AN: Hello everyone!
This was my entry to the Taste of the Forbidden Anonymous Contest and I'm delighted that it got an Honourable Mention from the Public Vote!
If you haven't checked out the contest entries already, there are some amazing stories and the winners definitely deserved their titles!
I will be continuing this as a short multi-chapter story, maybe six or seven chapters. I've split the original one-shot to make the first two chapters, just to improve readability.
I'll try to update quite regularly but I've got another active story that is near completion, so I can't give you a precise posting schedule, although the next chapter should be up within the next two days or so.
Thank you so much for reading and I hope you enjoy it!
Disclaimer: The Twilight series and its original characters belong to Stephenie Meyer. I'm just borrowing them for a while, making them British and making them do naughty things! This plot belongs to me, British-isms and all.
Lastly, I have to thank TwiMarti, aka Lynda, who beta'd 'Just One Night' for the contest.
Edward Cullen looked up from the sales desk to see a stunning brunette in her late 20s standing in front of him. His groin tightened as he took in her huge, dark brown eyes, long, dark chestnut brown wavy tresses, creamy skin, full and pert bouncy rack, tiny waist and endlessly long legs. She was perfection wrapped in a simple, chic navy blue sundress printed with a fashionable Union Jack across the bust and Chanel sunglasses pushed into her hair.
"Err...hi." He stuttered out, before scrambling to his feet. He couldn't remember the last time he'd felt such overwhelming desire. "Welcome to Green Park Music. How may I help you?" He felt his face grow hot as her deep chocolate eyes swept over his tall, broad and lean frame. He ran his hand through his floppy coppery hair nervously.
"I'm sorry to bother you, but I'm lost. I'm trying to get to Mount Street," the brunette said in a soft, slightly breathy voice. "I was intending to use the sat nav app on my mobile phone, but the battery died." She smiled at him sheepishly and then bit her lip, and Edward's semi suddenly went full mast as waves of desire came over him.
"No problem." Edward gritted his teeth against the almost painful hardness and drew a map for her on a piece of scrap paper.
"Thank you so much!" the brunette exclaimed when he was done. "I'd have been wandering around for hours if it wasn't for you!" She suddenly leant forward and kissed him on the cheek.
Edward was assaulted by her scent. Strawberries, freesia, sun-cream, and some other magic. He'd never smelled anything or anyone so irresistible. He gripped the edge of the desk so hard his knuckles went white. She glanced down, and her cheeks coloured as she spotted the band of gold around his left ring finger. Her smile disappeared for a second before returning.
"You're welcome," he almost whispered as she moved away.
She grinned at him before walking towards the door, swaying her hips as she went. When she was finally gone, Edward groaned out loud and hurried to take care of his pressing problem.
Five hours and two self-induced orgasms in the staff toilets later, Edward sent his employees home and shut his musical instruments shop for the day. He had, until just over a year ago, worked in advertising and marketing, but the shop had been a dream of his since his teenage years. Following the death of his multi-millionaire parents, Elizabeth and Edward Senior, eighteen months earlier (they had died in a boating accident in Australia) he had inherited enough money to give up the soul-stealing job he hated and open the store in the heart of the luxurious central London district of Mayfair.
Edward had hired a manager so that he could work more flexibly in order to spend time with his wife, Jessica, and their daughter, Alice, who was thirteen. However, he hadn't realised that while he was working 80 hours a week in his thankless job, Jessica had been busy too. She had a full weekly programme of volunteer work, charity events, luncheons and exercise classes, none of which she was prepared to give up to spend time with him. Alice, too was busy from 7 am when she had ballet practice before school, to 7 pm, thanks to a plethora of after-school activities including ballet, contemporary dance classes and yoga. Feeling redundant, Edward threw himself back into his new business and as a result, the store was doing far better than he originally anticipated.
An hour after closing up shop, Edward arrived at his home, a townhouse in the leafy London area of Hampstead. Alice was clearly not back, for there was no cacophony of hip-hop blaring from her bedroom.
"Jess?" he called out as he made his way through the house.
"We're in the garden!" she yelled back. Edward wondered who she meant by "we." He hoped it wasn't another one of her vapid, plastic bimbo friends from her aerobics class. They had nothing interesting to say and eyed him like a piece of meat, although Jessica never looked at him that way. Not anymore. Not for years. Jessica was sat on the patio at the outdoor table with her friend, whose back was to Edward. He could only just see the top of her brunette head.
"Hey," he said as he approached.
"Hi, honey! Bella's staying for dinner. I hope you don't mind!"
"Of course not, dear."
He had forgotten until that moment that Jessica had been meeting her younger half-sister for lunch today. Isabella was the daughter of Jessica's mother, Renee, and her second husband, Charlie, and was six years Jessica's junior. When Isabella, or Bella as she had preferred to be called, was three, Renee left her second marriage like she had left her first, and moved to California, where she still lived, having married her third husband, the much younger Phil, when Jessica was 15 and Bella was nine. Charlie had moved back to his hometown of Manchester from London after his divorce from Renee, taking Bella with him, so she and Jessica had not grown up close.
Edward vaguely remembered a scrawny, awkward, dark-haired teenage girl with braces from his wedding but had been so nervous about marrying his college sweetheart and his impending fatherhood at the age of 22 that he had gotten blindingly drunk, and most of the day was a blur. A year or two later, Bella left for university in California at Berkeley, sponsored by Renee and Phil. She lived there until two months ago when the large software company she worked for in Silicon Valley as a financial analyst transferred her to London.
Over the years, Jessica had kept in touch with Bella through phone calls, emails and more recently, Skype, and when Alice was five, she had taken her out to California to meet her aunt. Edward had been working on a big ad campaign at that time and hadn't been able to go.
"Hello, Edward," a soft, hauntingly familiar voice murmured. Edward whipped round to see that the voice's owner was indeed the brunette who had possessed his mind since lunchtime.
"Hi...err...Bella." She stood up and wrapped herself around him in a hug. Edward suddenly felt like he was on fire. He was surrounded by her warmth, her luscious smell, the feel of her skin.
"It's so great to see you again, although you probably don't remember me," Bella said, a slight smirk on her face, clearly referring to their earlier encounter.
"Err, of course I do," he replied. His green eyes met her brown ones, and for a split second he was held there, frozen in her gaze.
"Edward, we've had the best day catching up! We went for lunch at Scott's, and then shopping at Liberty and Selfridges, and then I insisted Bella come back to meet you and Alice and stay for dinner." Jess chattered away excitedly, oblivious to the tension between her husband and younger sister. That wasn't unusual for her.
Jessica Stanley-Cullen was rather self-centred, having grown up the only child of a businessman who doted on her and indulged her every whim by way of compensation for the departure of her mother. She was quite pretty but had become vain under the influence of her superficial friends, and was now near-obsessed with her own beauty. Her light brown-coloured fine hair, inherited from Renee, was expensively highlighted blonde. She eschewed her natural English Rose complexion in favour of regular trips to the tanning salon. She hadn't told Edward, but she'd been having Botox and Collagen injections for years. She spent her time volunteering and doing charity events but only in order to improve her standing amongst her social circle.
"Wonderful. What are we having?"
"Oh, I just had my nails done, so I'm not cooking tonight. We're ordering Thai food."
Edward groaned internally. Jessica rarely cooked anything from scratch, and Edward hated the stream of microwave meals and take-away food she provided. He was able to cook and did so competently when he was home and had time, but this was the exception rather than the rule.
"Great," he replied in an off-handed way. Jessica did not notice, but Bella did.
Edward may not have remembered much about his wedding day, but Bella Swan did. She had not met her older half-sister's fiancé before, so it wasn't until she was sat in the church that she laid eyes on him, the most mesmerizingly handsome man she had ever seen in her sixteen-year-old life. He had been nervous, shifting his weight from one foot to another, pulling at the neck of his shirt, running his hand through his unusual, unruly penny-coloured hair. Bella had never really felt a strong sexual attraction before, and it had taken her completely by surprise. As she checked out his lean, broad-shouldered, 6'2" body, her breath quickened, her nipples tightened and moisture pooled between her legs. She had wanted him, her sister's soon-to-be husband, and badly.
She had cried when the minister pronounced Jessica and Edward married, pretending to be happy for her sister, but really, they were tears of misery and confusion. When Alice was born five months later, Bella had deliberately chosen a time to visit when she knew Edward would be at work. Not long after that, Bella accepted her mother's offer to pay for university in California.
UC Berkeley was good for Bella. She thrived in the environment. She paid more attention to her appearance and learnt to play up her assets without going over the top. She ditched her ugly braces. She took up yoga and swimming, and her skinny body became toned and smooth. She was never shy of male attention and developed more confidence as her sexual experience grew. However, no guy she met had ever turned her on the way her sister's husband had.
When she was offered the transfer to London by her employers, she thought of Edward first before accepting it. She wanted to see if he still affected her, and the vixen in her wanted to see if she could affect him. Thanks to Google, Facebook and Jessica's chatter, Bella knew where Edward's shop was and decided to pop by on her way to meet Jessica for lunch for the first time since moving to the big city. She knew Jessica was coming from a manicure appointment, so there was no chance of running into her.
Edward clearly didn't remember her, but she was delighted when he fell over himself to help her. She saw him check out her figure, and a thrill went through her when she looked into his green eyes and saw them full of desire and want. For her. Just the sight of him, even after all those years, made her a quivering mess. She maintained her cool, calm, slightly flirtatious façade until she was out of the door, unnecessary directions in hand, but once she was round the corner she collapsed on a bench, hyperventilating.
Damn. She had thought. He's even more delicious than I remember. But he's my sister's husband. What the fuck am I doing?
Edward was in his own personal hell. Bella was on his mind virtually all the time. One sight of her dressed demurely turned him on far more than Jessica ever had, even naked. Bella was the star of all of his fantasies, and he found himself jerking off more often than he had as a horny teenager. He imagined the feel of her soft pink lips against his, on his jaw, at his ear. He imagined her delicate hands running up his chest, round his neck and tugging at his hair. Just that was enough to get him off, but if he imagined his lips on her neck, licking his way down to the ravine of her cleavage, and then pushing down the material of her clothes and bra to expose her nipples, which he imagined as hard, dark pink rosebuds, his release was explosive. He didn't dare imagine any further. He was barely handling things as it was.
Bella had invited Edward, Jessica and Alice for dinner. It had been three months since that warm summer day when she'd walked into Edward's shop, and he had seen her several times but never without Jessica. Neither of them ever said very much during their meetings, mainly because Jess hardly ever gave them the chance, but when they did, they respected each other's comments. Both Bella and Edward were sensible, astute and occasionally wry or slightly sarcastic, laughing at the same things.
Edward had resisted Bella's dinner invitation for several weeks, desperate to avoid being in the face of temptation, until Jessica put her foot down.
"Edward, I don't care about the shop or invoices or stock taking or if you've got a headache. We are going to Bella's for dinner tomorrow night." Jessica ranted. "She's always coming out to see us in Hampstead. I think she's lonely. Alice is desperate to see her apartment. She adores Bella, you know. I don't know why you don't like her..." Edward turned round sharply when Jessica said that. Jessica had clearly observed but misinterpreted his avoidance of Bella – no doubt a good thing "...but you can grin and bear dinner tomorrow night, okay?"
The next night, Edward found himself on London's South Bank, outside the chrome and glass apartment building where Bella had a penthouse apartment which looked over the River Thames. Clearly, her Californian employers paid her well. Alice was bouncing up and down with excitement as they stepped into the lift.
"Dad, Aunt Bella's so cool. She said she'd let me look at her makeup collection tonight! America has way better makeup than here! And did you know she's going to take me to Sadler's Wells to see the Cedar Lake Ballet Company next month?"
"That's great, princess," he replied distractedly, kissing her on the forehead and ruffling her short hair, which was naturally strawberry blonde, but Alice had dyed it black-blue with streaks of purple.
Bella greeted them at the door of her apartment. Edward had to suppress a groan as he took in her appearance. She had her hair swept up into a high ponytail that caressed her shoulders. She was wearing a clingy, wide-necked, fawn-coloured cashmere sweater, which exposed her sexy collarbones and the top of her décolletage, and a dark denim skirt that finished three inches above the knee. Her smooth, toned legs were bare.
"Hi! Come in!" She gave Alice a big hug, and Jess too, before stepping forward to greet Edward. "Hi, Edward, how are you? she asked breathily before leaning into him, placing a warm palm on his hard chest and brushing his jaw with a soft, wet, warm kiss. "You're looking...well," she added as she glanced up into his eyes. Her smile disappeared for a second and her gaze pierced him through to his soul before she moved away, appropriately but far too soon for his liking. Fuck. Hard again.
Bella had outdone herself when it came to the food. She had prepared a Mexican feast of homemade pico de gallo, guacamole, tortilla chips, quesadillas, spicy shrimps, a chicken mole poblano, rice, salads and refried beans followed by a spectacular flan served with caramelised pineapple. Edward and Alice had eaten like gluttons, hugely appreciative of the non-fancy but very tasty meal. Jessica was more reserved as she was conscious of her weight and didn't want to get too messy.
"Wow, thank you so much, Aunt Bella! That was sooo good!" Alice said.
"Thank you, sweetie! I'm glad you all finally made it over. It's nice to have people to cook for."
"You like cooking?" Jessica asked slightly incredulously. She hated doing it. She only bothered for dinner parties, and even then, that was rare.
"I love it. It's my creative outlet I guess. But I don't have anyone to do it for, apart from you guys, of course," Bella responded enthusiastically.
"No boyfriend?" Jess asked, trying to get some gossip out of her reserved sister. Bella's cheeks instantly stained crimson. She was quite a private person. Edward leaned forward, trying to suppress the jealousy he felt when he thought about Bella getting involved with a man.
"No. I've had a few dates, and there's a man I really like, but he's not available." Bella replied, desperately trying not to look at Edward.
"Oh, what a shame! Still, you're only 29. Not all of us can meet our man at university," Jess replied, placing a hand on Edward's arm.
Bella's eyes fell on her sister's hand, and guilt flooded her.
Edward was keen to move the topic of conversation away from Bella's love life. He hated the fact that he desperately hoped the man she wanted was him.
"Oh! I have a super brilliant idea!" Alice exclaimed suddenly. "Mum, Dad, why doesn't Aunt Bella come with us to the cottage for Christmas?" Before anyone could say anything else, she continued. "Aunt Bella, we're going to Great Uncle Carlisle and Great Aunt Esme's cottage in the Lake District this year for Christmas and New Year. You should come too! You'll love them, and you could cook to your heart's content. The cottage has, like, the best kitchen ever!"
"That's a great idea, Alice, but I'm sure Aunt Bella has plans..." Edward hastily began, worrying how he was going to cope spending a whole ten days in the same place as Bella without going insane with lust.
"Actually, I don't. My father and stepmother, Sue, are going to be on a cruise, which they booked before my transfer to London, whilst Mum and Phil are going on some vegan art therapy detox thing."
"Then you should definitely come, Bella!" Jessica shared Alice's enthusiasm, seemingly oblivious to her husband's reticence.
"Brilliant. Thank you! It'll be nice to have a wintery, cosy Christmas," Bella replied. "Now, Alice, I do believe I promised you a play with my makeup collection."
"Ooh, I'd love to have a look too!" Jessica exclaimed. She was desperate to know how her younger sister achieved her natural-looking complexion.
"Of course. If you head down to my dressing room, second door on the left, I've set it all up in there. I'll finish the washing up and join you in a few minutes."
"Great. Edward will help you, won't you, honey?" Jessica replied as she and Alice got up to head to the
"Of course," Edward said, hating the patronising way his wife had volunteered him.
"There's not actually much to do. Most of it can go into the dishwasher," Bella said once they'd cleared the dining table.
"I'll help you load it up," Edward responded quietly.
They worked silently for a couple of minutes, when Edward made the mistake of glancing in the direction of Bella's chest as she was leaning down to put plates in the dishwasher rack. He gasped audibly and froze as he got a clear look down her sweater, to see the tops of the high, rounded globes, pushed up further by two wisps of chocolate coloured lace. The hard-on in his jeans suddenly became acutely painful. How am I going to cope with ten fucking days of this at Christmas?
"Edward." Bella's sweet voice broke him from his troubled thoughts. "Edward?"
"Umm...yeah?" He stood up straight suddenly, and now it was Bella's turn to gasp as her eyes were directly in line with his groin. She was close enough to see the outline of his rock hard member in his jeans. He wants me too. She composed herself a fraction faster than he did and shut the dishwasher as she stood up.
"Um, are you okay?" As they made eye contact, the air grew thick with their mutual attraction, tension and fear at the intensity of it all.
"Umm..." Edward couldn't help but take a step closer to her and Bella couldn't help but copy him. There were mere inches between them. He could feel the warmth radiating from her body. She could hear his rapid, shallow breathing. It would be so easy to just step forward and...
"Edward, you feel it too," she whispered, her big chocolate eyes wide with longing. "This thing..." she gestured between them "...this connection."
"Yes," he whispered back. "Ever since that first day in my shop. But Bella, we can't do this."
"I know. But it's torture," she replied. "I want you so badly."
"Torture's right. I dream about you. I fantasize..." He placed one large hand on her hip. Her eyes fluttered closed for a moment at the feel of his of his fingers against her.
"Me too. But she's my sister."
Despite her words, Bella was unable to stop herself stepping closer to him so her breasts brushed against his chest. Edward shuddered with desire and his other hand found her other hip. She sighed as he brought his forehead to touch hers.
"She's my wife," he whispered back.
They were milliseconds away from a desperate meeting of their mouths. Bella could smell the after dinner coffee and mint on Edward's breath. Edward could hear Bella's heart threatening to pound out of her chest.
"Oh, Mum! Isn't it such a great colour!" Alice squealed distantly.
Edward and Bella pulled away, aghast at how close they came to giving into their illicit passion.
"Shit," Bella whispered, turning away from him and walking over the fridge to fetch a bottle of Evian.
Edward leant against the kitchen counter, shocked at what nearly happened. Even though he and Jessica didn't have that much in common anymore, she had refused to have any more children after Alice – Edward had always wanted a large family – and they hadn't had any sexual contact beyond kissing in years. He did love her, chatterbox tendencies, vanity and all. He had never even contemplated cheating on her, even though he'd had plenty of opportunities over the years whilst working in advertising. Yet now, he burned for his wife's sister and had almost kissed her whilst his wife and daughter were just a couple of rooms away.
"We need to talk about how we're going to handle this, Edward," Bella said quietly, passing him a glass of water and pouring one for herself. "But obviously, not now and not here."
"I'll come by the shop at closing time tomorrow. We'll go somewhere and talk, okay?" Edward agreed, scared beyond belief.
Edward had sent his employees home early in preparation for Bella's arrival. She arrived at 6 pm on the dot. Her hair was windswept from the bitter November wind and she was self-conscious of it, but Edward thought she had never looked more beautiful.
They agreed that they needed to go somewhere public, so that they wouldn't be tempted, but somewhere quiet, so they ended up in a corner of the bar in Brown's Hotel.
"Bella, yesterday shouldn't have happened," Edward began.
"It shouldn't, but it did. And if we hadn't been interrupted, it would have gone further, wouldn't it?"
"Yes." He hung his head. Bella tilted his chin back up with a finger.
"I don't want to be in this position either, but I can't deny how I feel about you."
"So what do we do?" he asked, before dropping his voice to a whisper. "Just being in the same room as you for five minutes affects me." His eyes glanced down to his groin, already awake to Bella's presence. Bella followed his eyes.
"I know exactly what you mean," Bella replied, squirming slightly in her seat thanks to the flood of arousal in her panties. Edward's eyes grew large as he realised what her movement meant.
They sat in silence for a while, sipping their Grey Goose Martinis. Edward thought about the resistance it would take to never give into his lust; it would require Herculean control on his part. Bella thought of how good it would feel to be in his arms, to feel him undress her, to taste him and to have him enter her, fuck her, ride her; the thought that she might never get to experience him was acutely painful.
"We need to get each other out of our systems," Bella realised suddenly.
"One night. We have just one night. We do everything we want to with each other and to each other. Then we can get on with our lives."
"What if one night isn't enough?"
"It will be. Don't you see? What we're feeling is just sexual. We aren't in love or any of that shit, Edward. We're in lust. We just need to get it out of our systems. I've spent far too long pining, longing and wondering about you, and vice versa. Just one night. Then you can go back to Jessica and Alice, and I can get back to my work and my life without constantly being distracted by thoughts of you."
"I don't know…" Edward replied uncertainly.
"Think of it as damage control. We could spend the next several years dancing around each other, trying and failing to avoid each other, having near misses like the other night, never moving forward, each time leaving ourselves vulnerable to someone realising our mutual attraction and getting hurt over it. Or we do this and move past it."
Edward sighed. Bella's idea was either extremely sensible or extremely foolish. Before he could answer, Bella stood up.
"You need time to think about it," she stated. "Contact me when you do."
She downed the rest of her martini and pulled out a pen from her purse. On the back of a cocktail napkin she wrote down her personal email and mobile phone number. Then she leant down, brushed his cheek with her lips and walked away, leaving him bristling with need.
It took him about ten seconds after she was gone to whip out his phone to text her.
"Yes. Heaven help me, but yes."
AN: Thank you for reading. The second chapter is up too and is the other half of the original one-shot.