A/N: Thank you to TwilightMundi, who indulges me endlessly. She is the best.
This is one big pile of Edward/Bella fluff. I hope you enjoy! Thanks to Zig for letting me write this for FMF, and giving me the 4th of July inspiration.
All copyright and trademarked items mentioned herein belong to their respective owners. The remaining content is all mine. No copying or reproduction of this work is permitted without my express written authorization.
I hated summer.
Summer meant going home from college. Being around Charlie wasn't so bad, except his penchant for completely forgetting that I wasn't twelve anymore. He gave me my space and did his own thing, usually.
I'd gone down to La Push a few times to hang out with Jake, but the prospect of another long, boring summer loomed.
"Don't forget to pack your sunscreen," Charlie reminded as I put a few things in my beach bag.
"Dad, I get it."
Giving him a quick hip-check, we shared a smile and he waved on his way out the door, off to work. Fourth of July was always a busy day for the cops.
I packed a few snacks and a book to keep me occupied for the inevitable moments when Jake and his friends would be off tossing a football or getting into some kind of trouble. Most of the night, we'd sit on the grassy hill and do a whole lot of nothing.
Once I arrived and gave everyone the obligatory hugs and greetings, I sat on my blanket and pulled out my book. Jake, Sam, and Embry played without their shirts on a team against Quil, Seth, and Paul. When he pulled his off, Jake winked at me with a knowing smirk and nod of his head.
Maybe, I thought. Maybe I'd go home with Jake. It was easy; comfortable. We'd been together on and off when we were both single, and I knew he wasn't dating anyone at the moment.
I stole peeks at the sweaty men now and then, glancing up from my book or shifting on the blanket. I turned and laid on my stomach, feet up in the air as I picked at a cluster of grapes.
The scream I let out when a very large unlit firecracker landed right in front of me was probably enough to rattle the Earth.
"What the fuck?"
Jake and his friends ran over, hugging the man that had clearly dropped the firecracker. From their boy talk, I gathered that Edward was a close friend, but it made me curious.
"Hey, how do you know this kid?" I asked Jake, standing up to eye the pretty boy in front of me.
"Edward was on our baseball team in high school."
"What? He didn't go to Forks High, nuh uh."
"No, I went to Port Angeles Prep," Edward explained. "But I was part of the rec league down here."
"Ohhh, fancy," I teased. "This is a very large stick you have." I practically had to bite my lip at the double entendre, but I liked harmless flirting. "Do you want it back?"
"While I, uh, enjoy watching you hold my stick, unfortunately, I do need it back. It's part of the show tonight."
"What?" My eyebrows furrowed together in confusion.
"I can't explain right now, but I dropped it because I'm running late. Can I meet you down by the water later? I'll tell you everything you want to know about my sticks."
I gasped, hand to my chest, feigning shock. "You have more than one?"
"Yes, and I definitely know how to use them, which is exactly why I have to run. What's your name?" he asked, turning to run the opposite direction.
"Bella," I said with a wave.
Jake had been standing by me, watching the entire exchange, and when I turned to face him, he was shaking his head.
"Someone's got it bad for Cullen."
The whole group of six boys began to tease me, football becoming a secondary concern.
"Why don't you boys go back to playing with your balls. It's about the most action you'll see tonight."
With an eyeroll, I moved back to my spot, opened my book, and settled in for more reading.
Once the sun lowered in the sky, we grilled hot dogs and ate way too many s'mores. I was surprised when a warm body slid onto the blanket beside mine.
"I thought you'd never come," I said quietly.
"That's my line," he quipped.
I rolled my eyes and bumped his shoulder.
"Sorry," he said. "I was getting things set up with my dad. I swear the man would light himself on fire if I wasn't there to help."
"Your dad is doing the fireworks?"
"Oh yeah, every year. Cullen Pyrotechnics is the best. You haven't heard of us?"
Laughing, I shook my head no. "Can't say that I have. So why'd your parents send to you an all-boy's school? Delinquent minor? Social outcast?"
"Best education money can buy. Or so they claimed. Had high hopes for me."
"Had?" I asked.
Edward nodded and I watched the way his scruff was highlighted by the fire. I wanted to nip along his jaw. Lick his lower lip. Bite his Adam's apple.
"Are you listening?" he said, fingers poking my ribs.
"Sorry." I blushed, but wasn't sorry at all. "I am now."
"Try to focus up here, on my mouth. I heard it helps for listening abilities."
Smug bastard knew what I'd been thinking, and now was baiting me. I settled my gaze on his lips and watched them while he explained.
"They wanted me to be something big. Doctor, lawyer, make loads of money like they did." He paused, darting his tongue out to wet his lips. "Just wasn't the path for me."
I wanted to tell him I knew the right path for him – whichever led us to getting naked the fastest.
"So what'd you do? I mean, what are you studying?"
"Eh, I'm not. I decided to take a few years off. I help my dad out at events like this. I help my mom out when she tapes. I volunteer."
I eyed him skeptically.
"Okay," he said, hands moving up in the classic you caught me pose. "I'm a slacker bum living off his parents. However, in my defense, if I hadn't been, I'd never have met you, and you're the best thing that's happened to me this year."
"You just met me, Prince Charming. How can you possibly know I'm the best thing about your year?"
"Call it a hunch."
He moved closer, sliding his hand into mine, and we sat shoulder-to-shoulder, watching the people around us. I'd never let someone invade my space quite like he had in that moment, but there wasn't a single thing about it that made it awkward or uncomfortable for me.
The light of the fire warmed us, and at some point, I rested my head on his shoulder. His arm slipped around my waist, and before I had a chance to think about it, his mouth lowered to mine. Our kisses started soft and sweet. A quick peck, then we'd turn back to watch our friends. A little longer kiss, broken by catcalls from the jerks that used to be our friends. Soon, I was holding myself back from pushing him down and mounting him in front of everyone.
"Edward," I whispered, "we can't keep doing this."
I implored him to understand what I was saying without forcing me to use the words.
He pulled back slightly, a horrified look on his face. "I'm that terrible of a kisser?"
"No," I said, reaching my lips to his again. "Too good."
"Think we can sneak away?" he asked.
"Like I care if anyone notices. They've watched us making out all night. We're adults. They know what comes next."
His eyebrow quirked. "You?"
Tugging my hand, he stood faster than humanly possible, bringing me with him. At what felt like top speed, he ran and I chased, laughing the entire way. I was doubled-over from the spent energy as he undid the locks on a white van, then opened the back door and practically shoved me in. When I was inside, I realized there were no windows anywhere, except wayyyyyy up front where the driver sat.
His hands were hot and quick on my skin, reaching where they could. My tank top ripped as it came off my body, by his hands or my own, I wasn't sure.
Edward's hand brushed against my abdomen and as it slid up to the bottom of my bra, he let out a low growl.
"Fuck," I whispered, drawing out the word against his neck.
"Please. More than once."
I arched up into him, my body rubbing shamelessly against his thigh.
"Let me do that," he said, hand moving beneath the waistband of my shorts. His voice had taken on a powerful, possessive tone that I loved.
Lithe fingers toyed with me, spread my lips, slid over my clit, and finally dipped down pushing deliciously far into me. As he withdrew them, they rubbed against my g-spot and I moaned. No man had ever touched me as intimately as he already had, and we'd only begun. My knees shook with need, brain caught on a loop of yes, yes, yes.
In and out, his fingers played me carefully. In and out, faster. In and out, still slipping against that sweet spot, moving harder. In and out, thumb against my clit, back and forth.
When I got dizzy from my heavy breathing, I tried to focus. Tried to remember which orgasm he was on. How many times had I come? The way he touched and stroked and whispered, I wanted so many more. I had no idea how he had this affect on me, this cosmic spell of fuckery – literally.
My hands went to his belt buckle, sexy fucking buckle that had taunted me all night, whispering of its secrets and delights held just beneath. Now it was my turn to find them out.
Even as I fumbled, unzipped, finally released him into my hand, he continued what he was doing.
Please, please, please.
"Just let me do this," he half-laughed, quieting my words with a kiss.
"As many times as you want," I whispered. "But please, fuck me."
He shook his head, crazy grin settled on his mouth, sweat gathering on his forehead. Just as I could feel the tightening begin, his fingers pulled out sharply and his hard cock slid in. Instead of waiting, like I expected, he pulled back, then thrust hard and fast.
I tried – really, honestly – but my scream was loud and long. Each time he pushed inside, it was a million fireworks. My knees gripped the sides of his body, sliding up to tilt the angle and his access; his hands reached out and pushed them further up near my head. The stretch burned, made me ache, and made everything feel a million times more intense. Missionary with my legs down would never be an option after this night.
The bursts of noise from outside began to flood out the noise of what we were doing – in his father's company van, no less.
Once my body settled down, our noises reduced to a minimum, I focused on just how good he felt above me. I planned more, wanted and needed him in every way possible. As I wound down, I could tell he was winding up, pushing harder, getting closer. My brain tuned in to my surroundings and I realized my head was thumping against something painful each time he thrust in, but I couldn't bring myself to reposition us. Edward was fucking beautiful above me, and watching him come had me rapt with attention.
The way his eyebrows knit together. The way his lips relaxed and opened, hot breath pouring out and then sucked back in. His eyes were closed so tight, lids creased.
My nails bit into his back, pulling him closer to me. I wanted his body right next to mine so I could feel every reaction I caused, every muscle that tightened in reaction to what we were doing.
"Fuck," he whispered slowly in my ear.
His body stopped, sweaty skin against sweaty skin, as he came. His mouth was pressed against my shoulder, dispensing tiny, sweet kisses.
Eventually, he rolled off me and the air hit my body like an iceberg, the swift movement causing me to shiver. I curled into him, tangling my hands up into his hair and my legs with his, needing his warmth again. His fingers combed through my now-tangled mess of curls and I smiled against his skin.
After we'd caught our breath and taken a moment to rest, I realized we were half-undressed, and the fireworks outside had begun to die down.
"Edward, get up," I said, my panic rising. "Get up!" I shouted. "The fireworks... they're gone. People are going to start wandering back to their cars..."
He finally clued in to the sitch.
"And vans. Oh shit."
We laughed, awkwardly fumbling with our clothes, then getting distracted again kissing. Opening the back door, we stepped onto the gravel parking lot and straightened our clothes, doing our best to not look like we'd just fucked in the back of a van.
I thought we were doing pretty good until I spotted Jake and waved – he nearly fell over laughing in response.
"What's so funny, dude?" I whispered once I got closer.
"Oh my god, Bella," he said, gasping between guffaws. "You don't even know."
Turning to Edward, I shook my head slightly in confusion. Biting his lip to stifle a laugh, he reached forward and I thought he was going to run his hand through my hair. Instead, he lifted a tiny strip of red firecrackers from my tangles.
All I could do was laugh with them. We'd been caught, and I was just thankful it was by Jake and not my dad once I was home.
Edward and I parted ways, making plans to go on a picnic the following day. We texted back-and-forth until after 2AM, when I finally fell asleep with the phone still in my hands. I only knew the approximate time from looking at our banter when I woke up.
As I showered, I wondered how things might be different during the daytime. Did he have a girlfriend? Fuck, I hadn't even asked. He wouldn't do that, though, would he? He seemed like an okay guy. Jake approved of him, that much was clear from the texts he'd sent after we'd all gone home. His playful teasing about the van incident made me smile; I was lucky to have such good friends.
When I dressed in a new tank top and some shorts, I smiled, remembering the ripped one. It would be easy to hide from Charlie; I decided I didn't want to throw it away. I could still wear it to bed, and it held memories now. Dirty memories. I didn't have many of those.
Driving to the park again, I replayed the night before over and over, which only served to make me more excited to see Edward. When I parked and saw him already lounging on a beautiful blanket, elaborate basket next to him, my heart leapt.
He didn't have to woo me – didn't need to be romantic, but he was making an effort. I suspected it wasn't to get in my pants again, although we'd had a great time, because he simply asked me to a picnic lunch. If he wanted another quick fuck, he could have made that clear. I probably would have said yes, even.
There were kids playing in the water of the lake, and the warm breeze of summer heated my skin as I got out of my car. For just a brief moment, I leaned against the hood, watching. He was staring up at the few clouds in the sky, white puffs of innocence, and his breathing was even. I took a second to scan his body, appreciating the things I'd missed in the dark. His legs were tan and toned, and the way he was stretched, I could see a sliver of his happy trail snaking beneath his shorts. What surprised me the most was the splash of color peeking from his right sleeve. I'd definitely need to investigate that better, I decided.
My flip flops alerted him to me walking up, but he didn't move. As I hovered, blocking the sun, he smiled up at me, reaching his hand out to mine. Carefully, so I didn't fall right onto him, I lowered myself on his right side and our hands stayed clasped.
"Hi," I said softly.
His body turned to face me and he cupped my face with his hand, lips meeting mine in a burning kiss. When he was finished, he exhaled against my now-wet lips, a little hum escaping, then repeated my greeting back.
"Sit up, please. I'm starving!"
"Me too," he said, then pushed his lips against mine again.
Yeah, I could feel just how starving he was, hard and thick, everything good I remembered, pressed against my leg.
"Cullen, I mean it," I protested with a smile. "Plenty of time for that later, young man."
We sat up, and his hand moved from mine to my thigh. His other hand opened and pulled out various things from the basket, each one surprising me more. While he was retrieving food, I lifted his sleeve and traced the ink with my fingertip.
"What's this?" I asked about the curious design.
Suddenly, I realized he was pulling out an awful lot of containers.
"Um, Edward? Did you go buy all this fancy food?"
"Wait. Edibles by Esmerelda," I said, reading the label on a container of food. "That's the fancy gourmet store owned by Esmerelda Evenson. If you didn't buy it, how'd you get this amazing basket?"
"Remember yesterday when I said I helped my mom on the days she taped?"
He looked at me, expecting me to connect the dots. No such luck.
"Yeah, I remember that, but I don't get it."
"My mom is Esme. Well, Esmerelda on TV."
I practically shrieked. I'd watched his mom on TV for years, learning how to cook some of her signature dishes, in fact.
"I take it you know her?" he asked, laughing.
"Such a dirty mouth," he teased, his own turning up in a grin. "Whatever am I going to do with you?"
"Food, Cullen. Food. You can go single-track focus later."
"I'm going to remind you of that."
"Oh, trust me," I said. "You won't be the only one in a hyper-focused state of mind."
We ate the pasta salad, fruit salad, and other various edible delights that were packed carefully for us.
"Wait, did you make your mom pack this picnic basket?" I asked around my chocolate chip cookie. Okay, my third chocolate chip cookie.
"No," he said, shaking his head. "I cook with her all the time. I did have to get her help a few times, but most of this was made by yours truly."
"Edward Cullen... you cook, you're amazing in bed, you have gorgeous ink... will you marry me?"
I was only half-kidding.
"Don't you think we should wait for a third date to discuss marriage?"
Shrugging, I laughed and we went back to eating and kissing. Slowly, it morphed from more eating and less kissing to just the opposite. I wanted to crawl into his lap, and began cursing the fucking public park around us.
"You know what I brought?" Edward asked, lips pursed.
"Fuck, that could be answered so many ways," I said, laughing. "No idea, though. What?"
"A kite. Come on. You ever flown one?"
He stood, then helped me stand.
"Um, no. Seriously, you brought a kite?"
"Yeah. I'll teach you to fly it. It'll be fun, promise."
It took a few tries, but I'd never complain about watching him run. After the third attempt, he stopped and pulled his shirt off. It was like putting my own personal Kryptonite in front of me. On his left shoulder blade, more color burst to life, but I couldn't tell what. I'd been so distracted by gawking, I didn't notice he had the kite in the air.
"Get over here," he demanded.
I ran to where he was, and he handed me the plastic reel thing.
"I have no idea what I'm doing! It's gonna crash, Edward! Shit."
"Have faith," he said. "I'll help you. Take this."
He moved to stand behind me, arms wrapped around me, and I had a hard time focusing.
"See? We're doing it."
The kite tugged when the wind would shift it, and then I realized we really were flying it. I got giddy and squealed again, turning back to kiss him in excitement.
"I'm flying a kite!"
I'd never wanted to fly a fucking kite before; what was wrong with me?
"Told you we could do it."
Sure, it fell into the grass shortly after that, but for those brief few moments, with Edward's arms around me, flying a stupid kite made me feel like I could do anything. It had been so long since I'd learned something new just for fun, not because I had to for class, or because I needed it for a practical life application.
Turning in Edward's arms, I kissed him with everything that had welled up inside.
"Take me home," I said quietly. "Please."
I spoke between kisses and gropes. "Not your house, dummy. Mine. Alone. Bedroom. Now."
I didn't even care how I'd get the car back to Charlie's, I just needed to connect with him in every way.
Edward drove and I did my best not to distract him. I was grateful the distance wasn't long between Charlie's and the park, and when the car was off, we both practically sprinted to the front door.
His body pinned mine against the door. He was hot and heavy, all man and muscle behind me, mouth at my ear. "What if I can't wait?" he asked.
I was ready to strip and let him have his way with me right there, then decided my father would be very displeased to get a call to his house. For his misbehaving daughter. Getting fucked against his door.
As I fumbled with the lock, Edward's hands roamed. My tits weren't huge, so I'd gone braless. When he cupped them beneath my tank, I realized he was full on groping me in public and my fingers fought harder to get the damn key in the lock.
"You are so fucking sexy."
"Jesus. You haveta stop for a minute, or we really are going to be forced to fuck on the porch, because if you keep doing that, I'm going to get naked right here, and then my dad will come arrest you. You don't want that on your record, do you?"
Suddenly, his hands withdrew from under my top, and I took a deep breath, finally managing to get the door unlocked and open.
I barely managed to get both words out before he was pushing me inside.
"Where?" he asked, mouth practically attached to my skin.
"Upstairs. Right side."
As much as I wanted to shed my clothes along the way, I wasn't sure how long this would take, and no way would I chance my dad finding a clothing path. Sure, someday he was going to realize I wasn't his innocent little girl any more, but this didn't need to be that day.
When we were in my room, I began to do the awkward shuffle of a young woman in her sometimes-childhood bedroom with a fucking sexy chunk o' man.
Edward, however, wasn't awkward at all. The minute my bedroom door was locked, he began to take my clothes off. I returned the favor, and when we were naked, fumbled our way to my tiny twin-sized bed.
He laid beneath me, and I was glad for the chance to watch him. I tried to shimmy lower on his body, but his hands pulled around my ass, bringing me forward. My eyes must've grown wide as he attempted to situate me over his mouth, but his answering smirk was so god damn sexy. I gripped the headboard for dear life, doing my best to not suffocate him as he dove in. Each time I'd pull up, moving my hips away from his body and allow him more air, he'd grunt and use his hands around my thighs to pull me back down to him.
Finally, I gave in; if he wasn't going to die from lack of air, the least I could do was relax and enjoy what he was doing. My hands tightened their grip as his reached up to pinch my nipples. Each time he groaned or moaned into me, the shiver slid up my spine. He was just too good at this, I decided.
Unlike men that had seemed reticent, Edward was eager. It almost bordered on scary, the ferocity with which he seemed to practically devour me, but oh, the pleasure. Just like the day before, he made me lightheaded and dizzy with pleasure, repeatedly. Emboldened, my hands reached through his wild hair, tugging and tightening as I came again.
When I could think again, I shook my head, looking right into his eyes.
"I don't want to know how you got so good at that, but maybe I owe someone some flowers or something."
He laughed and I moved, shifting my body and lying on top of him.
Edward flexed his hips a few times, teasing us both. I was so insanely over-sensitized that each push threatened to make me fall into too-sensitive territory.
Moving my hand between us, I guided him. Well, I touched and twisted, pulling and gripping a few times for good measure, but then, I guided him inside of me. As I sank down, I sat up, increasing the depth and ability with which I could control what we did.
Or so I thought.
"Grab my hands," he said.
We linked our hands, and then he instructed me to lean back, my knees pushed in front of me. Slowly, he squeezed his thighs, moving in and out at such an agonizing pace. Was this tantric sex, I wondered? When I thought I might have to beg for him to go just a little faster, or let go of one of my hands so I could alleviate some newfound frustrations, he winked.
He winked, then pushed harder, hitting deeper. Of course, he pulled back faster, and I sank faster, a squeak coming from me at the change in everything. Faster, he flexed and thrust, and I squeaked and moaned.
God, I need to remember to propose again. Right after the next orgasm.
Grateful we were home alone, the next orgasm came quickly and loud. For both of us. The day before, he'd been somewhat quiet and reserved, but as he moved beneath me, he seemed to unfold and let go. If I'd thought watching him come the day before had been beautiful, it was nothing compared to actually being able to really see him in the light of day. His head tilted back, eyes locked closed, hands gripping my hips tightly to guide me.
Finally, several moments later, his body relaxed. I was glad my bed was so tiny, then, as I curled up above him. There was nowhere to escape, and I loved it. Edward's fingertips traced up and down my spine, the sun streaming onto our bodies like praise from the universe.
It would have been easy to drop out of college, move in with Edward, and live like two slackers in love.
It would have been easy, but that wasn't what we did. That summer was magic; the sun kissed our skin daily, and I helped Edward with his odd jobs when I could. I finally mustered the nerve to tell Charlie I had a boyfriend after a few weeks, and although he was skeptical, he knew Edward's parents and eventually seemed to soften to the idea. Especially once I told him I was going back to school at the end of summer, as planned.
A lot of the paths Edward and I could have taken would have been easier, but no, we did things the only way we knew we could. After the kite-flying incident, we talked about kids. About having them, wanting them, and finally, teaching them. Edward was amazing with every kid we encountered that summer, and even though he couldn't really see the full potential, I could. He absolutely shined when they were around, a bubble of happy.
When I returned to Arizona, I cried the entire drive. It wasn't until I was safely back at home and in my routine that Edward dropped a bomb on me – he was going back to school, too. For a brief moment, I prayed he'd move to Arizona to go to the same college, but he needed to stay near his family. I didn't really understand, but I was envious of his relationship with his parents, and in my heart, I always knew we'd end up around them.
Even that first year, I was building a future for us in my mind. It just had to work out; we were too worth it to let anything like distance or school get in the way.
We visited each other every chance we could, and made Skype dates when we couldn't. We'd order Thai food and get sloppy with our noodles, then dirty with our hands. I let him see me at my worst – red eyes and snotty nose when my heart felt like it might break from missing him, and he did the same. We whispered and yelled, and god, we loved fiercely.
It took four more years, but as I watched Edward receive his diploma, all of our parents around, I couldn't have been happier.
Esme catered his graduation party, and all of our friends were there. I'd gone to grab two more beers from us, and when I walked into the living room, at first, I was confused.
"Did you drop something?" I asked, setting the bottles on the table, dropping to my knees to help him look for whatever was lost.
"No, baby. Please, get up."
"What are you..."
I couldn't even finish the sentence. My brain was so tangled again in a loop of yes, yes, yes – something he'd reduced me to so many times over those years. His words were fuzzy and muddled in my brain. I was so overwhelmed, I could barely stand, much less listen. But I heard the most important words.
"I can't spend another day without you. Bella Swan, will you please marry me?"
Yes, yes, yes.