Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 24

CHAPTER 24
BELLA
Pam's parents had money. That much was obvious as we drove down their long driveway. No wonder she was spoiled. Some children don't fare well if they are handed everything they ever wanted. They begin to expect it in all aspects of their lives.
Edward chuckled at my thoughts, picking up my hand and kissing it. "Wendy's words, not mine," I smiled at him. "At least she and Drew will be here...they're really nice."
"They are," he agreed.
We pulled up in front of a large, red brick Colonial style house. White columns and shutters accented the front, making it look like something out of Gone with the Wind. Edward fought his smile as he opened my door. "Do my thoughts ever drive you crazy?" I asked, giggling softly and taking his hand.
"Never," he growled, pulling me to him. "I find your mind fascinating. Sometimes you get a better read on people than I do," he smirked, wrapping his arms around me, his hands settling on my waist. "If I could clear out every mind but yours, I would. Everything about you comes through this beautiful head," he sighed and kissed my forehead. "Even if you're quiet, the tenor of your thoughts still tells me whether you're happy or upset. Your sarcasm lets me know your patience is running thin."
"And when I find myself daydreaming about you?" I teased.
"Well," he chuckled, a deadly sexy smirk planted on his face. "That just tells me I'm not alone when I can't think a straight thought around you." I smiled and kissed his chin. "I wanted to hear your mind for so long. It will never get old or 'drive me crazy'. Does it bother you I can hear everything?"
"If it did, I'd shield it," I huffed, pinching his side. I looked at the house, the sound of dance music wafted out into the crisp October night. I had hoped Alice's plan worked. "You sure this won't bother you? I mean, we're telling Drew what we're doing..."
"I know who you really belong to," he purred, leaning down to kiss my neck.
My eyes rolled, whether at his voice or his kiss, I had no idea. "Say my name...I miss it," I whispered.
"Mrs. Cullen, have I told you how stunning you look tonight?" He crooned, his lips lightly brushing my earlobe. I closed my eyes, letting my husband's voice float over me.
"Yes," I smiled, tilting my head to feel more of his kisses. "Three times before I even got dressed," I snickered.
"Sue me, my beautiful wife...sometimes, I cannot tell a lie." He sighed, pulling back slightly. "Alice says if we're going to continue to make out, we should do it inside the house. It would make a better impression."
I snorted into laughter. "That sounds like a better plan than the original. Let's just find a corner..."
"She's yelling at me now for putting the idea in your mind," he laughed. "Come on, sweet girl. Maybe we can alter the plan slightly." He raised his eyebrow at me, guiding me towards the house.
"Took you long enough," Jasper huffed, walking up to us. "Do you have any idea what Alice is like when you mess with her plans?" Edward and I chuckled. It was a rhetorical question if I had ever heard one. Altering Alice's plans turned her from a pixie to a she-devil almost instantly. We had all experienced her wrath at one time or another. And poor Jasper – he probably took the brunt of it most of the time.
The house was full of students from school. Every grade was represented. As soon as we walked into the main room, the female whispers started. I couldn't say that I blamed them. Edward was dressed very well – black dress pants, a charcoal gray sweater with a matching t-shirt underneath. Their envy of me hit my ears as well.
I remembered a time when I didn't think I was worthy to stand next to Edward. Whether that was the case, I couldn't deny the fact that we owned each other. Other women's jealousy be-damned.
Wendy's face lit up when she saw us. "Bella, Edward..." She rolled her eyes dramatically. "Don't eat or drink anything unless you made it yourself," she whispered. "I think Todd spiked the punch."
"Duly noted," Edward chuckled.
"I'm not kidding...I think Pam and Ariel are drunk," she growled. "They are beyond their normally pushy selves. Bella, come...let me show you around." She tugged me off, a laugh escaping me.
"Why do you deal with them if they bug you?" I whispered as we walked through the house.
"Look at me," she huffed, her face turning a soft shade of pink. "I don't exactly radiate popular...so, while Drew would continue to be kind, others...well, wouldn't."
"Give Alice a few hours with you," I chuckled.
"Ooh!" Alice beamed, running up to us. She was bouncing on the balls of her feet and clapping. "A makeover! Please, please, please?"
"She's fantastic," I shrugged. "I can't fault her that." Wendy looked skeptical, but couldn't stop the laugh that escaped her as she watched Alice beg. "You won't recognize yourself," I smirked.
"Maybe," Wendy's eyes narrowed. "It's awful tempting."
"You will," Alice said smugly. "And you'll look perfect...trust me."
"She's been bored since I don't require her services anymore," I laughed, wrapping my arm around Alice and kissing her head. "You can come over one weekend."
"Ok," Wendy smirked, shaking her head. "Now, where's Drew..." She sighed, looking around. "Probably playing pool."
My eyes lit up. "Don't you dare," Alice warned. "They won't know what hit them."
"Hell yes," Rose smirked, walking up to us. "Come on, Bells...this may work better than that original plan. You're with me."
The original plan was to talk about Drew in front of Pam – make her jealous. Then I was to flirt with him just slightly. But playing a game of pool against him sounded a hell of a lot more fun. I looked to Alice to see if it would turn out the same.
"Yes," she whispered. "Better, actually."
We walked into the game room, ignoring the envious stares when Drew smiled. "Bella...you made it," he smiled, chalking his cue. "Wanna play?" He was a fairly good looking boy. I had never really bothered to notice. Of course, I could barely see past Edward. I heard a chuckle behind me and I turned to wink at him.
"Rack 'em up," I smiled, grabbing a stick from the rack. "Two on two. Call the eight ball."
"Yup, Todd...you're with me."
Todd, on the other hand, was all awkward teenage boy with flaming orange hair. He had a carefree laugh and a face covered in freckles.
"What's on the line?" Rose asked, studying her cue. Her cool demeanor always made boys uneasy. Tonight was no exception. Todd wiped his sweaty hands on his jeans as he looked at her.
"Hmm," Drew thought, a smirk on his face. Heartbeats picked up all around me. It was then that I noticed Pam and Ariel had come to watch. "Winners buy the losers' movie tickets next weekend."
"Deal," Rose and I smiled. "Boys break," I added, stepping back to lean against the wall.
Drew bent over the table, again eliciting heartbreaking sighs. "Do they really find him that handsome?" I whispered in Rose's ear.
"I guess," she shrugged. "They certainly seem to think so. But he's popular, that may add to it." He was tall with dark hair and broad shoulders. I could almost see the man that he would grow into. When he laughed at a joke his friends had made, I saw what the girls liked about him. His eyes were always full of laughter, his smile pretty with dimples on each smooth cheek. He could have had any girl in the room. Why he liked Pam, I had no idea.
"Maybe," I sighed, smiling when Drew's break didn't earn him anything. "He breaks like Emmett," I chuckled.
"Only not as hard," she smiled. "Go first," she smirked. "Maybe you can end this in one swoop." I laughed, shaking my head.
I studied the table, lining up my first shot. From the corner of my eye, I saw black pants leaning in the doorway. I let my eyes slowly travel up Edward's body, locking eyes with his. I shot without looking, sending the solid ball into the corner pocket. His eyes blackened as I licked my bottom lip.
Did you come in here just to watch me? I thought with a smirk. He nodded just once, crossing his arms across his chest. Leaning there, he was oozing sexiness. I couldn't resist teasing him. I lined up another shot, bending over right in front of him. Only I could hear the deep rumble of his growl. It's your own fault for requesting short skirts, baby. I fought my smile when I heard his groan, sinking another shot.
"Damn," Drew chuckled. "We've been had, Todd."
I laughed, shaking my head. "It's anyone's game..." I sank two more balls, accidentally scratching.
It stayed a pretty even game, both sides talking a little trash. Pam was huffing and pouting, her face slightly pink. She couldn't decide who to keep her eyes on. Edward, who was still leaning quietly in the corner watching my every move, or Drew, who was right in front of her, trying to get her attention. He wasn't trying hard enough.
I caught the tail end of one comment from Ariel. "My brother likes you...forget the other one..."
"We're losing this game to them," I told Rose. "Let them win. He needs to be the hero...ok?"
She nodded, walking up to the table. Alice flew to my side. "She so hates you right now. You have every eye in the room on you two and it's her party. It doesn't help that she's a little buzzed. Letting Drew win will help take the focus off of you." I nodded, knowing this already. "He'll look to her for approval."
"Good," I smiled, looking over at my husband. We still needed to find that corner. He was looking more and more tempting by the minute. He raised an eyebrow at me, his eyes traveling all over me and back to my face, telling me we were even. I laughed quietly, shaking my head at our insatiability. He winked at me as he chuckled softly.
Rose made her missed shot look good, sighing and backing back up to stand next to me. "Good game, by the way," she smiled. "We would have won it for real."
"True," I nodded. Drew finished off the table, calling the side pocket for the eight ball. "Movies on me next weekend," I said, putting my cue back on the rack.
"Another game?" Drew begged.
"Nah," I smiled, "someone else should take my place," I raised an eyebrow at him, my eyes flicking to Pam, who was frowning at him for asking. His eyes lit up.
"Pam, play a game with me...we can take Todd..." He beamed adorably. There it was. She couldn't resist that face as I backed into Edward's arms. Again grumbles of jealousy hit my ears, but this time they were directed towards Pam.
Edward pulled me from the room just as Emmett's booming laugh met our ears. "My turn, Drew...I'll play you...come on, Jazz."
We walked towards the room where the music seemed to generate. It must have been the living room under normal circumstances, because all of the furniture had been moved to the edges of the room, allowing a decent sized dance floor. We weren't alone. A few other people sat on the sofas and two couples swayed to a song I didn't recognize.
Edward pulled me to him, wrapping his arms around me and bending his head to mine. With a smile, I linked my fingers behind his neck. "Who is this singing?" I asked, closing my eyes and rubbing my nose with his.
"Luther Vandross."
I had heard of him. He had died a few years back. His voice was smooth and soothing, a voice that reminded you of love, loss and romance. It was an older song and for a moment, I wondered if Edward had picked it. From his smile against my cheek, I would say he'd heard my thought. And the answer was yes.
Don't you remember you told me you loved me, baby,
Said you'd be coming back this way again
Baby, baby, baby, baby.
I love you, I really do.
My fingers unlinked themselves, and I began playing with Edward's hair at his neck. We stole soft quick kisses on lips, noses and cheeks. He bent to my ear. "Every male was staring at you, my beautiful girl."
"I only saw you," I smiled, leaning my temple to his jaw.
"And they saw that," he chuckled softly, his breath tickling my ear. "You broke hearts all over the room."
"There's only one heart that matters," I smirked, placing my hand on his chest.
We both turned when the front door slammed open. "Wendy!" A man that could only be her father boomed, swaying on his feet. He was a tall, beefy man, dark haired like her. "Wendy...get your ass out here!"
As if they sensed him as a threat, Emmett and Jasper emerged from the back room, locking eyes with us for a brief moment.
Wendy came in from the kitchen, her eyes already starting to shine with tears. "Dad, what are you doing here? I told you I was staying overnight."
"Not anymore...I changed my mind...get your shit and let's go...I have an early shift and you didn't do laundry..."
"He's fucking drunk," I growled. Edward put his hands on my shoulders, they were twitching with a sign of his stress.
Wendy's dad started to grab her arm and Emmett stepped up, grinning. My brother hated a bully. "Aw now, you look like a smart guy...laundry's easy...whites with whites...colors with colors..." That comment earned him a few laughs around the room, which I noticed was starting to fill with everyone from the party.
"Who the fuck are you, smart ass?" He slurred, stepping up to my brother. That was when Edward moved to stand beside Emmett as a barrier in front of Wendy. I locked eyes with Alice. She must have seen something coming.
"I might have a suggestion, sir," Edward said with a forced calm that always seemed to make people flinch like they'd been slapped. "Since you seem incapable of taking care of your own clothes...there's an all night dry cleaner right around the corner. My treat," he sneered.
Wendy's father looked between Edward and Emmett and chose to ignore them. "Wendy, I said let's go, now..." He swayed on his feet, staring at her. Tears were coursing down her face in embarrassment and fear. Her heart was about to explode out of her chest. "Worthless bitch...just like your mother," the man mumbled. "You'll be sorry for making me wait..." He reached for her again. Big mistake.
Emmett grabbed one wrist at the same time Edward grabbed the other, stopping his hands within inches of touching his daughter. "I don't think so, sir," Edward growled. "You aren't thinking clearly at the moment."
"Carl!" We heard from the stairway. "What did I tell you about coming to my house drunk?" A round woman with blonde hair rumbled down the stairs, her face livid. "When Wendy is at my house, she's off limits to you. Thank you, boys," she sighed, looking at Edward and Emmett. "Out, Carl...I'm not kidding. You're interrupting my daughter's party. I'll have Wendy back home before the weekend is out."
"She's never fucking home...she's grounded...as of right now!"
"Why would she want to be, Carl? Honestly...you're pushing her away...boys, do you mind showing Mr. Graham here the door?"
"Not at all," Emmett smiled menacingly, tugging Carl slightly.
Carl relaxed in their grip. "Ok, Ok," he said, ripping his arms out of their grasp. They must have allowed it, because otherwise he would have never been strong enough. He backed towards the door.
"Dad," Wendy sobbed. "I'll be home on Sunday," she sighed, stepping closer to him. Before anyone could blink, he backhanded her across the face, sending her glasses skidding to my feet. I bent down and picked them up.
"Don't bother," he growled, finding himself pressed into the door frame, Edward and Emmett holding him firm, their faces pure ire. Wendy picked herself up off the floor and ran passed me into another room.
Suddenly the room went eerily calm and I looked to Jasper. The sneer on his face explained everything, he was bringing an end to the drama. Carl slumped to the floor, passing out in a drunken sleep as Pam's mother called 911. "That's the last straw," she frowned. "Come in my house...abusive bastard...no wonder Paula left..." She mumbled.
What struck me as odd is that not one of her "friends" went to check on Wendy. I could hear her heartbreaking sobs from the next room. That pissed me the fuck off. I walked softly to the door, cracking it open. She was sitting in a chair, her knees drawn up, her face buried in her arms.
This was the cause of sadness that I occasionally caught on her face. This was the reason she was a timid thing. It was also the reason she hung out at Pam's. She was safe here.
"Hey," I sighed, sitting on the ottoman in front of her.
She gasped, looking up at me, her cheek flaming red. She was going to need ice. It had already begun to swell. "I'm sorry you had to see that," she frowned, messily wiping at her face. "I thought for sure he'd leave me alone here."
"You live with him alone?"
"Yeah," she hiccupped, "my mom left when I was five."
I handed her glasses over. She took them, but didn't put them on. I studied her cheek and realized it looked exactly like mine did when Jake had hit me.
Where is EDWARD now? Who picked you up and dusted you off? Who put you back together? And who is it that you want to be with, huh? Jake had screamed in my face.
Him. I breathed, my heart cracking open that much wider.
I flinched, squeezing my eyes closed. Why that was the scene that always came to mind when I thought of Jake's abuse, I had no idea. It seemed to be the epitome of our entire relationship.
"You, ok?" Wendy asked and I nodded. "Reminder?"
"Yeah," I sighed. "I think I had that same bruise." I gently traced her cheek, the heat from it almost burning my hand.
"Is that why they stopped him...Edward and Emmett?" She asked, looking down at her glasses.
"I suppose," I smiled sadly. "Though, they have no patience for people who pick on those weaker than themselves."
The door cracked open again and Edward entered the room quietly, an icepack in his hand. "This should help," he said softly, sitting down behind me on the ottoman. "You ok, love?" He asked. He must have seen the flashback in my mind. "I did," he whispered against my head, kissing me softly. I nodded, leaning into him.
"Thanks," she sighed, placing the cool gel pack to her face. She winced at the pain and chill.
"Wendy, Mrs. Warren said to tell you that you're going to be staying here awhile," Edward said, taking my hand, his thumb tracing circles over the back of it.
"She called the cops, didn't she?" Wendy asked, fresh tears pooling in her eyes.
"Yes, I'm sorry," he sighed.
"She'd been threatening to for years," she sobbed. "She was best friends with my mother." She shifted the pack to a different position. "Now what do I do? The whole world will hear about this come Monday. And it's not like they can't see this!"
"You'll find that in the big picture," Edward sighed, "their opinions don't matter."
"Is that how you guys survive the stares and whispers?" She laughed, but it was not in humor.
"What stares and whispers?" I asked and she sniffled a laugh. Edward chuckled behind me. "Yes," I smiled, "but if you're truly worried about it, Alice can cover that up." I pointed to her cheek.
"Speaking from experience it sounds like," she huffed bitterly.
"Yes," I nodded, her gaze snapped to mine. "I had bruises everywhere...my face, my arms, my legs...an almost crushed wrist..." Edward took a deep sigh and I turned to kiss his cheek. "But not anymore," I smiled.
"You saved her," Wendy said. It wasn't a question, but a statement.
"She saved me," Edward smiled so sweetly. When Wendy rolled her eyes, he chuckled, kissing my head.
"Thank you for stopping him...thank Emmett too," she sighed, frowning.
"You're welcome. I'm sure I can speak for him when I say that we'd do it again. Though I hope not anytime soon..." His voice trailed off as he turned to stare at the door.
"Get out...all of you...this isn't a fucking reality show...come on, Austin," Drew sighed, bursting through the door. "Fucking tools..." He sneered. "They haven't even fucking checked on her...Oh, Bella...Edward...good. At least someone has a heart..." Drew and Austin knelt by her chair on each side of her.
"Wen, you ok?" Austin sighed, searching her face. Edward and I stood to leave the room.
"I'm ok. Bella and Edward stayed with me," she sighed, smiling up at us in a thank you.
"Guys, don't go..." Drew stood. He stuck out his hand to Edward. "Thanks man...Mr. Graham's always been an asshole to her. No one has ever stood up to him." Edward took his hand and shook it with a nod. "This was the first time he did it in front of so many people...you beat me to him." Drew smirked. Edward nodded again, his face set. Maybe it was better he had gotten to Mr. Graham first and not young Drew.
"You don't have to go," Wendy begged. My eyes slid passed her to Austin, who was still studying her. I didn't know Austin as well as I knew Drew and Todd. He was the quietest of the three. With sandy brown hair and green eyes, he stood a little shorter than his friends. He had full lips of which he was gnawing on the bottom one, his brow furrowed. He looked like he was making sure she wasn't broken.
"We promised Esme we wouldn't be out late," Edward sighed, giving an excuse that anyone would accept.
"That will be pretty dark on Monday...meet us a little early in the parking lot. Alice will cover it up, ok?" I said, taking Edward's hand and linking our fingers together.
"Ok, I will." She sighed, pulling the icepack off and touching her cheek lightly with a wince.
EDWARD
"Bella," I chuckled as she pushed me down on the edge of our bed. She lifted my leg, taking my shoe and sock off, picking my other leg up to do the same. She lifted off my sweater and shirt, tossing them on the floor. Crawling up my body, she snuggled into my embrace with a sigh of contentment. "Are you quite finished?" I chuckled again.
"Mmhm," she nodded into my neck. Her mind was closed to me, causing me to think that the situation at the party was bothering her a bit.
"Do you want to talk about it, love?" I whispered, kissing the top of her head.
"Yes and no," she sighed, her tiny finger tracing my chin down my jaw line. "I do, but I don't want the same old reactions...I really need to know why that scene with Jake is the one that I have flashbacks of the most. But in order to have this conversation, I don't want guilt in this room, Edward."
"Ok," I nodded, turning us over onto our sides so that we were face to face. "I promise...no guilt...we'll figure it out. Carlisle had a theory...want to hear it?"
"Is it the one where he thinks that was my lowest point?" She asked, frowning slightly. I reached up to brush her hair from her face and nodded.
"Yes...but I have my own theory," I sighed, brushing my lips lightly over the tip of her nose. "I think that you had tried many, many times to be honest with Jake...I think that was your mind's way of one last try." I cupped her face, my thumb caressing her cheekbone. "And seeing the same bruise tonight triggered that..."
"Maybe," she sighed, running her fingers through my hair and resting her palm on my chest. "I don't get it...it's not the worst thing he did to me."
"But from what I've seen of both of your memories, it was the last time you tried to move on from me..." I frowned. "Your honesty earned your punishment. That's not the fight that bothers Jake the most."
"The stairs, I know," she sighed, rolling onto her stomach. I rubbed her back and pushed her hair away from her face so I could see her expressions. "He thinks he took something from me...I don't feel that way. I never thought I could move on..." She looked up at me. "I just never thought it possible. I would have continued to try...but my heart would have always been with you."
"I know, sweetheart," I sighed.
"Does it bother you...to see that memory?"
"No," I smiled. "It bothers me for you to relive it...I can almost feel the slap myself through your mind. And I hate seeing you hurt. But it represents something else to me."
"What, baby?"
"I had asked you when you got that bruise...you told me two days before I came back to you. You declared your love for me...despite the fact that I was gone...despite the reaction you received...you fought for me when I didn't deserve it." She started to frown. "That's not guilt speaking, love...it's fact."
She sighed, looking at her own hands. "Deserve it or not, it's what happened...I wouldn't have cared why you left," she snorted adorably. "You could have gone on a murdering spree or found another woman..." I growled low, shaking my head. "I would have welcomed you back no matter what. I fell in love with you the second you said, 'Hello, I didn't get a chance to introduce myself...my name is Edward Cullen'," she snickered. "We were mated as soon as we shocked one another with our touch...there wasn't a damn thing we could do about it."
I chuckled, kissing her head roughly. "So...are you saying that what happened with Jake was unavoidable? Because I'm not sure I agree..."
"I don't have to explain the emptiness or pain, Edward...but you have to understand that everyone...and I mean everyone that I knew needed me to move on. I shut down...making them all feel helpless. It was...try to act normal or get shipped off to Florida or maybe even an institution...meds were discussed when they thought I wasn't listening..." She sat up, folding her legs and leaning her elbows on them. "It was hang out with Jake or stay in my room...despite the fact that my heart, mind and soul were weeping." She frowned, taking a deep breath. "With him, I could fake normal and no one questioned it. But I would come home to Charlie's and just die every night."
I fought hard to keep my guilt in check. I broke her heart, but Jake tried to break her spirit. Hours upon hours of talking to Carlisle had gotten me that far.
She watched me struggle with my emotions. "I think," she smiled, cupping my face, "that my mind tried to be smart...but my heart fought it. I couldn't change who I was...and as soon as I met you, I was someone else."
"Mine," I whispered in awe of her.
"Yes," she smiled. "I guess that flashback was my last effort to shed the mask that I had been wearing. I was not who they thought I was. Being someone else for so long...it was miserable and exhausting."
"At least you tried," I mumbled, frowning.
"Vampire," she sang, giggling sweetly. "You felt all of it a thousand times harsher than I did."
"True," I sighed. "I took comfort in the fact that your humanity made you a little more resilient. It was the only comfort I had."
"Thank you," she whispered, lying back down beside me.
"For what, beautiful girl?" I sighed, drowning in her sweet brown eyes.
"For letting me sort that out," she whispered, snuggling closer and burying her face in my neck. "Do you think Wendy will be ok?"
"Physically, yes," I nodded, pressing my lips to the top of my angel's head. "Emotionally, she's pretty strong. Monday will be hard for her."
"We'll have to help her," Bella mumbled. "Why didn't Pam go to her...aren't they supposed to be friends?"
"Pam's young and immature, love...she didn't know what to say. She's not aware enough to know that in situations like that just being there is helpful."
"Is that why you came in the room?"
"Wendy likes us together," I snickered. "She takes comfort in our relationship. She sees something in us that she needs. I gave her that."
"I love you," Bella smiled against my neck. "She's looking for her white knight...is that what she sees in you?"
"A little," I smiled. "She sees that you survived whatever you went through because I was there. She sees that you've escaped a terrible life and you've found happiness. She wants that. We give her hope."
"Good," she sighed contentedly. "Edward?"
"Hmm?"
"Will you hum my lullaby for me? Hold me for awhile?"
"Let's do this properly," I smiled, sitting her up and stripping her down to just her underwear. "Put this on," I chuckled as she smirked at me. I handed her my t-shirt and she tugged it over her head. I pulled back the covers of our bed. "Get in," I whispered, settling in behind her.
She linked my fingers with hers, turning my ring. My sweet girl needed comfort tonight. I would have given her anything she asked of me. Watching someone else get punished for no other reason than just being weaker had awakened the old memories that she had tried to push away.
I found the chain around her neck, pulling out her ring – my mother's ring – and playing with it as I began to hum softly. I could feel her relax muscle by muscle, staying quiet. The only part of her body that moved was her fingers on my ring.
BELLA
"Wow, Alice," Wendy beamed, looking in the hand mirror, "you're amazing."
"I know," Alice smiled, stowing all her make-up back in her bag.
"And modest," Edward snorted, laughing when she stuck her tongue out at him. Wendy and I chuckled at the both of them. Edward locked the Volvo once they were done, taking my hand.
Drew, Ariel and Austin had waited patiently for us to finish. They joined us on our walk up to the school. "Where's Pam?" Alice asked, frowning. She was asking the question I refused to touch. I found it ridiculous that Wendy's oldest friend couldn't be there for her.
"She said something about a forgotten homework assignment and ran into the school," Ariel sighed, rolling her eyes. Drew frowned, shaking his head.
"Cop out," Austin growled, following behind Wendy with a scowl on his face. It seemed all her friends were upset with Pam except Wendy. Edward squeezed my hand, shaking his head.
She's hiding the disappointment? I asked and he nodded. Well, hell...with everything she's going through, what's one more added stress... I huffed a sigh.
We all split in the hallway, heading off to our respective classes. Edward and I sat at our table in English. We had moved on from Shakespeare, touching on Tolkien.
My face must have screamed the word daydream, because Mrs. Harris called on me more than once. "Bella, tell me...why would Elrond be upset that his daughter didn't make it to the ships..." She sighed, clearly frustrated that I wasn't hanging on her every word.
"Because he thought it a waste that she was choosing to give up immortality for Aragorn," I sighed, frowning down at my hands.
"Did Arwen feel it was a waste?"
"Clearly not," I shook my head. "In her mind, one short period of happiness was worth giving up everything...her people, her endless life, even her father...but she couldn't give up the man she loved."
"Excellent, Bella." Mrs. Harris moved on to someone else. I found Edward staring at me, an unreadable expression on his face.
What? It's a 'Happily Ever After'...you can't possibly think I don't know that story by heart! I snickered. He chuckled, tilting his head and mouthing, "I love you." I smiled and shook my head.
"Do I have a sign on my forehead that says Pick on me?" I grumbled as we left Spanish.
"No," Edward laughed. "Maybe you're just too beautiful to ignore today," he crooned in my ear as he wrapped his arm around my shoulders.
"Ok, first of all...eww! Because Mr. Aquila is like eighty. And Mrs. Harris...are you kidding me?" My indignation was massive. Edward was in near hysterics, his face buried in my hair.
"I'm over a hundred and I find you sexy as hell," he chuckled in my ear.
"Hmm, yes... but..." I was about to explain to him why that was perfectly fine when we walked up on an argument.
"Fuck, Pam..." Ariel snapped. "What is your problem with her? She's staying at your house, because she needs you. And you haven't said hardly a word to her since the party."
"I don't know what you're talking about," Pam huffed, slamming open her locker and trading a few books out.
"Her father's in fucking jail for beating her," Ariel sneered through gritted teeth. "I'm not asking you to understand...just be there for her. She'd do it for you!" With that said, Ariel turned on her heel and walked away.
Pam stood still for a moment, slammed her locker and stormed into the girls' restroom. I looked up at Edward. He shrugged, "You can try, love...only you would be able to explain it."
"Ok," I sighed, kissing his cheek. "See you at lunch." He handed me my bag and turned down the hallway.
I walked into the restroom, hearing the sounds of sniffles coming from one of the stalls. I leaned against the sinks, waiting for her to come out. She emerged, wiping tears from her face. "What do you want?" She sighed, clearly tired of having everyone tell her off.
"I'm pretty sure that you've never had all your friends mad at you at one time," I stated, folding my arms across my chest.
"No shit," she sighed, leaning against the wall opposite of me. "Are the rumors true? Edward saved you from an abusive father?" It wasn't curiosity that had her asking. She needed to know how to deal with her friend and wasn't going to figure it out any other way.
"He did save me," I nodded. "More times than I can count."
"I want to talk to Wendy...I just don't know what to say."
"You don't have to say anything. She needs normal...she needs laughter...she needs her friends telling her it will be ok. She needs someone that has her back." I sighed, looking down at my sneakers. "I'll give you a glimpse of what she went through. Imagine...someone that is supposed to care for you, love you...turning on you in a split second. And they are so much bigger than you, so fucking strong, that you couldn't stop it if you tried. And it didn't matter if you did everything just right, you know the hit will come anyway. It feels like your being punished for just existing."
"No," she gasped, shaking her head.
"Yes," I nodded. "She'll tell you what she needs. She'll talk to you...all you need to do is listen." I walked out of the bathroom, leaving her to her thoughts. I was late for Algebra and had no desire to go. I walked to the back of the school, sitting down on a bench and pulling my jean clad legs up so that my chin was resting on my knees.
"Bells?"
I turned to see my big brother coming out of the hallway. "Hey, Em," I smiled.
"Are you skipping?" He chuckled, plopping down next to me.
"Sort of," I smirked. "I was late and just didn't feel like dealing with it."
"What's wrong, little one?" He sighed, taking in my body language. "Is it the whole Wendy thing...is it too much?" I nodded rather than go into detail. "Yeah, I told Rosie that it would bug you...but you're ok, right? We got you!" He beamed, draping a heavy arm around my neck. "Hey! How'd we do on that song yesterday?" He grinned smugly.
"Really good," I smiled, knowing he was trying to distract me. And damned if it wasn't working. "I'd like to see that one on stage."
"Me, too!" He laughed. "It's my turn to pick the songs...I've earned it."
"You have, Em," I nodded. "The next open mike night is all yours...you tell everyone I said so," I laughed at his proud face.
We argued back and forth about his song choices, laughing hysterically by the time the bell rang for lunch. "Holy shit!" He laughed. "I was supposed to just go to the car and back."
"Oh hell," I smiled, linking my arm through his. "I smell detention."
"Yeah...well, fuck it," he chuckled, ruffling my hair.
We joined everyone in the lunch room. "When are we going to open mike night?" Alice smirked, sitting between me and Jasper.
"It's Em's choice," I shrugged.
"Aw hell," Jasper shook his head. "We'll be in spandex in the blink of an eye."
"I said he could pick the songs! Not dress you! Besides, it's his turn, so play fair!" I laughed, throwing a cookie at him. "Spandex?" I asked, turning to Edward.
"You'd have to remove my appendages before I wore it," he sighed, flipping through his notebook and smirking when I broke into laughter.
"Not one member of my family will ever own anything with spandex!" Alice huffed, folding her arms across her chest.
"Heaven forbid," we all sighed.
"Damn," Jasper growled, looking at the teacher's table. "She's back."
We all turned to see Mrs. Richardson sitting down with her tray of food. She was ignoring everyone around her, including her co-workers. "Wonder how Karma's treating her these days," I mused, my eyes catching Drew and his friends scowling at her. No matter how rowdy they got, she never said a word to them. "Huh, History will be interesting."
"True, love," he smiled, looking up from his notes, his eyes darkening slightly as he studied me.
What are you thinking about, naughty boy? I chuckled at him. He shrugged, fighting his smile. Tsk, Tsk, Edward... I giggled, shaking my head. Is it something specific or just random dirty things flitting through your mind?
"Random," he chuckled, turning another page of his notes. "Well, now...specific," he laughed.
Is there another film in Biology? I asked, sighing.
"Not Biology," he smirked.
History? I gasped, shaking my head at his nod and laugh.
"Cut it out!" Jasper laughed. "You two are killing me today!"
"Sorry, Jazz," we both mumbled, still snickering. Poor Jasper. He had no idea. Edward and I locked eyes as we realized our brother would be subjected to us during a film.
"Shield," we both cracked up, standing as the bell rang.
"Here, freak," Alice snickered, handing me the make-up bag. "She'll need it."
"Oh, ok," I sighed, tucking it into my bag. "Freak!" I scoffed, sticking my tongue out at her. She laughed and led us out into the hallway.
"One word," she smirked. "Knife...how the hell did it get in the wall again?"
"Shut it," Edward and I laughed. I turned to him, "See you next class." I kissed his lips quickly and walked with Jasper to our room.
We walked into the classroom to find a scowling Mr. Morgan. He was watching Wendy from the corner of his eye. Her make-up definitely needed touching up.
"What did you say to her, Drew?" Wendy smacked his arm.
"Nothing! I haven't really spoken to her all day," he pouted.
"Now, she's treating me like a dying person," she huffed, folding her arms across her chest.
"Wendy," I sighed, holding up the make-up, "sit." I sat in front of her, pulling her glasses off her face. "I said something to Pam." I raised an eyebrow at her not to argue. "She cares, she just doesn't know how to show it." I took my time applying her make-up. We were printing today, so Jasper and Drew were handling it.
"Why would you say something?" Wendy asked, looking down at her hands. I pulled her face back up to add more foundation.
"She asked...I told her what it felt like..." I sighed, tilting my head at her. "It's not easy for anyone...the person going through it or the people that have to stand by and watch. Everyone feels helpless." Wendy nodded, but stayed quiet. "Kids like Pam...even Drew and Ariel are really lucky...they are safe and protected. Loved. They have no idea what it's like. You have to be patient and honest with them. Tell them what you need. If you need to yell, do it. If you need alone time, explain that. If you don't want to be treated like an invalid...you have to guide them."
"There," I smiled, "good as new." I handed her the mirror.
"Thanks," she smiled sadly.
"It won't hurt to find someone to talk to...a professional."
"Did you?" She asked, her mouth hanging open.
"Carlisle," I nodded. "He's a doctor, so he could handle it. He let me rage and cry. Edward could sit in sometimes. It was good for me." I smiled and sighed. "If you would like, I could see if he suggests anyone."
"Ok," she whispered.
"You know what else helps?" I chuckled, looking at Jasper. "Violent video games."
"Hell yeah," he beamed, ruffling my hair. "She used to cuss the hell out of the TV."
Mr. Morgan snorted behind us, shaking his head. "Amazing family..." He muttered. "Do you still go to therapy?"
"Sometimes," I nodded. "In fact, I'll probably sit down with him tonight."
"Would you be willing to write about this?" Mr. Morgan asked, frowning.
"No," I shook my head. Jasper's head shot up from the machine he was dealing with, a frown on his face.
"Bells," he sighed, kneeling in front of me. "Wendy can't possibly be the only one going through this. You could help them. You're so strong. Eddie and I...we'll help you. I promise."
"Jazz..." I groaned. "I'm having enough trouble with that other thing I'm trying to write...I'll be in Carlisle's office everyday with this..."
"What if we wrote it together?" Wendy whispered. "Anonymously?"
"I'll take anonymous..." Mr. Morgan nodded. "We'll say it was turned into my inbox...no name, nothing."
"It would help her," Jasper urged. "Purge it out of your systems."
"Fine. Come over this weekend," I sighed in defeat. "We'll go to the movies afterwards."
"What movie are you treating me to?" Drew teased, winking when I looked up at him.
"Shut it...I don't care," I laughed, standing as the bell rang.
"Bells, Wendy, hang back a moment," Mr. Morgan smiled. He had taken on the habit of calling me the same thing Jasper did. It made me smile. We walked to his desk as everyone left us. "No details, no names...just straight reporting. You want to encourage others to get help. Ok? Not scare them with all the gory stuff." I nodded. "This will be hard. If at any time you change your minds...either of you...I'll understand and there will be no hard feelings."
"Ok," we both sighed, walking out of the classroom to see Edward waiting.
"Hi, handsome," I smiled. Just seeing his face could make all my worries disappear. He smiled back. Wendy snickered at the both of us.
"I thought you two could use an escort," he chuckled, taking my hand and kissing it.
"Are there monsters from here to the lab?" I teased.
"Absolutely," he nodded, feigning a stern face. "Hormones can turn any boy into something unrecognizable...even Austin," he chuckled.
"Damn," Wendy groaned, turning crimson. "That's not funny," she snorted. "I thought I was imagining it."
"Oh, I don't think so," I laughed, shaking my head. Edward chuckled as Wendy's blush deepened even more.
"Drop it," she growled, fighting her smile. "Both of you."
Edward started to say something else and I put my hand over his mouth. "Fine, it's dropped," I chuckled. "Right?" I asked, raising an eyebrow at him. He nodded, kissing my fingers.
Biology flew by as we worked with the microscopes. The whole class was busy, looking at one celled creatures and writing them down.
The TV was already set up when we walked into History. Mrs. Richardson eyed us, but didn't say anything as we took our usual seats in the back. "Jasper's skipping," Edward chuckled. "Alice told him to."
"Are we that bad?" I giggled, knowing we really were.
Mrs. Richardson stood, watching us all get settled in our seats. "You'll want to take notes on this video, there will be a quiz," she sighed, her voice subdued. Good, maybe the woman had learned her lesson. Lord knows, Esme tore her up.
I tried to pay attention, I really did. My husband, on the other hand, did not. What started as just playing with a lock of my hair – a habit of his I loved – changed to a caress to my neck down my back. It was being in the dark. It just had to be.
When his fingertips grazed the skin at my back that was just above my jeans, I moaned softly. I grabbed his hand, linking his fingers with mine to keep him under control. It didn't work. The more I played with his ring, the more I stroked his long, knowing fingers, the more I wanted those fingers everywhere on my skin.
He sat closer to me, his other hand snaking underneath my shirt. I couldn't help but arch slightly into his hand as he cupped my breast over my bra. He pulled the cup down, taking me fully into his hand, my eyes rolling as he lightly brought my nipple to a painful point. Thank God, I was leaning on the table. His hands were hidden.
"Does that feel good, baby?" He whispered in my ear so low only I could hear it. I nodded, my body begging for more, my mind thinking we should stop. He pinched and rolled my nipple until I was practically hyperventilating. "I want my mouth on you, love," he crooned softly, "right here." He circled my nipple with his finger and I squeezed my eyes shut. "And here," he said, taking my other breast out of the cup. "Mmm, and here," he growled so low, palming me softly between my legs. I had to be soaked through my jeans.
He inhaled deeply, a purr coming out on his exhale. "I love that you want me."
Oh God, I do, I thought. How about you? I growled low, letting go of his hand and rubbing the outside of his jeans. He twitched hot and hard under my hand, straining against the zipper. I promise to take care of that situation, love. I finally locked eyes with him, pitch black to pitch black. After class...can you wait for me? He nodded, biting on his bottom lip lightly as he continued to touch my skin anywhere he could reach under my shirt. There better be a closet or an empty classroom...very close, Edward...I breathed, unable to refrain from touching his skin. I slipped my hand under his shirt, ghosting my nails over his stomach muscles. They clenched as he groaned in my ear.
His eyes shot to the clock, closing our books quickly and shoving them in our bags. We were out of the classroom and down the hall when the bell rang probably a little too quickly, but we were too far gone to care. He tugged me into a storage closet and locked the door before I could blink. "Too bad you didn't wear a skirt," he teased as I kicked my shoes off. My jeans were in a puddle next to us instantly. I flicked open his jeans, his cock springing out hard and ready.
"Fuck the foreplay," I growled, wrapping my arms around his neck.
"Mm, that's my girl," he sneered, cupping my ass and picking me up. He slid me down over him and we both groaned with relief and the need for more.
I fisted his hair, bringing my mouth to his, wet and needy. He pressed me back into the door, driving as deep into me as he could go and gripping my ass with each thrust.
He broke from my mouth. "Pull that shirt up, baby," he begged, attaching his mouth to one of my nipples as soon as they were revealed. They were still out of my bra from his touches in class. My head fell back against the door as I arched into him and swiveled my hips. I was completely owned by him and I was falling apart in his arms. We had pushed our boundaries way too far in class. We both were going to come – and come fast.
"Edward," I breathed, my body already starting to tighten around him. He twitched hard inside me.
"I know," he whispered. "Keep it quiet, sweet girl."
I crashed into his mouth, a squeak and a low growl was the only thing that was heard from the two of us as we exploded as silently as we could. I continued to kiss him as he held me against the door. Breaking away, I pressed my forehead to his. "We can't keep doing that," I smiled, shaking my head at his sexy ass chuckle. "Maybe we should skip when there are movies."
"Perhaps," he smirked, kissing my nose. "One day we may not contain ourselves."
"Exactly," I giggled softly. "But God, I love that we can't."
"Me, too, love..." He smiled, setting me on my feet. "Come on, my beautiful girl," he sighed, handing my jeans over, "let's go home. I know you want to talk to Carlisle."
"Yeah," I nodded. "Say my name," I begged, walking into his arms.
"My sweet, gorgeous Mrs. Cullen," he crooned, kissing the top of my head. "Anytime...just tell me."
"Thank you," I sighed, kissing him quickly and getting dressed. Taking him by the hand, we headed out. It was time to talk to Carlisle about my project and Wendy.


1 comments:

Rondell Garcia said...

Poor wendy, that was embarrassing. I thought Pam was keeping her distance trying to save face. But she was just confused as per how to handle the situation. Being abused publicly like that sucks, I KNOW. That state of powerlessness is real. When the abusers are your parent[s], its even worst; because home is suppose to be the safe zone. I could go into this for yrs but dont want to relive it if I don't have to. I guess, that is where my biggest hangup w/ the forgiveness JB comes from.

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