Title: Every Last One
Written for MsKathy's Haiti Author's Compilation Fundraiser
Disclaimer: Twilight isn't mine and I'm not making any money off of this. No copyright infringement intended. The only thing I own are the words below.
My name is Isabella Swan. Bella, for short.
It's not my real name.
Over the last ten years, I have had more names than I could tell you, even if I wanted to. Or was allowed to. Sometimes, I have to struggle to remember the name my mother gave me. Lately, it's gotten harder.
My hair is a deep shade of mahogany with red highlights. It's not my real hair color. I've put too many chemicals in my hair to tell you what color it should be.
I'm not complaining. I chose this life. These are just the facts.
This is what belongs to me: my eyes and my skin. My eyes are – I'm told – a rather warm, chocolate brown. My skin is pale as porcelain. I have had these two characteristics all my life. Though on occasion, even those are subject to contacts or a spray tan.
The only thing that I truly own is my heart. And I guard it jealously.
I watched him through the kitchen window as he leaned against the porch rail, smoking a cigarette. I watched him do this a lot. It wasn't that I particularly enjoyed watching him give himself lung cancer; it was merely my job to watch. He wrapped his lips around the filter, drew deeply, and slowly exhaled the smoke. Shoulders hunched, he tapped the burning ember from the end before dropping the filter into an old, rusted coffee can. The lingering smell of tobacco followed him through the door.
He threw himself into a chair at the dining table, the wood creaking in protest. The thud of his heavy boots promised a pile of dried dirt would be waiting for me. I grit my teeth and glared at him over my shoulder, returning to peeling potatoes. I had grown tired of this routine.
Only a few more weeks. Then he's not your problem anymore. You hand him off to witness protection, and you never see that stupid smirk again. I let a little smirk of my own slip, viciously scraping at the potato in my hand.
"What's for dinner, love?"
"Don't call me that," I snapped, glancing over my shoulder again. "Fuck!" I mumbled under my breath as I turned back toward the sink. I had slipped when I turned my attention away from peeling, and now a bright stream of blood was running down my finger. Perfect.
"Did you hurt yourself?"
"I'm fine." I shoved my hand under the ice cold tap, stifling a gasp as the water hit the open cut. You've been through worse. It's just a tiny cut. Suck it up. I grabbed a dishtowel from the drawer and wrapped it tightly around my hand. It would stop bleeding in the next few minutes. Edward rolled his eyes and got up from the kitchen table, disappearing down the hall.
I sighed and closed my eyes, leaning against the sink for a moment. I had been hand-picked for this job; my expertise, professionalism, and patient personality making me the alleged perfect candidate. Edward Masen was important to the FBI's case; he was the son of an Irish mob boss. When he contacted our office, willing to turn against his family for a new life, we knew it was too important to screw up. We needed evidence, hard evidence, if we hoped to put Edward's father behind bars. Our usual methods were not going to work.
So I went undercover.
Posing as Edward's girlfriend, I served a dual purpose. I was there to protect him, should we be made. I was also there to dig up as much dirt, and see as much first-hand evidence, as I possibly could. Once every two weeks, I took a trip to a local day spa. I came back with freshly painted nails, and the knowledge that another set of photographs and recordings had been passed off to my boss.
"That looks awfully bloody for a potato peeler," Edward said softly, now standing next to me by the sink. I jumped at the sound of his voice. "Is something going on today? You're very jumpy."
"I told you, I'm fine." I sighed, noticing he held a Band-Aid in his hand. His green eyes were warm and filled with concern. I begrudgingly held out my hand, trying to ignore how soft his skin felt against mine as he slowly unwound the dishtowel.
"Are you sure?"
Irritation flashed through me at the question and the temptation to snatch my hand out of his grasp increased. He was taking much longer than he needed to. I reclaimed my hand the second he was done carefully putting the bandage in place. "Edward, really, I'm fine. It's just been a long day."
"Do you want to go on my run with me after dinner? The air is nice and crisp."
Why are you making this so difficult for me? I silently begged him, searching his eyes before I answered. There was nothing there to suggest he was mocking me or that he was being anything other than sincere.
"Sure," I forced myself to say, smiling tightly. "I know I can outrun your chain-smoking ass."
"Want to bet on it?"
"I'm not so sure I will. I've spent a lot of time running in my life." The last sentence came out in a light tone, but his eyes darkened with the words and his jaw tightened.
"We'll see about that. What do you want to wager?" I asked, turning back to the sink. The potato I had been peeling was a lost cause, my blood soaking into its porous surface. I threw it in the pile of peels and grabbed a fresh potato to add to the pot.
"If I win, you have to answer any one question I ask you."
I stared at him, puzzled by his terms. "If there's something you want to know, just ask. I'll tell you anything you want to know that isn't classified." I narrowed my eyes, suspicion rising. "And even if you were to win, the classified stuff is off-limits."
"It's not anything like that, trust me."
"Then why don't you just ask?"
"You won't answer me," he said matter-of-factly. He folded his arms across his chest, pulling his T-shirt more tightly against his muscular shoulders. His emerald eyes twinkled as I met his stare head-on. "What's the matter? You already told me I would lose."
"Fine. If I win, you can scrub every inch of this kitchen floor with a toothbrush. I'm tired of cleaning up the mud you track in."
"Spoken like a true girlfriend." He chuckled, extending one hand. "Shake on it?"
I shook my head, wondering what on earth Edward was trying to pull. I nodded, reaching for his hand. I tried to ignore how his skin felt, smooth and warm, against my pruned, starch-covered skin. I ignored the girlfriend comment, tossing my hair over my shoulder and turning back to making dinner. One of the few perks I had found in my job was that while Edward was a miserable cook, he had a fully equipped kitchen. It was my job to make sure he was well fed and content; it was an added bonus that I actually enjoyed cooking.
"How long until dinner is done?"
"About a half hour. I just need to finish the potatoes," I told him, watching as he started to walk out of the kitchen. "Where are you going?"
"To take a shower."
"Why are you going to take a shower now? You just said we were going for a run after dinner."
He shrugged, avoiding my gaze as he walked out of the room. No answer was forthcoming. I heard his footsteps on the stairs, then the sound of the water running shortly thereafter.
Ignoring any thoughts of Edward in the shower a floor above, I quickly set the non-bloodied potatoes on the stove and cleaned up my mess. I needed the time alone, anyway. I had been spending every waking moment with Edward for weeks, living with him, sleeping next to him, and it was getting harder each day to see the line between us. I was on edge, desperately resisting the urge to curl up against him in our bed at night or to "accidentally" walk in on him in the shower, just once. It was unprofessional and impossible. I would do my job, and I would hand Edward over to witness protection. I would never see him again and I would move on to my next assignment.
But right now, I would just have to outrun him. I needed to work off a bit of frustration, anyway. The run would be the perfect outlet and Edward would have to clean up his own damn mess. Win-win.
Nearly two hours later, I wasn't as certain. We had eaten dinner in our usual way, watching the news and bickering like the couple we were supposed to be. I cleaned the dishes, Edward predictably remaining motionless on the couch when I grabbed his empty plate. I was far too OCD to let the dishes sit, so I cleaned everything up quickly while he flipped the station to "Family Guy".
I retreated to our bedroom to change when I was done. To keep up appearances, all of my clothes were in Edward's closet, and I slept in his bed. I would have much preferred to sleep in the guest room across the hall, or even the couch in the living room, but his father was a suspicious man who showed up at odd hours. When he had turned up in the very early hours of one morning, I had overheard him ribbing Edward for finding us in any form of dress. I could sympathize with Edward's manly pride taking a beating, but there was only so far I was willing to go for my job. I slept in shorts and a tank top, and had requested Edward at least wear pajama pants to bed. He had begrudgingly agreed with a good deal of muttering under his breath.
Closing the door behind me, I quickly took off my jeans and sweater, shoved them into the hamper and walked into the closet. With a glance over my shoulder to make sure Edward hadn't snuck up on me, I slipped out of my lacy bra before reaching for a sports bra. I paused for a moment, debating what to wear over it, before reaching for one of Edward's undershirts. I pulled the tank top down over my chest and brushed aside the twinge of guilt I felt. I rationalized it was a perfectly normal thing for a girlfriend to do; I ignored the little voice in my head that knew better and savored the lingering smell of him on the shirt.
The little voice may not have been able to bring me back to reality, but strapping a knife onto my leg did the trick. Most days we stayed close to home and I was unarmed; Edward Masen's girlfriend had no business carrying around a gun when she had the entire Irish mob looking after her. On the rare occasion we did something like taking a run around our neighborhood, instinct took over. I refused to go out unarmed. I knew too much about the world we lived in.
With a final tug on the leg holster, I shoved my feet into my running shoes and went downstairs to meet Edward.
He made no secret of staring at me when I came into the living room, his eyes lingering as he took in my appearance. "Wearing my shirt, love?" he asked as I hit the bottom stair, moving toward the kitchen for a bottle of water.
"Appearances, Edward," I forced myself to reply tightly. "And don't call me that."
"Sorry. It always just sort of…slips out." He had the decency to look sheepish when I turned to glare at him. I rolled my eyes, fighting a snide comeback. Edward had spent a good deal of his childhood in Ireland, and I knew the phrase slipped off his tongue like a waitress from Georgia calling people "hon". But in my line of work, the word was a dangerous one…especially when it came from Edward. It didn't help matters when he was exceptionally tired – or drunk – and the faint hint of an Irish accent would color his words.
"Are you ready?" I asked without further comment. My hair was pulled back into a tight ponytail, a bottle of water in my hand. I grabbed my iPod from the coffee table and shoved the clip down on the waistband of my pants, ignoring how Edward's eyes followed my movement. I avoided looking directly at him. I was much too stressed to chance what I might see.
It'll all be over soon, I told myself, stepping out the door Edward held open for me. We spent a few minutes stretching in silence on the porch, the cool night air soothing my burning cheeks. It was getting harder to not think about Edward in ways I knew I shouldn't; my duty was to my country above all else. Even my own hormones.
"Ready to lose, Bella?" he taunted as I straightened.
"Want to smoke a cigarette before we go?" I retorted, reaching for the ear buds hanging around my neck. He didn't bother to reply, but smiled the obnoxiously charming crooked smile I secretly loved. We took off through the streets of South Boston, the cracked sidewalks rolling away beneath our feet. Starting at a slow jog, we wound our way through the neighborhood, smiling at our neighbors and fellow mobsters as we went.
I was going to be very happy to leave Boston behind when the assignment was up.
It wasn't the first time I had gone jogging with Edward; I refused to let my undercover detail prevent me from keeping in shape. Luck would have it that like me, Edward abhorred the gym and the going-nowhere-fast sensation a treadmill provided. How he was still in such excellent shape with the amount he smoked, I couldn't fathom.
We followed the same path we had many times before, down back alleys and across city blocks. Edward was fearless; in this neighborhood, his father's word was law. No one would touch him. That would soon change when he stepped into a federal court and betrayed that same family. Edward's days of carefree runs in the early hours of the night would soon come to a grinding halt.
As we turned down the final stretch toward the house, Edward picked up the pace. We were both sweating heavily, my hair plastered to my cheeks and the back of my neck. I pushed myself harder, matching his pace, as I drew deep breaths in. I could feel his shirt where it clung to my back, the heat in my cheeks that meant I was tomato red. A quick glance at Edward revealed he was just as tired; all his exposed skin glistened with perspiration. His tank top was soaked through, transparent in places.
With each block, Edward pushed himself faster, farther. I was pleased to be able to keep up, forcing us faster several times myself. I was panting as we ran, approaching a full on sprint as we hit the final block. With fifty feet to go, he found an energy reserve I knew I didn't have. Edward's hands were the first to slam against the front door.
"I won!" he declared victoriously as I hit the porch seconds behind him. He was breathing heavily, his shoulders heaving with the effort.
"Yes, you did," I gasped out between breaths, bending over my knees. "I have no idea how, but you did."
"Because I'm faster," he teased, leaning down over his own knees. "C'mon, let's go in the house."
I nodded, dragging myself up the stairs and into the living room. Once inside, Edward promptly stripped off his sweat-soaked shirt, going immediately to the fridge. He stood with the door open, letting the cool air wash over him for several long moments before retrieving two icy bottles of water. He tossed one to me before leaning back against the counter. I avoided looking at him.
"So what do you want to ask me so badly?" I finally demanded, the growing silence weighing on me. I took a long drink from my water, leaning back against the opposite counter. The sweat soaked tank top clung to my skin and I desperately wanted to take it off…but not in front of Edward's watchful gaze.
He didn't answer right away and when I looked up, his deep green eyes were studying me carefully. His bronze hair, usually a mess, was an outright disaster as he ran his fingers through it. Beads of sweat shone at his temples as he sipped his water, using the discarded shirt to clean himself up. I forced myself to look him in the eye and ignore his toned, lightly tanned skin.
"Remember you told me you would answer me…."
"Unless it was classified, yes. Those were the terms."
"Your feelings aren't classified, are they?" he finally asked, his voice softer and lower than usual. He took another swig off the water bottle and stared at me, expectant.
"No…" I said slowly, forcing myself to hold his intense gaze. I felt a blush rising into my cheeks that had nothing to do with the exertion of the run. My heart began to thud loudly enough I was certain he would hear it.
"I want to know how you feel about me," he said in a rush, never breaking eye contact. "How you really feel."
"You're my responsibility, Edward." I looked away, taking another sip from my water. I was still trying to catch my breath from our run and I prayed he wouldn't notice the way I was gasping for air.
"That's all?" he challenged, abandoning his position across the kitchen. He closed the distance between us, his fingers falling to the hem of my – his –shirt. "I'm just an assignment?"
"Yes," I answered, still avoiding his gaze. My heart was in my throat as his touch ran lightly along my waist, still fingering the shirt. "That's all."
"You're lying." He pressed himself closer, his bare chest barely inches from me. I swallowed hard and brought the water to my lips once more. "You talk in your sleep, Bella."
I said nothing. His touch continued to wander across my waist, across his shirt encasing my body. "I know you're lying," he whispered in my ear, pressing me back against the kitchen counter. "You're usually very good at it, but tonight, you're terrible."
"Your life depends on my ability to lie," I replied through gritted teeth, trying desperately to ignore his hands sneaking beneath the shirt. "You better pray I'm good at it."
"I've lived with you for months. I've slept beside you. You can lie to yourself, Bella, but you can't lie to me." He pushed his hands up under the shirt, settling them on my waist. In one fluid movement, he lifted me up onto the counter, gently setting me down as he closed the space between us. "Now, tell me, how do you really feel about me?"
I moaned low in my throat, squeezing my eyes shut as one of his hands trailed up along the inside of my thigh. Though the pants I was wearing flared at the bottom to hide the knife, they were thin and tight through the thighs; there was little to separate his touch from my sensitive skin. "Edward, stop. This can't happen."
"Then stop me," he said simply. I didn't. He ran his hands down my thigh until he reached my calf. Keeping his touches soft, he unbuckled the holster I had secured to my leg and set the knife aside. When he was through, he pulled me to the very edge of the counter, his grip on my body secure. "Stop me, Bella," he whispered, pressing his erection tightly between my legs.
I knew I should listen to him, stop him, do anything in my power to keep the situation at hand in my control, but I couldn't. Edward's hands left my legs, reaching instead for my shirt. In one easy motion, he pulled it up over my head and tossed it to the ground. My hands clenched down on the edge of the counter, willing myself to find the control to push him away.
"Are you going to stop me?" he asked, his voice coming from deep in his throat. His hands were at my waist again, pulling my hips against his. "Or are you going to stop lying to yourself?"
"I…Edward, you can't…you don't know what you're…" I gasped as his mouth connected with my skin, his tongue licking at the salty skin of my neck. His mouth closed on the skin, nipping and sucking lightly.
I lost all control over myself. My hands, so firmly planted on the kitchen counter, tangled in his hair, yanking his head up. I took a deep breath, trying desperately to steady myself. I met his stare, losing myself momentarily in his endless green eyes. He licked his lips in anticipation, waiting for me to speak. I couldn't help but notice how intense his stare was, or how red his lips looked. "Don't stop," I finally gasped, hooking my legs around his waist. "Don't stop…"
Edward's mouth was on mine before the words were completely out of my mouth. He kissed me hard, his lips hungry on mine. One hand cupped the back of my head, firmly keeping me exactly where he wanted me, but he quickly grew impatient. He roughly tugged the elastic free, my hair tumbling down over my shoulders. His tongue pressed into my mouth, his grip tightening in my sweaty hair.
Without breaking the kiss, he pulled me from the counter and started to walk toward the stairs without putting me down. He stumbled once or twice, reaching out for the wall to steady himself before continuing his progress. I giggled every time he stumbled, high on adrenaline and lust. When he kicked the door open to his bedroom, the giggling stopped.
He threw me down on the bed, pulling my thin pants off. He fell atop me, grabbing my hands and weaving our fingers together. His lips pulled at mine, teeth yanking on my bottom lip as he kissed me relentlessly. Every inch of my skin was on fire, my legs pulling him more tightly against me. Edward had ignited something in me long dormant, and there was nothing left to do but enjoy it.
I pulled my hands free, dragging my nails down his sides as I went. Too impatient to wait for him to get to it, I grabbed the waistband of his pants and boxers together, shoving them down over his hips. He growled in my ear at my sudden aggressiveness, dropping his hips back to mine as soon as he had kicked free of his pants.
"You're still wearing clothes," he growled in my ear, his fingers hooking on the elastic of the sports bra I was still wearing. I mumbled something incoherently as he began to pull the fabric from me. As soon as he pulled it free, his mouth replaced the bra, his tongue flicking maddeningly over my nipple. I let loose the moan I had been holding back and arched my back in an attempt to gain more pressure.
The moan was enough to bring Edward's mouth back to mine, his hands traveling down my sides to the thin straps of the thong I wore. I heard the fabric rip before I felt him pulling it free, the hotness of his body pressing against mine.
"I've wanted you since the moment I saw you," he murmured in my ear, his breath hot and his teeth nipping at the sensitive skin. I gasped as he slid one finger, then another, inside me and massaged.
"I've thought about this every time I went to sleep beside you," I replied, gasping as he ran his thumb over my clit.
"Not lying anymore?"
"No, god, no…"
"Say it," he demanded, pulling his hand away. I whimpered, needing to feel him inside me. "How do you really feel about me?" he asked, drawing his body across mine. He leaned on his elbows, holding himself poised above me. I felt him pressed against me, barely slipping inside. I raised my hips to meet him, but he pulled back. "Answer me, Bella," he growled, his eyes intent on mine. In the dim light of the bedroom, he smoldered with lust.
"I want you," I choked out between pants, "I want you now. I've wanted you from the beginning."
He groaned, finally pushing into me. I had half expected him to move slowly, to savor the moment, but he didn't. In one swift motion, he was inside me, grinding his hips against mine. "See how good it feels to tell the truth," he growled, pressing even deeper and holding the position.
I didn't bother to reply, only arching my back against him in a plea to continue. His mouth captured mine, his hips finally adopting a tortuously slow rhythm. I met him thrust for thrust, pushing my hips against his, urging him to move faster. I couldn't get enough of him as slid in and out of me, finally, finally, moving faster.
He tore his mouth from mine and buried his face in my neck, his breath coming in deep pants. "Oh, god, Bella…" he moaned, moving even faster. I squeezed my legs against his hips, pulling him deeper. I could feel my release approaching, the muscles tightening against him. My nails dug into his skin and my teeth sank into his shoulder, as I struggled with the overwhelming sensations his body was providing.
I couldn't help but cry out when my orgasm took hold, shooting pleasure through every nerve in my body. I moaned Edward's name, which was evidently enough to send him over the edge; he shuddered atop me with one final thrust.
He lay still for a long moment. It didn't bother me; his body felt perfect resting on top – and inside – of mine. When he did ease himself off me, he merely slid to my side. He pulled me to him, reaching down to hitch my leg up over his. I pressed my inflamed cheek to his sweaty chest, flinging one arm around his waist while I struggled to catch my breath.
"We should have fallen asleep like this every night you were with me," he said huskily, one hand tangling in my hair. I took a deep breath, willing my heart to slow.
"We still have a few weeks."
"Yes, we do."
I ran my fingers lazily over his chest, delighting to see goosebumps follow my touch. "It's a good thing we have those weeks," I told him casually, tracing a circle around his nipple with the tip of my nail.
"Yes. I need to teach you to be a better liar."
"Why is that?" he asked, playing along. He flipped me onto my back again, pressing his re-hardened cock against my thigh. He began to plant light, butterfly kisses along my neck and collarbones.
"Well, as a federal agent, I'm telling you…if they ask you on the stand if you spent the last three weeks fucking your handler senseless every night, you're going to say no."
"Is that right? Every night?" he murmured in my ear, his lips on my neck. He rolled over me, pushing my legs apart as he settled atop me. He was less hurried this time, his hands running over every inch of skin he could reach, his touch light as a feather.
"Every. Last. One."
AN: Big thanks to the PTB ladies who helped me out this one! (Jen, Ann, sirenastarot)