As promised, here is the outtake of the fade-to-black scene in Chapter 36. It's written in Edward's point of view. I hope you enjoy it. This will be the last update to Inside Man. Thank you so much for joining me on this journey, and thank you capitalab, livie79, and mshavisham for your help with this outtake.
This story can be downloaded in its entirety in pdf and ebook formats on my blog: gardenofsin dot net
But, wait! Before you go . . .
Livie79 and I are hosting a anonymous contest called Let's Do Anal. Yep, it's exactly what it sounds like, and it's going to be awesome. More info can be found here: letsdoanal dot blogspot dot com
You can also follow the contest on Twitter: LetsDoAnalCont
Bella didn't speak on the drive home. I struggled for something, anything to say. Small talk didn't seem right after the conversation we'd just had. And as for us . . .
There was nothing left to say.
She knew how I felt, and while I could plead and beg and profess my love for hours, I wouldn't push her. If she chose me, I wanted it to be because she wanted me, not because she was pressured.
Tonight had been the best night of my life. It was nice to go on a date like a normal man. Dinner and a movie might be cliche to some, but it was something I hadn't done for a very long time. Besides, it was time I got to spend exclusively with Bella, outside the walls of her apartment and without another party vying for her attention.
And she looked amazing.
Her blue shirt was going to be the death of me. It was so low, showed off so much skin. She had to have known what it would do to me when she chose it. We never discussed our sexual history, but it was obvious I was in the middle of one hell of a dry spell. Perhaps it was why Bella wore that shirt in particular. She didn't seem to mind the handful of times she caught me staring, at least.
In fact, she didn't seem to mind a lot of things throughout the course of the evening.
Sometime during dinner, the nervous energy that always seemed to surround us had disappeared. Bella was more relaxed than I'd ever seen her—with me, anyway. I saw her smile and laugh more tonight than she had in the past month. She let me hold her hand, touch her, hug her. She even snuggled up to me during the movie and again after I played for her at the store. Each time we made contact, I half expected her to withdraw from me, but she never did. It felt real. We felt real, like she was really mine.
For a moment, I'd even forgotten about my past.
Bella had neither confirmed nor denied that my incarceration was a problem when it came to us having a relationship, but regardless of whether it was a deciding factor, it still shaped her opinion of me. She thought I was settling, that I wanted her out of convenience. It couldn't have been farther from the truth. The more I got to know her, the harder I fell. I didn't want anyone else.
There were so many things I wanted to say as I followed her into the apartment complex, but I couldn't force the words to come. My mouth was dry. My heart raced.
I had a great time tonight.
I meant what I'd said about moving out. If that was what it took for her to give me a chance, if that were the only way she'd let me be close to her, I wouldn't hesitate to leave. I'd start searching for a new place tonight.
Can we do this again?
I bit my tongue as we walked down the hallway. Each step brought the apartment door closer into view. I needed to know what would happen to us now. She knew how I felt. Could she ignore that? Pretend our date never happened?
What will happen once we walk through that door?
I couldn't imagine going back to how things were after knowing what it felt like to wrap her in my arms, after experiencing an evening of touching and caressing her, of flirting. She hadn't said yes to me, but that didn't mean someday she wouldn't say yes to someone. The thought of her going out and doing those things with another man killed me.
Where do I stand?
Time was running out.
Bella inserted the key into the lock. I had to act now. I couldn't walk through that door and let tonight slip into the past. At the last minute, I reached around her. She released the handle when my hand came to rest on hers, and I pulled the door closed with more force than necessary. She spun around and looked at me with wide eyes.
"Edward, what are you doing?"
I stepped forward, trapping Bella between my body and the door. I brushed my fingers against the soft skin of her neck and watched her flush under my touch. I thought she would pull away as I slid my hand to her cheek, but instead she closed her eyes and leaned into my palm.
Bella's lips were soft as they met mine. She wove her fingers through my hair and pulled me closer. I allowed my hands to slide down her body, memorizing the curves of her waist and barely able to contain my excitement. With our bodies pressed together, she must have had a fair idea of how excited I was. Still, she didn't stop me. Somehow her acceptance both encouraged me and gave me the confidence of a 13-year-old boy. Never before had I been so sure of what I wanted and so unsure of what to do. It had been so long, and this all seemed so new. I didn't want to mess things up.
When Bella started to pull away, I panicked. I wasn't ready for it to end. My hold on her tightened, silently begging her to stand in that hallway with me for the rest of eternity. Her lips moved just out of my reach as she backed away, and then she was pulling me inside. I followed her willingly, somehow managing to kick the door closed behind us.
Bella led me to the bedroom. With a final kiss, she released me from her hold and fell back onto the air mattress. I wasted no time dropping to my knees and crawling on top of her. Our lips met once again, and Bella clutched my shoulders with all the desperation I felt.
She turned her head away, gasping for breath. I took the opportunity to kiss a path down her neck. The low cut of her shirt had taunted me all night, and I shifted my attention to her chest.
"You taste like butter," I said through kisses.
Bella laughed, breathy and light. "That's because someone kept throwing popcorn down my shirt all night."
"You were asking for it. Do you have any idea what this shirt was doing to me?"
Bella swiveled her hips. She knew exactly what she was doing to me.
I grazed my palm over her chest. She sighed and arched into my touch. When I slipped my hand beneath her shirt, my only coherent thought was I'm touching her boobs.
Bella surprised me by sitting up and helping me remove her shirt and bra. It was her silent approval to continue. I covered her with kisses, tasting every inch of her skin. Being with her like this made me nervous and excited. My hands shook with every caress. I was cautious with each new touch, gauging her reactions as best I could. Intimacy was new for us, and I had no idea where she would draw the line. The last thing I wanted was a repeat of our first night together, when I'd somehow misread the signs. I'd felt awful after my unwanted come-on. Never again did I want to reach the point where she had to tell me to stop.
Bella pulled my T-shirt over my head and smoothed her hands down my back. There were no words to describe how good her touch felt. I wrapped my arms around her back and held her to me as we kissed, creating as much skin to skin contact as humanly possible. I needed this, needed her. My chest tightened, and I had to fight back the tears that stung my eyes.
My fingers struggled with the button of her jeans, but I managed to get it open and slipped my hand between her legs. If I had any doubts that she wanted this just as much as I did, they disappeared when I discovered how wet she was.
Bella sighed, her breath fanning hot across my cheek. My entire body tensed as she trailed her hands down my sides. She gripped me through my jeans. A needy moan escaped me, and I captured her lips with mine to stifle it.
She unbuttoned my jeans without any awkward fumbling. There was no hesitation as she wrapped her hand around me. I was stuck somewhere between shock and elation. With her leading, I didn't have to question if I was taking things too far. When she began to stroke, it almost proved to be too much. I cursed and pushed her hand away from my body.
"What's wrong?" Bella asked.
"Nothing. I'm just . . ." I collapsed on her, hiding my face in her neck. "A little too excited."
Bella laughed, but the way she wrapped her arms around me softened the blow. "It's okay," she insisted.
"Sorry." Practically coming the moment she touched me was far from okay in my opinion. I wanted to impress her, please her, not embarrass myself. I'd done that enough.
"Don't be." She turned her head, seeking out my lips with her own. "There are condoms in the drawer."
I pulled back, surprised by her words. I didn't expect to move so quickly or for Bella to be so forward, but I wasn't about to question her. Apparently she knew what she wanted, and so did I.
I sat up and rummaged through the nightstand until my fingers clasped around a foil packet. Bella plucked it from my hands before I could tear it open.
Bella set down the condom and guided me onto my back. I tugged at her pants, but she captured my wrists in her hands and placed my arms over my head.
"Slow down," she whispered. "There's no rush."
"Bella—" I didn't want to rush things, but I didn't want this to end before it even started.
"I know." Her smile was reassuring, as if she knew what I was thinking. Time seemed to slow as she stripped off my jeans, boxers, and socks. She moved with a calm confidence, and I found myself becoming more and more relaxed. She shimmied out of her pants before retrieving the condom.
In that moment, there were so many things I wanted to say. I wanted Bella to know how special she was to me, that I couldn't imagine my life without her. I wanted to reassure her that I wasn't using her. If this changed us, it was going to be for the better. I would do anything for her, anything to make her happy.
Bella rolled the condom down my length, then settled onto her back. I situated myself between her legs, lining us up. As I pushed inside of her, the only things I could focus on were the warmth of her body surrounding me, her arms encompassing me, and her hips meeting my every thrust.
I imagined telling her I was falling in love, but when I opened my mouth to speak, the only sound that came out was a strangled moan. I was too close to finishing. I wouldn't last much longer.
"Bella," I whispered. It was a plea, though I didn't know for what.
"It's okay," she whispered.
"But you . . ."
She curled her fingers into my hair and lifted her head enough to place a kiss on my jaw.
"We have all night."