Fun With Your Clothes On One-Shot Contest

Title: Promise

Your pen name: yogacat

Characters: Bella/Edward and a few others

Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight. I have 2 cats and no regrets.

To see other entries in the Fun With Your Clothes On Contest, please visit the C2 page:

http:/www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/community/Fun_With_Your_Clothes_On_Contest/79678/


I loved-hated Edward Cullen from the moment I set foot in my new school. I'm pretty sure love-hate is a valid emotion; I mean it is what makes the stuff of great literature and fiction-and porn. My feelings toward him were strong, and clearly ambiguous.

The first time I walked through the doors of New Suburban High School, I saw him. He was surrounded by a group of girls who were dressed in clothes I would never be able to wear, let alone afford. I was a jeans and t-shirt girl - comfort always, nothing fancy. They were all giggly and touchy, and he just stood there and smiled and he took ...all of it. I couldn't help but stare; I mean it looked like chickens pecking at a rooster. But the rooster was kind of cute- tall, slightly disheveled and looking not entirely comfortable with all the attention. I was still staring at him when a gust of very large boy blew through the door, whacked my ass and pushed me out of the way. Thankfully, I stayed upright. That was all I needed, to face plant in front of all the beautiful people at school on the first day.

"Hey Cullen, what the hell happened to you this summer? You look like you're finally ready for the football team instead of that pansy-ass track and field shit you pulled last year." The tank of a man-boy pulled the rooster from the brood, and the rooster looked relieved.

"Emmett, man, thanks for the save." He gave a worried glance back toward the flock. "Yeah, I spent the summer eating Esme's food. I guess I filled out a bit." He looked down; he seemed…bashful? But I guess anyone would feel nervous next to this Emmett guy.

So, pals with Emmett the tank, who just casually spanked me and was on the football team. I was about to turn away to find my first class and let Emmett get away with illegal touching, when I overheard something that would color my opinion of some of these people for the next two years.

"Cullen look. New meat, and I got to cop the first feel," I caught them nodding my way.

Emmett "the tank" and Cullen "the rooster" high-fived , and the smacking sound hit me like a slap in the face. I glared at them both. Emmett's eyes shone with amusement, but Cullen's looked confused and conflicted and green and . . . fuck. I had never seen green eyes like that; they were mesmerizing. No, just noit had to be some sort of trick. My eyes shot sparks at Emmett, but I could barely look at the rooster. I wanted to. I wanted to get lost in the green again, but I was pissed. This may have been my first day at this high school, but it wasn't my first day. I knew these people. They were not my friends.

The bell rang for first period. The girls made their way toward Emmett and Cullen, followed by a few other guys. They gathered them up and took them away. I was left standing... alone as other the students began their day.

I remember that first day so vividly because it was my introduction to the popular group, the cool kids, the jocks, the cheerleaders and their ilk. I was never one of them. I never would be, and I didn't want to be. It was always hard for me to find my place, whether it was in school or at home with Renee. I had a few friends in the city before we moved here, but this was such a different world. I knew that every school had its groups and hierarchies, but on that day, I wasn't sure where I was going to fit in or with who, if anyone.

Renee chose my junior year in high school to move us from the city to the suburbs, her sense of timing impeccable, my life held captive by her whims and impulses and self-destructive habits. She left my dad and me when I was small. She came back to get me after Charlie and I had finally settled into a routine. We moved, her boyfriend moved in, we moved to Chicago, her boyfriend left, and we ended up in the suburbs. She was always ready and willing to open up our lives to new things. Unfortunately these things were usually men and the baggage they brought with them. I never really had a chance to find where or how I fit into any kind of life, and yeah, I had some issues to deal with.

I pretty much kept to myself that first week of school. I went to all my classes, tried to pay attention and smile when appropriate. It was still warm outside, and I found a quiet place to eat lunch behind the school, away from the clatter and competition that was the lunch room. I could see other students gather to smoke whatever they were smoking, and people coming and going during their free time, but no one approached me and really, no one looked my way that I could tell.

It rained the next week, forcing me inside and into the clamor. I stood at the perimeter of the tables, not quite sure where to go. I saw Cullen and Emmett and their gaggle sitting around some tables that had been pushed together in the center of the room. For the most part, they were loud and obnoxious and oppressive. As I was looking for a place, Cullen looked right at me. He didn't smile; he was stoic as his friends talked around him. The girl who was sitting next to him looked up at me and scowled. Fuck, I didn't need this shit. I turned away and spotted a table with a bunch of people laughing quietly and looking pretty laid back. One of the girls looked up and waved. I approached them cautiously. A few of them turned around and smiled. The one who had waved me over stood up and came over to me.

"Come on Bella, we won't bite or anything. I'm Alice. We have Art and History together. I saw you last week in class, but you were always so quick to get away. This is Kate and Jane and Angela, Garrett, Ben, Tyler and Jasper." I swear to god, she said it all without taking a breath. Everyone nodded or waved, welcoming me to their group. I wondered if Alice was the only one that ever spoke.

"Sit and eat- you don't have much time left before next period starts. We can go to Art together. Jasper has Shop at that end of campus too." Alice turned and smiled at him in a way that was hopeful and sweet and possessing. I sat next to her and ate and listened and answered questions about myself. It wasn't so bad and they seemed nice and open.

At once, everyone grew quiet and I peeked to see what was up. I heard him before I saw him.

"Jasper, what's up? Where've you been, dude?" A confident but softly spoken voice hummed in my ears. Cullen stood next to the table, looking more animated than I had ever seen him, which, granted had only been about a week.

"Hey, dude." Jasper stood and they did some kind of guy hug thing. "Emmett's being a dick about football; he's been after me all summer to go out for the team, and I'm really sick of it. Just not interested, ya know?" Jasper glanced over to Alice, almost as if to reassure her.

"Yeah, I know what you mean. I'm thinking about basketball or maybe soccer, you up for it?"

"Hell yeah, much more our style, dude. Come over to Alice's after school, we can talk about shit then." Jasper turned to Alice. She was up and at his side in a flash.

"Sure, Edward, come on over, we can hang out before my mom gets home from work.. Just try not to bring any of your other friends, okay?" Relief swept over me, Alice didn't like them either. I was beginning to feel more relaxed and I noticed Edward grimace.

"Oh, and Edward, this is Bella," Alice added, a lilt to her voice as she turned toward me.

I had not taken my eyes off Edward since he had appraoched Jasper. His eyes shifted to mine, and he gave me a small lop-sided grin, mouthing my name and nodding at me.

I cleared my throat, forcing words out while we were still sizing each other up. "Funny, I thought your first name was Cullen or Dude." I bit the inside of my lip, not sure if I was coming off as cute or snarky and not really caring that much either.

His grin grew a bit wider. "Yeah, well Emmett likes to call everyone by their last name. He'll get you eventually." He grimaced. "Shit." He looked down at his hands and shifted his feet. "I guess he already did." He ran his fingers through his hair. "Sorry about that first day, that was pretty crappy." He peered at me, his green eyes expressed remorse.

Huh. I shrugged, trying to stay nonchalant. "I suppose it could have been worse. I was ready to junk-punch him, but I thought I'd let it slide since it was his first offense." Everyone laughed, including Edward. I suppose the image of me, small and thin, trying to punch tank-sized junk was pretty amusing.

The bell rang for next period and up sauntered the girl who'd given me the stink eye earlier with a few of her friends. She hooked her arm through Edward's like she owned him.

"Oh, new girl, I'm Lauren, this is Tanya and Jess." She never even looked at me, so what was the point? "Tanya, isn't that your younger sister Kate? You have to spend two more years with her in the same school? Man, I feel sorry for you." Kate rolled her eyes and left for class with some of the kids I just met. Man, Kate lived with that shit on a daily basis. It must have been kind of like living with Renee-selfish and mean.

"Edward, come on, we'll be late for English." Lauren nudged Edward with her hip and glared at me.

I sighed and shook my head. I didn't do anyfuckingthing. God, I hated this shit. So, I snarled at her and snapped my teeth. What can I say? Edward spit something out, and it sounded like he was choking on a snort. He looked from me to Lauren and back to me, grinning like he had won the lottery or something. I just shrugged and tried not to get lost in the green eyes again.

Jasper, Alice and I made our way to the other end of campus where our classes were. It took forever to get there. The "other end of campus" housed art studios, music rooms, workshops and the theater. Where I came from, school was nothing like this. The buildings were old and cramped with chipping paint, and the stench of age permeated the walls. We had an auditorium, not a theater. This school was shiny and new, huge and reeked of money, kind of like some of the students. I had been here for a week and wasn't sure if I'd ever feel like I belonged here.

We parted ways with Jasper, Alice on her toes, gently kissing him on the cheek and wiping the lip gloss off with her thumb. She laced my arm with hers and giggled as we made our way to class.

"Bella, why don't you come over after school too? We could hang out while Jasper and Edward do the bonding thing."

"Alice, I would so love to, but I have to swing it by my mom first. Maybe tomorrow or later in the week? I'll talk to her tonight."

And that was the truth. Spending the afternoon with Alice, and maybe even Edward, seemed infinitely better than a silent (or worse) dinner with Renee and the rest of the night in my room.

That night I had dinner on the table by the time Renee got home from work. She greeted me as an afterthought and locked herself in her room. About a half hour later, she emerged. I was nervous asking her about going over to Alice's. It made me feel like a five year old. After a tense, silent meal, Renee gave me permission to spend time with Alice, as long as dinner was on the table by the time she got home.

I practically spent the rest of the year at Alice's. Jasper was usually there, too. I was lucky that he lived across the street from me. Not only was he an easy ride to school, he and Alice turned out to be my best friends; even as the two of them grew closer, he and I remained pretty tight. Part of it was location. He was there when I needed to get away from Renee, or to vent or just to get stoned. The other part was that we just got each other. While most of our friends came from pretty well-off, stable families, he and I had shakier pasts.

Sometimes when Jasper was there, Edward stopped by to hang out. By himself, the guy was actually pretty cool. Besides being drop dead beautiful, he was smart and funny and seemed like a decent guy, and we even seemed like friends in the world of Alice and Jasper.

One day in the middle of winter the four of us were hanging out, really stoned. It was difficult to get around or do much of anything because it was snowing so hard and there were already two feet on the ground. Alice's mom insisted that we stay put and not try to drive home. She was going to stay in the city, so I called Renee at work and she agreed to let me sleep over. We were laughing at some stupid shit on TV when Edward picked me up, carried me into the back yard as I kicked and screamed for him to put me down. He dropped me in a deep pile of snow, a sinister glint in his eyes. I got up and started chasing him. He doubled back and tackled me. We landed on our sides facing each other, our legs tangled, laughing our asses off.

I was still panting. "Edward, I'm cold. Let me go."

His eyes were bloodshot, but there was a sparkle that was unmistakable.

"You're cold?" He shot me playful grin and reached behind me. The next thing I knew, there was a handful of snow pressing into the skin of my back, causing me to arch my body into his.

"Edward, fuck!" I reached up to push myself away from him, but his eyes were so intense and full of joy, they stilled me. His legs tightened their grip on mine and he pulled me closer.

"Shit Bella, you're so fucking beautiful." He spoke so softly, I could only tell by the cold air coming from his mouth.

I snorted. "No, Edward, you're just wasted."

His gaze became more intense and he was grinning. "Seriously, you're all flushed and happy and your lips are full and bluish and your boobs..."

"Quit looking at my boobs, smartass." I tried to wiggle away from him.

"No, really Bella, look at them, they're just so..."

I looked down at my boobs, and okay, they looked pretty good, but I was cold and wet and so were they.

"Okay, they're not so bad." I shrugged. I had never been good at taking compliments, and really, had never gotten many.

Edward's thumb stroked my lips. "Shit, you are cold." He stood, pulled me up and slung me over his shoulder, carrying me inside.

Alice and Jasper were gone, most likely upstairs for the night. But there was a pile of dry clothes for each of us. We changed, made sandwiches and bundled ourselves on the sofa. We laughed and talked and passed out in front of the television.

That was the Edward I loved.

At school, he was a different person. He didn't act as if I were invisible. I caught his eyes studying different parts of my body, as if he was mapping the path to a secret treasure. This caused me to turn all kinds of red and usually resulted in a smirk or grin from him, but he rarely spoke to me. What bugged me the most though was watching him sit idly by as his friends humiliated and demeaned people they thought were not good enough for them. I didn't get it, because he never appeared to be enjoying himself when he was around them. If anything, he looked annoyed or detached most of the time. Whatever. If he was going to hang with them, I wasn't going to get my undies in a bundle. They may get a little wet on occasion, but I wasn't going to acknowledge that.

In the summer, I got a part time job at a local coffee shop and bought a used bike at a garage sale so I could get myself to and from my job and to Alice's without relying on Jasper, which was probably nice for him. Alice and her mom were going to Europe before school started and I was sure Alice and Jasper wanted more time alone, without me. I was going to miss her and was dreading having to spend more time at home. I hoped I could pick up extra shifts at work until school began.

I hadn't seen Edward since school let out. I didn't know where he was, and I didn't ask. I figured maybe it was better that way. I missed him, though.

Since I was working, Renee let dinner slide, which meant she probably wasn't eating well, if at all. I tried to make sure there was enough food in the house, but I often ended up throwing it away, rotting, on garbage day. I suppose I should have felt guilty, but I didn't. I finally had friends and people in my life who cared about me. I wasn't going to let her take that away.

Alice and her mom had been gone for close to a week. I was home from work before Renee, so I decided to make dinner and use up some of the food before it went bad. It was August and hot and humid, so I made a salad with chicken and some fresh bread. I was pretty pleased with myself. I had used up almost everything that Renee would have left to rot, and made a decent meal out of it. I was taking the bread out of the oven just as Renee pulled in the driveway.

When she walked in the door I could tell she was already in a bad mood. Truthfully, I hadn't seen much of her over the summer, but she seemed thinner, hollow and empty. She barely acknowledged me, or dinner, and went straight to her room, locking the door behind her.

I was hungry, so I ate and enjoyed it. I put the food away so Renee could have some later, and did what dishes there were. The sun was down, and the weather had cooled off. I went out back, and smoked the roach I'd had stuffed in my pocket all day. Nice and smooth, like an after dinner drink. I was sated. I took my mellow self into my room, turned on some Pearl Jam-very quietly-and tried to decide whether to draw, write, or clean my closet. I stood in the middle of my room, eyes closed, trying to envision my hands. They felt fat. So drawing was out, but maybe finger painting? I sighed. My closet definitely needed some attention before school started. I was still contemplating the next few hours of my existence when dishes came crashing down in the kitchen.

Fuck. I knew it was not going to be good.

She was already yelling, and I hadn't even opened my door. I walked to the kitchen and was immediately hit with her vile words and wrath. I absorbed them like I always did. It wasn't until she grabbed my hair and twisted my head that I lost it. I yelled and tried to push her away but she didn't let go. I tried it again and she stumbled, finally releasing the grasp she had on me. We were both panting, and she looked confused.

I rubbed the back of my head and I held in my anger and my tears. If I didn't get out of there soon, I was going to hurl or punch her in the face. I just walked away.

I locked my bedroom door behind me and sucked in a blast of air. I felt like I had been under water. I waited and listened, as she made her way to her room and slammed the door. I opened my window just enough to fit through. It was cool and damp outside and I didn't have a jacket. I walked toward the front of the house and down the street in a haze. I'd forgotten how shitty it could be. Tears were streaming down my face, but I couldn't feel myself crying.

I got to the corner and looked across the street. I could see Jasper working on his car, the light on in the garage. I waited for traffic to clear and ran across. It was dark and the street was always loud and busy.

As I walked up Jasper's driveway, I realized he wasn't alone. Two of them were bent over the hood of the car, leaning on their elbows talking. I cleared my throat because I was sure as soon as I started talking all the emotion I was holding in check would come rushing out of me. Two faces turned to look at me, Jasper and... Edward.

Jasper came to me and, without asking any questions, wrapped himself around me.

"Same shit?" I just nodded into his chest. "Shhhh, I'm so sorry, B." Only Jasper called me that.

I felt Edward as he got closer, warmth and concern radiating from him. "She okay?" he asked Jasper quietly.

I could feel Jasper shaking his head. "Her mom's like mine was," he whispered.

"Bella?" I looked up at Jasper. "Edward's okay, he knows about me. It's okay."

I nodded. I wasn't sure if it was okay or not, but at the moment, I didn't really care. "You want beer, water, smoke? What do you need, B?"

"All of them," I croaked out.

He looked into my eyes. "Stay here with Edward, I'll be right back."

As soon he left my body started shaking, like it was fifty below zero and I was wet and naked. I watched Edward get his jacket and walk back to me. He put it and his arm around my shoulders and led me to one of the huge Rubbermaid containers that lined Jasper's garage. He sat down and pulled me toward him, and I hesitated. He looked up at me, his eyes so soft and clear.

"Bella, sit. Let me do this, please?"

I straddled his legs and he gathered me in as if he'd been doing it all his life. It felt like the right place to be. It was warm and safe. As soon as my face hit his shoulder, a cry forced its way up through my body, and I let loose all over Edward. His arms held me tighter and he rocked me, soothing me so quietly with his words.

"I'm so sorry, I promise, no one will ever hurt you…." Over and over again.

I finally wiped my nose on my sleeve and looked up at him. He took my face in his hands and kissed my forehead. "Really, no one, ever."

"How do you know that?" I asked him, because really, how do you ever know?

He looked at me thoughtfully. A glimmer of a smile graced his lips, as his fingers followed the path my tears had taken.

"I guess I don't, really." A sound escaped from me that could have been a laugh, but I wasn't sure. At least he was honest. He held my face and we stared at each other wordless, but not silent, our eyes communicating with each other in some secret language. I felt like he was absorbing some of my pain, and I felt lighter. "Bella, no one should…"

"But people do, Edward, and they survive much worse."

"But I don't want you to…"

I put my fingers to his lips to quiet him. "Edward, let's just do this. This is good."

He smiled and opened his arms, inviting me in. He buried his face in my hair as I snuggled into his chest.

I knew at some point I was going to have a "what the fuck?" moment, but really, it just felt too good, too safe, too special, to even question. No one had ever said those things to me and for all I knew, no one ever would again. I nestled back into his warmth, giving in, feeling as if I could melt into him. My breathing calmed to the beat of his heart.

This was better than being high. The feeling of affection, caring and comfort was putting me in a happy place from which I did not want to come down. Although I knew, like with all highs, it was fleeting and could be gone in a moment.

I didn't hear Jasper come back. He didn't say anything until a car pulled up in his driveway.

"Shit."

I heard the motor running and I looked around for Jasper. He was loping his way to the car, his hands stuffed in his pockets. Before I could see who was in the car, Edward had my attention.

"Bella, stay here with me. Don't run, please?" The expression on his face was so serious.

I heard a car door slam and Edward looked right through me, scowling. I looked around to see who was here. Fuck, Emmett.

"Bella, look at me." Edward's voice filtered through the bad vibes that Emmet emitted.

My body, so relaxed and soothed by Edward's presence, went rigid. I panicked. No way was I going to deal with his bullshit, not now, no fucking way. "Please, Edward, let me go." I was like a scared rabbit, trying to escape. I probably would have chewed off my own leg to get away if it weren't for his voice.

"Bella, look at me..." I was frantic.

"Bella, Look. At. Me." his voice gentle but demanding. I knew what I was really afraid of. That Edward, the one who held so much of me at that moment, was going to vanish and turn into the Edward I hated. I stilled and looked at him

"Bella, just breathe. I'm not going anywhere. Stay with me, please."

"Cullen, what the fuck do you have in your lap?" Emmett's voice boomed in my head. "You slumming with the freaks tonight or what?" He took up way too much space.

I could feel Edward's body tense. "Fuck off, Emmett." It was said quietly, but the sentiment could not be missed. And he never, not once, took his eyes from mine.

Emmett's feet stopped moving. "What do you mean, 'fuck off,' Cullen? Where the fuck have you been all summer anyway?" He was standing right behind me; I could feel the testosterone rolling off him.

"I've been busy Emmett." Edward's hands gripped my arms, and at once, his body shifted, his eyes breaking away from mine. He glared at Emmett with such disdain I could taste it. "Don't fucking touch her Emmett."

"Hey, man I was just gonna…"

"Emmett, asshole… inside, now," Jasper called to him from the door. Emmett stomped away, letting it be known, in each pounding step, that he was not finished.

I knew Jasper had been selling all summer; I just hadn't seen Emmett over there. Maybe they usually did their dealings somewhere else. I assumed that's why he was there now. I didn't ask.

"Edward, let's get out of here before Emmett gets done with his business." I didn't want to face Emmett again, at least not tonight.

Edward's glare softened as his eyes shifted back to mine. "I'm sorry Bella, he's..."

"Yeah, he's a dick, I know that. Not your fault." I was starting to feel like myself again, a little, and I was getting a bit fidgety.

Edward shifted under me; I had been smooshing his lap for quite a while. "You want to go home?" There was obvious trepidation in his voice, like he was afraid for me.

"No, not yet. Can we just walk around or something?" I wasn't afraid to go home anymore; Renee would be passed out cold. I just hadn't gotten all the yips out of my system, and truthfully, I wasn't ready to leave Edward.

Edward shifted again under me. "Yeah, we can go for a walk, but first you have to get off my lap." A sly smile crossed his lips.

I pouted and groaned because, really, his lap was such a good place to be. He grasped my arms again, "We could just stay here, like this," he whispered, his sly grin getting wider by the minute.

"No way, dude, I am not spending the night in your lap in Jasper's dirty garage. I have standards."

"Suit yourself." Edward stood with me still wrapped around him, my ass completely secure in his hands. Our eyes almost level, I could feel myself getting lost in his again.

"Hey," I half whispered.

"Hey yourself," he smirked, "You ready to go for a walk?"

"You gonna put me down first?" I was finding it difficult to hide my own grin.

He shrugged. "I don't have to. I could probably walk like this for a while. Where'd you want to go?"

I wrapped my arms around his neck and pulled myself up so I was close to his ear and whispered, "Edward, I missed you but please put me down."

I felt his fingers twitch around my ass, making me squirm a little. I peeked up, his eyes were darker, his lids partially shut, and he let out a sigh and slowly put me down.

"Let me go tell Jasper we're leaving."

I nodded.

He came back out a few minutes later, looking slightly exasperated. He held out his hand. I looked at it and at him, and I took it.

"Where are we going?"

"My house."

He led me through Jasper's backyard and through some trees. There was no fence separating the two properties. We came through the woods and into a tidy looking yard, but it was dark and I couldn't see much.

"Why didn't I know you lived here?" I was confused. I thought he lived over by Alice for some reason, on the other side of town. He didn't respond. "Are you sure this is going to be okay with your parents? I mean, it is late and everything…"

"It's fine, Bella, my mom is cool as long as we're quiet and we keep our clothes on." He squeezed my hand.

I snorted. I didn't think that would be a problem.

We stopped in the kitchen. "Water okay?"

"Yeah it's good, I don't need anything else, and I have to work in the morning."

Edward led me to a dimly lit sun room attached to the back of the house and pulled me down on the sofa next to him. I curled up and rested my head on his shoulder.

"Hey, thanks for tonight." I was suddenly bashful. Jasper was really the only one that had ever seen me like that. And now, Edward knew some of my secrets and I wasn't sure how I felt about that.

"You don't have to thank me, Bella." He was quiet for a few minutes. "I missed you too." He leaned his body into mine. "I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to say good bye. I was with my dad most of the summer. He does aid work in different countries and we left as soon as school was out."

He was quiet again. At some point I started playing with the hair on the back of his neck. I didn't say anything. He took a deep breath. "It was awesome, but it was hard, the whole thing. Seeing the poverty and sadness and being treated like an outsider. It was hard coming home, too. People take so much for granted here." He reached out for my hand and put it to his cheek. I don't think he even realized he was doing it.

He seemed so sad. "Is your dad still there?"

"Yeah, he should be back by the time school starts." We talked for a while longer, but it was getting really late.

"Hey, I should go," I said softly.

"You sure you'll be safe?" He pulled me up into his lap so I was facing him.

"As sure as I can be. I've done this before. Just walk me home okay?" I didn't want to go. I sighed, climbed off his lap, and held out my hand.

We walked to my house in comfortable silence. When we got to the back of my house, Edward seemed a bit surprised.

"Window?" Edward eyed me curiously.

"Safest way out, safest way back in." The window was still cracked open, the lights were still on, and the door was still locked. I felt reasonably sure that Renee was passed out cold and I would be safe until tomorrow night.

I was about to boost myself up through the window when Edward grabbed me by the waist and spun me around, pressing my body against the house. I wrapped my legs around him because it was easier than letting them dangle.

I was amused. "What's up, Edward?"

He smiled. I was beginning to really like it and it was starting to make me smile too. I felt silly.

"What time do you get off of work tomorrow?"

"Um, four, but I'm going to try to pick up an extra shift so I can stay out of Renee's hair."

He sighed. It felt like he was frustrated with me. "Why don't you just come over to Jasper's when you're done at four? We can hang out for a while and then go to my house for dinner." Before I had a chance to protest, he continued. "My mom is sick of me and Jasper. She's dying for a new victim to sink her teeth into."

How could I possibly resist that invitation? "Well, then I would love to come for dinner. Can I go now?"

He leaned in to me and whispered in my ear, "No."

I felt his breath on my cheek and his eyes on mine. "Edward," I breathed. I reached up to touch his mouth. He took my hand in his and slowly, slowly pressed his lips to mine. He kissed me. Not a wild, passionate, I-want-to-fuck-you kiss, but a gentle, soft, slow kiss that was unlike anything I had ever tasted before. It was warm and loving and so tender. He pressed his body into me, his hips meeting mine and we both moaned.

He pulled away a little. "Bella, breathe."

"Don't want to. Keep kissing me." Fuck, I would do it forever if I could.

I could feel him smile into my lips. "I'll keep kissing you tomorrow," he said as he kept kissing me.

"Promise?"

"Mmmmmmmm. Yes." He spun me around and eased me through my window before I realized what was happening. I looked back out the window, he was standing there grinning.

"Night, Bella."

I showed up at Jasper's after work, and we hung out for a while before going over to Edward's. Edward's mom, Esme, was warm and generous and interested. I felt welcome immediately. Dinner was relaxed and fun, and really fucking good. We all teased Jasper about Alice coming home tomorrow. He was so excited he couldn't sit still. I was pretty psyched too; I missed her a lot.

After dinner, I helped Esme clean the kitchen while Edward and Jasper started a small fire in the pit in the back yard. Esme and I joined them, and we sat and talked for a while before Esme said good night and went in to get ready for bed.

Jasper reached in his pocket and pulled out a bud and his little red bowl, and the three of us sat around the fire, talking quietly as it slowly burned to embers. I could tell it was getting late when Jasper got up to leave.

He stretched, "See you guys tomorrow, huh?"

Edward and I said good night and he walked back through the woods to his house.

I looked up at Edward. What was left of the fire was flickering in his eyes. I crawled over to him slowly, my hair swinging back and forth.

"Fuck, get over here so I can kiss you."

I stopped and leaned back on my feet, just a little tease. "You did promise, didn't you?"

"Yes. I. Did." He crawled over to me and over me until our chests were pressed together, his long arms on either side of me, his face inches from mine. I was captive, captivated and lost in my need to feel him.

"Should I kiss you here?" His lips grazed my cheek and my breath caught.

"…or here?" He nibbled along my jaw.

"Edward," I whispered.

"…or here?" He ghosted his lips along my neck. I shivered.

He looked up, his eyes burning. He brushed his lips across mine like a feather…. "Or here," he whispered.

I touched my lips to his softly, "Please?" I was breathless.

Our lips together were warm and soft and unhurried, our tongues tender and twined together.

He leaned back, gathering me on his lap, and I wrapped my legs around him, my hands in his hair. He put his hands in my back pockets and pulled me in closer and we both moaned from the contact. I could feel his hands inching up my back. They were warm, and his fingers felt like they were exploring every scar and freckle. He wrapped his arms tightly around me and kissed his way down my neck.

"God, Bella...you feel so fucking good."

It had to be heaven; I'd never felt like that before. I wanted so much, and I wanted it from him. I even heard little birds chirping.

I opened one eye. Fuck.

"Mmmmm, hey, the sun's coming up."

"Shit, you have to go, don't you?" He looked to the sky as if he wanted to curse it, but I saw his smile spreading; when he looked back at me, I couldn't help but return it. I felt ridiculous and good and happy and didn't want to go home.

He stood me up, "Come on, I'll throw your bike in the trunk and give you a ride."

We stopped at the corner, so Renee couldn't see me sneaking into the house at dawn if she was up, which I doubted.

He reached over to kiss me, and I let out a sigh.

"Don't worry, there's more." He whispered as his lips brushed mine.

"You promise?"

"Yeah, I do." His eyes were dazzling, green and playful and something else.

"Good, 'cause I like your promises."

"I like keeping them." He kissed me again and I ran to my house.

My alarm went off too soon. And fuck, I left my bike in Edward's car. I was going to have to walk to work. The day was going to suck. On the bright side, Renee had already left for work, taking her bad mojo with her. I showered, dressed, and when I went outside my bike was in the bushes. I sighed. I felt all warm and bubbly. I could not wait for my shift to be over, and I left the house with a smile on my face.

When I got to Jasper's that afternoon, there was a note taped to the door. Running errands, BBS…go to E's. J&E. I was too tired to drag my bike through the woods, so I left it at Jasper's. As I approached Edward's house, I noticed Esme working in the garden.

She looked up. "Hi Esme, can I help?"

"Hey, Bella, I'm just getting some stuff for dinner. Here, help me carry some of this inside." She filled my arms with veggies.

"You look tired, late night?" She looked amused.

"Yeah, just a little, I guess. But it was nice; it wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't had to get up so early." I shrugged. I wasn't sure how much she had seen or heard and I felt kind of strange.

"Are you hungry? Dinner isn't going to be for a while, but I can fix you a snack and then you can lie down. Sound good?"

"Sounds great and thank you, Esme, for everything, really."

I finished my sandwich and was ready to pass out. "You have a choice, the sofa or Edward's room."

"You don't think he'd mind?" I wasn't sure if was some kind of boy violation or not.

"No, I'm pretty sure he'll be okay with it. It's down the hall to your left, and I'll have him wake you before dinner," she called behind me.

Edward's room looked like a boy's room-not too big, and the bed was unmade, of course. Not that I ever made mine. I didn't care. I took off my shoes and pants, snuggled myself into the scent of Edward and was asleep in seconds.

I woke to a very warm body wrapped around mine, making me even more reluctant to wake up.

"Edward…" I whispered as I scooted back into him.

"Hey, I like seeing you in my bed." He nuzzled my hair and kissed my cheek. "Dinner's ready, you hungry?" I rolled over because I hadn't seen his face all day and I missed it. Our eyes met and the air changed around us.

His hands stroked my face. "I missed you."

"I know, me too. I feel kind of silly." I blushed and I didn't know why the fuck I did.

"No, not silly at all." He kissed me. "Let's eat , then we can come up here and relax. I'll get you home at a decent time. You need to sleep."

"Not too early though, okay? I want Renee to be passed out when I get home," I worried. I didn't want any surprises when I got back.

"Not too early, I promise. And you get your ass back here if anything happens."

I started to get out of bed and heard him whisper, almost to himself, "Shit, we have to get you a phone."

Esme's voice called out that dinner was ready.

"Oh, I need my pants." Oops.

Edward's eyes darkened. "You were in my bed, without me and with no pants?"

I smirked, "Yup, I was."

I put my pants on silently... in front of him, letting him watch. "Ready for dinner?"

After dinner, we were relaxing in his bed, my head tucked into the crook of his neck. I was drifting and trying not to think too much, but it wasn't working. Part of me was scared. Not of what was happening between us, because I felt safe and wanted. I was afraid of what was going to happen when school started. Would Edward revert to his old ways and not talk to me? Would the evil bitches that ran the school reclaim him? A very small part of me worried that this was all a set-up. I was going to end up humiliated with my picture plastered all over the walls at school; me, covered in Edward's love bites. That happened to Jane last year, courtesy of Alec and Emmett. She hadn't been the same since and, frankly, neither had the rest of us.

Edward had nothing to do with it, and I didn't even know if he was at that party, but he still hung out with Emmett and Alec and the rest of them. So, a part of me, a very small part, was still nervous.

Alice and Jasper trusted him though, and I wanted to, so badly. I wanted it so much that I was almost willing to push all those fears aside and just jump right in. And there I was snuggled into a very warm, very relaxed and loving body, hiding nothing. Edward was watching a ball game on TV and reading and rubbing my back.

Edward's phone rang. It was Alice. He handed me the phone and rolled his eyes. They were home, and Jasper was there. I gave the phone back to Edward because I was too tired to deal with her glut of travel stories and future plans. Edward nudged me when he was off the phone.

"Party, Friday night? I'll pick you up after work, okay?"

"Okay… I'll have to tell Renee that I'm spending the weekend at Alice's, so I'll be…homeless?"

He growled, "Not if I can help it." He tickled me until I was crying, and as promised, I was home by midnight.

Friday night I had a short shift until nine PM, so when Edward picked me up, I was ready for the party. I was nervous and had a grumbly feeling in my stomach. I didn't do well at parties unless I was drunk, and I didn't really want to be drunk that night. I felt like I didn't want to lose control, or lose what little I had. The monster of insecurity had grabbed me and grown as the party grew closer. Edward and I had only ever really been alone together or around Jasper, and everything was so new and beautiful, and I hated feeling that way, and I was letting it control me. Gut check Swan, get a grip. I was excited to see Alice, and Edward was going to be there, next to me. I was going to go with that and be happy.

We pulled up in front of Alice's house. Fuck, there were a ton of cars. I wondered who the hell was there. Leave it to Alice to throw the last big blow-out before school started. I sighed and hoped that I was ready for whatever came next. Edward opened the car door and was waiting for me to get out. He kneeled down and reached in for me, pulling me close, he took my face in his hands.

"You okay? You've been quiet."

I nodded. "Yeah, I'm just nervous and all these cars are a little scary." I looked into his eyes and saw nothing but happiness and hope. "Kiss me, please. I need to feel you."

He moaned, just a little. "Fuck, yes," he breathed.

As we walked in, we were bombarded by faces and music and laughing and smoke. I looked up at Edward. His face was flushed, his lips were red and swollen and his hair was a mess. I was sure I looked much the same way.

He looked down at me, a little stunned by all the activity. "What are you looking at?" he asked, as a small crooked smile crossed his face.

I stood on my toes and whispered, "You look like you just got worked over pretty good. It kind of makes me happy, and it's sexy as hell."

He grabbed me around the waist and held me close to him. I loved the way his arm was so long that, when he held me like that, his hand actually reached around to my front.

"Are you sure this is where you want to be Bella?" His mouth so close to my ear, I could feel the warmth of his breath.

"Mmmm, this is exactly where I want to be, just maybe in a different location." I kissed his neck and nibbled a little. "Let's go find Alice and Jasper."

Edward went to get a couple beers for us, and I went in search of Alice. I ran into Kate and Angela; we talked for a bit, but they hadn't seen Alice either. I finally found her out back, talking to Tanya and a few of her friends. What the fuck? It was just so wrong.

Before I could wipe the look of shock off my face, she saw me. "Bellaaaaaaaaaaa, I'm so happy to see youuuuuuu." She bounced over to me drunk and stoned, and I'm not sure what else. She hugged me, but she was vibrating; I could feel her whole body shaking.

"Hey Alice, what's the deal? Why are they here?" I was more than mad. Alice's house had been my sanctuary the previous year. I knew it was her home, but I felt like I was losing something precious.

"No, this is so cool. I actually ran into Lauren in Paris. I know, right? How weird is that? She and I hung out for a few days, and she wasn't so bad. So when I got back, I called her and let her know about the party. I guess everyone else came too. Maybe we can start off on a new foot, you know, maybe they're not so bad. It's so good to see you." She hugged me again. I had never seen her like that before and it freaked me the fuck out.

Tanya came over, her friends following and giggling behind her. "So, Bella, I hear you're fucking Edward. Lauren is not going to be very happy about that. She really missed him this summer."

"Bella, are you fucking Edward? God it's about fucking time." Alice seemed exasperated.

Now I was vibrating. No, that was not going to happen. "Tanya, I don't give a shit about Lauren, and my life is none of your fucking business. Leave me the fuck alone."

I tried to get Alice's attention. "Where's Jasper?" But she was off in some far away place. "Alice, where the fuck is Jasper?"

"Shit, Bella, you don't have to yell. I think he's in the kitchen, manning the keg or something."

"Whatever, I'll talk to you later."

I made my way through the growing crowd to the kitchen. I could see Jasper was almost as lit as Alice, without the weird shaky shit. He was talking to Edward. Lauren was standing next to Edward, but I could tell by his body language that he was trying to ignore her. When he looked up and saw me, his face dropped. I must have looked upset, or he didn't want to see me, but I was not going to go there. Those people messed with my head too much. Jasper followed his gaze, and he said something to Edward.

I watched as Edward tried to shake Lauren off, like a bug. She bent to his ear, saying something to him, and he laughed in her face. She looked a bit taken aback. He shook his head. I couldn't hear what he said, but he was quite adamant. He nodded my way and she glowered at me.

Edward finally freed himself, grabbed me, and we headed out of the kitchen.

"What happened? You're okay, right?" He was worked up and angry, and there were so many things going on I wasn't sure what had caused it.

"I'm okay; I just want to get out of…."

"Cullen! Hey, Cullen!"

Fuck me. I leaned into Edward and he wrapped his arm around me.

"Dude, where the fuck are you going? The party's just getting started." Emmett stopped and noticed me, his sinister grin making me shudder.

"Oh. I see you're still hanging out with the little freak. Well, dude, since I got the first ass grab, I think it's only fair that I get to see it, don't you?"

He started to pull his phone out of his pocket when Edward punched him, in the face, knocking him on his ass. There was blood pouring out of Emmett's nose.

"Look, Emmett, I told you to leave us the fuck alone. Keep your fucking hands off her and stay the fuck away." I had never heard this much venom come out of Edward's mouth. His eyes were so intense, they practically shone red. He was seething. For once, Emmett was speechless.

Then the commotion started and people began to gather.

Jasper found us and laughed. "Well I can't say he didn't have it coming, but Alice's mom is going to be pretty pissed about the blood. And, you know, dude, school is probably gonna suck for a while. "

Edward sighed. "Tell Alice I'll pay for the rug, better yet, make Emmett pay for it, and I don't give a shit about school. We'll deal with it." He put his arm back around my shoulder.

"Well, whatever…I've got your back, you both know that. You better get the fuck out of here before something else happens."

We made it to Edward's car and he sank down into his seat, his head on the steering wheel.

"Hey." I reached out to him, stroking his cheek. "Put your seat back." He turned to look at me, giving me a small smile.

He leaned back into his seat and I climbed into his lap, my legs on either side of his. I kissed him softly. "Thank you." I kissed him again.

He quirked an eyebrow at me, "For?"

"For kicking Emmett's ass." I kissed him. "For taking such good care of me." I kissed him again. "And for letting me sit on your lap all the time." That made him smile.

"Take me home, Edward."

His house was dark, although it really wasn't that late. We crept up to his room. Edward went into the bathroom to wash up and clean his hand. I took off my shoes and socks and situated myself in the center of Edward's bed.

When he came out of the bathroom, his feet were bare and his shirt was missing. "Blood," he smirked. God, he was beautiful; smooth and long and lanky, with broad shoulders and a very smug grin as he caught me staring.

I pointed to a speck of nothing on my shirt. "Looks like blood." I reached down and pulled my top over my head. As I did, I felt the bed shift under Edward's weight. When I finally had my face free from my shirt and my hair, he was sitting in front of me his eyes blazing into mine.

I reached behind me to undo my bra, but he stopped me.

"I want to do that." His voice has heavy, his lips parted as he reached over to kiss me.

His hands pushed the straps down my arms, he pulled me closer, reached around, popped the clasp and it fell away. Edward sat back and looked at me, from my hair to my eyes to my mouth, and then he licked his lips. He looked further down and ….

"Bella, you're fucking beautiful. I want to touch…"

"Please." I was already breathless.

He leaned over me, pushing me down with the force of his kiss, his hands stroking, tracing every inch of my breasts. The feeling of our skin together set me on fire. The smoothness and heat, the feeling of him under my fingers, I touched every bare surface I could find.

Edward kissed each breast with reverence. He licked between them and kissed his way down to my jeans, resting his head on my stomach like he was trying to decide something.

He positioned himself between my legs and ran his fingers up and down the fly of my jeans. He unbuttoned them one at a time. He pulled my jeans off, and his eyes fixed on mine.

"Baby blue?" He grinned as leaned back on his knees.

I looked down. "You have a problem with that, buddy? Take them off."

He gasped, "I can't, it's against the rules."

"Edward, we've already broken the rules, I'm practically naked."

He shook his head, "No you're not, you still technically have some clothes on."

I got up on my knees and kissed his firm stomach while unbuttoning his jeans. I could feel the rise and fall of his breaths as their pace increased.

I pulled his pants as far as I could. "Pants off, baby." He stood and they dropped off. "Navy boxer briefs? Very sexy," I smirked.

I pulled him down on top of me, pressing up into his cock so that I could feel him on me. Just the weight of him was enough to send me over the edge. And he moved. And he moaned. And he pressed into me and rocked us back and forth.

I wrapped my legs around him, "Oh fuck Bella, I can't stop."

He gazed at me, his eyes hooded, and pressed harder and pushed deeper, the fabric between us only increasing the friction.

"Don't stop."

"I'm gonna…"

"Yes, Edward, cum."

"Bella…" He rocked us faster and pushed and pushed so hard. "Oh god." And he stopped, resting on top of me. I loved that.

He looked up while he was still trying to catch his breath. "I'm sorry, I want to make you feel as good as I do." I just smiled because the promise of so much more was there.

"Why are you smiling?" He looked confused.

"Because I'm happy and you feel good and that makes me even happier."

He rolled us over on our sides and grinned, "I'm gonna make you feel really fucking happy as soon as I can move."

He burrowed his face in my neck and kissed his way up to my lips, licking and nibbling until I moaned.

"God, I could do this forever." He hummed.

His arms wrapped around me and pulled me closer. He reached down and hitched my leg over his hip. His hand cupped me, his fingers reaching and covering my entrance over my very wet, baby blue panties.

His fingers wiggled and his palm pushed. The texture of my panties increased the friction, the sense of something other than me, touching myself. His hand remained covering my opening while his thumb searched for the right spot.

"Edward, yes." My back arched and my toes curled when he found it. I was already so on the edge, so close, my body ready to explode.

He started rubbing small circles around my clit.

"Look at me." I could feel his breath on my face, he was so close. I turned toward his warmth, his eyes were so big, his lips so full. Just seeing his beautiful face pushed me closer.

"I want to see you, all of you, touch you, taste you, Bella…" His thumb brushed my clit.

"Yes, please."

"Is that it? Right there?" His voice rough and so full of desire.

"Yes, oh fuck…"

"Baby, are you gonna cum?"

"Mmmmm," I had no words.

"Now?"

I panted. "Fuck." I pushed my hips into his hand. My eyes fluttered as I came.

"That was beautiful, you're so fucking beautiful." He breathed in my ear.

I was still panting. "Edward, that…was so ..." A tear rolled down my cheek and I turned my head away from him.

"Hey, hey..." He kissed my eyes. "What?"

"I've, just never...cum with anyone else before." My face felt hot.

He leaned over me, kissing my eyes, my tears, my lips. "Wanna do it again?" He whispered, a gleam of contentment in his eyes.

He finally pulled his hand away from my panties and inspected it like it was a new part of his body. He put it to his nose and smelled, and then he put his fingers in his mouth, closing his eyes as if he were savoring a new delicacy.

He hummed, "You taste so sweet and cottony." He cracked the sweetest smile. I thought I would die.

We stayed that way, kissing and snuggling and laughing for a while. I was starting to drift, so I put my pants back on in case Esme came in to wake Edward up in the morning. Edward went to get washed up, taking his jeans with him.

He came back to bed and wrapped himself around me, his face in my hair, his arms and hands snuggly around my breasts. I was anchored firmly into Edward.

The first day of my senior year of High School, I walked through the doors with Edward Cullen.

Everyone looked. No one said anything and I wasn't afraid. I knew exactly where I fit.


a/n…. I am a lucky girl. I have fantastic beta's and friends. annanabanana and chicklette beta'd this monster and made it pretty. I never lacked for nudges and hand holding. I love them both, a lot. I would send them presents and cookies and fun girlie stuff everyday if I could. Any mistakes or uglies are totally my responsibility. Thanks to FDM for pre-reading and everything else, cause...you know, and all that too. And all you WC people...it's more than just the writing, js.

Also, thanks to PTB for the extra clean up.

Oops. I forgot. Thanks to nerac/carenl and Kassiah for hosting this contest.

Go...read the other entries; I'm sure there is a ton of fantasticness out there. That's what I'm gonna go do right now.

Thanks for reading.

Sigh, I'm done now.