Monday, July 23, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 107 - Bella

~oOo~

Tampa... Tuesday, June 29, 2010 at 7:19 P.M.

Listening to Edward as he dealt with the she-witch was both gratifying and sexy, but it also tore at my heart. When she brought up everything I feared – his connection through her to his parents and his history with them in Chicago – I had to turn away or I was going to lose it. Even though we'd talked about it, when he told her that his home was with me, it still made my heart speed up, and it tore my gaze from the window to Edward's sweet, fierce face. And then when he thanked her for basically setting the two of us up? I barely held in my giggle. But then the reality of everything set in again – all my fears and worries – and I sobered once more.

By the time he hung up and tossed the phone down on the bedside table, I could feel that pressure behind my eyes once more.

Edward leaned in, one hand on the wall behind my head and the other gripping the dog tags I'd put on before climbing into bed, and touched his forehead to mine. "Wanna tell me what this was all about, love?" he asked, his voice barely above a whisper. "Wanna tell me how you lost faith with just one word from her? I thought I'd made it perfectly clear what I feel for you."

At his almost hurt tone, I couldn't hold my tears back anymore. I felt my eyes water, but I didn't bother reaching up to wipe them away. I kept my eyes down, unable to look at him – for fear of what I'd see and because I was ashamed that I'd let the she-witch get to me. "I'm sorry, Edward... It wasn't just one word. It was everything she said."

Edward sighed softly, pulling me into his arms as he slid into bed beside me. I felt his kisses to my forehead and then heard his voice, almost pleading, when he asked, "Tell me, sweetheart. What were you thinking?"

I finally looked up at him, my eyes taking in everything about him. He looked sad, worried...but the love that just about damn radiated from him nearly took my breath away and made my tears start anew.

He sighed, pulling me tighter to him. "Oh, baby, please," he groaned softly. "Talk to me, Bella. Please. You're killing me here, sweetheart. Don't you know how much I love you?"

Nodding fiercely, I reached up to swipe at my eyes, willing the tears to stop, even though they didn't listen. "I know you do, Edward. God, you show me that every minute of every day."

"Then what's wrong?" He reached up to brush away some of the moisture from my cheeks. "What's causing these?"

"We've only known each other four months...and we only saw each other for the first time, spoke on Skype, two months ago. I know you love me, Edward. I do. But how is the love you feel for me supposed to compete with eighteen years of love, of memories of your parents?" I took a shuddering breath, shaking my head again when he started to speak. I needed to get this all out now, or I was afraid I wouldn't be able to at all. "T-Tanya was right. She and her parents are your only ties to you history, to your memories of your childhood, of your own parents. You need those ties. Your memories and your parents are important, and if you give her up, you give up those ties, too."

When I'd been silent for a few moments, Edward used a finger under my chin to tilt my head up so I was forced to look into his beautiful, sad eyes.

"Can I speak now?" he asked solemnly.

I gave a watery laugh and nodded.

"Good, because I have a few things to say, and I want to make sure you're listening."

He sat up, leaning back against the headboard, and then pulled me up and onto his lap so I was straddling his thighs. Taking my head in his hands, he made eye contact and wouldn't let me look away. His hands were gentle, his thumbs softly stroking my cheeks, and his eyes were a warm, liquid green as they gazed into mine.

"First of all," he started softly, "there is no competition. I will always have memories of my parents, no matter where I live. Memories aren't stored in a specific city or house, Isabella. My memories of my parents are all in my head and in my heart. I'll always carry them with me, no matter where I go – whether it's Chicago, Afghanistan, or Forks.

"Second... You have to remember, sweetheart, my memories aren't all happy ones. They aren't things I want to relive day in and day out. Yes, I have happy memories from when I was growing up." He sighed, dropping his hands to my shoulders, before sliding them down my arms to my thighs, where he rubbed gently. "Chicago...and even Tanya..." Her name came out as a sneer before he got himself under control again. "They are reminders of not only the good times, but also of the bad. My mother's illness and passing away. My father folding in on himself and drinking himself to death instead of helping to comfort me when I needed it most. The feeling of being without any family..."

I felt my heart breaking for him all over again, thinking of the scared, angry teenager he must have been, especially when his dad handled things the way he had. I reached up and ran a hand through his hair, lightly scratching his scalp like I knew he enjoyed. My other hand cupped his face like he'd done mine, trying to give him comfort in any way I could.

"Christ, Bella," he groaned. "Don't you know? The first time I felt like I could look back on Chicago and feel something other than sadness and anger was when I met you. Talking to you about it all, telling you about my mother, about how she taught me piano, how I played for her when she was sick... It made me remember the good times. The love. You brought my happiness and my family back to me, Isabella. Not Chicago, and certainly not Ta—"

Everything he'd said warmed me from the inside out. I couldn't stand it any longer. I needed to show him that I understood...that I was done worrying about the past. I leaned forward, pressing my chest to his, and kissed him.

With a groan against my lips, Edward wrapped me in his arms, crushing me against him. His lips were soft, yet commanding, guiding me through the kiss. He tasted like mint and Pepsi and just everything that was Edward. When he slid one hand into my hair, he gave it a gentle tug, tilting my head to open me up for his drugging kisses. His other hand was busy on my leg, moving from knee to thigh, his thumb barely brushing against the lace of my panties before moving back down.

He was overwhelming to my senses. His touch as he pulled my hair and rubbed my thigh, his scent as I breathed him in, his taste as our tongues danced, and the feel of his muscles – his strong thighs under mine, his chest and arms and shoulders as my hands never stopped moving over his body... I couldn't get enough. I circled my hips, suddenly ravenous for him.

Edward's hand moved to my hips and began helping me move, holding me down to get the pressure right where I needed it.

And then, his stomach growled – not just a quiet reminder that he hadn't eaten dinner, but a loud, roaring noise that said, "Feed me now!"

"Ignore it," Edward said when I broke away, giggling. "I'm not hungry."

Pressing one more kiss to his now pouting lips, I shook my head. "Yes, you are. We can pick this"—I motioned between the two of us—"up later. Now? It's dinnertime."

His eyebrows knit together, and he looked concerned. "Have you not eaten dinner yet either, sweetheart?"

Feeling sheepish, I shook my head again. "No, we were waiting for you guys, and then the she-witch called, and..."

Edward laughed at the nickname and then pressed another kiss to my lips. "Come on, then, beautiful. Let's go show everyone you're okay and have dinner. Then we can come back in here and pick up where we left off, okay?"

I sighed, but nodded. "Okay."

With one last kiss, I climbed off him to find shorts and then took his hand as he led me from the room.

~oOo~

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