A/N...Again...whenever I start a new story, I get nervous...so with bated breath, I post the beginning of the third installment of the Angel series.
For those that have not read Broken Angel or Angel's Embrace, I strongly URGE you to do so. This story will not make sense unless you have caught up to this time period. And if you don't believe me, then ask anyone who has read the first two. I promise you will be lost. There is a long and winding road...according to the Beatles...that leads up to this point. So please take the time to read the others first.
Let's re-hash a few things, shall we? The Cullens are now living in England. Edward and Bella are now in their own home and he's working at the hospital as a pediatrician with Carlisle. Time and frustrations will prove tough.
Nothing but my own characters and plots belong to me. The rest belongs to SM...we know it, she knows it...but we just play...LOL
Without further ado...
"Yeah, Alice," I grinned into the phone as Jasper and I left our late class. "Tell Kevin we're coming. We'll meet you there."
"Good," she giggled, "because he's just frantic that you won't show up."
"Oh, for crying out loud," I huffed, looking over at a chuckling Jasper. "Edward came home early from the hospital. There was not a chance in hell I was going anywhere that night. I barely get to see him as it is."
"True," she said, "and I totally tried to explain that to him, but he's convinced Edward doesn't exist."
I laughed, shaking my head. "He's a drama queen," I snorted. "And tell him he missed class, the loser." I heard Kevin ranting in the background. "I can not help it if my husband's schedule is a bit erratic."
"He doesn't care," Alice laughed. "See you in a few."
"I know he doesn't care," I snorted, pocketing my phone. I looked up at Jasper. "Your wife has made a strange friend at that clothing store."
"No kidding, but he's funny," he laughed, cranking the car. "So, the club, then?"
"Yeah," I sighed, looking out the window as he drove through the dark streets. I hated doing these things without Edward.
Edward's schedule was, indeed, erratic. Sometimes he was overnight, then other times it was a week straight before he had a day off. Seeing him for only a few hours before he had to be back in was driving me crazy.
Jasper and I had started classes about three weeks prior; two in the day when possible, and two at night. Our last night class for the week had just ended. It was Friday night, and Alice and her new friend wanted to hit the club.
Alice wanted to work in fashion this time around. She'd gotten a job at a small but high-end boutique, meeting probably the only gay American transfer student within a fifty mile radius, I was convinced. Not only did he work with her, but was in one of our classes, as well.
"Should we call Emmett?" Jasper smiled, pulling into a parking space.
"No, they're out hunting." I raised an eyebrow at him, and he chuckled. "They said they'd see us in a day or two."
"What about Eddie?"
"Working, Jazz," I frowned, trying my damnedest not to pout. "He hasn't gotten his schedule under control yet."
"Sorry, Bells," he frowned, obviously feeling all of my conflicting emotions. "Does it bother you that much?"
"No," I shook my head. "I'm so proud of him that I could bust, but I miss him. I miss doing these little things with him," I smiled, waving my hand at the front door of the club.
"He does, too, Bells," he smiled, wrapping a warm arm around my shoulders and kissing my head.
"I know," I nodded, smiling as the music hit us full blast when Jasper opened the door.
We skirted around the dance floor to find Alice and Kevin at a table waiting for us. We were just a few feet from the bar. The only problem with going out with Kevin was that sometimes I had to pretend to drink. He was very observant.
"There's my dance partner!" Kevin beamed, hopping down from his stool and rushing into my arms. "As always, Isabella, you're a vision," he smiled, kissing my cheek.
"God, why do you insist on calling me by my full name?" I chuckled, shaking my head at him.
"Because full names are better," he smiled, tugging me to the table. "But I won't. What did I miss in class?"
"Nothing," Jasper and I said wryly.
"See? Then I'm not a loser, I'm brilliant," he laughed.
"Whatever," Alice snorted, rolling her eyes. "He stayed at work, and it wasn't like we were busy. Jazz, come dance with me." Jasper wrapped her up sweetly and toted her off to the floor.
I looked over at Kevin, who was watching them with a longing expression on his face. He was too cute. Handsome, really. He was tall, thin, but not skinny. With deep, dark blue eyes and light brown hair, his features were childlike, but still masculine. Once he realized we were also American, he had latched on. Plus, he and Alice had a love for clothes that was just scary.
"I need a man," he sighed, watching the two of them. I laughed, shaking my head. "Don't laugh, woman," he huffed. "It's true."
"Is that our mission tonight? To find you a man, Kev?" I chuckled, laughing even harder when he nodded pathetically. "Well, let's see," I sighed dramatically, looking around the club. "What type?"
"I don't know," he grumped. "Let's dance, then we'll shop around."
"Okay," I smiled, letting him take my hand and lead me out onto the floor.
Despite all of Kevin's hang ups, personality quirks, and overwhelmingly outgoing personality, he could really dance. The first time Alice had us meet him, Kevin and I hit it off immediately on our dance moves and choice in music. It made the absence of Edward a little more tolerable. Not great, but at least I wasn't the fifth wheel in the group.
The floor was packed as we danced to Muse's Uprising. It was dark, heavy, and the lyrics were freeing. Kevin made me laugh as he danced around me, like he was worshiping me, only to wrap me up and meet the same rhythm I had with my hips. What was even funnier was when a particularly good looking guy would come around, Kevin would show off even more.
When the song was over, he wanted another drink, so we sat down. "Okay, help me out," I sighed, rolling my eyes. "What are you looking for?"
Kevin paid for his drink, sipping it, his eyes scanning the club. I snorted when his eyes got wide, the straw falling from his mouth back into his drink. "Jesus, he's hot...don't look, don't look," he hissed, putting his drink down and stopping me from turning in my seat. "He'll see you. My God...he's...just wow," he smirked, shaking his head.
"Okay," I laughed, pushing his drink back from his elbow before he spilled it. "Tell me...what's he look like?"
"A fucking God," he whispered, his eyes still wide. "Um, he looks like a model. Tall...dressed to kill. That shirt is Prada. Those pants, too, probably."
"Figures. Clothes," I snorted, rolling my eyes. "No wonder you and Alice became friends."
"Shut it," he snickered. "He has great skin...unbelievable jaw..."
"Okay, a plan, Kev...you have to have a plan," I smiled.
At that moment, the song changed. "Oh, I don't need one," he sang, pulling me from my stool. "Lady Gaga always says it all."
"Oh Lord," I chuckled, letting him lead me to the dance floor as Love Game started. "It's scary you picked this song. How badly do you wanna take a ride on that disco stick?"
"Ooh, girl, you have no idea," he growled low in my ear as he spun me in front of him. "Check him out at the bar."
My eyes met dark ones as I smiled sweetly back. "You're right, Kev, he's fucking hot," I chuckled, drinking in the handsome man sitting at the bar. He was wearing black pants, his leg up on the rung of the bar stool in front of him. His fingers slowly stirred a honey colored liquid in the glass, but he wasn't paying attention to the drink. His white dress shirt was still tucked in, his sleeves rolled up to his very strong forearms. The female bartender could barely keep her eyes to herself as he loosened his red tie a little, unbuttoning the top button.
"I know," he nodded when I turned back around to face him. "He looks...intimidatingly attractive. "
"Relax," I smiled. "Let's get his attention. The song is about love games, for crying out loud."
Hold me and love me. Just wanna touch you for a minute. Maybe three seconds, that's enough for my heart to quit it.
I smiled at the words and let Kevin lead the dance. I could feel the eyes of the man at the bar, still staring at us, watching us. When I would turn and look, we would lock gazes every time. The song ended, and Kevin tugged me back to the table.
Handing me his empty glass, he simply begged, "Please?"
"I have to do your dirty work now? Lay the ground work for you?" I teased, taking his glass and turning towards the bar. I stopped with an evil smile. "What if he's not gay, Kev?" I chuckled, shaking the ice in his glass.
"I don't care," he growled, shooing me away. "Go, gather info, woman." I laughed softly, biting my lip. "Please, Bells?"
The man at the bar did not lower his leg when I stood next to his seat. I inhaled deeply. He smelled amazing, but I shielded myself against it. I set the glass on the bar next to his, watching his fingers continue to play with the straw in his drink. The muscles in his forearm rolled under his skin with every turn of the straw.
The bartender showed back up, but her eyes were on the man next to me. "Are you ready for another one?"
"Ladies first," he said lowly and softly next to me.
Her eyes reluctantly left him and landed on me. Her heartbeat was pounding, her face flushed. She found him just as attractive as everyone else.
"Cosmo," I smiled, sliding the glass towards her. Finally turning to the man, I said, "Thank you."
"Anytime," he nodded once, a small smile playing on his lips. "Let me," he said when the new drink landed in front of me. He handed her a few bills, and she left.
"Thank you again," I smirked, picking up the glass.
"Enjoy it," he said, his fingers still stirring the drink that didn't look touched.
"Oh, it's not mine, though," I snickered. "It's my friend's. I don't drink...Cosmos."
He fought his smile, but nodded politely. "Well, tell your friend to enjoy. I hope to see you dance more."
"Just watching?" I asked, looking up at him through my eyelashes. "Perhaps you could join us."
"Join you?" he clarified, his eyebrow rising, and I nodded. "Maybe, though your friend might be jealous. He's not happy now." I turned to see a very impatient Kevin tapping on the tabletop with his fingers, anxiously awaiting my return.
"He's...um, let's see, how do I put this? I am not on the right team," I chuckled, shaking my head at the very deep chuckle that reverberated around me.
"Good to know," he sighed dramatically, his head still tilted as he fought his smile. "But don't let me keep you."
With one last scan of the man's entire being, I walked away. I handed Kevin his drink back. "Not gay, pal. Fucking hot, but not gay."
"What? No," he pouted, folding his arms across his chest. "Your gay-dar is broken. He's too pretty to be straight. Honestly."
"You said that about Jasper, too, you fool. He's straight. I promise you."
"Fine," he huffed, grabbing my hand and leading me back to the dance floor. "No one else compares to him in this damn bar," he growled as we danced to the next song, but his attention was not on me. His eyes darted around, looking for his mystery man. A frown formed when he couldn't find him.
"Did he leave?" I smiled, looking around when the song changed. I turned back to Kevin. His eyes were wide again.
"Um, no," he breathed, shaking his head and looking just past me.
The song changed again to Jason Derulo's In My Head, as I turned and found myself staring back into those dark eyes again.
"May have this next dance?" the man asked, tilting his head and offering me his hand.
"Yeah," I smiled and took it, biting my lip as I was pulled closer. My hips were flush with his as he slipped his thigh between mine. The lyrics made me almost laugh out loud.
Everybody's looking for love. Oh. Oh.
Ain't that the reason you're at this club. Oh. Oh.
You ain't gonna find it dancing with him. No. Oh.
Got a better solution for you girl. Oh. Oh.
Just stay with me now. Say the word and we'll go.
I'll be your teacher. I'll show you the ropes.
You'll see a side of love you've never known.
I can see it going down, going down.
In my head, I see you all over me.
In my head, you fulfill my fantasy.
You'll be screaming more.
In my head, it's going down.
In my head, it's going down.
In my head. Yeah. In my head. Oh yeah.
I slipped my hand up his chest to his shoulder, locking back with those dark eyes. "Did you actually request this song?" I asked, fighting my smile.
"I did," he nodded, finally letting a hint of a smile through his dark features. "It's quite fitting in many ways. Don't you think?" He chuckled, turning me so that my back was pulled to his chest. I closed my eyes at the feeling of his hands on my hips skimming down to my thighs and back up.
I caught a glimpse of Kevin back at our table. "You've upset my friend, you know."
"That wasn't my intention, I assure you." His voice was deep, and his warmth ghosted against my ear and neck. I felt surrounded as his arm wrapped around my shoulders and his face was almost pressed into my neck.
"What are your intentions?" I asked, turning back around to face him.
"The song says it all, beautiful," he smirked, his hands slipping up and down my back to my waist and pulling me closer as we ground against each other. "I want you all over me. I want you screaming for more."
"So I just have to say the word...and we'll go," I guessed, looking back up at him. He was smiling that I'd used the song's words against him.
"Yes," he nodded, threading his fingers into my hair, his brow furrowed in concentration on my neck, mouth, and then eyes.
"And is this just a one time thing, or what?"
"Oh, beautiful, I'm yours to keep," he chuckled. "Forever."
"Good to know, Edward," I giggled, finally pressing my lips to his. "How did you get out of work early?" I beamed when he wrapped his arms all the way around me and picked me up to tug me off the dance floor.
"I finally got a set schedule, my love," he smiled. "I'm yours for three days."
"Really?" I practically squealed like Alice. His smile was brilliant and sweet as he set me back down.
"Yes, ma'am," he nodded, picking up my hand and kissing my wedding ring. "Four days on, three days off. Does that suit you, my sweet girl?"
"At this point, I'll take anything," I gushed, kissing him again. "I've missed you, but I do love it when you pick me up in bars." I giggled, shaking my head at his unabashed smile.
"Me, too," he smirked sexily, linking our fingers together.
Since Edward had started working, one of my fantasies was that we meet up as strangers. He was really good at it, and I lived for him to flirt with me.
I looked over at the table, and Kevin was shattered. "Oh, Edward," I sighed, tugging his hand. "I think I had better introduce you. He was crushing on you hard." I giggled as I watched my beautiful husband try not to roll his eyes. I was his world. No crushes on him mattered. At all.
"Is this the famous Kevin?" Edward asked, looking down at me. He had heard about Kevin from everyone, but hadn't met him. We all liked him; even Emmett thought he was hilarious.
"Yeah, he's a hot mess," I snorted, leading him to the table. "Kevin, honey..." I smiled. "This is Edward, my husband."
"Oh!" Kevin laughed, shaking his head, his cheeks flushing with embarrassment. "And here I thought you were taking men from me." Kevin raised his eyebrows up and down at me.
"Hardly," I snorted, rolling my eyes, and both boys chuckled.
"It's nice to finally meet you," Kevin chuckled, shaking hands with Edward.
"You, too," he smiled, sitting down and pulling me onto his lap.
"See? I told you he existed," Alice huffed, walking up with a smirking Jasper. "Nice of you to join us, Edward."
"Thank you, Alice," he chuckled, his fingers lightly tracing down my arm, around my ring, and back up.
"I never said he didn't exist," Kevin pouted, waving her away. "I just thought Bella was exaggerating."
"Nice," I snorted, shaking my head. I took a deep breath, relishing the feel of Edward's arms surrounding me. I'm really glad you came tonight, I thought to him. I've missed you. If you hadn't, I would have shown up at the hospital. I felt a kiss to the back of my head, letting me know that he heard me loud and clear.
"How was class, sweet girl?" Edward asked in my ear.
I turned a little on his lap to be able to look at him. "Fine," I smiled, "but boring. Kevin here decided to skip tonight."
"Loser," Jasper coughed teasingly. We all chuckled at Kevin's dramatic eye roll.
"Anyway, it was fine," I nodded, kissing his cheek. "I have a paper due Tuesday."
"Yeah, we'll have to work on that," Jasper nodded, sitting between Edward and Alice.
"'Kay," I sighed, my thoughts wrapping around Edward. Yeah, but I need alone time with you first. He placed another kiss to my shoulder.
Kevin's eyes scanned the bar, and Edward chuckled silently behind me. I smiled, saying, "Back to shopping around again, Kev?"
"Well, yeah," he said sarcastically. "You stole my object. I have to find some way to move on." He laughed when Edward shook his head.
"There's no stealing," I chuckled. "He's belonged to me for a long time."
"Very true, beautiful," Edward nodded against my cheek, leaving a long kiss there.
"Whatever," Kevin huffed, still looking around.
I turned to Alice. "Kev says my gay-dar is broken. Maybe you can help him."
"Oh, that's a shame," she smiled, shaking her head. "Well, let's see."
"What is gay-dar?" both Edward and Jasper asked, chuckling.
"That extra sense that you have that lets you know whether someone is gay or straight. Though I was right about you, Kevin insists mine is broken," I smirked, giggling as I turned to face my husband a little more. "Let's test your senses, Edward." I smiled with a raised eyebrow, getting a chuckle from the table.
"Fine," he said, taking a deep breath, a smile playing on his lips. His deep honey eyes scanned the bar, but I knew he didn't have to see the person to hear their minds.
"Make it good, Edward," Kevin snorted. "I have a rep, you know."
"Shut it," Alice chided, smacking at his arm lightly. "Let's see what my brother says. He's a pretty good judge of character." We all chuckled again, but it was only because we knew what Edward was capable of.
Edward's eyes flickered to Alice, and she slightly shook her head. He sighed, looking around again, his eyes landing on a man drinking at the end of the bar. He looked back to Alice, and she smiled. Sometimes, when the two of them worked together, it was hilarious. Edward was listening to minds, making a decision and looking to Alice as to how it would turn out. I couldn't imagine how many scenarios they were going through in the few minutes they were scanning the bar.
"Perhaps, you might have some...hmm, luck...with the man at the end of the bar," Edward said, jerking his chin in that direction.
Kevin looked over, and then turned back to Edward with a raised eyebrow. "Really? You think so?"
"I'm pretty sure," he chuckled, glancing at Alice, who was studying the man with a small smile creeping up her face. Jasper and I just chuckled softly, shaking our heads.
"Alice, come with," Kevin laughed, grabbing her hand and not really giving her a choice. He took his almost empty drink with him.
"What did you guys do?" Jasper and I asked Edward at the same time.
"Nothing," he laughed. "That man is gay. Alice saw that he dances with Kevin. No other decision has been made after that."
"Nice," Jasper nodded. "Fuck, who needs TV when you can play with reality?" I laughed, burying my face in Edward's neck. His body vibrated with his own laughter as his hands rubbed my back slowly and softly.
"Oh," I gasped, pulling my head back. "How's Toby?"
Toby had been Edward's main concern, even when we were in Africa for our anniversary. The little boy was only nine and had cancer. When we were away, he'd started his first round of chemo. I'd visited him a few times. The child had an amazing outlook. He was so brave, so strong, taking everything in stride that Edward told him. And my husband had really put in the hours to try and help Toby.
"His surgery went perfectly," Edward smiled, nodding slightly. "They got the rest of it. He's going to continue with chemo, but he should be in the clear. Once he was out of surgery, I couldn't detect any more tumors."
"Is that the one that Em brought the comic books to?" Jasper smiled. For some reason, ever since Edward started at the children's wing of the hospital, we'd all taken an interest, bringing presents or food to the kids. Maybe it was because we missed Edward and wanted to support him, or maybe he was proving to us there was just more to life than shopping, video games and college classes – and dance clubs.
"Yeah," Edward snickered. "He read all of them in one sitting. Loves his superheroes."
"That's really good, baby," I smiled, kissing his lips. "I'm glad you caught that."
"Me, too," he sighed, looking weary. "It wasn't easy to find in order to show the surgeon, but Carlisle helped me. It was small, but it was there."
"Oh, which reminds me," Jasper smiled. "Esme said...and I quote...'the two of you better get your butts to the house soon'." I looked at Edward and laughed. "Mom needs baby girl time and oldest son time," Jasper chuckled.
"There's a command we can't ignore, love," Edward snickered, squeezing me close.
"You're right. Tell her we'll come by on Sunday," I nodded, turning to Edward. "But the next twenty-four hours, you're mine."
"And what sweet torture that will be," he smirked, caressing my thigh, his fingertips just slipping under the hem of my skirt. His eyes darkened instantly, going from warm, liquid honey to deep amber, and finally, to black onyx. With that simple, innocent gesture, my body suddenly lit on fire – and Jasper felt it all.
"Ugh," Jasper rolled his eyes. "Whatever." He waved us away. "Go home, you're both sickening."
"That sounds like an amazing plan," I sighed longingly.
"You're sure?" Edward asked. "You don't want to stay?" I was shaking my head no before he'd even finished. "Well, what the lady wants..." he chuckled, setting me on my feet and standing.
"What do I tell Kevin?" Alice asked, joining us back at the table.
I looked up and saw he was flirting shamelessly with the man Edward had pointed out. When they both stepped away towards the dance floor, I chuckled. "I don't think we'll be missed."
"Probably not," Alice smiled. "I'll let you in on the scoop later."
Edward's hand skimmed down my back to my ass and squeezed. "Way later," I growled, looking up at him and taking his hand. Alice and Jasper chuckled as we walked out the door.
As Edward drove us home, he told me the details of how his schedule would work. "It will take some getting used to, sweetheart," he smiled, but his brow was wrinkled. "Four day shifts, three days off, four night shifts and then three more days off. It was the only fair way to work it out with Dr. Wilder."
"Whatever gets me more time with you," I shrugged, smiling over at him. He snickered softly, squeezing my thigh.
His touch had yet to leave my skin since we left the bar. He needed this time to reconnect just as much as I did, but it was his voice that was healing for me to hear. I had missed it – it's tenor, it's comforting yet sexy cadence. We hadn't really seen each other in what was going on two days.
Edward parked in our driveway, meeting me at my door to take my hand.
"You better be careful, handsome," I teased, looking over at the house across the street. "Mr. Baxter could be watching."
"He's not," he growled, ushering me towards the door. "He's the nosiest neighbor. Ever. His obsession with you is ridiculous."
"But I really like Mrs. Baxter. She's sweet." I frowned, looking up at Edward, whose eyes softened.
"She is, love, but her husband needs to smoke in his back garden and not watch every move you make."
"He's seventy-five, Edward," I smiled, ducking under his arm and placing myself between him and the front door. "I'm sure he's just curious, or he just can't see this far."
"He can see," he chuckled, reaching up to brush a hair from my face. "Trust me. And it's more than curiosity."
"He's still an old man, baby," I said, rolling my eyes and wrapping my arms around his neck as he unlocked our door.
"So am I," he laughed, reaching down to pick me up. "Older than he is...by almost twenty-five years."
"And you're infinitely sexier than he is...I can't express that point enough," I growled into his neck as I wrapped my legs around his waist and finally breathed in the scent I had been craving for days. "Stop talking about him. I could care less about nosy neighbors right this second."
"Yes, ma'am," he snickered, carrying me upstairs to our bedroom. Edward tossed his keys and wallet into his tray on the dresser, with me still wrapped around him. "I've missed you," he sighed, walking to the bed and laying me down. He stayed above me, his eyes soft and warm.
"Talk to me," I frowned, tracing his bottom lip with my thumb. "I've missed hearing you. Tell me something...anything."
"You want a story?" he smirked, and I chuckled as his eyes darkened again. "Hmm, my sweet girl," he mused, shifting so that he was lying half on the bed beside me. His hands skimmed down my leg to my foot, pulling off my shoe and dropping it to the floor at the end of the bed, only to do the same to the other foot. His eyes followed the path his long fingers were making as he lifted my leg by the back of my knee. "Whatever do you want to hear?" he smiled as his lips pressed to the skin on the inside of my thigh.
"I don't care, baby," I shook my head, feeling my body start to ache for him from just the sound of his voice and his sweet, soft touches.
"Do I get payment for my story?" he asked, his crooked smile so sexy it took my breath away. He didn't wait for my answer, but slipped his hand up my leg and under my skirt. I giggled at his low growl when he discovered something lace, something he couldn't see.
This exchange had started months and months ago. I became fascinated with Edward's long, detailed history, and he had become greedy for any lingerie that I bought – or more precisely, me wearing said lingerie. So for every story he told, I gave him his "payment," his "present." And we both were winners in the end.
"What subject, my love?" he crooned, placing another kiss to my kneecap.
"Something I was around for, but didn't know," I grinned, biting my bottom lip. My fingers wrapped slowly around his pretty red tie and tugged until I could pull it all the way off. I slipped it from his collar, dropping it to the floor beside the bed.
"Really?" He chuckled, shaking his head slightly. "A hundred years...and you want something that recent."
I giggled, popping his shirt buttons open one by one. "I can't help it, Edward," I sighed wantonly, tugging him close just to kiss him. "I love hearing things that were going on while I slept or when I was at school on a sunny day," I whispered against his lips. "I like hearing you talk about things I didn't notice, or things you wanted but never said."
"Oh, my Bella," he smiled. "Haven't I said it all by now?" His hand flattened against my stomach and slipped under my shirt. His long fingers danced over my ribs like he was playing the piano, teasing the skin just under my bra.
"I never tire of it," I frowned, "so please don't stop."
"I couldn't stop, baby," he smiled, lifting my shirt enough that he could leave a long, wet kiss to my bellybutton. "I love you too much to stop. I'm honest to a fault with you. And I want you every minute of the day."
My eyes burned with unshed venomous tears. "Me, too," I nodded, trying to get closer to him and remove his shirt at the same time, a daunting task when he was practically holding me down as he teasingly flicked open most of the buttons of my blouse, leaving the one that kept my bra concealed. He left my shirt closed, but allowed me to push his off of his shoulders.
"I know, love." His eyes were distant with whatever memories he was sorting through. He fought his smile, his tongue in his cheek as he took a deep breath. His eyes caressed my face, leaning forward to kiss me softly but deeply, his tongue raking ever so gently across my bottom lip. "I remember with perfect clarity when I fell in love you," he smiled, tilting his head so that he could place a kiss on my cheek, only to drag his lips down to my ear. "I remember every kiss, every time you let me touch you or hold your hand. But I don't think I ever told you the first time I wanted you."
My mouth fell open, and a breathy laugh escaped me. "Do tell, Edward," I giggled, as his fingers made their way back to my ribs. His eyes were dark, distant, but warm with the memory as his long fingers paid attention to every dip between every rib.
"I had to leave your presence," he huffed a laugh, but he shook his head like he was trying to clear it. "It was the summer between junior year and senior. It was after prom and James. You had just got the cast off of your leg, but still had to wrap it, remember?"
"Yeah," I smirked, trying my damnedest to figure out where he was going with this.
"You never knew...and you still don't, I might add," he started with a dangerously but sexily raised eyebrow, "how stunning you are. But you really didn't back then. I was waiting for Alice to help you with your bath, but...and I'm still not sure she didn't do this on purpose...she started talking with Charlie downstairs at your house." He smiled softly, a wicked gleam in his eye. "I was in your room when you came back with just a towel on."
"I remember that," I frowned, tracing his sharp jaw line to his neck and down to his collarbone. "But I stayed covered when I pulled my pajamas on, Edward."
"Not completely," he chuckled, slowly pulling down the zipper of my skirt, but again, leaving it on.
I laughed with him, not really embarrassed, but Edward's views back then were a touch old fashioned. I could imagine he was embarrassed himself. "What did you see?" I chuckled.
His hands slipped down my thigh and back up under my skirt, only to grip my ass, kneading it until I moaned aloud. "I tried so hard back then to maintain control, but once I caught a glimpse of your sweet bottom, I had to go." He smirked, his hand still caressing my butt cheek. "All my control flew out the window."
"As did you, if I'm remembering correctly," I smiled, cupping his face. "You said you needed to hunt."
"Oh, I needed to hunt," he laughed and nodded, his tongue raking across his bottom lip. "I always wanted you, loved you, needed you, but at that moment, I couldn't control a single bit of it."
"I wish I had known," I teased with narrowed eyes, "because I would have totally used that."
A laugh barked out of him as he shook his head slowly. "Oh, you would have, huh? I could have hurt you. I wasn't myself for a moment, Bella."
"Okay," I smiled, but sighed longingly at just how handsome he was looming over me. "But still, it would have been nice to know. Sometimes the lust seemed one-sided back then. You weren't exactly open about how you felt completely. And you could hear and smell everything about me."
"I know," he nodded, shifting on the bed until he was kneeling between my legs. "Shall I show you now?"
"Mmm, please," I smiled, nudging his leg with my thigh.
With careful, slow movements, he reached up and flicked open the last button of my shirt to reveal my red bra with black lace trim. I lifted my hips so that he could tug my skirt down my legs, dropping it unceremoniously behind him.
"Fuck," he breathed, his smile so crookedly sexy that I could barely stop from launching myself at him. "Red and black," he mused, bracing an arm by my head so that he could trace the edge of my bra with one long, knowing finger. "That's a little devilish, don't you think, my naughty girl?"
"I told you that I would have shown up at the hospital tonight. Your desk wouldn't have known what hit it," I purred, using my legs to pull him in closer. "Naughty doesn't begin to cover it."
"No, I'm sure it doesn't," he chuckled, leaning down to kiss my immortal scar over my heart with always the sweetest of kisses. "And how convenient that it opens in the front," he smirked, popping open my bra in the bat of an eye. "You clearly had planned that out."
"Clearly," I teased, chuckling softly until his tongue met my nipple. My head fell back to the bed as I moaned. My nipple peaked instantly, recognizing his touch, his mouth. "Edward," I growled, "don't tease me for long. Please? Tease later, but right now...I really need you."
"Let me taste, love. Let me show you how much I want you," he said, slipping down my torso, his nose ghosting along the edge of my thong. He placed wet, open-mouthed kisses to each of my hip bones. "How much I've always wanted you," he growled low, tugging my thong down swiftly. He paused briefly, looking at me with a spark of mischief in his eyes. "It's quiet in here, baby..."
"It is," I laughed, watching him reach for the remote and tossing it towards me. "Did you add to it?"
"Yeah," he chuckled, placing a long slow kiss to each of my thighs before lifting my right leg. "Did you?"
"Of course," I giggled. "Let's see what we have."
My old iPod sat on its dock across the room. When Edward first returned to me, he was always making me playlists. We'd taken that a step further lately. When one of us wasn't looking, we would add songs to what we called the "Bedroom Playlist." That iPod never left our room, except when it was hooked up to the computer. It was for one thing, and one thing only. Pure intimacy. Whereas my music tended to be more updated or feminine, his ranged from every decade, each song stating how we felt or what we wanted. Whereas the list started with about a dozen songs, it now held more than I'd care to admit. And we always added our songs when the other wasn't looking.
It was just one more way we relished the fact that we had our own home, our own space, without the listening ears of our siblings and parents.
I hit play, and couldn't help the snorting laugh that escaped me. Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing started to play, and even Edward smiled against my skin.
"My, my, Dr. Masen," I giggled. "Is that a prescription?"
"Yes," he whispered, swirling his tongue on the inside of my now very warm, very wet thigh. "Take every hour, on the hour. Side effects may include: the inability to walk, multiple orgasms, foul language, and increased blood flow. Use as directed," he snorted at my laugh, finally locking eyes with me. "God, Bella, I just love you, sweet girl."
"I love you, too, baby."
Finally, with one long, slow lick, his mouth met my throbbing center, and I lost myself in the feel of it. I felt my eyes roll into the back of my head, my hands gripping our comforter. "Fuck, Edward. I promise you that won't take long," I growled, squeezing my eyes closed tightly as he slipped two fingers swiftly inside of me. "I've wanted that for days."
"Mmm, me, too, baby." His voice was low, husky, full of want, but quickly cut off as he placed his lips over my sensitive bundle of nerves, licking it, sucking it. I was lost to his ministrations, his deep breathing, his low purrs at my taste. He sucked me hard into his mouth at the same time his fingers curled over and over inside of me, his tongue twirling around my clit, and I shattered instantly, calling his name and locking my hands in his hair.
Edward crawled up to me just as the song changed to Otis Redding's These Arms of Mine – another of his additions. I pulled him down to me, devouring his mouth and twisting my tongue with his in order to take in the taste of both of us.
Suddenly, there were no more words to say.
I pushed him onto his back, slipping down his body to unfasten his belt and pants. I sighed with a combination of want and frustration at the sight of his navy blue underwear. He wore them only for me and only for work, otherwise my Edward was always commando. He looked amazing in them. I wasn't quite sure which I liked better actually. I used to think the commando thing was so hot, but the way he looked in boxer-briefs just blew me away.
Gripping the waistband, I pulled them down, finally letting my eyes take him in. Tossing his underwear off the side of the bed and crawling up to his face, I braced my hands on his shoulders. I leaned down, pressing my forehead to his, our eyes forever locked onto each other's.
With subtle grips and guidance, Edward shifted me over him, his eyes pleading that I take him, that I sink down over him. I did, causing both of us to cry out. A whimpering cry left my lips at the same time the most delicious of moans left his. His neck strained as he pressed back into the bed, and we were one again.
There really wasn't a way to describe my feelings of having Bella to myself. Having our own home was like having a safe haven for my mind. While I heard every mind at work, it was at home that I could relax mentally. The tenor of Bella's mind was soft, loving, comforting.
I came off of a long week of shifts, finally sitting down with my co-worker, Dr. Wilder, in order to set up some sort of permanent schedule. I couldn't take it any longer. I couldn't take the looks of disappointment as Bella tried so damn hard not to be just that.
She was proud of me, happy for me, but I knew she missed me as much as I missed her. I knew that changes for vampires came rarely, so taking my daily presence away from her was heartbreaking to watch. The few hours I would get with her in between shifts were nowhere near enough. Not for her, and definitely not for me. I missed my long days with my love.
I missed talking with her and playing music for her. I missed hearing her voice tell me about her classes or whatever story or paper she was working on. I missed watching her do our laundry with her headphones in, singing along with whatever song she was obsessed with at the moment. And I missed having her in my arms, just watching a movie or loving her completely with my heart, mind, body, and soul.
Yes, soul. For she gave me one. She was my soul, my everything.
My time spent at the hospital was more rewarding than I ever imagined it could be. I realized the changes in me were Bella's doing. She had made me a better man. She had made me see that I could be something more than what I had been. She made me realize that my talents could be used for something that made the world better. And she shoved me out the door everyday, telling me those same things over and over. I was good at what I did. I was making a difference. And that she was proud of me. Push, push, shove, shove. It was the same encouragement everyday. I couldn't love her more if I tried, for her bravery, for trying to be strong when I could hear her mind aching when I left, which matched my own anxiety.
We missed each other terribly.
So after a long talk with Dr. Wilder, who had a family of his own he was missing, we came up with the best schedule we could. I flew from the hospital to meet Bella, Alice, and Jasper at the club. Alice had sensed the change and texted me their location.
I smiled at the game we played. Meeting as strangers – Bella had called it. She liked the thought of flirting with me, letting me "pick her up" in some meeting place. Our games, our fantasies never ended.
As the morning slowly dawned, I looked down at my angel. We were wrapped in the blankets of our bed, the music still playing softly in the background – still my latest additions, this time Luther Vandross' If Only For One Night. She was wound around me as close as she could get as we just lay quietly in each other's arms.
"What?" she smiled up at me, running her fingers through my hair.
"I enjoyed watching you dance last night," I chuckled, shaking my head slightly.
She had been amazing with Kevin. I had heard from my siblings that Kevin loved Alice and Bella. That he was perfectly harmless for them to be around. I just didn't realize that he adored them so much. He loved their energy and snarky remarks. He lived to dance with Bella, who he thought was gorgeous and graceful. He loved the way she moved, feeling she brought out the best in him on the dance floor.
He also loved that he had found Americans in a country where he was feeling lonely. Despite his outgoing behavior, he was alone until he met Alice.
"You did?" she giggled, shaking her head and rolling her eyes. "I enjoyed you watching me. Too handsome for your own good," she smirked.
"I thought I was fucking hot?" I teased, kissing her neck as she laughed.
"Oh, you are," she growled, wrapping her arms all the way around my head and holding me close as I ravished her neck with wet kisses. "Watching others want you...even if it was Kevin..." Her brow furrowed when I pulled back to look at her, a sweet moan escaping her. "Just knowing you're mine, and I..." She shrugged adorably, an impish smile on her face.
"Quite verbose this morning, sweet girl," I chuckled, flinching when she dug her fingers into my sides.
"Shut it, Masen," she growled, shifting underneath me in order to tangle her legs with mine.
I knew the Luther Vandross song was the last one I had added yesterday morning, so when the song changed again, I watched as my wife's eyes blackened to pitch and her breathing picked up. Her touches became more exploratory, more pulling, and less caressing.
My still heart stopped at the words of the Whitney Houston song All the Man That I Need.
Bella pulled me to her, kissing me with almost a frantic feel rolling under the surface of her emotions. I lifted myself up and settled back down between her legs. She enveloped me, pressing herself as close to me as she could get. I slipped my arms under her shoulders, and there wasn't an inch of our skin that wasn't touching.
"More, Edward," she breathed against my lips, her brow furrowing. I kissed the wrinkled vee at the bridge of her nose, nodding in acquiescence. I would give her anything. She owned me, because I didn't even want myself anymore; I only wanted to belong to her.
Yet the song that was pushing her to the edge was stating the opposite – that all she needed was me, that all I gave her was all that she wanted. I fought my smile at the sweet impasse that we had, but I would never complain.
Her tiny hands gripped my shoulders as I sheathed myself inside of her moist warmth. Her open-mouthed gasp and whimper of pleasure at being joined again was just about the best sound I could imagine. It accompanied a writhing roll of my love's body as she ached to bring me closer, deeper. It was almost as good as the sound of my name that would burst forth from her lips in the most wanton of voices.
"Edward," she moaned, and I couldn't help but moan with her as I rolled my hips against her.
I kissed her long and deep, reading every thought she had. In her mind, we needed this reconnection, we needed to lose ourselves. In her mind, she didn't want to admit that this separation on a daily basis was almost too much. Almost.
"I'm right here, love," I whispered against her cheek, dragging my lips to the soft spot behind her ear and sucking her sweet skin into my mouth. "Right here."
"I know. Thank God," she growled, raising her head to nip and suck at my neck. Her hands slipped down my back, gripping my ass as she pulled me in deeper, her hips meeting mine. Our touches had gone from comforting to carnal quickly. "Harder, Edward."
A low growl, a feral growl, erupted from me as I grabbed her hands and linked our fingers together, pressing them above her head and driving into her with more force than I'd expected to. We were coming undone, unraveled as the electricity in the room practically charged the air around us.
I closed my eyes, pressing my forehead to hers and trying to maintain, but she stopped me. "Don't. Don't hold back," she gasped, arching up to me. "Give me everything."
"Fuck, Bella," I winced, feeling her body draw me in and causing my spiral into the abyss. She purred long and hard at my choice of words. Her mind was begging me to make her come, to lose control. I buried my face in the crook of her neck, nipping and biting at the spot that always made her cry out. "Oh, baby, come for me," I murmured against her flesh, swiveling my hips to hit the sweet spot inside of her. "You're so wet for me, love. You're so close, and you feel so fucking good. Let me feel it. You give me everything, Bella."
I let go of her hands, sitting back on my knees and gripping her hips. "God, you're so fucking stunning like this," I growled, shaking my head in order to not explode at just the site of her holding onto the headboard. Her body clenched hard as I raked my thumb over and over her swollen nub, and she shattered, her head flying back as my name came from her like a prayer.
Using her strength, her strong upper body pushed me back, and she was on top of me. We both smiled at the indestructibility of her body and at the groan our bed frame made. She took me in deeper, rolling her hips as her mouth hung open. I guided her hips, my eyes rolling back at the feel of her. It was her turn to take my hands and pin them at my head, diving for my mouth at the same time.
Both of us grunted through the rough kiss, tongues twisting and lips sucking, until she broke away and nipped along my jaw. "How many yesterday, love? Tell me."
"Two." I could barely think, but I knew what she was asking. She wanted to know how many nurses thought dirty thoughts about me.
"Don't they know?" she growled against my neck. "Don't they realize? You're mine."
"God, yes," I growled, pulling my hands free from her grip. I grabbed her hips hard, saying, "Bella, baby...so close...so close."
"Let it go. Show me you're mine."
"Jesus," I breathed, finally pulling her hips flush to mine and pulsing deep within her. "You really have no fucking idea."
I felt her smile against my cheek before she placed the sweetest of kisses there. She lifted her head and brushed my hair from my forehead as we both panted for air that we really didn't need.
The sun had risen completely to a rare sunny morning. I smiled up at her, tracing my finger down her glittering cheek. "You're so beautiful."
"I feel that way after you've ravished me," she teased, kissing my nose.
"Good," I smiled, rolling us to our sides and pulling her close. Our heads were now at the foot of the bed. "I smell plaster."
"Um, yeah," she grimaced, looking down at the headboard. "Well, that gives me something to do when you go back to work."
I followed her gaze and laughed. There was a perfect imprint of her hand through our wall. "Okay, Martha Stewart."
She snorted into a giggle. "That's Esme's fault," she smiled, wrinkling her nose. "Who knew a whole day of HGTV would stick in my mind forever."
I chuckled at her, placing a kiss on her forehead. "Seriously?"
"Yeah," she laughed, sitting up and pulling me with her. "I learned to fix all the things we've broken." Her face was filled with the most adorable mixture of pride and embarrassment. I couldn't help but chuckle at her, reaching up to tuck her hair behind her ear.
"Except for the marble counter in the kitchen," I chuckled, getting an eye roll from her.
"Right," she snorted. "Had to order that," she muttered. "So your fault." Her eyes narrowed teasingly at me.
"I have apologized for that, love," I said with a dramatic sigh. "You just can't let me find you dancing in just my t-shirt."
"Hmm, note to self..." She giggled, squirming when I reached out to tickle her. She crawled up into my lap, pressing her forehead to mine.
"Not that I'm complaining, but is there anything...mmm...else you wanted to do today?" I asked, but smiled up at her giggle.
"I want to hear you play for me."
"Yeah," she nodded slowly. "I miss it. It's not the same listening to it on the stereo."
I pulled back and studied her face. "Baby, is it too much? Is this bothering you, my working?"
"No," she shook her head fervently. "I'm so proud of you."
"And I don't doubt that for one second, love, but if it's too soon for us to be separated..."
"Edward," she shook her head, cupping my face, "please don't worry about me. Please? I'm working through it just as well as I can now as I would thirty years from now." I smiled and started to speak, but she cut me off with a rough kiss. "I'm okay, I promise." She sighed deeply, but her eyes never broke from mine. "I feel I'm doing it the right way. The school is close to the hospital. Jasper is there to help me all day. Alice is right around the corner at work, and Emmett and Rose are here when we get out of class. Esme comes over all the time. I'm surrounded by a support group. I do miss Carlisle, though."
"He misses you, too," I smiled, stroking her cheek with the back of my hand. "He's off tomorrow as well, Bella. We'll go over there."
"Okay," she nodded, a smile creeping up her sweet face. "What about you? You want to quit?"
"I want what you want," I frowned, unable to answer.
"No, don't do that," she pouted, rolling her eyes. "It's not about me. Dartmouth was about me. Portland and going back to high school was about me, but not this. It's okay that you want this. How many times do I have to tell you?" She was getting angry, but it was too adorable not to chuckle at her.
I absolutely loved it when she was pushing me, encouraging me, but it was even better when I was frustrating her and she didn't back down.
"I surrender, love." I laughed when she huffed, looking up at me. "I like it at the hospital. Is that what you want to hear?" I smiled, picking up her hand and kissing her wedding ring. "I'm challenged there, but Bella...you will always come first. I can't stop that way of thinking. You're the most important thing. You know that."
"I know," she nodded, turning my ring over and over. "And I would be devastated if that ever changed, but I really want you to do what you want this time. Take the focus off of me for a while."
I grabbed her face, forcing her eyes to lock with mine. "It will never change. Ever. You are the only thing that keeps me on this planet, love. That makes you my utmost priority. We'll keep going. We'll try this new schedule and see how it works." She nodded, her eyes and mind nothing but open and honest. But I knew my Bella; she would allow her unselfishness to hinder happiness, and that I just couldn't have.
"I will tell you, Edward," she said, looking at me out of the corner of her eye. "I would tell you if it's too much. You know that, right? You know that I'm being honest with you."
"I should hope so," I frowned, kissing her lips softly. "Unless your mind is lying," I teased.
"No, never," she smiled. "So...are you gonna play for me, or what?"
"As always, love. I am your prisoner. What you say, goes." I chuckled, handing her my shirt. Her thoughts were along the same lines as my own. We each wanted the other happy. We each wanted to try and find a way to live normal lives, but still stay wrapped around each other. And we both missed our family time. We had to find some level ground.
As we walked downstairs to the music room, I kissed the side of her head. "I love you. We can do this."
"I hope so," she smiled, biting that beautiful bottom lip of hers, "because I love you like crazy, and I am so proud of you."
A/N...And there's the first chapter. I hope you enjoyed it. I will try and start a set schedule for posting as soon as my computer problems have been resolved.
There's new characters and old ones...there's a little angst, a lot of love, music, laughs, and of course...lemons. ;) You know me and my vamps...
Anyway, thanks to JenRar for beta'ing this for me...Thanks for everything.
Okay, I just have to hear how you liked the start...review for me. Let me know. Love you all and I will post soon, I promise...Later.