Penname: Rochelle Allison
Notes: continues the characters and scenario established by "Alabaster"
Disclaimer: All copyrighted, trademarked items, or recognizable characters, plots, etc. mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without their express written authorization.
"Sparkling champagne?" I teased, smiling.
Edward shook his head, laughing. "You know Alice…"
"She gets excited," I agreed.
"And she…she has a sixth sense sometimes. Like…"
"She knew I'd take you back," I finished for him, folding my arms. Edward sat back on his heels, looking away.
"It doesn't matter," I muttered, leaning back on the couch. Exhaling heavily, I rubbed my eyes. This was emotionally exhausting.
"It does matter, and it's not like that," he said, his voice drifting up to me from the floor. "I made probably one of the biggest mistakes of my life when I wandered, and I've spent the better part of a year going over it and over it in my head. This doesn't work without you, Bella. I never would have let you go."
"That's rather dramatic," I laughed humorlessly. "Those are pretty grand ideas, don't you think?"
When he didn't answer, I sat up. He was laying flat on the floor now, staring up at the ceiling. I slipped off of the couch cushions and lowered myself to where he was. He pulled me into his arms, letting me rest my head on his shoulder so our faces were inches apart.
"I'm not going back on what I said, Edward," I whispered, another tear rolling across my cheek. It dripped onto his shirt. "I know you know what you did to me. We're starting new this time. It's the only way I can move forward. No assuming, no taking things for granted."
He nodded silently, hugging me closer.
"I thought about you every day," I said, closing my eyes.
He kissed each of my eyelids. "Me too."
Something woke me, and I jarred awake, realizing we'd fallen asleep on the floor. It was freezing cold down there, and I pulled away to drag the throw cover I'd seen earlier off the couch.
It had never been my intention to stay the night, obviously, but I had no idea what time it was and there was no way I was venturing out at this hour in the cold black beyond. Edward stirred beside me, pulling away as he rolled slightly to the other side.
Falling asleep proved to be more difficult than I'd anticipated, what with two lamps on, so I got up to turn them off.
"Bella?" Edward's voice startled me in the darkness.
"Hey… we fell asleep…" Obviously, Bella.
"Oh…sorry," he mumbled thickly. "We should go to bed."
Such a familiar scenario; we'd said those very words thousands of times to one another, with various contexts attached.
Still, I followed him wordlessly to his futon in the bedroom. Things felt a little different now that I knew he'd built this house with me in mind. It was overwhelming.
"Edward?" I asked once we were underneath the blankets.
"Did you get this idea from The Notebook?"
The bed shifted as I felt him turn on to his side to face me. "What notebook?"
"The movie," I prompted, grinning in the dark.
He laughed suddenly, pulling me close. "Maybe subconsciously…. Great. Now I really look like a sappy moron."
"Hey," I objected, poking my finger roughly into his stomach. "I love that movie!"
"All girls love that movie," he snorted, grabbing my hands and pinning them down as he rolled onto me.
"So?" I said breathed, caught between the familiarity of his weight pressing down on me and the vague discomfort it caused.
Because he knew me, he felt the subtle stiffness in my limbs and rolled off as quickly as he'd rolled on.
"It's okay," I said quickly, my heart thundering. "I just…I'm not ready to do that yet."
"Okay," he said. "I didn't bring you here for that, anyway. You just…you make me remember and forget all at once."
I laughed quietly because I knew just what he meant.
We lay quietly, our hands playing.
"You can kiss me," I whispered, and waited.
He brought himself closer so we were side to side, and then eased up onto his elbow. My eyes had adjusted to the dark, and I could just barely see the outline of his face and hair in front of me. He leaned down, kissing my cheekbone, then my nose, and then my mouth.
Brushing my hands over his face and into his hair, I held him close and kissed him back, shivering a little when our tongues touched. Even though I needed to take it slow, my body responded to quickly to his and before long he'd hitched my leg over his hip.
We pressed together, our kisses becoming sloppy and desperate, and when he tentatively touched me between my legs I let him. He rubbed me though my jeans and it had been so long since he'd had any contact at all down there I came ridiculously fast.
"Wow," he panted, hard as rock. He pushed away, twisting around to pull the chain on his bedside lamp.
"We need to chill out, unless… you know…."
"I haven't been on the pill for awhile now," I said, shrugging. "So, we can't."
He nodded. "I'll wait as long as you want."
"Good," I chuckled, rolling my eyes.
He smiled, looking every bit the lovesick teenager he'd been in high school.
"What?" I asked, smiling back a bit self consciously when his gaze lingered.
"You…in the afterglow. You're so soft and pretty and … perfect for me."
He lay down, nuzzling into my neck. His hair tickled my face and I wrapped my arms around him.