April 16, 2011

Chapter Nine

BPOV



It was the closest to normal I'd ever felt.

I'd never had a problem conditioning myself to the circumstances I was presented with, but I'd always felt like I was running in place. Like the finish line was just beyond the span of my reach. Just past my fingertips.

Some kind of switch had been flipped inside of me. After that first spontaneous early morning rendezvous, I'd waited and waited for the curtain of revulsion to drop down over me. To feel the disdain creep under my skin and down into my bones.

But...nothing.

It was glorious.

I felt as if I was recovering a fraction of the sanity that our little setup had robbed me of.

How ironic that getting it back had only required handing it over. Only when I stopped fighting everything so hard...did I find any peace at all.

Weeks passed like hours.

My life settled into a warped routine of sorts.

Edward began to randomly demand my time more and more often.

Early morning hours between work and school.

Late afternoons between school and work.

Our standard Saturdays.

Sundays.

The amount of money I'd attained in such a short amount of time was staggering. Again, the thought of quitting the hotel crossed my mind...but I just couldn't. I was plenty used to the work, the loss of sleep, the exhaustion. None of that bothered me.

Not nearly as much as the thought of exclusively being Edward Cullen's whore did.

In my head at least, it made perfect sense. I just couldn't let my livelihood depend solely on him. On something...on someone so volatile.

I was back to the old, robotic me. Operating on auto pilot. Doing what needed to be done with little to no thought spared for anything else.

It was glorious.

My newly found oblivion helped with my work as well. The wedding was set for the first week of January and I was proud of myself for the progress I'd made. Between working with the family and being introduced to the business side of things in the office, I'd come to realize how much I actually...enjoyed what I was doing. Watching and learning from Kate was fascinating to me. I felt...significant. Like I had something to offer. Like I made a difference somehow. I'd become more comfortable in expressing myself. My opinion, my ideas. I'd even gotten an 'I like that idea' out of Alice when I'd suggested a different seating arrangement for the reception. And on more than one occasion, a covert thumbs up from Kate.

I wasn't operating under any misconceptions though. I knew that there was a significant difference between how I was dealing before...and how I was dealing now.

I began viewing my encounters with Edward in a different light. I found myself looking forward to them. They'd morphed into a warped incentive of sorts. The release I felt at his hands...the escape. It became the consolation prize at the end of some of my most tiring days.

Day after day. Night after night. I checked my reality at his door and gave myself over to him.

To do with what he wanted.

To use me how he saw fit.

To make me forget.

To help me escape.

I immediately abandoned any train of thought that lead to questioning my own morality. I dodged introspection with little effort.

The mesmeric hold Edward Cullen had over my body had become my sole coping mechanism.

There are times when I don't get off at all. Yet, strangely, it doesn't matter...

He stared down at me, and even though I kept my eyes on the floor between us, I could feel the angry gaze of his eyes on me.

Searing into the skin of my body and making my cheeks flame...

My heart throb...

My breathing falter with anticipation.

Without a word...or any finesse, he reaches up and fists the hair at the nape of my neck, snatching downward.

Point taken.

He wants me on my knees.

As soon as my kneecaps meet carpet, he forces the thumb of his free hand through my lips and hooks the tip of it behind my bottom teeth, jerking my mouth open.

Point taken.

I drop my jaw and wait.

"You don't look very happy, Isabella. Don't be so fucking ungrateful. Smile around my cock."

My teeth scrape along his length as he stays in place and pulls my mouth over the length of him.

I brace my hands on the tops of my thighs and say a little prayer for my gag reflex.

~o~

There are times when he's rushed. When his words are scarce and he takes less time to taunt...

I'd barely grazed the surface of the door with my knuckles when it's snatched open and I'm dragged inside by my arm.

He positions me so that I'm facing one of the walls of the foyer.

"Strip."

I execute his command without hesitation.

I hear the teeth of his zipper and fist my hands at my sides.

He rips open the condom and my eyes close in preparation.

"Hands on the wall."

Done.

The force with which he slides into me causes me to stumble forward.

Cheek to wall.

My nipples harden against it and he stills at the hilt.

His left hands comes up and yanks my left leg up and onto the table there.

The same one he'd had me bent over weeks before.

My leg is bent and my knee rests on top of the table, while my right foot remains flat to the floor.

The muscles in my legs and hips are pulled tight.

He may have foregone the jeering, but his stamina was just as punishing.

For two days, I won't move a muscle without remembering the way his belt buckle dug into the back of my thigh. Or feeling the vibrations of the wall on my skin as he pounded his fists into it while coming.

~o~

There are times when he's more vulgar, more humiliating...

My arms tremble as they support the weight of my upper body.

The skirt of my uniform is pulled up and around my waist, which I'm slightly bent at.

He thrusts and retreats, hard and fast into me from behind.

I'm close...so close.

The ringing of his cell barely registers with me. I'm blocking out everything outside of the throbbing between my thighs...until he answers it.

"Cullen." One hand is cupped around and tightly squeezing the back of my neck, while the other holds the phone to his ear.

His pace remains the same. He never even falters. Not his voice...not his breathing.

"Cancel it."

Despite his audacity, I can't help how my body continues to march toward climax. I can't stop it...I don't want to.

"I don't give a shit. Cancel it. Is that all?"

I can feel the fluttering of my muscles, the clenching beginning. Apparently, so can he.

"Hold on."

He reaches around the front of me and places his cell phone down on the table between my hands. Directly below my face. It's on speakerphone. I can hear papers shuffling. The clearing of a throat. The distant sound of a phone ringing. The low, steady breathing of whoever is on the other end.

Hot and low, his voice is in my ear, an angry whisper. Just barely audible to me. I jump at the sound of it.

"You're gonna come, aren't you Isabella? You gonna come all over my cock? Go ahead. Come like the cock hungry little slut we both know you are."

He slaps my ass and begins fucking me even harder. Even faster.

I bite hard into the flesh of my cheek to keep from screaming out.

I stamp down my anger at his affinity for my humiliation.

He speaks in my ear again, hushed and through clenched teeth.

"But can you do it quietly, huh? Keep that fucking mouth of yours shut? Don't wanna sound like a whore, do you? Don't want him to know how hard you like it, right? How fucking filthy you are? How much you enjoy doing your job?"

I stare down and watch the time tick away on the screen.

And twenty seven seconds later, my orgasm thunders through me without an ounce of mercy. My legs shake and I can taste the blood as I grind my teeth into my cheek.

He chuckles in my ear.

"That's what I thought."

Another slap to my ass.

"Good girl."

~o~

It was now mid December and I was using a free Sunday afternoon to do some grocery shopping. I'd always been so used to only being able to afford the bare essentials, if that. But when I spotted the cantaloupe display in the produce section, I couldn't help myself. Just as I pick one up in each hand, the voice of a young woman on the other side of the display case caught my ear.

"Hey Mom, it's me...I'm good, just getting some shopping done for tomorrow night. I was calling because I couldn't remember what the best way to pick a cantaloupe was. Uh huh...uh huh. Okay."

I watched as she thumped the melon and sniffed it.

"Yeah, okay. Now I remember. Thanks, Mom...I love you too. Bye." She smiled politely at me as she walked past and I couldn't help the pang of jealousy I felt. She called her mom. Their conversation seemed so laid back. So easy. Devoid of awkward silences and stilted small talk.

I wonder if I'll ever stop hoping.

"Nice melons."

The voice startles me and I jump, losing my grip on the cantaloupes and I begin fumbling to keep from dropping them.

"Whoa, sorry." Two hands steady the melons and take them, placing them back in the pile. My eyes shoot up to their owner.

"Haircut. Err...I mean Jasper!" His eyes crinkle in confusion and he laughs at my outburst.

"Right. Hi, Bella. How are you doing?"

I'd only seen Jasper a couple of times since we'd met. It seemed cake testing and tux fittings were the only things he could be coerced into participating in. So I'd only briefly seen in passing, when he was coming or going. He's dressed as casually as he always is, in jeans and a hoodie. His trademark haircut just...suits him somehow.

"I...uh, I'm good, thanks. You?"

"I'm good. Just picking up some things for Esme."

There's a quiet pause in the conversation. It's inevitable when I bear half the responsibility of keeping it going.

"Listen, Bella. I'm kind of glad I ran into you. I've been wanting to talk to you about something."

Damn. These conversations always end badly.

"I know this is going to sound really random, but...I know that Alice can be...off putting. Don't let it bother you too much. She's really is a good person. She's just had it rough. It wasn't until Carlisle and Esme that she's had any kind of stability. Well, aside from me."

The cheesy grin he flashes is...cute.

He loves her. Really loves her. I can tell...anytime I see them together. The way he calms her. The way he only sees her in a room full of people. The way she looks up at him...like she can't breathe until he's touching her.

It's the only time I see Alice shed the armor she seems to shroud herself in.

Something about his words confuse me. He must see it on my face.

"Twelve foster homes in the sixteen years before they found her."

I'm stunned by the revelation.

"Adopted?"

He nods his head. "Look, I'm only telling you this because I know that the two of you got off on the wrong foot."

He lowers his head and rubs the back of his neck. "Edward...is a sore subject. That's putting it mildly. It's nothing personal."

I begin to fiddle with the strap of my messenger bag. Hearing someone else say his name makes me unbearably uncomfortable. I feel like I'm wearing my secret on my skin. Out in the open for everyone to see.

"No, I understand, really Jasper. It's no problem. But thank you...for telling me. I promise I won't say anything." I always feel compelled to use more words with Jasper. To talk more than I normally would.

After taking it upon himself to pick out a cantaloupe for me with his, and I quote, 'mad melon knowledge', we parted ways. And I tucked any curiosity born of our conversation away...out of my mind.

It wasn't my business.

The following day, Monday, I'd been excused from classes for the afternoon in order to meet with Kate. It was going to be the first time we'd met at the Cullen house since my confrontation with Alice. I was equal parts nervous and determined. I simply had to keep my head in the game, as I'd been doing for the last several weeks. I couldn't let anything get in the way of my progress in the Mentor Program. I wouldn't let anything get in the way.

An hour into my time there and all had gone well. Alice was being her usual aloof self, but not rudely so. When necessary, she spoke to me. And after my talk with Jasper, I was seeing her a little differently. What I was once viewed as callousness, I now recognized as a safeguard. Through the facade of indifference, I could now see the caution. The reluctance. The mistrust. And it was then that I was finally able to put my finger on just what it was about Alice that made me so uneasy.

She reminded me far too much of myself.

Esme and Carlisle had been as welcoming as always, although I couldn't help but notice how quiet Esme had grown over the past few weeks. She was still as polite as ever, but I sensed a sadness about the way she was carrying herself. I'd catch her staring off into the distance and more than once, at the painting of the space needle. And still, I shook it off.

It wasn't my business.

Kate had given me the responsibility of all correspondence with the videographer for the wedding. She'd suggested that they gather pictures and video footage of the happy couple and use it for a compilation video that would play for the guests during the reception. Alice had embraced the idea immediately, telling Kate she had already gone through and found some videos of she and Jasper at different occasions, like prom and graduation.

It turns out that Jasper and Alice had known each other since they were twelve, when she moved into yet another foster home. Jasper happened to live next door. Adolescent best friends became high school sweethearts and so on and so forth. Wherever Alice was sent to, he wasn't far away. And when the Cullens found Alice, they'd embraced Jasper as well. And the rest is history.

When Jasper began to tell Kate the story of how he proposed to Alice, I became overwhelmed and excused myself to the bathroom. The intimacy was too much. The reverent way Jasper spoke Alice's name. It made me feel intrusive. Out of place.

Just before I reach the bathroom, I hear a faint noise coming from the direction of the den.


I don't know what makes me do it, but I follow the sound of it closer and closer...

And as I do, it becomes clearer.

A man's voice...singing...low and soft, but definitely masculine. I can't make out the words yet, but I can tell there is no music accompanying him.

His voice alone.

Just outside the den door, the words he says become audible and I stop, still unable to see who is singing. I stop...and just listen.

Your eyes shine through me

You are so divine to me

Your heart has a home in mine


His voice is low and steady, caressing each word carefully. Softly.


We won't have to say a word

With a touch all shall be heard

When I search my heart it's you I find


I take the last few steps and round the corner...completely unprepared for what I see. My hands begin to shake and I have to cover my mouth to stop from crying out.

Edward.

Mere feet away from me.

Not in the flesh...but on the flat screen.

His voice is steady and soothing as he rocks back and forth on his feet.


My beloved one, my beloved one, my beloved one


He's wearing plaid pajama pants and a white wife beater. His hair is a mess of auburn chaos on his head.

But his face...his face. I clench my teeth and shake my head back and forth. I'm not sure why. It won't change what I'm seeing. But I'm in disbelief. I can't comprehend it.

The man I've come to know as nothing but vile and depraved. The man who has uttered some of the most revolting words I've ever heard in my adult life. The man who seeks out and revels in my humiliaton. That man...just can't be the man I see before me now.

He can't be the man whose eyes are shining with a brilliance incomparable to anything I've ever witnessed.

He can't be the man who is singing these beautiful words.

He can't be the man who is hold...cradling...this sleeping baby in his arms. This baby...a baby girl...judging by the pink cloth thrown over his shoulder and the pinks and purples of the furniture and walls around him.

He can't be the same man.

Because if he is, then...nothing is what I thought it was.

My mind is spinning out of control and my slow decent into panic is accompanied by his song, muted and gentle, as he serenades her.

You were meant for me, I believe you were sent to me from a dream straight into my heart

Hold your body close to me

You mean the most to me

We will keep each other safe from harm

My beloved one, my beloved one, my beloved one


I watch as his words taper off into silence and he leans down and rubs his nose across her forehead. One...two...three times. His lips hover over her ear as he whispers something to her.

It's at this point that I realize whoever is filming, had been doing so without Edward's knowledge. When they walk forward into the room, his eyes fly up and I feel my breath catch in my throat.

His eyes.

Brilliant blue. Beautiful and clear.

His face looks tired, but handsome. He has a slight stubble on his jaw and dark circles under his eyes. The small, rueful smile he gives the camera stuns me. He looks exhausted, but radiant.

"Hi, Daddy."

Oh, God. It's Esme. Her voice. She's behind the camera.

When Edward speaks, it's with a hint of pride. It's evident, even in his whisper.

"Look here, Grandma, you wake her up, and you get the rest of the night shift."

Esme giggles and the camera shakes a little, momentarily distorting the picture.

I hear a small sniffle and pull my attention from the television, realizing for the first time that I'm not alone.

Esme is seated on the very edge of the sofa, as if she collapsed there.

Her arms are lying limply on either side of her, the remote in one hand.

Her eyes are zeroed in on the screen and I glance back at it just in time to see Edward carefully tilting the baby's face toward the camera.

I see light blonde wisps of hair framing chubby, pink cheeks and immediately tear my eyes away.

I can't watch anymore. I hear Edward's voice murmuring something, but try my best to block it out.

The look of sheer agony on Esme's face...

She's not merely reminiscing.

Whatever she's remembering is painful.

I stagger back against the wall...and freeze.

She hasn't noticed me yet.

Tears flood her eyes and streak down her face.

My eyes close...slow and heavy.

I can't look.

Can't handle what I'm seeing.

What I'm hearing.

Is this real?

It can't be.

No.

Please no.

I want to run. To flee as fast as my body can stand it. To plug my ears and shield my eyes. Running so far and so fast that it erases the last few minutes from having ever happened.

I've silenced my curiosity thus far, debilitating even the slightest hint of wonder.

About him.

About...why.

Contentment in my ignorance has proven lucrative. Absolutely vital to my ability to follow through with this arrangement.

I can feel my feet falter as it is all snatched out from under them.

Now that I've seen it with my own eyes.

Heard it.

And I know. I just know...

It's the beginning of the end.

15 comments:

rebernardi said...

OMG!!!!!!!
The baby died sometime after the photo of the beach...
And he became bitter...
After this Edward turns into an insensitive monster. He feels guilty for the death? Maybe an accident?
My head is spinning righ now!!!

ksw3 said...

Something very tragic happend. I think the baby and maybe the mother died. Edward has so much anger and hurt he has turned into this monster? Thats my guess anyway. Will Bella be able to bring him out of it in anyway? Things are going to get good!!! Ok, I am in someway feeling something for this Edward. Before I hated him!

This.is.Yady! said...

What happened to the baby? OMG!! Something devastating must've happened for Edward to be such an ass.

maxandmimasmummy said...

Whatever happened to Edward to turn him into such a cold, hard and cruel man obviously had something to do with losing his daughter...and perhaps there is something about her mother...

~Elli~Iris~ said...

Ch 9
Oh Bella. “Robotic…My newly found oblivion…release and escape…” She may be in a zone of some sort but it is not exactly a healthy one. She isn’t battling with herself and she is allowing herself to enjoy herself, but at what cost? She is back to some sort of normalcy, but normal for her has always sucked.
"Nice melons."
Jasper is awesome. Alice is adopted. I wonder if Edward was as well?
Edward had a daughter. The girl in the picture was his daughter. What a sweet thing to view him singing to her. Is she dead? Is the mother? Did the mother take his daughter from him? Is that who he is punishing every time he is with Bella? They are gone for sure. The song so sweet sung to his baby captured by Esme. I’m worried for Bella’s safety if and when Edward figures out she has this connection with his family. What will she do with this information?
Iris~Elli

Heather said...

I just knew it had something to do withthe little girl, why he is angry at the world....yikes

Blondemel47 said...

So a daughter it was. What a touching scene of Edward singing to her. So either the wide took her away or poss more so wife & daughter died & does Edward blame himself? He obviously changed into some demon whom Esme doesnt like. But guessing she still loves him, worries about him. Guess it'll all come out in the wash. So looking forward to finding out more & seeing how Bella handles things. Cant be easy now to just shut off havin seen a loving Edward. Good story - thanks so much.

Cartnee said...

I am a sniffling, hot mess right now. I just couldn't not have a reaction to that!

And could i love Jasper more? The way he calms Alice is magical.

kelly said...

Omg that video!! Wtf! What happened to Edward and his little girl?! :( and poor Esme! Whatever it was ruined Edwards life as well as his families life too :(

BellaTesoro said...

The slow reveal of what broke Edward is torture! Obviously the baby is his, she grew to be old enough for pigtails in the beach picture. So I'm guessing something ended her life. My guess is it had something to do with her mother? Perhaps she did something so horrible he wants to punish some woman for it, and looks like Bella is it.
I was wondering; Edward must have stalked Bella, watching that she was someone he could abuse, someone like him who was broken. I can't wait to find out what/how he selected Bella. Is she that transparent? Perhaps so, seems everyone around her can read her broken parts of her soul...
So this changes things for Bella now, seeing the reason he is the way he is...Still.

fancastride said...

We see a human side of Edward.

nelarivera said...

i don't know what to think. edward is an ass, a cold bastart, a son of a bich, but losing a child is devastating to said the least...

the baby , is she dead??? where is his mom???

MissWinkles said...

I can't even with this chapter.

It's like my brain has checked the fuck out.

You, m'dear, are a genius of epic proportions. I can feel you in my mind right this second, fucking me. Do you feel it? I feel it. Fucking A

Wink

kneon said...

The ending of this chapter is so overwhelming. It explains a lot. But also gives us more questions

seymourblogger said...

Fanfic of E/B begins to be difficult when the sex has been consummated. Since you started with that you have inverted the template. To not sink into triteness is the main difficulty fanfic has and 99% of it gives up, becomes stupid, and ends with the 2 cars in the garage, the babies, the oh so ordinary life of middle class boredom.