Author's Note: Sorry this didn't post when I said it would. Sleep and RL interfered.
I've just sat down with a new book. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins looked very interesting when I picked it up in the book store last week. I barely finish the first chapter when the phone rings. A glance at the clock on the ledge above our fireplace, tells me it's almost time for the boys to call me, so I grab the phone and answer. "Hello?"
"Bella, we're still with Dr. Harding." Edward's voice is abrupt and has an edge.
"Then why do you sound stressed?" I ask with a bad feeling.
"You know how she likes to have us together for a couple of minutes after seeing us separately?" My fiancé asks.
"Mmmhmm." I reply.
He continues. "When I went to get him from the lobby, Alice was there."
"FUCK!" I shout into the phone, my anger becoming evident. "Where's Jennifer?"
Dr. Harding is suddenly there and I hear the difference as I'm put on speaker-phone. "Bella, please remember that this was not unanticipated. She came here because she was recommended and I informed her that I'd made an arrangement with the three of you. Legally, I cannot treat both Jasper and Alice. I've given her the number for a friend of mine and she has left the office."
"Good…" That calms me a little, so I start asking questions. "Jasper, are you alright? Should I come down there?"
"N-No, I'll be ok. I only saw her. She didn't get a chance to say anything to me. She walked in and I was reading. I looked up when Edward opened the inner door and saw her right before he did. She just said his name." Jasper says.
"I didn't want to hear anything she had to say so I cut her off and pulled Jazz into the inner office." Edward throws in.
Dr. Harding extends their session so they can talk about it and asks if I want them to wait for me, but Edward assures me that they'll be fine and will call when they leave. I'm a little skeptical, wanting to know everything so I agree to stay home, but insist on being involved by phone.
I listen as the psychologist asks Jasper if he's ok to continue. There is a short pause before she speaks again. "Ok, during our session, we discussed Alice, didn't we?"
Jasper's voice is soft and I can hear how helpless he must be feeling. "Yeah, you asked if I'd ever want to see her again or if I'd rather Bella and Edward deal with her. From this experience, I can say, I'd much prefer to leave the whole matter in Bella's hands; but I know I can't."
This makes me feel so proud of him; my lips curve into a smile.
"She needs to know how much she hurt me and that if she'd just chosen differently, we wouldn't be in this mess." He says.
Dr. Harding says she's proud of him. "I regret that she upset you, but despite that, you have had a breakthrough. You've realized that you have a responsibility to handle some stressful but important things. You can't hide away forever. Life will keep going and the issues will manifest anyway."
I hear Edward say 'good job' to Jasper and then Dr. Harding speaks to him. She tells him what a good thing he did by pulling Jasper into her office. "Your intent was to hide him from her, and you did…but you also enabled him to feel safe as he processed his feelings. He needed that time to think and to see that hiding is futile and he needs to confront some things for himself." She says to Edward before switching the focus to him. She gives him the chance to tell Alice something…anything he wants.
I wait with baited breath.
He is silent for a few moments. "Well, I guess I'd tell her how angry I am at her. She singlehandedly upset three lives. Bella was her friend; her best friend. Bella needs friends as much as anyone else! She depended on Alice to be there for her. She was supposed to support Bella; not envy her! Me; I guess I'm nothing to her, but I needed Bella's love, support and attention. I needed Jasper's love and friendship. She took those things away from me by creating a rift between Jasper and Bella and herself. Jasper depended on her to help keep him healthy and safe. He trusted her to guide him in the lifestyle as well as the world. He abused that trust! He was supposed to love him, not harm him! He hurt him! He hurt...me!"
Every word he utters slices into my heart.
"Who hurt you, Edward?" The psychologist asks as I shout into the phone.
"Jennifer, what the heck is going on?" I yell. Hearing Edward's voice sounding that scared and frantic has me on edge.
Poor Edward tries to explain. "He hurt me! James hurt me! Damn it, he even left SCARS! He brought me into BDSM and fucked me over! I didn't want to be shared at first! James forced me to be with Vicki! He forced me to service Jacob! I trusted him and he destroyed that! He made me think no one would want me if I had scars!"
Tears form in my eyes. Jasper had better be taking care of my Edward! It's beginning to make sense to me now. He is proving to himself and James that he will be loved with or without scars!
"Bella wants me! Jasper wants me! He doesn't win if I'm scarred and they still want me!" My poor Edward sobs.
"Is he ok, Jennifer?" I ask, worried.
"I've got him, Bella. He's ok for now. I'll bring him home." Jasper says. I start to agree but then Edward whimpers and seems to cry even harder. I grab my purse and start to walk toward the door.
"No…" He says, his voice muffled.
Jennifer makes a good suggestion. "Actually Bella, I think, its best if you come down here."
"I'm on my way." I say quickly hanging up and climbing into the Mustang.
Traffic gets in my way so it takes a while for me to get to her office. I rush past the secretary and into the inner office. Edward seems to have calmed down a bit by the time I get into the room. Jasper is holding his hand and my fiancé is sipping water from a paper cup. He puts it down as I slowly approach him. I feel my hands shake as I reach out and wrap my arms around him. I do my best to comfort him and let him feel how much I love and want him.
Dr. Harding just watches us for a moment before suggesting that I sit down between my boys. "Bella, I want you to tell Edward and Jasper how you feel about their scars."
Jasper looks at her. "I'm not physically scarred, Doctor."
I know why she said that so I nod in her direction and try to explain that not all scars are physical. I'm reminded of the childrens' rhyme: sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me. It isn't true. I know this because Alice emotionally scarred Jasper with her abusive words. Sticks and stones hurt too but sometimes words hurt more. I try to help him understand this by saying, "The invisible scars are sometimes worse than the visible ones. For example, Edward has seemed fully healed for months and months, but the invisible scars opened when he tried to protect you from further abuse by Alice because he recognized the similarities between your situation and his. With Edward, James began with verbal and emotional abuse but quickly integrated physical abuse. While Alice stopped the physical abuse when it was pointed out to her, James did not." Everyone has limits and they both went well past the limits of their subs.
Jasper sighs and tells me that he understands.
"Good;" I reply firmly, going on to explain how much I hate that the scars are there and that the two men I love are in any kind of pain. I also make sure to point out that I especially hate I couldn't do anything to protect them from the monsters that caused that pain. "I love you both so much despite the scars. Edward, your scars don't affect my love for you. If you want to keep them, keep them, but please stop avoiding the subject of their removal. I won't love you any more or less if you have them removed, because you are not defined by those scars!" A tear runs down my fiancé's face so I take a tissue and wipe it away. "I love you, Edward."
He nods and breathes deeply while I hang on to his hand for dear life.
Sitting on Edward's lap, I face Jasper. "Jasper, your scars are not the visible kind and, because of that, they're more difficult to heal. It will help when you confront Alice about everything, but you need to do things and make decisions for yourself. Becoming my slave will NOT make your life easier; I promise you that. Yes, I'll be making most of the decisions but the really important ones are still yours to make." I've been trying to impress this upon his brain for weeks now. I hope like hell that he finally gets it.
Edward quietly begins to speak, reminding him of how I give him a general idea of what I want him to do but leave the specifics to him. "Jazz, she told you that you had to have some kind of job for three days per week, but she made YOU choose what that job would be. She isn't going to dictate the important things. She told you Alice wanted a divorce. Has she gotten papers drawn up or has she given you the time and space to get used to the idea and do those things for yourself?"
I smile sadly and remind them both that I'll command them and demand things of them on a daily basis but tell them that, just because I'm a big part of their lives doesn't mean that their lives need to revolve around me. They need to stand on their own two feet or they'll never truly be able to kneel for me.
"Good, Bella, now turn that around." Jennifer says.
"Just because they are a big part of my life…" I start and sigh as I realize what she's made painfully obvious to my previously dense brain. "I get it, Jennifer: just because they're a big part of my life, that doesn't mean that my life has to revolve around them."
"Good. Now that all three of you have made breakthroughs, I think the day can move forward, don't you?" Dr. Harding hints.
I smirk and nod noting that the boys do the same.
"Ok, now for homework: Edward, remember that breathing and visualizing exercise I showed you. Jasper, next time I see you, I want to hear about some important decisions you've made. Bella, I want to hear about some things you've done for yourself without the boys. Does everyone understand?"
I nod and, once again, notice the guys doing the same.
"Great! Now, what were your original plans for today?" She asks.
"Well, Edward and I were going to go to the mall and possibly a movie," Jasper volunteers.
I tell them how I'd just planned to relax with a book or something at home.
"Well, what are you all waiting for?" She asks. "Go have fun!"
I hear Edward sigh as we leave the office.
Since its lunchtime, I propose that the three of us have lunch together out and then go back to the original plan.
Edward nods and I can see he's tired. "I could really go for something spicy."
"I'd kind of like something a bit mellow; my stomach isn't very settled." Jasper frowns.
"Why don't we go for Chinese food? They have both." I grin. I've been craving shrimp for a while. They follow me down the street and Jasper opens the door for both Edward and I before following us in. I get shrimp fried rice but Edward's Kung Pao chicken and Jasper's beef and veggie meal look so good that I can't resist picking from their plates. They walk me to the Mustang and watch me drive off.
"Have fun, she says…well I'll have fun after I do what's needed." I say to myself. When I get home, I'm on a mission. I walk determinedly through the house and into the office. I'd been so mad at Alice that I'd erased her number from my cell phone, but I'm glad I kept it in my records. Sitting at the desk, I go into my rolodex and stare at the small card for about five minutes before picking up my phone and dialing.
"Hello?" My ex best friend answers.
"Hello, Alice… It's Bella. I need to say some things and you may not want to hear them but you're going to listen." My voice is steady and I'm proud of myself for that.
"I saw the boys…They weren't too happy to see me." She says softly.
"Do you blame them?" I snap. "We need to do this in person, Alice… and I don't want you at my house just yet…if ever."
I hear her gasp. "I deserved that…May I meet you somewhere?"
"Rose's condo…thirty minutes." I say hanging up and quickly dialing Rosalie's number.
"Rosalie Hale, how can I help you?" Rose's cheerful voice answers.
"Rose, Alice is back in town and I need a neutral spot to meet her. Can I use your condo if I promise not to break anything?" I joke grimly.
She snorts and agrees. "You know where the hide-a-key is, right?"
"I do; thanks." I smile into the phone as I hang up with her. Sighing I access the secret passages to get back to the Mustang. I can see Alice's car parked in the lot. She's here and waiting for me. I walk over to a large group of rocks and pick one up. Under it is a small tin which contains the key to Rose's apartment. I get it out and replace the rock before walking up to the door and sliding the key in. Alice's shoes click and clack up the walkway behind me as I turn the key and walk inside.
"Hello, Alice," I say softly. "I'm glad you survived your little stunt."
"You mean sending Jasper back to Washington?" She asks.
"I mean sending Jasper packing and running off with some strange guy!" I glare. "Alice, you could've been killed! Do you realize that?"
She shrugs. "He wasn't a total stranger, Bella. We'd met before."
"Tell me you didn't have an affair on Jazzy…" I demand.
"No, but I did consider it…" She tells me. "He and his wife had been having problems and we chatted online for a few months… since Edward came to you actually. They were getting out of the BDSM lifestyle and it had seemed to be helping their relationship so he suggested Jasper and I do the same. I thought it was a great idea so I tried to convince Jazzy."
"No! You don't get to call him that! 'Jazzy' is something for people who love him; people who can accept him the way he is!" I snap. "I thought we had similar styles of domination, but your actions were pure abuse! I'm not here to address the abusive behavior you showed toward Jasper, though. I'm here on behalf of Edward and myself."
"What are you talking about, Bells?" She asks.
I growl. "That is just like you! Damn you, Alice; 'Bells' is on the same level as 'Jazzy'. YOU don't get to call me that!" I breathe deeply to calm myself. "You were my best friend! You lied to me and to your own husband! I felt so hurt that you left town on my birthday but I could get over that. What I can't get over is the fact that you hurt me worse by hurting Jasper. When he asked if he would have to give up his time with me, you should've said YES! If you had, I can guarantee that I would've backed off! Instead, you harshly PUNISHED him for YOUR OWN decision!"
"I didn't realize what I was doing until he pointed it out!" She protests.
"In doing that, you created a rift between not just the two of you, but between all three of us…and at a time when I NEEDED the support of my friends!" I declare. "I had to help Edward heal but I was stuck dealing with the fallout from your fuck-up!"
She sighs. "I'm sorry, Bella; I really am."
"I don't buy it." I shrug. "I want you to listen well, Alice. You will NOT cause any of us further pain. Do you hear me? I'll let Jasper inform you of how damaged he is. I'll let him get his own closure from this…but I want a promise from you."
She bites her lip and nods slowly.
"After you and Jasper meet to sign the divorce papers, if you see us out in public, don't approach us…Please." I ask. "You don't fit into our life anymore…and we need time to get over you; all of us."
"I promise, Bella." She says sadly standing up and walking to the door. Glancing back she asks, "Is the house everything you all hoped for?"
"You have no idea, Alice… Edward did such an amazing job…" I start. "But you won't get to see it…not anytime soon…and to think, you could've lived there with us."
Her flinch gives me a touch of satisfaction and, as she walks out, I hear a sniffle and a muffled sob after she closes the door behind her.
I'd been so determined not to have sympathy for her, but I feel my lip start to tremble, so I rush into Rosalie's bathroom and grab the tissue box. As I cry my eyes out, I hear the door open and look up to see Rose.
"I knew this would be hard for you, Bells." She says softly.
I sniffle into a tissue and tell her what happened. She's sympathetic and warmly comforting. She offers me some wine, but I've got to drive so I decline. She helps me calm down and reminds me that I've got more important things to worry about. When I say goodbye, I feel a lot better, so I give Rose her key back and walk out to my car. She waves as I drive away from the curb.
The drive home is relaxing but as I enter the house, I decide to have that wine now. In the dining-room I pull out a crystal goblet and pour some white zinfandel while considering what I can do to help Edward cope with the scars he bears. Before settling back down in the living-room with the Hunger Games, I realize that I'd seen something in a romance novel that might help. I know I'll probably enjoy it too. I write a quick note and place it in the kitchen.
Jazzy~ I'll need your help with Edward tonight. Here's what I want you to do. You will make dinner and after we eat, I'll send you to the suite. I'll ask you if you accept his scars, and you will say 'I love my Master and accept his scars'. You will, then, proceed to kiss every one of the scars on his body. As you're reading this, I'll be quietly doing the same thing upstairs. After you kiss his scars, you will help me make him cum. ~ Mistress
Nodding in approval, I place the note on the door of the fridge and go to find my book. Since I hadn't gotten too far this morning, I decide to start over. In the middle of chapter three, the boys walk in so I place my book face-down on the couch, and greet them warmly. "Hey, boys; how was the movie?"
"We saw the Hangover part 2…" Edward informs me. "The movie was just as funny as the first, if not more so. When it ended, we walked to the car together and I drove home."
We make small talk for a little while before I decide to become 'Mistress'. "Jasper, you can go make dinner. It's time to get back to our routine. Edward, please join me in our room, please?"
He nods and follows me but falls behind as Jasper asks him to wait.
I get to our room before him but soon enough he hurries into my presence. I raise an eyebrow when I see him carrying Jasper's clothes but he quickly explains, that Jasper asked him to put his clothing on his bed before he submitted to me. I understand and consider it to be part of Friend Day so I allow him to pass through the room before commanding his obedience. When he comes back, the straps of the under-the-bed-bondage-system are waiting, so I point to the bed and command him to lie down.
He follows directions well and lies on his back.
"Now, Edward," I say using the straps to bind him in place. "I don't want you to say a word for now. Just let me do this and we can talk later."
When I'm done, and I'm positive that he can't move I begin to touch him at his throat and I work my way down his beautiful body, kissing each and every scar I see. After a while I notice that he is silent but breathing deeply. He must be doing the breathing and visualizing exercise that Dr. Harding had taught him.
He breathes in and I hear him whisper, 'James is far away.' Then as he breathes out, I hear, 'He can't hurt us.' He breathes in again and tears prick my eyes as his words become clear, 'We are safe.' He breathes out once more and hardly notices as I entice him to turn over.
This time starting at the nape of his neck, I tenderly work my way down his back. I hope he feels my lips on his shoulder blade and knows that I love and care fore him. I hope he understands that I know where he needs me the most. Suddenly the moment has come and I feel a slight tension in the air as my lips hover over the raised skin of the scar where James, that filthy hell-bound bastard, marked my Edward's body. I don't think he hears me as I whisper that he belongs to me not James, so I allow my kisses to speak to him for me as I reclaim him for my own. I lightly kiss the top-most point of the branded symbol. It's just a capitol J inside of a circle; nothing to crazy or intricate. I feel him breathe deeply under my lips again as I lick and kiss and make love to his poor disfigured back. I have to wonder if he knows he's talking aloud as he repeats the phrases.
'James is far away.' He whispers breathing out. 'He can't hurt us.' I begin to repeat the words with him as he breathes in. 'We are safe.' He breathes out again slowly and I see his eyes begin to well up with tears. My poor sweet angel is crying softly into the sheets of our bed as I trace the brand over and over. I desperately hope he feels every kiss as it claims his skin in my name.
He just keeps breathing and visualizing as my lips act like an eraser.
Every time I kiss his skin I picture his scar as less and less; smaller and smaller. Then I finally move on to the scars on his legs. I smile when I realize that he stopped crying and his breathing is back to normal.
"After dinner, my sweet angel, Jasper will do the same thing." I promise. "After that, I'll use my hands and Jazzy's mouth to make you cum."
As his Mistress, I will keep my promise. Dinner is wonderful and once the dishes are put in the washer, I command Jasper to go up to our room. Once there, I strap Edward back into place and ask Jasper if he accepts Edward's scars. He smiles widely at me and nods his head. One by one, he kisses each scar saying, 'I love my Master and accept his scars'. He unknowingly follows the same pattern as I did. I notice that Edward once again uses the breathing and visualization. I stroke his head as he cries while Jazzy makes love to his brand. Once we've finished with that, we've gotten to the fun part, so Jasper helps me put Edward on his back with his legs bound up and wide open. I pull out a bottle of lube and pour some into my hand before beginning to finger Edward's opening. Jasper straddles his neck as I push two fingers into Edward's tight ass. Tenderly, I move my hand so he feels me inside him. When I get to his prostate, I begin to stroke it directly.
He whimpers and I realize he's trying to fight it.
I keep stroking that sweet spot deep within my angel as Jasper suckles Edward's cock. "Don't fight it, angel, cum for us; as much as you like." I feel his sphincter and other pelvic muscles clench down as he has his first orgasm of the night. I whisper an order to Jasper that I don't want his lips to leave Edward's body until he's cum as many times as we can make it happen. He nods and moans around Edward's cock and we continue to touch and manipulate Edward's body so that he cums three times before weeping from exhaustion. Jasper helps me get Edward into the shower and wash him before getting into bed on the other side of him. Our arms surround Edward as he drifts off again.
Days pass without further incidents and it's suddenly Monday; Ben and Angela will be here in a few hours.
I told Edward that we'll be serving dinner and dessert and showed him the outfit I've chosen for them to wear. His face as I told him that he and Jasper will be in revealing clothing and D/s mode was funny. He did seem relieved that there will not be any kind of exhibition tonight.
Our BDSM toys are very personal and I'd hate it if someone else used them. I don't really flaunt my men in front of people too often. It tempts people to touch what isn't theirs. Its fun to show off my men occasionally but it can add too much tension and it might embarrass the men in question. I have once again chosen the outfits for Jasper and Edward to wear. I smile watching them dress in the strange harnesses that resemble a leather jock strap but with their cocks and balls pulled through a hole and held up on display by three buckled straps. There is also a strap that covers their asses and holds in a plug; it gets locked in place with a few small padlocks. Their collars are on and I have nipple clamps on Jasper. I'm ecstatic that he's agreed to get the piercings, we didn't have time in the past few days, so the clamps will have to do for now. Edward gets to wear a latex tank top instead of clamps on his nipples.
The doorbell rings and Edward isn't ready yet. I turn to Jasper, "Slave, please get the door. Lead our guests into the living-room and offer drinks." I've planned a nice quiet evening until we're alone again…
Thanks to hnwhitlock2000! You're the best Beta!
Also, I've written 2 entries for the following contest: http:/www . fanfiction . net/u/2743940/showerstoflowers
If you guess which ones are mine…and please REVIEW them…I'll mention you and one of your stories in an author's note next chapter! Voting ends Friday May 27th!