Fun With Your Clothes On One-Shot Contest
Title: Waiting. Always Waiting.
Pen Name: jennlynnfs
Characters: Bella and Edward, AH
Disclaimer: These characters belong to Stephanie Meyer.
Rated M for some language and lemonade
To see other entries in the Fun With Your Clothes On Contest, please visit the C2 page:
Author's Note: Special thanks to sherylaf for her beta services. Thank you also to nerac/carenl & Kassiah for hosting this contest.
May 12, 2010: Waiting won Second Place in the Public Voting Round. Thank you all so much for voting. I still can't believe I placed.
"Bella, please. Come on!"
"No, Seth." She stood in front of the fridge, door open, contemplating whether or not to have the last pudding cup or a slice of the chocolate cream pie Leah brought home.
He stood next to the fridge while his stepsister reached for the pudding cup. "Hey, that's the last one."
She shrugged. "So eat some pie."
"He wishes he could," Emmett said which caused Jasper to snicker.
Bella rolled her eyes. It was bad enough she was stuck at home with Seth, but now his friends were hanging around too. Why did they have to convene here? And always whenever she came home.
She reached in a drawer for a spoon. "Isn't there a mall you guys can go get lost in or something? I'm sure there are girls your age who would be more than willing to do something with you that they'd regret later."
Jasper shook his head. "Bella, don't talk like that. You're not that much older than us."
Out of all of Seth's friends, Jasper Whitlock was the most sensible. She actually got along with Jasper most times, but because of the company he kept, he usually succumbed to their sophomoric antics.
She raised an eyebrow at him. "Not you, too."
"Come on, Bells. Everyone will think you're awesome for doing this." Emmett McCarty leaned on the counter. He was a big guy, but usually sweet. Usually.
"Why would I care about what a bunch of high school kids think of me?" Bella scooped up some pudding from the cup and took a bite.
"Former high school students." Seth added, "We graduated last week."
Bella couldn't help letting out a small laugh. "Of course. How could I forget Emmett blasting that air horn when he got his diploma."
He grinned. "It was awesome."
Seth ignored Emmett, pressing Bella for an answer. "It'd be for a good cause."
She held her spoon up, but held it mid-air at his comment. She gave him an expectant look.
Emmett was the one to continue, "This party will be sick. It's the end of the year. It's the summer before we go off to college." He pushed away from the counter. "Plus, it's Edward's birthday. You really want his birthday to be whack?"
Edward Cullen, who had been silent the whole time, was leaning on the door frame. At the mention of his name, he shifted and was about to say something, when Seth cut him off.
"Lauren dumped him too. He deserves some fun at his party."
Edward's brow furrowed. "I don't care if there's alcohol at the party. And Lauren-"
Emmett cut in. "He doesn't know what he's talking about. Lauren really messed him up."
Seth said, "I think this party will help him get over her. It would be a good way to send him off to college."
Edward shook his head and muttered, "Whatever."
Bella took her time eating her pudding. When it was all gone, she proceeded to scrape the sides of the cup for more. The sound of the spoon scraping against the cup echoed in the kitchen for a minute. When she was finished, Bella put her spoon in the sink and threw away the cup.
Then she looked at Seth and Emmett who wore hopeful expressions. Jasper was amused and Edward was scowling.
She turned to Edward. "Why did you break up with Lauren?"
His scowl was quick to disappear and his expression was replaced with shock. Jasper cleared his throat and Edward said, "She...She thought it would be best if we broke up since we'll be going to different colleges in the fall."
Emmett said, "Dude, it was better this way. I know she was the hottest girl at school, but that was high school. There will be so many hotter girls once we get to college."
Edward's eyes strayed for a second to Bella before he averted them. "Yeah, I guess."
Emmett's brow furrowed. "What do you mean-"
Jasper held up a hand. "Dude, focus."
"Oh, right." Emmett returned his attention to Bella. "So, will you do it?"
Seth added, "This might be our only chance since my mom and your dad left for vacation." He shifted on one foot to the other. "Plus, Leah's staying with Jacob, so she won't say anything. Especially if she doesn't want mom to know she's been staying with him while they were gone."
Bella shook her head. "This is really stupid. Why should I get alcohol for you guys? Charlie would have a heart attack if he found out."
Emmett said, "He won't."
They all stared at her in different states of anticipation. When her eyes settled on Edward, he looked at her with apprehension and something else. Hope?
After a moment, Bella let out a long breath. Then with some hesitation, she said, "If I do this, there are going to be some rules."
Seth's face lit up. "Anything."
"First, I'm not paying for it."
Jasper said, "We would never expect you to."
She gave him a small smile before she continued, "I'm only buying beer."
Emmett said, "But-"
Jasper cut in. "And we appreciate that you would even do that much."
Bella held up her hand. "Oh, there's more."
They all waited, thinking maybe this wasn't such a good idea asking Bella.
"No one's allowed upstairs because that's where I'll be during the party."
Seth straightened up. "Come on."
"And you all have to clean up. Everything."
They all muttered their agreement.
"One more thing." She turned to Seth. "None of your drunk ass friends better not try hooking up with me."
Seth grimaced. "Why would anyone want to hook up with you?"
She bit her lower lip and pretended to think about it. Then she said, "You're right, Seth. What guy would want to hook up with a girl who can buy beer and who isn't a virgin?"
Emmett's hand began to lift, but Jasper smacked him upside the head.
Seth's face was equal parts mortification and disgust. "We didn't need to know that!"
Emmett said, "Actually, I was okay with that. In fact, if Bella wants to share how-"
Seth shoved him. "Shut the hell up! She's practically my sister."
Jasper walked toward Bella. "So, will you buy the booze for the party?"
Bella shifted in her spot.
Edward walked into the kitchen, but kept his distance from them. "You don't have to. It's cool if you don't."
For some reason that made Bella want to do it.
"I'll do it."
Emmett let out a whoop and Seth gave her a one armed hug. Jasper gave her a warm smile. Edward looked at her with restrained excitement. When she wrestled out of Seth's hug, Bella scrambled out of the kitchen and took refuge in her own room.
She locked her door and threw herself on her bed. What have I gotten myself into?
The party wasn't for a few days, so until then Seth and his friends hung out around the house and sometimes ventured out on stupid pranks at night. She suspected they spared her from being a victim of a prank because they were afraid she'd change her mind and not buy the beer for the party.
They were all crammed in Emmett's jeep, but Seth was driving. He pulled into a gas station.
From the passenger side, Emmett laughed. "That was awesome."
Sitting behind him, Jasper added, "That was pretty fun."
Edward sat in the middle. "Do you think she'll know it was us?"
Bella sat to his left. "Who else would want to t.p. her house?"
From the front, Seth said, "Jessica Stanley."
"Aren't they friends?" Bella asked.
Jasper said, "Not since Lauren gave Mike a blow job."
Bella turned to look at Edward. "Is that why you guys-"
He held up his hands. "We already broke up by then."
"Not to be a dick, but Lauren was a bitch," Emmett said.
Edward shook his head, but he had a small smile on his lips.
Emmett turned around in his seat. "Why are hot girls bitches?"
All eyes were on Bella as if she held the answer to the mysteries of women.
She shifted in her spot and after a moment, she said, "Maybe because they're used to getting their way."
"But you're not like that," Emmett blurted out.
Seth shoved him. "What the hell, Emmett?"
"What?" he asked.
"Did you just call my sister hot?"
Emmett's eyes widened and then he laughed at his admission. "Whatever, Seth. She knows she is."
"Hey! I'm right here." She supposed Emmett was giving her a compliment in his own way which embarrassed her, but it didn't mean he could keep talking about her like that.
She knew him when he was going through his Yu-gi-oh phase. She knew all of them then. Granted, she was only three years older, but at the moment the difference felt like ten years.
They just finished covering the front of Lauren Mallory's house with toilet paper and they thought it was hilarious. So, okay. She thought it was too, but still. Bella felt she had to maintain some sense of maturity around them.
Seth said, "We need to get some gas."
"I'll get it," Bella offered.
"Oh, no. It's cool. It's Jasper's turn." Emmett gestured toward him.
"What?" Bella asked.
Edward let out a small laugh. "Jasper has to do better than Skittles."
Bella waited for him to explain.
At her confused expression, Edward continued, "Each time we get gas, the person who goes in has to come back with something that they got for free. Last time, Emmett got Skittles."
Bella looked at Emmett who wore a cocky expression. The rest of them looked somewhat pained.
She asked, "And that's like the best anyone's ever gotten?"
Emmett nodded and then winked.
Edward rolled his eyes. "One time Seth got a Snickers."
"Snickers are whack," Emmett said.
"Who works at the gas station?" Bella asked.
Jasper said, "Eric Yorkie. He's cool about stuff like that."
Bella shook her head. "Okay. Well, I'll get the gas." Then she looked at Emmett. "If I get something better than Skittles, can we go home?"
Seth said, "But we were going to go t.p. Mr. Banner's house."
She rolled her eyes. "We're going home after this."
Emmett gave her a doubtful expression. "I don't know, Bella. Skittles are pretty hard to top."
"Oh, I know." Her tone was a bit sarcastic. She began unzipping her hoodie and then shifted in her seat to take it off. "I hope I can walk away with something almost as good." She pulled off the short sleeved black Henley shirt she was wearing.
Edward tried to avert his eyes, but couldn't look away. "Uh...Bella? What are you-"
"Nothing." She crossed her arms, reaching for the hem of her gray thermal. She was about to pull it off, but noticed again, eight pairs of eyes on her. "What the hell? Turn around. Close your eyes."
They all did what she said. All they could hear was her moving around in the backseat. A second later, Edward felt her shirt on his lap. He felt the warmth of it through his jeans and suddenly his pants were tight. His eyes flew open and he saw her slipping the Henley back on, but then she undid a few buttons.
And she was cold.
Bella caught Edward staring. She had a small smile pulling at the corner of her mouth. Then she leaned toward him and asked in a low voice, "What's your favorite candy?"
It took him a minute to register the question and he muttered, "Starbursts."
She tied a corner of her shirt in a knot. A bare expanse of creamy skin was exposed and Edward's eyes caught a glint of something shiny in her belly button.
He blurted out, "Is that a belly button ring?"
The eyes of the other passengers flew open. They all turned their bodies toward Bella, but she was already out the door. They watched her walk away, her hips swiveling with an air of confidence. It helped that her ass looked really good in those jeans too. Her hand reached up her head and then all of a sudden her hair fell in mahogany waves down her back. She shook it out, causing her head to move from side to side.
"Shit, I think she's going to get something way better than Skittles," Emmett said.
Their eyes were glued to the door of the convenient store, but it didn't stop them from talking.
Jasper said, "She has a belly button ring?"
"Seth, why didn't you say something?" Emmett asked.
"How the hell would I know?" he said.
"Don't you like...check her out sometimes?" Emmett asked.
Seth slapped him upside the head. "Not cool, man."
"Sorry," but he didn't really sound sorry at all.
Edward felt bad for mentioning it in the first place. It's not like they didn't know what a belly button ring was, they just never saw one first hand before. Lauren talked about getting one for the longest time. He didn't care either way, but seeing one on Bella did things to him and made him want to lick around that part of her body.
He shook his head. He had to stop thinking about Bella like that. She was clearly not interested in him that way. The chief reason being that she thought he was too young. In another three years, it wouldn't matter. He felt like he was always waiting for his chance with Bella and he worried that soon he wouldn't have one.
Edward was about to sit back in his seat, but then the convenient store's door flew open. Then it was all slow motion, hot girl music playing in his mind. She was walking toward the car, but she might as well have been walking on a runway for all it mattered.
"What the fuck?" Emmett let out in a stunned voice.
"Are those...nachos?" Jasper asked.
"And a drink too?" Emmett added.
Seth said, "Yeah. Definitely better than Skittles."
Bella walked around to the other side of the car. Edward reached over and opened it for her. She held out her drink to him and he took it, allowing her to slide in.
Once she was in, she shut the door and was met, again, with eight pairs of eyes on her.
"What?" she asked.
"You got all this for free?" Emmett asked.
She shrugged and took the drink from Edward's hand. "I would've gotten the gas free too, but that just would've been shady."
They stared at her in stunned silence.
Her brow furrowed. "Nachos aren't better than Skittles?" When they continued to stare, she reached in her back pocket and pulled something out. "How about this?"
"Fuck! Is that Toblerone?" Emmett asked.
She nodded. "Eric said I had to take it."
Jasper's brow furrowed. "He was practically giving you stuff to take?"
She lifted one shoulder up and then down. "Yeah, I guess. Is someone going to fill the tank?"
"Not it!" Edward said first, followed by Jasper and then Seth.
"Damn it!" Emmett muttered and then threw his door open.
"It's your car!" Seth called after him.
When Emmett got outside to pump, he tapped on Bella's window and she rolled it down. He asked, "Can I have a nacho?"
She held them out the window toward him. "Here. I don't even really want them."
Jasper and Seth shot out of the car. Emmett said, "Stay away, bitches! She gave them to me!"
There was a struggle. Bella said, "Emmett! Share!"
Edward looked at her.
"What?" she asked again.
"You do know that nothing can top this, right? They're going to be talking about this for a long time."
She shrugged. "It's not a big deal."
He let out a small laugh.
"Oh." She reached behind her pocket again and pulled out something else. "Here."
It was a pack of Starbursts.
Edward felt his heart speed up. He shouldn't have gotten excited that she remembered, but he couldn't help it.
"Did I get the wrong thing?" she asked.
He shook his head. "I just...I didn't know you'd actually..."
She felt the back of her neck grow warm. "I figured you put up with a lot with these guys, so you deserved something...nice."
His eyes took in every part of her face. "You're amazing."
The warmth spread to her cheeks. "Because I got you some Starbursts?"
He shook his head. "No, because I'm pretty sure any guy would want to be in my place right now."
They hadn't realized how close they were to each other until Emmett's voice called out, "Bella, were you going to drink that?"
Bella blinked a few times. When she realized how close they were, she shifted away and then held her drink out the window. "No, you can have it." She didn't like that her voice sounded shaky.
"Thanks," he grabbed it from her.
She looked back at Edward who had a mild expression of disappointment on his face. She didn't like seeing that look, but wasn't sure how to make it disappear.
Emmett stood at the open window. "So, what did you say to Eric? How did you get all this?"
She turned to look at Emmett. "I handed my ATM card to him and said to put it on pump number five."
Emmett's eyes widened. "That's it?"
Jasper had climbed into the backseat. "Wait, are you saying that you just asked for gas and then he just gave you all this?"
She thought about it for a minute. Then she said, "He asked if I was hungry."
"So, he gave you some nachos and a drink?" Jasper asked.
Seth said, "And Toblerone?"
Emmett shook his head. "Can't really blame the dude. If it was me, I'd probably let you walk out with the register."
Bella laughed. "Thanks? I think."
Emmett rubbed his stomach. "No, thank you." He turned to put the pump away and close up the gas tank.
Bella rolled up the window and then put her sweater back on. Seth pulled away and it was quiet for a moment.
Then Emmett said, "Bella, I'm glad you don't use your powers for evil."
"What are you talking about?" she asked.
"You could pretty much get anything you want, but instead you're here hanging out with us." Emmett turned around to look at her. "Thanks."
She felt her face heat up again and only smiled.
Edward caught her eye and he mouthed the words, Told you.
She rolled her eyes and she turned away. The reflection in the window betrayed the wide smile on her face.
When they got home, they talked about watching a movie. Emmett made an off hand remark that he wanted to watch The Hangover and when Bella said she hadn't seen it, they were all in various states of disbelief. They also learned that Bella hadn't seen Super Bad or Pineapple Express either, so they made a night of it.
Since Emmett said thank you back in the car, Bella felt a shift in the dynamics of her relationship with them. Before, they'd joke around, but there was definitely some distance put between them. She knew she was the one who kept them at arm's length, but after tonight, it seemed the distance had lessened. There was a definite sense of closeness felt with them as if she were the older sister they looked up to. She felt this with all of them.
Edward usually kept his distance, but just as Emmett's admission had the effect of bringing them closer like brother and sister, Edward's had a different effect. He made an effort to talk to her more and even joked a little too. She didn't know what changed, but she found she liked it. It was a side of Edward that she hadn't seen before.
Once the movie started up, the atmosphere changed again. In the darkened family room with the movie providing a flickering light, there was a charge in the air. Pineapple Express was playing on the screen, so she knew the tension was not from the movie.
When she couldn't stand it, Bella looked up. Her heart sped up at the way she caught Edward looking at her.
Definitely not in a brotherly way.
She had to force herself to look back at the television. This was new and Bella wasn't sure how to proceed. On the one hand, Edward was Seth's younger friend. On the other, even though he was younger, Edward certainly wasn't a kid anymore. Sitting next to him in the car, bumping thighs and arms together, there was no doubt that he had become a very fit young man.
She snuck another look at him. He was watching the movie now, so she studied the curve of his jaw and was fascinated by the long length of his lashes. He was beautiful, but the light dusting of hair that peeked out from the collar of his shirt and the square palms that rested on his thighs all hinted at a subtle masculinity that shouldn't be underestimated.
Bella wondered what it would be like to become more familiar with the subtleties of his body and is if he read her thoughts, Edward turned to look at her and a small smile pulled at the corner of his mouth.
She felt her face grow warm and returned his smile. She was pretty sure that she was looking at him like she'd like to lick the curve of his jaw, but Bella couldn't bring herself to apologize. He obviously didn't mind.
They returned their attention back to the movie, but eventually snuck looks at each other from time to time. When the television darkened and Emmett turned on the lights, Bella and Edward straightened up in their seats.
The couch was L-shape. Bella sat in the corner where the ends met. Seth sat to her right and Edward at the end. Jasper and Emmett were to Bella's left. Once the movie stopped, Seth hopped from his seat and said he was going to look for something to eat.
Emmett said he wanted something too and followed. Jasper was about to ask if Bella enjoyed the movie, but when he saw that Edward had moved down the couch to sit closer to Bella, he decided to leave them alone.
Bella pulled her knees to her chest and laid her head against the couch. Edward draped his left arm on the back of the couch and turned his body toward her.
He asked, "What's your favorite candy?"
Her eyebrows shot up, surprised by the question, but answered anyway. "Tootsie Pops."
She hesitated before she said, "Green."
Her brow furrowed. "Chocolate chip." Then she said, "What about you?"
"Chocolate chip cookie dough."
He looked at her for a moment before he said, "Brown."
She let out a small laugh.
He continued to ask her inconsequential questions like this until the others came back. Edward didn't move from his spot and Bella couldn't help rejoicing over the fact.
Emmett put in Super Bad. They watched for several minutes and Bella let out a laugh that erupted from her belly when it was revealed that one of the main characters used to obsessively draw dicks when he was a kid. Even though they already saw this movie, her laugh was infectious and they joined in.
When she looked at Edward, he had such an easy expression on his face. He patted her on the knee and gestured toward his lap. When she raised an eyebrow at him, he smiled and shook his head. He took one of her ankles and tugged. She stifled a yelp, but realized that he wanted her to drape her legs across his lap. She hesitated before she did and in return Edward gave her a warm smile and rested one of his hands on her shin.
Sometime in the middle of the movie, Edward's hand slid over her ankle and since she wasn't wearing socks, she felt the warmth of his hands and softness of his fingertips as his thumb absently caressed her ankle. It was a harmless gesture, but her mind could not help focusing on the one spot where Edward was touching her. It was exquisite and torturous at the same time.
She snuck a glance at him. His attention was on the television. She averted her eyes, trying to pay attention to the movie. It was difficult though because she realized that if he could stir up such feelings with her clothes on, what could he do when they were off?
Bella shifted in her spot, trying to alleviate the warmth spreading between her thighs. Edward snapped his head toward her.
"You okay?" he asked.
She looked down at where his hand rested on her foot.
He followed her gaze. The top of his ears turned pink and he immediately let go. "Sorry."
She couldn't form the words to say it was okay because she wasn't sure if it was. She wasn't sure about anything anymore.
They continued watching the movie and Bella did her best to pay attention. Edward's hands didn't wander anymore and she was surprised that she was disappointed.
When the movie finally ended, Bella felt on edge. She was overwhelmed, but also left with a sense of wanting. She'd never felt such a range of emotions and it shocked her further that Edward was the source.
She didn't think she could handle another movie, sitting next to him like this. She was about to make an excuse that she was tired and go to her room, when Jasper said that they should play some Wii instead.
Seth and Emmett immediately jumped up, remembering they had a round of Mario Kart to play against each other.
While they played, Edward resumed his questions.
"What's your favorite cookie?" he asked.
"It's a tie between white chocolate with macadamia nuts and peanut butter." He turned to face her. "Favorite season?"
She thought about a minute then said, "Fall. Halloween and Thanksgiving are my favorite holidays."
"Really? I like Christmas."
"I do too, but I like how summer folds into fall and you have to dress warmer. Then there's the food."
They continued like this, discussing trivial matters. They didn't notice how much time had passed until Emmett and Seth were shutting off the television. Jasper had disappeared to commandeer Leah's room long ago.
Emmett said goodnight, but Seth hesitated before leaving.
Bella asked, "What?"
He shifted in his spot for a moment and then said, "Nothing. I just...whatever you guys...just...it's cool." He shrugged and then climbed the stairs.
Then they were alone.
Bella stared in disbelief at the empty spot her step brother had just occupied. "Did he just-"
She held up a hand. "Why-"
"What do you listen to on your iPod when you're reading?" he asked.
She hesitated before she asked, "Why do you want to know these things?"
He looked at her for a moment. Then he said, "Because I want to know you."
Her brow furrowed. "Why?"
He looked away and played with a loose thread on the edge of her pant leg. "You like your coffee with two sugars. No cream. When it's raining, you like to have tomato soup and grilled cheese. You always make sure that Charlie takes his heart medication. You help Sue with dinner. You cover for Leah whenever she's staying with Jacob. You pay Seth to watch your truck when you're back at school even though you know it'll be fine."
He hesitated before he continued, "But I still don't really know you." He raised his eyes to meet hers. His voice was low. "But, I want to. If you let me."
Bella felt her mouth fall open and was quick to shut it. All that time he held back from the rest and always stayed on the outskirts of conversations. It wasn't because he wanted to. It was because he was trying to figure her out, waiting. Always waiting.
The words tumbled out before she had a chance to stop them. "How long have you..."
He shifted in his spot. "I...I'm not sure. You've always been...there." He turned to face her and after a minute, he looked up at her from under his lashes. "For as long as I can remember, I've always been...fascinated by you."
She was pretty sure that she just melted and was a puddle on the floor. Her voice was breathless. "Why now?"
A small smile pulled at the corner of his mouth. "Because, I think for the first time, you don't see me as Seth's younger friend."
She couldn't deny it. Didn't she spend most of the night eyeing him like she wanted to press every part of her onto him? Was she really that transparent? She was mortified and at a loss to explain her behavior.
As if sensing her conflicting emotions, Edward asked, "So, what do you listen to on your iPod?"
"I..." Did she really want to do this? He just turned the legal age of voting only a few days ago.
Edward shifted and leaned forward. Bella held her breath, but then he leaned back when he pulled out something from his pocket. He held it up. "You can listen to what's on mine."
She couldn't help smiling. He held up an ear bud and she put it in her ear. He copied the gesture and he scrolled through his list. After a moment, the melody of Smashing Pumpkins' Perfect echoed through the ear bud.
They listened to music this way and would occasionally throw in a question here and there, but mostly they were content to study the other person. Eventually, they lay next to each other, facing each other, listening and watching.
When the Foo Fighters' Razor played, Edward reached for her face.
Bella felt herself getting lost in his touch. "Edward?"
"When was your first kiss?" he asked.
She felt her face heat up. "When I was nineteen." His eyebrows shot up and before he could ask anything else, Bella asked, "You?"
"Thirteen." He let out a small laugh. "Band camp."
She smiled, but after a moment it disappeared. She studied his face before she asked, "When did you lose your virginity?"
He blinked a few times and felt the back of his neck burn. "Uh...last year."
"Were you...did you love her?"
He looked away from her, but tugged at a strand of her hair. "I..."
"You don't have to answer."
"No, it's just..." He reached for her face again. His eyes willing her to understand. "I don't know how to say this without sounding like..." He let out a short breath. "We'd been together for a while and it just...happened. I thought we were in love, but..."
"It's okay. I understand."
His eyebrows shot up in surprise. "You do?"
"Felt like a natural progression because you guys were together for a while?"
"It was like that with Jacob."
His eyes widened. "You and Jacob?"
She shook her head. "We were good friends and we tried some things together. He wanted to, but I didn't think it...then Leah told me how she felt about him. I'm so glad we didn't."
He had a stunned look on his face and then was quick to wipe it off. "Then are you still..."
She let out a small laugh. "No. I said I wasn't."
"I know, but...if it wasn't Jacob, then..."
She let out a short breath. "Garrett."
"When? Who is he?"
"When I was nineteen," she said again. Bella rolled the wire of the ear bud in her fingers. "He's a really good friend. We went out for a while, but decided...we were better just as friends."
At that moment, Lex Land's Easy played.
Bella's eyebrows shot up. "You listen to chick music?"
He let out a low laugh and tugged at a strand of her hair. "Just listen."
She did. Then her stomach flipped.
Edward leaned forward and lowered his face, but stopped just an inch before her lips. His eyes held her gaze, waiting for her. Always waiting for her.
She knew if they crossed this line, there would be no turning back. There couldn't be. She had a feeling one kiss wasn't going to be enough, but he was so young.
And beautiful. So damn beautiful.
It was quite possible once he got over this infatuation, he could move on and easily find someone else. Her? Not so easily.
As if sensing her hesitation, Edward shifted his face and pressed his lips on the spot below her ear. His voice was rough. "Bella, don't make me wait anymore." He lifted his face again to look at her.
It was her undoing. His expression caused her body to grow warm. She reached for his face and took his bottom lip into her mouth. The moment their lips met, Bella felt like she had found where she belonged. He shuddered and gripped her hip to steady himself. He returned the kiss and they eventually found a slow rhythm of lips caressing and tongues tasting.
Bella reached up, her fingers first tracing the angle of his jaw, and then tangling into the hair at the nape of his neck. Edward hummed at the sensation. His hand on her hip made a slow path to her knee. He tugged on it, so it hitched over his hip.
Laying side by side wasn't enough for Bella. She needed to feel more of him. She fisted the side of his shirt and tugged toward her. Edward rolled himself onto her.
Bella let out a soft moan at the exquisite feeling of having his body pressed against hers. The way their bodies fit was undeniably right. Even with their clothes on, she felt the firmness of his chest and arms.
She let her hands wander over Edward's body. Her touches were tentative at first, but they became emboldened by the sounds emanating deep from Edward's chest and the impatient kisses he trailed down her neck. Her hands trailed across the width of his shoulder blades and down his lower back along his narrow hips. Her hands slid lower into Edward's back pockets. She couldn't resist, so she squeezed.
Edward groaned and pulled away. "Did you just grab my ass?"
Bella felt her already heated skin grow warmer. "Yes. You didn't like it?"
"Hell, yeah. I liked it." He kissed her and then said, "It's just...I've never had my ass grabbed like that before."
Her brow furrowed. "What about the other girls?"
Edward returned her confused expression. "What other girls?"
Bella's heart melted at his innocent confession. She also couldn't help feeling a little brazen at the fact that she was corrupting him.
A second later, Edward realized how his admission revealed the level of his experience, or lack thereof. He watched Bella's expression turn from confusion to mild discomfort.
Edward reached for her face. "Bella, I know I'm not good at this, but..." He looked at her with an intensity that made it difficult to look away. "I...You make me feel things...I want to make you feel them too." He placed a soft kiss on her lips. "Aren't you even a little curious?"
How could she refuse him anything when he looked down at her through lidded eyes? She returned his kiss and then squeezed his backside again. "Maybe a little," she said, but the want in her voice betrayed her feelings.
His eyebrow arched. "Just a little?" He pressed his hips down. The teeth of his zipper from his jeans was felt through his boxers and created a mild discomfort against his hardness, but he didn't care.
Bella moaned and moved her hips against his. His name fell from her lips in a throaty breath. "Edward."
He pulled the earbuds out and tossed them on the floor. "Say it again," he grunted.
"Edward," she repeated and lifted her knee higher.
When they got home, Bella had changed out of her jeans and into a pair of flannel pants. She wanted to be comfortable, but was even more grateful that the thin material allowed her to feel much more than her jeans would have allowed. Not only could she feel Edward's hardness, but she could feel the length of him slide over her each time he swiveled his hips.
She panted on his lips. "Don't stop."
He groaned. He spoke against her lips. "You're driving me crazy." Edward lowered his mouth on hers and then pressed his hips more forcefully against her.
She moaned, but he swallowed the sound. Bella took his tongue in her mouth and sucked. The action caused Edward to tilt his head sideways to allow more access. He dropped his hand from her knee and cupped her breast. His thumb moved back and fourth over her nipple which caused Bella's back to arch.
He broke away from the kiss. "I never thought..." His eyes were drawn to his hand on her breast and how the top of it swelled above the neckline of her tank top. He lowered his mouth on the soft curve and murmured against her skin, "Perfect."
She bit her lower lip to try to stifle the moans that threatened to escape. She looked up at him, her breath unsteady because of the simmering look in his eyes. She covered her mouth over his, tangling her tongue with his.
Edward moaned and pulled away. He said against her lips. "Too much. I don't know if I can..." He didn't want to embarrass himself. He'd had feelings for Bella since he was twelve and he was doing things to her that he only dreamed about.
He had one elbow bent beside her head and his other hand still cupped her breast. He slowed his hips. Edward did not want to disappoint her.
He felt Bella tug the hand on her breast away and he couldn't hide the disappointment. Then when he realized that she was guiding him lower, lower he pulled his hips away so that they could slide their hands between them. She took hold of his wrist and guided him, so that he cupped her.
"Fuck," he muttered. Even though she had on a pair of flannel pants, they were so thin that there was no mistake of the dampness there. "Is this because of me?"
She could only nod. His touch was tentative, yet curious.
After a few passes, he said in a rough voice, "Show me."
Bella licked her lips and then guided his wrist, so that his hand was where she wanted it. Then she reached down, her fingers over his, showing him where she wanted to be touched.
She was so ready that it didn't take long to find the bundle of swollen nerves that needed his attention. The first slow pass over it together, Bella let out a hum of approval. The second pass, her other hand gripped Edward's arm that was folded above her.
After that, Edward picked up real fast.
He was relentless in his teasing and when Bella let out a strangled moan, Edward applied more pressure. He was rewarded by Bella's thighs pressing together to keep his hand in place.
"Edward, right there."
He couldn't tear his eyes from her. He was mesmerized by the wanting openly displayed in her expression and her body's responses to his actions. But what nearly pushed him over the edge were her sounds. Nothing prepared him for the way Bella said his name—so full of desire for him.
"Oh God, Edward." Her body tensed and with one more firm circle of her clit, Bella felt herself become undone.
Edward laid an open mouth kiss right above the swell of her breast. "So beautiful."
Her mouth fell open and a low moan escaped. Her hips slowed and her thighs relaxed their grip on Edward's hand. Bella looked at him with a mixture of surprise and then shyness.
He pressed his lips to hers. "Was that okay?"
She was overcome with embarrassment. No one had ever made her feel this way. Bella buried her face in his chest and nodded.
Edward smiled and then enveloped her into his arms. His lips caressed her temple.
Her breathing evened out and she was soon asleep. Edward couldn't help feeling pretty proud of himself. It helped that Bella knew what she liked which was the hottest thing he'd ever experienced.
He drew her closer, reveling in the moment that finally, all the waiting was over. Bella was in his arms and he wasn't going to let her go.
The heavy bass of the music reverberated through the house and carried outside to the yard. The party was in full swing. The keg was set up and it looked like almost the entire senior class came out to the party.
Edward sipped his red cup, his eyes trained on the upstairs window with the light illuminated. It had been two days since that night with Bella and she had been avoiding him since then.
The morning after, his mom called him back home, reminding him that he had promised to help her sort out stuff in the garage. He dropped by Seth's afterward, but Bella had gone out with Leah.
When he returned the next morning, she had already left to go pick up the beer with Emmett. Since they went to Port Angeles, it turned out to be an all day event which apparently included a side trip to Costco to get food for the party. When she came home, she went straight to her room, claiming she was tired from shopping.
He had hoped to see her today before the party, but she had sequestered herself in her room. He knew she had to come down sometime to eat, but apparently she had managed to do so when he was busy setting up. He didn't even want to be at the party, but since he was the guest of honor, he had to stay.
He thought he saw a shadow in the window, but it disappeared just as quickly as it appeared. He let out a frustrated sigh.
Jasper asked, "What's up, man?"
Edward shook his head. "Nothing."
"Come on. What happened between you and Bella?"
"What? Why would you think-"
Jasper held up his hands. "Look, two nights ago you guys couldn't stop looking at each other, and now you guys can't even stand to be in the same room."
"I've been trying to talk to her, but she keeps avoiding me."
"So what happened?"
"Honestly? I have no idea. One minute we're..." He rubbed the back of his neck. "Then the next she's gone."
Jasper sipped his drink. Then after a minute, he said, "Sorry. Maybe she just needs time."
"Time for what?"
"Time to get used to the idea that she could like you." Edward gave him a confused look. Jasper continued, "You've had much more time to get used to it than she has."
Edward's eyes widened. "I never-"
Jasper laughed. "Look, I know I don't say much, but I see things. I could tell you had a thing for Bella for a while. It's cool though."
Edward ran his fingers through his hair. After a moment, he said, "Yeah, but what do I do now?"
Jasper said, "Just wait."
Edward sipped his beer. Then he said, "Yeah, that's what I've been doing."
He clapped Edward on the shoulder. "Don't worry, dude. She'll come around."
Edward let out a frustrated sigh. "Until then?"
"Edward!" A very tipsy Lauren squealed.
Jasper gave him a sympathetic look.
Lauren tripped once before she made it to Edward's side. "I've been looking everywhere for you."
Edward looked at Jasper for help.
He shook his head.
Edward cursed and proceeded to drag Lauren inside, hoping that he could find one of her friends to foist her on.
It was going to be a long night.
Bella read the same paragraph for the fifth time. She let out a frustrated sigh and shut the book. She blamed her distraction on the music that blared throughout the house, but she knew that was a feeble excuse.
She was thinking about Edward.
He was never far from her thoughts, but tonight even more so because he was at the party. She really didn't have any right to be concerned about who he was with and what they were doing. She made sure of that when she decided that she would pretend the other night never happened.
At the time, Bella thought she was doing the right thing. Edward was still so young and inexperienced and well, how was she supposed to handle that? It just further proved that the idea of them being together was ridiculous.
Except she knew deep down that it wasn't.
Edward was thoughtful and considerate. His interest in her was genuine and she realized that after she got off, Edward hadn't. She left him frustrated in more ways than one.
Not seeing Edward for the last two days forced her to reflect on her feelings.
After avoiding him for one day, another day passed again unintentionally when Emmett said they had to go buy the beer. As the day progressed, she grew even more anxious about how she would talk to Edward. By the time they got home, she was exhausted emotionally from the circles her mind made, trying to figure out a way to talk to Edward.
Now, she was alone in her room, hiding. Would he even want to talk to her anymore? She had behaved so horribly and now she wasn't sure how to fix it.
She decided to try and talk to him after everyone left. When she heard a noise on the stairway, Bella opened her door and looked out in the hall. She saw Seth walking toward his room.
"What's up, Seth?"
He was startled by her voice. "Oh, Bell. I forgot you were up here." He tugged at his shirt. "Someone spilled beer on me. I just came up to change."
"Everything else okay?"
He nodded. "Yeah. For the most part. No one's drunk yet." He snickered. "But I think Lauren Mallory is on her way. She's totally all over Edward."
Her brow pinched. "What?"
"I think she's trying to get back with him."
"Does Edward want to get back with her?" Her tone was anxious.
He shrugged. "I don't know, but he's been hanging out with her." He gave her a suspicious look. "Why?"
She placed a hand on her hip. "Because he said he didn't love her."
He held up his hands. "Look, I know things have been weird between you guys for some reason, but from what I can tell, you're the one who's not talking to him. So if he wants to get back with Lauren, you really can't be pissed off about it."
She opened her mouth and closed it. She squared her shoulders. "Do you think he wants to...be with Lauren?"
"I really don't know, Bella."
She felt her throat close up and felt the corner of her eyes watering.
"Shit, Bella. What's wrong?"
She shook her head. "I just...I'm an idiot."
"Hold on a sec." He disappeared into his room and then a minute later he came back out wearing a different shirt. "Why don't you come down to the party and talk to Edward?"
She shrugged. "I fucked things up pretty bad."
"Well, maybe if you tried talking to him, you guys can work it out or something."
"I don't know. Didn't Emmett say that Lauren was the hottest girl at your school?"
He rolled his eyes. "Yeah, but you got Eric Yorkie to give you nachos and Toblerone for free. Lauren doesn't have shit on you."
Bella laughed despite herself.
He laughed too. "Just get your ass down stairs and quit being all emo up here."
"Alright, but let me just..." She gestured at her outfit of a tank top and yoga pants.
"Fine." He shook his head and walked back downstairs.
Bella threw open her closet door and scanned the inside. She hoped she wasn't too late.
"You are so funny, Edward!" Lauren slapped his chest and then flipped her hair to the side.
Edward rolled his eyes and took a step back. He knew that she was trying to be flirtatious, but the glassy look in her eyes and the smell of beer on her breath told him otherwise.
He was able to find Jessica and was going to leave Lauren with her, but Lauren hooked her arm through his, thus trapping him.
"Lauren, didn't you bring Tyler with you?" he asked, prying her hand off his arm.
She tripped on her own feet and Edward had to steady her. She giggled. "Yeah. Why? Are you jealous?"
He shook his head. "Maybe you and Jessica should go find him." He looked at Jessica for help. Jessica let out a short sigh. Even though she was still mad at Lauren, Jessica wouldn't leave Lauren drunk and alone at a party.
She took her friend by the arm. "Come on, Lauren."
Before they walked off, there was a commotion over by the keg. Edward ran his fingers through his hair. It looked like another problem was happening that he would have to deal with. Where were his friends? He didn't even want this party.
His eyes wandered to the window on the second floor. The lights were off. He didn't know how Bella could sleep through the thumping beat of the music and all the people talking, but he couldn't imagine anything better than being in that room with her now.
Emmett's raucous laughter could be heard over the din of the music. He wondered what was so funny to cause Emmett to laugh, but realized if Emmett had a few drinks, it wouldn't take much.
Edward walked over to Emmett by the keg with Lauren trailing behind him. Jessica seemed to have no influence over her friend. Edward ignored Lauren's simpering comments and suggestions that they get lost somewhere, but when Edward found Emmett, Lauren became part of the chatter in the background.
Emmett's back was facing Edward, but he was standing next to a female who clearly didn't go to Forks High. Edward didn't remember Emmett inviting other people, but something about the girl was familiar. Her dark jeans hugged the curve of her hips and backside quite provocatively, but it was the backless top and the way her hair tumbled over her shoulders in soft curls that caught his attention. She had a smattering of freckles on the tops of her shoulders and he realized he had seen those freckles before.
Edward had studied them in great detail the other night when he and Bella were listening to his iPod. She had been wearing a tank top and lying next to her on the couch afforded him a view of those freckles.
He snapped out of his daze when Emmett threw his arm over Bella's shoulders, covering the freckles. Something in him started to boil and when he looked up and saw Tyler talking to Bella, his emotions boiled over into anger.
"So, you sure we can't hook up later?" Tyler asked Bella.
Emmett's arm around Bella tightened and he leaned forward. "What part of fuck off don't you get, Tyler? Bella's not interested."
"Why don't you let her speak for herself?" he said, but kept his eyes on Bella.
"I'm not interested." She gave him a small smile.
Tyler opened his mouth to say something else, but Lauren pushed Edward aside and said, "What the fuck is going on here?"
Tyler's eyes widened. "Lauren? Nothing's going on."
Lauren narrowed her eyes at him and then she turned them on Bella. "Who the hell is this?"
Emmett gave her a warning look. "You need to chill, Lauren. And you need to keep your boy over here on a shorter leash."
"Fine." She narrowed her eyes at Tyler. "Edward and I were just leaving." Lauren tried to fasten her hand on his arm, but Edward pulled away.
Tyler moved to stand closer to Bella. "Lauren, it's cool. Bella and I are just friends."
Bella turned to face Tyler, causing Emmett's arm to drop. "Just friends? That's not how you were acting a minute ago."
Lauren's face turned pink.
Tyler took a step back. "Bella-"
Bella continued, "In fact, you told me that you came here alone, looking for some company." She gave him a small smile before she said, "You even said that I was the hottest girl here. Right, Emmett?"
"True fact," he said.
Bella turned to look at Lauren. "He also said that high school girls were boring."
Lauren's face went from pink to tomato red in sixty seconds. "Boring? You know what's boring?" She took two steps toward Tyler and threw her cup at his head. "A small dick."
She turned on her heel. "Come on, Jess."
Jessica stared at Tyler's drenched hair and shirt, but when Lauren called after her, Jessica followed her out.
Tyler swiped his eyes. "Lauren, wait!" He trailed after her, his shirt soaked with beer.
Once they were gone, everyone returned their attention to the party.
Emmett said, "Oh shit. He got burned." He laughed.
Seth and Jasper came over. Seth asked, "What the hell happened? Lauren looked pissed."
Emmett was retelling the scene, but Edward and Bella weren't paying attention.
Edward asked, "Are you alright?"
She nodded. "Fine. Just got a little beer on me." She swiped her cheek with the back of her hand.
"Come on. Let's go inside, so you can clean up," he said.
He gestured to the house and Bella followed. Edward placed his hand on the small of her back, guiding her through the crowd toward the kitchen. There were people gathered at the table, scoping out some food. Bella skirted around them and headed toward the laundry room just off the kitchen. She opened the door and switched on the light.
Edward said, "What are you looking for?"
Bella walked to the dryer and pulled out a towel. "I didn't want to go through all those people just for a dishtowel."
She patted her forehead and then her cheeks. She tossed her hair to the side and mopped the side of her neck.
Edward shifted in his spot. "Do you need help?"
She let out a small laugh. "I think I got it."
"Actually, I think you missed a spot." He picked up a corner of the towel and started dabbing her bicep and then her shoulder.
"Oh, I didn't even realize..." She looked down at where he was wiping up the beer, but had become very aware of his proximity by the warmth of his breath on her bare shoulder.
"I'm sorry about Lauren and Tyler," he said.
She shrugged. "You shouldn't be apologizing for them. I forgot how much drama there is in high school."
He let out a small laugh. "Lauren liked being in the middle of things. It got old really fast."
"I bet." At this point, Bella finished drying off. She dropped the towel on the floor next to the washing machine for later.
They stood in the middle of the laundry room, looking at the other person for a minute.
Edward shifted in his spot. "I guess we should..." He gestured back to the party.
"Oh, yeah." Bella didn't bother hiding her reluctance.
His brow furrowed. "Didn't you say you were going to stay in your room during the party?"
"Then why-" He stopped, trying a different tact. "You didn't seem interested in hanging out with a bunch of high school kids."
She bit her lower lip and then considered her answer before saying, "I didn't come to the party to hang out with those people."
Edward felt his heart stop for a second, but pushed aside the feeling of hope. He didn't want to read too much into what she was saying.
Bella waited for him to say something, but he was studying her, waiting. Always waiting. She let out a steady breath. "I...I was looking for you."
At this, his eyebrows shot up. "Me?"
She nodded. "Why are you so surprised?"
"Well, you've been avoiding me for the past two days...ever since..."
Bella winced. "I'm sorry. It's all my fault."
"I just..." He ran his fingers through his hair. He had so many questions, but he was afraid to voice them. He was afraid of what her answers would be.
"Edward, I need to tell you something, but will you let me say it all before you say anything?"
He looked at her for a second and then nodded.
She took in a deep breath and sighed. "I like you...a lot."
He blinked several times.
"But...I also really...want you," she felt her cheeks grow warm at the admission, but felt somewhat at ease at the shocked look on his face. At least he wasn't horrified.
She continued, "The thing is, you're really young."
She held up her hand. "No, I know. In five years, it won't make a difference. But, who's to say that we'll still...that you and I..." Her brow pinched. "Things will probably be okay right now, but once school starts again and you go off to college...you'll meet new people and realize..." She felt her throat tighten.
"Realize what, Bella?" He cupped her elbow and his thumb caressed the side of it.
She swallowed down the emotion that threatened to escape. After half a minute, she looked up at him. "I'm not...whatever you and your friends think about me...it's not who I really am."
His brow furrowed in confusion.
She continued, "In real life, I'm not this cool." Bella felt her face burn at the embarrassing truth. "Guys don't see me as this mysterious, older step-sister. They also don't give me free stuff. At best, I attract guys who think wings at the bar while catching the game is a pretty good date." She shifted in her spot. "You're going to realize that...I'm not what you hoped for."
He shook his head. "How could you think that?"
"Because you're..." She shook her head. "I can just imagine. You'd be the second coming of Van Wilder and there would be girls everywhere, wanting-"
Before she could finish her sentence, he held her face and then reached around to cup her neck. Then Edward's mouth covered hers.
When Edward pulled away, he rested his forehead against Bella's. Then he brushed his lips against her temple. "You were sixteen. I was still twelve, but turning thirteen in a month."
Bella pulled away and looked at him, waiting for him to continue.
He studied her face. "I had come over, waiting for Seth to come home from soccer practice. You were here alone. I thought I'd lucked out not having to compete for your attention with the others." He gently pulled on a strand of her hair. "Then you asked me if I wanted to come with you to get some ice-cream."
Bella tried to recall the event, but she couldn't.
"While we walked to Dairy Queen, you talked to me like I wasn't a kid. You also had on these shorts." His eyes darkened. "But we didn't get that far when some friends of yours pulled up beside us. The guy driving, Riley asked if you wanted to go out with them."
Bella's eyebrows shot up finally remembering. "It was Riley and Bree. She liked him so much, but was really nervous about being alone with him."
"I see." He fingered another strand of her hair. "When you got in and drove away, I was...I thought if I was older, maybe it wouldn't have been so easy for you to walk away."
Her expression softened.
"I've got your attention now." His eyes raked her face, looking for a contradiction to what he said. There was none. "I've waited so long, Bella. Now that I have it, I have no intention of letting it slip away."
He lowered his head and placed an open mouth kiss on her shoulder. "There's no one else, Bella."
Bella's knees were unsteady. When Edward placed another open kiss on her shoulder, she felt his teeth gently nip at it. She pressed herself into him. Then she placed her mouth on the corner of his jaw.
"Edward, but there's still college." She willed her eyes to stay open when she felt his hands make a slow descent down her bare back and journey even lower. "It'll be harder to keep up a relationship."
She worried that she was being presumptuous about this leading into something more, but she had a feeling Edward wanted more than just a summer fling.
He nuzzled the spot below her ear. "What do you mean?"
She let out a stuttered breath. "You-You're probably going to some ivy league college and I'll be over here at UDub. Long distance is-"
He pulled away to look at her with a confused expression. "You think-" He realized her concerns and then a sheepish expression overcame his face. "I...I thought you knew."
The top of Edward's ears turned pink. "I...I'm going to UDub too."
Bella's eyes widened. "What? Seth said you got into Dartmouth"
"I don't understand."
He let go of her and raised one hand to run his fingers through his hair. "I decided to go to UDub instead."
She gave him a confused expression. Edward was really smart and could go anywhere he wanted. Not that there was anything wrong with UDub, but she didn't understand why he was settling.
Edward hesitated before he said, "I was hoping...that if I went to UDub, you'd maybe start seeing me as more than just Seth's friend who isn't in high school anymore."
Her eyes widened in disbelief. "You're...you can't be serious. You're going to UDub because of me?"
He rubbed the back of his neck. "They also have a good science department." He cringed at her surprised expression. Edward hesitated before he said, "There was this plan..."
"What did this plan involve?" She took a step toward him.
Edward was reluctant to tell her, but then she placed her hands on his hips and pressed her body against his. He was having trouble stringing words together. "I-I was trying to work up to asking you out on a date."
Bella reached up and tangled her fingers with the hair at the nape of his neck. "Where would we go?"
He was mesmerized by the fullness of her lower lip. "We'd go out for some ice-cream."
She couldn't smiling at that. "Well, we can tomorrow."
His eyebrows shot up. "Really?"
She laughed. "Why does that surprise you?"
"I didn't think you'd want to-This is a lot sooner than I thought."
She loved how flustered he got. "Sooner than what?"
"I thought it would at least be...a year before you'd want to go out with me."
"A year?" She looked at him with disbelief. "You were willing to wait that long?"
He lifted one shoulder up and then down. "What's a year compared to waiting for most of my life?"
Her expression softened for a moment and then her eyebrow arched. "Well, it looks like we're a year ahead of schedule. What else did you hope would happen?"
Edward cupped the back of her neck, dragging his thumb on the spot just below her ear. "Honestly, I didn't think that far ahead."
She gave him a doubtful, but playful look. "So the other night on the couch? That wasn't part of the plan?"
He shook his head. "I never thought-I mean I did think about it. I mean-" He let out a short breath. "Being with you like that was something I only dreamed about."
Bella wasn't sure what she deserved to finally find someone like Edward, but she was quite determined now to make sure he never regretted choosing her. She reached behind him and shut the door to the laundry room.
"Maybe you could show me what else you've dreamed about." Her hand slid up his chest and cupped his face. His eyes darkened and he licked his lips.
His fingertips were gentle and guided her backward until she felt her lower back bump against the washer. "It could take a while." He lifted her so that she sat on top of it.
She parted her legs and hooked one over his hip. "I'm not going anywhere."
Edward's lips touched hers while he said, "Promise?"
Bella took his lower lip into her mouth. In between kisses, she said, "I promise."
Thank you for reading!
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