A/N: See longer note at the end of the chapter.
Beware mature themes...ahem.
Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight.
Chapter 33: Saved
"Hmm," I mused. Jeezus, I sounded husky as all hell and I could feel it elsewhere, too. There would be no more cockblocking tonight, that was for damn sure.
"Just don't deliberate too long, Edward. One of those tech guys almost ruined your plans to seduce me."
"Don't taunt me," I growled. "I know exactly how alluring you are."
She shifted her feet a little bit, her eyes glimmering in the warm light of the halls. She was so tauntingly, impossibly alluring; how I let these goons talk to her for even an hour seemed like an egregious allowance on my part.
"Come on," I whispered huskily, taking her hand in mine.
"Are we leaving?" she asked, as we started down the hall.
"Briefly," I replied, and she must have caught the smirk on my face, because she quirked an eyebrow and shot me a quizzical look.
"I don't think Rosalie or Alice would be happy if I took you away from them just yet," I explained.
"Then where are we going?"
"This is a hotel, isn't it?"
Her eyes widened in realization, but she gave my hand a little squeeze when we passed the elevator on our way to the end of the hallway.
"Where are we…?" she started, as I opened the door to the stairwell.
"Shh," I said, pulling her into me as the door swung closed behind us. "You worry too much."
"Edward—" she breathed, and I could hear her heart fluttering in her chest. Her hands were small and warm in mine, and that beautiful flush in her cheeks had reached the span of her collarbone.
"That dress is almost as exquisite as you are," I said, and a sultry little grin spread on her face.
"Why, Edward, are you planning of taking advantage of me in a stairwell?"
I chuckled and shook my head—hell, I definitely wanted to, but she deserved better.
"I'd like to think of myself as a bit classier than that," I smirked.
With a sudden movement that left her a little breathless, I grasped her hand and led her down one flight of stairs and into another hallway, with soft yellow walls and warm lighting. I stopped at a door at the end of the hall, and waited while she brushed by me and walked into the room.
"This is…incredible," she whispered, as her gaze fell on the windows circling the room. The city lights gave the pale walls a soft, sensual glow, and I just stood for a few seconds by the door, admiring her and the city beyond.
"What are you doing over there?" she said, a teasing lilt to her voice. "Get over here."
I walked over in three long, slow strides, and I could see her brown eyes burning with anticipation.
"Don't make me wait for you," she whined teasingly.
"I've waited long enough," I growled, and I crushed my lips to hers in a kiss that was anything but sweet, soft, or innocent. She whimpered a little bit in my arms, as I pulled her hips into mine and kissed her deeply, hungrily, indulging in the taste and feel and perfection of her. I let my hands roam over the slender curves of her hips, finding the bare skin on the small of her back, warm and smooth and flawless. I loved this dress, but I had given it enough attention, and I would have to relegate it to the floor very soon.
I left her gasping when I broke the kiss and continued my assault along the length of her jaw, down the gentle slope of her neck, to those perfect collarbones that had flushed a delicate, delicious pink. I could feel her tightening her hold on my hair, teasing the nape of my neck while I lingered on the skin just above the neckline of her dress.
"This has to go," I murmured.
She looked at me, her deep chocolate eyes blazing with desire and lust and love, and she nodded slowly. She watched as I untied the straps behind her neck, moved my fingers down the length of the zipper, and watched it drop to the floor in a pool of brilliant blue.
"Holy fuck," I muttered, when she stepped toward me with a sly smile on her face.
"I can explain," she said, clearly amused by the look on my face. Apparently Bella had worn precisely one article of clothing to this event tonight.
"Don't," I said, and my cock was so hard that it hurt.
"You need to catch up," she said, her soft, musical voice thick with desire.
I felt a crooked grin spread on my lips as she removed my jacket, my tie, my shirt, her warm little hands traversing the length of my chest. She didn't gasp or pause or say anything when her fingers grazed the ragged scars of that night one year ago; she didn't avoid them, but she didn't focus on them either. Her hands were so warm, so attentive, so distinctly hers…and it wasn't long before I was kissing her again, savoring every inch of her naked body while I satiated my other senses.
But fuck, I was hard as a rock and I could feel her, wet and hot and aching for me, through two layers of clothes. Her hands began traveling down my chest again, slowly and teasingly, until she reached the buckle on my belt and removed it with a quick, seamless pull. I groaned as she unzipped my pants and gave my aching cock the relief of freedom from those damn pants, until she reached in and took me in her warm, tiny hand.
I hissed with surprise when she did that, and a little smile crept onto her lips.
"I think these have to go," she murmured teasingly, gesturing to my unbuckled pants and boxers.
"Are you sassing me?" I chided. Damn, I loved it when she did that.
She shrugged a little bit and let the rest of my clothes fall to the floor, which I kicked against the wall with a dull thud. I could see the blush in her cheeks, fiery and red and hot as all hell, and I backed her up toward the bed with a low moan in my throat.
She fell back onto the bed, and again I took a few seconds just to admire the sight before me. The yellow lights of the city fell in long, punctuated streaks on the bed, and the only sound was the low hum of traffic below, mingling with the frantic pace of Bella's breathing.
"Edward," she whined, and then I had my hands on her, caressing every inch of her shoulders, her breasts, her stomach, her long and slender legs. Her nipples were hard and erect, and I lingered there, kissing and biting and pinching until she cried out with little moans of pleasure. I traveled lower, although my own breath hitched in my throat when I felt the heat between her legs, enveloping my fingers that languished just inches from where she wanted it the most.
She was whimpering now, bucking her hips downward to meet my fingers until I thrust two of them inside her, and holy fuck she was wet, tight, and ready. I teased her clit with my fingers, and then she reached down and stilled my wrist with her hand.
"As I said," she gasped, "I've waited long enough."
I grinned in spite of myself and hovered over her, before I realized that the condom I needed was in my pants, which was lying in a heap somewhere across the room. She sensed my hesitation, and slid her hand down to my dick, which made me groan like a fucking animal.
"I'm on the pill," she said.
I might have argued with her under some other circumstances, might have insisted on more than just oral contraceptives because I was just careful like that, but I didn't have it in me.
So I just nodded instead, and with her trembling beneath me, her face covered in a thin sheen of sweat and desire, I thrust into her with a hell of a lot less restraint than I had intended, because fuck, I wanted her. Needed her, desired her, belonged to her. She cried out a little bit and I hesitated, but she arched her hips into mine and urged me into a faster, deeper rhythm that made my nerves sing. She was so fucking wet, it was almost unreal. I had to think of something else, distract myself just a bit, before I came too soon because shit, she was fucking perfect and I couldn't hold on for very long like this.
But willpower is a strange, unlikely thing, and I managed to savor the feel of her, pulsing with me and around me as I thrust into her with deep, hard strokes. I could feel her climax building, could feel her muscles tightening around me as she wrapped her legs around my waist, whimpering with each thrust.
And then I could feel her muscles contract, could hear her breathless gasps of my name as she came in a sudden, shuddering release that continued in waves. I continued to thrust into her, continued to indulge in the smooth perfection of her skin and face and everything else, and because Bella was fantastically engineered to do so, she came again as I fell over the edge, filling her completely in the hot rush of my release.
She was still trembling as I fell beside her, and pulled her on top of me, the way I knew and remembered. I swept the wet strands of hair from her face, and she smiled lazily as her breathing slowed.
"I love you, Edward," she said, her deep chocolate eyes fixed on mine, her hair cascading down her shoulders onto my chest.
I knew what she expected me to say, what she had heard me say, back when she thought I doubted the truth in her words. But things had changed, and she was here and she was mine, and I didn't have to reassure her anymore.
"I love you, too," I said.
Thirty minutes later, we were both standing at the door, our hair slightly disheveled and our faces kind of flushed, but otherwise in decent shape. Actually, my hair looked the same way it always did, but Bella called it "sex hair" and it kind of made sense. Hers, on the other hand, had that post-workout frenzy to it.
"My hair looks weird," she grumbled.
"It looks fine," I said, but I chuckled at the look on her face.
"Do we have to go back to the party?"
"You were the one who insisted," I reminded her.
"We should go back," she conceded. "They ask about you all the time. And since you're leaving…"
"I'll come back eventually, Bella. I can't stay there forever."
"What's it like there?" she asked, as she leaned languorously against the wall.
"It's very hot, endless beaches, warm water…little towns and villages. Kids running around like crazy," I added.
She smiled, her eyes meeting mine in an intense, loving gaze that made my heart ache for her all over again.
"I like kids," she said.
"Then you might like it there."
"Edward, let me ask you something."
I gave her a quizzical, questioning look, and hesitated. "Okay," I agreed.
"Did you honestly think that I would ever, under any circumstances, let you fly halfway across the world without me?"
She gave me a defiant, amused little smile, her head cocked slightly to one side while she waited for me to answer.
"Did you honestly think I could go anywhere without you?" I asked.
She sighed deeply, a delicate flush on her cheeks and a small, knowing smile on her face. She leaned in and brushed her lips against mine, her eyes a dazzling, deep brown that pulsed with truth and emotion and love.
And then she opened the door and walked out, leaving me standing in the doorframe, admiring her once again.
"Come on, Edward," she teased. "Everyone's waiting for you."
I walked over slowly, deliberately, savoring every fucking step because exactly one year ago, it didn't seem like I'd have the luxury of doing something so terribly fundamental. I thought about it every second for weeks—thought about what it would be like not to walk with her, dance with her, touch her. I thought about it and somehow, from the depths of a soul I didn't know I had, I forced myself to shove the odds in those doctors' faces and burn that fucking wheelchair.
I did it for her.
You don't understand the difference between healing and curing, she had told me once.
I did now. I understood the difference between people and patients, that point where science and medicine and the odds left off, and human willpower began. I knew what it was to heal, with words and kindness and empathy, and what it was to cure, with knowledge and expertise.
And I knew, as I walked toward Bella and held her in my arms, what it meant to be saved.
Oy, not an easy decision!! But I thought about it for a long time, and I feel like this is where the story is meant to end. It's better to end too soon than too late, right? Well, I'm not sure, since I got so attached to these characters and didn't want to let them go, but I decided that this was the ending that Edward and Bella deserved, after so much angst and problems and cockblocking! They deserved a HEA, so I did my best to give them that.
That said, I would LOVE some feedback regarding a sequel (which I'm considering), or another story, or something else entirely. I can write another medically-themed story, or I may try something a bit more light-hearted. Please, please, please let me know! I'd love to keep writing, but I'm only motivated if people are interested!! If I do a sequel, I'll update here, so people get an alert about it.
On that note, I want to thank 4theluvofmary for recommending "Save You" over on the Perv Pack's Smut Shack blog, which appeared this past Sunday (if you google the Perv Smut Shack, it's the first thing that comes up - I can't figure out the whole link business on this website). If you found this story through her post, I'm thrilled that you did! And be sure to check out her stories as well if you haven't already!
I'd also like to thank everyone who has reviewed and PMed me with such encouraging words, especially l'esprit d'escalier who started a thread for this story at Twilighted. Thanks also to erinmiyu, Twinie, MrsEdwardCullenP, siromygod, and purpledragon74 for sharing their insights with me via PM, telling me to keep going when I got discouraged. I truly appreciate each and every one of you who has stuck with me throughout this story, and I'm so thrilled you enjoyed it!!
Thank you again for reading - it's been a pleasure writing, more than you can imagine. :)