Who knew I would ever mark another fic complete? But here we are. I couldn't ask my beloved beta Uhyesplease to tackle the chapter this time because reasons. But she was my other half in this, and I will be forever grateful for that.
This story was my first ever, and my experimental playground, too.
And the beginning of so many precious friendships.
The Blue Banana
I didn't really hear a thing of what Alice was saying in her announcement. But when she threw out her arms with a flourish and called my name, someone (Kiddo? Jazz?) gave me a little push, and I found myself on the other side of the curtain. Blinded by the spotlight, I could hardly make out any faces in the crowd. But there was friendly applause greeting me, and I had to admit that, yeah… it felt a little like coming home, and I couldn't help the smile almost splitting my face into two.
My hands and knees were shaking badly, and my heart was trying to climb up and perform a wild drum solo in my throat. But that was like coming home, too. I was on a stage, about to sing for an audience. I had forgotten how much of a high that was. The adrenaline, the excitement, the heightening of all my senses. I had forgotten how much it had meant to me once.
After a few moments of breathing and blinking, I was able to spot some familiar faces. First and foremost Beatrice and Law who appeared to be very well acquainted with each other. Standing with her back plastered to his chest, my newly enamored boss clapped her hands energetically. Had Alice already finished the introduction? Oh. She had. Damn!
I guess Beatrice was applauding me on Law's behalf, too, because his arms were firmly slung around her waist from behind, and he simply couldn't be bothered. I gave them both a little wave. Beatrice waved back and gave me a thumbs up; Law just winked at me. That smug bastard!
To my surprise I also recognized Buttcrack Harry who was standing at the bar and banging his half empty pint onto the surface of the bar which was obviously his way of cheering. He wore a bright red t-shirt with the logo of his kung-fu school which hardly contained his bulging gut. Every time he lifted his pint, the fabric rose on one side and revealed something that had better stayed concealed if you ask me. He was not only buttcrack Harry, he was hairy Harry, too.
Then Edward strummed a few lazy chords on his guitar, which Jazz took as his cue to shove a bar stool under my butt and a microphone stand in front of me. I was grateful I didn't have to stand on my wobbly knees any longer.
There was a bit of shushing going on in front of the stage, and the talking and mumbling ebbed away a great deal. Even most of the strangers who just happened to be at the Blue Banana as regular patrons and had no clue who we were or what was going on stopped their conversations and turned toward the stage. Oh yes, Kiddo was right – I loved this shit!
Then Edward started singing. The noise in the room died down even more. Of course, it did. Because... wow! I closed my eyes for a moment and let his beautiful tenor wash over me. Just like always when he sang.
No, it was even more intense this time, because I could hear his excitement of being on stage in his voice. And maybe also a bit the excitement of revealing our relationship to an audience. That I had agreed to us being out as a couple. I knew this meant a great deal to him.
When his verse ended, he broke me out of my reverie, whispering, "Okay, Annie."
I opened my eyes, grabbed the microphone and took a deep breath.
Okay, here goes nothing…
"This was the best birthday ever," I said. And then I sighed.
It wasn't exactly the happiest kind of sigh, even though both Kiddo and I were naked and in bed together, so what's not to be happy about, right? And I meant that about my birthday. It had been awesome. The celebration, the stage, the applause, the friends… I'd been on cloud nine when we finally got home an hour ago. And even though it was way past midnight and the day was officially over, I was more than ready for this particular part of my extended birthday celebration with Kiddo. But still… my sigh was more the how-the-fuck-did-I-get-here kind of sigh.
"I know," said Kiddo smugly. "Though you could sound a bit more, I don't know … dreamy or something?"
"I would, if it wasn't for Alice's birthday present," I answered, twisting my head to look at the hand cuffs around my wrists. They were covered with fake fur. It was pink, like, really pink. "What I actually meant to say was, best birthday ever until now."
"What? Are you saying you don't like being cuffed to the headboard like this?" Kiddo smirked. I huffed a bit. And then, while I was still looking at my pink predicament, he took advantage of my exposed neck and licked a long trail from my collarbone up to that spot behind my ear that he knew drove me crazy.
Instantly, my pulse sped up, but I bit back the moan that threatened to escape my lips. Not that I could fool my boyfriend. He was probably just now seeing my 'true colors' change from a pouty nondescript hue of whatever into a rainbow colored unicorn pattern on a raging red background or something. I tried anyway.
"I don't like it one bit," I insisted.
"Yeah. Sure." He nibbled at my earlobe.
"I mean it, Edward," I said, my voice already slightly shaking, and squeezed my thighs together.
"Liar," he chuckled and gently shoved one knee between my legs, effectively parting them again. "Or, wait – is it the pink? Is it hurting your eyes? Alice seemed to kind of have thought of that, I think, because there's more in that box. She is always so considerate, isn't she?" He tilted his head back to look at me, and there was a wicked glint in his eyes.
I groaned inwardly. "Do I even want to know?"
"Let's see." He leaned to the side and slipped halfway off my body as he reached down to the floor next to the bed with one arm. "Oops," he said, pretending to almost fall off the mattress. Then he quickly but carefully took one of my nipples between his teeth and tugged, as though he was holding on to it to stop his impending fall. I hissed and he grinned around my slightly stretched nipple while he blindly fumbled inside the cardboard box on the floor, before his hand came up again. Between his fingers he held a silky black ribbon.
"This will help," he said confidently, after releasing my nipple and giving it a few gentle licks to soothe the tormented nub.
I blinked at him. "You know, sometimes I really do hate Alice." When she had handed me the box along with a warning to better not open it before I was back in the privacy of my home, I had known she'd been up to no good.
"No, you don't." He shifted on the bed until he was back in his previous position above me, then placed the black silk over my eyes. No more blinking for me. "Okay?", he asked, a sudden hint of insecurity coloring his voice.
I just sighed.
Seemingly reassured by my reaction – or by whatever his spidey senses were perceiving right now that came across like a yes from me – he put his hand under the back of my head and lifted it gently, so he could slide the ribbon underneath it. Then he tied the ends together at the side of my head. I realized, it was so I wouldn't be uncomfortable with my head resting on the knot. For some reason I got a little choked up at that.
Then I felt his weight shift on the bed in a way that made me think he now was sitting on his haunches between my parted legs. After a few long moments of silence, he said in a low voice, "You're loving it." He sounded very sure. And a little bit in awe.
I gave the slightest nod and tried to brace myself for whatever he was going to do next. It was exciting. And then…
I tilted my head, straining my ears to listen. My own breathing seemed to be absurdly loud in my head, so I held my breath for a better chance to catch any noises he might make.
Yes, I could hear him breathing, slow and steady, through his nose. And the smallest sound of something else, a quiet, rhythmic, moist swish of sorts.
"Yeah?" Oh my God, he was practically purring.
"What are you doing, Edward?"
"While looking at the most erotic thing I've ever seen in my life," he added.
That did it. Zero to sixty in no time. Heat pooled in my belly and my heart made a serious effort to beat itself out of my chest. My lips parted of their own volition and I moaned, "No faaaaiiir…" I badly wished I could see him right then, but then again not. Damn.
"I'll stop," he said hoarsely. "For now." Then he raked his blunt fingernails up the insides of my thighs, from the knees to the apex of my legs. I jerked in surprise at the initial contact. With the blindfold on, I had no way to anticipate his touches which was arousing in itself.
"Don't stop on my behalf," I panted. Seriously panted. Shit. I found it slightly embarrassing how easy I was. Or… nah. Not really.
"If I don't, I'll come from just looking at you, love," he all but rasped. "And that's not what I had planned for tonight."
He rested his hands on my hipbones and bent down to trail open-mouthed kisses from just above my clit – sweet baby Jesus, that bastard! – up to my belly button. I squirmed and giggled in what was probably a pretty convincing impression of a tipsy hyena. "I really hope those plans of yours include penetration at some point, or… or cunnilingus maybe? Yeah, that. Maybe?"
Oh, thank fuck.
Oh, no. "Yes?"
"I wanted to do something else." My left hipbone was suddenly bereft of the warm hand that had rested there. "Iwambedoo–" Huh? His words became unintelligible for a moment before he trailed off, followed by a soft slurping sound. "I wanted to give you something," he continued with renewed enunciation. "Ask you something."
Then a saliva-slicked finger suddenly rubbed over my clit, and I arched off the bed. I opened my mouth, and I'm pretty sure the sound I was about to make wouldn't exactly have classified as human, but we'll never know, because Edward swallowed it in a kiss. He sealed his lips to mine and swept his tongue inside, and all I could deliver was a long muted "Mmmh".
When that sound finally ebbed and my brain threatened to shut down due to lack of oxygen, he pulled away a bit and proceeded to soft licks and nibbles while still relentlessly stroking my clit, slippery now with both his saliva and my own juices.
"Edward," I whispered breathlessly against his mouth. Bound and blindfolded, I felt deliciously helpless and annoyingly aroused. "You're driving me crazy down there."
He stopped kissing me and rested his forehead against mine. His breath was warm against my face. "Yeah, I know."
"I need more. Please, don't play with me like that." I wasn't above begging right then. Maybe I wouldn't have been quite that desperate if I'd chosen stagefright sex instead of the nicotine?
"My question first," he insisted mercilessly.
"Oh my God!" I cried. "For fuck's sake, if you want to ask me something, you better stop teasing me like a motherfucker and get it the fuck over with, so we can… or I swear to God… shit!" Then I laughed kind of hysterically. "Shit, Edward, you're killing me."
"That mouth of yours," he chuckled, but it sounded off. Like he was suddenly really nervous about something. And I sobered. A bit.
I squirmed. "Okay. What is it?" His finger was still gently circling my most sensitive spot. I squirmed some more, and a low moan escaped me against my will. "And stop there for a second, will you?"
He rubbed his forehead against mine, as if he was shaking his head no. "I don't dare. You'll be more… receptive like this, I think."
That sounded rather suspicious. I tried to close my legs, but Edward was lying between them so I merely squished his hips between my thighs. I gave up and let my legs fall back on the mattress.
It took two or three seconds before I froze and everything came to a screeching halt, including that finger between my legs.
And then I just gasped like Kristen Stewart in that closing scene from Eclipse, I swear. Only without clothes and horizontal, and blindfolded and in handcuffs. With pink fur. And what the fuck?
Obviously unfamiliar with the concept of rhetorical questions, Kiddo repeated, "Marry me, Annie."
"I heard you the first time," I said incredulously. Then I started to squirm in earnest, struggling against the cuffs. Suddenly I wanted all that shit off of me.
"Wait," Edward said and sat up. "Don't hurt yourself, I'll take it off."
He opened the handcuffs first, and before he could get to the blindfold, I tore my now free hands down to my face and ripped it off myself. Hastily, I scrambled into a sitting position against the headboard, drew my knees to my chest and put my arms around them.
Then I just stared at him. He was sitting on his haunches in front of me, smiling.
"Okay," I said. "I get it. Very funny, Edward. Har, har. And just so you know, I was just starting to feel really, really good, but then your oh so funny little joke scared the crap out of me here for a sec, and poof! Way to kill the mood, baby." I huffed and puffed, but he just shook his head ever so slightly, still smiling. "What?"
"I'm not kidding. At all. I want you to marry me. I mean it. And I'm asking you."
I gaped at him. He smiled at me. I gaped some more. "Breathe, Annie," he said. I breathed. When I gained back some control over my slack jaw, I whispered, "Edward, you can't… I can't…" I actually slurred a bit. "We can't. You must know that. This is ridiculous."
He sighed. "No, it is not. And you will see the error of your way of thinking. Some day. But it doesn't matter know. See, I knew you would say no. It's okay."
I was kind of in shock. "Then why did you ask me? It's not funny. And why the fuck did you ask me while I was tied up, blindfolded, and had you hand between my legs? That's even less funny."
He reached out and peeled one of my hands off my legs and held it between both his hands. I let him. Of course I did. But I wouldn't let him off the hook so easily. "Can you at least answer me?" I insisted. "Now that you've ruined my birthday sex and everything?"
"I asked you because I had to. And I know it's not funny. Like I said, I wasn't kidding. And I asked you when you were… and I had my hand… just on the off chance you could be swayed –"
"You thought you could make me say yes to your… proposal by going all… 50 shades on me?" I squeaked.
"Hey," he objected. "I wasn't going to spank you or anything. Jeez…"
"Well, pity!" I snapped.
His pupils widened for a second, but he composed himself quickly. "Anyway, we're not done with your birthday sex yet either."
"Ha, as if I –" I looked at his junk. Damn! "Why are you even still hard? That's unnatural."
"Because you're naked and I love you, silly."
I melted some. The bastard. "Then come back here and love me," I whispered. "And no more silly marry me stuff. You knew I'd say no anyway. I said no. End of story, okay?"
He let go of my hand, grabbed both my ankles instead and pulled until I was once again stretched out on my back. Then he slowly crawled up and over my body, pushing my legs apart with his knees in the process. With his face finally hovering over mine, he braced himself on his elbows on either side of my head, leaned in and kissed a trail from my collarbone up my neck to my ear.
I melted some more. Okay, a lot more. When he sucked my earlobe in his mouth, I had almost forgiven him already. Then he bit down tenderly while at the same time lowering his hips and pressing his hard cock against my pubic bone. Instinctively I lifted my legs and wrapped them around his waist, hooking my ankles around each other at the small of his back, which brought the pressure of his cock to where I wanted it the most. Oh, yeah…
He let go of my slightly tortured earlobe and spoke into my ear, his voice low and hoarse, and his breath hot and a little damp on my skin. "I'm going to fuck you, love." That was when all thoughts of misguided marriage proposals and ill-timed jokes that weren't even meant as such fled my mind. All I could think then was yes please and oh, Kiddo and please, please, please and now!
And maybe I said some of that out loud, because he chuckled a bit, I don't know. Then he sucked on my earlobe again, as if he was unable or just didn't want to make the connection between fuck you and now! right then. I rolled my hips to shamelessly grind against him.
"Annie," he said on a gasp. Finally he shifted his weight to one arm and slid the other between our bodies. I unhooked my ankles to give him more room. And then it was my turn to gasp when he rubbed his glans a few times back and forth over my clit before positioning the tip at my entrance and… stopped there.
"Edward", I whined. He tilted his head back as far as possible – which wasn't very far, seeing as is weight rested on one elbow – to look me in the eyes. His pupils were blown and a bit glazed over.
"You know", he breathed, "this just never gets old, doesn't it? This first moment when I enter you. God, you're so wet, aren't you? So wet, so welcoming, and yet there's always this first resistance, that brief second before you take me in, and it's like a little shock every time. Because every time is like a first time, over and over, and then it's so, so good. Oh Annie, I will make it so good for you. So good."
What the hell? "Damn, Kiddo", I panted. "Less talking, more action. Please?"
He pressed a little more, but just not enough to enter me. He teased me, inching back and forth a little at my entrance without actually penetrating, then pulled out completely to rub the tip of his cock over my clit again. I squeezed my eyes shut
"Oh, my God," I laughed breathlessly and a little whiny, too. "You're so fucking mean!"
"I know," came his reply. "It's maddening, right?" I took come comfort from the fact, that he was panting, too. One had to admire his restraint though. It just wasn't that much admirable for me in that moment. I opened my eyes to see he was still looking at me intensely. There was so much love and adoration in his gaze, and confidence and certainty, too. I loved how he had become so sure of himself, of us, that he wasn't afraid or insecure anymore. I also somehow loved his playfulness if I was perfectly honest with myself. Not that I'd admit it to him. So I mouthed the word asshole at him. Because he deserved it.
He smiled his fucking lopsided smile and mouthed back, love you too. Then he slid his cock once more down my vagina until the tip rested against my entrance again.
"Annie?" he panted.
"Yeah?" I all but gasped.
And in one slow, sure thrust he got all the way in. "Oh, yesss…" we moaned in unison. My back arched off the bed in this moment of powerful, overwhelming pleasure and feeling of completeness. Then we both held still, breathing heavily through parted lips, gazes locked, and just let the feeling of being so intimately, so perfectly joined wash over us.
He was right. It never got old. Not with him. It was like I totally forgot every time how awesome it felt, even though I thought I knew. Until we did it again, and it was something else entirely and the best thing ever. It was like being in the middle of winter, looking forward to spring and being absolutely certain to know what it will be like. And then, when the time comes with the warm sun and the flowers, the smells, the birds and everything, you realize that your memory of what spring is really like was just a pale shadow of the real thing. Every damn year.
Every. Damn. Time.
He brought his arm back up to brace himself on both elbows again. I put my arms around his neck and crossed them loosely at the nape of his neck, letting my hands hang down limply on either side of his head. When I couldn't wait any longer, I clenched the my inner muscles around him, knowing full well that would get him going.
"Oh God, Annie…" he groaned. His upper arms began to tremble a bit. "I love you so much. I'm going to fuck you now."
About damn time. "Love you, too. And please."
Never taking his eyes off of mine, he started thrusting in a slow but steady rhythm. I loved it when he kept looking into my eyes while we fucked. He had very expressive eyes, but there was also that special moment when his synesthesia would kick in. I loved to witness that moment. I waited for it. When his eyes would get that faraway look first and then leave mine and look everywhere else around my my face, and I knew he was seeing things that were beautiful and colorful and only visible for him because of me, because of us and what we were together.
This time he didn't only talk with his eyes to me. While he thrusted and rolled his hips and I couldn't tell if the throbbing and pulsing where we were joined was me or him, he kept talking to me between pants and moans. Sweet things like, "You're so fucking beautiful", and nonsensical things like, "I want to crawl inside you and live there for the rest of my life", and absolutely crazy things like, "I have a ring and everything, Annie".
And then, before his words even registered with my out-of-order brain cells, he lifted himself up and sat back on his haunches which caused his cock to slip out of me. Without giving me time to protest, he quickly grabbed the undersides of my thighs, bent me in half and pushed back in. "But first I'll make you come," he gritted out and started to fuck me in earnest.
I cried out his name. I think it was Edward, not Kiddo. Or maybe both, or something else entirely. He set a fast, almost brutal pace, punctuating his thrusts with short, breathless grunts and hitting all the right places inside me. It was kind of embarrassing how fast my climax was approaching.
"Almost there, Annie," he ground out, his eyes still totally focused on mine. I realized then, it wouldn't happen tonight, or maybe it did happen and he just decided not to indulge in the pretty colors and patterns of our lovemaking and focus on plain, old me instead. I didn't know. I just knew that I kind of drowned in his eyes, in the love and lust and fierceness and fire and everything that shone in them. And when he let go of my left leg and circled my swollen clit with the pad of his thumb, I was done for. My feet came down and my heels dug into the mattress while at the same time my hips rose from the bed. I threw my head back and let go a series of stifled, staccato ahs and oh-oh-ohs as I came and clenched and throbbed around him.
He fucked me through it like a trooper before he, too, stiffened and shouted out his release. Then he collapsed over my still shaking body and panted a damp spot in the hollow of my neck. He went completely limp, everywhere, and was smothering me, so after a minute or so, when I thought he might have recovered enough to move, I huffed, "Heavy."
He chuckled a "sorry, love" and rolled off of me and onto his back where he lay, covered with a light sheen of sweat, eyes closed, a sweet smile and the rosy glow of the freshly and thoroughly fucked on his face, catching his breath. He was magnificent. Like some mythical creature from a fairy tale, an elvish princeling from the Lord of the R…
He turned his head and opened his eyes to look at me. And now he did the thing. His eyes shifted here and there, to left and to the right, up and down, never straying too far from my face. "Beautiful," he mumbled.
"Did you say something about… a ring?", I asked tentatively.
He blinked twice, then abruptly sat up. "Yes, I have a ring for you. Because I wanted to propose properly, of course. Though I guess, I kind of fucked that one up, didn't I?" He grinned sheepishly.
Then he bent down and reached for the floor like he had done when he had collected Alice's sex toys from the gift box. He fumbled a little for something obviosly stored under the bed. When he came up, he held a tiny, dark red velvet pouch in his hand. He rolled onto his side, facing me. Leaning on one elbow, he pulled at the strings to open the little bag, and then he turned it upside down and let a small gold band fall into the palm of his left hand. He dropped the pouch onto the mattress, picked the ring up with his thumb and index finger and held it out to me.
"I want you to wear my ring, Annie. Please?"
My heart started a frantic beat and I felt a little wave of panic sweep over me. "Edward, I thought we had agreed that –"
"It's not an engagement ring, okay?" he interjected.
"Uhm…" There was instant relief, but to my surprise, a little twinge of disappointment, too. WTF? "No?"
"No. See, I told you, I knew you wouldn't say yes. Not today. Not yet. So it's not a yes-I-will-marry-you ring. It's a yes-you-may-ask-me-again ring. Or a if-you-keep-asking-then-one-day-I-will ring."
I was dumbfounded. And touched. And so very, very madly in love with him. I swallowed.
"I know, you think I'm too young and you're too old. And I know all about Kiddo has his whole life ahead of him, and there's still so much to see and learn and places to go for him and all that. But Annie, who says I can't live and see and learn and go places with you by my side?"
I swallowed again, but the lump in my throat wouldn't go away. "Kiddo, I am twenty years older than you," I started weakly. Then I huffed out a mirthless laugh. "Well, as of today, I'm technically twenty-one years your senior, even if only for a few months. People will say –"
"I don't fucking care what people will say," he cried. "It doesn't matter. The only thing that matters is you and me. If they call you a cradle robber or anything, we tell them to fuck off and mind their own damn business. Or… or… you can call yourself an cougar and be proud of it, whatever."
He put the ring carefully down on the pouch and sat up. Automatically, I did the same. When we sat there cross-legged and facing each other, he took both of my hands.
"Look, Annie, I know you think that someday I will get tired of you. Like, when you'll get more wrinkles or whatever it is that worries you. Sagging boobies, grey hair, flat feet, I have no idea but I don't care. None of that will matter to me. I love you. So much. You're it for me, Annie. And all I'm asking is for you to believe me. Believe in us."
Oh God. And it wasn't really too much to ask, was it?
"You may call me Kiddo until we're both grey and wrinkly and have sagging boobs, but you need to stop thinking of me as a kid who doesn't know what he feels and wants. I will show you year after year after year, if necessary, how much I know what I want, until you can no longer doubt me. Until you finally believe that we belong together. I won't go anywhere."
He let go of my left hand and picked up the ring again. I noticed that his hand was trembling. "Please do me the huge honor and take my I-promise-to-try-and-believe-in-my-boyfriend ring." He gently pulled my right hand towards him and ever so slowly slid the gold band onto my ring finger. Then he brought my hand to his lips and kissed the knuckle right above the ring. "There," he said. "That wasn't too bad, was it?"
I still couldn't say a word. He was so earnest and at the same time a little playful about it, too. He was so utterly Kiddo. I choked up a bit.
"Look," he said and lifted my hand and turned it so I could get a closer look. "I made it myself."
"Of course you did," I muttered stupidly. Was there anything he couldn't or wouldn't do for me?
"Law taught me how. He worked as a goldsmith for a while some time during his travels, and he still had all the gear. We melted an old piece of jewelry he had in his hodgepodge, so you don't need to worry I got myself broke over this or anything, okay? Anyway, that's why it is a little off, not quite a perfect circle. Because it was my first ring. And Law did the engraving for me, because seriously, that shit was awfully tricky." He pointed to it and I saw that his hands were shaking harder now.
I looked up into his face and asked, "Are you low on your blood sugar? You're shaking." The question kind of grounded me. I had learned so much about his diabetes and how to deal with it, that it now felt like safe ground for me. My anxiety and lightheadedness faded a little and I took a deep, cleansing breath. "Do you need something sweet?" It also just felt good to take care of my boyfriend.
"No. Maybe. I don't know. If I promise to check my numbers in a minute, will you please just look at the engraving?" He started to look a bit crestfallen now.
"Sorry, love," I said. "Of course." And then I looked at it. A thin, elegant and neat handwriting went all around the golden band. It said, I see your true colors.
I looked up at him again, as something warm and good and right bloomed in my chest. He watched me expectantly and a little wary.
"It's beautiful," I said. "And yes, I promise you to have faith in you. I promise to be by your side when you go places and conquer the world. I promise that you can ask me again on each of my future birthdays to marry you until I say yes."
His face broke into a smile so wide and bright, it lit up the entire room. "Yeah?"
"Yeah," I said. "And I really think… ugh."
"You're it for me, too. Lord, have mercy."
"Oh, Annie…" he sighed and leaned in for a kiss to my forehead.
When he pulled back, I looked down on my hand again. Somewhere deep inside me, some kind of puzzle piece clicked into place, and a great calm came over me. Like I had finally arrived. Without taking my eyes off the ring, I muttered, "You'll be the death of me, Kiddo, I swear. And now go and get your damn glucose meter, or I'll take it all back."
"You're cute when you try to be grumpy," he snickered, all back to being the cheeky little fucker again. I heard him sing to himself as he went down the hall to get his stuff.
It was our song.