I want to thank EVERYONE who read and reviewed Chapter 15… you guys are AWESOME! I know I promised this chapter a while ago but I had a little vacation in San Diego and a little event called Comic-Con that distracted me. It took me a while to get readjusted to Eastern Daylight Time, but I AM BACK!
And, for all of those who have been waiting for the smut to return…. You're welcome. LOL
Please read and review.
~Two Months Earlier~
"Hiding from me, Cullen?"
I was broken out of my reverie by one of the sweetest voices I had ever heard. I turned from my perch atop the waist-high ledge of our rooftop patio to greet my visitor's telltale smirk.
"Bella, you know I don't do parties."
It was a beautiful night in Seattle, for a change. Bella's company during my 'little reprieve' only made it better.
Bella seemingly floated to my side as she crooned her rebuttal. "True, but this is your sister's party. Come celebrate with us."
After two years of apprenticing for Claudette Thoreaux in her Seattle shop, Alice was finally being given an opportunity to showcase her own work. I am so proud of her. Alice has dreamed of becoming a big-time fashion designer ever since I've known her. I'm glad my baby sis is finally getting a chance to branch out on her own… even if it is just for one show. She will have her first runway show in three months consisting of her best twelve pieces. Given the many sketches Allie has made over the years, selecting the 'final twelve' may be a difficult decision for her. But, for tonight, she and about twenty of her closest fashion friends are here to celebrate her accomplishment.
"I know, but Allie doesn't need her prodigal brother stealing her thunder."
It had only been a couple of months since I moved into Allie's place but I hadn't met many of her friends. I didn't feel too comfortable around her people.
"We are talking about your sister, right? You know good and well that no one can steal that girl's thunder," Bella smiled.
"True," I chuckled.
"She sent me to come get you, you know. She wants to share this moment with you. She misses her 'baby brother'."
Here we go again with this 'baby brother' crap…
"Bells, you know..."
"I know, Eddie... I'm just relaying the message," she joked, punching my shoulder lightly.
I held my shoulder in mock pain and returned her knowing smile. "Are you at least having fun down there?"
Bella shrugged. "I don't know many of Allie's artsy-fartsy friends. My kind of art and their kind of art aren't necessarily of the same yolk, if you know what I mean."
"Maybe that's why I didn't feel all that comfortable down there."
"Well, at least we have each other. We can keep each other company," she smiled at the skyline.
In many different ways, I mused.
It was really hard to not to read in her words when our friendship was anything but typical. As much as I missed our purely platonic relationship from years ago, I was not ready to give up our highly addictive sexual relationship.
Okay, so maybe I shouldn't refer to it as a 'relationship,' since we've only had sex twice.
But God help me if I didn't want to touch her like that again.
To kiss her sweet lips, to worship her body, to feel her writhing below me, on top of me, surrounding me…
"Earth to Edward," a playful Bella sang into my ear, her zinfandel-scented breath bringing me back to the present.
I laughed to myself as I brought my own half-full glass of a dry white wine to my lips.
This woman will most certainly be the death of me.
"Were you like this at Dartmouth?" Bella added, staring at me intently.
The close proximity of her body and her full lips was making me dizzy. I decided that it would be wise to put some space between us.
"I never really found any people that really 'got me'," I told her as I slid off of the ledge and took two small steps away from her, stopping at the corner where the two ledge walls met. "So, by default, I spent a lot of time alone."
"So you left Forks to become a recluse, is that it?"
Resting my weight against the waist-high ledge, I turned to face her once again. She was absolutely striking in her color-block sheath dress and knee-high boots. "Not necessarily a recluse, but I didn't go out of my way to meet new people."
"I get it," Bella sighed. "I never really made many friends in college either."
I turned my face toward the beautiful skyline once again, enjoying the calm of the night and the woman sharing in my company. Bella joined me soon after, leaning on her elbows and partaking the breathtaking view of the city by my side. After a while, I could feel Bella's almond eyes on me and, at that moment, I knew our reverent silence would be short-lived.
"Just think, Edward. If you came to U-Dub, things might have been different for us. Maybe..."
As I looked down on her form, her hair blowing gently in the breeze, I knew that I had to stop her present train of though. I spent a lot of my time at Dartmouth thinking about the 'what-ifs' – what if I had stayed in Washington, what if I had not kissed Bella before I left, what if she didn't leave my bed that night. I am done thinking about what could have happened. The past was not as important as my future. Since I wasn't able to have Bella as a part of the five years that I lost in college, I wanted to make damn sure that she had a place in my – no, our – future.
"A lot has changed, Bella, but a lot of things are still the same," I whispered, leaning my forearms atop the ledge to mimic her posture. In my new position, I noticed the familiar pendant for the first time since I had been home. It swayed in the light breeze as it hung from her delicate throat. "I haven't seen these in a very long time."
"Yeah," she whispered, almost to herself. "I tucked it in a drawer before I left for U-Dub. Found it last week and decided to wear it out again. It just felt right..."
"Do you still believe in the power of these stones?"
Her hair shielded her features from me but I could tell by the crinkle in her nose that she was deep in thought.
"My mother... she wouldn't leave the house unless her chakra was aligned and only positive energy surrounded her. She believes so strongly in these things that it is almost crippling. When I was younger, I put as much faith in these stones as she did. But, before I left for college, I realized that... the stones could only do so much."
"What do you mean?"
"It's not that big of a deal, really. I just put too much faith in these," she whispered, bringing her eyes level with mine and clutching her chain in her fist, "and they let me down."
I was not sure to what she was specifically referring, but I could clearly see years of disappointment written all over her face. The confident woman I had come to know these past few weeks seemingly disappeared, leaving the frail little girl with pigtails and a bucket of dreams behind.
In that moment, I wanted nothing more than to kiss her pain away.
But I couldn't. Kissing on the lips was against those silly rules of hers.
I could, however, relate to the sentiment.
"Well, for what it's worth," I interjected, "I believe the same way."
A puzzled look crossed her features. "What do you mean?"
"I've learned that you can't leave life up to fate, the stars, or stones like these," I stated, gesturing toward her necklace. "If you want something to happen, sometimes you have to make it happen. Be an active participant in your own fate."
"I see," Bella nodded, thoughtfully. "So, what have you done to influence your own fate, Cullen?"
I chuckled lightly. "Not enough, obviously."
"Same here," she added with a chuckle.
"Well," I told her, rising to my full height and grabbing her hand, "it's never too late to start."
I tugged on her hand and she took my not-so-subtle hint, coming to stand before me with a dull fire in her eyes. I rested my weight against the ledge once more, pulling her body towards my own.
She was so beautiful, her hair swaying gently in the wind and a timid smile gracing her lips. Once she was within short reach, I brought my free hand to her cheek and traced her lips with the pad of my thumb. Bella closed her eyes at the tender caress and I wondered if she would let me steal just one brief kiss. But, as fate would have it, Bella moved even closer to me, entering my personal space. Once I felt her body weight press against the length of my body, I closed my eyes and relished the feeling.
Bella buried her nose in the crook of my neck and inhaled my scent, the moan she emitted giving me goosebumps in all the right places. I wrapped one arm low around her waist, the other snaking its way up her back to tangle its idle fingers in Bella's sweet-smelling hair. Both of her hands slowly crept around my torso and I heard her deep exhale once her arms completed their circuit around my waist. The slight breeze started to pick up some, but I didn't care. Enjoying the moment with Bella was my utmost priority.
Time slowed as I held her. Nothing else mattered when I held Bella in my arms.
Until I felt her press her lips once, twice against my neck and her hands drifted lower to caress my ass. Massaging gently, Bella clearly wanted to take her destiny into her own hands.
I placed my hands on her hips and pulled her even tighter against my groin. She moaned my name against my neck and I was suddenly paralyzed by the prospect of having Bella once again.
"This is such a bad fucking idea," I whispered through gritted teeth as Bella continued to plant gentle kisses against the pulse point in my neck.
"Do you have any idea how long I have been thinking about this? Wanting this?" When she bit my ear lobe in punctuation, my hands sprung back into action and began to roam the expanse of her back and backside.
"But we are not alone," I whispered in return, noting the houseful of people who partied beneath our feet.
Bella pulled back slightly to meet my gaze, keeping her body tightly pressed against mine. "No one will interrupt us, Cullen."
She brought her right index finger to my lips, deliberately catching its tip between my parted lips as it drew a path to the open collar of my button-down. My breathing became more erratic, my cock a little more intrigued.
"You know you want to," she whispered with a seductive smile. "As a matter of fact, your body is telling me everything I need to know," she said, emphasizing her point with a sensual swivel of her hips.
I was a goner.
I grabbed Bella by the hips and spun around so that her weight was now resting against the ledge. "Don't. Move," I told her.
She nodded slowly.
I made a mad dash for the door to the rooftop and swiftly turned the lock.
When I returned, Bella's back was to me once again, her palms flat against the surface of the ledge.
I came up behind her, laying my hands atop hers on the ledge. I pressed my cock against her backside and she returned the pressure with her sweet ass.
There were many things that I still did not know about this woman, so many things that we needed to talk about….
But, in the moment, I didn't care.
I bent over her, bringing my lips to her neck. Her heady scent brought back memories of our last night together – an unexpected but welcomed visitor, desperate fucking against the living room wall, hard and fast and 'now'. I was equally as desperate for her in this moment, my body moving of its own volition against hers. I pressed her hips even harder into the stone ledge before us, willing our clothes to disappear so I could thoroughly enjoy the feel of her warm skin against mine.
I wanted to suck on her neck, to mark her as mine, but I had to keep myself in check tonight.
So, I satiated my desire to suck on her flesh by nipping a path from her collarbone along the gentle slope of her neck, finally resting on her ear lobe and sucking gently.
"More," she whispered, her breathing ragged and shallow.
My hands roamed aggressively along her body, caressing wherever I could reach. Once I found the hem of her dress, I pulled it up quickly and sought out the edge of her underwear.
To my surprise, I didn't feel any. Just the soft, supple skin of her luscious ass.
"You were taking so long with the lock," she panted. "I decided to give you a hand."
And then she proceeded to give herself a hand – right between her legs.
I grew impossibly harder at the sight and promptly pulled back to loosen my slacks and boxer briefs.
"So, Cullen, when are you going to – Oh God!"
I was balls-deep inside of her before she could finish her statement. Her gasp radiated from her throat to her pussy and I felt her walls clench around me in such a familiar way. In a flash, we were skin to skin and I wanted nothing more than to fuck her senseless.
I started out slowly, refamiliarizing myself with her tight, wet pussy. I held her hips gently as I guided my cock through her moist folds. The night air was brisk, the breeze a nice contradiction to the heat that was building in my groin. Bella's mewls of pleasure were restrained but my body responded in kind to every single one.
I bent her over at the waist, keeping her hips in constant contact with mine as I continued to pound into her. My thrusts became even more erratic as her walls clenched around me in heightened frequency.
I stood proudly as I fucked her, selfishly gloating in the fact that I was making her heart beat like a snare drum… that it was me who was causing her to lose control. I lightly rubbed her back and her neck with one free hand, a stark contrast to the roughness with which I handled her from the waist down.
As the pitch of her squeals heightened, I tightened my grip on her waist and began to pound her even harder. I wanted her to cum with me. I needed to feel her release.
"That's it, baby," I cooed. "Cum for me."
After a few more thrusts, her body went still but her inner walls told a different story. Even though I couldn't see her face from this angle, I knew her bottom lip was caught between her teeth – her strained squeal a telltale clue. The mental picture of Bella's cum face sent me right over the edge.
My stroke slowed and my breathing returned to normal, but my mind continued to rage. What the fuck were we thinking, having sex on the rooftop while my sister entertained downstairs? What does this all mean – for us as friends, for us as more than friends? How could Bella take me seriously as a lover and a friend if all I do is fuck her brains out on occasion? Will she continue to let me fuck her after tonight?
"Stop doubting yourself, Cullen. You were spectacular." Bella beamed at me as she straightened out the hem of her dress.
She knows me way too well…
I reached for my pants and redressed quickly before meeting her gaze again. "That was such a bad fucking idea, Bella."
"Yes," she agreed, a complete surprise to me. "But it was so worth it," she concluded, flinging her thong in my direction as she made her way to the rooftop door.
I stood there, dumbfounded, as she unlocked the door with a chuckle.
"We'll see you downstairs, Cullen," she said, shutting the door behind her.
I quickly finished my wine and gathered my thoughts before heading back down to the party.
There was no sense in me brooding about Bella and our rather 'peculiar' arrangement.
It was Allie's night, after all.
Not the chapter you expected, huh… but I gave you some smut, SO BE HAPPY, DAMMIT!
Honestly, guys, I had to add a little more context for what is to come.
Chapter 17, aka 'The Talk', will be up next week, so stay tuned. If you like what you've read, let me know! I *heart* reviews (and recs)!