AN: Twilight character names belong to Stephanie Meyer. All characterizations, plot lines, backgrounds and details belong to the respective author. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without express written authorization.
Hello, all. I'm back from my break from fan fiction, and just wanted to let you all know you can probably expect more regular updates from here on out. Thanks for being patient as I worked through some real life craziness. – ahizelm
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I left Rosalie in bed at an ungodly hour, and she barely stirred when I kissed her forehead on my way out. The sun was just beginning to rise, and I'd wanted nothing more than to throw my stupid cell phone across the room and ignore it when it went off, but I needed to be on time. I didn't want to risk the wrath of Mallory, in case the bitchy version of her decided to make a sudden reappearance today. After all, it was Friday, and I didn't want to deal with any work drama before my evening with Edward.
As I walked up to my building, a strange cocktail of emotions overwhelmed me. Sadness. Fear. Guilt. Anger. Hesitation. The sensation was so strong that I had to actually stop moving at the entrance to my apartment building; I pressed my right palm against the wall to stay upright as my chest burned - it was empty and hollow, and I had to make a conscious effort to breathe.
As I stood there for a minute or two, terrible possibilities floated through my mind.
Losing Edward. Losing Rosalie. Losing my happiness, my joy. Being alone. Being unwanted.
All of it came crashing down on me, and I felt so heavy that I nearly collapsed to the ground. My legs began to tremble as I realized how much of my personal well-being was wrapped up in both Edward and Rosalie and that I had no idea what I would do if I ever lost them.
Either of them.
Both of them.
I needed them both, possibly to an irrational degree, and I had no idea what to do about it.
I knew I was walking a fine line.
And I wondered how much longer I could keep them a secret from each another. I knew it was wrong, but my need for them - so fucking apparent, even from the very beginning - kept me from honesty.
God, this has to work out, I thought before summoning my strength. I took a long, heavy breath and straightened my back as I tentatively placed a foot forward, moving through the door of my apartment building.
I rushed upstairs and jumped into the shower. As I stood beneath the water, it struck me how disgusting it probably was to leave Rosalie in the morning and then spend my evening with Edward.
I couldn't get away from the guilt, and I wondered what the hell I was supposed to do with it. I felt it, sure, but I also felt an overwhelming need to continue to see them both, and I knew that the threesome we'd started out as would never work. They would never agree to it, and why should they? There was nothing in it for either of them except a strain on their friendship and uncomfortable evenings of watching me with the other.
"Ugh," I groaned, roughly washing my hair. "Just stop fucking thinking about it for right now, Bella," I chastised myself. Quickly, I rinsed my hair and body and dressed simply, in a pair of khakis and a white short-sleeved shirt. Then, I rushed to work, logging into my computer with about thirty seconds to spare.
My phone rang two minutes later.
I picked it up without looking at it and answered mindlessly as I pulled up my email. "This is Bella."
"Bella, It's Lauren Mallory. I need to see you...think you can swing by my office in about half an hour? It won't take long."
"Er...yeah, sure, Lauren. I'll see you in a few."
Her voice was cheery, but I could still feel the anxiety creeping up, moving slowly along my spine. It seemed to be compounded by the nagging uncertainty I felt about Rosalie and Edward, leaving me with a sick feeling in my gut and the beginnings of a tension headache. As she hung up, I did a quick inventory of my performance at work. I hadn't been late since that day weeks ago, I had been pretty successful at orchestrating the interns and the double issue, and Mallory and I had managed to create some semblance of a real, working relationship. I had no reason to feel nervous. There was no need.
Still, though, the next twenty-five minutes moved painfully slowly, and by the time I stood up and adjusted my shirt on my way out of my pseudo-office, I could only gulp and put on a happy face.
"Lauren, you wanted to see me?" I called out from her doorway.
She smiled but continued to stare at her computer screen for a moment before addressing me. "Hey, Bella, this is going to be really quick. I just need you to ask you a couple of questions."
"Do we have an updated version of your portfolio on file here?"
I furrowed my brow. "I actually don't think I ever turned any of my writing in, Lauren. I interviewed, the magazine checked my credentials, and that was sort of it..."
Her voice was crisp. "Alright, then. I need an up-to-date version of your portfolio by next Friday. Is that enough time to put one together?" I nodded. "Great. That's all, Bella. When you have it gathered up, just put in on my desk, okay?"
I nodded again and walked back to my desk, the confused look never leaving my face.
I had no idea what the fuck she wanted a portfolio for; it wasn't like there was a new position I was vying for, and none of my current samples were pieces that would push me into the leading position for the job, anyway. Still, I felt a faint sense of hope and excitement that she wanted to see more of my writing.
Since I didn't have enough information about why Lauren really wanted my portfolio, I shrugged it off and refocused my efforts on the pieces I needed to edit. Newton's article this week was actually pretty interesting, as he'd interviewed an up-and-coming chef in the area. The guy mixed French and Southwestern cuisine to make an interesting amalgamation of foods, and I fleetingly thought that I'd like to visit his restaurant with Rose and Edward before I shoved the thought away.
No need to get all prissy and emo, I thought, and embroiled myself in work until thankfully, gracefully, beautifully, it was time to go home.
I picked up my cell phone and dialed his number as I made my way to my car.
Edward answered after two rings. "Bella," he said, his low voice like a whisper on my skin.
"Edward," I replied. The work day had seemed long, and his voice brought a smile to my lips.
"I was just talking to Rose, and she brought you up," he said.
My heart began thudding in my chest so loudly that I was relatively certain he could hear it.
"She did?" Thankfully, my voice didn't come out like the squeak I thought it would, though it was more breathless than normal as I couldn't seem to make my lungs function correctly.
But then, he continued, and I could hear the smile in his voice, the warmth with which he spoke of Rosalie. As I listened, I felt the guilt creeping up again.
"Yes, she just mentioned you in passing. Said she picked up a copy of The Common Appeal. We were discussing when you might have a piece published, actually."
I laughed lightly as my pulse slowed to a normal rhythm. "Oh, ha. Probably never at the rate I'm going." I cleared my throat, brushing my hair back from my face with a slightly trembling hand. "So...seven?"
"Bella, love, you could come over right now if you wanted. Dinner's not going to be ready for a bit, though. Your call."
I took the driver's seat and placed the key in the ignition. "I need to run home, I think...or is that perhaps presumptuous of me?" I teased.
The line was silent for a moment before he responded, and in that instant, I felt some sort of tension well up between us.
Edward's voice was low again, but this time it was rough, husky. "Bella, if you didn't bring something for tomorrow, I'd be disappointed."
I swallowed and replied, "Well, we can't have that now, can we?" so quietly that my voice was nearly inaudible.
"I'll see you soon, baby," he said, and disconnected the call.
The engine was idling, but I pressed the back of my head into the seat, taking a moment to gain control of myself. Edward was just too damn sexy. I could hardly stand it, but tonight felt different somehow. I wasn't sure why or where the feeling was coming from, but it was there, and I wondered what would stand out about this evening.
I also wondered what I would do if he brought up Rosalie in person. Would I be able to hide my feelings for her, or the fact that we'd been seeing each other, too?
I sighed, reversed out of my parking spot, and rushed home. I pulled my hair down from the messy bun I'd thrown it into that morning, ran my fingers through it, and then shoved clothes for tomorrow into a bag.
I was at Edward's in no time, and as I knocked on his door, I adjusted my duffel bag and grinned. When he opened the door, he instantly moved toward me, his hands gripping my hips just so, and as his lips found mine, he turned our bodies so that my back was against the door. My hands found their way to his hair, and my lips parted as his tongue swept against my own, but before things got too heated, he pulled away and, with his nose grazing my jaw, whispered, "Hello."
I stretched up onto my tip toes and kissed him in return. "Hello."
"Why does it feel like so long since I've seen you?" he murmured, running his lips along my throat.
"Mmm. Edward, I don't know, but if you don't stop, your neighbors are going to have free tickets to a private show," I managed as an odd sensation welled up in my stomach. It was arousal and...something else. I couldn't label it, but it had been a long time since I felt any kind of similar sensation.
It prodded at me, almost as if it were demanding my attention to remember when, exactly, I'd felt it before, but I pushed it to the back of my mind, intent on enjoying my evening with Edward.
He stood up, straightening his back so that he was at his full height, and grinned down at me. "You make a valid point, Bella. Please come in?"
I followed him into his bedroom and threw my bag on the floor in the closet. "I'm going to change," I said.
He laughed lightly as he took a seat on his bed. "Oh, don't mind me." Edward lifted his eyebrows and feigned a look of innocence as chose a pair of yoga pants and a tank top from the shelf he'd devoted to me in his closet. I left my socks and shoes on the floor, happy to pad around his place barefoot as he was.
I giggled at him as I realized this was the most light-hearted I had ever seen him, and I felt the same about myself. We were just having a good time. There was no palpable lust in the room, no compulsion to fuck and run.
In all honestly, it felt as good as it had with Rosalie the night before, when we'd gone out dancing. I felt some kind of strange peace as I realized that perhaps we had all moved away from sex being the sole focus of our relationship.
I lifted my chin and slowly pulled my shirt over my head, feeling Edward's eyes focus on the skin that was revealed by my movements. He never looked away from me as I finished changing into my comfy clothes. When I was done, I walked over to him and stood between his knees, balancing my forearms on his shoulders. "So, Mr. Cullen. What did you make me for dinner?"
And then, for the first time ever, a somewhat sheepish look appeared on Edward's face. "I'm not actually the best cook in the world, Bella. But I have a few regular recipes that I happen to do well. I have my own recipe for chicken parmigiana, though, so I hope that will suffice."
I grinned down at him and said, "Of course it does, Edward." And at that precise moment, my stomach let out a low rumble. "Oh. Um. Well, is it ready now?" I asked, a faint blush crossing my cheeks.
He nodded, and we made our way to the dining room. "Have a seat. I'll bring it out," he said.
I settled into a chair, and he smiled at me when he brought out two plates, each piled high with what appeared to be an absolutely delectable piece of chicken parmigiana and a small salad comprised of butter lettuce with bleu cheese crumbled across the top. "My god, Edward, this looks amazing," I said softly.
He murmured a thank you and then went back to the kitchen, returning with two wine glasses and a bottle of red. It was only after he poured both of our servings that he finally took his seat.
Dinner moved quickly, and we made small talk about our days. When I told him about my boss's odd interest in my portfolio, he seemed hopeful on my behalf that it meant good things for me. He explained that there were important developments going on with his philanthropic responsibilities, and by the time we meandered our way through the day we'd had, our plates were empty and our glasses had been refilled.
He cleared the table and then I followed him, wine glass in hand, to the living room, where he turned on some exquisite acoustic guitar music and beckoned me to come sit next to him on the couch. He was seated in the corner, his legs spread for me to lie between, and as I settled into his chest, I realized that, for the first time, the curtains over the massive window on his back wall were open as I took his glass from him and then placed both his and mine on the coffee table.
"Holy shit. Edward, your view is... it's..."
One of his hands curved around my side as the other reached blindly past me to pull a blanket off of the back of the couch. As he tossed it over our legs, he replied, "I know. It was the reason I chose this condo when we bought the complex."
"I could stare out of your window all evening, I think," I said.
"We could do that," he whispered in my ear. In response, warmth flooded my senses, and I closed my eyes as I smiled.
As we had enjoyed our dinner, the light outside had faded We hadn't bothered to turn on any lamps, and the light from the dining room didn't extend far enough to reach us, leaving us cloaked in shadows. We talked for hours, our eyes never leaving the view in the window. The evening grew blacker and stars appeared one at a time as we talked about our lives and our opinions on various topics.
Edward had never visited Prague. "I want to go with my wife, when I get married," he said. I told him I was too chicken shit to get any tattoos. He told me his favorite food was a carmelized onion and goat cheese tart from a restaurant in New York City called Balthazar.
As the night wore on, I realized that we were really talking for the first time in person, really getting to know one another. Yes, we'd carried on a conversation the night when we'd gone dancing, but this was just…different. There seemed to be a new level of intimacy between us, perhaps because finally, I wasn't fighting it or deflecting the direction of conversation. It felt nice, being with him this way. It felt good to have no pressures, to just be in that moment, to not compare it to anything else I'd ever experienced.
As my mind wandered, I didn't realize that the room had fallen into silence until Edward's fingertips brushed along my forearm, every nerve ending beneath my skin firing at his gentle caress. "Bella?"
"Hmm. I'm sorry, my mind was just..."
He lifted his hand quickly and gently turned my face to him. "No, Bella, it's fine. I just wanted to..." His voice fell away as his lips pressed gently to mine, unhurriedly, and I adjusted my body to give him better access to my mouth.
He moaned softly, and I lifted myself, careful not to break our kiss as I shifted into a standing position. Our lips parted momentarily as he gathered his legs together, and without speaking, I stepped out of my pants and straddled his lap before wrapping my arms around his neck.
I took his ear lobe gently between my teeth and then licked my way down his throat until I could suck lightly at the skin near his shoulder. "God, Bella, I wasn't planning...we don't have to..."
"But I want to," I breathed softly.
I pulled away from him just enough to look him in the eye. "Here?" he queried. I nodded, and his fingers pulled at the hem of my shirt, making easy work of removing it.
Gently, Edward dropped my shirt, allowing it to fall to the floor to his right. "Bella, I think about you all week," he whispered, his voice barely audible as his fingers splayed, contouring around my sides, his pinkies tracing the waist of my panties.
"Do you?" I softly murmured, my eyes focused on his. Without adjusting my gaze, I let my hands drift down his chest and slipped my fingers beneath the soft material. "I think of you, too," I admitted.
Edward arched his back, making it easier to remove his shirt and undershirt, and then I moved to his side and balanced on my knees on the cushion there. I slipped my hands behind my back and unclasped my bra, enjoying Edward's roving eyes. His gaze moved slowly from my shoulders to my breasts, and then to my navel. As I dropped my bra, Edward slipped his hand behind my thigh and pulled my leg forward until it was bent at the knee, the ball of my foot pressed lightly to the top of his thigh.
Then, he slid his right hand up my inner thigh until his fingers were dangerously close to my most sensitive skin. My breathing caught immediately, an almost automated response to Edward's touch.
"Take these off, please," he commanded quietly.
Without another word, I stood and removed my underwear, and as I stepped out of them, the light from the window gliding over my completely bare body, I watched Edward as he removed his jeans, and then finally, his boxers. I gasped his name; it was like some sort of prayer on my lips, and I moved toward him without thinking further. I wanted, no needed to touch him. "I need you. Please. Inside of me, now…please, Edward…oh god, I ..."
He ceased my rambling by placing his finger over my lips and smiling softly. "You can always have me, Bella. Always." And then he put his free hand on my hip and closed the small space between our bodies, so that I had to straddle his waist again.
I looked down between us to find his absolutely perfect cock hardening, and I took him in my hands. "You're so fucking perfect, Edward," I said in a voice that was thick and heavy, weighted with a thousand emotions.
"Show me," he said, shifting just slightly beneath me. His movement allowed my knees more space, and a nearly imperceptible smirk appeared on my lips as I realized he'd moved to make riding him easier.
Wanting it to last as long as possible, I leaned forward and whispered, my breath hot and heavy on his cool skin. "What do you want me to show you, Edward?" I asked, placing my left hand on the back of the couch near his head as I lifted my hips and positioned his head at my entrance. I lowered myself slowly, just taking his tip inside of me and moaned lowly in his ear. "Is this how?"
"I...goddamn, Bella. I can't..."
I let him slip another half an inch, his cock rock hard and beginning to fill me as only he could. "You can't...what, Edward?" I asked, pausing to lower my body quickly, taking all of his length inside of me. "Oh, fuck," I gasped again, my head dropping so that my forehead was pressed into his shoulder.
"I can't ever...I can't ever get enough of you, Bella Swan," he said, slowly beginning to writhe beneath me.
I swallowed hard and straightened my body, and Edward's hands settled on my hips again. I looked him in the eye and began to move my hips rhythmically, back and forth, back and forth, and as soon as I did, his head lolled back onto the couch, his breath coming in quiet slips of air as he breathed through his mouth. "Bella..."
"Shhh," I said, looking down at the place our bodies were joined. When I glanced up at his face, I saw him staring, lips barely parted, as I fucked him slowly, savoring every sensation that his body could afford mine and praying that the feelings were reciprocal. He leaned forward and took my right nipple between his lips, sucking lightly and then licking across the peak before moving to my left.
And then he started using his hands.
I felt his right hand move across the skin of my pelvis until the pad of his thumb was grazing my clit, teasing instead of stroking. "Ugh, Edward, touch me, please," I groaned lightly. I could already feel the coil of heat and pure bliss developing between my thighs and hips.
Then, he slipped his thumb along my skin until he began to run it over and over my clit, delicately and in perfect rhythm with my body's movement. I felt my arousal growing, and he slipped in and out of me easily as I added a slight lift to my hips' grinding against his body.
Edward's face was flushed, his skin dewy as I watched him watching me. "You are so beautiful, baby," he murmured. His voice was worshipful, and I let myself entertain the thought that perhaps Edward could love me, that this was more than dating, that perhaps I was important to him, and more than just damn good sex.
Guilt crept up again, but I shoved away thoughts of Rosalie for the moment. Rose and I had had last night; I wanted this night with Edward. I needed them both, needed my time with them. This was Edward's time; I would not detract from it.
I stopped my motion for half a second as I leaned back and placed my palms on his knees, gripping him tightly as I bucked my hips rhythmically again. He continue to run his thumb in circles around my clit, and I felt it when my breathing began to go erratic and speech became difficult. "Ed...ward, oh...oh, god..."
"Come for me, Bella. Let me see you," he said evenly, his voice doing nothing to give away the bald desire I could both feel hard and perfect inside of me and see raging in the malachite of his eyes.
And with that, I lost all composure.
I called out his name, nearly shouting, I was so overcome. My back arched, my skin was awash in heat and tingling and then coolness, and my hands flexed, grabbing his knees with more force than I believed possible. I continued to moan, various but unintelligible sounds coming from my lips as I rode out my orgasm, and just when I thought I was done, I felt him twitch which set off my nerves again. In that instant, as I felt him climaxing inside of me, I arched my back so that I could collapse against his chest and heaved a sigh as the waves of sheer bliss continued to radiate from deep within me.
He growled, and the sound was low and predatory as he finished. It sent a chill over my entire body.
As we both calmed, he wrapped his arms loosely around my back, and I snuggled into his neck, closing my eyes in the wake of my release. Before either of us had said anything, I felt him cup his hands around my ass and move to stand up, his cock still mostly hard and inside of me. It was only when we began moving forward that I opened my eyes to see that he was taking me to the bedroom.
When we arrived there, he sat down and shifted to his side before laying me down slowly. When he pulled out of me, I pouted as I felt the physical emptiness after the fullness he'd provided. I shifted upward on the bed just so and then pulled the sage green blanket over me, settling into my pillow with my left arm bent beneath it.
He crawled into bed, spooning me, his hand placed gently over the curve above my hip. "No pajamas, Bella?" he whispered, referring to my comments the night of our first real date.
"No pajamas, Edward. Let me feel you all night," I replied softly, and I felt him shift until he found his final, most comfortable position behind me, his chest to my back, his legs bent in tandem with mine. And then a delicious, exhausted blackness took over my consciousness.
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AN: Hmm. Progress?
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