One Drunken Night in Paradise

This story came about as a dare from a group of friends on FB. They gave me a title, a banner, the characters Bella & Emmett, and told me to go write something. So here it is. I hope it meets your expectations, ladies! And yes, I did include all your names, as promised!

Thanks go to my beta, mxpi1970.

As always, I own nothing but the awesome fantasy of Emmett in uniform... *sigh*

Warning: Rated M for swearing and lemons.



Fuck my life.

I stormed out of the building, ignoring the stares from the reception desk and from dear old Albert on the door.

I should have known.

Desperation, coupled with a serious lack of cash, had forced me back into temping as a legal secretary. I hated the job, but it was all I was qualified to do, and I did it well. Although evidently my legal mind and typing skills weren't what the current management had in mind when they hired me.

Bastards. And now I'm out a week's pay.

I'd hoped to stay on at this firm; the pay was good and the work was local, so there was no need for cabs which I couldn't afford anyway. Ever since The Jerk had run off with all my money, leaving me penniless, I had had to move to my current rat hole of an apartment.

It was squalid; one big room, curtained off into a kitchenette/diner and a lounge/bedroom with just the one window, overlooking the fire escape. Thank fuck I had investigated the broom closet when I did, as it turned out to be the bathroom. There was a shower fitted over the toilet to save space, meaning I had to sit down on the toilet lid to shower; that was if the hot water was even working, else it was a cold wash in the cracked basin. The landlord described this place as 'bijou'; seriously – cockroaches would've demanded more room. My few clothes were hung on a battered old rail in the bedroom 'area', next to the wall-mounted ironing board, my books piled up on the one rickety cupboard.

I had sunk as low as I thought I could go – until today.

Hearing sirens wailing toward me, I whirled, seeing smoke billowing from the direction I was headed. Confusion and worry overrode my anger as I ran as best I could in the direction of the smoke, my few personal belongings from the office, such as they were, bumping my leg in the old satchel I carried.

Turning the corner onto my street, I saw the first fire truck scream to a halt, half a dozen fire fighters piling out of the cab and making their way toward... my building.

Fuck my life.


An hour later, the area was declared safe, and the fire fighters started to pack up their equipment. The apartment on the fifth floor had had a wiring malfunction and the place was toasted. One of the guys came over to me and asked me briskly which apartment was mine. I told him 3C, and he said I could go in to collect my belongings, but that I couldn't stay there until the wiring was thoroughly checked and the place dried out.

I climbed the stairs gingerly, trying to not make contact with the rails or walls. Everywhere was black with soot and soaking wet. Arriving at the third floor, I discovered that my hovel was mostly untouched by the fire itself, but had suffered severe smoke and water damage as the fire fighters had wrestled with the blaze. Everything was drenched. At first glance, there wasn't anything worth salvaging. My clothes were stained, my books soaked. I reached for my jewellery box and opening it slowly, reached into the soggy velvet interior. Thankfully, my mother's rings were resilient enough to cope with a little water. I slipped them onto my hand and took a long look around. I had nothing else of value; The Jerk had seen to that.

I picked up my converse trainers, chucking them into a bag – they would dry. A few other items joined them in the bag before I turned and walked back out into the sun.

"Hey, sweetheart - you ok?"

The cheery voice came from the huddle of uniforms standing by the truck.

I turned, slowly.

"I'm sorry, are you talking to me?" My hackles rose at the familiarity in his tone.

"Sure I'm talking to you. Did you get everything you wanted from the building?" He peeled away from the pack of men and ambled over to me. He was well over 6 feet tall, and looked to be a big built guy. Mind you, that was probably just the bulky uniform.

I shook my head. "Well, I have this big invisible suitcase full of clothes and books to see me through, so I guess I'm just dandy."

One day, my sarcastic mouth was going to get me into a lot of trouble.

He looked at the ground for a moment, then back at me, momentarily confused. His smile dropped a little.

"Oh, is it all ruined? Will the rest be ok once it dries out?"

"It's all trashed. Useless. Like you even care! You put the fire out; you don't have to worry about our belongings, our lives that are ruined in the process do you." My voice was reaching dangerous levels; the adrenalin had kicked in, it was fight or flight and Isabella Marie Swan did not back down.

He looked bewildered at my vehemence. Pulling off his helmet and gloves, he ran a hand through his cropped, dark hair.

"Hey ... whoa... I'm just doing my job, sweetheart, and making sure you're ok. Have you got somewhere to stay tonight?"

"Yeah, well great job there, chief," I snarled, turning on my heel and hefting my bag onto my shoulder. "Don't worry about me – I'll just go check back into my suite at the Hilton. I only use this place during the week to get away from the paps. Plus, you know, the ambiance."

It wasn't exactly a graceful, elegant exit, and it was made so much worse when I turned my ankle over on the edge of the pavement. I hit the road, hard, and cursed loudly.

I felt strong arms picking me up, and placing me back on my feet.

"You ok? That was some fall. Can you stand?"

I heard laughter behind us, and could just picture the guys back at the station later, laughing over the clumsy chick with everything she owned in a bag on her back.

"I'm fine! Get off me!" I lashed out blindly, catching him on the chin. He let go immediately, despite the fact that my punch must have felt like a gnat landing on him.

"Okay, okay ..." He backed off, his hands raised non-threateningly.

I felt eyes watching me as I climbed awkwardly to my feet, trying hard to walk normally until I was out of sight of the building. Only then did I allow the pain to show on my face as I limped away to god knows where.

Like I had so many choices.


The beach.

Salt water would feel good on my swollen ankle, plus I could sleep on the sand for free. Decision made, I caught the next bus, getting off at the far end of town. Limping down to the beach, I stopped and pulled off my shoes, throwing them down with my bags. As I waded slowly into the rolling surf, I groaned aloud as the cool water embraced the heat of my ankle.

Eventually, I made my way back to my bags and sat down on the sand, my head dropping into my hands as I contemplated my future.

No home. No family. No job. Little money; maybe enough to rent somewhere for a couple of nights and buy some food. Alternatively, sleep on the beach, wash in a public restroom and eat for a couple of weeks.

My stomach growled, reminding me that it had been hours since I last ate. I checked the money situation before looking around. Seeing a bar, I hefted my bags once more and headed over. As I drew closer, I saw the sign outside proclaiming 'We serve bar food!'

There were a few cars parked up outside, and as I pushed open the door I saw a large group of men at one end of the room, all drinking beer and talking loudly. Steering clear, I hobbled over, perching on a stool and waiting for the bartender. When he appeared, I ordered a beer and a sandwich with extra salad, taking full advantage of the 'unlimited' sticker on the menu. I ate slowly, making each mouthful count as I chased it down with a swig of beer. As I ate, the noise levels from the end of the room gradually rose as the guys knocked back more beer. I knew from experience that it was only a matter of time before the catcalls started, and I intended to be long gone before then.

But when a call did come, it was a familiar voice that I heard.

"Look who it is! Hey, sweetheart! Are you ok over there?"

I tried to ignore it, my shoulders tightening.

On the second call, my teeth gritted.

On the third call, I snapped.

"I'm doin' just fine, baby! How's the chin?"

His buddies roared with laughter. Clearly this had been a talking point this afternoon. Without looking, I heard lots of back slaps and ribbing, and mutters of "yeah, yeah."

Refusing to give him the satisfaction of turning around, I swung off my bar stool, gathering my bags and walking as gracefully as I could out the door – pausing only to flip him the bird over my shoulder as I left.

I heard the chorus of good-natured jeers behind me as the door swung shut.



She is one feisty chick. What is her damage?

It had been a tough day all round.

The fire at the old tenement block was in some ways inevitable as the wiring in that place was pre war. But, that didn't make it any easier on the residents who lost their belongings and, for some, their homes.

The fire had been reasonably contained, having not had time to spread. The old lamp that had short circuited was as old as the building itself, and should have been condemned years ago. Easy to say in theory, but when you have little to call your own, you make do with what you can lay your hands on.

That dark haired girl was a prime example. She didn't look like a down and out kinda chick; she looked like she was used to a better way of life, and having to adjust to living on a lower rung of the ladder was proving a major struggle.

Despite her animosity, I found myself fascinated by her. I understood her anger and frustration; she had lost a lot today and most likely had no way of replacing any of it. But she blamed me which I found hard to comprehend. I was just trying to be friendly, to find out if she was ok and had somewhere to go. I didn't expect her response, or the punch. I rubbed my jaw absentmindedly. It hadn't really hurt, but it had come as a shock. No chick had ever hit me before. I'd like to think I'd never given them cause to.

So why am I still thinking of her?

Sitting in the bar, trying to wind down after the shift ended, I was contemplating a late one. The boys were settling in for the long haul, and I had no reason to rush back to an empty apartment.

But then, she came in.

I didn't notice at first. Mike had made a really near the knuckle comment about this girl he'd been dating and her 'preferences' between the sheets, and I was wiping tears of laughter from my eyes at his indignant expression at our total lack of compassion for his plight. As I turned my head and caught a glimpse, I did a double take.

It's her! The chick with the smart mouth and the swing!

She was alone, sitting awkwardly on the bar stool with her bags piled at her feet, as she ate an enormously overstuffed salad sandwich. Before I could even engage my brain, my mouth had taken over.

"Look who it is! Hey, sweetheart! Are you ok over there?"

As I watched her stiffen, I realised too late that I had overstepped the mark. I chastised myself for my stupidity; her day had been so much worse than mine and I was trying to be glib. Unfortunately, Jared and Embry then took up the chant and pushed until she eventually retaliated.

"I'm doin' just fine, baby! How's the chin?"

All the boys started cheering and clapping me on the back like I'd just won first prize for best Easter bonnet at the county fair. As I mumbled under my breath, I saw her stand awkwardly, collect her few belongings and make for the door, pausing only to flip us the bird over her shoulder.

The boys loved it, but I looked away, feeling guilty and wondering how to make it right.



Fuck him. Fuck them all.

I walked back down to the beach slowly, wishing I had some painkillers for my ankle. I sank down onto the sand and reached into my satchel for the half bottle of cheap, shitty vodka that I'd fished out of my icebox. I was sure it would achieve the same effect, albeit ruin my eyesight and throat lining at the same time, but hell, after the day I was having... Unscrewing the cap, I took a small swig, wincing as it burned a line of fire down my gullet. By the time it warmed my stomach I felt a mite more relaxed. All I needed now was some blankets and a pillow. Sadly, it looked like my satchel would have to do because although a towel would've been preferable, the one I'd grabbed had been soaked through like everything else. I sighed and took another swig from the bottle. The burn set my throat aflame and I coughed, long and hard, tears welling in my eyes. As I tried to blink away the tears I found that more joined them, and before long I had twin rivers forging mismatched paths down my cheeks, dripping onto my jeans. My shoulders shook with the outpouring of anger and desperation, released as my carefully constructed dam crumbled under the onslaught.

I'm so tired of this. My life is such a fucking mess.

Hearing crunching steps I looked over my shoulder, wiping my eyes with the heels of my hands.

I so don't need company right now. Oh, you have got to be fucking kidding me.

It was the wise-ass.

He didn't approach me directly, but sat down on the sand a short distance away. Not looking in my direction I just heard,


My head snapped round and I glared at him. "Sorry for what?" I ground out.

He jerked his head in the direction of the bar.

"For the guys. And for me, what I said. It was tactless and insensitive. You've had a shock and I made light of it."

"What are you – some kind of Boy Scout? You followed me down here to apologise?"

He ran his hand through his hair, absently. "I couldn't leave it like that, with you so mad. If my sisters found out they'd kick my ass into a brand new shape."

"And they'd be right. I like your sisters' style."

He grinned. "They keep me in line, taught me all I know about girls. Unfortunately sometimes I speak without thinking, like today. What can I say - I'm a work in progress."

"So what – you want a fucking medal? You said your piece so you can go."

He stood up, brushing sand from his backside.

"Okay. Well, if you want to talk, or just want some company, I'll be in the bar til closing."

"Just go." Tears were threatening again and I didn't need his sympathy.

As I heard his footsteps retreat, a wrenching sob tore through me, and I buried my head in my arms.

Too late I heard the footsteps return, and this time he sat next to me.

"I'm not leaving you like this. It's not right. Come on; let's go get you a coffee. It'll be dark soon – where are you staying? I'll make sure you get there safely. You can trust me."

"I'm fine."

"No, you're not."

I inhaled deeply, trying to steady my breathing. "So I lied. Happy? I'm sleeping on the beach – it's just for tonight, before you argue. I'll sort out something more permanent tomorrow."

Just as soon as a lucky Irish leprechaun comes by and craps gold coins into my lap. So any day now then.

He looked at me with concern. I didn't buy that look for a minute. Men lie.

"Let me at least buy you a coffee. It'll be better for you than that paint stripper you're drinking."

I snorted, knocking back another swig rebelliously only to choke, vodka spilling over my shirt as I coughed and spluttered.

"Damn..." I swiped ineffectually at my clothes. I noticed my hand was a little shaky. Now I came to think about it, I hadn't drunk anything stronger than beer for a while now.

Not since the Jerk left. Wow - drunk on a few shots of vodka. When had I become such a lightweight?

AsI watched incredulously, he gathered up my bags.

"Hey! What the hell do you think you're doing? Put those down!" I swung round to snatch back my bag and overbalanced, cursing like a sailor. I heard a sigh and the soft thump of my bags hitting the sand before hands reached round under my back. Suddenly I was hoisted to my feet and slung over his shoulder in a traditional, and utterly humiliating, fireman's lift.

"Put me down! What the fuck are you doing? I'll scream rape if you don't drop me now! I. (Kick) AM. (Kick) NOT. (Kick) JOKING." My uninjured foot pummelled him repeatedly until he clamped the backs of my knees with his arm, effectively hobbling me.

"Stop fighting me. You're in no fit state to walk and I am not leaving you here, drunk and alone. It's too dangerous for a woman to be out here alone at night. Now just stay still and let me get your bags. Unless you're telling me you can actually walk on that ankle?"

I went silent, biting my lip. Admittedly, while the alcohol had numbed the pain somewhat, I doubted the ankle would hold my weight now that it had swelled. And there was a chance that the vodka may have impaired my balance. Just a little. Nothing major.

Damn it - you know what? I can fucking walk.

"Put me down. I want to walk." He dropped me to my feet and a bolt of pain shot through my ankle. I bit down hard on my tongue and wobbled over to my bags, trying to gather everything up and still look in total control. Too late, the ankle twisted, buckled and I went down awkwardly. I sat slumped on the cooling sand, the world spinning and tilting around me as the alcohol sloshed around in my veins. I heard a bellow of laughter behind me.

"Oh yeah, you're just fine. Now stop arguing and fighting me, and let me help you, you impossible woman."

Forcing my smart mouth shut, I allowed him to help me stand. He didn't attempt to carry me again, but picked up my belongings, throwing them over his shoulder as his left arm held me firmly around my waist for support. We made our way across the sand slowly, he supporting me every time I stumbled and swore with pain, until we reached the parking area in front of the bar. I thought for a moment that we were going to join his friends, and I was all ready to tell him where to shove that particular idea when he stopped and unlocked the jeep parked just ahead. Setting me down carefully, he opened the door and dropped my bags in the back before lifting me up bridal style and placing me in the front seat. When he had secured my seatbelt he climbed in the other side and started the engine, a big grin on his face as I glared at him. As we pulled out of the spot I realised that I had no idea where we were headed or what I would find when we got there.



My god, she's stubborn. She's just like Kristie, always fighting the world and testing the limits. Why can't they both just accept help when they need it? No wonder Mom had her hands full with all of us growing up if she had to take crap like this every day.

I looked over at her as she scowled back.

"Will you at least tell me your name? I'm Emmett." I looked at her, eyebrow raised quizzically, and she sighed heavily. I thought she wasn't going to answer, but finally I heard a muffled reply.

"Bella. Short for Isabella. Call me that and you die."


After a short drive, we pulled up in front of a once respectable, but now sadly rundown, motel. I had been staying here since my temporary relocation and, as digs went, it wasn't too bad. Parking up I reached over and grabbed her bags before scooting round to her door. The icy glare I received meant I just opened the door and stood well back, chuckling to myself as I checked surreptitiously for signs of foam on her lips. She climbed out, feet landing on the cracked tarmac with a resulting hiss of pain. Closing the door, I locked the Jeep and indicated that she follow me inside.

Willow was behind the desk, her black, spiky haired head bobbing to the beat from her iPod. When she saw me she grinned, and pulled out an ear bud.

"Hey, Emmett! Thought you and the boys were on an all nighter? Kinda early for you to be turning in, isn't it?"

Her eyes found Bella, who was leaning against the counter for balance, exuding exasperation and, yup, definitely swaying.

"Yeah, change of plans. Any messages for me?" She shook her head, reaching around for my room key. The simple movement allowed light to glint momentarily from her ornate silver nose stud. Her eyes were heavily lined in black and midnight blue, Egyptian style, and set off her beautiful, feline features to perfection. She reminded me of Pink. Hot.

"Good - just the way I like it."

She passed me the key, and I noticed her black, glossy nails.

"Hot date later, Will?" She grinned and winked, popping a bubble in her gum mischievously.

I laughed as I turned toward the stairs with Bella. I helped her up to the second floor and she accepted my assistance with bad grace, realising the necessity but wholly resenting it. Once in the room I locked the door, leaving the key in the lock. I looked at Bella pointedly.

"You can leave at any time, just so you know." I put down her bags and showed her the shower and bedroom. "You can use the bed; I'm fine in the other room."

I could see she was still unsteady on her feet. "Sit down before you fall down. I'll make some coffee. It'll have to be instant I'm afraid; the rent doesn't stretch to a coffeemaker. At least we have hot and cold running water." I chuckled, flicking on the kettle and reaching down into the small refrigerator. "White or black?"

"Black." I heard a soft creak as she threw herself down on the couch. Looking up I saw her curl into a foetal position, clutching a cushion. In that moment she looked vulnerable and defeated; a lost and lonely little girl.

"Tell me about your sisters. They sound cool."

The question surprised me, coming out of left field like that. I felt my smile spread across my face. I loved my sisters.

"Well, the eldest is Kelly. She's awesome – fiercely protective of the rest of us. I remember the day I started school. I was five and she insisted on coming with me and mom, no matter that her teenage friends took the mickey. She took me right into class and glared at the other kids when they laughed at my mismatched clothes. My mom and dad didn't have much money; being the only boy I couldn't have hand-me-downs, so mom went to thrift stores. I didn't care what I wore – I was happy."

"What sort of work does she do?" She didn't look up; her fingers idly played with the faded trim on the cushion.

"She runs the office for a trucking firm. She gets to order all the drivers about." I grinned. "They all think she's the bomb - she has them eating out of the palm of her hand."

I paused, remembering seeing my big sis bellowing at a driver twice her size, and him cowering under the onslaught. I shook my head at the memory. No one messed with her and came out unscathed.

"Then there's Kristie: volatile, hot-headed Kristie. She's three years younger than Kelly, and the two are like chalk and cheese. They used to fight a lot as kids as Kristie is so headstrong. She's a lot like you – I was thinking that earlier on. So, you see, you can't intimidate me with all your cursing and snarling as I had all that, and more, growing up. You two are cut from the same cloth."

I saw her face crumple a little, and I understood then that her fuck-off persona was just a carefully constructed mask of bravery to hide behind. Protection.

"So what does Kristie do?" I smiled at her interest.

"She's a full time mom to my nephew, Jake. He's a cool, laidback kid – nothing like his mom! She had a brief relationship with a great guy named Billy, but they couldn't stay together as she's not a member of his tribe. The Quileutes are an old clan; their laws say that you only marry within your own clan or to join tribes together. It nearly killed them both to end it. I remember her depression, but finding out she was pregnant helped. And Jake gets to see Billy regularly on the reservation."

Her brown eyes finally looked up. "But that's so sad – she can't be with the man she loves."

"No, it was hard for her. Ironically, despite the scandal their relationship caused, the whole tribe absolutely love that kid. So, lastly, there's Calli, my little sis; she was a surprise to mom and dad! She's only 17, and is both adorable and freakishly annoying at the same time. She was very weak and sickly when she was born, and wasn't expected to make it through the first 48 hours. She had to have an operation and it was touch and go for a while there, but she was a fighter. Still is. She's a ray of sunshine on a dull day. Her real name's Alice, but when she was little she earned the nickname Crazy Ali because she was so fearless. Over time it just became shortened to Calli, and it stuck. I think she's forgotten her real name now!"

The kettle boiled and I made the coffee, carrying hers over to the couch.


She uncurled with a groan, reaching for the steaming mug.

"It must be nice to have a big family."

"It is. You're never alone which is a blessing and a curse at times." I sat in the one other remaining chair in the room, wincing at the loud creak. As I sipped my coffee, I heard myself voice the question that had been bothering me since I first met her that afternoon.

"Did something else happen today? I get that you lost your home and most of your stuff, and I'm really sorry about that, I am. But your reaction to it kinda suggested there might be more – that this might have been the last straw. Am I right?"

She didn't meet my eyes.

"It's okay if you don't want to tell me. It's none of my business."

She sipped her coffee, avoiding my eyes. When she finally looked up again, I saw tears. Her voice was wobbly but determined.

"What do you want to know? I only have my dad, and he lives back home in Washington. He's proud of me - thinks I'm a success. But the reality is I live in a fleapit of an apartment because the Jerk I dated waited til I went to work one day and ran off with the contents of our bank account along with anything of value in our home. I am broke, I work any temp job I can find to make money for bills and food, and right now I'm homeless. But today... today was the cherry on top of the frosting."

Despite the tears I could see the anger still bubbling beneath the surface, her hands gripping the coffee mug ferociously as if it alone were responsible for her problems. She laughed, hollowly.

"So today I go to work as usual. I sit down and go through the paperwork I need to copy and file; work that has been approved and signed off by my boss. I always hated that guy; he's just so smooth, almost reptilian. I almost expect him to have a forked tongue when he comes hear me, it's like he smells the air around me or something. It's so creepy. What sort of name is Aro anyway? Anyhow, so today he slithers into my office and tells me how pleased he is with my work and that there's one more task I need to perform in order for their company to seal the deal with Caius Inc. I just smiled, putting on my work facade. That's when he walks over to me and strokes my hand. I nearly retched with disgust; I only just managed to casually pull my hand back to sip my coffee. He says the top man there, some guy called Demetri, wants a private audience with the Volturi liaison – me. All the time he's talking his hand is on my shoulder, but then his fingers are rubbing against my neck. He said... he said..."

She had her eyes closed, struggling with words.

"He said I would be rewarded with a permanent post with Volturi Inc if this ... encounter... was satisfactory. He basically wanted me to fuck the guy as part of the deal! He said I had until the end of the day to decide, but the minute he walked out the room I just grabbed my bag and my few belongings from the desk and got the hell out of there. I was coming home when I saw the smoke. You know the rest."

I was horrified. Suddenly her defences made sense. Everyone she trusted had betrayed her, and she had no one to support her. I suddenly felt guilty for talking about my family; it must have been like rubbing salt into open wounds.

"I'm sorry." It was such a lame response and yet I had never meant the words more. "First thing tomorrow I'll help you find somewhere to live. I'm sure there are shelters in the city; anything to stop you sleeping on the beach. In fact, I'm going to be checking in on you to make sure you're being safe."

Her response was a hostile glare that took me aback. I had thought we were making progress.

She really doesn't accept help well.

"If it helps, my ex wasn't any better than yours. I gave her everything she wanted, a nice house, car, an engagement ring..."

I looked away for a moment and concentrated on my coffee mug. Talking about Kym was still hard, even now, nearly a year later.

"One day I come home to find her gone. Cleared out. She took the car and the ring plus my grandpa's gold and diamond cuff links that he left to me. I heard from a friend of hers that she ran off with some guy I met once at a club. I remember thinking at the time that he was an arrogant bastard who had a dangerous air about him that I didn't care for. Damon, I think his name was. Apparently he was everything I wasn't – the typical bad boy that she found impossible to resist. And now he has everything that I cared about."

"Bet you had no trouble replacing her though, huh? I saw the way that girl downstairs was looking at you - like you were something to eat. Are you telling me you've been a monk since this Kym left you? Give me a break."

"Willow? She's a great girl."

"A great girl?" She snorted derisively. "She wants to fuck you seven ways from Sunday, and you know it."

"What do you want to hear? That when I got posted here I was lonely, that I knew no one and that I'm shy around new people? That it got too much one night and Will was there for me?"

My voice was rising as I defended myself and Willow. Bella was staring at me with an unfathomable expression.

"Will isn't the clingy type and so the arrangement worked out perfectly. It was just one night when we were both alone and horny. So there you go – shoot me if being lonely is a crime."

I got up and took my mug over to the sink. Leaning over it, my eyes closed, I breathed deeply to refocus. I turned back to see her mocking smile, and I just knew that this wasn't over.

"Well I guess that being a fire fighter you can have your pick of women now, can't you? I bet they all fall at the feet of the big, tough guy in uniform here to save the day! So shallow – women are so stupid to think that a uniform makes one guy any more reliable than another. You're all the same!"

I stormed back to the couch, my temper flaring as I stared down at her sneering face.

"What is your problem? I try to help you, I apologise for what happened and I try to make amends by giving you a roof over your head for the night, and you just scream abuse at me? What the hell do you want from me?"

Clambering to her feet, she stumbled gracelessly and I caught her yet again. Fully expecting to be slapped, I could not have been more surprised when she grabbed my head and kissed me hard.


What the HELL?

When she pulled away I just stared at her. Her expression was defiant; her brown eyes, now fixed on mine, issued a silent challenge.

She's drunk. This is not going to happen.

"What's the matter? Can't handle a woman knowing what she wants?" Her taunts were borderline annoying, but the way she raised an eyebrow as she cocked her head made my breath catch.

"Come on, mister fire fighter, show me how big and strong you are." When her hand reached out and grazed my crotch, I caught her wrist.

"Bella... no. I'm not another sleaze looking to take advantage of you." She pulled her hand free, her eyes rolling dramatically.

"Oh, shut the fuck up! I've heard enough from you tonight - time for you to stop talking and prove how useful you can be in other ways." With that she pushed me hard in the chest, and I lost my footing, falling back onto the couch. Before I could push myself up she was straddling me, unbuttoning her shirt and tossing it aside. My eyes were fixed on her breasts, the nipples clearly visible as tight buds poking through the purple fabric.

I groaned inwardly. This was pushing me to my limits of gentlemanly decency, and damn, did I want to see what was underneath that bra. My palms itched to cup those perfect, proud globes, and the look in her eye suggested to me that she knew it. To make matters worse, I had a semi that was threatening to go full mast any second. As I reached out to lift her off of me, she pushed up my shirt and wrapped her lips around my nipple. All fight left me as her teeth grazed the nub, a moan of submission escaping my lips. She flicked and twisted the other, pleasure and pain coming at me in equal parts. My cock was now hard and eager, pressing uncomfortably against my button fly and demanding freedom.

Sliding her skirt up higher, she pressed her core against my crotch. I could feel her heat permeating my jeans and unconsciously pressed against her, seeking relief. She felt my arousal and moved against me, providing delicious friction as she rubbed the denim into my swollen flesh.

We shouldn't be doing this... oh fuck!

She reached around and flicked open her bra catch, letting the material hang loosely from her shoulders. When she shook the straps down her arms and I got my first look at her breasts I lost any chance I had of retaining rational thought.

My libido waved a white flag of surrender.

I looked into her eyes and saw that challenging stare again.

"Well, what are you waiting for?" She smirked, shimmying slightly and making them jiggle delightfully. My hands found and cupped them, feeling their soft weight in my palms as I squeezed one pebbled peak, feeling triumphant at her sharp inward breath. I wanted to taste them but her position had me pinned to the couch. Sensing my distress, she leaned over me slowly, stretching her back like a cat, until those rosy tips were brushing my lips. I captured one and pulled it into my mouth, sucking and licking as if my life depended on it. Pushing the two together, I sucked both nipples into my mouth, loving her whimpers as my tongue flickered over the swollen peaks before I crushed them between my fingers. Her head fell back and her moan reverberated through my body all the way to my cock as she writhed over me. I slid a hand down her flat stomach and under her skirt, feeling along the edge of her panties until I reached her warmth. Massaging her core through the wet fabric, I swear she growled as she pushed her sex into my working fingers.

Pulling away from her suddenly, she moaned at the loss of contact and I grabbed her hips, grinding her wetness into my erection and holding her there forcefully.

"Are you sure you want this, little girl?" I bucked my hips to punctuate my point.

"Fuck, yeah," she gasped. Lifting her bodily off me, I slid off the couch and carried her through to my bed. Her legs wrapped tightly around my waist and she rubbed herself against me, making my head spin.

I dropped her on the bed and stood looking down at her, her eyes dark and taunting. I pulled off my shirt, maintaining eye contact as I unbuckled my jeans before popping open my fly and relieving the pressure on my rigid flesh. I pushed down the fabric slowly and deliberately, watching as she rubbed her thighs together in frustration. My underwear was moulded to me, emphasising every line of my body as her eyes roamed over my crotch hungrily. Pushing herself up, she prowled toward me and pushed her face against my groin, her hot breath fanning over my cock, making me twitch and harden more painfully. She mouthed me through the cotton, nuzzling my length with her nose and cupping my balls with her hand. My head fell back when she rolled down the elastic, freeing me at last. As my cock bobbed forward into the air, she captured it with her hot little mouth. My hands dove into her hair, guiding her as she worked my shaft, thrusting gently as her hand joined her mouth in working me over.

Unwilling to succumb too early I pulled away, pushing her back on the bed and pulling her toward me by her calves. Reaching around her waist, I unzipped her skirt and dragged it down over her feet, letting it join my shirt on the floor. She lay there in nothing more than skimpy purple panties, the front of which were darkened by her abundant wetness. Roughly parting her knees, I lifted her ass and lowered my mouth to her covered sex, pressing my nose into her core. I inhaled deeply, loving her fragrance as my tongue probed experimentally. She mewled as I sucked her flesh through the wet cotton.

Two can play at that game.

Her muffled grunts increased in volume as I teased her slowly, before finally taking pity on her. Pulling my head away, I pulled the scrap of material down her legs and let it dangle from one foot like a lacy charm bracelet. This time when I grabbed her ass she let a pleading groan. With no preliminaries I buried my face in her sex, my tongue taking long laps, catching her moisture as it overflowed her soft, pink lips. Her grunts and moans spurred me on and I focused in on her swollen clit, fluttering against it before pulling back and stroking the skin beneath. Her breathing was erratic and her head thrashed from side to side as I pushed her closer to the edge. Sliding a finger into her heat I stroked her silky walls, searching for the spot that would drive her crazy. When I felt that sensitive patch of flesh I added another finger and stroked it rhythmically, my tongue still working her little nerve bundle as she writhed and screamed under me.

"Come for me."

With a wail she convulsed around my fingers, her nectar running from her into my waiting mouth. Laying her down on the bed, I stripped off my underwear.

"My turn."

Reaching for my wallet, I found a condom and ripped open the packet. Bella sat up, her face and chest flushed from orgasm. If anything, her eyes were hungrier than before. She took the condom from my hand and rolled it slowly down my cock, taking a moment to lick my sac when she reached the base. Her voice was throaty and not to be denied.

"Get on your back, mister fire fighter. I wanna ride the pole."

With a grin I obliged. As she hovered over me once more I held my swollen length for her, watching as she slowly impaled herself, all the way down, until she was resting on my balls.

Fuck, she's tight.

I saw her eyes blaze as she took all of me in, slowly starting to move. Although she started slowly, teasingly, she soon built up a fast rhythm and I could hear the sounds of her wet sex as she rode me hard. Unable to resist, I thrust upward and she cried out, her nails digging into my thighs. Loving her response, I did it again and she fell forward, her palms against my chest, bracing herself.

"You like that, huh?"

As she rose and fell, I thrust into her tightness and we crashed together repeatedly, both groaning and gasping as we strove for release. I could feel her body tensing and releasing, her eyes tightly closed as she focused on her goal. My cock was throbbing, my balls tight as I rode the edge until I knew I couldn't hold back any longer. I pulled her hips tightly to me and she ground down, pressing her clit into my body as I thrust wildly, heat rising rapidly until I couldn't stand it anymore. One last swirl of her hips and I was falling into oblivion, shouting out my pleasure as I felt her body start to shake over me. I reached to stroke her clit, rubbing it in short, sharp strokes and she exploded, screaming obscenities as she collapsed against me, both of us panting and spent.


I don't know what I expected to find in the morning. Maybe I thought that she'd be nursing a hangover and a ton of regrets about our actions the previous night. Maybe she'd be sitting drinking a gallon of coffee to clear her head.

What I didn't expect was to find her gone.

I checked the clock. It was still early. I had work in a couple of hours, but before I could relax I had to find out if she was ok. Pulling on my jeans and shirt, I ran downstairs to see if Willow could tell me anything. What I saw stopped me dead in my tracks. Bella was sitting, drinking coffee with Willow, the two of them giggling like old friends.

"Morning!" They both spoke in unison as I gawked. Pulling myself together, I asked the only question in my head.

"What's going on here?"

"Don't worry, Emm – we're not comparing notes or anything." Willow looked at me with a wink and I flushed. "Bella came down to apologise for coming in here drunk last night, and we got to talking. I have a room going begging at my place. It's only tiny but it's warm, dry and cheap. She mentioned that you were going to help her find a place while hers is fixed up and this seemed the sensible solution. You don't have to rescue everyone, hun. There are others there to help." She smiled and sipped her coffee.

"And you're ok with this, Bella?" I couldn't believe this turn of events. But oddly, I liked it. Will was a good girl and I suspected they would look out for each other. Maybe the arrangement could even work out longer term. That old building of hers really was a death trap. I'd speak to Willow later.

She nodded, looking happy for the first time since we met.

"That is fantastic! You're a genius, Will!" I leaned round the desk and hugged her. "Well, we should celebrate! Is there more coffee?"

I looked at the two of them bonding and felt a rush of warmth that Bella was no longer alone.

As Willow reached for the coffee pot, I looked idly out the window; the morning light shone on the faded motel sign, its paint cracked and peeling. It proclaimed simply:

'Paradise Motel.'



A/N – Voting opens on The Sunflower Awards on May 4th.

http: / thesunflowerawards . blogspot . com /

I am excited that No Turning Back, Windy Afternoon & Learning to Fly have all been nominated in several categories, and I need your help if I am to stand a chance at winning anything at all!

SO – if my cliff hangers drive you crazy, vote for me as Master of Cliff hangers!

If you love Carlisle in Learning to Fly, or Alice in Windy Afternoon, vote for them as Best Carlisle/Alice!

Check out ALL the nominations and make yours count.

To quote Princess Leia: "Help me... you're my only hope."