I'm going to kill Emmett.
The peroxide blonde sends me another smile and I avert my eyes as quickly as possible. I can barely cope with the eyes she and her friend keep shooting in this direction; if she comes over I'm making a run for it. I know they're not interested in me, I saw the appreciative looks they were both giving Emmett until the brown haired girl whispered in the other's ear and she got told to pursue me instead. Neither of them is ugly but they aren't for me. They're both too made-up, too slim for my taste. They sort of remind me of the women on the cover of Emmett's 'self-loving' DVD's but even in my limited experience I know no woman would find that a compliment. I scan the rest of the bar, desperately trying not to look in the girls' direction when I see her.
I only catch the back view of the brunette as she enters the bar but that's enough. Small waist flaring out to big hips and a pert but ample ass leading down to strong thighs, muscled calves and the hottest heels. I take a sip of beer to soothe my dry mouth and turn back toward Emmett, only to see him smirking at me.
"Seen something you like, little cuz?"
"I think you already know the answer to that one, Emmett. I didn't even see her face but she's got a beautiful body." I take another swig of beer, hoping against hope he won't suggest I go talk to her.
"I think you should go for it bro, but I'll let you have your time to brood over it before you decide I'm right, Eddie. Her friend is scorching hot, though," Emmett sucks in a breath and I roll my eyes. As long as it stops him talking from the two still flirting women from earlier I don't mind who he looks at.
My experience with women is limited, to put it nicely. Going to an all-boys school I didn't get to meet many girls - though I'm not sure my acne-ridden, lanky look would have done much even if I had known any. All the female relatives I was surrounded with had soft bodies and softer smiles. When I inevitably started fantasising about a faceless woman as teenage boys tend to do, it was always with thoughts of full, round breasts and thighs I could grip; warm flesh and a hint of tummy because I hadn't known anything else.
Moving to California for college was a shock to the system, women there were almost diminutively slim yet toweringly tall – nothing like the generously-proportioned women I had been surrounded by my whole life. Tanya was an anomaly. She was plump, fleshy and all curves and I was besotted as soon as I saw her. We had a great couple of years together my junior and senior year, until Tanya started working as a temp – suddenly she was always insecure, always fretting over every calorie and gram of fat. I wasn't surprised when she decided to diet despite my assurances but I was surprised to wake up one day and realise I was no longer attracted to her. The Tanya I had met was warm and loving, not the always hungry, weight-obsessed, bitchy woman I knew now. I broke things off before leaving California to come back home to Seattle but since then my lack of confidence and smooth lines have stopped me from speaking to women. This one, though… even from the small glimpse I got I'm entranced.
True to his word, Emmett does mostly leave me to my brooding. We chat and he only tells me to go and talk to my dream woman six times throughout the evening, probably because he's too busy making eyes at her friend. I'm trying not to stare at the brunette but it's difficult. She gets up from her bar stool and walks toward the bathroom and I catch my first look at her face. Jesus she's gorgeous. And those breasts, fuuuuck. They're bouncing every time she walks and her curly hair is resting against them. I follow her with my eyes until she disappears through the door and then I look back over to her stool to see her friend staring at me with her eyebrow raised. I flush and look down. No doubt she'll tell her friend about the weird geeky-looking guy in the corner staring at her.
I turn back to Emmett and ask him about work, using that as a distraction so I don't look at my dream woman as she walks back towards her stool. We're making more small talk when someone clears their throat from next to our table. Shit, it's the blonde that's with my dream girl.
"Hi, I'm Rose. You," she points to Emmett, "have been staring at me for half the night so I thought I'd come over. You," she points at me, "have been staring at my friend for the same amount of time so go talk to her. You're just her type." With that, she sits down next to Emmett and flashes him a smile.
My choices at this point are to stay here and watch them flirt or go talk to dream girl before someone else does. I throw back the rest of my beer and steel what resolve I have. I can do this.
If I thought dream girl was beautiful from afar, she is even more so up close. She forgives my bumbling and tells me her name is Bella - it fits her perfectly. My heart is beating so fast that blood is pounding in my ears and it only gets worse when Bella calls me handsome. I really hope she means it. I tell her about myself and catch her staring at my body. Unlike the women earlier in the night, when Bella stares I feel confident and emboldened and when she kisses me the effect is doubled. This wonderful woman is kissing me and I give all I can back because she's undeniably perfect. When she asks me to go back to her apartment, my nerves start. Bella has probably had men much better in bed than I am come on to her before now and I can't help but be worried that's she's going to expect things I can't give.
We barely talk in the taxi, my anxiety constricting my chest and bubbling up in my throat. I am mortified at the thought that I won't be able to please Bella and when she we reach her apartment and she tells me how 'nice' I am I wonder if she's been able to sense my inexperience already. It's only when she mentions me not wanting to sleep with her that I speak up – if there's one thing I know it's that having sex, making love to Bella would probably be one of the highlights of my life so far. I blurt out everything on my mind and when she stays silent I just know I've ruined it. What twenty-something woman wants to sleep with an inexperienced, mumbling loser? I watch as Bella runs off to another room and contemplate whether she wants me to just leave.
When Bella walks back in just as I've decided I'll slip out the front door, I'm fairly sure my eyes about bug out of my head. Even in my fantasies I haven't come close to imagining a body as sexy as hers. I stand up and stumble toward her. The peach of her underwear is a subtle contrast to her milky white skin and I don't know where to look first.
"Holy fuck, Bella. Jesus. Your body is...wow."
I run my hands over her smooth skin, feeling her soft, rounded tummy and kneading the flesh of her hips. Seeing Bella like this, her baring herself like this after I bared myself emotionally is too much and I cup her ass in my hands and pull her towards me. She's warm and I'm already in love with how her body moulds itself around mine. I can feel her nipples pressing against my chest and I move my hands toward her breasts slowly, her moan all the acquiescence I need. I hold her breasts in my hands, working them over as I kiss her neck.
"I knew you were beautiful, Bella, but like this, giving your body to me? You are the most beautiful woman in the world right now," and she is. Her body, her personality, everything about Bella is amazing and I need to show her. After my clothes are gone Bella pulls me to her bed and I lay on top of her, covering her, showing her that she's safe and protected under me. We kiss and I suck her tongue like I would suck her clit, pursing my lips and flicking my tongue across hers until she bucks her hips up into mine and whimpers. I align myself and push in and she's even warmer here. It's tight and it's wet and it feels so right to be inside Bella like this that I can't help but push harder, faster. Bella is flushed all the way down to her nipples and I lay kisses all over her blushing chest as she babbles to herself. I kiss my way back up to her face and Bella looks at me, moving her hand to hold mine. The intimacy of her action drives me to up my efforts in making her come and I angle my hips slightly so I'm rubbing against her pelvic bone. We continue like this, holding hands and me kissing whatever part of her beautiful neck I can reach until Bella's coming and I'm coming with her. I am weightless and boneless and every other cliché that comes to mind as Bella strokes my back and we both catch our breath. I pepper her flushed face with kisses and take a leap of faith that feels more like a stepping stone.
"So... how would you feel about a date?"
I am nervous beyond measure when the time for mine and Bella's first date rolls around. The morning after we slept together I woke up worried that I'd overstayed my welcome but Bella kissing me and asking if I wanted banana with my pancakes dispelled that quickly. Since then we've been texting and have spoken on the phone but even so, there's a part of me that's waiting for Bella to realise I'm a mumbling idiot who has no idea how to talk to women. We settle for having dinner at a restaurant and agree to meet there; it's walking distance from my apartment while she has to drive. I decide to wear a similar outfit to before seeing as Bella seemed to like it - that's about as far as I can go about fixing my appearance. I debate putting in contacts but I feel it'd be misleading as I rarely wear them. I survey my messy hair and lean body, my crooked nose and perpetually flushed cheeks and wonder when Bella will realise she's light years out of my league.
When she arrives at the restaurant 10 minutes after me, my trepidation over our inequality only becomes worse. She's straightened her hair, making it even longer and impossibly glossier. Her dress is cream, lacy across the chest and arms and tight fitting to her waist, flaring out into a large skirt that ends mid-calf. She has on some more heels that make her ankles look dainty and her legs look fantastic. There's a knot in my stomach reminding me of my own shortcomings, until she catches sight of me by the bar, a wide smile spreading across her face and I can barely breathe. As soon as Bella reaches me, she cups one of my cheeks and kisses me fully on the mouth. She smiles as the hostess leads us to our table and winks at me when I pull her chair out for her. There is something about Bella, how laidback she seems to be with everything that makes me not care about whether I'm good enough.
We eat amidst conversation about work and the fledgling relationship between Rose and Emmett. I'm struck by how easy it is between me and Bella, the silences feeling as comfortable as the way her hand is resting on top of mine while we finish our main. There was a small part of me that was concerned Bella would be like Tanya, obsessing over everything she ate, but her sly smile when she asks the waitress to see the dessert menu convinces me otherwise.
"Edward, will you split something with me? I don't think I could manage to eat a whole portion after that main course," she says, eyes wide and sparkling. I agree, of course, but Bella's true motives become clear when she insists on feeding me spoonful after spoonful, licking her own lips every time I close my mouth around the dessert. She giggles when I look around for the waitress so I can pay the check and thanks me profusely when I refuse to split the bill. She grabs my hand as we leave.
"I've had such a wonderful night, Edward, thank you. When are you free for another date?"
This is what has me so crazy over Bella, she doesn't second guess herself. She knows what she wants (thank God it seems to be me) and isn't ashamed to go for it. My smile couldn't be any wider when I answer.
Bella and I have been together for 9 months when I decide to ask her to marry me. That I wanted to marry her was never in question, the way her face lights up when she sees me convinced me of that a long time ago. There is no special event that pushes me toward doing it, just an exchange between Bella and me when I leave her place for work.
I finish showering and get dressed, going to find Bella no doubt making one of her crazy breakfast smoothies. She stands at the counter rapping the verse to 'Rhythm is a Dancer' - which she tells me is a classic – and pouring the mix into 2 separate bottles. When she sees me she gives me the Edward-only smile and hands me one of the bottles.
"I made you breakfast! I know you hate eating in the mornings so I thought if I gave you it to take with you, you could have it later," she says, still beaming. It's nothing, really, Bella does things like this for me all the time but I'm suddenly struck by how much she takes care of me, how much I want her to take care of me always. I kiss her before leaving her apartment and calling my boss to tell him I won't be in. I have a ring to buy.
It's not until 3 weeks after that I actually ask Bella to marry me. I was wracking my brain to think of the perfect way to propose, even going as far as to call Rose and ask her.
"I need to do something special, give her the perfect proposal story to tell people. Bella deserves that. I just don't want to do some cliché thing and have it seem trite, y'know?"
"I understand, Edward, but this is Bella. What she deserves is to be loved, to be made to feel beautiful and to be happy. Last I checked, you do all of those things. The most important part of the proposal to Bella will be that you want to build a life together, not that you were outside viewing stars which is totally lame by the way. You know her better than that."
As much as I wanted to be stung by Rose slating my idea of how to propose, she was right. I'm not sure when how I proposed became more important than it happening at all, but somewhere along the way my view of things had been lost.
That's why when we sit at her apartment on a Sunday afternoon, her browsing the internet while I watch old re-runs, I shift her feet off my lap so I can kneel next to the couch. Bella smiles my smile and lays her hand on my bent knee, encouraging me in ways only she can.
"I was going to plan something elaborate, something big to sweep you off your feet but that isn't us. This is us. I love you, Bella, so much more than I did before and I can't wait to love you even more than I do now. I'm so excited to begin my life with you, to tell everyone this lovely, perfect woman is my wife, to watch you be the best mother to our children. Will you marry me?"
She giggles through her tears and wipes some I didn't realise had fallen from my own face. She hasn't said anything but I'm calm. This is just Bella; she likes to take time to memorise moments she wants to always remember. I wait it out because sometimes when you ask a question like this, you already know the answer.
"Of course I will, sweetheart."
To say Bella succeeded as a mother would be an understatement. Watching her pregnant, providing our baby with love and security before it was even born opened my heart impossibly more to her. She flourished when taking care of Lily, dealing with the lack of sleep and being in the house with only a baby all day like it was her mission - which is why when I came home 2 months after Lily was born to find a crying baby and a crying Bella, it was possibly the most frightening moment of my life.
Deciding to take care of our daughter first, I pick her up from her crib in our room and walk into the nursery, rocking and shushing her until she falls back asleep. I switch on the baby monitor and rush back to our bedroom, finding Bella wiping her eyes and looking up at me. I'm practically frantic with worry but if she's this upset she doesn't need my questioning, just me. She collapses into my embrace when I reach her, gripping my shirt and pulling me closer. I rock her the way I rocked Lily, letting her feel me and telling her it'll be okay without words. Eventually she lets out a heavy exhale and nuzzles into my neck.
"I'm sorry, Edward. I'm being so stupid, I got upset by a comment at my baby group today and then Lily wouldn't go to sleep and I felt so overwhelmed and.." she breaks off, clutching me tighter. Now I know nothing is seriously wrong I can breathe easier but it still isn't like Bella to be this upset, crazy hormones or not.
"It's okay sweetheart, you don't have to apologise for being upset, I was more concerned than anything else. I'm sorry you felt so overwhelmed; I know it's tough being here all the time with Lily on your own. What happened at the mother and baby group that upset you, hm?"
"Ugh it was honestly nothing. One of the other mothers was saying how she hasn't lost hardly any baby weight and I said I hadn't either. She said she gained 60lbs when she was pregnant and that she hates being so big, then she asked how much I gained and I just felt so embarrassed because I only gained half that when pregnant yet we're about the same size," she says, sniffling.
It isn't often that Bella's weight is an issue, even during pregnancy she was level headed about her weight gain, but there are times when she reverts back to her insecure teenage persona. It hurts me as much as it hurts her – there is never a time that I don't think every part of Bella is beautiful and her body has only become more precious to me now it's given us Lily. Still, she needs to feel good about herself and I know how to make it happen. We haven't made love for around 3 and a half months due to it being restricted by the doctors but I know she has the all-clear, so I plan on showing her exactly how I adore her body. I say a quick prayer that Lily will stay asleep and then I pull on the hem of Bella's t-shirt, raising it over her head when she lifts her arms. That's one thing about Bella that I love – no matter how much she dislikes her body she is never shy about letting me see it.
I undo her bra and move my hands back around, being careful to be gentle when I handle her breasts, sensitive from breast-feeding. I lay kisses all over her collarbone as I guide her to lie down on the bed, pulling down her sweatpants and her panties in one go.
"I'm sorry you felt that way, Bella. Your body is always perfect to me and I'm sorry I haven't shown it to you lately. I want to show you exactly how much I cherish you, sweetheart, will you let me?"
"Yes, Edward, please!"
"Shh, baby, you don't have to beg. I promise to take care of you. First I'm going to show you how I feel about this sexy body, how lucky I am to be your husband."
I move to kiss her, biting her bottom lip just how she likes it. I softly squeeze her breasts, being careful to avoid the nipple. I'm not squeamish about breast milk but I know Bella is sore and I don't want to cause her any pain. I focus on stroking her thighs and her calves.
"I love your legs, Bella; they're one of the first things I noticed about you. You were wearing these heels , your dress only just hitting your knees and I couldn't stop looking at your shapely legs, your powerful thighs, imagining them wrapped around me," I move up, towards her hips and stomach, "and your hips. I remember thinking how much I loved your silhouette, this tiny little waist leading to these hips. Have you noticed how my hands curve perfectly around them when we fuck? I have. I've noticed how they move up and down when I go down on you, how you use them to grind yourself into my face. I've noticed your beautiful stomach when I take you from behind, how I love running my hands all over it, feeling it pressed against my own and how when you tease me I can push my cock into its softness. I love your breasts, love how full and round they are, love that even when I hold them with my whole hand they spill over the edges. I love fucking your breasts while I finger you and I love sucking on them. I can't wait to do it again, Bella," I move up to kiss her again, letting her lead. She's flushed and panting and I'm not much better. It's been too long. I move my hand down to cup her and she sighs.
"But what I love most, Bella, is your pussy. Not only does this bring me pleasure, but this gave us our daughter. I want to kiss it, B, please. I need to taste you."
She whimpers and nods and I move down, positioning myself between her legs. I lay her legs over my shoulders as she sits up – the fact that she watches every time I do this only makes it hotter. I start with kisses, gauging how sensitive she is so I don't hurt her. She's already writhing before I even get close to her clit, so I lick it softly between laying kisses all over. I reach for Bella's hand and place it in my hair knowing how much she likes to guide in this situation. I've barely moved my own hand away before she's pushing my face into her, chasing her orgasm unashamedly. I move a finger down and push it slowly inside of her – I haven't been inside her in any capacity since before Lily was born. I don't know what I was expecting but if anything she's wetter and warmer than I remember and it makes me groan. Bella moans in return and arches her back, tensing all around my finger. I stroke her softly as she comes down, kissing gently up her body until I reach her face.
"Did you like that, baby? I didn't realise just how much I'd missed your perfect pussy. I have to fuck you, Bella."
"Need you inside me Edward. I want to be on top," She kisses me and moves her hand to stroke me but I roll over – 3 months without Bella means her touching my cock is bound to have me coming in seconds. She moves on top of me and I take a moment to look at her body. There's no view in the world better than this. Bella pushes up to place me at her entrance and slowly moves down. I'm trying to be considerate of whether it hurts her but it's difficult when I'm surrounded by tight, slick heat.
"Jesus, Bella. Oh fuck baby. Are you okay?"
She moans and pushes herself back up and I grab onto her hips, helping her move. She leans back with her hands on my thighs, giving me room to touch her. Both of us are so close already, so I stay slow and circle Bella's clit while pushing her down onto me. Her moans have turned into one long whimper now and I sense the tell-tale tightening seconds before I feel it. Bella slumps forward onto my chest as her orgasm moves through her and I'm gone. I latch onto her shoulder as I come, kissing and licking it. We lay together, silent and sated until Bella tilts her head up to face me.
"Feel free to show me what you think of my body on a daily basis," she says, winking and laughing.
"If I thought Lily would sleep that long, I would," I reply, moving to kiss her.
I hope for now Bella's insecurities have been dealt with. I'm not naïve enough to believe they won't resurface but I have no doubt that I'll pull her through them each time. Bella and Lily… they're my life. They're my motivation in everything I do and nothing is more important than them. There are days when I wonder what would have happened if I hadn't let Emmett drag me along to that bar but I can't imagine it. Me and Bella, we're so inextricably linked that I'm not me without her anymore. I wouldn't want it any other way.