"For My Valentine"

A Twilight Love Story Contest

Title: Sweetheart of the Rodeo

Rating: M

Pairing: E/B, R/E, A/J

Vampire or Human: Human

For more information please see contest details on manyafandom or isabel0329's profiles.

Bella POV

"Good evening ladies and gentlemen, cowboys and cowgirls. Welcome to the Tampa Invitational. You'll be seeing the best that Professional Bull Riding has to offer. The top bulls and riders in the sport are here with us tonight. These athletes will be looking for that next great ride, the next step towards World Finals in Las Vegas. Let's hear it, Tampa, let's raise the roof for the top moneymaking and highest ranking bull riders in the world. The cowboys of the PBR!"

This announcement, no matter how many times or in how many variations I hear it: always thrills me. The PBR is back in Florida. Yee Haw! Oh, how I love me some cowboys.

Growing up just outside of Oklahoma City, I was surrounded by the cowboy way of life. Hard work, good friends and rowdy fun. That's it in a nutshell. Whether you applied those principles to farming & ranching, everyday life, or rodeo didn't make a difference. I respected the people who could live that lifestyle; respected them immensely.

Barrel Racing; that's what girls in rodeo generally get trained for first. Most girls are small enough not to be a burden on the horse, and usually agile enough to steer gracefully around the course. That's what I trained for, and failed at miserably. I was an awkward teenager. A few friends and a loving family I had: a career in rodeo; no matter how badly I wanted it, I did not.

That brings me here, to Tampa, Florida. Standing with my two best friends in the VIP section of the St. Pete Times Forum, watching as some of the people I admire most in the world are introduced to an adoring crowd. Quite a few of the bull riders in the arena tonight are friends of ours. Some of them are more than friends.

We're what some classy people might call a "Sweethearts of the Rodeo", and what some not-so-classy people call "Buckle Bunnies". Kind of like rodeo groupies. I really hate the connotation of the term because some would assume my girls and I are tramps, and we're not. There are some women out there who'll sleep with anything wearing boots and a buckle, that's not our style. We've dated some of the riders. Dated meaning when they're in town, or when we go to see competitions out of town, we spend our time together. We don't date more than one cowboy on the circuit at a time. They're like a traveling band of brothers, and that would just be rude. It's a choice we make, we know the guys date other "sweethearts" whenever we haven't made plans with them, and that's just fine.

We generally try to make it to at least a third of the competitions. Any time they're in Florida or Georgia we drive to the venue. We fly to some of the other shows in the southeastern area. And we always attend National Finals in Vegas.

"Hey, Bella, I don't see Tyler, Eric or Mike listed in the draws for tonight. I can't believe they didn't call to let us know they weren't making the trip this week." My friend Alice was still bummed that we hadn't heard from our current sweethearts. They travel together, and I guess they decided to sit this one out. We knew for sure they'd be in Tallahassee next weekend and had made plans to meet them there already. Tonight was supposed to be a surprise for them. Guess the surprise was on us.

"Its fine, Alice, you know how they are; out of sight, out of mind. That's why we don't get serious with them. But you're right: a phone call would've been nice." I agreed.

"Would have been nice, my ass, they should have called. Even if they weren't competing this weekend, it's our home town; they could have come in for a visit while they rested." Rosalie was a little more animated about her disappointment.

"Ladies, I'm just as bothered as you are, I would have loved to have seen Mike this weekend. But the fact is they're not here. They're fun to hang out with but we don't own them, and they don't own us. We'll just have a fun 'girls' night at the rodeo' tonight then go dancing. How 'bout that?" I tried to turn their frowns upside down but it wasn't working. It had been almost a month since we'd seen the guys. We could have dated other people in the mean time, but we were all hooked solidly on cowboys, and Tampa wasn't really a rodeo breeding ground.

"Ok, fine, some grade-A bucking action now, then line dancing later with the hottest local cowboy wannabe I can find. I'm game, but I am so not the designated driver tonight." Rosalie finally agreed, adjusting her hot pink cowboy hat.

"That's fine, I'll be the grown up tonight. You two can drown your sorrows and I'll get us all home in one piece. How's that sound?" I tried to make the offer sound more appealing to Alice. I hated to see her happy-go-lucky personality so deflated.

Watching my relationship with James two years ago, I had hoped, would teach my friends not to get too emotionally involved with the riders. I broke my own rule, one I had made many years before. My first love, Edward, left me for the "mistress" known as the rodeo. When you fall in love with a traveling cowboy it can be an exciting thing, but there are a million ways for him to break your heart. James chose one called Victoria to break mine for a second time.

"Alright. Sounds like a plan. The club should be hopping since the real cowboys are in town. Maybe we can wrangle a few of them to come play with us tonight. Then we won't have to settle for the amateurs. I bet J.B, Kasey and Kody wouldn't mind a little Tampa line dance action. Those guys are always up for something fun." Alice was brilliant. The married and happily attached guys were a lot of fun to just hang out with since no one was making the moves on anyone. Some of the wives and girlfriends traveled with the guys, so we could end up with quite a party before the night was over.

We snaked our way around behind the pens where the bulls would make their grand entrance. We were missing the end of the live introductions, but that was ok, we were trying to get to where the guys would exit the floor so we could find our friends and invite them out afterwards. Then we'd find our seats and watch the show. Having friends at the arena was a blessing, we just waived our flashy VIP lanyards and we had full access.

Reaching the staging area just as they were coming out of the spotlight, we were almost trampled to death by 45 beautiful, rugged men. Not a bad way to go, if you ask me. It only took a second for the guys to recognize us, and the greetings started. A few of the ones who had drawn the first few rides took off with just a quick "hi" and a hug. Some of the ones we didn't know as well, most of the newer riders, headed to man the fences and shout support for whichever brother was on the bull.

This was my element. I had grown up lanky and graceless, but here, I was relaxed, playful and confident. These were my people, almost like a traveling, extended family. It was nice to be back in the fold. The guys only had a minute or two before they had to get out to the arena floor and prepare for their rides, so we made an overall invitation for everyone to join us at the only local country bar/dance club in the area.

"Hey Swan, looks like Mike left you without a dance partner for tonight. You can borrow me if you like." Shane was a sweetheart. Just a dance partner, I knew he would be a gentleman and not push for more.

I started to take him up on his offer when I heard the voice I had hoped to avoid tonight.

"Bella, Bella, Bella." James' voice gritted on my nerves and sent unwelcome shivers down my spine. "Nobody's sweetheart tonight, eh? Mikey through with you too?" James leaned in from the blind spot on my left and whispered in my ear on his way past. He cheated on me, he left me, and he had no right to taunt me. Yet here he was, being a jackass. I couldn't stop the angry, hurt shake that my body started doing at his words. That and the look on my face was enough for the rest of the guys to figure he'd said something inappropriate and they started to form a tight crowd around me and the girls.

"Hey Rookie, you just keep on walking. There's no need for any ugliness tonight." I loved it when they called him rookie, even though this was his third year on the circuit.

James ranked well enough every year to barely stay in the running for Vegas, but never high enough to really challenge the leaders. They got along well enough during the season, but when he started taking shots at me, they rallied like the brotherhood they professed to be. Only they were my brothers, not his.

"Yeah, you little cretin, just run along. I hope you get stomped on tonight!" Rosalie hollered at him as Alice started rubbing my arm to calm me. There were a few stifled giggles from the guys and that just made James' face redder with anger.

From behind I could feel a strong arm reach around my middle and pull me into a protective embrace. James shot a disgusted look our way. Deciding to drop it rather than cause a bigger fuss, he spun and marched off towards the action that was beginning in the arena. I turned to thank the unknown cowboy for offering such a show of support, and was greeted by two of the softest, greenest eyes I'd ever seen. Eyes that were as familiar to me as my own name, but never thought I'd see again.

"Are you ok?" He asked, genuinely concerned. All I could do was nod my head and stare into those amazing eyes. In a matter of seconds I was seventeen again, on my parent's ranch in Oklahoma City, and head-over-heels in love with Edward Cullen.

"I'm sorry he upset you. I don't think it'll happen again any time soon, though. He may be an arrogant son-of-a-bitch, but he's not completely stupid." Edward just smiled a simple, comforting smile and readjusted my hat so he could see my face better. "Sorry, Proctor, I'm afraid this Sweetheart's been spoken for this evening." He said for the crowd to hear. Into my ear he whispered, "I always did love dancing with you, Bella." If he hadn't been holding me around the waist, I would have fallen flat on the floor.

"Ahem… Bella, is there someone you'd like to introduce us to?" Rosalie stood with her arms folded across her chest, tapping her foot like an impatient schoolgirl. Alice was staring at Edward and I like we were her favorite new toys.

"Rosalie, Alice, this is Edward Cullen, we grew up together. Edward, these are my two best friends, Rosalie Hale and Alice Brandon." The introductions were quick, but before any further discussion could happen, two more riders came up behind Edward, laughing and pushing at each other like little boys. They bumped into Edward not realizing he was holding on to me.

"Whoa, watch it you fools! Act like you two have some God-given sense. We're in the presence of ladies." Edward sniped at them, obviously not angry with them, but wanting to make the point that they needed to settle down.

The rest of the crowd started saying goodbye and heading to the fences on the sides of the arena floor, preparing for their rides. I knew Edward would have to go in a minute too, but he still hadn't let go of my waist, and I was in no hurry to let go of him.

"So, Edward, you and Bella grew up together, that's great. Who are your friends here?" Rosalie asked, again with the tapping, but this time she was staring directly at the taller of the two cowboys who'd run up into Edward. Alice seemed to be equally interested in the other rider who'd joined us.

"Ladies, this lug here is Emmett McCarty, we call him 'Daisy'," Emmett whacked Edward with his hat and grumbled at his introduction, but his eyes never left Rosalie for a second. "And this gentleman cowboy is Jasper Whitlock. Guys, this is an old friend of mine, Bella Swan, and her friends, Rosalie and Alice."

Jasper looked and nodded hello's to Rosalie and I, but saved Alice for last. He reached for her hand. "It sure is nice to meet you ladies." He said. Staring right into Alice's eyes, he kissed the back of her hand. Oh, Lord. I swear I heard her heart swoon and attach itself to Jasper's.

"Some of my friends call me Rose, Emmett, why do they call you 'Daisy'? You certainly don't look like a daisy to me." Rosalie sauntered up to Emmett: clearly she had chosen her dance partner for this evening as well.

"Well, Miss, not to be boastful, but I'm aiming to be Rookie of the Year this year. Daisy sponsors the title." He actually appeared to blush a little as he added, "I don't know much about flowers, but I've never seen a rose as pretty as you." And there went the other one. He had Rosalie tied up lock-stock-and-barrel without even breaking a sweat. I was impressed.

"I know you have to go, but you have to tell me how you ended up here. I thought I knew all the riders on the Built Ford Tough Series." I looked back at Edward.

"We were on the Copenhagen circuit. I guess we all just got lucky with our draws 'cause we all three made the cuts." The Copenhagen Challenger Series was to bull riding what the minor leagues were to baseball. During the season, riders would fall in championship rankings and the cream of the Copenhagen crop would take their places.

I could feel myself swell with pride that Edward had done so well. Unfortunately, that's what had taken him from me nine years ago. I knew it was a bad idea, but I couldn't stop myself from remembering all the times I used to watch him ride. He was incredible. He was intuitive and strong, and very focused. He had been the same way with me, very attentive and sweet: always a gentleman. He had loved me back then, I never doubted him, but he'd loved the rodeo more.

"We'll have to catch up after the show; we need to get out there." Edward said the words, but made no effort to take his arm from around me. Emmett and Jasper didn't look inclined to make the first move either.

As much as I hated to do it, I stepped away from Edward, pulling Alice and Rosalie with me. "Good luck tonight. Our seats are just above the fence on the left side of the shute, so we'll get a great view of your rides. We'll be waiting here when you boys are all done. "

Walking away, I could feel a heavy stare from behind me. In a move neither planned nor rehearsed, Alice, Rosalie and I all turned to look back at the same time to see three very handsome cowboys watching us walk away.

The bulls that night were in top form, as you'd expect at this level of competition. Which meant that the riders had to be in top form as well. We were not disappointed. The rides were explosive and fun to watch. Not everyone hit their 8, but they all gave 100% and that's a good night's entertainment.

Edward, Jasper, and Emmett all covered their rides and made respectable scores. They weren't in the top of the ranks yet, but this was February, they had until October to improve. They each made a motion to where we were sitting after their rides. Emmett bowed as Rosalie jumped up and down and clapped. Edward just smiled his "I can't wait to get my hands on you again" smile that I remembered so well as he tipped his hat to me. I didn't even attempt to stand since my insides were completely melted into lustful goo.

Jasper however, made a grand gesture, noticing Alice was the only one of us without a hat. He climbed the fence after his ride and plopped his hat down on her head, with roaring applause from the spectators. Alice never, ever, wore a hat, she would never let anything compress her carefully coiffed do, so this was a major coup for Jasper, even though he didn't know it.

During the competition, when we weren't actively screaming for a friend during their ride, we were doing what you would expect three grown, intelligent women to be doing after meeting up with three gorgeous cowboys. We were squealing and chattering like teeny boppers at a boy band concert.

I briefly filled Alice and Rosalie in on my history with Edward. I only mentioned that we grew up in neighboring ranches and used to date. I didn't feel the need to explain exactly how deeply I felt for him and how he left me crushed when the rodeo called him away and I couldn't go with him. We all agreed to have fun with the guys, but reminded each other about the "don't get serious with a traveling cowboy" mantra. I knew it was all a waste of breath, we were all obviously hooked. I just hoped that we wouldn't pay too high a price when their "mistress" called again.

At the end of the event, we went back to the spot where we agreed to meet: all three guys were already there. That's a first. Cowboys have a tendency to take as long as women to get ready to go out, especially if they've just been on a bull. They're prissy creatures, rodeo cowboys, it's a little known fact to the outside world. They can be tough as nails, but they have their moments of vanity.

"Well, now, aren't we anxious? I don't think I've ever seen cowboys get cleaned up and ready to go out so fast." I said as we reached them. They were leaning against the bullpens grinning. Alice went straight to Jasper and thanked him with a kiss on the cheek for the hat. Rosalie just gushed to Emmett about what an exciting ride he had.

"Anxious is a good word for it." Edward said as he picked me up and swung me around. I couldn't help but giggle. He used to do that whenever we greeted each other back home. I was so tiny then: he would just swing me around until I was dizzy and laughing hysterically. I wouldn't have liked it at all from anyone else, but in Edward's arms I felt safe.

Alice and Rosalie had heard me laugh before, but I think the joyous sound I made when Edward swung me around surprised them. The both turned to look at me with wide eyes.

"Bella, what on earth was that? Did you just giggle?" Alice had a knowing looking in her eye as she asked.

"I used to spin her until she got so dizzy she couldn't stand up, and laughed until she had tears running down her face. I know she's all grown up now, but I couldn't help myself." Edward answered for me before I could catch my breath. He looked at me and added, "I hope you don't mind, I'm sorry, I didn't even think, I just yanked you up."

"It's fine, baby, don't worry. It was fun." The words slipped out before I could think about what I said. I hadn't called Edward "baby" in nine years, and now it just fell out like I'd said it every day of my life. I felt the red rush to my cheeks and the heat flow through my whole body. Four pairs of questioning eyes looked from me to Edward.

He tightened his arm around my waist and hugged me to him. I whispered, "Sorry, that just kind of fell out. I think all the swinging rattled my brain," into his chest.

He lifted my blushing face so that I was looking into his eyes. "Don't be sorry, love, I've missed hearing it." Love: I'd missed being called that. There was no denying the depth of emotion in our faces as looked at each other. We had loved each other, and missed each other, and everyone knew it.

Emmett broke the silence with a not-so-discreet clearing of his throat, and suggested we get on our way to the club before there was no parking left. Jasper offered Alice his arm, like a true gentleman. Emmett, not wanting to be outclassed, did the same for Rosalie. Edward took my hand.

The dance club was completely packed, as we'd expected. Even so, we all had a great time. Talking, dancing, drinking, and dancing some more. All three guys were fantastic dancers, accomplished cowboys generally were. That was part of the talent: hook into a 2000lb bucking beast for 8 seconds, then an hour later, gracefully two-step a lady around the dance floor. Like I said, I do love me some cowboys.

The discussions were mini fact finding missions for everyone. Where had we all come from, what kind of families did we have, what our jobs were, how long had we been involved in rodeo. Towards the end of the night, with the bar starting to announce last calls and the dance floor starting to empty, the discussion took a more personal turn. We started gingerly addressing the topic of relationships. The guys all professed to be single, although we all knew that "single" could mean they were dating a "sweetheart" in another town and just not be exclusive, but it just wasn't polite to come right out and ask.

That was the moment of realization for the three of us girls. We had made plans with Mike, Tyler and Eric for the following weekend in Tallahassee. None of us felt overly thrilled to keep those plans now, but how could we back out without making it clear we were choosing Edward, Jasper and Emmett over them. That just wasn't the way we did things. We huddled together the best we could from our spots around the table to try to come up with something.

Apparently intoxicated whispering is very much like speaking at regular voice level, because the guys heard every word of what we said and decided to try to help us gracefully escape our prior engagement.

"How much do you all like these guys?" Edward asked, careful not to look at me when he asked. "Do you want to continue seeing them, or would you be open to… alternatives?" He was trying to be coy. He was never good at coy. Edward's more of a say-what-you-mean kind of guy.

"We like them, we don't want to hurt them, but we're definitely… definitely, open to alternatives." Rosalie snuggled up to Emmett's side to punctuate her statement. Emmett's arm, already around her waist, tightened as he smiled down at her. Alice, still wearing Jasper's hat, was planted firmly on his lap and appeared to have no intention of leaving it. She just nodded in agreement. Edward looked at me last, almost worried, like he thought I would decline his offer. He must have seen my answer in my eyes, because before I could say anything, he let out a long, relieved sigh and let loose a smile that took my breath away. Suddenly speaking wasn't an option, so I just nodded as well.

"I'll be right back." He said, as he practically jumped up from the table and walked to the front door. Where in the world was he going?

I watched the front door for about 10 minutes, waiting for Edward to come back in. I could see him standing just outside with his cell phone. Who could he be calling at almost 2am? Finally he came back in, grinning like he'd just had a 90 point ride.

"Gentlemen, it appears that these lovely ladies will be unescorted next weekend in Tallahassee. I think that's a shame, what do you think we should do about it?" Edward addressed his friends, and my mouth just dropped. How had he done that? He must have been talking to Mike, Eric or Tyler on the phone, but what had he said to them to make them back out of our plans? I should have been upset that they broke our dates without calling us, but I had a feeling Edward made it clear he'd let us know. I couldn't bring myself to feel anything but elated.

"Rosalie, would you accompany me after the event next weekend?" Emmett asked first. She leaned in and kissed him hard on the mouth. I think it shocked him because he barely responded. She looked disappointed until he tipped her halfway off the bench they were sitting on with a kiss that would have made any woman's toes curl. I guess he had his answer.

Jasper looked into Alice's eyes and softly started to ask, "Alice…," but before he could finish she softly answered back, "Yes. To anything you ask, yes." He raised his hand to her face and gently touched one cheek as he kissed the other. Alice just closed her eyes and smiled contently.

Edward came around to where I was sitting and reached out his hand to me. "One last dance before they kick us out?" He asked. I took his hand and let him lead me to the dance floor. The music changed to a slow dance and the DJ announced the bar would be closing after the song was finished.

Some weird cowboy magic must have been at work, because the last song of the evening was the first song Edward and I ever danced to. It was like the music was walking us down memory lane. Who were we to argue? While Edward held me and moved us around the floor, we talked about that first dance, about his first rodeo, and lying in the sun in the back thirty of my parents' ranch, dreaming about traveling the world together.

It should have been bittersweet, considering we'd spent the last nine years apart, but it was just sweet. Sweet because he was here now, and he was holding me, and it felt right. The pain could all come crashing down around me, and probably would, but I didn't want to think about that now. It was foolish, but I wanted this time with Edward to be unspoiled by what was sure to come. He would leave me again.

"So, Bella love, would you like to spend every moment that I'm not being tossed around by livestock with me next weekend?" He finally asked as the dance was ending. Edward sure did have a way with words.

"I'd love to. We're actually planning on being there for Saturday and Sunday events next weekend, so we'll be getting hotel rooms in town. I don't believe I'd be overstepping any bounds for Alice or Rosalie if I invited you three to stay with us instead of the hotel where the rest of the guys are staying. That is, if you can assure me that you will all behave like gentlemen, unless asked to behave otherwise." I knew my friends well enough to know they wouldn't mind having the guys stay with us, and would probably be encouraging less-than-gentlemanly behavior.

We started walking off the dance floor when the song ended, but hadn't reached our table yet, when Edward stopped me and turned me to face him. The look on his face was serious, and something else. Hopeful? "Bella, you and I both know what's going to happen if I stay with you in a hotel room next weekend. I will be a perfect gentleman, but at some point during the night we're going to finish what we started all those years ago in my daddy's barn. Are you sure you still want to make that invitation?"

While he was talking he'd slipped one had around my waist and started to pull me to him, the other had was cradling my face. All I could manage to say, with shallow breaths and an uncontrollable aching to have him closer, was "Edward, please. Stay with me." I closed my eyes just as his lips met mine.

His kiss started out soft, and sweet. Almost reverent. Slight pressure, but mostly just caressing. Sharing. Then I felt his warm tongue test itself on my bottom lip. I wanted him. I wanted him to claim me once and for all right here in the middle of a country bar. I settled for the best kiss I'd had in nine years. When I opened my mouth to him the kiss turned from soft and sweet to urgent and lustful. I remembered being with him in the barn, laying on a sheet with his hands on me, making me feel things I'd never felt before. I'd been too shy to go any farther with him back then, but things were different now. I responded to his kiss with a need I'd forgotten I had, a need I'd been denying. My heart and my body needed Edward.

We broke apart to the sounds of whistles and clapping coming from the people we thought were our friends. I couldn't help the blush creeping back up to my face, not from the kiss, but at the scores they had written on the napkins and were holding up to us. They'd given Edward the score for the bull, and me the score for the rider. That might come in handy next weekend. I laughed to myself, feeling my face getting warmer.

It was quarter after two now, and the club was trying to close. The temptation to ask them back to our apartment was almost overwhelming. Surprisingly, Rosalie made the decision for all of us.

"Well, it was very, very nice to meet you all, but we have work in a few hours, and I'm sure you need your hard earned rest." She stood up and pulled Emmett towards the door. Alice, Jasper, Edward and I followed in pairs. As we walked to the parking lot, we all exchanged phone numbers and made promises to call during the week. I explained that I'd invited the guys to stay the following weekend with us at the hotel and, as I'd expected, everyone was thrilled.

Edward gently kissed my lips, my chin, and then the side of my neck. "Until next weekend, love." He whispered into my ear before he got into the truck with Jasper and Emmett. This was going to be the longest week of my life.

Edward POV

Bella Swan. I nearly had a heart attack when I walked out of the arena spotlight and saw her standing in the middle of my new family. How in the world could a damn fool of a man like me get this lucky twice in his life? My heart skipped a few beats and I was suddenly scared to death.

I'd left her. Left her crying on a ranch in Oklahoma City. The pain of that decision had lived with me for nine years. I could sometimes drown it out with the roar of the crowd and the excitement of the ride. I could sometimes forget for just a while, and enjoy the warmth of another woman in my arms. But none of that was enough to keep it away for long, the pain, and that memory, always found me again.

As I walked closer, I watched her invite everyone out dancing, and heard one of the guys ask to be her partner for the night. I had no right to be jealous, but I was. Then I heard an unpleasant voice directed at her. Her eyes shifted and the happy look on her pretty face was replaced with one of hurt and anger. What the hell? I looked where her gaze shifted, at who had made her react like that.

James. Of course. He was a hothead and we'd had our fair share of run-ins during our time in the challenger series. It usually started with him opening his mouth, and me closing it. I wasn't being boastful, it was just a fact. After a while he learned to stay away from me whenever he felt the need to shoot off steam. As long as things stayed professional, we got along just fine.

But this was not professional, and whatever he'd said to Bella had just earned him one mighty fine ass kickin' when the night was over. First things first, though. I stepped up behind her and put my arm in it's favorite place in the world, around her waist, and pulled her to me. The feeling of her so close to me again nearly drove the pissed off look away from my face, but I had to deal with James before I could focus on my feelings.

As soon as he saw me holding her, he stepped back. Giving a defeated, disgusted groan he ran off like a spoiled little boy. He did have some sense of self preservation after all. I tried to prepare myself for whatever Bella was going to say when she saw me, hoping she wouldn't object to my interference. As she turned, I asked her if she was alright. Then she looked in my eyes and the last nine years simply stripped themselves away.

The rest of the night was like a blur. The only clear spots were times when Bella was near me, talking to me, or touching me. I knew the other riders Bella and her friends usually spent time with, and I knew about the casual relationships those guys had with a lot of the women along the circuit. Once I had the go-ahead from the girls, it wasn't nearly as hard to convince Mike and his buddies to find other dates for the rest of the season as it should have been. They were a bunch of fools to agree, but I kept that opinion to myself.

I hadn't told Bella yet, but her social calendar was free until October, it was only the first week of February. I planned on filling in the time making her understand how sorry I was for ever leaving her.

I 'bout damn near swallowed my tongue when she offered to share the hotel room with me next weekend. The gentleman my mother raised would never have agreed, but the man Bella brought out in me won over. I had to fight the urge to whisk her out of the bar and back to her bedroom right then. I did the next best thing.

Kissing Bella was always one of my favorite things in the world. Tonight's kiss was like a welcome home. I felt love and forgiveness when our lips met. Not to mention a burning desire to hear her moaning my name while I did things to her that the gentleman my mother raised would definitely not approve of.

Bella asked me to stay with her. I hope she meant forever, because that's exactly what I intended to do.

Public appearances, television interviews, radio shows, endorsement photo shoots, they all sound glamorous until you have to do them non-stop for four days. By the time Friday rolled around, and I had a free day before the weekend events, I was so worn out that all I wanted to do was nothing.

Bella and I had been calling and sending text messages to each other all week. I swear I felt like a kid again. My heart raced and my palms actually got sweaty from just hearing her voice. Our morning conversations were really just "Good morning, have a great day." Short and to the point. But our evening conversations were longer and more intimate. We filled in all the blanks for the time we'd been apart, talking about her college and my rodeo experiences, along with all the other important events of the last nine years. By Saturday at lunchtime, we were up to speed on just about everything that mattered.

"Daisy, I swear by all that's holy if you don't put your foot on the gas, mine is going up your ass" Emmett picked our lunch date with the girls to get back at Jasper for calling him "Daisy" during an interview about his attempt to be Rookie of the Year. The reporters wouldn't let it drop: even publishing the interview with the headline "Daisy Does Tallahassee?" It was funny as hell, so of course I laughed. Now we were all paying the price. We tried to remind him that going slow was keeping him from Rosalie just as much as it was keeping us from our dates, but he wasn't budging. He was, however, enjoying our misery. He said he'd make it up to Rosalie at the hotel tonight. I called Bella to apologize and let her know we were on our way.

When we finally reached the restaurant, 30 minutes late, the girls were all trying to be gracious. "We were worried for a while there. Was there something wrong with the truck?" Alice was the first to bring up our being late.

"No, the truck ran just fine, the driver, however, is a little slow." Jasper replied; ducking as Emmett took a playful, or maybe not so playful, swing at him.

"What does he mean, Emmett?" Rosalie asked. Jasper and I grinned at him, knowing he hadn't thought completely through how he would handle Rosalie's question.

"I was trying to get Jasper and Edward back for embarrassing me in front of the reporters the other day. I knew they were in a hurry to get here, so I went slowly to make them crazy." Emmett explained about the interview and how the final article came out. The more Emmett spoke, the bigger the hole was digging himself into was getting. All Jasper and I could do was cringe when Rosalie glared at him.

"You mean you three were out there acting like twelve year olds, making me and my friends wait for you? Like we don't have anything better to do than just sit here while you lollygag around Tallahassee? And what about you, 'Daisy,', weren't you in a hurry to get here, too? Or were you so concerned with their little tease that you forgot all about me sitting here waiting for you?" I had to hide my face in Bella's shoulder to avoid laughing out loud at Emmett's predicament. Jasper looked like he was about to burst.

Poor Emmett looked like he'd been hit by a Mack truck. Damn if Rosalie hadn't turned our tough cowboy into a sniveling little boy, he looked like he was gonna cry.

"But, Rosie…" He started before she cut him off.

"No, Emmett, you need to apologize to Alice and Bella for making them sit here while you tortured Jasper and Edward." Then she turned on Jasper and I with the same glare she'd given Emmett. "And as for you two, if you want to act like children and call names, fine, do it on your own time. Rookie of the Year is important and I would like to think that if you're really Emmett's friends you would be doing everything you could to support him, not tease him when he's trying to make a name for himself. You two owe him an apology, too." Well, hell.

With the apologies out of the way, we laughed off the morning and talked about plans for the rest of the weekend. "We won't bother you guys before the show tonight." Bella was saying, "we'll just meet up with you all afterwards and you can follow us to the hotel." I couldn't help but notice a little bit of a blush creep onto her beautiful face when she mentioned the hotel. I'm glad she was getting the same visual I was at the thought of what tonight would mean for us. Just the thought of it made it necessary to "make adjustments" in my jeans. I never thought I'd have a chance with her again, yet in just a few hours she'd be in my arms.

We left lunch, with polite kisses and good luck wishes from our girls. The night, however, didn't go exactly as planned.

"What day is it? How many fingers am I holding up?" All I could see was the bright light of someone's tiny flashlight and lots of dark blurs crowding around my head. I was lying down, I think, and everyone seemed to be hovering above me. Someone was asking me questions I should know the answers to, but for some reason I couldn't remember what day it was. I did, however, see two fingers.

"Two fingers and I think today is Saturday. What happened?" Holy SHIT my head hurt. I shouldn't have tried to speak, because every time I opened my mouth my brain screamed at me.

"Wow, Edward, we thought you'd be out for a while. You've got great recovery time, buddy." I could hear someone in the crowd of dark blurs speaking, but couldn't tell who it was.

"He just doesn't want to miss out on his date tonight, that's all. His Sweetheart is mighty powerful motivation if you ask me." Came another voice, this time I recognized it. Emmett. Date tonight. Bella! Then the events of the last few minutes came back in a blindingly painful rush. That damn bull bucked me off and head butted me nearly into next week! He must have knocked me out cold. Once the memories returned, the pain started to spread. It wasn't just my head that hurt. My whole body felt like I'd been stomped on.

"Why do I feel like this, obviously I got bucked, did he get me after I was down?" Turns out that's exactly what happened. After I got myself good and whacked, the bull proceeded to tenderize me for good measure. Damn, bull.

Damn myself for not being able to hold on. Eight seconds, that's all I needed. Eight seconds and I was on my way to Bella. It was my own fault, I wasn't focused on the ride, and it cost me. Now, I'll be lucky if I can stand up on my own. Guess it's time to find out.

"Back off, guys, I need to try to sit up, and please, get that light out of my eyes." I sat up, and considered the effort it would take to stand when I heard Bella's worried call somewhere near.

"Edward, are you ok, baby, are you alright?" The guys were making a way for her to get through, thank goodness they all knew her, and bless that VIP badge, otherwise she wouldn't have been allowed back here.

"I'm fine, love, just gonna try standing, wanna give me a hand?" I tried to sound OK, but every word hurt like the devil. I could see there were tears on her cheeks, I hated that I'd scared her. With Bella on one side and Emmett on the other I managed to get fully upright. Unfortunately, staying that way wasn't an option. As soon as Emmett let go, I nearly took Bella down. She wasn't strong enough to hold all my weight and my legs weren't quite up to the task just yet. I could still feel everything, but it would take a day or two before I could get around on my own. Damn, bull.

The obligatory trip to the emergency room to make sure there was no concussion or broken bones led to me being admitted for overnight observation. I couldn't even lay around in pain with Bella in the hotel room. Damn, bull.

"Ok, so, extra pillow, check. Full water bottles, check. TV remote, check. Magazines, word games, pencil, check. The bed angle is good, are you comfortable? Is there anything else I can get for you?" Bella was sitting in the chair next to my hospital bed. The nurse had braved the sea of cowboys and started kicking people out: she informed us we had twenty minutes until visiting hours were over for the night.

"I've got everything I need, thank you, love. I just can't believe I got bucked off that damn bull and I'm lying in a hospital bed instead of with you in a hotel bed. I swear I'd kick my own ass if I didn't hurt so badly." Bella smiled just a little, and then took my hand.

"Edward, I know this is an awful time to ask this, but I need to know. What's going to happen after you guys leave this weekend? It's silly, and school girlish, and naïve of me to expect you guys to not date anyone else, but I swear the idea of not being with you just breaks my heart. I don't want to pressure you, and if you don't feel the same way, I know you well enough to know you'll be honest with me. I just have to know where we stand, and what you want." She actually thought I could walk away from her again: I had obviously not made my intentions clear enough. I couldn't stand the look of doubt and sadness in her eyes.

"Bella love, come up here." I scooted over in the bed to make room for her. She crawled up and very lightly lay down next to me. "I'm going to have to go on the road, I'm going to have to leave you to do my job, but my heart will never be anywhere but where you are. Do you understand me? I have friends, and I'll have fun out there when the bulls aren't trying to turn me into ground meat. But from now on, I'll always come home to you. There will be no dating on the road, unless you're on the road with me. I love you, Bella, and I don't intend on giving you reason doubt me ever again."

She reached across me to put her soft hand on my face. She had tears starting in her eyes. "Oh, no you don't, this is a no crying zone. If I can get the shit stomped out of me and not cry, you don't get to cry just because I told you I loved you. Which, by the way, is something I thought I'd made clear already."

"First of all, it's a woman's prerogative to cry when the man she loves tell her he loves her back. And second of all, you can't just figure I already know something if you haven't told me. I'm not a mind reader." Bella was smiling and starting to sound a little smug. Now, we can't be having that, either. This night may not be how I planned it, but I could sure have just a little fun.

"You want me to tell you what I'm thinking, is that right? You want me to tell you what I want?" I asked, raising my eyebrows and slowly snaking my arm under and around her to hold her against me. Hell, that hurt, but it was gonna be worth it.

"Yep, I won't know if you don't tell me." Bella replied, but I think she had an idea what was coming.

"Bella," I said softly, as my free hand slid from her waist up her body. Slowly touching every part of the right side of her. Her ribs, her arm, her shoulder, then back down, brushing across her right nipple, which was already hard and pushing into her shirt. She sucked in a sharp breath, but her eyes never left mine. My hand settled back on her waist, and I continued, "I want to take every piece of clothing off you and touch you everywhere. I want to kiss every inch of your beautiful skin and suck on the soft places of your body until we can't stand it anymore. I want to watch you move under me while I make love to you, gentle and slow. I want you to moan my name and kiss me hard when what we've done together makes you lose control. I want to see that happiness in your eyes and know it's because we found each other."

Bella closed her eyes, licked her lips, and smiled. Holy shit. Hopefully she didn't notice a very sore "Cowboy Eddie" making his presence known under the sheet. That would be embarrassing, not to mention frustrating.

"Edward, I am so ready to jump your beautiful body right now, you have no idea. If you weren't so hurt I swear we'd be doing every one of things." She leaned in and kissed me. Hard, like she was trying to climb inside of me, and I wanted her that close. I kissed her back just as hard, with just as much force. It made my head hurt, but I wouldn't have broken that kiss for anything in the world.

Bella started to move, instinctively I think. Her leg started to slide over mine as she leaned deeper into the kiss. Just that slight pressure, the weight her leg pressing onto mine, made me wince. Damn, bull.

What was worse, though, was that she felt "Cowboy Eddie,", hard as a rock, against her thigh, and she broke the kiss. She also started blushing, now that was a sight I loved to see.

"Well, hello there. What do we have here?" She giggled. She very gently slid her hand under the sheet and started to reach for the very obvious object of her gaze. I all but choked on words I never imagined myself saying, but I had to stop her.

"Bella love, that is 'Cowboy Eddie' and he has been waiting for a very long time to meet you. But neither of us is in any position to greet you properly. So please, for the love of God, don't touch me there. Your hand on me right now just might make me forget how much pain I'm in. And I know I wouldn't be able to do you justice. I'm begging you not to do that to either of us." She blushed even redder and smiled as she pulled her hand back out. Then she winked at the rise in the sheet. Bella winked at my dick. God, I loved this woman.

"Ok, baby, no touching tonight, but I have a feeling me and 'Cowboy Eddie' are going to be good friends. And you two are going to make me one very happy woman." She said as she kissed me again, softer this time.

The nurse came in to let us know that visiting hours were over. She saw Bella on the bed with me and just started to shake her head and laugh. "Alright, you two. Enough of that. You'll have to pick up where you left off tomorrow when you can take him home."

"Speaking of picking up where we left off. Are you staying at a hotel or your house next weekend? The girls and I decided to make the trip out for the competition in Oklahoma City. It'll be Valentine's Day, so we can spend it all together. Plus it'll give me a chance to visit a little with everyone back home. I need to find out if we need hotel reservations, though, cause mom and daddy's house isn't big enough for us all to stay in. There's no way we're going to get Alice and Rosalie away from Jasper and Emmett for two nights while we're there." Bella's news thrilled me. It almost seemed too perfect that we would end up back in the very place I'd given my heart to her all those years ago. Back on my ranch.

"I'm staying at the ranch, with the boys, so you can all come and stay with us. There's plenty of room." Then I leaned in to whisper into her ear, "besides, then we can finish our introductions back where they started. I've spent so many nights dreaming of you and me in that barn."

Another blush. Bella was beautiful. I thanked God again for making me the luckiest fool on the planet. One last polite kiss in front of the nurse and Bella got up off the bed. She got her things together and walked to the door. Turning at the last second and blowing me a kiss, she said, "I'll come by to pick you up tomorrow, see you then. I love you, baby."

"I love you too, see you then." I replied, and then was gone.

Bella POV

Driving back to the hotel from the hospital I replayed the conversation Edward and had been having. He loved me, and wasn't going to leave me again. The tears he'd objected to finally started to fall. Happy tears, relieved tears. I couldn't wait for next weekend. Back home, back at his ranch, back in that barn. Most women would be offended at the idea of the man they loved taking them to a barn for their first time together, but it was perfect for me and Edward. We'd started loving each other on that ranch, in that barn. Now we'd have a chance to come full circle.

I worked like crazy during the next week, trying to get everything done so I could take an extra day on the weekend. If Edward and I were going to spend any quality time together, it would have to be on Friday, the only day he had free before the weekend's competitions. I could visit with friends and family in town on Saturday and Sunday mornings before the events.

Mom and dad wanted me to come and stay with them, but when I told them I'd be staying with Edward, they didn't object. My parent's loved Edward, even though they'd wanted to throttle him when he left me. They'd welcome him back with open arms as long as I was happy.

Alice, Rosalie and I flew into Oklahoma City first thing Friday morning. We were met at the airport by Jasper, Emmett and Edward. They might not have had the history Edward and I did, but both my friends and their chosen cowboys were headed in the direction of falling head over heels for each other. It was wonderful to be able to share this experience with them. It seemed to bring us all even closer.

I had to admit, I was a little jealous of them. They hadn't had a bull interrupt their plans last weekend. They'd all thoroughly enjoyed themselves and had no problem letting me know all about it. Damn, bull.

We all arrived at the Cullen's family ranch and the guys unloaded our things. Edward was still bruised, but most of the pain was gone and he was getting around really well. He apologized for having to go for a few minutes, but said he needed to go feed some of the animals. I offered to go with him. A cotton skirt and top weren't exactly ranch work clothes, but I'd rather spend time with him than protect myself from a little dirt.

"At least put some gloves and an apron on." Edward suggested on the way out the back door. I looked out at the ranch and it stole my breath away. I had forgotten how much I loved this place. How beautiful and peaceful it seemed.

It only took a little while to get all the animals fed that needed feeding right then. We actually took longer than necessary so we could wander around the ranch and Edward could show me all the upgrades and renovations he and his father had made. He was so proud of this place. At the end of our tour, we ended up, of course, at the barn.

"I hadn't intended on bringing you out here 'til later, but I guess I can show you what we've done to the place now." Edward said. I could see a faint pink on his cheeks when he mentioned "later,", but I let it go, mostly because I probably had the same color on my cheeks.

We walked in, hand in hand, and I couldn't believe my eyes. I had never seen a barn, this barn, so clean in all my life.

"Edward, what did you do, spit shine the barn? It's beautiful, but barns are supposed to be dirty and smelly. It's what makes them a barn." He just laughed as my eyes roved over the whole place. It was a huge building with equipment for the horses and other livestock in the front, small rooms for medical needs and birthing in the back, and a loft above us for storing hay and other food.

That loft. That was where Edward and I used to spend time talking, or hiding from his parents so he didn't have to do chores. It was also where I planned on spending a very long overdue night with Edward tonight. I looked away from the loft and focused on the very obvious new addition to the barn. A mechanical bull at the back end of the main room.

"When did you put that in?" I asked, walking over to the giant piece of machinery. I'd always wanted to ride a mechanical bull when I was younger, but I'd never been able to due to my heinous lack of coordination. It looked bigger than the ones I remembered at the fairs, this one looked like the size of an actual bull. Edward must have had it put in to practice on.

"It's been here for a couple of years. I use it to keep up my stamina when there are a few weeks off in a row. It's got a bunch of different settings. Forward, backward, up and down: with two speeds, that's for beginners. Then once you're good on that, you can flip the switch and you're bucking forward, backward, up down, left, right, and around again. There are two speeds for that one too." Edward sounded proud of his toy: I didn't ask him what level he was on.

I did, however, have the overwhelming urge to get on it. All the "up-and-down-and-forward-and-backward" had given me some naughty ideas for how I could have Edward "help" me with my lack of coordination.

"I want up, give me a boost, Edward." I thought he was going to choke when I asked him to put me on the bull. Clearly he hadn't considered that.

"Ok, but if you go up there, I'm going with you." Ok. Sounds good to me.

He put me on the bull then hiked himself up behind me. The remote for the controls was on a wire that reached him sitting on the bull. He set it on the first beginner setting and just hooked it under the seat to free his hands. Hands that he used to take mine. He placed all four of our hands on the grip as the bull rocked us back and forth and bucked just a little. This really was a beginner setting.

Luckily, it was accomplishing the two things I had hoped for. First of all, I was, technically, riding a mechanical bull, a wish I'd always had. Second, Edward was behind me, and we were gently rubbing against each other to the machine's slow rhythm. He was leaning against me so he could hold my hands onto the grip. I could hear his breathing start to get a little more labored than I would expect from any professional rodeo cowboy.

"You're doing great." He practically squeaked and couldn't help the smile that crept onto my face. I also couldn't help but notice that "Cowboy Eddie" was starting to say hello to my backside. Bingo.

"Edward, let go of my hands." I asked.

"No way, you'll fall off and break your neck." He laughed at me.

"Edward, would you let this bull hurt me? Would you really let me fall of this thing?" I had a point, and he knew it. There's no way he'd let me fall off. And that's what I was counting on, considering what I was going to do next.

He let go of my hands and I immediately reached up and back to put them around his neck, reaching my fingers up into the back of his hair. I tilted just enough so that I could turn my head and kiss under his chin. He let out a low growling sound as he said my name. Then he turned to kiss me square on the mouth. One of his hands went to my waist, and the other to my thigh, then started to slowly slide up the inside of it as he caressed my tongue with his. I could feel him getting harder by the second as the bull kept up it's rocking forward and backward, then a little buck.

Edward's legs clamp down on the sides of the bull since his hands were otherwise occupied: occupied in a way that was making me tremble. His fingers made their way under my skirt (which had already gotten hiked up since I wasn't riding a mechanical bull sidesaddle) and were teasing the edge of my panties. I wanted him to touch me so bad I just moaned into his kiss. "Touch me, Edward, please."

Less than a second later I cried out in pure joy as his fingers slid under my panties and found the warm part of me that had been aching for him. I was already wet and throbbing and needed so much more from him. I pressed myself back into "Cowboy Eddie" just as he slid two fingers inside me.

"Oh my God, Bella, love, I can't wait until tonight. I want you right now. The loft isn't ready, but we can make do. Please, I need you now." Edward was panting and pressing himself into the back of me. His fingers moving in and out of me with the same slow rhythm as the bucking of the bull. I was nearly out of my mind, but I had a plan. By God we were going to do this my way.

"Edward, baby, hold on to my waist. Remember you said you wouldn't let me fall. Just hold on to me. Ok?" I could barely make out the words, but I was determined.

"Bella, please, I can't take this, I need you." Edward was practically begging.

"Just hold me, I promise you won't regret it." A sound escaped him that was something akin to a whimper as his hand left the depth of my body and settle on my waist. I leaned forward just a bit and swung one leg over the front of the bull and turned. With a little lean here and there, I wiggled out of my panties and tossed them on the floor of the barn. Then I slid the other leg in front of me and to the other side. With Edward holding me on the still moving bull, I had just turned around and was facing him. The look on his face was priceless. Like he'd just won a giant toy at the county fair. I loved that look.

Luckily for me, Edward wasn't one of those cowboys who wore "painted on" jeans. Not that seeing his amazing backside in tight jeans wouldn't have been nice, but he just wasn't like that. He wanted comfort. This morning, his comfort led to easy access. I was thanking God for loose fitting jeans and unbuttoning when he took one hand from my waist to hold my hands still.

"Bella, I'm only going to ask you this once, 'cause I'll be damned if I'll have the willpower to stop you again. Are you sure you want to do this here, like this?" The look for pure desire in his eyes made me bold, and just that much surer that this was exactly what I wanted.

"Baby, I love you, I want you, right now." I kissed him again and he moved his hand away from mine. Unzipping his pants was a delicate task, given the fact that we were still rocking back and forth and slightly bucking. I also had to be careful of "Cowboy Eddie", who was pressed full and hard up against the zipper. I did NOT want to injure my new little buddy, so I eased the zipper down slowly.

Edward let out a sigh the same time I gasped. I'd gotten the zipper and his boxers down far enough to expose a very nice, very large specimen of manhood. I wrapped my hand gently around him and used the rhythm of the bull to set the speed of my stroke. He was plenty ready for me, but I couldn't help the desire to touch him, and feel him shake under my hand. He was watching me move my hand up and down on him with eyes half shut and quick shallow breaths.

"Bella, if you keep that up, this is all gonna be over before you get a proper introduction to "Cowboy Eddie". Just shaking hands isn't enough: he wants to show you all his tricks. And honestly, if I'm not inside of you soon I'm gonna lose my friggin mind." Edward's beautiful green eyes were practically glowing as he looked at me with such love and lust that a new wave of moisture rushed through me and onto the seat of the mechanical bull. I guess we're going to have to wash this baby down real good when we're done, I giggled to myself.

I put my legs on top of Edward's and leveraged myself so that with him helping lift me at the waist I was up, over, and sliding back down onto him in a matter of seconds. Simultaneous moans escaped from our mouths as he filled me up. For the first few seconds I stayed still; our bodies, from the waist up, hugged completely together; and just let the bull rock us back and forth. Every dream I'd ever had of Edward and I together paled in comparison to what it felt like having him inside me for real. He just kept whispering "I love you" into my ear as he held me close, giving my body a chance to adjust to him. He was hot and hard and fit in me like a hand in a glove, my body molded to his like he was made just for me.

I put my arms around his neck and arched my back, using the angle of my legs over his to lift my body up. Edward's grip on my waist tightened just a bit, more of an all around tightening of every muscle in his body, I think. "Fuck, Bella, you feel so damn good. I never dreamed you'd feel this good."

The bull set the pace for us, as I slid myself up and down the entire length of "Cowboy Eddie" over and over again. Riding Edward like this was amazing. His eyes never left mine and every time I came down onto him his body trembled. I could feel myself tightening around him, but I needed more. Edward was limited in his movements since he was trying to keep us on the bull, but I needed something from him to push us both to that next level.

"Baby, you feel so good inside me, but I need more. I want to feel you moving with me, not just the motion from this machine. Do we need to get down to finish this?" Edward got a gleam in his eye and reached one hand down to the seat under us. "Um, baby, are you sure you want to do that?" I couldn't hide the slight panic in my voice as he pulled out the control for the settings.

"Bella love, having you ride me like this, on this bull has been a fantasy of mine for so long. It was one of the first things I thought about when I put this thing in here. I never thought it would actually happen. Now that we're here, and we're actually doing this, it's gonna take a hell of a lot more than gravity to get us down. Trust me, you're gonna love this." He pushed the button and quickly reattached it to the seat so he could grab my waist again. We were still on the beginner setting, but the forward and backward motion was a little faster, and the bucking was harder. Holy hell, this was exactly what we needed. Edward's hips had stayed still with the slower speed, but now he was rolling back and forth with the bull. He was thrusting into me, now, not just sitting while I rode him. Damn that felt good! "Oh yeah, baby, that's exactly what I need." I moaned. Just then the bull bucked and tossed me up in the air. Edward, with his hands already on my waist, stopped me before our bodies separated and slammed me back down onto him. "Holy Fuck!" I screamed.

Edward kept rolling his hips to the faster tempo of the new setting. I could feel my muscles clamping down around him. Every push into me was causing little spasms and I could feel my legs starting to shake. Then the bull tossed me again, and this time when Edward pulled me back down, my whole body tensed. I knew he could feel it, and he knew exactly what I needed to catapult me over the edge. He leaned forward and thrust into me with such force that the machine actually skipped in it's rhythm. The extra contact and one more powerful thrust was all it took for me to scream out his name. It felt like every ounce of energy in my body was focused on the release he forced from me. Pleasure didn't even begin to cover what he'd done. From my head to my toes I tensed, released, and then was completely at ease.

"Baby, if you cum like that every time we're together, I may never let you out of bed. Hell, I may never let you off this bull." He grinned the smug grin of a man who knew he'd just done his job, and done it well. I couldn't very well be upset with him for that.

With the angle Edward had moved us into: I could lift my legs and wrap them around his waist. He groaned softly into my mouth as he kissed me. A few more rolls of his hips, pushing himself even further into me with every forward dip of the bull, and I could feel his body begin to tense up. Inside me, I could feel him expand and explode as the bull tossed us both up and he brought us down tightly together. He leaned us further over, almost laying us down on the seat, and I could feel his release pour into me. He moved one hand all the way around my waist to hold me as he reached down with the other and turned off the machine.

"Bella, thank you. I love you so much, and no fantasy I ever had did you justice. That was amazing. You are beautiful, and I will never get enough of how you make me feel." His eyes were sparkling and I swear he looked straight into my soul.

"I have never been so happy, or felt so loved. I love you so much. I think I'm going to have to add 'Cowboy Eddie' to my list of favorite people. Or things or, well, you know what I mean." I'm wondering if I should call Edward's penis a person or a thing. That just goes to show how drained I was.

Edward got us off the bull and cleaned up using soap and towels from the medical rooms. I guess it's handy having sterile things stashed away in the back of a barn after all. Then Edward cleaned off the bull. After a few minutes to recover, we walked back up the house hand in hand. Talking about the funny way our lives had turned out and the winding road that had led us back to each other.

He reminded me that there was a "Sweethearts Dance" after the competition the following day to celebrate Valentine's Day and asked me to go with him. Of course I said yes. I guessed Jasper and Emmett would be asking the girls, too.

We got back to the house just as Rosalie and Alice finished making lunch. The guys were already sitting at the table with plates in hand.

"You guys were just gonna have lunch without us, in my own house no less?" Edward asked with mock disapproval.

All four of them cracked up at once. Ok. There was a joke somewhere, I could tell. But I wasn't sure Edward and I weren't the subject of it, so I kept my mouth shut.

Rosalie was the one who finally piped up, "We figured it was only a matter of time before you two found something you'd rather be doing than eating lunch with us. When we saw you head into the barn and not come back out right away, we decided not to disturb you. And from the looks on both your faces, I'm really glad we didn't."

Edward wrapped his arms around me and said, "I was just welcoming my Sweetheart home."

Edward's Sweetheart. Yep, I was home.