Fic This Gif Anon Contest Entry
Gif #: 59
Pen name: dolphin62598
Twitter name: WithTheVamps80
Title: Bucket of Sin
Word count (not including author's notes/header): 6421
Pairing: Edward & Bella
Summary: Edward and Bella have been best friends practically their entire lives. Will Edward's twin brother, Tony, throw a wrench into their relationship or will it be the demons in Bella's past? Tattoos, piercings and drama…all are offered at Bucket of Sin.
Warnings (if necessary): Adult content and subject matter
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Disclaimer: I do not own Twilight or these characters. No copyright infringement is intended.
Bucket of Sin
Muted sunlight filtered through the trees on Allen Street. It was another gloomy March day in Buffalo. The tattoo shop on the corner was bustling with activity. Buoyant customers burst through the door happily comparing the fresh ink on their bodies.
Bucket of Sin was busier than it had ever been. A mural on the front plate glass window depicted a meadow of sorts with towering trees and wildflowers in varying colors. Tall green grasses framed the picture displaying the artist's natural talent. People passing found it difficult to see inside the shop with the mural sprawling across almost the entire window. Anyway, most people were drawn to the incredible artwork rather than seeing what was going on inside the shop.
Edward Cullen had been concerned about that large window when he bought the run down building five years ago, but his best friend, Bella Swan, begged him to leave it in place. She saw the amazing potential and ran with it, painting a scene that only Edward and his twin brother, Tony, would truly appreciate.
Edward, Tony and Bella all hailed from Washington State, they grew up together and were best friends for most of their lives. Edward and Bella ended up in Buffalo after graduating from art school in sunny southern California. They'd decided to explore the country and stopped in Buffalo after two weeks of driving. Bella really wanted to see Niagara Falls and after they'd spent five minutes watching the rushing water run over the cliff, they took a short drive south and found themselves lost in downtown Buffalo, New York. There, they stumbled upon Allentown, a quaint little art district in the city. They fell in love immediately.
Edward spent a chunk of an inheritance left to him after his grandmother passed away on a little run down building. He had incredible visions for a tattoo and piercing shop. Bella was skeptical that it would work out, but after a lot of hard work and interviewing several contractors, they had the shop of Edward's dream. Tony arrived in the middle of it all, but didn't hesitate to jump in and help his brother and best friend.
Isabella Swan stood tall at the crosswalk, waiting for the light to change so she could cross the intersection and head into work. Her dirty blonde hair flowed down to the middle of her back in loose waves. She smiled as she observed her painting in the front window of the shop. Even from across the street the colors were like a beacon drawing her forward. She narrowed her hazel eyes in concentration as she spotted Edward just inside the front door chatting with a busty blonde.
Bella had known Edward since they were in high school and she considered him family. Her heart stuttered at the possibility of Edward entering a serious relationship with someone else though. If that were to happen, she knew her time with him would be dwindled down to working hours only. Guilt washed over her as her cherry red lips puffed into a slight pout. She knew she should want Edward to be happy, but she wanted him with her at all times. She didn't want to share him.
The light had changed so she straightened her shoulders, pulled her wool pea coat tighter against her body and crossed the street heading towards the shop.
Edward Cullen was living the vision he'd had since he was a teenager. Running his own tattoo studio with his best friend and his brother was a dream come true. At times, he wondered if it was a mistake to ask Tony to join them in Buffalo, but in the end, he was his brother.
When Tony arrived in Buffalo, he hadn't really seen Bella or Edward in four years. Edward and Bella left Washington for California and Tony headed to the East Coast. He didn't come home for breaks very often and when he did come home, he always seemed to miss Edward and Bella. Edward watched Bella grow into an amazing woman and Tony was blindsided the first time he saw her after four years of absence. The worst-case scenario played out right in front of Edward's eyes and he was powerless to stop it.
Tony pursued Bella with a fierceness he'd not known his brother had. They dated casually and Edward tried to warn Bella that Tony was a player, but she didn't listen. He'd watched Tony date several women within the first few weeks he'd been in Buffalo. He was never short on stories about the pussy he was getting either. He fucked her twice and then started seeing some other woman without properly breaking things off with Bella. She was heartbroken and still had a hard time dealing with Tony at work and it had been almost four years since the split.
Edward had a hard time admitting he was insanely jealous that his brother had gotten to Bella before he could. Edward had been harboring feelings for Bella Swan since they were in high school, but he never acted on his impulses. He was too afraid to lose the friendship they'd built. He wasn't short on attention from the ladies though. Edward stood tall at six foot four inches. His body was muscled, but not overly so. Tattoos dotted his skin in various places and he had both of his nipples pierced. A barbell sliced through his eyebrow and viper bites adorned his lower lip. Girls were mostly drawn to his bright green eyes and his reddish-brown, messy hair. Edward Cullen was definitely easy on the eyes.
He'd just finished up with Marcy, his latest client and she was busy flirting with him while he walked her to the door. He practically kicked her out of the shop not really wanting to hear anymore of her mundane chatter. Her hair was so bleached it was almost white, which constantly drew Edward's eye to her head. It was so unbecoming and if she weren't his client, he would consider telling her to let her natural hair color grow back in.
"Hey E-unit," Bella giggled sauntering into the shop just as Marcy exited.
The soft chords of Smashing Pumpkins' Mayonnaise floated through the speakers of the shop as Bella removed her coat. Edward coughed trying to hide his gasp as she unveiled her outfit. He had mentioned doing themed days at the shop and today's theme was 90s. Bella wore cut off jean shorts that her ass was hanging out of with a ratty flannel shirt that she'd tied just above her belly button. Ripped up fishnet stockings covered her legs and weather worn Dr. Marten's, clad with rainbow laces, hugged her feet.
"Bella," Edward sighed. "Dance with me."
"You're so cheesy," she said, but didn't hesitate to bury herself in his arms as he turned them around the shop. "I feel like I'm at prom," she added.
"They did play this song. Personally, I think Mayonnaise was the best Smashing Pumpkins song aside from Soma. That's on this playlist as well."
"I love both of them," she whispered and buried her nose in his neck. In that moment, she was thankful for her five foot eight inch frame. Edward still towered over her, but she at least reached his neck and that was her favorite spot.
"Mother weep the years I'm missing. All our time can't be given…back," Edward sang softly. Bella glanced up and Edward smiled gently down at her. He pressed his lips against her forehead causing her eyes to drift closed.
"Your voice is beautiful," Bella told him.
"You're beautiful," he admitted quietly.
"Aw look at the lovebirds," Tony crowed as he entered the front door. Edward's arms gripped Bella's waist tighter as she stiffened.
"Ignore him," he whispered into her ear glaring at Tony while he smiled smugly at his brother.
"It's about time you tap that," Tony snorted and gestured rudely at Bella's back.
"Fuck you, Tony." Bella spun around and flipped him off before retreating to her station and preparing it for her first customer of the day.
"Why do you have to be such an asshole?" Edward growled as Tony passed by heading towards his station.
"It's in my nature, bro," Tony replied smoothly with an arrogant smirk.
"Just leave it alone, Edward," Bella sighed.
"She does look hot today," Tony murmured low enough that only Edward heard him.
Edward snorted and shook his head before he went to the front to check the appointment book. He was pleased to see that Bella only had one appointment today. He knew he would be completed with his last appointment right around the time she was finishing up. He'd wanted to check out the new club on Chippewa Street and desired Bella's company.
"B," Edward said approaching her. She smiled widely looking up from the sketch she was working on. "I want to check out Level tonight, want to go with me?"
Bella's face fell slightly. "It's not that great," she admitted.
Edward's eyebrows drew together in mystification. "When did you go there?"
"Last week with Henry," she admitted. "He asked me out after I finished his back piece."
"Oh," he replied feeling dejected.
"Why don't we go to The Anchor Bar instead? I've been craving some wings."
"Yeah, okay," he nodded feeling appeased. He knew Bella had gone out on dates, but he tried to block that out as often as he could. He didn't like thinking about her with other men because he felt so protective of her.
. . . .
The Anchor Bar was quite busy for a Thursday evening. Bella devoured an entire order of hot Buffalo wings and then gulped several beers to cool her mouth down. He didn't understand why people tortured themselves like that with spicy foods. He didn't mind so much when Bella did it though because the amount of beer she consumed always created a tipsy version of herself and he enjoyed that more than he liked to admit.
Bella was worried that Edward would be upset with her for going to Level with Henry. She knew he'd been itching to go there and when Henry asked she hesitated at first, but he wouldn't take no for an answer. He insisted that she accompany him. She didn't have any other plans that evening so she decided to go. She felt guilty though. She knew the instant she walked into the club that Edward wouldn't have liked it, but she wished she had refused Henry.
"I need your mark," she murmured leaning against Edward. The alcohol was flowing nicely through her bloodstream at this point and she was feeling numb.
"You do?" Edward asked chuckling. He toyed with the collar of her flannel and brushed his finger against the green vines on her skin that he could just make out.
"I do," she nodded. "I'm craving it."
"I like that I'm the only one that has marked you," he admitted pressing his lips against the top of her head.
"You're the only one that I trust. Tony has tried to mark me, but I wouldn't let him."
"Good," Edward agreed.
"I didn't want to go to Level with Henry," she confessed.
"Okay," Edward said slowly.
"I felt guilty about going."
"You have no reason to feel guilty, Bella," Edward said.
"I knew you wanted to go though, and I still went with him. I felt awful about it," she said and then hiccupped loudly.
Edward chuckled and nudged her to sit up. She straightened on her stool and looked up at him.
"I'm sorry," she cried.
Edward laughed again trying to cover his grimace and lighten the mood because he knew she was at the emotional stage of her drunkenness.
"It's okay," he whispered cupping her face gently. "Don't be sad and don't feel guilty."
"How can I make it up to you?" she asked as her glistening eyes pleaded with him.
"Let me mark you again. Let me give you the tattoo that you've been putting off for years."
She sighed and nodded knowing that she'd have to face the pain eventually. "Okay," she agreed.
"I'm not letting you back out," he said arching his eyebrow knowingly. His fingers massaged her cheekbones gently.
"I won't," she agreed easily. "Not this time."
Edward was briefly transported back to a time when they had first settled in Buffalo. They'd spent a long week of cleaning the shop, talking with contractors and figuring out how they wanted the shop set up. Friday night rolled around and they were both exhausted, but eager to get out and explore the city as well.
They ended up at a hole in the wall bar across the street from the Buffalo State campus. As soon as they walked in they felt older than their years and very out of place, but they made the best of the situation by befriending some girls at the bar. By the end of the night they were dancing and moving around the bar handing out business cards to anyone that would take one.
Looking back, Edward realized what a great idea that was. As soon as the shop opened, they had a large influx of customers from both Buffalo State and The University at Buffalo. Word spread about the new shop among the students and their schedules filled up quickly.
That wasn't the only thing Edward had remembered about that night though. He'd gotten drunk with Bella a fair amount in their young lives, but the way they danced that night was something he'd never forget. Bella put on a brave front, but she was nervous and fidgety when Edward wasn't right by her side. Edward noticed that she had to be touching him in some small way or else she would start rambling and blushing. Edward pulled her out onto the dance floor at one point and Bella finally let loose. Their bodies touched in the most intimate of ways. To Edward, it felt as if they were more than just friends, but he never mentioned it again after the night ended.
Edward couldn't deny the desire he had to pull Bella to the dance floor now and relive that night from so many years ago. While they'd gone to several clubs and bars in their time living in Buffalo they'd never engaged in dancing like that again. Bella would dance with some girls that she'd befriended, but she always refused to dance with men.
Edward was left to wonder, though, if she frequently accepted dates from her clients and maybe she didn't dance with other guys only when he was out with her. He wasn't entirely sure how he felt about that. He wasn't too keen on the idea of dating clients and while he'd had his fair share of women approach him while they were out, he never accepted their often rude proposals. He was no innocent virgin by any means, but he didn't much like the idea of one-night-stands no matter how desperate he was.
It made him wonder if Bella had many one-night-stands. He knew she wasn't innocent either, but once again, he pushed those thoughts from his mind.
"Let's get you home," Edward murmured. Bella nodded and stood on shaky legs. He was momentarily grateful for the flat Dr. Marten's she'd worn today. He couldn't imagine helping her out while wearing some of the sky-high heels that she owned.
"I don't want to go to my place," she mumbled and stumbled into the cab awaiting them outside.
Edward gave the driver his address and pulled Bella into his side. "You can stay with me tonight."
More often than not, nights like these when Bella consumed copious amounts of alcohol she ended up coming home with Edward. Emotions ran high when Bella was intoxicated and Edward felt better knowing that he could be there for her rather than sending her home to an empty apartment where she would pick apart and relive her past.
Edward lifted Bella's chin so he could properly see her face. The tiny stud in her nose glinted in the streetlights above as they rocketed down the road. Her hazel eyes were glassy and sad. He brushed his fingers over the hoop that adorned her eyebrow and pressed his lips to her forehead.
"Thank you," she whispered.
"Taking care of me...always taking care of me. I'd be a mess without you, Edward," she moaned.
"No you wouldn't. You'd be a hermit if it weren't for me," he chuckled trying to lighten the mood. He knew the darkness was fighting its way into her head. He would do anything to fight it back.
"I would," she said and laughed, but it was forced. She was fighting the darkness as well.
Once they arrived at Edward's apartment, he sent Bella into the bathroom to shower and change her clothes. He grabbed some boxer briefs that were too small for him and an old t-shirt then set them on the counter in the bathroom while Bella showered.
He stripped down himself while Bella finished up. Clad in only his boxers, he approached the bathroom slowly. Strangled sobs drifted through the closed door and he didn't waste a moment rushing in and picking her up in his arms. Thankfully, she'd gotten dressed, but her hair was a knotted mess and her body was still damp.
He set her on his bed and grabbed the comb that she'd left there several months ago. He spent twenty minutes shushing her and combing the knots out of her hair. By the time he was done, she was calmed slightly and only sniffling occasionally. He folded her into his arms and reclined back on the pillows. She snuggled into his side and almost immediately fell into a deep sleep.
Edward slept fitfully at best, constantly worrying if Bella would be okay in the light of day or if she'd suffer a set back as she often times did after a breakdown of the same sort. He worried for her wellbeing and spent several years after the accident trying to get her to see a professional. She adamantly refused and to this day held strong in her refusal.
Once the morning light streamed into his bedroom window, Edward got up and started preparing for his day. They all had customers to attend to today, but he wanted to pull out the sketch he'd been working on for Bella and add some more details before she woke up.
After doing some research and penciling in a few more details, Edward deemed the drawing finished. He hoped that Bella approved and if nothing else that this tattoo let her release some of her demons. If she wouldn't seek professional help, then this was the next best thing in his eyes.
Bella rolled over in Edward's bed and groaned loudly. Her eyes were swollen and her throat was scratchy. It only took her a few seconds to know why. She tried to push the emotions away, but sometimes they bled through before she could stop them.
Sitting up, she stretched and groaned again releasing the kinks in her back. She slid out of the bed and padded out to the living room in search of Edward.
"Hey sleepy," he called from the couch.
"Hi," she croaked, smoothing her hair. "Uh…sorry about last night."
"Don't worry about it, B," Edward said and smiled warmly.
"Thanks for combing my hair," she said with a chuckle. "Not many guys would do that."
"Yeah, I know, but it sucks when you wake up and have to spend an hour getting the knots out because you didn't comb it when it was wet the night before. I didn't want you to be torturing yourself today having to do that."
She nodded and looked down. She wasn't sure how Edward really felt about having to take care of her more often than not. She knew that he wanted her to go talk to a shrink, but she just couldn't do it. No matter how hard she tried to talk herself into it, she always had a long list of reasons why she shouldn't go.
"I need to show you something," he said and patted the spot on the couch next to him.
She approached him and flopped down next to him. He pulled a piece of sketch paper from a folder on the coffee table and handed it to her. Immediately, tears filled her eyes as she looked at the two drawings. She'd been putting this off long enough and knew that she had to have it done now. Pain flooded her senses as she thought of her last real conversation with her parents.
She had tried to convince them that she wanted to attend art school with Edward after college, but her parents wouldn't hear of it. She had been accepted at several schools and they wanted her to stay close to home and obtain a degree that she could actually build a career with.
"Artists are a dying breed, Bella," her father, Charlie had told her.
"You won't be able to live being an artist," Renee, her mother added.
"I'm going to art school," Bella said, anger and impatience clear in her tone. "There's nothing you can do to stop me. You don't even have a college fund set up for me. I can choose where I go and what I do now because I'm eighteen. You have no say in my life anymore."
Bella felt awful after she'd been in California for over a month and still hadn't heard from her parents. She figured they'd come around eventually and forgive her for choosing a school that they did not approve of. Granted, she'd decided to attend art school at the last minute and had it not been for Edward and his father's connections at the school she may not have even gotten in on such late notice, but she wished Charlie and Renee had accepted her decision.
The trip home over winter break was tense as Bella fidgeted the entire flight. She'd called her parents several times in the few weeks leading up to the break and left messages asking them to return her calls. They never did. She left one last message for them stating when her plane would be landing and wanted to know if she should catch a ride with Edward's parents or if they were planning to pick her up. Her calls went unanswered and as she stood at the luggage carousel watching Edward reunite with his family, her heart sank. Her parents were nowhere to be found.
Esme, Edward's mother, approached her tentatively with a warm smile. "Are you riding with us, dear?"
"It looks like it," Bella whispered.
"Don't fret, sweetie. I'm sure they are just busy preparing for your arrival."
Bella nodded, but she knew, deep down, that was not the case. Her nerves doubled when Edward's family pulled into the driveway of her childhood home. Edward unloaded her luggage, squeezed her side and led her up to the door. Bella tried the handle but it was locked, so feeling awkward and out of place, she knocked on the door.
Heavy footsteps approached from inside the house and the door flew open revealing a red-faced Charlie.
"What do you want?" he glared at Bella.
"I…it's winter break," she stammered.
"You're not welcome here," he snarled.
"Wh…what?" she cried.
"Get out of here, Isabella. You're no daughter to us anymore," Renee screeched from inside the house.
"Are you kidding me?" Carlisle, Edward's dad, had approached them now to see what was going on. He'd seen the look on Charlie's face and he didn't like it one bit.
"You're not allowing your own daughter into your house because she chose to go to art school?" Carlisle exclaimed.
"This is none of your damn business, Cullen," Charlie barked. "It's that boy's fault," he snapped pointing at Edward. "She followed him."
"This is ridiculous," Carlisle exclaimed. "Bella, you'll stay with us for the holiday. You don't need to be subjected to this."
"Great idea," Renee squawked from beside Charlie. "That's less money we have to spend on food and it won't ruin our plans. Have a nice life, Isabella," she stated curtly before Charlie slammed the door in their faces.
Bella snapped back to the present as Edward was brushing his fingers across her cheeks.
"I know it's painful," Edward whispered.
"It's so painful," she admitted. Knowing that she'd never have a chance to make things right with them was what hurt her the most.
The call came a little over three years ago. The night was ordinary in Buffalo and Edward and Bella had just finished closing up shop. They were headed towards the market on the corner to pick up some groceries and then back to Edward's place to make some food.
As Edward pulled some ice cream from the cooler in the market, his phone rang in his pocket. He glanced at the screen before answering happily, "Hey, Dad."
"Edward," Carlisle spoke in a rush. "It's the Swans…" he trailed off and Edward immediately rushed to the counter to pay for his purchases before heading outside so Bella wouldn't hear him.
"What happened?" he asked his father.
"They've been killed, Edward, by a drunk driver."
"Oh god," Edward breathed.
"I don't know about their will or anything, but I think you're probably going to have to bring Bella home for a while."
"Yeah…yeah, I'll let you know once I have flight information."
"Okay," Carlisle replied. "Take care of her, son."
"I will," Edward murmured and ended the call.
"What are you doing?" Bella asked bouncing out of the store with two shopping bags. "What was the rush?"
Edward looked at her and tried to memorize the happy expression she had on her face because he knew it wouldn't be back for a long time.
Bella's eyes searched Edward's pale face. It looked as if the blood had drained from his head. The pain in his eyes was clear and she didn't know what had caused it.
"What's wrong?" she asked.
"It's your parents," he croaked.
"What about them?" Bella asked her expression smoothed into neutrality.
"They're…they passed away, Bella," Edward murmured.
"What?" she exclaimed. "What are you talking about?"
"I don't know all the details, but a drunk driver hit them," he said gently.
"No," she said and shook her head. Her eyebrows scrunched together and her eyes dropped to the sidewalk. "No," she repeated.
"I'm so sorry," he whispered and pulled her into his side as he started the walk to her apartment. He needed to get her off the street before she broke down completely.
They spent a little over four weeks in Forks tying up loose ends and settling the Swan's estate. Bella found out that her parents had money. It wasn't enough for her to quit her job, not that she ever would, but she had enough to pad her savings account. She questioned the lawyer about them leaving everything to her, but he reassured her that Charlie had been in to see him just over six months prior and wanted to be sure that everything that they had was left to Bella.
This confused her even more, which had her skidding down the slippery slope of depression quickly. Cleaning out the house and selling it was the breaking point for Bella. Edward wasn't sure how he pulled Bella out of the misery she was drowning in, but she bounced back eventually without medication or seeing a professional.
He hoped she would seek help professionally because he knew she bottled her feelings inside until she consumed enough alcohol that they seeped out and she had a breakdown. He settled with the fact that he was able to help her through the tough times and the inevitable crashes that came for days after an episode. He was hopeful now that she'd agreed to do the tattoo things would start to ease up for her.
"How about we get cleaned up and head into work early?" Edward asked hoping to lift her mood. She nodded and retreated to his bedroom to find some clothes.
An hour later, they were making the short walk to Bucket of Sin. Bella had left a leopard print skirt and a black sweater at Edward's apartment the last time she was there. Of course, he washed it for her so she donned that and her Doc Marten's.
"You only have two appointments this afternoon," Edward pointed out looking at the schedule. "I should be done shortly after you are. We don't have anyone tomorrow until late afternoon so we'll have plenty of time to do your ink tonight."
"Okay," she whispered and nodded heading to her station to set up for her first customer. She didn't like tattooing in the frame of mind she was in currently, but her customers were important to her so she'd hike up her skirt, figuratively, and plow through her sessions.
A strange feeling of peaceful dread settled on her shoulders as she drowned herself in work. She couldn't get the images that Edward had drawn out of her mind. The silver, gleaming pistols to represent Charlie and his dedication to the Forks Police Department and the lilacs and petals surrounding the guns to represent Renee's love of all things horticulture. They were perfect representations of the parents that she remembered. What pained her most was that she had no idea if those images would accurately represent the same people that died in the car crash. She didn't know who they were when they died because they refused contact with her.
She wanted nothing more than to release this pain and hoped the numbing pain of the tattoo gun would help release her demons. She was so spaced out that Tony's comments didn't even distress her.
Once she was done with her last customer, she cleaned her station and scrubbed the kitchen in the break room. Tony approached her cautiously.
"Are you okay?" he asked her.
"I'm fine, Anthony," she replied curtly furiously wiping the countertop.
"Really, Bella, all joking aside…" he trailed off as she lifted her face. "Shit, B," he whispered as her bloodshot eyes penetrated his.
"Just leave it alone," she whispered.
He grabbed her arm and pulled her to him. "I'm sorry," he admitted. "I'm sorry I'm such a dick."
"I'm used to it by now," she sighed into his chest.
He wrapped his arms around her tightly. "Seriously, Bella, you were my friend before anything else. You can tell me anything. I won't judge."
She snorted and shook her head. "You fucked me over, Tony," she pointed out.
"I know. I'm such an asshole. I don't know how to stop," he said and pulled away slightly. Running his finger along her forehead, he pushed a few stray strands of hair behind her ear and cupped her cheek. "I know Edward does a pretty good job taking care of you, but I'm here if you need me."
"What's going on?" Edward snapped entering the kitchen.
"Nothing," Tony replied quietly not removing his eyes from Bella's.
"You okay?" Edward asked Bella softly. She broke Tony's stare and nodded looking over at Edward. He held his hand out and Tony watched as Bella easily accepted and joined Edward. Tony knew it was only a matter of time before they ended up together. The love between them was so obvious.
"Ready?" Edward asked pulling Bella back into the shop.
"You want this where we discussed the last time?" Edward asked her sitting on his stool after Bella sat in his chair.
"Yes," she said thankful that she'd worn a skirt as she pulled it down slightly.
Edward reclined the chair and placed a few paper towels just on the inside of the waistband of her skirt so it wouldn't be ruined by ink. Edward hadn't ever told Bella, but he was quite partial to this skirt. He loved that it spent some time on the floor of his bedroom as well. He smirked as he applied the shaving cream and softly dragged the razor over her skin. He placed the transfer paper on her skin and gently peeled it back nodding at his work and the placement.
"Do you want to check out the placement?" he asked her.
"No," she whispered. "I trust you."
"Okay," he said. He pressed his gloved fingers against her skin and dipped his gun into the ink.
"Ready, B?" he asked making his voice cheerful even though he was terribly worried about this tattooing session.
"As I'll ever be," she replied. She closed her eyes tightly as the buzzing of the gun sounded through the quiet room.
Bella was instantly transported to another place and time as Edward marked her skin. Images of her childhood flashed behind her eyelids. She remembered her father teaching her how to ride a bike and her mother teaching her how to grow herbs. She remembered her first trip to Seattle to see a show and a full spa treatment with her mother. She remembered her father teaching her how to drive and shoot a gun.
Loving memories flooded her brain as tears leaked from her lids. She tried to release the darkness that accompanied her late teenage years as the gun inked the best memories of her parents into her skin. She didn't want to remember them as the people that pushed her away.
"Bella," Edward called. It felt as if only moments had passed, but as she opened her eyes Edward was beaming proudly. "All done, baby," he whispered nodding towards her abdomen.
"Already?" she asked.
"Yep," he exclaimed taking her hand and leading her to the mirror.
She gasped as the reflected image stared back at her. It was astounding how real the pistols looked and the coloring of the flowers was beautiful. She knew that Edward was the only one that would be able to do this tattoo justice.
"It's perfect," she murmured. She spun around and wrapped her arms around Edward's neck. "Thank you," she exclaimed. Before either of them knew what was happening their lips collided. Bella relaxed into Edward's embrace as their lips moved together. Flesh grew heated and hands roamed as passion intensified.
Bella parted her lips slightly and sucked Edward's bottom lip into her mouth. He groaned quietly and reached up to cup her cheeks. His fingers massaged her jaw and threaded lightly into her hair. Something he'd been dreaming of doing for years now and his dream was finally becoming a reality. Their tongues touched and she tasted sweeter than he'd ever imagined. His pants were becoming tight and he longed for friction, but didn't push against her for fear of hurting her freshly inked skin.
"Fuck," he whimpered as she slowly pulled away.
"Edward," she cried.
"It's okay," he reassured her opening his eyes. Her eyes shone with leftover unshed tears as she studied his face in wonder.
"That was…amazing," she stated.
"It was," he agreed nodding. A small smile played at her lips and his smirk grew wide.
"How do you feel?" he asked her.
"Like a weight has just been lifted off my shoulders," she sighed.
"Let's get you cleaned up and treated," he said and led her over to his chair again.
"Thank you," she said as he placed a piece of plastic over her tender skin to protect it until she got home.
"You're welcome," he replied.
"Let's go to my place and get some Chinese," she offered.
"Sounds good," he grinned and reached forward to peck her on the lips. She giggled and pulled him in again for more than a peck. Minutes passed with sighs and whimpers filling the empty room.
Outside, Allen Street was glowing with quaint streetlights. People exited coffee shops and boutiques hurrying off to their next destination. Tony Cullen peered into the front window of Bucket of Sin through a few tall blades of grass in the mural. A wide smile stretched across his face as he took in the scene inside the shop. His brother's true dream was coming to life as he watched Bella press her lips to Edward's. Tony never meant to hurt her and if he'd realized Edward's true feelings before he'd pursued her he would have stayed away.
He couldn't have asked for a better ending his for brother and his best friend. He knew their fairy tale was happening – he was seeing it with his own eyes.
. . . .
The small bathroom was filled with steam making the air thick and heavy with moisture. Water cascading into the shower provided a nice soundtrack for the lovers embracing within the spray.
"Can you believe it's been a year already?" Edward asked caressing Bella's stomach lightly. His fingertips danced across her skin barely touching and raising goosebumps along their trail.
"It feels like so much longer, but not that long at the same time," Bella moaned scraping her teeth against Edward's neck.
"I feel like I'm living in a fantasy," Bella admitted gazing at the sparkling gem on her left hand.
"You're not," Edward stated lifting her effortlessly and pressing her into the cold tiles of the shower wall. "This is real," he mumbled pushing into her with a smooth thrust.
"Fuck," Bella groaned. "So real," she murmured pressing her lips to his quickly.
"I love you," Edward said breathlessly thrusting lazily.
"I love you too," Bella panted, her nails leaving faint crescent marks in the skin of his shoulders.
"Two more days...and you'll be mine forever." Edward happily reminded her as if she'd forgotten. He reached down and circled her clit causing Bella to squirm and moan wantonly.
"Edward," she breathed and fell apart in his arms. He pumped furiously and then his body froze, his neck thrown back in ecstasy as he rode out his release.
"Thank you," Bella gasped. "Thank you for taking care of me all these years. Thank you for letting us have the wedding at the shop in front of our window. It'll be just like we're in our meadow at home," she pointed out.
"It all started at Bucket of Sin, baby. I wouldn't have it any other way," Edward said blissfully.
Their lips molded together as they stumbled out of the shower and as sleep overcame them that night, dreams of a bright future burst forth into a promising reality.
Thanks for reading and a special thanks to MsEm for looking this over for me. Links to Buffalo stuff:
www . anchorbar . com
en . wikipedia wiki/Chippewa_Street#Nightlife
en . wikipedia wiki/Allentown_Art_Festival
Just remove the spaces!