This was written for the Eurofornication contest. It's just smut. I'm not apologising.
SM owns. Dammit.
The line shuffled forward again and my stomach lurched in sync with the movement of the people. I tried to remember why I was doing this – oh yes. It was because it was on the list of things to do that my mother had given me. My mother. I had finally persuaded her that at the ripe old age of twenty-two I was capable of travelling to Europe by myself without getting lost, robbed, kidnapped by a cult, blown up or any other nightmare she could think of.
And yet here I was with her list of places to see, things to do, ticking them off dutifully in each capital city I arrived in.
Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Lurch.
The kids belonging to the family in front of me were jumping up and down in anticipation, jabbering excitedly in a language I didn't recognise. I looked up at the enormous structure towering above me and once again was left unconvinced that it should actually be able to stay upright. The massive wheel was supported on one side only, a single leg anchoring it to the riverbank. The glass capsules moved so slowly it was hard to see, so slowly in fact that I was going to be stuck inside one for about half an hour while it made its way all the way around.
Shuffle shuffle shuffle. Lurch.
The line turned a corner and now I could see the departure area. I watched as a group of tourists was allowed past the rope to board the next capsule. It was only at that moment I realised that the wheel didn't stop to let people on and off. Rather, you had to sort of jump on from the platform as it glided past. I mean, I must have known before, because otherwise you would be able to see the wheel stopping and starting all the time, but that hadn't actually translated into the reality of having to board a moving capsule.
I turned around abruptly, my hand over my mouth, willing myself not to be sick on someone's shoes, and started shoving past the waiting masses. Eyes firmly on the ground, I forced my way back, in the opposite direction to everyone else, squeezing between the railing and the shuffling people. I felt heat rising in my face and crushing in my chest as even this relatively open space triggered a familiar claustrophobia that threatened to overwhelm me.
What the hell had I been thinking? I finally staggered free from the crowd and looked around wildly for a place to sit. There were a few benches but they were all occupied by families and couples, eating and chatting in the sunshine. I stumbled a few more steps, still feeling nauseous, knowing I needed to sit down pretty damn quickly. At least the sidewalk looked pretty clean. I was about to fold myself carefully onto the ground when my elbow was caught in a firm grip. I twisted to see what was happening and then... nothing.
I was lying on my back on the hard concrete, with my legs being held firmly in the air by my ankles. I automatically jerked them free from whoever was holding them and squinted into the sunlight to try to see what was going on. Unfortunately, I was extremely familiar with regaining consciousness in this position. What with my vertigo and claustrophobia, fainting had been a regular occurrence in my teens, but I had thought I had left it behind me years ago.
I struggled to get my feet underneath me, still disoriented, unable to see the person standing over me for the sun in my eyes, until I realised that the person was in fact now squatting next to me, with a concerned look on his face.
Oh. My. God. Not only had I hideously embarrassed myself by passing out in a crowded public place, but I seemed to have been rescued by possibly the best looking man in Europe. And I had seen some very pretty faces so far. Sitting in street cafés in Paris, watching the scenery had been enhanced by a constant parade of unobtainable gorgeousness – you could look, but definitely not touch. The Italians were much more tactile, and there had been a couple of extremely pleasant evenings with a very handsy young man called Demetri in Milan. But this face was in a different league.
The eyes were a luminous green, framed by long eyelashes and set into pale skin. I couldn't pick out just one feature that made him special; the sharp jawline dusted with pale stubble, the full pink lower lip that he was biting in concern, the messed up hair that looked completely windblown on this perfectly still summer day. His nose? Straight and sexy. His cheekbones? Chiselled and sexy. Dammit, even his eyebrows were sexy.
"Are you okay?" he asked.
Holy shit. The accent. I had been getting used to it over the last day or so, but coming out of his mouth it sounded like a sexy ice-cream syrup sandwich. I nodded mutely and attempted to scramble to my feet again. A hand appeared in front of my face as the man stood up beside me and offered to help me to my feet. I looked at his hand, with its long, smooth fingers. I was obviously still dizzy because I couldn't stop thinking about just how amazing those fingers would look wrapped round my cock.
It was only when he wiggled his fingers slightly that I realised I was still sitting there, gawking like a total idiot, so I grabbed his hand and let him haul me upright. Feeling his firm grip around my hand was not helping my train of thought at all. I may have held on slightly longer than necessary, but he seemed in no hurry to pull away.
"Do you need me to get a doctor?" he asked.
Crap. He really needs to stop talking. I need the blood to be in my head, not rushing to my dick.
"I'm fine, really," I squeaked, and then started coughing uncontrollably. Very smooth.
"Listen, I work in a bar just round the corner," he said, still holding my hand and placing the other firmly on my shoulder. "Why don't you come with me and I can get you a drink of water?"
I nodded through the coughing. Sounded like a damn fine idea to me, especially if it meant he kept his arm around me. I had a bottle of water in my backpack, but I sure as hell wasn't going to tell him about it. I let him guide me through the crowds, not daring to speak in case it set off the unattractive hacking again. A few minutes later he was leading me through the doors of a huge airy bar, lit by the late afternoon sun streaming in through the floor-to-ceiling windows. A few people were sitting at low tables in squashy leather chairs, others perched on high stools at the bar. He led me towards the back and deposited me on a sofa, shouting towards the bar as we walked past.
"Rosie? Bring me a bottle of still, would you darling?"
He sat down next to me, one hand remaining on my shoulder.
"You look like shit," he remarked, cheerfully. "Are you sure you're alright?"
I nodded again, rubbing my face and clearing my throat before trusting myself to speak.
"It's kind of embarrassing," I admitted. "I get vertigo. I thought maybe going on the London Eye wouldn't be so bad, but apparently, my brain doesn't agree." I raised my eyes to his before continuing half-apologetically. "I bailed before I even got to the front of the line."
He leaned back, looking unconvinced, and started laughing. I immediately missed the warmth of his hand on my body, but the sound of his laughter almost made up for it. I grinned back at him and held out my hand to shake.
"I'm Riley," I told him. "Riley Biers."
He took my hand eagerly, still laughing a little.
"Edward Cullen," he replied, and didn't let go.
A tall blond woman materialised at our table carrying a tray with a bottle of water and two glasses of ice.
"Picking up waifs and strays again, Edward?" she asked, not sounding terribly impressed. I watched carefully, trying to work out their relationship. She sounded a bit too invested to be simply a co-worker.
"Oh, you know me, Rosie," he replied, completely ignoring her dig, still holding my hand. "This one literally fell at my feet."
She rolled her eyes and set down the tray.
"Well, if it's all the same to you, I'll take my break now," she said, primly.
"Sure, Rosie," he smiled. "See you tonight."
He released me and picked up the bottle, twisting the cap off with those long, strong fingers, starting me off on a completely inappropriate train of thought again. I forced my eyes back up to his face.
"Does she work for you?" I asked.
"Technically, yes," he said, handing me a glass of icy water. "I'm the manager; she's in charge of the bar. In reality, she does exactly what she wants to. Luckily for me, she's damn good at her job."
I gratefully sipped at the water.
"Not your girlfriend then?" I pressed.
"No, she's not really my type," he chuckled, his eyes sparkling mischievously. "But I think you already knew that."
I sipped more water and smiled tentatively. I was pretty sure he was flirting with me, but Rosie's comment still bothered me slightly. I wasn't at all averse to casual hook-ups, but it was never great to feel like just one in a long line of conquests.
He changed the subject, asking me about where I was from, why I was travelling, all the usual kind of stuff. As usual I invented some imaginary friends that I was travelling with, never liking to admit to being alone. I felt uncomfortable lying to him about it, which was strange – the deception didn't usually bother me.
He told me a bit about the bar, how it catered for tourists and families during the day, and then heated up at night when the office workers from the surrounding tower blocks piled in, easily filling its hundred seats and overflowing on to the boulevard. I wasn't really paying too much attention to what he was saying, mostly just watching his mesmerising lips move and enjoying the shivers that the sound of his voice was giving me.
We had finished the water, so I excused myself to the restroom. When I returned he was on his feet, talking to some of his staff, apparently reviewing menus and discussing shift patterns. I reluctantly picked up my backpack and hung back, taking the opportunity to have a good look at him for the first time. He was taller than me by a few inches, and broader too. He was wearing black jeans that hung from his hips, showing the round curve of his ass to perfection. His plain white tee was fitted and clung to his chest and arms, his muscles gently flexing as he gestured while he talked. My eyes were drawn back to his fingers, flipping over pages of a menu. I swallowed. Those damn fingers.
He looked over at me and raised his eyebrows questioningly. He finished up with his staff and walked over.
"You need to be somewhere?" he asked.
I shook my head.
"Not really," I admitted. "But you look busy; I don't want to be in the way."
He laughed again. He was the kind of person that seemed to find a lot of things funny.
"Trust me," he said, gesturing to the half empty bar. "This is not busy. Officially I'm not actually working at the moment. Would you like a tour? Have a look behind the scenes?"
"Sure, that would be great," I agreed, suspecting I was agreeing to somewhat more than a look around the kitchen. What the hell. I'd kick myself forever if I turned down a man who looked quite this delicious.
Edward was quite thorough. I got to see the two kitchens, including the walk-in refrigerator. The tour of the wine cellar took quite some time, and I learned a lot about how to store beer properly. Edward was smirking through every detailed explanation, as I feigned interest in vintages and pressures. The chilled storage rooms were quite cramped, and we found ourselves brushing against each other as we passed in the narrow spaces. I still felt that I was participating in a well rehearsed dance, designed to get me overheated despite the cool temperatures. The passing touches, the sight of his fingers pointing out labels and bottles, and the damn British accent were combining to give me certain difficulties in walking comfortably. But by this point I didn't really care.
We finally emerged from the cellars and Edward gestured for me to go up another flight of stairs leading to a level above the bar. I asked him what was up there. He grinned like a cat.
"Staff quarters," he said, running his tongue over his lower lip. "Want to see?"
Decision time. He was leaning against the wall, looking quite relaxed, waiting for me to go up, or leave. I felt no pressure; I was sure I could walk away with no problems. But I really, really didn't want to. I turned deliberately and started walking up the stairs slowly, swinging my hips the tiniest bit, to let him know I knew exactly what I was being asked. I had climbed half a dozen steps when I realised he wasn't following me. I paused and looked over my shoulder.
He was standing at the base of the stairs, staring up at me with his mouth hanging slightly open. It was my turn to raise my eyebrows. I know I have a damn fine ass.
He took the stairs two at a time, grabbing my hand and sweeping me up with him. He didn't slow down or look at me again, producing a key from his pocket and unlocking the first door in the hallway. The door slammed behind us and he was pushing me against it, his mouth on mine in an instant.
His lips felt like fire, so, so hot and needy. I dropped my backpack and surrendered, grasping the fabric of his tee at his back and pulling him in harder.
"Jesus, Riley," he gasped when we broke for air, "I've been wanting to do this from the second I saw you outside."
"Do you do this a lot?" I asked, helplessly, as Edward ran his lips along my jaw, nipping at the skin under my ear.
"Do what?" he mumbled into my neck, running his hands under my tee, those long fingers exploring my ribs and stomach.
"Bring home waifs and strays?" I moaned, not entirely sure why I was asking.
He stopped what he was doing and looked at me.
"Does that bother you?" he asked, candidly. "Because I'll be honest with you, I'm not exactly a steady date."
I must have looked like a startled rabbit. I was kicking myself for stopping him doing what he was doing. I answered him by grabbing his head and pulling him towards me to kiss his mouth again. As long as his mouth and hands were on me I could deal with everything else later.
He tugged at the hem of my shirt, pulling away from my mouth so he could rip it off over my head, before continuing his attack on my skin.
"Anyway, Rosie wasn't talking about me bringing men home," he said, in between kisses and licks down my chest. "She was talking about my unfortunate habit of helping people who have come in with hard luck stories."
He paused to swirl his tongue around a nipple, making me groan and not give a crap about anyone else's luck, hard or otherwise. As long as he kept talking, he could be reciting the phone book for all I cared. I tangled my fingers in his hair, leaning against the cold door.
"There was a party of Belgian tourists who had lost their travellers cheques a couple of weeks ago," he went on. "I gave them a free lunch."
Lick, kiss, swirl.
"And at Easter there were a bunch of Japanese schoolgirls who had run out of credit on their mobile phones and couldn't get back to their hotel," he muttered. "So I ended up paying for a taxi."
He moved to the other nipple and swiped his tongue across it once before biting down gently.
"Fuck!" I groaned, and he worked his way further down, licking his way across my abs to my belt.
"And right now, there is you," he went on, "and I would very much like to help you with this."
He palmed my erection through my jeans and my hips jerked forward with no instruction from me whatsoever. He looked up at me, his eyes dark, his teeth showing through parted lips, while he made quick work of the buckle and buttons. He carried on staring into my eyes as he slipped his hands inside my boxers and pushed them down, freeing my aching cock. He slowly put two of those amazing fingers into his mouth, pulling them out and licking across his palm, before, at last, wrapping his hand around me. I arched my head back, pushing into his hand, gasping, moaning, bracing against the door to stop myself collapsing on the spot.
He sank to his knees in front of me, slowly stroking me with one hand, his other snaking behind me to grip my ass. I knew what he was going to do next but that didn't stop me crying out as his tongue flicked out, making all too brief contact with the head of my cock.
He tortured me. He was so slow and careful, deliberate, thorough. He licked me from base to tip, taking the head into his mouth only to release me again to start over. Each time worked his way back up again he took me in a little deeper, until he could let go with his hand and hold me fully in his mouth, sweeping up and down with his lips and tongue.
His now free hand rolled my balls and tugged down, before pushing further back underneath. His fingers were wet and made smooth, slippery circles over my hole. He nudged my leg wider with his shoulder, making me jerk down the door slightly, sweat on my back causing me to stick to the wood. All the time his mouth worked me over; lick, suck, swirl. I wanted his fingers inside me so badly, I was squirming against him, trying to make him understand.
He relented, pressing firmly until the first finger slipped inside me and I had to stop myself from thanking him out loud. He moved it at the same pace as his mouth, curling and twisting, sending sparks up inside me. He added another and grazed me with his teeth; I felt my eyes rolling back and could hear the pathetic sounds coming from my mouth.
He didn't stop moving but he never sped up, pressing me firmly in place, not letting me thrust or grind against him. I was incoherent. The man was a fucking genius, taking me to the edge and holding me there, while I whimpered helplessly under his touch.
"Please," I started begging, acknowledging that I was totally under his control. "Please, Edward, for God's sake..."
He released me from his mouth abruptly, and slid his fingers from me, resuming his slow stroking of my cock instead. He stood up and kissed me, his mouth open, his tongue pressing into mine so I could taste myself on him. He was breathing heavily when he pulled away, leaning his forehead against mine.
"I want to fuck you now, Riley," he breathed. "Tell me I can fuck you – I need you, right now."
I would have agreed to anything at that point, hearing those words come out of that mouth, but as it was, we both wanted exactly the same thing.
"Please, Edward," I told him. "Please fuck me, right here, right now."
He whirled away from me, leaving me gasping. My pants were half way down my legs so I couldn't easily follow as he disappeared into a nearby doorway. I toed off my shoes and was stepping out of my pants when he reappeared and I understood. He had gotten rid of his own boots and pants and was carrying small foil packet and a plastic bottle.
"Turn around," he instructed. I didn't need to be told twice. My whole body was quivering in anticipation. I braced my forearms against the door and heard the rest of his clothes hit the floor and the tear of the foil. Moments later he was standing behind me, his warm breath at my neck, his hands tracing lines down my sides to my ass.
"You're fucking beautiful," he whispered. "You have no idea what you're doing to me."
I turned my head slightly, grazing my lips over his.
"Show me," I panted.
He slipped his fingers between my cheeks, pressing first one, then another slowly into me. I pushed back against his hand, no longer able to stand his teasing.
"Show me," I demanded, louder. "Please."
His fingers withdrew and I felt his hard cock, still cold with lube, resting against my hole. Finally, finally he pushed himself in and I nearly cried with relief. It felt so damn good, sliding forward until his hips were against me, filling me up, stretching me, owning me. I shifted to lean my head against one arm so I could stroke my throbbing cock with my free hand. He held completely still so I ground back hard against him, needing him to move.
"Show me, dammit, Edward," I shouted, desperate for more.
I felt his hand grip my hips harder and he eased back out of me. Just when I thought I would scream if he didn't do something, anything, he slammed forward and I screamed anyway.
It was indescribable. He was driving up into me at a perfect angle, sending wave after wave of pleasure through me. I could barely co-ordinate my hand on my cock, but I was so close to exploding that it was hardly relevant. I could hear him swearing and yelling my name as he pounded over and over, pulling me onto him, faster and harder, driving me closer with each thrust.
He'd got me wound up so tight that the uncoiling was overwhelming. I spilled over uncontrollably, sensation sweeping out from inside, every muscle shuddering. Edward was still moving inside me, drawing it out as I clenched around him, both of us gasping and crying out. I couldn't see. I was barely conscious of where I was, and I knew my legs were going to give out for the second time that day. I felt his arms tighten around me as he thrust one more time and then stilled, swelling and pulsing inside me.
We crumpled to the floor, Edward unable to support me any longer, slipping out of me as we landed. He still held on to me, his face pressed into my neck, our chests heaving as we tried to breathe.
"That was fucking amazing," he murmured.
I nodded vaguely, still unable to speak. Completely, fucking, amazing.
Eventually we untangled ourselves and helped each other to stand up. There's always potential for this moment to be awkward, when you find yourself naked with a guy you only just met, no longer carried away by desire and need. But Edward didn't seem to want to stop touching me and kissing me, and there was no room for embarrassment or shyness.
He showed me his bathroom and let me take a shower, and I guess he cleaned up his door while I was doing it. When I came out he was dressed again, and explained he needed to go to work. I must have looked exhausted because he invited me to stay and have a rest in his apartment for a while, and I fell into his bed as his door clicked shut behind him.
I slept for a few hours, and it was dark outside by the time I made my way back downstairs. I found Edward sitting at a small table to the side of the room, watching over the now busy crowds of young drinkers who were shouting and pushing their way through the bar.
He jumped up when he saw me, and immediately drew me in for a kiss. He threw a set of keys towards Rosie, who caught them deftly and carried on pouring drinks without looking up.
"You're in charge for an hour," he shouted about the din, and pulled me out of the doors into the night air.
"Are you allowed to do that?" I asked, warily.
"One of the perks of being in charge," he said, winking. "No-one to tell me off."
He took my hand and we walked briskly towards the river. The South Bank looked completely different at night, still humming with life but lit up and sparkling. An avenue of small trees planted randomly in the concourse was strung with tiny blue lights, looking almost Christmassy in the middle of summer.
The enormous wheel still dominated the skyline, and I realised we were getting closer and closer to the entrance at the base. Edward was moving fast, dragging me along, and ignored me when I started to protest. I pulled against his grip, but he was relentless. I relaxed a little when he veered past the entrance to the ramp that led up to the boarding area, but started panicking again as he leapt up the steps marked VIP Only.
We were met at the top of the steps by a tiny dark haired woman who squealed excitedly at Edward and threw her arms around him. He hugged her back, one-armed, obviously realising that I would bolt if he let go of me.
"Alice," he said, when he had put her down, "this is Riley. Riley, meet Alice, she's in charge of the Eye tonight."
"Oh Edward, he's gorgeous!" she exclaimed, and then skipped away from us, talking quietly into a walkie-talkie.
"Edward, I really don't think this is a good idea," I said nervously.
"Don't worry, Riley," he replied, grinning back at me. "Alice owes me a favour, so I have it all taken care of."
We followed Alice through another rope barrier until we were standing right next to the boarding platform. My stomach was in my throat as a huge, empty capsule floated into view, its doors open having already disgorged its previous occupants. And then it stopped. The entire wheel stopped, dead, the doors of the capsule open in front of us. Edward threw his free arm out, gesturing to the entrance.
"Shall we?" he asked.
"Why has it stopped?" I whispered, almost more terrified now, at the thought that it might stop again once we were inside.
"Alice stopped it," he said simply. "They have to be able to stop it for medical emergencies and stuff. So I asked her to stop it for us. Plus we have the whole capsule to ourselves. No sharing."
He looked ridiculously pleased with himself, and tugged gently on my hand.
"Come on, Riley," he said. "We're holding up the queue."
I looked to the side and saw that there were indeed several rather irritated people staring at us, waiting for their turn. I took a deep breath and let him lead me inside.
"Enjoy the ride, boys," I heard Alice call as the doors closed behind us, and almost immediately the wheel started to move again.
The ride was so smooth and so slow, it was only possible to tell we were moving by watching the struts and cables passing the windows. Edward manoeuvred me to the small oval bench in the centre, letting me perch on the end while he straddled it behind me, wrapping his arms around my waist and resting his chin on my shoulder.
As the capsule started to rise, he pointed out various buildings as they came into view. Canary Wharf, the Gherkin, St. Paul's Cathedral, Buckingham Palace - the whole city laid out in spectacular lights below us. The capsule was light and roomy; with no other people crowding it I didn't feel any trace of claustrophobia. And with Edward's arms anchoring me to the bench, and unable to see the river below us in the darkness, I could ignore the vertigo enough to enjoy the view.
It was over too quickly. Alice kindly stopped the wheel again so I could get out without having a full blown anxiety attack, and we walked over to the balustrade along the river edge. We leaned over it for a while, looking out at the bridges and the northern bank. Edward stood behind me again; he seemed to like that position, having his arms wrapped around my chest, and I was quite happy about it too.
"I have to go back to work now," he murmured in my ear.
"OK," I said, not moving, except to cover his arms with my own and hold him a bit tighter to my back.
He kissed my neck and eased himself away.
"You know where to find me," he said. "We close at two."
I turned and leant back on the balustrade to watch him walk away, admiring his long legs and broad shoulders until he disappeared from my sight. I checked my watch. Half past nine. I figured I could find something to do for the next four hours.