I don't own Twilight.


/Chapter 22/

August nineteenth


Bella

Who knew something as simple as having breakfast could turn into an epic disaster? Certainly not me, since I don't usually eat breakfast. Just another one of my nasty habits. Aside from heavy drinking, chain smoking and the occasional slutty behavior.

Emmett is giving me the evil eye from across the table – and so is Rosalie – but I have no idea as to what might have caused their annoyed expressions. Nonetheless it makes me feel like I've been caught with both hands in the cookie jar or his mother's purse.

The morning started out so well when I rolled around in the sheets with Edward, and we kissed like horny teenagers. When we made our way to the dining room, Edward held my hand the whole time and gave my ass a playful smack just as we entered what seemed to be the dining room from Hell. Though the Captain's casual display of affection in front of everyone made me feel somewhat weird – sort of nervous and uneasy – it was a feeling of safeness at the same time that was very much welcome in my book. It's a sweet bubble I have with Edward, but it might burst at any time. I think. And since I like to be prepared for moments like that, I try not to become too attached to him and try to just live in the here and now. After all, sweet moments like this didn't used to last long for me in the past.

He's making it hard not to fall in love with him, though. The tenderness he shows with his random, innocent touches, the way he smiles at me every now and then, and the way he holds my hand right now – for everyone to see – those gestures are exactly what makes it so hard not to fall for him. Damn him. Really.

So if Edward might have no intention to burst our bubble just yet, Emmett sure seems to have one, with the way he looks like he wants to see me dead and buried six feet under.

"So, Bella... Did you have a fun time... last night?" I'm surprised Emmett didn't actually spit in my face with all the hatred he's spewing.

"Yeah, Bella, did you sleep at all last night?" Rosalie's high pitched-voice is painful this early in the morning. Just like a chainsaw to your skull. Furthermore I don't like the tone she's using with me at all, and I'd really appreciate it if she'd just keep her voice down. I'm not dumb. I know where this is going – it's about to get really ugly, and I'm not prepared for it at all, so I keep my mouth shut and my eyes down, trying to avoid the drama. Now is not the time to let everyone in this room know what a slut I really am.

Aside from that, public humiliation doesn't sit well with me. It never has. My mom made sure of that several times in the past, leaving me to wish the ground would just swallow me whole with her drunk-ass antics in front of an audience.

So I try to fade into the background, like I usually do. Head lowered, I sip the coffee Edward poured so lovingly into my cup. Again, damn him for being this nice.

"You'll never learn, will you?" The disdain showing on Emmett's face is like a punch to my gut. But he doesn't get it. He never did and he never will. He doesn't know what it's like to search desperately for something – something you can't even name properly yourself. He's found his place in this world, feeling secure with who he is and where he is in his life, whereas I'm frantically searching for whatever it is that will make me feel whole. He certainly doesn't know what it's like to search for that one long-lost puzzle piece that will finally complete the picture. He's never had to beg for anyone's approval; he's loved unconditionally, admired for his sunny nature. No one ever questions if he has a dark side to him. He can't possibly be a bad guy. But sometimes he is. Aiming perfectly to the core. Hurting me where he knows it stings most. It's what he does best. The skill to aim his poison right at my inability to love myself. He knows exactly how to burst my bubble.

He's being a little shit, but I can't help agreeing with him. He's right. Always is. But the Captain's arm around my shoulders – squeezing me tight – might beg to differ. Might. I'm not sure – it's still hard for me to read him. After all, it hasn't been that long since I've known the Captain, and this is exactly what Emmett means.

"You know, Bella... it's why you couldn't keep me in the first place. I was never good enough for Your Highness – always on the prowl for something or someone better."

It slowly dawns on me that if he ever knew me as well as he claims to, he'd know there'd never be anyone better than him. There was never anyone better than him... Even when he made me feel so small at times. I worshipped the ground he walked on.

"Bella?" Edward's voice is tentative, slightly begging and demanding at the same time, if that even makes any sense. It does in my head. I know what he wants me to do, but I rather keep my face buried in my coffee mug, pretending there's nothing around me other than the blue, slightly stormy ocean.

I knew my past might eventually come back to bite me in the ass. So far, I've been lucky, but I've been ready to face the music for a long time now. Well, not really, but I just didn't think it'd be my best friend that would judge me for it.

"Yeah, Edward. From what I've heard, you better be prepared to get kicked in the nuts." I don't know where Rosalie gets her courage from, but I'm quite impressed. For someone who's never even met me before, she seems to have quite the opinion about me. I want to strangle her artificial blonde ass for that. But that's something I'd never do. After all, my gran taught me some manners. And sometimes I want to curse her for raising me right. I'd feel better if I was an asshole, of that I'm sure.

"For fuck's sake, Bella! Tell them to fuck off. Why aren't you speaking up for yourself? And seriously, that guy used to be your best friend?"

"What do you want me to do, Edward? Obviously I am easy. Where's the sense in denying the truth when it sits right next to me?" My voice is nothing more than a whisper.

"No, you're not a slut, and this will be addressed at a later time. If you won't do it, Bella, I will."

With murder in his eyes, Edward turns to Emmett and tells him back the hell off.

"You have no fucking clue. None whatsoever. For someone wanting to be a psychologist, you're awfully dense."

I should stand up for myself, no? It's just that I can't. This situation reminds me too much of the times, when some weekends, I would barely eat, or sleep, too focused on a book to stop. When I couldn't stop. Or the times when I needed to wake up and go to work, but I was not able to. No matter that my brain knew I had to, that there are consequences – like losing my job – for the life of me I just couldn't. All I knew was this needy feeling. A need anchored so deep inside of me, a need I couldn't even name, but paralyzing me all the same. It's longing, that I know – but for what?

So yeah, like the coward that I am, I leave the fucking dining room, sprinting away and ignoring Edward's calls for me to wait, even though I know this too will come back later to bite me in the ass. I just run – away from this boat, away from this harbor and right into the city where life is raving and colorful. And hopefully there's a bar that is open this goddamn early.

* mlty *

It's dark when I decide to make my way back to the boat – probably 1 AM, but I don't know for sure. I'm sweaty, the skirt clinging to my thighs. My feet hurt from all the walking around trying to kill time, and my well deserved-buzz is long gone. But let's face it – I have to go back eventually since we're leaving tomorrow for another island. My heart is beating in overdrive, hammering against my ribcage. Call it nervousness or simply bad conscience. Calling it Edward would suffice, too. And if there was a way to sneak into my cabin unnoticed, I should have probably figured that out way sooner. I'm such a douche.

I see the ship clearly now, bathed in the moonlight. A sight to behold if it weren't for the fact that every step toward it felt like attending your own funeral. Just a few more steps...

"Fancy seeing you here."

Fuck.

Fuck.

Fuck.

He certainly came out of nowhere, and the way he firmly grips me by the arm tells me he doesn't fancy seeing me at all.

Then everything happens so fast, I don't have time to wrap my head around it. With quick strides, he drags me behind him.

Secure grip...

Left foot, right foot, repeat...

Up the stairs we go...

Onto the sundeck...

Under the night sky where all is calm...

One turn...

One push...

And I'm standing before the railing. My back to his front, watching the city lights in the distance, but hearing nothing other my own heartbeat echoing in my ears. Adrenaline rushes through my veins.

"Grip the railing with both hands. Arch your back. Spread your legs. Now."

"Edward?"

"Now." The calmness in his voice is stunning, its commanding undertone even more. He takes my hands and puts them on the railing. It happens all so fast, and here I am – like a puppet on his strings – my waist pulled backwards by his hands, arching me, his foot in between mine forcing them apart. I am bent, my ass sticking high in the air. For him to do as he wishes. And it's just that what he does.

I feel my skirt being lifted. My panties are next, yanked down – they pool at my feet. His hand at my neck feels oddly reassuring, but the resounding slap he delivers on my now bare ass leaves me startled and breathless. Not startled enough to miss the moan that just left my mouth, nor the smack that just landed on the opposite cheek.

"You know what this is for, don't you, Bella?"

I murmur my understanding. Because, yeah, I do.

"Speak up."

"Yes, I know. Because I ran away." My voice is nothing but a whisper, but he hears it anyway, never stopping the smacking on my ass as he asks me why else. It's hard to concentrate and give him an answer when my butt is all warm and tingly, spreading a serene feeling through my body. I can feel my brain shutting down, only able to focus on this glorious feeling he provides. There is a bit of shame lurking somewhere in my mind, but it's fading more and more with every slap Edward delivers.

"It's for calling yourself a slut. You might not know any better, but I do."

His hands are soft now, stroking my cheeks and spreading the warmth and wandering up to my shirt. Finding his way beneath it, he strokes my belly and up, up, up until he finds my bra. With a swift tug the useless thing is shoved up to my collarbone, leaving me bare to his roaming hands and his fingers to pull my nipples. Quite hard. I want to scream, but not from pain. This is liberating. A few moments of fondling later, his hands are gone and only the clanging of his belt is heard, the rustling as he shoves his pants down his thighs. At least, that's what I hope he does. I don't dare to turn around and check, though.

"Turn around."

His calm but demanding voice gives me the shivers. A second later I stand facing him, probably looking like a hot mess with my panties at my feet and my shirt over my breasts.

"On your knees."

Yeah, there is no more blood in my brain; for once it is utterly silent in my head, and I do as I'm told. No hesitation. No questions ask.

The sight that greets me is nearly blinding. What a fine specimen he is, his arousal standing proud before my eyes.

"Suck."

Yes, please, is all I can think and I dive right in, trying my best not to disappoint. His right hand is stroking my hair, and it makes me feel oddly secure. The little moans out of his mouth make me feel a little proud.

"Deeper."

I really try not to gag, but... well, he isn't exactly small.

"Good girl. Now stand up and turn around again."

I resume my position against the railing, back arched, ass sticking out and I feel his hand between my thighs. The wetness he finds there isn't surprising to him.

"That's what I thought." It's just a whisper, probably not meant for me to hear, but still I detect a certain proudness there.

The unmistakable sound of a condom wrapper torn is heard, despite from my heavy panting. The expected intrusion isn't coming, though. No, first comes a hard smack to my ass and then – then he's finally there, filling me, making me moan, making me tremble. With precise movements and very skillful fingers below my navel, he has me on the edge in no time, burning for him. One hand in my hair, holding me in place, and one last slap and then I fall, barely hearing him get to his own release.

For all the pleasure I feel, tears start to pool in my eyes, and I cannot for the life of me suppress a sob. Again, it's not from pain, though my butt stings quite a bit – no – all I feel is relief and peace. I'm smiling but sobbing. For once nothing matters other than Edward as he takes me into his strong arms and hugs me so tight to his chest. It's hard to breathe, but there's nowhere I'd rather be.

"We're gonna be all right, baby.


A/N:

I'm sorry for making you wait so long...

Real life, bla bla

Mel is my Beta and I adore her.