A/N: SO SORRY IT'S TAKEN ME FOREVER TO GET THIS UPLOADED!! I'm a horrible person—throw your worst at me!
Honestly, school has got me by the nose, yanking me this way and that and I just can't get caught up. When I was writing this I should have been practicing my violin Jury (a solo, scale and subdividing test that's extremely important, even for me, a non-major), but, if you know me at all, I'm an amazing procrastinator and I do what I want. So I wrote this chapter.
Now, I can play my violin.
Credit: Jess for her lovely part in this story. The Cake Eaters for getting me obsessed with FA, and giving me inspiration when I feel pathetic enough to sneak over to our DVD collection to grab the movie.
Disclaimer: Twilight belongs to Stephenie Meyer. Constance, Texas is a fictional town created by yours truly. I'm taking creative license on this story.
Chapter Fourteen: Healing
Edward Cullen—Age Twenty (Note: At the beginning of this chapter, Edward is speaking in the past-tense; he is telling what is happening before, around the holidays, when he was nineteen years old. When the "present" action actually begins, it is his birthday, and he's just turned twenty.)
By the time the holiday season came pricking at the back of my neck, I was beginning to think Bella would never get over the loss of our baby.
There had been a period of time where she would wake from our shared bed and silently make her way down the hall to curl herself up on the windowsill in the unfinished nursery and stay there all day until she came back to sleep. She would not speak and refused to eat. This stage lasted exactly two weeks before I put my foot down. She was torturing herself by holing up in the baby's room and she was dropping too much weight; I was starting to see the outline of her ribs under the skin of her chest. When I was fed up, I did something I hadn't allowed myself to do unless to bring food to her (that she wouldn't even look at.)
I entered the nursery.
And there was Bella—not my Bella, but Bella nonetheless—with her forehead pressed against the glass of the window as she stared with dead, unseeing eyes, out into the overgrown lot outside. I took a deep breath and took two long strides to her side. She didn't even budge; it barely looked like she was breathing. Bending over slightly, I scooped one arm under her crooked legs and the other under her arms and hauled her up. She felt as light as a child, and almost as fragile as a bird.
She didn't have a reaction to my actions until I dumped her on the couch next to me in the house that I had finished furnishing without her. I sat down on the other end and flicked the television to Food Network, hoping it would spark something within her. I knew Bella was in there, somewhere, I just had to pull her back to the surface. Some fried chicken crackled on the screen and she turned her head towards me, looking at me like she wasn't sure how she had gotten down here with me. When she remembered, she narrowed her eyes at me and moved to stand, to leave and go back to her empty shell. Before she could right herself completely, I grabbed her arm and halted her movements. She stared down at me with hopeless and broken brown eyes and I had to swallow down the lump in my throat before I spoke.
"I would like to spend some time with my wife." I said, my voice careful and quiet, "Please."
Bella blinked once, hesitated. She shook as she sat back down, much closer to me this time, and I released her arm. She sat stiff for a long time, rigid like a board, unsure how to interact normally anymore.
But after an hour of uncomfortable silence and Iron Chef, I could feel her muscles begin to loosen, and eventually I found myself with my own Bella blanket. She had crawled over and wrapped herself around me, nuzzling her face into my chest.
After that day, things started getting better. There had been an imaginary line that Bella had drawn for herself in front of the nursery door, and she would never touch the door or peer inside. She began to eat again, and engaged in small talk. To anyone on the outside, she would seem to be back to normal, "cured," even.
I knew, though. She wasn't completely back yet. She would laugh and smile and kiss me, but her eyes were always distant, seeing something that could have been, but would never happen.
She would allow me to make love to her, and in these hours were where she really became my Bella again. She was still the insanely passionate woman I knew, always one to experiment and gasp and nibble and bite and just drive me insanely wild.
That fire inside her would die as soon as she stood from the bed and went to the bathroom afterwards. It was as if she would take off her skin and replace it with a different one, one that didn't fit her just right.
Bella lasted through Christmas. She drank her way down her own champagne bottle on New Years. Valentines Day she clung to me, giving me her chocolate-covered lips and being absurdly frisky.
I wasn't sure what caused her to break her depressive habits, but it happened on June twentieth—my twentieth birthday. I woke to a light kiss to my forehead and the smell of a rich and fluffy omelet. When I pealed away my eyelids Bella was looking down at me with a grin on her face.
"Good morning, sleepyhead." she whispered, gently running her fingers through my hair as I sat up in our bed. I looked to the alarm clock to find it reading 11:23 AM. I cracked a smile up at her and pulled the tray closer to me.
"How much did you make?" I asked as she walked around the edge of the bed and crawled over to my side, spooning against me. Stuffed onto the small surface area of the tray was a huge, puffy omelet, a large bowl of assorted fruits, a plate of toast, some bacon, hash browns, and two glasses of cranberry-apple juice. My favorite.
"Mmm," she hummed into my shoulder, reaching out and picking up one of the glasses and carefully swirled the purple-pink liquid around, "enough for two."
I smiled at her and kissed her hairline before diving in for cheesy and eggy goodness. While I ate, she plucked berries from the bowl and popped them between her lips. And when she bit into a strawberry and the juice pooled on her lower lip, I couldn't stand it anymore.
Something had shifted inside my Bella between the hour we fell asleep and when she brought me something to eat this morning. And I could feel it—she was whole again. It was amazing and thrilling.
Quickly, I picked the tray from over me and leaned to set it on the ground by the bed. With the half-eaten strawberry still in her hand, I tilted in and closed my mouth over Bella's, lapping at her taste mixed with the juice. I pulled away quickly and found that her brown eyes were wide and surprised, the green of the berry pinched tightly between her fingertips. She swallowed hard and lifted the strawberry to my mouth, running the edge of her bite along my lower lip.
Her breathing was already heavy as I took the berry between my teeth and bit down. The nectar dripped down my chin and she lunged for it, licking at my skin with her small tongue. I took a deep breath and dipped my head, stealing her mouth and letting our tongues dance. She gasped dropping the forgotten strawberry over the edge of the bed and moving her damp fingers greedily to my face.
I wrapped my arms around her waist and pulled her over me, and she instinctively placed her thighs on either side of my hips, easily straddling me. I smiled against her lips at how perfectly she knew me. She returned the smile for the briefest of moments before kissing me again. I trailed my hands up from her hips, my fingertips bringing along her shirt. The feminine dip of her back made the air rush out of my lungs and I moved my mouth from hers to bury it in her neck.
She leaned her head back to allow me better access and—I'm almost certain she did it on purpose—pushed herself back towards the hardness that was already forming in my pajama pants. I groaned and locked my jaws down on her neck, earning a whimper from her. Her hands slipped into my hair and her blunt nails massaged my scalp in a way that sent shocks down my back.
Bella mewled, and I pulled away to tug her pesky shirt off. I dropped it next to us, not caring if it found its way off the bed or not. She wasn't wearing a bra, like I wasn't wearing a shirt, and the feel of our bare flesh meeting made us both hiss. It was different—Bella was different. I could feel it, I could just tell. I pulled her even closer, but higher, letting myself trail wet and open-mouthed kisses all over her collarbones and the beginnings of her breasts.
She was gasping and letting out little huffs and moans that only egged me on. I found myself hovering over her and her hands fisting into my hair, holding me to her mouth as our tongues battled for dominance.
Her knees were wide apart, letting me settle between her legs; I could feel the heat from her core through both of our sleep pants and it drove me insane. She blew into my ear, her breath warm and delicious across my sensitive skin. "Edward," she whispered my name and I pressed my cheek to hers. My hand was cupping her right breast, gently rolling the pebbled nipple between my thumb and forefinger. "Oh. . . ." She let her head fall back, supporting herself on her elbows while they shook at the sensations I was sending down her body.
Bella shimmied out of her thin bottoms and kicked them off the bed. I smiled down at her and she grinned lazily in response. "There you are," I murmured lovingly, kissing around her left eye and making my way down her face until I could claim her mouth. I let my free hand rest lightly over her heated center, feeling, even through her panties, how wet she was for me. I blew a heavy breath out through tight lips and ducked my head to her exposed breast, lavishing it with my teeth and tongue. She gasped and arched her back towards me. I suckled on the sweet under-side of her breast, leaving a round red mark.
"Edward. . . ." God, the way she said my name had me tripping along the edge of a knife. I yanked her shirt the rest of the way off of her and scooted her further back on the bed, letting her head rest between the fluffy pillows. Her eyes were wide and deep brown, almost black, as she reached up and encircled my neck with her arms, bringing me down so her lips could move over mine.
While she kissed me, I kicked off my bottoms and smiled at myself for never wearing boxers under pajamas. She sucked in a breath of mine when she felt my hardness against her thigh, her eyes meeting mine with a wild intensity that had been absent for months.
She pulled my ear to her lips and took a shaky breath. "Make love to me, Edward," she said in a low, out-of-breath voice; she bit around the shell of my ear and I bucked my hips into her, reeling as she let out a moan.
I leaned back and pealed off her panties, letting them join with the company of the other articles of clothing that had already been discarded. She situated herself under me as I aligned with her entrance. I held her gaze as I slid easily and slowly into her. She was the first to break eye contact, letting her eyes roll back and her head tilt north on the pillows.
A long, content groan ripped from my chest, as if I was arriving home from some long and stressful journey. I was home.
She wrapped her arms under mine, securing her dull nails in the muscles over my shoulder blades before I had even moved within her. Her eyebrows were pulled together and up in the middle, a sob face that she wore when she was close to being undone. I cradled my arms under her, using only my elbows and knees as support, as she wrapped her legs around my waist and locked her ankles, bringing me deeper inside her.
Bella buried her head in my neck, kissing the top of my collarbone. Finally, I drew back, just as slowly as I had entered, and hissed as her heat left me. Again and again, I pushed in and pulled away in a penetrating and steady rhythm. She was panting in my ear as her muscles tightened and pulled me in deeper, her hips rising to meet mine.
It took everything I had not to take her with oblivion, to completely let this lust devour me. Today I did not want that for us—today it would be slow, and a release of anything foul she still had left inside of her. She bent her neck and kissed and open-mouthed trail up my throat, her breath hot and heavy against my moist skin. Every time I filled her completely, and little noise would escape her lips—a moan, a whimper, a sigh. Every one drove me wild.
There was a twist this time. Instead of the arch of her back and the rapid squeezing of her muscles around my length that normally told me of the ride of pleasure she was going on, there was a deep warmth beginning to heat from far inside her. I opened my mouth and I could taste it, the difference in the air, the flavor of the two of us filling our entire world.
She cried against my skin, blinking up at me with tears in her eyes. "Edward, I . . . there's something wrong. . . ."
No, there was nothing wrong. Couldn't she sense how amazing this felt? The intense flame?
"I can't . . . I . . ." she panted into my mouth as I kissed her. Another cry escaped her barriers, sounding like she was giving up.
"Bella," I brushed my lips along hers. "Can't you feel it? You can. . . . I know you can, Bella."
But as my words landed on her tongue she shook her head, her nails biting into my skin. "It doesn't feel right . . ." she was breathless, her face dazed from lack of air. All I could taste and smell was her. All I could feel was her and sensation. "No, no, no . . ." she blubbered wetly against my skin while I continued to push into her.
I was very close to my own climax, but I would not allow her to think she could not come. Not now. I willed myself deeper into her, searching for that special spot inside her that would make her orgasm rip through her.
"No—oh, oh, oh!" She started calling, and I could feel the shift of her muscles around me, the way they gently pulled me in. I could feel her tightening of her lungs under me, the way they sucked my own breath and oxygen away. She was still sobbing against my chest, but in pleads and wishes, telling me to never stop. I let a crooked smile play on my lips as she pulled me down closer to her with her arms, and we were pressed completely together.
Bella lifted her head and our lips met in a passionate, loving kiss and our circuit was complete. She came at that instant, every muscle in her body clenching so tightly that she had trouble screaming out my name. At that I let myself rush head-first into my oblivion, all five senses surrounded with Bella, my wife, my everything.
I pumped into her sporadically as we rode the waves out together, mine ending far before hers. She was still whimpering and moaning when I was able to steady my vision and peer down at her beautiful face, layered with a sheen of sweat.
When she was only trembling under me, I rolled so I was on my side next to her, and pulled her into me.
She broke, splitting directly in half and began to weep in my arms. Her cries were raw and choppy, and she clawed at me, like I was her only hold on her life and reality. I only held her, rocking us slightly while I kissed her forehead and whispered that it would be okay, that I was here, and she was going to be okay.
And just as her sobs were beginning to seem endless, she did run dry, quiet and painful sighs coming from her. She pressed close to me, and I was suddenly jealous of our skins that kept us so separated from each other.
"I'm so sorry," she whispered into my chest, her words muffled.
"Don't," I replied. And for once, she didn't. After a few minutes, I spoke again, hesitantly. "Are you okay."
She thought about it. Nodding slowly, she said, "Yes. . . . Thank you, Edward."
I brought my finger under her chin and lifted her lips to mine. "I love you," I told her. She smiled sleepily up at me, returning my love.
"I love you too, Edward. So much."
A/N: Hope you liked! ;D
I've gotten a few questions about that one, horrid cliffhanger that I had for you guys involving Edward and Alice. Now, just to clear some things up—no, you did not miss something hidden in the story, and yes, it will come up eventually. Secondly, it wasn't innocent as some of you want to think it was. : D And I'll leave it there.
I HAVE A TWITTER! ;D You can go to my profile page for the direct link, or if you're crafty, you can follow RI_FanFiction. That's me! I just got this handy little cell phone called a Droid Eris. Yeah, you're all jealous. I know. It's just as awesome as it looks on TV, I promise, if not better.
Enough of my rambling, it's time for you to REVIEW!