This one-shot had it's origins as a homework piece for Project Team Beta's Smut University, 2011. Despite that, it's not really that citrusy. Sorry *shrugs*
Many thanks to my pre-reader, Sacred Datura and beta, La Push Starlight.
As I stood at the sink brushing my teeth, Edward came up behind me and pressed his body flush against my back. With a thrill of exhilaration, I felt that delicious responding flip-flop in my stomach with his proximity. My body remembered all the things he roused in me and reacted automatically. I watched as my nipples pebbled, visible even through the reinforced material of my bra and the flannel of my pyjamas.
"I brought something for you, something to make my seduction a little more…slick."
"You don't need any help in that department, lover-boy. You don't have to do much to entice me into your bed," I say, turning to kiss him deeply.
It's true. I was his the minute he laid eyes on me. I never even tried to resist; he crooked his finger and I followed−anywhere, everywhere and anytime.
At least, that's how it used to be in the "good old days" before the appearance of the most efficient and instantaneous cock-blocker known to man. It seemed one minute, we had frequent and unrestrained sex every day and the next we were tortured with sleep deprivation and tied the most relentless and demanding creature ever to have graced the earth.
Luckily, our son shared his father's irresistible good looks, or we would have sent him back with the first stork we could catch in a strangle-hold.
It was four months since the birth of little Anthony Carlisle Edward or "Ace," as he was more affectionately known. Between the constant feeds, wakeful nights, bouts of colic and Edward's crazy work hours, we had little time and even less inclination for love-making, and had come across a more problematic difficulty.
It seemed the combination of breastfeeding and the mini-pill conspired to make sure there would never be an Edward mini-me number two. My libido had flat-lined, and had only recently returned but with a hit and miss response.
There was also another problem. Despite Edward's best efforts in the foreplay department−and thank god he was a conscientious and fanatic devotee to its arts−sometimes things down there responded in a less than satisfactory manner. It was a dry run for me in more than one sense of the word.
As we kissed, I felt something long and firm poking my hip.
"Who's feeling a bit eager," I murmured, reaching down to stroke his length through his trousers, only to be surprised by the cold and irregular shape my hand wrapped around. I reached into his pocket and pulled the item out for closer inspection.
"I, ah, thought it might save a bit of time and be less…abrasive for you," he replied, a hopeful and desperate look in his eyes.
I inspected the metal tube closely, reading the instructions which promised a means of inciting your partner to "new and exciting heights" and that guaranteed the "discovery of a new level of intimacy."
I let the devilish grin overtake my features, and with an excited whoop, Edward grabbed my hand and dragged me into the bedroom. He wasted no time. Within seconds, I was naked, an already panting Edward underneath me as he enthusiastically coated my nether regions with lube. It was cool and slippery, an odd sensation at first, but I was quickly distracted by the feel of Edwards's skilful fingers working their magic.
"Ohhh, now, Edward, no more teasing," I begged. Things were working perfectly for a change.
He needed no further invitation, and I moaned at the erotic sensation of him sliding home. I leaned back slightly, the change in angle working to my advantage. We had soon worked out that I responded better if I was on top, a position change we had no problem with accommodating. Edward moved eagerly, thrusting with wild abandon as I felt the heat within me gather. I could feel it escalate as Edward's tempo increased, a familiar sign that he was getting close.
Suddenly, the warmth wasn't so pleasurable anymore, replaced steadily by a burning fire, making my most sensitive of flesh throb and prickle uncomfortably. Taking my squirming as signs of enjoyment, Edward was spurred closer to his orgasm, groaning with each thrust of his hips. As his movements became less co-ordinated and jerky, he reached up instinctively to palm my full breasts. The scorching heat was becoming agonizing, and my moans turned to shrieks. Mistaking my sounds for ecstasy and suitably stimulated, Edward climaxed with a loud cry as I all but shot upward and off, desperate to relieve the searing of my poor inflamed nether regions.
I ran to the bathroom, looking to the entire world like Yosemite Sam as a rocked from foot to foot the short distance there.
"Ah, Bella? Can you pass me a towel or something? I got an eyeful of your milk when I squeezed your boobs just then."
I didn't have the spare energy to reply as I gasped with the agony while I rinsed myself off under the shower.
"Bella?" I heard the rustling of sheets and soon felt his hand on my bare hip. "What's wrong?"
"That gel! I think I'm allergic or something. Everything's burning." I turned towards him, my eyes blinded by the sluicing water.
"Holy shit! Everything's red! You look like you got sunburned."
"The water's not helping. What are we gonna do?" I cried, my voice choked by sobs.
"We need to get you to a doctor. You need something to reduce the swelling," he explained, his voice calm as he settled on a plan. "I'll go call my Mom to come watch Ace."
I could feel my whole body suffuse with heat as my blush overran me.
That news was the last thing I needed. The only doctor available at this time of night was in the small community hospital five minutes away−the very same hospital where I worked as a nurse before taking maternity leave six months ago. I cried even harder, knowing I was going to be mortified explaining what had happened to someone I would likely know very well.
Ten minutes later, Edward burst into the bathroom again to help me get ready. I dried quickly before waddling out to the bedroom.
"Find me a dress to put on. I can't wear anything else, it'll hurt too much." I pulled on a bra but didn't bother with underwear.
I tugged on the dress and sweater he handed me without a second thought, and waddling to the bedroom door, I yanked it open. Standing behind it waiting was my mother-in-law, Esme. She was trying very hard to hide her grin. In her hand she held a large bag of frozen peas.
"You might want to use these on the ride over."
I turned and gave Edward a withering look for sharing the details of the embarrassing nature of my current difficulties with his mother.
Shoving the frozen goods in the pillowcase she had in her other hand, I tentatively placed the bulky bundle against my inflamed flesh. I couldn't even sit in the car, the slightest rub of flesh against flesh causing me to cry out again, so I lay as spread-eagled as I could along the back seat, the padded up and shrouded bag of peas firmly attached to my burnt lady parts.
Within minutes, Edward pulled to a screeching halt at the emergency entrance of the hospital before dashing inside. A flurry of activity resulted, and I could hear footsteps as two people came racing out. I kept my eyes covered by my arm as I cried, not wanting to see who they were. The door opened and I felt someone hovering over my splayed legs.
"It's alright ma'am, we've come to help you," stated a calm and reassuring voice as he flipped up the skirt of my dress before I had a chance to stop him. With a gasp of shock, he pulled away the icepack before apologizing profusely, covering me over again. He abruptly disappeared from the doorway as he held a panicked conversation with his offsider.
"I…I thought she was having a baby. The way that man was carrying on, I thought she was delivering in the car park. She had a big bulge under there…anyone could have mistaken it for a baby…" The nurse just snickered and I heard a set of retreating footsteps.
"Give me your hand, dearie, and I'll help you inside."
"Where's my peas?" I sniffled, feeling the loss of the soothing coolness against my throbbing flesh.
"Oh, don't worry about the keys, dear. I'm sure your husband can move the car later."
"No, my PEAS! I need the ice pack back." She handed me my bundle which I quickly resituated. Clutching it to me, I allowed the helpful nurse to pull me out of the car. Once out, I straightened as best as I could.
"Oh, it's you, Bella," stated a familiar voice. I looked up to take in the face of Mrs Mallory. I had gone to high school with her daughter. Unfortunately for me, Mrs Mallory was also the biggest gossip in town. Although she was a nurse and therefore bound by confidentiality rules, she routinely regaled her friends with tales from work, never referring to people by name, but adding enough detail so that you could easily join the dots. I knew that by lunch time tomorrow, her cronies would be tut-tutting me in the supermarket. Knowing I had no other option, I lent on her as we hobbled inside.
Edward was standing at the registration desk giving my details to the clerk behind the bullet-proof plexiglass screen.
"Presenting issue?" asked the woman in a bored tone as she waited poised over the keyboard.
"Um, I think it's an allergic reaction," Edward explained as he stuffed our insurance card back in his wallet.
"Allergy to what?" the clerk queried. I tried to shuffle quicker, desperately wanting to be through the door so I didn't have to hear this, but the pain was too much and I had to slow down again.
"Um…lube," he whispered, sneaking a quick guilty look at me over his shoulder.
"Speak up, I can't hear you through this damned screen."
"LUBE," he said loudly as I hunched down further in embarrassment.
"Can you spell that for me?" said the still bored and clueless clerk.
"L…U…B…E," Edward repeated slowly in a raised voice.
Mercifully, I passed through the door and was steered to an empty cubicle.
After an interminable period of time, a young man with thick glasses came through the curtain.
"Hi, I'm your intern, Alvin. I've come to assess your condition." He pushed his glasses further back up his nose before fiddling with his tie. "It's my first shift in the ER, well, actually…it's my first shift anywhere, so forgive me if I'm a little slow."
I groaned. Great, just great. Not only would I have to explain my story to the newbie, but it would be drawn out to boot. I also knew that although no one could see me behind the screen, the whole department would be able to her our consultation.
"So, tell me Mrs Cullen, what has brought you here tonight?"
Edward stepped in then, keen to spare me further humiliation.
"Well, Bella tried a new…personal hygiene product tonight and it seems to have caused some sort of reaction. The area is extremely red and swollen, and seems to be quite painful too."
"Oh, okay. I'll have a look in just a moment," he enthused, scribbling away on my chart.
"Did you use excessive force or friction when applying the product Mrs. Cullen?"
"Ah, not in the application, but there may have been a bit of friction…after," interjected Edward.
"Which area did you apply the product on?" Alvin asked without looking up from his page. Edward cleared his throat loudly to gain Alvin's attention, before pointing to the offending−or rather, offended− area.
"Oh. OH," exclaimed the young man. "Was this product labelled suitable for INTERNAL use," he questioned, stressing the word loudly.
"Yes! I read the instructions. I'm not a moron, you know!" I couldn't help snapping at him. "Please don't make me say what I was doing with it!" I begged.
He cleared his throat loudly "Ah…erm…that won't be necessary. I'll just examine you now, Mrs. Cullen."
Edward stepped out of the cubicle to give me some privacy, coward that he was.
I covered my eyes again, not wanting to see the look on his face as he saw the look of my most intimate parts.
"Oh, dear. Do you have a history of sexually transmitted diseases or anything like that," Alvin asked, his voice slightly choked.
"What? NO! What makes you think that?"
"It's just that I've never seen such blistering," he explained. I could feel the ghost of his breath across my excoriated skin as he moved in for a closer inspection. "And your pubic hair is patchy, almost as if it were singed off in places. My, that must smart! I can't imagine how it feels on the inside."
I wanted to tell him how it felt, but didn't think young Alvin would appreciate my colourful language on his first day.
"I've just finished a rotation in Dermatology. My professor would have been FASCINATED with your…um…situation, Mrs. Cullen. I'd love to send him a picture."
I glared at him, putting every bit of venom I could muster in my bitch-brow. It worked, and he took a step back.
"I'll….ah…just ring the consultant to see how best to help treat your GENITAL region. I don't have much experience in that area."
I snorted in response. If that was an example of how he treated his potential partners, he was unlikely to get much further.
Edward came back in as Alvin left but I didn't remove my arm to look at him. I listened as Alvin phoned the consultant OBGYN.
"Hi, Dr. Pattison, it's Alvin the ER night intern." I groaned again. I had worked as Dr. Pattison's clinic nurse part-time for some time. Now my old boss would know of my humiliation, too.
"Oh, sorry to disturb you in the middle of a c-section…Yes, you can put me on speaker phone…"
No! No way! This incident was going from worse and worstest EVER! Now not only would all the ER staff and patients know, but so would Dr. Pattison and all the operating room staff.
"I have a patient, one Mrs. Cullen, who is aged twenty-eight. She has an extensive area of inflamed skin with several large blisters. The affected area extends internally," Alvin recited in his best clinical voice. "Some external areas are so excoriated that hair loss is evident. The patient reports a pain rating of eight out of ten." He paused as he listened to whatever the consultant said. "Um, her whole vulval area is affected." I could hear the scratching of pen on a paper. "No, not a sex toy, sir, but it was a sex aid−lubricant actually."
I struggled to raise myself off the narrow trolley, needing to find somewhere to hide for a while. I ripped the curtain back and gathering the tattered remains of my dignity, stalked across to the patients' bathroom.
"Ah, honey?" Edward called out to me in a strangled-sounding voice.
I spun on my heels, barking out a brisk "What?"
I looked back, only to see a trail of semi-defrosted peas and a trickle of defrosting ice-water across the otherwise spotless linoleum.
"Great! I just pea-ed on the floor!" I stormed before turning back to continue my plan to hide in the bathroom.
Sometime later, after a shot of anti-histamine, the application of local anaesthetic ointment and some antibiotic's, I was ready to be discharged. I was reminded to patch-test before employing any new topical products in the future. Just as we were getting ready to leave, Mrs Mallory came over to say goodbye.
"Oh, Mr. Cullen, did something happen to your eyes? There's all this white flaky stuff on your skin!"
I took a look at Edward−a proper look. I had been too horrified by the whole experience to look him in the eye since we arrived. Sure enough, Edward had dry, wispy flecks of something surrounding the skin around his eyes. Picking one off and examining it closely, he smiled before wrapping an arm round my shoulder.
"Don't worry about it. It's just a little dried breast milk," he said before winking at her, taking my hand and steering me out the exit.
If you read and enjoyed my full-length story "Through a glass, darkly," you may be interested to know I am hard at work on a new story. It is titled "In Justice" and will begin posting in the next month or two.