A/N: Shout out to twifanatic1. She's the first to make me laugh with her review.
Took forever to get some inspiration for this chapter. Thank you Death Cab for Cutie!
And yeah, it should have been awkward the morning after, but do you really think Edward would do that to Bella?
Playlist: "Sleep Spent" - Death Cab for Cutie, "Bend to Square" - Death Cab for Cutie, "Line of Best Fit" - Death Cab for Cutie, "Your Bruise" - Death Cab for Cutie.
Chapter Six: Your Bruise
I was wedged between the back of the seat and Edward, my cheek pressed against his chest so I could feel his heartbeat. And all I could think about was that the windows weren't fogged anymore, and we were both naked in the back of his car. Sure, the glass was tinted to almost illegal standards, but I could just imagine the paparazzi walking down the street and spotting us like this.
After all, Edward and I had broken up about a year ago.
Biting my lip, I pealed myself away from the seat carefully, hoping not to wake Edward at the same time. I needed to at least find something to cover us. But then he was moved, his arm falling over my hips and pulling me even closer to him.
He sighed, his face nuzzling my neck as he woke. "Good morning, beautiful," he whispered against my skin. A slow, amazing shiver moved up and down my spine at the name he called me. I didn't want to leave his arms - anything but leave his arms.
"We have to go," I muttered quietly. He sighed under me, shaking his head. "Edward, we have to,"
"Come back with me,"
I swallowed, relaxing my muscles so my cheek was pressed against his. My heart pounded against my chest, as if to knock some sense into me. I wanted to say yes. I wanted to run off with Edward like we used to, to disappear for days at a time and have no one know about it.
"I can't," I choked, running my hand up the hard planes of his abdomen and chest. I massaged my fingers over the stiff muscle connecting his neck and shoulder, feeling as it slowly loosened under my touch. I bit my lip, thankful that he couldn't see me.
Sucking in a breath of his musky scent, I pressed on his shoulder so he pulled away and looked at me. I wasn't sure if last night should have happened, if we should have happened. If we should happen. I wanted him. His proximity, his flesh pressed to mine, was doing amazing things to my body, that even when we were together all those months ago I had never felt before. "We need to talk," I whispered, and he lifted a hand into my hair and ran his fingertips over my skin. The sensation that tickled my nerves made me close my eyes and sigh.
"Come back with me," he said urgently again, "Please, Bella. Just come back to my apartment with me, we'll talk. We need to."
So he felt the same. Well, I guess that was a good thing.
Opening my eyes, I could feel my face set in a sad mask. Edward Cullen was holding me after a wonderful night, I shouldn't be sad. He leaned in and kissed my forehead, taking all of my hair and twisting it around his fingers. When he pulled back, his lips were tilted to the side in a disappointed manner.
"What?" I asked.
"It's shorter," he muttered through tight lips. I let out a small breath that I hadn't known I was holding. "And softer, and you have lowlights."
I pushed my bangs back from my face and found his hand with my fingers, still holding my hair. "Does it look bad?" I whispered.
He hesitated for a short moment, only to shake his head and run his fingers through my hair again. "It's just different."
"Things change in a year, Edward," He definitely had. He'd been working out, his arms bigger and his chest and abs more defined. Not like I was complaining.
He gave me a halfhearted smile. "Not everything," only his lips moved, and I wondered if I wasn't supposed to understand.
"What do you mean?"
"Nothing," Edward shook his head, turning over and picking my jeans and bra and shirt off the car floor. He passed them to me as my cheeks lit up with flames. He noticed and cracked that crooked smile that did things to certain parts of me. He sat up and pulled on his boxers, his pants, and buttoned his shirt. I wondered how he still looked like he just walked off a photo shoot when we'd just had mindless sex in back of his car.
I stared at him for a moment, using my clothes to nonchalantly cover myself. When he stared back in a confused manor, I cocked my brow. "Where's my underwear, Edward?" I hadn't gone commando - which was pretty smart, considering we went to a gay bar last night - and I knew they couldn't have just disappeared.
Edward jumped slightly, leaning down and patting under the seats without much effort. He sat up again, shrugging. "I dunno."
Rolling my eyes, I sighed with a little laugh on my breath. "Just keep them, Edward," I dressed and we climbed into the front seats again. I opened the glove box while Edward started the car, the air conditioning kicking on immediately and wafting over my sticky skin.
I smiled and pulled the little bottle from the compartment, popping the cap off and spraying the floor and backseat. Edward started at me, his head tilted adorably while I did so. "It smells like sex in here," I said shortly.
Edward tipped his head back and laughed, pulling his Volvo out onto the street and wiping a U-turn on me. "Slow down, mad man." I growled, clicking my seatbelt in place. He chuckled, turning down the A/C.
"I thought you liked fast rides, Bella."
I gaped at him, open-mouthed for a moment. If last night hadn't been physical - no pun intended - proof of that, I didn't know what was. "Just drive," I muttered, crossing my arms below my chest like a five-year-old. He already had my underwear, what more did he need?
Edward's apartment was a wreck. Well, as much as immaculate could looked wrecked. But it was just off. There were books stacked on the coffee table, a few open on the floor, instead of neatly tucked in the shelf like they used to be. There were more half-drank mugs of black coffee spread throughout the space than I dared count. Ink stains on the white pain, in the shape of his smeared fingertips. The grand piano in the corner was dusty and looked as if it hadn't been dusted in a while.
But it was still so much cleaner than anything I had ever walked into before, yet lived in and warm.
"Ah, sorry about the mess," he said, dumping three cups of black liquid into the sink.
I sniffed the air, my eyes wide. "Do I smell smoke?"
He ducked his head, sliding open a drawer next to the one I knew held the silverware. His hand dipped in and produced a pack of Camels which he tossed onto the counter with a heavy thunk.
"Things change in a year, Bella," he repeated my words from earlier and I touched my hair, suddenly self-conscious. I had told my stylist - yes, Bella Swan had a stylist - that it was too much, too dark for my skin, but he didn't listen and did it anyway. "Your hair's fine," he said harshly, shutting off the water.
Edward brushed by me and disappeared down the hall and to his bedroom. Biting my lip, I followed tentatively, scared that I wasn't welcome.
But as I passed the piano again, on the keys was that damn rose I had dropped all those hundreds of days ago, shriveled and brown, the leaves a sickly and crackly green. I stopped short, wondering why he had kept it. Wouldn't it be a bad memory of me? Perhaps that's what he thought of me, though. A bad memory. Simply a red blip on the radar to avoid from then on.
Then why had he brought me back?
I jumped when I heard his voice from the start of the hallway. "So, you should start talking."
I tried to hide behind my hair, I fidgeted under his green gaze, I bit my lip, and finally looked up at him. He'd changed, now wearing a wife beater and black jeans that hung too low on his hips to be legal. His feet were bare.
"I'm not sure where to start--"
"How about a year ago, when you decided that you had to leave,"
I gulped, feeling a void of space form between us. "Well," I started, my voice breaking. Clearing my throat, I tried again. "Charlie heard the news. He flipped out and told me I had to . . . Um, to ah, break up with you." I stared down at my feet, waiting for his reaction.
"No, seriously, Bella, why did you leave?" I peered up at him cautiously, his face sarcastic and disbelieving.
"That's . . . That's why," I said quietly, hoping he could hear, because I didn't want to repeat it.
There was a long, hollow silence in his apartment, and I feared that he had disappeared into thin air. When we had first started seeing each other, I had believed that if I didn't hold on tight enough, he would just float away, as if he had never existed. Ultimately, it came true, with my undoing. But my year had been far too busy for the feeling to actually set in that I was alone, that there was no Edward to run to when I just wanted to be held. Instead, I would be too tired to even make it to my pillow.
Edward's voice was so close - I hadn't heard him move - that I jumped three inches into the air, my eyes flashing around until they hit his form, only a few feet to my left now. "I don't believe you," he said fiercely, his green eye sparking, "because the Isabella Swan I know wouldn't care about what her parents said or what anyone else thought. The Isabella I know used to sneak out of her room, landing in those damn rosebushes, just to get over here. The Isabella I know would have run off with me to France, and not Jacob Black." He sneered Jacob's name, as if it was poison to his tongue.
I stood there, speechless at his words, my mouth hanging open, my breath barely wheezing through my throat. I could barely form coherent thoughts let alone sentences. So I remained in my position, Edward just as frozen in front of me, and stared at him while he watched me. I didn't care what everyone thought - that was the main reason I hadn't dove straight into Hollywood when I was young like my sisters. My parents were different, in a way. But I still cared what they said and how they saw things. But really, I could have dealt with reprimands from Charlie and disappointed looks from Renee if I could have stayed with Edward.
"I'm so sorry," I managed, my voice cracking, "but that's what happened. I didn't want to leave. God, that's the last thing I wanted to do, Edward. Charlie - he said that if I didn't do anything about it, he would, and you'd end up with two forks in your eyes from taking away his underage daughter."
"He said that?" Edward asked, tilting his head to the side.
"No," I sighed, "But Charlie would do something like that."
There was that quiet echo again, a ringing in my ears that was painful to a muscle in my chest. I wished he would just say something. Tell me to get the hell out, or tell me to stay, that he forgave me. Or maybe tell me to stay, but that he'd never forgive me. I wouldn't mind, I just wanted the answer.
"So you never thought the publicity was too much?" He asked quietly, looking down at my feet with unfocused eyes.
"No," If my sudden fame didn't prove that, I didn't know what did.
"You didn't mind that I was five years older than you?"
"You never minded having to lie to your family about where you went at night, or completely scarring your legs to come over here?"
"Of course not,"
"You never regretted one minute you spent with me?"
"Then tell me, Bella," Edward turned his eyes up and looked at me through his lashes. My breath hitched in my throat. He watched my lips as I opened them to force air into my lungs. Then he stepped closer, so his lips were so close to my ear that I could feel his hot breath fan over my skin and make it tingle. "Why did you look like last night was a mistake when we woke?"
The oxygen rushed from my lungs in a breath I hadn't known I was holding. I could feel something zap between us in the small space that separated us. I hadn't known my feelings were etched so clearly on my face in the car. Well, there went my acting career.
"Was it a mistake, Bella?" He asked, his voice barely a whisper. I swallowed and found that I didn't even have to think about my answer.
His lips were suddenly on mine, smooth and hot and amazing, and he pressed his body flush against mine. I gasped against his lips, letting his tongue slip into my mouth without hesitation. He pushed me back until I felt the side of the piano on the back of my thighs, and before I could react, his strong hands were lifting me up and setting me on top of the glossy black paint job.
Edward's urgency ebbed through my veins, melting my muscles and throwing all thoughts I once had completely out the window. It was just Edward and I. My fingers knotted into his messy hair, holding his head to mine. I moaned into his mouth, letting him stand between my knees and press his entire body to me. His hands were everywhere, sliding up my sides, pressing his palms into my hips and the length of my thighs. His mouth pressed open kisses alone my jaw, neck, and throat, leaving me gasping for breath above him.
I locked my ankles behind him, his clothed hard pressing into my core and sending my heart into a marathon. I arched my back into him, his lips returning to mine, and ground my hips into his, earning a strangled growl to rip through his chest.
I paused against his lips, pulling slowly away to look into his eyes. Shifting the atmosphere, I ran my hands up his chest, plucking the first button from it's hole, and then the second, slowly, never breaking our stare. My stomach was still in knots, but it could wait. I wasn't sure if I wanted this to happen. My body certainly did, but my heart and mind were having second thoughts.
It wasn't a mistake! I screamed at myself, letting my eyes fall to his marble chest that I was gradually revealing from his shirt. Once I had got to the last button undone, I glanced up at him, and his eyes were dark and shimmering with an emotion I didn't know. I blinked and leaned forward, kissing the skin, just above his heart. Then I turned my head and listened to the beat under his flesh, even faster than mine. I closed my eyes and sat there, completely still, and let Edward wrap his arms around me and hold me close.
After a few minutes - or hours, I wouldn't know - I sighed and pulled away, letting my hands remain on his smooth chest. "We're not okay, are we?" I asked with sadness dripping from my voice. Somehow I just knew we had so much to work on, so much we needed to talk about, so much that needed to be worked out.
He let out a thin chuckle, brushing my hair away from my face and holding it behind my ears. "No," he shook his head, a sad little smirk on his lips. I closed my eyes to prevent for any tears to form - that he could see anyway - and turned my head down. This was the part where were we both go our separate ways for good. I would walk out that door and he would watch me leave.
"Hey," He slipped his hands to my jaw and lifted my face. I didn't want to open my eyes, but I did anyway. He spoke with a smile on his face, "We'll be alright, though. We're going to work everything out,"
I let out a breath I hadn't known I was holding and the man holding me kissed my nose. He kept his forehead on mine and I savored our loving contact. It was fierce or heated. This was just us.
And we were going to make it work.
Before we knew it, it was five o'clock in the afternoon, and when I checked my phone in my purse, there were fourteen voicemails, thirty-seven text messages, and twenty missed calls. I bit my lip as I checked the list of names. All but two voicemails were from Alice, the extra owned by my mother. The texts were a mix of my immediate family, and I rolled my eyes at Charlie's less-than-personal worry for me. Rose was just Rose, her texts only a few letters, mainly Where are you? and Should we call the cops?
Like that would help if I was killed.
"What's wrong?" Edward asked as he came up to me from the kitchen, holding a mug of steaming tea. He passed it to me silently.
I sighed, setting my phone on the counter without replying. "Everyone's flipping out. I don't know what I should say to cover our asses." I smiled at him in thanks for the tea, bringing it to my lips and sipping. I hummed at the sweet taste. Edward knew me better than I knew myself. He'd even added the perfect amount of honey - something I hadn't perfected yet.
"Should you go home?" I loved how he left it a question.
"I should," I muttered, looking into the mug cradled in my hands, "but I really don't want to,"
"You should at least call them, then," he kissed my forehead, handing my phone back to me. I took a deep breath and nodded. "Tell them . . . that you're fine, and you'll be home as soon as Edward Cullen lets you out of his home." He snickered in my ear at the blush that lit my cheeks, placing a kiss below my ear.
"Fine, I'll call them, but Alice will probably dig for details." And not out of worry, I knew that.
I dialed my pixie sister's number, praying that she wouldn't pick up. She did.
Before it finished the first ring.
"Bella! Where the hell have you been? I've been so worried about you - and don't get me started on Mom, she was about ready to call the cops. But seriously, you completely ditched us last night. That bartender dude said you went outside and didn't come back in. DO you know how scared I was? I mean, it was my bachelorette par - "
"Spill, Bella. What the fuck happened to you?"
"I ran into someone. I'm fine, and I'll be home when I want to. I'm fine, I promise. Call Renee, Charlie, and Rose and tell them that I'll be home soon, but not now, alright?"
There was a long pause, and just before that little gasp and squeal left Alice's lips, I knew I was caught. "Ohmygod, you ran into Edward, didn't you? Where did you go?"
"Alice, I'm hanging up and turning off my phone," I warned.
"Wait! No! You've got to tell me what happened!"
"Goodbye, Alice. I love you, too." And I slapped my phone shut, resting my head on Edward's shoulder. Then I erupted in a fit of giggles. Edward, mirroring my laughter, leaned his head to see my face.
"What's so funny?"
"Oh, nothing," I sighed, brushing it off, "I'm just going to get attacked by a fairy and probably bitch slapped by a long, tan, and blonde model."
He laughed, tipping his head back. I turned in his arms so my body fit against his, and lifted my hands to his jaw, smiling up at him. Edward stared down at me with this light in his bright green eyes that made me love him even more. He kissed my lips chastely, his mouth turned up in a smile.
My stomach decided that it was the perfect time to make it known that I was completely famished and let out a growl that shook my frame. Edward laughed again, walking backwards to the kitchen with me still in his arms.
"Let's see what we have at The EC Lounge today," he teased, kissing my nose before letting me go to search through his cabinets. I laughed and perched myself on his counter and watched him move around his kitchen. He'd found clean clothes to dress into, a dusty green shirt and comfortable old jeans. The shirt was absolutely sinful on him, showing each muscle movement that he made.
I gulped audibly, clenching my fingers on the edge of the counter to keep myself from jumping on him and digging my nails into his back and licking his mouth.
"I haven't really been eating in much," he grumbled, standing back with both the freezer and fridge doors open. From what I could see, he had an empty Eggo Waffle box and a few Red Bull energy drinks. "But what I do have is noodles and some Prego,"
He turned his attention to the cabinet after closing first the fridge and then freezer. He'd checked the waffle box to see if it was really empty before putting it back on it's shelf and closing the door. I rolled my eyes, sliding off the counter to his side. "Anything I can help with?" Other than completely tear your clothes off and ride you on this damn counter? I bit my lip, clenching the fist that was closest to his back to keep from slipping it up his shirt and running my fingernails along his skin.
"Basil," He pointed towards the giant bay window over the piano. On the sill was a tiny pot with a bright green sprout on it. I smirked at the fact that this was probably the only living thing in this house besides Edward. I plucked three leaves from the little plant and skittered back over to Edward, who had produced a box of spaghetti noodles that was half full and an unopened can of Prego, setting them on the counter. "God, I need to go shopping," he muttered, his hand on his chin while he inspected the three ingredients.
I pinched the leaves between my fingers, "Do we even need extra basil?" I asked, "I thought Prego had everything in it already,"
Edward stared down at me for a moment and then shrugged. "I've always been a basil person,"
"I thought you liked garlic,"
I rolled my eyes, pulling out a napkin and setting the leaves on it. "Should I run to the store?" I asked, cocking my head to the side.
There we were, Edward Cullen and Isabella Swan, standing in his kitchen, leaning slightly on each other, our arms crossed over our chests, wondering how the hell we were going to make a meal out of this. We probably looked like a scene from a romantic comedy.
"No, we'll be fine," Edward assured himself. "And remember what I said?" I looked up at him curiously. "You're not leaving until I let you leave, Miss Swan," Then he winked at me, leaning down to kiss my cheek before going over to a cupboard and pulling down two pots with one hand.
Oh, God, the way his muscles clenched.
I bit my lip, shifting my weight to my left foot. How come I had never felt like this around him before? That throbbing need surging throughout my body, telling me that something had to happen, or I was sure to implode. Perhaps it was because I hadn't had any contact with him in a year. Maybe it was something about finally turning eighteen.
In ten minutes, Edward had managed to boil some water and add what little noodles he had left. He'd pinched apart the basil leaves and sprinkled them into the sauce. And I'd sat on the counter, salt shaker in one hand and pepper in the other - just two of the few things he had in his kitchen.
He lifted the wooden spoon to his lips while turning the burner for the noodles down. Tasting it, he nodded to me, "Pepper, I think," Before I could move to shake more into the sauce, he dipped the spoon back into the pot and then held it to my lips. "Taste,"
I obeyed, licking my lips as he pulled the spoon away. I smiled, leaning in and kissing him. "It tastes great, but I don't think you can take credit," I picked up the empty Prego jar and smirked, eyeing his lips again.
He chuckled deep in his chest, wrapping one around me and pulling me from the counter. Looking down into the pot of bubbling noodles, he sighed. "I really think there's only enough for one of us," I touched his sad face, rubbing my thumb across his light stubble.
"It's alright, Edward, believe me," I whispered, reaching up on my toes to kiss the corner of his jaw.
He sighed again, kissing my hair. He let go of my waist to retrieve only one plate from his cabinet and two forks. I smirked as he handed me the plate and strained the noodles. Edward smiled back, and my grin grew for no reason. Just because he was here, and I was here.
And maybe we weren't alright, but we would be. I hoped sooner rather than later.
We curled up on his couch in the dark, not needing any light as we guided the forks to each other's mouths, stealing kisses between bites. The pots and utensils were still dirty, some having made their way to the sink, some still scattered over the counter. I was pretty sure the Prego jar had never made it back to sitting upright on the counter, but I could clean my mess up later.
When the plate was clean of noodles, Edward swiped some of the red sauce and dabbed it on my nose before I could move. I couldn't even find it in myself to break the peaceful quiet in his house by laughing loudly, only letting a whisper of a chuckle leave my lips. Edward kissed the sauce away, anyway.
Somehow we ended up in his bed, on top of the covers, with our clothes still on - although he'd managed to push my shirt up to just under my breasts, his hands constantly exploring the bare flesh of my back and sides. The attention wasn't unwelcome.
We just watched each other, our noses barely touching, our knees wound together. To say I didn't want him sexually at that moment would be a lie. But it wasn't a need that could be set aside to just lay with him, breathing the same air as him, and robbing kisses when we could.
"Will you stay tonight?" He whispered, finally breaking our vow of silence. I rolled to check the clock, only to see it was after ten.
"I thought only you could let me leave," I replied with a smile on my voice.
He looked down, towards his hands, where his thumb was brushing against the side of my right breast. "You could have always left, Bella,"
"I don't want to," I replied with a scowl.
"I just want you to know that," and then he kissed me again.
"Oh no," I breathed against his skin, our foreheads pressed together. He hummed in reply. "I have to be on set tomorrow . . . early tomorrow,"
"No," He moaned, moving his lips to my throat. I didn't want to leave. I finally got to be in his arms again, after an entire year of feeling . . . almost numb, and I didn't want to let that go. I felt that if I left, he would slip away, and I'd never be able to find him again.
"I'll stay." I bargained, "But you have to get me to set. It's not that far,"
"Stay," he mumbled against my throat, and I nodded, because there was nothing else I could do or say. I kissed his temple, closing my eyes.
A/N: So I finally got the next chapter of this thing up. Aren't you happy? So am I, because I honestly couldn't think of anything else for these two. But they're . . . back together, in a way. Don't worry, I have a lot more planned for them.
Aren't they adorable together?