Under the Apple tree

Chapter 61: Not Just a 3 Letter Word

Right leg. Left punch.

"So…you can like," he starts moving his brows like that is supposed to adequately finish his sentence.

"Can like what, Emmett?" I am smart. I know what he is saying. Trying to. I just don't talk to juveniles unless they are in need of medical services.

"You know. Hit that shit like a mad-man."

Right. Punch. Oops. Did I connect?

He makes a face. So do I. "Don't talk about Bella like that."

"Dude, have you ever fu…had…" he laughs like the jackass he is being. "'Sexual relations' with Bella…when she was not knocked up?"

Punch. Kick. "No."

He smiles. "Like I said, you can hit that shit like a mad-man."

"I'm well aware of what I can and can't do to Bella. Thank you, Emmett."

He puts down his hands for a moment. "Can we just be dudes for a second?"


"Yeah. Dudes. Dudes who just talk about sex. Like…dudes."

I let out my frustration in a long, long, sigh. He laughs. Of course.

Hands back up. Punch.

"All I'm sayin' is, when Rose was pregnant with our kid, my nuts gave me the finger on a daily basis." Punch. "And then, you know, when we actually did have sex, I had to be all…you know…restrained…so it wasn't like really having sex. 'Cause I mean, Rosie, shit dude,. She can get buck-ass…"

I step back. "Emmett." I shake my head. "There are some things that cannot be erased from one's mind. I do not need that image. I do not."

"Yeah, but you get what I'm saying, right?"

Punch. "I guess."

"I mean, you can hit that shit from the back. The front. Sideways. Upside down…" he starts to laugh. I am assuming it is due to the faces I am making.

Punch. Kick. "I don't think Bella would enjoy sex upside down, regardless of her body's physical capabilities."

"I don't know 'bout that, man. Bella does have a freaky side." His face scrunches as soon as he says it. He lowers the gloves. "You can get a free shot for that one." He motions to his face.

And I do.

"We aren't having sex right now, anyhow. So just save it."

"Huh? Why the fuck not?"

Punch. Punch. "Because her Shrink doesn't think it's a good idea."

"And…you told her that shit was crazy, right?"

Kick. Punch. "No. Why would I?"

"Because your nuts have to be dying."

Okay, this time he is funny. "Regardless, if it means it helps Bella…then I can wait."

"Edward?" He lowers the gloves.

I raise my brows to ask 'what'.

"What is it that they put in your cracker at church that I don't seem to be getting?"

Okay, he was funny twice.

When I return home, there is music playing. Loudly. I set my bag at the laundry room door. My feet find their way into the living room. Well, the doorway to the living room. My mother is on the couch. Her face has a huge smile. I look to where her eyes are focused. Bella is laying on her back. Grace's little feet are on her legs. Bella holds on to her hands and Grace is doing her usual bouncing routine. Her eyes see me and she bounces harder, making little noises.

Esme looks over. "She likes music."

I step inside and sit down next to where Bella is. Her face is watching Grace, but she glances to me. I want more than anything to lean down and kiss her, but my mother is here and we haven't gone over such topics yet, nor do I want to right now.

I settle for a smile. "What are you guys doing?"

Grace tries to reach for me. Bella puts her small hands in mine and sits up. "What your mom just said." She fixes the tag hanging out of Grace's shirt. "She likes the music."

"I don't understand."

My mother sits forward. "I think it's the vibration. There was a girl in one of Bree's dances last year, she was deaf, but she could dance just as well as the other girls, because she followed the vibration of the music."

I stare at Grace and watch her bounce as I consider this. It could be. I have heard of such things. Hmm.

"Maybe…" Bella begins. She looks shy as I look over. "Um…maybe she would like it when you played. You know. The piano?"

I look back to Grace like this is the best idea ever. She giggles at my face and I can't help but to kiss hers.

"I would have to think of a good song." She snuggles her face into my neck and I rock her a little.

"Um, are you hungry?" Bella asks.

I nod. "I could definitely eat."

She nods and gets up, walking towards the kitchen. I saw that she cooked when I entered. It's good. I'm glad she is getting comfortable here again. On more than just Sundays. I'm glad things feel somewhat familiar.

"Darling?" I turn towards my mother. Her voice is soft. "I have to apologize."

"For what?"

Quieter. "I upset Bella earlier. It wasn't intentional, but I did and I just want you to know it was an accident."

My face scrunches. "What did you do?"

"I was just trying to share photos. Things about Grace. Her birthday and whatnot. I thought she might like to see them but…"

"But you reminded her that she missed all of those things."

She nods, sadly. "Yes. I'm sorry, it wasn't intentional, just like I said."

"What happened?"

"She just got a little teary. I know she tries to hide those things, though, so that is why I am telling you. I just worry. You know."

"Yeah. Well…I'll talk to her about it."

"I'm sorry."

"It's okay, mom. Thanks for being here with her. I know she was nervous about watching her alone today."

"She did well. Very well. It's heart warming. Truly. I'm happy for you all."

I kiss Grace. "We aren't out of the storm yet."

"I know, but you're getting there…and…you're doing this together, yes?"

I smile at how much Esme sees. "Yeah. We are."

She touches my cheek. "Good. I always liked Bella."

"Rub some of that off on Alice, would you?"

She smiles sadly. "Bella and I had a talk about that too, but I'll allow her to discuss that matter with you. I need to get going home. Your father is being nice to me tonight and joining me for dinner."

I laugh. "About time."

She messes my hair. "I know."

After she leaves I find Bella in the kitchen, toting Grace on my hip. She is making a salad. I pause at her side and lean my face in to kiss hers. A small smile and then she lifts her face to mine, giving me a kiss on my lips, where I truly wanted it. One turning into two. Two to three. Three and then smaller hands pushing her face away.

Bella laughs. "Yeah, okay. I deserved that." She slides past me to put my food down at the place-setting. Her hands extend and take Grace. I take my seat and see that I am being treated to pasta, salad and bread. She sits down and just watches.

"Are you not eating?"

"I ate before, with Esme and Grace."

I nod and begin with the salad.

"So, did you and Emmett have fun?"

"Mmhmm." I swallow. "Well, as much fun as one could have while…let's just say he was poking fun at me."

She laughs a little. "Why?"

I stand and get a bottle of water from the fridge, then sit back down. "He's just trying to be funny, I guess."

"About?" She presses.

I stab some lettuce. I whisper to them, not looking at her. Of course. "Sex." Eat. Just eat and make your mouth busy.

"Oh." A very long pause. Nervously. "Is there a reason why?"

I glance up and she looks like how my insides feel. "He just doesn't understand….restraining one's self…I suppose."

A small smile. "Restraining one's self?"

I sigh and grab a piece of bread. "He doesn't understand why we haven't had sex since you had Grace. Better?"

She is trying to tease. "Did Emmett not notice my absence over the past year?"

I laugh a little and take a bite of bread. "He's just busting my balls. No pun intended."

She's quiet, putting her attention on Grace. I go back to eating my food. When the silence breaks, it surprises me.

"I want to have sex."

I nearly choke on my food. She doesn't laugh. She isn't being funny.


She's nervous. "I think we should. Tonight."

And breathing must not be a involuntary function as they say it is. I clear my throat. My fingers find interest in the corner of my paper napkin. My brain is not helping me reply.

She is back-peddling. "Unless….unless you don't want to." She is hiding her embarrassment by looking down to Grace's head. "I understand."

How silly this girl is. "Bella…"

But she is already standing up. "I'm going to give Grace a bath." And gone.

I finish eating and clean up after myself. As I am making my way up the steps, I see her closing Grace's bedroom door. I pause at the top. Her hands fidget with her clothes.

"Um, she's sleeping."

I nod. "I figured."

"So…I guess I'll go. It's getting dark. I don't like driving in the dark." She looks down to her feet.

Why do I feel fifteen? "Why don't you just stay for a while? Um…we could watch a movie or something."

She looks up. "It's getting late. I have class in the morning. And uh…I'm sure you're tired, would like to go to bed."

Man. Up. "Yeah…that's kind of where I was thinking of watching the movie." My heart races. My insides are a pool of nerves and I am sweating like I have not ever had sex with this person before. I make no sense. But apparently, I do, because her eyes realize what I am saying. Trying to. Suggesting.

"Are…are you sure?"

"Only if you want to. Watch a movie. You know." I try not to smile, but fail as the corner of my mouth lifts.

Amusement and playfulness paints her face, too. "Well, I really didn't come prepared to, you know, watch a movie."

"I have everything you need to watch a movie. Don't worry."

And she laughs at our stupid, cryptic words. I pull her along by the hand, until we are in my room. I sit on the floor and try to find a movie that would be okay to put on, even though, I am a damn liar - obviously - just talking about having sex, not watching movies.

And now, I am also rambling.

I hold something up to her. She is on my bed. She reads the cover and nods. I insert the disk into the DVD player and stand. I toss the remote on the bed, next to her.

"Um…I'm going to take a quick shower. Be right back."


"You know, just 'cause, I was sweating before with Emmett and I'm sure, you know, you'd like to watch a movie with someone who is…clean." Wow, Cullen.


I take a step back and she faces the screen. As I close the bathroom door. I wonder what the hell is wrong with me. Why is this so difficult. Damn Emmett. I am now scrubbing myself like I will be up for inspection and Bella is probably either in her truck driving back home, or thinking I am stalling. Yeah. I am stalling.

And now that the water is off….what do I put on? Why did I take a shower? Christ. I rummage through my piles of clothing. I choose a pair of pajama pants and tee shirt and swear I will just say that is because it is cold if she asks. I also grab some pajamas for her, just incase she would like to…I am stalling. This is not 9th grade. Get it together.

I open the door and because Bella is lovely, she doesn't look over. She is in fact curled against the pillows and has her feet and legs tucked under the covers. In the middle of the bed. Thank you.

I sit down in my place and she doesn't move. I rest the pajamas on the bedspread. "Um, I thought maybe you'd like to be more comfortable."

She glances away from the movie. To the clothes. Then me. "Oh." She sits up. "Sure."

Why did I bring her clothes? She was resting. I should have just tossed them to the floor. Now she is up and crawling away and Jesus Christ she had her pants off already. Under the covers. My covers. To my bed. Idiot. I am an idiot. The door clicks and I fall back against the pillows, cursing silently to myself…except Bella has removed most of the pillows and I hit my head. Hard.

"Fucking shit…"

The bathroom door opens and she stares at me and my hand - that is rubbing where I banged my head - and my loud mouth.

"Are…you okay?"

I nod and just play it off, but there will be a bump, I know it. She crawls her way back into the bed and now she is on her side. There is a wide space in between us, my head is thumping and not the one that should be. And we are fully clothed. Watching…a documentary on Lyme Disease.

I look over to her. "Why didn't you tell me I picked this?"

She shrugs. "I figured it was what you wanted to watch."

Why would I…I groan and rest my head down.

It is quiet. It is boring. It not the way this should be going. I am so frustrated and not sure what to do. Why was it so easy before?



"What's wrong?"

I shake my head, but it's not good enough. I feel the bed move as she does. She sits at my side. Back facing the screen. Palms down. Face facing mine.

She wants to talk. "Edward."

You have to do it. I glance up. "I don't know. It's…harder than I thought it would be."

And her lips smile. I feel a foot run up my leg pausing when she…

"Couldn't agree less," she teases.

I laugh a little and dig to find her foot, holding it in my hand.

"Sorry. I don't know why this is so weird."

"Maybe you only dig pregnant chicks."

I make a face. She laughs. But there is something about that statement.

"Maybe…I'm just scared of the fact that you aren't."

Her brows scrunch. "Wouldn't it be, or shouldn't it be, the opposite?"

I rub her foot. "Emmett was saying…he was saying something along the lines of having more…freedoms…today. Maybe it just…maybe it just makes me think, even subconsciously, that you'll expect…more? Does that makes sense?"

She thinks and then nods. "I guess…but that would mean I wasn't satisfied before…and…I was, Cullen. You know that right?"

"But that was just…that was like, normal stuff. Or, less than normal stuff, because we had to be…gentle."

She laughs a little. "And you think…now I want, like, what? Whips and chains and paddles and shit?"

I play a little. "I don't know. Do you?"

She smiles and leans forward, crawling so she is laying on my chest, looking at me. "Do you remember when we came up here for Thanksgiving?" I nod. "Do you remember what you asked me? About why sex is so easy for me to talk about?"

"Yes. You said it was just sex."

She nods. Her finger runs down my nose. She watches it. She talks to it. "It's not like that anymore."

My heart picks up pace. "Why not?"

Her finger continues to make an invisible design over my face.

"Because sex is just a three letter word." Her eyes catch mine. "You're more than three letter word, Edward."

And this is what I wanted to feel. But still, it would be…off. Something.

I pull her hand from my face and kiss those fingers. "Do you remember the night you came in my room? The first night you stayed, Bella?"

She nods as my mouth kisses to her palm. She watches.

"That. I want that." One last kiss. A slight touch of my tongue. "Tonight."

And I don't need to say anything else before her legs straddle me and she leans her mouth down to mine, just like that night we stayed up, kissing and nothing more.

As the morning sun tries to wake me, I am also being woken by something else. Something wonderful. Something…

I blink my eyes and try to find this wonderful. It's mouth is tucked into my shoulder and neck, giving the most amazing wake-up kisses. Wonderful's hand is tucked beneath the bed-sheets and inside of my pajama bottoms. Sliding up and down and wonderful. Perfect. Wonderful.

Soft and sweet whispers in my ear. "You smell good in the morning." And then goes back to her kissing.

I rest my head against hers and use the same tone. "You feel good in the morning."

She moves her hand faster, holding firmer. Her thumb sweeps over the head of cock with every pass she makes. My legs tense. My stomach tightens. I want her. Goddamn.

I roll until she is on her back and I am on my side. I return all of her wonderful. On her cheek. On her chin. On her neck. My fingers slide under her and curl into the waistband of her pajama pants, then pull them down.

My palm rests in between her legs. Warm and wonderful. Mouth back on her neck as she makes noises. Middle finger slipping into wetness. Up and down slowly. Making circles and it goes right in between my own legs. I remember how sweet she is here and how wonderful she tastes. There's only one other place I want that pussy and isn't on my fingers.

I grab her hips and take her back with me to our previous position. Our mouths find one another. I kiss her slow and deeply. I let her pull off my pants when she tries. I feel her legs settle at my sides. Her weight on me. I scrunch down lower and push her up higher. Closer. My hands cup her ass and she rest back on her palms as I bring my mouth to her bareness.

She lets out a small whimper and I glance up. She is so sexy. Beautiful. Leaning with her breasts jutting out. Her head tipped back. I lick slowly, with long sweeps of my tongue until she is swollen. Until she is moving her hips and sliding herself over my mouth. I spread her lips and let my fingers play with her clit. Tongue dancing where my cock wants to be.

She rocks and looks at me. Her voice in soft, sweet, wonderful agony. "I love that."

I know.

My reply is with my mouth, but not in words. She leans forward, fully over my face and I have never experienced anything so sexy. So erotic. And I want her to come. I want to be able to do that. I want her to always love this. With me. I work my tongue like it's my life's mission. Its only goal; slipping between her lips and into her entrance and listening as she begs for more and more until there is nothing. I give her wonderfulness kisses and caress her sides with my fingertips.

She moves herself down my body is going to return the favor, but that's not what I want. I capture her hands before she moves down too far and I pull her back to me. Her face to mine. I move my hips to say what my mouth isn't asking. She moves hers, to answer. My hand fumbles as I kiss her and try to find something in the drawer beside the bed. When all is safe, I move my hips, dipping only the head of my cock inside of her then retracting.

And again. And again. And again.

Until she is begging me and try to steal what I won't give her. I wrap my arms around her waist and press her firmly to me as I give in - giving her everything - filling her completely.

Bella rewards me with her sounds and hips and rhythm as she keeps up with mine. She moves her breasts into my face and lets me taste her nipples. She lets me squeeze her ass and pound into her when I want to. She squeezes me tighter.

"You fuck that pussy so good, Edward."

She says shit that kills me.

"Goddamn you fuck that pussy so good. More. More."

Kills me.

"More. More."

I pause, holding my breath. Holding her hips. Holding everything that is about to end everything. She tries to move and I hold firmer. Not yet. Her hand smooths over my face, calming me. A small kiss.

Breathless. "Do you wanna be on top?"

Great idea. We move and as she is about to settle herself down, I don't want boring and predictable. I pull her back up and she looks at my face, a little confused. I show her with my hands, turning her so she is facing away. I kiss her neck and her shoulder.

I'm about to…but her legs curl underneath her. Not letting me.

Softly. "Bella?"

She's quiet for a moment. I hear the scared in her voice. "I don't like it this way…it um…it scares me."

And I would have never expected those words. Not from her. When she elaborates, I am even fuller when it comes to not believing. Not her words. Just that she would say them.

She keeps her back to me. "Do you remember when Emmett's hands were messed up? The day I came to your office. The first day?"

How could I forget. "Yeah."

A moment. "It was because he beat up this guy. I mean it was my fault…I was being stupid and I knew better than to be all alone with…I knew better. And you know just because you're a…just because you sell some stuff, doesn't mean you sell everything and it doesn't mean that they can just, like, take whatever the fuck they want…" she stops when her voice gets angry.

I know she is probably crying, but I just let her get it out. It would be more useful than my words. Than my voice. Bella needs a voice. She's finding it.

"Emmett pulled him away before he did anything…he didn't do anything. It just feels…I just feel like I don't have control this way."

The logical part of me wants to sit down on the bed and pull her so she's on top, again. The part of me that loves her wants to do that. My mouth wants to reassure her that I wouldn't ever harm her like those other men have, that she is in control…over everything. But those are just words. That is just a reassurance that can be ripped to shreds and returned as fast as it is given- in her eyes.

I move so I am mimicking her position, resting on my heels behind her. My index fingers hook her hair, and pull it back over her bare shoulders. I lean my lips to her warm skin and kiss a soft trail until I reach her neck. I wrap my arms loosely around her shoulders and place my palm to her cheek, making her head turn my way some.

And I remember the mark on her face. I remember how it looked. I remember the black and the blue and the swollen. I remember how afraid she was when I tried to touch her, tried to apply something to heal her. To take care of her. And I have no medicine, but I have my lips. I have my heart. She is my heart.

"It was here, right?" I'm not really asking. I know it was here. I just want her to know. She nods a little and kiss an invisible trail over her face, where I remember it all, as though it were painted freshly on her skin, as brightly today as it was then.

I rest fully on my heels and tip Bella so she is relaxing against me. I'm not over her, or dominating in any type of way. My palms rest against the mattress and I only use my mouth on hers. Her hands rest on the tops of my thighs. Her back to my chest. My hardness pressing into her, but ignore it, for now.

And something changes.

Her hand reaches back and grabs my hair. She leans forward, pulling me with her, until I am covering her. She juts her ass up. I press my mouth to her shoulder and slide myself slowly inside of her. And she only sighs. She doesn't freak out. She isn't scared. She trusts me. Hips roll with mine. Tell me to give more. Back into me when it isn't enough. We move in sync; back and forth.

Her cheek rests to the mattress. Soft sighs of pleasure escaping. Eyes closed and I want to give her everything I have. I want to tie Bella to me and never let her go. I want to keep her here, tucked under me, where she is safe and she is mine.

My face leans closer to hers as my hips move according to her plea for harder and faster and more.

"I love you, Bella."

"More. I love you. More."

And it probably wasn't meant to sound that way…but it sounds too good and I believe it was.

I take her four letter word and I believe.

In that.