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.
Notes: This is an outtake (essentially a second chapter) for my one-shot "Three Truths". It was written for the Fandom for Preemies Fundraiser. I did a separate banner for this outtake. Here's the link to the banner if you'd like to see it! i47*tinypic*com/21j4pis*jpg (Copy and paste the link and replace the * with a period)
This outtake continues immediately after the one-shot ends and covers the beginning of their relationship. Rated M for lemons.
Beta'd by the always lovely Karenec. I'd be lost without her.
Three Truths – Outtake: The Fourth Truth
Truth: the earth revolves around the sun.
Truth: Bella loves Edward.
Truth: Edward loves Bella.
I place my hand on Riley's flank; his body is already beginning to cool. Bella rubs soft circles on my back, her hand still up under my shirt, and it's enough to keep me from breaking down again. I whisper a final goodbye and Bella takes a moment to do the same. Her eyes are sad as she glances up at me, and I know that she understands exactly what I'm going through. It's reassuring and a little bit freeing. I take the time to let the vet tech know I'm done, and leave Riley in her hands. I'll have to call Ashley tomorrow, something I'm absolutely dreading.
Bella and I walk out to the parking lot hand in hand. It feels good, feels right. I stop by her dark blue truck. It's about six or seven years old, well cared for, but clearly used.
"Come home with me tonight," I blurt out. Bella turns to me in surprise. "I mean, I'd like it if you came home with me. I don't want to sleep with you … well, I do want to," I correct myself. "But I don't expect that, not tonight. Or well, not until you want to. I mean …."
Jesus, what the fuck is wrong with me? I wonder. I have never rambled this much in my life.
Bella's lips curl up into a smile and she shakes her head at me, pressing her finger against my mouth. "Shh. I understand. You just don't want to be alone tonight. I get that."
"Sort of," I admit. "But not just anyone, Bella. I want it to be you."
She nods. "Then I'd love to."
"Great. Do you need to come in tomorrow?" I ask.
"I'm not scheduled until afternoon."
"Want to leave your truck here?"
"Sure, let me just grab my bag." She unlocks her truck and I reluctantly let her go.
I slump against the side of it, grateful that she seems to understand my rambling need for her beside me tonight. I was dreading the thought of falling asleep alone. Curling up in bed with Bella seems infinitely more appealing.
In no time at all, she's tucked into the passenger seat of my Sonoma pickup and we're on our way to my apartment. We're both quiet, but her presence, and her hand on my thigh, is enough. We don't really speak until we're at my apartment. I let her shower first, keeping myself busy with mundane things like tidying up and changing the sheets on the bed.
She's soft and wet when she gets out of the shower, dressed in the huge shirt and boxers I loaned her. My feet carry me over to where she's standing without a second thought, wanting to be close to her. She smells like my shampoo, although I know she had a small toiletry kit in her truck. We all carry them, you never know if a case will run long and you'll be stuck somewhere without a toothbrush. My kit just holds the basics. Bella's apparently holds a contact case, because she's wearing glasses I didn't even know she needed. She looks cute, and a little shy, and I brush my lips over hers and gesture toward the bed.
"Get comfortable. I'll be right back after my shower."
The hot water feels good, and I do my best to push away the thoughts of Riley, as well as the beautiful girl in my bed. If I think about the horse I lost, I'll fall apart in the shower. If I think of Bella, however, I'll be hard when I climb into bed beside her. I want her, but I'm too emotionally exhausted to explore that tonight.
After I finish in the shower, I dry myself quickly and slip into a t-shirt and pajama pants. I brush my teeth equally fast; eager to hold Bella in my arms again. I wouldn't have made it through tonight without her. When I come out into the bedroom, the lights are out except the one beside the bed and she's on her side, reading the book off my nightstand. She turns to smile at me.
"Have a good shower?"
"It felt great," I say honestly, flipping back the covers and sliding into bed beside her. My brain is trying to wrap around the fact that I am in bed with Bella Swan. If someone had told me that a few weeks ago, I would have thought they were nuts.
She puts the book down on the nightstand and turns over to face me. "So you read James Herriot, huh?"
I shrug and smile at her. "I loved the books when I was a kid, I guess it's part of why I wanted to be a vet. It's kind of the book equivalent of comfort food for me."
"Mmm, they're good stories."
I push her hair off her cheek and cup it; my palm looks huge against her face. "Thank you."
"For what?" She scoots closer, so our feet are tangled together, our knees bumping, and heads so close that our breaths mingle; minty from toothpaste.
"For coming tonight. How did you know I needed you?"
"I didn't. I just knew he wasn't doing well and that it was going to be really hard for you. I wanted to be there for you, if you wanted me."
"I don't think I could have done it without you," I say honestly.
"I'm just glad you didn't have to."
I lean in, brushing my lips across hers. She tastes minty, too, but sweet. Her mouth already feels familiar to me, as does the sound of the little sigh she lets out after I pull away. I kiss her again, feeling drugged by the taste and feel of her. I lose track of how long we kiss for, all I know is that it makes the ache of losing Riley go away, although another ache soon follows.
She ends up on her back, my body half over hers, kissing desperately, her hands in my hair, tugging. My hand is under her shirt, against the smooth, soft skin over her ribs. My fingers brush the edge of her breast and I can tell she doesn't have a bra on. My cock is hard, pinned between my belly and the mattress. I give in to the urge to slide my hand up and my palm covers her breast, the hard nipple telling me just how turned on she is.
I nuzzle her cheek, burrowing my head into her still-damp hair, working my way down her neck. "Did you think about this?" I ask, my voice coming out rougher than I intend. I feel the way she shifts on the bed, wanting more.
"Sometimes." She moans and arches into my touch when the rough skin of my thumb slides across the small, tight nipple. "I dreamed about you kissing me."
I return my mouth to hers, kissing her deeply, hungrily, like I can never get enough of the way our mouths mesh together so perfectly. Eventually though, the kiss slows, frantic hands still, and I'm propped up on one elbow, just staring down at her.
Bella's mouth is red, her lips a little swollen, her eyes half-closed and sleepy. She looks content. Her fingers reach up to trace my cheek, down to my jaw, ghosting over my lips. It feels so right to be with her it's unreal. I underestimated this girl in so many ways. I'm never doing that again.
Without words, we shift onto our sides, her body cradled to mine, her back against my chest, touching from head to toe. Her feet are icy cold, and I smile against her hair.
I want more. She can feel how much I want more. My erection is pressed tightly against the curve of her ass, and yet, this is so good that I don't need anything else. Just her soft body against mine. She reaches to click off the light and we weave our fingers together, pressing our joined hands against her stomach. I close my eyes, thinking it will take a while before I fall asleep, but I'm out immediately.
I wake up to the smell of coffee and the sound of running water in the bathroom. There's a cup of coffee on my nightstand and I smile when I realize it has an obscene amount of sugar and very little cream, just the way I like it. God, she knows me so well; I kind of hate that I don't know how she takes hers.
I blink in surprise when I realize the clock says 2:11 p.m. I can't remember the last time I slept so late. Bella walks out of the bathroom, a cloud of steam following her. She's towel drying her hair and she stops abruptly when she realizes I'm awake. She looks apprehensive for some reason, her smile a little hesitant, and her posture guarded.
It takes my still-sleepy brain a moment to put it together, but the moment I do, I set the coffee cup back on the nightstand. I reach out for her, grabbing her hand. "C'mere."
She sits on the edge of the bed and hesitantly scoots back toward me. She lets out a yelp of surprise when I pull her to me, wrapping her tightly in my arms. She's curled up with her back to my chest, both of us sitting on the bed.
"You know nothing's changed, right?"
She stiffens and I curse myself for not wording that better.
"I mean, nothing has changed from when I asked you to come home with me. Everything has changed from before you stepped into the barn last night. What I'm trying to say is that I want you to know that I meant every word I said last night, Bella. I want you. I want us. I want this." I squeeze her tightly to me, trying to reassure her. Apparently it works, because she relaxes, and turns around to face me. I drop my hands to her bare thighs, rubbing my thumb across her knee.
She wets her lips and tucks her hair behind her ear. "I just wasn't sure. I wanted to believe that but I was afraid maybe you changed your mind in the light of day."
"Hey, no, don't say that. I'm sorry it took me so long to get my head out of my ass. It frustrates me that I wasted so much time, and that I ignored you for so long. I don't understand it," I say, baffled. "I feel like I must have been blind to not see you before."
She shrugs. "I guess I'm just glad you see it now."
Her lips are on mine before I can even blink. She tastes like toothpaste again and I wonder if I'll ever be able to brush my teeth without thinking of kissing her. I probably have a horrible combination of morning and coffee breath, but she doesn't seem to mind. Her hands are in my hair again and I moan when she tugs at it. She shifts so she's straddling me, and I'm reminded of the night I was checking her out at the bar and fantasizing about her riding me. I know she can feel my cock through the thin layer of my pajama pants and my hands tighten around her waist before beginning to roam up and down her back.
When her hips begin to move over me, I dimly wonder if it's too soon for this, but it feels too good to stop. I can hear her panting against me. I smile when I think that my lap is full of gorgeous, writhing girl. My hand slips up under her shirt, my palm laying flat against her bare back. She's warm, and her skin is still slightly damp from the shower.
An unfamiliar ringtone finally drags me from my Bella-induced haze and I pull my lips from hers. Her cheeks are flushed and she looks so happy it makes my chest feel tight.
She giggles and smoothes down my hair. "I'm going to kill whoever that is for interrupting."
I nod, and reluctantly release her. "We probably need to head out soon anyway, don't we?"
"Unfortunately," she grumbles.
I nuzzle against her jaw, kissing and nipping my way down her neck. "We have time. We are dating now, you know."
She giggles again. "We are?"
"Definitely. I may have been an idiot for not seeing this sooner, but I'm not going to waste any time now. You, Bella Swan, are mine."
She attacks my mouth with a hungry kiss again, but once again, the phone ringing interrupts us. We both groan. With a small smile, she wiggles off my lap and digs in her bag for her phone. She's bent over and I can see the baggy boxers of mine sliding up the backs of her firm thighs and the way they curve over her ass. Once again, I'm stunned. With a groan, I get out of bed, glad her back is still to me as she answers the phone. I take the chance to adjust myself, pinning the head of my cock against my stomach with the waistband of my pajamas, and tugging the shirt down to cover it.
I half-listen to her conversation as I duck into the bathroom, but the noise of the water drowns her voice out as I turn on the shower. I wonder what she's saying. Going in today should be interesting. I know I'll get a lot of flak for being with Bella when I resisted for so long, but I don't really give a shit. She's too good to pass up because of pride.
I shower quickly, skip shaving, and by the time I'd dressed and ready to go, Bella is curled up on the couch in my living room with my James Herriot book. She looks so right there, it's ridiculous.
It's almost time for her shift at the barn and we swing by a fast food place to pick up something to eat on the way there.
"Are you dipping your fries in a chocolate shake?" I ask, when I notice her doing it. I'm a little horrified by the idea.
"Mmhmm, they're really good that way."
"It sounds disgusting."
"You've never tried it?"
"Nope." I jam a few fries in my mouth and then cringe, realizing that I'm kind of acting like a pig. Bella and I might be together, but we haven't actually been on a date, and I should be trying to impress her. Sure, maybe she's been in love with me for years, but it doesn't mean I should act like a slob. I feel so oddly comfortable with her, it's hard to remember that this is all new. I don't even know her middle name or where she lives, or if she has pets.
"Want to try it?" she asks, an amused smile playing on her lips.
"Not really, but I guess I will," I answer reluctantly.
She grins, and out of the corner of my eye, I see her grab two fries and dip them in the shake before lifting them to my mouth. I open and she carefully feeds them to me. The taste is actually not bad, sort of sweet and salty all at once. Licking her fingers is even better. We finish our meal that way, Bella alternating between feeding me and herself. I like it.
At the barn, I lift her out of my truck and let her body slide against mine. She presses a giggling, teasing kiss against my lips and we walk into the barn hand in hand. Just my luck, there's a gaggle of vet students standing in the center aisle when we round the corner. Jaws drop, elbows nudge, and one guy even chokes out the words "holy shit" at the sight of Bella and me together. They're all staring. Figuring I might as well put on a show, I wrap an arm around her shoulders, swing the other one to her hip, and dip her. She shrieks and grabs at me when I kiss her deeply and her cheeks are bright red when I pull her back upright. She's glowing though, eyes sparkling, a wide grin stretching from ear to ear.
I turn and face our flabbergasted audience. "Yes, I finally wised up and realized that Bella is the perfect girl for me. I'll give you two days to give me as much shit as you want about it, and then you're done. Deal?"
They nod dumbly at me, and I snicker and turn to kiss Bella's forehead. "I've gotta call Ashley, okay?"
The amusement fades from her eyes. "You going to be okay?"
I sigh. "Yeah, it's not going to be easy, but I'll manage. You go do your work and I'll come find you when I'm done."
She squeezes my hand and I turn and walk away, my heart aching at the thought of what I need to go do. Dr. Banner is in his office when I poke my head in.
"Edward," he says gruffly. "I heard you were with Riley last night when he went."
"Good. I'm glad. I was just thinking about calling the owners."
"I'll do it," I offer.
He sighs and stands up, holding his hand out to me. "You're going to make a damn good vet, Edward. I mean that. I have to scrub in for surgery; I've got a horse on its way with a twisted intestine, so you can stay in here while you make the call."
"Thank you, sir."
He leaves and I sink down in the chair, staring at the phone for a long time before I dial. I've called Ashley so often about updates on his condition, that I have her number memorized.
"Edward?" she gasps when she answers.
"He's gone, Ashley," I say quietly. I hear the muffled sob, but I continue. "It was as easy as it could be, and I was with him the whole time. I'm sorry; I wish we could have done more."
There's nothing but the sound of crying for a moment, and then I hear her mother pick up the phone. Her voice is husky, but steady. "We appreciate everything you did for him, you and Dr. Banner, and the whole staff there is really incredible. You made a very difficult situation as easy as possible."
"You're welcome," I say hoarsely. "Riley was something special."
Her breath catches. "We know. We knew that from the moment we met him."
We talk for a little while, and I go through the usual explanation of what they'll have to do to retrieve his body. They're going to bury him on their farm. We talk for a while before she says goodbye. I hang up the phone and sit there for a long time. The ache in my chest is back, but once again, Bella seems to know. She peeks in the door and then walks inside, closing it quietly. She goes around behind me, her thumbs digging into the muscles I didn't even know were tense.
"How'd it go?" she asks quietly.
"As well as can be expected, I guess. I talked to her mom for a while. They're coming tomorrow to pick him up."
Her thumbs move up my neck and I drop my head forward, groaning at the way she presses them into the spots at the base of my skull. "How did you know I need this?"
"I know you," she says confidently. "Don't think all those years were for nothing. I know your neck and shoulders get tight when you're tense. You rub your neck when it starts to bother you."
I reach back and grab her hand, bringing it forward so I can kiss her palm. My voice is gruff. "I don't deserve you."
"Well, I'm keeping you anyway, so too bad."
I chuckle and grab her other hand, so her arms are wrapped around my shoulders. "Good."
I catch up on paperwork and studying while Bella finishes her shift. We both have the following day off, and we end up heading to her place together that night. It's a lot like mine, a small apartment not far from campus. We make dinner together and spend the evening on the couch watching TV. This time when we're in bed, things go a little further. I learn that she's loud. Like, really loud. She's not at all ashamed of her pleasure, and bringing her to orgasm with my fingers is something I look forward to doing over and over again.
We fall asleep with her head on my chest, her cold toes pressed to my shins.
I've never been happier. I love this.
It's been a month and a half since Riley died. Sometimes I still glance in his stall and expect him to be there. Today when I look in, it's a short, dappled grey mare in there. She's sweet, but she's not Riley.
A hand slides up under my shirt and I turn into her touch, kissing the top of her head. "Hey you."
Bella smiles understandingly up at me. "Missing him?"
I nod. She knows how hard it's been for me. It's funny, I've never been attached to a horse this way before, but I'm finding it hard to shake.
"I wish I'd had the chance to get to know him."
"Me, too." Pushing away the momentary bit of melancholy, I focus on her instead. In the time since Riley's death, Bella and I have been pretty inseparable.
Our relationship has progressed ordinarily enough I suppose; we go out to dinner, and to the movies. We meet our friends at the bar, and now instead of two separate groups, we're all jammed together at a giant table. Bella's friends: Alice, Jasper, Jake, and Leah, mesh well with Rosalie, Emmett, Paul, Sam, Emily, and Jane. The beer flows, the laughter is loud, and now there's a pretty, pink-cheeked girl on my lap.
Jessica, the waitress at the New Belgium Brewing Company, seems unfazed by the fact that I'm taken now and I'm glad I never went home with her. I'm sure she would have been a lot of fun, but its better this way.
People still give me shit about Bella occasionally, but I don't care. She's worth it. Every second of it. Although I expected Emmett to give me the most shit about her, he doesn't. It's because he's in love with her, too. Not the way I am, thank goodness; Rosalie would kick his ass. But he treats her like a little sister. She gives him so much shit back, and we're all entertained by their continual bickering and pranks.
Bella stays over at my place often, and I stay at hers. We fall seamlessly into a routine. We haven't slept together yet. Nothing in particular is holding us back. We've done just about everything else, but for some reason, we always stop. Today though, I'm taking her on a trail ride and I think that maybe it's time for my most treasured fantasy to take place. We both have the day off, and I know the owners of a local ranch who have a massive spread of land and are willing to loan me a couple of horses for the day. It's May, and the weather is perfect. The trees are green, the sun is shining, and it's a beautiful seventy-five degrees.
We saddle the horses and I thank the barn manager profusely. A picnic is tucked in the saddlebags and we mount our horses. We start out at a walk, but as the fields open up and the horses urge us forward, we let loose. There is no sight in the world better than Bella on horseback, galloping ahead of me, her braid flying in the wind. She's even more beautiful than I imagined.
We go until the horses tire, and then slowly drop to an easy loping walk as we hit a forested patch. Eventually, it opens up into a grass-filled meadow and we tie the horses loosely to trees. They happily set to work on the tall, dry grasses, and the quiet sounds of their chewing and contented whinnies make me feel at ease. We clean our hands and set out a picnic on a huge, faded quilt that Bella packed. After lunch, we nap for a little, side by side, hands intertwined. I'm still half-asleep when Bella lifts my hat off my face and peers under. Her eyes are bright and happy, and I tug her so she's lying on top of me.
"I love you," I whisper and she tilts her head to kiss me sweetly.
"I love you, too." Her words are heartfelt and so are her kisses. They grow deep and soft, filled with an eagerness we've both been holding back on before. After a while, when I'm hard and straining for her, she sits up and rips her shirt open. It's a plaid shirt with pearl snaps, so it pops right open. I grin and watch as she tosses it on the quilt beside us. Her bra immediately follows. She's not shy. Not at all, and I love that. My hands close in on her nipples, pink and puckered. She looks so good in the warm afternoon sunlight, and I sit up to kiss the freckles that dust her shoulders and down over the top of her breasts.
She smells like sunshine and clean laundry and I feel half-drunk on it. I pull her down on me and roll us over, sitting up so I can wiggle the painted-on jeans off her hips after I remove the boots. Her legs are long and lean, strong, and I kiss down her flat stomach as I tug off the blue cotton underwear with the little white bow.
I stare at her a while. Here, out in the open air, with the dappled light on her skin, she looks so beautiful it's unreal. My eyes roam over her and she doesn't shift uncomfortably, or try to cover herself. She's naked and unashamed the quiet stillness of the meadow. She's mine, every beautiful inch of her.
I position myself between her thighs. No matter how many times I pleasure her with my mouth, it's never too often. I lick and suck at her, feeling her fingers thread through my hair. It stings sometimes, when she pulls a little hard, but I like it. I like it when her thighs flex and tense against my ears and she moans low and long. But I like it best when her whole body goes tight, straining and reaching for that peak. Her sigh of relief when she comes down is music to my ears. I love making her feel good like that.
This is normally where we stop, or she goes down on me, but I want more. I glance up at her face and she nods, just once. It's time. We've talked about this and I know I don't need to worry about anything between us. She watches as I strip out of my clothes, until we're both wearing nothing but sunshine.
I whisper that I love her when I push inside her, and her eager, gasping response makes my heart beat faster. When I'm settled deep within her, I roll us over and she lifts up. She's glorious in the golden light and we just look at each other for the longest time, green eyes locked on brown. I fumble for the tie at the base of her braid and work it loose, burying my hands in the thick, soft strands. It falls around her shoulders, a tumble of chestnut brown and mahogany.
When she moves, I settle my hands gently on her hips and let her take over. She's warm, all wet sweetness and movement. I was right; a girl who rides English has no equal when it comes to this position, but it's so much more than that. It's the way she knows me, inside and out. The quiet way she takes care of me when I'm hurting. It's the way I care for her, and the fact that I've never loved anyone the way I love her.
Dazzled by the brilliant sunshine and the feeling of being inside her, I come hard and long. She does too, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that I'm going to ask this woman to marry me.
There's a fourth truth now.
Someday, Bella Swan will become Bella Cullen.
And I couldn't be happier.
Notes: Hope you liked this. The first part didn't feel quite finished, but I think this wraps it up nicely. They're both happy together and Edward got to experience his fantasy come to life. I don't ever expect to write more of their story, so if you want a glimpse of their HEA, this is it:
I picture both Edward and Bella becoming vets, getting married, having a few kids and eventually buying some land and starting a horse rescue where they'll live until they're old and grey when Edward's eventually reunited with Riley. Because as my mother says, "If there aren't horses in heaven, I'm not going." And I bet Edward would feel the same.