Originally penned for the PPSS's Officer & a Gentleman contest.
"I don't understand why I'm here."
The young woman was visibly nervous. She was very out of place in the interview room; her jeans and sweatshirt made her look more like a lost college student than a suspect in an arms smuggling ring.
"We have some questions for you," he replied. He slapped the case file down on the table and she jumped as the sound echoed off the walls.
"I – I don't even know who you are!" she stammered. A blush rose to her pale cheeks, and he felt that inappropriate tug of lust again. "And I've been here for hours, and no one will tell me what's going on!"
A few hours ago, NCIS executed a search warrant on her house. The team turned up nothing significant, but his first image of Ms. Swan - at least his first glimpse of her in person - was unforgettable. When he and the agents burst into her bedroom, she had screamed and jumped out of bed, wearing only a black tank top and pink panties.
Then, out of nowhere, she was swinging around a baseball bat and yelling for them to get the hell out. She must have been sleeping with it, because there was literally no time for her to grab it from anywhere other than her bed. Who slept with a baseball bat?
Edward jerked his attention back to the present, grateful for the jeans and hoodie that hid Ms. Swan's delectable body from his sight.
"I'm Special Agent Edward Cullen," he told her, making sure his voice stayed strong and steady. It didn't feel right to pull the intimidating agent guy routine on someone who seemed who sweet and innocent, but he needed results.
Besides, like Carlisle hammered into their heads again and again – appearances were deceiving. That was why Isabella Swan was the perfect leader for the elusive arms ring they had been tracking for almost two months now. The ring, which they suspected was comprised of two or three major players, managed to smuggle into the country over four hundred million dollars' worth of illegal arms.
"So you're with the FBI?" she asked wearily.
"NCIS," he corrected through his teeth. He'd take a bullet to the nuts before becoming one of those suits. "Now, Ms. Swan, tell me where you were on the night of November fifteenth."
"Bella," she gulped. "Call me Bella."
"The fifteenth?" he repeated curtly.
Bella shrank into her seat. The agent standing before he was unnaturally gorgeous. His hair was a messy crop of bronze spikes, which should have washed out his pale skin but didn't. His eyes were a brilliant green, but they were shrewd and analytical. The way he watched her made Bella uncomfortable.
"I don't remember!" Bella exclaimed. She bit her lip, trying to remember back that far. It was almost two weeks ago! "What day of the week was it?"
He sighed and rubbed a hand over his eyes. "Sunday. It was a Sunday."
"Oh," she sighed in relief. A relieved smile spread across her face. "I was shopping. Christmas shopping, at the mall."
Agent Cullen frowned, circling the table, momentarily disappearing behind her. "Do you have anyone to corroborate that?"
She blushed. "No, I was by myself. But I'm sure there were video cameras in the mall. I mean, surveillance cameras, you know?"
He appeared in her line of vision again, his expression hard. Bella wondered what she said wrong. He reached for the file that he had tossed down onto the table and opened it up.
"I have receipts. And I'm sure I was on camera. I mean, at the stores – "
Agent Cullen took a seat across from her and selected a few photographs from the pile of papers. He slid them across the table to her, cutting off her nervous rambling. "What is your relationship with Jacob Black?"
Her eyebrows puckered together as a small frown crossed her face. She picked up the black and white photos, and her jaw dropped. "Where did you get these? Someone was spying on me?"
"Answer the question," he ordered.
Bella stared at the pictures, suddenly nauseous. They were grainy close-ups of her first date with Jacob, about a month ago. They went to see a movie and then walked around the historic district of Washington.
She eyed the stack of photographs that Agent Cullen hadn't passed to her yet. She spotted candid shots from their second and third dates, too.
The invasion of her privacy was shockingly intense. Bella crossed her arms over her chest and hugged herself, but couldn't reign in her anger. "Did you take these?"
The door to the interrogation room swung open and slammed against the wall. Bella jumped and twisted to look at their new caller. She was beautiful – blonde, slender, with sharply defined features. Despite her beauty, she looked cold-blooded and vicious.
"Do you not understand what's going on?" the new agent asked in a steely voice.
She leaned into Bella until her face was just inches from hers. "You were brought here in the middle of the night, after we raided your house. You just found out that we've been doing surveillance on you for several weeks. Why don't you get it through your thick head that this is a serious matter? Stop giving us the run around!"
Bella sat back in her seat and humiliating tears flooded her eyes. She looked back at Agent Cullen, and while he looked a bit exasperated at the woman's interruption, he didn't seem too upset by it.
"Don't look at him!" she snapped. "Look at me."
"Ms. Swan, this is my partner, Special Agent Rosalie Hale," Agent Cullen explained in a resigned voice.
Bella didn't care who she was. She just wanted to go back home. Or maybe she would take a trip back to Forks, where her father lived. He was the Chief of Police. Charlie would know how to handle this. In fact, he would have handled it the right way from the beginning. He wouldn't have been woken up, in his underwear, by a group of eight guys dressed head to toe in black.
"Jacob is my boyfriend," Bella whispered. She stared at Agent Cullen's hands, afraid to look either of them in the face. "Sort of."
"Your sort of boyfriend?" Agent Hale repeated sarcastically.
"Rose, why don't you go get Bella a cup of coffee?" Agent Cullen interjected.
"I don't think – " she began.
"I do," he said firmly.
He heard the tiny sigh of relief that Isabella released when Rosalie walked out of the room, slamming the door behind her. Rose was a new recruit; a great agent, but still learning. Scared young women, like Isabella, sometimes had to be handled gently, with kid gloves.
Isabella was five feet five inches, maybe, and couldn't weigh more than one fifteen. Long, dark hair tumbled past her shoulders, hitting her mid back. He knew from her file that she graduated with honors from Forks High in Washington, and then went on to graduate school in New York.
She settled in Washington, D.C. to work at a private school for children with disabilities. Her parents were divorced. Her father was the Chief of Police back in Forks and her mother was MIA. Isabella worked from 7am to 5pm most days. She hit the gym twice a week and shopped at an all-natural, alternative grocery store.
Most importantly, though, was the fact that Isabella Swan was romantically involved with Jacob Black. It was his job to find out if their relationship was a professional one, as well. If she wasn't the leader of the arms ring, it was highly likely that Black was.
"You were saying that Jacob Black was your boyfriend," he prompted.
She wiped her eyes again and finally looked him in the face. "Yes. He worked with my father for a couple of months earlier this year."
"Black isn't a cop. He's a Marine," Edward frowned.
Isabella nodded. "I know. He thought he wanted to become an officer, and Charlie hired him on for a trial. I mean, he had training, but he never worked in a real station before."
"Earlier this year, you said?" Edward asked, his pen scratching across a pad of paper. "You've been in D.C. for the past sixteen months, though."
The way Isabella looked at him, so upset and angry, actually made him feel guilty. But hey, he was just doing his job. Carlisle told him to investigate Isabella Swan, and that was what he had done.
"Yes," she finally said. "Charlie called and asked me to show Jacob around. He said Jacob decided on a more federal route of law enforcement, and wanted to see Washington."
"A more federal route?" Edward repeated.
"Well, he was a Marine," Isabella acknowledged. She shrugged. "I assumed he wanted to move upwards from there."
"So you've been dating this guy for a year and you don't even know what he's doing here?"
Isabella immediately scowled. "I haven't been dating him for a year! He hasn't even been here a year. He's been here for six months and we've only been dating for one. And we're not really even dating."
"You're sleeping together," Edward said coolly.
Her jaw dropped and tears sprang to her eyes. "Did you – do you have pictures of that, too?"
He hesitated. "No-o. But we know he stays the night at your place."
"I'm not – it's not like I'm a…a…" Isabella trailed off. "I don't sleep around."
"That's none of my business," Edward hedged.
"But you guys have been watching me for months, right?" Bella said ruefully. "So I guess it is."
Edward cleared his throat. "Where is Black right now?"
Bella hesitated and he immediately shook his head, opening his mouth to start yelling at her. "He left last night. He told me he had an interview in New York and that he would be back in a week."
"A week long interview?" Edward asked doubtfully. "Are you sure that's everything, Isabella?"
Bella closed her eyes. She was so over this. It was like she woke up in the middle of some bad crime drama, and she had no idea how to handle it.
When Bella opened her eyes, she was surprised to see his eyes resting on her mouth. Her jaw fell open a little, in surprise, and he immediately straightened up. "That's it. He took a cab to the airport last night. He'll be back next Saturday."
"So he's leaving you alone for Thanksgiving. Great boyfriend," Edward snorted.
Bella's eyes narrowed a little. She kept catching little glimpses of the Edward Cullen that hid behind the Agent, and she didn't like him, either. He was just painfully beautiful and she couldn't stop staring at him.
"When can I go home?"
"When I'm done asking you questions, Isabella. Maybe if you stop asking me questions, we'll get through this a bit more quickly."
"Do I need a lawyer?" Bella asked scathingly.
"I don't know. Are you guilty?" he shot back.
Isabella lifted her jaw. "Stop calling me Isabella. My name is Bella. And no, I'm not guilty."
Edward asked her a few more questions, but she didn't really know too much about Black's background. Or if she did, she wasn't telling him. He checked his watch and realized they had been at it for over two hours.
"All right. Come on, I'll take you home," he said, standing up. He shuffled the papers back into a pile and shoved them into the folder.
"And that's it?" Bella asked, standing up. "I'm all done?"
"We might have more questions for you later," Edward shrugged. He held open the door and Bella squeezed by him, her chest brushing his. He noted with pleasure the way her cheeks grew a fiery red. She would never get away with lying.
"Well, if you do have more questions, try not to barge into my house at two o'clock in the morning," she said cheekily. "My phone works."
He ignored her and Bella felt a stab of annoyance. She hurried to keep up with him; he was a lot taller than her and his legs were much longer. NCIS Headquarters was still buzzing with activity, despite the very late – or very early – hour.
"Are there always people here?" Bella asked curiously. "Like do you guys work night shifts, too?"
Agent Cullen stopped short and whirled around. Unprepared, Bella slammed into his chest. He grabbed her shoulders to still her and stared at her intensely.
"Why all the questions?" he asked, his green eyes burning into hers. "For Black?"
Bella let out a little squeak and, realizing he was holding too tightly, Agent Cullen immediately released her.
"No! Of course not!" she replied, sounding hurt. "I don't know what you people think Jacob did, but whatever it is, he didn't. Jacob is a nice guy."
He smirked at that and Bella resisted the urge to smack him. She didn't know much about NCIS, or how it operated, but she figured slugging one of their officers would land her ass in another tiny, windowless room.
"And who is this lovely lady?" a booming voice asked.
Agent Cullen straightened up and took a step away from her. "Emmett, this is Isabella Swan. Black's girlfriend. I'm driving her home."
"Special Agent Emmett McCarty," he introduced himself. Unlike Edward, who was dressed in a dark grey suit, Agent McCarty wore a pair of jeans and a flannel shirt. He had curly dark hair, dimples, and dark eyes.
"Hi," Bella smiled, shaking his hand. Agent McCarty seemed like the first relatively cordial person she had met at NCIS so far.
"I'll join you for the ride," Agent McCarty offered. He gave Agent Cullen a not-too-gentle shove to get him moving. "Hurry up. Carlisle is looking for us."
The NCIS agents drove a black, nondescript SUV. How stereotypical, Bella mused. She sat in the back seat and watched Agent Cullen drive. His hands, large but graceful, took turns on the steering wheel and Bella found herself unable to look away.
She imagined what those hands would feel like on her body. Bella wondered, not for the first time that night, if Agent Cullen had been one of the men in her bedroom earlier. If so, he saw her almost naked.
The idea made her stomach do somersaults.
Agent McCarty was chatting away about Rosalie, whom Bella knew as Special Agent Cold Bitch, and someone named Alice. Bella's eyelids began to get heavier, and she snuggled into the corner of the SUV and let them close, thinking of Agent Cullen.
It was a thirty minute drive from her house to NCIS Headquarters, but when she was asleep it only took about two minutes. Or so it felt.
"Isabella? We're here."
Bella rubbed her eyes and sat up, feeling properly grumpy now. "Bella. My name is Bella."
"Bella," Agent Cullen exaggerated. "We're here. At your house."
He twisted around in his seat and handed her a business card. "If Black contacts you, let him know we're looking for him. We have a few questions for him."
She nodded and accepted the business card. Bella shoved it into the pouch of her hoodie and climbed out of the car. She waved and shut the door, but he didn't drive away. Bella stifled a sigh, realizing that he was waiting for her to get inside safely.
Bella waved one more time and then turned around. It was still dark outside, but the edges of the horizon were more of a purple than the inky darkness that coated the rest of the sky. It was chilly, too, so Bella hurried along her front walk.
Her front door was open. Just a little – just a few inches – but it was definitely closed when she left. Maybe the NCIS guys forgot to shut it when they left? No, she was pretty sure Agent Cullen told her they would lock up when they were done.
She heard his voice behind her, calling her. Bella turned slowly, but he was already halfway to her, gun drawn and at the ready.
"Get back in the car," he said roughly.
Bella looked at the car and saw Agent McCarty talking quickly into his cell. He came around to the front of the car and pulled open the back door, gesturing for her to get back inside.
"Get back in the car!" Agent Cullen demanded. "Go, Bella!"
He was just two feet from her door, his head cocked like he was listening for any noises.
"It's okay," Bella began to say. "It's probably just – "
She felt a thick arm slip around her body and a hand clamp over her mouth. Bella tried to scream but then Agent McCarty began whispering in her ear.
"Be quiet and get in the car. This is a direct order, Bella. You need to listen to me. Nod if you understand," he said urgently.
Bella nodded and he dropped her into the backseat, shutting the door. The car locked automatically. Bella sat up and plastered herself to the window, staring at the two federal agents prowling her front yard.
Agent Cullen nodded at the front door and McCarty nodded back at him. She held her breath, heart pounding, as the two men disappeared into her house with their guns drawn.
An eternity seemed to stretch out between the time the agents left her and when they reappeared. Agent McCarty was on the phone again. Agent Cullen looked grim. He approached the car, his eyes on her face the entire time.
"What's going on?" she asked breathlessly.
He held the car door open while she climbed out of the SUV. "You need to pack a bag."
"Why? What's wrong? Is…did something happen inside?" Bella asked frantically. Jake – what if Jake –
"Someone was here after us. They ransacked the house. It's not safe for you to stay here tonight," he said seriously.
"It's almost morning," Bella pointed out. "Besides, I don't have anywhere to go."
"Then check into a hotel," Agent Cullen replied in a clipped tone. "You're not staying here."
Bella shoved past him, her shoulder brushing against him. "You can't make me leave. I'm cold, I'm tired and I'm hungry. I'm not going anywhere."
He moved quickly, following her closely, and just before she reached the front door he grabbed her arm. Bella jerked to a stop and slammed against his chest. "Hey – "
"Bella, listen to me," he said softly. His closeness rendered Bella dumb. She couldn't think, or pull away, or even breathe. He was still holding on to her arm, and if Bella just leaned forward a tiny bit, their lips would meet. "The only way you can stay here is if you have an agent inside with you and a couple outside. And the only reason the agency would even agree to this would be in the hopes that Jacob comes back."
"He's not coming back until Saturday," Bella whispered.
Agent Cullen sighed and looked upward, obviously trying to compose himself. His grip on her arm loosened and he took a step back. "Bella, you need to understand something. Jacob never left. He's not who you think he is. He's dangerous, and if he thinks you could somehow get in his way or lead us to him, he won't hesitate to hurt you."
Bella crossed her arms over her chest and shifted her weight from side to side. Her eyes dropped to the pavement. Edward steeled himself. He knew what was coming.
When Bella looked up, her big brown eyes were wet with tears. His gut twisted and Edward vehemently wished that Emmett was with him. He was terrible with tears, but Emmett could crack a joke and the ladies swooned and then all was well again.
"Will you stay with me?" Bella whispered.
She was practically trembling in the cold night air, looking so sad, and he felt the urge to scoop her up and tuck her into bed. Edward already knew he was attracted to Bella. The smart thing to do would be to call in another agent. No one would question that decision, especially since he had already worked the majority of the night.
If he was honest with himself, though, he didn't want to leave Bella. Her photos and history had dominated his thoughts and haunted his dreams for weeks. NCIS had definitely put her through the ringer and now she stood before him, looking so vulnerable and fragile. He felt his resolve begin to weaken.
He would catch hell from Emmett. If Carlisle ever found out that he was attracted to Bella and jumped at the chance to be her personal bodyguard, he'd probably be given desk duty for a month. But…he could tell them how she specifically asked for him, and that he and Bella had bonded. And the only way they would get more information out of her about Black was if she trusted him…
Yeah, it would be good for the investigation.
Edward briefly, and longingly, thought of his California king-sized bed. He wanted to take a hot shower and just crash for a good fifteen hours. Instead, he sighed. "Let me tell Emmett."
She wiped the tears from her cheeks and gave him a weak smile. "Thanks."
Twenty minutes later, Edward found himself seated in the kitchen. Bella had asked him if he wanted anything to eat and he declined. When she began pulling food out of the refrigerator and cabinets, he realized that his stomach felt otherwise.
He watched Bella flit around the kitchen. She moved gracefully in here, and for that he was grateful. In the course of his surveillance of Bella Swan, he estimated that she tripped or fell at least four times a week.
The kitchen slowly came to life. The sounds and smells of coffee brewing, French toast sizzling on the griddle and eggs frying stirred his appetite even as they lulled him into a more relaxed state. He was dangerously tired and the friendly sounds of the kitchen, for some reason, made him sleepier.
"Would you like a cup of coffee?" Bella asked, turning to look at him. She wiped her wet hands on her jeans.
Bella felt some of her tension ease when Agent Cullen nodded. She couldn't believe that she asked him to stay. It was kind of humiliating. Now she was stuck with this godlike creature in her kitchen, and she had no idea what to do with him.
She fixed his coffee and snuck another look at him. Agent Cullen sat at her kitchen table, his spine perfectly straight despite his obvious fatigue. His dark suit was beginning to look wrinkled and at some point while she was cooking, he had loosened his tie. Bella tried not to pant or lick her lips when she set the steaming mug in front of him.
"Thanks," he said.
The food only took another five minutes. Bella fixed him a plate, despite his earlier refusal. He looked up at her, his green eyes sleepy and surprised, when she placed the full plate in front of him.
"Wow, you didn't have to…this looks amazing," Agent Cullen admitted. He picked up his fork and dug into the French toast. Bella heard a deep moan in his chest. "This is amazing."
She squeezed her legs together, unable to stop the sound of his moan from echoing in her head. The way he ate – closing his eyes with each bite, throat muscles contracting as he swallowed, the look of rapture on his face; they all made her throb with longing. She noticed, with great appreciation, that after each bite of French toast, Agent Cullen licked his lips. That simple action stoked the slow-burning fire within her.
"You're not eating," he observed, finally glancing up from his food.
Bella practically jumped out of her seat. She wondered how long she had been staring at him, and quickly picked up her knife and fork. After cutting up her French toast, she reached for the maple syrup that rested between them on the table, hoping to hide her blush by simply not looking at him. They ate in silence and were done in ten minutes.
He tried to help clear the table but she practically shoved him out of the kitchen. She needed a few moments away from him, away from his intoxicating presence. Bella took her time cleaning and putting things away, until nearly twenty minutes had passed.
To be honest, she was very disconcerted with Agent Cullen's presence. Bella never before experienced such an intense and immediate attraction to someone. Sure, she had admired physical beauty before, but Agent Cullen's appearance wasn't his only dangerous feature. Being around him, around his voice and the way he moved and smelled; it was seductive. She was aroused.
It embarrassed her. Even worse, she knew she couldn't trust him. Her stomach turned every time she thought of those photographs. Someone had been watching her for weeks. Maybe even months. Was it him? What if she left him alone, would he snoop through her things?
The idea panicked her and Bella rushed into the living room. Agent Cullen was sitting on her couch, his head thrown back and his eyes closed. She breathed a huge sigh of relief.
Bella grabbed a blanket out of the closet. She knew that her house had just been picked over quite thoroughly by a team of NCIS Agents, but the idea of Agent Cullen doing it so sneakily scared her. She arranged the blanket over him, touching him as little as possible, and then tip-toed away.
She decided to take a shower before getting in bed. She needed to wash away the grime of the past seven hours.
Edward jerked awake, his hand already at his side, reaching for his gun. His arm's movement was restricted by fabric – a blanket. He stood up and tossed the blanket off, adrenaline coursing through his veins.
He did a quick sweep of the kitchen and stalked down the hallway. He was angry at himself for falling asleep, and even angrier at Bella for letting him. She still didn't understand what kind of danger she was in.
Without bothering to knock, he threw her bedroom door open.
Bella stood not even five feet from him, wearing nothing but a pair of blue panties and a terrified expression.
His honed instincts took in the entire scene in a split second. Her clothes from before were in a pile on the floor. There was one damp towel on the floor and another on the bed.
Bella's hair was curlier and darker when it was wet, cascading down her back. Her skin was just as he remembered, porcelain and flawless. The blue panties were low-rise and skimmed the bottom of her hips.
He followed the line of her body up, until he finally saw what he had been fantasizing about for the past five hours – her bare chest, without that damned black tank top in the way.
Her breasts sat high on her chest. They weren't big – maybe a B cup, but they were fucking perfect. Light pink nipples, currently standing at attention, pointed slightly up. Edward felt his groin tighten and both of his hands itched to palm her breasts.
It took a full three glorious seconds for Bella to throw her arms up and cover her chest. It wasn't until she had covered herself that Edward was able to move his eyes upward. Her cheeks were red and Bella's eyes were bright with tears.
He suppressed what could only be described as a growl, and slammed the door shut in his own face. Edward released his breath, unaware that he had been holding it, and leaned across the wall opposite her door. The hallway was dark and the rest of the house was quiet. He could hear muffled noises as Bella got dressed.
When the door finally opened, Bella's cheeks were still flushed. She still looked embarrassed, but there was no sign of tears. He felt marginally relieved. Then she bit her lip and Edward felt the front of his slacks tighten even more.
"Why did you let me fall asleep?" he asked stiffly. He watched Bella's expression change to one of disappointment, and maybe anger.
"You didn't tell me it was my job to keep you awake," she said after a beat. Her voice was oddly indifferent.
Agent Cullen scowled. "It's not…I shouldn't have fallen asleep. But you didn't need to give me a blanket! You need to realize what's going on. I'm here to protect you. How am I supposed to save your life if I'm asleep on your couch?"
Bella flinched at his scathing tone. "I don't care what you say. Jake would never hurt me."
"Jake is a scumbag," he hissed. Edward immediately knew it was the wrong thing to say, because Bella blanched like he punched her in the gut or something.
"I think you should go," Bella said softly. "I appreciate your concern, Agent Cullen. I have your card, so if I think of anything else, or if I hear from Jake before Saturday, I'll call you."
Edward felt his cell phone vibrate in his pocket. He flipped it open and skimmed the text message before returning his attention to Bella. "Call me Edward. And I will go, but only because my leave is here. Rose is staying with you for the next twelve hours. I'll be back tonight."
"You're – you're coming back, tonight?" she stammered, alarmed.
He held up his phone. "It was just confirmed. You've officially been named at risk and have been assigned NCIS protective detail until we locate Black."
By the time he returned to Bella's house that night, she had locked herself in her bedroom. Rosalie shrugged innocently when he asked why and launched into a briefing about Black and the progress they had made during the course of the day.
NCIS located his abandoned vehicle at the local train station. They were reviewing security tapes, but Carlisle had a hunch that it was just a fake out and he was still in the area. His passport had been tagged and his photo was circulating.
Carlisle was pissed off because something went wrong last night. NCIS acted only because they thought Black was still inside the house, and they were ready to take him into custody. Someone messed up, though, because no one saw Black leave the house. He must have somehow known they were watching.
After Rosalie left, Edward knocked on Bella's door to let her know that he had arrived. "Bella, Rosalie just left. I'm taking over for the night. There are two other agents outside."
"Okay," she called through the door. "There are cold cuts in the fridge. If you want something, help yourself."
He took her dismissal with a grain of salt. It was better this way; she would be less of a temptation. He wandered into the living room and put on the television. He kept the volume on its softest level. When Bella went to bed, he would mute it.
Bella's bedroom didn't open until nearly midnight. He stood up to greet her but she scurried into the bathroom before he could even say hello. Edward sat back down, stewing. She wanted him here. She asked him specifically to stay, and now she wasn't even talking to him.
It shouldn't have upset him, but it did.
When the bathroom door opened, Edward was standing right outside of it. Bella jumped and stifled a scream. A short burst of laughter escaped him, but then she smacked his arm as hard as she could and he winced.
"You keep telling me that my life is in danger and then you sneak up on me like that?" Bella snapped. "What is wrong with you?"
He didn't say anything, just rubbed his arm. She quickly lost her steam and then had the decency to look ashamed.
"Sorry I hit you," she mumbled.
"It's ok," he shrugged. "You hit like a girl."
Bella's eyes narrowed and she stormed away from him. "Where's the suit?"
"That's only for the office," Edward replied, following Bella into the kitchen. "Are you making dinner?"
A hint of a smile played at her lips, but she shook her head. He watched her gaze fall to his hips, taking in the black gun holster. The smile faded and when her eyes met his, they appeared anxious.
"Don't worry. You're safe," he murmured, his voice coming out huskier than intended.
"You really think Jake…" she trailed off. Bella sighed and shook her head, unable to complete the thought.
Edward took a step closer to her. She kept her head down, so he leaned forward to whisper in her ear. "I know he did. But I don't think you had anything to do with it, if that means anything." What? Since when?
Her arms came up and around his neck so quickly that Edward nearly lost his balance. His hands instinctively went to her waist. He was suddenly surrounded by Bella; her scent, the erotic touch of her silky hair on his skin, little puffs of her hot breath against his throat.
Was she crying? He couldn't tell. She kept pushing against him though, until her hips bumped against his. Edward tried to detach himself from the situation. He ran through training exercises in his head, began to run the multiplication tables, and then inventoried all the illegal arms that Jacob Black smuggled into the country.
Nothing worked. Nothing made him forget that Bella was wrapped around him, crying quietly into his shoulder.
"Edward," she breathed.
He felt her hair slide across his skin as she raised her head, tilting it up so she could look at him. He closed his eyes briefly, and then looked down at her.
"Bella," he said. It was supposed to come out as a question, but it sounded more like a plea.
Edward tried to untangle her arms from his neck. He tried to step away. He tried to stop breathing so he wouldn't get drunk off her scent. And when he saw Bella tilt her head, just the slightest bit, and then push up on her tip-toes, he tried to step away…
But he didn't.
Bella made a sound of contentment when her lips touched his. Edward stayed still; maybe it was just a chaste, innocent kiss. He didn't want to misread her and embarrass them both even further by jumping her.
Then Bella applied more pressure and tugged his lower lip between hers. She made another noise, and this one was a desperate little cry for more. He felt the hot, wet swipe of her tongue, and that was when his restraint snapped. Edward walked her backward, until they hit the kitchen wall.
He ducked his head lower, so Bella could reach him more easily, and finally began participating in the kiss. She moaned when he sandwiched her against the wall. Their mouths warred for dominance and a thrill ran through him. No other woman had stood up to him so thoroughly. He won, and as he led the kiss, Bella reached up and fisted her hands into his hair, tugging him closer.
Completely lost in Bella, he pinned her against the wall with his hips. He felt one hand leave his hair and skim its way down his side. Edward felt her grind against him again, still trying to get the upper hand, and a groan rumbled in his chest.
His job wasn't really girlfriend-friendly. Look at Carlisle; he was on wife number four – but Esme seemed like she was good for him.
Edward dated often, had a lot of one night stands, but nothing like this. Just a few kisses and gropes with Bella had him harder and more aroused than he had been in the past year.
Bella's hand moved across his stomach, and Edward felt his abdominal muscles clench. Mental images of Bella topless assaulted him and he eagerly slid his hands to the hem of her t-shirt.
She placed both hands on his sides and squeezed, then began to slide them down. Edward pulled away to warn her, but before he could her left hand landed on his gun. She jerked away, as if she had been burned by the cold metal.
"Sorry," he apologized. Edward pulled it out of the holster and placed it on the kitchen table. Then he undid the holster and laid it next to the gun.
When he turned back to Bella, her eyes weren't on him. She didn't look very eager to resume their previous activities, either. In fact, she looked vaguely ill. There was a long, quiet moment as she stared at the gun and took it in.
"I forgot," she said finally. Bella straightened her shirt and smoothed her hair. "I don't – I don't think it's a good idea for us to – "
"I know," he sighed. "I'm sorry, Bella. I shouldn't have let it get that far."
"I'm the one who kissed you," she replied ruefully.
He couldn't help but smile. "It's not like I pushed you away or anything."
She blushed but smiled, too. "Are you hungry? I could probably find something to make for you."
"No, don't worry about it. If I get too hungry I'll just make myself a sandwich."
"Okay. Um…I think I'll go to bed, then," Bella said awkwardly. "Good night."
"Night," Edward replied. He watched her walk away, and then picked up his gun. He left the holster on the table and settled in the living room for a long, long night.
He did sweeps of the house every half hour. Bella would probably kill him if she knew he peeked into her room, but he had to check. Around four a.m., noises in the back of the house caught his attention.
Edward stood and picked his Sig P228 up off the coffee table. He glanced out of the front window and then stealthily crept along the hallway.
There. He heard it again.
There was a noise coming from Bella's room. Edward silently padded closer, ready to attack. He hit the speed dial button on his cell and Emmett answered wordlessly.
"Her bedroom," Edward whispered, and then hung up. He heard Bella moan and his heart sped up. Could Black have made it passed it and already incapacitated Bella?
Hoping to catch Black by surprise, Edward hunched down low and looked through the open door, grateful that he had kept it cracked open during one of his earlier rounds. Bella moaned again, just as softly as earlier, and Edward sprang into action.
He burst into the room, making virtually no noise, but there was no one there. He checked the windows and the closet, then under the bed.
Edward sighed and ran a hand through his hair. He was sweating. He hit the redial button and, much to Emmett's displeasure, called him off.
He sat down on the corner of Bella's bed and inhaled deeply. Bella shifted in the bed and her blanket, stuck under his ass, pulled off her body. The blue panties mocked him, barely covering her curves. The black tank top was back in place. She rolled over, facing him, and sighed again.
She began squirming in her sleep, moving around way too much to be comfortable. Edward grabbed her wrists, holding them lightly. "Hey, Bella, wake up. Bella? It's a dream."
"Edward," she moaned.
"Yeah," he muttered, entranced by the way she said his name. It wasn't until he pulled his eyes away from her delicate collarbone that Edward realized she was still asleep. It was dangerous to be so close to her like this. His thumbs began to rub little circles on her inner wrists.
Her eyes fluttered open and Bella stared up at him. She blinked a few times and he watched the realization dawn in her eyes. He tensed, anticipating the freak out, but Bella surprised him.
When she tried to move he released her wrists, but instead of pushing him away she pulled him closer.
"Bella," he began. "We – "
"Shut up," she replied, her voice thick from sleep. "Come here."
Edward let her arrange him on top of her but held his weight off of her with his elbows. He hovered above her, unsure of what to do, but then Bella wriggled out of the blankets. She hooked one bare leg around him and his hand instinctually went to grab it.
The touch of her smooth, warm skin sent his heart racing again. She reached up and cupped his face between her hands and Edward saw her throat move as she swallowed. Bella licked her lips and communicated, with her eyes, very clearly what she wanted.
He kissed her, hard, and the sexual frustration they had both been feeling for the past few hours thickened the air around them. She wrapped her other leg around him in an attempt to bring him down on top of her.
It worked, and when Edward was finally on top of her she could feel every delicious line of his body. His arousal, long, thick and hard, pressed firmly against her thigh.
"Take your clothes off," she said brokenly, trying to control her ragged breathing.
He didn't roll off of her, but twisted and moved back and forth to pull his shirt over his head and shuck his pants. He felt Bella gasp as he settled back on top of her, his naked flesh pressed against hers.
"Get rid of this," he murmured against her lips, his fingers teasing the soft skin underneath the hem of her tank top. "Now."
"Yes, sir," she teased.
The heated look he was giving her intensified and Bella hurried to satisfy him. She tossed the shirt over his shoulder and shivered when he gazed down hungrily at her chest. Edward dropped his head to her neck, trailing messy kisses past her collarbone, down to her breasts. She shivered, not from cold but from arousal, and her nipples puckered tightly.
He nuzzled her breasts gently, the tip of his nose driving her crazy, and just when Bella was about to beg him for more, Edward brushed his cheek against her nipple and then sucked it into his mouth.
She cried out in surprise and pleasure, arching against his hot mouth. His hips rubbed against her and she felt his erection burning her thigh. She reached between them and grasped it with one hand, trying to stroke him. Edward groaned, and her nipple slipped out of his mouth. He pressed his hips against her even harder, stilling her hand.
"No – you can't," he shook his head. "I'll – I'm too close."
His words made her insides glow with satisfaction, and before she even knew what happened, Edward yanked her panties down her legs. His hand slipped between them, gently touching and feeling. Bella blushed, embarrassed at how wet she was.
"Bella, you're so," he paused to kiss her ferociously. His fingers played over her sex, teasing her, making her climb impossible heights. "So wet. I fucking love it."
"I can't wait any longer," she breathed, beginning to writhe underneath him.
He nodded and Bella watched his long fingers grasp his own erection, pumping it twice before positioning himself at her entrance. Bella closed her eyes, unable to watch because it was too intense. She would die of pleasure before they even got to the good stuff.
Edward slid inside of her in one long, excruciatingly slow movement. Bella trembled underneath him and her walls gripped him tightly. He began thrusting in and out of her, every muscle in his body rigid to the point of pain as he tried to stave off his orgasm.
Bella clung to him, whimpering each time he thrust inside of her. "Deeper. Please."
She heard his breathing become shallower. His hips began to pump faster and she could tell how difficult it was for him to maintain a steady pace.
"I'm almost – oh, God, Edward," she whispered, biting down on her lip.
Edward felt the first glimmers of her orgasm and watched Bella throw her head back against her pillow, her muscle tendons straining. Her body tightened and her walls began to ripple around him, squeezing him, milking him until he was pushed over the edge.
"Jesus Christ, Bella," he groaned. He collapsed on top of her and Bella hugged him tightly, not letting him take his weight off of her. "You're amazing."
"You too, Agent Cullen," she smiled sleepily. She stretched, and looked very much like a woman satisfied.
Edward buried his face into her neck, nuzzling and kissing her. She giggled and her hands played with his hair. He hadn't felt so relaxed in such a long time – longer than he could remember.
And then – reality hit him. Did he just fuck one of his charges? Edward broke the first rule they were ever taught. Never get involved with someone who is part of your investigation.
Worst of all, Carlisle hadn't even cleared Bella yet. Edward had just fucked one of Carlisle's favorite suspects in the country's worst arms smuggling rings in twenty years.
He was so fucked.