SM owns all, I'm just playing in her toy box for a while. I promise to clean up before I leave.
My shirt fell behind my back and he ceased kissing my lips, ceased breathing. I slowly reached for his hand—not wanting to spook him again—and timidly placed it on the swell of my breasts, just above the edge of my bra. He immediately pulled away as if he'd been burnt, pain etched into his forehead with deep furrowed lines, amber eyes scrunched in agony.
We'd been in this position many times before, though the outcome was always the same. He'd overcome so much since the first time I'd walked into Biology and he'd been driven to the brink of insanity by the scent of my blood, but no matter how much I tried he couldn't seem to jump the hurdle I continued to place before him. I was losing what little patience I had left.
"You said you'd try, Edward. Why are you still pushing me away? I know you won't hurt me. I trust you. Why won't you trust yourself?"
Edward leapt off the bed and paced his room, tugging at the hair on top of his head. If he wasn't almost indestructible, he surely would have ripped out half of his copper locks by now.
"Don't you realize how hard this is for me? One wrong move and…God, I can't even think about…" He stopped at the foot of the bed and finally met my glare. "Will you please put your shirt back on?" he groaned, not allowing his direct gaze to venture below my chin.
I huffed with frustration as I slipped my arms back into my shirt and buttoned the front to cover what little skin he'd permitted me to reveal during our make-out session. Nothing had changed since we'd arrived home from Italy. Although he'd promised to try, he still continued to treat me like I was made of glass, still touched me as if I'd shatter into a thousand pieces at any moment. Our kisses remained chaste and he freaked at the utter mention of taking our relationship to the next level. I wasn't begging for sex. Not yet, anyway. All I wanted was to feel his hands on my body. Was that too much to ask?
"I'll drive you home," he said, looking everywhere but at me. "I think I need to hunt again."
I snatched my bag off the floor and brushed past him. "Don't bother, I can drive myself."
He was beside me in less than a second and grabbed hold of my hand before I could descend the stairs. "Love, please don't be angry."
I lost my will to fight when I stared into his imploring eyes. "I'm not angry, Edward." I sighed. "Go hunt. I'll see you at school tomorrow."
"What? Don't you want me to come over later?"
I released his hand and headed downstairs. "I need to spend some time alone with Charlie. He's still not very happy with me."
"But after that? Can I meet you in your room when you're ready for bed?"
I didn't want to hurt his feelings but I needed some space. He wasn't taking the hint.
"Look, I'm tired. Let's just leave it until tomorrow, okay?"
"Edward!" I snapped, and spun to confront him in the foyer. "It may not be in the same way, but this is hard for me, too. Do you know how I feel every time you reject me?"
"No," Jasper piped up from the living room. "But I do."
Crap! I hadn't realized anyone else was home. Carlisle and Esme were still in Alaska, and Alice had told me she was taking the others to Port Angeles on another shopping trip for God knows what. She'd said they wouldn't be back until later tonight. If I'd known there were another set of ears in the house I'd never have tested my lack of seduction skills in Edward's room.
He scrunched his eyes closed and growled low under his breath. "Jasper, stay out of it. You're not helping. You're not even supposed to be here."
Emmett suddenly barged through the front door and swept me off my feet, squeezing me tight with his bear hug. "Jasper and I decided to come back early, and it's a good thing we did. You giving my little bro a hard time, Bella?" He wiggled his eyebrows suggestively as he grinned, flashing his deep dimples. "If it's help you need, Eddie, all you have to do is ask. I'd be more than happy to show your little lady how a real man—"
"Jesus Christ, Em! Shut your filthy mouth and put her down before you hurt her."
I graced Emmett with a weak smile and patted his ridiculously large biceps as he gently lowered me to the ground. "Thanks for the offer, big guy, but I kinda like my head where it is. Your wife's scary."
Jasper's amused snort echoed from the other room before he immediately appeared by Edward's side. "Come on, I'll join you for a feed. He'll see you tomorrow, Bella."
It was times like these I was glad Jasper could feel my every emotion. He'd been coming to my rescue a lot lately. I just hoped it wasn't because he still felt guilty over the unfortunate incident on my eighteenth birthday. I knew in my heart he hadn't meant to lunge for me. He was a vampire and my open wounds had broken down the weakened walls of his resistance, enticed him like a bee to honey. He was hardwired to drink what rushed through my veins and I couldn't blame him for acting on imbedded instinct. I'd forgiven him before he'd even been dragged out of the house, snapping and snarling at the hands that dared force him away from the wet ooze of my blood. I considered him a friend and hated that my mere presence tortured and tempted his resolve.
Given the chance to escape, I darted out the door and granted him the biggest burst of gratitude I could muster as I jumped into my truck. He shot me a sly wink before yanking a reluctant Edward toward the dense forest. I blinked and they disappeared from my sight.
Later that night, Charlie was elated to have me to himself after dinner. Since my grounding had been lifted, Edward had rarely left my side and my father made no secret of how disappointed he felt about me spending too much time with the youngest Cullen. The satisfied smile he wore never left his face until he fell asleep on the couch in front of the TV.
I gently shook his shoulder. "Dad, time for you to go up to bed."
He opened his eyes and groggily sat up with a yawn. "Okay, thanks, kiddo."
I was halfway up the stairs when he called out. "Ah, Bells? I'll probably be home late tomorrow night so I'll leave you some money to grab a pizza or something. Why don't you invite Jacob over, too? I know he's missed you. The boy never shut up about you the last time I was at Billy's."
"Ah…yeah, maybe I will. Thanks, Dad."
Apart from making sure I was still breathing after my return from Volterra, and my impromptu visit to La Push, I hadn't seen much of Jake since. Sure, he'd been talking to me again after we'd settled some of our differences, but there was still an undercurrent of unease between us. He was still angry with me for taking Edward back so easily after everything that had happened. And he was even angrier that Edward was trying to keep me away from the reservation. After I'd cancelled our planned get-together last Saturday—due to being held hostage by Alice under the guise of a slumber party while Edward was away on an extended hunting trip—he hadn't returned any of my calls and the cold shoulder routine was breaking my heart.
Maybe I deserved it. After all, I'd broken his heart first. Apparently, I couldn't do anything right lately.
After taking a quick shower, I was surprised to find the pixie in my room. And speaking of anger, I still hadn't forgiven her for agreeing to be Edward's prison warden, making sure I didn't 'misbehave' whenever he was absent for longer than a few hours. The yellow Porsche she'd been gifted for her efforts grated on my nerves every time I caught a glimpse of the overpriced automobile in their garage.
"Geez, Alice, don't any of you know how to use the front door?" I whispered, even though Charlie's snore rumbled from behind his closed bedroom door. "I thought I'd locked the window."
Her grin was infectious, regardless of my irritation. "You thought about it, but then you forgot."
"What are you doing here, anyway? Please don't tell me Edward sent you in his place. I'm quite capable of sleeping on my own. I'm not going to have a fatal accident by falling out of bed."
"Don't be so hard on him, Bella. He's trying his best."
I flopped down on my bed and released a heavy sigh as I crossed my arms over my eyes. "What am I going to do, Alice? I hate feeling this way. He acts as if I'm asking for the impossible and it hurts that he won't even try. It makes me wonder if the only real attraction he has for me is my blood. And who could blame him, really? Look at him…and look at me."
"Don't you dare start that again. You know it's not true. If you ask me, you're too good for him. You're a beautiful woman, Bella. I wish you could see how everyone else sees you."
"Well, teenage boys aren't the only ones with raging hormones, you know? I feel like I'm going crazy. I've been so patient, but at this rate I'll be an old maid before I even get past first base. I'm not asking him to hit a home run, just…maybe round second, a little."
Alice giggled. "Baseball analogies? Really?"
I dropped my arms and slipped beneath the covers with a smile. "Blame Charlie. He tried to give me the sex talk the other week and…yeah…it was mortifying."
"I know. I saw it. He was so cute about it, too. And you should have seen the look on Edward's face. I thought he was going to puke when he saw it in my head."
"I don't know which was worse, the fact he left it until I was eighteen to even broach the topic or that I probably won't even need to know about the birds and the bees. It's not as if I'll be putting that theory into practice any time soon."
"You will, eventually. You just need to give Edward more time. It's not like he doesn't want to be with you that way, he's just scared of losing control. He wouldn't be able to live with himself if he ever hurt you."
I wanted to say "he's already hurt me", but couldn't bring myself to go to that dark place again. When he'd left me in the woods, emotionally broken, my heart in tattered pieces, no physical pain could have matched the anguish he'd inflicted with his parting words. I sometimes thought I was still dreaming, that he'd never returned after leaving me alone on the forest floor, that he'd never admitted to lying about not wanting me. Maybe that was the reason why I was pushing so hard to build a physical connection with him now. I needed to know he was real, that we were real. I needed to feel his love because his words were no longer enough.
"Ugh. I really don't want to talk about your brother anymore tonight," I said, pushing the dismal thoughts back behind impenetrable walls where they belonged.
A flicker of sadness swept over Alice's face before she shook her head and rummaged through my closet, picking out a pair of cut-off denim shorts and a floral off-the-shoulder blouse. "You should wear this tomorrow. It'll be sunny so you can work on your tan at lunch. You're looking almost as pale as me, right now."
"You know I don't tan." I paused. "Wait, it'll be sunny?"
"Yep, so you'll be on your own all day. I should be able to keep Edward out of my head, but just in case he checks the weather channel, lock your window if you really don't want him to sneak into your room tonight. You know he will if he finds out he has to wait so long until he can see you again."
"Thanks, Alice. Have fun hiking tomorrow."
"Goodnight, Bella. Sweet dreams," she trilled before disappearing out the window, shutting it behind her.
I jumped out of bed to flip the lock, although, as soon as my fingers landed on the metal latch I couldn't follow through. As frustrated as I was with Edward, I couldn't hurt him that way. He'd be crushed if I shut him out so blatantly. Maybe spending some extra hours apart tomorrow would give him the chance to reflect on the promises he'd made, but hadn't yet been able to keep.
After I'd slipped back underneath the covers and switched off the lamp, I allowed the recurring fantasy to fill my mind, bathing in its sweet seduction. I imagined his cool hands trailing all over my skin, his smooth lips following in their wake and making me shiver with ecstasy. I imagined how it would feel to finally be one with him, to have him delve inside me as I moaned his name. I'd give anything to have that one human experience before I was turned.
My fingers had a will of their own as they took advantage of the rare time I had to myself and roamed down my stomach, sliding beneath my cotton panties. I was warm and slick, swollen and ready. I usually preferred to pace myself, savor the slow build of desire, but my body was having none of that. Plunging my middle digit deep inside, I closed my eyes and flexed my hips as I thrust, in and out, with a steady rhythm. Flashes of his handsome face and defined, sleek physique taunted behind my eyelids, the version of Edward in my mind now naked and hungry to please me. My other hand reached my clit, the tips of my fingers circling, pressing and rubbing with eager purpose. I was stunned to find my orgasm was already fast approaching, my thigh muscles twitching with anticipation while my breath quickened. I increased my speed, needing, wanting to come quickly, craving to unleash the pent-up pressure steaming and bubbling beneath my skin. As I gasped and arched my back, pleasure burst forth and trembled through me like an earthquake, my fingers frozen while every molecule of my body rode out the aftershock of release.
My eyelids became weighted, laden with lead, and my muscles turned lax with blissed satisfaction. If only Edward would willfully agree to give me the same experience, personally. I just knew his touch would be so much more intense, so much more gratifying.
Lazily pulling the blanket up to my chin, I sunk my head into the pillow and allowed slumber to take me away.
A/N: Reviews are better than dark chocolate and good Irish whiskey, so leave me some feedback if you're feelin' the love.