Pen name: Jessypt
Rating: M
Pairing: Bella/Edward
Title: Never and Always

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This o/s is in support of the victims of the Haitian earthquake.

Special thanks to MsKathy for organizing this compilation and for being supportive of new authors. Thanks to LexyW for beta'ing this for me and for all my WC girls for supporting me as I wrote my first ever lemon. I hope you like.

Song: Fix You, by Coldplay

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Life in the Masen house had been stressful. There was definitely no other word to describe the tension that we had been living with for months now. I felt it every night when I walked in the door from work, when we were all up and about in the mornings – pretty much any time we were all together. I hated it. I hated how complicated life seemed when it never had been before. Bella and I had been married for almost eight years and almost all of it had been full of happiness, love, and laughter – our wedding day, the honeymoon, getting settled into our first house, and the birth of our kids – there were so many happy moments. I had no idea what had happened along the way, but it felt like a switch had been flipped at some point; I was always on edge. Bella and I had been fighting constantly, over pretty much anything – my job, the kids, money... You name it, we had fought over it.

I stood outside our house looking into the kitchen window, and was taken aback by what I saw in the kitchen. I could hear the television going in the background, and Bella and the kids were laughing with an abandon I hadn't heard in a long time. The kitchen was a disaster – flour covered the counter surfaces, bowls and measuring cups were piled up in the sink – and everyone looked so happy… and relaxed. I had forgotten how beautiful Bella was when she wasn't upset or angry, or worse, indifferent toward me. And the kids, their faces were flushed and eyes glowing brightly. Standing there watching them made me feel like I was a stranger to my own family, and the realization that I was missing from the picture caused a very unsettling and unusual feeling to grow in the pit of my stomach. I couldn't tear my eyes away from them.

Sorrow washed over me as I remained outside, oblivious to the freezing temperatures or the snow that had just begun to fall. I thought back over my week and to the fight that Bella and I had on Monday. The look on her face when I told her I wasn't going to be able to go to Emmett and Lizzy's school program was full of anger, hurt, and disappointment.

"Edward… how can you even think about missing this concert? They have been working on their music for weeks."

"I know, Bella, but I have to work. My boss needs me to go on this trip, and I don't really have a choice." I looked at her and she just shook her head.

"Well, I'll let you be the one to tell them that you can't be there for them; that you aren't going to get to hear the songs that they picked out especially for you… again," she trailed off, and I could see the hurt in eyes and her shoulders slump.

"I'm really sorry, Bella…"

"No Edward!" she yelled. "Don't tell me you're sorry! Tell the kids you're sorry for having to miss yet another one of their activities! Do you know how awful it is to see the heartbreak in their eyes when you're not there and how hard it is on me to have to pick up all the pieces? No, of course not, because you're never here and because all you ever think about is yourself."

"That is absolute bullshit, Bella!" I shouted back at her. I couldn't believe she had the nerve to say I only cared about myself. "I work my ass off for this family, to provide a comfortable life for you and the kids. That's not about me; that's about the family. So I'm sorry I can't always be there for their activities, Bella. But I do have to work and provide for this family, and sometimes that means we all have to make sacrifices." I could feel the anger coursing through me, and I knew my face was flushed.

Anger flashed across her face, "Well tell that to our kids, Edward. I'm sure that Emmett and Lizzy would love to know that they are the sacrifice. I can't… just… just go to work." She whirled around and walked into the bathroom, but not before I saw the tears running down her cheeks.

I stood there in shock because in all the years that we had been married, she had never walked away from me like this, and she had certainly never done so in anger. Bella was the peacemaker of the family and always acquiesced in order to keep the peace. I grabbed my suit jacket and walked out feeling very uneasy.

I had felt on edge and tense all week. I had been snapping at people – even a few customers – which I never did. I was the calm, collected guy that people came to when a situation needed to be diffused. Several people had asked if I was okay, but not wanting to get into it, I just shrugged them off. I noticed as the week went along that people were starting to avoid me, and that same uncomfortable feeling I felt at home started to gnaw at me. Frustrated, I grabbed my jacket and laptop and left. I didn't really want to go home to more tension, so I dropped my stuff in my car and decided to walk around for a while.

I wandered around downtown, mindlessly gazing into shop-front windows thinking about the week and trying to figure out how things had gotten so bad. Bella hadn't talked to me – not one word - since our fight and it was starting to wear at me. I glanced down at my watch and realized it was almost 7:00. Shit! I can't believe I missed dinner… again. I had sworn to Bella that I wouldn't be late anymore; I hated missing out on time with the family, especially when there was so little to go around these days. I had literally missed dinner almost every night for the last month and a half, work always keeping me away. I knew this was going to be bad; Bella was going to be furious that I had missed dinner and even more that I hadn't bothered to call. I quickly made my way back to my car, anxiety causing my stomach to turn, and drove home having no idea what would happen when I walked through the door.

Once I got to the house, I stood there, looking through the window, and knew I had to make some changes. I watched Bella, wearing her pink "Mrs. Masen" apron, and the kids making cookies together and noticed how she did little things to make the kids laugh and feel included. She patiently helped them measure the flour and sugar, never getting upset when it fell on the counter or the floor. She let them stir the batter, only helping when their little arms got tired. I thought back on my own childhood and remembered my mom doing the very same things with me, always taking time to make every moment special. God I miss her. After she died, dad wasn't the same and had shut me and Alice out. All my memories that used to be filled with love were now tainted with resentment and bitterness. When I left home at 18, I swore I would never be like my father. I would be there for my family. I would love them and cherish every single moment I had with them. And yet, here I stood watching my own family as though I were an outsider. The tension from the week, the loneliness of not really being with my kids, and Bella… my best friend and soul mate's anger… all of it was too much. I knew that it was me. I had neglected them, withheld my time and love, and all of it was completely unintentional. Even more paralyzing was the realization that I had done the one thing I swore I would never do if I had a family – be like my dad. Where have I been all this time? Was all of this – this house and financial security, personal success – was it really worth it? My eyes filled with tears that fell freely down my face. I felt sick, sad, and heartbroken. I wiped the tears away and knew I had to make this right; I have to fix the mess I'd made of my family. I just didn't know how or if it was too late.

When I looked back inside, the kitchen was empty. A quick glance at my watch revealed that I had been standing outside for over an hour. Bella was probably putting the kids to bed now. I put my hand on the knob and hesitated not knowing what would happen when I walked through the door. Would Bella continue giving me the cold shoulder or would she yell like she had the other morning? Either way, I knew I had to deal with it, whatever she threw at me, I deserved. I took a deep breath, turned the knob, and walked quietly into the house.

The house smelled of chocolate chip cookies and cinnamon candles. Debussy was playing softly in the background and only a side light was on in the family room. I quietly set my things down, hung up my coat, and took off my shoes. I wandered into the dining room, sat down at the table… and waited.

Bella rounded the corner, and her breath caught as she jumped. "Edward! You scared me!" I hadn't heard her say a word to me in almost a week, and hearing her voice now was like being hit with a ton of bricks. She is so beautiful. Her mahogany hair was pulled up high on her head, her cheeks flushed from the heat in the kitchen, and her warm chocolatey eyes glowing. I felt my heart break and grow at the same time. She was mine; she had chosen me forever, and I was throwing it away. A wave of nausea rolled over me as I desperately tried to figure out what to do or say to fix this. We stared at each other for a long time, neither of us quite sure what to say. Hesitantly, she asked, "How was your day?"

"Long. I'm sorry I missed dinner...again" As I said it, her shoulders tensed up just slightly.

"That's okay. I didn't figure you'd be home," she shrugged. There was an awkward pause as we both waited to see who would speak next. "Do you want me to heat something up for you? I made green chile soup tonight." My favorite…

"Um… okay, sure, if it's not too much trouble." I didn't want to be a bother but I also didn't want her to leave.

She turned and went into the kitchen. She opened the refrigerator and began pulling out the cheese, soup, and the tortillas. She cleared her throat nervously, "I'm sorry the kitchen is such a mess. I just got the kids to bed, so I'll clean it up in just a second."

I froze. Was she really that concerned that I would get mad at her for the kitchen being a mess? I thought back to a few weeks ago when I had come home, and the house had been a total disaster. Lizzy had been sick all day and Emmett had pulled out every single toy he owned. I had had a rough day at work and just wanted to come home and relax; instead, the house was in total disarray and I snapped at her, asking what she did all day. Of course, she had cleaned it from top to bottom the rest of the night without saying a word. I had never apologized. What the hell is wrong with me?

Looking over at her as she quickly got my dinner ready, I realized that not only did I want to make things right, I needed to make them right. I wanted the Bella that was carefree, lighthearted and full of love. I didn't want this Bella – the one full of sadness and anger – all of which was aimed – justifiably - at me. I wanted to be able to come home and kiss her, tell her how my day was, and hug my kids without feeling like they didn't know who I was. I slowly got up and walked silently into the kitchen. I put my arms around her waist and laid my chin on her shoulder. I could feel the tension rolling off of her, her back muscles rigid as she stirred the soup. It had been months since I had even touched her. I gave her a gentle squeeze and lovingly kissed the side of her neck. "You are so beautiful, Bella."

She gasped, surprised, and turned inside my arms and faced me. "Edward… what are you doing?"

"I… um… I…want to apologize. I need to apologize to you and to the kids. I have made some mistakes…" I noticed her eyes flash and tears well up.

"Oh God…," she whispered, "please tell me… it's not someone else is it?" She could barely get the words out and her eyes were downcast.

"What?! No! It's… it's nothing like that."

The look on her face was filled with relief and doubt. Tears rolled down her cheeks, and it broke my heart even more.

"I stood outside for almost an hour tonight watching you and the kids make cookies. You were wearing my apron, and I just…," I stopped to think of the exact words I wanted to say, the words I knew needed to come out. "I'm sorry." She inhaled sharply, but I couldn't meet her eyes. "I'm sorry I have been so distant with you and the kids and am always on edge. When I was standing outside watching you guys, I could see how relaxed and happy you all were. And I realized that it's not like that when I'm home; I put everyone on edge. And I'm sorry." For the second time this evening, my eyes welled up with tears. "I love you, and don't tell you enough how much I appreciate you and what you do for our family… and I don't want to lose you, and I feel like I am… or maybe already have..."

She lifted my chin up so my eyes would meet hers, and I saw tears and love.

"Thank you," she whispered. I leaned down and placed a soft, tender kiss on her lips, relishing the way she felt in my arms. It had been too long. I pulled her closer to me, feeling all of her soft curves and smelling the strawberries in her hair. She rested her head on my chest and let the tears fall. "I love you, Edward. I've never stopped loving you, I never could. Thank you for finding your way back to us," she paused as if she had more to say. "I'm sorry about the other morning, our fight, and for walking away, and for not…"

I squeezed her even tighter and placed soft kisses on the top of her head before taking a step back, "Bella, please don't. I don't want you to apologize. I just need… can you forgive me?" All I felt was agony as I waited for her answer. Please God, please let her forgive me.

"Come here," she said, snuggling back into my arms. "I love you, Edward," she murmured into my chest.

I breathed a sigh of relief and felt the tension and anxiety finally lift, "I love you too, baby."

We stayed like that for a long time, Bella wrapped in my arms and me placing soft kisses on the top of her head. Eventually she pulled back, "it looks like your soup is ready," she laughed. Hearing her sweet laughter was like food to my starving heart. I smiled and grabbed a bowl and spoon, scooping the soup into my bowl while she grabbed the cheese, tortillas, and cilantro.

"You know this is my favorite," I said.

She just smiled and nodded, as she started cleaning the kitchen. I quickly finished my dinner and took my bowl over to the sink. "Can I help you clean up?"

She looked surprised, but nodded once again, "I'd love your help."

Together we cleaned - I rinsed the dishes and loaded them into the dishwasher; Bella put everything away and cleaned the counters. When we finished, we moved into the living room. The soft overhead lights made the room feel warm and inviting, or maybe it was Bella. I looked over at her and my heart quickened. Definitely Bella. She poured us each a glass of wine and curled up on the couch. I noticed immediately that she had assumed the same position she always did, or at least the same one since all of this had started. I looked over at her and reached out my hand – a silent invitation to come sit next to me. She looked at my hand and then at me before moving over. I wrapped my arm around her and pulled her into my side. We talked for hours, catching up as if we hadn't seen each other in years. I poured out my heart to her, confessing my frustrations with work and apologizing again for putting that burden on the family. Bella listened quietly, waiting for me to finish. Finally I paused and smiled as Bella began to share how she loved being with the kids and what they had been doing. She talked about how she had been experimenting with baking – mostly cupcakes and cakes – but that she really loved doing it. We dreamed together about what the future may hold and how we could avoid getting back to this place we had just been. I pulled her onto my lap and kissed her softly, but with a new sense of urgency. I poured all my love, and sorrow, and hope into that kiss, praying she could feel it too. As we broke apart, gasping for air, I could see the fire burning in her eyes.

She climbed off my lap and smiled. "Let's go to bed, love."

As she led the way upstairs, I had no idea what to expect. I knew that things weren't back to normal, and it would take a long time and a lot of forgiveness to get there. I was desperate to touch her, feel her, love her, but I didn't dare hope for it. I couldn't even remember the last time we had been together like that. I watched the soft curves of her hips sway slightly as she climbed the stairs, and my body reacted. I needed her but would let her lead. I would follow her anywhere, and I didn't want her to think that all of this had been a cheap attempt to get laid.

When I walked into our bedroom, she was facing the door, gnawing on her bottom lip. I took a few steps over to her and gently tugged her lip out from between her teeth. She looked up at me, her eyes pleading and hungry. She ran her hands down my chest and stomach, and rose up on her toes to kiss me softly. "Bella, I didn't…"

"Edward," she said, placing a finger to my lips, "I need you. I need you to show me that you love me, that you still want me. Please..." she pleaded quietly, as tears welled up in her eyes, and began to spill over. The raw edges of my already broken heart cut through me as I realized again how much I had hurt her. I needed her desperately, and more importantly, I wanted her to see that she was all I would ever need, ever love. I cupped her face in the palms of my hands and tenderly swiped away her tears with the pads of my thumbs. I leaned down and peppered soft kisses on each of her eyes, her nose, her cheeks, and across her jaw. Pulling back just slightly, I stared deep into her eyes, before brushing my lips against hers. I traced her bottom lip with my tongue and she moaned softly when our tongues met, her fingers tangling in my hair. I deepened the kiss, my arms gripping her tiny waist, pulling her hard against my chest, as I reveled in her taste. Gasping for breath, Bella pulled away. Her beautiful lips were red and swollen, her face was flushed and eyes were on fire. She was beautiful, stunning.

I inhaled her delicate scent of strawberries and cookies as I trailed my lips along her jaw and down her neck, savoring her flavor in a way that I hadn't done before. Placing tender kisses and love bites along her collar bones, I softly whispered, "Bella, you are so beautiful. I'm going to show you how much I love you… all of you."

She smiled and kissed me passionately. I reached up and pulled her hair out of the ponytail, watching as it tumbled past her shoulders. I ran my fingers through her thick tresses; it was so soft and beautiful. Her hair had always been one of my favorite things about her. "Your hair is so soft and beautiful. Most people think it's just brown, but I see mahogany, chocolate, and ginger." Tucking a strand of hair behind her ear, I leaned in and placed soft kisses down the column of her throat and along her jaw. I gently sucked her earlobe between my lips and felt her shiver. Sliding the collar of her shirt aside, I returned to her collar bones, licking and nibbling, causing her to whimper and moan. "I love the way your neck gently curves into your shoulders, how sensitive you are here, how I make you moan for more."

I grabbed the bottom hem of her shirt as she raised her arms, and slowly pulled it over her head. Knowing the room was cool, I soothingly ran my open palms up and down her arms warming her up and taking in the tops of her beautiful breasts. They were creamy and full and rose gently above her simple pink and white bra. She was beautiful and soft, and in that moment, I realized I was the luckiest man in the world. I kissed the top of each of her shoulders as I slid her bra straps down her arms, reaching around behind her to unhook her bra. She let her head fall back, a moan escaping from her lips. Her hair brushed the backs of my hands as I traced circles on the small of her back, savoring every part of her. Pulling her bra off, her breasts fell free and her nipples instantly hardened in the cool air. I reached up and cupped each of them, feeling their weight in my hands. "Your breasts are beautiful. Not only can I make you cry out for me when I suck and bite and pull on them, but they provided life for our children." I bent down and traced light circles around each of her nipples and kissed them lightly. Gently, I sucked her left nipple between my lips and flicked my tongue against it. I heard her gasp, and glanced up to see her brown eyes hooded with desire, her lips parted as she breathed heavily. Seeing her so lost and into me made my dick twitch and grow harder, and almost lose the small amount of control I had left. I reached over and lovingly tweaked and twisted her right nipple, her body stiffening as the sensations coursed through her body. I switched sides giving them both equal attention as she continued to gasp and moan. I was desperate for her and could feel that she wanted me just as badly.

I dragged my hands down the sides of her waist over her hips and got down on my knees. I placed feather-light kisses on her tummy and slowly undid the button of her jeans. Pushing them over her hips and down her legs, she stepped out of them. She stood before me in pink cotton panties. My dick throbbed at the sight before me; there was something about her in simple panties that always did me in. I ran my thumb over the tattoo that sat on the soft skin next to her hip bone. Leaning down, I placed an open-mouthed kiss against the ink and traced the outline of her jagged heart with my tongue. She squirmed, "Oh Edward…please…," she begged, digging her hands into my hair. I looked into her eyes and ran my hands up her legs, gently massaging, kissing and nibbling along the way.

"Edward, baby, I need you. I need to feel you," she whimpered, as she looked down at me. I could feel her hands pushing down on my shoulders, telling me what she wanted.

All thoughts of lingering and taking my time went away as her need matched my own. I needed to feel her, pleasure her, and consume her. I scooped her up and lovingly laid her on our bed. Her hair splayed across the comforter, her chest heaving, and her eyes deep and vibrant – all of it took my breath away. I undid my tie, unbuttoned my dress shirt pulled off my pants, and climbed onto the bed, hovering over her. Skin met skin, lips met lips, and it was fire, and overwhelming, and amazing. She reached down and palmed my dick and I grew impossibly harder with the contact. I groaned, "Baby… please… let me love you."

"Edward, I love you… I need you now." She tugged my boxers down and ran her hands over my ass, squeezing and pulling me toward her. Every touch of her hands, her lips, was like the first time. My body was vibrating like a live wire. I quickly pulled off her panties and moved between her thighs, trailing hot, wet, open kisses up her sex. She groaned. "Oh God, Edward…" I dipped a finger inside her and moaned when I felt how wet and hot she was.

"Bella, baby… you are so gorgeous… so wet for me."

I slid two fingers between her folds and moved them up, circling her clit with my thumb. Her back arched as she gasped and whimpered, "Now, Edward…"

I moved my fingers inside of her slowly and the more she writhed beneath me and cried out, the faster I went. "Harder, baby," she cried out as her hips matched my rhythm.

As my fingers pushed in and out of her, I could feel her getting close. I curled my fingers inside of her, finding the spot I knew would push her over the edge. "I'm so close… ung…" she whimpered.I pushed my tongue against her, felt her walls clamp down, as she fell over the edge. I continued pushing in and out of her as she rode out her orgasm, and then pulled my fingers out of her, placing a tender kiss on the inside of each of her thighs and her mound. She grabbed my shoulders and pulled me up, crashing her lips against mine. Tasting herself on me, she moaned. "Edward, that was… there are no words… I want you inside me."

I gripped her hips roughly, pulling her body under mine, and positioned my knees on either side of her hips. "I love you, Bella," I whispered, placing one last kiss on her lips and on the tips of each of her breasts. I slowly pushed inside of her and then inch by inch went deeper, until I felt overwhelmed by how she consumed me. She was so hot, wet, and tight; she was perfect for me. Our movements were slow as we rocked together. As the tension began to build, I felt her nails dig into my shoulders and her eyes close. "Look at me, baby. I want to see your gorgeous eyes when I make you come."

Her eyes never left mine as my movements quickened, deepened and I slammed into her. As if needing me to go deeper, she wrapped her legs around my waist, heels digging into my ass. I could feel her body tensing around me, and reached down pushing my thumb against her clit. Her eyes were wild as they locked with mine. Pumping into her, I felt my balls tighten and the fire in my abdomen burn as her muscles spasmed around me. I continued moving inside of her as she rode it out, and with two more thrusts, I came hard, white light exploding before my eyes. Sweaty and spent, I collapsed on top of her and quickly rolled her on top of me. We lay there, catching our breath, completely wrapped up in each other for a long time, neither of us saying anything. I caressed her flushed cheek and lovingly kissed her.

"Thank you, Bella."

"For what, baby?"

"For not giving up on me and for loving me…"

She smiled against my lips, "Never… and always."