Hello ladies! Remember me? No? Didn't think so.
I know most authors will blame RL for a lack of updates, and in my case, it's much the same. Things have been so stupidly busy over the past few months that I haven't had time to do anything, let alone read and write fic. And, no fic makes for a very sad and grumpy Lil :-(
A big thank you to wmr1601 for beta-ing this chapter so quickly after so many months of silence from my end!
And now, let's hear from Edward…
I was a dirty, sick, perverted man. The kind fathers warn their daughters about and mothers' groups protested about.
How else could I explain the fact that I was in a public, crowded bathroom, jerking off to thoughts of the girl in the stall next to me?
I hadn't meant for things to get so out of control. Earlier in the night, I thought I'd lost her. After collecting our luggage, Bella had, for all intents and purposes, ditched me. I knew staying with me would put her in a slightly compromising position - hell, if she was my fiancée, I'd be pissed to find out she was stuck in an airport and spending all her time with some guy I didn't know. However, I was disappointed that she didn't seem to feel the same sizzle that I felt.
After leaving Bella by the baggage claim, I made my way toward the food hall. I was starving and decided to grab something to eat before calling Emmett.
I was queuing up for a burger when I saw Bella in a short line. At first, I couldn't understand what she was waiting for. There were two or three people in front of her, all sitting down, outside Burger King. They were clearly in a line, but it didn't seem to be going anywhere any time soon.
I finally figured it out when the person at the front of the line picked something up from the floor. He unplugged a cord from the wall and walked away, his cell phone in hand. Bella's phone battery must have died.
I was about to approach her and offer her the use of my cell, when I stopped myself. My Bella-Girl clearly didn't want to spend time with me. I understood her reasons even though I didn't agree with them myself.
Bella was getting married. She was in love with another man - the luckiest man in the world - and I had to respect that. I would look her up when we got back to New York and attempt to establish a friendship - I'd take whatever I could get, as long as I could have her in my life. In the meantime, the ball was in her court. If she wanted to talk to me, she would have to instigate it. I could never do anything that made her uncomfortable or unhappy.
It seemed strange to me that I had developed such strong feelings for Bella in the short time I had known her, yet at the same time, it felt so right. From the moment her knee touched mine, I just knew—like Emmett said I would. I didn't know her well enough to be in love with her – I'd only known her a few hours – but something told me that I would love every little thing I learned about her.
I finally made it to the front of the line and ordered my burger, keeping my eyes on Bella the whole time. She didn't do anything of interest, just sat there, glancing around every so often, and yet I was captivated by her. Eventually, my number was called and I returned to the counter to collect my meal. I made my way to a spare table, where I still had a direct view of Bella, and tried to not feel like a stalker as I watched her. All too quickly, I had finished my lousy meal and couldn't justify sitting at a table any longer when there were people waiting. I took one last look at Bella, drinking in everything I could about her, and made my way back to the departures lounge.
I debated whether I should call my parents first to let them know I was safe, but in the end decided I didn't need the stress. My mother probably wasn't even aware that there was a terrorist situation going on, so calling her would just send her into a panic about the wedding. As much as I just wanted to call the whole thing off immediately, I knew it was something I had to man up and do in person.
I dialed Emmett's number and waited for him to pick up.
"Dude, I know you don't want to marry the bitch, but really, don't you think hijacking a few planes was a bit over-dramatic? Even for you," Emmett greeted me after only two rings.
"Hello Emmett. Yes I'm fine, thanks for your concern. It was a bit rough for a minute there, but I think I'm going to be okay," I responded sardonically. "Besides, how do you know I don't want to marry the bitch?"
"You mean, aside from the fact that you called her a bitch just now? Yeah, most fiancés don't refer to the woman they love as a bitch the week before marrying them."
"You did," I responded dryly.
"And I meant it in the most loving, adoring way possible. Besides, Rose in Bridezilla mode was a bitch. Ouch!"
"Is Rose standing right next to you?" I asked, amused. Rose managed to keep Emmett in line the same way our housekeeper had when we were growing up – a short, sharp smack upside the head.
"Yes," Emmett grumbled and I laughed. "So, apart from all the terrorism and being stranded business… Actually, are you stranded? You didn't make it back without me knowing, did you? 'Cause if you're three blocks away, I gotta be honest, that's gonna be a bit of a let down."
"Yes, Emmett, I am stranded. In Marseille, as a matter of fact," I informed him.
"Excellent. Eat a baguette for me. Now, as I was saying: apart from all the terrorism and being stranded business, have you had time to think things over?" That was typical Emmett – straight to the point.
"You owe me for not forcing you into a monkey suit next Saturday."
Emmett let out a deafening whoop. "Halle-fucking-lujah!" he crowed. I heard Rose in the background performing a rousing rendition of 'Ding Dong, the bitch is dead,' and held back a laugh.
"Please, celebrate my failed marriage. It makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside to know that my brother and sister are happy about the biggest disappointment of my adult life." I tried to keep a straight face, but couldn't help laughing just a little bit. I could just imagine the two of them linking elbows and skipping circles around each other in their kitchen doh-si-doh style.
"Sorry, man, but come on! It's about fucking time!" Emmett replied. "Shotgun notbeing there when you tell Mom and Dad, though."
I groaned, not wanting to think about that particular tête-á-tête just yet. Our mother and father were thrilled that I was marrying Tanya. Mom and Celia, Tanya's mom, had gone to college together and had planned our marriage since we were in diapers. Dad was pushing for the wedding as well – upon the announcement of our engagement, Martin had made a rather sizeable contribution to the hospital and alluded that there was more where that came from.
"Can't I just… not show up?" I asked, half serious.
"I totally shotgun being there for that!" Emmett declared. Rose was still singing in the background.
At that moment, I spotted my Bella-Girl, trying to make herself comfortable against a wall, using a rolled up sweater as a pillow. She looked tired and uncomfortable, but she was just as beautiful as she had been the first time I saw her. I was tempted to offer her my shoulder as a pillow again, until I remembered I was staying away from her.
I was snapped out of my musing by Emmett's voice calling my name.
"Sorry, I'm here," I told him, wondering how long I had been out of it.
"Sooo… who is she?" Emmett asked obnoxiously.
"I have no idea what you're talking about," I replied superciliously.
"Dude, don't even try to pull that one. Who is she?" Emmett may not have been the most subtle person in the world, but he knew me better than anyone.
"There is no she," I told him. "There is, however, a girl I met on the plane. I just saw her, and since she's on her own here, I wanted to make sure she's okay."
"Are you sure you don't want to make her more than okay?"
"What the fuck is that supposed to mean?"
"It means you want this girl," Emmett said matter-of-factly.
"Cut it out, Emmett. She's just a girl I met on the plane."
"Who you want," Emmett prompted.
"She's getting married, Emmett," I finally told him, hoping he would shut up about my Bella-Girl. I wanted to keep her to myself; that way when my heart was invariably broken there were fewer witnesses.
"I don't care if she's marrying Barack O-fucking-bama, it doesn't change the fact that you want her."
"Emmett… Just stop, okay? I can't deal with this right now," I told him wearily. Emmett was finally silent, and as the silence dragged on, I could feel myself wanting to tell him more. Finally, with a groan, I caved.
"She sizzles, okay? Or we sizzle, whatever. Whenever I touch her I feel it, and it's the craziest thing that has ever happened to me, but I feel like she is it for me. She is the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life and all I want is to hold her and love her and protect her for the rest of my life, but none of that fucking matters because she's marrying Jacob the douche and I can't do anything to stop her." It was, perhaps, not the most eloquent soliloquy I had ever made, but I was pretty sure I got my point across.
"Edward…" Emmett began hesitantly. "Are you sure that you sizzle with this girl? It's not just some reaction to ending things with Tanya?"
"No, I'm sure. When I touch her skin, it feels like there's a current running through me and when she moves her hand away, it's like all I can think of is how I can make it happen again. And don't you fucking dare tell me what a pussy I'm being right now."
"If it's really her, man, then things will work out," Emmett said simply.
"No, they won't, because she sizzles with someone else. How can I compete with that?"
"Did she say she sizzles with this other guy?"
"Well, no, but…"
"But nothing, Edward! Listen, I don't know anything about this girl or about giving love advice. But what I can tell you is this: don't let her get away. Fight for her. If she's your sizzle girl, then do everything in your power to make her yours and keep her forever. She may love this other guy, but trust me when I say that nothing will ever be as powerful as what the two of you could have together. You need to fucking woo her and shit, man!"
"I want her to be happy. She's marrying the guy next week, Emmett. I can't get in the way of that."
"Were you happy with Tanya?"
"Then that proves that just because she's engaged to the guy doesn't mean she's happy and in love."
"Touché." I smiled in spite of myself. Maybe I could woo her, as Emmett said. After all, if we were going to be stuck in this airport for the next week or two, she'd miss the wedding entirely and I could have days, weeks even, of uninterrupted Bella-time.
"Alright, Rosie says I have to go now because it's baby-making time." I groaned, not wanting to know more than I had to about their attempts to conceive.
"We loooove you, Edward!" Rosalie called in the background before making obnoxious kissing noises at me. I laughed, knowing that she was insanely happy that she didn't need to worry about pretending to like Tanya for the next fifty years.
I hung up the phone and attempted to get some sleep before thoughts of Bella took over.
I felt like I was being a whiny little bitch on the phone to Emmett, but I couldn't help myself. Part of me was resigned to living the rest of my life in the shadows, waiting for the day he fucked up or she realized that I'm the right guy for her, while another part of me thought that Emmett was right; I should chase her because no matter how happy she was with him, she would be even happier with me. I would spend the rest of my life doing everything I could to make sure that would happen.
Eventually, I fell asleep in the hard plastic chair I was sitting in until I was awoken by the shrill ringing of my cell. I fished it out of my pocket, confused as to who would be calling me at 2 a.m. local time. It was 8 p.m. in New York, and I had already spoken to Emmett, who had presumably passed the message on to my parents that I was okay. I glanced at the name on the screen.
Oh. Of course.
"Hello Tanya," I said politely into the phone.
"Edward, where is my dress?" she demanded in a quiet, angry voice.
"Er, right beside me. Why?" I was confused as to why she sounded pissed. Surely she didn't think I would lose a thirty-fucking-thousand Euro wedding dress?
"Right beside you. And where are you, exactly?"
"I'm sitting at the airport in Marseille. My plane-"
"I really hope there's a Marseille in New York that I don't know about, Edward," Tanya said, her voice menacing, "because if you're telling me that my wedding dress is halfway around the fucking world, I just might lose it."
"Tanya, you are aware that three planes in Europe were taken down by terrorists, right?"
"Of course I am. What kind of idiot do you take me for?" she snapped.
"So you realize that all flights have been grounded within Europe?"
"And I suppose it would have been too much like hard work for my fuck-up of a fiancé to have put my dress on an earlier plane."
"You do realize, don't you, that putting your dress on an earlier flight wouldn't make a scrap of a difference because the groom still wouldn't be there on Saturday?"
"I want my fucking dress!" she screamed, losing all traces of the calm, menacing demeanor. Now that I knew I wasn't going to marry her, I could see some humor in the situation. What bride cares about the dress getting to the wedding but not the groom? Tanya was like a caricature, the protagonist in a film who you hate, but realistically you know there aren't people in the world who are actually like that. I had never seen Tanya really lose it before because I'd always caved to her demands. It always seemed easier to do what she wanted and avoid the argument. Now, I didn't really care about pissing her off.
"Tanya, I know that you know there is absolutely nothing I can do. There are no flights. No one is coming or going anywhere."
"So FedEx it."
I actually did laugh at that one. "Sure, T. I'll just go up to the FedEx counter, I'll tell them it's urgent, and ask them to transport it with their fancy magic teleporting machine."
"Don't mock me, Edward. I have been planning this wedding for far too long to have you ruin it."
"And it will be ruined if I don't send you your dress?" I confirmed.
"Have you not been listening? Yes that will ruin everything!"
"So if I can post your dress with FedEx, everything will be okay?"
"So on Saturday, you'll go to the Plaza, you'll put on this dress, and you'll marry... Who is it you'll be marrying, Tanya? Because I don't think I can FedEx myself."
"Why do you have to be so difficult?" she demanded.
"This is ridiculous. There is an international crisis going on and you're worried about a dress." At that moment, I spotted Bella walking in my direction. I wasn't sure if she would even come to talk to me until she waved at me and made her way over.
"I have to go Tanya," I told her abruptly, interrupting whatever asinine argument she was making.
"You have to go? But you need to get me my dress! God, where the hell are your priorities these days?"
"Priorities? You want to talk about priorities?" I bit my tongue to stop myself from going any further. I didn't want Bella to overhear and think I was a jerk for making my fiancée upset.
"Yes. When you get home, we're having a talk about your level of commitment to this relationship."
That would be zero. "Fine."
"I will have my dress by Saturday Edward."
Like hell, you will. "Fine."
"Do I need to check up on you every hour to make sure you do what you're supposed to?"
"Forget it. I'll let you know -"
"And don't forget my dress!"
"Yes, I'll remember the dress," I told her in a monotone voice before hanging up.
I honestly didn't know how it had come to this. When we first reconnected, things were good. I loved Tanya and my parents were overjoyed. Emmett and Rose hadn't been thrilled but as long as I was happy, so were they.
It was after I proposed that the real Tanya began to emerge. The woman I had loved was just an illusion, a façade that Tanya had constructed to lure me in. At first, I didn't understand. We were arguing more and more, and after awhile, it seemed easier to just agree with Tanya to avoid the argument. Perhaps it wasn't the best way of dealing with the situation, but what's done is done, and at least I had finally come to my senses.
The only other thing I was worried about was upsetting my parents. I'd always had a reasonably good relationship with my parents – we weren't overly close, but there had never been any big falling out or anything like that. At the same time, however, neither Carlisle nor Esme were the warmest of people, so it was sometimes difficult to cultivate an adult relationship with them, as opposed to a 'parent-child' dynamic. They had both been very supportive of my relationship with Tanya, but at times it felt more like they were telling me that I was happy, rather than me telling them. I honestly had no idea how they would react to the news that I was canceling the wedding, but I knew it wouldn't be good. I also knew that it would be more about them losing face than whether I was happy with my decision.
I pinched the bridge of my nose before putting Tanya and my parents out of my thoughts so I could focus on the beautiful woman in front of me.
The next few hours passed quickly as Bella and I chatted about everything and nothing. I was slightly concerned when she told me her father was doing a background check on me, until I realized that my record was spotless (even something as innocent as a parking ticket could come back to haunt my future political career) and being cleared by Charles Swan meant I was cleared to be Bella's 'buddy.' At times, my Bella-Girl became playful and almost flirty; in those moments I could tell she was becoming more comfortable with me and letting her guard down. I didn't want to push her though, so I kept at her pace, joking and flirting with her when she started it, but never taking it further than she did.
Eventually, Bella decided it was time for a shower, and it was time for me to fulfill my first 'buddy task.' I managed to keep my cool when she stretched, her breasts thrust out towards me. I even managed to control my thoughts as she talked about needing a shower while she tugged on her tiny excuse for a skirt. I did not manage to keep my cool when I saw her reach into the bag I knew contained sexy black panties, and I ended up blurting something out about swapping numbers. I made up some excuse about not getting separated, but what I was really concerned about was that I wouldn't get the chance to see Bella wearing the tiny scraps of lace–whether they were covered by her clothes or not.
After exchanging phone numbers with my Bella-Girl, I settled in for what was sure to be a long wait. There were thousands of people currently in Marseille Airport, and I was pretty sure that the majority would have woken up that morning wanting to shower.
I was surprised when Bella called me so quickly, and the flirty comments were out of my mouth before I could stop myself. Interestingly, Bella responded and almost gave me a heart attack when she suggested I go and shower with her. Even though I knew what she meant, I couldn't stop the mental images from flooding my mind.
After waiting with Bella for what felt like hours, we were finally at the front of the line. A few minutes later, a woman walked out, so I gestured for Bella to go first. Bella smiled in thanks and disappeared into the first cubicle. As I waited my turn, I heard Bella shuffling around in her cubicle and mentally groaned at the realization she was more than likely taking her clothes off at that exact moment. My thoughts wandered to what Bella would look like naked and I was hard before I knew it.
The door to the cubicle next to Bella's opened, and I made my way inside, letting Bella know I was next to her. I took a deep breath and tried to control my thoughts, but there was only so much I could do - after all, Bella was naked a mere two feet away from me, and the only thing separating us was a thin wall, which I could easily peek under if I wanted Bella to know what a perv I was.
I reached back to grab the neck of my t-shirt and pulled it over my head, draping it over the hook on the door. Unbuckling my belt, I let my shorts drop to the floor and eased my boxer briefs over my hard cock. I was tempted to give myself some light relief, but I could see it coming back to bite me in the ass one day.
Senate hopeful Edward Cullen revealed as public bathroom masturbator. I could see the scandal headlines now.
You can do this, I told myself encouragingly. Just don't think about how the most beautiful woman in the world is naked in the next cubicle.
I turned the hot water on and attempted to clear my thoughts. I stood under the hot spray for a few minutes, hoping it would calm my raging libido. Glancing down, I not only realized I was fighting a losing battle, I also noticed bubbles coming from Bella's cubicle, flowing down the drain.
"Bella? Sorry to be a pain, but could I borrow some shower stuff? I've been using hotel soap for the past few weeks, so I don't have any with me."
The words were out of my mouth before I could stop them.
"Sure, sure," came the response, and the next thing I knew, Bella's delicate little hand was reaching under the wall. I bent over and reached for the bottle, conveniently missing the bottle and grabbing her hand instead. My hand slid over hers as I took the bottle out of her hand.
I took a moment to compose myself, trying hard not to think about the other parts of Bella that could be wet and slippery at that point in time, then opened the shower gel. Squeezing a dollop onto my hands, I got my first breath of pure, undiluted Bella.
I tried to ignore the way my dick seemed to react to Bella's scent, but as I lathered the soap over my body, it got harder and harder to ignore. Finally, I succumbed to the ache and palmed my cock roughly, hoping I could give myself just enough to stop the ache and move on.
I was reciting the seventeen times table in my head when I heard Bella's voice.
"I'll meet you out front, Edward," she called, her voice ringing out above the sound of the running water. Unfortunately, she chose the exact moment that I was rinsing soap from my inner thigh and the combination of hearing her say my name and the heightened sensations made me hard again.
I sighed, knowing what I had to do. Unless I wanted to give myself an epic case of blue balls, I had to give myself some kind of release. Walking around with a hard on for the next week would not be comfortable—or easy to hide.
I reached for Bella's shower gel again – in for a dime, in for a dollar, after all – and grasped my cock in my right hand, letting the water run over me.
Was I really going to do this?
I'd never been the insatiable type; I had spent most of my life looking for The One – my Sizzle Girl, as Emmett would say. Sure, I had slept with plenty of women, but never just for the sake of it. I'd never had a one night stand or slept with a woman who I wasn't in a relationship with. A 'serial monogamist' is what Emmett called me. I had never been so desperate with lust that I would even consider defiling a public area just so I could get my jollies.
Until I met Bella Swan.
I leaned against the wall with my free hand while I stroked myself languidly, picturing my Bella Girl's face. Hearing noises outside, I decided I need to be quick about things, so my semi-innocent thoughts of Bella quickly morphed into graphic images.
Bella, on her knees in front of me.
Bella, bent over my kitchen bench.
Bella, against the wall of an elevator.
Bella, Bella, Bella.
It didn't take long at all for me to come. I was half disgusted with myself and half proud of myself for not making a noise and alerting people to what I was doing.
I quickly dried myself off with the t-shirt I'd been wearing, as I didn't have a towel with me. Who carried a towel in their luggage, anyway? I dressed and made my way out the front to where Bella was waiting for me.
"Geez, Cullen, you take longer than a girl in the shower," she said, smirking at me. I'd never been prone to blushing before, but I'm sure my face was red as I realized I had absolutely no comeback to that.
By lunchtime, Bella and I were chatting like old friends. I found out Bella was not only intelligent, but also fiercely independent. She had very set opinions about many issues, such as politics and religion, which I found meshed with my own ideals more often than not. The only topic we seemed to steer clear of was that of our significant others. As curious as I was about the man who had stolen Bella's heart, there was a part of me that just wasn't ready to hear it yet. I also didn't want to discuss Tanya. There was no way I could fully explain her to someone who didn't know her, and in the end, I would just look like a douche who was dumping his fiancée the week of the wedding. Even knowing Tanya, I could still see that it was a horrible thing to do.
Just as I was about to suggest getting something for lunch, Bella's cell phone rang. Apologizing, she rummaged through her bag until she found it and quickly answered it, indicating I should stay when I silently raised my eyebrows to ask if I should give her privacy.
"Hello?" Bella asked. "Oh, hi Jake. Sorry for not calling earlier; things have been a little crazy here. How're things?"
I was shocked that Bella hadn't yet spoken to Jake – and that he hadn't called her, either. Perhaps Emmett was right – maybe Bella didn't sizzle with Jake and was in a situation similar to my own.
"I'm in Marseille at the moment; I'm sure Charlie told you… Mmmhmm…No, that's fine…Oh, really? How did Charlie manage that?" My ears pricked up a bit at that. I wasn't quite sure why, but I had a feeling something was about to change.
"Right… No, that would be great... That shouldn't be a problem; I've heard that the trains are still running… Yes, I have all of that… Of course… Thanks, Jake, and please thank Charlie for me too." At that point, Bella looked up at me. Her face was a mixture of relief and concentration with a hint of sadness as well.
"Actually, Jake, do you think it would be possible to get two seats? There's a man here who I've been speaking with who's also trying to get back to New York; we've been keeping each other company." I was confused by what Bella was saying. Two seats? Two seats for what?
"His name is Edward Cullen, I'm sure the background check Charlie was doing will be back by now if you want to read it… It's not like that Jake, Edward is getting married on Saturday as well. We were sitting together on the plane and started chatting, and now we're looking out for each other while we're stuck here." Bella blushed and glanced up at me as she spoke. I could tell she was embarrassed, and all I wanted to do was tell her Jake was an idiot for upsetting her like that—even though he was right to be suspicious of my intentions.
"Okay; thank you Jake, I really appreciate that. I'll let you know if we have any trouble getting to London. I'll talk to you later. Bye!" Bella ended the call and I looked at her in bemusement.
"London?" I queried. Bella looked around quickly to see if anyone was lingering nearby.
"How would you feel if I told you we could be on a flight on Friday from London to New York?" she asked quietly.
"Charlie, my father, and Jacob have pulled some strings and can get us on a flight. It leaves on Friday morning from London. We'll be in New York on Friday night, just in time to get married on Saturday!"
Part of me was thrilled that Bella obviously cared enough about me to request a seat for me as well. However, another part of me was crushed that she was so excited to be home in time to marry Jake. It also ruined my plan of not being back in time for the wedding and therefore not needing to worry about cancelling it the day before.
"How did you manage to arrange that? It sounds great, but if it's too much trouble…"
"It's nothing, Edward," Bella said dismissively.
"Uh-huh. Sure," I snorted. "Flights are canceled the whole way across Europe, but you manage to get us two seats on an international flight, which, I'm guessing from the way you're keeping your voice down and glaring at anyone who walks within five meters of us, is not a flight that's available to just anyone."
"Okay… Well, you know Charlie is in counter-terrorism? It turns out that the Vice-President is in Europe at the moment and is flying back to New York on Friday morning. Charlie has managed to get us both on board. The flight leaves from London, so we'll need to get on a train to Paris, then we'll get the Eurostar across the Channel to London. Of course, we'll have a few days to kill in London, but I'm sure we'll manage. It's better than nothing, right?"
"That's… amazing. Your father can really pull that many strings? And he doesn't mind helping me out, too?" I was shocked that Bella's father had the ability to get not only his daughter, but also a complete stranger, on board a plane with the Vice President, when all other flights were cancelled.
"Of course not. Charlie is grateful that I've got someone to look out for me. He worries when I'm away. And Jake, well… once I explained who you were and that you're a happily engaged man, he was happy to help out as well."
I took a moment to think about the next week in Bella's company. There was plenty we could do to keep ourselves occupied once we were in London and I would enjoy my time with Bella, no matter how it was spent. Meeting the Vice President on the plane was just the icing on the cake.
"Okay, well, thank you. I really appreciate you helping me out, Bella," I said gratefully. Never mind that I was grateful for the chance to spend more time with her, not for the flight home to Tanya.
"So, we should get going. We have a train to catch!" Bella said excitedly as she hopped up from the floor. She reached down to help me up and as our hands touched I felt the sizzle again.
"Lead the way, Miss Swan."
Next update hopefully within the month! Thanks for sticking with me, guys!