Tuesday, March 20, 2001 | By: Drotuno

An Angel's Promise Chapter 17

CHAPTER 17
BELLA
"You did…what?" Rose snarled, stalking my husband across the back yard.
I flinched, hoping to God she truly didn't kill him. Behind me, my brothers were already placing their bets.
"Fifty on Eddie," Jasper murmured, pulling out a folded bill. "She's pissed, but he still hears every thought."
"I don't know," Emmett mused with an amused smile on his face. "She hasn't been this mad in a while…"
"Damn, Rosalie, I said I was sorry," Edward hissed, narrowly escaping her speedy tackles for about twenty minutes. Apparently, Alice had seen it all and accidently "tattled" on her brother. "I'll fix it, I swear."
She turned on her heel, giving him the once over. Her gaze flickered to me. "You're lucky I love her. Hurting you wouldn't be punishment enough. And for some reason, she loves you…cranky ass and all. You will fix it." She stood up straight, ending her fight with him.
"I will," he vowed.
She grabbed his ear hard and twisted, walking him back to the patio, where the entire family but me was in hysterics. I grimaced as my normally strong-willed, tenacious husband allowed this punishment.
"Not with money," she snapped, shoving him towards me. "You will rebuild it – better than before. And…I want some new tools."
I winced, pulling Edward down on the chaise in front of me. I eyed his ear, making sure that my man had all of his parts. There wasn't a thing on him I could live without. His temper tantrum warranted her ire, but I preferred it if he stayed in one piece.
"He's still in possession of everything," Alice chuckled softly in my ear.
"Shut it," I growled, smirking when even Edward laughed at me. "You, too." I pointed at him with a laugh. "If you had just behaved, you wouldn't have Rose threatening any of your parts."
"Yes, ma'am," he sobered up quickly, shooting his laughing brothers a deathly glare.
"And Bella, sweetie," Rose crooned, her cool demeanor just adding to the hilarity of the situation. "I'll fix your car. Don't you worry about anything."
"Yes, Rose," I said, slightly terrified of her at the moment. "In his defense, this shit is a little scary," I mumbled, leaning into Edward's kiss to my cheek.
Rose stopped, taking a deep breath. "I know." She sat down next to us. "We've read that story. And Marcus is trying to contact that Phineas guy. So…just let us help, 'kay?" That was directed more towards Edward than me.
He nodded quietly and leaned back against my chest, and all I wanted was to protect him – from Rose, this whole connection thing, and especially himself.
Jasper looked up from the computer on his lap. "We can all help, you know." He looked to Edward and then to me. "We didn't have issues at Dartmouth. Did you think about that? We didn't have issues in Portland – well, other than the occasional run-in with Felix's people." He sat back in his chair and folded his arms across his chest. "Do you know why?"
"We were together," Edward answered, picking up my hand and kissing my ring.
"All of us," I agreed, kissing the back of his head.
"You just have to figure out your limits," Emmett mused, resting his elbows on the table. "I remember when we ran into Jane. That was too far for you two."
"And the time Bella and I went with Esme to close on the Portland house. Too far, too long," Alice added.
"But when Bells was in class, and Eddie was at work," Jasper started, drumming his fingers on the table, "they were close enough that it was okay. I would know. I could feel it when there was an issue."
"It's not the distance. It's the time," Demitri said, looking up from that wretched book that he was reading with Carina, and we all turned his way. "According to Marcus, your connection suffers with time. Though I'm sure distance plays a big part, too. You just can't let that connection get to the point of pain."
"Okay," Alice said, and then turned to us. "So hypothetically speaking…if one of you were to say…go home without the other. How long until the pain kicks in?"
Edward turned slightly in my arms, and we both studied the other.
I bit my lip trying to think, but it was Jasper that answered. "For Bells, it's usually a few hours later. At most, four or five hours."
"I'd say the same for myself, if not sooner," Edward said, frowning.
"Fine," Rose continued, standing up and pacing. "So if we were to keep them together, but still let them have moments to themselves, then we could – hypothetically – keep them safe." She whirled around to Emmett. "No problems at all at Dartmouth?"
"Not that I remember," Emmett answered with a shake of his head.
"No, she's right," Edward said, sitting forward.
God, this was so much easier when it was just my siblings. Marcus had scared us a little, and Carlisle had been so worried that he made me nervous. My siblings were used to us, had attended classes with us every day for years. Of course, they would have a better understanding of how to handle this.
"'Without the touch of Grace,'" Demitri read from the book, "'Benedict could no longer function. I was watching a clock wind down.' That's interesting, because later, when Grace finally gets to him, it's too late. The connection won't work – and it's not like she didn't try to reconnect. She did…listen. 'Grace's own demeanor was weak after traveling, yet determined to stay in Benedict's arms. Despite bringing him sustenance, it did nothing for him. She would touch his arms, but the spark that they both spoke of was now completely absent.'" He looked up. "That…right there. That electrical thing you two have, if it's gone…you can't get it back. It's like they faded away, because they didn't last long after she arrived in Pennsylvania."
"When we were at Dartmouth, we were together, but we still did things apart. No issues," I said, looking at Edward. "We were fine. We were in different classes. You did things with the guys without me."
"Yeah," Alice agreed. "Not one time do I remember an issue."
"Because there wasn't one," Edward mused, nodding in agreement.
"Let's go over what we know…" Carina smiled, standing up and plopping next to Jasper. She tugged the computer her way, pulling up a blank page in a word processing document. She began to type quickly, and we all understood what she was doing.
"We know that Grace and Benedict died because they went five years without seeing each other," I said, "but it's more than that. Touch plays a part, right?" I turned to Edward.
"Yes." He smiled, cupping my face and rubbing my cheek bone with his thumb. "We also know that Bella and I were apart only two years." He leaned in, kissing my lips chastely with a whispered, "I love you."
"But she was human," Jasper added. "And according to the two old guys," he grinned, causing us all to laugh, "the human part of her was healed during her change. Granted, her mortal body could have paid the ultimate price if Ed hadn't come back, but that's neither here nor there. They healed emotionally by reconnecting once he returned, and physically with her change."
"Okay," Alice murmured, but held up a finger. "But why was Edward's working pulling them apart?"
"We'll get to that," Emmett answered, holding up a hand. "Keep going with what we know. We know that Benedict and Grace couldn't communicate like we can now. Bells, you said talking on the phone helps when you're apart, yeah?"
"Definitely," I answered. "Remember Volterra? When you and Demitri had to leave? The phone was definitely needed."
"I remember that." Demitri smiled, setting the open book on the ottoman in front of him. "Yeah, Edward, you were much more at ease once you called Bells. Well, when he wasn't threatening Vittore," he laughed, shaking his head.
"Daily," Edward growled. "He needed his life threatened daily."
Vittore was the last of Felix's loyal followers in Volterra. Once Felix met his demise, Vittore was angry, trying to kill Marcus just like he had killed Aro and Caius, Marcus' brothers.
"Anyway," I smirked, rolling my eyes at my husband's unrepentant grin. "So what don't we know?"
"What Ali asked…why is Edward's working an issue?" Rose asked. She sat down in Emmett's lap, but her serious face was directed our way.
"Lying," Edward mumbled. "We were both lying about being okay when we weren't."
"And there was never enough time to really…heal our connection." I frowned, taking a deep breath. "Just when it was probably working, he would have to leave again."
"We don't know what time limits we have," Edward murmured, running a nervous hand through his hair. "I know that the couple in the book went five years, but my concern is what time is left for us. We've been through…everything. And I'd hate to think that any of it could factor against us." His eyes met mine with concern and a touch of fear, but a determination, too.
My brow furrowed as I opened my mind to him, showing him a few memories – running from James, the fight we had thanks to Tanya, his trip to New Hampshire to sign for the house, our first experience with Catherine, whose talent was the ability to pull people in, and my overreaction to his fight with Felix.
"Exactly, sweet girl," he said aloud, his face full of worry. "What, if any, of those things took time away from us?"
"So what heals you?" Carina asked innocently.
"Bow-chicka-wow-wow." Emmett grinned like a fool, raising his eyebrows up and down. Rose pursed her lips and smacked the back of his head. "What? It's true!"
I couldn't help but laugh, shaking my head.
"Moron," Alice and I muttered together as Edward rolled his eyes.
Jasper looked up from the computer that he and Carina were sitting in front of, snickering softly. "Yes, Em," he laughed. "That's true, but this…right here. That works. I've felt the pain ease with just a simple conversation between them."
I stared at Jasper, my mind all over the place. I unwound myself from behind Edward and walked to where Carina was typing. I needed to see the list. She had two – "Know" and "Don't Know."
Flashes of memories flew silently through my mind like a bat through the night sky. It darted from present to past to human. I bit my lip, trying to come up with some sort of solution. I looked around the patio at my siblings. They could do separate things, though most chose not to, like Rose and Emmett or Demitri and Carina. Even Esme could deal with the long hours that Carlisle put in at the hospital. We couldn't, and things had to change.
Following their example had been an innocent mistake on our part. Leaving the comfort of the family home felt like a mistake, too – in retrospect. That was one thing that was a huge difference compared to our time at Dartmouth, and even Portland. We'd stayed with the family then, but not now.
My family chattered away around me, but my eyes locked with a silent Edward. He was listening to my thoughts, because in all reality, it came down to our decisions.
We can do this the right way, I thought to him, tilting my head. We can go back to the way it was…we can be together without driving each other crazy, or hurting each other by being apart.
He nodded slowly, his eyes dark in concentration. His hand ran through his hair roughly, sending it into beautiful, sexy disarray, which made me want my own hands in it. He smirked, raising a perfect eyebrow at me.
I fought my smile, but kept eye contact with him. I wanted him. Always. And we had only been together – truly together – for five years. We were told that our intense love would last ten or twelve years, but I wondered if our connection made that longer – if the pull made it stronger.
Time, Edward. I frowned, pacing behind Carina and Jasper. What if time together builds up…like a connection savings account? I grinned, looking up at him. He was interested, but amused.
I barely heard the conversation around us – words like "Dartmouth, classes, pain." But I didn't focus on them.
"So what do we do, sweetheart?" he asked softly, ignoring everyone else like I was.
"Whatever keeps you safe – us safe," I stated, running a hand in my hair to hold it away from my face. School again? Move back in with the family? Run a free clinic in order for you to practice medicine? I don't care. I shrugged a shoulder. What do you think?
He stood with a fluid grace, stepping around the table to walk to me. His arms snaked slowly around my waist. "I want to talk about it…at home…alone." Again, I heard the command in his deep tenor. It was not up for debate.
That got the attention of everyone around us. Our siblings wouldn't dare protest our leaving again, but Esme had something to say, because she stepped out on the patio.
"Let me walk you out," she said softly, linking her arms through both of ours as we walked around the house, not through it. If Edward saw her mind, he said nothing.
We stopped at Edward's car, and he pulled me into his arms as we faced our mother, who was pacing a little in front of us.
"Son, we've dealt with every type of situation under the sun." She eyed us both with a serious expression. "I've watched you both suffer through these last few months, but no more. Edward, if you want to follow in your father's footsteps with medicine, then you have to figure out a way to give you and Bella time to heal. But if it was up to me – and I'm not telling either of you what to do – I think you should figure out when you were happiest and go back to it." She cupped both of our faces and smiled. "It shouldn't be that hard. I won't have you suffer, and I won't risk losing either of you. I love you both too much to let that happen." She squished our faces, planting loud, exaggerated kisses to our cheeks.
Edward looked down at her with an endless amount of love and patience. "Now that's an order I wouldn't dare disobey," he smirked at her.
"Good boy," she teased, ruffling his hair. "Love is simple. It's all the other stuff around it that makes it hard." With that said, she smiled sweetly and turned back towards the house.
~oOoOo~
"Ugh," I moaned, finding myself slammed roughly into our front door. Edward's body was flush against mine, his weight on his forearms, which were on each side of my head. We had barely made it from the car to inside our house before we lost control.
My eyes rolled back as his tongue swirled around my earlobe. His deep breaths and moans vibrated in my ear, all the way down to my already clenching stomach. My mouth hung open as the feel of his lips and tongue caused me to lose all thought processes.
Threading my fingers into his hair, I pulled him from my neck to my mouth, my own grunt cut off when his lips met mine with a ferociousness I wasn't prepared for.
Edward's hips shifted, and I gasped into his mouth as his steel hard bulge stroked exactly where I needed it to. "Oh, fuck, Edward," I moaned, wrapping my leg higher on his hip. God, he felt fantastic.
"Mmhm," he hummed against my throat, his tongue flicking out against the skin. "That's exactly what you're going to do. Fuck Edward."
I couldn't help the evil grin I smiled against his neck as I dragged my teeth along the strong tendon up to his ear. "Oh, Dirty Edward…I've missed you so," I whispered, giving his earlobe a long, suckling kiss.
His chuckle was dark, evil, deadly – sexy. "Do tell, my love," he said, reaching down to wrap my other leg around his hip.
He thrust towards me again, pressing his forehead to mine just to watch my reaction. My head fell back to the door, allowing me to roll my body against his and slip my hands up his neck and into his hair.
I was just about to tell him all the filthy things I wanted from my good pal Dirty Edward, when my phone went off in my pocket.
"No," he growled, his head hitting my shoulder. "If that's Alice, she should know better…"
"If this is Alice, I'm not speaking to her for a week," I mumbled, fishing my phone out of my back pocket. "Oh..." I frowned, looking at the caller ID and answering immediately. "Hey, Dad."
Edward's head shot up, his face still slightly pained, but he set me on my feet and took two steps back with a smirk. Charlie rarely called, but when he did, my husband respectfully gave me the space.
"Hey, Bells," my dad said cheerfully. "I know it's late…"
"I don't sleep, Dad," I teased, smiling when my father chuckled on the other end. "How are you?" I asked, leaning into Edward's kiss to my temple and nodding when he whispered that he was going to take a shower.
I tidied up my kitchen, sorting through mail as my father caught me up on Little Eddie, Izzy, Sue, and the pack. It seemed Izzy was already learning her numbers and letters, Eddie was a walking, talking madman, and Sue was happily, if not forcefully, selling Avon.
"Tell me she's trying nail polish colors on you," I giggled, shaking my head at my dad's gruff scoff. "I would have to pay Jake for pictures of that."
"Hell no," he snorted. "Though she tried once," he muttered, which only caused my laughter again. "Bells, I called for two reasons," he sighed, the laughter dying out between us. "First, I've found some more information for Alice. But it's rough stuff, sweetie."
"Damn," I sighed, sitting down on the stairs. "I'm sure it is, because the last email you sent caused a few memories to surface." I told him about Alice's father, and how abusive and foul he was, and I let him know that she also remembered the neighbor girl, but not Miss Addy.
"Should I send it?"
"Yeah, go ahead, because she'll see us try to keep it from her, and she'll be upset." I smelled a clean Edward before I felt him sit down quietly behind me. But I continued with Charlie. "Just send it. We'll probably see her in the next few days now that she knows it's coming."
"I don't get it, Bells. Alice is too sweet to have lived through this stuff. Most people would have turned their back on the world, but she's a little ray of sunshine. Are you sure? They say ignorance is bliss…"
"Damn," Edward muttered, taking a deep breath and letting it out.
"Yeah, I'm sure," I sighed deeply, wincing at the idea of my little pixie remembering something awful again.
"Okay, it'll be late tomorrow when I send it. Anna usually helps me, but she can't get to the office until mid-afternoon. Now, the second thing…the boys are here," he paused as they all yelled hello to me in the background, "and they have some questions. I'm gonna give you to Jake. Okay, sweetie?"
"Okay, Dad." I smiled, shaking my head, still hearing the boys cheering in the background. "Love you, and I'll talk to you later."
"Love you, too, Bells. Here's Jake."
"Hey, bloodsucker," Jacob whispered into the phone.
"What up, mutt?" I laughed, feeling Edward chuckle silently behind me.
"Aw, you know…a patrol here…a diaper changed there…" He laughed, and oddly, it felt like home. "It's tough babysitting pups all day and then playing Father of the Year at home."
"How are my babies?" I asked, smiling at the boys giving Jake a hard time.
"Getting big," he said, pride coming through every word. "You should come for a visit. Izzy begs Grandpa Charlie for stories about you."
"Still?" I sighed, shaking my head. "You mean she hasn't moved on to Justin Beiber or anything?"
"God, no," he laughed. "And I hope she never does. However, you're running neck and neck with Elmo."
"As well I should," I snorted. "Elmo's damn cool, but Grover's the shit."
"I was a Cookie Monster fan myself," Jake snickered.
"That doesn't surprise me, actually. As much as you eat, he's the perfect hero for you," I teased, leaning back into Edward's bare chest. "So what are these major questions you've got?"
"Um…we were wondering what you might know about…New York."
"Oh," I said, sobering quickly. Edward sat up straighter, reaching for the phone. "We know a bit. But Edward probably can tell you better than I can."
"Sure, sure," my old friend said, the comeback making me smile.
I stood up, handing the phone over. "My turn for a shower." I leaned over and kissed his still warm forehead. His smile as he looked up through his long eyelashes at me was so sweet, so loving, that if my heart still beat, it would have sputtered out of control. I kissed him again, just because I could, and headed upstairs.
"Hello, Jacob," I heard Edward say pleasantly into the phone.
"Ed!" The cheers from the pack rang out loud and clear. I couldn't help but laugh. A few years ago, that would have never been the response. But Edward and Jake had worked together to save their girls, and with it came a mutual respect.
I knew Edward would be honest with the pack concerning the events taking place in New York. Jasper had on more than one occasion shown Seth and Jake what to watch for in the news. My step-brother, Seth, had been amazed to find out that the signs for a vamp murder were clear as day if you knew what to look for. He became obsessed with it, and now currently owned some of the best computer equipment known to man – thanks to Emmett and Jasper, who secretly adore Seth.
I took my time in the shower, dressing in a pink tank top and pink plaid pajama bottoms. They were a trophy of the many movie nights with my sisters, a thought that made me smile. If the nail polish and hair braiding didn't send the boys screaming from the house, the raunchy sex talks surely would have. We totally did it on purpose. Break out the Sandra Bullock movies and watch the boys run. Although they had no shame in watching Miss Congeniality – that was one of Emmett's favorites. Though I was convinced he just liked to sing, "He lurves you; he wants to kiss you…"
I wrapped a towel around my wet hair and walked out into our bedroom. Soft, jazzy music floated in the room, and I smiled. Edward was off the phone and now setting his book aside. I threw my clothes in the hamper and tugged the towel off of my head, tossing it in there on top. By the time I'd turned around to head back to the bathroom, Edward was waving my brush at me from the bed with a smug smile and patting the bed in front of him.
"It's been a while," I chuckled, crawling up on the bed and settling between his lounge pants clad legs.
"Yes, I've missed it. So quit squirming," he chuckled, gripping my waist and putting me where he wanted me. I giggled as I bounced a little in front of him.
He started at the ends, like I had shown him ages ago, taking his sweet time. He used the brush and his long gentle fingers to straighten out any tangles, working silently but happily behind me.
"What did you tell Jake?"
"The truth, as much of it as we know," he answered, never missing a stroke through my hair. "A friend of Jessica's lives there, and she was concerned when she hadn't heard from her, so Quil asked Seth to check into it."
"Oh," I murmured. "What did they say?"
"They wanted to know if we were doing anything about it."
"Demitri wants us to, doesn't he?"
"He does. As does Marcus," he confirmed. "Carlisle is…unsure as to what to do. He knows we could help, but isn't sure he wants to get involved."
Edward's voice was soft and calm, soothing. If he was at all concerned about New York, he wasn't showing any indication. However, he changed the subject quickly.
"Your hair was the first thing I noticed about you," he said tenderly, sweeping some of it to the side to place a long, slow kiss to my shoulder. "I wanted to know if it felt as thick and soft as it looked. The first time I got to touch it, it was infinitely better than I had fantasized about."
"And then my stunning grace, right?" I teased, leaning into his kiss to my cheek.
"Well, yes and no," he chuckled lightly. "I noticed your…stumbles," he put kindly, "but your eyes were next. They held so much."
I heard him set the brush down on the nightstand, and he wrapped his arms all the way around my middle, placing another kiss to my shoulder and leaving his lips there when he spoke barely above a whisper. "Nothing means more to me than you, Bella. So this…connection between us is of the utmost importance. It comes first. We monitor our time, we communicate our feelings, and we listen to Alice and Jasper. If Alice sees one of us upset…we handle it. If Jasper feels a mere twinge, it's taken care of. Do you agree?"
"Yes." I nodded, relaxing into him.
Finally, the agitation had left him, and my composed, protective husband was back. While I completely understood his overreaction, I really had needed for him to stay focused, because it was all I could do to remain calm. With Alice's outburst, Carlisle's nerves, and Emmett's worry, someone had to keep a level head, but I really needed to lean on my husband. For a split second, I wondered if we had both been thinking about keeping it this simple and just couldn't articulate it to one another.
"What we do – whether we go back to school, live with the family, or whatever – doesn't matter as much as how we feel. Okay?" he asked, his thumbs grazing just under my breasts.
"'Kay," I agreed, turning my head to kiss his cheek and nuzzle his jaw. His lips were still on my skin.
"No rushed decisions, either, my beautiful girl," he crooned, rubbing his lips slowly over the crook of my neck. "We only do what we feel comfortable with."
I took a deep breath, reveling in his acceptance. "I want us to be happy, Edward."
"I'm never more happy than right here," he stated firmly, kissing my head. "They're all right. We were…really good at Dartmouth. No issues, no panic, no separation. We were, for all intents and purposes, normal."
I grimaced. He had heard my thoughts of comparison. I wanted normal. I wanted to be like the rest of them, but we weren't. We were truly different, and we needed to learn to cope with it.
"I love you," I whispered, unable to say anything else.
"And that's all that matters to me," he whispered back. "If you love me, then I have everything."
His hands opened, his fingers spreading wide as they slid slowly, torturously over my tank top and down my thighs. He retraced his path, finally cupping both of my breasts, all the while his mouth was open against my shoulders and neck. As his thumbs lightly brushed over my nipples, my mind went back to when we first arrived home.
I really wanted to pick up where we left off.
I felt his smile against my jaw at my thoughts. "Oh, Isabella," he chuckled darkly. "You do realize you have paybacks coming…" His voice was wicked, slick, and smooth, causing my whole body to press back against him.
"W-what paybacks?" I gasped, my eyes rolling back as his hands firmly squeezed my breasts, kneading my flesh in the most delicious of ways.
"Well," he started, licking slowly from the crook of my neck all the way behind my ear, "two things, really. One," he said, sucking my earlobe into his mouth and letting go with a soft pop, "for ruining my gift to you. Tsk, tsk, my little shield. I was so looking forward to seeing you drive your new car."
"Your…fault," I grunted as his hands separated their joint activities and started working on their own. One remained at my breast, alternating between squeezing it and pinching my nipple. The other hand snaked slowly to the apex of my legs, cupping my sex possessively. I whimpered at the dual ministrations. I couldn't help it.
"Hmm, maybe..." He smiled again, against my cheek this time. "Nevertheless, now we have to wait."
"I could have pinned you to the Jaguar, baby," I countered, smiling at his low, guttural growl.
"No, I don't think so," he argued. "And second…I think you need to truly understand…control."
I moaned, wantonly and desperately, at the sexy, sensual menace in his tenor. It didn't help that with every sound I made, his erection twitched against the small of my back.
I wanted it. Badly.
"Oh, I know you do, sweetheart," he chuckled in my ear, licking up the shell at the same time his hands slipped under my tank top. "I can…sense how much you want it, but you can't have it until I say so." With that being said, my tank top snapped against my skin and was sent flying across the room.
My whole body rolled with want when his hands massaged every inch of my skin above the waist. I could feel his bare chest on my back, his restraint in the touch of his hands, and the ever present arousal trapped between us. My head fell back to his shoulder as I let him take over.
My own hands, which had been gripping his lounge pants, started to rub his thighs.
"No, ma'am," he chided softly, taking my touch away from his legs. He placed them on my own thighs, saying, "Show me how you want me to touch you. Show me what you do when you want me and I'm not here to help you."
"I don't…I wait," I explained, having no mind of my own, because I cupped my own breast anyway.
"You wait for me? Even if…"
"Yes, Edward," I panted, moaning as his fingers glided ever so softly up the inside of my thighs on the outside of my pajamas, teasing the moisture that had already saturated the cloth. "Only your touch…"
"Oh, baby, you should never suffer," he purred, placing his hands on top of mine.
He left one on my breast, but the other guided my hand down to my throbbing sex. I cried out as he pressed us against me. My hips rose up, only to be pushed back down.
"Feel how wet you are for me?" he asked, gliding our fingers up and down over the seam of my pants. He applied pressure just over my clit as I nodded frantically. "When you want me this much, what do you think of first?"
I gasped, curling my own fingers against my swollen nerve, but he manipulated my hand until we were just rubbing softly.
"Your mouth…your hands," I answered as honestly as I could, considering my mind was no longer functioning properly.
He pulled my hand up to the waistband of my pants, slipping our fingers just inside. "Show me," he commanded, his voice smooth and silky. He pulled his own hand from mine, threading them in my hair and tilting my head so that he could nip at my shoulder as he watched from behind me. "Let me see you…"
I needed relief so badly from his voice, his touch, his mere presence, that I immediately dipped a finger into my core, crying out as the heel of my hand pressed just where I needed it most.
Edward squeezed his hand over mine, still cupping my breast. He wove his fingers with mine, pinching and rolling my nipple.
"Shit," I breathed, adding another finger as my hips rolled back and forth. I wanted to feel him behind me as well as meet the rhythm of my own hand.
"Yes," he purred in my ear, his teeth dragging along my flesh, ending in a wet tongue-swirling suckle to my neck.
His strong arms strained to hold me down, to keep me still. I could feel his muscles flexing all around me. And it only added to bring me closer to my climax, which was right there.
"Let it go, baby," he encouraged, gripping my hip in order to grind me back against him. The friction against his pants was delectable, and yet, a denial of his skin at the same time.
"I can't," I whined, my chest heaving with my heavy breathing. "All I want is you," I growled through gritted teeth.
His long flingers lightly grazed down my arm, joining mine at my center. His middle finger slipped languidly over mine, the pad tracing the back of my own finger, and pushed into me. I felt so filled, so close, but not enough. He ground his palm down onto mine, causing us to press roughly against my clit.
I could see the movement of our hands working together under my pajamas. I could see the muscles in his forearm roll under his smooth skin. And I could see him reach for the side of my pants, shredding them in the blink of an eye. They fluttered to the floor in several pieces.
I extricated my hand on my breast from under his, reaching back to grip his hair as I opened my legs wider. The sound of our heavy breathing and our hands moving through my slick heat filled the room around us. It was our own language, our own communication.
My body clenched hard when his moan vibrated against my back. It was the sound I lived for. It was a sound Edward made against his will, a sound only I could bring out in him.
I cried out in protest when he pulled our hands away from my core. "Edward," I growled low.
"See how that feels?" he chuckled, restraining both of my hands by the wrists.
I knew this was punishment for the Volvo incident, but I thought I would explode with the need to come. "Please, please, don't do this…you were out of control," I begged, almost crying with need. "I couldn't stand to watch you hate yourself that much. Please, Edward…"
"Shh," he crooned, shifting us both until my head was at the foot of the bed and he was looming over me. Somehow in the brief movement, his pants went away. "I couldn't love you more than I do at this very moment, my sweet girl. I'll take care of you, I swear it."
With one graceful, fluid motion, he sheathed himself completely within me with a deep, feral growl. "Fuck," he breathed, squeezing his eyes closed. "Jesus, you're so wet."
"Yes," I cried out, my head falling back as the rest of me pulled him in.
He moved with a deep, slow pace, taking his time bringing me back to the brink of my orgasm, only to practically stop. He would pull just about all the way out to tease my entrance, suddenly thrusting back into me.
I shook beneath him with the need to come, but I knew what he was doing. Without saying anything, he was telling me I wouldn't find my release until he said so.
"That's right," he growled, nipping roughly at my neck as his hips swiveled just right. "How badly to do you want to come all over my cock, baby?"
The whining groan that escaped my mouth was an inarticulate string of curse words, which only made him slow down.
"Uh uh," he crooned, pressing his forehead to mine. He watched me shake and gasp under his weight, cry out with every thrust, and beg him for more, deeper, faster. "I want to feel you come for me…just me. I want to see it from your head to your feet, Bella."
"Please…"
He rolled us, putting me on top, so that he could see everything about me. As I sank further down over him, my eyes rolled back, my fingers gripping his sides.
With firm but loving hands, he guided my hips, helping me set a new pace, a pace to bring us closer to the edge together.
I watched his stunningly beautiful face get more and more intense the closer he climbed to his peak. His brow furrowed as his obsidian eyes wandered all over my body. He bit down on his bottom lip, a sign that he was staving off his own pleasure to plummet with me. Every muscle, from his jaw to his abs, rolled, flexed and released under my fingertips in the sexiest of ways.
I held back, waiting for his eyes to finally meet mine. "Now?" I begged, pleading with my mind, my eyes, and my voice.
"Yes, yes, now, baby," he gasped, his eyes finally breaking from mine and rolling back as we both cried out.
It was so intense, so deep, that I saw stars behind my eyelids. Edward's hands let go of my hips, but I could still feel the sting of the charge he left behind. He curled me to him, rolling us to our sides.
"We're even," I whispered, burying my face in the crook of his neck.
"No, baby, we're not," he chuckled, kissing my cheek and pulling me as close as he could get us. "You, my beautiful girl, will forever be one up, because you truly own me."
EDWARD
"Bella?" I whispered, nuzzling my wife's neck with my nose.
"Hmm?"
I smiled – grinned like a fool, actually – because my girl had refused to be anywhere but my arms for hours; well into the morning. And I couldn't find it in me to complain. At all.
"Are you verbal, my love?"
"No," she grumped, rolling closer to me and burying her face in my neck. "I am, but I don't want to be," she said, making herself giggle.
"I'm a fairly imaginative man, and when I'm not, I can truly work with other's thoughts," I mused, feeling her silent laugh shake me and the bed. "I'm pretty sure I can come up with something to take away your ability to speak."
"Well, hurry the hell up," she snorted.
I laughed, planting a loud, exaggerated kiss to her shoulder. "I can't…I mean, I can, but we don't have time. You know they'll all be here soon."
"They're gonna watch us like hawks, aren't they?" she muttered into my neck as her hand slid up and down my side from my ribs to my hip and back.
"Do you blame them, baby? I mean, if this was Emmett and Rose, wouldn't you be worried?"
"Yeah," she answered, pulling back to look up at me.
I brushed her hair from her face, waiting for her to continue, because she wasn't sure if she should say it. She'd been debating it in her mind since the day before.
"Should we move back in with them?"
I took a deep breath, looking around our bedroom in our house, something that I had always wanted to give her. "I'm not sure. Esme said to talk about our happiest time, and I suppose that includes where we were living, but..." I just shook my head, looking to her for help.
"My happiest time…" she smirked, tracing my eyebrow and then pushing the hair off of my forehead. "Your house in Forks…that usually is what pops into my mind first thing. The New Hampshire house was a close second."
I studied her face, and nodded in agreement with her two choices. The Forks house was definitely the number one happiest time. I'd met her there, gotten to know her there, and fell back into her graces there. The Cullen home in Forks would always be where we truly fell in love. We gave ourselves to each other emotionally, physically, and spiritually – having married there.
"Yeah, Forks." I smiled, continuing to nod.
"Yeah." She grinned. "Come on, handsome. We'll think about it, but you're right. They'll be here soon enough."
As soon as we were showered and dressed, heading down the stairs, my siblings piled through the door. Carlisle and Esme were right there with them.
"Good timing, Alice," I teased, ducking her tiny fist.
"I told her to wait," Esme huffed, looking worriedly between me and Bella.
"Don't sweat it," my Bella beamed, linking their arms. "Where's everyone else?"
"Marcus asked Demitri and Carina to accompany him to Russia," Rose grinned evilly. "They're checking on Tanya."
"And to hunt, I think," Carlisle smirked. "I hope Tanya is prepared and behaved. Apparently, Marcus' anger with her has not abated."
"Good," all the girls growled at once.
"Apparently theirs, either," Jasper chuckled, shaking his head. "Hey, let's play some music, brother." He smiled, gripping my shoulder and then switching to his thoughts. Alice isn't quite ready to see Charlie's email. She wants the info, but needs to prepare herself.
"Hell yeah!" Emmett grinned as we all made our way into the music room.
"I think I know just the song, Jasper," I sighed, giving him a small smile. "It's been a hell of a week."
"No shit," he laughed.
Emmett took his place at his drum kit, looking at it like it was lost friend. Jasper took down his favorite electric blues guitar, and I flipped on my keyboards.
"John Mayer," I said, nodding to Emmett, who started a slow beat as I played with him. My keyboards sounded like an old organ, which fit the slow, thick sound of Jasper's guitar.
Gravity seemed like a fitting song to end the week. It was sad but determined, bluesy but beautiful. And it seemed to set everyone in the room at ease as I began to sing.
Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down
Oh I'll never know what makes this man
With all the love that his heart can stand
Dream of ways to throw it all away
Jasper and I sang together, but my eyes drifted to my Bella. Her sweet smile told me that I hadn't thrown anything away.
Oh Gravity is working against me
And gravity wants to bring me down
Oh twice as much ain't twice as good
And can't sustain like a one half could
It's wanting more
That's gonna send me to my knees
As Jasper skillfully played his solo, my Bella got up from her embrace with Esme and sat next to me on the piano bench. I couldn't help but place a kiss to the top of her head as she lay it on my shoulder.
Oh gravity, stay the hell away from me
And gravity has taken better men than me (now how can that be?)
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
Just keep me where the light is
C'mon keep me where the light is
C'mon keep me where the light is
Oh... where the light is!
The room was comfortably quiet as we ended the song. I looked down at my sweet girl, smiling as she reached up and pushed my hair from my forehead.
"It's your last week at the hospital," she said softly, tilting her head at me. "You're okay with that?"
"It's not a full week. Toby checks out Wednesday," I replied, realizing that everyone was trying to give us privacy in our home, but they all wanted to know the answer. It seemed that they needed me to be okay – with the new found information about our connection and quitting the hospital. My reaction the day before had unnerved them – it had been some time since I had lost my temper that way, and barely since Bella entered my life.
I looked at my reason for living, my tie to the earth, and smiled. I didn't care – really, honestly – what I did as a vocation. My immortal make up wasn't like Carlisle's. He could do the same thing and never tire of it. It was like he was created for it.
But as I looked at my love staring earnestly back at me, I knew that it didn't matter. I wouldn't have lasted at the hospital for very long. I never had before, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that I hadn't this time. When I'd originally considered it, I'd told her I wanted to try it again. Well, I had, and it hadn't worked.
It hadn't worked, because she would always be infinitely more important than any job. Period. End of story. No regrets.
"Am I okay with it?" I chuckled, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. "Yeah. Yeah, I'm just fine with it."


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