Monday, July 23, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 112 - Edward

~oOo~

Tampa... Thursday, July 1, 2010 at 7:28 A.M.

"We could stay on base, you know," Emmett suggested as we walked around Bayshore to cool down from our run.

"Nah, man. Just beers, dogs, and chips at home. I'll make my chili for the dogs, okay?" Jasper said, his breathing still heavy. "I don't wanna go anywhere on the Fourth."

Grimacing, I said nothing because the Fourth meant the first day learning to survive a hundred days without Bella – so at the moment, celebrating the reason behind the holiday with a quiet night at home sounded better than loud and social.

I ran my fingers through my hair, thinking maybe I needed to buzz it one more time just to survive the summer in Florida. But not until Bella left – my heart failing one or two beats at the thought – because my girl's fingers felt like fucking heaven in it. I wasn't really sure she'd care, but I did.

As we made our way up our street, the conversation changed to talk of the beach. Since I'd been able to beg Friday off for all of us, it was something we chattered about nonstop. I'd personally never been to the beach – aside from what I'd seen on base – so Jasper had asked around. Clearwater Beach's Caladesi Island had been the one most recommended, so that's where we'd decided to go.

My hand reached for the front door, and I couldn't help but smile at the girls' laughter.

"They're up early," Jasper chuckled, shaking his head.

We walked in to find them still dressed in pajamas, which mostly consisted of overly large T-shirts over shorts – our shirts, I had no doubt. Rose and Bella had their hair tossed up in long ponytails whereas Alice's hardly looked any different than its usual funky style. Rose and Alice were sitting at the counter while Bella leaned against it from the other side, all three holding mugs of coffee. They'd finally bought enough shit to put in it for their taste, including different creamers, ranging from French Vanilla to Almond-fucking-Joy.

"God, you guys look like you're about to melt to death," Alice giggled.

"It's fucking hot out there," Emmett countered. "And it's not even eight o'clock!"

"Damned humidity," I added, shaking my head and opening the fridge for bottles of water. Once I'd passed them out to the guys, I downed most of mine in one long draw, finally kissing the side of Bella's head. "Morning, love."

"Morning, babe. Coffee?" she asked, and I peered into her mug, grimacing at the light brown liquid inside of it. Her giggle made me smile.

"Not like that," I stated, pointing to her hands. "Wimp's coffee."

"Shut it," she laughed, poking my bare chest. "Not everyone can just chew the beans and go about their day."

Laughing, I kissed her head again. "Desperate times called for desperate measures, sweet girl. Don't judge me!" I teased as she spun to pour three more mugs, leaving it black. "But yes, I'd love some."

"What's got you girls up so early?" Jasper asked, taking a cup and sitting next to Alice.

"A few chores here and there," Rose said, but I got the impression it was something they weren't willing to discuss.

"And we wanted to ask you something," Alice added, grinning over at her husband. "We wanted to know if you'd be willing to go get pictures done. You know, document the trip. And you and I haven't had any made for years."

"You want a poster for the bedroom, babes?" Emmett asked Rose with a cheesy-as-hell grin, flexing both arms. "Get the camera. This'll work!"

"No!" she laughed, smacking at him and rolling her eyes. "Real ones. Formal ones."

I turned to Bella, who was leaning a hip against the counter, and matched her position. "I thought you already had a poster made," I chuckled, winking at her when a loud laugh barked out of her.

"Don't tempt me," she snorted, rolling her eyes. "That picture is still in my phone. I'll do it; don't think I won't!"

I shrugged, thinking if my girl wanted a giant ass picture of me in my underwear, then so be it. "Do what you want, Bella," I chuckled, taking a sip of coffee. "I don't care."

"Well, we want these pictures," Rose urged, looking around at the lot of us. "Please?"

"When?" Jasper asked the question that was on the tip of my tongue.

"Today when you get done at work," Bella said, and I could tell this was important to her, too. "We can meet you there, bring your clothes..."

"Clothes!" Emmett squawked. "You mean...dressy shit?"

Laughing, I shook my head, but I could tell this meant a lot to all three of them. To be honest, it sounded great. I'd never had pictures taken with any woman, other than Tanya for dances at school, and just the idea of having something tangible as a reminder of the best two weeks of my life made me completely fucking cave – as did the sweet, silently begging brown eyes gazing up at me.

"Fine. Do it. Set it up. Just...tell me where and when, beautiful," I told her, raising an eyebrow at Emmett when he started to argue. "Shut up and do it," I told him, looking at him like he'd lost his mind, but he merely laughed. Turning back to Bella, I kissed her forehead. "I'd better get a shower."

By the time I stepped out of my bathroom in just my underwear, I found Bella rummaging through my closet. Chuckling, I asked, "You gonna dress me, too?"

Her sweet giggle was muted as she practically crawled all the way inside the tiny closet. "No! Well, okay...yeah. I'm wearing red, so I thought..."

"We'd match?" I laughed. "Really?"

"Coordinate," she corrected, finally peeking out of the closet door. Grinning like the fucking Cheshire Cat, she gestured up and down my body. "That beats a poster any day, babe. Mmm, and I believe those are the exact pair you wore in my picture."

Glancing down at myself, I shrugged. "If you say so."

"Let's look!" she giggled, diving for her phone, but I caught her.

"Nah, let's not," I growled dramatically in her ear as I tackled her gently to the bed, and she immediately wrapped her arms and legs around me. "You seem to like...live performances..."

"Mmmhmm," she purred, trailing her nose up one side of mine and down the other. "I do. I'm all out of ones, though, handsome," she sighed, feigning disappointment as her hands slipped under the waistband of my boxer-briefs to cup my ass. "No tip for you..."

"I've got your tip," I laughed against the sweet skin of her neck. She hadn't showered yet, so she still smelled like me, flowers, and sex. It was a heady scent on her.

"No!" She broke into hysterics. "You'll be late, Edward. And you're teasing. I'd rather you take your time."

Chuckling, I sat up after dropping a heavy kiss to her lips. Just looking at her, I wasn't sure how I'd survive my mornings after she left. Bending down, I lifted her shirt, placing a long, slow kiss to her stomach.

"I love you," I sighed in complete and utter contentment.

"Love you. Get dressed," she whispered, threading her fingers through my hair.

Yeah, that shit wasn't getting buzzed until she'd gone home.

"Okay," I whispered back, finally standing up from the bed and leaving her there as she breathed heavily. "Just..." I gestured to the closet. "Pick anything for those pictures, sweetheart. I trust you."

Her smile was sweet, stunning, and almost made me crawl back into bed with her. "Sure, Sarge. No problem."

~oOo~

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