Fic A Pic Contest
Title: Second Chances
Penname: Chocolate Lover 82
Rating/ Disclaimer: Rated M for language and lemons. Stephenie Meyer owns Twilight and all its characters, I just have a little fun with them.
Summary: What happens when you find what you didn't know was missing in the most unexpected of situations? Would you go for it? AH, EPOV, ExB. Written as an entry for the Fic a Pic Contest.
To see all the stories that are a part of this contest please visit: www(dot)fanfiction(dot)net/~ficapiccontest
Voting goes from February 13th to February 22nd. Winners will be announced on February 23rd. You can find the pic in which this O/S is based on there or on my profile.
Thanks, once again, to Riotanthem for betaing this :-)
I was staring at the different shades the lights from the new dawn were casting on the ceiling, slowly moving and blanketing the bedroom. Had I seen shades like that at night, they would've been somewhat scary, but right now they only indicated that a new day was just starting. What a fucking joke! It was just a never ending cycle from darkness to light to darkness again.
I looked to my left, and I could see my clothes on the chair by the window. Any other day it would've made no difference. But today, well, today those clothes had a whole different meaning. I stretched my arms and legs, feeling the cold space to my right. How long had it been since she last slept by my side? Since I felt her warm body against mine? It seemed like a lifetime ago since we made love here while I ran my hands through her soft hair.
And now she was gone and would never come back.
I looked at the clock and saw that I had a few hours to get ready. I got up and headed for the shower. It had been a hard few months, the thought of her not being here at home was enough to make me sleep at a friend's, the studio or at the hospital. I couldn't bear to sleep in our bed or sit on the couch she had chosen.
I got out of the shower and started drying myself, wrapping the towel around my waist. I looked at myself in the mirror and could barely see my face because of the steam the shower had created, but I didn't bother to clear it. I knew what I'd find if I did. Tired eyes, purple circles under them and pale skin. It had been the image that I've seen on myself for the last two months, nothing had changed; except that now there will be no reason for that to happen anymore. The reason was gone. She was gone.
I decided not to shave today. She had always liked it when I had a light stubble on my face, saying it tickled her when we kissed, and hearing her giggle was enough for me.
I went to the chair that held the clothes I'd be wearing today. Black pants, shoes and jacket. A white t-shirt and a dark blue shirt to cover it. She always liked how I looked in blue.
I took my time getting ready; I still had an hour to kill. I thought about the first time I saw her all those years ago at the cafe where she worked. She was always so happy serving the customers, half the time it drove me crazy how people were so rude to her, but she made the best of it and always had a smile on her face.
We started dating after a few weeks, and our connection only grew in time. She made me laugh all the time and was a great listener, especially in those years when I changed my major and my parents were not very happy about it. But she stood by my side and didn't let me slip. I owed her everything.
However, in time, it was clear that we were better off as friends than lovers. I adored and loved her, but were we in love? At the time I thought we were which is why I proposed only a few months after we started dating. We were so happy, making plans for the future.
We got married and everything was amazing at first. We couldn't stop grinning every time we saw each other, it was ridiculous. Always with the 'Good morning, Mrs. Cullen' or 'Would you like some coffee, Mrs. Cullen?' We couldn't be happier.
Except we weren't really happy. We almost never fought and barely saw each other during the day. I was at the studio and she at her office. Neither of us really cared. We thought the other would make the first move or was as happy with the situation as it was. Neither of us wanted to break the world of complaisance we were living in.
Months went by like that, until one night I came home and found her in bed with one of her coworkers. The sad part was that I didn't even care about it. All I saw was an opportunity to get out of it, to break free. We talked that night and realized that we should've never gotten married in the first place. We were in love with the idea of marriage, of finally being adults, but weren't able to see that we were already heading toward a break up long before the wedding.
There was no crying or yelling when we agreed to get a divorce. We wished each other happiness, promised to remain friends and be there for the other when needed.
I poured myself some coffee while I sort through the mail. They were mostly medical bills. I needed to remember to call my accountant to make the necessary arrangements to pay all of this. Her family shouldn't have to worry about it now.
I sat on the couch and as I looked around the living room, I realized that I should redecorate the place. It had been a long time and having reminders of her here weren't the best idea right now. Then again, she was my best friend and I didn't want to completely erase the mark she left behind.
After the separation, she didn't want to stay at the apartment anymore and, considering this was my place before we got married, I didn't have a problem with that and I wanted to give her everything she wanted on the divorce settlement.
That wasn't necessary anymore.
Two months ago, she called me to catch up. I knew she was living with a friend for the time being and was still working at her office downtown. I told her about the new contract I was about to sign and how my sister was engaged now. We all wanted her to go to the wedding. It was so easy to be myself with her now, it always had been. Seeing her there reminded me of that girl I met all those years ago. There were no pressures now to be the husband or wife we thought we had to be or the other wanted. We were just two friends catching up.
Midway through our talk, she broke down into sobs. It was then that my world broke down. She said she had been sick for a while now, but the doctors told her recently what was wrong with her. Cancer. Fucking cancer was eating her alive.
She felt so awful for leading me on when she called to catch up, but she also wanted- no- needed help with money and connections that, due to my father's line of work, I could offer her. She felt like she was using me and couldn't believe how awful she was being about it.
After the shock of her news wore off, I took her in my arms and let her cry on my shoulder. She only had to ask and I would've helped her, there was no shame in that whatsoever. If there was anything I could've done for her to help her beat this thing, then I'd do it. If that was my money, then so be it.
That was the beginning of the most tiring and excruciating two months of my life. She moved in once again, and the divorce was put on hold for the time being. At first, things were just like at the beginning of our marriage. We'd slept in the same bed sometimes and stayed up talking all night long. Other times she slept in the guest room and I would make breakfast in the morning. It was easy to forget the reasons why she was there in the first place.
Those reasons came flooding a couple of weeks later when I found her past out on the kitchen floor. From then on, the treatment became more aggressive and in time we had to move her to the hospital. I stayed by her side for as much as I could, but it was killing me to see her like that, being eaten alive that way. It was so much that sometimes I had to get away to the studio or anywhere else but that hospital room.
I was loosing my best friend, and there was not a damn thing I could do about it. We talked about what we wanted to do when this was all over, but we both knew that wasn't going to happen at all. The cancer was too aggressive and it had spread beyond reach. She only had a few weeks at the most.
One night, as I stayed by her side, reading a book, she finally saw it as an opportunity to really talk to me, after all, I'd been avoiding it for too long. I looked up to her face and found her staring at me.
"Edward." Her voice was so soft and weak after all the treatments and medications.
"I'm right here, hon. Do you need something? Water? A doctor?"
She lightly shook her head.
"Edward, go home. You've been here for too long as it is. You need to get out and see the light of day for once." She was so weak now. It broke my heart to see her fragile body like that.
"I've been outside, hon. Nothing seems different, I'm not missing out on anything, believe me." I smiled, trying to make her see that I was fine where I was. This was the only place I wanted to be right now.
"God, Edward." Tears were falling down her face now. "Please, you have to get out of here. I know we always talk about the plans for the future, but we both know they'll stay being just plans. I'm not coming out of this. I've accepted that by now, but Edward, you need to do the same as well. You need to start looking into the future, making plans for your own."
There was nothing I could say about that. She was right. She just had been brave enough to say it first. I just broke down holding her hand and sobbed against the blanket covering her legs.
"Please, Edward. Promise me something. Promise me that you will find someone to really love, you know, like the kind of love books talk about, the kind great chick flicks are made of." I could hear the smile in her voice.
I had to laugh at this. Every time she was mad at me, she brought one of the latest chick flicks she could find and made me watch it until we were both laughing at the scenes. Sometimes we even recreated them in our living room. I called them silly little movies and she called them warmth for the heart. I could only shook my head, but they eventually turned into some kind of tradition in our house.
"But how could I go out there and find someone like that, without my best friend by my side?" I asked as I ran my hand to her cheek.
"Well, she might not get to know your super cool friend, but you'll be there to tell her about me and my awesomeness," she said very proudly.
"Yes, yes I will. She will know about you, hon. If there is a she one day." I couldn't even bring myself to think about that. I had been with her for so many years that the thought of sharing my life with another woman was foreign and scary.
"Promise me, Edward. Don't close yourself off to love. You may have not found it with me, but she is out there, waiting for you. That girl and that great love that will knock you off your feet and pull you to her at the same time so tight you'll not be able to resist it, nor you should try. Promise me, Edward, promise me you'll live." She was pleading now. If this gave her peace in her last moments, then I would promise her.
"I promise you, Kate," I said and kissed her forehead. "I promise you."
She died two days later, surrounded by family and close friends.
I saw the time on the clock in the wall and realized it was time to go. I took my keys and wallet that were on top of the side table close to the door. There was a mirror there, and I checked myself to see that everything was in order.
I took one last big breath and headed out the door. To my wife and best friend's funeral.
The service was beautiful. My sister, Alice, had taken care of everything since neither Kate's parents or I were in shape to do it. She had been amazing throughout everything, making the calls, buying the necessary items, arranging the service and catering for the wake that was going to take place back in my apartment after the service. Everything was probably set up by now.
As I stood there beside Kate's parents, shaking hands and receiving the hugs from people I didn't even know, I started to feel like a complete fraud. They were all there saying they were sorry that my wife had died, but Kate hadn't been truly my wife for months. I just lost my best friend, not my wife. But making this difference would only make me look like an asshole, and people wouldn't understand the relationship Kate and I had. I knew the truth and our families knew the truth, that was the important thing. But at that moment, I couldn't stand the people surrounding me. I was just trying to get it together.
We took our cars back to the apartment, and it hit me that every one of those people would be there as well. I had no place to hide from them and their pity. All I wanted to do was go home and sleep, hoping this was all a nightmare; that Kate was going to walk into the bedroom with a new movie for us to watch in bed.
Just as I suspected, everything was ready when I got to my place. People were everywhere, all looking at me and expecting me to ... what? Break down into sobs in the middle of the room? Get angry at someone for looking at me the wrong way? That last part sounded very appealing right now, but I just wanted peace and quiet.
On my way to the kitchen, I saw Alice talking to a girl that had her back to me. She had long brown hair, petite body and was wearing a black dress and shoes. I couldn't stop staring at her legs, white milky skin and they looked amazing in those shoes.
I shook my head at the disgusting thoughts I was having. It was Kate's funeral for crying out loud, and here I was undressing a woman I hadn't even met. I needed to get out. Now.
I headed to the kitchen and grabbed a beer without the catering people noticing. I patted my jacket and found that I still had a pack of cigarettes from a few days ago. Without attracting too much attention to myself, I headed to the laundry room next to the kitchen and climbed up the emergency stairs up to the roof of the building.
This place had an incredible view of the city and the fact that I was alone made it my favorite place in the world right now.
The air was a little chilly but it helped me clear my head. I needed silence, and also a cigarette. I lit one and let the burn of it travel down my throat to my lungs. God, it had been too long. I sat on the edge of the roof with my back to the city and took a sip of my beer. How long had it been since I'd done this? I remembered coming here all the time when I first moved in all those years ago, to play my guitar and compose. It was only me, my guitar, a pack of cigarettes and some beers. I could forget about the world for a few hours and not think about the shit that was happening in my life back then.
The sound of a door broke me from my thoughts, and a girl came into view. It was the one talking to Alice back at the apartment. She hadn't seen me here yet as she walked purposely toward the edge of the roof. She took a cigarette from her coat pocket and started patting the other for, what I guessed, was a lighter.
"You can use mine if you want to." She jumped a little, realizing that she was not alone up here. That made me smile a little.
When she turned her face in my direction, my smile fell for a second before I composed myself again, for there, staring at me, were the most beautiful eyes I had ever seen. I couldn't believe that shade of brown even existed and when they looked right at me, it was like nothing else mattered besides her. The rest of the world could go screw themselves for all I cared, because right now it was here where I wanted to be, where I belonged.
She stood there staring at me with a surprised look as well, her cherry lips forming a little 'o' that I found absolutely adorable at the moment. I took in the rest of her and saw that she was even more beautiful than I thought. I had been so captivated by her eyes that I didn't notice the rest of her. I had seen her from the back, but now I could see all of her. She was pale and her cheeks had a light pink color on them, her long black lashes highlighting even more her eyes. Her long hair fell down her side and back in soft waves and the contrast of her skin against the black of her dress and coat, made her look even paler, if that was possible.
I noticed she was taking me in as well, watching me from head to toe. When she saw she had been caught, the pink of her cheeks turned straight to red. She was even more beautiful now, and I wondered how would she look like in other colors besides of the black she was wearing. I bet she looked even better.
Once again, I realized that I was fantasizing about this girl and how she'd look like under those clothes. I was a sick bastard, and it made me mad to see that she was here tempting me like this. It was absolutely irrational, I knew, but I had to lash out the anger and sadness I felt on someone. And she was here.
"So, are you gonna smoke that or what?" I asked her, aggressively.
That made her come back to this moment.
"Um, yeah, I am. Thank you for the offer." She was making her way to me. If I was this affected by her presence and by only looking at her, touching her would push me over the edge. I placed the lighter on the edge of the roof and took a swing of my beer. Suddenly, the label on it seemed very interesting.
I heard her lighting her cigarette and placing the lighter where I left it. When I looked up, she was leaning against the edge of the roof, smoking and looking at me. This was becoming too uncomfortable.
"So, what are you doing up here? Couldn't take all of those people looking like they were sorry about Kate's death, but not even half of them could remember her?" she said a little angry, and it surprised me the way she talked about this. That tone made me wonder how she knew Kate.
"How do you know I'm here because of Kate? How do you know I'm not just some random guy sitting here up on the roof, drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette?"
"Well, for starters, you're wearing all black. I know that doesn't say much really, but it does look like you came from a funeral. Also, you're drinking imported beer." At my confused look she added. "When I was in the kitchen back there looking for some water, I saw that brand in the refrigerator. Not many people I know drink from that brand, so I assume you were, at least, at the wake."
She took a pause and it looked like she was considering her next words.
"Also, you look like you came from a funeral. I can see it in your eyes now. There is no light in them, so you either knew Kate very well or you are the most empathic person I know."
I sat there, staring at her, trying to read her just as well as she had done me. I saw no pity in her eyes, like the rest of them. I saw pain, like she had lost someone important to her as well. No, she wasn't like the others. Somehow she had known Kate and her death had affected her deeply. Kate's life had touched this girl's and that made any irrational anger I had felt for, melt away.
"I'm Edward Cullen, Kate's husband." I thought it was better to say that, since by the look on her face, she didn't know it already. How long had she not seen Kate to not know who I was?
"Oh God, I'm so sorry, Mr. Cullen. I never intended to be disrespectful toward your friends, more in a moment like this. God, I'm such an idiot," I could tell she was indeed sorry for what she had said, but not for a moment I thought she had disrespected me or my so-called friends. The people I knew got to know Kate were the only ones whose opinions I cared about, and all of them were as deeply affected by her death as I was. The rest, well, they were assholes that were here only for the free food.
I was going to tell her this, but I noticed that there were tears falling down her cheeks and this only made me want to go and comfort her.
"Hey, please don't cry. And the name is Edward. Mr. Cullen is my dad and I'd like to think I'm much more handsome." She looked up and smiled a little. This made her stop crying and made me want to make her smile more.
"And don't worry about it, please. I happen to think the same about most of those people downstairs. I know who Kate's real friends are and how they truly feel in a moment like this. You didn't disrespected any of them with what you said," I tried to smile to show her the truth of my words.
"Ok, but I'm still sorry for talking like this. I'm just still affected by Kate's death and I guess it hadn't sunk in yet," she apologized through little sniffles.
"I know what you mean, I expect her to come in at any second now and take away my cigarette, telling me I was stealing years of my life with every one of those 'cancer sticks' I had," It was what Kate said all the time to anyone who was near her, smoking. Even to strangers.
"Yeah, I remember that. She costed me a lot of money on cigarettes, eventually it wasn't worth buying them if she was gonna freaking throw them away," she laughed and for a second I got lost in that laugh. It was even more entrancing than her smile.
"I know! God she's so infuriating about that," I froze, realizing what I just said. "Was, she was so infuriating about that."
This girl moved closer to me and took my cigarette and hers and put them out on the edge of the roof. Then she took the hand that was not holding my beer and squeezed it. The feel of her skin was so comforting and at the same time it made my skin feel more alive than I had ever felt it. Every nerve ending was working full time and I could somehow feel her everywhere now. I looked into her eyes to see if this was even real, it couldn't have been. Was this the pull that Kate talked about? I wanted to hold this girl and never let her go. Suddenly my whole world shifted and I wanted her to be a part of it, I wanted to be a part of hers as well. And I didn't even know her name yet.
"Mr. Cul- Edward, I'm sorry for your lost."
And even though they were the words that I'd been hearing all day long, hearing them from her and knowing that she really meant them, broke me to pieces. Kate was truly gone if someone like this girl was saying and meaning those words.
A sob escaped me and I hung my head, letting the tears flow now. Everyone had been expecting me to break down by now but it had taken this girl's simple words to had finally done the job.
I felt her hands on the back of my neck while she took my head and placed it on her shoulder. My body took over and I wrapped my arms around her waist, holding her tight to my body while she rested her own head against my shoulder. I could feel her shake and noticed that she was crying as well.
We stood there for God knows how long, feeling each other's warmth and comfort until our sobs subsided. I could breathe much better now and her scent was surrounding me, making me feel almost at home.
"So, what's your name?" I asked against her shoulder and felt her shake with laughter. She pulled back slightly and said to my ear.
"Bella, my name is Bella."
I pulled back and stared at her eyes for a moment. Bella, beautiful. And she truly was.
"Nice to meet you, Bella."
She moved back and went to sit next to me on the ledge. Only our arms were in contact now, but after the overload of emotions from a few moments ago, I didn't want a repeat performance. So this was enough to keep me grounded and not break down again.
We talked for a while, getting to know each other. It all felt so easy with her, more after my break down. We didn't have to pretend to be fine and put it together for the rest of the world, and there was no shame in letting our guards down. We were not there judging, we were there grieving someone we both loved very much.
And that was what I learned from Bella, that she loved Kate like a sister. They met when they were ten years old and were inseparable all throughout their school years, but then Bella was offered a scholarship in England and only contacted each other through emails and such, but in time, the friendship suffered and the contact was few and far in between.
Bella had just returned to the country when she heard of Kate's death. She had been deeply affected by it and got Alice's number through Kate's parents, wanting to help in any way possible. Seemed like I was so close off in my own world I hadn't even noticed her greeting me at the service.
We shared stories of Kate and, through me, Bella got to know the Kate she became after high school, and through her stories I got to know the Kate from the past and how she came to be the woman that I married.
We were laughing about Kate's irrational hatred of all things pink when there was a loud sound coming from the door leading to the roof. Alice appeared and after the initial shock of seeing us together there, laughing in the ledge of a building, she said that people were leaving and wanted to see me.
I sighed and stood up from the ledge, helping Bella do the same. I didn't let go of her hand for a few moments, just wanting to prolong the feeling a little longer. Until Alice cleared her throat.
"I'll be right down, Alice," I told her without looking at her and heard the click of the door closing, assuming she left.
"So, I guess you should go downstairs now. I should get going as well, I'm taking an early flight to Seattle tomorrow to go visit my parents and have to head back to my place to pack."
"You're right, I know I should go, God knows Alice will be back in less than five minutes," I was starting to really hate Alice's timing now.
"Ok, so Edward, please take care of yourself. Things will get better," she squeezed my hand and let it go, heading for the door. I couldn't believe this was probably the last time I'd see her. But then she turned to me and took a piece of paper and a pen out of her pockets, she wrote something on it while she approached me.
"Here, this is my phone number. I'm going to be in Seattle for a week, before coming back to town. If you ever feel the need to talk, just call me. At anytime. Just don't close yourself off, please." I took the paper and stared at Bella for a moment, thinking those were the same words Kate had said before she died.
"Thank you, Bella. I will, and have a safe trip."
She smiled and turned to leave. As I watched her disappear behind that door, I thought about this entire day. I woke up feeling like there was no hope anymore in my life. Kate was a great friend and any guy would've been lucky to be with her, but that guy was not me and she lost that opportunity. If someone like her was never going to find that kind of love then why should I? But meeting Bella today had given me a new light of hope. There was someone out there for me, and I didn't know if it was Bella, but I was willing to give myself a chance.
Just as I promised Kate, I was not going to close off to the world. Or at least I was going to do my best. It was one of her last wishes that at least I get to live that great romance she couldn't now. And I was going to keep that promise. For myself and for Kate, wherever she was now.
It had been a tough first week after Kate's funeral. There were still some of her personal things here and there that I'd been finding these last few days. I thought about putting all of that in a box and take it to storage or maybe send it to her parents.
A few days after the funeral, I thought about watching a movie at home and just relax for the night, it was then, going through my DVD collection, that I found one of Kate's silly movies. Suddenly I couldn't breathe, it was the stupidest thing in the world, but that was one more sign that she was really gone. I called Bella and she talked me through it. She asked me what movie it was and said she was watching it with me.
We stayed on the phone the entire time the movie was on, making jokes about it and laughing at some scenes. It was like old times with Kate, but so very different. Half the time I got distracted by Bella's voice and pictured her face smiling at me. All I wanted at that moment was to have her there, sitting next to me, watching the movie with me.
After that, we'd been talking more and more. Often, because either one of us remembered some random anecdote about Kate and wanted to share it with the other, or because something reminded us of her. It was easy to share these things with Bella, it didn't feel forced at all and with each passing day, my desire to see her again grew and the pain of Kate's death lessened.
She arrived to the city a week after our meeting and we had lunch the very next day. I was restless and kept looking at the clock every two minutes. When I'd had enough I just took off and arrived at the restaurant fifteen minutes earlier.
I was checking my messages on my phone when there was a draft coming from the main entrance. I shivered, but not from that, I felt there was someone watching me from that direction, and that feeling made my skin tingle. I looked up and there she was, looking even more beautiful than the last time I had seen her. I was right, she looked more beautiful not wearing black.
She was wearing a green dress and white coat and as she approached my table I couldn't take my eyes away from her legs. When she stopped in front of me, I looked up and saw that she was looking at me with a cocky grin. And a fucking blush.
"Hello to you too, Edward. But my face is up here, you know."
"Yes, I know, and what a lovely face it is. I just figured you were not only a pretty face, but also pretty legs, pretty arms … " she smiled and smacked my arm mumbling some pretty colorful words. Was I flirting?
The rest of the lunch was pretty easy after that. If I thought we had fun talking on the phone, being there with her was even better. We bantered back and forth and she told me about her trip. We shared our meals and laughed at the face of disgust the waiter made when he saw we had been exchanging some of our food into each other's plates.
That was what we did for the next two weeks. Had lunch almost every day, watched some movies at my place, cooked for each other. Which was something we discovered in one of our talks one day. Our shared love for food.
Everything was easy when I was with Bella, we could talk, she didn't put up with my shit and she was funny. Everything clicked, but there was still something holding me back, making me keep her at arm's length, which was really stupid since by now we had talked about very personal things and we had found no judging from the other.
I had been trying to give myself the chance to be happy, just like Kate made me promise, but it still didn't feel fair that I was here searching for that kind of feeling and she would never experienced it. Why did I feel guilty for being happy? Our marriage was over by the time she got sick and when she moved back in, we were more roommates than anything.
I was at my apartment one night with Bella, cooking and listening to music. We were both barefooted, comfortable in jeans and t-shirts and Bella was moving her hips in time with the music. God, she was so sexy and cute without even knowing it.
We were getting ready to watch one of those romantic movies, something that seemed to have turned into a weekly tradition, we both felt like it was something that kept Kate alive and we had a lot of fun doing it. There was a knock at my door, which was odd, since people hardly visited me and ever since Kate, it seemed they thought I wanted to be alone with my grief. I was grateful for that.
When I opened the door there was a man standing there, looking extremely sad and tired. You could tell he had barely slept at all and was clutching a small shoe box in his hands. I was a little worried about that actually.
"Mr. Cullen? Mr. Edward Cullen?" His voice was shaky and it looked like he was going to start crying at any second.
"Yes, that's me. How can I help you?" I asked trying to figure out if I knew that guy or not, there was something familiar about him.
"Well, you don't know me, Mr. Cullen, at least not formally. My name is Garrett Hunter and I know this is the worst time for me to say this, but-" he paused for a second. "I knew Kate and we- we were in love for a long time before she got sick."
And then it clicked. He was the man I found on my bed with Kate all those months ago. The man that my wife was cheating on me with. I didn't know how to feel about it. Angry? Our marriage was over long before that day. Hurt? She had been in love and hadn't said anything to me, her best friend.
I let him enter the apartment, because what else could I do, the situation made no sense at the moment, and I watched him sat down on the couch. I saw Bella standing by the door to the kitchen not knowing what to do. I gave her a pleading look, silently asking her to not leave. I needed her here. She nodded in acknowledgment.
I stayed standing there close to the entrance door not knowing how to react, I didn't want to sit next to him, but I also wanted to some answers and I was not turning away from him.
"Kate and I met working at the same office downtown. We were assigned the same accounts from time to time and got to spend a lot of nights there. We got to talking and I found myself fascinated about her, she was such a happy person, even at eleven at night she had a smile on her face and was able to encourage us to finish the job on time.
"We spent more and more time together, going to lunch, to coffee breaks, just any excuse to be able to talk to her. In time my feelings got deeper and next thing I know, I'm in love with her. And the amazing thing is, she felt the same way about me as well. I knew she was married, but from our talks I knew you were barely roommates by then," he sighed.
"I knew it was wrong to pursue her, but we were both in love for the first time in our lives and when I told her, she said she was getting a divorce from you, that the two of you couldn't keep living like that anymore. It was eating the both of you alive."
How true were his words right now, but to know that it was Kate who said them to him and not to me back then, hurt a little. But then again, I had been thinking the same thing and never had the guts to talk to her about it either.
"So we started seeing each other. Until you found us here," I cringed at the memory.
"I guess she wanted you to find out about us. I was so head over heels for her that I didn't even noticed what she was doing. In the end, she saw it as doing you both a favor.
"After that, I was transferred to another city and we kept contact through emails and phone calls. You wouldn't believe the emails she sent, talking about our future and the things we wanted to do and places to visit. I was willing to give her the world at that point." His face held such a pain, he truly did love Kate.
"I didn't know she was sick until it was much too late. On her last phone call, she said she didn't want me to see her like that and to only remember her at her best. We talked and said our goodbyes. I only came back for her funeral." He was crying to staring at that box in front of him like it was the only thing keeping him together at the moment.
"I brought you every email we exchanged, it was one of her last requests. She wanted you to know the kind of love she experienced and the one she hoped for you to find as well. She was so sad to see you alone."
He placed the box on the coffee table and stood up, coming in my direction to leave. All I could do was stare at the box of letters on the table. It held Kate's heart.
There was a soft click of the door closing behind me as I sat on the couch with the box in front of me. I felt Bella sat next to me, placing a hand on my knee. She squeezed it a little and that gave me the courage to go and start reading the letters.
We stayed up for a few hours reading them. Some passages out loud, others more in contemplation. It was amazing to see this Kate. God, she had been so happy with Garrett, so full of life and promises, very much like the one I met all those years ago, but now there was something else entirely different. Love and absolute adoration to Garrett. You could feel it in every word, see it in every line.
This was what she wanted me to have as well and seeing this small box of letters in front of me, I wanted it too.
I didn't know I had been crying until I felt Bella place her hand on my cheek, trying to stop the tears from falling. I looked at her and she was in the same state as me. Tears falling down that beautiful face of hers.
I turned to face her and placed my hand on top the one she had on my face.
"I didn't know it could be this way. I didn't know," I was downright crying now.
"I know, Edward, I know. But she did and she felt it for Garrett just as much as he felt it for her. She was happy in the end and that's what she wanted for you as well. The same happiness she experienced that made her write these amazing letters.
"Edward, you do deserve to be happy. Just open your heart and you'll find that there is someone in front of you ready to take it and cherish it as it should."
Did she mean what she was saying right now? Did she fell the same way I have been feeling for her for the last couple of weeks? I thought I cared about her, but after reading Kate's letters, it was like reading my own feelings as well.
I was in love with Bella and from the looks of it, she felt something for me as well.
"Bella-" I tried to say, but she interrupted me by pressing her lips against mine.
Her lips were so sweet and soft, much better than I could've ever imagined. I'd been dreaming about them ever since I first saw her on the roof and having them meet my own was a pleasure I was ready to repeat a lot in the future. Bella tilted her head and that allowed us to deepen the kiss. God, her tongue was even more delicious than her lips. After that, she started gripping my hair and I was holding her waist closer to my body. She was so warm and soft, I just wanted to kiss her all night, but Bella had others plans.
She broke the kiss and rose from the couch, extending her hand to me, inviting me to stand up as well. She then led me to the hallway, in the direction of my bedroom. I was suddenly nervous about this. I had just figured out that I loved Bella, but I didn't want her to sleep with me because she was sorry for me for what had happened earlier.
When we reached my bed, she started to unbutton my shirt, but I stopped her from doing it. I wanted to know what she was thinking first.
"Bella, you don't have to do this to make me feel better. Kate's letters were very emotionally draining, but I feel fine now. Better than fine actually. I feel happy, happy that she had that with Garrett, because I know I never would've been able to give that to her."
"Edward, I don't feel the need to be with you because I feel sorry about what happened. I want to be with you because I like you, because I care about you in a very strong way. I've been feeling very attracted to you since the first time I saw you and I understood that you were grieving at the moment and I was fine with that, I just wanted to be there for you. But not anymore, Edward. Right now I want to be with you," she paused. "And be more than your friend."
And then everything fit into place. Bella was the one that I have been waiting for a long time, but because I was so used to the routine of being with Kate, I didn't see that there was something big missing from my life, Kate saw it too and she went looking for it and wanted me to experienced it as well.
If the feelings I was having for Bella were half of what Kate felt, then I was happy for her and now I was sure she was resting in peace. She lived a short life, but with more than what some people wait years to find. And I was not going to let that opportunity get away from me.
I held Bella's face in my hands and kissed her softly, letting her know that I wanted the same thing. The kiss got more and more heated as we started to moan into each other's mouths. Bella had her hands on my waist and was pressed flushed against my body.
I broke the kiss and we were both panting against each other's mouths. God, everything about her was intoxicating. I started to kiss slowly down her face to her neck and shoulder while she moaned in my ear. I traveled my hands down to her waist and started to lift her t-shirt. She backed away a little and let me remove it from her body. She was so beautiful. Her soft skin was glowing in the dim light coming from the moon through the windows. The rest of the room was in darkness and I didn't want to break the moment by turning on the lights. There will be other times for that, right now all I wanted was to feel her.
She took the hem of my shirt and lifted it, kissing my stomach as she exposed more of it, until she removed it completely. I could feel her breath on my skin when she got closer to me. I took this opportunity to reach to the back of her bra and unclasped it, kissing her shoulders as the fabric hit the floor.
We were both breathing hard now and I was sure she could hear my heartbeat. I watched how her breasts moved as she took deep breaths and I couldn't help but to reach and cupped them in my hands. They were so soft and fit perfectly in them. Bella moaned and threw her head back, letting her hair cascade down her body.
She reached for my waist and, with soft touches, ran her hands on my hips until they came to stop to unbutton my jeans. It was my turn to moan. I moved my hands from her breasts and stopped her from keep undressing me. Her touch was too much and I was sure I'd come at any second if she kept that up.
Slowly I started to unzip my pants, never taking my eyes off of Bella. She was breathing faster now and her eyes were watching my every move. I let my jeans drop to the floor and it was then she realized I was not wearing any underwear. Her little gasp gave it away.
I got out of them and went to help her remove hers, but she shook her head and took matters into her own hands. She wanted to torture me the same way I had done to her.
Bella slowly started to unbutton her jeans and let them drop to the floor, exposing more of her. She was only left in her panties. And that was too much, in my opinion.
As if reading my thoughts, she bent a little and started to remove them as well, stepping out of both her jeans and her panties, she was now naked before me. I couldn't stay away from her any longer.
In two steps I was in front of her, kissing her like my life depended on it, grabbing her hips while she had her hands on my shoulders. The moans intensified and I was getting harder. Bella was just as desperate, pulling me toward the bed. Once her legs hit the edge of it, she broke the kiss and sat down on it, slowly crawling backwards until her head hit the pillow.
Bella naked on my bed was a sight to be seen.
"Edward, please," she moaned, almost desperate now.
I slowly crawled up her body, kissing her legs, each hip, her stomach, then briefly sucking on each of her hard nipples, until I got to her neck. She opened her legs and let me settle between them, which made me realize just how hot and wet she was for me. Her scent was driving me crazy.
I placed my hands on either side of her face, supporting myself on my forearms and kissed her while she put her hands on my hips. I wanted to be inside of her now and show her how much I wanted her, but one important matter just hit me then.
"Um, Bella. I don't have any condoms here. With Kate I didn't need them and after the separation, there hadn't been anyone else," I had to let her know of this and if she wanted to to stop, I would.
"Edward, I trust you. Also I'm on the pill and, well-" she blushed and looked away. "I haven't been with anyone for a long time either and I was always safe with him, but if you want to wait, I will."
I knew this already, she had told me about her asshole ex-boyfriend a while back and I completely trusted her that she was telling me the truth, just like she trusted me as well.
I smiled at her when she looked up at me and we both knew there was no stopping this now, and I didn't just mean us sleeping together.
I aligned myself at her entrance and slowly pushed my way inside. She was so warm and the sensations were definitely driving me crazy. Bella was strongly gripping my hips as I did this and once I was completely inside of her, I rested my head on her shoulder, wielding my body not to thrust and end this in two more seconds.
Bella arched her back when I did this and was panting in my ear. She then lifted her legs and encircled my waist while bringing her arms to my shoulders. This new position was not helping my self control. At all.
"Edward, please. I need you."
That was it. I slowly started to remove myself from her almost all the way out and then entered her once again with a little more force. From her moan, she seemed to be liking it.
After this, I started to thrust into her faster and faster while kissing my way from her neck down to her breasts. I could feel she was starting to get closer and closer to her release since I felt her gripping me tighter.
I placed my hand behind her back and flipped us over so that she was on top. Bella leaned back and sat up, placing her hands on my chest. I held her hips tightly and we started moving. This new angle felt so good and she moaned and dropped her head forward. I could tell she was trying to hold back since she kept biting her lower lip.
"God, oh God, oh God," she panted while I brought my hips up to meet hers. I looked down to where we were joined and had to close my eyes or else this would be over before Bella got her release, and I couldn't have that. I looked up at her and she was watching the same scene I was, which made her grip me even tighter.
With a couple of more thrusts, she found her release, arching her back and stilling on top of me saying my name over and over. I pumped a few more times and came inside of her, holding her hips much more tightly than before. There sure would be bruises in the morning.
Bella fell forward and rested her head on my chest, on my left side while we tried to catch our breaths. After a few minutes, I gently moved her to the side and pulled out of her, placing one hand on her back and the other holding one of hers that was rubbing against my chest.
"Well, that was something," she said after a few moments and I could hear the smile on her face.
"I'll say," rubbing little circles on her back was so soothing, I was sure I was going to fall asleep at any second now.
"So, wanna go watch that movie now?" She asked all of the sudden.
"What? You wanna go watch a movie after having sex with me? Was I that much boring to you?" I had to laugh at that, she came up with the oddest suggestion from time to time.
"Well no, Mr. Cullen, you kept me very entertained," she looked up and wiggled her eyebrows, actually wiggled, which made me laugh.
"But I feel so happy right now that I need to do something with all that energy and watching a movie about a guy who we know will get the girl in the end, even with those cheesy lines, sounds like a good idea to me."
"Oh, I see. You wanna go see the story of a guy who, at first, didn't seem like he'll ever get girl, but through a series of events and lots of cheesy lines, as you put it, got the incredibly beautiful girl all to himself, right?" I asked with a very serious voice, but failing miserably as a big goofy smiled appear on my face.
"Yep," she shrugged like it was the most obvious thing in the world.
"Well, Bella Swan. To that I say that 'I'm just a naked guy, laying in front of a girl, asking her to love him'," I was teasing her, but as soon as the words came out of my mouth I felt a sense of relief, which was something that surprised me. I loved her and I wanted her to love me back.
"You don't have to ask, Edward. I already do," and when she said this, her face light up with an amazing smile that I was sure, mimicked mine.
"As I love you," I said and I kissed her, pouring all my love into that kiss. Relief and pure happiness washed over me at that moment, feeling very grateful that I had given this a chance, that I was giving happiness and love a chance.
"Well, Edward. And I have to say that 'you complete me'," she giggled at that.
I immediately wrapped my arms around her body and brought her to lay on top of me, she could feel how hard and ready I already was and she moaned.
"Oh, I'll show you how I complete you."
After that, we were lost in laughter, kisses and moans for the rest of the night. I guess silly little romantic movies and their quotes were not so silly after all.
Thanks for reading, sweeties :-)