What's Love? Ch 19
I watch Miah as she gets thrown in the pool by Edward, squealing the whole way. Summer has finally arrived. Edward is in his swim trunks, giving me the chance to stare at his tattooed chest and arms, with his contagious smile.
Tonight, Miah is going to stay at her grandparents’ house so that Edward and I can talk. After being in counseling for a month, it has definitely helped me form relationships with more people than Jasper. Alice, Rose, Esme, and I all go to lunch weekly. Miah pretty much lives at my house, helping me cook and working on computer programs together while Edward is working. He and I have been official since I admitted to him that I wanted more.
The physical aspect of our relationship is difficult. I used to shut down during intimate moments with my exes. I can’t do that anymore because of the counseling. What I do have instead, is triggers for panic attacks. It’s getting better, but Edward is too worried about me to really try much more than some kissing. And it’s not even the deep, passionate kind either. I really hate my past more than usual.
But tonight, I’m going to tell Edward everything, in hopes that this will help me move on to the next part of my relationship with him. My counselor and Jasper agree that it’s important and could really help me. I just hope it doesn’t make him run from me.
I watch my handsome specimen talk to Emmett and Jasper, his eyes meeting mine every now and then. It’s like he’s making sure I’m still here. He’s been worried about James since we discovered the private investigator. I told him that the PI left and there hasn’t been anything more from James since, but Edward doesn’t believe for a second that he’s done. I personally hope that he’s found someone else to focus on, since I haven’t heard anything more from him or had any PI’s watching me. A girl can dream.
“Jesus!” I jump up with a loud scream when chilly water splashes me out of my deep thoughts.
I hear everyone laughing, and the deep, throaty chuckle tells me exactly who the culprit is. His eyes are sparkling with mirth when I look up at him. “It’s on, Emmett!” I jump on his back and lean over until we fall into the pool.
I feel so carefree wrestling around with Emmett, then Miah and Alice come next. All of us adults find ourselves in the pool splashing and wrestling around.
“Food’s done!” Carlisle shouts to us from the porch.
I swim to the side to get out when I feel a pair of strong hands grab my waist. The tingling sensation that spreads from his hands tells me that it's Edward. I turn my face to him; he’s wearing his signature crooked smile. “Can I help you?” I ask him with my own flirtatious smile.
Edward chuckles. “You look so happy.” I fully turn to him, wrapping my arms around his neck.
“I am happy, haven’t felt this free in a long time.” His smile grows bigger as he presses his lips against mine.
I lean away, content with everything. He lifts me up out of the pool, and I can’t help but squeal in surprise.
We say goodbye to Miah and everyone a few hours later and head back to my house. It’s a comfortable silence until we arrive, and then I can feel the tension in the air.
“Let’s watch a movie,” Edward says, sweeping my hair over my shoulder. I know he’s trying to help me relax.
He goes into the living room while I go and hide in my office.
“I can do this, I want to do this. Please don’t let him leave,” I chant to myself almost as a prayer.
“Bella, babe,” he calls me from the other room. I walk slowly to him, noting Edward’s concerned expression.
“I want to tell you everything about me,” I whisper as I sit on the couch. He sits next to me, taking one of my hands into his.
“Hey, whatever it is, I’m not going anywhere.”
I nod my head and start from the beginning. I tell him about Renée, the first time I was sexually assaulted, and how Jasper was there for me. I can feel tears trickle down my cheek as I begin the story of Marcus. His hand squeezes mine when I get into detail. I tell him of the wires he tied me up with, the everyday torture. I tell him how Jasper was there for me again when I escaped. Edward rubs my scars.
“Bella,” his voice cracks. I look to his face; he has his own tears streaking down his cheeks.
“I survived, you know, I kept up with that idea. I had to survive, I couldn’t feel. I kept myself closed off, but when I came home and met you and everyone else, I didn’t want to live like that anymore.”
He nods, still rubbing his fingers across the worst scar on my wrist.
I sigh in relief because he hasn’t run from me yet.
“You have four ex-husbands.”
I know what he’s getting at, he doesn’t even need to really ask. “They weren’t anything, just something I could do. They didn’t love me, they loved the idea of me. I just wanted to see how long it would take for them to fuck someone else once they realized I wasn’t that special.”
Edward scoffs. “You are the most special being I have ever met. And knowing everything that you’ve been through, you’re even more so.”
I can’t help but smile through my tears. “I like you so much, and I need you to know why I am the way I am. I also need you to know that I might never be able to have children.”
“When we get to that point, and I mean when, then we’ll figure it out. Whether we adopt, try surrogacy, or just spoil Miah even more. I just want you, and I want to make sure you’re happy.”
I wrap my arms around him and cry. I can’t believe I found someone like him. “You want me, with all my flaws and issues,” I manage to get out through my sobs.
“Yes, Bella. I’m not going anywhere unless you tell me to,” Edward reassures me.
“I’ll never say it.”
We cuddle together, not really paying attention to the TV. I feel like a weight has lifted off my shoulders. Edward and I are in a healthy relationship and I can trust him. My eyes get heavy and I easily fall asleep in Edward's arms.
“Hello, my Isabella.” Marcus rubs his hands along my body, making me feel sick to my stomach.
“I’ve missed you so much.”
I feel my body shaking and I let out a scream, begging for him to stop. This can’t be real. I got away from him years ago.
I jolt awake, screaming to be let go.
“Shhh, babe, it was just a dream,” Edwards soothing voice tries to reason with my brain.
“No, you have to let me go, please. I need Jasper, please!” I sob harder. I haven’t had a dream of this magnitude in a long time. I should have been prepared for it. I haven’t talked about Marcus and what he did to me to anyone else.
I continue to cry until I hear Jasper’s southern drawl come from the speakers.
“Bella, hey, you need to calm down before you hyperventilate.” His voice is laced with concern and sleep.
I close my eyes and take some deep breaths, through my nose and out of my mouth.
“How do you feel now?” Jasper asks, but I feel Edward pull me close to him, rubbing my back trying to sooth me.
“A little better,” I manage to get out with my raw throat.
“Okay, now what happened?”
I shake my head and Edward answers for me. “She had a nightmare about Marcus.”
I tune out as Edward and Jasper talk a bit more. “Bella, try to go back to sleep. I’ll come over and talk to you tomorrow.”
“Okay,” I rasp out.
Edward tucks me into his chest, resting his chin on the top of my head. I finally notice that we’re in my bed and Edward is topless.
“Are you sure you’re okay?” Edward asks. I can tell by his voice that he’s scared for me.
“Yes, I will be anyway. It’s a process,” I whisper to him. I lean up, looking at him in the light coming from the window. He looks so handsome with his hair messed up from sleep and his eyes appraising me. I can’t help but lean in and kiss him with as much passion as I can muster. He begins to return the kiss, but then pulls away.
“Bella, I don’t want to push you. We don’t have to do this.”
“I know,” I reply and get back to his lips. My tongue sweeps across his plush lips wanting access. Edward quickly lets me in, we both moan, and then he flips us over, settling between my legs. I can’t help but wrap my legs around him, feeling his hard-on press into my heat.
He pulls away again and looks at me with such desire and lust. I’m sure I’m returning the same to him. I should be freaking out at the situation I find myself in. But for the first time ever, I want sex, with Edward. I can’t help but moan as Edward's lips go to my jawline and down to my neck. His hands are under my shirt and making their way to my breasts.
I buck my hips, moaning in pleasure. I can’t believe how good this feels.
“Bella,” Edward caresses my name as he stops kissing me and looks at me. “I want you, but I want to make love to you on a night that you didn’t just have a panic attack. I don’t want to make anything worse.”
A sinking feeling hits me. I close my eyes, begging for the tears not to come. Because logically, he’s right. I really can’t believe that I want such an action after such a horrid nightmare anyway.
“Hey, please don’t cry.” He tries brushing the traitorous tears away.
“I’m trying not to. I know you're right, but I still can’t help but get a twisted, rejected feeling in my gut.”
Edward crushes me to him, holding me tightly and letting me cry a bit more before we both fall back asleep