The Never Ever Happily Ever After Contest
Title: The Roof
Pen Name: Characters: Edward/Bella
Word Count: 5295
Disclaimer: "Due to the nature of this contest, you may expect content such as character death, adultery, abuse, illegal activities including drug use and underage drinking, etc."
I sat at a small table in the back corner of the dark and dank bar. Lazy melodies from the ancient jukebox wafted through the air. No one in particular had played them, and no one particularly cared for them, but they hung in the stagnant air akin to the mildewy smell of years of spilt beer and wet bar cloths. I stirred the tiny red straw in my drink, watching it chase the ice around in fluid little circles. The movement mimicked the pathetic train of thought in my head. Happiness followed anger and hurt round and round, chasing the same thoughts, never making progress, never finding a resolution to the reticent ache. I'm sure I looked like a casual patron who stopped in for a Happy Hour cocktail as a celebratory end to a long work week, but I was there with a far more self-destructive purpose.
This was his bar. I knew he came here every Friday night. It was quiet now, but in the short span of a couple hours it would come alive with the revelry of the local early twenty-something set. I was there very early, another sign of my pathological need to shove the blade deeper, maybe twist it a little too. I knew how bad it would hurt to see him here in his element. I grumbled to myself as memories of him tipping back a beer bottle, laughing, with his arm around some local skank's shoulder flooded my already fatigued brain. Fatigued. That's exactly what I was. I was so tired from wishing, hoping, dreaming, and longing for Edward to come back to me. So tired in fact that I had let myself stoop as low as stalking him. But I had to; I had to see him. One last time, I told myself, even though I knew it would only make things worse. I had let my exhausted mind play tricks on me and went ahead with the plan, telling myself it was for "closure."
I sucked back the last of the bitter concoction blissfully enjoying that it was far more vodka than cranberry juice, waiting for the warmth to spread to my blood. My fingertips were cold. I wasn't sure if it was from the ice chilled glass or the saddened anxiety that coursed through my veins. Either way I didn't want to feel it anymore. Figuring I should move around a little to get the alcohol flowing through me faster, I threw on my old black pea coat and stepped out front for a cigarette. It was a balmy November night, but a little misty, so I stayed under the shield of the awning of the boarded up store next to the bar. I watched cars drive by, wondering where the occupants might be going, what they might be doing. Were they lighthearted and excited on their way to see friends? Were they melancholy, dreading their arrival at an empty house? Or possibly apathetic as they headed home to a home of boisterous children, a wife in an apron, and a white picket fence?
A cluster of townies marauded passed me, their faces hidden by the early darkness brought by fall. I eyed them cautiously as I took a slow drag off of my cigarette.
Just past me one hollered, "Shit, cloves, that's gross."
I chuckled to myself. Pussy. Cloves were harsh as Hell but tasted like something from a different time and a different place. Exotic. Beautiful. Everything I longed to be.
Not surprisingly the men circled back quickly and in a futile attempt to get my attention one of them started calling out, "Sarah? Sarah?"
I took another long drag and raised one eyebrow at him. Stupid mother fucker. Did he really think I was gonna talk to him? First the "insult her" ploy and now this? I may be pathetic, but I'm not stupid.
Shortly, he realized that I was not going to play his game and meekly said, "Oh, sorry I thought you were someone I knew."
When they were at a safe distance, one of them shouted out, "Fucking fine as Hell though!"
I groaned to myself and crushed the butt of my cigarette under the toe of my stiletto. For as much effort as I had put into my outfit every guy in Forks should have been melting at my feet. Skin-tight dark wash jeans, fuck-me heels, and the most cleavage inducing royal blue top I could find. He always said he loved this color against my skin. God, how I wanted to feel his touch on my skin again. My heart broke a little more at the memory of his fingertips caressing the back of my arm and I turned, making my way back into the bar for another numbing glass of alcohol.
I stopped in the ladies' room to asses any damage my hair may have suffered in the drizzle outside as well as to make sure my lips were still properly glossed. I mussed my hair, tucking it behind one ear, examining, then un-tucking, then tucking again, and avoided looking myself in the eye. I knew all I would see there was desperation and I didn't want to face it. I knew what I was, I had resigned myself to it. The truth was, there was no one else like Edward in this town, damn, in this whole world! I would never feel whole again and that sad fact remained, regardless of the outcome of tonight. I was once part of something great, something magical, now I was half of nothing.
More people had filled the bar, so many of them smiling and laughing with each other. I leaned against the bar, ordering another Cape Cod, and did my best to put on a mask of confidence as I sashayed my way through the clusters of friends to my dark table in the corner. The music had picked up in tempo, the new party-goers having made selections of angsty rock songs and dirty hip hop beats. There was enough ambient noise now that I could no longer hear the click-click-click of my heels on the floor. I felt as if the last evidence of my presence was erased. In fear that Edward would never even know I was there, I spun around and headed straight for the last empty seat along the bar.
The bartender was young and pretty, a rarity for this place, and attempted some small talk with me. Her name was Bree, she was new in town. What the fuck brought anyone to this tiny bullshit excuse for a town was beyond me but I nodded politely and offered my condolences silently. I would have left this place long ago if Edward hadn't been here. For all that was out there in the world, there was only one place where Edward was, and that was where I was going to be. Initially I stayed because he did; after high school, when our friends were heading off to colleges all around the country, he wanted to stay with his family. He told me I was his family too and asked me stay with him. So I did. But now, I stayed just to be near him.
It had been three months now. A mere ninety days since I had seen it..him..her. At first I thought my eyes were deceiving me, watching his hand slip so readily around her waist. I stood there like a fool while I watched my beloved, my Edward, throw away all of our years of love and trust and goodness in a split second of indiscretion. Those lips; he put those precious soft lipped kisses right on her, stripping away all of the beauty and safety those kisses had once bestowed upon me. I was nauseated at the memory and pushed it away, not wanting to relive the pained immobility my mind and body suffered that night. In the days after, he had called and I had listened, numbly, while he explained over and over that he had lost his head, been confused, and never meant to hurt me. Eventually I stopped listening and he stopped calling. I took a week off of work and went to visit Renee, hoping the sunny skies of Florida would burn the bone brittling cold from my body. I returned home having soaked up a year's worth of sunlight, but my disposition was no less muddled and gray than the sky where I had left my love.
I didn't just love Edward, he was my was my heart and my soul. I didn't feel alive without him. I spent another week on the couch staring at the unlit screen of Charlie's huge TV before he threatened to check me into the mental ward at the local hospital. I not-so- politely reminded him that I wasn't a minor anymore and he couldn't commit me against my will. When he sat next to me on the couch I saw the mirror image of my sorrow reflected back at me in Charlie's eyes. I knew then that we were cut from the same cloth and the loss of my soul mate would haunt me forever the way that Renee's departure from our lives had haunted him. Charlie stared straight ahead when he said he understood every pain I felt, and then turned to look me dead in the eye when he stated plainly that he knew firsthand how crippling it could be and how much I needed to push through to live my life happily without Edward. Without Edward. It was something I had never considered. I thought our love was a given, everlasting, timeless.
So from that day on I had pushed the feelings down, shoved them in by back pocket and locked them away for good. I told myself I was strong and independent, that I didn't need a man to make my life complete. That I didn't need Edward. I plastered a sugary smile on my face and returned to my thankless job at Newton's Sporting Goods, feigning interest while tourists talked of their plans to hike or camp or whatever other boring- as-fuck thing they were all fired up over. I went to movies with Jess and Angela, I hung out at bonfires at the Rez with Jake. I lived like a normal person, walking and talking, breathing and eating like always, but not feeling a thing. I had become Zombie Bella.
The bar was getting louder and the squeals of girlfriends reunited, be it after a day or year (you never knew with those "woo" girls) shook me from my mournful memories. I steeled my resolve, telling myself this was for the best. I would see him and get the closure I so desperately needed. I would see that the pain was all imagined, he wasn't that perfect and I wasn't as in love with him as I had convinced myself - the illusion would be shattered; reality would win.
The was a commotion of people at the door, shouts of "Hey man! Good to see you!" and " Sup Bro!" His unfettered laugh rose above the din of the bar flies and I knew he was here, now. My heart was pounding and my inner voice begged me to turn away, but I just had to see his face to feel alive. He moved so casually, high-fiving and head-nodding as he made his way to the bar. He leaned on the bar top, arms crossed over themselves. I could imagine how the leather of his jacket would squeak against itself, the feel and smell of that jacket burned into my memory forever. He signaled to Riley, the owner, with one finger and Riley nodded in confirmation of whatever it was Edward was ordering in their secret code. While he waited for Riley to retrieve his drink, he scanned the room. His brow knotted and then smoothed when his attention returned Riley, thanking him and grasping his dew-covered bottle of beer.
As if he felt my presence there, Edward's eyes shot around the dreary brick red walls and then made a sharp cut right into mine. My stomach twisted in a welcome and familiar web of desire. He was as beautiful as he had always been, but something was different. I couldn't put my finger on it. I wondered if I looked as haggard as I felt and hoped I could fake it well enough. He didn't look surprised by my presence, nor did he look pained, rather, he looked at me like I was an apparition that would shimmer away if he dared to blink.
He weaved through the regulars, all chatting and flirting, ignoring Eric when he tried to engage him in a conversation, never once letting go of my gaze. My fight or flight response kicked in, and as much as my mind screamed at me to run, that I wasn't ready to crack open these walls that dammed a Niagara Falls' worthy amount of feelings, so I fidgeted with nervous energy on my creaky bar stool.
"Bella, you're here," he said breathless, as if he had run a thousand miles to get to my end of the bar.
"I...I am," was the only ingenious response my zombie brain supplied. I gulped down what was left of my drink and Bree cautiously tweaked her eyebrow at me in question while she dried a glass.
"I'll have another, Bree, thanks." She smiled gently and granted us more privacy making my drink on the far side of the bar. I did my best to ignore when she leaned over and whispered to Riley, sliding her eyes toward us in what I assume was a signal to keep an eye on our "situation." I scoffed, we were the least likely pair to cause a scene. I'd be lucky to get two more sentences out of Edward before he went to enjoy the adoration of the townies. I would likely just sulk my way back home after he spitefully reminded me that I was the one who ended it.
As if I had a choice. I had gone to surprise him. On Fridays I usually had dinner with Charlie, but I had felt distance growing between Edward and I so I was making an effort to "reconnect". A lot of good that did me. He never saw me that night, but I stood, shocked and mute, watching as he left with the tall leggy bitch with strawberry blonde hair as bewitching as the golden locks of Rapunzel. Tanya. Fuck her. His voice brought me back to the present and I was grateful to shove the tormenting memory into the recesses of my mind.
"Why are you here?" he asked, and I felt the point of the dagger make the first piercing stab at my heart.
"I wanted to see you. Why else would I be here?" I shrugged and gratefully took a long pull of the ruby colored elixir. This was number three. I was well on my way to being overtly tipsy, but to be honest, I didn't give a fuck.
He sat in silence as if he was heavily contemplating my flippant question. I sighed at him, slightly enamored as I remembered how he was always so brooding, so tender- hearted. Emboldened by the steady stream of alcohol I had been force feeding myself, I reached out and wrapped my fingers around his hand. His head jerked up at the contact and I felt my apprehension melt away.
"I missed you. I wanted to see you." There was no point in making shit up, he knew me too well and would see right through me. Honesty was the best policy here.
"I wanted to call you so many times, but there was just nothing else to say. I didn't know how to fix it." His features were tight and his voice was strained.
"I don't wanna talk about it. I'm not here for some rehashing bullshit attempt at closure." I lied through my fucking teeth that time. Although I did desperately want that elusive thing known as closure, I most certainly did not want to relive that night. "Lets just have a drink together and catch up on what we've been doing, okay?" I squeezed his fingers and then let go. The loss of his touch was excruciating. The blade shoved in another inch. I imagined the blood would begin to seep through my shirt as my heart slowly bled out all of its pain and hurt. "I'll go first. I visited my mom in Florida"
"Oh yeah, how is Renee?" I flinched a little as the casual way he spoke her name. Years of his presence in my life had created a level of comfort with the few family members I had that could not be erased.
"She's good. Happy with Phil. It was too sunny there, I got a bitch of a sunburn; peeled for a fucking week," I deadpanned and took another sip. Talking was slowing my rate of drinking and that was a good thing. I wanted to be relaxed but I wanted to have my wits about me as well.
His laugh was so real, so honest. He always did get my humor.
"So, what about you? What have you been doing?"
"Oh Edward, don't gimme that shit. You're here tonight, so you've been doing something."
"No, I haven't." His eyes bored into mine and I wanted to turn away, but I felt there was something he was trying to tell me, something he wanted me to understand. Uncomfortable with the serious turn the conversation was taking, I went back to talking about myself.
"Well, fine, you're doing nothing. That's established. So, let's talk more about me. You know I love to talk about me," and so I babbled on and on about the ass-hattery that Mike, the son of the owner of Newton's, engaged in on a daily basis, the movies I had seen lately, and the recent bonfire I went to with Jake. Edward stiffened his spine and chugged his beer at the mention of Jake.
"So are you dating him now?" he asked abruptly as I was regaling him with the gossip from the Rez.
"What? Who, Jake?" I blinked.
He blinked back, nodding once, as if moving any more than that might frighten me.
"No!" I laughed heartily. "Jake and I will never be. Neither one of us is interested. Besides, he's fucking Leah these days." I raised my eyebrows to mimic the surprised look I expected from him.
"Edward. Hello, Earth to Edward? Did you hear what I said? Jake is now screwing the girl he hated for the past three years. Does this small town gossip mean nothing to you!"
"Uh, yeah, I mean, no, I mean..."
I just stared at him. I was so concerned about seeing him, thinking that my heart would be broken more than it already had. Instead, he seemed lost, either inside himself or in the world. I couldn't quite tell.
"It's impossible to hear in here. Let's go up on the roof. It's quiet and we can talk. I've really missed...talking...with you" His eyes searched mine, for what, I wasn't sure.
As much as I wanted to be pissed at him for the underlying innuendo, I couldn't deny the attraction that was still heady and strong between us. Lacing his fingers through mine, he led me to the sorry excuse for a kitchen and up the tiny stairway to a small door that opened onto the roof. I wish I could say there was a beautifully lit skyline or a gorgeous full moon, but it was Forks, so it was pitch black save for fluorescent lamp that illuminated the parking lot. Edward stood at the edge of the building; what he was looking at I will never know, but it seemed really fucking interesting because he sat there for what seemed like forever. I lit another cigarette while I waited for him to do...whatever it was he was doing. If he was taking a piss I was sure he could have done that inside in the appropriate place. Jesus!
"Edward? Whatcha doing?" I didn't go to him, instead I stared at the glowing ash at the tip of my cigarette and waited for him to respond. As I looked at him he ran his hand through his hair, unruly and wild, it reminded me of what he looked like after a night of steady fucking. My body flamed at the memory and I chastised myself for getting caught up in that train of thought.
As if my words had brought him out of some sort of revelry, he stalked to me swiftly stopping with only a small space between our faces. Timidly he reached out and rubbed his hands up and down the length of my arms. I shivered and ground out the butt of my cigarette.
"Are you cold?" he stepped closer.
"No," I whispered. I didn't have the strength or the need to speak any louder. He was so close I could inhale every breath he exhaled. The taste of him flitted across my tongue and I yearned for him to kiss me. If he did, would he taste my solace? Would he know?
He took me in his arms and I surrendered to the splendor of his touch. I knew it was pathetic and desperate of me, but I wanted one last touch, one last kiss, to hold fresh and perfect in my mind. I let the magnetic pull of his touch stoke the fire that was in me. I listened to the lonely yearning of my heart, feeling the cracks forming in the dam, wondering if it would be worse than the pain of the dagger that was firmly lodged in my chest.
And then he gently and softly pressed his lips to mine. Feelings I had shoved away, wrapped up and stuck in my back pocket to be long forgotten, repressed and refused, now resurfaced and took hold of me immediately. I felt slick desire building between my legs, thanking the stars that I was not a guy and that my desire wouldn't outwardly betray me. He pulled back and I kept my eyes closed for a half a beat longer than necessary. I wanted to let the feeling linger just a bit and commit it to my memory. When I opened them, he was still there, still holding me, and smiling.
My heart raced almost as fast as my mind. I began to consider that he may have longed for me as much as I had for him. Maybe this was just a bump in the road. All couples have their hard times, their ups and downs, maybe we just needed a little time to regroup. Before I could begin to question anything he came at me with such an explosion of passion that I lost my breath. Kissing and sucking his way from my mouth to my neck and back. My whole body shivered with need. I needed Edward. I need his touch and his kiss, I needed his heart and his mind, and right then I really needed his cock.
His hands ghosted over and around my torso and memories of his strong fingers teasing and taming my desire flooded my mind. Our kisses and touches became more heated and more determined. He gripped my ass and pulled me close, bringing forth a soft moan of his name. I snaked my hand between us and gave him a squeeze. When he pushed back into my hand I knew he wanted this, that he wanted me. How could I have thought otherwise? Those nights we sat on the phone until our batteries died, talking then arguing, then whispering, then crying, only to end up where we began. He hadn't given up until I did. Of course he wanted me back! I was the one who couldn't forgive and move on. I silently said a prayer of gratitude for his forgiving nature.
He pushed my top up over the swell of my breasts, pulling the fabric of my bra aside and lavishing attention on my tightened and willing flesh. As his tongue made little circles, my passion followed, swirling and building in intensity. I gripped his hair and shoved him lower, eliciting a low growl as he nipped at my belly button. I felt his hands fumble at my waist and then the sound of him lowering my zipper echoed in the silence of the night. He stood, kissing me with force, sliding his icy fingers down into my slick sex. My knees nearly buckled at the feel of his chilled skin buried in my wet heat.
When I ran my tongue along the shell of his ear he hissed, "Shit Bella, I need you so fucking much."
My only response was to begin clawing at the buttons of his fly. He spun me around and pressed me against the wall, shoving my jeans down as far as he could get them. After he caressed one side of my ass he knelt and kissed along the backs of my thighs. Just having him behind me like that sent another rush of desire between my legs. Not being able to see him, but to feel him worshiping my body filled me with a sense of power as strong as my lust. His fingers all the while stroking and playing, were soon replaced with his tongue as he yanked me away from the wall and tipped me forward. I yelped in surprised pleasure as his tongue lapped at my clit. My fingertips scratched and scraped at the bricks in front of me, just barely close enough for me to use for balance. I was close, so close, but I wanted to feel him in me. I wanted all of him connected with all of me.
He bit playfully but aggressively at my ass cheek and when we stood again I could feel him, exposed and aroused, pressed against me. I braced myself against the wall as I felt him press the head of his cock into me.
"Can I have you?" he murmured, asking to be where we both knew he belonged, just as the sky opened and a light shower began to fall all around us. It did nothing to deter us, to deter me; I wanted him.
He wanted me.
I whispered, "Please, I missed you so much. Don't make me wait any longer."
And with my weakness blatantly stated, exposed and raw, he filled both my body and my soul. I felt whole again, as if the other half of me snapped into place like the missing piece of a puzzle. But I didn't have to hide my weakness anymore. He wanted me. My heart soared as he whispered beautiful adoration and dirty curses in my ear. He loved me as much as I loved him and we were here together leaving the broken parts in the past.
His fingertip pushed against my clit with each of his thrusts and soon I was on the edge, just about to fall over into the oblivion of bliss.
"Yes, Bella, come for me, I missed feeling you come for me."
His declaration was all I needed and then I was falling and floating, clenching around him and panting his name.
"Yes, fuck, that's what I needed," was followed by grunt and a string of curses from him.
A small giggle escaped from me which was answered by him with a cute chuckle and a grin. We put ourselves back together and then laughed openly at how ridiculous we were, fucking on the rooftop in the rain.
"But man, it was hot!" Edward said, wrapping his arm around my waist and leading me to the door. My mind immediately flashed back to how he held Tanya as he left with her on that ill-fated night. I forced a smile back at his words.
"What, did I miss it? Oh shit, I thought you finished. I'm so sorry!"
"No, Edward, it was amazing." I kissed the tip of his nose where the water had to begun to drip off of his face. "I'm so happy to be with you again. We can just forget all the bullshit that happened and be like we were before."
"Wait, what are you talking about, Bella?"
"All that stuff with Tanya, I'm over it, I let it go. I'm just sorry it took me so long. Thank you for waiting for me."
"Bella, we're not back together. I mean, that was...awesome, but it was just a lay. One last roll in the hay for old time's sake."
I froze, working to clear the cobweb like haze of lust from my muddled mind and process what he was saying.
"But, you said you missed me? You asked if you could have me?" I could feel my the raindrops slashing into my eyes as they widened at his words.
"That's not what I meant. You misunderstood, I'm with Tanya now. I thought you knew."
The dagger was shoved all the way through my chest, ripping through my heart and severing it in half. I shook with anger, with hurt, with heartbreak. He took my hand attempting to pull me through the door back into the bar.
A slideshow of Edward's face though out the night shuffled through my mind. Edward surprised to see me in the bar. Edward stone faced when I asked him what he had been doing lately. Edward distantly lost in thought. It was all thoughts of her, not me.
"C'mon, it's really starting to come down out here."
"Fuck you, Edward. FUCK YOU!" I screamed at him. "How could you do that to me? How could you?"
"I never meant to hurt you." He shoved his hands in his pockets and stared at his shoes.
"Yeah, you said that a million times, but how could you think that wouldn't hurt me? And this? This is fucking pathetic! You just cheated on the girl, who you cheated with, with the girl you cheated on! What the fuck is wrong with you?" I sobbed at him, my tears indistinguishable from the rain that streamed down my face.
Humiliation and horror forced me to attempt salvage what was left of my dignity and I spat, "I thought I knew you, but obviously I didn't know you at all."
He came close to my face, brushing the strands of hair off my eyes as he spoke.
"You did know me, but I've changed. After the initial pain wore off I realized you were right. It was time for us to go our separate ways. We had outgrown each other. It was the best thing you ever did for me. I'm so sorry that you thought this was more, I thought you knew I was with Tanya now."
I turned away, I didn't want to hear any more.
"Just go. I understand now. Please don't say any more, I've heard enough."
Silently he went back into the bar and the door clicked shut behind him. I leaned against it and could hear the clunk of his heavy boots down the rickety stairway. Knowing Edward had walked out of my life for the final time, I laid my palm flat on the bricks where we had made love hoping for some of the heat of our passion to remain, but there was nothing. All that was left was cold, wet brick and my quickly fading memories.