Author's Note: I'm still in the process of trying to pick my jaw up off the floor in response to the reviews y'all left. Seriously, I'm in awe. You all blew me away with your response to the last two chapters. I try to respond to most reviews, but if I missed yours, I apologize; I am grateful for each and every one of you. So, THANK YOU…keep 'em coming!
Also, Leah, thank you for beta'ing…from now on, I shall refer to you as "quality control." :) Also, twitter h00rs...HEY! Ayden, I hope this makes you do a happy dance and, Amy, I know it will you!
So, yeah, here's Edward's point of view from the kiss. I know it's a little out of order in regards to the story time, but I think you'll all be pleased and happy with the little bit of insight you're being given into his mind.
Chapter 9: Jack and Kiss
I watched as Bella made her way to the door, forcing myself to tear my eyes away from the alluring sway of her hips before she slid through the small opening. How I had never managed to recognize her beauty and allure before this week, I would never know or be able to explain.
Sighing loudly as she disappeared into the house, I plopped down onto the wooden floor of the deck next to Emmett and held out my hand, palm facing up. If I was going to endure another night without experiencing the feel of her lips on mine, I was going to need another drink.
Emmett obliged my request, placing a nearly overflowing shot glass full of whiskey in my palm. I downed it quickly, enjoying the burn of the liquid as it slid down my throat.
"Another?" he asked with a cheesy grin that seemed permanently plastered on his face.
He wouldn't have been smiling if he knew how upset I was with him for taking Bella away from me prematurely twice in the same day.
I shook my head back and forth with a frown. "Nah, man," I said, holding up my hand to stop him from pouring. "I'm good."
He nodded his head, sticking his tongue out a little as he poured more for himself. Damn, he had the liver of an ox or something.
We sat there in silence, the sound of the ocean replacing conversation. Emmett drank; all I could do was think about Bella and the crazy magnetic pull that had formed between us during the past three days. I was thankful that Emmett had fallen into a drunken stupor—I didn't want to answer the questions a sober Emmett would have undoubtedly asked.
From the moment Bella had joined us at the bonfire on Saturday night, there had been something different about her. She seemed happy, content with her life and where it had taken her and so damned beautiful. I was certain she hadn't been that breathtaking in college, otherwise I would have noticed. I would have, right?
My developing feelings for her had only snowballed from that night forward. In barely three days, she had turned my world around and had me looking at her in a way I never would have imagined.
Everything about her had captivated me. From the little red bikini that she had worn on the beach to the understanding smile that had spread across her face when I told her about my fucked up relationship with Tanya, every move she made had me falling for her a little bit more.
With sudden clarity, I knew what I needed to do.
I needed to kiss her.
I climbed the stairs two at a time, anxious to get to Bella and hopeful that she wasn't already asleep. It was possible, though, that even if she was already in dreamland that I might wake her up anyway, preferably with my lips.
When I arrived at the end of the hall to the room that I knew was Bella's, I saw that her door was slightly ajar. Relief poured through me as I noticed the light streaking through the crack–she hadn't gone to bed yet.
I rapped my knuckles against the wood gently, not wanting to startle her or wake up any of our sleeping friends. When she didn't answer, I pushed the door open slowly, peeking my head through the opening before following with my body.
Her room was empty. At least she isn't asleep.
Hearing water running in the bathroom, I assumed she was going through her nightly routine. Rather than running to her and attacking her lips, I settled for waiting, leaning my hip against the doorway and folding my arms across my chest patiently.
Nothing, though, could prepare me for the way she took my breath away when she exited the bathroom, her toothbrush hanging from her mouth as her hair fell around her shoulders in loose waves. Never in my life had I witnessed a woman looking so perfect as she innocently prepared for sleep. Her skin was practically radiant from the sun that had kissed her earlier on the beach.
And, good God, what was she wearing? The tank top she had on was damn near see-thru and the shorts might as well have been underwear. Every perfect, creamy inch of her long legs was exposed and it took everything within me not to rush to her side and rub my hands across her thighs before sneaking my fingers beneath the hem of her shorts to cup her backside.
She gasped and jumped a little, clearly surprised by my presence in the doorway. Hell, I was a little surprised at my presence in her doorway, so it made sense that she was, too.
She said my name before holding up her finger and dashing into the bathroom to rinse out her mouth, giving me a delicious view of her backside as she hightailed it out of the room.
When she reappeared moments later, I began to purposefully stride towards her. As I got closer, I noticed the tiny freckles that the sun had brought out on her shoulders and immediately wanted to run my fingers across them.
This is it, Cullen.
She whispered, "Hi," in a sweet, breathless voice as we drew closer to each other.
I felt like a damn teenager again, nervously trying (or hoping) to kiss a girl at the end of the first date while her parents waited inside. I suppose the situation was somewhat similar, except our friends had replaced our parents. Thinking about it, they were probably worse than our parents in terms of pestering and bad timing.
Her mouth was moving again, questioning my presence in her room, and I had to stop her. If she said something too loudly and woke up our friends, it was possible that my head would explode with annoyance before I kissed her silly in front of them.
I held my index finger up to her lips to keep her from asking the question that I was going to answer momentarily with my actions, not my words. Wrapping my arms around her tiny waist, I pulled her closer to me as I removed my finger from her lips slowly and trailed it up her jaw.
The feel of her body so close to mine as I cupped her head in my palm was more than enough motivation to keep our friends away. We couldn't have another interruption. As I threaded my fingers through her silky hair, I reminded her to be quiet again.
"Where's Emmett?" She whispered and I couldn't help but chuckle. The tone of her voice mirrored my annoyance with our friend.
I couldn't pass on the opportunity to joke with her, so I fibbed and told her that he was passed out on the deck. Of course he wasn't, because I had dragged him in myself before setting off on my mission.
"Edward," she said in a scolding tone, looking worried and kind of like she might run downstairs to check on him. Her tiny hand swatted me gently on the chest and I resisted the urge to hold it to me.
Reflexively, I pulled her closer to me and told her that he was safe and sound, passed out on the couch downstairs. Relief washed over her lovely features as her gaze fell on my chest.
The air settled around us in those moments, nearly crackling with the unresolved tension that had been building since our flirtations on the beach earlier in the day.
"Bella," I murmured gently and her eyes lifted to meet mine. In a low, warning tone I said, "I'm going to kiss you now."
Warning her probably wasn't necessary, but I felt that she needed one more chance to back away; to keep whatever was between us firmly in the friend zone if she so desired.
Please, please stay.
She continued to hold my gaze, her eyes holding no traces of fear or hesitation. Still, I was afraid to move too fast. Slowly, gently, I pressed my lips against hers. The minty flavor of her toothpaste was prominent, but there was something else, something uniquely Bella lying beneath the surface that tasted sweeter than I ever could have imagined.
Never before had I been so fucking turned on by innocent kissing. It was ridiculous, really, how quickly I felt myself harden as her lips ghosted across mine.
Desire assaulted my system as her hands slid up and over my shoulders before settling into my hair; it was evident that she wanted this as much as I did. When she pulled me closer to her and deepened the kiss, I was done for, finished, my patience for slow, teasing pecks thrown out the window.
Groaning into her mouth as she raked her manicured fingernails across my scalp, I pulled my hand out of her hair and dragged it down to her hipbone, careful to avoid brushing my fingers across her breast as I did. It would have been too much to handle in that moment, a stepping-stone to something I wasn't ready for just yet.
The kisses we were exchanging had escalated quickly, going from sweet and innocent to frenzied and desperate in a matter of seconds.
I needed more. Gripping my hands to her hips, I turned us, gently lifting her until she was seated on the dresser. It was a damn good thing the surface was empty except for a small lamp; anything there would have been swept to the floor and likely broken.
Her legs hung around me loosely and I took the opportunity to feel the creamy, smooth skin of her legs beneath my fingers. Sliding my hands across her thighs quickly and hoping that I would be able to truly appreciate them at a later date, I grasped behind her knees and pulled her legs up so that they would wrap around my hips.
The feeling as she folded in to me, our bodies molding together perfectly, was indescribable.
"So beautiful," I murmured into her skin as I began to trail kisses along her jaw and down her neck, taking my time to savor the taste of the sweet skin that rested above her pulse. "Perfect, Bella. You taste so…" I couldn't come up with a word that seemed to capture her essence, so I quit trying.
I was greedy, wanting to kiss every inch of her before coming up for air, but knew that I had to be slow, careful. After appreciating her neck enough to sate myself for the time being, I returned my lips to hers, this time kissing her slowly, deeply. Our lips met again and again, our tongues dancing together in a rhythm that could only be described as natural and innate.
Breathing, unfortunately, became necessary and I pulled away leisurely, refusing to lose complete contact from her body as I rested my forehead against hers. If I'd had my way, I would have kissed her until I was blue in the face.
"I couldn't sleep without feeling your lips first," I whispered in an astounded tone. Her breath blew across my face, hot and heavy—her scent distracted me from continuing my statement further.
She was smiling up at me, her eyes shining. "And?" she asked. Her voice was breathy and light, comfortable.
"And, fuck, why didn't we do that before?" I asked, truly wanting to know the answer. Kissing Bella had been beyond description, like nothing I had experienced in the past.
She giggled, such a beautiful sound, and her head fell back to expose her neck to me. A growl emerged from my throat and I attached my lips to it without thinking, needing desperately to taste her again. My hands were on her thighs then, pulling her closer to me as her heated center met the hardness that I wasn't even trying to hide.
As I kissed and nipped down her neck and across her collarbone she answered in a weak tone, "We were otherwise spoken for."
Ah, yes, Jake and Tanya. Damn them.
I hated myself for allowing either of us to waste time on anyone but each other and wondered how we had managed to slip through each other's fingers before. I'm sure there was some universal answer for our failing to connect in the past, something about fate and timing, but it still left me bothered.
"Right, that," I mumbled as my fingers began to explore the frayed edge of her ribbed tank.
"I like this tank top," I blurted out before my brain could process what I was saying. More important than the tank top, I liked that I could feel the heat of her skin emanating from beneath the thin material as her soft body pressed against mine, her nipples hard against my chest.
My lips met the hinge of her jaw. "Mmhmmm," she agreed as I continued to make a trail with my kisses, stopping abruptly to bite down gently on her earlobe.
I wanted to feel the skin that had teased me on the beach, so I did, sliding my fingers beneath the tank top as my lips left her earlobe and returned to her jaw. I kneaded the skin of her stomach, spreading my fingers wide as I felt the tips of them brush against the underside of her breasts.
Later, I knew I would allow my hands to rise further, but not tonight. Tonight was only the first step, the testing of the waters, to see if this thing between us was real. From what I could gather so far, it was more than real…it was on fire.
My lips were on hers again and I forced myself to pull away. I knew that if I continued to claim her with my lips, stopping wouldn't be possible until I claimed her with my body.
Three quick kisses and I spoke the three words that I desperately fought.
"I should go."
The words were painful to say because I wanted nothing more than to stay, to make her completely mine. I was aware, regrettably, that it would be a monumental mistake to fuck her after only three days of sexual tension, even if waiting for only a few more would be painful.
Damn, she was biting her lip. "Okay." Disappointment flashed through her eyes, boosting my ego. I wanted to lean forward and pull her lip free, but knew where my actions would lead and forced myself to stop.
I unwound her legs from around my waist and helped her off the dresser so that I was standing between her legs, our bodies flush against each other. Reaching up, I cupped her soft cheek in the palm of my hand.
"Thank you for agreeing to be my date," I said lamely. It wasn't exactly the suave statement I had been shooting for as her eyes mesmerized me.
"Mmhmm," she answered in a dazed, dreamy tone. The air around us was still frenzied, practically crackling with lust.
"And for letting me kiss you…" I added. That's better.
She grinned and I reveled in the fact that I had made her happy. "I assure you it was my pleasure," she said as her hands came up to settle on my face.
I licked my lips, so damn thrilled that she had enjoyed our encounter and promised her that it would be happening again. Her hands slid into my hair and I bit back a groan. "I hope so," I murmured.
I needed to go. If I didn't, I wouldn't be leaving until morning. "Goodnight," I said but made no move to leave. She was going to have to make that move.
She giggled again, the noise making me rethink leaving altogether, and said, "Night, Edward." Really, everything she did made me rethink leaving her.
It was as if I had an angel on my left shoulder and a demon on my right, bickering with one another.
I shook my head back and forth to get the thoughts of us falling back onto her bed away. "Right, sleep."
"Yeah," she said, biting her lip again. I was so, so close to helping her stop the action when she said in a determined tone, "Sleep."
I dropped my hands from her waist in haste as she slid her hands from my hair, scraping her fingernails gently across my scalp as she did. Damn tease, she clearly knew that I was trying to be a gentleman and wasn't helping matters in the least.
The growl that came from deep in my throat as I kissed her gently one last time was unstoppable. As soon as my lips left hers, I flew out the door, needing to be separated from her to contain myself.
Once in the hall, I practically ran to my room, quickly locking the door behind myself as I arrived safely inside so that I wouldn't be tempted to return to her. Then, I took a nice, cold shower.
Review? Please? Do it for Edward and the cold shower that the boy is having to endure for y'all :)