This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Story: Bad Blood Storylink: http://www.fanfiction.net/s/6629039/1/ Category: Twilight Author: LadyExcalibur2010 Last updated: 04/29/2011 Content: Chapter 1 to 18 of 18 chapters Source: FanFiction.net Summary: Edward Cullen was a man who liked order. He arranged his life into neat little segments, exercising rigid
control in all areas of his existence. Then one day, all of it was brought tumbling down by one simple question.
*Chapter 1*: Chapter 1
I don't own these characters. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. I only borrow them. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions, though I do confess to harassing, annoying, torturing, and exasperating them – just because it's fun. I make no money from my little stories, sad day. I only play in the sandbox, I didn't build it.
Author's Notes: I originally said that I expected this story to be about ten chapters long. I think now that estimate is a tad low. The characters have kind of gone off in their own direction and Edward is strangely reluctant to spill some beans. I can't hurry the poor man along. It would just be cruel. So... perhaps a few more chapters than ten. I will update at least once every two weeks at least, but probably once a week is likely. This little plot bunny wandered into my garden and I was helpless to resist. Having just finished a long story, I want to play with some smaller ideas. BAD BLOOD
"Love and fear. Everything the father of a family says must inspire one or the other." ~Joseph Joubert ~Bad Blood~ Edward Cullen was a man who liked order. He prized it in fact. He arranged his life into neat little segments, exercising rigid control in all areas of his existence. It was not that he wanted to control anyone else. No, the one he was most desperate to control was himself. His world was centered around that truth. So his life was arranged into tidy boxes into which he placed his days and nights, his hours and minutes precisely planned and anticipated. On Mondays he would arrive at the gym at precisely 6:15 in the morning. He would work out for forty-five minutes, after which he would shower and change into work clothes and head to work. Because he arrived a few minutes later than his usual 7:07 arrival, Janice would already be at her desk. They would exchange smiles and an overall impression of their weekends. After talking with her no less than two minutes and no more than three, he would head to his desk and turn on his computer. On Tuesdays, he would have lunch at the diner that was two and a half blocks from the office, indulging in a hamburger in French fries, an extravagance for which he would have to run an extra two miles on Wednesday. He always ordered the same thing; he always sat in the same booth (the one that had a small rip in the seat precisely three inches from the edge). Midge was always his waitress and she always asked what a handsome guy like him was doing eating alone. Edward always gave her a playful and flirtatious smile in response. That the smile was fake mattered to neither of them. The niceties must be observed. On Wednesdays, he would go to the gym in the morning, leaving his house quite early in order to complete his routine. He worked out for an hour and arrived at the office right on schedule – between 7:05 and 7:07 - having allowed for inconvenient traffic or inclement weather. In the evening, he would run five miles instead of the three miles he normally ran on Saturday. If weather permitted, he liked to run outside. It gave him time to think and appreciate the gifts of nature. If the weather was foul, he would run on the treadmill. He always found that slightly disconcerting somehow. On Thursdays, he picked up his dry cleaning. He always left the house ten minutes later than usual so that he could sync his arrival at the dry cleaners to the time they opened. The woman who worked the counter was named Sharon. He always said hello and asked her how her grandchildren were doing. Sharon always commented on what a polite young man he was. He always blushed when she said that, cursing his fair skin. Fridays would see him at a bar. There were half a dozen bars that he frequented on a rotating basis. His visits there had a precise and rigid schedule. After an hour or two there, he would set his sights on a woman. He would then do his best to charm her and persuade her to go to a hotel with him. It usually worked. The woman he chose was always there with friends, and he always made sure to introduce himself to those friends, giving them his name. "Hello, I'm Edward Cullen. Pleased to meet you." The words were always exactly the same. His smile was always charming. His actions were a precaution, a safety net that the women never realized they needed. Then he would take the woman to a hotel where he would check in using the same credit card. They would fuck – twice. Always twice. Not once. Not three times. Twice. He wasn't into anything kinky. He didn't need pain to orgasm, nor did he like to inflict it. If anything, his partners would have said he was a kind and considerate lover, if somewhat remote. He never slept there, but would tell the women that he had to get up early. He always left her with a lingering kiss but the impression that he would never use the phone numbers they invariably pressed upon him. Then he would go home and go to bed after showering for fifteen minutes. He did not like to lie, so he would get up early and go about his routine. Every Saturday morning, he would take another run, just three miles – never half a mile more or half mile less. He never deviated from his customary route – north past the Miller's house, then west up toward the orchard and back home again. Then he would go home, get showered and dressed, and spend the day cleaning his house. He was neat, preferring tidiness in his surroundings as he did in his dealings with the outside world. He was not so obsessed that he spent his Saturdays with a bottle of bleach and a toothbrush cleaning his kitchen floor, but he was organized and methodical. He brushed his hair with fifty strokes of his brush every morning and night. He spent exactly six minutes brushing his teeth and
eight minutes washing and conditioning his hair. It took him five minutes to shave. In all things, there must be order. That was his mantra, the guiding principle of his life. His aunt would call him every Saturday evening, somewhere between five and six. They would talk for half an hour. Every week she expressed her love and concern for him. Every week he placated her with empty words. She had done her best, after all. And he was doing the best he could as well. He told her that he loved her, because he did. She had been a boy's savior, and a man's lifeline. Then they would hang up and he would fight the urge to weep. Always, he would triumph over that need because tears represented weakness and an excess of emotion. Those things were not for him. On Sunday, if football was in season, he would have some guys from work over to watch the game. If asked the men would have said they were good friends. If asked, Edward would have said they were acquaintances with whom he was friendly. While he liked sports, he never allowed himself much emotion when watching the games. Control. It was all about control. Too much emotion was both dangerous and unnecessary, so in all things he preferred moderation and control. If football was not in season, he might have a barbeque for some people from the office. No one would ever call him a loner, though in truth he was lonely. For years, his life went on in this way. He wasn't happy, but neither was he unhappy. He was content and that was all he asked. He felt a sense of satisfaction in knowing what he had overcome. The beast that surely lived within him had been firmly leashed and that was all that mattered. If he was not particularly fulfilled, he was also not a danger to those around him, and that was enough. He was comfortable in his chosen path, knowing what each day held, being able to predict the conversations he would have, the foods he would eat, where he would be at different times during the day. The routine was his healing balm and it helped him forget – for the most part. Then the day came (it was a Thursday, and sometimes he would ponder that if it had been a Wednesday he might have missed meeting her altogether and she might have abandoned her quest) when his carefully ordered world was thrown into chaos. The knock on the door was both unexpected and unwelcome. Edward Cullen did not like surprises, and nothing in his previous experiences had indicated that any surprise could be pleasant. So he was already scowling when he opened the door. He was never sure what he expected when he opened the door, but what he found wasn't it. She was petite, not dressed particularly well and probably around his age. Her eyes were large and dark and intelligent behind her glasses, which gave her the air of a librarian. Her brown hair was pulled back in to a ponytail and she had a pen stuck behind one ear. In her hand was a steno pad and dangling from her wrist was one of those little recorders that he had learned to despise long ago. She blinked at him for a moment, as if surprised that he was actually home. If it had been Wednesday, he would have already safely made his escape. A tiny line appeared between her brows. "Mr. Cullen?" she asked. Her voice was slightly husky, as if she had a cold perhaps. She licked her lips. "Yes, I'm Mr. Cullen," he replied. His skin felt itchy now, too small for his body. It was Thursday and he had to leave for the dry-cleaners soon. "Edward Cullen?" she pressed. "Yes," he answered with a frown, glancing at his watch. If this kept up too much longer he would be late. He could not abide tardiness. A relieved smile broke out on her face and she breathed out a gusty sigh. The smile changed her face, he noticed. She was...well, she was pretty. Quite pretty in fact, in a girl-next-door kind of way, but it was not Friday and they were not at a bar and she had no friends to whom he could introduce himself. So he ignored her girl-next-door looks. "Oh thank goodness, I was afraid I'd gotten it wrong." "May I help you?" He looked at his watch pointedly and she took the hint. "Uh yeah, I mean, yes, I hope so." She seemed flustered. Since he was feeling the same way, he allowed himself a small twinge of satisfaction. He quirked one eyebrow at her, urging her silently to come to the point already. She began rummaging around in her bag, and then pulled free a piece of paper triumphantly. "Are you the same Edward Cullen who graduated from Jacksonville University?" He frowned. "Yes." What could this possibly be leading up to? And why? If she didn't come to the point, he'd arrive late at the dry-cleaners and that possibility annoyed him. Another smile from her, and this one was more uncertain. Her voice, when she spoke, trembled a bit. "Are you the Edward
Edward.. He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. he found his fist clenching and before he could stop it. This was not moderation. This was the first rattling of the bars of the cage that held the monster. Edward Cullen did not like surprises. abashed and ashamed. She would go away eventually.. son of the serial killer Edward Masen. gasping for breath. he had punched a hole in the drywall next to the door. Senior?" He shut the door in her face and leaned against it.Cullen who was once known as Edward Masen II. You are not subject to whims of excess in anything. It was a Thursday and he was supposed to be at the dry cleaners already. This was not temperance. he heard her footsteps leaving his porch and dared to peek out in a gap between the curtains of the window. He would ignore her. Edward Cullen did not cry. In all things. he reminded himself. As she drove away.this was the first step onto a path of destruction. I'll do better. . He closed his eyes and shook his head. Mom. Control. This was. He stared at the hole. I'll do better. She had to. It didn't matter. He would say nothing. After a long moment." He felt something wet and warm on his cheek and wiped it away with a carefully controlled motion. "I'm sorry. This was not control. He was late. control. Confirm nothing.
but he merely sighed in resignation. He repeated his soothing litanies to himself over and over again in his head as he tried to get the lock open. I need to know what. She blinked at him and then smiled slowly. His thoughts were not complimentary. intent on unlocking his front door and getting inside the safe haven of his home. he had a birth certificate to prove it. She didn't know him. That deviation bothered him. my mother is Esme Cullen. Of course. If others noticed. I only borrow them. or nosy." ~Friedrich Nietzsche ~Bad Blood~ All day at work. Annoyance was a safe and bland emotion. Not only had the woman disrupted his usual morning routine. So when he arrived home that night. This was not his usual Thursday night errand (that was a trip to the video store where he would rent one of the new releases whether he thought he'd like it or not). and honestly. not if one kept a tight rein on it. his key did not turn smoothly. Not only would it complicate matters further and disrupt his life even more. In the end. Chapter 2 "What was silent in the father speaks in the son. your story fascinates me. and that betrayed an excess of emotion that would not do. If that kept up. and often I found in the son the unveiled secret of the father. Even his co-workers had commented on it. That realization only served to disturb him further. nagged at his sense of well being. which only made his agitation worse. torturing. Edward had had to make a stop at the hardware store. she had ruined his day and now threatened to upset his entire schedule. A place for everything and everything in its place. uncomfortable questions might be asked. Good. Who did she think she was? What purpose could be served by destroying his life? And why would she want to do so? He didn't know her. Edward did not allow himself to feel anger toward the woman. sad day. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. I only play in the sandbox. That was her fault too." He closed the door. I make no money from my little stories. "I don't have any place else to be. it was more annoyance than anything else. ~Bad Blood~ On his way home from work Thursday evening. Control. I shall fear no evil. Moderation. I didn't build it. jiggling the key in the lock. It was her fault. when he had died and been reborn." All of that was true. "Why don't you just go away?" he asked in annoyance. Her motives were a mystery. engaging the lock with a satisfied snick of sound.. "My name is Edward Cullen. Annoyance did not flare into rage. He purchased the supplies to fix the hole that he'd made in the drywall by the door. He brushed past her. At last. he would be moved to cursing. It took ten minutes for her steps to move off the porch. "I just wanted to -" He held up his hand. then he had truly lost control. Clearly this woman had to be set straight in the most clear and concise and polite terms possible. her expression tentative and wary. though I do confess to harassing. He turned to glare at her. For once. That is all I have to say. exasperating women on his doorstep." he reminded her softly. The whole situation was unacceptable. She had better hope that she did not encroach on his privacy again. He huffed and turned away from her. Edward had been out of sorts. The narrow road is the righteous road. He found that interval of time unacceptable and pondered calling the police. His hands were shaking. Even though it was only Thursday. "My father is Carlisle Cullen. She stood up when she saw him approach her." Her shoulders slumped and her words trailed off. or surprises. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. Edward Cullen didn't like mysteries anymore than he liked surprises. annoying. The woman who had broken the seal on his memories was in his thoughts all day long. he had a strange compulsion to call his aunt. the sight of her sitting on the porch steps might have driven a lesser man to anger. he felt the lock release and heaved a sigh of relief. he decided against it.*Chapter 2*: Chapter 2 I don't own these characters. Edward Cullen kept a tight rein on everything. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. Edward Cullen didn't like awkward questions any more than he liked being tardy. These facts are a matter of public record. As he slipped inside the door he turned and gave her a smug smile.. "Then I feel very sorry for you indeed. It had been issued when he was fourteen. What had been broken must be .
His grapefruit was too sour and carried an edge of bitterness. a penance. No Good. Every debt must be paid. They must not be given opportunity or desire. The beast was tethered but not vanquished. After the annoying woman left him in peace. but something was wrong. ~Bad Blood~ Edward woke up early. When he put on his left sock. there had been nightmares. Sleep was when you were weak if you allowed yourself to be. First it's a wall. Suddenly. Edward got to work. had become a man. This is what happens when you lose control. He blinked for a moment. Horrific nightmares. Today it was waking up four minutes early. It was in its place. knew the truth. He had never remembered them simply because he had chosen not to – they were unimportant. Those seeds of evil could not be nourished or encouraged in any way. But. Until she had shown up on his doorstep. he gave a sigh of relief and got into his car. It was that woman's fault. As he made the repair. Some might even say it meant nothing at all. however.. Of course. Control. Having allotted himself the proper eight hours for sleep. Control and routine led to serenity. he looked both right and left. He would not allow that to happen again. Until today. It wouldn't start. Always. Horrible. there was no need to do so. "This is what happens when you lose control. He had prepared it as usual. if the look on his aunt's and uncle's faces were any indication. His coffee tasted off. The repair was finished. Goodness led to salvation. precisely arranged to rest parallel with the bed. he was reminded of a children's story he had seen in the book store one day. he had never woken up before his alarm. His toaster burned his toast. Very Bad Day. he poured half of it down the sink. This was not part of his usual routine and the necessity of doing so annoyed him. When he opened his door. He frowned at the clock by his bed. That woman had stolen his hard won serenity. he admonished himself. Control in all things. horrible.. In that man were the seeds of evil. but Edward knew for him there was no such thing. Sleep was a vulnerable time for most people. Yes. he went to the bar that was next on his rotation. Some might say that wasn't such a deviation from routine. But now.. But something about it annoyed him and set his taste buds to tingling unpleasantly. Some might have said it was just a wall. That was the key. he wondered if Alexander had had a similar experience with a nosy woman who asked questions about topics that were none of her business. even sleep. He never woke up before his alarm. so it should have tasted exactly as it did every other morning. "Alexander and the Terrible. giving one short buzz before he hit the button. his life was slowly slipping out of control. He stubbornly stayed in bed until his alarm went off. strangely. he noticed there was a hole near his big toe." He was never able to say the words that came next out loud. Nothing was "just" anything. Sleep was when demons tried to slip in past your guard and take up residence. unpainted space in the wall was a reminder. every consequence had a price. A price. His body knew that it was Friday and it wanted to find release. He fell asleep within eight minutes of putting his head on the pillow and woke up at the first buzz from the alarm. it was not the alarm which had woken him. when he was a boy and the horror was fresh. serenity led to goodness.restored. Edward. covered in blood and tears and the sweaty stench of fear. Grateful that he spotted no inquisitive brown eyes. Control must be maintained in all areas. reaching to turn off the alarm.. Now. The boy who had once shivered. And it was all her fault. In disgust. Every action had a consequence. . very bad day. Idly." Edward had a feeling that he and this Alexander might commiserate with each other. but the blank. And missed. The day was already off to an abominable start. He never hit the snooze button. But he knew what they were. Edward Cullen was not weak. He threw it toward the waste basket. ~Bad Blood~ That night. at the beginning. It was indeed a terrible. no good.
she seemed perfectly content to stand silently at his side. She wasn't dressed as provocatively as some of the women. so he hadn't paid her any attention." she said. you mean you want me to talk to you now?" Then she frowned. So when she spoke. miss. Miss Swan. He expected her to move away then. Edward Cullen did not lose control. Cullen?" she asked. "I'm Isabella Swan. "Why are you here? Why are you harassing me?" She rolled her eyes at him and he felt the strangest urge to stamp his feet like a little boy. his expression bland and unconcerned. Mr." she said. He contemplated moving away from her but two things kept him where he was. His eyes had passed right over her. horrible. Getting drunk was unwise. "I suppose knowing my name would only be fair." "Well. She ignored his move and held out her hand. Instead. "Sorry. just loud enough for him to hear. Edward Cullen still did not appreciate surprises. he turned toward her. glad that he had gotten his car repaired in time to keep his routine as sacred as possible." His body craved release and he was not going to leave until he found a likely prospect. "Do you come here often. The woman was insufferable. He began to feel a hum of tension run through him and he found his fingers tapping out an agitated rhythm on the side of his leg. not sounding sorry at all in his opinion. he childishly ignored her hand. Finally." he instructed softly. "Hello. Then he closed his eyes. Not even your name – and that hardly seems fair. he turned to her. "For the love of all that's holy. One." He felt quite proud of himself for delivering that zinger in a completely polite voice. as if calling him a poor sport." he said tightly. "Are you following me?" She rolled her eyes and took a sip of her drink. it's not a pleasure to meet you. it had surprised him. her tone was completely innocent. . He had no desire to do so. He ignored her. This would not do. She nudged him and he leaned away from her. It made it very difficult to scope out prospects for the evening's entertainment. However. He could smell the alcohol from where he stood and wondered if she had already made arrangements to get herself back safely. They tended to adorn themselves in the plumage that would get them the attention they desired." But then she said nothing more and he once again had to restrain his emotions. Then he would limit himself to club sodas. "It's a public place. She annoyed him. but my friends call me Bella. this woman was making quick work of crumbling all of the carefully constructed walls in his life and he didn't like it – one bit. "You seem to know a lot about me. Isabella made a face at him. "Go away. His sights were set on women who were likely to be open to a casual fuck. if she had a hotel room around here. or perhaps annoy him with more questions. "Well?" he finally ground out. no good." He turned away from her his jaw clenching tightly until he realized it and consciously relaxed it. He looked over the available women. When he had regained control of his emotions (control at all times in all things). "Yet I know nothing about you. This time he wanted to shake her. very bad day by any standard. A woman came to stand beside him. He stopped the motion the moment he became aware of it." he muttered." she said. "Oh. especially if she was here by herself. She should know better than to let herself get intoxicated.He ordered a beer. It was inevitable the way the day had gone. he would realize that he should have expected it. Such gestures were the hallmark of the weak. He would drink two beers tonight. "I'm hardly harassing you. giving into his annoyance was just another way of losing control. I'm here. That's all. Cullen. Two. He stifled the curse that came to his lips and took a sip of his beer instead. as he did every other Friday night. There was no need to get drunk. nothing too strong that might lower his inhibitions. Mr. running his fingers through his hair. "But I like it here. does it?" She glanced up at him through thick lashes. "But I thought you wanted me to stop harassing you?" Only the gleam in her eyes gave her game away. this was his usual spot and he wasn't about to give it up simply because she had shown up. Later. You're here. A terrible. In less than 48 hours. He should have simply ignored her. He was further annoyed when she gave a little chuckle and remained at his side.
an exercise in frustration for him. He remained stubbornly where he was and she finally gave him an exasperated look and moved to the dance floor by herself. Everything sane and rational inside of him said good riddance. Those were qualities he did not appreciate in anyone. With a muttered curse. to lose himself in the warmth of a woman's body for a brief period of time.I should have. but her eyes remained closed and she seemed unaware of them. Edward Cullen did not dance. He was grateful that he was wearing a long sleeved shirt.. as was his custom. Her hair brushed his arm. She didn't look his way." She laughed. Twice. It was a safe release. she fell into what seemed a comfortable silence for her. Imprudent. "I won't bother you again. her hair moving back and forth along her back like a metronome. Instead. "I could hear it. rather belatedly. Then she ordered another drink and he frowned." he mumbled. that he had missed his chance to make his escape.. "I didn't miss it. Reckless."Are you a reporter?" he shot the question at her during a lull in the music. For the first time since he was fourteen years old. What had come over him? "You missed a good song. Unwise. Once more." she said again." He watched her leave.. and annoying woman in the world.you're right. horrible. Isabella shook her head.. His annoyance increased. "Then why are you ruining my life?" The words came out with rather more heat than he intended and Edward took a deep breath. He knew he should resume looking for a woman. Her expression was both sad and shocked when she looked at him. When would this terrible. Control in all things. She closed her eyes and gave herself up to the music.. urging him toward the dance floor. he put aside his routine and chased after her. He did not want to feel the softness of her hair on his flesh." she said.. her body swaying in time with the heavy pulses of sound. Edward Cullen did something extraordinary. very bad day ever come to an end? . get a release for the tension that built up in him over the week. I'd have to be deaf not to hear it. "I didn't mean. Men moved closer and orbited her. "No.. then you must be a writer. Instead. These words seemed to describe Isabella Swan." she said. he acted on impulse. Edward rather liked the predictability of the motion so he kept his eyes locked on her. It was Friday and he was supposed to be getting laid.. "So. no good. just shook her head. "I'm sorry.. Am I correct? Do you think you're going to write the next true crime book that will set the publishing world on fire?" He let his disdain show through each word. She tugged at his hand.Of course. "I'm sorry. and her hair swung as she turned to accept her drink from the barkeep. exasperating.if you're not a reporter." she said quietly. Then she began shaking her hips when the music started up again. nothing like that. he was chasing after the most infuriating. He calculated the amount of alcohol he had seen her consume and estimated her body weight." She shook her head and picked up her purse. Then the song ended and she came back to stand beside him and he realized..
She looked up at him and her cheeks were damp. She had promised not to annoy him or disrupt his life. Edward Cullen was not most men. however desolating. LOL! Chapter 3 Sorrow you can hold. "I won't bother you again. I only play in the sandbox. If they speak." she said in a rush. annoying. sad day. torturing. he was stomping after her. annoyed more at himself now than at the infuriating Isabella Swan and that was saying something. he admitted. Instead.dissatisfied and uneasy. Isabella turned and slowly walked the other way. It felt uncomfortable and fake. horrible. she stopped. Finally. Then again. very bad day with that little tidbit of information. he stepped in front of her.. Perhaps he had hit his head and didn't remember hitting his head. Luckily.*Chapter 3*: Chapter 3 I don't own these characters. I said I'm sorry. He used the advantage of his superior height to loom over her. Instead. none at all. though in truth he wasn't much the looming type. but I won't mention that book until the next chapter. She came to an abrupt halt but was steady on her feet so he lowered his hands. But if it was true. "I just thought that maybe you'd -" Then. cautious was one of the things that Edward did best. Maybe he had a brain tumor. It was petty. He heaved a sigh of exasperation. He could rebuild his safe. It was just discomfort and something he could tolerate.. "If you're not a reporter. There was no reason in the world for him to chase after her. It was second nature to him. It was the voice he might have used if he came upon an injured dog. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. He wasn't quite sure which one this Isabella Swan was yet. I only borrow them. comfortable life elsewhere. and crossed her arms over her chest. Again. he slipped around her. maybe you could tell me what the hell you're doing here. unsure why he still felt. no good. Author's Note: Thank you all SO much for reading this weird little story. Isabella just shook her head and tried to move around him. how long would it take others to do so? How long before she shouted his shame to the world? How long before the whispers and sidelong glances started? How long before the prank calls began? How long would it take for the obscene words to be spray painted on his home. "Miss Swan. quite nimble in his sudden desperation. he had been pushed to his limits. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. He felt a headache forming in the back of his skull. alerting the world to his sins. Once more. He wondered if it would reflect a lack of control to simply move to another city. He stepped into her path each time she did so. that poison that surged in his veins? "You said you live here?" Maybe he had brain damage. His stance on surprises was well known. without another word. only adding to the terrible. another state perhaps. you break down. That.. If she had figured it out. though I do confess to harassing. but still true. if nobody speaks to you. save the rest of the evening and get laid. Edward felt a small twinge of smug satisfaction at having annoyed her for a change. and he had heard her correctly. In fact. startled at seeing him there.. and you're not a writer. She gave a defensive little shrug and looked at something beyond his shoulder. stood in front of her and turned to face her. In any case." he observed with relief. Twice. Most men." She shook her head." "Well. I make no money from my little stories.. While politeness might demand a more cordial response. Sometimes a man had to take his satisfaction where he could. Maybe he had imagined her response. a disguise that had become reality. Or a rabid raccoon. huffed loudly. which is also in the next chapter. he thought he might enjoy Europe. Soon it would radiate across his head and gather like a storm in his forehead." she said. might have grabbed at her arm and whirled her around to yell at her. ~Bede Jarrett He saw her heading east and quickly ran after her. "Look. He watched her leaving for a long moment. he should have been heading back into the bar to see if he could somehow." he began in his most soothing voice. He didn't touch her. those who were not in control of their emotions and reactions. More. he admitted. "Why are you crying? Surely I'm the injured party here?" But even he heard the note of petulance in his voice and that annoyed him. cutting her path of escape." he snapped. I suppose the day is salvaged after all. It was inspired by a book. "I live here. "I just moved here a few weeks ago . Further. surprised him.. One could only hope. after we've explored Edward's deal a little bit. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. she was to be approached with caution. He repressed the urge to rub the impending ache away. He held out his hands in case she started to fall. I didn't build it. "You live here?" Surely he had heard her wrong. It wasn't Miss Swan's presence so much as the danger her knowledge represented. and surely she had to realize that all of this was her fault? "I shouldn't have. One could only hope.
"I'm a writer. Breathe in. Isabella Swan was exhausting. but only to him. that raw agony that called out to him.that. Something deep inside of him shifted in response. But it seemed that it was not to be. but I'm not interested in writing a story about what Masen did. it's nothing like that. "Actually. Harvey said. I'm angry at me.. Miss Swan had surprised him.. Edward Cullen did not like surprises. so he put aside his frustration.. he didn't even slow down. "It matters to me. When he spoke." Something in her voice.good. but it seemed as if he was intent on pursuing them that night. but that's got nothing to do with why I wanted to talk to you. I was so afraid of blurting out one thing that I blurted out something even worse and. Whereas he had found solace in control and regiment." She sighed and wrapped her arms around her own body. "Uh. He wanted his soothing routine. she had found comfort in actually trying to live a normal. or merely added another lock to his prison. but I'd still like an explanation. They were exhausting. The last thing in the world that he wanted was to share a cup of coffee with this woman. He was tired of dealing with Miss Swan and her explosive questions. "So please.. "Yes?" he snapped out and then took a deep breath. "I knew it." He stood there on the street. the comfort of his belongings (a place for everything and everything in its place).. With Miss Swan around. "Listen. You don't have to speak to me again. He did not give her the courtesy of even a sidelong glance. It would have been so nice to have that release tonight." She looked up and down the street." she said quietly and she shivered. He gave a jerky nod of his head.. Even after all these years. I probably won't. He was tired of feeling out of sorts and ill-at-ease and all of the other uncomfortable things that Miss Swan brought with her." There was something odd in saying the words "serial killer." Of course it mattered.. Her smile was quick and genuine. "Well then. both literally and figuratively. all of those things seemed to be in short supply and he was so very tired. Her confession was given in the same manner that a child might admit to lying. "And then I completely blew it. but this time Miss Swan chased him.and. He didn't halt. I am a writer. She let her arms drop to her side. but please. he could still hear the soothing voice of Dr. He would spend the rest of his life trying to expiate his father's sins. have a pleasant evening Miss Swan. "Good. He had to get away from her." She sighed." she said. That's how I earn my living. "Well. He heard her footsteps behind him. Everything about her screamed danger and impulse. her posture. But most of all. Edward wasn't quite sure it was only the cool night air that caused it.. He wanted the solace of order and predictability.. that's.. "I just. breathe out. "You're right." she muttered. I'm a writer. It was there again. I write children's books." He turned and began walking away. He was done with Miss Swan.there's a .. She was as broken in her way as he was in his." She let go of his arm at his pointed look. "It's taken me all that time to approach you. let me explain. with a great deal of shame and the sincere hope that no punishment would be forthcoming. Isabella Swan swallowed hard and Edward looked over shoulder. I don't blame you for being angry at me.let me buy you a cup of coffee. and turned to walk home. This whole situation was exhausting.. This woman infuriated and exasperated him. but he was still human enough to recognize pain when he saw it.I needed to know." She hesitated a moment. wasn't it? What was her agenda? If she had nothing to gain from disrupting his tidy little existence then why did she insist on doing so? "You wouldn't understand. "I'm not writing about any of. "No. "I wanted. "Mr.. Harvey in his head. I think I'm entitled to one. She did grab his arm and turn him around." His voice was flat. he hated the note of gentleness in his voice." Isabella rubbed at her face. releasing his tension. It's all ancient history. Cullen?" she asked as she fell into step beside him. She just hid it so much better. We have nothing left to say to each other. But he made the mistake of looking into her eyes. "Children's books? I hardly think the crimes of a serial killer are suitable fodder for a children's book. but he ignored them. carefully controlled his need. gave him pause. His mind was still unsettled and his whole body twitched and felt as if it belonged to someone else. "Why? Just let it go. squeezing hard. He was done with letting her rattle his self-control. Thank you. his body still hungry for the release it knew should be happening. fulfilled life. I'd like to try and explain. None of it matters anymore. in spite of all his good intentions to make his escape. He was rather tired of surprises.. his expression strained.... If you'd let me." she insisted quietly." she said with an obvious air of frustration." "Why in God's name would you wish to do so – approach me that is?" That was the question. taking advantage of his shock at her daring." Once more." She shuddered. just like Dr.. in spite of his determination to put this woman behind him. giving one last longing glance toward the bar." How long had it been since that combination of words had passed his lips? Edward could not decide if it was freeing somehow.
why are you sorry?" He looked up. Claire. that's what his job was. he was a cop. My dad saw so much of the ugliness in this world.the first. letting Miss Swan fall into step or not as it pleased her. Michelle. he opened the door for her. The names of the women his father had killed. every horrific act. well. He could have ordered tea. Uncomfortable and risky or not. Her smile held . kind of like a cowboy but I didn't want to live outside. "What about your mother?" The question was out of his mouth before he could retract it. Isabella?" Edward pressed. stunned.. Miss Swan did not seem the type to give up easily. so generally ill-mannered now or because she knew what he was. They both swallowed hard. though in fact he did not know. But even he could be dressed up." Isabella agreed softly.somewhere anyway. on purpose or just by sheer stupidity and he tried to make it right by making sure the guilty parties get what's coming to them. "Or maybe ride horses for a living. That was not a welcomed realization. as a rule. but it wasn't a particularly uncomfortable silence. There was no escape for him." Edward nodded when she spoke of the beauty and innocence . he admitted. He stopped. she knew that he would never forget. which further surprised him. "I think he kind of wanted me to follow in his footsteps. Therese. she knew the bare facts of what had happened. "She was the first." Some part of him knew. "She was. their coffee actually quite good. Her eyes met his squarely and she heaved a sigh. "My dad. He wished that he had worn a jacket so that he might loan it to her. but he wasn't sure if it was an unpleasant surprise or not. His head hung and he felt an immense sadness well up within him." Isabella answered as if she saw into the darkest recesses of his heart and knew exactly how his guilt and shame wracked him. he mused. She knew who he was. He had opened a dangerous door. her arms wrapped around her body. If that's okay?" Edward knew the diner. no matter how hard he tried to distance himself from those first fourteen years of his life. "What happened to your mother. "Her name was Renee Dwyer. he had been a different person. Perhaps she would be so grateful that she would leave him alone forever. It's an honorable job and he was good at it. you know? The innocence that still exists. It was horribly perfect in its logic. When they got to the diner. and their service was friendly and prompt. He thought about her words and realized something." Her smile flickered sadly and then was gone. "But I always knew I'd do something else. He willed his body into submission and remained still and quiet in the booth. Every name. I couldn't stand bugs. What if she turned the question around on him? Her eyes skittered up to meet his and then danced away and he saw in them the same reluctance he knew must be in his own. they had made him what he was. as if she knew that the names of the dead haunted him. Edward Cullen. Somehow. he had to know. He was the son of a monster. They were silent while they waited for their beverages to arrive." she finally said. Isabella took a sip of her coffee when it arrived and gave a little groan of appreciation. Things like that. "Edward. they had haunted his sleep since he was fourteen years old. more confused than ever. Phoebe. This was why he lived as he did. Even then." It seemed to him that Miss Swan was avoiding the question. that's actually why I was such a bitch and intruded on your life. Isabella surprised him by placing her hand over his." She shrugged and Edward just sat there. How often had he whispered their names in the dark? Renee. The shattered look in this woman's eyes. He knew every name. That surprised Edward. a way to right wrongs. And the debt could never be paid. "It's a funny thing about families. Their food was acceptable. Marnie. He got a front row seat to all of the shit that humans do to each other.. so he nodded again. taught a few manners.." She shook her head. I'm not rich.. you know. Not likely. A moment later she was at her side. I wanted to concentrate on the beauty and innocence that's still out there. circling around it. and released into an unsuspecting society. "See. He wondered why women insisted on going out on cool nights with inadequate protection against the elements.little diner down that way. "Of course. but the thought of a good cup of coffee was simply too tempting. that had been ripped away on a warm spring night. the immense burden of guilt weighing on him. But I knew I couldn't live by surrounding myself with the ugliness in this world. I was pretty sure that I wanted to be a princess at that age. She seemed surprised and he wondered if it was because society was. Eve. it's hard to discuss career choices with an eleven year old. He sighed and tried to push that thought away. by any means. He thought that maybe it would be for me.. Deanna." Edward said. If he had ever been innocent. "My mom just wanted me to be happy. When he emerged from the house where he had grown up. and. It was an uncomfortable reminder to Edward of what he should have been doing right at that moment. though he wasn't sure how it was possible. Of course. after all. Then I figured out I had a knack for writing children's stories and I got lucky.. "I'm sorry. Then he smiled wryly to himself. They ordered their coffee and Edward knew that his schedule was going to be thrown off further by ingesting caffeine so late at night." Bella said out of the blue." he whispered. but I make a living. He turned and began walking toward the diner. every life.
" She sighed and squeezed his hand before removing hers.. that's not why I bothered you. She did not put the blame for her mother's death on his shoulders.some sort of strange grace that he was – shockingly – hungry to accept. lets me think that maybe there really is more good out there than bad. until Miss Swan's hand settled over his own. I thought.it gave me faith all these years. it's helped me to survive. for saving all of those women who will never have any idea what you did for them.why?" It became a question at the end.. they'll never know that you saved them and their families. "You were just a kid. though his shame weighed as heavy as a millstone around his neck.. He had been too stupid. "What you did. And it gives me hope." Isabella whispered." Edward Cullen had become a man accustomed to living a lie. he had saved lives of that there was no doubt. "I wanted to know why he killed my mother. His father would never have stopped. What you did. and he was able to tell one in others. "I don't blame you. You stopped him.. Edward. "I thought that you might know because you. And who knows how many women you saved. Thank you for saving me..." She shook her head. Her eyes shone with sincerity and for the first time in sixteen years. "Thank you. And I guess I just wanted to know. Edward.... Why her? What was it that drew him to her? Did something about her specifically trigger what he became? Was it.. Their eyes met." He looked up.. This woman was not lying. He didn't realize that he had said the words out loud.too late..you were the one who recognized what he was. too scared. "It still inspires and amazes me. "I thought that maybe you'd understand some of what I still feel. as if she was not sure what she sought or why. Edward. Edward felt the cold block of ice around his heart crack just a little." Oh yes." . too... But he had not saved the one life he had wanted to save.
"If we. horrible. sad day. "No. I don't really have anyone I want to tell. His sock did not have a hole in it. I make no money from my little stories. It was just another way to leash the monster inside of him. "Uh. He arrived home and showered. things that had changed them both so profoundly. her laughter filling the cool breeze with a happy. his watchband broke and his watch fell from his wrist while he was pacing around his bedroom... I didn't build it. Nor did he have the distraction of deciding what to prepare for dinner either. since he was dining at Isabella's house that night.. though I do confess to harassing. But no. Later on. her expression was as serene as ever. just to be safe?" Her words made the smile fall from his face.. Unexpectedly so. which only served to annoy him further.. He gave one jerky nod of his head and said no more on the subject. the sound of his feet hitting the ground.he wondered. Chapter 4 "Forgiveness is the fragrance the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it. "I really should feel guilty." he warned her. Saturdays were an odd day for him usually. His toast did not burn and his grapefruit was tasty. Still. perhaps. very bad day. Isabella nodded with understanding and squeezed his hand again.. looking for something to do. "You can feel free to tell someone if you like. if you're afraid of being alone with me. just us.. I only borrow them. His run was satisfactory since the weather cooperated and he felt strong as he ran. They didn't linger over their coffee. She laughed in delight. though it did not seem to be a repeat of the terrible." That was not reassuring to Edward Cullen. I only play in the sandbox. Though he would not be able to abide an audience. it would seem like fate. but the gesture was beyond him. the slight burn in his lungs as he increased his pace. . but I find I just can't help myself. "Of course not.. Sometimes he wished that it would take him longer because now he had hours to fill until it was time for his aunt's call." A shake of her head." He looked at her in astonishment.. it was right there. and he was a rather tidy individual. but you're just so easy to tease. but his weekends were sometimes difficult to fill." Nodding stiffly. Isabella smiled.talk. because it's sort of like teasing an adorable puppy. His body was supposed to be sated from his releases of the previous night. almost missing the teasing glint in her eyes.. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. It didn't take much. Edward held open the diner door for her and led her out into the night.tell someone. ~Bad Blood~ Saturday found him out of sorts again..." She shrugged. maybe a little later. Edward found himself wandering around his house.. he would have been able to forget it. On this day. He liked witnesses. He ignored the words that had rocked the foundation of his existence. "No. He lived alone. human touch quite.*Chapter 4*: Chapter 4 I don't own these characters. His aunt would call him and he would need a few minutes to regain his composure. "I can't be there before six thirty or so. but by the time he had glanced up. he had no pets. "I'm sorry. All in all. His coffee was as flavorful as always. no good... something was off and he could not quite identify what it was. At some point. in plain view.pleasant. In any case..I. it was shaping up to be a better day. someone had to know he was there with her. If the spread had been hanging just an inch lower. "Just. Edward found that simple. unexpected sound." Isabella looked down at her feet. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. He dropped to his knees to retrieve it and the bedspread was pulled up just enough to see that box. enjoying the play of his muscles. but only as much as he was able. He tried to smile at her. and then he cleaned his house. "Let's make it seven thirty then. Still. he could not savor the feeling of physical satisfaction from a casual encounter.destiny.. He was even more astonished to hear himself say that he would talk to her about the strange and horrific things they had in common.will anyone else be there?" She misunderstood his question." She smirked at him. He thought that Isabella's lips quirked in amusement. will you?" Her dark eyes bored into him for what seemed an eternity. torturing. people who knew he was alone with a woman.." ~ Mark Twain Isabella's gentle words of absolution so stunned Edward Cullen that he found himself doing what he usually did when circumstances overwhelmed him. I wouldn't. as usual. annoying. as if she was ripping away the masks he had worn for so long that they felt more like him than he did. Edward was astonished to hear himself accept an invitation to dine at her house the following night. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. He woke with his alarm.
Today." Edward obeyed and was soon seated at little white table that had flowers painted up each leg. he found himself almost looking forward to his next discovery. Not as the son of the monster. He stared at her suspiciously. "Sit. It was just Edward's bad luck that the monster was also his father." he murmured. Sit down. I'm making fajitas and you'll like them.. Not now. Had it been his way of punishing himself or a way to try and find comfort? Perhaps. He put the picture back in the box without looking at anything else. "Come on it. They were the Alpha and Omega of Edward Masen's madness. ~Bad Blood~ Her home was a modest little bungalow painted a cheerful yellow with blinding white shutters." He sat. Renee. so no whining. she disarmed him with flashes of utter honesty. Michelle. "I just needed a bit of liquid courage I suppose. he actually picked it up. He heard her rummaging around in the kitchen and blushed a bit when "Let's Get Drunk and Screw" started playing. The back of his white chair had gotten similar treatment. in the end. Mr. Cullen. he lifted the lid after eleven minutes and thirty-eight seconds. Isabella Swan was a woman of unexpected tastes... somewhat faded with time. "This is only my first. not when he must face talking to his aunt and then later making polite conversation with Miss Swan. just where he'd placed it all those years ago. "I see." she assured him. she appeared in the arch between the kitchen and living room. Strangely. He had just walked up and rapped once on the door when it flew open and he saw Bella standing there with margarita glass in her hand and Jimmy Buffett wafting out into the night air. His mother's picture – right on top. When he dusted under the bed. Take a load off. Gaudy wildflowers in window boxes wafted in the night breeze. he pulled it free of its dark prison and sat on his bed with the thing in his lap for eleven and a half minutes (he had had enough presence of mind to grab his watch). Bella's feet were bare. and. Isabella obviously knew that his father had slaughtered his mother. however. bright colors. He cleared his throat before awkwardly wrapping a fajita around the meat and vegetables. but there had been no shoes lined up in the foyer.Elizabeth. I-" . though they ventured dangerously close to the territory of surprises. "Ah. The whole kitchen was a profusion of mouth-watering smells. "Well. But his memory was faithful and he could recreate every lovely detail of her face. he thought. Edward found that a smile had somehow settled on his lips without his permission. hello. but she had not asked about it. Marnie. Cullen. Who better to understand that than someone like Isabella? For the first time in his life. his mother's memory was too sacred and precious. he might have found someone who could actually have some small understanding of what he felt. The box was soon safely tucked under the bed and Edward watched his clock tick down the minutes." As always." The amused expression fled from her face and she shrugged. "First. Therese. Their names rang out in his head with solemnity of a cathedral bell calling the faithful to worship. A few moments later. Their season would soon be over." she said. "I don't have a formal dining room so you're just going to have to slum it. the idea of sitting down and talking with Isabella Swan did not seem so very distasteful anymore. Unable to believe his own actions. it was both. Bella solved the problem for him by shoving him toward the couch. Eve. She had loved him so much. She had realized that even though he might be able to discuss his father in some way. "Are you drunk?" She rolled her eyes and pulled him inside. His hand was shaking as he lifted up the image. Isabella's mother had been his father's first victim. first right then left. His breath caught in his throat." "Do you?" she asked with a challenge in her voice. Claire.. but as the son of the woman that monster had killed. he used the dust mop to move the box. "Absolutely not. as if giving him a glimpse of her soul. Deanna. it was part of what made the case such a sensation. His own mother had been his last.For the first time since he had moved into the house. Phoebe." Edward shook his head and wondered if he should take his shoes off." she said. and unfamiliar warmth that somehow tugged at a long-buried memory in Edward's mind. Strangely. and protected him until that protection was beyond her control. I. "Come into the kitchen. he was discovering.
He wanted to breathe a sigh of relief at how she'd phrased it. He mentally reviewed the Heimlich maneuver in his mind." he observed. but I reserve the right to not answer too. Then they were on the couch and Jimmy had given way to another of the same name. Isabella had teased him. If that's okay with you?" He nodded. There were mornings he could barely stand to look. where she plucked out a volume and opened the pages.Isabella held up her hand and shook her head. just tell me so. there was one of those candlelight vigils. "Apparently what I've been eating has merely been passed off as a fajita. ~Bad Blood~ Though Isabella had protested." she said carefully. this one was being held for all murder victims in the city. "You look like her. He let his fingers run over the image. "You don't look at all like your father. She chewed and motioned him to eat with one hand. "Well." Then she grinned at him and took a huge bite of her first fajita. "Yes. Edward sighed knowing that there would be no moving her on the issue. she retrieved a photograph. It was the first and last one I went to. Like him.. the kitchen was restored to bright. "Okay. You don't want to see that. was encouraging. "My Mom." Isabella said quietly. "I thought maybe I could ask you some questions.. Eating first. she had shown no hesitation in touching that image and her hand didn't shake when she extended it toward him. fresh order and Edward turned out the light with a slight smile of satisfaction. she kept a special photograph of her mother in a secret place.. That vivid inheritance served to disguise and camouflage what little resembled the monster. of course. At the end.. He sat down on the couch as Isabella's insistence and then she moved to bookshelf. So far. Images of the dead could be sacred to those left behind." His eyes flew to hers.. His father had dark brown hair and blue eyes. washing and rinsing and putting away dishes. "You bring a picture of your loved one.. but the shape of your face. in many ways. Generally speaking. he bore a striking resemblance to his mother. There had been an ease to their combined efforts that had surprised him. his mother had had auburn hair and the same green eyes that stared back at Edward every morning when he shaved. It was true. From inside.. When she had suggested that she could just attend to it after he left." And his next bite was as big as Isabella's. His expression must have given him away because she giggled.?" He held it up.. Edward recognized her immediately. She even talked him into drinking another beer. "Not the eyes. Who knew that better than he did? The expression on her face. Everyone always told me how much I looked like Charlie – that's my father – but I've always thought I looked a lot like her too. "Anything you don't want to answer. "No talking." Isabella hesitated. don't tell me that you've never had a fajita before?" He swallowed the bite and shrugged." She tilted her head and studied him. but they had ended up side-by-side. "How did you.." She shrugged. "That will just make cleaning up more difficult. certain that she would have need of it momentarily. I think so too. She put her hand on his arm. "A few years ago. there seemed to be no need for intervention. It was messy and tended to be spicy. Isabella's taste in music continued to elude him. however. and hold a candle and it's supposed to make you feel better or something. do you have any questions for me?" Only a million. but his coloring was his mother's." he urged quietly. Jimi Hendrix. he thought. However. but this. He envied her that certainty. believe me." he finally said. but." "Go on. one that Edward wasn't sure any mere mortal could solve.. "God. I get really cranky when I'm hungry." She paused. But he dutifully took a small nibble. glancing at Isabella to make sure she had no objections. "Well. You have her mouth.how did you find me?" Isabella leaned back against her end of the couch and drew an afghan over her as she crossed her legs. She smiled brightly at his agreement." Isabella smiled and nodded. You can ask me anything too. Edward insisted on helping her clean up the kitchen. But he knew he'd never work up the nerve to ask even a small fraction of them. You know what I'm talking about?" Edward nodded." she explained and kindly ignored Edward's flinch. "I thought. his expression wary. He had memorized all of their faces. He carried some of the lines of his father's face. he sighed. . "I don't know. "This is a fajita. She was making this easier than he expected. still very much a mystery. She was. Edward Cullen wasn't a big fan of Mexican food. first. Or deserved. but he realized that it fit her in some inexplicable way.
. there was someone else there."I had a picture of my mother with me.. how you survived." Isabella explained. She had been a virgin until Edward Masen got a hold of her. Edward Cullen felt the bile rising up in him." Isabella smiled at him.. Her boyfriend had been named Jack. Marnie O'Doyle. what you had to do that night. A muffled scream – so out of place that he was sure he had imagined it. but it was everyone who loved them. In part.. "Edward. Marnie's mother?" Edward nodded. Isabella was the first one to really think of his mother as a victim too. every cut and bruise.and thank you." "Thank me?" Isabella scooted closer and Edward felt a momentary surge of panic. As far as he knew. to spare her his proximity. He knew every smear of blood that had been on his body as they led him away from the house. dirty politicians. his nose twitched as the miasma of odors overwhelmed him across the span of years and distance... "Wrong?" "Most people know that she was as much as victim as any of the others. "So about a year ago. It had been the soft." Isabella said softly. She had been found two weeks later. "You're wrong. She was going to be a second grade teacher. you know. brown hair. ligature marks on her neck. She had disappeared on a Tuesday night on her way home from a friend's house. "Dad?" he had called out. "Yes.it was your mother." Edward knew those pictures well. "And I realized that you had sort of dropped off the face of the earth. she leaned forward and kissed him on the forehead. He resisted the urge to move away. blue eyes. or cockroaches pinned to the wall. beautiful but cold-hearted killers. and I'm more grateful than you can know that you exist. But I do know that you are a good. single cry of pain that had drawn him. "The second picture I took was." "Wouldn't you?" Edward asked bitterly. It had been cold so the body was fairly well preserved. he felt the rough wood of the door as he pushed it open. "Anyway.right after. Once more.. "I would. the seed of the monster." she answered.. every mark that had displayed his guilt to the world. "Marnie's mother and I became friendly and sometimes we'd get together for coffee or just to chat. wondering what was so warm and wet on his cheek. She must have seen it in his eyes with that uncanny perception of hers because she reached out to him again. except there won't be any massive government cover-up. but still it compelled him forward. He had brutalized her in every way possible before tightening the cord around her neck and snuffing out her life.. It was nice to have some that understood sometimes I wanted to talk about my mother. Behold. So I'm leaving out pretty much all the good stuff that was in Dark Rivers." Her eyes flashed up to his and she seemed almost embarrassed.. and the memory assailed him. "Mom?" And then hell had opened up and drawn him into its dark heart. filling his head until it swam." With that. He was stunned into silence. I can't imagine how difficult it was for you. He reached up. She had planned on attending the University of Texas. those related to the killer. much like he was a child..... "Then one day." Her easy acceptance of his choice eased his discomfort. Then she continued briskly. this story was inspired by Dark Rivers of the Heart by Dean Koontz. LOL! I just wanted to explore the effect of a horrific crime on an invisible victim. but something." Edward felt the air leave his lungs. I decided that I wanted to find you. she had been a cheerleader. . good man. He closed his eyes. a sound that had pierced the night and lured him closer to the lair of the monster. And I started thinking about you. she asked me if anyone ever knew what became of you. Seventeen years old." she said.something made me grab another picture from the clippings my father kept. The only pictures I could find were. especially their children.all the time. out of the blue. her hands still bound. "And I realized that the victims weren't just the ones who got their pictures in the paper.
I didn't build it. And slowly. But once more. I make no money from my little stories. he's always been understanding and patient with me. "What were you like?" he questioned. Edward blinked at her. though I do confess to harassing. "Lighten the mood?" It was as if she could see and smell and hear the horror that held him in its grip. never got high or drunk. "Serious." she decreed. He was no longer in that hellish place of torment." she confided." Isabella continued." "That's pretty vague." he confessed. the one who obeyed all the rules.. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. "Let's learn a little bit more about each other. "My father says I like to push boundaries. he liked it." She paused and tapped at her lips with one finger. was going to turn his world upside down. Edward shrugged." He nodded. "I think we need to lighten the mood.. Somehow. How could he confess that he knew the "good boy" was only a façade? A mask that covered the monster that would undeniably lurk beneath the innocent surface he had so carefully cultivated? He could not admit to that. that's where the story originated. "And if you try to sneak in something like that. very much the taciturn military man. "I was a bit of a hellion. How long had it been since he had allowed himself three beers in a single night? He couldn't remember if there had been such an occasion. Edward found himself relaxing. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. on the surface. but also because he was. He did not want this generous... The memories of that night fell away. freed of the power of that dark glance." Edward shifted uncomfortably on the couch." She sighed. I guess I treasure it immensely not only because I loved him very much and still miss him every day. never got a speeding ticket. How could he explain to her that rigidly following the rules had been his way of coping? It was his way of distancing himself from the past. or were pushed. "Would you like a beer?" he offered. He realized that he had smiled more true smiles in the past fortyeight hours than in the sixteen years previous to those few days. He got easily to his feet and soon returned with beers for both of them. I'm afraid. She rolled her eyes. Isabella seemed to have her own thoughts on the matter. "You were always the good boy. "As opposed to now?" Isabella teased and he found his face heating up as he shrugged again. Isabella shrugged.. Edward was discovering that Isabella Swan had the rare gift of knowing when to say absolutely nothing. "You know where the kitchen is. "Sure. "What can I say? Sometimes a vague threat is more effective. sad day. I'll. Anyway. Isabella." There was something intimate in the way she did not insist on waiting on him like a guest. annoying." he finally said. Chapter 5 "Kindness is the greatest wisdom. it seemed. torturing. as he usually is.*Chapter 5*: Chapter 5 I don't own these characters. Author's Note: The children's book mentioned here is actually a story my grandfather wrote for me when I was a baby. kind woman to . I'm afraid you'll find me a rather boring companion. wrapping up more securely in the afghan. no matter his thoughts on the matter. It didn't matter. For some strange reason.. He thought that's what they had been doing." Isabella declared with an impish smile that seemed to be in direct contradiction to their circumstances. So the unexpected beauty of his gift has always made it especially dear to me. shall we?" Edward was confused. I only play in the sandbox. He envied her the certainty of her father's love. "So let me guess." Edward noted with a slight smile. never broke curfew." She smirked a bit. "I'll think of something absolutely horrible to do to you. from what his father had been and done. she was loosening its grasp and luring him into the light that seemed to surround her." ~Author Unknown ~Bad Blood~ Isabella ignored the moisture on his cheek for a moment and then she reached up and wiped it away without comment. "Still. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions.never fell asleep in a girl's room. feeling somewhat embarrassed." Her slender shoulders lifted in something that resembled a shrug. "What were you like in college?" Isabella asked. I only borrow them." she said. probably more than I deserve. Knock yourself out. "He's right. no longer surrounded by the sights and smells and sounds of death. "Nothing heavy or serious. "Just the opposite of me. She settled back against the couch and lowered her gaze.
He had walked here. . Then she frowned." she said." he admitted. She didn't ask about his. It was a mystery he wasn't sure he wished to solve. "I never did anything like that. and Edward tried to forget that he had been spawned by evil incarnate. He half expected that she would once more delve into more serious topics. watching the long. He extended the invitation." She shrugged. Still. "Football's in season. "That'll be fun. They had made a fresh start for all of them. moderation his prayer. And so it had gone for more than a decade. the truth about who his father was had come out and the girl's father had forbidden her from seeing him again. None of them were particularly successful in their efforts to forget. But my college years of experimentation never went that far. She laughed at him but he found he didn't mind. as that's what your college years are for. most would have driven. but not so deeply that he inadvertently let him out of his cage. all the while telling himself that it would be no different from having people from the office over. His aunt and uncle tried to forget her sister's ugly end... and then. Edward Cullen had been born." He paused. But not Edward. though with the distance between their homes being about a mile. Together. As he walked out into the night." Isabella remarked. she thought with a little sigh. "Would you like to come?" He could not look at her as he said the words. beyond the obvious? Why had she. His own first kiss had been at fifteen. She giggled and he found himself smiling at the sound. "Except I never fell asleep in a girl's room. but not long after that. They were the sort of books that a child would remember and cherish. Then she leaned up on her toes and gave his cheek a chaste peck. to pull him back into her home and embrace him closely." Edward said quietly. Perhaps it was his imagination. They talked of things inconsequential and mundane.. Edward Cullen was broken. He still did not care for surprises. Her smile was tender as she watched him pop his collar against the cooler night air.. "No. Then one simple question from this woman with big brown eyes but an even bigger heart had rocked the foundations of the meticulously constructed existence he led. What was it about her? What was different about Isabella Swan. "Sometimes I have people over for football games. A larger part knew that now was not the time.see what he really was. surprising him yet again. He had buried the son of the monster. been able to tug down those walls? He did not know. took a fortifying sip of his beer. Edward Cullen maintained control. A part of her longed to run out to him. I guess. "I'd love to. of all the people he had encountered over the years. guilty as charged. In all things. or merely wishful thinking. but he was discovering that they were inevitable around Isabella. but he got the sense that she refrained because she somehow knew it was a sensitive topic for him. Control became the altar at which he worshipped.. A part of him wanted to hear wistfulness in her voice. they read the first book she had had published. lean figure of a man walk away from her. ~Bad Blood~ Bella Swan closed the door and peeked out the window." she admitted. "So. She told him about her first kiss – on the dance floor and it had been a clumsy affair when she was fourteen years old. the whispers that followed them all when they went into town or Edward walked the hallways of the high school. Edward discovered that Isabella's books for children had a charm all their own." Isabella laughed. but she kept the conversation light and directed on herself. A boy's room? Yes. "A pity.tomorrow is Sunday and I'm guessing that you have plans?" she asked. and he had made the most of his second chance. he reflected that the darkness looked different somehow.. She walked him to the door and gave him a hug that had him struck still by surprise. "Are you having a get together?" "Yes. He didn't know how long it had been since he had been out so late on a Saturday night." Edward found himself choking on the sip of beer he had taken." he finally said. They had left behind the nasty messages spray painted on the house. It was not long after that that his aunt and uncle had moved and had his name changed. They adopted him. Then Edward noted the time and realized he had not been out so late in. the story of a mischievous little angel sent to earth to be someone's child. "I think I did all of that for you. and Edward Masen II no longer existed.
It was the face of a man stumbling upon an oasis in the desert. At times. There would be no evading or ignoring it. She didn't fight the tears. She had watched him for weeks before she ever worked up the courage to knock on his door. Even she had been shocked by what came out of her mouth. His hands had been dark with the stuff. the shock hadn't been so great. It simply was. She had wanted to hug him close right then and there. Poor Edward had been dazzled all right. they had managed to reconnect. Then she had knocked on his door and he had opened it and it had been those eyes that had been her downfall. The only pictures she had seen of him were old and grainy and in black and white for the most part – old newspaper photographs taken of a boy as he was led from a house of death. with long elegant fingers and a jaw line that would make Brat Pitt weep with envy. she decided. Edward. How could she explain to him that the moment she had seen him that a sense of inevitable destiny had settled upon her and that it had never left? How could she tell him that she knew they would end up being more to each other than either of them could guess right now? She wasn't sure he was her soul mate or anything. She knew that no one could avoid their fate. but in the end. of being given a pardon as he mounted the scaffold steps. was tall and slim. You could make choices and decisions all day long. she did not know. On other occasions. What had started out as a vague inclination had become a burning desire to have an impact on Edward's life. He needed to free that iron control he had cultivated for so long. in fact she sometimes welcomed them. she'd just found it odd. Whether it was written in the stars or authored by a higher power. who was so afraid of becoming a monster that somewhere along the way he had forgotten to live. whether he knew it or not. She had blurted out the hateful words and almost ruined everything. she had seen it for what it was. Only some of the blood had been his own. they strengthened her in a way she could not explain. Bella fully intended to be that irresistible force. Edward was a man who needed a good cry. She sank to the floor and wished he was there with her so that she could hold him close and comfort him in her sorrow. He needed. Would it end up being a lifelong friendship that saw each other through love and loss and finally ended up as two old people. had seen through the mask and straight into the pure heart that beat within. His brows had been dark wings above eyes she couldn't quite see from her distant vantage point. she had still expected to see that boy. the façade was impeccable. She had seen it in his face when his fingers touched the dampness on his face. Edward Cullen was all about control. . But it had been April and the blood had been real. She hadn't been prepared for the full experience of looking into Edward Cullen's eyes for the first time. She had a feeling that she was about to see some long-forgotten science lesson put into action – something along the lines of immovable object meeting an irresistible force. They were cathartic and freeing. Her mother's death had convinced Bella Swan that everyone had a fate. And she. Then it had become oddly endearing. now Edward Cullen. in a way she could not yet know. in a blinding flash of intuition. and splatters and splashes of blood covering him. Finally. Edward Masen. It was his way of keeping some imagined evil inside of him under control. like macabre gloves or some over-the-top Halloween costume. though she knew it was with great reluctance on his part. his hair a shock of darkish color on top of his head. reminiscing about the old days? Would they be closer than twins who had shared a womb and known each other ever since life first sparked? Would it be romance – a love affair that changed their lives and hearts forever? She didn't know. though intellectually she knew that wasn't how things happened. but not in a good way.. Still. That boy had been alarmingly pale. promise.. however. as so often happened. it gave generously and freely and joyously. Edward Cullen. one eye swollen shut. and decision a person made merely carried them along to their destiny. From a distance. she only knew that it was going to happen. Bella Swan favored impulse. but so infinitely sad. and she had had a lifetime of getting used to her own tactlessness. For some reason. however. but instead her mouth had gotten her into trouble. She laughed and leaned against the door but the laughter soon turned into sobs. Some things were meant to be.Oh. you were subject to the vagaries of fate and there was nothing to be done about it. At first. She. Bright green and beautiful. destiny was cruel. was her fate. Edward Cullen was a creature of habit. but she knew without any doubt that he would be instrumental in determining the path her life took from this moment on.her. Edward had been shocked when tears slipped down his pale cheeks. What she did know was that every step. and no one who thought they knew him would guess at the tortured fears which haunted him. was his.
velvet voice and the bright green of his sad eyes. reassuring presence. courageous spirit she sensed in him set free. And she. it went further than her acceptance of whatever destiny brought her way. elemental part of her. What was it about that beautiful. She craved his quiet. somehow. needed him too. that amazing. she longed to heal and comfort him. She wanted to make him whole. she wanted him to see the man she saw when she looked at him. . She needed his solid. She wanted him to realize that he was his mother's son. There was something about him that called out to an essential.He needed her recklessness and impulsivity and carefree spirit. But most of all. broken man that called out to her? It went far beyond the grim history they shared. she wanted to see that loving heart.
Cullen. friendly and open. "I don't think Edward minds very much. the woman who had gotten a glimpse behind the mask and. Chapter 6 "In everyone's life. He had kept the beer flowing. perhaps a few more chapters than ten. There was only one awkward moment when Mike asked how they met. and she had a giant foam finger on her hand. the beer and sodas were ready. though not the team that everyone else was rooting for. He had paid enough attention to those who didn't really care about the game but just wanted to be around others. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. as always. She had a hat on her head that had space for beer cans. Mike was an affable fellow. It took her exactly thirty two minutes. for some unknowable reason. of course. He wore it so well that he usually forgot it was a mask. He had the chips and dip out. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. I make no money from my little stories. While Edward felt his mouth go dry and his palms go sweaty. What was it about her that was capable of such grace and forgiveness? Then the doorbell rang and Edward had no more time to ponder the mysteries of Isabella. Isabella looked at Edward and grinned. sad day." All of the women gave soft ahs of appreciation while the men gave Edward a high five. In other words. wasn't it? Today. just herself." she said as she breezed by him. "I don't mind either.. "You and your team are going down.. The characters have kind of gone off in their own direction and Edward is strangely reluctant to spill some beans.*Chapter 6*: Chapter 6 I don't own these characters. It should have been awkward with Isabella decked out in the opposing team colors. ~Bad Blood~ ." ~Albert Schweitzer ~Bad Blood~ How many times had he had people from the office over for a football game? He supposed he could come up with a number that would be close. not very much at all. but the whole point was that he shouldn't be nervous about today's little get together. my knight in shining armor. our inner fire goes out. I can't hurry the poor man along. I think now that estimate is a tad low. annoying. at some time." Amy smiled and for once she offered an observation. Edward liked that about her." she said. Amy. I didn't build it. today was different. and this jerk kept bothering me. Isabella Swan would be here in his house. giving the lie without a flicker of hesitation. His wife was quiet but not excessively shy. He had played host almost countless times. Author's Notes: I originally said that I expected this story to be about ten chapters long. "Just so you know..Well. just seeming to blend into the background when there were a lot of people around.. But today. torturing. and the television was already on. "And Edward here was my avenging angel. Something inside of him eased at the sight of her. It would just be cruel. Isabella Swan. but instead she was so friendly and open and willing to both give and take insults with good-natured cockiness that she was soon surrounded by a bevy of Edward's acquaintances." And that was how Isabella Swan became friends with almost everyone Edward Cullen knew. He had learned to give high-fives when "his" team did something good and to moan and bitch with the rest of them when they failed. wondering if perhaps she had had car trouble or been mugged or perhaps gotten in an accident." He could only laugh and shake his head because Isabella was. though right now they sported only Mountain Dew. Going along with the crowd was not Isabella Swan's style. I only borrow them. "And I'm afraid he's been stuck with me ever since. Amy was quiet but perceptive. though I do confess to harassing. "We were at a bar. First to arrive were Mike and his wife.. It became clear as I was writing that a bit more time would be needed for Edward to figure some things out. He had wings being kept warm in the oven and plenty of finger foods to keep his guests contented. Edward Cullen wore his mask well.. He had been the first to speak to Edward on Edward's first day of work. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." she said quietly. I only play in the sandbox. And just as he was starting to get anxious about Isabella. there she was. Her face was painted in team colors. Isabella leaned into him and rested her head briefly on his shoulder. because he could sit quietly beside Amy and not feel the need to entertain her. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. So. the doorbell rang and when he opened it. had decided that she could still abide his company. been able to spout stats about the teams that were both correct and insightful. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. Then others from the office trickled in.
"Or are you also a fan of heaving bosoms and aching loins?" "I like history too." He remembered his mother's gentle laughter with startling clarity." he said." "I'll bow to your expertise.. "She liked to read history and biographies. "It's only fair.. "Isn't that funny? I didn't even know I remembered that." Edward allowed.years." Edward countered.it wasn't. Then he paused and gave a little laugh as he opened his eyes to look at her. if you know what I mean." "Did she like animals?" "Dogs. When their work was done. Or maybe. Oddly." She shrugged. in fact it's a very good word. "I guess that was inevitable since my mother used to tell me stories about Edward. "We used to make up our own silly words when the English language failed us. She picked up empty beer bottles and soda cans and sorted them into Edward's recycling bins." Isabella gave him a smile worthy of a sphinx and shrugged. though it had been sixteen years and five months since he'd heard it. "Did your mother love words like you do?" Isabella smiled and closed her eyes." Isabella said. but it was. "Once.." Edward smiled. Her head rolled on the back of the couch and their eyes met.. "Did your mother like to read?" "She loved to read. or her self-deprecating view of the world and her place in it. Edward found himself looking at Isabella and asking her a question about one of the women who linked them together. I heard you give a real laugh. or taking that silken bit of warmth into his hand. ignoring the laughter that threatened. Edward leaned on the couch too." Edward said. "You actually know how to throw a shindig..After everyone left. I want to hear it again and I intend to. Cullen. Isabella insisted on staying around to help Edward clean up the mess. definitely. Perhaps it was her gentle wisdom." "What was her favorite color?" Isabella asked." "My mom was allergic to strawberries. she flopped onto his couch as if it was her own and heaved a sigh of tired satisfaction. "My mother loved to laugh. "Once." He closed his eyes. "Shindig?" Isabella scowled. She said they were her guilty pleasure.. "It was one of my mother's favorite words so I'm rather fond of it. "I liked it. but it didn't. He wondered what that said about him. Color me surprised. "What's your first memory of your mother?" she asked quietly.. She helped him pick up trash and then she vacuumed while he did the dishes. but something about her reminded him of Esme. you're the writer after all. the Hammer of the Scots and Elizabeth. but somehow. Isn't that odd? I haven't thought about that in. She wiped off the counters while he straightened up the living room and restored order to his small home. They didn't touch." Isabella said. he didn't remember reaching for her. She was quite different from his aunt. not quite. or her sense of humor. She told me that we had both been named after royalty and had a lot to live up to." He smiled and rubbed a strand of Isabella's hair between his fingers. found himself leaning in closer toward her.except when he did." he said solemnly." "I'll consider myself warned. the Virgin Queen. Edward Cullen was teasing? Edward Cullen didn't tease.." And the guard should have slammed back into place." Isabella said." Their eyes met again and the moment should have been awkward." Isabella said." He shook his head." she said. "It was red and she was wearing a shirt that matched it almost exactly." She hugged herself and Edward felt a strange compulsion to do that for her." He looked at her with amusement. "She liked cats too. "Me? I don't care much for them. He didn't like surprises. "What kind of books do you like to read?" Then she smirked. "You've never heard me laugh. his eyes still closed. "Hot pink. "I remember her teaching me how to ride my tricycle. but he could feel the heat radiating softly off of her body. It felt nice. but it's the first absolutely clear memory I have." Edward said quietly. "You have a wonderful laugh. "We used to laugh so much. but she also had a stash of what she called 'heaving bosoms and aching loins' books. He didn't let go. "Besides.. "I just remembered that. "My mother liked mysteries.. Instead. I didn't hear what made you laugh. Nothing quite gives the impression that 'shindig' gives. "It's a word.. He didn't like infuriating women who tilted his world upside down." she said with a roll of her eyes when Edward tried to argue. He smiled." he said with no hesitation. but she was allergic to them." she insisted. Isabella smiled and reached up to brush her fingers along his jaw.maybe it was that he could let his guard down just a little bit with her. "Oh yes. not just a polite chuckle.. "It's not my very first memory of her. Except. Isabella gave a grunt that made him laugh. He smiled at his own ." he teased.
bringing to mind magnolia trees and mint juleps. magnolia trees. He wasn't sure which it was. telling himself that he was only making sure that she made it to her car safely. All was right in Edward Cullen's little world. "Your girl. But sometimes in the dream. Her sense of fun would make her a natural. a mystery. he experienced a pang of emotion. she was kind and thoughtful and generous.. Or years since he remembered dreaming about that night.. Edward arrived at the gym at precisely 6:15 a.love. "Would you like to come?" "Of course. breaking a cleansing sweat and enjoying the slight burn in his muscles. "I do declare. Games were beyond him. Janice was at her desk. the monster was him." "Oh.. He had stayed and faced the monster. The paint had been smudged on Isabella's face and he reached out and wiped a bit away." he said. He noted the time with vague satisfaction. Or everything was right and he just didn't know it yet. he mused." Edward said. As he leaned against the door after her tail lights faded into the darkness. It had been years since he had dreamed of that night. are you?" Edward just stared at her." she added in her best Southern accent. Even he dared not hurt her. but it didn't really matter.. .. soft and with a faint Southern accent. She gave him another kiss on the cheek when she left. you say the sweetest things." she said. He closed the door and watched her out the window. "You're really cute like this. Gentle laughter. fluttering her lashes outrageously. she's very pretty. Well. If anyone was capable of games. Isabella Swan. ~Bad Blood~ The dream surprised him. Even being "sociable" was exhausting." Janice said. Isabella was safe from the monster.contrary thought processes. Somehow." she said. it was Isabella Swan. "I'm having another. mint juleps and. he knew only that his mother's accent brought them to mind.. "Same team as always. Edward. Edward. Edward. Janice gave him a sly grin when he approached to exchange their usual short pleasantries.shindig next Sunday. "Like what?" This wasn't how his Monday conversations with Janice were supposed to go and suddenly nothing was right in Edward's little world. It wasn't an altogether unpleasant sensation. but this one only surprised him a little bit." He grinned at her and she returned the favor. "Playing hard to get. "You are. "I'll be sure to sport the opposing colors. as ever. What would make her think that he was playing hard to get? That he was playing anything at all? Edward didn't know how to play games." He tilted his head and studied her. "Oh. puzzled and confused by the way he felt when Janice called Isabella "his" girl.. His mother's voice. Run. He worked out hard. He walked her to the door and realized as he did so that he hadn't even worried that she was alone in his house and that no one knew she was still there. No. He had never had a mint julep in his life. almost." Janice said and gave him a wink.. "Who are you rooting for?" He shook his head. They talked quietly for almost an hour before Isabella told him that she had to get home. but not Edward Cullen. Janice just smiled and shook her head. Edward walked away but kept looking back over his shoulder. Run. But she would never play cruel games. "She's not my girl. Another man might have called it loneliness. He hadn't run." she said. He couldn't run. ~Bad Blood~ The next morning. as expected. not Isabella.m. wondering at the slight smile that tugged at Janice's lips. run.. He arrived at the office at his usual time for a Monday. Janice's laughter drew him from his own observations.. He rubbed the bit of paint between his fingers.
suddenly feeling quite. he's been bragging on the food here ever since I met him. "I thought I'd join you. Edward wasn't quite sure what he was to be congratulated for. "Well. he was not surprised that when he opened his door. Cullen. He shifted from foot to foot. It took him another twenty-three minutes to realize that he was disappointed when it didn't come. "So I decided to come and check it out. Then Sharon patted Edward on the arm and told him that Isabella was a keeper. he just put on some sweat pants and an old.. On Tuesday. Isabella gave in. Sharon seemed to find Isabella fascinating and gushed when Isabella commented on the new photos of her grandchildren. It was Isabella and she was smiling at him and beckoning him toward his booth – and toward her. about halfway through a mindless sitcom." Midge beamed. "Hello. I see you have some charming company today. he couldn't find the shirt he wanted though it should have been in its usual place in the closet and his favorite pants seemed to have acquired a mustard stain and his dress shoes pinched. When it was over." she told him. someone was sitting in his booth. which was next on his rotation. Isabella smirked and then nudged Edward in the side. She had a paper bag at her side. They ate lunch. He went to bed that night feeling oddly out of sorts. Isabella took charge in her usual charming manner." she said as if they had already discussed it. Without having fucked." He wasn't sure exactly what a "keeper" was.happy. "You need to remember that. but he figured it had something to do with having Isabella at his house and apparently feeling at ease with him. It was Thursday again and Edward prepared to leave the house so that he could go to the dry cleaners and pick up his clothing (and drop off some too. feeling suddenly uneasy. and it was the most pleasant lunch in Edward's recent memory. that he had half expected to hear a knock on his door. he went to the diner where he usually ate lunch. Twice. So. there was Isabella sitting on the top step. To his surprise. though they had been perfectly comfortable a few weeks ago and he had forgotten to get cash out of the ATM as he usually did on Friday afternoons. ." He blinked at the casual obscenity. On Friday. He was not late to the dry cleaners. Isabella gave him a hug and a kiss on the cheek and it didn't surprise him at all. people offered him their good wishes and congratulations." Edward looked helplessly at Isabella. worn tee-shirt and popped a movie in the DVD player and fell asleep on his couch. Cullen. Wednesday passed with no surprises and no deviation in his routine. After exiting the diner. but it sounded like a good thing. he insisted on paying the check.All day long. However. his body tried to remind him that it was time to go to O'Flannery's. He went home that night and realized. Mr. Somehow. Midge was smiling too when she approached with her order pad in hand." Isabella said. "And I've got some shit to drop off too. It was all most frustrating. in the end. He was so entranced by the thought of there being a "next" anything with Isabella that he agreed. and Isabella rolled her eyes at him before tugging at his arm to get him moving. of course). "I'm a keeper. but only after promising that next Tuesday it was on her.. Then the person who had stolen his booth turned to face him and he smiled. unsure how to respond.
Even Thursdays could prove challenging. But far more than the physical presence of a man in her life. there rested the potential for evil and violence. she had her trusty Rabbit in the drawer by her bed. he anticipated waking up with a throbbing need in his groin. he had already experienced a fundamental shift of priorities. And fucking was a good substitute for the other things that were not his to claim. But it was Saturday. as always. His body was his to control. and brought pleasure if it was done right. Kind of. she wanted someone who cared about her as a woman and a person. Author's Note: This chapter is a little longer than the others. She had wanted to call up Edward and ask him to go out. He wore his leash quite neatly. He failed to realize that by falling asleep on his couch on a Friday night. His body hungered. as within his blood. Before he could argue with himself. I only borrow them. She couldn't deny that she craved the heat of a man's flesh against hers. After all. she could have used a little freakiness herself. Still. On Fridays. but from having stalked him for weeks before she introduced herself (and hadn't that gone well?) she knew that on Fridays. but not hard. He had missed out on obtaining his releases. Fucking was good. He stared down at it. Thank you for reading.*Chapter 7*: Chapter 7 I don't own these characters. But usually on Saturday. She wanted the dips and swells of masculine flesh pressed to her own softer form. But he would take what he could get. Was that so much to ask? . Briefly. It was better than nothing. Sated because his body's needs had been answered – twice – and guilty because he was incapable of the gentler emotions. he would wake up feeling sated and vaguely guilty. He hated the monster that surged and lived inside of him. He tried to ignore the thing as best he could. sad day. he kept his mind as blank as possible. torturing. An erection. thinking of it as an unauthorized use of erectile tissue. obviously aware of what it was but not really expecting it. He liked fucking. ~Bad Blood~ Bella had spent an equally frustrating Friday night. It hurt no one. Illusions were such a comfort at times. she knew that he probably needed those Friday nights. Your kind words make my days! Chapter 7 "We first make our habits and then our habits make us. And Saturday erections just weren't on the schedule. but when he got into the shower his hand brushed against it and he was immediately lost to sensation. he considered going out that night.John Dryden On Saturday morning. the sound of his heart beating beneath her cheek. it was Saturday. It was a safe outlet. not only this week but the week before. He knew that within it. His dick recognized Fridays. Edward Cullen woke up with yet another unexpected complication in his life. If he got morning "wood" as Mike unfortunately liked to call it. which only prolonged the distasteful affair. he was well aware of why his body was currently in rebellion. though I do confess to harassing. Safe sex was about so much more than preventing disease and pregnancy. He could no more pulse his dirty seed into a woman than he could imagine wrapping his hands around her throat and choking the life from her. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. This hatred of part of him had been the primary reason he had never foregone using a condom. after all. as his body began preparing itself for the inevitable twin releases it knew was coming. he was usually quite good at ignoring it and it went away quite quickly. He might be a monster." . For a man as tightly wound as Edward. It just had to be to cover what needed to be covered. He had manufactured just a glimpse of dark hair and laughing dark eyes and then he erupted in spurts against his shower wall. but he was a monster who had developed control. for Edward it was about avoiding death and bloodshed. Edward Cullen liked to get his freak on. but hated even more the sight of the fluids in which the demon lived. and such an elemental change to his routine made him feel uneasy. he rinsed away the evidence of his weakness without looking at it. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. He had always hated the sight of his own ejaculate. Deliberately. An erection on a Saturday morning was both unexpected and unwelcomed. Carefully. I didn't build it. I only play in the sandbox. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. I make no money from my little stories. God knows. his hand was wrapped around his shaft and he was thrusting into his own grip. the crisp feel of his legs hairs as they entwined with hers as they slept. annoying. Of course.
not the way-" He did not say the words. a sack full of what smelled like cookies. and yet somehow compelling young woman who had shown up on his porch. Like him. didn't truly do anything to assuage the hunger or quench the thirst. most of all. She wondered. There was a long. lean body and feel the definition of his chest and hips pressed to hers. But strangely. He rather thought it might be her native language. he felt both content and out of sorts." Aunt Esme said. She's very.. There was a long moment of silence on the other end. perhaps the hard length of his cock nestled against her belly. if there was one thing a girl could trust Edward to do. "Is she. She wondered how they would taste. even if only briefly and imperfectly. His aunt knew the names as well as Edward himself did." he blurted. "She found me. after his conversation with his aunt. "I met someone." Edward sighed. On Friday night. on the other hand. Not so much a wild creature as an extraordinarily skittish one.kind?" Edward knew what she was asking of course. "She's. At the end of it. Isabella surprised him by showing up at his door. He would be her pupil – willing or not. They talked about mundane matters for a while. exasperating." "Is she now?" His aunt's words were soft. "How wonderful. expectant pause from the other end of the line. "I'm glad.. She often felt as if she was luring him closer and closer. But she understood.." Edward debated telling her the whole sordid story of how Isabella's life had been linked to his so many years ago. His aunt knew all about hatred and fear and the poison they generated. even really good meaningless sex. "How did you find each other?" Ah. she seemed determined to tutor him in the subject. and a quart of chocolate milk tucked underneath one . someone to foster the illusion... soothing him every step of the way. Of course. Aunt Esme. She wondered how it would feel to be hauled up against that long. and if his tongue would be as exciting as her imagination hinted at.A few years ago. wasn't it? Edward wasn't sure if fully exploring that answer was conducive to "chilling out" but he figured he owed his aunt an explanation. advancing when he settled. She had several DVD cases in her hand. "Really?" Aunt Esme said gently. It would be O'Flannerys." How to tell his aunt who and what Isabella Swan really was? "Her mother was Renee Dwyer. Isabella had told him that some things were just fate and then told him to "chill out. she was still left hungry and thirsty for more. she had been sorely tempted to just show up at his usual bar." No further explanation was necessary. As she closed her eyes and pretended to sleep.. As time had passed however. she found it rewarding. she didn't want to crowd him. Second.very different from anyone I've ever met. a sigh of sound. now that was the question. Aunt Esme. That her sister had also been a victim hadn't mattered to some people. and she had learned that meaningless sex. "She's very kind. ~Bad Blood~ On Saturday evening. She intended to do everything possible to show him. could not say them. He suspected that those names danced through her nightmares almost as often as they did through his. she had a sneaking suspicion that if she saw Edward making the moves on some woman she had the potential to turn into a raving shrew and that wasn't like her. ~Bad Blood~ On Saturday night. seemed to be fluent in chilling out.." He had tried to "chill out" but the concept was a little foreign to him. retreating when he started to feel threatened. Edward.. Edward took a deep breath and girded his mental loins. It was exhausting work. Getting to know Edward Cullen was a lot like taming a wild creature. When he hung up. Esme had faced the wrath and disgust of those who blamed them for the actions of the monster who had been known as Edward Masen. almost a breath. One. if he followed his usual routine. Then. "She's." he said. she might have tried to scratch the itch with an anonymous male body. the words slipped past his lips. Two things had stopped her. to Edward's surprise. "We talk about our mothers – the way they lived. it was to follow his routine. Isabella. actually. if Edward would ever realize what a truly amazing man he was. In any case. she wondered if his lips would be as soft and warm as they appeared to be if she claimed then in a real kiss. Edward found himself telling his Aunt Esme about the strange.
She seemed to suffer no such compunctions. Edward reached out and tugged at her fingers. he realized with a start of surprise that he had kind of been looking forward to sitting down and talking about whatever surprising topic Isabella might decide was appropriate. In fact. the opposing team's colors. Isabella was silent for a moment and then wrapped her fingers around his. so he could only hope desperately that she wouldn't notice the deluge currently cascading off his palms." It was here that his inspiration failed him. let me in or I'm gonna drop this shit. His little home suddenly appeared more brightly lit and a subtle scent of flowers filled his senses." she replied. however. "How about I take the day off and we can go. thrusting the bag of cookies into his hands. but her eyes kept darting toward them so he finally had to ask about them." "Uh. looking uncharacteristically solemn. His palms were sweaty but he refused to relinquish Isabella's hand. holding him fast. zombies. despite Isabella's dire prediction. and watching things explode. His friends all booed her excessively when she walked in the door and she shot them the finger.. "I like your style.. following his usual routine. "Chocolate chip oatmeal cookies." He opened the door. torn between stunned surprise and amusement. something so outside his comfort zone that he felt almost breathless. So it was that Edward Cullen found himself on his couch. disturbed at the sight of her agitation though he wasn't sure why. "What's wrong?" he asked softly. His expression must have revealed his confusion because she smiled again and shook her head. He liked them. Cullen.. Cullen. "Yesterday. "his" team had won. stuff blowing up.." Isabella said." "When?" he asked after a moment's pause. Edward was struck by a wild impulse." And just like that. Edward Cullen had offered real comfort. drinking chocolate milk. "We're going to watch a movie. vampires. Or tried. It must have been a good choice because Isabella grinned. which made them all laugh. Trust me. but I'll give you a choice. eating oatmeal chocolate chip cookies." He hardly knew what to say." Of all the answers Janice might have given him. "I baked. There were quite a few utterances of "suck it!" and "bite me!" Isabella told him that gracious winners were just too scared to rub it in everyone's noses. The intricacies and etiquette of the exchange eluded Edward. or a dude in tights. Isabella arrived donned in." she informed him as she breezed past. a fact which she threw in everyone's faces with delighted abandon. He was not surprised this time when she flopped down on his couch and gazed at him expectantly. The week before." Edward obediently opened the bag and snagged a cookie to sample. She was right. He tried to ignore them.. ~Bad Blood~ On Sunday. Isabella Swan had accepted it. "Thank you. Isabella's team took the day.arm. Everyone seemed to take it in stride." she said simply." Once . as she had promised. Edward arrived at the gym at precisely 6:15. Isabella's brown eyes went soft and warm. "Oh. "Stuff blowing up?" he ventured." Janice said with a slight smile. "Sappy romance. You'll like them. "It's my mother's birthday this week. Isabella plucked at her football jersey. I got here this morning and these were already waiting for me. He worked out. And just like that. He was surprised to see a small bouquet of flowers on Janice's desk. I told her that my cat Shmi died last week and that I was feeling a little down. "Geez. They could go where? Do what? What possible comfort could he offer her? He had to leave it at that and trust in Isabella's very vivid imagination. On a Saturday. ~Bad Blood~ On Monday morning. "They're from Bella. Isabella insisted on helping him set the house to rights after everyone else left.. so Edward did too. On this day. "I'd love that. but he went along with it since no one seemed to mind much. "On Wednesday. Her eyes flickered up to meet his and she gave him a sad smile. that one was on the top ten of unexpected responses." She held up the DVDs and shook them. As before.
He liked the numbers.how slowly the numbers moved on the digital display of his watch." he muttered and walked away. If lunchtime ever arrived. but she was also unfailingly kind and generous and thoughtful." Isabella told him.. Very quickly. though he wasn't sure why. it was time to walk to the diner. he liked the way they made sense and that if he added the same numbers 997 times. Isabella paid the bill. Then she stood on her tip toes and pressed a sweet kiss to his cheek. clean logic of them. went to the door of his office and watched Janice walk away. struck by Isabella's kindness. when he glanced at his watch (it was only the seventh time in the last twenty two minutes). He did get up at his usual time and he went to the gym. Again. ~Bella Edward stared at the card for a moment. He could hardly speak. "And I hear the zoo here is fantastic. "The zoo?" he asked. No one had been particularly surprised when he became an accountant.. When they were done eating. At last. His stance on surprises was well known.more. He was meeting Isabella for lunch. "First stop is the zoo. She grabbed her purse from a small table near the front door and tugged at his hand as soon as she locked the door. reminding him of his promise when he reached for his wallet. He was so astonished at the unexpected turn of events that he got up from his desk. Isabella gave him a hug too. Edward frowned at the sight. Every time. Later that day. reminded her to put on her seatbelt. reckless. really.take us to the zoo. he wouldn't be going to work. and then started the engine. but Edward found the silence didn't really bother him. he would always end up with exactly the same answer. But it wasn't so bad. and knowing that Shmi will never be forgotten. her eyes darted toward the little bouquet. pulled it free and gave it a squeeze. She plucked the card that was nestled in the blooms and held it so that Edward could read it. but something inside of him unfurled and spread warmth throughout him. so he handed the card back to Janice. She was exasperating. They didn't talk much. reached down to where his hand was in his pocket. It felt odd to be wearing jeans at eight o'clock on a Wednesday morning. he went back home and took a shower and got dressed in blue jeans and a button up shirt. Then he realized that it even though it was Wednesday. had always appreciate the crisp. "Come on. he kept checking his watch and the hours passed by more slowly than they usually did. but it didn't feel special. once one got used to it. So. he wasn't quite sure what he expected. "I'm sorry. his usual fare. He smiled all the way back to work. Then he got into his car and drove to Isabella's house and walked up to the door and knocked on it like he had been doing so for weeks or months or maybe even years." she said when he turned to her expectantly." . He was completely unsure what it all meant. and impulsive. ~Bad Blood~ On Wednesday morning he woke with a sense of anticipation. When he left the gym. She gave his shoulder a little squeeze and then left without a word. ~Bad Blood~ Because he had told his boss that he was taking the day off on Wednesday. but he arrived early and worked diligently up until the time he had to leave for the diner. however. "A pet is never truly forgotten until it is no longer remembered. Usually. and doubled the order for herself. "We have a lot to do and only a day to do it in!" He followed her to his car. but today. He enjoyed working. Janice stopped by his desk with a cup of coffee – just the way he liked it. Edward paid particular attention to his work on Tuesday. For some reason. He had always had an affinity for numbers." -Lacie Petitto Thinking of you." she urged. though he knew that someone else might find his work boring and mundane. When she opened the door. Isabella had ordered for him. She hugged him. but the bright smile she gave him in greeting wasn't it. Not that he ever slacked. When they stepped outside. No surprises. Isabella was in their booth and Midge was already chatting with her.. She left Midge a generous tip and gave her a hug on her way out of the diner. his work was a source of solace and comfort. "My mother used to take me to the zoo all the time..
and there didn't seem to be a cage in sight. And he had been proud that he remembered it. clean sheets of his bed. the mustard stain in his pants had come out in the wash. Something about her ass in those jeans invited his touch. Instead. He handed her a cinnamon bagel. as he climbed in between the cool. and he had remembered to get cash on his way home from work. Edward had finally realized that Isabella wasn't particularly clumsy. Over a dinner of tacos and corndogs and thick chocolate shakes. Instead. really kiss him. Everyone at work asked where he had been and he told them only that he had taken the day off. ~Bad Blood~ Friday. When they had gone bowling. And a kiss on each cheek. but he ignored it." He wasn't sure how to tell her that it had been his pleasure. Isabella was sitting on his steps waiting for him. He hadn't believed her until she showed him the small scar on her elbow. It had been years. getting into mischief with frightening ease. But they found a table in the corner and talked during the sporadic lulls in the music. He had known that. resting her head on his chest for a moment." Isabella murmured. She had a rather worrisome array of scars to display." she murmured. or even if it was appropriate to do so. despite Isabella's thoughts on gracious losers. "You're welcome. and tried to slither like a snake. roared like a lion. He was not surprised and not upset. but he refrained. they both knew just how important and sacred those words were. he might have even focused in on a few of these . he just squeezed her back and then placed a kiss on the top of her head and then her forehead. he simply smiled and nodded. Isabella asked him to dance. Edward had discovered that Isabella's mother had ordered pizza every birthday. "My mother would have loved you. he discovered that his shoes no longer pinched. trumpeted like an elephant. He was not surprised to find out that Isabella had always been something of a daredevil. Isabella had spoken of her mother. While they were dancing. since Edward Cullen had stepped foot inside a zoo. scar or not. as Edward got dressed. Isabella seemed to find all of the animals fascinating. She had still beaten him. he thought she was going to kiss him. He did. even the ugly ones like the snakes and other reptiles. For one wild moment. Once. ~Bad Blood~ On Thursday morning. which was next on Edward's rotation. Isabella had regaled him with stories of her childhood. That realization made him anxious. to kneel at her feet and gaze up at her in adoration. Then she had wrapped her arms around him again and squeezed him tightly. That evening. and his sleep was free of dreams or nightmares. Isabella wrapped her arms around his neck and brought her lips closer to his face. He pondered how beautiful Isabella looked in her tight jeans and blue sweater and cowboy boots. She didn't even mind when people stared at her or laughed or shook their heads. Isabella sucked down four drinks and didn't seem to feel them. still pressed up against him and her eyes closed. Now the animals were housed in what were more natural landscapes and Edward realized he was glad. They went to Rock's. They were nicer than he remembered. She waddled like a penguin. Instead." he said with a nod. He slept." Isabella moaned. She showed him several more scars and then told him the story behind them. during lunch. Then he drove home and didn't go for a run. instead."All righty then. Then he had driven her home and walked her to her door. She had looked tired and drawn so he had not been surprised when she had not invited him inside. Isabella was simply herself. Edward thought about their day together. but Edward had taken his defeat graciously. He had three beers instead of two. his eyes scanned the room and he knew that a month ago. giving little insights here and there as they went about their activities. eighteen of them to be precise. No. She said yes. He spotted an odd smile on the face of more than one co-worker. He closed his eyes for a moment too. He had no time or inclination to figure out any more mysteries. He half expected to see her name on the back of a large leather belt. "My favorite. but the look in her eyes told him that she knew he understood. pleasant buzz. He wanted to thank her. The brush of her warm breath was almost enough to convince him that he was not disappointed. Later that night. All was as it should be. "Thank you for today. Unique. but they she detoured and her mouth as at his ear." he said simply. he found out that Isabella had once broken her arm bowling with her mother. Twice. rather reckless. Three times. Edward called Isabella and asked her if she'd like to go out just to get to know her new town a little bit better. "Thank you. she had given him another hug. Of course. she was. Special. Edward himself felt a small. lightly spread with butter. enjoying the soft heat of her pressed against him. his favorite shirt was precisely where it should have been. When they had eaten pizza for lunch. deciding that the extra calories he had consumed would simply have to find a comfortable place to settle in.
." She was quite pleased with herself.Bella. So he didn't really look too hard or too long.. Or even once. He kissed her forehead. Intoxicated was no longer in question. She tasted of orange juice and vodka and something else that Edward sensed was simply Isabella. He realized. "It's Bella. Instead. he didn't mind much not having fucked. . he knew it would be rather rude." he said." She laughed and he liked the sound of it so much that he was tempted to tease her again.Bella. "Good night. that even though it was a Friday. He did laugh then." He smiled at her and hugged her. he simply enjoyed Isabella's company. Then she yawned and he knew that the evening should come to a close.Bella. Then she snickered and stumbled into her house. But he couldn't figure out how or what to say and the moment passed. perhaps feeling the alcohol after all.. She fumbled with the lock for a moment." one of them whispered and he realized it was her..women as possible companions for the evening. Twice. Then the other cheek. "You're so beautiful. She hugged him. her laughter following him back to his car like a good friend and he smiled at being able to hear it again.. Isabella. calling him beautiful. and then opened it with a triumphant "A HA!" that made him want to laugh. But on this particular evening there was no one who really struck his fancy and besides. Then she cradled his face in her hands and pressed a soft. She kissed his cheek.. Bella.. Bella.. "Goodnight.beautiful. She rolled her eyes. so he drove her home and walked her to her door. as he drove away. he could tell.. "Good night. I told you that.. sweet kiss to his lips.
Edward accepted her kiss with dazed bemusement. Isabella was always the last to arrive but the last to leave as well. She shared with Edward how difficult it had been for a man to suddenly have a fulltime daughter who was just on the cusp of being a woman and how they had muddled through her adolescence together. she gave both with open hands and a generous heart. She had grinned at him. "See? I knew you'd understand me. Once. sad day. Sundays would find him anticipating Isabella's arrival in opposing team colors. and Isabella told him that sometimes she was mad at her father for allowing her mother to divorce him. and to have it happen with Isabella was a gift beyond measure. Isabella accepted them all with enthusiastic hugs and many cocky promises as to how they were all "going down" in defeat. one would pick up while the other vacuumed. who had raised him after that April night. To have it happen now. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. She had kissed him on the cheek then. the loss of her mother. The mere possibility that she would feel knowing him might make up for. I only borrow them. hats. I only play in the sandbox. Sometimes Edward thought that their bellies ached not from the vast amounts of cookies and milk they had consumed but from how much they laughed. every time he opened his refrigerator and saw that new addition to his grocery list. Never. Sometimes. in any small way. laughter lurked in Isabella's dark eyes and in the quirk of her pink lips.. Then Edward began talking about his aunt and his uncle. for her eyes lit up and she couldn't help but smile when she spoke of Charlie Swan. For a man who had found solace in control. they spoke of Isabella's father. He confessed that sometimes he felt guilty for loving his aunt so much. Isabella seemed more than capable of directing their – whatever it was – and Edward was content to let her do so. Even during the most solemn moments." Then she had looked at him and her smile was tender. They never spoke of Edward's father and neither of them seemed to feel any need to do so. And at the end. his team's cupcakes were carrot cake. On Saturdays. But he couldn't say he disliked it." Then she shrugged. in the whole of his life. And Edward found her amusement impossible to resist. Edward was quite sure she did it on purpose. she arrived with cupcakes graced with both team colors. had he been the one to "get" someone else. when he had given up all hope or expectation of it. Instead. and how they had never made him feel as if they minded. he was vastly surprised to find contentment in surrender. he smiled. he was sure she did that quite deliberately.*Chapter 8*: Chapter 8 I don't own these characters. she'd be alive now. I didn't build it." ~John Barrymore ~Bad Blood~ For the next several weeks.." "Obviously. They had had some difficulties after her mother's death. things proceeded along with little effort needed on Edward's part. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. Isabella's anger and Charlie's understandable over protectiveness had made for an uncomfortable combination. They had worked out a nice routine for cleaning up the mess left behind by their friends. On their fifth Sunday. "If she'd been in Forks. One would wash while the other would dry. Isabella invariably favored movies of the action variety. while Edward had a not so secret fondness for all things science fiction. But they had worked through their problems. But only her team's cupcakes were chocolate." She had shrugged and leaned forward to kiss his forehead. torturing. Often. He told Isabella how they had uprooted their lives to give him anonymity. they spoke of their mothers. It was quite obvious to Edward that she was very close to her father. which she knew was a particular dislike of his. Once again. On Sundays. Chapter 8 "Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. "I've never been one to go with the flow. "But then I wouldn't have met you. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. he asked her how it was that she had so many footballs jerseys. One Sunday. He spoke of their love and devotion and patience." Edward had agreed with a smirk. I make no money from my little stories. chocolate chip oatmeal. Isabella struck him silent with that observation. they would fall down on the couch and talk. foam fingers. they would watch movies and eat cookies and drink chocolate milk until their bellies ached. Janice brought her a tee-shirt sporting colors for another team. For some reason. she was the one from which he should have least expected friendship and understanding. The next week. annoying. though I do confess to harassing. She liked doing that." As she so often did. He also had a new favorite cookie. Out of all the people in the world. She had a sarcastic and irreverent sense of humor that drew him out in spite of himself. he had noticed. Isabella had made good on her threat to make him laugh. stunned . so. One day. Mike brought her a mug with what he was sure would be "her" team colors. "I used to do the same thing to my father – just to annoy him. and beer hats. And he kept a half-gallon of chocolate milk in his refrigerator. Isabella exchanged insults and taunts with his friends.
Then she would present him with a small package of baked goods and ask him. perhaps sensing what her words had meant to him. Edward preferred to remember only his mother. Thursday mornings. For some reason. Edward also discovered that Isabella's desire to hug had become contagious. "Could you give these to Bella. Janice and Midge and Sharon all now felt compelled to give him a hug when he saw them. all the while ignoring the shameful harvest of his weakness. the food would arrive at the table. One day. Midge would surprise them with a piece of pie – which they would share. or that his mother always blushed and smiled a secret smile full of feminine knowledge when they did. but Isabella never pushed it. Isabella no longer allowed him to refuse when she tugged at his hands and pulled him onto the dance floor. On Monday mornings. he ran with a companion. He didn't understand it. Edward noticed that the pie always tasted better when he had Isabella to share it with him. Invariably. She had no time or need for subterfuge. That was the one promise they broke over and over again. It took him days to really find his tongue again. Janice would ask him how his weekend had been. he allowed her to think he was the man she saw when she looked at him. Isabella and Sharon would talk for a few minutes and then Isabella would go home to write and Edward would go to work. he found another kind of release. even though she had seen him – and Isabella – the day before. No. there was music playing in the Masen household and invariably his mother would be swaying in time to it. A man who had spent half his life developing his sense of control was more than capable of going without sex for a few months. But until that day. she saw something better in him. But Edward found that it was on Fridays that they were forming their deepest connection. The experience of being teased in a friendly way by someone who genuinely liked him was such a novel experience for Edward that at first he wondered if Isabella was trying to disguise unkind words and thoughts behind her gentle banter. they would go to the dry cleaners and Isabella would always have an item or two that he would never remember seeing her wear. Except now. It had taken him two decades of life to work up the courage to find refuge in a woman's body for the first time. So on Friday nights they danced. Sometimes the dance floor was tiny and dark and crowded and they moved to the sounds of Irish folk music or covers of country classics. moving in time to the strains of music. as they had shared cookies and chocolate milk and watched Bruce Willis kicking ass. She couldn't know the terrible and secret fears he harbored. in fact. he would bask in her acceptance. Even when she cooked or cleaned. she had been dragging him out to the dance floor of whatever bar they happened to be at that Friday night. that always made Janice smile. In their movements. On Tuesdays.Edward into silence. But it hadn't taken him long to realize that Isabella was exactly as she appeared to be. please?" Soon. It wasn't sexual. True. They danced until they could hardly stand. They took turns paying. Sometimes the dance floor was spacious and crowded. she could outrun him if she put her mind to it. but it was bearable. In his loneliness. Edward's treadmill was sadly neglected and had been relegated to being an expensive ornament. her face alight with the joy she found in it. Isabella could keep up with him. He did not tell her that sometimes his father would sweep his mother into his arms and they would dance cheek-to-cheek. For some reason. lights . And to tell her how delicious they had been. If the weather was bad. Soon Midge was getting their order prepared ahead of time and almost as soon as they walked in. And danced. It didn't bother him in the least. until their muscles twitched and ached with sated fatigue. One Saturday night. and they didn't do it twice. there would be some delicious treat that Isabella would share with him. she would see past the mask and she would leave. he had told her that one of his fondest memories was of watching his mother dance. It was all in the name of spending time with Isabella and so he considered it a negligible loss. after all he had been eating quite a bit more and he had to do something to keep in shape. Sometimes. getting into friendly tussles every now and then just because they liked teasing each other. Every day of the week went smoothly. It was a low buzz just beneath the surface of his skin. something more than he what he knew existed. She didn't suspect what he knew to be true. they would meet at the gym and run on the track there. He liked being able to assure Janice on Tuesday morning that he had delivered the goods as promised. She was simply herself. it was customary for him to drop by Isabella's house on Monday evening to make sure she got her package in a timely manner. Ever since Isabella had uncovered that memory. They would moan and groan and promise each other that this was the last time they would overindulge. He could certainly handle a small drought. But better that embarrassing slip of control than to give Isabella a glimpse into his sordid little trysts. but he wouldn't say he hated it either. there was the problem of the underlying sexual frustration on Edward's part. He had learned to accept the fact that every now and then his hand would find that turgid flesh between his legs and he would stroke himself to a short-lived relief. Wednesday evenings would still find Edward taking an extra long run. Edward and Isabella ate in the diner.
This was more than the touching of flesh. It was not only okay. His hand was shaking as he brushed the hair back from her glistening face. she pressed up against him. gently. the true north of his small little life. When at last they pulled away from each other. having no need of words to appreciate the feelings that were expanding inside of him. her lips softened and opened beneath his. Edward found himself embarrassed at first. had he kissed her. he caught a glimpse of what might one day be. Isabella created her own world. nestling her cheek into his palm and nuzzling into him. Or her lips. He had been the grateful recipient of many Isabella kisses. that he could reciprocate. Tonight. gained a sense of what would please her and tease her and make her cry out with satisfaction. without even giving himself permission. If he proved reluctant. Without thought. He couldn't look away from her eyes. her lips slightly parted and moist from where she had been licking them. Her hands would flutter over his body as she pulled him into her own little sphere. It didn't seem to matter to Isabella. A different Edward and Isabella had walked onto that dance floor than would walk off of it. Loneliness and fear were pushed out of the way and happiness and hope began to take root instead. It was the brushing of battered souls against each other. She was staring up at him. He had been about to ask her if it had been okay that he kissed her.flashing over their faces as they moved to the latest techno craze. taken along on the currents of Isabella's magic. betrayed by the mundane but imperative need to breathe. But this one was different. to immerse herself in whatever music was playing. it had been right. ancient rhythm that spoke of things to come. her mouth grew softer and her eyes warmer. She turned slightly. She wanted to dance. to turn her head. affectionate kisses. Sisterly kisses. His eyes bounced between those two spots in the universe. Edward felt the lover she would be. And then their lips touched. the buzz beneath his skin had progressed to a tingling that threatened to become a pounding as he watched Isabella move. but that simple movement told him all he needed to know. fitting their bodies together like puzzle pieces long separated and finally reunited. alternately tugging and soothing and always urging him on. and Edward found. but they didn't move away from each other. It took so little to make her happy. she simply tugged him inside of it. rubbing and tasting. He found he didn't really want to deny her that simple pleasure. to flinch away. no hint of awkwardness or self-consciousness. It explored him tentatively. he realized that this single public kiss was more intimate than all the fucking he had done in his entire life combined. Her hand moved up from his heart and trailed up over his shoulder until her fingers were teasing at his neck. Then he was enchanted. He kept waiting for her to move. but inside of them. the clasp of hands that were both terrified and hopeful. giving him no chance to refuse. he found his head dipping toward her. his lips already molding themselves to what he knew hers would feel like. In her movements. In the strength of her hands. . He smiled then. threading through his hair. it had been Isabella granting him that token of warmth. welcoming his touch. Never. This time. Then the music ended and her hand came to a rest on his chest. Her tongue traced along his upper lip before dipping into his mouth. It almost felt as if she was urging his lips closer to hers. Always. He could do for her. to move. exactly over the place where his heart was thundering. As his tongue touched hers. not once. and by some miracle she invited him into it. something had changed. not just between them. almost in welcome. She stared at him for what seemed the eternity it took his mouth to reach hers. for once. All the dark and empty places within him were filled up with Isabella. As their lips met. Something had shifted. Her body moved with carefree grace. he recognized her loyalty and honesty and in the press of her body. The music started up again. Then she gave a little moan and he felt the shiver that ran through her and both of her hands came up and were buried in his hair. maternal kisses. Instead. The beat was fast and pounding but their bodies only swayed against each other in some timeless.
. he took her to his. warm but not sweaty." – Lord Edward Bulwer Lytton. she came in behind him and gently placed her hand on his shoulder. however. allowing him to get his key into the door. for they had much of each other left to explore. It was still such a new thing to tease with such gentle good humor. Surely she felt it. As he entered first. what would please her and what would drive her insane with need that he would answer. "Maybe fate felt it owed us both something. but instead of moving away in repulsion.*Chapter 9*: Chapter 9 I don't own these characters. his fingertips resting comfortably on the swell of her ass. Finally.. He longed to rub against her. her head resting on his shoulder. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. coursing through his veins. not even paying attention to the music. they had already begun the discovery of each other's minds and hearts. Tonight." he teased gently. naturally. They moved to the beat of the music. She gave him a nervous smile but fitted herself into his embrace as if they had been doing this for a thousand years. Instead. she simply put her hand in his. warm welcome that beckoned him even now? Just the thought of seeing her there. If he was in the kitchen. When he got out of the car and walked around to her side and opened the door for her. when we're ready for whatever it is this. he could pretend that she was merely waiting in the living room. It had been Isabella's choice and Edward usually found himself listening to whatever Isabella had chosen. made him feel as if she was there even when she wasn't. and turned on the light. Edward Cullen?" she asked after the song ended. "How did we find each other. They would not make love tonight. For once. made his cock jerk in his pants. we should make the most of it. Isabella should always look as he saw her – confident and sure of her place in the world. But much more than that. a terrifying and exhilarating sense of inevitability sang through him. when and where to touch for what effect. he simply moved with her. They didn't speak about the change in plans. What was left now to explore were each other's body. sort of cradling it with her softer flesh – embracing his desire as she had so often embraced him. though I do confess to harassing. There was desire. unable to help himself from brushing his thumb along the plump lines of her lips.thing between us will be?" She looked up at me again. she merely nestled up closer. swaying to the beat of whatever music was playing. how did we get so lucky to have this fate? To find each other? Now. but there was no surprise on her face when he turned left instead of right. It was a slight. He moved to the stereo and turned it on. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. "I thought you would say it's fate." she asked quietly. Her place in the world was at the center of his." he whispered. annoying. "It is fate. touching her there. His body reacted. I make no money from my little stories. 1st Earl of Lytton ~Bad Blood~ That Friday night. Was she ticklish behind her knee? Did she prefer a firmer or softer touch as he let his fingers drift up her inner thighs to the sweet. He moved his lips to her ear and kissed the elegant curve of it. sad day. They simply swayed with each other and the music and the world was reduced to those three elements. Isabella looked uncertain and shy and Edward decided he didn't like that." he pointed out." she insisted. Not quite yet. reassuring weight. what every sigh and shiver meant. I only borrow them. I only play in the sandbox. And the time was approaching quickly. to show her what she did to him. "Dance with me. Silently. His hands traced down her sides and then moved around to settle on her hips. Unlike so many lovers among their friends. instead of dropping Isabella off at her house. torturing. he knew that without even having to ask Isabella's thoughts on the matter. they walked up the three steps of his porch and she paused. Did she like to tease and laugh in bed as he suspected she might? Would their joining be wild and animalistic or sweet and tender? Edward thought it would be both. she lifted her head and her eyes focused on his lips while she pursed her own. though his need twitched against her belly. And until she told him otherwise. "For however long it lasts. he knew that they would – when the time was right. he was going to remain close to her. "Kiss me again. taking her hand. but not in the way he had expected it would. I didn't build it. His mouth lowered to hers and they both groaned at the contact. Chapter 9 "Rest is sweet after strife. She rested her head on his chest and there was no urgency in their movements." . Her touch was light but not tentative. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. a soft jazz number with no words to distract them. It reminded him of her. "But I mean. her expression both solemn and curious.
"However. "Please?" "Pleas what?" Isabella countered. then it's going to take a lot of evidence to make your case. Edward Cullen. When they got there. So if you want me to believe that every instinct I have is absolutely wrong. "For what?" "For the. in his bed? He hoped. The music disappeared as far as he was concerned. I'm not. Frankly. uncertain and unhinged. "I think this little talk is going to require something more comfortable than your couch. He had choreographed that dance years ago. but honesty compelled him to say more.I'm not a good person. "Edward?" That was it. but before he could catch a glimpse of anything he had not seen . this one is turning into a real shit fest.. she took him by the hand and led him into his bedroom.. I don't think any of your friends would know why either. she shook her head and held up her hand." She leaned back and studied him. He stood there uncertainly. "Listen to me." she replied sternly. He found breasts fascinating.and believe it." she said bluntly. he looked at her from beneath his lashes." "Because of what your father did?" Her expression was fierce and Edward felt himself taking a step backward. Isabella. they wouldn't care. If it had been any other Friday night. his lashes fluttered up and their eyes met. Their silken skin." She took a deep breath.shit fest. What he was.. the way nipples pressed impudently into his palms. "But." She tugged on his ear until it was near her mouth. Isabella. "Got it?" "Yes. He loved them all." His eyes darted up to hers. You. "What's that supposed to mean?" He found he couldn't meet her eyes.. "I'm sorry. the sweet taste of that first lick and suckle. "Please forgive me for the shit fest?" he pleaded. If I had all night I couldn't possibly list all of your good qualities. You're loyal and brave and giving. Not if they were real friends. "Even if they knew what your father had done.She frowned at him. but her voice was gentle and tender and he was obeying her before he could consider doing otherwise. as if they were birds prepared to take flight. and while she was still facing away from him. He would have urged her to walk toward the bed. At the same time. though he rather thought he should apologize for being who he was. he would walked up behind her and pressed his cock into her backside at the same time his hands came up and caressed her breasts. listen to this. He didn't want to confess his shameful secrets. "Because for a night that started out so promising. "I'm not sure why you think you're not a good person. "No. "But you are wrong.. Isabella's voice cut through the anxiety." And with that. they were all so different. He felt his body tighten and surge at the knowledge they would be in his room. "No. "Apology not accepted." He blinked at the obscenity.." she said. but he shook his head instead. Finally. chastened child. When he began to protest. He almost smiled. Others were slighter weights that nestled lightly." She released his ear and took a step back and then poked him hard in the chest." He started to protest and she gave his ear a light tug that shut him up fast. she pushed him inside with a gentle shove. "For however long it lasts?" There was a sharpness to her tone that unsettled him and he stopped moving in time to the music. he would have known what to do. knowing with certainty that there would never a next." Isabella ordered. Edward found a reverent joy in worshipping their breasts for the first time.." he muttered." she added." she ordered.. "No. It's hard to explain. she was tugging off her own clothes. Some were heavy weights in his hands that brought to mind vivid images of ripe fruits. If you never listen to anything else I tell you. He followed like an obedient. "Then I guess you'd better get started. Her eyes were large and dark and mesmerizing. But tonight he was at a loss." He sighed his frustration. After removing a woman's top." he said.I will give you the chance to redeem yourself. "Get undressed.. "Yes?" he finally asked. "I'm. just leave on your boxers and a tee-shirt if you're cold. and he had not been in his own bedroom but in a hotel room. I'm not a good person. Edward Cullen.yes." He felt some of the tension leave him... Just his name. you are a good man.. "You're full of shit.
... Edward. Edward." He hugged her as hard as she hugged him. Her warmth. and I started to cry then. so I was getting ready to turn seven.. Without thought. trying to find a pair of legs that looked right. "My mother took me to Disney World. he thought with sudden incredulity. "I'd never seen anything like it. Instead. I'll give you time to get used to it. who just happened to be a grown up so I felt completely safe. I turned around to tell my mother something and I realized that I had lost her." He held himself stiffly against her for a moment and then closed his eyes too. "I could barely breathe." Edward closed his eyes and let the sound of Isabella's voice become his world.. You look tired." She laughed softly.. "When I was six. A few seconds later. I knew it was her." she pleaded.." Isabella continued." Her slim fingers were tilting up his chin so that he could look at her." Isabella hugged him close. He didn't have to wait long. he was slipping into her embrace.forever a child because you couldn't grow up in Disney. "Then. when you kissed me. just firm enough not to be ticklish." Isabella confessed. "The lines were long that day.. tenderly and reached out to touch him. She plumped up her pillows and got comfortable before she turned to him. I had. Women were amazing creatures. I had an ice cream in my hands and I can still hear the plopping sound when I dropped it. Just get in on your side. I remember worrying about who my teacher would be next year and if he or she would like me and if I would like them... you see. so it was like seeing it for the first time with my best friend. she was putting one of his tee-shirts on over her bra. Her slender arms came up around him and he was pillowed on her body. her scent. her touch light but certain. "When you kissed me tonight. She left the room and when he emerged from the bathroom a few moments later. he pulled back the covers and climbed dutifully beneath them and pulled them up. the right color shorts. she had a toothbrush in her hand. He was drifting on the warmest ocean.." There was a long moment of silence.before. Edward. the lacy concoction was slipping out through one of the armholes of the shirt. "Come here. I was alone. realizing how wonderful you really are." Isabella said quietly. "And I remember thinking that I could wander around a place as big as Disney World forever before someone found me.anything. He slept. he was free. So wonderfully different from men..me..because it's going to happen. Isabella was sliding beneath the covers as well. I felt the same way. not just let tears slip down my cheeks or anything but full on sobbing. I guess. . But most of all." she murmured and for a wild moment Edward wondered who she might be talking about." He could only stare at her. "Then. And my mom was as much a kid as I was.. really cry." Beside him. it was just before school started. She hugged me so tight that it hurt and I couldn't breathe. "So you're going to have to learn to deal with being my knight in shining armor." Isabella sighed.. I wasn't alone any more. I had been found. Even the monster inside was helpless before her power. Held by her.ever. Then she smiled sweetly. "My sweet. I don't care how hard it gets. Then her hands were cradling his face and her lips were pressed briefly against his." He felt her press a kiss to the top of his head. "Go brush your teeth and do whatever else you need to do. I don't care how long it takes.then I felt something crushing me. I won't leave you and I won't give up on you. Her hands then began a soothing pattern of moving up and down his back.lost for good.." she said quietly. Soon. "Arms turned me around and I saw my mother.. Her eyes were dark pools of some emotion he could not identify. her presence surrounded him. but we will eventually have to confront your view of yourself. even through the tears. Edward felt Isabella tremble and he knew she was experiencing that terror of being completely alone all over again. "I remember looking in every direction. of course. sweet man. embraced by serenity – nothing could touch him while he rested in Isabella's arms..come home. "Go to sleep now. But I didn't care. I won't let you give up on yourself. Nothing. because I'd never felt safer and happier. No one. "I'll be in bed in a second." Then she closed her eyes and pulled him close again. "I was convinced I'd be like one of those kids on Peter Pan's island." He still hadn't made any word of protest. bound by her acceptance. "I couldn't even yell for her for a moment. And waited. So you might as well pull up your big boy pants and deal with it all. saving me. and he pondered doing just that.
so here it is. I got it written before I thought I would and I'm an impatient soul. lol. "Sit.delicious. "Now we're going to have breakfast in bed. There would be something profane about stroking himself to an unsatisfactory satisfaction with Isabella in his home. He chewed obediently and watched as Isabella slathered grape jelly on her toast. He was shocked at how empty it already felt. but the evil wizard." she urged again. their lips merely pressing against . His dick jerked in response and she grinned at him. But he moved quickly to the bathroom and stepped into the shower. a tray of food balanced easily in her hand. She scooted closer. "I'll get some breakfast ready for us. preferring to savor the sublime feeling of being surrounded by Isabella. sad day." "Talk?" he asked even as he sat down. but rather the judgment that something else is more important than fear.." she murmured.. I only play in the sandbox. "You're not a morning person. "I was a server during college. Author's Note: In this chapter. So when he dried himself off. He just didn't know how to convince her of that." With that. annoying. Then her lips were against his ear.. Chapter 10 "Courage is not the absence of fear. The tray was quickly cleared of food and Edward had a full stomach. He refused to open his eyes for a moment. only to fail. He had dressed in a pair of shorts and a clean tee-shirt when Isabella opened the door. "You're my knight in shining armor. seeing the obvious movement beneath his thin shorts. "What?" she asked with a shrug. "Eat. This update is early. "Good morning. That made him open his eyes and she laughed softly at the confusion in his expression. Before he could reply. Isabella settled on her side of the bed and patted the mattress beside her. He would open his mouth to speak and find food in it. I only borrow them. he did not touch it. The she was straddling him and leaning in for a kiss. looking very professional and at ease. He would chew and swallow and try again. "I'm trying to decide if we should talk first. He was going to ask her what they were going to talk about when she ripped off a piece of toast and slipped that between his teeth. Edward noted with dazed admiration. wiping at his face.. "I can't face heavy discussions on an empty stomach. Isabella moved back so that she was sitting against the headboard and she studied him until he fidgeted." she announced. That was how the whole breakfast went. Her lips quirked. Please be patient with him. we get more insight into why Edward believes he's a monster. soft and sleep warm. Then he felt her hand stroking his hair. "Decide?" Sometimes Edward had trouble following Isabella's train of thought. "Go do whatever it you knights do in the morning." she suggested with a little laugh. though I do confess to harassing. Isabella popped a bit of bacon into his mouth." "Or?" He asked the unspoken question. Then talk." Isabella murmured.. It was good money and I could work as little or as much as I needed. I didn't build it. "What?" he asked. "Or if we should kiss and touch other each other first. torturing.remember?" That concept was still so foreign to him that he had to look away. she slid from the bed." she answered in a distracted voice. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. Sir Edward." Then she settled the tray on the bedside table with a flourish.. "You're so. and exasperating them – just because it's fun.. his flesh was still heavy and hurting.*Chapter 10*: Chapter 10 I don't own these characters.. Eat. She kissed his forehead. are you?" Isabella guessed with a hint of sly amusement. It started off sweet and innocent. "Or." "Heavy discussions?" He didn't like the sound of that." ~Ambrose Redmoon He woke up nestled next to Isabella scented flesh. He's really trying very hard to get things worked out in his pretty little head. "I'm trying to decide." And with that she licked her lips. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. He was not the knight. Isabella somehow managed to finish her own breakfast while determinedly feeding him." Her fingers trailed down his chest and then settled on his stomach. She must have noticed his expression. She was quite graceful as she did so. Though his cock was hard and aching. I make no money from my little stories.
he might have grown up with the monster that had sired him and never known.. He owed her that much at least. Isabella nodded. She brushed back his hair and smiled tenderly..that night.. but I had my window open because. "Let's go to the living room. Isabella's heat scorched him through the thin. "I've got eyes enough for both of us right now. and you need to know it too. Then her tongue slid in between his lips and teeth and began a leisurely exploration of his mouth. When Edward began thrusting up into her softness. "You don't see the real me. the words began spilling from his lips. But I can teach you to see." she ordered in a cool voice. he would take this moment. shaking his head. because usually I went with her when she went to see Aunt Esme." he said softly." She kissed him.each other's. In contrast to the almost frantic motion of her hips. giving her the lead. "And I got out of bed and went downstairs. I know I am. holding out his hand. mimicking the final completion for which they both longed." His brain went blank and for a moment he almost let himself do exactly that. He gave a little whimper of protest." He flashed her an apologetic smile.thing between them could go no further until she knew what she was getting. "I want you to call me Bella when you're moving inside of me." "Look at me while you lie to me. Something about. "I wish you could see yourself as I see you. believing every word. leaving his chest and stomach bare.. but even as he did so... "No.. silky fabric of her panties.. and I will. "Do you really want to talk about it?" Isabella asked quietly.know. rocking rhythm and he settled his hands on her ass.." she breathed. better than what he was. "I heard. But my." he told her solemnly. I . sitting here with this intriguing. She would do to him what she would and he could no more stop her than he could an earthquake or a hurricane... "I thought it was funny." she murmured. It was as if Isabella Swan was a force of nature..something that didn't belong. Isabella.. Edward had not realized just how much he had needed this. odd funny not haha funny.. settling her lips on his once more and then she pulled back a fraction of an inch. his shirt was pushed up. What she had given him already was a gift beyond measure." "Isabella. even if she could no longer look at him or bear his touch when he was done. I wouldn't have heard anything. He could not reveal his secret shame in this bed. "Bella. "If the air had been on. "I want to tell you something. and he was merely the hapless bit of earth upon which she had struck. "I'm bad. "I know.he said that they had had an argument and she went to cool off. Until this moment. had gone to visit her sister." he said. Isabella deserved better than a monster. trying to slide off of him. Her smile grew sad then and she shook her head. Her hips took up a languid. This. "It was warm but not hot yet. Edward?" He could hear her frustration. If he hadn't heard." he insisted. Edward." She took his hand and let him lead her to the couch. her mouth was slow and easy on his. "Why do you think you're so terrible. He sighed and slid from beneath her. His eyes darted up to hers.." Edward continued. And as much as he didn't want to show her what he was. "I just." Edward said after a long pause. if he hadn't gone to the studio. Edward shook his head desperately.my mother." he said. he had to. Though a part of him feared that she would turn away from him in disgust.. And if that meant he lost her – as it surely would – then he would grieve for the rest of his days but that was his pain to bear and not hers. expecting anger but there was only sadness and something that made him want to blurt out the horrible truth and test the boundaries of her forgiveness. "You're the one who is blind." Isabella's hand slipped into his and tightened reassuringly. She positioned herself right over his cock... Somehow. Edward?" He couldn't meet her eyes." She leaned back. They sat down and he took a deep breath. But he held on tightly. how he had longed to wanted to reach out to someone." "What makes you say that. "It was early spring.. She had to see him for what he was. "I." she said.." he whispered. But Isabella had to know the truth. giving him the most wonderfully frustrating friction. "He told me that she. the one where he had hoped to make love to her. "I don't believe that." Often he had pondered how his life had been transformed simply because of weather. sometimes infuriating but always incredible woman. She tasted of bacon and grape jelly and Isabella. Isabella pulled away from his mouth with a little sigh and her hips went motionless.
At first. Edward Masen senior had gone to another room to fetch yet another tool of torture. She handed him one." Edward finally said." He closed his eyes and he was once more that boy. "But I couldn't.... feeling once more that panic as his clumsy hands had tugged so desperately at her bonds. standing at the top of the porch stairs. balanced on a precipice.. and he had wanted to run. Edward. But he had enjoyed working in his studio.." Run.. As if sensing that he could go on no longer. And the stories of the bodies that were found." Isabella said softly. "I do. "Her husband.. And the conjecture over the identity of the killer in their midst. Women .frozen there.." His father had been a sculptor and photographer." He took a deep. Of course. She was alone for the moment.run. The very things that Edward had seen as creators of beauty. though she had been bound to a workbench and her husband had already begun his "work" on her. one foot on the porch. Run.. "I hated the rain and the lack of sun and the boredom." Edward said." . Isabella gave a sad little smile. the police just had a missing woman. his father found beauty in their agony and suffering. The reign of terror had begun.. Run. knowing that if he saw pity there he just might lose his mind..he's." She knew that he needed a moment. Renee Dwyer had had a flighty reputation.. "So I yelled at her. Edward.. but it was my father's visitation time and I was giving her shit about going. I hated going to Forks. there were other pictures of bright smiling faces of women who were already dead.. "I was mad at her because she was making me go see my father.. "My father's studio was forbidden..but I couldn't. When young Edward walked in the room that stank of fear and blood. though no one yet suspected it. but only after it his father's horror was revealed... his father had seen as tools of death and destruction. She shot to her feet and soon returned with two bottles of beer. his mother had been still breathing. Though of course Edward Masen Senior had no need to make money from his work.... After Renee's body was found.run. there was nothing but compassion. Run.." he said. He had been so afraid. His mother had fretted over it.. Phil... Instead. like she had peered into his mind and read his thoughts. "I told her if she loved me she wouldn't make me go. He believed in precision and in using the right implement for the job.. "But my mom and I were close and I didn't want to go to Forks.or Australia.. All that winter and into the spring and summer beyond.. baby.... "I wasn't to go there." she said. He considered their misery his greatest creation. the ropes slippery with her blood. He had worked with mostly metal in his sculptures and Edward had been used to seeing the saws and tin snips and gleaming blades in his father's studio. looking at the picture. quite well known in certain circles. "You know what I remember most about the last time I saw my mother?" Edward shook his head helplessly. "She was going to the grocery store to get the stuff to make cookies that I wanted and I yelled at her and slammed my bedroom door.didn't hear the sound again. was okay.... No matter how easily the words about his father tumbled from his mouth.trying to untie her. I loved my dad.." Isabella continued.and infinite patience." Run. Edward. that was the one place I wasn't allowed to go. one foot on the stair.. rasping breath. her blood falling with soft little plops of sound to the concrete floor.. Isabella sank to the couch and tipped the bottle back. "And then she didn't come home from the grocery store. Edward remembered seeing her picture in the paper..I was. dying alone at the hands of the monster.. Edward. but I knew where it had come from.and then I was. So badly." Isabella looked at Edward. not even when he wasn't working.but he couldn't leave his mother there. but. the killings had continued. "She told me to run. a healthy trust fund had left him financially independent.trying so hard.. It had taken a while for the police to even be bothered. Unless he invited me in. "My mother hadn't gone to my aunt's house. his mother's memory was still so sacred that it felt like sandpaper had lined his throat to speak of her. He met Isabella's eyes. no one would have been much surprised if she took an impromptu trip to Las Vegas. of course. or so he said.. unaware that she would soon share their fate or that she slept alongside the monster.bad." Isabella shrugged. perhaps she needed one too. "You want a beer?" Isabella asked suddenly. murmured her sympathy. Run..
"Listen to me. It would only be later that he would want to vomit at the thought of his father invading his mother's body with that profane bit of flesh he had used to violate the women he killed. "He had tied her too tightly.. "He was behind me. "She told me to run. so optimistic about life in spite of what the monster had done to her.. experienced the mild sense of dismay that he had had. and she had died on that workbench.. pretending an affection that was not real. it had merely been an embarrassment.that I only had to give into it. "He saw it in me. His father had been shocked to se him standing there. but not horrified him. who least deserved it but most wanted it. Isabella. they would have seen the stain too clearly.. their sanity. she had lain under him. only to turn up days or weeks later as a decomposing corpse.I'm bad." Isabella said. I know I am." she whispered and he expected her to pull away from him in disgust and terror. his seed. Edward had been shocked at what happened next. "He said I was his son. "I'm so sorry. he told me.. "Your father.he. "Oh my God. his hands stained with his mother's blood from his struggles to free her. Even now." Isabella said matter-of-factly. but he knew that he was. Edward..it made the rope slippery. "Something to flay the skin. "He wanted you to be like him. "I heard him. They would have seen the monster lurking beneath his skin. Perhaps she sensed what he would say next with that uncanny instinct of hers... still bound and bleeding while her son struggled and fought and almost died with her." she said emphatically.that I had the darkness in me too.disappeared. not even Aunt Esme. His father was a black hole into which all things good and righteous disappeared. The next morning.. He wasn't sure why he was going to tell Isabella now. "Hush now. enfolding him in her arms as if he was the boy he had been on that warm spring night. "He. I'm his son. but that doesn't make it so. Then she was tilting up his face so that she could look into his eyes. Edward. But at the time. letting him know that he didn't have to share what he didn't want to." Edward said. No one knew everything that his father had said to him." He felt Isabella go still. Not content with taking their lives.held out the knife and asked if I wanted to have a go at it too." Edward said. He looked at Isabella... never to be seen again.. Something deep inside of him compelled him to do so...." He shuddered and Isabella held him closer. their souls.. I carry his blood...I'm bad." Isabella moaned low in her throat. his father would always be in a jovial mood and his mother would shoot her husband sly smiles that spoke of secrets that only they shared.." Edward took a deep breath." Once again. He blinked at her and she smiled slightly. he was rocked by that same hopeless rage. Her hands smoothed his hair and she rocked slightly. "And then. he could not bear to think of his father's dirty hands touching his mother's flesh. and he saw me. I've read the case history. "No more of that shit." Edward shuddered and clutched at Isabella." he said quietly. "No. Isabella. "He wanted it. but nobody wanted .. Edward Masen had taken everything – their innocence.and that it was wonderful.. He had never told anyone because if he had.. making him blink and stare at her. Instead.. her arms tightened around him and she pressed kisses to his sweaty hair." Edward shook his head. Edward and his mother had lived peacefully with the monster.." She tilted his face up and pierced him with her eyes. it was there for a very long time. Her fingers pressed against his lips. "He had gone to get another knife. brushing his hair back and it felt too good for him to even feel shame that he was accepting her comfort. He. not saying anything but murmuring soothing nothings..." Isabella went still and she moved to him.. Edward supposed that all children.. admired his work. once they were old enough to know what was going on behind closed doors. even if it ruined whatever absolution she had granted him thus far.. not you.and the blood.. "He laughed when he saw me.." He found himself folding his body so that he was half sprawled in her lap and she held him closely. the marks of their suffering still upon them." He looked up at Isabella. that I could feel it too.that sickness inside of him. Edward had heard them fucking and it had embarrassed him.." "You're going to make me kick your ass." she murmured. I'm like him.." She was a strange mixture of comfort and admonishment. Only his mother had known his shame." He had never told anyone of everything that had passed between them on that night... that horrible sickness. There were mutilated animals when he was a kid.....so fucking slippery." And his secret shame tumbled out of him in disjointed words and muffled sobs... His mother had cooked for him. "But I couldn't leave her. "He laughed.. "She kept telling me to run.
And they called the cops. "Your mother's son. everything you did – it proves that beyond any doubt.. did you?" He paused and shook his head. but even he recognized that his argument was growing weaker. Edward.he..by you.. He was stopped. You hurt him enough to stop him.." Isabella murmured. It never had.sent to save me. But that was him. every time he touched her silken flesh.. "You." he said again. are an angel. He wanted so desperately to believe.normal.do you remember that? A neighbor heard you yelling. Edward Cullen. but Edward had been waiting. "You hurt him. so desperate for absolution that he thought he would be happy to beg for the rest of his life. You almost died stopping him that night." And then her lips pressed to his. Edward. Yet.. Everything you are. to slow him down. Elizabeth's son. And for a while. softly." He looked at her. "Instead. you stopped him." "I'm his son.. If you were the monster your father was.. not you. Edward. some part of him waited for that sick urge to cut and maim and bite and hurt and destroy to rouse to life inside of him. Everything in him had recoiled from the pristine knife his father had offered. from a good family..an evil." "I'm his son. here she was. "The police came.. You stopped the monster because you aren't a monster. But every time he fucked a woman.. You almost gave your life for all of the women who would have come after... Your mother calmed him for a while. there were incidences that were hushed up because he came from money. Later.. he tried to be." Isabella persisted.. sweetly. you would have taken that knife from your father's hand and used it to hurt an innocent. "You are your mother's son. .. Only you. But. offering it so freely and sweetly that he wasn't quite sure she was real..to admit there was a problem..hardly there. Edward. But you didn't.. chastely...an avenging angel sent to save all of those women your father would have killed. evil person.he was. You looked him straight in the eyes in that courtroom and it was your testimony more than anything that put him away. yet filling up his world. Edward.. He wanted to believe." Edward insisted...and waiting.
Eventually. warm and heavy and pink and soft. hard and aching and already seeping with his pleasure. His dick was pressed between them. The sound of the potatoes in the sizzling grease was the only sound in the little kitchen. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. Isabella took him by the hand. urging Isabella to move back against the shower wall. Immediately. Was he more like his mother than his father? And was his mother's blood enough to counterbalance the monster that inevitably lurked inside? They ate grilled cheese sandwiches and homemade French fries. I only play in the sandbox. I make no money from my little stories. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. Isabella's hands came around and cupped his ass. Slowly. He was well rested. Edward hissed as the hot water hit his skin. but her caresses and touches spoke volumes. turning this way and that so that every inch of her body was soon pink and warm. in fact. Isabella grimaced at the protest her muscles had to have been making.. Now. I only borrow them. They worked together well in the kitchen. more because of the tension it caused between his parents than out of any fear of his father. "Let's go make some lunch. She held him until he woke up. Her breast was a delightful weight in his hand. and best of all. Strangely. Edward always found these moments to be strangely rejuvenating. She hadn't run away screaming even though she knew the ugly truth about him. tenderly. he had learned that the sight of him baking a pie with his mother or perfecting a marinara recipe had annoyed his father. He ached to touch her. He judged the water to be just short of boiling. Edward felt remorse of having been so inconsiderate. which I have corrected. "Your hands always feel so good. she stripped him out of his few clothes and then silently removed her own. Slowly. That is what happens when you write scenes out of order. in his eyes. such moments brought to mind his mother and how they had often worked together in the kitchen. but after a few moments. Thank you for letting me know. instinctively pushing him closer against her. though his father had never been pleased to see Edward so happy doing such domestic and. I didn't build it. Then he slept again. inherently feminine. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. Edward wondered if there was something more significant in those hours he had spent with his mother. Edward was helpless to resist." she whispered. as that scene was supposed to take place somewhere else in the story and I didn't like the way it fit. warm weight around him. After they ate. You all are the best. but Edward was content. They were in no hurry. he was never quite sure just how long she sat there. Slowly. He felt her shiver slightly at the sensation of the cool tiles against her overheated flesh and he moaned his apology. he had stopped doing so. Edward squeezed gently at Isabella's breast and her hips expressed her appreciation of the move. I'm grateful. She reached for his hand and placed it on her belly. His thumb flicked lightly over one nipple and she arched into his touch. Edward groaned and pulled her up against him. they cleaned up their small mess and once again. sad day. Abruptly.it's correct now and thank you. he lowered his mouth to hers and she opened her lips. It wasn't until Isabella had come into his life that Edward had recalled those moments. or the reasons they had stopped. Later on. though I do confess to harassing. She didn't speak. His other hand came forward to gently cup one breast and they both moaned softly at the contact. Isabella seemed to be reveling in the heat and he had to smile at the way she closed her eyes and luxuriated under the steaming spray. This time she led him into his bathroom and she turned on the shower. there was no urgency to his touches or to her responses. annoying. They moved against each other. but he would endure it for her. Isabella was still here. her arms a comforting. "Touch me more.*Chapter 11*: Chapter 11 I don't own these characters. That never offends me." ~Christopher Reeve ~Bad Blood~ Isabella simply held him.. though he noticed that when he shifted and she moved at last. I mean it! Chapter 11 "Once you choose hope. getting stiffly to her feet and pulling him up from the couch." Isabella said. he settled against her with an exhausted sigh. So very soft. anything's possible. Edward moved forward. So." Permission having been given. though their need was great. he adjusted to the temperature. In some ways. their moves practically choreographed by now and comfortable in their silence. She entered the shower and pulled him in behind her. . Author's Note: There were some continuity errors in the last chapter. torturing. for the first time. Edward had liked cooking and baking. their flesh slick and hungry. As Edward had gotten older. the smell of good food filled his head. her eyes opened and she smiled. tasks. welcoming him in with a sigh of satisfaction. which she did without hesitation or protest. Without thought.
Surprises weren't always a bad thing. When they were both wrapped in towels.Then his mouth left hers. with the most important woman in the world. she gave a jerky nod. she tugged him under the spray of water and rubbed his hair as she washed it. but she shook her head and pressed her hands against his shoulders. What if he was incapable of making love? What if all his heart and body could do was fuck? Isabella deserved more than a fuck.. "Wait. Then she returned the favor and he closed his eyes to more fully appreciate the warmth." His words were disjointed and tremulous. When she was done. and a guard was lowered inside of him because this was the first woman who had ever truly known him. balls deep and bare." he finally managed to choke out. however.. He accepted the invitation. He had been twisted before he was born. welcoming heat. they both knew that. though he wouldn't have thought such a thing possible. "I'm clean. existing in every cell of his body. bringing him tantalizingly close to slipping inside of her. "I don't have. "Not without a condom. a response that told him her murmured approval was genuine. After she washed her hair. But his heart and his mind were not. inviting him into her embrace." he told her. But inside.my condoms. Her eyes narrowed as if she had guessed at his reasons. yes. She turned and raised her face to the water. "I want that too. Edward kissed and suckled and gave playful nips that had Isabella arching and hissing and moaning and laughing. In all of his previous encounters. His fingers were met with slick. "I want you to make love to me. Isabella's eager hands slid the condom down his throbbing length and they both groaned at the caress. It would have been so easy to make one tiny adjustment and thrust up into the haven that beckoned him. "I'm on the shot." Isabella murmured and held up her arms. her flesh glowed invitingly. Sex and laughter had never gone together in Edward's experience. leaving him panting behind her. But Edward had never fucked without a condom and he didn't intend to start now. The sound of it made him even harder. A moment later. He positioned the head against her. but after a moment's pause. asking him quietly to bend forward to make it easier. she tenderly washed his body and then urged him out of the shower. covered in Isabella scented sheets. he was standing beside his bed. Their bodies moved together as fluidly in the bed as they had in the shower. he had come to discover. he realized. . When she moved to dry him off. he realized that he had never ached so badly for a woman.. there was more than laughter. He would have her." Isabella explained. He bent so that he could bring her hard nipple into his eager mouth and Isabella's cry was loud in the small confines of the shower. his hands literally aching to grab her hips as he buried himself deep within her.. he had been chasing a simple physical release. she fulfilled that humble wish and Edward felt his heart expand inside his chest. He wanted to touch her. She studied him carefully. he plucked the towel from her hands and ministered to her. One of her legs came up to wrap around his hip and it was the most natural thing in the world for them to thrust against each other." He had never expected such a blunt statement. There was mutual affection and trust. at conception the monster had taken root in him. though with her back against the shower it was more difficult. Apart from the shower. He wanted to see her dark hair spread about on his pillow and so he whispered his desire. By the time he was reaching into the bedside drawer. he was unsure. He was laid bare before her. as always." he said in a shaky voice. but she understood. Still pink and warm from their shower. He moved to push inside of her. Are you?" "Yes. Isabella was always surprising him. but he would protect her too. she smiled. his fingers scrambling to find a condom. Was he clean? Of sexual diseases. savoring the intimacy and affection of the act. he was aware of the moisture that was gathering between her legs. He wanted to kiss her. So he did. prompting a protest that died a quick death when his mouth traveled down her throat. Edward. He could not sully her perfect body with the filth that lingered in his seed. but-" The question was a reminder of everything Edward wanted to forget. But he was given no chance to argue his point because the next thing he knew.. The towel dropped from her body and he felt his breath catch in his throat and lungs. "I want you inside of me.in the bedroom. Isabella pulled back too. Now. So he did. as if sensing all the words he was not saying and peering into the deepest recesses of his heart and mind.. though perhaps he should have. feeling her heat and remembering the silky feel of her response.
you never said anything about . "But when you told me about that night." she reminded him. A plea... He felt her body fluttering around him. "Your Bella. but the smile on her kiss swollen lips was teasing.. "I know you're convinced that your father saw this monster inside of you. night had fallen yet again and they had stumbled into the kitchen for sustenance. Edward did not forget to use a condom. kissing and caressing and whispering encouragement to each other. my Bella.Bella. Now that he had said her name while his body was inside of hers. trembling. Because this was Isabella. It never seemed to end. he thrust in deep. "Bella. They ended up back in his bed. not saying much with words but everything with their bodies. so they were free to indulge in their whims. He could not deny her. they dozed and then woke again. he collapsed against her." Her words and the feel of her almost had him coming then and there.. Anything. With someone else. but at least. An extra toothbrush had solved the only other practical problem. his balls drawing up tight as he pumped and pumped and pumped into the condom. he could not say it enough. but also unique in a way he could not describe. when you told me what your father said and did. Her heels came up to drum lightly on his ass. "Always your Bella. and in the darkness he could not see her eyes but he felt her gaze on him.. "That night.. It was a tiny pain.. wrapped around each other like pretzels. after they were sated and panting in each other's arms and he had tossed the condom in the trash can near his bed. "Bella. Clothes were not an issue as neither of them was often dressed. They got up and watched a movie for a while. Edward was pretty sure they hadn't even fucked once. holding him close. by unspoken agreement. Somehow. Edward had gotten two nights with her. Eventually. he would always be truthful. He groaned and buried his face in the fragrant flesh of her neck. they were back in his bed. it led to something even more satisfying in its own way. lightly kissing her breasts with more color. They both gasped and then moved experimentally against each other. With a shout of surprise and satisfaction. She nipped at it playfully and then sucked it into her mouth.." he whispered. Better. most definitely. it might have led to using another condom. titillating rather than distracting. Inside of her. "My Bella. She sighed and he felt the breath.. his cock jumped and swelled and she groaned as she felt it. laughing as they made a mess of omelets and toast." he whispered reverently. What they had done felt different. "Edward?" Isabella's voice was soft in the darkness." Edward waited. But with Bella. "Yes?" He let his fingers run up and down her arm. Ever." he breathed and then pushed inside of her. "Call me Bella. He had a feeling. "Call me Bella while you're inside of me." One shaking hand came up to brush a thumb across her lips. The words were a prayer.. that he was sure you'd be what he was. her nails lightly scoring his flesh. "Remember. overcome with how different it felt to be inside of her." he whispered as he moved inside of her. And he would. Her back arched off the bed and he watched in fascination as her eyes closed and the beautiful flush bloomed on her chest. but this time Isabella didn't question it. which only made him slip farther inside of her." she answered him once and then gave a little cry when he picked up the pace in response to her words.." "Your Bella. "That night. "Bella. Then. the perfect rhythm that had his hips pumping and hers answering.?" She must have seen the confusion on his face because she gave a little laugh.. and with her.. Her hands grabbed at his shoulders then. They both cried out and he stilled for a moment... gently begging for his answering orgasm.when your father offered you the knife?" "Yes?" He felt her turn." she answered.He stared at her in disbelief. A hope. that the day would come when he would have to explain." ~Bad Blood~ They didn't fuck twice. fully and as honestly was he was capable of doing. When she turned and pressed her back to his chest. "Bella.. reminding him to move and he laughed." She let her words trail off and he lightly caressed her to let her know that it was okay to continue. "My Bella. In fact. By that time.Bella. it was the most natural thing in the world to pull her leg up to rest on his hip and slide inside of her – slow and steady. touching casually and then not so casually. A few awkward thrusts and they found it.
"Go to sleep. and filled up Edward. Edward.what your mother did when your father offered you the knife. And who knew you better than your mother?" "Run. Edward. "Run. cleansing her for just a moment of the pain. Isabella continued on.run. . Suddenly.. Isabella's trust in him was complete and overwhelming. tears silently slipping down her cheeks. run. "I think your mother knew you weren't capable of that. Edward. She had feared for him certainly." The words filled up the darkness. letting the anguish and the hope battle against each other. He had caught only a glimpse of his mother's face at that moment..." His father pressing the knife toward him." Work seemed a million miles away. to continue in his stead. which Isabella read correctly as she always did. determined to have her say... "I don't think she was ever afraid of you. washing away the blood. We have a long day tomorrow – and you have to work.. urging him to take it." Isabella's lips pressed against his cool cheek. "Did she seem afraid of you? Did she seem to think that you'd be what your father was?" There was a pause. I don't think she was ever afraid of you.. Edward. A mother's fear that ran strong and deep. father and son. but there hadn't been fear of him in her eyes. And who knew you better than your mother?" Edward closed his eyes. Edward. Then she slipped more deeply into his embrace and he felt her body go heavy with sleep.. he was questioning everything he ever knew about himself.
Apparently. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. Wondering how she had managed to stay untouched by the anger and bitterness that so many people in her position would have had. Or even better." What. smiling. "Well good. She insisted that she had a black thumb. Isabella scooted closer and nestled herself against him. though he admitted that he felt a pang of guilt when he drove by the facility. Chapter 12 "Happiness is a form of courage. and Edward conceded that her history might indicate she was right. So Floyd understandably held a place of pride in her heart. But he could find no embarrassment in the thought. She had asked him to spend the night at her house.. Though he did remain in the bed for a while and study Isabella while she slept. "I could get used to this. "Enjoying the show. though I do confess to harassing. . His flesh was sated and. quite a bit.. pausing every now and then to swivel her hips like Elvis or give a little Madonna like gyration to add some variety. just so you know. "Do you want to see me tonight?" "Oh. He wanted her with every fiber of his being. he stifled the urge and turned off his alarm. he had the unusual urge to bury his face in his pillow and plead for five more minutes. she squeezed him hard and briefly and then resumed making breakfast. I make no money from my little stories. so a small overnight bag was in the backseat of his car." She kissed a lingering trail up his neck and to his ear. Hell? Olivia Newton-John? Edward hid behind the arch leading into the kitchen. His shower was quick and perfunctory. instead. he could hear Isabella singing in the kitchen.. She didn't press or even look sad. her hair a wild mass around her that somehow managed to make her look even more beautiful. "Then you'll see me. In any case. for once. she was certainly enthusiastic. "I didn't want it to end. his mind was at ease. In fact. leaning out just enough to watch Isabella shake her ass in time to the music that he now recognized as coming from the small speakers he had in the kitchen. "Go shower. Isabella. Edward wondered what it said about him that he was jealous of a plant." Edward admitted. "Faker. sad day. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. He watched her. however. As she moved around the kitchen.physical. actually. wondering how such a carefree spirit had found something to admire in him. I always want to see you. She opened her eyes." she promised playfully." What could a man say in response to that? "Will I see you tonight?" he asked. I didn't build it. I only play in the sandbox. while I make us some breakfast. annoying. When he walked out of the bedroom. Then he reached out to touch her and a sly smile tugged at her lips. He decided that being around Isabella made him shockingly honest." she replied simply." Floyd was a spider plant and had the distinction of being the only plant Isabella hadn't managed to love to death. Isabella turned around and smirked at him." ~Holbrook Jackson ~Bad Blood~ It was not easy getting up that morning at his usual Monday morning time. Isabella giggled and sat up. That wasn't the scariest part of it. Abruptly. "Yes. rather badly if he was honest. you dirty boy?" Busted. The most terrifying thing was the realization that he would tell her so without hesitation. Mr. Isabella had found and oldies station was currently enjoying the sounds of a bygone era." Isabella walked to him and put her arms around his neck. She leaned down and kissed him quickly and he discovered that morning breath really wasn't so bad. where she whispered." he accused. that's the whole point. her hair tickling his chin. He coveted Isabella. I need to get home and make sure Floyd is still alive. ~Bad Blood~ Edward skipped his visit to the gym.. I think I'm going to skip the gym this morning.*Chapter 12*: Chapter 12 I don't own these characters. "Let's get physical. The. she could sleep through just about anything. I only borrow them. Edward thought. bury his face in the soft scent of Isabella's hair and plead for all day. But the words remained locked behind his lips. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. torturing. He and Isabella had agreed to meet there later that night. "I like being in bed with you. Apparently. Cullen." So could he.
The vast expanse mocked him as he turned over. he knew he did not deserve Isabella. bemoaning their own greed and patting their full bellies. Edward smiled all the way to her house.. I didn't want to tell you before because. He was hopeful she would want to. they kissed on the sidewalk where everyone could see them and Edward walked back to his office." Edward smiled. he took a brutal and honest inventory of what and who he was. The bed. He thought she could." she said. You see. was empty. even without their shared and horrific history.." More laughter and he could hear his uncle's voice in the background. in which he was so accustomed to sleeping alone and which had never. coaxing him into belief. "So. We want to see the world. to keep it caged up for however long she would deign to share her life with him. She was an angel and he was a monster. His Isabella. Edward. "Yes it is. ~Bad Blood~ They had spent the night watching iconic 80s movies and laughing over the fashions.He might have been grinning like an idiot when he walked into work because Janice did a double take. if perhaps Isabella had the will and strength to hold his monster at bay. thinking furiously the whole way." His mother's voice came to him over the space of years.. Later. Isabella deserved nothing less than his wholehearted devotion. and then cuddled on the couch. she knew when to advance and when to retreat. "Hello. Her eyes had been sad as she had pulled away from their kisses. Your uncle and I are going out tonight to celebrate.just call me when you get a chance. though he refused to dance around the kitchen. ~Bad Blood~ Edward went to the gym and worked out. Things were moving so fast and Edward felt out of control. Edward. feeling very much like a man who was part of something bigger and better than he could ever be alone. They had eaten two bowls of popcorn. and when it was over. As he slumped on the edge of the bed. but her touch had been tender. Before he drove to Isabella's house. When they finally fell into Isabella's bed. His Isabella. He had stayed the course even though fear had made his heart feel as if it was clawing its way out of his chest and his skin had been slick with a cold and clammy sweat. "But something tells me you're ready for things to start changing. He wasn't surprised when he got her text later that day. But he wondered. Until he could give her that. as she had been hit by inspiration was writing furiously so that they might more fully enjoy their time together. he checked his house phone and got his messages. They had their usual. the brownies Janice had given him in a container on the seat. Edward insisted on making breakfast. he was selling them both short. One was a sales call and the other from his Aunt Esme. Keep a side of the bed warm for me. made banana splits. He felt a rush of guilt and then replayed the message. "Good morning. They agreed to meet at the diner for lunch... as he sat there and watched the light move into his lonely room. There were only two. Edward needed to sort out his thoughts and emotions. I'm.I'm so glad that things seem to be going well with your Isabella." There was a small laugh. though his mind was elsewhere. The next day when they woke up. Without a doubt. Isabella called him and told him to go to the gym and workout by himself. Edward." Edward replied as he walked right past her into his office. restless and frustrated. ~ B He did not sleep well that night. I'm tired and probably very bad company right now. "Run. I know you don't like change. I'll see you tomorrow. they neither fucked nor made love. Or perhaps it was on someone else. For the first time in a decade..run. to his Isabella's house. borne the weight of another's body.. When the sun rose. he's retiring next month and we want to start planning our trip. but snuggled up against each other and fell into a contented sleep. before Isabella. "Well." Click. Was he being fair to her to try and build a normal relationship with her when he knew it was only doomed to end in disaster? A man like him was not worthy of a woman like her. . he sat up and turned off the alarm.. He kissed Isabella good-bye at the door. He hadn't run on that day.. they hadn't talked on Saturday night. Sleep tight. hidden though the beast might be for the moment.. As always.
had he stopped running. If anyone could do it.. Well. "And I don't want to. He could not speak at all. had always been making love.. . and leave behind only Edward. I'll find you. fear of himself. counting on them to steer him and guide him. There was a soft sigh from her end of the line." The words were weak and tentative. fear of whatever monster lurked within him. Maybe.. "Oh Edward. "Can I come to you tonight?" he pleaded. you beautiful man. But what he did with Isabella. He had grunted and thrust and gripped her hips tightly to hold her still for his impalement." Isabella replied solemnly. "Don't you know. in the end. Perhaps Isabella would help him try. even though the days were now cold and they could see their breath in the air." he answered solemnly. In fact. had been beautiful in her pleasure and not once had she uttered a protest. Eventually. longing to be set free." Isabella said. they would go to Edward's house. now he was going to stand firm once again." "And I need you too. "I want to try. "You'd better. sinking in deep while she groaned out her encouragement. dividing their time between his house and hers.. when they left the dance floor." I want you – forever. They spent their weekends together." he confessed. On Thursday mornings. Not once. he was going to attempt to wrestle something wonderful out of something horrible. Just as he had once chosen to make a stand in a place of death. they would drop off their dry cleaning together. Before he could argue with himself over what was fair and what was right.. that if you run. The words trembled on his tongue. Isabella was the strong one. her sweet voice urged him to let loose the male animal he had always feared. they would move together more. He could not lie to Isabella. have you?" He was no longer surprised by her insight and deadly accurate instincts. "I can't. Now." Isabella told him.. prove himself worthy of her with his absence. They ran together again on Wednesdays. And he did. her face. he was shaken. "I need to see you. Isabella could push the monster out. after he had been unable to resist Isabella's teasing another moment and had bent her over the back of the couch. He wondered at the dichotomy of it all for a moment and then realized that it was intention and not action that made the difference.I can't stay away from you." He had spent more than half his life in fear – fear of his father. I want. it was Isabella." Isabella murmured. which hung between them. Perhaps it was time to stop now. "Yes. "Me too. though sometimes primal and animalistic and not always gentle. and she and Isabella would talk about the impending arrival. She laughed then. One night.. But he had been running ever since. bit by bit. and she would carry them through.. choosing Monday nights as an atonement for their rather enthusiastic enjoyment of sweets later on in the evening. he was worshipping her body with his. it had all just been fucking. Gradually.He hadn't run that day. but so was he. There was a moment of silence. he would stay away from her." she said quietly. so they added another run to their schedule. that pale profile. Yet. This time. But he wasn't stronger and he wasn't worthy – and that wasn't going to stop him. And he hadn't stopped. It occurred to Edward that as tender and sweet as it had been when he had had sex with other women.stay away that is. making room for something better and noble." he whispered urgently as soon as he heard her voice. "You were thinking about running from me. There. holding hands on the table and stealing bits of food from each other's plates. On Fridays. "Made up your mind. He had to say the words. I'll come after you. If you're lost.. Every moment he spent with Isabella. as much as anything could be predictable with Isabella in the mix. He had not been gentle while he moved inside of her. There was a steady supply of baked goods and Isabella complained that her favorite jeans were getting too tight." "I-" "It's all right.you. I want. heavy and burdened. Edward learned to give into his more primitive impulses. ~ Bad Blood~ The days became weeks. on that bed that now seemed to be Isabella's. he found himself relying on them. they still danced..I'll pick you up.. Tuesdays found them having lunch at the diner. "Yes. in all the years since he wrestled with his father for a blade meant to murder his mother. however. and something inside of him shifted.I need. His silence betrayed him. he picked up the phone and dialed Isabella's number. still ordered and predictable.. If he was stronger. Monday morning he would return to work and fill Janice in on their weekend and asking her about hers. Sharon was expecting a new grandbaby. If you fall. weren't you? You're afraid.
Sometimes that adoration took the form of love nips and fierce thrusts, and sometimes it was gentle sighs or soft caresses. But it was always making love. Edward Cullen came to a realization. God help him, he had fallen in love with Isabella Swan. ~Bad Blood~ So their days and weeks slipped into months and seasons, and soon the fresh fragrances of spring flowers filled the air. One Sunday, after a BBQ where they had entertained their now mutual friends, Edward found himself pacing the floor. He was going to ask Isabella to move in with him. He was tired of being apart from her. He still wasn't sure that what they had would last forever. He still feared the monster he knew must even now be testing the bars of the cage he had constructed. But, for the first time, he had hopes that he could keep the beast locked away and keep him from ever seeing the light of day. Isabella was his hope and his prayer. She was his strength and his redeemer. In her eyes, he sometimes caught a glimpse of a different Edward, the man who might have existed if events had taken a different path. She made him want to find that man, to be that man. He wasn't sure it was possible, but he knew he wanted to try. And for her, he would. They cleaned up from the gathering, working together as flawlessly as they ever had. When the house was set to rights, they plopped down on the couch and she settled into his arms. Suddenly, she stopped and looked up at him. "What would you think about me getting a dog?" He had had his mouth opened to ask her to move in with him, but Isabella had thrown him with her question. "If you want one, then you should get one," he finally replied. He liked dogs; he always had. "I always wanted a dog," he admitted. Isabella grinned and then settled back against him. "Okay, a dog it is then." He tilted up her face so that he could watch her eyes when he asked her. She had wonderfully expressive eyes, incapable of guile or dishonesty. "I..." He swallowed hard and Isabella looked concerned. "What's wrong?" she asked. "I have...I want..." He took a deep breath. "Isabella, would you move in with me?" He blurted out the words, afraid his courage would fail him. He still didn't deserve Isabella, but with every day that passed, he knew with more certainty that they belonged together, deserving or not. If he sensed the monster was making an appearance, he would run. This time, he would run and keep her safe. But for now, he was selfish enough to grasp what happiness he could. "Do you really want me here?" For once, Isabella was unsure and Edward wanted the familiar certainty back in her voice. He realized that even though he had admitted his feelings to himself long ago, he had lacked the courage to tell her. "I...I love...I love you," he finally said, hardly able to look at her. Unworthy as he was, he did love her. While his heart might be battered and badly patched together, he offered it to her wholeheartedly and with humility. It was hers to do with as she pleased, even if her choice was to crush it beneath her feet. "I love you too," she said softly and kissed him. "So...we're getting a dog?" she asked. He nodded, too full of emotion to speak.
*Chapter 13*: Chapter 13
I don't own these characters. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. I only borrow them. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions, though I do confess to harassing, annoying, torturing, and exasperating them – just because it's fun. I make no money from my little stories, sad day. I only play in the sandbox, I didn't build it.
Author's Note: The story of the dog in this chapter is absolutely true. It is how my daughter adopted our dog, Dexter. You can't make this stuff up, LOL! Chapter 13
Mother's love is peace. It need not be acquired, it need not be deserved. ~Erich Fromm ~Bad Blood~ One day, he woke up to find Isabella studying him. "We're going to the pound today," she announced. It was Saturday. Last night, they had danced and celebrated one whole month of living together by making love on the couch. And then on the dining room table. It was Friday but they hadn't fucked. But they had done it twice. He grinned at the memory. "The dog pound?" he asked. "Of course," she replied with a little roll of her eyes. "We're going to the dog pound." "We are?" he asked, tugging at her hair. "Yes," Isabella said. "And we're going to get a dog." "A dog, huh?" He liked to tease her. He liked feeling free to tease her. It was a new and heady feeling for him, this sense of freedom he felt around her. He tried to pull her in close for a little snuggling that he hoped might lead to a little something else, but she was having none of it. For once, his powers of persuasion failed him. "Nope," Isabella declared, sliding out of bed. "Time for that later." He pouted, just a little, and she leaned down and gave him a kiss before dancing away and sneaking into the bathroom and locking the door. "What if I have to pee?" he yelled at the door. "Too bad," she replied and then he heard the shower start. He winced because he really did have to pee. But he supposed he could wait a few minutes. It wasn't like she had given him much choice. He got their cups of coffee ready and ran to the bathroom as soon as Isabella made an appearance. He slipped past her, his aching bladder encouraging him to hurry. Sharing a bathroom was more of a challenge than he had anticipated. When he returned, she was already dressed and tapping her foot impatiently. "Hurry!" "Why are we hurrying?" he asked curiously. "We just are," she said, pushing him toward the front door. For a month now, Edward had been asking her what kind of dog they were going to get. He preferred something small and older maybe, definitely house trained. Isabella always shrugged and said, "I'll know our dog when I see it." That did not soothe Edward's anxiety. There was no moving her on the issue. There was no clarification provided, so Edward was, as he so often did with Isabella, operating in the dark and on utter trust in her instincts. It wasn't a bad arrangement, but sometimes he still had to take a few deep breaths to regain his bearings. When they got to the pound, they were immediately greeted by the sound of barking dogs. There were deep barks, melancholy baying, and the occasional yip of a small dog. Edward wanted to ask the lady at the desk to show them their small dogs, but as usual Isabella took the lead in her usual gentle but inevitable way. "Hi," Isabella said, holding out her hand. "We'd like to adopt a dog." The woman smiled. "What kind of dog?" Edward opened his mouth to state his preferences but Isabella forged ahead. "Well, the thing is..." She tapped the side of her mouth. "I'd like to see the dog that is closest to being put down." She leaned in close. "You know, the dog that's at the top of the list." The woman's eyes went wide and her smile got brighter. "Oh, I have just the dog for you!"
Edward wanted to ask what kind of dog it was, how big it was, and if it was housebroken or mean. But the next he knew he was in a little room and listening to the sound of scrabbling paws out in the corridor. The door was flung open and something furry barreled through. Bright brown eyes, one ear that stood up and one that flopped down, and a tail wagging a mile a minute were Edward's first impressions. Then the dog gave a bark that made him cover his ears and wince. "He's part beagle," the handler said, as if that explained the piercing bark. It wasn't so much a bark as a battle cry. Edward wondered if the dog was part monkey too, because he started trying to climb up into Isabella's lap. He was a tad big for a lap dog, probably weighing in at forty or fifty pounds. "He was scheduled to be put down yesterday actually," the pound employee said. "But we got busy. So..." Her hand came down and ruffled his multi-colored coat. "He's on the list for Monday." When the dog figured out he wasn't making any headway in his climb, he began running around the room sniffing. He found a good spot, apparently, because he hiked his leg and peed. Right there on the wall. He similarly gifted another spot three feet away. Edward watched in disgusted amazement. And just as he was about to ask if they had any other dogs to show them, Isabella fell to her knees on the floor and wrapped her arms around the comical looking mutt. "Oh Edward," she breathed. "Isn't he just perfect?" So it was that Edward Cullen found himself part owner of a dog that was part beagle and part who-knew-what that they named Barney. ~Bad Blood~ With Barney's arrival, things changed again. They had to add walking the dog to their schedule. As much as Edward didn't want to, he found himself growing attached to the little guy. He was young and mostly housebroken. Edward learned that "mostly" meant they had to be on the lookout. He was smart, but sometimes that worked against them – like when Barney figured out how to nudge open the pantry door and ate about ten pounds of kibble before passing out in a gastronomic coma of excess. They found him sprawled in the middle of a small pile of kibble, his expression guilty and his tail wagging. Edward muttered and complained as he swept up the mess, but then Barney licked his hand and his eyes were downcast in abject misery as if to apologize and Edward simply found a new place for the dog food. When Isabella would lock herself in the small office to write, Barney would walk with Edward, or watch television with him. When friends came over for cookouts, Barney would beg and plead politely, usually getting some food for his efforts. For some reason, they found Barney as charming as Edward did. Then one day, his aunt called and said that she and his uncle were hoping that they could come by for a visit and finally meet his Isabella. The two women had talked many times, but a previously scheduled trip had been canceled when his aunt came down with the flu. Edward was suddenly nervous. Isabella took the phone and the two of them chatted. Finally, she hung up and Isabella plopped herself on his lap. "So...they'll be here next weekend," she said, running her fingers through his hair. It felt so good that Edward closed his eyes. "Hmmmm..." "I can't wait to meet her," Isabella continued. Then Edward felt her lips on his and he decided that maybe it was time for the two most important women in his life to meet. ~Bad Blood~ Esme and Carlisle were as charmed by Isabella as Edward had expected them to be. His aunt was more vocal in her approval of Isabella. His uncle, in his usual way, preferred to spend more time observing and assessing before weighing in with his opinion. Carlisle Cullen had always been a cautious man, and Edward had unintentionally emulated him when he had been lost and adrift in the rough seas that were his father's legacy. Though Edward adored his aunt, he understood his quiet uncle in a way that transcended a blood bond. During his difficult teenaged years, his aunt's tenderness had been a balm to his aching heart, but his uncle's steady and unfaltering friendship had been the foundation upon which Edward had built a more normal life. Carlisle had never pushed when Edward had grown sulky and withdrawn. He had been there, waiting patiently, for when Edward would peek out of his cocoon for long enough to notice the world yet again. Carlisle had never mocked Edward's need for order and schedules. He had allowed the boy to find a path through the darkness, and between his aunt and uncle, Edward Masen, son of the monster, had become Edward Cullen, the somewhat eccentric but perfectly acceptable boy next door. It had been Carlisle who had left a successful medical practice to move across the country so that his nephew wouldn't hear the taunts and jibes and cruel remarks that were directed his way. It had been Carlisle who had been the rock for both Esme and Edward as they dealt with the loss of Elizabeth, trying to find their way in a dark world that had lost her light. It had been Carlisle's idea to put her maiden name on the tombstone, to thwart the sensation seekers who might
" "She has that effect. but the ladies continued on. "She's sort of a force of nature. Edward automatically flinched and settled a stern look on the mutt." "But what I don't think you realize is that you're good for her too.." Carlisle smiled and shrugged." Carlisle said. she is." Edward admitted." He sighed. Sometimes he forgot that as he allowed himself to revel in the sublime forgiveness that Isabella had brought to his life. in fact. trying desperately to breathe past the lump in his throat. Edward. Edward felt he had probably had a very similar look upon his own face as he watched Isabella and Esme toast everything from fat free ice cream to Ewan McGregor. wrinkled thing. "You've got a pretty little piece of property here. Your father was holding you." he said. Edward pointed to the dog bed which was nestled in a protected corner of the deck and Barney went to it obligingly." Edward was silent. including the deck. to know that something beautiful has bloomed from all the ugliness. enjoying the quiet morning when the sliding glass door opened and his uncle came out with a cup of coffee in his hands." Carlisle said. Edward laughed. Though his house wasn't anything spectacular. It happened on the day before they were scheduled to leave. He and Isabella had christened every room in the house.I feel. your Bella. which might have impressed Edward more if he had not had the opportunity many times over to see how quickly Barney recovered from disgrace." he observed. "I know. Edward had woken at his usual time. He'd never have neighbors peeking in his back windows and he liked the idea of some privacy.have made her grave part of some macabre pilgrimage. "She's good for you. Edward's legacy. "I-" He stopped. Barney had the grace to look ashamed. So while Edward was glad to see his aunt and Isabella fall into an easy friendship. a man. "She's very special. I would have believed in it then.. he waited anxiously for Carlisle to venture an opinion." Carlisle said with a hint of amusement." The ugliness was his father's evil. he did own quite a bit of the land that stretched out behind the house." his uncle added. he thought. . Barney had watched it all from a corner. "You were a red. "Yes. his legacy. though her path was more chaotic than yours." Edward said quietly. "It does my heart good to see the two of you. including. taking a sip as he sat down in the chair near Edward. even without the benefit of the alarm. well-ordered way. barely avoiding a head butt to Edward's testicles.. unsure of what to say. the chair upon which his ass rested at this very moment. "I'm glad you met Isabella. "As if I could keep Esme away for long. "Since I met her. "Thanks. This morning. The women had stayed up late sampling various kinds of vodkas and discussing their merits.alive." Carlisle closed his eyes briefly and shook his head. that look of overwhelming love. The alarm generally didn't wake up Isabella and he had often pondered how she managed to make it anywhere on time. even before his true nature came to light. they declared. the women had both slept in. Elizabeth Sloane rested in peace." He laughed softly. Edward was sitting on the back deck." Carlisle said with a little smile. Especially now. He barreled up the stairs and thrust his head into Edward's lap. wailing loud enough to make me wish I'd brought ear plugs. surprising Edward. Edward and Carlisle had dropped out of the sampling early in the evening. giggling madly and expressing their admiration for their men in louder and louder voices." Carlisle Cullen had never particularly liked his brother-in-law... who was seriously underrated and unappreciated as an actor and a sex symbol. "You know. trying to hide his smile. his arms stiff." Edward agreed. I remember the first time I saw you.. He heard a bark and saw Barney racing up the slight incline toward the deck. Carlisle turned to him. "I'm glad you came. "Then he couldn't take it any more and he put you in your mother's arms. I think." Edward had to agree. "The look on her face when she cradled you close to her. "If I hadn't believed in love before. His breath felt locked up inside of him." Carlisle finally said and Edward felt something inside of him relax. isn't she?" "I've had that very same thought. It had been a little scary. an expression of canine bewilderment on his furry face. "You were wandering and lost in your own. and his expression even stiffer. "But so was Isabella. curling up in a furry ball. when I found Esme.
it's precious and sacred and I know you will honor it. something that can only be purchased through vulnerability. and then was gone.it's an impressive thing to see Edward. his mouth working but no words coming forth. But most of all. "I think that in today's world we try to hide our feelings too much." Carlisle continued. It's.. But it was enough. trying to keep a part of ourselves hidden and safe.expanding and filling him past bearing. Carlisle's hand came down on his shoulder." Edward stared out. I see that same look. . so we don't allow anyone to gain the upper hand." Carlisle paused. briefly.. we lose something precious. as you do toward her. "That's a look you don't see often. But by guarding our hearts. It's humbling too. "But when I look at Bella looking at you. She gravitates toward you.
but obviously I can't talk to my dad about it." Esme squirmed a little. I only borrow them. "What makes you feel that way?" Esme asked. she and Esme had overindulged." Esme said delicately." Bella nodded her understanding. as if contemplating her nephew and his various eccentricities. told her father that a good bitch session was like a laxative for the soul. for one thing. torturing. you know.you know. If Bella hadn't gotten to know her quite well over the phone. She was just about to tell Bella to give it more time when Bella's forlorn voice interrupted her thoughts. was as necessary a part of life as eating and breathing. "I mean it. even one as mundane as the little space that Carlisle kept." Bella nodded vigorously. like if he. This young woman had become too important to Edward. causing choked laughter from Esme. As it was. they found themselves merely continuing what had already shaped up to be a very promising friendship." Bella confided. I'm afraid you're right." Bella said quietly. was a huge step for him. "It's not like our sex life isn't great. Chapter 14 "Change always comes bearing gifts. It was clear that she felt this was outside her usual realm of expertise... Being back in a workshop. "I get the picture. even though I'm covered in the birth control department. but they hadn't been as far gone as their men had suspected. I just had this funny feeling. but to her credit.*Chapter 14*: Chapter 14 I don't own these characters.wow. but that was just fine. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. she declared. "Well. Bella took a sip of a tea. "I just feel like. Esme Cullen was a force to be reckoned with.. she often was of the opinion that people caused a lot of their own stress by keeping too much bottled up inside. but I think this would strain even his powers of understanding. on one memorable occasion. he refuses to do it without a condom. I didn't build it. figuratively speaking of course. "I can't believe I'm telling you this. Bella had never been constrained by a too strict sense of boundaries. getting me dirty or something. they'd been working on a simple project for about two weeks... "The thing is.. She had time to plan and plot. In fact. "Yes. too precious to hurt even with the best of intentions. she might have been intimidated by someone like Esme. I could tell. however. annoying. A good venting every now and then.." ~Price Pritchett ~Bad Blood~ Bella Swan woke up with a pounding headache..like he's holding something back. I only play in the sandbox. She had even. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. I mean he won't even come in my-" She bit the words off abruptly. "About two years after everything happened Edward was helping Carlisle in the workshop. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. an iffy feeling in her belly." "Yes. "I knew it.. but Bella's expression was so earnest and confused that she felt she had to at least try to do something to help." Esme was silent for a moment.. and Edward had told Carlisle that he wanted to give me a gift. and a gleam of determination in her eyes. It was Mother's Day. Last night. They were exactly what the other needed and anyone with any sense at all could see it. I don't know. "Anyway. Both she and Esme had a much better head for liquor than their partners. she motioned for Bella to continue. and I like birds to visit the garden. though I do confess to harassing. I've always loved to garden." Esme said dryly. So they were building me . I make no money from my little stories." Bella shuddered. So when the "Y Squad" – as Bella and Esme had dubbed all those burdened by a "y" chromosome – had gone to bed. She paused and then sighed again. please don't think that this is what I'm feeling – that he's afraid of.the thing is that I almost get this feeling that he's afraid of – God. So she had chosen to vent to the one person in the world that had a hope of understanding. This was a huge step for him." Esme sat back and sighed. this sounds so bad and please. if you know what I mean. She couldn't do anything while Esme and Carlisle were here. And Bella was feeling a bit bound up. the two women had put away the vodka and sipped at herbal teas as they sat on the couch and settled into the real conversation. thinking that it was a bit of strain on her own as well. sad day. I imagine it would. He was too damaged to treat roughly. She needed time to come up with a strategy that would both achieve her goal and be gentle enough for Edward. "He's a great guy.
She wasn't a sulker. "And. He screamed at me to get away from the blood." Bella got to her feet and offered Esme a hand up." She paused and closed her eyes. she wasn't fine. Please try to help him see. Quite badly. he's trying to keep you safe from whatever he imagines lives inside of him. because he always missed them far more than he realized until he saw them again.. "He told me his blood was dirty. "Carlisle tried to wrap his hand. he was the one standing up for the kid in the playground that always got picked on. "So I think that. kind of zoned out. "His dirty blood. When they fought.until the next time the demons tormented him. Happy." Esme said. he was the kind of kid who brought his mother aspirin and a cool glass of tea when she had a headache." ~Bad Blood~ Carlisle and Esme left on a Sunday afternoon." Her smile was fond and sad at the same time. Now you need to help him know that and to see through that. He always has. and this was just another example of why he didn't. even if he pushes me away." Esme said. to see the damage. you see. pretending to watch a movie. computing every small gesture and sigh.determined. Or angry. it's not. in fact. Had she fallen out of love with him? Had she realized that he wasn't worthy of her? Had she simply grown tired of him? He studied her expression.." Bella observed. he likes to keep them safe.. Anyway." Esme agreed. . But today's mood was something new. something different. and she never snapped off a response of "Fine" when in fact.his blood. Edward Cullen didn't like new and different as a rule. that it was bad. Even as a small child. "But I think that if anyone can do it. sort of sobbing. Determined? His brain analyzed her face over and over again. In truth. He needs you. Isabella had been in a quiet mood all day long. And there he would stay. and bled all over the floor." Her eyes shot to Bella. Or even disgusted. So please be patient. I couldn't tell what he was saying. though I'm not sure he realizes it." Esme smiled. as long as I'm good for him. and then it was put behind them. he stayed like that. I had a towel in my hand." Bella's lips were pressed together and her chin jerked up. No. "We should go to bed. She wasn't angry. "Good. came to a resolution." "Definitely. When Carlisle finally insisted. until I approached him. but.. "Our men are lightweights. he's got a very protective personality. you can. muttering over and over. By that time I'd heard the commotion and had run out to the garage to see what was going on. But you already know that." "We both know that Edward is rather set in his ways. I imagine he feels that he failed his mother in some way and every day since her death has been spent in some sort of penance. maybe in Edward's mind at least. Bella snorted. "That'll stay our little secret." Esme took Bella's hand. she picked it." Bella murmured." "Oh God. clutching his hand to his chest. as these things sometimes happen. "Anyway. but he kept coming up with the same conclusion. because Isabella never left anyone in doubt when she was angry." She shook her head and laughed. She would simply repeat the process. He kept darting anxious glances toward her. "I'm not going anywhere. She didn't hold a grudge. or brood. "No. Well. But the minute I got too close he started screaming and then he jumped to his feet and sort of shoved me away with his shoulder. to go along with that. he – Edward that is – cut himself.. to himself and to Barney.. you know that right?" Esme gave a sly little wink. Clearly and with no coyness. I was going to wrap the towel around his hand. If she had a bone to pick with Edward. he was the boy who talked to the new student on their first day of school and sat with them at lunch. Edward just started shaking. "He likes to pamper and take care of others.. Isabella appeared to be." "That's not going to be easy. You've already seen through that. They sat on the couch. "His bad blood. Even if he wants me to." Esme smiled. Barney was pouting for a while after their departure because Carlisle had always been sneaking him treats. He needs you more than either of you know. I'm too old to be drinking this much.. Every routine he has is a way to keep him from hurting anyone. I'm here. I'd been folding the laundry. but Edward wouldn't let him. they did so cleanly. Isabella would gently tease him out of his funk and draw him back into the light that seemed to surround her. "Edward was huddled up in a corner. Sad.a bird house." Bella whispered. She didn't look upset. Edward had been both sad and happy to see them go. that's what I wanted to hear. because once more he had Isabella to himself. Edward was the one who brooded. Bella.
.Determination. He'd give her his life. still afraid and confused. Edward?" "With my life." Isabella told him. "Do you trust me. her hands kneading his ass and then sliding up his back. "Come on. He closed his eyes and tried to concentrate on not coming. rubbing her leg against his." he urged. and Isabella showed no signs of letting him go long enough to get it. "Edward?" He couldn't speak and he let his head fall back hard against the tile and tried to breathe at least. But the condom was just out of reach.. she turned on the water and then she turned and began to undress him." he whispered.." Obediently." she insisted. "God!" he moaned as her hand lightly tugged and teased his balls. Edward Cullen. Her slender hands pushed at his underwear. "Let's take this to the bedroom. She pulled away and he breathed a sigh of relief. I need a shower. Then she shimmied out of the tiny pair of underwear she had opted for. cupping his balls. sucking him until he was mindless. Then her mouth was on him." he vowed and he meant it. "I need something. . They stepped in together. Silently. His cock jerked and throbbed and he groaned at the sensation of her hot breath against it. She turned back to him and settled her hands on his hips." "Bella. He had a condom in his wallet. he ground his pelvis against hers. Into her." he breathed. sliding them off his hips and down his thighs." she added and he forced himself to look at her. her tongue teasing and tantalizing. in his wallet. He found his mouth going dry and his cock growing hard.. since it was just the two of them at home. "The condom. "Isabella. He tried to pull out of her mouth. He pulled at her arms and she stubbornly shook her head. Their healthy sexual appetites had taught him the wisdom of keeping a condom at hand at all times. Isabella tested the water and gave a nod of satisfaction. His belt was next and it fell to the floor with a little thump of sound. Then her lips were on his. in his pants. teasing. but she had maneuvered him so that his back was against the shower wall and he simply had nowhere to go. She unbuttoned his pants and pushed them down his hips and thighs and knelt before him. "Anything. tracing light patterns that verged on tickling. making him moan and yank her into his arms." Whatever else he might have said was cut off when he hissed as Isabella slid down his body to come to her knees in front of him." she reminded him automatically. "No. He'd protect her with his life. Edward." he said. but it was short lived when she took him in her hands and lightly stroked him. straining against the cotton of his boxer briefs. it was hers. both of them giving a start of surprise at the warm water. Anything she wanted of him. "I love you. Edward put his hand in hers and followed her into the bathroom. licking. still slowly stroking his cock. "Bella. They kissed leisurely for several minutes. Isabella pressing up against him in the most delicious way. "Here. there on her knees. They fell to the floor and he stepped out of them as he walked her back toward the shower. Shit. Her touch was tender but not sexual as she slowly removed his shirt and then urged him to lift his feet to remove his socks. Edward. He felt his orgasm begin to roll through him. threatening to burst out of him and into her. she wrapped around him like a vine and he knew he had to be inside of her or he would die. Surely she had to know that. But determined to do what? Finally. and thrusting into her mouth with heedless abandon. about halfway through the movie. Eventually. seeking that friction that only Isabella could provide. Without thought." she whispered. "Bella." He cast one glance at his clothes. Isabella surged to her feet and held out her hand. She left him standing there in his underwear while she pulled her tee-shirt over her head and dropped it to the floor. He steadied himself with his hand on her shoulder when he stepped out of them. letting her teeth glide over his aching length at the same time. "I trust you. He smiled. just enough stimulation to keep him teetering on the edge. with his dick in her hands and her heart shining in her eyes.
please. "You taste so good to me." He began trembling. "Complete and utter trust. giving the head of his cock a little lick after she spoke." he moaned. fighting the dueling urges to bury his length in her warm. taking. because Isabella had seemed to have decided that he was good for her." Tears traced down her cheeks. His reality. She licked him again and they both moaned. Whether he was asking for strength or forgiveness or merely offering up his gratitude he wasn't sure.I need all of you. stroking. And the ecstasy burst through him like a blinding light. Bella. seeking more. Surrender. He groaned. Then he met her eyes and he nodded at the same time he thrust into her mouth. Her mouth accepted him. His universe.. It was wrong. Like I'll always have in you. hoping. she had not led them astray.Isabella had always been right. "What I need from you... asking. Please.what if she was right in this too? But what if she wasn't? Once more.. What if. He moved his hips. It was a trickier question. sliding his cock over her plump lips and white teeth. she took him into her mouth but stilled there." Bella said softly.. . when he knew quite well that couldn't be true. Please. but she would ask him for everything. leaving him breathless and weak and trembling against a shower wall. very wrong.. I love all of you. swallowed him. "And I want all of you. not moving. But. just give me this. Back and forth.. Seeking less. I don't want to feel as if you're holding anything back from me anymore.. this one. giving. Forever.. is trust."Do you trust me to know what's good for me?" she asked. The universe changed in a moment. just looking up at him with eyes that told him what she wanted. far away to keep her clean and unsullied. welcoming mouth and to run far. mingling with the water of the shower. and felt it become a wild storm that raged inside of him. Edward took a deep breath and sent up a little prayer.. Edward.." she said. She would not take anything from him. and made him a part of her. took him in. pleading.. Escape. "God. feeling both helpless and ultimately powerful. let it slide over her tongue. his hips twisting uselessly. what he wanted to do. He blinked down at her. So very. So far. And he felt the world tilt and stars go nova. Because of Bella. like I have in you.
Isabella worked at pushing his boundaries with gentle determination. she lulled him out of his foul mood. Almost immediately. ~Bad Blood~ Finally. she pulled him into her arms and they made love on the floor by the sofa. He told himself again. Generally. Sometimes she would slip her hands down between his legs and stroke him until he was writhing and groaning and sweating. It usually led to lovemaking. and so would she if he did things correctly. First. And again. though I do confess to harassing. In any case.or perhaps it was an art. that Isabella was perfect even with that thin sheath of protection between them.. could do guilt and remorse like Edward Cullen. She liked him to sit there so that she could tenderly wash his chest and then his thighs. For the next few weeks. as much as a part beagle. she discovered. "It's for your own good. He wore a condom. Sometimes it led to two variations. "Edward?" she asked. She would murmur her appreciation of his body. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. Sated. Or fucking. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. that is. he jumped down. Edward was sure that the dog was giving him an accusing glare. She would gently move the wash cloth up and down his arms. annoying. Edward found the sensation of being inside of her without a barrier infinitely more intimate than with the latex between them. The moment he tried to indulge again. Though grateful for the protection of the condom. enjoying a Saturday night bath together as had become their custom. she was soon to find out that she was sadly mistaken. Chapter 15 "What matters is not the idea a man holds. torturing. I only play in the sandbox. At that point. They both laughed.. I make no money from my little stories. Well. caressing his fingers. He sensed both her disappointment and her acceptance. she found herself soothing him out of his funk. He was content. her breath warm in his ear." she muttered against his mouth. He grumbled some more but she was adamant. As forgiving and warm as always. but the depth at which he holds it. He told himself firmly that he didn't need that. sad day. End of statement. but that. putting the condom on him herself as if to reward him for his forbearance. she guided him inside of her bare and then retreated. Barney ignored them as best he could from his perch on the couch. He closed . "Yes. He wasn't. his wrists and his forearms as if they fascinated her.. and the laughter made the position of his dick do interesting things inside of her. I didn't build it. He knew better than to think the subject was dropped. Or some variation of the two." His voice sounded lazy and sleepy and utterly sated. No one. she would whisper her for him. filling the warm. he would be sated. Though it might have been his imagination. She nipped at his earlobe and then licked in silent apology for her tiny transgression.. though he did insist on sulking for a bit. She said things like. of course. And again. Later. I only borrow them. He muttered and grumbled and scowled a great deal. moist air with the sounds of words he would never have expected. but Isabella didn't fuss. It was as if he was a part of her in a way that went beyond the mechanics of sex.*Chapter 15*: Chapter 15 I don't own these characters. She caressed and whispered and teased in return. Edward was overcome with feelings of guilt and remorse. Edward felt quite miserable indeed. Then one day they were sitting in the tub. barely missing Edward's ass in the process. With a great show of huffing and indignation. Edward was willing to agree with her. was exactly what terrified him. Edward approached Isabella penitently and placed remorseful kisses up and down her throat. part something could glare. The man had it down to a science. she pointedly ignored him and talked to Barney." ~Ezra Pound ~Bad Blood~ If Bella had thought her problems with Edward and his view of himself were over just because he'd lost himself enough to spill into her mouth. he did things correctly. Between the two of them. She gave him twenty four hours and then declared his pout at an end. In the end. "No one likes a whiner. do they Barney boy?" or "Talk about tripping over your bottom lip!" Barney must have agreed with everything she said because he wagged his tail and generally gazed up at her adoringly. she mused. he realized with a start. until their grunts and groans and general disregard for his fine canine sensibilities outstripped even Barney's patience. Sulk fest was over. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. Isabella was leaning against the back of the tub and Edward was leaning against Isabella.
You won't be able to help it. She held him captive. there was nothing but compassion and tenderness. Unspeakable." She smiled and kissed the tip of his nose as a reward for his prompt and correct answer. so he supposed that even profound and fundamental changes could come in the most common of ways. "I. "Baby. "Do you honestly think that you're bad inside?" He hesitated. Always." He felt her hands lifting his face and he could no longer avoid her gaze. It was a Thursday. waiting for the fall of the executioner's axe. She kissed him and it was a benediction. He recognized the return address immediately of course. the moment he had been waiting for. Of course. "Safe sex is important.. She was a gentle dictator. In their innocence. As fate would have it.from what is inside of me. Isabella ruled him not with fear or intimidation. "Yes. and it would see them through the worst of the storm that was heading their way. He wanted to believe her. or even worse. Isabella had come in the form of a knock on his door. reckless children. Isabella didn't tolerate dancing around answers. it wasn't what he expected. Like heedless. She found him sitting in the dark. His eyes skittered away and he shrugged. never stop taking my birth control in secret. A part of him had been watching for it. I'm going to make that my life's mission. wanting to lie. Again. right?" That made his eyes pop open and he felt himself stiffen (and not in a good way) and tried to move away. they were content. If there was a heaven. Isabella was confronting him about the condoms and why he used them." "Safe from what?" He took a deep breath. Unspoken. tilting first one way and then another. "So. this particular Thursday fell just two weeks before he was due to meet Charlie Swan for the first time.. But what they shared was irrefutable. but with love and affection and forgiveness.. he glanced up at her and then away again. "I don't.. Right?" He turned to look at her. They had not yet been tested. pity." He laughed and buried his face in her neck shyly." It was just his name. He almost could." he answered with as much honesty as he could. I'm wired to love you. Edward Cullen. "Of course. he no longer worried about being denied admission. Change came in the form of a letter. "You know I'm on the pill. He dared to look at her again. Edward thought. "Edward. they had yet to face the monster. Instead.his eyes and let the sensation of Isabella's hands soothe him. You'll believe that too. I'm rather convincing when I want to be. But one look into her eyes and the lie died on his tongue. looking back on those days. the . I'd like to talk about the condoms and see if that's something we might negotiate. "Yes. "Well. Trust was very important with Isabella. Completely." And there it was." she said just as softly. if such a thing was possible. ~Bad Blood~ Later. "From me. Moments like these were enough and more than he deserved.well. so she came home late. one day. Her hands urged him back against her gently but without hesitation. he would recognize both the perfection and the fragility of their happiness. "From what. But like any holiday. He could remember the day that it did. terrified that he would see anger. Once more. they frolicked through the summer of their love... ignoring the fact that something loomed on the horizon." he finally answered quietly and closed his eyes. but it was a warning as well. It had been built on a shaky foundation. wanting to soothe her and set aside this whole awkward conversation. I know you will." she whispered and even in that terrifying moment he thrilled at the endearment." "And I hope you know I'd never trick you. mostly because she so rarely indulged in the practice herself. but when it came. as he had come to discover." he tried to say casually. Isabella had a meeting with her publisher that afternoon." She smiled and brushed his hair back from his face. it had to come to an end. Without end. I can't help that. His life seemed to hinge on Thursdays. "One day. he was helpless against her.I just want to keep you safe. A simple piece of paper and an envelope. that and loving you. you'll believe that too.
"We should leave as soon as possible. They had told his aunt he needed closure. "Read the letter. The ghosts still lingered." Isabella said quietly. Now. "Are you sure?" she asked. thought about it. he thought maybe they had been right – or partially right at least." She kissed him again. Finally. Edward's eyes found Isabella's face and he held out the letter. Not in the room. "I know. So many therapists had been sure it was what he needed. "Yes." he admitted. they had not watched their mother slowly bleed to death while their father urged a knife into their hands." "You wouldn't have to ask me. nearby. but he could do anything with Isabella. Closure. " But I'll go with you. "So?" she asked." she interjected when he began to protest. Edward. overused and tossed about by people who had no clue what it truly meant. He can rot in hell as far as I'm concerned and the counselor can kiss my lily white ass." She did." "Yeah. "You don't have to go in there with me. It was accepting that one day he would lose her because he didn't deserve her in the first place. He paused. but she doesn't need to worry about me any more. for the first time. In the absence of Isabella.. still bewildered and afraid. "I'd do anything for you. Barney had proven to be a comforting companion. and I want that part back because I want to . taking the letter but not reading it. Maybe this was their chance to finally put the worst of it behind them. He had dismissed them and their ignorant notions of what it was like to face the monster. "I'm surprised he wants to see me.letter still clutched in his hand. even in the same town." he finally said. He looked out the window and thought about all those endless sessions of counseling his aunt had arranged for him as a boy. and eluded him." He held her and thought about what was to come. he realized. He didn't protest. keeping him chained with schedules and rituals and routines. I'm sure. "It's." "Are you going to tell your aunt?" He shook his head." He shook his head.." And he was." She gave an emphatic nod to show him she meant it and he was touched by her loyalty. More certain with every passing moment. Edward thought they needed to shut up about things they would never understand. "I want to get this over with. "And I'm not doing it for him.." Isabella said. Their eyes met again. "I think I can do this if you're with me.. when it's over. She had been a gift.for us. "But you don't have to go." "She loves you." He shook his head." She shrugged. Maybe he needed to do this... for a season. I'm trying to put the past to rest once and for all. He held her close and let the inevitable peace she brought with her wash over him. "Anything. You don't owe him or this fucking counselor a damned thing. "If you want to go." he said." Edward said quietly. astonished at her ferocity. Isabella because she would give them no power over her.. he pleaded silently. "What do you want to do?" "I don't know. Because right now. I'll go with you. "I wouldn't ask that of you. they had never seen evil come to life in a familiar and beloved face. not. Edward felt the oppressive weight that had been crowding in on him fall away. they'd said over and over again. "What's the matter?" she asked. He couldn't do this alone.right now it still feels like he owns a part of me. she folded the letter up and looked at him. "That's my job now and I take my work very seriously. Barney whining as he rested his head on Edward's lap. but she would help him find his way. though they were both very good at ignoring them. Meaningful closure was locking away the evil that lived within him. "I'll go with you. One day that season would run its course and their relationship would be done. They had never faced a monster. will help... It haunted him. I'm doing it for me. taunted him." Isabella laughed.. not just for himself but for Isabella too. She'll only worry. pluck some comprehension out of the incomprehensible. "Or maybe this counselor person just thinks he needs to see you. "Not now." he told her. She wouldn't tell him what to do. Please tell me what to do. It was protecting Isabella from the darkness that he knew had to lurk within him. Such a mundane word." she said. Edward because he felt their power too keenly." Isabella said with obvious disdain." It was more than he could have hoped.. and then nodded. but just knowing you're there. "He's dying and maybe. True closure was putting those memories behind him. "And I love her. later.. harped on it." She kissed him. Closure. Edward watched as she grew pale and her lips pressed together. But he knew that Isabella could make sense of the insensible.
truly wanted. to sink into her." Isabella sighed and smiled slightly. her baby boy and we would have tormented you mercilessly. The wide. For you. For the first time. Mom. Let this be everything.but only in fun. He didn't laugh but he squirmed just a bit. He pondered that development. at least. He held her. "I have the most important part of you. hopeless things.for me. "She would have shared you with me. so many useless. and that horrible look would come into their eyes and they would never gaze on him the same way again. unsure of how it made him feel. the soft sounds of her breathing keeping the shadows at bay. he slipped from the bed and reached beneath it." Isabella laughed softly at the thought. he could trace her features with unerring accuracy. "She must have loved you so much. Isabella stirred in their bed and the next thing he knew she was tucked in behind him. Please God. I wish. Isabella deserves that. I hope I'm free of him. the sound of her breath. Her slender arm wrapped around his waist and he felt her place a kiss on the skin of his back.. "She would have been so proud of the man you've become." Isabella murmured. She was beautiful in a way that would have aged well. he wondered why he felt the need to watch her all night long. And they would know." But Edward knew that he had to give her everything. For the future. he had wanted. the small of his back pressed against her warm belly. Let me give her everything. just this once." Edward whispered. to memorize her face. As an old woman." He wished so many things. His hand was shaking when he pulled out her picture. And when I walk out of that room.. he had hated the layer of latex between them.. He wanted to study her while she slept... Even in the dim moonlight that streamed into the room through the window covered by the curtains Isabella had chosen. don't let it be nothing. . flesh to flesh.. He took out the box that contained his mother's pictures and opened it. Then her head popped from beneath his arm and she studied the picture too. this time on his side in the very spot where she knew he was somewhat ticklish. They made love that night and it was tentative and sweet and after it was over and she fell asleep. still sleep scented and soft. Then he turned and gathered Isabella into his arms. Isabella had encouraged him to display his mother's pictures but Edward was always afraid that the sight of her face would spark some long-buried memory in one of their friends. a tantalizing hint of her youthful beauty would have shone through. "I'm going to see him. the green eyes that seemed to ask what was next.give all of me to you. "I need to. and that's all I want. he prayed. if fate had been so kind as to grant her those years. the scent of her skin. And there was the pressure of her lips again. I wish you could meet her. He put the picture back in the box and put the box on the table by the bed. the soft cinnamon and bronze waves of her hair. laughing mouth. vanquishing the bad dreams that threatened." Her hand settled over his heart. When he sensed that she was fully asleep. It was all or nothing. For the first time. So his mother stayed banished to the box beneath their bed. the way her hair tumbled over their pillows.
He counted on her strength. He heard a little rip of cloth and pulled away in surprise. I only play in the sandbox. Maybe. he loved to be teased. He groaned at the sensuality of the kiss. Finally." she answered. The confusion began to seep away and only the need for Isabella remained. That fact never failed to amaze him. she smiled and kissed him. torturing. Her need for him was as honest and overwhelming as his was for her. Like him. he pictured a little girl with Isabella's eyes and his mother's hair. despite her delicate appearance. She tugged at his hair when he licked up between her legs. tenderly. her hand moving to the bedside table where they kept the condoms. directing his attention back where she wanted it. Their hands tangled up with each other as they removed clothes with something less than elegant grace. rounded and heavy and gravid. Slowly. carefully keeping the brunt of his weight from her body. He teased and taunted. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions." she demanded. across his shoulders. He shoved their bags to the floor just before he gave Isabella a nudge toward their bed.. demanding more of him. There was a great deal of laughing and grunting and several "oomphs" as their efforts led to elbows and knees hitting sensitive places on each other. nagging sense of confusion and need. more human than monster. her back arched up gracefully. he made love to her with his mouth. the way she gave herself without reservation.*Chapter 16*: Chapter 16 I don't own these characters. His hands were frantic as they pulled and tugged and moved. Isabella Swan was the strongest person he knew. Then her hands gentled and he slipped his tongue inside of her. just maybe. It was an agreeable arrangement for the both of them. it's who you think you're not." "Love you. she was often reduced to one syllable utterances when they came together like this. my Isabella.. to her beautiful breasts. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. The girl's laughter followed him as he placed one last soft kiss on Isabella's belly. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. She twisted slightly. Her muttered protests at losing his lips died away the instant his mouth closed over her nipple. annoying. Isabella just laughed and pulled him back to her. though I do confess to harassing. "Am I doing the right thing?" he finally whispered. She loved to tease him. his words muffled against the soft. I managed to get this written in between bouts of panic and aggravation. I've got a huge project due on Wednesday and since it's a group project I think it's nothing more than an exercise in frustration. He hunched over and rested his head on her shoulder. Isabella moved around the bed and pulled him into her arms. "You feel so good. she had found something in him worthy of loving. scented flesh of her throat." she moaned. A vision of her flashed through his head. the thought did not conjure up the usual images of terror and cruelty. showing her how much he loved her. taking her own essence with the kiss. When at last he moved back up her body and prepared to slide into her. purely instinctive on her part.. His fingers drifted down between her thighs. He was happy to oblige. To his shock. There was something freeing about losing himself in the warmth of Isabella. Isabella arched against him." ~Author Unknown ~Bad Blood~ Isabella was silent as she packed the small suitcase that was on the bed. "Yes. LOL! Anyway. Somehow. kissing it tenderly. "Good. As if he had spoken. Chapter 16 "It's not who you are that holds you back. murmuring his appreciation when they fell open in invitation. how much he needed her. I only borrow them. His mouth found hers. hungry and hard.and the floor. When he slid his fingers inside of her. Edward felt some of the tension bleed away. she hissed and he paused. for just a moment. . he was more man than beast. savoring the taste of her. "More. His child. sad day. Author's Note: I must apologize for the delay in posting. "I love you. making promises he fully intended to keep." he whispered. dancing in a square of sunlight that shone in her window. the softness. and the assurance in her voice was so absolute that even Edward could not doubt it. ignoring the twinge in his back as he compensated for the difference in their heights.. It was not that he feared he would hurt her. her tongue sweeping into his mouth. I didn't build it. They both looked up at the same moment and their eyes met. the fragility was deceptive. He groaned as their mouths melded together. Edward was equally silent as he placed his clothing carefully into his own bag. he needed it. Edward kissed his way down her throat. leaving behind only a dull. He lingered over the soft flesh of her belly. their clothes were scattered all over the bed." she murmured in his ear before giving it a little nip and then a lick. and then down his back. It was a small pain. The taste of her. Once more. I make no money from my little stories. Her hands never paused in their soothing strokes over his hair. Instead. He followed her.
everything like this.his cock. His seed pulsed out of him. But it was time. Not just any woman. "I'm. He would not run. She nodded too. and Edward accepted that maybe change wasn't always bad.He hovered over her. he watched her face as he claimed a part of him that had been dormant. It felt good to be the strong one. "Will you be okay?" she asked quietly. Edward wasn't sure if he was supposed to care. he gained courage as her hips met his. Edward had looked at him and said blandly. He leaned in and kissed her. Edward had walked out of the court. Nothing between the heated silk of her body and the aching hardness of his. He felt invincible and vulnerable at the same time. he would not look back." The words were cut off by a groan as he felt his world explode. She cried out and wrapped her arms and legs around him. And then.. and the monster slept too. Leaning up on his elbows. "I've been an orphan since I was fourteen. The guard was giving him instructions and Edward nodded mindlessly. touching him in all the right ways. she kissed him over and over again. but he had been running all these years. It would be over. she pulled away. the serenity of her expression belied by the way she clutched at her purse. she knew when to push and when to let him lead the way. The time for running was over. Isabella had courage and certainty enough for both of them. The sweet rhythm became faster. and then repeated the process. She wrapped her fingers around his hand. As Edward listened to the guard wrap up his little spiel. simple sensation of being inside a woman. They had made love in the hotel room that morning and it was as if she was giving him her strength. He had nothing on him that could be used as a weapon. those strong capable hands that loved him so tenderly. It was the knowledge that just a few dozen feet away. who was. Edward tried to focus on her hands. his aunt and uncle holding his hands. He felt her startle and then heard her sigh. his heart feeling as if it was pounding in his throat. no barriers.. lighting here and there.. just doing his job. Slowly. shaking with the emotions that buffeted him. When he finally collapsed against her. he felt the pure. a risk she had taken. He needed to take control of this.. his father was waiting.I'm gonna. He nodded once. harder – and it was wonderful. He groaned as he pushed inside of her. somehow trusting that she would keep them safe. "I won't ever let you be alone again. he would face his father for the first time in fifteen years. and his father had supposedly been a model prisoner for ten years now.. .. "Are you sure?" she asked softly. clutching at him. Isabella had been a change in his life." He fell asleep right there.. As always. Her lips were the slightest pressure. Not again. relegated to a distant place that Edward could no longer see. He was terrified. in her arms. He thrust mindlessly. His father was dying. his breathing jerky.. but his Isabella. reassuring her for once. He had tried not to look back.. Today. tasted it on his lips. Her fingers clenched and unclenched. He knew what he wanted to do. It was so much more. Newell had suddenly remembered that he had other things to do. And for once. Now. He was tired of the fear and the doubt. He turned and caught Isabella's eyes. He would make his stand here. A part of him inside her. She didn't smile. Bare. that he could not deny. He had had to laugh when Mr. into her.. a chance he had taken. ~Bad Blood~ Edward tried not to shudder as the guard searched him. Edward and Isabella had both been relieved. There had been a few "unfortunate incidences" according to his counselor at the beginning of his incarceration. He took a deep breath and nodded. It wasn't the touch of the guard. and somehow the simple lack of a condom between them had increased the intimacy of their joining a thousand times over. he just was not sure that he had the courage. Newell had repeated over and over again. Once the verdict had been given. needed that as much as he needed her. Edward found the earnest young man laughably naïve if he thought Edward Masen was rehabilitated. Newell asked if Edward had any thoughts on being an orphan soon. He hadn't seen him or heard his voice since that day in the courtroom when he had testified against him. He kissed her again and let his cock nudge at her entrance. after all. answering the unspoken question he saw in her face. he saw Isabella get to her feet. but hadn't commented on it." she told him as she held him. Just before he slid home inside of her." Mr. but her gaze alone was enough to steady him. and hers was cool and clammy. It was heat and silk and fire and Isabella and nothing between them. as the eager young Mr. For the first time in his life. Edward. His Isabella. I expect there's no more adjusting to do. the thought was pleasing to him. She tumbled after him. "I love you. Change had come. no ghosts. spent and yet somehow triumphant.
"Did you bring some sweet little piece with you. "You asked me to. "And after that. calculating eyes. He felt as if all the years he had struggled with his past had led him to this moment. Isabella Swan was a bit of a mind reader." "Thanks to you." Edward Cullen replied. He heard the sound of the locks disengage and the guard opened it." Edward Masen said with a shrug. dispassionately accepting a life sentence in prison. and gave her another kiss simply because he liked doing so. Powerless. Another door opened and then closed behind him. Those were the eyes that Edward had seen in the courtroom. trying to taunt him into taking the knife to his mother's flesh. the chains jangling in protest. . Looking up. Finally. and I'll be waiting right here. For a moment. Those were the same eyes that had bored into him. his hair white and thin. Edward sat down and put his hands on the table. he had no doubt he would emerge the victor. a strange sense of purpose and strength filled him. A ghost." "I'm looking forward to it. in those cold. "You will be. the skin yellow and lined. "You look like your mother." he said in an accusing voice. boy. Edward fought the urge to laugh. "Is there a point to all of this?" Edward asked. that's the question." Isabella promised." "Go on then. Then she smiled and tilted her head to study him.He smiled. no matter what happens in there. Edward merely blinked in confusion. He motioned to the guard." he said. showing all of his yellow teeth in a wide grin. hers carried a gun. Her lips quirked as if she guessed his thoughts and he mused that perhaps she had. He took a deep breath when he realized it was empty and felt strangely let down. Masen inhaled deeply and then coughed. I will be fine. And then another. The monster was there. "Why not? I've got nothing better to do. Defeated. The sound of a door sliding open and clanging into place made him turn. Edward remained silent for a moment. though in truth he was now much more nervous about meeting her father than his. When it was over. bigger and brighter than anything he had ever seen." Masen said." he promised and her eyes widened at the assurance in his voice. He took a step inside." he said. his steps making sounds that echoed and rang. he was standing before a reinforced steel door with a small security window. Then her smile was blinding. who lit the cigarette with a look of distaste on his face." Edward remained silent. An eternity later. Standing before him was a frail old man. "I'll be fine. His father was safely locked up. won't you?" she murmured. And waited. Masen sat down in the chair with a groan. Then Masen reached into the pocket of his eye-searing orange jumpsuit and pulled out a package of cigarettes. The monster was a sick old man. as if Edward had personally offended him. give her a thrill by telling her she could meet your famous Daddy?" Masen's voice sneered and taunted. Edward caught his eyes and took a deep breath. Masen's face grew sly. the Edward I knew was there. He felt her squeeze his hand one last time and then he was walking down a corridor. hanging in unsightly wisps around his gaunt face. Oddly. the door opened again and he heard the shuffling steps and slight clanking of chains that told him his father had arrived. "You smell like pussy. this singular confrontation with evil. The hands that were cuffed in front of the figure were gnarled and misshapen with arthritis. get it over with. felt the cold eyes of his father taking inventory. we'll drive out to see my Dad. "So yes." He gave a bark of laughter. "Are you a pussy or are you getting pussy. somewhat amazed that he had it in him to do so. "And there you are. cautious but not fearful. He looked up and met the eyes of the monster. "You came." Edward replied politely. "Thank you.
Then she led him out of the darkness and into the light of the day that waited. just an interfering cunt who was figuring out things that were none of her business.." Masen said. Nothing else. This won't take long. but he could not block out his words. you've seen me. Edward felt himself calming as he walked away from the room and toward Isabella.." Masen waved his hands dismissively and smoke wafted around the little room." he said mockingly." Masen observed again. He had forgotten how his father viewed the world. The door finally opened and Edward stumbled out. boy." Masen said." Masen had the nerve to sound disgruntled. "It's very much a disappointment to me."You're hardly anything to brag about. completely removed from reality. .. Also. They're all nothing but cunts.. "Well. He wanted to walk away from this room and never think about his father again. only good for fucking or killing. Sons should look like their fathers. "Your mother was a cunt." Edward pointed out. "I guess we're done here. and no one else. "I just wanted to see my baby boy. Edward didn't turn to look back at his father. mattered. Unable to help himself.you should have been a useless girl. that snooping little bitch." "Lucky me. Should have sliced her up nice and pretty and then brought you up right. taking another drag from his cigarette. I've got what I needed. doesn't he?" "You tried to kill me. "If you would have done as you were told we could have avoided that little misunderstanding. anyway. "You look too much like your mother." Edward got to his feet. Forever.I'm ashamed to call you my son. The universe revolved around Edward Masen as he saw it." "Then don't." Edward pointed out." Edward quipped. "Weak.. "I'm done here. "You smell like pussy and weakness. Masen grinned. Masen's expression grew cruel." Edward said in a low voice. "I'm a dying man and a dying man has a right to see his only son. Masen laughed and leaned back in his chair. his heart calmed its frantic rhythm. "You're just like your mother. Edward laughed. When he caught sight of her." Edward said. "A son should listen to his father. boy. you know." Masen said quietly. It took the guard a moment to fumble with the door. "I can smell her on you. Then Edward sat down." Masen shook his head." he noted." She didn't speak. just nodded and squeezed him tightly. Then he was in her arms and holding her tightly. "Sit down." Edward surged to his feet once more and began walking toward the door." Edward looked at the guard who merely waited impassively. "I hardly think a family reunion is in order. "Let's go. thank you for all the offers of help with ASL. "What do you want?" Edward finally asked. He wanted to get back to Isabella. spineless. alerting the outside guard. his breath came freely again. He wanted to take her to bed and bathe himself in her light and warmth.. Edward didn't look back. He didn't run. "I should have done her first." he whispered and meant it with every fiber of his being. "She was just a cunt. The guard shifted on his feet. "So you've got a little bit of spine. so thank you all so much." he said." Then the door closed and his father's voice and mocking laughter was cut off. Those days were over.
" he confessed with a sense of giddy relief. obviously reading him correctly." "I suppose I did. "What time is your father expecting us?" Edward asked. It was less than graceful. his prayer. as Masen. "I couldn't have done that before you. after the immediacy of their desire had been sated. She had saved him. A monster who no longer mattered. during which the afternoon sun began to sink in the sky and the shadows of twilight filled the small room. I make no money from my little stories. tell him what I thought of him. hands running down his sweaty back. their eyes met and they laughed together. unwilling to lose all of their connection to each other. he murmured her name over and over again.walk away. he was still perfect for Isabella Swan.. "Need you. I didn't build it. torturing." Edward paused." "Then have me. You just made sure it didn't. "Said I was too much like my mother. I was done with him." "You would have found a way. so Edward knew he would trust in her. As he sank into her. though I do confess to harassing. but Edward knew differently. a sound of contentment and ease." Isabella ventured.something like that. "I talked to him while you were back there with Masen.. Isabella didn't seem to mind in the least." he whispered. I only play in the sandbox. gives." He kissed her then. He emptied everything he was. She had changed him at the most basic level. almost as if it was a prayer. Her arms held him close. I just needed to. if anything her own heat seemed to fuel his. so he kept it to himself because it was enough that he knew. its all." In the gloom. "He was disappointed in me." she answered. and as imperfect and flawed as he was. "I walked away from him. She followed after him. "So serious. after all. every burden he carried.*Chapter 17*: Chapter 17 I don't own these characters. finding the dark humor in it. I only borrow them. After a long silence." It was easier to think of him like that. he rolled halfway off of her." she said. annoying. "I'd always thought I'd make some big speech." ~Hannah More ~Bad Blood~ They had barely made it inside the hotel room before Edward had Isabella pinned against the wall. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. simply to savor her taste. He also knew that she wouldn't believe him if he shared that truth with her. it made his world explode. That could come later. her lips whispering words of love into his ear. When he came. Author's Note: There is one more post in this story. Isabella rolled her eyes at him. A stranger.. They stumbled." He laughed softly. "We should leave early tomorrow. and trembles lest it has done too little.. She leaned up on one elbow and placed a loud kiss on his lips. and Edward was sure they would both be sporting some bruises tomorrow. Edward sighed and then inhaled the sweet scent of her hair. accepting all of it without question or protest." Isabella assured him." she said softly. "Does your father. Perhaps it was. Edward realized that he had given her that. his hips moving against hers as his lips and tongue began their tender assault on her mouth. he blinked." "You always were stronger than he was. "It was so fine that it almost didn't exist anymore. sad day. "But in the end. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer. walked. though he knew that Isabella would never put him in that kind of situation. his more solemn nature giving a twinge when she insisted on joking. then his nose. into his Isabella. She breathed deeply. "How does your father feel about me?" "You mean what does he think about the fact that you're nailing me on a regular basis?" she teased. like a thoughtless prodigal. couldn't imagine any fate that was happier. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions." Isabella said. Not his father.. Edward sighed. and finally his forehead.. Charles Swan had every reason to hate him. Her hands were as urgent on his body as his were on hers. She seemed at ease with her father's reaction to him. almost as if she had reached into his cells and rewritten his DNA itself." she teased. He could want nothing more than what she offered. and the anxiety returned. clutching at him tightly." "You snipped the last thread that held you to him. not Edward anything. but their need was too great for finesse. Isabella gave a little snort and buried her face in his neck." he finally said. fell onto the bed behind him. "Sometime after lunch. "You just needed to see it for yourself.. Thank you so much for reading! Chapter 17 "Love never reasons but profusely gives. "Bella. "I just walked out. .. I didn't need to. Just Masen." Edward said with a note of wonder. When he could finally draw an easy breath.
"I'm just warning you. Then she grinned." he said. She lightly caressed his cheek. "You know. Time and Isabella." she mocked. "No. taking her nipple into his mouth. "I really like making love without a condom. giving her hand a quick squeeze." Isabella teased. being a father. "Thank you. "You do." he whispered. but he knew he would. "I love you. Until now. and he had seen the curtain twitching and knew her father was watching them. Now she was teaching him. they sported the same dark. The monster had been put to rest as best he could. Charles Swan's eyes closed as he hugged his daughter close." she retorted." she agreed. "I see the comedy portion of our evening is over. If she considered him an avenging angel. "Isabella. He cradled her close. isn't all that fond of dicks being around his precious baby girl. They took a deep breath together and she waited for him to open his door and come around to her side. and time would finish the healing. but they were the regular-guy kind. There were nerves. you know that. "You've always been on my side. but there would always be Isabella who would lure him into chaos and freedom with her easy laughter and generous heart. feeling carefree and young for the first time since had been Edward Masen. Then she sighed and kissed him again. Isabella had taken the wheel when they stopped at the last rest stop. "Don't stay away so long next time. guiding him." he informed her. He was just a man meeting his girlfriend's father for the first time... Dad. She was not impressed and made a face to tell him so. He rolled over. ~Bad Blood~ They pulled up into the driveway.. In truth." he said sternly. she teased back. In all things Isabella protected him. The door opened and a slender man stepped out onto the porch. sir. it's got nothing to do with that freak at the prison and everything to do with the weapon you're hiding in your jeans. "Okay." "Our side. She turned off the engine and turned slightly to face him. "Edward. showing him. "See? I can be serious too. huh?" "I think it bears further investigation anyway. His eyes were measuring but not hard." Then she stuck out her tongue to prove herself wrong." She nodded."Isabella. He would never be totally free of his inclinations toward order. "Without a doubt." he grumbled. "Yes." she corrected gently. right?" He nodded." Edward replied politely.watching him. wavy hair. He laughed. "Daddy!" she yelled and launched herself up the steps and slammed into her father." He winced at that. then she was his guardian. pinning her gently beneath him and not even fearing that the monster would make an appearance and hurt his Isabella. Isabella had the strength that he had always lacked." She arched and cried out and when she settled." he whispered. tenderly and sweetly in contrition. the manageable kind. . It couldn't hurt to show her father that he had manners. He was the man and physically stronger. knowing how often he tried her patience with his rigid ways. Charlie grunted and his eyes went to Edward. Edward hadn't passed Charlie's test just yet." "Edward. Edward knew he would have done the same. walking down the steps and holding out his hand. "I love you too. Edward laughed then. "It's only your side when I want to kick your ass for being so damned stubborn. do you think I'd suggest you two meeting if my father was going to have a hostile attitude?" That was really the crux of the matter and Edward knew it." And just like that. unable to speak. most of his anxiety was gone. saying it was just easier for her to get them there than for him to worry about missing a turn. Daddy. if my Dad is cleaning his gun or something." he murmured.. but in all other ways. honestly. just the eyes of a father meeting a man who had become important to his daughter. "You must be Edward Cullen. giving her his absolute trust yet again. he was sure she had seen he was nervous and was giving him time to gather his composure. Isabella had his eyes and her face was the same shape.
She hasn't let anyone do that since she was two years old. as Charlie said. He also knew that neither he nor Charlie was going to argue the fact. ." "Isabella is rather good at that. My mother cried herself to sleep more nights than not. Professional courtesy brought them here." Edward started to protest but Charlie just continued talking. "Then I figured out that I was still giving my father power over me. once they saw she'd been married to a cop. as he knew too well." Edward swallowed hard. A name was a very important thing. Finally. He looked at Edward. "It takes a brave man to love this one. "You're telling me. Charlie cleared his throat. "Puking my guts up drunk. Names could both define and defile. his eyes old and far too knowledgeable about the evil the world held. Already. But I confess I'm still careful.Charlie wrapped and arm around Isabella. Charlie shrugged. "I never had my first drink until I was twenty seven years old. "I didn't have my second drink until the night the cops showed up at my door to tell me that Renee was dead. He didn't hear me. Or worse. "I was so afraid of turning into my father that I went a little overboard. to call me. Charlie looked at him at last and gave him a crooked smile." This was a concept Edward could see only too well and he gave a cautious nod." It made Edward feel warm to think that he had something of her that no one else was allowed. just another of her perfect imperfections. Edward knew that they had been maneuvered into a private moment." Charlie observed in a quiet voice. he'd been buried for years by that time. And waited. the one and only time in my life. who was holding Edward's hand. sir." "It was time." Charlie shrugged once more. It was. "I have to tell you that I was against Bella looking you up." He laughed then. But it still felt good." Edward could well understand the burden of a father like that. Thought taking a drink made me a drunk." Charlie continued." he said. long after he was dead and gone. her husband." "I'm sorry. Still staring into the fireplace." Charlie gave a little snort of laughter and shook his head. Charlie stared into the fire for a long moment. But Charles Swan nodded as if he understood. Isabella seemed to jump from one topic to another but Charlie kept up without difficulty." Edward mused." Isabella reminded them tartly. Usually. Turning to catch Edward's eyes. But they came in here and sat down on the couch that was in the same place as the one you're sitting on. And I told my father to fuck off as I did." That was all he said and Edward waited. when Isabella rose and walked to the kitchen." His mouth turned down at the corners. and they told me what'd been done to her. So much worse. "Why don't you come inside and we can sit down and have a little chat about all of Bella's perfect imperfections?" Charlie offered." was all Edward could say by way of explanation. "Still gives me a kick to hear you call her Isabella." Edward could only remain silent. ~ Bad Blood~ They sat in the living room and Edward allowed father and daughter to begin the conversation. "The night Renee left me. Edward could only guess that Charlie was used to Isabella's rather random trains of thought. Charlie said quietly. Charlie smiled but it didn't reach his eyes. every now and then I have a drink. "If he's gonna make anything of his future. it would have been up to Phil. "So for the past few years. "Still here. you see. "A man has to let go of the past. pissed away his paychecks until we were always on the run from one landlord or another. He hit my mother just because he could. there was much on which Edward and Charlie could agree. it seemed. "My father was a drunk. "And making me do it too." Edward answered with a little smile." Charlie said with affectionate exasperation. "A mean drunk at that. Edward followed them up the stairs and into the house. "I got drunk that night. especially not with the headstrong woman they each loved in their own way. "Bells told me that you went to the prison to see Masen. which did quite well at cutting the damp chill of the air. Thought it was in my blood.
" Then Charlie Swan looked at the fire... and she found you..and still sleep at night. that was real honor." Charlie said with an emphatic shake of his head.well.. still scarred from what his father had done to him.. That's real courage. What I worried about. He was growing rather used to the feeling." He looked at Edward intently. are the kind of man a father can entrust his daughter with. "What you did son. Not until I saw skinny kid walk out of a courtroom. "But the other thing that gnawed at me was a worry of another kind.. Edward." "I don't understand. as far as Charlie was concerned. "I worried about you. put the matter to rest." "Wrong?" Charlie gave a sad little smile and a shake of his head. Edward couldn't have been more surprised at that moment. And that. son.. I'd always been convinced that there wasn't a man in the world who was worthy of my little girl. knowing she's loved by someone who deserves her. "You see. I guess a father always worries when his daughter says she's off to chase down a man he's never met. When I heard Bella had found you." If Charlie had confessed to wearing women's underwear. not the shit that the politicians blather on about. "No. and I heard that something in her voice. still shocked by his mother's death. I knew." Edward had been cast adrift yet again by a Swan. "And a part of me was jealous that I'd never worked up the courage to find you myself and thank you.. Real honor. Edward. about what her interference would do to you. But she proved me wrong. ." Charlie grinned and this time his eyes mirrored the gesture.."Not because I was worried that you'd be like him.. obviously done talking. that wasn't even on my radar.that's so rare I'm not sure I've ever seen it action myself.that's rare. as she so often does. And you.I knew I'd been wrong.
she looked remarkably like her paternal grandmother and Edward liked to think that Sloane was his mother's way of saying that she loved them and that she approved. He could only send up a little prayer of thanksgiving for it. however. Edward watched as that man walked their Isabella down a church aisle and then put her hand in his. It was fitting somehow. Edward knew she had done it on purpose when she winked at him. throwing Edward's carefully constructed schedule out the window from the start. Timmy liked apricots one day and threw them on . Edward and Isabella and Barney built a very comfortable life. Timmy arrived three weeks early. I only borrow them. and Edward never forgot it. the son kept them in the most sacred. Timothy thrived on chaos. There hovered around him a little cloud of unpredictability and general unruliness. Timothy. he took their daughter to the park while her mother wrote tales to enchant any child. Timothy Cullen never met a challenge he didn't like. Her father blithely assumed that all babies were so accommodating and often mused aloud that other parents must be doing something wrong when they complained about the hardships of having a child. He sighed. and if the story passed little Sloane's inspection. The first time he slept through two feedings. Now she had a most specific audience of one. they would discover that Edward Masen had died on the day that they married.*Chapter 18*: Chapter 18 I don't own these characters. That's what Isabella said anyway and Edward was inclined to believe her. His daughter. Sometimes. quietly content with her little world. was not. She knew something he did not. Every morning when he woke up to see Isabella cradled in his arms. fearful that he would find the tiny boy not breathing in his crib. knowing she would never allow him to fall completely into his old. Sloane seemed to thrive on them as well. Somehow. Edward checked on him every ten minutes. but Edward would always be a man who preferred order. Isabella had saved him. when they returned from their honeymoon. they watched a wonder unfold as their lives were further bound in flesh and blood. and in her eyes a secret glinted. torturing. A year after his very first face-to-face conversation with Charles Swan. and exasperating them – just because it's fun. though I do confess to harassing. a tiny human being who both terrified and thrilled Edward with her sweet-smelling innocence and absolute trust in them. Timothy Charles. They had a daughter. Isabella. He could barely recall that man who had thought it better to fulfill the promise of an hour than to break the vow of a lifetime. and got her first tooth exactly on the schedule that the baby books told Edward to expect. His son. Miss Cullen had the most discerning taste and Isabella took her advice seriously. Two years after they joined their lives legally. but displayed a healthy curiosity and joy in life. She was neither fussy nor apathetic. Now he was happy to keep those vows every single day of his life. No humans are Share permanently harmed through my actions. Edward still appreciated the comforting predictability of schedules. Sloane Marie Cullen was a miracle. as all of their friends observed. sad day. when pursued. He got up in the middle of the night. In fact. Edward would watch his cautious daughter and his reckless son and he would ponder that they were their parents in reverse. Later. Sloane had her father's green eyes and messy bronze hair. smiled. She had some help this time. He was a doting father. she had foreseen that one day this little boy would arrive and into their lives he would bring his reckless joy in life and living every moment to its fullest potential. So for three years Edward and Sloane and Bella moved through life as the schedule dictated. he felt a renewed sense of wonder. I make no money from my little stories. as she had always done. and seemed to invite disorder with his mere existence. and Isabella still preferred chaos to order. they made it work. rigid ways. but he was content to wait. The three of them. Edward Cullen was a man who longed for a schedule. I only play in the sandbox. Barney preferred hot dogs to green beans. I didn't build it. they Isabella considered it good to send to her publisher. Edward still preferred order to chaos. Yes. Sloane was born on her due date. turned over. She walked and talked just as and when expected. as she so often did. If the father had broken his marriage vows in the most horrific way possible. She was eleven minutes late walking down that aisle. if you will sit down quietly. in every way a man could be saved. Things changed. annoying. Isabella seemed amused by it all. soon tugged him out of his little orbit and broadened his horizons yet again. may alight upon you. is always beyond our grasp. He might want a bottle every hour or sleep for six hours in a row. as Isabella had dubbed him. What that might be. he changed diapers without complaint. She was a happy baby. was all unruly brown curls and wide brown eyes. He was the secret that had glimmered in his mother's eyes. and the best gift they could have gotten. Edward could not guess. or Timmy the Terror. Chapter 18 "Happiness is like a butterfly which. Or a bookshelf he didn't want to climb. They are the sole property of Stephenie Meyer." ~Nathaniel Hawthorne ~Bad Blood~ Edward Cullen was still a man who liked schedules. As she so often did. but. chased after recklessness.
His sister found some fame in certain circles. so he would slink away and hide somewhere that Timothy would never find him. though of course their lives weren't perfect. Sloane and Timothy grew up happy and healthy. Isabella and Edward grew old together. that he was his mother's son. that was what she provided. they raised their children. Esme and Carlisle had earned the titles. Neither of them felt any particular emotion toward a man they would never know or meet. Sloane thought it was romance incarnate. they called them Nana and Papa and no one complained about the arrangement. Her father had taught her better than that. In every way that counted. and Edward learned to accept it instead of fear it. serial killers. Sloane grew up to become an FBI profiler and for some reason that always amused Isabella. Even Barney had his limits. They honored the mothers they had lost by living their lives to the fullest. they argued. but he laughed anyway. Sloane was confident in the love of her family. He made a decent living as an artist. with a mixture of admiration and exasperation. Both Edwards considered it a compliment. He talked early and walked late. Isabella would soothe and cajole. cats would rule the world and be the dominant species. It was Esme's suggestion that they move closer to Edward and Isabella and they did so just a few months after Sloane's birth. Carlisle treated Charlie to a weekend of deep sea fishing. She wasn't proud of her lineage. Edward never truly got the humor in the situation. Sloane simply shrugged and dismissed the gossip and it soon died away. happy and carefree. His kindergarten teacher once told Edward. Barney preferred not to be a knight's steed. It was a happy arrangement for all concerned. beyond all doubt. he supported himself doing what he loved best and that was enough. Each was secretly convinced that he was the better fisherman. and had a son she named Edward. that was before Timmy saw jousting on the History Channel. Once. In time. someone tried to embarrass her by digging up the information about Edward Masen and revealing Sloane's link to one of the very monsters she profiled. He liked to wear galoshes with shorts and cowboy boots with his pajamas. Barney begged to differ. she could read him with a glance and then give him exactly what he needed. and as far as she was concerned. to them. And he loved her for it. Though Sloane and Timothy eventually knew that Esme and Carlisle were not really their grandparents. finding joy in the smallest things. as a profiler becoming something of an expert in. a distant figure in a true crime book that had little bearing on their lives. quit worrying about whatever else might have tagged along on that creative gene. and finally kick his ass if he didn't come out of his funk on his own. or perhaps a star in a distant sky. They bore Isabella's gentle teasing with good humor. He was. Everyone was just close enough to be available and not so close that Bella felt a need to lock the door and pretend not to be home. . he moved closer as well. When Charlie realized how little he would see his grandchildren if he stayed in Forks. When Edward and Isabella deemed them old enough. Potty training had been an exercise in frustration until Timmy decided it was time to be done with diapers and then the deed was accomplished in a day. He liked to dress himself and he preferred colors that the uninformed felt didn't match. It simply was. of all things. Timothy became an artist. Carlisle Timothy Cullen had been happy about it too. it was the only thing he had inherited from his paternal grandparent. Timmy planned big. He insisted on sleeping with a toy light saber tucked under his pillow. No matter what. If he did come into his artist talent from Masen. He had nothing to worry about. When it was an ass kicking.the floor the next. A dog had to have some secrets. he could only be proud of his son's accomplishments and. Tim was most definitely Isabella's son. Barney was Timmy's best friend and patiently endured it when Timmy declared Barney his "horsey" and pretended to ride him as Barney sprawled on the living room floor. they told them the story of Edward Masen and Elizabeth Sloane and Renee Dwyer and how Isabella and Edward had come to meet. He informed his parents that when he grew up he wanted to be a planet. especially an old one. Charlie Swan had been thrilled to have a grandson named after him. It was impossible not to laugh with Isabella. though he was never famous. after all. for the most part. he had told her to hold her head high and be the best person she could be. She married too. They raised three happy children in a household that was loud and cluttered and thoroughly joyful. though Tim often noted that it would have made for an interesting coincidence. for sometimes he still struggled with the demons his own guilt liked to conjure up. Even Edward and Isabella couldn't discover his hiding place and Barney wasn't telling. As she had always done. tapping into some creative genius that might or might not have come from the man they never talked about. And Edward Cullen proved. even if that knight was Timothy the Terror. They loved. it was nothing more than ancient history. He had a fine sense of the ridiculous. Or perhaps his mother's skill with words had translated into a visual gift for young Tim. and her little brother teased her mercilessly about it. Timothy thought it would have been far more interesting to have a rock star in the family. but neither was she ashamed of it. Of course. that young Timmy had a "unique way of looking at the world. Still. Eventually." Timmy insisted that one day. Charlie taught Carlisle the best fishing spots when the couple visited him. he married a lovely young woman who had no links to a serial killer. Edward was glad to see that. Young Edward and his grandfather had a special bond and Isabella liked to tease him that the younger version of him was pretty much a clone.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue reading from where you left off, or restart the preview.