Baby It's Cold Outside O/S Contest
Title: Sometime Around Midnight
Rating & Any Needed Warnings: Rated M for language and lemons. Be old enough to vote before reading this and if smut bothers you, don't read it!
Word Count: 10,928
Pairing: Edward and Bella
Summary: Bella and Edward have been best friends for eight years and spend every New Year's together. What happens this year, when Edward's new relationship strains their friendship? Will Bella lose Edward completely or will she get the New Year's kiss she's been waiting for? O/S for the Baby It's Cold Outside Contest.
Disclaimer: I don't own anything Twilight, I just play with the characters.
As my new Jeep Grand Cherokee navigated the snow packed and winding mountain road, I was once again thankful I had made the investment. It had cost a pretty penny and I had been sad to let my beat up old truck go, but in the end it just made sense. Now, as I maneuvered up the long road to the ski cabin with my four-wheel drive fully engaged, I just smiled and turned up my music, enjoying the almost MarioKart feel of the ride. The normally dirt road was currently covered in at least two feet of snow which made sliding along the twists and turns an awesome ride, now that I no longer feared getting stuck or spinning out of control. I came around a corner to see the gorgeous two-story ski cabin I was headed to settled invitingly at the end of the road.
The sight was breathtaking; the beautiful log cabin with the dark green trim along the roof and the red door was nestled on fifty acres of land in a valley of the Cascade Mountains. I grinned and pressed harder on the gas, excited to finally be at my destination. It had a been a long and tiring five hour drive from Forks down here, but I dutifully made the trip, just as I had every year since I was eighteen. My core group of friends and I gathered here every year, starting on December 28th and staying through New Year's before we all headed back to Seattle and to our real lives.
Judging by the lack of cars, I was the first to arrive, which didn't really surprise me. I had the farthest drive since I had gone home to spend Christmas with my father, while the others hailed from Seattle and had spent Christmas with their families with no travel necessary. As I pulled into the drive, I threw my Jeep into park and grabbed my phone. After sending Alice a quick text that I had arrived and she and the others better get on the road soon, I grabbed my duffel bag and laptop case and ducked out into the crisp, cold mountain air. I couldn't stop smiling; this was a much-needed break from everything. I trudged through the snow, up the un-shoveled walkway and punched in the key code on the door to let myself in. I dropped my things on the bench against the wall and stomped my feet furiously, attempting to rid my boots of as much snow as possible.
After tucking them away in the hall closet, I picked my bags back up and headed for my traditional room, the one with the single bed in it, and the adjoining bathroom with Edward's room, the one with the king sized bed. I smiled when I saw that Esme had made sure the cabin was recently cleaned and stocked for our annual visit and dumped my things before heading back into the great room to start a fire.
I marveled once again at this massive cabin. It was a five bedroom, four bath cabin. The great room was huge with an unbelievably comfortable overstuffed sectional couch, a giant flat screen television, and an enormous fireplace with the softest, thickest, fluffiest rug laid out in front. The kitchen, my dream kitchen, was directly off it and held beautiful granite counter tops, a six burner gas range with matching stainless steel appliances and an island in the center for additional cooking space. There was a dining room on the other side of the kitchen, but there was also a breakfast bar in the kitchen. The entire cabin was immaculately decorated by Esme, tasteful and impressive, but still holding a warm and home-like feel. It was comfortable instead of feeling like a museum. I reached the fireplace and began arranging wood and kindling to coax it into the start of a roaring fire. Once that was in place, I wandered into the kitchen and threw together ingredients for chili to simmer for the next few hours so that dinner would be ready by the time everyone arrived.
Grabbing my laptop, I settled on the couch and turned on the radio, ready to fall into writing another chapter for my latest book to kill time. I pulled up my manuscript, but instead of focusing on the story in front of me, I found myself thinking about my friends. Alice Cullen and I were roommates our freshman year at University of Washington and had been fast friends ever since. It was through her that I met Jasper and Rosalie Whitlock. Alice fell head over heels for Jasper in their anthropology class their first semester and they had married about three years ago. Rose was harder to win over as a friend, but when she saw that Alice was not going anywhere, and that she and I were a package deal, Rose finally warmed up to us. Of course, it also helped that Alice's older brother, Emmett, was introduced to Rose, and after a little dancing around each other, they finally became a real couple the first New Year's we spent together.
And then there was Edward, Alice's twin brother. A total opposite from the tiny, black haired pixie that was Alice; Edward was tall and unbearably sexy. He had this amazing reddish-brown hair that was always in perfect sex-hair disarray. The only feature both Alice and Edward shared was their brilliant forest green eyes. Eyes that, after I'd met Edward, would always make me think of him. I didn't meet Edward until the first time we were both here at the cabin. He had gone to Northwestern University in Chicago for college and had come home for Thanksgiving while I was home in Forks. He'd met the others then, and they had come up with the plan to meet at the Cullen's ski cabin for the week between Christmas and New Years. Alice invited me when we both returned to the dorms and our tradition was born. Every year, we gathered here for that week to hang out and ski and just get away from 'real life' before starting a new year.
That was eight years ago, and for eight years I had been in secretly love with Edward Cullen. It started out as an innocent crush in the very early part of our friendship, but the more time we spent together the deeper my feelings became. Sadly, he had never reciprocated those feelings. I was just his best girl friend. Emphasis on the space been girl and friend. Edward and I had grown particularly close since he moved back to Seattle after college and even more so after Jasper and Alice got married and with Emmett and Rose having gotten engaged last spring, we had banded together as the last two 'singles' in our group. Not that Edward was ever truly single.
He had a constant stream of girls, all blonde and all who hated me and our friendship, but those girls never lasted long anyway. At least until Tanya. She had lasted for over a year, and as a result, my relationship with Edward had, much to my dismay, grown weak. She didn't even bother to disguise her dislike for me any more, and I knew she was the reason I had been seeing less and less of Edward lately. It broke my heart to not only watch myself lose the only man I'd ever truly loved, but also my best friend.
I'd dated over the years, with only a few serious relationships. No one was truly special, and sex with any of them was mediocre at best. I always had the hardest time not comparing them to Edward and in the end always failed miserably and then usually broke things off shortly after finding them lacking. Then there was Jake, who I met just after Edward met Tanya. He and I had started out hot and heavy and while things in the bedroom were a vast improvement from the other guys I'd been with, his personality was a different story. He was attentive and sweet in the beginning, but I soon found him to be clingy and demanding beyond what I ever imagined. He was like a stray dog, I fed him once and then he just wouldn't leave. When I broke things off two months ago, he'd been so angry I was actually a little scared he would hurt me. In the end, he'd punched a hole in a wall at my condo before I called the police and he ran off.
So here I was, alone once again, just in time for the holidays. At least I could count on the one thing I always looked forward to at midnight on New Year's Eve, my one kiss a year from Edward. This would be our eighth kiss, not that I was counting. And not that they really counted as kisses, they were sweet, friendly pecks on the lips, but they fueled my every fantasy and made my entire body tingle with just the lightest brush of his mouth against mine. It was pathetic how much I looked forward to those brief few seconds at the start of a new year, but here I was anxiously awaiting the passing of the week just for that moment.
I suddenly realized I might not get that kiss this year. What if Edward brought Tanya with him this year? Last year they had only been dating for about six weeks and weren't serious enough for him to bring her into our tradition. But this year...this year might be different. My stomach churned, I didn't think I could handle seeing Edward kiss Tanya at midnight...and leaving me with no one and nothing to make the upcoming year seem bright.
God, unrequited love sucked. The past eight years had been long and cold and lonely. It was like my love life was trapped in this never-ending winter, without even the tiniest hint of spring in sight. Hell, all I could see right now was one bitch of a blizzard named Tanya. I might freeze to death if I had to watch Edward with Tanya The Ice Queen on New Year's.
Shaking myself out of my pity party, I turned and forced myself to focus on my book. I sighed and began picking up where I left off, sliding back into my heroine's mindset and escaping from my own torturous thoughts. After a few lines, I fell into my character fully, writing furiously and zoning out the real world around me. I didn't notice the hours passing or the fire dimming to smoldering embers, or the missed texts from Alice, or the door opening and the footsteps behind me. I was completely in my fantasy world until large, strong hands grasped my shoulders and I jumped out of my seat, screaming bloody murder.
"Bella! Bella, stop screaming, it's just me," Edward yelled as I spun around to face him, clutching my laptop defensively, in case I needed to use it as a weapon. My look of terror coupled with my stance, must have been hilarious because he let out a booming laugh and held onto the back of the couch to keep from falling over. "Jesus, Bella! What are you going to do, Google me to death? Didn't you hear me come in at all?"
He grinned at me; my favorite, dazzling, crooked grin and I stared back, gasping for breath and heart still pounding. I set my laptop down on the coffee table and straightened, glaring in his direction. "No, I did not. Thank you so much for scaring the hell out of me, Edward. You should know better than to sneak up on me like that when I'm writing. " I crossed my arms and huffed, giving him my best bitch brow.
Still chuckling, he came around the side of the couch and slung one arm around my shoulders, "Sorry, Bella. I didn't realize you were writing so attentively. Damn, you are fun to scare, though." He pressed a quick kiss to my cheek, squeezing my shoulders lightly before dropping his arm. My pulse started to race again, but this time from Edward and his lips' proximity to me. "I'm going to go drop my bags in my room, I'll be right back," he told me and walked out to the entry to pick up his things and head up stairs.
I pressed my palm against my heart, taking slow, deep breaths to calm its furious beating. He was so beautiful it hurt sometimes. I hadn't seen him in almost three months and I felt my burning anger at Tanya for taking him from me as well as the aching pain of losing him twist in my chest, making it hard to breathe. Blowing out the air in my lungs, I steeled myself for his return and promised myself I would enjoy what little time I was afforded with him. Hearing his approach, I wandered into the kitchen to check on the chili and started throwing ingredients together for brownies. I needed something to help keep me occupied, keep me from focusing too intently on Edward. He greeted me with another brilliant smile as he walked into the kitchen and I grinned back, happy to have my friend here with me again. "Where is everyone else? Didn't you all ride up together?"
Edward shook his head in amusement; "You really don't notice anything when you're writing. Alice said she sent you a bunch of texts, but the others are coming up tomorrow. There was some kind of emergency at Alice and Rose's shop downtown and it took so long to straighten out they decided not to make the drive in the dark. I, however, knew you were already here and couldn't let my best girl be up here all alone." He winked at me and I flushed, looking down at the brownie batter and mixing it rapidly.
"Is everything okay at the store?" I asked, slightly alarmed.
"Yeah, it's fine now. There was some kind of mix-up with a dress for a VIP customer and apparently the wrong dress was altered, so they had to go in and hand tailor the correct dress for this big New Year's Eve party the customer is going to in New York because her flight leaves first thing tomorrow morning. It took Alice and Rose hours to get everything right and calm this lady down."
I nodded and poured the batter into the pan, popping it into the oven. "Hope the weather holds out, isn't it supposed to snow tomorrow?"
Edward nodded and shrugged, "By the way, did you rent a car to get up here? Because that is a sweet Jeep outside! Wait, you didn't bring someone else with you, right? Is Jake here?" His voice morphed into a growl at the end and he frowned, glancing around.
I shook my head, sighing dramatically. "Some friend you are. If you had bothered to answer your phone or return any of my texts or voice mails over the past couple months, you would know Jake and I broke up. A while ago. And that Jeep is mine."
"Seriously?" he asked, smiling again. "That Jeep is yours? When did you get it?"
"About a month ago, when I received my book advance for my third novel," I answered smugly, leaning against the counter top.
"Congratulations, Bella!" he said, smiling proudly. "You didn't buy it alone, did you? What kind of deal did you get?"
I shook my head, still smiling, "No, I had Emmett come with me. He intimidated the hell out of the sales guy and he gave me pretty much whatever I wanted."
Edward furrowed his brow, suddenly dark and angry, "You took Emmett? Why not me? I thought I was your best friend." He sounded so hurt and angry and...jealous? I was stunned for a moment.
"Once again, I say, if you had answered your phone or any of my texts I would have brought you instead. I tried, but I never heard back from you." I glared at him, my voice hard and defensive. I was suddenly furious at him, he was the one who had abandoned me, not the other way around. All because of Tanya. I was really starting to hate that bitch. How dare she take my best friend from me?
Edward's cheeks flushed and his face turned sheepish and ashamed. "I'm sorry I've been such a shit friend lately, Bella. I really didn't mean to ignore you. I didn't realize it had been so long since we last talked." He glanced up at me, beautiful green eyes pleading for forgiveness.
My heart melted, I never could stay mad at him for long. "It's okay, Edward. I know you didn't do it on purpose," I replied quietly and reached out to touch his hand briefly.
He turned his hand to catch mine, squeezing lightly for a moment before letting go. Then he flashed me my favorite lop-sided grin, "So...you and Jake broke up, huh?"
I bit my lower lip, nodding softly, "We did, or rather, I broke up with him. It wasn't working. You know me, perpetually single." I winced slightly at the bitter note to my voice, hoping Edward would miss it.
He reached his hand out to again cover mine, resting on the counter, "Hey, he was never good enough for you. You're better off without him."
I swallowed once, staring into his deep green eyes for a moment. Then I forced a smile and replied, "That reminds me, do you know how to patch drywall?"
He furrowed his brow, "Yeah, why?"
I waved my hand dismissively, "Jake punched a hole in my wall when I broke up with him that I haven't gotten around to fixing yet. Maybe you can fix it as penance for ignoring me for months." I winked to let him know I was teasing, but his face was darkly serious.
Edward cupped my face in his hands, "Did he hurt you, Bella? I swear, if that son of a bitch put one finger on you-"
"No, Edward. He didn't touch me. I called the police when he hit my wall and he left before they even arrived. I haven't heard from him since." I placed one of my hands against his, "But I appreciate you worrying about me." I closed my eyes as he leaned in and pressed a soft kiss to my forehead.
"I'm so sorry I wasn't there for you. That you called the police instead of me. I promise I'll be a better friend and be there for you from now on." He pulled back, looking into my eyes again and my heart clenched with love for him. Suddenly, my eyes were wet.
I put my arms around his neck, hugging him tightly and reveling in the feel of his arms coming around me. "Thanks, Edward. That means a lot to me. I've missed my best friend," I whispered, fighting back my tears.
"I missed you too, Bella," he whispered back and squeezed me tighter before releasing me.
I stepped back, blushing and feeling silly all of a sudden. "Okay, okay. Enough. Come on, let's have dinner while the brownies are baking. I hope you're hungry, I made enough to feed six."
Edward smiled and turned to pull out dishes for both of us. We ate at the breakfast bar, catching up on each other's lives. The topic of Tanya came up and I asked if she was planning on joining us this week, and hoping the answer wouldn't make me want to throw up my dinner.
Edward stared down at his bowl, frowning slightly. "She and I, we're not... She's not who I want to be with." He looked up at me and my breath caught for a moment.
"I'm sorry things didn't work out between you two," I told him and he just shrugged. The timer for the brownies went off and I rose, setting them out to cool while I made a quick batch of powdered sugar frosting and Edward cleaned up our dishes. Once I frosted the brownies, I sliced one for each of us. I hooked my arm through his, "Let's go watch a movie and relax."
We settled on the couch, choosing some action flick from the selection here. At first we sat on opposite sides of the couch, but once I started to curl up to keep warm, Edward rose and stoked the fire back to life, then pulled me over to cuddle up against his side when he sat back down. I lay there, tucked against his side and breathing in his delicious scent. I fought to keep my eyes open, but it was so tranquil there with him that I drifted off to sleep. When I woke, I found Edward had shifted me so I was sitting across his lap, with my head on his shoulder and both of his arms were around me. I blinked a few times and looked up at him, finding him staring down at me with fathomless eyes.
"Edward?" I whispered softly.
He lifted one hand and gently stoked his fingers across my cheek before tucking my hair behind my ear. "Bella," he answered, just as softly, before sliding his hand into my hair to cup the back of my head.
He lowered his head to mine, never breaking eye contact until the last moment before our lips touched. My own lids slid closed as I pressed my lips back against his. His lips were so soft and molded against mine, brushing and caressing lightly. I lifted my hands to come up and tangle in his silky hair, grasping the strands. Edward made a growling noise and pressed harder, his tongue tracing the line of my lips. I parted mine, moaning with pleasure as his tongue invaded my mouth and I tasted him for the first time. I slid my own tongue against his and his hands tightened in my hair and around my waist as he held me closer. After he had thoroughly explored my mouth, Edward moved his hand at my waist, slipping it beneath my sweater and caressing my side. He moved his lips down my jaw to my neck, sucking and nipping softly at the sensitive skin. My hands griped his hair tighter, holding his head to me and I moaned his name. I could feel desire burning through my body, aching between my thighs. I pressed my hips down into his lap, gasping slightly when I felt his erection pressing back against my ass.
Edward groaned and pulled his lips away, lifting his head. I whimpered, afraid he had come to his senses and realized what we were doing. But the dark lust I saw raging in his eyes washed that fear away. Sitting up slightly, I moved my hands to grasp the hem of my sweater, swiftly pulling it over my head and dropping it on the floor. His eyes swept down to take in the curves of my breasts held up by my bra, and I couldn't help but bite my lip against a smile when he licked his lips.
He looked back up at me, his unspoken question hanging heavy between us. I answered by kissing him deeply again, my hands returning to his hair. Edward shifted his arms, cradling me against him and standing up, never breaking our kiss. He walked out of the great room, up the stairs, and into his room before laying me gently across the bed. He hovered over my body, leaving a trail of warm, open-mouthed kisses along my neck and collarbone and then lightly dipping his tongue down to my cleavage. He moved his lips to one breast, nudging my bra out of the way before swirling his tongue around one hardened nipple.
Pleasure shot through my body and my hands gripped his hair, pressing his head to my breast. I moaned loudly when he sucked harder, arching my back and clenching my thighs together against the intense throbbing I felt there. Edward chuckled softly against my skin, shifting his fingers along my back and pressing slightly before my bra loosened and he pulled it away. Edward shifted his mouth to my other breast, growling at the whimpers and moans coming from me. He slid one hand along my stomach and deftly opened my jeans. He only hesitated for a moment, his fingers pausing at the lace edge of my panties.
"Please," I whimpered, scared he would stop, that this would end in awkwardness on his part and unbearable sexual frustration on my part.
My encouragement was all he needed. His fingers slipped down and we both groaned when he encountered my smooth, bare pussy, wet with my desire. "Fuck," he moaned as his fingers rubbed along my wet folds, brushing my clit lightly.
"Oh God, Edward!" I cried, bucking my hips into his hand. I tried to open my legs more to allow him more access, but my jeans hindered me. Pulling my hands from his hair, I pushed at them madly, muttering about too many clothes still on.
Edward looked at me, smirking and hooked his fingers over my jeans and panties and pulled them off my legs, throwing them to the ground. His eyes ran over my naked body and he exhaled deeply. He looked back up at me with hooded eyes. "You are so fucking beautiful. I've never met another woman who even comes close to matching your beauty." He leaned over me, caressing the side of my face and kissing me with such desire my toes curled.
I pressed my hands against his chest, pushing him back slightly and tugging at the hem of his shirt. "Edward," I said between kisses, "I want to feel your skin against mine." His shirt fell to the floor and I kissed him once more as my hands moved to his jeans. "To have your body pressed to my body." We both pushed at his jeans and boxers and he rose up long enough to kick them to the ground. As he crawled back over me, both of us finally free of our clothing, I ran my hands down his chest and stomach, before reaching with a hand trembling from desire to stroke his cock. He hissed at the contact and I dropped my eyes down his body. Even in the dim moonlight, I could see how incredible his body was. All firm muscles and lickable contours and ridges. And my God, was he ever hung! Without doubt, the largest peen I'd ever encountered and the sight of it did all kinds of tingly things to my lady parts. Bringing my lips to his ears, I slowly stroked his length, "I want you inside me, Edward. I've wanted you for so long. Please, don't make me wait any longer."
With a feral growl, he pressed me back against the pillows, kissing me wildly. His chest brushed against mine and I moaned at the contact, wrapping my arms around him to hold him closer, loving the smooth feel of our skin sliding across each other's. His fingers found their way back between my legs and he softly teased my slick folds, and then slipped two fingers inside me. I threw my head back and cried out in ecstasy as my pleasure drew closer and I felt my muscles clench around his fingers as he curled them to stroke me inside. "Fuck, Edward! Please," I said incoherently, not really sure of what exactly I was asking of him anymore. All I could feel was the growing tidal wave that threatened the best orgasm of my life and all I wanted was Edward, in every way possible. "Make me yours," I begged.
He pulled his fingers from inside me, positioning himself at my waiting entrance. "Bella, baby?" he whispered and I opened my eyes to meet his beautiful green ones. I gasped softly at the love I saw burning in them. "I love you, Bella," he told me and pushed deep inside me.
"Edward!" I screamed as the tidal wave crashed over me and my body shook with the sweetest sensations I'd ever felt. I felt his arms tighten around me, holding me close while I rode out my orgasm. Finally, I opened my eyes, still trying to catch my breath. I could see from his expression he was fiercely fighting to hold his own pleasure back.
His lips captured mine for a moment before he pressed his forehead against mine. "Holy God, that felt amazing. Nothing has ever felt that incredible. It's all I can do not to explode inside you right now, but there's no fucking way I'm not making you come like that at least once more before I do."
I wrapped my arms tighter around him, "I love you, Edward. I've always loved you."
A deep rumbling noise vibrated through his chest. "Bella. My Bella," he growled and started to move inside me. I cried out, wrapping my legs around his waist to help press him deeper with each thrust. It was incredible, the way he filled me completely. How we moved together in perfect harmony, both of us knowing instinctively how to fuel our pleasure higher, to make each other moan and shudder as we came together over and over again. Passion and lust took both of us over and Edward thrust harder, faster into me and I matched each one with equal intensity.
"Fuck, Edward!" I panted, feeling that delicious tension coiling once again, low in my belly. "Oh God, so good...I'm so close!"
He made a groaning sound and pounded himself even harder into me, eliciting another moan of pleasure from me. His eyes found mine and we locked gazes intensely. "That's it, baby. Let go and just feel me. Come for me, love," he whispered enticingly and as always, I denied him nothing. With a strangled cry of his name, my world exploded in electric light. My body shook and bliss flowed through me. I heard Edward yell my name as he joined me in my rapture, his body pulsing within mine.
His arms slipped around me, cradling me against him as he fell against the bed. I curled into him, sleepy and happily spent. He stroked his fingers through my hair and pressed a kiss to my forehead. Our breathing and heart rates slowed, and Edward murmured against my temple, "My sweet Isabella."
"Edward," I sighed against his neck, snuggling deeper against him and letting the night take me.
I woke slowly; the soft, downy bed and the most delicious dreams of Edward making love to me and telling me he loved me made it hard to want to open my eyes and face reality. I could still feel his firm and warm body wrapped around me, spooning me and trailing soft kisses along my neck.
"Bella," his voice gently called, breath warm across my ear. "Baby, wake up."
I fought harder to stay asleep, panicking slightly. "No," I moaned, snuggling deeper into his embrace. "Don't make me wake up, Edward. Let me stay here with you, please," I begged, sadness threatening to overwhelm me. "If I wake up, you'll be gone and I'll be alone again. Please, Edward, stay with me. I don't want to be alone anymore." I felt tears slip between my eyelids and I let out a sorrowful cry, knowing I would certainly wake now.
"Shh, baby, don't cry." I felt his hand brush away my tears, which only made me cry harder. His hands cupped my face, "Bella, open your eyes. I promise I will still be here, I'm not going anywhere."
With a sob, I forced my eyes to open and gasped when Edward's concerned face was hovering above mine. I reached up a trembling hand to touch his stubble-covered jaw. "You're here. Really here. Last night...was real," I breathed. Images of the way he had loved me last night and again in the early hours of the morning. Edward told me he loved me. Edward loves me.
I threw my arms around his neck, burying my face into the crook of his neck and shoulder, grinning like crazy. Edward's arms came around me, holding me tight to him. "I told you I would still be here. I'll be here as long as you want me, baby."
His words made my heart pound and my soul soar. I wanted to squeal and jump up and down like a twelve-year-old girl. I couldn't believe what he was telling me. I pressed a kiss to his shoulder, mumbling against his skin. "I'll always want you."
I felt his heart accelerate and he froze, not breathing for a moment. My own heart pounded in response, I'd freaked him out and now he was going to backpedal. I knew I should have kept my mouth shut; it was too much too soon. Then the breath whooshed out of him and he held me even closer. "You have no idea how happy your words make me. You mean everything to me, Bella."
I lifted my face from its hiding place against him and we smiled at each other, happiness and love flowing back and forth between us. Edward lowered his mouth to mine and began to kiss me hungrily. I sighed against his lips, my body responding instantly. I shifted so our hips aligned, loving the friction that came from rubbing against him. Suddenly, I pulled back.
"Edward, what time is it? Everyone else will be here soon!"
He looked stunned for a moment, then chuckled, "You obviously haven't bothered to look out the window, have you? There's no way anyone is making it here today, not with the blizzard outside."
I turned my head toward the window, inhaling softly. Outside the world was a swirling, writhing mess of snow and ice whipped around by the wind. Now that I was focused on it, I could hear the wind whistling as it fiercely blew. "Ooh," I breathed, staring out at the wild snowstorm.
Edward's fingertips catch my chin, turning my face back to his, smirking at me. "Today, you are all mine, baby."
Hours later, we finally left the comfort of his bed in search of food. I threw together a lunch of leftover chili for us and we curled up in front of the roaring fire Edward built while I was fixing our meal. After lunch we snuggled together on the couch, watching the violent storm outside, content to be warm and safe and happy in each other's arms. The power went out late in the afternoon, leaving us in the dim light from outside. We lit candles to give more light, and Edward attentively kept the fire roaring to provide heat for us. He also dragged a thick comforter and a mountain of pillows down, using the excuse that the power might not come back on tonight and we could be forced to sleep out in front of the fireplace.
Edward lured me down to the fluffy, soft rug in front of the fireplace with the blanket and pillows and made love to me all over again. I didn't know how, but every time we came together, the emotions and physical pleasure between us intensified to new levels. I wouldn't have thought it possible, but every kiss and caress and thrust of our bodies joining proved me wrong. Eventually, we collapsed on the rug, exhausted and blissfully sated. We lay together and finally sleep came, with us wrapped around each other while we rested.
When I woke hours later, Edward was lit up from behind by firelight, gazing down at me while I slept. He was running his fingers through my hair again and smiling softly at me. His copper hair glowed and he reminded me of an angel with how luminescent he was. I smiled back at him, leaning up on one elbow to kiss him languidly. His hand lifted into my hair, grasping it softly as he kissed me back, tongue sliding sensuously across mine. I moaned and pressed my body to his. Edward gathered me into his arms, shifting onto his knees and settling me so I straddled his hips. He groaned when he felt my wetness pressing to his hard erection and I swiftly raised my hips just enough to slip him into me. His hands gripped my hips tightly and he skimmed his teeth along my shoulder. Lifting my hips with his hands, he moved me up and down his cock. My hands tangled in his hair, gripping hard, as my head fell back as pleasure flowed through me. He bit my shoulder and I gasped in bliss.
"Edward," I groaned loudly, feeling our bodies move faster, harder.
"Mine," he growled into my skin. "You're mine, Isabella!"
"Yes," I cried, "I'm yours, Edward. I've always been yours."
He tilted my hips into a new angle and I screamed out, shattering in his arms.
"Bella!" Edward shouted as he came inside me.
I collapsed against him, both of us panting. Edward's arms slid up my slick body, holding me close. Tenderly, he pressed his lips to my temple. He moved us so we were laying back in the pillows and blankets once more. I was cradled into him, my head resting in the nook of his neck and shoulder. "Sorry, baby. I just can't seem to get enough of you."
I giggled, "Trust me, I don't mind. I don't think I'll ever get enough of you." Edward made a contented noise and tucked the blankets closer around us, humming quietly to lull me back to sleep.
Muted daylight filtered in from the windows woke me the next morning. I looked out at the still falling snow, now soft and slow. I sighed, curled against Edward and sleeping in a cocoon of pillows and blankets on the fluffy rug. I stretched and a low moan of contentment slipped from me. Edward cracked open his eyes, taking in my arms over my head and my back arched with my legs stretched all the way out with my toes pointed.
"Well isn't that the sexiest sight to wake up to," he murmured in a husky, gruff voice still laced with sleep. I blushed and rolled my eyes, thrilled when he grasped my waist with one arm and pulled me flush to his body. He nuzzled his nose and warm mouth along my collarbone and up my throat, reaching a spot behind my ear that made me whimper quietly. "Seriously, Bella. You are so sexy, so beautiful, so fucking perfect."
I leaned in, kissing him hard. A rumbling noise came from his chest and I shivered, delighted when he rolled me onto my back and settled his body to mine, hips cradled against mine. With a frustrated huff, he lifted his lips from mine with a whimper of protest from me. "Much as I want to stay here and make love you all morning, we are going skiing."
I snorted with laughter, "Skiing? Edward, I don't ski. You know this."
"That's because you didn't let me teach you, baby. I promise, I can teach you how to ski. It'll be fun." He skimmed his nose along the column of my throat and I sighed happily. "Come on, Bella. Fresh powder. Lots of it. It's too good of an opportunity to pass up."
"Uh-uh. Sorry, baby. Not doing that again after my first and last fiasco with skiing."
"Please, Bella," he pleaded with me, "Fresh powder!"
"Broken leg!" I countered, reminding him of what had happened to me previously. "I had a cast for four months."
His gaze caught mine and I was held captive by his brilliant green eyes. "It killed me to see you hurt, I almost threw your ski instructor off the mountain for letting that happen. I swear, Bella, I will not let anything happen to you. I'd never forgive myself if you were hurt because of me. I promise I will keep you safe and you will have fun skiing with me. Please, Bella?"
I swallowed nervously and then nodded, trusting Edward to keep his word and keep me safe. The grin that broke out across his face was dazzling and I couldn't help but smile in return.
After layering on clothes, digging my car out from the snow, and Edward helping me find the right rental boots, skis, and poles at the lodge, we were finally ready to hit the slopes. I started trembling as Edward guided me through some basic techniques and we lined up for the lift. I knew he would stick to the easiest green trails, but I just kept remembering the last time I skied and the painful fall followed by a broken leg in a cast for four months. Sensing my trepidation, Edward leaned over and kissed my cheek as the chair took us up the mountain.
"You're doing great, baby. I'll be with you the entire time, I promise," he reassured me again and I smiled at him. Awkwardly, I made it off the lift and slowly followed Edward to the start of the trail. "Here's what we're going to do. I'm going to stand behind you and hold onto your hips with my skis outside yours. This way, I can help control your pace and let you practice changing your skis from parallel to a snow plow so you have a better feel for it, okay?"
I looked at him over my shoulder, biting my lower lip, "You won't let me go?"
He lifted one side of his lips in a smile, "I will never let you go, Bella." I blushed as I picked up the double meaning in his words, making me ridiculously happy. He placed his hands around my waist, gripping my coat tightly. "Ready?" he whispered in my ear.
I took a deep breath, steeling myself and nodded. Edward gently pushed us off the top of the hill and we began to slide down. I whimpered and Edward laughed under his breath. "Try to relax, Bella. It will only be harder if your body stays this tense. Bend your knees a little more...good. Now, slide your heels together a little. Perfect!"
We glided down the hill easily, and I found myself smiling in spite of my fear. "Okay, I want you push your heels out again to see how it feels to go between parallel and snow plow." I did as he asked and practiced just changing the lines of my skis. We made it back down to the base and Edward pulled me back against him after we stopped. "You did great, Bella! Did you at least have a little fun?"
I grinned at him, "I did. It was terrifying, but fun." He smiled back at me and kissed my cheek before guiding me back into the lift line.
Once we were ready to start our second run, Edward leaned over my shoulder. "This time I want to work on turning, okay? But I won't let go of you, promise." I gave a small nod and we started off once more. True to his word, Edward's hands never left my waist as we slid down the hill. "So we're going to make a small turn to the left and what I want you to do is put pressure on your right big toe. Just let your body follow naturally, okay?" I did as he asked and found myself veering to the left. "That's great, baby! Now do the same thing, but with your left big toe and we'll arch back to the right." Again, I followed his instructions and we glided toward the right. I laughed, excited to have mastered this much without falling and we made our way down the mountain turning back and forth in an 's' pattern.
Edward and I practiced my technique for a couple hours, his hands never letting me go once during our trips down the mountain, before we took a break for lunch. After eating, we headed back to the slopes, with a smile on my face and my confidence high. Edward took me down twice more holding my waist and then he talked me into going down on my own. He stuck right next to me the entire time, telling me words of encouragement and little pointers to keep me on track. I squealed excitedly when I made it all the way down on my own and threw my arms around his neck, kissing him soundly. We spent the rest of the afternoon with me skiing on my own, and by the end of the day I was actually looking forward to more skiing the next day. I couldn't wait to show the others my new found skiing skills, thanks to Edward.
We returned my rented ski equipment and went up to the fireplace in the lodge. I let Edward draw me into his lap as we cuddled together, enjoying our last moments together just the two of us before returning to the cabin, where we knew the others would be waiting. We had both received numerous texts and a few phone calls that we ignored completely. Finally, we made our way back to my Jeep and Edward drove us back. We pulled up behind Emmett's giant Escalade and Edward cut the engine. I bit my lip, nervous about facing everyone, not knowing what kind of reactions to expect.
Edward reached over and gently released my lip from my teeth, soothingly rubbing his thumb across it. "There's no reason to be nervous, Bella. It doesn't matter what they say, it won't change anything between us. I love you."
I felt a tentative smile play at my lips, "I love you, too, Edward."
He leaned over the center console and kissed me, brushing his lips across mine as his hand slid up into my hair. My lips parted beneath his and our tongues met. His kiss filled me with love as our lips and tongues moved together and I knew this kiss was meant to reassure instead of excite. Reluctantly, he pulled back, resting his forehead against mine.
"Ready, baby?" he asked and I nodded. He climbed out of the car and came around to my side, opening the door and holding out his hand. We held hands as we walked up, but the look on my face must have been terrified. I didn't know why I was scared of what the others would say, I had no reason to believe it would go badly. But I just didn't know how well it would go over with Alice and Emmett since Edward was their brother and Rosalie had really seemed to like Jacob and was pissed when I broke up with him. Jasper was the only one I thought could be counted on not to freak out about us.
Suddenly, my hand was empty and I had snow all over my hair and falling in my face. Gasping, I looked over at Edward where he was laughing and scooping up more snow. I whirled on him, tackling him into the snow. It flew up around us, covering us both, and I laughed hysterically at Edward's stunned face. Then he flipped me onto my back and loomed over me, ticking me furiously. I laughed and kicked and pushed at him, but he held me there in the snow, tickling me to the point where I thought I might lose consciousness from lack of air.
"Stop!" I gasped, still laughing.
Edward's face was lit up with happiness, "Never!"
"Please, Edward," I stammered out between laughing and hiccupping for air.
Finally, he relented and bent down to kiss me. With a soft moan, I wrapped my arms around his neck, not feeling the cold, wet snow surrounding me. A cough from the doorway startled us apart and I felt my face flame in embarrassment. Edward lifted up slightly and turned his head to the door, "Hey, Alice. How's it going?"
I closed my eyes, mortified that this was the way Alice had found out about us. "I swear to God, Edward, you better keep it in your pants while the rest of us are around. No offense, Tanya, but none of us wants to see that. And where the fuck is Bella? She's not here and not answering her phone and I'm about to completely freak out here! You better know where she is." Alice's bell-like voice rang out and I tensed. She must not have been able to see me.
I flushed again and Edward helped me clamber to my feet. I looked at Alice sheepishly and lifted my hand in a wave, "Hi, Alice." My voice was small and squeaky as she stared us me, dumbfounded.
"Well, shit," she whispered, then grinned. "It's about fucking time!" I grinned back at her and we made our way to the door. Alice flung herself at me, hugging me tightly. After she released me, she turned on Edward. She hugged him too, then said, "You better not fuck this up. I like her more than you, so she's who I'll pick if necessary."
Edward smirked and nodded obediently, "I promise not to fuck this up, Alice." He looked over at me, "Trust me, I've waited eight years for this. I know what's at stake." I smiled shyly at him and he leaned over to kiss my forehead.
Emmett barreled around the corner, yelling, "Alice, is that them? They better have a damn good explanation for not letting anyone know they were still alive!" He stopped short at the sight of Edward and I holding hands. "What the hell is this?" he asked in a low, angry voice.
"Em-" I started, but he cut me off.
"No way, Bells. He hasn't talked to you in months. This jackass totally blew you off for Tanya," he sneered, "and now suddenly, you two are holding hands? Damn it, Bella, you can't let him do this to you. You deserve better than to be some distraction for him for a weekend."
"That's not what this is!" Edward snapped, snaking his arm around my waist protectively. By this time, both Jasper and Rose had wandered into the hall and were also taking in the scene. "I love her and this is not just some distraction."
"Don't give me that bullshit," Emmett fired right back. "You go through women like candy. You weren't there to see her crying and heartbroken after you wouldn't return her phone calls or texts. You cut Bella out of your life entirely and now you suddenly love her? When did this happen? And just how long have you known this? When did you break up with Tanya? Because the last I heard-"
"Emmett, stop!" I cried. I untangled myself from Edward and stepped toward him. "I know you're upset, but I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself. I appreciate that you want to look out for me, but Edward is who I want. I always have."
Emmett sighed and looked sadly at me, "I know, Bells. We always knew you wanted Edward, but I just can't stand to see him hurt you all over again. You know how he is with women; I can't let him do that to you. You're like another little sister to me."
I smiled at him, "I know, you're like the big brother I never had. But I am a big girl and I know Edward won't hurt me. He wouldn't do that to me, to us. Please trust me."
He huffed and cast Edward a warning glare, "You hurt her and it's your ass on the line."
"I won't," Edward solemnly said, coming up behind me to hold me to him. He looked down at me and then back at Emmett, "I love her. I always have."
"Okay, drama over!" Alice announced and herded us into the kitchen and great room area.
"Now, the real question is, where the hell have you two been all day?" Jasper asked.
I smiled smugly at them and leaned into Edward. "Skiing," I announced proudly.
"Liar," Rose teased.
"Seriously," I responded, "Edward taught me to ski."
"No way! You are such a liar, Bella. You swore off skiing after the first and only time you tried it and broke your leg," Rose adamantly argued.
"Really, Rose! I honestly went skiing today. Edward makes a much better instructor than the last one I had." I snuggled contentedly into his chest.
Edward smiled at me, "Thanks, baby. You make a great ski bunny." He winked at me and the others stared at us.
"Stop that," Emmett stated, "It's fucking weird seeing the two of you all couple-y like that." Throwing him a playful glare, I lifted up on my toes and kissed Edward, giggling when I heard groans from everyone but Alice. Alice just stood there, beaming at us happily.
I told everyone about Edward's teaching techniques over dinner and over time everyone relaxed fully and we fell into our comfortable group dynamic. We played games by the fire and I couldn't help but blush every time I looked at Edward, lit up again by the fire. I just kept thinking of last night and all the ways he had loved me there on the rug we were sitting on. After a couple hours, I started yawning, exhausted from the day and previous night's activities. I begged off to go to bed, insisting that Edward stay if he wasn't truly tired. I climbed into my small twin bed, unsure if Edward would want me sharing his, and fell asleep almost instantly.
I was jostled awake by Edward, who had scooped me up and was carrying me through the adjoining bathroom into his room. "Edward, what are you doing?" I mumbled sleepily.
"Carrying you into the proper bed. I don't know what possessed you to sleep in that room, but I'm not spending the night all alone in this giant bed knowing you're right next door," he answered in an amused voice.
"Okay," I sighed and promptly curled up to him once he had settled us in the bed.
When I woke, I was alone and reached to feel that Edward's side of the bed was cool to the touch. I furrowed my brow for a moment, wondering why Edward wouldn't have woken me. It must have been later than I realized because I could hear voices downstairs, so I hurriedly dashed back to my room and throw on clothes before heading down.
I never made it down the stairs, freezing when I hear an unwelcome, familiar sultry voice coming from the entryway. Tanya's unwelcome, familiar, sultry voice.
"Edward, honey, I'm just so excited to be here with you. I couldn't stand the thought of not spending New Year's Eve with my boyfriend and I knew you wouldn't mind my coming up. I know you've been stressed out with starting your residency and things between us have been a little tense, but I think this weekend together is just what we need to get back on track. In fact, why don't we start things off right by heading up to your room and you can show me that huge king sized bed you were telling me about."
"No," Edward's voice answered, slightly alarmed. "You just got here and I'm sure everyone will want to say hello and I need a minute to clean things up upstairs. I wasn't expecting you, so I'll show you the kitchen and then come get you in a few minutes, okay?"
Their voices faded so I could no longer make out what they were saying, but I felt sick to my stomach. I silently made my way back up the stairs to my room, hurriedly throwing my things back in my bag. If I was lucky, I could escape before anyone saw me.
Swiftly, I descended the stairs, rushing to the door as I heard footsteps approaching. Once they passed, I slipped out, racing to my car and starting the engine as fast as possible. I tore down the dirt road, thankful no one had seen me leaving. My phone started ringing and I looked down at it. Edward. I hit the ignore button as tears traced silent trails down my cheeks. I shut off my phone, hoping I would have enough leeway before they realized I was not coming back and someone came after me. I made the decision not to go back to my apartment in Seattle, but instead to go home to Forks. I cried the entire five hours it took to get there.
The house was empty when I arrived and I was grateful. I didn't want my dad to see me as the crying, snotty mess I was. I stumbled up to my room, dropping my bag on the floor and falling into my bed. I curled up and sobbed myself to sleep.
I woke feeling like total shit. My nose was stuffy and my eyes were swollen and puffy from crying. I stripped down and stepped into the shower, turning the water up as hot as it would go. I let the water run over me, soothing my tense muscles and the steam helped clear my nose so I could breath normally again. I don't know how long I stayed in there, but the water turned cold before I was forced to shut it off. I changed clothes and towel dried my hair, not caring what I looked like.
Sighing, I sat on my bed and turned on my phone. I had twenty-five new texts and fifteen voicemails. I forwent checking my voicemail, not ready to hear Edward's voice, and skipped to the texts. I only looked at the ones not from Edward and finally sent one back to Alice, letting her know I was okay and didn't want to talk to anyone right now. My phone rang immediately after I sent the text, Edward's name popping up. I hit ignore and turned off my phone again. I curled up in bed again, letting sleep claim me once more.
I slept through the night, waking up on New Year's Eve to a still empty house. It looked like my dad was working extra shifts, likely to let the other guys have time off over the holidays. I sighed, debating on whether to stay here or not. In the end, I opted to head home, knowing I wouldn't want to drive back on New Year's Day.
After breakfast, I started the four hour drive home with my phone still off. Once home, I showered again and changed clothes, feeling icky from sleeping and driving in them. Then I turned on my phone back on to find I now had thirty-two new texts and my voicemail was completely full. Sighing, I called up my editor and friend, Angela, to see if I could come over to get my mind off things.
I showed up at her doorstep and she looked shocked at my appearance. "Bella, what happened?" she asked anxiously. I told her everything from the past four days and then handed her my phone.
"Ang, could you please clear out my voicemail and texts? I just can't hear his voice or his excuses right now," I asked her wearily. She nodded reluctantly, taking my phone and going into her bedroom so I wouldn't hear any of it. Twenty minutes later she came back out and gave me back my phone, clear of all voicemails and texts.
"Bella, I really think you should call him. He sounds terrible, completely destroyed," she said, "and you need to call Alice and Emmett, they are both worried sick about you."
"I'll call Alice and Emmett tomorrow. I can't deal with it today. As for him...I just can't. I should have known better. He never actually said he broke up with Tanya. And he obviously wasn't planning on it either. I just wish that he hadn't told me the things he did. Hadn't made me believe that he actually loved me." My voice broke as I started to cry again and Angela put her arms around me, rubbing my back soothingly.
Once I calmed down again, we sat and watched movies and ate ice cream straight from the carton in an attempt to make me feel better. Angela's boyfriend, Ben, came over and we ordered in Chinese food for dinner. Angela started dressing for the party they were going to that night and tried to entice me to come with them, but I was definitely not in a party mood. I left their place a little after nine o'clock that night and shut my phone off when Edward started calling again. I drove around town for a few hours not wanting to be home alone, but made my way there when I realized I didn't want to be out when midnight rolled around. I couldn't stand to see couples kissing and everyone celebrating when there was nothing for me to celebrate.
Dreading going home to an empty apartment, I entered the lobby and took the stairs up four flights to my apartment, walking out into the hall and hearing the sounds of parties surrounding me. I glanced at my watch, seeing it was only ten minutes to midnight. I choked back tears, this would be my first New Year's in eight years I wouldn't be with my closest friends and wouldn't be kissed by Edward. I hated that I'd gotten my hopes up that this year, the kiss would mean something. That it would be the start of an amazing year with Edward.
I didn't even notice he was sitting with his head and arms resting on his knees outside my door until I was almost on top of him. "Edward?" I forced out, tears strangling my voice.
His head snapped up and he shot to his feet at the sight of me. "Bella," he whispered, "I'm so, so sorry. Please, baby, let me explain." He reached his hand out for me and I stepped back, out of his reach.
"There's nothing to explain. I know you're still with Tanya. You don't love me. I was just another conquest of yours," I spat venomously, tears falling from my eyes. "Leave me alone, Edward. You've caused so much damage in my life over the past few months I'm not entirely sure I'll ever recover. But I can't be around you, not anymore. Just leave."
His face was horrified, "Bella, no! I know I wasn't completely honest about Tanya, but I swear I meant every word I said to you. I know I should have waited, should have broken up with her first, but God, Bella, I couldn't stop myself. I couldn't wait another second to know if you felt the same way I did. The way I thought you might, but never really knew for sure."
"Then why didn't you tell me you were still with her? Why didn't you break-up with her immediately when she showed up? I heard you Edward, you were buying time until you could get me out of your bed and her into it!"
He shook his head, "I was buying time to go upstairs to talk to you first. I wanted you to know what was going on and then break up with her. I knew it would be a long conversation, we were together for over a year and she wasn't going to let go easily. I know I fucked up, but I was trying to find the best way to be fair to both of you. But making sure you knew what was going on and that you weren't caught by surprise was my main concern."
I stared at him blankly, too emotionally drained at this point to give anything more. "Too late, Edward."
"No!" he denied vehemently, "Don't say that, Bella. Please, don't say that." He fell to his knees in front of me, grabbing my hands in his. "Bella, what we have is forever. I love you more than life itself. I can't breathe without you. I can't exist without you. Baby, please!"
My heart thumped unevenly at the desperation in his voice and the tears sparkling in his eyes. I never could deny him anything and this time my heart refused to deny me either. "Edward," I whispered and knelt down too. He grabbed me, wrapping his arms around me tightly and burying his face in my hair.
"I'm sorry! I'm so fucking sorry, Bella. I swear I will spend the rest of my life making this up to you. The rest of eternity if I have to. I love you, Isabella. Always."
"I love you too, Edward. So much. Please, don't hurt me again. I don't think I can handle that kind of pain." I murmured my words into his neck, closing my eyes at the emotions warring within me.
"Never again, baby," he swore to me and the air filled with voices beginning the countdown to midnight.
Edward cupped my face in his hands drowning me in his emerald eyes. His thumb traced the curve of my lower lip and he whispered, "Happy New Year, Bella."
"Happy New Year, Edward."
Edward closed the gap between us and gave me the best New Year's kiss of my life.