SLASH BACKSLASH 3.0 CONTEST
Title: The Tutor
Rating, disclaimer, and appropriate warnings: I own everything that would make SM blush, and nothing more. NC-17 for citrusy activities and ridiculous amounts of ogling-from-a-distance, along with adultery and a Bella that honest-to-God made me cry while writing. You have been warned.
Word Count: A bit under 5k according to that loathsome Open Office.
A/N: Many thanks and naked boys to Danni for her speedy-quick last-minute beta'ing. I literally finished this the day of the deadline. And it's only by the grace of the slash gods that I managed it.
Summary: .:My SBS Entry:. "Passion. It lies in all of us, sleeping, waiting...and though unwanted, unbidden, it will stir, open its jaws and howl. It speaks to us, guides us. Passion rules us all, and we obey." E/S slash, lemons, OOC, cheating.
Please see all entries at http:/ www. /community/Slash_Backslash_3_0/ 74941/14/0/1/ (delete spaces)
Pools of gold-flecked emerald, like empty caverns with no light to breach the darkness.
I can feel them caressing, burning through the back of my head, and it takes everything I have not to twist my entire body around and stare back, to discover what makes his eyes feel so hot on my skin.
But I keep my eyes on Jane's chubby hand grasping the pencil, on the shaky letters she forms with painstaking care. I smile and praise her when those pretty brown eyes glance up at me in silent question, and I firmly ignore the pounding of my heart as I feel his gaze slip under my skin, lick through my blood, torture me slowly.
I keep my voice steady as I instruct her on how to write the next letter.
I make sure to keep my eyes on her childish scrawl instead of letting them sneak a glance over my shoulder.
And I take a deep breath when I hear the French doors open behind us, followed by the padding of bare feet on the patio. I can barely stand the fear, the lust, the anticipation of his every move, and his eyes brand my skin, making it tingle. The energy will rush through my veins when I breathe in his scent—cigars and apples and leather—and when his body is near enough that I can feel the heat of his skin, my mouth will go dry and I'll have to struggle to keep my hands from shaking.
But it's not his voice that asks in that perfect, floating English tone, "What are you learning today, darling?"
My heart thuds in a mixture of relief and disappointment. I can still feel his eyes on me even as Mrs. Cullen steps forward into my view, leaning over Jane's curly head to see what we're working on. At the same time, I feel warm, tiny hands on my leg, tapping me, and I smile at little Alec as I lift him onto my lap, cooing into his ear while his father's eyes wrap me in heat. Jane chatters animatedly to her mother about her handwriting and Alec makes fists in the fabric of my shirt, his round chocolate eyes like a knife twisting in my gut, reminding me of why I can never dare to hope.
Eyes prickle at my skin again, a sharp, stinging burn to remind me how much I want him. I do my best to ignore it.
"I'm glad you're here, Seth. You've been so helpful these past few months." I look up to see Mrs. Cullen's eyes—so like her children's—twinkling at me, her smile tired. Her dark veil of hair is pulled back into a bun, her sundress clinging modestly to her slender body, and she looks every bit the perfect, beautiful, caring wife and mother that she is. Even despite his indifference.
I smile back, warmth flooding me along with a gnawing guilt—shame even—when Alec rests his head against my chest, tiny fingers curling around my thumb. "It's nothing, ma'am," I mumble, looking down. I can't meet her eyes. Not after this…not after these feelings. She might find out, see it written plainly on my face. I've tormented myself enough simply imagining the pain I could cause this family; to see my guilt-fueled nightmares brought to life would destroy me. They don't deserve that; Mrs. Cullen doesn't deserve that; Jane doesn't deserve that; Alec doesn't deserve that. None of them do. Not even him. They were a perfect, loving family before I arrived, and they'll be a perfect, loving family when I leave. I will not be the one to ruin them like that.
Mrs. Cullen squeezes my shoulder with her hand for a moment before she drops a kiss on Jane's forehead and lifts Alec from my lap with sweet words and cooed I-love-you's. And then I'm alone with Jane and a handwriting book on the patio. But all I can feel are his eyes.
I'm a tutor. Twenty-two years old. I hope to teach elementary school someday. I took this job to fulfill my field work requirement, and now I live with the Cullen's while I teach their young daughter, Jane, and take classes in the morning. It's a strange arrangement, but I'm glad for it. It means I can be close to him. Which is precisely why it's unwise to live here, but I refuse to think about that.
I've been teaching Jane for three months now. She's a quick girl, eager to learn, and sometimes I wonder why they don't just put her in school with everyone else because I know she'd do well. But I don't question it, no matter how odd it seems to me. The Cullen's aren't really the sort of people you question.
In the mornings, I wake up early, get dressed, eat breakfast in the kitchen, and go to school. I get back at around two in the afternoon, and then I work with Jane until dinner. My evenings are my own, but most of the time I just stay in and read.
This morning, a letter from Mom greets me in the entryway. There are a few other things in the mail today, all of them addressed to "Mr. Edward Cullen". I leave the letters on his desk, hating how disappointed I am that he isn't in his study like he usually is. It's wrong, this desire. But I honestly don't think I can help it.
I slip back into my room—it's early, maybe seven, so the house is still in the quiet hush of morning—and I fumble with the envelope for a moment before scanning the brief note eagerly.
I hope you're doing well with those kids. I wish I knew a little more about these Cullen's, particularly the man, but I trust you to be a smart boy and watch out for yourself.
We all miss you here, especially Leah. I did as you asked and put that sand dollar on your daddy's grave (I bet he liked that). Maybe when you get back we can go fishing for him. I'll let you use his pole if you like. He wouldn't mind.
I'm not one for letters, and I don't quite know what else to say except we all love you and we all miss you, more than you know. I hope you're having a good time in New York, but I wish you'd come back soon. I still don't see why you had to go all the way to the other side of the country to get your degree.
Be safe, sweetheart, and have fun.
I fold the letter up and tuck it into my sock drawer with the others. It's been nearly four years since I moved away, and it's been months since I've had the money to fly back for a visit. Now would be a good time for some motherly advice.
Although I don't know how she'd ever react to finding out her son is lusting after his pupil's father.
His smile is cordial, his voice resonating through me as he responds to the man, and to anyone else he would seem the perfect host, with the perfect wife and the perfect children, completely content as he sips his champagne and discusses global marketing with a colleague.
But I feel his eyes on me.
Always. Wherever I am. He's watching.
I'm sitting in a corner, next to an elderly lady and her timid young granddaughter. Jane is weaving through the shimmering skirts and expensive suits, smiling and flashing sparkling doe eyes at everyone who speaks to her. She's charming—the mirror image of her mother, who's standing next to Mr. Cullen and playing her role to perfection. Alec was put to bed a little while ago, and I would be in my room reading or taking a nap, but Mrs. Cullen insisted that I come down for the dinner.
The party is small, twenty or so people milling around the parlor, and I've only had to talk to one or two of them. Once in a while the lady next to me will ask for the time, so I'll tell her, and then we'll fall back into an easy silence.
For the most part, I watch him. I try to avoid getting caught, but despite my attempts at discretion, I know he feels it. It's been like this for months, this tension, this simmering need just under the surface of his glittering eyes and my secreted glances.
Fear laces through my middle at the thought that tonight…tonight might be the night something changes. Tonight might be the night I resist or surrender. And to be honest, I don't know if I'll even have the strength to say no.
His laugh startles me, and I look up to find his eyes fixed on me even as he pretends to listen intently to the man next to him. I see his emerald eyes darken, and I wish I could look away and ignore him, but my heart pounds with the heat of his gaze. And when he excuses himself, leaving the colleague to Mrs. Cullen, and gives me one more burning stare before slipping out of the room, I can't help but get up and follow.
He leads me down the halls of his grand old country house, and I struggle to keep up with him, my eyes focused on the fiery strands of his slicked-back bronze hair and the broad span of his covered shoulders. I'm already half-hard just thinking about being alone with him.
It's quiet—I can't hear the murmuring of voices from the parlor anymore—and when he pushes open the door to his study, I slip in after him.
The only light is from the window behind the large oak desk he uses, and my feet are silent on the carpet as I take a few hesitant steps forward, my heart pounding with anticipation. I can feel his presence, and my breath hitches when I hear the click of the door closing.
All I can hear is the sound of his steady breathing behind me. My hands ache to touch him, feel the silk of his hair slide through my fingers, slip under his shirt and find out how smooth his skin is. But I force my body to remain still, even though I'm unable to calm the drumming of my heart and the beginnings of sweat that gather upon the back of my neck.
"You've been distracted lately, Mr. Clearwater." I can't keep my body from shuddering when I hear that gruff, lust-laced English voice so close. No more than a few feet separate us; if I turned—
I squeeze my eyes shut, praying that he doesn't notice my shaking, fisted hands at my sides as I whisper, "I'm sorry, Mr. Cullen."
"No need to apologize." I can feel him shift, take a slow, silent step, and he's just behind me, his breath hot and rough on my neck. My heart pounds. Lips. I feel lips, the heat of them ghosting my skin as he adds, "I know you can't help it."
I want to feign ignorance, to claim that I don't know what he's talking about, but I know better than to lie to Mr. Cullen. He does know. And more importantly, I think he likes it. He likes the power he has over me; he likes the thought that someday soon I won't be able to help myself around him. And he doesn't seem to care that our attraction will end in the destruction of a family.
And when his hot lips skim the side of my neck, I can't find it in me to care either.
Hands trace fire up my arms while he drags slow kisses down my shoulder, and I bite my lip against the moan that begs release. "Wait," I whisper. One soft breath of heat against my skin, one slow slide of his lips, and I'm already hard, eager—desperate, even—for his touch.
"Do you want me to stop?"
I squeeze my eyes shut and give a quick nod, unable to speak when his mouth comes in contact with my shoulder again.
"Say it," he growls. The timbre of his voice against my skin sends a shiver down my back, and I know he feels it. "Out loud. Tell me what you want." When my only reply is a panted gasp, his hand finds my hair and he tugs, hard enough to sting, but not hurt. "Tell me."
My lips part in a whimper and he tugs again, lips meeting the corner of my jaw, branding me wherever his mouth touches my skin. I keep my eyes closed and think of Jane, of little Alec, and the sad mother and wife who's been so kind to me. I picture their faces in my mind, imagine the shock, the betrayal in their eyes if they ever knew what I had done, what I had wanted and given in to. They didn't deserve to be hurt like that. Not them.
"I want you to stop." I shudder as I say the words with numb lips, my heart pounding in denial. Don't stop. God, don't ever stop. I want to pull him closer, not push him away.
But to my relief and disappointment, he lets go, steps back, the heat of his presence disappearing and leaving me cold, empty.
He doesn't say a word, and I drop my head, leaning forward onto the desk for support, my body shaking with need. I'm panting, aching for him, but I clutch at the edge of the desk and keep quiet.
And when I finally turn around, he's gone.
Mrs. Cullen's dark hair is gleaming in the evening sun, and her gloved hands dip into the freshly-turned soil. I can hear her deep, slow breaths, like she's inhaling the delicate fragrance of earth and roses that tints the air. I can't understand how any man could treat her like less than a goddess. She's that beautiful.
"Thank you for joining me, Seth," she says quietly. She sounds sad, but that isn't unusual. I would be sad too, if I were her.
"No problem, Mrs. Cullen." I have a pair of pruning shears in my hand, but I've never pruned anything before, so I'm not quite sure what I'm supposed to be doing.
She sits up, rubbing her arm across her forehead in a troubled gesture, and says, "Jane's birthday is coming up soon."
"Jane doesn't have anyone to invite."
"No one?" I whisper.
"No one," she says.
"Surely there's—" I break off. No, she's probably right. Jane doesn't go to school, she doesn't go play at the playground with the other kids. She's completely alone, except for maybe the daughters of Mr. Cullen's colleagues.
Mrs. Cullen catches the look on my face, and hurries to say, "I'll get some girls over somehow." She bites her lip, then shakes her head and sighs. "I just-I just wish Jane could be able to have some friends she actually wants here. I wish she knew girls her own age, could have sleepovers and go shopping and have movie nights and—" Her voice catches, and I can't help but take a step forward and reach out to touch her shoulder.
She looks up at me, tears glimmering in those pretty brown eyes—so like Jane's, and Alec's—and I hate myself for wanting anything that could even remotely hurt her more than she already is hurting. I'm a monster. "Mrs. Cullen," I whisper, "I'm . . ." Sorry. For what happened. For whatever you've been through. For the grief and the loss and the past and the future. "I'm gonna go ask Bree if she can bring us some coffee."
Her smile is weak and frail when she lowers her head back to the garden bed. "Alright. Thank you, Seth."
"No problem, Mrs. Cullen." I set down the shears and walk away before I say something stupid, like I understand what she's going through or I wish her husband didn't hate her.
My hand shakes when I raise it to knock on the door, and Mr. Cullen's low, rough voice calling for me to come in has me flushing and nervous.
The door glides open noiselessly, and I take a hesitant step into the room. It's lit with the soft glow of the lamp and the sun filtering through the dark curtains, and I suck in a ragged breath when I remember how dark it was the other night, how arousing it felt to have Mr. Cullen pressed against me, lips setting fire to my skin.
In the light, I can see the wall-to-wall bookcases, the plush old armchair in the corner, the huge desk littered with papers. It looks like most studies—serious, business-like, formal, with a strong masculine feel to it. And there, in the center of it all, is him.
He's wearing a plain white button-down, open at the top to show a teasing glimpse of his broad chest, and the glasses he has on make him look older.
I swallow hard and hold out the letters in my hand. "Uh, good morning, sir," I stutter, sounding embarrassingly like a blushing little virgin boy. "Alistair asked me to bring these to you."
Glittering eyes—the darkest green, like a forest filled with shadows—meet mine and his gruff voice makes me shiver as he gestures with a flick of his wrist and says, "Set them here."
My heart seems to still in my chest when I move forward, hands trembling as I take one step, then another, and another, until I'm in front of him. I feel his gaze burning through me, licking through my blood as I set the letters down.
Don't do something you'll regret, I tell myself. Don't. Don't give in. I picture Jane and Alec, their sweet, smiling faces and chocolate-brown eyes, and I find it in me to turn and walk away.
But his voice stops me. "Seth."
I don't know why I look back. But something about the raw, breathless way in which he says my name pierces through me, and I dare to glimpse over my shoulder.
He hasn't moved. His eyes are darker than before, and his face is impossible to read, but when he speaks again, it's a cold whisper. "Stop trying."
My lungs fill to bursting and I don't look back this time as I walk out and close the door behind me.
Jane's pealing laughter rings in my ear as I swing her around, and my smile widens. "Dizzy yet?" I ask.
"No!" she shouts gleefully.
I spin faster, listening to her high-pitched giggles turn into squeals as her legs fly out and the garden shifts in front of me. We're supposed to be practicing spelling, but I'd rather make Jane feel a bit happy today.
It is her birthday after all.
The words "Happy Birthday, Jane!" hang in bright pink-and-white letters over the entryway, and Jane herself is smiling down at us from the top of the stairs.
"How do I look?" she asks, giggling as she grabs a handful of her dress and twirls.
"Perfect," Mrs. Cullen smiles. There's a pretty pink flush to her cheeks that brings out the ivory of her skin and the chocolate of her eyes. Standing a few feet behind her, I can smell her perfume—like strawberries and sunshine.
Jane skips down the stairs in her pretty white dress, a whirl of smiles and silk, but she falters when she sees Mr. Cullen. "Hi, Daddy," she whispers shyly. Her chocolate eyes are wide with nervousness.
I sneak a glance at Mr. Cullen and see the tension in his jaw, the way his Adam's apple bobs as he swallows. "You look . . . very nice, Jane," he tells her.
It's enough for Jane. Her smile widens and her cheeks turn a rosy color, and I can't help but smile too.
Eight girls are here now. I don't know any of them. Jane seems to be getting along just fine with having perfect strangers at her birthday party. Her brown curls are bouncing as she dances around the room like a spring breeze, laughing and smiling.
She's so much like her mother.
It's six now. They're about to cut the cake and Mrs. Cullen asks me to run and get a knife from the kitchen.
But he finds me in the hall.
Tells me to follow him.
And I know Mrs. Cullen will wonder where I've gone.
And I know that nothing good will come of tonight.
But I'm too weak, too selfish to say no.
So I don't.
"Mr. Cullen, I—"
"Edward." Lips on my neck, hands in my hair, a solid chest against my back. The scent of mint and old books surrounding me. "It's Edward."
Heart racing, skin on fire as hot breath slides down my neck.
They'll hate me.
I feel myself sink into him even as guilt whispers through me, but I still say his name, still sigh it into the moonlit study. "Don't stop," I tell him.
He doesn't stop. He turns me, hot kisses melting through my skin, branding me, and I gasp, feel my fingers wind in his hair of their own accord as he pushes me against the desk, bending me over it until I feel cold wood against my back and a warm body against my front. Papers scatter, I hear the thump of a book tumbling to the ground, but it doesn't matter when he kisses me.
I moan, clutch at his shoulders and arch into his mouth, desperate for the fire he can give me. And he doesn't hold back. He takes and I take too, until we're tangled in lips and sweat and lust and I can't remember anything but his name. It's all I say, over and over, like a prayer as I pull at his shirt and he pulls at mine.
And we're chest to chest, hands roaming, tongues tasting flesh and moans whispering through the air around us.
And it's perfect, and it's so right that I forget that it's wrong.
"Please," I beg. Nails drag down my ribs and I suck in a gasp that turns into a moan when I feel his fingers dance down my back.
"What do you want, Seth?" he demands. I can barely keep from bucking my hips forward as his hands slide further down, settling on my ass. "Tell me, Seth. Say it. Out loud."
I feel his hot breath wash across my face, and I can see the glitter of his eyes in the darkness of the study.
Lips like satin along my jaw, pressing, teasing, promising more.
"I want y-you—"
Teeth nip at my earlobe and I want to beg him to stop, to keep going, to take until there's nothing left for me to give.
"Say it, Seth." The sound of my own name against the tender skin under my jaw makes me shiver.
"I want you . . . inside me," I whisper.
Even in the dark, I can sense the victorious smile quirking up the corners of his lips as he chuckles. "Thank God."
Hands at my belt, pulling, brushing against my cock just for the sake of it. My hips go up automatically when he tugs at my pants. His mouth is on mine, and I want more.
"Do you-do you have—" I can't get the words out. Skin touching, lips colliding, and it's too much, and there's a roaring in my ears, like a storm.
"Yes," he says. His voice is rough, low in the quiet of the study as he pulls my pants off, throws them somewhere.
Then my underwear are gone, tossed in the same direction as the pants, and I feel his hard body stretch over me as he rummages for something in his desk drawers.
After a second he finds it, and I hear the click of a lid opening.
One finger. Two. Three. Stretching me, making the burn sting and soar through my blood until I'm begging for him to hurry, babbling his name and curses and prayers and arching my back against the spreading fire.
He doesn't hurry. He drags his mouth down my chest and finds that spot inside me at the same time, and my low cry is muffled by his shoulder. But he doesn't hurry.
He waits. He waits until I'm incoherent and desperate and I can barely breathe for the moans spilling out of my mouth. And when I'm an instant away from coming, hands fisted in his hair, my whole body frozen in pleasure . . . he pulls away.
I hear the crackle of a wrapper being ripped, feel something pressed against my entrance, and his lips ghost over mine as he asks, "Are you sure?"
My heart pounds and my whole body shakes with guilt, but his eyes glimmer at me in the darkness, and I can feel every inch of him lined up with me, and I don't care anymore.
"Yes," I whisper.
And then my head falls back and I feel pleasure and pain lace through my blood as he fills me, completes me.
There's a pause—a breath that shudders between us as my fingers dig into his shoulders and his lips ghost over mine—before we both move, both pull and groan, and the way he feels inside me is incredible.
I fist my hands in his sweat-dampened hair, feeling him move inside me, going deeper and deeper until I have to bury my face in his neck to keep from crying out.
"More," I plead. His fingers clench around my hips in an iron grip, and the force of his next thrust sends a few more papers off the desk, makes a stapler skitter toward the edge as I groan his name.
I feel his hot breath on my neck, and his mouth on my pulse as we surround each other.
And I forget everything except him as we move together and collide and breathe. I forget about Mrs. Cullen and Jane downstairs. About the party and my job and his family. It's just us, fire and need and raw curses spoken into the silence.
Lips trail down my throat and I can feel the tide rising in me even as I hear someone in the hallway. But I don't care, not anymore. He's touching me now and I know I won't last. Not with him filling me like this, hand on my cock, sweaty skin against mine, making me feel something like fire lick through my blood.
I try to tell him. I pull at his shoulders and gasp into his shoulder, but it's no use.
And my cry is muffled by his hand over my mouth as I come, hurtling over the edge with a near-frightening intensity. I can feel him moving, pushing me across the desk as he thrusts—once, twice—before jerking still, a strangely reverent whisper of a curse and my name spoken into the darkness of the study.
And just for a moment—before I hear Jane's ringing laughter and the sound of little girls singing "Happy Birthday" and Mrs. Cullen's footsteps outside the study door—I'm whole.