"But your taste still lingers on my lips like I've just placed them upon yours and I starve. I starve for you…"

Hope you're happy, Dashboard Confessionals

Chapter 18 Fighting Desire

Bella Cullen

A million firecrackers exploded throughout my body, my lips tingling with the sparks. Small electric shocks fused into one big attack, making my entire body feel like a live-wire, every nerve-ending becoming the most alive it has ever been. My skin felt like there was rapid fire prickling underneath. The flames flowed, engulfing, smothering every cell of my system, accelerating every second.

My head spun out of control as he tightened his hold on me. My ice-cold body melted at his warmth. Millions of tiny stars formed behind my eyelids as his touch added fuel to the blaze. I was engulfed in an inferno, smack right in the middle of the hottest portion, that seemed like it was escalating and had no plan to stop. And I loved every second of it.

But of course, as with every life-changing moment, something just has to go wrong.


Edward and I broke apart, our heads twisting to the sound of ear-splitting shrieks.

My head was still spinning, something that seemed like an impossibility for me, as I tried to take in the chaos before me. The entire parking lot was filled with people and still, more students were rushing out the doors, trying to join the crowd.

It was quite amusing to think of it as being cornered, with no way out, because I could have easily maneuvered our way away from these people.

A throng of people in front of us parted and made way for a glaring Lauren and her disconcerted friends. I stopped myself from smiling as I conspicuously twined my fingers with Edward's. This was going to be highly amusing.

My eyes flickered toward Alice. Her mental laughter was so powerful and jubilant, I didn't need Jasper's power to know that she was having a hard time just holding it in and keeping a straight face. But she was good at things like that… unlike Rosalie who looked like she was pretty much ready to throttle Lauren at the instant she opened her mouth or Emmett who had a big grin stretched on his mouth as his body shook violently in silent laughter.

'Careful, Bella. They're pretty outraged.' Jasper warned.

'Jas, they're how many? 4? 5?' I answered.

'That's not what I was referring to.'

I paused, looking again at the crowd. Some faces were blank, others were contorted in what I could take only as jealousy, while a few smiled wickedly.

'You should thank me. You guys were getting pretty bored… gives you and Emmett something to do.' I sent back in amusement.

'Of course, I should have known. We get to clean up afterward.' He sighed, but was still amused.

I was still floating on top of fluffy, white clouds and I was distracted, so much that I wasn't aware of Lauren's approaching hand until a slapping sound pulled me back to reality.

"Let go of me!" she shrieked.

"Calm down," Edward said, his voice like a soothing melody to my ears. But it wasn't directed at me, he was trying to pacify Lauren.

I saw Edward's hand, gripping Lauren's wrist. So the slapping sound was because of Edward's hand, flying just in time to stop Lauren from slapping me. Wait, Lauren wanted to slap me? Hah! She would have done more damage to herself than to me. Thank god Edward stopped her in time.

"I will not calm down!" Lauren shrieked, forcing her hand away from Edward's, "You… she… how dare you!"

Edward looked so confused, it was so adorable. Unconsciously, he tightened his hold on my hand.

"What? What did I do?"

Lauren was so red in the face that I was seconds away from bursting into laughter.

"You kissed her!"

"I…" Edward's eyes darted to mine, silently questioning what Lauren's problem was. My lips twitched at his expression. "Yeah?"

"Why did you kiss her?"

Edward's eyes widened at the question, but then he frowned. "That's none of your business."

"Yes it is! Why'd you do it?"

"I don't need to explain myself to you," he muttered.

"Yes you do!"

"What? Why?"

"I'm the one you want, not Isabella!" she spitted out my name like it was a curse, "She's just using you to be more popular, just because you're new and all. She's just a shallow, fame-hungry bitch who doesn't give a damn on how others chase after her like she's some billion dollar diamond."

Edward let go of my hand pulled me closer by the waist, most likely shielding me from Lauren's intense glare. "You don't know anything about her."

Lauren barked out a harsh laugh. "Oh, I know Bella. I've known her a year more than you have. She's nothing but a fancy, made-up slut."

Rosalie's growl was threatening to erupt. I could feel the tension in the air. Surprisingly though, I felt no sting as Lauren continued to verbally hit me. Edward's grasp on me was so tight, his fingers would have been etched on my skin were I a human.

"You know her, but you don't know anything about her. You don't have any right to say that to her or to anyone else for that matter," Edward spoke in a low, dangerous voice.

"Believe what you want, but I'm the one you belong to, I am!" she stomped her feet so hard, it was so comical to see.

"Give it a rest, please, Lauren."

"Why you—"

"Someone already owns me."

I knew Lauren didn't like our family because of all the attention we tend to get— attention we disliked but she would have loved to bathe in. I didn't know, though, that her hatred for me was already etched so deep. Still, I didn't want to waste my time and energy arguing with her when it could be spent in other, more productive things.

Like kissing Edward.

I tugged on Edward's hand. That was already enough drama for today. "Can we go now? Please?"

He sighed, "Of course."

He walked me to my car and opened the car door, ignoring Lauren's whiny, nasal voice and gave me a quick peck on the cheek. I was a little disappointed at that. I watched him brave the throng of people looking ready to trample him as he made his way to his car. I didn't even notice that my siblings were already waiting for me to start driving.

"Now, why can't we have an everyday afternoon entertainment show like that?" Emmett's amused voice broke the silence in the car and a very audible smacking sound followed, "Rose, babe, you know how I love your aggressiveness, but sometimes I do like to feel manlier than you."

I looked through the rearview mirror as Emmett earned himself another smack in the head.

"You know Bella, the faster we get home, the sooner you can go to Edward's house," Alice piped in her sing-song voice.

Faster than a heartbeat, my foot pushed the gas pedal and we raced out the parking lot, almost running over the still present mob of students.

The warm water felt good against my hot skin. After all the commotion at school, it felt nice to have a relaxing bath… with the sound of the raindrops also helping to soothe my tensed body. As my fingers glided through my hair, I couldn't help but remember how it felt like when Bella's fingers were running through the strands. And almost abruptly, I remembered how indescribably sweet her smooth, almost silken lips tasted like.

I was brought out of my reverie though, by a soft thumping sound— someone knocking on the door.

I quickly turned off the shower and dried off. Thinking it was only Renee who probably forgot her keys again, I rushed out of the bathroom, throwing on a pair of jeans without even bothering to dry my hair thoroughly.

"Did you forget your keys again, Renee?" I asked as I opened the door.

An angel stood before me, her golden eyes wide with raindrops adorning her brunette hair.

"Bella?" I was surprised. We didn't exactly make any plans for today.

She moved as fast as lightning, slamming the door shut as she flung herself at me, her lips devouring mine.

My hands held her waist in surprise. I blinked, my mind processing what was happening at an incredibly slow rate.

Her fingers twisted in my hair, slightly tugging at the strands. She pushed me back and I bumped myself on the door. Her hands moved along my bare shoulder, making me shudder at its coldness, as she pulled me closer. When she was satisfied, her hands encircled my neck as she pressed herself against me. I groaned as she kissed me harder, with more fervor, as my hands traced the contours of her waist.

My mind was still blank. No, more correctly, it was abuzz but intoxicated with Bella.

I could feel her leg brushing against my own, and I was sure that she could feel my heart beating, wildly against my chest. I drew a ragged breath and let my lips trail down her neck and suck on the exposed skin. Bella moaned as she pressed herself even harder against me.

I was moving purely on instinct as her scent swirled around me, encasing my entire being. My mind was overridden by desire and need. My control was broken.

Bella growled as my fingers started to slowly slide up her shirt, lightly tracing her skin. She twisted our positions so that her body was sandwiched between me and the door. As her lips ravished mine, my hands trailed down her body and touched the exposed skin of her waist. They groveled their way up, under her shirt, and started to play with the band under her breasts.

"Edward," Bella threw her head backwards and moaned.

I couldn't help it. Desire was overriding my system. I knew I needed to stop, but my body was aching and was out of control. My hands suddenly had a mind of their own as they started to go to dangerous places. And the noises and sounds that Bella was making weren't helping me control my body one bit.

She kissed me again, harder, as she growled softly. My body was on fire, every part throbbing with need as Bella pressed at me and encircled my waist with her legs.

Her fingers slid up and down the bare skin of my chest. My body tingled as she slightly scraped her nails against my exposed skin. The coldness of her hands as they trailed down my body caused the fire to grow.

I pressed her harder to the door and she whimpered, feeling the hardness of my length push against her center.

No. I had to stop. I needed to stop.

"Edward," she moaned, "I want you."

She didn't know how badly I needed her, but I knew I had to stop.

I kissed her hard and she pulled at my hair. I pulled at her, making our bodies almost molded together. I really had to stop before I couldn't turn back. Her sweet scent was still circling my senses and I twisted my neck trying to find clean air. She pulled my head back and kissed me again, but I was able to breathe before that, and a small moment of sanity was all I needed to regain even a small pinch of composure. She was really making it hard for me to say this, but the fresh air helped me build my resolve.

"Bella," I murmured, "we have to stop."

Her eyes were almost inhuman as she looked at me, fire burning in their black depths. Her legs wound tighter on my waist as she left butterfly kisses on the exposed skin of my neck. I shivered as she nibbled on my shoulder. After a few breaths she raised her head and sighed.

"I know," She slid down and gave me soft kisses as my heart rate slowed down.

A moment of silence passed between us and we stood there trying to steady our breaths.

"I think we should be more careful when we do that," I murmured as I placed a kiss on her forehead.

She had her head bent down, as though she was embarrassed. "I'm sorry for attacking you like that. I just… couldn't help myself."

My arms encircled her waist as I smiled. "You can attack me any time you want."

"I'd love to," She looked up, smiling smugly. Her finger trailed my chest again and I fought against the urge to shudder. "But I don't think it would be prudent to do so. I might get carried away again."

I chuckled, almost darkly. "You're not the only one who got carried away."

"Do you always answer the door like that?"

I felt my face heat up. "Normally, I do have a shirt on. I really thought Renee just forgot her keys again."

Her eyes travelled down my chest and up, taking me in. My fingers brushed through my hair, I was becoming nervous again.

Her eyes narrowed playfully as she fought the smile that was threatening to form on her full lips. She raised her head and put a lingering kiss on my lips. "Put a shirt on before I lose control again."

"Would that be a bad thing?" I murmured against her full lips.

"Well if it wasn't," she looked up, her eyes dancing with glee, "then you shouldn't have stopped me in the first place," I felt a little dizzy as she breathed on me. I could almost feel my eyes glaze over as I took in her luscious scent.

She giggled as she put a more respectable distance between us. "Seriously though, put a shirt on."

I trudged up the stairs, Bella in tow. I did a double take as I passed the open bathroom door, my reflection catching my eye. My lips looked like it was dabbed with a thousand cherries, swollen as ever. My eyes flickered to Bella's lips. I frowned. They looked as luscious as ever but… completely normal. My eyes travelled to her neck where I knew there should have been slight red marks, but the skin was white and smooth like marble.

I felt childish, thinking that it was unfair that I could never mark her as mine whereas she could do so to me. I sighed. It would take time to get used to this.


I shook my head to clear my senses. I grinned, a thought coming to mind. "Does my being shirtless bother you?"

It took a moment for her to answer. We were already at my room and I was already putting a shirt over my head when she spoke.

"Not really," Bella murmured, "But it would be better if you don't go catching yourself a cold, though."

I turned to look at her and saw her slightly bowing her head. If I had known better, I would have thought that she was blushing. I let it go. "Silly Bella, I won't catch a cold that easily."

"Sure you won't," she shrugged.

It was silent for a moment, as I finished trying to look more decent, only the light sound of raindrops against the window pane.

"Mm, why are you here?" I asked, taking her hand into mine as we sat on the bed.

She looked up, her eyes playfully hurt. "Don't you want me here?"

I smiled. "I'll always want you beside me."

"Then there's no problem here, is there?"

I chuckled, shaking my head. "So, is there anything in particular that you want to do?"

"I've got a few things in mind," she looked away as she murmured. I deduced it wasn't something I was meant to hear.

Her eyes drifted, scanning the whole room, resting on the wall that was covered with CDs and DVDs.

"Does watching a movie together sound appealing to you?"

As long as "together" was in it, anything would sound appealing to me. But I didn't say that. "What do you want to watch?"

Bella stood up and headed to the wall with different movie genres, her lithe dancer steps entrancing me. Everything about my angel mesmerized me. Something had to be wrong with me.

"How about this?" her melodious voice, broke my trance.

I smiled widely at her choice. "Pop it in."

She skipped back to the bed as the opening music soared to life, snuggling into my open arms. She sighed contentedly and I looked at her then. My heart melted as I saw the beautiful smile on her face, enough to make even angels cry.

As the opening credits rolled, my body started to heat up again. It wasn't desire that was fueling the warmth this time. It was like a ray of sunshine was seeping through me, radiating from the angel beside me, despite the coolness of her skin. With the soft sound of the movie playing on the screen, Bella's head on my chest, our arms around each other, I felt something I never felt in Phoenix— I finally felt like I was home.

A/N: I know I've been gone for an eternity and I really am sorry, so please don't kill me yet. ^_^ I had writer's block for the longest time. You know the feeling— you know where you want the story to go and what you want to happen but just don't know how to write it in a way that would resemble your ideal vision most suitably. Yeah, I was at a loss for words. I still am. It was such a struggle to write this chapter. So the next chapter would be up in… who knows when. -_- But it WILL be up. Sometime. For the meantime, I hope this chapter will be enough. At least for now.

Make my day. R&R. ^_^

P.S. Any guesses on which movie Bella chose? ^_^