Written for Southern Fan Fiction review's Tantalizing Tuesday

A huge THANK YOU to my beta, La MoMo! I appreciate the fact that you took time from your busy schedule to look over this little story. You're the best around, lovey!

Sandy SFFR, thank you for letting me share my story on your blog. Also, thank you for being so supportive and loving everything I've published on this site. You are amazing! :)

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Now, on with the show...

How to love

By: Ancora Imparo83

Her name is Isabella.

She likes her martini dirty with two olives.

She smokes Dijarum lights...I know this because when I kiss her, I can taste the filter on her lips.

Those lips...damn.

She has a tattoo of a B on her hipbone. I don't know how many others have seen it from this angle. The thought is enough to drive me crazy.

Keep your cool, Cullen.

I watch as her hands trail up her stomach and grasp gently at her breasts. Her hips buck gently against me and I know...I know she's almost there.

We keep eye contact while my tongue slows its ministrations...this drives her fucking wild and I love it.

She's trying her best not to make a sound, but the rise and fall of her chest gives her away.

I groan as her hand comes to rest on my head, gently pushing my face against her. My hands abandon her hips and move to spread her legs further...it's more intense for her this way.

"F-fuck." She groans, attempting to sit up. I gently push her back down and grab hold of her breast, her hand covering and squeezing mine. "You like the way my pussy tastes, baby?" She asks, grinding herself against my tongue.

That mouth of hers...she's a dirty girl when she's about to lose control.

"Hmm." The vibration of my response makes her whimper and I can feel myself grow harder.

"Faster, baby," she moans, pulling at my hair. I lick against her swollen cit and her hand keeps my head there.

She's on the brink...

This is my favorite part.

"Fuck," she whimpers. "Just like that...oh, God!" She tries to clamp her legs shut, but my elbows are pinning her down. She stills after a little struggle and lifts her hips against my mouth before falling back down on the bed. "I-I love..."

What? I-I love you, too. Please say it...

I blow cool breaths against her pussy and she squirms, trying to pull my head away. "Stop," she giggles breathlessly. "You're going to make me faint."

"Hmm, if that's what happens...then I'll see you in the morning." I chuckle against her stomach and trail kisses around her belly button.

"Tempting..." She hums. "But I have to get going."

"I was kind of hoping for round three." I wink, rubbing my cock against her. She smiles and kisses my nose before ducking out of bed.

"I have a flight to catch in the morning, Edward." She bends down to grab the dress lying haphazardly on the floor and closes the restroom door behind her.

"Back to him?" I ask, trying my best to keep the anger out of my voice.

"Edward," she sighs. The water faucet turns on and I'm left to my own thoughts.

I shouldn't feel this way...

Edward Cullen doesn't feel this way.

What was meant to be a one-night stand a year ago, turned into a regular thing. Every Saturday and Sunday, like clockwork, she knocks on my door and we spend the day in bed. Talking, fucking, sucking...I love it.

The thing that kills me is that, even though we may say "it is what it is", it really isn't...at least to me. We share common interests and we make each other laugh...she's so carefree with me, until she has to leave.

I want her. I want her so bad that it hurts to watch her leave me at the end of the day.

"It is what it is, Edward." Bella says, walking out of the bathroom and breaking me out of my inner monologue. She has yet to confirm or deny the fact that there's another man, but her phone chimes insistently the entire day. The thought that there could be one just torments me ...

"What if I want more?"

"Edward." She sighs again, fixing her earring in the mirror. "We've been over this."

"We haven't even talked about it, Isabella." I jump out of bed and place my hands on her shoulders. We stare at each other's reflections for a long moment, before she bites her lip . Her eyes glaze over and she lowers her gaze. "Let's talk about it...we'd be good together, baby." I whisper, running my nose up her neck. I stare at her beautiful face, as her eyes close slowly in response to my touch. I can see the wall she's built slowly chip away while she leans into my embrace. "I want to know you, be with you." Love you...

Her eyes fly open again and the flicker of uncertainty they just held is replaced with cold, hard determination. "I like my life the way it is. I told you from the beginning, Edward. Besides, you're not my type."

"Not your type?" I ask, stepping away from her. "What are you doing here every weekend, then?"

She rolls her eyes and shakes her head, trying to move around me, but I grab her and make her look at me through the mirror. "It was just sex, Edward. That was the agreement from the beginning, remember?"

"Bella, we've been doing this for a year. I find it hard to believe that, number one, I'm not your type and number two, you haven't given any thought to the idea of you and I being more than just...fuck buddies."

She holds her place in front of the mirror and glares at me. I watch her mouth as her tongue moves across her teeth like she's contemplating something. "I- I think we should go ahead and agree to disagree. I have a plane to catch in a few hours and you have that meeting on Monday you need to prepare for." She turns to face me and gently strokes my cheek.

"I'll see you next Saturday, then."

"Maybe," she smiles as she checks her phone. "I think I might be in France that weekend...I'll call you."

"Isabella, just because we're having a disagreement-"

"Maybe we're seeing too much of each other," she interrupts.


"The consistency of our arrangement is making you read into this more than you should." I feel my heart pounding through my chest while I watch her gather her coat to leave. Deep down, I know this might be the last time I see her and I suddenly find myself unable to breathe.

I don't want her gone...

She turns to say goodbye and I catch her head in between my hands. She looks up at me with a doe-eyed expression and blinks a few times before I kiss her. "Why are you so afraid to try?" I whisper against her lips.

"You'll break my heart." She barely whispers, too low for me to hear her...but I do. She wraps her arms around my neck, her lips graze my cheek and stop at the shell of my ear. My grip on her dress tightens, bringing her closer to me, when I feel her breath against my skin. "Take care of yourself, Edward."


I stand frozen at my door, watching her walk down the hall towards the elevator. She turns to face me and gives me a small wave before the doors close. I stumble back against the door and watch the arrow above the elevator move all the way down to the lobby and, just like that, she's gone.

Six Months later-

"Dude, me, the self proclaimed tight-fisted bastard is offering to buy your rounds at the bar. What do you mean, no?"

He's right.

Jasper is one tight-fisted son of a bitch, but he really has no choice...my sister is a shop-o-holic. But even with his offer on the table, I can't find it in me to get up off this sofa. It's Friday night and I know she's in town,.She's somewhere out on the town and I don't want to run the risk of bumping into her.

Fuck, I miss her...

"I just don't feel like it, Jasper."

"Edward, it's been months. No word, no call, not even a fucking smoke signal. It's time to move on, man." He jumps off the kitchen counter and disappears into my room.

"Jasper's right, bro. You can't stay home every weekend with the hope that she'll stop by or even call."

"Her number changed," I reply without thinking.

"Well, then. There you have it. Let that one go, because Alice has this friend she wants you to meet." Jasper walks out of my room and throws me a pair of slacks and a dress shirt.

"Nah, I'm cool."

Emmett shakes his head and plops down next to me. "This isn't healthy, Edward. I don't mean to be a dickhead, but you weren't even in a relationship with her." He grabs the remote from my hands and turns off the T.V. "This shit isn't you, bro. She's probably off banging some other poor, unsuspecting douche bag and you're here mourning over the loss of what never was."

"I know," I whisper. I wasn't hers...she wasn't mine, so why am I acting like my heart is broken? If she's moving on, then I'm going to as well. "You're right...let's get out of here. I need a drink."

Fuck her...

"That's what I'm talking 'bout!" Jasper barks, tossing my jacket on the sofa. "Now, go and get the stink blown off you...we've got a long night ahead of us."


There's a line wrapping around this place Jasper dragged me to. Both women and men line up behind the velvet rope, checking each other out.

I can hear the women giggling and cat calling as we pass them by. I used to get a kick out of it, but now I can't help but roll my eyes. I follow both Jasper and Emmett as they head for the front of the line and I'm suddenly tired. Tired of the night life, club scene and bed hopping, I don't want it anymore...I just want her.

"Alice is already inside." Jasper says over his shoulder while he signals the bouncer . The burly man nods once and lifts the velvet rope, waving his clipboard to guide us in. "Her friend is there, too."

"Jasper, I'm not here to get laid. I just need a drink."

"Right." He says, rolling his eyes.

"She's hot!" Emmett yells out over the music. "But don't tell Rosie I said that, though," he shrugged.

"Like I said, I don't care."

"She went to school with Rose and Ali, now she's some big shot publicist. This party," Emmett said, waving his hand around, "is for one of her clients." We make our way into the main room. It's smartly decorated with grays, reds and blacks...Alice's doing, of course. Everyone is dressed to the nines and I feel as though I may be the only under-dressed one, until Alice skips over to us and inspects me.

"Good job, babe." She says, inspecting me while she kisses Jasper on the cheek. "I was worried this suit was sitting at the bottom of the hamper."

"I can dress myself, Alice."

"Yes, but this event calls for something more than an old pair of jeans and a torn Motley Crue shirt." She giggles, hugging Emmett. "Rose is already here, VIP is just up the stairs." She hands us silver bracelets and ushers us up the stairs. "I've got to go settle a tiny problem at the bar, mingle and have some fun, little brother." She reaches up to kiss my cheek and lovingly stokes Jasper's before she disappears into the crowd.

"Can I get you a drink?" Emmett nudges my ribs and cocks his head to the side. A waitress is standing there, carrying a tray filled with Champagne flutes. She blinks up at me and smiles shyly. There's something about her smile that reminds me of Isabella's...so sweet and innocent.

"I'll have a vodka tonic."

"Hey there, pretty lady. I'll-ow!"

"He'll have a Jack and Coke, no ice." Rose smiles at the waitress and then turns to glare at her husband.

"Rose, you didn't have to punch me, I was only being nice." Emmett says as he rubs his chest. "You pack a punch, baby."

"And don't you forget it," she says, before kissing him on the cheek. "Well, well, I haven't seen you for some time...you're looking good, Edward. Is it me or are you thinning at the top?" She tugs at my hair and snickers.

"You're looking good too, Rose. You carry that post-baby weight really well, I can barely see your muffin top." Rose's mouth pops open and closes before she reaches out to smack me on the arm. Truth was, Rose looks stunning and even she knows it. I get a kick out of teasing her and she gives back as good as she gets.

"Nice," Rose laughs. "But really, do I look fat?" She asks, smoothing the fabric covering her flat stomach.

"You look gorgeous, Rose." I laugh, kissing the side of her head. "So, whose party is this?"

"Victoria James. "

"The Ford model?" Emmett asks, turning his attention from the crowd below us. "She's on the billboard by the garage!"

"Yes, her. Jeez Babe, wipe the drool off your mouth." Rose snickers, taking small sips of her martini.

"She's beautiful," I shrug. "She's not my type, though." She's not Isabella.

I leave Rose and Emmett to their conversation and look down to the crowd below. Hordes of people crowd the dance floor, swaying to the beat of the music blasting from the speakers. Emmett and Rose make their way downstairs to join the party. If I were in a better mood, I'd be enjoying it too.

The DJ spins into the next remixed song and I recognize it right away. My heart jumps to my throat and I remember the day I met her.

It was last call at the Tryst. She was sitting alone, running her finger along her martini glass...staring at me. Without so much as a hello, she grabbed my hand and led me out of the bar. The two-block cab ride was made for introductions, the remaining four...well, let's just say the cab driver got a little show that night...

Now as the summer fades, I let you slip away
You say I'm not your type but I can make you sway
It makes you burn to learn you're not the only one
I'd let you be if you put down your blazing gun

I'd kick myself for being such a sentimental jerk-off but I can't help it. There's something about her...

Now you've gone somewhere else faraway
I don't know if I will find you
But you feel my breath on your neck
Can't believe I'm right behind you

Fuck, I miss her...

'Cause you keep me coming back for more
And I feel a little better than I did before
If I never see your face again, I don't mind
'Cause we've gone much further
Than I thought we'd get tonight

"Hey, handsome." A tall red head I recognize as Victoria James comes to stand beside me, holding out a beer. "You want a drink?"

"Thanks" I smile, holding up my beer. "I'm Edward."

"Hi," she giggles. "I'm-"

"Victoria James." She nods and looks out into the crowd below.

"Can you believe this party?" She yells over the music. "It's insane!"

"I know, it's really crowded." I look around.

"My publicist said that's a good thing, it means they liked the movie."

"Oh yeah, I heard about that. It got good reviews."

"My publicist was right...she always is." Victoria shrugs. "Transitioning into movies turned out to be a good move."

"Well, congratulations!" I yell, holding up my beer. I scan the crowd for my brothers and notice Jasper standing by the bar while Alice waves like a madwoman to someone on the other side of the room.

"Oh look, there she is! I haven't seen my publicist all night." Victoria yells, pointing out into the crowd.

I ignore her and turn my attention back to my sister. Jasper is standing next to her and it looks as though they are arguing about something. He raises his hands up in defeat and makes his way back up to the VIP room.

"What's going on?" I ask, watching Alice glare in our direction.

"I swear to God, sometimes she just won't take no for an answer." Jasper snaps, grabbing a glass of champagne.

"What's going on? Is she trying to hook me up?"

"Yes," Jasper mutters. "I was fine with it, until I found out who with."

"Who? That Victoria James chick?" I scrunch my nose and look behind me. "I just finished talking to her...I'm not interested."

"Nah, not her, dude." Jasper laughs. "She has this friend that just went through an ugly divorce and has completely sworn off men and relationships."

"Well, then, why the hell would Alice want me to meet her?"

"Because Alice thinks she just needs to meet a good man that will make her bitterness disappear." Jasper rolls his eyes and pats me on the shoulder. "You're good, but not that good. Men are persona-non-grata with this chick."

"Sounds scary."

"Trust me, she's beautiful, but not worth it. Dammit, I really thought you were going to meet Angela...you'd have really liked her."

"I've already told you-" I shrug as I watch the crowd. I spot someone familiar...too familiar.

Shit, shit, shit!

"Look, there she is." Jasper grumbled. "Her name is Isa-"

"B-Bella," I stutter, watching

"You know her?" Jasper asks, watching me like a deer caught in headlights.

"I...knew her."

Jasper continues to stare between her and I until something inside him clicks. "Oh shit, bro! Is that-"


She is maneuvering through the crowd, dancing along with people she knows in order to get to the other side of the room where Alice is standing.

She is wearing a bright-white fitted blazer that stands out in a crowd full of dark colors. Her hair is darker than I remember. She cut her bangs but her hair is still pin-straight and flowing beautifully down her back.

When she steps out of the crowd, I nearly lose my balance. Under the jacket, she's wearing this black scrap of cloth that shows off the beautiful curve of her breasts. Her skirt barely comes past her blazer, showing off her legs covered in net stockings.

And those shoes...fuck.

I fucked her in those shoes...against the wall of my apartment, the first night we met.

She is in her element. Talking and laughing... God, my memory does her no justice.

"Edward, where are you going?" Jasper yells over the music. My feet are moving of their own accord, before I realize what I'm doing, I'm fighting my way through the crowd until I spot her.

She finally reaches Alice, they hug and kiss each other on the cheek, talking animatedly about what I assume is the party. A waitress passes by and Isabella quickly grabs the last two champagne flutes. They toast and, before she can take a sip, a man comes up from behind her and wraps his arms around her waist.


I'm frozen in place until Alice notices me standing there. Her eyes light up and she's beaming at me. She waves me over, while Isabella is talking to that douche-bag.

"Are you having fun?" Alice asks, handing me her champagne flute.

"Yeah." I mutter, watching Bella's ass. "I think I'm actually going to take off now."

Alice pouts and shakes her head, snaking her arm around mine. "You can't...it's too early!"

"Alice, I-" At that moment, I watch Isabella pat the douche-bag on the ass as he begins to walk away. She slowly turns, her attention now on her phone.

"Alice, Jacob wants-" She looks up from her phone and meets my gaze. Her eyes bug out as she stares frantically between Alice and I, noticing our linked arms. "Um-"

"What did Jacob say?" Alice asks.

"Um, um...the..." Bella shuts her eyes and snaps her fingers to try and remember. "Fire marshal is outside, he uh...wants a head count."

"That man is insufferable." Alice hisses. "Edward, please stay. Have a few drinks. Bella, I'll be back." Alice hops up to kiss me on my cheek and disappears into the crowd."


"Well, I-"

We both stop talking and I notice her thumb pointed over her shoulder. "I'm needed...um."

"Well, hello to you too, Isabella."

"Bella." She corrects. "I prefer Bella." She waves at a couple of people passing by and looks around, obviously avoiding me.

"Bella," I nod. I notice her hands shaking as she checks her phone. She's nervous...

"I need to make my rounds. It was good seeing you again, Edward." She turns to walk away from me, but accidentally bumps into someone behind her.

"That's all I get? 'It was nice seeing you again?' Seriously Bella?" My hand touches her shoulder and she stops dead in her tracks. "It's been a while..." And I fucking miss you.

"I know," she looks back at me and smiles weakly.

"When can I see you again?" I whisper into her ear, the feel of her hair against my cheek gives me chills down my spine.

"Edward-"She sighs and begins to pull away.

"How was France?" I ask, desperate to keep her near me.

"Oh, I didn't go. I had a family emergency." Her nonchalance is fucking killing me.

"Is everything alright?"

"It is now." She shrugs, waving at someone behind me. Her eyes finally land on me and there's nothing there. Empty...cold...bitter. "I'm sorry I didn't call...I've just been-"

"Busy. I get it."

I do, I get it...I feel like an idiot, but I finally get it.

"Right, well...it was nice seeing you, too. Take care, then." I wave halfheartedly, walking past her and maneuvering through the crowd.

"Wait...Edward-" Bella tries to catch my arm, but I've had it...this back and forth...the silence. Why should I wait now? No, I think I'm done.


"Fuck this shit..."

I lean against the counter of the coat check, waiting for the woman to find my coat, when Alice finds me. "Where are you headed?"

"Home. I have a headache, Alice."

"You always have a headache, Edward." She grumbles as the attendant appears with my coat. "He won't be needing that, Janice."

"Alice," I warn.

"Edward," she mimics my tone and I can't help but smile. "Meet me at the bar, I have someone I want you to meet. I think you'll like her." No...I think I love her.

"I already know her, Alice."

"You don't even know who I'm talking about."

"Isabella?" I raise my brow at the same time she raises hers. It could be comical, if I weren't so annoyed right now.

"How...how do you now Bella?"

"Long, long, loooong story. I'd really rather not, if you don't mind."

"Fine," she sighed. "Just...come to the bar anyway. We haven't seen you in so long and I miss you."

As flustered as I am, my sister's pout does me in...I can't ever say no to that little runt. "One drink."

"One drink." She agrees, nodding her head enthusiastically and hugging my arm. "Yay!"

Alice leads me to the bar and waves over one of the bartenders. Jasper, Emmett and Rose meet us at the bar and we all toast to our friendship. I watch the passing crowd of twenty-somethings flirt, drink and grind against each other. I used to live for it back in the day...nameless, faceless women went through my apartment like a revolving door. When I think about it now, I'm embarrassed of myself.

I guess I'm over it...over the games. One drink turns into two and that turns into three...my mood has shifted and I'm enjoying the music.

"Hi again." Victoria occupies the empty bar stool next to me and smiles suggestively. "There you are."

"Hey," I smile and shake her hand weakly. "Where have you been?" I can feel myself buzzing and, at this point, I really don't care...I'm having fun.

She sticks out her tongue and slouches. "Making the rounds...all for the sake of business."

Victoria prattles on about certain guests in attendance and is quick to spill the gossip she's heard about them. I try to listen, try to sound interested...but if I'm being honest, I really don't give a shit. I notice that the cocktail waitress from earlier is eying me. She smiles, waiting for the bartender to fill her tray.

"So...what is it that you do, Edward?" Victoria lightly taps my shoulder to get my attention and I notice she's moved a bit closer to me. I scoot a little farther to widen the distance between us. During our short 'get to know you', I find that she is as shallow as piss on a sidewalk. I want to get away from her and find my bed...alone.


"Oh, you know, like, for work?"

"I don't." I scoff, holding my glass up to signal the bartender.

"Oh...early retirement?" She asks.

"Nah, I got fired from my last gig."

"Wow. Well, I'm sure they regret letting you go. I know I would..." She places her hand on my arm and squeezes.

"Nah," I belch. "McDonald's can find a ton of burger flippers. As long as my mom is around...I don't need to worry about anything. Free rent, laundry gets done...heaven." Her face drops when she sees that I'm serious, but I'm really not...

I've worked on motion picture advertising campaigns for every major studio you can think of up until last year. Now, together with Jasper and our friend Nate, we own an up-and-coming trailer house called "In the Cut". We work closely with studios and radio stations and just recently finished up the trailer for one of Universal's newest movies...we are going places and I love it.

"I...see." Victoria leans away from me and fidgets with her perfectly manicured nails. "Well, I guess I should be getting back." She smiles and slowly rises from her seat, patting my shoulder. "Nice meeting you, Edward."

"Oh yeah...you too!" I wave with my beer and try not to laugh while Emmett snickers behind me.

"What the hell was that all about?" Rose asks as she watched Victoria scurry away.

"What?" I shrug.

"McDonald's, Edward?" She cocks her brow and snickers. "I don't know why you said that. She's...cute," Rose shrugs. "Not a total Betty, but cute."

"She's also as vain as they come...her voice alone made my head hurt."

"No, I think it was the eleven beers you've had." Rose shakes her head and moves the bottle away from me.

"And the nine shots," Emmett added.

"What are you...my mother?" I glare at Rose and she shakes her head amusingly.

"No, Edward, and thank God for that." She snickers and kisses my cheek. "But I think it's time to cut you off, hun."

"I'm having fun," I slur. "Isn't that what you wanted?"

"Little bro," Alice appears out of nowhere with a scowl on her cute face. "You're drunk."

"Is that right?" I snicker. "You are very...perspective."

"Perceptive," she corrects.

"That, too."

"Let's get you home, okay?" Alice wraps her arms around my arm and Emmett pats my back. I feel sick all of a sudden and then I see her...watching me from behind Jasper.

"I'm suddenly feeling sick ." I glare at her in disgust, she flinches back and looks down to her shoes. "I think I need some air. I need," I look at Bella again, "to be done with all this already. Enough." She eyes me warily, while Victoria whispers something into her ear, she shakes her head and gives Victoria her full attention. "I get it," I mumble.

Outside, I wave off Emmett's offer to take me home and hail a cab. Opening the windows in the back the driver warns me not to vomit in his car . I can smell the rain in the air, mixed with the coolness of winter...it makes me sick to my stomach. Stumbling into the elevator of my building, I manage to keep the nausea in check. I just want to lay down and make everything stop spinning already.

The next morning, the sound of the buzzer wakes me. I can hear Alice's annoying dog barking up from the street below. "Great," I grumble. I pull the covers over me and ignore it , willing myself back to sleep.

I wake again just as the sun is setting. My head feels heavy and I'm so thirsty. After a long shower, I text Alice and let her know I'm okay, before I shut my phone off again. It's a little after seven and the Chinese I ordered finally comes.

A James Dean marathon is on TV and I'm content here...doing and thinking about absolutely nothing, until the dull ache in my head returns.

I'm so disappointed in myself. I've always been able to handle my beer and last night was a first . I'm so angry at myself for letting Isabella get to me the way she did. My heart hurts, because I have fallen in love with her when I knew I shouldn't have.

But today...today it changes.

Today is the first day of the rest of my life...I've decided to move on and leave her in my past. I'm thirty-five and should know better. It was what it was and now it isn't anymore. Somewhere in between East of Eden and Rebel Without A Cause I drift off to sleep again.

"I woke up this morning, you know... and the sun was shining, and it was nice, and all that type of stuff. And the first thing, I saw you, and, uh, I said, "Boy, this is gonna be one terrific day, so you better live it up, because tomorrow you'll be nothing." You see? And I almost was."

The echo of a slight knock on my metal door startles me awake. I look around my dark apartment, where the only light source is the black and white movie playing on TV.

"Alice," I groan, rubbing the sleep from my eyes.

The door shakes again with a louder knock as I stumble off the sofa. I flip the lights on before swinging the door open. I lean against the frame, pinching the bridge of my nose in frustration. "Alice, where's the fire-oh...shit."

Bella stands nervously opposite me, staring at the ground and biting her red-tinted lips. "What are you doing here?" I pull the door closer to me, toying with the idea of shutting it in her face.

"I wanted to talk...talk to you." she gulped. "I-"

"Now, you want to talk?" I laugh humorlessly. "No...I'm done talk-"

"I'm glad to hear it," she says, talking over me. "Now it's my turn."

"I don't think so." I move to close the door and her foot gets in the way. "Move your foot, Isabella."

"Edward," she breathes, "please." Her eyes are wide and imploring, my will is lost and I push the door open to let her in.

She walks toward the sofa and removes her jean jacket. "Don't get too comfortable." Bella's head snaps in my direction and she watches me lean against the door to close it. She nods slowly and puts her jacket back on.

"Alice didn't know that we knew each other."

"Yeah...well, I kind of make it a habit not to share with my family who I'm fucking."

My harsh words shock me and I can tell she's shocked, too. She gives me a sad smile and paces in front of my couch. "Well, I told her about you, before the party, I mean...I just never gave her a name."

"Is that supposed to mean something to me?"

"Will you stop being such an ass?" She shouts, placing her hands on her hips. I'm trying my best to keep my distance, trying my best to remain cold and unfeeling...but the look in her eyes makes me weak in the knees. I continue to lean against the door, watching her as if she's a snake about to strike.

"I'm not being an ass, Isabella."

"You're not letting me get this out."

"Well, out with it then." I close my eyes, willing to remain calm.

She eyes me warily while she removes her jacket. "I, um, when we first met, I was in a very dark place. The day before, I'd signed three pieces of paper that effectively ended six years of hell for me. I was...very bitter." She takes a seat on the chair by the table and stares out the window. "My marriage was a sham. It was towards the end of the union that I learned he had a woman waiting in the wings."

I'm staring at this beautiful woman across the room from me and I'm wondering who in their right mind would ever-

"See, I'm thirty-six and I can't have children...he grew tired of trying and moved on." She smiles, turning to stare at me. "I'm broken...I'm not a real woman...so he said."

She wants to cry, I can see it in her eyes, but she looks away and I feel my heart wanting to break for her. I want to kill the man who killed her spirit...

"I swore off men. I decided to live life comfortably numb...and then I met you." She stares at me with tears in her eyes and laughs humorlessly. "In the beginning, it was just sex...great sex." Bella stares down at the table and traces invisible circles with her fingers. "Days turned into weeks...weeks turned into months...I found myself giddy at the thought of seeing you at the end of each week."

"Then why-"

"I'm not done." She picks her hand up and smiles at me. "It was as easy as breathing with you and yet. it scared the ever living shit out of me." She breathes in deep and exhales sharply. "So I did what I thought was best, I ran. I tried to forget about you, I tried to move forward and heal myself, because I had no business getting into something so heavy, so soon."

"Well, you looked just fine yesterday...happy even. Who's the lucky guy?" My mind wanders what I witnessed last night. That man holding Bella, Bella smiling at him the way she used to smile at me. My heart is hurting, because she didn't even bother to give me...us...a chance. It pisses me the fuck off. I push myself away from the safety of the door and rub my face.

"What guy?"

"The man from last night...he was hugging you and shit."

"Jake?" She asks, a hint of a smile appearing. "Jake's my very gay little brother."

I want to be happy, relieved even...but I can't. "I'm sorry you had such a bad marriage. I wish I'd known that ."

"The end of my marriage is not something I want shouted from the roof tops."

"I'm not asking you to shout your business out...I only wanted you to confide in me; but I guess that's asking for too much, because I was only your fuck buddy."

"Did you not listen to anything I just said?" Bella rose from her seat and began to pace.

"I did."


"What am I supposed to say?"

"I don't know."

"I don't know what to tell you, either" I want to kick the living shit out myself, she's pouring her heart out to me and I can't find it in me to comfort her.

"I never meant to be so ugly," she whispers. "That last time we were together. Then, at the party last night...I'm sorry. I never wanted you to see the screwed-up side of me...but I showed it anyway." She laughed humorlessly, wiping her tears. She grabs her coat and heads in my direction toward the door. I move away from her as she reaches for the knob. I want to grab her but I can't move my feet from where they're glued.

Sensing my inner struggle, she places her hand on my cheek and smiles. "I handled everything so wrong and all you wanted to do was try. I needed to fix myself before I could offer you or anyone a part of me again. I'm so sorry."

I move away from her touch and walk backwards towards the door, her hand remains in the air for a second until she balls it into a tight fist. "I see," she whispers, "I see."

I can't look at her...I know she's standing a inch away from me, but I can't. Why? I have no idea.

She opens the door slowly and takes one step out before turning to look at me. "I fell in love with you, Edward. It's late to admit it, but I did. I wish you nothing but happiness."

She what? L-loves me?

Her breath hitches and she begins to dart out the door. My heart stops at the thought of her leaving me again...

"No," I breathe, grabbing her wrist. "Don't leave me."


"I love you." I gulp, blinking back tears. "I've loved you every second of everyday that we were apart. I've loved you...I. Still. ." I yank her back into my apartment and kick the door shut as she wraps her arms around my neck. My mouth finds hers with urgency, our teeth clink together as we easily fall back into the perfect rhythm of before. Her tongue slides between her parted lips and touches mine softly, making me groan into her mouth.

"I love you," she whimpers against my mouth. I slowly pull away from her and cradle her head in my hands. With the pads of my thumbs, I wipe the tears streaming down her face and gently kiss her forehead. "My heart...it's only ever been yours."

"My heart, body, soul...it's you." I take her hand and place it over my heart. She grips my shirt and pulls me to her, capturing my mouth with hers once again.

We stumble over each other and the sofa while we make our way to my bedroom. I break off our kiss and lift her effortlessly before throwing her down on the bed. In a few swift movements, Isabella's clothes are gone and my pajama pants are around my ankles.

Isabella leans back against the pillow and cups her breasts as she watches me stroke myself. I could watch her watch me all day...

She's so fucking beautiful.

I slowly climb over her, crushing her soft breasts against my chest as my mouth settles firmly over hers. Holding her tight against me, I can feel her knees tremble. Her fingers tangle the hair at the nape of my neck as she attempts to pull me towards her for a kiss.

I nip her bottom lip with my teeth, and she gasps while my tongue plunges into the warm depths of her mouth and her hips begin to move in circles under me. My other hand strokes down over the curve of her ass, down between the apex of her thighs until I find what I'm looking for. When I do, she moans into my mouth, as my fingers began to flick the pulsing nub .

"Oh, God," she moans, tightening her grip on my shoulders.

"Feel it, baby." I whisper against her skin before taking her nipple into my mouth, she stiffens in surprise and then sinks back into the bed.

I feel the tension building around my fingers, her hips arching and her toes curling. I slip my hand away from between her spread legs and position myself at her entrance, before I remember myself.

"Shit," I breath, watching her head roll from side to side.

"W-what?" She moans, bucking her hips against my cock.


"I haven't been with anyone since you," she breathes, removing the hair covering my forehead. "Have you-"

"No. No one but you."

"Okay, then." Her hands run up and down my spine, pressing down at the small of my back, urging me forward. She reaches in between us and she takes my cock in her hand. "I want to feel you in me." She rubs the head against her clit and then positions me right at her heated sex.

I nod dumbly and ease myself into her, memorizing the way she feels as she stretches around me. We let out a collective gasp as I fill her to the hilt. "I've missed you...so much." I nod against her chest and watch as her hands grip the headboard behind her, readying herself because she knows me...she knows us.

I ease myself out of her slowly and then reach over to cover her hands with mine. I thrust deep inside her, causing her to lift slightly off the bed. "Oh god, damn, baby...yes," she hisses. Her legs wrap around my waist and she meets me thrust for thrust. I stare down at us joined together and watch as my cock disappears inside her...that shit turns me on.

"Let me ride you."

Before I can give her an answer, she pushes me off her and straddles me. I pant and gasp like a horny seventeen year-old, watching Isabella raise her hips a little before she comes down on me. In one swift stroke, she takes my entire length inside her.

"Oh, my god," she moans. "That feels so good ."

Fuck, try as I might, words cannot be formed. The sensation of Isabella's warmth around me is overpowering. "Fuck baby," I grunt through gritted teeth.

She leans forward. Her hands go to my face and she brings her lips to mine. Instinctively, I wrap my arms around her and bring her closer. Her hair falls forward and brushes against my cheek. I'm enveloped in the essence that is Isabella and I feel like I'm finally home.

Very slowly, she begins to grind her hips. On the down stroke, her clit rubs against my pelvic bone. On the upstroke, I can feel my balls rub against her ass. I can't tell where she ends and I begin.

I watch her, staring at me with those gorgeous eyes and smiling, as if to tell me she has this. I can't move. Bella needs to be in control, she always has. I comply and admire her as my fingertips brush against her bare shoulder.

"Play with my tits, baby," she whispers, and I'm very happy to comply.

As I palm her breast, Isabella begins to move her hips a little faster.

"Let me taste, baby" I moan, clawing at the sheets.

She cups one of her breasts in her hand and pushes her chest forward into my mouth. Her nipple sticks straight out invitingly, as I flick my tongue across it, first left to right, then up and down.

Looking up, I see her eyes are closed with a delirious smile on her lips. She's so beautiful.

All these feelings that I've had for her seem to get caught in my throat. The very thought of her ever leaving again makes me want to cry. I make a promise, right here and now, that I will do anything I have to in order to keep her here with me...she's it for me.

I reach between the valley of her breasts and bring my hands to her hips, moving with her. She throws her head back and moans. Her hips move a little faster.

"Goddam, I love you," she purrs, still grinding against me. My hand reaches between us and I stroke her clit, moving in sync with her.

"Right there!" Isabella gasps. "That feels . . ." She arches her back. Her eyes close and she begins to ride me with harder. My hips move faster, trying to stay in time with hers.

Isabella's hair falls over her face, she bites her lower lip to stifle a scream. My hands trail over her body, around her stomach, over her chest until I cup her face. I move her hair away and see that she's crying, I stop moving, but she shakes her head and leans over to kiss me.

"They're happy tears, baby." I'm hit with white hot heat at the pit of my stomach. It's an intense pleasure that I recognize. Her pussy contracts around my cock with every stroke.


I try thinking of anything but the beautiful woman above me in order to keep myself from cumming

It doesn't work.

Every time she moves up, I can feel the cool air as she lets more of me out until only the tip stays inside.

Every time she comes down, it's a little harder, a little faster, and I feel like I'm ripped apart the seams with my bare hands.

"Fuck!" Isabella shouts, unable to contain herself any longer. "Keep . . . keep...keep going baby."

"I can't hold it," I grunt. "I'm about to cum!"

"Cum in me," she sobs, falling forward. Her mouth presses against mine. I can taste the tears on her lips. I can feel her tight pussy squeezing the life out of me as I gasp for air.

My heart pounds in my chest, I'm sure she can feel it.

Lifting her hips one final time, she comes down on me hard and fast. My hands dig into her ass and I push upwards, burying my cock deep inside her.



Right before I know I'm done for, she stills above my parted lips. "Baby," she breathes, slowly moving again. Through my tunnel vision, all I see is her as I explode within her.

When I finally come to, I feel her body pressed against mine. Isabella's hair is matted against the sweat on her shoulders and my chest as she wheezes above me. I'm overcome by so many emotions that, without wanting to, I begin to tear up.

Our breathing becomes regular after a long moment. I wipe my eyes when I feel her snuggle up to me. I lift my head and hunt around in the bed, looking for the sheet, before settling back with her in the crook of my arm. She wraps her arms around me as if she doesn't want to let go...I do the same.

"I hope you know that now, you aren't going anywhere."

She giggles and playfully bites my chest. "I wasn't planning on it."

"Good," I mumble, kissing her temple.

"You just have to give me some time." My body stiffens and she holds me tight against her. "I don't mean time away from you. I want to let you in...I just."

"We'll go slow."

"Not too slow, I hope." I can feel her smile against my skin before she kisses my chest.

"Not that slow."

Two years later...

"Bella, give me one big push!"

"I can't," she cries. "I'm so tired."

"Bella, come on baby...you can do it!" I nod encouragingly, as the nurse wipes away the sweat from her head. I'm holding her left foot, watching through teary eyes as the head of our child makes its way out of her.

I want to be by her side, but she insists I watch, to see if anything goes wrong. How the heck am I supposed to know? I'm no doctor...but I do what she asks, because there is nothing I wouldn't do for my wife.


Wow, it still sounds weird to call her that...it's a good weird, though.

We got married a year to the day when she came back into my life. It was small and quiet...perfect, if you ask me. Three months later, she comes home with tears in her eyes, holding a pregnancy test in her hand.

" So, Alice had a feeling she was pregnant, we went to the drug store and bought two of each just to be sure..silly waste of money if you ask me."

"So...is she?"

"After the fourth positive pregnancy test, she still wasn't convinced."

"What? What more did she need?" I laughed. "I can't believe my sister is pregnant...I'm going to be an uncle!"

"Congratulations, baby." Bella kissed my lips and sat on the counter, staring at a pink box. I continued to rifle through the fridge for a snack. "She asked me to take the same one as her this time...just to make sure they were accurate." I froze in place, with a cheese stick in my mouth and watching the fridge door close on its own."They are," she muttered.

"W-what are you saying, Bella?"

She takes two tests out of the box and shows them to me with tears in her eyes. "I'm saying I'm pregnant, baby." Her breath hitches and she nods excitedly as I take her in my arms.

"Are you serious?" She wraps her legs around my waist as I lift her off the counter. "I'm going to be a daddy?"

"You're going to be a daddy," she says, through a broken sob. "I'm pregnant."

A week later, we find out that she's already three months along. How did we miss it? I had no idea.

Turns out that her ex-asshat was the problem. A month after we found out or good news, Bella heard from an old client back in New York that he was going through his second divorce. His newest ex-wife had him tested and it turned out, he'd been shooting blanks all along. What can I say...Karma's a bitch.

"Bella, one more push and she's out!" The doctor says, snapping me back in the moment.

"Come on, my love, you can do this." She stops panting for a moment and looks at me, I nod and take her hand with my free one and squeeze. "Let's become parents, now."

"Okay," she nods before taking a deep breath. She exhales until her face reddens, keeping her eyes on me. "I love you," she breathes, as her body stiffens. Our moment fades, the piercing sounds of a baby's cry fill the room. Bella closes her eyes with a smile, falling back into bed.

"Hey, baby girl!" The doctor laughs, holding her until the nurse swoops in with a blanket.

"Go with her," Bella says, "I'll be fine here."

"No, I won't leave you. We will see her together." I lean over and Bella wipes the tears from my eyes as I kiss her lips.

"Here ye go, mummy." The nurse with a gentle Irish accent places our daughter in Bella's waiting arms. The baby's cries settle once she's nestled over Bella's chest. My daughter is gorgeous, and I'm not just saying that because she's mine...but she's perfect, like her mother.

"She's beautiful." Bella runs her pinky over the slope of our daughter's little nose."I can't believe she's finally here...this is a dream come true."

"Thank you," I croak, trying to blink back the tears.

Bella looks up from our daughter and places her hand on my cheek. "What for?"

"For letting me in...for giving me the greatest gifts a woman could ever give a man." I kiss her forehead and place a kiss on my daughter's cheek. "I love you more than words can possibly express."

"Oh, Edward," her chin quivers as the tears fall. "Baby, I love you, too."

We lie together on a tiny bed, the sound of falling rain filling the room as we watch our daughter sleep on my chest.

"So...what's her name?" I whisper.

"Um... where did we stop?"

"I suggested Loretta," I watch as she scrunches her nose and shakes her head. "You wanted Lucy," I wince and shake my head at the thought. We both stare at our daughter in silence, her tiny hand wraps around my pinky as she sleeps."How about...Faith?" I whisper, watching with fascination at the being I helped create.

"Faith?" Bella stares at our daughter sleeping against my chest. "Faith Cullen."

I lean in to kiss Bella's nose before she rests her head against my shoulder. "I love you, Mrs. Cullen."

"I love you more, Mr. Cullen."