AN: I couldn't fit it into the summary, but this story could be categorized as Romance/Mystery/Supernatural/Angst. Very AU. Rated M for very graphic language and adult content. However, this is NOT a porn without a plot. Not that there's anything wrong with that. :)
IN THE WOODS
"What the fuck do you want?"
This can't be right. I glance down quickly at the address written in Esme's looping script confirming that yes, this is my editor's vacation house. It's everything she said it would be; charming, quiet, secluded, perched atop a mountainside with breathtaking views. The perfect place for me to get over my severe case of writer's block and finally finish my novel that was due oh...six months ago.
She made no mention of any irritable, possibly homicidal, neighbors. The over six-foot-tall bearded mountain man that is looming over me looks absolutely furious, like he could shoot me right now and then feed me to his pet grizzly bear for supper. I'm eyeing the shot gun he's casually holding in his left hand and debating my next move. I wonder if it's loaded?
I guess I'm taking too long to answer because the mountain man says, "Whatever. I don't care," and stalks to the front door, abruptly slamming it in my face.
I whip out my phone to call Esme and see if she is aware of any crazy people squatting in her cabin. Crap. No bars. I saw no other houses on my way up here and it's an nine mile hike back to civilization. I sigh and raise my fist to knock again. Silence. I wait a few minutes and rap loudly, three more times. Still no response. I find the keys Esme gave me and am just fitting it into the lock when the door swings open.
"Why are you still here?" Mountain man asks, sounding bored. He doesn't look like he wants to kill me anymore. He glances down at my keys, eyes narrowing. "How the fuck did you get keys to my house?" He grabs my wrist and tries to wrestle the keys from my hand.
"Don't touch me!" I shriek just like they taught me in my YMCA self-defense class. I scramble to remember the handy acronym that they teach. KISS? KYP? No. Not so handy when I can't remember it when I need it most. In the time that it takes me to remember that stupid acronym, Mountain Man could have made off with my purse and my V-Card. If I still had it, that is.
SING! That's it. Stomach, instep, nose, groin. I go into a defensive stance, and with all my might, hit my would-be attcker in the stomach. It's like hitting a wall. Instep is next. What the hell am I supposed to do here? I kick at his foot, which does exactly what I expect, absolutely nothing. I raise my fist to hit him in the nose but he easily dodges my fist. My attacker is not intimidated in the slightest, rather, he seems vaguely amused. I am as ineffectual as a newborn puppy. I raise my knee to hit him in the groin. He backs away from me with hands up in the air. Apparently, the element of surprise is not in my arsenal of weapons.
"Are you done?"
"Yes." For now.
"Fuck lady, I wasn't going to hurt you. I just want to know who you are and why you have my keys?"
"Esme Cullen gave them to me. She said I could stay here for the winter."
Realization dawns on his face, soon replaced by irritation. "Esme fucking Cullen," he mutters, running his hands angrily through his reddish-brown hair. He's still cussing under his breath but decides to ignore me again, walking into the house and stomping up the stairs. I'm not quite sure what just took place so I pick up my bags and follow him inside.
The cabin is gorgeous. Beautiful hardwoods and high ceilings with exposed beams. The decor is rustic, but not in a tacky dead animals everywhere kind of way. Tall windows line the entire back wall if the house, breathtaking views of the forest surrounding us. The living room is dominated by a large fireplace, with an artfully stacked pile of firewood beside it. It would be absolutely perfect, if not for the crazy man upstairs. I can hear him ranting and raving, coming down the stairs yelling into an enormous satellite phone.
"What the fuck Esme? How are you going to tell some random girl that she can stay in my house?"
He's looking directly at me and not even bothering to hide his disgust. What an ass. I roll my eyes at him.
"Yeah, she's here. I don't give a shit if she hears me."
He shoves the phone at me and stalks off to the kitchen.
"Bella honey are you alright?"
"I'm fine Esme."
"I am so so sorry! I had no idea Edward was back, he never tells us anything. If I had known I would have never sent you up there alone to deal with him."
The name rings a bell, I vaguely remember a conversation about Esme's "rather difficult" stepson. I can see now she was being rather generous in her assessment. She sounds so distraught I can't really be mad at her. I turn my anger to a much more convenient target. The "rather difficult" Edward is now sitting across from me nursing a tumbler of whiskey, still glaring daggers.
"Esme it's fine. It was an honest mistake, you just didn't know."
"Oh Bells, I'm so sorry."
"It's okay. Seriously. I'll just walk back to town and stay at a hotel for the night and catch the next bus out of here. I'll be fine."
I glance out the window at the sun hanging low in the sky. Hopefully if I leave now and hike back quickly, I'll find a room before dark. Maybe the asshole sitting next to me will lend me a flashlight. Probably not. Esme is suspiciously silent on the other end.
"There aren't any hotels?"
"I'm sorry? What did you say?"
"There are no hotels in town."
"That's okay. I'll be fine with a motel or a bed and breakfast or something. I don't need anything fancy, it's just for one night."
"I'm sorry honey. What I'm saying is there aren't any hotels or bed and breakfasts, nothing around for miles..."
Of course there aren't any hotels, why would there be? Her words are just starting to sink in, the panic beginning to rise in my throat. I raise my gaze to look at Edward who's still wearing that same perpetually annoyed expression.
"It's just one night Bella, I'm really sorry. Please let me talk to Edward."
I pass the phone to him. He regards me as Esme speaks to him, coolly eyeing my body up and down and not making any attempt at subtlety. I glare back at him, wrapping my arms protectively around myself.
"I heard. No, it isn't okay."
I can't hear exactly what she's saying but Esme's tone is getting increasingly more hysterical. Edward wears a pained expression as he holds the phone away from his ear.
"Okay! Just stop! She can stay the night."
Edward runs his fingers through his messy locks. This dude is seriously hairy. Between that mop on his head and that crazy beard, he's giving off a major caveman vibe. He's much calmer, it's as if a switch has been flipped.
"Yeah, yeah. I know. Okay Esme, I love you too. She's right here."
I eye him warily as he hands me the phone. "Bella sweetie, If Edward gives you any trouble, feel free to smack him for me, okay? "
Esme apologizes for the mix-up a dozen more times before letting me go. It's too quiet when I hang up the phone. He says nothing, just picks up my bags and heads up the stairs, motioning for me to follow. He leads me down a narrow hallway to the last door on the left. Edward places my bags on the ground in front of what presumably is my room and then walks away without another word.
It's just one night. How bad could it be?
Now that the mountain man has a name and I've determined that he probably isn't going to kill me, I wonder if it's safe for me to investigate the delicious aroma coming from downstairs. I haven't eaten in hours and after a long travel day I'm absolutely famished. I've killed some time showering, but it's way too early for bed. A low angry rumble from my empty belly makes the decision for me.
Edward has his back to me, ladling something into a bowl. What should I say to him? Hello asshole, sorry to be such a nuisance? Feed me before I pass out? He walks over to the dining table with two bowls. He sets one closest to where I am hesitating in the doorway, then sits down and tucks into his own meal.
It smells amazing. It tastes even better. After that first bite passes my lips, I let out an involuntary moan of pleasure. I pray that he didn't hear that slip out, but the smirk on his face says otherwise.
"Oh be quiet," I spit out, my cheeks on fire.
"I didn't say anything."
He chuckles softly to himself. I decide to ignore him and focus on the unbelievable bowl of food in front of me. He may be a rude jerk, but a rude jerk that clearly knows his way around a kitchen. It's gone in an embarrassingly short amount of time. Edward picks up my bowl and refills it without another word.
After dinner he pours himself another glass of whiskey and without asking does the same for me. I eye the dark amber liquid in my glass before taking a tentative sip. It burns my throat and tastes of wood, smoke, and leather. The only sound is the fire crackling and the wind through the trees. The whiskey warms my belly and I relax a bit, sinking deeper in my chair. It's oddly comfortable sitting here in silence with this rude, hairy stranger.
"Why are you here?"
His green eyes fixed on me, but the words aren't said in an antagonistic way.
"I'm working on my novel, and Esme knew I needed a quiet place to stay."
"You can't write in your own house?"
No, I can't write in my own house, nor anywhere else for that matter. I don't know how deeply I want to delve into this. I settle for vague.
"It's...complicated. I'm kind of... between residences at the moment. Look, I'm sorry to disturb you like this. If I knew this house was occupied, I never would have come here. I know its probably a big pain in the ass having me here."
Edward's still looking at me, his expression inscrutable. I keep waiting for some kind of response, but apparently none is forthcoming. He shifts his eyes back to the fireplace, mulling over my words. Edward has been silent for a long time. I glance over to check if he's still awake. We lock eyes for a moment and I quickly look away.
"You really have no place to go?" he asks in a low voice.
I can't bring myself to say it out loud, so I just shake my head.
Again he says nothing but I'm relieved. I don't feel like answering any more questions. Edward leans over and refills my glass once again, and then tops off his own. By the time I reach the bottom of my glass, the fire has died down and my eyelids are beginning to droop.
Edward rises and announces, "I'm going to bed." I follow him up the stairs and as we head to our respective rooms, he says quietly, "Bella Swan, you can stay as long as you need to.". He goes to his bedroom and shuts the door before I can respond.
How did he know my last name?
I've been here for two weeks now. Esme was right. As usual. This place was exactly what I needed, I just didn't know it. It's quiet here. My mind feels clearer somehow. There's something about the crisp and verdant air, sticky sweet with the smell of redwoods. All that anxiety from real life that had been occupying the space in my head has been replaced by the cool dense fog that cloaks everything here.
I'm enjoying being mindless for a while. I spend my days taking long walks with no end destination. I climb the smooth rocks by the shore and try not to slip and fall into the frigid water. I read novels and have long soaks in the bath. I eat the simple but delicious food Edward leaves me and wonder where he's disappeared to.
He's not an asshole anymore but he's not exactly friendly. Edward is gone the majority of the day, where to, he never says. When he is around, he ignores me. If I hadn't been on the receiving end of his anger that first day, I would have assumed he was mute. He does feed me. Surprisingly well, to the point that I'm sure I've put on a few pounds since my arrival. I tried to watch him cook once but he left the kitchen and didn't return for a several hours, so now I stay out of his way. Instead of contemplating Edwards whereabouts, I should be working on my manuscript. I mean to, I really do, but I always find a convenient reason not to.
I'm currently soaking in my favorite excuse of late, an enormous hot tub on the back deck. It's the perfect spot to watch the fog roll in in the evening. I leave my ipod on and close my eyes and try not to think about manuscripts, ex-boyfriends, and all of my other recent failures.
I jump when I feel the earbuds plucked out of my ear. Edward is only a few inches away from my face, moving my ipod away from the water. I must have dozed off because I didn't hear him climb in.
"Thanks. It was probably stupid to fall asleep with it on."
I'm a little self-conscious with so much skin exposed around Edward. He's not even looking at me though, he leans back against the tub with his eyes closed. He's not bad looking, I think. It's hard to tell with that grizzly man beard covering three-quarters of his face. I let my eyes drift lower. He's naturally fit, lightly muscled from physical labor like chopping wood and whatever it is that mountain men do. Not a gym rat body like someone who I'm trying to not think about right now.
Edward's eyes are open and he's watching me. I blush and avert my gaze.
When the silence gets to be too much, I blurt out, "What's with the beard?"
His hand goes to his chin, and he strokes the hair there lightly. "I hate shaving." He pauses. "Women like it."
I wonder what kind of women he dates up here. I've been here for over two weeks now and I have yet to see another soul. They probably wear a lot of camouflage.
"Doesn't it tickle?"
Edward isn't smiling but he looks amused. "That's kind of the point."
My eyes widen and my face flushes.
Now we are both picturing Edward's face and beard tickling...certain parts of a woman's anatomy. Heat floods my lower body. God, it's been too long. I have to get out of here before I do something stupid.
I stand to move, no longer worried about how much skin I'm showing, I just need to get out of here. Edward grabs my hand.
"Don't go. I didn't mean to make you uncomfortable."
"It's fine. You didn't make me uncomfortable."
His hand is still holding mine. But now his eyes have drifted lower, to my breasts which are directly in front of his face. He traces one long finger lightly along the fabric of my bikini top. I freeze.
"Take this off."
My eyes flicker up to his face. He's waiting, absolutely certain I will do it. He finds my nipple and pinches it lightly through the fabric. "I want to see your tits."
Its not too late for me to run back inside and pretend none of this ever happened. Before I can think too much about the mistake I am about to make, I pull the strings of my top and it comes apart in my hands. Edward is watching me, impassive as ever.
"The bottoms too."
I untie the sides and step out if my bottoms. I'm now standing completely bare in front of him. His eyes rake over my body, lingering for a long time over my breasts, my hips, the space between my legs. He's barely laid a finger on me and yet my skin already feels too hot, like an overripe peach.
I don't know where this coming from but I am suddenly putty in his hands. I turn around.
I close my eyes and swallow a deep breath. I don't know if I can do this. I don't have sex with strange guys I barely know.
"Bend over Bella. I want to look at your pussy."
That low deep voice, saying those dirty words are my undoing. I lean over the tub, holding on to the edge. I've never felt so naked, so exposed. No one has ever looked at me like this before. I feel a little shame, mixed with excitement. It's almost embarrassing how aroused I am and he hasn't even kissed me. I can feel the wetness between my legs. Knowing Edward is just inches from my arousal just just intensifies it. He stares at me for what feels like hours.
I turn my head to look at him. He stands, dragging his trunks down and pulling out his erection. I feel the thick head of his cock at my entrance, rubbing at my heat. Without another warning he slides his cock deep inside me, filling me completely.
He pulls out and I whimper at the loss, but then he slams back into me. He fucks me harder and for once I am glad there are no neighbors around to hear me getting fucked by Edward Cullen. I've never been this vocal before but i find myself begging Edward to fuck me harder and deeper. His hands find my tits and begin pinching my nipples roughly as he pushes into me. His right hand drifts lower, till he finds my clitoris and massages it with two fingers.
"I want you to come Bella..."
He pinches me lightly and I'm done. Pleasure and heat flood every inch of my body and I am utterly spent. Edward moans, pulling out of me and coming all over my backside.
I step out of the tub and feel Edward's gaze on me. The air is cool on my skin. I realize I forgot to bring a towel and will now have to walk back in still soaked. I turn toward the house and then I feel large hands draping a towel over my shoulders.
"Thank you," I say quietly.
I pause a moment before walking down the stairs the next morning, only letting out the breath I'd been holding when I realize I am alone. Just like every other morning. Things should be different somehow. But the house is as silent and empty as ever and Edward has vanished again. I didn't expect him to be here when I woke. Absurdly, stupidly, I'm a little disappointed to have my expectations met.
I set water to boil on the stove and scoop out enough beans for a pot of coffee. I've only had a single one night stand in my life. I didn't find him particularly attractive, but he was there and he liked me and it seemed like a good enough reason at the time. I felt numb after it was all over and left him snoring in his tiny studio apartment. I never saw or spoke to him again, which was perfectly fine with me.
This is my second, I suppose. But this time I'm living with the guy and not seeing him again is an impossibility. Not speaking, perhaps.
I close my eyes, taking in the aroma of fresh coffee emanating from the whirr of the electric grinder. When I open them again, Edward has entered the house carrying a load of firewood. His cheeks are ruddy from the morning chill. He looks...hesitant? A little unsure perhaps, of how I'm going to react.
"Coffee will be ready in a few minutes."
He sinks down at the kitchen table, still looking a little uneasy. I slide a mug over to him. Black, how he takes his coffee. I plop two cubes of sugar into my own before sitting down across from him.
"So... I guess this means you should meet my Dad?" I ask, taking a sip from my mug.
His eyes widen in horror, glancing surreptitiously at the door as if planning his escape. I stare him down a little longer, enjoying his discomfort and when I can't stand it anymore erupt in laughter.
When he realizes that I'm not expecting anything from him, Edward finally relaxes. I might even detect a hint of a smile underneath that ridiculous beard. Seriously, I need to find out what the deal with that is. It's beyond Brooklyn lumberjack and is slowly creeping into Tom Hanks in Castaway territory. But after last night, I don't know if I can ask him that question.
A few scenes from last night flash through my mind and I feel a blush creeping up my face. Before embarrassment can overtake me, I shove the feeling aside. Its just sex. It doesn't mean anything. The fact that he fucked me last night shouldn't stand in the way of us not talking and generally avoiding each other unless absolutely necessary.
I guess Edward feels the same way, because when I look over at him he is as composed and aloof as ever. He finishes his coffee, giving me a little nod before heading outside again.