Saturday, March 12, 2011

Massage Therapy, Chapter 10 - Vertigo, part 3

“You can’t do what anymore?” I whispered, just to be sure Edward’s lips would tell me the same thing his eyes were saying.

“Stay away from you. Pretend I don’t want you.” His thumbs ran slowly along my cheeks as his fingers combed into my hair. “I’ve wanted you since the day I first saw you… since I first touched you.”

I stared up at him, dumbstruck. I prayed to God that this was actually happening; that I hadn’t fallen asleep in my bed and was simply having one of my desperate dreams. His fingers felt real enough as they tangled further into my hair, running along my scalp, sending tingles down my neck. My hands moved to his chest of their own volition, my fingers spreading across the wisps of hair over his taut pecs. His eyes were hypnotic as they held mine under their spell, but I could feel the warmth of his skin and the rapid drumming of his heart beneath my hands.

“I can’t believe I finally get to touch you,” I said, my words the merest whisper. I could barely find my voice.

A tiny gust of a laugh shot from his mouth. “’Get to?’” he repeated. “Like it’s some kind of privilege. If you only knew how much I’ve wanted you to.” The Sex Voice was softer, gruffer, more seductive than ever.

How much I’ve wanted you to…. My mind was awed at the confession. “It is a privilege,” I insisted. My fingers skimmed over the protrusion of his nipples and further down to the beauty marks below, reading the Braille of his body as my eyes remained fixed upon his. His face was so close now, I could smell the toothpaste masking his earlier sins. I didn’t care what they were. I welcomed every last one of them.

He shook his head ever so slightly as it bent closer to mine. “You always get it backwards.”

Any words I might have mustered to deny it were silenced by his lips upon my lips, his tongue tangled with mine. The soft exploration of our earlier kiss had given way to hungry demands this time. He was insatiable now--his mouth tasting, probing, licking, biting mine--gently but insistently until he drew ragged breaths from my ravaged mouth. He kept closing the distance between our bodies until none was left. I didn’t realize I was giving way until the small of my back met the edge of the countertop and I was pinned in place, the length of his torso flush against mine, hot and hard and soft all at once.

His hands finally let go of my hair and dropped quickly to my waist. I gasped in surprise as he easily hoisted me up on the counter, bringing us face to face. His eyes never left mine as his hands slid down to my thighs, gripping them firmly and pulling me tight against him again, my groin to his belly, my legs wrapping around his trim waist. He seemed determined to get as close to me as physically possible, and my body strained to meet his, pushing greedily against him.

I finally let my eyes fall to the beard that was overtaking his jaw, and my fingers soon followed, trailing along the thick, rough hair and thrilling to the prickle of it against my fingertips. His mouth demanded my attention, lips swollen and red, parted and panting, inches from my own. I stared at the delicious candy that was so close. I was awed by the sight, the feel of his mouth as my fingers traced the soft, wet skin of his lips.

The sound that came from him then was something between a sigh of surrender and a growl of animal lust. I savored the candy as his mouth attacked mine, insistent and hungry. His beautiful hands stroked my face, then drifted down my neck to my shoulders. I couldn’t keep track of them after that as they traveled up and down my body, front and back, leaving intricate webs of sensation that ensnared me and bound me to him as his mouth took possession of mine.

He finally released me with a gasp, and his eyes traveled my face again, seeming to drink me in as I was him. He kissed my cheek gently as his hand caressed the other side of my face.

“So beautiful,” he whispered in my ear, his warm breath billowing in shockwaves straight down my spine. His words mirrored my thoughts exactly as I gazed at the exquisite sculpture of his face so close to mine. His mouth began a slow, seductive journey down the side of my neck, leaving a trail of wet kisses to my shoulder. My fingers twisted deep into his thick hair as my head fell back, granting him better access to my neck. Everything in me yielded to him, begging him to invade my personal space and make it his. I wanted his in return, my greedy hands tracing the strong lines of his jaw and neck to his broad shoulders, then over his shoulder blades and down the ribs of his back. My fingers examined every muscle and bone, eager to learn the map of his body beneath the warm, smooth blanket of skin. Was this how he felt when he worked on me during our massage sessions? Like a grateful student granted permission to study a revered subject? I should only be so lucky.

His exploration of my shoulder continued as he pushed the hindrance of my camisole strap out of the way. He ran his tongue along my collar bone, the wetness making his breath feel cool as it met my skin. Goose bumps rose on my flesh and I felt my nipples harden under the thin cotton of my shirt. His mouth traveled toward the evidence of my desire, and I tensed involuntarily as he pushed the fabric lower, ready to uncover the tiny, quivering mound. I’d always been self-conscious about the size of my breasts, the modest boost they’d gotten when I went on the pill still not enough to erase my insecurity.

Even drunk, Edward didn’t miss the way my body stiffened against him. “Is this not okay? Do you want me to stop?” he asked hoarsely.

“No, I don’t want you to stop,” I assured him, biting my lip and bracing myself.

“Then what is it?” he questioned, cupping my chin gently as his bleary eyes tried to focus on mine.

“It’s just… I don’t want you to be disappointed,” I gulped, looking away from his worried gaze.

“Disappointed…?” he said, uncomprehending. “In you? That’s impossible.” He reassured me with small, sweet kisses, his lips beseeching.

“I’m not one of those kinds of girls, you know,” I faltered, trying to find the words to explain. “Those perfect-bodied Barbie-doll girls.” Images of Kate Denali flashed through my mind, and I wondered again if Tanya had resembled her.

Edward looked genuinely confused now. “What makes you think I want someone like that?” His face registered something akin to distaste.

I shrugged and had difficulty meeting his incredulous stare. “James said I wasn’t your type… that I was so different from--”

“Sshhh.” Before I could say her name, Edward’s fingers pressed gently over my lips, shushing me the way I’d silenced him that afternoon. “Don’t let any of his garbage pollute your mind.” His eyes flashed fiercely and his grip was firm on my face. “The only thing you need to know about any girls from my past is that none of them ever made me feel the way you do. Not even close. This…with you….” he shook his head, seeming to struggle to find the words. “…it’s so much more than anything I ever had, anything I’ve ever felt before. I don’t know how to explain it… I don’t even understand it.” His hands stroked my face gently; his eyes pleaded for permission. “Let me show you.”

I wondered if he knew what his words did to me; how they swelled my heart to the point of bursting and brought me to my knees. He probably wouldn’t even remember them in the morning. He would never understand how he pulled me off the ledge and sent me freefalling; falling for him, falling in love. I refused to think of how hard my landing might be. Instead, I allowed myself the freedom, the exhilaration, the weightlessness of the fall.

I clutched him to me as his mouth sought my skin again, burning a path south, eager to feel and taste the few parts of me that he had yet to discover. When he tugged the hem of my camisole gently upward to remove it, I raised my arms to the sky like wings and let him release me. His mouth closed over my naked breast, hot and sweet, gently tickling and sucking my nipple into a hard button that seemed to be hardwired to every nerve that converged between my legs. His hand worked the neglected breast in similar fashion, fingers massaging the flesh until it was erect and eager for his mouth to come claim it as well.

My sighs became moans as he kissed and caressed my breasts this way, back and forth, until they were swollen and sore and my back arched wantonly, head thrown back, hands buried in his hair.

He finally released them and worked his lips up the other side of my chest and neck to my ear, where he whispered, “You see? More than a mouthful is a waste.”

The giggle that escaped me was a relief; a momentary respite from the sexual tension twisting my body so thoroughly under his touch. “I thought the saying was, ‘more than a handful is a waste.’”

“No, the handful measurement is for your ass,” he murmured wickedly, his hands suddenly dropping to my cheeks and giving each a firm squeeze. I gasped with pleasure as his palms and fingers caressed and then thoroughly gripped my flesh harder, pulling me more tightly to him. My legs were spread wide, my panty-covered crotch straining against the treasure trail of pubic hair that taunted me above the waistband of his briefs. I could feel my hips beginning to move against him, aching to start the rhythm that would draw him into me, deeper and deeper. He felt it and moved with me, his hands guiding me. And then his mouth was on mine, his tongue teasing me in identical rhythm with our bodies, simulating what we both wanted, what we knew was coming. My arms wrapped around his neck to match my legs locked around his waist. The hair on his chest tickled my nipples, and I flattened my breasts against his chest, eliminating every bit of air between us. I couldn’t get close enough to him. I wanted to breathe only his breath, smell only his skin, even tainted with the alcohol that battled his heavenly natural scent.

His mouth broke away from mine as he rasped, “Where’s your bedroom?”

“First door to the left,” I reminded him as he lifted me easily off the counter and headed for the kitchen door. He staggered a bit, his motor skills still shot. Either that or I weighed a lot more than I thought. He was the oddest drunk I’d ever seen, seemingly lucid, but his body uncoordinated and uncooperative as he stumbled around the corner and into my bedroom.

“I could have walked, you know,” I teased him as he teetered toward the shape of my unmade bed in the dark.

“No way. That would spoil my romantic seduction moment,” he replied. Mere seconds later, he walked right into the bed frame and rather ungracefully deposited me on top of the mattress, mumbling “Shit!” as he half-fell on top of me, clutching his bruised shin in pain.

“Edward,” I laughed ruefully, unable to contain myself. “Are you okay?”

“Fuck. Ungh. Yes,” he grumbled, rubbing his shin and then seeming to give up on the endeavor. “What about you? I didn’t hurt your back, did I?” His voice was filled with concern.

“No, I’m fine. The bed is a soft place to land,” I reminded him with a smile.

“I never want to hurt you,” he whispered as he eased his body over mine, feeling his way in the dark until his face was inches from mine. “I only want to make you feel good.” His lips were tender on mine. “Better than good.” His lips grew bolder, and my mouth opened against his, letting him in. His hands were in my hair again; mine found the small of his back and pressed him into me as my legs encircled him. I knew that I’d probably regret having sex with him when he might not even remember it, but my body was in control now, and it would not be stilled as it writhed beneath him.

His body responded in kind, moving fluidly against me, grinding me rhythmically into the mattress. He groaned loudly as his lips broke away from mine, attacking my neck and chest with renewed vigor. My fingers itched for the feel of his hair between them, and I obeyed. He moaned as I massaged his scalp; I moaned as he took my right breast in his mouth again. I was overwhelmed at the sensations hurtling through my body, one after the other, taking me to places I’d never been. Frustration began to bubble within me as my open legs were met with only layers of fabric instead of skin on skin. I’d never felt lust like this in my life; never wanted and needed a man--this man--inside me so badly. My brain had been reduced to only one base thought, a crass and relentless mantra: Fuck me. Fuck me. Please, for the love of all that is holy or otherwise, FUCK. ME.

He raised his head from my chest, breathing heavily, and I could feel his frustration as well. It came out in his voice as he seethed, “It’s too dark in here. I can’t see you. I need to see you.”

“Open the blinds,” I suggested, gesturing to the window across the room. Just as I was about to offer to do it myself, Edward was off the bed and weaving his way to the sill. He fumbled with the plastic rod until the slats opened and let the night sky into the room. The moon had risen late, but its rays were finally here, bathing the room a pale, pearlescent indigo. I memorized his silhouette as the light glowed over his shoulders and lit his tousled hair into blue flames. He didn’t move. I couldn’t see his face, but I could feel the heat of his eyes on me, scorching me, even as my oscillating fan drew goose bumps from my flesh with every pass. He walked slowly toward me; my heart rate increased twofold with every step. When he finally stopped at the edge of the bed and gazed down at me, my breathing was quick and shallow, chest heaving. The burning hunger in his eyes ignited a fire between my legs and I squirmed at the radiating heat. I silently begged him to release me.

As if reading my mind, he knelt next to me and ran his hands slowly down my torso to encase my hips, his thumbs digging softly into the nexus of my thigh and hipbone. The nerves there quivered violently and I gasped audibly, my hips lunging involuntarily upward. In that moment, he grasped the fabric of my panties between his thumbs and fingers, and with one easy pull, they were halfway down my thighs. I exhaled in a shuddering breath as he continued to pull them slowly down my legs, then left them in a lacy pile at my feet.

His hands moved as slowly as molasses back up my legs, first gentle and feather-like, then firmer as he reached my thighs, gripping them and running his thumbs along the inside, up toward my throbbing sex. A second attack of self-consciousness battled with my arousal as I suddenly wondered if Edward was turned off by pubic hair. I always kept things trimmed and shaved down there, but I hadn’t actually waxed the hair off in…well, ever. Mike never seemed to mind much, and the thought of yanking my pubes out by the roots had always sent me into paroxysms of panic. It sounded too painful to actually endure of my own freewill.

I must have frozen up again, because Edward stopped just short of the manicured triangle and shifted his gaze to my face, gauging me.

“Are you okay?” he asked hesitantly.

“Yeah. I’m just… I’m sorry I haven’t… waxed,” I finally sighed, biting my lip.

He gave me the same look that he’d given me when I tried to hand him his water glass in the kitchen--a look that clearly questioned my sanity.

“Do you honestly think I give a shit about that?” he asked. “I’m sitting here thinking that you look so unearthly beautiful in the moonlight that you should be in a museum… that I should get down on my knees and worship you and thank God that you even let me touch you… and you’re worried about a little pubic hair?”

I stared at him, stupefied at his words. He was saying the kinds of things that I’d dreamed of him saying, but never truly thought I’d hear. He was the one who looked like Michelangelo’s David, his slender, well-muscled physique gleaming in pale perfection under the moon’s rays.

He released my legs and crawled up next to me, lying on his side and turning me toward him.

“How shallow do you think I am?” he said softly before he kissed me. His hand slid slowly down my middle and settled on my hip, his fingers gently squeezing my cheek, thumb rubbing that incredibly tender spot on my belly. I felt moisture gather between my legs, preparing for his touch. I forced myself to focus and answer his question.

“I don’t think you’re shallow. It’s just that, anymore, a lot of girls have Brazilians, and I thought you might prefer that,” I said, feeling a little foolish. I stared at his chest, unable to meet his eyes; and my hand couldn’t resist the urge to reach out and examine the hard muscle there.

He let out an annoyed-sounding laugh. “I prefer whatever makes you happy,” he said. He moved his hand slowly forward, over my abdomen, toward the patch of hair in question. “I want what’s inside there. I don’t care how the outside is decorated.”

My soul quivered at his words; my body, at his touch.

“You are too good to be true,” I sighed, moving my own hand down his flat stomach, letting it drift to the chiseled indentation that marked his hip. I couldn’t help but stare at every distinctly masculine part of his long torso as I explored them all with my fingers.

“Hardly,” he snorted, a glint in his eyes as his hand drifted lower. “I’ll leave the hairless pussies to the pedophiles.” And with that, his fingers slid over my snatch of hair, then gently worked their way between my labia to the slick, tender flesh beneath. A moan vibrated my throat immediately at his touch, my legs parting and hips lifting to meet his probing digits. My own fingers combed through his treasure trail and slipped under the waistband of his briefs, eager to find his cock and give him the same immense pleasure he was giving me.

“So wet,” he whispered as his fingers slid up and down my clitoris, into my ready opening. “Is all this for me?” he questioned. The half-smile that flitted across his face faded quickly as my hand moved further down to the base of his cock, forcing a groan from him instead. He massaged me up and down, making me nearly sob at the sensation of his fingers working their usual magic, but with in an intensity I’d only dreamed of. He was right--I was drenched with desire for him. With every stroke of his hand, his middle finger slipped deeper inside me, urging my hips toward him to help him along.

I grasped the base of his cock and slowly pulled my hand upward until it reached the sensitive tip. I savored the sound of his heavy breathing as I swirled my palm over the thick, round head. I pushed my hand back down his length to the base again, loving the feel of him responding to my touch, thickening, lengthening, growing in my hand.

“God, Bella,” he groaned. I could answer only with mindless noises of my own as we stroked each other, the push and pull between us growing more urgent as our desire grew. His face was so close that it was nothing but a beautiful blur in the rare moments that I tried to focus. My own rapture was escalating to the point that I didn’t even notice at first that there was something wrong. “Wrong” was the wrong word. Nothing could ever be wrong with Edward, at least not so wrong that I wouldn’t do my damnedest to make it right.

Edward’s equipment simply wasn’t quite up to the task at hand, so to speak.

He wasn’t really soft, that much was evident. Nor was he particularly hard, at least not as hard I was certain he was capable of being. He wavered somewhere in between, responding to my touch, but not enough to progress to the next level. I soon realized that the alcohol and cigarettes and probably plain exhaustion were taking an unfortunate toll on Edward’s manhood. It wasn’t a problem so much as a disappointment, one that became more evident the more diligently I worked to make him feel as amazing as he made me feel. And, rather ironically, the more friction I applied, the less rigid he became.

I slowed my efforts and stroked him gently, then leaned in to kiss him. He obviously realized that his body was letting him down, for his face hardened with humiliation and he removed his hand from between my legs. He turned away from my effort to kiss him, rolling on his back and staring blankly at the ceiling.

“I don’t believe it,” he finally said, his voice a mere crumb.

“Edward, come on,” I began, determined to make this okay for him. No matter how insecure I felt about my body, I was sure it didn’t compare to a man’s utter shock and horror when faced with any sort of penile dysfunction. “Think of how much you had to drink. You could barely walk an hour ago. And you know smoking doesn’t help. It constricts the blood flow to--”

“Stop. I beg you, please don’t,” he cut me off. “I’m fully aware of the potential side effects of my assaholic behavior tonight. It’s just… this has never happened to me before. And I know all guys say that. Every guy who can’t get it up swears it’s never happened before. But I’m telling you, I’ve been drunk off my ass a hundred times before and could still seal the deal. So this is….”

He let the sentence hang in the air, unfinished, as all the air left his lungs in one tremendous sigh. I hoped he was exaggerating about the number of his past drunken conquests.

“It’s normal. Human,” I finished for him. I scooted closer and laid my arm over his chest, covering his heart with my hand. His face twisted bitterly as he shook his head in disbelief.

“I know what it is. I’m being punished for all the times I fantasized about you when I shouldn’t have.” He placed the palms of his hands over his eyelids, rubbing them, as his fingers clawed at his hair.

“You fantasized about me?” I asked, slightly awed and more than a little thrilled. “When?”

He let out a short guffaw. “When didn’t I fantasize about you? I mean, that’s the real kicker: I’ve been jacking off at least twice a day thinking about you, and now that we’re actually here together, the perpetual boner I’ve had for a month is a no-show.”

I let that sink in a moment, savoring the knowledge, as well as the mental image. It was not, however, helping to ease my current state of sexual frustration.

“I even did it in the office,” Edward continued. “I’ve never whacked off at work before. Ridiculous.”

I stared at him in surprise. “When did you do that?”

“Last Saturday,” he sighed. “The whole time I was working on your legs, I was losing my mind. I wanted to mount you right on the massage table. Instead, I finished myself off in the restroom after our session was done.”

I gasped as I realized what that revelation meant. “I can’t believe you did that,” I said in wonder, remembering my own similar actions right after he left the room.

“I know, I’m a sick pervert who has no business treating you anymore,” he lamented.

“Well, if you’re a pervert, then so am I,” I informed him. “As soon as you left the room, I did the same thing. I was so turned on from you touching me that I couldn’t stop myself.”

He turned his head to look at me then, his expression incredulous. “You mean to tell me we were both masturbating at the same time, a room away from each other?”

I nodded. Aggravated grins suddenly spread across both of our faces as the immense irony of the situation struck us. Frustrated anew, Edward began muttering a stream of profanities as his hands covered his eyes again. I was reminded of the first day I ever saw his face and realized he was the man behind the hypnotic voice and masterful, healing hands. He was infinitely more attractive to me now, intoxicated and tired and unable to bring our fantasies to life. He was real.

He ended his string of expletives with the confounding words, “God-damned Dead Kennedys,” then sighed and stared at the ceiling again.

It took a moment before my mind switched gears from the former First Family to the 1980s seminal punk rock band. I chortled as I made the connection.

“’Too Drunk To Fuck?’” I recited the title of one of their more infamous songs.

His head lolled toward mine and his eyes narrowed. “You knew that?”

“It’s a punk rock classic.”

“Wow. I think I love you,” he said, his crooked grin disarming, as if I had any defenses left. His words reverberated in my head, a joke that didn’t seem funny. I wanted to take those words so seriously that it scared me. I couldn’t risk serious right now.

“No, that’s the Partridge Family,” I answered sardonically.

His eyes twinkled with mirth, but his voice was low and husky. “Now I know I do.”

Please don’t do this to me, Edward. I couldn’t afford to believe any more of his whiskey-induced professions. I stared at his chest, absently swirling my index finger through the sparse hair around his left nipple. I felt his hand on top of my head, stroking my hair, and I finally looked up into his eyes, so remorseful as he gazed at me.

“If you knew how much I want you, you wouldn’t believe this is happening. I don’t know why my body’s betraying me now,” he said softly, shifting onto his side and cupping my chin gently in his hand. “Maybe it’s because I want you too much.”

“Edward, you’re still trying to metabolize all that liquor, and it’s late, and you’re exhausted. We don’t have to do this tonight, you know. We can have plenty more nights together… if that’s what you want,” I added uncertainly.

His brows furrowed as his eyes wandered my face, my body. “I want… so much. Too much,” he repeated. I didn’t know why he kept saying that. I didn’t like how it sounded--as if he didn’t deserve to get what he wanted.

“I want the same thing,” I assured him, my hand reaching up to stroke the soft skin of his cheek where it met the rough stubble of his jaw. “I want you. I can wait. You’re worth waiting for.”

His eyes were deceptively sober. “I want to be. I want to be deserving of you. I want….” his voice trailed off again, desperation whittling the end of his sentence away. He leaned in and kissed me, moaning softly into my mouth. He seemed needy and vulnerable as he pulled me toward him, working his leg between mine, wrapping his arms around me as he deepened our kiss. I melted into him; limbs clutching him more tightly, pressing every inch of my skin against his and luxuriating in the warmth of his body meshed with mine. His lips left my mouth with a sigh and immediately found my cheek, my neck, my earlobe.

“Let me have you, just for tonight. I can make this so good for you, I promise,” he whispered throatily into my ear. His body moved so sensuously with mine that I didn’t even need his cock inside me to feel completely at one with him.

“You can have me as many nights as you want,” I whispered back, my lips catching on the soft skin of his earlobe as I spoke. “It’s already good for me. Just being next to you is good for me. I never thought it would really happen. I thought you’d never let me get close to you.”

He grimaced as he spoke. “That’s because I’m a fuck-up, Bella. I’m damaged goods. And now you have proof.” He held me tighter, clinging to me, and buried his face in my neck. I was reminded of the pain I’d felt emanating from him the first time I saw and heard him sing. Its raw sting pulsed through me now as I held him, and I wished for nothing more than the power to heal him through my touch, the way he had done for me.

My hands combed gently through his hair as I rained tiny kisses over his temple, his forehead, anywhere my mouth could reach. “Everyone is damaged goods, if they’ve lived long enough. I don’t care if you’re not perfect. You’re perfect for me.”

The sound he made into my neck was indescribable, some strange hybrid of animal and human, pain and pleasure. It shook me to my core.

“Bella…” he began, his voice thick with emotion. I waited for him to go on. I tried to get a glimpse of his expression, but his features were obscured as he breathed heavily into my neck. He finally pressed his lips to the side of my face for a prolonged moment, a kiss that felt almost reverent.

“I need you,” he said.

I looked into his eyes until he slowly raised them to mine. “I’m yours,” I promised. “Take what you need.”

He shook his head slowly. “No. I want to give to you instead.” His lips pressed solemnly against mine. “Let me love you.”

My eyes rolled back and my lids closed. I could no longer think about what his words meant. They would be long gone in the daylight, with no witness to remember them but me. Instead, my mind surrendered to my body and to Edward, and I let them be my guide.

Everything that followed was nothing but pure sensation taking over me. His hands, his mouth, were everywhere; kissing and caressing my skin until I was so delirious I thought I might pass out. As he worked his way down my body, he came to the part of my abdomen that he’d worked on that morning, and I winced as he touched the tender spot.

“Are you sore from the psoas release?” he asked me. I was amazed that he couldn’t sustain an erection, but he could still enunciate the phrase, “psoas release.”

“A little,” I nodded.

He responded by gently kissing and licking my side until I could feel nothing but rampant lust raging between my legs. My body undulated beneath him, ready for his mouth to move down, to taste the cream that coated me. His hands felt huge but lithe on my hips as he gripped them lightly, massaging his way down, pressing his thumbs into that spot that he now knew made me squirm with unbearable pleasure.

“Edward, please,” I begged, the words out of my mouth before I had formulated the thought.

“Please what?” he taunted, moving his lips southward. I felt my legs opening for him, beckoning him. My entire groin throbbed almost painfully with want.

Suddenly he rolled off of me and stood up next to the bed, leaving me cold and shocked as I peered up at him, confused. He reached down and grasped my thighs gently, then pulled them toward him, turning my body so that my legs opened to the side of the bed. He kneeled down on the floor between them, then lifted my legs and placed them over his shoulders.

“Oh God,” I moaned with anticipation as his hands slid down the insides of my thighs and came to rest on either side of my sex. I felt him gently pull on the skin there until my labia opened, exposing my quivering clitoris to the cool air. Before I could react, his warm tongue replaced the cold air, and I whimpered like a baby as the shockwaves barreled through me. His tongue licked up and down and side to side, thoroughly tasting every bit of flesh there; and when it flicked rapidly on the swollen tip of my clit, I cried out in sobs of ecstasy that I could not control.

I had a quick flashback to my time with Mike--certainly not because he was an expert at oral sex, but because he occasionally liked to watch porn to get in the mood. I remember laughing at the women in the videos, with their absurdly exaggerated panting and groaning and screaming, like banshees in heat. I always thought they were putting on quite a show because men seem to fall for that sort of sexual melodrama.

But as Edward Cullen buried his face between my legs, I had to admit that maybe it wasn’t all acting. Maybe there were sensations that were so mind-blowing, so beyond the scope of mental control, that the only response was an uninhibited physical release. The combination of his soft lips, wet tongue, rough beard and hot breath on my sex was far too incendiary for me to hold in my reactions. By the time his tongue plunged deep inside me, performing what his dick could not, I gasped and moaned uncontrollably. “God” and “Edward” became one and the same as I cried out to both, alternately.

Edward had become more animal than human, too, growling and grunting as he devoured me. When he spoke, it was only to ask me rhetorical questions such as, “You like this, don’t you?” to which I could only nod helplessly and twist my fingers in his hair, forcing his face back down.

“God, you’re so delicious,” he murmured as his tongue tasted every part of me, front to back--all the way back. “I’ll never get enough of you.” He placed his hands behind my knees and pushed my thighs further apart, spreading me wide open, as he continued to explore every orifice with his mouth. I wondered if he only did this when he was drunk, or if he was this uninhibited all the time. I didn’t stop him, because not only was I curious, but everything he was doing felt amazing. I had known from the minute I met him that I would be putty in his hands, no matter what he wanted to do to me. I had the feeling he was about to put that theory to the test.

He slid his hands, smooth as silk, down the backs of my thighs to my pussy again, but this time, he didn’t stop there. He placed one hand over my clit, stimulating it with his long fingers before slipping them back to my wet opening again. I was out of my element with someone as skilled as Edward, and my ceaseless moaning was evidence. Mike had been my first lover; I had been his third. Neither of us was particularly experienced, and sex was mostly awkward and experimental. Going from him to Edward was like leaving the triple-A minors for the All-Star team. If I had thought his hands did wondrous things to my muscles before, I was about to be schooled in exactly what his hands were capable of.

His index finger was deep inside me before I could blink an eye. Through my fog of desire, I could hear him utter things like “so tight” and “dripping wet” and “going to have to get you ready for me.” That’s when a second finger joined the first, slowly pushing into me, stretching me, forcing more cries from my mouth. My hips moved rhythmically upward, pulling him deeper. He began increasing the speed, pumping faster, curling his fingers into my g-spot and stroking it rapidly. I could feel the pressure building inside me… the convergence of a million unbearably intense sensations in the ultra-sensitive spot that Edward’s expert touch was massaging into a frenzy.

“That’s it,” he whispered as he felt my body tighten around him. “You’re almost there.”

And then, inexplicably, he removed his fingers from me. “No!” I blurted without thinking. “Don’t stop,” I begged him, my words more a whimper than a demand.

“Oh, I’m not,” he replied, gently kissing the insides of my quaking thighs. “I’m nowhere near done with you yet.”

His mouth descended on me again, working me up and down with his lips and tongue, tickling me roughly with his beard. He kissed his way back between my cheeks again, and I groaned softly when he tongued the tight opening there. I wondered if I should be ashamed at how good it felt. Then again, if it didn’t bother Edward, then why should it bother me?

He placed a wet fingertip against the taut, flat opening and pushed gently. My body instinctively resisted the intrusion, and I was suddenly reminded of my last trip to the gynecologist. She had performed an anal exam, and though not exactly painful, it wasn’t the most fun fifteen seconds of my life, either. Was I ready for something like this?

“Do you trust me, Bella?” Edward asked, again seeming to sense my hesitation. His eyes were liquid midnight as he sought my permission. I was surprised to realize that I didn’t even have to think about my reply.

“Of course I do.”

“You know I’d never do anything to hurt you, don’t you?” His words tumbled like cascades of velvet from his lips, caressing me, lulling me. I nodded my consent. “I need you to relax completely. Can you do that for me?”

Could I? He had me in such a heightened state of arousal that I wasn’t sure.

“I’ll try,” I whispered.

He proceeded to work slowly on the rigid band of muscle, lubricating me with his tongue, then rhythmically probing with his finger, trying to gain admittance. His free hand rubbed my thighs and stomach with a soothing touch, trying to relax me; and then his fingers found my clitoris again, massaging me slowly, tempering the discomfort that his other hand was causing.

Still, I winced as his relentless finger pushed its way further inside me. “Relax, Bella,” I heard him say, his breath warm and enticing on my straining flesh. I concentrated on releasing the tension from my body, letting it go limp and pliant in his hands. And then, quite suddenly and surprisingly, the ring of muscles relaxed and gave way, allowing Edward’s index finger entrance. It slipped easily inside me after that, and I gasped at the unexpected flood of pleasure that rippled through me.

“How does that feel?” he asked as he gently pushed the digit all the way in.

“It feels good,” I admitted, still a bit flabbergasted. “So good.”

“That’s because there’s a bundle of extremely sensitive nerves right at the opening here,” he murmured, the doctor in him taking over. I was glad he didn’t use any clinical terms for the body parts he was stimulating, because I really didn’t want to think too much about what he was doing to me.

“It’s really an amazing pleasure center in the body. You can get a lot of sexual gratification from this.” His finger began slowly, methodically pumping in and out of me, building a rhythm in the back as he had done in the front moments ago. “I’m going to give you the most amazing orgasm you’ve ever had, Bella. I’m going to make you come like you’ve never come before.”

“Oh my God,” I mumbled as my eyes closed and my head fell back. I reached behind me and gripped the bed covers in my fists as I gave myself over completely to the tremors that Edward was sending through me. Not content with breaching my back door, he attacked the front simultaneously, his mouth and other hand taking turns stroking and kissing and rubbing and licking me until I writhed uncontrollably, begging for more. That’s when I felt his fingers enter my vagina again; one at first, plumbing me deeply; then two, filling me completely. My cries of ecstasy came out in sobs again as his hands delved into the most tender, intimate parts of me, stoking the burning nerve endings into a raging volcano that was in desperate need of release.

“Edward… God… please….” I gasped as his fingers plunged deeper, faster, more ruthlessly inside me. I didn’t think I could take anymore. The pleasure was so intense it was almost pain. I throbbed with need, begging for a climax to end the exquisite torture.

“Come for me, beautiful girl,” was Edward’s whispered command. He placed the tip of his tongue to the tip of my clit, then moved it back and forth with the speed and delicacy of a hummingbird’s wings.

The volcano erupted.

The first contraction of my orgasm was so strong, so intense that my hips surged upward, every muscle inside me gripping Edward’s fingers as if they were life preservers. My chest heaved breathlessly as I cried out; my hands gripped any piece of fabric that was nearby. After the shockwaves of that first initial burst had subsided, the rest of the contractions began, wracking my body with wave after wave of unbridled ecstasy as I convulsed around Edward’s hands. I had no name, no frame of reference, for this kind of euphoria. The freedom of my climax made me feel as though I had left my body entirely; yet I had never been so completely, happily anchored within the confines of my flesh and its demands.

As I slowly came down from my incredible high, I became aware of Edward’s amazing hands still moving gently inside me, stroking me, as he kissed and gently nipped at my legs, my belly, my buttocks. I didn’t want him to stop, or to move away. I dreaded the emptiness I would feel without his flesh and bone inside me.

But slowly he pulled his hands free, licking his fingers clean, apparently unperturbed by where they had just been. I wondered if he had any sexual hang-ups at all… or just emotional ones?

“So beautiful,” was all he kept saying as he continued to caress me gently everywhere, languidly moving his way up my body as he pulled himself back up on the bed and situated us both so that our heads were on the pillows. He pulled the covers gently up to my waist, but no further, as he nuzzled and fondled my breasts.

My arms wound around him, fingers toying with the damp curls on his neck. I was speechless, dazed.

“Are you okay?” he finally murmured as his face reached my neck. “Did I hurt you?”

“No. God, no. The opposite. Unless you an kill someone with an orgasm. Which I’m beginning to think is actually possible.”

He chuckled softly into my neck. I could smell my sex on his face, and I was strangely okay with that. I intended to return the favor someday. I began to daydream about giving him head so amazing that he’d feel as languorous and useless afterward as I did now.

“I can’t believe you’re real,” he whispered as he settled next to me, face to face, his head on my pillow. “You can laugh at this all you want, but I have to tell you that you have the most gorgeous pussy I’ve ever seen or smelled or tasted. It’s perfect. It’s fucking perfection. The scent of it makes me crazy. No girl smells like you, so sweet, so completely irresistible. It’s insane.”

I laughed a little as I stared at him. I had no idea how to respond to that. If I weren’t so utterly spent, I would have been wet and ready again just listening to how much I turned him on.

“So I guess what you’re saying is that you’re pussy-whipped,” I teased him.

His sleepy grin warmed me as much as his encircling arms. “I am definitely that. I was before I even saw it. So I feel very lucky right about now.”

I shook my head as I smiled back at him. “You’re the one who gets it backwards. I’ve never had anyone make me feel the way you make me feel. What you just did to me… there are no words.”

“So we’re both lucky,” he admitted. I nodded in agreement. He leaned in and gently pressed his lips to mine. He stifled a yawn, then said, “Just you wait until I get my dick working again. You are going to be in so much trouble. Your pussy is going to be screaming for mercy.”

My eyebrow raised. “You promise?”

“Such a naughty girl,” he sighed, his eyes closing for a moment before he struggled to open them. “Keep it up and I’ll give you a spanking.”

“You keep it up and I’ll let you,” I giggled.

“Fuck, you’re going to get my dick hard yet, aren’t you?” His eyelids closed again, and I knew that our little game of slap and tickle would have to wait for another day. Maybe tomorrow, if he wasn’t too hung-over, I thought wickedly.

But now it was time for rest. His eyes stayed closed and his face relaxed as he drifted into unconsciousness. I shifted my body so that the moon would illuminate his features. I don’t know how long I stared at him before I finally succumbed to sleep. I was fascinated by his eyelashes, the longest I’d ever seen on a man. Likewise, his smooth complexion and deep-hued lips were almost too pretty, too feminine. Yet these unlikely features were assembled over a bone structure and punctuated with hair growth so strikingly masculine that it left no doubt as to which chromosome was in charge.

He had called me “beautiful” so many times in the past twelve hours that I lost count; but the man I was lucky enough to find lying next to me was the very definition of the word. Yet even with such physical perfection before me, it was nothing to his words, his expressions, his respect in the way he treated me. Those were the traits that gave him true--empirical--beauty.

His face was etched indelibly on the backs of my eyelids as I finally lost consciousness. I slept fitfully at first, not because I was uncomfortable with Edward in my bed, but because I felt a tiny thrill each time I rolled over and discovered him there. His body was always touching mine in some way, the contact between us remaining unbroken. He often sighed in his sleep and scooted closer, or brought his arm across me to pull me to him. His head never left my pillow; his soft breath tickled my face throughout the night. I snuggled into him and enveloped myself in the warmth of his skin, so much better than any blanket. I didn’t know how I would ever sleep in this bed again without him in it.

At last I succumbed to a deep and exhausted sleep as the dawn approached. I faintly heard Edward get up and head for the bathroom, and I hoped he wasn’t sick. The fan I ran in my bedroom every night helped block noises beyond my bedroom door. I had fallen asleep again by the time he returned, but I opened a sleepy eye as he crawled back into bed.

“Are you okay?” I mumbled, reaching for him as he pulled the covers back over us.

“I’ll live,” he answered rather unconvincingly.

“Poor baby,” I sighed, rubbing my nose against his shoulder as I placed a protective arm over his troubled tummy.

“I brought it on myself.” He rested his hand over my arm, his fingers finding mine.

I couldn’t argue with that, and I couldn’t stay conscious, either. By the time I awoke, the sun was trying valiantly to breach my blinds as it glared, full strength, around the window frame. I squinted at the window and realized that the blinds were shut. Edward must have closed them. I turned and reached for him, dismayed to find only a cold, empty space where his body had been.

A tiny seed of worry, even panic, sprouted in my belly. He hadn’t left, had he? He wouldn’t do that. He wouldn’t sneak away in the morning, no matter how embarrassed he might feel about his drunken antics, or lack thereof.

Would he?

I jumped out of the bed and searched for some clothes, yanking the nearest sweats and t-shirt over my naked body. I bolted out of the bedroom and took a quick inventory of the apartment. I was relieved to hear Edward’s voice, low and quiet, as he talked on his cell phone. He was sitting on the couch, fully dressed. So much for any thoughts I might have had cuddling with him and serving him breakfast in bed, which I was fully prepared to do.

He ended the call as I approached the sofa. I suddenly felt uneasy and I didn’t know why. I hated the feeling.

“You’re up,” I said lamely as I perched next to him on the sofa. His still looked tired, dark circles rimming his sunken eyes.

“Barely,” he said with a rueful chortle. “I’m sorry if I woke you.”

“No, it’s fine. I wish you had. How are you feeling?” Dumb question. I already knew the answer.

He shrugged. “Like I expected to feel. Thanks for the aspirin, by the way. And I helped myself to some orange juice--I hope that’s okay.”

“Of course it is. Anything I have is yours,” I answered. In light of how intimate we had been hours before, I was almost insulted at his reserved politeness now. But I was more afraid than anything else.

He leaned forward, his elbows on his knees, hands kneading through his hair. He finally turned his head to look at me.

“I’m sorry for the way I behaved last night. I was an idiot. You deserve better.”

The anxiety in my gut only grew at his words. “You were fine. Everyone gets drunk now and then. It’s not the end of the world.”

He still looked disgusted with himself. “Yeah, well, you shouldn’t have had to baby-sit me while I behaved like an irresponsible jackass. I knew that gig last night was a big step for your career, and I almost put that in jeopardy. That’s inexcusable.”

I shook my head in denial. “You seem to forget that you stayed out of the way for that very reason--so you wouldn’t interfere while my bosses were there. You were extremely thoughtful, actually, even bombed off your ass. Although it didn’t seem like it to me at the time.”

A wry grin played at the corners of his mouth. “You had every right to be pissed at me. My showing up like that was a disaster from the very beginning.”

The anxiety had teeth now, gnawing at my insides. “I don’t know. I think things turned out pretty well.” I studied his gloomy face. Didn’t he remember anything about how great we were together? Or the heart-stopping things he said and did to me?

“There were some pretty amazing moments, if I recall correctly,” he admitted, his grin growing. “Although if I’d been able to plan things, the evening would have gone much differently.”

“Really? I wouldn’t have changed a thing,” I insisted. He gave me a look of extreme skepticism. “Okay, maybe one thing. But you more than made up for what I’m sure you consider to be a short-coming.”

He said nothing at first, just sighed; then he tentatively reached out and stroked my hair. “I didn’t hurt you, did I? Be honest with me.”

He really was too good to be true. And he did remember. Relief helped to still my anxiety for a moment. “You didn’t hurt me, I swear. I’m feeling just the teeniest, tiniest bit sore in a couple of places, but that’s normal, for me, anyway. I mean, it’s been awhile.” My eyes fell in embarrassment. I didn’t want to admit that I hadn’t had sex since Mike and I broke up late last year. I simply wasn’t one to pick up guys for one-night stands, even though I certainly had plenty of chances in my line of work.

His hand moved to the side of my face, his thumb stroking my cheek. His eyes were penitent. “I’m sorry. I should have gone slower. I should have waited until I was sober. I should have done a lot of things differently.”

“Please don’t do this,” I begged quietly, hating the feeling of him backsliding into regret and self-blame. I didn’t want to lose the Edward who teased me with goofy come-ons and took what he wanted, confident that I would want the same things. “I’m absolutely serious when I say I wouldn’t change anything about last night. I’m just sorry that you’re paying for it today.” I reached out and mirrored Edward’s movements, smoothing his hair and stroking the 24-hour beard growth that crept down his neck.

“I have felt better,” he admitted with another wry smile.

“Why don’t you let me make you breakfast? Sometimes some good, greasy hash browns and eggs are just what the doctor ordered for a hangover.”

His face turned ashen. “Thanks for the offer, but I really can’t eat anything just yet.”

“That’s okay.” I continued to brush the side of his face with my hand, trying to comfort him. “Why don’t you just lie down and sleep some more? I can make you lunch later. I can even hold your head if you need to throw up. I’m excellent at that--I have an iron stomach. Just ask Angela.”

He grinned and looked down, shaking his head. “You’re much better to me than I deserve. I’m afraid I’m the ‘suffer in solitude’ type. I’m going to head home and get out of your hair. I’ve been a big enough imposition on you already.”

He was leaving. The anxiety had fangs now, slashing at my insides.

“Are you sure? I make a really good nurse maid. I’ll take good care of you, I promise.”

His eyes seemed pained as he looked at me. I swear I thought he might cry.

He swallowed and said, “You’re amazing, you know that? You’re incredible. Everything about you….” His words withered and died. He gulped again. “You’re too good to me.”

“You deserve it,” I tried to convince him.

He looked down again, as if he had trouble holding my gaze. “I know we need to talk, but I really can’t do this right now.”

I exhaled shakily, hoping he didn’t notice. “That’s fine. We’ll talk when you feel better.”

He nodded and managed a glance at me. “Thank you.” He pulled his cell phone out of his pocket and looked at the time, then rose from the couch. “My cab should be here any minute, so….” He gestured toward the front door.

The anxiety had ceased merely biting at me; it was now grabbing my heart and slamming it viciously against my ribs.

“Why did you call a cab?” I exclaimed as I jumped from the sofa. “I’d be glad to take you home.”

“You’ve already done too much for me, Bella.” He rested his hand on my collarbone, just as he had done in the bar last night when he begged to talk to me. Except then he was inviting me in with the gesture; now he was pushing me away.

He leaned down and brushed his lips against mine, so lightly that I could barely perceive the contact. “I’ll talk to you soon, I promise.”

I watched helplessly as he walked across my living room and out the door. I didn’t follow.

I spent the day in bed, wrapped in his scent. Even the stale alcohol and smoke that polluted it was a welcome reminder that he was here. I relived every moment of the past 24 hours, growing only more confused and disoriented the more I tried to make sense of the incredible highs and lows.

Exhausted, I finally gave up on the endeavor and ripped the sheets from the bed. I threw them in the bathroom hamper and then stepped in the shower, letting the clean, hot water wash away the remnants of Edward’s touch from my body. When I came to the dirty bandage on my knee from the day before, I grasped the edge of the tape and gave it a ruthless yank, pulling it off the wound in one swift movement. The skin was still raw and red. But once I let I breathe a bit, I knew a hard scab would form and protect the tender skin beneath.

I’ll heal. That’s what I do.

BTW...some FFnet reviewers made me realize it looks as if Edward was going to sneak out that morning without telling Bella! That's not the case. Looks like Edward will have some explaining to do in the next chapter... ;)


  1. I really loved this, even with Edward's little problem... ;) Can't wait for him to get better! Thanks for updating Leann! :)

  2. Thank you! I'm so glad. Edward's got some problems, and the Edward, junior no-show is the least of them! LOL I'll be starting his POV soon. I'll at least let the poor boy explain himself! <:/

  3. GeezOPete… this is hot hot HOT! It’s so clear Edward craves her. I just feel so sorry for Bella the next morning! Looking forward to them rummaging through their ‘baggage’ so they can live HEA (pleeez….?)