Taste of the Forbidden Contest

Title: Forgive Me, Father, for I Will Sin

Rating: M

Genre: Romance

Word Count: 10,956

Pairing: Edward & Bella

Summary: Home for Thanksgiving, Bella wakes up in her childhood room . . . but, much to her surprise, she's not alone. The man she's unknowingly shared a bed with just so happens to be the source of her fantasies for years . . . and her dad's closest friend. Can her fantasies finally become a reality?

Disclaimer: Twilight and its characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. Any similarities to the original characters or themes from the books or media franchise are used here for entertainment purposes only.

Rated for serious (not really) adult content and language.

Forgive Me, Father, for I Will Sin

It's dark as I stumble up the four stairs leading to the house—though, being two in the morning, I suppose "dark" is to be expected. I shake my head and laugh quietly at myself. This is precisely why I should have stopped after my sixth beer and my...my...Shit! Just how many shots of tequila did I have? Should I go to the hospital to see if I have alcohol poisoning?

"Don't be stupid," I admonish myself aloud, fumbling in my purse for the keys to my dad's house. After finding them, I try several times to slide the key into the lock. The double vision brought on by the mass amounts of alcohol clearly makes this simple task even harder. Finally, I bend my body into a ninety-degree angle to look at the lock dead on, and I succeed, turning the key slowly so I don't wake Daddy.

He's actually not expecting me until tomorrow, but my friend, Jess, wanted to head home for Thanksgiving early, and since she was my ride, I decided to do the same. I tried calling to give Daddy a heads up, but he's one of those prehistoric guys who a) doesn't have a cell phone—which is totally crazy—and b) doesn't have an answering machine. You can imagine how it was growing up in a house with a phone that couldn't go farther than the kitchen; he was privy to a lot of my phone conversations up until I got a job and could afford my cell phone.

So, when we got to the house earlier, Daddy was nowhere to be found. I figured he was at work still, so I left my bags upstairs next to my desk, and then accepted Jess' offer to go to the bonfire that a few of our high school friends were throwing on First Beach.

When we arrived on the beach, the party was in full swing, and we were each handed a beer before getting sucked into doing a few shots with Kate and Angela... That's when things begin to get a little hazy.

After closing the door as quietly as possible, I turn around and head up the stairs. Having grown up here, I know that the third step from the top has a squeak near the centre, and to avoid being caught sneaking by Daddy's room, you have to basically hug the wall—of course, you could just skip that step, but in my current state of inebriation, I'd probably fall down the stairs, and then all of my stealth would have been in vain.

I make it to the top of the stairs, smiling and mentally high-fiving my teenage-self for still being able to sneak past Chief Swan's bedroom door at two in the morning. It isn't that I think I'll get in trouble for getting in at this hour—or for being drunk, for that matter, as I am newly twenty-one—I just don't want to wake him up thinking his house is being burglered...um...burgled? That's a word, right?

I press my face into my hand, ashamed that this is what has suddenly caught hold of any working brain cells that aren't currently bobbing in a pool of beer and tequila. I open the door to my room, closing it softly as well since it's right across the hall from Daddy's, and I begin to take my clothes off. I'm far too unbalanced and drained to go through my bag to find my pajamas, so I crawl beneath my blankets in just my bra and panties and relax into my single bed, instantly met with the fading, yet familiar and comforting, smell of the fabric softener my dad uses...but there's something else too—something equally familiar that awakens something in the recesses of my brain. I can't quite put my finger on it as my eyes drift shut and sleep sets in; all I know is that I like this particular smell. A lot.

With the amount of alcohol flowing through my veins, my dreams start off strange and confusing, but eventually they change into welcome—and somewhat erotic—images. Okay, so "somewhat" might be an understatement. What can I say? I've been sexually repressed for the last few months. The last guy I dated was really sweet, but we just grew apart over the six months we were together. It's unfortunate, because the sex was pretty great.

God, I miss sex.

The way a man's hands would move over my body, up to my breasts as he lowered his face to take a pert nipple into his mouth… Or how about the way his tongue would flick the sensitive nub before he grazed his teeth over it? It was enough to drive me wild with desire.

My dream slowly morphs from the crazy, psychedelic happenings of leprechauns and unicorns racing down the rainbow path and into one where I'm lying in a king-sized bed with a faceless man who smells absolutely amazing—all sex and deliciousness—and my body begins to warm.

While I can't hear them, the ocean waves are crashing onto the shore of a tropical beach while my mystery man and I lie in a four-poster bed, the sheer white fabrics hanging from the bed posts blowing in the breeze. There aren't any other people around as he grips my hip and pulls me to him. His hand is like warm honey as it trails down my thigh, his fingers hooking behind my knee and pulling it up over his hip. I can feel the hard bulge of his cock press against my pussy, and I whimper, cupping his jaw in my hands and drawing his face to mine for a searing kiss.

His tongue breaches my lips and meets mine halfway; he's an amazing kisser—which only makes sense since my brain made him up, and why would it betray me with someone who absolutely sucked? It would be cruel and quite possibly terms for electro-shock therapy to see if I could fix the glitch.

Mystery guy—who's actually beginning to show a few features, like the dark bronze colour of his hair, the shape of his nose, and the angular cut of his jaw—lets his hand move up from my thigh until he's palming my tit over the bra I still wear, and my nipples strain against the fabric. I moan into his mouth when he hooks his fingers into the top of the cup and pushes it under my breast before rolling the taut nipple between his thumb and forefinger. I thrust my hips toward him, feeling his dick tease my clit. Goosebumps arise all over my body when he abandons my tit and moves his hand quickly down my body and between my thighs. His fingers easily glide back and forth through my damp arousal, and I shift my hips in time with his movements. The minute he sinks his fingers into me, I wrap my arms around his broad shoulders and weave my fingers into his soft hair, the sensation of him pumping them in and out of me bringing me closer and closer to the best orgasm I think I've ever had.

This. Dream. Fucking. ROCKS!

"Yes," dream-me moans, breaking our kiss and throwing my head back to catch a breath. "Oh, god, yes..."

His hand begins to move a bit faster, thrusting a little harder and pressing his thumb against my clit to push me over the edge. Then he speaks for the first time. "That's it, baby," he says hoarsely, his hot breath tickling the skin below my ear as he peppers it with open-mouthed kisses. "You're so fucking wet for me."

Mixed emotions run through me immediately; while I don't want this dream to end until I've come, I also realize that something is amiss. Something feels—

Holy shit! I know that voice!

While he has been the object of many fantasies over the last five years, something in my brain tells me to push him away, and when I do, I fall off the edge of the bed. Instead of meeting the warm sand on the beach, however, I meet the cool wood of my bedroom floor. My eyes snap open when I bang my elbow on the edge of my bedside table, and I look up toward my bed to find that it's not empty.

In it, sits Edward Cullen…my dad's best friend. Yeah. Talk about complicated. Add to that, he's married—not happily, last I'd heard, but still married...I think. Could that be why he's here? Maybe he and Ice-Bitch had a fight.

The thought of this excites me because I've had a crush on Edward since I was sixteen—okay, so I've had it a little longer than that, but it wasn't until I was sixteen that I let him star in every single one of my erotic fantasies.

I'm breathing heavily as my wide eyes move back and forth between his. He looks equally as horrified and confused by what just happened, but that doesn't stop me from overreacting. "What the hell are you doing?" I demand shrilly, immediately clamping my hand over my mouth; the last thing we need is Daddy barging in here to find Edward in my bed and me half-naked on the fl—

My stomach lurches, and I can't even finish my thought as I look down to find that my boob is hanging out of my bra like it was in the dream. My cheeks flame, and I quickly right the problem, reaching for my comforter for a little bit of cover from his heated stare.

"Y-you don't want to do that," he tells me, holding it firmly against his lower half.

Understanding his dilemma, I relinquish my hold on the blanket and grab my pillow instead, standing up and hugging it to my body lengthwise as a shield. "What are you doing?" I repeat, my voice tight and a little bit squeaky now.

"I'm sorry," he's quick to offer.

"Why are you in my bed?" I interrupt.

"Tanya and I have decided to separate," he begins, and my stomach flutters—stupid stomach clearly doesn't know that this is not the time. "I came to see Charlie. We got to talking, I had quite a bit to drink, and he said I should stay the night."

"In my room," I state, my eyebrows rising.

Edward buries his face in his hands and rubs it roughly before dragging them up and through his hair. "He assured me you wouldn't be here until tomorrow some time. Bella, if I'd have known, I'd have taken the couch."

"I decided to come early—" I gasp sharply as I watch Edward's face redden further, and I begin to backpedal. "I mean...n-not come..." I'm really just making everything worse, so I stop trying.

Suddenly, there's a knock on the door, and I turn around quickly, unintentionally giving Edward a perfect view of my ass.

"Edward? You up?"

That's disturbingly accurate. When Edward snickers behind me, I realize my filter is not fully operational yet.

"Yeah, Charlie," he answers; I can hear the smile on his face, and when I turn my head a little, I find his eyes locked on me, so I offer him a little smile. The longer I look at him, sitting half—or fully—naked in my bed, makes me wonder just how far we would have gone had my brain not made the connection to his voice. He looks delicious as ever, with his hair in sexy disarray; in so very many of my fantasies, I have thrust my fingers into it to hold him close. Thinking this sends a rush of warmth through me, and my pulse races as a dull ache settles between my legs. What's not helping this situation any is that this is the first time I've seen him without a shirt on in years—probably since I was just a girl. He hasn't changed much from what I can remember, and my mind failed to ever do him justice in this department. He's in great shape—honestly, I'm probably underselling it—and I can't keep my eyes from admiring this aspect.

"You on the phone with Tanya? I thought I heard voices." My dad's voice breaks me from my ogling.

Oh god oh god oh god...

Glancing back toward the door, I back up slowly until my legs hit the edge of my bed. I sit down on it, my ass brushing against Edward's muscular calf; I'm too afraid to move, though, because I'm pretty sure Daddy's going to open that door and find us both in here looking guilty when we're not...not entirely, anyway.

"Uh, yeah..." My head snaps around to look at Edward as he lies to my father. "Well, not to Tanya, but...work." Smiling, he continues. "I called to let them know I wouldn't be in today."

"Good plan," Dad replies through the door, and I hold my breath, just waiting for that door to open and for him to jump to all the wrong conclusions.

Is he going to be mad? I begin to wonder. Who will he be most mad at? Me? Edward? Who will he think initiated this? This isn't going to be good... Expecting the worst, my stomach rolls—partly due to my drinking last night, and partly out of fear—but I fight back the nausea and wait.

"Okay, well, I'm going to go and make coffee. You hungry?" We simultaneously breathe a sigh of relief upon hearing this.

"Uh, yeah. That sounds great," Edward replies, and then we hear the sounds of Daddy's footsteps retreat toward the stairs.

Even though the threat is gone, I'm still numb from almost being caught. The bed dips behind me, and before I know it, Edward's leaping off the bed with my bed sheet wrapped around him. It slips a little as he opens the door, and I'm privy to a partial view of his right ass cheek—I won't lie; I want to bite it a little. Don't ask why, I just do.

"Okay, the coast is clear." He turns around and sees me gawking at him. "That was close." He laughs nervously, running his fingers through his hair.

I nod, forcing my eyes back to his. "Yeah. Close." My voice is low and hoarse, and I can't help but think he isn't just talking about getting caught by Dad. "So, what do we do?" I ask. "I mean, it seems like he doesn't know I'm here yet, so how do I get past him?" This whole situation is a little fucked up, and I can't believe I'm trying to come up with a plan to sneak out in the morning so I can traipse through the front door like I've just arrived for Thanksgiving weekend.

"I guess I could climb out the window," I suggest, only to be met with a sharp glare from Edward.

"You most certainly will not be climbing out the window," he commands in a harsh whisper. "Jesus, the last time you did that, you broke your damn arm."

He's talking about when I was fifteen and got grounded; I tried to run away, but when I got out onto the ledge, I slipped on some ice and fell. Needless to say, my sentence was lengthened—even though I was in severe pain.

"I'll go downstairs," Edward offers, bending over to pick up his clothes. "I'll stand by the kitchen and keep your father distracted. When the time is right, I'll wave you down—just, keep to the wall and watch out for that one step. If he catches us, we're dead."

I smile up at him. "You make it sound like we actually did something wrong here."

"We did enough to give your father reason to jump to conclusions."

Clutching his jeans and T-shirt in his hands, he looks down at me expectantly, and it takes me a little longer than normal to realize that he wants us to get dressed. "Oh, shit. Sorry." I stand up and go through my bag for a fresh pair of jeans and a long-sleeved shirt, then I head over to my dresser, keeping my back to him, and quickly pull them on. When I hear the soft rustle of the sheet falling to the floor, I can't help but adjust the small mirror on the dresser and take a tiny peek. Unfortunately, I only get a brief glance of his ass when he drops the sheet and pulls his jeans on before quickly doing them up and yanking his black shirt over his head.

"Okay, I'll go down first," Edward says, running his long fingers through his hair, and I turn around as though I'm completely innocent, running my brush through my hair and throwing it up into a ponytail. "You stay up here and watch for my signal."

I nod once in understanding as we walk toward the door, and before Edward opens it quietly, he looks down at me, his eyes briefly glancing down at the very slight view of my cleavage. Seeing this thrills me, but I also find it a little bizarre. There's something in his eyes—something that disappears as quickly as it had appeared—that suggests maybe he's attracted to me. I shake the thought off, because, once again, he's my father's best friend. There's no way this could ever happen.

Before Edward takes his first step down the stairs, he turns around. There's less than a foot between us, and that look is in his eyes again as they lock on mine. "Bella," he breathes softly.

I swallow thickly, my head bobbing up and down. "Y-yes?"

My breathing picks up, and my heart begins hammering away against my ribs like it's trying to escape. He's so close that I can smell him, and I begin to think that maybe he's going to kiss me when he licks his lips. "For what it's worth, I'm terribly sorry for what happened this morning."

While I believe his words to be true, I can't tell if he's sorry about what happened, or if he's sorry because of the connection we share: my dad. Forcing a smile to my face, I shrug. "It's okay," I assure him. "I think it's safe to say that what happened wasn't entirely your fault."

"Regardless," he argues. "I am sorry."

Without another word, Edward heads downstairs, and I watch as he takes his position in the kitchen doorway. "Smells good down here, Charlie." He leans against the wall and quickly glances over his shoulder.

"Thanks, Ed. I hope you're in the mood for bacon and eggs. I'm afraid it's all I know how to make," Daddy replies with a laugh. "If you decide to stick around for the weekend, Bella should be home sometime today, and she's a master in the kitchen."

Edward shifts, and even though I can't see his face, I can tell he's nervous. "I might just take you up on that. God knows I don't want to go back to Seattle until Tanya gets her shit out of the condo."

So, Tanya's moving out, and Edward only came here to give her the time and space to do that. I wonder what happened...other than her being a stone-cold bitch.

I'm so wrapped up in wondering what went down between the two of them that I almost miss Edward waving me on. I immediately press my back to the wall and carefully make my way downstairs. Once I'm on the main floor, Edward shoots me a brief smile and then returns his eyes to the kitchen. "Can I give you a hand, Charlie?"

I quietly disengage the lock and slip outside, pulling the door closed as quietly as possible. My heart is pounding like a jackhammer, and I lean against the house for a minute to catch my breath before I make my presence known. As I inhale and exhale deeply, I look out over the front yard and notice, for the first time, that Edward's car is parked in the driveway. "Huh," I grunt in surprise as I pop a stick of gum in my mouth to mask my morning breath until I can sneak back upstairs.

Once my heart and breathing regulate, I steel my resolve and open the front door. "Hello?" I call out. "Daddy? I'm home!"

From the kitchen, I hear a set of heavy footsteps, and then Daddy appears. The elation I feel when I see him isn't for show; it's been months since we've seen each other, and this reunion is no different than any other.

"Bells!" he exclaims, rushing forward and pulling me into his arms.

Throwing my arms around his neck, I giggle as he lifts me off the ground and squeezes me tightly. "Hey, Dad." He sets me down, and I arch an eyebrow as I take in his features. "Still rockin' the porn 'stache, I see,"

"Easy, now," he mock-threatens. "I'll have you know, the ladies love it."

I shudder, but also fail at suppressing a laugh. "Ew, Dad. Anytime you want to quit bragging about being a ladies' man, you just let me know."

Dad smirks, making the outer corners of his eyes wrinkle slightly. "Don't hold your breath." I laugh, and before I can say anything else, he wraps an arm around me and leads me to the kitchen. "You hungry? I wasn't expecting you until later this afternoon."

"Oh, yeah, Jess wanted to come in early."

"Well, I'm glad. We very rarely see each other, and this gives us a little more time together." He pauses, stopping to look behind us at the front door. "Where are your things?"


"Oh...uh..." I begin to panic, but then I realize that I don't necessarily have to lie, I only have to omit a few key points. "Actually, Jess and I got in last night. I stopped by here, but no one was home, so I dropped off my things before Jess and I went to a party."

Dad accepts this, and we continue on toward the kitchen. When we step through the threshold, I find Edward at the stove, flipping bacon in the frying pan. "Look who came home early," Dad announces, drawing Edward's attention.

"Hey, Bella. Long time, no see."

Oh, he's hilarious. I fight back a smile and shake my head. "Edward. It's nice to see you again. How are things?"

"Better now that you're home," he replies. "I was afraid your dad was going to attempt to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year."

"Mmm," I hum, leaning over the island counter to watch Edward cook. I reach out and grab a piece of already-cooked bacon off the plate between us and take a bite. "Beer and spaghetti with sauce from a jar. Sounds heavenly."

"Hey, now," Daddy speaks up from behind me. "I'll have you both know that I'd have at least gone out and bought a pre-cooked chicken or something."

The three of us laugh, and I almost forget about the morning's events—almost; every time I look over at Edward, I find him glancing at me in some way or another, and the intensity of his brief stare is enough to make my entire body blush.

Before breakfast is ready, I excuse myself to use the bathroom and quickly brush my teeth. By the time I come back downstairs, Dad and Edward have set the table and are just bringing the food over. When we've all taken our seats and dished up, we talk about tomorrow's dinner. "I can head into the market this afternoon while you're at work and grab everything I need."

Dad looks up at me, looking apologetic. "I guess now's not a good time to tell you your truck's dead, is it?"

"What?" I demand sadly. "When did this happen?"

"About a week and a half ago. I went out to start it up, and it just died," he responds. "Jake came out to take a look, but there was nothing he could do that wasn't going to cost a small fortune, and I figured that it would be more cost efficient to buy a newer vehicle for the amount it would cost to fix the beast."

It sucks; I really loved that truck.

"Okay, I guess I can bus it. It shouldn't be too difficult to bring everything ba—"

"Why don't I drive you?" Edward interrupts, surprising me. "I mean, I have nothing to do this afternoon, so if you don't mind me tagging along, I could give you a ride there and back."

I can't look him in the eye, because after countless fantasies and then this morning, his offer to "give me a ride" stirs up a world of inappropriate images. "Thank you, Edward. That would be great."

After breakfast, I offer to clean up, and Daddy heads upstairs to put his uniform on. I've just begun washing the dishes when Edward appears beside me with a dishtowel in his hand. I hand him the first dish, and when his fingers brush mine, a spark of desire shoots through me, settling deep in my stomach and inching its way down below. With a shaky breath, I look up to see that he looks just as stunned by this innocent touch. The only difference is shame fills his eyes before he tears them away from me, while I let my imagination run wild and visualize pushing him up against the counter and having my way with him.

"Okay," Dad says behind us, startling me. "I'm headed into the station. Bells, I'll leave the money for the groceries on the table. Don't forget the pies."

My shoulders slump, and I shake my head. "Dad, I'm not buying the pies. I'll make them like Gran used to."

"No," Dad argues. "You're already going to be busy cooking. Just buy them, it's fine."

"Forget it. I'm making them. End. Of. Story."

Shaking his head, he turns and heads away from the kitchen after dropping a stack of cash on the table and mutters, "So damn stubborn."

"I wonder where I got that from!" I playfully shout after him. "Have a good day!"

The front door closes after his laugh, and I turn to Edward, leaning my hip against the counter and crossing my arms. "So, Dad wants pumpkin, but what's your favourite kind of pie?"

His eyes nearly bug out of his head before I realize my unintended innuendo. I smile and try to laugh my way through it as I backpedal—something I seem to be doing a lot of this morning. "Clearly, that's not what I meant. Wow, I'm really on a roll today, huh?"

"It's fine," Edward says, his green eyes returning to their normal size. "I've apparently turned into a dirty old man who pounces on young girls while sleeping and reads a little too deeply into everything that's said."

"Who's to say you did the pouncing?" I inquire teasingly. "If my dream was as real as it felt, I think it was me that instigated this whole thing—and, for the record, you're not old."

His eyes fall to the dishtowel in his hands, and he dries them roughly. "Old enough, Bella." There's something about his tone that throws me off; I don't sense shame behind his statement, but...disappointment?

No, I tell myself, feeling a little silly. You're reading too much into this. There's no way that Edward Cullen, your father's best friend, looks at you in that way.

"So, when did you want to head to the store?" Edward asks, changing the topic entirely.

"Um, let me shower quickly, and then we can go any time after that?" I suggest.

Edward nods. "Sure. I'd actually like to grab a shower, too. You go first."

"Cool. Thanks." I head upstairs and dig through my bag for my toiletries, grab a towel from the hall closet, and start the shower. As the bathroom fills with a warm fog, I undress, pull my hair from the ponytail, and step beneath the warm spray of water. Sighing in contentment, I realize just how much I missed the shower here; the one in my off-campus apartment has absolutely no water pressure.

While I would love nothing more than to stay in the warm water, I don't want to use up all of the hot water before Edward can have a turn, so I shut the water off after washing my hair and body. After quickly drying off, I get dressed and then comb my hair, leaving it down to dry. When I arrive downstairs, I find Edward on the living room couch, reading the paper.

"Okay, it's all yours," I tell him, climbing over the back of the couch and flopping down next to him, cross-legged. My knee brushes his thigh, and his gaze snaps to mine. Before he can make a big deal out of it, I smile and snatch the paper out of his hands. "Whatcha reading?"

"The, uh, headlines," he stammers, standing up. "I won't be long."

"Cool," I reply with a bright smile as I flip to the crossword. "I'll be puzzling."

"That you are, Bella...among many things," he quips with a laugh, and I narrow my eyes.

Pursing my lips to suppress a smile, I tear a page off the paper and crumple it, throwing it at him. "Funny. Go shower before I take the keys to your precious Lexus and go to the market myself."

"All right, all right," Edward surrenders, holding his hands in front of him as he backs out of the living room. "No need to resort to grand theft auto."

While Edward showers, I play around with the crossword, skipping the ones that stump me with the intention of returning to them after I get a few more answers. I get all but six done when I hear Edward descend the stairs, and I put the paper on the coffee table and stand up.

"You ready?" he asks, running his fingers through his water-darkened hair. My eyes roam over his upper body, appreciating the fit of his black T-shirt and how low his jeans hang on his hips. With his hand still in his hair, the hem of his shirt rises, giving me a glimpse of his lower abs and hipbones.

"Mmmhmm," I hum, biting the inside of my cheek lightly; it's ridiculous just how attractive he is.

The drive to the market starts off quiet, so I reach out and turn the radio on, and I'm just about to ask him about work when his phone rings. I watch him pick it up from his console and scowl before dropping it back down.

"Tanya?" I ask carefully, not wanting to upset him.

Edward sighs heavily and grips the wheel tightly with both hands. "She's relentless."

I want to ask him about it and let him know that I'm here if he wants to talk, but why would he want to talk about his marital strife with a girl half his age?

When we arrive at the store, Edward pushes the cart while I pile everything we'll need in it. He eventually tells me that he's a fan of apple pie, so I grab some fresh apples and all of the ingredients I'll need for the desserts, and we head over to the poultry section for the bird. It's slim pickings, but that's not surprising considering it's the day before Thanksgiving.

"Is it just you, me, and Dad?" I ask Edward as I look through the six turkeys they have left.

"Actually, I think he was going to invite Billy and his boy, as well as Sue and her kids," Edward informs me, so I grab the biggest turkey and put it in the cart before leading the way to the check out. After paying, Edward and I take our groceries to the car.

"Hey, do you mind if we stop for some wine?" I ask Edward as he pulls out of the parking lot. "I'd like a couple bottles for dinner tomorrow night, but I also enjoy a glass or two while I'm baking."

"Sure. We'll stop on the way back to the house."

We stop at the liquor store on the corner, and Edward and I go in and part ways; he's decided to grab some beer for him and Dad for after dinner, and I go to select the wine. While I haven't been twenty-one for long, I've been allowed the occasional glass of wine on special occasions, so I know what I like. Because I'm not sure who prefers red and who prefers white, I grab a couple bottles of each and head for the check out. Edward is already there, and it looks as though he's waiting for me before he pays.

"Oh, no. I'll pay for the wine," I tell him. "It's fine."

"Bella, don't be ridiculous," he orders with a smile. "Just put the damn wine on the counter and let me take care of it. It's the least I could do considering your dad's letting me stay for the weekend and...well, after last night."

The clerk looks between us, almost knowingly, and I feel my cheeks warm as I set the four bottles on the counter so he can ring them through. Edward is quick to pay, and we gather our things and head back to my Dad's place.

It's almost two in the afternoon when we arrive back at the house, and I set the turkey in the sink to thaw entirely so I can put it in the oven first thing in the morning. Before I get started on the pies, I go to the cupboard for a wine glass. "Edward?" I call out, and he appears moments later. "Would you like a glass of wine?"

"I'd love one, thanks," he accepts, leaning on the island where my ingredients for the piecrusts are scattered haphazardly. "You need a hand?"

Stunned, I turn my head to him as I pull the glasses from the shelf. "Really?" He nods. "Okay. Yeah." I pour us each a glass of red, and we each take a sip before starting on the piecrusts.

Conversation comes a little easier as we drink, measure, and mix together. We're on our second glass of wine, and the alcohol warms my blood, making my limbs begin to tingle as it travels through me. When I tell Edward about school, he seems truly interested, especially when I tell him I want to pursue a career in journalism.

"Well, you always did have a knack for sticking your nose in other people's business," he teases. "This time, you'll actually get paid for it."

My mouth falls open, and I stare at him wide-eyed as I scoop up some of the flour from the counter and toss it at him playfully. "Was that really called for?" I demand with a laugh as he brings his arms up to shield himself from my second attack.

Edward's own laugh fills the kitchen, and he retaliates, picking up a pinch of flour and tossing it at me. The dough and wine are forgotten as we begin flinging bits of flour at each other. My laughter joins his, and I toss more in his direction; his hair and shirt are covered in flour dust, so I can only imagine the state I'm in.

When Edward side-steps the island, I back away, holding my hands in front of me in surrender. "Wait," I tell him through a fit of giggles as he gathers more flour in his hand. "You don't want to do this."

"Don't I?" he demands, his voice low and his eyes locked on mine. As he approaches, I not only see that he's having as much fun as I am, but there's something else in his eyes that reminds me of earlier. It's a combination of a few things, but the most dominant emotion I can see is desire.

When the doorbell rings, I move to duck around him. "I'll get it!" I exclaim, sliding around him. Because he hasn't left much room between the end of the island and the wall, my body winds up brushing up against him, and my hands instinctively reach out to graze his waist as I slip by, leaving two floury handprints that I don't think twice about as I dash to the front door, laughing.

"When I get back in there, I expect that kitchen to be clean and my wine glass to be full!" I'm not at all serious, and he knows it, too, because he laughs loudly as I yank the door open and meet the ice-blue stare of our visitor. I inhale sharply, choking on my laughter. "T-Tanya."

She smiles, but it's not warm and friendly. "Bella, how nice to see you again." Her eyes move up and down, and I suddenly feel self-conscious. I look over at the mirror by the front door to see that I've got flour all in my dark hair, and my face and shirt are covered with it.

"Bella?" Edward calls from the kitchen. "Who is i—" He doesn't get the chance to finish his sentence before he's joined us. "What the fuck are you doing here?" he demands angrily.

Tanya looks between the two of us, all covered in flour, and I know what she must be thinking—especially when her gaze falls to Edward's waist and sees my handprints there. Her eyes widen, and she looks at me with a very pointed and piercing stare. "What exactly have I walked in on?" She looks back to Edward. "Little young, don't you think?"

"Bella, go back to the kitchen. You don't need to take this."

"Oh," Tanya interjects, taking an uninvited step into the house. "Actually, I think she does. You think you can screw my husband?"

"I-I..." I stammer nervously.

"Bella, go," Edward hisses, grabbing me by the elbow and gently pulling me back. "Tanya, go back to Seattle and finish getting your shit out of the condo."

Not wanting to intrude, I rush back to the kitchen and flop down in one of the dining room chairs. While Edward is trying to keep his voice low, Tanya does anything but; she wants to make as big a production as possible—it's not in her nature to do otherwise.

"So this is why you left? So you could play house with a girl half your age?"

"Go home, Tanya—wherever that is now." I can tell Edward is trying to remain calm, but I can hear the anger slowly beginning to escalate; I've known him long enough and heard enough of their fights to know when he's close to his breaking point.

Tanya scoffs. "You can't really be willing to throw away thirteen years of marriage for her."

"Not for her," Edward assures her. "But because you couldn't stop sleeping around!"

I slap my hands over my mouth to contain a gasp; she cheated on him? Why the motherfuck would anyone cheat on him?

"And you'd throw away thirteen years of marriage for one minor indiscretion?"

"Minor?" Edward barks out a laugh. "One? Four different men, Tanya. Four. I'd say that classifies as a little more than a minor indiscretion."

"But, Ed—"

"No!" he shouts, startling even me. "Go back to Seattle and pack your shit. I want you gone before I get back on Tuesday."

"But, I love you," she tries to bargain sweetly, but even I can see through it; she's so damn transparent.

"No, you love my money. Now go!"

The door slams, and I stand up and turn around just as Edward returns. "I'm sorry you had to hear that. I didn't think she'd show up here."

I shake my head and take a few slow steps toward him, almost like I'm afraid of spooking him. "Don't be sorry. I'm sorry. I'm sure this couldn't have looked good."

"Like I give a shit how it looked to her," he said, his eyes showing his pain. "She sure as fuck didn't care how I would feel, so if she thinks something is going on between us, so be it." I can see that he's hurting, and when the rims of his eyes begin to turn red, I cross the kitchen and wrap my arms around his neck without another thought. He welcomes my embrace, wrapping his strong arms around my waist and holding me close. "I'm sorry your wife is such a bitch." This makes Edward laugh, his chest rising and falling against mine. "I mean, I'm not sorry like I think it's my fault—she was a bitch long before this."

"That she was," Edward concurs with a chuckle, releasing his hold on me a little. His hands remain on my waist, and mine slide down to his chest as we look each other in the eye. "I'm just sorry I didn't see it until now."

"Love is blind," I tell him softly, my fingers curling into the fabric of his shirt without my brain's permission to do so. He's so close that I can feel his heart begin to race, and the warmth of his body against mine makes me tremble slightly.

"I'm beginning to get that." The low rasp in his voice excites me, the gravelly sound of it vibrating deep to my bones, and his fingers curl against my back, holding me closer. "Bella..."

"Yes?" I ask breathlessly as he lowers his face to mine slowly. We're mere inches apart, and I mentally will him to come closer.

"We shouldn't..." The conflict is back in his eyes, but the fact that he refuses to let go of me bodes well for me experiencing what it would be like to kiss Edward Cullen—correction: consciously kiss Edward Cullen.

"Maybe not," I whisper, bringing one of my hands up and stroking his jaw in an effort to coax him closer. "But why fight it?"

My entire body hums and vibrates with anticipation as he draws near, and when his nose brushes mine, I inhale a shuddering breath.

"Tell me to stop," he pleads, his lips ghosting mine with every word.

"I can't," I confess, locking eyes with him again. "I've wanted this for so long."

This seems to shock him, but not in a bad way. Instead, he smirks and shrugs one shoulder. "Well then, I guess that makes two of us."

Before I can declare my own surprise, his lips are on mine, working fervently as his tongue sweeps over my bottom lip. Kissing Edward is better than I ever could have imagined, and he tastes like a heavenly combination of salty and sweet as we deepen our kiss, our tongues mingling and sliding with one another. His strong arms tighten around me more, and I thrust my fingers into his hair to hold him close. With a deep groan, he walks us toward the island until my back is against the edge, and his hands creep down my ass and grip it firmly, getting ready to lift me up.

Then the front door opens.

"Bells?" Daddy calls out, forcing me and Edward to part like the Red Sea. "Edward?"

"I'm so sorry," Edward rushes to apologize, and I shake my head, silently telling him he has no reason to.

When I see that my handprints are still clearly all over Edward's shirt, I look down at my own shirt and begin to swat at it frantically in an effort to get rid of any incriminating evidence. Edward does the same, and we're successful in hiding most of it when Dad enters the kitchen.

He looks between Edward and I, one of his eyebrows arched suspiciously, and his eyes widen. "What the hell happened here?"

My heart begins to race, and I can't seem to get enough oxygen as panic takes a firm hold of me and squeezes. The room appears to be getting darker around the outer corners of my vision, and my chest feels tight with every breath I take. How are we going to get ourselves out of this? I look to Edward for help, but he seems just as stunned as me—fearful for his life, even.

"It looks like the bag of flour exploded in here."

"Oh," I breathe with relief, my heart slowly returning to a normal pace. "Edward was being a smartass, and I felt the strong urge to throw flour at him. Little did I know he would retaliate."

"Like I would just sit there and take it," he ribs playfully.

Dad eyes us suspiciously again, but before he can figure everything out with his super-cop powers of investigation, I smile and get back to the forgotten dough. "So, Daddy, what are you doing home so early?"

"Turns out one of my men isn't 'feeling well,' so I have to go and work the graveyard tonight, too," Dad explains, and I glance quickly at Edward who refuses to meet my eyes. "I just stopped by to grab something to eat for dinner tonight and to let you guys know I won't be home until late."

"Okay," I reply, pressing the last crust into the pan and brushing my hands on the dishtowel to get rid of the flour. "Well, let me make you something for dinner then."

Before he can turn down my offer, I begin rifling through the fridge looking for something to make while he and Edward talk about Tanya showing up. Dad seems pissed that she would show up here after what she did to Edward.

"I think you need to go out and find some hot, young thing to help you forget all about Tanya." Shocked, stunned, and just a little bit horrified that my father would suggest something like this, I choke and sputter, just barely missing the tip of my finger with the knife as I cut Dad's ham and cheese sandwich in half.

"Bells?" Dad inquires, preparing to stand from the table.

Holding up one hand, I clear my throat, and my face feels like it's on fire. "I'm fine. I just never would have figured you as the type to suggest something like that."

Dad grumbles gruffly. "The situation more than calls for it."

Looking back down at the countertop, I let a small smile form. "I, um, actually don't think it's such a bad idea." This time, it's Edward's turn to choke and sputter on the sip of wine he's just taken. "I'm just saying, if you're lucky enough to find someone who'd be willing to help you out with something like that, then why the hell not?"

Dad seems happy that I've taken his side—though, I suppose if he knew I was really suggesting that Edward forget about the Ice-Bitch with me, he might kick Edward out of the house and lock me in my room for all eternity. I guess I'll just have to keep that little factoid to myself.

"Okay, Dad, here's your dinner. You sticking around for a bit longer?"

Dad looks at his watch and sighs. "Can't. You two have a good night, and I'll see you in the morning." He takes his lunch bag from me and kisses the top of my head. "Sleep well, Bells." Then he turns to Edward. "Sorry, but now that Bella's here, you'll have to take the couch."

Edward smiles, but it looks a little forced. "Figured as much. Thanks again for letting me stay until everything gets sorted out."

"Of course." Dad says one more goodbye to us both, and then heads for the door. Edward and I remain silent until we hear the front door close and Dad's cruiser back out of the driveway.

"More wine?" I offer, not sure what else I should say.

Edward only nods, choosing to remain silent as he brings his glass to me for a refill. After he's got his wine, he looks at me apologetically. "I'm going to go hang out in the living room for a bit so you can get everything done."

"Edward," I begin to protest, but it's no use; he leaves me alone in the kitchen. I debate whether or not to go after him, but I figure he needs a minute to himself. With everything that happened today, he's had an emotionally tumultuous afternoon.

The silence in the kitchen is deafening, so I decide to turn on the radio while I finish the pies. The next hour and a half goes by pretty quickly, and the kitchen is spotless by the time the pies are done in the oven. After I take them out to cool, I grab the bottle of wine and my glass and head into the living room to find Edward sitting in silence on the couch.

"Hey," I greet quietly, walking around the couch to sit next to him. "You okay?"

He acknowledges me with a small smile. "Yeah. Fine."

Things between us seem awkward—but I suppose that's to be expected after the day we've had—and we remain in uncomfortable silence for a while, both of us drinking our wine and refilling our glasses a couple of times. I'm starting to feel a little lightheaded as the alcohol takes effect, and I'm unsure what to say to break the silence.

Thankfully, Edward speaks first. "Bella, what your father suggested...well, that still doesn't make what happened okay." He rubs his hand over his face roughly before tugging it through his hair. "God, you're the daughter of my best friend. I've known him for over thirty years—I was there the day your mother gave birth to you, for fuck's sake."

I can feel his stress rolling off him in waves as he overthinks this. "Edward"—his eyes rise to mine—"I know that this wasn't something that either one of us expected, but you can't deny that there's something here."

"It's still wrong."

My arms and legs feel weightless and tingly from the wine as I inch closer to him on the couch, getting close enough that my knee brushes his thigh. "Is it, though? I'm twenty-one—an adult. You wouldn't be doing anything wrong or untoward. I want this—have for so long—and you said you thought about it, too..." I pause for a second, biting the inside of my cheek as I prepare my next move. "Can I ask you something?" He nods once, seeming unsure. "How long have you thought about me this way?"

"Too long," he replies softly, reaching out and placing his hand over mine. My gaze shifts to where his thumb moves over the back of my hand, and I sigh as the sensation causes goosebumps to travel up my arm and neck. "Since the last time I saw you two years ago." He laughs once, humoured by something still unspoken. "It was Thanksgiving, actually, and you had brought that boy home...Felix. I hated him—for reasons that didn't make sense to me then."

"Uh huh," I whisper, turning my hand over beneath his and letting our fingers naturally thread together.

"It was only after you left to go back to school that I realized I wanted you more than I should." I look up from our hands to find him staring intensely at me.

"Okay," I respond. "Well, I'm not with him anymore, and you're a free agent now...so, let's just give in."

"What about your—?"

I press my finger to his lips to stop him from saying the one thing that could kill the mood. "We'll worry about that later. Who's to say this goes beyond today—beyond right now? Why can't this just be about two people giving in to their impulses?"

"Y-you'd be okay with that?" Edward asks, uncertainty still lacing his velvety voice. "You'd be okay with a casual tryst with a man twice your age?"

"This age thing really bothers you, doesn't it?"

He looks perplexed. "It doesn't bother you?"

I shake my head. "Not in the slightest. It might if this were five years ago, but right now? I couldn't care less." I lean in close, our noses less than an inch from touching. "No one has to know, if that's what you're worried about."

"You're sure this is what you want?" The desire in his eyes tells me what he wants; he just wants to make sure it's one hundred percent consensual.

Running my hand over his jaw, I laugh breathily and brush the tip of my nose over his. "I wouldn't be throwing myself at you if I didn't."

The awkward air in the room suddenly dissipates as Edward leans in the rest of the way and presses his lips to mine. I whimper, releasing his hand from mine and bring it up to mirror the position of the other along his chiseled jaw. Maybe it's due to the bottle of wine coursing through our veins, but things between us escalate quickly, and Edward's hands ensnare my hips, pulling me onto his lap. Now that I'm straddling his thighs, I can feel his erection pressing firmly against my pussy, and I shift my hips forward to help ease the steady pulse of arousal.

"God, Bella," he moans into my mouth as I shift my hips again. "We shouldn't do this here..."

"Then take me upstairs," I tell him, throwing my head back so he can kiss the length of my throat.

He groans, gripping my ass and standing up. I wrap my legs around his waist as he makes his way for the stairs, and when we reach the top, I pull his face back to mine and kiss him deeply, my tongue seeking his out voraciously. He kicks my bedroom door closed and lowers us to my bed, pressing himself firmly between my legs. This time, it's his hips that move, thrusting against me and making my skin tingle and ache with pure ecstasy.

My fantasies of Edward and me locked in a similar embrace don't even compare to how his hands feel moving from my ass and beneath my shirt. His hands are warm as they run up the length of my stomach and toward my breasts. When he palms them both, my back arches off the bed as much as it can beneath him. I mewl into his fervent kiss as he pulls the cups to my bra down, exposing my hardened nipples to his dexterous fingers.

"Take it off," I command breathlessly. "All of it."

Edward pushes himself to his knees, and I sit up, lifting my arms as he removes my shirt and tosses it to the floor. While he removes his own, I reach behind me and unclasp my bra, tossing it to the floor, too. My eyes move over his bare chest, and I bring my hands up to touch him for the first time, letting them glide slowly down his body and through the light hair under his belly button that disappears behind his jeans. My fingers rest on the buckle of his belt, and I look up at him, giving him the opportunity to stop this if he's still uncertain. All I see is how much he wants this—needs it, even—and I slip the leather from the buckle and work the button of his jeans free before lowering the zipper carefully.

He removes himself from between my legs and stands next to my single bed, slipping his hands into his jeans at his hips and sliding them down. Naturally, having seen the rest of him already, I can't help but focus on his cock. Now, I've seen a few in my lifetime, and while this one looks no different—maybe a little thicker and longer than some—I think the fact that it's Edward's is what has me so transfixed.

It isn't until he repositions himself between my thighs that I'm able to tear my gaze away from it, meeting his intense gaze again. As he lowers his lips to mine, his fingers dip behind the waist of my jeans and slip the metal button through the eyelet before he pulls them slowly down my legs.

By the time we're both naked, I'm breathing pretty heavily, my pulse is racing, and I'm fighting the urge to wrap my legs around him and pull him to me. While I've had plenty of healthy relationships and enjoyed sex over the years, I've never quite felt this way. There's something about Edward that excites me—that calls to me like no other man ever has.

He settles between my legs again, and I can feel the tip of his erection resting against my sensitive flesh. My legs move up instinctively, my heels digging lightly into his ass and coaxing him forward, when all of a sudden, his eyes widen, and he freezes.

"What is it?" I ask, worried that he's having second thoughts. "Did you...change your mind?"

"What?" He sounds incredulous, and his eyebrows furrow in disbelief. "Not at all. It's just...I wasn't expecting something like this to happen. I don't have any condoms."

"I'm on the pill," I assure him with a smile, trying again to pull him forward.

He remains unmoving. "And my wife just cheated on me."

Shit just got serious. "So this is one of those scenarios where 'no glove, no love' really does apply, huh?"

He groans, clenching his eyes shut. "I'm afraid so."

An idea starts forming in my mind. It's a little messed up, but I'm feeling pretty desperate, and I don't think Edward would object as long as I didn't go into too many details. I bite the bullet and decide to tell him. "I think I know where some are. Wait right here."

The knowledge of what I'm about to do may stay with me to my grave, but I shove it from my mind and quickly run into my father's room. I'm in luck—and equally disturbed—to find what looks like a pretty new and open box of condoms in the drawer, and when I reemerge with the all-important foil in hand, Edward smiles, reaching out and pulling me back to him…

"Thank god," he exhales as he rips the robe from my body.

I lie back on the bed, propping myself up on my elbows so I can watch him roll the rubber over his stiff length. Once it's in place, he repositions himself between my thighs, his hands moving from my knees to my thighs and pulling me toward him until we are aligned. Bringing one of his hands inward, his thumb brushes my swollen clit, and my hips buck against his touch.

He wastes no time easing his way inside of me until his hips rest flush against the back of my thighs. The sensation of him inside makes me moan, and I reach above me to grip the headboard as he pulls back and thrusts forward a little harder. Every muscle in my body begins to tighten in preparation of my release. I'm so lost in the moment that I don't notice him lower his face to my tits until his mouth is on one and his hand is cupping the other. He pinches one, and sucks, licks, and nips the other, bringing me closer to my orgasm. His hips move faster, forcing the waves of my release to crash down all around me until I'm crying out his name. Bringing my hands back to his shoulders, I coax him back up my body to kiss him deeply, and his hips stutter and jerk against me, thrusting deep inside me once more as he comes before collapsing on top of me.

We lie in silence, basking in what just happened, before I look down at him. "So," I say quietly. "Any regrets?"

Edward chuckles, raising his head and kissing my sternum. "Not a fucking one."

"Me either."

The rest of the weekend leaves Edward and me with very little time to talk or even see if it would be something we'd maybe like to do again. Actually, I know I would like to, and from some of the glances he throws my way, I suspect he would too. Unfortunately, we're never alone long enough to find out. It seems like he looks for any excuse to be alone with me, though: asking to help prepare dinner, offering to carve the turkey while I make the gravy, assisting me with the cleanup and dishes—but we're constantly interrupted by someone. It's frustrating, and I think Edward would agree.

Sunday comes much faster than I'd like, and I'm packing my things when there's a knock on my bedroom door. "Your ride going to be here soon?" Edward asks, sounding somewhat forlorn.

"She will," I reply quietly, unable to look at him.

"Bella," he begins, stepping farther into my room and sitting on my bed next to my bag. "Look at me."

I do as he asks, but only after I'm able to keep the tremble from my chin. I try to tell myself it's ridiculous to feel this broken up inside after sleeping with him once, but it's a futile attempt; I've fallen for him, hard and fast.

"This weekend," he begins, taking my hands in his, "was unbelievable. I just wanted you to know that, and that I'd like to think if the circumstances were different, we might—"

My eyes burn with tears I refuse to let fall, and I stop him. "Please, don't. I don't think I can handle hearing…that." I pause and offer him a smile. "This weekend was just as amazing for me, you know." Inhaling deeply, I pull one of my hands free, cradle his face, and lean forward to rest my forehead to his. "No regrets," I whisper, kissing him softly before a car horn blares from outside my window.

After saying goodbye, I grab my bag and head for the stairs, leaving Edward on my bed and not looking back. Dad's already at work, having said goodbye to me that morning after breakfast, so I am able to keep moving.

The three-hour drive back is quiet—regardless of how often Jessica tries to get me to talk about my weekend. She's my best friend, and I would give anything to tell her about Edward, but I promised him I wouldn't tell a soul. When she asks what's up, I feed her some line about not feeling well, and she immediately drops her line of questioning.

"Do you want me to come up and stay with you for a bit?" Jess asks as she parks in front of my building. "I could make you some chicken soup."

Smiling, I shake my head. "Thanks, but I think I'll unpack and crash in front of the TV."

"Okay, I'll see you tomorrow, then."

I say goodnight to Jess, grab my things from the backseat of her car, and head inside. As I climb the stairs to the fourth floor, I can't help but think of my time with Edward. To know that my feelings for him weren't unrequited—even if there was no real future for us—was all that mattered.

After locking my door, I wander through my studio apartment and toss my dirty clothes in my hamper before dropping the duffle bag in my closet where it belongs. My stomach rumbles, so I head the twenty feet to my kitchen and look through the cupboards and fridge for something to eat. Finding nothing, I decide to head out and grab some take-out from the restaurant on the corner.

The sight that greets me as I pull open the door surprises me, and I wonder if I'm dreaming, because there's no way this is real…

"Edward?" I ask in disbelief.

He smiles and holds up a large brown paper bag. "So, I was sort of in the neighbourhood and figured you probably hadn't eaten since breakfast, so I got dinner for two and came right over."

"H-how did you get my address?" I stammer.

"Your dad's phone…" He pauses, furrowing his brow nervously. "That's not creepy, is it?"

I laugh. "Maybe a little, but I think I can overlook it." I take the food from him and nod him inside as I turn toward the kitchen and set it down. "Not that I'm not happy to see you, but what exactly are you doing here?"

"Honestly? Watching you walk away was the hardest thing I've ever had to do." He pauses, pulling me into his arms. "I know I'm not exactly in the best situation right now with my separation, but I need you to know that I've never felt this way about anyone or anything before now."

"It's probably just my youth," I quip, making Edward laugh. "It makes you feel young again."

"Regardless, I couldn't just give it up." He pushes my hair away from my face, his fingers lingering below my ear.

Even though I'm sure that now is not the time, I have to ask. "And what about my dad? If he finds out…"

Edward shakes his head and smiles warmly. "Why don't we worry about that when the time comes? Let's just enjoy right now."

I nod, and not another word is spoken between us as he lowers his lips to mine, carries me to my bed—our food forgotten for the moment—and makes love to me for the next two hours.

Yes, while there were several reasons that this was never meant to work, there are so many more that prove it can.