Disclaimer: I don't own Twilight or the characters, nor do I pretend to. I DO however own this story - so don't steal it. Do you want to be a thief? I think not.

WARNING: This FF is rated M for lemons. If you can't buy stuff from TV infomercials then you are under the age of 18 and I cannot condone you reading any further. I love you, but please move it along my young ones.

Summary: My entry for the Summer Lovin' One Shot Contest. Old crushes & lost time lead to true love and new beginnings.

o-O-o

THIS, my lovelies, is my entry for the Summer Lovin' One Shot Contest. I didn't win the contest, but am pleased to announce that I was one of the 6 finalists. Thanks for all your support.

I need to give my beta batgirl8968 some MAJOR props. I finished this one-shot by the skin of my teeth and she beta'd so fast it would make your head spin! NOT to mention I had some big stuff for her to weed through, to help me stay within 10k words. OH YEAH, and let's not forget that she created the banner for BfaFf also! She's the bestest! Go check her out – she's batgirl8968 on Twitter and here is her FF page: .net/u/1903451/Batgirl8968

I don't typically suggest music for my stories, because I like to write when it's quiet. But I played these two songs on loop at the end of the story. I want to thank 22bluefic (Twitter) for suggesting the first song!

You'll see a little prompt when to start the music, if you want to set the mood. *wags eyebrows*

Music:

John Mayer: Edge Of Desire

John Mayer: Slow Dancing In A Burning Room

o-O-o

Anything you see in BOLD below was originally removed to stay within the 10k word limit for the contest. Removing them didn't really take away from the one-shot, but should I continue this story, I will need some of it.

See you at the bottom. ENJOY!

BPOV

"Bella, would you please ask Esme to bring the aluminum foil on her next trip out?" Carlisle asks loudly over the squeals and peels of laugher coming from the pool. The smoke from the grill encompasses him before he waves a hand-towel around to break free.

"Will do," I respond just as loudly while inwardly chuckling. I step into Esme's kitchen and the noise level in here is no quieter than that of the pool.

Summer has arrived and with it loud music, laughter and new friends.

"Esme, Carlisle needs aluminum foil. If you'll show me where it is, I can bring it out to him."

"No need dear, I was headed out anyway. Why don't you take a break? Go change into your swimsuit and cool off in the pool with the kids."

"That sounds nice, Esme. Thank you," I respond. She smiles widely at me before turning with a tray full of skewered meats and vegetables. She awkwardly picks up the roll of aluminum foil before asking Rosalie for help with the door.

"Wait up, Bella. I'm going up too." Alice waddles toward me with her very pregnant belly protruding out in front of her, before we both make our way to the stairs.

"So, Bella…huh…tell me…huh…how is Forks treating you?" she asks as she continues to huff for oxygen.

The stairs seem to be giving her a fight. I slow my ascent to keep in stride with her but also to secretly keep an eye on her. She doesn't like to be fussed over but given the complications Esme said she had during her first pregnancy with Sam, I feel protective of her. I place my hand on the small of her back as we continue our trip to the second floor.

"Forks is…Forks," I respond dryly.

o-O-o

I'd only been back in Forks for a month and had just finished unpacking mine and Leah's things. We had already been approached by many of our neighbors.

At first I thought it was sweet, but quickly realized it was really because they were all nosey. With Forks being such a small town, everyone knew everyone else's business. And if you were first with fresh gossip, you were the center of attention for weeks.

Once my next door neighbor, Mrs. Cope, realized who I was she had to introduce us to everyone. She took it on as her own personal summer project; no doubt bringing her to the forefront of all the latest gossip news.

"This is little Isabella Swan. You remember her don't you? She's Charlie's little girl. She married Billy's boy Jacob. This is their daughter Leah. Isn't she just as pretty as her Mom? They've moved back to town. Isn't that nice?"

I had to remind her, and whatever neighbor she was gossiping with, that I was no longer married to Jacob. They offered me sympathy of his passing, though we had been divorced for years prior to his death.

I didn't like the attention but Leah loved it because Mrs. Cope always had cookies and loved to share them. She was a sweet little lady but drove me crazy.

o-O-o

"Yeah, I know how it can get." Alice responds with a roll of her eyes, bringing me from my reverie.

"When Jasper and I moved back it was like a freak show. All the ladies in the grocery store wanted to hear him talk. They'd ask him off-the-wall stuff just to hear his southern accent." She giggles through huffs as we take the last stair.

"I'll be down in a little bit. I think I'm going to try to take a nap," she says before turning toward a closed door.

"Alright, I'll let Jasper know you're up here," I respond.

"Thank you, Bella," she says before closing the door behind her.

I make my way to the guest room that Esme showed me during our earlier tour of the house. Like the rest of the house, the room was beautiful with large furniture and subtle design details. I sit on the bed and think back to how I had gotten here.

o-O-o

"Dad? Hello? Can you hear me?" I called through my phone as Leah and I pulled into town.

I could barely hear him respond with a 'hello'. I wasn't sure if it was bad cell service or because Leah was blasting Justin Bieber from the car stereo.

"Leah, please. Turn the radio down. I'm trying to talk to your Pop-Pop," I snapped, while trying to talk on the phone and drive.

"Sor-ry," she sassed from the passenger seat. She was upset about our move from Seattle. I knew it was going to be hard for her. The move meant a whole new set of friends and having to deal with a new school. I could empathize.

I was the 'new kid' once upon a time. That was, until Jacob Black took me under his wing.

I moved from Florida to Forks when I was fifteen years old, just before starting my sophomore year of high school. I lived with my dad Charlie and his new wife Sue in their modest home. They were excited to have me. My mom Renee didn't like the idea, but I wanted a change and she understood - because she was the same way.

Jacob was the running back for the Forks High football team and popular to boot. He figured that since his dad and my dad were friends that I should hang out with him. He rarely let me out of his sight after that first day.

We progressed into a comfortable friendship and as we grew closer, our feelings for each other grew as well. It was awkward at first, but just like our friendship, it grew until we were comfortable with it.

But kids will be kids and our senior year of high school, I got pregnant with Leah. Our parents were livid. Billy, Charlie and Sue pressured us into getting married. 'It's the right thing to do' was the general consensus from the day we found out. My mom, however, did not like the idea. She felt like I was making the same mistakes she had made with my father at that same age. She didn't want to see me end up unhappy. Hind sight is always 20/20.

So at age seventeen and six weeks pregnant, Jacob and I got married. We lived with Billy until after graduation, which had only been two month away. I wasn't even be showing – much – during our graduation ceremony.

Only our family and close friends knew about the pregnancy. But with us being so young and Forks' gossip, it was always speculated.

After graduation we moved to Seattle and prepared for Leah. Jacob was in college and I had taken a year off to await Leah's birth and ease into motherhood.

Time passed and we were content but things didn't feel right. Our friendship stayed in tact but our love life took a nose dive. After time we both knew it wasn't going to work. We had a quiet divorce and agreed on everything. Leah would see him every other weekend, every other holiday and whenever he wanted to spend extra time with her.

Any time I didn't have Leah, I immersed myself in my work. I was teaching at a middle school in downtown Seattle. Besides Leah, those kids were my heart. I loved every one of them and they knew it. There was something special about helping a child learn new things. You could see it in their faces when they figured something out that once seemed so far from their reach.

But Leah took precedence over everything, including my love life. Jacob eventually found Tanya, who turned out to be a sweetheart. She loved Leah and treated her like her own.

But tragedy struck in the winter of 2004. Jacob and Tanya were traveling to stay with Leah and me for the Christmas holiday. Like the dysfunctional family we had become. Their car hit a patch of black ice and skidded into a tail-spin. According to witnesses and the police report the true accident happened once their car stopped spinning. The semi truck couldn't stop fast enough when he saw their car sideways on the interstate. They died upon impact.

At age four, Leah took the news surprisingly pretty well. I tried to explain to her that daddy was in a better place. She was her usual bubbly self, much like her father, and just said "Okay," before continuing to play with her dolls. Because she was too young to remember much, she didn't think about it often.

Time passed and as she matured she recognized the loss of not having her father and would ask questions. We would sit and talk for hours about Jacob and Tanya, while looking at old photos.

As the years continued, I did my level best to be everything for Leah. She was a well loved and well behaved, happy child minus the nine-year-old-turning-into-a-preteen-drama-fits.

While she shared in my mannerisms- like the lip biting - she grew to be a very outgoing beauty, like her father.

o-O-o

"Le-ah," I said with inflection, using my 'mom voice'. I looked over and gave her 'the look'. Those two tricks I learned from Sue when I was a teenager, while she used them on me.

Where my mom was flighty and didn't care much about what I did – so long as I was safe- Sue was firm with rules and stuck to her guns.

Leah leaned up and turned the radio down and mumbled a, "Sorry mom," before slumping back into the passenger seat.

"Dad? Can you hear me?"

"Yeah, Bells, I can hear you. Are you close? I'm at your new house right now."

"Yep, we're right around the corner. Is there room for the moving truck to park?"

"Plenty of room, Bells. But you know you didn't have to hire a crew. I could have called a few of the guys down at the station. They wouldn't have minded helping."

My dad was the chief of police in Forks and had been since I could remember. Everyone loved him and in turn they were willing to do just about anything for him. He didn't usually take advantage of it but when it came to his daughter and grand daughter, the sky was the limit.

The movers continued to bring in our furniture and boxes while I directed them. Dad and Sue helped get the house settled the best they could. It was so great having their help. I had packed it all myself. Being a single mother for so long was wearing me down.

Moving back to Forks wasn't my original plan but about two years ago I started looking for another teaching job. The school in Seattle had started talking about lay offs. Forks Middle School had had my resume for quite some time and was now hiring. Getting the job at Forks Middle School was a huge blessing in disguise. Being close to my family was going to take some heavy weight off my shoulders. Not that I intended on using Charlie and Sue as built-in baby sitters but having some extra help would be nice.

o-O-o

As the days passed by, we settled into our new home and into our summer routine. The weekend was upon us and with it came the normal weekend chores.

At the grocery store, Leah hopped out of the car and waited for me to grab her hand. As much as she liked to act independent and tween-y, she really was a great kid. She knew not to go rushing across the parking lot and waited for me to accompany her.

Leah wanted to push the cart so I walked ahead of her, grabbing the few things we needed.

Although she was well behaved, my little Leah had a bit of her mother's stubborn streak in her. I had to ask her more than a few times to slow down and not go too far.

I heard what sounded like two carts crashing into one another. As I turned my head to see what the commotion was, I realized it was Leah. She had collided with a cart being pushed by another girl. In her cart was a little boy – two, maybe three years old - strapped in the child safety seat. Both girls looked mortified about the accident.

That is when I ran into Esme Cullen. I knew her as Mrs. Cullen when I was a teenager.

Everyone knew the Cullens. Dr. Carlisle Cullen & his wife Esme had three beautiful children – Emmett was the oldest child and always jovial. Edward was the middle child and was the smart, ridiculously hot, baseball jock – whom I had a huge crush on years ago. Then there was Alice. Alice and I had become friends briefly my senior year of high school. But when I got pregnant I kept to myself and made sure to stay at arms length from most people.

"Isabella, sweetheart, I heard you moved back into town. How are you?"

"Hello, Mrs. Cullen. I'm doing well. How are you?" I asked politely.

"Oh, none of that Mrs. Cullen nonsense, that's my mother-in-law. Call me Esme," she insisted as she waved her hand dismissively.

"Is this your little girl?" she asked. I nodded and started to introduce Leah but she started right in again.

"Oh Isabella, she's beautiful."

Leah, still looking a little upset about her recent crash, blushed at the compliment from a stranger.

Esme turned to address her fully. "What's your name, beautiful?"

Leah cleared her throat and smiled. "I'm Leah Swan. It's nice to meet you." She pushed her hand out to greet Esme formally with a handshake.

"Well aren't you just a sweetheart?" Esme gushed, looking between the two of us. "This is Emily, my grand daughter. She's nine years old." She motioned toward the little girl who had been quietly standing beside the little boy in the cart. She had blond hair and beautifully familiar green eyes.

Esme looked over and stage whispered to me, "She's Edward's daughter."

Hearing Edward's name sent a little shock through my system. I hadn't thought about him in years.

Other than her blonde hair, his daughter looked just like him.

Changing her tone, Esme looked over and cooed. "Oh…and this little handful is Sam, Alice's son."

She reached over and rubbed a hand through his blonde, curly hair playfully. His eyes lit up as a chubby smile took over his face.

"I sometimes watch them for the kids if they have to work or when they just need a break." She smiled sadly at me. I wondered briefly what that was about.

"So, how old are you Leah?"

"I'm nine and a half. Almost ten," she announced proudly.

"Well, that's nice. Maybe you could come over to my house and the two of you could swim. Maybe this weekend?" She looked at me with a question in her hazel eyes. She realized that she had broken the mom-code and asked the child before addressing the parent about said subject.

I looked down at Leah who had slowly started making her way toward Emily and Sam. They all looked up at me with pleading eyes.

"Please mom?" Leah begged.

I eyed Esme who had a remorseful grin on her face.

o-O-o

Leah and Emily had become the best of friends over the last couple of weeks. Esme and I would meet at the park for a picnic and let the kids play for a few hours. On days that the sun decided to grace us with its presence, we would head to Esme's home to let the kids play in the pool.

Sometimes Alice and Rosalie, Emmett's wife, would join us. We all became fast friends.

At first I was a little afraid of running into Edward, because of all the time I was spending with his family – and apparently at his temporarily home. But Alice told me Edward was starting his residency at Forks General Hospital, which meant he was almost never around during the day. According to Esme, he was either sleeping or working. I knew it would only be a matter of time before I ran into him though.

I hadn't shared with my new best friends just how big a crush I had on Edward in high school. Although Jacob tried to steer me away from any males throughout our teen years, it was hard not to notice Edward.

No one – other than Edward & me – knew about our summer rendezvous at Tyler Crowley's party.

o-O-o

It was the summer I had arrived in Forks. Jacob wanted to introduce me to some of his friends but soon got drunk and passed out. Edward found me sitting alone by the bon fire, contemplating how I was going to get Jacob in the car and back home without our parents noticing. We introduced ourselves and sat by the fire talking for hours. We were practically alone. The fire was too hot for summer weather but we both seemed content in each other's company. The more we talked the closer we drew toward one another. Like magnets. We shared each other's first kiss, and second and third. We actually made out all night.

At fifteen, I wasn't quite ready to go "all the way" with a guy but the soft caresses Edward gave my breast almost made me loose my resolve. I sat straddled across his lap as we explored each other's bodies. His very prominent hardness was pressed between us, causing me to get wet with arousal for the very first time in my young life. Everything about him drew me in – his smile, his good looks, his personality, even his smell. His scent was unique to him, almost like a honey-lilac-and sun flavored scent. It was hard for me to even believe that this beautiful boy was with me. There were many other options at the party but he chose me.

But as the party drew to a close I knew I had to let go. Edward wasn't the type of guy that would be interested in me long term. We said goodnight and departed. I found Jacob and got him home safely. I never told anyone about that night and I supposed Edward didn't either. Why would he?

Fall arrived and with it our sophomore year at Forks High. Though I never sought him out, I always noticed Edward. He had many friends and was usually surrounded by them, and he always seemed to have a smile on his face. If we were in the same room together our eyes would inevitably meet and a powerful surge would rock through my body. His gaze would cause me to blush – which made his smile even more magnificent. His smile always seems to get larger when he noticed my staring.

I learned that he was the pitcher for our high school baseball team. His slim yet muscular body was evidence of his athleticism. I would never admit to anyone that I would attend our team's home games only to watch Edward pitch. I loved to see his perfectly disheveled hair curl around his ears under his ball cap, while his deep jade eyes watched every play with intent. He was a great player. Days like that would make me realize that he was completely out of my league.

o-O-o

Over the last few weeks I had learned that Edward and his ex, Lauren, were divorced and that he had sole custody of their daughter, Emily. No one was specific about the arrangement and I had a feeling it was a sore subject. Emily talked very little about her mother and it seemed she didn't know her well. My Leah seemed to be a good distraction for her.

Carlisle and Esme had invited us to their annual Fourth of July BBQ. I was reluctant to accept but soon realized that Charlie and Sue were regular guests. I graciously accepted the invitation, but insisted that I arrive early to help with any preparations.

So here I stand, about to head back downstairs to the Cullen Annual Fourth Of July Backyard BBQ with my family and my new friends. I would be kidding myself if I had said I wasn't nervous. Today was the day. There was no getting around it. I was going to finally see Edward for the first time in ten years. I wasn't completely sure what to expect but the butterflies in my stomach told me it could be something good.

EPOV

I'm in the kitchen with a much needed beer in hand, watching the commotion that is going on in my parent's back yard.

"Daddy?... Daddy?"

The voice of my daughter breaks my gaze that is trained on someone I haven't seen in far too many years.

I look down at my beautiful daughter to give her my full attention. I offer her a quick smile and a kiss on her forehead.

"Daddy, this is my friend Leah. I told you about her."

There is a little girl standing next to her who is unmistakably Bella's daughter. Her fly away hair, chocolate brown eyes, and yes, her blush are all her mother's. I bend down on one knee and smile at the two of them as Emily introduces me to Leah.

"Well, it's very nice to finally meet you, Miss Leah. Emily has done nothing but talk about you for weeks." I push my hand forward to shake hers playfully, wiggling her arm more than a normal handshake. Both girls giggle and Leah's blush deepens. Emily grabs her by the arm and pulls her toward the door.

"Come on, we need to hurry up and get some food before my Uncle Emmett eats it all. He's a pig." Their laughter is contagious as I find myself laughing along with them. They run outside and I follow behind slowly.

My attention is yet again drawn to the girl, no, woman that is helping Esme set the picnic tables for our dinner.

She looks exactly the same. She is still the petite girl I knew back in high school. Although her hair is pulled up, I can see the color is exactly the same. Her brunette pallet gives way to auburn high lights only displayed while in the sun.

I distinctly remember being enamored by the unique color as I stole side glances of her from my pitchers mound all those years ago. Father Time has been kind to Bella.

When my mother told me she ran into Isabella at the grocery store, I was a little confused. Bella hated to be called Isabella in high school so the name didn't register right away. She & Emily spouted on and on about this 'Isabella' and her daughter Leah. Mom talked about how fun it would be for Emily to have someone her own age to play with.

It took about a week, and Alice's prompting, for me to realize that Isabella was Bella. My Bella. Alright, so maybe not my Bella but the Bella. The Bella I remembered from the summer before our sophomore year of high school. We had a connection that rivaled any I had had with any other woman to date. I tried many times to approach her in school about Tyler's party. I didn't want her to think I wasn't interested…because I was, desperately. But Jacob Black seemed to be two steps ahead of me at every turn. I could barely get within five feet of Bella before Jacob intervened and pulled her in another direction. I wasn't even sure if she knew he was doing it.

"Edward," Emmett booms from the far side of the pool. "'Bout time you showed up. We've been waiting for you all day." He's getting out and splashing water all over his wife Rosalie. She looks upset but the corner of her lip is turned up slightly, giving her away.

All heads turn toward me as I make my way down the stairs to the party.

I roll my eyes and move toward my mother to give her a hug and a peck on the cheek.

"Oh, don't believe a word he's saying, dear. You needed your rest," she pacifies. "And besides, we are just now sitting down for dinner. Come on."

My sneaky, cupid of a little sister waddles up and nudges me in the ribs with her pointy elbow.

"Ow," I scowl playfully.

"Did you see her?" she asks, darting her eyes towards Bella.

"Yeah, I see," I respond with my eyes trained on the beautiful woman who is helping her child and mine get something to eat. I'm not sure if she's even noticed me yet but I have certainly noticed her.

"Well? Are you doing to do something about it this time or let another ten years pass?" my sister questions in a patronizing tone.

"Alice, I just walked out here. She hasn't even noticed me yet. Give me a break," I insist.

"Oh, she's noticed you alright," she murmurs as she walks away.

I risk another glance toward Bella and see that she is watching mine and Alice's exchange. I give her a smile and a tentative wave. In turn she blushes that beautiful crimson I remember so well before returning the smile and turning to help the children.

I make my way around the party greeting everyone, including Bella. I keep my excitement to a minimum, as to not freak her out. It's been so long since I've seen her, I'm about to burst at the seams.

As we sit to eat I notice that all of the kids look tired and are still a little wet from their afternoon of swimming. Leah begins to flip her long hair around, trying to keep it away from her face. She whines a little to Bella about something I can't hear over the noise of the laughs and loud conversations of the party. I stealthily watch their exchange from the corner of my eye. Leah huffs one more time before Bella reaches up behind her head.

Bella starts pulling her hair from the confines of the rubber band that has been holding it up. She shakes her hair out a bit before handing Leah the tie.

I look on with unrestrained attention.

Leah ties her hair up, pulling it away from her face. She smiles at her mom before turning back to her plate. Bella returns her smile while running her fingers through her long beautiful locks. Her hair is shorter now than it was back in high school, but no less stunning.

Bella looks up and over in my direction before I can tear my eyes away from the scene that played out before me. She smiles and blushes before tucking a strand behind her ear. I can't look away.

This is going to be a long and interesting night.

As the hot summer sun lowers itself in the sky the party moves to the trimmed field beside my parent's home. Carlisle has built a bon fire for the kids to roast marshmallows & make s'mores before we make our way downtown for the fireworks display.

Everyone is camped out around the fire, helping the children with their marshmallow roasting. Esme and Bella come a little late because someone forgot to get the graham crackers from the kitchen. When they arrive, there are only two seats available - one next to me and one next Carlisle. Of course my mother takes her seat next to my father, leaving Bella to either stand awkwardly or sit next to me on a low log. Bella doesn't get a chance to think too much about it because Alice, being Alice, points for Bella to take a seat – next to me.

There is fun, laughter and good times had by all. Even Charlie and Sue stay to enjoy the setting.

However, at the moment, Bella and I can't seem to reconnect. There's some awkward silence between the two of us. I'm still somewhat satisfied being so close to her, our bare legs keep pressing against one another. I can't help but notice the uncanny setting – Bella and I sitting close together in the hot summer heat, in front of a bon fire while fireflies dance in the distance. That first time, we didn't know each other at all. This time it's been so long since I've seen her, it seems like we've just met.

I decide to start to break the ice that has formed between us. I can't let this time I have with her be wasted any more. "So, Leah and Emily seem to be hitting off. All I've heard for the last few weeks is 'Leah this and Leah that'."

It may not have been the best opener but it at least got us started.

We talk about our children and what we are doing now. We talk about why we were both back in Forks after all of those years away.

Our conversations get a little deeper and it reminds me just how easy it is being close to her, talking to her, talking with her.

The bon fire starts to dwindle and with it some of the guests. Charlie and Sue are the first to say good night. They are not going to be making the trip downtown with us.

Alice and Jasper also decide to call it a night. Alice is beyond miserable from the heat and little Sam is conked out on Jasper's shoulder.

Mom and Dad start to make their way back to the house to clean up from the party. Bella offers her help but my mother insists she stay with the kids. They tell us they will see us in a little while so we can all make our way downtown.

The girls take Emmett's cue and start running around the field to catch fireflies.

Bella and I continue our conversation, reminiscing about 'old days', the fun times we remember from high school. Her laughter & tender smiles warm my heart.

Rosalie excuses herself to find a jar for the kid's bugs – kid's includes Emmett of course.

Bella and I soon found ourselves alone by the bon fire. The significance of the moment does not escape me. I half wonder if I owe this precious time to my dear meddling sister.

Too much time has escaped since Bella and I first met twelve years ago this summer. I decide to not waste any more time being my usual reserved self. She has to know the way I felt for her then. She has to know that the night of Tyler's party changed me. She has to know how I wished so much that I could have been brave enough to just talk to her then.

I can feel my heart pounding against my ribcage, its disjointed rhythm plays in my ears. I wonder briefly if she can hear it too.

With a shaky voice I start to speak and hope that I can get through this without making a fool of myself.

"Bella?" My voice cracks slightly.

She pulls her eyes away from the dancing fire and tilts her head up a little to look at me. Her chocolate eyes shimmer with the light of the fire.

"Hmmm?" she responds with a haze over her eyes, making it appear as if her thoughts are miles away.

She blinks a few times, bringing herself back.

"Sorry," she mumbles and looks down into her lap.

Without permission my hand reaches up and gently pulls her chin up so our eyes can reconnect. I've gone so long without looking into them, I can't find it in me to want to stop.

"Hey," I whisper. "Where were you just then?"

She starts to reply before being interrupted by the loud screams of our approaching daughters.

I remove my hand from her chin and we both look in the direction of their voices. They're talking over one another to get our attention.

"Daddy," Emily starts the same time Leah says, "Mom, look."

They both shove their cupped hands close to our faces. Bella squeaks and jerks away, falling from our perch. I quickly grasp her around the waist to keep her from hitting the ground.

Emmett comes bursting back into the space and starts chasing the kids with his own handful of fireflies. Rosalie returns, showing them the jar she has found. The fireflies are contained and they collectively decide that there are still not enough of them. With that, the four of them make their way back toward the darkened field - the girls screeching & laughing the entire time.

I feel Bella move slightly and realize that I have not removed my arm from around her waist. I tighten the grip I have of her and hope to hell what I'm about to do isn't a bad idea.

"Bella," I whisper, leaning down to look deeply into her eyes.

She leans forward with a question in her expression before I place my free hand on her bare thigh. Our lips are only a few inches apart. I lift my hand to caress her soft cheek that has become warmed by the dying fire. I lean in and close the distance between us. Finally, finally, I gently press my lips to hers.

It's exactly how I remember it. Her lips are so warm and the soft electric current that has been flowing around us all night explodes between us.

I glide my tongue across her lips to seek permission to deepen our connection. She opens her mouth allowing me in. Once our tongues meet she lets out a relieved sigh.

It's the kind of kiss that makes me wonder why I had been so stupid to not go after her in the first place. It just felt right. My feelings for Bella have not extinguished over the years…they've matured.

Her tiny hands tangle into my hair causing me to moan at her sanction. I pull her impossibly closer, closing any gaps between us. Because I can't seem to get close enough to her, I pull her up into my lap. Wrapping my hand around her tiny leg, I stroke her upper thigh, cautiously slipping underneath the hem of her shorts.

My cargo shorts leave little to the imagination. She writhes against me, letting me know that she can feel the effect she's having on me. Her wiggling makes me unbelievably hard.

Reluctantly we pull away for some much needed air but my lips refuse to waste any more time. I kiss across her cheek and down her neck. The tank-top she's wearing makes my assault easier. She arcs her neck, giving me more access. I caress her shoulder with my mouth and slowly move the strap so my lips loose no contact with her heavenly skin. She tightens her hold of my hair.

I kiss my way back up her neck and nip the sensitive skin behind her ear. She gasps and pulls me closer. Confidence bursts though me as I slip her earlobe through my lips and between my teeth. Her hot breaths wisp across my ear. I feel a growl from somewhere deep in my chest.

"Edward," she quietly hums across my cheek. "Edward, I've wanted you for so long." She moves her hands down to my shoulders to keep me close.

I slowly remove myself from her ear and draw back to look into her hooded eyes. There is nothing there but sincerity.

"You don't know how long I've wanted you," I respond before capturing her lips.

Slowly we lessen our intensity and end our long kiss with three slow, sweet pecks. Bella stays on my lap, keeping close, with her arms wrapped around my shoulders.

Leaning back she says, "We should head back to the house so we can leave. The girls have been so excited about the fireworks tonight."

I reluctantly agree.

o-O-o

In the end, we take two cars downtown because there are too many of us to fit into one. Carlisle, Esme, Emmett and Rosalie take Emmett's hummer, while Bella, Leah, Emily and I take my SUV.

The eight of us spread out across 3 blankets in the soft grass. Emily and Leah once again run around playing like two cracked out spider monkeys. I'm beginning to think that Emmett may have snuck them some extra chocolate while Bella and I were otherwise occupied.

Right before the fireworks start, the girls calm down and curl up together to watch the show. I lean back on my elbows with my head tilted back to watch. Bella is to my left sitting up watching the girls. She is too far away from me, in my opinion.

The show starts and everyone "oohs" and "ahhs" at the spectacular display that is dancing above our heads. I look over to watch Bella's expression and realize she's closing her eyes and cringing.

I lean over to get her attention. "Bella," I whisper.

She doesn't answer.

I sit up and lean in even closer. The scent of her strawberry shampoo hits me and makes me think of things I shouldn't in front of our families.

"Bella," I whisper again, this time brushing my lips against the shell of her ear.

She shivers as my breath washes down her neck. She leans into me, tempting me to do much, much more. I lightly lick her earlobe causing her to gasp. I chuckle and lean back a little.

Turning to look at me, she gives me a scowl. The playful tug at the corner of her lips tells me that she's far from upset with me.

"What?" She huffs through her laughter, trying to keep her voice low.

"I was trying to make sure you were okay," I reply.

She looks down at the blanket before meeting my eyes once again.

"Yeah, it's just that…Well, it's just that fireworks scare me a little bit."

I sit up and scoot closer to her. "Bella. It's okay. I'll protect you," I say with a playful smile. I give her a little wiggle of an eyebrow before swiftly scooping her up and depositing her into my lap. She let's out a little squeak and giggle as I wrap my arms around her. She tucks her head under my chin and we lean back to continue to watch the show. I steal a glance at my parents who have been watching us. They give me a knowing smile. They approve.

o-O-o

When we arrive back home the girls bounce from the car, hyped up on chocolate and excitement from the fireworks. It's late, so everyone says their goodbyes and goes their separate ways. The girls, however, are not ready to say goodbye.

"Mommy, please can Emily stay the night at our house? Please? Please?" Leah begs.

Bella glances over at me and I shrug my shoulders with indifference. Rolling her eyes she smiles, her beautiful face becoming more stunning with the motion.

She looks back down at our pleading girls and responds. "I guess its okay with me. As long as it's okay with her dad."

They look to me for confirmation. I give them a small smile and nod. Loud squeals can be heard across the house as they run to Emily's room to pack a bag.

"It's sweet of you to let them stay with you," I tell her.

"It's nothing," she replies with a roll of her eyes, while dismissively swiping her hand through the space between us.

"Nothing? You are going to have two nine year old girls - who, might I remind you, are currently hyped up on s'mores - running circles around your house, causing chaos." The thought makes me chuckle. Those girls are going to be a handful.

She laughs. "I could kill Emmett for that little stunt."

I nod my head in agreement.

Thinking through it, she starts again. "I don't think it will be that bad. I bet they'll crash before their teeth are even brushed."

I chuckle again. "Whatever you say."

Leah and Emily come running back down the stairs laughing the entire way with Emily's bag, a blanket and a pillow flopping behind them.

"Emily and I will follow you and Leah over to your place, that way I know where to pick her up tomorrow," I say.

Truthfully, I don't really need to follow them. Forks is a small town and I'm sure it wouldn't be hard to find her street. But I'm just not ready for this night to be over. We are so comfortable with each other right now, I don't want it to turn out like the last time.

Before Bella can respond the girls whine their disapproval.

"Ah! Come on daddy. I want to ride with Leah," Emily pleads.

I look to Bella for support and she shrugs her shoulders at me with a playful smile. I narrow my eyes at her, pretending to look angrily. She's using the same indifferent shrug I gave her not five minutes before.

She giggles.

"Alright girls. How about this? How a-bout…your dad follows behind us in his car so he knows where to pick Emily up tomorrow. Aaand," she starts before anyone can disagree, "he can help me unload the stuff from the trunk so you girls don't have to help."

"Yeah!" and "Okay!" are the responses she gets from our little balls of energy.

o-O-o

When I arrive at Bella's house, the girls have already bolted from the back seat and are running up the stairs to unlock the front door.

I make my way to the trunk of the car to help Bella. With loaded down arms, I make my way to her front door, left open by the girls in their haste. As I step inside, I can hear them singing and dancing around upstairs.

Bella rolls her eyes and yells up the stairs. "Time for bed, girls. Get your pajamas on and brush your teeth."

A collective "aw man" comes from the two as the music is turned down and the house gets quiet.

"You can just put that stuff in the laundry room," Bella says over her shoulder.

I look at her with my eyebrow cocked.

"Oh, sorry. This way."

I chuckle and follow her to the laundry room.

I put the bags of wet clothes on the floor and look to Bella. The only light around us is coming from over my shoulder, in the kitchen.

I bend down to be eye level with her and she licks her lips in anticipation. Wrapping my arms around her waist, I pick her up and sit her atop of the dryer. She opens her legs, allowing me to step closer. My legs are pressed against the cool metal and Bella's warm body. The combination is heady. Our bodies are lined up in that sinfully perfect way. She leans in for a kiss just before the girls make their way down the stairs.

I grab her hips and stand her up onto her feet. She quickly moves toward the living room, while I stay behind to calm my erection.

Once I'm collected, I make my way into the living room to say goodnight to Emily.

She offers me a quick hug and peck on the cheek before following Leah back up the stairs.

"Do you want something to drink?" Bella asks.

"Sure, what have you got?"

"Um… well… there's some Dr. Pepper, apple juice or….water."

I smile, knowing that the drink selections in my refrigerator at home are probably somewhere along the same line.

"Water is fine, thanks."

She returns with two glasses of water, both filled to the brim with ice. I smile my appreciation to her because it's still hot as hell outside, even though it's well past eleven in the evening.

"I'm going to go check on the girls. I'll be right back. You can turn on the television or the stereo if you want."

"Alright."

I stand and make my way to the stereo. The music drifting from the speakers is slow and…perfect.

AN: (start playlist ladies)

The lingering summer heat has not left Bella's house unscathed. The living room is warm enough that it's caused our glasses to drip with condensation, the dew sliding down and creating puddles.

When Bella returns from tucking the girls in, she has a huge grin on her face that draws my attention to where it should be.

"Told you. They are out."

"Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Wow. I usually have to go back into Emily's room at least three times before she finally settles down."

After a short beat, she responds. "Well, they've had a big day today," she whispers.

Her words let me know she's not just talking about our girls.

"They have," I whisper in return.

I move over to make room for Bella on the sofa. She looks down to the floor and blushes but comes to sit beside me. Her long hair shields her beautiful, heart-shaped face from my view.

I've gone so long without her in my life I refuse to let this night pass without incident.

My hand lifts on its own accord to drag her hair over her bare shoulder, brushing my fingertips across her heated skin. She shudders from our contact. Her eyes are trained on her lap before she slowly looks up to meet my gaze through her hooded lashes. Without breaking our connection I lean closer to her, our eyes locked in unspoken sanction. I slide my hand across her slick skin to the nape of her neck as the space between us closes. Our lips connect perfectly, as if drawn to one another by some unseen force.

Bella releases a shaky breath and shifts her hands to my shoulders before they make their way into my hair. Our mouths move in perfect sync as we share our needs for one another. She pulls my bottom lip into her mouth consuming me in the most sensual way. Her bold move encourages our kiss as we both open to explore further. Our tongues dance lightly, playfully before becoming more intense.

Her grasp of my hair tightens and before I can react she pushes me onto my back on the soft leather sofa. I move my hands to her hips and with a tight grip I pull her up slowly, sliding her against my straining erection. The moan I evoke from her incites my own need, causing me to ache for more friction. As if she hears my thoughts, Bella pulls her knees up to straddle my hips, our lips never loosing their connection. Her hips begin grinding her heated core against my now painfully hard cock. The thin material of our shorts is no match for our needs.

With this thought in mind, my fingers move to play at the hem of her tank top. She leans up slightly, giving me permission to remove it from her completely. We break our kiss for the moment but stay close, sharing breaths. Her lace trimmed white bra is simple but makes me want her even more – the tiny pink bow teases me. I lean up slightly and place hot open kisses across her clavicle and work my way down to her breasts.

Her hands move across my chest and down to my abs, fingering the dusting of hair that leads to the place I want her to touch most. She tugs at the hem of my t-shirt silently requesting its removal. I quickly reach back to the collar and remove it completely.

With our overheated bodies inches apart our eyes meet in supplication, silently asking each other if continuing down this path is what we truly want.

The shy but sexy smile Bella gives me is all the answer I need…yes.

I return her smile and turn my gaze to her breasts that are hovering inches from my mouth. I finger the little pink bow that's still mocking me before I boldly reach around her back to remove her bra completely.

Leaning up further I pull her closer, brushing my wet lips against her straining nipples. Her skin tastes like heaven. With her hands in my hair, she pulls my mouth closer as her lips skim across the shell of my ear, her warm breath caressing me. I playfully kiss and lick her breasts before lightly pulling a nipple in between my teeth. She moans loudly in my ear, slides down slightly and pulls me even closer into another passionate kiss.

Bella's supple breasts press against my chest deliciously as we continue gliding our hips. Our hands are frantic against one another, grasping and feeling. The balmy summer heat gives our skin a thin sheen of moisture, helping our bodies glide uninterrupted.

While still sensual, our kisses become less rushed. Our lips are more expert against one another as if we've been doing this for years, not minutes.

With my eyes closed I feel, rather than see, Bella move to reach for something. When she draws her hand back it feels cold and wet. I open my eyes in surprise to find Bella holding a piece of dripping ice from our drinks.

Her dark eyes are playful and filled with lust. "Is it hot in here?" she asks with a whisper.

Cold water drips across my chest from the melting piece of ice she holds. A trail of water leads from her tiny fingers all the way down her arm, to the crook of her elbow. She leans back and locks eyes with me before raising her arm to her mouth and languidly licks the water in one clean stroke – popping the piece of ice into her mouth.

Yes, it IS hot in here.

I grab the back of her neck and roughly pull her lips to mine, devouring the coolness the ice has left in its wake.

Bella giggles and pulls back from our kiss while reaching for more ice. I try to grab her wrist but she quickly moves it from my reach.

"Ah, ah. I have plans for this one," she admonishes with a smirk on her pouty lips. "Lean back, Edward."

I follow her command to see what her plans are. Now that I have her in my arms, I think I would do anything she asked of me from this point into forever.

"Close your eyes," she whispers with lust straining her voice.

I close my eyes slowly, not wanting to block the beauty that is Bella from my sight. I grab her hips as I feel her lean into me.

I gasp in shock as I feel the cold ice being dragged across my lips, to my chin, down the column of my neck, over my Adam's apple, before stopping in the center of my chest. I arch my back and hiss at the contrasting temperature between the summer's heat and the cold ice. Before I can react further, Bella begins retracing the wet path the ice has just created, trailing her warm tongue from my chest back to my lips.

I grasp her tiny hips tighter and mumble against her lips. "That wasn't very nice Bella. I think you should be punished for that little act," I tell her with a slight smirk.

She quirks an eyebrow at me before I pull her closer and kiss her with everything I've got. She returns my heated kiss with the same passion dropping the ice somewhere on the floor beside us.

Bella pulls away from our kiss but nibbles her way across my jaw, to the sensitive skin below my ear. "I want you, Edward," she breathes.

Those four words have me hotter than the room around us.

"I need you, Edward."

Those four words cause me to move.

I grasp across her hips and turn to slide off the sofa. With a firm grip on her thighs I stand as Bella wraps her legs around my hips.

"Bedroom?" I ask through our kiss.

"Down the hallway. Past the stairs. Second door on the left," she replies.

I move my way through the house thankful that her bedroom is not upstairs, near the girls' room. With as long as I've waited for Bella, I don't think I can keep quiet tonight – and I certainly plan on hearing more from her.

As we reach her bedroom I am hit with a scent that is pure Bella. The concentrated aroma of strawberries, lavender and freesia drift around my lust clouded head. I close the door behind us trapping Bella's body between myself and the door. Reaching down I pop the button on her tiny shorts and slowly drift my hand across her denim covered core. She moans into my mouth while shifting her hips toward me. I thrust my cock against her, showing her how much she's affecting me.

"Bed," she mumbles across my lips.

She doesn't have to tell me twice.

I grab a tight hold of her ass and practically run to her bed. I gently lay her down, kneeling between her legs, covering her body with my own. Our movements that were once frantic, slow to a sensual crawl as we worship one another.

My hands lightly play across her chest, thumbing her tight pink nipples before leaning down to kiss them. I kiss my way down from the center of her breasts to her stomach, gliding my hands down her torso with reverence. I reach for the zipper of her shorts and look up to meet her eyes, silently asking permission. She lifts her hips and allows me to remove the tiny shorts along with her panties.

I lean back to admire the beauty that is Bella's nude form before moving back up to capture her lips. My hand slides down her body and across her hip before meeting her wet center. I dip a single finger into her heat before removing it, leaving her writhing below me.

Bringing my finger to my lips, I taste the pure nectar that is Bella. She opens her mouth in a silent request, which causes a wave of passion to push through me. Moving my finger to her lips, she captures it between her soft lips, licking it clean. My breathing falters. She hums in approval before she reaches her hand down to the top of my shorts and starts to fumble with the button. I back away from her slightly to give her hands more room to work. Once my shorts are open she grasps my hard cock in her hot hand. The motion is so unexpected it causes me to draw in a deep breath – which I didn't realize I was holding- completely giving away my full need for her.

Her hand glides across the tight skin of my erection leaving me incapable of doing anything more than rest my head against her shoulder.

I press a kiss into her neck. "Bella, I want you. Please."

She stops her ministrations enough to remove my shorts and boxers, leaving us both completely naked and vulnerable. As I lay between her spread legs, propped up on my forearms she looks up at me. Our eyes lock with one final unspoken question.

As if answering the question, Bella reaches down and glides my hardened cock through her wetness, teasing us in her folds. We both moan at the sensation.

"Condom?"

"I'm on the pill."

"Are you sure Bella? If you don't want-" I start before she tightens her grip on my dick.

"I'm sure Edward. If you're worried, there's only ever been one oth-" she says with a shy smile but doesn't finish.

"I want to be the only one you remember," I reply before I capture her hot lips with my own.

I slowly push my hips forward sinking my throbbing cock into Bella's heat, gently working my way in and out until I'm fully seated. She wraps her legs around my hips and grabs my shoulders to pull me closer, leaving no space between us.

I pause for a moment to allow her to accommodate the intrusion and, to be honest, to give myself a much needed breath. It's been so long for me I can barely contain myself. Our breathing is labored with the intense emotion that's spilled in the room.

She whimpers and moves her hips slightly, telling me she's ready for more. I pull back and slowly glide forward again, reveling in the sensation of our unobstructed connection. I moan into her mouth. It's so much. It's not enough. I want more.

"Holy fuck, Bella, you feel too good." I drop my head to her shoulder.

She tightens her thighs and uses her feet to encourage me to move harder and faster. I give her what she and I both want and push into her faster, harder, deeper.

"Ah, Edward. Oh."

"Uh…uh…oh fuck."

I move my hips in and up, circling slightly, searching through her heat for the spot where she needs me most.

"Yes, there Edward. Ah. Right. There," she says between thrusts.

Her breathing hikes and she digs her nails into my shoulder blades as her body locks up.

Found it, I think smugly.

She moans long and loudly as her body contracts around me. Her reaction triggering my impending release.

"Fuck Bella…. Oh… Fuck."

The quivering sensation in my balls finally explodes through my cock with force.

Her hands that were once around my shoulders push into my hair, grabbing tightly. She's cuming again.

"Uhn, uhn, oh…oh…Oh. Shit. Ed-ward."

We cum together, our bodies shaking through their release.

With my head on her shoulder and her hot panting breath in my ear, we both come down from our high.

I kiss her shoulder sweetly, peppering more up the column of her neck until I reach her warm lips. I open my eyes and see her watching me. We both smile at the same time, giving one more languid kiss before moving from our current position.

I pull away from her, but only enough to lay comfortably beside her. She rolls to her side and tucks herself into my side, resting her head on my chest directly above my racing heart. I wrap my arms around her and we simultaneously sigh in contentment. I smile through a low chuckle as she giggles and pulls closer to me throwing her leg over my thigh.

My thoughts are on Bella as I drift to sleep with my angel finally in my arms.

BPOV

It's hot in here, is all I can think as my body slowly wakes from its deep slumber. I try to move but am held in place by a strong pair of arms.

As my mind drifts through the past twenty four hours, I remember where I am and who I'm with. We are so wrapped around one another it's hard to tell where I start and he ends.

We're both laying on our sides. My head rests in the soft space between Edward's chest and shoulder and I'm tucked under his left arm which is wrapped around my waist. His right hand is splayed around the crown my head, his fingers wrapped tightly in my locks. Our legs are tangled together covered only by a thin sheet.

I sigh in contentment and snuggle deeper into Edward's chest. He feels my movement and tightens his hold on me. I smile and kiss him anywhere I can reach.

"Umm. Mornin'," he hums, his voice thick with sleep.

"Morning," I whisper before returning my attention back to his soft skin.

I can feel every part of his body that is pressed so tightly against me. I shift my hips against his, letting him know how his morning erection is affecting me. He shifts in return.

He pulls back to look into my eyes. "Bella?" he asks in a deep lust filled voice.

"Make love to me, Edward."

He lifts my leg over his hip and shifts forward, pushing into me slowly but expertly.

We make love twice before we both know it's time to get up. The girls will be up soon and will no doubt wonder why Edward is still here.

I move to get up and get dressed but Edward grabs my hips and pulls me back into bed.

A giggle escapes as I bounce back down and crash into his hard body. He rolls over and covers me with his body.

"Edward, I have to get up. Let me go." I laugh as he tickles my ribs.

He stops and looks down at me, a serious expression across his face. He grasps my face with both hands, his thumbs gently caressing my cheeks.

"Bella, I've wanted this for so long…wanted you for so long. I'm sorry, but I'm not ever letting you go again," he says with passion before pressing forward to kiss me once again.

With that, we begin our first summer together as a couple – followed by many, many more.

o-O-o

Thanks so much for reading my little story! I'm not sure if I will continue it or not; I need to finish SIML first.

If you liked it and would like to see it continued, please press that cute little 'review' button and give me some love