Chapter 11: The Freedom to Act Out

"I was eating," she says pretending to be perturbed I've dragged her back to our new sex cave.

"Eat this instead, it's very filling," I say, placing her hand on my erection.

Her phone starts buzzing in her purse again. I groan and tip my head back.

Her hand stills on my dick.

"Don't answer it," I warn.

"What am I supposed to do? He's going to get really angry, and he'll keep calling. You won't have to deal with it, but I will—later tonight. Do you want him to come over to my house while we're both there?"

"No, I don't. I'll be with you though so he won't want to come in."

Suddenly I can imagine him making her go outside to talk to him again. I won't allow that to happen. It was excruciating to let her go with him and talk to him alone while I was waiting for her last time. Never, ever again!

She's mine!

I grab her damn phone and answer it, "Hi Jake, this is Edward."

"Edward, I need to talk to Bella. It's important."

"She can't come to the phone right now. She's with me, and when we're together, I don't like her talking to any other men, especially ex-husbands. I'm sure you understand. Why don't you tell me your message, and I'll relay it to her."

"I don't give a damn how you feel. Let me talk to that bitch or –"


I hang up. He's not calling Bella names; I won't allow it. Nobody talks about her that way, especially not that miserable excuse for a man.

Bella's face scrunches, and her eyes are filled with worry and fear.

"He can't hurt us," I say.

She's worried over nothing. There's no way a judge would ever give that asshole their daughter over Bella. Sure, he makes good money, but courts usually side with the mom unless they deem her unfit and there's no chance in hell any judge could ever say that about her.

"He'll call back, and I'll answer it again. He'll get the message—I'm taking care of you now. And when he calls back after that, I'll answer again, as many times as it takes until he gets the hint he can't be bugging you all damn day long, especially when you belong to me."

I put her phone in my pocket, take her hand and bring her back out to the kitchen so we can go ahead and eat our lunch, since he effectively killed the mood. Besides, she's hungry, and I can wait, unlike that asshole with the patience of a spoiled toddler.

"Thank you," she says, sounding worn out and run down by that man.

"You're welcome. I'll run interference every time. That man is out of control, and somebody needs to get him to stop. I don't mind being that person at all. You can't do that since you have to look out for Corinne, but I'd be happy to teach him some manners."

"You're too sweet, and way too good to me," she says as she saunters back over to the bar stool, plops herself down and goes back to munching on her pizza. There's a thoughtful look on her face and a serene smile in place.

Good. I put it there, and I'm so fucking ecstatic about it, I can't even eat. All I can do is stare at her in awe.

"You're so beautiful, Bella. And you deserve to be happy," I say.

She sighs and shifts in her chair. A slight cringe washes over her then disappears. She exhales and her chest rounds nicely.

"How's your slice?" I ask to check and see if she's enjoying it. I love that she's eating something she wouldn't normally.

"I forgot how much I love pizza." She's practically choking on it as she's inhaling it.

"Hey, where's my damn soda?" I ask as I search around for it.

"Oops, he must have forgotten to give it to me."

Damn it! I paid for that damn drink for nothing. There goes a few more bucks down the toilet.

Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz, Bzzzzzz.

I answer her phone again, and say with a big smile, "Must be urgent. Why don't you tell me what the emergency is, Jake, and I'll make sure she gets the message."

God, I am so enjoying shutting this prick down. It's getting me high. My chest tingles as I look at her, and she watches me with a hint of a smirk.

Yeah, he deserves this shit, and she deserves for someone to stand up to him for her.

I reach over and brush the back of my right hand down her arm.

She smiles at me shyly as she grabs a second slice of pizza and starts eating it with just as much gusto. I have to touch her. She's so damn cute! I drift my hand up her arm and then walk my fingers into her hair.

Goose flesh breaks out across her arm.

I snuggle in behind her, and with my free hand, I slide it up under her shirt and start fondling her silky, smooth breasts. She's squirming about a little but still smiling all the same.

"Let me fucking talk to her!" Jake snaps.

"I'm sorry, but she's indisposed at the moment and can't come to the phone."

"You horny, punk-ass teenager. She's not your toy. She's the mother of my child. Now, if you don't let me talk to her, I'm gonna rain down a shit-storm of epic proportions on your ass!"

"Can't wait. Oh, and just so you know . . . your threats don't work on me. I don't have anything you can take away from me, so go ahead, throw your tantrums and rage like an idiot. It's not gonna do you any good." I grin.

She grabs the top of my hand and tries to get me to grope her harder. A small moan emanates out of her.

"I can take her away from you," he says, sounding smug.

"You can try, but she's with me, and I love her; we're together now. I treat her right; give her the respect and love she deserves. You had your chance."


I'm done talking to this asshole.

I shove her phone back in my pocket, lean over and start kissing her neck. "He still wants you," I say, kissing along her hairline.

"No he doesn't. He only wants control."

"No, he wants you. He thinks he still loves you. He obviously didn't appreciate what he had until somebody else started adoring and loving on you." I scrape the edge of my teeth along the curve of her neck. Her shoulder bunches up.

She pulls her shirt off and holds her hair up for me with her arm so I can give better lip service to the back of her neck and body.

"He might come after you legally," she warns me.

"What's he going to take away? My couch my mom gave me? I have nothing of value except you, and I know you're not going back to him so I have the upper hand." I smile.

"You've got that right. I'll never go back to him. He has no idea how to be a good husband." She stiffens the moment she mentions the word husband.

I know she still somehow loves him, but I hope over time as I continue to show her a deep, satisfying love that's all encompassing and warms her soul like a protective blanket, she'll forget she was ever with him.

All she'll know is these arms I possess, and this heart that's now filled completely with her.

"He doesn't know how to love you, but I do. I'll love you every day of your goddamn life." I grab her around the waist and lift her up off the chair. She stares in my eyes with this soft glow about her. I stand her in front of the counter. "Grab on. I'm gonna show you right now how different things are with me."

A lazy contented smile drifts over her. She places her right hand on my cheek and angles her head at me. "I love you, too; God help me."

"I think it's too late for that since I've got you here, and I can't wait for diety to arrive and help out. Besides, I don't really need any help for this. And you can handle it."

"Is that so?" She drops her hand and squeezes my shoulder.

"Yeah, now bend over so I can love you from behind," I say. "Nothing says I love you more than being fucked from behind."

She laughs and then complies. "This should be interesting."

"Should be hot," I correct her. "Best ass in the world, right here in front of me."

I pull my boxers off her and softly stroke her hamstrings as I kiss her back with soft, parted lips. She moves with me, and she's so relaxed, she leans her arms onto the counter and lays her head on top of them like she's going to go to sleep.

Long, sweeping feather light strokes up and down her whole backside has her breaking out in goose flesh, and has me high and stiff as hell. I want every inch of her to be stimulated, quickened by my touch. She opens her legs wider and tucks her right leg up onto the stool she was sitting on while she was eating. I take that as a signal she wants me my mouth to take up residence between her thighs. Yes, that's where I belong.

I drift in that direction and make sure to drag out the kisses along my journey.

Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz, Bzzzzz.

I take her phone out of my pocket and hold it with my hand on my dick. Might as well let it get me off. Oooh, those vibrations are stronger than I thought they would be. Feels so good I get a bad, naughty idea. I'm not talking to that dick right now. I'm busy with my woman. But I can find a way to take advantage of his constant buzzing about.

"Is my phone ringing again?" she asks trying to crane her head around to see what I'm doing.

"No, it's my vibrator, and it's sucking on my cock at the moment," I reply.

Her eyes crinkle in confusion.

She turns around and watches me plaster her phone against my dick over my pants.

"God, that's so naughty." Her eyes light up. "You found a way to make him suck your cock."

"I'll have to thank him for calling so much and making a nice sex toy for us. Wanna feel it?" I ask as I push the phone up against her moist thigh.

"Whoa, that does feel good. You're so kinky," she says groping my biceps. "Who knew the good little college boy had a wicked side to him. Put it on my clit."

That's exactly where my thinking was going . . .

"As long as you're thinking of my dick up inside of you and not his," I tease.

"Please, . . . now that I've had you, I won't ever be able to fantasize about his miniscule cock or anybody else's. Nobody else has felt that good inside of me ever. The way your silky skin moved in and out of me—fuck . . . Makes me wet just thinking about it, and the way you slowly stretched me open, and didn't slam in and out of me. It was like you were kissing my cunt and then licking my insides . . . Heaven."

I pant as I listen to her describe the way I felt when I was making love to her.

A shiver runs down my spine. I shove that phone up against her clit as fast as I can. I want her thinking about me up inside of her immediately!

The phone quiets. I grab it away from her body, dial him back.

I smirk as it rings.

He answers right away. "Stop letting that dick answer your phone!" he yells, thinking he's speaking to her.

"I'll give her the message. Can you call back? I swear I'll let her answer the phone." I put a finger over her mouth so she won't say anything.

"I'm not playing games with you, you adolescent, horny –"


"He's gonna call back," I tell her.

Her eyes grow large and go dark with concern.

"It's fine. Trust me."

She nods, or tries to since my finger's still stuck to her mouth.

I let it fall away.

"Why is he calling back?"

"You'll see."

He's pissed—won't be able to resist calling back. Ready, set . . .

"Get ready baby, I'm gonna get you off with your phone." I prepare her by kneeling under her and slowly inserting two fingers inside that sweet pussy. She turns back around and pushes her leg back up onto the stool. I start sweeping her G-spot and sucking and kissing on her ass cheek.

If nothing else, that prick is reliable and extremely predictable.

Bzzzz, Bzzzz, Bzzzz.

"Answer the call," I croon as I push her phone up against her clit.

"Oh God, I love this game. I hope he calls me all the fucking time!" she moans. Her ass flexes.

"Show me how much you love it, come for me." An urgency fills me up. I want her to show me she can let go of her ex and come all over me as she turns her back on him and her phone. This is a symbol of her devotion to me and her abandoning her past. "Gush, and make me wet in the process. I wanna be soaked by you."

"Jesus, this is sick," she says, her voice raspy.

"He can't love you like I can," I whisper. My tongue finds its way to her anal opening. "There's nothing sick about that."

"Shit! Oh God, that feels fucking goooood." She thrusts her pelvis in time with my finger sweeps.

"Show me how good it feels, let go. You can do it—come. This is my love calling out to you, not his!" My fingers push a little deeper, a little harder, but I keep control and it's gentle enough so it's still loving.

The phone stills, and I drop it to the ground, like she should do with him. Drop him!

I circle her clit with my thumb, feeling more relaxed and less urgent now. She can take her time to let go and surrender to me. With each brush of my fingers, each moan she releases, each thrust of her hips, and each quiver of her body, I ache for her.

"How do you do this to me?" she pants.

"You belong with me. We were made for each other. We have to be together." I kiss her outer thigh with reverence, and inhale deeply. How does she smell this good?

"Yessss, we belong together, God, I feel it, too." She squeezes my fingers deliciously with her pussy.

I throb. I sweat and curse. I want more . . .

"Good. I'm glad. Now, when your ex calls, I'll deal with him. You don't have to worry about him anymore."

"No, I don't want you to have to handle that asshole," she replies, her voice filled with pain.

"Bella, I want to. I won't ever leave you to deal with his insane controlling ways. Just trust me to take care of you and this situation." I nip at her leg and it trembles.

She waves her head back and forth as she's trying to catch her breath. "Mmmmhhhh. You don't know what you're saying. He's impossible to deal wiiii—oh fuck!" I tighten the circles on her G-spot inside her, and her knees almost buckle out from under her.

She thrusts more savagely.

The phone vibrates around on the ground once more. He's gonna kiss her ass this time.

I pick it up and swing myself around so I'm sucking on her clit while he's vibrating on her puckered asshole. My tongue pulses, makes her lips swell for me. I place her phone on its side and gently shove it up against her anus.

She gasps at the sensation. My fingers inside her push deeply against her cushion filled with juices for me. I want them released, coating my tongue, wetting my appetite further.

"Ahhhhh! Fuck! So dirty!" she screams out as she lets go, coming hard. She rolls her hips, her back arching, and she squeezes her pussy tight. Fluids come streaming down her legs, drip down my hand and over my forearm. I drop her phone. It continues to buzz and dance around on the carpet while I lick that shit up off her legs.

"More, Jesus—I love seeing how wet you are," I say. She keeps gushing and dripping, and I keep licking and slurping up her standing, dripping leg. Fuck! She tastes sooooo good. I drag my mouth up to her pussy and pull my fingers out of her slowly since I know she's sensitive there now. I flatten my tongue and suck greedily, cupping her entire vulva with my open mouth. She shivers with each touch and kiss I give her. So sensitive from her orgasm still riding inside of her.

She puts her leg down that was resting on the stool, and I kneel in front of her, coaxing her down to lying on the floor.

I want to taste more of her. Once she's in place, sprawled out on the ground, I use my palms to spread her legs and my mouth explores, lapping up the rest of her come. I keep it gentle and light so she can come down off her peak.

"You taste so fucking delicious!" I tell her. "I hope he calls back so I can get you to do that again."

"God, You. Are. So. Kinky! I love it," she says all breathless as she spreads out and melts into the floor.

"I can't help it. I want all of you." I continue consuming all of her moist flesh. "I don't think I've ever cared very much about giving oral before now, but fuck if I'm not addicted to you, to your flavor."

"You can have all of me. I'm yours." She runs her fingers through my hair.

I pull my pants off, grab her hands and place them on my cock. "Touch me, please."

"I thought you'd never ask," she teases. She slowly sits up as I get into a kneeling position.

She tugs gently and glides her hand up and down the length of my shaft. Her eyes are filled with wonder as she fondles me. "Smooth as silk, glides like liquid heat in my palm. Those women you dated were idiots. I can't wait to have this inside me again." She moistens her bottom lip, and I leak.

I leak for her.

And her liquid heat that coats me when I'm inside her.

"God, do you know how much I love the way you slide up and down my cock like that? And the way you look at it, like you're gonna devour it. Fuck, I can barely breathe." I twitch in her hand.

She keeps going, running her thumbs around the ridge of the corona, slipping her index finger across the salty, moist slit.

I swell and thicken, and her pupils dilate.

"You're harder. I'm watching you get bigger in my hands. Holy shit, Edward, how can you possibly get bigger?" She breathes so hard, it sounds hoarse.

"I love how you touch me," I say, watching her hands move. "You're sure you've never been with an intact man before?"

"I'm sure. I have no idea what I'm doing, but I love touching it—touching your hard dick." Her breath hitches when more fluid beads at the tip. She pulls my foreskin back and lightly traces the pad of her index finger around my exposed tip. "So soft. So smooth. There's not a spot on my body this velvety."

I blink. "Yeah, there is. I've felt it with my fingers and my tongue just a little bit ago. You're softer—believe me."

"My clit doesn't count."

"It sure as hell does." I sit up straight, but slowly enough she can keep experimenting with my head.

She runs her fingernail from her index finger across the head.

My body recoils instinctively.

"Lighter please. Too much." She's used to a calloused, hardened dick. I can't take that much direct heat on my tip.

"It's so tempting to bite it, to suck it hard, and grip it with my nails, but I won't do that because I definitely wanna touch your cock again, and I doubt you'd let me if I did any of that." She lightens her touch as she examines and adores further. "It's really sensitive, isn't it?"

She flicks her finger lightly over the exposed top.

I jump and yelp.

She smiles and blows across it, watching my reaction with rapt attention.

"Sorry . . . I couldn't help myself."

"That's my line when I'm spreading your legs, about to fuck you," I say, chuckling. "But to answer your question—yes, it's ultra-sensitive. It's usually protected and covered. Like your clit. If you pull back the hood you can't just go after it full force. It's too powerful. You have to build it up, persuade it to come out and play, and then slowly the hood retracts on its own, revealing more and more until it almost takes up the entire space. The nerve endings slowly absorb all of the sensations."

"Is that why you like to take it slow?"

"Yes and no." I exhale, my head filled with all sorts of possibilities of how I can treat this question-and-answer-session. I can turn it into a clinic and be all logical about it, or I can make love to her again, and let her find out firsthand. Her eyes are filled with genuine concern and curiosity, so I choose to answer. "I can pound hard if I want, but I had that girlfriend I told you about that would cramp up miserably afterward if I made her come too fast, and I didn't like seeing her in pain. I don't want to do that to you. If I go slow, it takes longer to build up, and you have a stronger orgasm that goes on longer."

"I've rarely had that happen to me," she replies. "I don't cramp up."

I reach out and stroke her wrist as she continues to fondle me. "Yeah, but you've said you were never with an uncircumcised man. Believe me, you wouldn't like it. It would always hit my girlfriend, Tanya, twenty minutes later, so I had to learn control. She wanted it hard and fast, so I would do it for her, but I was bigger than what she was used to, and it made her uterus reverberate like aftershocks from an earthquake. It was hard to watch her doubled over with cramps in bed. I hated I was responsible for that. I wanted her to be relaxed and happy after sex, not hurting and popping Advils. It was worth it to me to figure out how to slow the fuck down."

"I don't care if that happens. I'm used to being ridden hard. Until you, I've never known a man who even wants it any other way."

I exhale and my shoulders tighten. "Even if you don't care, I do. I'd rather make it last longer and watch you have a more powerful orgasm that overwhelms you so much, it takes you twenty minutes after to remember your goddamn name, rather than twenty minutes later, cramping up and wishing you didn't own a pussy. I want to make love to you, not masturbate inside of you. If I want to get off quick then I can whack off on my own. When I'm with you it's because I want to enjoy pleasuring you and showing you my affection and devotion to you."

She sighs and her eyes soften. "So damn romantic. It's gonna take some getting used to on my part—having a man talk to and touch me like this."

"What did the men you dated usually say to you?" I quirk a brow at her.

"Pass me that condom." She shrugs like it's no big deal. "And make it quick."

Shit! All of that fear and worry comes flooding back into me. She uses condoms. We didn't use one. Why? I don't want to get her pregnant.

I swallow and fist my hands for a moment.

Okay, it's fine. She's using some other form of birth control. I hate condoms anyway. They're incredibly tight and suffocating. She knows what she's doing, dammit. She doesn't want to get pregnant either. She's on something, I know it. I'm glad that she's on top of birth control so I don't have to be.

Tendons stick out on my neck with each tight swallow.

I slow my breathing down; push those horrid thoughts aside like they're a nightmare I can ignore. I inhale with ease and say, "How did you put up with that?"

"I love having sex. I need it, so I didn't care what they said to me as long as they gave me an orgasm and they were willing to screw me."

"Too easy to please," I mock her. She said that about me.

"Yes, I am easy to please in the bedroom. As long as you push the right buttons."

"Did I get them all? I'm willing to do it again to make sure it's done right."

"Yeah, you pushed them all and in a way they haven't been pushed before." Her head lulls from side to side and her right hand flops over her heart. "When I can breathe normal again, I'll let you know." She grins.

My cock is rock solid and screaming at me for relief. "How did I do that?"

She starts pulling my erection toward her. "Get back inside of me, and I'll tell you."

She settles back onto the ground, and I slide on top of her, slowly pushing my way back in.

Lush, sweet, heat. Relief. She grips me with her pussy walls, and I grunt when I'm all the way in.

"Sssfffff, hoooohhhhh, feels good." My body is all fire and burning heat. "Fuck, I can't take how tightly you grip me. I may not last long." I tuck my head into her neck, cursing myself for having no control with her, after I basically just bragged about how I learned to slow down so I wouldn't hurt my girlfriend. She probably thinks I'm a lying fucker.

"Ohhh, dear God, I love how big you are. Are you swelling inside me the way you did in my hand? Are you growing thicker? Harder? Ready to leak already? Fuuuuck . . ."

"Shhh . . . Don't say that, I'll blow."

"I want you dying to come—I want you to think about how much I love the way you slip inside me and move like water, caressing my insides, kissing my G-spot. Can you feel how wet you make me? I've never been this wet before."

I lick her pulse point on her neck and growl. "Goddammit, you're trying to make me work to keep going, aren't you?"

"I'm not doing anything, but telling you how it feels because it's so fucking amazing," she says, her voice low and throaty. She tightens her PC muscles again, and I bite back a broken, whimpering moan.

She pulls her legs back as far as they'll go. Damn! She's so flexible from all that yoga. "Go deeper. Fill me completely," she whispers, her lips at my forehead.

"Tell me about those buttons first," I breathe out, hoping it'll distract me so I don't come too soon.

I slowly pump in and out, hoping she'll feel everything.

"Ohhhh gawwwd, deeper, please."

I grit, "How tight are you gonna get? I'm gonna . . ."

I pull out and rest my throbbing cock on her thigh. She's determined to make me come, break my will before she climaxes, isn't she? Is she testing my willpower? No way will I go first—I won't let that happen. My hands dig into whatever the fuck I'm holding onto, and I clench my teeth as my breaths pound out of me.

She strokes my hair. "If you come, we'll just have to try again later . . ." She lifts her body, brushes her lips across my Adam's apple and purrs into my overheated skin.

"Just give me a second," I say, panting.

When I've calmed down, I press back inside her, and I swear to fucking God, she's even tighter than before.

How is this possible?

"You're so big and thick, your ridge is constantly brushing up against my G-spot, and you stay so tight and close on my body, your pubic padding pushes at my clit. I love how it leaves your hands free to fondle my breasts. You're better than any sex toy. You hit all of the spots at once. It's very . . . hoh oohhhhhh, intense, sssssffffffuuuuuu," she drags in a long sexy sigh as I suck on her left nipple, but I have to stop and pull away; she's driving me crazy.

"No more—stop the play-by-plays, I can't take it," I warn her, ready to shoot off again.

"That's how you push my buttons—that's what you do. You asked, but even if you . . . Oh, shhhiiiiiit! Again, do that again!" Her voice goes up in pitch.

I tipped her hips up toward the ceiling, and it seems I've hit something really good with my dick.

A few more pulsing waves, along with a few more moans from her, and I know I've gotta get her there, now!

She grabs me around the neck with her hands and pulls me into her tight as she explores my mouth sensuously with her tongue.

Her hands drag down my back and grip my ass hard.

I can barely think about how to get her off, so like a fuckoff, I reach between us and thrum my fingertip across her clit.

It's erect, so swollen and slick, it's hard to keep contact.

I lick her top lip, plunge my tongue inside her luscious mouth and in response, she tips her head back then pushes her nipples up into my chest.

"My turn to tell you what you feel like to me," I say, hoping it'll make her as insane for me as I was for her when she was the one doing the sharing. "Imagine my soft, velvety tip caressing your favorite sweet spot. It's kissing it, tonguing it softly right now. How does that feel?" She mewls and runs her hands across my chest. "It's like a wave of heat, sucking my dick in, hugging it tight like you've got both fists wrapped around me, digging at my control, breaking into my heart and mind. And when I think I'm gonna lose it and explode, you say something so insanely hot, I can't even think, so I have to pull out. It makes me want to be everything for you. It makes me rip at my heart so I can make it bigger for you, so I can be the man you need me to be. And when you make those throaty moans, I come undone. You are the reason I feel like this, and why I swell and get thicker and longer in your hands and inside of you—because it matches what you do to my heart."

Her breath hitches more than once, and her chest caves in as it spasms.

"My God, Edward," she groans. "I can't . . . You're so beautiful." Tears leak out of the corners of her eyes, and I kiss them away with my lips.

"I've got you—I'll always hold you this way, and tell you what you mean to me." I push a little harder, thrust a little faster, and circle her clit with more force.

"God, sooo good, I want more." She wraps her arms around me and kisses my jaw then drags her tongue down my neck. "I can't get enough."

"If you're ready, relax your pelvis—I wanna go deeper. For you," I coax, wrapping my arms under her knees.

She goes lax in my grip, her hips opening and then . . .

That pussy milks me when I give her as much of my cock as I can, and I almost lose it. Right as I hit the end of her, push as far as I can go, she spasms around me.

"Ohhhh God, I'm coming," she moans and pushes her ejaculate out in delicate pulses. "Mmmmhhhh, hhhhuuuuuhhh, oh Christ!"

Her come smells so good to me. It's like a powerful perfume I love to inhale. I shove my finger in my mouth I was circling her clit with, and that's it.

My thighs tighten and a pulse rises, shifts and grips my balls then rips right out of my cock as I coat her insides with my come.

"I love you," I groan, my body following hers.

Blood rushes in my ears, my breath washes over her, and all I can taste is her.

"Edwaarrrrddd—mine! You're mine!" She grips my shoulders.

I exhale and lower myself down onto her.

She unwinds beneath me, and I flip us over so she can lay on me. I stroke my hands down her back as she sags into me. I'm so happy I was able to give her love the way she deserves—full of emotion and with a true connection.

I almost wonder if she ever had anything like this with her ex. The way he acts, I doubt it.

"I will never cheat or leave you," I whisper. "You have to know that. I'm not like that."

"I know," she says as she pulls away and turns to look at me. "You're too loving to ever do that to me."

"We're the same that way." I smile.

Bzzz, Bzzz, Bzzz.

I can't resist, so I answer the call. "Jake, thanks so much for giving us a buzz. We thoroughly enjoyed it!"

"What?" he roars. "I'm not playing around! Put her on the phone now, or I'll hunt you both down!"

"Good luck with that since you have no idea where I live." Bella's safe here with me. I wish she lived with me so he can't ever get at her again. The ass doesn't deserve to be able to talk to her, let alone see her. "I'm sorry but she's still indisposed. I told you, give me your message, and I'll give it to her." I already gave it to her two times, and the second time my message to him was "kiss our ass and then fuck off!"

"Tell her that our daughter is not happy in Florida, and I'm going to go get her if she doesn't damn well do something about it!"

"That's not necessary. Bella's flying up tomorrow to visit with her for the holiday weekend." I decide to leave out the part that I'll be tagging along. I've already pushed this guy pretty hard today, and I don't want him to take it out on Bella later. She doesn't deserve that.

"Fine, tell her I'm not happy that you keep answering her fucking phone as well!"

"She knows. And when are you ever happy with anything?" I ask as I end the conversation the way I always do, with a click for that douche.

She laughs at me, smiles big with her head shaking at me like I obviously don't know any better and this will eventually come back to haunt me. "Why are you doing that to him?"

"Because he's a dick, and not the good kind, and he treats you like shit. He needs a swift kick in his balls, and I'm only too happy to lend my foot in his direction."

"He's not a bad person. He's just immature and selfish." She sets her palm on my arm and a second later, she massages it.

"That's an understatement. I've never met a bigger asshole. How do you put up with him? You have the patience of a saint." I watch her hands move. Tingles creep up my arm and warm my chest. Those hands . . .

"I was married to the guy for twelve years. I got pretty used to his ego."

"Ego? That's what you call it? Good Lord; I call it cowardice. He's a big pussy trying to cover it up with all of his money and bravado. Every guy who meets him knows it means he's incredibly insecure and unsure of himself. He's basically an overgrown bully."

"He wasn't always this way. It got worse after his dad passed away. He was pretty close to him and took care of him for years."

Her hands move to my wrist.

"Well, then if he's good at it why didn't he take care of you?" I don't get this man at all.

"He didn't know how to be a husband. His mom died when he was a baby, and his dad's handicapped, in a wheel chair. He never saw how a married couple should act or behave. He knows how to be a good dad though since he took care of his father. He's wonderful with Cori."

"Cori? Is that what you call her?"

Her massage moves to my palm and my fingers twitch, it feels so incredible. I'm almost lightheaded.

"Yeah, that's my nickname for her. I don't know if she'll let you call her that so you'll have to ask her before you use it." Her voice is soothing like her fingers, kneading my hand.

"How old did you say she is?"

"She's six, and I talk to her like she's an adult trapped in a child's body. If you talk to her straight and don't baby her, she'll respond positively to you. She's very smart and mature for her age. She understands more than people think she does."

My chest warms even more. I really love hearing her talk about her daughter with such adoration. It's easy to see she's a wonderful, attentive, caring mother. "She sounds a lot like you."

I pull her down to snuggling in my chest. Need her closer, even if I loved every minute of her massaging.

"I can't wait for you to meet her. I can't believe you want to." She sounds like she's still trying to wrap her brain around the idea of a guy actually wanting to be a part of her domestic life.

"She sounds great to me. I'm excited to see how you are with her. I'm sure you're a terrific mom and fun to watch when you interact with her."

"I try. I love being a mom. It's the best part of my life." She beams.

"I can tell." I place a peck on her nose, give her a side squeeze and rest my lips at the top of her head. A few deep inhales, and my lungs are saturated with her scent. I'm so lax, I may be boneless at this point. But to make sure I won't need them anytime soon, I ask, "Did I push all of your buttons? I want the truth."

"All of them. You're smooth, I'll give you that." She pats the center of my chest.

"Thank you," I sigh.

"Lie with me for a while," she says.

"I have a better plan—lie with me all day. We'll take a nap, and then we'll pack," I say.


Bzzz, Bzzz, Bzzz.

I grab her phone that's lying next to me, turn it off and shut him down permanently for the rest of the day and night. He can't get in our way anymore . . .