Chapter 20, The Best Part
"Daddy…" Chloe's sobs swelled. "Daddy… Mommy…" Sadness stumbled into our bedroom. I pushed up and away from my hold around Bella. Sleepy and slow, I motioned, inviting our favorite girl to climb under the quilt. She gripped my stubbled jaw between her small hands for full attention.
"What's wrong, baby?" Chloe sat on scrapped knees, turquoise polka dot nightgown twisted; too long… she adjusted tiny, tortoise shell glasses over her freckled nose.
"The Easter Bunny forgot me," she cried.
I pulled her into a guilty bear hug. Bella and I stared wide eyed over her shoulder. "Shit. That's your fault…" She mouthed, pointing.
"Mine?" I responded silently, narrowing my eyes and twisting my mouth.
Tucking Chloe's short auburn curls behind newly pierced ears, Bella soothed, rubbing down her back. "We should check the garden… maybe he got distracted by the carrots." Biting her lip, she knew exactly what distracted the Easter Bunny.
"But… but, no, Mommy. He's 'possed to leave my green basket by the front window." Her chin quivered.
"Chloe, maybe the Easter Bunny got tied up with something last night…" I reached, Bella broke. Laughter caught as Chloe covered her mother's mouth.
"Please don't laugh, Mommy, he might be bleeding." She led… we followed, always.
Tiny fingernails with chipped and smudged yellow polish were suddenly sucked in between Bella's lips. She wrinkled her nose and shook her head, making Chloe giggle and squeal. I tummy tickled for further delight and distraction.
"You guys go start pancakes, I'll check outside," Bella suggested. She leaped on my back as we followed a sniffling Chloe to the kitchen. "Tied up? That's about the only thing the Easter Bunny didn't do last night." I grabbed, pinching her ass from behind. "I only need like five minutes. Congratulations, baby, we've surely won Parents of the Year… "
"Okay, you're in charge of mixing the berries in, gorgeous girl." I positioned my small apprentice blind to the window. We sifted, stirred, discussing rabbit tricks and issues while Bella hurried with dyed eggs and treats into the garden. She tiptoed barefoot through blooms and vegetables hiding and laughing, simply stunning. Each bend and dip revealed more bare beneath her pale blue nightgown.
"Daddy, when's Uncle Mike gonna be here? Maybe he knows what happened to the Easter Bunny." Her innocence owned me.
"He'll be here soon. We're going to have a picnic outside and an egg hunt," I detailed with wide eyes.
"Does the Easter Bunny have a lady?"
"He's married… happily."
"For how long? For forever?" I handed her a wide, full glass of juice and waited for the adorable diatribe. "I don't like oranges anymore. I don't even like orange crayons anymore, Daddy."
"That's fine with me. But you're drinking the juice, Chloe."
As I kissed the tip of her nose, Bella waved us outside, holding a giant green basket brimming with goodness.
"Mmmm… I didn't know I was going to have company." Bella caressed over slick skin as the warm water sprayed.
"Mike has Chloe hanging paper lanterns in the branches. Eric and Leah will be here in a bit, the house is empty." She stroked my erection from behind, reaching, dusting her mouth over my shoulders.
"Bella…" I pressed my hands forward on the white tile. Slipping around, under my arm, she trailed lips and touches from my mouth lower. Falling to her knees, suddenly taking me in her hot, perfect mouth, I dizzied.
Bracing, I cradled her head while she sucked and swirled. Building quickly, the delicious burn intensified as she offered and pleasured. I lifted her, sliding against the wall, I forced her legs around my waist. "You want more…" I taunted, grazing my teeth along her angled jaw.
"Always…" She teased, swiveling her hips, begging.
"You're insatiable." We gazed, heated and desperate as I pushed into her.
"Because… I love you. God, I love you…" She breathed, emotion heightened, the slight tremble settling in, I cupped her face and eased my thrusting.
"Oh…baby." Circling, pumping painfully slow, our lips brushed. "I love you, too." She pulled through my dripping hair for leverage, swiveling and grinding at her center. An erotic rhythm and pace perfected, we shared the high. Moans stifled against wet flesh. Bella tipped her head, breathless as she peaked. I stared, buried and pulsing.
We reveled in our quiet, intimate moment. Sated and loved, as the water streamed over. Smiling content as I ran my nose along hers, our damp foreheads met.
"We almost killed the Easter Bunny."
"Taste this." I tempted, gripping her gentle curves. She bit, waving me off.
"Drive safe. You know she's going to be so excited. You have to keep her away from the water though, Rose. I'm serious, promise me and the boys better not… I know, but I can't help it. Love you…" Bella ended her call, turning in my arms searching for more. "They'll be here soon."
"Did Emmett sign?"
"He didn't. The next season's the last. Gimme one more bite." Pulling the treat up and away I teased. She trapped my top lip in her teeth. I relented with a wide eyed warning.
My length twitched again watching her wrap my favorite naturally glossed lips around the sweets. "It's like some chocolate bird on a stick."
"It's a cake pop. An owl cake pop."
"It's Easter. I don't get the owls..."
"You don't need to. Mike made them for Chloe, not you."
I tugged the sash on Bella's madras shirt dress. Holding her tight, our lips passed softly, tongues teasing. "Mmmm." Her fingers trailed inside the collar of my shirt.
"Have I told you're beautiful in plaid?" I smoothed her dark waves and layers over her shoulder.
"You're crazy…" Licking her lips, she continued. "And handsome…and sexy and…" She feathered lightly through my chest hair.
"I know it. What's wrong with us?"
"Absolutely nothing. Have I told you I love you today?" I whispered against her mouth.
"No, maybe… yes. But you can again." Motioning to the sweet spot below her ear, she smirked. "Tell me right here." I brushed lips over and around. "And here." My tongue lingered along her throat and buttercup necklace.
Leaning against the kitchen counter, I pulled her with me, melting. "I've made a decision."
"Should I sit down? Don't break my heart, I'm getting too old for that shit."
"Shut up," I laughed, lightly slapping her ass. "I'm not taking the UW position."
"Edward…" She shook her head, frustrated, sighing. "Baby, all that work on your doctorate.. Come on, it'll be fine. We'll fix up that little place we love near campus. I'm going to commute two days for clinic…" She thoughtfully searched my expression, always willing to sacrifice for me… for us.
"Chloe's starting the big k next year, Eric and Rachel are getting married, Leah needs you, your patients need you, and Charlie may actually shoot me if I take his pint sized partner in crime away." I justified with raised brows and a smile. She kissed gently, reassuring once slowly, then again.
"Anything you want, baby. You know that… anything."
"There's a pink one, Chloe." Leah pointed. Bella held small hands on either side. She guided while they discovered. I watched, warmed in rare spring sunshine. Hard parts came and went. Chloe was our constant, Bella was mine.
Settled back in the weathered wooden chair, my wife curled into my lap. I rubbed her legs from knee to thigh, offering a taste of wine, with my lips at her temple. Inhaling, appreciating just being.
"You're sure?" She whispered.
"The job? Definitely. No more change, baby. We've got everything right here."
The girls bounced through the rows, baskets in hand. Chloe skipped and giggled in a patchwork skirt, vivid stripes on top… mismatched and carefree. A wild wind sent dark red ringlets in motion. A blur of beauty and life so abundant it often took our breath away. It was our small slice of perfect to savor under the trees, with a table full, and friends who loved. We'd traveled so far from what would have been forever a sad story. Shower sex, dandelion crowns, cake pops and fairytales… together, passionately present, thankfully living life as we knew it.
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