Putting holes in Happiness
A shocking wave of turbulence hits us roughly. I close my eyes and breathe through my nose; clutching the armrests. As it passes I relax into my chair once more and sneak a peek towards my left. Jane looks more green than humanly possible. I was glad of the turbulence; it's the only thing that could explain her sudden health plunge.
But we're almost home. I've never been happier to see the rain on our windows as the plane descends. Jane almost hurls as the gigantic bird bump onto the asphalt ground. I stand slowly and wait for her to join me but she sits still and I have no choice but to wait for her.
The plane empties and the stewardesses warily look our way; probably not wanting to clean up a possible mess.
"I just don't get it," Jane says for the fifteen-thousandth time. She's been pestering me with her every thought since we crossed the Gulf of Mexico. I've been tenaciously silent since then.
"I've already told you. He hit you really hard. I'm surprised you're still alive." I keep my tone annoyed and uninterested.
"But I wasn't there… was I?" She wouldn't remember key plots but she would feel fuzzy for a few days. Not to mention suspicious.
"Yes you were. You came down for something. You never got the chance since he hit you." Believable and unquestionable.
Jan nods slowly and stands on shaky legs. I refuse to allow her any help as I grab our bags from the overhead compartment and thrust hers into dead and hollow arms.
I don't look back to see if she's following me or not. But I hear shuffled feet behind me. We come to the large glass sliding doors and I watch with internal glee at the grey sky and downpour. Jane, on the other hand, frowns and looks horrified.
A large black SUV with tinted windows pulls up before us. We slip into the back without question and the car speeds off quickly but evenly. I had expected Aro to sit there but not reality. All three brothers were in the compartment with us. Their backs to the driver and possible bodyguard. I sat as far away from Jane as possible; tensing. I know they don't know and yet I can't help the speed of my pulse.
"Isabella," Aro says pleasantly. He turns his head. "And Jane. How wonderful to see you two again." Did he not think we would make it back alive?
"Aro," we said in unison. He put his fingertips together and smiled.
"I would assume you to want some rest. I heard it was a bumpy ride." We say nothing. Aro's eyes flicker over Jane's state. "But I would like a verbal report now." Jane didn't even attempt to make communication and Aro only looked at me as he said this.
"Porter Jacobs has been dealt with." Aro nods encouragingly. "I disposed of- it's been taken care of. Jane was unlucky enough to come in-between." Aro smiled sadly. "I gave her something to sleep but I would suspect she needs medical attention." Aro nodded; agreeing.
"How unfortunate," he spoke slowly; weighing his words. "Do you remember anything, my dear?" Jane shook her head delicately while clutching her bag like a pillow. "What a pity."
There was a tensed silence and I peered stubbornly out the window until we came to my street. The car stopped and I put my hand on the handle.
"Isabella?" I turned my head with an impassive expression. "Good job." I nodded once and jumped out into the heavy rain and sprinted to my lobby.
"Good morning Ms. Strode." I smiled at the doorman and made my way towards the elevators. We hadn't left Rio immediately. Taking my time I'd meticulously wiped everything from the scene and destroyed the identifications into ashes. No one would know about Mr. Jacobs dirty little secret; least of all his children.
The lift dings and I step inside with a last fleeting glance towards my doorman. The gold embedded doors slide together and I fall back against the railing. I ache everywhere. My arms feel like jell-o and my knees are too wobbly for me to even contemplate working out the remainder of the week. Emmett would understand. Maybe. Probably not.
The doors ding open and I slug myself down to my door. The cold rectangle seems so unwelcoming now. I drop the knot of keys in the bowl by the door and next the duffle bag tumbles down in a heap.
I crack my neck as I come by the kitchen, in a beeline for my bed when I'm alerted of a person standing behind me.
There was the unmistakable sound of a gun sliding out of safety mode. "Don't move." His voice is as unmistakable. It's as smooth and velvet as ever; not even a hint he'd been shot only three days ago.
I freeze; my breath stopping. "You would shoot me?" I ask surprised but still evenly.
"Of course not." I turn and watch as he lays the gun down on the counter. "But I needed you to not attack me. I have a feeling you do this to unwanted house guests."
"I wouldn't know. I've never had one before." I take in his impeccably neat appearance. Dark jeans hanging tantalizingly low on his hips. Light grey t-shirt that shows he works out. I must look like a mess next to him. Wrinkly clothes, greasy hair and blotchy skin. "Why are you here?" I ask with dread dripping from my voice. The Volturi had been just a few hundred meters away from him. What if-
"Should I have gone back to pretending you don't exist?" I felt a little sad.
"You do that?" He ignored my question.
"I can't go home."
"Yes you-" I cut myself off with a horrible thought. I've searched the apartment countless times and not once have I found a bug. But what if they've been in here now? What if they hear every word they say? What if they're waiting for me to say his name before they crash through the front door?
Paranoid as I am I went back to the front door and locked it. Peeking out the peephole the hall appeared to be deserted. I knew better than to rely on my vision only.
"You just got shot. Really think its wise coming here?" I ask as I trudge past him and feel under the small hallway table for the extra gun I have taped there. Obvious placement but with that gone I'd know if the Volturi had been here. It was still there.
"I feel fine." I cocked my head with so much obvious disbelief that it must have looked comical for a third party viewer.
"Oh yeah? Touch the ceiling with your left hand." He frowned and made no move to do that. "Yes, you're absolutely fine," I said with heavy sarcasm.
"Other than obvious discomfort," he continued. "I feel fine." I shook my head at his deliriously sincere voice.
"You can't be here." His face flashed of hurt and I wanted to slap myself. "I didn't mean it like that," I whispered.
"Then what do you mean?" He was angry now. "If you didn't think they would barge up here right now and put a bullet in my head," I flinched, "would you even have wanted to see me?"
"Why do you ask that?" I said with surprise. Edward shook his head and shrugged.
"Maybe because you're always pulling away."
"There's a good reason for that," I reminded him. "And how dare you say I don't want you. I traded my life for yours. If something happens to you now, where does that leave me? I can't live with everything I've done without a reason, Edward." His face smoothed at the last part.
"I didn't think about that," he breathed to himself.
"Yeah well I did," I snapped and then instantly feeling guilty at my bitchy tone. The greasy state of my hair was starting to crawl inside my skin and my fingertips itched. "I'm going to take a shower and then… I don't know." I shook my head and turned towards the bathroom.
"Do you want me gone by the time you're done?" I stopped in front of the entertainment unit and thought about it.
"No," I said and continued into the tiled room. I closed the door softly and almost fell to the floor, my knees were so hollow. I had to grab the sink so I wouldn't buckle over.
I started the water and let the steam billow in the room before I stepped inside. The clothes fell from my body and I felt like I had lost at least two dress sizes. My skin was battered with bruises that were in the shades of purple and yellow. My hands were tattered in scratches and my fingernails were nonexistent. The old scars on my back blended in with the paleness of my back. My arms, though plunged in spf 50 every day, still showed a slight tint.
I stepped under the rays of scorching water and instantly recoiled from it. Easing under it took several moments and only then was I able to turn it down and find the cold knob. The water cascaded down my back, arms and legs. I watched the specks of dirt flow down the drain before starting on my hair.
My shampoo smelled deliciously fruity and inviting. It's the same I've been using since I was fourteen. I used the same brand of conditioner and let my hair be embedded in the silken feel as I scrubbed my body. Dirt still persisted under my nails and in the crevices of my skin. My feet were hardest to clean. But I scrubbed with persistent hands and soon I was spotless, except for the bruises and scratches.
I shaved every place I could think of since stubble is never inviting in such a warm climate. Leaning back the water soaked my hair and rid it of the whiteness of the conditioner. I felt amazing; the trickles of each individual droplet.
I stood under the stream for a long while. The warmth felt too good to leave immediately. Afterwards I stuck the toothbrush in my mouth and multitasked by both brushing my hair and drying my skin. The minty flavor made my stomach churn and I suddenly realized I was famished.
I slipped on the grey cotton robe that was more of a sweater and tied a knot in the center of my stomach. The upper sides persisted on showing a deep v-neck and I let it go after the fifth try. I drew a towel through my hair as well and didn't stop until no more drops dripped down on the glassy floor.
The strands curl at the ends and altogether waviness flowed down my shoulders and settled in the middle of my back. I hung the towels on the stainless steel drying rack and turned it on to faster dry them.
Edward sat with his back towards mine out on the balcony in the sun chair I usually inhabited on one of my many sleepless nights. With his momentary lapse in focus I went to my room and into the cavernous closet.
I dropped the robe and pulled out a drawer to find panties. Black boy shorts hugged my skinny hips and a pair of dark and torn shorts that weren't too short joined my hips. A black bra with lacy sides snapped to my skin. I took a simple white cotton tank top and pulled it on. It pooled at my waist in a flattering way and I looked myself in the mirror and saw most of the bruises were on my warm. I pulled on a very thin light grey cotton sweater but left the front buttons unbuttoned and walked out into the living room. Edward was still sitting in the chair. I slid the sliding door open but he didn't up look at my approach.
The roar of the busy street way down on the ground echoed against the tall buildings nearby, including this one.
"It's not very peaceful," he commented.
"No," I agreed. "It's better at night. Not many people out then." He finally looked up at me though I only saw from my peripheral vision.
"You sit out here a lot during the night?"
"Sometimes," I allowed. We were high enough that you could see the outlining of the beach. I was so close and yet I'd never set a foot in the warm sand. Such a waste. I turned and walked back inside; the sun was giving me a headache. My eyes opened wider as I stepped into the darkened comfort of my apartment. The sliding doors slid shut a few seconds later.
I opened the fridge and found an energy drink. I popped the flap and took a sip. Edward was standing behind and I could feel him roll his eyes at the poor sight of my fridge. The well-stocked one with fresh greens and actually food was gone. In its place; my regular mayhem of limited nutrition.
The stainless steel door slid closed and I turned, leaning against the counter top of the half island.
"What have you thinking so hard on?" I inquired, putting down the can and hopping up. The coolness of the stone made the hairs on my arms stand. Edward leaning back in front of me, expression thoughtful and wary.
"I feel like I owe you an apology."
"You don't owe me anything," I quickly slipped in but he shook his head.
"Yes, I do. You know, I was really pissed when you just left and didn't even tell me. I actually thought-" I cocked my head; waiting for him to finish is internal argument. "I thought you ran – left – because of… because of what I said." It was strange seeing him at a loss for words. He was always confident and knew what to say and when to say it. Never one to put a foot in his mouth.
"I know," I replied evenly; too aware of what he was talking about.
"Even now," he continued, "when I know… I shouldn't act like such an asshole." The corners of my lips twitched. He tilted his head. "Was that a smile?" The ghost of my would-be smile vanished and fought it down.
"No," I said stubbornly. Suddenly he was right in front of me, hands on my knees. Slowly he eased them open and slipped inside me legs. I stayed completely still and tried not to let it affect me that his thumbs were circling the skin of my inner thighs. Albeit only right by my knees but still.
Leaning forward he put his lips at the side of my neck. I shifted my head to give him better access.
"I like your smile," he murmured against my skin; the vibrations making my heart beat faster.
"I hope that's not all you like," I said back quietly.
"There are a few others," he gripped the back of my knees and pulled me towards the edge of the counter. My hands slipped down and held onto the counter so I wouldn't accidentally tumble down. Though with Edward pressing against me the odds of that were slim.
My eyes instinctively slid close as his lips shifted over the hollow of my throat to the other side of my neck. Hands brushed my hair back and lips enclosed around my right collarbone. With my spine still rigid I let my head fall back a little. The softness of his lips on my skin felt amazing. I forced my chest to move in a normal breathing rhythm but I knew he felt my heart race.
His right hand felt up my thigh, tickling my skin. When they stopped at the button of my shorts I felt the build-up of a moan in the deeper parts of my throat. His thumb circled my hip bone and I couldn't help the breathing moan that washed out of my lips.
"I like that sound," he said, continuing our conversation. I had forgotten how to speak. His fingers deftly unbuttoned the metallic clasp and they whispered over the top of my panties before slipping down.
A louder and much more prominent moan erupted from my throat. "And that," he murmured against my neck, below my ear. His fingertips teased me. Touching me but never putting any pressure. Agonizing. Amazing.
Rubbing slow circled on my wetting skin he slid his hand further down and slipped two fingers inside me.
"And this," he breathed into my neck; his lips kissing up and down the length.
"Fuck," I breathed in a moan. My teeth gnawed at my bottom lip and I didn't care anymore that I was breathing so quickly. His hand was wedge between the tightness of my shorts so every time he moved, the heel of his palm slid against my clit and almost made me go insane.
I yanked my left hand up, grabbed the back of his head roughly and crashed his lips to mine. Edward didn't seem to mind my rush and happily pushed against me, rubbing his hand harder. Whimpers vibrated in my throat as our tongues battled together.
It's been so long since I've been thoroughly fucked. I haven't forgotten about the time in my old bedroom but that had been rushed and with the sole purpose of getting off. No I mean fucked as in doing it until we both pass out from exhaustion.
I slid my leg higher up on his waist and he suddenly broke away from my mouth, hand gone.
"Shit, I'm sorry," I breathed and watched him take a steadying breath. I could see the outlining of a large bandaged patch just above his left hipbone. I trailed my hand at the hem of his shirt and pulled it up to see the wound. His skin was red but nothing else except the bandage suggested he'd been mortally wounded a few days ago.
"It's okay," he said but his voice betrayed him. I ghosted my fingertips along the sides where tape held the cotton together. He winched. I instantly removed my hand.
"No it's not," I whispered and rose up to claim his lips again. He kissed me back for a little while before breaking off.
"Who shot me?" His tone indicated he only just now thought about this.
"Her name's Jane. She's never been outside a computer lab and I was the lucky one who got to train her."
"Is she good?" I was about to chuckle at the mental image of her trying to hit a thick tree trunk without any success for two hours straight. But I thought against it since she did manage to hit him. A few centimeters off and he'd be dead.
"Better than I thought." He tilted his head.
"How'd you get out of it?" For a moment I thought he might ask me if I killed her but he probably thought better of it.
"I slammed her head into a concrete wall." I said this evenly but with a serious underlying tone. His expression was unreadable. "Does that bother you?" He didn't answer me. Instead he leaned down and captured my lips again. The kiss was rough and felt like old times when we had to hurry.
He was hard against me and our hips rubbed against each other. But we couldn't fuck here. Not against the counter when he could barely handle me touching his side.
Breaking away, I pushed against him. Edward seemed confused but allowed me to hop down. I grabbed his hand and dragged him with me towards the bedroom.
He grabbed the sides of my head and pulled my towards him. I lifted onto my tip toes and continued backing. My back hit the partially closed door. I turned us around so he could sit on the bed. I straddled his lap carefully and we continued kissing.
Taking his hands away from me he heaved himself until he was in the center of my king-sized bed. I've always thought the size was unnecessary. Now I couldn't be happier I had it. I slipped my hands under his shirt and pulled it gently off his frame. I didn't miss the flinch as his left arm move too far up. The cotton flew down the foot of my bed and landed in a heap on the floor. My sweater was next. The thin material flowed down my arms and pooled at my hips.
I was vaguely aware Edward flew the seemingly offensive material away. His hands traveled up and down my arms and I knew he'd seen the bruises. He pushes the white top up and over my head. Edward's hand is immediately at the clasp of my bra and in one smooth move it's gone from my body.
I run a hand through my hair to push it back and push my mouth to his again. His hands are too gently as they feel my back and ribs before landing on my breasts. Moaning into his mouth he kneads them too softly. Sensing my urgency he tweaks my nipples and I can't help the pathetic whimper that bounces around in my throat.
Starting at his jeans button the inner side of my thigh brushed against his ribs and he hissed under his breath. "Maybe we shouldn't do this," I breathed into his mouth. Edward immediately shook his head.
"No, we definitely should do this." The horny side always wins.
I let him crash his mouth back to mine. It felt too good to stop. I continued in unbuttoning his jeans but they didn't go far as my legs stopped them in their tracks. Edward kept my mouth at his. He'd let go of my breasts and tangled his fingers in my hair. The still wet strands shook any remaining hidden drops out on my back, creating an interesting sensation.
Flinging the disruptive hair behind my shoulder Edward kissed my exposed shoulder. His hands went down to my hips and tugged the fabric of my shorts and panties down my hips. I gently gripped his shoulders and lifted one of my legs. He tugged the material down successfully and then did the same with my other leg.
I brought his mouth back to me and our tongues met instantly. His hands found my hips again and forcefully pushed me against him. We both groaned at the teasing touch but I didn't stop rocking against his partially clad form.
I pushed down his shoulders and waited for him to willingly lean back on his elbows. "Don't tear your stitches," I teased against his lips and moved down his body. He hungrily watched as I backed down and brought his jeans and underwear with me. Watching his chest rise and sink rapidly with each delicious pant I slowly sank down and took him in my mouth.
I swear to fuck he got harder.
Swirling my tongue along his head I dripped down and started a rhythm where my hand rubbed up and down on the parts I couldn't fit. Edward's right hand weaved through my hair and I saw him struggled against holing his eyes open. Finally his others side won and he fell back on the bed, moaning and still treading his fingers through my hair.
I teased his head with the tip of my tongue and flicked it rapidly. He hissed and gripped my hair harder. I took as much of him inside as I could and stopped, rubbing my hand up and down quickly.
Just as I knew he was about to cum I pulled away completely. Edward made a disgruntled sound but it quickly turned into a low moan as I straddled his hips and sank down on him. I stopped once he had completely filled me. I knew he felt my weight on his wound but he never said anything or indicated he was hurt.
Instead he leaned up on his elbows and kissed me hard. I started rocking into him, seeing if this would elicit the reaction I was dreading. He groaned into my mouth. Definitely not discomfort.
I started moving faster, but never as hard as I would have liked. I wouldn't even if he grabbed my hips. Which he never did. He kept his right hand on the bed to stead himself against my movements and brought the other to my hair, keeping me locked against him. I suddenly loathed my substantially shorter hair.
The sounds of our pants and moans quickly filled the room. The mattress squeaked with us in the background. My left thigh slid out and away from his side, allowing a deeper penetration. I couldn't contain it anymore. I had to break from his house as I panted incoherent curse words and silent screams.
My stomach tightened almost painfully and my other hand clenched against his shoulder; my nonexistent nails digging into his skin. Biting my lip out of habit I quickened my pace and rocked my hips roughly against his. Licking and kissing lazily down my neck and onto my shoulder, Edward's hand tightened on my thigh. I wondered when he'd put it there but the next second I exploded.
The waves and waves of pleasure and numbness washed over. Instinctively I continued to rock against him but my pace was quickly reclining until we weren't moving anymore. Edward fell back on the bed with a thudded pant. I continued to straddled his hips; feeling him inside me, until I knew I was spent and could fall to his side.
My leg laid lazily over his and ninety percent of my front was prodding into the covers that had somehow managed to stay on the bed. We lay in comfortable silence as we both came down our highs.
"Tell me something," Edward asked suddenly, voice collected. I had been drawing lazy and inconclusive designs into the bedspread. Looking up he had rolled his head to the side and an expression of curiosity littered his face.
"Maybe," I challenged.
"On the beach, after you graduated… you changed your mind very quickly. Why?"
"That's what you're thinking about?" Out of all the times, this was the one that struck him?
"Yes. Will you answer me, please?"
"Alright… I really wanted to know what it would be like to kiss you. And I figured one kiss wouldn't be so bad." He pondered my answer before grinning lopsidedly. I rolled my eyes. "Don't look so smug."
"I can't help it," he admitted with a chuckle. I slapped his shoulder with the back of my hand. Edward grabbed my wrist and quickly slipped us over. His bottom weight crashed into mine and his hands steadied himself on either side of my ribs; thumbs flicking my skin.
"Doesn't it hurt at all?" He rolled his eyes. "You almost died," I reminded him with an internal wince.
"But I didn't," he said in a serious but still teasing tone. He sighed as my face remained impassive. "Why can't you believe me?"
"Cause you'd lie." He nodded thoughtfully at that.
"True." And then his lips were on mine and I forgot what I was thinking.