NaughtyHeels Anonymous One-Shot Contest

Title: Black Leather and Pink Lace

Name of Song and Artist of Inspiration Song: Love is a Battlefield by Pat Benatar

Pen Name: il-bel-mondo

Characters: Bella, Edward, Alice, Rose and Emmett

Disclaimer: I own nothing. It all belongs to the talented Stephenie Meyer

Summary: Bella and Edward have an on again, off again relationship. Bella's friends decide to get her out of her post break up funk with an evening out. When she runs into Edward what will happen?

Link to FFnet account: .net/u/1981213/il-bel-mondo

I sat with my feet pulled under my body, clutching a pillow to my chest as I took slow, steady breaths, attempting to stave off my sobs. We had broken up...again. I was miserable and left feeling terrible about myself...again. Although, how I could actually be surprised by his latest dismissal of me, I don't know.

For the past few months, my life was in some sort of bizarre repeat cycle. Seriously. My life had turned into nights of washing my hair, but instead of lather, rinse, and repeat...it was break up, make up, and repeat. I couldn't wrap my head around it. No matter which way I looked at it, or whose opinion I asked, I still didn't get it. In only three months, we'd broken up four times.

Although we'd once been perfect for one other, lately our relationship had been a bit rocky. Okay, maybe rocky was an understatement; tumultuous was a better fit. He had huge aspirations, but suddenly he couldn't be tied down or obligated to something other than his career. Ha, career my ass. He wanted to promote parties. What a career, right? We had been together for over two years--two and a half years! But now, without any previous indication, his life goals were somehow on hiatus because of us...because of me. Being in a committed relationship was altering his life path (and not in a good way). His latest reason for our breakup sucked. I cringed at the memory of his flippant attitude.

'You have to appear single at these things, Bel,' he'd said. He had made me no promises, and I hadn't demanded any in return. What I fool I had been.

I was stuck in this unhealthy cycle of feeling less than what I needed to be for him each time it happened, but my friends had finally stood their ground, telling me to break the cycle. I didn't know if that was even possible. The cycle had become so finite. We broke up, and I stayed at home, threw a pity party, and waited until he decided he wanted me again. I couldn't imagine actually leaving the house. But tonight, they wanted for me to try and have a life. Yeah, we'll see how that goes...

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

My phone's shrill, ear-drum bursting ring sounded in the air. I hesitated, not really wanting to answer it; I already knew who it was, and if I didn't answer now, she would call in the reinforcements.

I picked up the phone and waited.

"If you're not over here in fifteen minutes, you can find a new best friend." She tried sounding stern, but I heard the hint of a giggle in her voice.

"You've been saying that since the fifth grade," I retorted, her hysterical laughter finally breaking free. Truthfully, Alice and I had only known each other since our sophomore year of high school, but that didn't matter. If we weren't the female version of Cameron and Ferris, I didn't know would be.

"Fine, fine. I'll come to you, but you have to wear what I picked up for you today," my tiny sprite of a friend whined into the receiver.

I smiled. I could practically hear the phone shaking in her palm as her body bounced with excitement. "Peachy keen, jellybean," I replied in true Alice fashion, just reaffirming that I would go along with whatever she had planned for tonight. Amidst her giggles I faintly heard a 'bye,' the click of the line, and a dial tone.

I sat and stared at a blank spot on the wall and exhaled a long, slow breath. Tonight's going to be fun, I attempted to convince myself. My eyes traveled from the blank white expanse of my wall to where the clock sat. Alice would be here soon, so I had only a short amount of time to allow my emotions to flow. Once I had an audience, I would bottle that shit up, put on a happy face, and for all intents and purposes pretend to have fanfuckingtastic time tonight, despite the fact that going to dinner, a movie, and the club had completely lost its appeal.

Tonight would have been our anniversary.

My heart started pounding through my ribs at the thought of him and the intense, deep sea blue of his eyes that I could almost picture the waves of the ocean in. Get your shit together, Bella! Geez. Love was war, constant battles being fought...and I had lost mine. I could feel the start of my tears, ready to free flow down my face, but I knew that Alice would have my head if she showed up, and I looked like I was having an allergic reaction.

Picture her dosing you up with a shot glass full of Benadryl while painting on layers of concealer around your eyes. Oh, the horror. I knew I had to reign that shit in now. I refused to shed another tear over him. Not tonight. No, tonight I was finally leaving the safety of my apartment and rejoining the world of the living.

It was the end of summer, dammit. Our last year of college would start in a few weeks, and I was going to enjoy myself tonight, even if that meant drinking like a fish and going belly up in the tank by the morning. With my mind made up, I fought the tears and was only left with a sniffling nose. Easy enough to remedy.

I pulled myself up off of my couch slowly, my body tired and drained from the endless hours I had spent crying and rehashing the end of us. I replayed it over...again and again in my head trying to figure out where it all went wrong, but it still made no sense what-so-ever. I had just reached the bathroom to finish rolling some tissue out to wipe my nose when the doorbell rang followed by a loud bang.

Great!
Only one person did that, and I wasn't sure how I was going to handle him tonight. I slowly opened the door, preparing myself for the worst, but after taking in his outfit, I started grinning uncontrollably.

"Hey, Hell's Bells," he smiled. I couldn't help but laugh. My neighbor, Emmett, stood outside my door with my two best friends, Alice and Rose. He looked hilarious; Alice had clearly picked out his clothes. At least I wouldn't be the only one playing dress up tonight.

Emmett was a large, adorable teddy bear, and his outfit was almost too much for me to take. Alice had somehow managed to stuff his strong, thick legs into acid-washed jeans that were so tight they almost looked painted on. The back pocket was ripped and hanging precariously from a thread, his crisp white button up shirt was tucked neatly in to the waist, and it was all topped pulled together with a thin, straight, black tie. The best part, though, was the blazer. I mean, the man had huge shoulders without any help, and he looked fucking ridiculous with the lifted shoulders.

I burst into a fit of giggles. My body doubled over, trying to catch my breath. As soon as my eyes hit the floor, I saw them--hot pink, pointed toes, and a thin heel. My eyes traveled upwards and over the tattered fishnet stockings, the holes too precise to have been accidental tears. My eyes widened as I looked upwards, entranced by the ragged and torn pieces of material that made up the base of the pink and black dress.

From the angle I was staring, the skirt looked like an upturned flower. I continued my gaze up over the rough and frayed bottom as it tapered into a sleek and fitted bodice, the intricate pieces of braided fabric styled into a makeshift corset. Finally, I took in her face; her short, black hair must have had a whole can of aerosol spray to hold it in the awkward angles it was currently fixed.

"Holy fucking Pat Benatar," I said slowly, taking in all of Alice. She had not only replicated the outfit (of course in pink--that was so her) but also the hair and the smudged eye make up as well. "Alice, you look sexy."

"I have a feeling that I might have someone to impress tonight," she winked. "That, and that you are going to have some actual fun. I've enlisted some recruits to help the 'Fuck-Edward-Night' go smoothly." As his name left her lips, my whole body tensed, and I shut my eyes to hold back the inevitable tears.

"Aw, god dammit! I told you she wasn't ready for this." Rose's hard, cold voice cut through the silence. "Bella, honey, if you want, I can borrow my brother's baseball bat and bust one of his knee caps. Emmett and I aren't afraid to go all A-Team on his ass." She was trying to get me to smile, but I knew she was dead serious. All I had to do was say the word, and Edward would have a few broken bones.

"No," I smiled up at her. "I would much rather go and get shitty drunk, dance, and fend off the crazies with you three. By the way, tell Synergy I said, 'nice look on you' tonight," I laughed. Whenever Rose went all out (which was basically always), she looked like a real-life Jem doll. Tonight was no exception. Her pink leggings and long, long belted shirt looked stunning on her. "Seriously? The hair too?" I asked, checking out the light pink streaks that ran through her platinum blond locks. Instead of replying, Rose just rolled her eyes and glared at Alice.

"HB, you gonna let us in the door or make us stand outside all night?" Emmett goaded. I didn't even realize that I hadn't let them inside. I was too surprised by their transformations.

"Well, that depends on Alice," I said sternly. "Please tell me you don't have another shade of pink for me to wear. I'd rather not look like an odd set of fraternal triplets," I said as I eyed the garment bag she had draped over her slender forearm.

With a wicked grin, Alice pushed past me into the apartment. I groaned. She wasn't telling.

~*~*~*~*~*~

Soon after Alice had completed my transformation to her satisfaction, we walked to our favorite tiny Italian restaurant just down the block from our apartment. We ate there on a regular basis, so often that we were on a first name basis with the manager and most of the wait staff. And that is why I wanted to go anywhere else in the city for dinner tonight. But, no, they insisted on going somewhere where everyone would recognize me, see how ridiculous I looked, and probably tell Edward about it later. Awesome.

I fidgeted and fussed with the jacket I insisted on wearing. I wrapped it tight around my middle, refusing to make eye contact with anyone as we walked to our table. I wasn't ready to see anyone's reaction to my "new look."

Before arriving here, Alice and Rose had yanked me into my bathroom and started throwing clothing at me to put on. The outfit was something I would never, never wear. I felt uncomfortable just looking at it, much less wearing it. I had finally put my foot down when Alice had tried to get me to dye my hair, though. I laughed thinking back on it.

"I figured you wouldn't go for it. So, I brought a back up plan," she said matter-of-factly as she pulled a blond wig from her bag of goodies. I was flabbergasted...and flat out refused. Rosalie insisted that it was necessary, but I fought her tooth and nail each step of the way. Finally, they had had enough.

"You're heartbroken, Bella, and we just want you to enjoy yourself tonight," Alice cooed as she stroked my arm affectionately.

"Frankly, Bella, you are not ready to enjoy yourself," Rosalie began. "So, we're making you someone else for tonight--someone who has no cares and doesn't want to run screaming and crying into her bedroom. Honey, we love you, and I refuse to let you go four days without showering again. I mean, really, Bella." Rose, snarky as always, was trying hard to be understanding. She loved me, and I knew she was only trying to help.

Which brought me back to my current predicament at dinner. I raised an eyebrow as Giancarlo, our usual flirty waiter, set a menu down in front of me. Um, that's weird. We never use menus here...ever. We come too often. Not lifting my face completely, I glanced around the table only to notice that I was the only one with a menu.

"Who's your friend?" Giancarlo asked, confused, looking to my friends for an explanation. "And where's Bella? I haven't seen her miss a Saturday dinner ever." That was our tradition--weekly dinners, all (*cringe*) five of us. I'd seen him every week for the past however many years, and the poor guy didn't even recognize me. I opened my mouth to let him in on it, but Emmet, that joker, decided to have some fun...at my expense, of course.

"G, man! Bella is still holed up her apartment...all unshowered, red, and crying over her latest break up with Edward," he teased looking directly at me while talking to the waiter. The waiter had expressed an interest in me when we first started coming here, but I had been with Edward. I think he still held a grudge.

"That asshole! He doesn't know what he has. And she's just sitting up there wallowing over him?" he raved. "I should take her up some food and check in on her." He sounded so sincere. I had to smile. He really was sweet, but he was far too young for me.

"G, you don't have to take food to the apartment. Just bring me my usual here...to the table." I grinned up at him. His eyes traced over my face, which heated with a blush as he stared slack jawed at my transformation.

"Bella, what did you do to your hair? It was so pretty. I mean, well, um...what did you do?" he stammered, embarrassed, sporting a matching blush to my trademark one.

"No worries, Giancarlo. It's a wig. I don't want to be the angry, sad Bella for one night," I explained, his mortified face slowly morphing into one of understanding.

"Then what shall I call you tonight, mystery girl? And whoever you are, are you single?" he half joked as he winked at me before walking off, not really needing the answer.

His question brought on a new wave of conversation, coming up with what we would each be called for the night. Evidently, I had started a trend. We debated and joked throughout the rest of the meal, all of us wondering what our new names for the evening would be. Giancarlo even stopped back by the table to offer up his opinions.

Alice was dubbed Patti Mae, for obvious reasons. It was Pat Benatar's real name. Following suit, Rose took the alter ego name of Jem--Jerrica. Emmet was still undecided when we left from dinner, but he was resolved to find something before we headed out to the bar. Lastly, the three of them decided on Andie for me. Hilarious, guys. Andie was Molly Ringwald's character in 'Pretty in Pink'...the girl who wants to be more than she is for the out-of-her-league hottie. I was not amused by their choice in the least.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

After dinner, we made our way to the local movie theater. It was Emmett's turn to pick our weekly movie. Actually, it was Edward's, but since he was not in the equation anymore, the choice went to Em. He chose a new release called 'Howard The Duck". It was ridiculously terrible. The movie was about an alien duck that wears a blazer, smokes cigars, and gets it on with a human at one point. Gross, totally gross. But in true Emmett form, he laughed his ass off during the whole damned thing.

Patti Mae, Jerrica, and I decided that the last laugh would be on him. For subjecting us to this horrible movie, we decided that Emmett would be dubbed Howard for the remainder of the evening.

He just chuckled and brushed it off. "As long as I get laid by the end of the night, I'm okay with that." Hell, if the duck could get some ass, Em figured he could get some, too.

We exited the theater and started the brief walk to the club. No Jacket Required was awesome. They had some great live bands--usually locals--but they always put on a great show. They played a good mix of music, alternating between newer and older hits, keeping it interesting. Having officially settled on our new identities, we made our way to the front of the line, ready to embark on our evening.

Although it was only ten thirty when we arrived at the club, the line was already astronomical. We breezed past the entirety of the masses, which were huddled, waiting to have a good time. The line to broke out into hisses and loud questions as the bouncer unchained the front to allow us through.

Rose had worked there as a bartender to help pay her way through college; she quit as soon as she graduated, which, by the way, was with no loans to repay. Bartending had left her with no debt and gave her a fresh start as a college grad last spring. She was now fielding a variety of offers from some top firms in the engineering industry.

Rose shot an evil look at a girl with a bad perm, then directed her stare to the doorman. As the girl, who had just called Rose a slut for jumping the line, was told the club was declining her entrance tonight, Rose/Jerrica sashayed into the bar, satisfied.

I overheard the doorman as he said, "It was either turn her around now or carry her out after Rosie knocks her teeth into her throat later." I stifled my laughter, knowing that it was the truth. I had heard the stories from her co-workers; don't piss off Rose unless you can handle the backlash.

We walked back behind the bar to the back room. Even though Rose didn't work there anymore, we still utilized her old locker to keep our things from being stolen. With everything thrown into the locker, all eyes landed on me.

"Come on, Bella, off with the jacket. NOW!" Rose demanded.

I nervously peeled back the layer my jacket provided and handed it to her sheepishly as she yanked it away from me. I heard a low whistle from Em, who was now seeing my outfit for the first time. I looked up to see him shaking his head, smiling, and muttering something about 'stupid Edward'.

Smiling, Alice reached out and grasped my shoulders as she spun me to face a full length mirror. It had been set up on the wall justi inside the entryway of the employee lounge. I gasped quietly. My Madonna 'Like A Virgin' inspired ensemble and dirty blond wig made me completely unrecognizable...even to me.

"For the rest of the night, you are not Bella. You are Andie, and you look sexalicious. Go be a maneater." Rose winked at my reflection as I took it all in.

My outfit was indeed a shade of pink, but it was so pale that it looked like a soft white. I couldn't believe what I was wearing...still. I was dressed in lace, elbow-length gloves, a matching lace bustier, and a tiny tulle and lace poofy skirt, leaving my legs bare from mid-thigh down to ankle. Well, they were basically bare. Alice had given me a pair of fishnets to wear, but her strategic ripping exposed almost everything. To top it all off, Alice had woven matching lace ribbon through the curls of the wig like a head band and weighed me down with several silver chains and bracelets. But what set it all off was the belt. I didn't know how Ali had gotten her hands on one, but I was wearing an exact replica of Madonna's "Boy Toy" belt. It sat cinched around my tiny middle.

I looked nothing like Bella and was elated about it. Time for some fun, Andie. "Alright, Patti...Jerrica...Howard," I made eye contact with each as I called out their aliases. "Let's motor."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Our quartet made the trip through the throng of people, snaking our way in and out of the crowd, the air pulsing with the beat of the music. We made it to the VIP section quickly and were able to snag a recently vacated table. After that, though, we decided to split up. Patti wanted to scope the crowd before she made her mind up on what she would do, Howard started rating the betty's looks at and around our table, and Jerrica wanted to catch up with her former co workers.

Me? I opted to hit the bar. Some booze was definitely in order. As I walked through the madness, the bar erupted into cheers as Cory Hart came over the loud speakers. I fucking loved this song...I Wear My Sunglasses At Night. I sang along as I made my way over to the bar, swaying my hips to the beat of the music. I was entranced by the bar lighting as it changed colors in tune with the beat of the song.

Just before I reached the bar, I felt a hand tightly clamp down just above my elbow. I spun to my left as hard as I could, trying to break free from the unrelenting grasp. What I saw made my heart pound so hard against my rib cage that I was positive I would crack a rib and end up in the local ER. A very large, sort of beautiful man/boy was smiling down at me. He was taller than Em but didn't have the same girth. His smile seemed genuine and not malicious. I pulled my eyes away from his squared jaw, perfect teeth, and dark brown eyes to look down to his hand. He got the hint and released his hold on my arm. Slowly, he leaned down to my ear to introduce himself.

"Hey, I'm Jake." I smiled at him politely. As cute as he was, his breath made it all null and void. He had puppy breath, a sickening combination of dog treats and ass.

I needed a quick on-the-spot boy deterrent. In my best (shockingly-sweet) valley girl voice, I responded, "Like...hi. I'm Andie...like with an I.E, not like a Y. It's like totally nice to meet you, but like my boyfriend would like totally spaz if he like saw me talking to you. I mean like totally." Oh my god, I just almost puked in my mouth. I couldn't stand the stereotypical valley girl, but it worked well in the punk rock, i.e. not very valley friendly, bar. His face morphed into disgust after each "like" and "totally," and before I had like even finished, he was practically running away from me. Adios amigo! I thought as I saluted his retreating frame.

"Ha-ha, go piss up a flagpole," I mumbled more to myself than to the fleeing, pretty, halitosis-having giant. I snorted at my referencing. I l-o-v-e Ferris Bueller's Day Off. It was something I did often. He and I had turned it a game, quoting movies as real responses. It was easier for me than having to form my own reply, and I was quite the movie buff. I usually won.

I spun back on my heel to face the bar and was met with the sound of clapping hands. I turned a little further and narrowed my eyes at the applauder. "Nice. Now, do you have a kiss for daddy?" I heard quoted in response. God, why do you hate me? There, standing in all his single glory, was Edward. Why didn't I think...of course he'd be here. Although I used to look forward to his movie quote responses, now after he had broken my heart, it didn't seem so fun. He stood there, hands clasped, mocking me with a snide look on his face, awaiting my retort. Fine, two can play this game.

"Pardon my french, but you're an asshole. ASSHOLE!" I retorted, anger filling my face. I felt the heat creeping up my chest, positive that my flushed skin now matched the pale pink of my lace corset.

Edward flinched at the harshness in my tone. What did he expect? Hey, Edward *insert hug here*. No, thank you. He recovered and shot one back at me. "French, huh?" He's not about to go there, is he? "Les jeux sont faits. Translation: the jig is up...your ass is mine, Bella." I cringed again, just wanting to get the hell away from him.

"I don't think that last part was in the movie. Now, if you'll move." I turned away and pushed my body flush against the bar, locking eyes with the bartender. "Can I get a beer, babe?" I purred at him. I could feel Edward behind me. I felt his heavy breaths on the nape of my neck, and I was so in tune with the pace of his heartbeat that I was sure I could hear its erratic pace quicken with his anger. What right does he have to be angry? I fumed. He was the cause of all my heartache.

The bartender handed me my beer and shot a warning look over my shoulder. I barely heard the low feral growl rumbling from behind me. "What's that dude's problem?" the bartender laughed. He glanced behind me again, and I heard another heavy intake of breath. "Ain't got no friends to bother, pal?" the bartender asked of the angry, snarling man I was so vehemently trying to ignore.

I could ignore him, but I knew what he would look like. I refused to turn around and see his anger, though, let alone have him see my own suffering. I decided to appease the bartender while taking one final stab at the man who had torn me apart. With another quote burning on my tongue, I decided to win this round, punctuating each word fiercely. "He's got lots of friends. The sportos, the motorheads, geeks, sluts, bloods, wastoids, dweebies, dickheads--they all adore him. They think he's a righteous dude."

I snatched my beer from the bar and ended up spilling part of it. Angry, I rushed back to the table as hot tears brimmed, dangerously close to falling over the rim of my eye. I hoped no one was there. I needed a moment to compose myself, and I didn't want to have to do the whole twenty questions routine, which I knew would inevitably follow. I needed to calm down.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I found my solace at the table and closed my eyes as I quietly talked myself into looking happy. I hurriedly gulped down what hadn't spilled of my drink as I started to wallow in self-pity again. Through the loud music, I heard the screeching of a chair being pulled out and the thud of a body landing in it, making me want to keep my eyes shut.

"Hells Bells, are you okay?" It was Emmett and he sounded...sympathetic. How does he always know?

"Fine, Howard," I sighed. "Find any girls to bag on or take home?" I teased, trying to change the subject.

He smiled but rolled his eyes. "You know that I'm only interested in one girl, but that's our little secret." His giddy tone went back to being somber. "I saw him...in here." Bless Emmett. He always knew. He understood that I couldn't hear his name right now. "Are you okay?" he asked, anger creeping into his words. "Talk to me, Bells, please."

Edward hadn't just torn me apart with his selfishness, but he had also ruined his friendship with Emmett. Although they were friends, Emmett considered me family. And after each breakup, there was no question about whose side he would take. I had confided in Emmett more than anyone else...not that either of us would slip and tell that to Rose and Alice. Neither of us wanted to hear the arguments that would follow that revelation.

"No," I breathed. "I'm not okay. But I will be, Emmett. I don't know what to do... or know how to be around him. He acts like nothing happened." I paused, not willing to let my emotions bubble up in front of Emmett. "I need another drink." I gave him my 'we'll talk later' look before venturing off to the smaller, less crowded bar in the back of the club. I didn't want to chance another run in.

Unfortunately, luck was not on my side tonight. I stopped short as I took him in, documenting the mental picture I was sure I'd cry over later. He stood, leaning nonchalantly with a drink in his hand against the bar, a determined look gracing his beautiful face. He had on black leather combat boots which weren't laced up all the way, the tops open and worn. His long legs were molded under the sheen of tight black leather, and an unnecessary thick, studded belt hung low on his hips. My eyes ventured up the smooth, hairless ripples of his abs, which were slick with sweat. And finally, I admired his pecs, a small sliver of his chest barely peeking out from under his rough, leather biker jacket.

I tried to pull my eyes away from his frame, but it held too many memories. I knew every line of his body, and I knew the way his muscles shifted when he moved. I knew that when he slept his chest rose and fell and not his stomach and that his eyes fluttered when he was having a good dream. I knew that when he passed out after drinking, he talked in his sleep--complete randomness spewing from his unconscious mind. The longer I stared, the more I didn't want to lose this battle. I couldn't give in again. I couldn't let the cycle repeat. I had to break it.

Finally, I brought my gaze to his determined face with a new resolve of my own. I needed to know. Not the vacant, flimsy excuses he had given me...but the truth. If all he told me was the same, at least I would be sure. Stubbornly, I decided that we both needed to search our hearts. Both of us needed to know.

I closed the painful gap between us. As we stood side by side, all black leather and pink lace, I waited. My breath came more rapidly as he inched closer to me. My skin broke out into goosebumps with anticipation, and the need to have him closer was making my mind hazy.

"Andie," he whispered into my wig, his face almost buried in it. "I need to talk..." His hand slowly coasted over the small of my back, freezing me in place. His touch held some sort of paralyzing toxin, incapacitating my movement. I gasped as his barely there touches ghosted up my spine until just his fingertips rested on the curve of my neck. "I need to talk to..." he started again, slowly sliding his touch across my jaw to caress my cheek. My heart sputtered as he pushed the wig back. As it fell to the floor he groaned out, "to Bella."

~*~*~*~*~*~*~

Without my acknowledgment or approval, somehow our bodies moved closer. We were too close to one another, the electricity between us turning into constraints, unbreakable chains that held us together. I wanted to breath him in and keep the memory for later, but I needed to put some distance between us so I could think. But it was too late. His hold on me had firmed, and I had no choice but to follow him.

After saying goodbye to my friends, we left the club. Their faces showed disappointment, but they looked resigned. As much as they hated the fact that Edward hurt me, this process had turned into a sick routine. He'd destroy my heart, then want to talk. We'd try again, only for me to be broken again, pieces of my heart chipping away each time. I think they were finally used to it.

Now, though, I needed to be strong. I scooted away from his comfortable position on the couch, attempting to regain some distance. We were situated in the living area of his loft apartment. There really wasn't another room to go to. Lord knew I wasn't going to "be strong" in his bedroom...which was what I was currently staring at. From my vantage point on the couch, all I could see was his bed. It looked pristine, like he hadn't slept in it...and staring at it wasn't helping my resolve any.

I tried to gather my thoughts as memories flooded my mind. I closed my eyes, cutting off my line of sight, preventing me from looking at the spot where we had spent so much time. I took a deep breath in through my nose and let it out slowly, trying to calm my racing heart.

"Bella," he began, his voice breathy and thin. "I'm so sorry. I saw you tonight, and it all hit me." He tilted his head back, talking towards the ceiling. "When that guy was leaning over you and talking to you, it felt like my heart was being ripped out of my chest." He stopped abruptly focusing now on my face. "Bella, I'm an ass. I know that now. You have to take me back." Yup. We're back to this point.

"Edward, I can't do this again. It hurts too much." The pain was evident in my statement, and I hoped he understood. "You can't keep doing this to me--I won't let you. You spend all this time begging me to let you go, telling me that you need to be alone. Then, just as quickly, you make me want you...want to be with you. But it's only so you can beg me to leave again. And now I need to know why. Why do you do it? Do you enjoy breaking my heart?" I was close to breaking down again.

"Bella, I'm sorry, I never meant to..." His grief stricken voice made me pause and really take in his face.

"No," I refused. "You can't just say you're sorry and that's it, Edward. Why do you hurt me so badly?" I had to know. "One second, you say that this," I waved my hand frantically in the air between us, "...this is holding you back, but when it's convenient again, I'm the best thing for you." I was obviously upset, and I knew I wasn't giving him a chance to respond, but I had to let him know how he made me feel...make him understand. I didn't want to be the only one bleeding on the battlefield that was our relationship.

"Bella, I'm stupid. I don't know why I can't forget everything else and just be with you. I want you. You over anything else. God, I'm so stupid," he rambled, his hand pulling frantically at his hair. Through his apologies, I realized that this was the first time he had ever taken any of the blame...and I already knew why. Even though he may not have understood it yet, he had already said it.

Edward didn't want another guy talking to me.

This was the first time he was shouldering any of the blame, and it was also the first time I didn't sit at home and wait for him. The past four times, I had wallowed in my tears until he decided I was worthy enough to return to. But this time, he saw me moving on...not waiting on him. Now all of the sudden, he has an epiphany? No way he's getting off that easy! I refused to go through this kind of pain again.

"Edward, I could explain myself to you forever. A lifetime wouldn't be enough time to explain the way I'm pulled to you. I could reveal how my heart is tethered to yours, how I'm trapped...bound to you." I rushed my words, willing him to get the picture. "But I feel like it's easy for you. So easy. You toss me aside like I'm a discarded toy. And then when you're ready to be a grown up, you pick me up off the floor where I've been sitting...waiting. And it's not fair to me, Edward. I need you to explain...it will help to know." That was it. I laid it all out for him for the first time. Now, I sat, vulnerable on his couch, yearning for him to want me...to love me. Love me, please.

Edward's hand made a minute movement...a twitch of sorts. Then it stilled, and I chanced a glance to his face. His jaw was set in a stubborn line, and his eyes held the remnants of the stubborn veracity that had been brewing between us for months. But there was something else, too. His pupils were dilated into dark pools of wanton need. I focused hard on those black orbs and felt my own arousal intensify. The way the fringe of his lashes reflected in the frame of his deep blue irises, his jaw clenching and unclenching, the shallow rasping of his breath, and the loud thump of my heart's erratic beating engulfed my senses. It looked as if he wanted to devour me, and I was ready to lay my body bare for his feast.

My body betrayed me; my nipples hardened with my excitement, and I was irritated at the traitorous act. After two years and several breaks, how could he still affect me this way? But somewhere amidst the traitorous madness that was my arousal, I knew that this feeling would never die. He would never cease to hold the reigns on my body and all of it's needs. That's why the cycle continued.

As I waited for his inevitable rejection, I felt my sexual needs increase again, my blood flow redirected to my now slick, wet pussy. I wanted him to touch me deep inside; I ached for any sort of friction. I wasn't ready for him to turn me away again. His hand flickered again and slowly snaked across the couch to settle on my knee. What would he say? Did he actually have an answer? I gulped, thinking of the worst. 'Bel, I know you...I know what you're thinking, but I can't be with you anymore.' Please don't say that...please, want me! I begged with my eyes.

My internal rant was interrupted as his fingertips slid over the crest of my knee, halting its ascent mid thigh. His long, slender finger traced an unknown design over the open tear in my fishnets. Damn Alice for placing the hole there. My thigh muscle tensed with each pass he made, the design searing into my pale flesh. I could feel the heat passing from his skin to mine, and I could imagine the steam spiraling in the air just above his hand, like smoke signals speaking to my girlie parts.

I knew that if he came any closer, I was sure to lose the last thread of control that was keeping me grounded in my seat. I was mesmerized by the pattern and kept a vigilant eye on the ghosting fingers. A strong powerful hand gripped my thigh, fingers turned inwards towards the wet heat now soaking my barely there pink lace panties. The pace of my heart was surely about to make it combust; my breathing hitched, and I had to see if his face held the same intense need that I felt.

"You think it's easy?" he growled softly. "It's not easy, Bella." The thin rim of blue that had surrounded his pupils was now nonexistent. The dark liquid black shone like flat water, calm in the moonlight. I didn't know what to say...what to do, so I simply waited for him to continue. "I feel those chains...I do. Don't you think it scares the hell out of me? That I can't be away from you for one second without wondering what you're doing or who you're with...it's enough to drive me crazy. And I just want...need it to go away."

I gulped because this was it. This was our end, the ultimate rejection I'd been trying to avoid. My eyes found the floor quickly, avoiding the still eerie calm within his gaze as I stood up to leave. The hand that was placed on my thigh grasped tightly, preventing me from moving, forcing me to look at him again. "Where do you think you're going?"

His eyes broke my resolve. As I had sat there, completely vulnerable, so had he. We were both coming clean. I couldn't refuse the pull to him, and he was scared of it. So what happens now? I touched his hand, his fingers leaving my knee to wrap around mine, giving me the opportunity to make my inevitable exit. I turned my head towards him to say my final goodbye when I felt it; the binding solidified again. The calm waters of his eyes flickered with a flash of lightening as he shot out of his seat to stop me.

His hands were everywhere at once, frantically pulling off the heels that cradled my feet, each one dropping to the floor with a loud clunk. The heat from his hands spread across my feet, my ankles, and up my calves as his knuckles kneaded into my thighs before tracing the hem of the ball of tulle and lace.

His gaze settled on me, asking my permission to continue. Somehow, I had regained my ground in this battle--coming out ahead of him for once. I liked the feeling more than I'd admit. I shook my head back and forth, the ends of my hair stinging my cheeks. His face fell in defeat before morphing into shock and awe as I pushed him back to standing and fiddled with his studded belt. It was now his turn to be lost in the lust. He watched the movements of my shaking hands as I loosened his belt, my stiff hands fighting with the button of his leather pants.

Just as I tugged them down past his hips, I realized, with satisfaction, that he hadn't bothered with underwear. As the stretched leather bunched around the thick of his defined thighs, his erection sprang free. The very sight of the long, vein ribbed, flushed silky skin made the walls of my pussy tighten in anticipation, the squeezing of my walls begging for my body to be filled by the glorious specimen of cock in front of me. I sat back and stared, admiring it.

Edward's face flushed from my blatant ogling, my obvious desire making his patience run short. His jacket was next to go as he ran his hands over his flat, toned stomach before roughly grabbing the edges open, showcasing his naked torso. I moaned out a sigh of contentment and his grip slipped, leaving his arms caught in the leather confine of his sleeves. He struggled to escape, but the leather stuck to the slick moisture of his skin, keeping him trapped. Seeing his momentary incapacitation sent a whole new wave of erotic thoughts bursting through my deviant mind., and I decided to take full advantage of his predicament.

Placing my palm on my knees, I leaned forward allowing my tongue to dark out of my mouth to make contact with the tip of his engorged, pulsing cock. I traced the head of his penis and wrapped my tongue around it before placing a soft kiss in the crevasse. I leaned into him more, my hands now gripping tightly to my knees to steady myself as I ran the tip of my tongue along the map of veins that swelled on his shaft. I pulled back, admiring the wet trail, which glistened across the silk-covered rock then back to the tip. Flattening my tongue, I dove back in, tasting my way up his shaft and into the tuft of hair surrounding the base in one long sweep.

I dragged my tongue over the "v" of his body before placing a wet open mouthed kiss on his hip, peering up at him through my lashes. He stood there, bound my his jacket, back arched and dick shoved in my face, the pure unadulterated lust thick in the air. He smirked, taking advantage of my momentary pause, and before I realized what was happening, he had shed his jacket.

With one swift movement, he pulled me to the floor, my 'boy toy' belt skittering across the floor and the lace and tulle of my skirt landing on the table beside it. My body flushed as he took in my remaining clothes. I was left in my pink corseted bustier and pink lacy thong, which effectively trapped under a matching garter belt to hold up my tattered fishnets. I heard the tearing of fabric as his strong capable hands tore away the remnants of my hosiery, his mouth attacking my thighs to reciprocate the oral treatment I had just given him.

But he was not matching my intensity appropriately. No, his tongue lazily traced the same pattern on my thigh where his fingers had been, the languid pace driving me crazy with need. I reached down and tangled my hands in the copper colored mess atop his head, yanking him towards where I needed him most. I looked down past my breasts and stomach and saw his complacent face resting on my thigh, mere inches from where I wanted him to be.

He shot me a quick look from under the dark expanse of lashes, his gaze holding a wicked intensity before finally acquiesing to my unspoken request. And then it came. My head threw back to the floor in ecstasy as I reveled in his incredible talent. His mouth. Oh. My. Fucking. God. His. Mouth. He kissed and nipped at the hollow between the top of my thigh and my aching pussy, the wetness of my arousal dripping from my entrance. He kissed and sucked my outer lips at the same time his fingers started rubbing over the base of my naked pussy, his thick tongue giving Gene Simmons a run for his money in sheer length.

Lightly, he worked his fingers into my folds and began his ministrations, his fingers delving deeper with each thrust of his hand and my hips. My body couldn't help but to respond, my hips pulsing upwards to meet him. Quickly, he moved his other hand to part my lips, allowing his tongue to forcefully lick over my clit. I was in a deep moaning trance, and I was sure I was getting louder with each pass of his magical tongue. My mewing turning to outward screams as his teeth clamped down around the small nub of nerves.

"Oh, fuck yes, Edward!" I began chanting loudly as his alternating sucking, kissing, and biting methods continued.

He paused briefly, and as I felt his fingers enter me I heard him whimper, "Bella, I'm sorry. I need you, I want you. I'm so sorry." His fingers curled and straightened as he plunged them inside of me as he continued to apologize. I felt the tightening in my abdomen, starting its descent to where his fingers and mouth were pleasuring me. Soon, my orgasm came over me, my walls tightening around him, trapping his fingers inside me.

His smile widened as he watched me trash and moan through my orgasm, only intensifying my reaction. "Please, Edward," I begged, moaning my way through the words. "Please, fuck me. Fuck me!" I had never in two years asked that of him. Sex? Yes. Making love? Yes. But I had never asked, no begged, for him to fuck me.

Edward was more than happy to comply. He snaked his arms under my waist and pulled me to him, placing one chaste kiss at the crown of my head before he spinning me around. My back pressed to his chest, and I could feel his unattended erection pressing into the small of my back. My stomach lay atop the cushion top of the couch as my thighs and knees ran along the face of the sofa. Edward pulled my legs together, my knees and ankles flush against one another as he grasped my hip.

One of his hands slid up my spine as he softly nudged me, bending my body forward, my breasts and face resting against the cushion I had been seated on. I moaned softly as the slow massage of his fingers traced my spine from my tail bone to the dip in my shoulders. With one hand still grasping my hip and the other now gripping my shoulder, hard, I suddenly found myself boxed in, confined, and completely under Edward's control.

I felt his body cover mine as he nipped and kissed along the tops of my shoulders and upper back. No words had been spoken since my request for him to fuck me; the tension-filled air pulsed with desire and waiting. I gasped audibly, though, breaking the silence, as I felt the tip of his dick at my bare, wet entrance.

"You're so much more open, this way," he whispered in my ear, shifting my leg wider before biting down on the earlobe and simultaneously entering me from behind. The slow burn inside my walls built with every inch he pushed into me, my moaning and pleading for him increasing ten fold.

"Please! Fuck me now, Edward!" I yelled. Unable to resist any longer, he plunged his dick the rest of the way in me with one, long stroke. I turned my face, burying it into the cushion to mufflle my screams of pleasure. I arched my back as far as I could, feeling his pace quicken.

He went from taking a few long quick strokes to rapidly thrusting his pulsing, hard cock in and out of my tensed heat. In and out. In and out, leaving me wanting even more.

"Harder, baby," I rasped out, his stroke faltering a bit. "Fuck me harder." He regained the steady pace, increasing the force of each thrust. "Yes, baby! Yes! Fuck me...just...like...that," I screamed into the cushion.

Edward's hand left my shoulder, reaching out towards my face. I turned towards him, his eyes feral and animalistic. "No, Bella. Baby, don't hide. I...need...to...hear...you. Let. Me. Hear. You," he groaned, his forceful thrusts punctuating each word. I screamed out, giving into the pleasurable pain he was causing. My throat became sore and my voice turned hoarse as I let him hear each moan, praise, and plea. Just as he wanted.

My knees rubbed harshly back and forth over the carpet, and my stomach bounced off the edge of the couch as he buried his dick deep inside me. "Baby, I'm so close. I'm about to cum," I moaned out to him, only grunts and soft sighs breaking my admission.

With one last hard stroke he pushed himself inside me as far as our bodies would allow. He slowly grinded his hips into my ass, both of his hands pulling back on my shoulders, shoving him further inside of me. My body wanted to thrash and escape the intense pleasure running through my muscles, but Edward's body still caged me in, keeping me locked in place. Unable to hold back, I released an ear bursting scream, announcing my intense orgasm, my whole body shaking and quivering in the aftermath. It was indescribable.

As soon as my muscles loosened and the waves of orgasmic intensity slowed, Edward's pace quickened. His thrust built speed with each second as his release teetered on the edge, the last thrust leaving him shuddering behind me. And then he was on top of me; Edward's chest covered my back, our slick frames melding into one another as he pulled me to the floor--still inside me. He spooned into my back and wrapped himself around me.

"Bella, I'm sorry. I won't ever let you go again," he uttered, sounding exhausted yet entirely blissful.

I didn't answer him. It wasn't needed. I reached up, grabbed the afghan from the chair, and pulled it over us. As I crept off into my sexed-out slumber, I knew we were fixed...at least for the moment.

Because if love was a battlefield...I was intent on winning this war!