Punch Me, Love Me, Save Me
Chapter Six—The Lessons Learned
Edward still seated on a stool at the kitchen island, leveled Bella a glare that would've made anyone else take a step back in fear. His fucking warden on the other hand just rolled her eyes. He realized she was completely serious about her terms. If Edward didn't cooperate and do what he she told him to do, he would be a prisoner in his white cell.
He contemplated the idea of whether he could stand just staying in that room. There was absolutely nothing to do in it, but jack off and scratch all of the harpy's nicknames on the walls. All the while, he would be counting down the days until he could return home. The contents of his prison, however, wouldn't even allow him that. There was nothing sharp enough to carve into the brick.
What if, as punishment, his favorite harpy stopped visiting him? For some reason, Edward didn't like the thought of that. She irritated him with her self-righteous, holier-than-thou attitude she tried to convey, but she was still pleasant to look at. It took special qualities to become a frequent member of his numerous fantasies. That killer body of hers helped matters a great deal.
As his eyes lingered on the bitch with fuckable tits, she seemed to notice his internal rambling and smirked, as if she knew that he went off into la-la land. Edward wanted to wipe that smug look on her face with his dick. He grinned at himself and his inner horny bastard. It had been a while since he had so much fun with a woman. However, her annoying look suddenly vanished and turned into something more like a scowl.
Had she figured out that he was thinking something dirty about her? By the way she wrapped her arms around her chest he'd say she had. He cocked his head to one side, watching her carefully. Did he make her uncomfortable? That bothered him, because he didn't want her to fear him. If she were scared of him, she would back off too much. Despite that, Edward wanted to wipe that scowl off her face with his mouth.
He bet those pink lips were soft.
Shit, he internally cursed. He needed to stop thinking that way about her while in her presence, or he would be hard the whole length of his stay. Shaking his head to dispel those thoughts, he smiled at her. He might as well as try to get on her good side, for now.
"Edward, will you stop fantasizing while I'm still in the fucking room," she hissed, rubbing her bare arms with her hands. She turned away, obscuring his view of her pink titties. He was, however, rewarded with a perfect view of her tight ass as she walked to the stove. Grabbing the dirty pans and a few other things, she started to clean up the kitchen.
With a body like hers, there was no way his ogling was going to stop. He couldn't help it when she was prancing around in miniscule shorts and tiny tank tops. Was that her game, to tease him to submission?
Edward continued to watch her clean, including how she took the orange juice out of the fridge and poured the contents down the drain. It seemed that Miss I-Like-It-From-Behind was a clean freak. His smile widened a bit, having found something else he could do to piss her off again. It was quickly becoming his favorite pastime, or hobby, if you will.
Note to self: toss my dirty clothes on the fucking floor.
Out of nowhere, a butterfly knife was flying in her hand with ease, poking several holes into the bottle and it disappeared just as fast. Another memory surfaced then, she told him why it was a hazard trying to leave the facility. That all containers he could fill with water had small holes in them or were too small to hold sufficient water. It was another safety precaution. He wondered, for a moment, if she had someone escape.
After throwing the container in a trash can under the sink, she washed her hands and turned back to him. She must have noticed the curiosity in his gaze, and answered his unspoken question.
"Before we had key code panels at every exit and a target's room, we had a coke addict go through the four people here who were watching over him, like a fucking bull. Knocked them all out and I was in unfortunately in town at the time. He found a container, filled it with water before he took off into the desert that surrounds us here. By the time I returned, he'd been missing for almost eight hours. There was no indication of which way he went. We thought we lost him. We were in the middle of fucking Mexico with a missing white man, we knew if he reached town, we'd probably find him dead. It took almost another ten to find him. He was face down in the dirt, trying to suck lines of dust up his nose. So fucking out of it, that when I approached him, he thought I was going after his next hit and tried to fight me for it. He broke a part of my jaw, felt like shit about it later, though. Still does."
His hands clenched into tight fists, pissed for some inexplicable reason. "Hasn't anyone taught you not to approach a cornered animal? You're a fucking idiot."
It seemed as if his words had no effect on her.
"Maybe, but I learned from that moment of idiocy. I found someone to teach a few others and me how to track and hunt in the region so that if it happened again, we'd find an escapee faster. We installed the new security system and kept all containers to no more than half gallon in size. With only that much water, a runner could only get so far."
She shook her head, her gaze penetrating as she continued. "If that makes me an idiot, what does that make you? I don't poison my body and mind constantly, drowning myself to forget all my problems, only to cause more for everyone else around me. That is where we're different and why you're a fucking idiot and selfish. I learned from my mistakes that life has given me. What have you done with them?"
He glared at her, refusing to take her bait. It was obvious she was attempting to get him to talk. Even if her words caused him to want argue with her, tell her ass off, she would in the end, get exactly what she wanted. After a long stare down in the middle of the kitchen, she broke the tension-filled silence when she shrugged him off with a disappointed sigh.
"I'm going to take a little break. Wash your dishes, and if you do, I will let you pick out a book to read."
Edward rolled his eyes, as if she'd have something he would like to read. She probably had nothing but trashy romance novels and girly how-to books. He shuddered at the thought of self-help ones.
"Cullen, my library is extensive. And from what I know from your file, we seem to share a common interest in genres."
He cocked an eyebrow at her, because he doubted it. Then again, the thought of her wearing glasses, a sexy, nearly see through white blouse and black skirt, refueled his hot librarian fantasies. His Miss Shh-Come Here would look hot as hell in that outfit. Edward sighed, still imagining his little harpy when he'd come to realization that he was trying to categorize her in the same group as other women in his past.
It was harder, though; was it because she was in his face all the time? He wasn't sure. Before, any woman that wanted to ride his dick or he wanted a take a bed, he rarely used their name. A name would mean he'd have to remember it and that would make them important. That was the last thing he wanted, so not even in his own thoughts did he call them by their names.
The fact that his would-be kidnapper had over two dozen nicknames already actually made her unique. That shit pissed him off, but he tried to keep his composure as he tried to make sense of this realization. It was simply too much to take when his thoughts were chaotic and clouded.
"Don't be such a fucking asshole," she said, putting her hands on her hips, trying to stare him down again. Too bad, it only made him want to look down her shirt when she looked so fucking good when she was angry. "You don't know anything about me."
He probably never would while she expected him to give away all his secrets.
"Fine, I'll wash," he said through clenched teeth, and then shoveled another mouthful of eggs.
"You're welcome to the gym or the living room," she said, and then she looked thoughtful before continuing. "And behave."
Edward rolled his eyes and drew an imaginary halo over his head with a finger. She huffed, turning on her heels and swaying her hips as she walked away. She had a hypnotic strut that had him adjusting himself again.
Despite how angry he was at her description of what he did when he drank, he couldn't help how much he liked how she looked when she was determined to get her point across. He shook his head and quickly finished his food. He didn't want the harpy to add another cold shower to his sentence, so he washed his dishes. After he put them away, he went through all the cabinets and drawers to familiarize himself with the layout.
All the dishes were hard plastic, including the cups. All the silverware were, too, and there were no knives, which explained why she carried one in her pocket. Most cooking utensils were either wooden or plastic, except for the pots and pans. Why would she do that?
If she had learned a lesson about water containers and key code locked doors from one escapee, what would cause her to replace all metal with plastic or wood in her kitchen? Had Bella seen someone try to take her or his own life within the walls of her facility? Had she experienced another tough lesson at the hands of another addict? Had it been at the end of a knife?
Edward's earlier reaction, his irrational anger surfaced once again. His thoughts pounded, filled with a hundred questions but one remained on the forefront, why was she doing it? He wanted to go find Bella to ask her, but felt as if he had no rights to know. There was something else stopping him—fear.
She might ask him why, too.
Not wanting to analyze or think much either, Edward decided to check out the living room. During most of the tour, his mind dwelled on the fact that he might have contracted a sexually transmitted disease from one of the local barflies, so he didn't get a look at anything.
The décor in the room was about ten times better than his four white walls, but still lacked much imagination. It made sense that Bella wouldn't allow her clients too much comfort. Then again, in all likelihood, she lacked any sense of style.
A few magazines were scattered across a large coffee table, on one side of it was a long, light brown couch. Along the wall adjacent to the entrance was a top of the line stereo with satellite radio. Making a beeline toward it, Edward turned it on and was surprised that actual tasteful channels were already preprogrammed. However, he wondered who added the hip-hop channel. If it was Bella, that was strike number one his book.
"Probably should be two since she could kick my ass," he grumbled to himself. Another memory flashed through his head, tweaking his headache to another level. It also automatically made his back arch as if he was reliving it. She had brought him down like a prizefighter, with blows to his ribs and a jab to his knee.
He also remembered how she'd gotten the cut in her lip. "Mother fucking son of—"
He hit her! What lesson had she learned from him? Fuck!
Not wanting to cope with his thoughts or lingering guilt any longer, he found some music that would likely kill brain cells and turned up the volume.
Grabbing a magazine on fitness, Edward stretched himself out on the couch. Some classic rap music started to belt out a litany of obscenities about booty shaking, hoping the torture would serve its purposes.
He also wanted to see if he'd get a rise out of Miss Spank-Me-Hard. It didn't take too long. A couple of minutes later, he sensed she was near, having caught her perfume. His eyes remained on an article, not bothering to look up, but he knew she was at the doorway.
"Turn it down, Edward," she said quite calmly.
Edward was disappointed. He didn't want the calm, rational Bella. He wanted Miss Like-It-Rough, the pissed off, hot one. She was much more fun to fuck with during his stay. Hoping to change her attitude, he shifted to put his feet on the coffee table.
Ha! What are you going to do now?
It didn't take long to find out the answer.
"Emmett," she said over the stereo.
"Yeah?" a loud booming voice said over the intercom system.
"Turn the power off in the living room."
"Gotcha, boss," the voice from above said.
The recessed lighting throughout the room went out immediately, including the stereo. Edward looked up at the ceiling then and back at his magazine as if didn't matter. There was enough light coming from the hallway to allow him to read, anyway.
"You have a lot to learn, Cullen," Bella stated firmly. "I control everything in this building. Don't fuck with me."
Edward rolled his eyes at her dramatics and put the magazine down. He finally looked up at his harpy, his jaw dropping.
Fuck me, he thought as the semi hard-on he sported since the kitchen incident came back to full attention. There she was, leaning against the doorway clad in tiny black shorts, a pair of trainers, and a blue sports bra, leaving her torso bare. Jesus, he thought, she was fucking perfect. She had a bottle of water in one hand and a white towel over one of her shoulders.
"Excuse me?" she said, arching an eyebrow.
Edward tried to shake his lust-filled mind. "What, did I say something?"
"You spoke your thought, you ass." She rolled her eyes. "That stunt with the music just cost you another cold shower."
"Fine," he spat. "I just won't take one for a few days, how's that?"
"I'll make you take a shower, each and every day, even if I have to tazer your ass to do it," she hissed, stepping further into the room. "Twice a day if need be for you to get something straight. I'm in charge here, Edward. Not you. Me. I'll be the first thing you think about in the morning and last before you lay down at night."
He tried to say something but she cut off quickly.
"And no, I don't mean that in any way sexual. What I mean is, you're going to wake up and wonder what she's going to make me do this morning. What secrets will she pull from me today? When you lay down every night, you'll wonder how you gave it all up and how you'll do it again tomorrow."
"You make it sound like you have some kind of gift or magic," Edward said, laughing. "You're fucking full of yourself, you know that?"
Instead of getting angrier, her lips twitched into Cheshire like smile. "Says the man that tried to make a pass at me while he stunk like piss and ass," she said. Without another word, she turned down the hall and walked toward the gym.
Edward groaned at the thought of what she just said. If he liked what he saw of her while he was sober, with whiskey or vodka goggles and under the influences of whatever sedatives, they'd given him, she'd be a walking wet dream. Unfortunately, he was a horny drunk and that reminded him that he might have a diseased dick.
"This day keeps getting better and better."
Then he remembered something. His mind conjured the image of Bella in her exercise clothes and he was up and out of the room in seconds. He caught up with her quickly and followed her into the gym. She didn't acknowledge his presence, but wasn't surprised by his appearance, either.
Of course, she knew he'd come after her. He ignored the thought. "How am I supposed to work out if I don't have anything but boots and pants to wear?"
"I had Emmett leave some gym shorts and tennis shoes in your room. You're welcome to work out anytime, though you need to take it easy right now."
After having said that, she turned her attention to a wall of mirrors and started stretching. He heard the underlying message between the lines. That withdrawal was right around the corner and he couldn't handle the exertion. As if he'd care what she thought.
Edward watched her bend at the waist and put her hands flat on the ground before doing the fucking splits.
"Holy fuck," he said to himself.
She turned her upper body, and leaned onto one leg. After a few stretches, she proceeded to do it on the other side. When she noticed him watching her in the mirror, she taunted him with a smirk.
"I hardly think watching me will get that body of yours back into shape, Edward."
His arms spread out. "Are you trying to say that I'm nothing special to look at?"
"Well, considering I've seen it all, not really," she said casually.
Edward growled. She didn't know shit. "I had no complaints back home. In fact, I couldn't keep women from dropping their panties everywhere I went."
She turned to look him in the eye. "You have a handsome face, I'll give you that. How much are you worth, Edward? From what I saw of your records, I think it's about two to three million dollars at least. That's just what your grandfather left you. Whatever trust your parents set up, is probably another million easy."
"Fuck you," he hissed. He heard the implication in her words as he stomped away from her shit and made it to his room. Pacing the length of it a few times gave him the time to calm down. With a quick look in the closet and dresser, he found the new clothing and stripped, leaving his clothes on the floor. He hoped to enjoy a show later.
It wasn't the first time someone had indicated that some of the women he'd dated were after his money. He knew it was a possibility, and it was a reason he allowed none to stick around long. Besides, he didn't do relationships.
Minutes later, he grabbed a bottle of water from the fridge and walked into the gym. He noticed that she had put on a tank top over her sports bra, already missing her exposed stomach. Without a word, he started out on a treadmill, giving him a perfect view of his little banshee on the elliptical. He started slow since he didn't want to strain himself quickly and he was feeling off from the weeklong bender. Then again, it was probably more like two-week binge; the days all seemed to have blended in his mind in the last few weeks.
Bella turned to look at him, cocking an eyebrow before increasing her pace.
Bitch. Edward increased his stride, matching her pace. In less than ten minutes, he was sweating. Bella, he found, had stamina. She barely had broken a sweat. He wanted to test that stamina in bed, or on the fucking gym floor.
He cursed, slowing his pace immediately. Running with a hard-on was not a good idea nor easy. Abruptly, he had to stop and scowled at her, adjusting himself for what felt like the tenth time that morning.
She laughed – like, a bust-a-gut laugh at his expense. "Glad I amuse you, honey tits."
She said nothing to him, turning her attention on her routine, increasing her pace again. He didn't like that she was pretty much ignoring him.
Deciding it was best to step away from the inhuman she-beast, Edward walked over to a Bowflex machine. Hers was one with resistance bands instead of free weights. He started to working on his chest, watching her from his position across the room.
Edward couldn't take his eyes off the woman. It made no sense to him why he couldn't. She was fuckable, that he could clearly see. She was cute as hell most of the time. He'd seen plenty of women, and not one had affected him as she did.
Maybe it was because she was unattainable. Forbidden.
That must have been it. Edward just needed to get her out of his system, and he was sure that she'd mean shit to him after. Like all the others. The problem with that he was positive she'd never let him get anywhere near her with his cock exposed. Edward would have to be satisfied with fantasies. For now.
They continued to work out in silence for over an hour, though he was aware she was watching him carefully.
Did she think he'd keel over suddenly? He ignored her concern and continued to work out. He watched her move from the elliptical, to the treadmill, and to a bench that she inclined where she worked on her abdominal crunches. After a hundred, Edward could see where her strength lay.
She was lean and toned everywhere. Who the fuck was he kidding earlier? Cute, was not even close enough to describe her. She was downright worthy of worship – with his tongue. He grinned, picturing himself doing just that, when he noticed her take a drink from her bottle.
Keeping an eye on her, she started to dance in front of the mirrors. Another couple of minutes passed and he realized it was something more. It looked like some type of martial arts. She was quite sensual with her movements as she flowed from stances to kicks.
"Come here, Edward," she said, continuing her moves across the matted floor.
He was by her side instantly, feeling pathetic about his reaction.
"This is a form of martial arts called Tai Chi that help soothe the soul and teach you discipline. I'd like you to try it. You need to let your body cool down. You've been sweating for too long, and I don't want you to dehydrate."
He only nodded and started to mimic her movements for several minutes. She continued with the same routine until he managed to do it on his own. After that, it was easy to follow what her next move would be.
"That's it," she murmured, her reflection smiling at him in the mirror. "You're doing great." Encouraged by her words, they continued for another fifteen minutes. Soon she brought her feet together and turned toward him, bowing slightly. Edward followed suit.
"Thank you," she said. "I knew you could act civilized for more than a minute."
He turned away and scowled. As she bent to pick her water bottle from the floor, Edward saw an opportunity to be uncivilized. Then again, it was more of a chance to be a complete asshole.
He took it by grabbing a handful of her ass again and groaned. It was hard at that point in time to know if the perfect backside in his hands would be worth the trouble because it felt so good. However, Edward was on the floor in the next instant with one of her hands on his balls, a knee on his chest, and forearm pressing against his throat.
"Do not fucking touch me unless I say so, asshole," she seethed, her eyes livid. If looks could kill, there was no doubt in Edward's mind that would've expired then. He was ready to piss in his shorts, because the woman above him could easily kick his ass, probably kill him, too.
"Sorry, I can't help it, 3B," he gasped when she tightened her hold on his balls. It felt far from nice; in fact, it hurt like hell. She was likely strong enough to tear them off. However, his dick seemed to enjoy that shit a bit too much, that traitorous appendage was a masochistic and her fucking slave.
Bella seemed to focus more on his new nickname for her, than on the fact that she could make him sing soprano for the rest of his life. "Three bee?"
A shit-eating grin spread across his face as he answered, trying to keep from grimacing. "BBB – Bubble Butt Bella." The "Bella" came out more like a squeak at the tightening of her hand, before she rolled her eyes at him and got off.
Damn, he missed the feel of her on him. "I hope I made my point clear," she said with a questioning look. Edward groaned as he sat up, cupping himself because he was hurting. The bitch had the audacity to smile innocently at him.
"I won't touch you without permission," he grunted as he rose to his feet. "Jesus fuck, I don't think I can feel my balls anymore." The bitch only snorted in reply. "You gave me blue balls, do you know that? And not the hurting because you won't let me fuck you kind, either." She shook her head as she took another drink of water. "All right, you give me the other kind, too."
He thought, why lie?
"I'm so glad you got my point." She raised a fist and her eyes narrowed. "Need another lesson?" He shook his head quickly, he was sure his balls couldn't take another blow. At least not the kind she was offering him at the moment. "I'm going for a swim," she said, wiping her forehead with a towel.
She wanted to go for a swim, in a pool. Hell no, he didn't swim in pools. "Fuck," he whispered, watching as Bella turned away, unaware of his turmoil. He felt his brow bead with sweat, his chest constrict. She didn't wait for him, likely still upset with his ass as she walked toward the door that led outside.
Taking a few fortified breaths, Edward followed her quietly, trying to come up with an excuse. "I don't want to go for a swim," he stated.
"That's fine," she said over her shoulder. "I'll see you later then."
"You're not going out there alone, are you?"
"Of course I am." Confusion filled her eyes as she turned enough to watch him.
He shook his head, not caring if he sounded like an asshole. "No you're not. What if something happens to you?"
She looked questionably, her soul-searching gaze on him. "Nothing is going to happen to me." He growled at her patronizing smile. "I'm a good swimmer. No worries." She patted his cheek with her hand, and then stepped in front of the keypad to punch in the code so he couldn't see. Her eyes remained on him, and he could see she worried that he'd make a grab at her again.
That didn't matter since he only had one concern. "Please don't," he gasped, taking her arm in his hand.
Her eyes widened, fire building behind her dark gaze. He knew he'd pay for laying a hand on her again. However, she must have seen something in his eyes because she quickly composed herself. He didn't know what she saw, not that he cared. He just didn't want her swimming on her own.
"Why don't you just come outside and sit for a while," she offered. What caused her to offer that? Did she think that he didn't want to leave her side? And she called him cocky. She was so full of shit, he thought bitterly. "I'm just going to do a few laps."
He debated with himself for a second, nodding after another. As long as she didn't go out there alone, that was all that mattered to him. He could see she wanted to discuss his behavior, but he offered her nothing more.
Quietly, he followed her outside, his eyes darting from the lounge chairs to Bella. His gaze moved slowly toward the pool. The sun was high overhead and hot as hell, and he knew the pool would look inviting to anyone else, except for him.
He heard Bella talking, but her voice seemed too distant as if he was trying to listen to her from beneath the surface of the water. Her towel and her tank top hit his stomach, but fell on the floor as Bella dove right into the pool.
The constriction in his chest tightened so much that he couldn't breathe. He gasped and tried to bring air into his lungs, the dizziness overwhelmed him in seconds, forcing him to his knees, his body trembling.
Edward's feet slipped and slid across the wet concrete near the pool. There was blood on the edge and he knew then that his sister hit her head, probably falling in.
"Nessie!" he screamed, as he dove into the pool, with all his clothes on. The cold water shocked him as he tried hard to get to her, his clothes weighing him down. He had to surface to breathe. He hissed as he cracked his brow against the pool's edge. With another deep breath, he swam toward his sister. He failed to realize that he kept screaming, tears running down his cheeks only slowed him down. "Nessie!"
A thunderous boom crackled in the darkening sky above as he struggled to reach her, weighed down by his jeans and boots.
"Nessie!" he cried as his arm wrapped around her waist. She wouldn't say anything, she wasn't moving as he worked to turn her to face him.
His scream was deafening, noticing her eyes wide open…
Edward heard someone screaming as he struggled to breathe. "Edward!" Suddenly, he felt hands in his hair, and saw Bella's dark eyes, searching for his as she cupped his face.
"Breathe, Edward! Damn you! Breathe! Somebody, help me!"