A/N: I don't own Twilight; Stephenie Meyer does. I enjoy her allowing us to play with her creation. No copyright infringement is intended. I want to thank my beta, Marlena516. You are so great and I appreciate all your hard work and for putting up with me and all my mistakes, lol. Thanks to all of my pre-readers for all the wonderful advice—this story would not be the same without you.

Chapter 21-The Hands of the Man I Love


I was still upset that we took two vehicles, but Bella had said she needed to get home tonight. As a matter of fact, I'd be satisfied if she never left. I'd also love to see that truck disappear. I was always worried when she drove that hunk of junk; I didn't think it was safe.

Thinking about any future with my girlfriend—damn, that sounded amazing—always made me sappy and protective. I really loved that woman. I planned to ask her to marry me, but first I needed to get her to move in so we'd never have to be apart.

Marriage. I was ready now, but Bella thought we should wait a little while longer. I wanted to carry her off to Vegas, maybe get married by Elvis or something equally corny. I never thought I'd be the marrying type, but she had turned my world upside down and I wouldn't change a damn thing.

Bella and I arrived at Michael's Seafood & Steakhouse within just a few minutes of driving. The place looked busy, which wasn't surprising, considering its popularity. Michael's was a family-run establishment in downtown Port Angeles and was one of the top restaurants in the area. They used only fresh organic produce, local wild-caught seafood, and free-range meats. I was willing to bet that Bella had not been here before. It was just another opportunity to lavish her and give her a wonderful time.

We parked our separate cars and I walked over to meet her. When she got out of her death trap of a truck, I pulled her in for a deep kiss. Just those few minutes away from her had me pining away. Once we parted, I put my arm around her and walked towards the restaurant.

When we reached the door, I stopped and turned Bella so we faced each other and pulled her close for another deep kiss.

"What was that for?" Bella asked curiously, giggling.

"No reason, really. I just wanted to kiss your beautiful lips again and tell you how much I love you," I crooned, the smile on my face unwavering.

"Mmm…I love you too, and you can kiss me like that anytime," she seductively suggested, causing my cock to twitch.

"Bella, baby, be careful. You don't want me to do that right now, trust me," I pleaded, glancing down at my now hardening cock.

"Edward, I'm sorry. I just can't get enough of you. You…do things to me," she replied after a quick look down for herself. Her coy little smile was followed by an apologetic look. I loved her, and hopefully someday she would truly understand the effect she had on me.

"Don't worry about it, baby. Let's just get in there and have some dinner. Then we can go home." I gave her a quick peck on the nose and guided her inside.

I gave my name to the host and we waited for a table. There weren't many seats to use, so I asked Bella if she would sit on my lap. There were two reasons for this, it let me remain close to her so we could stay connected, and it helped hide my hard-on. Thankfully, she agreed.

The little vixen that Bella was turning into thought it would be a good idea to wiggle her ass in my lap. That earned her a stern look along with a light squeeze on her butt cheek—a silent promise for later. She snickered but stopped her teasing. Thank God.

We sat in comfortable silence, sharing private smiles and endearing glances, essentially communicating with our eyes.

"Cullen, party of two," the host called out and we stood up to be seated. He gave us a somewhat private table near the fireplace, which I was very thankful for. Bella still got nervous at these types of places and I wanted her to be comfortable.

I held the chair out for Bella and pushed her up to the table as she sat down. I walked around and took my seat across from her. As the host left the table, I pondered what kind of wine to order. I was almost positive Bella would have seafood while I wouldn't, so I selected a nice chardonnay. I liked it well enough and I knew it would go well with Bella's meal.

Bella and I sat in a comfortable silence as we looked at the menus. I was in the mood for something basic, so I chose the New York Strip Steak with Rustic Mashed Potatoes. Bella was still deciding, so I carefully laid my menu down and watched her face contort as she tried to decide. I couldn't blame her for her indecision; they had many good choices and the food was always spectacular.

When it appeared that she had made a choice, I waved the waiter down and we placed our order. He had our wine ready and poured our glasses, setting the rest of the bottle down. I let Bella order first, and she requested the Northwest Paella, which contained a variety of local seafood. Then I ordered my steak and the antipasto appetizer for Bella and I to share.

Once he turned to leave, I grabbed Bella's hand and told her how much I loved her, kissing it as I placed it in mine. She returned the gesture and we sat quietly, enjoying our time together. We sipped our wine and eventually fell into deep conversation, being interrupted only once as our appetizer was delivered.

It seemed like only minutes passed until our dinner arrived. Both meals looked delicious and we both dug in heartily. We maintained our discussion of inconsequential things and after I paid the bill, we headed home.

I asked Bella to spend the night with me, and after she dropped off her truck off at home and grabbed her uniform, we went back to my place.

We spent the evening in relative quiet, snuggling on the couch while we watched An Affair to Remember, followed by Sleepless in Seattle. I knew Bella loved both movies, so I had made sure to stop at the video store and pick them up.

It was late when the movies were over so we wandered into the bedroom and got ready for bed. We showered before dinner, so we only needed to brush our teeth. Neither of us bothered putting clothes on and we climbed under the covers naked.

My original intention was to sleep, but having Bella naked as I spooned her was too much. She obviously felt what I was suffering with because she started wiggling her ass the same way she did at the restaurant. Ah, my horny little vixen.

I answered her silent request by sliding my arm under her head and kissing the hollow of her neck. I sucked, licked and nipped, causing Bella to push back towards me, giving me some friction. It didn't take long before we were both moaning and gasping for air, needing more contact. I slowly pushed into her and lovingly made love to my Bella from behind as we lay on our sides.

This position was very erotic and intimate. I held onto her hip and she turned her head, caressing my face. I kept kissing her and we were both quickly running out of breath; the hushed moans and groans were the only sounds we could hear. Bella was grinding with me, meeting me thrust for thrust. This was definitely the most intense moment we'd had so far.

After we finished and whispered our declarations of love and adoration, we both fell asleep, holding onto one another as if our lives depended on it.


Friday morning I woke up in Edward's arms and smiled when I remembered what happened last night. It was truly one of the most beautiful moments in my life. We made love, which was amazing by itself, but then cuddled all night long. The man sleeping behind me was mine and I was going to keep him forever.

I tried to wiggle out of his death grip since I had to use the bathroom, and of course I woke him up.

"Mmm…good morning, baby," Edward groggily murmured.

"It's a very good morning." I leaned down to give him a kiss.

"Bella, any morning I wake up to you is good. I can't wait to experience this joy every morning, for the rest of my life," Edward said as he sat up and stretched.

"Me either, babe. I want that so much. I love you, so much," I answered, my heart full of love and adoration for the beautiful man in front of me.

I happily gave him another kiss before heading to the bathroom. When I was done with my business, I returned to the bedroom to find Edward still sitting on the bed naked. He looked all kinds of awesome with his sexy bed hair and scruffy face.

We took a shower together before brushing our teeth and hair and got ready for work. Today was finally Friday and I couldn't wait to be done with the work week.

We didn't exchange many words this morning; we didn't feel the need to fill the silence. It was comfortable and I could easily see us falling into this daily pattern.

After a quick breakfast of oatmeal, toast and orange juice, Edward dropped me off at work, telling me he would pick me up at four before he kissed me goodbye. It was the best goodbye kiss ever, full of need, want, and desire—a promise for later, I was sure. Sighing, I headed into the building and prepared to face the day.

The morning was basically the same as always as we served the good citizens of Port Angeles their greasy breakfast. I stocked the front counter between cars and before I knew I, the lunch rush was in full swing.

The constant barrage of drive-thru customers continued until Edward finally arrived. We never have time for much of anything when he's here, but it was always special. He ordered the same thing as he always did, Big Mac meal large sized with Dr. Pepper. I was starting to think he ordered that meal just because he knew I hated them, but if he liked it I won't bother him about it.

The rush continued a little later than usual and then the afternoon was dead. Everything was restocked and clean, so Rosalie and I had a long talk.

Apparently she had noticed the way Edward and I interacted. Between that and whatever she had heard from Alice, she knew we were together. She insisted on getting all the juicy details.

I gave her what I thought was appropriate and held on to most of the details she wanted. She got the basic idea; I didn't need to share our private moments. She told me how happy she was for me and began to tell me about her and Emmett.

They had been seeing each other for a while and things were pretty serious. She wanted him to move in, but Emmett was hesitant to tell Edward. I didn't know why; Edward and Emmett seemed to get along fairly well. She pleaded with me to keep it between us, as Emmett would be dealing with it soon enough. As much as it would kill me to hide this from Edward, I agreed. It wasn't my business in the first place and I didn't want to interfere.

Rosalie went on to tell me how much she loved Emmett and how happy she was. I was happy for her and could see myself making fast friends with her. She wasn't as bad as I thought she was; maybe Alice had been right about Rosalie along. I felt bad for assuming the worst; apparently, good looks and friendliness weren't mutually exclusive traits in a person. My stereo typing was going to get me in trouble some day.

I spent the rest of the day dealing with occasional customers, cleaning, and chatting it up with Rosalie. When my shift was over, Edward was there to pick me up just like he said—not that I doubted him for one second.

Emmett had called Edward earlier and informed him that he'd be staying at Rosalie's house that night, so we would have the place to ourselves. That was fine with me. I hadn't seen Emmett since the night he banged on the door that Edward had me shoved up against. While I wasn't embarrassed by that, I was still nervous to see him again. It was going to be difficult to look Emmett in the eye, knowing that the pervert in him would probably be picturing us going at it.

I shook my head and tried to clear my thoughts.

"Baby," Edward spoke up, effectively distracting me, "Are you alright? You haven't said a word since you got in the car."

"I'm fine, really. I was just thinking, no big deal," I told him, trying to avoid talking about it. I didn't want to relive that moment right now, if ever.

I didn't think he bought it based on the look on his face, but thankfully he let it go. I had Emmett and Rosalie on my mind and I just wanted to enjoy our time together.

We pulled into Edward's driveway and walked into the house. Its emptiness brought to mind the pain I imagined Edward would feel when Emmett left. Emmett drove his brother crazy at times, but I also knew how much Edward liked having him around. The separation was going to hurt Edward a lot

The move would be happening soon, and I hoped Emmett wouldn't wait too long to talk to Edward. I was already planning on ways to help Edward see the good in the situation so I could help him through it.

I got comfortable on the couch as Edward headed back to his car to get something. I sat there, imagining what our lives would be like in the future. I'd been doing that a lot lately. I wondered if we'd live here or find a different place. Would I make a good wife? Would I work? What about children? The thoughts kept flying through my mind until Edward stumbled into the house, arms full of grocery bags.

I jumped up to help him bring them to the kitchen.

"Here, let me help you with those," I offered.

"I got it, baby. Go, sit down and relax. I can do this." He attempted to detour me, even giving me a quick kiss on the cheek.

"Edward, let me help you. I'm not helpless, you know," I argued as I noticed one of the bags slipping from his grip.

I watched him struggling with the bags. He tried to balance one on his leg trying to get a better hold on it while another started to fall from his other arm.

"Fine, take this one," he finally told me.

I grabbed the bag that he gestured to and barely caught it before it slipped completely. I grabbed another one against Edward's wishes and we both walked into the kitchen.

"Edward, why do you insist on treating me like a helpless child?" I questioned him, offended.

"I don't treat you like a child, baby. I just think, as a man, it's my job to perform certain duties. I wanted to give you a good night, without you having to do a thing," Edward explained as he set the last of his bags on the counter.

"I understand that, but I can certainly help you carry grocery bags," I shot back.

"Bella, I will work on it. But for now, would you please let me spoil you?" he pleaded with me.

"Only if you let me help you put the food away," I countered. He nodded and we got to work.

Afterward, Edward insisted on cooking me dinner. He said he wanted to make something special and it was important that he did it alone. I cooperated, but sat at the breakfast bar on the other side of the kitchen so I could watch him work.

I smiled in anticipation as the man I loved prepared a delicious meal for two.

A/N: Sorry—don't hate me. If you knew what I had planned for next chapter, you would agree that this is a good place to end this one. As usual, you can find me on Twitter: (at) melonscraps. The awesome Padme-And-Anakin-4-Ever has made a thread over at Twilighted for this story, so come chat! http:/www(dot)twilighted(dot)net/forum/viewtopic(dot)php?f=44&t=11061