Chapter 45: Virginia is for Love…rs
I am packing for our weekend. Bella is in her room doing the same thing. I am excited to be going on our trip. It's nice to get away and it will be even nicer to spend some time with Bree. I miss seeing her. I grab the book from the dresser. I tuck it into a carry-on bag, incase Bella is bored on the flight. We don't have much left to read, but it's better than nothing.
I was glad I could show her the tree house last week. I had been waiting for a clear day when it would be appropriate. With her new fascination and eagerness to learn, I wanted to be able to offer her a place that was private. Separate from the rest of the house. I wanted her to see that there were many more books here and she could hide herself away whenever she needed space, or time or quiet. I love watching her, but it's not about me.
"The car is here." I look over my shoulder and she is in the doorway.
I zip up my suitcase and reach for her hand with my free one. She already has her bag waiting by the door. I look her over and have to smile internally. She is so lovely, without even trying, though I can tell she has. Hence, the smile. Her hair is smooth and clean. Her clothes are pressed and dressier than usual. I place my fingers under her chin.
"You look beautiful."
We find a place to eat inside of the airport while we await our flight. It's still very early. She looks a little sleepy. I see her eyeing my coffee. I take off the lid and pass it over. She looks at me confused.
She points to the cup. "I thought I wasn't allowed to have this?"
"One cup won't kill you. Or hurt the baby. Just make sure you eat."
I spread cream cheese on my bagel and she adds cream and sugar to her coffee. I take a bite of my food and watch as she blows on the hot cup. She eats a piece of bacon, two forkfuls of egg and a slice of toast before she takes a sip. Yeah, tell me again how she doesn't care.
The flight isn't so bad. We land and check into the same hotel as last time. This room is a little different, but I made sure it has a tub suitable for Bella. Once our things are put away, I change, as does she and we take a nap for a few hours.
I sit on the bed while she showers. I have already dressed and am tying my shoes. The steam coming from the bathroom smells like Bella. A knock on the hotel door. I get up to answer it.
"This was left at the desk for you, Sir." The manager hands the box over. I dip my hand into my pocket and tip him.
"Thank you." I close the door. I hear the water shut off. I open the lid and check. Perfect. I sit on the bed again and wait. I toy with the box. Bella emerges from the bathroom twenty minutes later. Her hair is up and her clothes look nice. She is wearing a dress. Black. She smiles shyly at me and smooths her hands over herself. She is nervous. I pat the space next to me. She sits. I open the box and hold it out to her.
"I thought these would like nice on you."
She looks into the box, then to me, then the box, then me. I smile at her resistance to accept anything nice. They aren't huge. Just small studs I found in the shop downstairs. Bella takes long showers. I pull one from the box and place it in her lobe.
"Turn your head."
She listens and I slip the other earring in. I take in everything. Her face. Her hair. The small bit of shimmer now on her ear lobes. The gloss of her lips. I put out my hand, palm side up.
"Ready to go, Sweetheart?"
She places her hand into mine. Her face leans in. She kisses my lips.
"Thank you." And her eyes mean it.
I smile and kiss her hand.
I return the words. "Thank you."
We walk towards the elevator. Men glance her way and she walks closer to my side. I wrap an arm around her shoulder. She is safe, but she also needs to feel secure. She is Bella. I see her hand going to her ear several times, as though she's checking to make sure the jewelry is still there. I keep my smile to myself and push the button to the elevator.
Carmen and Eleazar sit in the row ahead of ours in the auditorium. They offer a pleasant greeting, but it's short. The room grows dark. Quiet. I find Bella's hand. The curtain draws back and tiny dancers begin their performance. I see Bree and smile. I see Bella glancing at me from my peripherals. Her fingers give a squeeze to mine. This is happiness at it's greatest.
I see Bree after the show. She is surrounded by her friends and looks happy. Bella is using the restroom. I sit in one of the chairs backstage and wait for Bree to finish talking with her friends. I see her tip up on her toes and peer over their heads. Her parents are talking to some of the other parents. Her face sours, but then her eyes catch mine. She smiles and pushes through the girls to get to me. Her arms go around my neck before I can say anything.
"You came! You came!" She's hugging me tightly and it is good to feel wanted.
"Of course. I wouldn't miss it for anything." I kiss her head and she pulls back. She is still smiling. I hold out her flowers. "You did amazing."
She pushes a stray hair from her face. "I missed one of the moves. My leg wasn't straight. Teacher saw."
I look over the people. I see the instructor. I look back to Bree.
"Well perhaps the prescription in her glasses has expired."
She giggles and takes the flowers. She lifts her wrist and jingles the charm I gave her. "I love this. The other girls want it."
"Too bad for them, as the store only made one, special, for a girl named Brianna Denali."
She blushes and places her face to my chest. Her voice is small. "I love you. Thank you."
I surround her in my arms and rub her arm. "Anything for you, Sweetheart."
She whispers. "I know." And I understand.
Her friends call her name. She leans away. "Sorry. They want me to take pictures."
"It's alright. I need to find Bella, anyhow."
Her eyes light up. "You brought her?"
"Awesome. Did she like it?"
Her face beams and then she looks back to friends. "I have to go. Um, will I see you again?"
"I believe we have very specific plans to do something very special tomorrow around noon."
She's excited. "Really?"
"Yes. Now, go on. Go find your friends."
"Okay." She gives me another hug and then she's gone.
I stand up and turn. Bella is standing off to the side. She was watching me. Us. I say goodbye to Carmen and Eleazar as I pass. I offer my hand to Bella. We weave our way through the crowd and find the exit. The car is waiting for us and I let her climb in before me. The ride is quiet. She is staring out the window and I can only wonder what her thoughts are.
I drop my jacket on the chair once we reach our room. I slide off my shoes and sit down on the bed. Bella pulls the clip from her hair and slides her shoes off too. Her fingers pull her dress up higher and she straddles my lap. I lock my fingers behind her back. Her fingers toy with my tie.
She talks to it. "Did you and Tanya want children?"
I clear my throat. "Um…yes. At one time."
Her eyes lift to mine. "Who changed their mind?"
"I'm not sure it was a matter of who, but rather, just the situation changing as a whole. For many reasons."
"Like?" She presses.
"You know most of it." I take a breath and let it out in a bit of a sigh. "But when things were good, towards the beginning of our marriage, it just wasn't possible."
She keeps her eyes on me until I elaborate. "I'm not sure why. It wasn't her. It wasn't me. We just…didn't work together for some reason." I laugh humorlessly at the irony. "Imagine that."
"You can't have children?"
I shake my head. "We couldn't have children together. I couldn't tell you why. It's just what happens sometimes."
She scans my face. I can only imagine what she sees there. Even if I wanted to hide it, I can't. Not from her. She sees everything.
Her eyes shift back to my tie. "You still want kids…the way you are with Bree." She isn't asking, more like, thinking aloud.
I answer anyhow. "Someday. Perhaps."
Her fingers tug at the knot in my tie. She begins to loosen it. Her expression looks a little angry. Or annoyed. I'm not sure.
"Kate said Tanya was boring in bed. Is that true?"
I swallow. "Um…define boring."
She is pulling my tie from my collar. "Did you ever fuck her? Like fuck her-fuck her? Or was it all…just the sweet innocent shit you tote? I know you never fucked her in your office. Did you ever fuck her in the shower?"
My voice is low. "No."
She tugs at the first button on my shirt. "In the ass?"
Next button. "Anywhere but in bed?"
She looks at me. It's a challenge. "Where?"
I draw my eyes away from hers. "The window bench."
"Was she is on top?"
I shake my head.
"Take your shirt off."
It's not a request. It's a command. I look at her and she waits. My heart thumps and I obey.
I protest. "Bella…"
She interrupts. "Cullen, you owe me two days. This is day one. Lay back."
This is what she wants? Creative freedom in the bedroom? Against my better judgment, I lay back against the pillows. She takes one of my wrists and wraps one end of my tie around it. My heart thumps. She raises it over my head and then wraps my other. I am tied to the headboard. My heart thumps harder. She leans in.
"Do you trust me?"
I nod and I am truthful. She leans away and moves from being on top of me, to in between my legs. She un-fastens my belt and tosses it to the floor. Her fingers unbutton and unzip my pants. I lift my hips and she draws down my pants and underwear. She removes my socks and I am bare. She pulls her dress over head and it is lost to the floor. She slides off the bed and stands facing away from me at the foot of the bed. I watch as her fingers unclasp her bra. She bends over and gives me a show as she slowly slips her underwear down her legs.
She turns and crawls back onto the bed. Between my legs. Slowly. The anticipation of not knowing and sort of knowing is killing me. She sits facing me. She spreads her legs and places her feet on the outside of my thighs. She lays back. I watch her fingers as they slide down her stomach. One hand cups her breasts. Her fingers begin to pleasure where I want to be. I watch what she does. I hope its what she likes. I hope she is being honest.
I want to touch myself in the worst way, but can't. I'm bound. I want to touch her. I want her to touch me. Her fingers disappear inside of herself. Slowly. I watch them pump and slide and move over her clit. I am dying for some type of attention. My body is begging for it. It's a sweet torture. She sits up and reaches her fingers towards my mouth. One at a time. I taste them. Her.
"You want me to suck your cock, don't you?"
I nod and feel guilty for admitting it.
And she is pure evil.
I can barely utter the words. "I want you, Bella."
She shakes her head and lays back down. Evil. Pure evil. She goes back to pleasuring herself. I pull against my restraints, but she is good at that too.
She keeps her fingers moving. "Please what?"
"Please…I want you to pleasure me. With your mouth. Please."
She sits forward. It wasn't as dirty as she wanted, but she tucks her legs under herself, anyhow. Her palms replace where her feet were; framing my sides. She leans her mouth down and I brace for the warmth and relief she'll bring. She doesn't do what I expect, though. She lays her tongue flat and licks from the bottom of my balls to base of my manhood. My toes curl as she takes one testicle into her mouth and sucks. My stomach is tight. My eyes close.
"You are completely evil."
I feel her tongue on my shaft and I open my eyes again. She licks slowly towards the top. And pauses. Of course. She looks at me.
"Did Tanya ever make you wet like this?"
I shake my head. Never.
Her tongue flicks against my head, against where the wet is. "Who does?"
"So tell me."
And it's easier this time. "I want you to suck my cock, Bella."
She lowers her head. Her teeth bite softly into the base of my cock and I love her so fucking much it isn't possible.
She's teasing me, torturing me and she knows it. "Here?"
"Bella," I groan and complain, shifting my hips.
I see the smirk on her face before she takes me all the way into her mouth. It isn't anything I've ever had. It is all I want. She goes fast and slow and only uses her mouth at first. The tip of her tongue is expert and knows how to play with the nerves on the back of my head. She swirls, she tickles, she does things that shouldn't be possible.
She stops before I lose it and crawls her way up my body. She turns over and rests her back to my chest. Her hand finds me and slips my body into hers. There is Heaven on Earth. It is Bella. It is here. She raises herself up and down. She swirls her hips and rocks with me deep inside of her. I kiss and nip at the skin of her neck. I watch her breasts, her nipples. I move my hips and push myself deeper inside of her.
I beg into her ear. "I want to touch you. Please."
She reaches her hands towards mine and pulls at the tie until I am undone. I wrap my arms around her body. I palm her breasts. Her head falls to my shoulder and she makes the most delicious sounds as I thrust into her and claim her and she lets me have the control again. I hold my lips to her neck and feel my orgasm coming to life. My hands tighten around her breasts and I don't allow myself to come until I hear my name repeated form her lips. On the fourth time she says it, I hold my place deep inside of her and give her a feeling I have never experienced with anyone else. Ever.
My phone is beeping and the room is bright. I groan at the sound and fumble to pull it off the nightstand. I click it off and rest back against Bella, kissing her shoulder. She sighs contently. I tighten my arms around her and can't stop my lips from kissing against her bare skin. Along her neck. Her shoulder blade. Her ear. She makes other sounds and I have to stop before I start something there isn't enough time to finish.
"We need to get going. I don't want to be late." I kiss her again and she groans.
"I'm sorry." I sit up and stretch a little. She rolls over and looks at me.
"Where are we going anyhow?" Her eyes lower. She grins. "Nice cock, Cullen."
I roll my eyes at her. "There's a production of the Wizard of Oz, an hour away. I happen to have three golden tickets."
She smiles. "A play?"
I nod. "Have you ever seen one?"
"One time. Rent."
This surprises me. "Did you like it?"
She nods shyly. "It would have been nice if I got to see the end, though."
"Why didn't you…never mind. I don't even want to know."
She laughs a little. "No, you don't."
Bree smiles wide when she sees Bella. "You're coming, too?"
Bella nods. She looks a little uncomfortable.
"Awesome." She looks at me. "Here." She hands something over. A piece of paper. I open it. A number. I look at her in question. "My friend thinks you're hot. It's gross. I told you were way too old and Bella is way prettier."
I snort. Bella is grinning. Whether it's at the 'too old' comment or her ten year-old friend thinking I'm 'hot', I am not sure. I crumple the paper into a ball. When we reach the theater, I toss it in the nearest trash can.
"This place is amazing!" Bree is looking around as we walk towards the theater room our production is going to be shown in. There is a lot of art and gold and ornate looking things going on. The only thing that is more amusing than watching her is watching Bella. She is very much like Bree. Curious, innocent, but not as obvious about it. There are photographs under a glass case of previous shows and productions hanging on the wall. Bree stops. She points with enthusiasm.
"There's ballerinas! Look, Uncle Edward!"
I stop and observe. She looks back to me.
"I'm going to be in this box, someday. You just watch."
I smile and rub her shoulder. "I'm sure you will, Sweetheart."
We finally find our seats. Bree sits on the edge of hers, but when she sees Bella sitting back, crossing her legs and having good posture, she mimics the position. She even places her hand on her knee, the same way. Her eyes light up.
"Hey," she reaches for Bella's wrist. "I have one too. Just like that." She jingles her own wrist and bracelet at Bella. "Did my Uncle give that to you?"
Bree looks at me. She giggles. "You're a liar, Uncle E. You said mine was special."
"It is special. It's not the same at all. You have a ballerina. Bella has an apple. It's completely different."
She rolls her eyes. "What kind of boy gives an apple? What does that even mean?"
And I am not going to explain it to my ten-year-old niece.
I think of something else. I remember seeing this silly thing one time. I think it was on Alice's fridge. On a magnet or something. I pull my phone out and type into a search so I can find exactly what it said. After a few links, I find the one. I pass it over to her.
I am teasing. "Read it and weep, Brianna."
She takes it and reads allowed.
"Girls are like apples on trees. The best ones are at the top of it and the boys don't want to reach for the good ones because they are afraid of falling and getting hurt. Instead, they just get the rotten apples from the ground that aren't as good, but easy. So the apples at the top think something is wrong with them, when in reality, they're just have to wait for the right boy to come along, the one who's brave enough."
I make a face at her and she rolls her eyes. "Such a cheese ball."
I put out my hand for the phone. "Some might call it being romantic."
She laughs at me and looks at Bella. "He is cheesy, right?"
Bella is saved by the show starting. Only a small smile shows on her face before the lights go out and the stage is the brought to life. After the show, we eat at a fancy place, because Bree thinks it's amusing when people refer to me as Sir. She also likes that her parents aren't here and I don't mind if she puts her elbows on the table or orders things that she later decides she doesn't like.
She fishes the cherry out of her Shirley Temple. "Have you kissed, yet?"
"Brianna. Don't start with me."
She laughs. "I kissed a boy this week."
I stare. She laughs harder. She shrugs. "What? I did. It was cool."
I would say something, but I am too busy contemplating the million different ways I could dismember this nameless boy.
"Gosh. You're going to freak out, aren't you?"
Already there. "Why the hell….why the heck are you kissing boys?"
She shrugs. "I like boys."
"I mean, you're ten."
"Same difference, Brianna."
She rolls her eyes. "It's an entire year different, Silly!"
I rub my face. This isn't happening. "Does your father know?"
She is horrified. "No… and you're not telling him. Oh my gosh, I will kill you if you tell him, Uncle Edward!"
I groan into my hands, mumbling my horror at the situation and muffling words she shouldn't hear. I feel Bella's hand on my knee. Not helping. I take a deep breath and look up.
"Brianna, look at me." She does. "You are too young to kiss boys. You can…like them, have them as friends, but they keep their hands to themselves. And mouths. Understood?"
I cut her off. "Nah-ah. This isn't up for debate. The rule is; boys are friends. Period. Anything beyond that is not allowed and if I hear about it happening again I will tell your father. And then I'll find the boy and kill him. Got it?"
And Bella's hand disappears from my knee and covers her mouth. Bree's eyes roll and I mean every word of it.
I drop her off at home and make sure to get a promise out of her before I go. Bella and I find our way back to the hotel and I feel exhausted. I plop down into one of the lounge chairs and she sits on the bed. I rub my face and pray that Bree will keep her word. I am not ready to commit murder. I'd like to at least spend a little more time with Bella before being hauled off to jail. I hear her laugh.
"You're going insane, Cullen."
I am guessing I was saying those things outside of my head.
"She's too young for this, Bella."
I keep rubbing my face and when I look up, she is staring at me. She's serious, now.
"You're like Charlie. You act just like him. What you said at lunch…about killing the boy? He said that exact thing once. This kid on our block liked me. My dad sat on the front steps with his shot gun everyday until he got the hint, " she laughs.
Note to self: buy shot gun.
Her voice lowers. "Do you really believe in God, Edward?"
I nod. "Yes. Of course."
"You think he has a plan? Like you think he really has a plan…for all of us?"
I keep nodding. I don't see the tears fall, but her hand wiping her face gives it away.
"I don't think you're cheesy. What Bree said in the theater? I don't think you're cheesy. Not at all. I think you're sincere and kind and the type of person my Dad wouldn't want to kill. The kind of person that he would trust. With his daughter."
There's something else brewing in her eyes and she lowers them before I can decipher what.