A/N: Blew the dust off another one shot I wrote a while back as a thank you for all your support yesterday for MANHUNT's release. This one was originally written for Ninapolitan's "Friday Free For All" series on Twilighted. As such, it is most definitely NSFW. Standard disclaimers apply.
Edward is admittedly a little stalkerish in this one, but I like him that way. ;)
It all started the night I jumped off the cliff. When the phone rang and Jacob answered it, I heard his voice through the phone. I grabbed the phone out of his hands with a vengeance.
"Edward?" I called frantically.
"Edward, is that you? Say something!" I pled.
"Edward, please...I just want to talk to you," I begged.
I slid down the wall and sat on the floor beneath the phone, listening. He wasn't even breathing. My trembling increased with every passing second. Finally, after a few minutes, Jacob pushed the handle on the receiver and ended the call.
"It wasn't him, Bells. It was Carlisle, he was looking for Charlie," Jacob said, his voice filled with pity for me. It was slightly condescending, as if he was talking to a confused toddler.
"He may have said he was Carlisle, but I know his voice. The sound of his voice is the strongest memory of him I have." I wasn't about to go into the fact that I could hear Edward's voice whenever I had one of my adrenaline junkie moments. "I'd know it anywhere, even muffled through the phone. That was Edward."
Jacob stayed with me until I couldn't hold my head up any longer, then he left so I could get some sleep. I was just pulling back the covers to get into bed when my cell phone rang. I looked at the caller ID.
I pressed the green button on my phone and held it to my head with what I imagined to be close to vampire speed.
"Edward, I know it's you. Please say something. Anything." Exhaustion was weighing me down, so I went ahead and curled under the covers, leaning back on a stack of pillows while I waited for Edward to respond. "If you're not going to say anything, why did you even bother to call?"
"Fine," I said with a yawn. "If that's the way you want it. I'm glad you called, even if you won't talk to me. I...I miss you." On the one hand, it was uncomfortable, allowing myself to be so vulnerable on the phone to Edward when he wouldn't reciprocate. I wasn't even positive that it was Edward. On the other hand, it was oddly freeing, being able to say the words I'd wanted to say since he left me without fear of rejection.
"I've had a really bad day, and I'm really tired, and since you're not talking anyway, I'm hanging up now. Goodnight, Edward. I love you."
I slept better than I had in weeks.
My cell phone rang again two days later. Charlie had just gone to bed and I was about to do the same. We'd spent the day at the reservation for Harry's funeral, and it had taken an emotional toll on us both. I didn't even look at the caller ID, I just assumed it was Jacob.
Every atom in my body was suddenly tingling. "Edward?" It struck me as funny how much I avoided saying his name, hell, thinking his name, since he'd been gone, but I had no problem with it when I was on the phone with my silent caller. I was elated. At the same time, I was furious with him for calling me, teasing me, almost taunting me with his silence.
"You know, this is ridiculous. You leave me, say you don't want me anymore, that it'll be like you never existed. Tell me, Edward, how is this making it like you never existed, hmmm?" I was up now, pacing my bedroom floor, the rage surging up in me. "Or is this one of your distractions? Found a new way to mess with the little human, have you?" I stopped my pacing, sitting in my rocking chair and leaning on my elbows. I was suddenly afraid I would scare him off, that he would hang up and never call again and I would lose this small scrap he had thrown me.
"I am pathetic, you know that. So excited to have you, or who I imagine to be you, on the other end of the telephone line, that it doesn't matter to me if you're just messing with me. It doesn't matter that it's a poor substitute for the real thing. I'll gladly take whatever tiny piece of you that you'll give me, even if it just tears at the hole in my chest and makes the wound fresh all over again." I paused, not wanting to expose myself any more for one day, but desperately needing to maintain that connection, if only for a little while longer. I decided to tell him about my day.
"Harry Clearwater's funeral was today. I'm sure you heard my dad mention him, he was close friends with my dad and Billy Black. Had a heart attack. Charlie's a mess. He wouldn't stop hugging me and kissing the top of my head. Very un-Charlie-like. He could barely walk by himself, kept his arm wrapped around my waist, leaning on me. I was practically his crutch. I felt so bad for him, I didn't know what to do."
I don't know what I was hoping for. "I'm so sorry for your loss, Bella," or "Please give your dad my condolences," maybe, but I got nothing. I changed tactics, tried to coerce him into talking to me in the same manner I coerced the voice inside my head.
"Did you know I went cliff-diving the other day? I'm assuming you do. That's why you called, right? Alice saw it? Sounded like a lot of fun in theory. In application, however, not so much. The water was freezing, and the undercurrent was really strong. It's a good thing Jacob showed up when he did..." my voice trailed off, not knowing what Edward would think about my friendship with Jacob and not wanting to push my luck. "Anyway, it's not something I plan on trying again anytime soon. I think my days experimenting with extreme sports are over."
I talked a little longer, the constantly increasing clock on my phone the only indication that there was someone on the other end of the line. I talked about trivial stuff, about Angela and Ben finally getting together and my job at Newton's and a new recipe I wanted to try over the weekend. And when I had talked until I couldn't talk any longer, I told Edward I loved him and wished him goodnight before hanging up the phone.
The rest of the school year was about as normal as any other teenager's, I suppose, except for my nightly phone calls. The phone never rang when I had company, or until after Charlie fell asleep, but at the first available moment I was alone in the evenings, 'Restricted' would call my phone and my monologue would begin. I told Edward everything, leaving nothing out, no matter how mundane or fantastic. I told him about being cornered into inviting Jacob to Prom with Jessica, Angela and the gang. I even told him about Jacob getting a little drunk with Mike and kissing me goodnight, and how that had sealed the deal for me on the status of our relationship; it was like kissing my brother. I thought that might incite a response. Nada.
When I received a mysterious acceptance letter to Dartmouth, a school I hadn't applied to, accompanied with an equally mysterious full scholarship, I voiced my suspicions, yelled at him for his audacity, thanked him profusely for taking care of me, and begged him to join me there. He didn't show. What did, however, was a brand new Audi with a big, red bow, conveniently parked in the same spot my truck had kicked the bucket in from the cross-country drive the day before. After that, a new car would inexplicably replace mine every two years on the dot, always with a big red bow and a five star safety rating. I ranted into the phone the first time; after that I decided it was easier to just say 'thank you' and move on.
My life changed drastically during my three and a half years at Dartmouth. I focused hard on my studies, determined to not let my 'scholarship' go to waste. I graduated early, with honors, and conveniently enough, was accepted to their master's program. With a full scholarship. My father passed away, my mother married Phil, divorced Phil, and joined a commune. The one thing that stayed the same, however, was my nightly, one sided phone calls.
There were times when our unspoken arrangement bothered me, when I felt as though he was stalking me and that I recognized it was, well, creepy. Plus, it would drive me crazy having him so close and yet so far away. But in the end, I knew that his phone calls had helped me escape the darkness that had engulfed me when he left, in a way that even Jacob couldn't. I felt attached to him in some small way, and I learned to accept that it would have to be enough. It was what kept the pain at a minimum, what enabled me to get up every morning and take the necessary steps towards creating a life for myself.
I continued to share every aspect of my life with Edward during those late night calls. He was like my personal audio-journal. I figured he was keeping an eye on me anyway, even if I never saw him. If I ever doubted that, I only had to look at Brandon Peters. The one night I had truly done the college thing and got drunk at a frat party with my roommate, he had taken advantage of me. I lost my virginity that night, although I barely remembered it afterwards. Brandon Peters lost much more than that. He was attacked two nights later as he went to throw a bag of trash into the dumpster behind the frat house. He ended up in the hospital for a week, and lost two fingers that he swore his attacker just plucked off him and threw away. They never did find them. He dropped out of school shortly after that and last I heard his parents had put him in a psychiatric hospital due to his constant paranoia and irrational fear of monsters lurking in the shadows.
It wasn't until after I finished grad school and moved to New York City for my first editor's position that I decided to start dating, but it never got serious. They would be fun, or cute, or intellectually stimulating, but they were never...him. I even dated a guy named Edward for a little while, thinking maybe that would help blur the lines a little bit for me, but it didn't work.
It was around this time that I began to second-guess answering my phone when he called. Part of me felt like keeping this thread attaching us was hindering me from having a normal life. But deep down, I couldn't bring myself to stop, to let him go, because my feelings for him were too strong to just throw away, and I hoped deep down that his actions and his continued phone calls meant he felt the same way.
I told Edward all this, of course, every night when he would call. He always called thirty seconds after I closed the door on my date for the evening, or if I was home, right before I went to bed. I would actually plan to go to bed two hours earlier than I intended to go to sleep in anticipation of his call. Part of me wondered if he was watching me himself. He had, after all, arranged for my apartment, complete with high tech security equipment that would make the White House look easily penetrable in comparison. But, then again, maybe it was just Alice keeping tabs on me. I don't know how else he could have kept me from seeing so much as a flash of bronze hair in all those years, because it sure wasn't for lack of effort on my part.
That's how I met Stuart. I caught a scent in the air, at the subway station of all places, that I could have sworn was Edward. I turned, one way then the other, searching for him. Calling his name over the din of the crowd. I saw a swatch of bronze hair, well, more red than bronze but in my frenzy I couldn't tell the difference. I pushed my way through the crowd, following the head of hair getting on a subway going the complete opposite direction as I was, but I jumped on his train anyway. That's when I realized it wasn't Edward.
I grabbed the guy by the back of his jacket, and he turned in shock, looking like he was ready to ream whomever was invading his personal space until his eyes focused on me and he smiled. And it was crooked. And I couldn't help but smile back.
I apologized and explained I thought he was someone else, and he coyly stated the only way he would forgive me was if I went to dinner with him. So I did. And Stuart was wonderful. Witty and smart and fun, not to mention sexy. And not just in a you-could-be-Edward's-human-double kind of way, but in a the-first-guy-besides-Edward-I-ever-genuinely-wanted-to-spend-the-night-with kind of way. Our third date ended with a heated make out session in front of my door, all hands and tongues and heavy breathing, and it was wonderful. If it weren't for the sound of crashing glass from the apartment next door startling us and giving me a few precious moments to come to my senses, I probably would have invited him in and jumped him in my entryway hall.
But as much as my hormones were screaming 'yes', my mind and my heart were screaming 'no', and ultimately I apologized and said goodnight. I was a wreck when I went inside. On one hand, how could I bring another man to my apartment, the apartment Edward had bought me? If there was a chance he would see it, even if it was just in Alice's thoughts, I wouldn't put him through that, not when he'd been so good to me all these years. Then again, would he care? He hadn't cared about the other boyfriends. What was I going to do, stay celibate forever just because Edward bought me an apartment and a new car? Oh yeah, I reminded myself, and because I was still desperately in love with him.
What would I have given to have it be Edward's arms around me tonight, Edward's hands sliding under my shirt, caressing me as he kissed my neck and whispered pretty words to me? Anything, I admitted to myself. After all this time, I would still have sacrificed anything to be with Edward, to make love to him and have him make me his own. The wine from dinner and the arousal I felt from my time with Stuart left me throbbing and frustrated as my fantasies took on a mind of their own. I groaned out loud.
Just then, the phone rang. Restricted. I sighed in relief and answered the phone; an evil, wicked idea forming in my mind.
"Edward," I sighed. "I need you so much. Do you know how much I want you right now?"
"I almost slept with Stuart tonight, but I didn't, Edward, because I wanted it to be you. I want you to want me the way I want you, love me the way I love you. Need me in all the ways that I need you. And I do, Edward, I need you. I need your touch, your kisses. I want your voice, all sultry and throaty with lust, telling me how beautiful I am and how good I feel beneath you. I want to feel you inside of me as we make love all night long.
Do you know what I am doing, right this moment, Edward? I am sitting on my couch, my skirt hiked up around my waist. I'm picturing you sitting on the edge of the coffee table in front of me, with my feet resting on your knees, watching me while I touch myself over my satin thong. And I am touching myself, right this very instant. I am running my fingernail up and over my folds, circling my clit before running it back down again. My panties are wet thinking about you, and these tiny, sexy undies don't cover anything. I know...I'll just take them off, they're just in the way."
I stood and shimmied them down my legs, keeping my knees locked as I bent at the waist, wanting to give Edward quite a show if he somehow saw it, praying Alice would forgive me for torturing her and hoping she wouldn't tell Emmett. A moment of inspiration struck me, and I shed the rest of my clothes as I walked through my apartment towards the kitchen, cell phone in hand.
"You know what I'm doing now, Edward?" I asked as I opened the refrigerator door. "I'm taking an ice cube out of the freezer. You know, the long, thin ice cubes the automatic icemaker makes that are kind of shaped like fingers. On second thought, I'd better grab more than one." I put the phone near the tray with one hand while I intentionally made some noise getting a handful of ice cubes out with the other. I grabbed a clean dishtowel from the drawer and spread it out on the floor before sitting down on it.
"That icemaker may be my very favorite part of this apartment, Edward? Wanna know why? Because those long, cold, hard ice cubes are perfect for those times when I'm overheated and thinking of you. Like now. I'm tracing the edges of my nipples with one. They're almost as hard as yours, now. I wish you were here right now, sucking them into your mouth, flicking them with your tongue. They're melting against my skin, little rivulets of water are running in streams down my breasts, dripping onto my thighs. If you were here, you could lick them off for me. Wouldn't you like to do that, Edward? Don't you want to lick the ice water off my skin? Don't you think it would taste good?" I asked. I was expecting silence, wondering how much further he would allow me to humiliate myself before he hung up the phone. Instead, I heard heavy breathing, ragged and irregular.
Progress, I thought with a smile.
"Now I'm running the ice cube lower, tracing circles around my belly button, imagining it's your tongue. Oooh, it feels so good..." I moaned into the phone. The breathing picked up.
"Awww..." I fake pouted. "That ice cube's all melted. That simply won't do. I need a new one. Got it," I giggled before gasping from the shock as I touched my throbbing clit with the edge of the ice cube. "Oh...my...Edward...it feels so good on my clit. God...how I wish you were here." My eyes slammed shut as I gave into the need.
"I'm running it up and down my lower lips now. They're so hot, and swollen. I'm running it between them, covering it with my juices." I made a show of slurping on an ice cube. He didn't need to know it wasn't the same one I was pleasuring myself with. "Mmm...tastes so good, Edward. Don't you want a taste?"
I picked up two ice cubes that were frozen together in parallel and pressed the tips inside my entrance. The cold made my muscles tighten around them, creating powerful sensations as I started pressing them inside of me. "Edward, can you hear that? That's two ice cubes, thrusting in and out of me, just like your fingers would if you were here. I'm so wet for you, baby. Can you hear how wet I am for you?"
I started thrusting faster, pressing against my clit with my thumb while I did. The ice cubes quickly melted away, and I replaced them with desperate urgency. I was so close.
"Oh God, Edward...I'm coming, make me come, Edward..." I quit talking and let my jagged breathing and moans do the talking for me as I finally achieved a much-needed release.
After I came down from my orgasm, I sighed into the phone.
"Edward, are you still there?"
I was mortified when another man's voice replied. "I'm sorry, miss, really I am. But I think I must have dialed the wrong number. I know I should have hung up, but damn...this Edward's a lucky guy." I hung up the phone as quickly as humanly possible.
I sat there shaking, staring at my phone, incredulous at what I had just done, for several moments.
There was a knock at the door. I ignored it. They knocked again, more insistently this time. I ran to the bathroom and threw on my robe, cinching it tight as I headed to answer it. I opened the door cautiously, half expecting it to be the stranger who had just listened to me masturbating. I was utterly unprepared when I opened the door.
It was Edward. He looked older, even though I knew he wasn't, but his clothing choices and slicked back hair making him seem, well, about my age. And he was smirking at me. But that wasn't even the most confusing part.
He was holding what appeared to be the bottom of a shattered vase in his hand.
"Love, Alice has told me to inform you that you owe her just over one hundred thousand dollars for this vase. It was apparently Ming Dynasty."
I stared at him in absolute confusion.
"How do I owe her money for a vase?" I asked, feeling completely befuddled.
"Well, I had to break the two of you up somehow. Smashing the vase on the entryway table seemed the easiest way to do that without revealing myself." He paused, looking a little sheepish. "I tried to call, but your line was busy. You'll forgive my eavesdropping, but...you said something about needing me?" He looked down at me lustfully and I pulled him inside my apartment, grabbing the remainders of Alice's vase and tossing it over his shoulder into the hallway as I did. I told him between kisses that I loved him, that I needed him, and that I was never letting him get away from me again.
"I never left you, Bella. I could never leave you," Edward replied between kisses. "I thought you knew..." He picked me up and carried me to the bedroom, laying me down gently before pulling open my robe. It didn't even occur to me to be self-conscious after everything he had heard. Or to ask him why the hell he'd been following me and providing for me and calling me every day for five years without ever once showing his face until that night. There'd be plenty of time for that later. Edward had forgotten his rules, his carefully constructed self-control had all but disappeared as he urgently made every one of my fantasies about him come true.
The next morning, we began the long conversations that were necessary before we could begin our lives together, and we did. Many tears and apologies and declarations of never-ending love later, we were never separated again. Edward and I were married, and he turned me later that same year. I was never happier, but I had to admit that sometimes, in the hours just after sunset, I would miss the ringing of my phone and the comforting embrace of silence on the other end of the line.