Disclaimer: Stephanie Meyers owns all things Twilight – I just like to get them dirty
Special thanks to Carrie ZM for waving the beta wand on this bad bitch.
Shout outs and many thanks to Heather Maven and Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy
for pre-reading and putting their pervy seal of approval on this chapter.
I lift my phone over my head, angling it just so. Admittedly, I'm the absolute worst at taking selfies. There must be an art to taking a good selfie or maybe being a double jointed contortionist is a requirement for taking one without involving a dirty bathroom mirror. Once I have the angle just right, making sure the cactus and I are both in the picture, the photo shoot begins.
Toothy grin. Click. Closed mouth Mona Lisa smile. Click. Smiling with my eyes. Click. Serious face. Click. Duck face. Click. Miley Cyrus tongue. Click.
"What the fuck are you doing?" Mary Alice asks, her tone dripping with mockery. "Give me that," she says snatching the phone from my hand. "Do you want the cactus in the shot?"
"Obviously," I fluff my hair and resume my previous pose. "Make sure my chins don't show."
"You're ridiculous," she snorts, backing up a little and raising the phone over my head to snap the shot. "Kneel down a bit." I hear about twelve clicks before she hands me the phone. "There you go."
I scroll through the pictures quickly, find one and fire off a quick text. Saying goodbye to Phoenix. I barely get inside to get one last look around before my phone beeps with his reply. Hurry home, beautiful. I smile at his words, quickly messaging back. I'll call you from the road in a bit.
"So this is really happening, huh?" I hear her footsteps behind me, clicking across the tile, and echoing throughout the empty living room. "You're really leaving me," She leans against the doorway in the kitchen, crosses her arms over her chest and smirks. "Say it ain't so, Swan."
Her easy smile lets me know that she has finally wrapped her head around the whole Edward thing. Her initial reaction to the news still surprises me. Normally, she's such a romantic. The kind of gal who always sees the glass half full. I suppose her outlook could change, especially if looking at the glass half full results in her best friend moving nearly 1600 miles away.
"Yep, I'm being magically whisked away to sunny Forks. Don't be jealous," I joke as I close the blinds.
"Who wouldn't be jealous?" she snorts. "You get to hang around a bar and wear flannel all the time. I'm really, uh…" She trails off before clearing her throat. "I'm really happy for you, ya' know?"
I nod slowly. I can tell we are both on the verge of bursting into tears, so I try to keep it light. "Speaking of which, what are we wearing today, sister?" I motion to her head-to-toe boot-scootin-boogie get-up. "It's fucking August in Phoenix, why are you dressed like Sissy from Urban Cowboy?"
"Do you like them?" She asks, kicking out her leg to show me the colorful designs of the boot. "I'm breaking them in for my date tonight," She starts shuffling and stomping. "Jasper is taking me two-stepping."
"Ahh, I see. How many times have you been out with this guy?"
"This is our third date in eight days." She wags her brows, letting me know that she'll be riding this bucking bronco by the end of the evening if she hasn't already. "Wanna see a picture?" She whips out her phone and scrolls through the pictures on his Facebook page until she finds an acceptable full length photo for me to 'ooh and ahh' over.
"That's a big ass belt buckle," I say, gawking at the ginormous, silver oval with the gigantic 'J' in the middle.
"I know, right?" She sighs dreamily. "I hope there's a big ass dick he's hiding behind it."
"I can't stop staring, it's like a codpiece," I mutter, as she grabs her phone and clutches it to her heart. "You should be able to get a good read on it while you're dancing tonight."
"Oh honey, I'm way ahead of you." She dismisses me with a wave of her hand. "Who do you think came up with the plan to get close to the codpiece?"
"I can't wait." She smears some gloss across her lips, finishing with a pucker, a pop and a wink. "We're gonna dance all night, 'til that belt buckle shines."
We burst into a fit of giggles and snorts. This is how I will remember my time in Phoenix. Laughing loudly and musing inappropriately with Mary Alice. I know I am giving up a lot, but I also know that I'm getting so much more.
When our laughter subsides, we each grab my bags and head out to the parking lot. Side-by-side, we pack the car in silence, both of us smiling, trying to hide the sadness we feel. I shut the trunk and take one last glance at the place I've called home for many years. I blow out a deep breath, knowing I am happily giving up the sunny heat, the mesquite trees and the view of South Mountain in the distance for the lush greenery and cloud-covered comfort of Forks.
Mary Alice is frantically waving her hands in front of her eyes, trying to keep her tears at bay. I can feel myself on the verge of bawling my face off as well, so I have to make this goodbye quick. I pull her in for a hug, squeezing her tightly.
"I feel like I should say something profound," she says, as we break our embrace to wipe our eyes, checking for rogue mascara trails in the car window reflection.
"Like what?" I ask, opening the car door and throwing my purse on the seat. "You're my touchstone, Emma?"
"God, no!" she snorts and jokingly pushes me. "Why on earth would you ever bring Terms of Endearment into this?" We both laugh remembering the many tear-filled movie nights with Shirley McClaine and Debra Winger. "I was thinking more along the lines of, 'Stay gold, Pony Boy.'"
"Good call," I say, sliding into the car. "Nothing says 'I'll miss you' like the image of Ralph Macchio burnt up and clinging to life in a hospital bed."
"Yeah, I think we're kind of bad at this. How about you just text me when you get there, and we'll do the FaceTime thing on Sunday night?"
"You got it," I tell her, shutting my door behind me and starting up the car.
I look at her one last time before pulling away. No words are necessary. No long goodbyes or 'I'll miss you'. She kisses her hand and places it against my window. I do the same, pressing my palm on the glass against hers. It's her way of giving her blessing, and my way of thanking her for understanding.
And our way of saying 'see you soon'.
Merging onto the I-10, I tap the Bluetooth button on my steering wheel and instruct it to 'call Edward'.
"Hey, beautiful," he says, picking up on the second ring.
"Hey," I sigh, loving the sound of his rough morning voice surrounding me in stereo.
"You on the road?"
"Yeah, but I'm not moving much with rush hour traffic and all." I flip my signal and pray someone will be kind enough to let me over. "It's brutal."
"I'll bet. So you're driving through to Redding tonight?"
"That's the plan. What do you have going on today?"
He fills me in on his plans for the day, which include him and Emmett finishing up the painting in the living room and hallway. The renovations are coming along quite nicely in such a short period of time. The mauve carpet and questionable wallpaper are gone, replaced by hardwood floors and paint colors of my choosing. Piece by piece, we're putting the once beautiful home back together and lovingly erasing the bad decisions that marred it for so long.
"So, are you going to FaceTime me when you get to the hotel?"
"Yeah, unless the Wi-Fi sucks, then I'll just call."
"Alright, well drive safe and call me if you get tired."
"Love you, too."
Six hours, two bathroom breaks, and one and a half Starbucks trenta-sized iced coffees later, I'm stuck in traffic again. Only this time, I'm sitting bumper to bumper in sunny L.A. I have my windows rolled down, trying to soak up the last bit of heat and sunshine before I turn vitamin D deficient in Forks. Trucker arm be damned.
Unfortunately, I'm stuck right next to a young couple fighting. I should be ashamed of myself, eavesdropping like I am. I can't help it though; they remind me so much of Edward and me.
They can't be a day over eighteen, riding around in a busted up pick-up truck. She's screaming and swearing, poking his bicep and counting off his infractions on her fingers. Meanwhile, he's gripping the steering wheel, gritting his teeth and bearing the brunt of every ounce of crazy she's throwing at him. Every once in a while, he tries to interject, only to be cut off by a screeching 'how dare you' or one of my favorite fighting phrases 'go fuck yourself'. They seem to be almost exactly like us in the fact that they're passionate and possessive, proud and pigheaded.
I can't quite make out all of their words over the hum of the engines and the reverberation of booming bass sounding from the car behind me. He may very well deserve every bit of her fury, but when she turns to me, I instantly recognize the expression. Cold indifference colors her pretty features. She's resolute and writhing in her rightness. It's the sadness in her eyes that lets me know that this is merely an act of self-preservation.
I know a thing or two about self-preservation. Guarding my heart cost me years of happiness with Edward. It's hard to believe that only two months have passed since our reunion and subsequent relationship rekindling. I remember the night we finally talked it out. My vision becomes hazy as the memory becomes crystal clear.
Sitting across the table from him, coming clean and pouring my heart out about the real reason I left. Repeating his words aloud, the ones that damn near broke me and clouded my judgment. I thought about it. I seriously considered it. But I didn't. Watching his face crumble as he realizes how his painfully honest words set our demise in motion. He scoots close to me, taking my hand in his, kissing my knuckles between his desperate apologies. The sincerity in his voice and his face is undeniable. Although it holds no bearing on the present, I feel I'm owed an explanation. I can't seem to stop myself from asking him 'why'. Why say those words?
His eyes meet mine and his grip tightens on my hand. It's like he's warning me that I won't like what I'm about to hear. I try to silence the thoughts spinning around my head, convicting him of anything and everything that I can think of.
"I'd never do that to you, Bella," he whispers against our entwined fingers. "Never did, never have, never will." He licks his lips, looking a bit wary. "I remember saying those words. And I'll never forgive myself for making you think that I'd ever do that to you. It was a lie. At the time, I just wanted to," he pauses, gathering the nerve to deliver his own brand of truth. "I wanted to hurt you."
"Why?" I explode, ripping my hand from his grasp.
His chair roughly scrapes across the tile, backing away from me like I'm a ticking time bomb. He runs his hand nervously through his hair, yanking a fistful in frustration while his knee bounces rapidly beneath the table. I see his jaw clench and unclench when I slam my hand on the table, repeating my question once more, demanding an answer.
"I wanted a reaction. I wanted reassurance." He spits the words at me and the expression on his face makes me think that they taste as bad as they hurt. "I wanted you to give me a reason to believe you gave a shit."
I stare at him blankly wondering how he could ever question my feelings for him. "I don't understand."
"You were always pulling away, Bella," he explains quietly, his eyes fixed on mine. "You always had one foot out the door. It felt like you were waiting for an out or for a reason to end it."
I rapidly shake my head, denying his words, but deep down I know they're true. This isn't the first time I've heard it either. It is however, the first time I've heard it from someone who matters enough to make me want to stop running.
"Think back, Bella," He tells me and begins ticking off his fingers. "It was you who didn't want to be official during the school year. You were the one who blew off the phone calls those last few weeks. And the fact that you were so indifferent about missing our weekly calls made me think that…" he trails off, looking away. "…maybe you found someone else." His voice shakes as his eyes meet mine again. "I told myself you would never." He clears his throat. "Could never do that to me. But I swear, sometimes Bella you could be so cold."
The word hangs heavy in the air. I seem to recall both James and Paul describing me as this in their parting words. My face heats with embarrassment and tears pool in the corners of my eyes.
"I'm so sorry, Edward," I whisper before completely breaking down into a full-on ugly cry.
"Jesus. No, Bella," he says softly, kneeling in front of me and wrapping his arms around me tightly. "I'm the one who's sorry. What I said to you was fucked up. I should've never said that to you."
We sit like that for what feels like hours. He strokes my hair, murmuring apologies and placing tiny kisses on the top of my head. With each of his pleas for forgiveness, I cry harder, soaking his shirt in the process.
"None of it matters anymore." I croak, taking his hand in mine. "We were both wrong. It changes nothing."
"It changes everything," he corrects.
We spend the next couple of days wrapped up in each other and make every moment count as we work together to reconcile the present and release the past. We finally come together on the morning of my departure, reconnecting the way we should have in the bar. Every touch is tender and reverent, slow and loving, saying both 'hello' and 'goodbye'.
We cling to each other at the airport, completely oblivious to the prying eyes of the passengers waiting to get through security. We whisper our goodbyes and recite the promises we made at the end of each of our summers together. Things are different this time. Walking away from him knowing that he loves me is so much harder than running away all those years ago thinking he didn't.
An obnoxious car horn blares from behind me, startling both me from my thoughts and the now kissing couple in the next lane. Crimson flushes over her copper cheeks as the corners of her mouth turn up into a small, hopeful smile. Unfortunately for me, my lane is not moving. I watch as the beat-up truck rumbles and rattles, then sputters forward to exit the freeway, and I can't help but wonder if those two will make it.
Nearly ten hours later, I collapse onto the bed, crawling under the cold sheets, and settle in to FaceTime Edward. This is our nightly routine and has been ever since we rekindled our romance two months ago.
His handsome face appears on the screen, shrouded in darkness save for the blue neon lights of the beer signs around the bar.
He smiles brightly. "Hey, beautiful." I can barely hear him over the voices and music in the background.
"You finally made it to Redding?"
I nod and cover my mouth, trying to stifle a yawn.
"I am. Although I've done nothing but sit on my ass for almost sixteen hours."
A Frankie Valli song starts up on the jukebox, and I hear the unmistakable voices of Carlisle and Emmett singing along in a truly frightening falsetto. Edward looks behind him and laughs before facing me again.
"Did you finish painting today?"
"Well," he says, drawing out the word. "We got a lot done, but we spent most of the afternoon at the hospital."
"What happened?" I ask, sitting up in my bed, instantly on alert. "Are you alright?"
"I'm fine," he says with a small chuckle. He swings the phone around and I see Emmett, sitting at the bar, drinking his beer, sporting an eye patch. "The big guy got paint in his eye and scratched his cornea during his freak out."
Em smiles and raises his bottle to me, World's Most Interesting Man style. Carlisle nudges his way onto the screen, smiling and waving. By the looks of those two, I can tell they're shitfaced. Edward's going to have his hands full tonight.
I chat with them for a bit, catching up and making tentative plans to get together once I get settled. Some guy I don't recognize taps Em on the shoulder and hands him a pool cue.
"I'm up," Emmett says to the group, but not before lifting the eyebrow of his good eye accusingly in my direction, then Edward's. He smirks evilly and makes a lewd gesture with the pool cue before walking away.
Edward turns the screen around to face him once again and mutters something about 'dirty pool'.
Never one to miss an opportunity to use his favorite one liner, Emmett responds in kind. "That's what she said!"
I see Edward shake his head before calling over his shoulder to Carlisle, telling him to watch the bar and that he'll be back in ten minutes.
"So what time do you think you'll get in tomorrow night?" he asks, shutting the door to his office behind him.
"I plan to leave at about five in the morning. The GPS says it's almost eleven hours so, I'm thinking with stops and lunch, I'll get there around four or five in the evening."
"Perfect," he says, plopping into his chair. "So listen, I ran into Ben Cheney today."
It takes a second for the name to register, but I'm pretty sure I know him. "I think I remember him. Short guy, blonde, dated Angela Weber?"
"That's him. He and Ang are married now, though. They may even have kids, but I'm not sure." He shrugs his shoulders and leans forward. "Anyway, he was actually telling me that there's going to be a job opening at the hospital soon."
I sigh and prop my head on my hand. "Oh yeah?" I ask with a bit too much bite, so I try to take it down a notch. "Too bad I don't have an ounce of medical experience."
The job situation is a bit of a sensitive subject for me. Receiving a rejection letter is always hard, but getting a rejection letter for a job that you consider a lifeline to what you want most in life is downright devastating. Jobs in the Forks area are scarce. Right now my only viable options are a paper route or peddling fishing lures at Newton Outfitters, sporting a camo smock and camo ain't my color. He must sense my frustration as he nervously continues.
"It's a public relations position. I don't know exactly what it entails, but he mentioned press releases and written and electronic communication stuff..." He trails off, gauging my reaction before continuing. "And I kind-of, might've told him that you'd be interested."
I stare at him blankly, letting him sweat it a bit. Normally, I'm not a big one on letting someone speak for me, but he's been so encouraging, I can't help but love him more for his meddling.
"That actually sounds great," I say, with a small smile and a hint of hope lacing my tone.
"Good," he says, obviously relieved, rocking back and forth in his office chair.
"It looks like you've got your work cut out for you tonight with Carlisle and Patches out there."
He laughs, bobbing his head in agreement. "Yes, I do." He watches me try to conceal another yawn. "You need to get some sleep, beautiful."
"I know. I just wanted to say good night."
He stares at me, rubbing his thumb across his jaw. I can't read the expression on his face other than the intensity in his eyes.
"What?" I ask, trying to decipher the change in his mood.
He shakes his head and the corners of his lips curve into a soft smile. "Nothing, I just can't believe you're coming home." He struggles to find the right words. "It's what I've wanted for so long, you know?" I nod, knowing exactly what he means as he finishes. "It just doesn't feel real."
"It's real, Edward," I speak softly, reassuring him that it's all I've wanted as well.
He regards me for a moment more. The reverence in his eyes is obvious, even without the mouthed 'I love you'.
"Love you, too." I reply with a sleepy smile. "Goodnight."
Before I know it, the alarm from my phone is blaring from the nightstand. Admittedly, I surprise myself by forgoing the typical groan and begrudgingly drag my ass to the shower routine. Nervous energy practically vibrates from my body as I shave and scrub and buff every inch of my skin. Surely after thirty-seven days apart, he'll want to have his wicked way with me the moment I get there. I chuckle to myself, imagining a romp on the porch swing. What a fun way to introduce myself to the fine folks of Fletcher Street.
I feel my skin flush thinking of all the possibilities for our reunion tonight. I highly doubt there will be candlelight and romance with rose petals leading up to the bedroom. That's just not us, although given our spontaneous getaway to Vegas last month; I'd say he's more than capable of surprising me.
The steam billows throughout the bathroom when I step out of the shower. I go to wipe the mirror and the moment my fingers touch the cool glass, memories of our last night together overwhelm me. The images come in quick succession, and all I see are flickers of the foggy window, our skin, our sweat. I blow out a deep breath, feeling suddenly heated. I'm unable to drown out the sounds we made, our desperation audible in every single gasp and grunt.
Dabbing the moisturizer on my cheeks, I think about exactly how we got to this point so quickly. Normally, I'm such an overly cautious person. I never jump in with both feet. Always looking before I leap. And then I usually look again and think better of it. To say not getting the job in Port Angeles was a setback is quite an understatement. I remember making that FaceTime call to Edward and seeing his face fall as I read the words, 'we regret to inform you'. I swear I feel my chest tighten when I think back to that week. Feeling the weight of the world on our shoulders, we wonder why the universe is fucking with us by putting up yet another roadblock preventing us from being together.
I smile at my reflection, replaying the memory in my mind.
I'm sitting at work, wallowing in my misery as I scroll through the available work in and around Forks. I see his face and name light up on my phone screen. I'm somewhat startled by the mid-morning call since we normally text throughout the day and talk in the evening. I barely finish saying my hello before he begins speaking urgently.
"I need to see you."
His tone is hurried and I hear drawers being opened and closed in the background when he asks if I think I can get home, packed and to the airport by 5:00 PM. I tell him I think that a migraine can be arranged to buy me a couple of hours. Nearly four hours later, I hand my ticket to the flight attendant and board the plane for Vegas.
My heart races the moment the plane touches down, and I have to stop myself from breaking into a full on sprint to the taxi stand. As soon as we turn onto the strip, I shoot Edward a quick text, letting him know I'll be arriving at the hotel shortly. He responds instantly that he'll meet me in the lobby. I practically throw the bills at the cab driver as I slide out of the car. My eyes search the lobby wildly as I start making my way through the sea of tourists. And then he's there. And I'm in his arms. He pulls me close, breathes me in. Though I admit I imagined a heated lip lock, the way he's holding me feels far more intimate.
He pulls me by the hand as he pushes his way through the crowd, weaving in and out of clusters of slot machines and blackjack tables. The elevator doors open and I fully expect to be thrown up against them the minute they close, that is until an older couple boards. We stand in the back of the elevator, our eyes trained on the numbers as we climb. By the time we reach five, he's pressed tightly against my back and I can feel every inch. When we hit the twelfth floor, his denim covered cock is rocking ever so slightly against the palm of my hand. By eighteen, his fingers are stealthily sliding beneath the hem of my skirt. The moment he closes the door to our room, I'm pressed up against it.
We spend the next sixteen hours making the most of our time together, wrapped in sheets and each other. We laugh and talk and rack up a huge room service bill. When we do finally decide to leave the friendly confines of our hotel room, we head out for dinner and drinks and take in a show at a nearby whiskey bar. Edward croons along with the cover band in my ear.
"You're so delicious. You're so… soft." He sings low against my cheek while his finger skims down the center of my neck and traces across the top of my strapless dress. "Sweet on the tip of my tongue."
I can't say for sure if it's the suggestiveness of the lyrics, his voice, or the feel of his touch on my skin, but whatever it is, it makes my thighs clench involuntarily. "Let's go back to the room." He looks confused, apparently not catching my drift so I place my lips against his. "Don't you want to taste me?"
Once again, he drags me by the hand through the lobby where we nearly bump into another deliriously happy couple. She's wearing a white dress, while he wears a suit and a smile. When we get to the elevators, they continue in the direction of the chapel. Edward hesitates for a moment and watches them before looking to me.
Maybe it's the booze, but I swear a silent conversation takes place in the matter of a couple of seconds. He arches his brow as if to say, 'what do you think'. I bite my lip in response, telling him 'I don't know'. He stares seriously and tightens his grip on my hand and brings it to his lips placing a small kiss on the knuckle of my ring finger. Somehow this kiss feels like a promise.
We watch the numbers climb again, the anticipation is thick, but this time for a different reason.
"What time do you have to be to the airport tomorrow?" I ask, placing my hand over his chest.
His eyes don't meet mine, staying fixed on the floor numbers. "Two o'clock."
"What time is it now?" I pull his arm to look at his watch and see that it's just after 1:30 AM.
"A little over twelve hours left." His thumb rubs over the back of my hand, and I'm not sure if he's doing it to calm me or himself.
This time he doesn't press me up against the door. Instead, I walk to the floor to ceiling window resting my forehead and palms against it to watch the fountains below dance and sway in perfect synchronization. Behind me, he drops a couple of ice cubes into a glass and pours himself a drink from the mini bar.
My nose skims the glass as I shake my head. A moment later his cold, whiskey soaked lips press softly against my heated shoulder while his hand grips me tightly around the waist.
"Mmm," I moan when his teeth nip their way up the side of my neck. "Have I thanked you for doing all of this yet?"
"No, you haven't," he tells me, tracing his finger down my jaw line before turning my chin towards him sharply. His voice drops in time with his hand tugging the zipper down my back. "But you're about to."
My skin prickles, erupting in goose bumps when my cheek and chest are pushed flush against the cold glass as the dress falls to the floor. He stretches my arms over my head, bracing my hands on either side of the window and kneeing my legs apart, spreading me wide.
"How do you plan on thanking me, Bella?" he asks in a whisper and presses his hardness into my back. He places loud open-mouthed kisses along my shoulder blade. "Tell me."
His demand contradicts his careful handling of me. I don't want cautious. I crave the carnal chaos he's caging, the madness and the mayhem. My body is aching to ease his tension, borderline desperate to feel and fuel his fury and frustration.
I want to incite the madman.
"Answer me," he commands, roughly shoving his hand into the front of my panties.
My breath comes out in small pants, fogging the glass as I garner the courage to plead for my pleasure.
"I want," I murmur softly.
"I want… to please you."
"Pleasure you." I start, grinding into his hand cupping my pussy. "I want to suck and swallow you." He grips me tighter, two fingers covering my clit. "I want to feel every inch of you stretching me," I whine when he grasps it roughly, rubbing the tender flesh raw. "I want you to finger fuck me."
"Yes," he hisses, sliding his finger inside.
"Harder!" I gasp when another finger follows. "Bend me over." I hear his fingers circling within. "Hold me down." He opens and closes them, scissoring inside of me until I can't stop myself from moaning out my deepest desires. "I want you to fuck me until you've had your fill."
He grabs my hair and kisses me hard while his hand roughly works me below. My nipples pucker and harden as they drag and scrape across the cold glass.
"I love that fuckin' filthy mouth of yours," he mumbles, running his tongue over my bottom lip, nipping it gently. "And I'm going to enjoy fucking it, too."
I whimper when he pulls away, withdrawing his fingers from my hair and panties. I keep my eyes closed and my face pressed against the window, listening to the sound of his belt buckle and pants dropping to the floor.
"Get on your knees, beautiful." I turn and kneel in front of him. He looks down at me wearing nothing but a sexy smirk on his face. He grabs his drink off the table and takes a swig, letting the liquor pool in his mouth before swallowing it down. "Please me."
I take him in, curling my fingers around him, teasing and tonguing his length. He watches me open wide, sliding his shaft in and out and tracing my tongue and teeth over his tender tip. His hands find my hair again and he holds my head, controlling the pace as his hips pump.
"There you go, baby," he groans, throwing his head back and closing his eyes. "Take it." I grab his thighs, holding them tightly while he drives his dick deeper down my throat. After awhile, his soft pants turn into rough grunts and his fingers tighten, pulling me off of him. "Get on the bed."
He doesn't need to tell me twice. I scurry onto the bed, crawling on all fours to brace myself against the headboard. I don't hear him approach. I just feel my panties being pulled roughly and his long, cold tongue enter me from behind. His fingers dip and circle inside of me, flicking and nipping at my clit. He holds my legs open, lifting me slightly so his stubble scrapes and scratches me just so. I hear him lap and snarl over my screams into the pillow. I come up for air just as he rights himself, grips my hips and impales me.
"Is this what you wanted?" He asks, grunting as he penetrates and pounds me ferociously. "Huh, Bella?" He grabs the back of my neck, bowing my back and plunging in deeper. "You want to let me have my fill?"
"Anything you want," I gasp, barely able to finish before he pulls out and turns me over, pinning my arms above my head.
Hovering above me, I see his eyes glaze over, completely lost in the sensation. It's the madman. He roars and rages and curses as he slams into me so hard the slapping of our skin sounds thunderous. I lift my hips and wrap my legs around his waist, pulling him deeper. His fingers dig into my flesh when he comes apart, exploding inside of me as I quiver all around him. He collapses, resting his head on my sweaty heaving chest. I feel him shake his head.
"I'll never get my fill of you," he says softly into the crook of my neck just before I fall asleep.
When I wake in the morning, his eyes are on me and it's obvious that he didn't sleep a wink. He traces lazy shapes into the palm of my hand.
"Good morning," I mumble, nuzzling into his chest. The rise and fall of his chest nearly lulls me back to sleep when he finally speaks.
"Come home, Bella." I don't look at him. I can't. So he repeats himself. "Come home."
"I wish I could," I say, rolling over and staring at the ceiling. "But it's just not the right time," I reason with him and myself. "I don't have a job or an apartment." I shrug one shoulder. "I mean, I want to be there. I just can't get there yet."
I plead with my eyes for him to understand, but his pleas prove far more convincing when he rolls on top of me.
"Do you want to be with me, Bella?" he asks, kissing across my chest. I nod, closing my eyes, enjoying the feel of his tongue circling my nipple. "I want you physically with me every day," he says hoarsely, spreading me with his fingers. "In our house," he continues, hardening against me. "I don't want to wait anymore. I don't want to waste any more time." He lines up, pushes forward and pleads once more, letting me know he's all in. "Please?"
"Yessssss," I breathe out slowly, letting him know I'm all in as well.
The fog clears on the bathroom mirror and the memory dissipates as well. My phone pings and an incoming text pops up on the screen. Hurry home. So that's exactly what I do.
A little over eleven hours later, I turn onto Fletcher Street, pull into our driveway and kill the engine. I hear the screen door slam and then I see him coming down the stairs. And just like before, he takes me in his arms and squeezes me tightly. It's like he wants to make sure it's real.
"You made it," he says, kissing my temple. "Come on, I've got a surprise for you."
Instead of pulling me to the house, he pulls me to my car.
"Where are we going?" I ask as he opens the passenger side door.
"It's a surprise." I quirk my brow, he knows I'm not big on surprises. "You'll love it," he promises just before kissing me convincingly.
"I'm so tired," I say with a yawn, curling up in my seat. "I've been driving for days."
"Sleep on the way. I'll wake you up when we get there." He starts the engine and I fall asleep before we even hit the highway.
It only feels like moments later when I feel him nudging me, telling me to 'wake up' and that 'we're here'. I open my eyes to the sun setting over the Port Angeles fairgrounds. The sounds of carnival music and the sweet smell of funnel cake float all around us. I feel his eyes on me as I see it for the first time - our old ending, our new beginning.
Hand-in-hand, we walk the soggy fairgrounds. Edward eats his weight in cotton candy while I nearly break my teeth on some kettle corn. He pulls me toward the double Ferris wheel line, smirking slyly.
We both look up and marvel at the towering ride illuminating the night sky.
"Double your pleasure, double your fun with the ups, downs and all-arounds on the Circles of Life," the fast talking ticket taker entices the crowd as we step up onto the platform. "Tickets, please."
Edward hands him our tickets and he instructs us to wait behind the red line for the next available seat.
"Hands, arms, feet and legs in the seat at all times, folks" The elderly carnie says to us, flashing all of his eight teeth in a knowing smile as he secures us in our seat. "Hold on tight to her now, son."
"I will," Edward says quietly, wrapping his arm around my shoulder.
"Enjoy the ride, you two." With a nod and a wink, the man pulls a lever and we swoop backwards into the air. I hear him begin his spiel again about circles of life and the ups and downs.
Suspended high over the fairgrounds, I turn the carnie's words over and over in my head. Perhaps it's not just a shtick to go along with an aptly named amusement ride. Maybe the guy is far more perceptive than I initially thought. Watching the other riders, I can see it so clearly.
There's a teenage girl screaming her head off, clutching her seat for dear life while the guy she's riding with bounces and shakes and rocks the car. Beneath them, there's a girl who looks to be a few years older than me, smiling bright with her arms in the air. Right behind her, there are two little girls and a dad giggling and squealing, yelling "whoa" with each and every drop.
Life's funny like that.
Sometimes you get on the ride with a real asshole that completely rocks your world and not in a good way. Sometimes you have to be brave enough to go it alone. Sometimes you're surrounded by friends and family who make the drops more bearable and maybe even a little bit fun.
And sometimes… Just sometimes, you have to go backwards to go forwards. And when you do, you finally get on the ride with that one person who you're meant to be with. The one that will hold you close and laugh with you through all the ups, and grip you even tighter through the downs, never once letting go.
I feel his hand on my knee and his lips at my ear. I close my eyes and smile as his cotton candy warmth washes over my face.
And I'm home.
A/N: That's all for these two folks. Long A/N tonight – so let's start it off by letting it WIP:
Prey for the Wicked by Aleeab4u - A vampire finds the true meaning of temptation, an innocent beauty with a siren's blood. Need and curiosity ignite endless possibility, but is she prey for the wicked or the answer to a prayer for salvation? When obsession has no reason and love knows no bounds, where do you draw the line? AU E/B Darkward Mature themes. Non-canon vampires. No sparkling, vegetarianism or venom.
Boundaries Undefined by Mylisssa - High school is a raging screaming battle that's mostly in her head. She won't be happy until she has him, but hell if she'll ever tell him. She sees only deception in his deepest truths, while he doesn't know the falsehoods of what he reads from her actions. Someone has to bend or the other will break. AH E/B
Tonight, in addition to our usual Let It WIP recs, I am going to give a shout out to some new authors who are popping their Twilight fanfic writing cherry. I had a wonderful experience as a first-time writer in the fandom and I would love it if you guys would help me pay it forward by supporting and encouraging the talents of these writers, because today's newbies may someday be your old faves.
Without further ado, here are the Like A Virgin fic recs:
Fate, Love and Second Chances by Nightviz
Lilim Division – SirVaden
Rolling in the Deep – Riv3rBoy84
Special thanks to CarrieZM, LovinRob, Robsmyyummy Cabanaboy, and Heather Maven for the hours of work you guys put in to this fic, the constant encouragement, the brutal honesty, the pimpage and your dirty girl endorsement on this product. You gals all mean the world to me and I could never, ever thank you enough for all you've done.
Special shout out to my Triangle of Curls Girls who keep me sane and laughing on the daily. AmandaC3 for the Phoenix fact finding chat. And big love to Planetblue for your friendship and epic hand-holding throughout the DTE – your positivity is contagious my friend.
So…. My next fic is in the works. I'm looking forward to getting back to my fun and snarky roots as we head back to high school and take a look at mean girls. CarrieZM and Planetblue made me promise to complete before posting, so it may be a bit. Feel free to put me on alert if you are interested.
As always, thanks to everyone who has read, reviewed, followed, fav'd, rec'd, pimped, tweeted and lurked this fic! I appreciate it!
Stay classy, fandom! LAHM out!