How to Paint a House- Ch 26


I woke up smiling, like grinning so widely that my gums were dry and I needed a sip of water. And as I lay there, trying to remember why, trying to recall the dream that put me into such a state, all I could feel was that fullness, that warmth, that butterfly gut full of joyous happiness that only Edward could bring. Edward was why I was smiling. Edward was the only thing on the planet that could make me so completely happy.

I brushed my teeth with a smile. I gargled into the mirror and winked at it. I tousled my hair until I felt like it looked sexy, whatever that meant. I was feeling like a woman, like a sexual being, like I actually was fucking beautiful like Edward said. And then I really wanted to remember what my dream was about, because I just felt so revved up and alive.

It wasn't until I looked over at the bottle of lotion on the counter, that I had a sudden inkling about what my dream might have involved…

Oh God…

My cheeks just ignited into flames… remembering. It was definitely a sexy dream, and it definitely involved some lotion.

But the scarlet color on my cheeks didn't last long. It faded quickly as I just stared into the mirror. I looked into my eyes, and at the freckles on my nose, and at my strangely puffy lips, and at my thick long brown hair, and I saw someone I think I had been waiting to see my entire life. I saw myself, and that made me smile into the mirror even wider.

I floated down the stairs into the kitchen, finding Charlie at the breakfast table. "Where's Edward?" I asked, seeing no sign of the source of my bliss.

Charlie looked up at me with heavy eyes. "Basement," he said, spooning some cereal into his mouth.

I grabbed a mug from the cupboard. "Did it flood again? We cleaned it up yesterday," I said.

Charlie took another lazy bite of cereal. "Well, he's really going to have to clean it up now because that's where he'll be staying," he said.

I snorted into my coffee. "You're kidding, right?" I asked with a laugh, because there was no way that Edward could stay in our flooded musty basement.

Charlie dropped his spoon. "There's plumbing down there, and I have a guy coming to rig up a toilet and a shower," he said a bit irritably, while I imagined Edward living like a third world refugee. "He'll be fine."

I furrowed my brows. "Like an outhouse and a hose?" I asked.

Charlie shrugged. "He can put a curtain up if he wants," he said, returning his attention to his cereal.

But that "arrangement" wasn't good enough for me. "Why can't he just stay in my room?" I asked, feeling like a whiny little girl again, stomping my feet at my daddy. The sexy confident woman thing lasted all of five minutes.

Charlie dropped his spoon again. "Because if you're coming home for the summer, that's not really a viable option, now is it?"

I had to think about that. It seemed like a really good option to me. But seeing the seriousness in Charlie's eyes, I knew he wasn't playing around. "No," I sighed. "I guess not," I said.

Charlie raised a brow at me. "Anything else?" He asked.

"No," I said, heading for the basement door. "Good morning to you too, Dad," I said with a huff, starting in a stomp down the rickety wooden stairs into the basement, feeling every bit the sixteen year old child that I was.

And, Charlie being Charlie, he had to rub a little salt in it. "You watch your attitude, or I will give Edward your room, and you will be homeless!" He called behind me.


When I got to the bottom of the steps, I was tripping on my bare feet as they recoiled against the cold damp floor. Blood was pounding in my ears, only eclipsed by the sound of a soft low giggle…

"You ok?" He sounded amused, and in my mind's eye I could see his mouth pulling up into a devastating crooked smile, while his soft green eyes liquefied me into a puddle.

Just the sound of his voice had me chomping down on my lip. "Where are you?" I asked, looking around the dark basement, seeing nothing but a cement floor full of crap, and cardboard boxes that weren't there the day before… Huh?

But soon, hot breath was in my ear, and a cold hand snuck up under my shirt, settling on the small of my back. "Right here," he breathed into my ear, his hand slipping lower and lower so that he was almost holding my butt.

"You already packed?" I asked.

Edward put his mouth to my neck, while his wandering hand was practically massaging my butt. "Not everything," he said between nips of my neck. "I took your truck. I hope you don't mind."

I tried to concentrate because I was getting the distinct impression that he was buttering me up, literally, so that I wouldn't be mad that he went home to see his mom without me. "Why didn't you wake me up?" I asked, as my toes started to curl and twist and my entire body felt like a really expensive massage chair. "I was supposed to meet your mom."

"You looked so peaceful. I didn't want to wake you."

"You were in my room?"

"Charlie was in the shower. He was up at five am. I think he's nervous about his date."

I winced against Edward's roving lips. "Oh, I forgot all about his date," I said, suddenly understanding my father's grumpy mood. Charlie was nervous about his date with Claire. "Shoot!" I hissed.

Then Edward was square in front of me, holding my cheeks and finding my eyes, "Hey," he said, his swollen stitched cheek surprising me because I wasn't really used to it yet. "He's ok. I talked him down," he said.

"You did?" I asked, smiling at the thought.

Edward shrugged. "Yeah," he said. "But then it got a little awkward, so I went home and packed for a bit," he said. "It's not a big deal. We'll go back later to get the rest of my stuff."

"Ok," I said, getting up onto my toes and pressing my lips to his once. "I understand," I said, pressing my lips to his for a second time, and then a third, and then before long my tongue was somehow wrapped around his, and I didn't know where I ended and where Edward began. I was trying to have a meaningful conversation about his mom, but instead I was practically unconscious and the only thoughts passing through my brain involved the inside of Edward's mouth.

"Ok, Bella Marie, it's time to come upstairs now!" That is until Charlie's voice entered my consciousness.

I pushed away from Edward's mouth, falling back to earth. "Coming!" I cried. "I'm just helping Edward unpack!"

"Yeah, yeah," Charlie groaned, unconvinced. "Upstairs, you two. Now," he said like he meant business.

Edward's hand slipped out from under my sweatpants. "Come on," he said, wagging his rumpled head towards the stairs. "You can help me fix the gutters so that this place doesn't flood again."

I crossed my arms across my chest. "Work?" I asked as my eyes did a 360 in their sockets. "That's what you want to do today?"

"We'll see my mom later," Edward shrugged. "It'll be fun. It'll be like old times."

In that moment, I wished that I had been more conscious while I was kissing him. "I'm leaving on Saturday you know," I said quietly, staring at the floor, reminding him, reminding myself, that our time together was running out.

"I know," Edward said into the air, and it lingered there for a long beat, what I said…

"What part of NOW did you two not understand? Now, Bella Marie!"

I pushed past Edward and took the steps by two's. "Coming!"


My frustration over how Edward had chosen to spend our second to last day together only built over breakfast. He was talking to Charlie about gutter shields and caulking and French drains, and didn't even notice how violently I was shoving Cheerios into my mouth. I was worse than Charlie. I was actually making noise when tooth hit spoon. And the fact that he didn't notice, and that he barely threw me a glance while discussing mildew paper, just made this anger build inside of me and twist and build. I was really pissed, and Edward only looked upset when Charlie got up to go to work.

"Ok, you two seem to have your work cut out for you today," Charlie said, sliding some cash to Edward. "This should cover what you need from the hardware store," he said. "Or at least get you started."

"Definitely," Edward nodded, slipping the wad of cash into his jeans.

Then Charlie's scruffy face and coffee breath were against my cheek. "Be a good girl," he said, kissing my temple. "I won't see you 'til after my date."

I swallowed a bit of my anger and looked up at Charlie. "Good luck, Dad," I said giving him a little smile.

"Thanks, kiddo," Charlie said, squeezing my shoulder. "And no funny business," he warned.

I rolled my eyes. "Don't worry about it," I said, totally serious in that moment, swirling a halo around my head with my index finger sarcastically.

Charlie narrowed his eyes at me, like he just then noticed my mood. "Everything alright?" he asked.

I smiled a fake smile. "Peachy," I said. "I can't wait to fix the gutters."

That got Edward's attention. He looked over at me curiously from his seat, his head cocking, his eyes finally looking at me long enough to see that I wasn't exactly happy with his plan for the day.

"Ok then," Charlie said, breaking Edward and my intense stare. "I'm off."

"Don't forget flowers," Edward said. "Girls love them."

"Flowers," Charlie said. "Check."

"And be a good tipper. Don't let her know that you're cheap," Edward said.

"Alright, smartass," Charlie groaned, shaking his head. "I think I've got it.

"Good luck," Edward said, as Charlie pushed out the door.


I should have been happy that Edward and Charlie were so chummy, but the only thing that I took away from that conversation was the fact that Edward had never bought me flowers.

Edward stood from the table, while I resumed playing the xylophone on my teeth with my spoon. "Can I take your truck to pick up some materials?" He asked me, pushing his hair back with his hands, stretching a little so that I could see his belly button and the little trail of hair that covered his six pack.

I remained pissed, regardless of how freaking attractive I found him. "You didn't ask me before. Why start now?" I asked, mouth full of Cheerios.

"Do you want to come with me?" He asked.

I put my spoon into my empty bowl and pushed out of my chair, stomping all the way to the sink. "I don't feel like it," I said, throwing the faucet on, banging the dishes as loud as they could be banged. "I need to work on my homework anyway," I said.

"You're mad?" Edward asked, sounding confused.

I shut the sink off and turned to look at him. "I'm not mad," I said. "I just have a lot to do today," I lied. "And so do you apparently, so you better get going."

"Is it me moving in here? Is this weird for you?" Edward asked, his voice raising an octave with the question.

I could feel the tears in the back of my throat, and I really didn't want to start crying. I didn't even know why I was so upset. All I knew is that I was, and that the more Edward pressed me on it, the more likely it was that I was going to embarrass myself.

"I have to write a thousand words on a book that I haven't even read yet. So, if you don't mind," I said, pushing past him towards my backpack that I had tossed in the corner of the kitchen.

I had my back turned to Edward as I started bogusly shuffling through my books and papers. I guess I was waiting for him to grab me, to touch me, to find me inside of Charlie's closet and tell me a metaphorical story. I was waiting for him to do something to make me feel better…

But he didn't. He didn't do any of that.

He brushed past me into the foyer, ripping his black coat from the hook by the front door. "Fucking perfect," he grumbled under his breath, taking the keys to my truck out of the bowl on the hallway table, then blowing out the door, slamming it behind him.

The dying Christmas wreath on the door dropped most of its needles, and I watched them form a little pile on the floor. I stared at them as I heard my truck peel out of the driveway. And then I was mad that Edward was driving my truck so carelessly…


I took Upton Sinclair's The Jungle out of my backpack, totally in the mood to read about botulism and rotten meat and how crappy other people's lives were, while I stomped my feet over my problems

I couldn't help it that I was so emotional and selfish though. It was literally like an affliction that couldn't be helped. I was starting to realize that I was that girl. I was that dreadful girl that I hated in all of my novels, the one that got dumped in the end in favor of the cooler girl that didn't throw a fit because she didn't get her way. I used to think that I was the cooler girl, but after three days of being Edward's bonafide official girlfriend, I was already a nightmare.

I needed to get a grip.

But really, after about twenty minutes of The Jungle, I needed a shower. The book was seriously gross. I also felt like I needed a fresh start on the day… a do over. I figured that when I came out, I'd be ready to help Edward with the gutters, and do it with a smile.

I started with cold water, trying to shock whatever it was that was eating at me out of my system. It was like falling into the river for the first time from my rope swing. There was actual clarity that came from cold water. When I closed my eyes under the frozen stream, I could almost see what was bothering me. I saw my dream, the lotion one, and I remembered how it made me feel, how happy I was. And I knew that in two days, I would be feeling the opposite. In two days I would be saying goodbye to him again, and he wanted to spend the day putting up mildew paper. I wasn't asking him to go to the hunting cabin, or to have sex. I was just−


My eyes slammed shut at the sound of the bathroom door closing. I heard soft footsteps coming towards the shower. I knew it was him, but I couldn't open my eyes, I couldn't even turn around. I couldn't move. I was totally frozen, and it wasn't because I was showering in ice cold water. The only thing moving was my heart. It was racing out of my chest.

My ears perked up when his footsteps stopped. I was so nervous that I squeezed a dent into the bar of soap in my hand instead of squeezing a dent into my cheek with my teeth...

Then I heard clothes hitting the floor in that unmistakable soft rustle. I heard a zipper, and then a louder sound… a shoe falling to the floor, and then the other. Then another rustle, which I assumed was his pants.

He was taking his clothes off. He was in the bathroom, with me, and he was taking his clothes off.

Oh God…

I almost squeezed the bar of soap in my hand into five separate pieces when the shower curtain started pulling back. He was getting in. He was getting in, and I was as frozen as a statue, murdering soap.

When he was in the shower, I could feel him. He hadn't laid a single hand on me, but I could literally feel him hovering behind me. My heart was pounding.

"I'm sorry," he whispered behind me, his hand hitting my hip like a hot ember jumping from a campfire. And then it was more than just his hand, it was his whole body, leaning over me, burning. "Are you trying to get pneumonia?" He asked against my ear as I heard the faucet handle creak, and warmer water started pouring over my stone-like body.

I seriously could not move. Edward was in the shower with me, naked, and I couldn't even open my eyes. I didn't think it was possible for him to make me so nervous anymore, but he could, and he did.

I held on for dear life to my soap, as Edward swept my wet matted hair away from my ear. "I'm sorry," he whispered, brushing a kiss against my neck. "I had to talk to her myself before I took you to meet her," he said "This is hard for her. We really sprung it on her."

As the warmer water showered over me, I felt like trying out my vocal chords. "Uh huh." It was literally all I could manage at that moment in time.

Edward hovered closer, and I could feel his scruffy chin scrape against my shoulder, like he was nuzzling me. "I wanted to fix the gutters to show Charlie that I appreciate him letting me stay here. I need to pull my weight," he said. "And I thought it would be fun, like old times. You and me working together," he said. "I'm sorry," he said again, ghosting another soft kiss on my neck. "I'm sorry, Bella."

"Stop," I said, finding my voice. "Stop apologizing." I couldn't listen to him apologize anymore, especially when he had nothing to be sorry about. Everything he said made so much sense, and just reiterated my theory that I was a brat, and if my life was a book, Edward would probably dump me for someone that didn't make him apologize for doing the right thing.

"But you're mad," Edward said, as I felt the glue that was holding my eyelids shut loosen a bit so that I could open them.

I held my soap, and my breath, and turned to face him.

Holy crap…

He was wet, and naked, and wet…

I just had to look into his worried green eyes for a bit before I could proceed. I couldn't look down. I wasn't ready to look down all the way yet. "I'm not mad," I said, wanting to touch him, but unable to because my hands were clumped with a mangled bar of soap.

"You're not?" He asked.

"No," I said.

His mouth pulled up in one corner with a smile. "Promise?" He asked.

"Yes," I said.

Then Edward's eyes drifted from my eyes. They drifted lower, all the way down… everywhere.

My heart started up again as I watched him take me in. I couldn't help but feel good about the look in his eyes. It was that sleepy hooded hungry look, the look that gave me confidence that Edward wanted me just as much as I wanted him. It was probably my favorite look of all.

I tried to be discreet as I pried the bar of soap from between my fingers, before reaching out and stroking my hand over Edward's stitched cheek. "You probably shouldn't be getting this wet," I said, and I could feel the pulse in my thumb as my hand brushed past. Every pulse in my body was pounding like a bass drum.

He smiled. "Can I kiss you?" He asked, totally ignoring what I said, his tongue coming out from his mouth and swiping along his lower lip. He wasn't thinking about his stitches, that was clear. He didn't seem all that nervous either, just hungry.


"Uh huh," I said.

Edward stepped closer. "Ok," he said, but he didn't kiss me right away. We just stood there under the flowing warm water, breathing, our wet warm chests cautiously touching, our hands in the proper kissing spots against each other's heads and cheeks… still breathing.

And then he moved even closer, closer so that it was unmistakably pressing into my stomach. He did it on purpose. It was an intentional movement. He wanted me to look down. He wanted me to put my eyes somewhere other than above his clavicle. He wasn't going to proceed until I did.

He may have thought that I was afraid, but I wasn't. Nervous, yes…but not afraid. Nothing about Edward's naked body scared me. I loved him. I loved every part of him, including the strange soft-skinned spongy appendage that fascinated me so.

I decided to do him one better than look at it. And this time he couldn't say anything was dry.

Edward watched as my hand slid down his chest, past his shoulders, past his scar, past his hairy belly button, until I knew I was there. My eyes followed. I was too busy watching his reaction to look myself. But then I did. And there it was. It was hard, and sprung up near his bellybutton like I remembered. It wasn't pretty by any means, but prettier than the model in my biology book for sure, kind of the way everything about Edward was just a little bit better. And as my eyes took it in, I couldn't help but be overwhelmed with this urge to have it inside of me. I was feeling just this very necessary desire to have sex. And seeing it, actually seeing it, made sex seem so simple, so fundamental.

I could do it. I wanted to do it.

"I'm ready, Edward. I love you, and I'm ready for this," I said, and that time, it really sounded like I meant it.

Edward's eyes closed as I gripped him. "I didn't come in here for that," he said, his cheeks pinked from the steamy shower, his perfect lips bejeweled with water droplets. "We can wait. I can wait," he said.

I closed my fist harder. "Why?" I asked, nudging forward so that our bodies were not cautiously touching anymore, they were fully touching.

Edward didn't move. He stayed where he was. "Because, it's the right thing to do," he said, his brow furrowing in both distress and pleasure.

I wanted him to open his eyes. I wanted him to look at me, because I was serious.

I loosened my hand and started sliding it up. "For the next two years, we're going to be spending a lot of time apart," I said softly as my hand passed his bellybutton. "A lot," I said, as it moved over his scar.

"I know," he said in a whisper, as my hand rested on his scar.

"And if I don't get into Dartmouth, who knows how long it will be until we can really be together," I said, kissing the spot where my hand was, kissing his scar. "This is something that we can do now, and we don't have to wait for it. This is something that we can have now," I said.

"I know," Edward said again, exactly the same way.

"Look at me," I said, wanting him to open his eyes.

And he did. He opened them: green, and penetrating, and afraid, and God I loved him…

"I'm ready," I said, sliding my hand up around his neck and holding his stare as it permeated me. "I know you have valid reasons to think that I'm not, but I am telling you that I am," I said.

"It's going to hurt, and probably be all kinds of crappy for you," he said.

"I know. I know that."

"It's different than dry humping and stuff. It's so much different."

"You're just going to have to show me. Don't expect me to know anything," I said.

"Ok," he said, just like that, his eyes never unlatching, his voice never saying no.

A smile pulled from my lips. "Really?" I asked.

Edward smiled too. "Yeah," he said, and I could see on his serene face that he knew that I was ready. He believed me.

Holy Swear Word…

"Do you have condoms?" I asked, knowing we couldn't exactly proceed without them.

"Yeah," Edward said softly, wagging his head toward the door. "I have some in the basement with my stuff."

I shook my head. "We should go get those then."

Edward nodded in agreement. "We should."

"Ok then," I said with a small smile as I reached behind me for the faucet to turn the shower off. "Ok," I said, letting out a deep breath.

Edward was still holding my eyes, he never let them go. "Ok," he said, and there was this calm on his face, this acceptance. We were doing it. We just had to move first. One of us just had to move. We were both kind of frozen.

And after the water was turned off, and we were still standing in the shower, and Edward was still staring at me, I realized that he was waiting for me. He wasn't going to move until I did. He was in no rush. He was moving at whatever pace I set.


I took a breath, steeling my nerve, then pushed the shower curtain back with my arm. I stepped over the ledge of the tub, every inch of my body on display for Edward, and grabbed a towel. "Here," I said, pushing the towel into Edward's chest.

"Thanks," he said, wrapping the big yellow towel around his waist.

I grabbed one for myself and wrapped it under my armpits, knotting it between my boobs. "Let's go get those condoms," I said.

Edward wagged his brows. "Let's," he said, and his non-aggressor shtick was leaving me a little cold, but I ignored it, and proceeded with my mission.

Once in the basement, I sat down on Charlie's old futon from his bachelor days that Edward appeared to have adopted, clasping my towel to my chest as Edward rummaged through a duffle bag looking for the condoms. The cool damp basement felt amazing. If I wasn't wet from a steamy hot shower, I would have been sweating bullets from my nerves.

When he found them, he held the little black box out to me. "My dad didn't want me knocking up the pretty little thing from the boondocks," he said.

I stared at the box. "I don't want that either," I said.

Edward sat down beside me on the futon, and I was so glad to have him back, to have him touch me again. "Don't worry," he said, brushing my cheek with his lips, wrapping his strong arm around me protectively. "That won't happen."

I nuzzled into him as he pulled me closer, dropping my head on his shoulder. "I know," I said. "I know it won't."

He propped his chin on the top of my head. "We don't have to do this, you know," he said.

I contemplated his words. Sitting there in the quiet drafty basement, somewhat clothed in my towel, curled up and safe against his naked torso, the urgency to do it had worn off a little bit. It wasn't going to be some heated passionate lust filled romp against a wall, or you know something like that. If we did it, we would be doing in sanely, soberly, carefully…

I took the box of condoms out of Edward's hand and flipped open the cardboard lid, pulling one out with my index finger. "Ok, what now?" I asked, handing Edward the condom, releasing my head from its safe spot against his chest and finding his eyes.

I could hear Edward swallow back a gulp as he stared at the condom in his palm. "Where do you want to do it?" He asked.

"My bed I guess," I said. "Or, maybe here on the futon."

"I can deadbolt this door," Edward said.

I nodded, giving him a small smile. "Here's good then," I said. Charlie had put the deadbolt on when he was a teenager, and the basement was his party cave. He never took it off.

Edward stood from the futon and grabbed a stack of sheets from one of the boxes he packed. "Are you warm enough?" He asked, urging me with his eyes to stand up so that he could put a sheet down on the futon.

I did. I stood, and I could barely feel my legs.

"I'm fine," I said, feeling plain clammy and hot in that moment.

Edward worked quickly to make the futon into a somewhat respectable looking bed. He put some pillows down, but they didn't have cases. He took his comforter from home out of a box. It was light blue and stuffed with down. It was a lot nicer than anything Charlie could afford.

And once the deadbolt was in place, and the bed was made, and the condom was unboxed… there was nothing left to do to prepare. There was nothing left for us to do but do it.

"I guess that's it," Edward said quietly, repositioning a pillow.

I took a step towards him, towards the futon. "What now?" I asked, ready for him to take the lead.

Edward looked at me. "It's good to kiss and stuff first," he said.

"Right," I said. "Ok."

Edward held a hand out for me. "Come here," he said, and there was a warmth in his smile that told me that he was ready to take the lead. "Just relax," he said, closing his long fingers over mine and pulling me into him.

I looked up into his eyes as his fingers started combing through my damp tangled hair. "I'm really nervous," I said.

He smiled. "I know," he said. "So am I."

"You are?" I asked.

Edward took my hand and put it against his heart. It was pounding. "I'm freaking out here, Bella," he said, his lips pulling into an uneasy smile, his eyes showing me that he was completely vulnerable.

"I love you," I said, stroking my shaky fingers across his trembling jaw. "I love you so much," I said.

Edward's eyes closed. "I love you too," he said.

"Then kiss me," I said. "Kiss me, Edward."

And he did. He wrapped me up in a kiss, inhaling my lips, overwhelming them with his. He held my head between both of his hands and pressed his lips to mine with a firmness, a conviction, a strength that made me feel safe, and loved, and dizzy. Really dizzy.

I was the first to dip my tongue between his lips. I was the first to move my pelvis towards his. I was the first to start making steps towards the futon. With every kiss, every pass of his tongue, every gasping eager breath between urgent pecks, that fundamental desire to have Edward inside of me came back. I could feel it in my core, between my legs. It was a throb, an urge, a tingling pressure, a monster that needed to be fed. Dry humping only teased me with what it felt like to have Edward, there. But sex was the real thing. Sex was the last stop.

Before long we were on the futon, making out, the only thing separating us was two bath towels that were haphazardly placed around our bodies. One of my boobs was definitely feeling the air, and I could feel Edward brushing against bare skin as he was starting to get a little lost, a little caught up. Edward got dizzy and unconscious too. It wasn't just me.

I gripped a handful of his hair, sort of pulling his lips away from mine. "Maybe we should just do it. Just start," I gasped. I guess I did still want some control, and for Edward not to check out all the way. I wanted a little bit of that saneness that we had earlier back. It was kind of a big deal what we were doing after all.

Edward came to a little bit, his chest moving in and out as he caught his breath. "Are you sure?" He asked.

"Uh huh," I said.

Edward nodded, that somewhat petrified look of clarity on his face. "Ok," he said, rolling off of me and sitting up. "Will you hand that to me?" He asked, wagging his head towards the condom sitting on top of a stack of cardboard boxes beside me.

My arm was almost fully convulsing as I moved it to get the condom. I had to toss it into Edward's lap because I couldn't control my movements.

Edward's hands were not much steadier as he ripped the little black square packet open, and pulled out a little circle of latex.

He was hunched with his back turned to me as he put it on, the yellow towel around his waist acting as a bit of a tent. But he left the towel behind when he turned around. Instead, he pulled his blue down comforter with him over his shoulders, covering us with it. But not before I caught a glimpse of him first. Lean, but strong. Perfect.

I shimmied away from my towel too, pulling it out from under my back, and throwing it on the basement floor.

He came up over me again, comforter in tow, straddling me, his biceps taut around me. "You have to relax and let me in," he said, dropping a kiss onto my lips.

I blew out a breath between my teeth, not hiding any of my nerves from Edward. "Ok," I said, finding his eyes, latching on. "Relax and let you in," I said. "I can do that."

"Ok," He said, and then he moved one of his arms under the comforter while he braced himself with the other. "Do you feel me?"


He positioned himself between my legs, and I could feel it, latex covered and hard between my legs, pushing me apart. Just like that, he was there.

"Yeah, I can feel you," I said, holding onto his eyes. Just staying present, staying sane, and doing it.

"This is going to hurt," he said.

"I know."

"Relax and let me in," he said again, as he pushed against me with more pressure. And I could definitely feel it more. And yeah, it kind of hurt.

So I remembered to relax. I tried to take even deep breaths, so that he could get in. And as I relaxed, I could feel him inching deeper inside of me, and then deeper, slowly making his way in.

"Are you in?" I asked, as the pressure started to really feel intense. It was more of a pressure than a pain.

"Not the whole way," Edward said, and his breaths were starting to really pick up. He was like a sports car at a stoplight. I could tell he wanted to move, to hurry. But, he was waiting for me. He was patient.

"Really, 'cause it feels like you're in," I said, not able to imagine how any more of him would fit. It felt pretty full down there.

Edward shook his head. "Not yet," he said, and this concerned look hit his eyes. "This is the painful part," he said.


I gripped Edward's back, digging my nails in a little bit. "Ok," I said, steeling myself. "I'm ready."

"On the count of three?" Edward asked.

"Yeah," I agreed.

"One," Edward said.

"Two," I said, tucking my head into Edward's arm.

"Three," Edward said, and then he thrust forward and a sharp white pain shot through me.

I winced, clawing my fingers into Edward's back, my molars biting down hard on my cheek. The pain radiated. It wasn't a pain I'd ever felt before. It wasn't bad necessarily, just really foreign, really internal, in a place that no one had ever been before...

But soon it was gone, like a Band-Aid had come off, and all that was left was a throbbing dull ache.

I opened my eyes, releasing my face from Edward's shoulder. "Are you in?" I asked, a little laugh in my voice, a laugh of relief, knowing the worst was over.

"I'm in," Edward said, and a smile hit his face too. "Are you ok?" He asked, his hand coming out and stroking my face, his eyes searching in that concerned loving way.

"Uh huh," I said, sort of excitedly into his smiling eyes, feeling really amped, feeling the adrenaline that was just coursing through my body. "It didn't hurt that much," I said.

"It's not over yet," Edward said.

"What now?" I asked, already adjusting to the feeling of him inside of me, like it was no big deal.

"I'm going to move now," he said, stroking my face then dropping a little kiss on my nose.

"Oh, right. Duh," I said, shaking my head at my naiveté.

Then Edward braced himself again before he started slowly moving his pelvis. His movements were sort of circular at first, grinding. But then after a while he actually started to pull in and out, and I could feel it moving up and down, sort of sliding along inside of me.

"Does it hurt?" He asked once he found a bit of a rhythm.

Honestly, it didn't. "No," I said, stroking his sweaty forehead with my hand as he moved. I was just sort of lying there though, my legs bent around him, my back against the pillows, my hands roaming between his back and his face. "What should I be doing?" I asked him, truly curious.

Edward's mouth closed down on mine. "You're perfect like this," he said against my lips, thrusting into me a little harder, and I could really feel that fullness in my belly. I could really feel him in there.


I kissed him back, pressing my lips firmly into his. "You're inside of me," I said, finding his eyes, stroking his face, and then kissing him again.

"This is sex," he said.

A big smile pulled at my cheeks. "I can't believe I'm having sex," I said, feeling that urge to squeal and convulse, but unable to because Edward was inside of me, having sex with me…


And then the small talk was over, because Edward went into check out mode again. His pace quickened, his breathing intensified, his head buried into my neck, and he really started to move. He was getting into it, and even though I wasn't sure I was there yet because it was all so new and uncharted for me, I wanted him to enjoy having sex with me. I wanted it to be good for him. I wanted to be good.

So I tried to get into it too. I moved with him, breathed with him, checked out with him. It was sort of like a dance, where you close your eyes and feel the music and let your body free to do what it wants. And soon, soon I was right there with him, and not pretending. I was feeling him, feeling the fullness inside of me, feeling his sweat mix with mine against our chests, feeling my legs inch back and spread farther because I wanted even more of him, I wanted to feel it more.

And somewhere along the way, I started to pant a little bit, because I was making a lot of noise when Edward's face scrunched up, and his muscles tightened around me, and his movements inside of me became jerky and off rhythm.

Edward came…

And then he pulled out of me faster than a jackrabbit in a race. "Are you ok?" He asked sort of breathless as he rolled off of me.

"Uh huh," I said, feeling the absence, feeling the sudden emptiness.

Edward kissed my cheek. "I have to get rid of this thing," he said, nodding toward the condom.

I shook my head. "Ok," I said.

"You sure you're ok?" He asked.

"Yeah," I said.

Edward grabbed my towel from off the floor and wrapped it around his waist. "Hey," he said, leaning back over the futon and kissing my mouth.

"Huh?" I asked, combing my fingers through his hair.

"I love you," he said.

I smiled into his green eyes. "I love you too," I said.

Then Edward took off up the stairs. I had no idea what he planned to do with the condom, and I didn't really want to. It was sort of like the boxer shorts after the dry humping. Some things were just better left a mystery.

The coldness of the basement really hit me when he was gone though, and the quiet. The throbbing, that dull ache, the pain hit me too. I could definitely feel that something happened down there, and as the adrenaline wore off, the feelings just came into sharper focus.

I sat up, pulling my knees to my chest, and examined the sheet below me. I heard there would be blood. I knew there would be blood. And there was. A little on my thigh, and a little on the sheet. Just a little.

I wrapped the sheet around me and took it with me into the laundry area of the basement. I used it to clean myself up a bit before I tossed it into the washer. My hand was trembling as I tried to turn the water on. I couldn't control it enough to turn it to the right setting.

"Damn it," I hissed under my breath as I fumbled with the dial.

And then a bigger hand, a more steady hand, wrapped over mine. "Here," he said. "Let me." As the water started filling the basin, a big yellow towel draped over my shoulders.

I pulled it around me, and then just collapsed against Edward's chest, letting him wrap his arms around me, letting him stop the shaking.

"Do you want to go down to the 7-Eleven and get a Slurpee?" He asked, his chin resting on the top of my head.

I smiled at the thought, feeling my trembles lessen. "Yeah," I said softly into his skin.

"Do you want to take the bikes?" He asked.

"The tires are flat," I said.

"We'll fill them."

I looked up into his eyes. "What about your mom?" I asked. "What about the gutters?"

Edward shrugged. "I really want a Slurpee," he said with a smile. "We have all day to see my mom, and I'll sleep on the couch until I get the gutters fixed."

I nuzzled my head more into his chest. "Sounds like a plan to me," I said.

I cleaned up a little bit while Edward filled the tires to the bikes. And when I was dressed and dry, I stepped out into the balmy late December air and drank it in. I wasn't a virgin anymore. Edward and I had sex, and I was still standing. I pinched myself through the pocket of my jeans to make sure it was real. I pinched myself even harder when Edward came out of the shed with the bikes, smiling his perfect smile. There was still that little part of my brain that thought I might be rocking in a corner at a mental institution, and Edward was just a delusion.

We rode down to the 7-Eleven side by side, sharing little glances the whole way. Sometimes I would just bust out laughing when I looked at him. We had a secret. We definitely engaged in some funny business under Charlie's roof. We did it, and I didn't have a single regret. And judging by the totally free and happy look on Edward's face as he rode, I could tell that he didn't have any regrets either. We were really and truly happy. We were floating together.

We giggled as we got our Slurpees, and were still giggling as we put them down on the counter in front of the clerk. We were lost in our world, nudging shoulders and speaking a language of smiles and laughs that only we understood.

"Will that be all?" The pimple faced clerk asked us, rolling his eyes at our stupidity.

I elbowed Edward in the ribs as I took in the wide selection of nicotine. "We should smoke a cigarette," I said.

Edward's amused eyes narrowed at me. "Why?" He asked.

I raised my brows. "You know, like in the movies," I said, bugging my eyes for him to catch on. "After…"

He shook his head. "You're so weird," he said with a cocky smile, another giggle shaking his chest.

"Please?" I asked, pouting my lips.

"No," he said, as the clerks impatience with us resulted in a throat clearing.

I turned my attention back to the clerk. "A pack of Virginia Slims, please," I said, trying to keep a straight face.

Edward cocked his head at me. "Virginia Slims?" He asked, bewilderment and amusement lighting up his face at once. "What?"

I shrugged. "They're the prettiest ones," I said, like it was a perfectly valid reason for picking a cigarette variety.

The clerk looked at Edward. "Do you want them or not?" He asked, totally annoyed with us.

"Not," Edward said, slapping a ten dollar bill on the counter. "Just the Slurpees."

I crossed my arms. "You're no fun," I pouted as the clerk made change.

Edward swiped his change from the counter, and then the Slurpees, taking them outside and leaving me standing in the 7-Eleven with the clerk.


I ran out after him into the cool air, already starting to rethink the decision to buy frozen beverages.

"Oh, do you want this?" Edward asked me in his cocky way, holding my Slurpee over his head teasingly.

I jumped up. "Give it to me!" I cried. "Hey!"

"I can be fun," Edward said, dangling it just out of my reach. "I can be a lot of fun."

I couldn't reach my Slurpee, but I could take Edward down. I got a running start before I jumped onto his back, wrapping my legs around his waist, and my hands over his eyes, blinding him.

Edward stopped dead in the middle of the 7-Eleven parking lot, my body clinging to him like a koala. "I can't see, genius," he said, dryly. "If I fall, you fall too."

"Give it to me then," I said.

"Say smoking is for losers," he said, unable to contain a laugh.

I put my mouth up to his ear. "Smoking is for lovers," I said, totally uninhibited, not embarrassed in the slightest.

"Losers," Edward corrected me.

"We're lovers now. You're my lover," I laughed into his ear, feeling all warm and tingly at the truth in my statement.

Edward put me down onto my feet. "Ok, lover," he laughed, pushing my Slurpee in my direction. "Take it."

I let go of his eyes and clasped the Slurpee my chest, pulling the straw between my teeth. "Thank you," I smiled. "Lover."

"Do you want to go meet my mom now, lover?" He asked.

I smiled at him, seriously that time, and stroked my hand along his chin. "Yeah," I said. "I can't wait."

AN- I felt the need to write something pretty fluffy. I hope you liked it.