Summary: While out of town, Bella devises a way to finally seduce the ever virtuous Edward – with a little help from an unexpected source.
Time period: Takes place during Eclipse, when Edward takes Bella away for the weekend to see her mother.
Warnings: NC-17 for sexual content.
Author's Note: Why yes, that is the title of a Muse song you see there below.
Written by Coquette
Renée was in rare form that afternoon.
We were shopping together, a little mother-daughter one on one time. Edward had stayed home, writing a fake term paper so that he didn't have to leave the house during the day. And so I was left by myself to fend off my mother's antics. She was a little crazier that afternoon than I remembered.
She was worried about Edward and me and made no secret of it. We were too intense, she said. Too involved. Too young. And maybe she was right, but she didn't have all the pieces to the puzzle. She didn't understand what Edward and I were to each other. As we traversed the mall, I struggled to find a way to explain it to her in space-cadet-Renée terms.
"Edward and I ... I know it sounds campy, Mom, but I think we're soulmates."
That was, after all, the title of the romance novel I'd seen on her nightstand. Soulmates. Ugh. But if anything would speak to her, it was that.
And like I'd said the magic words, Renée turned toward me with her eyes watering. "Really? You love him that much? I mean, I could see it right away. In his face, too. But soulmates, Bella?"
I went with it. Campy or not, it wasn't inaccurate.
"I don't know how to explain it, Mom," I said. "It's like he's the other half of me. When he's in the room, I'm still alone because he's part of me. We're that close. Like one person, really. When he's not there, I feel like something's missing."
She was taken in by that. Maybe she felt the same way about Phil for all I knew. But if there was one thing about my eccentric mother, she was a romantic at heart. Her collection of romance novels rivaled that of the local library. Her DVD collection was a shrine to Meg Ryan and Julia Roberts. She fell silent beside me, her face enchanted as she pondered my words. I relaxed, knowing I'd won her over to my side and away from Charlie's.
However. If there was another thing about my mom, she could be unabashedly frank. She had no qualms about asking me anything, no matter how embarrassing. I think she viewed me most of the time as more of a sister than a daughter.
"Have you two been intimate yet?"
My mouth fell open, horrified. "What?"
"Have you had sex?" she clarified as if I hadn't understood her the first time. "Oh, don't look at me like that. I don't know what you kids are calling it these days. In my day, we called it 'making ends meet'. Has your end met Edward's yet?"
"Good God, there are children in the vicinity."
"Your father thinks you are," she continued, unabashed and ever oblivious. "Come on now. You can tell me."
I crossed my arms tight over my chest, cheeks blazing red. "We're not."
"Huh. I would have bet money on the opposite."
"I'm telling the truth!"
She looked at me, scrutinizing my face. "I know you are. I'm just surprised is all. Is that your choice or his?"
I shrugged an awkward shoulder. "His, mostly."
"Edward's a little old fashioned," I muttered. "He won't lay a finger on me."
"Is that all? Nonsense. Men are men, Bella. You just need to know how to crack the shell."
I looked at her, incredulous. "Are you ... encouraging me?"
"Oh, good grief," she said, waving a flighty hand in the air. Her bangle bracelets jingled at me dismissively. "You're not a child anymore, Bella. You're eighteen years old. If you're that serious about this boy, if he's your soulmate, then why not? I trust you to be safe. And he looks like he'd throw himself in front of a bus for you. He'll wear a condom. Or are you already on the pill?"
She laughed at my uneasiness, carefree as ever. "You know, I have a stack of Cosmo's back at the house. That magazine has all sorts of tips and techniques and..."
"It's not like that! There's no way Edward would ever go there."
She blinked at me, confused. "Is he impotent? Inadequate?"
"Why are you still talking about this?"
"Does he have a small penis, Bella?" she elucidated helpfully. "Really. I thought you would have gotten over this shyness a long time ago. You're an adult now."
"Oh, my God..." I moaned into the palm I'd placed over my face.
"And you know, it's okay if it is small. There are ways to work around that sort of thing."
"I do not know how big his penis is, Mom!" I shouted, then paled as a group of children walked by, guided by their mother. She glared at me contemptuously as she shuffled her little ones off. "I told you," I hissed under my breath. "He's old fashioned. And maybe it's even a little deeper than that. I think he holds back because he wants to protect me."
There. That should give her over-processed brain something to chew on. Surely she wouldn't keep going now that I'd brought his glittering virtue and his protectiveness into the mix. Those were qualities any mother would want to see in her daughter's boyfriend.
Renée looked thoughtful. "He told you that? That he just wants to protect you?"
I nodded, scowling.
"I see. So he doesn't have a small penis, then..."
"That's it!" I said, throwing up my hands. "I am not having this conversation with you anymore!"
But she wasn't done. She looked like she was having an epiphany, if my mother was capable of such a thing. "You know, if Edward has his foot firmly planted down, there are always other things you can do with him without going all the way. Like I said before – men are men, Bella. You just need to know what buttons to push. Trust me on this one."
"La, la, la! I'm not listening!"
But I was, of course. Listening.
Truth be told, I was beyond frustrated with Edward. But this was an issue he would not budge on. To be able to actually talk about that with someone who'd probably been there before ... it might be embarrassing, but it was also a bit of a relief to know someone understood and was willing to part with a little sagely advice.
"You know, I don't mind if you two share a bed tonight," Renée continued, leaning in to glance at a display in a store window. She scrubbed at a little lipstick that had somehow gotten on her teeth. "I bet Charlie keeps a pretty tight leash on you. He doesn't like Edward very much, you know."
"I know. Do you like him?"
She shrugged and started digging in her enormous, overstuffed purse for something she was probably not going to find. "I don't have anything to complain about yet. Except for maybe him leaving you for so many months."
"He was just trying to protect me, Mom. He thought he wasn't good for me. Then we both figured out we couldn't live without the other."
"Yes, he's certainly the overprotective type, isn't he? I had one of those once. He left me, too. He was poor, too young to see what a good man he was, and he thought I deserved better. I wish he had come back to me the way Edward did to you. I was quite in love with that fool. A lot of things in my life would have turned out differently. So ... soulmates, huh? Oh, Charlie. You never did get it because you never could see it."
She sighed, and her hand finally emerged from her purse with a pack of gum. The ends of the wrappers were all mangled and frayed. There was a lipstick imprint on the side. "Well, that's not what I was looking for at all," she murmured. "I don't even remember buying this. Would you like a piece?"
I shook my head, slightly disturbed. "You really don't mind? Us sharing a bed?"
She rolled her eyes heavenward. "Please, Bella. I'm not stupid. You two already do that, right? Sneak around after Charlie's in bed? I remember what it was like, being young and in love. You don't want to ever be apart. That's why you're so tense right now. You miss him."
"I do miss him," I admitted. "But this is our time to spend together, Mom. I see Edward all the time."
She winked at me, pleased. "Well, then let's do a little shopping before we go back. I've got some more girl advice to give you before our weekend is up."
Renée took me through the rest of the mall at lightning speed. Once she got her easily-distracted brain focused on a task, she was unstoppable. Incredible, really. Sometimes all it took to dissuade her would be something sparkly flashing at her in the windows, but that didn't seem to be the case today. I think she really must have missed me and wanted to instill as much womanly-wisdom in me as possible in that afternoon mall visit.
She pushed me into certain stores before I could argue. Lingerie stores. Victoria's Secret and Frederick's. I was mortified, shrinking away from the racks of corsets and teddies like they were laced with strychnine.
She didn't buy me anything scandalous, but rather more feminine than I was used to. I normally slept in t-shirts and pajama bottoms, sometimes with holes in them. Renée bought me a few silk nightgowns with thin straps and simple, clean lines. I only accepted because they were still conservative. They came down to just above my knees and had matching robes. How Edward was going to react at the sight of my thighs, I didn't want to think too hard about.
"He's probably going to jump out of the window to get away from me when he sees them," I muttered unhappily, shopping bag in tow. "Or worse."
"Then here's what you do," said Renée. "Blame it all on me. Say the nightgowns were a present, and I'll get mad at you if you don't wear them. Trust me, Bella. Men are very visual creatures. And besides, the guest bedroom is on the second floor. He'd break his neck if he jumped out of the window. Always know your environment when on the hunt."
By the time we got home, the sun had already set, and I was still a lovely shade of crimson. Edward was sitting on the couch with a book, waiting for us to return. My eyes went to him hesitantly, still humiliated by my discussion with Renée. It was at times like these I was grateful he couldn't read my mind.
Edward furrowed his brow in bewilderment when he saw how deeply I was flushing. But he let his eyes ask the questions because Renée was still in the room, fumbling with shopping bags. Then he slowly swiveled his around head to stare right at my mother, who winked at him once before slipping from the room.
He turned back toward me, eyes dancing with amusement, and pressed the back of his hand to his mouth to stifle his laughter.
I groaned. Just because he couldn't read my mind didn't mean he couldn't read Renée's. "Don't, please! She's going to hear you! I'm embarrassed enough as it is."
"She can't hear me. She's busy making up the bed in the guest room for us," he said, relaxed and grinning. He eyed the shopping bag I was attempting to hide behind me. "I hope you got the blue one. Wait..." He squinted, concentrating on something in the distance for a second. "Oh, the blue and the pink one? Very nice, Bella."
"Stop listening to Renée's thoughts! Please. I couldn't stop her."
"So I take it she likes me now. That's a nice change. She was a little wary of me at first. I was worried Charlie had gotten to her. What did you say that changed her mind?"
"You don't want to know. If I had known this would be the result..." I trailed off, not really knowing how to finish.
Edward grew a bit more serious, though his eyes were still laughing at me. "Bella, you know we can't do anything, right?"
I kicked at the ground with the toe of my shoe. "I know."
"I'm just telling you that because I don't want you to get your feelings hurt. Not that you have to keep the nightgowns in the shopping bag, that is. Oh, don't look at me like that. I can look, can't I? Hush now. Renée's coming back to show you where she's hidden the contraband."
"Contraband?" I asked, confused.
Edward just kept grinning.
Renée stuck her head into the room, smiling rather obviously at Edward. "Did you finish your term paper, dear? It was such a shame you couldn't join us on our little shopping trip."
"I did, thank you," he said, turning up the charm. Edward certainly knew how to give good parent. "I think it was for the best that I stayed here, though. You and Bella don't have much time together."
"Well, aren't you sweet?" said Renée. "Goodness, look at the time. You both must be tired, what with the time change and all. Bella, why don't you come help me finish up with the bed linens? I want to show you something."
I looked at Edward helplessly. His face was scrunched up into a tight smirk, trying to hold in another bout of laughter. I was going to kill him when I finally got him alone.
Renée was lying about needing help. She already had the guest bedroom fixed up for us with the covers turned down. I noticed that the sheets didn't match the pillowcases, and the duvet cover was on backwards. Everything smelled strangely of dishwasher detergent.
She was digging in the drawer of the nightstand beside the bed, muttering to herself. "Now where did I put those things? Oh, here they are. You should always have these, just in case." She handed me several foil packets, and I stared down at them in horror. "These are condoms. Have they taught you about these in school?"
Downstairs, Edward howled with laughter.
Renée heard him and blinked at the doorway in confusion. "You don't think he heard me, do you? But he's all the way downstairs."
"H-he must be on his cell phone," I explained rather hastily.
"Huh. Anyway, you need to be very careful not to tear-"
"Just stop, Mom!" I begged. "I'm not going to need them because nothing is going to happen!"
"Bella, trust me on this. You're going to want these and not have them one day. And I always want you to be safe. Don't feel pressured if you're not ready. I just want to make sure you're prepared when it does happen. I'm not trying to embarrass you. I just know how shy you are..."
Getting ready for bed – with him there watching me – was almost unbearable.
I couldn't find my toothpaste in my bag; I couldn't find anything I needed, in fact. Nothing was easy because my mind was rendered a mess by the whole uncomfortable situation. Edward certainly wasn't helping matters. In fact, he was being downright exasperating.
He was on the bed, lying on his stomach with his chin in his hands. Every now and then, he would press his face into the covers and dissolve into snickers, probably still listening to Renée's thoughts in the other room. He raised his eyebrows at me, grinning in expectation. "Well?" he asked.
"Well, what?" I muttered, digging with both hands into my hopeless suitcase.
"Why don't you show me what you bought at the mall today?"
I glowered at him. "Haven't you already seen it in Renée's thoughts?" I asked in an icy tone.
"Renée only saw it on the hanger, so I haven't seen it on you yet."
"What's that supposed to mean?" he asked, tilting his head to the side.
I let gravity take hold of the lid of my suitcase. It banged shut. "Because you don't want to..." I stared at my hands, unable to finish the statement.
"Wait. You think I don't want to have sex with you?" Edward exhaled sharply – an incredulous laugh. "Oh, Bella. Sometimes I forget how little you think of yourself."
I didn't look up. "Then why haven't we ever done anything?"
"You know why," he said, his voice a bit patronizing. "I've already explained it to you."
Renée's words came back to me, and they made me just as uncomfortable as if I were hearing her say them for the first time. "There are other things we could do," I all but whispered. My face was on fire, flushed with heat. I kept it turned away from him, letting the veil of my hair shield me.
Even though I wasn't looking at him, I could feel his slow smile, creeping up my spine. "Like what exactly?" he said in a low voice, full of mischief. "Describe these other things to me."
"I'm not going to describe anything!"
"Then how do I know exactly what you mean?" His voice was still teasing, but he genuinely seemed to want to hear it. Perhaps he'd never really thought about it before. Perhaps he'd never let himself.
I shrugged. "I don't know. Like ... touching each other."
I made the mistake of looking at him and blanched when he flashed his teeth at me. "I touch you all the time," he reminded me. "Or is there a specific kind of touching you're referring to?"
"You're really mean, you know that?" I shot back at him.
"Are you embarrassed?" he laughed. "Oh, good. Your skin is quite lovely when you flush like that."
"Ugh!" Snatching up my nightclothes – the ones with pant legs and holes in them – I spun around and stomped out of the room. That had probably been his end game in teasing me in the first place, so that I would leave the silk nightgowns out of the bedroom, setting him free from temptation. He knew damn well that irritating me and making me feel uncomfortable was the quickest way to accomplish his goal.
Renée was coming up the stairs, humming something atonal under her breath. When she saw me, she opened her mouth to speak.
"Don't!" I cried before she could start. "I've heard enough! I can't take both of you ganging up on me."
"Oh, really, Bella," she scolded, shaking her head. "You always were one to stir up drama over nothing. I was just going to say that you left this in the living room. You haven't forgotten, have you?"
She held out the shopping bag to me – the one with the nightgowns and robes folded nicely in the tissue paper. "I don't think he's interested, Mom."
"He already said no? Well, that didn't take long at all. And here I thought you were shy."
"I didn't ask," I said with a little heat in my tone. "I can just tell."
"Hmmm." Crooking her finger at me, she led me into the bathroom and grabbed a magazine from a basket on the floor. She flipped through the worn pages with such speed, I thought they might tear. Eventually she found what she was looking for. "This article here. Genius. Read it."
I stared at down at the magazine, dumbfounded. There, beside a picture of a scantily clad couple were the words: How to Seduce a Man in Ten Easy Steps.
"MOM!" I whined.
"You can thank me later. Here's your shopping bag."
She dropped it on the counter and winked at me before sauntering off down the hallway, a piece of yarn inexplicably attached to her shoe.
I shut the bathroom door and leaned my back against it. I fumed in silence, feeling bullied by Renée and rejected by Edward. I glanced down at the magazine, scowling at the couple depicted in the picture. They looked like they were enjoying themselves. It just wasn't fair.
Chewing on the end of my hair, I sat down on the edge of the tub and started to read. The article was basically soft-core smut tailored for the masses. Definitely something Renée would keep handy. But some of the tips ... I hated to say it, but they made sense. Little things that I'd never really thought of in my inexperience. I was never really the seductive type.
I looked around to make sure I was alone. One could never be careful enough with a vampire around. Then, leaning in, I read a little closer.
And the more I read, the more stubborn I grew inside. The more irritated and unwilling to give up that which I had every right to ask for. I was tired of Edward caving in to fear. Tired of being frustrated. I didn't buy his "it's not possible for us" excuse. Edward knew damn well how to control himself around me.
Thoughts of revenge flickered before my eyes.
I shut the magazine, determined to be Edward Cullen's undoing. I was going to seduce him if it was the last thing I ever did. And ... I really hoped it wouldn't be the last thing I ever did.
Tip #10 – Never underestimate the power of scent.
I had planned on taking a shower. Not that I was dirty or sweaty or anything. It was just my nightly ritual. But Edward had told me more than once that I smelled best to him at the end of the day, when my natural scent had had time to come out. I sniffed my arm curiously, wondering if my "natural scent" was just his nice way of saying I had offensive body odor. Thankfully, I didn't smell like anything, at least not to my own nose. Hopefully he would approve.
I brushed my hair carefully and shook it out, letting it fall long down my back. That should help with the scent, too. He always had his nose buried in my hair.
Tip #9: Catch him off guard.Because he knew I was irritated with him, Edward was probably expecting me to come back to bed in my usual scruffy attire. He had resisted me plenty of times while wearing that. Really ... who wouldn't? But thanks to my crazy mother who knew no shame, I now had a contingency plan.
I pulled the blue silk nightgown out of the bag and carefully removed the tags. He had, after all, asked for it himself. Hardly my fault if it made him slip.
Tip #8: Show a little, but hide a lot.
Once I was dressed in the gown, I pulled the matching robe on over it, tying the belt up tight. It was flattering on me and covered most of my body up. But so much of my legs were exposed that I couldn't help but feel a moment of panic. I tugged the hem as low as it would go and took a deep breath to steady my nerves.
Tip #7: Be confident.
That wasn't an easy one for me. But somehow I managed to waltz back into the bedroom calmly, assertively. I pushed the door shut behind me and locked it. Just in case.
Edward was still lying on the bed, fiddling with one of the wrapped condoms my mother had so kindly bestowed upon us. He looked like he'd been pondering something. He said nothing when his eyes shifted in my direction. At least not with his mouth.
Edward might tease me sometimes, but at the very root of his personality, he's always a gentleman. There have been very few times when he has given me the up-down look – the one men give attractive women walking down the streets. Their eyes start on the face, then travel leisurely down to the toes, lingering on more important parts, then slide right back to the face again. If they make it up that far at all.
Edward's eyes did make it up to my face. Eventually. They were black as pitch.
I smirked triumphantly, my fingers moving to rustle through my hair, stirring my scent about the room. His nostrils flared.
Score: Bella – 1. Edward – 0.
Tip #6: Always maintain direct eye contact.
No problem there. I couldn't take my eyes off of him, locked in place like I was hypnotized. But I held myself back from getting lost in those eyes.
This was my game tonight, not his.
Tip #5: Make him wait.
I hovered on the far side of the room from him, watching him watch me as I knelt down in front of my suitcase. There I took my time returning the items I'd brought back with me from the bathroom. The gown slid up on my thighs, and a blush stained my cheeks and chest. I pushed back the feelings of self-consciousness and flashed a nervous smile at him.
"So, what do you think?" I asked him, running my hands down the silk. "Renée was rather insistent on this one in particular. Especially after I told her you liked blue."
He swallowed, his fingers pulling absently at his hair. "Much better than it looked on the hanger."
Tip #4: Draw attention to your lips.
I pulled a tube of chapstick from my toiletry bag. Not exactly the most ingenious way to accomplish my goal, but it would have to do in a pinch. I wasn't exactly Pamela Anderson. I put it on slowly, then capped it, smiling as I rubbed my lips together.
Edward was eyeing me dubiously, his brow pinched in the middle. "You really are the most terrible actress I've ever met, Bella."
My mouth – perfectly moisturized – fell open.
Score: Bella – 1. Edward – 1.
He pushed himself into a sitting position, and we stared at each other from across the room, the tension thick. "What are you trying to do exactly?" he asked suspiciously.
"Put on chapstick?" I offered.
"I just wanted to wear something pretty for you, Edward," I said, getting a bit huffy. "Is that all right? I'm not asking anything from you."
His lips thinned into a disapproving line. "I suppose so."
I scowled at him. Oh, the poor dear. Having to look at his girlfriend in a nightgown. His virtue must be cramping terribly. "Turn off the lights if it bothers you."
He did, reaching out and finding the lamp without even looking. I could still feel his eyes on me, even when the room fell into darkness. He moved to the middle of the bed when I approached, giving me plenty of room to lie down beside him without actually having to bring his body into direct contact with mine.
That was different. He usually opened his arms to me, ready to pull me close. I smiled to myself, realizing he wasn't completely unaffected by me. Bad actress or not, maybe Edward Cullen wasn't made out of stone after all.
I hesitated before sliding into the bed.
Tip #3: Use body language to your advantage.
Staring at those golden eyes that smoldered at me in the darkness, I tugged on the belt of my robe. The cool material slipped from my shoulders and down my arms. I took my time folding it up carefully, letting him get a good look at me in the moonlight.
I distinctly heard Edward exhale through his teeth. I shivered at the sound of it, my breasts smarting beneath that thin scrap of fabric from the chill in the air. He had never seen that much of my skin before, a fact that we were both painfully aware of.
Tip #2: Accidentally touch him.
I wasn't sure if I could manage that one, especially with him so hyper-aware of everything I did. I decided on a more direct approach and hoped he wouldn't suspect. He moved further away from me when I finally slid under the covers beside him, but I followed him to the middle of the bed, slipping right into his arms before he could do anything about it. He froze against me.
"What's wrong?" I asked, feigning innocence. "Is something bothering you?"
He didn't answer. I started to slide one hand down his chest, across his stomach ... but he caught me by the wrist before I could go any further. I could see his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed.
"I'm just cuddling, Edward," I explained. "Relax. We do it every night, you know."
He sighed, eyes staring helplessly at the ceiling. My wrist was still captured in his hand, but the other one was free. I wrapped it around his waist, pulling myself closer, making sure his nose ended up buried in my hair.
He breathed deeply of my scent. It seemed to lull him a bit into relaxation. After a long moment, his hands found my waist as he dared touch me. I held still and let him grow comfortable there. No need to spook him or push him when he was approaching the idea like a cautious cat to a stranger's outreached hand. He held himself tense beside me. I could almost hear the wheels in his head spinning, either trying to map out a plan of escape or trying to decide how best to get me out of the gown. Perhaps he was trying to figure out how to do both simultaneously.
Once he calmed down to a certain level, I pulled out my secret weapon, one I only used for special occasions when he was being particularly stubborn about something. A little known fact about Edward was that he absolutely loved it when I kissed certain places on his neck. Something about the warmth and the wetness, he'd told me once.
So armed with that knowledge, I slid my lips down the cool expanse of his throat, exhaling against at the base, letting him feel how warm my breath was. I opened my mouth and pressed a wet kiss against the flesh just under his Adam's apple. He hissed beneath me, his fingers grasping my waist more urgently, digging into the silk. The gown slid up my thighs an inch.
He whispered my name, his throat vibrating beneath my lips. I moved upward, knotting my fingers in his hair, this time kissing him at the base of his jaw directly below his right ear. That was another spot he loved.
"We should stop," he rasped, his breath stirring my hair.
"I'm not doing anything bad, Edward," I said, not budging an inch. "I've barely touched you."
"We can't have sex, Bella," was his firm reply.
"I'm not trying to have sex with you."
He stared at me, gasping. His eyes were still black, glinting at me in the darkness. "We can't have sex," he repeated, enunciating each word. "But you've got me thinking now…"
Score: Bella – 2. Edward – 1.
"Earlier, you mentioned that we could still do other things." He broke off, angry with himself. "Oh, Bella, shut me up if you need to. I shouldn't even be suggesting this. The things you do to me without even realizing it..."
"Other things?" I echoed, as if I didn't know what he was talking about.
Something changed in his mood then – so quickly it almost frightened me. His teeth glinted at me in the darkness, his eyes turning mischievous and dangerous. He shifted suddenly, moving over me in one fluid movement. He kept his weight off of me, not that I could have moved if I wanted to. I was paralyzed beneath him. I felt like I was lying in the arms of a predator. My heart hammered in my chest, excited.
Edward was trying to flip the game around on me. I could read his mind with ease because I knew how he thought. He wasn't in control when he was being seduced, whether he thought I was doing it unintentionally or not. But if he was the seducer – the one in control – he could easily end it when he pleased.
"Oh, you remember," he said in a silky voice, eyes burning into mine. "Now what was it you suggested we do earlier? Ah, yes. Touching. That's harmless, right? Plenty of people do it without going further than that." A crooked smile curled on his lips. "Do you want me to touch you, Bella?"
His gaze flickered to my lips as I licked them nervously. I nodded, unable to speak.
"I want to hear you say it," he ordered in a low voice. "How do I know you really want it if you don't say yes out loud?" He dipped his head down, and his lips grazed against my neck.
I clutched at his shirt. "Mmmm, yes."
"You didn't say please."
My mouth fell open when his teeth nipped me ever so carefully. It felt like he'd shot a bolt of electricity through my whole body. "Yes, please!"
He lifted his head and caught me in a kiss so impossibly slow, I thought I would unravel beneath him. His lips were soft and persuasive against mine, and he made sure he had captured my full attention before his hands began to wander.
He started with both hands on my cheek, then slowly drifted down the length of me – his cool fingertips flitting down my neck, across my collarbone, then lifting away from my body before he got to my breasts. His hands found me again at my ribcage, fingers slipping along the silk down my waist, hips, and thighs. A trail of goosebumps erupted in his wake, burning almost painfully wherever he touched me. He caught the edge of the nightgown and slid the length of it upwards, exposing my legs fully to the night air.
He broke the kiss then, smiling at me wickedly before he slid his whole body down the length of mine. The gown was drawn up even further, past my panties, until just a small amount of white flesh was visible on my stomach. He ran his lips across that line of skin, inhaling slowly. "You smell like heaven to me," he hummed against my abdomen, turning me to liquid beneath him.
I grasped him by the ears – they were all I could get my hands on – and guided his head upwards, thankful that he let me show him what I wanted. His mouth traced over one of my breasts, curving around the side of it, still inhaling and exhaling rhythmically. His ice cold breath seeped through the fabric, and my nipples turned hard and sensitive before his lips ever touched them. He kissed one of the hard points through the silk, and his hand closed over the other, his thumb working me gently. I was lost.
"Bella?" he asked, his lips still against me, tormenting me.
"Nyyugh!" I gasped in reply.
He chuckled deep in his chest, and I felt it through the entire length of my body. "I was just wondering ... because I don't want to mess up this lovely little nightgown ... if I might remove it?"
He must have taken that as a yes. He started at the thin straps, lifting his head to kiss the pulse racing in my throat as he slipped the gown from my shoulders and pushed it to my waist.
He stared down at me quite frankly, eyes dark and hungry. He lowered his head and kissed a nipple as he had before, brushing his tongue across the tip of it so lightly, it was as if only his breath had touched me. I trembled beneath him in expectation, willing to beg if I had to, but unable to remember how to speak. He took his time about it, but eventually he showed me pity.
"Beautiful..." he breathed, just a whisper against my flesh. Parting his lips against me, he took my nipple into his mouth and curled his tongue slowly around it. It was as if he'd taken an ice cube to me and somehow found a way to infuse lightning into it. I cried out as my back arched upwards on its own accord.
He reached up and clamped a hand over my mouth, stifling my cries so Renée wouldn't hear. And so I had no outlet. I stared up at the ceiling helplessly, eyes swimming with pleasure. Heat was building up in my abdomen, threatening to boil over at any second.
Edward chose that moment to finally lower his body down onto mine, nestling his narrow hips between my thighs. Whether he meant it to be or not, it proved to be my undoing. I ground my pelvis against his hard body once, twice, then exploded into a toe-curling climax. Thank goodness Edward had the foresight to cover my mouth; I would have never been able to keep the resulting scream at bay.
I have no idea how much time passed, but when I finally peeled my lethargic eyes apart, Edward was staring at me in amazement. "Well," he mused. "That was an unexpected response."
I could only gape at him rather stupidly. He peeled the nightgown completely off of my body and cast it away into the dark room, turning his attention back on me. He bundled me up into his arms, dropping little kisses on my eyelids and face as I gathered myself. I should have felt embarrassed, but the way he was looking at me ... it only made me feel powerful. He was delighted. Quieter now. Calmer. As if my climax had been his as well.
I smiled at him, my entire body flushed with warm pleasure. Did he really think he was going to end this that easily? "What about you?" I asked, my fingers skimming across the buttons of his shirt. "Can't I touch you, too? That's not against the no-sex rule."
His delight melted into caution. "No..." he reasoned after a long moment had passed. "I don't suppose it is."
But when I reached for him, his hand closed over my wrist, and he gave me a look that almost made me shrink away from him. It reminded me of that first day in Biology.
"I just want to take off your shirt. I'm naked. It's only fair."
His eyes were wary, but he let me. My fingers were still shaking, but I managed to make quick work of the buttons, fearing he'd stop me at any second. I didn't even let myself look until I had disposed of the shirt entirely. His chest was smoother than glass beneath my hands, freezing the tips of my breasts when they brushed against him. He stayed still, weighing my reaction as I acquainted myself with his body, sighing happily when I reached around to explore his back. His eyes were heavily-lidded as he watched me. I knew he loved how warm my hands were.
Edward didn't change into nightclothes when he slept with me. He just climbed in still dressed in whatever he'd been wearing that day and changed his clothes in the morning. His jeans rubbed against my bare skin, unpleasantly rough compared to his body. Only one thing to do about that. My hands moved to his belt buckle.
"Bella..." he breathed in warning, his fingers tightening on my arms. He stared at me pleadingly, helpless to resist. I'm not certain when it had happened, but I think I had eased him past the point of no return without him even being aware of it.
"It's only fair," I reminded him. I was, after all, only still in possession of my panties. "Unless you want me to put my own clothes back on."
He didn't help me, so it was difficult getting him out of the rest of his clothes. But I was stubborn, so I managed it. First the belt came off. The way he looked at me as I slid it from his belt loops almost made me combust – a low fire crackled there in his eyes. Dangerous. Deathly serious. His jeans were loose on his slender waist and easy to unbutton. I pulled him into a kiss before I pushed them down past his hips, unable to stand the heat behind his stare. I was set for another meltdown if he kept that up.
I had never touched a man before. I was almost too shy to try. But locked into that kiss, away from those devastating eyes, I somehow found the courage and closed a warm hand over the length of him. Simultaneously, we both moaned against each other's lips.
The mood shifted again, turning into something more desperate. He slipped a hand down below the band of my panties. He took me then, sheathing his fingers inside of me in one fluid movement. Ice cold burning into the heat of me. He hissed in pleasure as he watched my jaw drop open.
"Only fair, right?" he growled through clenched teeth.
Things started to move very fast, all the careful lines of control we'd drawn fading into muddy gray. I could see it, written all over his face. His control was slipping, ready to careen off of the edge into a free-fall. "Tell me no, Bella," he begged, his words bleeding with longing. "Please. Just one little word."
I tugged at him harder. "I don't want to tell you no."
He rested his forehead against mine. "Then lie to me..." he whispered.
I tried to kiss him, but he wouldn't let me. "Edward, please..." The urgency in my voice surprised us both.
"Oh, to hell with it..." he growled, voice cracking.
He ripped my panties off and was pressed against me before I could even blink. He slipped inside of me— just the head – then withdrew, as if testing himself. His whole body was shaking as he tried it again, deeper this time. I was tense underneath him, trying to fight against reacting to the pain. He stretched me, filled me to capacity, and the pain made my eyes water and spill over. Still I clung to him, wrapping my legs around his waist. He started to move, slowly at first, but his pace soon quickened, ragged like his breath. It hurt like the blazes, and I didn't care. The burning pleasure was worth the pain. And Edward had once called himself masochistic...
The bed groaned beneath us, threatening to split in two. I could certainly relate. Edward cursed under his breath, and suddenly I was airborne. He had picked me up to maneuver us both onto the floor. I suppose it was a good idea not to break Renée's furniture, but still...
"Neeeoooow!" I cried in protest when he slipped out of me.
But he had other plans. He sat on his knees, and brought my still prone body back to him. My back was flat against his thighs, my head resting on the carpet, hair splayed out in the moonlight. He entered me again, slower this time, hissing out another string of curses. I gasped, eyes wide and streaming as I stared up at him, the pale expanse of his body displayed fully before me.
Edward lost himself then. He took my hips into his hands and drove into me so fast, I could barely register it. I was going to have bruises, but I couldn't seem to care. I reached for him helplessly, but his body was too far away from mine, so I clung to the carpet instead. His eyes were flat and unseeing, overcome, but somehow he had enough sense to lean his body over mine and clamp his hand over my mouth again. Who knows what sounds I was making.
The change in the angle of his thrusts set me writhing. His fingers brushed against the curls at the base of my thighs, and with that simple touch, he undid me yet again. I screamed against his hand, biting him, thrashing beneath him. And he let himself tip right over the edge after me, his entire body going rigid against mine. The hand over my mouth fell away right before he lost control. The carpet pulled away from the floorboards on either side of my head, gripped in his clenched fingers.
The free-fall ended in a gentle landing. Both of our bodies seemed to turn to liquid as the euphoria of the afterglow took us. He rested his body down upon mine with care, wonderfully cool against my damp skin, never letting himself be too heavy upon me. He was shaking just as much as I was. He held me, stroking my hair and my body. Residual waves of pleasure rippled through me every few seconds.
Eventually, he slipped fully out of me. Then he lifted his head, his hair sticking up in every direction. He stared down at me guiltily. "Oops."
"Huh," I gasped, completely dazed. Little stars danced on the edges of my vision. "So that's why you never let us get past a certain point."
His words started to come very fast, almost too fast for me to catch. "I'm so sorry, Bella. Are you all right? Did I hurt you? Tell me I didn't hurt you."
I smoothed his unruly hair back away from his face, trying to reassure him. "No, I'm fine. Don't be sorry. Just ... do it again. Right now."
He let himself smile then, realizing I must be unharmed if I was already asking for an encore performance. "I just might have to. I'm considering never allowing you get dressed again." He pressed his lips to the curve of my collarbone.
"That might make for an awkward plane right home."
He lifted his head, leaning in toward my face. "I'll buy us our own plane."
"Okay," I breathed a second before his lips found mine again.
I smiled as he kissed me, and even indulged in a chuckle or two. He kissed me for a moment, then pulled back, studying me curiously. "Why are you laughing?"
"Hmm, nothing," I said, still grinning. "I was just thinking about something. It's not important."
"I was reading a magazine in the bathroom before I came to bed. One I normally wouldn't pick up. I'm considering getting a subscription now."
He cocked an eyebrow. "Cosmopolitan? Let's see if I can remember what the title of the article Renée gave you was. How to Seduce a Man, was it? Something about ten easy steps?"
I scowled at him.
Score: Bella – 2. Edward – 2.
"Your mother had all the tips quite committed to memory," Edward continued. "I can name them all for you if you like."
And then he did. He listed them, right down the line. And then he smiled at me rather smugly. "Really, Bella. Nonsense, all of it. I was the one who ended up seducing you in the end, wasn't I? You weren't even asking for it until I got you all riled up."
"You forgot number one," I said in an even tone.
"What was that?" he asked, not understanding what I meant.
"You mentioned all the other tips from the magazine," I clarified, lifting an annoyed eyebrow. "But you missed the last one. The most important one."
Edward shrugged, unconcerned. "Renée never got that far in her head, I guess. Easily distracted, that one. So tell me, Bella. How on earth did you manage to seduce me? Astonish me."
I stared up at that self-satisfied face until he looked me right in the eyes. "Tip number one," I recited. "Make him think it was all his idea."
Edward's eyes narrowed at me, his smug look melting away into a perplexed frown.
Score: Bella – 3. Edward – 2.
Game and match.
Author's Notes: I would just like to say that a 5.4 earthquake struck my Los Angeles office right when I finished this story. Edward and Bella seemingly made the ground move. Remind me to be more careful with that next time.
For those of you who don't buy Renée's behavior, your mom might surprise you one day. Don't say I didn't warn you. This might be the last thing I write until after Breaking Dawn is out. The fandom's gone a bit batty and evasive. Cheers! -Coquette