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Chapter 8- Forks Part II
By the time we made it back to the house, it was time for dinner. Charlie coaxed me into making spaghetti. It didn't take much. If I was being honest, I missed taking care of him. Making dinner while mom worked late, like I used to do in high school. As I finished putting away the dinner dishes, Charlie walked into the kitchen heading to the fridge for more beer.
"Wait, how many beers have you guys drank this evening?" I caught the fridge door and stilled it just as he pulled the handle.
"Hey, I've only had two, but you're boy in there...he's had three." He held up four fingers on his right hand first, for himself. Then three fingers on his left hand to show the number of beers Edward had.
"I think it's past your bedtime young man." I tried out my gruff Charlie voice on him and raised a brow.
"Watch it, missy! Otherwise, I'll have to tell that boy in there that you are so happy to have finally found a husband, what with that extra big toe and all." He twirled the edge of his mustache, then pointed to my feet as he spoke. "Your choice." He shrugged and I let go of the fridge handle, admitting defeat.
"Seriously, extra big toe?" I snorted. He grabbed two beers, winked and walked back into the living room. I shook my head and threw the dish towel on the counter.
Charlie 1, Bella 1
** LB **
Later that night, I tossed and turned in my old bed. Sweating, I pushed the covers back only to pull them up again when the breeze flowed through my window causing the curtains to rise. I couldn't shut my mind off. My thoughts were all over the place and yet, they kept bouncing back to Alice's words from Rose's earlier text message. Normal people would likely laugh off such words as Alice just being a hopeless romantic.
However, I had learned a long time ago that when Alice has a vision or dream or whatever she wanted to call it, I should pay attention. In fact, it was one such vision and the terror I saw in her face because of that vision that kept me alive or at least uninjured when I started to leave a party one night in Forks.
I laughed when she first told me that I shouldn't get a ride home from the party with my friend Joel. But as I was leaving, she came barreling out the front door of the house, tears streaming down her face with Rose right on her heels. She was begging me to stay or just call my dad. I guess it was the shock of seeing her like that, but I stayed, declining the ride home.
Not long after, my dad called to tell me that he was coming by to pick us up. There had been a bad accident just two miles from the party. Joel had fallen asleep and his car left the road and hit a tree. He made it out alive, thankfully, because the passenger side of his car took all the impact from the tree. Had I not listened to Alice, I may not have been alive to still be here tossing and turning.
I looked at the clock on my night stand. It was only 9:40. Charlie had been snoring for an hour. I counted exactly eight-two snorts that actually vibrated my door. I flopped to my side again. I couldn't help but wonder what Edward was doing. The look on his face was priceless as he walked out the door after hearing my warning to be sure and sleep in his clothes.
I thought Charlie was going to throw a tantrum when I told him Edward was staying at the Inn. He knew that place was awful and put up quite a fight to have Edward, "our guest", sleep on our couch. However, I just wasn't comfortable with that arrangement. I had only just acknowledged there was something going on between Edward and I that I was willing to explore. I also knew that it had to be illegal in some state, somewhere, for a man to look that good wearing a dark suit, suspenders, and a stainless steel wrist watch.
I didn't do it to be mean. I just needed a little time to process the sparks that were flying as well as the damn suit and fuck-hot suspenders issue. Unfortunately, now I was feeling all hot and bothered, not from the heat, and feeling bad that I sent him away.
The breeze flowed through my window, as I closed my eyes for one last try at sleep when I heard a noise outside my window.
"Bella," he called. What? Was that Edward? I sat up in bed, listening. Nothing. I laid my head back on the pillow and closed my eyes again.
"Bella." My eyes flew open. It was him.
I got up and stumbled over my shoes on my way to the open window. I looked down and saw Edward standing there, with the hood of his dark jacket pulled over his head, wearing jeans and running shoes.
"What are you doing?" I crossed my arms as the breeze blew my hair.
"I can't sleep."
"How long have you been out here creeper?" I asked, looking out the window hoping none of the neighbors were witnessing this.
"Uh, not long. Can I come up? Just talk to me until I get sleepy. I'll leave soon, just..." he plead, raising his arms.
"Fine, Romeo. Climb up. And watch that second branch, it tends to dip really low when you step on it." I pointed and started to move away from the window.
"Wait, Bella. You want me to climb up there? Using the tree?" He looked almost insulted.
"Um, yeah, unless you plan to use some super powers I'm not aware of. Now get on with it, I've got to get some sleep," I grumbled.
"Just go down and open the door."
"Why? You don't want to mess up your jeans?" I scoffed.
"No, that's not it. Just open the door," he whined.
"Bella, open the damn door." He pointed at the door and growled.
"No. Climb up or go away." I walked away and got back into my bed, listening as I heard him grumbling outside my window. I chuckled quietly and strained to listen harder.
"No self-respecting thirty-year old man should be climbing a damn tree to get into a woman's bedroom," he huffed as he pulled himself up, swinging his legs through my window.
"Wow, I'm impressed." I pulled myself up to sit with my back against headboard.
"As you should be. You could have opened the damn door." Pulling his hood back, he unzipped the jacket and toed off his shoes, leaving them on the floor at the end of the bed. Damn, I could not take my eyes off him in that white v-neck and jeans. I shook my head a little, trying to clear my thoughts.
"I don't know why you are so huffy. This could be considered 'swoon worthy' to some. Just saying." I shrugged and pulled the covers up a little higher. He tilted his head and gave me that lop-sided grin I loved as he gave my words some thought.
"Why can't you sleep?" I crossed my arms over the cover and quirked a brow in his direction.
"So this your room? Nice." He bobbed his head, looking around.
"You didn't answer my question."
"You're right. Scoot over." He lifted the covers with one hand and moved the pillow with the other.
"Wait, did those clothes touch the bedspread at the Inn?" I pointed at his pants and cringed.
"I don't want whatever germs you got there...in here." I motioned to the bed.
"I can always take them off then." He lifted his t-shirt, pulling at his belt. My God, the skin above his jeans, six pack abs, shoot me now. I had to stop thinking about him like this. We're just..well I didn't know what we were yet, so I seriously had to reign this shit in.
"No, thank you. Just...eww." I shivered again at the thought of what might be lingering on his pants. I had seen the television special on hotel bedspreads and I was almost certain the Inn would qualify for an on-location feature.
"Look, don't worry. I never went to the Inn. I've been driving around since I left. So move it or lose it." I scooted over as he lowered himself into the full-size bed. I noticed his feet hung off the end of bed as he shifted until he had one arm behind his head on the pillow, the other laid peacefully across his stomach...on top of the white t-shirt...on top of the beautiful abs...STOP IT!
"Now that you're comfortable, tell me why you're here." I chuckled because I knew he looked quite comfortable in my bed and it was strangely easy having him here. Even with the craziness that was going on in my head, I had to try and keep this normal. I had to get a handle on this. I had never really looked at him this way, this closely, until now. Things had shifted in my brain, or maybe my heart, but I wasn't sure I was ready for him to know just how attracted I was to him.
"Like I said, I couldn't sleep. Hey, were you a cheerleader in high school?" He pointed to my pom-poms hanging on the mirror above my dresser across the room. I had forgotten they were there.
"Promise you won't laugh and I'll tell you the story behind those." I looked down to see him grin.
"Well?" I kicked his thigh to get his attention and scooted further down in the bed so we were laying side by side.
"Fine, I won't laugh. Tell me."
"Well, those are actually pom-poms from college. You are looking at the recipient of a full cheer scholarship to the University of Washington." His lips turned up on the side. He was grinning, and I waited for his laughter. I wasn't ashamed in the least. That scholarship allowed me to get my degree and enter law school early. It was more the fact that I felt I had come so far from those days that it seemed funny looking back on it now.
"Wow, I always wanted to sleep with a cheerleader." He giggled and tickled my foot with his socked toe. I jerked my foot away, laughing.
"Hey, you said you wouldn't laugh." I crossed my arms and pushed my lip out, pretending to be hurt.
"Aww, that is rich! Make that face again." I did and he laughed out loud as he raised himself up on one elbow, smiling as his eyes met mine. "I bet that lip broke a few hearts for sure."
"Says the man in my bed. You should probably be careful then." I smirked and shoved him back down on the bed. Our laughter faded to silence as the sounds of the night floated on the breeze through my window. I knew he had something on his mind. He had been a little quiet all day. Selfishly, I thought it might have been about the change in our relationship or friendship, but I didn't want to get my hopes up. I had read him wrong before. I could see that now.
"What is it?" I looked over at him, his eyes were closed but he was still smiling.
"Once upon a time I was one of those guys that would have fallen prey to the pouty Bella lip." He sniffed and rubbed his face with his hands.
"No way. I don't believe it for a minute." I shook my head, turning on my side to face him. I smiled, trying to keep things light. Deep down walls were crumbling, I was breaking apart, and I knew it as well as I knew my last name. He didn't make a move to look at me before he spoke.
"It's true. In fact, I probably still am. I've just been playing games for so long, I don't know how to completely be the real me anymore. That's why I said what I said to you the other night. Work, the expectations of family and friends, I let it all get in the way for too long. I guess I feel like I lost a part of myself a long time ago and I just don't know how to get it back." He exhaled loudly, raising his eyebrows "Or maybe I do and that's what's so weird." He huffed, clearly surprised at his own admission, as he turned and looked toward the window.
My mouth hung open as the words fell from his lips. I blinked a couple of times and closed my mouth. I couldn't believe what I had heard. If he was telling the truth, and if I was being honest with myself, I knew I had been feeling exactly the same. His revelation explained a lot. For me. For us.
"I'm sorry. I shouldn't have gone there. I don't know why I did. I..." He stammered as he stared at the ceiling. "I don't know. I just felt like I could say it and you would understand."
"It's fine. Really. I do understand. Don't worry though, I don't use the pouty lip very often. It's kind of a secret weapon."
"Good to know. Just in case though, you know I was serious when I said those things, right? About thinking about you. I mean, I'm all in Bella. I want to try, see if this turns into an us. I just need to know you are too. For real." I turned my head in the direction of his. His eyes searched mine. I did the same and found gentleness. It was what I needed to give me the words to speak as I leaned my head closer to his, our foreheads almost touching as we lay side by side.
"I know. I understand. And yes, I'm with you. I'm all in, so don't let me down. Okay?" I whispered. My resolve was almost gone by the time I uttered those last few words. The honesty was thick as it hung in the air and hovered around us. I searched my brain for something funny to say to lighten the mood.
"You know, it must have been the pom-poms. Guys always liked looking at my pom-poms. In fact, I'm sure it was, you were just fine till you saw my pom-poms." I stated matter-of-factly and shrugged before turning onto my back again. I was hoping my little pom-pom/boob metaphor had landed and he would get a good laugh. We both needed it at the moment.
I had just closed my eyes when I heard him laugh out loud. It was a relief to hear and I bet if I had looked it would have been one of those gorgeous smiles that invaded his whole face. Those were the ones I loved and the very ones I knew I couldn't get enough of.
"Yeah, you're probably right. And may I say, you certainly have nice pom-poms. Wonder what would happen if I touched them?" He acted like he was reaching over and I kicked him in the calf. He laughed as he jerked his hand back, putting his arm back in it's position behind his head.
"Besides, I bet if you had slept with a cheerleader in high school, you probably would have just talked her to death after seeing her damn pom poms."
"Ah, cute. Real cute, Swan." He coughed, bringing his hand down and putting it under the covers.
"What can I say, I'm irresistible." He chuckled, then I felt him shift a little closer, his fingers lightly grasping mine under the covers. I felt the butterflies playing inside me again. I swallowed hard and whispered, "Maybe now you can sleep."
"Maybe." Silence again.
"Hey, we were good together today with the Clearwaters. I enjoyed it." He spoke lowly, leaning his head toward mine.
"Mmm. Yeah, we really were...it was good." I felt myself drifting off.
"Bella." I felt his warmth when he shifted, moving closer, as he whispered in my ear.
"Yeah." I sighed softly, half-asleep.
"I set up that twitter account tonight." My eyes popped open wide.
"And.." I breathed out the words, hoping he hadn't looked through all my tweets. Honestly, I knew better.
"You, my sweet girl, are a closet freak. I like it." He paused, his warmth breath on my neck. "I like it a lot." He whispered again, his lips grazing my ear, as he gave my hand a little squeeze under the covers. Dammit. Just the sound of his soft voice in my ear caused goosebumps to cover my body. My head told me to move my hand away. My heart told me to let go and enjoy it. Warm breath on my ear, his clean, manly Edward scent in my bed, and well...my heart won.
I left my hand in his.
"Goodnight, Edward." I sang in a sweet sarcastic voice, putting an end to the discussion. He chuckled, shaking the bed a little as he gave my hand another squeeze under the covers.
His soft sleepy laugh triggered more butterflies. I decided to roll with it for a change. I had promised myself that's what I would do. No plan right? Just go with it, see what happens. So I took a chance and laced my fingers with his as he mumbled goodnight. I heard him sigh, content, maybe even happy. It made my heart sing. I wore a smile as I drifted off to sleep.
The next morning, I awoke to the harsh sunlight streaming through my windows and feeling wet. Like sweating my ass off wet. With my eyes still closed, I wiped the sweat from my forehead and immediately realized where I was and why I was so freaking hot. Charlie never had the air on this early in the summer, so I knew that if I was sweating it meant I had slept much later than I had planned. My room never started heating from the sun until noon. NOON!
I opened my eyes and started to roll out of bed. My arm was trapped. For a second I thought I was having a nightmare. I took a deep breath and cracked open one eye. Edward was lying next to me. We had been spooning. He was still in the little spoon position, shirtless. I shifted again, noting that my arm was most definitely trapped under the crook of his neck.
Suddenly the events of the night before tumbled through my groggy brain. I sat up, jerking my arm with me, hoping to wake him in the process. Shit. Charlie is going to have a field day with this.
"Edward...Edward. Hey, wake up." He mumbled and rolled to his back. Thanks to quick reflexes, I put my foot on the floor just in time to keep myself from rolling off the bed.
"What? What is it?" He rubbed his eyes, squinting as he looked up at me.
"Oh, nothing..." I spoke softly, pretending that it wasn't a problem that he had spent the night in my bed. My lunatic father would certainly use this to get back at me for our prank from the day before. But as I spoke again, I unleashed the frustration.
"...just that you are a freaking bed hog! And because you didn't leave last night Charlie is probably on the phone with my mom making wedding plans as we speak! We have to get up, like now," I growled.
"Shit, give me minute, okay?" His voice was laced with sleep as he rolled to the other side of the bed, slowly sitting up. He leaned forward, resting his elbows on his knees. While he took his sweet time, I scrambled around picking up his clothes. I heard Charlie's footsteps on the stairs. He was whistling too. Shit, he knew Edward was here. He was seriously gonna use this to get me back for yesterday's prank.
"It's Charlie. Get this on." I threw his shirt at him. He stood and tugged it on while I rushed to his side of the bed, trying to straighten the covers.
"I'm going to the bathroom." He said as he shuffled towards the door. Edward opened it just in time to see Charlie standing there with a shit-eating grin on the his face as he raised his coffee cup to his lips.
"Morning, Edward. Sleep well?" Charlie asked, then raised his brows suggestively at me over Edward's shoulder.
"Yes, sir. Actually, I did. I forgot where I was. Excuse me." Edward turned and looked at me from behind Charlie's back and mouthed 'what the fuck?' I scowled as Charlie leaned, a little too smugly, against the door frame. I avoided eye contact with Charlie and busied myself with straightening the bed. I wasn't ready for his crap this morning but I knew it was coming.
"So, Bella, did you know that Edward's mom's name is Esme?" he asked slowly, using his detective Charlie voice, as he twisted the edge of his mustache again. His eyes were full of mischief. Here we go. I have feeling this is going to bad.
"No. And I don't even want to know how you found that out. I told you we were just kidding with you yesterday. Seriously, dad, I'm twenty-six years old, you need to cut this shit out." I gave him a serious look and threw the throw pillows on my bed.
"Actually, I googled it." The horrified look on my face did nothing to phase him. "Any-whoooo, I wanted your opinion on something before I told your mom." He slurped his coffee.
"Wait, you googled- What do you need my opinion on?" I brought my hand to my forehead and breathed an exasperated sigh. And where the hell was Edward hiding during all this? He better not be asleep on the toilet in there.
"What do you think about Renesmee?" He grinned widely.
"What do you mean? What's Renesmee? I was just about to blow a gasket when Edward emerged from the bathroom and stood behind Charlie in the hall.
"What did I miss?" He ran his hands through his hair and yawned.
"Renesmee. For a baby name. You know Renee, Esme." He slapped Edward across the chest.
"Unf." Edward winced and rubbed his chest. Again, he mouthed 'what the fuck', looking at me as he shook his head.
"Combining your mothers' names." Charlie sighed. "God, for two highly educated people, you two suck at common sense." He made a swirling motion with his finger near his temple, which I believed to be the universal symbol for crazy, as he looked back and forth between Edward and me.
"Ah, Renesmee. Hmm. Sounds perfect, Charlie. Go with it." He clapped a hand on Charlie's shoulder and winked at me as Charlie stood beaming from the doorway.
I groaned, then whirling around I picked up two pillows off my bed and hurled them through the air just as Charlie grabbed the door handle and slammed it shut.
"See, Edward, you gotta watch out for that shit. She and her mom are just alike. They throw things. Pillows, not a problem. A hot iron? Now that's a problem." I heard Charlie's voice through the door as they descended the stairs.
I covered my face with my hands and flopped back onto my bed, letting my legs hang off the side. I had to get out of here. I had to get back to the city, back to work, back to my apartment, where life was mine and things were a little less crazy.
I must have dozed off, because the next thing I saw was Edward standing over me as I laid on the bed in the same position. He stood between my legs, where they dangled off the bed, he reached over, touching my face as he said my name. I leaned up on my elbows and looked into his eyes. I was still a little groggy, but that's when it hit me.
From that perspective, the angle in which I was looking at him, the way I was laying on the bed with my legs hanging off the side and him standing over me, caused me to have an epiphany in the Clearwater case. I felt the rush of adrenaline and I suddenly just knew the answer. In fact, the key to winning Seth Clearwater's case had been right in front of us all along.
I sprang from the bed with such force that I almost knocked Edward on his ass. Men are visual and if I wanted him to see how this theory would work, I had to show him.
"Whoa, where are you going?" He asked, righting himself after almost being trampled.
"I've got an idea. Just get the Clearwater file from my bag and wait here." I called out over my shoulder as I rushed through the bedroom door and down the stairs to the den.
When I got there I grabbed my dad's hunting rifle from the gun cabinet. Just as I had suspected, it was the exact same model and caliber as the one Seth Clearwater was charged with using as a weapon of force against his wife. I wore a smug grin as I made sure it wasn't loaded, before I hurried back upstairs to present my theory to Edward.
"Bella, what the hell?" He shouted, raising his arms as if in surrender.
"Oh, shut it. I'm not gonna shoot your stupid ass. I have to show you something." I chuckled as I got closer to the bed with the gun. I could see that he visibly relaxed once he heard that I had no intention of shooting him.
Men are such idiots sometimes. If I had planned on killing him, surely with his 'criminal lawyer expertise' he would have understood that shooting him would be just too easy. Instead, I would have preferred to simply feed him a little Draino then chop him in about twenty-five different pieces. Possibly used a blender, or maybe just stuffed him in a duffel bag and buried him. I have obviously given this way too much thought.
"So, what's this about? It's not loaded, is it?" he asked hesitantly as he opened the file and waited for my response.
"No, it's not loaded. Besides, you know I wouldn't kill you like this right? I mean, get real." I shook my head and laughed as I took the file from his hand.
"I don't know if I should be relieved that it's not loaded or completely disturbed that you know how you would kill me." He chuckled nervously as he ran his hand through his hair.
"Eh, having a plan is half the battle right?" I shrugged. "Focus. According to the charge sheet, this is the same rifle as the one described there. Here, hold it." I grabbed the file and shoved the rifle in his hands.
"Okay, now what?"
"I'm gonna get on the bed and lay down like she describes here in her statement and you are gonna hold the gun like she reports Seth did." I hopped up on the bed, laying in the same position as I was a few minutes earlier.
"Now, get between my legs, knees flush with the side of the bed." I motioned for him to move toward me and pointed to where I wanted him to stand. I watched as his lips turned up on the side forming the most sinfully devious grin as he held the gun, moving closer to stand between my legs as they hung off the side of the bed.
"Um, is this position good?" His voice was low and seductive as he asked. I rolled my eyes and started reading the victim's statement again in an effort to slow my heart rate and mask the affect he was having on me at the moment.
"Yeah. Now, according to this, you should be holding the gun up with the butt of the rifle at chest level and pointed at me. Do that, and let's see how her statement fits." I placed the statement on the bed, reclined a little further onto my elbows, and watched as he lifted the rifle. I was face to face with the barrel of the gun. I smiled, because I knew my theory was sound.
"Like this?" He pursed his lips as he always does when he is concentrating. I knew he was working out the logistics in his mind. I had no doubt he would figure out the impossibility of this scenario.
"Yep." My smile grew wider and my heart pounded even louder in my chest as my eyes met his again.
"Have you figured it out yet?"
"Save us some time. Just tell me what you're thinking so I can actually see the picture I'm supposed to see here," he sighed.
"Well, Edward, it's all in a question actually." I smiled and took the end of the barrel in my hand, holding it to my chest as the victim had described in her statement. I noticed his breath hitch as I did this.
"Fine. I'll play along. What's the question Bella?" he asked, clearly exasperated with my game.
"Have you ever fucked a girl while holding a rifle?" I asked, my voice sounded breathless and not much like my own at that moment. It wasn't necessarily an offer, but I did enjoy his reaction when I asked him. I could immediately see the change in the way he looked at me. His eyes got darker, a little more intense. We studied each other for a few seconds in silence while he worked it out in his head. I had made my point in this presentation.
He grinned and lowered the gun, setting it gently on the bed beside of me and moved closer. He bent at the waist, leaning over, as he placed his hands on either side of my hips on the bed. Our noses were almost touching. He licked his lips, his eyes never leaving mine, as he spoke softly.
"No. I've never fucked a girl while holding a rifle. Seth didn't either. And I don't use force if I want to fuck someone. There are just too many other...interesting options that are legal." He winked.
My heart officially stopped beating for 2.5 seconds. This man was going to be the death of me for sure.
"S-So what do you think?" I stammered and shifted back on the bed just to have a couple more inches between us so that I could breathe.
"Two things. First, we're going to win this case, Sherlock." He smiled so wide it touched his eyes and it took me a minute to realize that I was doing the same. It made me happy to know that he would back me on my theory that it was impossible to hold a rifle of this size and caliber to another person's body while having intercourse. Again, our minds were in sync. We were a team. I felt validated, strong, empowered because of him.
"What's the second thing?" I laughed and he leaned forward, closer than before. This time I didn't back away.
"I want to know. Are you going to kiss me or not?" He grinned. His eyes glistened as they darted from my eyes to my lips.
I wanted this. I was done hesitating, waiting for the right moment, wondering if I should or shouldn't move forward with Edward. The air between us was electrified with the emotional connection we had, both personally and professionally. Although we were nowhere near ready to have sex; there was no reason I couldn't kiss the shit out of those pouty lips of his. And kiss them often.
So I did.
A/N: Sooooo...you guys really need to tell me what you are thinking about this. Again, thank you to modernsafari1 for putting up with my crap mistakes and totally understanding me when I say that the voices kept me awake. Also, I am forever thankful for ameliakbedelia for reading and catching things that my brain skipped over due to the fact that most days I am just an idiot.
Thank you to those of you who read this, alert it, lurk it, leave it sitting alone and open on your screen too long, or whatever. I love you just the same.
For those of you that are interested, E and B gave me their twitter accounts. This should be interesting, *ahem* maybe just silly. We'll see. :)
Follow them and me if you choose:
(at symbol)AGirlInASuit (a girl in a suit- because that doesn't look right in this font)
Until next time. Thank you for reading.