Just Disclaimer:
The character names belong to Stephenie Meyer. If I would have written those books there sure as hell woulda been more than some pillow biting! I own nothing besides some really obscene thoughts of Rob Pattinson and myself and a laptop. And let me just say-holy hell those thoughts are HAWT!

Here come the Thank Yous:

••First and foremost, love to my beta, Edward's Eternal. She never ceases to amaze me with her wit and humor! She wants to make me soup when I'm sick, which is all the freakin' time lately! You are the bomb dot com, the dictionary to my thesaurus.

••And secondly to my Yo, of A.S.T., who gives me feedback and strokes my ego. You know how we artistic types need that shit! May the late night convos and Skeletor bashings continue forever, or until Alex comes to his senses. (Preferably the latter!) Viking sized GP for you!

••The S.H.O.W. Girls, who complete me. Blue Balls and Intercourse await the Harem, which seems to keep recruiting the menfolk. Beards and asses and meatballs, oh my! WaWas and TastyKakes all around!

I *lvoe* you birches. ;)

And yes, LVOE is a word.

••And last but never least, my readers, who keep this Southern girl writing even when I wanna throw in the towel. Thanks for standing by.

NOW—let's shake the lemon tree and see what falls out, shall we?

Happy reading my TwiDarlings!

TwistedNTempted/Eliza Randall 2011 ™

You know it only breaks my heart
To see you standing in the dark alone
Waiting there for me to come back
I'm too afraid to show

If it's coming over you
Like it's coming over me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave
That drags me out to the sea
And I wanna be with you
And you wanna be with me
I'm crashing like a tidal wave

And I don't wanna be
Stranded, stranded, stranded, stranded…


Chapter 9

These tears are turning me to rust




Edward was holding me.

"I'm going to the hospital. I got a call about your labs. Sleep and I'll be back soon."


I heard Edward chuckle and I sighed as he placed a kiss near my temple. I was so warm and the smell of him was surrounding me. It was the dream again. I was at peace, no nightmares, no screaming. It was the way it should be, just me in his arms. If this was a dream, leave me sleeping. This is where I belonged, where I needed to be. Contentment lay in the place between fantasy and reality. Let me go on dreaming…

The Land of Nod let go of me far too soon and thrust me into a world of agony. My head weighed a thousand pounds and was full of sand. That same evil sand had filled my mouth like the Sahara. Maybe I'd eaten a cactus or two along the way too, at least it tasted that way. I was never drinking again. My eyelashes hurt and there were gremlins playing rock music at high decibels with lots of bass inside my skull. And I was naked, naked, in Edward Cullen's bed. Where was Edward? A memory or perhaps it was a fantasy, crept into my aching mind of him telling me he was going to the hospital. I lay there in the dim morning light and tried to piece together the night before. Oh my damn, I was never drinking again. I threw my arm over my churning stomach and thought. Shit, that smarted. Note to self, no thinking whilst hung over. Everything hurt. My heart held the most of it though.

I recalled the kiss, the apron, then Alice, Jasper and dinner. And wine, lots and lots of wine. Endless glasses of chardonnay had dulled the pain and confusion of my life, at least temporarily. I was instantly jealous of Alice and her happiness. I hated myself for it. I hated myself for cutting her out of my life. It looked like I'd missed so much. She was married and was going have a baby that she planned to name after me. I didn't deserve it. I didn't deserve any of it. Edward had walked away from me, so I walked away from Alice. In my self-loathing, solace was found hiding at the bottom of a bottle of fermented grapes. Being with the three of them was so easy, the epitome of normalcy. Jasper was so well suited to Ali that I couldn't have chosen better for her if I tried. He was sweet, attentive and had the most incredible voice. I could fully understand the attraction. They were happy and in love. I was envious of the couple because I was sad and alone. Seeing Ali and Edward spar as they always had brought back so much of the past. The past hurt, so I drowned the pain with wine. And I threw myself at Edward. Well, that explains the "naked in his bed" thing. The sting of rejection still lingered. I thought after the way he kissed me by the door that he wouldn't turn me away. I was dead wrong.

I threw my hand over my eyes and tried to quell the nausea that was attacking. I needed water and ibuprofen. I sat up and the world tilted on its axis. It was in that moment I noticed Edward had placed a bottle of pain reliever and a bottle of water on the bedside table. I downed a few and half the bottle before the room spun again. Closing my eyes seemed to be the best plan of action. I had thrown myself at Edward. A slightly metallic taste filled my mouth and I got that weird feeling under my tongue. I was going to throw up. I bolted from the bed, becoming entangled somehow in the sheet that was twisted about me. In my haste to not upchuck all over Edward's room, I knocked over the night stand. The crash made me cringe and hold my head on my short trip. Once inside the bathroom, that he'd thankfully left the door ajar to, I rushed to the toilet and expelled until there was nothing left. Then the dry heaves took over. I wanted to die. I. Was. Never. Drinking. Again. I don't know how long I rested my head against the cool porcelain before I felt quasi-normal. I needed to clean up the mess I'd made of both myself and his bedroom.

I had nothing but time to think about my actions of the night before while I enjoyed Edward's shower. Why had he denied me? He'd made it clear he still wanted me. I offered myself only to have it thrown back into my face. Why kept running through my head. I blamed the alcohol and my self conscious demanding that I stop fighting our attraction for my actions, but what excuse did he have? It required facing him to find out and I was terrified of that. I lathered up in his body wash and damn near crumpled to the bottom of the stall at the comfort that being coated in his scent gave me. If only I could slide right down the drain like the discarded bubbles everything would be so simple. When the hot water ran out, I wrapped up in Edward's robe I found hanging on the back of the door. I used his toothbrush and set out to right the bedroom.

The drawer was missing from the night stand and the shade had come completely off the lamp, but wasn't broken. It took me forever to retrieve the damn screw that had held it on. I finally found it by crawling around on my hands and knees. I also found the drawer and a large number of envelopes and a silver ribbon. I took a deep breath and prayed these weren't love letters from some other woman. I couldn't handle that today, or ever, if I admitted the facts. Hastily, I began gathering them together, assuming they had been in the drawer when I killed it. Some of them were yellowed with age. Stacking them together I had a rather startling revelation. My name was scrawled across all of them. What? All of these were for me? Opening the one in my hand I read:


Life is all about circles it seems. You left Phoenix for Forks. I left Forks for Phoenix. Everywhere I turn in this place I wonder if you've been here. It's too bright, too sunny. And it's lonely. I miss you. Your picture is my constant companion. So if life is really about circles maybe you'll come back to me again…

Hot tears filled my eyes and rolled down my face forcing me to stop reading. I saw them splashing on the page and marring Edward's flowing script. How could he have written this and never sent it? There were so many! I picked up another.


It's the middle of the night. I woke up from a dream that we were lying in the meadow. It was just the way that it used to be. Just you and me happy and together. I woke up and realized where I was and I was without you…

It seemed that I hadn't suffered alone. Why didn't he mail these letters? I would have been happy with any form of communication! I just wanted to know that he hurt like me. I wanted reassurance that I wasn't miserable while he was living it up in Phoenix. He was hurting but he left me! He could have come home and done us both a grand favor! I didn't want to keep reading, yet I couldn't stop. Was I crossing the line by doing it? Probably. Did it stop me? No. They were addressed to me. They were mine. I continued my prying.


Happy Birthday, Baby. I wish for nothing more than to be able to hold you and run my fingers through your hair. I miss you. Those three words don't even begin to say how much. I know you probably hate me, but I hope in time you'll forgive me for walking away. I couldn't take the pressure anymore. I don't want to be in Carlisle's shadow. I have my own dreams that have nothing to do with medicine. Everybody wants a piece of me and I fear that I've got nothing left to give…

I remembered this particular birthday. It was my eighteenth. I was counting the days until college started and I could start fresh. I was going to the University of Washington, where no one knew me as "that broken hearted girl". I'd alienated everyone here in Forks. I was putting my life back together. It was then that I realized I wanted to be a journalist. Things had worked out, but years later, my heart was still not mine, I'd just learned to live a half-life. Needing to know more about his state of mind, I moved to another envelope, another sheaf of paper. I read every one of those god forsaken letters. Some of them were creased from being opened again and again. I watched Edward's handwriting change from small and neat to large and slashed. It was almost like his pain was being poured straight into the paper. The last one hurt the most. Maybe it was because it contained a picture of us together at prom. The sterling rose corsage he'd given me had shiny, silver ribbons. He had tied these together with that ribbon? I reached out, grabbed the piece of satin and twirled it around my fingers. I didn't think I could hurt anymore, but I did. I was a never-ending fountain of pain. Studying the picture again, noting that neither of us were looking at the camera, I smiled a little. We only had eyes for each other. This moment was forever frozen in time. Frozen, just like me. I couldn't get past him. I buried myself in his words one more time.


I've sat for hours with the phone in my hand dialing your number only to hang up before it rang. Ali said you couldn't be friends with her anymore. Please don't punish her because I'm selfish and stupid. You are her best friend. It was bad enough that I left you, but now you're losing her too. I can't take this anymore. Forget Carlisle and all the pressure, I'm coming home to you. I'm packing tonight. Tomorrow I'll be there. Home. I'm coming home to you, Baby.

But he didn't come home that day. He didn't come home until I was long gone. God, I could see now why he left Forks, but how could he not have enough faith in me, in us, to lean on me? We were young, but the feelings were real. He was my world. He still was. That truth was acidic and it burned as I swallowed it down. I was tired of running from it. I felt raw, almost like I'd been turned inside out and dragged over open, rocky ground. I had all this information, but what was I to do with it? It wasn't like we could undo what was done. I still loved Edward and I was pretty sure he still had some kind of feelings for me, but could we get past, well, the past? If I was a match for Jake I had four weeks to decide. Forks was home, no matter how it hurt here. Charlie was here and Jake, but now Alice and Edward. The ties that bind were becoming increasingly tighter. There was so much I was unsure of. But of three things I was positive. First, Edward was the love of my life, the missing piece of me. Second, there was a part of him - and I didn't know how dominant that part might be - that still wanted me even after all this time and space. And third, I was unconditionally, irrevocably in love with him. Everything was riding on the lab results. The words to Michael Buble's Home came to me.

Maybe surrounded by
A million people I
Still feel all alone
I wanna go home
Oh, I miss you, you know

And I've been keeping all the letters that I wrote to you
Each one a line or two
"I'm fine baby, how are you?"
I would send them but I know that it's just not enough
My words were cold and flat
And you deserve more than that

Another airplane
Another sunny place
I'm lucky I know
But I wanna go home
I've got to go home

Let me go home
I'm just too far from where you are
I wanna come home

There was nothing else to do but wait and cry. Hot, furious tears of confusion streamed down, splashing the page, the ribbon and the picture of us that I held on to like a lifeline.

That was how Edward found me.

"Bella, what—"

The smile he'd been wearing melted away quickly. Horror was written all over his face. There was also fear and shame.

"Why? Why would you write all these and never send them? I would have given anything to have the slightest inkling that you were so unhappy!"

"I thought it was best that I didn't contact you. I knew you were miserable and I didn't want to make it worse by dumping my shit on you."

His voice cracked a little as he spoke and it broke something inside of me. Was there anything left to break? I was tired of being shattered. I just wanted to be whole again and I wanted closure. I wanted it yesterday. Patience was never my strong point.

"You drove away and never once looked back! Or that's what you wanted me to think! Now, I know better! Edward, I was like that because you left me. I couldn't function. I was hurting because I missed you! You didn't have enough faith in me to let me help you. I would walk through fire for you!"

I was shaking the letter in my hand at him.

"Would? Present tense? Do you still love me, Bella?"

He was pulling out all the stops. Dammit, not now!

"Don't. I'm not finished yet."

I refused to let the subject go. I needed answers!

"It's a simple question, Isabella."

"It's not a simple answer, Edward."

"How well I know. The only thing that ever came naturally to me was loving you. I never stopped. I left Forks to protect you. I thought that leaving would give you the space to find someone who deserved you."

"You're so damn obtuse, Cullen! There was never anyone else who mattered. It's always been you! And maybe you should stop thinking as it's clearly not working for you!"

He sank to his knees in front of me and lowered his head. The paper he clutched floated to the plush carpet. His hands raked through his hair and held on.

"I'm just a man, Bella. I'm human. I make mistakes. Hey, I just might have made more than my fair share, but I can't take it back. I know that I have no right to seek your forgiveness, but here I am anyway. I need you to forgive me. I've learned to live without really living. I've been dead inside since the day I left Forks. I came back here for you. Did you know that? I took the job at the hospital in hopes that I'd catch a glimpse of you. I saw you, six months ago while you were having a meal with Jake and Charlie at the diner. I stood at the window; half hoping you'd see me and half hoping that you wouldn't. I walked away because I'm a fucking coward, Bella. You looked happy and I had no right to intrude. Then you practically fell into my arms and I've been treading water ever since. I don't know what to do. I just want to give up and drown- in you."

I reached out and stroked his face.

"Edward, I'm angry and confused. I won't deny it. But more than that, I hurt. I've cried oceans of tears and I'm still crying. There are days when I don't want to leave my bed. At times I miss you so damn much that I can't breathe. The hurt has been my friend for years. I've grown accustomed to the pain it brings. It reminds me that I'm alive and the love I had for you was once returned. That pain helps me remember that I meant something to someone."

"You still do, Bella. So damn much. Can't you fucking see that?"

I could see that, but I needed the words and actions to prove his point. I wanted it all.

"Really? Yeah, I can tell. You were quick to deny me last night."

And just like that the anger that had dulled became razor sharp and cutting.

"Goddammit, Bella, you were drunk! You really have no clue how much I wanted to lay you down and devour you! You were naked and in front of me, begging for my attention. The look on your face made me hard enough to drive nails! Being inside you would have been like heaven, but I couldn't. If that had happened you would have hated me and yourself today. I didn't want to give you another piece of ammunition to shoot me down with."

He was right. I'd give him that much credit. I would have hated him. I was drunk, vulnerable and fucking stupid. That was not the case right now, well not the drunk part anyway.

"Show me."


"I'm sober, now."

I was a blotchy, tear stained, soggy mess, but I was sober and I needed him.


I laid my fingers across his lips to silence him. I reveled in the softness and shape of them. I knew what they were capable of. The thought made my entire body tingle with need.

"I think we're done talking right now, Edward. Show me you want me."

He kissed my fingertips and spoke around them.

"I always have."

Those weren't the three words I wanted, but they were a healing balm to my aching soul. This wasn't going to be gentle or tender. This was about need. It was I needed and what he needed. Our eyes met and the blackness of his was pulling me in. I was falling into the dark pools, ringed with a cinnamon border. Edward brought his lips so close to mine I could practically taste them. His breath hitting my mouth made my blood race. He was feeding the fire that burned inside of me. The flame that had always burned only for him was glowing with the light of a thousand suns. He kissed the side of my jaw, down to my neck and then to my ear. His wickedly delicious tongue circled my lobe before his voice came to me.

"I want you so badly, Isabella. Are you ready for me? Because I'm ready to eat you alive. I want you to scream my name. Hold on, baby."

My body jerked involuntarily at his words. I was a puppet and he was pulling my strings. His mouth crashed into mine. Edward's tongue was twisting, twirling against mine. They battled for dominance. My fingers rushed to tunnel through his hair. I gripped tightly and pulled him closer to me. He moaned my name, which was almost unrecognizable as I swallowed it with my greedy lips. His hands came to cup my face, holding me immobile as the brutal but sensual onslaught continued against my lips. The taste of him left me dizzy. When he let go of my face I sobbed. He dragged his hands down to the knot holding his robe in place and deftly untied it. I was bared to him, no longer hidden, all my flushed skin on display. He kissed the salty patches on my face away before his lips landed against my collar bone. I was aching for some sort of release, so I arched my back, pressing my breasts against his chest. The buttons on his shirt abraded my unbearably stiff nipples. The friction was great but I needed to be skin to skin with Edward. I grabbed the sides of his black button down and pulled. Buttons skittered around us. The ping of them hitting around us was a satisfying sound. I felt him smile against my skin. I roughly shoved the sleeves off his shoulders and threw the ruined garment away from us. I fumbled with his jeans, unfastening them and unzipping was becoming a challenge. I growled in frustration. His hands joined mine and I welcomed the assistance. When they were undone, I reached inside and was elated to find only hot, naked skin. There was a bead of moisture already pearling at the engorged head of his cock. Edward bit my neck as I stroked the length of him. I yelped as he marked me. I didn't care! I wanted the world to see that I belonged to this man. I craved him so damn badly I was no longer content to let him run the show. Letting go of the part of him I needed most, I ran my hands down his back and shoulders before I dug my nails into his ass. He thrust forward, hitting my swollen sex. I whimpered as I tugged at his pants. Finally, finally there were no barriers, just Bella and Edward.

His body pressed me into back into the carpet. I was covered in six plus feet of male perfection. I'd proudly wear this outfit for the rest of my life, as this never went out of style. Sexy was always in. Edward had apparently grown tired of letting me lead, which was fine by me as long as he hurried. My arms were still inside the sleeves of his robe which helped Edward to restrain me by holding my hands behind my head. It wasn't comfortable by any means but the need was outweighing any discomfort. His free hand roughly rolled and pulled at my nipple. I arched against him, pleading with my body for more. He answered by licking the peak and then using his teeth. Starbursts flash behind my eyes. Only my skin held me together underneath him. The other nipple got the same attention before Edward moved his hand to my center. I was feverish, charring from the inside. Long fingers dragged along the length of my lower lips before he opened them. Plucking at my clit, he released my hands, freeing up his other one. He slammed two fingers into me causing me to scream his name. I thought I was coming apart when the flat of his tongue met my heated flesh. I was tumbling of the precipice again and he wasn't even inside me yet. I was going to die from spontaneous combustion! At least he was true to his word. I had screamed his name and had a feeling I was nowhere near done.

"Edward, please. I need you."

"Is that right, Isabella?"

I whimpered in response. The thick head of him passed over the sensitive bundle of nerves at my center, causing me to buck against him. He urged me to turn over and get on my hands and knees. As soon as I complied Edward was braced over me, weaving his hands into my hair and tightening it in his fist. My head was pulled back sharply, pleasure spiked with pain. His lips came to rest at my ear, his breath hot against my face. Without any further ado, he pounded his way inside me. I groaned for just a moment at the wonder of being filled all the way and then some. The moment was all I had before his body was battering mine. He was using my hair for leverage, finding that spot inside me that drove me to madness. The mindless frenzy that over took us both flew me to a higher plane of need than I knew existed. Edward stroked me relentlessly, never losing momentum, just hard, dirty fucking. I was nearly a quivering mass of nothingness when he reached to flick my nub with the rhythm of him moving in and out. I chanted his name as I succumbed to him once more and finally felt him join me in a hot rush. His weight fell on my back and I was blissfully crushed beneath him. I was going to have a hell of a rug burn on my knees later, but it was definitely worth it.

Later, who knows how much time had passed, I lay on Edward's chest. His fingers were idly massaging my scalp. The aches of being so well serviced were surfacing. My whole body was a constant throb, but I wouldn't change a damn thing about our sexcapade. We were both quiet, maybe pondering what had just gone down. I was reflecting on the steaminess that happened, no doubt about it. I could never really tell what Edward was thinking. Words would ruin the moment so I didn't dare ask what was on his mind. I just closed my eyes, inhaled the smell of him and us, and concentrated on the cadence of his heart. Sated and lazy, I had almost drifted off to sleep when the wall of his chest rumbled.

"Told ya."

"You. Are. An. Ass. But I admit you followed through quite nicely."

Smug bastard, but I was pretty damn smug myself.

"I have some news for you, Baby."

He called me baby. I wanted to laugh, but I didn't.

"Do tell, Cullen."

"You're a good match for Jake. It's not a perfect match, but it's good. I have a proposition for you, as well."

Dread gathered in the pit of my stomach, but I opted for humor.

"Um, I'm pretty sure I'll need some rest before any other "propositions".

I'd even used air quotes.

"Stay with me."

My mouth had no words, but my heart beat out a steady, unquestionable yes.

{A/N- I don't own the rights to either of the songs used in this chapter, but I did buy em on iTunes if that helps. As always let me know what you think!}