So, this is it. Last chapter.
They're not my characters, but I love them like they were. I hope you did too.
A million thanks to the girls who helped me with this. BittenBee, who stayed up with me, editing chapters as I sent them to her. Kikikinz for going above and beyond to help me with edits, and my prereaders, Nerac, ahealthyadiction, and Rae_Cullen for thoughts and hand slaps. I love you all.
Mostly, thanks to Haley. Her pen name here is MusicalVoice, and she gave me three really amazing prompts that I picked and chose from to create this. She's an author, too; please go check her out.
Christmas Eve working in an electronics store was pure hell. Every customer was rushed and crabby. I'd had my fair share of demanding people by the time I clocked out and headed to my truck. My shoulders were stiff with tension, and I desperately craved a cigarette.
Going so far as to search my glove box for a hopefully forgotten pack of smokes, I came up empty handed and cursed aloud. I sat in my truck for a few minutes before putting it into gear, letting it warm up and trying to will some of the stress away.
My mind drifted to thoughts of Edward and I relaxed into my seat as I replayed this morning.
When my alarm had gone off, I'd kicked at it (somehow, I was asleep at the foot of my bed, and my brain hadn't been firing on all cylinders quite yet) until it had shut up. When I rolled over to glance at the time, I saw a rather large lump on Alice's bed and stared at the feet hanging over the bed frame wondering who the hell was in my room.
When Edward turned over, I'd instantly relaxed.
We'd made plans for later, and I'd gotten ready with a happy spring in my step. All day long, whenever the crowds of shoppers had stressed me out, I thought about him to keep myself sane. Now, as I drove back to campus, I sang along to the Christmas station, feeling completely festive and merry.
On some level, I realized how silly I was acting, but I didn't care. For the first time in a long while, I had a guy who treated me nice, and on top of that, my Christmas wouldn't be lonely. As far as I was concerned, it was a win/win situation.
Realization crashed. I wondered if he would spend the day with his uncle and Aunt tomorrow. He said they lived nearby, and I assumed he would want to give his cousin the game he purchased earlier in the week. The thought of not seeing him when I had the whole day off made me frown, but perhaps I could see him later in the evening.
Plan of action in place, as soon as I hit my room I hopped in the shower and began the beautifying routine. Legs were shaved, scented body lotion was applied and hair was blown into soft waves. I even curled the ends a little and used Alice's makeup again.
Feeling more secure now in picking out my own clothes, I flipped through our shared closet, grabbing a knee length, black cotton skirt and a pretty green top. Alice would be proud. I paired them with black ballet flats and checked the time.
I rushed around and picked up the mess from the night before, and straightened the beds out. When everything was back in order, I sat on my bed and waited.
The soft knock at the door had me springing up and rushing over to greet Edward. I took a deep breath and smoothed my hair and my clothes before I pulled open the door.
Only to be met with a small, live Christmas tree.
Edward poked his head around and smiled that heart stopping smile at me. "I thought you might like to use your decorations today," he said as I stood aside to let him in. He paused in the doorway, setting the tree down and leaning in to kiss me hello.
"You bought me a tree?" I asked, still in shock.
"Yeah, it's not very big. I had to sneak it inside and everything, but I thought you'd like it." When I didn't say anything, his face fell. "If you don't like it or don't want it, I can—"
"No, no," I finally spoke up. "I love it, really. I'm just a little surprised, is all." So many emotions flooded my chest at how unequivocally thoughtful and sweet he was. He cared. Realizing that he was still waiting in my doorway, I swallowed back the feelings, recovering myself with a smile. "Come in, let's find a place for it."
Clearing the small table near our television stand, I watched as he sat the little green spruce down and pulled a red metal stand from a bag I hadn't noticed before. While he went about putting the tree up, I grabbed a plastic cup and filled it with water from the bathroom sink. I set it next to the tree and headed to the closet to bring the box of decorations out.
When I had everything opened, I handed him the lights and started putting hooks into the glittery glass ornaments. I carried everything over and set it to the side just as he got the lights going. With a comfortable, warm silence between us, he helped me decorate the tree and when I stood back to take in the finished product, my eyes began to water.
It was the sweetest thing I'd ever seen. It reminded me of the Charlie Brown tree, although it was much fuller and not so sparse. I half expected Snoopy any minute to pop out of nowhere and do a dance.
"Thank you," I breathed, reaching up to hug him tightly. "It's perfect."
"Merry Christmas, Bella."
"Merry Christmas," I whispered before rising on my tiptoes to thank him better.
His hands went to my hips, pulling me closer as he deepened the kiss. I melted into his embrace, hands moving up to thread through his soft, messy hair. I began to push him backward as I kissed him, hoping to unwind him. When his knees hit the edge of my bed, I broke the kiss and looked up at him.
"I didn't get you anything," I grinned. "What's your policy on homemade gifts?"
"I think homemade are the best kind," he answered, leaning down to claim my lips again. I pushed my body into his and moved my hands down to reach around his back in a tight hug. His muscles flexed under my touch, bunching as I ran my fingers up his spine.
"Well then, I have the perfect idea."
I took a step back, moving my hands around to his chest before gently pushing him back against the bed. I crawled into his lap, letting my skirt ride up slightly to straddle him and looked deep into his eyes. "It's not much, but..."
Leaning forward to brush his lips against mine, he spoke against my lips. "I disagree. It's more than I could ask for."
I kissed him then, pouring everything into it. His tongue stroked against mine softly, hands moving from the bed to my bare knees. He dipped them under the fabric of my skirt, and I shivered when his warm palms cupped my thighs and his fingers began to drum against the responsive skin.
I gasped, breaking the kiss and leaned back up again. His eyes watched my movements as I reached for the bottom button of my blouse. They continued to trail up as each button fell away to reveal a bit more skin. When I reached the last button, he stopped me from removing my shirt. His eyes held me captive as he inched his face forward to kiss me, sweeping the shirt off in the same motion.
The silk fabric floated down to my elbows and I stretched my hands back to let it fall to the floor below. Warm fingers met my back, causing me to jump a bit before I melted against his chest. A slight tug and a bit of awkward fumbling, and then the clasp of my bra slackened. My heart beat at an incredibly fast pace as I shifted to get rid of the lace around my arms.
He trailed along my sides, the faintest pressure of his fingertips moving up to trace the edges of my breasts. He took his time, exploring with care and my skin seemed to quiver under his touch. One warm, strong hand continued up to my neck and reached into my hair as the other moved inward and cupped me. His warm skin against mine lit the already smoldering embers into a roaring fire, and I ground my hips against him, feeling his reaction thoroughly.
With the softest of touches, his thumb flicked out to tease my nipple, the already aroused flesh pebbling further at the contact. I wanted to feel more of his skin against mine. Seeking hands rose to tug at the tee shirt he wore, and he broke our kiss to reach behind him and pull the shirt over his head. Tossing it behind him carelessly, he brought my face back down to his between both hands with renewed warmth.
When his hands moved down to my hips again, he twisted us around and leaned me back against the mattress. Crawling back over me, he settled at my side. His hands moved down between my breasts in a feather light line to my stomach. Goosebumps rose over my skin, a pleasurable shiver lighting down my spine.
His hands shook slightly when they moved to the zipper at my side, and he looked up from his hands' path, a question in his eyes. His cheekbones were faintly flushed, eyes glittering with a serious expression.
Leaning up, I met his lips in my own silent acquiescence. When my skirt loosened, I arched my back off the bed in order to be free of it. Quirking an eyebrow at his jeans, I watched as he stood up to slide them down his legs. He started to crawl back into the bed but I held up a hand, stopping him.
"Those too," I giggled, indicating his boxer briefs.
I wasn't disappointed when the tips of his ears grew red, and even less so when he divested himself of the last bit of clothing. Long and lean, muscled in all the right places but not overly so, he was perfect. Everywhere. I couldn't stop staring appreciatively at him.
"I think you missed a spot," he teased sweetly, leaning over to run a finger along the elastic of my lacy boy shorts. A wicked grin stretched his face, shyness ebbing as hope surfaced. "Can I open my present?"
Drawing my legs up, I lifted off of the mattress, hand moving to my neck as he pulled the tiny scrap of fabric down my legs, baring me to his eyes.
"Holy… fuck." His eyes raked over me, leaving burning trails in their wake. "My tree pales in comparison."
"Don't knock my tree," I shot back softly. "I think it's wonderful."
His smile was infectious as he moved one knee to the bed, bending down to fumble on the floor. A second later, a shiny silver package landed next to my head, and I understood. Wonder if he was a boy scout…
Sliding back to my side, he brought his knees up to mine, nestling between to open me up. His breath seemed unsteady now as he moved over me with reverence. I kissed him, sweet and slow as his fingers traced tantalizing patterns over my hipbones before drawing lower. Every nerve ending felt like kindling to burning flames, his hands the spark that ignited, lighting me up inside.
A low moan broke when he moved his fingers to the spot that called for his touch, breaths speeding when he began to trace a slow circuit up and down. Losing myself to his fingers, I reached for him, wanting to make him feel good, too. At the first tentative touch of my fingers wrapping around him, he broke away with a gasp and looked down to my hand as it began to stroke up and down.
"You feel... Incredible. Everywhere," he panted, as a single finger moved inside of me, curling and working me into a steady frenzy.
"Yes," I moaned, agreeing completely.
His movements slowed to lazy circles as I took him more quickly. Inclining his head with a groan, he ran along my collarbone with warm, open-mouthed kisses peppering down to my chest. Tongue circling my nipple first, he drew it in between his lips and nipped softly before soothing with his lips again. His arm that supported his weight above me began to shake, but he never relented while his tongue and mouth continued to pay attention to my breasts.
Fingers below continued their sweet torture, thumb pressing higher in circles against my clit as a steady heat engulfed my senses. My hands stroked him harder, faster now in time with his attentions to me. The fire built to a steady point, licking hotter and hotter against my skin until a white hot heat surged through my veins. Body stiffening, a low scream ripped from my throat and I closed my eyes against the inferno, welcoming its crescendo.
Breathless and needy, I claimed his lips hungrily, loosening my hold on him to grip his shoulders and pull him over me. He complied easily, snaking a hand out to grab the condom and rip it open. His mouth rained kisses along my neck as he fumbled below.
Finally, he moved to rest between my parted thighs, hand traveling down to grip underneath and lift me to him. "Bella, I want more than this," he whispered, breaking the quiet around us. Despite some of his more confident teases, he looked so innocently genuine. "I want you."
"I'm yours, Edward," I promised. I wanted more, too. And I needed him now. "Please."
At my words, he once again kissed me with overwhelming, heated passion as he moved against me. Working himself in slowly until he was seated fully, he groaned low, starting a slow pace. I moaned in response as I adjusted to him, moving my hips with his, steadily giving and taking in turn.
Roaming hands and sweet kisses kept the fire blazing, and with each roll of his hips against me, his skin brushed my clit, the flames soaring into sensitive heat. His head moved to bury against my shoulder, bringing our bodies close together as he quickened his rhythm. Turning his head into my neck, his heavy breaths blew against my sweat soaked skin, alternately warming and cooling me, and driving me crazy always.
"You feel—God, Bella," he groaned. "So good, sweetheart."
"I know, Edward," I breathed. "I love how you feel inside of me."
With a shuddering breath, he tensed above me, throwing his head back as he came hard. I watched, fascinated as his mouth opened into a slacked "O", and the muscles of his neck bunched and released. He collapsed against me, trapping me in a blissful state of comfort and warmth as he worked to catch his breath. My legs moved to wrap around his waist, locking to pull him closer.
He dropped kisses along my shoulder, lips lingering to drag across my flesh. As we both came back down to earth, the fire cooled to a warm, content heat, enveloping me in sated comfort.
"I'll be right back," he said, running his fingers up and down the outside of my legs to loosen them. I watched the muscles play along his back as he walked to the bathroom. Turning my face to nuzzle into the pillows, I breathed in his scent after he shut the door.
As I lay in my blissful state, my mind ran over the past few days. I would never have guessed that being saved from busting my ass would lead to the best Christmas ever, but it had, and that was truly a miraculous thing.
The door creaked open, and I glanced back over to see him emerge from the bathroom, a towel wrapped low around his hips. The best thing was the smile on his face. He looked… just as happy as I felt.
Crawling back into bed, he reached down and ran a warm towel over me, kissing me softly as he cleaned up our mess. He tossed it aside, and pulled my back to meet his chest. Wrapping his arms around me, he rested his cheek against mine.
"I have to go to see my family tomorrow for the holiday," he whispered, snuggling me closer into his chest. "They do a big dinner, and then gifts. Would you like to go with me?"
Blinking against watery eyes, touched that he would invite mo over to meet his family when… whatever this was between us was so new, I paused in my answer. "Are you sure? We can hang out later tomorrow. I don't want you to feel like you're obligated to cart me around just because it's Christmas."
"I want you to go, Bella. I'd have more fun if you were there, and you'll like my family. They're great people, and they wouldn't make you feel unwelcome. Quite the opposite, actually. Please, say you'll go."
There was no point in denying that the offer was tempting. I wouldn't have to entertain myself in my room all day, and I'd get to spend extra time with him. "Okay," I relented. "I'll go."
"Thank you," he murmured, nuzzling his face into my neck and placing a soft kiss there. "And thanks for my present. It's my favorite one, ever."
"Mine too," I agreed, a smile breaking onto my face at the meaning behind his words. We laid there for a while, quiet and content. My eyelashes began to flutter against my cheeks, and I yawned loudly. Turning my head a bit to meet his, I kissed his cheek and mumbled "Good night."
"Merry Christmas, Bella. Good night."
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
It's open-ended. If I get the urge to revisit this someday, I just may.
You still here? Likes? Dislikes? Favorite Christmas movie? Come gossip with me in that box below ;)