Chapter 11: Forget
This bed makes sleep feel like death. Sweet, soft, Heavenly death. I forget where I am, until I awake. I shower and dress. I make my way downstairs and find a vacant kitchen. I steal a bottle of juice from the fridge and chug it down. He said anything here was meant for sharing, but it is still awkward to just take something. It doesn't belong to me. I press my foot to the trash compactor and it pops out. Same model Mike had in his house. Must be popular.
The kitchen has windows, no walls. It is open and bright. I look back to the fridge and there is no list for me. I'm not sure what he would like done, today. I need to go see Charlie, but I don't want to just leave. I have no idea if he's here or not. He might be sleeping. I don't know. I didn't hear when he came home. If he came home.
My feet begin to wander and I probably shouldn't be snooping around his house, but I am curious. Yesterday was full of work; mostly laundry. For the record, Edward owns enough Oxford shirts to open his own store. He has amazing towels, too. Thick and super soft. His laundry soap smells good enough to eat.
I step into the living room and make sure to keep my hands to myself. I touch nothing, but look at everything. There is a piano and the décor screams a woman, but it is not feminine. The couches are plush and there are way too many little pillows. That is the woman screaming part. There is no woman though. At least, not one I have seen so far. I was expecting it yesterday. Some leggy thing to come walking in and accuse me of shit I wasn't doing, but all was quiet. There aren't even any pictures. Mike had pictures; portraits.
There is a piano in the corner, under a large window. A book sits on top and it is opened to a page; there is writing. They are notes. Music notes. I flip the page and the next. One is titled to a woman named Tanya and it is dated. A year ago.
"Please don't touch that."
Fuck. I jump and pull my hands away. Edward is standing there, looking not angry, but guarded. Protective. My heart may run right out of my chest. I didn't hear him. Not at all. How come when I move around this fucking place, it sounds like a stampede?
He doesn't say anything and he doesn't move. I shift my eyes around. My nails dig into my palms. I will never snoop again.
"Are you going somewhere?" He asks.
"There wasn't a list on the fridge." It's not a yes or no, but I didn't want him to think I was trying to get out of working.
"I know. It's Sunday. We don't work on Sunday." I don't say anything. He sighs. His hand goes to his face. He looks frustrated. "I'm sorry you're getting this all in bits and pieces. I'm usually better prepared. We'll sit down Monday morning and go over everything, but not today. Just do whatever it is you normally do today." He waves his hand and I bite my lip to hold in my laughter. He notices.
"You know what I mean, Bella."
He walks toward the kitchen and I exit the living room. I go back upstairs to grab my coat and when I come down, he is pulling on his own from a closet by the front door. He pauses for a moment, but then pulls his other arm through. I look down as I pass him and start to button my coat before I open the door. I reach for the knob and give it a turn.
"Do you need a ride?" His voice is so soft I almost don't hear him. I glance over my shoulder and he is looking at his car keys.
"I can take the bus." I'll be walking, but he doesn't need to know that.
"Aren't you going to the cemetery?" He is still fidgeting with his keys. "The bus doesn't run that far on Sunday."
"I'm good with walking."
"Bella please don't be difficult. Not today, please."
"I just don't want to bother you."
"If you were, I wouldn't have asked."
He walks to the garage without saying anything. He clears off my seat and I fold my hands in my lap. It's a silent ride. There's no music and there's no conversation. He makes a stop without asking and buys a bouquet of flowers. I don't look and I don't ask who they are for. At this point, I have a pretty good guess. I won't ask, though. No, I won't ask. He parks in the same spot and turns off the car. It's awkward.
"Um, take as long as you need. I'll meet you back here." I nod and he gets out after me. I don't look at him and I sit with Charlie.
"Hi, Daddy." I push the debris away from his name and all the words. I wait twenty minutes and glance over to Edward to make sure he isn't waiting on me. He is still by his spot and I can't keep my mouth shut.
"Edward brought me, today. Um, you don't know him. He uh…he gave me a job. Nothing great, but its something. He's nice."
I stay quiet for the rest of my time and when I see movement, I want to stay, but if he's ready to leave, I won't keep him waiting. I say my goodbyes and walk with my head down towards the car. Edward is already inside and the heat is warm. He points one of the vents to my hands and puts the car in reverse. When we get to the bakery, I wait in the car while he picks up the food for Church. I'm not in the mood to see his sister. He places the boxes in the backseat and then one hot beverage in the cup holder and hands me the other.
"Would you like to attend service this morning?"
I look down to my cup for a moment, then back to him. "Does Emmett go there?"
"Then I shouldn't."
He drops me off at the house and doesn't return for a few hours. When he does, he pauses when he sees me in the living room. I'm not snooping. I'm not touching anything. I didn't even turn the TV on. I'm just sitting on the window bench, looking outside. I have nothing else to do and don't know what to do. Maybe I should just stay in my room. I move my feet off the bench and go to get up, but he holds up his hand.
"You're fine." He walks in and takes a seat on the couch. He is slumping and pulls at his tie. Something is frustrating him, but I won't ask. He reaches for the remote and flips to something on the movie channel, then tosses it aside. He reaches for a different remote and the fire place goes on. Well fuck, I thought that shit only happens in the movies. It's daytime, but the room is dim from the heavy curtains. Plus, it's a little cloudy. Grey. Bleak.
He kicks off his shoes, one after the other and I stare at them. He sinks further down into the couch and he is looking at the TV, but his expression is blank. I pull my feet back up and hug my knees to my chest. My chin rests there. My movement causes him to look over and I shift my eyes to the TV. He sits up straighter.
"Sit over here. It's warmer."
I want to say that I'm fine, but I remember his words from this morning and his attitude is the same; if not shittier, so I just do it. I sit the same way and he stands up, yanking a blanket from one of the chairs. He sits it down next to me and returns to his spot, slumping against the arm rest. The butt of his hand is against his temple and his face is tight. Still, nothing in his eyes. It's stressing me the fuck out. He wasn't this bad the Sunday I saw him. The day he offered me a ride. He even thanked me.
I'm staring and he glances over once, then back to the TV, then back at me and I can't look away. His eyes narrow, but he says nothing. They're still blank. I hate it. I have a warm blanket and he has offered me his home and food and nurturing and he is the one who looks like shit. It's not fair. He's still staring and I recognize that stare; the hunger. The need. The emptiness. My knees move from under my chin, to the couch cushions. I move slowly and feel my heart picking up the pace.
His hand slides from his face to his lap. He shifts uncomfortably, like he's trying to get away. I crawl my way across the cushions and he looks away. My leg skims over his as I straddle his lap. He won't look at me. His hands are now at his sides; fingers curled tightly. I rest myself on him and place my lips to his neck. He grips my arms and pushes me back, but my mouth stays by his ear.
"This isn't what I hired you for, Bella."
I smile and whisper like it is our secret. "The only thing beautiful about me, Edward," my voice drops, "is that I can be whatever you want." I kiss his ear, slowly. "Whoever you want."
He's gripping my arms tighter, but doesn't push me away. I press my luck. "I can be her. Just tell me what she used to do, what you like." I lick along his neck. "I'll do it so fucking good; you'll swear it was her."
Now he pushes me back. He's not angry. He's not upset. He's a man who is struggling, but not to make a choice, not to decide if this is what he wants – of course he wants it – but a man who is just trying to hold on. His voice is low and gravely and eyes are closed.
"I don't want to remember. I want to forget."
I rock back towards him; mouth at his ear. "Well there's a cure for that shit, too."
I slide down his legs and then between them. I run my hands over his thighs and up to his buckle. I unfasten him and his eyes are closed. I tug off his pants and his eyes are closed. I put my hands behind his knees and jerk him forward and he complies. I pull my shirt off and set it beside me and I am bare. I rub myself on his legs while I wait for him to come to life. My hands go under his shirt, but I don't take it off. His eyes open slowly and he's watching. Good boy. Let me help you forget.
I slide myself forward, resting on my knees and rub his cock between my tits. I let go and push my hair aside, making sure not to block his view. I lick the inside of his thigh, then the other. I watch him twitch and eyes lower. I lower his tip to my mouth and suck softly. He is tense and I take more. I tip my head to the side and lick and bite and kiss and he is watching. I use my hand and go slow, but firm. I watch his body, listen to his reactions, I find out what he likes. I do it. He's thick and swollen and close. I am grateful. Not because I mind – he's quite beautiful – but because he looks lost and in all the right ways.
He closes his eyes and holds his breath and I take all he gives me. When he opens his eyes, there will be only one thing he remembers – and it won't be the wife.