Disclaimer: (Content and legal) All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
Author's Note: In an effort to give my poor beta a break, Sunflower Fanfiction chipped in and did an amazing job beta-ing this for me. Twice.
This was my contribution for the Fandom4TwiFanG fundraiser!
"Love From Key West"
I dove under the water and swam to the opposite side of the pool. My fingertips grazed the slick tiles on the far wall as I surfaced, rolling on to my back and allowing the water to support me. I closed my eyes and floated, blissfully happy and content. I had been long overdue for a vacation. Edward and I had been in Key West for three days now and the stress we'd both been coping with had melted away in the hot sun. We spent the days snorkeling, parasailing and exploring the island. We devoured shrimp, lobster bisque, key lime pie and mojitos like we'd never be able to taste them again. We swam every day, danced every night, and made love morning, noon, and night.
Chicago felt like a million miles away rather than the fifteen hundred miles it actually was. Edward was a rising star at Northwestern Memorial Hospital as a talented neurosurgeon and my graphic design company was taking off. Because of our successful careers, there was very little time left for each other. We could both feel the strain it was taking on our relationship.
We met our freshman year of undergrad at Northwestern, at a dorm mixer. Furtive glances became awkward conversation. Awkward conversation turned in to meals in the cafeteria. Meals in the caf were eventually dates off campus. Slow, sweet kisses became frantic, passionate nights in bed. Within a few months we were a couple and at the end of our senior year, we were married. It had been smooth sailing until the last year or so. As the demands of my business grew and Edward's responsibilities increased we found ourselves spending less and less time together and snapping at each other more and more. Silly gripes became heated arguments. Our marriage wasn't on the rocks yet, but it was getting dangerously close. The problem was, I had no idea how to fix things, or how to bring it up to Edward that we needed to do something before we drifted so far apart we'd never find out way back to each other.
When Edward had suggested a weeklong trip to the Florida Keys, I jumped at the chance to spend uninterrupted time with him. We'd been married for seven years now; and had been too broke then to take long trip for our honeymoon. I had no complaints about spending a long weekend in a hotel making love to my handsome new husband, but we had both been eager to get away.
A quiet splash pulled me from my thoughts and I opened my eyes to see my husband gliding toward me across the pool. He was sleek and graceful and I felt my mouth go dry as he stopped in front of me. His long fingers pushed his wet hair off his forehead as water trickled over the sculpted planes of his chest. We were reveling in the honeymoon we'd never had.
"Did you finish your phone call?" I asked quietly, turning my head so I could look at him better. Earlier, a colleague had called on a patient consultation. Neither of us were thrilled about the interruption to our vacation, but some sacrifices had to be made in order for him to even get the time off. Agreeing to a phone call or two if his advice was needed had been one of them.
I came out to swim while he was on the phone and I was surprised to see him finished so soon. Edward walked close to me, the water moving in soft ripples around his body.
He nodded. "Yeah. It didn't take as long as I thought it would, so I came out to join you."
He stopped just a few inches from me; the water was chest deep on him. He gently ran his fingertips down my shin cause goose bumps to break out there.
"I'm glad you came out," I said, reaching up to touch the droplets of water lingering on his broad shoulders. Edward and I had both been pasty white when we got here, but he was starting to develop a light golden glow. Even his brown hair was starting to look sun-kissed. Normally meticulous about being clean-shaven, he'd let his stubble grow and he looked rougher, manlier. The pinched, tired look that he sported all too often had disappeared and he looked relaxed and happy. His eyes were normally a greenish-blue, but the tan made them look bluer and brighter. There was no denying it; my husband was a sexy man.
"Mmm, me, too. I can never get enough of seeing you in a bikini." His fingers moved further up my thigh and his other arm slipped beneath my shoulders to support me as I floated.
"The feeling is mutual. I love you in board shorts." I wound my arm around his neck as he drew me closer, my fingertips caressed his jaw line; tickling the rough-soft stubble. The buoyancy of the water and the feel of his arms around me made me feel safe, light and relaxed. It was after midnight, and the rest of the pool was deserted. We were staying at a cozy little Inn right on Key West. The main house was to one side of the yard, and the tiny guest cottage we were in was on the other. The pool lay in between, and other than the underwater lights glowing in the pool, it was dim and secluded. The air was sultry, and the water was still warm from the sun. All of the other guests had gone to bed hours before and we had the place to ourselves.
I could hear the water lapping quietly at the sides of the pool and I sighed contentedly.
"Your freckles are really starting to show." His hand moved from my shin to my nose and I made a face. Edward loved the freckles across the top of my nose, but I was much less fond of them. "And your hair is redder."
I nodded. Although my skin color barely budged from stark white to a soft off-white, the sun did bring out my freckles and the reddish highlights in my hair. He gently pulled me closer and dipped his head so he could kiss me. "I love you," he whispered.
"I love you, too, Edward." I threaded my fingers through his hair and let my tongue slip between his lips. He opened his mouth immediately; it was wet and warm and tasted faintly of the spiced rum he drank earlier. I drew back and whispered against his lips, "You taste good."
He gave me a crooked grin and gently pulled me upright against his body. I wrapped my legs around his waist and his strong hands moved to my thighs. My arms rested against his broad shoulders as I leaned in to kiss him.
"I'm really glad you suggested this trip," I murmured when I pulled back. "I think we both needed it."
"Yeah," he brushed his lips against my jaw, "we did."
"For a lot of reasons," I said. "For one thing, we're both exhausted, so I think we just need some time away from work."
I bit my lip at the thought of the other reason we needed it. One that was much harder to discuss.
"I feel like things haven't been…well, haven't been the way they should between us lately," he said quietly, the mood turning serious all of a sudden, as he voiced what I'd been thinking. "We hardly have time to see each other, and when we do, one or both of us is exhausted. We don't go out anymore, and until this trip, it had been over a month since we actually had sex. We argue more than we make love. I don't like that, Bella. It's not the kind of relationship I want."
"I know. It's not what I want, either." I looked down at the water, feeling tears sting my eyes at the memory of the way I'd been feeling lately.
I hesitated for a moment before I spoke. "It hurts sometimes, when you come home from work and just crash. I know you're exhausted, I know you haven't slept in thirty-six hours, but I still resent the fact that you don't kiss me, and ask me to join you in the shower. You don't pull me into bed and make love to me."
He sighed and lifted one hand to rub his thumb along my temple and cheekbone and then down to wipe away a tear. "I know. I feel guilty every time. But I'm barely awake enough to wash my hair, much less give my wife the proper attention she deserves."
I nodded, understanding it, but still unsure of how we were going to fix things.
"I resent your works sometimes, too," he added. "After I wake up and finally feel human again, you're either at work, or doing work in the home office. I've been tempted to throw your monitor out the window just so you'll turn and look at me. You get so engrossed in your work. I'm fucking proud of you for how successful your business is, but I hate it sometimes."
I chuckled sadly, picturing Edward throwing a temper tantrum just to get my attention. I trailed my fingertips down his cheek and pressed my lips to his jaw.
"Well, it's hard to be pissed when your husband is saving lives every day. I feel like guilty for wanting to scream at you that I need some attention, too."
He sighed and leaned his forehead against mine for a moment before he pulled back. "Well, what do we do then? I mean, we can't take a trip to Key West every other week."
"Unfortunately, that's true," I said with a sigh and thought back to the last few days since we'd been in Key West. It was like we had been starved for each other. We couldn't seem to keep our hands off each other. We made love in the morning before we opened our eyes, in the shower after breakfast in bed, in the afternoon when we went to our room to take a nap, at night after we returned, flushed and eager from dancing.
He gave me a lopsided smile. "I agree. This has been perfect. We just have to find a way to make it work at home, too."
"It's just…we're both so busy. Our careers are important, but I don't want to let it hurt our relationship," I said.
"Me either." His arms tightened reflexively around me. "I love you more than anything in the world, Bella. I don't want to risk what we have. I can't lose you, I won't lose you."
I nodded, suppressed tears making the back of my throat ache. "I feel the same way, Edward. But I'm scared. I don't want to be one of those couples who don't even know each other after twenty years. Who sleep side by side, but are more like roommates than lovers and partners. And I'm afraid that if we don't do something now, we'll end up there. Or we won't be together at all, and that's even worse."
He nodded, his eyes sad and worried. I pushed his hair off his forehead so I could see him better in the dim light that filtered through the water illuminating his face. "We won't, Bella. We won't let it happen. I love you too much to let things fall apart like that. We'll just have to find ways to make it work. I don't know what yet, but I promise, I will think of something. I have to. There are no other options."
"Maybe I could hire another graphic designer," I offered. "If I have more help at work, things will ease up a little. It'll be tight financially, but I won't have to work so many hours. I'll talk to Alice when we get home."
Edward's sister, Alice, was my partner in the Graphic Design business we'd started just a few years prior. I knew that she, as much as anyone, would understand why I needed to spend less time in the office. Her husband Jasper was often as frustrated as Edward was with the hours Alice and I put in. The advantage they had was that Jasper was a prep-school teacher, so his hours were far less grueling than Edward's.
"That's a good idea." Edward pushed a damp strand of hair away from my face. "I'll cut back as much as I can. It's hard, there are always going to be emergencies, but I'll try not to volunteer for surgeries, unless they're really big teaching cases. It's not a lot, but it's something."
"Okay," I agreed, feeling like the sick, aching worry that had settled over me was finally beginning to ease. At least we had discussed it, had made plans for how to change things. It wasn't a total solution, but it was a start.
"What about making sure we take the time to go out on dates?" Edward suggested. "I miss that from when we were in college. Maybe once every couple of weeks we can go out to dinner, or go dancing or something. I don't really care what we do, as long as we spend the time together."
"I like that idea," I said softly. "Thank you, Edward."
"You don't have to thank me. I'm just happy that we're both on the same page about this and that we finally talked about it. I've been trying to find a way to bring it up lately, but I could never figure out what to say."
He sighed and pulled me closer, so our temples were pressed together. "I love you too much to ever risk losing you, though."
I grabbed a fistful of hair, and kissed him hard; desperate to show him how much I wanted him, how much I loved him. I wanted to take advantage of every moment of this vacation. It was our time to re-connect, strengthen our relationship, renew the vows we made at our wedding. Time to start over again.
As we kissed, I felt his cock stir, pressing against my leg through the thin, wet fabric of our suits. His wet, slippery hands roamed my body, the firm pressure of his skin against mine making me break out in goose bumps, despite the warm, humid air. The sultry scent of some exotic bloom lingered in the air, mingling with the light, salty, spicy scent that clung to his skin. I closed my eyes, giving myself over to his touch. His lips moved down to my neck, gently nipping with his teeth and I groaned and pressed tighter against him, wondering if he could feel how hot and wet my pussy was against his stomach. The wetness there had nothing at all to do with the water we were submerged in.
He made a low sound in the back of his throat and backed me up against the pool wall, bending his knees a little. I gasped at the feeling of his long, hard cock pressed right up against my pussy. I moaned lowly, knowing just how good it would feel once he was inside of me. My fingers tightened in his hair and I shifted to align our lower bodies, tightening my grip around his hips. It freed his hand so it could move to my breast, slipping between our upper bodies to thumb my nipple through the wet, clinging fabric.
It reacted instantly, tightening under his sure touch. My eyes fluttered closed as he continued to play, squeezing and pinching. I felt my hips begin to move against him and he let out a strangled sound of pleasure. His long fingers slid under the tiny scrap of fabric that served as a bikini top, his palm covering my breast. I sighed in pleasure and let my head fall back, my thoughts going incoherent and muddled at his touch.
He lifted me higher, his cock sliding from where it had nestled between my legs and I whimpered in disappointment. His hand moved to the other breast and his head dipped his head to take the nipple between his lips. I panted, my breathing sounding loud and eager in the quiet night. My fingers tightened on his head as his warm, wet tongue swirled around the peak. It sent a jolt of pleasure through my body and tingling warmth settled between my thighs. I squirmed against him, missing the hard press of his cock.
"More, Edward," I begged, and his arms tightened around me, the suction of his lips increasing until it almost hurt. "I need …"
I didn't finish my thought, too overwhelmed by the achingly pleasurable feeling of his teeth gently scraping the tip. The hand that wasn't yanking his hair dug into his shoulders, spurring him on. He roughly switched sides, his hand and mouth resuming their attention almost seamlessly. Limp and boneless, my head fell further back, hitting the concrete edge of the pool, making me gasp quietly in pain. Edward lifted his head and gently slipped his hand between my head and the pool edge. His mouth dropped down to my nipple again.
He toyed with it until I was panting and writhing against him. When I thought I could hardly take another moment of his teasing touch without losing my mind, I felt him back up a little. The hand that had been cradling my head moved under me to support and lift me. The wall behind me and the added buoyancy of the water made it easy for him to hold me up with one arm, and I took a moment to appreciate the way it made the muscles in his arm and chest tighten with the movement. His right hand trailed down between my breasts and into the water, dragging across my stomach. I looked down, watching his hand move between our bodies to the juncture of my thighs. His fingers deftly slid under my bikini and gently slipped between my lips.
His fingers were sure and knowing as they slid into me, gathering up the slippery wetness and then withdrawing to spread it over my clit. I bucked hard against his hand, my clit already sensitive and throbbing from the foreplay. With a light, deft touch he circled the tiny bundle of nerves, his fingers skillfully stimulating it until my hips were writhing against his hand. Two fingers slipped inside of me and his thumb slipped over my clit. I cried out and his mouth covered mine, muffling the sounds I made. With practiced ease, he brought me to a shuddering climax. I fell against his shoulder, panting against his neck; his hands cradled me close, soothing me as I trembled in his arms.
"Fuck, I can never get enough of making you come like that," he murmured, his lips against my hair. I kissed his neck, his stubble rough against my lips, and slipped a hand down to gently caress his chest. The sparse hair there was soft against my fingertips and we took a moment to just hold each other.
When I sat up and looked into his eyes I saw a needy, desperate ache that I knew was reflected in my own. He pulled his cock from his board shorts and pushed aside my bikini bottoms. With a single thrust of his hips his cock filled me. I was aroused enough that his cock slid right inside, despite the water. We both gasped and Edward stilled, resting his forehead against mine, his eyes closed. My own eyes closed as well, and I felt his warm breath against my lips. With Edward deeply inside of me, his arms wrapped around me and head pressed to my own, I had never felt closer to him, physically or emotionally.
"I love you," he whispered and I whispered it back. He began to move, so slowly it was almost indiscernible at first. My hand wrapped around his head, my thumb pressed to the firm line of his jaw. The other arm hooked under his, my fingers clutching the top of his shoulder. It anchored me tightly to him as his hips moved achingly slowly against me. I could feel the heat of his skin, the shuddering gasp of his breath, the needy sounds he made in the back of his throat.
We rocked together, the water allowing for a fluidity to our movements that we couldn't achieve otherwise. His cock delved deeply into me and the movement made my body clench around him. Edward and I may have been struggling to find enough time to have sex, but we certainly didn't have any problems once we had the opportunity.
Edward's mouth covered mine as I let out a breathy moan. In the warm air, out where anyone could see us, it felt deliciously naughty to have my husband pinning me to the pool wall, fucking me like he'd never get enough. We pulled apart, gasping for air and he gripped the pool edge to get better leverage. He leaned in, his lips right against my ear, warm breath tickling my skin as he whispered, "You feel so good. I need to make you come, wet and warm around me. Please, love."
His mouth pressed to my neck, his tongue tickling the soft skin underneath my ear just before his teeth gently scraped across it. He knew it drove me crazy to be kissed there and it was just what I needed to come.
"Harder …" I gasped, my nails digging in to his skin. With one, deep forceful thrust he pushed into me and I threw my head back, gritting my teeth to keep from crying out as I came. I knew, without even having to look, that his jaw was clenched as he shuddered his release. Edward coming was one of the most beautiful things in the world, but right then I didn't have the energy to lift my head.
I convulsed around him, falling forward against his chest and resting my forehead against his shoulder as he made the last few deep, erratic thrusts in to me. My breathing sounded harsh and loud in the quiet night air, but I didn't have the energy to look around to see if anyone had caught our impromptu show. We stayed joined together for a long time, letting our breathing return to normal and our heart rates slow, softly caressing each other.
With the same, quiet sigh he always made, he eventually stepped back, our bodies parting regretfully. I slid deeper in to the water and sighed, floating on my back. Edward joined me, linking our pinkies together as we stared up at the night sky. It was a clear night, and even with the streetlights, I could see stars twinkling. I heard Edward let out a deep, relaxed sigh and looked over at him. He was looking at me; his eyes soft and warm. "I know I've said it a thousand times lately, but I love you."
"I can never hear it too often," I said. "I love you, too, Edward."
I let go of his pinky to slip my palm into his hand. I squeezed tightly, wanting to wordlessly reassure him that although we had been going through a rocky period, we would find a way to make our marriage work. It would take effort, but if we put in half the energy we'd been spending on our careers, I knew we could succeed. After a little while, Edward stood and slipped his arms under my body, moving us toward the edge of the pool. Once we reached the steps he lifted me easily and carried me into the cottage, his eyes trained on mine.
He gently stripped us both of our swimsuits and led me in to the shower. After a long warm shower he laid me on the bed and covered me with light, sweetly scented lotion. The cool air in the bedroom made my skin prickle with goose bumps as he massaged every inch of my tingling skin until I felt like I could melt into the bed. Just as we were both drifting off to sleep he whispered in my ear.
"I swear, I will do everything I can to make our marriage work. You know how important my career is to me, but it means nothing if I don't have you."
I sleepily turned on my side and cuddled closer to him, pressing a soft kiss to his jaw. "I know, and I feel the same way. I love you, Edward, nothing is more important than that."
With a relieved sigh, he pulled me tightly against him and drifted off to sleep. The worry that had nagged at me for months had receded. This trip, this chance to start fresh and make our relationship a priority had been exactly what we needed.
And to think, we still had four more days here in Key West.
Notes: I'm toying with the idea that I might continue to do a mini-vacation series with these two. Anyone interested?