Title: Until We Bleed
Word count (not including author's notes/header): 4,954
Summary: I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing what he's doing to me. In fact, I'm not even going to look at him. Not once. Okay, maybe just once. ExB
Warnings (if necessary): Hide yo kids, hide yo wife – it's rated M for the smutty smut and naughty words.
He's been watching me since I walked in.
I know it because I can feel it. It's like I'm hyper-aware of him still. Even from across the room I can feel his eyes on me, feel them trail up my bare legs and across the skin of my chest. I feel naked, exposed, like he can see straight through me, his presence burning itself into every one of my cells. And the traitorous assholes they are, they sing for him, like a tuning fork humming at a frequency that only he can hear.
What's worse is that I'm not just alert; I'm angry. I should not be reacting the way I am: skin flushed, heart fluttering, my whole body a mess of nerves. And the fact that it's him doing this to me, making me feel this way, makes me so infuriated that I want to rip his balls off.
I'm not going to give him the satisfaction of knowing what he's doing to me. In fact, I'm not even going to look at him.
Okay, maybe just once.
Fuck. Bad idea. Bad idea!
It's that goddamn button up he's wearing! The one I bought him for his birthday that he never wore. I swear to God he's wearing it just to piss me off.
And, fuck me, it's working. I am royally pissed.
I hate nightclubs. So fucking much. I hate the loud boom-boom-boom of the dance music. I hate the smell of expensive aftershave and beer. I hate watching the pretentious assholes primp and preen like birds, all showing their expensive, Italian-made, designer feathers. I hate that I can barely hear Alice over the music. Yet here I am.
Ali smiles expectantly as her friend reaches out his hand to shake mine.
"Bella, this is Alec. Alec, Bella."
He's attractive enough; straight teeth, clean shaven, poster-boy type. He's attentive and talkative. He touches my arm at appropriate times, and smiles kindly at me. But I see his wandering eyes. I see him look too long at my chest and legs. It makes my skin crawl and my stomach churn at the thought of someone else touching me. But I try to focus on him. I really do. I nod my head and ask the right questions, say the right things, smile a pretty smile. But the entire time, the entire time, I'm thinking about Edward. I should be listening to Alec, this nice guy who seems to have taken a liking to me and my legs. But I can't. I can't because I know that across the other side of the room, most likely brooding and peeling the labels from his Asahi, is that lazy, good-for-nothing ex of mine.
Who the fuck does Edward think he is? He knew I'd be here tonight. He knew it, and he showed up anyway.
Things between us have been over for almost a month. I'd made it impossibly clear the night I left that we were over. No more. Done. And like I knew he would, he just stood by and let me leave. Would a fight have been too much to ask? All I wanted was some kind of visceral reaction from him, something that showed me he gave half a shit about the fact that I was ending a three year relationship. But, no. He just stood there looking like a lost puppy, touching his hair in that annoying way that makes me want to shove his fingers up his ass.
Suddenly, I can't even focus on what Alec is saying. I'm blindingly irate; at myself, at the stupid situation I'm in, at the way I'm reacting. Extracting myself from the group, and from Alec's wandering hands, I weave my way through the crowd towards the bar. I need something to calm my nerves, and since I quit smoking when Edward and I broke up, whiskey will have to do.
I'm not supposed to be feeling this way. I broke up with him. I'm supposed to be moving on; onwards and upwards as Alice said. So why the fuck do I care if Edward is here?
I signal the bartender and order a drink, trying to keep my footing as the people around me jostle for a position at the bar. After throwing down the first shot, I chase it with another, finishing with an overpriced and watered down boutique beer.
All of a sudden, it's like the room quiets. The hairs on the back of my neck stand up, and I know without having to turn around that he's behind me.
Taking a deep breath and holding my head high, I turn to face him.
"I thought you said you hated wearing your glasses?"
He cocks an eyebrow and shrugs. "Hello to you, too."
Like the shirt, his glasses were something I tried to get him to wear more often. He complained they made him look dorky and that they got in the way. But for the record, they don't. They make him look...good.
Really goddamn good.
"What are you doing here, Edward?"
He shrugs again as he takes a swig of his beer, long fingers wrapped around the bottle, his eyes looking everywhere but at me.
"Having a night out with the boys."
I snort. "You mean you guys actually stopped playing Call of Dutylong enough to go somewhere? How nice for you."
The smug bastard smirks arrogantly, laughing humourlessly. "Whatever. Maybe I thought I'd come out tonight and try my luck." Finally, he looks at me; cold, angry, bitter. "Since I'm single and all." He looks right through me as he says those last words, and I hear the inflection in them. I hear the 'I'm single because you fucking dumped me, you heinous bitch'tone. It smarts, too; right in the center of my chest. It makes my throat feel tight and my eyes sting. But this is what I chose, the decision I made.
"Well, I'm sure you and all your friends will have a great time."
This is when I'm supposed to flounce off into the crowd, leaving him to eat my dust. But I don't. His eyes have me rooted to the spot. His intense gaze is pinning me like a butterfly to a mounting board. Movement from behind him pushes him closer, and I turn my head, breaking free of his stare as people push past us. His hand grips my upper arms to steady me, his fingers warm on my bare skin. With his shirt rolled to his elbows I can see the beginnings of the artwork that covers his upper arms; licks of colour peeking out from under white cotton around his forearms and right above his collar.
Watching me watch him, Edward drops my arms like they're on fire, his lips curling into an angry sneer. He tips his bottle at me, gesturing to my legs. "Nice skirt."
I look down at the black skirt, self-consciously pulling it down at the back.
"Is that why it's so short?"
My eyes snap up to his just as another round of pushing ensues. His chest presses against my hand as I clutch my drink to my chest. My hand itches to slap him. I want to make him hurt the way his words hurt me.
"Go fuck yourself," I spit as I try to move away, try to squeeze through the club. Of course, the place has doubled in capacity since I left Alice, and people are jammed in everywhere. Annoyingly, my quick escape from Edward is thwarted by a group of girls standing nearby. The tall blonde one is giggling and most obviously giving Edward the moony eyes.
She doesn't even see little old me trying to get past, the stupid doe-eyed bitch.
I snap my fingers in front of her face, getting her attention.
"Don't even waste your time, sweetheart," I spit, giving her the full force of my anger. "He's got VD and the worst case of genital warts you've ever seen."
Her mouth falls open and you can see her thought process ticking over as she tries to determine whether I'm lying or if Edward really is a walking bag of STDs.
"Get the fuck out of my way," I yell loudly, pushing past her roughly.
By the time I sit down, it's like the drinks have had no effect. If anything, I'm angrier, and now I'm itching for a fight.
I try to concentrate on Alec. I try not to wretch in my mouth when he puts his hand on my knee gently, try not to push him away when he leans in to whisper in my ear. His voice is wrong. His breath feels wrong against my ear. I try to ignore it and fail miserably.
How dare he make comment about my choice of skirt! He didn't give a shit what I wore the whole time we were together. Or what he wore, for that matter. If it were up to him, we we'd still been living in that flat of his, sleeping on a mattress on the floor, using milk crates as furniture, and eating Chinese take-out every damned night. Edward might have been happy playing video games and spending every goddamn weekend watching 'How I Met Your Mother' reruns, but I wasn't. I wanted passion and candle lit dinners. I wanted romance. I wanted to stop being the sole provider, the one who paid the bills while he studied. Next year, he said. Six months, he said. All the while I was working like a bitch and getting us nowhere. Instead, I got to pick up wet towels and stinky, sweaty running shoes. I endured endless nights of going to bed alone while he sat up sketching, drawing, and finishing projects. I'd tried to get him to do different things, to get him out of the house, but nothing worked. It was my work friend Alice who opened my eyes in the end, made me see that I could do better, that I deserved better.
And now that dick thinks he can show up here, dressed up like he's in a men's fashion magazine - with his designer glasses and jeans that show off his ass - and make me feel like shit?
Alec is still talking to me. Something about "bull markets" and "growth stocks". He obviously works with livestock or something. I look over his shoulder, trying to pretend I give a shit, and there he is. He's still watching me as he leans against the back of a leather sofa, his long legs stretched out in front of him. The way he's looking at me makes a surge of heat blossom in my chest, inching its way up my neck. When some random blonde beside him puts a hand on his chest, my anger ramps up a notch. The edges of my vision blur, and all I can see is her hand on my man. My ex man. Whatever.
"And the national stock market trends are pointing to-"
"Would you excuse me for a moment?"
I stand, handing him the empty glass in my hand. I need to clear my head for a moment, need to calm down, need to do something to get rid of all this anger and pent-up frustration.
Alec barely has time to blink before I'm pushing through the crowded club, trying to make my way to the ladies' bathroom. Every time someone bumps into me, I have to stop myself from cutting a bitch, and I have to ball my hands into fists at my side as I barge through, knocking people out of my way. I can see the line for the bathroom before I even get there. It's snaking out of the door; girls talking and primping as they wait. I don't need to pee. I just want two goddamn seconds to get my shit together. Is that too much to ask?
Fucking fuck shit fuck.
Just as I'm about to turn back, a body presses up close behind me. Normally, I would have thrown my fist into a crotch, but I know that body. I know that smell. Even with the heady mix of cigarette smoke and beer in the air, I know his smell.
One hand grips my hip as the other holds my upper arm tightly, guiding me away from my friends and towards the far end of the bar. My brain is telling me to tell him to step the fuck off, to rip myself out of his grip and kick him in the balls. But my body is telling me otherwise. The heat of his hand on my hip burns all the way through the material of my skirt. It feels like his fingerprints will be burned into my skin, red and raw like my insides.
The crowd thins as we near the back of the club. He doesn't even look at me as he releases my hip, his fingers still wrapped around my upper arm as he pulls me forward. Without so much as a backward glance, he marches me down a darkened hallway littered with empty boxes and kegs. I almost have to break into a jog he's moving so quickly. My short legs can't keep up, and the whiskey on an empty stomach is making me unsteady on my feet.
A blast of cold night air hits me as he pushes open a door that seems to have appeared from nowhere. I stumble out into a darkened alley, instantly freezing. More boxes and kegs lay littered around. Piles of newspapers and empty crates are stacked against the walls.
"What the fuck?" I yell as he lets go of my arm.
His hands grip his hair as he takes deep lungfuls of air.
"How dare you drag me out here like a god damned caveman! What the fuck is your problem, Edward?"
"My problem?" he practically yells, stepping towards me. "My problem right now is that I want to go back in there and rip that guy's fucking head off."
Shivering, I cross my arms over my chest. "What the fuck are you talking about, Edward?"
I can hear his laboured breath moving in and out of his chest, the chord-like muscles in his neck strain as he clenches his fists at his side.
This is not the Edward I know. Never, in the five years I've known him, have I ever seen him like this. He's usually so calm it makes me want to scream. He never once raised his voice at me, never flew into a rage, and certainly never ever got into a fight. But standing in front of me, in the frigid night air, he looks ready to explode.
"That dick had his hands all over you like... like he... FUCK!" he shouts as his foot connects with an empty crate, sending it flying down the alley where it slams against a dumpster with a bang.
I ignore the way my body is responding to him. My entire body feels like it's pulsing, humming, thousands of tiny nerve endings shivering under my skin.
"Where Alec has his hands is none of your concern, Edward," I spit.
In a flash, he's in front of me again, and we're almost toe-to-toe, his eyes burning like fire into mine.
"He's a dick, so it is my concern, Bella. And stop fucking calling me Edward. You don't call me Edward."
His lips are right in front of my eyes as he spits his words at me, laced with all the venom he can muster, his lips twitching with rage.
I raise an eyebrow at him. "It's not your concern anymore, Edward."
He steps toward me - once, twice, a third time - forcing me backwards until I'm pressed against the cold brick wall. His face nears mine, and I can feel his breath on my cheek as his lips brush the shell of my ear. A shudder runs the length of my spine as he whispers, his voice low and throaty, angry. "Say it again."
The night air is cold, but my skin is suddenly hot, burning up, alight. I take a breath, but it does nothing to dispel the raging fire inside of me as his proximity floods my senses.
I want to push him away.
I want to kiss him.
I want to slap him.
I want him.
His mouth covers mine, lips firm and insistent as his body slams mine against the wall. Almost immediately his mouth opens, and his tongue moves hot and rough with mine. I have to steady myself against his chest just to stay upright. He's never kissed me like this before. Not once. It's powerful and raw, rough and insistent, full of open mouths and panting, ragged breaths. I realise instantly that I've missed his kisses; the feel of his lips, the taste of his skin, the smell of him. All of it.
My eyes practically roll back in my head as the stubble on his face scratches against my collar bone. He lifts me slightly, pressing me harder into the wall as his tongue travels the length of my neck, goose-bumps erupting all over me as the cold night air hits my damp skin. The brick is cold and almost painful against my bare back, but I can't seem to find it in me to care. He's rough as he moves me at his will, his denim-clad thighs parting my legs, pressing himself against me. I should care that he's being so careless with me, bordering on vicious, but I don't.
With my fingers wrapped in his hair, I'm just as rough. It's like I can't get close enough, can't touch him enough, can't feel enough. I try to move against him, try to hold tighter, grab onto something, but he's in control and he knows it. All I can do is stand there, pressed against the wall as he pulls my insides tighter, like a guitar string ready to snap.
"Edward," I whisper quietly, baiting him, like fresh blood in the water.
His jaw flexes, tensing as he holds back a growl. I grit my teeth as my traitor knees shake, quivering as he runs his hands up my thighs, his thumbs edging closer to where I want him so bad it hurts. His grip moves over my thighs, his fingers wrapped under my ass, and, with a jerk, he lifts me higher, pinning me to the wall with his hips.
"I see you biting your lip, Bella," he says as his hands move back up the inside of my thighs again.
"I know the way you work." He brushes his thumbs over my underwear, making me jerk and shudder.
"I know you better than you know yourself."
He doesn't even bother to take my underwear off. Instead, he slips his fingers under the material between my legs, moving it aside roughly. If I was humming when we kissed, my body is practically singing, as without any warning, without preamble, he pushes two fingers inside of me.
He's not soft or gentle. He's hard and insistent, and I love it. While his fingers work me under my skirt, he kicks a milk crate against the wall and pulls my foot up onto it, leaving me open, exposed, and oh-so-willing.
"You know I'm the only one who can make you feel like this, right?"
I swallow my answer; gritting my teeth and holding a resounding yesdeep in my chest. But he can see it written on my face. Like he said, he knows me better than I know myself. Smirking, he curls his fingers, finding that spot inside of me that only he can.
"Do you miss me?" he whispers into my ear.
Clenching my jaw, I rock my hips over his hand as my own fingers tug at his hair mercilessly. I'm moments from blissful release when he suddenly pulls his hand away, leaving me panting and shaking. His warm hand slips under my skirt, meeting the cold skin of my ass as he tugs my underwear down my legs. I can barely stand. My knees are wobbling, and while I'm cold on the outside, my insides are ablaze, screaming, demanding a release like a crazed animal.
Edward's eyes are still hard, his brows knitted together in frustration. Yeah, I feel you, baby.
Slipping his hand back under my skirt, he lifts me again. My bare center presses against the button-fly of his jeans and I can feel the cool metal of his buttons pressed against my hot, wet skin. At hip height, we're finally eye-to-eye, and I can see the blazing green of his eyes as he watches his fingers dip in and out of me again. I can see the pink in his cheeks, feel the roughness of his jaw line. It's too much, and I have to close my eyes before I begin to beg, beg him to fuck me, beg him to take me back, to forget everything I said and be mine again.
In a startlingly tender move, Edward's hand cups my jaw, his thumb near my mouth. I'm momentarily frozen by the gesture until I realise that I can smell myself on his hand. I can feel my own arousal on my cheek.
"I dreamed about the taste of you," he says quietly as he brushes his thumb over my bottom lip. "I swear, I woke up and I could smell you on our sheets, on my fingers... Taste you on my tongue."
My eyes lock on his as I suck his thumb into my mouth, letting my tongue swirl around the tip. With it still in my mouth, he kisses me hard, the taste of me mixing with the saltiness of his skin. My hands move to his pants as his lips move over my chin and down my neck. But in a flash, he has my arm pinned to the wall as he undoes the buttons on his jeans himself, not even bothering to push them down all the way.
"Tell me you miss me," he hisses, and my fingers grip his shoulders as he rubs himself between my legs, coating himself, teasing me. My breaths are loud, my legs tight around his waist as he dips the head of his cock inside me, before pulling out. I'm sure my fingernails are leaving a mark on his shoulders, but I don't care, and it's obvious that he doesn't either.
"Tell me," he insists, teasing, taunting, trying to pull the answer out of me. It's on the tip of my tongue, the words choking me, suffocating me, begging to be let out.
"I..." He inches in a little further, and my body screams for more. Just a little bit more, just a bit, please. "Fuck!"
"Tell me!" he says loudly, almost yelling as his hand slams against the wall above me.
Finally, I open my eyes, my fingers loosening their death-grip on his shoulders.
"I miss you."
In a heartbeat, his gaze softens just enough that I see the boy I fell in love with. Breathing hard, he rests his forehead against mine, and in that brief moment, everything is still. A swell of emotion bubbles in my chest, the feelings I've been trying to keep a lid on since we walked outside begin to surface. The corners of my vision blur as my welling up.
"I miss you, Ed."
He takes a breath so deep, I can feel his ribs expand against my chest. Laying his head on my shoulder, he sighs, and then suddenly, I'm driven upwards at the force of his thrust as he enters me, pushing me against the wall. I can't help but gasp, my head thrown back as he pulls back and drives into me again. I can feel the rough brick scratching my back and shoulders, even the backs of my hands where Ed has them pinned. With every one of his strong thrusts, my skin stings a little more. But it's so good. My entire body is alive as he begins a punishing pace. His hips are meeting mine with a vicious snap that's so good, I don't know if I want it harder or softer. All I know is I need more.
The sounds of our tryst echo through the alleyway, bouncing off the walls like surround sound. I should care that at any moment someone could come out here, but I don't. A dim spotlight hangs overhead, casting a yellow glow over the two of us. But beyond that is nothing, just the dark of the night.
Ed lets go of my hands, wrapping both of his under my thighs as he drives into me, his pace never slowing. He whispers something, the sound of his voice – so quiet – a stark difference to the way he moves.
"I love you."
I wrap my arms around his neck, holding tight with my legs as he hits that spot inside of me again and again. With my face buried in the crook of his neck, his smell surrounds me, familiar and warm.
"I love you, too."
With one more snap of his hips against mine, I throw my head back and scream as my orgasm tears through me. Weeks of frustration and anger, sadness, loneliness and confusion, escaping like air out of a balloon. He stills against me, his hand on the wall supporting his weight as he follows, his thrusts drawing the last shuddering-inducing moments of my orgasm from me.
Panting, we stay pressed against the wall for a moment. Ed takes deep breaths, exhaling quiet words, faint whispers against my collarbone so low I can't hear him. This should be my moment of clarity, the moment I realize what a mistake this was, that we shouldn't have done this, that we broke up, and this was wrong. But instead, I realise I was wrong. This is what I want. Breaking up was the mistake.
"Ed," I whisper as he puts me down, helping me pull my skirt back down before buttoning his pants back up.
He looks down at me, his hair a fucking mess from my fingers, and his glasses askew on his nose. Reaching up, I pat a thatch of his hair down gently and right his glasses.
"Come home," he says quietly, his expression earnest. "It's not the same without you. I can change. I'll get a job, I'll get two jobs, I don't care..."
I smile, wrapping my hand around his neck, pulling him to my eye-level. "I don't want you to change, Ed. I love you no matter what."
His face twists in confusion. "But you said..."
Closing my eyes, I tell him the truth. "I know what I said, and I was wrong. I listened to people I shouldn't have, took advice from people who don't know you, who don't know us. Ed, I miss eating pizza with you on the sofa. I miss lying in bed on a Sunday morning. And fuck it, I miss cooking dinner with you in our stupid little kitchen."
Even in the dark, I can see his smile as his position mimics mine, his long fingers wrapped around the base of my neck as he rests his forehead against mine. "I should have fought for you. I never actually thought you'd leave me, Bella. I kept expecting you to walk back in the door." His words hurt, but I deserve them. I deserve the pain and let it wash over me. "When you didn't come back, I..." He goes quiet, his fingers tightening around the back of my neck. "It was like something snapped inside of me. I tore the place apart. I ripped up half my drawings. I broke the gaming console. I smashed that stupid ugly vase you brought in Cancun."
"You hated that vase?"
"I fucking hated that thing."
We laugh a little despite the heaviness of the moment. It feels good to smile again.
He kisses me softly, slowly, gently. It's the kind of perfect kiss that still makes me tingle all the way down to my toes.
"Come home," he says against my lips.
The word homeis like a balm on a burn, and it makes me feel better than I have in weeks, like I'm weightless.
I wrap my fingers through his, holding his hand tightly. "Take me home."
The nightclub is still in full swing when we get back inside. It felt like we were outside for a lifetime, wrapped up in our own little bubble, when actually, just inside the door, life was going on as usual.
We make it all the way out to the cab rank before I hear Alice calling me.
"Just give me a moment, okay?" I ask, turning back to Ali. Ed kisses the back of my hand, nodding.
"You know Edward hasn't changed, right?" says Ali, crossing her arms over her chest, the cold wind biting.
I smile. "I hope not."
Ali looks positively flabbergasted. "So you're going to go back to watching him play video games and sit around and wait for him to get his shit together?"
Alice's head looks like it's about to explode. "Alec has an apartment in SoHo and a Maserati, Bella! Think about what you're doing."
I hear Ed hail a cab behind me, and Alice reaches out as I start to back away from her.
"If you want Alec so much, Alice, he's all yours."
She splutters exasperatedly. "Where are you going?"
"I'm going home with Edward, where I belong."