All recognised characters are the property of Stephenie Meyers
No disrespect or copyright infringement is intended
A/N: I'll just keep saying 'sorry' on a loop and hope that you'll forgive me for the shamefully long gap between updates. I had some health issues (nothing serious thankfully) that were dragging me down and leaving me exhausted. I had surgery mid May and fingers crossed; all seems okay now so I hope to get back to writing far more regularly.
Thank you so much to those of you that are still with me and I really appreciate all the genuinely lovely emails asking when I was next going to update.
So….on we go.
I woke up confused and very hot, wondering why I couldn't move and trying to work out where I was in the dark. My head was pounding so I twisted it around very carefully and found Edward wrapped all around me, pinning me to the tiny bed in my Dad's house. Usually Charlie kept the place chilly but the noise coming from the ancient radiators told me that the heating was on a high setting. Add to that a fully clothed Edward and it explained why I was flushed and sweaty.
I tried to extricate myself from Edward's death grip, pushing up on my hands and gasped as pain shot up my left hand and arm. I bit down hard on my lip as I waited for the wave of pain to pass before finally managing to struggle to a sitting position where I tried to get everything straight inside my throbbing head.
After a few minutes I had recalled the main events of yesterday; the funeral and the subsequent trip to both hospitals, resulting in my now broken hand encased in the plaster cast. I tried to quell the anger that surged inside me when I thought about what Jake had done to me and I knew, without a shadow of a doubt that any friendship we had once shared was well and truly over; there could be no going back from this. I only had vague recollections of conversations I'd had with my dad; the main theme apparently being me complaining, crying and asking for Edward.
I looked over at Edward's sleeping form once again and tears flooded my eyes and my heart swelled as I remembered how he had travelled all this way to be with me. It meant so much to me that he'd made such a huge effort and I didn't fail to recognise how significant his actions were - he knew I needed him and he wanted to be there for me, regardless of how difficult this was for him. I knew without a shadow of a doubt that I could rely on him; that I was his priority. I made myself a promise that, not only would I always do the same for him but I would ensure that he knew it too. I wanted him to feel as loved and as secure as I did.
I glanced at the clock and found that although it was only 5.30am, I was wide awake after all the sleep I'd had. Moving carefully so I didn't disturb Edward, I slipped out of bed, clumsily struggled into my dressing gown and made a quick trip to the bathroom before heading downstairs in search of painkillers. I was rummaging around in my Dad's medicine cupboard when Maggie walked into the kitchen and almost gave me a heart attack.
"Sorry Bella…..I didn't mean to scare you. Can I help?"
"That's okay, I think I'm still a bit jumpy after yesterday…..I need some painkillers…..my hand's killing me and my head's pounding."
"Oh, right. You need this bag; it's the stuff the hospital sent home with you. Let me get you the right pills."
I thanked her profusely and swallowed down the painkillers with a glass of water while she made us both a coffee. As we sat at the kitchen table in comfortable silence I realised that she must have stayed overnight and I suddenly felt awkward for disturbing her sleep.
"Sorry to wake you up….."
She waved my apology off.
"I was already awake, don't worry. Your Dad starts work at seven and I start my shift at eight so we had to get up anyway."
She shot me an embarrassed look and then rushed to clarify.
"I stayed over last night…on the sofa I mean."
"Maggie….it's none of my business, really."
She laughed quietly and I couldn't help but laugh along with her when she continued, gently making fun out of my Dad's traditional ways.
"Well, you know your Dad….he has to do everything properly. It's not just you and Edward that have to abide by the rules."
While the painkillers gradually kicked in, I asked her to go through the medicine with me. When I laughed and said I was likely to forget if it made me feel like I had at the hospital she just smiled and assured me that my Dad had explained it all to Edward anyway so I didn't need to worry too much.
"He really is a lovely guy Bella….your Dad hasn't stopped singing his praises."
It was hard to put into words how thrilled I was to hear this.
"I know Maggie…..I'm so lucky to have met him…"
At that moment my Dad bowled into the kitchen.
"Lucky to have met who?"
Maggie answered for me with a huge smile on her face.
"We were just talking about Edward."
"Ah! He's a good man Bella."
I was stunned into silence as he walked over and kissed me on the cheek and sat beside me as Maggie busied herself with making my Dad a coffee and preparing his breakfast.
His face was a picture of concern and I was suddenly choked with emotion as he searched my face.
"How are you feeling today?"
"Okay I think….a bit wobbly, you know. My hand's throbbing, a headache….."
"That's to be expected, the doctors said it would settle down in a few days, especially with the painkillers…..but I meant how are you feeling?"
"Ugh…..honestly? Angry, upset, disappointed….."
I trailed off while my Dad nodded in understanding before shifting to eat his breakfast.
"I'm working all day today and I'm assuming you'll be travelling home with Edward later….but before you leave I expect to see you down at the Station."
I was suddenly filled with panic and nerves.
"But I haven't done anything wrong…..have I?"
He rushed to reassure me.
"No, of course not. I meant that you may have a case against Jacob for assault and you could also ask for a restraining order."
He glanced up at me before continuing, as if waiting for some sort of objection. Satisfied that I was listening intently he continued.
"I know you're an adult and capable of making your own decisions but…look….I know it's early and you're not fully awake yet, but talk about it with Edward when he gets up will you?"
"Of course…..actually I'd better go and see if he's awake."
My Dad reassured me that he was out like a light having looked in on him before coming downstairs.
"You had a rough day yesterday and I'm sure you don't want to keep going over and over it all, but I discussed it at length with Edward yesterday and he did his own research on the journey down here. He knows all the options available to you and he'll explain everything - okay?"
I smiled and squeezed his hand, wanting to erase the worry on his face.
"Okay, thanks Dad…..I'm sorry about everything yesterday….."
He looked up at me sharply.
"Don't Bella…..you have nothing to apologise for. Jacob's lucky I haven't kicked his arse all the way to Newquay."
He finished his breakfast and we said our goodbyes with him giving one final reminder about seeing me at the Police Station later. I busied myself with making a fresh coffee, one handed, while Charlie said goodbye to Maggie and she waved him off at the front door.
When she came back in the kitchen Maggie joined me for another coffee and we chatted at the kitchen table. She asked me about my job, Edward, his work, where we lived; just every day things…and it was really nice; easy and unforced. She talked a little about her grown up children, meeting my Dad, her job and I found that I really enjoyed getting to know her.
"Speaking of which, I'd better get ready otherwise I'll be late for my shift."
"Thank you for everything Maggie…..well, I don't actually remember everything…..but thank you."
She waved me off with a smile and gave me a brief hug before going upstairs. I rinsed my cup out as best as I could with one hand before going back upstairs to my old room and slipping on to the bed next to Edward.
I lay there for a few minutes, quietly watching him sleep and marvelling at how truly beautiful he was. I carefully brushed the hair away from his eyes and couldn't resist lightly trailing my fingers over his perfect features. I was suddenly overwhelmed with how much I loved him and moved to get as close as possible, wrapping my uninjured arm around his waist and breathing him in; whispering into his chest.
"I love you so much…..I'm so glad I met you."
I was slightly startled when he stirred and carefully wrapped his arms around me. His voice was rough and thick with sleep.
"Love you too Bella….."
"Sorry, I didn't mean to wake you….you must be exhausted after yesterday."
He gently kissed the top of my head.
"I'm pretty sure that I should I be saying that to you."
I shuffled upwards slightly so I could kiss him on his mouth.
"Thank you for coming…..I can't tell you what that means to me."
He groaned and carefully pulled me closer to him, his tired voice cracking with emotion.
"Of course I came…..when I got the call from your Dad, I thought…..I didn't know…..I just…..Christ Bella, it scared the shit out of me; the thought of anything happening to you…..I had to get here, I should have fucking been here with you anyway….."
"Shhh, I'm fine….well a bit shaken up, but I'm okay…..and you're here now."
His whole body stiffened.
"Yeah, well, sorry Bella, but in my book fine would be you coming home in one piece, as perfect as when you left….not with a broken hand encased in a plaster cast, two fractured fingers and a bag of painkillers."
I winced even though I already knew full well how he was going to react when my Dad called him. He'd been worried sick, panicking and most likely giving himself hell for not being able to come with me. And I didn't need to be told that Jacob, understandably, wouldn't be at the top of his Christmas card list.
"I know, I'm sorry, I didn't mean it like that…..I can't imagine what you….I mean, if it was you I'd have been going mad. I just meant….."
Edward gripped me to him even tighter; his tone softer now.
"I'm sorry Bella…..I'm not angry at you….you know that right? I'm just so relieved to be here with you again. Yesterday was…..stressful, to say the least; I was so far away and it felt like I'd never get here….and I needed to get here so badly. You needed me…."
I felt overcome with how much he loved me; how much he cared.
He pecked me on my forehead which made me laugh.
"Edward….a real kiss….please."
"Bella…..let me brush my teeth….."
"I don't care about that - please….just kiss me."
He sighed and kissed me properly, his hands carefully finding their way to my face and gently stroking my cheeks with his thumbs as he cupped my face with his large hands. I relaxed immediately and felt the stress begin to leave him too. Eventually we pulled apart and lay there quietly, foreheads touching.
"I really am so pleased you're here."
He sighed softly.
"I know babe, me too."
"You were wrapped around me so tightly when I woke up."
"I didn't hurt you did I? I was trying to be careful of your hand but holding you like that was the only way I could get you to settle down and sleep. You were having nightmares."
I kissed him again on his perfect mouth, overwhelmed by how thoughtful he was.
"Of course you didn't hurt me. You took care of me like you always do."
Any reply was cut off by a knock on the door and Maggie calling out that she had a coffee for Edward. When we asked her to come in she apologised for disturbing us but discretely explained that she thought we may want to get an early start if we had things to do today.
Edward immediately moved to sit and gratefully took the coffee which Maggie carefully placed in his outstretched hands.
"Thank you Maggie, you're an angel."
"Right, I have to leave now for work…..Bella's medicines are in the kitchen, in the middle of the table. Do you need me to go through them again?"
After checking what time I had last taken them, Edward assured her he had the instructions committed to memory and that he was able to tell them apart easily as they had Braille labelling.
I feigned indignation, telling them both that I was able to look after myself to which they both burst into loud laughter, teasing me about my reaction to the drugs I'd been given at the hospital.
We said our goodbyes to Maggie who warmly hugged us both and made promises to stay in touch and get together again soon.
Edward finished his coffee and remained sitting on the edge of my bed. I could tell he wanted to say something but was holding back so I reached out with my right hand and squeezed his arm.
"What is it Edward? Tell me."
He ran his hands through his hair and sighed.
"I've got so much running around inside my head. I'm upset about what happened to you and worried about your injuries. I want to know everything that happened…..but I'm unsure if you want to talk about it so I don't want to push. I want to tell you what I found out about your legal options…..but I'm not sure if you're up to it. I want to beat the fucking shit out of Jacob for putting his disgusting hands on you but I know I can't do it…..I want him charged for assault. I want to somehow sort it all out for you….Fuck! I want to take you home, I want to be anywhere else but here right now…."
He trailed off and my heart clenched tightly as I took in how agitated, worried and tired he looked as I knew that I'd feel exactly the same if the situation were reversed. I moved as quickly as I could to sit next to him and wrapped my good arm around his waist and rested my head against him.
"I know….it seems like a lot but we'll sort it all out together. I think I understand how you must be feeling because I'm trying to imagine how I'd feel if it was you…..but I can only tell you the truth - I really am doing okay, I promise. I wouldn't lie to you Edward, I mean yeah, I'm a bit shaken up, achy and seriously pissed off at Jacob but….I'm so much better now you're here. You make everything better just by being with me."
I looked up at his face and caught a glimpse of his watery eyes right before he grabbed me clumsily and hugged me fiercely to his hard body. No words, just everything conveyed in his tight hold.
Eventually we pulled apart and I decided to get the ball rolling on our day so we could go home as soon as possible. I suggested we shower and dress before having some breakfast. Edward seemed to brighten up a little and before long we were both sitting at the small kitchen table drinking juice and eating toast.
Once I'd cleared everything away I sat back down next to Edward and took one of his hands in mine.
"Okay, so where do you want to start?"
He looked slightly taken aback but also relieved at my directness and his voice was quiet but firm, his face a picture of concern.
"I'd like to know everything that happened….if you feel up to telling me that is."
I knew that he needed to hear it all as I would be exactly the same and I didn't want him to have to hear it for the first time at the Police Station in front of strangers. This way he would have a chance to take everything on board while we were alone. So for the next several minutes I told Edward everything that had happened, right from the funeral, all the way to my argument with Jake which led me to punching him hard enough to break my hand and fracture a couple of fingers. Keeping a tight hold on my hand he sat there, head down, listening intently; his jaw clenched tight. I felt him stiffen and flinch several times, his hold on me tightening, but he allowed me to keep talking and resisted any urge he may have had to interrupt.
Once I'd finished he asked a few questions; eventually satisfied that he had the full story before he pulled me into a tight hug, telling me how sorry he was that it had happened at all, especially on such a sad day. He told me that he'd already spoken to Charlie but hearing it from me seemed to make it hit home harder. He was upset and angry at everything that had happened, but made it clear that his fury was directed firmly at Jake. Once or twice he tried to place a measure of blame on himself for not being able to come with me, but I shot that down immediately; adamant that he was in no way responsible for Jake's behaviour.
He kissed the fingers of my injured hand gently but his voice was rough and laced with anger.
"Bella…..it's just so hard to know what he did to you…..that he spoke to you like that and touched you in that way…..man-handled you like a piece of fucking meat. You don't deserve to be treated that way….no one does. I just can't even…..I don't want him to get away with it….."
I cut in, desperate to let him know that we were on the same page; I wanted to report it, take whatever legal action we could, draw a line under it, then go home and get on with our lives.
"I know Edward…..neither do I."
Edward visibly sagged with relief.
"Charlie said you'd explain the legal options to me?"
He told me everything that he'd found out from his solicitor, going over it a few times until I was sure that I understood it all correctly. I huffed out a breath in frustration and shared my worries that there had been no witnesses but he did his best to reassure me that even if the Police were not able to help then we would simply deal with it privately through the legal contact that he'd been given by his family solicitor.
We packed our overnight bags, the pair of us clumsily cramming everything into Edward's case as it was slightly larger so I could leave mine at my Dad's to take home another time. We realised that with my injured hand and Edward having to use his stick as well as wanting to hold on to each other, two cases just wouldn't work. I called a taxi and after a final check around my Dad's, satisfied that we hadn't left anything there, I locked up and we headed off to the Police Station.
We saw Charlie briefly as he lead us to an interview room, explaining that he couldn't take any part in dealing with my complaint against Jacob due to the obvious conflict of interests. He would however, be giving his own statement separately if the officer in charge required it.
I'd met Inspector Banner a few times before and he smiled warmly as he came into the room. With introductions over, he got straight down to business, asking me what had happened before finally taking a formal statement of my complaint, which included details of my injuries. Edward was a strong and supportive presence; holding my hand the entire time and while he didn't interfere with my formal statement he became more vocal once the formalities had been dealt with, questioning Inspector Banner regarding their next move and making it clear that we weren't prepared to just let the matter drop.
Although we realised that, without witnesses, any action against Jacob would largely depend on how honest he was when he was brought in, we left the station feeling optimistic that my complaint had been taken seriously and would be dealt with promptly with Inspector Banner promising to keep me up to date with what was happening.
We headed straight to the station and bought our tickets and having some time to kill; we went into town and ate lunch at a small cafe. We drew a few looks here and there as we made our way around but when I told Edward, we managed to share a laugh about what we must look like – me with one arm in a plaster cast and the other gripping onto his belt loops, Edward with his stick in one hand and pulling the case along with the other. I was so thankful that he was able to see the humorous side to things and it felt good to laugh again after the last couple of days.
Once we were on the train and going through every station that took us closer to home and further away from Cornwall, both of us began to relax right down. It was bliss to sit together, alone, in a first class carriage and I sunk happily into Edward's side as he wrapped a protective arm around me, periodically checking that I was okay and was taking my pain medications at the right time. I realised once again how good it felt to have him care for me the way that he did and somehow he managed to do it without being suffocating and overbearing. I knew how fortunate I was to have met my soul mate; I'd gained so much from his love, consideration and protectiveness and that even after such a short time if I were to lose him, there would be a gaping hole in my life. I only hoped that I was able to do the same for him…..to be what he needed.
"Penny for them?"
His gentle voice brought me back from my thoughts and made me smile.
"Sorry…..I was just thinking how lucky I am to have you, but….."
Edward pulled me tighter into his side.
"Hey…..we're lucky to have each other. It goes both ways Bella."
"I know, but…..don't you ever, I mean…..I sometimes feel like….."
I trailed off, concerned that I wouldn't be able to explain properly but Edward was having none of that, coaxing me gently to continue.
"What do you feel like? Tell me, please."
"Well, I'm a bit concerned that maybe I'm….high maintenance."
Edward laughed out loud which really hadn't been the reaction I was expecting, although it did make me smile.
"You aren't serious surely? What are you talking about?"
He teased me about having another weird reaction to the painkillers before I lightly smacked him on his chest.
"Hey! I am being serious. Since you've met me you've had to rescue me from Mike Newton, cope with me almost fainting over a tiny cut on my finger, rush back from London when I collapsed with the flu. Now all this stuff with Jacob….."
Edward immediately got serious and gently pulled my face up towards his, kissing me to get me to stop talking.
"Stop that Bella. I love you, it's as simple as that…..I'd do anything for you and that includes doing my best to defend you from idiots, taking care of you when you need me and supporting you at all times. I'm your boyfriend…..I want to be there for you; good times, difficult times – all of it. It's not a chore; I want to do it…honestly. I never in a million years thought I'd find someone like you to share my life with; someone who treats me like an equal and looks past my disability to really see me. You do that Bella and you have done since the day we met."
I let out a small sob and clambered awkwardly into his lap and wrapped my arms around his neck as I kissed him hard.
"Edward….thank you, that's beautiful. Do know how much you mean to me? I love you so much that it's hard to put into words. You have to know that I'll always be there for you too, whatever you need me for and I hope…I hope that I'm able to give you as much as you give me."
His voice was quiet and rough with emotion.
"I do know Bella, you already give me everything I need….you're perfect for me…..we're perfect for each other."
The remainder of the journey home was uneventful but good as we both made an effort to talk about all sorts of things and not just what had happened with Jacob. Although we realised it needed to be sorted out and would likely take some time, neither one of us wanted it to take over our life together.
It was bliss to finally get back to the apartment.
A sense of peace washed over me as we settled back in and freshened up before having a snack and a glass of juice in the kitchen and deciding to have an early night. While Edward locked up I cleared the kitchen and as I was closing the dishwasher he appeared behind me and without saying a word, turned me round to face him, abruptly pulling me in for a hard kiss. I'd missed Edward in every way for the short time we'd spent apart and my body immediately ignited as the kissing deepened, hands wandered and our bodies pushed together….and judging by how hard he felt against my stomach, he felt the same.
He pulled back, breathing deeply and it seemed like he was trying to get himself under control. But I wanted more and reached to pull him back again, my own breathing erratic.
He looked pained but wrapped his arms around me gently, burying his face in my neck.
"I'm sorry Bella…..I shouldn't have mauled you like that, I wanted to be gentle with you after everything that happened."
I realised immediately what he was worried about but there was no way that he would ever treat me the way Jacob had. Edward's touch was always welcomed by me and even at the height of his passion as he manipulated my much smaller body, he had never hurt me and I knew he never would. Using my good hand I pulled his head away from my neck and held his face.
"Edward, baby…..I trust you completely, this isn't an issue - I'm fine. I feel safe with you, I always do; don't let what happened change who we are together. I love your touch, your body….I love what you do to me; how you make me feel. I love you….I want you….please."
He hesitated for a few more seconds before finally relaxing; kissing me again. This time he didn't stop; his mouth becoming more and more demanding and before long we were both naked and panting as he pinned me against the kitchen counter. At this point I was beyond aroused and didn't care where we were as long as he was inside me, and soon.
But still my welfare was his main concern.
"Is your hand okay? I don't want to hurt you."
"Yeah it's fine…I'm fine. I promise."
"Tell me if I need to stop."
"Oh god, please don't stop."
I must have sounded desperate because he immediately dropped his mouth back to mine, his hands touching me everywhere while he manoeuvred us both to the table, quickly shifting the chairs aside with his legs. His voice was low and rough and just his tone was enough to make my entire body tingle.
"Bella….I know you're ready for me and I need you - right now. I just….I want to….I need…."
I understood immediately how he felt and what he needed as I had been exactly the same after I'd found out about Heidi's pathetic attempts to seduce him when he was in London. I'd been wild when we'd had sex, needing him so badly; needing to show him that he was mine. I gently stroked his face, wanting to show that I understood.
"I know….take me. I need you just as badly."
He groaned and carefully turned me around, guiding me to lean over the table. I leant on my elbows so I wasn't putting any weight on my injured hand while Edward nudged my legs apart and without any warning, pushed inside me. Hard.
Both of us moaned loudly at the sheer bliss of being joined again this way and he stopped briefly to check that I was okay. I was more than okay; I felt complete again. Satisfied with me virtually begging him to continue, Edward's thrusts were relentless as he gripped my hips and pounded inside me over and over. Our lovemaking was hard and demanding, frantic and urgent. And everything we both needed after all the stress of the last few days.
I came quickly and Edward followed immediately after. The release felt euphoric and I came so hard I was grateful for the support of the table while Edward struggled to remain upright and not crush me. Once I was able to move again I turned to Edward and carefully wrapped my arms around him, telling him how much I loved him and how happy I was to be home with him again. He pulled me closer to his body, sounding as emotional as I felt.
"Oh Bella….I love you too - so much. You sure you're okay?"
"Of course. We're together again. It's perfect."
Draped around each other we made our way to the bedroom, eagerly soaking up the bliss of being back in our own bed; together. Edward immediately wrapped himself around me, taking care to avoid my hand and all felt right in my world again; I felt secure and confident that I was right where I wanted to be.
Please Press review!
Recs:I urge you to read the following two fics by ruinedbyrob.
Loss of Control: Brilliant one-shot dealing with overwhelming, unexpected but instant attraction. Edward/Bella.
For 21 years Bella has lived a quiet, safe, boring and unsatisfying life. She's always in control, never allowing herself to just let go and feel. With one look from an unkempt beautiful stranger she takes a chance and changes all of that.
Tailspin: EPOV of Loss of Control. Six chapters with maybe one more to wrap it all up.