Wednesday, September 16, 2015 | By: Drotuno

A Few Tables Away Chapter 13 & Pics

Chapter 13
“There he is!” Renee sang when Bella and I walked into the kitchen to find the place was buzzing with activity. “I was beginning to worry. With the crazy drivers out there and it being a holiday weekend… Well, anyway…glad you made it, sweet pea.”
My brow furrowed, but I leaned into the kiss she gave to my cheek. “My roommate was saving the universe from aliens controlled by a kid in Dubai.”
Jasper cracked up, glancing up and over his shoulder from the counter. “Nice.”
“Well, good. Better video games than idiot drivers,” Aunt Jane said, hugging me from the side with her free arm. The other hand was holding a casserole dish full of what looked like homemade scalloped potatoes. “I’m glad you’re here. I could use another strong back. And you’d better bring your A-game appetite tomorrow, kiddo.”
I pushed up the sleeves of my shirt and nodded. “Yes, ma’am.”
I tried to focus on the tasks they needed done and not the fact that they’d been worried. I’d been just over the hour I’d told Jasper I’d be, but I wasn’t used to any adult worried about me. Back home, it didn’t matter, simply because I’d never gone anywhere but school, and usually my siblings – one or the other – had been with me. I was pretty certain my dad didn’t give a damn.
“C’mere, you two,” Renee called, pointing to Bella and me. “You guys can work on these green beans.”
She sat us down at the kitchen table, a ginormous pile of fresh green beans in the middle along with a colander.
When I looked to Bella with confusion, she giggled, leaned over, and kissed my lips. “Like this.” She snapped off the ends and then broke the bean in the middle, dropping it into the colander. “They get rinsed before cooking.”
“Okay.” I nodded, getting to work, but glanced up at her. “How many people will be here tomorrow?”
Bella grinned. “Just us, but everyone likes something specific as a traditional food, so…they tend to go overboard. And sometimes, neighbors or friends will come over to watch football with Dad, but they bring dessert or their own beer or whatever. Don’t worry. It’s just us, and it’s very informal.”
“She’s right,” Aunt Jane added from across the room. “So don’t feel embarrassed if you fall asleep in front of the TV. We all do it.”
Laughing, I nodded. “Fair enough.”
“You can scratch, burp, and fart all you want, Ed,” Jasper piped in, wearing a shit-eating grin.
“Umm…” I glanced at Bella, who was glaring at her cousin like he was a disgusting bug. “Okay?”
“God, Edward, you’re way too polite sometimes,” Renee said through a laugh, kissing the top of my head on her way by.
I looked to Bella, saying, “Jasper’s not that different from Emmett.”
Bella giggled again, a sound I absolutely loved to hear. “Will you miss them tomorrow?”
Scrunching up my nose, I snapped a few more beans and nodded my head. “Yes, I miss them, but it’s not like we had this,” I said, pointing to all the food being put together behind me. “We’d go out for dinner. There was a diner in Forks that served Thanksgiving stuff – turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce. That sort of thing. My dad preferred to work, so it was usually just the three of us.”
The kitchen went quiet, and I grimaced toward Bella, who leaned over to kiss my lips. “Don’t you dare apologize,” she whispered for only me to hear. “Going out to dinner would be a helluva lot less work.”
Her sarcasm brought tsks from the women and a muttered, “No shit,” from Jasper.
I grinned and nodded, but I could feel the acceptance around me like one of Renee’s hugs. Even more, I felt Bella’s ability to always just…get it. Or at least, she got me. Bella had an amazing talent that took the things I thought made me different and spun them into something better.
“Ah, good!” Charlie sang as he walked into the kitchen. “Edward, you made it okay. And they’ve already put you to work, I see.”
Grinning, I nodded and snapped the last bean, and Bella got up to take them to the sink.
“Hey, Ed! Help me out really quick,” Jasper called, and he was struggling with a turkey that seemed to be the size of Bella. When I got to him, I shifted the pan so he could take the bird out of its wrappings. He narrowed his eyes at it. “That fucker’s gonna take forty forevers to cook.”
“That’s why it’s going in at the ass-crack of dawn,” Aunt Jane said, leaning to my ear. “Just be glad it’s not your alarm going off at like four in the morning to deal with this bird.”
Chuckling, I nodded but helped Jasper turn it different ways in order to rub spices on it. It wasn’t long that Renee called us ready for the next day. Most everything was prepped to simply be set into the oven at various times. There were still some things to make in the morning, but nothing major.
Jasper joined Charlie in the living room for sports news. Aunt Jane and Renee sat with them but were discussing the coming Christmas break and what they wanted to do for dinner Christmas Day. The thought of being away from the Swan house made me slightly sad. The thought of being away from Bella for those few weeks made my chest hurt.
I tried to remind myself that I needed to see Alice, that I had to appease my father in order to keep him funding my schooling, and I needed to remind myself that the dorms were closed during the break. As much as I was welcomed in the Swan home, I couldn’t force myself on them for the holidays. However, none of those reminders made my anxiety level lower. I simply didn’t want to go home.
It was when I was sitting on the edge of the bed, my hair fisted in my hands, that I heard Bella step into the room and the door click closed behind her.
“Hey… What’s wrong, baby?” she asked softly, walking to me, and I found myself surrounded by her arms, with soft kisses pressed to my cheek.
Swallowing thickly, I lifted my gaze to hers. “I…I…I don’t want to go home for Christmas.”
“Then don’t.” She smirked proudly and adorably, like she’d solved the problem.
I huffed a light humorless laugh. “I have to, Bella. I just don’t want to.”
“I know,” she said softly. “And I wish…” She trailed off, but I waited patiently. “I wish…” She laughed a little. “God, Edward, I wish for a lot of things. I wish I could keep you right here. Always. I wish I could go with you, wrap myself around you like a shield. I wish your sister would come here instead. I wish you never had to go near your dad again. He doesn’t deserve your loyalty, your obedience, or your fear. Fuck, he doesn’t even deserve your hatred; even that’s too much credit for him.” She cupped my face, bringing my lips to hers. “But mostly, I wish you understood just how fucking amazing you are, how strong you are, how smart and sweet and kind you are.”
“I’m not,” I countered. “I don’t feel it, anyway.”
Her face was solemn, sincere as she took in every inch of my face. “Take your shirt off, baby,” she requested, and when my hands hesitated at the hem, she helped me lift it up and off over my head. “You’ve never lied to me, Edward, so I’m going to ask you if you trust me.”
“Good,” she replied, coming back to stand between my legs. “Then I want you to remember something, commit it to memory. Write it down in your journal. Tattoo it on your skin. Something, anything to help you remember… You didn’t do anything fucking wrong, Edward. You were just a little boy. You were brave and strong. You did exactly as your mother told you, and you saved your brother’s life. Now, all that being said… If others can’t understand that, if they don’t see that, then it’s their fucking problem. Not yours.”
I opened my mouth to argue, but she straddled my lap and sat herself down, gripping the back of my neck to make me listen.
“If you want to take the responsibility of procrastinating on your homework, then okay, I can give you that. Personally, I think it’s a childhood rite of passage to be lazy with school stuff, but that’s my opinion. But…you weren’t in control of the vehicle, you weren’t the owner of the dog that darted out into the road, and you weren’t in control of the goddamn weather, Edward. It was an accident.
“Somewhere, deep inside here—” she tapped my temple, only to place her hand on my bare chest “—and here… You know this. You know all of this. What you don’t know is that you’ve already paid enough for a forgotten middle school English assignment. You’re done. Finished. No more. Not at school, or with me, or inside this house.” She placed her hand flat over my scars, meeting my gaze. “A hundred and twenty-something stitches, a busted knee on your brother, and the loss of the only parent who gave a shit… You’re done, baby. Seven years is enough.”
When I dropped my gaze down to our laps, she lifted my face up by my chin. “Bella, I…”
Shaking her head, she said, “When you go home, I need you to remember this shit. I want you to feel it. If you want, I’ll call you every damn day you’re gone and remind you. I want you to understand that when he’s pissed off and yelling or making you feel low, it’s his problem, not yours, and you no longer have to listen to it.”
“You don’t know him, Bella…”
“I don’t need, nor do I want to know him. What I know is no real parent would say or do the things that he’s done to you. They wouldn’t alienate their baby in the family or in society. They wouldn’t punish them for fucking surviving.” She raised an eyebrow at me. “I don’t give a damn about his funding for your school. That’s what student loans are for, so fuck him and his checkbook. I care about you. That’s it. Where some people would’ve allowed this shit to destroy their soul, your soul is perfect and beautiful and loving, and I think you’re amazing. So…even if you don’t believe it yourself, I’ll believe it enough for the both of us.”
“I…I…” I sputtered, pulling her closer and closing my eyes.
I wanted to tell her that I cared about her, too. I wanted to scream that I loved her, that I was so in love with her I could barely see straight. But the panic seized up my throat and stole my words. I wanted to tell her that she was more than anything I thought I knew when I first saw her in the library, that she’d become my whole world, but more than that, she’d given me a sense of real family – how things should have been.
“I’ve said too much, Edward,” she surmised. “I’m sorry.”
I huffed a laugh, letting my forehead fall to hers. “No, never, pretty girl. You always say just the right things.” I opened my eyes to see her dark, worried ones. “I should probably thank Jasper for his messy filing system. I owe him for shoving me into a room with you.”
Bella cracked up into the most adorable snorting giggle. “Don’t you dare! I thought about that, too, but it’ll only encourage his behavior.” She pressed her lips to mine. “We’ll just keep that to ourselves, yeah?”
Grinning at her, I now understood what she’d meant time and time again when she’d threatened to kiss me stupid, because at that moment, I wanted to devour her. I wanted to touch her, please her, show her how I felt, because words were failing me.
I’d read stories where the sexual tension in a room was described as a crackling spark, where the lovers could feel it on their skin, in their hearts, crawling in and around them. I’d never believed a damn word of it until that moment. My lips barely brushed across Bella’s, and it seemed like we were sharing the same breath. The hairs on my arms seemed to stand up with it.
I nodded, unable to address Bella’s question. Because my name had come from her like she was asking something. What made my whole being snap to attention was her touch to my skin – across my shoulders, down my arms, back up my chest and around my neck – and her lips met mine almost roughly.
I lost track of anything outside of her lips on mine. It seemed my body took over, and somehow we’d managed to entangle ourselves in the middle of my bed. The feel of her fingers on my skin, her legs wrapped around my thighs, and her tongue touching, twisting, tasting with my own – it was all I could see, feel, hear.
Rolling just a little, I pushed back to see her beneath me, and I swallowed nervously. She was simply beautiful. It didn’t matter that she was in her normal nighttime shorts and T-shirt and she rarely wore makeup, but seeing the flushed look to her cheeks that I’d given her made me start shaking my head slowly.
“I… Bella, I want…” My eyes trailed away from her perfect face, and my fingers couldn’t stop from reaching out to trail across that blush, down her neck to as low as that T-shirt would let me.
Her hands glided up either side of my ribcage, finally cupping my face. “Edward, look at me.”
My eyes snapped from where her nipples were hard and pressing against the fabric of her shirt, back to hers.
“When we’re here, like this, I want to hear you, no matter what you’re thinking. It’s just me. And believe me, whatever it is that’s going through that gorgeous head of yours, I’m probably all for right about now.”
Grinning, I nodded. “I want to…touch you, pretty girl.”
“We are touching,” she teased a little, leaning up to kiss me. “Where, baby? Tell me.”
She sobered a bit but then reached down to take off her shirt. I’d touched her skin, her breasts beneath her clothes, but I hadn’t actually seen her. The trust she had in me was amazing, but her patience was endless, because she knew that I needed a second.
Her skin was beautiful, smooth, with light tan lines that could be seen in the areas where a bikini would cover her. Her stomach was flat, but she wasn’t super skinny, just perfectly curved where it looked so good on her. Her breasts, though, were mesmerizing. They weren’t big, but they weren’t small either, and the nipples were hard, which made me meet her gaze.
“You’re so…beautiful.”
I shook my head in awe as, with a shaky hand, I reached out to cup her. Her slight intake of breath made me look back at her face, but her back arched up a little as my thumb brushed across that tightly peaked nipple. Lightly, I trailed across her chest to the other one to do it again, and I received the same reaction. Feeling braver, I left my hand flat, gliding down the middle to her stomach, smiling when it tensed beneath my touch.
“Ticklish?” I asked in a whisper.
“Edward,” she whispered back, but a giggle laced my name. “Yeah… Yes! Okay…a little.”
She writhed slightly as I skimmed up her side and then back to her chest. My hand wandered closer and closer to the waistband of her shorts, across her hip, and when I hesitated just a little, Bella’s hand covered my own, slipping us down between her legs. I gasped at the soft, sexy moan that escaped her, my eyes watching her face as she pressed my hand, my fingers where she needed them. I could feel the heat, so much heat, coming from her that I couldn’t help but lean down to kiss her.
When she pressed down on my hand again, I broke from our kiss to watch what she was doing, but then looked back to her face.
“Bella… Show me what to do, what you like.”
She nodded, guiding our hands back up, and then she locked her gaze on my face as we slipped beneath the edge of her shorts. I wasn’t prepared for the feel of her. I’d read about it, and my brother had been right about my computer and what I’d watched, but the reality was so different. What was hot or sexy in fiction was emotionally overwhelming in person. I wanted so badly to make her feel good, to give her what she’d given to me more than once.
My forehead dropped to her temple when she guided my middle finger around. I wasn’t completely ignorant as to what it was – her clit – and she swirled our fingers around, gliding back down to her entrance.
When I moved my hand on my own, Bella’s head fell back a bit as she hissed, “Oh, Christ…”
Pressing my lips against her cheek, I whispered, “Here?”
She nodded vehemently as her hips started to rise up off the bed. I was on my own when she pulled her hand away in order to hold on to my shoulder.
“Right there!” she breathed, grasping my face and holding me tightly. “Don’t stop, don’t stop. Please…”
I did exactly what she told me, and I watched her entire being with fascination – her breathing, her tense muscles, and her barely there kisses, not to mention the place where my hand disappeared into her shorts. There was warmth and wetness and heat. There was smooth skin and hair, but mostly there was twitching beneath my touch, and soon it started to seize up all around me. All of it, including my name being breathed against my lips, made my dick throb behind my sleep pants. She was gorgeous, but she was sweaty and smiling lazily, too. It was the best thing I’d ever seen.
Smiling at her, I asked, “You okay?”
“Oh, God, yes,” she sighed, reaching for me, for the edge of my pants, and I swallowed thickly when she touched me like I’d tried to recreate in the shower earlier. “So hard, Edward.”
Nodding, I fell back to the bed, and she shifted with me, looming over my face while her hand worked me over. I wanted to speak, but I couldn’t. I’d been so hard for her while touching her that her hands were rendering me speechless. I couldn’t think, especially when she pulled my pants down just enough so that I could see what she was doing to me. She pushed away, keeping her gaze on me, but my breathing picked up more and more as her mouth neared the tip of my dick.
“Oh, shit, Bella… If you… I won’t…” I barely made sense to myself, so I had no idea if she understood what I was trying to tell her.
Her smile was soft and sweet, but her breath ghosted across my skin when she replied, “The whole point is to come, baby. It’s okay.”
It didn’t take much to make me lose my mind. Her mouth was wet and hot, and her tongue was evil, I was pretty convinced. And as soon as she started to sink down over me, I had to fight not to explode immediately, though I didn’t last as long as I’d hoped. However, it was longer than it had been in the shower.
I tried to push her back, but she kept going – up, down, swirling her tongue over and over – until I felt the telltale shocks in my belly, the tightening of my balls, and my breathing stop. My eyes rolled back, and I lost it completely, instantly feeling badly that she’d taken a second to put me back into my pants.
“Damn, I feel boneless,” I said, grinning when she crawled back up my body to snuggle closer, and I noted that the feel of her bare chest against mine was amazing and comforting. But I rolled to face her. “I… You… You’re…the best thing to ever happen to me,” I whispered to her, suddenly too serious, but I couldn’t help it. Her smile was sweet, but her eyes watered a little. “Seriously, you are. I… I was freaking the hell out, but suddenly you’re half-naked in my bed, and I’ve forgotten what the hell I was panicking over.”
Her laughter was adorable and musical, and she kissed my lips. “Then my work here is done, handsome.” She pulled back a bit, reaching up to rake her fingers through my hair. “I’m… I don’t want to go back to my room just yet. Can we read together just little while?”
“Oh, yeah, definitely.” I reached for our latest book that we were reading together. We’d finished the romance and moved on to a classic. Bella had never read any Alexandre Dumas, so we were slowly working our way through The Count of Monte Cristo.
She put her shirt back on, but we settled into our normal reading position – with her between my legs and me reading over her shoulder.
Chapter 13,” I read to her. “An Italian Scholar. Dantes threw himself into the arms of his new friend…


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