April 16, 2011

Chapter Seven


"Hello, Bella, is it?"

With the sound of shattering glass, everything around me launches. Chair scrapes and 'Oh no' and 'Bella, are you okay?' and 'Don't move, you'll cut yourself' when I turn to face the voice.

The friendly, cordial voice.

It matches the smile on his face. Oh God. Another one. The ratio of normal, functioning people to totally abnormal head cases in this house is massively unfair. And irritatingly unnerving.

Owner of said voice is walking toward me, concern on his face.

But my focus is stapled to the only other stationary figure in the room. She stands on the opposite side of the island from me. Her reaction the polar opposite to everyone else's. The movement and commotion around me registers, but not enough to draw my attention away from her. I'm rooted in place, stunned as realization settles in my gut.

She'd done it on purpose. She was looking for a reaction out of me. Baiting me for proof and I'd fed right into it.

She knew that I'd think it was Edward.

I expect triumph when I scan her face. I don't find it.

Instead, what looks more like...defeat? She has a contemplative stare fixed on me, her eyes narrowed. Confirmation of what I'm sure she'd strongly suspected already doesn't appear to be satisfying to her. With her arms crossed over her mid section and both hands cradling her elbows, she looks...sad.


With a subtle nod, she looks down at her feet and shakes her head back and forth. She leaves the kitchen silently, shoulders slumped.

I'm beyond confused. What the hell just happened? That's not what I'd expected.

The fog begins to recede and my surroundings slowly come back into focus.

"...and go have a seat while I get this cleaned up, ladies."

I look down at the back of a head of light brown hair. It's pulled back and tied into a knot. The hair at temple level, all the way around and down is shaved close to his head, but looks to have grown in an inch or two. It's...unique. He's dressed casually in jeans and a plaid collared shirt.

Haircut looks up at me and smiles...and smiles. And then chuckles.

Oh, right. He was talking.

"I'm sorry. What?"

"I said, why don't you go have a seat while I get this cleaned up?"

He's still sporting this mellow smile.

I wish he'd quit it already.

It's just now that I realize Esme and Kate are standing next to me as well.

"Yeah, okay. Thank you."

"Are you okay, Bella?" Kate ushers me toward the table as she speaks.

"I'm fine, really. The glasses just slipped." The queasy feeling in my stomach has yet to vacate. My hands are still slightly shaking and I can feel the adrenaline leaving me all too slowly. I look up at Esme with the intention of apologizing to her for the broken glasses, but something in her face stops me. She's still rooted in place, next to where Haircut is cleaning up the glass. I make a note to apologize to him for not helping. Her eyes are fixed on the spot Alice was standing and her hands

"Excuse me." Esme's voice is...tight. Haircut looks up at her and watches her walk, with heavy steps, out of the kitchen. The same way Alice went.

Standing and dumping emptying the dustpan into a trash can under the sink, he turns to me and holds a hand out.

Oh, great. He's a shaker.

"Alright, let's try this again, shall we? I'm Jasper Hale, the groom. It's nice to meet you, Bella." The wide smile he gives is surprisingly...not creepy. I look away before I do something crazy...like smile back. It's these, inconsequential moments where I feel so awkward. Things that seem to come so naturally to other people. Introductions. Small talk. Eye contact and embracing. I don't understand the need for all of it.

Remembering that Kate is sitting beside me and not wanting to make a bad impression on...whoever this person was, I shake his hand as briefly as I can manage.

"Nice to meet you." There, that sounded normal, right?

"It's nice to meet you, too, Bella." He looks over at Kate, who automatically opens her arms to him for a hug.

"You get over here, boy. Look at you. What on earth did you do to your hair?"

He hugs her and then rubs the hair at the back of his head. "Thought I'd change things up a little. Somebody's gotta keep it sexy around here, right?"

Kate playfully swats at him and he ducks out of the way and plops down into the chair across from me. When he looks up at me, I realize the corner of my lip is turned up and immediately look down and away.

"Is everything okay with Alice?" I'm grateful for Kate's question. It interrupts the confused look that Jasper is giving me.

"Oh, I'm sure she's fine. Just girl stuff. She's hasn't stopped talking about the wedding since we set a date."

It's strange for me to hear him talk about Alice this way. All I've ever gotten from her is silent suspicion. I try to imagine her giddy. It doesn't work. Even when discussing the ceremony and reception details, there's a reservation there. She's...careful. Contained.

"Well, it is the biggest day in a girl's life you know." Kate is wonderful at what she does. Helping people celebrate is her passion. She radiates in this, in her element.

Before Jasper can respond to her, Esme and Alice both enter the kitchen and take a seat back at the table. Neither of them are giving anything away, but I feel guilty for my part in whatever just happened between them. Esme picks up the seating chart and jumps right in.

"Sorry about that. Carlisle sends his regards. He just came off of a forty-eight hour shift and is exhausted. Now, where were we?"

"Well, ladies, I'll leave you to it. Bella, nice to meet you." I nod at him and he looks to Esme.

"I'll see you later Ezziemay." He kisses her on her cheek and she smiles up at him.

"Kate, always a pleasure." He gives her a rye smile and a wink. She waves a hand at him in faux exasperation, gives him an 'Oh you!' and returns to hunching over the chart with Esme.

When I glance back at him, he's next to Alice, bent down at the waist. One hand braced on the back of her chair, the other on the table in front of her. His forehead is pressed to her temple and I can just make out his jaw moving as he talks into her ear.

And her face.

Slowly, the tension in her brows relents. The tight line of her mouth softens. The stiff set of her shoulders relaxes. Her eyes are closed and she nods her head. Pulling back, he uses his hand on her chin to turn her mouth to his. When their lips meet, I snatch my gaze away. But not before I see the way her lips smile against his.

I'm embarrassed about watching them, but also...fascinated. The way he touched her. The way he calmed her. I couldn't look away. It was beautiful.

Looking down at the wood grain of the table, I watch from the corner of my eye as Jasper walks out and Alice straightens up in her seat and slides her notebook and pen over in front of her. She leans over and begins discussing the seating arrangement with Kate and Esme.

After finishing the lunch that Esme insists we still have, I ask where the bathroom s and am surprised when Alice volunteers to show me the way.

Well, maybe petrified is a better word.

Not wanting to cause a problem, I just smile and thank her. As I follow her up the staircase, I know that the nerves I feel are warranted. There are bathrooms on the first floor. I ready myself for whatever she has planned.

"Here you are." Instead of leaving me at it, she follows me into the bathroom.

And then the pretense drops.

"Please. Just...please don't lie to me."

She's looking at me..right in the eyes. And I can't look away. I can see the tears, welled there in her eyes but not falling.

"Do you know him? Do you know...Edward?" Her voice quiets at the end. She only just barely breathes his name.

I want to lie. To tell her that I have no idea what she means. I'm doubtful that I could feign confusion at this point. She knows. The confession is all that's left. She wants to hear me say it. Her eyes don't look cautious or contemplative the way I'm used to seeing them.

She looks...weary. It's a complete change up. Her resignation is what disarms me. I almost wish she were being hostile. I could work with that. This, though? I have no idea what to do with this Alice.

I wither under her stare. The pact I made with myself to mind my own business in this loses its potency. My shoulders sag and my eyes drop to the floor.

"I knew it. Why haven't you said anything? That's what I don't understand. You saw the picture. I saw the way you looked. You didn't know about her. How-"

"I-I don't...know him very well. I just...recognized him. We don't-"

"Despite what you might think, I don't have a problem with you, Bella. So I'm going to give you some advice."

She crosses her arms over her chest and walks closer to me. For every step she takes toward me, I want to take one back.

"Don't bring him up. Don't talk about him. Don't tell my family that you know him. My parents...they-"

She stops herself from finishing. Whatever she'd almost said, she hadn't intended to.

"They don't need this. Do the job you're here to do."

With that, she turns to leave the room. Just as she reaches the doorway, she stops. Turning only her face to the side, she speaks.

"Is he...okay?" Her voice is reluctant. She doesn't want to ask. Albeit slight, there's a hint of genuine concern in her voice.

A small part of me wants to laugh out loud. Okay? Of all of the words in this world, okay would not be one I'd assign to Edward Cullen.

Panic seizes me as I comprehend the position I'm in. The things at stake.

My duties here, with Kate. With school. My arrangement with Edward. I have no clue what to say. Something is very obviously not okay with him. If I tell her that, surely she'll act. She could tell him I'm here. Say something to Carlisle and Esme. He would find out that I've met his family. I can't lose that money.

I'm so close.

So close.

And then a strange thing happens. I have an epiphany of sorts. I shut myself off when I'm...with him. Turn off my logic and just fulfill my purpose. This is no different. I'm not here to involve myself in any of their family's problems. It's not my place to say anything. I don't know him. He's made it clear that he doesn't want to know me. I don't owe him anything. If the tables were turned, I have no doubt that he wouldn't blink twice in my direction.

It's none of my business.

And so I keep it that way.

"He's fine."

And then she's gone.


I barely feel the week happen. I'm getting better at passing the time when I'm alone. I find comfort in the familiar, chaotic schedule that the weekdays bring. I relish in the my exhaustion. Work, school and Alice's wedding planning keep me just occupied enough. When my mind starts to wander in dangerous directions, I repeat my mantra to myself.

It's none of your business.

It's not your problem.

Stay focused.

Do what you need to do.

On Saturday morning, I busy myself with errands. Groceries. The school registrar. Car insurance. Laundry mat. After I've paid what needs to be, I'm shocked to find that I have money left over. I'd never stopped to think of that happening.

It briefly occurs to me that I could save myself a lot more stress and just quit the hotel. I scrap the thought as soon as I have it. If I were to quit that job, I'd be totally dependent on the money I get from Edward. The money I get from selling myself to him. The money I'm paid for sex in return. There's no way I could do that. Who knows whether he'll wake up tomorrow and decide he's done with this? Who's to say the next time I piss him off won't be the last? No, I can't take the chance. Besides, if I did that, then it'd be official.

I'd just be...Edward's whore.

My subconscious makes an annoyingly intuitive comeback.

Yeah, because as long as it's not the only thing you're being paid to do , it doesn't count. You're not really a whore.

Saturday evening finds me standing outside of Edward's penthouse door.

The door that I've knocked on for five minutes, without an answer. I check my cell phone for the time. 6:07 p.m.

I stare at the door as if it's going to magically give me the answer. Do I keep knocking? Do I leave? Do I call him?

I'm frustrated that no matter what decision I make, it won't be the right one. With him, there is no right one.

Just as I find his name in my contacts list, I snap my phone shut and slide it back into my pocket. There's no need to call him.

He's already here.

The shiver. It reaches out and takes hold of me. Infecting me the way it always does. Seducing my mindset into submission. Startling and alleviating all at once.

I'd never even heard the elevator.

As per usual, his words are spoken with unquestionable authority.

"Hands on the door, Isabella."

My body sags with...relief?

I comply.

I tell myself it's for the sake of getting it over with.

He reaches around to the front of me with both hands and curls his fingers into the top of my shirt, pulling it and the cups of my bra down. The heels of his hands work in sync to push my breasts up and out into the cool air. My nipples harden and I bite my lip.

"Touch them. Pinch your nipples."

My own hands feel strange to me. While the contact is stimulating, it does nothing for me. Still, I squeeze my breasts together and pinch my nipples.

"Enough. Hands on the door."

I comply.

I tell myself it's for the sake of my sanity.

When his hands begin to tug the button and zipper on my jeans, anticipation sets in. My breathing accelerates and I'm thankful to have the door there for support.

My jeans are around my knees and I'm digging my fingertips into glossy white wood.

"Bend over and spread your legs."

I comply.

I tell myself it's for the sake of keeping his temper at bay.

Grasping onto the doorknob with both hands, I bend at the waist and shimmy my legs until my jeans are around my ankles. I quickly slip one foot through my shoe and pant leg, spreading my legs as I'm told.

"Look at that. Such a slut for me, aren't you? Are you a slut for my cock, Isabella?"

My teeth are grinding in my mouth and I feel like I'm going to implode if...if...I don't know what. I want to scream out in frustration.

A slap to each of my breasts and my head is snatched back by my hair.

The Yes! lingers on the back of my tongue...but won't have to wait long.

"I said...you're a slut for my cock aren't you, Isabella? Answer me!"

"Yes!" I press my forehead to the door and the strands of hair hanging in my face sway with my hard, panting breaths.

"I think that's what I'll call you from now on. Little cock slut. Do you like that name?" He punctuates his question with another sharp pull on my hair.

"Yes! I like it!"

"Hmm...I thought you would. Look at you. Spread wide open, ass in the air just begging to be fucked. That sounds like a good idea, Isabella."

He leans forward and over my ear. "Beg me. Beg for my cock, Isabella. Beg for me to fuck you."

I don't need to be facing him to see the cocky smirk on his face. He reaches forward with his free hand and twists my nipple roughly, pulling and tugging at it. The sharp sting isn't as unpleasant as it's intended to be.

And then I'm mad. Mad at myself for being in this situation. Mad at him for being such an asshole. Mad at Alice for saying all of the shit that she did. For contributing to the mountain of questions that I fight off thinking about every day. Furious at myself for the nanosecond of disappointment I felt when I thought of getting back on that elevator and going home without having done what I came here for.

I latch onto the anger and let it carry me through what I'm about to do.

I want the thoughts to stop.

I want the tireless curiosity to back off.

I want to forget about the mess that my life is. The mess that I am.

I just want an escape from the tangle of introspection.

For five fucking minutes, I just want to be...nothing.

The surge of all of it rises to the surface and breaks.

"Fuck me. Please. Just...fuck me."

I don't manage more than a loud whisper, but it must be enough for him. I hear give a low laugh.

My humiliation is, as always, entertaining for him. I hear the jingling of his keys and move my hands in time for him to unlock and open the door.

"Get inside."

I take the few steps inside and jump when the door slams behind me. He cups his hand around the back of my neck and leads me toward the table that sits against the wall in the foyer.

The one with the mirror that hangs above it. The mirror that I adamantly avoid.

"Hands on the table."

I comply. Lying my hands palm down in front of me, I keep my eyes down. Partly to avoid his reflection. Mostly to avoid mine.

I hear the clink of his belt and the condom wrapper. The tell tale signs.

I lower my head in preparation. Only to have him bury his fingers in my hair, at the top of my head this time. Snatching back on it and holding my face close to the glass of the mirror, his jeering begins.

"No. Watch. Isabella. Keep your eyes on your reflection."

I pull my eyes up and focus on my face. I hate the way I look. My eyes are noticeably dilated. My cheeks are flush and there's a sheen of sweat forming just above my brow. My breaths are puffing out hard and fast, lightly fogging the mirror.

I look how I feel. Wanton. Like a whore.

Bent over this table waiting for him to fuck me.

Waiting for him to set me free.

He cups his hands around either end of the table and, with little forewarning and absolutely no regard, he is inside me. So far inside me that the perpetual white noise that lives in my head comes to an immediate stop.

My feet raise up and off of the floor upon his first thrust inside me. I arch my back, too far gone to care about how desperately I need to feel this.

My eyes begin to flutter shut. His hands slam down flat on either side of the mirror. The glass shakes and the noise causes me to jump. All movement stops, save for our labored breathing.

"No, Isabella! Watch yourself! What's the matter? You don't like what you see? Because you sure as fuck seem to like what you feel."

On the last word, he swiftly pulls out of me and then slams back inside. I keep my eyes on my face, but my concentration on the periphery. I can see enough to know that all he's wearing is a white wife beater. His arms are stretched around me and anchored to the wall, which he uses for leverage to maintain an unsparing rhythm behind me. The muscles in his forearms and biceps are tensed and flexing with his movements.

His smell envelops me. It aids in my cause. Has a hypnotic effect on all of my senses.

I give up.

He wins.

The consequences of surrendering to this don't stand a chance against the liberty it offers me.

Pinned and impaled beneath him, I'm not me.

I'm not an over worked hotel maid.

I'm not a struggling grad student.

I'm not an emotionally stunted disaster.

I'm not my father's fuck up.

I'm not my mother's disappointment.

Suddenly, whore doesn't sound so bad.

His head is mostly hidden by my own. I can only see the chaos of his hair. His broad, thick shoulders bow forward every time he enters me. He exudes hostility, but radiates physical beauty. I can't keep my eyes off of his physique.

He's brushing up against just the right spot inside me. I'm pretty sure he doesn't know. But he will soon enough, because I feel my orgasm looming. It aches as it nears, rolling closer and gathering momentum as it does. I'm grateful to be braced on this table.

Quickly, so quickly, his head shoots up and he catches me watching him. I drop my gaze immediately, but it's too late.

With a roar so intense that I can feel it rumble up his body, he clamps his teeth down on the skin on the back of my neck through my shirt. Right where my neck meets my shoulder. He begins to pound into me with vigor, angered at my disobedience.

The table is rocking into the wall and the mirror is shaking violently. Although I know he can't see me, I continue watching myself in it. My mouth is dropped open and my chest is heaving. His mouth remains clamped into my skin and the pain only exacerbates the pleasure. He's grunting with every slam forward. His thrusting is bouncing me up and down on the tips of my toes and I shatter.

My orgasm touches down violently. I feel my muscles grip and release.

Grip and release.

Grip and release.

He never slows, and with a thundering groan into my flesh, he plows forward one last time. His hands grab and squeeze my breasts. Hard. The pulsing of his cock overlaps the tail end of my own tremors, extending what I'd thought was waning. My hips begin to jerk with the aftershocks, but stop abruptly when he pulls himself from me. I can feel the wetness on the back of my neck where his mouth was. And my own wetness beginning to weep from between my thighs.

He throws a white folded envelope at my feet and disappears down the hall.


The next morning, I awake before the sun rises.

I shower, dress and grab my back pack off of the chair by the door on the way out.

By the time the sun is peeking up over the horizon, I've been on the road for an hour already.

The low hum of morning talk radio and my thoughts are my only travel companions.

I dread this trip, yet no one even knows I'm making it.

I don't call ahead. I don't book a hotel room. I don't stop to chat.

As I pass by the 'Welcome to Forks' sign, my body tenses and I feel the nerves take root in my gut.

And when I park my car and turn it off, I let the veil of numbness fall over me. The only defense I have against the rainstorm of emotion that overwhelms me every time I'm here.

I don't arrive with gifts or funny anecdotes from college life. I'm not greeted excitedly or embraced in warm arms. And those things would never have happened, regardless.

As I walk closer, I can see him. Where he always is when I visit. Unmoving, unchanging.

I brush the dead leaves and grass away from the words I chose myself all those years ago.

Charlie Joseph Swan Devoted Husband and Father May God bless you and keep you...

I kneel down in the damp earth and pull my raincoat tighter around myself. The hood shields my face from the light drizzle that's falling.

I take a deep breath and clear my throat.

"Hi, Charlie. Happy birthday."


ksw3 said...

What a messed up man! what a messed up Bella. Such a intense story! i hope soon there will be some kindness somewhere. LOL.

This.is.Yady! said...

WTF is wrong with Bella? I cant figure her out.

Aisling said...

I cant figure either of them out please pleas let there be a HEA

maxandmimasmummy said...

My head is spinning. Bell's chanting while Edward was fucking her was heartbreaking

"Suddenly, whore doesn't sound so bad."

There is such a story to be told about Edward and Alice and the rest of the family. I'm afraid to find out the answer.

isleesme1 said...

DRAMA!!! lots of it.. im scared to figure out edward.. i know theres a softness to him somewhere!!

~Elli~Iris~ said...

Ch 7
Oh Alice, you sneaky little pixie!
From whore he cock slut….jeeze he really knows how to charm a girl. He gets off on her humiliation. Why? Who does this? Making her watch herself.
Oh wow! Charlie is dead? OK then. This is what happened going into her senior year? Was she involved in his death? Yikes!

Heather said...

Is it just me or did Assward get a teensy bit soft at the end there? He caught her looking at him and didn't say a word, and though he bit her, it seemed more sensual than mean? I dunno, just struck me as a bit different that time...kind of like he wanted her to see him and vice versa. Fuck this is an intriguing story, lady!!

Blondemel47 said...

Silly me I got it in my head she'd already met Jasper - see what you do to me, (Mind fcuk). Edward says no touching/kissing but he touched her with his mouth..a bite maybe - but its a start. Plus he's grabbing her boobs, albeit harshly - he's wanting touch. How much longer before he wants her boobs in his mouth I wonder. Plus am thinking maybe he didnt lose a daughter but a younger sister. (Carlisle works long hrs to maybe help with his grief?). Really feel for Bella. Can understand partly tho why she'd want to switch off & let the feelings take over & just numb her mind if only for a few minutes. As for Charlie (like how you portrayed him for a change too), how he acted towards her - he was still her Dad & she craved his praise. Am guessing she still needs him to be proud of her in some weird sense. In a fashion both she & Edward are broken, in their own way.

kelly said...

I don't understand how he doesn't mark her when he's fucking her so hard!

I'm glad her and Alice kinda cleared the air... I just wish I could understand Alice's behavior better.

Charlie is dead?! It's so odd to me that she still tries to connect with her parents even though they've always been so awful to her. I guess I understand that they are her parents and she must be looking for validation and acceptance from them, but she's a smart girl and I'm surprised that she hasn't figured out that it is never going to happen.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm...I'm thinking Edward was married and the pic is of him and his daughter. Maybe he caught his wife messing around, left with the daughter, wrecked, killing them both. Maybe Bella looks like his dead wife? But I could be way off!
Maybe he had something to do with their demise? Time will tell.

I can understand Bella wanting some type of validation or recognition from her parents only because they are/were her parents, no matter how harsh they were to her.

nelarivera said...

bella needs LOVE!!! and never have any.
she only know the suffering, loneliness, and abandonment; and is exactly what edward gives to her.

if she need whoring herself, there are many people who treat her a thousand times better than that son of a bich!!!

motherfuker! i hope that bella makes him sufer sooo much at the end.

that little shit don't deserve a HEA. fuck you edward!

MissWinkles said...

SO IT WASN'T EDWARD. You sneaky minx, you.

You keep hitting me with these curve balls.

A kid in the picture BOOM!

Charlie's dead BOOM!

She's working for Esme BOOM!

I don't know how much more I can handle. Oh, let's be honest, I can take it.

xx Wink