Wednesday, August 28, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 31 & Pics

Chapter 31
Bella POV
“Is it bad that I wanna skip work and run away with you?” I murmured as I watched Edward run the soapy washcloth across his chest.
We’d woken up in his bed and made love in the early morning hours, then climbed into the shower, only to get so worked up trying to wash each other that we’d done it again. Now we were a little pressed for time as we got ready for work. Today was his first day back in the office since leaving Seattle for New York all those months ago, and I knew he was looking forward to getting back to work, but neither of us especially wanted to separate.
He smirked. “I hear the Caribbean’s great this time of year,” he teased.
“Don’t tempt me,” I huffed, raising an eyebrow, and then winced when I touched the tattoo just below my hip bone.
“Sore, baby?” he asked, reaching out to brush my hand away. When I nodded, he very gently used his soapy fingers to clean it. “Okay?” he murmured, turning me to the water once I nodded.

Sunday, August 25, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 30 & Pics

Chapter 30
Bella POV
I tugged on the bottom of my sweater and then straightened my skirt...again. I was restless and fidgety and couldn’t sit still, no matter how much Edward tried to convince me that it was going to be okay.
He reached over and laid his hand on mine, settling them on my thigh. “Baby, it’s gonna go fine. They’re gonna fucking love you. I’ve told you that.”
Shrugging, I said, “I know. But this is so big, ya know?”
The first time meeting the parents? Yeah, it was huge. I’d been nervous ever since Edward had brought it up after getting home from the bar Thursday night, but until today, I’d played ostrich and buried my head in the sand. I’d even been able to put off thinking too hard about it Saturday because of our date, but today, Alice had cornered me first thing – well, not first thing, because that had been waking to Edward’s head between my thighs – to tell me we were going shopping.
“I repeat, beautiful, they’re gonna love you. So chill, okay? If you bite at that lip any more, you’re gonna make it bleed, and while red lips look...fuck hot on you, it’s not so sexy when it’s not lipstick.”

Wednesday, August 21, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 29 & Pics

Chapter 29
Bella POV
“No, I wanna bowl more,” I whined as Edward pulled the Wii bat from the cabinet.
Alice laughed. “That’s ’cause you suck at baseball, B.”
“Shut it, Pix.” I glared at her until her unrepentantly amused expression finally cracked my resolve, and then I joined the rest of them in laughter. “Yeah, yeah. I suck at baseball.” Rolling my eyes, I said, “Fine, but you guys start. I need something to drink.”
I tossed my Wii-mote down on the couch and made my way to the kitchen. When I stood up after grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge, strong arms wrapped around me from behind.
“You know, Bella,” Edward’s voice said softly, his breath ghosting across my neck and shoulder, “we don’t really have to play baseball.”
Laughing, I set my drink on the counter and turned in his arms. “Nah, it’s all good. I was just teasing. Yes, I suck – I swear I can never time my swing right! – but you guys bowled for me first, so I’ll put on my big girl panties.”
His eyes darkened, and I knew what he was going to say before he even opened his mouth. “Oh, baby. If you don’t want to wear panties – big girl or otherwise – you don’t have to on my account.”
And there it was.

Sunday, August 18, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 28 & Pics

Chapter 28
Bella POV
I laughed as Edward rushed me up the stairs, his hands on my ass holding me tight against him. My legs were wrapped around his waist, my arms were around his neck, and I buried my giggles into his skin as I held on tight.
“Christ, Bella,” he panted, nearly tripping on a step when I opened my mouth and sucked in the skin just below his ear. “Baby, wait.”
“Mm, I don’t wanna.” I blew softly across the damp skin, and his hands tightened on my ass in reaction.
“Fuck,” he growled, finally turning into what I assumed was his bedroom.

Thursday, August 15, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 27 & Pics

Chapter 27
Bella POV
I had to fight to blink back tears as Edward once again walked away from me. Anger and hurt and joy were battling in my stomach – anger and hurt that he’d left like he had four days ago and stayed away, and joy that he was safe and wanted to see me.
Despite how upset I was, I’d wanted nothing more than for him to pull me into his arms and kiss me stupid. I knew he couldn’t have done anything but walk away there in the middle of the hospital cafeteria, especially with his father watching, but that didn’t mean I had to like it.
When I felt sufficiently calm, I took my coffee and left the cafeteria, going directly back to the office.
All afternoon, I had to fight to keep my mind on the job. It kept straying to Edward, what he’d said and done...and what he hadn’t said. By the time five o’clock rolled around, I was a big mess of contradictions, and rather than go straight to Edward’s, I decided to go home first and change clothes. Alice should have gotten off work an hour earlier, so I wanted to see how her first day had gone and vent some of my frustrations before going to Edward’s.

Monday, August 12, 2013 | By: Drotuno

Pieces of You Chapter 17 & Pics

Chapter 17: Epilogue – Walking on Sunshine
Jacksonville, FL – October
“Edward,” I pleaded, though it was merely halfhearted and muffled against his very insistent mouth.
He let out a sound that was as close to a trapped animal as a human could make. “I know, I know,” he chanted, squeezing his eyes closed and dropping his forehead to mine. “But fuck me, Sunshine, I’ve missed you.”
Smiling, I cupped his face, tilting my head just enough to brush my lips across his. “I was only gone two days.”
“I don’t fucking care,” he sighed sweetly, his mouth quirking up into a half-smile as I giggled at him.
Not one thing about the Jacksonville airport existed around us for just those few minutes: not the other disembarking passengers, not the calls for loading, and especially not the stares we were receiving as we reunited. I’d only been gone the weekend, but you’d have thought it had been months.
Sunday, August 11, 2013 | By: Drotuno

Running for Love by Sarge's Girls

Chapter 1
Bella’s POV
June 17, 2011
“Really? They have to come with me even to Jessica’s house?” I argued.
My mom hummed, barely listening as she flitted around the room getting ready. She and my dad were headed to some political something or other—they’d attended so many in the last year that it was hard to keep track.
“Mom, come on!” I whined. “You know Jess! You know her parents. I’ll be fine there without my prison guards.”
She stopped in front of me and cupped my face. “Isabella, they’re not your prison guards. They are your Secret Service detail, and they are there to keep you safe. I know you don’t like it, but that’s the way it has to be. It’s either go to Jessica’s party with them, or don’t go at all.”
“But they’re all so...old,” I huffed. I knew that wasn’t true, not in a technical sense, but that’s what it felt like. “They don’t even try to blend in. No, they don’t wear their suits at school, but they still stick out. They don’t smile. Like...ever. And it’s not like it’s Halloween yet, so I can’t poke fun at them like they’re wearing costumes to look so...cardboard-ish.”
I’d resorted to sounding like a bratty teenager—something I really wasn’t—and I hated it, but I was tired of the campaigning, tired of politics, tired of the Secret Service and having them constantly underfoot, and tired of my parents being too busy for me. And I knew it was all only going to get worse. My dad was less than six months away from being elected Vice President of the United States, and I was so proud of him. He was going to be great in the position—he’d have made a great President, too, but whenever I told him that, he just smiled with a faraway look in his eyes and said, “Maybe when Jason’s second term is over.”

In Pursuit Chapter 26 & Pics

Chapter 26
Bella POV
As soon as Al’s car and Edward’s motorcycle disappeared from view, I stumbled back a few steps. I couldn’t keep my eyes off the door after Jasper closed it, and I ignored Alice’s call of my name. I felt like my chest had been ripped wide open. I’d given him my heart, and he hadn’t been able to get away fast enough. It had been for work, but still, it had also been his choice, not a direct order from his boss.
“Bella, sweetie?” Alice said softly, moving up to stand in front of me.
I shook my head and turned, moving quickly back to my bedroom as my tears finally fell.
Shutting the bedroom door behind me, I stood there, my heart aching, my breaths coming unevenly as I surveyed the rumpled sheets from where we’d spent hours in bed together. Then my eyes fell on the T-shirt he’d pulled off in order to put on the USMS one I’d had. Without giving it a second thought, I pulled my own shirt off and picked the well-worn, soft, black one up from the floor, sliding it on over my head. It was one of his larger shirts, so it nearly swallowed me, but it smelled like Edward, and that was what mattered.
I curled onto my side on the bed, burying my face in the pillow he’d used, and cried.

Thursday, August 8, 2013 | By: Drotuno

Pieces of You Chapter 16 & Pics

Chapter 16 – You and I
Cedar Key, FL – August
To see the childlike excitement on Sunshine's face as she caught sight of her mother was worth the stress of keeping a secret from her. I didn't like lying to her; we'd worked damn hard at our communication, and even though it was a good surprise, it still had bugged the piss out of me to hide it from her.
Bella knew that Mrs. Cope and I had set up a signing day for the book's release date. She also knew that Jasper and Peter wanted the celebration afterward at Joe's. What Bella didn't know was that she had a rather large support group, that my family and friends had grown to truly love her. The only one that couldn't make it was her friend Angela, who was still covering Marcus for the Sun-Times.
Bella also didn't know that her mother, Renee, had put me through the fucking ringer the first time I'd called. I'd been interrogated like a prisoner of war. Apparently, I'd passed. As Bella hugged the woman that looked so much like her, I smiled at my family walking my way. They were giving my girl space.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 25 & Pics

Bella POV
Sunday, I felt well and truly lonely for the first time in a while. Edward had gone to visit his family, and Alice and Jasper were out seeing Seattle in her new car. For a couple of hours after Edward left, they’d stayed in her room, and it had definitely been a private party.
In the middle of searching the job boards, my phone beeped with an incoming message. Opening it, my heart just about melted.
Edward had sent two pictures and a text message. He’d obviously gotten someone else to take the first picture, because baby Emma was in his arms, sucking greedily at a bottle he was holding for her. His face absolutely radiated love and pride and protectiveness. I couldn’t help but grin when I opened the second. It was from his point of view as he looked down at the baby in his arms. He’d given her the stuffed ladybug I’d bought for her, and it was resting on her belly, her little fist clenched tightly around one of the legs. Finally, I opened the text message.
Hey, baby. Isn’t she beautiful? She likes the ladybug and says thank you. Rose snapped the other picture while I was feeding her and talking to my mom. I had her send it to me and thought you might want to see. Miss you, B. TTY soon. ~E
I quickly texted him back.
Can you read her mind?! Is that how you know she says thank you? ;) She’s so adorable, Edward. You look happy holding her. Natural. She’s a lucky little girl. Miss you, too. Call or stop by when you can if you want. ~B
Once I hit send, I set the phone back beside me on the couch and went back to searching.

Monday, August 5, 2013 | By: Drotuno

Pieces of You Chapter 15 & Pics

Chapter 15 – Welcome Home
Cedar Key, FL – July
“C’mon, Sarah! Paul and I will show you the best place to find shells!” Alec yelled from up the beach.
Smiling, I brought my camera up, snapping off several pictures – shots I couldn’t resist taking just for me. They were probably for Edward, too, but sometimes, I was selfish when it came to what I stored away in my heart.
Alice and I had worried about Alec meeting Sarah. He was a rambunctious little boy that had just turned ten, and he was rough and tough like any boy that age, despite how sweet and silly he could be. Alec also tended to “go along with the crowd” on certain things, so we weren’t sure how he’d receive the sweet little girl with Down Syndrome. We’d worried for nothing. The second the two were introduced, a sort of realization dawned on Alec’s face, and he’d simply accepted her, which in turn had caused his friends to accept her. They’d been protective as a pack of wolves over her the entire four days she and James had been there. No one was allowed to tease her or look at her funny, or there would be hell to pay.

Sunday, August 4, 2013 | By: Drotuno

In Pursuit Chapter 24 & Pics

Chapter 24
Bella POV
Thursday morning came entirely too quickly for me. I wasn’t ready to let Edward go – for a variety of reasons. We’d spent most of the time in each other’s arms, thoroughly breaking in my new bed. But now, the four of us were eating breakfast – Jasper’s Breakfast-in-a-Bowl – and talking about our plans for the next few days.
“You’re gonna see your family?” Alice asked Edward around a bite of eggs.
He nodded. “Probably not until Sunday when they get together for dinner as a group.”
“That’s great, Edward,” I said quietly. “I know they miss you – and you get meet the new baby. That has to be exciting.”
He agreed, squeezing my thigh gently as Alice continued to talk to Jasper about his plans.
I let their conversation flow around me as I thought about what little plans I had. Job search was of the highest priority. I’d done enough sitting around for the last few months. I missed working. And until I got a job, I had to rely on WitSec for money for everything – food, clothing, entertainment...personal items. That just didn’t sit well with me. It wasn’t how we’d been raised, to not pay our own way.

Thursday, August 1, 2013 | By: Drotuno

Pieces of You Chapter 14 & Pics

Chapter 14 – Have a Nice Day
Chicago, IL – February
I rolled over, reaching for Bella, only to find the bed empty. Cracking one eye open, I saw that it was only a little after six o’clock in the morning. The smell of coffee and the soft sound of the TV met my ears. I groaned, rubbing my face, but I got up anyway, pulling on a pair of sweats and heading to the bathroom.
I found Sunshine in the kitchen, wearing only my T-shirt. She was leaning on the counter with both elbows, and her hands were wrapped around a steamy mug. Her gaze was locked onto the TV, but her eyes were red. It was obvious she hadn’t slept much. Caging her with my arms, I leaned over her.
“You know,” I rumbled, my voice still raspy from just waking up, “all this bullshit about waking up together, and I find you in here...” Her giggle made me smile against the back of her head, but she turned in front of me. “I feel played, Sunshine,” I teased her.
“Shut up,” she snorted, shaking her head at me and rolling her eyes. “I couldn’t sleep, and every time I moved, it disturbed you.”