I'm here! See you thought I forgot about all of you but nooooo. Summer is weird for me and I can't really focus on anything work and the pool and the amazing luck I have by having the hottest lifeguard ever at my pool. I wrote this for the Boys and Boards Contest and didn't follow the rules. I suck. So you are getting it here instead. Oh, and I dedicate this fic to my partner in stapling crime Kpiscrazy. Without you most of this dialogue wouldn't exist.

Won't listen to any advice

Momma's telling me I should think twice

But look into my own devices, I'm addicted it's a crisis

My friends think I've gone crazy

My judgments gettin' kinda hazy

My steeze is gonna be affected if I keep it up like a love sick crack head

Your Love is My Drug~Ke$ha

"Oh, no."


"God, just no."

We watch, mouths gaping, at the woman on the diving board. She's cute—I suppose, in that over-forty and can still pull off a bikini kind of way. Is she cute enough to bag him? No.

"It's happening."

"The secondhand embarrassment…"

"Just…did she really hold her nose?"

"Yes. What is she doing?"

My eyes are glued to the scene unfolding. He's climbing out of the water, droplets sliding down his back, and there she is at the top of the ladder. Waiting. "She's waiting for him?"

"To talk to him?"

"Oh my God, you can't just talk to him."

And the moment is proven. You can't. He simply glides by.

"There it is…the blow-off."

I shake my head. "Ouch. What's worse? Being blown off by a genetically superior 18 year-old or the fact you allowed yourself to be blow off by a genetically superior 18 year-old?"

"Once you take that path there really is no better or worse. It's all just terrible."

Together we nod, heads ducked close so no one else will hear. I have on my trusty gigantic glasses. The ones I hide behind. I pretend they are a shield from bad bikinis, toxic tattoos and meddling mothers. But really, they are my spy glasses.

So I can watch him.

Who is he?

He is the eighteen-year-old lifeguard at the pool.

I am a twenty-four-year-old woman who is nannying for the summer, before I go back to grad school.

He is one step away from jailbait (his birthday was eight days ago. Yes, I checked.).

I am not necessarily a cougar yet, but closer to cougar than high school girl.

He is hot, and by hot, I mean holy crap. And by holy crap, I mean, when I first saw him, I thought he was twenty-one. Minimum. And possibly an angel sent from heaven. Or the devil. He looks like the devil in angel's clothing. Did I say he was hot? Because really, he is absolutely gorgeous. He has this back and these shoulders. They are so wide. And then he has this chest. It's all yum and stuff and I just want to touch him. Once.

I may be desperate, but not that desperate, because even though he has the body of a twenty-five-year-old he has the mind of an eighteen-year-old, and I just don't need to go there.

"Think of the stamina." Alice throws this pearl of wisdom out while we watch him climb out of the pool and head back to the diving board. She's Lauren's nanny, who is the best friend of the older girl I take care of, and we have become fast friends. I flat-out ogle him. I can't seem to stop myself no matter how inappropriate. His muscles are taut and they flex and make pretty curves and shapes.

"I'd rather not." Too late.

"When Jasper was eighteen, so was I. He wanted it all the time. I was like cool with it and everything, but not as into it as he was. If I knew then what I knew now…"

"Alice, stop."

Before she could respond, my legs were covered in dripping water. "Bella, Jessica scraped her toe on the edge of the pool."

I inspect Jessica's foot. She's six. Her sister Angela is eight and I'm in charge of them every day while their parents are at work. "Ouch, it's bleeding a little. Do you need a bandage?"

"Yes. I really, really, do. Really." She sniffs and I smile at the over-dramatics.

"I didn't bring any, so I guess you need to ask the lifeguard."

Alice perks up. "Did you say the lifeguard?"

Tugging on my hand, Jessica says, "Come with me."

"Go with her," Alice encourages, with a devil's smile on her face.

I glance across the pool where he has lassoed a whistle around his neck and is leaning against the guard chair talking to the other lifeguard. "Let's go." I take her hand and we walk across the deck.

"Go get him, tiger."

"Shut up."

Alice is right though. I should go get him. But he's too young and way too pretty. And just thinking about it makes my palms sweat. We reach the stand and my eyes hit his chest and no matter how much I try I can't look him in the eye.

"Do you have any bandaids?" I ask. My eyes cannot leave his chest. His skin is so smooth.

"Sure," he says. His voice is deep. Deeper than expected. "Sit over there." He points to a bench next to the guard room with a kind smile. Jessica sits down and I watch as he pushes his glasses to the top of his head and they disappear into his unruly tangle of hair. He rummages around the First Aid kit, his fingers shaking a little when he fishes out the bandage.

"Here, I'll do it," I say, reaching for the package.

"No, it's okay." He gets down on one knee and gently wraps the adhesive around Jessica's toe. "Better?" She nods and hops up. He tousles her hair and we watch her skip off.

"Thank you…what's your name?" I say this to his shoulder. See? I can talk to him.

"Edward," he says, pulling his glasses back down over his eyes.

"I'm Bella. That was Jessica. I'm babysitting her this summer."

"So you'll be around?"

I nod and laugh. "Every day I imagine."

"Hey Edward, I need you to check the chemicals." The other guard shouts over his shoulder from the chair.

"Sure." He walks toward the small office near the bathrooms. "See you later, Bella," he says before disappearing through the door.

"What color are his eyes?" Alice asks a couple days later. The 'Merman', as we've started calling him, is giving swim lessons to a little boy across the pool.

"I don't know. I couldn't look at them." I stretch back in my lounge chair, keeping one eye on him and one on the girls playing in the deep end. "Blue, maybe?" His summer dark skin would look nice with blue eyes.

"No, I think they're brown."

"Really?" I look over at him, taking a swallow of water from my bottle. He's sunk below the water line, nose to nose with his student. He's wearing goggles so confirmation is impossible.

"Well," she says, "His nipples are brown."

"Alice!" I choke on the water. "You did not just say that."

"Well, they are!" We both start laughing and she says, "That's why I don't know what color they are. I can't stop looking at his chest!"

"Shh…he's not deaf."

Alice makes a face. "Bella, you're young, hot, and single. Why not go for it?"

"Why? Are you kidding?"

"No, I'm not kidding. Why not?"

I start ticking off my fingers. "One, because he's eighteen. Two, because clearly he has a girlfriend, why wouldn't he have a girlfriend? Three, because he's eighteen and I'm much older than that, and four, because even though he's only eighteen I'm pretty sure he's out of my league."

"Are you done?"

"No," I hold up finger number five. "And he's eighteen. Barely."

I ignore my friend staring at me like I'm an idiot. She's the idiot. "Jeez, you are such a fool sometimes, Bella Swan. I'm not even sure why we're friends."

"Me either, since you're so nice to me and everything." I stick out my tongue.

"I can make a list, too," she says and holds her own fingers up. "One, you are a total hottie."

"Shut up."

"Two, I stalked him on Facebook. He's single."

Interesting. I glance across the pool and try to imagine him without a girlfriend.


"Three, you're not that much older, but you are wiser; think of the things you can teach him."

My girly-places may have clenched at that one.

"Four, you are out of his league, which makes you the one with the power. God gave you that rack for a reason. Use it."

"Um, I think God gave me boobs to like, feed babies and stuff."

"Well, one day, duh, but right now you need those boobs to catch a man to have babies with."

The thought of having babies with the merman was a mixed emotion. I mean, yes, I wanted to do that thing where you make babies with him, but really? He's like, barely out of high school, I don't think he even has insurance.

"Bella, stop over-thinking it." How did she even know that? "Oh crap, he's looking at you."

"He is not." I peeked over to where he was finishing up his lesson. He is looking at me and we have a little stare off.

"I wonder what his face looks like when he comes."

"Alice!" His student splashes him in the face and he looked away. His session is over and now he's talking to the kid's mom. She has on a too-tiny bikini and is getting very chummy. Irrational jealousy flares in my chest.

"Think about it."


But I was.

"Finish your lunch," I tell Jessica and Angela. "Adult swim is over in five minutes, and then you can get back in."

I leave them to their lunch and sit in my lounge chair next to Alice. I am pretty sure my chair has an imprint from my ass being planted in it every day. I look over my shoulder to make sure no one is listening. The Merman is on the other side of the pool scrubbing tiles. Have you ever seen a shirtless guy with an amazing back scrub tiles? It may be the best day ever.

"I dreamt about him last night," I whisper to Alice.

"Oh! Tell me."

"It was very PG but also very…erotic? Can something be PG and erotic?"

"Yes. Absolutely."

"Okay, well, we were at his house watching movies. He was wearing that blue shirt; you know the one that he looks amazing in?" She nods. "One minute we're just hanging out—the next I'm straddling him and kissing. We made out for hours."


"I could feel his beard on my chin and neck." I shiver at the memory. God, it was hot. "His breath was warm and he tasted sweet. I could feel the warmth and weight of his body."

"And then?" she prompts.

"And then his hands slipped under my shirt and I woke up. Stupid freaking alarm."

"Ugh. Seriously, but that was a great dream."

It was. I'd been replaying it in my head all day on a continuous loop. Ever since Alice suggested I go for it/him, my mind had been on over-drive. Like right now, I saw him duck under the shelter and disappear out of sight. Panic takes over when I can't find him. "Shit, do you think he's leaving?" Alice shrugs. "I'm going to go look."

I slip on my flip-flops and adjust my bikini bottoms to cover my ass and adjust the top to accentuate my cleavage and walk across the pool deck. Alice is right; the Merman is hot, but young. I suspect the things I can teach him would far outweigh any knowledge he would bring to the table on his own. Although, he was pretty enough to make it worth my while.

If I gather the balls to do it.

I'm recreating my dream and the way his wide, hard shoulders felt under my hands when I turned the corner of the shelter. My thoughts became a fast reality when I slammed into Edward, palms out.

"I'm so sorry," I say in a rush. I pull away, but his hands are gripping my shoulders, holding me in place.

"You okay?"


"Yeah, I'm fine." He lets go of my shoulders. His eyes drop to my chest before flicking up to my eyes. Green.

"Your eyes are green."

"Uh, yeah." A little smile settles on his lips. "Yours are brown."

I laugh stupidly because I'm stupid. "True." Awkward silence and stuff (is it hot in here?) fills the space between us. "So, the girls' mother wanted to see about swim lessons. Do you have any space?"

"Sure, yeah, hold on," he says. Edward goes into the guard room and comes out with a piece of paper and a pen pressed between his lips. When he returns to my side I try to keep my eyes off the scattering of hair between his belly button and his trunks. I try, but fail. Did boys have hair like that when I was his age? Not sure I ever noticed.

He looks up from his paper. "I can fit them in tomorrow at noon or at five. My shift is in between then."

"That would be great. I'll tell their mom. She wants them to work on their strokes, for the meets and stuff. You're on the swim team, right?"

I know he is. Once Alice suggested it, I searched his Facebook account. The Merman should reconsider his privacy settings. I found out he's not only on the summer league swim team, but the high school one (catholic school) as well. His team just won the state championship, just like the soccer team he was a captain for. He is a two-sport state champion. I shouldn't be surprised. He looks like a two-sport state champion. He's going to the University of Washington in the fall and yes, his status is 'single'.

"I've been on the swim team here since I was four. This is the last year I'm eligible." He folds the paper and shoves it in the pocket of his red shorts.

"So you know your stuff." I roll my eyes at myself.

He laughs. "Something like that."

"I'll have them here at noon, okay?"

"Okay. I'll be here."

I turn and walk off, only looking back once I rounded the edge of the pool. Yep, he was watching me. The groundwork had been laid.

The rest of my week was swallowed by two things. Work and the Merman. Lucky for me, the two fell in line together. Except for when they didn't. One day we showed and he wasn't there. I realized soon enough it was his day off. Another afternoon we had just unloaded our bag when a giant thunderstorm rolled in, keeping me from what was quickly becoming an obsession.

"He's watching you again," Alice says. She's spreading lotion all over her legs.

"To be fair, he's probably watching you lube yourself up." But I think she's right. I think he's watching me also. I think he watches when I pull my car in the parking lot. And when I haul in the pool bag and both girls. I'm pretty sure he's looking when I take off my sundress and reveal which suit I'm wearing for the day.

"Did he just adjust himself?"

"I'm sure he did. It's constant." And should be gross, for some reason it isn't. Nothing about him is repulsive the way it should be for a kid his age. Everything about him is cast in a glow of light and sunshine and all things glorious. And as the summer days pass, Alice and I settle into an easy rhythm. We talk about him and what he's like and if he's ever had sex and of course he's had sex, but was it good sex? We watch him perform the mundane, and never before has cleaning up or yelling at kids or sitting in a chair high above the pool been so fascinating.

But there was one thing the Merman did that was better than the rest. He was the master of the diving board. When he was up there, everyone watched.

"Dear sweet baby Jesus. How can one man-boy be so hot?" This came from Alice, who has Jasper but can't help her infatuation with Edward. I shake my head and hold my breath as he comes to the edge of the diving board. He turns so his back is to the water and hangs his heels over the edge. Two little bounces before one big and he flies through the air, somersaulting with ease before landing with a splash.

"That was a-mazing."

"Truly," she agrees.

He pulls himself out of the water, two strong arms grasping the ladder rails. Water slides off his body. It's more than an average girl can take. We stare, hiding only behind our sunglasses, as he climbs the ladder to the high dive. Again, he waits at the edge of the board. He pauses and glances over his shoulder. He peacocks a little. He knows he's being watched and he likes it. With a quick, deep bounce he sails through the air, twisting sideways, landing with ease.

"I want to hump him."

"I know, right?" Alice agrees, taking a sip of her drink. "Last night when Jasper and I were doing it, I pretended it was him."

"You did not."

"Yes, I did. And I don't feel bad about it. I know he thinks about Angelina Jolie when we screw. I deserve a break."

"Bella," Angela is in my face and blocking my view but her eyes are red so I try to focus on her and not the diving performance.

"You okay?"

"Yeah, I left my goggles in the car."

"Oh, no problem sweetie, I'll go get them." I stand and walk past Alice, "Be back in a minute."

I run out to the car and find the goggles on the backseat. I'm just inside the gate when I see him. Leaning against the wrought iron bars, water rolling down his neck, over his chest and down, down below.

"Hey," he says.


We stare and I hold the goggles up with a finger under the strap. "Angela forgot these."

He shakes his head and droplets of water scatter across the pavement and me. "The chlorine is a little harsh today."

"So, I saw you on the board."

"Oh, yeah?"

"But you knew that."

A smile breaks on his face. His teeth are pretty and white against his tan. "You coming to watch the girls swim tonight?"

"I promised them I would. First meet and all, they're very excited."

"They'll do great."

I spy Angela looking for me across the pool. "I should take these to her. Maybe I'll see you tonight."


I do see him that night. He's a powerhouse. A force in the water, overtaking every other swimmer he competes against. My jaw drops when I see him; his arms and back moving smooth and controlled, muscles rippling under the water. Then he climbs out of the water soaking wet, wearing a Speedo.

A Speedo.

No one looks good in a Speedo. No one but the Merman.

It's a turn on. I'm turned on. The feeling settles deep in my belly and when I pass him later in the parking lot, the magnetic draw to him is fierce. I stop to tell him congratulations on his win, on his gift of genetic superiority, for being able to turn my body into a quivering mess.

"Congratulations," I say, eyeing his damp hair and the towel slung low over his hips. I lick my lips because I'm a pervert and he watches it closely because he's a boy. I attempt to say something else, but I don't. Instead my mouth is on his and I can taste his tongue and the sugary sweet of the candy he obviously just ate.

Any thoughts of him not being receptive are instantly dashed when his teeth crash into mine. He's a little sloppy, but so, so eager, and I forgive him when his hands cinch around my waist, engulfing me with their size. He may be a boy, but gah, he feels like a man.

Laughter from a group of kids walking to their car split us apart and my heart beats so furiously I'm sure he can hear it. The interruption is enough to clear my head.

"Wow," I say, once the group passes and we're alone. "So, that was weird. I don't normally just kiss guys like that. Especially, you know, younger ones like you and jeez, you probably think I'm gross and old and a creeper." I stop rambling because he's looking at me in a way I'm not sure I've ever seen. Halfway like he may puke and halfway like he may have already shot his load in his pants.

I take a step back.

He takes one forward.

My stomach drops to my feet.

"That was the hottest thing ever." And I can tell he means it and instead of thinking, "I'm going to ruin this kid, because this is wrong," I think, "I'm going to ruin this kid, because if he thinks that was hot, wait until I show him the rest."

"He tasted like Mountain Dew and Starbursts."

Alice and I have retreated from our usual positions on the lounge chairs to a shaded table under an umbrella. We can still see the girls playing, and the lifeguards, but there is more privacy back here.

"That sounds…heavenly." Behind the tinted plastic lenses of her glasses I can see how wide her eyes are. "What else happened?"

"He walked me to my car and I kissed him again."

"Just once more?"

"Twice," I say. "To be fair, I'm not sure he could handle much more."

"No, he probably spanked to that all night." We both glance at him, sitting like a golden god in his chair. I can see the tip of an eyebrow arched over his glasses in my direction. He knows we're talking about him; he just has no idea it's about him masturbating. Over me.

"So what happens now?"

I shake my head. "I have no idea."

"You're totally going to fuck him."

"Alice!" She laughs so hard she bends over and holds her stomach. "I can't believe you said that!" I'm looking around, to make sure no one heard her. No one else is paying us attention. Well one person is, but he's far enough away he can't hear anything.

"I can't believe when I just said it, you didn't say no."

I'm waiting outside the bathrooms for Jessica when I feel him behind me. He's so big I feel like a shadow passes over me. I hold my position for a beat because I've already made a fool of myself once.

"Hey," he says. He's close enough for me to feel his breath on my neck.

I turn and his eyes are on my boobs. I feel the heat rising off my own body. "Hi."

He's so pretty. All I want to do is run my hands over his chest. "So," he starts, "I get off work at nine tonight."

"Okay." I'm wondering if he's just telling me this or asking me out. I have mixed feelings on the asking me out part. Where do you go with an eighteen-year-old? Bars are out. Clubs he can get into are also out. Would he take me to the Dairy Queen or Taco Bell? Can we even go out in public? I don't think so.

"We could meet up, maybe, when I'm finished."

"Maybe." I try to restrain the smile spreading across my mouth.

I felt a tug on my hand and we both look down. Jessica is standing next to me with her bathing suit twisted around her neck. "Hey, let's go fix that," I say, pushing her back into the changing room. Before I go in, I feel a finger hook in the string of my bottoms.

"Here. 9:15," he says. I fight the thrill creeping up my body from his simple touch. He's thought this out. I consider he may not be as inexperienced as we suspected.

"I'll be here."

The best thing about eighteen-year-old boys is they would rather kiss than talk. They are infatuated with boobs and all you have to do is barely graze the spot above their hip and below their stomach, and you own them.

"Do that again," he says. I scrape my teeth down his chest, over the taut ab muscles covering his stomach, to the soft, fuzzy hair waiting below. He jerks when I kiss him soft and slow, and lick the skin so close to where he wants me most. I laugh and inhale the scent of chlorine and sunscreen off his body.

"You're laughing at me." He pulls me forward so he can touch my breasts, running his thumbs over the top.

"A little," I say. "You're cute."

He kisses me, better than the first time. He's a fast learner and I'm a dedicated teacher. It's a firm kiss, perfect tongue, perfect pace, perfect boy.

"You're beautiful." He positions me so I'm straddling his hips, my sundress hikes up my thighs. His warm fingers trail like fire up and down my legs. I concentrate to ignore his dick, but it's impossible because it's hard, so hard, and right there.

I need to know more about this kid. I need to know what he knows, what he's done. I need to make myself feel better about the position we're in. Literally.

"So you really don't have a girlfriend?"

His eyes narrow. What girl asks about another? Recognition takes hold. This girl, the one here for this. The one willing to do that. The one not jealous because there is nothing to be jealous about.

"No, not now."

"So, before?"

He shrugs. "Here and there. I'm not really into relationships. I've always been focused on school and sports and just hanging out with my friends."

I kiss him for his honesty and for being so freaking cute. When I pull back I say, "That's nice. I was kind of the same way." I stare at him for a minute. The sharp jaw, the messy hair. "Edward, tell me about your experience."

"What?" This takes him off guard and I suppose it should. Teenage girls do not talk about things like this. They have fumbling sex in the back seat of a car or their parents' basement and pretend it never happened.

I kiss him again and rub my chest against his. I lick his ear and whisper, "Tell me what you've done. What you know how to do and what you want to experience." When I look at his face again I realize that he understands, because his mouth is agape and his cheeks are flushed and the wheels are turning in his head.

"I've had sex before," he declares, which I've suspected because he's just confident enough. "With two different girls. The first was a senior who asked me to Prom when I was a sophomore. I had no idea what I was doing," he laughs. His fingers dip between my thighs like he's letting me know this is no longer the case. "We had sex in the hotel room while her best friend puked in the bathroom from drinking too much. Then, I had a girlfriend earlier this year. I liked her well enough, but, I don't know. I go to Catholic school—there's a lot of guilt going around. It's a little awkward when a girl sucks your dick and you can see her duck into the confessional the next day."

I can't even imagine. "I just feel like maybe I should be clear here, before we go further."

"About what?"

I take a deep breath. "Obviously, I'm older than you and more experienced. And for whatever reason, you're under my skin. It's totally weird and unlike me," I shift my hips a little and feel him beneath me. "But, I've been watching you and thinking about you and I just really, really, really want to spend time with you."

He stares at me for a minute, swallows and says, "Are you asking me or telling me?"

"I'm just letting you know where I stand and what I want." I brace myself for the horrific rejection that should be coming my way.

A lazy, adorable smile appears, "I think what you want sounds really, really awesome."

We don't have sex that night, but I do let him in my mouth and when I swallow, I wink and kiss him after to let him know guilt is not a word that consumes me. Edward on the other hand, does consume me. I wasn't lying when I say he's under my skin. He's an itch I cannot soothe.

In another life I'd call myself a whore or a slut or a cradle robber. I didn't care. I want this and him. It's a summer fling and I planned on falling straight into it. The weather cooperates and turns blazing hot, forcing us to the pool day after day, which allows me more time for him.

"How was your meet up?" Alice and I are in the water. It's too freaking hot to be anywhere else.



I splash water on my arms and over my chest. He's watching every move. I know this so I lean back on the edge of the pool so he can have a better view. "Yeah."

"Did you guys do it?"

I shake my head. "Not yet. I wanted to work my way up, or down as the case may be."

"Did you?" She makes a crude, but well-known gesture.

"Oh, yeah."

Her head turns toward him a little. She's thinking about it. About him. "How big?"

"Big enough."

"Was it weird? Is it? Him being younger?"

"Maybe a little." I shrug and watch him yell at a kid for running. His voice gives me chills. He's nice but firm to the kids at the pool and that makes me like him even more. "We talked some. He's not a virgin. He's had a blow job before. This isn't unchartered territory for him. But…"

"But what?" She turns and rests her elbows on the side.

"But when he looks at me it's like seeing a kid in a candy shop. And I'm the candy. I can feel the want vibrating off his body. It runs though his blood and across his skin. Does he want me in particular?" I laugh. "I don't know, I doubt it, and really, I don't care. That kid is horny 24/7 and I plan to exploit every last second."

We both look over just in time to catch him adjusting himself in the chair. We giggle and he gives me a quick smile, oblivious.


"Softer," I tell him. His face is between my thighs and his beard is thick and scratchy. I want him so bad it hurts, but he asked me to show him so I am. After some fumbling around and a couple moments of indecision he found his rhythm and I found mine. His tongue is hot and perfect. But I know if I don't come soon, he's going to end up with sticky shorts and no one wants that. "Keep going," I tell him, feeling the rush from doing something so dirty, and immature and illicit. I haven't made out in the back seat of a car since high school. When my body starts to shake and shiver, the possibility of getting caught makes the pleasure more intense.

He's on his knees while I'm catching my breath, his dick tenting in his trunks. I pull them down, and keep my legs spread. I've given him the green light and he moves frantically, like he knows what I know and that it's time to seal this deal.

"Ouch," he says banging his head on the roof of the car, trying to get free of his shorts.

"You okay?" I ask, but it comes out mushy because I'm still high from the feeling of his tongue.

"Yep," he replies. The look of determination, plus lust on his face, confirms that a bump on the head isn't going to keep this from happening.

"You have a condom?" I ask, but he's already searching for one. With trembling fingers he rummages through his wallet, pulling the square package out. I pluck it from his hands and tear the wrapper, "Come here," I tell him and he hovers over me in the tight space, allowing me to roll it on. He jerks a little when my fingers touch his skin, trying to control himself, and I know he won't last long, but I don't care, I need him as much as he needs me.

He's quick about it once he settles down, pushing in, burying himself to the hilt. I'm glad he's big because he isn't skilled. His enthusiasm makes up for it anyway. His pretty green eyes glaze over as he gets lost in my bouncing chest, and he sucks the sharp breaths out of my mouth with his kisses. When he's ready he grunts deep and sweet, faster and faster and faster until his face is in my neck and dirty words tumble out of his mouth.

We untangle, and he rolls on his back, pulling me on his chest. I rest my head on the smooth skin—he isn't very hairy yet, just a couples soft hairs scattered here and there. "That was awesome," he says and I nod into his skin, wanting to close my eyes. I can't because were in the back of his SUV in the swimming pool parking lot. My sweaty body is sticking to the leather of the seat. He tightens his grip. "You're kind of amazing," He whispers and then he kisses the top of my head and the pit of my belly stirs.

I lift myself up and smile. "You're pretty amazing, too." He pushes his hips toward me and he's hard again. I think about being his age and how once a night would have been enough, but now the idea of a second go was more than appealing and he was more than ready to oblige.

"What time do you need to be home?" I ask, wrapping my hand around him, feeling a little strange asking the question. But I have ideas and plans for the rest of the night and most of them take place in this car.

"Whenever," he says, tugging my shirt over my head. God he's handsy.

Whenever is perfect. Whenever is fine. I decide then to do whatever we can do between now and whenever.


We're back in the shade again, but not because of the sun. This is the best place to watch Edward when he decides to get cocky and show off on the diving board. Right now he's standing on the board, leaning against the guard rails waiting for the kid in front of him to go. He's funny, because he's so laid back and even this little kid being slow doesn't faze him.

My obsession has shifted. I'm no longer focused just on his body, but on him. Like where does he go when he's not here (or with me?) and where are his friends? And seriously, how can he not have a girlfriend?

But something else I've noticed is the water is truly his home. For Edward it's like another layer of skin. He glides through it. He moves fast and graceful. Outside the water he's capable as well, but he's like a puppy. Arms and legs slightly out of control. He occupies too much space. He's just a little too big for his coordination, but in the water he moves like he can breathe under there.

He's the Merman.

"Bella," Alice snaps her fingers. "Details? Please? I'm dying over here."

"It was good. He was good."

"Really?" Her nose scrunches up and I can tell she's skeptical.

"I mean, no, he's no sexpert, but honestly, he's so into it, and so into me and he's so freaking eager, it makes it more than worth it." I think about his face when he comes. It's all about the sex. Nothing else.

We watch him go to the edge of the board. He's on the high dive now. Edward balances himself, arms wide and in a beat he's in the air, first sideways, then tumbling forward, and ending in a can-opener that showers us in water. We're drenched, and his head bobs to the surface and he gives me a fast smile.

Show off. Splashing girls is Edward's way of flirting. The equivalent of pulling my pig tails. He's marking his territory without ever saying a word.

I fight a smile back because I still don't want anyone to know. These moms gossip too much, and the older kids are into everyone's business and I am working here. Plus, I like him being my dirty little secret. He likes it, too.

"So does he listen? Like are you telling him stuff?"

She's still talking about sex. "Yeah, he's willing to learn. Last night we worked on the theory of why men should make sure women get theirs first."

"Oh, yeah?" She smiles. She knows this to be true.

"Yes, he learns fast, and-" I start to giggle, "-he was rewarded richly."

I hear the spring coil and release. He's in the air again, pushing his body to the highest levels it will go. Again, he lands like a bomb, in the sweet spot between his butt and his back and water showers over me like rain.

He pushes the hair off my neck and kisses the spot below my hairline. My skin is sticky and slick with sweat. Just like every other inch of our bodies.

"Holy shit," he says, for the third time. There were also a series of fucks, damns and one sweet Jesus earlier. Now though, he pulls my skirt down so it covers my backside, and in the shadows of the darkened girls' changing room I can see him pulling his shorts back up. His hands are shaking and I can see his knees are as wobbly as my own. I slide my back down the wall and rest on the bench.

I had shown up at closing, waiting around until the other guard left. Once the lights were out and the gate was locked I pulled him into the changing room. I kissed him, and tugged off his shirt and then his shorts. He was ready, always ready and then I leaned into the wall, resting my forehead on arms and let him discover on his own there was nothing underneath my dress.

"I can't believe you let me do that," he says, pulling me off the seat and hugging me. I think it was a 'thank you for letting me fuck you from behind' hug. I wasn't sure. No one had ever hugged me after that before.

"Your next girlfriend will thank me, too," I say, because she will. She may even send me a note or flowers. Not only did I let him do it, I showed him how to do it right.

I wave him away and he goes outside and waits while I clean up. When we meet up, he laces his fingers through mine and says, "Why do you always talk about other girls? It's a little weird."

"How so?"

"Girls don't like to hear about other girls. I may be young, but I'm not stupid."

No. He isn't. I've found out that he's smart. Really smart. Full academic scholarship smart. Pre-Med. He's thoughtful and kind even if a bit of a douche at times. I can't blame him. God gave him looks and smarts and ability. It would be hard to keep it all in check.

I tighten my hand in his. "I'm not a normal girl," I say.

"Thank god for that."

I punch him with my free hand but he blocks it and now he has both my hands in his and there's no way to escape. "Because I think you're pretty great, and one day you'll meet that girl who does it all for you and you'll get her in the sack and you can treat her like the princess I expect her to be." And she will be, because he deserves a queen one day.

"But in the meantime, you'll meet and date and sleep with a lot of girls. I'm just teaching you how to have fun. You're way ahead of the curve."

"I'm pretty sure none of my friends have done anything like that." A smile ghosts over his lips. I think of the boys I've seen him hang around with. They're cute enough, in that 'one day they'll grow up' kind of way. Edward is eons beyond his friends, physically. If I passed him on the street I would still think he was in his twenties.

I raise an eyebrow. "Probably not."

He leans down and kisses me, the way I like it, the way I showed him and I feel it down to my toes. He releases my hands and I feel him touching the back of my legs, inching up my thighs and under my skirt. He's so strong he lifts me in one motion, my legs locking behind his back.

"I'm pretty sure my friends would be totally jealous right now," he says between kisses.

I laugh because yeah, that's the true, but then I consider it and say, "I'm pretty sure mine would be, too."

"Look, Bella, look!" Angela is waving ribbons and a trophy in my face. Two blues, a red and a white. "Great job, baby!"

We're at the end of the year pool party. I told the girls I would come even though technically I'm off the clock. Their parents are here, sitting with the other families, enjoying the end of season cook-out.

The Merman is carrying a stack of ribbons, more blue than anything else and has a medal resting on his neck. His hair has grown out since the beginning of summer, it's messier and adorable and if we weren't in this crowd of people I'm pretty sure I'd be kissing him right now.

I have plans for him tonight. I'm a little tired of sex in the car, or in the locker room or on the lounge chairs. Making out in the dark movie theater was hot once or twice, but I need a bed, I need him spread wide, over me and under me. Tonight we're going back to my house, so I can spend hours with him, because summer is coming to a close and our days are running thin.

Edward doesn't know about my plans, because I wanted the option to back out. We've kept our relationship fairly impersonal, primarily about sex and fun. The minute he walks into my home all of that is over. This becomes real. He enters my world. In my heart though I know we are coming close to our goodbye. Summer is ending and we're both leaving for school. One night of indulgence won't kill either of us.

I watch him in the crowd and notice his bright eyes seem a little sad. I think it's because his reign as summer league champ is coming to an end. It's the end of an era, and for him it's the definitive step between kid and grown-up. He's looking a little lost until our eyes meet over dozens of kids and everything on him brightens. His eyes sparkle and his sure grin is even surer and—

Oh no.

That's when it hits me. Hard. He's looking at me like he's been waiting for me. Like I'm the one that can save him. I realize right then that he's falling for me. That he already has. And although I may like him a little more than I would like to admit, I don't like him like that and a quick-paced sense of panic rushes through my nerves. Because this is a summer fling. This is me leaving cougar town and hopping on the jailbait train and riding it until my thighs ache. This is not permanent.

Since I'm a chicken and prefer fun to reality, I run when he stops to talk to someone in the crowd. I kiss the girls goodbye and make my excuses to their mom and I'm in the car before he can even figure out I've left.

"Remind me why we're here?"

A group of kids run by and Alice covers her ears, due to all the screaming. We're at one of those horrible bouncy places people take their kids to when they have reached the horrible spot of desperation. I am beyond that place. It's a beautiful day. Blue sky greets us in all directions and it's not even that hot. We should be at the pool. Instead we are here.

"Because I'm avoiding the Merman."

Alice looks at me like I'm a fool. She may be right. "And why are you avoiding him?"

"Because I think he likes me."

She nods. "I think you're right. I'm pretty sure he fell in 'like' with you the minute you touched his dick." I drop my head in my hands. God, I'm such an idiot. Alice, of course, isn't done. "Or maybe when you put it in your mouth, or when you screwed him in your car or in the locker room—"


She rolls her eyes, but lowers her voice to a whisper. "Or any of the dozen or so other places you schooled him on how to be a super sexy mofo."

"You encouraged me!"

"I did and I still do. Who cares if he likes you? He likes your ass. And your mouth. He's eighteen. He's resilient."

"Do you really think so?"

"Yes, I really do, but if you end it like this, all awkward and weird he'll always think he did something wrong. Just be honest with him. You have from the beginning."

"What if I break his heart?"

She scoffs. "That kid is going to break at thousand hearts freshman year alone. That smile? It's killer. He will cut a swath through sorority row that will never recover from the likes of him—especially after all the ammo you gave him. One bruised heart from you won't kill him—it will make him stronger."

Lauren walks over to us, limping on one foot. Huge tears fall down her cheeks. "She pushed me and my knee got hurt and I'm bleeding everywhere!" All of this came out in between hiccups.

"Whatever you do, fix it fast," she says, inspecting Lauren's injured knee. "I want to go back to the pool."

Can you come over?

To your house?

My apartment—yeah


When you can—I'll be here.

Give me twenty—I need a shower

Twenty-three minutes later, still smelling of soap and shampoo, Edward is standing in my living room. He's wearing a blue hoodie with his jersey number on it from his school soccer team. He's so big and he takes up too much space for a boy his age. He's all arms and legs and shoulders. I've had him in many confined spaces, but this room seems to cage him more than anything else. I never want to do that to him. I want him free, the way he is in the pool or flying though the air.

"What's going on? Where did you go last night?"

"I wasn't feeling well," I lie, even though it's not completely untrue.

He reaches for my waist with those long arms and pulls me to him. "You okay?"

"I think so."

He looks around the room. "Your place is nice. How come we haven't hung out here before?" I don't answer. I just take his hand and lead him to my bedroom. He smiles at the sight and sprawls across it immediately, taking up all the space. His feet dangle from the end and his arms are much wider than the mattress. He looks stranger here than in the other room, but when he tugs me down on the bed I don't resist. I didn't call him here to break his heart. I called him here to finish what I started.

"This is much better than the back of my car." He kisses me and his fingers are already exploring my skin. "Although, no complaints."

"No," I say, "None."

I let him crawl on top of me, it's the first time I've let him take the lead, but it feels right. It is right, because for once this isn't about me. He sets the pace when he undresses me and I follow his motions. We peel off each other's clothes. His hoodie and my tank top go first, then his sweats and my shorts. Edward is on his knees above me, fingering the lace strap of my bra when I say, "Can I tell you something?"

He nods, eyes half-glazed by lust.

I prop up on my elbows, which may not be the best decision because my cleavage is even bigger and his eyes are glued to my chest, but I'm preparing to say something really big and I'm not sure how much of it I want him to retain.

"I never thought I'd be here. Like right here, in my bed with you. I saw you that first day I brought the girls to the pool and I thought, 'Holy shit, who is that?', and it only took a minute to hear the moms and kids and anyone else around talking about you. Edward Cullen. Lifeguard, athlete, graduating senior. Talented, good looking, confident, blah, blah, blah. All I saw was this kid who was too freaking hot for his own good." I touch his chin. "God, Edward, you are so beautiful."

He looks a little uncomfortable, so I let him kiss me, but I can tell he gets what I'm saying because his kiss is so sweet and soft. "So I decided to go for it. Take a shot. Why not? All you could say was no, right?"

He laughs. "Yeah, there is no way I was ever saying no to you."

"But you could have." His fingers are under my bra, and his touch is making me burn. He's being all slow about it which is different, but nice and I start to ramble. "I've been watching you. Especially when you're on the diving board and you do all your flips and complicated dives. You have such a sense of peace about you when you're up there—or anywhere near the water. And I love to watch you push yourself. You're so strong. Physically, but mentally as well. You don't seek perfection; you're trying to make your body reach its limits."

He stops and rests his forehead on mine. "Why do you say that?"

"Because even though you're flying though the air, soaring like a bird, and it's pretty, there is also a sense of danger and wildness beneath your movements. Almost feral." I tug the top of his head. "Like your hair. You never stick the landing. It's always messy. Your arms and legs fling out of control. It's like when we do this." The whole time I'm talking he's undressing me. Pulling off my panties, unclasping my bra. His dick is right there, pressing into me. "Everything is measured until we get to the good part—to the ending. Then it's like the beast has arrived and stripped all sense of control away from you."

"That lack of control is why a woman my age is in bed with a man your age. Everything in my life is about control and doing the right thing and getting a job and a degree and paying my bills. You are the opposite of all that. It's why I crave your body and your skin and your touch."

He pushes in me, slow and measured. I still have things to say, but now they come out disjointed, because he's moving deep and nice. "You're wild now Edward Cullen, but you are so much more than that. You are really, really awesome. And you are going to do such great things in your life. And one day when you're all famous and have a supermodel wife, I'll think back to our time together and know that I'm the one that taught you how to satisfy a woman in bed."

He's moving faster now, gaining speed and going to that place I just described. That place of youth and innocence. Full blown lust and want. Before he's finished he makes sure I come, just like I taught him and with a shaky voice I say, "My contribution to humanity is complete."

Edward looks at me with sweaty, furrowed brows and shakes his head. "You're one crazy chick, you know that?"

But he obviously doesn't care, because we're doing this thing and we've barely finished and I feel him trying to do it again.

"I know."

I get the feeling he may like crazy.

"I saw him today."

"Again?" Alice stirs her coffee with one of those little plastic sticks.

"Yeah. I was in the library. I ducked behind the periodicals. No one goes in there."

"Chicken." She sighs and takes a sip of her drink. "Did he look good?"


"Even in winter clothes?"

"I mean, he's less naked and you can't see all that pretty brown skin, but yeah…"

"So he didn't see you?"

I shake my head. I've seen him a dozen times around campus since that summer. I've managed to keep away from him no matter how much I would like to see him. "No, I don't think so."

"Summer fling, girl. Summer. Fling." She rolls her eyes at me. "And you thought he was too into you."

"I'm not into him," I argue. I just want him. Every day. Every other guy. Every thought goes back to him. It's stupid. He's a college sophomore and I'm twenty-five and it's been two years and it's time for me to shake him.

"Remember that time you told me you wanted to have his babies."

"Yes, jeez!" I rub my eyes wishing his face from my memory. "I don't even want babies. I just want his babies. Seriously, Alice, whoever gets to carry his sperm is like a goddess among women."

"So hung up on him," she makes a tsk noise with her tongue. I kind of want to punch her.

"We left things in a really great place between us. I would never take that back. He looks like he moved on pretty well. Just like I wanted." And I did want that. And I really wasn't hung up on him. I only felt like this when I saw him. Or when I was with another guy and they didn't measure up.

She nods. "You're right. That was very mature of you."

"One of us had to be." I warm my fingers on my mug.

"True, but no one ever said I had to be mature."


Her eyes flick over my shoulder. "Hi Edward!" she says, jumping out of her seat and giving him a hug. "Bella, look, it's Edward."

I turn and he's there. Towering over me, broad and clothed. Still with the pretty green eyes. "Hi."

"Hey," his voice is still deep, but it's different. More solid. I appraise the thick layer of stubble covering his chin. If I thought he was a man before I was wrong. The Merman had transformed in the last two years.

Alice scuttles away but not before offering an explanation about seeing Edward on campus and how it was great to catch up and how my name came up and then she's giving him her seat. She's gone. Damn her.

He fills the chair and half the table but the overgrown puppy phase is gone. He's graceful and sleek outside the water just like he used to be inside.

"How have you been? " I ask, because I'm the adult here and I can do this.

"Pretty good, you?"

"Okay. School's tough." His knee brushes against mine under the table.

"Yeah, it is."

"Still pre-med?" I want to take a drink but I'm afraid my hands will shake and give me away.

A line appears between his eyes and he nods. "You remembered."

"Of course I did. I remember everything about you."

"I remember everything about you, too. So much that sometimes I thought I made it up." His eyes fix me with a stare. Like he's making sure I'm real. His words catch me off guard and I have no idea what to say. Edward too is quiet and he leans back in his chair and runs his hands through his hair.

"You messed me up," he eventually says and a wave of guilt slams into me. I knew it was possible and I hate myself for it. I start to sputter out an apology but he stops me. "Not because of what you—we—did, but because of who you are."

"I don't know what that means," I say but an uneasy feeling settles into my chest.

He laughs darkly. His face is tense and serious. I've never seen him like this before. It makes him even more gorgeous, which makes him dangerous. "It means I was okay with everything that happened. That was, and probably will be, the best summer of my life. I came up here and did exactly what you said. I charmed everyone. My grades were excellent. I had my pick of girls and fraternities. I partied and went to football games. I slept with whoever I wanted. I was picky and I treated them well, just like you taught me, and everything should have been fine."

"But it wasn't?"

He shakes his head and lowers his voice. "No. It wasn't. None of those girls could compare. They weren't you. I had a taste of the woman I wanted and she was gone."

I stare at the table and I can feel his eyes boring through me. I take a deep breath and say, "For what it's worth, I've missed you, too."

"Don't," he says. His hand covers mine. "Don't say something you don't mean."

"I'm serious. What was supposed to be about me fooling around with the young hottie turned me inside out. Ask Alice." I look around the room, feeling self-conscious. "Can we go outside?"


We grab our things and he follows me out of the coffee shop. Outside the door, I move in front of a closed shop next door. "I told you that summer, that night. You got under my skin. I thought it was just sex and I thought I was doing you this big favor. Instead, I think I started something I couldn't shut down."

"Then don't."

"What are you talking about Edward? That was then. That was wrong." I want to say to him that he's just a kid, but it's a lie. He's a man and he's standing in front of me. The current between us is charged, like always. It's like nothing has changed, except everything has.

"Don't shut me out. Let's test this outside the confines of that summer. Let's see how now compares with then." His smile is sincere, but his eyes…they want more. And I know already I'm going to cave. "Let me take you home and get you naked. If it's a bad idea, at least we both get laid."

"True…" I say, dragging it out.

"My apartment has a pool, you know, if that makes you more comfortable."

"I'm not having sex with you at your complex pool, Edward." My arm is already linked with his. I knew I was a slutty, whorish, cradle robber.

"So you say."

"I'm not."

"Okay." This is what happens when you seduce a boy—he knows you'll put out.

I stop and look up at him. He's all cute and happy and he has that look in his eye that says I'll probably get laid later tonight. "Okay, fine, I'll consider it. One condition though."


"You wear the Speedo."


Thanks for reading-it's been fun. See you around the deep end~angel