Author's Note: The characters and settings of Twilight belong to Stephenie Meyer. The original content, ideas, and plot lines of this story belong to the author. The events in this story are fictional and any similarities to actual persons, living or dead, are purely coincidental. No copyright infringement is intended.
Additionally, this story contains subject matter not suitable for minors. Underage drinking, drug use, consensual sex, strong language, abuse, and other adult content may be present in this story. Again, all sex in this story is consensual. If you are under 18 and/or uncomfortable with any of these subjects, please be advised that this story may not be for you.
Chapter 26 – To See What I've Seen
Bella comes with a squeal and I release inside of her, spent.
I pull out and roll off of her with a sigh. She curls up against me, her naked breasts pushing into my side, her arms snaking around my neck. She won't let me go, and as I lurch towards the edge of the bed in an effort to reach the bathroom, she clings to me, her tiny arms seeming to me now stronger than a bodybuilder's.
I float in the pleasure of Bella's embrace, and nearly drop off to sleep.
Her phone is ringing downstairs in her purse. I can hear it vibrating against the floor where she dropped it by the door when she came in. It must be the third try. I want to go pick it up or shut it off but Bella won't release me, so I stay. She hears the incessant ringing and stirs. She hitches her pale leg over my hips and rubs her slick pussy over the outside of my thigh.
She was wet, but not this wet. I reach down and touch her center, remembering the taste of it as I licked her. She moans and pushes into my fingers before releasing a deep sigh and relaxing again.
I must have really worn her out.
When I retrieve my hand from between her legs, I notice they're smeared not only with the dregs of my arousal, but with blood as well.
"Shit," I mutter to no one but myself. I hadn't necessarily considered this. I'm not sure if it would have changed my actions tonight, but knowing that it was Bella's first time might have been some useful information in this situation. I hope I was the right person to… do that to her.
Not to her, with her.
I cast my negative thoughts aside and set out to clean her up.
I gently lift her leg off of me and place it gingerly on top of her other. I pad to the bathroom naked, my very exhausted cock dangling limp in front of me. I'm exhausted. After an orgasm that powerful, I'm not sure I'll ever be able to get hard again. But just thinking of Bella's face pinching together as she moans my name has me twitching again.
I run the water in the tap until its warm but not hot and hold a clean washcloth under it for a few seconds. I ring it out and take it back to the bed with me. Careful not to disturb this sleeping beauty, I carefully wipe her clean, smoothing the white cloth over her delicate skin until it turns pink.
I don't even think of washing it; I throw it across the room into the basket in the bathroom.
I dress Bella and myself in a fresh pair of boxers and a white tee each, and crawl into bed next to her. It's after two in the morning and I'm wiped.
I turn the switch on the bedside table and relish in the darkness.
Only it's not dark.
Red and blue lights flash through the blinds of my window.
My stomach lurches and I fear the worse. I tell myself to calm down, no one saw us. I'm not going to get caught. But at the bottom of my heart, knowing I've done something wrong hurts so fucking much.
I hate thinking that being with Bella was anything but perfect, but I know in the eyes of others, what I just did was completely immoral. I love Bella and I know she loves me back. But the fact that she's my student has us both sneaking around like a pair of criminals.
Which I guess I am now.
I go to the window, and peer surreptitiously out of it. Sure enough, Chief Swan's cruiser is parked in front of his house and the lights are swirling. He's leaning against the hood, a cell phone pressed between his ear and his shoulder as he scratches into a small pad of paper.
I almost think to go out there and tell him Bella's inside, safe with me, he looks so panicked. But I know he'd be even more furious if I knew what I just did to her. With her, I correct myself. As if convincing myself that sleeping with the police chief's barely-legal daughter wasn't possibly stupidest thing I've ever done in my life.
My phone buzzes from the pocket of my jeans on the floor next to my bed. I nearly throw up in my mouth, I'm so startled, but I scramble to them and yank my phone from the denim trap as fast as possible.
And now I fear I'm really screwed. She undoubtedly knows everything; she always does. But I have no chance but to answer. I know she'll keep calling until I do. I have a choice: pretend I have no idea why there's blaring sirens outside my window, or throw myself at the mercy of my sister and ask for her to cover for me.
"Hello?" I drawl, still unsure of what I'll do.
"Edward, wake the fuck up. One of your student's is missing. Bella, remember? The one we just saw at the diner?"
"What do you mean she's missing? We just saw her!" I spit, angry for so many reasons.
"Her father got off his shift early and came home to find her truck parked in front of the house, but she's not home. He's scared shitless and is desperate to find her. So put on your boots, you can help Jasper head the search party. I have to man the phone tree."
"God, you're nosy," I mutter.
"Excuse me?" She shoots.
"Hold on, Alice. How do you know she's not partying with her friends, or at a movie?"
"Wow, you're really failing this test here."
"What test, Alice?" I mutter annoyed. This is not how I imagined spending my evening.
"Look, I know she's in your bed right now. You're lucky I didn't rat you out to her father when he started calling every adult in Forks. I can't believe you're sleeping with a student, much less the daughter of the police chief, but I guess I should have expected this. You've always been quite the playboy. At least –"
"Oh shut up, Alice!" I finally break. "You have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Yes, Bella is in my bed right now, but it nothing like what you think it is. I love her. Okay? I can't believe I have to even defend myself to you right now."
"Right. You love her. You don't even –"
"Alice! Please! Please just stop. I've never ever felt this way about anyone before. She's making me think things I've never… I can't even explain it. I know how this looks. And that's the worst part. I know what people will think. I can't have that. I don't want her thinking this is wrong, when it's so right between us. Ill return her home right now, I don't want her father worrying, but I'll lose her and my job forever if he knows where she was. You have to help me. I'll owe you."
"Okay, okay. You won't owe me. Just, just have her dressed and ready in 10 minutes. I'll be at your back door."
"Thank you." I say and hang up.
I sit at the edge of my bed and put my head in my hands. I know the ten minutes Alice has allotted me are quickly ticking away, but I need a second to think.
So much has happened. I just made love to the most beautiful woman I've ever met – a woman I can't even call my girlfriend.
Alice knows. She knows everything. Bella's father is across the street freaking out. And my sheets are going to be stained.
I have to wake her. She is so gorgeous in her sleep. Her nearly translucent eyelids tremble in betrayal of a dream. She stirs and I know I can't wait any longer.
"Bella, wake up. You have to go home now."
"Please no. Thanks." She mumbles. So adorable. I chuckle in wonder of her, but focus again.
"Yes, Bella. Up." I shake her a little. "I don't want to worry you, but this is serious. You dad is looking for you. And Alice knows."
She bolts straight up. "Shit! Fuck. This is not happening! My dad knows? Fuck!"
"No, you're dad doesn't know anything about us or tonight. He just knows you're not at home right now and he's worried. I had to tell Alice everything, she's going to cover for me. She's on her way now, so you have to get dressed."
She blinks away her shock and gets out of my bed.
She silently moves about my house dressing herself again. I pace behind her, slipping back into a pair of jeans myself. She won't look at me, but goes to stand by the back door, somehow knowing Alice will be there soon.
"Are you mad at me, love?"
Her little mouth pops open. "Never! I'm just… tired. And disappointed. This isn't how I thought losing my virginity would go." She mutters.
"I wish you had told me it was your first time."
"Whatever, I don't want to talk about it," she grumbles as she pushes her arms through the sleeves of her coat.
I want to press for more information, I need to talk this through with her, but she's saved by Alice's arrival.
Alice's tiny hand wraps on the back door. It clanks in its metal frame. I take Bella's hand in mine and lead her back. No words pass between us as we close the small distance; a tension hangs in the air.
"Hi, I love you." Alice chirps as soon as I open the door. Before I can even think to greet her back, she takes Bella's hand from mine. "You're coming with me." It sounds like a growl, and I hate watching Bella being dragged across my back lawn towards the car where Jasper sits waiting in the drivers seat. Bella slinks into the back seat and Alice shuts the door with a quiet tap.
Before she gets in the front seat, she takes her phone from the pocket of her jeans and waves it at me. I instinctively touch the phone in my pocket it buzzes.
Meet us at the bottom of the Hoh hiking trail in 15 minutes.
When I look up from the text, the car is pulling away. Bella waves from her back seat window. They drive away into the distant and I'm left standing barefoot on my back porch by myself. I feel like I'm living a bad country song. It's getting late and my brain feels like it's starting to shut off. I go back in my house and put my shoes and jacket on. I stare at my watch for 10 minutes. When the second hand hits 12, I open the front door and go to my car. Charlie isn't standing out front anymore. The light from his kitchen window paints a crooked square on the front lawn. I'm momentarily distracted by this, but I refocus my brain and get in my car.
I drive the three mile drive to the trail head. Alice is on her hands and knees throwing dirt on Bella and Jasper is on the phone. I can't help the giggle that bubbles in my throat as I take in this little scene.
"What are you doing?" I bark.
"Listen. I only have time to say this once. Bella's father will be here in five minutes. Bella decided to go on a walk after her date with Jacob."
"It was not a date!" Bella and I interject at the same time.
"Shut up, both of you." Alice snaps back. "Now listen! She came here, went hiking, didn't realize how late it was. Had just decided to turn around when you and Jasper found her heading back down the trail. That's when you called me and I met you here. Got it?"
"Yup." I mumble. I hope this works.
We sit in a forced silence for a few minutes while we wait for Chief Swan and out impending doom. I can feel Bella's closeness as her shoulder touches mine. She's trembling. I need to soothe her, to make her know this is all going to be okay, but she's sitting on her hands, stoically facing forward.
As soon as we hear the cruiser approaching, Bella jumps up and starts pacing. Alice goes to stand with her.
"Dude," Jasper starts. It's the first words he's spoken to me all night and I know I can't take it right now.
"Dude, yourself," I shoot back. "Save it. I know this is fucked. Lecture me tomorrow."
"Alright, man." And that's it. The police car pulls into view. It screeches to a halt.
Charlie jumps out and bolts for his daughter. "Bella!" he shouts practically in her ear. "You scared me half to death, kid." He puts his arms around her, but she just stands there, her arms loose at her side.
"I'm sorry. I just needed some…" But she can't finish. He pulls away from her. Towards me.
Here it comes, this is the moment. I'm about to have my head ripped off by the chief of police. In front of the woman I love, my sister and her husband.
"Guys, thank you. I was so worried. Thank you for finding her." He sticks his hand out to shake mine. I stutter, but thrust my hand into his.
"No worries, sir. Just looking out for… one of my best students. I'm glad she's safe too."
He nods at Jasper over my shoulder and pulls me to the side of the group. Bella's jaw is slack and her brows are furrowed in horror. I give her a half smile in an effort to reassure her that what is about to happen to me will be totally fine.
"Can I talk to you for a second, son?" He asks. My stomach turns.
"Yes, of course," I choke.
"Jacob… Jacob Black. He's one of your students, too right?"
"I've known him… and his father for a long time. But, I'm sure you know this. It's uh, it's not always easy to know your kid. See what I mean?" I nod and wonder when he'll come to the point. "I just wanted to ask, see if you, as his teacher… Can you tell? Is he a... would you say he's a good kid?"
"Yeah, I'd say that much. Maybe a bit distracted, but he's got good intentions, I think. Why?"
"Well, I don't know. He called saying that Bella had left dinner with him, that she was sick. So I went home to check on her. Her car was there, but she wasn't. I don't know. Something just seemed off about it."
"I wouldn't worry, sir. She probably just needed some air. Especially if she was sick." I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place. I want to scapegoat the shit out of Jacob, but I can't do that to a student. I don't want to land Bella in more trouble, but I want to be as honest as possible with her father. I force myself to stop talking.
"I think I'll ground her. I just don't want her thinking she can be out in the woods like this all the time."
"Right," I say, feeling like my hands are tied.
He turns away from me. "Bella, you're grounded. Get in the car."
I can tell this is hard for him and I almost laugh at his attempt at parenting, but when Bella shoots me a glare from over the hood of the cruiser, I stifle my giggle. I don't know what I did.
She gets in without a word, and for the second time tonight, I watch as Bella is driven away from me.
The final bell rings and I roust myself from behind my desk. Audition time. I'd probably be more excited about this moment if the last week and a half hadn't been so hellish.
I'd become so used to Bella's warm, soft body in my bed, that in her absence it became impossible to sleep. I became more and more exhausted night by night. The forced sleep that came to me just before sunrise had been enough to sustain me, but the question of if and when she would return to me had me feeling like I was ready to crack.
After that night - that one magical night when Bella had completely let me in, and then had been taken away from me - she turned cold. I could see a flicker of the girl I once knew, the girl I fell in love with, at times during our sixth period meetings. But mostly, I was greeted in the morning by a sunken, sullen girl. I wondered if being apart from me was what was eating her. Or was it having to be close to me?
The poems she brought me made it even worse. Eloquent, painful and ambiguous, they haunted me. I was beginning to piece together why she was so scared to love. But I couldn't separate fact from fiction and she refused to distinguish the two.
In English, she had become a silent, shy student. The only times I ever saw my Bella was when I caught her rolling her eyes at Jessica. Other than small moments like that when I snagged a glance of her sarcasm, she just sat quietly at her desk, taking notes and wringing her hands in her lap alternately.
In theatre, it was a little bit better. She participated. She followed my warm ups, read aloud from various scripts, even gave her opinion on other students' performances.
She chatted with Rosalie and Emmett, whispered to Angela as usual. But she had taken to holding Jacob's hand as she walked between classes. He'd hardly let it go. Once, when walking by the quad at lunch, I found him gripping her right hand with his as she nibbled at a granola bar with her left. It was as if he couldn't even bear to give her her own hands to eat.
I never addressed it directly to her. I got it. She'd moved on. Or maybe she was never really... whatever she is with Jacob is completely different than it was with me. Either way, I just couldn't understand why she never smiled anymore.
I understood that he was a much safer choice. More acceptable at least. I was never right for her. At least not today.
But either way it hurt. A lot.
I refocus my attention on the present. I round the corner to the theater and am met with one of the most pleasant a refreshing views I've seen in days: dozen of students mulling around the grass gesticulating to themselves, talking with each other over xeroxed copies of Shakespeare, and wringing their hands in nervousness. My stomach twists in anticipation.
I open the door to the theatre wide and prop it open with a click. Like cattle being herded in for the night, my students shuffle in. I greet each one with a smile and a hello. I know some of them from my drama class, others from English, and a few I've never met before; I've only seen them munching sandwiches out on the quad or leaning against cars after the final bell. I'm pleased that anyone came at all.
Bella and Rosalie are among the last to enter. Their arms are linked. Bella won't meet my gaze, but Rosalie's eye stab me like daggers: a reminder of our first conversation. I nod in acknowledgement. I don't know what else to do.
I leave the door proper open for any stragglers and make my way towards the front. I'm nervous. I'm excited, I'm scared.
I hope I can do this right, direct this play. I hope... so many things. I squash that thought and take my place onstage.
"Welcome everyone! These are the auditions for the spring musical. In case you didn't know, it's A Midsummer Night's Dream." I'm an idiot, but I force myself to keep talking. "I hope you all have come with a prepared song and monologue. If you don't have a song ready, please just sing anything you can. Twinkle twinkle little star would suffice. If don't have a monologue, there will be some copies of the one's I've selected by the back door. I'll have you line up stage left at this ramp," I point to my left, just in case anyone isn't familiar with stage directions. "Please deliver your song first. You can give you music to Mrs. Meyers and she'll begin whenever you're ready. After your song, please perform your monologue. When you're all done, please exit stage right." I point to my right. "Guys, I'm super excited and I know you'll all do well. This may be futile, but please don't be nervous. This should be fun."
Mrs. Meyers enters from the back of the theater. I gesture for her to come up. "Please welcome Mrs. Meyers up here. She's going to lead you in some vocal warm-ups."
I turn the stage over to the choir teacher and let her do what she does best. The students rise and follow her in scales. She makes them loosen up by shaking their bodies and bubbling their lips. I probably need to loosen up too, but I'm not in any mood to relax. I take my seat towards the middle of the audience. Just as I'm settling in, I feel a little tap on my shoulder. I nearly squeal. I turn to see Alice bouncing and beaming at me. I have to admit that a certain part of me was hoping it was Bella finally asking for my attention.
"Mind if I watch? I am the costume designer after all," she drawls, almost British. I roll my eyes and pat the seat next to me. She sits down with a plop and pulls a tiny notebook out of the breast pocket of her grey blazer. She pulls a pen from behind her ear and begins scribbling. There's nothing really going on at the moment, but I can tell this is serious business for her, so I keep shut and reach into my briefcase for my yellow notepad and handy green pen.
Mrs. Meyers finishes playing and looks up at me. "Okay guys, feel free to continue warming up and practicing outside. I'll close the doors to keep it quiet in here. Whenever you're ready, please line up as I've instructed and give us your best. Break a leg."
Some students get up and move outside, a few drift towards the ramp at stage left, but one figure, dressed all in black makes its way towards the stage.
"I'd like to go first if that's alright."
I look up. It's Bella.
My breath hitches in my throat.
A/N: OMG! An effing chapter! Thanks, as ever for your patience. I love each and every one of you readers. If you love me back – even just a little bit – please leave a review!
Huge thanks and a giant grope to TingleBunnyMinx for guest beta-ing. What a hottie.