All publicly recognized characters belong to their original owner, Stephanie Meyer. This is a work of Twilight FanFiction ... and my over active imagination.
Dragonflies are said to symbolize one going past their self-erected illusions that they created which limit their growing and changing. They are the symbol of sense and self that comes with maturity and the willingness to embrace change.
Bella parked outside of Serenity Spa and stared at the front door. She was early for her appointment, so she took a moment to check her face in the rearview mirror again.
Normally, she was not this vain. She didn't usually care if her wavy brown hair was shiny and bouncy or if she had just enough mascara on to accentuate her big brown eyes. But coming here, she felt like the plain Jane bookworm that she'd been in high school, who was sent to tutor the handsome and popular jock. This incidentally, had never happened in high school. Her stomach a bundle of nerves, she silently chastised herself for feeling this way about someone she barely knew.
This would be her sixth month coming to Serenity. Her sixth massage session. And, inevitably, it would be the sixth time that she'd go straight home to get off on visions of her lovely masseur.
So sad; but very true.
Last September, Alice Brandon, Bella's best friend, top confidante and all-around partner in crime, had given Bella a one-year membership to the luxury Serenity Spa. It included twelve one-hour massages to be used once a month, as well as a variety of other services that Bella would most likely never use. At that time, Bella regarded the gift certificate with some trepidation - and a frisson of fear – and choked out a "thank you" as she began to play in her head all the ways that this could go terribly, terribly wrong.
Bella didn't dislike people per sé; she just hated people in her personal space. Alice had been friends with her long enough to know that about her. Bella hated strangers touching her even more. Alice knew that, as well.
Bella's dislike of strangers touching her and being in her personal space was the reason she insisted on taking Lauren, the nail tech from Top 10 Nails, to lunch multiple times before allowing her to do her pedicure. Bella had done her own for years, but was in desperate need of a paint job that looked more professional and less…toddler-like.
Lauren had heard Bella out when she visited the nail salon the first time. Lauren, a pink bouffant-haired forty-something who reminded Bella a bit of Annie Potts' character, Iona, in 'Pretty in Pink', assured Bella she had dealt with many people over her more than twenty years in cosmetology services who also shared Bella's same "issues" with being touched. God love her, Lauren actually air quoted "issues" as she looked at Bella with heavily charcoaled eyes full of empathy.
In the end, Lauren agreed to lunch, stating frankly that a girl had to eat, thus allowing Bella the opportunity to get to know her. Seven years later, a beautiful friendship had formed and Bella was comfortable with that one person touching her feet, and occasionally her hands - and no one else. When Lauren went on her honeymoon a couple of years back, complete with her new Marilyn platinum blonde locks, Bella about died without her favorite nail tech. Lauren and her new husband, who was thirteen years her junior, had taken a month-long trip to Jamaica after their quick hitch at City Hall. Bella spent four long weeks watching her polish flake off, not daring to attempt painting her toes herself, helplessly frozen at the idea of allowing anyone, even Lauren's trusty assistant, Bambi, paint them for her. Bella practically tackled Lauren to the ground the first time she'd seen her after that eternally long thirty days. She had hugged Lauren so tightly the poor nail tech began to turn blue, which was difficult considering the dark tan Lauren was sporting.
Bella tipped her extra that day to make up for nearly killing her and then begged her to never go anywhere again. Ever.
Needless to say, when Alice excitedly gave Bella the gift certificate to be touched for one hour every month by God knows who, who'd had their hands God knows where and doing God knows what, Bella was less than thrilled. But Alice had been overly excited, clapping her hands and telling her neurotic friend how this would be perfect for her. Alice explained that a massage would help loosen sore muscles, since Bella was always complaining about the neck and shoulder pain she endured due to years of typing on the computer, plus she could get a discount on additional services, including facials and body wraps.
"Also, discount sessions for friends," she'd said with a nonchalant shrug, as if she didn't much care about anything the spa had to offer. But Bella had known better.
The little pixie bitch had really bought the gift for herself!
Bella, not being one to turn down a gift - even a hated one - finally forced a more genuine smile and thanked her pipsqueak friend, promising she would bring her along to the spa one day very soon.
She hadn't done it yet.
Bella smiled, chuckling to herself while she thought about Alice pouting the prior night as she drove Bella home from the airport. Bella had relished in Alice's disappointment as she told her sneaky little friend about her appointment today.
Fuck it! As far as Bella was concerned, if Alice wanted a rub-down, she could get it from her long-time, live-in boyfriend, Jasper Whitlock. After all, it was sort of his fault that Bella was given the stupid gift, anyway.
He'd put Alice on shopping probation last year, which included things outside of the realm of clothing and shoes, like waxing and massages. Alice got away with her bi-weekly mani-pedi and her monthly hair appointment with the high-demand stylist, François, since she'd convinced Jasper they were necessary for her job as a photojournalist in charge of high society events as well as local art, music and fashion events for one of the local Seattle TV stations. But, of course, he'd let his pixie parolee spend an extravagant amount of money on her best friend of nearly twenty years. Plus, she could easily convince Jasper that she needed to go with Bella to the massage appointments – a true sacrifice - due to Bella's neurotic tendencies. Again, Jasper would easily agree. He often said he loved Bella like the little sister he never had and would completely understand the need to have Alice by her side for something that took her out of her comfort zone.
"Manipulative twerp!" Bella grumbled as she sat in her car, looking down at the time on her dash. Her appointment was in ten minutes. She couldn't put off going inside any longer.
When Bella had made the first appointment six months ago, she took what they had available, opting for a Swedish massage since she was most familiar with that, figuring it would help her relax in a situation that brought her so much anxiety. She hadn't really paid attention to who her masseuse would be when she confirmed the date and time. As Bella sat nervously in the darkened client lounge that day, unsure of what to expect while waiting on her Massage Specialist to come and find her, she watched other women come and go, led by a variety of women and men, all wearing the traditional Serenity Spa white pants and white golf shirt.
It wasn't until that very moment that Bella realized it was possible she could have a man as her masseur. The thought made her more than uncomfortable. Her heart began to race, her palms instantly became moist, and she began to silently pray that her Specialist would be Greta, the overweight woman she'd seen in the reception area. The one with her hair pulled back in a severe bun and a grimace plastered on her face.
Now six months later, as she got out of her car to make her way to the front door of the spa, Bella vividly recalled that first appointment as if it had happened yesterday.
That first day, she'd sat in the dimly-lit lounge, checking emails on her phone in an attempt to take her mind off of being assaulted by a gender-yet-to-be-discovered stranger, when she heard a voice calling out her name.
A shiver slid down her spine as she looked up at the figure standing in the shadows.
"Isabella? Are you ready?" he asked again.
She discerned that he was tall, his shoulders and chest wide – not the width of Greta, but wide in their own right. What she could see of his hair in the dim lighting appeared long and tousled on his head, as if he'd just climbed out of bed. And his voice - God, his voice was like warm honey as it entered her ears, seeming to make a beeline straight to her girly-bits. She'd instantly clamped her thighs together in response to that silky-smooth voice; a voice she was already looking forward to hearing more from.
Today, she stepped onto the sidewalk, running her free hand down her skirt one more time before she pulled the door open. She'd come straight from a meeting at her publishers after just having returned to town last night. She hated coming here in business clothing, but it couldn't be helped. Besides, the thought of what awaited her on the other side of the door had distracted her. Once again, she found herself squeezing her lower muscles tightly as she stepped into the air conditioned building; the freezing air hitting her hard, instantly bringing her nipples to stiff points under the silk of her blouse and bra. Bella silently mumbled a curse at her body's reaction to the cold and, most likely, the thought of Edward. She did her best to hide what she was sure had become two beacons flashing themselves at the world, like the "Hot Now" sign at the Krispy Kreme donut shop.
Six months ago, she'd met her masseur, Edward, the one who currently had her body on edge. He'd treated her to the best Swedish massage of her life, touching every inch of her as she lay as still as she possibly could. Each brush of his fingers had sent a shock through her body and she'd felt moisture pooling between her thighs. Never before had she had this reaction to a man's touch; she was sure she'd be leaving evidence of her arousal behind on the table or, at the very least, lingering in the air after she'd left.
If Edward had noticed, he remained very professional and hadn't let on.
After the first session, they decided that a deep tissue massage focused on her neck and shoulders would be best for Bella. It appeared that Edward was the spa's expert at deep tissue massages, second only to Greta. Bella had then made a return appointment with Edward for the next month.
Each month, she'd learn something new about the charming and beautiful man who pressed and pinched the muscles and tendons in her shoulders and neck. He was dating a girl he liked, Jane, but it wasn't too serious. He enjoyed working in the massage industry, but it wasn't his lifelong dream, although he never elaborated on what he really wanted to spend his life doing. Each time Bella had asked, he'd awkwardly changed the subject. He had a stepsister he mentioned briefly during their session over the holidays and, occasionally, he'd speak fondly of his mom; although something in the tone of his voice let Bella know that there was sadness and, perhaps, even a little regret in their relationship.
She'd also found out that he was twenty-five; seven years younger than herself, which had her referring to him as a 'boy' more often then not. Because of this, she'd decided that she would be keeping him at arm's length; not that she'd assumed he'd want a relationship with her. In fact, Bella really couldn't see what he'd find attractive at all about her slight frame and mousy brown hair. But, there did seem to be a connection between them, however she was determined she'd never be one of "those women" – the ones who dated younger men in order to make themselves feel younger and more alive. Bella was doing just fine on her own and didn't need a man – younger or not – to validate her. Alone, just her and her cat, Chewbacca; she was happy.
Bella now checked in for her sixth appointment and was shown to the darkened client lounge. She took her seat and waited alone for the lovely young man to call on her. Butterflies fluttered low in her belly and instead of attempting to push them down and away, she allowed herself to daydream about Edward.
Bella had been without a significant other for nearly two years. Two very long, sexless years, she'd been without the touch of a man. Edward brought out her more…carnal side, with his broad shoulders, messy bronze hair and piercing green eyes. In her daydreams – or night dreams, whichever the case was – Edward was always a very attentive lover. Fingers and mouth searching her body, touches that were slow and sublime. In fact, since last September, Edward had become masturbation fodder for Bella, bringing her to orgasm nearly as many times in the last six months than she'd experienced in her two-year relationship with Mike Newton. She wasn't dating Edward, but she certainly used him in her fantasies.
As a practical joke, Alice had bought Bella one of those hop-a-long riding dildo things for Christmas. Alice had said she was afraid Bella would get carpal tunnel syndrome from all the masturbating she was doing and she didn't want her dearest friend to have to retire from writing before age thirty-five.
"And you'll even get a cardio workout with this!" the sprite bitch had squealed in delight and laughter, which was so often her M.O. Bella could have taken the joke somewhat okay, if Alice hadn't presented her with the hot pink hobby horse-looking contraption in front of Jasper. Mortification didn't begin to explain how Bella had felt that day.
After Christmas, Bella hid the horrific gift in the back of her closet, vowing never to take it out until she could brave throwing it away.
The next month, once her appointment with Edward was over, she rushed home, feeling as if her panties were on fire. She popped the cork on a bottle of wine, hoping she could drink away the lustful thoughts she was having for her young masseur. However, consuming the entire bottle in less than twenty minutes had done nothing but loosen her up, fueling her desires and dropping her inhibitions. Within thirty minutes of arriving home, Bella was digging in the back of her closet to pull out the ride-on and give it a whirl.
Setting it up in her bedroom, she'd lit candles, put on her favorite Depeche Mode album, and then climbed on board. Bella felt ridiculous squatting on the plastic dildo while rocking to and fro, but since there was no other male but her pet cat, Chewy, in her life, she fully submersed herself in the fantasy that came with using such an item. She'd even named it 'Frederick Von Ridesalot'… 'Dick' for short… since naming it seemed to remove a hair of awkwardness. But only a hair.
The following day, Bella woke in a post-drunken haze, vaguely remembering that she had opened a second bottle of wine the night before. Her bedroom was shadowed in predawn light as she crawled out of bed and made her way out of her room, kicking something out of her way and nearly tripping over something else before stepping into the hallway. She wanted to sleep in until noon and hopefully sleep off the hangover, but she knew if she had any hope of doing either, she had better go down stairs and feed her beloved cat his breakfast. If she didn't, he would be pawing at her face soon enough, forcing her up and frustrating her to the point where she would have no hope of going back to sleep. She called out for him and was surprised when he didn't follow her down the steps much less come running at the sound of the can opener.
She became worried as she tapped the fork she had used to scoop out the food against the glass bowl that now held the foul smelling mush. The fork made a clinking sound and he was still a no show. That sound always brought him running. Confused, Bella spent the next two hours searching for her beloved cat, Chewy.
Bella hadn't really focused on the items she tripped over as she stumbled her way down to the kitchen, but as she searched for her cat, the memories of the night before suddenly came flooding back, smacking her like a smelly, wet fish across the face.
Going back to her room and turning on the light, she took in the state of her room and her face flushed with embarrassment. Two empty bottles lay on the floor, the CD player was on but paused and upon further inspection was set to replay 'Strangelove' over and over and finally her cowgirl hat from last Halloween was lying on the floor – it was clear that she'd enjoyed herself. She recalled the drinking and subsequently climbing on the toy. As she thought longer about it, she realized at some point she'd stopped calling her toy 'Dick' and started calling it 'Edward', yelling his name out loud while rocking wildly and wearing her hat.
Visions of bumper stickers that read 'Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy' flooded her mind and she let out a loud groan.
Clearly, poor Chewy hadn't liked Bella's activities since she eventually found him shaking underneath the couch. He hissed at her when she reached for him and he didn't emerge for two days.
Sitting in the darkened lounge of Serenity, Bella's eyes slid closed as she awaited the familiar voice to call her to the back. She relaxed and allowed her mind to wander. Today, she pictured Edward's fingers dipping under the edge of the sheet as he rubbed her collarbone and pectorals. He often rubbed both, commenting that they were tighter than they should be. Each time, Bella wished he would continue a little farther south, to her aching breasts. In her daydream, his fingertips grazed the hardened peaks of her nipples, her breath hitching at the sensation.
Normally, she really tried to avoid these thoughts before the appointment, but as a published author, Bella had been so busy promoting her newest book over the last month that she hadn't had any personal time with her trusty friend, Dick. She'd rubbed herself to orgasm a week ago, in a hotel bathroom, but it wasn't the same. Her fingers didn't do it for her any longer. She needed Dick – in one form or another - and she needed it bad.
Lost in her thoughts, Bella's mind began straying further. She pictured herself throwing Edward onto his back across the massage table, straddling his waist and pumping herself onto his large shaft. Fully immersed in her vision, her heart sped up and her girly-bits twitched just as she heard her name being called out.
"Isabella, are you ready to come?"
Bella's eyes flew open and she turned her head toward the voice as the muscles clenched low in her abdomen.
Did he really just ask her that?
"I…I…I'm sorry?" She swallowed hard, realizing she was no longer the only one in the lounge; an elderly lady now sat across from her and was looking at Bella as if she'd grown a second head; or, perhaps, fondled herself in front of her. Bella looked down quickly and sighed with relief when she saw both hands were firmly wrapped around her purse. She blew out another breath in an attempt to focus and looked back at Edward.
She could see him shaking slightly, as if he were holding back laughter.
"I asked if you were ready to come…you know, come on back to the room?"
His voice held a tone of playfulness to it and she wondered if he somehow knew what she'd been thinking about or what she thought he'd asked her. At some point, this beautiful boy must have realized exactly what he did to Bella; she was sure of it, but she couldn't confirm her suspicions. To confirm that meant taking a chance on someone, something she didn't want to do, not when it also meant opening herself up again to get hurt and be left alone. No - she, Chewy, and now, Dick, were doing just fine by themselves. At least, that's what she convinced herself.
"Um… yeah…yes! I'm ready to come...I mean, come back...or go…"
Bella cursed under her breath as she stood up. The old lady across from her looked at her with wide eyes. Bella wanted to ask her if she'd never heard the word "fuck" before. Hell, the old woman had probably been there when it was invented. But, she decided it was best that she didn't antagonize the old biddy, it might cause her a heart attack, which was the last thing Bella needed to worry about.
She brushed past Edward and drew in his scent. It wafted into her nose, lighting a fire down her throat and into her chest. Bella was left wondering how it was that one person could smell so damned good?
"They have us in the back today, Isabella. Room seven." His breath seemed to stir her hair and she realized he was just a half-step behind her. Feeling him so close in her personal space, she startled and teetered on her four-inch heels. Edward caught her elbow, stepping into her back to keep her from falling. Bella was ready to curse Alice and the ridiculous shoes her fashionista friend insisted she wear, until she felt something long and hard against her ass.
Edward stepped back quickly and she suddenly realized that it was him. He was hard – hard for her! A blush crawled up her chest at the realization that maybe he felt something for her, as well.
Or, maybe he's just an Ass Man.
"Sorry, Isabella, are you okay?" he asked, as they stopped in front of the open door.
"Um, yeah." What was it about Edward? She couldn't even form a coherent sentence around him. She looked back down the hall and saw they truly were at the back of the suite, in a secluded corner. She looked up into his eyes. The light in the room was brighter than that of the hallway, and she could see the color shift from their normal sparkling green to something deeper. She sucked in a breath and took a step backward into the room.
Edward came in around her. "So, the usual? Deep tissue?"
Bella nodded, not taking a chance with the English language which clearly failed her whenever she was in close proximity with him.
"Okay, well, undress to the level of your comfort and I'll knock before I come back in," Edward said softly.
Bella thought she saw a glistening bead of sweat roll down the side of his face from his temple, despite the cool temperature of the room.
She swallowed hard, nodding again, as Edward excused himself.
Stripping down to her underwear, a black lace thong, she shook her head at herself. In the sexy underwear, she looked as if she wanted to seduce the youthful masseur. She was having a bizarre Mrs. Robinson vision as she climbed on the table and situated herself under the sheet.
In all honesty, she'd just gotten back into town yesterday and needed to do laundry. It was either the sexy thong or the white cotton granny panties she saved for "that" time of the month - so, black lace thong, it was.
Although, she had to admit that Edward seeing her in them would be pretty awesome … Snap out of it, Swan! She mentally chastised herself and shook her head slightly, as if to clear the thoughts of exhibitionism for her masseur. Her very young masseur.
A soft tap on the door ended her inner turmoil.
Bella quickly called out, "Okay!"
A little to exuberant there, Swan.
Edward opened the door and peeked around into the room. "Ready?"
He stepped in, dimming the lights so low that Bella had to blink and squint to be able to see, while her pupils grew and adjusted to the darkness. Edward moved to the end of the table, which put him behind her head. He always started her off on her back, working on her pecs, shoulders and neck first. Then, he'd have her roll over so she was face-down for the last twenty minutes.
Edward's hands brushed her shoulders and Bella became acutely aware of the air in the room growing thick as her nipples hardened against the white sheet. The sensitive skin of her peaks registered the scratchiness of the fabric that had felt as soft as silk only moments before.
If she didn't combust and die on his table today, she was going straight home to Dick and spending some quality time with her old friend.
She held her breath as his hands began roaming her naked flesh.
AN: Thanks to MauiGirl60 for being the best beta... EVER. You put up with my sometimes-not-so-transparent sarcasm and my desperate need for affirmation. Thanks for making this "readable". I would also like to acknowledge TheOnlyKyla and SparklingWand for being constant sources of encouragement and butt kicking. When I started this endeavor of so-called writing last year, I never imagined I would be surrounded by such wonderful, supportive people as you three. Thank you.
Now... I plan to post weekly, unless I get too excited and feel I need to share something sooner. But, updates should be regularly on Tuesdays.
Also, I'm on Facebook... RvrSong FanFiction. There you can see pictures that inspired this story. You can also see my fantastic banner, made by the rock-awesome Caiteexx Graphics.
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xoxo - River