It was shaping up to be the perfect weekend. Bella put up a modicum of resistance to sharing a room with me, but it was nothing compared to what I’d dealt with from my mother regarding the very same topic. The irony of the mama drama didn’t escape me. Thanks to my father, my mother was completely aware that my relationship with Bella was not yet sexual, therefore she had no reason to fear that I would be debauched under her roof.
Meanwhile, Bella reminded me every chance she got that she couldn’t wait to take our physical relationship to the next level. Her apparent horror at sharing my room and therefore my bed seemed more than a little contradictory. Bella eventually relented, and as she retreated into the bathroom to change into her swimsuit, I resigned myself to the idea that I would never understand women.
When she emerged wearing nothing but a barely-there white bikini, I gave up caring whether I understood her or not. I didn’t need to wrap my mind her logic as long as I could wrap my arms around her body. Her swimsuit left nothing to the imagination, and when she followed me into the frigid ocean, her nipples hardened into tiny peaks with every pucker plainly visible through the thin, white fabric of her top. Wet and practically exposed, her breasts were more than a little distracting. Thankfully, water temperature kept my arousal somewhat in check, and though I was at half mast, the height of the surf kept my tented shorts from view. Of course, when Bella put her arms around my neck and pressed her body against mine, the look in her eyes told me she knew exactly the effect she had on me.
“Can your parents see us?” Her smile was diabolical, and I knew she was up to something.
“From the pool? No. We’re not out far enough.”
“Good. I have something I need to do, and I don’t want an audience.”
Her hand brushed my cock over my swim trunks, and she pressed her breasts against my chest. Cold water be damned, I was instantly fully erect.
“I need to touch you, Edward.”
She began to squeeze and tug, and I rested my head on her shoulder.
“Bella,” I groaned.
“No, baby. Don’t talk. Just let go.”
Moments later, I came as the waves crashed around us. If her hand felt that good touching me over my shorts, I doubted I could even imagine how it would feel to have her hot skin against mine. I pressed my mouth against hers, and she wrapped her legs around my waist. We spent the rest of the afternoon like that. I held her and we lazily kissed as the waves beat around us, the weight of her body in my arms nothing in the buoyancy of the water. When Bella’s lips began trembling not from arousal but from the chill in the air, we hit the outdoor showers before heading inside.
After we cleaned up, my father pulled me onto the patio to help him grill steaks for dinner.
“Nice ruse.” I glared at my father.
I hated leaving Bella, even for a moment, and I knew my father was pretending to need my assistance simply so my mother could get Bella alone.
He laughed at me. “I’m not sure what you’re talking about.”
“Right. Claiming you needed help with the steaks? Please. You may be the one holding the spatula, but we all know the person doing the grilling right now is Mom.”
“Your mother isn’t grilling Bella.” His voice was incredibly patronizing.
“Give your mother some credit.” He took a swig of his beer. “She’s more subtle than that.”
I rolled my eyes at him. “I should go inside and check on her.”
“Relax, Edward. I would think that any woman you’d bring home would be more than capable of handling polite conversation with your mother. Unless, of course, you think Bella can’t keep up with her.”
“Bella can more than handle any topic either of you throw at her.”
“No need to check on her, then.” He raised his bottle to his lips and winked.
He had me, and he knew it.
When we went inside to eat, Bella and my mother appeared to be having a great time with each other. They had an easy rapport which continued throughout the dinner conversation. Bella seemed so comfortable with my family, I wondered why I’d ever felt on edge about this weekend.
After dinner, Bella and I went for a walk on the beach. She was beautiful and funny, and it was hard to resist touching her. I pulled her into my arms, and before I could think better of it, the words just came out.
“I love you, Bella.”
The fact that she responded with a smirk and a bad joke didn’t at all surprise me.
“I’m serious, Bella.” I stroked her cheek as the ocean breeze whipped around us. “I love you. I love you with everything that I am.”
“Shh.” I placed my fingers against her lips. “You don’t have to say anything. I’m not expecting anything from you. I knew I’d fall for you before you fell for me, knew I’d be the first to say the words. It’s okay. I think I’ve been in love with you since the first time I saw you, and since that was months before you had any contact with me, it’s inevitable that you’ll need some time to catch up. The last thing I want is for you to feel obligated to make a declaration of your own. I just needed you to know how I feel. I love you.” I let out a small laugh. “God, it feels so good just to say it out loud. I love you. As crazy as it sounds, in keeping my feelings to myself all these weeks, it almost felt like I was lying to you. It’s amazing to just get it out in the open. I love you.”
She sucked my two fingers into her mouth, and I came undone. I pulled her against me and replaced my hand with my tongue.
The next thing I knew, she’d broken the kiss. I wondered if I’d been too forward, if my words had somehow frightened her. I opened my eyes to find her on her knees before me, fumbling with the fly of my shorts.
“Bella,” I gasped.
This was all wrong. I didn’t tell her I loved her to get a blow job out of her.
“Edward, let me.”
She was on her knees before me, begging me to let her suck my cock. As much as I wanted her to do it, as many times as I’d imagined her lips around me, something about her doing so at this moment seemed so wrong. It was almost obligatory.
Her hand was inside my boxers until I grasped it with my own, and pulled it away from my crotch. I fell to my knees in front her and brought her hand to my lips while I quickly zipped up my shorts.
“Please,” she implored. Her voice was almost angry. “Let me love you.”
“I want nothing more,” I whispered, holding her face in my hands.
For the next three minutes and twenty seconds, we knelt in the sand facing each other. Finally, she shrugged and took a deep breath.
“I’m scared,” she admitted. “I’ve only had one other real relationship. I was in college, and we were together a little over a year. I came back to campus after the semester break, and he’d transferred. He sent me an email saying the school situation wasn’t working for him and he thought he’d be happier closer to home. That he’d enjoyed knowing me, but didn’t want to do the long distance thing. Three weeks later I realized I was pregnant. He didn’t respond to my emails or phone calls. I called his parents house and they threatened me with a restraining order if I didn’t stop harassing their son.”
I gulped. “What did you do?”
“What do you think I did?”
She started to cry, and I wrapped my arms around her.
“Did you tell anyone?”
“My mother. She told me to get an abortion, that if she had it to do over again, she would have…”
I swallowed the bile that was rising in my throat.
What kind of person tells her daughter that she wishes she’d never had her, that her life means nothing?
Such a statement would hurt coming from a stranger, and Bella had heard it from her own mother – the person who was supposed to love her most in the world.
I’d never met the woman, and I hoped I never did. I hated her.
I sat back onto the sand and pulled Bella onto my lap, holding her as she sobbed. Seven minutes later, she pushed herself off me. Her face was blotchy as she stared off over my shoulder, unable or unwilling to meet my gaze.
“Bella, look at me.”
Her eyes nervously found mine.
“I love you,” I said. “Always.”
We slowly walked back to the house, our arms around each other’s waists, silently making our way to my room.
“I can sleep somewhere else if you’d rather be alone.”
“Is that what you want?” She seemed almost in a panic.
I just didn’t want her to think I had any physical expectations of her, and now she thought I found her repulsive.
“No,” I said, hoping she’d believe me. “I want to hold you all night and try to convince you to trust me. I’m not like him, and I not like your mother. I promise you, I’m not going anywhere.”
She gave me a half-hearted nod before grabbing some clothes off the top of the dresser and heading into the bathroom to change. I threw on a pair of pajama pants and flopped onto the bed. When she reemerged a minute and twelve seconds later, she lingered in the doorway looking terrified.
“I love you, too.”
Her declaration came out sounding like a single word that caused her physical pain to say, and she looked at the floor rather than at me as she spoke.
None of these things detracted from the significance of her statement.
She loved me.
Bella loved me.
I extended my arms to her, and she ran across the room to me, throwing herself into my embrace.
“You don’t think less of me, do you?” she muttered into my chest.
“For loving me?” I cupped her face in my hands. “Are you kidding?”
“No.” She looked up at me through wide eyes that were once again wet with tears. “For what I told you on the beach. We’ve never talked about politics or religion, and I know that’s an issue about which a lot of people have strong feelings…”
I was so enraged by what her mother had said to her, I hadn’t fully processed her confession.
“I would never judge you. I just…” I kissed the tears that were rolling down her cheeks. “I hate that you felt so alone. I wish I’d known you then.”
She looked at me confusedly, then laughed. “You were twelve.”
I smiled. “I guess I was. Regardless, I’m here now.”
She pressed her face against my chest and seconds later, she was asleep. I found myself silently swearing to her that as long as I breathed, she would never be hurt again.