"You didn't want me, Edward." Her voice had lost the edge in it.

"Bella, I never stopped wanting you." I told her with certainty. 'You have never been out of my thoughts, and I regret making the decisions I did. I will go to my grave loving you, Bella." I confessed.

I waited on her to respond to my ill-timed confession. She just stared at me for a moment, like I'd grown a second head, and before I could say anything else, her lips crashed into mine.

Photographs and Memories

Chapter 18 - One More Night

I pulled Bella in to me, holding her tight against me in fear of her disappearing. I knew this had to be a dream, so I was going to live in the moment.

Her tongue demanded entrance to my mouth, and I granted access, needing to be as close to her as I could be. The memories of Bella's kisses, her taste, the feel of her body against mine, were nothing compared to the reality of it. She was all of my favorite things, rolled into a sweet, yet salty delicious package.

As she continued the assault on my mouth, I felt her hand leave my neck and move to the buttons on my dress shirt. I moaned into her mouth the moment I realized she was undressing me. Without thinking, I ripped the rest of the buttons off and dropped the shirt to the floor, my mouth never leaving hers.

I took over as the dominant one in the kiss, showing her my hunger. I moved her back and pressed her up against the wall, pulling one leg up to wrap around my hip so that I was able to grind myself into her. I didn't want to leave any doubt in her mind about how much she affected me, and how much I wanted her.

Bella broke the kiss which panicked me a little. She quickly pulled her shirt over her head and threw it to the side, easing my mind, before she returned her lips to mine. I brought my hand up her side, slowly ghosting my finger tips up the soft, naked skin, feeling the goose bumps as they appeared. After a few agonizingly slow moments, I finally reached her bra-covered breast. I lightly stroked the side of her breast over the lace while I tried to gauge her reaction. I was no fool. I knew that she could change her mind at any moment, or I could wake up. There was no way this could be real.

Bella welcomed my touch with a moan, and she reached between her breasts to release the clasp that held the lace in place. I accepted her invitation and allowed my hand to fully cup her, squeezing lightly. I passed over her nipple with my thumb, earning another groan, while causing me to ground my painfully hard cock into her again.

I didn't remember Bella's breasts being so sensitive. It must have been a result of the pregnancy and breast feeding. Having always been a boob man, I mentally kicked myself for being stupid enough to miss out on all of the changes, but thanked God that I was being allowed to experience them now.

I desperately wanted, no needed, to have her naked and under me, so I picked her other leg up off the floor and encouraged her to wrap them both around me. I grunted like the caveman I was imitating at the moment, when she squeezed her legs, bringing her tighter against my cock. I needed to get to a horizontal surface, quickly.

I saw the dining room table out of the corner of my eye and decided it would do for now. I carried her over and sat her on the edge while keeping her close enough to continue to grind into her, earning me more moans.

I nudged her to lie back on the table to make it easier to rid her of the sweat pants she was wearing. As I tossed them aside, I couldn't help but allow my eyes to roam up and down her beautiful body. Carrying a child, my child, had given her more curves and a stretch mark or two, but she truly had never looked more beautiful to me than she did in that moment. She was exquisite.

My hand went immediately to my waist to undo my belt and pants. I needed to be buried inside of her before someone changed their mind. Once my pants hit the floor with a soft clank, I allowed myself to slowly caress her body with my hands and mouth, beginning at her thighs, and working my way up one side to her neck, and then back down the other.

After thoroughly covering her body with kisses from my lips and soft swipes of my tongue, I could not wait any longer to taste her. It had been so long, and it was right there for me to take. I placed a soft kiss just above her belly button as I glanced up in hopes of seeing the look of anticipation on her face. It was one of my favorite expressions. It was almost like she was begging me with her eyes while she encouraged me with her moans and softly whispered pleas.

When my eyes reached hers, I was shocked at what I found. It wasn't the look of anticipation. It wasn't pleasure that radiated from her eyes. What I saw were tears making their way down her cheeks and pain emanating from her soulful, brown eyes.

Quickly I stood up and tried to pull her to me. How stupid could I fucking be? Here I was supposedly taking care of her, but instead, I was taking advantage of her emotional state, for my own satisfaction. I had just been locked up in the thrill of having Bella want me that I didn't think. Apparently that was a going theme in my life.

"I'm so, so sorry, Bella." I cooed, trying to soothe her tears. "I wasn't thinking when you kissed me, I just reacted."

What happened next stunned me and broke me.

"Don't you fucking dare stop, Edward Masen!" She growled, through her tears. "You fucking owe me, god damn it! You owe me, so don't make me beg, Edward. I need to feel something besides the pain, so don't you fucking stop."

I wanted to put my clothes on and save us both from the regrets we were sure to feel in the morning, but Bella was right: I owed her. And I could give her what she wanted; what she needed in that moment, so I did.

The sexiness and the heat were lost for me, but I refused to let Bella know that. She would feel treasured and she would feel good, if not but for a moment.

I gave her everything she asked of me. When she demanded I fuck her harder, I slammed into her with abandon, until she begged me to stop. I gave her the slow building strokes that I knew she used to love, and I placed my hand between us to rub gentle circles on her clit as I slid slowly in and out of her, bringing her to the brink and then slowly backing off.

When I knew she could no longer take anymore, I slammed into her hard and fast bringing her over the edge with a muted cry. I found my release at the same moment, a primal grunt falling from my lips as I spilled into her.

My upper body collapsed on top of her, my head resting on her stomach. I could hear her heartbeat as it slowed to a normal rhythm. Mine didn't slow; it increased in speed at the thought of what would happen next.

Neither of us moved for the longest time. I didn't want this moment to end, so Bella was the first one to initiate our movement.

"Edward," she whispered softly "we need to get up. Cam could come down anytime. I don't know that he'll be able to sleep through the night with all that's happened."

There was no trace of anger in her voice which relieved me. Maybe the loss I felt when I saw her tears didn't have to be permanent. Maybe there was a little hope for a future with my family.

After Bella and I dressed, she made her way to the kitchen and offered to bring me a drink. I was severely dehydrated after our lovemaking, so I opted for a glass of water.

I went back into the living room for a few moments to try and collect myself. My emotions were all over the place, and I had no idea what Bella was thinking. Well, one thing I learned from my past was that communication was key, so I would talk this all out with Bella. Not tonight, of course, but soon.

All too soon, yet not soon enough, Bella walked into the living room carrying a glass of wine and a bottle of water. She handed me the water and walked to sit in the leather recliner that was across from the couch I was sitting on. Part of me hoped that after what we just shared, she would sit next to me and cuddle. The other part recognized it all for what it was. But I wasn't ready to face it yet; I probably would never be able to face it.

I knew Bella, and I knew that she would rather curl up on the couch than in a recliner. Actually, I was amazed she owned one. Her dad had a beat-up recliner in their living room when she was growing up, and she hated it. Even when he bought new furniture, he kept that smelly recliner. She swore we would never have one in our house, and we didn't. That lead me to believe it was Benji's. It was logical that she would want to feel close to him, but after what we shared, I can't say I wasn't jealous as hell.

"Edward." Her voice brought me out of my thoughts. "I need you to understand something." She began, and my heart sunk.

"Bella…" I began but was cut off with her raised hand and shaking head.

"Please, Edward, I need to get this out."

I nodded and motioned for her to continue. As much as I didn't want her to, I knew I needed to let her say it. I was here to give her what she needed, regardless of my feelings.

"First, I want to thank you. I know that what happened meant something different for you than it did for me, but I can't tell you how much I needed that…from you especially."

I was a little shocked with her declaration and wanted to ask what she meant, but I kept my mouth shut and let her continue.

"Losing Benji…" The tears were leaking out of her eyes, so she took a breath to get her emotions under control.

"Losing Benji, well, it hurts like hell, Edward—almost as much as it hurt when you walked out on me and Cam all those years ago. The difference now is that when you left, I hoped, no, I knew you would come back, but you didn't. I know Benji won't come back."

I was fighting the tears that were threatening to escape. It was a losing battle. I knew that I'd hurt her, but I'd never been forced to face just how much.

"When you left, I thought it was my fault…"

"No, Bella, No!" I said emphatically. "It was not your fault…"

"Damn it, Edward! Let me get this out, please?" she begged.

I nodded again for her to continue.

"I know, now, it wasn't my fault. I think maybe I knew it then, but I couldn't understand it. I still don't understand, and I probably won't ever be able to grasp what was going through your mind. I'm not sure I even want to anymore." She took another steadying breath before she continued.

"You taught me something, Edward. You taught me that forever is an imaginary concept. We only get a snippet in time with the ones we love, so we have to make the most of every moment. I made the most of my time with Benji, and while I wanted so much more, I have no regrets when it comes to him. I love…loved him with everything I had. He was good to us, good for us, and I will go to my grave thankful for the time I had with him."

Bella paused and wiped the tears from her eyes with her sleeve.

"That said, I want you to know that you giving into me when you clearly were uncomfortable was a wonderful gift. It reminded me that, in spite of our ending, we once cared about what the other one needed. It let me know that even though you left, you still care enough to give me what I need. Being here tonight, having sex with me, it was perfect."

I took a deep breath in relief over her words, and my heart sprouted wings of hope. Hope for a future with my family. Hope that was apparently a little too premature.

"But you need to understand that it will never happen again. I need you to know, that while I needed you tonight, I don't need or want you in my life like that, Edward. I hope that, maybe, we can eventually be friends, but right now you are Cam's father and only Cam's father, when it comes to being in my life.

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. I couldn't breathe.


I can't believe I forgot to add my notes! Thank you to Sabrina, my wifey, for her encouraging words and friendship. Thanks and big hugs for Fran, the best Beta out there! And many thanks to all of you for giving this a shot! I didn't get to all my review replies, but I read and treasure them all!