A/N - I felt bad. I couldn't leave you off with the previous ending and not give a quick update, so here it is.
"I fucked up. I'm so sorry."
Bella stiffened. If that wasn't an admission of guilt she didn't know what was.
"Wait, let me –"
"I said get out!" she yelled and pointed her finger at the door.
"Not until you listen to me –"
"Fine," she grumbled and somehow found the strength to crawl out of bed even though her heart was breaking. "If you won't leave, I will." She crossed the floor on shaky legs, flinging open her bedroom door and stormed from the room, uncaring about how immature she must look. She managed to make it to the bathroom without Edward stopping her and slammed the door behind her.
Once inside, she turned on the cold water and braced her hands on the edge of the sink, her head bowed with tears leaking from her eyes as the memories of last night haunted her.
The club was every bit she had expected it to be; loud, dark and crowded. Even though she looked the part of a trendy club goer, she wasn't feeling it. She still felt the sting of rejection and the bitter bite of betrayal that Edward had lied to her. What she really had wanted to do was turn tail, go home and soak in a hot tub with a glass of merlot. But she had let her anger make her impulsive again.
Her friends had been easy enough to spot. Bree had a bright hot pink streak in her hair that was hard to miss and Siobhan was leaning over the bar waving money to get the bartender's attention. After a few drinks, Bree ended up hooking up with some really tall guy with a platinum mohawk and Siobhan, who was a great believer in the "buddy system" dragged her to the bathroom. It was on the ridiculously long line that she had seen Tanya a few people ahead of her, chatting away animatedly with the blonde girl next to her.
She hadn't meant to eavesdrop but when she heard Edward's name come from the viper's mouth, her stomach clenched and all her senses were on alert.
"He is so sexy even when he's sleeping." Tanya's eyes had slid to hers and her lips curled upwards in a smirk before turning back to her friend. "and his lips are so soft."
"So, what else happened?" The friend urged her on.
"Hmmm, I don't kiss and tell." Her gaze flickered back and before she could control herself, Bella found her feet moving forward and she was barely aware of Siobhan calling her name.
"You're a liar."
Tanya threw her head back and laughed. "And you are in denial, sweetie. Yes, I was with him. All afternoon. I would say I'm sorry, he never answered when you called those couple of times but I'm really not. He was a bit indisposed, you see."
"If that's the truth, why are you here now and not with him?"
"So, he could break the truth to you, of course. He felt bad about leading you on."
"That is such bullshit. You're just pissed off because he doesn't want you. He never has."
"His cock tells me differently. Just between us girls, Bella, doesn't the tattoo on the base of his spine make you really hot. And that mole just south of his navel," the bitch added with a lick of her lips, "why I could lick that all day, if he wasn't demanding me to lick something el-"
Bella remembered the room starting to spin and the air being involuntarily sucked from her lung before her hand connected with Tanya's face.
"Okay, time to go." Siobhan grabbed her wrist before she could strike again and pulled her away. "Let's get you a drink. You look like you need it."
Bella had no idea what happened after that.
She became aware of the pounding at the door over the sound of the running water. He admitted it. He fucked up. His words. Could he really not help himself? She knew Tanya wanted him, felt it every time she was in the same room with them. She just didn't realize Edward may have wanted her too. Or maybe she just had refused to see it.
So what was he still doing here? Was he going to give her every sordid detail and rip her heart to shreds more than it already was?
"I swear to God, Bella, if you don't open this God damn door, I'll fucking break it."
"Please, just go," she whispered brokenly.
"Jesus, I'm trying to apologize here," he said, sounding defeated and angry at the same time. "I want to make it right - make us right again. I'm sorry about the past week, I just- "
"Sorry?!" She opened the door, fuming as swiped at her eyes. "You're sorry? You fucked your PA and you think apologizing is going to make it better? What's the matter, Edward? A week without getting laid was too much for you to handle?"
Edward's face paled as he looked at her in complete horror and disbelief. "What the hell are you talking about?" he asked, his voice low and menacing.
She tried to shoulder past him but his hand snaked out and grabbed her wrist before she could go anywhere. She watched as he clenched his eyes shut searching for control, his breath hissing slowly through his teeth. When he reopened his eyes, she saw grim determination and just as quickly as he had grabbed her, he let her go.
Beginning to feel claustrophobic in the small hallway, Bella strode into the living area. Edward's footsteps echoed behind her.
"Let's try this again," he said with a hard swallow. "Why on earth would you think I would have anything to do with Tanya? After everything I've done to be with you, after the years I've yearned to be with you, after the countless times I told you I love you, how can you think I would ever even conceive of throwing it all away like that?"
Bella looked up at him with hard, empty eyes. "She told me."
If possible his face paled even more, his own eyes took on a wild look and his teeth snapped together right before he pivoted on his heel. His hands pulled at the roots of his hair as he paced. "And you believed her?"
"Not at first...not until...she knew things, Edward."
He turned back around with a fearful look. "What things?"
"That I had called you yesterday, several times. Your tattoo and where it is. Your mole. Things she wouldn't have known, things she shouldn't have known. Where were you yesterday, Edward?" She sucked in her breath and waited for the answer that could either give her hope and proved Tanya was a lying bitch or he could destroy her.
"I was at my office," he said slowly, "working."
"Were you alone?"
Bella saw the telltale pulse at his temple and his jaw tighten as he debated what he was going to say.
"No," he finally ground out through his teeth, "I wasn't entirely…alone."
"Was Tanya with you?"
"Yes." His shoulders slumped. "But-damm it, I didn't fuck her. I fired her!"
"You fired her?" Bella backed up and felt the back of her knees collide against the couch, forcing her to sit down.
He pinched the bridge of his nose, feeling the skin there gather between his fingers before bringing his gaze to meet hers again. "She's fucking crazy, Bella. I went into the office early to immerse myself in work and somehow I ended up drinking too much Scotch and passed out. When I awoke, Tanya was there, straddling me, my shirt completely undone and my pants unbuttoned." His lips curled in disgust, still feeling violated.
He wanted nothing more than to erase the memory of her stroking him while he was sleeping and how his body involuntarily responded to her touch. He remembered calling out Bella's name and felt her stiffen. When her lips met his and his fingers had threaded through her hair, he knew. His eyes had shot open to see Tanya, bare chested, her face hovering over his and her eyes glazed and crazy. He immediately shoved her off, screaming at her.
"She was trying to kiss me. When I realized what was going on, that she wasn't you, I pushed her away. I swear it."
"She touched you," Bella seethed with anger. "While you were passed out, drunk? What kind of a desperate sicko is she? She undressed you too?"
"Only partially." He shivered. "She must've seen the tattoo when I was fixing my shirt. I told her to leave but she just wouldn't stop. She kept coming at me, saying the most bizarre things. I fired her and called security to escort her out. I wouldn't touch her, Bella. Not when I have you. And you...it hurts you thought the worst of me when all I ever did was love you. Why?"
"I went to your apartment yesterday, Edward and I waited for you for hours. You said you were sick and were going to rest all weekend at home. Do you know..can you imagine how I felt knowing you lied to me and then I went to the club later that night and there was Tanya saying all these things? And not a half hour ago, you're sitting in my room, saying you fucked up and you looked so guilty and after the past few days of being so cold and distant, coming up with lame excuses not to see me. What was I supposed to think? What would you think?"
Edward couldn't answer that. He knew what he would think. It would be the same thing she thought, with one exception. He would've probably killed any man that told him what Tanya had told Bella, especially when it came to that sacred tattoo. He could already feel the jealous possessiveness in him wanting to break free with just the thought. His shoulders slumped in resignation before sat down next to her.
"I said I fucked up because I knew I was avoiding you and I hated myself for it, for hurting you." He reached for her hands that were clasped in her lap. When she opened up to him and let her fingers twine with his, he allowed himself to hope. "I never should've done that and it was the wrong way to handle the boundaries Eleazar set for us. I thought it was the only way I could get through the two weeks. I wanted to pass it for you so fucking badly because I know that part of me scares you and it scares me too. After that debacle with Tanya, I went to the gym and then to Eleazar's apartment for God knows how long. When I went back home, I saw it. The soup you left. And I knew I had to fix this right away, explain myself. I couldn't wait anymore."
Bella stares at their two hands clasped together,felt the way his thumb circled her knuckles in a caress and felt so much of the fool for letting Tanya get to her. She was obviously a very sick person and Bella didn't feel bad about cracking her in the face.
She let out a stuttering breath. "I didn't know what was going on in your head all week and then after Tanya, I find you in my bedroom, looking so guilty. When you said, you fucked up it was like all my worst fears come to life."
"When you woke up, I was so desperate, I just blurted out the first thing that came into my mind because I just wanted you to forgive me. I never realized you would take it the wrong way. But now that I know you saw Tanya last night and what she said, well, putting two and two together, I can't say I blame you all that much for jumping to the wrong conclusions. It doesn't mean that it still doesn't hurt, though."
"I know." She nodded, looking down. "I should've confronted you before it got that far."
"And I should've come to you and related my own fears."
"Wow," Bella said suddenly with a small smile.
"We actually had an argument and communicated with each other without it ending up in the bedroom."
Edward let out a bark of laughter and shook his head. "You know, Miss Swan, there might be hope for us after all."
He leaned over to kiss her, tentatively at first, his trembling hands, cupping the back of her head, her hair grazing the back of his fingers. He was so nervous, he felt like this was his first time kissing anybody. With a nervous swipe of his tongue over his bottom lip, his head lowered and his lips met hers. Using immense effort, he quaked to keep in gentle until he heard the mewling she made in the back of her throat.
Her lips opened under his, letting him slip his tongue inside. A second later, he reared back looking at her in surprise.
"Bella, why do you taste like cigarettes?"
"I don't know." Her face reddened in guilt. "Last night after my confrontation with Tanya, things got a bit hazy." She brought her eyes up to meet his and held her breath waiting for the explosion she was sure to follow.
His own breath hiss through his teeth and his grip on her tightened slightly before he let go of her completely and distanced himself away from her. "How hazy?"
"Well, after I slapped her -"
"You slapped her?" Edward was both shocked and amused. He would've loved to have seen it with his own eyes. He was also aware now more than ever before that his ex PA was not all in her right mind. Would she prove to be more of a threat than she already had been?
"Yeah, hard too," she answered, feeling impressed with herself. "Anyway, Siobhan pulled me away and kind of doused me with shots. I don't remember anything...not even how I got home."
Edward's jaw clenched tight along with his fists. "I think you should call these friend's of yours and find out."
"I think you're right," Bella agreed, not liking have the blank spots in her memory.
Fortunately, after a phone call to Siobhan, she was filled with relief. She hadn't done anything really stupid save for bumming a few Marlboro Lights from another club goer and promptly nearly choked to death on it even as she insisted on chain smoking them. Bree and Siobhan got her home and into bed only after a couple of hours later.
"You did also throw a glass of wine all over Tanya's dress when you saw her later but we won't count that," Bree told her, chuckling.
"I am so sorry, Bree. I wouldn't blame you if you never invite me out again."
"Nah, it's all good. I would've done the same thing. So is everything all cool with Eduardo or has he been demoted to fuckface status."
Bella glanced over at Edward who was watching her intently.
"You know, I really think it's all cool. Thanks again, Bree."
She hung up the phone and released a sigh of relief.
"It seems the extent of my drunken stupidity involved chain smoking and pouring red wine on Tanya. Bree and Siobhan brought me home and put me to bed."
"I knew you wouldn't have done anything to betray me."
"How could you be so sure?"
"You're not wired that way. You don't have it in you."
"Then why have me call Bree?"
"Because you looked so terrified, Sweetheart. You needed to find out for your peace of mind. Plus, I don't like thinking that anyone could've possibly taken advantage of you when you were in that state." Like he was, he thought. "Now, sit down and lean back into me. I just need to hold you in my arms. They've been too long without you."