Chapter 10: A Good, Clean Brain Wash

"Oh Jesus," I mutter under my breath.

Her eyes are popping out of her head. She's freaking out. I know that look; I've seen it before. I've had problems with other women being unhappy I'm uncircumcised. I had hoped since she was a little more experienced, maybe she'd have already been with an intact man before. Apparently not.

I manage to keep from groaning.

"You're uncircumcised," she says.

"Yeah." I grip the back of my neck and sit on the edge of the bed, still turned away from her.

The bed moves, and I cringe.

This is it. She's leaving.

"This is why I don't even see your scar or your stretch marks," I say, motioning to my dick.

"What's that supposed to mean?"

"It means, there's a reason I've only had four girlfriends. The first girl I ever slept with didn't like the way it looked; she said it turned her off. She gave me a second chance, and it just didn't work for her even though I made sure she orgasmed that time. She broke up with me directly after." I sigh and my shoulders round forward. "My second girlfriend was a virgin—she said I hurt her when we slept together." A pang of guilt rams through my gut. I know women hate hearing about exes, but I think she should know. I've learned some about Jake, and she's been vulnerable and exposed today. My turn. "I was fine when she broke up with me since having sex with her, hurt me, too. She was so tight, it pulled really hard at my foreskin, it almost felt like being skinned alive. Fuck." I pull the blanket over my crotch. "She said I was way too big for her, though we stayed together a few weeks and simply stopped sleeping together. It didn't work out; she said she wasn't ready to be sexually active, but then I heard she was sleeping around like crazy after she broke up with me." My jaw clenches. "The third was a little better, and I learned more from her on what to do to get her ready so it wasn't so snug. Lots of warm up, but she never wanted to touch me down there or give me head. It was fine, but I saw the faces of disgust she'd make when I pulled my pants off." My chest is tight. I cross my arms over it to keep it from overwhelming me. "I waited almost a year after her to date again. My final girlfriend, well . . ." I shrug. "She would touch me, put her mouth on me, but she said she liked it rough, kind of like you. She wanted to feel more ridges and friction, and since my shaft's covered with a foreskin, she said it didn't get her off. The glide was too smooth. And if I went too deep, she'd cramp up, and she'd have to soak in the bath afterward. I'd massage her uterus to help her feel better."

"Fuck, I'm sorry . . ."

"I just can't seem to win in this department," I say, staring at the floor. "Everyone of them said they liked the way a cut man looked better, even if one of them admitted it felt better with me than with her previous partners. Do you see now why I don't want to be rough with you? I figured I was already taking a chance by not letting you see me before we had sex. The last thing I needed was to hurt you in addition to hiding my issues from you. If I'd gone hard, then I knew you'd never speak to me again."

"Jesus." She sets her palm on my lower back.

"I even thought about maybe moving to Europe after I graduate—it's more acceptable and the norm there."

She rubs around my spine. "I still don't see how that applies to me and my disfigurements."

I turn to her, eyes blazing. "Disfigurements? You think you're deformed or something?" I rip the blanket off me. "Look at me, Bella. I've been told by four different women that basically, I'm a freak and they didn't want to have sex with me. You didn't want to show me your naked body, and I sure as hell didn't want you to see mine. I was too worried you'd definitely turn me down once you saw what you'd be dealing with, and I'm sorry, but I couldn't let that happen. I wanted you too much to care. I guess that makes me a pathetic, horny asshole, but I . . . Well, yeah . . ." I trail off.

She stares at me; eyes soft. "It's awful knowing your lover doesn't approve of your naked body, isn't it?"

I stare back and go mute.

"Jake thought I was old, fat, ugly, and he even mentioned taking me to a plastic surgeon after I birthed my daughter."

"He's a stupid fucker," I say.

"I don't know about that, but I do know you deserve to start your life out with a woman that's as attractive as possible."

"And what about them? Do they deserve me with my big dick that scares them?" I blink hard.

She grins and there's a wicked glint in her eyes.

"Can I touch it?"

"You want to?" My voice breaks.

"Absolutely—if you'd asked upfront, I would've told you—this has always been a fantasy of mine, to be with an uncut man. And it was fabulous." She giggles.

"It was?"

"God, did you hear how loud I climaxed, and all the things I said to you afterward?" She fans herself with her hand for a moment. "I about climaxed several times, but I was trying to make it last."

I grin. "Really?"

"Yeah, really."

"So can I?"

"Touch it?" I bite my cheeks.

"Yeah." Her eyes flit down to my dick.

It's soft now, but, fuck, if she wants to . . .

"You can do whatever you want." A beautiful rush fills my chest, and I can barely breathe, my heart's pounding so hard.

She pushes herself up to sitting, and then reaches out and brushes her hand over the tip.

"Now it's your turn to tell me if I hurt you," she says, "since I've never done this before."

"I rather doubt you could, but, sure, I'll tell you." I exhale. "And you know I love you touching me anywhere at all, since I'm constantly touching you. Of course I want it back."

She pets my dick, strokes it, and stares intently, like she's utterly fascinated by me.

I chuckle a few times when her tongue pokes out in concentration.

"I love the way the skin glides in my hand," she says, working me up to a semi-erect state.

"I love the way it feels in your hand," I say, tilting my hips toward her.

She reveals the meatus over and over, and almost gasps each time she covers it up at the tip. Her fingers examining me in such a slow, thoughtful manner is so damn erotic, I leak a little. I lean toward her. Her facial expression shifts, changes from studying, to lusty. "God, you felt so fucking good. Better than anybody I've ever been with. I love that you're not circumcised. I'm going to have to send your mother a thank you note for leaving you whole. How am I going to keep myself from wanting you all the time? I'm going to be walking around constantly turned on thinking about your dick inside of me, and how this monster fit and filled me up."

"I fit with those balls inside you," I remind her.

"No wonder it was out of control mind-blowing. I'm sure you would've been tight even without them." She leans over and licks the tip. "Mmm . . . In fact I know it. So big."

"You're making both my heads big and swollen, woman."

She laughs. "It's not hard to do."

I shake my head. "I'm not that conceited." I chuckle.

"No, quite the opposite—which I can't understand since you've got this thing between your legs and you're gorgeous."

"Whatever," I say, pulling her into my lap.

She straddles me but keeps her eyes down.

"I'm not kidding—I may need to take a picture of this so I'll have something to get me going on my lonely nights."

"If you're with me—you're not gonna have any more lonely nights," I growl and kiss her forehead. "I wanna be there for you. I wanna be in you; always."

She wraps her hand around my shaft and pumps it.

My eyes roll back in my head as it tips back, and my hips thrust forward into her hands.

"That feels good," I say, sucking back the water, flooding my mouth.

She's got me really hard again. Her hand squeezes, and then she gasps as more and more blood enters my cock, thickening it. "So sexy. You're so fucking big, and I can't get over how you glide so easily in my hand," she pants. "I love the way you look; those women were idiots!" Her breath is pounding into my chest as she's jacking me off and resting her forehead on my shoulder.

"You don't know how much this means to me," I whisper. "That you like this and want to touch me."

"Well, fuck, Edward . . . After this, I doubt I can go back to a circumcised cock. I've heard other women say that before, but I thought they were exaggerating. God, you're making my pussy throb just looking at you. It's so strong and powerful. So fucking sexy."

"Then I'm gonna be naked around you more often."

She laughs. "Good plan."

She pumps harder and then suddenly goes stiff in my lap. "Oh my God, you . . . I get it now. They didn't appreciate how wonderful you are, just like Jake and me."

I nod. "Exactly. That's why I can understand the rejection."

"Not nearly as mean as you've been treated, but yes, you're right. I get it now."

She slips off my lap, envelops my cock in the next second with her mouth, and my eyes go wide.

My hand lands in her hair, and I cup the back of her head, guiding her gently.

"Fuck . . . You're so brave to do that," I say.

She moans around me and lightly pulls back on my foreskin then starts licking, gently sucking and playing all around the corona with her mouth. She tickles my frenulum with her wet, pulsing tongue and a shiver rolls down my spine.

My thighs tense.

"Fuck, that feels sooo good." My body is on fire again. "Nobody's ever . . . Oh, Jesus! Do that again."

She repeats the motion, and I automatically fist her hair, but I'm careful to avoid pulling it.

She tugs over and over again, giving me a hand job while she lands my tip in her mouth with each pump. It's almost too intense. I'm not used to this much direct stimulation. Her rhythm and pressure are perfect, and my body is aching to release again. I don't want to come in her mouth. I want to come inside her pussy again if she'll let me. Being inside of her and letting go like that was beyond description.

I lift her head and say, "Enough, I want to be inside you, fucking you until you're creaming my cock hard."

"You didn't like what I was doing?" Her brow furrows.

"Hell no, I loved it way too much. It was almost too intense. I don't want you to be left out though." I smile as I think about bringing her to orgasm again.

"I want to touch you some more; I need to," she says, sounding like a true addict. Her eyes narrow at me.

"I want to enjoy your body, too," I remind her.

"I definitely want to do it again, but I'm not ready to go so soon," she says. "I'm still all tingly down there; too sensitive—that's how good you were."

"Let's wait for both of us then. What do you want to do in the mean time?"

I grab her hand and entwine our fingers. She's only getting me off if she's getting it, too. There's no way I'm gonna let her service me without a return gift.

"Lunch?" she suggests, her brows tilting up.

"I don't have a whole lot of food in my place right now. Sorry, but we could order a pizza or go out and get something if you want."

"Oooh, pizza sounds good. I love pizza, and I rarely have it."

I cock my head at her. "Why? If you love it, why do you deprive yourself?"

"Because I've been desperately trying to lose twenty pounds for the last six years since I had Corinne. I gained fifty pounds when I was pregnant with her, and I lost the first thirty easily, but the last twenty have been stubborn. I told you, Jake thinks I'm fat. I used to look very different; really thin and my breasts weren't so ugly and huge."

What the fuck did she just say? I release her hand and cup them. "What?" My nostrils flare. "Never, ever say that about your breasts. Why would you ever think that? They're perfect—so round and full. Women pay to have tits like these. Very curvy. Every man's wet dream! I fantasize about touching them all the time." I brush my thumbs across her nipples.

"Jake hated it when they got bigger. I used to be a C cup and that was perfect for him. Once I got pregnant –"

I snarl through my teeth. "Bella, your ex-husband must be batting for the other team or something—I'm telling you, he's completely screwed up. Your curves are very sensual, and they drive me to distraction. You're like a fucking Victoria's Secret underwear model. Never change your body. I love it exactly the way it is. Only change if there is something you don't like, but never change it for me. What the hell is wrong with him?"

"You really think I'm pretty?" she asks.

I grab her into a tight hold and say, "Do you feel this?" I press my erection into her thighs. "It's stayed this way for a reason. You're not touching it anymore, neither am I, but it's still swollen and throbbing for you."

"Oh . . ."

"This is how hard you make me all the time just by looking at you. Nobody else does that to me. I can't tell you enough how your body is the most insanely sexy and perfect thing I've ever seen in my entire life."

"Say that again," she says all out of breath, her shoulders surrounding her ears.

I let go of her chest and set my hands on her shoulders.

"Say what? That I can't even think about another woman?" I lean over and kiss her. "That I had to pursue you even though I knew you didn't want to be with me because of my age and lack of experience."

"I . . . Well, it was . . ."

"I know . . . I know how you felt, but I didn't care. I had to go after you. This is the most insanely sexy body," I brush the backs of my hands down her breasts, "and you're the most beautiful woman I've ever seen." My hands slide up her shoulders and cup her jaw. "No one else compares to you."

She gasps and pulls me into a tight embrace. "I can't believe you like looking at me."

"I'm going to brain wash you, and tell you all day long you're gorgeous and sexy and all mine. Man, I thought you knew this about yourself. I'm baffled by you. You seem so God damn sure about yourself, and you're so independent. Why is it so hard for you to believe me? Jacob's opinion is wrong. Ask any guy who looks at you if he's turned on by your curves? Your ass, your breasts, your tight body. Jesus. Didn't you think the other guys you slept with liked what they saw?"

"I didn't know if they liked it or if they thought it was a free lay so they weren't going to make a fuss? I figured they merely put up with me so they could get some action, and I didn't care because I needed to have sex so badly."

"I guarantee they loved what they saw and felt, and wanted more. You had them hooked. I love that you take such good care of yourself, and that there's nothing fake about you." I pull her hand up to my face and kiss each knuckle on her hand. Her long, slender fingers smell like sex—smell like me. I twitch in reaction when I inhale deeply. Smells perfect. Can I keep her from washing her hands for a little bit, so she'll keep smelling this way?

"I already told you I was supposed to have some plastic surgery done for this scar and for the stretch marks a few years ago, but I chickened out. Jake was pissed, but I told him the plastic surgery probably wouldn't have worked on the stretch marks anyway. I try to do things as natural as possible. It's part of my line of work in holistic medicine. I try to avoid all drugs and chemicals as much as I can."

My face drops. Does this mean she's not on the pill? I just assumed since she's so sexually active . . .

I swallow hard as my brain launches into overdrive. Should I ask her? Surely she would have said something? She handed me a condom yesterday that we didn't get to use. Did she use a diaphragm just now? Wouldn't I have felt it when my fingers were up inside of her? I didn't feel anything inside of her acting as a barrier. Fuck! All the girls I've ever been with were on the pill or had the shot.

Calm down! She knows what she's doing, and she's into natural stuff. Maybe she knows her body well enough to know when she's fertile or not.

I close my eyes for a second and pray what I did wasn't a mistake.

"Hooohhhh," I blow out a little, stressed out breath. I can't ask her. I trust that she would have told me if I shouldn't have come inside of her. She's so straight forward and honest about everything else. Why wouldn't she tell me? That wouldn't make sense.

My mind keeps assaulting me trying to figure it out. Is she on the pill? Then why the condom yesterday? For STD protection? Crap! I'm going crazy.

"Okay, let's get some food so I have some energy to take you inside of me again," she says, smiling.

I relax immediately, my chest loosening—she's definitely on the pill or she wouldn't want to do it again without protection. That would be insane.

I get up and stroll naked to the kitchen to get my phone out of my backpack. Is she watching my naked body?

I glance over my shoulder, and she's gawking. My chest heats.

I give a throaty laugh and head out of the room. Once I have my phone, I dial for pizza delivery.

Bella agrees on a supreme pizza, and when the order's placed, I ask the pizza operator, "What's the damage?" I cringe inside, knowing I'm running incredibly short on funds.

"The total's twenty dollars and seventy one cents with tax. It'll be there in about thirty minutes. Don't forget about a tip for the driver," the operator reminds me.

"Do you take debit over the phone?" I ask since I know I don't have very much cash on me.

"Sure, give me your card number."

I get up to grab my wallet off my dresser in my bedroom. Bella follows me in and takes my hand. "Stop, I'll pay cash when it gets here."

No, you pay for everything. I'll get this."

She looks at me adoringly and says, "You really don't have to. I know you don't have a lot of money. Save it for school stuff or for yourself. I don't wanna eat into your budget."

I kiss her swiftly on the lips. "My treat today." I'll get a job soon and then my money won't be so tight.

I give the numbers over the phone and Bella lies back down on my bed. She's very comfortable, relaxed and sprawled out humming to herself as she continues to gaze at my dick which is now relaxed and calm, too.

I hang up and she says, "I have to say, I love being in your bed. I love your apartment, too."

"Why? It's so boring and plain. I haven't done much with it." I glance around the room.

"But it's honest, and it feels and smells like you. One of the many things I adore about you is how easy you are to please and get along with. You don't demand anything from me except that I be myself and surrender to the fact you wanna be with me. Do you know how rare that is? Men boss me around all the time, and the only reason I get my way is because I can choose whether or not to sleep with them."

Can I tear their dicks off now? Fucking douches. "I don't need much to be happy. I only need to touch you and see you smile and then I'm content."

"God, you're spoiling me already." She rolls out of bed and heads to my kitchen.

I, of course, follow her; amused over how at home she is here. She's comfortable going through my fridge as she looks for something to drink. She grabs a water bottle and asks, "Can I have this? Screaming out your name while I'm coming with a mind blowing orgasm makes me an incredibly thirsty girl."

"Maybe a Gatorade would hydrate you better?" I tease. "And I think you can scream louder than that. It was only warm up."

"Ew! I hate Gatorade. No thanks, I'll pass." She sticks out her tongue and ignores the rest of my comment.

I lean against the counter and watch her. "Yeah, you can have that water bottle."

She opens it, takes a swig and walks over to the couch then stretches out on it. "What time do you have to be to work tomorrow morning?" she asks.

I give her a cocky smile. "I don't have a job right now, remember? I'm in summer school, and I have to be there by seven. I have a confession to make though."

"Yes?"

"I left earlier than that today so I could watch you enter your office building at your work."

"I knew I saw you this morning! That was you, wasn't it? Did you follow me inside, too?"

"Yeah. A co-worker of yours named Rose let me in. Don't get her in trouble though. She saw how pathetic and girly I was, staring at you."

"I can't believe you came there."

"Or that I secretly act like an ovary attached to legs?"

She laughs. "There is nothing girly about you." She motions the water bottle at my cock.

"Well, thanks, but just so you know, I was there because I was trying to make sure you were okay. I felt awful about what happened between us yesterday. You looked really upset. I was worried about you."

"I cried a ton over losing you. I could barely make it through work this morning as I thought about never seeing you again. It seemed so dumb, but I felt awful, too, so I'm glad to hear I wasn't the only one."

"You cried? Shit. I'm sorry." I suck in a gust of air. "I'm sorry I did that to you. I was shocked when you told me you had a kid. I still wanted you, but I needed time to process it all."

"I know, hon, and you already apologized, so it's fine. No need to say sorry again."

"I really wanna meet your daughter, Corinne." I smile at her even though I know she may gut me by saying no.

"Really? I figured you'd only want to date me if we could do it without my daughter being involved at all. It would've been tricky for me to do that, but I'm used to keeping that stuff away from her, so I was willing to do that for you."

"Yes, really. You love her, so she's important to me, too. She's a part of you, and I want to be a part of your life. How old is she? What's she like? Is she beautiful like you?"

She steps toward me and blushes a little. "She's the cutest little girl I've ever seen, and I'm not biased or anything," she mocks herself. "She's six, and very precocious. Very smart and funny. She won't be back for another four more weeks. I miss her so much. I was actually considering flying down to see her for the Fourth of July."

What? That's the day after tomorrow! She can't go. My heart stops. "Oh, I didn't know you were thinking about leaving town." I try to keep a poker face. I don't want to guilt her into staying here. If she needs to see her daughter then she should feel free to go, but dammit, I can barely breathe when I think of her being away.

"I don't think I will now though. I can't be away from you, and since you're in school, you probably can't go with me, can you?" she asks with a glimmer of hope in her voice.

"I don't know." I know I can't afford plane tickets anywhere. Pizza was a stretch as it was.

"We'd have to leave tomorrow, and we could totally surprise her." Her face lights up.

God, her smile is so exuberant. I want her to have this, so without thinking I say, "Let's go."

"Oh my gosh, Edward, you're going to love my mom. She's amazing!"

Shit! I'm meeting her mom and her daughter? My heart speeds up and my hands get cold.

I'm meeting family, and I'm what to her? Her young lover? Her boyfriend? Her friend? Her one-night-stand? What would she introduce me as to her mom and daughter?

"Um, I hate to have this talk already, but what would you tell them our relationship is?" The blood drains out of my face and my dick when she bites her lip and looks worried as hell.

"I would tell them you're my boyfriend. That's what you are, right?"

I swallow. "Yes, if you want me to be." My voice cracks. I definitely want to be.

"Of course I do. Does that bother you if I call you my boyfriend and introduce you that way?"

"No, I would love it if you did that." I grip the counter for support and then sit down at a barstool.

"Okay, then after we eat lunch, have some more mind blowing sex, let's get you packed. Do you want to stay at my place tonight so I can get packed up, too?"

My head aches. This is taking off faster than a rocket. I love it, but am I ready for this? "Will Jake bother us?" I ask, wondering how often he stops by.

And like magic, as if I've conjured up the devil by saying his name, her phone starts to vibrate in her purse.

She walks over to it and answers, "Hey, I'm busy. Can I call you back?"

I glare at her phone. I know it's him. He calls her all the time, and she only uses that tone with him.

And has she forgotten we're both naked, still dripping with each other's come?

Suddenly my fists ball up, and my chest heats.

She's in my home. Mine!

And she's talking to that shithead on the phone right next to me.

I get up, walk over to her, kiss her neck and stroke her breasts then fondle her ass, breathing hard in her ear.

"Would you stop that?" she whispers very quietly and smiles at me. "I'm on the phone."

Hell no. I'm not going through this again.

"Hang up," I growl.

"I can't." Her eyes plead with me to not give her hassle about this.

"Hang up, baby," I say more urgently as I kiss and nip at her neck.

She returns to her phone conversation, "Hey, I'll call you back later. I'm kind of in the middle of something important."

I can hear Jake yell at her on the phone, "Tell him to get his damn hands off of you so you can talk to me for five fucking –"

Snap!

I snag her phone out of her hand, close it and toss it in her purse.

She chokes on her breath.

I smile and cross my arms over my chest.

A second later, she smiles back at me and stifles her laughter. "You are seriously insane, you know that?"

"Insanely jealous for you," I reply. "I don't want you talking to him when you're with me. I don't like it."

"I have to be careful not to piss him off. I'm already going to be pushing him away by telling him no more dates on Thursdays and no more sex."

"He needs to get a girlfriend," I say as I go back to kissing her body.

"He has dozens of girlfriends. It doesn't matter. He still hounds me constantly." She offers half a shrug.

"Do you want me to talk to him?" I wrap my arms around her and rock her.

"No, I can handle him."

I rest my chin on the back of her shoulder and love having my chest pressed up against her backside. It means my cock's nestled between her firm cheeks. Mmm . . .

"He already knows we're together. Next time you talk to him, when I'm not around, tell him I don't like it. He'll respect my wishes."

She laughs and snorts, "He doesn't respect anybody's wishes. He's a selfish jerk."

"Then turn off your ringer when you're with me, and tell him you couldn't hear the phone ringing because I was making you come over and over and over again and you were yelling out my name." I tighten my grip around her waist.

"You're almost as horny as I am," she says. She reaches behind her and strokes my ass.

"How often do you wanna have sex?"

"Um, all day. I masturbate all the time. All the old lady books say I'm at my sexual peak, so I probably think about it as often as a guy does." Her hands settle on top of mine.

"How often do you masturbate?" I'm getting slightly aroused thinking about her touching herself.

"Depends. Probably two to three times a day on average."

"Holy shit! That's how often I do it. God, we need to be together all day so we can take care of each other all the time," I say.

"You're more dangerous than I thought."

The doorbell rings. We both jump! Shit, we're both naked.

She runs into my room, throws on my shirt and my boxers, grabs her purse and beats me to the door while I'm still getting dressed, minus my underwear since she took them.

"Thanks! Keep the change," I hear her say as she shuts the door with the pizza in hand.

Damn it! She paid for the tip. Will she ever let me pay for anything?

"I would have gotten the tip." I try hard not to sound annoyed.

"I know you would have, but let me tell you something—I hate that I have to take Jake's money. The only thing that makes me okay with it is spending it on Corinne and now you. I try not to use any of his money on me at all. It feels dirty. I hate that he coerced me into keep that matching Rolls. I'd much rather drive my Volvo. It's what I take Corinne to school in, but once she left out of town, he insisted I drive the Rolls instead. He's so damn controlling and bossy, it makes me insane!"

"Sell it. If it's your car, get rid of it," I say, tucking her hair behind both ears.

"If I did that, would you let me get you a car with the money?"

Hell fucking no! No way! I wouldn't take a car that was bought with his money.

My spine stiffens, and I don't say a word; I merely look at her like she's killing me with this thought of hers.

"I really wanna get you some transportation. If I bought it with my own money? What if I bought you a motorcycle so you could come and see me in the middle of the night when my bed is cold and lonely?" She flutters her eyelashes at me.

God, she's so convincing. I would love to be able to get to her house in minutes if she called, begging me to come and make love to her.

I grind my teeth for a second. "If it's that important to you, then I'll take out another student loan and get a car."

I'll get something we can fit Corinne in too, just in case.

"You would?" she asks, her voice all breathy and delighted. "Well, until you do that, I want you to borrow the Volvo. I need you to be able to get around more easily."

"I would do anything for you. Now let's eat . . ." I'm dying to fuck you again . . .

I get down two plates, two cups, some napkins and open the box of pizza.

"How did I get so lucky to have you?" she asks in a dreamy voice as she takes a big bite.

"You didn't—I'm the lucky one. Lucky that you let me love you even though I have nothing to offer you."

"Nothing but everything I always wanted." Her voice shakes and she gets a little choked up.

I wrap an arm around her shoulders.

Forget lunch. I need her now! I pick her up over my shoulder and march her right back to my bed so I can show her how lucky I am to have her . . . Repeatedly.