Chapter Twenty-nine: The (Rear) End
Graduation day arrives and Bella is a bucket full of blah.
"Ugh." Doubled over at the waist, she plants her hands on the kitchen table and takes a deep breath. "I've got the bubble guts something serious."
"If it makes you feel any better, you look fuckhawt, 'cept for the green tinge to your skin."
Bella straightens up and glares at me, placing her hands on her hips. If anything, the angry way she's glaring at me makes her even hotter, if that's possible.
"You're such an asshole."
"That's right, baby. Call me names." I scoot my chair closer to her, pulling her between my knees. "God, I love this dress on you."
Blood-red fabric clings to her body in the form of a dress that's been giving me a hard-on since she walked down the stairs. She runs her hands down her sides, smoothing over the deep wrinkles that seem to have a reason to be there. They're everywhere, stretched over the curves of her supple body, emphasizing her succulent ass. An ass that will be mine before the night's over, or so she says.
A guy can only hope.
"What if they call my name and I throw up as I'm walking across the stage? What if I trip? You know I'm not the most graceful person."
I smirk. "That's not true. There's plenty of times you're graceful: on the dance floor, in bed ... "
Someone clears their throat behind us. Suddenly Bella's dress isn't the only thing red. With flaming cheeks, she fans her face and I almost choke on an uncomfortable cough. Carlisle sits down in the chair next to me.
"As you kids say, TMI. TMI," he says, opening a newspaper.
"Dad, no kids I know says 'TMI.'"
Carlisle shrugs and flips over to the obituaries. "You kids be safe tonight at the graduation party. No drinking and driving. Don't wanna see anyone's name in this section of the paper anytime soon."
Pursing my lips, I say nothing and avoid Bella's probing eyes. Truth is, I plan to drink my weight in alcohol, but this isn't something Carlisle needs to know. Bella's already agreed to be our designated driver, claiming she'll be too nervous after walking across that stage to later drink the night away. Me? I'm cool with the idea. Tonight's gonna be a celebration, not only because of graduation, but because I'm one step closer to spending the rest of my life alone with Bella.
Screw our parents. I'm tired of sharing.
"Bella, sweetie, I think you need some Mylanta."
Esme walks into the kitchen, patting Bella's back as she passes. Her heels click against the marble as she crosses the room. Dressed to kill, I barely recognize my psuedo step-mom who's typically lounging around the house in casual wear or coming home from work in business attire.
"I'd probably just throw it up."
Esme shakes her head and smiles. "Fine. Have it your way. Let me pour myself a drink of water and I'll be ready to head on out to the ceremony. If you kids need to grab anything, now's the time to do it."
Esme pours a glass of water, finishing it after a couple of swallows. She washes the glass out and puts it aside. Dad folds the paper and tosses it on the table. I feel the weight of their individual stares as I take Bella's hand.
I smile up at her worried face, squeezing her fingers in mine. "The only thing I need to grab is you."
Graduation is held at The Lodge, a local bed and breakfast set deep in the forest, overlooking the river below. Rain has yet to fall and I'm crossing my fingers it stays away the rest of the night, but my wish isn't looking promising. Dark clouds hang in the sky, hiding the full moon.
Bella sits several rows behind me, closer to Jasper than she is to me. There's no jealousy left in me over this fact. I put that shit to rest a long time ago. Unfortunately, Lauren Mallory sits directly behind me, reminding me of of presence with each tap of her heel against the metal rung on my chair.
"Will you cut that shit out?"
"I'm nervous," she mumbles, adjusting the graduation cap on her head. "We can't all be cool like you all the time."
I frown at the sarcasm in her voice and turn my face back to the stage. Only a couple of months have passed since I loaned Lauren the two hundred dollars, and she still hasn't paid me back. But she's still got her kneecaps, so I guess that's a plus.
"Is Bella happy with our arrangement?"
I turn back around and face Lauren, slowly shaking my head. "Arrangement? I have no idea what you're talking about."
Lauren raises an eyebrow, giving me an unconvinced frown. "Please. The two of you are stuck up each others' asses twenty-four-seven. There's no way she didn't tell you about my pay-off."
Lauren tosses up her hands in frustration, bringing them down on her legs with a slap. "Are you a damn parrot?"
"Fuck you," I say, and that shit feels good. Been wanting to say that to this girl for a while now.
"No, fuck you." She points a sharp-looking fingernail in my face. "I had to degrade myself with some straight-up bullshit because of your girlfriend. I'd rather have had my kneecaps busted."
"What the fu—"
An annoying tap of a finger against a mic cuts my words in half. Lauren blows her hair from her eyes and examines her nail, finding it far more interesting than anything I have to say. I turn back to the stage, reaching under my graduation gown and into my pocket. On stage, Banner drones on and on about bullshit I care nothing about. My thumb flies across the screen of my phone.
U never told me about Lauren's arrangement.
OMG! Pay attention 2 banner b4 u get us kicked out of graduation!
Stfu. Not getting kicked out. What's she talking about?
Tell u l8r. Pay attention!
I pocket my cell and sulk, practically falling asleep while the Valedictorian and Salutatorian make their speeches. In my head, I imagine standing on stage and strumming my guitar, filling the space with something better than blah, blah, blah, the future is ours, blah, blah, blah, make a difference in the world.
Finally, Banner calls my name.
I cross the stage grinning, feeling strangely sentimental for a split second. I shake Banner's hand and take my diploma, moving my tassel to the side. Applause is supposed to be held until the final graduate is called so time isn't stalled, but I hear a burst of applause in the distance. Bella stands up and claps her hands, uncaring of all the stares and giggles she's causing. Carlisle releases a whistle from the back of the room and my grin grows wider, slipping when I notice someone familiar sitting two rows behind my parents. Clearing my throat, I fix the smile on my face and exit the stage, returning to my seat. When Bella crosses the stage she doesn't trip or blush or throw up. But she does forget to move her tassel to the side.
Doesn't matter. We're not biggest fans of tradition anyhow.
Graduation ends with the toss of our hats in the air and that's it. Twelve years of school thrown toward the rafters of a stuffy room inside an old lodge. Feels weirdly lacking in its importance, but that's probably because I've got bigger things on my mind.
Like the guy sitting in the audience.
"Congratulations." Esme kisses my cheek and places a thick envelope in the palm of my hand. "That's from me, not from me and your dad, but from me, to help you and Bella get started on the journey you've decided to take together. I'm proud of you both, but especially you, Edward. You've changed so much since we've met, and I'm happy to call you my son."
Tears are forming in my eyes and I have to look away. I give her a gruff thanks and shove the envelope into my pocket without look at its way she emphasized the money was from her and not my dad made me smile. Esme Platt isn't my mother, never will be, but I love the woman just the same.
Carlisle clamps his hand on my shoulder and says some affectionate words, but I tune him out. If I start crying in the middle of this room I'll lose my shit and have to pretend to be sick or something. A warm hand tugs on mine and I meet Bella's concerned gaze.
"Yeah, why wouldn't I be?"
I nod behind her and she turns around, her eyebrows practically in her hairline.
"Bella," he says, smiling at the group of us.
Carlisle shakes his hand, then Esme's before finally offering a handshake to me. A guy Emmett's size stands to his side and about a foot behind him, and to his right a girl around twelve, almost identical to Bella.
"You must be Beth." I take my hand from Charlie's and shove them both deep in my pockets, glad to have lost the gown a few minutes earlier. "And Taylor."
Taylor nods and crosses his arms over his thick chest, studying me as much as I'm studying him. The shirt he's wearing is so tight that it's wearing him instead of vice versa. He's got a tat on his right bicep, something that looks military, but I'd be lying if I had to guess what branch. I know shit about the military, but I guess I'm gonna have to learn, because this asshole brother of Bella's is looking at me like he wants to kick my ass.
"You must be the stepbrother," he says in a voice identical to Charlie's.
"Actually," Esme says, winding her arm through mine, "he's Bella's boyfriend. And I'm Esme Platt, Bella's mother."
Taylor never looks at her, keeping his scrutinizing gaze on mine. Charlie clears his throat and steps between us, cutting off my view of Taylor's flexing jaw.
"You'll have to excuse Taylor," Charlie says. "Apparently he's lost his manners somewhere between here and South Carolina."
"Nah, it's cool," I reply. "Our relationship takes some getting used to, I guess."
"He guesses," I hear Taylor grunt. "He guesses."
Beth wedges herself between me and her dad, a big smile on her face. "I like your tattoos."
"Yeah? I like your face." I tweak her nose and she laughs, blushing. "Reminds me of your sister's."
"Charlie, I can't believe you came all this way …" Bella says, gumming her lips. "You didn't have to do this."
"Of course I did. I've missed eighteen years of birthdays, Christmases and Thanksgivings. I'm not about to miss any more celebrations. Not unless you don't want me to be there."
"I'll always want you to be there. You're family. Oh, and Taylor? Edward is my boyfriend, not my brother. That's your role, no one else's. No one is going to replace you."
Charlie steps to the side and Taylor nods, meeting my even gaze. Grudgingly, he reaches out and offers a hand, a hand which I hesitantly take in my own. Strong grip for strong grip, we shake, a silent agreement passing between us.
"You take care of my sister, you hear?"
"I will," I say, no longer angry, but thankful for the protectiveness for Bella passing between us. "I intend on taking care of her for the rest of our lives."
"You gonna tell me about your arrangement with Lauren or not?" I tip back a beer, swallowing the suds. Frowning, I leave it abandoned on an end table.
"You really wanna talk about that now? Now?" Bella gives me a saucy smile, wrapping her arms around my neck.
I stagger a little, and it's not from her nearness. "Damn, I think I've had too much to drink."
"I should be the one getting drunk, not you, since I'm considering giving up the booty tonight. Literally, the booty. I'm talking about my ass, you know."
"And what a fine ass it is," I murmur in her ear.
She giggles and melts into me. We both sway to the beat of the music flowing from Newton's speakers. Cupping her ass in my hands, I give it a good squeeze and she moans. Little nibbles from her teeth scrub long my neck, the sensation bringing my cock to life. I press it into her belly, discreetly grinding against her.
"Stop before I drag you to Newton's pool house and let you have your wicked way with me."
"You say that like it's a bad thing," I reply, perking up with the idea.
"An anal explosion all over Newton's pool house floors? Would you consider that a good thing?"
My head falls back and I groan, my erection softening. She laughs and glances around the crowded room before wedging her hand between us, stroking my jock outside my jeans. I kiss her, my tongue stroking hers as she palms the hardness between us.
"Gross, get a room," someone squeals. I glance to the side in time to see Alice shoot as a grin, Jasper following her around the room looking like someone kicked his dog.
"That girl's a genius," I say.
"Yeah. How she got Jasper so pussy-whipped is beyond me. He thought the girl was crazy. Now he's planning on taking her on the road when him. Says she's gonna be his manager or some shit."
Bella presses her lips against mine. "Some guys like crazy. You thought I was crazy at one point in time."
"I thought you were weird," I respond with a grin. "Still do most of the time. Weirdly funny, smart, witty, gorgeous."
"Go on," she says, laughing. "I'm kidding, but seriously, go on."
"See? That's what I mean. Weird."
Bella sticks out her bottom lip. "Aw, that's too bad."
"That you stopped complimenting me. I was this close to giving up the booty." She holds up two fingers, mimicking an invisible pinch of something, something I want so badly.
"Did I mention how gorgeous you look in that red dress?"
Bella smiles. "About a dozen times tonight?"
"Only a dozen?"
Bella tugs on the tie loosened around my neck. She stands on her toes and whispers in my ear. "Come on, Milkshake Boy. Let's do some anal."
Our parents are gone when we pull into the drive. They've decided to get away for the weekend and spend some time in Seattle, beginning the next phase in their lives together. The fact that Esme and Carlisle know Bella and I are spending the night alone at home doing what we all know we'll be doing makes me feel oddly strange, guilty in one sense, giddy in another. Any and all conflicting emotions melts away once Bella steps into my bedroom, the door shutting quietly behind her. I turn on my side, my stomach clenching at the sight of her wearing something silky and sexy. Normally she wears my boxers and an oversized shirt of mine to bed when she sneaks into my room at night.
The light from my lamp casts a warm glow on her legs, making her pale winter skin warm and tan. The red silk thing she's wearing is the same color of her dress, but I don't focus on the nightwear too long. She shrugs the thin straps from her shoulders and the fabric slides from her body. Round, full breasts greet me, her nipples dark in the low light and puckered, calling for my attention.
Each step she makes across the room takes my breath away. I'm forgetting to breath. I suck a lungful in and sit on the edge of the bed, knees parted. Easily fitting between, she cups her hands on my face, bringing her lips to mine for a kiss.
"I love you," she whispers.
I smile into her lips and gently respond with a kiss. Desperation flows through my veins, but I'm in no rush, no hurry, not wanting to scare her. Then again, I'm not even sure if we'll do what she's been not-so-subtly hinting about. Hurting her, scaring her, hell, it's the last thing I want to do. But I swallow my "are you sures" and give her the time she needs, letting her take the lead.
And take the lead she does. Placing her hands on my shoulders, she pushes me away until I'm lying flat on the bed. The scratch of her nails on the waistband of my boxers tells me want she wants. I raised my hips, closing my eyes as she tugs the boxers off my body. Her hands run up my thigh, waist, and chest. Soft skin brushes on each side of my waist and she's straddling me, crawling closer and closer until …
Her heady scent hovers over me and I groan. Trapping me between her legs, she lowers herself and I taste her, opening my eyes to watch her reaction to my tongue teasing her clit. She doesn't disappoint. Cupping her tits in the palms of her hands, she tosses her head back, each hand with two fingers rolling her nipples. Rocking with the stroke of my tongue her moans grow louder as do mine. Neither one of us is quiet, not with the house to ourselves, not with my tongue now buried inside her.
When she pulls away I almost whine, but then she turns around and returns the favor, taking my cock in her mouth. I cup my hands on the underside of her round ass, squeezing and licking from front to back, easing her into the idea of what is to come. She tenses when I reach that forbidden spot, but I don't back away. I continue to lick, showing her there's nothing to be ashamed of, silently telling her I love what I'm doing to her.
We grind into each others' mouths, hers abandoning my cock the longer I lick, but I don't mind. The careless pump of her hand on my shaft is nothing compared to her lips. I can hardly concentrate on that when my thumb is busy exploring that forbidden spot, lubricated by the slickness of her pussy.
Her orgasm is silent. Tight walls pulse with the flick of my tongue against her clit and my thumb buried deep inside her ass. Sticky warmth coats my chin and her body goes limp.
"Did I hurt you?" I can't help but ask, rolling onto my side and gazing at her with concern.
She smiles, shaking her head. "No, but I refuse to kiss you."
I raise an eyebrow. "Is that so?"
She nods and squeals as I climb on my knees. A pillow is flung my way and I dodge it, grabbing her ankle and dragging her closer to me. Landing on her belly, she giggles, fisting the sheet and moaning when I lay flush against her back. Cock sliding between her cheeks, I grind into her, remembering how she felt months and months ago at the dance as Dark Horse played in the gym. Memories of how I'd fantasized about doing this exact thing to her flash through my mind.
I pull her hair away from her neck, dropping as kiss along her spine. "You're beautiful."
I'm ready. The words hang in the air. My own words are caught in my throat. Are you sure? And I don't know if I should say them, but I do. She laughs, reaching back and wrapping her hand around the base of my cock.
Months of mental and physical preparation have led us to this. I grab the bottle of lube from the nightstand and hold it in my hand, unsure if she wants to lube me up or do I …
"Here, let me."
There is a God, although I doubt he's probably down with what we're about to do. Bella takes the bottle from my hand and pops open the lid, glancing up at me a running her tongue along her bottom lip. She squirts the liquid on her palm and rubs her hands together, warming it up. When she wraps her hands around my cock I moan, thrusting upward against her sticky, heated flesh. Hand over hand, she twists and pulls, my cock pearling with precum with each swipe. Scared I'm going to come at any second, I push her hands aside and give her one last kiss.
"You remember that time we had phone sex? You told me you were gonna bend over my bed?"
Bella releases a rasping breath. "Yeah."
I chuckle, dark and throaty. "Bend over."
Instead of elbowing me, pinching me, or slapping me like I expect, she backs away from me on her knees. Tossing her hair to the side, she turns around, dropping her upper body flat on the bed, her ass on display in front of me.
Mother of God.
I pick up the lube and flip open the top, squirting some between the crack of her ass. The goo slides down, dripping over her pink, pucker hole and grazing along her slit. She shivers at the sensation, the movement making me want to see her do it again. Shivering, shuddering and moaning my name, I want it all.
Taking her ass in my hands, I squeeze and massage, working the tension from her body. With each swipe of my thumb I grow closer and closer to the place I desire until I'm there, pushing in deep with my thumb, then the tip of my cock.
Watching my pierced cock sink slowly into her is like heaven. The stretch of her around me is my nirvana. As her body goes rigid, I still inside her, rubbing her ass, her back, her thighs until she squirms and relaxes against me. There's no way I'm burying myself entirely inside her, not tonight. Happy to be halfway there, I ease out and push back in, sucking my vipers and praying I don't follow my instinct to pound into her.
Something tickles balls and I realize it's her fingers. She's rubbing herself, fingering herself and gasping. I place my hands on her waist and rock inside her, inching myself deeper and deeper until her ass bounces against me.
Pulling all the way out, I guide her onto her back, grinning at her bewildered stare. "I want to see your face. You know I like watching your face."
Uncharacteristically, she blushes and nods. Giving me a shy smile, she spreads her legs and raises them, holding them up with her hands behind her knees. I replace her hands with mine, taking one of her hands and putting it between her legs.
Using her middle finger, she makes lazy loops around her clit, biting her lip, her eyelids fluttering. Something about touch herself puts her at ease. Once I'm inside her again she's no longer rigid, but limber, taking me in like we've done this before. And in this moment, doing to her what I've never done to another girl, what no other guy has ever done before, something stirs inside of me. The emotion chases the orgasm tickling my belly, the heat tightening my balls until I'm jerking in an unsteady rhythm, shuddering and coming within seconds.
Like a virgin.
"You gotta be shitting me."
Bella shakes her head, shoving her shades further up her nose. She tilts her head back, staring up at the tall building in front of us. "I'm not shitting you."
"This is where we'll be living?"
"Yup, thanks to Charlie Swan."
I swallow the guilt in my throat, guilt formed with my own inability to give my girl what I should be giving her. "Our parents woulda rented the apartment for us. He didn't have to do this."
"Of course he didn't have to do it. He did it because he wants to do it. Besides, it's not like he's paying our rent without conditions. We have to maintain good grades and both get part time jobs."
Still, I'm feeling kinda weird about living in this building on Charlie Swan's dime, that is, until we ride the elevator to the third floor and Bella slides her key into the lock.
"Em and Angie are only a block away," Bella says. "I still can't believe they decided to be roommates. They barely know each other."
"Roommates with benefits." I place my hand on the small of her back, guiding her into the apartment. "Holy shit, look at this place."
"The couch converts into a bed. Good thing considering Rose plans on visiting the first chance she gets."
I still think Rose is a bitch, but I'm happy she and Bella put aside their differences and rekindled their friendship again. Rose reached out to Bella first, apologizing for the things she said after the Paul situation, even insisting on speaking to me and asking for my forgiveness. I was nice for Bella's sake, but didn't have too much to say to Rose.
Unlike my girl, I don't forgive so easily.
We walk from room to room, hand in hand. The place isn't that big, but it's close to the college and has a decent view. The neighborhood isn't shady as shit, so I've less to worry about where my girl is concerned.
"If you like the apartment I can't wait to see your face when you meet the cleaning lady." Bella's cheesing at me. She even pulls out her phone and turns on the camera.
"Cleaning lady? We can't afford a damn cleaning lady."
Bella shrugs, holding up the phone until the camera is focused on my face. "She came cheap. Two hundred dollars cheap. That's all it cost us for a semester's worth of cleaning."
Two hundred dollars cheap? She doesn't mean …
Bella's cell phone flashes. My shocked expression is ingrained in history. She giggles at the photo, holding the phone for me to see.
"This was the deal you made with Lauren Mallory? To clean our apartment? Why?"
An evil smile spreads across her face. "I'm a nice girl, Edward, but I'm not that damn nice. Months of making our bed, scrubbing our toilets, bumping into us after we just made love … I can't wait to see how miserable she'll be. Totes rewarding after the hell she's put me through this past year."
"That's so un-Bella."
Bella shrugs. "You know, sometimes a bitch just … snaps."
I lean on the bar. "For a second there I wondered what happened to my sweet girl, but then I remember how you kneed me in the balls, dumped a milkshake over my head and nearly killed me with jealousy every time you glanced Jasper's way."
"Nah, let me finish." I take the cell from her hand and put it on the bar, pulling her into my arms. "My life was shit when I first met you. Absolute shit. I hated myself, hated my dad. Hell, I even wanted to hate you. But you wouldn't let me. You challenged me, made me want to be better than the person I was. You did that. You. And I'm gonna spend the rest of my life thanking you for it."
"Aw." Bella pats my cheek like I'm a puppy. "All because a boy fell in love with my ass."
"Well … yeah, I mean, if you want to get technical about it … I did fall in love with your ass first, but your witty personality was a close second."
Bella pokes me in the belly, wadding my shirt up in her fist and giving me a grin. "If there's one thing on God's green earth I can't stand, it's you, Edward Anthony Cullen. Now, come on. Let's go see if the bedroom is fully furnished so we can christen this bitch."
I've never written anal before because ew, butt (see what I did there?) there you have it. **shudders** I'm gonna go crawl back in my happy place now! All kidding aside, what about this turns people on? I was cringing while writing it. LOL.
I'm sure some people will mention Rose and Em not getting together, but yeah, she kinda acted like a bitch and I didn't see the two of them hooking up. Hope you liked Bella's revenge on Lauren. I'm kinda happy with the thought of her cleaning B and E's dirty toilet for the next several months. :D
Thanks for taking this journey with me and also your patience since the past year has been a pretty rough one (sick grandparent in and out of the hospital, new position at work with longer hours, etc, etc).
There were a couple of times I almost quit working on this fic. One time stands out in particular. I was at work and had to code a patient who I found unresponsive. After the ambulance picked him up and left, I clocked out of work and checked my email in the parking lot. I had received a guest review pretty much admonishing me for taking too long to update. The stress of the night trying to save a patient plus the worry I'd felt for my grandfather was overwhelming. I don't think I'd ever been so angry and so hurt, and a person shouldn't feel that way when doing something they love.
That's when I decided I won't write any more wips. Regardless of how rude some of my GR's are and how busy my life is, I understand what it's like waiting months (and years) for a writer to update. When I decided to write another fic it'll be finished before I begin posting chapters.
Thanks to my prereaders and beta(s). Love you lots. **thumps chest and gives you the peace sign**
Peace and Love,