Author's Note: I'll be honest. I didn't think this would ever happen. But I know a lot of you complained about it not happening, so it seemed like the perfect thing to offer. So. :) For hpnic06 at LJ! (And all of you too!) :D She paid $10 to charity during the lion_lamb Help Haiti Auction for this, so she deserves it. Hearts. Also, thanks to woven at LJ, who beta-ed!
It was just a talk, and I needed to chill out.
Edward was totally a virgin. He was the town leper, I told myself. Think, Bella! Remember?
The thought shouldn't have comforted me, considering the fact that Edward was like the most perfect being in the entire world (in my eyes, anyway) and the sweetest, most caring, and least-deserving person of town leper-dom.
I sighed and played absentmindedly with the hem of my shirt as we drove out to one of the La Push beaches. It was late June, still chilly for swimming, but when Edward realized I hadn't been there yet, he insisted on making a Sunday picnic of it.
He was such a sap.
And I loved it, damn me. Even if I didn't like beaches. Or cold ones, at least.
I was getting off track.
After… everything… the day in my house, and deciding we would get an apartment and move into together, and after finally, finally looking to the future and our lives together (our lives, together—the thought made me go all warm inside) I was still stuck on one little thing.
It hadn't seemed as important the past few months. That was all. That talk I was going to have with Edward kind of paled in comparison to his mom, and everyone hating him, and just the suffocating whirlwind of everything else.
But now that things were settling, I had just been putting it off. It didn't matter, not really, not in the long run.
Who was I kidding? Of course it wouldn't matter, but I was afraid. I was afraid of asking the love of my life if he had been a virgin before he had sex with me.
I was pathetic. The Best Communicator in a Romantic Relationship Award goes to Bella Swan never. We had talked about so much. So much. Esme lying on that hospital bed, and Carlisle being an awful dad, and Edward's teeny tiny problem with masochism.
But I couldn't ask him a simple question.
Scratch that. Until today. Today was totally the day.
I smiled over at him as we parked. The sky was blue—or rather, the sky was actually out with the sun, and it was blue. I had almost forgotten. In all honesty, that wasn't the part I was noticing. Edward's lips quirking up, his eyes shining a little in the sun, and the way he rubbed his stubbly beard tiredly was what truly caught my attention.
He reached for my hand and kissed it like the romantic he was, and I melted a little into my seat. I wondered if he'd be opposed to going in the backseat instead of having a picnic… That brought me back to my dilemma though, and my smile tightened, just a bit.
Edward, of course, noticed. Maybe I had been spending too much time with him, and he could read my poker faces now. That or I was just utterly readable, as plain as a book. Probably the latter.
"Bella," he said. His voice was teasing and chastising—just the way I hated and loved it. "What's going on with you lately?"
"Nothing," I denied. I was a coward. A big, sad coward.
He smiled, that little half-smile that did unspeakable things to me, and rubbed my hand between his. "Is this about the apartment?" He sighed. "Because you agreed—"
"No," I said, much more fiercely. Apartment schmartment, Edward, I wanted to scream. "It's not about that." I nibbled on my lower lip, and Edward stared at me, as if just the pressure of his emerald, relentless eyes could undo me.
Oh, wait. It could.
I sighed. Moment of truth. Literally. "It's just—I was a virgin, when we…"
I looked at my lap. This cowardly stuff had to stop.
Painfully aware of the silence from his end, I continued. "Were you?" I murmured.
I waited for him to tell me he had gotten busy with the entire cheerleading squad during crazy drunken parties with Emmett. I was sure of it. I was so sure. He totally did. Edward had been a manslut. By extension, I had sex with Lauren Mallory, just like he did. Oh my god, Lauren Mallory. I wanted to vomit.
Instead, he laughed. He laughed at me, and I snapped my eyes up to look at him, bewildered and angry and ready to slap him. That had taken a lot out of me to ask! And he laughed. Not a joke, Cullen!
"Oh Bella," he chuckled, shaking his head. He leaned in, still smiling, even though I was glaring daggers at him with my eyes. Sharp, pointy daggers. He kissed me anyway, sweetly, softly, but it didn't affect me. Nope, I was Teflon.
Actually, I was a marshmallow and gasped softly against his mouth. His breath kissed my parted lips, his own pressed to mine. For just a moment. Just one.
And then he retreated. God dammit, Edward Cullen.
"Bella, I was a virgin too," he said patiently, smirking as if this was amusing.
I knew it. He had sex with Lauren Mallory, and now—oh.
"Really?" I asked hopefully, my shoulders dropping with a relieved exhale.
"I promise. Can I show you the beach now?"
Oh thank god.