Tuesday, July 24, 2012 | By: Drotuno

Coming Home Chapter 114 - Edward

~oOo~

Tampa... Friday, July 2, 2010 at 9:46 A.M.

"Christ, Em... It's like packing to take a kid to the beach!" Rose complained as she set a bag down by the front door. "Footballs, snorkels, flippers... Did you put water wings in there, too?" she snarked down the hallway.

"They don't make 'em in my size," he stated without missing a beat while bending his giant ass bicep up into the biggest muscle he could make.

Grinning, I just shook my head and went back to the piano. I had the volume down low enough that it hadn't disturbed anyone's sleep when I'd first gotten up but just loud enough that Bella could now hear it from the kitchen as she made breakfast.

"Ow! Dammit!" Bella hissed, and when I looked up, she was giving the pan of bacon a scathing look, like it had personally offended her.

By the time I made it to her, she'd turned off the burner and pulled the pan off to cool, a hot pile of bacon ready on a plate, but it was the way she was holding her arm that made me go to her. She was wearing one of my T-shirts tied in a knot in the back and small denim shorts, and I knew for a fact that her bikini was on underneath it all.

"Let me see," I said, holding out my hand. She set her hand in mine, and clearly, there was a small burn on the back of it near her wrist.

"Babe, I'm okay," she chuckled, rolling her eyes up to mine. "It's not the worst cooking injury I've ever gotten."

"It is since you've been with me," I said with a smile as I scooped her up and set her ass onto the counter. "Humor me, Bella. Don't move!" I ordered gruffly, pointing a finger at her and smiling at her giggle.

Turning to the fridge, I opened the freezer door and grabbed an ice cube, stopping to take in just how fucking packed it was. I spun back to my girl, setting the ice cube gently on the rather angry looking red spot on her hand. It was no bigger than the eraser of a pencil, but I didn't care. Any excuse to care for her, to touch her...it was all I wanted. Time was ticking, and I was hating every motherfucking second of it.

"There's enough food in there to feed an army, Miss Swan," I said, my voice coming out almost scolding.

"You are the Army," she giggled, biting her bottom lip and fiddling with the dog tags around my neck with her free hand.

"I'm in the Army, sweet girl," I laughed, shaking my head, my focus on her tiny wound. "There's a difference."

She was quiet for a moment, and I locked sights on her face, but she wouldn't look at me.

"Bella?"

"We wanted to make sure you guys had real food. Not fast food or frozen pizzas. I doubt it'll last the week after we're gone, but..." Her nose wrinkled adorably, but she let out a long, sad sigh. Then, she started rambling nervously. "It's all labeled, with instructions on how to heat it up. You should handle it okay...it's microwavable. I promise to overnight cookies all the time..."

It was that last line that shattered my heart. Tossing the ice cube into the sink, I cupped her face.

"Stop," I whispered against her forehead. "It's okay, love. I understand." I sighed, pulling back to lock eyes with worried, sad, and a touch watery. "Not today. Okay? But thank you," I said, jerking a thumb back toward the fridge. "I'll try to make sure they ration your meals in some sort of logical type fashion..."

She smiled despite how she was clinging to me. "They will eat it all in one sitting."

"Trust me, I know," I chuckled. "Did you do all of that yesterday?"

"No... Well, yes, some of it. I've been storing it away like a squirrel all week." She giggled, shrugging one shoulder.

"Just a squirrel...tryin' to get a nut," Emmett sang as he and the rest of the gang joined us. "Why are you a rodent, Bellsy?" he asked, and she just rolled her eyes, slipping down to the floor.

He and Jasper gave each other a fist bump as they sat down at the counter, but I opened the freezer door to show them what she and the girls had done.

"Oh," they both muttered, their faces filled with shock, instant hunger, and a touch of sadness, I noted.

"What's in there?" Emmett asked, pouring himself some juice.

"All your favorites," every last girl stated.

"And some new ones," Bella added, sitting down with her plate.

"Thanks, ladies," Jasper stated in a sincere tone, his eyes lingering on the fridge before he leaned over to ruffle Bella's hair and then kiss his wife's cheek.

I bent to Bella's ear. "This conversation isn't over, Isabella. Just on hold. I want to play with you today, not dwell on what happens tomorrow. Okay?" I asked.

She nodded, leaning into my kiss to her ear.

"I love you so fucking much, sweetheart. And thank you again."

She turned, kissing my lips quickly, and she smiled against my lips when I chuckled in surprise. "Love you, too. And you're welcome."

~oooOOOooo~

Christ, I didn't know what was more beautiful – the ocean view or the brunette currently stripping down to the sweet blue bikini that hugged her curves in the most sinful of ways.

Definitely the brunette.

When I was totally busted ogling her, I grinned, shrugged, and turned my attention to the beach. It was my first time really seeing the ocean, because I hadn't paid attention the day the girls had come on base, and it was a little intimidating. I'd flown over it, seen it on TV and movies, and read about it, but to actually stand in front of it made me feel extremely small and insignificant. It went on forever, a deep bluish-green that met what looked like the end of the world. Bright blue sky filled with white, puffy clouds sat down on the healthy green water of the Gulf of Mexico. Small foamy waves, no higher than my thigh, crashed down onto white sand, causing small sea birds to run away from it, only to run back toward it. It was a constant push and pull of water and birds.

And the smell... It was clean, but thick, salty air, with a hint of a million different suntan lotions because the beach was pretty damn packed. But it was also filled with trees, flowers, and just plain sunshine. The beaches of Clearwater were different than even those on the base, because the base was located on Tampa Bay. This was right on the Gulf.

"Have you been in it yet?" Bella asked softly beside me.

I glanced down at her and shook my head no.

"It's warm. Not like the beaches at home."

"No shit?" Emmett asked, reaching back to tug his shirt off over his head.

I did the same, dropping it to one of the blankets the girls had laid down. "Come in with me," I requested, holding out my hand, but all three girls seemed to have locked their sights on something which was causing their mouths to fall open.

Emmett looked to see what was going on. "Oh, damn..." He chuckled before singing, "I'm too sexy..."

I had to laugh because the man was oblivious to the stares. It was like Humpty Dumpty had put on a Speedo and baked in the sun for years. He was a walking ad for what not to do for skin care. Not only that, but he had to have been pushing seventy. But it was his blatant staring at every woman younger than him, his pompous strut, and his sun-weathered skin that had most everyone around us grinning.

"Wow," Bella chuckled, shaking her head.

Chuckling, I scooped her up. "Will you still love me when I look like that?" I asked in her ear as I walked her squealing and kicking toward the water.

That question only caused her to laugh harder, her head falling back. "You gonna wear bikinis, too, babe?"

"Maybe," I chuckled against her throat, dragging my teeth along her skin lightly. "Answer me, Isabella."

"Yes!" she snorted, rolling her eyes at me and then looking down at the water. She turned back to me, saying, "I'll love you no matter what you wear...even if it shows off your great, big...personality."

She grinned a silly-as-hell smile, starting to wrap her arms around my neck, but chuckling, I tossed her ass into the water. Her scream cut off as soon as she disappeared underwater. But I wasn't fucking stupid, either. I knew what she would do, so as soon as small, strong hands gripped my boardshorts to tug them down, I grabbed her wrists and pulled her up.

"Oh, I don't think so, naughty girl," I snorted, sinking down into the warm water.

She wrapped herself around me, feeling weightless as I carried her farther out. "Damn, I was gonna get an underwater peek," she giggled, pressing her lips to mine.

"I'll give you a peek anytime you want, beautiful, just not when kids and old ladies are lookin'," I crooned in her ear as I kissed down her neck, taking in the salty taste of her.

"Or the guys...and definitely not other women..." she purred, smiling against my jaw.

"Definitely," I agreed, smirking at the possessive tone coming through, my hands skimming over every inch of skin that I could under the water. "Mm, but this is...fan-fucking-tastic. And boy oh boy, do I like you wet," I rumbled, slipping underneath her bottoms in order to squeeze pure Bella.

She laughed, and we both looked up when our names were called. "It's gonna be a long day, Edward, if you keep that up."

"Keep what up?" I asked innocently, grinding her down over my hardening cock.

"That!" she laughed, splashing me in the face and swimming away. "Come on, babe. They want us to play football."

Groaning, I did what she wanted because I couldn't help but follow her. However, she was right. It was going to be a long damn day watching her in that bathing suit.

~oOo~

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