A/N: This story is my one-shot written for the Fandom Gives Back author auction. Sunfeathers, one of my awesome readers of my other published stories, was generous enough to bid on me. I was so happy to be a part of such an amazing effort to raise money! The Fandom really came through!
I hope you enjoy reading it. If so, please shoot me a note and let me know.
I have to give a shout out to bsmog and scsquared for their beta work on this story! Thanks a million.
The Black Swan:
"Jasper, I've got to get out of here," I said, turning off the lights in my office in frustration. "I've re-read the same line in this agreement 50 times."
"Hell yes, let's go," he agreed.
I'd been working for what seemed like a month straight with almost no time off, and I was ready to unwind a little bit. I worked for a large real estate developer and we had been working toward a deadline, which had worn me out both physically and mentally. My friend and colleague, Jasper, had also been working exceptionally long hours and we'd been looking forward to hitting up the new pub, The Black Swan, that just opened up across the street.
We ran across the street quickly, trying to shield ourselves from the bitter cold of Boston in January. I opened the door and was immediately hit by a wall of warmth that welcomed us in. I stomped my feet to get any residual water or snow off and shivered as I took off my coat.
The bar was dark, with rich wood paneling on all of the walls. It was a nice contrast to the bitter cold outside. There was already quite a crowd despite the early hour, but I had heard that this place really picked up a little later. We pushed past the crowd, searching for a table. Jasper was able to snag a table in the corner overlooking the street just as some people left, which was a relief. I'd been on my feet entirely too much in the past 24 hours.
"I'll get this round," I said, standing up to walk to the bar. 'What's your poison?"
"I'll have a Black and Tan."
Once again, I pushed past the already drunk girls and the guys who clung to them, regretting not choosing someplace a little less crowded. I enjoyed going out, but wasn't all that thrilled with crowds and this place was hopping.
I sidled up to the bar, trying to catch the eye of the bartender. He was huge and looked like he could have been a football player. All the patrons seemed to know him and despite his size, he looked like a nice guy.
That's when I saw her.
She came around the corner from the back, tying an apron around her waist. She had long mahogany hair, which was pulled back into a ponytail with just a few strands hanging down to frame her face. She had delicate features and warm, inviting brown eyes that pierced right through me. She smiled widely when she saw me, out of politeness.
She's fucking beautiful.
She started helping customers down the bar from where I was standing so I quickly maneuvered so that she would be the one to help me instead of the linebacker. She put two beers on the counter and gathered money from the guy next to me, who was trying to flirt with her.
"What can I get for you?" a silky voice said as I was still pissed off at the guy next to me.
I looked up at her and she was smiling sweetly while she waited for me to order. I wanted to know her.
"Uh…I'll have two Black and Tans, please."
She nodded and turned around, gathering glasses to get my order. I wanted to find a way to keep talking to her, but she was busy and I knew that it would be hard.
"Here you go, two Black and Tans. That'll be $8.00, please." She smiled at me as she waited for me to get out my wallet.
I handed her a credit card indicating that I wanted to start a tab. I'd order a hundred drinks from her, if it meant that I got to see her and talk to her.
"Just make sure you order your drinks from me so they get onto the right tab. My name's Bella," she said, grabbing my card and filing it behind the bar.
I grabbed my drinks and walked back over to Jasper, peeking over my shoulder at Bella as she served drinks at the bustling bar.
"Shit, it's about time," Jasper huffed.
We sat there talking while I secretly spied on Bella at the bar. Jasper had to wonder what the hell was wrong with me as I volunteered to get every round, just so I could talk to her. Each trip to the bar Bella was a little bit friendlier, as she was beginning to recognize me. She must have thought us to be complete lushes, given the number of drinks we were ordering.
I was feeling confident because of all the drinks I'd consumed, so as the crowd started to thin, I pulled Jasper up to sit up at the bar, instead of at the table where we were sitting.
"Why are we moving, Edward?" Jasper asked, confused as to why we'd give up a great table to deal with the crowds at the bar.
"You just get better service up here," I lied, hoping he'd come with without any more questions.
As soon as we sat down at two barstools off to the side of the long bar, Bella came up and rested her hands on the bar.
"Well hello again," Bella hummed, her eyes friendly and warm. "Edward, isn't it?"
Jasper shot me a knowing glance and smirked as he introduced himself to Bella. She turned to help a customer and Jasper smacked me lightly on the arm.
"Better service, huh?" he chided. "You're so full of shit."
I couldn't help but laugh, because it was totally true. I just wanted to be closer to Bella so I could hopefully get to know her better.
I watched her casually as she helped customers with a smile. I could tell that she had no idea how many guys were looking at her, me included. She seemed oblivious to their advances, for which I was extremely grateful. While I was confident, I was not one to overtly compete for affections.
Bella made frequent trips over to Jasper and me, refilling our drinks as necessary and making small talk. She was witty and smart and I loved seeing her blush whenever she was paid a compliment. It turns out she worked as a librarian during the day, which was sexy as hell.
Cue the sexy librarian fantasy.
Each time she came over to us, she was outgoing and flirty, which I guess was a prerequisite to being a bartender- at least a successful one, anyway. Still, she made a point to come and talk to us often, which I fucking loved. Jasper was good company, but I really wanted to talk to Bella.
When both Jasper and I were sufficiently drunk and the night was coming to a close, Bella came over to let us know it was last call.
"Do you guys need anything else before we close?"
Your phone number, maybe?
"Nope, we're good," I said lamely, "Do you always work Friday nights?" I hoped to glean any information I could so I could see her again.
"Yeah, I'm usually here about three nights a week. My brother, Emmett, owns this place," she said, smiling while motioning to the linebacker I'd seen earlier. "He keeps me in line."
Not too much, I hope.
'Well then, Bella, it was nice meeting you," I said, standing rather shakily, "Thanks for the drinks and I hope to see you again."
"I'd like that." She flashed a fucking adorable smile at me, and despite my fuzzy head, I'd even say she was flirting with me.
That night when I got home, thoughts of Bella swarmed my head. She was fucking cute and nice and despite the heavy demands of my job, it was looking like I would become a regular customer at The Black Swan.
I was fucking anxious to get off work and head to the pub. It had been four days since I was there last with Jasper, drooling all over Bella. I was sure she thought I was just like every other asshole who hit on her. How cliché to hit on a girl in a bar, let alone the bartender. But I couldn't help it. Each time she left to go help someone else, I wanted to grab her and pull her aside to talk to me.
I was used to having my choice of girls. There weren't many times that I went after a girl that I got denied. It wasn't like I was an asshole about it, but I knew that girls typically liked me. Bella was different. She didn't throw herself at me. I could tell that she liked me, but she had her own confidence about her. It made me want to be around her even more. I was sure she'd run the other way if she knew just how much I'd thought about her in just the few days since we'd met, or how often she'd starred in my late night fantasies.
I walked into the bar, my face frozen from the cold. I'd come alone this time, having placed a call earlier to find out if Bella would be working. I was excited to see her, and I quickly scanned the room to find her. It was early so the place was steady, but not packed. She was helping a customer on the far side of the bar, so I found an empty seat and waited for her to be free.
Her face lit up when she saw me and she walked over, setting a beer in front of me. "Well hello again. Black and Tan?" she said, nodding toward the beer. "That's your drink, isn't it?"
"Yep, that's it. Thanks." I couldn't help but smile seeing her.
"I was wondering if I'd see you again," she said coyly.
"What can I say, I was thirsty," I joked, raising the glass as if toasting.
She put her elbows on the counter and leaned forward resting her chin on her hands, "Well then, I'll make sure to keep them coming."
She was fucking adorable when she flirted with me. It made me feel like I was fifteen again, unable to control myself. But I liked it. I liked it plenty.
I sat there talking with Bella for hours, in between her customers. Since it was a weekday, there weren't as many customers and Emmett seemed to cut Bella a lot of slack. I enjoyed having her more to myself. She told me all about her work at the library and how she'd always enjoyed books. I could see that about her. She was intelligent and well spoken. I made a mental note to visit her at the library to see if my fantasies about Bella did her justice. Somehow, I doubted it.
"Helllooooo, Edward," I heard Bella say, pulling me from my fantasy of seeing her in a tight pencil skirt with her hair up in a bun, bending over to show me a book.
"Uh…sorry…what were you saying?"
God, I'm lame.
"I was saying that I'm getting off in about an hour. Do you want to grab a beer?" she said, suddenly appearing shy and self-conscious.
I fucking love that blush.
"Yeah, sounds great."
When Bella finally got off, she and I walked into the back room where they had a dart board set up and a few tables. It wasn't very crowded, so I finally felt like she and I could really talk.
"Want to play?" I asked, motioning to the dart board.
She laughed as she shook her head, "I'm seriously hazardous with darts. I shouldn't play or someone will get hurt."
"I'm a great teacher," I said, giving her my most flirtatious smile.
She reluctantly agreed and she really wasn't exaggerating about her skills, or lack of them. She was terrible. But she was really cute. I moved up behind her to help her align her shot. My body was just inches from hers, and I was dying to close the gap between us. I reached up and grasped the outside of her hand, which was holding a dart. Her skin was soft and warm and felt like silk. I inhaled deeply and could smell the fresh scent coming from her hair. I wanted to bury myself in her.
"Here, let me show you how to throw this." I made a forward motion with my hand and hers, imitating the movement of throwing the dart. She turned her head and made a frustrated face at me, her face just inches from mine.
"Thanks for the help. I'm sorry I'm so horrible. I must be no fun to play with," she said, embarrassed by the fact that she'd entirely missed the board on every throw thus far.
No fun? Is she crazy?
"Bella, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else right now," I admitted, earning me a smile. My body reacted dramatically to being so close to her. My heart was pounding and I felt like I was being drawn into her. She was so close to me and it was all I could do to not lean in and kiss her neck.
We hung out in that little room in the back of the pub until closing time. She and I had been flirty all night and I desperately wanted to kiss her. Time flew by when I was with Bella, and I was sad that the night was coming to an end. I knew I had to make my move if I was going to get a chance.
When we both stood up to leave, I grabbed her hand and pulled her body into my chest. She looked up at me, apparently shocked at my brazen move. I wrapped my hands around her and moved us toward the wall, her moving backward, me moving forward. Our eyes never left each other's as we made our way across the small room.
"Edward…what are you doing?" she asked, trying to figure me out.
"There's something I want to try," I said, not slowing my pace.
Her back finally hit the wall and I moved my hands up the sides of her body, noticing the gentle curves. She watched my hands make their ascent as they finally reached her face. I cupped her cheeks in my hands, my fingers slipping around her neck and breathed deeply in anticipation.
She finally got it and waited for me to make my move, her lips parted and her breathing shallow. She wanted it as much as I did. I leaned in and touched my mouth to hers, tasting her sweet lips.
She exhaled and smiled as I pulled away briefly, but I went back in for another kiss. This time, neither one of us held back. My tongue grazed her lips until she parted them, allowing me to fully taste her. She fucking moaned in a high pitch squeal, and my pants tightened even more than they already were. I wanted to hear that moan again.
She tangled her fingers in my hair and pulled lightly, directing my head where she wanted me. It was unbelievably sexy.
Perhaps demure Bella isn't so demure after all?
We kissed for what seemed like several minutes until we finally broke. I rested my forehead against hers, moving my hands to the wall next to her face.
"Thank you," I sighed.
"Don't mention it," she said smiling, as she grabbed my hand and dragged me to the front of the bar. We put on our coats, and I leaned in and kissed her again.
"I'm going to catch a ride with Emmett. Will I see you again soon?" she asked hesitantly.
"Are you working tomorrow night?" I asked, hoping like hell the answer would be 'no' so I could ask her out on a date.
"Yeah, I'll be here."
"Will you come in?" she asked.
"Yeah, I'll swing by for a little while." I really wanted her to myself. Tonight had been so much fun, and I wanted to do it again. But if all I could get was sitting at the bar with her working, I'd take it.
I left the bar feeling a multitude of emotions. I fucking loved hanging out with Bella. She was beautiful and cool, and her smile made me feel things that I hadn't felt in a long time. On the other hand, I felt like a complete asshole for pushing her against the wall and basically assaulting her like that. What kind of a jackass was I? I was originally going to wait and be a gentleman about the whole thing, but she looked so fucking cute that I just couldn't help myself. The way she kissed me made me feel like I was the only person in the world and I wanted more of her. A lot more.
By the time I got home, it was really late and I was exhausted. I stripped and slid into bed but I couldn't get Bella out of my head. My dick immediately responded to my lustful thoughts, and I could practically feel the blood flow diverting itself southward, not that I minded in the slightest. It would have been better with Bella here in my bed, but I'd settle for my recent memories of her kisses and her touch. She captivated me and apparently my dick agreed. I masterfully rubbed one off, eager for the day when Bella could assist me.
As promised, I found myself sitting at Bella's bar the next night while she worked. This time, it was different though. I felt jealous of every mother-fucker who hit on her, noticing how they'd ogle her when she had her back turned. I watched the drunken assholes grab her and say rude things to her, and I wanted to jump out of my seat and beat the shit of them. She was mine and that fucking pissed me off.
Is she really yours?
I knew the answer to my inner thoughts. No, she wasn't mine, but I wanted her to be and I would stop at nothing to make that happen. Of course, I had to play it cool, lest Bella see the uber-jealous side of me and run for the hills. I knew it was unreasonable for me to feel so possessive over her after such a short period of time, but I couldn't help it. I wanted to be the one to bring smiles to her face, not some drunken dickhead who only wanted to fuck her.
Isn't that what you want?
I couldn't lie and say that I didn't want to fuck Bella. Every single fiber of my being craved her body, but it was more than that. I wanted to protect her, to know her, and to earn her respect. She was definitely different than most women I'd met.
She got off work late but I was still there, waiting like a puppy for her.
"Hey there," she said, rounding the corner as she took off her apron. "Thanks for staying."
"Yeah, they have fantastic Black and Tans here, so it was worth the wait." I smirked at her, causing her to laugh.
"Hmm, is that all that's fantastic here?" She was good; I had to hand it to her.
"Well, there's a bartender here's who isn't so bad." Two could play that game.
"Emmett will be so pleased to hear that, he's been striving to be fantastic," she said, laughing as she gathered her things. "Walk me out?"
I'll walk you anywhere, Bella.
I grabbed her hands and we hustled to my car, fighting the bitter cold.
"Edward, you've been sitting at my bar drinking beer all night, let me drive you home. It's the least I can do."
She was right; I was in no condition to drive.
I handed her my keys and she made herself comfortable in my car, adjusting everything to her liking. It was fucking freezing outside, so the heat was a welcome reprieve.
"Did you have a good night?" I asked, grabbing her hand across the armrest.
"I did. It was a hell of a lot better with you there, I'll tell you." She looked over at me and smiled, and I felt my self-control waning.
We arrived at my place and as she parked, I realized that she had no way of getting home, other than the train and that just wouldn't be safe.
Invite her to stay, you dickhead.
"Bella, don't take this the wrong way, but you should just stay here tonight. I wouldn't feel comfortable with you taking the train by yourself so late. I have a very comfortable couch, which you are more than welcome to."
Please say yes.
She looked hesitant and I almost retracted and gave her an out before she finally managed a response.
"I am tired, actually, and I sort of live a little bit of a ride from here. Is it really okay if I stay?" She looked at me quizzically, assessing my trustworthiness.
Is it okay? Hell yes.
I leaned over her and kissed her lightly.
"Yes, it's okay. It's more than okay." I kissed her neck and cheek lightly, whispering, "But the next time you stay here, it'll be in my bed."
She looked at me and feigned indignation, but I could see the arousal in her eyes. I didn't want to be a dick and push it tonight, but I knew that I would have Bella Swan in my bed.
My dick couldn't wait.
When I awoke, there was silence. A lot of silence. My fuzzy head remembered that Bella was here, and I wanted to make a good impression. I got up, brushed my teeth and attempted to make myself presentable before emerging from my room. I turned the corner to the living room and instead of seeing Bella, sleeping there like a goddess before me, I saw a neatly folded pile of blankets with a pillow placed on top.
Where is she?
I looked around, but all signs of Bella were gone. It was like she had never been there.
Feeling sorry for myself, I slumped into the kitchen, where there was a note strategically place so I'd see it.
Thanks for letting me stay.
The couch was as comfortable as you said, but I'm looking forward to the next time.
See you soon.
I was so incredibly frustrated. I wanted to be here when she woke up. I was hoping we'd have breakfast together and hang out for a little bit. Now I'd have to wait. I didn't even have her phone number, which I made a mental note to change immediately. I needed to know how to get in touch with her.
I spent the next couple of weeks firmly glued to the barstool at the end of the bar. Each night when Bella got off, she and I would hang out. She was so different than anyone I'd met. Every time we spent time together, we got closer. The more I knew about her, the more I liked her. As much as I enjoyed hanging out with her here, I wanted take her away from this place where I could have her all to myself. I wanted to make my very vivid fantasies a reality. My body craved her, and I planned on spending hours exploring every inch of her body, if she'd let me.
One night after a very long day at work, one of those days that just dragged on and on, a few of my friends walked over to the pub with me. I waved at Bella and we all took a seat at a table near the bar. I was excited to talk to Bella alone. I had a date planned for us and I wanted to see if Bella would go with me. We hadn't discussed the status of our relationship, but I wanted to make things official. I wanted her to be my girlfriend. Just the thought of her dating someone else made me see green, and I hoped she'd want to be exclusive with me, too. As much as I had enjoyed our time together, I wanted to do things the right way with her. She was special and I wanted her to feel that way, not like I was taking advantage of her.
One of the people who had joined us was a woman named Tanya, who worked in my department. I was bummed that she came along because she was a constant thorn in my side. She and I had hooked up at a Christmas party the year before and she just wouldn't let it go. Her constant over-the-top flirting annoyed me. It was bad enough that I saw her at work, but I certainly didn't want to spend my free time with her.
Tonight was no exception and the more she drank, the more obnoxious she became. I just wanted Bella to get off work so we could hang out and I could finally ask her on a proper date. I saw Tanya at the bar talking to Bella, which made me really fucking nervous, and occasionally they would glance over at me.
What the fuck are they talking about?
Tanya came back to the table with an armful of drinks and sidled up next to me, much to my dismay. I felt her hand on my knee as she leaned in close to me, which made me bristle and slide away. I looked over at the bar and caught Bella's gaze on me just as Tanya did that and I could see the hurt in Bella's eyes, even from a distance. I got up and walked toward her, but she was talking to Emmett as she took off her apron. She shot me one more glare before she turned and walked into the back. I hurried through the crowd and tried to walk into the back to follow her when I was stopped by Emmett.
"I'd let her go if I were you," Emmett said as a warning. "Just back the fuck off."
What the fuck is going on?
"Where's she going?" I asked, looking around Emmett to see if I could see Bella.
"She was pretty upset. I mean, can you blame her?" he asked heatedly as he glared at me. "Look, I don't know where the hell she went, but I do know my sister and when she's that pissed, it's best to give her some time to cool down."
"Why is she so pissed?" I asked, feeling confused and annoyed and more than a little intimidated by Emmett.
"Oh, I don't know, asshole, showing up at her work with your fucking girlfriend might be one reason." He talked to me as though I was the biggest idiot in the world.
"I don't have a fucking girlfriend," I spat.
"Fine. Fuck buddy. Call her whatever you want. It was still lame of you to bring her here. Bella likes you or did, anyway, before you pulled this shit."
"Fuck, I need to clear this up," I said, running my hands through my hair.
"Look, it's none of my business, but Bella is my sister and I don't want to see her hurt. If she wants to talk to you, she'll call you."
With that, he walked away to continue helping customers. I was furious at Tanya, wondering what the fuck she told Bella about us. I stomped back to the table ready to confront her.
"Tanya, do you mind telling me what the fuck is going on?" Everyone at the table looked at me quizzically, wondering why my tone was so harsh. Tanya stood up and pulled me away to avoid making a scene. I followed her, reluctantly, but I needed an explanation.
She turned and stopped as we reached an uncrowded hallway where we could talk.
"Tanya, what did you say to Bella?" I was through with her bullshit.
She ran her hands up my chest, trying to calm me down and probably flirting at the same time, but I grabbed them and pulled them away, glaring at her.
"What…did…you…say?" I could feel the heat in my face.
"Why are you so interested? Is she your girlfriend or something?" Tanya asked, a tinge of jealousy evident in her voice.
"Tanya, quit playing fucking games with me. What the fuck did you say?"
"She made some comment about you, so I told her that you were here with me."
"What? Why? What other lies did you tell her?"
"Well, it was obvious she likes you so I thought she should know exactly what type of man she's dealing with. She deserved to know how you use women and then ditch them. I was only sparing her from her inevitable heartbreak." Tanya looked smug as she inspected her fingernails, her mouth curling into a devious smirk.
No wonder Bella left.
I was seething and punched the wall behind her, trying to work out my frustrations. "Tanya, what the fuck is wrong with you? Getting rid of Bella isn't going to make me want you. It's never going to happen, no matter what stunts you pull."
I couldn't stay there and listen to her any longer. I stormed past her, stopping at our table to gather my stuff and tell Jasper that I was leaving. I walked to my car, wondering how Tanya had managed to destroy the best thing that had happened to me in a long time. I had never had such strong feelings for someone in such a short time, and all I could think about was how I could make things better.
I tried to imagine how I'd feel if the tables were turned and how listening to someone from Bella's past describe in any detail to me what happened between them would make me insane with jealousy. Not only had she told Bella about us being together, but she made me out to be the world's biggest dickhead in the process. Of course Bella would believe it since I hadn't even had the opportunity to ask her on a proper date yet and I never told her how I felt about her.
I wished I knew where Bella lived so I could go and see her. I dialed her number, but it went straight to voice mail. I hung up, not wanting to be so impersonal by leaving a message. I needed to fix this. I needed to tell her how special she was.
I was so excited to see Edward. He had been so sweet the past few weeks, waiting for me to get off so we could hang out. As I worked, I would catch him staring at me, which I admit, I liked.
I had never met anyone like him before. The first thing I had noticed about him was his gorgeous face. He had unruly bronze hair and piercing green eyes. His face looked like it was chiseled out of stone, with high cheekbones and a pronounced jaw. He was taller than average, about six feet two inches and definitely stood out in a crowd. In short, he was fucking beautiful.
That was just my first impression however, because the more I talked to him, the more I learned about his many other qualities that were equally attractive. He was so considerate around me. He always paid close attention to me when I spoke and made me feel interesting. ME. I was about as interesting as a turnip, yet he made me feel special. He was smart and articulate, and I tried to spend any free second I had at work talking to him.
Edward was so unbelievably sexy. I couldn't help but daydream about him and how amazing he felt. The first night we hung out after work and he showed me how to play darts, I swear I almost jumped him. He smelled so good and his body was pressed against mine. How in the world was I supposed to focus on darts? I could tell that he wanted me, but was restraining himself. We had been flirting all that night, so he had to have known that I'd be receptive.
Then he started backing me up against a wall and my heart skipped several beats. I'd never seen such a lustful look in anyone's eyes, especially not someone who was looking at me. He moved like a predator, slow and stealthy, until he had me trapped right where he wanted me.
His lips lowered to mine and it was more sensual and sweet than I could have imagined. It was like he could read my mind as he moved perfectly with me, opening himself up to my exploration. I had never been kissed as passionately as that and my body was on fire.
I sighed as I was pulled from my daydreams, picking up glasses as I got back to work. I watched Edward come in with a group of friends and my night immediately improved. Every time I saw him, my heart rate rose. I pretended to be busy, so he wouldn't know the extent of my infatuation.
One of his friends approached the bar, a red-headed woman who, if I didn't feel confident with Edward, would make me very uncomfortable.
"So, are you Edward's girlfriend?" she asked bluntly.
"Uh…I don't know…why?" I responded, feeling slightly on the spot.
"Well, I hope you're using condoms," she said in a bitchy tone, looking over her shoulder at Edward, who looked uneasy.
Excuse me? Who the hell are you?
"Why would you say that?" I snapped, curious about her tone and irritated with her insinuations.
"Well, he's got quite the scandalous reputation at work, and I can say from personal experience, the rumors are true," she said, rolling her eyes.
Her personal experience?
"I'm sorry, I'm not following you," I said, even though I fully understood what she was saying. I wanted to hear it in plain English. I felt like vomiting, knowing that Edward had potentially been with this woman.
"He's a player. He used me and then dumped me and now he's decided he wants me again. That's the type of guy he is. Don't get me wrong, he's a charmer, but you'll just get hurt. Trust me, everyone that gets involved with Edward does."
I felt like I was in the Twilight Zone as I watched her walk back to the table and cuddle with Edward. Why would he do that to me? I know that we hadn't said that we were exclusively dating each other, but I thought there was something special between us. I felt sick thinking that it was just part of his script. Had he pulled the same act on this girl?
Obviously he had.
I'd had enough. "Emmett, I've got to go. I'm sorry to leave you hanging, but I can't sit here and watch Edward flaunt that girl in front of me. It's humiliating."
Emmett turned and glared at Edward, who nervously shifted in his seat. "Bella, I ought to beat the shit of out that guy, but I won't. He owes you an apology and he can't do it with a broken jaw. Get the fuck out of here. I'll handle things here."
I loved my brother. He just got me. I glanced one last time at Edward, but I couldn't read his expression. What was he thinking?
As I walked to the train, I was so conflicted. I had thought that there was something special between Edward and me. He seemed different from the other guys I'd met. He seemed genuine and, above all, honest. Why would he humiliate me like that with that woman?
The tears were flowing down my cheeks, making it seem even colder than it was. I hardly remembered the train ride home, my mind replaying every encounter I'd had with Edward to see where I'd made such a critical error in judgment. But I couldn't come up with anything. Perhaps he was just a really good actor, but I believed that what we had was real.
Was it all just bullshit so he could get in my pants?
I turned the key to my apartment, throwing my purse on the table by the door. I headed straight into my room to change clothes. I put on my most comfortable pair of sweats and my Ugg boots and threw my hair up. My boots squeaked across the floor as I made my way into the kitchen to pour myself a glass of wine. I needed something, anything, to help me numb the pain. The saying was definitely true- you don't know what you've got 'til it's gone. I thought I knew him.
The tears had dried on my face, but I still felt hollow and more than anything, incredibly sad. I felt like the curtain at Oz had just been pulled back, revealing the truth about Edward, transforming him from a great guy into a complete asshole.
I was well into my second glass of wine as I slumped on the couch, flipping mindlessly through the channels, when the doorbell rang.
I stood up, yelling at the door. "Emmett, I'm fine, you didn't have to…" I stopped short when I opened it to find Edward standing there, not Emmett.
What the fuck?
I straightened up, trying to make the best possible impression. "What are you doing here?"
I couldn't let this go. I didn't want Bella to have such a fucked up opinion of me for one minute longer than I could help. Since she wasn't answering her phone and I had no idea where she lived, I did the only thing I could think of- I went back to the bar to talk to Emmett.
I stood nervously at the end of the bar, waiting for him to notice me, worried that I was about to get my ass kicked by the biggest fucker I'd ever seen.
He finally walked over to me and stood, with his arms on the bar, glaring at me. "Emmett, what happened earlier wasn't what it looked like. I need to talk to Bella, please. She's not answering her phone." I was sure the desperation was written all over my face.
He shook his head, "Dude, she's my sister. What do you want from me?"
"Please just tell me where she lives."
"No fucking way," he spat at me.
"Listen, I know how it looked, but I'm not dating anyone else. I'd never do that to Bella. Please, you have to believe me," I begged, feeling like a complete tool.
"The hell I do." He grabbed a glass and started drying it with a towel, looking like he was about to kick my ass.
"Fuck Emmett, I need to talk to her." He really didn't look like he was going to give in, but he was my only chance of clearing things up tonight so I'd eat my pride if I had to.
"I know a shitload of guys like you. I see it here all the time. Hell, I've even acted that way a few times myself, but Bella's a good girl and she doesn't deserve that shit."
Fuck, how can I convince him?
"Emmett, I think I'm falling in love with her."
God, you sound like a dick.
"You sure have a strange way of showing it," he responded coldly, still drying glasses and avoiding eye contact with me.
I slammed my fists down onto the bar in frustration. "Fuck, just give me break, will you?"
Emmett's eyes widened and he shook his head gently, smiling. "All right, I'll give you her address, but I'm telling you that she can be as stubborn as an ox. Don't blame me if she kicks your ass to the curb."
"Thank you," I said as he wrote down the address and directions on a small piece of paper.
I felt hopeful that I could make things right again between us. I pulled up in front of her building and sat there for a minute, trying to formulate a plan. I should have had this conversation with her the minute I knew how I felt, but I was a pussy and didn't want to rock the boat. The time had come to man up.
I rang the doorbell hesitantly, my palms sweating, as I shifted my weight from side to side.
I heard her rustle behind the door and yell, thinking I was Emmett. She opened the door and her face fell and I immediately felt like an asshole.
She looked like she'd been crying, her eyes red-rimmed and glassy. Aside from the color, her eyes drooped and lacked that sparkle that I loved so much. I hated the thought that I was responsible for her unhappiness. She had on sweats and Ugg boots that, despite their bagginess, still made her look alluring to me. I wanted to make her feel better and see her beautiful smile instead of the despondent person who stood before me.
"What are you doing here?" she asked with a bite, her voice cracking a bit as though fighting back emotion.
"Bella, can I come in? I really need to talk to you." I couldn't even look her in the eyes.
Surprisingly, she moved aside and I followed her to the kitchen. Her apartment was very clean and inviting, with large windows that overlooked the street. I couldn't help but notice that she had incredible style, each piece of furniture and art meticulously placed.
"I was just about to pour myself another glass of wine, would you like one?" she asked, opening the fridge and pulling out a half empty wine bottle.
"Uh…sure…thanks." I mumbled, feeling flustered by the tension between us.
She turned around, handed me my glass and leaned on the counter. "Okay Edward, talk."
"Bella, I have no idea what Tanya told you. Well actually, I do know most of what she said, but none of it is true," I babbled nervously.
"Edward, I know that we haven't discussed our relationship much, but I felt like there was something special between us. You were different. I feel like I just got sucker punched." She looked into her wine glass, as though it told a story, her face revealing the hurt I had inadvertently caused her.
"Bella, Tanya was just doing that to get a rise out of you and punish me for not being interested in her. I've never wanted her. We got together once, a year ago, when I was totally trashed, but that's it. I promise you. I'd never do that to you."
"I don't know, Edward, you two looked pretty cozy to me. I'm not the type to be jealous and I have to be honest, I don't like feeling this way. I know we both have pasts, but seeing her in front of me, looking so smug really hurt. Why did you bring her? Just to rub your past in my face?"
Fuck, is that what she thinks?
"I didn't invite her. She works in my department and one of the other guys asked her to come. I don't even like her. All I wanted to do was to see you tonight."
She shook her head as she looked down, but I could see that she was listening to what I said, which was encouraging. I inched closer to her, sensing that her anger was subsiding and just the hurt remained.
"Bella, look at me, please," I said softly. "You're the only person I'm seeing. Tonight, I was going to do what I should have done a long time ago and ask you out on a proper date. You were right; there is something special between us. I've never felt this way about anyone before and I'm sorry if I'm fucking things up. I don't want to date anyone else and I sure as shit don't want you dating anyone. Please tell me that you'll give me another chance."
I could see the tears welling up in her eyes again as she contemplated what I had told her. "Edward, I want to believe you, so badly, but you have no idea just how hurt I'll be if I'm wrong about you." She wiped a tear that had overflowed from her eyes and looked at me intensely.
I slipped my hands on either side of her face and closed the distance between us, kissing her forehead before resting mine against it.
"You're not wrong about me. I'm not going to hurt you," I whispered, gripping her hair as I pulled her closer.
"I hope not, because I'm way too invested in you to walk away unscathed," she sighed. "I don't want to wonder what you're doing when we're not together."
I lifted her chin with my fingers and stared into her chocolate eyes that held so much emotion in them. "When we're not together, I'm thinking about you. You don't have to wonder about that." I bit my lip, my nerves getting the best of me.
Please believe me.
"Bella, the truth is that I'm falling in love with you and it scares the shit out of me."
Holy shit, I hadn't meant to go there tonight.
She pulled away from me slightly, looking like I had just told her that I was Santa Claus, and smiled widely, the tears now flowing freely down her face.
"Oh Edward…I'm scared too, but it's a good scared," she sobbed, hugging me tightly.
Does that mean she feels the same way about me?
She was willing to trust me and forgive me and my heart soared. I let my instincts to be with her take over. Having run the gamut of emotions in such a short time made me realize that I didn't want to take her for granted. I wanted to make her mine, and I couldn't wait any longer. I pressed my lips to hers, exhaling the breath I didn't realize I was holding, reveling in the feeling of her soft lips. I let my hands slide down her back, finally coming to rest on her ass, lifting her up to sit on the counter. I slid in between her straddled legs, moaning as my erection made contact with her. Even in grubby sweats, she could get me hot and bothered in a matter of seconds. She squeezed her thighs, urging me forward, as she threw her head back. Her hair cascaded down her back and I leaned in to kiss her exposed neck.
"Bella, you have no idea what you do to me," I mumbled in between kisses, thrusting my hips against her.
She smiled deviously and lifted her head, gazing into my eyes with lust. "I think have some idea." I felt her press her hips forward, rubbing my cock.
"Don't tease me, Bella." My lips found hers again and I wanted to consume her. Our tongues danced in unison and my hands roamed her back.
She pulled away and hopped off the counter, and I immediately felt the loss. My dick was straining through my pants, which were abnormally tight by this point. I wanted her closer.
"Follow me," she said, looking over her shoulder, walking down the hallway.
I'll follow you anywhere.
I watched her walk, her hips swaying side to side with each step. Her baggy clothes hid her figure, but I could still see her shapely ass and I grew even harder. She pushed open the door to her bedroom, which was dimly lit and equally as nice as the rest of the apartment. "I thought we'd be more comfortable in here."
She looked fucking adorable as the embarrassment sunk in. I walked over to her (more like stalked over to her), my hand clutching the side of her face, and leaned in to kiss her. "I'm comfortable wherever you are."
I guided us toward the bed, as we kissed and groped each other, until we fell onto the mattress, with me on top of her. Bella's small hands tugged at my shirt, causing me to shiver with the contact, and I sat up slightly to allow her to remove it. I wanted to be skin to skin with her, although I wasn't entirely sure that I could handle it. I felt like each of her touches almost pushed me over the edge. I had never wanted anyone like I wanted her, and I was completely lost in her.
She arched her back as she slipped her own shirt over her head, causing her breasts, which were still sheathed in her bra, to heave toward my body. I instinctively reached out and grabbed one of them. I leaned down and kissed the skin of her chest, wanting to free her breasts so I could explore and kiss them thoroughly. My fingers slipped underneath her bra, caressing her breast and nipple.
"Any chance we could get rid of this thing?" I asked playfully, as I continued to touch her.
She smiled and reached behind her back, unclasping her bra, freeing her firm breasts. I watched as she removed her bra and then pulled me down on top of her, kissing me with fervor.
The feeling of our bodies pressed together, skin to skin, sent my body into an uncontrolled spiral. She was so soft and warm and so fucking beautiful. I supported my weight with one arm as my free hand roamed her body, finally coming to rest on the waistband of her sweats. She shuffled her legs, kicking her boots off as I slid the pants over her hips, revealing the sexiest fucking pair of boyshorts that I had ever seen.
Such a shame to hide all this beneath sweats.
I reached for the button of my jeans, but her hands stopped me. "Let me do it," she sighed, her fingers dipping beneath my waistband as she skillfully unbuttoned them and slid them off. My cock felt like the genie being released from the bottle as it sprang free of its confines.
Her hand reached down and cupped me through my boxers, and I sucked in a deep breath and stilled at her gentle touch. I had to put the sensation out of my head in order not to come all over her. Every touch felt amplified, like my skin was on sensation overload.
She shivered slightly, so I maneuvered us beneath the blankets, feeling cut off from the outside world by the barrier they created. It was like nothing else existed, except the two of us.
Only two small pieces of fabric prevented us from finally being joined the way I wanted. She wrapped her long legs around my waist and thrust her hips up into mine as I kissed her passionately. We moved together, as if already in the act, eliciting guttural moans from both of us. I wouldn't last long like that.
I lifted up slightly and slid my hands down her body, gripping her underwear and pulling them down.
"I need you naked now," I sighed, kissing her stomach as I lowered on her body.
She ran her fingers through my hair, encouraging my movements, which was fucking sexy as hell.
I could smell her arousal and my dick twitched and was as hard as a fucking rock. My hands quickly moved back up her legs once the underwear was gone until I reached the tops of her thighs. Heat radiated from her as my thumbs made small circles at the junction of her legs and her hips. With each movement, she jumped and twitched, indicating just how sensitive her skin was.
My thumbs grazed her slick folds and I let out a deep moan, completely taken in by her. She was hot and wet and ready for me. I let my fingers caress her, teasing her entrance and her clit, relishing in her reactions to my touch. I loved that I could bring her pleasure.
My tongue, acting on its own volition, slipped out and licked her from the bottom to the top, finally coming to rest her clit. She arched her back sharply at the intense contact, trying to pull her hips away, but I wouldn't let her move.
"Uh-uh, you stay put," I said, licking her slowly again.
If my dick was hard at the sight and smell of her, it was throbbing as I tasted her. She had a sweet taste that was uniquely Bella, and I committed it to memory.
I continued my licking and caressing until I could feel the muscles in her abdomen clench. I knew she was close to her release, and I was so fucking excited to bring her there. I held her hips in place, as she tried to move against my mouth. Her head thrashed from side to side and her moans came more frequently.
"Fuck...Edward…ohmygodohmygod…unh" she thrust one last time against my tongue, her body convulsing with her release.
I licked my lips as I ascended her body, settling myself between her legs. She pulled my face to meet hers as we kissed slowly, yet full of emotion.
"Thank you for that," she hummed, not releasing my head from her grasp.
"Bella, that was fucking amazing. You taste fucking amazing," I babbled incoherently.
She reached down in between us and pulled on my boxers.
"I need you naked now," she said, smiling.
I sat up and removed my boxers, feeling overwhelmed at the reality of what we were about to do. I wanted her like I wanted oxygen. I felt like it was my first time. My body shook with anticipation and nerves. For the first time in my life, I understood the difference between making love and having sex. Anyone could have sex, but I wanted to worship Bella, bring her pleasure, and make her know how special she was to me. I wanted to love her.
She pulled me down on top of her, my breaths shallow and audible as our bodies touched. My cock was positioned right at her entrance and with one thrust, I could have her.
"Bella, let me get a condom," I sighed, not wanting to separate from her.
I reached into my jeans pocket and pulled out the small wrapper. I had been carrying it around, in hopes of this very moment since I met Bella. The reality of the situation had still not sunk in, even as I unwrapped the condom and rolled it skillfully down my length.
It wasn't until I lay back down on top of her, carefully spreading her legs that it all finally sunk in. I had spent so long wondering what it would be like to be with her, and I was overwhelmed to be living out my fantasy.
"Edward…please," she sighed, pulling me from my lusty thoughts.
I inched forward slowly entering her, knowing that if I went too fast, I'd lose it. I felt the incredible heat coming from her as her body gripped tightly onto my aching cock. I gasped as the sensation of being inside her hit me. She was so tight. Bella adjusted her hips to allow me to push deeper as her eyes closed and her head fell back. Her fingers gripped my back firmly, pulling me down.
"Fuck…Bella…you just…fuck…" She rocked my world and I was too incoherent to tell her.
Her hands lowered to my ass and urged me to move. Slowly gaining control, I pulled almost all the way out of her and pushed back into her with a quick thrust. We both moaned loudly, enjoying how deep I could get, but I knew that no matter how deep I got, it would never be enough. My need for her was insatiable.
I picked up my pace, feeling somewhat under control. Her legs wrapped around me, her heels digging into the back of my thighs. I loved the way she reacted to each of my movements. Yin and yang. Push and pull. What one of us gave, the other took and vice versa.
"Edward…I'm so close," she sighed, almost pushing me past the limit of my control. I regained composure as I continued to move deeply within her. I wanted to make her come and hear my name fall from her lips again as she did.
Her body tightened and her face contorted in pleasure as her orgasm ripped through her. I could feel her walls contract against my cock, and I knew that I wouldn't last long.
I thrust into her a few final times before I was overtaken with my own release. I had given her everything I had and it surprisingly left me feeling more whole than ever before in my life.
Bella gripped me tightly, keeping me inside her, as I gently brushed the hair off her face. We were both breathing hard, still coming down from our releases.
"Bella…you feel so incredible," I said, feeling more vulnerable than ever before. "Thank you for letting me be here with you."
She leaned up, smiling and kissed me lightly, "You are precisely where I want you to be. Will you stay with me tonight?"
"I don't ever want to let you go, so you're stuck with me." Bella smiled so wide that it reached her eyes as she got up to clean up.
She emerged from the bathroom wearing silky, blue pajama shorts and a long sleeved matching top. She slid into bed and cuddled up next to me, her body so soft and warm.
I held her in my arms as she fell asleep. There was no way I could sleep. I wanted to take in this moment for as long as I could. Bella's breathing was slow and deep as I buried my nose in her hair.
"I love you, Bella," I whispered.
A/N: I hope you enjoyed it! Don't forget to drop me a review and let me know what you thought. :)