Now… God, now! We need to make love.
This is urgent. Her body, her voice, even the taste of her skin… all urgency, all need, mirroring my own. But I'm torn. My mind keeps displaying the image of Esme's card box to me, over and over. It is screaming at me to open it, and it gets louder and louder by the minute.
"Letters?" I hardly get the word out. Did I even? Hard to tell over the humming noise in my head.
She needs to agree to keep them away from me; I mustn't have them and I don't know who else to give them. I don't want to think about what stories those letters might tell any more; when all I want, all I need is her body. I can't wait to be inside of her.
Fuck, yes, and I can be inside of her; she bought condoms! She is so wonderful. Although it should have been me buying them. She smells wonderful, too. It's the boyfriend who buys condoms, is it not? I should have been more considerate. God, she smells so good. Can't she just…
"Bella, please." I want to say more, but I've said so much already, and I really don't know how else to explain myself. I lick her throat, where the heat and taste of her skin is particularly intense for some reason. I want to lick other areas of her body, too. I want to lick all of her. If only she would…
"I'll keep the letters!"
The humming stops. Yes!
Oh God yes… "I'll get the condoms."
I detach myself from her and sit up on my heels. Leaning back, I reach for the nightstand. I find Bella's purse, open it and turn it upside down, emptying its content onto the mattress. Belatedly, I notice that in doing so, I kind of invaded her privacy. I should have handed her the purse for her to get the condoms out of it, I guess?
Her most personal things are now scattered on the bed; I didn't know women carry so many and varied THINGS with them. And is that cookie crumbles there between the chap stick and the pepper spray? Where are the condoms?
"The blue package," she says, and I see it and grab it. And then I'm all over her again, with my elbows next to her face, one hand cupping the back of her head and the other clutching the small blue package. I should open it and sheath myself before I do anything else. But Bella has shoved one leg between mine and her hip is pressing against my penis, and I want to curse again, because we're moving together, grinding against each other, and it just feels too good… too good to stop. I really want to be inside of her. I don't want to come this way, but…
"Fuck, Bella, just… fuck!"
"I know, love," she whispers. "Give it to me. Let me…"
I have no idea what she's asking for, until she reaches up, groping for my hand. I'm clutching the condom pack so hard; it takes me a moment to order my fingers to release it. And then it is no longer my concern, as Bella takes over. When she brings both her hands in front of her face to open the package, I scoot down a little so I can put my mouth around one of her nipples. They are hard and pretty, and I take turns sucking and lapping at both of them.
I lick them in slow circles and make a new memory… the feel of the tiny pebbles on her areola under my tongue? I think I never noticed those before. I flick my tongue faster and faster, until Bella moans loudly and throws her head back. The paper wrapping in her hands gives way with a ripping noise and the condoms shoot out of it like little flying saucers.
One lands between her breasts, and she quickly grabs it. We both giggle breathlessly until our lips meet, and I almost choke with happiness. It keeps bubbling up inside of me… all the happiness she gives me, the love, the excitement… pouring forward, filling me up to the very tips of my fingers that are weaving through her hair. And then it all erupts in a muffled noise I release into her mouth. I groan like an animal.
My lower half is pressed against her hip so hard it almost hurts, but it's good. Only, it's not enough. I break our kiss to tell her that, but instead, I produce that noise once more. She squirms under me and pushes at my chest, so I guess I somehow told her anyway. My body responds and follows her gentle lead just like that, and I'm hovering above her on all fours before my scattered mind has even processed her intentions.
"Stay still," she says.
I barely register what she's doing with her hands down there. My consciousness is pulverized; there's only heat and want and beauty. I look into her eyes and let the beautiful confusion consume me. I'm not afraid; I know she will make me whole again. She always, always does.
Mere fragments of thought rise and waft though my mind, like small pieces of paper in the sparking breath of an open fire, each one briefly flaring up before they curl at the edges and tumble down and fall apart…
The condom, yes. Her touch. There, oh God, there… I stay still, like she asked me to. I look at her face. Her eyelids are cast down, her gaze trained on where her fingers are working, and… oh, fuck!
I look at her and I stay still, and she doesn't say it but… there you go, right? There you go…is it done? Am I… are we…? Oh God.
Did she hear me? She looks up at me and… just please… I hope she doesn't want me to go slow! I need to be…
…of her now! I can't do slow and I can't stay still anymore. Now, please now… can I? Her hand on my cheek, warm, loving, caring. I feel grounded for a moment and close my eyes. Where's her other hand?
My thoughts keep dancing and dying in the fiery breeze, but now as I lean my face into Bella's palm with my eyes closed, they do so in slow motion. Where's her other hand? My arms are shaking. How much time do we have left? Can I just… or… will I hurt her if…? She's wet already, right? I open my eyes. I look into hers. I find my voice.
"Can I push in now?"
Please. I love you.
"Yes," she breathes. Her eyes seem to melt. Her thumb grazes my lower lip. "Yes, you beautiful, beautiful man…"
She tells me I'm beautiful. I want to laugh because that's so absurd. I want to moan because it's beyond arousing that she thinks me beautiful. I do both. And then I just moan when I reach down between us, and there's her other hand… between her own legs, collecting some of her own wetness and coating my… the condom…
"Yes, please," she whispers. "I want to feel you."
My arms are shaking violently now; I sink down on my elbows. Better. I put my hands underneath her shoulders and just hold her and let her guide me to her entrance.
My hips buck but I don't slide home. Instead of getting inside, my penis just slips between her lips, all the way up until the tip brushes over the soft mound above. She's so wet, so wet…
My need to be inside her increases tenfold. I pull back to try again, but she cries out, "Oh God, yes, again!"
I don't know what she's asking, but my hips are moving anyway. There's no stopping it any more, and I cannot go slow. I just can't. I'm thrusting away, and her hand is still there, still slick… everything is slick and hot.
Her hand is now firmly placed between her thighs, leaving just a little space for the tip of my erection to glide in between her palm and her slit. And I can tell from the noises that mingle with her breathing that I am stroking her clitoris with each movement, and she likes it.
And I like it, too. And then again, not. It's frustrating and exciting and frustrating and… I know I'm going to come. Faster and faster I go, mesmerized by the look in her eyes and the way her upper lip pulls back and bares her teeth. Her breasts are bouncing beautifully with each of my thrusts. We're both getting really vocal… no words, just noises and moans. I don't even know if I really want to be inside of her any more. But yes, I do… I think?
"Edward," she pants, and her eyes go wide.
Yes, fuck yes… my Bella, my love… so much yes! Harder, faster, almost there. I love what I'm doing to her; I love it! I'm giving her pleasure, and it's beautiful and frustrating and driving me crazy.
"Don't stop," she grinds out through clenched teeth. "Don't fucking stop!"
I don't want to stop, but this won't last much longer. There's a trembling bead of sweat stuck at the tip of my nose. It falls down and Bella closes her eyes just in time before it hits her lid. I almost lose it, and then…
"Edward, you're gonna make me come" she cries and archs her back. "Coming… oh God… Edward, now! Fuck me!" My insides go up in flames. This is it…
Her hand closes the gap; her fingers press down where she's swollen and pink and even wetter now, and with my next thrust I'm suddenly inside and feel her clamp around me. I can't even pull back once more. I'm inside, and my legs, my backside, all my muscles tense and I pulse and throb and spill myself inside her, again and again… and again…
I don't make a sound; I don't breathe. I cannot move and I cannot breathe. I can only feel, with every cell of my body, with every fiber of my being.
I can only feel. I can only be.
When the pulsating ceases, I suck in some air like an almost drowning man who just made it to the surface at the very last moment. And when I release it again, it carries the sound that means love and life and everything good in the world.
We make it just in time. I might have broken the speed limit a few times on the way, but I really wanted to drop Bella off at work punctually. However, we kind of ruin my effort by prolonging our good bye. She stays in the car, and between kisses, we tell each other in whispered words how wonderful our morning together has been, that we will miss each other during the day, and that we can't wait to be together again tonight.
I promise to never again forget to pick her up, and she says it's okay. I apologize for pestering her about the letters, and she says it's okay, too. I don't think she really understands my reasons, and it feels like a rift between our souls that she doesn't share my attitude about this. But there's nothing we can do about that now. And she is supportive nonetheless, so that'll have to do for now.
When she finally leaves the car, I wait until she's safely inside the store. I watch her having a quick exchange of words with Tanya; Bella swats her playfully and then they both laugh and look in my direction through the window. Tanya winks at me and Bella shakes her head and blushes. I wave at them, and then I drive off.
I have been thinking about Esme and the letters all morning. I woke up early to the warmth and smell of Bella next to me, and I knew I wanted to wake up like this every day for the rest of my life.
She was lying on her side, with her back to me and her hair fanned out on the pillow. And all I wanted to do then was revel in the moment, the sight and feel of her as she lay sleeping beside me, the love… always the love. So much feeling, so much love.
I wanted to look at her and maybe file through the painfully wonderful, exciting memories we both had created in the last few days, and pick one and replay it. I wanted to feel that blissful heat in my stomach and everywhere, the pull, the burning. And then I wanted to wake her up and let my hands and my mouth speak to her skin… and love her… and make more memories; those could never be taken away.
That's what I wanted. But it didn't work. The moment was tainted by the anguish I felt about how it was between Esme and I right now; my thoughts went there against my will, again and again. Like acid, it slowly ate its way through my peace of mind, perforating it to the point where I started to feel dizzy from fighting the images of letters and Esme and the fucked up family dinner – from fighting my anger.
I hate being angry. I hate the way it churns the stomach, and I hate the way it turns reasonable thinking upside down. It's almost like it has a mind of its own, invading, disrupting, making this mess inside my head. I will never understand how people can willingly hold a grudge toward someone for a long time, instead of doing everything and anything to make it stop. Don't they feel miserable?
Well, I did. Looking at the wonder before me, my sleeping girlfriend, and not being able to feel just love without the boiling heat of anger creeping its way into my thoughts made me feel incredibly miserable. It gave me ideas and images I seriously didn't want to see, and it raised questions and doubts I didn't want to process.
I even started getting mad at Bella for a second… she had been the older one, the stronger one, the normal one, the one capable of speaking and arguing! Why didn't she press Esme harder? Why did she believe Esme so easily? Why did she give up on me so soon?
What would I learn if I read the letters she had written? Did I really want to know? Maybe Esme had held them back to spare me the hurt. What if…?
My breath quickened with the rising misgivings; they made my stomach roll. Feeling anger towards your person, towards the one you love is the most horrible thing. I couldn't stand it. It was so agonizing that my chest constricted with a pained moan I could barely stifle.
No, no, no! I knew she had missed me; she said so. I knew she had never come to know how I had been begging for her to talk to me; those letters were all still sealed. I knew she loved me. I knew, I knew… and yet the anger and confusion wouldn't cease. And I wanted it to go away so badly.
Desperately, I leaned my forehead against her shoulder and whispered her name. She didn't wake up, but turned her head and rubbed her temple against my hair. Even in her sleep, she was responding to my touch, and as if that was all the answer I needed, the anger stopped. But the thoughts didn't.
So I decided to get up and make breakfast for us. I wanted to wake Bella early enough to sit down with me so we could talk. I needed to get the poison out of my system. I wanted to make peace with Esme, so I would be free to enjoy all the good that has come into my life.
I am home. I have my own place. I have a job that allows me to do what I love; rehearsals will begin next week, and I need a clear mind for that, too.
I have a girlfriend, and not any girlfriend – I have Bella. My Bella. And wasn't it Esme who gave her to me in the first place? She brought her into my life and let her become my Easybella, and whatever madness it was that made her keep us apart, I cannot believe she meant any harm. And maybe I had done my part, too? It's not like I had talked a lot as a child to make my needs understood, right?
And Carlisle… just when I feel like I'm finally getting somewhere with him, that shit had to happen and drive us apart again? This mustn't be. It's not worth it.
I have a family, and it's a precious gift. Not everyone is that lucky; I of all people should remember that. I have a family and a girlfriend I love. I even made a friend, if you want to call Tanya that. I think she's a friend. I have all that, and I should feel blessed and happy, instead of angry and doubtful.
What good does it do to feel angry? I have Bella back, so all's good in the end. And the past cannot be changed anyway. Both Esme and I are hurting; that has to stop first of all. We need to sort out the how's and why's, but later… much later. First we must stop the hurt and the anger.
I know that the ball is in my court. Neither Bella nor my parents will do anything or press me about the matter. They will be waiting for me to come around like always, right?
'At my own pace' as they used to say, meaning well but not realizing how much responsibility they always loaded onto me with that. How can you go at your own pace when their well-being is so clearly linked to your progress? It had never really been my own pace…
But it is what it is. I will take the responsibility; because if I don't, the situation will remain as it is for too long to not cause more damage. And I won't have it that way. Now that I know love, I want to love. No drama in my life.
It's all up to me, right?
Around eleven a.m., I have finally unpacked all my bags that were still untouched since the day of my arrival. I have done the laundry and cleaned the kitchen. I've made the bed but haven't changed the sheets because I like that they smell of love. I've dusted off the piano and vacuumed the carpet. Also, I have successfully fought back three minor anxiety attacks.
At 11:30, I call Bella. She makes me wait four rings before she answers, and I'm close to hyperventilating again.
I breathe a sigh of relief at the sound of her voice.
"Edward, is something wrong? Why are you calling?"
Shit, I didn't say anything. Talking over the phone is still the hardest thing, even with Bella. I seriously need more practice.
"I just wanted to know whether you're okay."
I hear her snicker. "Edward, I am at work. Why wouldn't I be okay?"
"I don't know." I just had a feeling. I'm being irrational.
I can hear voices in the background. Of course, there are customers and Bella is probably busy. I shouldn't have called. I suck at it anyway. It's so annoying that phone calls still scare me. I suck when it's all reduced to words and a soulless technical device to transport them. Words bear too much power when they travel on their own.
"Edward, would you please say something? I'm getting worried here; are you all right?"
Shit, I didn't mean to make her worry. Even the lack of words has the power to produce unfortunate results when words are all you have.
"I need to get back to work. Please say something, Edward. Do you need anything? Should I –"
"I love you."
There's a moment of silence, except for the mumbling in the background. Then she says, "I love you, too." I can hear her smile, and I smile back at her even though she can't see me.
"I'm all right," I say. And because I know how much I suck on the phone, I add, "I'm smiling now, just so you know."
"That's good, love. I'm smiling, too."
"Okay, see you later then?"
"Later then." I can't wait. "I'll pick you up."
"I can't wait," she says, repeating my thought, and hangs up. I'm smiling even more. I like it.
Well, that wasn't too bad. I think about what to do next for a minute, then I press the only other speed dial I have on my cell. This time, my call is answered after the first ring.
I don't wait for her to say anything. And I use her secret name to let her know right away that things will be all right and that I mean it.
"Mom, we need to talk."