I don't own Twilight or any of its characters. I make no money from any of these little stories.
Author's Note: I've read lots of stories in which Edward is Bella's employer but I've always wanted to switch things up a bit. This is the result. This story was inspired by watching The Princess Bride. Again. The plot has nothing to do with that film, but that's how the plot bunny found its way into my garden.
As You Wish
"As you wish, ma'am," his quiet, velvet voice lingered in the air like a caress. My eyes flew up to meet his.
The words were perfectly correct and polite. They always were. But the gleam in those green eyes, that was anything but proper. I wanted to argue, but I had not the time or energy to do so. Besides, what would I say? "Please don't stare at me as if you are imagining me with my chemise off?"
For that was what I saw burning in his eyes. I felt as if he saw right through me, his piercing gaze penetrating the façade of widow and mother that I wore like a cloak. I found safety and solace in my disguise, and everything about this man threatened to rip it all away. And still, I could not resist the fantasies that danced through my mind night after night.
His lips pulled up in a slight smirk and I felt something warm and unwanted unfurl inside of me. Who was this infuriating man? And why did my hands itch to touch him whenever he was in the same room with me? What was it about him that made me think of tangled sheets, soft sighs, and the warmth of his long, hard body moving over mine?
Trying, without success, to keep the blush from staining my cheeks, I acknowledged that keeping him here was dangerous. If I had one iota of sense, I would send him packing. Two factors kept me from saying the words. One, the budget for a tutor for my boys was extremely limited and Mr. Masen was the only one who had been willing to work for such ridiculous wages. And two… Well, the second reason I didn't fire him was because I liked watching him when I knew he was unaware of my scrutiny. I liked the way his scent lingered in the air, clean and masculine, after he left a room. I liked watching him with my sons, his tawny, coppery head of unruly hair head lowered as he spoke softly to them, somehow taming the wild beasts I had birthed.
Yes, there were many reasons I kept Edward Masen around, and only one of them was logical. But that singular, respectable reason was enough to assuage my conscience. For now. Still, as attractive as the man was (and oh by God he was simply stunning to behold!), I could not fully repress my annoyance as he smirked at me in my own home, knowing full well that it was the money I'd paid him that filled his pockets, however inadequately.
"That will be all, Mr. Masen," I said coolly, dismissing him with a nod of my head.
I expected him to make some almost-improper comment; instead he returned my cool nod with one of his own, turned on his heel and left the library, closing the door quietly behind him. I released the breath I had been holding and slowly unclenched my fingers from around the arms of my chair.
My fingers twitched and ached. I hungered for what was not mine to take.
I closed the door behind me and leaned against it, exhaling a shaky breath. God, what was it about her that made me want to shove her up against a wall and bury myself in her? I was more civilized than that, surely? My cock twitched and throbbed in my pants, apparently arguing the point with me.
My cock and I had barely been on speaking terms since I had seen the delectable Mrs. Black seven months ago. He insisted that nothing would do but to thrust into her repeatedly until we had fucked away this insane desire for her, while I maintained that there were proprieties to be observed and we couldn't just throw Mrs. Black across her big desk, hitch up her skirts and have at it.
As much as I wanted to.
My cock gave another throb, calling me an idiot, no doubt. I could not disagree. So instead I took another deep breath and imagined my grandmother's face, the small corpse of a dead puppy that had been run over by a carriage, and finally, the coup-de-grace, my brother's face when I had happened upon him in the barn, his hands up the servant girl's skirt.
Yes, that did the trick.
I squared my shoulders and went off to search for the two hellions who were in my charge. I made my way up the stairs, knowing that I was getting close to the object of my search when I heard a series of thumps and then boyish giggles. This boded absolutely no good, as I knew from hard experience. I could only imagine the destruction currently taking place. I opened the door carefully, even looking up to make sure that no pail of water waited for the unsuspecting. It was an old trick, practically a classic. So far the boys had stuck with the tried and true, which I had been clever enough to evade, much to their chagrin. I had the advantage of course. My brothers and I had been masters of mischief, and that was one of the best weapons I had when dealing with Alex and Aaron Black.
I had already committed all of the naughty pranks they had so far conceived, though as intelligent as the boys were I had no doubt that one day they would catch me off guard and surprise me.
I was almost looking forward to it, though I suspected it might prove painful. Still, I could almost smile as I imagined the look of triumph in their dark eyes as they got the advantage over Mr. Masen, their tutor and, by definition at least, the bane of their existence.
"Well now," I said in a quiet voice. "I thought I heard two naughty little boys up here, but I must be mistaken."
There was a snort of laughter, quickly stifled. Ah, that would be Alex. Of the two, it was Alex who was more open and demonstrative. He reminded me of Mrs. Black…Bella. I could only imagine what Bella would be like, freed of the restrictions that she felt society placed on her.
Oh, that was not the right direction at all for my thoughts, I mused with a groan. Emmett, grandmother…dead puppies. All right then, mission accomplished.
"That's really too bad," I said as I surveyed the room. I knew exactly where the boys were hiding. They were not yet masters of concealment. Thank God. "I was hoping to find Alex and Aaron Black, as their mother sent me to inform the young masters that the cook has just finished baking a fresh batch of sugar cookies." I sighed deeply. "Oh well, I suppose I can enjoy the cookies on my own."
And that was all it took for Alex to come barreling out of the wardrobe and wrap his tiny arms around my knees. Aaron, predictably, followed more slowly, his expression contained though I could identify the gleam of anticipation in his eyes. The boys each had a voracious appetite, and especially for sweets.
Alex stepped back and leaned back to look at me. "Are you serious? Mrs. Kendall made cookies?" His dark eyes, a mirror image of his twin's, held mine. They were slowly learning to trust me, with Alex leading the way. Aaron preferred to withhold his final approval, and sometimes I wondered if he suspected that I had designs on his mother.
The boys were uncommonly bright, but that was to be expected.
"Would I lie to you?' I asked Alex with a smile, but my question was sincere. He seemed to recognize that too and tilted his head in thought.
"No," Alex finally answered. "I don't think you would."
"Good, then let us go to the kitchen and sample Mrs. Kendall's miraculous cookies."
Alex slipped his hand in mine, but I knew better than to offer my other hand to Aaron. He walked sedately at my side, accepting but not enthusiastic about my presence in their lives.
That was fine. I was patient. And I knew that the way to Mrs. Black's heart – and her bed – was to simply be there for these boys that somehow I had grown to love though that was the last thing I had expected when I accepted the position as their tutor. They were wild and incorrigible in the way of boys who had had no father in their lives for too long. They were exasperating and exhausting, and yet, I could not imagine a life without them. Because I loved them, it was as simple as that.
Almost as much as I loved their mother.
To be continued…