Let Me Do Better
Let Me Do Better
I sat in that little boat, pressed up against the sea-foam seating and just stared at him.
At the tattoos that might be his scars and the hair that was just like a lion. His face was hard as a stone and his shirt stuck damply to his chest. He was staring blankly at my chest, chewing mindlessly on his lips rings and making my own lip ache in response.
“My face is up here.” I snapped my fingers in his face and he blinked rapidly, pulling his eyes back up to my face and pushing that studded bottom lip out in a stubborn pout.
“You’re making it really hard to concentrate.”
“I am?” I laughed. I was of the opinion that it was him. He made it so difficult not to get distracted that I’d barely had a coherent thought in days.
“Your dress,” his lips spread into a healthy smirk. “It’s practically see through.”
I knew he was right without bothering to confirm the truth, fully aware that the thin white silk was plastered to my skin and I felt my nipples visibly pucker. It was probably the breeze. That or his laser-stare, burning flowered filigrees around them.
“Kiss me again, please,” he spoke gruffly, eyes now locked firm on my mouth.
“Show me your bell,” I countered instinctually.
“I’m not gonna do that. Look for it yourself.”
He reached across the space between us and pulled me into his lap, my fingers clutching his arms and all the breath caught up in my throat. My ass hit the damp fabric of his shorts and he made noise low in his chest that almost scared me, a guttural growl that sounded nearly menacing. I put my palm down right over that octopus on his shoulder and dug my fingernails into her trailing limbs, his shirt gone transparent, bunched up in my fingers.
I must have spent this entire time climbing because here I was again, peering over the edge of that same cliff I’d tumbled from under Alice’s mouth last night.
Weak kneed and out of breath.
“I haven’t been able to stop thinking about you. The way you taste.” He brushed my hair back off my shoulders, sounding like he’d spent all night climbing too. Breathless and reeling. “She got you there by barely touching you,” he whispered as if it wasn’t logical, fingertips sunken deep into my skin yet again. “Let me do better.”
“If that’s what this is all about, you can leave,” I huffed, trying to scramble off him but he held me tight, fingers digging into my skin, bunching handfuls of pale pink lace and creamy satin in his fists.
“You look absolutely stunning when you’re angry with me.”
“You look like you’re holding a smoking gun.” I scowled at him.
“I am.” He gripped me tight as though he was hinting that I was the gun. “I’ve told you, I don’t understand this.” His eyes were locked on the hollow at the base of my throat, face falling until his mouth was pressed damply against it with his temple brushing my chin. Metal rings to the bump of my collarbone.
“You make it sound as though it isn’t even your decision.” My arms wrapped around his neck, pulling him closer before I even had a chance to tell them to. Or not to. I had no idea. His chest met mine, hands spanning the small of my back and the spot between my legs pressed achingly up against the seam of his shorts.
“Yeah well . . . you’re the bell, remember?” He groaned as he swept his nose along my collarbone, warm lips and the faint chill of metal to my skin as he spoke. He was spot on. I felt like I was ringing from head to toe. A reverberation that made my insides quiver and my mouth want things I had no will to deny it. I leaned down to finally test out my brown butter theory, swiping my tongue along the exposed stretch of his neck, and was rewarded with a salty sweet mixture that made my stomach clench fiercely.
“Don’t,” Edward growled, pulling his neck out of my reach, a hand suddenly gone from my hip, clenched into a fist at my side. I wondered briefly if he trying to keep his instincts in check, fighting the urge to open up and slap me, palm stinging against my backside for breaking some unspoken rule. I squirmed, suddenly hot with the visual scampering around my head. On my knees, ass in the air, blotted red with Edward’s handprints.
Alice had created a monster out of me.
“I don’t want this to be about me. I want to watch you get off,” he spoke gruffly. Again with the watching and the wanting. He was liar, and a rather bad one, because he was obviously enjoying himself, my perch on his lap not leaving a whole lot to the imagination.
“I’ve never seen anything quite so alluring. I’m riveted,” Edward exhaled heavily and uncurled his fist, flexing to stretch out his fingers, one of his knuckles popping before he set his index finger to my shoulder and slowly pushed the thin strap of my dress off the edge. It fell against my elbow as he swept down and cupped my breast, a small eye tattooed on the thumb that pressed down over my nipple. I groaned and leaned into his touch, convinced that he’d laid gun powder into that tattoo he was always working on, because those burning lines of lacework burst freshly into flame. His other palm found my crotch, the heel smashing my clit up between the heel and my pubic bone and I shivered through a tidal wave of heat far too strong to hide. Edward smiled lazily to himself, watching me through half-hooded eyes as he slipped a single finger underneath the hem of my underwear.
“Shit, Bella,” he groaned, sliding through my pussy, slipping between folds and fondling my clit. “You’re not even gonna make me work for it, are you?”
“It’s mine, remember?” I panted, clutching his shirt, skin prickling and lungs gone nearly solid. “Give it to me.”
“Gladly,” he whispered, mouth back on my neck, palm to my breast, fingers curling up inside of me. He pressed himself as deeply as he could and groaned low in his chest when my hands threaded through his hair. I fisted a palmful and pulled on it hard enough to tip his head back and he hissed at me, pinched eyes locked firmly on my mouth. Just as I was about to get a taste of the bone-numbing fall that awaited me, lick the inside of his mouth clean of every intoxication he offered, we were interrupted.
Esme’s voice wafted across the water, the slam of my front door following her words and Edward flung me off, his belly to the deck of the boat the moment my ass hit the seat.
“What are you doing?” I grumbled, hastily pulling up my dress and he rolled onto his back, smirking slyly up at me. He didn’t look fazed at all, only sleepy-eyed and wild-haired. Just about dry and tousled by the wind. Far too pleased with himself.
“My mother probably shouldn’t catch us.” He quirked an eyebrow and tucked his finger into his mouth, glistening from his explorations, sucking on it strong enough to hollow out his cheeks. He couldn’t know that was my favorite face of his, but then again, I was beginning to suspect that the boy was a psychic.
Esme appeared on the deck as I slipped back into the water and was standing on the beach by the time I made it to shore. She was already shaking her head at me.
“What in the world are you doing out there? Please don’t tell me you fell asleep, you’re probably thoroughly burned,” Esme scolded me as I finally stepped out of the water. I shook my arms and wrung out my hair, if only to buy myself time so that I wouldn’t have to look her in the face, trying to ignore the ache between my legs.
I most certainly had not been sleeping in that boat.
“You’re one to talk,” I grumbled at her. She was still stained red around the edges and winced a little whenever she moved too quickly, skin pulling painfully. I trailed her inside, the back of my neck on fire, sure that Edward was staring at me from his imprisonment on the boat. I knew that he’d probably slink off and swim around the barrier to his own villa as soon as we disappeared inside.
“I simply must show you the fabric we found for seven, it’s one of the most beautiful shades of blue I’ve ever seen.” Esme plopped onto the couch and started shuffling through her large workbook, thumbing through pages and talking distractedly about cotton versus chintz and whether or not brocade was too heavy for the warm, tropical weather.
“Esme,” I cut her off, choosing to justify my interruption with my nearly constant three-sheets-to-the-wind inebriation. “Does Carlisle have a problem with Edward? His tattoos?”
Esme glanced sharply at me but pulled her eyes away just as fast. “It’s not a problem,” she emphasized the word heavily, which told me that it was. “I’m sure you understand, don’t you? There’s barely any disparity in this world of ours. That’s not to say that his tattoos and . . . other choices . . . don’t have their merit.”
Do not think about his lips rings. Do not.
“He asked Edward to stay behind, didn’t he?” I tried to control the waver in my voice as my bruised lip flared to life in time to my heartbeat.
Esme nodded, her mouth clamped tight and her hands wrung together as though she was trying to squeeze all the excess liquid from herself. Dripping a complicated mixture of unspoken discomfort and undying loyalty. I knew she loved Edward deeply but was beginning to see the awkward place a parent might find themselves put into by their child.
“Carlisle in a difficult position, Bella. There’s a certain image he is responsible for upholding and Edward doesn’t exactly . . . comply. Think about all of them.” She rolled her eyes, referring to our endless boring dinner parties. Full of the same old men in two-dollar haircuts and two thousand dollar suits, their pockets far too deep and influence far too potent. “They aren’t exactly accepting of change. There isn’t even a gay man in sight as it is, much less a woman . . . can you imagine the upheaval Edward has already caused?”
I bit my lip, Edward’s bruises screaming under my teeth but it was better than blurting out what was in my mouth.
Actually, there’s a gay man right underneath their noses.