It had been the perfect holiday weekend until Bella started acting like a sanctimonious prig. Sexual fantasies in which she and I read Ovid then proceeded to act out the racier poems on top of her desk notwithstanding, the reality of dating a high school English teacher was closer to being trapped in a vocabulary lesson in which the word of the day was always hypocrisy.
Physically, she exceeded even my most hormonally driven hopes. She was patient and caring, and seemed not at all bothered by the fact I’d yet to last longer than two minutes while inside her. Sex was amazing, and though I’d yet to get her off during intercourse, she seemed completely genuine when she said this didn’t bother her.
I became obsessed with the idea of her orgasm and made love to her as frequently as biology permitted, hoping my cock could make her come. Thus far, aside from the one time I used my hands, her climax eluded me. When she informed me that she was very sore from my efforts, I felt like a huge douche despite the fact that she had initiated most of our sexual encounters.
Since it was clear that as long as we were alone together abstention would be an epic failure, I decided we should venture out. The previous day’s storms left clear skies and a cool breeze, and as we walked along the boardwalk together, I realized the only thing marring the moment’s perfection was our physical distance.
I reached for her hand, and she smacked me away. I looked at her confusedly.
“I once ran into a professor I’d had in college on the Boardwalk,” she explained. “She lived approximately five hundred miles from here, and yet was still spending a holiday weekend at the Jersey Shore.”
That was random.
“Okay.” I drew out the last syllable, encouraging her to explain herself further.
“Everyone comes down here.”
“I don’t want to take the chance one of my coworkers will see us.”
The odds of that happening were slim to none, and I had to wonder if for some strange reason, she simply did not want to be affectionate with me in public.
“You’ve done nothing wrong,” I reminded her.
“No one would believe that.”
“Our first date in Philadelphia, fifteen minutes from your home, you held my hand in public.”
“I did, and it was incredibly foolish of me. I’m not willing to take a risk like that again.”
I gestured to her attire. “Would anyone even recognize you?”
She was wearing a short cotton strapless dress with a scarf tied over her wild curls. It was a far cry from her teacher clothes. Add her enormous sunglasses to the ensemble, and she was practically incognito.
“They might,” she insisted. “Besides, I’m just not comfortable with public displays of affection.”
“But you were okay with jerking me off in the ocean as my parents sat a hundred feet away?”
“I don’t recall hearing any complaints about the proximity of your family when you came.” She shrugged. “Regardless, that’s different. Aquatic hand jobs are a sex thing.”
“And holding hands is a love thing. What’s your point?”
“Is this where you tell me that if I really loved you, I’d concede? Am I trapped in a bad after school special?”
I thought she was being completely ridiculous, but I was in no place to judge her. I wasn’t the one with my livelihood on the line, even if I did think she was looking for issues where there were none.
“Let’s go back to the house then,” I muttered in defeat.
“Is that what you want?” she asked. “Or are you running home to sulk because you aren’t getting your way?”
“God, Bella,” I wailed in frustration. “I want to be your boyfriend, and it seems as though that’s not something you’re willing to permit in our current surroundings. I’m not throwing a tantrum and storming off in a huff. I just want to be affectionate toward you. If that’s not something you’re comfortable with in public, let’s just go home.”
I sounded like a silly little boy begging my adolescent crush to go steady. The fact that I was unable to suppress the nagging fear that she was about to shoot me down didn’t help matters. She stared at me from behind her sunglasses for nine seconds before grabbing me by the hand and pulling me toward the pier. We stopped in front of the booth where they sold tickets for the carnival rides.
“Wait here,” she said before disappearing.
She reemerged three minutes later with tickets in her hand and angled her head toward the Ferris wheel.
“You coming?” she asked with a smile.
I was still irritated with her, but I trailed behind her and came to an important realization. As long as she wanted me, it didn’t matter how angry she made me. I would always follow her.
We climbed onto the ride, and the attendant locked us in. The Ferris wheel moved backward just enough so that the car in front of us could exchange passengers.
“I always thought Ferris wheels were anti-climactic,” Bella explained. “It takes more time to load and unload people than you ever spend whirling around. It’s a lot of work for something that lasts less than two minutes.”
“So, why are we here?”
I hoped that the Ferris wheel wasn’t a metaphor for our sex life, or even worse, our relationship as a whole.
She took off her sunglasses and cupped my face in her hands. “Because I would do anything for you.”
Her tongue entered my mouth, and as the ride picked up speed, I found myself unable to remember or care why I’d been angry with her.
We rode the Ferris wheel until we’d exhausted our supply of tickets. Hand in hand, we walked to the car. I wasn’t sure why she finally conceded, but I didn’t care. I was too happy she was letting me, once again, touch her in public. The second we were back inside the house, she began tearing at my clothes. When we reached our room, she pushed me onto the bed.
“I thought you were sore?” I wasn’t complaining about her overture, but I didn’t want her to be uncomfortable.
“I am, I just don’t care.” She pulled her dress over her head, and stood before me wearing only her underwear.
“No bra?” I asked in amazement.
She shook her head as she pushed the brightly colored cotton garment over her hips and kicked it across the room.
“My original plan was to skip the panties as well, but it was too windy,” she explained with a shrug.
Her hair fell in front of her breasts, making her look almost shy. I’d never wanted her more.
I reached up and grabbed her forearms and pulled her on top of me. Her breasts flattened against my chest, but she still wasn’t close enough. I rolled her over onto her back and dragged my lips across her chest as I parted her thighs.
“I want to kiss you, Bella.” I took one of her nipples in my mouth and sucked on it briefly before adding, “Everywhere.”
I shimmied down her body until my face was between her thighs. I spread her lips wide with my fingers, and this time when her clitoris winked at me, I winked back with my tongue.
“Edward, yes!” she cried with enthusiasm.
I used my tongue where she needed it most, amazed by the ease with which it slid across her flesh.
She fisted the sheets in her hands and squeezed my head between her thighs as she yelled my name. I wondered if any men had ever been decapitated while performing cunnilingus, and found myself praying that she was not multi-orgasmic.
Her body went slack, and I knew I’d brought her to climax.
I was clearly a god of going down, and I couldn’t help but wonder what other skills I didn’t know I had.
Encouraged by my success, I knelt between her legs and carefully pushed inside her. As I began to move, I rubbed her with my thumb above where we were joined. She came seconds after I did. Fully spent, I collapsed on the bed and pulled her into my arms.
“Was that okay?” I asked when I was finally capable of speech.
She nestled her head in the crook of my neck. “It was so much better than okay.”
I felt a burst of pride. I’d made her come twice in one night. I was definitely improving.
“I want it to be good for you. You can tell me, you know. If I do something wrong or if it’s not something you like. I won’t get upset about it. I know this is one area where I have almost nothing to offer you.”
Her eyes looked sad when they met mine. “You don’t actually think that, do you?”
“Yes,” I admitted, “but I try not to dwell on it.”
“Being here with you has been the most intense experience of my life. Truly.”
She stroked my cheek, and I wanted to believe her.
“If you didn’t always climax, would you still want to make love to me?”
“Absolutely,” I answered.
“And why is that?”
“To be as close to you as possible, to touch you, to worship you.”
She smiled. “You worship me?”
“Was I not just on my knees?”
As soon as the words were out of my mouth, I felt my cheeks heat up with embarrassment. Suave, sexually-charged banter was apparently not part of my skill set. Her smile evolved into a laugh, and my slight-humiliation no longer mattered.
“I see what you’re getting at, but I still want to give you physical pleasure.”
And I have, I thought with a huge sense of accomplishment.
Wait, have I?
“Have you ever faked it?” I asked in a panic.
On the one hand, I didn’t want to know. On the other hand, my respect for myself as a man depended upon her answer.
“Have you faked it with me?”
“I’ve never faked anything with you.”
“Promise me you won’t.” I had a sudden irrational fear that she would lead me on in every way possible.
“I won’t,” she said. “I promise.”
We held each other for six minutes and twelve seconds before l finally I spoke.
“We still have some daylight left. Care to go for a swim?”
“I’d love to.”
We spent the rest of the afternoon in ocean. When the sun began to set, we rinsed off in the outdoor showers and started to head inside, but Bella stopped when we were in front of the hot tub.
“Want to soak?” She smiled mischievously.
I had a sudden mental image of her straddling me in the hot tub, the heat of the water second in intensity only to the heat of her vagina.
Would sex even work in water?
Though that was probably what she had in mind, with the exception of our time on the Boardwalk, all we’d done since my parents left was have sex. Sex, sex and more sex. I wasn’t complaining, but I didn’t want her to think that’s all she was to me, and I hoped that I was more than that to her.
At the moment, I didn’t care.
“I’d love to. I’ll be right in.”
I went inside and poured two glasses of the white wine I knew she loved and hoped she’d find the gesture romantic. Twenty-six seconds later, I’d handed both glasses to Bella and was in the process of joining her in the hot tub when she spoke.
“Are you trying to get me drunk? Because it’s not necessary. I think I’ve made it clear that I’ll put out while sober.”
Laughing, I settled onto the seat beside her.
“One of them is for me,” I clarified, taking my glass from her hand.
“Do Carlisle and Esme know you’re drinking? I mean, you are a little young for that.”
I snorted. “You’re kidding, right?”
“No, actually.” She fidgeted uncomfortably in her seat.
I took a deep breath and waited six seconds.
“Okay, Bella. I’m sensing a double standard here regardless of your answer, but humor me anyway. When did you start drinking?”
“My first year of college.”
“I start college in two months. Are you expecting me to have some enormous epiphany the day I move into the dorms that will impart upon me some wisdom I am currently lacking which will enable me to make better decisions while under the influence of substances?”
“Well, no, but you’re under age, and you’re here with me. It’s not appropriate.”
She was on crack. In the past twenty-four hours, I’d had her under me, on top of me and from behind. I’d ejaculated in her and on her and tongue kissed both sets of her lips, not to mention the blow jobs she would have given me had I permitted her to do so. And she was begrudging me a glass of wine?
“Are you fucking kidding me? Everything we’ve done in the past twenty four hours, and you’re telling me you think I’m too young to have a glass of wine?”
“Well, it is illegal.”
So said the woman who has done, by her own admission, everything.
“Look, the fact that your parents seem to be okay with me is huge. I really like them, Edward. I don’t want to do anything that would cause them to re-evaluate their position on our relationship.”
“That may be valid. But that wasn’t all you said. I believe you said I was ‘a little young for that.’”
“I have a glass of wine with my parents at dinner almost nightly, but that isn’t what this is about. If this were truly about the legality of the situation or the way you’ve perceived my parents’ approval of us as capricious, you would have voiced your concern without patronizing me. This has nothing whatsoever to do with underage drinking. You don’t see me as your equal.”
“I’m trying to view us as equals.” Her tone was clipped and measured and more than a little dismissive.
“Can you try a bit harder? Because this will never work between us if you continue to act like you’re my babysitter.” I took the glass of wine out of her hand and placed it on the rim of the hot tub, along with mine. “I want us to work, Bella. I want us to work more than anything.”
“Me, too.” Her lips moved against my chest.
“When do I get to meet Alice? And I know you’re not close with your father, but I’d also like to meet him.”
“Edward, my father is on the other side of the country. Even I haven’t seen him in two years. That’s just not practical.”
“Alice is on the other side of the Delaware River. I’m beginning to think I’ll never meet her.”
“You will. Though in all honesty, if your intelligence truly matched its hype, you’d want to put off meeting Alice until after the wedding. She’s in full blast bridezilla mode at the moment. You may come away with a skewed perception of who she is.”
“I’ll keep that in mind. However, as your boyfriend, I should meet your best friend.”
Unless, of course, you’re ashamed of me.
“I’ll see what I can figure out.”
“Thank you.” I kissed her gently on the lips. “What will it take for you to see me as a man?”
“Oh, believe me.” Her hands found my cock. “I see you as a man.”
In light of our recent conversation, sex did not appeal to me. I lifted her hand off me.
“Only when it suits you.”
“Is that really how it seems to you?”
“Ouch,” she muttered dryly.
She got off the seat and knelt in front of me. I couldn’t help but laugh.
“What’s so funny?” she asked.
“Your boobs float.”
Her eyes narrowed in disbelief, and she looked down at her chest. She let out a small laugh before meeting my gaze.
“Indeed they do.” She paused, obviously in thought. “This is going to sound strange to you, but the whole relationship thing…well, in so many ways it’s new to me, too. Do you remember how nervous you were the first time we had sex?”
“I feel that way pretty much all the time with you. Well, except when you’re inside me. Then I’m on top of my game.”
“Oh, you’re on top all right,” I teased.
“I’ll be wherever you want. Just don’t give up on me.”
She looked up at me, her eyes wide and imploring, and my previous annoyance with her washed away as the tide rolled out.
“I won’t,” I whispered.
We spent the rest of the weekend learning more about each other’s bodies and talking about nothing. She taught me how to do laundry, and I gave her piano lessons. Even though we had our spats, when I dropped her off at her house, I was still sad that our time alone together had ended.
I was inside my house exactly six seconds when I heard my father’s voice from the other side of the room.
“Looks like someone had a good weekend. Did you use protection?”
I knew my dad would interrogate me, but that didn’t make the moment any less embarrassing. My face was so hot it felt sun burnt, but I still joined him on the couch, knowing full well this was a conversation he was unlikely to let drop.
“Yes,” I answered quietly.
It wasn’t exactly a lie. I didn’t think Bella’s pre-sex-with-me STD screening was any of his business. Furthermore, the most recent time we made love, I did wear a condom. By some miracle, I also managed to last long enough for Bella to climax before I did.
It suddenly occurred to me that if they put that tidbit on safe sex posters, we could probably eliminate 90% of STDs among teenagers. Still, I doubted I’d be reading the slogan “For better love, wear a glove” off a poster in a high school nurse’s office any time soon.
“Yes you had a good weekend or yes you used protection?”
My father never made anything easy for me.
My father gave me a strange look before getting up and walking into the kitchen. He returned with two open bottles of beer, one of which he handed to me. I nervously accepted it.
“Spare me the ‘my little boy is a man’ speech.”
“I would never subject you to that,” he said with mock sincerity.
I snorted. “Yeah, right.”
For the next twelve minutes, we sat in silence drinking our beers.
“I’m proud of you,” he said finally.
I looked over at him in shock. “For having premarital sex with a teacher at my former high school? What kind of a parent are you?”
He laughed. “Sex happens all the time. One could argue that nothing that occurs with that sort of frequency is special, and let’s be real here—the act itself is not. It’s a biological function, like so many others, that exists solely to ensure the propagation of the species.”
I rolled my eyes. “How romantic.”
“That’s my point. At its most basic level, sex isn’t at all romantic. It’s driven by hormones and not much else.”
I shook my head in disbelief.
“What?” he asked.
“I can’t believe Mom married you. Has she heard all of your sex is just the instinctual insertion of tab A into slot B rhetoric?”
“Yes, but I hardly invented the concept. My point is teenage sex drive notwithstanding, you held off out of a desire for the act to be an emotionally significant experience.”
“Which it was,” I stated emphatically.
“As your father, I’m proud of you for waiting.” He stood up, and placed his empty bottle on the counter before turning back to face me. “As your friend, I’m dying to know what you thought of slot B.”
I couldn’t keep the smile from forming on my face.
“It was fairly amazing,” I admitted.
“Just wait. It gets even better. Goodnight, Edward.”
He was up the first three steps when I called out to him.
He stopped and looked at me.
“I love you. Thanks for everything.”
“I love you, too, and I’m proud of the man you’ve become.”
“Dad, no, you said you wouldn’t do this to me.”
“In my eyes, you became a man the moment you realized holding out for the real thing was better than going for cheap thrills.”
“That happened long before I met Bella,” I reminded him.
“I know.” He smiled and vanished up the back stairs, leaving me to contemplate my time alone with Bella. As well as I thought I knew her before spending the past ninety-six hours with her, the holiday weekend still had its revelations:
If I happened to be inside her, my age didn’t matter to her.
That being said, I could fuck her until my dick fell off and still not get enough.
Her mood was most stable when she was horizontal, but something told me this was only partially related to the endorphins associated with orgasm. Despite my recent successes, her rate of climaxing during our sexual encounters was still, much to my mortification, one in seven. That being said, sex came easily to her, but warmth and affection did not.
She could go from naughty teacher to chastising school marm in the same amount of time it took the Volvo to go from zero to sixty. I knew this, because I counted.
In moments of complete candor, she freely admitted she was judgmental and hypocritical, and held others to higher standards than she held herself. These instances were very few and far between.
She’d been hurt badly and kept everyone at arms length. Sadly, this included me.
She had what my Dad would jokingly refer to as “mommy issues”, except there was nothing funny whatsoever about the lasting havoc they’d wreaked upon her self-esteem.
She could be stubborn and cold to the point where I wondered what she even saw in me, and I questioned my ability to make her happy. This usually led to me questioning her ability to be happy at all. I wasn’t entirely sure it was an emotion she would ever permit herself.
She was infuriating and frustrated me beyond all reason.
I loved her anyway.