Part 1-Valentine's Day
I hope you are prepared for another ride with Cutie. This fic will continue throughout the year and will only be updated on the holidays/once a month. I haven't set an actual chapter length for these updates, but they will come in segments to let us know what our frisky couple has been up to throughout the year.
I repeat … this will be updated only once a month and will continue until next Christmas.
Thanks so much for reading, reviewing, favoriting, and following this fic. If you haven't read Cutie for Christmas, you may want to go back and see where it all started.
***Cutie for Valentine's Day will end on Valentine's Day and we will see you back in March.
***Cutie for Valentine's Day will be five separate parts and will be updated everyday until V-day. Let me know what you think of this new ride.
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Bella held her hand over the cell to prevent Jill's shrill voice from echoing through the receiver. To answer her latest bride's question, she had heard something so ludicrous, and it started with accepting an affair from a particular daring, sexy ass sibling of her roomie. The stupidest, most reckless thing she'd ever done in her life … dumbest, actually.
Well—almost the dumbest … She had one event that trumped even having an affair in the first place. That had been the night she'd allowed him to sleep in her bed. In the last two months, she'd changed her sheets several times, and still, his scent lingered in the air. It was quite possible his fucking cologne had saturated her mattress. Even while she cursed her decision to engage in that torrid situation, her body hadn't forgotten all the wonderous thing he'd done to her. Her skin instantly prickled as his shimmering, gloating, cocky-ass eyes flickered through her mind.
So, yeah, she had heard and done dumber things. Pushing away thoughts of Edward Cullen, she sighed, her brows lifting. "Is it really all that bad to have two groomsmen?"
"Yes, because I will have a lopsided wedding party. All the numbers would be off," Jill explained, her eyes going wide with worry as she considered this catastrophe. "There isn't enough time to ask another woman to be my maiden of honor. Just impossible."
Bella briefly turned her attention back to the call she'd been making. "Can I call you back with further details later? I'm sort of in the middle of a meltdown. Thanks."
Bella was sorely tempted to rub her eyes in frustration, yet she managed to control the urge. "How about I stand in as a bridesmaid? You won't have to find any replacements, and as soon as pictures and the ceremony are over, I will go back to being just the wedding planner."
"Oh my God," Jill stated with a shrill cry. "That would … that would solve everything. You are the best … remind me to thank my sister for suggesting you."
Bella faintly smiled as she watched the excitement return to Jill's warm brown eyes. "That is what you are paying me to do … make this day as perfect as possible."
Later that night, Bella pushed into the back door and kicked her shoes off on the mat. The smells of chicken wafted in the air as she stepped into the kitchen. Of course, Jake lingered next to the stove and his boyfriend Neal leaned against the sink. Ever since they'd met, the two had been inseparable, and while Bella was extremely happy for the couple, they kind of made her sick.
And it didn't help when Rose hovered in the doorway with Emmett, one of her dates from Cuties for Christmas, by the way. Yep—she was so happy for all of them; she just wanted to vomit. Instead of making them all aware of how disgusted she was in her gut, she pasted on the smile she'd been forced to wear all day. "Looks like a big dinner is in our future … to what do we owe the honor?"
"Someone looks grumpy," Jake noted, pulling a wine glass from the overhead rack. "Babe, hand me that bottle … I think cranky-pants needs a drink."
Bella's lashes dropped into a glare. Sometimes having such a close friend was a nuisance. While she loved Jake beyond all rational reason, having someone read parts of her she didn't want to share was irritating. Neal handed the bottle of wine to Jake, and he poured some for Bella. Taking the glass, she tipped it to her lips and took a long sip. "I so can't wait for this wedding to be over. You know, normally, I get to stand back and watch the beauty I create come to life. Not with this one …"
To her surprised, Neal circled to her back, and began rubbing the kinks from the tight muscles of her shoulders, saying, "Awww … sweet, Bella … Tell us all about it."
Her eyelids drooped slightly as her muscles started to relax. "That wedding that's happening on Valentine's … I get to be in it. Wonderful, huh?"
And then, to top it off, later she got to crawl into bed with his smell all over her bedding. While Edward's image lingered in her thoughts, a meow tickled her ears. Instantly the melancholy threatening to dwarf her weekend evaporated, and she smiled. "There's my baby … come here, you handsome devil."
When she'd first met this monster, he'd hated the very breath she inhaled, but with just a piece of cheese, she'd turned his attitude around. Edward had left him to her for Christmas. Breaking away from Neal's all-consuming backrub, she picked the animal up and laid him across her chest. A purr vibrated against her as she cradled his fat body. Rubbing her nose against his, she pecked his nose as Shercon pushed his face against hers. "Such a cutie …"
"You're going to become the cat lady," Rose told her with a laugh, pulling away from Emmett's embrace to step into the kitchen. With a pout on her lips, she said, "I think you love that cat more than you do us."
"Are you jealous?" Bella mimicked Rose's pout. "You, the gorgeous blonde with the hot boyfriend, is envious of this fat orange cat?"
Dropping a kiss on Bella's cheek, she wrinkled her nose, saying, "Just a little bit. Been a while since you rubbed my ass like that."
"Well, put it out here, baby." Holding her hand up, she swatted Rose's bottom before rubbing the plump cheek. Passing her friend a quizzical look, Bella asked, "Better now?"
"Babe," Emmett called, those adorable winking dimples creasing his cheeks making an appearance. "If you want to be spanked, I am more than willing to provide an adequate punishment … Sure to leave you breathless."
"You do know how to work a woman up." Rose passed Emmett a wink. "I will remember that for later."
Bella laughed as she headed from the kitchen. "I'll be down after I change. These fucking clothes are so restricting."
Shercon jumped from her arms onto her bed as soon as she entered her room. Since she'd become the mother of the frisky feline, he'd taken up permanent residence on her pillows unless he was searching the house for her. There was undoubtedly a pleasure associated with being so important to something, she determined, letting her fingers drift over his arched back.
Bella took the clips from her hair and tossed them on her dresser. Grabbing a pair of yoga pants from her drawer, she was about to go on the hunt for a T-shirt when a tap on her door interrupted her search. "Yeah?"
"Hey," Alice greeted, coming into her room. "What are your plans for Valentine's Day eve?"
"I have the distinct honor of becoming the second maiden-of-honor at Mr. and Mrs. Fraser's wedding. Why?" While it hadn't been her first choice to become a wedding party member, it beat out sitting at home alone for the upcoming holiday. While all her friends seemed to be in committed relationships, she would've been sitting on her couch eating chocolates … alone.
And worst yet, they were all still in their honeymoon phases and lovey-dovey … puke. She was happy for them—not in the least bitter that she happened to be the only single person in the house. Even if Alice's scoundrel of a boyfriend came and went, he would most likely be present during Valentine's, or he was the biggest rat ever created.
There was a noticeable sparkle in Alice's gaze as she studied her friend. The last time Alice had looked at her like that, she'd become the victim of over a dozen date-asters. "What is that look about? You didn't sign me up for another freaking dating service, did you? Please tell me there is no Cutie for Valentine's Day?"
"Actually, I was thinking about how horrible I was for making you go through all that… Of course, I would hate to see you sitting around on V-day without a date. I thought you said you liked one of those guys … Dale … David … No, Damon, right."
"Alice, there is no need to worry your pretty head. I won't be sitting here alone for Valentine's Day because I'll be in the wedding, remember?"
Edward pushed back from his desk. Sometimes this fucking tie around his throat choked the shit out of him; grabbing the knot he pulled, alleviating the pressure. His gaze darted to the window as his fingers slid down the silk. He'd come back to Indy two months ago now, but his time spent in Fort Wayne felt like it'd taken place in a different time—different decade, hell maybe another century.
If he concentrated hard enough, he could still envision Bella's face tipping back toward the sky, snowflakes melting against the warmth of her skin. As the memory tickled the edges of his conscious, he withdrew the phone weighing heavy in his pocket. With a couple of presses on the flat screen, he gazed at the picture he'd taken that night. If he allowed his mind to drift and focused just right, the smell of her hair wafted beneath his nostrils … taste her sweet honey on his lips. On those very lonely nights since returning, when his head finally hit the pillow, he'd take his enlarged shaft in his hand and imagine her silken channel. When he closed his eyes, his musings would allow the memory of her tight body, the pulsing of her muscles as she found release.
Her satisfied cries teased his senses. Little puffs of air whirling around the shell of Edward's ear, his lashes falling closed as visions of her gaping lips floated through his conscious. Edward gulped as the strings of lust coursed through his blood, his pants growing tight. Focusing on the picture, his silver gaze traced her delicate features.
That faint smile on her lips … Shit.
What had she done to him?
He'd never felt so dissatisfied with his life as he did at this precise minute. Pushing the button until his cell went dark, he tossed it onto a pile of papers and tried once again to focus on the case he should be immersed in. With an annoyed sigh, his roaming gaze came back to the file on his desk. Scanning one page, he flipped to the next, and with each line he read, he grew more frustrated.
Hitting the button to his intercom, he waited for the click, "Hey, Jasper, can you bring me the files the detectives dropped off?"
"Sure thing, Mr. Cullen," a reply soon followed.
His fingertips played over the whiskers lining his chin. Once again, his mind drifted as he waited for the files he'd requested, looking back toward his phone. Bella hadn't called him. He'd left Shercon behind as a gift for her, and he had to wonder what she'd thought about it. Edward could envision the fat orange cat sitting on her lap with a glare in his large yellow eyes, and he scoffed at the image.
Edward should be happy Bella hadn't tried to contact him. If he'd dared to dally with any other chick for a brief affair, she would've no doubt harassed the shit out of him by now. It was nice not to have a clingy woman dictating his every fucking move. Yet, an inevitable loss filled him as he thought of Bella carrying on her life without giving him a second thought.
He was about to reach for his phone when the door cracked open, and his intern passed through the opening. "Please tell me the investigators have more evidence against Murphy to pin him for the shooting off Massachusetts Avenue … I don't have enough evidence for a conviction. I need a weapon; fuck, they didn't even have a witness. How do they expect me to put this guy away with nothing to go on?"
Jasper dropped the files on the desk next to Edward. He shifted his shoulders in the stiff blazer he wore as he studied Edward. The guy was the best prosecutor in Indiana, and if Edward didn't think he had enough for a conviction, he probably didn't. "I don't know. James said they were working on some leads but not to get too excited. Guess they have a few speculations … nothing solid yet to go on."
"Until they bring me something I can use, there's not shit I can do about it." With an air of disgust, he pulled the manila folder to him and opened the cover. "There are two different descriptions of a car leaving the scene—a black Monte Carlo and a Sedan. How the fuck can you have completely different vehicles leaving the crime at the same time? Who the fuck did they question? No license plates … What?"
"Maybe there were two different vehicles. Maybe we're looking for two perpetrators. It could have been a drug deal gone bad," Jasper stated, plopping down in the chair across the desk from Edward. He played with the cufflinks he'd received as a gift from his dad. "Could've been Bruce. I've heard he's been responsible for a handful of drive-bys in the last year."
"Yeah, well, I can get a plane and write that in the sky, but if I don't have witnesses," Edward determined, rubbing his forehead, he continued, "There ain't shit I can do about it. Everyone in Indy knows Bruce is a no-good piece of shit. I don't understand why no one will do or say anything."
"Maybe because they don't want to wind up in an alley," Jasper stated, helpfully with a humorless chuckle. "Hell, I don't think I would speak up either. The last guy had his tongue cut out and pinned to a wall. I wouldn't want my eyes cut out for speaking up, or worse …"
Edward understood why people maintained their silence against Bruce, but if he didn't have people willing to testify, well … that kind of summed it all up. Pinching the bridge of his nose, he rolled his shoulders, the muscles in his back tightening.
See … This shit right here was what kept him up days, nights, and weekends. All hours he worked to put shit-faces like Bruce Miller in jail for the rest of their lives. Of course, the public and laws preventing him from doing his job drove him to destruction. "Have they pulled the fucking surveillance tapes … I don't see a submission for any tapes being lodged in for evidence. Surely, there are some sort of cameras in the shops. There are over a dozen stores on that strip … why would a drug dealer be doing business in a tourist spot?"
"Is it possible they are using one of these shops to petal their smack?" Jasper leaned over the desk to study the papers. "What better disguise than to use a florist shop for business? No one would even think to look there."
Edward's gaze snapped to Jasper's, and a smile pulled at his lips. "I knew there was a reason I picked you out of all the candidates to be my intern. I love the way you think."
Edward reached for the landline and dialed the detective's number. Impatiently, he drummed his fingers on the oak as he waited for James to pick up. "Hey, Mr. Witherdale, my intern, just came up with a great theory. Bruce Miller may be behind the shooting on Massachusetts. I want you and Laurent to nose around those shops. There is a good possibility they're using one of them as a cover."
Intently, he listened to James's reply, his thumb coasting over the smooth surface of his desk. "Well, fucking create some probable cause then. How many times have you and your partner found reasons to investigate people …? I'm sure it won't be hard … make something fucking up."
"You have been as ruthless as a shark since you came back from Christmas break," Jasper acknowledged with a flinch as Edward slammed the phone back into the cradle. "What exactly happened in the Fort while you were there?"
Silver irises clashed with blue as Edward was transported back into that bed of the witch's tricks. What he wouldn't give to bury himself inside that woman now and experience the bone-melting release she'd provided during Christmas. That last night they'd spent together, Bella's ass teasing his hungry gaze, her thick cream on his tongue. Fuck …
Then there had been some unexpected thrills as well. The way she'd fit against his body as they'd laid in bed to watch movies. His hand coasted down her soft belly as he felt her flesh. The fucking excited sparkle in her eyes when it'd started to snow. She'd been a whimsical witch, and he'd been her diligent slave—a very willing slave, but a slave no less.
For a long silent minute, Edward merely stared back at Jasper. Finally, he grabbed the cell he'd hardly forgotten. The calendar read February fourteenth, and his brow flicked to his intern as he spotted the time. It was only five now, and if he left, he'd arrive in Fort Wayne in just a few hours, give or take. Pushing back from his desk, Edward pushed to his feet. "I think I'm going to head out for the weekend; I'll see you on Monday."
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