Penname: Zombie's Run This Town

Title of story:
Exorcise Demons

Main Character(s): Bella


Team SOB's "The Rain Scene" Challenge

Disclaimer: I do not own Stephenie Meyer's characters. But I do own Jenny, er, she owns me. XP

Exorcise Demons


It had been a mistake. Everything I did was wrong. I was still married.

He lied to me. It had all been a lie.

I'm worthless.


I caught him staring at me again. It had been the third time his dark brown eyes were on me. I would have been pissed, but there was something about his stare that had me entranced in catching him. Every time I looked back at him he'd smile, blush, and look away. One minute later we'd be doing it again, a complete cycle of red cheeks, burning eyes, and smoldering smiles. It made me feel young and childish, but I enjoyed every second of it. He sat across from me in the other aisle of seats. He was practically in arms distance. For some odd and peculiar reason, I liked being able to know that I could touch him if I really wanted too.

A flight attendant walked by when we happened to be staring at each other at the same time. In that moment when I could no longer see him, I felt myself start to panic. It wasn't because I could no longer see his dark eyes, but because I realized that I had been acting like a sixteen year old with a crush. He was a stranger; I was married – sort of. But none of this gave me the right to ogle at him. It was shameful and ignorant for the both of us, grown adults, to be behaving like this. I straightened in my chair and caught sight of him in the corner of my eye as the attendant finished her transition between us.

I forced myself not to look back each time I felt his stare burning me. Eventually, I think he realized that I was no longer playing this game. I saw him stiffen in the corner of my eye and daringly turned my head as he turned his in the opposite direction. He stared out the window, a sullen look on his face. I felt somewhat bad about the whole ordeal, but it was the right thing to do. Suddenly, a smile took form on his lips, and he quickly turned his head and his eyes locked with mine.

"Gotcha!" he whispered. I felt my cheeks flame and a grin take place on its own. I was surprised to catch myself laughing. Even his deep, rough laugh carried out. Neither of our laughs stayed long, instead we just sighed and stared at each other. His arm shot out across the gaping middle in between us.

"I'm Paul," he declared.

I bit my lip and placed my pale hand into his large, tan grasp. "Bella."

"That's a pretty name," he replied.

I blushed some more. He released my hand, and I felt all warmth cease, feeling almost saddened by the lack of it.

"So Washington, huh?" he asked.

I nodded my head. "You, too?"

"I live there. Where exactly are you going?"

"Seattle," I stated.

His eyes grew wide and a grin spread. "Me too! What are you going there for?"

"A teacher's convention."

He laughed, and I felt my eyebrows raise in question.

"This is just uncanny," he began. "That's where I'm headed."

"The UCLA-SU teacher's convention?" I couldn't believe it.

He smiled at me, two rows of white, straight teeth glistening perfectly.

"The very one."

I felt shocked at the coincidence. Here we were, two strangers absentmindedly flirting and then somehow we were both on our way to a legit convention for college professors. It was insane and like he had said, uncanny. But, somewhere deep down, I wondered if this was fate. Here I was an almost single woman, desperate of any given male attention, and then he appears as my neighbor on this flight. But even as much as I felt flattered by his ways, I knew that I shouldn't be so keen on jumping on board and doing the same thing.

I was distracted by him standing up abruptly. He slipped out of the small space and stepped foot on the aisle, a sly smile on his face. I asked him silently what he was doing, especially as he moved closer to me. I figured maybe he was going to the bathroom, but then was caught by surprise when he moved in front of me, his body over-towering me and his knees bumping my own. I was then extremely aware of the empty seat next to me, which must have been his target. I swallowed as his eyes looked down onto my own, a smug look completely over powering his face. His pink lips were raised in an almost smile, but it still didn't stop me from nearly gasping.

He was a very, very attractive man. He had short black hair and very tan skin, claiming him to be some type of Native American. I liked it though, it suited him well. He wore a black t-shirt and a pair of blue jeans, both of which clung to his toned body. And his eyes, which seemed so dark and alluring, made everything more dangerous and tempting about him. He seemed to be one of those bad boy types, but obviously he was a bit too kind. I was very unsure about him. He was mysterious and calm, proud of everything. He was the type of guy who had a large ego and went through girl after girl. But obviously he had to have some form of class if he was a teacher. But, then again, not all teachers were prude and uptight.

Everything about him told me to stay away, but I wanted so badly to rebel against those thoughts. It would be very easy to do. But there was one question I was not answering. Did I want to get involved with this man? And better yet. Did he want to get involved with me? With the way he smiled at me as he finally made his way to the seat beside me, I knew that it wouldn't matter what he wanted. He'd do what I thought was best. Just the thought of being able to control what happened sent a shiver down my spine.

"Much better," he stated as he got better suited in the stiff seat.

"I'm glad you're comfortable," I replied.

He smiled at me, his long eyelashes cascading over his cheeks. "What about you?"

"What about me?" I questioned.

"Are you comfortable?"

"Uh, I suppose so. But one can never really be comfortable on an airplane," I said to him.

His smile grew smaller, yet it still seemed big. "I'd have to disagree with that statement."

The plane ride carried on. Paul and I hardly spoke, and when we did it was mostly small talk. I wasn't sure if I was willing to open up and have a full on heart-to-heart conversation with him, but right now I felt that hardly speaking to him seemed right. I mostly read on the flight, along with playing the little eye game with him. He was occupied with the music he had playing in his ears and even once fell asleep on my shoulder. It was cute and made me smile, but once he woke up it was slightly awkward; for me at least. He simply smiled at me and said "no wonder why I dreamed of you."

I was blushing non-stop by the time the plane landed. Paul and I walked out together, and received our luggage too. In fact, we even got into the same taxi and went to the hotel where the convention was being held.

"It feels good to be home," Paul muttered.

"Have you lived here your whole life?" I asked him.

He turned his head and looked at me. "Yeah, well, in La Push."

"What's that?"

He smiled at me. "It's a reservation about thirty miles away. I'm Quileute, in case you were wondering."

I laughed at his arrogance. "I was, actually. Quileute? I've never heard of that tribe."

His smile faded. "Not many have. But I guess that makes me unique, right?"

I nodded my head and slowly glanced outside the window. It was raining, but I really didn't expect anything to be different. It was April and it seemed as if the sun was forever gone. But, in reality, it wasn't.

"Have you been here before?" Paul asked. I turned my head already to find his gaze on me.

"Yeah," I started. "When I was seventeen I moved here, to Forks, to live with my father after my mother passed away."

"I'm sorry," he cut in.

I nodded my head. "Same."

"And then what happened?"

"I graduated high school and then got accepted at UCLA. There I met my husband, and we made a little family. Shortly after that I became a professor there."

"How old are you?" he asked suddenly.

I felt myself nearly gasp.

"I'm too old if you ask me," I replied.

He chuckled. "And what's that?"

I sighed. "Thirty two."

He nodded and, with a smile, turned his head to stare out the window.

"What about you?" I questioned back.

"Twenty-seven," he replied, his voice slightly muffled by the glass.

So young, I thought to myself.

"Do you have a wife?" I asked him. He sat straight and stared out the window far in front of us.

"Nah. I never managed to find Mrs. Right. Now I'm stuck just doing what I do best, teaching." He smiled at me and I grinned back.

"Well, marriage isn't always the right choice in life," I said to him.

"What do you mean?"

"Me and my husband have hit rock bottom. We're getting a divorce. It was fun when we were young, but now everything is gone." I sighed and slapped my hands against my thighs, slightly angry from thinking about Edward.

"That sucks. I'm sorry," he replied, taking my left hand into his right.

I looked down at our hands. His dark skin contrasted against my colorless one beautifully. I spotted my silver ring in between his fingers and sighed. It was a shame that our fifteen year marriage was coming to an unraveling end, but it was better than being in a relationship with someone who made me unhappy. We needed this separation. We needed to be apart. I was still unsure on how we fell apart in the first place, maybe it was the fact that we didn't click. Whatever it was the old flame between me and him had burned out and refused to light again. Together we had to face the facts and say 'it's over' and move on.

The taxi pulled up the large hotel and Paul assisted me out. I thanked him and began to grab all my bags, but only got away with carrying two. He was a complete gentleman, but it wasn't like someone had carried my things for me before. I'd prefer to handle my own luggage, but Paul ignored my wishes and breezed past me toward the entrance to the hotel. Once inside, we made our way to the check in desk.

"Hey, Paul," a woman with red hair said. His eyes grew wide, and he gave her a cautious smile.

"Hi, Victoria," he purred.

"Name?" she asked me politely.

"Isabella Cullen," I replied, a bitter taste in my mouth as I realized that I would no longer be a Cullen.

"Room 35," the woman said to me, handing me a key after a moment of fetching it.

"Thanks," I said, turning my gaze toward Paul to wait for him.

He stood there uncomfortable for a moment.

"I'll catch you later, Bella."

My eyes grew wide, and I nodded my head. Slowly but surely, I gathered all my things and made my way to my room. I did have a hard time with my bags, but I really didn't mind it that much. I wondered slightly how the woman knew Paul by his name. But, like he had said to me, he lived in Washington. They could have been friends for all I knew. Maybe even in a relationship, but I was just getting ahead of myself. I opened the door to my room where I would be staying for the next four days and sighed.

"Welcome home, Bella," I said to myself. I set my bags down and made my way to the phone and dialed a familiar number. I tapped my fingers against my knee as the ringing echoed back.

"Hello?" Edward asked.

I sighed. "It's me."

"Oh. How did the flight go?"

I shrugged my shoulders even though he couldn't see it. "It went fine."

"That's good," he replied.

Silence followed immediately afterwards, and I sighed. I was used to this, as was he. We never had anything to say anymore. I partially wanted to tell him about Paul and how kind and funny he was, but I knew that wouldn't make much of a difference.

"Is Renesmee home?" I asked him.

"She is. Would you like to talk to her?"

No, why do you think I asked? I thought sarcastically. Instead I said yes. I waited nearly two minutes for her to come downstairs. The entire time I heard her complaining about how she had plans. I felt a little upset at her protest to talk to me, but then again it was understandable. I had also lost touch with my daughter. A sad, but yet truthful matter.

"Hello?" her voice droned.

"Hi, baby. How are you?" I asked.

"Fine," she sighed.

"What are you doing today?"

"I'm going out with Jake. It's our anniversary, you know." She made me sound like I was an idiot for not even remembering.

"Ness, you've only been with him for a few weeks," I told her.

"I know. But Jacob wants to celebrate and why would I turn down something like that?" There was something in her tone that made me feel slightly worried.

"You don't plan on having sex with him, do you?"

"Mom!" she crowed. "I've gotta go."

I gasped at the sound of the phone slamming into the cradle. At the exact time, I knew I was right and sex was my daughter's intention. I shook my head. She was only sixteen, she shouldn't be having sex. But I was here and she was there, I couldn't stop her. A tap at the door caused me to gasp, as I was not expecting it. I quickly got up to my feet and went to the white door, opening it see Paul on the other side.

"Hey!" he greeted with a large, buoyant smile on his face.

"Well, howdy, stranger. What brings you to this part of town?" I spoke with my best attempt at a southern accent.

"Why, to take you out, ma'am," he mimicked perfectly. "Would you join me for supper?" He gestured his hand out towards me while the other twisted around his back. I smiled at him and slipped my hand into his. He pulled me out of the room.

"Wait," I said to him as I rushed inside and grabbed my hotel key. I shut the door behind me on my way out.

We walked hand in hand down to the restaurant that was neatly built into the hotel itself. He sat across from me with a smile that never seemed like it would never fade. His foot tapped mine repeatedly and each time my heart would make a large leap out of my chest. I was a child once again, a small little girl who I had thought died. I was still here, all of me. Paul extended his arm across the table and took my hand in his, his thumb roaming over my knuckles.

"Tell me about yourself," I spoke to him while taking a sip from my wine.

"Well," he began, pursing his lips. "I grew up in La Push an only child. My parents divorced when I was eleven."

"Oh," I gasped. "That must have been horrible!"

The corner of his mouth twitched, growing into a small smile. "It wasn't that bad. My parents still lived together. They said they didn't want to put me in a situation where I would have to choose either one. That, and we were incredibly poor."

He laughed, I did not.

"What about school?" I asked shortly afterwards.

The waitress came by and gave us our meals. We thanked her for the food and prepared ourselves to eat. Once she left us he stepped back into his tale.

"I went to school like anyone else. But it wasn't until I was in high school when I realized that I hated it."

I chewed on my ravioli. "And why was that?"

"A girl," he stated with a rise of one eyebrow.

"Oh," I breathed.

"Her name was Leah. She was incredibly beautiful. She was my dream girl."

"What happened?"

He inhaled deeply. "She left me for another guy who ended up screwing her over in the end. She tried coming back to me, but I wasn't having any of it. She left me, she hurt me, I wasn't going to be stupid and let her back in my life.

"I dropped out of school during my senior year, which was stupid. But I got my GED that summer and then somehow managed to get my ass into college. Then, the rest follows after."

Paul and I carried on with talk about our pasts. It seems that we both shared an interest in Sci-Fi movies, chocolate chip ice-cream, top hats, Twizzlers, and flip-flops. We mostly laughed during the meal, which was the most laughing I had done the entire year. Truth was that Paul made me happy, extremely so. When we finished, Paul walked me back to my room. When we were at the door, I turned around and leaned against the door, biting my lips and toying with the key in my hand.

"Well, darlin'," he said with the southern accent he'd used earlier. "Tonight's been great, but I think its best we both get some shut eye."

"You're the boss."

His smile faded, and his eyes glanced at my lips. I watched him lick his own as he moved closer, his hands spanning across my waist. I pushed myself away from the door and placed my hands behind his neck. It didn't take long for his lips to find mine. A shiver of old passion traveled through my body like poison. Deadly, quick, exhilarating.

"I'll see you tomorrow," he whispered against my lips.

"Goodnight," I said back. He pulled away from me and walked away, looking back before he stepped into the elevator. I heard the doors shut, and I literally swooned. I fell back against the door, breathless, my heart beating at a bird's pace. With the taste of him still on my lips, I disappeared inside the cozy room, wishing that it wouldn't be housing just one.


I sat there for a moment on my bed, not really doing anything, before I made my way to one of my suitcases. I pulled out a fresh pair of clothes and underwear, along with all my toiletries. I made my way to the bathroom. Once inside, I stripped down and stepped into the shower, glad to have the warmth wash away all my problems that I kept stored up in my body. It was relaxing and soothing. Once I was clean and fresh, I put on my clothes and made my way downstairs for the four o'clock meet and greet. I was proud of myself for going, and for even dressing up. I never thought that I'd wear high heels for anything that had to do with my work, but here I was in a strapless dark blue dress along with black death-defining heels.

I kept my hair pulled back in a pony tail, unsure of what to do with it. I felt odd showing so much skin, yet I enjoyed the stares I got from the men. In a way, I was a single woman again, and it felt good to be free. I smiled at them and entered the main hall where the party would be. I was given a sticker with my name on it and stuck it on my chest. I grabbed a glass of champagne and began this wretched hour of getting to know people that I would most likely never see again, except for the familiar professors who taught at UCLA alongside me. I bumped into a familiar face; Angela Weber, an old school mate, and we talked for what felt like forever.

She asked me about my life, my husband, and my children. I gave her honest answers, mostly. I didn't tell her about the current marriage problems I was having. Eventually we gave up on the chatter and carried on talking to other people. I caught myself numerous times looking around for Paul. It was stupid, seeing as how I was supposed to be talking to new people, but I couldn't help myself. After three glasses of champagne and a lot of eyeful stares from older men, I left. I began for my room, but I was feeling clammy and hot. I made my way out the front doors instead, feeling shocked by the very cold air. I enjoyed it immensely and shut my eyes.

I went to press my back against the brick wall, but instead my back collided with something warmer and a bit softer. Hands went over my eyes, and I gasped. My heart pace quickened as I went to rip the hands away from my face. I wanted to scream, but didn't, and in time, too.

"It's me," Paul's voice whispered in my ear. I sighed.

"You scared me," I said to him as he removed his hands from my eyes. I turned around and spotted that charming smile of his.

"Then my job is done," he stated. I rolled my eyes and smacked him against his arms softly. He laughed for a moment before his eyes wandered down my body. I felt suddenly self conscious and wrapped my arms around my chest.

"You look amazing," he simply said. I had to bite my lip in order to keep my smile from growing any bigger.

"Thank you," I replied.

"It's cold out here," he said as he took off his jacket that matched his black suit. He put the large and warm jacket over my shoulders, and I immediately grabbed hold of it to keep it in place.

"What are you doing out here by yourself…in the cold?" he asked me.

I shrugged my shoulders. "Just needed some fresh air."

"That's understandable, what with all those guys eye raping you," he spoke with a smile.

I felt my jaw drop. "They were not eye raping me!"

"Oh, yes, they were." Paul turned his back on me and started heading back towards the front doors. I followed, the sound of my heels clicking as I made my way inside.

"That's such a lie!" I continued.

He turned around surprisingly, and I slammed into him. His arms made their way behind me as he caught me before I could fall. His face was nearly inches away from mine, and I could feel his hot breath against my own lips. My right hand was pressed hard against his chest. I could feel his loud heartbeat against my fingertips and it sent shivers down my spine. My other hand clasped around his arm where I could feel his bicep flexing.

My eyes flashed up to his. He stared at me with his dark brown eyes. It was smoldering and deep, completely and utterly hypnotic. I could not remove myself from his stare even if I wanted to. I felt myself leaning forward to his open mouth. He must have realized this because he bent down all the way, making our lips touch. It was almost shocking the way his mouth folded over mine perfectly. I gasped at the contact and pulled away.

"Sorry," I whispered. I tried to pull away from him, but he kept me pressed against him.

"I'm not," he whispered back.

My eyes snapped back up towards his. I licked my lips at the hunger that seemed to be built up in his midnight chestnut circles. They were occupied on my moistened lips and, for a moment, I felt shy. But as his lips crashed against mine once more I had lost control of whatever I should have been feeling. I gladly kissed him back, pulling his body closer to mine with a mirrored passion as what I had seen in his eyes until we were completely wrapped up in each other; it still didn't seem close enough. I felt his tongue stroke against mine, and I sighed in pleasure. His hands wandered down my back a smooth, sure sweep of my skin until they were at my waist, stopping only briefly to caress the small curve of my backside. He continued downward until both his large palms were cupping my ass. They squeezed me hard, causing me to push myself into him.

He stopped kissing me and panted against my lips.

"Sorry," he stated between pants.

I smiled and pressed a soft kiss against his open mouth. Our labored breaths mixing in the air between or partially parted lips.

"I'm not," I purred.

He smiled back, almost a wicked grin. His hand made his way into mine where he intertwined our fingers. I followed him willingly as he led me to the elevator. I was sure of what was going to happen next, but I wasn't going to stop it.

When in Rome, I thought to myself, a devilish grin taking place on my mouth. But that was quickly replaced by Paul's desire as his lips attacked mine once more. I let out a surprised gasp as he pressed me against the wall of the elevator, his body wandering downward as his lips sucked and kissed my neck. His tongue and teeth teased and left a path of tingling warmth as he descended his feasting of my body down the column of my neck and straight to the center of my breasts. I moaned at the feel of his lips slowly kissing the space there. A ding was heard, and he pulled me out the elevator.

We walked quickly to my room where I battled with unlocking it. It didn't help that he kept distracting me with slight touches of back, shoulders, and arms. I nearly whimpered when I finally slid the key in the lock; the action reminding me of what I would be doing once I got inside the door. We stepped inside and the privacy offered Paul the opportunity to become bolder. He pushed his jacket off my shoulders and let his hand travel down the side of my body until both his hands were locked on my hips. His lips were constantly on mine as our tongues battled against each other. I felt my own hands surprisingly wandering down his chest where I demanded each other the buttons to become undone. I could feel his warm breath on my neck as I focused on getting him undressed. My own breath coming out in a snarl of need as I pulled the rest of the shirt from his pants where I could feel his erection swelling with need for me. I pushed his shirt over his shoulders and his lips made their way at the base of my neck. I felt his wet, warm tongue licking at the skin there, and I moaned, my body swaying into him. I tossed his shirt away, offended that it had kept his toned, sculpted chest away from my eyes and hands. I let my hands roam his flesh as his wet, hot mouth was doing to my skin. I let my finger tips graze his abs. He pulled his mouth away from me and watched as I took in his body.

I peeked up from under my lashes at his eyes. They smoldered with a fire that warned me that I had just invited the devil to come and play. My breath caught in my throat at the sound of my zipper being pulled down my back. My flesh grew warmer as he slowly exposed it to the slightly cool air of the room. He coaxed my dress to slide down my body until it was a puddle of fabric at my feet. I felt semi self-conscious in nothing but my underwear, but he quickly undid his pants. He wore a pair of black boxers that oddly matched my own strapless lace bra and panties. His hands came across the flare of my stomach as he kissed me on the mouth once more again.

I was no longer capable of self-consciousness. I was a ball of passion and bated breaths; breaths that were merging and mixing with his until it felt like we were joined in the very air around us. I felt his knees bump against my own as he forced me gently backwards. They nearly buckled as the back of my thighs touched the bed, but, thankfully, he caught me and laid me down. Paul scooted me alongside the bed until my head was resting against the headboard and his body was in between my open legs. A moan escaped my lips unexpectedly at the sensation of having him so perfectly placed.

Behind my back I unsnapped my bra, tossing it to the forgotten space of the world beyond the bed. Paul stared at my chest and then up at me, smirking happily as his hands cupped my breasts. I moaned at the heat and arched my back, wanting more from him. Again, the devil knew just what I was asking for. He lowered his head to my chest, and I moaned again as his fiery hot mouth sucked in my hardened nipple. His other hand massaged my left breast and his tongue flickered against the hard pebble that was securely in his mouth. My hand found its way toward the v part of his waist. My fingers fondled the hair spilling over his boxers. It was his turn to moan when my hand slipped inside the sheeted warmth.

I took his hard and hot erection into my palm and moved up and down. Paul kept one hand on my breasts while the other was used as a pillow. I continued to stroke his large cock until he pulled my hand away and out of his shorts. He stripped himself free of them and then discarded my remaining clothing. Once I was completely naked, he wasted no time slipping his hand to my most needy and wet skin. His fingers grazed the bud at the top of my center. I closed my eyes and captured my bottom lip in my teeth, moaning at the building sensation. His fingers glided between my lips and until the tip of his middle finger plunged itself into my warmth and wetness. He slid it in and out, the pressure building deep inside me. Slowly he added another finger, and then one more. He continued to penetrate me until I was gripping his shoulders as my release found its way out.

"I want you in me," I somehow managed to half whisper half groan.

"Do you now?" he whispered in my ear as his tongue flickered at my lobe.

"Yes," I begged.

I felt his weight leave the bed and for a moment I was afraid I had said something wrong. My eyes snapped open just as I saw him fetch a condom out of his pocket. I subconsciously spread my legs as I waited for his quick return. I could feel my body growing warmer and the need dripping from my already teased pussy. He unraveled the condom from its packaging and was about to roll it on himself when I took it from him.

He raised his eyebrows in question, and I blushed.

"Bella, Bella, Bella," he laughed. "You are so cute."

I glared at him and rose to my knees slowly. He was tall enough that I was still barely eye level with his chest at this position. The humor in his eyes melted to hunger as I pulled him to the bed and shoved him on his back.

"I'll show you cute," I muttered as I straddled his side. His tip bumped my clit as I tried to position myself better. My entire body rocked with a shot of excitement. I let the tremble pass by before I placed the condom on him. Slowly I rolled it and teased him some more with a slight squeeze at his base. Once it was securely on I bent over and kissed the corner of his mouth, working my way down to his jaw, his neck, and his chest. My fingers roamed over his nipples and his own hands squeezed mine. I gripped his hardness once more in my palm and started to stroke it. Paul cursed as I quickened my pace. He gripped my breasts as I moved my hand up and down.

"Fuck, Bella," he said roughly.

"I want you in me," I growled.

He nodded his head and moved his hands to my hips. I positioned my entrance over his stiff cock until his head was tapping the spot where liquid heat was seeping as his final invitation. Slowly I pushed myself down on him, both of us moaning in unison. My body enveloped him and everything in the world narrowed to the connection of our flesh.

Once he had me completely filled, I let him take control. His hands never left my body; securing around my hips and thighs to set our pace. I lifted my hips up and down as he thrust into me. Our movements quickened as the pressure began to build more and more. My heart was beating wildly in my throat and I felt my ass slap against his thighs as our thrusts became more determined to make a release. I rode him until I was calling out his name. My own name echoed from him soon after.

We hit our climax together, him still pumping maddeningly into me to ride out the sensation as my body shattered into a million pieces. I collapsed on top of him, spent and panting as his hips slowed and stopped. His body rolled out from under me and I sank down to lay my head on his chest. He pulled me into him with arms and together we both fell into a warm and peaceful slumber. It felt wondrous to be in another man's arms for once. It made me feel naughty – a word I never thought I'd describe myself as.

I was quite surprised to wake up and still be in his arms. I felt paranoid throughout the night that I'd wake up and never see him again. But there he was fully naked, snoring and adorably drooling. I pulled myself away from him, protectively covering my chest as I picked up my dress and slipped it back on. I wasn't sure why I did this, but I felt better with clothes on.

"Hey," his voice moaned. I turned and spotted him rubbing his eyes, yawning and stretching all at the same time.

"Morning," I said to him.

He smiled warmly at me. "What's for breakfast?"

"I'm not sure. Let's call Room Service?" I reached for the phone, grabbing the menu that was tucked beneath it. I sat on the bed while Paul scooted closer to me, wrapping his arms around my waist while his chin rested on my shoulder. He read the menu, telling me what he wanted. I ordered for the both of us. Paul got dressed as we waited for our food and I lounged on the bed and watched some morning TV. When the food arrived we ate it happily, speaking in cheery tones with the always occasional laugh.

"What's on the agenda for today?" he asked me.

I sighed. "I'm not sure. Probably some teacher things."

He nodded his head. "Right, teacher things."

"Actually, I told someone that I would go shopping with them." I suddenly remember about the plans I had made with Angela.

"Oh? You don't seem like the type to shop," he spoke with a cautious laugh.

I nodded my head. "I'm not. Hate it. But I promised."

"When are you going?" he asked while putting his shoes on.

I looked at the clock. "Uh, twenty minutes."

"You look worried," he analyzed.

"Yes, because I need a shower," I said while biting a finger nail.

"Then you better get going," he noted while standing up.

I stared at him, a guilty feeling running through me. "What about you?"

He smiled and kissed me on my lips. "I'm sure I can find something to occupy my time while you're away."

Paul left and I hurried to get ready for the small date with Angela. I got dressed in a pair of jeans and a purple tank-top, covering up with a jacket. Once downstairs, I spotted Angela speaking to the red-head woman, but due to her casual appearance, I was guessing it wouldn't be just me and Angela.

"Hi, Bella!" the blonde haired woman greeted.

"Hey, Ang, Victoria."

"Hello again, Bella," the fiery red-head said to me.

"I hope you didn't mind, but Vic is a friend of mine and when I found out she was off work, I insisted she join us."

"No, it's alright."

Angela smiled, her blue eyes twinkling. "Perfect. Let's get going then."

We walked out of the hotel and began to walk towards the mall that was only a few blocks away. It wasn't raining, luckily, so we would make it there dry.

"So, Bella," Victoria started. "You and Paul friends?"

"You could say that," I answered.

Victoria nodded her head, zipping up her green jacket.

"Why do you ask?"

She turned her hazel eyes up to me. "It's just that I'm not so sure you want to be his friend."

"I do, though. He's a great guy." I was surprised at the anger I was feeling towards the woman. I think it was mostly because I had finally met someone who made me utterly happy, and to have one person try to break this euphoria was a little heart breaking.

"Right now," she muttered.

"What was that?" I boomed.

Her eyes grew wide and she groaned. "Look, Paul. He's not the guy you'd think he is. He's a player, Bella. He goes around fucking any girl he can. I bet you he's already hooked up with most the woman in the hotel."

"You're lying!" I accused.

She shook her head. "I'm not, Bella. Honestly. I've know Paul since we were teens. Ever since he dropped out of high school he's been this way. I've watched so many innocent women like yourself get hurt. I'm already ashamed that I let you get so involved."

I was speechless. I didn't want to believe her, but I did. I knew Paul was too good to be true…I just knew it. I bit my lip to keep the growing tears at bay and turned around, heading back to the hotel. I stormed through the crowded streets, eyes set on the tall building. I often wondered if I was the person that had only shitty things happen to them for no reason. I didn't deserve this. I was a good mother, a good wife, a good daughter. I gave back by teaching, I gave my extra change to the poor, I donated my old clothes to the needy. Why was it that I had to have my life turn to crap at the touch of a thumb?

It was unfair, totally, and utterly unfair. Once inside the hotel I stormed to the front desk.

"Paul Lowe?" I asked the man there. He had pale skin and black hair. His devastatingly blue eyes looked up at me.

"I could tell you what room he is in, or I could tell you where he's at right now." He smiled at me. Another friend? I thought to myself.

"That would be perfect," I said seductively.

"The gym. Probably shooting some hoops in the court beside it. That's where he usually is when he's here, there or in a room, if you know what I mean." He winked at me and I surprised a groan.

"Thank you so much," I said, trying to keep back the sarcasm. I walked past the familiar men and woman from last night, stopping only once to ask where the basketball court was. Once I had the directions I made my way there. In another part of the building was a physical center. Glass rooms stood side by side. A gym, an indoor pool, and then the basket ball court. I spotted Paul with a group of other men playing a game. I spotted him. He was shirtless; his copper skin was shiny with sweat. He had the orange ball in his hand and tossed it towards the hoop. I wasn't surprised that it went in. A bunch of shirtless men jumped for joy and celebrated with high-fives and cheers.

I saw Paul's eyes meet mine and he must have immediately noticed what was taking place on mine. He frowned and said something to the guys; it looked like a few of them were groaning. He walked across the polished ground and made his way to the door.

"Hey, Bella. You're back early, did something happen?" he questioned me with slight concern.

"Yes, something did happen," I replied with a harsh tone.

"What? Are you okay? Does it have to do with back home?" I felt pained by his faux interest in my life.

"Victoria told me something about you, something quite interesting," I taunted.

He looked away and his shoulders slumped. "Oh no."

"So what number am I?" I asked him.

He narrowed his eyes. "What?"

"Am I the first girl you fucked since you've been here, or the fifth?"

A couple walked past us as I spoke. This seemed to bother Paul.

"Bella, it's not like that," he whispered, eyeing the couple.

"Really, Paul? Then what is it? I openly let you into my life and you play along." I couldn't even describe how angry and hurt I was. I wanted to scream, to punch things, to cry. I felt like I was in a dream, like none of this was really happening.

"I'm a jerk," was all he could manage to say. I laughed without humor and turned around, heading towards the nearest elevator. Once back in my hotel room I began to pack up. I wasn't planning on staying here. Everything about Washington was now tainted by the things I had done, by the things Paul had done to me. I was still married and yet I fooled around with a man who had no intentions of being with me. I bet he wasn't even a professor! He was probably just saying that to get into my pants.

I was fuming as I hit the button to call the front desk. I told the man that I was ready to check out. I grabbed my bags and made my way downstairs. I nearly went back up as the doors opened on the main floor and spotted Paul. He was at the front desk, arguing with the black haired man I had spoken to before. His blue eyes looked around and stopped on me. He raised his hand a pointed a finger at me. Paul turned his head and a look of relief swept over his face. I laughed and headed towards the door.

"Bella!" he called after me. I stepped out into the rain, weighed down by my bags. I flicked my hand in the air, motioning for a taxi to appear. One did, but I felt myself being stopped by Paul.

"Bella, wait, listen to me," he begged.

"And why should I? You're nothing but an asshole who loves to hurt woman!"

He shook his head. "No, I'm not like that anymore."

I threw my head back and laughed. "Another lie? Wonderful. Just what I needed." I turned around and looked at him.

"How could you do this to me?" I asked in near hysterics. "How could you just act like this person and use me?"

His face grew sad. "I didn't though, Bella. I didn't use you."

"Then why would you lie to me?"

The rain was pouring down harder and the air was getting colder. Paul was shirtless and I could see his chest heave as he breathed deeply. Even though I was upset, I couldn't get over the fact of how beautiful and perfect he was.

"I – I'm a jerk, Bella. I've always been this person. But there was something about you... something that made me change," he spoke in a softer tone.

"How could you?" was all I could manage to say.

He stared at me for a moment, his dark eyes full of pain and broken hope. I bet mine matched his. I had believed that Paul might have been the next guy I would spend forever with. The guy I could go to, and he'd always be there. The guy who I'd want waiting for me in bed to pleasure me whenever he had the chance.

I was wrong. So very, very wrong.

"I hate you," I spat at him. I walked around him and continued toward the taxi that had been waiting for me. The man stepped out and opened the door for me. I threw my bags onto the back seat before climbing in. Once the door was shut, the tears fell free, and I sobbed quietly to myself. I dreaded doing anything with him, I dreaded going home. I dreaded life.

My mind wouldn't shut up.

It had been a mistake. Everything I did was wrong. I was still married.

He lied to me. It had all been a lie.

I'm worthless.

Over and over again these words hit home. And home was where they would stay.

Author's Note: Pretty strange ending, I know. But this is where you come in. This is where you think of how the story should end (or continue, hint-hint).

Time for the ever long list of special thanks (because who would I be if I did this without a little hand holding?)

Thanks to artbeatsandlife for trying to help me with the lemon (I'm bad with smut). In the end we realized this wouldn't work because she was also entering this contest. But I thank her regardless. So therefore I thank Bella'sExecutioner for being my second person to run to for help. I would die without her, seriously.

Thanks to my girls on Skype (and Chip, can't forget him) for being my everything. They all listened to me complain and even helped me out with the many, many ideas I had. They are my family, best friends, lovers and well, everything. Love you guys, mostly.

And thanks to my lovely beta TRDancer. She is so awesome. And incredibly cool? Yes, she is. I love you Jennay ;D

Totally snooze fest, I know. But I'd like to hear your thoughts regardless :)