Disclaimer: SM owns all things Twilight. It's her world; I'm just visiting. No copyright infringement intended. Original content/plot is the property of the author.

Massive thanks as always to Nuttyginger, rosellebec, and twilly for their pre-reading and beta work on this! You ladies rock!

Any mistakes are all mine as I tend to tinker right up until I post.

So sorry for the delay on this chapter.

Thank you for sticking with me, and I hope you enjoy!

Chapter 17 - Twig and Berries

"Is he coming in or what?"

"Oh, he said he wanted to have a smoke first," I lie.

Dad mutters something I can't make out and goes back inside.

I know I should feel bad for teasing Edward, but I really kind of love that he wants me that much.

The feeling is mutual.

Leaving Edward to get his 'situation' under control, I walk into the house and to the kitchen for some water, and Charlie's just closing the refrigerator after grabbing a beer.

It's mid-morning, so I raise my eyebrows at him in question.

"What?" he asks a bit petulantly. "You're the one dating a smoker. No judging."

I chuckle and put my hands up in surrender.

"What's with that anyway?" he asks. "You hate that shit."

Rolling my eyes, I gulp down my water quickly before responding. "He doesn't smoke all that much, and he wants to quit. He's just really nervous. And it's not like I can help who I fall in love with, Dad."

"In love?"

"Um. Yeah." I would think it's obvious. Why else would Edward want to come here and meet my family? Just to get a piece of ass? The guy is hot. He could get that anywhere.

Charlie begins to guzzle his beer until Sue steps in and swats at his arm.

"What are you doing? It's eleven o'clock in the morning for crying out loud!"

"Did you know she thinks she's in love with that boy?" he asks Sue incredulously, pointing at me with his thumb.

Sue clicks her tongue and shakes her head while I roll my eyes again.

"Dad, listen. You do realize that I'm twenty-four years old, right?"


"Come on. Please give him a chance. He means the world to me, and he loves me too. He's a good guy, Dad. Please just be nice to him."

He sighs, defeated. "Fine. But he better be good to you, Bells."

"He is. I promise."

Just then, I hear a light knock on the front door and smile, figuring Edward doesn't want to just walk in.

I walk to the door and open it up to find him running a hand through his hair, making it stand up in all directions.

"Everything uh..." I glance down at his crotch quickly before bringing my eyes back to his. "...under control?"

Edward smirks at me. "Yeah."

"You ready to meet the chief?"

He groans, and I giggle.

"Why'd you have to call him that? It's bad enough that he's your dad. Now I have to be reminded that he owns a gun and probably wants to aim it right at my twig and berries?"

I step onto the porch with him. "Aww, I'd never let him hurt your twig and berries, baby. I promise." My hand starts to go for his crotch again.

He grasps my wrist before I can make contact and brings his face close to mine. "Are you trying to get me killed?"

I snort and back away a bit. "Sorry." My teeth sink into my bottom lip, and Edward hisses.


My eyes follow the movement of his hand as he adjusts himself through his jeans.

A little thrill shoots through me at the thought of having such an effect on him. He affects me the same way. I'm just lucky it's not on display for everyone to see. I can feel it starting to seep out of me just a little though. And my nipples are hard against the slight padding of my bra.

I lock eyes with him. "Let's go put your stuff in the bedroom before you meet my dad."

Edward licks his lips. "Yeah. Okay."

I walk back into the kitchen, where I find Dad and Sue whispering a little heatedly.

"Hey, I'm just going to get Edward settled in really quick, and then we'll be ready for lunch and whatever else. Okay?" I wonder if I'm fooling them. They're not stupid.

"I'm gonna go mow the yard," Dad says abruptly.

"Take all the time you need, Bella," Sue says kindly. "I'll have lunch ready in about a half hour, but it'll keep until you guys are ready."

I nod and thank her before going back to the foyer where I've left Edward.

Just as I'm leading Edward down the hall toward the guest room, I hear Claire come in from playing outside. I quicken my pace, pulling him along so I can have him all to myself for just a few minutes at least. I'm laughing, giddy at the idea, which makes him laugh too. He's right on my heels as we reach the bedroom door, and we end up stumbling through the doorway. I fall forward onto my knees and catch myself with my hands. Just as I start to get up, I feel him lean over my back and whisper hotly into my ear, "Don't move."

A shiver of anticipation and a flash of heat shoot through me, and I'm all too happy to obey. I don't move a muscle.

I can see him in my periphery. He curses and scrambles around on his knees to move my heavy suitcase in front of the door after discovering there's no lock on it. And then he's back on me in an instant, running his large hands all over my body, making my back arch in pleasure.

"Fuck, baby. I want you so bad." His hot breath caresses my ear and cheek, and a shudder runs through me. "I know this is probably the worst time and place for this, but I just can't wait," he whispers. "I need you. Now."

Edward bites down gently on my earlobe and then sucks it into his mouth, and I'm lost in sensation. The heat of his body covering my back and his mouth and hands on me are all I can focus on. I don't care that Claire is running around right outside the door playing. I don't care that my dad and Sue are home.

All I care about is having Edward inside me right now.

"Please," I whimper as he begins squeezing my breasts. He moves his hands to the button on my jeans at my plea, deftly flicking it open.

As soon as he has my zipper lowered, I raise up a bit and help him shove my jeans down while he takes care of his own. We don't even take the time to pull them all the way off. Both pairs are scrunched down just enough to expose the parts we need to be connected.

I fall back down to my hands just as he lines himself up and slides inside.

"God, you're always so ready for me. So wet. Fuck," he says in a harsh whisper.

I stifle a moan and push back against him in acknowledgement, not wanting to broadcast our activities.

Edward's pace is fast and hard. Just what we both need right now. My arms begin to feel shaky after a few moments, so I let them fall and rest the side of my face against the carpet, changing the angle of his thrusts. Struggling to hold in a scream, I press my lips together, but a strangled whimper escapes anyway.

Edward senses my struggle, and one of his warm hands covers my mouth as he looms over me, fucking me with frenzied passion.

I vaguely register the sound of a lawnmower getting closer, and Edward suddenly removes his hand and freezes behind me. I glance up at the window and see the shadow of my dad passing by just on the other side of the blinds.

We know he can't hear us over the mower, but it still freaks us out, having him so close while we're doing what we're doing.

I'm holding my breath, and I'm sure Edward is doing the same until Dad moves along. It feels like he lingers there for longer than necessary, but it could just be my imagination.

Once he's moved away from the window, we both let out a shaky laugh, mine turning into a low moan as Edward rears back and begins to pound into me again.

"God, I fucking missed this. Your pussy feels so good wrapped around me." His hands grip my waist, long fingers curving around me and squeezing as his thrusts continue.

"Oh, fuck," I squeak.

"Did you miss my cock, baby?"

"God, yes."

"Yeah?" He puncuates his question with a slam of his hips into my ass, making me want to cry out as he hits that perfect spot inside.

"Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes," I blather quietly. "Fuck."

"You want me to come in you, baby?"

"Mmhmm," I whimper, licking my dry lips.

Edward's rhythm falters as my orgasm washes over me. I squeeze and release him in quick succession, intense shudders wracking my body. "Shit, I'm coming," he murmurs. "Fuck, Bella. Fuck. Fuck. FUCK."

Spent, he collapses on my back, and I stretch like a lazy cat underneath him. "Mmmmmm."

"Yeah," he says, chuckling.

"We are really good at that."

Edward laughs again and lightly smacks my ass as he moves off me and stands up. "You bet your ass we are."

We fix our clothes and move up onto the bed, kissing languidly and just enjoying being together again. I scratch my nails lightly along his sharp jawline, enjoying the feel of his smooth skin. Shaving clean to meet my family was sweet, but damn I miss that scruff.

I suddenly giggle, and Edward pulls back from kissing my neck.

"Did I tickle you?"

"No. It's just... We didn't even take our pants off." I can't stop laughing, and Edward soon joins in. "Oh well, who cares? It was fun."

"Damn right it was," he growls, pulling me closer until our bodies are smashed together and kissing me hard.

I sigh when he releases me. "We should probably go out there before we start humping like bunnies again."

"Damn," he pouts. "Okay."

"You'll be fine. Charlie's mostly bark and very little bite." I smile at his grimace and lead him out of the room.

We stop abruptly as Claire stands, blinking up at us right outside the door.

"Whatcha doin'?"

"We were just coming to see what you were doing."

"Who's he?"

"This is Edward."

Edward crouches down and puts his hand out for Claire to shake. She glances at me and at my nod, places her small hand in his much larger one. "Nice to meet you, Claire."

"You too," she replies shyly.

They shake hands normally, but then Edward begins to wiggle his hand, making Claire's arm and then whole body shake and convulse, and she giggles like crazy.

My heart just overflows with love for this amazing man as I beam at them.

Sue peeks around the corner, probably having heard all the commotion and lets us know that lunch is ready.

Edward straightens up immediately and gulps.

I lace my fingers through his and tug him down the hall, squeezing his fingers in reassurance.

Dad is on what I assume is his second beer when we walk into the kitchen. He eyes Edward for a moment before setting the can down on the counter.

"Dad, this is Edward. Edward, my dad, Charlie."

"Chief Swan," Dad corrects.

"Charlie," Sue repeats.

Dad grumbles and sticks his hand out toward Edward.

Edward pushes his glasses up his nose, and I notice him wiping his palm on his leg before shaking my dad's hand.

Poor guy.

I guess I should've known better, but I really thought Charlie would make this a little easier on him.

Instead, he all but glares at Edward during lunch until Sue and I both end up kicking him in the shin.

Dad clears his throat abruptly. "So, Edward. What is it that you do for a living?"

I groan because I know this is one of the last things Edward wants to discuss with my dad. He's not happy with what he's doing, but it's a job. "You already know where he works, Dad."

"I'm just trying to make conversation," he grouses.

I scratch the back of my neck in discomfort. My visit with Edward's family went a hell of a lot better than this. "This is delicious, Sue," I say, trying to ease some of the tension.

"Thanks. It's a family recipe."

"Thank you for cooking," Edward adds quietly.

"You're welcome," Sue replies with a warm smile.

Edward straightens up a little and glances at me. I give him a reassuring smile as well, and things relax a little after that.

Claire seems to have developed a serious Edward-crush. And who can blame the girl, really?

She insisted on sitting next to him, and she constantly looks up at him and giggles.

Once she decides she's finished with her lunch, Edward begins sneaking little pokes into her side, turning her giggles into screaming laughter.

I've never had the opportunity to see him around a little kid before now, and it warms my heart so much to see how playful and engaging he is. He's even better with her than I am.

The thought of Edward and me having little ones of our own one day slams into me, and I lose my breath for a minute, thinking about him holding a chubby little baby in his strong arms. It surprises me just how right it feels to think about, especially so early in our relationship. But I can't deny it.

Sue and I are all smiles as we watch Edward and Claire interact. I glance at Dad and even see a mustache-twitch and a twinkle in his eye.

"Should I offer to sleep on the couch?" Edward asks me. He sounds nervous. Probably thinking about his 'twig and berries' being blown to bits.

"Absolutely not." I step closer to him and run my hands up his arms and under his t-shirt, caressing his sexy shoulders. God, this man is just delicious, and I still cannot believe he's all mine.

"They're comfortable with us sharing a room?"

"Well, my dad won't exactly like it, but he won't say anything. And Sue's cool."

It's been an interesting day.

After lunch, Dad seemed to decide to take it a little easier on Edward. Claire has always had Dad wrapped around her little finger, so if Edward has her seal of approval, then I guess Charlie figured he couldn't be all that bad.

Dad even offered Edward a beer at one point, which earned smiles of approval from Sue and me.

As Edward and I settle in for the night, talking quietly and never taking our hands off each other, the topic of moving comes up again.

"So, I've been thinking a lot about this," Edward says.

"Me too."

"I need to be honest." At my nod, he continues. "I'm having a really hard time imagining living that far away from my family. I just don't know if I can do it."

His glasses are off, and I brush my thumb over his right eyebrow. His eyes fall shut for a moment, thick eyelashes dusting his cheeks. The love and compassion I feel for him in this moment is overwhelming. His sweetness completely bowls me over at times.

"I can understand that. You guys are obviously very close. I know your mom would have a tough time with it."

Edward nods. "But I feel terrible asking you to move to a place where you really don't know anyone."

"It would be the same for you, babe. It's okay. I've been thinking about all the logistics, and it would be so much easier for me to move since I can transfer with the bank. You'd have to start from scratch and find a new job."

His eyes shine with hope and love. "So, does that mean..."

My eyes tear up just a little as I smile widely and nod. It feels so good to come to a decision on this so that we can just be together.

Edward's arms tighten around me. "Are you sure? God, I want you there with me so much, but I don't want you to regret it."

"I'm sure. It just makes more sense this way. I'm not saying it won't be hard, but I can't be away from you anymore."

He crashes his lips against mine, at the same time squeezing me so tight, and I know I've just made him incredibly happy. It's an overwhelmingly lovely feeling.

Pulling back, he looks into my eyes. "You know I'd move to Washington if you asked me to, right?"

"I know." I honestly do.

"In a heartbeat."

"I know," I repeat. "I love you."

"I love you too, baby." Brushing his lips against mine, Edward removes what little clothing we have on and slides inside me. "God, I can't wait until we can do this every single night. And every morning. And when I come home for lunch," he whispers in my ear as he moves. I giggle lightly at his words, mostly out of excitement at that prospect myself. "And in the middle of the night. And..."

I've never felt more confident in a decision in my life. I know I'll have a lot of explaining to do to those close to me, but I know this is exactly the right decision for us.

Yay! Someone's moving!

Story Rec: The Debt by Ta Paixao - Juniors in college, Bella and Edward live together under a tense agreement. They aren't exactly friends - not anymore - but Edward has a debt to pay and a promise to keep. Edward will get his chance at redemption... Rated for all sorts of adult content. EPOV. - I'm kind of obsessed with this fic. READ IT