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Chapter 1: Prologue: Thks F r Th Mmrs Six months before the beginning BPOV I am just so sick of everything.

So sick and annoyed and depressed and I dont even know what anymore. Every single thing I thought I knew, I wanted, I planned, I hoped for none of seems worth a fucking lick to me anymore. For years I busted my ass in school. I was not an intellect by nature. I struggled for As in some subjects. I spent all night studying for things like Chemistry and Calculus. My brain knew one thingpoetry. Seeing life in words. I could spend hours with a pen and a notebook and I wouldnt even know where the time went. I disappeared in my own head, the words shifting around into phrases and sentences that shed pieces of me onto the page. Now it doesnt even matter worth a shit. Two years ago, I was accepted to the prestigious writers program at Radcliffe College, the womens college and sister school to Harvard. When I arrived, I had so many high hopes. It all seemed so limitless. And then it all unraveledno singular cataclysmit just lost

momentum painfully slowly, sputtered, and then stopped altogether. My life just devolved little by little. First I noticed how outpaced I was by my classmates. I was just one lonely goldfish in a sea of aquatic life. Some of my fellow writers had already been published in some of the most selective publicationsas high school students! I was the editor-in-chief of the Forks High School literary journal, by way of comparison. During those writing courses I attended where we critiqued each other, I was unanimously bashed and simply dismissed as someone who tried hard but couldnt actually deliver. With each criticism my soul slowly shrank until it became so small I didnt even know what the fuck happened to it. The courses in other subjects that were required, but not part of my major, were an exercise in agony. I was forced to hire tutors and spent so many hours cramming just to get a C or even a D. And every second I devoted to these other subjects robbed me of the precious time I needed to grind away at my notebook, gently stabbing at its pages with my pencil, struggling to find what the fuck it was I wanted to say

because I didnt know anymore. I also learned a hard lesson just by way of living with a large group of womenthey could be catty, merciless and interminably cruel. Each and every one of them seemed to already have a social niche she fit into. Everyone was a friend of a friend if not closer. Everyone except me. I never got invited to the parties where Harvard boys prowled in packs looking for a nice girl to take him to mommy. My roommate freshman year looked as if it pained her to spend time with me, so as a sophomore I decided to get a single room. It was off in a corner of the dormitory further from all campus activity and I spent as much time as I could just sealed shut in there, breathing in the old stale air from generations ago by women long dead and forgotten just like I intended to be. Then toward the end of second year, I met a nice Harvard student named Jacob. He was auditing a class at Radcliffe in women writers, of all things. He was a charming and sweet soul, or so it seemed. We found ourselves dating after a couple of weeks and it felt like I had something positive in my life after so much frustration and sadness. I wasnt lonely anymore.

One weekend I was up late studying when Jacob came to my room. He was slurring his words and very obviously drunk. It was funny at first, watching him sway back and forth and struggling to keep his concentration. I liked it when he put his arms around me to hold me and kiss me. But as his kissing grew more urgent and his hands began groping harder and wasnt funny or nice anymore. Come on Bells, he said, Just want to love you, he urged. Jacob said such things when he wanted something forgiveness, patience, a blow job. Somehow hed coaxed me out of my shirt and bra. I tried convincing him that he was too drunk for either of us to enjoy this but he resisted every attempt I made to get him to stop. Soon he became angry that I was talking so much. Before I knew it, he pushed me to knees and pulling me by my hair, forced himself into my mouth. Thats when I bit down hard enough to draw blood. Jacob howled in pain and I took my chance to grab my shirt and run out of the room. He followed quickly behind me, screaming so loud, the entire dorm was drawn out of their rooms and into the hallways,

listening for what they must have thought was a wonderfully salacious and entertaining fight. He hollered incessantly about how I was a frigid, dispassionate bitch with no spirit. I was like a lonely blob with no personality, and that he was doing me a favor by teaching me how to be a cocksucker because now maybe Id have something to offer the opposite sex. Id never had sex before and those blow jobs were as far as I gone with a boy. Before that night Id considered our romantic encounters beautiful and special. Now I felt disgusted and ashamed of those moments. I dread ever being that close with another human being. I just dread it. I dont know if Ill bother sharing myself with another man ever againeither emotionally or physically. When I was in high school, I had all sorts of girlish notions of what it meant to be in love and how it could be a force stronger than a person could control. Cupid pre-determined what was to be, and you accepted it, not with resignation, but with the rapture of fresh love and the thrill of new and delicious pleasures. I now know better. All of that is the biggest pile of bullshit ever known to the history of human mythology. Today is my last day in this Godforsaken place. Ive packed

all my belongings and taken my last final. Radcliffe, Harvard, Cambridge and everything else connected to this painful existence of mine can simply go fuck itself senseless. Im moving to Seattle, not far from my hometown of Forks. My closest friends from high school go to UW, so Ill be crashing at the apartment of my girlfriends Ali and Rose. Theyve graciously offered me a fold out couch and some space in their fridge. Ill need to find a job. Ill need to find a purpose. Ill find a reason to give a shit again. Ill need to find out why Im on this planet. Ill need to find how to have a happy life instead of just a half-way tolerable shitty one. And God willing, Ill need to find out what it means to have fun. Ill keep at that or die trying. EPOV Ill never forgot two things: the look on Tanyas face when I asked her to marry me and the look on her face when I caught her fucking another guy shortly thereafter. Wed been dating since college. Her parents and mine were old friends since we were kids. We went to the same private schoolkids of privilege, to be sure. But I tried to be the best son I could despite how my

mother doted on me and my father trusted me as if I were his equal. My father instilled in me a solid moral compass. He was an emergency room physician even though he couldve made a much better income in private practice. My mother was extremely caring and saw me as someone who could do no wrong in her eyes. I tried to live up to that. Tanya and I both ended up in Boston for college. I went to Harvard and she went to Wellesley. We were happy and the time went by quickly. I studied business and computer science, having plans to enter the high tech sector. After that, we moved to Philadelphia together so I could enter the MBA program at Penn. From there I started my career as a management consultant in Seattle. As soon as I was making a decent living, I asked Tanya to marry me. We were skiing in Tellurideher parents had a chalet there and it was one of her favorite places to go. She was ecstatic but seemed not to be very surprised. Wed been headed in that direction for some time. Life had been a predictable series of steps for me organized, methodical and easy to predict once Id had a plan

set in motion. I rather liked it that way. As clich as it is, I lived by the old Boy Scouts motto: Be Prepared. I was always prepared. It made everything so much easier if you could plan for what was to come. I followed my plan meticulously. First, my plan was to be a good student and work as diligently as possible. I followed through and was successful. My family came from old money but their affluence and connections werent necessary for me to advance. I worked for all of it simply because I could and I wanted to. Second, my plan was to be as successful in my career as possible. I began working in internships as soon as I could every summer during college, semesters abroad, programs offered through my graduate program. With every handshake, every late night I worked, every task I piled onto my plate, I moved closer and closer to realizing my goals. Third, my plan was to have a happy home life. Tanya fit in perfectly with this. She was pretty, sophisticated and came from the world I was raised in. We enjoyed the time we spent togetherskiing, going to museums, enjoying the theatre. She wasnt terribly cerebral

but that suited me fine. I had other outlets for satisfying my intellectual pursuits. Our sex life was satisfying albeit not very adventurous. I had often wondered how shed react if I asked to try things that were different but I feared shed become skittish so I never broached the subject. If there was one thing lacking in my relationship with Tanya, it was that our temperaments matched rather poorly. I consider myself a very even-keeled person with a dry sense of humor. Tanya was almost childlike in her interactions when it suited her. She was quick to tantrum if she didnt get what she wanted, and I learned early on that it was just easier to give in than to fight with her. It was difficult to be playful with Tanya because she was a rather literal thinker. Most of the time, my attempts at making her laugh would fall flat. There were many instances where I had to explain why something I said was humorous. It seemed like a minor trifling, however, in the grand scheme of things. So up until now I had managed to see my plans through nicely. Then one day I came home from work early with a bad case

of food poisoning. I was barely able to get myself home and with my cell dead, I was unable to get in touch with Tanya before getting there. I arrive to a quiet house but all the lights are on. After going into the bathroom to vomit for the tenth time that day, I walk down the hall to the bedroom where the door is shut but I can hear Tanya yelling, in obvious distress. Bursting through the door, I see Tanya naked, sitting on top of our handyman, riding his tool. I was incorrect. Her yelling was not one of distress. And I spent the rest of the night in a motel, vomiting. The housekeeper came first thing in the morning, at my request, to pack all of Tanyas things and put them anywhere but in my sight. She moved back to Chicago and I havent seen her since. So my third plan was a miserable failure. I have come up with a new plan though. I would like to find my sense of humor again because somewhere in all this planning and failed attempts at happiness, I lost my ability to laugh or to even try to laugh. Id like to think that theres something that can repair this fracture in my spirit. My two good friends, Emmett and Jasper, are work colleagues of mine and have both been trying, rather

unsuccessfully to help me loosen up. I didnt realize it was necessary but I try to be a good sport about it. So far all the blind dates theyve set me up on with various relatives or friends of friends have been nothing short of a disaster. I drew the line at being set up with Emmetts second cousin Gladys who had a glass eye and a body odor problem. Six months later Im taking a much needed day off from work today since I have a lot of accumulated vacation time. I decide to just relax and have an easy day to myself. Setting my sights on doing some shopping, I head over to University Village, the shopping plaza on the UW campus. I amble by the Apple Store and stop to look at the latest iPod. Its ironic, really, for me to be considering a purchase from this place. Looking at all the various gadgets for a minute, my eyes begin to wander at the people milling by inside the store. And then I see her. The sweetest angel face Ive ever seen. And I dont ever recall once in my entire life calling something the sweetest angel face before now. Her face and my reaction to it stop me in my tracks and Im glued to the spot Im standing on. She notices me then and

her face turns the most incredible shade of creamy pink. And then I do something I havent done in a long time. I smile. And God help me, she smiles back. Chapter 2: Brass in Pocket BPOV The last six months of my life have been better than I couldve imagined. I now realize just how burnt out and unhappy I was when I quit school. It wasnt something I really wanted to donot finish college, but I felt there really was no other option. I was so incredibly sad and just unfulfilled. I needed a rest. Now how long of a rest I need is still unclear but I do know that one day Ill find my way back to college to earn my degree. But at the moment, Im working a fun retail job that keeps me busy and Im just happy as a clam. When I got to Seattle, my friends were so happy to have me and I was elated to be with them. After all that time cooped up with those snobby Radcliffe women who never saw me as a real equal, it was so nice to be around friends who genuinely loved me. So whats your plan Bella? Rosalie asked me. I dont have a plan. Thats my plan, I told her.

Are you going to get a job? she asked. Yeah, Ill look around, maybe one of the places in the Village is hiring, I replied. Well that ought to be a change for you, interacting with people all day, she said with a knowing smile. Rose often teased me for being such an introvert. Quit teasing, Rose, Alice interjected, Bella wants to switch it up a little bit, figure herself out a little, right? she asked, turning to me. Thats absolutely right. Starting right now, Im doing my own thing and if it means eating crackers in my fold-out bed, Ill do it, I say, deadpan. Power to the people! I add, raising my fist up next to my head. Dont go crazy now, Bella, Rose said, shaking her head. Seriously though, is that really all youre going to do, work in retail and bum around on our couch? Alice asked, I mean, thats totally fine if thats what you want but you always were an over-achiever, this really is different for you, she added. I know it is. Its justGod, Im so burnt out I have no direction right now, you know? I ask rhetorically. And I feel like Im not even sure why I put so much effort into everything when it just didnt seem worth it

after all, I added. Well then it sounds like you definitely need some kind of change of pace, Alice replied. Yep. And I just want to make up for all the time I spent cramming and obsessing over every little thing for school, I said with a sigh. While everyone else was out being a teenager and acting stupid, I lived like a 40 year old woman with 6 cats and a Hummel figurine collection to keep her company, I joked. So, what, youre gonna get your nipples pierced and a tattoo on your ass? Rose asked because, like always, she tends to just cut to the chase. Nipples? What are those? I asked. I dont even think I have sex organs anymore. They left to join the circus, I joked. Nice, Alice said, laughing. Girl we have got to get you some ass, she declared. Oh God, I said, covering my face, Please, dont push anyone on me, seriously, Im beggingnot after Jacob, I plead, my expression suddenly serious. Bella, Alice said, looking upset for me, Come on, sweetie, I dont want to force you to do anything, but I do think you deserve to be happy and to move on, she consoled, patting

my hand. I know. I justneed to be my own person for a while, I replied, looking down at my coffee. It wasnt long after that conversation in Ali and Roses kitchen that I put my plan for no plans into action. First, I went to the University Village shopping center and asked around if anyone was hiring. I walked into the Apple Store just for the hell of it. Im not really all that techie, but Ive been a devoted Mac user ever since I got my first computer when I was in high school. On a lark, I filled out an application and handed my resume to the manager. He looked up at me after glancing over it and asked me some questions. Youre not in school? he asked. I blushed, feeling embarrassed that he was acknowledging something I saw as a flaw and a shortcoming. No, Im taking some time off right now, I replied, trying to make it sound somewhat less negative. Thats good actually because most my people are in school and when exams roll around or theres a break, no one wants to work and Im short-staffed, he explained. Oh, OK. Well, I dont have any other commitments, I pretty much have a wide open schedule, I replied.

Tell me what you know about Apple, he asked. From there I ended up having a 45 minute long conversation with him and was hired on the spot. I worked so many hours and learned the products so well in my first two months that my manager, James, recommended me for Apple certification training so that I could handle some tech support as well as straight sales. If that worked out well, I stood a good chance to train at Apple headquarters and get promoted to full techsupport person, or as Apple called the position, a Genius. Ironic that I never felt like a genius at the things I worked so hard at, but when I practically fall into something on a whim, all of a sudden Im a genius. My job filled a lot of the empty space Id been feeling inside. First, it made me feel productive, which in and of itself was fantastic. The pay was alright, decent enough that I could actually contribute toward the rent for Ali and Rose as well as buy necessities for myself. Also, work provided me with a new social network but it was so different than how it was at college. For one thing, tech geeks are awesomethey just are. I never felt so comfortable around people before. They

were just accepting and easy going. Weird was a good thing. Awkward was not a dirty word and neither was shy. Well Im all three of those things and it was a welcome change of pace to feel like none of those traits were negative. And like me, most of them craved living out loud and being their own person. When Im not working, Ali, Rose and I like to spend our free time going out to various campus parties or just hanging out at the apartment. Their building is rented out almost entirely to other UW students so theres always someone coming over or people hanging out on another floor drinking, playing video games and watching TV. I found myself getting into some hobbies I never thought Id like. When I started working at the store, I was amazed by my co-workers fascination with video games. I mean nerds love video games. Someone brought their Wii in one day to hook up in the break room and just for kicks, I tried playing it and never looked back. That was months ago. Since then I used some of my saved up birthday and Christmas cash to buy a Wii of my own. And I freaking rock at Super Mario Galaxy. I love that game.

And at long last, Ive started reading books just for the fuck of it. Ill walk into the library or a bookstore and if something catches my eye, I read it. It doesnt matter if its a trashy romance novel or Ernest Hemingwayif it interested me, Ill read it. Id gotten so used to having things forced on me, either because it was required for school or because it was something written by the latest darling of the literary world that it just sucked all the joy out of it for me. There was one part of me that Ive lost that I do actually miss. I havent written one line of poetry in more than six months. Its the longest Ive gone without writing literally ever. I have some kind of weird writers block and honestly I dont even have the desire to figure out whats causing it, even if there is a reason. I just want to leave it be. Work has been extremely hectic this week with the holidays coming up. Ive been working extra shifts to help out with the big crowds that have been turning up. I get to the store a few minutes before my shift starts and get settled in. I see a lot of my usual group of work friends. One of them, Seth, comes over to say hi. Seth is just the sweetest guy youd ever want to

meet. Hes a couple of years younger than me and has a boyish quality to him. Hes so friendly its almost disarming, you feel comfortable around him almost immediately. What up, B? he asks, hitting my shoulder softly with his fist. What it is, S-hole, I tell him. He hates it when I call him that even though he always laughs. You got a boyfriend yet, B? he teases. I dunno, can I date one of yours? I snap back. Ohhh, B goes for the throat today. You must be on the rag, girl, he says, not giving up. I am laughing though because only Seth can tease in such a playful non-offensive way. Alright, I dont have time for your foolishness, I tell him. Some of us give a shit that costumers are here and want to spend their money, I add jokingly. PMS called, it wants its bitchiness back, he says with a straight face. Hey, that would be funny if it wasnt sounfunny, I reply, walking out of the stockroom and onto the floor. He gives me the finger and I reciprocate. Im wearing my usual work attireblue t-shirt (company issued,) employee badge on a lanyard around my neck, baggy black cargo pants and a pair of Heely sneakers that

are my favorite pair of shoes. Heelys are great because theyre a cross between a regular sneaker and a rollerskate. Theres a little wheel in the heel part of the shoe so that when you put your weight on them the right way, you just start coasting. Now the fact that I would wear something like this astounded Rose and Ali when I brought these shoes home from the store. And I didnt blame them for being shocked because the simple fact was I am a completely uncoordinated, clumsy oaf. Except on wheels. Im not sure why it is, but I trip more when I walk then when I roll. I think I must have some weird inner ear problem that adjusts itself when I skate. I got so good on the Heelys that I bought myself a skateboard. I fell around ten thousand times the first week I had it but after a month or so, I got good enough to shred to work and back. I dont have a car or even a bike, so its the skateboard or my feet. My shift is going smoothly enough. Its pretty early in the day, close to lunch time so there arent too many people in the store. I busy myself with rearranging some iPods we have on display right by the front window. I have a new appreciation for tasks that dont

involve a lot of thought, where I just use my hands and let my mind wander. I used to love to daydreamI came up with my best poems when I spaced out. My hands are busy plugging away when I start thinking about some of my favorite poetry. Lately my brain has been coming up with a lot of sappy love poems for some reason. I think Im just horny. One of the best from e.e. cummings pops into my head, and it just puts me in a very happy, warm mood. your slightest look easily will unclose me though i have closed myself as fingers, you open always petal by petal myself as Spring opens (touching skilfully,mysteriously)her first rose I know that Ive closed myself up and I struggle to open back up again and maybe even let out parts of me Ive always kept hidden. I highly doubt a man would help any of that along, but I guess it doesnt hurt to fantasize. My eyes glaze over and dont fix on anything in particular. Somewhere in my peripheral vision, I feel someone looking at me and I turn my head as the romantic words of e.e. cummings continue to softly drift in my head. i do not know what it is about you that closes

and opens Its a person. Well, of course its a person, you idiot, I tell myself. Its a mana ridiculously good looking man who must be looking at something behind me. He cant be more than a few feet away from me and were separated only by a wall of glass. I look right into his eyes because its like Ive been sucked into some crazy vortex. Theyre an insane green color with long eyelashes. Theyre indescribable, which for me is really out of the ordinary because that doesnt happen very oftenwhen a writer cant describe something in words, thats kind of a big deal. And then cummings whispers in my ear again. only something in me understands the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses His mouth starts to curl on one side. Beautiful red lipsMy face cant help itself. I smile back before I can think of something else to do. I instantly feel idiotic and start to blush because this guy must be talking to his girlfriend on the phone or somethingI can see the earpiece in his ear. But then when he slowly licks his lips, I go a little paralyzed and drop all the iPods Im holding. They crumble away from me and Im

suddenly snapped out of my stupid daze. I can feel my blush get hotter and redder, so I just bend down and hide behind the display, hoping desperately that this guy just goes on about his life and keeps walking. His staring at me simply disturbs the natural order of things. Maybe if I just hang out here, low to the ground, hell be gone when I get back up again. Can I help you with that? I hear as Im hunched over and staring at the floor. That voice sounds likesex in the middle of the woods on a hot summer day. What the fuck put that simile in my head? Ive never had sex at all, much less outdoors. I look up expecting to see some Dweebert who happens to have a nice voice. But thats not who I see. Its the guy who, if the universe knew what it was doing, shouldnt have been staring at me a minute ago. Hes leaning over and smiling again. Those indescribable eyes are on me again too. I can feel my own eyes go wide and I swallow hard. Jesus Im nervous. The pretty it makes me allemptyheaded, yet scared shitless. He sucks on his lower lip and tilts his head slightly, looking

thoughtful. Are you OK? Can I help you out? he asks, raising an eyebrow. Pull yourself together Swan, he probably needs to know where the bathroom is. Yeah, sure, you help yourself, I blurt out, Freudian style, cos thats how I roll. He smirks at me. Can I please eat your smirk? Just kinda chew on it softly? I promise Ill give it back. Eventually. I mean, no Im fine, I just need to pick this stuff up and put it back, I reply, not really able to look at him for more than a second or two and a time. I crouch down now to pick everything up and he does the same, only we both lean over a little too quickly and without being careful. Our foreheads knock together with a distinct nuck sound. We gasp an Ow! in unison and laugh. Sorry, did I hurt you? he asks. This is strange because I knocked into his head but hes wondering if he hurt me. No, no. Im fine. And sorry, I shouldve been more careful, I say, rubbing my forehead lightly. Dont worry about it. I could use a little brain jostling now

and again, reminds me theres something in there, he jokes, pointing to the side of his head. My face breaks into a big smile and I laugh. I do love a nice bit of self-effacing humor, after all. He almost looks surprised, like I wasnt supposed to think that was funny. I can get the rest of these, thanks, I say, picking up the boxes from the floor. Hey, Im looking for someone he says but I cut him off. Yeah, thats what I thought. I knew there had to be a good reason why you were talking to me. Oh, Leah isnt here yet. Her shift hasnt started, I reply. Leah is Seths very pretty, very charming older sister who constantly has guys coming in and asking for her. He has a puzzled look on his face. I dont know any Leah. Should I? he asks. Now I have a puzzled look on my face. Sorry, its just that my friend Leah usually gets a lot of really hot, gorgeous guys asking for her, I explain, not able to control my verbal spewage. So, I thought, because you know, you look, like that, you must be looking for her? I yammer like the buffoon that I am. Jumping Jehosophat, Swan. Just SHUT THE FUCK UP ALREADY.

Nope, still not looking for anyone named Leah, he smiles as he shakes his head. Well, who are you looking for? I ask, feeling not just stupid but also confused. Im looking for someone who can show me around the store, he says. Oh, I can do that, I answer, smiling weakly. I walk him through all our product displays, showing off the various Mac laptops and desktops, along with the iPhones and iPods. He asks about a million questions and I try to answer every one as best I can. Maybe hes a spy from corporate sent to do quality control or something. As I walk around the store, I feel less and less awkward, slipping back into my comfort zone where I just do my job and make sure I keep my customers happy. The gorgeous guy Im showing around seems more at ease too. I catch him looking at me when hes supposed to be looking at something Im showing him. Well, thats pretty much it, I say, a good half and hour after I began my little tour of the store. Thanks, I learned a lot, he says, smiling that hot half smile at me.

I should take my lunch break now. I can have another team member help you out if youd like, I say, hoping this little surprise check by corporate is done already. He looks thoughtful, like hes debating something in his head. Um, can I walk you out? he asks, looking pretty sheepish. Uh, yeah OK, I reply, not really knowing what else to say. Im wondering why he seems so interested in me. I grab my backpack and we head towards the front of the store. He holds the door open for me. Thanks, I say, smiling. I glide on my heels now, afraid that if I dont, I might trip over a speck of dust and make an ass out of myself. Hey, youre rolling, he says, looking at my feet with a quizzical expression. Yup. My shoes have wheels on them, I explain, smiling. I like that, very unique, he says, smiling back at me. I stop in front of a nice shaded bench and look at my walking buddy. I have a packed lunch, so I was just going to sit here and eat it. You can hang out with me, you know, if you want, I say, getting the courage to be a little forward from somewhere. Sure, if thats OK, he replies, looking sweet and a little

helpless. Ha. I am impervious to the nice guy routine. I fell for it once. Never again, dude. You know, Skater Girl, I dont know your name, he says, talking a seat next to me and smirking again. I look down and notice that my ID badge is on backwards. No one wonder he doesnt know my namehe cant see it. I dont know yours either, Tie Guy, I joke back, motioning at the tie around his neck and then open my bag and take out my lunch. Im Edward, he says as he puts his hand out for me to shake it. I put down my lunch and shake his handits oddly beautiful, with long fingers. Id never really been one to notice a guys hands before. But his are masculinely feminine? Boyishly girlish? I find myself running out of words again and that cant be a good sign. Im Bella, I say back, pulling my lunch out of my bag. Is that what youre eating for lunch? he asks, looking a little stunned. What, its just peanut butter, I say. Yeah but its still in the jar, he points out like I didnt notice. I brought a spoon, I argue, clearly not understanding what

the issue is. Youre eating peanut butter straight from the jarfor lunch? he asks, needing further clarification. Well I didnt have time to make a sandwich. I overslept this morning. I went to bed really late last night, I explain as I scoop a spoonful of p.b. out of the jar and eat it. Out with your boyfriend, perhaps? he asks, being so very unsuccessful at subtly probing if Im attached. Nope. I dont have one of those. Not at the moment, anyway, I reply, not wanting to seem like a total shut-in, even though I am. Out partying? he guesses again, incorrectly. Nope. Just hanging out at home. Playing video games, I say. He eyes me curiously. I eye him back. I like his reddish brown hair. Its all nuts and chaotic, and thicklike a comb could break trying to go through it. I avoid the ocular area because I dont want to drool into my peanut butter. Hes oddly clean-cut but not. The hair doesnt jibe for one thing, and hes got a nice 5 oclock shadow going, but the rest of him looks very neatly put together. Hes wearing a button down oxford with a tie and black flat front khakis that hang nice and

loose, like they should on a young, hot, insanely gorgeous fellow like him. His face is serious but at the same time boyish. I like his angled jaw and square chin, they make him look sophisticated. But then the brow is kind of heavy and gives him a slightlycavemanish look. But it all fits together in a way that most women would look at and say reproduce with me, wont you? Skater Girl, I dont mean to sound forward, but you dont look or act old enough to workare you in high school? he asks, looking a little freaked out. I start laughing. A lot. Noooo, my high school days are over. Im twentynot even a teenager anymore, I tell him. But thanks for the complimentthat I act young, I add, smiling. Does that surprise you, being told that? he asks, looking surprised himself. It does, actually, because I feel a lot older on the inside, I confide. This guy is gonna take off and not look back. Oh yeah? I know what thats like, he says, smiling slightly. You do? Would you like some peanut butter? I ask, offering him my

jar and spoon. He raises an extremely attractive eyebrow at me. Its just peanut butter, it wont kill you, I say, It might make you a little thirsty but thats about it, I add, laughing. Alright Skater Girl, if its what the cool kids are doing, he replies, giving in and taking the spoon and jar from me. I open my bag of Cheetos and start crunching away. How can you eat that? he asks, looking at my crunchy orange snack. What? Its cheese. Cheese has protein and calcium. Its very nutritious, I argue lightly. I dont know what that glowing nuclear dust is, but I strongly suspect its not actual cheese and Im sure the FDA would agree with me, he replies with a straight face. I smile broadly and laugh. He gives me that look again, like hes surprised Id laugh. Why are looking at me like that? I tease. You were making a joke, right? Is it strange to react with laughter to a joke where you come from? I tease more. No, it isnt, he says, smiling. Its just that normally my humor is a little left field and people dont always get it, he explains, tilting his head and running his hand through his hair.

A-ha. That explains the follicular dissonance. Its not left field, at least not what Ive heard. Maybe theyre not laughing because youre not as funny as you think you are? I say, sarcastically offering a new theory. You know, you might be on to something there, he replies tapping his chin and taking another opportunity to make fun of himself. So Tie Guy, what are you doing here in the middle of the day, shouldnt you be in an office somewhere, slaving away at your cubicle? I ask, curiosity getting the better of me. Ordinarily, I would be. Well, not in a cube because I have my own office. But I took the day off today, he replies. You have the day off and youre wearing a tie? I ask, unable to resist teasing him. He seems a little embarrassed as he looks down at what hes wearing. Well yeah, but this is one of my fun ties. Seeit has little bottles of Tabasco on it, he replies, lifting his tie up so I can see it. I peak at it and chuckle. What do you do, anyway? I ask. Im a management consultantit means I help businesses he starts. fix their problems, I say for him, I know what it means,

Tie Guy, I inform him. Just because I work in retail doesnt mean Im a mental midget you know, I tell him and smirk. I didnt mean that, I was just he tries to explain, looking really uncomfortable. Dont worry about it, I was teasing, I say, using my cheeto to help myself to some of the peanut butter. God, thats horrible, what youre doing! he says, laughing and shaking his head. Youre getting toxic cheeto particles all over the peanut butter, he complains, pointing with the spoon. See, thats my area right there, and its all orange now, he laments sadly. Your area? What, you own that side of the jar? You have a deed or something, Mr. Guy? I shoot back in mock anger. Its just common peanut butter etiquette, he says, smiling. So whats your story, are you student? Do you go to the UW? he asks. No. I dont go to school, I tell him trying to sound casual. You dont? Huh. You seem really smart, he says. Yeah, university of hard knocks and all that, I say, shrugging my shoulders. Where did you go before stopping? he presses. Nowhere. Im a loser with no past. I graduated from high school and just bummed around. I

got this job six months ago, I lie. He doesnt need to hear how I had this dream for myself for as long as I could remember until I realized I wasnt capable of actually making it happen. So I just quit. Id rather say I never tried to begin with. It seems a lot less pathetic. What about youwhere did you go to college? I ask, wanting to change the subject. I got my undergrad degree from Harvard, he replies. God, a Harvard guy. Thank God I didnt mention Radcliffe and how much I hated it. Wow, you must be smart, I say like an idiot. He laughs at that. I dont feel very smart. It was a good experience. I loved living in Boston. Have you ever been there? he asks. Boston? I repeat, pursing my lips. No, never been there, I add. Liar, liar, pants on fire. Then I went to Wharton for my MBA. Sorry, Wharton is the he says but I interrupt him again. Wharton is the business school at the University of Pennsylvania. Yeah, I know, I reply. Are you sure you didnt go to college? he asks suspiciously.

Yes, Tie Guy. I just like going to the library, I say, trying to brush him off. Do you have a friend who goes to an Ivy League school? he asks. I laugh at that. His tingly spidey senses are cracking me up. Why, would their brains rub off on me, like a contagion? I joke and we both laugh. Hey, youve got a little something on your nose, he says, Unless this is some kind of fancy face cream, I dont think it belongs there, he jokes. He takes the napkin thats sitting between us and gently rubs the peanut butter off the tip of my nose. I cant avoid the ocular area now. I stare right into his green eyes and its like everything around us melts away like Dali painting. Those eyes could kill a woman or at least make her die with a smile on her face. Thank you, Edward, I say, smiling and looking away. Youre welcome, Bella, he says back to me. I look at my watch and sigh. I should get going, my break is nearly over, I say, trying not to sound as disappointed as I feel. OK, can I walk you back? he asks, looking all sweet and lost again.

Sure, I reply, smiling. Waitfirst you have to help me finish these Cheetos, I dare. He peers at the bag of chips in my hand skeptically. I suppose I could try one, he says, closing one eye. We walk down the street, sharing my crunchy cheese flavored snack. When we get to the front of the store we stop to say our goodbyes. It was nice meeting you, Skater Girl, thanks for sharing your rather unorthodox meal with me, he says with cheek. It was nice meeting you too, Tie Guy, I reply. And thanks for keeping me company, I add in a soft voice. He puts his hand out and I shake it. He looks down at his hand and notices how orange it is and tries rubbing it off but to the trained Cheeto aficionado, this just means hes only spreading it around more. When he tried dusting off his hands on his khakis, he leaves a long orange fingerprint right on his crotch. And my eyes fix on it, staring like a fool before I can stop myself. Im in some kind of weird peen trance and I cant tear my eyes away. I go all Freudian again and lick my lips. Edward clears his throat loudly.

I literally shake my head to snap out of my peen trance. Umm, bye Edward, I mutter quickly. Bye, Bella, he replies, but Im already turned away and walking back inside the store. Theres no way hell ever want to see me again. Not after I stared at his junk like his orange fingerprint was pointing to it and telling me free to good home. Chapter 3: The Way She Moves EPOV My alarm goes off at exactly 6:00am, just like it does everyday. I sit up incredibly fast and feel a little dizzy from doing so. I wait a moment for it to pass and climb out of bed. I pull the blankets up, tucking them in around the sides and fluff my pillows before pulling the comforter up. I smooth over the wrinkles with my hand. Stepping back to admire my now crinkle-free bed, I glance at the clock and realize its time for my run. I laid out my clothes the evening prior, like I always do, and quickly dress. Im putting on my shoes and snicker to myself remembering Bella and the wheels on hers. Skater Girl is definitely someone that I am very interested in seeing again. She is unlike anyone I have ever

met. Not only is she incredibly smart and beautiful, she is completely unpredictable. This is not something that Im really used to. Its difficult for me to fathom not planning ahead, like what Im going to have for lunch. Im not someone that would end up with a jar of peanut butter and Cheetos, thats for sure. Just thinking about Bella and her oddball food combination brings a smile to my face. Who does that? It was the most disgusting food pairing that I have ever seen and yet it seemed so normal for her. I stand up and begin stretching. Carelessness equates to injury. I have no time to accommodate for such things by my own hand. It is most important that all precautions are taken beforehand. Rules are in place for a reason. Im stretching my calves and I briefly wonder if Skater Girl stretches before she skates. I suspect she does not take such precautions. A wave of concern hits me right then. I would hate for her to injure a hamstring. I make a mental note to broach the subject lightly when I see her again. Nothing unfortunate should happen to that beautiful shapely legcreamy white, smooth, dainty leg

with perfect tone and soft to the touch. My touch. I very much want to feel that leg with my hand. And I would love to lift it gently and wrap it around my waist... Im no longer able to bend over comfortably at this point. The thought of her leg has me all wound up and my dick is hard as a rock. Its poking me in the stomach. I try shifting it this way and that, but to no avail. I look at the clock. I know I can retreat to my bathroom and take care of the problem in 3.46 minutes, but that is not part of my stretching routine. That is for the shower. I attempt to press forward with my stretches, but really its nothing that feels pleasant. I glance at the clock and consider it possible that I could beat my previous record. If I can take care of it now, then I can shave that time off my shower. Rushing to the bathroom, I close the door and lock it. Its not that I live with anyone else or am expecting anyone to pop in, but it gives me a sense of security and privacy and makes me feel less perverted when I am behind closed doors. Tanya hated when I jerked off and I just developed the habit of being really secretive about it. I push my pants down past my knees and sit down, carefully

placing a towel in my lap. Not wanting to give myself a heart attack, I begin to stroke slowly. I have to ease myself into record breaking selfgratification. To speed things up I start to think about Bella. She was, after all, the reason for the shake up in my morning routine. I noticed while we were talking yesterday how nice her lips were. Even with traces of funky orange flakes, they were still tempting. God, what I wouldnt give to feel those lips around me right now. I thought about how she wrapped them around a spoonful of peanut butter and how sexy that was. Fellatioits been so long... I start to pump faster and groan at the thought. Once a year on my birthday, giving head was the treat Tanya would give me for my present. It was the only day that was allowed. I had masturbated in copious amounts as a youth until I heard I would go blind. Wanting to keep my eyesight intact, I created a calendar with smiley faces for designated self-gratification days. When my mother had asked me about it, I told her those were my treat days. I had a strict diet and exercise regimen, so she thought those days I would deviate a little and have a candy bar or something.

I squeeze my eyes shut as I focus more on Bella. I can practically feel her hair cascading over my legs as her head bobs up and down. I imagine her tongue doing all sorts of amazing things that could quite possibly be considered illegal in some states. I wonder briefly if shes the sort of girl that will swallow, or if I will need to tap her shoulder when like I did with Tanya. The one time I didnt warn her it was on its way up she basically puked all over my stomach and didnt talk to me for two days. That was when I was informed that I would only receive it once a year. Bella is anything but typical, so Im pretty certain that if shes going to eat Cheetos and peanut butter she will probably swallow. I imagine my cock twitching in her mouth, spilling all over her tongue while she swallows it all up and I'm over the edge. Before I know it Im shooting off like a bottle rocket. I keep stroking and it keeps coming, literally. I can feel some of it on my hand but Im not even caring right now because that was the best masturbation session ever. Im not sure how Im doing it, but I think coherently to myself that I need to add an extra smiley face to my calendar today in honor of the amazingness of it all. Of

course the calendar is now electronic and is on my Blackberry, but the possibility of the many emoticons I can use for this is mind-boggling. I think that I may add the one that winks as a reward to myself. I look at the clock on the bathroom counter and note that the previous record has officially been broken by 1.39 minutes. I clean myself up with the cream-colored towel and toss it in laundry basket that is for jizzcoated items only. I dont like the idea of my spunk getting on things like my shirts and pants, I worry there will be permanent stains. Since I usually take care of this in the shower, it just washes down the drain. But this was an emergency situation. I exit the bathroom and walk downstairs, counting each step as I go. The smell of coffee gets stronger as I move closer to the kitchen. I set the timer to start when I get up everyday. This way the pot is completely full by the time I return from my jog and I dont have to wait or interrupt the brewing process. I learned a long time ago that cleaning up coffee was nothing short of disgusting and was a smell not easily gotten rid of. No matter how many times I wash my dishrags they always smell like the mountains of Colombia.

I walk out to the front porch and begin to jog in place before taking off. I look at my watch and am pleased to see that I am right on schedule, despite the pleasure detour. Like my session in the bathroom, I begin my run at a nice, even pace. I head west, following the familiar path. Im running through a mental checklist of all that I have to do today once I get to the office, knowing that my will have it all should I be forgetting anything. I think about the presentation I stayed up to work on last night for a moment before my thoughts waver back to Bella. I find it hard to believe that Bella has received no formal education beyond high school. The conversation that flowed between us yesterday was not one to be held with someone who didnt know their way around the intellectual pool. I wasnt lying when I told her she seemed really smart and that I was beyond surprised that she was not a student. I no doubt insulted her when inquiring about her studies and she defended her position in retail. It had just seemed that there was more than she was letting on. Since we had only just met, I didnt want to push. The second she began to talk to me about motherboards and

gigabytes, I began to form a plan that involved seeing her as much as possible. After observing Bella in her element yesterday at the store, I came to the conclusion that I was in need of a new computer. And an iPod. And a printer. And probably several other items as well. No one has to know but me that I don't really need any of it. I will take inventory of their available selections when I go back. This will allow me to determine what items I can purchase on what days and how often I will get to see her. I can make a formal outline and check things off as I buy them. An official record will make it possible to notate observations from our conversations and brainstorm for likely topics of discussion. Although, when we simply chatted without any specific topic in mind I found myself enjoying her company a lot. It's almost unsettling and disarming to feel so at ease with someone you barely know. But we had a way of talking to one another that made me intent on seeing her again. Of course I will need her business card should I encounter any problems with the purchased equipment. I might need to talk to her boss to ensure that she would be the one

providing my repair service. If I am going to be investing massive amounts of money in their products, albeit for selfish reasons, I believe that entitles me to choose who I want to assist me with my new purchases along with any future upgrades I fully intend to receive. Im nearing the end of my path and on my way back to the house. Im lucky to have no neighbors. My home is set back in an isolated area surrounded by dense forest. I enjoy my privacy and the quiet. It is well worth the 47.59 minute drive to work everyday. I lessen my pace to a slow jog when I reach my driveway. It is still a good quarter-mile before I reach my front door, plenty of time to cool down. I look at my watch and realize that I am ahead of schedule. Apparently thoughts of Bella are anything but bad. In fact, they have been very motivating and enjoyable. Weve not even been out on a real date yet and I like her more and more already. If I didnt think it would freak her out, I would send her a dozen roses this morning. Im not sure what I would say on the card to appropriately thank her for helping me break my records today. Somehow thank you for the wank just doesnt cut it.

I type in the security code on the keypad and go in the house. I waste no time in shedding my clothes as I make my way up the stairs to the bathroom. Im completely naked once me feet reach the cold tile. I dump my clothes into the non-jizz laundry basket and turn on the water. I brush my teeth while I wait for the water to warm up. I tap my toothbrush three times and put it away. The bathroom is full of steam at this point and my muscles are aching and I could really use some hot water on me. I love my shower. Its not in a tub or even a standing stall. I just walk in and voila. Three shower heads and a little bench to boot. I had always wondered what it would be like to have sex on that bench, just like I had wondered about other various locations throughout the house. Tanya and I always had sex on the bed, and it was always missionary style. I had attempted a few times to subtly pull her on top, but she would not budge. I was a little more than pissed, once the shock wore off, realizing that she did it for the handyman. Tanya was incapable of dirty talk. She once whispered to me that I was really big, but elaborated no further. I had

to assume she was referring to my cock. Even when she was getting ready to give me head, she couldnt say it. I would blow out my candles and she would lean over and whisper its time in my ear. Im lathering my body and out of habit I look down to make sure my dick is still intact and has normal coloring. When I was with Tanya, we reached a point in our relationship where we stopped using condoms. Big mistake. A few hours after our very first time without one, my cock started to swell up, but not in the good way. It was horribly uncomfortable and unsettling. I didnt know what was happening and freaked out, sure that it was going to fall right off. I had to take a few days off work because it was so huge I couldnt even be discreet or cool about it. And its not like it looked anything like an erection either as it was oddly misshapen. The swelling eventually went down, but a few weeks later it happened again. No condom, swollen dick. I had always developed a rash around my mouth whenever Tanya and I kissed and used tongue or whenever I went down on her which was all the freaking time. Tanya loved girl-head more than anything. I kicked

myself for not putting two and two together before, but it was painfully obvious after going bareback. I was allergic to my fiance. I could handle the stuff around my mouth; it cleared up pretty well with a little Benadryl and some cortisone. But Id be damned if I was going to lose my dick to her acidic vagina. Every sexual encounter after that discovery, even with the condoms because bareback was no longer an option, I became super paranoid and would observe my cock for hours to make sure it was all right. Id sooner part with my car than my dick. Im relieved to see that everything is fine and there is nothing alarming about the size, shape or color. I think about jacking off earlier and know I need to take extra time to thoroughly clean that area. I squeeze a little more soap in my hand and start washing my business. Somewhere between lathering and rinsing, I start to wonder about Bellas womanly parts and if Ill be allergic to her. Ive only ever been with Tanya, so I dont know if Im allergic to all vaginas or just hers. This is a big concern for me. The more I start to think about Bella and all that lies underneath her clothes, the worry has completely

dissipated and the size of my dick has increased. I completely forget about the cleansing part and start to jerk off again. Bella doesnt seem like the kind of girl I would be allergic to. My brain calls up a memory of Bella dropping all those iPods when I first saw her through the window and for some reason this makes me even harder. I think its because when she bent over I had the perfect view of her round ass sticking itself out so temptingly. Some men are fervent "breast men" who have an almost religious devotion to tits. But not me. I have a real weakness for a nice shapely behind. Tanya had a flat ass that was hard as stone. But Bella's derriere...the shape, the way it curved That makes me laugh to myself. When I saw her bent over and inadvertantly offering herself up to me, it was almost too much to contemplate. Had there not been as many witnesses and she had been in a significantly less amount of clothing The idea of public sex excites me even more. Ive only ever done it on the bed, but I know its possible to be adventurous. My mind is running wild with images of sex with Bella in her store, on my marble-top kitchen counter, the bench in this shower. I couldnt turn it

off even if I wanted to. And I definitely dont want to. Im jerking off, going faster and faster now. Out of nowhere I see Bella biting her lip, her expressive eyes pleading with me to just fuck her brains out. I squeeze my eyes shut because of the magnitude of the explosion. Im afraid if I keep them open they might pop out too. I realize as I get out of the shower that I really must see Bella again. I decide I should stop by the Apple store on the way to work. Even if she isn't there, I could arrange to come back when she is working, telling her manager that I would like for her to get the commission from anything I buy because of how thorough she was in showing me around the store. After shaving, getting dressed and doing some preliminary work from home (answering email, straightening out my schedule,) I'm ready to leave. I drive toward University Village and see that traffic is a completely snarled-up mess. Not wanting to waste time, I weave my through the chaos as best I can. I'm also attempting to review my schedule and my agenda from the day by reading my Blackberry. Doing all this multitasking isn't really a new thing for me. I've always been the type of

person who enjoys 'killing two birds with one stone.' But as I do these tasks, my mind drifts to Bella once again and it soon becomes apparent that I have taken on way too much and my eyes aren't on the road. A pedestrian, seemingly coming out of nowhere, shoots out from between two parked cars. I screeched my brakes to a sudden stop, very nearly hitting the person. In my panic all I notice is a very angry, smallish individual, who's yelling profanities at me. "WHAT THE FUCK ASSHOLE? SERIOUSLY WHAT THE FUCK? GET SOME DAMN GLASSES!" this angry little person shrieks, pounding their fists on the hood of my car. It's raining so all I can see are small fists poking out of a massive hooded sweatshirt. The hood is pulled down tight over the face because of the rain. The person then turns around, stomps their foot down hard and angrily grabs at the skateboard they've just tipped up to their hand. It's very obviously a girl's skateboard--pink with purple flames. Then I notice that this person is rolling, not walking, to the sidewalk. "Skater Girl? Is that you?" I call out from my car window, not really caring that I'm getting water all over my leather

interior. The figure snaps around instantly and pulls the hood away from her face. And I'd know that face anywhere. I just saw it for the first time barely twenty four hours ago and I could not get it out of my head since. "Tie Guy?" she shouts back, walking quickly back to my car and approaching my window. "Bella, I'm sorry. I was distracted. I didn't see you. Are you alright?" I ask, feeling like a complete asshole. She looks at me and I see that cream pink color spread over her cheeks. I can't really fathom how my nearly mowing her down makes her embarrassed. "I'm fine. I'm so sorry I swore at you like that. I was just really mad because you startled me," she explains, as if she didn't have a right to be madmore behavior and reactions I can't make sense out of. Cars are honking at us now and there's no place I can pull over. "Can I drive you to work? It's coming down pretty hard," I ask, hoping I don't seem pushy or weird. "Um, I don't normally...OK, what the hell," she says before running to the other side of the car as I quickly unlock the door for her.

She slides in and smiles sweetly. I really like her smile. Her whole face lights up. "Good morning Skater Girl. I didn't know youre also a Skateboarder Girl," I say, smiling and looking at her pink and purple skateboard. Hi, Tie Guy. Yeah, I like to ride my board to work. This is a coincidence, huh? What are you doing near the mall? she asks. Well, I didnt get the chance to buy anything yesterday so I thought Id stop by the Apple Store and buy myself an iPod, I say, trying to sound nonchalant. Right on, thats cool. Which one were you thinking of buying? she asks. I tread carefully here. I dont want to seem too knowledgeable. Hmm, I stall, I really like the iPod touch. It had a lot of interesting gizmos on it, I say. Gizmos? she asks, a funny look on her pretty face, You mean features? Gizmosmy Papa Swan uses weird antiquated words like that. Hes eighty two, she laughs. Yes! I say, pumping my fist, I love being compared to the octogenarian crowdI can only aspire to be that cool. You know I love those Golden Girls, I say, hoping my joke goes

over well. She doesnt say anything. She just covers her face and shakes. Then she starts squeakingvery unusual. I didnt know humans could emit sounds at such a frequency. Im an avid piano player so I know these things. That is definitely not within the range of normal human pitch. But nonetheless, I find it completely adorable. Tie Guy, she manages to say between squeaks, You are hilarious, she adds, shaking her head. Why thank you, Skater Girl, I reply, Would you like a shiny nickel and a licorice square? I ask jokingly, continuing my quip about old people. Keep your nickel, and I hate licoricewell the really strong kind anyway. You know, I like your car a lot, she comments, Its really pristine. It doesnt even have that new car smell. Veryclean, she adds, looking around. I will admit that I am a bit of a stickler when it comes to my Volvo. I like keeping the interior in excellent condition. I never eat in my car. I dont even really care for transporting food in it at all, except groceries of course. Otherwise, I call out for delivery. I like to keep all my CDs organized in a little plastic compartment in the center

console. Alphabetizing my music then helps me find what I want to listen to faster. Although Ive been listening to the satellite radio I have more and more. Sorry, she says, If Im making your car messy, she adds. Her face is so sweet and earnest, Im a little speechless. Shes ridiculous, reallyto be so tempting with those red lips and big sultry brown eyes, and yet sonice and genuine. Yes, well, Ill just have to get that seat reupholstered unfortunately, I joke, poking fun at myself, Can I send you the bill for that? I ask, teasing her. It depends. Can I pay you with Monopoly money? she teases back. Throw in a Get Out of Jail Free card along with the deed to Boardwalk and youve got a deal, I reply, smiling at her. She smiles back and bites her pretty bottom lip. Volvos are very safe cars, from what I hear, she says. Yes, they are. This particular model has the highest crash safety rating, which is why I bought it, I reply, really beginning to sound like an eighty two year old. That was veryprudent of you. Do you always do things cautiouslyjudiciously? she asks me.

She looks genuinely serious, not trying to poke fun but almost like shes fascinated and observing me, like an anthropologist. Her head is tilting slightly and her eyebrows are knitted together, her mind in thought. Frankly its a bit disarming to see her go from squeaking with laughter to serious all of a sudden. She has so many odd contradictions to her and it astounds me a little to see them in the short amount of time Ive known her. It also makes me incredibly curious to find out what other quirks she has. Not to mention, her vocabulary going from right on to judiciously makes no sense to me whatsoever. And I cannot get enough of it. Well, at the risk of sounding even more like yourPapa Swan, was it? Yes, I do like planning things out and having a certain way of doing things. Life is so much easier when its predictable, when things are planned and can be anticipated, I explain, sounding completely uninteresting. How do you know? she asks. How do I know what? I ask back, uncertain of her question. How do you know its easier? I mean, have you ever done anything in an unpredictable or unplanned way? she asks,

looking almost playful as she paints me into my illogical corner. This woman is far more intelligent than she likes to let on. Well, no I suppose I havent, now that I think about it, I concede. Normally I would try to formulate an answer to further the debate but I quickly realize that this is a losing battle. And the victor has an amazingly tasty-looking little ass as well as a sharp mind. Then how do you know which one is easy and which ones difficult if youve only tried one? she presses, knowing shes bested me. I find her smug, self-satisfied expression to be the sexiest thing Ive seen in a very long time. Are you sure youve never been to college? I ask her again. Youre changing the subject, she reminds me, lightly scolding me. Yes, yes I am, I confess completely. How come? she asks, sticking her chin out and obviously displeased with my less than subtle effort to distract her. Because I hate being wrong, I confess again, laughing. Im not even sure if shes aware of it, but Skater Girl appears to have the uncanny ability to pick right through my brain. It stands to reason that a person with that sort of skill would be

more conniving, even manipulative, but she doesnt strike me as being either of those things at all. Fair enough, she says with a laugh, graciously excusing my poor sportsmanship. Arriving at the parking lot behind the store, I find a convenient spot for my car. She starts to open her door to let herself out. Im so used to Tanya waiting for me to open her door that I cant suppress the urge to turn to her and look surprised. She lets go of the door handle. Should I not be doing this? Am I opening the door wrong? she asks, looking sheepish. No, no, I laugh, I, uh, wanted to open your door for you, I say, Because thats what an old geezer like me would do, I add, hoping that I can make her laugh again so she doesnt feel awkward. Oh, she says, looking caught off guard, I wasnt expecting you, uh, you dont have to she stammers, then stops, my joke finally registering in her head, Did you just call yourself a geezer, Tie Guy? she laughs, shaking her head and putting her hands in front of her, palms up.

Youre the one who compared me to your eighty two year old pepaw, I remind her playfully. I did do that, didnt I? she replies, pursing her lips and looking sideways, trying to look more innocent and sweet than she already was. She manages to accomplish it somehow and I think about how I could go about ensuring she makes that face every time I see her. How old are you, anyway? she asks. Try and guess, I tell her. Im very curious to hear her response. Hmm. Thirty two? she asks with a hopeful look on her face. Ack, really? You think Im that old? I reply, my eyes going wide and my hand gripping my chest. Oh God, Im sorry. Im terrible at guessing stuff like that, she says anxiously, thinking I must be offended, when really Im not. Im teasing. I know I act a lot older than I am, I confide with a smile. Thats the thing, she starts to explain. I guessed thirty two but you dont actually look it. You look really young. I mean, not like a boy. Your face itsmasculine, strong jaw and all, and young but serious, in a nice way. The serious part is good because its in a nice way.

And I dont mean nice to mean boring. I mean nice as in, you know, the opposite of ugly. Like, the complete polar opposite. I need to stop talking now Edward. Is it OK if I just stop talking? Sometimes I get like this where I just get stuck in this horrible loop and the words just keep coming out and I cant really stop them, I think its because when I get flustered my brain just floods with words and phrases because thats what it does best, it makes words pop into my head almost continuously because Im a her voice trailed away just then and I couldnt quite make out the last few things she said. It sounded like Im a rye and I cant make sense out of that at all. Im a rye? Her face is blushing intensely. Her cheeks are beyond that creamy pink color. Its a bright red. Shes fumbling with her skateboard and looks embarrassed. I can understand how she feels uncomfortable but I find her getting so flustered to be just another one of her cute little quirks. She was totally self-assured one minute, easily outsmarting me in a little philosophical debate, and now blushing after getting tied tongued trying to compliment me. It seems to me the matter is settled. I intend, by hook or by

crook, to see her as often as I can. And if that involves a little manipulation of the truth, so be it. Shes looking down at the glove compartment. Twenty five, I say. She looks over at me with a slightly confused expression. Im twenty five, I repeat. Oh, she replies. Its this tie. People always think Im thirty two when I wear this tie, I joke, waving it softly with my two fingers. Well of course they do, I mean look at itall stripy and boring. No Tabasco today, she jokes back, smiling. I let myself out of the car and open her door for her. Thank you Edward, she says, looking down at her shoes with the wheels on the bottom. Youre welcome Bella, I reply. I pop open the compact umbrella I have in my hand and hold it over both of us as best I can. I dont want to stand to close her because that would be presumptuous and slightly creepy. She walks instead of skating and her pace is slow, almost as if shes taking each step very deliberately. When we try to amble by a large group of people, she tries to sidestep as best she can but her feet trip over themselves. Without really thinking, I turn and quickly wrap

my arm around her waist to keep her from falling. She snaps around, her body pressed against me and were face to face. I hear her let out a short gasp but Im far too preoccupied by looking at her face so close to mine and feeling her small torso and pert breasts on me that I dont bother paying attention to sound. I wish to God I could kiss her right now. I fight the urge intensely. I cant force myself on her and ruin any chance I have of wooing her properly. Im not entirely sure of how to woo her, but assaulting her lips when I barely know her is surely not the path to take. She licks her lips nervously and swallows hard. Thanks, Im uh really clumsy sometimes but not when I skate, not sure why, she breathes out quickly. Curiously, shes not pulling away from my grasp. In fact, Im only now aware that she has her arm around my ribcage. Then I realize, as I take stock of who is touching who and where, that my hand is actually keeping her balanced by firmly ensconcing itself on her left ass cheek. I think Ive died and gone to paradise. Her ass, at least the part I can feel, is like a bubbly gumdrop, deliciously firm and ripe. I decide I have to move my hand

lest I risk humiliating myself by displaying the most prominent erection known in penile history. I help her balance herself again and we smile at each other. She seems embarrassed but not put off by hand inadvertently groping her for a moment. I start to chuckle when another realization hits me. I cant walk because her arm is still around me. Skater Girl, her eyes locked on mine, appears to be caught in that same strange daydream she was in yesterday when I accidentally rubbed orange Cheeto dust all over my khakis. I couldnt figure out then what made her so lost in thought. She looked transfixed over the dust on my pants, of all things. Bella? I say gently, I cant walk until you let go, I murmur softly, looking at her pretty brown eyes and trying unsuccessfully not to smile. She pulls her arm away bashfully and we head inside. I wait for a bit as Bella settles herself in to start her shift. Busying myself in the meantime, I formulate a plan on how to go about making as many opportunities to visit the store as possible. First, I will need to make a small purchase, so Ive already decided on the iPod. Perhaps if I feign ignorance and make it appear as though

my decision is impulsive, I can have good reason for returning with it tomorrow and claiming it doesnt work. That seems like an excellent course of action, so I decide to execute it. As Im looking around the various iPod models, Skater Girl approaches me and smiles. So which iPod Touch were you interested inthe 8, 16 or 32? she asks. Its time for me to play extremely stupid and channel Papa Swan. Um, I say laughing nervously, I dont really know what those numbers mean, I confess. She laughs a little, covering her mouth. It means 8, 16 or 32 Gigabytes of memoryhow much you store on it. How many hours of music. The higher the number of Gigabytes, the more you have, she explains, looking at my curiously. Oh, yes, thats right. You explained that yesterday, I reply, trying to look sheepish. How can you know so little about computers? she asks, almost impulsively. Shes no doubt afraid of offending me. But I anticipated this question when I began putting my plan together.

Well, I work in management. I really only use them for email or word processing. Occassionally, I use database software for doing HR or spreadsheets for accounting. But mostly I have my assistant handle the nuts and bolts. As you might guess, the bulk of my job involvesplanning, I explain, completely and utterly full of bullshit. I would be embarrassed if this woman werent so pretty, smart and charming. Oh, I see, she says, And yes, I might have guessed that, she adds, smiling sweetly. Alright then, Ill take the one with 32 doo-dads, I say, pointing to the highest-end model. I want Skater Girl to get a nice commission. Really, just like that? Dont you want to play around with it first? she asks, surprised by my impulsivity. Yes, Ill just take one. Im a little pressed for time, Im sure I can figure it out when I take a look at it later. How complicated could it be? I joke. OK, just be careful not to break the doo-dads and the gizmos, pepaw, she jokes back at me, teasing me. I sign off on my credit card receipt just as she hands me the small bag with my new iPod. I think to myself quickly that if I ever manage to get her into my bedroom that Ill have to

hide the identical iPod I already have in my desk drawer. Skater Girl walks with me to the front of the store, smiling at me but it almost looks forced, like shes a little sad. Hey Skater Girl, are you OK? I ask, hoping I didnt offend her or say something I shouldnt have. Oh, she says, snapping out of her sad face, Im just tired, she adds, looking down. More late night video games? I ask, smiling at her. No, I was reading this time, she clarifies with a sigh. Oh yeah, what were you reading, something terribly cerebral, I bet, I venture. She laughs and her face lights up with that pretty smile. This book about vampires, she replies, looking embarrassed and rolling her eyes at herself. We reach the door and she puts her hand out for me to shake it. Thanks again Edward, I hope you enjoy your gizmos and doo-dads, she tells me. Thank you Bella, for being so helpful andnice, I reply wishing I couldve thought of something better to say. We shake hands and she has that sad look again. She turns around to head back to work and just as Im unabashedly

checking out her rear end, I notice and paperback sticking out of her back pocket, with only the top part with the title visible. Not a pop-fiction book about vampires. Ltranger by Albert Camus. In the original French. Definitely not just a high school graduate. Not by a long shot. I shake my head as I walk to my car and begin furthering my plans. Chapter 4: Tempted BPOV I carefully pick out which jeans Im going to wear today. I remind myself how incredibly stupid this is but Ive managed to get myself entirely worked up over the idea that maybe I will run into Tie Guy again on the street like I did yesterday. I grab the pair of jeans that make my butt look the perkiest. I blush a little thinking about how he actually had his hand on my ass. God that was amazing. His hand is so big; it covered my entire butt cheek. I wouldve just sat in it like it was a chair if hed have let me. The simple fact of the matter is that Im incredibly horny. Im a twenty year old virgin and Im slowly being driven insane by my completely malnourished sex drive. Its being starved

to death, frankly. I need to get laid, like Alice is always telling me. If there was some kind of coital emergency hotline, Id be calling it right now. Im so desperate that at my last physical I asked my doctor for a prescription for the pill. Ive been on it for two months now. I somehow had this idea in my head that this gorgeous dreamboat would breeze into my life; give me the most incredible sexing of my sad existence and breeze right back out again. That fantasy was well and good but my goal for getting laid had a few hitches in its giddy-up. One problem. No one to do the laying. Well, theres one possible candidate but Im having a difficult time convincing myself that hed be one hundred percent interested. And besides that, Id need to see him again, go on a few dates or something. I dont have his number or email address or any other way of getting in touch with him. Then again Id be too chicken to call or write anyhow. Two problems. Im not so sure Id be any good at the whole intercourse thing and probably shouldnt hope for a repeat performance,

which would really stink. Just getting my v-card stamped and thats it? I need more. I need to learn the whole damn Kama Sutra from soup tonuts. Problem 2A: no teacher. So this is why I have all this idiotic hope that Tie Guy will drive passed me again today. Maybe Im being a dork. Actually I am being a dork but desperate times call for desperate measures. When I literally ran into him yesterday after thinking Id never see him again, it gave me hope that maybe I can have another happy coincidence. I mean, I could hardly believe it. Tie Guy. Edward. Cullen. I know his last name now because I ran his credit card yesterday. He looked so sweet, apologizing for not seeing me when I ran into the street. I really shouldnt have just bolted across the road like that. And then talking with him in the carit was so easy to joke around with him. Ive never felt that comfortable talking to a hot guy or any guy for that matter. It amazed me how easygoing I was with someone I felt so strongly attracted to. I got tongue-tied and blushed a couple of times

but for me thats nothing. There have been many, many moments of sheer humiliation in the brief history of my dating life. And my two encounters with Tie Guy were actually really fun. Alice and Rosalie spot me whistling and gliding around the kitchen. I told them all about Edward last night. Why are you looking so chipper today? Rose asks. No reasonthought maybe Id see Edward again, I reply, smiling as I sip my coffee. Is that why youre wearing lip gloss? Alice asks. Oh is this the peen trance guy? Rose chimes in. She is so obnoxious sometimes. No, hes Tie Guy. Im the idiot with the peen trance problem, I explain. Is he from Peen-sylvania? Rose jokes. Rose fancies herself a comedian. Maybe youre from Trance-sylvania? Like a Peen Vampire. A Peenpire, Alice adds, laughing hysterically. I hate it when they tag team on me like this. I VAHNT TO SUCK YOUR PEEN, Rose hisses, holding her hands up like claws before cracking up. Bitches, smelly smelly vadgy bitches! I interrupt their laughing, Please shut the fuck up. NO PEEN SUCKING. I am

done with blow jobs. Done, I tell you. After Jake, I am not giving head ever again, I proclaim. See this area? I ask, moving my index finger in a circle over my crotch, Its all about Bellas Bunny from now on. The next guy Im withhe needs to go to town. Go to town, turn around and go back to town. Like ten thousand times. Then we can talk about Peenpires. I didnt get a single muff dive from that Jake asshole. NOT ONE. No no. Its all about Bellas Bunny now, bitches, I explain adamantly. Damn, youre bitter, Rose comments, making a sour face at me. Would you give a guy head every day for three months and expect nothing in return? I ask, raising my eyebrow and crossing my arms. No, I would not do that, she replies with a shake of her head. Then you dont know what bitter is Rose. You just dont know, I say with a laugh. After grabbing all my gear I skate down the route I take to work. I get to the same intersection where I ran into Tie Guys car. I dont see his Volvo so I just keep skating back and forth, hoping to catch a glimpse of

his very reliable crash test rated car. Im almost running late now. I let out a defeated sigh. Time to cut bait and just got to work. I shouldve known this was a stupid, stupid idea. I feel like a bubble-headed teeny bopper idiot. Im at the crosswalk, waiting for the little pedestrian icon to turn so I can cross. I almost drown out the noise of a car honking at me but I turn and look. Tie Guy. I couldnt help but smile. Im simply horrible at playing it cool. I just cant do it. I walk over to his car and he rolls down the passenger side window. I swear Im not stalking you, Skater Girl, he says with a smile. Youre not a stalker? Shit, thats the only way I get any dates, Tie Guy, I joke. My heart starts racing stupidly just because I made a very vague attempt at flirting. Can I drive you to work? he asks politely. His old fashioned pepaw ways are growing on me. That would be really nice of you, I reply. He unlocks the door and I hop in. His car is just as spotless as it was yesterday. Its still got that weird non-smell. I wonder to myself how something can have no smell at all

complete olfactory sterility. Good morning, Bella, he says, looking over at me and smiling. Good morning, Edward, I reply, smiling back at him. I attempt to check him out inconspicuously while hes driving. He looks unreal, wearing a crisply pressed button down Oxford, complete with the little Polo logo, along with another terribly boring striped silk tie. Theyre boring but I love them. Theyre perfect because he wouldnt be Tie Guy without them. I see hes clean shaven today which looks good but I think I prefer the stubble more. I have an incredibly strong urge to feel his whiskers against my palm, or better yet, my cheekmaybe even against the inside of my thighs. I feel myself blush at that and Im grateful hes concentrating on driving. His hand goes through his hair and again and he looks slightly broody, his eyebrows knitted together. Hes simply dashing and handsome like a model out of a Ralph Lauren ad or something. A poem pops into my head. Its all I have to bring today, This, and my heart beside,

This, and my heart, and all the fields, And all the meadows wide, Be sure you count, should I forget Some one the sum could tell, This, and my heart, and all the Bees, Which in the Clover dwell. I admit to myself that its the corniest thing for me to think about in a long time. Emily Dickinson is great but Im over this mushball stuff right now. I just want to get laid! Do you need something from the store again? I ask, hoping the answer is yes. Actually, I was wondering if you could take a look at the iPod I bought yesterday. I think its broken, he explains. Oh, sure. You know we can just exchange it for you, I dont even have to try and fix it for you, I say, trying to be helpful. Im a little confused because its really rare to see an iPod thats malfunctioning straight out of the box. Apple has such a rigid quality control process that defective units almost never leave the factory. Theres bumper to bumper traffic right now. I suspect theres been an accident on the freeway and so now everyone is spilling out into the surface streets, making everything congested.

Edward looks really preoccupied, like his mind is elsewhere. He seems tense and I wonder why. You have sideburns, I blurt. I have no idea why I had to state this observation out loud. Something made me want to distract him from whatever was causing him to look so anxious. He looks at me like I have three heads. Then, thank God, he starts to laugh. Yes, I do, Skater Girl. Theyre the little transition area between my hair and my beard. I understand many men have them, he says playfully. They match nicely. I mean, they match your hair and your beard, like it all complements itself well, I add nonsensically. I need Immodium for the larynx and I wish to God there was such a thing. Thanks, he replies, laughing even more now, I have to say that was probably the oddest compliment ever, he teases. Well then youre not likely to forget it, right? I say, biting my lip and hoping to turn this utter verbal debacle of mine around with humor. I dont anticipate I will, he answers, looking over at me. He notices me looking at the radio. I like to listen to classical while Im in the car. Helps me

control my maniacal road rage, he says in a completely even voice, his face very calm. I burst out laughing. Edward has a real talent for deadpan. It cracks me up every time. I can change the station if you like. Its satellite so theres a lot to choose from, he offers. No thats OK, I like Debussy. Clair de Lune is very pretty, I answer, smiling at him. You know Debussy? he asks, looking surprised. Um, yeah. Just because someone rides a skateboard doesnt mean theyve never listened to Classical music, I inform him. He does like to think of things in nice orderly ways. I suppose youre right. It just doesntmatch somehow, he says, scratching the back of his head. A lot of things dont match or make sense. A lot of things get twisted around like you dont expect them to, I reply, thinking out loud. You sound like you learned that the hard way, he tells me, looking at me with a soft expression in his eyes. Oh Tie Guy, I learn everything the hard wayI was born learning the hard way, I lament with a sigh. That bad, huh? he jokes lightly. No, I really was born learning the hard way. I was six weeks

prematureI couldnt even breathe on my own. Even had to learn that the hard way, I explain, shaking my head and smiling. Wow. Well Im glad you learned how to breathe, he says, laughing. I was born on the exact day I was expected, he tells me. Why does that not surprise me in the slightest, Tie Guy? I reply, raising one eyebrow. He lets out a long drawn out sigh, complete with puffed cheeks. He taps his chin with the back of his index finger. Edward, is everything OK? I ask, Im not catching you at a bad time, am I? I mean, I can just get out and ride the rest of the way, I say, not wanting to impose. Oh no, not at all, he answers quickly. I just wasnt expecting quite this much traffic but were almost there, he says. Just as we reach the parking lot and pull into a space, Edward looks even tenser. Hes checked his watch at least five times in the last two minutes. He keeps tapping the steering wheel and even his forehead looks sweaty and has this v-shaped vein bulging out of it. Hey, take a breath, I say, smiling at him. I dont like seeing him so wound up. Tie Guy is much cuter when hes making

jokes or smiling. Sorry, Im just running late and I have a pretty busy day today. Is it alright if I show you whats not working and then I can perhaps come back later? he asks, looking like he needs me to answer really fast. Sure, no problem, I say back, wanting to help him feel less pressured. That seems to snap him out of it a bit and he smiles. Unbuckling his seat belt, he grabs his Apple shopping bag from the back seat. He takes the iPod out of its box. OK, this thing here, I press it and nothing happenssee? he shows me. I take off my seat belt and lean into him. I touch his hand to get a look at what hes talking about. Its warm and wonderful. He smells like sex in the woods. I really have no idea what it is about Tie Guy that makes me think of sex in public places. Oh wait, hes fucking insanely gorgeous. Yeah, that could be the reason, I think to myself. I look up into his eyes, that ocular area that makes me feel like Im about to pass out. Tie Guy, I say softly, looking down at the iPod and then up at him.

Hmm? he replies, looking into my eyes and leaning in a little closer. Thats the power button, I say, trying to sidle up to him just a little more. Oh, then why wont it turn on? he asks, looking embarrassed. I could swear his face is inching toward to mine. Because you havent charged it, I inform him, my head tilted slightly. How do I do that? he asks. His thumb so very softly moves across the back of my hand. Soon I find myself unable to control all of the lurid, dirty things that my brain wont stop thinking. Im so horny that my mind thinks one thing while it actually tells my body to do something completely different. He is so good looking right now in that pressed shirt and tie, looking so neat and made up so perfectly. In my mind, I grab that tie and untie it and rip it off while I just pop the buttons off that meticulous shirt and when I open it, I drag my tongue across his bare chest and taste all the delicious sweat and musk off his fucking tasty skin. You need to plug it into a USB port, I explain, whispering.

My voice just wont talk any louder. I bite my lip. He thinks for a minute and in that minute, I cant stop looking everywherehis lush green eyes and thick expressive eyebrows, his long nose that comes down to point, his square and chiseled jaw, his low brow that makes him look so primal and raw. But everything, its all so perfectly accurate and just as it should be. Hes precisely measured and put together exactly the way that I would picture the ideal man. Thats what so insanely delectable about him. Tie Guy isperfect. And hot damn do I just want to fuck him senseless. I almost cant believe this silent confession. Ive never gotten this worked up before. Never. Whats a USB? he asks as I move my shoulders toward him slightly. Its a port that most computers have, I explain, my words a breezy soft sigh. I just want to taste that mouth, the one so close to me that all I can think about is his tongue on mine. I need to taste that tongue because fuck I bet its the most amazing fucking thing ever. I see. Then I have another problem, he confesses again. What is your problem, Tie Guy? I ask playfully, licking my

lips and breathing in the way he smells. That smell againits like raw hot fuckingme pushed up against a tree, him behind me, pounding into me, slapping against my ass and legs, both of us sweaty and grunting thats what he smells like. Edward Cullen, the Tie Guy, smells like raw lust. And I want to drink every last drop of lust right from his body. Because I am a sinful, unadulterated, incurable Peenpire. My mouth fills with saliva at his scenthis fuck-scent. I swallow down everything, once, then twice after my mouth fills a second time. My problem isI dont have a computer, he confesses, his hot breath scorching my cheek. So hot, like a fucking inferno. No, like an inferno of fuck. Yeah that might make charging your iPod a problem, I say, looking at those eyes. I see his forehead vein and how it bulges. The blood in that vein, pumping through himwhat else does he do to get that vein looking like that? Moving his body must do it. Moving it against me, thrusting, pushing, heaving, gruntingall that work making him sweat more sweat means more fuck-scent.

Tie Guy is licking his lips. The sight of his long pointy tongue and the things it could do to me fills my mouth again. The things I hope and pray from this day forward that this incredibly long sleek tongue can do to Bunny is far and away the hottest image Ive ever had in my mind ever in the history of hot smutty fantasies. Because fuck. I want to drink the fuck out of him. Bella, I need is all he manages to say before I cant resist my urges any longer and swoop in to devour my prey. Our lips touch now. His pouty mouth is so soft and warm and fucking fuck. I have no words, they all fall out of my head, drip out my ears. All I hear is fuck, fuck hard and fuck harder. I could weep from the pure heat burning inside me like a million flames. His scent is invading me to my very soul. His hand is on mine now and Im silently willing it to move all over me before Im forced to rip open his pants with my teeth and let the Peenpire in me take over. A cell phone ringsnot mine, his. I snap out of my lust-filled craze and we pull away from each other. Sorry, uh, hang on, he says, grabbing his Blackberry from the dashboard. Coming out of my sex-starved bout of insanity, I'm

completely mortified at the way I was thinking about him. Yes, Im horny but hes a person, not an oversized sex toy. What happened to love and tenderness and romance and sweet poems? I cant lose control like this, its animalistic and wrong. I think I must have lost my mind kissing him like that. The embarrassment over being so forward is sinking in and I just go on pure instinct. Bye Edward, I blurt, forcing open the car door quickly. I jump out and get on my board, riding toward the store as fast as I can and not looking back. I run into the store, put my stuff down in the employee break room and head right into the restroom where I wash my face with ice cold water. Ive never, ever kissed a guy first if it was a first kiss. Im more than a little weirded out. Jake did a number on my selfesteem and my trust in men. I cant throw myself into a situation that very well could fuck me right back up again. It would kill me. But here I am getting into some dudes car, hoping hed accidentally run me over again, looking for any excuse to get physically close, fantasizingoh Godfuck-scent. I see Edward in the woods, kissing me

everywhere, his hands everywheremy body screaming for him as the smell of him teases and taunts me. Tie Guy has made my brain go utterly and completely Tropic of Cancer. I wash my face again. I dry myself off and shake my head a few times in a childish attempt to literally toss these thoughts out of my head. I walk out of the restroom and silently thank God for the rush of customers coming through, eager to make their holiday purchases. The hours go by easily now that there is so much to distract me. Its quite crowded in the store today. Im working like crazy helping people decide what to get, taking care of purchases, answering technical questions and helping with tech support. Im lost in thought at the moment, trying to fix a display model Macbook Air. Excuse me, I hear, instantly snapping out of my concentration. Sex in the woods. Im paralyzed, too wigged out from the way I acted earlier. I stare at the laptops screen in front of me. I need something to plug this into, he says. I feel him lean closer but I keep my eyes looking straight ahead.

I need to put this inside something, he whispers in my ear, not at all unaware of the double meaning of his words. Tie Guy is more playful than he lets on. The room starts to spin a little. Did I have lunch today? The screen in front of me is growing fuzzy. I can smell fuck-scent now and hot breath on my neck. Trying to look him in the eyes, I spin my head too fast and my eyes roll up. I crumple up like a piece of paper, the strings that kept my puppet body moving suddenly cut. kiss kiss, fuck fuck, taste me, tasting you, so hot on me give me more, give me your FUCK. I come to just a couple of seconds later with Edwards arm wrapped around me. I blink a few times before realizing something really, really unexpected but also kind of important. I just wrote a poem. In my head.

Yes, its filthy. But its poetry and I wrote it after not having the slightest inclination to do so for months. Tie Guy. He unlocked whatever kept the words from coming to me like they used to. And he has no idea. Skater girl? he says, eyeing me worriedly, Are you OK? he asks. Sorry, I begin, I just havent eaten today. Its been so busy, I add. Just then my manager James approaches us. I step away from Edward, still dizzy but stable enough to stand on my own. Bella, are you alright? You look really pale, James says putting his hand on my arm. Im fine, I just havent eaten much or had any water today, I explain, smiling weakly. I look over at Edward and I see an expression Ive never seen on his face before. He lookslivid? His brows are together and that vein is back. I can see the muscles in his jaw flex in and out. She said shes fine, he tells James through clenched teeth. James looks at Edward with a surprised expression, but then

his face becomes serious. Hey, he says, tilting his head, dont I know you? he asks Edward out of the blue. Edward looks less angry but still very irritated. I doubt it. But Ive only been in this store a few times in the last couple of days, he replies, Could Bella have a break so she can go eat something? he asks James. Sure, of course. Bella, go ahead to the break room for as long as you need. Your shift is almost over, you can just go home after you feel better, he says with a helpful smile. I walk the short way to the private little space reserved for people who work at the store. I sit on one of the armchairs and rip open the wrapper on the energy bar I packed for myself this morning. I chew several bites slowly and start to feel more like myself. I buy some iced tea from the vending machine in the corner and drinking that helps a bunch too. Giving myself several minutes to let my snack work its way into my system, I sit and think for a bit. I would rather not pass out again. A sense of relief and happiness comes over me. First, I had this unbelievably good looking, smart funny guy interested in me. Second, he inspired me to write dirty poetry. Today was a good day. A

very, very good day. My head is a lot more focused now and my dizziness is gone. I grab my back pack and skate board and walk back to the main area of the store, hoping Edward is still around. I see him talking with James by one of the registers and shaking his hand. He doesnt look as angry as he did before. His expression is serious and business-like. He catches me looking at him and smiles. Hey, I see you made another purchase, I say, seeing the box Edward picks up. Its a new Macbook Air. Yes, something to charge my iPod with, he replies, chuckling. Tie Guy looks a little fiendish sometimes when he laughs like thatlike hes up to something and not really caring if anyone notices. Can I give you a lift home? he asks as his expression turns sweet again, Id prefer it, if thats not presumptuous of me, because of how lightheaded you were a little bit ago. Id feel better knowing you got home alright, he adds, politely insisting. Pepaw Guy just rocks my socks right now. Sure, actually that would be better than me trying to ride there, I say honestly.

Walking me to his car, he opens my door for me and I get in. Im trying as hard as I can to not get all hot and bothered like I did before. Fortunately my nerves have kicked in now and they should prevent me from doing anything stupid. I was thinking, he says, maybe you could come by my house this weekend and help me set up my laptop, that is, as long as youre comfortable with doing that, he asks, his face looking hopeful. His green eyes are so big, so plaintive. I understand if youd rather not, he continues, I did talk to James about it and he said it would be considered a tech support call and you could bill for it. You dont have to say yes. It has no bearing on your status at the store. I made sure that James agreed with that. Of course you can bring someone with you if you like, he suggests. Yes, I reply. Im too stunned, wrapped up in my nerves, and hungry to really think through it. What is there to think about anyway, seriously? Yes, youll do it? he asks, seeking confirmation. Hes smiling at mea big toothy grin. I can see his dimples. Well, their not dimples really. Theyre these think crinkly lines on

either side of his mouth. Like crinkle dimples. Crimples. Yes, Ill do it, I repeat. Were pulled over in front of my building now and I regret I didnt try to chitchat more because I love talking with him and laughing with him. I remind myself Ill have plenty more chances for that this weekend. Skater girl, he says, turning and facing me, I wanted to talk about earlier, when you got out of my car, he starts. Edward, I interrupt. Yes? he answers. I like your crimples, I say, looking down, feeling like my hearts about to beat out of my chest. What? he asks. Your crimplescrinkle dimples, I explain with a stupid nervous laugh. Thanks, he replies, his smile going up on one side, You have very pretty eyes. Theyre really expressive, he tells me. Someone once told me I have librarian face. I wasnt really amused by that, I confess. Why not? he asks, I like librarians, I say. Because I think he meant that I was dull looking, I explain,

my face getting hot. The words Jake said about me being a meaningless blob ring in my earshe was the one who told me I had librarian face and he wasnt even drunk when he said it. That person must have suffered from blindness or severe brain damage, most likely both. You arent dull looking to me. Not in the slightest, Skater Girl. I think youre beautiful, he says in soft hushed voice, smooth like velvet. Hes biting his bottom lip and his eyebrow is raised. God he looks like sex. I just stare at him. Im like a deer caught in the headlights. I cant move. This guy just called me pretty. A Ralph Lauren model called me pretty. He puts his hand on my knee very lightly. The feel of him on me makes me jump a little and I pull away just a little. Are you ok? he asks, looking concerned, Im sorry, that was really forward of me. I apologize, he says quickly, running his hand through his hair. Im OK. But. Just. Nervous. I sputter in a whisper. Nervous? Im making you nervous? he asks, looking surprised. I just shake my head up and down really fast, my eyes wide. Dont be nervous, Skater Girl, he says with a smile, Im

actually quite dull myself. We can bore each other and save the rest of the world from having to be subjected to us, he jokes. My face breaks into a big smile than and I start to laugh. I feel my nerves calming a lot. May I ask you a question? he asks. Sure, I reply. Would it be possible for me to kiss you, say, right now? he asks, so very politely. Yeah, I think I can pencil you in, I joke. His hand touches my cheek softly as his face leans into mine. I close my eyes now because I cant deal with going all Tropic of Cancer again. It may cause me to spontaneously combust. I feel full soft lips on mine and his breath against my face. The flat of his palm is one my cheek now. Its the sweetest, nicest, most gentle kiss on the lips Ive ever felt. There was nothing pushy or urgent or selfish about it like every other kiss Ive gotten. This kiss just wanted to say hi, Im with Tie Guy, wed like to get to know you better if thats something youre interested in. I can come back later if you like, but really I think youll enjoy this if you just give it a chance.

I want to give it a chance. So I do just that. To read chapter 5, click here: BPOV Im so excited I could justgahexplode. I walk into my apartment and just start screaming like a fangirl going to a Meet and Greet at Hot Topic. OHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGODOHMYGOD!!!!! I chant at the top of my lungs around the living room. Alice gets up from the couch and starts yelling and chanting with me even though she has no idea why the hell Im so psyched. What are you two squeeing bobbleheaded freaks yelling about? Rose asks as she walks into the living room. Alice stops in her tracks and looks up at me. Hey, why are we yelling anyway? she asks, looking happy and confused at the same time. Tie Guy, bitches! TIE GUY! I answer excitedly, humming a little victory tune and shaking my booty. What? What about him? Alice demands. I saw him twice today and he asked me to go over his house on Saturday to help him set up his MacBook. Hes really horrible with computershe didnt even know how to turn on

the iPod he bought the other day, I explain. So youre going over there to help him? Rose asks, using air-quotes when she says help him. Yeah, is that bad? I ask, feeling a little too pushy. Maybe this wasnt as big a deal as I thought. But then I remember two key things. I should probably mention them. Um, and theres, you know, something else that happened, I confess, smiling deviously. Bella this is not cute or amusing. SAY WHAT THE FUCK YOURE GETTING AT, Alice insists because she is a little pushy sometimesjust a touch. We kissed. A couple of times, I say, my eyes wide like this is just the most delicious news in the world, because for me Im not sure anything this exciting has happened in a long time. How long were ya gonna keep that in yer pocket, missy? Alice asks me sarcastically. Figures youd almost skip the best part, Rose chimes in. Here were go. Theyre just getting started, I just know it. Stinky, smelly vadges. Well? Alice says, her face the picture of incredulity. Christ Almighty, Bella. WAS THERE TONGUE? DID HE COPE

A FEEL? PET THE BUNNY? Rose demands. No, no, I say, making a sour face. Rose will turn any nice romantic thing into a porno movie complete with bad music and lack of plot if you let her. The first time, I continue, I kissed him in his car. It was pretty quick because his cell ph I was trying to say but the Bobsey Twins interrupt me. He, Rose says. answered, Alice says. his, Rose says. phone, Alice says. while, Rose says. you, Alice says. were, Rose says. KISSING? they say in unison. Um, well, it rang and he looked at it, I explain, But I ran out of his car before I could see what he did after that, I add. Typical, Rose says, rolling her eyes so far back in her head Im almost worried theyll get stuck like that. And then he came back to the store later because even though I fixed his iPod this morning, he realized he wouldnt get much use out of it since he doesnt have a computer so

he was back and bought a laptop, I explain. I dont care about the stupid fucking laptopwhen did you kiss him again? Alice asks impatiently. Well, I almost fainted in the store because I hadnt eaten all day so he insisted on driving me home. Which frankly I thought was very gentlemanly of him, I say, and so when he dropped me off in front of our building he kissed me. Hang on. Youve known this guy forwhat, three days? Rose asks. Yeah, something like that, I reply. And hes been to the store like ten times? she asks. Well, no, about three times, I think. And in three days, he bought an iPod and a laptop? Rose confirms. Yeah and on Saturday Im going to his place for a service call to set up the MacBook for him, I add. Theyre both looking at me. And I hate the look Im getting because its the one that screams Bella, you moron. What?!? I demand. Dont you think its a strange coincidence that you meet this guy and then he spends all this money on stuff that no one

under the age of seventy doesnt already own? And then he needs you to go to his house? Rose asks. Well, I dont know, you think hes psycho or something? I ask. I knew this was too good to be true. A guy that cute and sweet wouldnt be interested in someone like me unless he was just nuts out of his gourd. Alice rolls her eyes at me now. Psycho? Maybe. Completely infatuated with you? More likely, she says, It sounds to me like he really, really wants to spend time with you and wants to make sure that it happens. Thats not bad, not at all. Bella, come on, dont look at me like I just lit all your ugly sweatshirts on fire, she says, trying to boost me up. That makes me laugh. Alice hates my rather casual taste in clothes. I call it casual. She calls it playing hide the tits. I think to myself that maybe Tie Guy was going out of his way to see me. I dont know why hed have to go these lengths but maybe he doesnt want to come across as too aggressive. He does seem reserved and not the type to make really obvious moves on a girl. It makes me smile to think hed do all this just to see me. The next few days just fly by. The store is incredibly busy. I

dont see Edward but we did text each other quite a bit. His texts make me laugh, not just because of his jokes but because of how formal he sounds. I pick up my phone and scroll through some of our exchanges and laugh all over again. Dear Bella, Thank you again for being kind enough to assist me with my new Apple purchases this weekend. I would love the opportunity to have dinner with you afterward, if I may be so bold. Best Regards, Edward ohai tg, y so srs? U shud tri 2 l33t sp33k, all teh kewl kdz dew eet sk8tr grl Dear Bella, Im sorry. Was that English? Earnestly Wondering, Edward tg, ur a pain in mah azz. 4 real cuz cell in my bk pckt n bz bz bz on mah booty sk8tr grl Dear Bella, Am I really? Buzzing your booty? Very Interesting. Lost in Mental Imagery, Tie Guy LULZ! booty bz ftw sk8tr grl Dear Skater Girl, I have no earthly idea what youre typing. I am simply extraordinarily entertained by the notion that youre enjoying the buzzing sensations I am causing your gluteal area. Unabashedly, Tie Guy

OMGWTFLOL? tg, d00d, imma bring mah wii 2 ur crib cuz u need 2 have FUN. luv teh wai u bz mah booty btw. Jus sayin. u r win sk8tr grl So are you, Skater Girl. So are you. Tie Guy I wake up on Saturday morning and I could just burst Im so excited. Edward will be over at 3 oclock to pick me up. That gives me a nice cushion of time to first: try to not be so nervous that I puke all over him and second: resolve the inevitable fight Ill have with Ali and Rose over what to wear. After Rose chases me around the house with a tub of hot sugaring wax so she can rip out all the fuzzy little bits of body hair she deems repulsive, Alice picks out my clothes for meand I never never let Alice pick my clothes out normally. I hate it. Shed lend me something of Roses that would look hideous on me. Today I cave in but tell her Ill only wear something of my own. She selects a feminine, short-sleeved cornflower blue peasant top with a nice pair of jeans. Its 3 in the afternoon, Im not dressing like Im going to a club. And Im really insistent on very little make up. I let her help me with a bit of mascara, some kohl eyeliner and tinted lip gloss. She also insists in making sure

my bra and panties match and that theyre not something grandma and disgusting. Before I know it, the intercom for the front gate is buzzing. Its Edward. Please dear God, hear my prayer. May my feet be untangled, my bunny be calm and controlled, my lust be satiable and my mouth be still. In Jeebus name I pray, Amen. Rose has to grab my arm before he gets to the door because I cant stop running from one room to another, flailing my arms and chanting I cant find my shoes! I cant find my shoes! Bella, for shits sake, youre wearing your shoes! she snaps at me. I stop suddenly and look down. Oh. Right, I say, laughing nervously. I hear a quick succession of knock knock knock. I approach the door, take a deep breath, let it out slowly, and open the door. Sweet baby Jesus! Lord I just prayed, did you not get the memo? Email not working? How am I supposed to keep anything together when you let this creature walk around looking like this? Seriously! Surprisingly, hes dressed pretty casuallyfor Tie Guy,

anyway. Hes wearing a green fleece pullover the same beautiful moss color as his eyes and a nicely worn out pair of charcoal gray cargo pants. And for that extra prep-school boy touch, hes got on black Nike indoor soccer shoes. Then I let myself examine the face. Messy I just sexed you in the woods hair: check Mesmerizing green pools of lurvely: check Schmexy Id rather do you than waste that precious time shaving stubble: check Subconscious-but-not-really pointy tongue licking lips: check Bellas Bunny ready to proclaim victory over my intellect: CHECK, CHECK and CHECK! Hi, I say self consciously. Hi Skater Girl, nice to see you again, he replies, smiling that smirk you dont know whether to slap and call a bastard or kiss the life out of. Come in, Im just getting my things, I say, stepping aside so he can walk in. Thanks, he says, smiling more broadly now. I think he just saw my eyes have an orgasm. I love the way this guy plays it like he doesnt know his way around because obviously he

does. Listen, I whisper, Im going to say Im sorry right now for whats about to happen. Just, umm, block it from you memory, OK? I ask. Hes looking at me like hes extremely confused. Hellllllllo, Rose says in a knowing, sing-song voice. Shes got bionic eyes, like the Terminator. She can check a man out and do all sorts of physical assessments the normal human female eye is incapable of. The next time I see her, shell tell me which way his junk hangs and how big it is. Hmm, maybe I myself will be privy to that information all on my own. Heh heh. Shut up, Bunny. Just. Shut. Up. Hi, you must be Edward, Alice says with a huge grin, putting her hand out to shake with his. Edward, these are my roommates and best friends from high school, Rosalie and Alice, I say, gesturing to Frick and Frack. Nice to meet you both, he says politely and with a shy smile. Alice stares at him for a minute. I groan inwardly. Oh shit. Here it comes. So, Edward, what do you do? Have any hobbies? Have a

criminal record? Read any good books lately? Married by any chancelookin for a little sweetness on the side? Whats your favorite color? Have you ever had gender reassignment surgery or are you planning on it? Alice shoots out, machine gun style. I grab Edward by the wrist and propel him out the door, shutting it behind us. Were outside on the outdoor stairs that lead up and down to all the units in the building. Now you know why I had to say I was sorry, I admit sheepishly, biting my lip and grimacing. I cant help it and giggle a little too. He shakes his head and runs his hand through that beautifully messy head of hair. Looking down at the floor, he laughs too. I have the feeling he can be a good sport. Yes, I think having the foresight to apologize ahead of time was probably a wise idea, he says, It did soften the impact, actually, so thank you for that, he adds with a smile. He lowers himself down a step so that were the same height and turns to face me. Can I get that for you? he asks, reaching for my backpack on my shoulder. Dude, come on. Fuck-scent. We havent even gotten to your house yet and already youre close enough that I can smell

it. Um, thanks, I say nervously, rolling my shoulder forward so I can ease my pack off. The loose collar of my shirt falls slightly and the little satin sliver of my bra strap peeks out. His eyes are fixed on my exposed skin. I look down at it, then at him. He finally moves his eyes away from my bare collarbone and into my eyes. Well? I say, my eyes wide. Well what? he asks playfully, peering at me with his head tilted down, his brow furrowed. Are you going to? I try to answer, but he stops me. With his lips. My pack falls the short way to the stoop behind me with a soft thud. This kissits not as timid as the last one. This one is a little more determined. It wants some answers. His lips are pressed on mine with a slight firmness and are moving more than last time. I wrap my arms around his neck, grateful that theres nothing in the way now like there was in his car. I moan softly into his mouth before I can stop myself. And then I get that weird feeling that someones watching me. Reluctantly, I move my head away slowly and turn to

look to my side. Alice and Rosalie are gawking at us through the living room window. Theyre making obscene gestures at us and I turn away before I can figure out what they mean, although Im pretty sure Alice is doing that move where you pretend to hit thatwith one arm in front of you and the other smacking an invisible ass. Dont, just dont, Edward, I say, blocking his view away from the evil twins, Spare yourself, seriously, I insist, laughing. I grab his shoulders and turn them toward the stairs again, his back to me. Impulsively, I decide to use an alternate mode of transportation. My knees are completely made of jelly at the moment and I cant skate down the stairs, even if I did have my Heelys on, which I dont. So I ask for a small favor and hope he doesnt think Im nuts. Hey, can I have a piggyback down the stairs? I force myself to ask before I lose the nerve. He turns his head to look behind himself at me. First he just sort of looks curious and a little wah? but then he raises his eyebrow and smiles. Hop on, Skater Girl, he says playfully. I put my pack on again and wrap my arms around his neck

again, this time from behind. He bends his knees and grabs my legs. I wrap them around the small of his back. The side of my face is pressed against his and his stubble scratches my cheek. We both laugh the whole way down and I even tell him to shut up when he makes a joke about how its fortunate that his sense of balance is much better than mine. He carries me all the way down the stairs without even getting out of breath and gently puts me back on my feet once we reach even ground. We approach his car and he opens my door for me. He takes my hand to help me sit down. I am getting downright spoiled by the pepaw tendencies. We pass the time during the short drive to his house on the other side of downtown just chitchatting about ourselves. I tell him about Forks, my dad the sheriff, how my parents are divorced and my mom remarried and lives in Florida. Edward tells me a little about his family in Chicagothat his dad is a doctor and his mom is a sometime interior decorator, mostly as a hobby than anything else. Its interesting because Edward has all those standard markers of a typical Harvard manaffluent family, prep

school education, and so on. Theres only one thing missing: hes not a total arrogant asshole. Although Jake turned out to be a real piece of shit, he was the only Harvard guy who didnt seem pretentious to me. I know its wrong to generalize like that, but Im from a really small town. As prepared as I was for a certain amount of culture shock, I saw a drastic difference in my own sensibilities from those of the people around me. We get to his house and its just lovely, from the outside anyway. He lives in the Eastside, opposite the massive park on the other side of campus. The house must abut the park because it looks like theres a trail right behind it and a lightly wooded area. He opens my door and takes my hand to help me out of the car. Thank you, I say shyly, smiling but looking down. Im feeling nervous going into his house. I just hope I dont say or do anything stupid and I also hope he turns out to be just as sweet and nice as he seems to be. We go inside and Imsurprised. This is the most immaculate bachelor pad Ive ever seen. I mean this place is spotless. It

makes me wonder if he actually spends any time here. I imagine he must be really busy and probably just sleeps here and orders out for food. It also seems like a pretty big house for just one person. Id get lonely by myself in all this empty space, thats for sure. Well, thank you again for coming by to help, I appreciate it, he says, leading me to the living room. Its sparse but tasteful, with dark chocolate brown leather furniture and mission style end tables. Theres a beautiful print reproduction on the wallits massiveseveral feet high and wide. Its Relativity by M.C. Escherthe pencil drawing where the up and down stairs in a building seem to defy gravity. Its mathematically precise in the way its drawn yet its all an optical illusion. Interesting to see that heresomething very orderly and exact, yet it isnt really what it seems. Youre welcome, it shouldnt take very long, I say. I take a seat on the oversized sofa, where the MacBook sits neatly on the coffee table in front of me. I power it up and sure enough, it doesnt take very long to configure everything for him. I begin working on getting his internet connection up and all the other software installed and working.

Edward sits patiently next to me as I explain how everything works, peppering me with questions intermittently. His expression is so serious, like hes terribly engrossed in what Im saying even though what Im explaining isnt all that complicated. I think to myself that he just has the most handsome brooding face Ive ever seen. Finally, I pick up the iPod thats also on the coffee table. Now we have a way to charge this, I say with a smile, And you can now put media on itsongs, videos, whatever, I add. Excellent, thank you, he says, smiling those adorable pointy teeth at me that I begin to imagine biting me. Oh shit. Now that Im less nervous Im starting to feel horny. Really horny. Must think of something to distract myself with. Oh hey, Im almost finished, mind if I hook up my Wii console? Itll be fun, I suggest. Yeah, sure, Im fairly certain the TV has all the right wires and hook-ups for that sort of thing, he replies, looking at his flat screen. The size of that television is unreal. Its got to be one of the biggest TVs Ive seen outside of an electronics store. Have you ever tried hooking something up to it before? I ask.

Actually, to be perfectly honest, I think Ive only ever turned it on once to make sure it worked. Ive never actually watched it, he admits sheepishly. Really? Are you just not home very much? I ask. Not very much, no. I work long hours, he says with mild resignation. Well, maybe now youll have something to come home to, I say, smiling, Ill send you lots of annoying emaildancing hamsters and chain letters, I add jokingly, pointing to the laptop in front me. Sounds delightful, he says in that deadpan voice that cracks me up every time. After a few minutes Im able to connect everything up and start up one of my favorite gamesWii Sports Boxing. Alright Mr. Im So Serious That I Type All My Texts Out CompletelyPrepare, I say, changing the tone of my voice and raising one eyebrow, To get schooled, I add, tilting my head to the side and down. Oh, he says back at me, smiling devilishly, The little girl thinks that Tie Guy is unfamiliar with the concept of video games, I see he replies, arching an eyebrow at me. Little girl? Youll see who the little girl is when my boxer turns your dude into hamburger, I trash talk.

Keep talking, Skater Girl, it fires me up, he says, his voice a little bit of a growl and his double entendre not lost on me one bit. We stand up to get ready to play and he takes off his fleece pullover. His t-shirt underneath it rides up slightly. I can see a little of the waistband of whats under his cargo pants and my mouth starts to water again. Sigh. Then I recognize the t-shirt hes wearing. Its that crimson color with the distinct white crew neck collar that has a little vertical rectangle coming down the center. Theres a big white H over the left side of the chest. I know it because I used to watch the guys on the crew team who wore them row the sculls on the Charles River even when they were just practicing. Almost everyday Id sit on my usual bench by the water because I was so lonely and bored that even just watching complete strangers made me feel more like I was apart of the world. I dont think Edward was one of those rowers hed have graduated before I even got to Radcliffe, but its nice to imagine it. He notices me looking at his shirt.

I know. This shirts seen better days. Im probably disappointing you, not wearing a tie, he jokes. I look at his arms, how muscular they are. I couldnt really tell before because hed worn long sleeves the first few times I saw him. I can also see how beautifully broad his shoulders are, so masculine and strong. My mouth begins to water again. My eyes rove back to his face and hes looking back at me with those utterly hypnotic eyes and half smile that says things like I need to put this inside something, and before you know it, youve nearly fainted and written an x-rated poem in your head. I can imagine Edward in that shirt, his arms flexing back on forth as the oars gracefully cut in and out of the smooth water. The wind blowing through his hair, his face fixed in concentration, he wouldve looked so handsome, so beautiful, keeping me company as I sit and watch him from my favorite bench. You rowed sculls for Crimson? I blurt, but it comes out as a soft murmur. Fuck. How do I explain recognizing his shirt and knowing what it was? He looks at me like he already knows I would, at some point,

say something like that. Bella, you went to Harvard, didnt you? he asks, his head tilted and his expression serious. No, I didnt, I say because technically thats not a lie. I went to Radcliffe. How did you know that this is a crew team t-shirt? And no one who doesnt go to Harvard calls it Crimson, he says, determined to squeeze the truth out of me now. BecauseI went to Radcliffe, OK? I lied. I went to Radcliffe for two years and dropped out. I was embarrassed so I lied. Im sorry, I say, looking down at my feet. You were a Cliffie? he asks, looking surprised. Yeah, and I hate that nickname by the way, I say, tapping my feet together nervously. I cant really believe it to be honest, he says, craning his neck to get his face closer to mine. Its unbelievable to me too, how I thought Id be smart enough to last there, I say feeling and sounding so pathetic. What? he says, his eyebrows raised. Thats the unbelievable part right? Thinking I was good enough to be there for any amount of time, I reply, my eyes started to sting. Thats not what I meant, taking my hand gingerly, afraid

that I will snatch it away. I look up at him. Oh. What did you mean? I ask, genuinely curious. I mean that Radcliffe is not the place for someone like you. I would imagine you found it horribly boring and stuffy. And my God, Skater GirlCliffie girls. The word snobby doesnt really begin to describe it. You dont seem like someone who would be comfortable in that environment at all, he tells me, shaking his head and smiling softly. I wasnt comfortable, nor did I belong. They were all smarter, prettier, richer and overall better, I explain. Well I disagree about the smarter, prettier and better parts. And I dont care about the richer part. Pretty doesnt look like a cucumber sandwich to me and thats what a Cliffie girl isa plain, traditional, boring little sandwich with the crusts cut off. I also find you to be highly intelligent, so I disagree that you dont compare to them in that respect as well. As for better? Skater Girl, you cant get better than a beautiful, smart girl who eats her peanut butter with a Cheeto, he says with a laugh. Thanks Tie Guy, thats very sweet of you to say, I reply, blushing my head off.

Its the truth, Bella, he says, smiling at me. Im feeling just as nervous as ever. Im relieved he didnt take my lie as just an outright deception but his compliments are unexpected and overwhelm me a little. I turn my attention back to the Wii, hoping some fun will calm me down. This is the controller, its a little weird to get used to at first, I explain as I put the wrist loop over his hand, But it gets easier pretty quickly, and Im not the most coordinated person, I add with a laugh. I wrap my fingers over his to show him how to hold the controller. I marvel at his hand, how long and graceful his fingers are. I get swept up in studying them, just like I did that first day I met him and he sat with me, taking turns out eating peanut butter straight from the jar. He smiles at me like he knows there will be little accidental moments here and there when we just happen to touch each other and that he likes those moments very much. If I wasnt so nervous, Id write a poem about you right now, Tie Guy. I would write about every little feeling Im having and how you are making them happen whether you mean to or not. Im just that captivated by

you and the kind things youve said. Looking up at him, his hand still in mine, I just get completely lost. I dont know what day it is or what the hell Im doing here or why a man with this much money and education wouldnt already even a computer and an mp3 player but I dont even care anymore. Bella, are you going to? he starts to ask, but this time I shut him up. With my lips. Fuck-scent. No stopping the peenpire or Bunny now. Both our Wii controllers drop to the rug underneath us with a soft bounce. I literally jump at him, wrapping my legs around his waist. He takes a small step back but catches me easily, cupping my ass with his hands. His lips may have had a nice, deliberate, slow way that they became acquainted with mine, but I lack such patience right now. Im just plain ole sucking his face off. He carefully shuffles back to the couch and sits back down, with me still wrapped around him. I straddle his lap now and my hands start to explore a little bithis thick unruly hair, the back of his neck, his shoulders, his chest.

Its all firm muscles and so nice and Jesus its been sooo long. Actually, its kind of been like ever because I dont recall pouncing on Jake like this and I know kissing him never felt this delicious. Edwards hands never leave my butt. I have the feeling he likes my butt. This is a pleasant coincidence because I happen to adore having those nice big hands on my ass, rubbing up and down, helping my hips move against him. My hands are on either side of his face while my mouth craves more and more. I feel his lips move apart just ever so slightly and thats all the invitation I need. Gently, slowly, gingerly, I let my tongue taste the tiniest bit of his lush, full lower lip. He moans so very softly and opens his mouth a little wider now. Meanwhile Im moving my hips against his in a steady rhythm. I can definitely feel something under his cargo pants pressing between my legs. It just makes me that much more ravenous, like I could devour him if he let me. My senses come completely alive nowtouching him, tasting him, smelling him (God that scent,) hearing him, seeing him. Words flood my brain.

A savage place! as holy and enchanted As eer beneath a waning moon was haunted By woman wailing for her demon-lover! Oh yeah. Coleridge knew what was what. This is the Xanadu of my mind and I am wailing for my demon-lover. Our kissing is so urgent and so passionate that I let my mouth slide open with his and let my tongue explore his mouth. I feel his velvet smooth tongue on mineso delicious and delicate. I caress it over and over with my own and Im thrilled by the sounds he makes because of it. Im the worlds most dangerous predator. My whole body is turning into the inferno of fuck. My hips are grinding against him faster and harder now, his hands becoming more insistent in guiding me back and forth. My tongue continues roving and teasing while my own hands grip his beautifully toned shoulders. Its getting really hot and wet down there and Im starting to pant. I should probably try to take it down a notch. Yeah, forget that. I cant really stop moving now. Im just rubbing and rubbing like theres no tomorrow because it feels insanely good and I dont want to stop. Its achy and feverish inside me.

I break away from his mouth because my panting is just too ragged. Unh, uhn, uhn, I moan softly in his ear. He looks at my face, my completely horny lost face and he just smirks at me. Demon-lover. He nibbles my earlobe gently and licks it lightly with the very tip of his tongue. So nice, soooooooooo nice. Cum for me, his hot breath whispers so very softly in my ear that I barely hear it. Who is the worlds best predator now? I feel everything erupt out of me and my muscles clench and let go over and over. And from this chasm, with ceaseless turmoil seething, As if this earth in fast thick pants were breathing, A mighty fountain momently was forced: Amid whose swift half-intermitted burst Huge fragments vaulted like rebounding hail Fuck, I murmur softly. Ive never sworn while messing around with a guy, but then again Ive never cum with all my clothes on before either. Today is a good day for firsts, apparently.

I kiss his neck over and over as my body begins to slow down. He lifts me gently and lies down, my feet on his lap. Once I get my bearings, a few things occur to me. I just had the hugest orgasm in memory, fully clothed and as a result of frottage, ie., dry humping. His hands were on my butt and I was totally raping his mouth with my tongue, so he really wasnt even doing all that much. Well, he licked my ear and said cum and thats what I did. Dude, thats like a magic trick or something. Watch me pull your orgasm out of a hat. I pull the couch cushion over my face. Im just a little embarrassed over how carried away I got. He must think Im the biggest horniest, hard up, desperate, pervy girl in the world. My face is turning ten shades of red. Bella? he asks, Are you OK? Why are you hiding? he presses, laughing at me. Lil embaris, gah careed awah, I try to answer but the pillow muffles everything. A little what? he asks, lifting up a corner of the cushion slightly and peeking at me. I peek back with one eye open. Embarassed, I whisper closing my eye again, Plus you did

something to my foot, I add, hoping to deflect the attention elsewhere. Your foot? he says incredulously, looking down at it as it rests on his lap, Huh, it does look a little funny, whats wrong with it? he asks. I dunno, I think you broke it, I say, I dont mean broke bones, I mean its broken like it doesnt work, I explain. My poor foot is stuck in some weird ballerina en pointe position. And I cant unstick it. Jesus, if this is what happens to me fully clothed with him barely touching me, what the fuck would happen if we were both naked and had sex? Id need to be hospitalized afterward. Id be all kinds of palsied. Hmm, he says, brushing the tips of his fingers against the sole of my foot. Sparks shoot through my whole leg and I reflexively bend my knee. OK, that didnt help, he says with a laugh, Here, sit up and give me your hand please, he asks. I reluctantly take the cushion of my face and scoot toward him, sitting up. I put my hand in his. He gently presses his thumb into my palm, making little circles into my muscles. Acupressure, he explains, I know a bit about it. Ive been to South East Asia a lot on business. I like eastern medicine,

he says, smiling at me. I smile back at him and notice that my muscles are starting to relax and my poor foot is back to its normal self. He keeps rubbing my palm but Im not about to stop him. Ive never actually, you know, had an orgasmwith a man in the room. Or with anyone else in the room. Gah, this is embarrassing, I confess. You shouldnt be embarrassedso dont be. Not at all. I think its something that makes youmore of a mystery to me, really, he replies, his expression bemused. Seriously? Yes. On the outside, youre really outgoing and a little flirtatious. You seem rather impulsive too, if you dont mind me saying so. I do like all that though. But then theres this other side to youall tightly folded up and hidden away, like showing it to people would give you away, even though I think You think what? I ask. I think its great. Perfect even, he says, smiling sweetly. Hah, I laugh. Never heard anybody say that before. Me and perfect in the same sentence. Thanks, Edward, thats really sweet. I just feel like a big balled up messa person who clearly hasnt figured herself

out, I admit. But I like that about you, he tells me. I smile at that. You do? I say sheepishly. Yes becausehonestly I find all your little inconsistencies and mismatches quite interesting. Well that was a really boring thing to say. Interesting isnt the right word. Theyre fascinatinguniquethe contradiction. Its perfectly nonsensical. I cant really describe it any other way, he tells me, shaking his head slightly. Thank you, I say again, just too touched and embarrassed to say anything else. So what happened to this boyfriend, why was he never in the room when you uh you know had your private moments? He asks, chuckling a little. Well, we broke up before we got to the point where he wouldve been in the room, I reply. Thats too bad. Did you love him? he asks. I sigh. I dont really know. Isnt that stupid? No. Its not stupid at all. In fact, I know exactly what that feels like. You do? I ask, mildly surprised, I guess I did love him in a

way. I wanted him to be happy, I gave him what I could emotionally. It seemed like lovebut honestly looking back it didnt really feel like it, I explain. Huh he says, thinking out loud. What? Its funny. I had almost the identical experience. You did? Yeah. I was engaged to someone and I felt exactly the way you described just now. You were engaged? I ask, very surprised now, What happened? I caught her doing the handyman, he replies after letting out a deep breath. His face looks sad and disappointed and I just want to kiss him. Oh my God, Edward, thats horrible. Im so sorry. That must have been awful for you, I say, badly wanting to console him. He doesnt look so sad now as he looks at me and his face begins to change. Well at the time I was pretty bent out of shape. But thinking back on it now, Im almost relieved I found out about it before we were married, or worse, married with a family. Aw, you really wanted to marry her, didnt you? Yes, butto be honest I think what I really wanted was to

get married. Im not sure how much of it was that I wanted to marry her. Like you said, I thought I loved her, but it didnt feel like it now that I look back, he explains. Hey this is really crazy, Tie Guy, I say with a light laugh. What is? he asks. Dont you see? No. We actuallyhave something in common, I gasp with fake shock. Wow. Thats really weird. In a nice way, he says bemusedly. It is. Weird and nice. Weice, I say, making up a new word. How about Neird? he suggests instead. No, I like weice better, I decide. Weice it is, then, he agrees. Youre such a gentleman, Tie Guy, I tell him. I dont feel like a gentleman right now, he confesses, his eyebrow going up as his pointy teeth bit down on his pouty bottom lip. Oh no? Whys that? I ask, pretending not to know what hes getting at. Because I want to kiss you. Very badly, he says, moving his hand from my palm and running his fingers up my wrist and

the inside of my arm. The feeling it gives me makes me shiver and I disguise it terribly but I keep trying to be coquettish. You do, huh? Hmmm. I suggest you do something about that then. And you know, make haste, I reply, winking at him. He pounces on me and we neck like horny teenagers on prom night To read chapter 5, click here: Chapter 6: Mr Boombastic EPOV I am not, by nature, a religious man. I rather see myself as a rationalistsomeone who appreciates logic and believing in that which can be proven. So its only in times of great need, or in this case, agony, that I say things to myself like Christ, please help me. Whats leading me to implore for divine assistance is something rather simple, really. Bella Swan is giving me the most tortuous, raging hard-on Ive ever had in my life. After kissing on the couch, I find what little willpower I have

to break away before I lose all ability to control myself. Skater Girl is not making this easy for me in the slightest. Bella strikes me as someone who is actually quite delicate on the inside, despite her fun and impulsive exterior. I sincerely want her to like me and I think the best way to ensure that is by gaining her respect. And buying every last Apple product in that damn store. We both sit up and I put my arm around her small shoulders. She leans her head on my chest lightly and I can smell her hair. It doesnt help the hard-on. At all. You know, I should start making dinner, I say, holding her hand and kissing the inside of her wrist. Can I help you? I love to cook, she asks, her eye bright. I would love some help, I reply with a smile. I stand up and offer her my hand to help her. I like being a gentleman but to be candid now I find myself offering these polite gestures just to watch the way the attention makes her blush and smile sweetly. We make easy work out of cooking a simple dinner of pasta and salad and chat while doing so. Hey, I can cut that up for you, Bella says, reaching for the salad ingredients. I watch her for a few seconds and almost go into coronary

arrest. Bella please dont hold a knife like that, youre going to lop your hand off, I say insistently. This is how I always do it. I still have all my fingers, she says, laughing. But thanks for your concern, she adds sweetly. Its not that, I just dont want blood all over my kitchen, I joke. Ha, ha, ha, she replies, saying each ha very deliberately and without much humor. I like a clean kitchen because its the little things in life that make me all giddy, I joke with a straight face. Tie Guy, as much as you crack me up, sometimes I worry about your mental faculties, she laughs with that squeak that baffles me every time. She reaches over to stir something in the saucepan and proceeds to splatter and spill food on everything in her wake. Skater Girl isnt just uncoordinated; shes like a little tornado, leaving a haphazard trail of wreckage on pretty much everything she touches. I can say unequivocally that in any other person and in any other circumstance, I would find this tendency to be completely annoying and almost unbearable to

watch. Not so with Skater Girl. Ive never seen anything more charming and adorable, and I have no idea why. Skater Girl, I remark, looking at food that she dripped all over the place. I decide to tease her. Yeah? Youve done a very, very bad thing, I say in a low voice, trying to glare at her. I did? she asks, looking very surprised. You got marinaraon my counter, I tell her, pointing to the puddle of sauce.** Her eyes go wide. For a second she thinks Im serious and then her mouth begins to turn up slightly. Get it off, I demand. Shes trying really hard not to laugh so she can keep our joke going. Oh, this right here? she asks, pointing to the big red blob on granite. She sticks her finger in it and twirls it around. Now my eyes go wide because Im becoming mildly disgusted but Im desperately attempting to hide it. You, uh, a little bit of a germaphobe, there Tie Guy? she teases. She licks her finger slowlyand then dips it back in

the puddle of sauce. And then she does something that almost makes my head and my dick to inflate and pop off my body. She leans her face into the counter and licks up the mess. I think it cant get worse, or maybe I should say better because Im both completely aroused and yet alarmed simultaneously. But it can get worse. And it does. She puts her hands on either side of my face and kisses me hungrily, gently pushing my mouth open and pressing her sauce laden tongue into mine. I moan both in sheer arousal and naked horror. But Christ, is this the most fun Ive hadeverwith a woman. After kissing her and watching her get off just rubbing against me, I think I safely say that comparing anything about her to Tanya would be an egregious insult. I dont even like to think about a comparison because the association of the two names alone offends me. Sk8r Grl, u r win. I knew she was more formally educated than she let on and Im glad she admitted it to me, but I am sorry to have seen the look on her face as she described the experience to me. Even recognizing my crew tshirt

elicited the most doleful expression on her face. I gave in to my surprise about her being a Cliffie and asked some questions that brought on more sadness but I hope what I said to her buoyed her and she seemed relieved not to have to hide it from me. She keeps kissing and touching me. Im on sensory overload and feel like Im going to explode. Mostly I feel that my dick is going to explode. But the rest of me is feeling amazing as well. And this is just making out. In my kitchen. God help me if we ever make it to the bedroom. Now that I think about it, location doesnt really matter. Id kiss and touch and caress this woman anywhere, anytime. My hands almost scream out to me that they cant wait to get under Bellas clothes because theyll know exact what to do, and give her precisely what she needs. Seriously, dry humping and saying cum for me and she does? I just had to say it and it happened. I have a new name for my Casanova-like alter-ego. Captain Orgasmo. My brain begins to assault itself with image upon image of all the naughty and wonderful things I can do with my hands. I cant even start to think about what might happen when my

dick is involved. God, my dick inside her! Its entirely possible that my dick inside Skater Girl might knock the planet off its axis. Not to mention, Ill have to draw up a new will in case the coroner determines Death by Best Orgasm Ever. I need to make sure that goes on my headstone. Screw discretion and HIPPA laws. The second we start playing Hide-the-Cock, Im going to shout it from the mountain tops. Im not certain Ill actually make it to a mountain, so perhaps Ill just climb up one of the trees in my backyard instead. Im aware that the stove is on and if I dont stop this amazingly hot make out soon, the possibility of a tragically burned dinner or kitchen fire is imminent. I sigh in frustration. Safety first is a real bitch. I slow the kiss down and withdraw my tongue. I want to cry because pasta is the last thing I want to be eating right now. I start to pull away, but not before I pepper her face with a few kisses. She has a crease in her brow thats both adorable and troubling. I give her a kiss as if to say Dont worry baby, well get back to this later. But really I mean, Holy Christ you amazingly wonderful

skateboardin hottie. If we dont stop right now I cannot be held responsible for any actions that might take place upon that counter that now I think about it is actually the right height to sit you up on top and bang you repeatedly without the possibility of injury as it is quite likely we can remain in ergonomic pleasure. Im only slightly appalled at my thinking, because really the power of the words spoken earlier have flipped a switch in my libido that I cannot seem to turn off. Cum for me. I know for a fact if I had ever said those words to Tanya, I would have been icing my balls for a month. Bella, on the other hand, went completely undone in my arms and we didnt even have to remove our clothes. Now that is talent. If it werent so creepy to tell her, Im pretty sure my mother would be proud. She was always bragging about me in one form or another growing up and liked me to show off my many talents in front her friends. This was one Im sure that would send each and every one of them into an early grave. I chuckle to myself at the ridiculousness of demanding

instant orgasms from old ladies and hope this new found super power only works on Bella. Im not ready to share this extraordinary gift of macho prowess with anyone but her. Bellas forehead is still a little crumpled, so I kiss it again, for good measure. Although the appetizer is quite delicious, Im going to need more than marinara on my tongue to satisfy my appetite, I say softly. I gently stroke her cheek with my index finger. She quirks an eyebrow and releases herself from my arms. Is that so? she laughs. The evening has only just begun, Skater Girl, and Im a little worn out from playing. I want to make sure I have enough energy and stamina to keep up with you if we go another round. Well Tie Guy, lets get you full of some carbs then. Youll need something to keep you going when I spank your ass later. Ive not been spanked since I was five years old and painted my painted the kitchen floor white to cover up the inconsistent patterns in the tile. I thought it had looked pretty fantastic when it was done but my

parents were quick to disagree. I remember the spanking being quite unpleasant and I instinctively squeeze my cheeks together at the memory. Im not really into the idea of spanking. Well, let me revise that. I would consider it an avenue worth exploring if I were the one handing it out. The thought of doing that to her really excites me, especially since I am already in love with her exquisitely shaped mound of Skater Girl Wonderland. Bellas back is turned to me and she is dancing in place, humming off-key, and stirring the pot on the stove. She moves her hands and wipes them on the back of her pants, rubbing once, then twice on her own amazingly fashioned bottom that reminds me of an apple. I cant stop staring and inwardly groan at the memory of how nice her ass feels under my hands. Im a very blessed individual to have partaken of the miraculous creation that is Bellas ass. Im not even adequately able to express in my own mind how much I love her ass. Its perfectly shaped and feels so nice. Its tone, but not overly so, and its soft, but not in an I-eat-frosting-outof-the-container way. I make a mental note to myself later to google the exercising benefits

of skateboarding and wheelie shoes as I am certain this is what contributes to her assets. Bella continues to dance and hum and I continue to stare. I have always appreciated a nice ass. Its without a doubt my favorite part of the female anatomy, second only to nonacidic vaginas. Tanya had a terrible ass. It was hard and had no shape. The one time I smacked it after consuming half a bottle of Jack I seriously worried that I had injured myself. I even went to the hospital for x-rays. Buns of Steel definitely delivered. I wonder if Bella would mind if I went over and started spanking her, sort of a pre-emptive payback for the spanking she has promised to deliver later. It doesnt really matter to me that I know the spanking she is referring to is in regards to beating me once more on the Wii. I flex my ego and feel confident I could do a little sexuasion based on the response I got from her earlier. Bella has turns off the stove and whirls around to look at me. Do you have a colander or something that I can drain the water? she asks sweetly. Of course, I say, walking over to the cupboard that holds a variety of all things ever needed for pasta. I open the door and reach up to the shelf I know holds what she has

requested. I hear Bella snicker. Wow, Tie Guy. Your cupboard is veryorganized. I dont know that Ive seen a numbering system for shelves before. And look at that, she giggles, you even have an index key and map taped to the inside. For some reason this makes her laugh even harder. She wheels over and starts opening all my cupboards, exclaiming, Holy shit, Tie Guy! Are these like treasure maps? Maybe theres a prize if I find the bowl with the x? She looks closer at the itemized lists as if she really expects to see that. What? I ask, unsure of why this is so hilarious. So I like to be organized and know where everything is. But why do you need to know exactly where everything is? she asks. Because then Ill find it faster, I explain. Its simple, really. OK, but whys that so important? she presses. It saves time. Saves it for what? For whatever else you need time for. Should everything be done quickly and efficiently? she asks coyly. Not everything, I reply with a raised eyebrow.

Do you know how to slow down Tie Guy? You know, take your time, savor things? she asks, pushing every damn button inside me and God is this the sweetest torture. I think I do, yes. What about with me, would you be fast and efficient or slow and thorough? she asks. Its all about you, Skater Girl. It depends, I answer. On what? Whatever you wanted. Sometimes fast can be fun. Sometimes slow is betterit would just depend on what you preferred, I inform her in a husky voice. Oh so its up to me? she asks, her face breaking into a beautiful smile. Always, I say, kissing her palm. Hmm. Interesting. Im gonna fold that up and tuck it into my pocket. You know, for future use, should I need it, she replies with a wink and playful smile. She reaches her hand out, wanting the colander. I hand it over and just as she turns to wheel herself back to the stove, I give in to my earlier temptation and playfully smack her on the ass. She squeals in surprise and hurries away like she is trying to escape.

The thoughts of spanking leave me between a rock and a very hard place. Even though I was able to get Bella off, I have yet to experience any relief. She only just admitted to me about never experiencing an orgasm with another person. Our conversation earlier makes me think that whoever she was with before was a very selfish individual. I dont want to set forth any expectations on giving or receiving. Im a little surprised and pleased with myself for the lack of planning here and that Im willing to let things happen as they will. With Tanya, even sex was scheduled out. Nothing was ever based on mood or going with feelings. Given that I only received a once-a-year blow job, everything else was centered around her and what she wanted. Admittedly now upon reflection, I realize that there was never a balance of give and take. I didnt want to see it at the time, but I actually quite resented the constant giving and less receiving. What happened tonight with Bella was natural and instinctive. And it was most certainly not planned. And even though Im harder than I think Ive ever been in my life, Im not in the least resentful or expecting of anything to be given in return. Not that I would complain if

she ever got to that point, but because this woman means much more to me than something that is safe and comfortable, it makes it easier to break away from my normal pattern of thinking and just let things be. I look over at Bella and as I watch her flutter around the kitchen in concentration, dropping the large wooden spoon on the floor and thinking I havent noticed when she puts it back in the bowl of pasta, I just know that this woman is anything but another mark in my Blackberry or item on my spreadsheet. She is so much more than that and I know it. I dont even care that shes using a spoon from the floor or sticking her finger in the marinara to taste it. This is big. I can feel it. Im going to leave the name out of it for now, even though my heart is already screaming at me with identification and credentials. Sk8r Grl completes Tie Guy. Its the perfect complement, as they say. She is the yin to my yang. The hey to my ho. The salt to my pepper. The Cheeto to my peanut butter. Im pretty certain that her name will be popping up on my Blackberry like wildflowers in a meadow. And this makes me

really happy. Bella wheels herself away from the cooking area and I notice her eyes are wandering over the cupboards like shes trying to see inside without opening the door. The master cupboard key is taped to the side of the fridge, I tell her. If youre looking for something in particular you can either ask or refer to the pirates map, I joke. Aha! X marks the spot! she exclaims as she finds what shes looking for. She tries to reach the pepper grinder on the top shelf but cant quite reach it, even on her tiptoes. The sight of her struggling, reaching her arm up and exposing the profile view of her perfect round breast is a sight that will be forever burned on to my memory. I approach her from behind, leaning into her while I take the pepper off the shelf. I feel her warm little body stiffen but then she leans back against me, that perfect ass pressing against me. My cock is still raging inside my shorts, begging for someones, anyones immediate attention. Bella can no doubt feel my massive hard-on through my shorts. She turns around and rests her head on my shoulder. I kiss her hair. Theres no way that I cant. There just isnt. She

looks up at me and I smile at her. But I notice that she seems distracted and is biting her lip. I can see her poor lip turn white from the pressure and Im really starting to get concerned that she might do some permanent damage. Shes been darting her eyes around nervously, leaving me wondering where her thoughts are and what the hell is going on. My heart is flying in my chest, a feeling of concern washing over me as my observations are screaming that something is not right with Skater Girl. Bella, I ask, Are you ok? Her head is lowered to the ground, but she looks at me through her eyelashes. I justcould you.I mean.would you just come sit with me for a bit? Of course, I reply. I take her hand and we sit on the couch. She turns and looks at me, her eyes particularly beautiful in how earnest they look. Edward, she begins, I want to do what you did for me, she says, looking so bashful and sweet. Its OK, you dont have to, I tell her. I know, I know I dont have to. Thats what I like about you,

youre very calm, patient. And its strange, she says. What do you mean? OK, try to follow me on this because I kinda know that its doesnt make a whole lot of sense, Im listening, I offer. The thing isthe way you are, the way you dont pressure and dont have any expectations Yes? Its making me Making you what? Making mereally want to do something for you. You know, I just really want to do something nice for you. Is that OK? Christ shes begging to get me off. If there is some sort of karmic mega jackpot, I think I just won it. I laugh at how shes asking my permission to touch me. I think that a joke will lighten the mood. Well, let me consult my Blackberry, I say pretending to get up. Edward! she says in mock anger, Watch out before I change my mind, buddy, she warns. No, no, I say, Dont change your wonderful, smart mind. I quite like it the way it is, I add, pulling her wrist toward me so I can get her within kissing distance.

I put my palm against her cheek and kiss her gently. Her soft lips are so responsive, so obliging. The rush it gives me to be with such a passionate yet perfectly sweet woman is something I find difficult to describe. Bella and her inconsistencies have me wrapped around her beautiful little pinky. She rests her hand on my chest and begins to softly move it in circles. My skin under my shirt feels like its on fire. Edward, she whispers. Yes? I whisper back. Take your shirt off. Im not arguing. I take my shirt off. She inspects me carefully, looking at my shoulders and chest with a mixture of curiosity of lust. Her hand grazes everywheremy collarbone, the hair in the middle of my chest, my ribs, my navel, then back up again. Youthis is odd, she says, almost to herself. Odd? I ask, mildly startled. Odd, yes. You, Edward areperfect. Physically, just perfect, she says, Odd that Id be touching something like that, she admits, feeling inadequate, which is completely ridiculous.

She looks at my face and smiles sweetly. You know, Ive never told a woman she was insane while she was kissing me and touching my bare chest, and Id rather not start now, I inform her. She laughs her little squeak at me and I kiss the tip of her nose. Planting small kisses all over my face, I feel her hand go back to my chest, inching its way done my abdomen so slowly. The thought of where her hand is going is something I refuse to contemplate because doing so would surely cause me to promptly burst into flames. Her mouth is on my neck now, kissing and licking. My hand, on the small of her back, meanders down to her succulent backside. I bite my lip when feel her flesh on my hand. The situation in my boxers is swiftly becoming an emergency. Bella, I moan in a low voice, You dont know what youre doing to me, I murmur. I think I have some idea, she chuckles into my neck. Her breath makes my hair stand on end. It takes all the willpower I can possibly muster not to flip her

around in one swift motion and eagerly savage every square inch of her. I take a deep breath instead. Someone this charming, lovely, beautiful and captivating is worth every agonizing second. The pace at which we proceed is entirely set by her. I realize that my patience is already paying off. I quickly formulate an idea with my last remaining functional brain cell. I dont need to do anything to influence the speed in which we move toward more intimacyI just need to be nice. Its almost too simple. Bellas hand is now at the waistband of my cargo shorts. My increasing excitement is rather obvious and straining against the fabric. Can I? she asks. Christ, please help me. Only if you want to, I offer politely. I want to, she whispers. Her hand slides into my shorts and the tip of her fingers brush against my cock. I gasp from the intensity of it. My mind is reeling. Never in my life have I had such visceral reaction to another person. Tanya and I dated since we were teenagers. I was as horny a male teen as the next guy and even then, I dont ever

remember Tanya making me feel like this. I need to stop comparing Tanya to Skater Girl. Because Tanya was shit. And Bella is win. I unbutton my shorts and soon her soft little hand wraps around me. I hiss and close my eyes, trying my best to relax and let the moment play itself out properly. I dont want to jizz all over this poor woman the second she touches me. Soooo good, I groan softly, my mind unable to form more coherent words. Then I remember my idea, the one that just entails my being nice. Bellathank you, I whisper. These three words are almost as magical as Cum for me because the effect they have are almost as glorious. Oh Edward, Bella moans as she kisses my chest. And just like that, she slinks her entire body down the length and her face is right by my zipper. I cant look down because if I do, I might propose to her and then would be an a very awkward predicament as Im sure that sort of thing is rather premature at this juncture. Is it OK? she asks. CHRIST I TOLD YOU TO PLEASE HELP ME. Its only OK if you want to do it, I answer, amazed that I

had the capacity to form such a long string of words. But I must test my theory. Dont do anything. Just be nice. I will my arms to turn to lead and rest at my sides. Bella lowers my zipper gingerly and gently slips her hand inside my boxers, freeing my poor cock from where its been dying for air for some time now. Im still not looking down, so when I feel her soft tongue glide across the length of my shaft, I nearly jump out of my skin. Sorry, I offer, hoping I didnt surprise her or make her think my reaction was negative. Its justyousoamazing, I babble. I hear her chuckle as her hand wraps more tightly around me, working my cock up and down. Dont be sorry, she says believe me, thisis not a disappointment, she adds coyly. Im fairly certain she was referring to my dick. I feel her mouth on me now, her tongue softly lapping at the underside of my head. I cant do anything but moan try to distract myself. The only problem is, my brain cant muster the wherewithal to focus on anything but this womans incredibly soft little wet mouth on me.

Dont do anything. Just be nice. Skater Girl, youre just beautiful and sweet and funny and you have a really, really nice mouth, I say politely. I hear her chuckle before I almost completely lose my mind. She takes all of me into her mouth now, as far as it will go. I feel my head press against the back of her throat. I ball my hand into a fist and press it against my lips to stifle my urge to yell. Her sweet soft lips wrap tightly around me while her tongue continues to tease and flick against me. Shes moving in even strokes now and each one gets my cock further and down her throat. Feeling her mouth working me like this is just too much. I cant last much longer at this rate. She stops gently. Im a little relieved because now I can have a bit of a rest from trying my best to hold back. I find the courage to actually look down now. Is everything alright? I ask, concerned. You can stop if you want, thats OK, I offer. She smiles at me. Im fine. I was just wondering why you werent looking, thats all, she wonders innocently. Sorry, didnt want to make you uncomfortable, I reply. I am

rather good at this nice tactic. No, you wouldnt make me uncomfortable. I want you to, she purrs. CHRIST, I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN TOLD THAT YOU ARE A KIND AND LOVING GOD. WHY, OH WHY, WILL YOU NOT PLEASE HELP ME?!? With her eyes locked on mine, she gets back to tending to my dick with her mouth. I feel mild heat and pressure building at the base of my cock as my balls begin to tighten and ache after only just a minute of watching this. I prepare myself to tap Bellas shoulder as I reach for the tissue box behind me. Im now ready for the impending explosion to arrive. Bella sees the tissues and her eyebrow goes up. Slowing herself down a little, she puts her hand forward to my chest, holding it open. I put the box in her hand. So I dont make a m I try to explain but a series of emotions cuts me off. She holds up the tissue box for a second and promptly tosses it across the room. OH CHRIST, THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU. I dont know whether to laugh, cry, sing, or declare my

undying devotion to this precious angel. Her mouth is hungrily devouring me now, her head moving faster and faster. The tension is too much to keep back any longer. When she looks at me and moans into my cock, Im done for. Fuck, yes, fuck! I say in a sharp hiss. Ive never sworn in front of a womanevermuch less while my balls were about to leave a generous deposit in her mouth. Panting and moaning, my cock twitches against her mouth. The sensation is indescribable. Heat radiates out of my cock like molten lava. Her eager tongue waits and my spunk shoots out in load after load on it. She continues to stare up at me as she swallows it all. The sight of this is too much and I close my eyes, my head falling back and my jaw slack. I tell myself that if I call my mother in Chicago now and ask her for the family priests phone number, I can have Father Flanagan flown here on the red eye. By morning, Bella and I can be Mr. and Mrs. Tie Guy and I can have all the blow jobs I can possibly handle. I keep my head back and my breathing gradually begins to slow. She has pulled herself up against my chest and has snuggled her head right under my chin. I really need to kiss

her, especially after this monumental moment that is more than worthy of spreadsheet documentation. I put my finger under her chin to angle her head up and around to meet my eager lips. I kiss her softly, even though I want to make it more. I stroke her jaw with my thumb as Im sure its exhausted. She pulls away from the kiss and smiles at me before hunkering back down into a very pleasant cuddle position. We decide to reheat our dinner since we let it grow cold. Skater Girl makes more demands on my sense of order and rules and I cant fight her, not anymore. Can we eat on the couch? she asks, sitting up and smiling at me. Yeah, I suppose, I reply, hoping I dont sound uptight. Dont worry, the Earth will keep spinning, I promise, she teases. No it wont. What you did a few minutes agoit stopped time, I tell her. She laughs and goes into the kitchen. She returns with one giant bowl of pasta and one fork and two beers. She feeds me and herself the entire meal. She teases me when I keep looking down to make sure we

havent spilled anything. We lounge on the couch afterward and watch a little TV. I quite like this television. Im pleased that I bought it. If it werent for this woman lying peacefully with her head on my chest, I never wouldve thought of it as anything more than a big flat box that hangs on the wall. Like my MC Escher reproduction, my lifes perspective is shifting before my eyes. I can feel her body relax up against mine and her breathing has become steady. Skater Girl has fallen asleep. I kiss the top of her head and gently extract my body from her grasp. I stand up and start pulling my shorts up. I look down out of habit and notice that my dick is perfectly normal looking. This is the jack-off frosting on the cake. I wiggle my mouth around too and lightly touch around my face checking for any signs of problems there. Everything feels perfect. No burning or itching, just post-coital tingles. I look down to Bella sleeping and she looks so perfect and content I hate to move her. Im not comfortable with the idea of leaving her on the couch either. I dont want her to wake up with a kink in her back or with a feeling of displeasure that I abandoned her there.

Not cool. I put my arms underneath her and gently pick her up, carrying her buck twenty smoking hot form upstairs to the guest room. Her hands have worked their way up my shirt and she is grasping it tightly. This gives me a ridiculously large fucking grin on my face that I couldnt stop even if I try. I lay her down on the bed and debate for a moment whether or not I should remove her jeans. Shes seen mine but I have yet to see hers. I opt to remove her shoes and socks instead and pull the quilt up around her. Just as I turn to leave I hear Edward. Its awesomely wonderful to hear my name. Ive grown attached to Tie Guy, but I really like my given name falling from her beautiful lips. Yes, Bella? I whisper. The room is dark and Ive ventured far enough away Im unable to tell if her eyes are open or not. I walk back to the bed and see that she is still asleep. She moaned my name in her sleep. I can barely contain my excitement with this knowledge. I step away from the bed and jump up and down a few times to celebrate, my mouth opened in a silent yell. I stop jumping and move back over to Bella, placing a kiss on her forehead. Her lips curl up into a smile and she whispers,

Bunny feels goooodBunny wants a carrotbig juicy carrot. I have no idea what shes talking about, but it makes me smile anyway. I kiss her again, just because I want to, and I leave the room. I go down the hall to my room and begin my nightly routine. Wash face, brush teeth, tap toothbrush three times, change into pajamas, crawl into bed. I lay there for a while, grinning like a fool and unable to fall asleep right away because my mind is in overdrive with all sorts of plans with Skater Girl. She makes me happy. Ive watched other couples, like my parents, have this sort of happiness I never felt with Tanya. Mostly I had questioned their mental faculties because the perma-grin made them look so stupid. But I sort of like the stretching sensation on both sides of my mouth and dont care if I look like an idiot. Theres no doubt in my mind that this woman is going to change everything and no amount of space on my Blackberry can properly manage it. Chapter 7: Genius of Love BPOV Oh Edward, I moan, Fuck, it feels so good, pleasedont stop, dont stop, I beg.

His hands are all over me, exploring every inch of my body. I feel his chest pressing against mine as he lies on top of me. His hard muscles and thin sheen of sweat feel delicious on my breasts and hard nipples. With his hand, he lifts my leg and bends my knee so he can position himself between my thighs. Yes, take me, please, Im begging, I say, imploring him to thrust his beautiful, hard cock into me over and over in long, fast strokes. My hands run up and down his back in giddy anticipation. Bella, my perfect Bella, he growls in my ear. I bend my neck reflexively as his hot breath touches my tender skin. Now, my love, I need you, I say. And just like that, the mother of all hot sex dreams is over because suddenly my eyes flutter open. Theres something buzzing against my ass. Its my damn cell phone. I hit the back light and read a text that just came from Alice. WTF? BELLA WHERE ARE YOU? ITS 2AM. Oh shit. Where am I? Thats a good question. I look around the dimly lit room and my mind comes back to life. Im at Edwards house. The last thing I remember is lying on the couch with him. He mustve carried me up here.

I need to text Alice back before she calls the police from worry. Ali, Its OK. Fell asleep TGs. Pls dont wry. Im fine. LOVE YOU! B She texts me right back. HOW BIG IS THE JUNK? THICKNESS, LENGTH, OVERALL SHAPE? DEETS PLS. I text her again. I have a big old grin on my face now. Thick. Long. Juicy. Delicious. Perfect. I laugh when the phone buzzes again to tell me that shes texted me a reply, but Im done with her shenanigans for now and put it back in my pocket. As I sit in the soft darkness, I wonder whether Edward thought about taking me to his room instead. But then I realize that his inner Pepaw just wouldnt let him do that. It would be too forward of him. He is awfully polite, more than I would expect a guy like him to be. Guys who are that good looking, from the Ivy League and lots of money, usually act like theyre entitled to everything. Edward doesnt seem like that at all. I think hes really sweet inside, at least I hope he is. The last guy I dated wasnt as sweet as I first thought. I dont want to make that mistake again.

On the other hand, Im really tempted to go into Edwards bedroom. I kind of want to slip into bed next to him and just let whatever happens, happen. I want to explore and experiment. As a teenager, I deprived myself of a normal dating life because I wanted to get good grades and studied all the time instead. I just want to make up for lost time and know what its like to be physically intimate with a man. I just need to get laid. I just need to get laid, I tell myself in a whisper. With that, I get up out of the bed and head down the hall. I look around and find what I think is the right room. I peek my head in and see Edward in his bed. His peaceful face pulls me to him like a magnet and I walk into the room. What a beautiful sight he is. Like a god or something. Hes lying on his back, with one arm curled above his head and the other draped over his abdomenhis long fingers spread out. The moonlight from the window falls across him just perfectly. Instantly I think of the first stanza of Endymion by Keats. A THING of beauty is a joy for ever: Its loveliness increases; it will never

Pass into nothingness; but still will keep A bower quiet for us, and a sleep Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing. And then it dawns on me. I cant do it. I just cant. Theres no way a man like Edward would ever have more than a passing interest in me. Hes educated, wealthy, he has a good career, plus hes insanely good looking. Im not his equivalent in looks and I lack all of those other qualities he has. Not only that, I have so little experience with men that I would probably be a horrible lay and that would make me even less appealing to him. He probably likes me now because Im a novelty but once that wears off I probably wont see much of him again. But I cant resist slowly sneaking closer toward him, just for one short little moment. I try to lower myself toward him to give him a kiss on the forehead before I leave the room again. Of course, I lose my footing and start to fall sideways. Someone catches me really fast before my head hits the corner edge of the night stand. Edward, I say, looking at him, my eyes wide.

Hes sitting up on the bed, his arms out and me in them. Ive never been so glad to be a clumsy doofus in my entire life. Seriously, its paying off. This is the third time Tie Guy has had to wrap his arms around to save me from myself. Its quite enjoyable. Couldnt let you break my nightstand. I keep a lot of important things on there, he tells me, smiling that edible smirk. I would hate for that to happen, I deadpan. Where should I put you down? he asks. I look into his eyes and cant help but sigh dreamily like a lovesick teenager. How about you dont? I spill out lazily. Sounds good to me, Skater Girl, he replies, his voice playful. He leans back with me in his lap. I smell him and immediately everything goes into overdrive. I love the way he smells. His fuckscent intoxicates me. Were you not sleeping well? he asks. I was sleeping just fine; my phone woke me upworried roommates. Ah. Did you let them know that the only danger I pose is boring you to death?

Umm, Tie Guy, I think youre a little more dangerous than that, I reply coyly. Oh yeah? How so? he asks with a smooth voice and an arched brow. This guy is good. I think your organizational skills are terrifying. Thats it? Thats not dangerousits just creepy. We laugh and he pushes my hair away from my face, tucking it behind my ear. See, Im just a mess Tie Guy. The hair is simply the beginning. But youre the prettiest mess Ive ever seen. Clearly you havent seen enough messes. You know when I kiss you all this self-doubt seems to disappear. I think thats all the reason I need to kiss you constantly. What do you think? Dude, sounds a like plan. But dont just tell me what youre going to do. Get to steppin. He kisses me softly, holding my cheek with his palm. His kisses are the best, I decide. They melt my insides and make my toes curl. I put my hands in his thick hair, pulling him closer to me. I can taste fuckscent now which is even more intoxicating than smelling it. Bella, he whispers.

Hmm? I answer, looking at him. We can go as fast or as slow as you wantits always your call, remember? Yeah, I remember. Thank you. I was actually going to leave the room before I fell. But your arms made me change my mind. And you know, your face and the rest of you, that helped too. Why were going to leave? he asks. I dunno, its justwere very different, you know. He laughs. Yeah, I noticed that. Is there something wrong with that? No, its just that Im different from you in ways that you might not like in the long run. Youre a serial killer, arent you? I knew there was something really different about you. No, you ass, I laugh, raising my hand to smack his arm lightly. He catches it before it makes contact and kisses the center of my palm. Then what is it? Listen, you ought to just explain it to me or Ill be forced to simply kiss you all day long, and while that isnt exactly a chore, it would get in the way of other priorities like our jobs and eating and just life in general, he protests playfully.

Edward, I say, my face becoming serious, Im not like you. I dont have any goals or plans for my life. I left school halfway through. Im a sales associate at an Apple store. I dont really know where my life will go from one day to the next. My voice trails off in the hopes hell just get what Im trying to say without me actually having to say it. And? He asks, not letting me off the hook. I just dont see how this would work out, I say in vague terms. He suddenly looks crestfallen and I feel him tighten up underneath me. Oh. I see. Well, I cant say Im not disappointed. I thought you liked me, or at least it seems like you do. I must have misread you, Im sorry, he says uncomfortably. He looks down and stares at the carpet. What. the. fuck. He thinks Im the one whod lose interest. He is either the best actor in the world or he really is a completely unassuming person. I cant figure out which. Curse you, gods of indecision! You know what Bella, youre nothing if not a softie. Youre dying to give him the benefit of the doubt, so just do it. DEW EET. Wait, you thinkI would be the one to say it wasnt working

out? I ask, feeling incredulous. That isnt what youre trying to tell me? No, I laugh, no it isnt, I assure him. Then why would you say that? Now its my turn to look down and feel self-conscious. Because, sooner or later youd lose interest in me, I confess. He looks at me curiously, his face a mixture of confusion and amusement. You know, Skater Girl, you really are one odd duck, he tells me. Thanks. No, really. Let me show you something, he says softly. He puts his hand under my chin, barely even touching it. His fingertips lightly graze the edge of my jawline. Without thinking, I close my eyes and moan softly. My whole body comes alivemy skin tingles, my breasts ache and it suddenly gets really warm in Bunny Town. I open my eyes again and see him smiling at me. Amazing isnt it? We barely touched each other, he murmurs. Is it like thisfor you too? I wonder out loud.

Skater Girl, its nothing like anything Ive experienced with another person. And I doubt Id lose interest in you. Not when just touching your chin feels like I walked through an electrical current, he says, smiling devilishly. Can I try? I ask impulsively. His smile just gets bigger. I trail the back of my index finger from his temple all the way to his jugular, right below his jaw. I feel his pulse race quickly against my finger in a steady thump thump thump. His eyes close now, and his whole face relaxes, like all the tension in it just melts away. Edward, I moan... His hands are on my face and he kisses me again, with more urgency this time. He kisses my cheek, then moves down to my neck, where his mouth makes all the little hairs on my body stand straight up. I sober up for a minute. I takes a lot of effort. A lot. Tie Guy, I say. I dont really know what Im doing. I should probably be upfront about that. Skater Girl, if this is you not knowing what youre doing, your expertise would surely cause me to burst into flames. And I like to avoid igniting myself into an inferno, he says

with a laugh, talking into my neck. I laugh along with him. Seriously, like I said, you tell me how fast or slow to go. Its your call, he reminds me. I want to learn, I say, my curiosity and libido getting the better of me. His hands glide up and down my back and I feel his breath on my neck. He pulls back at looks at my face, his expression earnest and sweet. Id love to teach you, if I can. What do you want to learn? he asks. Im overwhelmed by how simultaneously erotic yet innocent this question is. He asks it so politely, so awkwardly, yet the words themselves and the mouth, the face that utters them make my head spin. Everything, I sigh, closing my eyes. Well its a good thing tomorrows a Sunday. We both laugh. Tie Guy? Hmm? I hesitate but I force the words out. Better to freak him out now before we go any further than afterward. I think Im falling in love with you, I admit. My eyes are on the carpet again, unable to meet his gaze.

He lifts my chin and kisses my lips chastely. Skater Girl, I know Im falling in love with you. Im too overwhelmed to say anything witty or meaningful. This is a very fortuitous coincidence, I joke. I love your vocabulary, its unbearably sexy, he says, nibbling my ear. The room starts spinning and I need to clear my throat. Its that insane fuckscent again. It makes my mouth water. Thats it? Just my big words? I say, feigning insult. The blow job was nice, he jokes, his understatement deliberate. Nice? Do you have a death wish? I reply, laughing. No, youre niceall over, he says, his big hand running up and down my thigh. I want you to touch me. All over, I confess, unable to keep my desire, propriety, modesty or anything else in check. Bella, he groans. His hand is in my shirt now, making small circles against my abdomen. I kiss his warm pouty lips and moan lightly. I give in to every base impulse this man incites by just looking at me and I take my shirt off. He looks at my breasts in my bra. Im wearing a dainty pale blue demi cup bra made of a light

chiffon fabric. The cups are sheer with little polka dots and theres a satin bow in the middle of the cleavage. Edward sucks in his breath. For a second I think Ive freaked him out horribly but then I see his face. His eyes are like saucers and his mouth is slightly open. I laugh nervously. I know hes probably excited but I still feel a little awkward. Ive never had my shirt off in front of a guy. Jake would just stick his hand up my shirt until he was ready for a blow job. God he was disgusting. Im not tainting this experience by relating it to him in any way, shape, or form. I am done with that asshole ruining it for me, making me regret that I am a human being with desires and a body and a soul that need tending to by another person. Fuck the past. I live in today. And today Im getting laid. Edwards hand is in mid-air and he looks at me tentatively. I take it, kiss his fingers one by one, and press his palm against the sheer fabric covering my nipple. I close my eyes and take a deep breath. So beautiful, he says, his voice a husky whisper. He moves his palm gently back and forth, and I rest my head on his shoulder. His touch isindescribable. Its like feeling the worst hunger and the most satisfying pleasure both at

the same time, and the two things fight for control of my senses. Bella, I want to make love to you, he says. I smile and raise my eyebrow. Well, its like I said, better get to steppin, I quip. I want to take my time, go slow, if thats alright. I think I should insist this time, he tells me with a smile. No, slow is better, I agree. Im getting nervous all of a sudden, like saying it out loud suddenly burdened the situation with an air of significance and consequence. Edward has his hand gently resting on my left breast. Skater Girl, your heart is racing, he says, his brow furrowed. I know, Im kinda nervous all of a sudden, I confess. He gently lifts me up and lays me down on the bed, my head propped up on soft pillows. Dont be nervous. Its just me, the boring guy with all the ties and OCD tendencies. I wont hurt you, not your body or your heart, he promises. He strokes my cheek softly. Im really overwhelmed now. I thought he got me turned around and tongue tied and speechless before. Now I just want to cryfrom happiness, from my good fortune in

finding this man, from finally leaving my bitter past behind me, from the tenderness of this beautiful, neurotic, funny, quirky man who unlocked my poetry and chased away my cynicism without even knowing it. I am so in love with you. Youre a kind soul, Edward. More than maybe you give yourself credit for. Even if we parted ways tomorrow, I dont think I could even hold a grudge. Youve been nothing but a gentleman and I say, unable to finish. What? he asks. Im not nervous anymore, I add, smiling lightly. He smiles back at me, sheepishly at first, then with full on crimples. Must kiss the crimples. I pull him down toward me, gripping his t-shirt in my fists. Its my kiss now, and Im not as patient as him. I want to taste his soft lips, his warm tongue. His mouth gently opens and I explore everywhere. My hands move of their own volition, pulling his shirt up. In one motion, he lifts it over his head and tosses it aside. I look at him for a second and cant keep it together. I laugh. Why are you laughing? he asks with a grin but almost

insulted. Because you threw your shirt on the floor, no fluffing or folding or anything, I tease. You know Skater Girl, your teasing will have consequences. I will fluff and fold you if you keep at it, he warns playfully. Oh yeah, like how? I challenge. Lets see, he says, looking over me as I lie next to him. He sits up. This beautiful morsel here folds nicely, he says, lifting my calf and bending my knee. He kisses my knee cap. And this here, he jokes in a silky voice as he slides his hand under my butt, doesnt really need fluffing but Ill use just about any excuse to touch it, he adds, smirking at me. Laundry is very erotic all of a sudden, I murmur, pulling him on top of me again. We kiss very hungrily now, no longer able or interested in waiting any longer, not even to talk. His hand is back on my breast and his fingers play lightly against my nipple. I sigh contentedly into his neck. His lips move from my mouth to my cheek and down my neck. He kisses the ribbon on my cleavage. Smiling at me, he puts his hands underneath me and deftly unhooks my bra in one little flick. When I smile and giggle

softly he explains how he acquired such a gift. Years of piano, being a Boy Scout and a compulsion to succeed at everything, he tells me. We both laugh. I ease my arms out of my bra straps and Edward gently lifts the fabric away from me. He hisses at the sight of my bare chest and plants soft kisses all over me. I arch my back, wanting more. His kisses grow increasingly stronger and I feel his tongue touching my skin. Im on fire inside. When he kisses and lightly licks my nipple, every muscle in my body tenses up. I worry what would happen when other more sensitive body parts start touching. Can people really spontaneously explode? Our bodies move against each other, eager and impatient. I pry my jeans open and start to shimmy them down my legs. Edward takes over for me, kissing my legs tenderly as he peels the denim away from me. On his way back up, he repeats his kissing, starting at the top of my feet. Were just in underwear now and were grinding our bodies together feverishly. I can feel Edwards erection pressing against his boxer briefs. My hands need to touch him, so I let them trail down to his groin,

desperate to feel how my presence, my touch, is effecting him. I put my hand over him and stroke gently up and down. Bella, he moans softly. His mouth is back at breasts now, kissing, licking, sucking. His hand plays at my navel, then goes further down to the outside of my panties. I gasp at that. Bunny, meet Tie Guy. Tie Guy, meet Bunny. I think you guys will get along swimmingly. Its OK, he says, sensing my skittish reaction to his touch. Its just me, he adds, smiling. I smile back. Ever so lightly, his hand caresses me through the thin film of fabric of my panties. That fire inside me is only intensifying but I need more. More touching, more kissing, more licking more everything. Skater Girl, he whispers, would you like me to take these panties off you? he asks in my ear. I can only moan in response because honestly that is the hottest thing anyone has ever said to me. Chuckling lightly, he moves himself down the length of my body, kissing his way down to my groin. He kisses my pubic bone. My eyes go crossed. Literally. Thank God my head is facing up and he didnt see me almost have a seizure and lose control of my optic muscles.

I cant look down. Ill explode. Bella, look down, he says playfully. Shit. I look down and watch him. He smiles, and with his eyes on me, grabs my panties with his teeth and eases them off me. HIS TEETH. Having disposed of my panties, he gently strokes my legs with both hands and eases himself between them. Now I cant stop watching. He softly touches my bare flesh with his fingertips and I moan audibly. Uhhhn, Edward, I say in a long drawn out sigh. I can feel his breath on the flesh between my legs and its almost too much. I close my eyes again. He kisses me again on my pubic bone, this time with no fabric between my skin and his lips. Its like a spark shooting right through me. I take deep breaths to slow my heart down and relax. If you want me to stop just tell me and I will, he says, always, always, the gentleman. He kisses my soft flesh with a feather touch and his hand does the same. He slowly starts kissing more urgently and then with an open mouth. My hips are starting to move. I want to feel more than just a little tap

of his tongue on me. I let out a small whine. More, I say, please. I feel his tongue press against me and I have goose flesh everywhere. Both my feet go funny like the one that did earlier just from kissing. His finger slowly plays at making its way inside me, moving very gently. He teases and waits for several minutes, giving me all control over what he does. This both enraptures me and makes me want to scream. More, I repeat, please. Im moving my hips around in earnest now, seeking relief any way I can get it. He licks and sucks and explores with one finger, then two. His touch moves rhythmically now and I am absolutely out of my mind, thrashing my head from side to side, panting, moaning. MORE! I demand in a loud voice. Now I feel three fingers move in and out of me, giving me a mixture of slight pain but also unbelievable pleasure. His lips settle firmly on my clit, and his mouth begins to pull harder and harder. My hands are balled into fists on either side of me, clenching the bed sheet so hard my knuckles turn white. Im making noises Ive never even heard myself make before. I am so

completely on another plane of existence; I think to myself that Im certain Edward Cullen has now ruined my expectations of every other man Ill ever meet. I better fucking marry this guy. No one else will ever compare after this. Theres just no way. His fingers travel deeper, probing and stretching. They flick against something inside me and my whole body contracts reflexively. My breath gets stuck in my throat. He waits and I relax again. His nimble finger press the same spot harder this time and what happens next is like some kind of weird rift in time and space. OHMYSWEETFUCKINGJESUS! I scream. All of a sudden everything goes completely wound up and tense and then just as quickly, wave after wave cascade out of me in long slow ripples. My ears only hear muffled sounds and my voice emanates on its own. Yeah, done deal. Getting married. Like tomorrow. These mind blowing sensations just keep going and I lose track of when they even started. I want to call this an orgasm but its kind of like looking at a seven course steak and lobster dinner and calling it a Happy

Meal. Edward, Edward, Edward, I moan until my voice gets hoarse. It takes me a good few minutes to even move. Edward sweetly kisses me below my navel as he moves up to lie next to me. I lie there, completely flat, my arms and legs slack. My muscles trick memake me feel like Im submerged in water, floating on the surface. Tie Guy, I whisper. Yes? he replies. Idont have anything to say, I admit dumbly. He laughs. You needed to tell me you have nothing to say? he asks, seeking clarification. Well you need to know because how else are you going to assess the amount of brain damage Ive just suffered? I ask, only really half kidding. He laughs and puts his arms around me, kissing my face, my neck, my shoulders. His hands find my breasts again and I a very happy sigh wafts from me. I let my hands explore him a littlehis chest, his back, his broad shoulders. Fuckscent is everywhere. I inhale it in greedy gulps. And just like that, Im just as starved for him

as I was when I first walked into the room. I need to feel him against me, on top of me, inside me. Its such a strong desire, it just takes over my body and my brain. My hand wanders down to his groin and Im not bashful about touching him. I put both hands inside the elastic of his boxer briefs and pull them down to his thighs, then his calves and then off his feet. I take in every inch of his naked form with my eyes and I just devour the sight of him. I press my cheek against his shin before kissing it. My hands caress and rub the beautiful, lithe muscles in his thighs. And then I get to the best part. Im almost embarrassed to admit this even to myself. The thought popped into my head earlier in the evening when I gave him head and again I cant dismiss it. The most attractive part of Edward Cullen? His glorious, perfect cock. No sense in denying it. It really is perfect. I mean, the shape, the size. Its pretty, to be honest. Smooth, thick and just plan perfect. And the upkeep! The hair is all trimmed and clean. I could eat my breakfast off his junk. Actually my breakfast could be his junk. I could

have it for all three meals, really. The peenpire won this battle of wills before it even started. I take him in my mouth because I cant really resist. Fuckscent is actually strongest down here. It emanates from this very spot. His hands go under my arms and he pulls me up, laying me on my back. He smiles at me sweetly and I press my palm to his cheek. I pull my knees up and move my legs apart so he can prop himself between them. You better get to steppin, Tie Guy, I say. My joke makes me sound more confident than I actually feel. If you feel ready, so am I, he offers. He reaches over to the nightstand and pulls something out of the drawer. Its a condom. Im on the pill, I tell him. Ive wanted to have sex. I just didnt have anyone to have it with until now, I admit. OK, he says. Ive been tested and Im healthy, he adds. We smile at each other as he tosses the unopened condom back into the drawer. I dont want to hurt you but I dont think its avoidable, he says, his look of concern coming across as unbearably sweet. I love pepaw. I know that sounds wrong but I do. Pepaw is

the best. Thats what Ive heard. I have no first-hand data, obviously, I joke again. I smile up at him and bite my lip. Bella, youve got the prettiest smile, just the most natural, radiant thing Ive ever seen, he tells me. He gently presses into me and the pain makes me wince. Seeing my face and my pained expression, he kisses my forehead. Thanks, Edward, your smile makes my insides go all wibbly wobbly, for lack of a better term, I reply. The pain is really intense now and I try to block it out. You also have the most beautiful eyes. The colorit reminds me of my favorite roast of coffee. Theyre lovely and perfect, he tells me, kissing me softly. When I first saw you, I literally couldnt move, did you notice that? he asks me. Really? Really, I saw your profile, and then you turned and looked right at me. I was rooted to the spot because of how beautiful you looked. Like an angel, he murmurs. I thought the same thing about you. I couldnt think straight and dropped everything I was holding, I remember, smiling lightly.

I could kiss you wonderful clumsy hands for giving me an excuse to go up and talk to you, he says with that smirk. Something dawns on me. Im not really in a lot of pain. I think Edward just pulled the old bait and switch on me by talking and distracting me. This guy is really good. I can feel him all the way inside me but hes not moving. It doesnt hurt anymore, I say, not being entirely truthful. I dont want to make him feel badly after he tried so hard to distract me. Your whole body is perfect, Bella. Being inside you, making love to you, its amazing, he murmurs, gently rocking back and forth. He kisses me again and I put my hands on either side of his face. Youre perfect too, I whisper, moving against him slightly. We move faster now and Edward begins panting. I cover his face in kisses, grateful that hes been so patient, kind, and loving. I realize quickly that I wouldnt change this first time experience for anything. It was definitely worth the wait. Without a doubt, this is the best Ive felt physically and emotionally in I dont even know how long. I am finally free of all the burdens that weighed me down inside, ate at me slowly, made me feel like less of a person.

That Bella has left the building. And I cant help but get a little emotional when I think about it. To finally close a chapter in my life that caused me so much pain and sadness made me feel so happy that everything just sort of bubbles over in me. And all of it is due in no small part to the most uptight, tiewearing, sardonic joke cracking, gorgeous, smart, sweet man Id ever met. I simply cant describe it myself so I let the endless lines of poetry I have committed to memory do the talking for me. Its A Moment to Remember by Pushkin. In dark days of enforced retirement I gazed upon grey skies above With no ideals to inspire me, No one to cry for, live for, love. Then came a moment of renaissance, I looked upyou again are there, A fleeting vision, the quintessence Of all thats beautiful and rare. Bella, sweet angel girl, he whispers in my ear, his breathing ragged, his brow moist against my temple. He stops moving and I feel him twitch inside me. I wrap my legs around his waist, wanting to keep him just where he is

for as long as I can. You are win, Tie Guy, I whisper. So are you, Skater Girl, he whispers back, kissing my forehead and smiling at me. We curl around each other, fitting our arms and legs together like two puzzle pieces. With a few contented sighs and several yawns, we fall blissfully asleep. EPOV I hold in my very lucky arms one softly sleeping, lightly snoring and highly perplexing Bella Swan. I use the word perplexing because never in my life have I had an experience like this with another person. And I finally give in to what my heart has been screaming to my brain for the last few days. I am in love with Bella Swan. Sk8r Grl pwns Tie Guy. This was probably the most perplexing thing of all. I would never have thought it was possible to develop such strong feelings so quickly. And yet, here I am. I also had no real experience with such a strong physical chemistry, which Im sure helped the falling in love to happen the way it did. Even telling her how I felt was surprisingly easy, especially since she had said the same exact thing first. There was no

hanging on to it after that. Shed practically pulled the words out of me. Just looking at her was all it took. I think the only part of me that isnt confused or flummoxed or what-have-you is my dick. He knows exactly whats what. And what he knows is that Skater Girl is the woman of his dreams. Not only does he find her delightful and wood-worthy, but she is 100% hypoallergenic. I knew it the second my mouth touched that soft pink muff of hers. Christ, her pussy felt like a velvety pile of wet rose petals on my tongue perfectly scented and sweet. When I tasted her, my dick knew his new home would be a pleasure palace. So when Bella asked to forgo condoms I was more than happy to oblige. Every other part of my body besides my dick is still confused by this beautiful bundle of contradictions. What makes it even more difficult to understand is the fact that Im normally pretty good at figuring people out. Working in the job that I doteaching people how to manage their businessesmeans that I have an appreciation for human psychology and why people behave the way that they do, so this is a subject I know fairly well. But none of it comes in useful at all with this

woman. She consistently catches me utterly off guard and Im mesmerized by it. I love the way I dont seem to be able to anticipate what shes about to say or do next. Normally, its a skill I pride myself on. Ive always been a rather perceptive person and in many instances have relied on that perception to figure out what people were thinking, despite what they may be saying or doing to the contrary. Not so with Bella. I have misread and misunderstood her consistently since we first said a word to each other. I cant read or predict a single thing coming from her. It thrills me to no end. On the one hand, I was amazed (and my dick wouldve broken into song if it could have) to hear her creeping into my bedroom in the dead of night, trying her best to be quiet when her horrid coordination made it impossible. I thought shed run out like a frightened mouse but she didnt. She wanted to stay. She wanted me. And then she started talking about how different we were and that she didnt see how it could work outour dating each other. I felt complete and utter disappointment when she said this but once again, I

misunderstood her. She thought I would be the one to feel that way. Not in this lifetime. And thats not just my dick talking. I can hardly keep myself composed just looking at her. Shes ruining every plan, every schedule, every anticipated move I have. Im a little terrified but mostly thrilled. Shes stirring now, murmuring softly. Edward, mmmm she moans. I stroke her cheek and she curls up against me tighter. God, I love how she says my name in her sleep. If thats not every guys fantasywatching and hearing a beautiful girl dream about youI dont know what is. Oh yeah, like that she purrs. OK, that got my dicks attention. She might be asleep but hes not. I kiss her face lightly hoping to wake her up. Im nice but Im not a eunuch. The smell of her hair alone gives me the kind of boners I havent had since high school. Her rubbing against me naked, moaning my name is the stuff of pure sexual torture. Good morning, she whispers, her eyes still half closed. She puts her hand over her pouty red lips. I have dragon

breath, she confesses with a laugh. But I need to give you a good morning kiss, I say, looking sad. I noticed that Skater Girl has a weakness for my sad face. Using it to get what I want isnt so much manipulation as it working the odds to my advantage. I need to wash up first, she protests softly. Would you like me to help you with that? She blushes at first. Christ, that blush kills me. It defies her spontaneous attitude completely. People who are really impulsive dont blush. I suspect this is more about her discovering herself than anything else. And I would be a fool not to help her out with that. This is going to be the ride of both our lives. I no longer think that Death by Orgasm is all that unlikely. In fact, Im beginning to wish I go out like that. My mother would be mortified but shed get over it. Her blush fades and she smiles as she bites her bottom lip. Im becoming a quick study in learning what these subtle little changes in expression mean. This one is you know, now that you mention it, Im horny as hell. I love that one. Its impossibly beautiful how modest she can look one second and seductive the next.

Can we take a shower together? she asks, as if Id say no. This woman kills me! Skater Girl, I was only just fantasizing about you in there with me. I would tell you that if it wouldnt make you run screaming for the nearest can of pepper spray. Of course, if thats what you want, I offer. My plan of getting more by doing less has been a phenomenal success. Good Lord, its made my every fantasy come true so far. Thats what I want, she says provocatively. Edward? Hmm? Remember when I said I wanted to learn everything? she asks, as if Id forget. Yes, I do, I say, running the tip of my finger from her ear lobe to her collarbone. She moans, shivers and her nipples form stiff little points for me. Mmm, she says, completely distracted. Angel, you were saying something? I remind her. I rather enjoy playing with her in this way. I cant say shed complain either. Oh, yes, she laughs. I wanted to say thatId like to learn. So, if its OK, if I want to trythis is embarrassing, she says, blushing again. I think I understand what youre getting at. Dont be

embarrassed. I want to know what you like, what youre curious about. I say, trying to reassure her that she is, in fact, the most intoxicatingly seductive creature on the planet and she doesnt even know it. Yes, thats what I was trying to get at. And thank you for being so sweet, she replies, looking down. Alright then, what are we waiting for? I ask, stroking her abdomen. Christ shes beautiful. All mine. My suddenly feeling of possessiveness catches me off guard. Ive never been the jealous type, at least not with Whats Her Name. It just didnt occur to me to think of her as mine. But Skater Girlsomething almost animalistic stirs in me when I think of her body. Its a base impulse. I just want to own herlay claim to her completely. Bella hasnt moved an inch since she opened her eyes. Skater Girl, youre not really a morning person, are you? I ask playfully. Hmm? she replies dreamily. Wake up, I say, running my finger-tips along her side. She laughs from being tickled. OK, OK, she says, wriggling away from me.

I sit and pull her up with me. She wraps her arms and legs around my torso. Too lazy to walk? I tease. I like making you earn your keep, she teases back. I get up and carry her into the bathroom. Honestly nothing feels better than this woman in my arms, so Im glad its what she wanted. Wow, she says as I put her down, You really like to separate your loads, dont you? Yes, thats the whole point. Keep the loads separate. Yeah, you could say that, I reply with a small laugh. I turn the shower on and wait for the water to heat up. I want to brush my teeth like I usually do but my dick has other ideas seeing Bella standing in front me completely naked, hair in loose tangles down her shoulders, her beautiful pert breasts tempting me like nothing else. She makes the decision for me by putting her arms around my neck and resting her head on my shoulder. I kiss her forehead, then her temple, her cheek, her jaw, then her neck. She moans softly. If I dont get her into that shower I really will just bend her over right here and that wouldnt be very gentlemanly at all.

I lead her toward the shower and we stand under the hot water. Can I wash you? I ask. She smiles. I start with shampooing her hair and rinsing it out. I sit her on the bench and wash her foot, then her calf, then her thigh. I repeat the same process with her other creamy white shapely leg. She closes her eyes and makes soft little sighs. I stand her up again and wash her arms, her shoulders and her back. I lather up her soft, perfect breasts, making sure the back of my fingers work slow circles around her pink nipples. I rub her abdomen and then work my way down to her beautiful pussy. My fingers play against the soft flesh there, up and down. Bella moans. I have her turn her back to me and lean forward, resting her palms against the wall. I soap her ass, running my hand between her firm cheeks. Fuck her ass is glorious. I make sure to lather and rinse everywhere because my hands need to touch every inch of her backside. Edwardthis feels, she moans, really good. I stand there stupidly. I cant move. I can only blink. Honestly my mind is a complete blank. I try to remember the

last 45 seconds of my life. I was fondling this beautiful womans perfect ass and she said it felt really good. Said It Felt Really Good Domo Arigato Captain Orgasmo My dick wakes me out of my stupor and takes over from there. I continue to rinse all the soap off of her but keep letting my hands wander up and down her back and down to her ass again. I kiss her shoulder, then leave a trail all the down her spine and back up again. She starts to move against me, my cock planted firmly between her cheeks. I rock back and forth, working my shaft against her beautiful ass. God its amazing, but I still have more I want to do before Im finished. I turn her around and kiss her. She kisses me back eagerly, her small hands all over my chest. One trails down to my cock and it twitches in her hand. Your turn to get soaped up, she says. She lathers me up

and down and rinses me off everywhere. Shes leaving my dick for last and I nearly passed out from the anticipation. I groan when she finally puts her hand around it, washing it up and down in long torturous strokes. Bella, what would you like to do? I ask. I want togo back to bed? she asks, almost like a question. Of course, I say with a smile. I turn off the water and put a towel around my waist before using another one to dry off Bellas sweet little body. God, I could touch her until my hands fell off. I kiss her lips lightly, then her chin, her neckgoing all the way down her body to her navel. Then I hear her stomach growl. Loudly. I think we should take a detour to the kitchen, I suggest. Cant race without any gas in the tank. Oh, she replies, pouting. But youve got all the protein I need, she says sweetly. And just like that, her suggestive words ignite a powder keg in my brain. In my mind I see her on her knees, her hands tied behind her back, my cock fucking her mouth. I clear my throat and swallow to make the image disappear.

Sk8tr Girl, you do things to me. Devious, yet incredibly fucking hot things. I walk over to my dresser and pull out two t-shirts and two pairs of boxers. Bella needs to roll up the waist band of my boxers to get them to stay up and it makes them ride up her ass magnificently. Too bad the tshirt covers all of that. I get out my Blackberry while shes at the vanity in the bathroom. I quickly send an email to Barb, my assistant at work. Barb and I have been working together ever since I got my job. Shes a wonderfully efficient woman in her early fifties with a great sense of humor. She teases me constantly about my fastidious habits and how I need to meet a girl who will ruin my pristine existence. Shed love Bella. I just dont know how to tell Bella about my job. It would uncover a bunch of mistruths and I know it will make her angry. I type quickly. Barb, Please use my personal expense account to purchase some items. Victorias Secret, size small. Anything blue. Doesnt matter what, how much or how many. Just needs to be blue. Have them sent

to my house. Dont ask, I wont tell. Edward Were in the kitchen now, making an even bigger mess than last night. Well, Bellas making the mess. I insist on chopping the vegetables because after watching her with a knife last night, all I can see in my head is a scene like something out of a Sam Peckinpah movie and it scares the shit out of me. When Im done with that, I start cleaning up after her as she goes. I try my best to contain the tornado. She teases me. Seriously, dont they have meds for what you cant stop doing? she jokes. Not in the dosage strength I need, I joke back. Its only a little bit of egg on the counter, she informs me, eating toast with one hand and mixing scrambled eggs with the other. Thats where Salmonella comes from, I inform her. When a mommy egg meets a daddy germ? Yes, they make a Salmonella baby and everyone dies. Skater Girl makes her usual squeaking sounds at me. I love the way she laughs at my jokes and even jokes back with me with the same dry sense of humor. She does indeed complete me.

Youre troubled, she tells me. Youre troubling, I reply. Stop it, she says firmly. Stop what? I ask. She must not like my teasing anymore. Im probably annoying her. Looking like that. Like what? Im confused now. Looking like I could eat you for breakfast. Captain Orgasmo has been cleared for take off. Skater girl, I say with a growl. Tie guy? she asks. Her eyes on me, her eyebrow arched provocatively. Get to stepping, I tell her. Cmere you. She kisses me and I respond in kind. Breakfast is no longer on the agenda. Skater Girl throws my agenda out the window and then does a clumsy dance on it. What do you want, Skater Girl? I ask. Want you, she moans into my neck. Want me to what? I tease. Take me, take me here, she urges. She looks right into my eyes when she says it. She pulls her boxers down and flings them with her foot.

Good Lord. Another fantasy coming true in the span of an hour. I worry about cross contamination but my hard-on tells my brain to kindly shut the fuck up. I pick her up and sit her on the counter. Thank God I already wiped up the eggs. With disinfectant. Bella, if its painful I try to say. Fuck me, she blurts, her face a mixture of horny and shocked at her own words. My eyes nearly pop out of my head. I hiss and clench my jaw. Balling up my shirt with her fists, she pulls me toward her and wraps her legs around my hips. Shes grinding back and forth. Jesus, youre making me unhinged, I confess. I grab her face with my hands and kiss her warm, wet mouth. Her tongue is on mine and tastes like mouthwash. I lightly cup her breast, playing with her nipple gently. Edward, please! she begs. I quickly pull my shirt over my head and take my cock out of my boxers. Im already massively hard. I try to ease my way into her. She was so incredibly tight last night that I dont want to cause her a lot of pain.

She grabs my ass and just gets the job done for me. I suck in my breath sharply, the feeling of her smooth walls clamped down tight around me giving me a rush that makes me want to cum inside her right then and there. She stiffens up and winces, so I wait. Dont want to hurt you, I whisper. Its OK, its already gone, she says, nibbling on my earlobe. Now, I asked you to do somethingsofuck me. All I can do is groan. Words are gone. Again. I move my hips slowly against her and bite my lip to keep myself under control. Ive always been a controlled person and sex was no exception. I could hold off on Whats Her Name for hours if I had to. But Skater Girl turns me into a 15 year old again, getting stiff as a board at the mere mention of the words fuck me. I cant think about the fact that this is the first time Ive ever made love anyplace that wasnt a bed and not in missionary position, because if I do, Ill pound into her like a jackhammer and cum entirely too soon. Talk about lack of control. This woman makes me feel like a fat kid at Krispy Kreme. Last night I had her pain to worry about and it kept me in control. Now that its no longer an issue, I cant really hold

back. I do realize that making her sore and shocking her by being rough would not help at all. Thinking about that helps me get composed again. Then she does what she does bestshe completely ruins my plans. Faster, please! she pleads, looking right at me. I just look at her, my jaw clenching. I dont speed up. Her face changes. It looks impatient, annoyed. She thinks Im teasing her. Christ. Edward she purrs into my ear, Fuck mehard. My mind goes blank and once again, my cock, followed closely by the Captain, takes over the job. I growl loudly, snarling at her like an animal, and give her what she wants. Her eyes literally roll up into her head and her neck goes slack. Shes beginning to pant and moan loudly and she just looks fucking unbelievablesweet, like an angel, but also wanton, letting her physical desires take over the rest of her, just like I am. Bella, I say. She opens her eyes and looks at me. I want to look in her eyes while Im doing this to her. I want to see every emotion, every sensation that passes across her beautiful face. Say somethingdirty, she tells me.

I close my eyes and allow myself to indulge my every whim. Control can kiss my ass. Love to fuck you, fuck your sweet pussy, I say in a low voice, holding her face against my palm, my thumb stroking her soft cheek. The Captain is much better at this than I am, it seems, because no sooner are the words out of my mouth that her whole body changes. She arches her back, digs her nails into my ass and rocks her ass back and forth to get as much friction as she can. Edward, oh God, Edward! she pants as I feel her muscles contract against my cock. I let go of the searing heat I feel and let it erupt out of me with a long slow hiss. We take a minute to let our breathing slow down. Kissing her forehead, I pull out of her and adjust my boxers. I help her down from the counter and we take up our usual spot on the couch because I decide that Skater Girl needs some cuddle time. That was she tries to say. Amazing? I offer. Unbelievable, she confirms. Perfection, I add for good measure because that was

perfect. Our bodies fit together with a kind of precision that almost brings a tear to my eye. Were exactly the right height for making love to each other. Even her gorgeous gumdrop ass is at the perfect level for my cock to rub against. Having sex with her the first time last night convinced me that her body was perfect for mine and vice versa. Deliciously rapturous in a mind-bendingly carnal, impossibly stupefying way. Thats what it was, doing it in your kitchen, she says with a light laugh. This incredibly long string of SAT words makes me think of something. You know I love your big words, I tell her, wrapping my arm around her shoulders. Say, Skater Girl. I keep meaning to ask. What did you study at Radcliffe? I was a Creative Writing major, she replies, her eyes downcast. Oh yeah? What do you write? I ask, genuinely curious. Well, I dont anymore, but I was a poet. I may try again though. I have writers block but it seems to be going away, she says, her face looking sad. Bella, I would love to read your poetry if you ever want to

show it to me. I mean that. I love how eloquent you are. Her face perks up when I say this and Im glad that it does. Really? Thanks. To be honest, I sometimes wonder what people must think of me, she confesses. I dont understandthink of you? Yes, what people think about me leaving Radcliffe. You know, quitting school. I dont think its bad, if thats what you mean. From what you told me you were really unhappy there. Im glad you left if it was making you feel that way. She smiles. Thanks, Edward. But what I mean is, do you think maybe Im just not smart? Bella, I laugh. What would put that idea in your head? Youre really intelligent, very articulate. Id love to hear you debate a topic with mepolitics or ethics or whatever, because youre sharp and you know how to choose words carefully. Youve got to be smart to be able to do those things. I kiss the tip of her nose. She smiles sheepishly. What? Is there more to this pity party? I tease. She crinkles up her nose at me in irritation. I wonder if I should inform her that her irritated face is way too cute to have its intended effect. I could kiss her when shes mad.

Sometimes I feelI dunno, broken? Because I failed at something really important, she explains, her pretty face creased with worry. Bella, I say, running my hand up and down the side of her long, beautiful neck, you know, when I go to work with companies that are not doing well, that are in crisis and need consultants to come in and fix stuff, I always tell them the same thing. Never think of yourselves as a failure. If you get into that mindset, it becomes self-fulfilling. And once that happens, you cant turn things around. Its just a matter of perspective, really. Why did you leave school? Because it was too hard, she says with a sigh. Be more specific, I urge. No one liked my writing, she answers. Her lips are in a hard straight line now and I really hope I havent upset her because I am trying to make a point. OK, does that mean no one on the entire planet would like your writing? I ask. No, of course not. Then why does it matter if you didnt get approval from those people? I guess it doesnt, but I still quit. I just left.

Bella, you left not because you werent good enough for Radcliffe. You left because that school wasnt good enough for you. It wasnt right for you. It didnt bring out the best in you. She smiles more this time. I hope she believes what I said because I meant every word. You dont put a girl like Bella in a place like that. Shes too sensitive, too creative. Bella has an amazing capacity to be a truly free thinker if she gave herself the permission to do it. I would bet money her career as a poet would be wildly successful if she only believed it was possible. Thank you, again, she replies, grabbing my hand. She leans her head against my chest and this time my stomach growls. I have an idea, I say. Whats that? she asks, lifting her gaze up to my face. Why dont I take you out for breakfast? I suggest. Youre too grossed out to eat from your own kitchen, arent you? Yes but the cleaning lady will be here in the morning. I can get by until then. She squeaks at me again and we head for the bedroom to get dressed. Giving way to my base impulses again, I pick her up and heave her over my shoulder. I even smack her

ass for good measure and she lets out a little oooh noise that makes my heart pound. I toss her onto the bed as I think to myself that I could really hold off on breakfast for another hour or so. Chapter 9: Soul Meets Body BPOV Its extremely difficult to get anything done when Im kissing Edward. I mean, I cant really think so I dont even try, but things like breathing and maintaining a normal heart rate arent all that easy either. I simply get lost when he kisses me. My entire body just does its own thing. I feel so alive, so keenly aware of every sensation. And when a kiss is that amazing, breathing kind of tumbles down your list of priorities. Hes driving me home, or at least trying to but we cant stop kissing long enough for him to start the car. Hmmm, I try to say, but words just come out as moans. Hmmm? he moans back as a question, as in Im sorry where you saying something? I was too busy sucking your face off and mesmerizing you with my fuckscent, among other things, to hear you. We should I say between kisses. We should I try again. We should I attempt for the third and last time.

Yeah, he replies, we should go back upstairs. I need to go over some things with you that you may have missed. Im conscientious you know, I want to make sure you have a very thorough understanding of everything I teach you, he jokes. Thats awfully considerate of you. What kind of grade do you think Ill be getting, Professor? I ask playfully. Oh, thats easy. Youre getting an F. What? An F? But, Im trying really hard! I say in mock protest. I know you are but really I feel some remedial work is necessary. And you know, the letter F can stand for a lot of things, he says suggestively. I lean into him, put my hand on his chest and tilt my head innocently. The head tilt does funny things to Tie Guy. Mostly it makes his eyes go wide and sometimes his jaw clench in and out. Oh, Im getting an F. I see. Remedial, hmmm. Interesting. So, do I have to write something on a chalkboard a bunch of times? How does it work exactly? Maybe my hand has to move the same way, over and over, back and forth? I ask, biting my lip and letting my palm lightly glide down to his navel and back up again.

Hes clearing his throat now but also smiling. I think he likes it when Im frisky but is trying to keep cool. Hey, I have no problem admitting that I left cool at the door yesterday when I got off with all my clothes on. Lemme see how far this envelope can be pushed. What happens if Im bad, Professor? Do I get paddled? I whisper in his ear. His whole body tenses up when I say that. Ding ding ding. We have a winner! Tie Guy likes when I talk spankies. He closes his eyes and lets out a deep breath, like hes trying to calm himself down. Bella, he says, swallowing hard, You are seconds away from getting dragged back inside. I should hope so. Id be disappointed if I werent, I tease. What have I done to you? he asks with a laugh. I start laughing too. I dont know buddy, but its bad, whatever it is, I joke back. I kiss his cheek and lean back into my seat. Im sorry to have to take you home, to be honest, he says, kissing my hand. So am I. This was the best date Ive ever been on. Easily the longest one too. Not so much a date as a weekend getaway, huh?

Yeah, and I loved it. Thank you. My pleasure, Skater Girl. Before I know it, were parked in front of my apartment and Edward is opening my door for me. I puffy heart you, Pepaw. He very politely walks me to my door, where Ali and Rose are already waiting. I can tell by their faces that theyre absolutely dying to hear every last detail of what happened during my marathon date. Hey, its Frick and Frack, waiting up for me and everything. Did I miss curfew, bitches? I ask them. They ignore me and zero their laser beam eyes on Edward. Phasers are set to stun with these two, I can tell. Please dont embarrass me, I like this guy! I would really like to see him again. Hello, Edward, purrs Rose, So nice to see you again. Hi Big Boy, says Ali, Thanks for bringing Bella back to us in one piece. Although she looks a little worn out. I wonder why, she jokes with a wink. Hi ladies, nice to see you both, he replies awkwardly. You know, Edward, we like to get to know Bellas acquaintances. She is a very sensitive person and we hate to see her hurt. We get funny when shes upset, says Ali with a

less than subtle tone. And by funny we mean violent, adds Rose, squinting her eyes at Edward. Rose! I protest, glaring at her. Poor Edward shifts from one foot to another, looking like someones pointing a gun at him. When Rose stares daggers at you, she might as well be pointing a gun at you. Her cold shoulder alone could give a person frost bite. Yes, well, uh, ahem, I would hate to make anyone feel funny he replies nervously. Alright bitches, get inside. I want to say goodbye to my date now if no one minds, I say sharply, pointing into the apartment. Hey wait, Edwardwhat are you doing Friday night? Were party crawling, why dont you come with us? Alice. Yeah, you score bonus points if you bring friends, Rose chimes in, hot ones, she adds. Yeahyou and two hot friends, Friday night, 9pm, Ali orders. Yes, maam, Edward replies, smiling. Hekyl and Jekyl finally hoof it back inside. I wrap my arms around Edward, look up at him and my eyes

do the talking. The last twenty four hours have been the most amazing of my life. He kisses me sweetly on the lips. His beautiful big hands are on the small of my back and inch down to my backside. I kiss him back, wanting one last sweet taste of him. I inhale deeply because I desperately want to keep the memory of his scent with me while were apart. As we share this delicious goodbye kiss, a Tennyson poem appears in my mind. Now folds the lily all her sweetness up, And slips into the bosom of the lake: So fold thyself, my dearest, thou, and slip Into my bosom and be lost in me. I want Edward to be lost in my heart so he can never come out. I hope he feels the same way about me. Ill miss you, Skater Girl. I have to work all week. I dont think I can see you until Friday night, he says softly, stroking my cheek with the back of his fingers. Ill miss you too. Im working a ton of hours for the Christmas rush. Ill text you. And email you. And call you, I reply with a laugh. Yes, I hope you do, he tells me.

Bye Edward, I say, willing myself with all my might to force my body through the door and into the house. Bye, angel, he replies, kissing my neck before standing back and pulling away from me. I scoot inside before I lose my nerve. I shut the door and lean against it. I dont move for a minute because I need to calm down. Im feeling giddy and sad and overwhelmed and a million other things all simultaneously. Ali and Rose stand there staring at me. They were watching Edward and me from the window the entire time but I ignored them. Holy shit! says Rose. Seriously! says Ali. What? I ask, snapping out of my daze. Bellathat guyhes Ali tries to say. Hes what?!? I demand, furrowing my brow. If they start in on him, I will lose it. I am not about to let them harsh my buzz, not for a second. And I dont want to hear a single negative thing about Edward because I wont believe a word of it. Hes in love with you, Ali informs me. I know, I reply.

Its worse than that! Rose says, Shes in love with him. I know that too, Rose, I say with a sly smile. Bella, if you dont tell me every last detail of the past twenty hours, I may just take an axe to your skateboard, Ali threatens. OK, OK! I was going to tell you anyway, you dont need to hurt the board, I say with a laugh. Wait! I need to pop popcorn. This is gonna be good, Rose interjects. I change into PJs since I plan on being at home the rest of the day anyway. The three of us curl up on the couch with our popcorn and I tell the whole tale of Tie Guy and Skater Girl. Oh Bella, do you really think you could be so in love with him after only a few days? Alice asks with a dreamy look on her face. How should I know? I ask rhetorically and feeling more than a little scared. All I know is that it was just crazy. I mean, the lightest kiss from him, even on the cheek, makes my skin feel like its on fire. He dragged the tip of his finger down the side of my face and I felt sparks in the pit of my stomachnot butterflies from nervessparks, like a shock. I dont even know what it is,

Ive never felt that before, ever, I confess. Wow, is all Rose can manage to say. Im tearing up from how beautiful that is, Ali says, running her finger under each eye, You guys are totally meant to be, I can feel it. Oh God, Ali please dont say stuff like that. Im terrified itll all get jinxed somehow. You know my luck. Its worse than bad. I have no luck, I say, pleading with her not say all these good things out loud. I have a hard enough time just thinking about them. Have some faith, Bella. Just let things happen. You guys obviously have an amazing chemistrythat ought to keep you both busy for a long time. Dont go picking out china patterns anytime soon, Rose warns. Are you insane? Im not getting married. Ever, I say, feeling bold. My idiot friends burst out laughing. What if your man cockblocks you unless you do? Ali taunts. My eyes go wide. I hadnt thought of that. You think he would? I ask, starting to panic. They just laugh at me more now. Bella, you are so fucking gullible. Like that dude didnt have

a boner the entire time he was here dropping you off, Rose teases. Poor bastard was totally sporting a stiffy for you! Ali says before laughing so hard she snorts. You bitches are disgusting, you know that? I snap, getting ticked off. So, what did the junk look like? Any manscaping down there? Ali asks. This is the third time. I avoided answering the first two times. Yes, its beautifully manscapedcomplete with topiaries and little rows of flowers down there. God, you guys are nasty, I lament. Nasty but you love us, Ali says with puppy dog eyes. Yeah, yeah, dont push it, I reply, my mouth screwed up. I cant keep it up though and I start to laugh. That night my phone buzzes on the end table next to me as I lie on my sofa bed. Its a text from Tie Guy. Bella, Some poetry for my beautiful poet. The reason no man knows, let it suffice, What we behold is censured by our eyes. Where both deliberate, the love is slight: Who ever loved, that loved not at first sight?

Yours, Edward John Donne. Absolutely beautiful. You sure know how to woo a girl, Tie Guy. I text him back. Heart beats lub dub lub dub Perfect with yours because it can Like no other Listen to me, to it, to everything Its all my primal song For you. Kisses, Bella He replies. Whos the author of that one? Its lovely. I smile to myself as I type my answer to his question. Bella Swan, no longer suffering from writers block ) One more reply comes. Beautiful, just like you. Sleep well, angel girl. E I type my response. Will dream of you, no doubt. Good night. B The next couple of days pass slowly. I think of Edward every free moment I can. I walk into work on Wednesday morning and I must have the goofiest look on my face because Seth

notices it right away as I walk into the employee lounge. What up B? You look all fucked-up in the face, girl. Jesus, S-hole, you always know just what to say. Good morning to you too, asshat. Look, B, Im all for you finally getting laid, but shouldnt you be in a better mood? Youre still a bitch. That dude needs to try harder, like for the sake of humanity, he jokes. Get out of my face, twerp. Ill whoop your ass! I warn, doing my best imitation karate moves. You shall feel my wrath! he says in a ridiculous low voice. He pushes me back with his leg behind mine and I trip, falling flat on my ass onto the bulky sofa behind me. Were both laughing uncontrollably now. I get up clumsily, trying to get him in a head lock but hes too fast for me. James walks in and breaks up our goofing around. Alright you two, quit acting your mental ages and try to earn your pay for a change, he says, only half jokingly. Sorry James, Seth says, clearing his throat and trying to stop laughing. He heads out to greet customers at the door. Hey Bellathat Edward Cullen guy, I swear I know him. I cant place it though. Im sure it was through work but I cant

remember exactly, he says. Hmm, well maybe itll just pop into your head. Thats what always happens to me, I reply with a smile. I wonder what the hell thats about. James can be so nosy sometimes. A few hours before the end of my shift, my cell rings. My heart starts racing when I see the picture and name on the display: Tie Guy 555-0513. I head into the employee lounge to chat in peace for a minute. Hello Tie Guy, I say with a smile. Skater Girl, am I catching you at a bad time? he asks. Its never a bad time, Pepaw. No, no, I was about to take my break. Hows it going? Not bad. One of my meetings got cancelled. I have a lot less to do today and so I was thinking I could pick you up for dinner? he asks. Yeah, that sounds great. My shift ends at 6, how about you come by my place around 7? I say, trying not to sound insane because I just want to jump up and down and scream at the thought of seeing him so soon. SQUEEEE! Excellent. Ill see you at 7.

K, bye. Bye, Skater Girl. Before I know it, its the end of the day. I say my goodbyes to my co-workers and clock out. I rush home to wash up and change. Ali and Rose assault me the minute they hear dinner with Edward and fuss over me like two clucking chickens. I finally decide on a pretty little peasant blouse with billowy short sleeves and ruffles up and down the front. A cute a-line skirt with a flower pattern pulls it together for me, or so Ali tells me. I slide on some ballet flats. I do not wear heels ever. Just as I finish getting ready, I see Edwards car outside and wave at him through the front window. Alright, Im outta here, dont wait up, I tell my friends. Bye. Make sure he eats you for dessert, Rose tells me. She is so crude. I love her. Good evening, he says with a smile, opening my door for me. Oh like I give a shit about getting in the car when youre standing there looking delicious. Edward looks so handsome. You could knock me over with a feather from the effect it has on me. Its still practically

impossible for me to believe that Im dating this man. Hes got on a light gray dress shirt and charcoal colored wool dress pants with a thin black leather belt. His silk tie is a darker gray color with a very light microdot pattern, and it offsets his shirt perfectly. Fuck. Straight out of GQ you are, Tie Guy. You could break my heart just looking at me. I wrap my arms around his neck and plant a juicy kiss on his juicy lips. Fuckscentfuuuuuckscent. He growls into my mouth. Apparently Im not the only one feeling impatient. His hand is on my ass, rubbing circles on it. I force myself to break away from him, but not before I let out a small wimper. I get into the car and he slides into the drivers side. I made reservationsis it OK that I picked the place? he asks. Oh how horribly presumptuous of you, being a gentleman like that, I tease with a laugh, grabbing his hand in mine. We go to a romantic little place called The Pink Door, with cozy tables, dim lighting and a live cabaret in the lounge. Its so intimate and perfect, sitting here with him. The candlelight flickering against his profile as

he studies the menu literally sucks the air out of me. He is beautiful, definitely like a god. But I dont think Edward is a living Adonis. As I get to know him better he seems more like Janus, the two-faced Greek god. He symbolized transitions, like beginning and end, and past and future. I like to think of Edward as the start of something new for both of usa fresh start, away from our pasts. He also seems to have two sides to himone very gentlemanly, kind, and sweet. The other is passionate, carnal, and even aggressive. I smile at him and he smiles back sweetly. I wish I could tell him what Im thinking right now. He tilts his head down and looks at me through those thick brows. I can hardly contain what that does to me. The peenpire wants to get under this table and suck you dry. But somehow I think that would disturb the other dinner patrons. Instead I decide to make light conversation. Something has to distract us or this meal will feel like its lasting an eternity. Do you mind ordering for me? It all looks too good and I cant decide, I say. I dont mind at all, he says before deliberating for a moment. Well, Ive never been here, so how about the

tasting menu? Well have a little bit of everything that way, he suggests. Sounds good to me. Were holding hands and chatting when the waitress arrives. Edward orders for us and the waitress makes really obvious flirty overtures at him. She doesnt even look at me, doesnt even ask me if I want a drink. Painful memories flood my brain of how Jake used to openly flirt with other women while I was with him. You have excellent taste, she purrs at him. What the fuck? Why dont you flash him your tits while youre at it, twat burger? I scoot so close to Edward that Im practically sitting on him. He smiles back at her and I suddenly feel like bursting into tears. I knew she was prettier than me. Way prettier. Yes, I do, dont I? he replies as my eyes start to sting. I clear my throat and look down, desperate to compose myself. I picked the prettiest girl in the world to have dinner with me, he says, kissing my hand. I dont know about her taste though. I think she couldve done better, he jokes. Shit, now I really am going to start to cry.

The waitress looks suitably disgusted and leaves us alone. Thank you, Edward. That was sweet of you to say especially since she was so obviously flirting with you, I tell him. Was she? I didnt notice, he says, his face looking genuinely surprised. Note to self: never pointing out horny hoorish hoochies to him again. Best if he doesnt notice. We enjoy the rest of our dinner chatting and eating. I try to hand feed Edward but hes a little skittish. God knows what diseases hes afraid of contracting. I laugh at how hard he tries not to be so orderly, restrained, and methodical. Hmmm, I want to try something Ive never done before. I wonder how hell react. I go to the ladies room and as I walk back to the table, I dont stop and sit down. I just keep going. I walk right out the door and start running. Sure enough, I hear someone running behind me and then feel someone grab my arm. Bella, he says, not out of breath in the slightest, Why are you running down the street? Dine and dash. Ive always wanted to do that. Plus that

waitress sucked, I puff, my breathing ragged. Oh. Im sorry, it was just an impulsive thing, I say, feeling embarrassed. I think perhaps this was an entirely foolish thing to do. Edward must think Im an idiot. Bella, you should go back in there and tell the matre d that youre sorry, not me, he says sharply. He still has his hand around my arm and is pulling me down the street like Im a petulant child. I feel beyond stupid. Right as we get back to the entrance of the restaurant, he stops. He turns away from me and starts laughing. A lot. What? Whats so funny? I was so tempted to tell you to go in there and apologize but I cant do it to you, Skater Girl, he says, covering his mouth with the back of his hand. Oh come on, what is it? Bella, I paid the bill while you were in the ladies room, he says in between chortles. You little fucker. My eyes go big and I start swatting his chest with my palms. Im mad but my embarrassment keeps me from feeling too much anger. Im also pretty relieved.

Edward! You are an ass. You were going to let me make a fool of myself, you rotten, mean person you! I tease. Thats me, closet meanie, he laughs, putting his arm around me. We start walking toward the car, taking a short-cut down a quiet alley. Letting my impulses take over again, I grab him and kiss him, holding his face in my hands. He reacts immediately, running his hands up and down my sides. I pull him closer, wanting his mouth to press into mine harder, with more urgency. I start kissing his neck, inhaling deeply. My hand trails down to his groin and I can feel that hes just as eager as I am. I cant get the idea out of my mind that I badly want him in my mouth. Edward, I moan. Please, I beg. Bella, let me take you back to my bedroom, he murmurs in my ear. I wantwant you now, I confess in a whisper. Right here? he says, his voice sounding more alert. Yes, please, let meuse my mouth on you, I beg in his ear. Fuck, is all he can say. He spins me around so that Im up against a wall. I kneel and he leans into me, covering me with his body. He rests his

forearms against the wall, above me. The thrill of doing something like this in public is intoxicating. I almost wish someone would walk by. My mouth is just watering at the thought of giving Edward the blowjob of his life. My soft tongue glides up and down his beautiful shaft and I taste pre-cumsweet and sticky in my mouth. His hips are perfectly still, probably so that he doesnt attract attention to himself. I use that opportunity to tease him. I move my head faster and faster, and then slow down. I repeat this three times until I push my luck. Bella, do that one more time and Ill pound into you in the middle of the street, he tells me in a low growl. Promise? I wish I felt just a little intimidated butI dont. Im embarrassed to admit even to myself that it turns me on. I moan and the vibration of it makes Edward pant. I dont slow down now; I move my head in fast strokes, feeling the tip of his cock hit the back of my throat. Gonna, gonna he moans. Yeah buddy, you better gonna! He cums in my mouth and I swallow every drop. Swallowing is a badge of honor in my bookshows that you can wear big

girl panties. A little gross taste never killed anybody, not sure why some women find it so objectionable. Frankly, Edward and his meticulous manscaping, incredible fuckscent and overall hotness make this quite enjoyable. Dude, you could spunk into my Frosted Flakes and I wouldnt blink twice. Theyre grrrrrreat! I help him get his pants straightened out and buttoned back up again and he eases me back onto my feet. He kisses my face, my hands, my neck and murmurs thank you over and over. His kisses excite me, make me dizzy. His gratitude makes me feel like a princess. Suddenly, I feel a weird collision of emotions thats so strong that I cant ignore it. A poem whispers itself in my ear while Im consumed by lust and tenderness and passion and love and eroticism and caring, all jumbled in heap, all at once. Anne Bradstreet sings her words to me. Compare with me ye women if you can. I prize thy love more then whole mines of gold, Or all the riches that the East doth hold. I try to shake it off, but then again, I dont really want to. This must be what it feels like when love and lust do a tango

in your insides. I kinda like it, now that I think on it more. I smile to myself as we put our arms around each other, grinning like fools and walking to his car in the cool December air. We pass by all manner of street vendors who are taking advantage of the unseasonably mild weather. We pass a booth with a big sign that says Madame Falji, Psychic. A middle aged woman sits under it, with wild hair and large eyes. She looks up right at us. I smile and stop. Good evening, dear, she says to me, smiling. She speaks with an incredibly thick Eastern European accent. Hi. Do you tell fortunes? I ask. Of course. But I cant tell for you, she informs me. Why not? I ask, surprised. Because your auraitnot show me anysing, she says with a small frown. Really? What does that mean? Im a little worried that maybe I have no future. It is not bad. It mean your path, it is clear. For some people, if path is clear, aura is clear too, she explains. This one, she says, pointing at Edward, his aura is make

me blind. Edward looks at me with heavy, heavy skepticism. I smile back sheepishly. He sighs, takes out his wallet and hands Madame Falji a twenty dollar bill. Give to me your palm, she orders him. He puts his palm out in front of her. She puts on thick reading glasses and studies it. Nice. Beautiful life line. You have veryclean life, very neat like stack of folded kerchiefs. This is bad. Really? I ask. Edward is just looking at her with his brows knitted. Life that is neat when messy is better? Not so good. I tell you why. I look at her, then at Edward. Im feeling a little confused. He looks like hes about to just walk off and cant wait for her to finish talking. Clearly hes just humoring me. There is expression in English, I cannot remember exactly. Somesing about horse and cart, she says, struggling to put the phrase together. Dont put the cart before the horse? I offer. Yes! she exclaims, looking at Edward. Horseyou will put horse in wrong place. I will? he asks, laughing.

No, not you onlyboth of you. You will both mix up place for horse and cart. But its not bad. If you are together, help each other, it will be OK. You will be happy. Thats it? You cant be more specific than that? Edward asks, looking annoyed. Look, it is your palm, it is not New York Times, she retorts, equally annoyed. OK, thanks, I offer, taking Edwards hand. Youre welcome, she says to me with a warm smile. She stops Edward just as hes about to turn and walk away. Listen, I know skeptic when I see him. You are worse than skeptic, but its OK. Just let me tell you one thing. It is important. You will have question in front of you and answer will come to you, right away, like lightning! Immediatelyvery clearly. But your answer, it is completely wrong. So when you have answer, say exact opposite, OK? Um, OK. Thanks, Edward says, looking a little taken aback. Thank you, Madame Falji, I say again. I grab Edwards hand again and we continue our walk to the car. That was bizarre, I comment. Eh, its entertainment. It doesnt mean anything, he replies,

just as skeptical as he was before. Were back at Edwards house now, sipping wine and lounging on whats becoming my favorite coucheven more so than the one Ive been sleeping on for the last six months or so. Hes lying on his back and Im curled up beside him, my head on his shoulder. I loosen his tie and slip it off and then unbutton his shirt. I like looking at his chest hair. I had fun tonight, I tell him. So did I. That prank about the bill was mean, though. You had me going, I pout. Yeah but you looked so cute! You were blushing and looking like a kid caught stealing a cookie before dinner. Youd make a horrible criminal, you know that? Cute, huh? That sounds so bad ass. You? Nah, you dont want to be a bad ass. Youre a sweet ass. You have a sweet ass. He feels up my butt for good measure. Oooh, Edwardyou are a fresh one! I exclaim in a fake shocked voice. He swats my backside. I gasp and blink really fast. Not faking that reaction.

Um, that didnt hurt. In fact, I think I liked it. Is that wrong? I ask, in all seriousness. I sit up and look at him. He looks at me. Were both afraid to talk for some reason. Skater Girl, you know what I do when Im trying to organize my thoughts? he asks. I think to myself that hes trying to change the subject. What? I make a list. A list? Yeah, here, Ill show you. He takes his BlackBerry off the coffee table and starts pressing on the keys. We have things we wantor you want, rather, to do. Soa to-do list, he says, that delicious smirk forming on his face. Even his sex life has OCD. Never has efficiency proven itself to be so useful. OK, umwhat should we put on it? I ask, my face getting hot. He senses my discomfort instantly and kisses me sweetly. I rub his whiskers with my fingertips. Dont be shy now, this is a serious project. Its worth 100% of your grade and its going down in your permanent record

and all that other nonsense, he says with a stern expression, then with a laugh. Washing machine, I blurt out. He looks at me for a second and then raises his eyebrow as he understands my meaning. OK, washing machine, he repeats as he types. The shower, I say with a smile. Oh yes, excellent choice, he replies with a chuckle. In publicdo it in public, not just what we did tonight, I say. He nods and grins like I just told him he one the lottery. In the car? I ask this instead of telling him because I know how he is with his car. We can put a towel down, I add, biting my lip. He just laughs and keeps typing. Skater Girl, I know Im kind of on the neurotic side, but Im not insane. Never in my life would I turn down sex with you. If I ever do, have me committed, he deadpans. I start feeling a little less awkward now, so I tread into deeper waters now. With a blindfold on, I say. He looks up at me. Now hes blinking a lot. On you or me? Me.

Bella, you have no idea what you do to me, I dont think you even have the slightest inkling, he says in a small voice, almost sounding defeated. I swallow hard and hope he doesnt react badly to what Im about to say. With my handstied, I whisper. He drops his BlackBerry and it lands on the rug with a soft thud. We look at each other again. I notice that Im panting. It feels really hot all of a sudden. Fuck! he hisses in a low voice. Jesus, Edward I need you, I growl at him, need you all over me, inside me. Instantly, were all over each otherhands and mouths roving manically all over our bodies. Im literally tearing his shirt off, as he pops the buttons off the blouse with a plink plink plink sound. My hands get caught in the tangle of fabric as I try to get it off me and I shift around but Im stuck. My blouse has accidentally turned into a pair of handcuffs, keeping my arms behind my back. Edward reaches over to free them. Oh hell no. Dont, dont...its on the list, I gasp, my eyes pleading with

him. He groans but doesnt answer. I climb onto his lap and we kiss feverishly. My hands are restrained so all I can do is rub myself against him. He has his hands on my ass, urging me on. He turns his attention to my breasts and opens the front closure of my bra with one flick of his index finger. He pulls it open and kisses my breasts. I moan loudly when he puts his mouth on my nipple, pulling on it and licking it. He lifts the hem of my skirt and brushes the outside of my panties with his fingers. His touch makes those sparks ignite from deep inside me and the need to feel him inside me becomes so keen and so intense. Edward, please, please, I plead. He lifts me off him briefly so he can undo his pants. I look down and see his beautiful erection and once again my mouth waters. I scoot back on his lap, completely desperate to just fuck the daylights out of him. Edward positions my hips for me. I close my eyes and slowly slide myself down. My whole body goes slack as his cock enters me. It feels like a mixture of mild pain but also intense pleasure, and its an exquisite kind of torture. I stop when I feel him completely inside me.

Having my hands tied and unable to touch him forces me to focus solely on our fucking and it heightens every sensation. I open my eyes and hes looking me with hooded eyes, marked heavily with desire. Fuck me, he orders, his expression stern. Yes, master. I move up and down slowly at first to find a rhythm but for some reason slow and gentle just doesnt appeal to me right now. Faster, Bella, he says in the same even, low voice. Fuck, who is this dude? Why didnt he show up sooner? His hands dig into my ass, pulling me down onto him forcefully with every stroke. Get me off, Bella. My mind goes completely blank now; my thoughts spill away from me like sand between my fingers. All I know is the man underneath me, how he commands his will to mine, and it is the most incredibly fucking erotic thing sinceever. I pump him in and out of me as fast as I can, the friction between us igniting my entire body. I feel heat building deep inside me and I pant hard now. I bite my lip and feel my brow creasing. Edward is watching my

breasts bounce as I ride himwith my arms behind my back, my chest heaves forward. He takes my nipple into his mouth and bites it lightly for a second. Then he lifts his gaze to my eyes and says one word. Cum. And I explode. I climax hard against him, moaning his name over and over. Angel, he whispers in my ear as he stops my hips and cums inside me. I rest my head on his shoulder, still panting. He frees my hands and rubs my shoulders, bringing my achy muscles back to life. We lie back down, our arms entangled again. I love you Edward, I tell him, unable to keep it inside any longer. I hope its not too early to say that. I love you too Bella, he says back to me, And its not too early. In fact, youve said it before, he informs me, smiling. Oh shit. I did, didnt I? I dreamt it a thousand times already. I did? I ask, trying to play dumb. Yes, in your sleep. I said it back but you didnt hear me, he says with a sweet smile. Hmm, carts and horses. Thats us alright. EPOV Skater Girl is doing me the privilege of spending the night at

my place. I couldnt drive her home now even if she wanted me to. Saying goodbye to her is painful. What I mean is that its physically painful. Its difficult to sit and drive a manual when youre experiencing the type of erection that makes a man feel as if he could service an entire harem simultaneously. Priapism is a serious medical condition and I dont really enjoy fearing for the welfare of my dickI went through plenty of that with Whats Her Name. So its to my chagrin that Ive noticed this sudden surge in my pants whenever we part company. Its as if my balls are saying hey, shes leaving, we need to give her a little (or a lot) something to remember us by. A going away gift, if you will. We had a fantastic evening out. I loved every minute of it, even the ridiculous dine and dash she managed to dream up out of thin air. I had no intention of letting her do it, even if I hadnt paid the bill while she was in the restroom. But her tendency to follow these urges like a kid chasing bubbles in the breeze just mesmerizes me. The hokey fortune teller seemed to unsettle her briefly but I didnt give it a second thought. People will do all manner of things to make money

even claim to be psychic. Im in my bedroom getting ready for bed while Skater Girl is in the tub having a bubble bath. Its becoming more and more difficult to ignore the fact that shes sitting there naked, wet, and covered in bubbles; but I try my best to occupy my mind with other things. Im pacing between my closet, the bed and the en suite bathroom in an effort to have everything set for the next day. I like having all my ducks in a row, as they say. Being fastidious never killed anyone. Do you do that every night? she asks as she climbs out of the tub and wraps a big towel around herself. Do what? I ask back as I lay out my clothes for tomorrow. Plan the entire next day before you go to bed? she asks as the towel slips slightly, revealing the side of her perfect, soft, round breast. It takes every effort I can muster to concentrate on our conversation. Im not planning the whole day, Im just making it easier to get ready in the morning, I argue. I neatly pat the crease in my dress pants as I lay them over the garment rack I keep beside my dresser. Theres a purpose and a utility to the way in which my furniture is arranged. When I get up, I have my running

clothes ready. When I get back from my jog, I have my hampers right where Id take my sweaty gear off. Then when Im out of the shower, its just a quick few steps to my dresser for boxers and socks. I shift one step to the side and my dress clothes are there waiting for me. Thats a lot of hard work for a little bit of easy, Tie Guy, Bella says as she walks up to the skirt she left in a pile on the floor before her bath. Some people enjoy being organized, I point out. Some people enjoy actual hobbies, she teases as she hooks her crumpled skirt onto her big toe and she proceeds to fling it at me. What are you trying to say Skater Girl, I dont have real hobbies? I ask with fake shock. Where would you find the time? Youre too busy saving time to have any time left over, she tells me while laughing her adorable squeak. You enjoy picking on me, I protest. Dont be such an easy target and it wont be so hard for me to resist, she confesses while biting her bottom lip. Youre lucky I love you, I say, nodding my head and putting my hands on my hips. Define lucky, she jokes, pointing her index finger at me

and raising her eyebrow. Come here, you. You are being very naughty, I tease. I scoop her up and kiss her everywhere. She simply intoxicates me. Real thoughts leave my brain and Captain Orgasmo starts running the show. At first the feeling of not being in control was pretty unsettling but Im starting to like this alter ego. He rolls hardcore as Skater Girl would say and she has a definite fondness for him. Our little episode on the couch downstairs was the stuff of ultimate male fantasy. I will enjoy replaying that in my head for the rest of my life. Bella doesnt know it, but she actually has helped me a lot in my time management. With Skater Girl in my life, I masturbate 55% less. When I do, Im done in 33% less time. Edward, she whispers sweetly as I run my hand through her soft, damp brown hair. You know, Skater Girl, you might just find that being prepared does have its benefits, I say with a smile. Oh yeah, like how? she asks, crinkling her nose at me. Well for instance, I thought ahead about you spending the night here and got you this, I say, grabbing a gift-wrapped box from under the bed and handing it to her.

For me? she asks, blushing. Well, I dont really buy my clothes from Victorias Secret, I joke, pointing to the name of the store written on the box. Her face gets serious for a second. I think perhaps the gift isnt something shed want. Bella, I ask, becoming concerned, Is something wrong? This was a little forward of mewasnt it? I mean, perhaps it wasnt in the best taste? I ask as I begin to think my first gift to her shouldve been something more meaningful. No, she says, reassuring me. Its wonderful of you, and thoughtful, and romantic. Thank you, she murmurs softly. Her face looks dreamy, as if shes replaying a memory in her mind. Skater Girl, what is it? I ask, pulling her onto my lap as I sit on the bed. Its nothing, she says, I feel foolish, actually. Its not worth mentioning, Im not sure why I even thought of it. You might feel better if you talk about it, I suggest. Maybe. OK, well, I had that one boyfriend at Radcliffea Harvard guy I met in class. He was, you know, a little thoughtless sometimes when he tried to be funny. Once when we were in the mall we passed a

Victorias Secret and he teased me about it, saying Id look funny in lingerie because of how clumsy I am. SoI never bought anything from there. I just thought, you know, whats the point? she says, her face red and her eyes filling up. I just need find this tool and knock the shit out of him. There are two reasons why I find this necessary. Firsthe put his hands on my angel. I dont need any more reason than that. Secondhe obviously treated this sweet girl like a piece of garbage and that galls me. It galls me intensely and I would very much like to inflict some pain on this fellow. The fact that hes touched her stirs up an anger and possessiveness in me that I cant rationally explain. I try to work out exactly what it means but theres no logical way of looking at it. I cant imagine Bella with another man. I dont think shed want to be, but aside from that, I literally cant imagine it. I cannot conjure up the image in my head. Instead all I see is me pummeling some poor faceless bastard into a pulp. Shes too precious to me, so I just cant contemplate it. To add insult to injury, hes hurt this sensitive soul of hers and it must be on a deep level for her to still be affected by

it. I resolve to get these feelings out of her head once and for all. She sits on my lap, her eyes down on the floor. Clumsy, huh? I ask, Youre not clumsy where it matters. She looks up at me, her soulful brown eyes softening. Im not? she asks shyly. No, youre not. You have a beautiful way about you when you talk, when you recite poems for me and its graceful and its poisedthe way you speak. Nothing clumsy about it, I tell her. Thank you Edward, she replies, taking my hand. And the minx who just made me lose my mind downstairs, she wasnt clumsy either, I say, pulling her face close to mine and kissing her softly. She was passionate and alluring and gorgeous, I add. She blushes slightly, then smiles and bites her lip. I know what that meansshes feeling a little turned on. Theres no sense in letting that little inclination go to waste so I try my best to nudge her in that direction without being obvious. Skater Girl, if you dont like the gift I got you, you absolutely should not feel obligated to accept it, I tell her. Can I open it? she asks, reaching for it as it sits next to

her. I was hoping her curiosity would get the better of her. Of course, I reply. Lifting the lid and peeling away the tissue, she holds up the navy blue camisole and matching panties contained inside. A bright smile begins to creep across her face. Tie Guy she begins. Yes, Skater Girl? I ask, hoping shes really as happy as she looks. You picked out these tap pants because of how theyd make my butt look, didnt you? she asks with mock accusation. Its trueof all the lingerie Barb ordered for me, those panties are one of my favorites. Do you want the honest answer or the pepaw answer? I ask, laughing. If theres one thats different from the pepaw answer, thats all I need to know, she replies, shaking her head at me. She slips the top over her head, then stands with her back to me, as she pulls the panties up her creamy legs. The thin fabric of her panties hugs her ass so perfectly. Oh Captain Orgasmo very much doubts that those panties are staying on for long. She turns her head around to look at me and sways her hips back and forth, chuckling like a little vixen as her ass

bounces in front of me, beckoning me to put my hands all over it. Fuck. Bella, you lookcome here because I dont have words to describe it, I moan as I pull her hand so she can stand between my legs as I sit on the bed. I take her hand and kiss it. This handis not clumsy, its perfect in fact, I assure her. I move up to her elbow and kiss it. Perfectly nice bendy elbow, not a clumsy thing about it, I tell her as she chuckles softly. I pull her camisole up over her head and take in her round, pert breasts. I pull her back onto the bed and kiss her forearm, shoulder and neck, saying the word perfect with each kiss. I covered her entire body with these kisses, and before I know it, theyre getting longer, wetter and more passionate. She moans louder with each one too. I want to kiss one last spot, angel, right here, I say, easing my hand inside her panties. Yes, she whispers. I ease her panties off and lower myself down between her legs. This is where I want to die. I want to die with my face right

here. Although having my dick here instead is a good second choice. It might be more like a tie. I go slowly. I want to take in how she looks, how she feels and the sounds she makes. I even want to savor the smell of her skin, fresh from the bath with the scent of bath gel on her supple body. I leave a trail of kisses inside her thigh and inch my way to her beautiful pussy. Its soft, the palest pink color, and completely symmetrical. Even her clitoris is pretty. Its like a perfect miniature rosebud. Some things really can reduce a man to tears, and the sight of this woman naked is one of them. If I could custom order the ideal vagina, it would look just like yours, Skater Girl, hand to God. I very gently run my tongue up and down the length of her, and hearing her soft gasps and moans gets me harder than I already am. I continue licking her softly until her sweet little hips start squirming impatiently. I slowly ease my finger inside her, careful not to hurt her in any way. I turn my attention to her now swollen clit and put my mouth over it, alternating between flicking it with my tongue and sucking on it softly. When I feel her hand in my hair, urging me on, I know its

not long now so I increase my pace. Her moans get louder and her muscles clench around my hand and mouth as she cums. I watch her face, how beautiful and serene she looks when climaxes. And hearing her say my name over and over is, by far, the sweetest thing a man can listen to. I sit up beside her and watch her for a minute. She really does look like an angel. Skater Girl, you have no idea, do you? I think thats what I love about you. Youve managed to wrap me around your finger without even trying or knowing how to do something like that deliberately. I watch as she catches her breath and comes back to Earth. She has her eyes closed and the back of her hand rests over her red lips. Her cheeks are flush, not from embarrassment, but from arousal and its almost too much to look at. She opens her eyes slowly, catches my gaze and smiles. She sits up and hugs me sweetly, resting her head on my shoulder. Edward? she says, wanting to ask me something. Yes? I want to please you.

Im sorry. I didnt catch all of that. I was just overcome with the sudden urge to knock you over the head with a club, grab you by your hair and drag you into a cave. I feel her hand trail down to my boxers, lightly making its way inside the fabric. Her hand wraps around my stiff cock and I groan softly as she strokes it up and down. Tell me what would please you, she asks innocently. And like flipping a light switch, I become the guy who fucked her on my leather couch. I look at her, my head tilting down, and point to the wall behind the headboard. Face that way. On all fours. Yes, Edward, she replies softly. She starts to smile but stops herself. I think she likes when she turns me into this person. In fact I suspect shes figured out how to coax him to the surface and does it very much on purpose. I just look at her at first. I simply take in the intense visual in front of methis insanely beautiful, sweet girl, on all fours, waiting for me to do what I will. Her body is completely relaxed. She doesnt look frightened or apprehensive in the slightest. Shes just waiting, waiting for me to have my way with her. Six months ago I was putting up with giving head to an acid

secreting bitch for hours at a time just to get one fucking blow job on my birthday. Thank you for fucking the handyman, Tanya. Seriously, Im going to have Barb send you a damn fruit basket. I undress quickly before leaning over her and planting light kisses all down her spine. I let my hands roam freely around her firm, juicy ass. Not being able to resist, I grab a handful of her pliant flesh and bite it lightly. She reacts with a soft little oooh noise and a moan. My fingers move down to her pussy and the heat and moisture tell me I dont need to wait any longer. I push into her slowly, her walls tight against me from this angle. She whimpers softly and lets out a long aahhhh sound in a whisper. Fuck, I hiss as my cock is fully sheathed inside her. I wait, wanting to maintain control over my arousal while giving her body a chance to adjust. Put your hand between your legs, I tell her. She moans and complies, fingering her clit. I move against her, faster and faster. Her ass looks delicious. I grab it repeatedly while I stroke in and out of her, loving the feeling of her supple flesh in my hands. Just when I think I have everything under control, Skater Girl

has other plans for me. She says one word that unravels me completely. Edward, pleaserougher. I have to think about my grandmother to put the brakes on the orgasm that was about to rip through me at the sound of that one word. Im sorry Nana Masen. I let out a long slow breath to compose myself. And then without any thought, my body does as she requests. I put my hand in the tousled pile of hair at the nape of her neck and I pull it toward me, bringing her head back and angling her body so that I can thrust into her more deeply. Yessss, she moans at me loudly, FUCK ME! she begs in a loud voice. I bang into her with abandon. Sweet, uncontrolled abandon. And she feels so fucking perfect while I do it. Mine, I tell her as my cock pounds into her little body, because this is how I show her she belongs to me, at least right at this moment. With every animalistic thrust into her, I prove to her that she is my possession, body and soul. I could very easily and with a clear conscience simply end the life of any man who touched

her, and my fucking her now seals that thought into a promise. My need to own her completely takes over my every thought. Owning her body means I can control it, manipulate it, much like a musician plays an instrument. Cum for me, angel, I tell her. No sooner are the words out of my mouth than I feel her tight little pussy throb and clench against me. Oh God! Yes, Im yours Edward, I love you, she moans as she cums just as I told her to. MINE! I growl as my cum spills into her. Completely spent, I hunch over and rest my forehead on her shoulder blade. I love you too Bella, I pant in a whisper. She whimpers softly as I pull out of her and as I lay down on my back, I pull her body into mine. She curls up against me, a soft, warm little ball that I could keep right there, against my chest, for the rest of my life if shed let me. You know, she says, I think Victorias Secret is my new favorite store. I think that makes two of us, I reply, laughing softly into her strawberry scented hair.

Edward? Mmm? I hope I make you as happy as you make me. You do, Bella. Good. I want to write some poetry this weekend. I think most of it will be about you. Why thank you. I dont think Ive ever inspired anyone to write poems before. Usually people just hand me spreadsheets at work. Oh. That sounds terribly boring. It is. Tie Guy, Im starting to feel sorry for you. Are you doing that on purpose? Maybe. Will it get me in your pants more often? Wow, how quickly the tide turns around here. What have you done with pepaw? Its passed his bedtime, I joke as we both yawn and I turn out the light. The next morning, I reluctantly drop Bella off at her apartment before heading off to work. Ill see you tomorrow night, I say before we say goodbye. Cool. It should be fun. I know Rose and Ali act like nut cases around you, but they really are sweet and fun. Theyre just

being that way because theyre a little over protective of me. OK, a lot overprotective, but they mean well, she explains with a laugh. I can understand that. They want their friend to be happy, I say, despite the fact that her two best friends really do make my testicles want to suck themselves back into my body. Hey, are you bringing friends? That will definitely get you on their good side, she says. Yes, I promised I would and I plan on it. My friends Emmett and Jasper will be meeting us at your place, I reply. I give her one last kiss goodbye. Bye Tie Guy, she says, her head tilted down, looking a little sad. Ill see you tomorrow, Skater Girl, I reply, stroking her cheek. I drive into work and park in my reserved spot. RESERVED FOR E CULLEN I exit the elevator as it reaches my floor, round the corner of the corridor to my office where Barb sits at the desk outside my office door. She greets me in her usual manner. Good morning, sonny boy, she says, my latte waiting for me on the edge of her desk. Barb, you know Im your boss, right? I joke.

Yeah so? I have a kid whos older than you. That makes you sonny boy to me, she shoots back, her massive tangle of red hair hardly contained in the bun she put it in. Weve had this conversation many, many times. Ive just learned to deal with her picking on me. Barb is an amazing assistant and she knows it. If she left Id go to pieces and would never find anyone who could adequately replace her. She can call me any name she wanted and it wouldnt matter. Shes invaluable. Did your receive those items I ordered for you with your personal account? she asks, discreetly leaving out the details about lingerie and Victorias Secret. Yes, I did and I thank you again, I reply, hoping to sneak into my office without any more questions. You know I didnt think blue was your color, she teases, hoping I cave in and give her details. Im not biting Barb, I reply, not budging. OK, just tell me one thing, seriously. I really need to know, she says, her face turning serious for a minute. Fine, I say, hoping this will finally get her to stop pestering me. These itemstheyre not for Tanya, are they? she asks with a very concerned look on her face.

My jaw nearly drops at the thought of Whats Her Name wearing the lingerie that adorned Skater Girls luscious frame last night. I fight the urge to throw up in my own mouth. Are you joking? No! I havent seen Tanya since we broke it off, you know that, I answer, feeling disgusted. Oh thank you Jesus. I can call my mom now and tell her to stop her prayer chain, she says with relief. Before you do that, could you order some flowers for me? I ask. Sure, where are they going? she asks. I need to think for a minute. Sending them to the store wont work. I know she has the day off tomorrow, so Ill have them delivered to her house tomorrow morning. I take out my BlackBerry and read off Bellas address. I grab a pen and paper from Barbs desk and write the inscription for the card. I consult my BlackBerry once more to find the list I wrote the other day of poems to keep handy when I want to send one to Bella. I find the perfect one quickly. For bonnie Skater Girl, Her brow is like the snow drift, Her throat is like the swan, Her face, it is the fairest

That eer the sun shone on. Love, Tie Guy Whats her name? she asks, getting desperate now. Not Tanya, I reply tersely. Come on, she must be special, I bought out every last blue thing I could get my hands on for her, she argues, not letting it go. She is special. A special secret, I tease, tilting my head to the side. Sonny boy, youre working my last nerve. Ill find out eventually! she warns, wagging her finger at me like an old schoolmarm. Have fun with that. You might want to, you know, do your job in the meantime. I deadpan. Im telling your mom the next time she calls, she threatens, as if this had any impact on me whatsoever. Go right ahead, makes it a lot less awkward if I dont have to tell her, I reply. Stinker! she exclaims, but with a smile. I love you too Barb, I tell her, Oh can you confirm in my calendar that Im leaving early tomorrow afternoon? Also, I should have lunch scheduled as personal today. Im meeting up with friends at one oclock, I

add. I got both of those when you first told me on Monday. And then you reminded me on Tuesday, then twice yesterday. Im pretty clear on the lunch at one today and the leaving work early tomorrow, she informs me sarcastically. Thank you Barb, I say sweetly, smiling at her as I escape to the sanctity of my office. A few hours later, Im having lunch with Emmett and Jasper at the deli nearby my office. Emmett is a buddy of mine from Harvard. We actually roomed together as sophomores. We got back in touch when I found out he lived here. He was working at the same office as me when I first moved to Seattle, but hes since gotten a job elsewhere. He is an IT guru. Emmett knows more about computer networking that anyone Ive ever met. Despite the geeky career, Emmett is actually something of a jock. He loves the outdoorsmountain biking and disk golf especially. Jasper is my other close friend. I met him at Penn where we both got our MBAs. Hes from Texas originally and loves to turn up that accent to pick up women. It works too. Hes had a slew of girlfriends since Ive

known him. Hes an easygoing guy but despite that, Jasper has yet to keep a girl around for longer than a couple of weeks at most. For some odd reason, hes convinced he hasnt found the one yet. I used to think he was crazy but Im not so certain anymore. Since meeting Skater Girl, Im wondering if theres something to this notion of the one. So Edward, you meet this cute little number and three days later you manage to make her fall in love with you? What did you do, rearrange her sock drawer until she just couldnt take it anymore? Emmett jokes. Thats funny McCarty, very funny. No, I justI dont know. I cant even really explain it. We just have this chemistry. Ive never experienced it with anyone before. Its amazing, I try to explain. I know they think Ive lost a grasp on my mental faculties. Let me get this straight, Ed, Jasper says, loving to call me Ed because it annoys the shit out of me. You got your mojo working on this poor defenseless girl and now her friends need dates? Thats not a good sign. If shes letting you play with the goods she must be desperate, he teases, Lord knows how desperate her friends are. Desperate girls are that way for a reason,

amigo, he concludes, convinced that Bellas friends must be homely with no personalities. I told you, these girls are pretty. Theyre not as beautiful as Skater Girl, but theyre both really attractive. Im sure theyre not desperate, I argue. I like dating desperate girls. Its the only way I get laid. I dont need to do any work for it, confesses Emmett. Jasper turns and faces Emmett, shaking his head incredulously. Dude, youre gonna fall hard for some chickadee wholl be so high maintenance, shell works your ass like a plow and it will be instant karma for your sad ass. I still cant believe that you gave a girlfriend a packet of gum for her birthday that one time. Man, he continues, pointing at me, even Cullens game is tighter than that. Youre just a lazy bastard. What the hell does that meaneven Cullen? Id never given a woman a pack of gum as a gift. I just sent Bella a bouquet of flowers, I protest. It wasnt a pack of gum! Emmett argues. It was one of those big jars of Double Bubble. She liked gum, she thought it was great, he adds. Did she ever call you again after that? Jasper asks.

Well no, but Emmett replies before Jasper cuts him off. Enough said. Are you guys coming with me tomorrow or not? I ask, losing my patience with Jasper in particular. Yeah, yeah, Jasper replies, caving in. Like I have anything better to do. Well, I was gonna play video games, Emmett says. I head back to my office after lunch and try to slide passed Barb. Luckily she knows I have a meeting in a few minutes and doesnt stop and harp on me. Just then I hear her phone ring and she picks it up as Im shutting my door. Her voice, clear as a bell, greets the caller the same way it always does. Good Afternoon, thank you for calling Microsoft. Edward Cullens office. Chapter 11: Swing, Swing BPOV I open my eyes on Friday morning and stretch out on my warm little sofa bed. I smile to myself and sigh contentedly. I had a dream about Edward, as usual. He was whispering into my ear. At first what he said made me sad but then he reassured me. Ill always be with you, wherever you go. Ill leave a part of

me with you to have always. Hear my voice and know it will all be OK. He held me close and kissed me so tenderly, I couldnt stay sad. Good morning, Bella, Rose says, snapping me out of my thoughts. Oh hey, Rose, I say, stretching again like a cat. Not working today? she asks as she fumbles with the coffee maker in the little kitchenette off to the side of the living room. No, I just need to go in and get my check. Ill do that later, I reply. Were still on for tonight, right? she asks. Yep. Edward said hed bring a couple of people overtwo friends hes had for a whilefrom school, I think, I answer, scratching my head as I pile my hair into a pony tail before heading to the bathroom to wash my face. They better be cute, she warns. Shes got her head in the fridge now, fishing out a bagel and cream cheese. Well if theyre friends with Edward, Im sure theyre nice, I say. He did say his friends were good guys. Forget nice Bella. I said cute, she argues. Rose can be a

real pain in the ass sometimes. God youre shallow. Thats right Im shallow and I get laid a lot more than you do. Not anymore you dont. You have a lot of catching up to do, sweetie. Im working on that. Diligently. You with your big words. Cant you just say Im fucking his brains out? Hey, Tie Guy likes my big words. Of course he does. Only a guy like that would want to pry your legs apart. He didnt have to pry them apart. Edwardsseductive. That awkward guy who kept looking at the floor? Hes not always like that. You guys freak him out. Hows he supposed to act? Aw well. If his friends are cute, well be nicer. Like I saidyoure shallow. Yeah, yeah. Just then theres a buzz from the gate outside. Its a florist. The deliveryman is at the door a couple of minutes later and he hands me the most beautiful bouquet of flowers. I read the card and cant do anything

but sigh like a lovesick idiot. Um, dude. You totally are a lovesick idiot. Theyre from Edward. He quotes the Scottish Poem Annie Laurie in his inscription. Its just such a sweet, thoughtful thing for him to have done for me. Now that I think about it, I think this is the first time Ive ever gotten flowers from a man. I almost want to cry but Im too happy. So I just run around looking for a vase. I cant find one thats big enough or isnt already being used, so I grab the next best thing. The flowers now sit happily drinking up water in Roses professional grade blender. I moved it to the table next to my sofa so I can have them near me when Im sleeping. I spend the rest of the day running errands. I need to buy myself some new clothes. Ali is right. I cant go out to dinner with Edward wearing sweats and t-shirts. I cave in and let her take me shopping. I buy a new pair of jeans that fit more snugly than the baggy ones I usually wear. I also buy three new peasant skirts, bringing my skirt total count up to eight. Im not crazy about wearing them, but then I realized the other day that skirts make spontaneous sex in unusual places much more possible. Skirts are now win in my book.

And I bought panties. Lots of panties. I pick out mostly the boy short style because of how the hi cut in the back exposes my butt cheeks. Edward will go crazy. I love doing that to him. He has an odd devotion to my backside that I find a little freaky and a lot sexy. Theres more to explore in that regard, Im certain. I ask Ali to drop me off at work so I can grab my check. She needs to go meet Rose somewheremore shoppingso I tell her Ill just walk home. Oh hi Bella, James says as I walk into the back room. Did you want your check? Yeah, thanks, James. Hey, I finally figured out where Ive seen that Cullen guy! Here, look. James turns to the MacBook on his desk and opens a web browser. He clicks on one of his favorites. Its CNETa technology news site. I read the heading as he clicks on it. Microsoft follows Apple into the retail business Thats where I know him from. He works at Microsoft, he tells me. Listen, dont let this get out, but a month or so ago, I went in for an interview for a retail management job. It was for the new Microsoft store thats opening in a few months. This

Cullen guy is one of the execs setting it up. He interviewed me for a couple of minutes, he continues. I dont say anything because I want to think about things. Hes way up the chainhe wasnt interested in whether I was qualified. He just wanted to know how we run stuff here. Basically he was trying to squeeze information out of me, James explains. My eyes start to scan the article. Microsoft executive Edward Cullen, who will be spearheading the plans for expanding the retail chain in the Asian market told CNET exclusively that anticipated sales will make it a worthwhile way for Microsoft to reach out to its target markets, especially in regions such as southeast Asia. Cullen will be in Japan to personally oversee the opening of the first Microsoft Tokyo store, slated to open its doors later in the year OK, this is beginning to make me feel a little uncomfortable. Edward never once mentioned anything about going to Japan. I just dont know what to think. Im really conflicted. Tie Guy is wonderful. Amazing. My time with him has been incredible and Im just head over heels in love with him. But thisit

sounds bad. It looks bad. I cant help but think that it is bad. My mind begins to teeter-totter back and forth. I dont care that he works at Microsoft, its not like I own shares in Apple. Why didnt he just tell me that he worked there straight away? I wouldve been flattered that he went against company loyalty and feigned ignorance to get to know me. Why keep it a secret unless there was something more to itsomething nefarious or deceitful? Edward is a savvy person. Hes very good with people, despite how awkward he can appear to be sometimes. I mean, he charms the hell out of me. I cant help but let the nagging, self-doubting voices inside make me wonder if theres another reason why hes so charming. Was it for this? To get some kind of advantage for his job? It seems more than a little ridiculous. Im just a lowly salesgirl. But he does love to plan to an absurd degree. Is this just one little angle he couldnt help but exploit? He is an incredibly ambitious person. Every conversation we have about him inevitably leads to how hes working toward getting promoted. If hes planning on a

promotion and needs to go to Japan to get it, he should have mentioned that to me. Jake used to say he loved me. Look how that turned out. Ive heard I love you before from someone who didnt mean it. Edward is very persuasive and charming, enough to get me to fall head over heels for him inwhat? A couple of weeks? Maybe that was the goal all along. Maybe he just wanted to get inside my head and between my legs while he was at it. Get that stupid, nave girl to spill everything she knew and screw her for good measure while conveniently leaving out things like moving out of the country. James gives me my check and I walk home, lost in my thoughts. What I dont understand is why he just didnt tell me. By the time I get back to the apartment, Im really upset. I sit on my couch, feeling sad and confused when Ali and Rose come home. I stare at my flowers in a blender and the tears just let themselves push past my eyelids and down my cheeks. Bella, whats wrong? Ali asks, seeing my red, puffy eyes. I found out something today. Something about Edward, and its not good.

What? Did he break up with you? What the hell happened? They join me on the couch, sitting on either side of me. When I went to work to get my check, James told me he knew Edward. That Edward works for Microsoft, I explain. So? asks Ali. Thats not the bad part. The bad thing is, hes working on helping them set up their retail stores. I think thats why hes asked me so many questions about Apple and about my job. So that he could inside info from me. Used me, basically. On top of that, this retail project hes doing is supposed to happen in Japan. He never told me he was going there. Really? Ali replies, raising an eyebrow. Yeah. I feel so stupid. I shouldve known it was too good to be true. No, thats not what surprises me, Bella. Me neither, says Rose. What surprises me is how you can so easily believe the worst sometimes. Seriously Bella, says Rose, You really think Edward is faking his feelings for you? That hed tell you he was in love with you just to get a leg up for his job? No guy would take things that far unless he had a

grudge or something. Rose is right. Maybe at first he was curious about the work angle but Im sure thats not the reason now. And the work in Japan, who knows what thats aboutmaybe its just a trip for a couple of weeks. Dont jump the gun and assume the worst. I mean, when he says he loves you, dont you believe him? Yeah, I do. Then why doubt him now? Because he kept it from me. I mean, why keep it a secret if it doesnt mean anything? Gee Bella, maybe hes afraid of your reaction, like the one youre having right now, Rose says sarcastically. Do you really love him? Like totally love him? Ali asks. Yes, I do. I love him like to the point where its ridiculous. Then trust him. Trust that not every guy is Jacob. Because I dont think Edward is anything like Jacob. Not to mention, begins Rose, You didnt really love Jake, but you trusted him. You love Edward ridiculously but you dont trust him. For such a smart girl thats a pretty big shitload of stupid. I let their words, even their insults, sink in a little and Im quiet for a few minutes. I really am jumping the gun here.

Ive decided all these horrible things about him without even talking to him about it. He did say he loved me, more than once and in some very tender, very beautiful ways. Magical ways. And I loved him back, even in this short amount of time. Look, just talk to him. Hash it out and move on, Rose advises. Shes right. If you need to know what hes thinking, why dont you just ask him? Im sure what he tells you will totally make this a non-issue, Ali adds. Of course theyre right, as usual. I hate when they do that have so much more regular old common sense than me. I need to just hear his side, get his reasons why he hid this from me and then be done with it. Things seem to be in better perspective now and Im relieved. I get swept up in the excitement of getting ready for a night of fun with my friends and my favorite tie wearing hottie. I pick out one of my new peasant skirts and a flowy little chiffon top to match. Ali and Rose insist on doing my hair and make up for me. I let them because honestly, they rock at that stuff. I dont think Edwards ever even seen me with make up on. I hope he

likes it. Im wearing a little bit of smoky eyeliner, some mascara and lip pencil blended with some tinted gloss. Bella, you have the prettiest eyes, Ali tells me. She compliments my eyes often. She is a lovely friend like that. Thanks, Ali, I say, smiling at her. I hope you like at least one of the guys that Edwards bringing with him. I know you havent dated in a while. Yeah, I guess Im just tired of the whole dating scene. I havent met anyone Ive hit it off withum, she starts to laugh. Ever? You know, that can changereally fast, I say with a smirk. The doorbell rings and my heart starts racing. Im so excited to see Edward but also not sure what do about this whole job secret. I get flustered and feel my tongue tie even before I start talking. Ali runs to the door and opens it in a flourish. Edward is standing there in the doorway, looking all kinds gorgeous. Hes got on a black v-neck sweater with a grey tshirt under it. Hes wearing black jeans and black suede Ecco lace-up sneakers. God, even casual is perfected by this man. I get light headed all of a sudden, like the wind just got

knocked out of me, and its from a mixture of feeling like hes too good for me, too bad for me and just right for me. Now I know why women in Jane Austens day used to pass out all the time. Hes flanked by twofreaking adorable guys. I mean, they are good looking. Really good looking. Ones a lanky but nicely built blond and the other one has short dark hair with a sort of rugby player physique. They squeeze through the doorway and come inside. We all just study each other for a minute. You could hear a pin drop but at the same time it was the kind of silence that was deafening because you could hear the wheels turning in everyones heads. I look at my two best friends and they appear rooted to the spot theyre standing on. Alis mouth opens like she wants to talk, then shuts again. She still has her hand on the doorknob, the door still open. Rose is next to her with a beautifully arched eyebrow raised in curiosity. You, Rose says, pointing at the guy with the dark hair. She curls her finger toward her palm over and over, not saying another word. As if in a trance, he shuffles over just like shes silently

commanded him to. She points to the couch. Sit. He sits on the couch. Wait. He nods his head, staring at her the entire time. She leaves the room, goes into her bedroom and shuts the door. Shes dressed casually tonight and shes clearly changed her game plan. I hope hes patient. She could very well be hours. I look at Edward and we smile at each other. Were silently congratulating each other at our superior matchmaking skills. Well, it happened completely by chance but our friends look pleased to say the least and thats what matters. Hi Bella, he says, kissing me and putting his arm around me. You look beautiful, he adds, noticing my make up. These are my friends Emmett, Edward says, pointing to the poor guy on the couch, And Jasper, he says, pointing to the blond. They both say hello to me in return. Jasper, Ali says, but to herself, almost nonsensically. He approaches her and puts his hand out. Well hullo there darlin, whats yer name? he asks in a southern accent you could cut with a knife.

You sound like Colonel Sanders, she says, her face looking mildly annoyed but also confused. His expression surprises me. He breaks into a huge smile. Is that bad? I am from Texas. This is how we talk. No, actually. I really like chicken, she babbles. Just then she spins around and grabs my arm. Bella, you and Edward need to talk. Go to the coffee shop down the street and talk. Bye. And just like that, were jettisoned out the door. We stand next to the stairs that lead down to the street. I guess they hit it off? I ask, not knowing for sure. I guess so, Edward replies, looking at me curiously. Alice was right Edward. We do need to talk, I tell him, looking down. Come on, lets go find somewhere to sit, he replies. The caf nearby is pretty deserted so were able to sit at a quiet table away from the other costumers. We sit cozied up together, our chairs as close as theyll get. Edward puts his arm and around me and I feel safe, like everything will be OK. I can hear a slow love song piping in through the little speakers against the wall. Its Etta James singing softly in my ear telling me that at last my love has come along, my lonely

days are over, and life is like a song. Edward kisses my forehead and I believe every word of what Etta tells me. Whats wrong, Skater Girl? Youve looked sad since the minute I walked into your apartment, he says, grabbing my hand. Edward, why didnt you tell me you work at Microsoft? I ask, just forcing the words out. I feel a little more hurt than I thought I would. It doesnt help that I hate confronting people. It also adds to the knots I feel in the pit of my stomach. Edward lets out a long slow breath and runs his hand through his messy hair. I look at him and wait. He looks so uncomfortable, like hes been put on the spot and caught completely off guard. I get the sense that Edward doesnt like surprises, especially not ones like this. How did you find out? he asks, his brow furrowed. Does it matter? I reply in a whisper. I dont want to change the subject, I just want to plow through this and be done with it. Well no, but he sighs again. OK, I didnt tell you at first because I, well I was looking for reasons to see you at the store. I had to act like I didnt know anything about computers and obviously if I told you

where I worked it would be difficult to believe I didnt know what I was doing. I just was looking for a way to spend time with you. But why didnt you just tell me last weekend, after I came over to help with the MacBook? I dont know. It just seemed like I couldnt find the right time or the right way to come clean. Im sorry Bella, I really am, he says, his face earnest and thoughtful. So, thats ityou work at Microsoft and didnt tell me so Id think you didnt know anything about computers? I ask, shrugging my shoulders. Yeah, thats it. I wanted you to think I needed as much help and advice as you could give me, he replies, his eyes looking sad like a puppys. Questions begin to nag me in my main. I tell them to shut up but they persist, feeding off my self-doubt and anxiety. What about the retail project? Working in Japan? Why isnt he telling me about that stuff? Thats it? I ask again. I want to give him one last chance. Thats it, he replies, looking down, his lips pursed tightly. Are you angry? No, I answer while smiling weakly. I dont have anything else to say. I havent got the courage to confront him

because what if Im wrong and he gets angry for not trusting him and assuming the worst? I try to convince myself that he has a good reason for keeping this to himself. Thanks, Skater Girl. Again, I am sorry I kept it from you, I should have told you sooner, he says, looking relieved. I feel relieved too. I dont want a fight. I dont even want a quarrel. All the emotions of the last couple of weeks have been intoxicatingly happy more than anything. I want to keep that happiness wrapped around me like Edwards arm is around my shoulders right now holding me close and making me feel like theres not a single care in the world. I trace the contour of his lower lip with the tip of my finger as he looks down at me. I think about the dream I had this morning and how hed said something that made me sad but then he made me feel better. He was doing just that right now, keeping his arm around me, cradling my head in the nape of his neck and kissing my cheek sweetly. His warm, sweet breath fills my nose. I can smell fuckscent and now all bets are off if they werent already. Can I kiss you, Skater Girl? he asks, as if he needs

permission. What do you think? I tease in a whisper. I stroke his scruffy five oclock shadow with the back of my finger and then rest it under his beautifully sculpted square chin. He kisses my lips so softly, with a feather touch. This is an I know Im in the doghouse kiss and it is so diplomatic and cordial, trying so skillfully to broker peace between my hurt feelings and his small deception. It works. Im not upset anymoreI just have that crazy happy feeling again. I sigh to myself and smile more broadly now. I look at Edwards handsome face. His beautiful green eyes suck me in completely. Whatever youre selling buddy, Im buying. Brooklyn Bridge? Sure, why not? Got a Nigerian bank transfer you need help with? Im on it, dude. Tell me how much you want. Oh, you just want this big red clump in my chest that goes bah-bum bah-bum? Please, like I even need to think about it. This old thing? Pshh. Its yours Tie Guy. We kiss some more, just light little I love you kisses that melt my insides a hundred different ways. I cant even remember what it was that managed to disrupt my mood

earlier. Its like it just evaporated off of me. Go away now, stupid feelings of self-doubt, loneliness and mistrust. Theres no room for your kind here. No room in my big big pink bubble of happywhere orgasms get pulled out a hat. Its where the most beautiful boy Ive ever seen doesnt think twice about opening doors for me and sending me flowers one moment and then in the next is grunting MINE into my ear while taking me from behind like a complete brute. Yeah this is my bubble and Im never leaving, so kiss off. Hey Skater Girl, he says as his kisses start meandering down my throat. I think he just wanted to talk into my neck because he knows it gives me goosebumps and makes my breath raspy and quick. I love you, I tell him because he pulls the words out. I dont do anything but let him. I love you too, he tells me back, just as effortlessly. I want you, I say. Want me to what? he teases entirely intentionally. Want you to do that thing where youre pulling my hair and grunting, I reply, with every intention of teasing him back. Bella, he answers back, more like a warning than a reply.

I dont even notice that my hand is on his lap, playing its own little teasing game up and down his strong thigh. We go from loving and gentle and tender to horny as fuck at the turn of a dime. Its the work of that insane chemistry we sharewhatever it is that makes fuckscent smell so good, makes me cum on command and turns Edward into a pasha and me his concubine. I want I whisper in his ear as my hand finds the very prominent bulge in his jeans. He puts his hand on top of mine just then. You are playing with matches over an open keg of gunpowder, little girl, he whispers back. I swallow hard. Its not out of fear. Its because Im turned on from working him up while smelling him and touching him and looking at him. Im swallowing because the Peenpire in me makes my mouth water. I rub my thumb and index back and forth against his hardon, squeezing him gently through his jeans and look right into his eyes as Im doing it. I lick my lips for good measure. His mouth goes slack as his brows knit together. He stares back at me with a dark expression. Kaboom, I say sweetly. I get up and walk into the single person restroom a few feet

away but leave the door ever so slightly ajar. I dont even get to the count of ten when Edward walks in and locks the door behind him. Bella, he says as if hes about to admonish me. He doesnt get around to it because I pull him to me by his belt while simultaneously unfastening it. Pushing me against the cold tile wall, he lifts the hem of my skirt and lets his fingers graze the outside of my panties. Turn around, he orders. I do as he says and turn my back to him. He lefts my skirt and inspects my ass, clad in my new boy shorts. His hand is all over me, rubbing circles around my flesh. Palms against the wall. I lean forward like Im about to be frisked by a policeman. I feel Edward lower my panties down my legs and off me completely. His hand is back between my legs, stroking me with more urgency now. His other hand is undoing his jeans. I can feel his massive erection against my backside. Be quiet and still. I clench my teeth to keep from moaning and make sure not to move a muscle. Edward puts an arm around the front of my torso, curling his long fingers around my shoulder and

collarbone. With his free hand, he positions himself at my entrance and then lifts my leg up by the thigh so that he can go as deeply inside me as possible. My love, I whisper I want what you want. And with that, he pushes into me. His hand moves from my shoulder to neck, then to my cheek. I lower my head into his palm, kissing it over and over as he bucks his hips against me and I feel everything coil up inside, tight as a drum, hot as crackling tinder, getting tenser and hotter until I cant contain it anymore and rolls right out of me, one ripple after another. Edward, I whisper into his palm. Angel, he murmurs as he climaxes inside me. He turns me around and puts his hand through my hair, gently cradling my head in his palm and kissing my forehead. Grabbing my hand, he kisses the tips of my fingers. His eyes are soft and beautiful and loving. The deep green color of his irises speaks to me and recites Sara Teasdales I Would Live in Your Love. I would empty my soul of the dreams that have gathered in me, I would beat with your heart as it beats, I would follow your soul as it leads.

I cant deny the effect he has on me. I give up and I give in. Edward Cullen is the pied piper of my soul. Should we go back to your apartment now? he asks. Its cold and you havent got a jacket, he adds, concerned for me. Come on, lets go, I reply, pulling him by the wrist and heading out. Bet you a dollar your friend Emmett is still waiting for Rose to come out of her bedroom, I joke. I wouldnt take that bet. But I will bet you a dollar your friend Ali already has a hicky on her neck. Oh, please. You dont know Ali. Shes already changing her shirt right now so the hicky sticks out more and the color matches what shes wearing, I reply, laughing as we hoof it down the street. EPOV Skater Girlthose two words cause my mind to draw a blank more and more with each passing day. Its beginning to make me worry. Yesterday at work I started daydreaming at a meeting, thinking about her beautiful body, her warm breath, her wonderful noises, and before I knew it, my dick was at full mast in a room full of executives. When someone tried to get my attention, I had to snap out of it and ask them to

repeat what they said. Thats never happened to me before. Erections and serious discussions about corporate restructuring do not mix. I need my blood flow to go to my brain, where I need it most. But I doubt the woman walking next to me in the cool evening air has any idea what she does to me. She sees Pepawthe stuffy Harvard/Penn grad who wears a tie all day, or she coaxes out the Captain, who ironically, is a slave to her slave tendencies. Somehow she feeds an inner need I have to control on every level. I have no compunctions about this being a failing of mine. I crave order and predictabilitythats no secret. But to be able to exert that control over another person in this way is like a high from the most potent drug imaginable. Add being in love with her to all this and Im just done for. Before I know it, Im sporting a boner in the middle of a conference room. I already know how she found out about my job at Microsoft. It must have been that idiot supervisor of hers that told her. I recognized him from the interviews we conducted for the MS Seattle store. I spoke with him very briefly, mostly to verify what I already knew about how Apple does things. My goal was to confirm if what I

knew was accurate. After listening to him talk for two minutes I was satisfied I knew enough and that was that. Wed already spent months perfecting every last aspect of how we were going to put these stores togetherwhat wed sell, how wed sell it and how to train employees. It was all worked out to the smallest detail. Its with a huge sense of relief that I can finally be out in the open about my job. I didnt want to keep it from her but I feared shed get angry, or worse, be hurt. I dont want to hurt Bella. I know shes had a horrible experience in her last relationship and I cant do that to her. I just wish there was some way around this huge commitment I have to my job but there isnt. Im leaving for Japan in three weeks and for the next six months I will be there on business on and off for weeks at a time. Im not sure yet but theres a possibility Ill be promoted and would need to move there permanently. That promotion is an important step in my career and it would be a mistake not to take it. Every time I mean to bring it up, I convince myself not to. I think of reasons why its a bad idea. First, shell be upset that I wasnt more forthcoming to begin with. Second, shell think

its a bad idea for us to keep seeing each other in light of the fact that Ill be gone for a majority of the time. Theres always the option of continuing the relationship as a long distance one but thats not exactly ideal. Hey, hello? Bella says, waving her hand in front of me. Hello, Skater Girl. Sorry, I was just thinking, I reply. I could tell. You looked like you were thousands of miles away. No, Im right here, with you. Exactly where I love to be, I say, putting my arm around her. Youre too sweet Tie Guy. Whats the catch? Isnt there always a catch? The catch is that you cant ever eat in my car, walk in my house with shoes on or touch the way Ive arranged my DVDs, I deadpan. Aha. So the catch is, youre a pain in the ass, she laughs. More or less, yeah, I confess. But youre my pain in the ass, which you know, makes it a little adorable, she says with a smile, patting my chest with her palm as we continue our walk down the street. I dont ever want to pain this ass, you know that, I tell her suggestively.

Hey, Ive noticed something. Almost every conversation ends inmy back end. What is it with you and my badonkadonk? she asks with a squeak. Your badonkawhat? You mean this, right here? I ask, gingerly squeezing her backside. Yes, that, right there. Take it easy big guy. Didnt you just get some in a public restroom of all places? I wouldnt have thought youd be able to handle that, she teases. Surely you noticed something while we were in there? I ask. Tie Guy, I only noticed one thing and it was working me from behind, she says, her face blushing pink. No, thats not what I was referring to, although that was the best part. What I mean is, while we were in there, theres something I didnt do, I point out. Yeah? she asks, not knowing what Im getting at. Yeah. I didnt touch anythingexcept you. You I cant stop touching. Good thing I dont have cooties, she jokes. We get to her apartment then. Sure enough, Emmett is still on the couch. Jasper and Ali are standing there talking to each other in a very animated way. OK, try again, these guys have to see this, Jasper says.

Yeah, Bella you have to see this. Ali agrees. Jasper stands with his back to Bella and me. Ali is in front of him. He holds his hands behind his back. Ready? she asks. Jasper holds up two fingers behind his back. Yes, he replies. Two, she guesses correctly. Yep, two fingers, he confirms. Ready? she asks again. He holds up five fingers. Yeah, he replies. Five, she guesses correctly again. He holds up all ten fingers. Ten, she says. Bellas eyes go wide like saucers. How are you doing that, Ali? she asks in disbelief. I have no fucking idea. Watch this. This is something we were just talking about a little while ago, she tells us. She begins asking Jasper a series of questions and she nods her head each time because he guesses them all correctly. Whats my favorite color? She asks him. Burgundy, he replies. Ali nods her head yes. OK, new questions. Whats my favorite movie? she asks.

Knocked Up, he answers and again she nods her head. Favorite designer? I only know oneCalvin Klein. Thats OK, thats right. Ice cream? she asks. Chunky Monkey. Ali, I have a question for you, Jasper says, grabbing her hand and kissing it. What? Will you marry me? he asks, rubbing her hand between his. Yes, she replies without hesitating. But Im always gonna talk like this, he warns. Like what? she asks, as if confused. Like Colonel Sanders, he explains. It doesnt matter, I stopped listening to you after you said marry me. I turn my attention to poor Emmett, still sitting on the couch so obediently. Emmett, is your date still interested in going out with you tonight? I ask him half jokingly. I think so. She comes out every once in a while and says good boy. Let me go get her, Bella suggests, walking down the hall.

Bella returns a few minutes later with Rosalie, whos now wearing a fire engine red cocktail dress that covers all the necessary places but only just. If I didnt have my mind on Skater Girl, I could definitely find myself becoming preoccupied with her. Even though Rose is very pretty, shes not Bellanot by a long shot. Bellas face has a timeless natural beauty. Shes a prettier version of the goddess in Boticellis Birth of Venus, with a face that looks innocent and angelic. I noticed when I first saw her tonight that shes wearing make up. It makes her look more alluring but at the same time I can still see that angel face and it just makes me slightly unhinged. OK, everyone ready? Bella asks. Rose snaps her fingers and Emmett stands up. She smiles at him and his face turns imbecilic, like someone just hit him over the head with a club. Youve been so patient, thank you, she tells him sweetly. No, thank you, he says, his face still dumbstruck. OK, begins Ali, Heres how we usually do our party crawl, gentleman. We start in our own building to see if theres anything going on, and then we fan out to surrounding buildings on our street. I did hear that

Tyler and Mike are having a party across the courtyard, I bet theres something going on. Those idiots dont know how to do anything else but buy kegs and smoke their bong. she explains. A few minutes later, we walk over to this Tyler persons apartment and right away I can see that I am really out of my element. There are people standing around doing shots, playing drinking games and simply getting wasted. This is just the type of party I wouldve quickly grown bored at in my college days. I liked going to parties, but mostly it was so I could actually have a conversation instead of getting completely shitfaced or trying to nail the female who happens to be closest to my dick. I never get very drunk. Actually, I dont think Ive ever been very drunk. When I was a freshman, I saw what getting very drunk did to other people. I decided the best way to avoid that scenario was to build a tolerance, and I did it slowly. By my senior year I could drink anyone under the table and just have a buzz. With my frequent business trips to Asia, Im often socializing with potential business partners or customers and theres always a steady stream of alcohol. Its

never been a problem for me. I also never went to parties to meet girls. I dated Whats Her Name all through college. Shed sometimes come with me if she felt like visiting me at Harvard. More often than not, she wanted to spend time with her girlfriends, or at least thats what she told me. Even if I didnt have a girlfriend at the time, I doubt I wouldve met anyone who was my typemy type being Bella of course. Now that I think about it, I never had a type before, at least not consciously. I did like brown eyes and brown hair, but I would only notice that I thought a woman was beautiful if she had one small feature I found attractive. Id never seen someone who looked entirely beautiful, from top to bottom, before I laid my eyes on Bella. We make our way inside and I keep Bella close with my arm wrapped around her waist. Shes not leaving my sight if I can help it. I simply abhor the idea of another guy coming on to her. I think I might lose my mind actually. The trouble is that Bella doesnt even understand how attractive she is. I can see her innocently conversing with some douche bag and not understanding the situation for what it really washis

seeing her as a conquest, a thing to use and discard. I can very happily arrange for that gentleman to have his eyes permanently removed from their sockets. I call the woman an angel for a reason. I wont put up with even the suggestion that another man was making overtures at her. Tie Guy, she whispers in my ear. Youre holding me really close and I like it, she smiles, rubbing my chin with the tip of her finger. I dont want you tripping and falling, I joke with a smile. Oh, youre funny, she replies with slight indignation. I love her slight indignation. Its the least threatening thing you could ever see. Seriously? I ask, offering a real explanation if she wants it. Seriously, she replies, wanting to know. OK, I dont want other guys to think youre available. Youre kidding, right? she says, raising an eyebrow and laughing softly. No, Im not, I answer seriously. Why would any of these guys care if Im with someone? she asks with sincere modesty. OK, now you must be kidding. Look at youyour skirt, your hair. Come to think of it, I shouldve brought my trench coat

with me to cover you up with it. Youre looking a little naked. She squeaks at me and shakes her head. Tie Guy, youre obviously not feeling well because youre not making sense. Im the one who needs to hang on to you. If that redhead in the corner checks out your ass one more time, Im going to take off my shoe and beat her with it, she says, looking irritated. You know, not being able to wear your shoes means Id have to carry you around, which I think is a fantastic idea. Go ahead and mess her up. Ill hold your purse and then when youre done Ill really get to demonstrate quite blatantly to all these other guys who my girl is, I joke. I start kissing her neck because I cant resist. Shes squeaking at me with her hand over her mouth and its one of my favorite things she does. How can you resist a pretty girl when she does that? Just then the ladies decide its time for the usual ritual where they all go to the bathroom in a herd. Ill never understand the female tendency to do that. Why they need to use the head in packs is a mystery. Bella kisses me sweetly and joins her two friends in the quest to find the bathroom.

I take a seat next to where Emmett and Jasper are sitting. Well it looks like it paid off for you guys to come out with me tonight, I tell them. What? Jasper says, snapping out of his haze. Emmett just looks at me and smiles. I dont think hes capable of speech right now. I said I think you hit it off with Bellas roommate. Yeah, Id say, Japer replies. I cant rightly explain it. Shes perfect but not, you know? I mean shes so short and tiny, not like any girl Ive been with before. And she thinks my accent is stupid. The accent is my love magnet, man! But she couldnt care less. And she talks constantly. I mean the girl cant stop her jaws from flappin. It doesnt even bug me, though. I could listen all day to her crazy, hyper ramblin. But Christ Almighty, when she does let me talk, we finish each others sentences. Its unreal. Sad sack. Hes where I was about a week and a half ago. Emmett, how are you getting along with Rose? I ask. When she called me a good boy, I almost proposed to her. That cant be good. She said I needed work and that I was fixer upper but shed try her best since I was cute and must be smart since I went to

Harvard. What did you say to that? I ask with a laugh. It just made me want to propose to her again. Shes so gorgeous that I dont know what else to say. Oh and she knows a lot about politics because shes a Poli Sci major. She has strong opinions. They kinda scare me actuallyonly they turn me on too, because a girl that pretty with a brain to match does things to me, he confesses with a resigned sigh. Just then the ladies return. I give Bella another kiss as I get up to offer her my seat. Jasper follows suit for Ali immediately. Emmett doesnt get up fast enough and pays dearly, the wretched bastard. Roses face doesnt change but she unconsciously cracks every knuckle one by one while glaring at him. Rose, would you like to sit? he asks. Yes, but not in that seat. Where would you like to sit? Theres a beautiful, plush red velvet bench at a booth in one of my favorite bars that I would love to sit on, she says with a pout. OK, tell me where this bar is and Ill take you right now if you want.

Its in Los Angeles. Should I get my car? Its down the street. Her faces changes. She looks happy now and when Emmett puts his arm around her, she doesnt elbow him in the ribs. I think thats a good sign for my poor friend. Emmett, thats sweet of you. No, just take me to you apartment later so I can tell you what you need to get rid of and what you need to buy so that Ill be comfortable spending a lot of time there, she says sweetly while batting her eyelashes. Emmetts face turns even more idiotic and he just nods his head in assent. Bella stands next to me and grabs my hand. Hey, I want to say hi to some people, you want to come with me? I promise I wont run off if youd rather stay with your friends, she says with a wink. I think, she whispers in my ear, I get turned on by you being possessive. Of course youd say that because now youve ensured its all I can think about. You might look like an angel, but you dont always act like one. We make our way around the place while Bella says hello to neighbors and even people she went to high school with in Forks. She looks uneasy at certain points, particularly when

talking with girls shes known from before college. Whats wrong, Skater Girl? I ask. Oh nothing, she says, smiling weakly, I just see a lot of people who never used to talk to me and now all of a sudden theyre friendly. I think its because youre with me. They seem more interested in being introduced to you than anything else, she explains. Well, I have an easy solution to that, I suggest. What? Tell them Im your transgender boyfriend who plans on becoming a lesbian for you, I joke with a serious face. I know this will crack her up. She enjoys an absurd joke told with a straight face and I enjoy making them for her. Sure enough, she covers her face and cracks up. God, I love you, Tie Guy. Youre awesome with awesome on top, she laughs, hugging me tightly. We walk around some more and fall in with a group of people standing around chatting. Someone lights up what looks like a joint if Im not mistaken. The person standing on the other side of Bella hands it to her. She looks at it and then looks at me. She knows Id never

smoke it. No thanks, Id get lectured, she says, looking at me and handing it off to the next person. Pepaw wouldnt approve, she adds with a laugh. No, he would not. And Im glad you resisted the urge to be impulsive. Well, thats not the first time someones handed me pot. The last time it happened, I didnt refuse. I spent the next three hours yammering nonsensically and then ate an entire tray of rice krispy treats. Its fun but a little overrated. I tried it. Its one less thing to be curious about, she explains. Speaking of things to be curious about, I start, taking out my BlackBerry, look what I made for you, I add, fiddling with my phone until I find what I want to show her. When I find it, I hand Bella my phone. Oh, this is so sweet of you, she says with a shy smile. You made our list into an Excel spreadsheet. Edward, she continues, biting her lip, so thoughtful. Look at all these different categories! Youre so detail oriented. Actually it would scare me more if it wasnt so endearing. Yeah, well, anything for you, I say.

Anything? she asks, raising an eyebrow suggestively. You heard me, dont be coy, I scold playfully. Am I your coy mistress? Would your vegetable love would grow vaster than empires, and more slow? she asks, alluding to the poem. Of course. Dont I look like someone who appreciates vegetables? And beautiful girls who have 17th Century poetry committed to memory? I reply. Bellas mind is entirely too sexy for me sometimes. You do look like someone who appreciates vegetables. Come on, Popeye, take me home, she says, tilting her head to the side and biting her lip. Your home or my home? Anywhere you feel comfortable removing my unmentionables, she whispers in my ear. Right, my place it is then, I say rather quickly and decisively. I turn quickly with my arm around her and head for the door. Its not soon enough for me or Captain Orgasmo. As it happens, Ali and Jasper along with Rose and Emmett were also getting ready to leave. Ali has her arms wrapped around Jaspers neck, pulling him down so that he has to hunch over while she stands on tip

toes just to get their noses to touch. Shes talking quickly and Jaspers face looks both amused yet perplexed. I know that look because Skater Girl causes me to make it all the time. And then I see Emmett, hanging on every word Rose says while intermittently kissing her hand. Im actually beginning to feel badly for him, even though he really does deserve to fall for a girl like her. We make our way back to my car and drive over to my house. I sneak quick glances of Bella while shes lost in thought and I wonder whats going on in that beautifully bright and complicated mind of hers. Penny for your thoughts, Skater Girl, I say. Oh, theyre not worth that much, really, she jokes. I was just thinking about ushow much fun its been. I hope we have something that can become serious and long term. I think we do but it hasnt been very long, she muses. I think we do too. I think if two people are really committed, they can make anything work, you know, in any circumstance. What do you mean? Well, if two people put the effort into it being serious, then it will be. And that means you can get through whatever life

hands you. Look at people in long distance relationships. They make it work, I explain. Long distance relationships are really hard, she replies. Have you ever been in one? I ask, my worry rising at her opinion on this. No, but I just know from how it sounds that I wouldnt like it, she says. I think if you really love the person who has to be far away from you, and they really love you, the distance doesnt matter, I argue. We get to my house and I pull into the garage. Bella turns and looks at me as the automatic garage door opener grinds to a halt. Edward, she says, looking right into my eyes, Are we talking about you going to Japan? My heart sinks to my socks. I shouldve known shed already have knowledge of this. All she had to do was Google my name and all the press releases about MS and their retail stores would pop up, talking about how I was going to oversee the opening of the Tokyo store. Bella, I I try to say. You shouldve told me, Edward. It was wrong for you to keep it from me, I feeltricked, she says, clearly unhappy

but not angry. She just looks disappointed. I let my head fall forward as I take a deep breath and try to clear my head. I knew this conversation was going to have to happen. As much as Im leery to do it, I need to come clean, both with the facts and with how Im feeling. I like doing the latter even less than the former. I swear I didnt mean to hurt you, I swear I didnt, I say, desperate for her to believe me. Bella, I would never try to trick you or deceive you, please believe me. Then why didnt you tell me, why did you say theres was nothing else to tell me when I asked you about it in the coffee shop? she asks, her face looking confused and sad. BecauseBella my voice trails off as I run my hand through my hair. Please tell me. Edward you owe me an explanation, dont you think? Of course I do, its just that I dont know how to say this, Im not used to this. How intense it all is. Its all so sudden and Ive got things going through my head Ive never felt before, I try to explain. Its OK. I feel the same way, she says, reassuring me. She puts her hand on my thigh.

Im bolstered by her words, and her natural ease with wanting to calm me gives me the kick I need to just spit it out. I didnt tell you about my traveling to Japan because I didnt want you to break up with me. I didnt want you to say that the relationship was too new and not serious enough for it to be worth it for us to stay together after I left, I confess. When are you leaving? she asks, her face looking pained and grim. It kills me to see it. Three weeks. Ill be gone for two weeks and then come back for a weekend, and then Ill be gone again. I may have to be away for longer stretches of time, I say. I cant tell her about the possibility of a permanent move, I just cant. I dont have the balls. She closes her eyes and makes a little crying sound but doesnt say anything. Cullen, you are a world class asshole. You do not deserve this girl. Bella, I just love you and dont want to let you go, please, dont cry, I tell her, holding her pretty face in my palm. Edward she says, unable to look at me. PleaseIm not used to not getting what I want and I want

you. Im also certain Ive never felt this way about another person. Im asking you to please give it a chance, I plead. You really just didnt want me to break up with you? she asks. Curiously, this seems to be the only reason shes hesitating. I swear on my BlackBerry, I say with a small smile, And I love that thing, I add. This breaks the tension and she cracks a smile while shaking her head. Alright, we can try. But Ill miss you and itll be tough to spend so little time with you, she says, letting me hold her hand and gently kiss it. Lets just see how it goes, I say. No plan? No plan. She eyes me suspiciously. Edward Cullen with no plan? Is it opposite day? she quips. Oh I have plans for you. Lots and lots of plans, I say suggestively, pulling close to me. Then youd best get to steppin and take me inside, she replies, her eyes half closed while she licks her lips. Captain Orgasmo, we are back in busines Chapter 13: Different People

BPOV Etta James said it best. If it wasnt for bad luck, I wouldnt have no luck, no luck at all. And that aint no lie. I try to piece my thoughts together. We got back from the party at Tylers a little while ago and Im enjoying a nice hot bath in Edwards humungous Jacuzzi tub. I let the warm rushing jets of water pulse against my muscles and lean my head back to think. Edward and I have been together for such a short amount of time. Ive heard that sometimes you just know when you meet the right person. I can see the optimism in that, I really can. But Ive been hurt. Its not like I saw it coming eitherthe hurt I experienced because of Jake. He wasnt the best boyfriend but I was so down at the time that I didnt see any of the signs. When he got drunk that night and forced himself on me, I wasnt just hurt and humiliated. I was shocked. Edwards been nothing but sweet and kind, except for these half truths about his work and his traveling. When he says he kept it from me because he didnt want me to break up with him, I believe him. But once youve been burned like I have, its hard to shut down the

ugly little voices that tell you to doubt everything. I am trying though, I really am. We do have a good three weeks ahead of us. It may not seem like a long time, but thats almost twice as long as weve known each other. I dont want to dwell on the past or on the future. I want to live inside my pink bubble of happy and make the most out of the three weeks we have together. Oh God the sex to be had. That alone will make the next three weeks unforgettable. To feel his muscles, kiss his pouty lips, taste him on my tongueshit. Tie Guy, youre like sex with legssensuous, beautiful, hot, and yes, messy sex. Get used to the messy because when passion mixes with tenderness and other lovely things, it all becomes one big jumbled mess. Hi handsome, I say to Edward as he walks into the bathroom to rearrange stuff on the vanity that doesnt even look like its misarranged in the first place. Hey beautiful, he answers, turning to face me and smiling. I was just thinking about you, I confess with a blush. About me? Was it good or bad? he asks with that edible smirk. You mean good like nice and bad like naughty? I ask,

pretending to need him to clarify. Really Im just toying with him. He stops what hes doing and turns all the way around. Dude, you almost make this too easy! Thats right. Was it nice or naughty? he asks again, but using my words this time. Cant it be both nice and naughty? I ask innocently. Youre always both. I want to know what you thought of me in your daydreamwas I nice or naughty? You were nice, I reply. Yeah, nice how? he presses, walking over to me slowly. You were nice, I say, tilting my head to the side, by being naughty. He stops and his expression changes slightly and becomes more serious. Do you know what you do to me when you talk like that? he asks. I think I do, yeah, I say, my eyes wide. I bite my lip. I look down at the bubbles in front of me. Ive never had such an erotic conversation and Ive never thought about what I liked and didnt like simply because Ive never done any of this stuff before. He has one eyebrow raised and he puts his hands on his

hips. I can see his biceps flex through his thin, snug t-shirt. Seeing Edward standing over me, looking delectable, oozing sex, gives me a feeling I havent experienced in a very long time. Its what happens when youre a kid and you hear the ice cream truck outside and you realize you have change in your pocket. I remember having the most intense pent up excitement and happiness gurgling inside me, ready to overflow as I ran out the door, barefoot and screaming. Edward Cullen is the Good Humor man of my libido. Sex and ice cream are the two greatest pleasures in life, afterall. I think if I had both at the same time, the universe would implode. He wipes the bubbles off my chin and brings my face close to his. Nice or naughty? he asks again. Nice. He kisses me sweetly, gently and tenderly. I part my lips, wanting to so badly to taste him. I flick my tongue lightly against his full bottom lip and then push further and ease it against his tongue. I feel the breath just drain from my lungs. Was that nice, Skater Girl? he teases, pulling away from

me. Wha? I answer, not having heard a word he just said. He laughs. Punkd at your own game, Bella. Smooth. Can I help you with your bath? he asks sweetly. OK, I say. Id have to have brain damage to refuse. I watch his profile as he reaches over me to get the bath gel and puts some in his palm. He takes my hand and lifts up my arm, gently rubbing foamy circles around my shoulder and then working his way down. Edward, I say, feeling curious, what were you like as a little boy? He looks at my face, surprised at my out-of-the-blue question. Serious. I was serious, he says with a smile. All the time? Thats a little sad, I reply. No, it didnt bother me. I was just that way. I was a Boy Scout. I liked making model airplanes, he offers. Aw, thats sweet. Im picturing a miniature you with all his model building supplies on a desk in front of him, perfectly lined up and very neatly used so nothing gets spilled, I tease.

Thats pretty accurate actually, he laughs. Did you have any miniature girlfriends? I ask out of curiosity. I had a crush on a girl in the third grade but she ripped up the Valentine I gave her. Never made another one again, he says, staring at my ankle as he soaps up my foot. Oh no! She ripped up your Valentine? That was cruel. I wouldnt have done that, I say, feeling a little sorry for him. Its alright, he says with a laugh, I probably deserved it. It said something like I like you but you smell funny and you eat with your mouth open, he explains. Not your slickest move, Casanova, I joke, laughing. What about you, Skater Girl? What were you like? I smelled funny and I chewed with my mouth open. The bath water and all the bubbles shake as we both laugh together. The irony of us falling for each other isnt lost on either of us. As evidenced by the type of kids we were, Tie Guy and Skater Girl really are as different as night and day. I guess opposites do attract, he says, dunking my foot back into the water to rinse it. I smile and nod my head. Edward helps me out of the tub before wrapping a huge

towel around me that nearly swallows me whole. I laugh as he rubs the towel against me back and forth, deliberately tickling me and jostling me around. When I walk back out into the bedroom, I see that theres another gift box from Victorias Secret sitting in the middle of his very neatly made bed. I look over at Edward as hes leaning against the bathrooms door frame and watching me. For me? I ask, pointing to the box. For you, he replies, smiling. Thank you, I say feeling a little embarrassed by how hes spoiling me. Im just not used to it. I quickly unwrap it and see that its another camisole with matching g-string. This set is powder blue, with ruffles. Ruffles on the g-stringso my ass is about one-quarter covered, and covered with ruffles at that. Ruffley butted Bella. I want to laugh at the idea of me wearing this but its obvious it turns him on, so I wear it. My boobs are practically falling out of the demi cups of the camisole. Edward has that same expression on his face as when he saw me in the last camisole. He looks like someone gave him a lobotomy him with an ladle.

Ive never had this kind of thing with a man. Ive never dressed up for someone in frilly lingerie. Ive never seen a reaction like the one Edward has when he sees me in it. I have to say its something I could really get used to. I feel sexy, alluring and beautiful. Im almost tempted to think these little camisole sets are just as much a treat for me as they are for him. R.I.P. BELLAS INNER FEMINIST. She fought the good fight. Do you like it? I purr. Yes, he says right away, swallowing hard. I walk up to him and take his hand sweetly and lead him back to the bed. We sit side be side. He gently plucks out the long pin I have holding my hair in a bun, freeing it so that it rolls down my neck and shoulders in a soft cascade. We kiss, my hands holding his face as his roam around my body, caressing the soft, silky fabric of my camisole. Edward, I need toneed to tell you I start to say. Tell me what? I dont have the words. You took them out of my head, I lament. He chuckles at me.

Sorry, Id give them back but I dont know what they are, he jokes. Thats OK. Browning knows what I was going to say. The poet? Yes. Poets are the only people who understand me, and me them. Theyre my peeps, I say, trying to sound coolas cool as a poetry nerd can sound, which is not very. Ill tell you with his words, I whisper. Im listening, he says, stroking my cheek. He looks at me, his expression sensual, yet also soft. He listens keenly. Be a god and hold me with a charm, I say, putting his hand on my cheek. This, your hand, touching me, its got some kind of power, like a charm or a spell, I explain. Be a man and fold me with thine arm, I continue as I take his hand from my cheek and curl his arm around my shoulders so I can neatly lean into him. Teach me, only teach, Love as I ought, I recite. Teach me how to love you, I add. I will speak thy speech, Love, think thy thought, I continue. In turn, I will show you what I learn, and think like you do, because thats the effect you have on me, I elaborate. Meet, if thou require it, both demands, I say softly as his free hand cups my cheek. Please, show me both. Show me

the god, who is passionate, who charms me. And show me the man, who is caring, who is tender, I ask, my voice a soft whisper. I take both his hands and press them into my breasts. Laying flesh and spirit in thy hands. I finish. Show me with your hands. Bella, he says, his breath hot on my cheek, That is the hottest thing anyones ever said to me. I feel stupid saying it that way, but its true. That is the most erotic thing Ive ever heard, he says, kissing my earlobe. Puts porn to shame, doesnt it? I joke. Yes, it does. Angel, my hands want to take over now, is that OK? Always, I murmur, smiling and running my fingers through his thick unruly hair. His hands gently take camisole and panties off me. Then they touch me everywhere, my face, my neck, my thighs, and my abdomen. One strong hand goes down the length of my torso, starting at the base of my neck, to my cleavage, to the flat of my stomach, down to groin and then all the way back up again. It makes my skin tingle, every nerve ending bounce and vibrate.

I peel off his t-shirt and boxers, and dont even try to disguise the fact that I slowly stare at his entire body, up and down, then back up again. Edward Cullens naked form is a feast for the eyes and Im an optical bulimic. I could binge all day. We make love slowly and sweetly. He takes his time with my body, lightly touching, kissing and licking everywhere, and I do the same. I want to commit every inch of him memory because I know how desperately I will miss him when hes gone. This beautiful man will only exist in my mind, and I want to have as clear a picture of him there as possible. I resolve to store it all inside me for when I need it or I will die from loneliness. I want a perfect copy of all the sensory input from all five senses. My eyes will process his bodys shape into a perfect image in my brain. My ears will record his voice call me angel so I can hear it over and over. My hands will remember every contour, every little whisker and every bead of sweat so that when theyre empty, I can still feel him there. My tongue will savor every last essence of his body so I can

still taste him there later. My nose will recall fuckscent when I lie alone in my sofa bed, aching for him. Angel, he murmurs in my ear as he eases himself inside me, his body on top of mine. I wrap my legs around his waist, wanting him in that exact spot for as long as hell let me keep him. Our bodies get hungrier, move faster, and grind harder. I hold his head in my hands, looking into his eyes, almost like I want to see inside him. Angel girl, give me what I want, he says, his velvet voice showing the god side of himthe one that charms me completely, and I have no choice but to follow his command. I feel the heat building in me pour out as I cum in rapid waves, my body clenching around him. Edward, I pant, you give meeverything, I tell him. Its not a compliment, its an order. Give me everything, I repeat, almost out of breath. His eyes close just then, and his pretty mouth goes slack. Yes, he murmurs softly, releasing into megiving me the everything he has at that moment. You are everything I am not, and thats why I love you, he murmurs in my ear.

His words resonate in my brain for some reason. Its a hauntingly beautiful, yet perfectly frail little sentiment. Is it enough to love someone because theyre not you? I dont know if that would make it strong enough. It would be like David with his slingshot, trying to take on the giant. I doubt it would have a fighting chance. My insecurities seem to be determined to find fault or imperfection in all this. I blame that on my past. And I blame the future thats about to come upon usthe one that takes Edward away from me, making our new relationship that much harder to nurture. Good night Skater Girl, he says as we curl up around each other on his bed, the moonlight streaming in through the window. Bye, Tie Guy, I reply. Bye? Are you going somewhere? he asks with a laugh. No, but you are, I answer, my voice a little sad. Not right now. I know. Im practicing. Getting used to when I have to say it for real. So youre preparing yourself? Yeah, you could say that. Clearly Im a terrible influence on you.

I laugh and hug him closer to me, not wanting to let go. Ever. Indeed, Tie Guy, I reply. Im going to miss you, he says into my hair. I just want to cry but I remind myself to live in the here and now because it is the most precious thing I possess save for the man who is holding me in his arms. Ill miss you too. Bye, I repeat. Sleep well. I wake up the next morning and Edward is already up. I slip on a pair of his boxers and a t-shirt. I wash my face and brush my teeth before padding around the house to look for him. I find him outside on the deck, sitting at the wooden patio table and chair set. Hes got the MacBook in front of him, his face fixed in concentration as he types away. Good morning, handsome, I say as I glide the glass door shut behind me. Good morning, beautiful, he says with a smile but not looking up. Hows it going? I ask. Good. Hey, theres a pair of flip flops over by the doorso you dont get your feet dirty, he says, his request not

exactly optional. I nod my assent and put the stupid flip flops on. I almost fail at suppressing the urge to chuck one at him. I dont because it might damage the laptop. Are you busy? I ask. Kinda, he says, biting his lip. I have a 6am web conference next week. There are executives on the east coast Im doing a presentation for. Just trying to make sure I have everything ready, he explains. I start laughing. I just cant hold back. What? he says, looking up from his work. Tie Guy, I begin, Youre preparing for a meeting with Microsoft executiveswith an Apple computer. I think that speaks volumes! Believe me, I dont feel right about it. I just dont. I feel dirty. Like I need a shower. Badly, he says, laughing. Oh, you Apple loving hippie you. Watch out, next thing you knowyoull be walking into workwithout a tie! I say, my eyes wide with fake shock. NEVAR! he exclaims, balling his hands into fists. We quiet down for a moment and I watch him tap away, eager to get his work organized and prepared. Skater Girl, he says, not looking up.

Yes? Youre distracting me. But Im not even talking. I know but your breaststheyre pointing at me. I look down. Heh. Whaddaya know. Sorry. Its cold out here, I confess with a chuckle. Oh, dont be. Please, he replies, smiling and putting his hand through his hair but continuing to keep his eyes fixed on his work. I approach him and try to look over his shoulder to distract him. It doesnt work. He doesnt even look at my reflection in the laptops screen. I become determined to try harder. I plant a light little peck on his earlobe. Nothing. Tie Guy, I whisper in his ear. Hmm? he says absentmindedly, still typing. I scrunch up my mouth and crinkle my nose in mild irritation. Edward has the focus of a laser beam and Im finding it slightly annoying. I can usually get his attention by now. I creep closer to him. Then closer. Then even closer. My right nipple is poking his ear. That gets his attention. He turns his head and his face is in my cleavage.

Belluhh waha are yoo chreying to doo? Im wohrkink, he complains. Edward, I say in a pouty voice. Time to take no prisoners. Hes quite calmly talking to my boobs this obviously isnt working. Tie Guy, say hello to my leeetle friend. I take his hands off the keyboard and put them on my ass. Grrrrr, is all I hear. He sounds like Frankenstein with a hernia. Just then he gets up and throws me over his shoulder. Bad, bad, bad, he chants, spanking my butt with his palm. For some reason, were headed to the utility closet. The washing machine. Its on the spreadsheet. I love you, Edward Cullen. He sits me down and on top of the washer and we kiss frantically. I hastily throw my t-shirt off and work the boxers down my legs. I shake a little when I sit on the cold metal. Edward picks me up and puts a blanket under me. So it doesnt get messy, he says. Oh, I say, thinking he didnt want me to be cold. I peel off his fleece pullover, then the rest of his clothes. I look down at his erection, glistening at the tip and

completely full and hard, and my mouth waters. His mouth is on mine, hungry and very eager. I press my hands into all the muscles I can reachhis shoulders, biceps, pecs, abdominals. I want to touch him everywhere. The need is just overwhelming and knocks everything else out of my mind. I have a very big load waiting for you, Skater Girl, he says with a cocked eyebrow. I laugh lasciviously and lick my lips. The desire building inside me is more like a desperate need now. The feeling is so strong, its got every cell in my body taut with anticipation. God, you better! I exclaim, wrapping my legs around him. He turns the machine on and it starts to vibrate underneath me. I can feel everything between my legs react to the vibration immediately. Everything gets hotter, more tense, more slick, right away. Bellayou make me insane, I lose track, lose control, because of you, he growls, grabbing the hair on the back of my head and pulling it down, exposing my neck to hungry mouth and teeth. Yes, yes, yes, give me! I snarl through clenched teeth as he pushes into me roughly.

Fuck, he moans, one hand on my breast, pinching my nipple, the other cupping my ass as he thrusts into me as deep as he can. Feels so good, you inside me, dont stop making me feel this way, I beg. God, he moans back, So perfect, so fucking beautiful and perfect, he says, looking down at himself stroking in and out of me furiously. We both become frantic for our release now, grinding and undulating against each other with all the energy we have. Edward! I yell as my body screams inside me and every muscle pulsates, over and over. I feel him twitch and empty into me as my climax reverberates through me. Sweet angel girl, he murmurs, out of breath and resting his sweaty face in my neck. I stroke his cheek with my palm and I just cant help feeling overwhelmed. With each moment of physical intimacy I have with Edward, my heart becomes more firmly connected to him. I begin to cry. Angel, no, please dont, he says, his voice urgent. He cups his hand against my cheek and strokes away a tear with his thumb. His face is tender, concerned for me.

I it. Im sorry. I justdont want you to go, I mumble, my words chewed up by my crying. He carries me down the hall and back into bed. We lie down and he wraps us both in the soft down comforter. I sigh as he curls his body around mine like a warm cocoon. My tears stop and my breathing becomes even again. Dont cry Skater Girl, he whispers into my hair. Im sorry Tie Guy. Its OK. I just dont want you to be sad. I dont want to be sad either, I say, sniffling. Good. So dont be, he says, leaning over me on his bent elbow. Its not that easy. What if I tried to make it easier? What do you mean? How about you stay here until I have to leave? You want me to live here for three weeks? I ask. My insides are doing cartwheels. Im overjoyed. I want to do a dance around the room, even though Im totally uncoordinated and would make an ass out of myself. Yep. I want us to spend the next three weeks together.

What do you think? OK. I say simply. I dont say more because thats all there is to say. My mind was made up even before he finished asking the question. Well that settles it. I do have work some long hours before I go, just to let you know. But I would love to spend every night with you. I would love that too. Excellent. And I love you, Tie Guy. I love you too, Skater Girl. Later that afternoon, I go home for a few hours to pick up some things for my stay at Edwards house and to catch up with the girls. Alice offers to do my toe nails for me. I love her pedicures so I dont refuse. So, Ali starts. For once in her entire life, she can only muster one syllable to say. I think Colonel Sanders has done something horrible to her brain. I fear for my poor friend and her giant happy heart that seems impossibly too big for her little body. Hes just going to make that heart bigger and happier if he keeps this up. Yeah. I know, right? I reply.

We dont need to use words to communicate what our brains have turned into. Totally, Rose chimes in. Shes sitting on the couch frantically texting Emmett. Theyre sending each other photos of their sad faces to show how much they miss each other. He just dropped her off at the apartment an hour or so ago. I sigh. Then Ali sighs. Then Rose does. Im staying at Edwards until he leaves for Tokyo in three weeks. I announce, my voice sounding faraway and willowy. You do that, Ali says, staring off into space. Shes been painting my same toe nail for 15 minutes now. The polish is almost thicker than my toe itself. I have to tell her to stop before she makes my foot look freakish and deformed. Were so happy, its pathetic, Rose muses. Yep, I say in agreement. Im almost waiting for the other shoe to drop. What do you mean? Ali asks. I mean, right now things are going great and I just wonder if itll go to pieces once Edward leaves. You cant think about that. Just have fun. You are allowed you know, Rose informs me.

Yeah, I say with another sigh. Yeah, Alice agrees. This lovesick bullshit better ease up before I choke on my own barf, Rose adds. On Monday morning, Edward is up before sunrise for his morning web conference with the east coast executives at Microsoft. Im roused out of my sleep when I hear him padding around the room to get dressed. Morning, I mumble. I barely got five hours of sleep because I was up late playing online games with some friends with work. Good morning, he chirps with a smile as he pulls a beautifully perfect knot into his tie. I get up and wrap my arms around him. Youre going to crumple me, Skater Girl, he says with a laugh. Dont push me, Mr. Freshly Pressed. Im going to tell your executive friends that your house is full of Apple products, I warn. Ill have to kiss you into a daze so you dont try and pull a stunt like that, he growls, his hands on my asstheir favorite place to be, it seems. A little while later, Im making pancakes and need to pass by

Edwards office a few times to get things from the utility closet where he keeps bulk items. Tie Guy loves buying in bulk even though he lives alone because of how cost effective it is. I think he means its cheaper to buy in bulk. The first time I pass, I wink at him and he waves, just out of view of his webcam. The second time, I blow a kiss. On the third go, I lift my shirt, giving him a full view of my chest without a bra. His eyes go a little wild when he sees that. Breakfast is ready and being held warm in the oven. I saunter into the office, careful not to make any noise or get in front of the cam. Edward is leading a very animated discussion. I listen quietly. Microsofts organizational structure for its retail stores is second to none and will no doubt yield profits that will easily surpass that of any competitor, even Apple, he says. Yuck. Im sleeping with the Dark Side. You will pay for this, Vader! In fact, Microsofts unparallel commitment to sound business principals is what has made it a dominant force in technology, where Apple has used clever marketing and advertising to create a presence in

consumers minds but hasnt offered any new technology in quite some time. Oh its on now. This spurs me on. I get on all fours and quietly crawl under Edwards desk. When I touch his calf gently, I feel him stiffen. Youll be getting stiff alright. I hear the meeting attendants talk about a two or three minute break but Edward doesnt stop me as I begin rubbing him from the outside of his pants. By the time I free his massive erection from his boxers and put my lips around it, the meeting is back on. And Edward needs to continue his presentation. Were going to see a rise in profits, he says, trying to keep his voice steady. A huge surge will happen, so long as were diligently working and never missing a stroke, he adds, swallowing so hard, I can actually hear his throat contracting. He talks more, desperate to spit the words out while he still has them on his mind. And then there will be a suddenumimminent in liquid, he continues, clearing his throat several times. His hand quickly finds the back of my head, stilling it. He

cums in several large eruptions. He disguises his urge to groan with a series of loud coughs. Excuse me, he says, taking a sip of coffee from the mug on his desk. Just as I attempt to crawl away from his desk, I feel his foot press itself firmly into the back of my leg, stopping me. I slowly turn my head and look up. Edward is still talking into the camera, but is waving his index finger at me, back and forth. After a few minutes, the meeting is over for good. He turns off the web cam. Bella, he says, his voice low. Yes? I say as sweetly as I can and mustering a cheesy smile. Im still on the floor on my hands and knees. That wasnt nice, he says. Uh oh. Sorry Pepaw. I was um, just playing a joke? I say like a question. Theres a time and a place for jokes, Bella, he lectures. Are you gonna spank me? Say yes, please say yes. No, he says quickly, shaking his head back and forth. Why not? I ask with a pout. Because youd enjoy it, he replies, folding his arms.

Touch, I say as I stand up. Listen, Im not mad, just dont do it again, OK? he asks, standing next to me and grabbing my hand. Are you annoyed? I ask back. Yes, he replies. What would make you un-annoyed? I wonder, hoping to ease his bad mood. Pancakes, he answers, putting his arm around me. Fair enough, I agree with a smile. We leave the office to enjoy our breakfast. Over the next few days, Edward and I fall into a comfortable groove where we meet up every evening back at his house. Most nights he works late and I find myself making dinner and then just keeping it warm. I usually spend my time on his MacBook or reading. Its evening and the middle of the week now, and as Im making dinner, the doorbell rings. In my rush answer the door, I end up spilling salsa all over the carpet right outside the kitchen. Of course, I step in it and track it all over the place. By the time I explain to the doorto-door salesman that Im not actually the lady of the house, theres salsa all over the place. I cant get to it because I have three different things on the

stove and chicken in the oven that need my attention. I hear the garage door open and smile. I love it when my man comes home to me. We hardly spoke at all today. He had back to back meetings since this morning. When he walks in, I rush to hug him. Hey, Tie Guy, I missed you, I say, feeling his whiskers brush against my cheek. Hi, what happened in here? he says, his face looking tired. Oh, sorry, um, trying to do too many things at once. Without even loosening his tie, Edward starts cleaning up after me and I cant help but feel like hes babysitting a little kid, and reluctantly at that. He bends over the carpet with a spray bottle of Oxy Clean and a sponge. Let me, Edward, I say. Its alright, Bella, I better just do this myself, he replies, not looking up. I look down and try to clean up too but I just rub the stains around more. Bella, he repeats. I just leave him alone and set the table instead. Ive come to notice that Edward really is Janus incarnate the mythical Greek god with two faces. Theres the serious

work Edward, the one who is so focused and linear in the way he thinks and behaves, and then theres the fun Edward, the loveable Tie Guy who makes fun of himself and cant keep his hands off of me. The more preoccupied he is with work and the more tired he is, the harder it is for him to shift from work Edward to fun Edward. I made some Mexican, I hope you like it, I say as I serve his food for him. He nods his head but doesnt say anything. We eat in silence. Two helpings of food later and a beer later, fun Edward resurfaces and I literally let out a sigh of relief when he does. I couldnt feel more stupid for being clumsy and ruining his mood. Thank you Skater Girl, he says, stroking my cheek, that was really good. The food? I ask, stupidly. I was daydreaming and lost track of what was going on around me. Yes, the food, he says with a laugh, Thank you, he adds with a smile. He grabs my hand and kisses it. Sorry, I was daydreaming, I confess bashfully. He pulls my hand so that I have to lean over and press my shoulder into his chest.

Of course you were, you wouldnt be Skater Girl if you werent, he coos, kissing me with enchiladas and beer on his lips. I kiss him back, not wanting to miss the chance to be with the Edward I am in love with. I really cherish our time together. I make a promise to myself to try to avoid these little pet peeves of his, like making a mess. I would hate for us to waste the days we have left being annoyed at each other. If you love someone because theyre everything youre not, then maybe you dont really like who you are. I cant get that thought out of my head for some reason, but I decide all this inner reflection is just getting in the way of the precious here and now so I push it all out of my head and climb back into my big pink bubble of happy. EPOV Ive noticed in the last few weeks just how full of opposites the world is. Im reading the Wall Street Journal online on the laptop while Skater Girl writes furiously in her poetry journal. I sip plain hot Earl Grey from a mug while she downs her coffee from a glass with icefull of cream

and sugar. Im having toast while shes eating frosted flakes with chocolate milk in it. Skater Girl, I notice you do everything electronically except for your poetry writing. Why is that? I ask with curiosity. I just prefer it. I guess its a more organic experience for me when I need to manually write the words out. They flow directly from my head to the paper and it being tangible and physical just gets me in the right frame of mind. Im not exactly certain what that means, I say with a laugh. Yeah well you dont exactly strike me as the most creative person, she says, almost brusquely. She keeps scratching away and it seems clear she doesnt want to talk any more about it. Despite her current mood, I know Bella derives a lot of satisfaction from her writing. Ive noticed an interesting correlation between how happy she is and how much ink from her fountain pen she has on her fingers. More ink means her mood is all that much better. Bella, I say, my curiosity piquing again. I wonder what shes writing about. She sighs. Edward, she says, looking up.

Sorry, I offer. Its OK, its just that when I have something floating around in my head but dont write it down, I lose it and I usually cant get it back, she explains, her lips pursed and her brow furrowed. She quickly blinks a few times and her face softens. Its a change that looks like it required effort on her part. She stands up and sits on my lap. Why cant we stay like this, at the breakfast table, all day long, every day? she asks. Because our bodies would atrophy and wed die eventually, I deadpan. Im serious, she insists. No youre not; youre the least serious person I know, I inform her, wrapping my arm around her slim waist. Tie Guy, Im not above slapping you, she says, her mouth puckered and looking quite kissable despite her annoyance. Slap me? Im the proverbial nice guy, I reply with mock surprise. Yeah rightuntil someone forgets to put a coaster under their glass, she says rolling her eyes. Shes not really being playful, in fact, she sounds downright sarcastic. She sits back in her chair and starts writing again, scribbling

away with a terribly determined look on her face. Im completely at a loss as to how this conversation went from playful to bitter. I often feel as if the two of us are a pair of anthropologists, discovering a new species in each other, and while were eager to figure out our differences, it is beginning to alarm us that the similarities are so few and far between. Im afraid Ive fallen in love with some who is a true artist. Bella isnt just a writer. She has that unique type of artistic temperament and perspective. She can be almostdare I say itmanic one moment, flitting back and forth, overflowing with enthusiasm about something as small as finding a cache of her favorite brand of fountain pen on eBay, to downright melancholy the next, just about as perky as a character in a Dostoevsky novel. She becomes consumed by her lack of self-esteem; convinced her writing is absolutely horrible and unworthy of the paper its written on. And her teeter totter tendencies are contagious. A few days ago, when she gave me head during my web conference, there was a veritable battle of good versus evil in my brain. Pepaw kept telling Captain Orgasmo to make Bella stop when I had the chance.

But then Captain Orgasmo reminded Pepaw of all the times I had been in meetings fighting off countless erections when the idea of her small wet mouth wrapped around my cock would invade my brain. By the time I could logically work through my dilemma, my opportunity to stop her was gone. When I felt her mouth on me, all was lost. I couldnt get her to stop and I sure as hell didnt want to. Not to mention, Ive noticed just how difficult it is for me to come home from work, tired, my mind preoccupied, and feeling like all I crave is silence when shes here and so very obviously eager for attention. I love Skater Girls need for attention. I just wish shed time it better. If only I could plan for it, Id be better prepared. Things with Whats Her Name were nothing like this. My ex and I, upon reflection, seemed to have lived two different lives in the same physical space. Apparently we were both fine with that because it simply didnt bother either of us. There doesnt seem to be any rhyme or reason to Bellas daily life. Even her work hours are arranged every which way. If it werent for the fact that its December and theres a holiday crunch, shed probably be

working two hours one day and twelve the next. At least the need for all hands on deck ensures she has consistent hours during the week. Im not sure it would occur to her how odd it would be if she didnt work an eight hour day every day. Bella? I say again, wanting her attention. She stops, puts her pen on the table and throws her notebook across the room. This better be good, Cullen, she says, shutting her eyes. OK, I probably deserved that. You did just ask me nicely to shut up. I want you to meet my parents, I tell her calmly. Her expression changes instantly to one of surprise. A smile creeps across her face. What? she asks incredulously. My parentstheyll be here for Christmas. She climbs back on to my lap. And teetering back to happy again. Phew. Dodged a bullet there. Im sorry I snapped at you. Thats a really nice thing to suggest. Id love to meet your parents, she says, gently running her fingers through my hair. Good. Im glad youre up to it, I say, stroking her cheek.

My dads coming to Seattle for an early dinner with me, should we make it a group thing? I can cook here, she offers sweetly, her face lighting up. Happy Skater Girl is win. I think thats a great idea, I say, kissing her inky fingers. My fingers are all messy, she says with a sigh, looking almost apprehensive. Next time use a pencil, I quip. Silly Tie Guy, she chides, rubbing my two day beard with the back of her hand. I kiss her forehead, then the tip of her nose, and then her soft lips. Edward, she murmurs into my neck. I want to be good to you, she offers. You are good to me, I tell her. I wish I understood where these declarations came from, because I really dont. Well, I want to be good-er, she says with a childlike tilt of her head. Thats a remarkably bad command of grammar for a poet, I inform her playfully with a big smile. I start tickling her because I really want to hear that squeaky laugh right now. She does not disappoint. I can feel her nipples perk to attention as my hands graze across them.

This woman is the very definition of a mixed bag. Her good outweighs her bad to a huge degree, which is actually quite fortunate because it is those very good qualities that make me forget about the bad ones. The only problem is, the inside of this bag is a hodge-podge that when I reach my hand into it, I never know what Im about to pull out. Mmm, she moans as I kiss and lightly bite her beautiful soft neck. Youre way more delicious than my toast, I joke. She covers my face with kisses and I feel my dick come to full attention. If theres one thing thats always reliable, its my cocks reaction to this woman. For all her quirks, for however unlike me she is, the allure of herhow she looks, smells, tastes; and not to mention, how I created a sensuous, eager and curious lover of her, makes me absolutely mad with desire for her. Its so intense that I lose my sense of control, and in turn, get that control back by exerting it over her body. Just a few short days agoa week perhapsI would wait. I would be patient and hope my tendency to allow her to lead would render pleasure for both of us. But I dont need to wait anymore. Captain Orgasmo

can tell her what to do and she will accommodate him without hesitation. Controlling her body is something I crave more and more. She is so pliant, so easily bent to my will that I lovingly reward her with all I have. If only I had the same command of her chaotic habits, her disorganized moods, and her haywire sense of self-control. The physical rewards from this aside, the effect it has on my feelings for her are immeasurable. Never in my life have I experienced such a heightened sense of pure, raw, sexual gratification as I do when I take possession of my angel. It consumes me, and I know it consumes her. I love her to an entirely insane degree. Get on the table, I tell her. Her eyes go innocently wide and she blushes furiously. You heard me. Get on the table. Its on the list. Um, OK, she says with a little bit of surprise despite her bashful smile. She sits on the table. I move everything out of my way, eager to get started on my need to possess her completely. I gently nudge her so that her back is flat on the table. I can tell her to do something and she just does it. It fucking turns me on like nothing else.

I quickly strip off her PJ bottoms and panties and bend her legs so that her feet rest against the edge of the table. I inspect between her legs. She is so soft and moist, it just makes me that much harder. I lean into her sex and kiss her clitoris softly. She smells of soap and the musk from her bodys moisture. My anticipation for what awaitsthat is, the pleasure Im about to give her, is so keen it almost overwhelms me, but I wait. I maintain control. Angel, I say, You are so very good to me, I tell her. And with that, I sit back down in my chair, position myself right between her soft, supple thighs, and make quick work out of eating her out. She rests her foot on my shoulder as her hips undulate against me. Oh, I, ohEdward, God, I love youwhat you do to me, Edward, you dont know she moans. My hand plays with her nipple, teasing it. I kiss and lick the warm flesh between her legs, loving the sound of her plaintive moans. This is how I know shes mine, when I hear the noises only I can get her to make. Complete control and complete possession work together and yield a sated sense of power that intoxicates me. Gonna cum, gonna cum for you so hard, she cries while her

fingers tug at the hair on the back of my head. Before long, I can feel her muscles tenses and release against my mouth. I love you, fuck, I love you, she pants as she cums. My cock is so hard its aching at this point. I need to be inside her, to lay claim to her in the ultimate fashionby being on top of her, pushing my way into her, and leaving my cum inside her. I put my hand on the side of her face, and with my fingers going to the back of her neck, I raise her face up to me. Edward, want to be with you always, want to be yours, always, she tells me as her head goes limp on her shoulders and tilts to the side. You are mine, Bella, I say, making good on that statement as I pump in and out of her as fast as I can. You belong to me. Take me, take me she murmurs softly. I reach down and rub circles around her clit with my thumb. Cum on my hand, I tell her. And she does. Christ, if only everything else was this easy. Yes, she moans as I feel her warm pussy clench around me. Perfect, I gasp as the heat building in the base of my cock

boils over and I begin to twitch and cum inside her beautiful soft body. You love what I am, and thats why I love you, she murmurs into my ear, very nearly out of breath. Shes everything Im not, and that is what I love. Ive told her that more than once before. She is the perfect complement to me. Were like two puzzle pieces that lock together. I just wish all of it came together more harmoniously than just a jigsaw puzzle. Her compact little body, hot and flush, is back on my lap. She makes happy sighing sounds into my neck. I do love what she is, and curiously enough, I also dont like it. Such a contradiction, to love but not like, but this is what she does to me. The only sense of perfect balance I feel is when the Captain brandishes orders and she follows them. Im coming to my senses a little now that Ive satisfied my body and my mind feels more conflicted than ever. The control I crave turns me into a person Im not sure I like particularly. Whats Her Name would annoy me and I would give in. Problem solved. This is different. This is complicated. And Im not sure how much attention I can really assign to it without feeling like Im

taking a hacksaw to my brain. I love this woman. I want to be sweet to her. In the abstract, I understand this. In practice, I find it more and more difficult to adhere to. God help me, I want to try. I dont like upsetting her. I dont like hurting her. I need her just as much as she needs me. Skater Girl, I begin, Will you wait for me while Im gone? I ask. She snaps her face up, her expression very serious. Edward, she replies, Why would you even ask that? Of course I will, she responds. Im going to miss you a lot, you know that, right? Sure I do, Im going to miss you too. I love you, I just know I do, she says, her voice soft yet resolute. I know I love you too, I tell her. Hey, I know you have lots going on before you leave but since todays Saturday, can we spend the day together? she asks, her face looking so hopeful. I badly need to work but I know how it will hurt her feelings if I say no. Ill do what Ive been doing a lot latelynot even attempt to sleep and instead get work done while shes up playing on the laptop. Ive given up trying to get her to bed anytime before 1am.

Sure we can. What are you in the mood for? I ask. Please say more sex. Please say more sex. Oooh, I looked online and the Riverfront is still open even though its December! she says, bouncing up and down on my lap. I laugh because first of all, I love when she gets like this completely giddy and enthusiastic and second, I know why shes so giddy and enthusiastic. Oh really? I say in a low even voice and raising my eyebrow. Really. One more thing to cross off the list, she says with a grin, shaking her cute little fists up and down. Sex. On a Ferris wheel. I am the luckiest man alive. You know what else I want to do? she asks. What? I ask, kissing the inside of her wrist, where I can smell her delicious skin and feel her soft pulse. I want to feed you cotton candy and funnel cakes and ice cream and she says before I interrupt her. Because you want my pancreas to explode? I ask, truly wondering. She squeaks at me and then kisses me sweetly. Her kisses

are better than sugary junk food. And a lot healthier. No, because I want you to have fun. Because I love having fun with you, and seeing you smiling and happy, she says. I have fun eating fiber and doing my taxes, I deadpan. She puts her face in her hands. God, youre hopeless, her voice muffled by her palms. Not with you around, Skater Girl. Hope is not lost with you around, I reassure her. She sighs and puts her hands down again. She twists a lock of my hair with her finger absentmindedly. You know, I begin, about to switch gears, I was wondering what youd like for Christmas. She scrunches up her face. Youre not supposed to ask that! What kind of a gift would it be if I not only knew what it was, but told you to buy it? she asks incredulously. Well, if I get you what you want, youll be happy with it, I explain logically. How do you do that? Do what? Surgically excise the fun out of one of the most fun things ever? Years of practice.

Not telling what to get me Tie Guy, she informs me while poking me with her finger between my eyes. USE THE FORCE, she adds in an absurd low voice. You know what? I ask. What? Id put coal in your stocking if the dust wouldnt track up all over the place, I inform her. She laughs and shakes her head at me. The Monday after our weekend together finds me back to my usual grind of working and constant meetings at the office. I stop by Barbs desk on my way to my own. Good morning, Barb, I say with a smile. Hello sonny boy, she says, not looking up from her typing. Hey, I need your help, I say. Thats why they pay me the big bucks, she replies, still not looking up at me. Seriously, I need advice. She looks up just then. The one with the polka dots, she says. You know I love that tie. If you want to know which one to wear to the next annual shareholders meeting, wear that one. No, this isnt about ties. I need advice on what to get my girlfriend for Christmas. I asked her what she wanted but she

refused to tell meshe said its no fun that way, I explain. Oh I like her. I dont even know her but I like her already, she says with a wicked grin. Barb, come on. Help me out, I say, sounding needy. I feel needy. Alright Romeo. Whats she like? she asks with a sigh. Well, she loves to write. Shes a poet. Barb looks at me with an odd expression. Im sorry, did you say a poet? As in, sensitive and artistic? Yeah, why does that strike you as odd? Not odd, sonnyjust not you. I know, I say with a laugh. Were very different. OK, a poet. What else? She loves to cook. If you think Im going to tell you to buy her a cookbook, you must be out of your mind. How about just getting her a vacuum cleaner while youre at it? OK, forget the cooking. She likes video gamesall kinds, it seems. Video games? Sonny, do I need to call those To Catch a Predator people? I dont want to, but I will if I have to, she warns with fake seriousness. At least I think shes faking. Funny, Barb. Shes twenty. Very much a legal adult.

Fine, what else? She reads like crazy. And shes very cute when she reads. Sometimes shell start talking to the book, like the narrator or the characters are standing in front of her, I say, almost to myself. I get lost thinking about her and imagining the last time I watched her do that. Edward. Cullen. What? In the entire time Ive worked for you, I have never heard you say the word cute. Ever. Wheres sonny boy and what have you done with him? Barb. More help. Less ostracizing. OK, look. She sounds like someone who would appreciate the thought more than the gift. Why dont you make her something? I think for a minute and an idea pops into my head. Its perfect actually. Barb? What? I love you. Yeah yeah, enough of that. Do you mind? I just ate a stuffed bagel, she snaps, once again preoccupied by her typing. Before I know it, a few days fly by and its already Christmas

morning. Im still in bed but I feel a warm little body against my back, kissing the nape of my neck as I feel an arm drape around my waist. Tie Guy, I hear as a soft whisper. Hmmm? Santa was here, did you hear his reindeer? No, you were snoring too loudly. I dont snore. Loudly. No you dont. Not loudly. Just adorably. Aw thanks. Hey Santa left you somethingwould you like his gift or mine? She asks as she wraps her hand around my morning wood. I turn to face her and start kissing her while pulling off her camisole. I wantto hear you sayget to steppin, Tie Guy, Wha? she says, completely distracted already. Want a little Captain in you? How about a lot of Captain? I peel off her lingerie, then my boxers before I get on top of her and move her bent legs to either side of my hips. I kiss and lick her beautiful, pert breasts until her hips start to grind urgently against me and I know she doesnt want to wait any longer. God, I love you, I tell her as I gently ease myself inside her.

We move against each other slowly. I wrap my hands around her shoulders as we both get close to the edge. Edward, my everything, I love you with everything, she whispers as she climaxes hard against my cock. Soon I follow suit and empty into her in frantic twitches. Sweet angel girl, I whisper back, gingerly holding her pretty face in my hands. She turns away from me and reaches for something on the night stand. Its my phone. Merry Christmas, Edward, she says handing me my phone. Youre giving me the BlackBerry I already own for Christmas? I ask. Im feeling confused. Tie Guy, she replies, rolling her eyes, Turn on the display. I look at shes changed the background to a picture of herself smiling broadly. Theres an icon of a folder called Sk8trGrlLuv. I click it with the stylus. Theres dozens of .jpegs of her making different facial expressions. Each filename correlates to a .doc file with a poem written in it. Thats what I was doing last weekend when I got mad and threw my notebook. I was writing those poems for you, she explains. Ah. That explains why you were trying to concentrate. You

needed to finish. Yeah. I was writing about being mad when I lost my temper, she confesses with a laugh. You wrote about being mad at me? I ask with mild surprise. No, not mad at you. Mad at having to say goodbye to you, she confides, her eyes cast down. I pull her into my arms and kiss her forehead. I know, angel. Im coming back in a few weeks. Itll go by fast. Well text each other. Well, Ill text you, and youll send me random arrangements of letters and numbers that I can never decipher, I joke. Youre a dork. Yes but its endearing. Mildly. OK, my turn, I say, taking a small box out of my nightstand drawer. I hand the neatly wrapped robins egg blue package to her. Recognize the box? I ask. Hmm, not Victorias Secret. Even they dont make clothing this small, she jokes. She pulls the satin ribbon and opens the lid. She gasps as a bunch of origami cranes spill out into her lap. You made these for me?

Of course I did. Theres one for every day that Ill be gone. Unfold one, I say. Opening it, she reads my inscription. I wrote her a roses are red, violets are blue poem inside each crane. Theyre deliberately terrible because I know it will make her laugh. Roses are Red Violets are Blue This poem has exactly 26 syllables, I counted. She falls over sideways where she sits on the bed, cracking up. Worstpoemever, she gasps, I love it. Yeah, theyre all that caliber of quality, I confess. To make you laugh if you ever get sad, I explain. She springs up and wraps her arms around my neck. Thank you, Edward, she whispers, leaning her head on my shoulder. I put my hands on her waist, rubbing my thumbs against her bare skin. I kiss her collarbone. Theres something else in that box, you probably didnt recognize where its from, I say. She looks back at the gift and picks it up. Inside is a small velvet jewelry case. She opens it and gasps again. Tiffany? she says like a question, but I can tell from her

face that she does know the name after all. She pulls out the white gold necklace and pendent I bought her. Dangling on the chain is a small skeleton key, its handle in the shape of a heart encrusted with small diamonds. I asked Barb if this too ostentatious and she smiled before calling me a dummy. I took that as a no and purchased it. Here, let me get it, I say, clasping the necklace together at the back of her neck. I cant resist and kiss her skin while Im there. Thank you, Tie Guy, she says, putting her hand against my cheek. Its beautiful. Thats the key to my heart, so you can be sure to keep it safe it while Im gone, I explain, lifting her onto my lap so I can make love to her again. Later in the afternoon, Bella is manically running around the kitchen trying to get all her cooking done. I keep telling her not to worry, thats shes already made plenty, but she has a completely off kilter sense of proportion when she cooks, claiming that its always better to make too much than too little. I hear the door bell just then. Charlie! Bella gasps, her hands covered in potato peelings.

Ill get it, I tell her. I open the front door and greet Bellas father. Im more nervous than I thought Id be. Hes not nearly as timid and friendly looking as my girlfriend and I feel mildly alarmed by this. Its a little unsettling meeting a sheriff. Hes got the same brown eyes as my angel, only his seem a lot more world weary and much less trusting. His hair is the same shade as hers, but Im happy to notice that hes got a huge bushy moustache that Bella does not have. Hello, you must be Chief Swan, I say, offering my hand as I guide him inside. Yeah. Hi there. I sure hope I am, he jokes. Edward, right? he asks, shaking my hand very firmly. I take the gifts hes holding and set them down on a side table. Yes sir, Edward Cullen. Welcome, I reply, Please, have a seat, I add, motioning to the leather couches in the living room. Can I get you a drink? Id love a beer, if youve got any, he answers with a smile. Bella runs into the room, her hands now free of potato peelings. Charlie!!! she exclaims, literally running into his arms.

Merry Christmas, Bells, he says back, grinning broadly at her enthusiasm. Her infectious happiness has the same effect on him as it does me. You met Edward? she asks, looking at me. Yeah, he offered me a beer and everything. I like him already, he jokes. Oh, Ill get it for you. You guys sit and and chat, she insists. Charlie and I take a seat while Bella scurries back into the kitchen. So, Bells tells me youre a manager at Microsoft, is that right? Yes, thats right. Im working on a project for opening retail stores, not sure if she mentioned it, I say awkwardly. Yep. Something about going to Japan, he replies, looking at me disapprovingly. Correct, Ill be gone on and off for the next several months. And then? Ill be done hopefully but theres a chance at a promotion. Oh yeah? Yeah. I feel like Im being interrogated all of a sudden. What kind of promotion? A, uh, very good one actually. Id be a Vice President.

Of what? Um, overseeing projects in Southeast Asia, I answer as I begin to nervously tap my foot. Sounds important. Would you be traveling a lot for that too? Actually, uh, I wouldbe moving, I confess with a hard swallow. Where? Japan. Permanently? Yes but uh, its not definite. Id have to be given the promotion first. Bells know about this? I havent, um, just yet exactly because I think you should. In fact Im positive you should. Bella walks back into the room just then with Charlies beer, and thank God, a glass of Merlot for me. She puts our drinks down a little nervously and just as shes about to walk away, loses her footing as shes wont to do. Charlie and I simultaneously put our arms out to catch her, neither of us doing it even consciously. Were both very familiar with Bellas poor coordination. I catch her in my arms.

Easy now, I say with a smile. Thanks Edward, she says, smiling back at me. You always catch me. I try my best, Skater Girl, I tell her. She kisses my cheek and goes back to work in the kitchen. Charlie watches our exchange with a mixture of amusement and a small amount of what looks like satisfaction. Nice reflexes, he tells me. Thanks. I hate to see Bella get hurt. That makes two of us. Chief Swan, I I try to say. Listen, son, my daughter is very important to me. Her happiness is very important to me. She was real unhappy until a few months ago but shes happier now than Ive known her to be in a long time. Do not screw that up. Do you understand what Im getting at? I dont like it when my daughters upset is what Im trying to say. Understood, sir. Look, its Christmas, and I want Bells to have a nice holiday. You have your talk with her before you leave or I will. Is that part clear too? Yes, sir.

By the grace of God, the doorbell rings. It must be my parents. Edward! my mom exclaims as I open the door. She hugs the life out of me as soon as she can reach me. Hi mom, good to see you, I say, trying to extract myself from her bear hug. Hello, Dad, I say, shaking my fathers hand. Merry Christmas, Edward, nice to see you, he replies, handing me an armful of gifts. Everyones in the living room now, and I dispense with the introductions. We all settle in on the couches. Charlie and my dad sit on one while my mom and I sit on the other. Bella is standing and looks as nervous as a mouse trying to make small talk with my parents. She begs off to go back into the kitchen to finish up the last of her tasks for making dinner. Can I help at all, dear? my mom asks. Oh, no thank you Mrs. Cullen, Im just about done. Please, call me Esme, my mom replies. Thanks, Esme. Im pretty well finished. I have some snacks, let me get them for you, Bella says before leaving the room again. So, Charlie, my dad begins, I understand youre in law

enforcement? Thats right. Im a sheriff in a county not far from here, about 90 minutes from Seattle. The towns called Forks, Charlie explains, easily falling into small talk with my father. Im an emergency room doctor. I see a lot of patients come through by way of the police, my dad replies, also falling into an easy conversation with Charlie. Oh I bet. We dont have too many violent crimes where I am but with any emergency, I get called out there first, then we ship em off to ya on a bus if we need one, he jokes congenially. Bella comes back out with some appetizers and sets them down on the coffee table in front of me. I grab hold of her hand and kiss it to thank her. The little finger sandwichesI cut them the way you like, she says with a sweet smile. You didnt have to do that, but I appreciate it. Thank you, I tell her, kissing her hand again. Edward, I dont even cut your sandwiches the way you like them. I cant remember how, my mom says, embarrassing me. Dont spoil him, BellaIve already done a horrible job of it. So has his grandmother. She sends her love by the way,

Edward, Thanks, Mom, for embarrassing me. And tell Nana Masen I say hi back, I reply. Im serious. You can cut your own sandwich, Edward. Mother Its OK, Esme, I dont mind, Bella assures my mom. Oh trust me, dear, my mom begins, clearly ready to start going on a roll with the point she wants to make. You will mind eventually. Ill never forget the one day when Edward was a newborn and I was just utterly sleep deprived. His father mentioned that I didnt hang his ties in the right order after the housekeeper brought them back from the cleaners. Without saying a word I went into the closet, put them all in a garbage bag and drove them over to the local homeless shelter. Carlisle found out eventually what happened to his ties when someone came into the ER with alcohol poisoning wearing his favorite Brooks Brothers pinstripe, my mother explains, her lips pursed and her face displaying that I was simply fed up expression that Ive seen countless times before. I still miss that tie, my poor dad says wistfully. Thank you Mother, I say with a laugh.

Youre welcome, Edward. Well, dinners ready if everyone would like to come into the dining room, Bella announces. After a delicious roast dinner and dessert, we open gifts as my dad and Charlie go into a detailed discussion about trout fishing. My mom and Bella tidy the kitchen together, chatting happily. All in all, Im relieved to see that everyone seems to be getting along rather well. We say goodbye to Charlie while my parents go back to their hotel. They leave the day the next day, right after we meet them at their hotel for brunch. Another few days pass more quickly than I wish they would. Today is New Years Eve and Im scheduled to leave on the red eye tomorrow night. Bella and I have been spending as much time together as possible and while were enjoying each others company, my departure is looming over both our heads and putting a strain on both our moods. We decide to go out to a nightclub for the countdown to midnight. Ali and Jasper have gone to Texas to visit with his family and Emmett took Rose to that bar in LA with her favorite red velvet bench. The club is just so crowded. There are wall-to-wall people.

Bella and I hold hands but with the sea of people surrounding us, I lose my grip on her. After going around and around in circles around the inside the place for 15 minutes and calling her cell and getting her voicemail, I cant find her anywhere. I get anxious, imagining a number of different horrible scenarios, most involving very drunk college guys leering at her or worse. Bella! I call in every direction, muscling my way passed people drinking, carrying on and basically acting like morons. I feel my anger and panic rising. I just want to find her. My mind starts reeling. Im getting worked up. What if something happened to her and she needs me? I feel a soft tap on my shoulder just then and when I turn I see Bella smiling sweetly, a soda in her hand. Bella, you vanished! I was really worried, I tell her as I grab her shoulder firmly. I got thirsty, she explains sheepishly. Sorry. She looks at me strangely, like she doesnt understand my reaction. I was panicked and now Im a little angry. Im sure she thinks Im overreacting but I dont care. Just tell me next time, Ill get it for you, I say, more voice

sounding angrier than it should. What next time? she blurts out, her face flush. Is there a next time? Clearly shes venting at me for getting angry and shes taking it out on the fact that Im leaving tomorrow. I need to calm down and so does she. A crowded nightclub full of drunks is no place for this conversation. Lets go outside, I can barely hear myself think in here, I say as I lead her outside and down the street. Her jaw is clenching and her mouth is a straight tight line. Please dont be angry. I really was concerned, I try to explain, my voice becoming even again. Concerned about what? she asks, her brows drawn together. That something bad would happen to you, I try to explain rationally. Something bad would happen when I went to get myself a soda in a crowded, public place? How old do you think I am? she asks, still clearly irritated. Thats not it, come on Bella, I say, still trying to reason with her. I grab her hand as we argue. Then what is Edward? Better yetwhy is it? she asks, her face that same mixture of anger and hurt I saw the last time

we fought about my work in Japan. Why what? I ask, confused by her question. Why cant I leave your side for ten minutes to get a drink when youre crossing an entire ocean in 24 hours? Why is that fair? Why is that possible? Why is that happening? she asks. These questions are rhetorical but I try to answer them anyway to appease her anger. Its not the same, I reply, looking at her earnestly. No, its not. Whats fair for you isnt fair for me, apparently. Do I get to worry about you or do you deem me incapable? she asks, her anger not abating in the least. Stop it Bella, I dont treat you like that, I implore. The hell you dont! she snaps. She pulls her arm away from mine, breaking our clasped hands. You decided what I needed to know about your job, she begins. I found out about things through James and through the fucking internet before I found out from you. I shouldnt wonder what else you havent told me for fear that my puny, girly constitution couldnt handle it. Bella

There is more, isnt there? I just look at her, hoping shell calm down. Talk, Edward, she demands, her brown eyes smoldering and burning holes right through me. Theres a chance Ill get promoted when the Japan project is done, I confess in a low voice. And? she asks, searching my face. It would require a permanent move. Her head slumps forward, shaking it back and forth. Bella, dont. Just please, dont. If you cry and I leave with you upset, Ill never forgive myself, I beg. You shouldnt forgive yourself! Youre telling me this now, when youre leaving tomorrow? Do you not see how shitty that is? she says, her eyes now at a full blaze. Skater Girl, come on, dont be like this. I dont get why youd keep the permanent move to yourself, especially after we already fought about this Japan issue, she adds. Bella, how could I? I dont even know if it will happen. I wanted to wait until it was more than just a possibility. You can understand that, right? Please try, Bella. I dont really want to understand, Edward, she says, more dejected than angry. Her eyes are filling with tears.

I have a reason, I try to assure her and be persuasive. Im going to propose to you if I get promoted and everything is working out. Im not moving without you. You always have a reason. A plan. A process. A system. Im so sick of your regimented life. I love you, Edward. I love you completely. I love you desperately. But I hate your life, she tells me, sobbing. Bella, we can make it work. Lets try, I beg again, kissing her hands this time. I feel completely at a loss for how to calm her down. Begging seems like the only thing I can think to do. How? How do we do that when you live there and I live here? she asks, her face looking more and more desperate. Come with me, Skater Girl. Come with me and live in Japan. Just think about it, I ask. She looks at me but doesnt answer. Will you think about it, please? She takes a deep breath and looks right into my eyes. When she hugs me, I feel like Im about to start to cry. How can I not think about you, Edward? All that there is for me to do is think about you while youre gone, she says softly as she cries on my shoulder. I put my palm on the back of her head and kiss her hair

exactly ten times. Counting helps me regain my composure a little. Im just so relieved that she isnt angry anymore. Her pain is just as bad but at least I can try soothing her. When shes angry I simply dont know what to do or say. I wish this could all go differently. That you can come back in a few weeks and not ever have to leave again, she confesses. I cant do that. My future at Microsoft hinges on this. I know, Edward. I know. Your plans she says with a heavy sigh. My heart is literally rattling in my chest, making me feel a mixture of acute guilt and sadnessworse than Ive ever felt those two things in my life. Im not mad or even upset at you, Edward, just at our situation in general. Angel, I dont want to fight anymore, not with so little time left, I say, stroking her cheek. She looks up at me and strokes my cheek in kind. Can we just go home? she asks. I don't want to be around strangers when all I want to do is be with you. Of course, whatever you like. Come on, the cars this way, I say as I lead her down the street and toward the Volvo.

Were back in the car and drive home in silence. Bella cries softly on and off and I try my best to console her. I hold her hand and rub her thigh. She takes my hand and kisses my palm, breathing in my skin as she does it. Tell me what you want, angel. Anything, its yours, I tell her as we walk into the house from the garage. I want you, she says. I want as much of you as I can get before you leave me, she says, her face still sad. We sit on the couch for a while drinking wine. I hope that it calms her nerves and seems to work. I have my arm around her while she leans her head into my shoulder. I kiss her lightly and she kisses me back. Skater Girl, what would you like to do? I ask her. Take me upstairs, Tie Guy. I want a goodbye kiss that lasts all night, she murmurs softly. We go upstairs to the bedroom and undress each other slowly. We study each other once againour bodies this time and go as slowly as we can, hoping we can memorize each little detail enough to last us the next three weeks. Ive never been in a limo before. Edward and I are riding in the car service provided by

Microsoft to drive him to the airport. Hes taking me along to say goodbye at the security checkpoint and having the driver take me back to my apartment. Im guessing he probably wouldve rather gone by himself so that he could work while in the car. But when I teared up getting ready for him to take me home, he insisted we go together to the airport instead. Im curled up against his chest, feeling safe and warm. I have my head buried inside his brown leather jacket. I feel like Im trying to smuggle you along, he says into my hair before kissing the top of my head. I wish you could, I mumble. I wish I could too. He murmurs back at me. You have to work. I have to exist, I mutter. Im feeling utterly dejected at the moment. Im in one of my moods and he knows it. Edward would never say this, but he must hate my moods. I was never a happy-go-lucky person, the type to smile and be full of sunshine for the sake of it. Even before Radcliffe, I was usually a pessimist unless something or someone made me feel otherwise. I guess you can say that I run hot and cold, but its due to how I handle my emotions. The thing of it isI dont like trying to control them.

I like letting them wash over me, go through me, even the bad ones. If theres one place I feel I can be brave, its in my own head. The only time I gave up letting my emotions run their course and needed to grab a life preserver was when I dropped out of school. That experience gave me such a deep sadness and such a sharp level of anxiety that I had to free myself. So I left that environment to escape what made me feel those things. To be there was my dream, honing my craft to become a poet. But then it became my nightmare and I forced myself to open my eyes. The way I work out my emotions has a lot to do with why I write. I think I write to get those feelings out. To pour them somewhere and free them, so the good feelings get their immortality and the bad ones can be gone and leave me. With my poetry, the greater the depth and complexity of my understanding of my emotions, the better I can translate them into words. But thats not to say that it makes it easy. When Im concentrating on my writing and trying to express myself in exactly the right way with the words flowing just as they should, I can get a little carried away.

This process can make me look insane to people who dont understand it and arent accustomed to it. I think Edward might be included in that group of people. Sometimes I sit with my iPod earbuds on full blast, sitting in my chair and rocking back and forth until I get the words phrased exactly right. Sometimes I scrunch my face up, make my hands into fists and shake them until I can get my brain to spit things out exactly so. Yeah, I look completely nuts. The last time I was really in one of these poetry spells as I call them, Edward walked into the room, looked at me, turned around and walked back out again. He said later he didnt want to disrupt my process but I know all I did was freak him out. Thankfully, he doesnt seem to mind too much. The only time it became an issue was when he suggested I put together a schedule for writing so that I can have chunks of time devoted to it and then hed know when not to bother me. I had to explain that you cant turn creativity on and off like a light switch. It comes out when its ready. He looked at me like I had three heads and was speaking in Bulgarian but didnt say anything else. It became

one more thing we didnt understand about each other. Im slowly drawn out of my daydream by the touch of his beautiful long fingers against my jaw. I try not to think about how much Ill miss him touching me. I dont want it to ruin the precious bits of time I have left with him. His eyes are on the darkened one way mirror separating us from the limo driver. I look too, then back at him. He gives me that edible smirk that I cant resist for anythingnot that Id ever want to. Edward, I murmur. His lips are on mine exactly when I want them to be, exactly the way I want them to behungry, passionate, and eager. His hand trails to my breast and I moan softly. My hands are in his messy hair, looping it around my fingers. I put my hand inside his shirt, wanting to feel the toned muscles under the manly smattering of hair on his chest. I lie back as he gently pushes me over, his hand running up and down my thigh. Wed spent all night last night making love, touching and kissing, caressing and stroking, but it was like a fire we couldnt put out. He would look at me and I knew. He simply

hadnt had his fill of me, nor me of him. I ask him one last time the question he pulls from my lips so effortlessly though he would never confess out loud to being so unfailing in his seduction. My love, tell me what would please you, I ask. He looks at me and strokes my cheek with the back of his hand. With a smile, he then traces my lips with the tip of his finger. No spoken words are needed. I know his answer. My lover wants my mouth. He sits in the deep leather seat across from me, the one way mirror behind him so to shield us from the drivers view. I kneel in front of him, my body on either side of the inside of his thighs. I plant soft kisses all over his groin even before unbuttoning his pants. My hands stroke the top of his legs back and forth. I slowly lower his zipper and gently take his erect shaft out from his boxers. With the tips of my fingers I gather up the sweet liquid that has begun to seep from him and I press it to my mouth, softly grazing my tongue all the way around my lips to take in every last little bit. He watches me do this and his face grows darker, more primal. I smile.

Angel, be good and give me your mouth, he tells me in a low, even tone. Cant a girl even have a little fun around here? Thats right, its all fun. Never mind. I comply and take him in long slow strokes, keeping the pace as he guides my head with his hand in my hair. I have my own hands on his legs. When he softly taps the back of my right hand, I know that this is his way of telling me he wants to watch me pleasure myself with my fingers. I comply with this command as well and soon my hand is eagerly stroking the hot wet flesh between my legs. Its like sex charades. Three wordsfirst word: sounds like linger I savor the taste of his musky skin against my tongue, once again hoping to commit every last detail to memory. I get lost in the heat and tension coiling up inside me and start to moan against him as my mouth works faster and faster. Sweet, perfect mouth, he hisses at me as my eyes go wide, telling him silently that I am very close to release when I hear his words praising me. Not yet, he says plainly. I slow my hand, holding myself off as he instructs me to. I

moan against him again, this time a desperate plea asking that he not tease me much longer. With a long slow breath pushed out through clenched teeth, I feel him begin to twitch in mouth. Now, he murmurs. I pant and swallow his cum between muffled shrieks as the muscles between my legs spasm on my palm over and over. I want you to taste me whenever you need to use your hand in my absence, he tells me as he lifts me up into his lap and kisses my forehead. I find myself back inside his jacket, whispering that I love him and will miss him more than I can describe. He says the same to me. After arriving at the airport and helping him check in, I walk hand in hand with Edward until we can go no further. Its time for one last kiss and one last hug. I hold his face in my hands and recite the poem Ive memorized especially for saying goodbye. It took me several days to learn in it because its in Japanese. Edward, I begin, my eyes stinging and my cheeks feeling tight, yumeji ni wa ashi mo yasumezu

kayoedomo utsutsu ni hitome mishigoto wa arazu Angel, that was beautiful. It sounds familiar but I cant make it out completely. What does it mean? he asks. Though I go to you ceaselessly along dream paths, the sum of those trysts is less than a single glimpse granted in the waking world. My tears flow easily now and I dont stop them. He wipes them away with his thumbs and kisses my forehead. Three weeks, Skater Girl, he tells me. Three weeks and Ill listen to as many poems as you like, he adds. With one last sweet kiss, he turns and walks through the security checkpoint. I watch as his figure becomes smaller and smaller until finally my eyes, blurry from tears, cant see him any more. In the limo ride home my thoughts bring to light the nature of my sadness. Edwards temporary absence is the only part of this. Yes, Edwards physical presence will return in three weeks but what of the Edward I just spent the best month of my life with? Will he come

back? Edwards Janus-like nature makes me so unsure of the stability of our relationship. He may grow tired of wearing the Tie Guy mask. It may distract him far too much and prevent him from focusing the way he needs to on his work. Thinking about this only makes me cry harder and the pit in my stomach grows deeper. If only our minds could work in such beautiful synch as our bodies do. I had no real experience before being with Edward and its almost as if he can look inside me and know exactly what would excite me, turn on me. If every pot has a lid, as they say, well, I think we suit each other that way sexually. The beautiful thing about it is how effortless it is, how our bodies just mesh together as if it was all meant to happen. But there was one problem. Our brains and the way they work and cause us to behave couldnt be more different. I love the way Tie Guy makes me laugh with his straight man jokes and even with his overly paternal Pepaw tendencies, but there are other aspects to him Im not sure I could ever understand. He pushes himself very, very hard to be perfect and I mean that in every sense of the word. He has to do almost everything perfectly,

meticulously, and precisely. Of course his sense of humor helps to offset how irritating it can be but he doesnt always have a sense of humor about it. I cant help but think that for all the love and affection hes shown me that really Im just a distraction from the constant pressure he puts on himself. When he said I love you because youre everything Im not, I couldnt get the words out of my head for some time. Perhaps he meant that he wishes he could be more free spirited, more creative, more impulsive but that those things are luxuries that serious people like him cant afford to indulge themselves in. The first few days away from Edward are torture. I cry almost constantly. I try not to but I just feel the sadness wash over me and decide its better to let it run its course and work its way out of my system. I write lots of poemshorribly depressing poems. My heart skips a beat when my iPhone buzzes while Im at work. Hey Sad Girl, Meet us for lunch. Ali I sigh inwardly when I see that its not Edward. Except for a few terse emails saying hed gotten to Tokyo OK and that hed settled in at his hotel, I havent heard from him. I know

hes the other Janus face now the focused one who has to work, work, work and do everything perfectly. I text Ali back. OK, c u vadges the apt. -B I decide to text Edward. Its been four days and this is the first text Im sending. Im trying my best not to seem clingy. I text him a Sara Teasdale poem thats been running through my head all day. Longing I am not sorry for my soul That it must go unsatisfied, For it can live a thousand times, Eternity is deep and wide. I am not sorry for my soul, But oh, my body that must go Back to a little drift of dust Without the joy it longed to know. Translation: dude, Im pretty freaking horny over here. Oh and I love you. Some time passes before he texts me back. S8r Grl, v busy but glad to hear from you. Love the poem. I miss you. E

I text back because I meant to ask him something before he left but I forgot. TG, Can I borrow the MacBk so we can skype? Ily, B. He replies. Sure, you have the spare house key. Stay as long as you like. E I send one last text but to Ali this time. Can we have dinner instead? Lets go out, then I need a lift to Es, is that OK? B Ali texts right back. Need to rub one out while making out with his pillow? LULZ Why am I friends with this bitches? I ride my board home at the end of my shift and the girls and I go to nearby caf for soup and sandwiches. Im in a soup and sandwiches moodnothing special, nothing memorable, just there. Its exactly how I feel. The three of us sit in a quiet booth toward the back of the caf. Rose and Ali are chattering energetically while I push my food around my plate. Geez Bella, youre making me feel like I should be grinding up prozac and slipping it into your morning coffee. Sweetie,

you need to perk up already. Its just two and a half weeks, Rose tells me. I know that. Its not the amount of time. I just dont know what this whole thing is going to turn intohim being here for two or three days here and there for the next six months, or longer. OK, so he comes back, hes still got work on the brain, hes all jet lagged, whats he gonna do, watch me act like a putz and then go back on a plane again? I mean, what the fuck? This is a mess, I say, my voice starting to break as a rip up the crust of my sandwich between my fingers. Act like a putz, what does that mean? Ali asks, her face screwed up in confusion. It means what it means. Im a putz. We know this, I reply defeatedly. Oh here we go. Bella pity party in full effect, Rose says, rolling her eyes. Shut up Rose! I snap as I cry openly. Why do you think youre a putz around Edward? Ali asks, grabbing my hand. Because what else am I? Have you not noticed how different we are? I can list all the specifics but wed be here for a while, Ali. The biggest problem is our personalities, he is so

type-a, just ridiculously so. He likes doing accounting! He says its fun. Hes the cleanest, neatest, most exact guy Ive ever met. Theyre both looking at me now. Not that look. Come on, Im already crying, the look just pours salt on my wounds. The look says Bella, youre an idiot. WHAT? Im an idiot. I know Im an idiot so just stop looking at me like that OK? Dude. Thats not it, Rose says, her voice softening for a change. Bella, Im sorry, she adds. No youre not, I answer, squinting my eyes at her. No I am. You do have reason to be sad, she explains. I do? I ask, feeling lost. Im sorry too sweetie, Ali chimes. Really? I ask. Now Im getting a little panicked. Bella. You guys. Its a trap some people fall into when things happen too fast. Ive seen it before, Rose says with a heavy sigh. What trap? Ali looks at me and grabs my hand. Hon, I think you got into something intensely physically that you both thought was something it wasnt.

This is microwave dating. Super hot really fast. Its also done fast. But he wants me to move with him if he gets promoted. Their eyes go wider. How long were you gonna hide that one? You keep doing that. Rose complains. I dunno, I didnt think it would be worth talking about if it didnt happen, I reply, looking down at the table. Girl, you cannot move out of the country with a man youve only known for six months, are you brain damaged? Rose asks incredulously. Why not? We love each other. Bella. Youll be seeing him for what, a total of 5 days a month for six months and then youre supposed to leave the country with him? You guys dont have anything in common, what will happen when youre together all the time in a strange place with no friends? Sweetie, youll hop the first flight back home after a few weeks, tops, Ali explains softly. But you guyswith Jasper and Emmett, you hit it off right away. I havent slept with Emmett yet. I like him too much. He keeps trying to get in my pants but I tell him I respect him

too much to use him like that. Rose explains with a laugh. Jasper and I have a lot of the same weird hobbies, we love doing stuff together, she says with a laugh. Well, were gonna see how the next six months go. He might not even get the promotion. Sounds like hes trying to bust his ass to get it, Roses surmises correctly. Yeah, he is. I bet he does get it too, I say dejectly as I continue to pick at my sandwich. Ali drops me off at Edwards house and its surreal to be there without him. On the one hand its comforting to be surrounded by all the things that remind me of him, even the crazy kitchen treasure map and numerous baskets for sorting dirty laundry. But on the other hand it all makes me want to feel him in my arms even more, to hear his soft low voice in my ear, his breath giving my skin pin pricks. I dont care if we lived in a bubble or a microwave or whatever the hell it was, it made me happier than Id ever been and I love him. Edward saw me physically and emotionally naked, and I saw the same of him. We very much liked the former but not necessarily the latter. I wouldnt even begin to know how to fix the problem with not liking our

naked insides, I just wouldnt. I only ever had one boyfriend before him and Jake offered me no relationship experience at all, positive or negative. I suddenly feel like Im blindfolded, in a pitch dark room, looking for something, anything, to illuminate my mind. To bring light to my utter inexperience because to lose that chance means I will lose what I have with Edward. I am now convinced of it. I sit on the bed and stare at his pillow. He had his side of the bed, of course. I would fall asleep on my side but if I ever got up to go to the bathroom, Id creep back into bed on his side because otherwise Id have to walk all the way around the other side and for sure Id stumble in the dark, feeling so sleepy and clumsy. So instead Id slither my way under the covers just barely fitting myself onto the very edge. Id hear him chuckle as hed wrap his strong warm arms around me and effortlessly shift me back to my side of the bed. Hed curl himself around me, my back pressed against him. Sometimes wed fall right back to sleep, sometimes his hands would roam all over me and hed make love to me to slowly and sweetly, calling me his angel. I grab his pillow and hug it to me closely. Fuckscent

I miss Edwards smell so much that when I smell it now on his pillow, I just start crying again. I can see his face as clear as anythinghis messy, terminally insane hair, his thick expressive brows that speak volumes to me without using words, his soulful green eyes that are like a mirror reflecting whatever mood hes in, his soft full lips, his chin and jaw, his bristly whiskers that leave my skin red, especially on my neck, breasts and inside my thighs. It doesnt embarrass me like it did the first few times. Checking the time, I notice its the middle of the day in Tokyo, so its probably best if I wait a few hours until its around 5pm his time. Thats usually when I get an email from him. I have a good few hours to kill before then, so I just get out my poetry journal and pen and start writing. I lay down on my stomach with Edwards pillow clutched under my arm like a football. A couple of hours pass without me really even noticing. I alternate between writing, crying, having spells and hugging his pillow. The end result is quite a bit of very depressing writing and a pillowcase smudged with ink and tears. I look at the clock and it says 11:30. If I stay up another hour or so, I may be able to catch him on

Skype. I use that chunk of time to configure everything so that all he has to do is reply to the email the Skype system sends to him and we can start chatting. I finally get everything figured out and while waiting for Edward to reply, I doze off with my head next to the keyboard, still lying on his bed and clutching his pillow. A soft chime sound tells me I have email. Bella, Sorry I cant chat tonight, have an important dinner with the other executives. Lets reschedule. Barb (my assistant) will contact you. Just super busy. Edward I read his terse email with a heavy heart. I feel like I was just politely turned down for a job. The pit in my stomach grows larger now and what I was afraid would happen is actually coming to be. I shut the laptop and look at the time. Its way too late to ask Ali to come pick me up. I decide to just change into a pair of Edwards sweats and an old t-shirt and crash in his bed until morning when I can just walk or board home. I hug his pillow and cry into it some more before falling asleep for the night.

The next morning I almost jump out of my skin when the doorbell rings incessantly. I run down the stairs hoping I dont break my neck in the process and open the door with a flourish. Standing in front of me is a beautiful leggy blonde with perfect hair and gorgeous watery blue eyes. Shes wearing a beautiful cardigan sweater and perfect pearls. She reminds me of the girls at Radcliffe. Oh, are you with housekeeping? she asks, looking surprised. Um, no, I say, looking at her with a raised eyebrow. Well, Im here to pick up the rest of my things, she says nonchalantly as she edges passed me and through the door. Im sorry, should I know you? I ask incredulously. She turns around then and eyes me thoroughly. I feel like an antique piece of furniture being inspected for its authenticity. Sorry, that was rude of me. Im Tanya. Edwards ex fiance. He dumped me and then threw me out. I still have some of my things here and I just happened to be in town so I thought Id come get them, she explains, looking bored. Im shocked at first. Tie Guy dumped his fiance? Pepaw threw out his girlfriend? But then I remember he said he

caught her with another man. Edward is so possessive; I cant imagine what that must have done to him. The only thing I can think is that Tanya must be pretty stupid to cheat on someone like him. Edward was the very definition of a good catch, at least to me he is. OK, well, if you know where your things are, go ahead and help yourself, I tell her. And you are? she asks. Im Bella. Edwards girlfriend. Hes in Tokyo on business. You live here? No, I stayed last night. I was trying to get in touch with him but with the time difference, I just couldnt stay awake. Huh. Sounds familiar. Im sure youve noticed by now that Edward cant do much besides work. He pencils in everything else. Yes hes got a lot of ambition. I like that. I want him to be successful, I say, feeling defensive. Oh so did I. Until I realized that his only ambition is being ambitious. I was a nice accessory to all that really. It got boring very quickly, she informs me. Im sorry. I dont have anything else to say. I wait for her to gather a few boxes she drags out of the garage and walk her back out the front door.

You must be something entirely different, like a little puzzle or a toy, she tells me. Excuse me? I say, getting offended. I cant imagine what could distract him enough. But really nothing can. Good luck to you, Bella, was it? Yeah. Thanks. And with that I shut the door. I gather my things and decide to make my way home on foot. A couple of hours later, I get an email on my phone from Barb, Edwards assistant. Dear Bella, Sorry Ive taken so long to get back to you. Edward really does have a busy schedule in Tokyo and is in back to back meetings for this first trip to Tokyo. He does have a free lunch tomorrow. Please set up your web call with him for 8pm Seattle time this evening, since Tokyo is sixteen hours ahead. Im glad to be of help if you need anything else. I hope one day we can meet in person. Edward speaks so highly of you. Regards, Barb I quickly reply to her email thanking her for being so helpful

and let her know that Ill be on Skype at 8pm. At eight oclock sharp, Im sitting on my couch at the apartment with the MacBook on the table in front of me. Our call gets connected and I see Edward on the screen in front of me. Hello, handsome! I say with a huge grin on my face. Hi, Beautiful, he says with a smirk. Hes wearing a shirt and silk tie, of course. He puts his hand through his hair and I can already tell hes not feeling very Tie Guy right now. You look tired, love, I tell him. Yes, its been pretty hectic. I work about sixteen hours, go to bed, go to the gym and start work all over again, he says, looking like he could fall asleep at his desk. I feel guilty for taking up even this small amount of his free time. We should switch jobs. Mine is really boring, I say with a laugh. The store is pretty quiet with the holiday season over. All I do is count inventory all day and move heavy boxes, I explain. He gives a tired little laugh and yawns. I miss you Skater Girl, he says, tilting his head. I cant tell you how much I miss you, I reply, I can only show you, but I cant now because my roommates are

home, I add with a chuckle. Ill show you lots of things when I get back, angel, he tells me as he raises his eyebrow and bites his bottom lip. I look down and blush. Have you been OK? he asks. No peanut butter and cheetos all day and video games all night, he lectures. Yes, Pepaw, I reply, rolling my eyes playfully. Now its my turn to yawn. Why are you yawning? Its nowhere near your bedtime, he says with a smile. Not sure, your yawns must be contagious. You need to sleep more, Skater Girl. Tie Guy, you work my last nerve but I love you. Oh hey, your ex stopped by your house while I was there to get the MacBook. Tanya? Tanya came to the house? What for? he asks, perking up. She had some boxes she wanted. I let her into the garage, she took them and she left. It was weird meeting her to say the least. Sorry Bella, I had no idea she planned on doing that. She couldve had me ship them to her. I suspect she wanted to see me. Im glad I wasnt there, he confesses with a shake

of his head. You know its funny, I say. What? Meeting her and talking to her. SheI dont know how to explain itthe way she looks, the way she talksEdward, shes exactly your type, I confess with a nervous laugh. Edward laughs back. Skater Girlyou know who my type is, and shes not it. Thanks Tie Guy. I cant wait to see you. I cant wait for you to come back. Me either, angel. But I have tons to do between now and then so Im not sure if I can manage much else besides emails and texts. You understand, right? he asks, hoping I can be patient. Of course. This is important to you, I know. Just make sure you get enough rest, I say with a weak smile. I have huge presentation to get ready for that Ill be doing right before I leave for the airport so Ill be pretty exhausted when I get home, he explains. I nod my head. Do you want me to have the car service to take me to your apartment and pick you up on the way home? Yes, that would be perfect, I say eagerly.

Excellent. Ill see you soon angel. I love you, he says with a sweet smile. I love you Edward, I reply. With a sigh, I end our web call and shut down the laptop. I hope getting through the next couple of weeks is the toughest of whats to come. I fear its his return that will be more difficult. The next week or so passes painfully slowly. Work has really slowed down since its the post holiday season and people arent doing a whole lot of shopping. Ive been working in inventory mostly, keeping track of whats in stock, how much of it we sell, we much of it sits in the vast stock rooms. All I can do is pine after Edward. I think of texting him or emailing him constantly. I usually hear from him once a day, usually around the middle of the night after hes had dinner. Its finally Friday and Edward is coming home this evening. I have the day off and the whole day free to get ready. I wish I was more excited but Im just not. Ive been crying on and off almost every day for the passed several days. The only thing I can attribute it to is nerves and possibly hormones. I decided to take a break in my birth control pills so I can have my period while Edwards

out of town. Wake up, Bella, Rose says as she nudges me from my sofa bed. I am awake, I say with my eyes closed. I cant believe youre still asleep. You konked out watching Jeopardy last night. You know only old people do that., she teases. Yeah, Ive been tired. Theyre making me bust my ass at work. I keep lifting heavy crap all day. Yesterday I almost passed out. I had to go lie down in the break room and I fell asleep. Thank God Seth woke me up before James found me, I tell her. I sit up and drop my legs over the side of the sofa sleeper. I stand too quickly and before I know it, everything swirls around and goes black. Bella! Shit! Bella, wake up! I hear. My eyes flutter open and Im laying on the floor, my head cradled in Roses lap. Ali! Get out here! Bella just fainted out of nowhere. I hear Ali come running. What? Bella, are you OK sweetie? Im fine, I must just be hungry, I didnt eat much dinner. I need some toast and a glass of water. Im fine, I protest.

Bella, people dont just faint cos theyre a little hungry, Rose tells me sarcastically. For some reason her words just really rub me the wrong way. Stop it Rose. You always pick on me, are so mean to me. Please leave me alone. I sob uncontrollably. Holy shit, Rose whispers to herself. Fuck Fuck Fuck, I hear Ali pant. Neither of them are making any sense at all to me. They whisper to each other. Finally Ali talks. Bella have you missed your period? I stopped my pills a week ago so I would have it while he wasnt here but it hasnt come yet. I just figured it would take a while for my body to adjust. Does that happen? Maybe, Ali replies. Oh God. Im such a fucking moron. I didnt always take them. Id leave them here and spend the night at Edwards. Some nights I just forgot. I didnt think it would matter. Of course it would matter with my luck. Im fucking pregnant, arent I? I ask my friends. They just look at me. I have a 3 pack of tests under the sink in the bathroom, Rose offers. I come back from the bathroom and lay the plastic stick on

the coffee table. The three of us sit on the couch and wait two minutes exactly. I pick it up. One line means not pregnant. Two lines means pregnant. I see two lines and quickly run to the kitchen sink to throw up. My friends follow close behind me, standing on either side of me. You should wait another six hours or so and take another one, Ali offers. Ali, its almost impossible to get a false positive. The pill wont do it. Bella, sweetie, I wish there was something I could that would make you feel better, Rose says, trying to be sympathetic. Are you going to tell Edward? Ali asks. To say that my mind is reeling is a ridiculous understatement. I have no idea how to tell him this. I have idea what to do. I feel completely irresponsible, completely stupid, completely immature. I splash cool water on my face as I continue to cry. One thing gives me a small amount of comfortEdward knows how to handle a crisis. His job is to fix things. Hell know what to do. If ever there was a person who was a

problem solver, its him. Thinking about this calms me down a lot. Yes, I reply to Ali, Im going to tell Edward when he comes to pick me up tonight. Hell help me figure out what to do. Do you think youd keep the baby? This wasnt at all what I was considering, oddly enough. What? I ask. You dont, do you? Want to keep it, I mean? Ali says, her face looking downcast. Her words shock me. You mean? is all I can say before crying. I couldnt even get my head to the point of considering an abortion. What I meant by looking to Edward for what to do was whether I should go with him to Japan now, or move into his house, or see if he can stop traveling for the time being. Bella, you want the baby? Rose asks. Icantnot have it. I just cant. I couldnt. The guilt would kill me. Are you sure? she confirms. I nod my head. Talk it over with Edward. Youre right. Hes good at making plans, Ali says, rubbing my back.

I spend the rest of the day on the couch while my roommates mill in and out to class and back, doting over me when they have the time. I cant eat anything. I mostly just stare blankly at the TV. My mind wanders. I try to imagine myself with an actual baby. I dont really have that much knowledge about childrearing. I never babysat much in high school and I have no siblings. Babies. I know they cry a lot and eat constantly. Pushing one out of my lady parts didnt sound very appealing. They are cute though. Edwards baby would be adorable. The thought of that makes me smile. If it were a boy, I could dress him in a little oxford and a clip on tie. That would be so cute. As the day wears on, I start to imagine all of the things I would need to do to be ready to be a mom. First, I would need to start earning a better living. James already put in for me to be promoted for a Genius position at work, which pays much better. I also need to find a gynecologist instead of a GP. I would have to stop working at some point. I would need help. I would need help. A lot of help. I cant do this by myself. Edward absolutely needs to be behind this or Im in an impossible situation.

What if he doesnt want the baby? I try to shake the thought out of my head but it persists for some reason. If he doesnt want the baby, I would have to figure it all out somehow but it would be terrible. He wouldnt do that. He would want to take care of me. I literally start counting the minutes until I hear the buzzer outside telling me that Edward is here. By the time he knocks on the door, my heart is racing. Im just so nervous, I cant get up from the couch. I start to hyperventilate slightly. Ali lets Edward inside and quickly retreats into Roses bedroom so they can give us some privacy. Edward, I say in a low whisper. I dont know how to tell you I say looking down. Please dont freak out, Tie Guy. I need Tie Guy right now. Tell me what? Bella, please, whats wrong? he replies, walking quickly toward me and sitting next to me. I show him the test, how theres a big plus sign on it. His eyes go wide and then his face just changes, instantly. It becomes completely blank, just expressionless, like a robot. How could you let this happen? he asks simply. Let it happen? I didnt let anything happen, it just did. This isnt at all the reaction I was expecting. I was expecting

him to try and calm me down. I trusted you. Trusted you to know what you were doing. Edward, I didntwhy are you? Please, Im upset enough, dont torture me. Did you do this intentionally? To keep me from traveling, from moving? What? Edward youre talking like a crazy person! Of course I didnt. So, you just accidentally got pregnant? On the pill? He stares at me, his eyes boring into me. He has dark circles under his eyes. His shirt is rumpled and his tie is loosened. I missed a couple of them. I forgot. I didnt think it would matter. I would just take them together with the next pill the next day. You are forcing me into a situation I do not want to be in. What do you plan on doing? Oh wait, is this another plan to have no plan? he snaps, his brows knitted in agitation. Edward please stop talking to me like this, youre hurting me. I dont know what to do, I want you to tell me what to do. Please tell me a plan. Write me a to-do list, please do something. End it.

What? Thats it? You dont want to think about it? Not at all? No. Ill pay your medical expenses if thats a concern. You care more about how how things get paid for? What is wrong with you? I ask, my voice rising in anger. Nothing. Im being realistic. I dont need an 18 year long plan forced on me. Because I would be the one making the plan. I would be the one to clean up and fix what you fucked up. I didnt put a gun to your head to sleep with me. I wasnt counting on you being quite this he says without being able to finish. What? I challenge him to answer. Stupid. I sob uncontrollably now, too much to even be able to talk. I cant believe it. Im pregnant and he turns into some kind of disgusting douche bag asshole I would never want to even talk to, much less have a kid with. Im terrified. I will be alone in this no matter what and the thought of that leaves a burning ache deep inside me. Just send me the bill. And like that, he leaves, slamming the door behind him. Rose and Ali hear the door and come running back into the

living room. The look on my face does the talking for me. Theyre sitting next to me, both on either side. I will fucking kill that motherfucker if he ever comes near you again, Rose swears. Bella, please, youre frantic and panicking like crazy. You need to calm down. Please, sweetie. It will be OK. No matter what, well be here, Ali says, trying to reassure me. She strokes my hair and hands me a fresh tissue. I cant believe it, I murmur. Yeah, he clearly isnt who you thought he was, Ali says. No, its not that, I reply. I cant believe he wouldnt even think about my question before answering it. He just blurted it out, like it was nothing. Like I was asking the time. And I wouldve sworn hed say the complete opposite. EPOV I slam the door to Bellas apartment. I count one, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine on each step of the staircase as I walk back out the front gate. I get back in the limo and tell the driver to take me to my favorite pub. I call Jasper and ask him to meet me there. He says hell call Emmett and have him join us, too, if he can.

My head feels oddly detached from my body. The uneasy sea legs one gets from jetlag aside, this is like no other feeling Ive ever had. Im entirely disjointed and jumbled. I have no order to my thoughts. I put my face in my hands and rub my palms hard against my eyes. I desperately try to organize the mess that exists in my head. Christ, Skater Girl. I love you but what the fuck. I am beyond exhausted. I spent all night preparing for a presentation that went abysmally. The market is sluggish in Asia right now, and a chain of high-end retail electronics stores seems like a gamble the higherups are unwilling to take, even at this late stage of the game. No matter how hard a sell I tried to give them, it appeared to be failing. Even the sound business and organizational structuring I proposed seemed to go over like a lead balloon, and Id never felt less successful in the development of an important project as I do now. From that meeting, I boarded the flight back home and spent the next ten hours stewing over how I was butchering my chances at this promotion and that I needed to get my head together if I had a chance in hell of making it work.

All I really wanted was to go home and collapse on my bed. But I knew Bella felt neglected in my absence, and rightly so. I barely spoke to her the entire time I was gone. I was actually looking forward to seeing her. I missed her. But my brain and my body were both completely exhausted. I finally get to Bellas apartment and shes visibly upset. She has an expression on her face that oddly looks like childish guilt, like she accidentally broke an expensive vase, but also combined with sadness and panic. When she showed me the positive pregnancy test, my mind simply went blank. Absolutely mind numbingly blank. I couldnt even hear sound. The last time I felt this way was when I walked in on Whats Her Name screwing the handyman. Another plan shot to hell. Another girlfriend who does something I completely do not expect. As if on some kind of bizarre auto pilot, my mouth and brain worked in tandem to say things I dont process before saying them. I saw her face as the words came out, I responded to what she said but I didnt process any of itnot what she said, not what I said back. My mind drifts back to the present when the limo arrives at

the pub. I go here every now and then because they have the best variety of single malt scotch Ive come across in Seattle. I intend to drink a lot of it. I hand the bartender my Amex Plum card and point to the dusty bottle of Glenfiddich behind him. A shot? he asks. The whole thing, I tell him. That bottle costs he tries to say. Just put it on the card. Give me the bottle and a glass, please, I snap, getting irritated at having to wait for the alcohol that I badly need in my system right now. You got it, he replies, putting his hands up before turning around and handing me the dusty bottle and a glass. I pour myself three generous fingers worth that I slide down my throat without even tasting it. In my peripheral vision, I see two figures sit on either side of me. Welcome home, Ed, Jasper says. Good to see you, man, Emmett adds. Bellas pregnant, I say bluntly. I might as well cut to the chase. Yeah, the girls called us. Told us to find you and kill you. They got pissed when we refused. We did say wed hang out with you and try to figure out what happened, Emmett

explains. I dont know what happened. She shows me this pregnancy test and looks at me like Um. I kinda dented your car, are you mad? I mean, I didnt know what the hell to think, I explain, pouring myself another three fingers of whiskey. Rose said you were a complete douchnozzle. What did you say, dude? Emmett asks. I said a lot of shit, I reply, staring ahead of me at the rows of alcohol bottles lining the back of the bar. Like what? Jasper asks, handing the bartender a bill for the two beers he brought for himself and Emmett. I told her I didnt want it. I dont want a kid right now. It wasnt my idea; she didnt ask me, I say. Cant get more douchnozzle than that, Cullen. She didnt ask you? How could she ask you about something she didnt know would happen? Jasper asks, clearly pressing me for more details I really dont want to go into, because if I really have to evaluate what Id said, I may start playing mumblety-peg with the nearest sharp knife. I dont know, I said all kinds of jacked up stuff. I was freaked out. I felt cornered, like stuck in this insanely bad

position I didnt want to be in, I confess. Dude, if you feel cornered, how do you think she feels? Shes the one who has to decide, and if she decides yes, shes got a kid to take care of for a long time, Jasper reminds me. I lean my elbow into the bar and put my forehead into my open hand. I know. Shes worse off than I am--way worse off. I know that, I respond, my guilt at a full boil inside me. Tell her youre sorry. I mean, do you really not want her to have it? Emmett asks. I dont know. I love her but shit, a baby? We only met two months ago. This whole thing is messed up. She eats sugar all day and plays video games all night. Shes a sales girl who sleeps on a couch. I gotta help her if she really does want to keep it, I explain. Dude, three weeks ago, you loved how crazy she was, Jasper reminds me. As the alcohol begins loosening me up, I realize a few things. Jasper is absolutely right. Those odd quirks I could never anticipate or understand delighted me when we met. Shit, I still like them. Shes sweet, sensitive, smart, sexy She loved me a lot, and rather

quickly. She trusted me too. I think she trusted me too much. Trusted me not to be a complete asshole. Well, yeah, I do love her, I say, almost to myself. Then back her up if she wants to have a kid, Jasper says plainly. She wont let me. Not after what I said, she wont take me back. No way, I reply dejectedly. What else did you say? Jasper presses again. Told her to send me the bill. You know, the medical bill, I say, my face in my hands again. They dont answer right away. They just look at me. I finish another three fingers of scotch and replace it again with more in my glass. Dude. That was bad, Emmett says, stating the obvious. Jasper still doesnt have a response yet. What on Gods green fucking earth would make me say something like that to her? Sure she shocked the shit out of me, and I was tired and stressed out as hell, but why would I say that? I needed to vent at her, I guess. I needed to take that fucking pile of chaos she hurled at me, and shut it down. It all needed to get shut down and turned off at that exact moment because there was no other way of dealing with it.

Well, if you dont want a kid why dont you just have your trust fund or whatever it is you rich fuckers have and cut her check. Then she can take care of herself and you wouldve done the right thing, Jasper advises. The right thing? I ask. The alcohol is slowing me down now. Yeah, you give her money so she can take care of herself. Youve done the right thing and its not your deal anymore. Thats not the right thing, Jasper! Shed cram that check up my ass. Yeah, that is the point I was trying to make, Ed, he replies plainly. Im drunk, I announce. You should be. The only cure for acute asshole behavior is copious amounts of alcohol, Emmett declares, furiously texting on his phone. Is Rose still texting you? Jasper asks. Yeah, she keeps saying, eh--what the hell, I may as well show you, Edward, he says, handing me his BlackBerry. EMMETT MCCARTY IF YOU LET THAT ASSHOLE ANYWHERE NEAR THIS APARTMENT I WILL KILL HIM WHERE HE STANDS. BELLA IS A MESS. SHE NEVER WANTS TO SPEAK TO HIM AGAIN.

I hand Emmett back his phone and fight the bile that rises in my throat. I have no idea how to make this right, but I know that I have to figure it out. Guys, I told my girl she was stupid. I told my angel she tricked me on purpose. She has every right to hate me, I say into my folded arms, my head thumping against the bar. Im not gonna lie, Cullen, you are in some deep shit, Jasper informs me as he takes a long swig of his beer. I dont want her to end it because I told her to. If that happens, shell never forgive me. Christ, Ill never see her again. I can't push her into something she can never undo. What kind of a person am I? The alcohol is really having its full impact on me now and my emotions are starting to swirl inside me in a chaotic storm. I gotta call her. Lemme call her, I say, getting out my phone. My call goes to straight to voicemail. Bella, its Edward. Please call me. I want to talk to you, please. Just let me talk to you, I say before ending the call. Then I text her. Angel, Im so sorry, please dont do anything before we can talk. If you want to keep the baby, then I will

support that, I will support you. In any way. Please angel let me talk to you, I swear Ill make it right, I hate myself for how I treated you. I drink my scotch while waiting for a reply but there is none. I laugh to myself when something pops into my head. TG, ur a pain in mah azz cos bz bz bz on mah booty I put my drink down and stand up, but Im a bit wobbly. Guys, Im drunk. I need to see Skater Girl. Give me a lift to her house. I sent the car service to the house to drop off my bags and then gave the guy the rest of the night off, I explain. Jasper and Emmett stand up too, on either side of me to steady me. Im not sure thats such a good ideatrying to see Bella. You gotta give her some time to think, Emmett suggests. You know what your problem is? Jasper asks. Im having a kid with a girl I love but cant fucking understand for the life of me? No, you ass. Well, thats a separate problem, he answers. Then what is this other, just-as-fucked-up problem? I ask through several hiccups. Your problem is that I dont think you know how to look at this from her side. You gotta put yourself in her shoes. OK,

so she fucked up with the pills. That was dumb but she didnt really want to get pregnant. Shes had what, like half a boyfriend before you? She doesnt know what the fuck shes doing. She probably didnt think youd freak. Maybe she thought youd be happy for some insane reason, he says. In my drunken haze, I nearly start to tear up at Jasper's words because of how succinctly he puts this situation from her perspective. How could I neglect looking at it this way? What made me think she wouldve reacted the same way I did or that she would even begin to understand why I reacted the way I did. She trusted me too much. She loved me too much. I didnt deserve it. Bella isnt that hard to understand. Im just too stupid to accept her. Shed call that TRUFAX if she was texting me right now. I tell you one thing, Rose is always telling how that girl cries at everything. Movies, songs, books. Sensitive and shit with the poetry, Emmett says, doing nothing to help my mindset. Yeah, shes really sensitive, I say, looking down at my feet. 'Perfect angel girl' is what I whispered in her ear when I made love to her for the first time, hoping she would hear

that and not feel any pain or be scared. She must be scared shitless right now. Christ. I said the most heinous and cruel stuff. Im drunk. I wanna see my girl! I say in a raised voice. Ed, let her work her feelings out a little. Shes probably too upset to talk to you now, Jasper insists, guiding me back to the barstool. Lemme text her again. Angel, I kno I owe you an aapilohfy but it dosent suffice. yet Im very sirry. I juxt wanna talk to you, you cn tell me you hate me, punch me, kcik me, I deserve that, but I want to tell in persn how I feel if youd only just let me. sleep well and know that I lov you, becuse I do. God I suk I just suk. Sk8r grl, pls. Alright dude, you need to dry out now. Lets get a bag for your fancy scotch and drive over to your place, Jasper says as he and Emmett stand on either side of me and pick me up out of the stool by my arms. Were outside and the cold air wakes me up a bit. Guys, I ruined everything. I thought I knew what I was doing. I had all that shit worked out, but just look how I worked it. I worked it into pile of fucked up is what I did, I mumble.

Ed, you just need to dry out. Youll be thinking more clearly tomorrow after you take about 12 Tylenol, Jasper says. You know why I love her? Cos shes nuts and I cant figure her the hell out but she is smart. Fuck, she is smart! Do you know how many poems she has memorized in her pretty head? Like hundreds. She speaks French and even taught herself a Japanese poem for me. Kicks my ass at chess, I yammer. Emmett stuffs me into the back seat of his SUV. I think as we drive over to my house. Whats Her Name wanted nothing from me when I was with her. Honestly, I didnt want much from her either. I couldnt even really have a conversation with her but somehow it seemed not to matter. Bella could give me one look and Id lose my mind. Her maddening bad habits, at least they had an effect on me. I badly want to tell Bella Im unworthy of even looking at her ever again but I want to apologize for behaving like an animal. I badly want to ask her what the hell she was thinking when she kept forgetting to take her pills. I badly want to scoop her up in my arms and thank her the most intensely passionate, loving, funny, interesting,

stimulating weeks of my life and that I didnt deserve a minute of it. I badly want to tell her I could shake her for being so careless, for thinking that having a child with someone youd only known two months was sheer insanity. I badly want to hold her in my lap and tell her wed find a way to make it all work. That nothing would make me happier than to father her child. The things that seemed to aggravate me and mildly irritate me about her didnt seem all that bad when she was gone completely. I missed her warm little body next to me in bed. Damn, did I miss her body. Jerking off in the shower every morning felt like scratching my elbow compared to being inside her, touching her, smelling her hair, hearing her soft little moans. I missed the way wed tease each other back and forth. I missed how she was amazingly skillful at debate but youd never know itlike a 90 year old granny walking into a pool hall and kicking everyones ass at 8-ball. Her fluent French blew me away, shed sing me Le Vie En Rose horribly off tune to make me laugh. I knew she let me have my way. I took and she gave. Good Lord, I liked that a lot. She did it with her body especially. I

wanted to control the chaos she created unless it amused me. Whatever suited me, she gave it. Like Id thought of her before, she was the soft cherry blossom branch that would sway and bend to my will. Ill never have any of those things now. I destroyed it all. I lost control. I took that beautiful, supple branch and snapped it in half. But honestly the thought of having a child with Bella scares the ever loving shit out of me. She is so disorganized and flighty. Yes shes sensitive and caring but shes also irresponsible and horribly impulsive. Does she have any real idea how much work and sacrifice it is to raise a child? Can she honestly commit to it? If she says yes, she can commit to it, I have to believe her. I have no choice. If I loved her, I had to trust her. Shit. I never had to do anything remotely this complicated with Whats Her Name. Alright, Skater Girl. If you say peanut butter and cheetos taste good, I believe you. If you say you want to have a kid and you can handle it, I believe you. God, how I love you. I love you so I have to trust you. Maybe if I say it over and over, Ill believe it. Were back at my house. Emmett and Jasper are giving me

glass after glass of water along with some Tylenol. After about an hour of listening to me ramble incoherently, they drag me upstairs and shove me into the shower fully clothed. That sobers me up enough to kick them out of the bathroom so I can undress and actually use the shower. Almost immediately, I remember the times I was in this shower with Bella. How it felt it touch her, caress her beautiful body. Shed look at me with those big innocent eyes and it was like she was telling me I could have whatever I wanted. I took, and then thanked her for it by behaving like a pig. Im too ashamed and drunk to enjoy these memories. I wash the soap off me and turn the jets off. I wrap a towel around my waist and get dressed. Like always, I take note of the easy, organized way Ive arranged everything in my bedroom so that doing things like getting dressed could be done quickly and easily. Youre too busy saving time to have any time left over, she teased me once. I could put a lot of thought into how to organize my furniture and my clothes and all my other trivial possessions but I couldnt put any thought into understanding a woman who

put so much of her trust in me. Theres a rumpled pair of my sweats and a t-shirt sitting in a pile on the floor. I pick them up and know that Bella must have borrowed them. I smell her strawberry scent on the shirt and my face falls. I can picture her little body practically swimming in my t-shirt as I pull it on. I put the gray sweats on and see little ink smudges by the right pocket and smile to myself. I go downstairs where Jasper and Emmett are watching something on the flat screen. You guys can take off if you need to. Im alright on my own. I wont drive, I say, hoping they believe me. I really dont intend to try to see Bella at this point. She has every right to refuse to see me. Alright man, just give her a little space. You both need it, Jasper says. You know what works? Emmett offers. What? I say. Just do whatever she tells you to. That makes Rose happy, he says simply. Thanks, I reply as I usher them out the front door. I almost dont know where to look as I walk through my empty house. Every room reminds me of Skater Girl. We

crossed lot things off her little list in this house, I think to myself with a mixture of bittersweet feelings. Her Wii was still in my living roomI couldnt beat her at most of those games. I immediately regret the times I told her I was too busy to play or that it was late and she needed to go to bed. Some of her books are still on my book shelf. She has such a wide spectrum of interests when it comes to reading. Her mind is just curious, it doesnt much matter what the subject is. I smile when I see her dog eared copy of The Feminine Mystique. Shed obviously read it many times and identified with it. The same woman who believed in the struggles women faced in the world humored me by wearing the lingerie I bought her, following my lead in our intimacy, and trusted that I would not hurt her. Bella isnt as flighty and impulsive as she seems. I think shes just far too giving, yielding, and sweet. What I see as flaws are her biggest assets and I dont think Ive ever been so utterly and uselessly stupid in my entire life. I grab my phone and send her one more text, praying that she answers me.

Bella, will you please tell me whether or not you will keep the baby? I am begging you. It is your decision but I am begging you to at least tell me. I wont ask anything else of you, I swear it. I walk back up to my bedroom with a heavy sigh. I look at the unmade bed and know that Bella must have slept it in while I was gone. Judging by how the sheets and comforter look, she most likely slept on my side. She loves to crawl onto my side on her way back from the bathroom and try to sneak her way under my arm. I pick up my rumpled pillowits stained with ink and what looks like water. It may even be tears. My guilt rages inside me even worse now. I set my phone down on the nightstandthe one I caught Bella from hitting her head againstand settle into bed. Just as Im about to turn the night light out, my phone chimes. Its a text from Bella. I am keeping it. Im so relieved, I just cover my face with hands and cry like I havent done since I was a kid. I spend the weekend getting ready for the presentation I have on Monday morning with the Seattle executives about

how things are going overseas. I try to dig into my work as much as I can but my mind wanders to Bella every chance it gets. Something funny she said will pop into my head and Ill smile. I turn on my iPod and go through all the songs she put on it. Her taste in music is as eclectic as her taste in books. I miss her so intensely that it becomes a dull, constant ache. I have to fight the urge to contact her several times throughout the weekend. I already apologized several times. I already told her Id leave her be. I need to give her the space she is entitled to. I remember back to that plan I had when we first got togetherhow letting her lead would make us both happy. In the end, it was only for my own selfish devices. One more reason why Tie Guy is fail, as Bella would say. Its Monday morning and I arrive at Microsoft headquarters to have my meeting and then go straight to the airport. I approach Barb to ask her to do something for me. Hi Barb, I say as I stop at her desk. Morning sonny, ready for your meeting? she asks. As ready as I can be, I say, sounding a little dejected. Well, dont you look like a regular bucket of sunshine? Who peed in your Wheaties, Edward?

Thanks Barb. My girlfriend and I had a fight, I tell her. I didnt want to get into more specifics than that, I just didnt. She eyes me impatiently. And? Want me to book you guys on Dr. Phil? I dont think thats in my job description, but I do what I can for you, sonny, she says with smirk. I need you to send her flowers. Pink blush roses, a dozen every day for a week. With a card that says Im sorry. She just looks at me. What? I ask. Edward, whatever it is you did, you are in some deep doo doo if you feel the need to make the local florist do a happy dance over your order. You need to fix this one yourself, sonny. I cant help ya here. Now I just look at her. She sees the disappointment in my face. Dont look at me like that. Its for your own good. Dont you think shell know you just told your secretary to send her some flowers? You might as well not bother. If youre that sorry, Edward, you need to show it yourself with something a little more personal, she explains. Youre right, Barb, I say. Of course Im right.

Barb? What? I love you. Yeah, yeah, Im taken. Married since the Stone Age. And youre obviously gaga for some sweetheart you dont deserve. It would never work out between us, sonny. Were not like Demi and Ashton. Youre prettier than her, I say with a smile. So are you. Later that day, my presentation is done and Im back on a plane, buckling my seat belt and ready to spend the next two weeks fighting like crazy not to think about Bella, and for once in my life, come up with a plan that does more for someone else than it does for me. My plan is to offer Bella whatever she needshelp, money, support, anything. Offer her the chance to let me show her how much she means to me and that I love her. This time I will think before I answer her questions BPOV Bella, what are you doing? Rose asks me. About to make confetti, I reply as I smooth out all the delicate pieces of paper I have on the coffee table in front of

me. I took all of Edwards origami cranes and unfolded them. Theyre in a nice, neat stack now and I intend to cut them into perfect little julienne shreds. The writing on the top one catches my eye. Roses are red Violets are blue I prefer milder hues Such as ecru I try to stifle a laugh but I cant. That one is one of my favorites. I love you Tie Guy but what the fuck? I rub my eyes with my hands. Ive been asking myself this question for a full week. Why? Why did he say the things he did? I got some of the story from Jasper after that night when Edward stormed out of my apartment and his friends babysat him as he got drunk. Apparently Edward felt terrible. I was delighted to hear that, I wont lie. I want him to suffer and feel like a complete piece of shit. Thats why I didnt return his calls or answer a single text or email the entire time he was in town except to tell him I was keeping the baby. If he was sorry, I wanted him to stew in his own juices. If he was

sad, I wanted his hurt to feel like lead in his chest. I can understand his panic. I get it. Edward lives in a world where everything is neat and perfectly compartmentalized. An unplanned pregnancy was probably the worst thing that could happen to him in his mind. But I was panicked. Im still panicked. The only thing I could think to do was ask him what we should do; to look to him for something, anything. But instead he attacked me. Just attacked me. I still feel so very raw from his words, despite his apologies. I really didnt know how to rationalize the way he behaved, simply because I had no idea he had it in him to be so cruel. I also never thought in a million years hed call me stupid or accuse me of tricking him into fatherhood. It was like I was talking to someone I never met before in my life. And the person who said those things was someone I would never ever want to see or speak to again. The Tie Guy I knew was gentlemanly, loving, and tender. Id seem him irritated, sure, but Id never seen him so angry, so full of bile. It made my skin crawl when I thought about it. But the situation wasnt so cut and dry. Ever since I decided

without any doubt that I would keep the baby, Id spent the last week thinking about what to do about my relationship with Edward. For once in my life I forced myself to be rational, to control my feelings. Ironically, I do this by stealing one of Edwards super organized methods: I write a list. Its a list of pros and cons. Pros I love(d)? him He has everything that makes for a good provider: good job, stable income, responsible Pepawgentlemanly, respectful, kind Funny, sometimes unintentionally (I see this as a bonus) Amazing loverexperienced things with him I didnt even know existed. Whatever it is was, there was an undeniable physical chemistry Intelligent, witty, a keen mind I cant even start the con part of the list because Ill start crying. Again. This is really beginning to get one my nerves. I mean its like a power switch gone completely haywire. If I think about anything, anything, remotely unsettling, I start to cry. Yesterday I had the TV on, channel surfing, and stopped for thirty seconds of All Dogs Go to Heaven and could not keep it together. I flipped

through a few more stations and when the screen stopped at the You are best quality crab scene from the Joy Luck Club, I was in full-on hysterics. Its odd thoughI know the reaction is completely out of proportion to whatever it is thats causing it; I just cant get it to stop. Ill just keep writing the pros. Fuckscent Beautiful strong body on top of mine Voice like sex in the woods OK, this is quickly becoming unproductive. The truth is that Im mad and hurt and really, really, really mad but I also miss him. I decide the con part of the list will probably snap me back into reality and help me evaluate this more objectively. Cons Lying liar with lies upon lies He hid his job at Microsoft from me. I understand he did it so hed have a reason to keep seeing me at the store. But he still hid it beyond the point that it was necessary. That was deceitful and it was deceitful for no reason. It got worse when he hid his Japan travel from me. That was

also supposedly so that I would still see him but this time it was even more deceitful and the thing he was hiding was much less benign. I had to face a simple fact about Edward. Ive had this in the back of my mind forever. But in my desire to be fully engorged on my little love feast, I kept my arms and legs safely inside my big pink bubble ride of happy. Its time to actually admit it myself. Edward is motherfucking manipulative. And Im stupid. The combinationshe is bad. Cons, continued Control freak Now this one is actually a mixed bag to me. I like that he kinda knows when to say when because sometimes I just dont. He likes order and for things to be just so. Thats not always a bad thing. I doubt his life wouldve been as successful as it is without him being this way. I wouldnt be writing this list and getting my thoughts worked out so well if I hadnt seen him do it. I actually learned a good habit from this jackass. But it did also feel condescending, like he knew more than I did. I dont feel inferior to Edward in intellect now that I think

about it. His French is terrible even though he learned it at a fancy prep school and I just learned from plain, old Forks High School. For such a logical guy, he also cant debate his way out of a paper bag. I was on the debate team in high school but I was usually just the back up person or the one in charge of research because I was never good at speaking in front of a crowd. No one could hear my voice; I was too shy to talk loud enough. Im sure I wouldve never been asked to stay on had I not impressed the coach with how I could prepare my arguments. I just couldnt read them in front of people. Edward falls into an easy trap where he sees his thoughts in a straight line. He cant back up and make a u-turn or take a detour. Before he knows it, hes painted himself into a corner and I just look at him and say I told you I was right. But then hell distract me by kissing my neck or something and I wont even remember what the hell it was we were even talking about. I hate you, Manipward. Oh and he stinks at chess. Again, he formulates a linear plan he cannot deviate from, and when it fails, he loses. Are you going to use those scissors or you are just gonna

keep snapping them open and shut like that? Rose asks, jolting me from my daydream. I look at the stack of delicate papers in my hand. I cant do it, Assward. I put the unfolded papers back in the envelope Id been saving them in. Oh hey, Rose says. You got a package earlier. You were napping so I didnt want to bug you, she adds, handing me a FedEx box before saying goodbye and leaving for class. Its got all kinds of customs labels on it. I finally find the part that says who its from. Its a preprinted receipt: EDWARD CULLEN MICROSOFT ODAKYU SOUTHERN TOWER 2-1, YOYOGI 2-CHOME SHIBUYI-KU, TOKYO 151-8583 JAPAN I open it and inside is a small velvet box. I open it and my jaw falls open softly. I want to say something but no words come out. This is by far the nicest gift anyone has ever given memore beautiful than a necklace, prettier than lingerie. Its a stunning, handmade, Namiki fountain pen. Its black

and engraved with an ornate and colorful Chinese phoenix. I tear open the card thats also in the package. Dear Bella, Please accept this pen as a small token of my feelings for you. I hope it will you see you through some very inspired and creative moments. The idea of a phoenix seemed fitting because its the name of one of your favorite places. More than that, a phoenix rises out of asha beautiful thing emerging from emptiness. This is what your love in my heart will always be to me. Love, Edward p.s. Please meet with me when Im back in town. God damn it. I want to be pissed off. I really do. Its not just the pen, which is really exquisite. He knows I will love using it when Im writing. Its also the fact that hes putting his feelings out there. And the emotions hes expressing are just so beautiful and I know he means them. God. I am angry. I am angry. I am angry. I roll the pen back and forth in my fingers. I carefully fill the

ink barrel and practice writing with it. I had happy, made of heat Too much and then I burn You gave me ecstasy But thanks for the sperm I look at what Ive written and think I couldve definitely come up better but the sentiment is there. I try not to think any more about him for a while because Ill just start crying again. I decide to leave the apartment and walk over to the nearby bookstore to buy some of the pregnancy books Ive been researching on the internet. Id like my own copies because I like to mark up my books. Reading is always an interactive process for me. I use a highlighter to remind myself of the more interesting or pertinent passages. Sometimes I jot little notes with a mechanical pencil in the margins. For me reading is kind of like eating. I need to digest it. So I come home with Pregnancy for Dummies What to Expect When Youre Expecting Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy The Girlfriends Guide to Pregnancy

That first one was almost too perfect. I couldnt resist buying it when I saw it on the display. Id already done a ton of research online, but I liked the idea of being able to crack open a book whenever I felt like it, especially when lying in bed. Lying alone in bed. I lightly skim through The Girlfriends Guide and start wondering why this stuff is supposed to be funny. I mean, yes, farts are funny. But theyre not funny when they happen to you. Uncontrollably. Pooping during labor? Definitely. Not. Funny. Ali comes home from class then. Hey there, I say as she walks in and puts her things down on the counter. Reading books about pregnancy? she asks, eyeing my purchases as she sidles up next to me on the couch. Yeah. This ones supposed to be funny but its just scaring the crap out of mewhich I guess is good because apparently Im going to be constipated a lot, except during labor when I poop myself, I ramble incoherently, tossing the book back onto the table. Ali strokes my arm.

Ali, I say, starting to cry, Im so scared. I mean, you know when you go on a scary ride and you tell yourself its only a ride it cant be so bad, otherwise, why else would anyone go on it? But it scares the shit out of you anyway? Thats how I feel. Ive never been on this ride, what if its horrible and nine months last forever? I know, Bella, it is scary. But you can do it. Look, if youre on a ride, Rose and I will sit next to you, OK? Wed never let you be on it alone, she says, putting her arm around me. I put my arms around her and cry on her little shoulder. Friends like Ali arent easy to come by. I think this is the ten thousandth time Ive cried on her shoulder in the last week. Ali? I say, needing to ask her something. What sweetie? she replies, smiling at me. Should Edward come on the ride too, if he really wants? He wants to talk to me when he comes back to Seattle. I think I should talk to him. Hes apologized so many times, I explain, staring at my cuticles. I feel so conflicted. I want to see him but I also want to kick him in the balls as hard as I can so that this is the last kid he ever has. Well, sure, I mean, talking to him cant hurt. Unless he says the same shit he did when you told him you were pregnant,

but it doesnt sound like he really meant what he said, she says, folding her arms and leaning them on her knees, her feet perched on the edge of the sofa. No, he didnt. All the apologieslook at the gift he sent me, I say, showing her the pen, still sitting on the coffee table. I read her the card and even she gets a little teary. Wow, well, you cant say hes not trying. He must want to get back together with you, she surmises. I think he really wants to make it right. Hes been emailing me every night, asking me if Im OK. I just reply saying Im fine but nothing else. He asked to talk to me on Skype but I said no because I didnt feel ready. Id just cry like an idiot, I say, rolling my eyes. Whats wrong with crying, he did hurt your feelings, she reminds me. I dont want him seeing that he got to me like that. He doesnt deserve the satisfaction. Bella, thats kinda silly, dont you thinkI mean, at this stage of the game? she says with a raised eyebrow. I do have some pride, you know, Ali, I reply, bristled. Come on, you guys are having a kid together, youre gonna go back to stuff like I dont want him to see me cry? she

asks rhetorically. Damn these non-pregnant people and the adept use of logic. Youre right. Its just that I try to explain. What? Come on Bella, spit it out, she presses me. Ali, hes really good at getting me to do what he wants, he just is. I cant say no. Hethe way he says things, explains them so clearly, simply. And how charming he issometimes he doesnt even have to say anything, I just understand. I do it with him too, I try to explain. Ali looks thoughtful but also a little confused. Wait a minute, I thought you guys had nothing in common? she asks. We dont, were not anything alike, I confirm. Bella, people who can understand each other without even talking must have a LOT in common. The fact that you can talk to each other in a way that just comes across so clearly, thats pretty big too. I think you just need to figure out the stupid stuff that seems to get in the way, she explains rather cryptically. What stupid stuff? I dont knowyou have to figure it out, she replies plainly, her big eyes shining at me.

This was not helpful, I conclude, scrunching up my face at her. Who do I look like, Oprah? she says flippantly. I just look at her. Look, do you still love him? she asks directly. Yeah, I say with an exasperated sigh. Then talk to him, see if you can meet in the middle. Parts of him already are in my middle, I joke, trying to cheer myself up. Are you still mad at him? she asks, somewhat rhetorically. I look at her like she just asked me if a bear shits in the woods. Um, fuck yes, I reply simply. Then definitely talk to him cos you need to get that shit off your chest, she suggests. Dont let that anger fester; its part of that stuff you need to figure out. I get out my phone and talk a deep breath. I write Edward a text. Edward, I got your gift. Thank you. Its beautiful. Lets talk when you get back. Bella Please Edward, dont cause me any more stress. I just cant take it. Ali, still sitting next to me, asks me a somewhat unrelated

question. Have you told your parents yet? I take a deep breath and swallow hard at that one. Oh God, I dont even like thinking about telling them. That is a whole other mess I need to put on hold for just a little bit longer, I reply, rubbing my temples with my fingertips. Alice eyes me skeptically. No, really. I cant tell them until I know what the hell is going on with me and Edward. I cant tell my dad how things were lefthed literally show up at his house with his shotgun. Even if Edward and I do work it out, my dad would still always hate his guts. I dont want that. My mom wouldnt quite go as ballistic but shed insist I pack my stuff and go to her in Phoenix on the first flight. She wouldnt care whether or not I wanted to try to work things out with Edward. I dont want that either. I have to talk to Edward first. Bella, you know something? Ali asks with a playful smirk. What? You are beyond a doubt the squishiest person I know, she informs me with a laugh. Whats that mean? I reply with a laugh. I mean youre a heart with legs, she says, grabbing my

hand and squeezing it. Its that bad? I ask, wondering if being a nice person is probably my biggest weakness. No but you should know that you make mother Theresa look like Attila the hun. What, because I like it when people dont hate each other? No, its good when people dont hate each other, just make sure you look out for yourself first, thats all, she advises. Alright, are you done lecturing me, because if you dont mind, I need to read about how my hoo-ha is never going to be the same again, I say dejectedly as I pick up one of my new books. Thats sad, Bella. I cry for your hoo-ha, Ali says with a silly frown. Dont Cry For Me, My Vagina I sing to her. Speaking of pussies, when is this prince of a boyfriend of yours coming back to town? Hell be back a week from today, I tell her. Well whatever you do, meet him after he does some yoga or takes a nap or something, she jokes. Yeah, Grumpwards not my favorite guy, I joke back. I think to myself about Edwards Janus nature, how there has always seemed to be two sides to him. Somehow I need to

either deal with both of them in a way that doesnt kill me or he need to get the shitty one to just shut the fuck up when hes around me. Now I know what the stuff is that Ali is talking about. The week passes at a steady pace. I go into work every day and try my best not to fall asleep standing up. Ive noticed that everything is starting to smell funny to me which I now recognize as the start of morning sickness. Lovely. Its Thursday and Edward is due to arrive tomorrow. I think about how difficult its going to be to be reasonablenot when Im so angry and upset. I feel like I could flip a coin heads, I say OK, lets try and work it out, or tails, I say hand me that knife, Im about to liberate your testicles from the rest of you. Im at work rearranging some iPhones on display. Im kneeling, with my head bent down and when I stand up too quickly, I pass out. I wake up to Seths face looking ashen and beyond scored. B, are you OK? Shit, you just crumpled up like a piece of paper, he asks, looking so scared I feel like hes the one who needs help.

Im fine, S-hole, stop being a skirt, I joke at him. Shut up, B, this aint funny. Is your baby OK? I laugh at that. Hes so sweet and stupid, its beyond adorable. Its not like I can ask the baby how its feeling. I think its fine. Sometimes pregnant women just pass out. It doesnt mean somethings wrong, I tell him, hoping this calms him down a little. My phone rings next to meit must have fallen out of my pocket. Seth answers it for me. Hello? he says. His face looks annoyed immediately. This is Seth, dickhead, who is this? Oh God. It must be Edward. Who else would be rude to a guy answering my phone? Im answering her phone because she doesnt feel well. Chill out, Ill ask her, hang on. Hey, your douchebag boyfriend wants to talk to you, Seth tells me, not moving the phone from his mouth. I sit up and take my cell from him. Hello, Edward, I say plainly. Bella, whats wrong, are you OK? he asks, sounding nervous.

Im fine, I reply. What happened, why arent you feeling well? Nothing, I just felt a little woozy, I explain, trying to downplay it. You fainted? he presses, seeing through my thinly veiled attempt at a white lie. Yes. Its not the first time. Some women faint when theyre pregnant. Im at work and stood up too fast, I explain. He doesnt say anything at first. I wonder if the call is lost. Edward? I ask to see if hes still there. I dont want you working anymore, he says with finality. What? I reply incredulously. You need to quit. Youre on youre feet too much, no wonder youre fainting. Edward, why are you calling? I ask with irritation. I wanted to ask you out to brunch on Saturday. OK, fine. Pick me up at the apartment at 11 and maybe we can talk about this then, I add bitterly. Bella he tries to say but I cut him off. I need to go Edward, Im at work. Ill talk to you later. I hear him sigh. OK, see you Saturday, he replies, understanding he needs to back off.

I end the call with a heavy sigh. We havent even spoken face to face yet and already things are going to shit. Its late Thursday night and I try to sleep but all I can do is toss and turn. The whole next day at work is the same. My thoughts are so scattered. Edward is literally living in my head while his baby grows inside me. When I finally settle into bed on Friday night, the butterflies in my stomach are in full force as I think over and over of what I want to say to Edward when I see him. The more I think about it, the more Im just getting angry instead of hurt. I simply want him to start acting like the person I knew when I met himthe guy who seemed so unassuming and thoughtful. His telling me to quit my job like he was my father absolutely stuck in me like a thorn in my side. I need to get my shit together and really figure out what I want from this manif I want anything at all. Oh for shits sake, I wish hed get the hell out of my head already. Once again, I toss and turn until I fall into a fitful sleep. I cant sleep, I think to myself in my dream. My stomach hurtscramps actually. I think Im getting my period. Wake up, Bella and grab a tampon.

I slowly come out of a drowsy haze on Saturday morning and sit up. I remember dreaming that I had my period. The dull ache in my lower abdomen suddenly snaps me wide awake. I pull open my comforter with a frantic tug. Oh my God. Please, no. Alllllllli! I scream EPOV I text Bella to confirm picking her up for brunch in a few minutes but she doesnt reply. Im driving over to her apartment anyway because Im determined to talk to her. She seemed receptive to meeting with me when I phoned her the other day. Arriving at her building, I pull over and park. Im about to head up the stairs when I see Rose getting out of her car a few feet from the sidewalk. When she sees me, she heads right for me, not even bothering to shut her car door. Her eyes are absolutely wild. She looks completely livid. Oh shit. You motherfucker! she shouts, pushing my shoulder hard. You motherfucker! she repeats. I put my hands out in front of me as in a truceI dont want

to argue with her. I just want to see Bella. Rose, Im here to apologize, I just want to see Bella, I say, trying to get away before she kills me. Well, shes not here, asshole, she spits, poking me in the chest with her index finger. Where is she? I ask impatiently, reading the worry in her voice as her anger ebbs. Shes in the ER, probably having a miscarriage because you fucking messed with her head so badly, she stressed herself into losing the baby. I hope youre happy. Im getting her some clean clothes and heading back there, she explains, her words firing at me like bullets from a machine gun. I feel the blood drain from my face. My hands go numb. What hospital? I ask, grabbing her arm. What the fuck do you care? she snaps facetiously, her face contorted in anger. Now its my turn to be angry. If she doesnt answer me, I will lose my mind. WHAT HOSPITAL? I holler at her. I suddenly dont care that shes a woman and one of my best friends girlfriends. I need to find Bella now. She purses lips and glares at me like shed rather spit on me

than answer, but she does anyway. The UW Med Center ER, she mutters, snatching her arm back. I dont even bother saying another word. I turn and run back to my car and speed toward the hospital. I count the traffic lights. Three green One Yellow One green Roses words echo through my brain tortuously. You fucking messed with her head so badly, she stressed herself into losing the baby. Shes absolutely right. I cant undo what Id done to Bella. Not with a fucking fountain pen or even a million apologies. Shes far too sensitive a person. All I can think about is how she is, if shes scared, or in any pain. I have to see her. Parking the car in the first space I can find, I sprint to the hospitals automatic doors as they slide open for me with a whoosh. I race to the ER admitting desk and ask to see Bella Swan. Family? the officious looking middle aged woman with a beehive says from behind her little booth.

Shes pregnant, Im the father, I reply, the words echoing in my ears with an odd cacophony. Ive never called myself someones father out loud. It sounds strange. Bed Five, the receptionist says without looking up. I walk slowly down the narrow hallway. Suddenly everything is in slow motion as I pass all the hospital staff milling about, the medical equipment clicking and beeping, the sick people in gurneys and wheelchairs. I really have fucked it this time. Will this woman ever even look at me again? Never mind forgiving me, caring about me, loving me I wish I had a way to turn it all back, to go to back to the beginning, to the day I looked through a shop window, and saw the prettiest girl Id ever seen, just standing there and daydreaming with a small smile on her face. Why cant I go back to the start? And then I see her lying on her side, her back to me. I recognize her chestnut hair and her tiny frame in a hospital gown. Her shoulders are softly shaking. She must be crying. Oh Skater Girl. Bella? I say softly, putting my hand gently on her shoulder. She shrinks slightly at the sound of my voice. Hi Edward, she says without turning around.

Bella, I cant tell you how worried I am, I say, my voice tight. I cant tell you how sorry I am, for how I made you feel, for everything, I say, the words pouring out of me thickly. She turns and faces me then. Her eyes, swollen and red from crying, bore right into my soul. Her nose is running and she drabs it softly with a tissue. Angel, is the baby OK? I ask, my eyes scanning her face for any sign of a silent answer, but her face is too blank. She just looks at me and blinks a few times. What answer do you want to hear? she asks in a soft croaked voice. What answer do you really want to hear, really, in your heart? she whispers. Tell me the truth, Edward Cullen, she demands in her tiny voice. I know the answer immediately but I think before I say it, just it case. I want Bella to still be pregnant. I want her to have my baby because I love her. I want the baby to be OK. I want you to have the baby, I swear to God, Bella, I do, I say, leaning on the arm rail of her bed and hanging my head down. She finally has mercy on me and tells me whats happened.

I had something called break through bleeding, she explains. It happens sometimes, it doesnt mean theres a miscarriage. They did an ultrasound and Im still pregnant. I grab her hands and just cry into them. Ive never been so relieved of anything in my entire life. Its not just my guilt being assuaged; it is just pure unadulterated relief. Over the last two weeks, I thought about Bella and the little bundle growing inside her. Though it had initially absolutely shocked and terrified me, I was growing accustomed to the idea. Bella had a beautiful capacity to love, one I couldnt rightfully appreciate, and she would be a wonderful mother. I want to make it right, Bella, please let me, I say, looking up at her now. She still looks at me with the same empty expression, as if she has nothing to say. I need to turn and lie on my left side, she says plainly. It gets better blood flow to the baby, she adds, turning her back to me. I walk around to the other side of the bed and sit on the chair beside it. The things I said, they were awful, I begin. Yes, they were, she agrees, not looking at me. What Jake did to me, it was nothing compared to how you made me

feel. What made it worse was that you promised me youd never hurt me. Remember, the first time we were together? You said I wont hurt youyour body or your heart. You broke your promise. She was right. I broke promises left and right where it suited me. She had every right to be upset and to remind me of how Id acted so callously. I didnt intend to break that promise. And I didnt mean those things I said. No one should, she replies, resting her head under her hands. I shouldnt have told you to end the pregnancy. I shouldve told you how I felt about it, but ultimately left it to be your decision, I admit. Edward, do you know why I knew I had to keep the baby? Do you, really? she asks, looking right at me now. I had to be honest. No, I dont, I say in a low voice. Im embarrassed because I hadnt even really thought about it. I knew I had to because I couldnt go through with ending it, to use your words. Im a poet. I take ink and paper and make entirely unique things out of them. I create thoughts and ideas and feelings from

nothing. That is who I am. I cant destroy something that is entirely new to the world and one of a kind, she explains. Once again, a trait that I had seen in herbeing creative, having an artistic temperamentwas something I had wholly misunderstood. At best, it would amuse me. At worst, I found it annoying and perplexing. In my insistence to fit her into a neat little box, Id missed the point entirely. Im ashamed at how I underestimated her and misjudged her. I stroke her arm lightly. She doesnt stop me but she doesnt acknowledge it either. But its more than that, she continues. When we made the baby maybe wasnt the greatest timing. But how we made the baby was perfectjust completely pristine and perfect. We were two people, wholly in love, giving everything we had in that moment together and we created something. I couldnt throw away something made so perfectly, she adds. She blinks out a single tear and the sight of it causes my stomach to turn into knots. She looks up at me again. I do owe you an apology, Edward, she offers plainly. I shouldve known that missing my pills was bad. I shouldve

thought about it and I didnt. But I was distracted and careless and stupid because for the first time in my life, I was insane with happiness in the time I was spending with you. I was so wrapped up in everything; I just became even more forgetful and flighty than I usually am. I didnt do it purpose. I didnt do it to be mean, or deceitful, or to hurt you, she confesses, more tears streaming from her eyes. The guilt I feel from having accused her of deliberately becoming pregnant is so raw inside me I can practically taste it. I knew how Bella couldve fallen into this hapless state of affairs because of her inexperience with menI could understand it but I didnt bother to try. I know you didnt, angel. I know you didnt. Im sorry, I say, stroking her hair softly. When we were together, I was with someone who loved me and made me feel like a goddess and a princess and a temptress. I was entranced, she admits shyly, staring down at the blanket covering her. But Im not anymore, Edward. I see who you really are. After the things you said, I know who you really are now, she says softly. I didnt mean a word of what I said. If I could take it back, I

would, I say, desperate for her to believe me. If you didnt mean it, then why the hell did you say it? she asks incredulously. Because...this isnt how I ever would have wanted to start a family. I cant make a huge commitment to something without preparing for it. So when this came out of nowhere, I felt trapped. Cornered, I try to explain. Her face changes now. Its not blankits angry. God, youre an asshole, she tells me bitterly. Bella, please I try to explain. You felt trapped? You felt cornered? I make $10 an hour as a salesgirl. I SLEEP ON A SOFA BED, she says, her voice raising. And suddenly I found myself in a situation that demands so much more of me. And you felt trapped? Im sorry, I dont feel that way anymore, I swear to you, I reply. Edwardbeing around youthe stress it causes me. I dont think its healthy for me, at least not right now. When I woke up this morning, I truly believed the baby was gone. And I blamed you. I blamed you completely. The stress you made me feel, the hurtI dont

think I can be around you. I think you need to go back to your neat, planned out, organized life. Your vacuous, sterile, loveless life. Her words pelt me like sharp bits of ice and I deserve every word. Bella, please. I am begging you not to do this. Please leave, Edward. I need to rest, she tells me, her tone final. Angel, Im sorry, I say, stroking her arm again. She wont look at me. Goodbye, Edward, she says, wiping a tear from her cheek. I leave the hospital and get in my car. I lean my head on the steering wheel and shake my head back and forth, desperate to pull my thoughts together. I dont know how to fix this. For once in my life I cant think of a plan. All I can do is hope that she changes her mind somehow. I go home and try to get work done but Im too distracted. I even drive into the office to work, hoping the change in atmosphere will help me clear my head. I end up staring out the window of my corner office. Im like a chieftain of a small village surrounded by thousands of other little tyrants. I survey all the hard work Id done to

accumulate so little. As the day ends, and the sun starts to set, I pack my things and go home. I go into my kitchen and make myself something to eat but just pick at it. More memories of Bella haunt me. I take out my BlackBerry and look at the photos she took of herself for me. I cant pick a favoriteI have too many. Theres one of her wearing one of the camisoles I gave her looking so tempting, but sweet and demure. Her face is angelic despite the filmy material that sparsely covers her body. The filename is Roxelena and I find the corresponding poem. Whisper to me lover, what be thine will Take my heart, my body, have thine fill Said Roxelena to her sultan lover Her soul his heart to eternally cover I think about the words shed written. Roxelena was the most influential wife of the Ottoman Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. Although he had his pick of literally hundreds of women, he held Roxelena in the highest esteem, and she became his only legal wife. He chose her over all others. The poem shows that her feelings were more than about

pleasing me, or giving me what I wanted. She loved me in a way I could understand. She bent to me when I couldnt bend to anything but what I wanted. Bella asked for a teacher and I taught her nothing. She wrapped her soul around me, to protect me from myself. She was the master and I was the servant, but she did this so artfully and masterfully so as to create a balance between us. If anything, she was the teacher while I was sound asleep in class. I decide to go on a run despite the pouring rain. I just go. I dont time myself or my steps or anything else. My emotions roil inside me too intensely for me to do any of my normal routine. It doesnt help me to clear my mind or remain calm like it usually does. The rain pours down on me as my lungs begin to burn. I press on and push my body to keep going, despite getting increasingly colder. Im soaking wet now. I finally stop, no longer able to go any further. I lean forward and rest my hands on my bent knees. I look around me and realize Im standing in front of Bellas building. I see a couple of college kids leaving the front gate. Without thinking, I just run to catch it before it snaps shut and locks again.

Something made my feet run here, and it wasnt my brain. It was my heart. The heart that I never really paid attention to until it broke. It broke because of what Id done to Bella. Maybe if I ask her to help me, just this one last time, how to fix what was broken in me, shed help me. I knock on her door, wet to the bone and shivering. Edward? Bella says. She looks surprised as she opens the door. Oddly enough, the first thing I notice is that shes wearing glasses. Shes got on a t-shirt and flannel PJ bottoms, looking just as Skater Girl as ever. She eyes me curiously, first looking annoyed, but then her face softens. Youre all wet, come inside, she says. She grabs a towel from the linen closet. Where are your roommates? I ask as my teeth start to chatter. Theyre out with your friends. Im just sitting here lying down, theres nothing for them to do but watch me. I kicked them out actually, it was starting to annoy me, she says with a small smile. My teeth are chattering uncontrollably now and I cant talk.

You should give me your clothes so I can put them in the dryer, she says. I just look at her, unsure if I should undress in front of her. Edward, Ive seen you without your clothes on. We had sex and I got pregnant and everything, remember? She says with a raised eyebrow, her tone slightly irritated. I strip and hand her my running clothes and my socks as I wrap the towel around my waist. She leaves for a minute and I hear the dryer begin to hum from the hall closet it sits in. She lies back down on her sofa bed as I stand uncomfortably, shivering and chattering. She looks at me and I can see the anger slowly melting from her face. She feels sorry for me. This is good because I feel sorry for me too. Come on, youre shaking like crazy, she says, motioning for me to get under the covers with her. I gingerly slide in beside her, careful not to touch her. Why are you wearing glasses? I ask, somewhat out of the blue. Because Im not wearing contacts, she replies matter-offactly. Im getting a little paranoid. Im afraid of the chemicals in the contacts and the solution being bad for me. Its way over board but it makes me feel

better to stop wearing them. I think she looks beautiful in her small brown rimmed glasses, framing her little face and making her look studious and serious. Its a nice contrast to how playful her personality is. Im not surprised at all that Bella wouldnt want the chemicals in her eyes to hurt her baby, no matter how silly a notion it may seem. I like them, is all I say, despite wanting to compliment her more. Im not feeling worthy of being too familiar or sounding presumptuous. My glasses? she asks, trying to clarify. She seems surprised. Yeah, they suit you, I say, smiling. Thanks, she says, smiling back. Youre welcome. Her foot grazes against my leg. Jesus, youre freezing, she tells me. She rubs her little foot against my calf to warm it up. She lies on her side. I notice its her left side again. She eyes me curiously and sighs. Edward, why are you here? she asks, tucking the blanket around me to help me warm up. Because I wanted to tell you that I need you, I confess.

Need me to what? she asks sarcastically, her face looking exasperated. Everything. I just need you for everything, I say plainly. She eyes me skeptically and takes another deep breath. Can I ask you a question? she asks. Sure, I reply. She scoots herself ever so slightly closer to me. Why are you doing thiswanting us to stay together? Is it because you think Im too irresponsible, too immature to handle having a baby without you watching over me? she asks. Her words are harsh but theres no anger behind them. Bella, I want to be with you, truly, I confess. Its the Gods honest truth. Do you trust me at all? I mean, do you trust me to have a baby with you? she asks. Once again, she presses me to be honest. Tell the truth, Edward Cullen. Yes, I do. I trust you, I say, and I do mean it. She grabs my hands, placing them palm to palm, and rubs them with her own, helping to warm them up. If I told you I was scared, would you still trust me? she asks further. Yes. Im scared too, I confess.

Can I ask some questions now? I ask. Yes, she says, looking down. I dont bother to insist on the truth, it would be an affront to her. Except for her embarrassment over dropping out of Radcliffe, Bella has never lied to me. Do you still love me? I ask as I watch her rub her hands against mine. Please say yes, Skater Girl. Please say yes. She lets go of my hands and looks up at me with those brown eyes that have haunted me for the last two weeks. Yes, she confesses simply in a small whisper. But I also hate you. The hate part is smaller than the love part though, she adds, playing with the edge of the comforter. Im not surprised by this answer nor can I blame her for it. I dont like that, the hate part. Id like to make that go away, I tell her. I put my hand up to stroke her hair but I stop, unsure if shes OK with me touching her. She grabs my wrist and with a smile, bounces my palm against the top of her head, like pepaw is patting her. And before you ask, she begins, I cant give you a percentile breakdown of how big the love part is versus the hate part. I cant make you a chart or a Venn diagram or anything else. It doesnt work like that,

she explains. I know it doesnt, Skater Girl. I know it now, I tell her. I have another question to ask. Im pretty sure I know the answer, and its working on the why part of her answer that I really want to talk about. Bella, do you trust me? I ask. She looks at me like she knows I wont like her answer. No, Edward. I dont, she says, rubbing her chin with her hand. Why not? I ask softly, not wanting to sound defensive. Because you lied to me and then you said some really cruel things. I dont trust that you wont hurt me again, she says softly, but I cant tell you to go away completely. I tried today and it just made me feel worse after you left. We seem to be sadder when were apart than together. People shouldnt feel that way, she explains. No, they shouldnt, I reply, stroking her cheek with my thumb. She puts her arm under my head and I lean into her small collarbone. She wraps her arms around my shoulders, rubbing her palms against my cold biceps. Just like her soul around her heart on the inside, her body warms mine on the outside.

I also thought that if you wanted the baby, we should be together for that, work out our problems while the baby grows, she explains. I love you, angel, and I want things to be better, I tell her. I love you, Edward, and I want them to be better too, she replies. I rest my head in the nape of her neck. I see that shes still wearing the pendant I bought her. I didnt notice if shed had it on in the hospital. I gingerly pick it up, resting it on my index and middle fingers. Youre still wearing it, I say simply. Yeah but I think the locks busted, she quips. Will you fix it for me? I ask, cupping my hand against her cheek. I dont know. Its up to you. I cant if you dont let me try, she says, brushing my hair out of my eyes. I guess I better get to steppin, I quip back. Yep, she says, kissing my forehead. We lie there for a while, just listening to the rain. For once we just let ourselves be. We not being anthropologists, nor are we two neighboring countries who disliked each other, but because of proximity, force themselves to be diplomatic.

Hey, would you like to see a picture of geebee? she asks. Whos geebee? I reply with confusion. She sits up and picks up a piece of paper from the end table next to the sofa bed. Its an ultrasound printout of what looks like a whitish gray blob. Thats the baby, she says, pointing to the blurry image. See, its that little rectangle with the four little circles. It kinda looks like a gummy bear, so I just started calling it GB or geebee like heebee geebee but without the heebee part, she explains. Theres some text written over the top next to her name that I cant understand. EDD 09-13-2009 What do those letters mean next to your birthday? Shouldnt that say DOB? Why does it say this year? I ask. She laughs. EDD means estimated due date. The babys due on my birthday. Of course. What kid of mine wouldnt have perfect timing? What are you smirking at? she asks, her little mouth scrunched up. Youre totally into that, arent you? A little you who planned exactly when to be born? she accuses lightly.

Can I not even smile, is that how it is now, Skater Girl? I ask in mock hurt. Yes, she informs me plainly. I dont like what pregnancy has done to you. Youre far less agreeable, I joke. You have no idea, Tie Guy. Just read those pregnancy books I bought if youre feeling brave, she informs me. Im not actuallyfeeling brave. I think Im scared out of my mind, I confess. Well, better make sure your shoulder harness is clicked in all the way and you keep your arms and hands inside the ride at all times. Youre giving me safety advice, thats actually kinda hot, I joke again. She smacks the side of my head but also laughs. Skater Girl, will you sing to me? Of course, she says. She starts to sing Le Vie En Rose in her funny off-tune voice. Des yeux qui font baisser les miens Un rire qui se perd sur sa bouche Voil le portrait sans retouche De l'homme auquel jappartiens She cant go on beyond the first verse because shes

laughing too much. I love how you sing it in that voice, it always cracks me up, I tell her. Edward, she says, laughing even harder. I missed her squeaky laugh so much. What? That is my real singing voice. I know its horrible, I only sing for comedic effect. Same with my dancing, she confesses with a bright smile. If only we could combine my musical talent with your beautiful French, I muse. Maybe, she says, placing my hand on her belly. I look into her beautiful brown eyes that are looking so happy and ask if I can take, but just this one small thing. Angel, can I kiss you? Instead of answering, she presses her soft plump lips to mine, gently affirming that she has at least not abandoned me completely, not left me to my endless plans and schedules and spreadsheets, that in the end, only help me miss the really important things going on around me. I hold her in my arms nowthe arms that have literally ached from missing her being in them. But I have another

chance now, another chance to keep her there forever. Edward, she begins, I think your clothes are dry now, she tells me. OK, I can get going if you need to rest, I say, trying to disguise my disappointment. Will you stay with me? she asks. Will I stay with you? Id tie this junky sofa bed to the top of my car and take it home if youd let me. Of course, whatever pleases you, angel, I say softly. She sighs at that and soon falls peacefully asleep. Still feeling jet-lagged and exhausted from running a sprint to her apartment, I quickly follow suit. BPOV I hear my phone vibrate on the end table next to me and pick it up while opening my eyes. When I do, I see that I have a text from Ali. R U OK? Let me know if u need anything or want me to come home. A I smile to myself at my best friends concern for me. I text her back. Im fine. Edwards here. We talked, things r good. Dont flip out. Pls. Tell Rose not 2 flip out. Pls. ILY both. B

I put the phone back and return to the spot I was in before the phone woke me upcurled up closely against Edwards chest. It feels good to be so close to him, to feel his skin on mine. My ear cupped against his chest, I can hear his heart beating softly. Im having a nice, contented moment lost in a sea of other emotions and I dont even have the energy to figure them all out at the moment. Today was one of the worst days of my life. I went to the ER convinced that the baby was gone. It only got worse when the medical staff around me reacted so casually. The doctor, before doing the ultrasound, even said Yes, its common when its this early. What a thing to say. It wasnt common for me. I dont commonly have something this horrible, this heartbreaking, happen to me. And then there was the pure euphoria and relief I felt when I saw my baby for the first timejust a tiny little gummy bear with a flickering middle. Its heart was beating and mine suddenly mended itself. It was at that moment that I realized somethingsomething Im certain of. I want to be happy again. Not just living in a pink bubble of happy that could burst at any minute. I want

to be really, truly happy. Im going to have a baby; I have something so huge and incredible to look forward to. I might not have the energy to get myself there right now, but Im working on it. But for the time being, my brain is in a weird soup. When Edward showed up at my door, wet and shivering, he just looked so lost and sad. In the short time I lived with him, I picked up on a lot of his patterns. First, he doesnt run when its really rainy out. He uses his rowing machine instead. Second, he always runs in the morning, right after waking up. He never goes at night. Last, he always follows the same route. He wouldnt go past my apartmentits too far and its in the wrong direction. I saw the look on his face and I understood. He was lostin every way. It made me think of a few lines from Philip Sidneys My True Love Has My Heart. My true-love hath my heart, and I have his, By just exchange, one for the other givn. Both equal hurt, in this change sought our bliss: My true love hath my heart and I have his. We were both equally hurt and there was no point in it. I didnt want to be and neither did he. We both wanted it to go

away. Edward should be happy. I want him to be. I do still love him and his sadness doesnt make me feel satisfied, just empty. Seeing him so lost, I just couldnt turn him away, and Im glad I didnt. We worked out some of the bigger issues and he was truly sorry. He showed more emotion in the last twelve hours or so than Ive ever seen since I met him. Getting my anger out at him at the hospital was both painful yet cathartic, but I just couldnt make that anger stick, not even for a day. When I thought about how wanted the baby and how contrite he felt, that anger just slid right out of me. I realized that I couldnt love our baby and hate him too. There was no way for me to reconcile those two things for some reason, no matter how hard I tried. Even though my anger is ebbing, my hurt is not. I blanch at the memory of his sharp words at me, how he looked at me so blankly, so devoid of emotion. I understand why in my brain, but my heart cannot abide. I feel as though Edward is trying to put Humpty Dumpty back together with his contrition and promises that he now understands, but trust is the weakest eggshell of all, it

seems. I think only time can fix this problem. I had the baby to consider. If I wanted Edward to get on the ride with me, I had to find a way to make things between us good again. We both need to behappy. I let out a long breath and Edward rubs my shoulder with his hand in his sleep like hes done so many times before. I would sometimes rub backI know because Id be dreaming it. Then Id wake up to him kissing me everywhere. Thinking of all the fun wed had before he left for Japan makes me unconsciously shiver a little while I feel my face heat up. Edwards eyes snap open when he feels me movehe sleeps like a cat. Bella, are you alright? he asks, the concern in his voice clear. Im fine. I just had a weird little shiver, thats all. Sorry to wake you, I reply, patting his cheek. Thats OK. Can I get you anything? Are you hungry? he offers. Not really. I have really bad all day sickness. All day, huh? That sounds really unpleasant. What did the doctor say about it? he asks.

I havent been to doctor yet. They wont see you until youre eight weeks along. Im almost there, though. My first appointment is next week. I didnt mention the nausea at the hospital. It just wasnt on my mind, I explain softly. On some level, he knew just then what I needed, so he hugged me gently and kissed my hair. How about something to drink? You should make sure youre hydrated, he offers. Yeah, youre right. The only thing I can stomach is ginger tea. Do you mind? I request politely. Not at all. Let me grab my clothes out of your dryer and Ill put the kettle on for you, he replies as he slides himself from my arms and gets off the sofa bed. I cant resist and look at him naked. Damn you and your pretty. Even with the shit mood Im in, even with how shit tired and queasy I feel, the pretty puts me in my happy place. I hate you, Cullen. You do have a nice ass though. He turns and catches me staring him up and down like hes a turkey drumstick. He just looks at me and grins. What? I say as my face turns crimson. Nothing, he says with a laugh. Couldve sworn you were

checking me out, he adds nonchalantly. Hes well aware of the fact that Im blushing and why. Smug bastard. Yeah, well I start to say. Well what, Bella? he teases, leaning his face into mine. You have a nicepair of elbows, I whisper as I stare at the floor with a small smile on my face. Yes, they are useful when I need to bend my arms, he replies, smirking at me and seeing right through my attempt at playing it cool. I never win at playing cool. God only knows why I keep trying. I hear him whistling as he pads around in the kitchen. It makes me smile. I like that hes here, trying to take care of me. But hes only going to leave again for Japan and well keep on this cycle for some time. I cant even think about the possibility of a permanent move. He would probably want me to come because of the baby. I cant even contemplate thatmoving so far away with a new baby. Im just going to worry about it when I absolutely have to. Im prioritizing my stress. Last week, I made a list. I think Im turning into Tie Girl. I hear Edward walk back into the room just then with a big

dinner plate in his hand. Bella, I have prepared my specialtybland food, he says with a laugh. Sounds, I start but my laughing interrupts me, oddly appropriate. I never get tired of playfully teasing him. He brings me dry toast, a sliced banana and a mug of ginger tea. I smile and thank him as I set the plate down on my lap and he kisses my forehead. I take a small bite of the toast and chew it slowly while I wait for my tea to cool a little. Edward sits next to me. So, I was thinking, he begins, I want to spend as much time together as we can. Will you spend the rest of the weekend with me? he asks. I take a deep breath. I may as well just spit it out and see where it lands. Im going to Forks tomorrow to tell my dad about the baby, I say. His response is immediate and surprises me, frankly. Can I please come with you? he asks. His face is serious his brows drawn and his head tilted. I suppose, but why? I think I know the answer to this question but I ask anyway. Id like for your dad to know that I want to be involved, that

I want to be there for you, if youd let me. I meant it when I said I wanted things to be better, to make things right, he says, looking tentative as he bites his lower lip. He came in here looking like a wet puppy. The only difference now is hes a dry puppy. Edward, it might be awkwardI dont think my dad will reactwell, I say, not sure if whether hed be there would make it more stressful for me or less. Stress is bad for me and bad for the baby. I dont expect him to react well, he says, almost with a laugh. This is not the best situation, Im sure hell react with surprise, concernanger. But I think I deserve some of those reactions to be aimed at me toothe anger especially, he explains. I wont tell him how you reacted when I told you. I dont see the point in doing that, I say. I wouldnt blame you if you did. I mean, if you wanted to tell him you were in the hospital, why you were under so much stress, he replies, looking at me because he knows what I was thinking the entire time I was bleeding. Edward made this happen.

No, I dont think its constructive at all. I dont want my father to have a bad impression of you that might never go away. Thats not right. I dont want that, I explain. How can Edward and I be happy together if our families dont like each other? Its just not what I want. I appreciate that. You know, that you want your dad to like me, he says, kissing my hand. Please let me fix it, he says. I know he means fix everythingmy hurt, my fathers impending anger and disappointment. I cant keep calm anymoremy hormones and all the ups and downs of the day take over again. My feelings, just like my stomach, are in complete knots. I grab my napkin and softly cry. Edward puts his arm around me. Im sorry, truly, he whispers in my hair. I know you are. Today was just a very emotional day for me. I almost cant think straight anymore, I explain. Itll be OK. You just need rest, he says softly, rubbing my shoulder. And I should tell you, those things I said in the hospital, I didnt mean them. I dont think youre loveless or empty or anything like that. Im sorry, I confess while crying.

He smiles at me. Skater Girlnow, dont take this the wrong waybut theres one thing about your beautiful face that I dont like, he says while I frown at his words. I look up at him so he can see my big frown and how hes not really helping my mood. Its that crease on forehead. Its only there when youre sad. That crease doesnt belong there. It needs to never be there, he says, stroking my forehead with his finger and smiling at me. Edward, only you would make my sadness sound like a smudge you have wipe off, I say with a smile. Oh, and you stole my frown, Give it back, I say, squinting my eyes at him and holding out my palm. No dice, replies. He kisses my palm instead and offers me my slice of toast so Ill take another bite. I have another small nibble and sip my tea. Listen, he begins, if you let me come with you to Forks, I can make sure your dad understands that I care about you, about the baby. He cant stay mad or worried if he understands, he reasons. Youre right. You should be there, I agree as I nod my head.

I have one more favor to askwill you stay at my place this weekend? Id feel better if we were together. I dont really want to let you out of my sight actually, he says with a nervous laugh. I recognize the laugh and the anxious look on his face. He gets like that when something is going wrong. Its when he feels things are out of order, not happening the way they should be. He is genuinely worried about me. Hey, take a breath, I say with a smile, just like I did that day in his car when he was getting anxious about running late for work. He looks at me at smiles back. If I say no, youre just going to sit here and watch me the entire time, arent you? I joke. The thought did cross my mind, he says innocently. I sigh softly. Wellyour TV is bigger than ours, I joke. It is indeed. Ill call a cab, itll be quicker than me running home and coming back with my car, he reasons. The fact that he just doesnt want to leave me alone is sweet. I hear the door unlock and in walk Ali, Rose, Jasper and Emmett. Id bet my last quarter that Jasper and Emmett are

here specifically to keep Edward from bodily harm. I tilt my head down and chuckle softly to myself. I just thank God that hes dressed. Hey, you guys, I say with a smile as the group ambles in. How are you feeling? Ali asks as she and Rosalie sit on either side of me. Im feeling tons better. No more cramps, thank God. Im just tired, I reply. These are for you, from me and Emmett, Jasper says, handing me a small bouquet of flowers. Something to make you smile, he adds, kissing my cheek. I can totally see why Ali cannot shut up about Jasper. Hes amazingly warm in a very non-creepy way. Wow, thank you, I say with a bright smile. How sweet of you both. Youre welcome, Emmett says, almost bashfully. God, these two are adorable. How did I end up with the one whos slightly busted? Hi, asshole, Rose says to Edward as she looks up at him like she just caught him picking his nose. He just looks back at her, his mouth opening, but doesnt say anything. Rosalie, I say to her in a stern voice. When I use her full

name, she knows Im not kidding around. Please be nice, it would upset me otherwise, I say more softly. She looks at me, nods, and pats my leg. Sorry, asshole, she says with a smile. I look at Edward and his poor face. Hes torn between telling her off and keeping quiet to maintain the peace. Edward, you should know that you probably wont get anything better than that from Rose. She always follows up the word sorry with asshole. Thats just how she rolls, I joke, putting my arm around her. The tension is broken as everyone laughs, including Edward and Rose. I scoot myself to the edge of the bed and swing my legs over the edge. Ive been in bed for hours and need to stretch a bit. Edward takes two long steps and is in front me, holding his arm out to help me stand up. Aw, I missed ya, pepaw. Im gonna spend the weekend at Edwards, I say to Ali. Hes going with me to Forks tomorrow, so I dont need a lift, I add. The look on my face is enough for her to understand that I dont want her to make an issue out of it, so she doesnt. Come on, I tell her, help me pack. Most of my things are

crammed into a couple of her dresser drawers. Bella, are you sure you should be doing thisspending this much time with Edward? she asks as I start stuffing a change of clothes and some clean PJs into my overnight bag. Yes, I say, rather emphatically which is unusual for me. I think its a good idea. He showed up here justmessed up. Ive never seen him like that. He was distraught and really wanted to see me. He was genuinely sorry, I explain. She looks at me a little skeptically. Look, I remember the things he said. Believe me. They ring in my ears over and over sometimes. But we have to try to fix it. Ali, he was begging me. He wants to be there when I tell my dad Im pregnantthats not exactly gonna be a Hallmark moment for him. What am I supposed to say? Fuck off and die? Im having his kid. AndI love him, Ali, I say. I know, I know. Youre right. You should try to make it work. I just worry that youre rushing it is all, my friend replies. I know this is all out of concern for me. I let out a deep breath and almost start laughing. Rushing? I echo with sort of a snort. This whole thing was one big rush. A head rush, a heart

rush, a rush in my pants I say with a laugh. We rushed into dating by spending three weeks together before he left for Japan. Then I rushed into getting pregnant by accident. Theres nothing slow going on here. Time only stopped when he left and then he hurt me and itll stop again when he leaves on Monday night. Were back to rushing now because he has to leave again in two days. Rushing is all were doing, I end with a small laugh. Girl, you lost me after rush in my pants, Ali says, cracking up. I cant say I minded that part, I reply, with a Cheshire cat grin. Im not one to talk about rushing. Its not like Jasper and I are taking it slow. I went to meet his crazy Texan family over Christmas. I met the Colonels whole regimentall eleven herbs and spices, she jokes. So yeah, Im totally not one to talk, she repeats. Its just that with you and Edward, she continues, when things are good, they are insanely good, but when theyre bad, theyre beyond horrible. I saw what it did to you, how miserable you werejust this morning, God. It broke my heart for you. And for how pissed off he made me,

Edward does seem like a good guy. So he doesnt deserve to be miserable either. I know, Ali. Gonna try my best to meet in the middle, remember? I say, reminding her of our conversation from a week ago. I just want the two of us to be happy, I add. Good. Sounds like a plan, she says, hugging me. Yeah, Im getting better at those, I quip. The cab is downstairs honking by the time Im ready and so Edward and I say goodnight to our friends and head over to his house. He gingerly guides me through the door and insists I settle onto the couch, covering me in a throw. Edward, I say. Yes? You dont have to keep doing this, I say. Doing what? he asks, looking perplexed. Treating me like I might break. Its very sweet but its starting to get to be a little much, I explain. Bella Its OK. I know youre worried, but cant we just try to have a little funjust be ourselves? I ask. So encasing you in bubble wrap is a deal breaker then? he deadpans.

I put my face in my hands and laugh. No bubble wrap. No carrying me around, I insist. Not even a walker? he asks. Im just staring at him. How about a Medic Alert necklace? he offers with a straight face. Help, Ive fallen in love with Pepaw, and I cant give him up! I quip. Most accidents happen inside the house. he informs me. Yeah, we made one thats due in seven months. Some accidents are happy, I reply, scrunching up my face at him. Skater Girl, your annoyed, yet adorable face is killing me, he says. See, this is what I mean. Just you and me, like we always are, I say, smiling and waving my hand to gesture at the two of us. He nods and gently pushes a lock of hair behind my ear. Ill be my usual stuffy self and you can be, you know, slightly nuts in a cute way, he agrees. I like your style, Tie Guy. I love your stuffy, I reply, grabbing his hand. And thanks for calling me nuts, I add with a laugh. Hey, did you bring any movies to watch? he asks.

Yes! I nearly forgot about that. Can we watch Shakespeare in Love? I just love that movie, I request. Absolutely, he says as he kisses my cheek and gets up to start the DVD before sitting back down next to me on the couch. Shakespeare in Love is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love how intense and passionate the leading couple are in the story. I cant help but compare them to Edward and me when Violas parents are away and she only has a month to spend with her lover. I can relate to Viola, wanting to stay in her pink bubble of happy as long as she can. When her time with Will is over, she has to commit herself to Lord Wessex, a man who is stable and mature. He chooses her simply because its what needs to be done, and not because he loves her. Somehow I ended up with Joseph Fiennes and Colin Firth rolled into one person. But Edward is definitely my muse, like Viola was for Will. He got me writing again. I very well couldve ended up writing poetry like Romeo and Ethyl the Pirates Daughter if I didnt meet him. It was the Will side of Edwards Janus nature that did that. So far the Wessex side

hasnt done much for me. Although I do think its Wessex whos making me ginger tea, covering me in throw blankets and wanting to talk to my father with me tomorrow. So maybe hes not such a bad dude after all. I sigh as we watch the end when Viola is lost at sea but swims to shore. After a bad storm and being lost, you can still find your way back. You just have to swim hard enough. I look at Edward and his perfectly etched profile. With each little glance I steal, I remember why I fell in love with him so fast. I remember the sweet, tender, and even hot things he said to me. He catches my eye, and turning, smiles that crooked smirk at me. I reach my hand up and softly stroke his cheek. I want to look at your face like I did the first few times, I say. I remember those times so vividly. There was the day I met him and we were sharing my lunch on a bench outside the store. I trace his lips with my fingertip and feel the stubble of his beard around the edge. I stroke his thick, messy hair as I study the rest of his face. I smile when I remember how I couldnt even look at his eyes because they made my heart race. I can look at them now and their

beauty is only slightly eclipsed by how expressive they are. I know exactly what hes feeling when I look in his eyes. His lipsthey part slightly when hes thinking. He licks them when hes nervous. But I dont just see his features anymore. I see the whole face and the whole man. There is more than just a handsome face to me now, much more. So what do you think of my face now? he asks. I think when its happy, so am I. When its sad, so am I. That if I could go back and do everything over again, I would still look at it through the store window and smile, I confess. He smiles and puts his hand to my cheek. Edward, I murmur. Thats all I need to say because when we look at each other like this, words are only restating the obviouswe need to kiss. I bring my face closer to his and our lips press together lightly. Its a long, slow, gentle kiss. We need to remind each other what we mean to one another. This kiss is Im sorry, I need you, and I love you all rolled up in one. And we both need it. Its sensual but its mostly to cement the bond were trying to build. We pull away from each other and press our foreheads together. Are you tired? he whispers.

Yeah, I should go to sleep. I keep old lady hours now. Im asleep at eight and wake up at five. No more video games all night, I explain lightly. He looks at me with a bemused look on his face but just stands up and offers his arm so I can get up too. Maybe Im rubbing off on you, Skater Girl, he says with a smirk. I just scrunch up my face at him. I wish. A short while later, we fall asleep in his bed curled around each other, finally finding that safe, happy spot we lost and missed terribly. The next morning, I attempt to make breakfast while Edward is out for his run. I do just fine until the smell of the coffee brewing in the machine overwhelms me and I get sick in the sink. I clean up, wash my hands and face, and try my best to finish cooking. When Edward gets back, Im leaning one arm against the counter to keep myself vertical. The nausea is so strong, I can barely stand. Bella, whats wrong? he asks, very alarmed. Nothing, Im just nauseated. But I wanted to make you breakfast like I always do, I reply, trying to smile.

Come on, let me help you over to the couch, he says, putting his arm around me and leading to the living room. Thanks, I say as we sit down. Maybe you should take something for this. I can call my dad and ask him whats normally prescribed, he suggests. Oh no, I refuse with hesitation. I wont take anything but prenatal vitaminsnot even Tylenol or anything else over the counter. Ill survive the morning sickness, Edward. The baby is, what, the size of a pea? He or she doesnt exactly need a 1200 calorie diet, I say with a small smile. Then it all of a sudden dawns on mehe just said I should call my dad. Edward, your parents know Im pregnant? I ask. Yeah, I called them when I first got back on Friday night. They were surprised but theyre also looking forward to it my mom especially. She really likes you, you know, he replies. Im relieved that they didnt react badly. Dr. and Mrs. Cullen did strike me as nice people when I met them, but even so, this is rather big news. We head out to Forks later in the afternoon. The drive is calming as I watch the big city fade behind us and the towns

get smaller and smaller. I lived in Forks for four years. I moved there after my mom remarried. My step dad does a lot of traveling for work and my mom goes with him, so we all thought it best for me to move in with my dad right before I started high school. It took some getting used to, but I grew to love it there. Ali and Rose became my two best friends right off the bat, which made it a lot easier for me to feel like I fit in. Hey, look who it is! my dad exclaims as he opens the front door for us. Hi, Dad, I say with a big smile even though my insides are turning to jelly from nerves. Hello, Chief Swan. Its good to see you again, sir, Edward says as he extends his hand out to shake it with my dads. He ushers us inside and we make ourselves comfortable in the living room. And then it hits me. The stench. Oh God, THE STENCH. I thought Id make some of my fish fry for ya, Bells. I know how much you like it, my dad says enthusiastically. I cover my mouth with my hand and run to the bathroom. I hear my dad and Edward following me but I dont care. My toast and ginger tea is definitely making a u-turn. Im leaning over the bathroom sink with both

men on either side of mewatching me barf. Can I be alone, please? I beg between heaves. Bells, whats wrong, you have food poisoning or something? my dad asks. All I can do is shake my head no. Stomach flu? he asks this time. I shake my head again. Dad I start, before needing to heave again. Then I just vomit the words out like I do my breakfast. ImpregnantEdwardsthefatherImdueonbirthday. Youre who in the what, now? my dad asks, utterly baffled and befuddled. Pregnant, is all I say as keep ejecting my last meal. A baby? he asks, needing confirmation for some reason. Im pretty sure my dad knows what the word pregnant is. Hes just hoping hes hearing me wrong. Yes, a baby, I repeat as I clean up and wash my face. Can I please lie down? I ask as I keep my head propped up by leaning my forehead into my hand. I walk past them, grabbing a hand towel on my way out. I lie on the couch and put the hand towel over my nose and mouth before the smell of the fried fish gives me an aneurysm. Now both of them are standing over me, staring. Bells, Im just shocked, you know? And you he says,

poking his finger into Edwards shoulder. Not exactly my most favorite person right now, he says through gritted teeth. Dad, please dont, lets be calm. The stress isnt good for me, I say softly, closing my eyes and trying to calm my nerves and my stomach. Both of you, please stop standing over me. Its weirding me out, I plead. Charlie brings in a couple of chairs from the kitchen and they both sit, looking just as uncomfortable as Ive ever seen them. Chief Swan, Edward begins after clearing his throat, I want you to know that I will help Bella in any way I can. I fully support her in this and I want to be a good father, he says plainly. My dad doesnt answer. He just strokes his moustache. He does that when hes thinking about somethingbut its usually over much smaller issues than this, like whether there might be too much rain to go fishing. I just sit and let him think. Bella, he says. Now I know things have shifted. He almost never calls me Bella. What are you going to do? You dont have your own place to live. You dont have a car. Christ,

youre not even on my insurance anymore cos youre too old, he says, citing everything Ive been worrying about myself. Dad, Ill figure it out, I say with exasperation. Thats it? Figure it out? my dad replies incredulously. Edward clears his throat again. Chief Swan, Ive put a lot of thought into how best to provide for Bella. I have some ideas Id like to summarize for you, he says, sounding very businesslike. Go ahead, my dad says as he folds his arms. First, there are a few objectives that need to be met. One of them, as you mention, is providing Bella with a more suitable living arrangement. Next, shell need safe, reliable transportation. Also, comprehensive health insurance coverage is also critical, Edward says, sounding like hes reading off from a PowerPoint presentation. Im listening, my dad replies, nodding his head. I live in a very large home with more than enough space for a couple and a baby. Since I travel a great deal, Bella can drive my car. I can also have her enrolled in my companys insurance plan, which is excellent, Edward continues as though hes running a

meeting. The key to the success of these objectives is if Bella and I get married, he adds as the main point to his presentation. My eyes nearly pop out of their sockets. ZOMGWTF? I sit up on the couch, my jaw nearly on the floor. My mission is to provide all the things necessary to ensure that Bella have a safe and healthy pregnancy. I will strive continuously to make sure that I accomplish that mission. But I need your blessing, Edward concludes. Charlie is stroking his moustache again. I think its a good idea, is all he says. I shake my head and blink furiously. Im sitting right here. Im in the room! I exclaim, waving my arms around. What, I dontI cant even talk, Im just sogah! I say in frustration. Bells, Edward is right. And its not just for the practical reasonsI like the idea of my daughter having a husband if shes going to have a baby. Also, Edward says, you should know that there are other legal matters involved. My family has a sizeable estatenot that this should sway your decision at allthis is for my

peace of mind. Should something happen to me, I want Bella and the baby to be provided for specifically in a will. A trust needs to be created for the baby as well, for when he or she becomes an adult. All of these things get done more easily if Bella and are married. Well, I appreciate that, Edward, that you obviously want whats best for her and your child, Charlie says. He almost looks like hes going to cry, and its not because of the money, but because hell never have to worry about me if something should happen to him. Thats what this is aboutsuddenly, its 1859 and a daughters care is being passed from her father to her husband. Dad, Mom raised me alone, so did you for a few years, I inform him. Yes, but we were married when you born, he replies simply. Its no use, when my dad gets an idea in his head, theres no getting around it. He thinks Edward and I should get married and thats that. Well, can I at least think about it? I ask Edward. Of course, this is your decision as much as it is mine, he replies with a serious face. Yeah, right.

I stay in the living room lying on the couch while the two of them eat their stinky fish fry in the kitchen. I sit up when Edward brings me a slice of toast and takes a seat next to me. I should shove that toast up your nose, I tell him in a whisper. Bella, Dont you Bella me, Edward. This is absurdyou asked my dads permission to marry me and you didnt even talk it over with me first. And the way it sounded I cant finish because Im about to start to cry. I know, I didnt know how else to get your dad to agree. I had to sell him on the idea, he says, grabbing my hand. I have a mind to snatch it away but I dont. How about just saying I love your daughter, you didnt mention that once, I say, my voice cracking. Youre right. I shouldnt have made it sound like an arrangement. Im sorry, I was just trying the best I could, he says earnestly. I believe what he says. He is who he is. In his mind, this was the right way to go about it. And I had to give him credit, my dad is actually happy for us. Edward managed to salvage what couldve been a really

tense, even hostile, situationone that wouldve left lingering resentment. I know you were trying your best, I say. But you couldve spoken to me about it first. You cant just decide something like that on your own. Weve fought about this before, I remind him. Yes, youre right about that too. But I wanted to first see if Charlie seemed receptive to the idea. If he was so mad that I couldnt reason with him, then I wasnt going to bring it up. I didnt want you to feel badly about it. I probably shouldve included you but again, I was trying the best I could, he explains, stroking my hand. He kneels down on both knees in front of me. Bella, I do love you. I know this is all sudden, that we still have things to work out. But please let me take care of you, at least for the babys sake. I want him or her to grow up thinking I have a great dad, just like I do about my own father, he says, looking sweet and sincereand very, very difficult to refuse. He did have a point. All of this is best for Geebee, and that is my most important consideration. Edward wants to be as involved in the babys life as possible. He deserves that, and so does the baby.

Please, angel, will you marry me? he asks. I feel like if I say no, puppies will have nightmares and unicorns will cry. No, I say plainly. No? he repeats. His face is crestfallen. Youre not my type, I say with a straight face before a smirk creeps across my face. Bella, be serious, he implores. I am being serious. This is nuts. Would you be proposing if there was no baby? Tell the truth, Edward Cullen, I order. He looks at me for a second. Yes, honest to God. If I got the promotion for a permanent move, I was going to propose so youd come with me. I swear it, Bella, he confesses, stroking my cheek. I wanted to marry you before the baby. I was going to ask you in six months. Im just ahead of schedule, and I love being ahead of schedule, he says with a smile. He gathers my hands in his and kisses them both sweetly. I cantsayno. Alright, Tie Guy and my polar opposite. Lets get married. God, that sounds bizarre, I muse, almost to myself. He puts his arms around me and kisses me sweetly. Ugh, Edwardyou smell like fish, I groan, pushing him

away lightly. Go finish your dinner and then walk through a decontamination chamber of some kind, please, I joke as I feel my nausea erupt in waves. He pats my shoulder and goes to join my dad again. I lie back down and spend my alone time thinking some more. Like Ive been reminding myself, I want to be happy. Part of that means that I need to move forward, and look toward making a better futurenot just for myself, but for the three of us. Getting married seems like a logical way to make that happen. He wouldve insisted I move in with him anyway and frankly I wouldnt have turned him down. I wasnt going to move into with my dad, he worked all hours and didnt know anything about babies. I didnt want to move to my moms in Phoenixshe and Phil are traveling half the year. Plus, both these options would separate Edward from the baby and I didnt want to do that. This is the sensible thing to do. After spending a couple of hours chatting and watching TV with my dad, Edward and I say our goodbyes and head back to Seattle. EPOV Bella and I are on our way back to Seattle after visiting with

Charlie. Shes sleeping peacefully as I drive and lose myself in thought. While Im pleased to have put Charlies mind at ease regarding Bellas pregnancy, I feel I really botched things up with her. I had no intention of hurting her feelings or making her feel as if she had no say in the matter, but somehow my way of communicating with her father did just that. I am at a loss when it comes to adequately proving to her how much I care for her. I had an interesting conversation with Charlie over dinner while Bella was trying to calm her nausea in the other room. Edward, I think youre a pretty smart guy, he said. Thank you, sir, I replied. Except youre pretty stupid when it comes to my daughter. Im sorry? Did you really think she wasnt gonna notice that you asked for my blessing before you talked to her about getting married? Bells is a sensitive girl but she has a mind of her own. Shes not really someone you can just sort of make decisions for. I tried that when she was in high school. She wouldnt get mad and pitch a fit like any other teenager would. Shed just calmly argue with me until I didnt even know what we

were arguing about anymore. Shes a smart girlone of the smartest people youll ever meet. Yes, I have noticed that about her. I can never win a debate with her. Dont try. Listen, just because shes got a soft heart doesnt mean she has an empty head. Dont treat her like that or you might as well fill out divorce papers while you fill out your marriage license. Charlie was right. I made a huge decision without talking to her first and it was pretty stupid as Charlie put it. I want to do the right thing but somehow I just cant seem to get that point across without being misunderstood. Bella has already forgiven me enough. At some point, shes just going to stop. We get home and take our usual spot on the couch. Bella is lying down with her head on my lap. Bella, Im sorry again for not talking to you first before asking Charlie permission to marry you. I thought it would upset you less this way, but I was wrong, I tell her. I know youre sorry, its OK. You did manage to smooth things out with my dad really well. I have to give you credit for that, she tells me sweetly.

Thank you, I say, kissing her forehead. Hey, can we play Twenty Questions? she asks. Only, we ask questions about each other. They dont have to be yes or no answers. Thats not Twenty Questions, I argue. She pokes me between the eyes. Ow, I say as I rub my forehead. Im just saying, its not really I try to explain, until she pokes me again, harder this time. Dont be a pain in the ass, she scolds with an adorably, non-threatening angry face. OK, lets playyou go first, I offer with a smile. Alright, this is ridiculous, but I dont know your middle name, she says, her brow furrowed. Anthony. Anthony? I like it. Edward Anthony Cullen, she repeats. The third, I add. She laughs and shakes her head, looking at me incredulously. You would be numbered, she chuckles. I wouldve been the fourth but my mom was an only child and a girl. The original Edward Anthony was my great grandfather on my mothers side, I explain.

Do you want a numbered baby? she asks playfully, squinting her eyes at me. I do, kind of, yes, I admit somewhat guardedly. She laughs again. Well, Ill give the idea some consideration, she offers with mock charity. Your turn, she reminds me. Lets see, I begin as I think of what to ask. How did you get interested in writing poetry? Ive always meant to ask her that. She has a bashful smile on her face before she answers. What? I ask, wondering why she looks like she doesnt want to answer. Its silly, she replies curtly. I love silly. Tell me, come on, I say, coaxing her. Fine, she says with a sigh. I used to have an imaginary friend when I was little, like when I was around four or five. I didnt have any siblings and I was really shy so it was hard for me to make friends. I would try to imagine what he looked like, how he talked Wait, he? Your imaginary friend was a boy? I ask, suddenly very curious. Yes, she says in a small voice. He wasthe boy I called imaginary, but he wasnt. He was real, I just didnt know

him. I am thoroughly confused, Bella, I admit with a smirk. I was imagining the real boy who I would meet one day. He was myimaginary future husband, she says, cracking a smile. I used to write him love poems, she continues, covering her face and starting to laugh. God, I havent thought about him in forever. You were writing me poetry fifteen years ago? I say laughing with her. Skater Girl, that is so touching, I joke. Well, the funny thing isyou dont look anything like him. Is he better looking than me? Oh my God, MUCH! she replies sarcastically, her eyes going wide. You would be jealous of an imaginary boy-husband, she adds, screwing up her mouth. How tall is he? Four feet even? I could take him. She shakes her head at me and chuckles. OK, my turn again, she says, looking pensive as she thinks of what to shed like to know. Ive got one. Where is your favorite place in the whole world? Thats easy. My own bed, and with you next to me, I reply. She smiles sheepishly as she looks up at me. I kiss the tip of her nose. Its my turn again and I want to ask her something but Im

almost afraid of how shell answer. After everything thats happened, she might just tell me something I dont really want to hear. Alright, me next, I say. My question is more complicated. Would you be marrying me if you werent pregnant? I ask. She thinks for a minute. Its really difficult for me to answer that, Edward. First, well never know how we wouldve gotten along while you were traveling. It might have gone fine, it might have gone terribly. But then again, we were getting along alright until she says, her words trailing off softly. Once again, I hear the hurt in her voice and Im just ashamed of myself all over again. Perhaps if she understood what was going on in my head exactly at that moment, I could lessen the pain I caused her. Bella, I wasnt angry at you, I swear it. I was in shock. I barely heard the words as they were coming out of my mouth. It was like someone else was saying them, I confess truthfully. I hope you believe me when I say that, I add. I just look at her dolefully and hope she believes me. She scratches the whiskers on my chin. I dont want to re-hash it, Edward. I want to move on, so we

can be happy. But Im glad youre explaining it to me, she replies. This is as good a time as any to explain our situation, our relationship, the way I understand itat least the way Im trying to understand it. I know I have a very Type A personality. I like for things to be ordered, controlled. Ive never been in a relationship that caused so much friction with that part of me, I admit. Really? How can that be? she asks, somewhat surprised. You were engaged before you met me, she says, sounding perplexed. Bella, if ever there was a relationship you could call an arrangement, its the one I had with Tanya. We did not love each other. We were each others good catch. It was nothing more than that, I explain. She looks at me with a sad face, the crease in her forehead showing itself. I rub it gently with my thumb. I dont want us to be like thattogether just for the sake of it, she tells me, her beautiful brown eyes looking up at me. Its nothing like that for me, Bella. You have to believe me. Ive never really loved anyone before I met you. And I know no ones ever loved me the way you do, I confess softly. And its the Gods honest truth. Id never met anyone like this

beautiful embodiment of so many contradictionssmart with no immediate ambition, well read yet totally accessible, shy yet alluring, sweet yet sarcastic. I could go on and on. They charmed me like nothing else until I tried making sense of them, like I do everything else in my life. But you cant make sense out of someone like Bella. You just love her for who she is. Edwardyou know youre the first person Ive ever loved, she tells me. I kiss her lightly to thank her for saying that. I hope Im the last person, too. I want you to know, I begin, that I would never think of us getting married as an arrangement or anything like that. I just love you Bella. I wish I knew better ways of showing it. Better than funny poems or jewelry or a fancy pen Edward, she murmurs. I dont need things, you know, like physical things to prove your feelings. Theyre nice but theyre not what I love about youI love the guy who always makes me laughsometimes not on purpose, but he makes me laugh. You have a peculiar way about you thatscharming. Youre smart, youre

gentlemanly. Thank you, I reply, kissing her hand. Youre welcome, she says, smiling up at me. Still want to get married? I ask with a hopeful look on my face. Yeah. Actually, Im beginning to warm up to the idea more and more, she replies. The sooner we get it done the better, we really need to get you insurance and I need to call our trust attorney, I explain. A big elaborate wedding really isnt my thing anyway, she says with a shrug. Good. Edwarddo you want me sign one of those prenuptial agreements? I will if you want me to. Your money isnt mine, she says plainly. I furrow my brow and just look at her for a minute. Is she out of her mind? Are you serious? I say with shock. Bella, I wouldnt marry the type of woman who Id need to sign a prenuptial agreement. What got that idea in your head? I ask. I dont know. I justIm not from money. Im just a plain middle class person. Im proud of that. I would marry you

even if you were middle class just like me, she replies. And thats exactly why I would never ask you to sign any kind of agreement, I tell her, stroking her cheek. Do you think my familys wealth even compares to how much I value you? Bella, Id give up my last dime to be with you, I tell her earnestly. She just looks at me and I can tell shes about to start to cry. I love that shes pregnant but her emotions, which normally run pretty rampant, are now off the charts. Cullen, if you know whats good for you, just let the woman cry before she strangles you. Thats the nicest thing anyones ever said to me, she says softly while wiping away a tear. Its true, Skater Girl. I say with a smile. How big of a rush are we in? To get married? she asks. I know its not very romantic, but I was thinking we could go to city hall tomorrow before I leave. She blinks at me rapidly and shakes her head. I thought I was the impulsive one, she says with surprise. Well, its all part of the plan you see, marrying you and then loving you forever, I say playfully, stroking her hair. I like that plan. And you know I dont have much of a predilection for planning. But that one, that one I like, she

quips. I lean my face into hers and press my lips to her ear. I love your big words. I have a predilection for them, I whisper. She chuckles softly and pushes me away slightly, my warm breath tickling her. Ill have Barb make the arrangements for us, I say. And then I see that look on her faceher eyes go wide and she starts to chew on the corner of her bottom lip. Bellayoure nervous? She nods at me. So am I, I confess. I dont want to mess up, she whispers. Neither do I, I reply in turn. Edward? Hmm? You still smell like fish, she informs me as she sits up and scoots away from me slightly. I washed my hands and I brushed my teeth. But Ill go take a shower, hows that? I offer. Shes got a nose like a bloodhound these days. OK, but dont smell too soapy, its too strong, she requests, her face looking nauseated just thinking about it.

Too soapy? I dont even know what that means, I say with a laugh. I give her another light kiss on the lips and we head upstairs for bed. A few minutes later, Im in the shower, trying not to get too soapy, when Bella walks in. She looks at me and smiles. She walks into the shower, completely dressed. I need to feel you, she says, tilting her head and biting her lip. She pats the top of her chest softly with her palm. I need to feel your skin against mine, like before you left, she confesses. I can hear the yearning in her voice and I just want to give her whatever she wants the whole world, if she wants it. She peels off her shirt and takes off her bra. I notice that breasts have gotten bigger. They look amazing. Bella, you look even more beautiful now, I tell her. Im surprised that her body is already changing but Im not complaining either. She looks down on her chest and smiles. Yeah, I was just thinking you probably wont mind the bigger boobs, she says with a laugh. She takes off the rest of her wet clothes and I just watch her. I dont take from her like I have before. This isnt even my

plan of getting more by doing less. I just let her do whatever she wants because all I want is for her to be happy. She wraps her arms around me in a hug and I hug her back. I missed you, even when I was upset at you, I missed you, Edward, she tells me as she leans her head against my chest. God, you have no idea, Bella. I looked at your pictures on my phone everyday when I was in Japan. And then I started thinking about the baby, our baby, and how wonderful a mom youd be. It made me want to see you even more, I reply. Just need to touch you, your skin on mine, she murmurs, running her hand up and down my chest. My whole body literally aches just from her hand on me. I realize now that there is something so pure that happens when Bella and I are intimate. Its not Captain Orgasmo, and its not the way she submits to me. Its just lovemaking in its most honest formand I think its because neither of us has ever been so in love, and so attracted to another person before. She looks up at me as if she was thinking the exact same thing.

Youre my same Tie Guy, but youre also more than that now, she says. Youll be my husband and my babys father. And I love all three of those, she adds. I love you too, every part of you, I say, running my fingers through her hair and rubbing her temple with my thumb. We stand there for a few minutes, just holding each other under the warm water. Her hands begin exploring me. She touches my face first, cupping her hands around it. Her palms trail down the sides of my neck, to my shoulders. She kisses the hollow of my collarbone before resting her head in the nape of my neck. I feel her hand slowly move down my abdomen, teasing my skin until I almost cant stand it. Finally she wraps her fingers around my hard shaft, stroking up and down. I tilt her chin up toward my face and kiss her gently. I let out a small moan against her lips as I cum on her hand. I wash her whole body nextstarting at her hair and all the way down. Her body is very delicate due to her scare just a day ago, so I try to be as gentle as possible. I sit her on the bench and wash her feet, kissing both of them afterward. I stand her up again, kneel in front of her, and press my cheek to her abdomen, where our baby is growing.

I love you, Bella, and sometimes I dont think deserve you, I confess. Nobody deserves or doesnt deserve a person, Edward, she says, grabbing my hands so that I stand up. Its about how much of yourself youre willing to share, she tells me. As usual, her perspective on something is from the complete opposite viewpoint of mine. For once Im thankful for it because I think she knows way more about sharing herself than I do. After toweling off and getting dressed for bed, we lie under the covers and talk. I think were both too nervous to sleep. Were on our sides, facing each other. I have my arm around her waist and gently rub the small of her back. I need to call my mom in the morning, Bella reminds herself. She doesnt even know about the babyunless Charlie called her, but I doubt that. I dont think his mouth is capable of forming the words Bells is pregnant just yet, she jokes. When I told my parents you were pregnant, I mentioned wanting to get married, so theyve been warned, I joke back. My mom offered to come for a visit with you while Im gonehelp out with cooking, so you

can stay off your feet, I say. I mean, only if you want to stay here while Im gone, I add. No, of course. I mean, were getting married, I think its OK if I move in, she says with a laugh. Ill probably stay with Ali and Rose until your moms here, just so Im not alone. Id love for her to visit with me, of course. Im sorry I have to be gone for so long this time, I say as I move my hand from her back to her cheek. Its gonna be one long, lonely month for me, Tie Guy, she says softly. She kisses my palm. Im going to miss her more than I can describe in words. I wish there was a way around it, but I have to see this project through. A great deal of the success of my career hinges on it. Im going to miss you horribly, I tell her. Hey, when are you going back to work? James gave me the whole week off, so not until a week from tomorrow. Why? Just wondering, you know, because Im worried about you being on your feet a lot. I wish shed quit that job. If she passes out one more time, Ill have to convince her somehow to give it up. It was bad

enough the first time having to hear about it over the phone while I was half around the world and could do nothing to help her. I should be fine in a week. I like working, Edward. It keeps me busy and I have friends there, she explains. I can understand that. Will you at least think about quitting? I ask, trying to sound as sweet as I possibly can in the hopes of softening her up. If it really gets too be too much of a strain physically, yes, I will think about it, she concedes. Thank you. Edward? Dont tell me I still smell like fish. Im about to dip myself in a vat of Febreeze if you do, I warn, only half joking. She laughs her little squeak. No, its got nothing to do with fish. Thank God. Its your car. What about it? I dont want to drive it, she confesses softly. Why not? Whats wrong with my car? I ask, surprised. Nothing. Thats why I dont want to drive it. Im afraid of scratching it or denting it or something and you knowI just dont want to, she explains, her eyes cast down. I remember the way I behaved while we lived together for

those three weeks and how her clumsy, messy ways would irritate me. I cant blame her for not wanting to touch my car with a ten foot pole. You need a car to get to and from the store, I remind her gently. I know. I have my own. You do? Yeahdidnt you notice that red pick-up truck in my dads driveway? That hunk of junk is your car? It looked like it needed to be on cement blocks. Uh, yes, I think I did notice it. Are you sure you want to drive that thing? I ask, trying not to sound too disgusted. That thing is Big Bertha and I love her, she proclaims, her pride obviously, yet slightly, injured. How safe is it? I ask. Bertha is a brick house. Anybody who hits me is getting flattened, she declares, pursing her lips. How old are the tires? I ask, raising an eyebrow. Um. I cant remember, she answers nonchalantly. Anti-lock brakes? Does she never think of these things? Are you kidding me? Edward, stop it. Seriously. I want to

drive my truck, she insists. I let out a long slow breath. She clearly wasnt asking my permission and I was treating her like she was. Its your decisionjust know that Ill be worried, thats all, I explain. Dont worry, Ill be fine, she says reassuringly, patting my chest. Ill have it towed here by next week so you dont have to go get it, I say. I wrap my arms around her and pull her to my chest. You dont have to do that, she replies as she settles her head on my shoulder. I want to, I tell her. Thanks, she says with a yawn. I lie awake for a while, listening to sound of Bellas breathing as she drifts into a deeper and deeper sleep. After tomorrow shell be my wife and by her birthday Ill have a family. I panic if I think too much about the details, so I try my hardest not to. For once, Im trying to follow a plan that isnt my own. BPOV I wake with a start like Im suddenly panicked that Ive overslept. Looking around I realize Im at Edwards house.

Its still dark out and the clock says its only 5:30am. So, I decide to curl up against the warm body next to me, kissing his bicep and rubbing it with my fingers. Good morning, beautiful, Edward whispers in a low voice. Hey, handsome, I whisper back. I twirl a lock of his hair absentmindedly and let my thoughts drift. Im getting married today. The idea, when I look at it in the abstract, sounds so weird to me. It almost makes me want to laugh. But I love Edward and I think Im finally beginning to get him. Or at least Im trying to. I see his flaws and want to accept and understand them. I used to think that if you loved someone, you didnt notice their shortcomings. But the romantic idiot in me is finally learning a thing or two. Finally. I think the biggest difference between Edward and me isnt our lifestylesthe tie wearing executive and the skateboarding salesgirl. Those are just superficial differences, and really, they dont matter. Its not even our personalities or preferences and how they are so disparate. The biggest difference is in how we think. Im sure in Edwards mind getting married is a solutiona

way to wrap up and resolve a situation in a way that best suits everyone. We love each other; were expecting a baby. The solution is to get married. I can understand why he looks at it this way, but its not the way I see it at all. A marriage is a beginning, a new creation of two people starting a new life together. Should it worry me that we have such different outlooks on this? Maybe. But I refuse to be cynical. I will let the romantic idiot in me have her way. Lying on his stomach, Edward peers over at me with one eye open and smiles. What are you thinking about it? he asks. I dunno, I say casually. I have the day off todaythought Id sleep in, read a book... maybe play some online Scrabble, I joke. Yeah, I think Ill get my taxes done and check in at the office for a couple of hours, he jokes back with a smirk. I shift over and lie on top of him as he groans playfully from my full weight on him. I laugh and cover his back with kisses. Poor you having to marry me. I feel sorry for you, I tease. I feel sorry for me too, he says, gently tilting sideways so I slide off him.

If I didnt feel so sick to my stomach, Id punch you, I reply, shaking my fist at him. Beat up by a pregnant womanIve been humiliated in worse ways, he muses with a raised eyebrow. Can I bring you something to settle your nausea? he offers, kissing my hand. Some saltines would help, if you dont mind. Edward is back in a few minutes and Im happily munching away while he reads the paper next to me. A thought pops into my head and for some absurd reason I cant stop laughing. Im eating crackers in bed. The moments almost poetic and not lost on me in the slightest. Here we are, the oddest couple you could imagine and were about to get marriedthe slacker and the uptight plannerone eating crackers in bed while the other reads The Wall Street Journal. Whats so funny? he asks, peeking at me from behind his paper. Nothing, just feeling punchy. Thinking how were so different but somehow weve ended up in this comical situation, I explain. He eyes me with a perplexed look. Let me finish you and I, we complement each

other yet it almost defies logic. He sticks out his bottom lip as he thinks and then nods his head. I can agree with that, he replies with a light laugh. Edward? Hmm? I got cracker crumbs in the bed. They flew all over when I started laughing, I confess. Theres a Dustbuster in your nightstand drawer, he informs me plainly, not looking up from his paper this time. Of course there is, Tie Guy. A short while later, Im up and dressed. My first task of the day is to call my mom and not freak out completely. I take a deep breath as I hit the talk button on my phone and it dials her number. Hi Bella! my mom gushes when she hears my voice. She always sounds like shes about to burst when I call her, being one of those effusively happy people. Its not easy to upset or anger her; at least I hope it isnt easy now. After letting her know that Im fine, my friends are fine, and everything is good, I break the news. I spend the next hour going through an emotional rollercoaster with her. First, shes

in complete shock that Im pregnant. She knew Edward and I were dating but I didnt give her details even though I knew she was dying to hear them. Shes even more shocked when I tell her Edward and I are eloping. Today. She cries after the shock wears off and I cry with her. She promises shell come stay with me while Edward is gone, hopefully when his mom is here too so that they can meet. I put her on speaker so she can talk with him. Once shes satisfied that he sounds like a good boy, we say our goodbyes. I let out the longest deep breath. First awkward task done. Next: telling Ali and Rose that Im getting married and moving out. My stomachs in knots. I know theyre going to put me through the wringer. They only want what's best for me. I'm the amateur here, yet not only am I getting married first, but spontaneously. So its difficult not to sound crazy when you announce Hey, guess whatIm getting married today. Edward drops me off at my apartment with a warm kiss that lasts a good five minutes. I wont see him again until later this afternoon when we meet at city hall.

See you later, almost-husband, I say with a smile. See you, almost-wife, he replies, giving me a quick peck on the lips. I get back to the apartment early enough that both Alice and Rose are still home. They can just tell from the look on my face that something is up. Ali looks up at me from her morning coffee mug with a concerned expression. Are you OK, Bella? she asks. Yeah, I actually, I have good news. Oh? Rose pipes up. Edward and I are eloping today, I say with a weak smile. Uh Ali says, her mouth opening and closing. She looks stunned, to say the least. Youre becoming Mrs. Asshole? Today? Rose asks with disbelief. I sit on the couch, rub my face, and take a deep breath. Im not even attempting to convince you guys that its not sudden, or that were 100% positive that everything is going to be hearts and flowers, I tell them, not wanting to hear how insane they think I am. Bella, Ali starts to say, but I interrupt her. Justhear me out, I continue. I love Edward and I know

he loves me. Hes trying his best to open up, to loosen up. Not only that, he wants to be a good dadprovide for me and the baby. We owe it to each other to make an honest go of it, I explain logically. Theyre both quiet for a moment, looking at me as if theyre studying me and Im getting more uncomfortable by the second. Thats the most intelligent thing Ive heard you say since you started dating Asshole, Rose informs me. Can you stop calling him that? I mean, honestly, I beg with my palms open in front of me. I cant handle my best friend calling my soon-to-be husband an asshole. Bella, only you know whats best for your life. And it sounds like youve thought this through, Ali says as she puts her arms around me for a hug. Will you guys help me get ready? I ask with a shy smile. I dont have to ask that question twice. We go through Rosalies closet like a hurricane and find a beautiful ivory sleeveless dress made of linen. Theres a matching cardigan with delicate embroidered flowers around the collar. Both fit me perfectly and I pair them with simple ballet flats. Since I have plenty of time to spare I decide to lie down for a

while and try to nap. My nerves finally start to settle somehow and I fall asleep. EPOV Sonny boy, you could knock me over with a feather right now, Barb tells me, her mouth hanging open. Im standing by her desk, trying to get her to tell me what details shes worked out so far, but all she can relate to me is how shocked she is. I need this woman to actually communicate with me. Barb, city halldid you call about a civil ceremony? I ask again. Yes, youre scheduled for 3:00pm. Just bring your passport and drivers license with you, she tells me. Thank you, I reply, relieved that Im finally able to get her to focus. Edward, do you have rings? she asks. Yes, but they wont get here in time. My mothers giving us a pair thats been in my family, I explain. You cant get married without rings. Eloping or notgo to Walmart if you have to, just buy the girl a ring she can put on her finger, she insists, her lips pursed disapprovingly. Shes right. It is just an elopement but Bella might be disappointed. Its times like thiswhen someone whos never

even met Bella can anticipate her feelings better than I can, that makes me feel completely at a loss. Ill go after my meeting, just cancel whatever I have going on after that. I can handle it from Tokyo by phone if necessary. Flowers? Barb asks, looking skeptical. Could you? I ask back, giving her my best pleading face. Of course. Meet us there at 3. Id love for you to be there. I wouldnt miss it for anything, sonny. Barb? Yeah, yeah, you love me. You better treat this girl right and not screw it up. Poor things marrying you and having your babyI dont know whether to congratulate her or offer my sympathies. Thanks, I deadpan as I walk into my office. I head to the house to get ready after I run to my meeting and the jewelry store. As I unlock my front door, it occurs to me that this is the last time Ill ever come home to an empty house. On the one hand, Im just ecstatic. On the other hand, Im petrified that this isnt going to work. I love Bella and want us to be happy together. But

its all happening so fast. I change into my nicest suit when one of my fun ties catches my attention. As I recall, its the one I wore the day we met. I smile to myself as I slide it around my neck and begin tying a Windsor knot. Grabbing my luggage, I swing my front door shut behind me, still smiling like a fool. BPOV Alice, Rose and I get to city hall just in time. They insisted on doing up my hair and makeup before we left, and I have to admit that I loved them for fussing over me. In fact, it was a sweet gesture that made me feel that perhaps this was going to be a special occasion after all. Edward is already there and seeing him in his beautifully tailored suit just makes my heart skip a beat. I smile when he sees me and the look on both our faces makes our friends stop and stare at us. Someone hands me a bouquet of Calla lilies while I feel hands put tiny stephanotis blooms in my hair, but I dont notice anything except the man in front of me. Its like the first time I saw himmy eyes have a weird sort of tunnel vision and everything and everyone

around me disappears. The officiating judge asks if were ready to begin and we nod our heads, neither of us really able to speak. Edward reaches for my trembling hand. Are you nervous? he asks in a whisper, his mouth to my ear. I look at him and nod my head. Dont be. Its just meboring Tie Guy. I promise to love you no matter what, he tells me. He promised me once before that hed never hurt me but this promise is different. This one actually makes sense. People who love each other also hurt each other sometimes. He wants to love me no matter what and I think he means no matter how different we are and what problems that might cause. The idea that love can smooth over whatever differences we have makes me think of a sonnet by Edmund Spenser. My love is like to ice, and I to fire Ice, which is congealed with senseless cold, Should kindle fire by wonderful device? Such is the power of love in gentle mind, That it can alter all the course of kind. Yes, this promise was much, much, better. I look into his

eyes and I know it. The ceremony begins and the judge asks if theres anyone whod object to us being married. When Rose picks that exact moment to clear her throat, I snap my head in her direction and give her a look that makes her cast her eyes down and shuffle her feet. When asked if weve written vows, I just look at Edward. I didnt need to, I say in small voice, I can just say them now, I offer. My mind is overflowing with emotional, poignant, passionate words. I cant pick a single poem. Wed be here all day, so I just speak from my heart instead. Edward, since the moment I saw you, I was utterly taken by you. I never thought something like this would happen to me. But the imaginary friend I had when I was little was my way of wishing for you, and my wish came true. I promise to always love you, no matter what. And with that, I slip a plain gold band on his ring finger. Bella, Edward begins, Youve added color to a life that was muted in shades of gray. I cherish everything about you and I promise to always love you, no matter what. I smile broadly when he places a slightly too big ring on my

finger. He probably had to guess at my size. When the judge tells us that he and the entire state of Washington now consider us married, Edward tilts my chin and kisses me sweetly. In my mind, I replay every moment, every detail that made me fall prey to this unstoppable force that neither of us understoodfrom the moment I heard the voice that was like sex in the woods, to the crimples on either side of his mouth, to Pepaw, to every joke hed make at his own expense, and I know that I just love this man. I just love him. As our friends applaud and cheer, Edward and I look at each other. I see his edible smirk start to take shape and I need to bite down on my lip to keep composed. After a few seconds, neither of us can keep it together. We start hysterically laughing. I dont know if its from joy or shock or just the thought what the fuck did we just do? My guess is its all three. Rose and Ali envelope me in a giant bear hug while Jasper and Emmett shake hands with their best friend to congratulate him. Im finally introduced to Barb, Edwards wonderful assistant, and she gives me her

best wishes. I look at Edward as he chats with his friends. He looks so handsome in his gray suit, the jacket unbuttoned and one hand in his pocket. His other beautiful hand with its long fingers gestures as he talks. My husband. Man, is he gorgeous. All mine. As Edward and I walk hand in hand down the steps outside city hall, my mind is bought back to reality. Edwards flight leaves in three hours and he needs to go straight to the airport from here. Standing next to his car, he grabs my hands and kisses them. I cant hold back any longer. My tears say what Im unable to put in words. The dull ache in my chest keeps me from talking. Ill be back, angel, please dont cry, he murmurs against my forehead. Our moms will be here with you. The time will pass quickly. Well talk on Skype, I promise. He kisses my wet eyes, his whiskers scratching my cheeks. No more crying, now, he urges softly. The only time I dont miss you is when Im sleepingall I dream about is you, I confess, pressing his palm against my cheek. Standing on tip-toes, I whisper Christina Rossettis Echo into his ear.

Come to me in the silence of the night; Come in the speaking silence of a dream; Come with soft rounded cheeks and eyes as bright As sunlight on a stream He strokes my cheek and looks at me for a moment. His eyes look sad, almost pained, as he struggles to finally break away and leave me. He runs his index finger from my temple, down my cheek and to my jaw, and I feel that same spark of electricity. I love you, he tells me, rubbing at the crease on my forehead with his thumb. I love you, too, I reply, wrapping my arms around him one last time. He puts his hand on stomach and gently rubs it. Take care of the stowaway, OK? he says with a smile. I put my hand over his and nod. Keep writing your poetry, Bella. Keep doing what makes you so amazing, so intelligent, so perfect. And before you know it, Ill be back, he tells me before he kisses me goodbye. I watch his car drive off, my two friends flanked on either side of me with their arms around my shoulders. Despite them keeping me bolstered physically and emotionally, Ive never felt so alone.

The next week passes by slowly. Edward and I email and try to talk on the phone or Skype, but between how busy he is and the time difference, we cant seem to connect up at a convenient time. My mom comes to town the weekend following the wedding and Im just so happy to see her, I could cry. Ive been crying a ridiculous amount lately and past the point of trying not to anymore. The idea that my mom is here just to take care of me and comfort me makes me unbelievably happy. She drives herself over to the apartment from the airport with a rental car. I watch from the window as she comes up the stairs and practically leap for the door. Oh, baby girl, Ive missed you, she coos, cupping her hands around my face. Mom, I sigh into her shoulder as she pats and rubs my back. We sit on the couch and talk. I let out every emotion Ive been trying to hold back since Edward left. My mom insists that I start at the beginning since all Ive really told her before now was that I was dating a guy named Edward who I met at work. He came into the store just to talk to me, I explain with a

shy smile. And I couldnt keep my eyes off him, I confess with a laugh. Oh sweetheart, my mom replies as she pats my leg. She looks at me with a soft expression, her love and warmth giving me exactly what I need right now. Its funny, we dont have a lot in common, but we connect I dont really know how else to describe it, I add. Your moms an old lady. Shes seen a few things, so I know exactly what youre saying. Hes just so sweet, very caring. Hes smarthe went to Harvard, has an MBA, I say, a goofy smile on my face as I describe him. But his French stinks and I can run circles around him in a debate, I add with a laugh. A comfortable silence settles between us as I rest my head on her shoulder and she has her arm around me. Mom, I dont want to mess this up. I want to be happy, happy with him and our baby, I say in soft voice. You will be, sweetie. Just believe it. Whatever you do, dont compare yourselves to your dad and me. We were younger than you two and much less mature, she says, stroking my hair. You were born mature, you know that? she asks, looking down at me. What youre

going through right now with finding yourself, this isnt really you. I know its not. I just needed a break. Then life took this sudden sharp turn with Edward and now all that stuffnot knowing what to do with my life, whether dropping out of school made me less of a person or whatevernone of it matters. I almost feel like I was wasting time just feeling sorry for myself, I explain. Nothing changes your focus like becoming a parent, she replies with a smile. I still write poetry though. A ton, in fact, I say enthusiastically. Wonderful. Youll have lots of material to draw on, Im sure, she tells me as she leans into me and kisses my forehead. Ive already packed my small amount of belongings and its time to say goodbye to Ali and Rose. I know Ill still see them a lot, but itll be different now. No more waking up to Rose slapping my shoulder and telling me to get my ass up already. No more late night chats with Ali about boys and sexthe sex conversations were starting to get really interesting since Edward and I started dating. Most of all Ill miss them because they were there for me

when I felt so lost after leaving Radcliffe. They wanted their friend to be happy and find her way again, and I loved them dearly for that. The three of us hug and cry, promising to talk, text and email at least a hundred times a day. Both of them offer to stay with me whenever Edward is out of town. I thank them with all the love in my heart because if theres one thing in the world that matters, its girlfriends who care about you unconditionally. I show my mom around my new home for a while when theres a knock at the door. It's a man from a towing company. He asks for Mrs. Cullen which confuses me at first until I realize that Im Mrs. Cullen. He explains that he's here to drop off my truck. I sign some paperwork and when I do, I see that Big Bertha didnt come straight from my dads in Forks. She spent five days at a dealer repair center. I sign off on the papers and go outside to see what exactly Edwards done this time. From the outside, it looks exactly the same. Its when I get a bit closer that I notice that Berthas had some work donea nip here and tuck there. All four tires are new. The interior has been completely replaced.

Theres a new leather bench seat and the seat belts now have shoulder restraints where the old ones only went across your lap. The steering wheel is new and has an airbag in it. The entire dashboard has been replaced and theres an airbag on the passenger side too. I pop open the hooda completely new engine. Pepaw just pimped my ride. And I think I love him a little more for it. I finally catch Edward on the phone the next week and we talk about Bertha. Thanks for having my truck brought over, I say. Oh youre welcome. Does it run alright? he asks, clearly wondering if I noticed if there was anything different about it. Runs great. Im surprised though. About what? he asks innocently. Why its not encased in those heat-resistant tiles they use on the space shuttle, because you never know when your car just might spontaneously explode. Are you mad? Yes. Im sorry, I shouldve asked first, he says, sounding all kinds of puppy-dog sad. Im mad. Madly in love with your crazy overprotective butt.

I hear him laugh. You love my butt? Your butt makes up for a lot, Edward, I say plainly. Fair enough. I love your butt, too. My badonkadonk? Its getting bigger. I gained weightthree pounds. Its all on my butt and my boobs. Bella, you need to stop telling me this. I have a meeting in ten minutes, he says, his voice sounding almost like he was pleading. You miss my butt and boobs? I tease. I miss everything, he says with a wistful sigh. Me too. Two more weeks, Skater Girl. I let out a long breath. I know. Halfway there. My mom will be here til the day before you come back and your moms visiting soonin a few days. Theyll spoil you, Im sure. Oh God. My morning sickness is finally settling down, and so my mom is cooking the best food for me. So yeah, Im already spoiled, I say with a smile. I should get going, angel. I wish we could talk more. I know, me too. Love you so much.

Love you too. I hang up the phone and for once dont feel like bursting into tears. I think hearing his voice just made me happy and our playful conversation distracted me from how far away we are from each other. My work schedule has been light this week because James is concerned about my health. There also isnt really much going on. Its usually pretty sluggish at this time of year and there isnt a new product out, so save for the weekends, the crowds have been very manageable. Im beginning to welcome the lighter hours because Ive had a sudden surge in my writing. So much so, that I begin losing track of time. This hasnt happened to me in a very long time. I get going and the words just come out. I dont plan a particular theme or anything. I just let my mind go where it will. Some of it is easily the best Ive written. My mom is out buying groceries when Esme arrives. I greet her at the door with a smile and a hug. Sitting in the living room, we chit chat for a while. I study her looks and her mannerisms as she speaks. Shes just so cultured and elegant. Im fairly certain Id never cross

paths with someone like her in any other situation. I begin to wonder what she really thinks of me. This average looking college drop-out with a middle class background who gets pregnant after dating her son for a month. I feel so very small and my insides churn. I try my best to stifle a frown but she notices before I can hide it. Bella, are you feeling alright? she asks with concern in her voice. Yes, Im fine, I reply, biting my lip. My eyes are beginning to sting. Are you sure? You look upset, dear. Was it something Ive said? she presses. No no. Nothing you said, I assure her. Its me, actually, I answer with an awkward laugh. I should probably tell youI didnt mean for this to happen. The baby. I didnt know about your family, about your circumstances. Im not that kind of person, I explain as I wipe my eyes. Oh Bella, she says softly as she comes over and puts her arm around me. Whatever gave the idea that I would think of you that way? I shrug my shoulders.

I love Edward, I say in a whisper. I would never do anything to hurt him. And I believe you. I can tell by the way you cut his sandwiches, she jokes. My son is very particularIm sure youve noticed that, she adds with a laugh. And he chose you. That says a lot about you. I smile at her kind words and feel relieved that my worst suspicions were not confirmed. His being so particular is not something thats easy to live with, either, she continues. But you manage to see past it. I think its because youre as easygoing as he is picky. My mom is back from grocery shopping just then and I excitedly introduce my mom to my mother in law. They hug and immediately get teary-eyed talking about becoming grandmothers. This house is a freaking estrogen fest. Seriously, any man who walks in right now might suddenly go sterile. We spend the next two hours talking about babies and birth (a topic that scares me senseless even though they try to calm my fears.) Apparently Edward was a very big, very fat baby who ate a lot but was generally happy. I was scrawny, allergic to milk and cried constantly. Even as babies we were opposites. Hopefully our

baby can be our ultimate compromise, and the result of the best in both of us. The next two weeks pass really quickly. My short hours at the store allow me to spend most of my time writing, just letting everything in my mind flow and allowing the words to free themselves. It all feels so organic, almost effortless. I dont even really need to have my spells to help me when I struggle to find exactly the right way to say something. Im starting to feel better physically. Im less tired now and the nausea is so mild that a small meal usually makes it go away completely. Theres also something peculiar going on with my libido. And by peculiar I meanhorny. Ill look at a picture of Edward on my laptop and suddenly feel like if he were standing right next to me, Id literally tear his clothes off. I also have several dreams about him, none of them exactly Disney movie material. I have a very real orgasm during every one. Bunny goes AWOL while Im sleeping. Shes always had a mind of her own. I just thank God that my bedroom is way down the hall from where Esme and my mom are sleeping because I can only

imagine the things I was saying in my sleepstuff that would make a trucker blush. My mom and Esme dote and wait on me the entire time. Im sad when its time for Esme to leave. Ill miss her warm presence and funny stories about Edward when he was a kid. She promises to come back whenever I need company, but especially when Im closer to my due date. She wants to help with decorating the babys nursery and also doesnt want to miss my shower. Oh yes, a shower. A party where Im the center of attention. OK, Ill have to warm up to that idea. Before I know it, my mom needs to go back to Phoenix and my step-dad. Thank you for staying with me, spoiling me, I tell her as she gets ready to drive herself to the airport. How could I not, baby girl? I have to say, you seem so content, even though you miss Edward right now. And seeing you so engrossed in your writingthat makes me happy. Thanks. It makes me happy too. We say our tearful goodbyes for a good twenty minutes before I urge her to go unless she wants to miss her plane. I wave as she drives off. I absentmindedly rub my belly, which is just starting to poke out from

where it used to be completely flat. I have to feel for it to notice, really. Guess whos coming home tomorrow? I ask my bump with a laugh. And sure enough, the next morning I hear the sweetest sound. Keys jingling as the front door is unlocked. I close my eyes, bite my lip and smile for a brief second before running to the door. Thank God. My husband is home. Stuck to You I do not own Twilight, I just like to type. EPO V As I get out of the car and walk up the driveway to my front door, all I can think about is my beautiful wife and how much Ive missed her, how badly I need to touch hereverywhere. As Ive promised myself when we reconciled a month ago, I would follow her lead. If all she wants to do is cuddle, it will torture me, but Ill abide by her wishes and respect her boundaries. Im just glad to see her and be back in my own house again. No sooner am I through the door than I see Bella. At first we

just stand there, looking at each other with a mixture of happiness and longing. The sight of her nearly sucks the air right out of me. Shes wearing a see-through, sky blue baby-doll negligee one that I bought for her. Her breastsoh sweet, merciful Lord, her breasts. Just looking at her and how her body has changed makes my mouth water and my groin ache. Not a second too soon, she comes running at me, almost at a sprint, into my arms. She jumps and wraps her arms and legs around me and I feel a little like Im being attacked by a giant starfish the sweetest, most beautiful, sexiest starfish. If Im finding aquatic life a turn on, I must be horny. Her lips are on mine before we even say hello, which quite frankly, is just fine by me. Id been agonizing over seeing her, touching her. Jerking off in the shower every day in Japan barely satisfied how badly I craved her. I hold her in my arms by the ass, which in and of itself is a completely sublime experience of the highest order. My favorite gumdrop got a little gummier while I was gone and the thought of

seeing it bare, my hand running over it back and forth, is enough to get me stiff as a rock despite how tired I am. The thought of biting itthat thought I need to extinguish completely or Ill have to put Pepaw down for an early nap while I fuck my wife senseless right here in my foyer. I carry her up the stairs, her legs still wrapped around my waist and her hands in my hair. I kiss her with one eye open so I can see where Im going. Tripping and dropping my pregnant wife would really ruin the moment, to say the least. Mmm, Edward, Edward, she coos between kisses, fisting her little hands around my hair. We finally make it to the bed, where I slowly back into the edge of the mattress and sit down gently with Bella straddling my lap. Shes rubbing herself against me impatiently, already moaning and sighing. Oh, I could get used to coming home to this. Edward? she says, holding my face in her hands. I need you to do me a favortwo favors, she asks. Yes, angel, anything, I reply, kissing and lightly licking her

neck and relishing the feel and taste of her soft skin. I need you to lie down perfectly still and not talknow. I need you to do that now, she says somewhat urgently. Um, OK, I say with a laugh. I lie down on the bed like she asks. She quickly slips out of her panties, not bothering to take off the negligee. Without wasting any time, she makes quick work of unfastening my belt, unbuttoning my pants and unzipping the fly just enough to get at my now rather impressive erection. With her knees on either side of my hips, she slowly guides my cock into her. She inches her way down at an agonizing pace with her eyes closed and her brow furrowed. Being inside her again makes me shiver slightly but she doesnt notice. Soooo nice, she whimpers softly when Im finally inside her entirely. Arching her back, her expression changes to a wide, almost devilish grin. She takes in a deep breath and slowly lets it back out again in a long, deep, languid, laugh. Aaaaaah, she sighs. Dont mooove, she begs. I dont

move. Frankly, Im a little afraid to move, despite being turned on beyond my wildest fantasies. I cannot believe how good it feels to make love to her again after so longbut for her to be so primal, so animalisticbiggest turn on of my meager existence. Ever so slowly, she begins raising her hips up and down. She puts her hands in her hair, tugging on it softly, then trails them down her neck and finally down to her breasts. She cups them and runs her fingertips over her nipples. Its at this point that I wonder if Im still on the plane, asleep and dreaming. Bella warned me that her hormones were doing strange things to her libido she didnt say strange yet absolutely amazingly fucking hot. Her eyes flutter open and she stares at me. Moving her hips a little faster, a slow snarl forms on her lips. Her breathing gets heavier as her pace quickens. Her snarl is now a full-on growl. Her eyes are wild, devouring the sight of me. Ijusthavetofuckyou! she hisses with every stroke. Leaning forward but not interrupting her movements at all,

she grabs my dress shirt and literally rips it openbuttons flying everywhere. For some reason, I well and truly dont give a shit that she just ruined a $250 shirt becauseI dont even know why. She laughs at my wide-eyed expression as she straightens herself up again. She looks at my torso, up and down, and licks her lips. Curling her neck and shoulders downward, she licks me with the flat of her tongue from my navel to my Adams apple. Mmmmm, she moans as her tongue trails up my chest. Her forehead starts to perspire slightly as she bucks her hips with a more frantic pace. Feeling her little body pounding against me with this insatiable hunger just makes me want to explode inside her but I try my best to hold back. Oh God, Edward, she breathes out quickly as she rides me up and down in a frenzy, her gorgeous ripe breasts jiggling. Dont be done yet, dont be done yet, she begs. I close my eyes and desperately try to distract myself. The first thing that pops into my head is the Abbott & Costellos Whos On First? comedy routine of

all things. Costello: Well then, whos playing first? Abbott: Yes. Costello: The fella playing first base for St. Louis? Abbott: Who. Costello: The guy on first base. Abbott: Who is on first! Costello: Well, what are you asking me for? Abbott: Im not asking you. Im telling you. Who is on first. Costello: Im asking you whos on first. Abbott: We better hurry this up. Costello: What? Abbott: No, Whats on second. We need to finish because of Edward. Costello: Who? Abbott: No, Whos on first. Edwards the guy getting sugar from his missus right now. Costello: Whos Edward? Abbott: No, Whos a first baseman. Edwards a gentleman trying to make love to his wife. Costello: Whats that got to do with baseball? Abbott: I told you. What plays second base. Costello: Edward?

Abbott: Yes, nice fella. Have you met him? Costello: I dont know. Abbott: No, thats the third baseman. Costello: Edward? Abbott: I dont know. Costello: You just said Edward plays third base! Abbott: Take it easy. Costello: Yeah, Edward. Take it easy. I open my eyes as Bellas moans and growls get louder and louder. Her nails rake down my abdomen. Im so turned on by her attacking me, I dont know whether to lock her away from the rest of the male population or perhaps just move us both to our own private island somewhere. Fuck, fuck, fuck, she chants through gritted teeth. I feel Bellas orgasm clamp around me, and its all I can do to keep my balls from shooting off into orbit. Im still coming, love, because youre so fucking delicious she moans, nodding her head. Oh yeah, I loveyour dick, she purrs in a slow, husky voice. My dick loves you. The rest of me is mildly freaked out. Quickening her pace once more, she seems ready for round

two as her face becomes intense again. Arching her eyebrow, she glares at me and curls her lip. She grabs my loosened tie with her fist and pulls me up toward her face. Were touching nose-tonose as she bares her teeth and tilts her head at me. Give me your cum! she hisses as I feel her orgasm for a second time and I comply. Im too afraid yet so fucking incredibly worked up not to. My entire body tenses up as the fire at the base of my cock overflows and I let loose what feels like a good quart and a half of jizz. Holy Jesus, holy Jesus, I whimper as my eyes roll up in my head. Im too spent to raise my voice any louder than a pitiable moan. She lets go of my tie and I collapse back like a corpse. Taking the elastic tie from around her wrist, she gathers her hair up in a bun before dismounting me. Hopping off the bed, she changes into jeans and frilly little blouse that I recognize but it looks snugger than the last time she wore it. She grabs her glasses from the top of the dresser and puts them on. I love her glasses.

Bella? I say as shes about to walk out of the room. Hmm? she replies, turning toward me. Um, hello. Dont you want to talk or something? I say, hoping to make conversation. Oh, Im sorry love, Ill be right back, she answers back sweetly. Where are you going? I wonder. To make you a protein shake and bring you some Power bars. Youll need your strength today, she tells me with a serene smile. And with that, she flutters out of the room. I take a moment to assess and reflect on what just happened. Im lying on my bed diagonally and spread eagle. My shirt is ripped open with no buttons left except the very top one. My tie is somehow still around my neck, but the knot is over by my shoulder. My pants are completely on, just undone, my limp dick hanging out sideways. I still have my shoes on though. I feel so violatedviolated beyond my wildest dreams. I slip my shoes off and change into jeans and a t-shirt. Putting away my work clothes, I lament the demise of my nice dress shirt, collecting all the buttons I

can find so I can take it to a tailor for mending. Sorry about that, Bella says in a small voice as she comes back into the room with my shake and snack bars. Shes looking down and blushing slightly as if she wasnt the same crazed vixen who was just growling at me and ripping my clothes off. I set my snacks down on the bedside table and pull her close to me. Sorry for what? I tease, rubbing her hip with my palm. She pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose absentmindedly, a habit I find geeky yet perfectly endearing. Shes my sexy little poetry nerd and I love her just like that. You know what I mean, she says, scrunching her nose at me. I just kinda mauled you, she says, biting her lip in mild embarrassment. Yes, yes you did, I reply with a heavy sigh. You mauled me horribly, I add, laughing as I hug her to my chest. Go ahead and maul me anytime you like. Ill suffer in silence for you, Mrs. Tie Guy.

Sitting on the edge of the bed, I pull her little body onto my lap. Were still laughing when I notice shes lightly wiping tears from her eyes. Whats wrong? I ask. Dont mind me, she says with a weak smile. Sorry, I cant help itI cry at everything, happy, sad, surprised, boredreally any feeling you can think of makes me weepy, she explains, shaking her head and sighing. So, this is happy crying? I ask, seeking confirmation. Oh yes, she replies sweetly. Very happy crying. Were you OK while I was gone? Not a lot of sad crying, I hope? Just a little, she says, showing me exactly how much by holding up her thumb and index finger, making the universal symbol for a pinch. I notice something about her hands and it immediately worries me. No inky fingersshe hasnt been writing. Bella, I say, looking at her with concern. Your hands, theres no ink on them, not even washed off ink, I add, inspecting her perfectly clean fingers while kissing them individually.

Oh, I dont write with a pen and paper anymore, she says nonchalantly. You dont? I ask. Im surprised by this. She seemed to rely on them to focus. Nope, its faster just to type. Also, I worry about the ink getting into my skinIm probably being paranoid, but you know, better safe than sorry, she explains, smiling at me while stroking my cheek. Better safe than sorry? I love it when you say things that turn me on, I quip. She covers her face and squeaks at me. How I missed her crazy high pitched laugh that only dogs can hear. Anyway, I dont need to use them anymorea pen and paper. I just type up my work on the laptop. No more crazy spells either, she reveals. Oh God, her spells. The first time I saw her flapping her hands wildly and shaking her head, I nearly called 911 thinking she was having a seizure. But I thought those things helped you concentrate? Eh, Dumbos magic feather. I look at her quizzically.

Remember how Timothy the mouse gave Dumbo a plain feather but told him it was magic? It was just to boost his confidence. He didnt really need it. You dont need help concentrating now? Nope. I had an epiphany, she declares with a serious face, raising her arm and pointing her index finger to further emphasize the importance of what shes saying. Oooh, epiphanies. Epiphanize for me, angel, I say with a laugh. Well, not long after you left I started getting the urge to write more and more. Every morning when I woke up, Id already have something in mind to write about it. That never happened to me before. Then I realized, here my body can make an entire person out of a single cell. If thats possible, then the potential for my mind to create things should be limitless, really. Thats a wonderful way of looking at it. Im happy for you, I reply with a smile, kissing her hand. Edward? Hmm?

I want to be a poet. I know you do. No, no. I dont wish I was, or regret that its not going to happen. I wont stop writing again. Not ever, she declares, shaking her head. I knew when I first met Bella that she had enormous potential if she only believed in herself. Seeing that in her now makes me proud of her beyond words. Good. I dont want you to ever quit again. Youre happiest when youre writing. Dont let doubt get to youits self defeating, I reply before planting a light kiss on her forehead. Unwrapping the Power bar, she takes turns feeding me and herself. I laugh at the faces she makes, looking as if she hasnt eaten in days. She insists I drink my protein shake and the thought of why shes so insistent gets me aroused again. How about, I begin, you lie down and let me be a beast this time? I ask with a grin. A beast? she asks with feigned surprise. Do you promise? she adds with a laugh. She knows I mean it once I gently grab hold of her hair and

pull her head back, exposing that elegantly long and smooth neck of hers. I pinch her with my teeth and growl. She chuckles and scurries away from me toward the center of the bed, tearing off her glasses and tossing them aside. Lets see, which part of you would I like to devour first? I ask playfully as I crawl towards her on all fours. She licks her lips slowly and lets out a throaty laugh. I love this new side of her. Who is this woman? Thank God Im married to her. I slowly peel off her blouse, rolling the hem upward as I kiss in a straight line from the top of her navel all the way to her chin and then her lips. I take her shirt off and just take a moment to really look at her as my hands graze the sides of ribcage. God how I missed you, angel, I whisper into her skin. My thumbs play with her nipples and she responds with a long slow moan. Edward, she sighs, her eyes closed. I work her jeans and panties down the length of her legs and pull them off with a gentle tug. Not taking my eyes off her, I quickly throw off my own clothes.

Now, where was I? I ask, scooping up her foot and kissing the top of it. Her delicate skin against my lips as I kiss my way up her leg just makes me yearn for her so intensely. Her soft moans and whimpers in return remind me of how we never can get enough of each other. I make my way up to her hips and kiss the top of her pubic bone. Looking up the length of her torso I notice somethinga tiny slope forming between her bikini line and her navel. Theres a baby in there, I think nonsensically, as if the thought just occurred to me. Bella, can I? I wont hurt anything? I ask, my hand hovering over the little bump. Of course you can, she says with a smile. Its OK, she reassures me, putting her hand on mine and pressing it softly to her. I stroke her abdomen gingerly as I study it. It all seems so real now, more real than getting hit in the head with a brick. I swallow hard as the seriousness of it all sinks in, a little like a lead weight in my chest. Cant fuck this up, Cullen. Cant. Fuck. This. Up.

For every plan, every step I took in the direction of what I thought was successnone of it was in preparation for this. I can talk to the CEO of a company and convince him to help him salvage his business and the millions of dollars riding it. I can have that conversation without breaking a sweat. But thisthis terrifies me. My wife, my child depending on me. A wife who Im still trying to figure out how to make happy. My son or daughter will need me for all kinds of supportfinancial and emotional, especially. The emotional part is something Im barely understanding and thats with Bellas patience and tolerance helping me along. How am I going to manage this? Edward, love, what is it? Bella asks, propping herself up on her elbows. I know that look. Whats wrong? she presses, beckoning with her arms for me to lie next to her. Bella, I say, burying my face in her neck. I dont want to mess up. I dont know how, I confess. Shes quiet for a moment, just stroking my cheek and

rubbing my scalp. It doesnt matter, she whispers plainly. How can it not matter? Whos the one who told me never to look at myself as a failure? I did. Well there you go. You can never fail me, Edward. Not when youre so careful, you have to ask before you touch my stomach. Not when you have my entire truck redone so its safer. Those things show me how much you love me. I do love you, more than anything, I reply, lifting my face up to hers. And I love you. So there you go. No room for error, Im afraid, she says with a light laugh. She kisses me softly with her hand pressed against my cheek. She parts her lips and her tongue lightly touches mine. Once again, she ignites my entire body as if Ive never touched another person before in my life. I could easily make love to you all day, every day, I tell her. Oh, youll be sorry you said that! she replies with a hearty laugh.

I do not own Twilight, I just like to type. BPO V Edward and I lie peacefully in our bed, just holding each other. After a month of clutching his pillow and wishing it was him, it feels like Im dreaming. I put my palm under his stubbly chin. Looking into his soulful green eyes that make my knees buckle, I confess my thoughtsno matter how vulnerable they make me. I dont hold back because I dont want to. I couldnt imagine a better man to have a baby with, I tell him. And I mean every word. We are different people but we love each other the same way. I love who he is, and he loves the person I am. Hes shown concern and caring in different ways, many times. He wants to be a good father. I couldnt ask for more than that. While he was gone Id sometimes get depressed or even angry over his absence. I felt abandoned, left alone after literally just getting married. With those negative feelings came memories of the fights wed hadhow he concealed his

business travel, his initial reaction to the baby. They only made me more upset, more doubtful. But then I remember that I have my own plan. I want to make every effort to be happy, to keep a positive outlook because I want so much for Edward and I to have a good marriage. So in his absence I forced myself to move on. Honestly, loving him makes me happy. I cant waste the precious time we have together with fighting or being bitter. I want to enjoy him, and I mean that in every sense of the word. Thank you, he whispers back to me. It feels so good just to touch him, to feel his skin on mine. Leaning my head against his chest and listening to the soothing rhythm of his heartbeat makes me feel like my own heart is about to overflow. I just missed him so much. I even missed the things that used to drive me crazy. While he was away, I memorized his entire kitchen layoutI cooked with my mom and Esme so much that it was unavoidable to learn his whole system. And to his credit, it really did make things easier to have everything organized.

Keeping up those rituals of arranging things just so and putting things away in their exact place made the space between us feel smaller somehow, even if he was half a world away. I still squeeze the toothpaste from the middle of the tube though. That drives him nuts. Penny for your thoughts, he asks, snapping me out of my daydreams. Oh, I say, coming back to the present moment, I was just thinking about how much I missed you, I explain, patting his chest. He puts his hand in my hair and sighs in agreement. You know, when I told my boss that I got married, he insisted I take a week off. I have a lot of banked vacation time, so I took him up on it, he says, surprising me. My mouth drops open. I cant believe what Im hearing. An entire week alone with Edward is such a treat right now, I could burst. Youhave an entire week here, with me? I ask, practically dumbstruck. Of course with you, he laughs. Did you think Id take the week off to hang out with Jasper

and Emmett? he asks, making a face at me. Oh, arent you funny, Mr. McSarcasm? I taunt, rolling my eyes at him. I am funny, he insists, tickling my ribs mercilessly. See, youre laughingyoure laughing hysterically. Stop, I gasp as I giggle uncontrollably and try to push him away. He finally quits it. I changed my mind, go back to Japan, I joke. I hear him let out a fake gasp. You wound me terribly, angel, he says. Besides, I could really use the time off, he adds, his voice becoming serious. Things have been more difficult than I anticipated. I dont respond for a moment because Im a little surprised. Edward has never talked about work in a negative way before. Saying that he could use the time off was like hearing him say hell do the dishes later or that he didnt feel like taking out the trash. It didnt jibe, not at all. Everything he did for his career was planned out and was supposed to happed exactly the way he wanted it tolike dominoes lined up in neatly placed rows that would

fall gracefully once the very first one was tipped over. Sorry to hear that. Want to talk about it? I ask, raising my head to look up at his face. He rubs his eyes and sighs heavily. His face just turns into a mixture of stress and frustration. I see his brow furrow and it makes me sad to see him like this. Well, its going a lot slower than I want it to. Everything needs approval from the lowest guy on the totem pole to the very top executives. Then, we have constant meetings to discuss what needs approval and what doesnt. Everyday a new problem pops up suddenly, he explains, shaking his head. I feel very selfish all of a sudden. I spent the better part of a month wishing he was here with me, that he was choosing his job over my happiness. But this was obviously not an easy thing for him either. In fact, it sounds like it was worse. Edward just isnt used to anything but things being predictably perfect. My sadness over missing him or feeling neglected didnt compare to his stress and frustration. It just didntnot when I still had a

job I enjoyed and my writing was going so smoothly. His work was putting him in a bad frame of mind and on top of that, he was in a foreign country, alone, and missing me as much as I missed him. Ugh. I suck. Edward, I say, wrapping my arms around his neck tightly. Everything will go exactly the way you want it to. I just know it will. Youre so capable and good at what you do. Just believe that itll all work out, I tell him, wanting him to know that I absolutely have no doubt in my mind, because I dont. I take his hand and plant a light kiss on his palm. Thank you, again, he replies. He strokes my cheek softly with his thumb. I love you so much, Bella. Sometimes I dont understand what I did to deserve youhow unconditional you are, he adds. His eyes look much happier now and Im just glad I could help him forget his stress, at least for a little while. Hey, we had this talk before, I scold lightly. I dont care what you think you deserve. I just

want to share myself with you. Its not a reward. Its a gift, I clarify, hoping that he finally gets the distinction. Why are men so stupid? Seriously. Alright, fair enough, he says with a laugh. Then can I at least tell you its like Christmas and my birthday every day? It depends, I say coyly. On what? he asks with a raised eyebrow. Am I, I begin, licking my lips conspicuously, your favorite toy? And with that, he growls and flips me onto my back, wedging himself between my legs and kissing me everywhere. I then take my opportunity to let the Peenpire free because shes been dying to come out and play for a while now. I touch Edward all over his beautifully toned body. I can tell hed been going to gym every day. So pretty. Im married to the pretty. I rub circles with my palms all over the back of his wide shoulders, then bring my hands together and let them slide his spine on their way to his very gropeworthy man booty. His mouth is on

mine and I could cry from how badly I missed his juicy bottom lip. I feel his velvety tongue touch mine and my hands instinctively bring themselves back up so that I can hold the back of his head. I need that kiss to stay exactly where it is. Theres a chemistry and magnetism that exists between us that I used to think you only read about in poetry or Shakespeare. Honestly, I thought these exaggerated romantic notions didnt exist in everyday life. But theyre perfectly real. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he delivers the singularly most incredible orgasms. Edward just knows where to touch me and in exactly the right way, and I have the same effect on him. From the slightest little brush against each other, to the most passionate, sweaty sex, its all intoxicating. And it all just makes us want more. There was also something so natural about the little dominance game I play with him. Im a little embarrassed to admit to myself that I find it so thrilling, so naughty. Ive never been a bad girl in any sense of the phrase. I didnt sleep around, I never did drugs and I got good grades. I only

ever tried a cigarette once and I hated it. Frankly none of that stuff really ever appealed to me. But thisbeing seductive, alluring, naughtythis is fun. I also like the effect it has on Edward when he becomes a little dominant. He actually loses control when he does it. I can see his expression change almost instantly when I goad him ever so slightly, subtly. He fights the urge but loses quickly. Much to my delight. I press my lips against his neck and inhale deeply. Mmm, fuckscent . Only Edward has this smell and it makes me crave him even more. The urges Ive been having the past couple of weeks are only adding fuel to the fire at this point. I nibble on his earlobe and rub my nose against his temple. Take me, I need you, I whisper. He groans against me and I feel his whole body tense up at my words. Bella, he says softly, looking down at me, Im not going to hurt anything, am I? he asks, his face twisted up.

Hurt anything? I repeat. Im confused until I get the meaning of his question. You mean the baby? Yes, he answers sheepishly. I look up at him, tilting my head and peeking at him through one eye. Were you in the room a little while ago when I assaulted my husband? I ask with a frown. Yes, I witnessed that atrocity, but I felt I should ask anyway, he explains, ever the pepaw. Aw, well, I appreciate your concernbut you cant just hang out between a girls legs and expect her to, you know, not want to have sex with you, I explain with a wry smile as my eyes shift back and forth. He chuckles at my flippant answer and rewards me with a pinch on my backside. Thats for being cheeky, he explains with a grin. I want to answer him back again but I lose his attention when his eyes settle on my boobs, and soon he tucks his head into my cleavage and I know talking is now a lost cause. So instead I close my eyes and focus on how good everything

feelshis hands, his mouth, his weight on top of me. I run my hand down to his groin and press my palm against his hard-on. My favorite body part. Edward gently pushes himself inside me with a soft sigh. I put my hands on either side of his face as we slowly, leisurely, rock our hips together. I feasted on his body earlier, now I just want to savor it. He slides himself in and out of me, making me feel that push-pull of alternating between pleasure and dull ache, of fulfillment and longing, of having and wanting. I look up at his beautiful face. His eyes are closed and his mouth is slack, his breathing labored. Im the only person on the planet who can make him feel this way. This is our private world, just for the two of us. We share our most intimate, emotional moments only with each other. It creates a bond that an ocean between us cant break. I know that now. I believe it in my heart. I love that he brushes and flosses religiously. I love that hes always punctual. I love his neat handwriting, his religious devotion to detail,

and his perfectly pressed clothes. I just love him. When we start to rock our hips faster and faster, I feel that familiar tension coil up inside me, and then it breaks apart in ripples that radiate out, making my mind go blank. Edward, is all I can manage to say in a low, raspy whisper. He drops his head next to mine and with a loud grunt, tells me he loves me, and that hell always love me. I kiss his cheek and lock my arms and legs around him, holding his body still while he spills into me. This is where he belongshis heart, his soul, his bodywith me, inside me. That night we meet up with my two best friends and their boyfriends for dinner. Ali and Rose look happy as clams these days, both of them finding their perfect match in Jasper and Emmett. I dont think Ive seen Rose smile this much since that one time in high school when Lauren Mallory, the homecoming queen, called Rose a tramp and she stuck her giant wad of chewing gum in Laurens hair. Edward has his arm wrapped around me while he feeds me

forkfuls of his chocolate cheesecake. Ordinarily I try to avoid empty calories but I cant resist my handsome husband when hes being equally as sweet as his dessert. Alright, Ali says in a raised voice, everybodyeyes on me! she orders. When Ali turns her voice up to bellow volume, you cant not look at her. Jasper and I have an announcement, she adds as he takes something out of his shirt pocket and slips it on her finger. She doesnt need to actually make her announcement and she couldnt even if she wanted to because Rose and I are screaming our heads off in excitement. Oh my God! I shriek as I stand up to look at her ring and give the happy couple my congratulations and a hug. When did this happen? I ask. Last night, Ali replies, looking at Jasper with a huge grin on her face. He just asked me out of nowhere while we were watching TV. Jasper shakes his head and laughs. I had that ring in my pocket for days, he explains, pointing

at Alices hand. I was trying to pick the exact right time. But I knew if I took her someplace fancy or really romantic, she would be on to me like a bloodhound sniffing for a bone. I hafta say, it did surprise me, which is not easy to do! she admits with a chuckle. Have you set a date yet? I ask, knowing full well that this is Ali Im talking to; she probably already reserved a date for her tenth anniversary party. Yessecond week in August, she says with a sly grin. You guys are both bridesmaids, she adds, pointing to me and Rose. I try to hold back from wincing but she sees it. Dont even start with me, Bella Swan or Cullen or Swullen or whatever your name is, Ali warns, waving her finger at me. Im going to be about a million months pregnant by then, I argue meekly, screwing up my face. Edward wraps his arms around my waist and kisses me on the cheek. Im sure youll look beautiful, he tells me, his hand on my bump. I turn and smile at him.

Well, Ali might think otherwise when she has to stare at pictures of me looking like I swallowed a beach ball for the next fifty years, I respond with a laugh. Oh, I dont care about that! she scoffs, waving her hand at me dismissively. Look, you can even pick out your own dress, OK, Lady Madonna? she adds as she pulls out a stack of bridal magazines from her messenger bag and hands them to me. F antastic. Let me find the most subtle, understated explosion of tulle and chiffon in the least garish shade of neon purple. But wait, lemme make sure it comes in a size five thousand. I get lost in thoughts about weddings and babies on the drive home until Edward starts chatting. Would you find it terribly ironic if I said I think Ali and Jasper might be rushing? he asks with a laugh. I laugh back and shrug lightly. I dunno. I mean, I know Alis always wanted a huge wedding with the whole nine yards. Five months isnt all that much time for planning something like that. But shes wanted to marry

Jasper since she met him sono, theyre not rushing, I answer. Did you want a big wedding? Should we have waited? he asks. I can tell he feels guilty if hes deprived me of something. Oh God, no. You know me, Edward, I assure him, shaking my head. It wouldve been nice if we had our families there. And my grandmother probably wouldve been happier if we were married in a church. But a huge party isnt my style at all, I explain. Good, he replies, kissing my hand as he drives. His face immediately relaxes. Actually, Im kinda glad we did it the way we did, I confess. Its like we skipped all the silly dating stuffyou know, all the complications, where youre constantly debating with yourself is this person the one? Should we take it to the next level? Stuff like that. We whizzed right past it and cut to the chase. We both chuckle at the silliness of my observation but there is a bit of truth to it. I guess we did just skip to the good parts, he replies with a

grin. Hey, look at this wayyoull appreciate this. We got a leg up on the competition; were ahead of schedule; were the first to market, or whatever you business people say, I joke. I like that line of thinking. Whatever youre selling, Skater Girl, Im buying, he jokes back. I mean, come on. Were leaving those slow pokes in the dust. Weve already started a family. Everyone else is still struggling with whether its OK to fart in front of each other, I say with a snorty laugh. Bella, he replies seriously, Edward Cullen never farts in front of anyone, much less you. God help me. The next morning, I try to quietly slip out of bed so I can make Edward his favorite egg white omelet, but I wake him up, of course. I try in vain to get him to go back to sleep but he follows me downstairs, insisting he should help me. Im getting all my ingredients ready while Edward leans against the doorway and watches me. You know, youre a big old pain, Edward, I complain as I

whisk the egg whites lightly. I promise I cook very cleanly. Theres no Salmonella or E. Coli or Trichinosis or anything else floating around, I say sarcastically. Cant I watch my beautiful wife? he asks, looking like a little kid who got candy stolen from him. Go on, shoo! I scold playfully as I snap a dish towel at him. He comes up behind me and puts his hands on my hips. You know, youre very surly when youre hungry, he teases. Stuff shirt, I say, elbowing his ribs. Im getting mildly annoyed. Slacker, he retorts, grabbing my offending elbow and kissing my shoulder. I swing around and face him. Squinting my eyes, I keep the insults coming. Trust-fund preppy, I accuse, poking his chest with index finger. He just laughs. This only irritates me more for some reason. Library geek, he shoots back, his expression firm as he takes my hand and kisses the inside of my wrist. Now Im feeling oddlyturned on. Control freak, I counter with a raised eyebrow.

Flake, he replies with a smirk as he kisses my forehead. Devil, I say accusingly, knotting his hair with my fingers. Angel, he growls, putting his hand in my hair now and gently tugging my head to the side. Handsome, I snap in a husky voice as I rub his chest with my palm. Beautiful, he says through clenched teeth before kissing the hollow of my collarbone. Your liege, I gasp as his hand travels from my hip to my breast. My queen, he groans as I let my own hand wander down to his groin where I can tell just how much this little game has excited him. My master, I confess in a hoarse whisper as I let my robe drop to the floor in a heap at my feet. Your slave, he whispers back as he bites my neck. Liar. Suddenly, he breaks away from me and turns towards the door, pulling me by the hand behind him. Where are we going? I ask with mild surprise. The laundry room, he responds plainly. Oooh, washing machine. One of my favorites.

I do not own Twilight, I just like to type. After doing some laundry, I make breakfast while Edward sets the table. I drift off into my thoughts while I cook my omelet. I feel a shift in my life thats so strong, its almost palpable. Ive spent the better part of two and a half years thinking things were a long series of struggles and missteps. But I dont see it that way now. Not when I have so much, and I have Edward to thank for it. Without even being consciously aware of it, he unlocked the words that had been in my head but out of my grasp. Now, they scurry freely in my mind and I string them into patterns I never wouldve dreamed of before, not even on my best day of writing. Being pregnant is a whole new experienceone thats giving me hope and optimism for a fresh start, a new beginning. I know it wont be easy, but I bet its worthwhile. Its also forced me to take better care of myself physically and emotionally. To say to that I love Edward would be a ridiculous understatement. In fact, I dont really have a

word to describe it. It is love in the traditional sense implying passion, tenderness, forgiveness, caring, trust. But its more than that. I sense something on a deeper level because we have grown into different people as a result of our relationship. Im so happy that its a change for the better in both of us. So life has taken on a different dynamic. Im not simply happyIm satisfied, content, fulfilled. If I can give Edward even a little bit of that, I would be proud of myself. So whats on the agenda for today, Mrs. Tie Guy? Edward asks as he butters his toast. Lets see, I reply, pretending to study an invisible Blackberry in my hand. You have two meetings with Skater Girl, both pertaining to issues of a carnal nature. Oh, it says here clothing optional. No wait. Make that nudity mandatory, I add with a laugh. Naked Saturdays, huh? Well that beats Casual Friday by a long shot. God, I love working here! What are the bonuses like? he asks with a wicked grin. Bonuses are usually brought up by way of an oral

presentation, I answer, snickering. Edwards eyes go a little wide at my not so subtle innuendo. I just love doing that to him. Maybe one day when were old and wrinkly, Ill stop having this effect on him, but for now I plan on enjoying every eye-popping opportunity that comes my way. I wish we could go away somewhere, Edward muses. You know, make the most of my time here. Making the most of your time just requires a bed and even thats not really necessary, I purr, stroking his hand. He kisses my knuckles and laughs. His eyes, sparkling with amusement, shine back at me. Good grief woman, whats happened to you? Youre a sex crazed, little vixen, he says with feigned indignation. Frankly, its making all of my wildest dreams a reality, Bella, he adds before clearing his throat and kissing my cheek. I just shake my head and laugh more. I dont know what happened to me. One morning I wake up sick to my stomach and the next Im hornier thansomething really, really, horny. I dont

know what. Plus its your smell, I explain. My smell? he repeats. He looks very confused. Yeah, you have a smell, I confirm with a smile. Youre kidding? he asks, slightly put-off. Of course Mr. Clean would find this objectionable even though its actually something simply amazing. His fuckscent is some sort of magical essencemy body has the most visceral, basic response to it. If I werent already pregnant, I think my ovary would pop an egg whenever I smelled it. Nope, I reply, shaking my head. You have a have a wonderful manly scent to you that I absolutely love. Its intoxicating. Its on your pillowdont you dare change that pillowcase before you leave, I warn. How come? he asks, looking confused once again. Because your pillow is all I have when youre gone. I cant not have your pillow to hug and smell at night. Id never be able to fall asleep, I reply with a small frown. He puts his arms around me and pulls me into his chest. The

world seems very safe and warm when Im in this very spot. Nothing bad can happen, and even if it does, it can be fixed when a person has someone to hold them the way Edward holds me. Aw, now youve gone and made feel horrible for leaving you, Bella, he murmurs into my hair. Dont feel horrible, Edward, please, I say, wanting him to know that I understand why his job is important and how stressful it is. You have a lot going on with work, I understand. I really do. Thank you, angel. I miss you too. I look at your pictures on my phonethey keep me company, he tells me with a crooked smile. You must be lonely, all by yourself, I whisper, feeling myself tear up. These damn hormones make me so emotional; Im like a leaky faucet. It does get lonely, but luckily Im so busy that I only really notice it first thing in the morning and very late at night. Thats when Im alone in my bed and wishing you were there next to me, snoring in my ear, he teases.

Oh, I do not snorethat loudly, I clarify. I try to keep a straight face but its pointless when Edward is laughing that deep hearty laugh right next to me. Its too infectious. As Im clearing the breakfast table, Ali calls me, begging to go bridal gown shopping with her and Rose later this afternoon. Id really sooner do anything else, but I dont want to hurt her feelings. I also think it would be nice for Edward to go spend some time with Emmett and Jasper to go do whatever it is men like to do when women arent around. So I ask Ali to pick me up around 3pm and make her promise that shell have me back by dinnertime or I will never go shopping with her again. She agrees without hesitation but somehow Im still skeptical. Im sitting in the bridal store waiting for Ali to come out wearing her ten millionth gown to try on. Weve been here along with Rose for two hours now and theres no end in sight. Im slowly but surely running out of forced enthusiasm for my best friend. I love her but this is overboard. She walks out from the dressing room wearing a dress I

could swear is identical to the one she just had on five minutes ago. Its obvious from her frown that she doesnt like this one either. Whats wrong? I ask. I think its beautiful, just like the rest of them, I add, hoping to boost her up. I really do think they all look lovely. Oh, this one makes me look short, she pouts, looking into the full length mirror with a long sigh. Ali, Rose begins, you are short, she points out, her lips in tight line. You know its been a long two hours if even Rose is bored of shopping. I just cant make up my mind. Nothing looks right, Ali complains in frustration. Good thing you werent this indecisive when Jasper proposed, I quip, suppressing a laugh. Ha. Ha. Ha. Mrs. Swullen. Youre a regular crack-up, she replies, rolling her eyes at me. If you must know, I didnt say yes right away, she adds with a sniff. Really? I ask. Frankly, Im a little surprised by this revelation. I thought for certain that Ali didnt have any doubts when it came to moving full speed

ahead in her relationship with Jasper. Yes, really, she replies. Weve been having a great time together but its only been, what, a little over two months? I had to wonder what was ahead of us, not just with going on dates or hanging out at the apartmentyou know, was he really the one? she explains. Ha ha. You have no idea how funny it is that you should say that. I just smile back and nod. Ironically, this is the very same subject Edward and I discussed in the car just the night before. Of course even Ali had doubts. She could believe however much she wants in fairy tale romance. The reality is theres bills to pay, children to have and raise, mortgages, and all the everyday boring stuff that seem to cause more divorces than anything else. And now, in a twist of fate that even I find a little humorous, I have advice for her instead of the other way around. For once I managed to learn a little on my own. For once I had taken a risk and followed my heart to see where it would lead me. Ali, I begin. It doesnt matter if you married Jasper next

week or five years from now. No matter how long you wait, if you dont have faith that things will be work out, they definitely wont, I say, looking at my friend. She looks back at me and smiles. She doesnt need to say anything. I know she understands. Alright, Ali, maybe we should try again another time. I really need to get home to eat dinner. Edwards waiting for me, I tell her. Ali and Rose drive me home and as I unlock the front door, the scent of my favorite Chinese take out invades my nose, making my mouth water and my stomach grumble. Is that you, angel? I hear Edward call out from the dining room. Yeah, love, its me. Something smells so good, I reply, hurriedly slipping off my shoes. My feet ache from that bridal gown shopping debacle. All I want to do is eat, have my way with my husband and fall blissfully asleep. I get to the dining room and my breath hitches. Its beautiful in here. Edwards put out the best linen and china, complete with crystal wine goblets. There

are flowers and tea candles in the center of the table. It all looks perfect and just lovely. You did all this, just for take-out? I ask, smiling at him. No, not just for take-out, he replies, pulling me into his arms and kissing me sweetly. I did all this, he adds, for my beautiful wife. Oh, you charming devil, youwhats your game, Cullen? I ask, eyeing him suspiciously. My game, he answers, pulling my chair out and beckoning me to sit, is a plan that is just plain devious and sinister, he confesses before taking his own seat. OK, well now youre just turning me on. Devious and sinister? Pepaw? I joke, grinning broadly at his words. Yes, extremely devious and sinister. My plan is to feed you and then make passionate love to you, he says with a straight face, pouring ice water into my wine glass. In that case, please, be as sinister as you like, I say while chuckling and scooping piles of sweet and sour chicken onto my plate. I offer some from the carton to Edward as he pours

himself some wine. We chatter away, joking and flirting the whole way through. I manage to make sure Edward eats most of the spicy food. I have plans of my ownif he eats enough of it, hell drink more wine. I dont want him to get drunk because then hed be too out of it for what I want him to do later. Besides, I know his tolerance; he could drink the entire bottle and would only be buzzed if he was eating a large meal with it. No, I want him relaxed and slightly uninhibited. Basically, I want Pepaw to get the fuck out of Dodge. Hows that for devious and sinister? Tie Guy, you are an amateur. By the time Edward gets out ice cream for dessert, I cant really wait any longer. My inner Peenpire has been watching him eat, his beautiful long fingers deftly picking up food with the chopsticks and gingerly guiding each morsel toward his beautiful, lush lips...lips that I need to kiss and feel all over my body before the desire thats welling up inside me bursts like a weak dam. If I dont get him upstairs soon, Im just going to climb

up on his lap and start riding him while he scooping out Ben & Jerrys. No, I need to keep calm so I can have my fun. Edward, can we eat our ice cream upstairs? I ask, biting my lip and looking down. I know he hates eating anything messy in bed but hopefully the way I ask my question and all that extra wine will make him not really care right now. Upstairs? he asks back, raising an eyebrow at me. I can tell hes feeling conflicted. Undaunted, I continue trying to push his buttons ever so slightly. Yes, because I want to feed it to you without any clothes on, I say, taking the ice cream scoop from the carton and licking it. if it would please you, I whisper. I hear a loud clang as he drops his spoon suddenly. He stares at me, slack-jawed. She shoots, she scores! I havent given Edward any sort of submissive signals in a while. Weve only made love twice since hes been homethe first time, I just attacked him, the second time was slow and tender. Before those two times, we didnt had sex since before he

left for his first trip to Japan two and a half months ago. I look down, blushing at the thought of him telling me to cum or to get him off. Those moments were so erotic and insanely passionate that I cant help my reaction from just thinking about them. Edward makes me do things and act in a way Ive never dreamed of before, much less acted on in the past. I look up at him again and his expression has changed. I see the Edward who tells me to get on all fours or turn around and put my palms against the wall. Upstairs, he repeats, only this time its not a question. Its a command. I clear my throat and try to suppress the biggest grin in the history of mankind. Yes, of course, I say, acknowledging that Ill do what he asks. Change into somethingsmall, he adds, his voice low but very calm. I nod my head and smile lightly. I kiss his cheek and get up from the table, desperately trying to remain nonchalant when what I really want to do is burst

into song and run up the stairs. I get to the bedroom and quickly change into one of my many little blue baby-doll nighties. I actually dont mind the ruffle-butted one that much any more. To be honest, I kind of love wearing it because Edward loses his mind when he sees me in it. It makes me feel so alluring and sensuous. Its amazing what his reaction to me can do. I love feeling attractive to him. I become so completely feminine and its something Ive never had the urge to feel before. When he sees me and cant take his eyes off me, telling me how beautiful and sexy I am, at that moment I am so many things at oncehis angel, his vixen, his queen and his slave. Its a thrill, a kind of rush that flips a switch inside my brain and all of a sudden Im whole, a whole woman who loves and is loved. In that moment, Im perfect. Sitting on top of the bed, I hear Edwards soft footfalls as he climbs up the stairs. My heart starts to beat a little fast from the anticipation. Ive missed our more adventurous lovemaking. He walks in and instantly notices what Im wearing. His eyes

roam all over my body, settling on my breasts for a few extra seconds, then down to my hips and back up to my breasts again before finally finding their way to my face. Angel, you look so beautiful, he says, closing his eyes as he speaks. Opening them again, he sits next to me in the bed. Putting his hand on my cheek, he strokes it gently and whispers in my ear. But youve been a very naughty tease, he adds. My eyes go wide and I feel my face heat up. I swallow hard and take a deep breath. Are you going to punish me? I whisper back. Yes, he says simply. Im going to tease you back, he explains with a wicked smirk that the devil himself would envy grievously. Edward, you wouldnt, I say, all of a sudden rethinking my strategy. If he makes me wait to climax, I will explode like the Hindenburg. He doesnt answer. He just chuckles to himself. Son of a bitch. I take that back. Im the amateur around here. You just handed me my own ass at the devious and sinister game.

He traces the profile of my face with the tip of his index finger. I kiss it when it reaches my lips. Cupping his palm to my cheek, he kisses me, softly at first, but it grows more eager and wanting. I open my mouth and surrender it to him, letting his tongue explore what it likes. I moan into him softly and put my hand on his. Leaving a trail of kisses along my chin and jaw, his mouth settles on my throat, biting and licking my skin. Edward, want to please you, I murmur, running my fingers through his hair. Stand and face me, he says, leading me off the bed as he sits at the edge. I stand between his legs, smiling lightly down at him. He runs his hands all over me, starting at my face and slowly working down my neck to my shoulders, my torso and then my legs. I feel that same charge of electricity as his palms and fingers dance lightly across my skin. I close my eyes and try to focus only on the sensation of his skin on mine. Every cell of my body is awake and my heart starts beating double time in anticipation of whats coming.

His hands linger at my hips and I feel his fingers gently tug at the g-string Im wearing, pulling it down slowly until it falls to my feet. I flick it away with the tip of my toe. Edward leans back, staring at my naked lower half. Turn around, he tells me so that I turn my back to him. I do as he says. So beautiful, he whispers, running his hand over my backside. I feel his lips press into my flesh, and suddenly I gasp. Did I hurt you? he asks, rubbing my skin softly and blowing on it. No, I moan softly. He did the exact opposite of causing me pain. In fact, its turning the warmth between my legs into a five-alarm fire. Edward chuckles as he bites me again. I cant help myself and start shifting my weight from one leg to the other and moving my hips, hoping to quell the intense need Im feeling. Ah, ah, ah, Mrs. Cullen, my husband chastises putting both hands on my hips to still them. I told you I was going to tease you, and that means youll be patient for me, he informs me in a

voice as smooth as silk and as calm as the quietest waters. His hand grazes down to behind my knee, pulling it toward him so that I have to lift my foot and rest it next to him on top of the bed. Im now standing with one leg on the floor and one propped up, effectively exposing myself to him completely. He looks down and simply studies the most intimate parts of my body. His expression is soft and it looks as if hes thinking. I love looking at his warm beautiful eyes, so full of passion and desire. His softly bites with lower lip, a small smile creeping across his face. Angel, you are, he begins as he traces his index finger along the soft pink creases between my legs, perfect , he murmurs, looking up into my eyes. You make me feel it, Edward, you make me feel perfect, I confess, stroking his cheek with the back of my hand. We can play dominance games all we want but the complete truth of it is that I really do belong to Edward. He created this part of me. He nurtured it by helping me experience emotions and physical sensations I never even knew existed. What I am is

what he makes me feel everywheremy body, my mind, my soul. This man is my heart. His hands are on my waist with his thumbs making circles around my abdomen. He leaves a sweet and tender kiss on my knee, then several more up my thigh. With each kiss, his lips sear against my skin. If love is heat, then we burn deliciously together. Edward leans his head forward and kisses the top of my pubic bone. Running my fingers through his hair, I nudge him so that his head rests on the inside of my thigh. I need to feel his whiskers there. My skin is so soft against his masculine face, and the contrast of his body against mine is incredibly arousing. His fingers tease my soft moist flesh, stroking it softly. I let out a long slow moan. Do you like that, my angel? he teases with a devilish smirk. You shouldnt be so wicked, I murmur. Wicked? he repeats with a laugh. Hardly. Now this, this is wicked, he says provocatively. Putting my foot back on the floor, he turns me around so that

Im facing away from him again. My breath catches in my throat as his hand lightly swats my backside. I bite my lip and moan, arching my back shamelessly to lean my bottom out to him even closer. Bella, do you enjoy this? he asks. His tone of voice tells me this is not a rhetorical question, but my mind is in too great a fog to answer right away. He swats me again, slightly harder this time. My skin is already on fire just from the slightest touch. The gentle spanking increases the sensation a hundredfold. Mmm, is the only thing that manages to escape my lips. Angel, when I ask you a question, you must answer it. I dont like to be ignored, he tells me. His voice is still so incredibly calm despite what he says. He swats me a third time, harder now. This gets my attention. Once more, my love, do you enjoy this? he asks again. Yes, I murmur unabashedly. The warm ache the starts between my legs and radiates outward to every other part of my body was proof of how much I enjoy it.

Turn back around and face me, please, he says. I turn toward him, my eyes cast down. Im afraid if I look at him, Ill just attack him like I did when he first came home. He lightly tugs my hands downward. Its his silent command for me to kneel in front of him. Clasp your hands behind your back, please, he orders softly. I nod and follow his instructions. The peenpire in me instantly makes my mouth begin to water. I havent given Edward my mouth in months. Honestly, I love doing it. Its exciting to see him become so aroused from what Im doing. He lowers his pants and boxers just enough to free himself. I see clear liquid seeping out the tip and subconsciously lick me lips. My obvious impatience elicits a laugh from Edward, causing me to blush at my inability to control myself. Feeling eager, are you, my angel? he teases. I want to please you, I offer in a soft murmur. Is that the only reason? he asks with a smirk. I shake my head no. Why else? he presses, still smirking at me.

Because, I murmur, I want to feel you in my mouth, taste your skin and everything that comes out of you, I confess, looking down. Well, if its something you want, then you shall have to ask for it, now wont you? he taunts playfully. I feel like a mouse being toyed with by a cat but it just makes me want him even more. May I have you in my mouth, please? I whisper. Yes, angel, you may, he replies, putting his hand on the back of my head and gently coaxing it forward. I open my mouth and take him in it as far as I can without gagging. I breathe through my nose to open my throat as much as possible. I love the taste and smell of his skin. I close my eyes as I work my head up and down, following the pace he sets with his hand. So beautiful, watching my cock slide in and out of your pretty mouth, he coos, rubbing the back of my head with his fingers. Im so aroused by all this that I think Ill soon lose my mind. Im at the mercy of Edwards whims and its the most incredible torture Ive ever known. His hand is moving me quickly now and I can tell from his

noises that hes close. Just when I think hes almost done, he stops and shifts his hips away from me. Lean over the settee, he says, pointing to the small red bench at the foot of our bed. He helps me to my feet and walks me over, holding my hand. I bend over the settee, my backside in the air. Edward lets out a slow hiss as he runs his hands all over my derriere. Still pink, he says with a chuckle. He massages my tender spanked flesh and gently parts it, exposing me. I moan loudly as he enters me slowly. His hands are still on my backside, grabbing it as he thrusts in and out. I lay my cheek against the upholstery and get lost in how he stakes his claim to me, pushing into me with increasing force, harder and harder. His moans turn to growls. You are mine, he states simply, always mine. His words almost send me over the edge. I have been waiting to find relief for some time. Oh Edward, love, I moan. Dont you dare climax, he growls into my ear, pounding into

me and swatting my backside. I bite my lip and whine pitifully. Fuck, you feel good, angel, he groans, crashing into relentlessly. I feel his hand wind around my hair, pulling it so that my head goes back. He thrusts into my deeply, the sensation is an exquisite mixture of pleasure and slight pain. I dont know how much longer I can last. He leans into me, his abdomen on my back. I feel his breath on my neck, and then on my ear. Cum for me, he whispers. Thats all I need. Every muscle in my body shudders and clenches over and over as I scream my husbands name. Wave after wave reverberates through me and my mind is somewhere outside my body because I get completely lost in the intense physical sensation. Edward goes rigid just then and grunts as he releases into me. Sweetest angel he moans as he collapses on top of me. I feel his moist forehead on my shoulder and smile to myself. We are blissfully exhausted. Edward, I say, almost out of breath. I'm a little disappointed.

Wha? he mumbles. You forgot the ice cream, I quip with a chuckle. I wake up the next morning and dont see Edward in the bed. After taking care of my morning routine in the bathroom, I look around the house to find him. Hes in his office, typing away frantically on his computer. I can tell by the look on his face that something is up. Edward, whats wrong? I ask, putting my hand on his shoulder. He takes it and kisses it softly. Workeverythings gone to hell, he says in exasperation, rubbing his eyes with the heels of his palms. He runs his fingers through his hair, his face a mask of frustration. Do you need to go back early? I ask, already knowing the answer to my question. Im afraid I should. If I wait, these problems will be that much harder to fix. Im sorry, angel, he offers. Its alright, Edward, its not your fault. I know how things are going in Tokyo for you. Do what you have to do, love, I reassure him. My words betray my true feelings. I could cry right now,

but I hold it back. It would do no good for him to see how disappointed I am. So I force myself with every fiber of my being to be supportive and acquiescent. I love Edward and I want him to be happy. After a quiet breakfast, he goes upstairs to shower and change before his car service arrives. His flight isnt for a few hours but he needs to get there early since its hes flying internationally. I pack his things back up for him in the bedroom while I listen to him whistle in the shower. Spotting his BlackBerry on the bedside table, I decide on a whim to take some more pictures of myself. I turn the display on and see that his calendar is open for the next week. I notice the initials SM scheduled in various places, sometimes multiple times a day. I try not to think much of it and switch the phone over to camera mode. I shuffle through the most recent pictures and see a few of Edward with his arm around a very attractive Japanese woman. Is she SM? What the fuck is going on? Before I can reason with myself, my mind goes in all

directions. I think about the dinner he made methe fancy linens and china for no reasonhis need to leave at literally a moments noticethe initials in his calendarand now this: pictures of him smiling broadly, touching another woman. Edward has hidden things from me before. Hes a mana man separated from his wife for weeks at a time. I turn the phones display off and set it back down where I found. No longer able to hold it in, I run into the hall bathroom and sob, covering my face with my hands. I knew this was too good to be true. I knew that no matter what, sadness and grief will always find me. I am destined to never be fully content. I sit on the closed toilet seat and cry until I have no more tears. Im snapped out of my thoughts by the sound of a car horn. Its Edwards limo. Bella? I hear Edward call. I quickly wash my face and call out that Ill be there in a minute. I go downstairs as he waits by the door to say goodbye. Angel, whats wrong? he asks, noticing my red eyes. He puts his arms around me and hugs me

but I dont hug back. Nothing, Im just going to miss you, I lie. You better get going before youre late. Ill be back in a few weeks. Not sure how long Ill be this time, he says, stroking my cheek. Thank you for understanding, he adds. He kisses my forehead lightly and walks out the door. I shut it behind him, locking it, before curling up on the floor as if someones just punched me. I do not own Twilight, I just like to type. EPO V I try to focus as I ride to the airport on my way back to Tokyo. I hate to leave Bella so unexpectedly, but work is in serious crisis mode at this point. I need to get back there to salvage things while I still can. I didnt fail to notice that shed been crying as I was leaving the house. I so badly want to tell the driver to turn the hell around, but I cant. Everything I worked so hard for in my career is about to culminate in this possible Vice President promotion. I couldnt drop the ball now. I busy myself with reading and sending email. I finally

remember to send those pictures I have on phone of my colleague, Tomoko. We had a going away party for her at the office. She wanted a picture with me but shed forgotten her phone, so I offered to have someone use mine and promised to email the pictures to her. Now that Im returning to work early, I make sure to rearrange my schedule while I have the time. Ill have to move these staff meetings around to coincide with my arrival. Everywhere I look on my calendar, I see these damn staff meetings. The letters SM are littered all over the place, sometimes twice a day when one of the meetings is for my team and the other is my boss. I feel as if my life is one long series of conference room powwows. I send Bella a text message as I wait to board the plane after I call but get her voice mail. About to board, will miss you every second Im gone. I love you, angel. E After finding my seat and stowing my carry on bags, I realize that she never called or messaged me back. I wonder if shes alright, and whether my abrupt

departure upset her more than she let on. I try to remind myself that Bella isnt the same person she was when I met her. In the few short months since then, shes evolved and matured in ways I didnt think possible. This embarrasses me to admit because it shows just how much Id underestimated her. Shes a stronger, more resilient person now. Pregnancy is bringing her to a point in her life thats more positive, happier and more fulfilling. I know that she can weather through this rough patch that my work is creating. In fact, shes been nothing but encouraging lately. I finally arrive back at my hotel after twelve straight hours of flying and being shuttled around. I call home but still cant reach Bella. I leave a message this time and hope to hear from her; otherwise Ill begin to worry. I get a text from her a few hours later. Glad you got back to Tokyo safely. B Her terse reply concerns me. This isnt Bellas usual style, not at all. Normally shed be using her insanely indecipherable text-speak and telling me she loved

me and missed me. More often then not, shed send me a poem or two. I want to call her because I know she must have her phone handy if she just sent me a text message, but Im about to walk into another one of my meetings. Ill try her again later. Time seems to pass in a strange vacuum. Jet lag and fatigue make the hours blend into each other, and being busy to an inordinate degree only makes the problem that much worse. Im about to fall asleep at my desk when theres a loud knock on my door. It opens before I can tell the person to come in. Im so relieved at the sight of the person in front of me that I could cry tears of joy. Barb. Sonny boy! Whats wrong? Lord, you look like hell, she tells me. Its good to see you, too, Barb, I answer, rubbing my eyes with the heels of my palms. I run my hands through my hair. I didnt realize things were getting so crazy for you over here. You shouldve sent for me

sooner, she scolds, already beginning to straighten out the papers that are stacked in huge piles around the room. Yes, I know. Im just buried in work now. I could use your help with a lot of these presentations Im doing. I spend a lot of time just setting up this stuff. If you could handle all that I try to say but she interrupts me. Say no more, sonny. Youve got yourself in some deep doodoo here and Im gonna help you figure out your butt from your elbow. Ive already called down for your car to take you back to the hotel. You definitely need some sleep. And please, take a shower and shave or something. You look homeless, she complains. Im ashamed to admit that I have been letting myself go the last few days. Stress seems to have overtaken my brain so completely. If I stop to think, all I do is worry, so I just keep working. I actually never went back to the hotel last night. I stayed up working and just never got around to it. Thanks, Barbnot for telling me I look homeless, but for

your help. I am really exhausted, I say, feeling so grateful to her, I could hardly describe it. No problem. When are you going back home? Youve already been here for ten days, she points out. I look away for a minute and start thinking back. Has it really been that long? Id honestly lost track of time to such a huge degree that the days just passed without me noticing. I feel like a complete idiot. I havent heard from my wife in more than a week. This cant be right. It just cant be. I dont lose track of time ever. I pride myself on how precise I am with my time management and how I use it to increase my productivity. Well thats one thing. To lose track of your wife is a whole other matter. God, what was going on with me? I loosen my tie and rub my hand against my forehead. I feel panic coming on in waves. Damn it, I wish Bella were here. Shed look at me with those brown eyes and just the sight of her face would calm me right the hell down. Shes always done that for me. Barb, I need to clear something with my boss. Its Thursday,

right? I ask. All day, she quips back. If I get the OK, Im going to Seattle for at least the weekend, maybe longer, I tell her. She just looks at me for a minute, studying my face and trying to figure out exactly what it is she wants to say. You know something? Meeting that young lady of yours is the best thing thats ever happened to you. You realize that, dont you? she asks rhetorically. I know it is, Barb. Thats why I need to go home. Six months ago youd never drop everything in the middle of a project that was going to hell in a hand basket, just to take personal time. Its not just personal time, Barb, I argue. Thats right, sonny. It never is. Im glad you know that now. Get back to your hotel, pack a suitcase and there will be a ticket waiting for you at the airport check-in counter, she says with a smile. But I havent cleared it with Aro, I argue. Pff. Aro. Its not up to Aro. Its up to Sylviahis assistant. We play bunco together every other

Friday back in Seattle. She owes me money, Barb explains with an annoyed look on her face. Barb? I say, looking at her with a broad smile. I love you, too, sonny boy, she smiles back. Now get out of here. As Im packing my things and getting ready to head back home and to my beautiful wife, I cant help but worry about why I havent heard from her. I assume that if something were truly wrong, such as an emergency with the baby, I wouldve definitely gotten a call from her. I decide to surprise her and not tell her that Ill be home in a couple of days. My flight is such that Ill be arriving in the middle of the nightI dont want her waiting up for me anyway. As the plane takes off, all I can think about is holding her in my arms and telling her how much she means to me. Exhausted from ten straight days of nonstop work, I sleep for most of the flight. The car service drops me off in front of the house. Eyeing my watch, I see that its past 2 a.m. I slip quietly through the front door and tip-toe up the stairs and into the bedroom. Bella is

sleeping fitfully, her soft profile illuminated by the dim light streaming from the en suite bathroom. Just like always, she takes my breath away, not just because shes beautiful but because shes got the most amazing, loving soul of anyone Id ever met. And shes all mine. My wife. The mother of my child. Forever. Watching her clutch my pillow and frown in her sleep practically drops my heart into my socks. Even in her sleep she misses me, and I wish there was some way I could fix it. I would take her to Tokyo with me, but shed just end up alone eighteen hours a day in an unfamiliar place with no friends or family around. Were both still shaken up from that early scare she had and shed worry constantly about the stress that travel may cause the pregnancy. She starts talking now, but its almost a whisper so I have to strain to listen. Edwardwhypleasenodont, she mutters. If I didnt know better, Id think she was crying in her sleep. I quickly undress down to my boxers and slide in next to her.

I wrap my arms around her, stroke her hair and try to calm her down. Her breathing is ragged as she mumbles how could you, I love you. Bella, angel, its OK, I soothe in a soft whisper. Come back to me, she begs. Im here, angel. Im here. I couldnt stay away, I reassure her as she rolls over to face me and burrows her body against mine. Edwardwhy? she asks, still asleep. Her question is pleading, desperate. Why what, angel? I ask, stroking her cheek and kissing her forehead. I wish I knew what was causing her so much distress. She starts stirring and I think shes waking up now. I keep kissing her, hoping she does wake up so we can talk. Edward? she asks. Is it really you? Not a dream? she murmurs, her voice heavy with sleep. Im here. Not a dream, I answer, kissing her soft lips. Oh God, she gasps. She immediately starts sobbing. What is it? Why havent you called me or texted me? I was so worried, I just flew back home,

I tell her. Edward she chokes through sobs. I just continue to kiss her and stroke her hair, waiting for her to calm down so she can explain what the hell is going through her head. Please, she begins. Promise meif you are with someone else, please take off your ring. Please dont humiliate me, she says as she wipes tears away. If I what? I roll over quickly and turn on the lamp on my bedside table. Bella, what the hell are you talking about? I ask, feeling utterly confused. I saw the pictureson your phone. The pictures of the woman whos all over your calendar, she tells me, her voice a soft whisper. What woman? I swear to you right now, I have no earthly idea what youre talking about, angel, I reply, my mind reeling. You had your arm around her and you were smiling. I saw her initials all over your schedule, she insists, her breathing coming in hiccups from how hard shes crying.

Tomoko? You saw the pictures of Tomoko? I ask, wondering how she got the idea that I was sleeping with my co-worker. No, not Tomoko. SM. I saw pictures of you with SM, she insists. I dont know anyone with those initialshow do you know those are her initials? I reply, looking to solve what appears to me to be an absurd misunderstanding. Because shes on your calendar, everywhereSM, she replies. Bella, SM means staff meeting. But the pictures My co-worker. It was her going away party. Her husband got a job in another city. She was moving. Her names Tomoko, with a T. Oh Godwhen you decided to leave so suddenly, and then I was playing with your phone to take more pictures of myself and I saw you with this woman. When I saw what looked like initials on your calendar, it all just looked a certain way and I was convinced she explains as her voice trails off.

I close my eyes and try not to get agitated. I understand how she could lead herself to forming this conclusion. What I cant understand is how she could believe it was true. I put my hands on either side of her face and look straight at her, practically without blinking. Her beautiful brown eyes are red and puffy from crying. It hurts me even more to see her so upsethow she could let herself become so upset over this. How could you think Id ever, in a million years, touch another woman? How, Bella? I ask her. Just thinking about it made my throat close up and my stomach churn. My own wife thinks Im a cheating bastard. Idont know, she stammers. Alarm registered in her big, innocent eyes. Shes afraid that shes angered me. Distrustfearnone of this is good. Why hadnt I seen this before? I feel like the most self-involved, thoughtless piece of shit. I can hardly believe how little faith and trust she has in me. Its easy to blame her, to assuage my own guilt with excuses about how hormonal and insecure she is. But the truth is that Ive given

her plenty of reasons not to trust me. Id been less than honest in the past. Weve only been married a month and a half, and of that time weve only spent a handful of days together. What did I expect? I sit up and pull her close to me, cradling her in my lap. Im overcome with emotions conflicting feelings that I cant work out for the life of me. Im angry at her for not even attempting to think rationally. Im upset that shed think her own husband would be that much of an asshole to her. I feel guilty for my past behavior and how it contributed to her current insecurities. I want to comfort her, protect her from anything that would hurt or upset her. My angel girl should only ever feel safe, loved and happy. She deserves that, and as her husband, its my responsibility to give it to her. Angel I try to speak, to explain, to comfort, but my voice breaks. Im just too overcome. Between work and now my marriage, I feel like a total failure. But its not just that. I cant even make the most loveable person in the world feel loved.

Instead, I hurt the one person who I cherish more than anyone. Why am I so broken? I ask her in a whisper, my eyes stinging. Oh love, she sobs, clutching my face with her hands. Youre not broken, never ever. My Edward, my Tie Guy. I love you so much, she soothes, stroking my hair as I press my wet eyes against her soft neck. I would never hurt you like that, I say. No one comes close to you, angel. No one and nothing, I confess, running my hands up and down her back. I know it, love, I do, she murmurs. Im sorry, she adds softly. No, dont be. I brought this on myself. I shouldve never lied to you, shouldve never said those things to you when you got pregnant, I explain, fully accepting my role in this. Well figure this out, she says, kissing my cheek. Well figure it all out, I promise, she assures me, pressing her body to mine as hard as she can. And with that I think Im starting to get it. You cant calculate and plan a relationship. Its a

meandering, confused mess that I cannot begin to navigate on my own. But I have Bella and I know shell take care of me because I trust her to figure it out with me. Shes the expert at being loving and unconditional. She has always been my teacher in that regard. Bella, if I didnt have you, Id have nothing, I confess. Youll always have me, I promise, she tells me as she strokes my hair. I lift my head from her shoulder and look into her perfect face. I run the tip of my finger from her temple and along her jaw line. I love doing thatit always elicits the same reaction. She closes her eyes and lets out a long, soft sigh. How could I touch another woman when I have this to come home to? I ask, kissing her lips lightly. Youre all Id ever want. You came all the back from Tokyo just for me? she asks timidly. Angel, Id go to the moon and back for you, I say with a smile. My heart swells when she smiles back at me. I couldnt stop thinking about you, knowing something mustve been

bothering you, I add, my eyes never leaving her sweet face. I love you, EdwardIm sorry I was too upset to say so when you left, she admits. I love you, too, and Im sorry I was too distracted to say it either. I promise I wont forget ever. So do I. Song of Solomon, she says with a gentle smile. I look at her with a raised eyebrow and she realizes I dont know what shes alluding to. From the Bible: I am my beloveds, and my beloved is mine, she explains. Yes, I think that describes us perfectly, I say, laying her down gently and hovering over her small frame. She looks beautiful beyond description wearing my old Harvard Crew t-shirt and little white panties. I love that youre wearing my old shirt, I whisper in her ear. I have a thing for smart, athletic dudes, she jokes. Oh yeah? I have a thing for this girl I met in a store, I joke back. She giggles softly in response. I just want to kiss her everywherefor being exactly what I

need right now, what I needed yesterday and what Ill need tomorrow. Edward, she says, breaking away from my lips. I am sorry I doubted you, and that you came all the way home because of me. I shouldve just asked you about it. She looks thoughtful, and I can tell she means it. Its not just a guilty conscience spurring her on. No more keeping it to yourself, OK? I dont want you upset over anything, much less over something I mightve done, I say. She looks at me for a moment, as if shes carefully crafting what shes about to say next. I didnt want to you getting distracted, you were about to leave for work, she explains. I know how important this project is to you, she adds in a soft voice. Its not more important that you and the baby, Bella nothing is, I tell her, my voice resolute. It is the complete truth. I know my priorities now, and I hope she believes me. She tilts her head to the side and her expression softens as she lightly bites her lip. I dont think

Ive ever seen anything more angelic, more stunning, than my wife when she looks at me like this. I kiss her hungrily and she reciprocates, and then some. I lift her shirt up over her head and toss it to the floor unceremoniously. Her hands are all over memy arms, my shoulders, my neck. All I can think about is how badly I need her, but I dont want to take, not this time. I want to give Bella just a small amount of the happiness she gives mefor helping me forget about time management and spreadsheets and endless rituals and habits that did nothing but create a hole in my life. Its a hole she fixed despite me being so set in my ways. Edward, make love to me, she murmurs as she grinds her hips against me. Patience, angel. First, I want to worship you, I say with a smirk. Her eyes go wide as my hand trails down between her legs and I palm the outside of her panties. I inch my way down her body, paying homage to every bit of skin my lips can reach. She is my wife, my only love, and

the mother of my baby. I love and care for her beyond measure I hope she believes it now. What woman could ever compare to her? I get to the small bump below her navel, and linger for a moment. I kiss and stroke it, cooing I love you too, baby, softly into her skin. Bella looks down at me, smiling, and strokes my hair when she hears me. I slowly peel her white panties down her shapely white legs, kissing her thighs and calves on my way down and back up again. Bella has the most beautiful, soft, long legs. Thinking about them wrapped around my waist as I stroke in and out of her makes me hard as a rock. I hear Bella gasp as I part the soft flesh between her legs. I love admiring at this part of her body. I love the way it looks, smells, tastes and feels. It is the most perfect pussy in existence, and it happens to belong to my beautiful, sexy, smart, funny, sweet wife. I slowly and deliberately lick every inch very lightly, mindful to avoid her clit until she absolutely cant stand it anymore. The more I make her wait for it, the harder shell cum.

Edward, please, more, she pleads as her hips grind against me. I breathe on her clit lightly and she gasps. Unh, youre wicked! she scolds, her voice a low moan. I lick and tease a little while longer, until her moans and gasps become more desperate. When I finally focus my attention on that sensitive bundle of nerves, flicking it quickly with my tongue and lightly sucking on it, I know shes about to go over the edge. Bella, look at me, I say. She opens her eyes and gazes up at me. I look up at her as my lips press against her and my tongue works her. Oh God, EdwardI love you, she moans loudly as she cums, staring right into my eyes. God, she is perfect in that moment. Just absolutely pristine and perfect. She pulls at my arms, willing me to lift myself up. I quickly take off my boxers and settle my hips between her legs. Please love, I need you inside me, she murmurs, holding my face in her hands. I ease my way into her slowly, wanting to savor the feeling as much as I

can. She gasps at being stretched open to accommodate me, but my slow movement ensures that it isnt painful. This is my favorite part of making love to herthe first few seconds that I push into her. Her entire body reacts, first with slight tension, and then relaxing completely. To make her feel that exquisite pleasure is nothing short of the biggest thrill of my life. I simply love to fuck her, plain and simple. You feel so good, she tells me, urging me on with her feet on my ass. Angel, you have no idea what you do to me, I confess, kissing her neck as we grind against each other, first slowly and then with more urgency. Judging by Bellas noises and how fast shes starting to move with me, I dont think its going to be long before she cums again. I love you so much, she whines as her muscles clench around my cock. Love you, angel, I groan. I cant hold back when I feel her pulsating on me and I cum, twitching inside her. I roll off her gently and gather her into my arms again. As we

drift off to sleep, I think to myself how it was worth traveling every last mile to be exactly where I am right now. I do not own Twilight, I just like to type. Relief. Relief is the sweetest six letter word in the English language. Its the feeling that flooded me when Edward and I cleared up just about the dumbest misunderstanding in the history of dumb misunderstandings. I still cant believe what possessed me to allow my logic to take a flying leap and believe that Edward would not only cheat on me but flaunt evidence of it all over his BlackBerry. I seriously need to grow a pair. Put on my big girl panties, for shits sake. He was so gentle and loving as he soothed me out of my fitful sleep in the middle of the night. I could hardly believe it when he told me he dropped everything in Tokyo and just came home, worried about me and nothing else. Edward has moments when he is so incredibly tender and sweet; he can reduce me to tears. The sensitive poet in me

has absolutely no defenses against that kind of thing. He can just melt me completely. It seems that things are finally falling into place. The problems we had with trust and honesty are finally a thing of the past. That last stumbling block is now gone. Considering the fast forward pace of our relationship, Im beyond happy with the way things have shaped up. But I do feel like Edward is still stuck in two modes and is still ruled by his Janus personalityone of them easy-going, charming and sweet, while the other is tense, preoccupied with control and almost robotic. That second side to him will take its toll eventually, causing him so much stress and sadness that the first side will disappear and leave him a shell of the person he once was. Im doing everything I can to make sure that doesnt happen. Hey, beautiful, Edward says as I kiss his cheek. Hes on his laptop, typing away at something for work, as usual. Hes been home less than twelve hours and here he is, at the table, compulsively hacking away at

the never-ending tasks that continue to pile up. The only thing I can think to do is to be as encouraging as possible. The sooner this Japan project is over, the better. Theres not much I can do except stand behind him, prop him up and assure him he can turn this into another successfully completed venture. Hi, handsome, I reply. Can I help with anything? I know my way around Microsoft Word. Im also a pretty decent editor if you need a proofreader, I offer. No, thats fine. Im just answering email right now. But I may take you up on that at some point, he says, looking up at me and smiling. Thanks for offering, angel. Youre welcome, loveanything to help, I reply, returning his smile. He takes my wrist and pulls me toward him so that Im standing between his legs. Can you tell me something, Skater Girl? Anything, Tie Guy, I reply before kissing his cheek again. What did I ever do to deserve such an amazing wife? Hmm. Thats an excellent question, I reply with a cheeky

grin. I think it has something to do with your tongue and how long it is, I say boldly. I still havent gotten used to being quite so direct, which is a little ridiculous considering were married and expecting a baby. Edward closes his eyes and sighs deeply, almost like hes in pain. I cant help but start to chuckle. Hes so easy to get going, especially since weve been away from one another so much. Angel, if I didnt know how sweet you were, Id be convinced you do that to me on purpose, he accuses, squinting his eyes and tilting his head down. I love that caveman stare he aims at me when I toy with him. I think I can admit to myself that part of the reason why I toy with him is to get that lookand a nice, sound humping. Why, Edward, I reply with wide eyes and a pout. Im sure I have no idea what you mean, I add, blinking my eyes rapidly. No idea, huh? he says, eyeing me up and down and licking his lips. He stares at my boobs for a good thirty seconds. Does this give you any ideas? he asks, pulling my hand and putting it on

his groin. I can feel how hard he is under the button-fly of his jeans. My mouth starts to water as I press my palm against that delicious and very generously sized slice of man-meat. I start to feel that all too familiar ache as the bunny perks up, the thought of getting some much needed carrot action making her all kinds of excited. I look down at that row of vertical buttons just begging to be popped open. My fingers curl around his beautiful hard-on, the denim not giving me the least bit of discouragement. Edwards eyes roll up when my hand starts working him more forcefully. His teeth bite down on his bottom lip and he groans audibly. His hands are on my hips, his fingers pressing into me. I work him up and down, hissing at how fucking excited its making me to see him lose itlose that control he thinks he has to haveto give himself permission to just feel . Do you like that, Edward? Like the way I stroke you? I tease. He answers with a small whimper and I cant help but take delight in that. You sound like Im torturing you, I say with a smile,

keeping up my hands enthusiastic rubbing and groping. He opens his eyes then and knits his brows. Arent you? he asks in a low voice that, frankly, sends a chill down my spineone that ignites me yet makes me wonder if I should keep teasing him. I think Ill keep teasing him. Edward, I say in a whisper as I lean my face toward his. Seeing that rather ample rock hard bulge in your jeans without being able to touch it or taste it is the only torture going on around here. My hand grips him more firmly now, pumping his erection in a nice even rhythm that I know is fast enough to excite him but slow enough to make him want more. One of the best parts about being married to Edward is knowing all these little secrets about him, to be aware of how his body reacts to me, to anticipate the effect I will have on him. Fuck, he groans in a small whisper. Yeah, fuck, I repeat, very slowly. He takes a deep breath through gritted teeth when he hears me swear and starts to swivel his hips a little, trying to get

more out of what Im giving him. His head falls back and I hear what sounds like a groan from deep in his chest. Starting to rethinkthe nicknameangel, he says in a clipped voice, the words squeaking out of him. Mmm, I purred. I think you like me this way, though. Its you who made me like this, after all, I explain, unrepentant. Tell me you like it, I say, feeling bold. Ive been missing my husband so much, physically and emotionally. Pregnancy has done weird things to memade me hornier, more brazen. And really unapologetic on both counts. God, Bella, you know I domiss you so much when Im working, he moans. Hes really starting to work his hips against my hand, trying to get more friction and longer strokes. Do you jerk off a lot? I ask bluntly, smirking at him. I may as well follow this line of conversation to its next logical progression. His eyes open at my question and he picks his head up again. He looks at me with heavy lidded eyes and licks his

lips. Do I have a choice? Look what you do to me. How could I not want you all the time? he replies rhetorically. What do you think about when you touch yourself? I press. I want details because, for one, Im curious and also, Im sure whats in his imagination must be incredibly erotic. His face gets more serious as he tries to concentrate on talking instead of what my hand is doing with his crotch. I know I must have opened some kind of Pandoras Box when Edward and I became lovers. I gradually got more and more details about his prior experience and he didnt have nearly as exciting a love life as I thought he did. In fact, it was pretty bland. Hed only ever had sex on a bed, missionary style. He and I have had sex in every room in our house, on pretty much every flat surface, not counting that one time on the staircase. Weve done it in public, in a car, even on a Ferris wheel, for crying out loud. My curiosity about sex and wanting to try new things was

something he shared with me. Our little games with dominance thrilled him, no matter how calm he acted. Something in his eyes would come to lifeit was very subtle, but I was beginning to know that look very intimately. I think about you, of course, he replies, purposely being vague. If he thinks Ill be satisfied with that answer, he is mistaken. I know you think about me. But what exactly am I doing? Are you doing something with me? I persist, wanting every detail. Meanwhile, I decide to step up my game and start popping open some buttons on that fly. My mouth has been watering for long enough. Unnn, Bella, he moans. God, I love it when you touch me, he murmurs as I slip my hand inside his jeans and into his boxers. I gently free him from the confines of his clothes and move my hand against him back and forth. A generous bit of precum oozes from the tip and spreads to the space between my thumb and forefinger. And I love touching you, I reply softly. Please, love, tell me what you think about when Im

not with you, I ask again, hoping hell open up to me. Oh, come on, Tie Guy. It cant be that bad. What, am I dressed in a clown suit or something?!? Angel, I think about a lot of things, he replies in a whisper, his head tilted to the side. Hes smiling at me with a playful little smirk, still resisting my questions. Tell me the one thing you like the mostthe one that makes you cum the hardest and fastest, I insist, my voice a soft purr. His eyes close and he moans from deep in his chest. My hand is gripping harder and moving faster. Tell me while youre in my mouth, I urge as I lower myself, tucking my legs under me. Looking up at his face, I lick the length of him from the base to the tip. He watches and groans loudly. I tease him by making little circles on the tip of his head with my tongue. Tell me, I repeat. Tell me your deepest fantasy, Edward. He sighs as I slowly bring my mouth down around him, using just enough pressure to entice him into talking.

Godso nice, he murmurs, closing his eyes again. I like to think about you, nakedsubmitting to me. Letting me touch you everywhere. Youre naked but Im dressed, so I tell you to take my cock out. I tell you to stroke it, and then suck me. You just nod and smile and do whatever I tell you to, he confesses while I move my head up and down, pressing the flat of my tongue against his shaft while my lips suck harder. OK, I do that in real life. When is this going to get more interesting? He seems to be lost in his fantasizing because he keeps talking without me pushing him to. I tell you to take my clothes off until Im naked too. I lay you down on the bed, on your stomach. I rub your shoulders and your back. I kiss you down your spine. I touch your beautiful ass, so fucking round and perfect. I rub one side, then the other. You just moan and grind your hips, he says, his lips curling into a little smile at his thoughts. I keep sucking on him, going a little faster and a littler harder as he talks. I hum into him and it makes him catch his breath

before he keeps talking. I grab the lube from my bedside drawer and straddle your legs, on your thighs, and I keep rubbing and squeezing your ass. I spread your fucking delicious cheeks apart and drizzle lube all up and down between them. I cradle my cock in that space and use my hands to press you against it. So fucking hot, rubbing myself on you like that, he says, his eyes open now. He looks down at me and strokes my face. I nod my head, encouraging him to keep going while I give him head, working him as far into my mouth and to my throat as hell go. You love the way it feels and you moan and move your hips like crazy. Then you say please, Edward, please. I tell you to beg for it and you whimper. You say please, Edward, fuck my ass. YAHTZEE! I have wanted to approach Edward about this for ages. I wanted to put it on our list since we started writing it. But I was always way too chickenafraid that hed be grossed out, knowing

how he is about germs and being so OCD with cleaning. I knew he liked to look at the booty and touch it but I couldve sworn hed never go further than that. Realizing this is probably going to frustrate the hell out of him but not caring, I stop what Im doing and take him out of my mouth. You like thinking about doing that? I ask. His face changes immediately. He blushes more than Ive ever seen him before and looks down, embarrassed. He misunderstands and thinks Im turned off. No, no, Edward, its OK, I say with a smile. Dont be embarrassed. To be honest, I add, now blushing myself. Ive been curious about it for a while. Just like that, his face perks up like a kids on Christmas morning. How can I deny that face? Even if this wasnt something Id wanted to do, Id still try it, because that happy face just melts my heart. Really? You dont think Ima pervert? he asks. I just tilt my head and make a screwed up face at him. A pervert? Well, yeah, you are a pervert but I think I love that about you, I say with a laugh.

Seriously, no, I say, shaking my head. I would never think you were a pervert, you know that, I add. Did you want to try? We dont have to, Im happy with just thinking about it, he says shyly. Aw, Pepaw. Married and everything and he still cant bring himself to force anything on me. No worries, Pepaw, Im totally into you banging on the backdoor. Bunny might get jealous but shell just have to deal. Yeah, we could try, why not? I dont think its illegal in Washington state. Even if it was, I wont tell if you dont, I joke, winking at him. Come here, you, he replies, pulling me up by the arms so that I straddle his lap. I can feel his hard-on against my yoga pants and give a little rub hello with my lady parts. I wrap my arms around his neck and hug him tightly. He puts his hands on either side of my face and kisses my forehead. I love you, angel, he says, smiling and stroking my cheek with his thumb. I love you, too, I reply, smiling back at him. Hey, how

about thiswhy dont we take a nice bath together to unwind a little? I suggest. I think thats great idea, he says, kissing the tip of my nose. OK, shut down that laptop and Ill start the water. Ill meet you up there, I tell him as I get up from his lap. He adjusts himself and buttons his pants back up. Sounds like a plan, he says with a grin. He looks like hes about to start doing a happy dance around the room. I feel two hands on my hips just as Im turning off the taps on the bath. I stand and turn, leaning into Edward for a kiss. Baths ready, I say with a smile. I take a minute to just check him out because I can never get enough of doing that, no matter how many times Ive done it before. I love his v-neck t-shirt and how it clings to his biceps and lets a little bit of chest hair peek out. Im such a lucky girl, I tell him. Married to such a hottie, I add as I lift his shirt up and over his head. I rub my hands on his pecs and kiss his neck

lightly. Oh, I think Im the lucky one, he replies, pulling my tank top up and tossing it to the floor. Just look at you, he says with a sigh, his fingers lightly grazing the side of my left breast and over my nipple. We get in the big Jacuzzi tub and soak for a bit. Edward washes my back and massages my shoulders. We talk a little, laughing and being our usual goofy selves. Being that we see so little of each other, I miss all our little quips and funny conversations. Hes my Tie Guy and I love spending time with him. I love making him smile and hearing him chuckle at something I say. His deadpan jokes never get old and even though I pretend to get mad when he makes fun of my laugh, I secretly love it. Edward gets out of the bath first and gives me a hand to climb out. Hes so paranoid that Ill slip and hurt myself. He was always pretty careful, being that I could trip over dust, but now hes just completely overboard because of the pregnancy. Its sweet and he means well. It makes me feel

good to be so loved and looked after. He takes my hand and we crawl under the cover of the bed. We wrap our arms around one another and just kiss and nibble each other for a while. I love the feel of himhis muscles, his hairy chest, the whiskers on his face. And that fuckscent, what I could smell on him since the first moment he walked up to me that day in the store, it intoxicates me. I close my eyes and lean into his neck and I just take in my mans scent. Its so masculine, strong, powerful, and beautiful. Angel, you are every fantasy of mine come to life, do you know that? he asks sweetly. Edward, youre gonna make me cry, quit it! I joke, stroking his cheek. Like youre not everything to me, too? Sometimes I think about all the stuff that happeneddropping out of school, not being able to write, thinking all my plans were a waste, and I wonder if meeting you was to make up for all that. Our getting together was what turned everything around for me. I really believe that, I explain, looking into his eyes and knowing, truly knowing, that I love him

with everything I have. I love you, angel, he whispers into my ear. I put my hand against his cheek and stroke it softly. You changed things for the better for me too, and Im lucky to have you, he adds, kissing my lips. His kiss becomes more intense, his mouth opening and his tongue probing my lip, then inside my mouth. I feel his hands on my breasts, caressing them and rubbing my nipples with his thumbs. My body just comes alive when Edward touches me. He just awakens something so basic and primal in me and it responds to him instantly. I wrap my hand around his erection, gently working it up and down. He moans when I tighten my grip slightly and start moving a little faster. Cupping his hand around my breast, he brings his mouth to it and sucks on my nipple, gently at first, then with little bites and quick tugs. I hiss at him when hes a little roughnot from pain but from it making me so damned worked up. I can feel that Im getting really wet between my legs, and the ache is almost too much.

Im ready, love, I whisper, not wanting him to think Ive gotten too nervous or have second thoughts. Are you sure? he asks, want to make certain. He is ever the cautious, mindful lover. Completely, I reply with a smile. Lets try something different, I add. For me, sex with Edward always involved something new and this is just one more new thing to explore. So far, everything else has been awesome, so Im hoping this is too. Here, how about you roll onto your side, away from me? he asks. I turn the why he suggests and we spoon, our bodies nestled close to each other. He kisses me cheek and neck while his hand strokes my side, then my breast, lightly playing with my nipple. He lifts my thigh and rests my leg on top of his so that my legs are apart. He puts a generous amount of lube on his fingers and gently rubs it on me, then puts more on himself. Ill go very slowly, but please tell me if it hurts, OK? he asks in a soft voice. OK. I trust you, Edward, I reply.

I feel him press against me, just a little. Gradually, I can tell that my body is trying to stretch itself open for him. I close my eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax myself as much as possible. It doesnt hurt but I can feel a good bit of pressure, and its actually kind of nice. Am I hurting you? he asks. I can hear the concern in his voice. No, I can just feel you kind of pushing slightly. Thats all. Im OK, I reassure him. Im being as careful as I can be. I dont want to hurt my angel girl, he says sweetly, kissing my shoulder. After another minute or so, the pressure becomes really intense, but not painful, In fact, its unbelievably pleasurable. Its not at all like I thought it would be. There must be nerves that are being stimulated that Ive never felt before. I keep focusing on relaxing and letting my body adjust to him. I take another deep breath and purr in contentment. This is nice, it actually feels really good. Youre being so sweet and gentle, thank you, love, I

say, reaching my hand behind me and patting his cheek. I can feel you yielding to me slowly, opening up for me. You always do that for me, angel, always willing. I love that about youso much, he murmurs. Edward groans softly as my body finally fully eases the muscles that let his head pass through. The sensation is unreal, just incredibly intense and hot. Oh, fuck, I gasp softly. That is fucking nice, love, so good, I coo. I have goose bumps all over and my nipples stiffen like crazy. Im all the way inside now, God itstight and he moans, unable to finish talking, hes so worked up. He must be concentrating on holding off if hes as excited as he sounds. He reaches his hand around me, his fingers lightly teasing my clit, Im so wet and throbbing, he doesnt need to do muchIm already there. Ive been there for quite some time now. When he slips a finger inside me, and then another, I think I may just combust. Touch yourself, I want you to scream my name, he growls in my ear. I put my hand between my legs, stroking myself with my

middle finger. It takes about thirty seconds for every muscle inside me to tighten and heat up. Edward starts thrusting now, but extremely slowly. I need more. Faster, please. Please fuck me faster, I whisper. Edward mumbles a string of syllables that I cant quite make out. I think some of it sounds like Christ and fuckhot. He starts pumping into me harder, faster. His fingers slide in and out while I keep rubbing myself. Its all too muchso much friction, so much inside me. I gyrate my hips wildly until I cum so hard, I freeze in placeeven my breathing stops. And like a sonic boom, a huge wave contracts through me. I scream. Not just a holler or a yell. I scream. EDWARD! My free hand flies to my mouth, muffling all the insane animalistic shrieks that come out of me. I feel my muscles flex and relax over and over, peaking up, then down, and then up again until it finally starts to ebb. My mind drifts back to Edward, and I can hear him puffing

and grunting behind me. I decide that I want to try to make this as fucking crazy for him as it is for me. Its go big or go home time, clearly. Love, hang on, I gasp, still out of breath. I put my hand on his hip to still him. He stops instantly, probably thinking hes hurting me. Are you alright? he asks, slightly panicked. Im better than alright. Lets just switch positions, I reply. He eases out of me slowly and I get up on all fours. He lets out a little whimper and I cant help but look over my shoulder at him and smile. Tell me what you say when you think about this, I purr. He stares at me for a second, like he thinks he may be dreaming. I want you to, I urge. And then I see that look in his eyesthat look he gets when the switch is flipped. He puts his hands on my backside and starts slowly massaging it, murmuring how beautiful it is. I encourage him to keep talking with soft moans and sighs. What do you want, angel? If you want something, you need

to beg, he says in a calm voice. Please, Edward, I moan softly. Please what? he replies, rubbing me a little harder. Please fuck my ass, I whisper. I realize pretty quickly that this is just as hot for me as it is for him and I start to feel that familiar ache between my legs. With a hiss, he presses against me and it only takes a minute for my body to relax and take him in since he was just inside me. Tell me what youre thinking, love. Just say it, I say, wanting to encourage him to act out on what he fantasizes. Hes away from me for so much of the time; we both deserve to fulfill our desires whenever we can. Fucking beautiful, round, perfect ass, he says through clenched teeth. Hearing that just makes it impossible for me not put my hand between my legs again. My middle finger goes back to the same spot it was stroking a few minutes ago. Mmm, feels so good, I sigh. Little shocks of electricity flicker from deep inside my abdomen as I hear him grunt and feel his hands grip me while he thrusts harder and his pace quickens.

Jesus, youre so tight and smooth, he pants, sounding more aroused than I wouldve expected. I want you to cum for me, angel, because when I look down and watch my cock pumping in and out of your luscious little gumdrop ass, Im gone. Gonna cum so hard inside you, he warns, his voice hoarse and urgent. Oh God, Edward, I gasp before it all breaks loose once again, cascading through me, like when a small stone drops into water and makes ringlets that move outward. I close my eyes and just let all the sensations overtake me. Its utter fucking bliss and I love the man who gets me there. Its so beautiful to watch, me loving you like this, Edward says. I turn and look at his face. His eyes are cast down, watching himself. His face is flush and sweaty. Let go, just let it all go, I tell him softly. He nods and I watch as his eyes go wide and he grinds his jaw. That v shaped vein in his forehead tells me hes more than ready. He curls his lip in a snarl, and clenching my backside with both hands, makes a loud, long

growling noise as he thrusts a few more times, not holding back. Fuck! he exclaims, pushing into me as far as he can go and stopping as he cums. He makes some very happy mmm sounds and his face turns peaceful and relaxed. Hes my angel when he gets that look on his face. Love you so much, he whispers, gently pulling out of me. I collapse onto my back as Edward just drops next to me like a sack of potatoes. I roll onto my side to face him. His eyes are closed and he has the sweetest smirk on his face. I cant resist and lean in to kiss a crimple. With his eyes still closed and his smile still plastered on his face, he puts his arm around me so I can rest my head on his chest and place the flat of my palm there too. You look very happy, I say, looking up at his face. Mmmhmm, he agrees, stroking my arm with his fingertips, his arm too limp to manage much else. I liked that. A lot, I inform him. He laughs and makes a comment about how I must be trying

to kill him. We lay there for a while, just happy in each others arms, feeling sated and a little worn out. Edward gently slips out from under me and stands up, then lifts me in his arms. I put my arms around his neck and ask where were going. Were taking a nice hot shower where Im going to lovingly wash every inch of you. Then, to show you how grateful I am, Im laying you back in the bed and going down on you for the next three days, or until my tongue falls offwhichever happens first, he explains with a smirk. I laugh and kiss his cheek. Wow. Kinda makes me wish I had another spot for you to poke, I joke as we both grin at each other like complete fools. I do NOT own Twilight, I just like to type. EPOV I dont think I can adequately describe in words how much I love my wife. Bella. Bella. Bella. Those five letters make my heart soar. I would never in a million years consider myself a romantic fool, yet that is what

Ive become. I cant help but think back to that first time she said Please Edward, fuck my ass. And with those five words, she made all my dreams come true. My angel was everything to me and more. I smiled broadly to myself as I read the newspaper and wait as I sit aboard my flight back home for the week. Its been three months since that wonderful day. Although Im still traveling a lot, I managed to work my schedule out so that I spend one full week at home every month. Well, really it was Barb who insisted and then worked out the details. But its amazing. After three weeks of being away, I come back to my Bella and see just how much more beautiful she isher belly bigger, her breasts fuller, her immaculate face just glowing. I can tell shes sad when Im not here. Her mood is just different when we talk on Skype or email each other. But once my plane lands in Seattle, all I want to do is open my front door and look at her. Of course I want to make love to her, touch her everywhere, kiss her, and hold her. But that first glimpse I get of her is something else entirely. Her face just lights up and is the picture of joy. What man wouldnt want to come

home to that? Even work has been looking up. I finally ironed out most of the issues that had been plaguing the completion of the retail store project and the higher-ups, including my boss, were very pleased. In fact, Aro mentioned just the other day that I was pretty much a shoein for this promotion. I could hardly believe it, and I still cant. Ill be twenty six in a few days and may become one of the youngest vice presidents at the most profitable software company in history. All the planning, meticulous attention to detail, and hard work would pay off. I couldnt be happier. The car service drops me off in front of our house. Its the early morning, just like it usually is when I come home. Bella tries to make sure shes awake when I get here, intent on having a huge breakfast ready for me whether I want it or not, but I never refuse. Shes an amazing cook but even if her pancakes tasted like cardboard, Id still eat them, because she made them just for me. I quietly let myself in and notice that the house is still. If Bella was awake, everyone within a five mile radius would know it. My wife is adorably incapable of being inconspicuous, unless she sitting and reading.

Otherwise, all bets are off. Shed be banging around in the kitchen, dropping pots and pans, hurriedly fumbling with her ingredients and other supplies. Invariably, shed be singing or humming too. She wanted to do housework but she ended up doing more damage than good. For every attempt at dusting, shed drop and break something. She broke two vacuumsone fell down the stairs and the other shorted when it ate a rug before Bella could shut its power off. I had to insist we re-hire my housekeeper. I told her I didnt want her exerting herself because of the baby, but I could tell she didnt believe me. She let it slide in any event. Being that the house was so silent, I could only imagine that Bella was still sleeping, so I quietly creep up the stairs and into the bedroom. Sure enough, there she is, softly snoring and smiling in her sleep. I take off my shoes, loosen my tie and undo the top button of my shirt. Crawling into the bed next to her, Im careful to do so gently so as to not disturb her. I love watching her sleep. Shell sometimes laugh and say my name, other times, shell pout and moan. Good grief, the pout and moan kills me. I get hard just thinking about that

and what she must be dreaming about. I curl up against her, my body snugly spooning with hers. Shes wearing one of my old Harvard t-shirts and a pair of panties. She loves to wear my clothes when Im away on business. This woman kills me with her sweet little gestures and how she keeps the home fires burning in my absence. At times I feel undeserving of her unconditional affection and endless patience for my busy work schedule. She gives me all that and shes growing my baby inside her. I am one lucky bastard. Edward, she sighs softly. I used to think she was waking up when Id touch her and shed say my name, but its never the case. Shes such a sound sleeper, even at six months pregnant and waking up to use the bathroom several times a night. I reach my arm around her middle and marvel at how much bigger its gotten in three weeks. I spread my hand out, fingers stretched apart, and lay my palm flat against the center of her abdomen. My touch is responded to by a firm tap from the other side. Even the babys a lighter sleeper than Bella. Then I feel one of those really big movements

and I can tell someones shifting around in there to get more comfortable. Sorry, baby, I whisper. I feel another little tap against my hand signaling the obvious acceptance of my apology. I think about the little life growing inside Bella. Im only now slowly letting go of the guilt I carry over my initial reaction to the idea of becoming a parent. How selfish I was to think this was just a burden for me with nothing positive to offer. Im ashamed of having been so shortsighted. Within Bellas body grows the future of the Cullen family. These were people who had strength, integrity, intelligence, and compassion. Not to mention, he or she will no doubt inherit all the great qualities from my wifes side as well. So I have high hopes for the little person I will meet in a few months, and I know that Bella will do whatever she can to always hold that child close to her heart and teach them how to be as loving as she is. What an idiot I was to think this was anything but one of the best things to ever happen to me. As it happens right now, we dont know if were having a boy or a girl. Because of that, weve just been calling this little unborn person baby. Bella insists that the gender be a

surprise. Im still trying to convince her to let us find outgetting everything ready beforehand will be that much easier if we knew whether it was a boy or a girl. Of course, Bella has her reasons, most of them completely nonsensical to me, but she wouldnt be the woman I am madly in love with if she suddenly started making sense. I move my hand up to Bellas face and gently stroke her cheek before leaving soft kisses up and down her neck. She moans and stirs in her sleep. I feel her move her hips slightly, her backside rubbing against my now growing erection. I cup her breast and nibble on her earlobe. Mmm, love, she murmurs. My Edward, she says. Her voice is a light, dreamy whisper. I ease my hand under her t-shirt and wrap my fingers around her nipple, gently tugging on it. God, I can tell just by feeling it with my fingers that its gotten bigger. Im getting serious wood at this point, so I stop what Im doing and strip down to my boxers. Bella calls our first lovemaking session of my week off her souvenir and she insists on getting it no matter whateven if I have to wake her up to give it to her. Pregnancy has done

wonderful, magical things to my wife. If children werent such a huge responsibility, I think Id just keep her pregnant continuously. What the fuck ever made me think this was a bad idea? Shes really starting to rub her soft, gummy ass against my crotch and it makes me groan softly. I reach around and gently lift her thigh, placing it on top of mine. When I shift her panties over and put my hand between her legs, I groan again as I feel how wet she is. She purrs softly and mumbles something I cant quite make out. I think to myself that playing with her might help to finally rouse her, so I start stroking with a little pressure and a little faster. Her wet pussy is driving me insane as she really starts moving her hips and her wetness is rubbing against the tip of my cock. I barely have to move forward to actually be inside her and I cant resist anymore. I move her panties out of my way and ease my way in while fingering her clit and kissing her neck. Mmmm, youre home. I missed you soooo much, she moans, at last waking up. She puts her hand on my hip, urging me to move faster. Missed you too, angel, I heave as my breathing becomes

labored. Its only a couple of minutes before she moans her I love you, in a sultry little moan along with all the other beautiful sounds she makes when shes climaxing. Im not far behind, thrusting into her as deeply as I can, releasing inside her while whispering to her that I love her too. She turns onto her other side and I gather her up in my arms its something thats getting progressively more difficult as her middle gets bigger. I almost cant reach you anymore, Skater Girl, I say with a laugh. I know, this is getting a little redonk, she replies, looking down and putting her hand over her belly while smiling broadly. Have I told that you are the single most beautiful pregnant woman Ive ever seen? I ask I look down at her sweet face. I think you may have mentioned that, she replies with a wicked little grin, tilting her head and pretending to be unsure. Ive told her countless times, both in person and through email and on the phone, just how radiant she is carrying a baby. I mean every wordshes just the prettiest creature Ive laid eyes on, swollen middle and

all. Her glowing face and infectious smile make me want to marry her all over again. I kiss her all over her face, so badly needing to touch her after being away for three weeks. My travel for work is a double edged swordit is downright painful for both of us to be separated, but in the same vein, the absence just makes us so keenly aware of how much we need each other. I literally ache for her when Im away. I feel like part of me is missing, like my life is simply incomplete without her near me. Im so glad to be home, angel, I profess, and I mean every word. Im glad you came back to me, she answers, putting her soft hands on either side of my face. The house is too empty when youre not here. Theres no one to tell me how messy I am, she says with a laugh. I could make a recording of myself lecturing you, if you want, I offer with a laugh. You know, things like Bella, for the last time, can you not leave dirty dishes in the sink? Hows that? That sounds perfectly annoying. I love it, she replies, kissing me sweetly. Oh, hey, someones got a birthday coming up. I cant remember who, she jokes, smirking at

me and scratching my chin. I believe its that stuffy husband of yours, I say with a straight face. Mmm, she nods. Twenty six going on eighty, she adds, stifling a giggle. You know, I would tickle you for that, but if you peed on me, Id have to burn these sheets and possibly even the mattress. Edward! I tell you once that I peed a little when you made me laugh and now I never live it down. Youre rotten, she says with a huff, punching my shoulder. I take her completely adorably unthreatening little fist and cover it with kisses to show my contrition. Aw, come on, how can I not poke fun at that, its cuteyour incontinence, I reply with a smirk. Such a damned liar. Why do I believe your lies? I should just cancel all the plans I made for your birthday, she threatens playfully. She makes that scrunched up face she always does when she tries to look tough and serious. Even for an uptight guy like me, I think its too cute for words how she thinks I might even be remotely intimidated. I decide to play along anyway. Oh, dont be like that, angel, you know I love to tease you,

I say, smiling sweetly and kissing her face. I hug her tight and whisper to her that shes made me the luckiest man alive. I feel her body loosen and relax as she sighs into my neck, returning my embrace. Youre evil, you know that? she asks rhetorically. You exploit all my weaknesses, and for that, you are an evil, evil man, she jokes, smiling softly. You bring out the worst in me, angel, I murmur, stroking her cheek with the back if my finger. What kind of plans did you have for my birthday, anyway? I mean, before you cancelled them? I ask with a grin. She gives me a feigned scowl for that comment. Well, I thought we could go out to dinner with Rosalie and Emmett and Alice and Jasper. Theres a caf that hosts a weekly poetry reading that I signed up for, I thought we could go there afterward, she replies, looking thoughtful. Youre going to read something? I ask, somewhat surprised. As far as I know, Bellas never read her poetry in front of an audience before. In fact, even I havent read that much of it. Shes constantly writing, but I dont press her to share it. She will sometimes offer to read something to me here and there, and she writes me short

love poems, but aside from that, I try to respect the fact thats shes a little sensitive about her work. She sighs and looks away, her eyes fixed on something in the distance. I need to grow up, she declares. You look perfectly grown up to me, I offer with a smile. You know what I mean, she scolds lightly. If Im serious about this, about being a poet, I need to share it with people expose those feelings I put into my writing. Im ready to do that, she says, nodding her head almost to reassure herself of what shes saying. Listen, Bella, go at whatever pace you feel comfortable with. If you feel ready, great. If you dont, thats fine too. I want you to be happy, tofeel fulfilled by what you do, I offer in a soft voice, holding her chin with my fingers. I know, and thank you for that, she replies. She kisses my lips sweetly. Im ready, I know I am. I have one poem for the reading, and one just for you, she reveals. Just for me? I like that. I like when you only share things with me and Im the only person who gets to benefit from it, I say with a knowing grin.

Dont be such a caveman, she retorts with a smirk while smacking my arm. I rub it to pretend shed injured me horribly and hopefully garner some sympathy or maybe a kiss. It doesnt work. I have a little surprise for you as well, she adds coyly. I dont like surprises, I sulk, playing with a lock of her hair. Well, I may as well tell you, its happening today anyway, she offers, picking her head up from my chest and kissing it before propping her chin on it. I made an appointment for one of those 3D ultrasounds, so we can have some nice clear pictures of the baby. You can take them with you to Tokyo. Thank you, angel, I say, rubbing circles on the small of her back with my hand. She sighs contentedly. Can we find out the sex? I ask, feeling hopeful. Her beautiful doe eyes snap open at me. No, she says in a grumpy voice despite her smile. I dont want us to have any preconceived notions about the baby, she adds firmly. We didnt have any conceived notions or even postconceived notionsisnt that what got you into the condition youre in now? I joke with a straight face, looking down at her sweet face.

Oh, Edward, she says with a heavy sigh. If only wed have kept our notions from mingling so intimately, she laments before closing her eyes and breaking into squeaky giggles. I love touching your notions, I muse nonsensically, groping her breast with one hand and her backside with the other. I love you, you impossibly anal retentive, yet unbelievably gorgeous man. I love you too, you completely flighty, yet enchantingly beautiful woman. I wrap my arms around her in a tight hug, and with one hand on her belly, hum to her, lulling her back to sleep before quickly dozing off myself. Later that day, we arrive at our afternoon appointment for Bellas ultrasound. Im feeling an odd mixture of excitement and guilt. Im anxiously looking forward to seeing the baby, but at the same time, Im filled with regret over not having been able to go to a single appointment with Bella before now. Work had made it impossible for me to play a more active role in my wifes pregnancy. She never once complained, knowing that it was all beyond my control. Her being so patient and understanding only magnified my guilt. Were ready for you, Mrs. Cullen, the tech says to Bella,

motioning to the door that leads to the exam rooms. I stand quickly and put my hand out to help her to her feet. A short while later, Bella is in a hospital gown, lying on her back as the technician squirts some sort of clear jelly onto her middle before pressing the ultrasound probe against her. Once the tech turns on the huge screen in front of us, I feel all the air rush out of my lungs. In front of me, in oddly beautiful golden pixels, is a pudgy little face with eyes tightly squeezed shut and a balled up little fist next to it. I hear Bella gasp audibly as she clutches my hand. I turn my head to look at her, immediately feeling an overwhelming urge to tell her how much I love her and how grateful I am every single day of my meager life that she not only tolerates me but actually loves me enough to carry my child inside her. Ive neverI only she stammers. I had one ultrasound that day I went to the ER, when all I could see was a gummy bear, she whispers before closing her eyes and a tear slides down her temple. I love you, Bella, so much, I say, leaning my face into hers. I feel her hand on the back of my head, pressing my cheek into hers.

We both take a minute to breathe, the technician being very patient and understanding. Soon Bella and I are smiling and laughing at the babys various facial expressions. The tech gives us several print-outs before our appointment is over. Well, Im glad you didnt want to know the sex, the tech says, because the baby kept his or her legs pretty tightly closed, she explains with a smile. See, the baby wants it to be a surprise too, Bella tells me with a laugh. I should mention though, the tech continues, that you have what looks like placenta previa, but I cant make a diagnosis since Im not a doctor. So youll want to schedule a thorough ultrasound with your OB. Were not a medical facility, she reminds us. What is that? What does that mean? Is something wrong? I ask in a flurry, the words spilling out of me. I dont know what the hell this person is talking about, and I cant fix a problem if I dont know what it is. Bella senses my panic immediately, most likely because Im grasping on to her hand with both of mine as I interrogate this poor technician. Edward, its OK. It just means the placenta is low. If it

doesnt move, Ill probably need a c/section. Ill show you where its explained in my baby books. Ill call Dr. Matthews on Monday morning, she says, squeezing my hand back. That sounds like a good idea, the tech chimes in, giving us a friendly smile before congratulating us and leaving the room. I gently press my hand on the small of Bellas back as we make our way through the parking lot and to the car. I feel a bit of a swell to my machismo pride as I notice her gait becoming more and more of a waddle every time I come home from Tokyo. But its that same pride that makes me so irrationally protective of her. Worse than that, my need to have order and predictability makes me want to protect her even from herself. Angel, I begin, turning to her as we buckle our seat belts. Why havent you had an ultrasound since January? She looks ahead out the windshield, her eyes fixed in stare. She doesnt look surprised that I ask this question, but she does look as if she regrets having to answer it. I declined, she answers simply. Declined?

Dr. Matthews mentioned a second trimester ultrasound. I declined. Didnt want one, she explains, her voice steady but soft. I take a deep breath and close my eyes for a few seconds. I dont want to snap at her. I dont want to assume anything. Every time Ive done those things, shed just get upset and Id be wrong about my assumptions to boot. Bella, you know how I am. Please tell me why you declined a test that I would have urged you to agree to without a second thought, I ask, keeping my voice even and calm. Because I didnt want unnecessary tests and pokes or prods. Im only twenty; the risk of genetic problems is really, really small. I only want to do whats absolutely necessary, she replies, her tone defensive. She crosses her arms, her body language matching her words. This wasnt necessarythe 3D ultrasound just for pictures, I point out. I feel my annoyance at her rise and I fight to keep it at bay. She looks hurt even though I was trying my best to approach this sensibly. Of course it was necessary, she snaps back. You needed to

see the baby. You need to bond with the baby. Thats a health issue too. An emotional one, she pauses, shaking her head. You wouldnt understand that, I guess. Bellaangel. How can you say that? Of course I understand. What I dont get is why you decided it was OK to forego a test that wouldve alerted us to something potentially dangerous, I say, gesturing with my hands to keep from running them through my hair. I guess Im just not as smart as you, Edward, she replies sardonically. Shes looking down and picking imaginary lint from her pants. Thats not what I mean and you know it, I sigh as I slump my shoulders. I give up trying to keep my hands out of my hair and run them both across my scalp. Then why does it always seem to come back to you knowing better than me? she asks angrily. Her lips tightly pursed, her eyebrow arched. This mad Bella really does intimidate me. I hate making her this way. I dont know better than you. I just think maybe we shouldve discussed this together. I dont get why I wasnt included in the decision to decline the ultrasound in the first place, I clarify, trying to reason with her.

I cant include you if youre not here, she says quickly. I feel as if shes been waiting to say for quite some time. Thats not fair Bella. I have to go to Tokyo. Its my job, I respond, feeling defeated. I wonder why this conversation even had to take this turn. Why cant we just have a discussion without things getting so complicated and muddled? And I have to stay here and take care of myself and our baby. I cant call you and add to your stress, demand your attention when you need to focus on work. I make decisions on my own because I have to, she says, her voice becoming a cracked as she begins to cry. Shes got a point. My work didnt just take me away physically. It completely distracted me mentally. I was entirely wrapped up in the success of the Tokyo project going smoothly. I didnt give her a reason to share major decision-making with me. Instead, I gave her every reason to figure it all out on her own and left her to shoulder that entire burden on her own. Cullen, you are a world class asshole. Im sorry. Angel, please dont cry, I plead, taking her hand and massaging it gently. Edward, Im justI swear Im trying. Trying so hard to do

things rightfor the baby and for you. I want you to be happy. Workmakes you happy, she explains, her expression so heartfelt and earnest. I feel a dull ache deep in my chest when something I say or do upsets her to this degree. And whats worse is, shes telling me that what motivated the very actions Im so quick to criticize was her concern for me. Why cant I understand my own fucking wife? I take her face in my hands and kiss her wet eyes. We both let out a huge sigh at the same time and our mutual worldweariness makes us both laugh. Its a tough game this relationship deal, huh, Tie Guy? she jokes. And thats all it takes. A tense moment that turns awkwardly humorous is all thats needed to diffuse Bellas anger and sadness. The buoyancy of her spirit is something I really envy about her. Despite everything shes been throughquitting college, a bad break-up, a surprise pregnancy with a new boyfriendthis woman doesnt lose the spark that ignited me the first time I spoke to her as she ate her peanut butter and Cheetos on a sidewalk bench all those months ago. Yeah, you got that right, Skater Girl. I know youre trying

your best. Im sorry I made this sound like it was your fault. Im anxious about what the tech told us, I confess plainly. Theres almost no point in saying it out loud, she knows whats going on, what makes me react in this way. Its OK. I should tell you more about whats happening with my check ups and things like that. In my mind, it just seems better to talk about happy things. She looks thoughtful for a moment. Let me see if I can put this in Edward-speak. I want to be an asset, a valueaddeda profitable rate of return, she muses with a smile. Her eyes are still red but so, so beautifulthat perfect doe shape and rich brown color. God it turns me on when you talk dirty, angel, I joke with a smirk. And so we let the matter drop for now. I realize quickly enough that theres really nothing more to be done about it until Bella goes in to see her OB so that we can get a better idea of exactly whats going on. I try to put my own worry aside to spare her any more needless anxiety. Her health and wellbeing depend on this. How about we grab some lunch? I suggest, not wanting her to cook after the stress shes just been under.

Lunch sounds very, very good to me right now, she says with wide eyes and a big grin. You got it. Pick your poison, I reply, patting her thigh. Hmmm, the baby wants curly fries, she answers with a laugh as she pats her belly. The baby, huh? I tease, raising my eyebrow at her. Dont push it, Cullen, she growls. I think I take back what I thought before about Bella being adorable when shes irritated because right now I definitely feel like Im toying with some kind of death wish. Ive noticed over the last month or so that her physical cravings are slowly shifting from sex to food. My dick will mourn the end of her incredibly insane libido, thats for sure. I wake up the next morning to soft lips kissing my cheeks and forehead over and over. I smile, still only half-conscious, when I become aware of who must be kissing me. I can also smell breakfastpancakes and sausage, if Im not mistaken. Good morning, I whisper, keeping my eyes closed. I think I smell coffee too, but I need to grab onto my wife and touch her a little bit before I can contemplate my appetite. I put my hand on the back of her head as she peppers my chin with light pecks, and I tangle my

fingers into her soft brown hair. Happy birthday, my love, she says, her voice tender and sweet. I made you silver dollars and links cos I know how much you love them even though you eat that cardboard muesli every morning, she teases. Shes right, too. I do love a short stack with some pork on the side, but I like to keep things light and healthy as a matter of course. I move my hand from her hair to her chin and raise her lips to mine, giving her a proper, not-so-gentle good morning kiss. She moans softly and Im almost tempted to say fuck breakfast so I can fuck you, but she interrupts my plans by sitting up and bringing the breakfast tray on the nightstand onto the bed. All yours, birthday boy, she urges with a smile, setting the tray over my lap as I prop myself up on pillows. You dont want some? I offer, thinking I couldnt eat knowing she was hungry. Ill take a bite or two. When I was making the pancakes, I kept convincing myself each one was bad and I kept eating them. I finally stopped when I noticed I didnt have any batter left, she confesses with a laugh and a light blush.

It didnt matter how many times I see it, that little (or sometimes deep and practically glowing) blush of hers always has an almost absurd effect on me. I think its because its like so many other aspects her completely open and true. Bella doesnt hide the kind of person she is or keep her feelings deep inside her. Her blush is just one piece of evidence of that. My wife simply is who she isno artifice, no ulterior motives, no false pretenses. And I love her dearly for it. We chat a little as I eat my breakfast. Well, Im not the only one eating it. I offer Bella lots of her own bites, which she accepts happily as I ease each forkful into her pretty mouth. I finish up and sip my coffee as she chatters happily. So, tonight is a group thing with the usual suspects. But the rest of the day is all about you, my dear, Bella says, her head slightly tilted as a playful smile graces her lips. I have some presents for you. I can give them to you whenever you like, she adds, kissing the tip of my nose. Hmm, I say, deliberating as I steal a maple syrup flavored kiss from her lips. Can I have my poem now? I ask as I curl a lock of her hair around my finger.

Of course, she replies. I think youll like it. Well, I hope you do, at least, she adds, looking down sheepishly. I stroke her hand and urge her to recite it for me. OK, its called Id Rather Be, and I wrote it a couple of weeks ago. I woke up on the middle of night with some really bad heartburn. And the word heartburn got me thinking, she explains. About indigestion? I ask with a straight face even though Im being a pain in the ass and she knows it. She rolls her eyes at me and squints her eyes. No, not about indigestion, she replies as she smacks my leg. About a burn in your hearthow it can burn with desire, or with pain. Sometimes both at the same time. Plus, I liked the idea using a play on wordsI have heartburn when you leave, but not the kind that gives me an upset stomach. Just a dull ache, she tells me, her voice trailing off into a low hush. I move the breakfast tray off my lap and replace it with Bella, wrapping one arm around her shoulders and resting the other gently on her middle. Anyway, this is the poem. I wrote it down but Ill just recite it for now. Youve got your hands on her all day

Touching her, stroking her Youre damn right Im jealous When she calls, you come even when our mouths meet for the first time And shes a jealous bitch too she passes my love notes to you but she lets me think the worst, too when I pump her for your whereabouts she drops hints like bombs in my mind yeah, were both jealous and you call on her, push her buttons day and night, more than me but I dont want to be your phone Id rather be your toothbrush Id rather be your toothbrush first kiss in the morning last kiss every night your gentle 100 strokes 100 rhythmic pokes Shes long and lean and straight pale, clean and silent shes got dignity and grace and thrice a day you

take her in your mouth yeah, youre faithful like that you take her in your mouth and she makes it all right and new and fresh and clean and true Id rather be good for you than talked into She lets out a long deep breath . Her face has a far off look, like shes daydreaming. Bella will often get lost in her own head when shes immersed in her poetry. I can imagine all the words she must have running through her head, and how they all evoke an emotion or a memory or some other keen sensation. The longer I know her, the more I see how she doesnt just use words to express herselfits almost a transcendental experience for her. Language is a bridge between something she feels and how she then interprets it. Like a painter with a canvas and paints, she uses words to create a picture of a snapshot from something in her life. Did you like it? she asks, bringing me out of my distracting thoughts. I loved it. But you shouldnt envy my toothbrush. I replace it religiously every three months, sometimes more often, I say

with a smirk. But jokes aside, youre way better than good dental hygiene. Youre good mental hygiene. You keep me sanekeep me happy. Thats so much better than a toothbrush, I add softly as I graze my thumb down her cheek. Thank you, Edward, she murmurs, grabbing my hand from her face and kissing my palm. I love you so much, it makes me even more irrational than I already am, as if that were possible, she jokes. I kiss her ripe, puckered lips and decide that this is the best birthday Ive ever had, and I only just woke up. Ready for your next gift? she asks in a low voice, quirking her eyebrow at me. She grazes the tip of her finger back and forth against my chest, then lightly presses me back, gently coaxing me to lie back down. She starts kissing a line down from my chin to my neck, stopping for a bit at my Adams apple. Lifting my shirt over my head, she continues her mouths little trip southward, her hands rubbing and stroking each part where her kisses have landed. It wouldnt be a proper birthday if you didnt get this present, now would it? she teases before kissing the bulge pressing against my boxers and easing them down my legs.

Oh yeah. Best fucking birthday ever.

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