Entry to the Going for the Gold Anonymous Twi-Fic Contest
Thank you, Twimarti, for being my amazing Beta.
Bella and Edward belong to Stephenie Meyer. I mean no offense to the athletes this one-shot is based on. No infringement intended.
-BELLA SWAN IS NOT IMPRESSED-
"Swan, I have never been so embarrassed. How could you do that up there?" Coach's angry yell followed me down the long corridor, but I kept walking. I was desperate to get out of the stadium. I needed to find a place to be alone – something I hadn't been for too long.
"Bella! Stop!" Mom yelled after me as I broke into a jog.
I burst through the outside doors and felt free for the first time in four years. The cool late-afternoon air welcomed my overheated body and the drizzle caressed my burning cheeks lovingly. The shops, houses, and restaurants I ran past became grey blurs as I focused only on moving forward. Moving away from the oppression, pressure, and hard work I was leaving behind me.
I stopped eventually and sat on a bench in an empty park. Apart from a couple of people rushing through the rain, I was finally alone. I hadn't thought it possible to find any peace in London. The city was full to bursting of athletes, families, supporters, and spectators. Everywhere I went, there was someone talking to me, lecturing me, pressuring me, questioning me. Until now.
I took a deep breath and held it.
It was over. I was done. Four years of hard work, all leading up to one competition. Four years of focus and determination, all leading up to this day. Four years of exercises, practices, workouts, diets, media, photo-shoots, competitions, and qualifications. No life, no school, no friends, no fun. All for me to fuck up.
I had been the favorite to win. I was the best. I had won every competition in the last four years. No one could beat me. No one even came close.
One little slip. One fall. One moment of lost concentration. One second in time, and I lost it all.
In the biggest competition I had competed in, I had failed. I disappointed myself and everyone around me.
I blew out a lungful of air and my body deflated with it. I caught my head in my hands and watched as the ground between my feet blurred. The tears came and mingled with the rain on my cheeks.
Over the sound of the blood pounding in my ears, I heard my cell phone. I had several missed calls from Mom and Coach which, I was going to ignore for now and there was a text from my teammate, Jessica.
Coach is pissed. Where are you?
Jessica was my closest friend, if you could call her that. We trained together every day, but that was all. During our sessions, we talked about gymnastics, routines, and competitions. Once we were finished our practice, we would leave and that was it. I didn't know her favorite color or if she had any pets. We knew the gymnast, the athlete, not the person.
I ignored her. No one needed to know where I was yet. If I told them, they would come and get me and the peace would be destroyed. I would be shoved back into the Athletes' Village no matter how much I kicked and screamed.
Wow. You are all over the news. What is wrong with silver? You should be proud.
I resisted the temptation to google what Jessica was talking about, but I had a fair idea what it would be. I hadn't acted how I was coached to on the medal podium. I was disappointed in myself, and I had shown it.
I could only think about how I should have been on top. My name should have been announced last. The crowd should have been roaring for me. It should have been "The Star-Spangled Banner" playing as I smiled sweetly for the cameras. I may have even mouthed the words and blown a kiss. I should have been the one to invite the other medalists up to my level. It should have been me wrapping my arms around the runners-up and congratulating them.
I had to stand on the second level. I was on the edge – the outside. As the Chinese national anthem played, I had gritted my teeth and counted the seconds until I could escape.
I remembered the tears pricking at my eyes as the Chinese girl's name had been called after mine. The only thing that kept them from falling was the pain of my teeth on my tongue as I desperately pressed my lips together. My arm had instinctively wrapped around my middle in a much-needed hug. All I wanted was some comfort.
Comfort was not something easily given by the people around me. I was supposed to be a top athlete. I had to be tough. There was no room for hugs and sympathy in my world. Any weakness had to be hidden lest the competition found out and used it against me. The ankle injury that I had suffered in my previous competition was kept quiet until it had healed. Coach then told reporters I was struggling with an injury so the other competitors were lulled into a false sense of hope.
That moment of weakness on the podium had been noticed by Coach, standing behind all the cameras and lights. His fist hitting the table in front of him had startled me out of my black hole of depression. I straightened my body out instantly, sniffed my bouquet of flowers, and forced a smile. There was no doubt in my mind that he hadn't been the only one to see it. Every venue in London was decked out with millions of cameras. No moment was missed – especially not the medal ceremonies.
Coach says you need to get back to the Village now. You need to do damage control. I don't know how you can fix this. That picture makes you look like a spoiled brat.
Jessica's text made the heat rise in my body again. I realized that she had never been my friend in any way. We had only been friendly because we were forced together in the team.
I wanted to throw the phone away. I felt an overwhelming need to break something, but I needed it to get home. I had run a long way from the area of London I had become familiar with. Using the maps application, I searched the directions back to the Athletes' Village.
The long walk back helped me to cool off. It gave me time to analyze the situation and make some decisions. I couldn't change what had happened. Everyone has bad days; I was just unlucky that it happened on such an important day. I was still young enough to have a good shot at making the next games. I decided the best thing would be to take six-month holiday, then refocus on training. In four years, I would be ready to win gold in Rio.
It took a great effort to wipe all expression off my face. I was determined to rise above anything that was said about me. I could ignore all the comments. No emotions would escape me from now on. The tough exterior shield was engaged and ready to deflect everything.
The building was mostly dark when I arrived. Only the lights in the common areas were on. I hadn't realized how long I had been sitting in the park and how late it had gotten. I was grateful that I wouldn't have to face anyone until morning.
The TV in the common area on my floor was on when I walked through the door. The local news was reporting the day's action. There were record breaking performances happening everywhere, and they had a whole story about Edward Cullen, who was winning every race he entered, just like at the last Olympics.
I slouched down in the couch when I heard footsteps behind me. Hopefully I wouldn't be seen and they would pass right by me. I was in no mood to be around anyone. Unfortunately, it didn't work, and I felt the person brush my arm as they passed me. Out the corner of my eye, I saw the person flop down on the couch to my right and put their feet on the coffee table. My head whipped around when I recognized Edward's feet.
Edward Cullen was the most famous person on Team USA and possibly at these Olympics. He had been to two previous Games, he kicked ass in the pool, and annihilated his competition easily. I remembered watching him on TV as he won his eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympics.
He was staying on the same floor as me and rooming with his teammate, Emmett. When they weren't at the pool, they hung out in the floor's common area. I had seen him there almost every day. He always sat in the same place with his massive feet propped up on the coffee table. He was quiet and kept to himself. It was Emmett who was the boisterous one – always talking and rallying people around him.
Jessica and Lauren said they were in love with Edward. Every time we saw him, they would insist on sitting in the corner and analyzing his appearance. They would fawn over his green eyes and strong jaw. They said his hair made him look like he had just had sex. Both girls wanted to fuck him, and they often giggled loudly as they schemed. More than once, Edward had looked our way – probably wondering what was wrong with them.
I had never said more than a greeting to him – I felt so insignificant and unimportant compared to him. The journalists on the TV were still talking about him and calling him the most decorated Olympian ever.
He sighed and shook his head at the TV. I thought I could see a slight blush on his cheeks.
"By winning four gold and two silver medals," the journalist was saying, "Edward Cullen has concluded the 2012 Olympics as the most successful swimmer of the meet for the third Olympics in a row."
I clenched my fists at the mention of gold. I was still angry with my failure. It was going to take a long time for me to recover. I wondered if I could convince Coach to let me go home early.
"Now we turn to the uglier side of the games," the journalist said. "Athletes work hard to achieve their goals and climb to the top of the world in their events. But under the pressure that an Olympic competition puts on them, even the best and highest-rated can fall. That's when the mental training becomes more important. Athletes are strong physically, but athletes on the world stage need to be mentally strong too. They must show their strength, focus, and determination at all times, even when they don't win."
I cringed back into the couch. I knew what was coming next. Where was the remote? Or the power switch? Or a brick to throw through the screen?
"Tonight, we got to see just how young and immature some athletes are. It is easy to forget that some athletes are just teenagers. They usually have poise that belies their age. But then, a highly ranked gymnast slipped and fell from her perch at the top. Isabella Swan, the eighteen-year-old vault specialist from Team USA, had a dismal showing at the conclusion of the gymnastic competition this evening."
The screen changed to a replay of my first attempt. It was average, a nice twist and reasonably solid landing, but nothing special. Definitely not up to my usual standard.
"After achieving a record score in the team event five days ago," the journalist continued, "she failed to live up to her standing. Isabella fell on her second vault, meaning her top score of 15.083 was only good enough for silver."
I couldn't watch the replay of my second vault on the screen. Unfortunately, I had a personal screening of the moment playing on the inside of my closed eyelids.
"As with all athletes, Isabella has spent time learning how she should behave. Team USA, being one of the biggest and most successful teams here in London, has some of the most knowledgeable media advisors available. Clearly, they didn't spend enough time with this young woman."
A photo of me came up on the screen. I was standing on the medal podium after I had been given my medal and flowers. I knew what I had been feeling, but I could see that my body language could be read differently. I looked like I was trying to hide the silver medal.
The journalists were joking about poor losers and how any of the other competitors would gladly take the medal off my hands, but I couldn't concentrate on their words.
Once again, I had my arms wrapped around my stomach as I fought the tears back. Why couldn't they see I was hurting? Can't they understand that I had worked hard to get gold, then failed? Do they know how devastating it was to be assured by everyone that I would get gold, only to not? I had just wanted a hug and for someone to tell me I would be okay.
"That's not a good look for a girl with such a pretty face," Edward said quietly.
My eyes snapped over to him, and I felt the anger burn through the tears and sadness in my body. What right did he have to comment? He had a pile of gold medals in his room and another pile back home. There was no way he could understand the pain of failure. I wasn't interested in anything he had to say to me, and I wanted to punch the smirk off his face.
"Fuck off," I muttered.
"No! Just shut up. Go play with your gold medals, Mr. Most-Decorated-Olympian. I don't want to hear what you have to say."
He didn't move. We watched the TV in silence for several minutes. I wasn't paying attention as I processed the damage. That photo of me did not look good. There was very little chance I would get an opportunity to explain what I had been feeling – not that I would be allowed to. Showing weakness was not acceptable. The best option would be to leave and return home where I could hide from the world. My gymnastics career would be over, so I needed to think about what I could do for the rest of my life. The options were limited. There would be no endorsement deals, commentating, or coaching now that I had burned my bridges. No one would employ a poor loser who has been shamed in front of the whole world.
Years later, or possibly minutes later, I turned to see Edward engrossed in his iPad. He was frowning at something on the screen. I felt bad for snapping at him when he seemed to be sympathetic.
"I'm sorry," I whispered. "I didn't mean to say that."
"Don't worry about it."
"No. I am sorry. I'm just scared." I pulled my legs up to my chest and hugged myself into a ball.
"Everyone hates me. They think I'm a horrible person. Coach is mad at me. Mom probably wants to kill me. My career is over." I felt the tears slowly running down my cheeks. It hurt so much more to say my thoughts out loud. It all felt more real when the words were spoken. There was no way to take them back or suppress them now they were cast out to float through the air.
Edward shifted quickly to sit next to me. He draped an arm over my shoulders and pulled me into his side. He was so big, and I felt so tiny next to him. His arm was hard against my back and his long fingers wrapped around my forearm as he held me to his chest.
My breath hitched as he said my nickname. I didn't know he knew it. I expected him to call me Isabella like the journalists did. Only my family and teammates called me Bella.
"It will be all right," he continued.
I took some gulping breaths as I calmed down. Surprisingly, the tears quickly dried up. His arms around me and the warmth of his body against mine soothed me.
"I don't see how," I muttered.
"I think it is understandable how you reacted."
I leaned back to see his face. I couldn't believe he thought that. Disappointment and derision seemed the only possible reactions to my behavior.
"You worked hard. You were on track to get the gold." I nodded as I listened to him. "Did you really get a record in the team competition?"
"I got the highest score in the competition. And an execution average of 9.733. That's the highest execution score at an Olympics under the new scoring system." I recited this information without thinking, just as I had been taught. Coach had drilled it into me for hours so I would say the right thing in interviews.
"There you go. After all that, anything less than a gold is disappointing."
I felt my bottom lip tremble as he summed up my feelings so simply. I bit down on it hard to hold back the tears once again. He studied my face carefully, searching for something.
"I think you should be proud of silver. That is still a great achievement. You are still better than a hell of a lot of people."
"That's easy for you to say." He was the best in the world. He couldn't understand what it felt like to be me.
"Sure, I have won gold a lot. But I have won silver too. My 200-meter butterfly final didn't go to plan this time. But I'm proud of my silver medal."
"What was it like for you up there? Not being on top?"
"Jasper deserved the gold. And the South African national anthem is cool."
He was grinning down at me, and all I could do was stare at him in amazement. He really didn't mind not winning.
"Swimming is my life, but I do it for fun. I don't really care about the medals. I like to swim, and I just happen to be able to swim fast."
"Wow," I breathed. It had been a long time since I had enjoyed gymnastics. For thirteen years, it had been my life too. But it was a job: not fun. The only pleasure I got from it now was winning. I wished I could go back to when I was younger – when I would swing on the bars and jump over the vault because it felt good to fly. "What should I do?"
"What do you want to do?"
"I want that. I want to enjoy gymnastics again."
"So you're not going to run away and hide?"
"I want to, but no."
"Okay." He let go of me and reached for his iPad. I pouted with the loss of body contact. I knew I had needed a hug, but his arms were fulfilling a yearning I hadn't realized was so strong. "Let's see what is happening out there."
I leaned into him and rested my head against his arm as he typed my name into Google Images. The first image was the one the TV had shown, and I cringed away from it.
"Okay. It is what it is. It makes you look bad. But I'm sure we can think of a way to turn it around."
I nodded and smiled for the first time. The word "we" made me feel happy and strong. With him supporting me, I could take on the world. One little, negative photo would be easy.
He flicked to the next picture, which was a simple headshot. "Beautiful," he whispered before quickly flicking to the next. It was my Twitter avatar. He shifted slightly to put his arm back around me, then propped up his leg to hold the iPad.
"Oh. This is what I was looking for."
I looked back to the screen and saw the podium picture with my name at the top. Across the bottom of the picture was written, "Is Not Impressed."
We looked at it in silence for a minute. "Okay, that's kind of funny," I finally said.
The next picture had, "Silver medal? Just keep it." The next was me photoshopped onto a picture of a rainbow. I laughed at the next; a picture of the US mens' coxless four with me in the corner.
"It's funny, right?" Edward said as he watched me.
I nodded, unable to stop my giggles. I was half laughing at the pictures and half laughing in relief that I wasn't being slammed for my behavior.
"So this should be easy to work with. Do you want to make your own?"
"Yeah, just find a picture you like, and we can Photoshop you into it."
"Don't you mean a picture that doesn't impress me?"
I found a picture of Edward getting his silver medal. His smile was stunning, but I had to use it.
"Perfect," he said when it was finished and posted on Tumblr.
"Yes. Thank you."
"Now you need to decide what to do next. I think you should show that you think it's funny. Turn it all into a joke."
"I'm thinking about owning the expression. Like a catchphrase."
"Good idea. Go somewhere tomorrow and take another one."
Jessica and Lauren were planning on going swimming. They hadn't invited me, but because they had discussed it while I was with them, I decided to go too. They wouldn't mind, and hopefully I could convince them to help me out with a new photo. Maybe if they knew I was friendly with Edward, they would be kinder to me.
"Would you like to come swimming tomorrow? We are going to the Team USA complex. I could do with some help with a new picture."
Edward smiled down at me, and I realized what I had asked.
"Oh, sorry. You're probably sick of the pool." I was blushing, and I looked away. I felt like an idiot for inviting the world's best swimmer to go swimming with me.
"I would love to, Bella. You know I love swimming."
"Okay, cool. Meet you here at ten?" I glanced up at him again and saw he was still smiling down at me.
"Thank you for your help tonight," I stalled. I wasn't ready to leave his warm embrace yet. His arms also hadn't moved yet.
"You're very welcome. I'm glad I could make you feel better."
I suddenly realized how close he was, and I glanced down at his lips. His tongue darted out and swiped quickly across them. I was mesmerized, and I felt myself stretching up towards him. I wanted to kiss him.
"Bella. I will see you tomorrow."
The moment was broken by his words, and I thought I detected a warning tone in them that suggested he didn't want to kiss me back. I scrambled out of his arms and escaped to my room. I fell asleep quickly to the steady rhythm of Jessica's snores and thoughts of Edward.
The next morning, I woke up to Jessica's morning routine. She had showered and was crashing around the room, muttering about mascara.
"Hey, Jess," I croaked.
"Bella! You're awake finally. How much trouble are you in?" She looked much too happy that I could be in trouble.
"I don't know yet."
"That picture is bad. Have you been on Twitter yet?"
"There are memes everywhere."
"Oh, yeah. I know about them. I think they're funny." I thought about telling her about making my own, and about Edward, but I still couldn't shake the feeling she wasn't really my friend. She seemed too happy that I was having a hard time with the negative press.
"Okay... Well, I suppose that is a good way to look at it. I hope Coach will be as happy." She smirked as she applied her mascara in the mirror. "Are you coming swimming?"
"Yes. I invited a friend too."
"Cool. I'm going to get breakfast, and then we will go."
I watched as she left the room, then scrambled to get ready. I was so excited to spend time with Edward again. The butterflies in my stomach were fluttering more than before a competition.
The girls were standing near the stairs and sneering as they looked at Jessica's phone. I thought I heard my name, so they must have been looking at the memes. Probably the only reason they were still waiting was because Edward was standing against the wall, looking at his phone. As I approached, the girls straightened up to greet me, but I didn't go straight to them. I stopped in front of Edward and smiled as he looked up at me.
"Hi, Bella," he said as a grin stretched across his face.
"Hi, Edward. Come meet my teammates?"
He followed me over to the girls. I watched as their eyes widened.
"Jess, Lauren, this is Edward. Edward, these are my teammates."
"Nice to meet you," he said as he shook their hands.
Both girls were speechless for the first time in their lives. They couldn't even manage the giggling they usually did around him.
"Edward is coming to the pool with us," I said, covering their awkward silence.
"Really? Okay... Fine..." Jessica said, stumbling over what to say. "Well, we are ready to go."
The two girls turned and opened the stairwell door. I followed them, and Edward stepped up behind me. As we went through the door, I felt his had rest on the small of my back. When I glanced up at his face, his expression was blank. He was just staring ahead at Jessica and Lauren, who kept glancing back at us.
"Thanks for coming with us," I said to break the uncomfortable silence.
"No problem. Thanks for inviting me."
"I need someone to take the photo," I joked. His presence meant so much more, but I wasn't going to tell him he was the only person I had felt affection from in a long time. I really liked him, and I hoped I could convince him to feel something for me.
His hand suddenly disappeared from my back, and I glanced up to see his frown. I stopped walking and turned to face him. He stopped too and looked at me wearily.
"I was joking. I'm glad you are here."
"Yeah. Come on let's go," he said as he started walking again.
I had upset him, and I wasn't sure why he was upset. I didn't know what to say to fix it. We reached the entryway to the pool without saying another word.
"Jess, Lauren, wait. Can you help me out with something?"
They turned and walked back to me.
"I want to get a picture of us here, pulling the same face as that picture last night."
Both girls were staring at me in disbelief.
"Why would you want to do that?"
"Because I need to get in on the joke. This will help take the sting out of that picture."
Their faces clearly showed they didn't want to, and I knew the next words would be no. But I knew how to manipulate them, and there was one thing I could say to convince them. They would do anything Edward suggested.
"Edward suggested it, and I thought it was a great idea," I said.
"Okay, fine. But if Coach gets angry, we are saying it was all your doing."
"Fine," I said. I didn't expect anything less. These girls were not proper friends.
I dug my phone out of my bag and handed it to Edward.
"You are doing the right thing," he whispered as I opened the Instagram application for him. He held onto my forearm to stop me from walking away. "Don't listen to those girls."
I rolled my eyes and smiled to show I wasn't worried about them. He dropped my arm, and I went to stand next to Jessica.
He instructed us to pull the face and he took the picture. As soon as the shutter sound was done, Jessica and Lauren turned and entered the pool complex.
Edward handed me the phone, and I looked at the picture. None of us were putting much effort into pulling the face, but it would do.
"What should I put as the caption?"
"This..." He took the phone back and typed, "The pool is closed... #notimpressed"
I laughed as I read it. "Perfect." I clicked share and put it away.
"So, I will go back now. You have your photo."
I pouted up at him. "You don't want to swim? I want you to come with me."
"I thought I was just here to be the cameraman."
"No, I want to hang out with you. Please?"
"Okay," he nodded. His frown lessened but only slightly.
"What's wrong? You can go if you want..."
"No, I want to stay. But I shouldn't... Forget it. Let's just go swimming."
I didn't understand what was going on, but he was striding away, so I just frowned as I followed him into the complex and over to the benches. There weren't many people there. This complex had been hired by Team USA for the swim team's training venue. The public had been barred, so it became a good place for all the athletes to go to unwind, and it was connected to the Athletes' Village by a convenient underground tunnel. Now that the swim meet was over, there were even less people using the pool.
Edward sat in the bench, and I could feel his eyes on me. I put my bag down next to him and pulled my robe off. Before I walked to the pool, I glanced at him and saw his pupils had dilated. Maybe making him feel something for me would be easier than I thought.
I dived into the pool. When I surfaced, I turned to look back at him as he dived. He shot through the water fast and surfaced a few feet away.
"Want to race?" he asked with a smirk.
"Yeah, right. I would need a massive head start. Or you would have to have a handicap."
"That's fine. What are your terms?"
I thought for a second, trying to work out what would disadvantage him enough to help me win. "You have to doggy paddle... Head above water at all times... And elbows bent."
He laughed but agreed to my terms. We swam to the edge of the pool.
"On your marks, get set, go."
I pushed off the wall and kicked as hard as I could. Every time I turned my head to breathe, I could see I was gaining distance on him. By the time I had reached the end of the pool, I was ahead about thirty feet. I grinned at him as I pumped my fist in the air in celebration.
He smirked back, then ducked under the surface of the water. I could see him coming toward me, so I dived to my left. There was no way I would be fast enough to get away from him, but it was fun being chased. Only a few seconds and a couple of desperate dives to the side later, his arms were around me.
"Gotcha," he said triumphantly.
I giggled and squirmed weakly. I wasn't really willing to fight my way out of his arms – I was happy to stay wrapped in them forever. I stilled and our eyes locked as everything around us faded into the background. It was just him and me. Wet, slick bodies pressed together. His solid muscles pressed against my body. A hard length between his legs.
A loud noise broke us out of the moment. We both looked around, and I realized we were in the middle of the lap pool - in full view of anyone and everyone. I moved away from him as his grip on me slackened. No one seemed to have noticed us, but that was only a matter of time if we weren't careful.
"Lazy river?" he asked. He jerked his head toward the side of the pool.
I nodded and followed him over. We kept our distance until we were hidden behind the high walls and colorful decorations. He reached for my hand and pulled me against him as the current took us. I ended up sitting in his lap. His legs were bent beneath us to keep our heads above the water and his arms were tight around my waist. We silently floated around the river for several minutes as he gently kissed my neck. Halfway around the river was a semi-hidden pool that bubbled like a spa. Edward steered us into it and sat on the submerged bench around the edge. I stayed in his lap but turned sideways so I could wrap my arms around his neck.
"Bella..." he said before snapping his mouth shut and frowning.
I didn't know what he was going to say, but I could see he was doubting himself. I leaned in and pressed my lips to his. He hesitated for a second, then pressed back. Our lips parted and our tongues tangled, rubbed, and tasted. A quiet moan escaped me as I reveled in the contact and the feeling of his tongue in my mouth.
His hands gripped my waist and lifted me so I could straddle his hips. I could feel his cock was hard beneath me and I shifted slightly to rub against it. It hit my clit, and I felt my body heat up as my fingers and toes started tingling. I pressed my mouth firmly against his and kept my hips moving. I was enjoying the sensations too much to stop.
"Stop, Bella," Edward said suddenly. His voice was rough and deep, which fueled the fire raging in my stomach.
I sat back slightly and pouted as his words registered and dampened my fire. My breathing was coming in pants as my heart thudded hard and fast in my chest. His eyes were closed tight, but then they opened as he blew out a deep breath.
"Shit... No, I didn't mean it like that." He reached up to stroke my cheek, and his thumb brushed over my bottom lip. "I want you. I want to be inside you when I come."
My eyes widened as I processed what he had said. He wasn't stopping us. He wasn't pulling away. He wasn't having second thoughts about us. He wanted more.
I lifted off him and tugged at the band of his board shorts. With a bit of maneuvering I managed to get his cock free.
"Wow," I breathed. It was big – the tip was just under the surface of the water, and it was thick. I wrapped my fingers around it as best I could and stroked the length.
His finger hooked into the top of my swimsuit and pulled until it sat under my breast. I arched my back as he ducked down to suck my nipple. My skin was tinged pink with the heat radiating through my body. I was desperate for friction between my legs – I knew that would be the only way to relieve the burn.
My nipple popped out of his mouth and he rubbed his thumb across my hardened flesh. "Are you sure about this?" he asked as he studied my eyes.
"Yes. I want you."
He growled, and I shivered as goosebumps covered my skin. I lifted my hips up and pulled the crotch of my suit to the side. He held the base of his cock in his fist and guided it into me. It was so big, and the stretch made me want to scream. I pressed my face into his shoulder and bit down in his skin to stop the sound from escaping.
After hours, although it was probably only seconds, he was finally fully submerged. I had my eyes closed tight as I panted and felt his chest rising and falling with his own heavy breathing.
"So tight," he moaned. His head turned and his lips moved up and down my neck as he nipped at my skin.
I buried my fingers in his hair and held on, stopping his movement when he passed over a sensitive spot. His tongue reached out to lick in the same place, and I felt my body react with a strong clench of all my muscles.
"Fuck," he groaned. "I need to move."
I nodded because I could feel it too. The pressure and heat was building towards uncomfortableness between my legs like a hair-dryer that was held in one place for too long. Movement was needed to spread the heat.
I slowly lifted off him and sank back down. I moaned quietly then did it again faster. I added a flex of my hips – pushing my ass out every time I lowered my hips – and gasped as my clit rubbed against his lower stomach. I kept moving over him. Up and down. Flexing my hips backwards. Rubbing my clit on his skin. Feeling the build up of tension, pressure, and heat throughout my entire body.
"Are you getting close?" Edward said. His voice was strained and gravelly.
"Yes," I breathed.
"I can feel you getting tighter."
"I can feel..." I didn't know how to finish that thought. I could feel everything. Every inch of soft skin and every hard ridge sliding inside me. I could feel the curve of his cock that made me gasp if I shifted my hips that way, making it press against me harder. I could feel the gentle slap of his balls every time he thrust as I came down on him. Everything was so sensitive and arousing that even a kiss on my nose would make me come.
Suddenly, every nerve in my body exploded and every muscle tightened. My fingers and toes tingled as the blood rushed to other parts of my body. It took all my focus to keep moving up and down as my orgasm hit me. My pussy squeezed and released in a study rhythm around Edward's cock. I heard a quiet moan coming from him as he held my hips to stop my movement.
I slowly regained awareness of the word around me and looked up to see Edward's eyes wide and staring past me. There were voices.
Jessica and Lauren were floating along the lazy river just a few feet away. We both froze as they got closer, and I closed my eyes to pray that they wouldn't see us. I was thankful that, in my rush to have Edward inside me, I hadn't bothered to take my swimsuit off. Their voices were loud as they passed the entrance to our pool, and we both held our breath with fear. Then they were gone.
Edward laughed softly with relief. "That was close. Is it wrong that almost getting caught makes me even more horny?"
I smiled up at him. "We might still get caught... We haven't finished yet." I flexed my hips to remind him he was still hard inside me.
His eyes rolled back slightly and he held my hips tight. "We better go hard and fast then. Not that I will last much longer anyway."
I giggled as he pushed away from the seat and floated us across the pool. He backed me against the wall around the corner from the pool's entrance. We were much better hidden there.
"Hold on," he muttered quietly as he pulled out of me and thrust back in. His large hands were tight on my hips to hold me in the right place.
He was so strong, and with him in control, his cock slammed into me hard. He settled into a steady rhythm, and I gripped his shoulders. The water was sloshing around us and waves were crashing over the low walls around the pool. My body seemed to echo the movement with waves of tension and ecstasy washing through me.
"Fuck, I'm close," he groaned.
His rhythm began to falter, and I knew he was struggling to keep going. I reached up and tugged on his hair, bringing his face down to mine so our lips could meet. I slipped my tongue into his mouth and rubbed it firmly over his. With one last thrust, he stilled inside of me and I could feel the twitch of his cock as he came. That was enough to send me over the edge finally. My muscles clamped down on him again and again, making us both moan with pleasure.
He rested his head on my shoulder for several minutes and panted. Eventually, our breathing returned to normal and my heart stopped trying to beat its way out of my chest. Slowly, his softening cock slipped out of me, and I sighed with the empty feeling that was left.
"That was amazing," he said as he hugged me close to him.
"It sure was." I nuzzled my face into his neck and gently kissed his skin.
We sat in silence for a while. His fingers traced patterns on my skin, and I played with his hair. We were simply enjoying being close. No need for talking.
Eventually, my empty stomach announced its presence, and I laughed at the rumbles.
"I'm hungry too," he said with a smile. "I have after-sex-munchies."
I giggled and got off his lap. We floated together around the lazy river, then kept our distance as we swam across the lap pool. There were a lot more people around, and I watched them nervously for signs of us being noticed together.
As usual, Edward got a lot of attention from the women. Being so famous meant he was watched wherever he went. I had noticed this before but never felt the urge to protect him. I was fighting not to go drown some bitches now.
I caught him watching me as I dried myself and felt my whole body blush. It seemed to take an eternity to pull on our robes and pick up our bags. Finally, we were through the doors and walking the long corridor back to our building.
We were drawn to each other – our bodies like magnets. Our hands were constantly brushing against each other as we got pulled into each other's magnetic field. I glanced behind us to check we were alone then hooked my little finger under his. He smiled down at me.
At the bottom of our stairwell, I couldn't stand the distance any longer. I stopped, grabbed his arm, and pulled him to me. He pinned me to the wall and crushed his lips to mine. Our tongues massaged against each other as we pushed to get closer; never close enough.
We reluctantly pulled away from the kiss when the need for oxygen became overwhelming, and he held my face in his palms as he gazed into my eyes.
"Come to my room tonight?" he asked.
I nodded, and we kissed before climbing the stairs hand-in-hand. At the door to our floor, we smiled grimly at each other before releasing hands.
As we walked through into the common area, reality hit with a angry bellow.
"Swan! Where have you been?" Coach heaved himself off the couch and barreled toward me.
I cringed back and crossed my arms to protect myself. "Sorry, Coach," I said quietly. "We went for a swim."
"A swim?" Coach yelled as he stopped just a foot away from me. "Why the fuck are you going swimming? Both your mother and I have called you hundreds of times. You haven't returned one call or even messaged us... We need to debrief and start damage control, and you are fucking swimming."
I could feel the tears welling up in my eyes. Coach had never yelled at me like this before. I glanced up and saw Edward staring at me from the kitchen behind Coach. He was frowning and clutching the bench like he want to intervene.
Coach sighed and rubbed his palm over his forehead. "Come and sit down," he said, sounding calmer. "We need to talk."
By the time I had dumped my bag in my room and returned to the common area, Edward was sitting in his usual place with his feet on the table and apparently engrossed in his iPad. Coach looked at him with annoyance but didn't say anything. Edward seemed to be intimidating to Coach.
"Your behavior last night was disgusting," Coach said as I sat next to him. "Being a poor loser is one of the worst things you could be. I would rather you didn't get any medal."
"I'm sorry," I muttered. I kept my head down and focused, on my fingers that were twined tightly in my lap.
"You embarrassed me, your mom, the team, and the whole United States. I wouldn't be surprised if you get ridiculed and attacked when you return home."
I swiped ineffectively at the tears running down my cheeks.
"Actually, I doubt people will care that much."
Coach's head snapped up when Edward spoke, and he gaped at him. I had never seen Coach lost for words or trying to backpedal.
"Oh, Edward Cullen. I um... didn't know you were um... listening..." Coach stuttered.
"It's hard not to when you are attacking someone in a common area. Especially when you say things like that."
Coach waved his hand vaguely as he searched for something to say. "I'm sure you're right. Gymnastics isn't that important in the States."
I watched wide-eyed as Coach, who I thought was all-powerful and superior, cringed before Edward. I hadn't realized how much influence the most decorated Olympian had over people. Edward's opinion superseded all previous thoughts, and his word was law. He was incredibly hot too.
"It's just that everyone expected her to get gold..." Coach continued.
"She had an off day," Edward argued. "We all have them."
"Yes... But her face..."
"Looked vulnerable. Like she was hurting. Like she needed comforting."
"I can see why. She was obviously unlikely to get that from you."
I stared at Edward as he spoke. I didn't understand how he knew what I had been feeling.
"But... What... No... I..." Coach stuttered. He stopped talking, and I turned to see him frowning at me. "Is that how you felt?"
I nodded and dropped my eyes back to my fingers. I had heard his lecture on showing weakness before and I hoped I wouldn't hear it again. I should have known better, though – he wouldn't dare say that sort of thing in front of Edward.
"Well... Okay, I'm sorry. But just because Edward Cullen can see it, doesn't mean everyone can. We still have to assume people are going to react badly to the photo."
"Actually," Edward interrupted again. "The majority of the reporting is about the memes that have been created."
"Memes?" Coach asked.
I shut my eyes tight to block out what was happening. I knew what Coach's reaction to them would be; he would see it as mocking and ridicule. I felt the couch dip as Edward sat beside me. His chest pressed into my back as he leaned over me to pass Coach the iPad.
"What the fuck?" Coach said as he flicked his fingers across the screen. "'Isabella Swan is not impressed.' What does that mean? Why is her picture next to the Tower of Pisa? The Queen?"
"It's supposed to be funny," I said quietly. I felt Edward's arm against me, and I finally felt strong enough to speak up.
"It's not," Coach huffed.
"The ones I have seen are," Edward contradicted. "That's much better than what you thought was going to happen to her."
"Okay, some of them are all right," Coach backpedaled again. I would have smiled if I wasn't still scared of what he could do to me. He had calmed down a lot in Edward's presence, but once we were alone, I was sure he would punish me with grueling workouts and long hours practicing.
"What the hell is this?" Coach growled as he studied the next picture. "You took another one? With Mallory and Stanley? Why would you throw fuel on the fire? What a stupid thing to do."
"I think it's great," Edward interrupted. "She is showing she has a sense of humor and can laugh at herself. This will help get people to see the real Bella. The young woman who is normal and who makes mistakes, but doesn't hide away when she does."
Coach looked like a deer in the headlights. Everything he said was being shot down by Edward. "Okay... I can see your point. Well done, Swan."
I acknowledged his words with a slight nod but only took them for their face value. I knew he didn't believe what he was saying. But I couldn't take back the photo, so I had to live with the consequences.
"I think you will see that the memes will be the biggest story to come out of this and that it will all be forgotten in a couple of weeks." Edward smiled as he spoke, trying to lighten the mood.
"We can only hope," Coach grumbled as he handed the iPad back. "We will see. For now, you need to keep up your fitness, Swan. We have four years of hard work ahead of us."
"Yes, Coach," I said quietly.
He stood up and left the room, muttering. I took a deep breath and leaned into Edward's embrace.
"Thank you," I said.
"No problem. He shouldn't have spoken to you like that. I would have defended you even if I didn't like you."
"You like me?" I turned to smile up at him.
"Yes, I like you. Why else would I do what we did in the pool?"
"Because you can? Because you are you?"
"What does that mean?"
"I have seen the way people treat you. The way every woman looks at you, even the married ones. You could have anyone you want."
"I'm not that sort of guy. And I want you. I have since I first saw you."
"When was that?" I asked. I could remember the first time I had seen him in person. I had been waiting to board a plane for a competition, and he was returning from his own competition. I was sitting with Mom in a corner and he was surrounded by journalists asking questions and taking photos.
"When we arrived in London. Every time we are in the same room, I can't stop looking at you."
I blushed and thought about all the times I had noticed him looking my way. "I thought you were looking at Jess and Lauren because they can't stop giggling around you."
"No way. I don't know why you're friends with those girls. They seem mean, and you never look like you have fun with them."
"I don't. It goes with being teammates. We are forced together, but we also have to compete against each other. We can never truly be friends. But I try to be nice, even if they aren't." My statement was a much milder version of what our relationship really was, but he didn't need to know the gory details.
"You deserve better."
"Yeah," I agreed. Edward made everything better, and I really wanted him. But it was too soon to say that sort of thing. One fuck in a pool didn't make him my boyfriend.
"Bella?" a voice behind me said.
I turned to see Jessica and Lauren standing in the doorway staring at us.
"What are you doing?" Jessica asked Edward. "Why are your arms around her?"
"Why not?" I asked. It was my turn to protect Edward. "What is wrong with him holding me?"
Jessica's mouth opened and closed as she decided what to say. "Why her?" she asked Edward. "She isn't good enough for you. You could do better."
I gasped at her audacity. How dare she say that when I was sitting there? How could she ask Edward that? She was way out of line.
Edward squeezed me tight. He knew me well enough to know those words had hurt me.
"You have that wrong," he said. "She's too good for me. You claim to be her friend, but you don't know her at all."
I turned to look at him and shook my head. He smiled and leaned in to kiss my lips quickly. That earned another gasp from the evil witches.
I took a deep breath and turned to look at them again. "For your information, if anything is too-anything for me, then it would be his cock. You know what they say about big hands and big feet..."
I watched as both girls' eyes and mouths formed perfect circles in surprise like two laughing clowns in the carnival game. Edward chuckled as he buried his face in my neck.
"Come to my room – I want you again," he muttered loud enough for them to hear.
We stood and walked past the circus.
As soon as his door closed, I collapsed onto his bed and laughed. It felt good to finally get the upper hand over those bitches.
"That was amazing," Edward said as he lay next to me. "You were great."
"Thank you. I only did it because you were there. You make me feel confident and strong. Like I can take on the world."
"I like the sound of that," he said as he propped himself up on his elbow to look down on me. "Does that mean you want to keep seeing me?"
"Yes, please. I would like that."
"Okay." He pulled me close for a kiss and I wrapped my arms around his neck.
Whatever the future held, I felt ready to face it. With Edward supporting me, I could do anything.
©(storyline) 2012 Abbyward