The Black Balloon Contest

Title: Noises From Above

Your pen name: Lil Miss Golden Eyes

Characters: Edward and Bella

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or anything recognizable in this story.

In hindsight, it was pretty obvious that something was going on. Then again, I'm a typical guy in that sometimes you've got to smack me on the back of the head with a two by four to get my attention. I don't worry about much. I wonder if my team is going to make the playoffs. I worry about my two girls who'd recently moved out to live on their own. And sometimes I have to worry about things like picking up my wife, Bell, after work, because her lemon of a car is in the shop again. If I forgot I'd be in deep shit, because today we had to go directly from her office to a party at her parent's house. But the one thing I never thought I'd need to worry about was what I'd find out about my wife before we sat down to dinner. I had already lost my girls to the big, wide world, would I lose my wife too?

Each year in mid-January, my in-laws invite the whole family over for a big meal to celebrate their daughters' birthdays. It was a joint celebration as Bell and her sister Rosalie were born only a week apart, so it made sense to throw one party to celebrate both milestones at the same time. Ever since my family moved into the house across the street, the Swans and the Cullens did everything together, and that included the festivities surrounding the birth of the Swan sisters. They weren't just sisters, they were best friends and they weren't just my neighbors, they were my second family. Hence the reason I called the girls 'Bell' and 'Rose', not only did it take less time to say, read and write, but it kinda made me feel like they were mine, people of great importance.

This year was no different except that Jake, Rosalie and Emmett's son, was absent. He'd finished his degree and was now working as a junior engineer at a mine in Brazil; it was obviously too far to travel for a birthday party. Our two girls, Taylah and Sarah, had recently moved out of the house to be on their own, but still lived near us in the small city where they had been raised, and where our families had settled back in the fifties.

An evening at Bell's parents' place was always an enjoyable one. As was usually the case, we started off with a glass or two of Charlie's excellent homemade wine. Charlie wasn't of Italian heritage, but had grown up in a big city neighborhood where Italian was the first language, and he had learned how to make a killer red from a neighbor who must've been a master of the art. After the first couple of glasses, the conversation flowed easily and laughter was the order of the evening.

After a half hour of gabbing and giggling, Renee indicated that it was time to get herself into the kitchen. Everyone volunteered to help, and while some went off to perform their assignments, others waited to do tasks that were to be done just before dinner.

Renee gave me a short list of items to bring up from the basement pantry, while Rosalie and Sarah helped out in the kitchen. I had no trouble finding the first two items but the bottle of cranberry juice proved to be elusive, and I was just about to head upstairs without it when I clearly heard Bell's familiar chuckle from just over my head. I looked around, and there it was-- an open heating grate in the ductwork overhead. I went over the layout of the house in my head and decided that I was immediately below the bathroom.

I could hear the shuffling of feet and then Bell spoke, her voice breathless, "Nice… and hard already? Good, we need to be quick."

A male voice, clearly Emmett's, grunted, "... thinking about your hot little pussy all day."

"No pussy for you tonight, stud. Let's see what else I can..."

There was more shuffling of feet, then a groan. "Oh, Jesus Christ, that feels so good…suck it..."

I was stunned. My wife was sucking her brother-in-law's cock right over my head, the man I considered a brother. What's worse, they'd done more, judging by what I'd just heard.

In a flash of insight, the odd signs of the past several weeks became clear. The hang-ups I'd noticed several times a week, or whenever I answered the phone. The wrong numbers that had been dialled, or so she claimed, whenever Bell answered it. The numerous trips to visit with Rosalie after work, or in the evening. They'd been fucking… and I hadn't a clue.

"Oh fuck, I'm gonna come... Oh shit, here it comes, baby!"

Son of a bitch! I thought, I'm gonna kill the bastard.

I got halfway up the stairs when I stopped. No, hold on. I thought to myself, That'll just make this messier than it already is I've gotta think... Unconsciously my body moved up the rest of the stairs. No, it's too easy to let them be caught out this way.

I paused at the bathroom door, afraid to see what I knew, and afraid to know what I had heard. My head pounded, and I was beginning to think my jaw was going to shatter under the pressure of my clenched teeth.

I'd been a scrapper as a teenager, drinking and picking fights every weekend, and usually winning. I finally outgrew that destructive behavior when I figured out it wasn't getting me anywhere. My friends had grown up and stopped encouraging me, and some didn't bother with me anymore. My antisocial behavior had cost me big time, so I just stopped doing it. Sure, I had to defend myself occasionally, but what really cinched it was meeting Bell. She knew about me and fighting, and told me that if I ever got in another fight she'd dump me like a bag of week old doughnuts. However, at this particular moment, all the anger and rage I had inside as a teenager was back. Threefold.

I retreated back down the stairs and picked up the two cans that I'd found in the pantry and went back upstairs with a heavy heart and a racing mind.

When I got to the kitchen, Renee was lifting a huge baked honey glazed ham out of the oven and Rosalie was dressing a bowl of salad greens. I poked my head into the dining room, and watched. Bell and Emmett were starting to set the dining room table.

A few minutes later the whole group sat down for a wonderful feast, but I didn't taste it at all. I was simply going through the motions. Chew. Swallow. Chew. Swallow. From time to time, I glanced at Bell and Emmett to see if I could detect any emotional or physical evidence of what had occurred between them moments ago, but they kept it cool and barely looked at each other. At one point I thought Emmett looked at me with a bit of an "I'm screwing your wife" smirk, but it was likely just my imagination. I clenched my teeth, my jaw screaming at me to relent and put a smile on my face, but inside I was a ticking time bomb, waiting for the right moment to explode.

Emmett and I had gotten along extremely well, ever since Rosalie had moved back to town from the west coast with a new husband in tow over twenty years ago. I considered him the brother I never had. He wasn't a bad guy at all, or at least I hadn't thought so until now. We shared a passion for sports, including baseball, which we played together once a week throughout the season, and we both considered working on old cars our number one hobby. He drove a restored '56 Chevy ragtop pretty much all summer long, while my '52 Olds business coupe had been a work in progress for the last eight years and was still waiting for the big block I'd rebuilt to be dropped into place. As well as the Coupe, Emmett was also helping me with the plans to buy and restore an old Thunderbird for Bella; we were just waiting to hear back from the current owner about shipping it here from the other side of the country. We'd been brothers, but that was now done.

I'd considered him my closest friend, right up to the moment when I heard him ramming his cock into my wife's traitorous mouth at her birthday party while I listened to their noises from above.

Everyone raved about the food, as always, and before too long, a very sated group of people sat around the table. I fought between feeling nourished from the food I didn't taste, and wanting to purge myself of it. Everyone sat around the dining table, unaware and naïve. Before today…I had been exactly the same.

For the past several years, it had fallen to me to start off the after-dinner festivities with a toast to the birthday girls, which was followed by one from Emmett to our mother-in law and her always excellent meal. The bottle was passed around and everyone topped off their glasses. They looked at me expectantly, waiting to raise their glasses.

This was the moment.

My heart pounded faster and faster. The ticking time bomb contained within my chest was about to explode. I knew I had to do it. I had to inform my family of the betrayal. I was not the only victim. My daughters, Rose and Jake had all been victimized by their selfish act.

I stood in front of the very same people, twenty or so years ago, and vowed to love her forever, to honour and obey her. She clearly didn't honour our wedding vows, so I wouldn't obey her.

I stood and raised my glass. "A toast this year, to my talented wife, Bell, a woman who birthed my children, and the woman I shared my hopes, my dreams, and my fears with. The woman I vowed to love forever."

I paused and allowed the family to soak up my romantic words.

I began again with a hint of lightness in my voice. "Now, Bell is good at many things. She is a wonderful mother, she is a hard worker…at some jobs more than others. She is giving and always makes sure other's needs are met. The one thing that Bell does best though, is sharing. Yes, Bell shares her kisses with me, her cuddles with me, and her body with me."

A collective aww sounded from the table, but this was anything but an aww moment. I moved behind my chair, and pushed it in towards the table. My hands gripped the top of the chair. I lowered my head in preparation for the big reveal…I just hoped it was words, and not the reappearance of my stomach contents.

"But, and here is the real kicker… she also shares her affections with another…isn't that right Emmett? Do you want to share with the rest of the fam' what she shares with you? Do you want to tell them what jobs and needs she is good at fulfilling?" He didn't respond; he sat there speechless. "Oh, okay. I'll tell you. Bell's a woman who, and I'm sure Emmett will back me up on this, gives a damn fine blow job! Get it? Job?"

The reactions were as you might expect. Bell's face, first lit by a smile, became beet red in an instant as her wineglass crashed to the table, broken shards of glass scattered everywhere and the white linen table cloth was now stained crimson. Taylah, upset at the indignity of the remark, but not comprehending the implication, simply shouted at me.


Rosalie's smile turned to an angry scowl directed at Emmett, and Emmett had what could best be described as an "Oh, oh fuck, I'm in deep shit now" look on his face.

Two heartbeats after I spoke, Bell leaped to her feet and made a quick escape into the kitchen, followed a few seconds later by her mother and Sarah. Emmett slid his chair back as if to make his getaway, but was frozen on the spot by a terse, "Don't you move, you bastard!" from Rosalie.

"You fucked my sister?" she asked, her voice full of venom.

"Yes." And that was all she needed to hear. Her head fell into her hands. Her loud sobs infected the otherwise silent room.

"Edward," my father-in-law asked. "Son, just what the hell are you talking about?"

I released a breath I didn't know I was holding. I pulled out my chair and sat down. I laid my head on the table. The coolness of it soothed my throbbing head.

Before I could start, he turned to Taylah and whispered, "Sweetheart, why don't you go see if your mom and granny could use some help. This might be more of an adult's conversation."

Taylah, insulted, replied. "Gramps, I'm twenty one years old. I know what a blow job is. But I don't understand..."

Taylah stayed put and all eyes turned to me. I quickly related all of the odd events of the past three weeks, and then told them about the revelation through the ductwork. Taylah's eyes were as big as saucers as she understood her mother's indiscretion.

"Oh my God! Dad, I know this is a stupid question, but are you okay?"

"No." I couldn't manage another word. I felt utterly exhausted. I felt as if my toast, if you could even really call it that, took every bit of energy contained in my body.

Looking at Charlie, I asked, "You must know that you can hear anything and everything that's going on in the bathroom if you're standing in front of the basement pantry, don't you?"

He nodded. "It's been that way since Butler, the plumbing and heating guy, decided to cut an extra outlet in the duct after he installed the new furnace. That was in '95, so it's been like that for almost twelve years now."

I continued, "It was very clear from the conversation that this wasn't the first time they'd been together." I pursed my lips together as that thought alone made the bile rise up my throat.

I paused and turned to Emmett. "Am I correct?" I spat, my voice full of utter hatred. He didn't say anything, didn't even look me in the eye, or acknowledge what I had said until a sharp elbow in the ribs from Rosalie got his attention.

"You son of a bitch," she snarled at him. "You answer Edward right the fuck now! What the hell has been going on?"

With a look of resignation on his face, he finally spoke, "It started about two weeks ago. Not long after you," he looked at Rosalie, "had your shifts changed at work."

Emmett looked at me, and then back to Rosalie. "You know how Isabella and I always flirt. We've done it for years and it's always been harmless, you know, just for fun. Well, Bell stopped in at the house to drop off something for you, I don't remember what..."

As he was about to continue, the kitchen door opened and Bell, quite obviously being herded along, came into the room, followed closely by her Mom and Sarah. Her eyes were red from crying. She looked around the room at everyone until her gaze settled on me, and she burst into tears again.

"Edward, I'm so sorry," she sobbed.

Renee guided Bell to her seat next to mine, and as she fought to get herself under control she reached out and grasped my hand. I guess it was the tears that made me feel sorry for her, but only for a second or two, because the images of her down on her knees pleasuring Emmett was enough to make me see red. I gave her had a gentle squeeze and then moved it to her own lap. She reached out again and I pulled my hand away, not wanting to touch her. She did not deserve my affection. That prompted another series of sobs, until her mom quietly shushed her and told her to be quiet.

Since Bell, Renee, and Sarah had missed out on the start of Emmett's confession, I recapped for them. Bell had stopped crying, and was starting to get herself together. I didn't want to set her off again, but I needed to hear the story from her rather than from Emmett, so I asked her.

"Bell," I asked her, "what happened then?" I didn't know why I even asked; I didn't know what I had hoped to achieve by knowing the ins and outs of my wife's infidelity. No pun intended.

She looked at me as if pleading not to have to tell what she'd done in front of her family, but I held firm. "Go on." I wanted her to tell them what she had done. I wanted for her to feel embarrassed, because I was. I wanted her to suffer pain, because I was suffering. I wanted to shatter her heart by forcing her to explain herself in front of her family, as she had shattered mine. I wanted her to know that I felt sick to look at her. But most of all, I wanted her to look me in the eye and see the destruction she had caused.

She blew her nose again. "I stopped off to return a casserole dish that I'd borrowed from Rosalie, but she wasn't home. She'd had her shifts at the hospital changed the day before and was working 3 to 11." She paused to wipe her eyes and blow her nose again.

She continued, "Emmett and I were talking, flirting a bit like we always do, and all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, we were kissing. It didn't last long, and I felt very guilty, and more or less ran out the door. I'd calmed down by the time I got home, and I didn't think much more about it until the next day at work. I'm ashamed to say that by the next day, I was excited by what had happened and gave in to it, and after telling you I was stopping to see Rosalie, I went back. Emmett knew why I was there, and before too long, we were…" she paused and took a deep breath, "having sex. You know the rest."

The tears started again, and Renee pushed the box of tissues at her.

"Enough Isabella, you have made your bed, now you must lie in it. The same goes for you, Emmett. You have to deal with the consequences," Renee said with authority.

She was sobbing, "Edward, Rosalie, I'm so sorry. I never meant to hurt you. I've been a weak, thoughtless person."

I slammed my hand down on the dining room table in frustration. "Stop it Bell, stop it right the fuck now! I don't want you to say you're sorry because I don't believe you. Are you sorry because you know how much you hurt not only me, but Rosalie as well? Or are you sorry because I found out?" She sat there stunned into silence.

It was Rosalie's turn to speak. "It took two of you to make this happen." She turned to Emmett. "Do you remember telling me years ago that if I ever stepped out on you, you'd leave me in an instant? Do you remember that?" she demanded.

Emmett hung his head. "What can I say Rosalie? It was the thrill of the forbidden. I'm sorry we gave in to it."

"I'm sorry too, Emmett." Rosalie turned to her mother. "Can I stay here tonight, Mom? I need some space to think, and I can't do that around…him."

Bell turned to me. The question was there in her eyes. "Let's go Isabella, we need to talk." I got up and turned and walked out the front door without a second thought for anyone else.

It didn't sound good for Rosalie and Emmett, but I had no intention of making any decisions without a long talk first. I was angry, very angry and hurting badly, but I still loved my wife, despite what had happened today.

The drive home was quiet. We didn't talk much, and what we did discuss centred on the next day's work schedule. Once home, we sat down at the kitchen table and shared a beer. I was still having trouble looking her in the eye, and it wasn't long before she started to cry again.

"Can you ever forgive me, Edward? I pray that you can, because I couldn't live without you. I'm so stupid and selfish. All I was thinking about was getting off on the thrill."

I didn't answer, which increased her distress.

"Please tell me you won't leave me. Tell me that you still love me, please!"

I thought about her question, and with a heavy sigh, answered, "Yes Bell, I still love you. I don't like you very much right now, I can barely stand to look at you and I'm so angry, so thoroughly pissed off at you that I think we should just call it a night. I don't think I can talk about this anymore. We'll talk tomorrow. I don't know about you, but I know I'm gonna have trouble sleeping, so I'm going to use the spare bedroom. Good night."

I was right about not sleeping well. I lay there in the dark, somewhere between wakefulness and sleep, and in my mind's eye I could see Bell and Emmett naked. They had their arms wrapped around each other, rolling between the sheets on a bed, which was, for some strange reason, situated in her parents' dining room. My mind was draped with the red veil of anger. Sometime around four, I was finally able to shut down my reeling mind and drift off into a fitful sleep to the sound of Bell's crying.

Work sucked big time the next day. I was tired, and my imagination was still running rampant. All I could think about was Bell fucking Emmett, and the vision of her body writhing beneath his and it kept my wrath at a peak. I knew I had to act soon to defuse the situation or it could end our marriage, and that was something I really didn't want to happen. You hear of spouses who become hateful when one of them cheats, and I could understand that, but it wasn't me. I'd been head over heels in love with Bell for too long, and it wasn't something that I was willing to let go easily, at least not without trying to work it out first.

A half hour before her quitting time, I phoned Bell and told her that I was bringing Chinese take-out home for dinner and that I expected her to be there when I arrived, although I was sure she would head straight home after work.

That evening, we were sitting across the table from one another in silence. The only noise was the sound of her eating her crispy noodles with black bean sauce. I sat idly, playing with my chopsticks. I was still steaming, and I'm sure she could tell.

"Edward, I'm sorry..."

I exploded. "God damn it, if I hear 'sorry' one more fucking time I'm gonna walk out that door and never come back!" I could normally keep my temper in check, but not tonight.

She cringed, tears trickling down her cheeks

"I'm sorry too, Bell." I tried to breathe deeply to calm myself. "This is eating my guts out, and I can't let it go. I don't know what to do. At every turn, all I think about is you with your legs spread wide and your brother-in-law between them, screwing the hell out of you. I'm haunted by it."

She sniffled, and tried to wipe away the tears that had escaped with the sleeves of her hoodie, which were pulled down low over her hands. "What can I do to help us get past this? I'll do anything you want. Anything. Just tell me."

We sat silently for a long time. Bell blew her nose occasionally, and I sat still, my resentment growing with each passing second.

Finally, I spoke. "I want you to tell me why. Why did this happen, why did you let this happen?"

She looked at me curiously. "I guess that's a reasonable question, and one I've been trying to answer myself. Maybe if I try to explain it to you, it'll make some sense."

She paused and looked at me for just for a second, then looked down, unable to hold her eyes to mine. "I know this is going to sound like an excuse, like I'm trying to evade responsibility for what I've done, but that's not it at all."

"We've been married for twenty-four years and our relationship, at least as far a sex is concerned, isn't as exciting as it once was. You know this because we've talked... and tried things to spice it up. But don't get me wrong, I wouldn't trade the relationship we have now for anything in the world. I just had…a moment of weakness. Well, a few moments."

She held her hands over her face and started to sob again. "I hope we still have a relationship, or can get it back. I hope I haven't broken it. I'd die without you." She sat for a few minutes and gathered herself together.

"Our relationship is different than it was early on, it's more love and less lust, and I'm fine with that. But sometimes I miss the lust that we had. I miss the excitement of a new relationship. Don't you?"

I nodded.

"I may miss the excitement Bell, but I don't miss it that much that I would go off and find it elsewhere. I like that we have matured as people and have created a relationship that is based on more than sex. I get excited when you come home from a good day at work and want to tell me all about it. I get excited when I find the little notes you leave me on the bathroom mirror after I get out of the shower. Hell, I get excited when I pick you up from work, and as soon as you see me, you smile. The smile you give me melts my heart. But now my heart is in pieces, Bell. You broke my heart."

More tears streamed down her cheeks as she took in what I had said.

She took in a deep breath and continued, "I'm not saying lack of excitement prompted me to go back to Rosalie's that afternoon, but I'm sure it..." She looked at me and then asked, "If we can fix this, can we try to have a little more lust?"

"If that is what it takes, then okay."

I nodded again, and then it hit me. Would lust help dissolve the anger? Could I get past the anger and fuck my unfaithful wife? Would it bring us closer and help the healing process? I was sceptical, so I decided to wait to suggest it, wanting to see how I felt after we talked more.

She looked me in the eye, while I waited with baited breath. "One thing I have to say and I want to be absolutely sure that you know this..."

I waited.

"My... indiscretion... with Emmett had nothing, not the slightest bit, to do with your ability as a lover. You're the best, and always will be."

"If that was the case, then why did you go? Was it really just the need for a little excitement?" I asked.

She shrugged her shoulders. "As I said earlier, I really haven't figured it out. The lure of the forbidden was certainly there. I'd never felt it before. It was like a drug. Add some thoughtless daydreaming, and no consideration for the consequences... I think it boils down to me being selfish and thoughtless."

"Okay," I told her. "Let's move on to something else. I know you're going to think I'm weird or that I'm being a masochist, but I want you to tell me about your trysts with him. Everything, Isabella. All the details."

She looked at me quizzically. "Really? I don't know if I can. I'd be so... embarrassed is the wrong word, but you know what I mean."

"Really," I said firmly. "I'm spending way too much time imagining the two of you fucking...and I can't see how it could bother you too much. I mean, you were going at it in the bathroom of your childhood home just yesterday, while your husband and the rest of your family were downstairs!"

She cringed at my choice of words, but I carried on. "And that's what's making me crazy, fuelling this ache in my guts. Maybe by replacing the pictures in my mind with reality, I'll be able to let it go."

"What if it makes it worse?" she asked.

I shrugged. "How much worse can it get? The damage has already been done."

She nodded. "I said I'd do anything to try and save us, so if you want to hear about it... well, I'll try my best."

She sat for a minute, maybe longer, putting the words together. "You know about the quick kiss at Rosalie's house when I went to drop off the casserole dish. Well, at work the next day I wasn't all that busy and found myself daydreaming about what happened. Rather than feeling guilty as I had earlier, I replayed what had happened over and over in my mind, and suddenly realized that I was very horny. I remember thinking about repeating what had happened with Emmett, and how exciting the idea was because it was illicit, forbidden. I was ashamed and aroused at the same time.

I decided to drop by Rosalie's to see her, knowing I was only fooling myself. I really wanted to see if Emmett was willing to take the previous day's kissing experience further. I wasn't thinking that we would have sex, but I did expect to kiss some more and perhaps do a little petting. When I got there, he had just arrived home himself and invited me in. We sat down together on the couch and talked, very briefly, as it turned out, before we were kissing. It wasn't like the previous day. I allowed myself to give in to the pleasure. I didn't run out the door after a few seconds. We ended up stretched out on the couch face to face, and while we kissed, he ground his crotch into mine and I could feel his hard-on pressing against my belly. His hands were all over me, squeezing my tits, my ass, everywhere. As he went up under my blouse and slipped my bra up so he could squeeze my nipples, I reached down and stroked his cock through his slacks. It was very hard and there was a wet spot on his pants."

"It was at that point," she looked at me with some uncertainty, "that I knew we were going to...fuck."

Bell seldom used the word. I wondered if she was saying it for my benefit.

"A few minutes later…" she hesitated. She ran her hands through her hair, and I knew that making her divulge all the sordid details of her affair was making her uncomfortable. "Are you…are you sure you want to know all this? I know you want me to be honest, but you can't seriously want to know…what we did."

"Bell I don't want to know, but I really don't want to not know. Secrets are what got us here in the first place. Now talk."

She readjusted her position, and crossed her legs underneath her.

"I had his pants open, he had my skirt up and my panties off, and I was on the floor with my legs drawn up against my chest and he pushed his cock into me." Her voice was low and intense. She readjusted her necklace, playing with the charms. She picked at her fingernails. Any distraction she found, she took.

"It was so hard and I was so wet, it just slid all the way in. It didn't last long. We were both too worked up to try and make it last. Emmett found a box of tissues, and we cleaned each other up. After we were dressed again, we sat and talked for a few minutes. I was feeling guilty and so was he. We agreed that what we had done wouldn't be repeated." She looked around the room, searching for something to focus her eyes on. She settled on her hands that were resting on the table.

"I showered as soon as I got home and hoped that there were no outward signs of what I'd done, but strangely enough, I didn't feel much regret – only a bit. After all, it wasn't going to happen again. It shows you how you can deceive yourself."

The following day at work, I thought about how awful I'd been to make love... no, to fuck Emmett, but in the same thought, I admitted to myself that it was the most exciting sex I'd had in years. It kills me to tell you this to your face, but it's true. It was exciting, not intimate and loving, but I never had that particular thought at the time."

"I stayed away from Rosalie's -- from Emmett, for two or three days, even though he called. I knew that sooner or later I'd go back. It was like I was addicted to the high of it. I never gave the slightest thought of the damage it could do to... us." She held the dinner napkin in her hands. She twisted it and folded it until it was unrecognisable. The little bits of tissue scattered all over the table.

"The next day, I came home as usual. You weren't home from work yet, and Emmett called. He talked dirty to me on the phone, telling me how hard his cock had been since we fucked. My body reacted in a way that I hadn't felt in a long time. When he told me that his body was aching for me, I knew I had to have another fix. I told you I was going to visit Rosalie after supper, and when I got there he grabbed me and dragged me downstairs to Jake's bedroom. After some frantic kissing, I got down on my knees and inhaled his cock. He didn't last long at all and came more than I could swallow, and his semen ran down my neck and all over my sweater."

I didn't know how much more I could take. I could feel the bile rising up my throat. I pushed the chair away from the table, needing to put more distance between us. I slouched forward placing my head between my knees.

"The feel of his come on my skin made me absolutely wild. He got my pants off, and just pulled my panties aside and started to lick me. When he sucked on my clit, I went off like a mad woman, screaming and yelling."

"We calmed down a bit after that, and kissed and groped until I went down on him again. It took him a while to get hard again, but once he was, he lay down on his back and I straddled him. I was still sopping wet, and I sank down on him easily, it went all the way in without any resistance. Since we'd both already come, we were both able last for quite a while. I had at least two more orgasms, and when he was ready he pulled out and released all over my breasts." She had physically shuddered at the thought, as if thinking back on it now disgusted her.

I sat back up in my chair properly. This was not easy to listen to. There were a few moments where I nearly lost control of my stomach contents, but I really felt that I'd be able to lose some of the anxiety that had built up if I listened to what she had to say.

I cleared my throat. "Was that it? Did you do anything else that night?" I asked her, intent on knowing everything that had happened.

She continued, "I was still pretty hot and wanted to suck him off again, but he was done for the night. As I left, we..."

My cell phone rang and interrupted her narrative. I walked over to the kitchen counter and picked it up. I took one look at the screen, reading the caller ID. I knew it had to be important for her to be calling at a time like this, so I hurried off to the bedroom to talk.

Half an hour later, I hung up and looked around for Bella, and found her packing the leftover Chinese into the 'fridge.

"Well, that was an interesting conversation," I said almost in a daze, shocked at the new information I had just learned.

"Who was it?" she asked.

"It was your mom, calling with some advice... and a bit of a story to tell."

"About what?"

"Well, her advice was pretty straightforward. 'Do whatever it takes to stay together. It will work out in the end.' That's not too surprising, but the story really blew me away."

"Why? What was it about?"

"It seems that your folks had a problem similar to ours years ago. She wanted me to know about it. I guess the message was that it can happen to anyone, and that it can be fixed."

Bell's mouth hung open in surprise. "You mean one of them had an affair? I don't believe it. They've always been so happy together."

"I'd always thought so, too. It must have taken a lot of guts to open up about it after all this time. It was when you were quite young, and of course, it was something they never wanted you and Rosalie to know about."

I continued, "It seems that just after Rosalie started school, your mom was having difficulty adjusting to being at home alone. She was lonely and depressed a lot of the time, with your Dad travelling so much..."

Bell's hand went to her mouth. "My God, you mean it was Mom? I thought..."

"That's right. Her self-esteem was in the cellar. She met the father of one of Rosalie's classmates at a PTA meeting, and after he flirted and paid attention to her and made her feel good about herself, it happened." Bell shook her head, trying to comprehend what I had told her.

"He was married, too, so they met while your dad was away. Carried on for about six months, until his wife caught on."

"What happened?"

"Your dad was furious at first, and moved out for five or six weeks, then...."

Bell had a look of realization on her face. "I remember that now. Mom told us he was working out of town. I vaguely remember her being really unhappy during that time, but I thought it was because of dad's job. And...?"

"They decided that they'd either have to try and work it out, or divorce. It took a few years before all the fallout evaporated and your Pop's trust in Renee was fully restored, but as she said on the phone, they're both glad they decided to try."

Bell appeared buoyed by the message from her mom, then asked, "They made it work. Can we try, please? Please, honey."

I replied, "I want to give it a shot. I'm not ready to give up on us yet. It's not going to be easy, but I will try."

She lit up with the brightest smile I'd seen in a while and hugged me tight. We kissed long and hard and I could feel my cock lengthening in my pants. I broke the kiss and held her at arm's length.

"One more thing. Your Dad came on the line after your Mom was done. He suggested that we should get back in the saddle, sooner rather than later..."

A puzzled look crossed Bell's face for a second, then a smile. "You mean...?"

"Yup. He said they didn't. They slept in separate rooms for way too long. He thinks that he should have just put the anger aside and… how do I put this delicately... got it on with your Mom right away."

"Can we?" she asked. "Are you okay?"

To answer her, I held out my hand. Bell took it and we walked down the hall into the bedroom.

We kissed long and hard, then fell on the bed and kissed some more. At some point we lost most of our clothes. I was sucking on one of her hard, sensitive nipples as I slid a finger in and out of her very wet slit, and dragged the back of my thumb across her clit. Little moans escaped her throat.

She was having fun, too. One hand was in my hair, making sure I didn't leave that very erect nipple, while the other fondled my balls, something that had always made me very, very hard.

With a familiar move, she pushed me onto my back and slid down to take my dick into her mouth. Then disaster struck. I immediately thought of her blowing Emmett, which I had overheard in my in-laws basement. I wilted.

"Fuck!" I barked.

Bell jumped back with fear in her eyes. "What? What is it?"

I didn't need to answer. She knew what had happened. "Oh, baby," she cried. "I'm sorry. I didn't think..."

"That's just it, Isabella. You didn't think! If you'd thought things through before you fucked your asshole brother-in-law, everything would be fine. But it's not fine, is it?"

I pulled my pants on and stomped off to the family room and plunked myself down in front of the TV. I flipped through the channels, but wasn't paying any attention to what was on the screen; I was back on the mental treadmill again, thinking this time about Bell swallowing Emmett's cum the previous evening.

Bell knew well enough to leave me alone. She stuck her head around the corner just after ten. "I'm going to bed, Edward," she said in a sad, resigned voice. "I love you..."

I decided to go to bed too, and made my way back to the spare room. Sleep came easier that night, simply because I was exhausted.

Sometime early in the morning while it was still dark, I felt Bell slip into the bed with me and mould herself to my back. She held herself to me for a short while, until warm tears landed on my shoulder and then she slipped away, sobbing quietly.

As much as her willful acts hurt me and angered me, I couldn't make myself think that I didn't love her now as much as I ever had. It had simply been a mistake, a bad one, but one that needed to be forgiven. I got up and made my way to the master bedroom and lay down beside her. Still crying, she rolled over and held me tight. We made love slowly and deliberately, and after her orgasm I came too, with tears in my eyes.

Half a year had passed since my wife Bell had been found out, but the after-effects lingered on for a while. I went through periods of anger and depression interspersed with some happy times when we felt as good as, if not better, than we had prior to the 'incident', as it became known between us, but for the most part, we were happy.

When things were good, we made love regularly, although I still wasn't able to keep an erection when Bell gave me head, but I doubt that would ever change. The act triggered anxiety, which I just didn't want to deal with. However, the more I gave up, the more Bell seemed determined to help me get over it and kept trying, suggesting that it was good therapy. On the odd occasion I stayed firm, she revelled in taking my ejaculation down her throat and milking me dry.

Rosalie and Emmett didn't recover as well. Even with strong encouragement from Bell's mother, Rosalie and Emmett split up for a while. They were now back together again, but didn't seem to be getting along well at all. Rosalie spoke to Bell only when she had to, and I hadn't seen or talked to Emmett since that January evening.

Six weeks into the recovery period, Bell and I had a strange conversation while basking in the afterglow of a good fuck. It centered around the one thing that I thought had prompted Bell's unfaithful behavior, and that was the lack of excitement in our love life. I don't know where in the depths of my fertile mind the idea had come from; it was so off the wall, at least for me, and of course it surprised the hell out of Bell, too.

"Remember when you suggested that we needed to get some of the lust back in our love life?" I asked her.

"Uh huh," she answered.

"We really haven't made much progress there, have we? I suggested.

"Well, no. But we've had other things on our minds, like re-establishing your trust in me, for one. That's more important, isn't it?

"Yes, it's very important, but I really think the lust thing is important, too. We're too dull. We need to start thinking about creating some excitement in our love life."

She cocked her head and looked at me. "Do you have something in mind?"

"Maybe…sort of. Say you met a man who piqued your interest, who made you all hot and bothered, and you could see yourself naked and in bed with him. If you told me about it before hand and I said to go for it, would you do it? Could you seduce him? Could you get all excited and go out and get yourself properly fucked?"

She looked at me as if I had just landed from another planet.

"You're not serious, are you? You're just testing me. I couldn't cheat on you again."

I looked her in the eye. "It's not cheating if you have my permission. I would never, ever, want you to go behind my back again. What I'm thinking of here is consensual... opening up our marriage a bit. Would you be interested?"

"Hmm, I suppose this works both ways, right?"

I nodded, "Yeah, of course."

She continued, "I'd have trouble giving you permission to fuck another woman. I'd be scared that I might lose you."

I laughed. "After all of this, there's not much chance of that happening. You're stuck with me."

She stroked my cock. "I don't mind being stuck with this."

She continued, "It would certainly spice things up, but I don't think I'm ready for it yet. Maybe someday."

That conversation took place more than three months ago. Neither of us has pursued others for sex, and maybe we never will, but the idea has certainly made for some very interesting pillow talk.

We're still making very good progress in overcoming the aftermath of Bell's infidelity, and I'd have to say that things are working out better than I'd expected. I'm a happy man, and I'm looking forward to celebrating my wife's next birthday, knowing that I had forgiven her for her indiscretion. Yes, I may have forgiven her, but I would never forget.