Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

Angel's Embrace Chapter 27

CHAPTER 27
EDWARD
"Hmm," Alice mused as we walked to the school. New faces flashed through her mind. "New students..." She looked up to me.
"Students...as in more than one," I clarified, linking my fingers with Bella's. She had an amazing ability to walk and read at the same time. It didn't fail to make me still want to guide her along.
"Yeah," Alice nodded. "The last time a new student came into school, we kept her," she teased. Bella snorted, looked at the both of us and went back to her book. I chuckled, kissing her head softly.
"All positions in the Cullen family have been filled," my love said, wearing a sweet smile and still reading her book. "So no more interviews." Alice and I laughed.
"We won't even accept applications, Bells," Jasper chuckled from behind us. She nodded with a chuckle. In the hallway, he turned to Alice and me. "Guess you two will have your jobs cut out if it's more than one, huh?"
I nodded, tugging Bella's hand to English class. It was up to me and Alice to make sure anyone new that came in saw us as just students. Nothing more. It was like that the day that Bella literally stumbled into our lives. I still remember every mind of every male in Forks High thinking he had died and gone to heaven when he looked at the angel with deep brown eyes. But it was me she chose to wrap her wings around. And I will forever be grateful.
I looked over at her as she stowed her book in her bag and took out her notes for class. I love you too, Edward, she smirked, finally meeting my gaze. It's rolling off you in waves, and I can practically feel it.
I smiled, chuckling quietly, relaxing instantly when her jean clad leg twisted with mine. She always knew when I needed a touch or a word. Though, she told me I always did the same for her. I suppose it was just the way we worked.
Twins...
New kids...a guy and a girl...
Sophomores...starting today.
Matthew...Erika...
I leaned to Bella. "The new students are twins," I said, looking at her. "That novelty alone will take months to wear off."
She giggled, looking up from her text book. "Fabulous, maybe the novelty of us will fade into the background."
"Exactly," I chuckled.
"Class," Mrs. Harris called from the front. Standing next to her was a tiny young girl with dark red hair. She hated that she was new, hated that she was standing in front of us. "This is Erika Simmons...she's come to us from California."
Just as always, no one said anything to the poor thing as she quickly took a seat. In her mind she wished she was invisible. "That is the worst," Bella shook her head. "Being put on display for every damn class the first day."
"She agrees with you," I laughed quietly.
"Mr. Cullen, where did we leave off yesterday?" Mrs. Harris asked. She literally couldn't remember and knew that Bella and I carried the highest marks in the class. She relied on us constantly. I felt the new girl's stare immediately.
We were still studying Tolkien, and would be until Thanksgiving break in two weeks. "Frodo and Sam have reached Mordor...Gollum just tricked Sam into leaving."
"Right," she sighed, "Thank you, Edward."
"Yes, ma'am," I nodded, wincing at the thoughts around me.
Already drooling over the Cullen kid.
What do girls see in that guy?
Good luck, girl, he's so taken he practically has a ring on his finger.
With that last thought, I had to bite the inside of my cheek to stop the laugh. The thoughts this time around were so very different from when Bella walked into my life. Mrs. Harris drew their attention back to her and I was able to shut them all out.
I was glad to see Spanish class was absent of the new students and soon found myself walking my love to her Algebra class. "Ok, baby," she smiled, kissing my cheek. "See you at lunch."
"Love you..." I smiled, smacking her bottom and laughing as she walked away from me with a giggle.
I walked into the Current Events classroom, joining Jasper in front of the computer we always used. "Met one yet?" He smiled.
"Yeah...twins...the girl was in English with me and Bella."
"Twins?" He chuckled, his mind thinking along the same lines as Bella and me. That the students around us will focus on them for a while instead of us.
"Though..." I stopped, picking up my angel's thoughts. "The boy is in Bella's class now." The fact that I could hear my love was one thing, but she was so clear to me, that I could practically see the world through her eyes. I saw Mr. Thompson introduce Matthew Simmons to her class. He was tall and lean with hair the same color as his sister's. By current standards, I suppose he would have been considered handsome. When his eyes locked on my wife and sister, his eyes widened. "Well, he just saw Bella and Alice," I sighed.
"Oh hell," Jasper chuckled. "That kid has no idea how closely he's about to be monitored." I smiled and nodded. "You watch him...I'll get this done," he pointed to the assignment on the board.
I had to fight my amusement at my wife's hatred for all things mathematical as I wrote my daily note to her. Her mind wandered so far away that Alice was constantly poking her. What I loved and could completely understand was that her mind always wandered to me, reliving moments in our lives both new and past.
"Bells," Alice growled to her, "the new kid is going to stare in five seconds."
I sighed, thinking this was going to be a long day. Bella's mind filled with uneasiness of being stared at. I turned to Jasper. "We should meet them after class. Matthew Simmons has a staring problem."
"Sure, Eddie," Jasper nodded, shutting down our computer. "Lunch should be interesting." He smirked, handing me a printout of what we were supposed to turn in.
The bell rang and we made our way down the hall to wait for the girls. "Hi, handsome," my love beamed gloriously at me when they emerged from the room. My eyes slid passed her to Matthew. I couldn't help the low growl that rumbled through me as he stared at her ass. "Easy," she warned quietly in my ear. When he locked gazes with me, he quickly looked to Alice. The same growl emanated from Jasper.
The kid was overflowing with lustful thoughts and feelings too, according to Jasper's mind. "Damn," I frowned.
"Hey," Bella snapped. "What's that all about?"
"Sorry, love," I sighed, wrapping an arm around her. "His thoughts are shockingly vile."
"Oh," my love winced, her eyebrows shooting up. "Well, then...let's get the worst part over with..." She smiled reassuringly and led us all to the cafeteria.
Matthew and Erika had been taken in by Pam and her friends. I sighed, waiting for the next barrage of questions concerning us.
"What the hell is wrong with her?" Alice growled. "Drew is a perfectly nice boy and Pam is all over the new guy..."
"You're asking me?" Bella laughed, sitting down at our table with Emmett and Rose. "I like Drew...he's sweet...she can't figure out what she wants."
"Oh here we go," Emmett chuckled. "New kids...go on Eddie...let us in on the fun."
We all chuckled at our brother. He did love to see how people viewed us. I didn't have to say anything. They were having the conversation loud enough that my whole family could hear it.
"Who are they?" Erika asked to no one in particular.
"The Cullens..." Pam sighed.
"Technically," Wendy said, rolling her eyes, "only two of them are Cullens, Pam. The rest are foster kids. And you shouldn't stare...you know they are really nice."
"Shut it," Ariel laughed. "They are nice to you...they ignore everyone else."
"We do not!" Alice growled. Bella snorted, turning the page of her book that she had taken out. Lunch would always be unnerving to her, I feared. But she handled it well.
"Ok, ok," Wendy sighed. "Clearly you're wrong...but the big guy...that's Emmett Cullen and the blond that's Rosalie Hale. The tall guy...that's Jasper Whitlock and the little dark haired girl is Alice Brandon." Wendy truly liked us – adored Bella. So her respect carried through in her demeanor towards her friends.
"The brunette?" Matthew asked, causing Pam to frown at him.
"Bella Swan."
"And then...there's..." Pam sighed. "Edward," they all groaned together.
"Jesus," Bella laughed. "That was the single saddest thing I have ever heard. Lauren and Jessica didn't sound that pathetic talking about you on my first day."
Rose and Alice cracked up and I shook my head. "It really is going to be a long day," I groaned, leaning back in my chair. That only made my family laugh harder. Again my girl knew exactly what I needed, slipping her hand in mine and turning my ring. She looked at me with a raised eyebrow. It was a reminder of who we were, bringing me back to the fact that she was my wife. That this high school charade was nothing compared to our reality.
"Relax, Edward," Rose chuckled. "They're explaining just how unavailable you are..."
"Bella is with Edward," Drew growled, his mind filled with jealousy as he watched the girl he liked stare at the new guy. He was fighting the urge to steal Pam from the room and lay his poor heart on the line, but instead he said, "So don't even bother, dude." Matthew nodded, his eyes on us. "Edward will tear you up."
That statement made me laugh and Bella giggle. "Smart man," I chuckled. Drew's mind filled with the night Wendy's dad had interrupted the Halloween party. My face was livid. He matched that with how he viewed mine and Bella's relationship: close, always laughing and touching. Together, with the knowledge of what he knew of Bella's past abuse, he assumed my protectiveness knew no bounds. It didn't.
Matthew snorted, but his sister sighed longingly as Bella rested her head on my shoulder, continuing to read.
"He'll be in Biology with you," Alice sighed.
"And?" Bella laughed, lifting her head from my arm and standing as the bell rang. I stood with her, handing her backpack to her.
"It's amazing they learn anything in Biology," Jasper teased, laughing as Bella flipped him off. "Come on, Bells, we have an article to lay out."
"I know," she sighed, looking up at me. Give them time, she thought to me. He'll get over it. I nodded, kissing her forehead and rolling my eyes at the sounds of the girls' heartbeats picking up. They can't help it, Bella's laughing mind resounded like bells in mine. You're so freakin' cute! She thought and I chuckled, shaking my head and sticking a note into her pocket.
"Thank you, love," I snickered. "As long as you think so..."
"Always," she laughed, walking with Jasper out of the cafeteria.
BELLA
My beautiful girl,
I get lost in my own mind sometimes, relishing memories of the two of us. Did I ever tell you what I saw as I watched over you the week before I fell back into your arms? I don't think I did.
My still heart clenched as I read Edward's note.
Jealousy was what kept me from you, my love. It seemed to me that you had moved on. I saw you with Jake and I vowed to watch over you. I knew that he had a choice when it came to loving you, where as I did not. I hoped, though at the time I shouldn't have, that he would find someone else, leaving you to me. It was selfish...everything about me then was selfish. I waited in the wings, hoping, praying that I could find the strength to stay away from you, but my heart begged me to give in.
I watched you, missing you like mad. I watched as you went to school, worked in the bookstore, and cared for Charlie. I watched as your eyes would glaze over, lost in thought. Oh, to have heard your mind then! Was it me you were thinking of? I wanted to know, I needed to know, but my punishment was ignorance.
I listened to the people around you, ignoring the worry in their voices. I followed your routine until the day Victoria brought us back together. For however much I hated her, I cannot deny that she was the reason we are here today.
I ached for you, my love. I ached for your voice, your lips, your touch. I ached for things I knew nothing about. I ached in ways that had nothing to do with your blood. I can never tell you that enough. The mistake will haunt me for eternity. However noble my reasons might have been, hurting you the way I did was an unforgivable sin. You are precious to me. I will forever want you.
Fate may have brought us together, but your forgiving heart gave me life when I thought I wasn't alive. Your touches, your caresses, your kisses soothed the soul I thought I lost. Please believe me when I tell you that your love for me warms me more completely than the rays of the mid-day sun.
I love you, Mrs. Cullen.
Always,
Edward
"How does he write this stuff in Current Events?" I whined, my head falling to my desk in Mr. Morgan's classroom. I was fighting not to run from the room and take off whatever classroom door separated me from Edward.
Jasper cracked up, ruffling my hair. "That good, huh?" He chuckled, turning on our computer. All I could do was nod against the wood of the table. "I suppose it's to be expected," he sighed. "With all that Ed's held back, fought against...it's bound to escape somehow." I smiled, sitting up from the desk and pocketing my note like it was made of gold.
"I really hate that new kid," Drew growled, slamming the door behind him. Jasper and I looked up at him.
"Relax, Drew," Wendy sighed, pushing her glasses up. "The newness will wear off."
"I don't like him either," Jasper frowned.
"Drew," I sighed, "will you just tell her how you feel?" His shyness would be his undoing if he didn't take action with Pam. "The Holiday Ball is coming up...ask her!"
"I will," he whined. "Maybe," he mumbled. As popular and outgoing as he was, he was tentative when it came to his feelings.
Wendy chuckled. "She's so..." She struggled for the words.
"Malcontent?" I laughed.
"Yeah!" Wendy snorted. "It drives me crazy." She smirked, sitting down next to me. "Hey, thank Carlisle for me. Dr. Davis is great."
"Good," I smiled, "I'm glad. What's the update with you?"
"The courts won't release my dad, so they granted Pam's mother temporary custody. You know, they're trying to find my mom?"
"What?" We all gasped.
"Yeah," she shrugged. "I'm not sure how I feel about that." Mr. Morgan huffed from his desk and we all turned to look at him.
"Let her have her say, Wen," he sighed. "You may not know the whole truth."
"Right," she nodded. "Pam's mom said that my dad threatened my mother...so it's possible she didn't have a choice. We'll see if they even can locate her."
"That's kind of what I was thinking," Mr. Morgan nodded. "By the way, that article from you two was fantastic...I'm putting it in the next printing."
"Ok," Wendy and I both sighed. We had been nervous about printing it, but it had been healing for both of us to write it. I felt a kiss on my head from Jasper and a wave of brotherly love enveloped me.
As class got closer to the end, Jasper, Drew and Wendy talked with Mr. Morgan about the last football game. I pulled out Edward's note again, rereading it. Big mistake. By the time the bell rang, all I wanted was to feel Edward's lips on mine. I wanted to show him that mistakes were forgotten, that every thought of every minute was about him.
Edward must have heard my mind, because he was waiting for me after class, his eyes dark, but filled with understanding. "Walk with me," he rasped, taking my hand. He walked us quickly to a deserted classroom, locking the door behind us. I pressed him into the wall, my mouth on his. His hands threaded into my hair, tilting my head and covering my mouth with his. Groans emanated from both of us as I practically climbed his lean body.
I wrapped my arms around his neck, lifting myself up. My feet locked around his waist and he took the opportunity to turn and press me into the wall. His hands caressed and squeezed my thighs and bottom. His sweet tongue caressed mine even as we both turned our heads to the opposite sides. "I'll always want you," he growled into my mouth. "I want you now..."
"I know, Edward," I breathed, nipping at his lips. "You're forever forgiven, love."
"We're going to be late," he growled against my neck, leaving sweet kisses up to my ear.
"We shouldn't, baby," I groaned, closing my eyes and burying my face into his shirt. "We missed earlier this week due to the sun...we shouldn't..."
"I know," he said, sucking deeply the skin just behind my jaw. My mouth fell open and my eyes rolled with the things his mouth did to me.
"Edward," I growled wantonly.
"God, Bella," he breathed, his lips crashing back into mine. His tongue slipped into my mouth one more time, causing everything about me to pull him closer. "Baby, you can't say my name like that and expect me to stop," he pleaded, his faced pained as he took deep breaths.
"Put..." I groaned, weaving my hands in his hair and pulling his lips to mine for one more taste. "Put me down, or we won't stop..."
"'Kay," he sighed, setting me on my feet. I pushed him back with a smirk, trying to catch my breath. He huffed a laugh, running his fingers through his now disheveled hair. "We'll have to hurry."
"I know," I sighed, grabbing his hand and opening the door. We ran as humanly slow as we could, just barely making the bell. We settled into our seats in the back, fighting our smiles.
My eyes locked with his as whispers met our ears. Edward's eyes were a soft honey again, a smirk playing on his face. I'm sure he couldn't stop himself when he reached up to tuck my hair behind my ear. Heartbeats picked up around us. I bit my lip in order not to laugh.
Ariel turned to Pam and asked, "Boxers or briefs?"
"Oh for Christ's sake," I growled low, rolling my eyes. "Has this always been a debate with you?" Two girls in my Port Angeles classes once had this same argument.
"Yes," Edward laughed, shrugging. He was amused at my reaction more than the question itself.
I sighed, frowning and shaking my head. As if to add to my torture, Mr. Carter came in, leading Matthew Simmons behind him. "Here's your textbook, Matthew, just have a seat anywhere that's open," he gestured to the class.
"Boxers," Pam finally answered.
"Wrong," I sang to myself as I took out my notes, causing Edward to just about fall off of his stool in hysterics.
"Edward," Mr. Carter started, walking to the cabinet behind us. "Give me a hand passing out these slides," he said, handing Edward a few boxes.
"Yes, sir," Edward said, still chuckling. He stood up and took the boxes, walking to the front of the class to set them on each table. Even I couldn't stop from staring at his ass, how could I fault them for doing the same?
Oh that's just great, I teased. Give them a better view in order to completely figure it out!
Edward winked, shaking his head. When he sat back down with me, he set his foot on my stool. My eyes traveled up his thigh to his crotch and finally up to his face. Mine, I thought possessively.
"Yes, my love," he purred, nodding slowly.
The whole class was busy, chatting to each other as we worked with the microscopes again. I knew when Matthew would stare at me, because Edward would become so still. A sigh escaped him at one point and he braced his hands on the table as we stood over our microscopes. I had no desire to know what that kid was thinking.
"Hey," I smiled, ducking under Edward's arms and coming up in front of him. "So you got a date for that Holiday thing, or what?" I asked.
He fought his smile, shrugging with a feigned look of nonchalance. "Maybe," he sighed, "there was this one girl..."
"Yeah?" I asked, feeling him step slightly closer. "What's she like?"
"Stunning...perfect, really," he shrugged. "Brunette, brown eyes. What about you?"
"Oh, I don't know," I sighed, lifting one shoulder in a shrug. "I was hoping this one guy would ask me...otherwise, I probably won't go..."
"This guy, is he worthy of you?"
"Yeah," I nodded, "he's unlike anyone I've ever met...polite, thoughtful...so hot," I giggled as he rolled his eyes.
"He sounds too good to be true...are you sure that's not all in your head?" He teased, folding his arms across his chest.
"I often think he's too good to be true," I mused, looking around the room and back. "But he's always there when I need him. And this girl...does she treat you right?" I asked, putting my hands on my hips.
Again I watched him struggle not to smile. "Better than I expect and more than I deserve," he crooned. "Well," he smiled as the bell rang, "I hope he asks you..."
"He better!" I laughed, stowing my book in my bag. "Otherwise, he's in deep trouble."
Edward chuckled, taking my bag from me. "Hmm, what type of trouble?" He whispered in my ear, wrapping his arm around my neck.
"Cold, lonely trouble," I lied.
"Oh, my Bella," he growled. "You couldn't deny yourself anymore than me." I groaned, knowing he was so damn right. He laughed softly, his lips pressed to my hair. "And I would love to show you off at the Holiday Ball, my beautiful girl." I sighed, letting his silken voice just wash over me as we walked to History. I bit my lip and looked up at him. Sometimes, he made me feel like he did when we first met – shy, unsure and completely enraptured by him. "Was there any doubt?" He chuckled.
"No," I shook my head, unable to say anything else. He held the door open to our last class of the day. Bracing myself for the steel stares of Mrs. Richardson, I walked in. I was not disappointed. Her eyes followed us as we sat down next to Jasper in our usual seats.
Mrs. Richardson had taken on a whole different outlook since her return from suspension. Instead of barking at every living creature, she ignored us all. It made for a tense but easier classroom. Her voice didn't even sound the same. She sounded defeated and lost.
Edward picked up on my thoughts and leaned over. "Her ex husband is getting remarried," he answered. "She's a little...hmmm, forlorn," he sighed.
"Oh," I nodded. "You mean depressed." I looked up to see him nod. "You know...meds would be good for her...might change her whole personality."
"Um," Jasper smirked, jerking a thumb towards himself, "walking, talking Xanex," he chuckled. I just rolled my eyes at their chuckles.
"You can't be with her at her house, Jazz," I chided. "But, go ahead...see what happens. And if you give her an orgasm...I'll be scarred for eternity!" I growled, my eyebrow rising.
Edward snorted, shaking his head. Jasper beamed, and I worried for a moment if he didn't consider it. After all, a good orgasm could do wonders. Edward moaned quietly next to me, hearing my thoughts. I smirked at him, giving him a wink.
"Stop it," Jasper growled, "both of you."
"She started it," Edward huffed.
"I have no idea what he's talking about," I sighed innocently.
"Right," Jasper smirked. "I'm not stupid..." He mumbled and turned his attention to the large woman at the front of the room. He sent a small boost of happiness her way, tilting his head when she took a deep breath. A slight shudder went through her heavy frame.
The class fell quiet as she stood from her desk. "Ok, class...we need to review for the test coming up before you leave for Thanksgiving break..." Her voice was lighter, more composed. The rest of the hour was spent in review. At one point, I think she was actually starting to relax. She wasn't kind or jovial, but she wasn't mean either. It was a vast improvement.
"Impressive," Edward nodded, his eyebrows rising up as we met our siblings in the parking lot. "And only once did you send her happiness."
"Yeah," Jasper snorted. "Just one time. She took over from there."
"She's completely miserable," I growled. "Seriously, think about it. Let's just say she married her high school sweetheart – only to have him leave her for something younger, prettier. She teaches because that's all she knows, but she obviously hates it." I sat down in the passenger seat of the Volvo with a sigh. "Just looking around her, everything is better than where she is...right now. Every student, every life is going to turn out better than hers...no wonder she's bitter. No wonder when she looks at us," I motioned to Edward, "she sees herself ages ago..."
"You really scare me sometimes," Jasper snorted.
"Bella, you're right...for the most part..." Edward shrugged. "You'll never guess what she really wants to do."
"Oh God," Jasper cringed.
"Design lingerie for large women," Alice giggled.
"Oh stop!" Jasper shuddered as Edward nodded with a laugh. He started the car and backed out.
"Um...yeah, I have nothing for that," I shook my head. "No words...nothing. In fact, don't ever mention it again in my presence. Mm'kay?" The whole car exploded into laughter and I just stared out the window. It wasn't what she wanted to do that disturbed me, it was just visualizing Mrs. Richardson herself doing it.
EDWARD
"Bells, cut it out!" All the boys yelled from the field as she pinned them down with her shield.
"Well, if you wouldn't cheat!" She growled at them, my sisters nodding beside her with their hands on their hips.
I had to hide my laugh behind my hand. We were in La Push on First Beach. Since we were coming, Charlie had taken the opportunity to arrange a cookout. Both sides of the family were there. The wolves, my brothers and my sisters started a football game. It wasn't long before they tried her.
"Don't make me get my dad to referee this whole game..." She warned.
"I'm not going anywhere near that field," Charlie chortled, "I don't care what they do." I chuckled as he sat next to me and Carlisle. "Get myself crushed," he mumbled.
"Not quite," Carlisle laughed, "Bella would shield you and still be able to function in the game."
"I don't care," Charlie chuckled, opening his beer and sitting back to watch a vampires versus werewolves football game. The sounds of tackles, pounding feet and the girls' teasing laughter met all of our ears. Charlie's mind flickered through Bella's childhood, trying to recollect if he'd ever heard her sound so happy. He hadn't. Her whole life, he thought her a well-behaved child, content, but never as giddy has he saw her now.
He met my gaze. "Sorry, I forget that you can hear that," he smiled. "I bet that gets trying...hearing everything anyone is thinking..."
"It can," I nodded, feeling a little strange finally talking to Charlie so frankly about something we had always hidden from him. "Though it's helpful when determining how people view us."
"Bells said that you couldn't hear her when you first met..."
"No, sir," I smiled, "I couldn't. Her mind was closed to me. We know now that it was her shield that blocked her thoughts from me."
"So you can hear her now?"
"Yes, sir...when she lets me," I chuckled.
He sipped his beer, quiet for a few minutes. We both laughed as Bella tackled Jake, causing Anna to chuckle. "Bells, don't break him...he has diapers to change!"
"Fine," my love sighed, shoving her best friend over as he laughed. "That alone is punishment," she teased. "Line it up, boys," she said, standing and getting into a huddle with our siblings.
Carlisle got up to join Esme on a walk up the beach we used to never be allowed on, leaving me and Charlie alone. "You've given her everything I couldn't," Charlie sighed, a slight smile on his face. "It's not the life I would have chosen, but I can't deny she's happy...hell, beyond happy. I always wanted to give her siblings..."
"I didn't want this for her at first either," I confessed. "Some of us...we had tough lives."
"Is that why you left? The real reason?"
"Yes, sir," I sighed. "I loved her...instantly. And it was new for me. I panicked...thinking I never wanted anything to happen to her, yet I was the most dangerous of all."
"Bells can find trouble without you," he smirked and took a sip of his beer. "Jake is a prime example of that..." In his mind, he had seen the bruises, the marks, but had chosen to push the idea aside. He still wasn't sure he forgave Jake for the way he had abused his daughter, but he saw the change Anna had brought out in him.
"It's the imprinting," I clarified to his train of thought. "He is bound to her now. To hurt Anna would destroy Jake."
"Is it that way with you and Bells?"
"A little," I nodded. "It's like finding the other half of you...the part that's always missing."
"I see that," he sighed, "because I see how you interact with each other...it's always been there."
"Yes, sir," I said, sitting forward and resting my elbows on my knees. "Leaving her...it was the biggest mistake in my long life. I will never be able to properly make it up to her."
"You have," he laughed, pointing to the field. "Look at her, Edward. She didn't look this happy on Christmas morning when she was five...she's like this every day!"
"I suppose," I chuckled, unable to take my eyes from her as she ran the play Emmett called.
"Listen, son," he turned to me, "I may not be able to wrap my head around some of this...and I may not want to. I also can't fathom living forever, but I know that when you came back...that girl was healed. Something none of us could do. I can't blame you for wanting to protect her...the way you did it may not have been ideal, but we all make mistakes...whether we're five, fifty or a hundred," he sighed, gesturing to me. "Her forgiveness is in that laugh, son." We both turned as she squealed into laughter. Emmett was holding her upside down to drop the ball.
"Thank you, sir," I sighed, sitting back.
"Grandpa Charlie!" Izzy huffed, running up to him.
"What, pumpkin?"
"Have you seen Eddie?"
Little Eddie was mobile and a wobbly terror these days. My eyes scanned the area, hoping he hadn't gone near the water. "Shit," I gasped as I saw him waddling towards the heavy hitting on the field. "Bella, Jake..." I yelled, taking off.
"Crap!" Bella gasped, wrapping her shield around the baby just as Paul and Jasper came down within inches of him. They landed hard, sounding like the crashing of boulders. "Damn," she growled, meeting me at the child the same time Jake ran over. She scooped him up, stepping over her brother and Paul.
"You need a leash like your dad," Bella chuckled, smoothing back the giggling boy's hair.
"Funny, Bells," Jake sighed, clearly shaken that his son had wandered so close to the action.
Little Eddie squealed with delight as she kissed his neck. He squirmed in her arms, grabbing her face with two little chubby hands. And not for the first time, did I yearn for our own. It was a pang that I had to put away.
"Oh, God...thanks Bella," Anna breathed, taking Eddie from her arms. "He's like trying to nail Jell-o to the wall." I chuckled, shaking my head.
"Good job, love," I sighed, kissing her head.
"Bells!" They all yelled.
"Ok," she sighed, rolling her eyes. "Last game..."
As they continued to play, I wandered up the shore. I found the tide pools that Bella had mentioned when we first met. I watched in fascination the little world that lived in seclusion from the rest of the sea. Starfish and anemones thrived in a space that was smaller than Carlisle's desk.
My mind wandered back to when she had come here with Mike Newton. I had seen her hand where she had fallen, the light scrape on her palm.
Freesia and strawberries wafted around me and I turned to see my wife leaning against a rock, her arms folded across her chest. "Hey, handsome," she smiled. "Why are you alone, baby?"
"It wasn't planned," I smiled. "I haven't ever been here...I was just looking around." I shrugged, tilting my head at her.
"Then let me show you a few things," she said, reaching for my hand. "So rarely do I know something you don't," she giggled. "I invited you here once," she smirked.
"Yes, I was remembering that just now," I nodded. "Mike Newton would have had a meltdown."
"Mike Newton was a pill," she snorted, rolling her eyes. "At least I ran into Jake here that day."
"Yes, using your dangerous flirting techniques to squeeze information about me out of him," I teased.
She laughed, shaking her head. "You weren't spilling...I had to get my info somewhere." She tugged my hand and I followed her up a trail to another part of the beach. "I like this spot," she sighed, looking around. "I like the tide pools...and the fact that it's secluded out here. I used to come here to think." Her voice was thoughtful, quiet. Her mind was closed to me, but I didn't say anything.
"Do you still have that lighter from starting the grill?" She asked suddenly. I nodded, handing it over to her. "Have you ever seen a driftwood fire, Edward?"
"Do you like the colors, love?" I smiled. She smiled softly and nodded. "It's the salt."
"Yeah, that's the first and last bit of information that I ever found useful from Mike," she chuckled, starting a small fire in front of a fallen tree. I laughed, sitting down on the log and pulling her to my lap.
She was quiet as she nuzzled my neck. "I love you, Edward."
"As I love you," I smiled, pulling her back to kiss her. "What has you so pensive?"
"It seems strange to be with you here..." Her head turned, scanning the area and then her gaze landed on a cliff face at the very far end of the beach. "That was the last place I heard your voice," she sighed, looking back to me.
"What did I say?" I asked, tilting my head.
"Don't do this," she said, her breath hitching. "Please. For me." Her eyes were locked onto the cliff, her mind still closed. From the look on her face, she was protecting me from her thoughts.
"That sounds like me," I smiled. "What else, love?"
She smiled, cupping my face. "Of course I argued with you," she smirked. "I told you that you wanted me to be human...to watch me. I jumped anyway...telling you it was the only way you'd stay with me." I fought the sob that was building in me. "Then, you got pissed," she chuckled, "once I hit the water."
"No wonder it looked like suicide in Alice's mind," I breathed, pulling her closer. "I'm sorry, Bella...I will forever be sorry. I'll always stay with you, baby...I swear."
"I didn't want an apology, Edward," she frowned. "Look at me," she snapped and I locked eyes with her. "We didn't know, baby...we didn't know then what we know now..."
She paused for a moment. "Think back, Edward. I was seventeen...human...you were brand new to love and mating...we could barely think straight around each other. Factor in my sweet blood," she winked, "and it was chaos, love. Just madness. Neither of us knew what to do, expect or even say..."
"When did you get so smart?" I teased.
"The smartest thing I did was marry you, Mr. Cullen," she chuckled. "Someone has to keep you in line."
"And you do an amazing job, Mrs. Cullen," I sighed, reaching up and tucking a stray lock of hair behind her ear. It had come loose from her ponytail. She leaned forward, her hands on my neck and shoulder. She pressed her lips to mine, taking my bottom lip. With a sweet sigh, she deepened the kiss, turning her head and swirling her tongue with mine. Something in her came undone, unglued. I didn't know if it was the conversation or where we were, but she stood up, pressing between my legs and leaning into me. She gasped, breaking from my mouth to leave biting kisses down my jaw.
Her fingers frantically tugged at my shirt, pulling it from my jeans. I was catching up with her quickly. I gripped her ass, growling into her neck. "Bella..." I moaned, as her mouth met mine again.
"I need to touch you," she begged, "I want you...here. I need the real you here, not the apparition." Her tiny fingers dug into my back under my shirt. I started to protest, considering where we were and who was nearby, but her pleas stopped me. "Please, Edward," she growled, diving for my mouth again. I couldn't help the wonton moan that I pushed into her mouth as her hand palmed the outside of my jeans.
If I thought she was on fire before, my next unwitting statement practically sent her over the edge. "Fuck, baby...that feels good," I gasped, my head pulling back a little.
Her growl against my neck was feral and slightly feline as she flicked open my jeans, taking me out into her hands. "I need this here," she breathed, barely able to speak through her panting. Before I could even form an opinion, she dropped to her knees.
"Bella," I gasped, my eyes rolling back as her mouth sank over me. "Jesus, baby," I groaned, unable to stop my hand from threading into her hair, tugging it loose from her band. Her tongue and mouth were doing things to me that caused my mind to freeze. And I wanted more. Her teeth grazed my sensitive skin and she took me in all the way. I looked down, locking with her gaze. She was watching me unravel. "Do you have any idea how beautiful those lips are around my cock, love?" I asked, tracing her bottom lip. My breath caught as she moaned against me. My wife did love her dirty talk.
"Do you want me to fuck your mouth, my sweet girl?" I asked, threading my other hand into her hair.
She pulled off of me, causing a growl to escape from me. "Fuck, yes," she pleaded, pulling me up to stand before her. A snarl burst from me when she wrapped her lips around me and I slipped slowly back into her mouth.
I was close, twitching on her tongue as her hand caressed my balls. I wasn't going to last much longer. The sight in front of me was just about to shatter me. It wasn't until I saw the heel of her hand press to the apex of her jeans that I lost my control. "Oh, shit," I growled, my eyes rolling back as I came with a roar.
I released her hair, sitting down on the log and pulling her up to stand between my legs. She was breathing heavy, her legs pressing together. She was so aroused, I could taste it in the air. Her fists gripped my shirt as she tried to control herself. "Sweet girl, let me..."
"Ok," she nodded, her face almost pained. I had seen my love turned on, aroused, but never frantic. "Edward," she whined as I slipped my hand between her legs on the outside of her jeans. She was hot, her moisture almost seeping through. I didn't want to undress her on that beach, but I needed to give my girl relief. I felt her throb and clench at my touch even through the fabric.
"Damn, love," I growled, diving for her mouth and tasting myself on her tongue. I opened her jeans, sliding down the zipper and slipping my hand inside. She cried out into my mouth, her hips bucking to me. "Mm, that's right, Bella," I purred, licking up her neck and slipping my fingers through her wetness. She pressed against my hand, her body claiming my fingers, wanting more. "Let me help you. You're so close...so fucking wet..."
"Shit," she gasped, bucking against me again. "Kiss me, Edward...I'm coming..."
I covered her mouth with mine, suckling her tongue at the same time my thumb pressed against her clit. She sucked the air from my mouth, everything about her clenching around me. She was stunning as her mouth was slightly open, her eyes black with want. She pressed her forehead to my temple, trying to calm down. She didn't say anything as she pulled back, locking eyes with me.
Her lips captured mine again a groan vibrating my tongue as I slipped my hand from her jeans. I cupped her bottom, straddling her over my legs, my now painful erection trapped between us amongst the denim we were wearing. She kissed me long, passionately, seemingly never getting enough.
She smiled against my lips when I twitched between us. "Ignore it, my love," I chuckled, pulling back to look at her. "I want you always," I smirked. "It will never end."
"Me too," she breathed, finally finding her voice. "And I hope it never does," she sighed, placing a sweet kisses on my cheek, nose and down to my neck. Her mind was open to me now, grateful that I had changed a memory from one thing to another.
"Hey," I whispered, pulling her gaze to mine. "It's not a bad memory," I frowned. "It's how you survived. I want to take it all back, but I see your forgiveness. I feel it."
"No," she giggled, grinding into me. "I feel it," she snorted when I growled, playfully biting her neck.
"Behave, beautiful, or I may not be able to restrain from ravishing you out here."
"I don't want to behave," she huffed, nuzzling my neck again and leaving her own biting kiss.
"You don't have a choice, sweet girl," I chuckled, "They're all looking for us...and they aren't far." I heard Alice's mind warn us they were heading our way. She did try her best to leave us alone for as long as she could, but everyone wanted to see us.
"Damn it," she whined, pulling back to look at me with pleading eyes. "No fair," she grumped.
"I know, baby," I sighed, rubbing her back. "Never enough, huh?"
"No," she sighed, reaching between us to straighten our clothing. I slipped down to the sand closer to the fire and turned her around, pulling her back to my chest.
Just like so many times before, Bella's shield pulled just about everyone to her. Everyone, but the "adults". Our siblings, plus Anna, Jake and all the rest of the pack and their mates trudged up the beach to join us around the fire. The pack dropped down a cooler and a stereo, adding more driftwood to the blaze.
"I could kiss Esme for babysitting," Anna snorted, plopping down in the sand.
"No, shit," Jessica chuckled, sipping a beer that Quil had handed her.
"I'm sure she'd kiss you for letting her," Bella teased, leaning her head back to my shoulder. Her mind drifted, soaking in the setting sun, the colors of the fire, the love of family around her and the feel of my body behind hers. She was content, almost lazy with the feel it. A part of it was post-coital, but it didn't end there. I couldn't help but smile and nuzzle the side of her neck.
"Jake," Anna sighed, "put the music on." He nodded and reached over with his long arm, flipping the switch on. Rap music blared from the thing, causing most of us to groan.
"What the hell?" Emmett snorted.
"Quil and Embry think they can dance," Jake laughed, watching them both get up and start to dance. Under normal circumstances, the wolves could be quite graceful. Not in this case.
"Jesus," Jessica rolled her eyes. "And to think that talent may have passed on to our daughter." We all chuckled as she just glared at her husband to stop. Jake finally changed the station, finding something a little easier to tolerate.
"Did we tell you?" Anna smirked, looking at Bella and my sisters. "There's an update on Mike Newton," she snorted as all of them leaned forward with expectant looks on their faces. They lived for the dirt on Mike and Lauren. "So...Mike and Lauren are trying to get back together...he's in therapy."
"Oh, stop it," Bella groaned.
"They will forever be twisted around each other," Alice mused, her eyes glazing. "They can't help it."
"Did she dye her hair brown?" Emmett guffawed.
"Jackass!" Bella growled, throwing a clod of sand at him. He let it hit him in the arm, because there was no way for him to stop laughing. I couldn't help but join him. "Think it's funny? Emmett's a real riot!" She smirked at me and poked me in the stomach.
"No, you're just too beautiful...you've scarred the boy for life," I smirked, fighting her hands. With that statement, I got groans from the men and "awws" from the girls.
My love chuckled, "See? That's the stuff that drives them crazy at school."
"Whatever," I rolled my eyes, standing and tugging her up with me. "Dance with me." I wasn't the only one that had stood for the slow song that drifted softly out of the speakers. Coupled with the sounds of the water, it was a soothing sound. "I can't help saying those things to you," I whispered in her ear. "I'm honest to a fault when it comes to you."
"That's all I ever ask, Edward," she sighed, burying her face into my neck. All the girls sighed into a swoon when Aretha Franklin's Natural Woman floated around us.
According to Jasper's mind, every woman around us just melted into a lustful puddle. He fought hard to block it, but gave up. If possible, Bella stepped further into my embrace, her tiny hands playing with my hair. I closed my eyes at the feel of her lips on my neck.
I couldn't stop myself from touching the soft curves of my wife. My hands skimmed down her back, over her bottom to her thighs and back up. I'm sure that Jasper was pushing out this lust, but he couldn't help it. Alice was just as affected by the song as everyone else.
Bella lifted her head up to lock eyes with me. I'd shield Jasper, but you feel too good to let go. We should leave soon.
"Not yet," I whispered, brushing my lips along hers. "When we go, I want to stay at Charlie's old house tonight. In your old room, love." Why we continued to call it Charlie's when we owned it, I didn't know. All I did know was that I would not have made it back to the house in Portland without wanting to pull the car over and ravish her on the side of a road somewhere.
"And I was thinking your old room at the Forks house," she giggled quietly. "Why my old room, baby?" I shrugged, not wanting the super-sensitive ears around us hear the fantasy that I had rattling around in my head. She quirked an eyebrow up at me as she watched my eyes blacken.
Hmm...someone has...an idea, she thought to me, her inner voice sounding sultry and sexy, like a mental caress to my cock. I nodded, letting my hands rest back onto her firm bottom and pulling her against my straining erection. It must be a very good idea, she groaned, a slight smile playing on her face.
"Not so much an idea as a question," I hinted, tilting my head at her.
Fuck it, let's go, she growled, her mind frantic with what I could possibly want to know that I didn't already. We bid goodbye to our families, rushing to her car. As I exited La Push, I reached over and brushed the back of my hand along Bella's cheek, unable to keep my hands off of her.
"Faster, Edward," she chuckled, "my curiosity is just about to kill me."
"Yes, ma'am," I laughed, shifting gears and accelerating. I couldn't get her there quickly enough.


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