Disclaimer: The author does not own any publicly recognizable entities herein. They belong to Stephenie Meyer. This plot belongs to me. No copyright infringement is intended.
We Are Broken
Beta'd by SunflowerFran
I arrive home after forgoing a trip back to my parents' house for supper. My father barely spoke on the drive back, but speaking long enough to dismiss my request for information regarding his and Edward's acquaintanceship.
"It's best he tells you himself," he said, smiling a secret smile as the greenery swirled past us. "Trust me."
I do trust my father. Between him, my brother, and my mother he's the only one I can trust. Jasper always accused me of being a daddy's girl. I suppose he's been right all these years. Jasper finally got something right.
Edward sitting on my front steps when I arrive home reminds me of a day not so long ago. Fingers in his hair, he twists the strands nervously around, lifting his head once he hears the sound of my vehicle pulling into the drive. I've barely get the door shut behind me before he finds his way to my side, and I melt into him, closing my eyes with his more than friendly embrace.
"I can't believe you offered up your guest house like that. I thought your father would be angry. He's a hard man to read."
I smile at the words murmured into my hair, my heart settling in the pit of my stomach once he pulls away. The worn boots on his feet shuffle against the drive, and I follow him, waiting as he begins pulling his belongings from the cab of the truck.
"My father's a good man."
Those two words speak nothing of the truth. I frown, still silently questioning how he knows that my father is a good man. Silent until I can't take it anymore.
"How do you and my father know one another? I don't remember you ever meeting ... after the accident."
Edward places a few, battered cardboard boxes beside the truck. I spy a stack of clothes shoved in the far corner of the cab, hangers still attached. There are so few of his belongings that I can't imagine this could be all of his worldly possessions.
"I met him a few days ago."
"Really? Where? How?"
"At his house."
The slam of his truck door is like a gunshot to my chest. The words he just spoke spin around in my head, brewing up a storm of worry and doubt. My mother's pinched face fades in and out of my view as I imagine her reaction to seeing Edward standing on her property. There is no way she could have been home that day. My phone would be ringing off the hook.
"What ... why?"
Edward leans against the truck, crosses his arms over his chest, then his legs at the ankles. Watching me, gauging my reaction, he tells me something that sends my heart thumping uncontrollably.
"I went to him to ask forgiveness ... and he didn't give it to me."
"Why? Why would he do that?"
Edward smiles, releases a soft laugh, then stares at the ground for a moment. There's awe in his face, in his eyes, once he glances back up.
"He said there's nothing to forgive. I've done nothing wrong."
The guest house hasn't been used in a while. In fact, I don't remember the last time I've ever had guests to stay in the tiny house situated on the back edge of my property. Tucked beneath the hanging green limbs of the trees, the quaint little house is more of a cottage than anything else. Similar in color and style to the main house, the front area is warm and inviting. The flower beds, although slightly overgrown, burst with the vibrant colors of the summer. Small, curved bricks edge the flowerbeds, separating it from the thick grass that surrounds them. The window boxes are bare, but at one time, they held flowers, as well. I longingly glance at the empty boxes remembering a time when I cared about things like gardening.
"It's so musty," I grumble, wrinkling my nose once we're standing inside.
The air is stale from lack of life. Dust particles filter through, lazily floating in and out of the beams of light shifting across the room from the windows. Edward slips passed me while taking the key from my outstretched hand, and putting it into his pocket. I watch his lanky frame wander about, the very sight of his tattered, low-slung jeans and paint-splattered work boots doing silly things to my belly.
"There's a vacuum in here somewhere."
I attempt to walk past him, but he wraps one hand around my wrist. My breath comes and goes in little spurts, and I close my eyes, reveling in the feel of my back pressed against his toned chest.
"Bella, stop worrying so much. I'll take care of it tomorrow."
I nod, or at least I think I nod. It's hard to tell, because I'm floating, caught somewhere between heaven and earth. Lips graze the side of my face, as soft as a butterfly's wings. How on earth, this friendship is going to work is beyond me. Not when he's living so close, standing so close, pressing against me so tight and hard.
My name comes out as a whispered moan. I bite my lip, forcing back a moan of my own. I pretend I can't feel how very excited he is against me, how very excited I am against him as his fingers ghost up my bare arms.
"Thank you. Thank you for helping me. For offering me a place to live. For being ... fuck. A friend? I can't be your friend, Bella. Not when we both want more. And I know you want this, baby. We can take it slow ... but I won't give up. You will be mine."
As soon as the warmth of his body is gone, I miss it. I miss the smell of him, the heat of him, and the way his loving touch sets my body on fire.
And I know without a doubt that I'll think of him tonight while I'm all alone ... touching, moaning, losing myself against fingers that I wish weren't my own.
Franny beta'd, but I tinkered. A lot. Mistakes are my own. Edward's not holding back. Renee doesn't know yet. And Bella's about to explode. Let the games begin!