A/N SM owns the Twilight characters...she's the great and powerful Oz...I'm the weenie behind the curtain.
Okay..starters..Kiki I'm posting this late so that you are not missing classes...lol...well hopefully...big, huge thanks to ShelbySue...she rocks...I highly suggest everyone who writes gets a beta as gnarly as her. Because I'm nice, keep reading at the end of the chapter for the first chapter of the new fic (warning it has not been beta'd so..excuse the possible typos and horribly grammar). I sent the first few chapters of that off this afternoon, so it should be up with in the next week or two...again...thank you all for reading and being so supportive through everything...I appreciate you guys reading. :)
It took me four days to make my decision. I went to Charlie once I made it. He called Esme and set up the meeting. We met with her after school the next day.
The coffee shop was quiet that afternoon, the delectable aroma of brewed coffee hung in the air, hints of caramel and hazel nut punctuating the atmosphere. I sipped my latte, collecting my thoughts once more before I finally spoke.
"Okay, first I want you both to know that I've taken into consideration everything I know, everything I've heard and I made my decision based on what I know and feel right now."
Charlie and Esme both nodded.
"I don't think it's fair that I'm even being asked to make this choice, but whatever, its life." I turned to face Esme. "You seem like a nice enough person and all that, but this place is my home now. I want to stay here. I'm sorry."
Esme nodded. "I figured that would be your choice. I just thought you might be unhappy here and would want to know that you had an alternative."
"And I appreciate that, but I'm happy here." I turned to Charlie. "If you don't mind, I'd like to go home now."
He nodded. "Okay Bella, let's go. Goodbye Esme."
"Bye Charlie. Nice to see you again, Bella."
I waved curtly and walked out of the restaurant. The ride home was quiet. I felt as if a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders.
"Are you okay?" Charlie asked softly as he pulled into the driveway.
I nodded, pushing open the car door. Lost in thought, I walked up the steps and entered the house. Waiting in the living room were Sue, Seth, Leah, Jake and Embry. They all looked up expectantly as I shut the front door.
I went and sat down next to Embry. He wrapped an arm around my shoulders, pulling me towards his side. "What happened?" he asked.
I gazed up at him. He must have seen the answer in my eyes, he exhaled loudly, the breath rushing from his lips like a strong gust of wind, his shoulders sagged in relief.
"I'm staying here," I said.
A collective sigh went up. "Thank god," Sue murmured.
"I know, right," Leah grinned. "'Cause like, Bella it would totally suck if you had to leave. Well maybe not. There wouldn't be anyone around to spoil all the movies I watch."
I rolled my eyes at her. "It's not so bad here," I said. "Not anymore, at least."
Embry hugged me. "I'm so glad you stayed," he said into my ear.
"I stayed because of you," I whispered back.
"Mhmm. I stayed for other reasons too, but mostly it was because of you."
"Wow, I'm flattered," he chuckled.
"You should be," I retorted.
My other reasons were simple. I found a new family who fully accepted me and my many flaws and still loved me regardless. At the end of the day the answer was obvious. This was where I belonged.
The months passed each one better than the last. Embry wrote me songs, I went to art therapy, and in April, Embry asked me to go to the prom with him. I said yes without a moment's hesitation.
* * *
The last six months flew by. One night I went to bed and it was January and then I woke up in mid-May. Okay, not really, but that's how it felt.
So many things changed while so many things stayed the same. How does that happen? I wondered. How can something drastically change and yet stay the same. Like myself. I looked in the dressing room mirror. I looked the same as I did when I moved here. Well, my hair was longer and I grew my bangs out, but other than that I looked the same, I felt the same but I'd gone through so much and made it out on the other side relatively unscathed.
"Girls, someone, anyone, show me something," Sue called from outside the dressing room.
I glanced down at the dress, disgusted. "This is – ugh, I hate this dress," I complained, staring in the mirror.
"Well let me see," Sue retorted.
I opened the door and stepped out, self-consciously aware of how bad the dress looked. Leah's door popped open; her head appeared around the side of it. She took one look at the dress and wrinkled her nose.
"If you hate it so much why did you even put it on?" she asked.
"Uh, because it looked good on the hanger," I said sarcastically.
"On you, not so much," she retorted.
"Thank you captain obvious."
Sue laughed from her post outside the dressing room. "I think it looks fine," she told me.
I think you need your eyes checked, I thought, heading back into the dressing room. Prom was in a few weeks, well Junior Prom, and I was about two seconds away from wearing a pair of jeans and a tee-shirt.
"These dresses suck," I called. I looked at the two remaining dresses hanging on the door. One was hideous, blue and sheer. It looked like something from a Bollywood style horror movie. I moved it to the hook mounted to the opposite wall and looked at the last remaining dress. It was long and silky, a soft champagne color, thin straps crisscrossing across the back, dipping down into a low 'v' at the small of the back. I fingered the diamond shaped beading on the front of the dress.
Oh what the hell, I thought, pulling it off the hangar. The silk was cool against my skin as I stepped into the dress. It took a bit of clever wiggling to get my arms in and not destroy the delicate material.
"Bella?" Sue called. "Come out and let me see one."
"Just a second," I called back.
"Mom!" Leah exclaimed, "I love this dress!"
Sue groaned, mumbling something about leopard printed prom dresses.
I stifled a giggle as I opened the dressing room door. "Oh my freaking god what in the hell are you wearing?!"I exclaimed.
Leah whirled around, tripping on the tulle covered skirt. "What's wrong with it?" she asked smoothing the dress.
"Um, well, for starters your boobs are covered in about ten pounds of glitter, and the dress looks like it was once the hide of an obese cheetah. But the black strap there in the middle makes you look super skinny, so that's a good thing."
Leah looked on the verge of tears. I rushed to her side. "I really liked this one," she wailed.
"So get it then. Who cares what we think. If you like it, then, well good for you. Why worry about what anyone else thinks."
"You're such a hypocrite," she sobbed.
"Yeah, well, I'm not the one wearing a cheetah print prom dress now am I?"
Leah rolled her eyes, wiping away the tears. "This is the one I want," she said defiantly. Her lower lip poked out as she turned to face Sue. "Mom this is the one I like. Can I pleeease get it?"
Sue sighed. "I don't see why not, if it makes you happy." She turned to me as I looked in the three way mirror. "Now that is the perfect dress for you."
"You think so?" I asked as I turned to look at the back.
"That dress is gorgeous, Bella," Leah said from behind the dressing room door. I wish I could wear something like that."
I turned the other way, admiring the way the dress floated around my ankles. "I think this is the one I want," I said. Closing my eyes I tried to envision prom night, dancing with Embry as the end of junior year of high school drew to a close. Yes, this was the dress I wanted. I'd probably freeze, but it was a risk I was willing to take.
I changed quickly sliding the strappy dress back onto the hanger. Sue and Leah were waiting for me when I exited the dressing room.
"Let's pay for those dresses and head home," she said, whipping out her credit card. "And please, whatever you do, don't let your father see those dresses, especially yours Bella. He'll probably have a heart attack."
"Hey mom, can you stop by the video store on the way home?"
"Ooh yeah, can you?"
Sue laughed. "What movie is it and what's the bet?"
I looked at Leah. "You want to tell her or should I?"
"Ugh, you can't possibly be right. Tell her."
"Okay, so there's this movie about a crazy girl who's mom dies and she goes all mental then comes home and thinks that her stepmom is this evil killer who killed these other people, and her and her sister and trying to get to the bottom of the mystery-"
"And I say the stepmom is an evil killer-"
"And I say the girl is just nuts. So we need to watch it to find out who's right."
Sue laughed. "What is it with the two of you?"
Leah and I shrugged. "It's just fun," she said.
"Yeah. It also doesn't hurt that I'm usually right."
"Only because you read the book and stuff and then cheat," Leah protested.
I rolled my eyes. "Read a book once in a while then," I retorted.
"Hmm, good point, I guess."
Sue snorted. "Fine, I'll stop at the video store, but I don't want to hear it when Bella's right. Again."
* * *
I stared in the mirror, smoothing the front of the prom dress nervously. I turned, glancing at the clock on the dresser, Embry would be here in a few minutes. I crossed the room, picking up a bottle of perfume and spritzed some on my wrists.
"Bella! He's here!"
I set the bottle of perfume down and took one last glance in the mirror before rushing down the stairs. Embry stood in the middle of the living room. To his left stood Jake. Both boys dressed in black tuxedos. Embry held a clear box in his hand, a corsage of yellow roses nestled inside the white tissue paper.
He smiled up at me as I came down the stairs. "You look gorgeous," he said, taking my hand.
"Thanks," I smiled.
"Bella, you and Embry go stand over there," Sue pointed across the living room. Embry and I went to stand in front of the window. "Okay now smile," she directed.
Embry wrapped his arm around me and smiled at the camera. "Bella, smile."
I smiled as Sue snapped yet another picture. "Okay," Charlie said, taking the camera from Sue. "Let the kids go to their prom."
I smiled, leaving Embry's side to hug him. "Thank you Dad."
"You guys be careful. No drinking and driving. Hell no drinking period, understand?"
All four of us, Embry, Jake, Leah and I nodded our heads. "Now let's go!"
We filed out of the house and piled into the waiting limo.
"Leah, that is a really interesting dress," Embry said.
Jake rolled his eyes. "Oh thanks," Leah said, smoothing her dress.
I poked Embry. "Knock it off," I hissed.
He smiled at me. "I'm not doing anything," he said innocently.
The limo crossed town, Leah leaned over and turned the radio up. "Tonight is gonna rock so hard!" she yelled over the music.
"Who's gonna be king and queen?" I asked her.
Leah shook her head, her dark brown curls bobbed back and forth. "No way, Bella. I'm not gonna touch that with a ten foot pole."
I laughed. "Okay. But really, I have no idea."
The limo pulled into the school parking lot, stopping the doors to the gym. The door opened, late afternoon sunlight filled the backseat. Jake slid out, then leaned down reaching for Leah's hand. She climbed out, Embry following behind her.
He bent down, offering me his hand. "The prom awaits, my dear."
I laughed. "You're so silly."
He kissed me softly. "I'm so glad you stayed," he whispered into my ear.
Embry never said it, but I think there was a part of him that thought I was going to be going back to Florida with Esme. For a while he would just look at me like he couldn't believe I was still here.
The gym was decorated like a scene right out of a fairy tale. This year's theme was "Once upon a Dream." It made me think about that scene from Sleeping Beauty where she was singing and dancing in the woods.
"It's so pretty," Leah gushed.
It was. There were trees, borrowed from the theater, set up in the corners of the gym. Green crepe paper cross-crossed the ceiling, like a canopy of leaves. Strings of clear Christmas lights twinkled softly in the crepe paper. The whole thing had a magical feel to it.
"Come on, let's dance," I grabbed Embry by the arm, dragging him onto the dance floor.
"Aw, do we really have to dance?" he complained.
"Yes. Now come on."
We stepped onto the makeshift dance floor. He took my hand and spun me around; my dress flitted out, swirling around my ankles.
"If I said I loved you, would it freak you out?" he asked pulling me towards him.
My heart caught in my chest. "I, um, I would ask you if you really meant it," I replied.
"What if I said I did?"
"What if I said it back?" I retorted.
I shrugged. "I might. Or I might just beat you to it and tell you I love you first."
A new song started. More people filed to the dance floor, swaying along to the music.
"I like this song," Embry muttered, pulling me closer.
"Yeah, me too." I stared up at him as Britt Nicole crooned about how the lost get found.
"It's pretty fitting." He smiled at me, lifting his hand to brush my hair from my face, his fingers lingering against my cheek. "You were lost, but I found you."
Any response I had was lost when his lips found mine. And suddenly, I realized he was right. Perfectly right. I was lost, and he found me.
"I love you," I murmured against his lips.
He pulled back, looking down at me. Even if he never said it, I could see everything he felt lingering just under the surface of his hazel eyes. "I love you too Bella and I always will."
"Love came to show us the way, love is a chance we should take, I'm movin' out of the way…that's how the lost get found. The lost get found."
Reviews are better than getting your happy ending. Check below for the first chapter of the new fic (and Disenchanted sequel) Full Circle. Let me know what you think so far!
The Lost Get Found by Britt Nicole
"I'm so childish, a little bit wildish, with my rum-diddly-um-diddly-um-diddly, I'm so deep"
Perfection is so overrated. You can find perfection in the words of a song, on a night spent on the beach.
Perfect is a mirage in the middle of this dry and boring life.
Perfect is a childish reaction that only a child can find.
My life, at this moment was far from perfect. Or at least that's what a stranger would say.
It was perfect and I wouldn't have traded it for the world.
Miles and miles of lush green landscape rushed by the car windows as Embry sped through the night. Well, at least I thought it was lush and green. It was hard to see anything in the inky darkness. I leaned my head against the air conditioned window, clutching my stomach.
For the last day and a half I'd consumed more cheetos than any one person should ever think about consuming, let alone actually doing. I groaned as my stomach clenched. I felt like I was going to hurl.
Embry glanced over at me, his features alien-like in the green glow of the dash. "You okay, babe?" he asked, one eye on the road ahead, one eye on me.
"No," I groaned. "I need real food, and sleep. This shit," I motioned toward the back seat of the Ram his mother bought him as a graduation gift. It was littered with empty chip bags and crushed soda cans, "is killing me."
"Can we at least make it to Missoula before I pull over for the night?"
I glared at him. "Would you like me to yack all over your new car?"
He grimaced, "No. The next time I see a sign for a hotel I pull off, okay?"
"Fine." I wrapped my arms tighter around my stomach and closed my eyes, the window glass cool against my forehead.
It was a stupid decision to drive all the way to Florida. I thought it would be fun, stopping at all the geeky little tourist traps along the way, a last hurrah before starting college next week. Embry thought differently. It was like he was in a race against time, trying to get to Florida as soon as he possibly could.
My chest, my heart in particular, ached whenever I thought about it. Once we got to Florida we would be apart – him in Gainesville and the University of Florida and me in Jacksonville at the University of North Florida.
I had applied to three schools in Florida, University of Florida, Florida State and UNF. Guess which one I didn't get accepted to? If you guessed UF, you'd be right. Thinking back though, two out of three isn't bad.
I cried about it for a week before I'd chosen to go to UNF; it was closer to UF than FSU was. Embry and I spent the summer together. He wrote me music; I tried to con him into having sex with me before we left for college.
It never worked. He kept saying things like, "I want to make it special for you," or "We're too young, let's wait a little longer." It was stupid and we both knew it; but I accepted it. I guess there was more to a relationship than just sex.
I snorted softly, lost inside my own head. More than just sex. Tell that to my rampant teenage hormones. He thought simply being able to get me off would keep me satisfied. We both knew it wouldn't be long until he gave in and gave me what I wanted. I could see it in his eyes every time he – The truck turned sharply. I glared at Embry. "What are you doing?" I hollered.
"I almost missed the exit," he said sheepishly.
"Oh." I leaned my head against the window as we rounded the bend. "Where are we?"
"We just crossed the border. Welcome to Montana."
He pulled up at a Super 8 that looked brand new and parked the truck. I opened the door and stepped out into the still summer night. A semi- rushed by, the loud rumble faded away and the crickets resumed their summer song. I slammed the door and followed Embry to the main office.
The night clerk lazily took our information, slid a key across the desk then turned back to a Family Guy re-run.
"Come on," Embry said, his arm around my waist, "Let's get you to bed."
He unlocked the door to our room and pushed it open. I shivered, staring into the dark room. Basements and hotel rooms, I hated them both. I stood on the sidewalk, letting Embry go in before me. He turned the lights on, checked the bathroom then turned to look at me. "All clear," he called.
I crossed the threshold and shut the door behind me. My eyes drifted across the room. The sight of the neatly made bed was like a mirage of water and women in the dessert. Sleepily I drifted toward it, collapsing on top of the covers fully dressed.
"Bella, put some night clothes on," Embry urged.
"I don't want to. I want to sleep, right now. Night clothes be damned," I muttered into the mattress. Embry laughed as he sat down next to me. The mattress sank under his weight. He ran his fingers through my hair.
"You want me to go get you something to eat?"
I shook my head no. "I just wanna sleep."
"Okay, well at least scoot up; put your head on the pillow."
I scooted up toward the top of the bed, my head sinking into the soft pillow. "Happy?" I muttered.
"Yes," he whispered, his lips grazing my forehead. "I love you. Sleep well."
I closed my eyes. The lamp beside my head clicked twice. "I love you too," I murmured as sleep washed over me.
Embry was awake when I woke up the next morning. "Good morning," he said as I sat up.
I yawned, raising my arms high above my head, inhaling deeply. Something smelled delicious. My mouth watered as I looked around. Sitting on the table by the window was a brown paper bag. "Morning," I replied, eyeing the bag. "What's that?" I asked, pointing at it.
"Breakfast, if you want it," he replied through a mouthful of food.
I climbed out of bed, snagging the brown paper bag. Unfolding the top the smell of hash browns, sausage and egg wafted out. I reached in and pulled out the world's fattest breakfast burrito. Taking a bite I closed my eyes, relishing the taste of something other than cheetos and mountain dew.
"We're gonna head out in about two hours, okay?"
"Are we gonna drive until we get to Florida or are we going to take our time?"
"Bella, I kinda want to get there, you know. Get settled in; learn my way around, all that stuff."
"Oh," I said trying to hide the sadness in my voice. I took another bite of my burrito, chewed then swallowed hard. It got caught in my throat on the way down. I swallowed again, feeling the lump of burrito slowly slide its way down my throat.
I don't know what I expected when we set out on this journey. Maybe I had some romantic notion that we would take the trip and have fun. I sighed and finished the last of my breakfast.
We left the hotel after I'd had the chance to take a shower and put on some clean clothes. I sat in the passenger side of the truck, watching the trees rush by.
We stopped again that night; it was late when Embry pulled up to the hotel. I was half asleep and trudged to the room, Embry trailing just behind me. I was too tired to look for killers hiding in the bathroom. I changed quickly and fell into bed, exhausted.
It was right back to the road the next morning. I sat there staring out the window as the radio stations faded to static every few miles.
The great American road trip, I thought sarcastically, how awesome. Nothing but trees as far as the eye can see. I dozed off somewhere between Nashville and Atlanta. When I woke up the sun was shining brightly overhead, we whizzed by other cars, up ahead a sign flashed by welcoming us to Tybee Island.
Tybee Island? I thought. Where the hell are we?
"Um, where are we?"I asked.
"You'll see," Embry replied cryptically.
"Uh, okay." I leaned around the seat, digging around in the cooler for something to drink. I plunged my hand into the ice, digging around for a soda. My fingers closed around the cold can and I pulled it out.
I popped the top and took a long swallow. "You're really not going to tell me where we're going?"
"No. All I'm gonna tell you is that you're getting what you asked for. You wanted us to take our time, have fun getting to Florida, so wish granted. We still have like, a week and a half before classes start. We have time to have fun."
Four hours later, he pulled the truck into a parking lot of a hotel. "Come on," he said as he got out.
"What is going on?"
"We're spending the next two days on the beach, relaxing."
I ran around the front of the truck and hugged him. "I love you, I love you, I love you," I squealed.
"Will you still love me even if this is the shittiest hotel we've stayed in thus far?"
I looked up at him, at those hazel eyes that made me all mushy inside. "I wouldn't care if we had to sleep in the truck," I told him. "I just want to be with you."
We spent four days on Tybee Island. On our last night in Georgia a huge storm came in off the ocean. I opened the French doors to watch the ocean rage and crash against the shore.
I stood there, gripping the edges of the door watching nature's fury. Embry came to stand behind me; his hands warm on my bare waist. "It's beautiful, isn't it?"
I nodded and leaned back into his chest. He'd recently started working out more; his chest was well defined and chiseled, hard against my back.
"Do we really need to leave tomorrow? Can't we just stop time, freeze this moment and stay here forever?" I said softly.
"I wish we could. It would be nice, wouldn't it? To just hole up here forever and act like nothing else exists?"
I sighed. It would be nice. "I'm scared," I whispered.
"Em, seriously? Do you know how many couples go off to college and think that they're gonna be the one couple that makes it? We're no different. We think that we're going to make it because we're only going to be an hour and a half apart. I'm just scared that we won't make it; that it's going to be too far or just too much for us to handle."
"It'll be fine. It always has been. I mean look at us, look at everything we've already been through and we've still made it out on the other side relatively unscathed. You think that this, that college, is gonna be the thing to break us? I don't think so."
He had a point. Then again, he always did. I survived my mother being murdered, my step-father being paralyzed then committing suicide, a crazy step-sister, learning the truth about who my mother really was, among countless other things and I made it out of it all, alive.
"You're right," I finally admitted. "We can do this."
A jagged bolt of lightning split open the sky, striking the sand. I scream and jumped back out of the doorway.
Embry chuckled behind me. "Bella, relax, it's just lightening. We should go down to where it struck; I bet you it turned the sand to glass. Come on." He tugged on my hand, pulling me out into the stormy night.
Rain pelted my skin, fat, cool drops pasting my hair to my scalp. I ran, following Embry in the direction of the lightening strike. He stopped, coming to a complete halt in the middle of the sand. I crashed into his back and fell into the sand.
He turned to look at me, smiling, his white teeth glowing in the darkness. Thunder rumbled overhead. "Did you find it?" I asked.
He reached for my hand, pulling me up. I dusted the sand off the back of my shorts and peered around him. I was expecting a glass sculpture or something like the things from Sweet Home Alabama. Instead it was just a chunk of sand fused together.
"Okay, we need to get off the beach before one of us gets struck by lightning," I said, grabbing his arm.
"Hang on, let me grab it."
"Embry, it's probably hot. You'll burn yourself," I protested.
He stood and pulled off his tee-shirt. Throwing it on the ground, he used a large piece of driftwood and pushed the fulgurites onto his tee-shirt. "There," he said proudly picking up the edges of the shirt, cradling the rock like a baby in a sack. "Got it. Now let's go."
We ran through the rain back to our hotel room. I made it through the door first. I stood there waiting for Embry, all the while dripping rain onto the hideous maroon and gold swirled carpet. He ran, shirtless and soaking wet, through the French doors. My heart skipped a beat as he stood there clutching his tee shirt.
My mind wandered momentarily. I could see him grab me by the arms and throw me on the bed, languidly removing one article of clothing at a time; could feel his fingers sensually caressing me. I shivered, desire coursing through me.
"Bella?" Embry crossed the room and grabbed my shoulders, shaking me. "Bella, are you okay?"
I blinked, coming out of my daydream. "Hmm?" I blinked again, forcing away the images of wet bodies intertwined, writhing in pleasure and –
"I'm sorry," I apologized. Focus, I ordered myself.
"Are you alright?"
"I'm, um, I – uh." Jesus Christ, why couldn't I just tell him what I wanted? I sighed. "I'm fine."
"Are you sure?"
I nodded. "I'm gonna change; get ready for bed, you know?"
I turned to walk away when Embry caught my wrist. He spun me around, pulling me towards him. I wrapped my arms around his neck and pressed my lips to his. His fevered skin warmed mine. He slid his hands under the damp cotton tank top and pulled it up over my head.
I looked up at him as he threw my shirt across the room. "What are we doing?" I murmured against his chest.
"Whatever you want," he said softly.
"I don't want to force you to do something you're not ready to do," I said.
"You're not," he replied.
"I think I need it too," he said.
He picked me up; I wrapped my legs around his waist as he carried me to the bed. My heart pounded as he sat me down. I gazed up at him as I fell back into the plush pillow top.
I'd been begging him for this for a while now, and now that we were here I wasn't sure I could go through with it. I lay there, staring at the ceiling as he kissed a trail around my belly button.
I think he sensed my reluctance as he unzipped my shorts, pulling them down slowly. Embry dropped them to the floor; they fell with an audibly wet plopping sound.
"We don't have to do this," he murmured against my thigh, his lips soft and warm as they moved across my skin.
I lay there, frustrated and scared. I heard the other girls at school saying it hurt like hell, and other girls said they didn't feel a thing; then again the guys they screwed had small dicks. I was leaning toward the "its gonna hurt like hell" side of the scale. Embry was well, gifted and we'll just leave it at that.
"I want to," I told him, propping myself up on my elbows and looking at him. Outside, the storm intensified, lights flickered and the windows shook in their panes as another clap of thunder boomed across the sky.
I sat all the way up and grabbed Embry's face. "I want to do this," I said convincingly. Doubt flickered in his eyes, flashing over it disappeared quickly.
"Okay, hang on for a second. If we're going to do this we should at least responsible about it." He quickly crossed the room and unzipped his shower bag. At least he had common sense. He came back carrying a small foil square.
I watched as he tore it open and rolled it down then length of him. "All set," he grinned.
I rolled onto my knees and pulled him toward me, shoving my hands into his hair I kissed him.
Embry wrapped his arms around my waist, mashing our bodies together. I could feel his heart; it was beating just as fast as mine.
He grabbed the tie of my bathing suit bottom and tugged either side simultaneously. The skimpy scrap of fabric fell away then he went for the top. The straps dangled against my skin, the top sandwiched between our bodies.
With arms like steel bands across my back, he lowered me to the bed. He gazed down at me, eyes so full of love. "I hear this hurts," he whispered, "I'm sorry."
Slowly he entered me. I cried out at the searing pain. It felt like someone shoved a white hot iron up inside me.
"Want me to stop?" he asked, concern laced his voice.
I shook my head no and gritted my teeth. He pushed in a little further. I grimaced as the pain intensified. What the hell was this shit? Where were all the cheesy porno faces and little mewling sounds in the back of your throat? Jesus freaking Christ!
Progress came at a snail's pace, he'd push in a little further, and I'd grit my teeth and take it. This was not glamorous or even fucking fun.
Embry exhaled once he was fully inside. I wanted to look up at him and ask what next, but apparently he'd seen more porn than me, so he knew what to do. I laid there waiting for the pain to stop.
It was over in a matter of minutes, I guess that's what they meant by a one minute man. I didn't care. Sex was overrated. Seriously over-rated. Embry collapsed beside me. "I'm sorry," he breathed.
"It's okay," I said, rolling over I laid my head on his chest. His heart was racing. I closed my eyes. "Is it always going to feel like that?" I asked.
Embry grunted. "I dunno. I don't think so. I think the more you do it, the less it hurts, you know. Look at all the movies and TV and shit. They seem to enjoy it, so it can't always be that bad."
"Well it obviously wasn't bad for you," I muttered.
"No, Bella, it was fantastic. I willingly put you in pain and it was a blast," he said sarcastically.
"Sorry," I said. "Wanna do it again."
He laughed, my head bounced up and down. "I think we should get some sleep. Maybe tomorrow night."
* * *
We stayed in Georgia for another day then continued our trip to Florida. We arrived the Saturday before school started.
As we entered the city I directed him to the apartment I was going to be sharing with Rosalie. We'd been best friends in high school, before my parents died, before I moved. We drifted apart for a while, but then came back together towards the end of my senior year of high school. She'd been accepted to UNF as well and we decided living together would be awesome – not to mention cheaper than living in the dorms.
Embry turned into the apartment complex and let out a whistle. "Fancy duds," he grinned.
I looked around. It was a nice complex. I just hoped it was safe. He parked the truck in front of the apartment that was going to be my new home and got out.
"Come on," I said grabbing his hand. "Let's go check this place out."
Rosalie had sent me the keys two weeks ago. We climbed the stairs and let ourselves in to the apartment. It was sparsely furnished, but huge. I glanced down the hall, the door was closed, a sign taped to it declared that it was Rosalie's room.
"Hello?" I called. I expected her to be here. No one answered. "Well I guess my room is over here." I walked across the living room and looked down the second hallway. A sign taped to the second door announced that was "Bella's room." I smiled and walked down the hall. Sure enough all the stuff that sat in storage for the last two years was piled in the center of the room.
"Lovely," I muttered, entering the room. From the looks of it, I had a lot to do before Monday. I turned to look at Embry, who was looking around the brightly lit space. "Well. I guess we should get my stuff out of the truck, huh?"
"Yeah, I guess so," he said, still looking around.
We made four trips to the truck to get my things. Embry stayed and helped me put my bed together. I unpacked all my clothes and hung my pictures on the wall while he fought a losing battle against the headboard and an Allen wrench.
The moon chased the sun out over the west and my room was starting to look like a room. "You should stay up here tonight, then drive down to Gainesville in the morning," I told him as we ate pizza on the floor of my room.
"I guess I could do that. Sure you got enough room in that bed for the both of us?"
I smiled and crawled across the room, planting a pepperoni flavored kiss on his face. "I absolutely have enough room in that bed for you. And I absolutely love you. Just want you to know that."
He kissed my nose. "I absolutely love you too. I'll stay the night, then head out tomorrow. Does that make you happy?"
I snagged another slice of pizza out of the open box and sat down. "Immensely."