Love through Lemon Contest
Hosts: tby789 and Lolashoes
Bella and Edward, human, married
Pen Name: ericastwilight/emarroquin
"…the test results show, Mrs. Cullen, that you have leukemia. The disease is in its initial stages, and we've been fortunate enough to catch it early. There are many options at this stage for this type of cancer, including a combination of chemo and radiation therapy. I'm sure between you, Dr. Cullen and your father, we can come up with an ideal treatment program."
An anguished cry filled the room as I heard the words from the doctor telling me that my beautiful Bella was ill. Not just ill, but terminally ill. It took a fraction of a second for me to realize the cry had left my lips. She wrapped her arms around me, trying to comfort me.
She was always caring for me. The one time where I should have taken care of her, should have fucking noticed her, and I had completely failed.
I should have noticed that her bruises were taking too long to heal. I should have noticed that her balance was a little off; she never used to be so clumsy. I should have noticed the pale pallor of her complexion.
That had been my mistake. I had never had the time to notice all the symptoms that would've signaled warning bells for one of my own patients. I was too busy trying to get my private practice started.
She had never seemed to mind. She had always up before me to give me my coffee and kiss me goodbye every morning. She had always been there waiting for me when I got home late at night, waiting with a tall glass of water and another kiss.
Now, when she needed me most, I couldn't remain strong. I couldn't listen to the drone of the doctor's instructions or the details. I was lost in the pain and anguish knowing that the woman beside me may not live long enough to celebrate our second wedding anniversary.
Why the fuck did she have to get sick?
Bella, of all people, didn't deserve that shit. She helped so many people and cared so fucking much that the words never had to be uttered from her lips. Her passion and feelings were in everything she did. She showed her heart to all those around her.
Still, I wasn't strong enough to stay by her side. I left just a few days later, scared, confused and angry.
In those few days she had tried soothing me. She cared for me instead of herself. I hated that she had done that. It was like she had been trivializing what was happening to her. She didn't want me to watch her waste away until she was a mere shell of the vibrant woman she had been.
I watched from afar after I'd left.
I called my sister, Alice, to check on her when the house seemed too quiet. On occasion, I would call to listen to the answering machine message, just to hear her voice.
I watched each time Jasper carried her frail body from the car after an intense round of chemotherapy. I watched as she walked out onto the porch every evening, waiting.
I could hear her murmuring every night; she was waiting for me. The words she spoke were lost in the wind and rain of the dreary nights.
I watched her from afar because I was too weak to stand by her side- to be the husband she deserved.
I almost caved and went back so many times. Though I managed to keep an eye on her, I couldn't face her after what I had done. I didn't want her to see me this way, dying inside.
I had hoped that while I was gone, she would concentrate on her health instead of me. I knew if I had stayed, she would down play her pain or her illness. She hated to appear weak in any form.
Though I was sure my reasoning was unjust and unfair to her, at the time, I'd felt that it was right.
One night, almost three months after I had left her, she didn't come outside. It made my stomach churn to believe that she already given up on me- on us. Rightfully so, but still it was painful to bear.
Alice and Jasper had just left hours ago, and I worried that she was too sick to come out tonight in the chilly October air.
Perhaps it was better this way. She would get more rest and wouldn't be risking her health during these cooler months.
A scream from my home pierced the night.
I didn't think twice; I leapt out of the car and scrambled up the steps, forcing the front door open. Broken sobs and the tumbling of breaking glass from the upstairs bedroom called for my attention.
Why was she staying up there? She had been staying in the downstairs bedroom to prevent her from falling.
Another scream, and I flew up those stairs as though my life depended on it. I looked in our bedroom and noticed the bathroom doors wide open. I crept across the hardwood floor until I could see her reflection.
Bella was kneeling amongst the tile floor, sobbing, chunks of beautiful hair on the floor beside her.
A sob erupted from my lips, and I backed away quickly. She was on her feet surprisingly fast as she turned to face me.
Pain flashed through her eyes before they settled on unbridled anger.
I shook my head and sobbed again before bolting out of the room. "How dare you come back!" she screamed as my legs trembled beneath me. The raspy sound of her voice unnerved me. She was so angry; it was something I had never heard from her.
I couldn't face her anger anymore than her pain. I knew what I had done was wrong. Watching her from arms length was just as bad as if I had stayed, if not worse.
I scurried across the foyer and stumbled upon a few suitcases.
"Your bags have been packed since the day you left. Take them and go," she cried from the stairway.
Her voice was cold and calculated, so unlike my Bella. I turned to face her, and I was met with a shell of the woman I had known for over six years.
"The divorce papers are in the small suitcase. Consider yourself served," she stated, crushing all the hope I had been holding on to.
Yes, I'd held onto hope. I had hoped that if she survived, I could walk back into her life. I wouldn't have deserved it, but I had hoped.
I looked at my packed bags and then looked back to face her. I watched in complete horror as she took a tentative step down the staircase. She stopped suddenly, appearing at war with some hidden emotion.
"You're not worth a possible fall," she snapped.
I closed my eyes. "I know I'm not." I turned and grabbed the three suitcases before making my way to open the door.
I hesitated, because there were words that needed to be said, but I wasn't strong enough.
I opened the door. "I'll have my lawyer look over the paperwork, and Alice will pick up the rest of my things."
"Bella, I –"
She cut me off before I could say another word. "Doesn't matter anymore, Edward."
I nodded, opening the door and closing it behind me. Her sob that pierced my heart was delivered the moment the door clicked closed. I stood there, sobbing, willing myself to go back inside. She turned off the light, in essence asking me to leave.
I remained watching her for months; I was sure that she knew. She never acknowledged me or made an effort to tell me to stop. I finally received the call from Alice and my mother; her cancer was in remission.
I cried for days, knowing I should go see her, talk to her. Our divorce would be final soon, and I would cease to be her husband.
I needed to see her. I needed to talk to her. I just wanted her to know that I had never meant to hurt her.
My prayers were answered when I received a text message from Bella the next day.
I found a box of your things from college, and I thought you'd like them back. Would you like for Alice to pick them up?
I reread the message several times. I had no idea why she wouldn't just send them home with Alice, like my other belongings. She had remained close with my family.
At first, my family had been disgusted with me for leaving her when she needed me most, especially when she had no remaining family and our friends were all mutual. Suddenly, they were all talking to me again, reestablishing our relationships.
Alice told me why- Bella. She had made it clear that although we were no longer together, she didn't want to cause a rift where I was concerned.
She was still watching out for me, even after everything I had done to her. I didn't deserve her caring for me in any way, but I knew it was in her nature to do so.
I sent her message:
Meet me at the Coffee House, tomorrow 9 am, please?
Later that night, I paced my apartment's living room, waiting for an answer. Just when I was about to lose hope, I received one.
Buy me a cupcake, and you've got yourself a deal.
I laughed as tears fell from my eyes. She had agreed to see me.
One lemon cupcake will be waiting.
I waited to see if she'd answer. My hair was all over the place as I ran my hands through it repeatedly, nervously.
I sighed and finally slept a dreamless sleep- something I hadn't done in over a year.
I sat in the corner booth where I had first met Bella, seven years ago. The idea that I chose to meet her here was, I was sure, not lost on her. Though our relationship had started like most storybook romances, it had ended with my defection.
Even though I didn't deserve an ounce of her attention, I had hope that we could become friends again. I craved her presence. It would be more than I deserved.
I watched the door with my hands curled around a cup of steaming black coffee. Bella had always wondered why I chose to pay such an outrageous price for plain black coffee, and I always responded the same way:
"Asks the woman who pays just as much, if not more, for mostly steamed milk."
Her laughter was what drew her to me all those years ago. I was brought out of my memories by the ring of the bell on the door.
I felt her before I saw her, and her face lit up perceptively when our eyes met. The light pink tinge of her cheeks had returned. She was just as breathtaking as before, even though her hair was so much shorter now.
She had lost all her long, chestnut locks during her fight against the cancer. It seemed to be coming back just as lovely, as curls skimmed just above her shoulders.
She crossed the room and settled the small box just beside me before taking the seat across from me.
"Edward." Her voice was a mere whisper.
"Bella," I rasped.
She looked up at me, her hands taking the cappuccino waiting for her.
"How are you?" she asked. Her eyes seemed almost reserved.
I smiled a little before answering, "Better, now."
She sighed softly and nodded, looking down at her cupcake.
She knew my intentions. She knew I still wanted her. She also knew I wouldn't push.
Our divorce was coming along easily. I had given her all she requested and more. I wouldn't hinder it if it was what she wanted. I didn't want to become her ex-husband, but I wasn't going to fight her on it, either. It would just prolong the pain if I did.
"And you?" I asked, leaning my head down to see her eyes. She noticed my movement, and her eyes met with mine.
I took her hand in mine, and we slipped into easy conversation, going over the contents of the box. Mostly it consisted of the items that would mean nothing to anyone else, but to me they meant the world. The contents consisted of our memories.
So the days and weeks passed, and we'd see each other weekly, there in that corner booth.
We never acknowledged what was happening. I felt it, but did she? Even if she did, I didn't think she'd take me back.
I knew that the divorce was still going through. Neither of us would speak of it but I had received the final paperwork for me to sign just a month after that first meeting in the coffee shop.
I went over the forms and looked at the reason she listed.
Irreconcilable differences, including abandonment.
I sobbed; it was too late. It was too late to fix this. It was too late to go back and stay- stay, like I should have.
I signed on all the marked lines and cried myself to sleep, promising myself that I would deliver the forms to my lawyer Monday morning.
I was meeting Bella this Sunday morning, on what would be our last coffee house meeting as husband and wife. As much as I wished that I could just stay home and wallow in my self-pity, I knew I couldn't stay away.
Any chance to see her was a peek of heaven in the hell that I alone had created. I walked with a heavy heart to the corner booth where she was already waiting.
Her lemon cupcake sat between us, both of us pensive. I was sure she had received the same paperwork I had. Neither of us brought it up. The tension crackled between us as we sat there, at a loss for words.
After a tense half-hour of heavy silence, her hand tentatively reached for mine. Her slender finger traced figure eights against the pale skin of my palm, occasionally tracing my life line.
She drew another figure eight-infinity.
Neither one of us seemed to want to disturb the quiet peace that had come over us once her hand was in mine.
Another type of energy cracked and sizzled around us as her finger hesitated, then left my hand and traced my lips. I closed my eyes at the gesture, thinking of the first time she had done it.
I opened my eyes as her fingers traced my jaw and trailed down my neck. I was met with her warm brown eyes, soft and inviting. They were beseeching, asking me if something was still there.
"Bella," I whispered, watching her tongue sweep across her lower lip enticingly.
"Come with me?" she asked.
"Anywhere," I said, taking her fingers from my neck and kissing them softly.
She nodded and we left hand-in-hand, walking toward her Audi. I opened her door for her, and she slid into the driver seat. I ran to the passenger side and sat there tentatively, so frightened that I'd scare her.
I was so scared that she'd rethink what was happening.
We both knew what was going to happen. I should stop, pause and prevent this from happening. The pain afterward would be unbearable, to touch her now, knowing it would be the last time.
I was selfish; I needed this. Just one more time I told myself. I looked over at her as she pulled away from the curb. Her expression was no longer one of apprehension and for that was grateful.
Her hand rested on the gear shift between us. I placed my hand over hers, causing her to smile. My answering smile was one I hadn't had since before I left her.
I shook my head from those thoughts, not wanting to revisit that painful period of my life.
Bella pulled up to what would soon be only her home, no longer our home. She turned off the car and remained quiet.
Please don't change your mind.
She shifted in her seat to face me. Our intertwined hands moved along with her, resting on her lap. Her free hand lifted from her lap and caressed my cheek.
I closed my eyes, relishing the close contact. Her fingers traced over my lips again, causing them to part slightly from the small whimper that escaped me.
Then I felt her petal soft lips against my own. This kiss was hesitant, very much like our first kiss- so sweet.
Her hand moved from my cheek to my hair, raking her short nails against my scalp. I groaned, wanting her closer, needing her closer.
I released her hand and brought both of mine to her face. I held it tenderly before deepening the kiss, pressing more firmly. I licked her bottom lip with the tip of my tongue. Her soft lips parted, allowing me access to the recess of her mouth.
We both moaned in unison as our tongues moved against the other's languidly. Bella's hand reached and tugged at my hair impatiently, wanting me closer.
I pulled away but continued kissing along her cheek and jaw. "As much as I want to continue this here and now, Mrs. Palmer from across the street is getting an eyeful."
Bella gasped, then giggled. "Inside?"
I nodded and quickly stepped out of the car, going to her side. I took her hand, not able to take my eyes off her.
She smiled at me and pulled me urgently to the front door. Her hands dug into my hair, kissing me thoroughly and deeply. I moaned and backed her against the door. My hands found purchase on her hips, and I used it to pull her closer.
I showed her how much I wanted her. She moaned and ground her hips against me further. Reluctantly, I pulled away and quickly whirled her around, pinning her against my chest.
"The door, Isabella," I said huskily, kissing along her neck. She nodded and with a trembling hand, managed to open the door.
Once inside, I closed the door behind us and once again pinned her against my chest. My fingers lightly traced her collarbone just before removing her jacket. My lips lingered on her neck as my hands caressed the sides of her body.
"Are you sure?" I whispered against her ear. She had to want this, to be really sure. I'd never forgive myself if she regretted this.
Bella, I want just one more night.
My lips ghosted over the soft skin of her neck. My fingers met the warm skin just under the hem of her sweater.
"Yes," she gasped as I grazed my teeth across her skin under her ear.
I pulled her sweater over her head and tossed it aside. My hands caressed the soft, taut skin under her navel.
"Edward," she moaned, her hands gripping my hips behind her, pulling me closer. I ground my cock against her backside in time with her movements.
"Do you feel what you do to me? Every time I smell you." I inhaled deeply, her hair just under my nose, "Every time I see you." I spun her around, and her eyes were lidded with desire. My eyes raked over her porcelain skin, her breasts heaving in a blue, laced bra.
I cupped her neck and whispered, "Beautiful." She bit her lip, something she always did when I gave her any sort of compliment, followed by -ah there it was- her blush.
Her hands bravely came up, pushing my jacket off my shoulders. Her fingers trembled but made quick work of my buttons. My hands settled again on the flare of her hips, moving upward, cupping her breasts in my hands.
Bella tossed her head back with a quiet moan, arching her chest closer to me. It wasn't close enough; my lips traveled from her swollen lips to her clothed nipples. My tongue laved her hardened peak before sucking on it gently.
Our feet shuffled across the hardwood floor toward the staircase. Somehow, Bella climbed backward up a few steps just as my shirt fell from my shoulders. My hands were constantly feeling and touching, my mouth exploring every exposed curve.
Another three steps, and her skirt lay in a heap at the base of the stairs. I hissed when my hands met the lace over the curvature of her ass.
Our mouths, never leaving the other's body, continued in their explorations in our quest to reintroduce ourselves.
If only for tonight.
With every step we took, more skin was exposed. With every new inch of exposure, our hands groped, pulled, pinched, licked and caressed. Just before hitting the landing, Bella moaned deeply when my hands pulled her tight against my body.
I couldn't wait any longer. I needed to feel her against me. All of me.
I laid her down on the last remaining steps from the landing. I hovered over her body, holding myself up with my arms on each side of her face. I kissed her deeply, before turning my attention to her lovely neck.
"Please, Edward." Her voice was thick and filled with need. I allowed my lower body to brush up against hers as I continued my tour down her body.
I popped the clasp of her bra, removing the straps before tossing it behind me. Bella's hands threaded through my hair, pulling me closer to her chest.
I swirled my tongue over the pebbled flesh, teasing it before finally taking the small peak into my mouth. She moaned and writhed under me, seeking friction. I ground against her, my cock coming into contact with her laced-covered sex.
I groaned, as I ground against her again. I wanted to see, touch and lick every inch of her. First, I wanted to taste her, one last time.
I continued exploring, ensuring her other breast received the same attention as the other. I licked and nipped my way to her navel. I swirled my tongue over the area and blew a breath over the moisture, earning a soft mewl from Bella. I chuckled before continuing, smiling against her skin. My fingers found purchase under the hem of her panties, and I pulled the last barrier from her lithe form.
I groaned as my eyes roamed over her slick, bare core. Bare- she'd never been completely bare. With one arm holding my body up over hers, my free hand skimmed over the soft pink skin of her folds.
Bella moaned deeply, clenching her eyes closed just as I circled her clit, rubbing against it once, twice before delving the tip of my finger inside her. She keened softly, one of her hands clutching my arm, the other at her breast.
I kneeled on the step just below me, bringing me to fucking eye level with her core. Freeing my hands, I ran them over both over her perfectly smooth legs, parting them at the knees for a better view. I groaned as I watched her glistening sex seep down along her thigh. I ran my hands up the back of her knees, and one by one draped her legs over my shoulders.
Bella's eyes widened, biting her lip seductively. She watched, our eyes locked, as I pressed my lips against her clit. She blinked furiously before moaning when my tongue met her sex. Her lovely head landed lightly against the step behind her. She bucked her hips, silently begging for more.
I continued teasing but at the same time savoring with small kisses, licks and nibbles. She propped herself on her elbows, watching me with lust-filled eyes. I delved deeper, my tongue and fingers bringing her to ecstasy.
I watched as her stomach muscles clenched tightly, just as her walls clenched around my fingers. With a graze of my teeth against her clit, she fell over the edge, and I watched her lips part as she came with a silent cry.
I continued licking and kissing until I was satisfied that I got every drop of her sweet climax. Her hands dug into my hair and pulled my lips to hers roughly.
I groaned deeply as her toes worked to get my boxers off. I kissed her lips but pulled away. "Bella, fuck, your back," I said as her lips sought mine again.
"I'm fine," she gasped, wrapping her legs around me.
"No, I won't- God!" I moaned when her lips and tongue moved across my Adam's apple.
"Bedroom," she said throatily. I angled my neck for her to have complete access to continue her ministrations. I shifted my hands under her ass, squeezing once, her legs doing the same around me.
"Fuck," I gasped, feeling her wet pussy against my abdomen.
I had to get inside her, now. I quickly shifted my body just enough to pull us both up. With one hand on the wall for balance and the other securing her body against mine, I walked steadily toward our bedroom.
Bella continued sucking and doing wicked things with her tongue along my jaw, neck, collarbone and ears while I successfully brought us to our destination.
With one eye open, I saw that our bedroom was still exactly the same.
The same sheets and duvet with only one side of the bed slept in.
I shook those thoughts from my head to concentrate on the here and now. I placed her gently on the bed. With small adjustments, I settled above her, between her bent knees. I lifted myself off her body and caressed her cheek before kissing her lips softly. She nodded, a silent confirmation for me to continue.
I entered her slowly, torturously so. I groaned as every inch of my cock was greeted with her wonderfully slick, tight warmth.
Bella whimpered, no longer accustomed to my size. I remained still, peppering kisses over her breasts, along her neck and lips. With a small moan and arch of her back, we continued our journey to bring ourselves pleasure the best we way knew how- together.
"Edward." Her throaty whisper was another plea for more. Here and now, in this act, we'd always been nothing short of perfection. Her hips created amazing friction, swirling and meeting me perfectly every time.
"Bella, oh God… so tight," I groaned, unable to articulate anything further. One of her legs bent around my calf, the other curled high on my hips, deepening the angle. We both grunted in unison as she used her body and the whisper of my name to bring me closer to the edge.
Out of all the fantasies I used to cope with the lonely nights for the past 383 days I had lived without her, none did her justice. She was a goddess, my Bella.
She writhed, arching her body, seeking my lips. This alerted me that she was close, and she needed something, just a push.
I hitched the leg on my hip higher and pounded into her, sucking on her lips, greeted with her soft tongue. I moaned in her mouth when I felt her small hand in between our bodies, seeking her little button.
She stroked her clit hard, her knuckles brushing against the coarse hair leading to my cock. She moaned as I deepened and sped up my thrusts, hitting her just right for her screams to fill my ears.
"Yes, oh God… Edward! Yes!"
With another thrust, she tightened almost painfully around me, pulling me over the edge with her. I groaned, stilling her hips as I filled her.
Slick with sweat, we caught our breaths, our bodies pressed against each other. Careful not to hurt her, I pulled out, rolling off of her.
With her back facing me, I placed my chin on her shoulder, kissing her neck.
"Bella," I whispered.
"I know, Edward. It's still not going to change anything."
"This was never the problem. The problem was that this wasn't enough to make you stay."
I sighed as a tear fell from my eye.
"I still watched over you."
"Did you really think that my sister or the rest of my family just happened to know when to come check on you?" I tightened my hold around her waist. "Alice isn't that perceptive."
"Did you ever wonder where the fresh flower that appeared on your desk at work each morning came from?" I peppered kisses on her until I met her ear. "Did you ever wonder how our song played at exactly the hour you set the alarm to?" I kissed her just under her ear. "Did you ever wonder how the newspaper that has yet to be delivered safely to the doorstep manages to be there every morning on the kitchen table?"
"That was you?"
"Yes," I answered simply.
"You did that every day?"
I nodded against her shoulder; I waited to hear the words that would send me away for good. I deserved as much.
She remained quiet for much too long, unnerving me. I sighed and nearly broke down right then and there.
"Please tell me what you're thinking, Bella?"
"I think… neither of us is going to work tomorrow or the next day."
"Because we've inexplicably come down with the flu and need time to recuperate."
I smiled, and I was so fucking relieved. "Oh, really…" I said huskily.
"Oh yes, I'll need several doses of …" Her tight little ass ground against me; my cock hardened instantly.
I rolled her onto her back, hovering over her. "Well, I'll just have to be the one administering these said dosages, won't I?"
Bella bit her lip and nodded. "I'm not promising you anything, but I'll be willing to try."
"We're going to have to work together and get help."
I nodded again.
"Now… I need another dose, Dr. Cullen," she said throatily, grabbing my cock with her hot little hands.
"My pleasure, Mrs. Cullen," I said, causing a smile to fall upon her lips.
AN: I'd like to thank the hosts of this contest for giving me a great challenge. Also Project Team Beta for all their wonderful help getting this chapter cleaned up.
This story is near and dear to my heart because something like this happens in reality. The couple is together, happy and she has been in remisson for 7 years now.