AN: If each commenter could suggest a plot or character point i might work on. Any questions or desired directions for the plot...those are the comments I love
I curled my feet beneath me and sunk deeper into the new leather settee, all the while mindlessly filing at my pearly nails. Life with Edward felt so methodical yet still simple at the same time. It felt as if I was trespassing on some grand private property-as if I was intruding.
For the fifth time today, he came down the stairs several cardboard boxes piled in his arms.
"Last trip," he informed me with a crooked half-smile. "After this the office will be set."
Clumsily, I jumped up and cut him off to the foyer opening the front door for him.
"Thanks Bella, you've been a real help with all of this-the unpacking and all. You did not have to do all of that."
I shrugged and blushed slightly, avoiding his eyes; I was not used to people thanking me for things. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see him nodding at me, taking in my socially awkward quirks.
"It's not a problem- I'm supposed to earn my keep remember?" My tone was cheeky but he seemed to ignore it, or just miss the cue. I hadn't the slightest clue why but I just felt my attitude rear its head.
"Yes well, you have gone above and beyond. I did not expect you to organize and shelve my entire book collection-that was really wonderful."
"It was nothing-plus, I've been needing stuff to do," I admitted. Being without Aly and Rose was hard; I felt a loss. I mean, they were the ones that dictated my day.
"Yes well after this week you will not be alone so often. I'm sorry I've ignored you so these last couple of days. I know your friends have been keeping busy and what not."
I looked away and thought of them- they had not even called.
"Anyhow I left my card of the breakfast table and in the top drawer left of the sink there is an alphabetized compilation of take-out menus-compliments of Jasper the Take-out King. Order whatever your heart desires and we'll eat a late dinner when I get back. I should only be an hour or so."
"If you're wanting to watch a movie, that massive box in the media room is packed with DVDs. Don't feel you have to unpack them though," he added.
"Kay," I dismissed.
"Well I'm off; call if you need anything. Jasper's only two and a half blocks from here, so you can call him as well. And while I feel this neighborhood is more than safe I want you to lock the door behind me," he said rather sternly.
With that he left, and I locked the door behind him just as he asked. Then as had become my habit when I was alone, I playfully half skipped-half slid about the glossy hardwood floor all the way to the oversized kitchen. Life was good.
I had not heard from Alice or Rose but I was hoping that their transition was going just as smoothly. So far Edward had been pretty laxed about "the so called rules" and I had been pretty good about following them. He occasionally had to remind me to pick up a towel or to place a dish in the sink, and while he spoke sternly -he had yet to even mention the word spanking. I was expecting it to be thrown in my face daily, but Edward did not do that.
Part of me thought that maybe that was all just a scare. There would be no spankings. Another part of me thought that maybe it was true, but it could easily be avoided. I mean if I had not earned a spanking yet what were the chances of earning one later?
I leafed through the menus and picked two places that I had always wanted to try, but never dreamed of even ordering a drink there: St. Almo's Tavern and Oti Chang's Japanese Steakhouse. When I called St. Als, they immediately recognized the number as they answered with a "Good day Mr. Cullen" and when I tried to give Edward's VISA number they informed me that it was unnecessary as he had a running tab. I ordered conservatively and tried to pick out things that I thought Edward would like. I settled on Fliet Oskar and the double-cut Prime Rib. My call to Oti Chang's went quite the same was as they told me there was no need to pay for my massive sushi order:Agedasi Tofu,Chirashi Sushi,Edamame,Yakitori,Gyoza,Shumai, and a Cali roll.
Just when I was heading to Edward's study to find a book, my cell vibrated in my jean pocket. I flipped open my phone, glad that she had finally called.
"Hey-Alycat! Why haven't you been answering your fuckin-phone?"
"Bella are you at Edward's right now?"
Her voice about cracked as she asked. It was almost as if she was holding back tears.
"Yeah? What's the matter? Are you ok, Alice?"
"Yeah- I just need you right now. I…I walked here and I'm not sure which condo is yours. He's not home is he?"
"No he's gone to the office for a few hours. Here I'm coming to the door-stay where you are,"
I unbolted the door and stepped outside onto the covered patio, still barefoot. She was on the corner, two houses over looking overly lost. I could tell by her posture that she had been crying. I flagged her over with an obnoxious wave of my arm and she came running to me flinging her little arms around me in a choking hug.
"Oh Bella, I don't know what to do?" she sobbed in muffled words against my shoulder. "I'm scared."
I looked at her for a moment noting her disheveled state, an un-Alice like state to be in. I did not know what got her all worked up but whatever it was, it was big.
"Let's go inside. I'll find so cheep liqueur and you can bitch to me for as long as you like? Kay?"
She nodded slightly, letting me drag her to the door.
Inside her sobbing began anew and I went in search of a tissue box. When I came back Alice was sitting on the settee and sobbing into her hands.
"What happened? Has he hurt you? Do you need to see a doctor?"
"No I'm fine really and he already took me to the doctor today. Actually he took me to multiple doctors: a dentist, the girly doctor and a regular physician. He wanted me to get my check-ups. He got real upset yesterday when I told him I had not been to the doctor since I was ten and a half. So he took today off and that is what we did," she said lamely.
"But has he hurt you Alice? Why are you so upset?"
"No Bella, he has been amazing to me; nothing but a gentleman. I did not think guys like him existed today in our fucked-over world," she admitted all the while tearing up.
"Then what is wrong?"
"He… he said…he said he was going to spank me when he got home. I think he went to visit Emmett but he said I was going to get my behind paddled when he got back. Those were his exact words," she admitted in horror.
"Alice you knew this was a possibility when you agreed to this. What did you do to piss him?"
"It's stupid really. I think it really should not count because it was something that I did while I was not living with him- well before all of this shit began," Alice fought.
"Well then talk to him about it. Maybe he will change his mind," I offered.
"We already talked about it. It's not going to change," she said sadly plopping down on the settee.
"Well what the hell could you have possibly done in three days?"
"Well you know those jeans that I swiped two weeks ago? "
"Well Jasper caught me trying to file through the security tag with a butcher knife this morning and he asked me if I stole it." She said it like it was no big deal, but she had to know that they would consider it a big deal. She dwindled her hair and continued.
"And since I know he hates lying I told him that I did steal it but it was a long time ago. He said that it was not acceptable to steal and that he knew that I would do better but I had to fix what I had already done."
This was not sounding good.
"He gave me options: I either had to donate the jeans to Goodwill or go back into the store to return them if I wanted to avoid punishment. If I chose to keep the jeans however I would have to receive a spanking- a punishment spanking," she shared.
"So why the hell are you crying to me? He gave you an out and you past it up," I growled in frustration.
"I didn't Bella honest. I was going to give the jeans away but when I got to the donation drop-off I just couldn't. Jasper sat there with me for twenty minutes trying to reason with me but I just couldn't part with them," she sobbed.
"Really Alice," I fought standing to my feet.
"Well then he drove me back to the flat and had me stand in the corner for a whole 10 minutes," she sobbed. " And that's when he told me. I am so freakin freaked."
I would be too, I thought to myself.
"Twenty minutes ago he called and told me to change into jeans, so he could paddle me in them. I listened but then waiting for him I chickened out and that's when I came to find you here. What should I do?"
"Oh Alice, how the hell am I to know? I don't know if I would have left if I were you," I warned. "I don't know this Jasper but when guys are pissed it is not a good idea to test them."
"Yeah I know it is just- you know …I've never been spanked and my first time will have to be a paddling. Isn't that when they beat your ass with a bat?"
"I don't know Alice are you gonna want me to Google it and find out?"
Just then the landline rang and the answering machine came on echoing through the downstairs.
"Isabella, Its Jasper Whitlock. I know your home so answer the phone please and be quick about it."
Alice cringed hearing his voice. I don't know what it was but hearing the command made me obey almost instantly.
"Bella, is Alice with you? And before you answer I'll ask that you be honest with me. I'll find out if you're lying and Edward will hear of it," he threatened.
Instead of answering I beat my way around the question, not lying but still not fully disclosing all.
"Have you tried calling Rosie? Alice almost always goes to her if something is wrong? Is something wrong Jasper?"
"Well you could say that, but it is not my story to tell. I was just expecting her to be here and she isn't. I'll try Emmett's next. Thank you Bella and if you do hear from her let her know that she does not need to be scared to come back. I need to talk some stuff over with her," he said in a worried voice.
I hung up not wanting to incriminate myself further. The whole conversation had been heard by Alice as it had been projected by the answering machine. I looked at her with big eyes.
"Alycat, you should just go home now-say you went on a walk and work it out with him,"
"No, Bella please, I'm not ready yet," she begged dramatically.
"But Alice Edward will be coming home and I sure he knows you're MIA and when he finds you here he is going to be fuckin pissed. And so is Jasper," I informed her. She had to be realistic.
But just then the doorbell rang and I motioned for Alice to go upstairs, on the off chance that Edward was returning early. I waited until she disappeared up the stairs before cautiously opening the door. It was both orders and both the delivery men were standing there awkwardly. It was understandable I mean who the hell orders from two places in one night, but Edward had said whatever I wanted.
I tipped them from the ornately painted jar that Edward kept handy by the door just for tip money and hurriedly shut the door. The sushi went in the fridge, save for the plate I made up for Alice, and the entrées went into the oven on warm. I then proceeded up the stairs with my plate and ventured into my room which Alice had found without a problem. She was sitting on the bed looking around.
"This is a nice place," she commented in her lilting voice. "I like it."
"Yep, our lives have sure changed haven't they?"
"Yeah," she whispered dryly staring off at a blank wall.
"Sushi," I said merrily shoving the plate on her lap and sitting down beside her. "So what's the plan Alice. You have to know now. If you want out I'm sure it is still a possibility but you will have to tell them now. If you are planning on staying with Jasper, you need to think clearly because pissing him off further is not smart. Your ass is just gonna go from toasted to well done. "
"I'm gonna stay the night here and go back in the morning," she said with certainty. "He'll have cold off by then."
"Alice, but I don't think he sounded mad. He kinda came off as worried," I told her honestly.
"Well it serves him right. I was a little worried tonight too!"
"Well you're more than capable of making your own decisions. But anyhow, if you're staying here, Edward can't know. You'll have to sleep in my closet or something and leave first thing in the morning before he is up," I told her anxiously.
Part of me knew it was wrong to tell her she could stay, but Alice could be stubborn if she did not stay here she would most likely spend the night bar-hopping. It would be better if she just lied low.
"Those jeans are sexy by the way," I said with a smile.
"Worth an ass beating?" She asked spinning around.
"Not sure but defiantly sexy," I said pinching her arm playfully.
"Ouch, Bells that fuckin hurts," she whined.
"Oh don't be such a baby," I teased without mercy. She was such the little sister; when the three of us were together it was even more obvious. "Anyhow we need to plan a get together of some sort; maybe clubbing or something."
"I'm totally there," she promised. "I'm starting to feel like an old women the way I live."
"Yeah I know what you mean."
Just then I heard the door downstairs slam shut.
"Isabella, come down here please!"
Came Edward's voice. I looked at Alice in horror. He sounded royally pissed. Maybe he knew she was here.
"Quick, get in my closet and stay there," I ordered handing her one of my pillows and throw from my bed. She listened and went into hiding, taking both COSMO and Seventeen off of my bedstand.
Quickly I flew down the stairs almost crashing into him at the bottom. Edward extended his arms and caught me just as I tripped on the bottom step. He had this sour look on his face that made me want to laugh.
"New rule, don't go flinging yourself down the stairs," he said with a shake of his head. But he changed from light hearted to serious rather quickly. "Really, Bella, you should not be running like that."
"Well you were yelling and I didn't want you angry," I offered in excuse.
"Well I'm already angry so that boat has sailed," he shared with a single raised brow. It was as if he expected me to know what I had done. I waited for him to tell me and he waited for me to tell him. "You were to lock the door, remember?"
"But I did," I argued bitterly.
"You did half the time. Did you relock the door after the delivery?"
"No," I admitted looking at my feet.
"Bella, partial obedience is not obedience at all. It is actually disobedience. You need to see it that way too," he said tilting my chin up with two fingers. "Now I will let it go this time but the next time your bottom will be spanked to remind you to follow instructions. And that is just because I am being lenient."
There it had happened. He had said the word- no he had actually threatened me with the word. Spank and bottom all in one sentence.
"Unless you would rather get a reminder now? Do you need a spanking now or can you do with a warning?"
"I can do with a warning," I chocked out.
"Good," he said dismissively turning to go into the kitchen.
We sat at the table and talked about random things. For the most part he was in a good mood. He was in love with the meal selection so that added to his contentment. But I think he was genuinely enjoying my company. I knew I was enjoying his. He was intelligent and easy to talk to. Everything was going smoothly until he brought up Alice.
"Jasper has still had no luck in finding Alice. I know he said he talked to you earlier, but do you have any idea where she might be?"
I looked up at him and thought for a moment.
Just lie, Bella you've done this plenty of times before. Do it soon, if you hesitate he'll know your lying.
But another part of me just wanted to come clean, to be honest. I had not lied to him as of yet and I did not want to now.
"Isabella, do you know where Alice is?"
I hesitated and looked up to him. He said it in such a manner that I knew he already had the answer.
"Yes," I whispered.
He nodded to me then grabbed my upper arm stood me up and led me to the phone. He was not made though, infact he was rather calm.
"It is not my business, but it is Jasper's. I'm going to do the dishes and while I do that, you are going to call Jasper and let him know where she is. It is good that you were honest with me; I thank you for that."
That was it he wanted me to call Jasper. He did not just want me to tell him then he could call Jasper. Edward left me alone and went about washing the dishes flicking on the news on the small flat screen in the kitchen.
And what the hell was I going to tell Jasper. Jasper Alice is at Edward's? And would Edward listen in? I mean I could tell that Edward was expecting me to tell Jasper Alice was somewhere like a coffee shop or a friends. What would he say when he heard she was here?
The phone rang twice before Jasper picked up.
"Hey Edward," he answered his voice sounding tense.
"Umm actually it's Bella. I just wanted to let you know that Alice is here and um she is ok," I blurted out in a slur of words. Instead of waiting for an answer I just returned the phone to the receiver and leaned against the wall and sighed. Edward who was pretending to ignore me moments ago flicked off the news and turned to me.
"Did you just say what I thought you said?"
"Alice is here," I clarified with a whisper and a nod. He looked at me for a moment with this blank face than pinched his nose as if suffering from some major migraine.
"Where-here?" He asked tersely.
I just pointed upstairs and sighed.
He then took me by the arm spun me around landing a giant swat to the seat of my jeans. The searing hand print that had to be appearing hurt like none other.
"FUCK," I yelled in pain. But this really did not help as Edward must have heard something along the lines of "more", for another landed right after that. He then led me up the stairs and to my room heading to the closet as if he knew.
He opened the door and startled Alice who was happily curled up on the floor. Her eyes got big then she glared at me pouting her lips.
"I'm not talking to you for a whole fucking week. You couldn't have just lied just once," she said like a made little 5th grader. Edward let go of me and sighed, helping Alice to her feet.
"Slumber party is over ladies. Alice you may wait downstairs, if you are hungry you may help yourself to something to eat. And Bella -while you are not confined to this room, I want you upstairs, alright?"
He looked sternly back in forth between the two of us, his arms crossed over his chest.
"Alright you heard me now move," he prompted Alice, who was too busy trying to kill me with her death rays. He clapped his hands and Alice jumped then moved to do as she was told.
I went to sit on my bed, hoping that was the end of our conversation but it was not.
"Bella we will talk more about this later," he warned, before following behind Alice. I sat there for a moment trying to take it all in. Edward had spanked me twice and truthfully it was not that bad. I was kind of happy it was done with.
Instead I needlessly tidied my room. My room was so barren because, in truth, I owned very little. I listened for the doorbell and I did not have to wait long. Jasper was here in just a few short minutes. He did not ring, but I could hear his distinct southern drawl coming from downstairs-though it was too muffled to make out words. I strained myself to listen but it was all for no reason because moments latter Alice had come to fetch me.
"You can come downstairs now," she told me her eyes brimmed with tears. I followed her down the stairs. I was in so much shit.
Jasper was standing next to Edward, who was sitting in his leather recliner. Both of them did not appear to be upset, but their expressions were calm and serious. When we both came down Jasper motioned to the sofa with a, "Ladies."
"Bella, Edward felt you would benefit from this conversation and I know that Alice wants you here. So I will begin with what needs to be said," Jasper shared walking before us and kneeling down to his knees so that he was eyelevel with Alice.
"First off Alice, I owe you an apology. I forget that this is new to you and that is not your fault but mine."
He was looking at her and I could tell she was not expecting those words.
"I do not condone you running off like that, but the way you were feeling was not wrong. You had every right to be nervous and I should have done better to make you aware of what was going to happen- to alleviate that. I was upset with you and did not think this through as I should. "
"I would never harm you Alice and while I know I've told you that before, our relationship is just not to the point where you can trust me. And I understand that truly I do."
"I want you to know just because I did not approach this in the optimal way, your punishment still stands. We will be taking care of that in a few minutes. We have already talked of why what you did was wrong and I really do not feel as though we need a recap. But what I really wish to know is, is there any questions you have?"
Alice who had scooted closer to me looked up at Jasper. She hesitated for a moment, then her voice came out in a whisper.
"Am I going to be spanked with a plank of wood?"
"No Alice, I'm sorry once again. While some people will use the word paddle to describe a spanking with a paddle, I just use the word interchangeably with spanking. You will not need to worry about a spanking implement for some time," he promised. "Anything else?"
She shook her head no, looking at her feet.
"Alright then, this is what we are going to do. I feel it would be proper that Bella be present for this for multiple reasons. The first being that you can have the comfort of having a friend here with you for your first time-and second being because I have not earned your trust yet. I'm sorry of this causes you more embarrassment but I consider it more your choice than mine. Since we are going to do it this way your pants are not going to be pulled down, which makes you a very lucky gal."
She nodded weakly but Jasper took it as a yes.
"Ok, since this is your first time I'm going to give you a good amount of instruction. First Alice, I'm going to need a chair so if you could go into the kitchen and get me one. Come on be quick about it," Jasper informed pulling her to her feet and offering her rear a solid swat. Alice jumped and looked over her shoulder.
I shifted uncomfortably and looked at Edward, who offered me a raised brow.
"I really don't think I need to stay for this," I said moving to get up. But Edward met me with a hard glare.
"Bella you are not going anywhere. Sit down and be the friend that Alice needs right now," he ordered in a whisper.
Alice was back in a minute struggling under the weight of the chair. Jasper was quick to help her out taking it from her then, sitting it in the appropriate spot. He then sat down and beckoned Alice over. She reluctantly approached looking over her shoulder at me as if I had a way out. Jasper was quick to put a stop to that.
"None of that Alice; it's just you and I right now. And we're addressing a pretty heavy issue," he reminded taking her hand in his and rubbing his thumb soothingly. "I am genuinely worried about this. Theft is no small crime, Alice. Shoplifters are often prosecuted and you cannot afford any more tallies next to your name."
I looked at Jasper and observed the irony of in the situation. Here he was about to bust her ass and still he was being the nicest guy I had yet to encounter. My nerves were unsettled about what was going to happen, but I instantly trusted Jasper.
"Normally this would be the part where I would bare your naughty bottom, but as I said were skipping that today. So I'll have you stand between my legs and bend over my left knee."
Alice started to back up her eyes wide as if what was about to happen just registered with her.
"Now Alice! Do not try my patience. You do not want to add to your paddlin'. Now get over my knee," he commanded. Alice too scared to disobey practically jumped over his knee. He adjusted her for a bit then laughed a little to himself.
"You do not need to hold your upper-body up sweetheart; hold on to the leg of the chair." He guided. "Yeah there you go. Are you ready, darlin?"
Alice whimpered in response as Jasper rubbed circles on her turned up backside. He again seemed amused with her.
"Mary Alice you need to relax your backside. Stop squezzin your cheeks together, and it will hurt a whole lot less. Come on now no more tensing up," he ordered with a firm pat. Alice must have obeyed because Jasper nodded then delivered the first loud swat. Alice gasped quietly and laid perfectly still.
He spanked her hard, harder than I imagined someone could spank with their hand. The loud swats echoed in the room one after another, for a good five minutes before he stopped. Alice was quietly crying letting out a sniffle here and there.
Jasper adjusted her scissoring her legs between his and wrapping his arm around her waist. Alice whimpered, knowing that this meant he was continuing in her punishment.
"You earned this Alice. This is what happens to disobedient little girls. They get their tails set on fire. Now lay there and take the rest of your punishment. And keep the squirming to a minimum young lady," he ordered giving her a firm swat at the end of each sentence.
I started to get worried how much longer was this going to go on? He had already been spanking her jean clad backside for a whole five minutes. Edward noticed my concern and fearful that I was going to interrupt moved to my side and whispered in my ear. "Don't you dare get up from this couch," he warned. I nodded watching again in horror as Jasper upped the ante spanking her with even more force. Alice, who until this point had been quiet, was now very vocal. She cried aloud at each swat for several more minutes before letting her body go limp, sobbing softly.
Jasper saw this as a sign to bring home the point for he issued her a set of rapid fire spanks that lasted for about a minute. I cringed and turned away. Turning around again when he had gathered Alice up and cradled her to him letting her sob on his shoulder. I was amazed. He had just gone all cave man on her ass and now she was cuddling with him. Petite little Alice looked even smaller as he held her, whispering in her ear. She wasn't mad; she no longer seemed distant. She was actually clinging to his shirt and leaning into him.
"Are you ready to go, hun?"
Alice nodded completely subdue, now standing to her feet. Her hands went back to cup her ass and she whimpered.
"It burns," she whined to him.
"Good, it means I did a good job," Jasper said with a smile and a pat to her behind. "Say goodbye to your friend and let's go."
Alice quickly ran to me and hugged me. I hugged her back sorry for once that I could not save her from her reality or share in her pain.
She then went to Jasper who helped her get her coat on and led her to the door. She followed him with these big eyes as if in beating her butt he had somehow became her hero. Jasper opened the door and waved to Edward.
"I'll call you later, man," he said with a warm smile and a nod to me. I glared straight at him and I know he noticed for he looked a moment longer at me before shutting the door behind him.
Edward had caught my stare as well and unlike Jasper he called me on it.
"I better not see you making dirty faces like that again. I don't care who you're making them at it is rude. Do you hear me?"
"He just brainwashed my best friend and you want me to what? Smile at him Edward? Really?"
Edward looked at me confused then shook his head.
"He did no such thing. He just got through to her that is all," he argued. "She will be the same old Alice you're used to when you talk to her next."
I watched him as he went back to the kitchen and started up on the dishes again.
I sat there more confused than ever and feeling very much alone. Alice was smitten with Jasper, more smitten than I had ever seen her and just this morning she had planned on running away from him. Rose had gone all MIA and heaven only knew what was going on there. She probably killed that big guy as soon as he tried to touch her ass.
I needed a drink and badly.
Just then Edward called me to the kitchen and looked at me with these understanding green eyes. He offered me a small smile which I ignored, or pretended to. I was too mad.
"Do you want to talk about it?" He offered.
I shook my head.
"Ok then how' bout I wash and you dry? Okay," he said tossing me a dry microfiber towel. I took up the down and dried as he handed each dish off to me, all the while thinking about how weird my new life felt.